It's total shit, but it's in my past, and because I have lived through this, I believe that me, my H, and all the close people that have lived through the recovery with me/us will be far far FAR less likely to make the same stupid mistake as a WS.
There are thousands, if not millions, of ways to achieve that same growth by making choices other than to have an affair.
To have an affair while in a relationship that a person cares about, he or she has to be self-centered. If they think about the person they're betraying, they can't continue the affair, so they work hard at not thinking about their spouses and try to justify their horrible choices by re-imagining their marriage/relationship as much worse than it actually is.
Once in the affair, they're attractive because they offer a escape from reality. There are no bills, children or other distractions. The betrayed spouse is usually a responsible person who takes care of all that to keep their lives from falling apart, even if the betrayer seems to be disengaging more and more.
At least that's my understanding/interpretation of what I'm being told. Ultimately it comes down to extreme selfishness.
The "why" question is so hard for me as well because I am naturally a rule follower and I always consider consequences. No matter how hard I try to understand how my H could have betrayed me this way I just can't understand it. And I think that's the key, he's broken and I'm not. My way of thinking can't possibly explain his way of thinking.
Is he looking for the why? I think that's his job, not yours. If he is then let him do that hard work, if he's not then tell him he needs to.
I also think it is important to see the affair as something that didn't just happen. The word "incremental" is critical to helping understand why, IMO.
My fWH found a tremendous amount of insight by doing a life timeline with his IC. He was able to see how slowly over time he incrementally thought things, did things, avoided things that simply ripened him for an affair. His detachment from himself and from me was a slow chipping away, and not this automatic shift that said "hey, it's OK to cheat - I think I'll do that!"
For me, getting to the heart of the "WHY?" was so critical to my acceptance of what happened. I'd find myself saying, how can I accept what's happened if I don't understand why it's happened? How can I feel safe that this won't happen again if my fWH doesn't even know why he got into the mess in the first place?
Why did my H have an affair? He's uncovered lots of reasons why - none of them simple and not one thing in particular. Incrementally he made choices that eventually landed him in an affair. Sadly, there will never be a satisfactory or justifiable reason. My fWH coming to this realization added to his remorse. He now says in disbelief "I threw it all away for something so worthless and stupid!" .
I think there is some commonality among WSs, but the details are unique to each person.
Like looking for spirituality in the toaster.
[This message edited by Morhurt at 4:32 PM, January 19th (Sunday)]
I appreciate everyone's responses and will try to keep them in mind.
It just doesn't make any sense to me.
I accept WW is broken... But why break me/us too?!?!
The smart man divorces a lawyer.
The smarter man never marries one in the first place.
To her we were never worth the effort. :-/
It's almost like putting a 50 000 piece puzzle together...without a picture on the box to guide you...
Anyhow, I found a thread on "I can relate"..."BS questions to former WS"...I found it very helpful...seems all BS have the same basic questions..."Why???" is just one of many.
Something else that breaks my heart...the fact that there are so many of us! Where did society go wrong??? What can we do to ensure our children don't land up in this same situation...as BS or WS???
My H was an incremental cheater. He did not actively look for a hook up. If the OW had walked up to him the day they met and said, "Lets f**k", he would have run like a scared rabbit. The IC said he had to be wowed , inch by inch, until one day he woke up and realized the ego strokes were good and he wanted more. And more. Then near obsession took over and he kept ignoring his inner voice. The compartmentalization, the breached boundaries, and his ego became his enemy. In order to live with himself he transferred that enemy to me. I was his adversary and the OW was his savior from such a horrid life. His internal crap escalated until boom, sex, sex, and more sex. He had convinced himself that I would not care if he left and we divorced. Then on DDay, all of the false walls came crashing down and the naked truth that he had been having a full A crushed the fantasy like a bug. At least that is what IC says.
IC also said the why or reason is not the excuse. There is no excuse for leaving a marital spouse, unaware, and bringing a third party into the marriage. Even though my H followed down a common path, he could have changed directions at anytime. He could have said no, I am not going to do his. He did not. That is why I am here, he said yes up until DDay 2.
You can therapy out the whys pretty easily. Accepting the "why nots", very hard.
I tell people I am tired but really my heart is broken and I am sad.
I slowly became the enemy to my h.
Who is also extremely selfish.
All good answers here, I can relate our situation to most everyone.
Incredibly sad though, that life becomes so broken down.
FracturedSoul, your not pathetic, your normal for this mess we're all in.
Spent the whole day crying and feeling sorry for myself...pathetic, I know...
Just wanted to pop in here and tell you that you are not pathetic. This is normal and you have to give yourself permission to feel how you feel. Don't be hard on yourself.