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Trying to view "events" through his eyes

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cantaccept posted 9/17/2013 05:16 AM

H and I were talking last night and something he said has started me thinking.

"I think differently now"

I started thinking about how I view his "choices" and why I have such a hard time understanding, processing. Why do they hurt me so very deeply? What do his choices say to me? What do I tell myself?

I need to talk to him more about this. How did he process, what did he really think.

First, I never make quick decisions. I think about the consequences, consider how it will affect others, weigh the pros and cons. I have a hard time doing anything that I feel will hurt someone, even if I believe it is the "right" choice.

He chose to get involved with someone. For me to do that I would have to not care about him at all. I would have to be to the point of almost "hating" him.

So I think that I say to myself, "he must have hated me to do this", view through my eyes, maybe not his.

My view, To leave, for someone else, to drastically change your life, to go against your core beliefs, to do such damage to me, he must have really loved her, it must have been so important, so huge of a connection that it was worth risking everything.

Maybe we just viewed, made decisions differently.

Sex, for me is not just physical. It has to have an emotional connection. I have to feel love, I have to like the person, I have to believe that it is a commitment. I could not have sex with someone casually. Maybe it just never meant the same to him.

I need to think this through more and talk to h. I think I am trying to process this and ease some of the pain.

Just because I view his choices through my view of the world does not meant that he has the same view.

It could be that he has always tried to reinvent himself by changing partners when things got tough.

Maybe he eased his pain, his depression by seeking that "high" of the new.

Maybe it was to hard for him to view himself through my eyes. To see the way he treated me and live with himself. Maybe it made him feel better to be viewed through new eyes that did not know his flaws.

Maybe he thought someone new would make him be someone new.

Maybe it wasn't that he hated me, but hated himself. That by staying with me he would have had to face himself. He did not like how he treated me but was not able to change it. It was easier, familiar, comfortable for him to run.

Just because I do not have these particular coping mechanisms doesn't mean he does not. Just because I do not give up easily, run away, doesn't mean that he is the same. Just because I consider, take time, do not make impulsive choices, would think about the pain of others before means that he would have done the same.

Just trying to figure out how to live with this.

mchercheur posted 9/17/2013 06:12 AM

Wow cantaccept,

I could have written your whole post.

Sex, for me is not just physical. It has to have an emotional connection. I have to feel love, I have to like the person, I have to believe that it is a commitment. I could not have sex with someone casually. Maybe it just never meant the same to him.

This is something I have been struggling to understand too.
WH says she meant nothing to him, just sex. I guess that means that for him, he can have sex with someone he hardly knows.

For me to do that I would have to not care about him at all. I would have to be to the point of almost "hating" him.

What other conclusion can I come to other than that this is how he felt about me when he did what he did.

to drastically change your life, to go against your core beliefs, to do such damage to me, he must have really loved her, it must have been so important, so huge of a connection that it was worth risking everything.

He says that was not his intent, but how could he not know that it would end the marriage that we had.
I guess he thought he could have both.

After 2 yrs, 4 mos of trying to R, I still can not put the pieces of this puzzle together, & WH does not want to look at it or talk about it.

struggling16 posted 9/17/2013 07:02 AM

What a powerful post. You beautifully articulated some of the most painful (and, in my case,) unresolved puzzles about the A.

First, I never make quick decisions. I think about the consequences, consider how it will affect others, weigh the pros and cons. I have a hard time doing anything that I feel will hurt someone, even if I believe it is the "right" choice.

How does a person get to the point where they completely betray the values they supposedly spent their whole lives upholding? The fact that my WH made these choices demonstrates that he is certainly not the person I used to think he was. On Dday, I realized after 29 years that I had married a stranger. Since Dday, I have grown to love this new person he is demonstrating himself to be daily.

[This message edited by struggling16 at 7:03 AM, September 17th (Tuesday)]

Kelany posted 9/17/2013 07:11 AM

This is a fantastic post. My husband *had* a similar thought process then, but not now. He see's things more like me now.

brokensmile322 posted 9/17/2013 08:07 AM

My IC cautions against this very thing. She said that we all have our own filter with which we view our world, our decisions, our thoughts etc...

Our filter is created through our life experience and our beliefs. This is why no one will actually see the same situation exactly the same way.

It is really hard. She said trying to make sense of WH and his actions through our own lens is futile. It will never make sense because we are trying to view it through our lens. It is like putting on someone else's reading glasses. It is all blurry.

The only way to make sense of it is to try to view it through his lens and that takes a remorseful WS who is willing to do the work to figure it out.

Further, I think many compartmentalize their life in order to make the A happen. This is my life over there and this is my life here.

It is really trying to make sense out of crazy, irrational thinking. I only say this to try to ease some of your pain. You would not do this to him so viewing his A through your lens will only hurt you.


[This message edited by brokensmile322 at 8:07 AM, September 17th (Tuesday)]

cantaccept posted 9/17/2013 08:13 AM

I need to understand his thinking processes then and now to be able to come to terms with all this.

I am off today and as I am cleaning, my mind is going a million miles and hour, as usual.

Loyalty, commitment, those words came screaming into my head.

I think we viewed those differently also.

To me, loyalty and commitment meant we are together, married, responsible to a degree for each other.

We have joined our lives and we are both responsible for our emotional and physical well being. Both of us responsible and committed.

I remember his words, in the past, snippets of conversation, "we have history", "loyalty". I believed that was part of his core belief system.

Maybe his definition was different than mine. Understatement.

Even though he was verbally abusive, I chose to stay.


Because I committed to him, vowed to be his partner for life and did not qualify it or give it conditions.

I thought about leaving, deeply, considered all angles, including the impact on his life.

I chose to stay, to focus on his positive qualities. The qualities that now don't seem that he actually had.

Ugh!!! Loyalty, commitment. It seems that I attributed qualities to him that he did not possess.

Now, it is so important to me now, to know, to understand his interpretation of commitment, loyalty, love, marriage. Are there conditions? What are they? What does marriage mean to you?

I guess the one issue that I really struggle with is that he left me. No warning. No chance to discuss anything. No apparent remorse, just out the door as soon as I found out about the a. He did not consider me at all, either emotionally or in all of the practical issues.

I was left alone, not earning enough to support myself, dealing with all of the issues that come up with a house, car all of the details of life, suddenly all on my own and not prepared.

Life also seemed to conspire to make it worse.

Hurricane, one week after he left and I was alone in the dark, no phone, shell shocked.

Next week lost for 3 hours in a snowstorm, no one to help me, feeling so alone. The suddenness of it.

Next week car started leaking gas. Had to handle that too.

I did. I was able to get through. The thing that hurts is that he just up and left so suddenly and never even thought of how it was going to affect me. How was I going to live? Did I know how to start the generator, the snow blower? (no)

We had a partnership, he did things and I did things.

He abandoned me, left me to deal on my own without a backwards glance.

I need to know how he thinks now vs. then. How committed is he and what exactly does that mean to him.

I am different now also. I am no longer so dependent on him. I still don't earn enough money to support the house but I can figure that out if I have to. I do know how to start the snowblower now, I do know how to run the generator. I need to know this and more. I need to feel that no matter what happens in the future, I have the strength, knowledge to be ok.

cantaccept posted 9/17/2013 08:21 AM

I think that maybe viewing his actions thru my lens of the world could be more painful.

Because, I consider things first for me to act as he did I would have deliberately made the choice, considered the consequences and decided that sacrificing him was worth it. That inflicting that pain on him was worth it.

By possibly seeing thru his lens, he just is not that deep. He did not consider or consciously choose, he just went with what he selfishly wanted and didn't even consider the consequences.

It still hurts, nothing will make it not hurt right now. The only thing that I think it might do is make the wound not so deep.

If he considered things as deeply as I do, debated, looked at the consequences and still chose to go ahead, that would be worse. That is what I have been living. Believing that he considered all of this before he left.

Does this make any sense???

brokensmile322 posted 9/17/2013 08:25 AM


I think what you are trying to do is very healthy. I think you do need to look at the situation through his lens. That makes perfect sense for you to process.

I, too, came to acceptance (finally) that I had my WH on a pedestal. I attributed qualities to him that I wanted him to have and truly believed he did.

What I realized through all of this is that he really is not who I built him up to be. Sure he is pieces of it, but he is fallible. I am not sure I like who he is...

It sounds like you have alot to sort though. I am sure you felt abandoned without warning. That is for sure a scary feeling and fact, especially with all the crises you faced. You are one strong cookie! Good luck as you wade your way through all this muck!

hopefullromantic posted 9/17/2013 08:26 AM

Life also seemed to conspire to make it worse.

No, life showed you how strong you can be on your own.

Just trying to figure out how to live with this.


cantaccept posted 9/17/2013 09:02 AM


wish I knew how to cut and paste!

First quote - life conspiring

It felt that way at the time. It was so hard to just get through without the added stress. I was unprepared, shocked and blindsided. I can see now in retrospect, I was strong, I dealt with it and am more prepared now. I guess my point was his lack of concern.

Quote 2 - trying to learn to live with this

We are attempting R. In order to do this, I feel that I need to be able to accept his actions and be able to live with the fact that he was capable of his actions.

I am attempting to lessen my pain. To reach a point that I can understand him and what I need from him now. What are the very real changes that I need to see in him.

I guess I am trying to reach a place where the pain is just not so intense and I can move on from it. I will always be a part of my life, how do I live with that.

StillStanding1 posted 9/17/2013 09:56 AM

Cantaccept, You have put into words much of my own internal struggle.

I have tried to learn and to look at everything through his lens. It does help me wrap my brain around this all a little.

However, I feel strongly compelled to also have him see this through MY lens. Like he won't ever truly "get it" unless he does. It's not that I want to just keep beating him up, but I want him to understand and have empathy. But then, I am not sure if that falls in line with the "I can only fix myself" strategy that I've tried to adopt. I feel torn between these two sides. Do you feel that too?

I give you credit for trying to open your mind to seeing things through his lens. I hope it will somehow bring you to a place of peace. There is so much to process through all of this.

I agree that the ability to compartmentalize seems to come easily to our WS. Then they only need to see through their own lens and only when they feel like it. I see that perhaps because we are unable to compartmentalize like them, we can't make those types of choices and it makes it difficult for us to understand how they could. I feel it's closely related -- compartmentalizing and the ability to "see". Perhaps when we open up those little "boxes" to clean them out, the ability to "see" increases?

Now I'm asking... does that make any sense?

cantaccept posted 9/17/2013 10:27 AM


Yes, it does make sense to me.

As a child, I was abused. I learned to compartmentalize that. I think that is why, a big part of why anyway, that I was able to accept the verbal abuse of h for all those years. I separated the two parts of him in my brain. I knew about the mean part but "chose" to not "see" it, chose to not really think about what it meant.

I, too, wish for h to really be able to see through my lens. I wish that he were as interested in understanding and empathizing with me as I am with him.

It is such a struggle, so many conflicting emotions, so much needed change. Changes in me as well as in him.

Throughout this morning I think my biggest need from him is to "know" him. Who are you now? What do you believe? What is your core? How much are you able to commit and what does that mean to you?

Now my turn, does this make sense???

I find myself constantly ending all of my sentences to h now, "do you understand", "do you know what I mean?", "does that make sense to you?", it is driving me crazy. This self doubt. H tells me now that I think too much. I tell him now, I have always been this way, he just never cared to listen before. Sometimes, because of the past, I wonder if he still just wants me to shut up but doesn't say it anymore because he knows I won't just do it.

I guess that is still me wondering, WHO ARE YOU???

StillStanding1 posted 9/17/2013 10:59 AM

You are making total sense to me... and giving me new food for thought.

Maybe the questions I need to ask him are different. I like yours. Who are you now? What do you believe?

I always assumed/thought/"knew" we were on the same page on these moral issues. Wow, was I wrong. That's why I never really believed he could do this to me. For 1.5 years, the thought honestly never ever occurred to me. Something a friend said in conversation in June 2012 was the first time I even considered that he might look outside our M to fulfill himself. Dumb, blind, stupid. Convinced myself for months it wasn't possible. He wouldn't do that. I knew our M was struggling, but still didn't believe he would do that to me. Well, he did. He sure did.

Sorry, I'm rambling. Don't mean to t/j. I can't get out of my own head these last couple days. Feel myself backsliding. Funny that your H says you think too much. Yep, hazard of tbe fallout. How do we not think about it 24/7? I desperately want to get to that point.

Thanks for helping to shift my thought pattern slightly. This is a great thread...

cantaccept posted 9/17/2013 11:28 AM

I still have trouble believing that he did this.

It just does not fit with the man I thought that I knew.

Now it seems that I question everything. Not just question him, but question my perceptions. I just don't trust my instincts, thoughts, feelings. I got it all so wrong before.

Not only did I lose trust in him but I have lost trust in myself.

Knowing posted 9/17/2013 12:46 PM

I've been studying meditation for several years now and it helped me to see how this could happen because one of the approaches I learnt is that we all lie to ourselves to some degree.

For fWH and I the key rests in his thinking. He lied to himself, about every aspect of the A and MCOW. He lied to me and he lied to himself about the state of our M.

He convinced himself we were over even though he had not spoken to me about it. He convinced himself every step of the way that what he was doing was justified.

It all came down to "self-delusion". We are working on my fWH's lousy, immature thinking (It's not cheating if he has sex with an ex, it's better to cheat and then leave the M than to take a chance on the AP and leave right away, etc). My fWH needs to grow up. He had some very broken thinking.

WoundedOpus posted 9/17/2013 13:06 PM

Cannotaccept, our FWH's are much the same and I need these same answers...he has refused. Said anything he thought or felt (pretty much our entire marriage) is 'irrelevant' and now refuses to speak of anything at all. So we are done.

Asking these questions has brought back the verbally and emotionally abusive husband from before the A, he's showing me I don't like who he is very much at all :( I hope you find the answers and peace you seek

Dreamland posted 9/17/2013 18:14 PM

It's really uncanny how similar we think. I understand everything and feel the same way...I know what it would mean for me go do all the things he did and I would have had to hate him and certainly not love him.. And the sex part... He too says it meant nothing just sex.. I said that's for nothing .. He realizes he threw away our marriage .now..but honestly you didn't think about it before.. He said he knew it would be bad but just never thought about what if... Ugh I struggle with this so much..

I too thought we were on the same page.. Morally connected.. I ask him know who are you.. He says he has learn what destruction he has done.. But I don't know who to love.. I know I can't love the man before the A because he doesn't exist and the man post A is working hard to be better but better than what the man who I thought was moral.. It's all a bunch of lies.. And the man I have now is broken and not sure why he did what but he swears he will never do it again. I don't know if I can believe it.. He told me before he would never cheat. Never..
So I am stuck.. So stuck

crazyblindsided posted 9/17/2013 18:35 PM

I really liked what brokensmile322 had to say about seeing things through our own lens. My WH are both madhatters so I have an idea of how events may have been viewed, but then it is still colored with my views so I cannot know for sure. My WH constantly says I project my thoughts onto him and I might just be.

I know what led up to our marriage weakness and I know what led to our demise. I know both me and my WH have had A's. I know I definitely think differently now and I would hope so because I do not want to ever fall down the slippery slope again. So in a way maybe the differently is wiser as in knowing your faults and feeling the humility of causing those dear to you pain.

catlover50 posted 9/18/2013 07:13 AM

My H has told me several times that I just can't understand because I am emotionally healthy and he was not. He barely can recognize the person he was at the time, and it makes less sense to him all the time.

In his case due to lifelong unexamined issues he was able to make a disastrous choice on a whim without considering the consequences. Sure, I could not imagine making that choice without questioning my love for him; I truly believe he never stopped loving me. He compartmentalized and just didn't think. I would be eaten up guilt--he got over that quickly. He didn't care for her but "got himself off"-- something I have no experience with.

I accept that I don't understand and frankly am glad. And he is becoming a man who now could not imagine behaving that way.

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