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fWW has no memory of A

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SecondHelping posted 8/22/2013 11:36 AM

This is my Anti-versary weeks and my fWW and I had a discussion that I'd like some feedback on.

I'm still having a rough time with the memories/thoughts of what I know and read in emails. fWW has been great helping me through this.

We'll I mentioned that to help me heal I was wondering if we re-enacted the three acts they performed it might help me take the power back and not make the mind movies so vivid. I did not ask her to do this, I was just speaking out loud.

Last night she tells me she has no memory of what they did, and she didn't want to go back to that place (state of mind) to remember them. I fully understand it's painful, but it's brought up a big question for me.

How can she NOT have memories of what they did? She doesn't know, but I'm wondering if it's part of the compartmentalization that I read so much about. I believe that my fWW was a practicing commpartmentalizer for the few months they were together, but do those memories stay locked up in the compartment and get lost forever if she doesn't go there?

This would also explain how she never has mind movies and triggers. I asked her once if she had them and said no. She only remembers what happened when I bring it up. Not the A, but the specifics of the A.

I'm not trying to make my fWW hurt any more. I'm just trying to make me hurt less.

LosferWords posted 8/22/2013 12:57 PM

My wife would say similar things when I would bring up difficult questions about the A. She didn't straight up say, "I don't remember." It was more like, "This question really sucks, because I'm trying to mentally detach, and now I am having to revisit things that I have been trying not to mentally distance myself from."

I wonder if your wife is in a similar mindset.

It's a fine line between healthy and unhealthy, IMO. Mental detachment, and even using a form of compartmentalization, can be a good thing in order to maintain "Mental NC". On the other hand, if her recollection of these memories is something that you need to help you heal, and she is unwilling to do so, it could be construed as a form of rug sweeping.

My guess is that those memories are there, but she doesn't want to revisit them.

Good luck with this, SH.

Audrina posted 8/22/2013 13:10 PM

I find it odd that she has no memories of what they did. I agree with the previous poster. She might not want to deal with it, think about it.

doesitgetbetter posted 8/22/2013 13:31 PM

She remembers, she just doesn't want to talk about it because it will be more hurtful and she's not willing to be uncomfortable in order to help you heal. My H was a compartmentalizer during his A's, and he remembered every single detail from his very first A that happened 5 years before... and this is a man with a terrible memory on a regular basis.

JanaGreen posted 8/22/2013 13:39 PM

Was she sexually abused as a child?

Bikingguy posted 8/22/2013 13:46 PM

I don't agree that she remembers. My WW has always had a terrible memory and has a hard time with many questions I have asked. Especially the hard "how did you Justify it" type. She has talked about her not knowing the answer in IC many times and she cries a lot knowing how much I desire to know. This even came up in MC yesterday and MC said I might not ever get that answer.

I have resigned myself to maybe not every knowing many reasons/answers, but I certainly have the right to ask her to try - and she is.

I don't think this will prevent me from healing and getting to forgiveness but it might take longer. Not sure?

It is strange that I and the engineer and she was the socialoligy major and is the one having problems accessing many emotions!

AStar posted 8/22/2013 14:02 PM

I find it hard to believe that she doesn't remember. Sorry. Most likely she doesn't want to recall the events or speak about it. At least that would be honest. Not remembering? Does she have a head injury? Otherwise I doubt its memory suppression.

SecondHelping posted 8/22/2013 14:11 PM

No, no head injury. No, not abused as a child, but she was raped at age 16. She supressed that from then until IC after the A.

I know you are all saying she remembers but just doesn't want to tell me, but my fWW will answer any question I ask. I've only got the 'I don't know/remember to a couple of questions and this was basically where he took her for sex. She says she wasn't looking out the window in case she was seen.

She is doing all the right things and trying to help me as much as she can. It's just odd that she doesn't have memories of it...I think some of you may be correct, she suppresses them until I ask about them.

Not sure. We're going to talk about this more tonight.

doesitgetbetter posted 8/22/2013 14:33 PM

My WW has always had a terrible memory and has a hard time with many questions I have asked. Especially the hard "how did you Justify it" type

There is a HUGE difference between figuring out how they justified the affair, versus remembering about sexual details. I can tell you about the first time I was with every man I've ever been with, over the past 30+ years (including being molested as a child). I might not remember what we talked about, what I felt, etc, but the act, I remember all those details. So did my H with his "terrible" memory. He remember who touched whom first with each of his A's, where the hands were, where they were at when it happened, who took of what article of clothing, etc. Could he tell you about the sex we had last Labor Day with such detail? Not a chance. But this, the A sex, it was illicit and that made it memorable.

So while I would agree totally that some of the emotional details are going to be hard to cut through (and the why can take years to figure out), I would disagree that with a partner they were with just a few times they don't remember every sexual detail.

kickboxer posted 8/22/2013 16:11 PM

I also don't believe "I don't remember." when that's the answer my WH gives me.

I just don't.

I've known this man for 15 years. We've lived together for 14 years. We've been married for almost 13 years. I know him, and I know how capable his memory is.

I want the details. Every nitty-gritty disgusting bit of grime there is. I want to know ev.er.y.thing.

I don't believe we will be able to put this chapter behind us until the secrets are gone, and I know *exactly* what happened, with whom, and when.

Bikingguy posted 8/22/2013 16:14 PM

I don't remember where wW and I first had sex. We only recall the day as she kept a journal when we were first dating. We can guess where as I was not allowed in her girls dorm that it must have been at my house. I do recall other times and some with other GF's but not all.

WW cannon also recall where her and OM had sex. This was a 15 year supper long LTA. The lengh of time, the cheating act itself, and her ability to compartmentalize - I don't like it, but can understand.

I will say I personally believe the memory is there, she just cannot access it. I have thought about hypnotizing her but not sure that would work either.

devasted30 posted 8/22/2013 16:30 PM

Don't know if this really pertains to what you are asking, but I think it does.
Many years ago I caught my WS on the computer late one night - I questioned him about it and he told me he was checking football scores or some such thing. Anyway, the next morning, he went to get his haircut and I went down to the computer and investigated. He had been on a couple of BDSM websites and was corresponding with a couple of people. I sent them messages telling them that this guy was married and to step back - probably not quite so nicely. When my husband came home we fought most of the day - me accusing him of cheating and telling him that I was leaving - him telling me that he was sorry etc. etc. etc. Anyway, the next day we drove up to visit my Father and we stopped off for breakfast enroute. I never believed in repressed memories....thought it was psycho babble etc.....didn't believe someone could remember being abused when they were a child and not have known about it all their lives.....guess what? I only remember stopping for breakfast on the way up the highway - do not remember anything else about that weekend. Nothing else. I worked with my husband at the time and remember sometimes when I was there alone I would check his computer looking for something but not really knowing what I was looking for.
OMG if I had only remembered that weekend there is a chance all of this misery would have been averted.
So, I guess what I'm saying here is - yes, she remembers about the affair etc., but could have forgotten the specifics because it is just too painful to remember.
Hope this helps shed some clarity.

[This message edited by devasted30 at 4:32 PM, August 22nd (Thursday)]

64fleet posted 8/22/2013 16:35 PM

sorry to T/J jana, but

Was she sexually abused as a child?

what does this mean? Mine claims no recollection either, and was molested by an uncle at a very young age.

No timeline, no recollection of what happened, etc.

sailorgirl posted 8/22/2013 20:08 PM

I can tell you about the first time I was with every man I've ever been with, over the past 30+ years (including being molested as a child). I might not remember what we talked about, what I felt, etc, but the act, I remember all those details.

Wow--people are so different! I had a long term boyfriend for five years before meeting fWH, and I just tried and I only remember two times we had sex (I remember because the circumstances were unusual). So, two semi-specific memories out of the most likely over 2,000 times we had sex.

As far as first times, I only vaguely remember my first first time. No other firsts, and nothing with details--very few memories at all with one guy I dated. I like sex, it's just that sexual stuff is all similar to my memory . . . I think that's normal too, right?

Last night she tells me she has no memory of what they did, and she didn't want to go back to that place (state of mind) to remember them.

fWH has told me the same thing. He was abused as a child and is very good at blocking things out. He has closed the door and it's nauseating to him to try to remember what happened with OW. While the A was going on, fWH would "shut down" and just do whatever OW wanted. Whatever would stop her from freaking out on him, including sex.

SecondHelping, did your fWW surrender to something she didn't want? Not saying it wasn't her fault. It helped me to read about emotional blackmail because OW was very good at that and fWH dissociated and self destructively gave himself over to her.

SecondHelping posted 8/22/2013 20:11 PM

SecondHelping, did your fWW surrender to something she didn't want?

No, she was a completely willing and eager partner.

This was only a year ago. She's not trying to remember 15 or 25 years ago.

She can still remember the details of the kissing/hickey from 1990.

[This message edited by SecondHelping at 8:13 PM, August 22nd (Thursday)]

ccw82 posted 8/22/2013 20:17 PM

I asked my husband shortly after D-day, and he said he didn't remember the details. Finally this last Monday we sat down and he spilled EVERY dirty detail he could remember, which was quite a bit more than he originally stated he could remember. I believe they remember, but they don't WANT to remember.

Scubachick posted 8/22/2013 22:18 PM

My husband can remember if the details make him look better but forgets if the details make him look worse.

ladya posted 8/23/2013 06:07 AM

I called it selective amnesia. In my case I found out 2 years after the affair had ended so there was some genuine memory loss. But, I also found out later that my FWH was giving me bits and pieces to gauge my reaction. Would I stay or go? In his mind he was protecting me. It took a long time to get him to understand every new detail was like d-day all over again and it set me back to the beginning. I think it is less compartmentalization and more self preservation. We have triggers and have a negative reaction. The WS has triggers and has a guilty reaction if they are sorry. Maybe she is afraid to remember too much due to the shame and embarrassment.

20WrongsVs1 posted 8/23/2013 07:07 AM

64Fleet, I'm not Jana, but I was molested as a child, so I'll answer. My therapist diagnosed me as being on the dissociative spectrum. She asked me if I remembered my As, and was relieved that I did. During a dissociative episode (like split personality) one can legitimately not remember, because "the other personality" did that. But that depth of dissociation is rare. I wouldn't believe "I don't remember" without a professional diagnosis.

If I had to describe the difference between compartmentalization and dissociation, I'd say compartmentalization is an often healthy, deliberate technique (think EMTs) while dissociation is a subconscious mode we slip into as an unhealthy coping mechanism. Which can be controlled and cured.

sportsfan posted 8/23/2013 09:20 AM

SH - I doubt that she doesn't recall roughly what they did but that's not the reason for my response which is that I caution you to push it too far. Why really go there? Whatever they did, well, they did it ... you know it ... she knows it ... for you both to relive it is not going to help you to take any power back ... its just gonna hurt. You're not going to enjoy it ... your W won't enjoy it ... and your R may suffer from it.

IMHO I don't think you should go there...

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