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FracturedSoul posted 1/19/2014 03:08 AM

I know this question has probably been asked a 1000 times but it is bugging me this morning. .. It is a question all BS wonder about... Why? Why do people cheat? WHY?

steadfast1973 posted 1/19/2014 06:35 AM

Because they' re selfish. Impulsive, and lack self control.

eachdayisvictory posted 1/19/2014 07:23 AM

Because they are hurt and broken, and too selfish to see the world outside of their own pain. Then when their mind starts to let them know about how wrong everything is about their actions, they pack it neatly away in a wall within themselves for as long as possible - not many can do this for more than two years before that wall starts to crumble.

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.

heartbrokeninaz posted 1/19/2014 10:33 AM

There are some good threads on the wayward side about why. About page 4 or 5. They give pretty good insight about why. It gave me a lot of understanding as a BS.

FracturedSoul posted 1/19/2014 11:25 AM

Thanks heartbrokeninaz...I'll go have a look. Spent the whole day crying and feeling sorry for myself...pathetic, I know...

FeelingSoMuch posted 1/19/2014 11:49 AM

According to my IC people choose to have an affair when they're looking to grow.

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.

Morhurt posted 1/19/2014 11:50 AM

Not pathetic! This is a trauma, crying is completely legitimate!

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.


Kyrie posted 1/19/2014 12:25 PM

I agree with everyone's response.

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.

steadfast1973 posted 1/19/2014 14:35 PM

People choose to cheat because they are looking to grow? I think that statement would have me looking for a new IC.

Undone1 posted 1/19/2014 14:45 PM

I would change the word grow to searching for something that's missing in their lives. Instead of searching inward to evaluate why they are unhappy, they look for something external. They fail to find what is missing within and instead suave the brokenness of self with the exciting high of an A. It is extreme selfishness. Once they begin living in a fantasy world, it gets harder and harder to give that up. The question for me is why do some people need to hit rock bottom in order to move forward.

bionicgal posted 1/19/2014 14:49 PM

Well said, Undone.
"Looking to grow" does make it sound a little too positive, but I can see where it is someone looking to answer questions about themselves, especially in midlife, but by looking in totally the wrong place. Like looking for spirituality in the toaster.

steadfast1973 posted 1/19/2014 15:06 PM

Because the justifications run deep. It's not until they get so bad even they can't justify it, that they can see how bad it is.

Morhurt posted 1/19/2014 16:27 PM

Made me smile...

Like looking for spirituality in the toaster.

[This message edited by Morhurt at 4:32 PM, January 19th (Sunday)]

totalheartbreak posted 1/19/2014 19:59 PM

I ask this and "How?" about a hundred times a day.

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?!?!

FracturedSoul posted 1/19/2014 21:42 PM

Thanks for all the responses...makes me feel heard and appreciated...just knowing there are others like me...suffering...trying to make sense from a senseless act...

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 BS or WS???

33years posted 1/20/2014 12:33 PM

I really liked the response from Undone! My WH started living in a fantasy world a few years back when he joined a cowboy gunfight group and then a civil war reenactment. Both types of historical fantasy are okay until they get to a point where you are living the dream and then wish you were someone like Wyatt Earp falling in love with his mistress. Gag....that's kinda what happened with my WH.
I do think they are basically selfish in general, but I also think it is human nature to be selfish but as humans, we should control that impulse, not let it control us.

Lovedyoumore posted 1/20/2014 13:06 PM

IC wanted H to concentrate on the why nots rather than the whys. Here is what we know:

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.

kiki1 posted 1/20/2014 13:13 PM

Yes, Lovedyoumore, Yes!!!

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.


reallysad2012 posted 1/21/2014 11:39 AM

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.


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