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I Don't Remember

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Camalus posted 9/25/2013 08:26 AM

TMI and Language Warning!

Last night WW wanted to talk to me about her A. I think her IC is pushing her to open a dialog. I have wanted to postpone that conversation until MC. Anyway, she told me she was concerned about the questions I might want to ask because ďit was so long ago she canít remember a lot of detailsÖ.Ē

Bullshit! I donít remember is not an acceptable answer to questions about an affair.

Neither my WW nor I were virgins when we married. We had both had other partners in college and after until we met and became exclusive. I was not a Ďplayerí. I can count my partners on my fingers.

Even though it was over 35 years ago and in some cases as much as 43 years, I remember details of my girlfriends. I remember first kisses. I remember first caresses. I remember encounters. I remember where we went. I remember special holidays. I remember who like to cuddle and who didnít. I remember which of my girlfriends enjoyed oral and which didnít. I remember the girlfriend that discussed her sexual fantasies with me and what those fantasies were (which ultimately caused our breakup). I remember what we talked about. I remember discussing our hopes and dreams for the future. I remember, in excruciating detail, when and why we broke up.

If I can remember these types of details from between 35 and 43 years ago, does anyone really expect me to accept ďI canít rememberĒ as an answer to a question?

Itís not like Iím asking the exact date and time for something. Itís not like Iím asking for her to give me a verbatim recital of a particular conversation.

How are other BS handling the 'I don't remember' crap?

WhiteCarrera posted 9/25/2013 08:39 AM

I'm convinced that 99% of the time, "I don't remember" is code for "I don't want to tell you!"

Fire96 posted 9/25/2013 08:43 AM


I'll tell you how I handle it....It drives me nuts.

I am like you, I remember every little detail.

I used to think that my wife "didn't remember" because she simply didnt want to tell me.

But now, I'm not so sure. She seems to have a severe memory issue remembering things, and I see it getting worse, two years out.

I don't know, but I strongly suspect that the fog and intoxication of the affair, and their double life, has really clouded their thinking.

I wish I knew the answer, because it drives me nuts.

What I did do, is ask her to write out the timeline. Her verbal answers were just all over the place, and were contradictory on each given day I asked.

The written timeline wasn't as specific as I would have liked, but it allowed her time to think about the dates and times, and refine what she had written.


confused615 posted 9/25/2013 08:44 AM

"I don't know / I don't remember"

Is equal to:

"I know but I don't want to tell you because then I will have to deal with the fallout and the consequences..and because my feelings and what I want is more important than what you need."

[This message edited by confused615 at 8:45 AM, September 25th (Wednesday)]

Lalagirl posted 9/25/2013 08:45 AM

I'm convinced that 99% of the time, "I don't remember" is code for "I don't want to tell you!"

I agree. IMO, this should be brought up in MC.

simplydevastated posted 9/25/2013 08:56 AM

I'm convinced that 99% of the time, "I don't remember" is code for "I don't want to tell you!"

What WhiteCarrera said.

When I first confronted my husband I told him only a few bits and pieces. I told him that he had to tell me the rest for me to believe that he was finally honest with me. He kept saying "I don't remember." To me "I don't remember" means that he doesn't know what I know so he won't confess to anything else in fear that he may tell me something that I don't know, kwim?

How do I handle it? Not very well. Which is why I feel that I'm not on a roller coaster but more like a hamster wheel spinning round and round.

I'm a very detailed person and I remember everything (sometimes it's a curse more than a blessing) so I have a hard time believing in "I don't remember."

I explained to my husband, just as you said, that I wasn't looking for dates and times and if the moon was rising in the third house. I just wanted the gist of his emails and messages etc... All I ever heard was "I don't remember."

I personally feel that "I don't remember" is the reconciliation killer.

I hope some of my ramblings helped.

mixedintherut posted 9/25/2013 09:16 AM

Like others have said, "I don't know, I don't remember," means I don't want to tell you, so I am going to lie.

I call WH out on every single time. After hearing it 10 times in 5 minutes, it makes me bat shit crazy.

I feel like if a WS is truly going to work on R, "I don't know/I don't remember" should not be acceptable vocabulary.

Scubachick posted 9/25/2013 11:00 AM

Nothing makes my blood boil like the words "I don't remember". I just want to punch him in the head when he says that. It's funny how they can remember details when it works in their favor. And when you push them to remember they accuse you of wanting them to make something up.
I don't think they realize the damage "not remembering" does. It's like a lie with a pretty little bow on it to disguise it.

motod posted 9/25/2013 16:06 PM

Your wife hid the truth of your marriage for almost 18 years and now she wants to hide the truth of her affair. White Carrera and confused615 hit the nail on the head on this one. Hopefully IC & MC will help overcome this obstacle.

How did you learn the OM's wife knew of the affair and why did she chose not to inform you?

How has your daughter reacted to this situation?

cl131716 posted 9/25/2013 16:55 PM

Ugh I get the "I don't remember" line to. I hate that. Like everyone else says it means they don't want to tell you. I told WS last night that he can't possibly make me feel any worse so just tell me already. I don't remember pisses me off far more than if he just told the truth!

ak23123 posted 9/25/2013 20:12 PM

As the WS - I can safely tell you that there may be a lot of things we don't remember, not out of not wanting to tell the BS but because we actually don't remember.

I think all situations are different but sometimes you have to try your best to accept that an "I Don't Remember" really means that.

mom of 2 posted 9/25/2013 20:20 PM

"I don't know / I don't remember"

Is equal to:

"I know but I don't want to tell you because then I will have to deal with the fallout and the consequences..and because my feelings and what I want is more important than what you need."

I completely agree. And the above was the kiss of death of my marriage.

No disrespect, ak23123. We BS appreciate your input.

jb3199 posted 9/25/2013 20:41 PM

I would be willing to bet that if your wife put her mind to it, she would be able to remember all of your "shortcomings" that were used to justify her affair back in the day. If she can do this, then I am sure that she can work on remembering her past.

But that being said, your wife is obviously a great compartmentalizer. She was never going to tell you because either she is that bad of a person, or the above mentioned ability to compartmentalize. If she is that good at stuffing away her issues, then it is a possibility that remembering is difficult.

But just because it is difficult, does not mean it is impossible. Does she seem to make a serious effort before the standard "I don't know" response?

RidingHealingRd posted 9/25/2013 21:19 PM

I doubt that she has forgotten everything but her A was 14 years ago. My memory is not too bad but it certainly does not match yours.

Has your wife abused alcohol in the past?
My WH was a functioning alcoholic for 30 yrs. Although he stopped drinking on Dday (3yrs ago), he has what 2 doctors stated: severe memory issues. He has had several tests including MRI brain scan, neuropsychological testing, and has seen two neurologists but we do not have any answers. I do believe part of his memory issue stems from alcohol.

My WH was able to answer my questions for about a year after Dday but it seems that after having major surgery (had never had surgery of any kind before) he suffers from CRS: can't remember shit.

Seriously, he doesn't remember what HS he went to, did not recognize a house we once lived in, can't remember DS 2011 college graduation and yes, can't remember much A information. I don't know what to think. It's more like complete amnesia of his entire past.

I read that your WW had major surgery. Have you heard of post-operative cognitive dysfunction (POCD)?

It can occur with general anesthesia but is not that common. Patients, usually older ones, can suffer memory loss that can last for more than a year or it can ameliorate much sooner. In some cases, physicians have found memory impairment to continue into old age. To date, there is no known way to reverse the memory loss, other than allowing it to resolve on its own.

I also wonder about the possibility of:

dissociative disorders which are sometimes triggered by trauma, but may be preceded only by stress, psychoactive substances, or no identifiable trigger at all.

In mild cases, dissociation can be regarded as a coping mechanism or defense mechanisms in seeking to master, minimize or tolerate stress

God knows the stress that the WS/BS are experiencing is often extreme. Can the WS effectively and completely "block out"
the A? I wish I knew.

Not looking for excuses here just trying to understand.

It is so frustrating. I will say you will get more answers if your WW does not feel like you will explode at her every answer. Something that I had to learn to control.

I hope that if she does have the answers she tells you.

Thessalian posted 9/25/2013 21:57 PM

I just posted something similar in this thread:

But I'll say it again here. Why not try "Start from the minute you [insert last detail you have here, like 'walked in the door', or 'got in the car']. What DO you remember? Walk me through it, bit by bit."

I found that if I was tenacious enough with this, WS broke eventually, or the second time I made him tell a day later, the details were different, etc.

Dreamland posted 9/26/2013 00:06 AM are so right

I'm convinced that 99% of the time, "I don't remember" is code for "I don't want to tell you!"😖😭😡

I hate hearing it.. I can remember almost everything.. I also have an almost photographic memory so I can quote him their emails &text...and more.. But he can't fucking remember what and when and how many times he fucked the bitch???

AML04 posted 9/26/2013 06:40 AM

I know I'm in the minority here but I really think my H doesn't remember a lot. I got the major details but he doesn't remember some stuff I think he should. I believe part of it is because he put those memories down when he was with me and vise versa. He didn't hold onto them so therefore they're not easy to recall.

I also think it is possible for them to remember if they really try. Getting them to do that is the hard part. They don't want to face what they did.

Camalus posted 9/26/2013 07:36 AM

To answer a few questions people have posted:

Iíve been told by three people (couples that were in WW's circle of friends when we lived in Atlanta)the A ended when OMís BS found out in í98. I do not know why she didnít contact me. Embarrassment? Fear? I have not attempted to contact her. I have considered approaching her through a third party to see if she would be willing to talk either via phone or email.

I have not told daughter who is now in her thirties. DD and WW have had a strained relationship for many years. I think if WW comes clean with DD it may go a long way to repairing their relationship. Ultimately, I will leave it up to WW.

To the best of my knowledge, WW has never abused drugs or alcohol. We both will enjoy a drink or two but seldom allow ourselves to get beyond a Ďbuzzí and typically then only around the holidays.

TrulySad posted 9/26/2013 07:48 AM

This is one of my biggest issues. To me, it seems then, that if I accept that excuse, I'm accepting another lie.

How is it that they can remember what they had for breakfast, May 16th, 1998...yet they can't remember details of something so worth losing ME over???

My stand on this is I chose not to believe this excuse.

With that said, I do know from personal experience, that the pain of an event can be so severe that I chose not to go there. I don't want to have the image in my head, so I push it away. They are feelings I don't want to tap into again. I haven't forgotten them, instead I've chosen to compartmentalize them. Lock them away.

I realize in most of the W's cases...they say they don't remember because it's easier than admitting the truth. Essentially, they are cowards, and not fully in R. I do think there is a possibility that some W's feel such remorse, that they don't want to revisit the "crime" in their mind. And they don't want to form the words on their tongue. It's too hard to face what they've done.

What they don't understand, is the truth and all details becomes as needed for the survival of the relationship as air is to live.

SoOver96 posted 9/26/2013 08:01 AM

It's just like teens saying I dont know or I don't remember they dont want to say nothing for fear of what the outcome will be.

You said this happened 14 years ago? Are you just finding out? If so I'm sorry even if it was sooner I'm sorry... No matter what is going on in the marriage there is absolutely nothing that should make someone cheat on their spouse

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