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The "Why." Waywards especially welcome!

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JustForgave posted 5/25/2014 10:10 AM

So I read a lot about the wayward finding his/her "why." Things like "I was unhappy" don't seem to be what the "why" is.

What IS the "why?" Can anyone give me any examples of their own?

My wh seems to be doing most things right, and the things he's not so great at are things that just aren't anything he can do, apparently, such as having a huge, tear-filled breakdown filled with pain at what he's done has affected me.

At any rate, in our thousands of talks about things, he's said that in our marriage, he didn't feel attractive or needed or loved, and that his affairs gave him that. They were always excited to see him, always made him feel good, bla bla bla. In short, ego kibbles. Is THAT a "why?"

Or is a "why" even deeper?

isadora posted 5/25/2014 10:19 AM

Ok, imo it is a start. But the big question is why did he give himself permission to cheat, because until he figures that out he will always be in danger of repeating the behavior once yhe horror fades .

20WrongsVs1 posted 5/25/2014 11:08 AM

he didn't feel attractive or needed or loved

The problem I have with this as a "why," is, what happens next time he doesn't feel attractive or loved? As long as he's relying on external sources of validation to feel worthy, he is at risk of reoffending. Also this "why" feels a little blame-shifty, i.e., you didn't "make him feel good" so he had to find someone else to do it.

In a nutshell, my why is that when I felt bad, I blamed external forces, in part because I was emotionally stunted. Dissociation was my go-to maladaptive coping mechanism, and under stress I delusionally convinced myself that I wasn't doing anything wrong by seeking out MOM for fantasy escapism. Some may see that as a psycho-babble excuse for "because I was a selfish jerk," and I respect that opinion as well. But this "why" enables me to catch myself when I'm feeling unattractive or unloved or whatever, figure out what the internal source is, and speak to BH and/or my IC about it. Instead of acting out in unhealthy ways.

sisoon posted 5/25/2014 15:55 PM

Speculating after 3.5 years....

Maybe 'why' is any reason that a fWS uses to change from cheater to good partner.

In any case, I'm pretty sure that no 'why' will be understandable to a BS....

tushnurse posted 5/25/2014 17:34 PM

He didn't feel needed attractive or loved.
This is not the why it's a direction to find why.
WHY does he need to feel needed, attractive, and why does he need external validation?

That's gonna get you a lot closer to the real why.

For us H reached a point where he felt like is this really as good as it gets?
He had the dream job the house the car the two kids, the Golden retriever and even the white fueling fence. How come he wasn't happy?

For him it was him not valuing what he had , forgiving himself for choosing a job that hurt his career to get us close to family when the kids were small. Healing happened when he realized money is just money, and not the answer to happiness. That no one from work would be at your side when you get sick or hurt. The people that matter and will be there are your family. Then of course the biggest lesson that we both learned and had to learn individually is happiness real happiness has to come from within your own self. And if you rely on others for it you will always be less than you can be.

It takes time and it takes being brave enough to keep asking why when you know the answers are going to be painful sad and reveal your weaknesses.

tushnurse posted 5/25/2014 17:36 PM

Dup post

[This message edited by tushnurse at 5:37 PM, May 25th (Sunday)]

Darkness Falls posted 5/25/2014 21:56 PM

Because I wanted to cheat with the OM and didn't care that it would hurt XH...I didn't care that it was wrong...I didn't care about anything but what I wanted in that instant. The epitome of selfish and asshole.

SlowUptake posted 5/26/2014 05:32 AM

Because I was a selfish, entitled asshat.
Anything else is just excuses.
e.g. FOO issues
Low Self Esteem
Mid Life Crises
Depression
Need For Validation
Insufficient Sex
Sex Addiction

All just excuses for asshattery.

totalheartbreak posted 5/26/2014 21:35 PM

Cowardice. Plain and simple. Anything else is complete bs.
It is the absolute most single cowardly act a person can ever do.
It was easier to proceed than any of the other hundred plus options and they simply wanted to.
It was simply easier than being honest to the om/w, their bs and most importantly, themselves.

Vulcanized posted 5/27/2014 01:50 AM

Wanted the ego stroke, validation, wanted the sex.

Wanted to have a grenade in my back pocket to lobe at XH when necessary.

Wanted the distraction of having to deal w/the fallout of XH's A & the utter devastation I was feeling.

Every thing about my RA was a total & complete disconnect from reality.

Chinadoll30 posted 5/27/2014 05:52 AM

There are many whys in our situation. Psychoanalyzing WH has always been my hobbie, so I probably know his whys more than he does. I know he felt rejected. I was, in fact, rejecting him because of a series of bad choices he had made. I know also that he has a psychic need to make me into the bad guy to justify his own shitty choices. That was there as well. It was a perfect storm of oppurtunity and situation. He has very low self esteem (I'm over simplifying here), I fed into that by rejecting him, so in order to make himself feel better, he chases stupid highs. And some woman throwing herself at him, no strings attached, fed right into the area that was so hurt by my rejection. I am in no way blaming myself, it was his fantastically shitty choices that created the situation, just recognizing the dynamics in our relationship that contributed. There is a huge FOO issue with him wanting to please, failing, making bad choices to numb himself, feeling guilty about choices, numbing further, and on and on.

Jovie posted 5/27/2014 07:49 AM

I'm surprised at the responses from heartbroken and slowuptake. If the only reason any WS can give is that they are a selfish asshole (which I'm not denying is true), how can any BS feel secure and comfortable that they will no longer be a selfish asshole. How can deeper exploration of that be regarded as bullshit excuses.

in our marriage, he didn't feel attractive or needed or loved, and that his affairs gave him that.

I don't think this is good enough. I completely agree with what 20wrongs said on the topic.

As for my why, I just responded to a post in Wayward about it, so I'll refer you to there.

ItTookTime posted 5/27/2014 21:56 PM

My stbxwh gave me some whoppers of why in couples therapy. She was nice to me. (Wtf). I liked her. I wanted to be single. I wanted the attention. . Bs after bs after bs. And he just didn't get it. I could, and did, put way too much time into figuring out his why, but in the end there was never going to be a why that made it okay. Believe me, it took years to get there.

ShellyShell posted 5/27/2014 22:45 PM

Mine basically told me he had acted out sexually most his life, whenever he felt low (which was most of the time) and when he didn't feel loved. My depression after the birth of our youngest child caused me to withdraw emotionally, and his self centered self interpreted that to mean I didn't love him anymore and was going to leave him at any minute. He started seeking sex and affection elsewhere and just kept going out of pure selfishness and self loathing. He told me it will never make sense so I should stop trying to understand, he was just a shitty husband.

brokeninfl posted 5/28/2014 09:24 AM

IMHO, the "why" has be an internal issue. While "no sex" "not feeling loved" could certainly be "triggers" -- the reason those turned into - "My way of deal with this is to allow myself to have and A" is the real "Why".

I DO think that a need for external validation (for whatever reason) combined with poor boundaries and communication skills are often a big part of the "why" of a lot of affairs. Obviously I'm oversimplifying.

I have to agree with some others -- I'm not sure that I would be satisfied with a "i was selfish" "why".


I think the "why" is one of the hardest part. It seems to be a many layered answer -- usually sprinkled with unresolved issues which led to poor coping mechanisms with led to mal-adaptive thinking processes which allowed for the demonizing/justifying/compartmentalizing which facilitates the affair.

tired girl posted 5/28/2014 09:29 AM

I think the "why" is one of the hardest part. It seems to be a many layered answer -- usually sprinkled with unresolved issues which led to poor coping mechanisms with led to mal-adaptive thinking processes which allowed for the demonizing/justifying/compartmentalizing which facilitates the affair.


This would basically be it in a nutshell for me.

There was no slippery slope for me, no lies, no hiding, no ego kibbles, no external validation. I made a choice when I was in a very bad place emotionally and physically. My coping skills were maxed out. But mine is not the typical A.

BrokenheartedUK posted 5/28/2014 09:29 AM

It's the hardest question after "what was I to him during the affair" to answer truthfully. It's many different answers combining a variety of factors. He's the only one that can answer it but keep pressure on him for a little more insight.

KatieG posted 5/28/2014 09:36 AM

I think the "why" is one of the hardest part. It seems to be a many layered answer -- usually sprinkled with unresolved issues which led to poor coping mechanisms with led to mal-adaptive thinking processes which allowed for the demonizing/justifying/compartmentalizing which facilitates the affair.

Yes it is the hardest part. Any of these excuses could be repeated if the planets were aligned again.

What I really want is this:

He didn't feel needed attractive or loved.
This is not the why it's a direction to find why.
WHY does he need to feel needed, attractive, and why does he need external validation?

And WHY did you choose to get your needs met in an unhealthy, self-destructive way? Could be drugs, alcohol, overeating, porn, having an affair. The choice is usually subconscious so takes a lot of work to get there - if you want to.

seethelight posted 5/28/2014 09:45 AM

In a nutshell, my why is that when I felt bad, I blamed external forces, in part because I was emotionally stunted. Dissociation was my go-to maladaptive coping mechanism, and under stress I delusionally convinced myself that I wasn't doing anything wrong by seeking out MOM for fantasy escapism. Some may see that as a psycho-babble excuse for "because I was a selfish jerk," and I respect that opinion as well. But this "why" enables me to catch myself when I'm feeling unattractive or unloved or whatever, figure out what the internal source is, and speak to BH and/or my IC about it. Instead of acting out in unhealthy ways.

20wrongs:

I think that is an excellent an answer. I think you are owning the responsibility rather than blameshifting.

I don't always feel as if my husband was simply being a selfish jerk.

Sometimes I can see that he needed external validation because he was very spoiled and adored as a child and perhaps my admiration wasn't strong enough to fill that need.

The thing that upsets me is that he is still blameshifting by claiming I didn't make him feel attractive enough or loved enough.

I don't think any wife could have fawned over him enough to feed his need for admiration and ego strokes.

seethelight posted 5/28/2014 09:52 AM

Because I wanted to cheat with the OM and didn't care that it would hurt XH...I didn't care that it was wrong...I didn't care about anything but what I wanted in that instant. The epitome of selfish and asshole.

Because I was a selfish, entitled asshat.
Anything else is just excuses.

Although, I think there are more reasons to the why of cheating for the majority of waywards, I do appreciate the fact that some waywards are willing to label cheating as selfish.

Even though, I don't really see my husband's affair as simply being selfish and thoughtless, they are components of the A, but not the true why, maybe?

However, if my husband made comments like the ones from waywards here that I have quoted, it would truly help me heal faster.

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