So often on these boards I see the question of "Why?" Why would a spouse do things to their husbands or wives that are so hurtful (and sometimes, let's face it - they're downright MEAN)? Why would they do that?
In particular, for a lot of us betrayed men, there's the question of "Why" as it pertains to sex. Why would they do it for HIM but not for ME? The "Why" eats at us.
So I wanted to share a letter that I received from my wife a few months ago. We have successfully reconciled and I can honestly say that our marriage is better than it ever was - and we've been married 22 years and together 27. Take a look....
A lot of transformation has happened for me in recent months. I’d say the last 2 months or so, to be more specific. Perhaps I am at a place now where I feel the most emotional distance from what happened that I have felt, and that has allowed me to be more objective about things. I now look back on the feelings that I had and can see that they were more about what I was looking for, than what I found. I was weak and I was needy and I was not thinking about all that I had in my life. I was thinking about what more might be out there. I was not thankful or grateful. I was not content. I was missing the whole point of everything – I didn’t see how lucky I was and I didn’t make the important things, important. I was selfish. I was demanding. I just was not a good person in nearly all respects. Actually, I’m not sure who I was or what I thought I wanted. I just look back on my actions and see them as stupid, pointless, self-indulgent behaviors that were missing the real point of life entirely. I look back on those times and would literally give anything I could to go back and re-do them. I would live my life so much differently…
And so today – I try to live life the way I wished that I always had. Present. Participating in everything – especially the little things that I took for granted or just missed entirely. My greatest measure of success now is the love of you and the girls…in the past, I’m not sure how I would have answered that. I was so caught up in what we had – materially or what we were “perceived” to have emotionally – that I didn’t really give myself in a real, meaningful way. I feel like I was living on the surface – not diving in, deeply. And so now that I realize that – I want to make up time and not miss out on one more minute of that kind of life with you or the girls.
So how does that relate to your question? For one, when you are living a “surface” life like I was – the things you think are real may not actually be real. You look at the outer shell of everything, not wanting to or taking the time to completely dig in. What I mean by this is that if I had fun with him – and that is what I wanted on the surface – that felt like more than “just fun” to me at the time – I made it “everything” because it’s what I wanted. I didn’t make it “everything” because it deserved to be. I didn’t make it “everything” because I felt like he was the person I was destined to be with…he gave me “everything” that I felt like I was missing, but not anything that was really, truly, important. That always came from you. He may have said nice things to me that made me feel better about myself, but he could never really tell me anything important – because he didn’t really know me. If I thought about the person that I wanted to be with for the “real” things in life – it has always been you. I just wasn’t thinking that way for a long time.
When you ask me about soul mates, about true love, whether we had/have something special and unique that makes us, us…I have to say that yes – I believe that. Perhaps now more than I ever have. I forgot who we were for a while. I tested the limits of what “real” is by finding a substitute that really wasn’t “real.” And perhaps I can see the strength of you and me in a whole new way because of that. It was not possible to see our relationship that way before because of ME – because I decided to look past you and what we had, thinking that something else was out there that would make me feel better about myself. And I found someone who seemed to do that for me. But it was never enough – he was never enough. That relationship did not make me whole. It only ever gave me a piece of what I needed – a piece that you wanted to give, but I didn’t let you. I didn’t realize that for a long time. But now, I do.
It has been difficult for me to admit to myself that I fell for a guy like him. I was flattered, I felt like hot shit because he was into me. But it was for all of the wrong reasons. He never would have cared for me if I was upset or sick, and in all reality – I don’t think I would have ever turned to him for that…in my heart of hearts, I never wanted him that way. At the time – I’m sure I thought he loved me completely and would do anything for me. But at the end of the day, I knew he was different from me in ways that really mattered. He would never have the history and understanding of who I am at the core. He could have never gotten those things because I didn’t give them to him. In retrospect, he had the parts of me that I allowed myself to share, and that’s it.
There are things about you and me that have always been special. They were special the day we met, and for me – they remain special to this day. I never set out to replace any of them. That may be hard for you to imagine, but it is true. [Remove] It’s only ever been YOU in that regard. And I am so sorry that I didn’t see that all along. I am sorry that I put someone who I could laugh with at a bar above you. I lost sight of what mattered, but I see it now more clearly than ever.
So when you look at me from across the room, from the other couch, from next to me in the car, or when we are as close as we can get – and I look back at you, you have to know that I see it now. I see it all. I see the things that I had lost sight of. I see past and present and future in you. I see a life’s worth of happiness and sadness and the most awful of times – but I see us, there, through it all. I don’t look for anyone else to fill any gaps…I have opened myself up to let me fill them, with you. I am trying so very hard to make up for all that I missed – with all of you. I just want to be the best person that I can be for each of you – and now, that is what makes me whole. That is how I want to live the rest of my life – being there, with you, for you, by your side. To love and to comfort, to share and to support, and to simply BE – every day – with YOU.
I know that I need to do a much better job of telling you these things and sharing them as they swirl around in my head. To help you understand that I do still work through these things every day. What happened has changed me in many ways. I realize how fragile our life together can be. I want to strengthen it – build it up, and make it what it should have always been.
I love you now in a way that I never have. With a passion and a “truth” and an awareness that is new for me. I hate that I put us through hell because I didn’t realize what I had in you and in us. There will always be a hole in that part of our life together, and I can only hope to fill it through the way we are with each other moving forward. The way I am able to make you feel. The way I’m able to help you believe in us. My ability to give you reasons to trust me again, to not feel vulnerable or uncertain. I can only try to help you see that I know what’s important – that I want to live an authentic life, and that I am focused on doing that with you.
Do you see what I see???? If you're new to this board and struggling with the "Why" I hope it leaps out at you. Besides the true remorse that is obvious and the actual understanding that the note reflects - there's something else -
She understands that the affair was because of something missing in HER. Guys, your wife didn't become a sexual wonderwoman because she suddenly decided to swing from a chandelier with someone else. She did it because she needed something - and for as long as the OM would give it to her, she'd continue to put out. As someone on this board has put it in the best possible way, sex is the currency used for validation.
The "why" is often very simple. She needs attention, stroking, validation, a self-esteem boost....... and he wants to get laid. They both get what they want from the affair. (I realize, btw, that this is not ALWAYS the case, but I would bet that it's very often true).
The affair is not a reflection of you.
THE AFFAIR IS NOT YOUR FAULT.