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"Why" is most important to me

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dontstop posted 6/26/2013 10:29 AM

I've been here for one month reading and reading until my eyes glaze over. It's only been a month since D-Day. I just need to get this off my chest. When I find my answer to "What led you to your path?" I will feel better. Understanding why is essential. He needs to understand why he did it to truly understand the behavior that led to the affair. It'll help with the healing. That summarizes a lot of what I've read. Now, as I keep reading, I run into this: Not everyone is deep, not every reason is deep. The reasons could be floating around the top layer such as poor boundaries, wanting to be desirable again(selfishness), etc. As a betrayed spouse, I want it to be deep because then what? It was a lightly made decision? Let me also say that I donít believe in genetic disposition. If I read that line of reasoning one more time I will spit nails.

Choice. Thatís what separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom.

On a side note, I know I've been posting a lot lately. I don't mean to, just alone in all of this outside of the virtual world.

LifeReDefined01 posted 6/26/2013 10:34 AM

I feel the same way about wanting a deeper reason than "it meant nothing." You mean you risked our marriage, our family, my life, my health over "nothing?" Because, to me, it meant everything.

Betrayed07 posted 6/26/2013 10:52 AM

I agree. The simple, stupid act of sex was more important than our marriage, our kids, the past 13 years. I just don't get it.

doesitgetbetter posted 6/26/2013 13:46 PM

I completely understand your position. I wanted to get to the why also so my H could work on himself and fix those issues. I can tell you, it took a loooong time and loooots of work on both of our part to help him continue to dig until he really figured it out. It took my H a full year of weekend retreats, MC, IC, talking for thousands of hours, reading books, etc. before he finally got to it. And it sort of hit him one night like an epiphany.

IMO, the "superficial" reasons are a bunch of hooey, but a lot of BS's really don't want to hear the reasons because they think they are excuses and the BS doesn't want to hear excuses. So don't let others' opinions about whether there's a deep reason or not frustrate you. IMO, it's always deeper than poor boundaries, or opportunity, or being selfish. Those are the topical reasons, but why did you feel this was a good way to express your selfishness, etc.?

Do what feels right to you.

1Faith posted 6/26/2013 13:56 PM

I don't think we will ever understand the why.

Because honestly there is no excuse so anything they say to the why is ridiculous and lame.

My WH stated that he didn't think I liked him anymore. He knew I loved him but didn't think I liked him as a person. Huh, are you four?

He also stated that he wanted us to have a stronger, more deeper marriage. Again, huh? So you had an affair? Logic isn't lining up with me.

Then there was because he felt so bad about himself felt like he was a loser and that she really made him feel understood. Really?, I understand you were a complete asshole who put your selfish needs before your marriage, your wife and your family.

So the reasons of WHY only caused me more dismay. I felt like I was talking with a child.

atsenaotie posted 6/26/2013 14:09 PM

dontstop, the surface reasons are just that. The real reasons are deeper.

Not everyone is deep, not every reason is deep. The reasons could be floating around the top layer such as poor boundaries, wanting to be desirable again(selfishness), etc.

So to these surface issues, there is an underlying question; Why do you have poor boundaries? Why do you feel a need for Other People to find you desireable?

A WS can stop the why at poor boundaries and work on his or her boundaries, but unless they understand why they had poor boundaries to begin with, and address that issue, there new boundaries will be undermined by that remaining underlying issue.

Even with a genetic predisposition, why did he act on that? A pre-disposition is just that, a statistically tendency. Many, many with the same genetic pre-disposition do not have A's (or become alcoholics, or become violent offenders), so why him?

When I find my answer to ...

You are just a month out, so I remember and understand the feeling of trying to gain control of the situation. You will never find that answer, and I say that as one who looked hard and long. I would like to suggest that you take the view like this:

When he can explain to me what led him down this path.

Put the onus on him to explain why he had the A, how he ended up there, what he is doing to change and make a future A less likely. He is the one who needs to change, you cannot make him do this, so tell him your expectations and then let him come to you with the answers, with the proof he is being transparent, with the proof he is safe to be M to.

[This message edited by atsenaotie at 2:11 PM, June 26th (Wednesday)]

PricklePatch posted 6/26/2013 14:15 PM

I needed the why. I now understand his actions. They were not about me per sei. They were about his deep issues with his mother and his projection of her on to me. He didn't have an emotional attachment to anyone except his obession with the girl on facebook.

The irony of that is she looks like me at her age. It brought me a long ways to forgiving him for his physical actions. Not however for the facebook. Truly, after 2 years I just figured out his facebook why last week. Apparently, he had figured it out in IC, but didn't think to mention it. We are still separated, he is remorseful. However, we will stay separated until I feel at peace with our relationship. This is how I need to handle this. Part of this is seeing his actions and me finding peace. Until then, no conjungal visits.

sportsfan posted 6/26/2013 14:15 PM

"Why" is the age old question.

It's been asked a gazillion times - and I certainly asked it over and over again too, but I don't know that i've ever seen THE answer here.

The best answer i've read is "because he/she could - he/she wanted to - he/she just did".

I hope you don't make "why" the determining factor for staying in your M b/c you may force an answer that is untrue or at least incomplete.

If my ultimatum to my W was either tell me exactly "why" or we're done, we'd have been done a long time ago. Instead we're R'd and doing well.

To paraphrase a line in a famous song; you might not get what you want but you may get what you need...

Good luck.

Bikingguy posted 6/26/2013 14:39 PM

I envy many of you BS, even if the "why" was a lame excuse. I would be happy for any excuse at this point. The A started over 15 years ago and WW cannot give any exuses for how she allowed herself to cross the line, how she justified it (of course it will not be OK to me - but any reason would be a start). How did she convince herself that it was OK to continue it for so long - it only ended after getting caught.

I have tasked her with TRYING to determine those questions. Not sure she will ever be able to provide those. And frankly, I am not sure I want to spend the rest of my life with someone who cannot

phoenixrivers posted 6/26/2013 14:55 PM

dontstop, I'm so sorry for your pain, but let me be blunt in telling you about your desire to answer the "why?" question.

You are under a serious delusion if you believe even a detailed explanation of your WS's behavior would help you.

On the contrary, explanations will only serve to heighten your pain. Reasoning does not make pain go away. Only your own determination will do that.

Your desire for explanation is similar to a wounded warrior lying on the battlefield, bleeding from a wound. When offered help, he refuses, seeking instead to understand what weapon wounded him, what angle it came from, how he might have avoided the blow and how he could have overcome the opponent. While engaged in this speculation, he bleeds to death.

Instead of looking for explanations for your WS's behavior, seek instead to heal yourself. Learn about the 180. Read the healing library. Detach from your WS as much as you can. Get IC and listen to the advice of the good folks here on SI.

Sorry if I've offended you. I'm truly sorry for your pain.


doesitgetbetter posted 6/26/2013 15:46 PM

similar to a wounded warrior lying on the battlefield, bleeding from a wound. When offered help, he refuses, seeking instead to understand what weapon wounded him, what angle it came from, how he might have avoided the blow and how he could have overcome the opponent.

I respectfully disagree. I see it as that same soldier lying on the hospital bed, asking those same questions, so he can AVOID a future attack. I would also point out that you and I have both chosen different paths after infidelity, and this may be part of why we have different views on this.

Listen, we all make mistakes, we all do things that we don't know why. Some of us may be physically abusive to our kids, emotionally abusive to our spouses, drug addicts, thieves, liars, etc. etc. etc. If we never look at the reason why we are those things, then we'll never move past that. Do you think a drug addict just goes to AA to learn how to avoid taking drugs? No way! They talk about what led them to take the drugs, what they get out of it, and how to better deal with those situations in the future to not turn to drugs. An abusive parent goes to counseling to figure out why they abuse their children and what triggers it so they can learn how to avoid that in the future and deal with it properly.

I will agree that the why won't make you feel any better (as a BS) at all. The why is really for the WS to heal and work on themselves. It won't magically turn the BS pain into a distant memory at all, not even a little. But having that why, and having the WS work on that and change for themselves, that helps make me feel a lot better about the future outlook for my M with my H. If he didn't work on himself and work on his why, then he would still be incredibly vulnerable to do exactly what he's done before and not have any idea how to cope with things and I would have surely had another several DDays in my future. I don't like to live waiting for the next horrible day to happen, so we worked on the why and my H worked on himself.

shudistayorgo posted 6/26/2013 15:56 PM

New here...this is my first post so please bear with me...
The WHY feels like it's so important to me as well (D-Day was 3.5 weeks ago) and my H keeps saying that's what he wants to figure out as well. I'm terrified that we won't ever come to find out the why...and will I be able to move forward without it??

dontstop posted 6/26/2013 16:30 PM

Thank you everyone for your thoughts. I put myself out there to gain some perspective so I'm certainly not offended. In my situation, my marriage is not dependent on answering this question. Rather, this is just a feeling I have inside at this point in my life. I see that there are those who have different experiences with this. What I'm going to try to do is move forward with my marriage of 11 years because he and I both want this. There will be a lot of questions and pain along the way. I'm sure of that.

brokenfinger posted 6/26/2013 16:47 PM

The first time I asked my ex why..and he never really had a reason. He did say at one point our marriage "wasn't in a good place at that point" AKA i was going to nursing school, and like a child throwing a tantrum, he didn't have my undivided attention.
I had asked him, and we had talked about it a lot after we R'd. It was always bothered me that he really DIDN'T KNOW WHY. I would always could you not know why?
Now after many sexting indiscretions, and catching him on my couch with the OW, I realize....I will never get the answer to that question.
He has no ability to look into him self and ask the hard question, he's never never never taken criticism well at all. And also, being able to explain why, would mean he has to take more responsibility for what he has done, and he doesn't want to do. He even tried telling me that because i suspected the A he thought he should just go ahead and do it anyways.
So even though there are days where I would like to know why, I know that his multiple A's had nothing to do with me, and I may never know why. And that has to be okay. I have to move on, and build a life for my children and me.
Don't get my wrong, I seriously hope karma is a bitch, but if not, me and kids are happy and healthy and I provide for them, and that's what matters most.

HeartInADustpan posted 6/26/2013 16:51 PM

I'm at 7 months and still searching for why.

1Faith posted 6/26/2013 17:05 PM

Regardless of whether or not a couple decides to reconcile, getting to the root of "why" the A happened is most helpful in truly healing from the trauma.

Before even beginning to seriously figure out why this happened in the marriage, both partners must understand that reasons are not excuses.

The simple "why" is that the WS made a choice to betray their loved one.

No circumstances validate that choice. In searching for why, both spouses must understand that they are looking for the thought processes and environment that allowed the WS to convince themselves that choice was valid.

They are NOT looking to excuse the WS's behavior based on external circumstances.

Start by looking at how the WS felt about themselves during the time period leading up to the A. Not how they felt about the BS, or their marriage, but how they felt about themselves. Were they happy? Confident? Satisfied with their progress in life? Proud? Content? Successful? Did they feel sexy and attractive? Or were they depressed, angry, ashamed, feeling like a failure? Feeling like something was lacking?

Was the BS aware of these feelings? Next, examine the WS's feelings about themselves in the context of their marriage and family. Did they feel needed? Important? Integral to the health and well being of the family? Did they feel appreciated? Like they were loved and cared for? Did they feel overwhelmed? Trapped?

Again, was the BS aware of these feelings?

This is good place to start to discover some of the thinking around the WHY

ReunitePangea posted 6/26/2013 17:12 PM

I agree why is important but I am not sure if it is the most important thing to me. The problem with the "why" is even when you think you know truly know why it never satisfies your thirst for understanding the A. It is just like drinking salt water - getting there just makes your thirstier because whatever the why is, it is really not acceptable.

Sure you could argue understanding the why should help in preventing the why from causing another A. The problem is if the why is some deep past family of origin issue you are left asking if the wound that caused the why is ever fully closed. If the why is a far more shallow issue of they did it because they could or some other similar variation you are left asking if it took that little what stops bigger problems from causing future A's. I have yet to hear from any BS a why that their response to is I completely understand why you thought it was acceptable to hurt me as much as you did. No why will ever satisy your thirst for trying to put yourself in your WS's shoes to understand why they thought doing what they did was ever acceptable.

For me actions will always speak louder than words. Deep thoughtful conversations of why they did what they did in the past may be helpful but their actions today and in the future are what I find most important. If their current and future actions meet my needs I could live the rest of my life without ever knowing really why.

allingoodtime posted 6/27/2013 08:30 AM

I agree. It's been right at a month since D-Day with my WS, and I still question the "why". Why did you do this to me, to us? Why was she more important than our children, our marriage, everything we've worked so hard to build?

On one hand, I'm coming to believe we'll never really know the "why", even though it is so important. On the other hand, it hurts like hell. I want to know, I need to know, and yes, it makes a difference.

OldCow18 posted 6/27/2013 13:34 PM

I'm just shy of 3 weeks out from d-day but have been to IC 3 times so far. My counselor feels the "why" is a very important step for both my recovery and for him to not do this again in the future.

So far all I've gotten are the bs answers, I don't know, I was selfish, I liked the attention, it meant nothing...and as many posted here already all I can respond to that is, "so, NOTHING was worth throwing away a GOOD SOLID 10 year marriage? Risking our children's safe haven? Risking losing your job??" I mean seriously. If he could throw our entire lives away over "nothing" what is the point of trying to reconcile?

Thankfully he is seeing the same counselor as me separately and they will work on the why.

Pippy posted 6/28/2013 07:12 AM

I've had a long time to think about this. My 9th D-Day antiversary is in 2 weeks.I've seen the same pattern in the SI posts over and over. So this is my take on WHY (from the female perspective).

We all had the ideal marriage in the beginning - young and in love - lots of sex. He is happy.

'Real life' comes on very quietly and works it's way into our lives. Jobs, houses, kids, bills and more bills. Stress builds and he's NOT HAPPY. He blames the wife and longs for the good ol' days and escape from the responsibilities. "Why can't we have sex every day like we did in the beginning?" he thinks.

He avoids talking about his issues because he doesn't want to raise the dust. He makes the choice to seek comfort, feeling he can do it and not get caught. Some start talking to a co-worker. Some seek out old girlfriends and others go to Craig's List.

It is new and exciting with sex like the good old days. He feels young again and 'she understand me'. She doesn't have bills and stresses. 'The sex is fantastic'. He has escaped and departmentalizes his two lives.

At this point they find they have to choose and the choice they make depends on their maturity level. The eternal teenager will choose porn star barbie thinking he will be 'happy' forever now. But the real man will recognise what he has done and decides to try to work things out. Of course outcomes vary.

Now I realise my version on WHY is simplified, but I truly feel this way. JMHO.

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