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Why do we torture ourselves?

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ziganska posted 1/22/2014 12:39 PM

Like all of my fellow BSs in R, I'm sure, you want to know all the gory details so that you can understand it, perhaps accept it, perhaps forgive it, perhaps let go, perhaps make peace with it. It's hard to move forward with the concept of a "happy" future (or even stand the present) if you don't fully comprehend the past, and sadly, our WSs pasts don't make much sense. What they did, in words, actions, promises, lies and even financial expenses, defy all logic and leave us enraged and shaking our heads...and yet we want to know more.

The other night, I was asking my H for details...he was answering them. And since I was getting responses without hesitation or defenses, I kept asking more questions...and then more...at a certain point, I thought "Why are you doing this to yourself? Why are you torturing yourself? Why are you now asking about the specific sexual acts and what it felt like? If toys were used? If lights were on? The length of time it took? If she was good at certain things? Etc."

Part of me thinks that I just want to make sure my H can admit those shameful "secrets" to me, as a part of R and being transparent. He's not gloating as he says it...he rattles it off quite clinically, but then I think--"Dammit! He remembers every detail, he must miss it! Or thinks about it all the time." And yet if he said he forgot a detail, I'd get mad and say "How can you forget the details of your affair, it just happened? You just don't want to tell me. You want to keep that as a secret with her. You're protecting her." So I'm in a no win situation and place him in that too. And yet we both desperately want to reconcile.

I want to know the details, yes, but once I know them, I can't unknow them and by nature of what happened, they are very painful, hurtful, scarring details. I don't think NOT knowing them is a healthy thing either, because then my imagination will run wild with kinky scenarios and I'll give her more power than she deserves.

Why do we do this to ourselves and how do you deal with wanting to know but not wanting to know? Is any of this beneficial to R?

Yakamishi posted 1/22/2014 12:50 PM

This is so me. I'm the same exact way. Unfortunately I do not always get the "clinical" straightforward answer. My WW is an appeaser, so often I'll get a "softened" answer, or worse...the ever popular..."I don't remember."

But ya, it's a catch 22. Need it. Want it. Hate it.

dana1234 posted 1/22/2014 13:16 PM

This post is me😞 I feel like I'm not moving forward not knowing some of the details. I have a sketchy time line but would like to know specifics, yet MC, IC say I don't need to know details, that it will just keep me stuck😬

dana1234 posted 1/22/2014 13:27 PM

This post is me😞 I feel like I'm not moving forward not knowing some of the details. I have a sketchy time line but would like to know specifics, yet MC, IC say I don't need to know details, that it will just keep me stuck😬

Morhurt posted 1/22/2014 13:31 PM

I am detail oriented and need to know it ALL. But yes, some of it is very hard to hear. One thing that helps me is if H interjects "it is so painful for me to tell you these disgusting things I did" or "I'm ashamed of the person I was".. stuff like that. Sometimes if it's a lot about sex I'll actually (TMI) touch him briefly to make sure that talking about these things doesn't arouse him (thankfully it doesn't).

It's very hard and I definitely need time to process the answers but in the end it feels better (for me). Recently I asked about one of his AP and how he felt about her ("love" was never involved for any of them), he said she was so pretty that he was very attracted to her (he followed it with negative stuff about her) and that hurt. She actually is prettier than me. And thinner. And cooler. Buuut... When the hurt died down I remembered that she's also way more broken and she's fake. Looks fade, bodies sag, but I'll be awesome forever!

JustSoSad42 posted 1/22/2014 13:44 PM

This is the worst part! The truth is that it hurts either way, but for me, knowing specifics keeps the mind-wandering to a minimum.

For example, knowing the position they were in allows me to just not do that, so I don't spend all of our sex life wondering if he did this or that with her (It was a ONS, very uneventful sex, one position.) It helps me to some degree, but at the same time, hearing him say it out loud was just like a punch in the face with the reality that, yes, my husband had sex with another woman and here is exactly how he did it. Gross.

It's all just the worst. Neither way is good!

karmahappens posted 1/22/2014 16:22 PM

I actually didn't want specifics. I know they had sex.

For me sex wasn't as much a concern. I was more worried about where his heart was. Anyone can have sex IMO. I needed to know she didn't have his heart.

I didn't need to compete in the bedroom with her and I am sure she would have done whatever she could sexually to keep him.

[This message edited by karmahappens at 7:49 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

ILINIA posted 1/22/2014 16:40 PM

Yes, I am one that needs to know the details. Even though it is hard to listen, I do my best to keep it clinical and ask questions. I feel that removes any of the secrecy and glamour from the event.

So I will repeat back and ask a question, such as "From what I understand the initial penetration was without protection. Can you tell me what made you think of using protection? Why didn't you take protection as you knew that you were meeting?", "If you assumed she had protection then must have assumed she had a busier sex life than just you?", "So to be clear, you didn't ask about STD's but assumed she had an active sex life? Huh, if you feel she sleeps around, why wouldn't you protect yourself from the other married and single men? Don't you think that is a bit gross?", "Okay, since you did not ask about STD's, have you ever seen any cold sores on her lips? I am assuming since you exposed me and your family to STDs, you also thought about oral herpes?" "No, well, since you work together, I am assuming you will tell me if she has a break out on her lips in the next few months?"

The list goes on and on. I think he sees it in a much different light. What was a first "fun, secretive, and exciting" now just seems immature and disgusting to him.

Also, what helps is that I told him that he had to "throw me a bone" and tell me what wasn't great. I will admit it helps to hear that she had a fat roll and he expected her to be in better shape, she had shaved and was all stubbly down there, and also that she was way too short, so it was strange. Now obviously, none of those stopped him, but at least he realized this wasn't "fantasy sex" where everything and the COW were perfect.

We got it all on the table right away, which I am thankful for, as it is does soften with time. And I haven't asked a question about that in a month, so that is progress! Even when I typed it out today, I laughed at my oral herpes question and WS looking for it on her lips, whereas, I am sure I would have been crying a few months ago.

Gotmegood posted 1/22/2014 17:05 PM

Ilinia-
So impressed with your clinical extraction of horribly difficult information to hear. (Well, some of us need to know and hear). I think I got the gory details in a similar way as you, although I can't recollect the actual quotes as you did. The important things were that: 1. I got details that I NEEDED. WH had sex w / a prostitute .... an alien world to me.....just had to hear it. 2. By clinically dissecting the sex scene and acts as I did, throwing in some cynical digs as you did, I believe that it very much deglamorized the event. And I very MUCH wanted to do that.
Kinda loved your herpes comments. Good going!

ILINIA posted 1/22/2014 17:22 PM

Noticed I said I would "do my best" at keeping it clinical, but sometimes I would stop and scream/swear at him and/or end the questioning because it was just too much handle. Our hearts can only take so much.

Gotmegood - Yeah, it is sad all the terms, abbreviations, and this world we are now all too familiar with due to the A.

[This message edited by ILINIA at 5:24 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

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