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Still struggling with the "how" could you...

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TheAmazingWondertwin posted 10/23/2013 15:49 PM

So we have been doing well. In the whole scheme of things anyway. He has made serious changes, answers my questions, only minimal deflection and blame shifting in the beginning- and I am grateful for that.
We are having good days and I haven't cried in almost a week. Woohoo!
We have talked through the A- I've asked my questions and gotten what I feel are honest answers. But I am still struggling with how? How could he do ALL of it?!?
He was so ... Above it. We didn't have "flirty" relationships, we talked often about safe boundaries in our marriage ( no opposite sex friends unless we were both friends with them), we usually went out together, spent free time together blah blah blah. Always talked about how great our marriage was. I know... Same old same old story.
He had friends that were unfaithful to their wives an we distanced ourselves from them. When a friends wife cheated, he counseled his friend calmly and supportively but talked with me about how WRONG it was for her do that- to his friend, to their kids, etc etc ad nauseum.
So I asked him the other night, "where were you? Where was the "you" that would have kicked your ass for doing this?" In all those moments for 6 weeks- EVERY lie, every trip to her house, every text, every kiss, every SHOWER afterwards, every fake phone call to me- where the hell was the guy I thought you were?!?
He spoke of their supposedly second and last physical encounter. Found out it was AFTER he told her it was done. Minutes later. Like a "one more time" thing. He said she kind of blackmailed him. I asked "how? You were telling me anyway? How did she blackmail you into getting it up and f$@king her?" His response was, "well maybe not. I just felt like I had to."
I really hate dragging this On. I do. I am in a good place- I think he is in a bad place with his remorse, etc. now that we have stopped my hemmoraging- I think it's his turn- so I don't like making this harder.
And I am really afraid that he just doesn't REALLY have the answers that I want.
This isn't make it or break it- but there are just some things that don't sit well with me.
Funny... He had an affair- of course it doesn't sit well. But I know you guys understand.
So... WS and BS welcome to reply.
How do I get to the "how" could you? I get the why- as much as I can I guess- but the how? That is driving me nuts.
WTF happened? I want a video of the entire effing thing so I know FOR SURE. But, that ain't gonna happen.
Anyone else struggling with this? How are you setting it to rest and moving on?

BEM817 posted 10/23/2013 16:06 PM

Wondertwin, I could've written your post. My WH was also the guy you would never have expected to do this. Out of character is an understatement.

I'm 19 months out and I still can't fathom the "how". I think I've wrapped my mind around the whys, but when it comes down to brass could they? Your H may never have the answer you want. Hell, I can honestly say that no answer will probably be good enough, at least not for me. I wish I could give better advice, I just wanted to know that you've been heard and you're not alone...


LosferWords posted 10/23/2013 16:14 PM

I hear you, Wondertwin.

For me, I felt like the "how" and the "why" were very tightly intertwined. There's the "why", which is the root cause of the behavior... but then the act of carrying through with it makes you think, "how could you?"

I think in a lot of cases, opportunity has something to do with it. The "why" was already there, and then opportunity arises, and the wayward mindset is manifested into reality.

Unfortunately, there's really not a whole lot of rhyme or reason that will set our minds at ease about what has happened. It's more about getting to a point of safety with our spouses/significant others, where we feel like it won't happen again, and on the other side of the coin, self-fortifying, knowing that if it ever does happen again, we will be okay.

Reconciliation is tricky business, and the hows and whys are so hard to get past. Hang in there. You'll come out of the other side of this stronger than ever.

Zayda1 posted 10/23/2013 16:38 PM

The "how could you" is still a frequent sentence from me. I simply can't understand. I can't put myself in his shoes. In the 8 years we have been married I have never been tempted, never once thought about another man. How could he do it?? I feel you frustration, because I am going through the same thing.

[This message edited by Zayda1 at 4:39 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday)]

BEM817 posted 10/23/2013 16:42 PM

Ok, Wondertwin, I just realized that we were responding to the other's posts.. Duh!

TheAmazingWondertwin posted 10/23/2013 16:46 PM

Thanks so much guys. It always helps to hear that others can relate. That I am not crazy.

That's what I want to call this site- the "no you're not crazy" support group.

What the hell happened? How is this my life right now? I still catch myself thinking of him how he used to be.
And when he goes out Of his way to show me he cares and will do anything for me- it just reminds me that he used to do these things because he lived me and that's how you treat your spouse. Now, I feel like he is atoning for his sins. And it kind of takes the "yippee I have a great husband" right out of it. I wish I could just appreciate all that's he's doing now.

Hoping well get there eventually.

Clarrissa posted 10/23/2013 17:20 PM

FWS here since you requested input from both sides.

Funny, I responded to SMS on this same subject a few days ago. Rest assured, you're not the only one struggling with the "how". I know why but I can't for the life of me figure out how I could have put the one person who loves and accepts *me* through this sh*tstorm. Is the answer in me, here on SI or does it even exist? I just don't know. I think this question is one both BS and WS ask themselves. And unfortunately neither side may ever find the answer.

BEM817 posted 10/23/2013 18:18 PM

And when he goes out Of his way to show me he cares and will do anything for me- it just reminds me that he used to do these things because he lived me and that's how you treat your spouse. Now, I feel like he is atoning for his sins.

Yes! This exactly! I often wonder if it's guilt or if he does it because that's what loving spouses should do to honor each other. It's equally painful when I'm told what an amazing husband I have for being so attentive and caring...uh, yeah, right...

BEM817 posted 10/23/2013 18:19 PM

Ok, I obviously don't have the quote thing mastered... :)

topperoff22 posted 10/23/2013 18:27 PM

You and I are too much alike. Seriously and absolutely. This is just what is going on with me today. I could have written this. I hate when the WS says "Not even I know how or why?" Seriously? I want to say, though I know I shouldn't and it is rude: "Shut up. You know a why and a how but the truth that you shit all over your wedding vows because you wanted it is too dark and ugly to admit."

But that is just where I am right now.

avicarswife posted 10/23/2013 18:37 PM

I am in this camp too.

I can see all the changes he has made - but the reality is he still did what he did. It is just so unfathomable to me. I was reading the post about acceptance yesterday. I guess I am at a point I think perhaps I can never accept that he could do this. Somehow him telling me how mixed up his thinking was just doesn't seem to explain anything.

heartbrokeninaz posted 10/23/2013 20:04 PM

I am right there with you. Everyone including me thought my WS would never do anything like this. They can't even believe it! But I think the how and why are kind of one in the same. Maybe he felt unloved, unwanted, who knows. I know it doesn't make the how part better. They say men are very good at compartmentilzing their feelings. That's what my husband told me also. He said he didn't think about me or her when they started having sex, but after a few minutes he could only think of me and couldn't even orgasm. He said that he knew that we would be divorced in the next year because things were sour. They were by the way. He also said that he didn't give a shit about her it was a body that gave him attention that he needed at that time. Men can turn off their feelings pretty easily, women cannot. He did ask me if I had even considered having an A during that time. I said I had not even thought about it. He was surprised. They just don't think the same as us.

bionicgal posted 10/23/2013 21:31 PM

I could have written your post. My H, 4 months out, has a hard time recognizing himself in the A. For him it was a slippery slope starting at a weak spot in our marriage, that led to the addictive feelings of infatuation. . and compartmentalization. He got trapped by the addictive feelings, but the hurt he was causing was just theoretical....until it wasn't. Once the lights were switched on, he cleared pretty fast. What a mess.

But for him I think it came largely from ignorance that he could do this, and how these things unfold, because he is/was one of the "good ones." He just got so very lost.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 7:57 AM, October 24th (Thursday)]

TheAmazingWondertwin posted 10/24/2013 05:35 AM

Thank you everyone for sharing.
Bionicgal- your post makes sense- especially about how he "just got lost". That is how I see it too. Outsider factors had been slowly destroying him for so long and he just didn't know which end was up.
I am try into believe that he has "woken up". And I do- but it's so hard to wrap my head around how he actually crossed the line. And what's to say he won't get "lost" again?
Heartbroken- my H also described how he didn't climax with her and it was " disappointing" and awkward. It doesn't help me understand why he stayed with her- again, wouldn't that be a red flag to NOT do this?
Clarissa- thank you for sharing. What you said does resonate with me and I appreciate your honesty about it. It sets my mind at ease a little- just to know that he is probably still struggling with the "how" himself.
Topper-yes- I feel like some of your posts lately could have come straight from my head. And you nailed it when you said it is too dark and ugly to admit.. In coming clean and trying to R- they are in such a different mind set and going "there" is just too difficult for them to voice. I hope that's it anyway.
And BEM- you highlight the quote before you hit "quote" and the box will hold whatever you highlight. I had a hard time with that one too.

Try to love yourselves today my friends and thank you or you stories.

chick posted 10/24/2013 06:01 AM

Wow, same again here....prided ourselves on having such an amazing solid relationship, better than other couples we know...blah blah blah....

And this is what worries me - he says he will never ever do it again and I can see that he is completely and utterly remorseful and hates himself - but I said to him that a month ago he would never in a million years have said that he would do it the first time. The man I know would never ever do that to me. So I just have to hope.....

Sorry to hear what you are all going through.

mchercheur posted 10/24/2013 06:09 AM

Same here. 2yrs5mos14days out & I am still asking this question/still have not gotten an answer.

I think this is probably pretty close:

the truth that you shit all over your wedding vows because you wanted it is too dark and ugly to admit

WH can say all he wants to that he has learned from his mistake & will never do it again, but words are cheap.
Will I ever feel safe again?

Sadwife222 posted 10/24/2013 06:36 AM

They do it because they want to and because the opportunity is there. They think with their dick.

20WrongsVs1 posted 10/24/2013 13:49 PM

To me the difference between "why" and "how" is subtle, but it's motive vs. M.O. modus operandi. After a few months of IC I have some good "why" theories. But the short answer to "how," in my case, is dissociation. Some say compartmentalization. IMO compartmentalization is deliberate and can be employed in a healthy way (think EMTs or therapists), while dissociation is somewhat involuntary and always maladaptive. "How" could I drop BH off at a golf tournament, meet AP at a hotel, and pick BH up an hour later? Honestly I feared I might be a sociopath, that I could deliberately, coldly do such a horrible thing. But, the truth is, I "checked out" of the reality of being his wife, and "checked into" a delusional state in which I *deserved* an A. I believed at the time it was justified, because of the standard bullsh*t excuses we WSs invent or inflate to silence our consciences while "thinking with our dicks" (still an apt metaphor, although I lack the physiology). "BH didn't appreciate me, he wasn't telling me often enough how beautiful I am, I thought he didn't love me."

Where was the "you" that would have kicked your ass for doing this?

That "him" was conveniently shelved, temporarily shut away, to suit his purposes. And that's why getting to "why" is so important. Finding and fixing the underlying brokenness is critical, so that under stress (or sadness, anger, etc.) the WS doesn't "check out" again.

KatieG posted 11/4/2013 06:56 AM

To the Why, and it took a small struggle for him to admit - so I thought it was going to be good - was "it was an ego boost" - disappointed. Er yeah, attention from a woman and getting into sex talk and being sexually attractive. Still, he says he hates himself for liking the ego boost. Then it went a stage further and she wanted sex, so to the How, he said he felt obliged.

Obliged! So he got pulled into a situation that he couldn't get out of. Well, not without going back on all the foreplay, sex talk and losing face.

So the question is still there for me and his answer is disappointing. I don't know what I am looking for by keep probing. In my head I totally get his description of events and how he was feeling.

But because the trust is damaged I don't truly believe anything he says anymore.

rachelc posted 11/4/2013 07:16 AM

That's what I want to call this site- the "no you're not crazy" support group.

ha - me too! Whenever I'm pushed by various (most!) ppl in my life to get over this I come here and think...not so fast Rachelc, you're perfectly normal.

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