My husband cheated on his first wife, and I feel from my own experience with my ex that there are two players in this game, in MOST cases.
The circumstances for him cheating:
- Married too young - military man, came back to marry her after his first deployment to Iraq (the we-may-not-have-much-time syndrome).
- Deployed constantly… when he had to go away for 3-8 months at a time, she would get depressed and spend spend spend the extra money he was making (you get bonuses for being away from family…). That meant when he came home, money was tight, so it was more financially convenient for him to be gone.
- Tried to have a baby to “fix things.” Not only does this just cause more stress (and further instill the need for him to be gone because of even higher bills related to the new baby) on a relationship instead of making it better…
- The wife gained over 85 pounds (stress? depression? who knows) and then only lost 25 over the next two years. The weight became a weapon - he wanted her to be the thin, sexy attractive girl he married three years earlier, and she wanted him to “grow up” and "love me for the way I am."
The heavier she stayed, the more he found ways to deploy. The more he deployed, the easier it was for her to stay heavy, and get used to having the extra $600-$800/month in pay.
The longer she stayed so overweight, the more insecure she was about him turning to other women. And since she was overweight, he was in constant Marine mode telling her “you’re not healthy… you used to be so beautiful… why don’t you go to the gym…” which being a man he didn’t realize just hurt her even more.
Thus, she got more depressed, and less motivated to actually lose the weight. The more she accused him of cheating or wanting to cheat (because they stopped having sex from the stress and his loss of physical attraction to her), the more he felt pushed away and eventually, went for the totally immature and illogical reasoning "if she’s going to accuse me anyway, regardless of how accountable I try to be for my time, I might as well do it…"
And, he cheated. And she felt justified in staying heavy all that time because he cheated and therefore was a scumbag who couldn’t stay faithful, just as she had begun to suspect when he lost interest in her because of the massive weight gain.
So, there’s a million sides to every story. They both contributed equally, in my opinion. My husband alternately avoiding her all-together and then hounding her to lose the weight, was the most un-loving, un-husbandly approach to “saving” their marriage. Alternately, part of taking care of your spouse and living up to your vows, is taking care of yourself, and not going for the martyr “love me for who I am”… it’s one thing to be blind-sided by an illness or condition that couldn’t be predicted or helped, but it’s another to lose sight of your health, and withhold sex/use weight gain as a weapon to show who the better, more moral person is. If who you are now, is not the person you promised to stay as, or become, when you got married, then what can one do? They both should have done things differently and they both have come to the very rare point in their lives where they can openly admit that.
(Note, this was the first wife, not the second wife I am currently posting about issues with…)