Just Found Out
User Topic: Knowing the why of an affair
New Member
Member # 39351
Helpless  Posted: 10:55 PM, June 13th (Thursday)

I am back here posting. It was about 1 month ago that I confronted my husband about his affairs. Three years ago I found out he cheated on me with several people he met online (one night stands). We decided to work on things. Well over the course of those three years, he has slept with two more people he met online (using a fake name, fake profile, fake pictures) all the while assuring me that he would "never do anything again to hurt me."

Well, this time, I kicked him out. He is in an apartment. We are going to a marriage counselor together (have gone twice) and we are waiting to to IC separately.

Why am I not just getting a divorce? I don't know. We are in the middle of a home remodel so we can't just split up our stuff, sell the house, and part ways. And I guess that I honestly believe he has a problem and I want to know what the problem is. I want to know if he is a SA or a narcissist or whatever.

Well, at therapy this week, the counselor told me that I don't need to focus on the why...that I don't go to a dentist and pay for him to tell me why my tooth is hurting...that I just want him to fix it. Well, to that I say BS! How is my WS supposed to fix something if he can't figure out why he did it?

Of course, the WS is remorseful and making the promises I heard 3 years ago. I'm only seeing him when we go to counseling and I'm trying to be strong and just get through this one day at a time. I know this isn't my fault, but it is hard not to say things like "I'll never find another person to love me" and "My time is running out so I'll never get married again and have a child."

Well, I guess to get back to the point, I just wanted some thoughts on what you think about being curious about the WHY of an affair...should I not be concerned about the reasons why he had the affairs?

Me: 33
WS: 38
D-Day 1: July 20, 2009
D-Day 2: May 9, 2013

Posts: 13 | Registered: May 2013 | From: East coast
Member # 38207
Default  Posted: 11:00 PM, June 13th (Thursday)

, the counselor told me that I don't need to focus on the why...that I don't go to a dentist and pay for him to tell me why my tooth is hurting...that I just want him to fix it

I'll add a BS to this! I most certainly want to know why my tooth is hurting AND what the dentist is going to do to fix it. I am also relentless that my H dig deep to figure out his why and the steps he is going to take to fix it. How on earth can be know it's fixed if he doesn't even know what he is fixing?!

Posts: 1105 | Registered: Jan 2013
Member # 38207
Default  Posted: 11:01 PM, June 13th (Thursday)

Duplicate post

[This message edited by musiclovingmom at 11:01 PM, June 13th (Thursday)]

Posts: 1105 | Registered: Jan 2013
New Member
Member # 39351
Default  Posted: 11:04 PM, June 13th (Thursday)

Thanks, musiclovingmom. I agree! The counselor also says that we need to go to IC to understand what assets and liabilities we both brought into the relationship. I agree with that. We discussed these issues a bit and my biggest one is my need to control certain situations in our relationship...we talked about this for a bit and I honestly lost it on the counselor when he said something about my need to control and my husband's cheating...I said "that's like comparing a slap on the face to a full-blown murder! We all have personality flaws but someone being a control-freak with certain items is no where near the same as a serial cheater in my book." I'm wondering if we need to try another counselor.

[This message edited by Thingsfellapart at 11:05 PM, June 13th (Thursday)]

Me: 33
WS: 38
D-Day 1: July 20, 2009
D-Day 2: May 9, 2013

Posts: 13 | Registered: May 2013 | From: East coast
New Member
Member # 39351
Default  Posted: 11:08 PM, June 13th (Thursday)

I don't know...maybe I am reading too much into the words of the counselor or I misunderstood something. I am not going to give up just yet.

Me: 33
WS: 38
D-Day 1: July 20, 2009
D-Day 2: May 9, 2013

Posts: 13 | Registered: May 2013 | From: East coast
Member # 2027
Default  Posted: 12:37 AM, June 14th (Friday)

the counselor told me that I don't need to focus on the why...that I don't go to a dentist and pay for him to tell me why my tooth is hurting...that I just want him to fix it

I second the bullshit call.

What if you're not brushing and flossing? You need to know the why.

And if your WS's "why" has to do with a SA or a severe PD, you may be dealing with something that can't be "fixed."

I would get a different MC.

It is what it is, not what we hope it can be.

When another woman takes your husband,
sometimes the best thing you can do for
yourself is to LET HER HAVE the worthless
OC born 2001
Divorced 2003
Remarried 2008 (New Guy)

Posts: 8032 | Registered: Aug 2003 | From: Iowa
Member # 39058
Default  Posted: 1:14 AM, June 14th (Friday)

Yes see another counsellor!!

My WH and I went just yesterday to see a new MC and were hoping to have real guidance. She was amazing!!

She asked my H outright what he thought was the reason why he had the affair!! He didn't really answer - not sure if he can yet - but at the end of the session she said that next session we HAVE to deal with this. Her reasoning was that if he couldn't work out WHY it happened then he wasn't going to be able to learn anything from this and we wouldn't heal properly!!

It's going to be hard but we have to face it.

Your counsellor I think is giving completely the wrong message here. You WH needs to understand what exactly it is in himself that makes him vulnerable - there will be something and it won't be you!

Good luck ((Thingsfellapart))

Me: BW 45
Him: WH 48
Married: 6 years, together 9 years
D-day: 3 January 2013 - he confessed.
A: June-Dec 2012
No children.

Posts: 153 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: UK
Member # 32214
Default  Posted: 1:37 AM, June 14th (Friday)

Very, very, complicated question, and very, very, complicated answers. He definately needs to know the why, or he will never be able to curb that behavior. There are some universal issues, such as poor self esteem, addiction to the high that a new connection gives, the fantasy and the escape from "real" life, but each person is different and each has to figure out why they can not be faithful, or weren't faithfu. I hope he continues to work on this. So sorry he is putting you through this, but a 180 might kick-start him to get serious about therapy. Most cheaters just want it to go away and not think about it. That is never going to work. Hugs. K

Me - BS
Him - FWS
DD - December 14, 2010
Married 43 years 1/14/2011
Affair lasted 7+ years
Affair had been over for 2 years before I found out. OW sent me a letter.

Posts: 1319 | Registered: May 2011 | From: Kansas
Member # 31558
Default  Posted: 1:49 AM, June 14th (Friday)

Most counselors are a waste of time and money, if not worse. Getting a good one on the first try is a lot to ask which is a shame since by the time people look for a counselor they need them right now and don't have the emotional stamina to look around for a good one. Keep looking anyway.

Me: BW a youthful 49
Him: alcoholic, sober now, WH 56
Married 19 years
Two sons, 16 & 17 years old
DD? He's still keeping secrets and only admits to what I have indisputable
evidence of... the $2000 earrings he bought her for x-mas.

Posts: 1536 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: California
New Member
Member # 39227
Default  Posted: 2:55 AM, June 14th (Friday)

Find a new therapist FFS, what BS!
There is no fixing this without knowing WHY, it's the source of the problem, the affair is the product of that. The thing that is so infuriating is that He knows why he did it. At the same time you need to be prepared to hear it, as it may have as much to do with you(?) as with him.

The opposite of Love is not Hate, it's Indifference.

Me - Betrayed Spouse - Age:43
Her - Serial Adulterer Wife - Age:38
Affair partners - 3 in 16 months (+2 more unconfirmed)

D-Day 18 March 2013
Together 8 Years, Married 6 Years

Posts: 23 | Registered: May 2013 | From: Canada
Member # 17210
Default  Posted: 3:13 AM, June 14th (Friday)

Well, at therapy this week, the counselor told me that I don't need to focus on the why...that I don't go to a dentist and pay for him to tell me why my tooth is hurting...that I just want him to fix it. Well, to that I say BS! How is my WS supposed to fix something if he can't figure out why he did it?

Yup, absolute crap.
Even the analogy is crap. In the case of a dentist, yes the dentist does the fixing. Does the MC suggest that they are just going to give an anesthetic to your WH and then do all the work.

This is not something you drop off at the shop and pick up when it is fixed, it is a DIY project.

A better analogy I can think of is when I was talking about a car repair with a member here. The car would not pass the emissions test. It was considered a major polluter. Fixing that involved figuring out why it was so noxious, and we discussed what the results of the tests were to determine what might be wrong as there were several possible causes, and each one needed to be dealt with differently. Adjusting the timing is of no help if the piston rings are gone. In the end we determined it was the catalytic converter that needed to be replaced. Without knowing that the catalytic converter, the old car could not be fixed, and the only solution was to live with the noxious emissions or replace the car.

The DMV would not allow the noxious emissions to continue, and while this may be an option in your marriage, it is certainly sub-optimal.

Your mileage may vary... in accordance with the prophecy.

Do not back up. Severe tire damage.

Posts: 14924 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Winnipeg
Member # 38384
Default  Posted: 4:42 AM, June 14th (Friday)

((TFA)), just an FYI, there is a "why bother with 'why'" thread on the Wayward forum - posted by a vet. I gain a lot of insight from this forum.

Thought you might want to check it out.

Good luck to you.


Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2441 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
Member # 29130
Default  Posted: 5:13 AM, June 14th (Friday)

The Why is important for the WS NOT the BS. If we know the why we as the BS didn't cause it, can't control and can't fix it.

Knowing the diagnosis (ie, SA, NPD, etc.) would be helpful for the BS to make decisions for themselves. But you can't help the WS fix themselves. Knowing why won't help the BS prevent futute cheating.

The C was partly right in that YOU don't need to focus on the why. That's the focus of IC not MC. That being said not all MC are qualified to deal with infidelity. Your WH needs to focus on his why in IC not necessarily in MC.

Hang in there

Me: BW Him: WH
Married: 12 yrs
2 DDs and DSs all under 10
2 Affairs - 2010 year long PA/EA, 2008 2 month online EA
Multiple D-Days

I can only control myself, no one else. I do not have that kind of power.

Posts: 4509 | Registered: Jul 2010 | From: Back home again in Indiana
Member # 14028
Default  Posted: 10:02 PM, June 16th (Sunday)

When we all fall into this S****hole the first question we all ask is "WHY?". I would be surprised if many people got a satisfactory answer from their WS.

Making sense of the situation does help. For me, I found a lot of the answers to why in the Healing Library and on this forum.

In the end it didn't really matter what excuse my WS had for cheating.

What I learnt was it definitely was not my fault.

You can not keep a person in a marriage if they don't want to be in a marriage. THEY need to be committed to the marriage. You can not substitute their committment by you being their parent, or warden.

If I say there is something wrong and needs to be fixed, maybe I am avoiding the really scarey realisation that their heart is not in my marriage and they want to be some where else.

Posts: 159 | Registered: Mar 2007
Member # 16953
Default  Posted: 3:47 AM, June 17th (Monday)

I'm gonna take a different direction on this one. I agree that YOU should not have to focus on the "Why" But if you ever want a chance at R its extremely important that YOUR WH focus on it. After all YOU did not cheat multiple times. HE did !!!

You cant eat soup with chopsticks.

Posts: 5721 | Registered: Nov 2007
Member # 39551
Default  Posted: 1:07 PM, June 17th (Monday)

Through my own IC (no MC here) I am finding out that even finding my own WHY's of anything are a bit hard and I'm very introspective. I can't imagine how much longer it might take or harder it might be for someone else.

I think you are right to want to know the why. It is my belief that it is the why's that help us grow. I hope you have patience if you are truly wanting an answer. I guess if a MC didn't understand that I'd find my own IC and question it before I tried to start over with a new MC.

Posts: 556 | Registered: Jun 2013
Topic Posts: 16