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Is figuring out the "why" essential to true R?

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bewildered22 posted 6/25/2013 11:54 AM

When I read through the forum I note that so often WS have multiple A's or ONS. Me and my WH are in R ...we take a few steps back here and there but moving forward. We have not done IC or MC. Tried MC one time..just didn't feel comfortable or that it was productive at the time. My WH is now aware of his boundary issues and says his whole attitude towards women has changed. My question / concern adhering to boundaries enough?? Is there something deeper within that he needs to understand that allowed him to have these EA/PA/ONS? He says he is not the same person.

Lostinthismess posted 6/25/2013 11:56 AM

I'm curious on this too. My wh's why is poor boundaries and drunk. Nothing deeper.

LA44 posted 6/25/2013 12:18 PM

It is essential to OUR R.

High Cost Behaviour (After the Affair, by Janis A Spring) requested by me to H:

Go to IC and figure out why. If you don't find out why, you risk doing it again or falling into another behavior that causes harm to you, me and our family.

LOST: Why does he drink? Why does he have poor boundaries? Are you safe as long as he isn't drinking? That would scare me.

My Dad drank until I was 10. He has a saying for the newbies he sees at AA (yup. he still goes). Sometimes I am sober and sometimes I am just not drinking.

When you are merely not drinking, the behavior that led to the drinking (affair) still exists. Know what I mean?

IMO, IC all the way. For both parties. And then, MC.

confused615 posted 6/25/2013 12:30 PM

Saying you're "not that person" means nothing. If he hasn't put in the hard work to change,if he hasn't developed better coping skills,the chances of his cheating again is high.

DoneWithLove posted 6/25/2013 12:38 PM

Idk if its essential but there's an ebook I read by Bob Huizenga called Break Free From The Affair. It explains the different types of affairs and how to go about dealing with your spouse and the specific type of affair. We read it together and narrowed it down to my H being "I need to prove my desirability" cheater. It helps explain why when they can't find the words or even figure out the "why" themselves and makes it easy to decide if you even want to try R with this person. Good luck

Lostinthismess posted 6/25/2013 12:38 PM

Bewildered- I think I would be asking him what IN him allowed him to cheat? What was is that justified it while he was doing it? I think poor boundaries is a start, but it doesn't really explain the mindset while he was cheating. We went through 3 mc before we found one we liked. I would keep searching.

LA- WH isn't a drunk, he was out as a group when was out of town and they went to a bar. But the sentiment is the same- I'm not safe as long as he thinks just not drinking in that situation will stop future cheating. He read Not Just Friends and suddenly clicked I guess that all the stuff he thought was harmless really wasn't but doesn't think there is anything deeper because he wasn't looking to have sex with someone else... Blah.

[This message edited by Lostinthismess at 12:40 PM, June 25th (Tuesday)]

LA44 posted 6/25/2013 13:11 PM

Sorry Lost, was just trying to use the drinking/sober analogy there.

Idk H woke up the morning he cheated with zero intention to cheat. This is what he said. But then he did.

For two years.

In our case, I just think a little more time spent investigating why is very much needed.

Also, I spend a good portion on my time on SI reading the Wayward threads. They are waist high in figuring out the whys and I always find it very interesting and insightful.

They can answer better then most!

Good luck!

doesitgetbetter posted 6/25/2013 13:45 PM

I think finding out the why is essential to the WS healing themselves. IMO, if a WS isn't healed, then they are very likely a candidate for future infidelity because they can't recognize, or don't know, what was damaged that they need to address that allowed them to cheat in the first place.

I can also tell you that at 2 months out, my H thought he knew his why as well. And it was a simple and lame why just as many that have been listed. However, after a year of therapy, MC, reading books, and talking with me for countless hours, he finally figured out the real why and it was completely different than his initial conclusion. It takes deeeeep digging to get to the real reason, and a LOT of self introspection.

Turned out that my H didn't cheat on me because he thought he wasn't hurting anyone, he actually cheated on me because he felt like he never deserved anything good in life and that he was a failure at protecting those that he loved. So he resorted to self sabotage so he could control the damage caused to others, rather than sitting by and watching other people hurt those he loved (twisted, I know). He cheated in order to try to destroy our M because he never thought he deserved to be happy, and that stemmed from things that he's been taught about himself since he was a little boy.

m334455 posted 6/25/2013 13:53 PM

Yes, it is essential. Otherwise your WS doesn't know what to avoid and you have incomplete info. about red flags.

My wh's why is poor boundaries and drunk. Nothing deeper.

By the way -- something like that is totally sufficient. Not all people are terribly deep. Some are rather selfish and don't need a whole lot of incentive to cheat.

My WS's reasons weren't all that deep either -- made him feel young, exciting to take a risk and easy. I told him to take up skydiving. Ass.

Lostinthismess posted 6/25/2013 14:05 PM

My WS's reasons weren't all that deep either -- made him feel young, exciting to take a risk and easy. I told him to take up skydiving. Ass.

I know it's not funny but this made me chuckle and I needed a little lighthearted chuckle.
Maybe it's because it's so early for me, I need more than that. Like for you, why did he need to feel young? Why was the risk worth cheating in his mind? Are there really no answers like that?? I feel frustrated too that I'm asking for answers that maybe aren't there.

huRtZ413 posted 6/25/2013 14:34 PM

Impulse , that's what It comes down to in a Unplanned ONS that is , no thought to it " damn she wants me that bad , I wonder what she do when she has me " so the thought into it was that he felt "desired" and I didn't make him feel that way I treated him like a chore ......I'm tried of searching why they did it because :"they were thinking in the moment" instant pleasure that's what . Now he had boundaries and he let it slip this one time now he is i guess reinforcing them . He says she will forever be the biggest mistake in his life ....and I'm his greatest moments . We will see I'm sure I know she really and truly meant nothing but the future will come and the light will shine on what's suppose to be. Find why there can be many reason none of which I carry blame for and none will make me understand and say oh that's why ok then I get it ....duh . Nope it will never make sense . His communications skills sucked Any and every problem can be fixed if you just open your mouth and say hey something is up im not as happy as i could be. He plays macho and everyone seeing him as this big man strong and handsome , he admitted he isn't as confident as he appears . So that self esteem issues I guess that's him to work on . I guess I'm in the angry phase, because he can find a way to work on that crap on his own its called "self" esteem . I just think one more chance buddy . I only give second chances I have too much to worry about ( two small girls , my career in the near future ) I'm working on making my self independent . If he chooses to make shit right or do me wrong again its on him . I cry my eyes out all the time now and he sees it all ,so if it happens again after knowing what it does to me I will not shed a tear the second time . Then I will pack my bags , clear our account and get my girls out of there . Like he said I'm young if I wanted I could start over ,he's right . ( he doesn't want me to ) right now he feels he doesn't deserve me or the girls or our life and blames his career for encouraging the emotional distance and so on ......but I love him and well the clock is ticking on him to mess up I hope I'm wrong . He is putting in work and made changes that encourage alone time with him but I guess I don't believe in fairy tales anymore

[This message edited by huRtZ413 at 2:42 PM, June 25th (Tuesday)]

catlover50 posted 6/25/2013 14:41 PM

As I have said before, my fWH's whys filled pages.

But that's him. And he now has a lot to work on and I'm STILL not sure he has everything figured out. And it certainly doesn't make him "safe".

But it does help me to understand.

HormonalWoman posted 6/25/2013 14:45 PM

I think so. How can you know you'll never do it again if you haven't figured out why you did it in the first place?

bewildered22 posted 6/26/2013 08:37 AM

huRt - I am with you..this is it..I can't do THIS

bewildered22 posted 6/26/2013 08:48 AM

oops hit enter - I can't do THIS again. I do think I will press for IC. There has to be more than boundaries that make you choose to do something..repeatedly..that puts your whole life at risk. We all feel flattered by the attention of the opposite sex but we don't all act upon it. I was listing to NPR last night..interview with author of Secrets to Surviving Infidelity..he said some people are genetically predispositioned to cheat..great..wonder if there is genetic testing for that one

hardlessons posted 6/26/2013 09:26 AM

My question / concern adhering to boundaries enough?? Is there something deeper within that he needs to understand that allowed him to have these EA/PA/ONS?

Boundaries are mandatory and a first step, but without figuring out the why's the boundaries will be breached again. Assuming there were real boundaries in the first place they just don't fall, they are sapped over time. It's not a whoops, tripped and fell into her or whatever. There is a pattern of destruction that will repeat itself if it is not dealt with.

he said some people are genetically predispositioned to cheat..

Regardless, we have a choice. That's the kicker with Free Will, it makes us responsible for our decisions. Our free agency requires accountability and that half of the equation is rarely talked about...

He says he is not the same person.

We can say whatever we want, until it is backed up with factual documentation, hard work, time, blood, sweat and tears it isn't so.

Have you created a list of requirements for R?

Rise And Shine posted 6/26/2013 09:44 AM

something like that is totally sufficient. Not all people are terribly deep. Some are rather selfish and don't need a whole lot of incentive to cheat.

Right. I was hell bent after dday on finding out if my WS was a cheater who had issues that could be fixed or a cheater who wasn't terribly deep and so didn't need a lot of incentive to cheat.

Because if he were not terribly deep I would know that I M'd a sociopath or at the very least, a man who'd cheat on me again- and I would have D'd him immediately.

In terms of not being a deep thinker, there's a big difference between a sociopath and a "lazy thinker". Most people are lazy thinkers, imo. My WH is no longer a lazy thinker.

I guarantee that even the sociopath engages in deep thinking when they're having an A. Doesn't matter if it's a one night stand, a few months or an LTR. They are definitely thinking.

unfound posted 6/26/2013 10:07 AM

for me it was imperative that mr unfound figure out his "why". he wasn't a deep thinker (still isn't I believe), but had some deep issues and before WE could R, he definitely had to start to reconcile that. it would have been impossible for me/us to reconcile the M if he continued to be unhealthy.

I don't think it's wrong to try to figure out even the seemingly simplest or shallowest of "whys". in doing so, learning how to react in a healthy way to situations can only help R.


In terms of not being a deep thinker, there's a big difference between a sociopath and a "lazy thinker".... My WH is no longer a lazy thinker.

I like this r&s

[This message edited by unfound at 10:08 AM, June 26th (Wednesday)]

njgal480 posted 6/26/2013 10:13 AM

I am 6 yrs post d-day and we are successfully reconciled due to the fact that my FWH did a lot of work on himself to figure out the 'whys' .

In my case, IC was crucial for him and for myself as well.

My FWH also got sober and went to AA...he did the whole program...90 meetings in 90 days and then 2-3 meetings per week for years afterward ...he still attends AA once a week now-6 yrs later.

My FWH was a functional alcoholic.
He held down a professional job and functioned on many levels-for ex. soccer coach etc.
And yet...his alcoholism/addiction issues were so entrenched that he needed that intensive of a commitment to AA!

What I always say is that simply stopping drinking is not enough.
When alcoholics do that and do not do any work to try to understand themselves they either slip back into drinking or they stay sober but remain 'dry drunks'.
Which means that they still have the same toxic thinking.

I believe the same thing is true for WS.

Stopping the affair is not enough.
They have to change their way of thinking and looking at the world.
That does not happen overnight.
It takes work.

I think that IC was much more important for our R than MC was.
MC is a tool to help the two of you communicate better.

To maybe give you a safe place to discuss things ( details about the infidelity etc.) with a third party present to help you like a referee.

At least that's how it worked for us.

But, all of our 'Aha...' moments happened individually in IC.

having said all of that I have read about couples on SI that have R without going to counseling etc.

But for me it was crucial to R.

bewildered22 posted 6/26/2013 12:04 PM

hardlessons -

The pattern repeating is my fear!

We do not have list of requirements for recovery - can you elaborate? We have discussed but never formally written extraordinary precautions from MB

Too much talk..not enough action!!

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