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Could he really not remember these things from his affair?

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IDeserveMore posted 10/23/2013 10:58 AM

Ok, I know the only person who really knows the answer is him. But him not remembering certain things just makes me crazy. Sure it’s been 9 years, but I think I’d remember certain things if it were me. The MC keeps pointing out that there are gender differences for remembering and it’s starting to get on my nerves.

The MC asked me what I thought I would need to have long awaited closure. I thought about it and told my husband I'd need to for him to truly tell me everything and never ever again withhold an answer if he remembered what I was asking about. I keep wondering if he is milking the “I don’t remember"

He also says he blocks out things that are bad and - why would he try to be remembering that? Well crap, nice for him, but I've been holding it for years.

Here are 3 of the things he says he honestly can't remember. I'd like opinions, especially from WS. Do you think these are things a person is likely to remember? Might you not remember things like these?

1) Pet names for each other. My spyware found he used initials for a pet name for her. (BD for Belladonna) I had the initials but for something like 4 or 5 years he said he couldn’t remember what they stand for. Finally he admitted what it is but to THIS DAY says he doesn’t remember how the nickname arose. No idea. Says he can only surmise from what he knows to be the different meanings for the word . And he says he honestly cannot remember if he had a nickname too.

2) When the affair started there was a moment, in the hospital cafeteria, over tea when one of them finally said it out loud that they were interested in each other. (They had been working together for a few weeks). The other indicated they felt the same way. They went straight up to his office and kissed and then were off to the races. He says he cannot remember who was the one who said it first.

3) He cannot remember what happened before and after I found out. Meaning he isn’t sure if they got together after I found out. He now says he is “pretty sure” that all that happened after I found out is her showing up places unannounced. (She did that for a few months). So he says he is “pretty sure” that he didn’t intentionally get together with her after they were discovered.

If I hear “pretty sure” one more time

[This message edited by IDeserveMore at 8:52 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday)]

ionlytalkedtoher posted 10/23/2013 11:02 AM

total lies. #2 is definitely him saying it first...yeah my H did and does the same things. can't remember anything.

blakesteele posted 10/23/2013 11:20 AM

It is "crazy making" to use the phrase my counselor has used to get me to accept that, no matter how illogical a WS's response is, it can be the truth.

Nicknames.....this was an outright lie by my wife to me when I asked. She knew the truth but chose to not tell it.

Who "initiated" the first "wink"....this is something I believe she can't discern.

Did she have sex with him and me in the same week.....she can't remember. This is crazy, but I believe it to be the truth.

I think the noticeable lack of logic is why BS's struggle with the "I don't remember's" and the "pretty sure's" we get when we ask our questions.

In our logical minds we conclude that, since what our spouses gave away was so large, affecting not just their marriages but their kids and the futures of all involved, that they would savor every second of what they were "getting" in return.

But....this does not happen.

If the roles were reversed I believe I would remember every mole on her back, who lead whom, exact dates of sexual encounters, the feelings involved, the way I felt as I dropped my kids off, got them to sleep.....and the excitement I would feel to "get back to it".

But....and this is big.....I can't say what I would or would not remember, would feel, how strong my logic would remain in place under the influence that is adultery.

This is big.... because I THOUGHT I knew how I would react to adultery entering my marriage.....and I did not react that way. In some ways my own logic escaped me immediately following my DD as I attempted to console my wife!

See what I mean?

Trickle truthing and retarded repentance exponentially add to the "crazy making" of the WS's actions because it supports 100% lying and undermines the reasoning that our fWS's simply "can't remember".

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 11:23 AM, October 23rd (Wednesday)]

bionicgal posted 10/23/2013 11:45 AM

I think blake hit the nail on the head. Being in an A is like being high...and men and women do process these types of details differently. He may not know, for whatever reason. I think the more interesting question, is why these questions are important to you. It sounds like you are trying to figure out if he was more of the pursuer or the pursued, and whether disclosing to you set him straight immediately. Are these important things to know? If so, can you ask them another way? It may quench your thirst for details.

ItsaClimb posted 10/23/2013 12:50 PM

It's weird, my fWH's A happened in 2004. Some stuff he remembers so clearly - like the night they first got physical - she asked him "Would you consider a sexual relationship outside your marriage?" and he said "I don't see any reason why not" He can tell me what they were talking about before that, who was there, how they walked out the hotel to her car, he can walk me through the entire thing step-by-step. But there are some details about other affair-related things that he just can't remember and I genuinely believe he can't remember because he has got REALLY upset - crying and shaking when we have discussed it and he can't give me the answers I need... and it's not like it's big stuff that would really make a huge difference to R... he just can't remember. I think it's the dopamine high that does it!

[This message edited by ItsaClimb at 12:52 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday)]

IDeserveMore posted 10/23/2013 13:07 PM

Thanks for the replies.

I often think it's not the details that I really want, at least at this late stage. The reason for wanting these answers is this:

I feel don't have enough instances of watching him be open and honest to me for me to recover. So I go looking for things about the affair to ask him and talk about so I can have the experience of just being with him not lying.

Put in chronological perspective, it's like this:

5 1/2 years between DD1 and DD2 during which he wouldn't talk about it and didn't feel it was so wrong

5 1/2 years after DD2 during which he basically stuck to what he said when first caught - "you show me the proof and then I'll tell you" No disclosure for over 5 years.

Then he told me a bunch of stuff in 2010 when I said I gave up and took off my ring and started to feel better about the thought of moving on. That was about 3 years ago.

So, June 1998 - Spring 2010 I had such a bad feeling and didn't trust. 12 years of my 15 year marriage.

It made sense for me when I saw it in writing. I typed it up and had him read it. I feel like I need more corrective experiences to feel better. It's not the info itself. And I can't tolerate even one more incident of withholding.

What a bad situation. I go to talk about it to feel better. But it's so so many years delayed that maybe he can't remember. Then I get triggered. It's a horrible cycle.

Darkness Falls posted 10/23/2013 13:13 PM

WS here. There are things I don't remember and couldn't if I tried (affair was 4 years ago) about minute details. Like, if I were asked, "On the third Monday in November of 2009, you had a phone call with OM. what did you talk about?" it would be ridiculous to expect an answer. But in the case of nicknames, etc. I'd remember.

As far as the 3 situations you posted, my feeling would be 1.) lie 2.) possible truth, and 3.) probable lie but it's tough to call because from your sig line your D-day was so long ago.

JustDesserts posted 10/23/2013 14:47 PM

Wayward husband here. My memory works like movies. The reels are all there. Down to minute details.

#1 I definitely remember (and ewwww on me).

#2 I remember. Crystal clear. Whether it was "he or she" in your husbands affair, 99% likely he remembers.

#3 I remember clearly the lines of delineation around DDay. Down to the days, hours, minutes, and seconds (it seems). Betcha he does.

Question for SI folks: do wayward men really get some "men in general don't remember as well because they're men" pass?

Sounds great to me! But it sounds like BS (sorry wayward men who I'm throwing under the bus). Total BS.

I do understand all brains are unique, and extenuating circumstances do exist (alcohol, trauma of being caught, etc) but sheesh! "I can't remember..." REALLY!?!?

Perhaps this helps some.


Rebreather posted 10/23/2013 15:00 PM

JD, all I can say on that is my spouse, who is male, doesn't get any kind of "cushion" for being male on this stuff.

I got a lot of "I don't knows" from him early on. Funny how later when pressed, he remembered. "I don't know" became a synonym for "I really do not want to think about it or answer it." Maybe the memory isn't right there and accessible on the surface, but after being instructed to "think on that a bit" he usually could recall what I wanted to know.

I do believe there are some things he really couldn't recall. Like after periods of cooling off between them, who contacted who first? That kind of thing. He can guess, as sometimes it was him and sometimes it was her, but when I ask who broke contact in December of 2006 and then who re-contacted first in January, I really don't expect him to know that.

I do believe there is a lot of purposeful memory suppression during an affair. I know my spouse really didn't want to admit to himself what he was doing while he was doing it, so shoving it into that compartmentalized box was important. I don't think everything comes back out of the box.

hard_yards posted 10/23/2013 15:21 PM

I think there's a certain amount of selective memory involved.

I too, am dealing with an A from many years ago as you already know. I got a different answer just recently to a question last asked a couple of years ago, it just makes me shake my head.....

My WS has a crystal clear memory for other things, going back decades... why would he not remember things from his A?

Factor in the body chemistry highs, the anticipation, the secrecy.... the thrill associated, I'm damn sure he remembers every single contact, every email, every call, everything.

After all, according to him, he'd waited all his life to meet her.... so why would he forget.

As so often said, it's not always the A that destroys a relationship, but the lies and ongoing deception almost always will.

Hugs honey, check your PMs

Patchy posted 10/23/2013 18:29 PM

Well, I can truly understand your frustrations. How infuriating it must be to have been kept in the dark for so many years.

Having said that, after my first Dday at the end of July, when affair had only lasted about a month and was supposedly over . . . he couldn't even remember some of the details that had "just" happened during that one month period, let alone five years before.

When Dday 2 hit on Christmas night, five months later, we went through similar "not remembering" things. To this day I remember more than he does about certain things. Things he knew initially, but has since forgot, particularly when it comes to dates.

I truly believe my husband wasn't trying to get out of telling me things he said he didn't remember. He actually got out his calendar to jog his memory when I asked about dates.

He really doesn't "want" to remember and doesn't obsess over every detail like I do.

Once I mentioned why a certain place was a trigger for me and he didn't get why. I told him its because we had both seen "her" there and it was just a few days after they had "declared their affection for each other". Nothing had technically started yet, he had previously told me that that's basically when it started. And yet, now when he thinks back to our running into her three days later he completely didn't think it was after they had told each other they were attracted to each other.

And this boggles my mind, as your husband's "memory lapse" boggles yours, because it was all around his dad's funeral, which makes it quite easy for "me" to remember. He was facebook messaging "her" the night he was staying up late for his brother to arrive from out of state because of the funeral. That's was the night they disclosed their affections. Then a few days later, the day AFTER the funeral, we ran into her like an hour away from home. I think his brain is split. While they had declared their attraction for each other, nothing official had happened yet, so when he thinks of the day we saw her, he doesn't have any guilt, which is why I think he doesn't correlate why I trigger. (Yet even if nothing at all was going on yet, I STILL would trigger from having seen her there, a place we seldom go.) Anyway, apparently he knew she was there either from facebook posts/messages or from texting. I'm not sure but I do have to say it was REALLY weird when he made a point to take a detour to drive by the cafe she was hanging out at with her sister, so we could say hi for ten seconds in the parking lot. The way he was acting, all secretively, but yet in a fun way, I thought surely we were going to see someone we all might think was fun to "happen upon". But this was just weird.

But I digress. While it was a few days after they had verbally affirmed attraction, per his initial divulge of information, months later he looked back at that day and completely didn't think it was "after".

My point is, I really do think it's reasonable that your husband might not be remembering the things he says he doesn't remember. Guys brains really are different with these sort of things than women's. It's just the way it is. That's not to say he might actually remember and doesn't want to tell you for some reason. But based on my experience with my husband, and knowing how my his brain works with remembering or not remembering things unrelated to the affair, I'm inclined to believe him.

Maybe think about other instances where your husband either remembers or doesn't remember things you think he should that he'd have no reason to hide from you. Maybe figure out a way to ask him about some of those things without him knowing your playing detective. Just a thought.

Hugs to you. I hope you can get whatever information you need to help begin to heal. It's so sad that it's taking this long to get info, because every time there's new revelation, new info, your healing starts over. To some degree anyway. I can't even imagine having to go through this years later, having already been aching with pain all that time.

Take care of yourself.

Lovedyoumore posted 10/23/2013 18:45 PM

My experience, emphasis MY, he was lying. I got the I do not remember and I do not know on several things. He then tells me he just remembered. Later, he admitted he knew all along, just did not want to tell me. That made things so much worse. Sorry. I have no advice just compassion for your spinning mind.

Silentthoughts posted 10/24/2013 10:21 AM

WW here. I can only speak to my experience, so take what you want and leave the rest. In general I have a really shitty memory, especially around "bad" stuff, but even good memories can get suppressed. I can compartmentalize like a champ, IMHO so can a lot of other waywards. I can completely lock things away that make me feel bad about myself, or really anything that brings out strong emotions. Once it's gone I can't get it back. Its almost like it happened to someone else. But I most likely have a personality disorder that allows me to do this. This ability to compartmentalize helped me deal with FOO issues but is not such a great thing for a healthy marriage. I have been working on this for the past few years, and the biggest piece of this is no lying to BH AT ALL about anything no matter how small. An example I bought a dress a few months ago from a catalog for $20 after I said I wouldn't buy anything without talking to BH first. I figured its only $20 no biggie, then i lied and said it wasnt new. Boy was I wrong, he flipped shit and it set us back big time. It wasn't the money, it was the withholding info and lying about it. Whether or not he has suppressed the A memories, you can't R unless he is completely honest and transparent going forward. I'm sorry for what you are going thru.

devasted30 posted 10/24/2013 10:30 AM

My WS can tell me where we went to dinner on our 3rd date, what I ordered and what we talked about. I doubt that all men are like that but if they can remember small stuff like this, yes, they can remember the big stuff. And in their minds, this was big stuff to them. Way worse for us. I know when my WS say's, "I can't remember - let me think about it and I'll get back to you" I say BULL Fuuuuuung SHIT.
I know he is stalling because he doesn't want to hurt me further and no matter how many times I have told him the lies hurt way more than the cheating ever did, he still stalls. WTF

cluless posted 10/24/2013 10:37 AM

My WH can't remember if he s.rewed OW 3 DAYS AFTER MY BD. He can't remember if he s.rewed OW 1 DAY BEFORE OUR ANNIVERSARY. Or the next year 10 DAYS BEFORE MY BD and 1 WEEK AFTER OUR ANNIVERSARY. Since, I was fortunate enough to have the OW's BH helping me, I got EVERY date they s.crewed and although it's in his face, he swears he wouldn't do that to me. I call B.S. (not betrayed spouse) It is a load of CRAP, they DO remember. There is NO difference between the genders, that was one he tried at the beginning of this, trust me he only said that ONCE to me. I don't tolerate stupid much!

9 years is a ways away, but you are right, when you are in an A, you are "covering" it up, so you KNOW which days, and particulars. So I don't buy it for a minute. My WH is fairly new in this process, so I'm hoping he will "get it." As we continue to MC and IC. hugs....

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