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Does a WS really forget so much?

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craig2001 posted 2/21/2014 11:46 AM

Does a WS really forget so much about an affair or is this a way of lying to the BS or TT? After reading a few posts on here and thinking back to my situation, it seems the WS cannot remember more than just a few things.

It seems impossible to me for a person to be able to forget so many occurrences in their life, things that they themselves did. I can see someone forgetting what color socks they wore on a certain day, unless there was something significant about those socks.

For example, the WW admits that yes, she remembers on that day, her and the OM sat in a bar. Months later it becomes, I just remembered, we were really in a motel that day. How can a WS forget that and then suddenly remember something so very different?

Or a question is asked like, where were you really the night you said you were working late and didnít come home until 10, but the extra hours werenít on the paycheck and the answer is I donít remember.

I am asking because I am interested in opinions on how a WS can simply forget so many things and answer so many questions with I Donít Remember or are they lies.

Morhurt posted 2/21/2014 12:22 PM

Both are possiblities in my opinion. How is her memory for non A events? I actually have a terrible memory and stress (ie my H's As) makes it worse. I see my IC every two weeks and I struggle to recall the events I want to cover... And these are things I WANT to discuss that happened recently. On the other hand, not remembering is a pretty convenient way out of tell g the hard things.
My H doesn't remember everything but I felt a shift from it being self preservation to a genuine not remembering some time during the process.
Some people find a time line helps. Maybe ask her for one?

JustDesserts posted 2/21/2014 12:32 PM

WS here. I don't have a photographic memory. But I remember with astounding and vivid clarity the face to face meetings with xAP. Who, where, what, how, when...check. The few calls and IM's and emails I remember less vividly. They sort of blend into the overall electronic buzz and static of modern life.

But the energy and deception and planning of trysts? The acts of physical connection. The sex? Remarkable clarity, which lingered and lingers like a stain.

Hence the wayward fog and wayward withdrawal.

I only speak for myself. Perhaps this helps some.


sinsof thefather posted 2/21/2014 12:40 PM

I have a *bad* memory for dates - so someone forgetting 'dates' I can believe because I do it myself all the time. But remembering places and events? Not so much.

Like I believe that they might not remember the exact date (or even month) they went to... a motel, a bar, a restaurant, a show, for a walk along the beach, a weekend away, a movie show etc., or exactly when they did... a,b, or c, but I don't really believe that they don't remember doing it - unless it was an affair that spanned years.

So I think a lot of 'I don't remembers' are really just, 'I don't want to own up to what I did' ..but maybe I'm just cynical.

ETA: I was writing when JustDesserts posted but Wow. Thank you for your honesty JD.

[This message edited by sinsof thefather at 12:43 PM, February 21st (Friday)]

steadfast1973 posted 2/21/2014 12:41 PM

He said, that he must have tried not to think about it too much... because if he had thought, with any clarity, about what he was doing, he could not have gone through with it. He remembers the actual act very well... he says with the clarity of a terrible accident... but to the things that led up to it, like a movie, that he kept dozing off during...

CatchyUsername posted 2/21/2014 13:03 PM

My WH has trouble recalling details - mostly I think because he was very drunk or high when the A started and when they were together. I have said to him more than once that it annoys me because if something as exciting as having a first kiss even happened for me now I would remember every wee detail.

blakesteele posted 2/21/2014 13:15 PM

My wife forgets to pay bills and general schedules more than I some of A memory issues are a factor of that.

But by a large margin my wife lied and trickle truthed with a proficiency some criminals would kill to possess.

I also believe the deception and lying pre and during the affair confuse even the WS themselves....but, just like while in her affair, she WANTED to believe she wasn't "that person" her own mind was very open to being mislead by her....just like she was very open to believing her AP was something special, unique, warranting of the risk she so fervently wanted and did take.

So memory gaps are all natural, intentional, and subconscious in nature.....IMO.

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."--Mark Twain

Radical honesty is one of my regs for R....from both of us.

God help us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 1:27 PM, February 21st (Friday)]

UKgirl posted 2/21/2014 13:16 PM

fWH ďforgotĒ an awful lot about the LTA. And lied a lot too. And TTíd. So it was all very difficult to decided what was down to not remembering, not wanting to remember or remembering but not wanting to say. Inevitably things conflicted after a while. So for me it was a mixture of all the above most of the time which made me think it was desperate attempts to limit the damage and my knowledge.

But I do believe there were times when he was so concentrated on her and them, that the date, surroundings and circumstances didnít matter. It all faded into the background as they gave their full and undivided attention to each other. Everything else was irrelevant for as long as they were together. Sad but true. It was a hazy background.

Rebreather posted 2/21/2014 13:32 PM

I think there is a lot of purposeful thought suppression during an affair that can cloud things for a wayward. Knowing every bit of what you did is impossible unless you are Sheldon Cooper. But, I think a LOT of "I don't know" is a load of bull.

My spouse can't remember when they first had sex. "March or April" was the answer. As we sleuthed, ie, "had you already had sex when we went to seattle together?" - yes - "ok, that was April 5, so it was March or earlier." That kind of work was helpful. I think we deduced it was probably late February, but hard to know for sure because he didn't keep track of his trips. I don't think he was lying, he really didn't know - and he didn't WANT to know because it was shameful and terrible.

Once I got to really believe I had enough info, I had to stop asking for details. There is a great descriptor on another site that explains the more you use your memory, the more those memories become ingrained. At this point, I don't want to talk about that stuff any more because I want him to forget it. I want all of those memories to disappear forever.

MoreWould posted 2/21/2014 13:39 PM

I've had over 30 years to study and reflect on this. I think differently about it than I did at first, that's for sure.

Right after DDay, I had my WW figured for an evil, lying bitch. I'm a little bit more charitable today.

First, I think waywards spend so much energy lying to themselves, and their spouse, that truth and fiction get mixed up. Separating them later is like getting the fly poop out of the pepper.

Second, once the shame kicks in, as it did for my WW and many, there is an unconscious but very deliberate process of forgetting that takes place. I now think the mind is engaging in a form of self-protection, too bad it hurts the BS so much.

And last, I think the Fog is real, and chemically induced by dopamine and other related neurotransmitters. When we ask "What were you thinking?" the hard truth is they weren't. And, you don't remember what you didn't think.

[This message edited by MoreWould at 1:40 PM, February 21st (Friday)]

Scubachick posted 2/21/2014 14:00 PM

I have the memory of a goldfish so I can relate to memory problems but what really gets me is how my husband can be so sure about the details, dates, etc if it makes him look better but he can't remember if it makes him look worse.

catatonic posted 2/21/2014 14:13 PM

I know as a BS that during my WH LTA I had certain feelings. Something he said that wasn't right, a women's coat hanging on the hook at his office< which he had a perfect excuse for,his schedule that didn't match what he told me. A few things now I remember clearly, and think "Oh Yeah, that night when he said" I know how that related to the affair. Other things I manage to subconsciously block. Maybe to protect myself, or to not face the reality. Because certain things, like the coat in the office, I have a hard time differentiating if I did see, or did I imagine it. After Day I had to ask WH, "Remember when I found that coat, was it hers? " Did you lie to me" He said yes it was OW. I only asked because I could not remember if it really happened. I wish I would have started a journal when I had the sense things were out of place.
So, Im not trained in psychology, but it is possible to distort reality to protect yourself. And Im sure WS do this too. Which would make remembering certain details difficult. And the when you factor in lies. Reality is really blurred

peoplepleaser posted 2/21/2014 14:14 PM

Memory is subjective, but it's also susceptible to harboring events linked to intense emotion. Knowing that has made my WS's claims of forgetting difficult. Trying to get the information from an EA over two years ago is difficult. I believe she remembers more of her involvement than she admits because of the emotions involved, but I also realize that she's been minimizing her involvement for over two years in her head, which interferes with full remembering and disclosure.

musiclovingmom posted 2/21/2014 14:18 PM

My H has a terrible memory for dates and he doesn't remember a lot of the details that I wanted. I have a generalized timeline that we did together. It was an excruciating, several day process of talking and digging and comparing to events I remembered. There are still a lot of things he can't answer. He will admit that he forgot them on purpose. He doesn't want to remember what happened with them. Repression is an art he is well practiced in. I think that plays a huge part in his lack of memory.

hurtingfool posted 2/21/2014 14:23 PM

My WW has always had a shoddy memory. My recent events have made me wonder if it was just a way for her to act out against me.

We'll go over our past, I'll have one story. Then some information comes to light and she may not remember that part, but something else may be remembered. It sucks. With what I know and remember, it doesn't make sense to me that she can't remember the issue at hand, but does remember a similar issue at the same time.

I said that a whole lot better and different when me and her were talking about her memory. Usually, I can count on my memory, this just appears to be one of these new wonderful days where my mind is muddled. I'll ask her about it when she gets home and hope that triggers something (something good ) so I can write something better later.

AML04 posted 2/21/2014 19:58 PM

The A has seemed to cause memory loss in my WH. He used to have a good memory and now he has a hard time following along in a conversation. There are a lot of things he doesn't remember about the A and at first I didn't believe him, now I'm not do sure. He once told me he wasn't thinking about it, he just lived moment to moment. I think that had an affect on how he retains things.

Of course just recently he hid/lied to me about something pretty important so now I have a hard time trusting anything he says.

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