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reasons or excuses?

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20WrongsVs1 posted 5/15/2013 08:38 AM

Is it important to identify the reasons you (or spouse) had an A? Why, or why not?

The reasons that seemed so genuine to me, before and during the A, were clearly justifications. Lots of misplaced, exaggerated blame. By definition there are no legitimate reasons for having an A, which therefore makes them excuses. Right?

So confused. How do I identify reasons without appearing to excuse or justify my bad choices?

rachelc posted 5/15/2013 08:46 AM

When I speak to my BS about why I did what I did I "could" speak about all the crap that was going on in our life (son in Afghanistan, empty nest, child centered marriage, blah blah blah) but the real reason is my poor coping skills dealing with all this. It doesn't matter what is going on in one's life, it's how we deal with it that matters. And, I didn't have those skills.

I was old enough and smart enough to realize I needed those skills too. I knew there was something wrong with me. Excuse? I don't think so. Reason? yes. ALL ON ME.

badchoice posted 5/15/2013 11:01 AM

I believe that getting the the bottom line 'why' is very important.

Reasons and excuses are just that. bad communication, I felt alone, depressed, etc, etc. All of those things are just reasons and excuses. When you get to the why, and then even see how that has affected your life in other areas, then you can work on changing that part of your life. Does that make sense?

Example; a reason like I felt lonely in the M. That can happen again and again during a long M. As rachelc said, how you deal with them is what's important. And how you deal with them, or react to them in an unhealthy way leads you to your 'whys'.

The bottom line 'why' you cheated goes deep. Sometimes all the way back to FOO (family of origin issues). When you can look back and see why you have bad boundaries, or coping skills, you can then change those core behaviors, and then hopefully act differently/healthier next time.

Does that make sense?

Bulldozer posted 5/15/2013 11:05 AM

For me, the initial reasons that I was unfaithful were right but only partly right. There were other reasons that it took me some time in therapy to figure out. This might be the case for you as well.

Initially, I thought that I was lonely. Then I realized that I needed external validation. Then recently, I realized I just wanted my cake and eat it too. But all three reasons were true. Figuring them out just took a really long time, but I'm also a slow learning.

The more we learn about ourselves, I think the more that will be revealed about ourselves to ourselves. Just keep digging away and see what develops.

3kids30years posted 5/15/2013 12:40 PM

BW here, the why is important for me to understand, and my WH to identify so he can stop an A from happening again.
If he doesn't know why, I will never feel safe again.
It is hard work, but the why is so important. Not excuses, reasons, justifications or blame, but why did you make that choice? I was in the same M, I didn't make that choice.

[This message edited by 3kids30years at 12:41 PM, May 15th (Wednesday)]

hardlessons posted 5/15/2013 13:06 PM

20W, for me finding my "Why's" were important to me for me. I needed to find them so that I could figure out WTF is wrong with me. I see a lot of waywards looking for why's because their BS demands it(Rightfully so), but not because THEY want to so the process can be slow as hell and not very productive.

Before I betrayed my wife I betrayed myself, my morals and values. And regardless of whether my wife chose to stay or divorce I wanted to find my why's regardless.

At first all the reasons sound like excuses and justifications and that's what they are, but that doesn't mean we can't find value as we dig deeper and ask ourselves the next why. In business a common tool is the "5 Why's". It's a great tool here as well. Basically you keep asking why until you hit that "Oh shit" light bulb moment.

Uneek posted 5/17/2013 00:24 AM

MadHatter here. The whys for us have been very important. Knowing why means we can take steps to change those things about us that led us to make those hurtful choices. Like you said, the justifications/excuses are easy. Getting to the bottom of what it is in me that was so broken that having intimacy with someone not my husband was a good idea...that's the real reason. It's scary, and hard, but it's going to be worth it. I hope. If not, I've spent an awful lot of $$$ on counseling for no reason

20WrongsVs1 posted 5/17/2013 07:53 AM

Unlike some WS whose A began at work or some other circumstance, I made a conscious decision to pursue it. So, I spent a lot of time concocting "reasons." Now I kinda wish I had an archive of my cheater email address, but I deleted it. Would've given me insight into how I was justifying it at the time.

What I'm taking away from your responses is that listing those reasons/excuses/justifications is a good starting point. Then BH and I can discuss them, and I can work on digging to the roots underneath.

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