I hope this doesn't sound terrible but I originally did not read your post as it was really long. That was my mistake. You have summed up many of my thought - thought that are hard to write.
My biggest struggle is my FWW A does not fit any of the molds for a LTA. As an engineer I rationalize everything and for the life of me I cannot figure this out. However you are right, FWW did it because she enjoyed it.
And in my mind my WH is a cheater and will always be a cheater.
He turned to me with my WS in the room and said "because he wanted to and he could".
I remember I could not wrap my head around such a simple statement for a long time....but it finally did just become about that....because he wanted to and he could. The FOO issues, the selfishness, the low self esteem, etc.... yeah all play a part.
But guess what? I had a shitty childhood. I had crappy things happen to me, there is a long list. But I chose not to go down that road.
So yes...in my sitch only...I agree with you. He wanted to and he could get away with it.
Why? As other have said, 'because he could, he had an opportunity, and believed he could get away with it'.
As far as the character flaw, lack of morals, or whatever it is that allows people to engage in behavior that they know is wrong, well, that is his problem. He can work on it, or not. I have absolutely NO control over that. I would hope that he would, but let's all face it, we really have no way to truly know what is in the heart of another person. What I care about is his behavior. SHOW ME your new improved self. Don't insult me me by attempting to explain 'why'. I don't give a rats ass what your 'why' is.
he said this in mc:
"there is no justification that i want to give anymore. i own that behavior. but to share what was in my mind....i will do that...it was all foul. i wanted to be out there fucking, hanging out, hanging with my friends, getting high. i liked the variety. and i knew that in order to keep getting the sex on the side, i would have to lie and tell the women what they wanted to hear so that i could get the sex. i liked the fact that she had a nice body and was into working out like me. i liked that she wanted me...that everyone else at the gym wanted her, but she liked me. i lied about being married becasue i knew that it would be easier. with the other woman, i told her the truth about being married, becasue she had a man too..and it worked for both of us. i liked having a place i could go to when we were fighting because i didnt want to take any responsibiltiy or deal with the problems i created at home. i liked doing drugs...and doing all of my sexual, nasty fantasies with other women when high or intoxicated. it is all foul..all terrible...but it is what i wanted to do at the time. and i regret that i caused so much pain. it is only until i lost everything that i made the decision to get some help. it was not you at all. i blamed you for everything because i didnt want to be accountable. this is all my bullshit. i dont want to live that life anymore. i know what i have and i dont want to lose it. i also know that i will not get another chance."
so, that is what he told me. and that is the truth. all bad, all ugly. doesnt it all sound horrific? wow. but you know....i am sure it was even worse than that, you know? i know enough of the truth.
that is why the "whys" dont matter to me...at all.
and you know what else? deep, deep down in my heart...i have accpeted something else. now this is hard, but it is true.
you see.....my husband changing his life is a good thing. he needed to in order to be with me. but what i also "accept" is BECAUSE he is "that kind of guy"....i know that he is capable of cheating again. you know what i mean? now, i am gone if that happens...but the truth is that i will never say that he wont do that again. i hope that he doesnt...i hope that he learned his lesson...i truly do, but i know what he is capable of. i am not going to spend my time or marrige worrying about whether or not he will do it again.....that is my goal. i have no control over that. like i have learned...he does what he wants to do. and i know that all the therapy in the world wont make a
difference at all if he has it in his mind that he wants to cheat.
kinda like a drug addict just getting out of rehab for 3 months....he knows all about the damage it creates, the broken home, the family pain, the risk to their lives, the money issues...you name it...they know all of that...and what do a lot of them do soon after they "graduate" from rehab....they relapse. they choose to get high because they want to. yes, they are sick...but they are still accountable...and like getting high. you give them all the therapy in the world in rehab...and "tools" they need to resist the temptation, and they still screw up.
same with cheaters. just like an addict. i hear all the whys, excuses and explanations...but damn...JUST SAY NO!
he did what he did because he liked it, got away with it..and thought he could continue until he got busted.
This is exactly why I never went through a litany of questions to try and figure out why he cheated. He did it because he wanted to, could, and thought he would never get caught. Period. His poor moral character allowed him to move forward with ease and without guilt.
show me that you DESERVE to be with me.
I am so glad that you have finally come to this realization. Hold firm in this belief (because it is true). My WH knows that to remain in my life he must walk the walk daily or as you put it: show me that he deserves to be with me.
The truth hurts, but I have never seen it cause the pain that lies do.
1. just dont do anything stupid. you already know what that is. i am not playing that "boundary game." you know what is right and what is wrong. dont act like you dont know. if you cant do or say it in front of me, dont do it. period.
2. stop saying i am sorry. you said that before and still cheated. just do what you need to do. act sorry by not lying about anything or telling me "why."
3. be transparent everyday, no exceptions. i dont need you to tell me i can look in your phone. or that you have nothing to hide. i will check when i want to if i feel like it. as a matter of fact, i should be able to answer that damn phone too. what is wrong with that? nothing. phone record access is a must. your call detail needs to be an open book.
4. you know what being a good husband means. lets not play games. you're 40. keep your ass at home with me and our baby. period. a married man has no business going out to no damn club/bar. for what? there aint nothing good for no married man at a bar. period. women , alcohol and drugs. you are not in college, grow up.
5. stay clean and sober. period. no shortcuts. just stop.
6. fire all of your loser friends. most arent married anyway, and you dont need to be hanging out with a bunch of single guys anyway.
7. this house is not the "party spot." this is our home. keep your bullshit out of this house while we raise this baby.
8. stay off the internet sites. get a life. you will get caught, and it is stupid anyway. grow up.
9. you dont have any business being friends with women. no woman should be calling you, you shouldnt be having coffee with any woman, or spending any time with any woman friends. being friends with women is a joke. not my husband. if you need to talk to a woman, talk to your wife. it is not necessary and not healthy for this marriage for you to be friends with women. it is disrespectful to this marriage. in my opinion...men and women cant be friends. that is just me. and i dont want my husband having women friends. i dont want to spend anytime worrying or thinking about that. i dont need that. nope. for what? btdt.
10. JUST GROW UP, and get your shit together.
that is how you show me everyday that you want to change.
At first I thought I needed to understand what happened and why. Then I realized, as you have, that I just won't ever understand how my W could cheat, especially for her reasons.
What counts for healing and for R is change - the WS needs to change the thoughts and feelings that supported the A and the betrayals. One way to do that is for the WS to analyze why she effed up and make changes to stop the old crap. Another way - and it sounds like this is what your H is doing - is to take responsibility and to decide to behave with new honesty, love, and integrity.
The first approach repairs a broken system. The second replaces the broken system with a new one. I think the 2nd approach holds a lot more promise for success.
he would have continued to cheat if he didnt get caught. i am HONEST ABOUT that because it is TRUE. but he did get caught...and now he wants to change.
okay...lets do the hard work from there. no more games.
thank you everyone for listening to my long posts...i needed to vent to my friends here. that is how i move forward.
i cant go back and focus on the explanations and why. it is all bullshit. i need to focus on his actions now. and they show me NOW...that it isnt something he wants to do anymore.
say it is again sri...."it is something that he DOESNT WANT TO DO ANYMORE. HE DID AT ONE TIME, BUT NOT ANYMORE.
I've reached that point some time ago. My WW immediately and determinedly began blaming me and the marriage to cover any and all why's, excuses, and explanations. I immediately and far more determinedly informed her that her decision to trade sex for compliments had absolutely nothing to do with me or our marriage. Period. D-day was almost exactly one year ago and we have been separated for about 11 months. She blatantly lied about ending it and not having any contact. It continued long after we separated and long after she told our very young son that we were separating to work on our marriage and that it was just a "break".
She is now at a point where she says that she doesn't blame me for her decisions but that "you have to admit there was something missing in our marriage". I advised her that there is something "missing" in every marriage that ever was or will be and that there is no such thing as a marriage that is completely "whole". The missing bullshit is where love, understanding, compassion, communication, humor, and work come in. There is a kind of relationship where nothing at all is "missing" - it's called being total fucking strangers.
If really doesn't matter the why, excuses, or explanations for her being who she is and who she will always be. I am saddened to honestly say she is one of the greatest cowards I will ever know of in my life. Every quality and characteristic that I loved about her is gone. Honesty? Integrity? Commitment? Values? Morals? Kindness? Compassion? She has absolutely NONE of that anymore.
THAT is what matters. Why she did it doesn't mean shit. She has simply become something unrecognizable. She is someone who while continuing to conduct her knowingly gross affair is asking me about reconciliation. She knew very well how ugly and destructive what she was doing would be to the lives of our two very young children. She knew it and made the very AWARE decision to go on with it.
Here it is:
She is someone who can knowingly do something to one that she would never, ever, under any circumstances, want anyone to do to her.
I can't live with that. Like you, I've spent so much time thinking and thinking of the whys and the excuses. Bottom line is it doesn't mean shit. What matters is - Can you live with this person? Can you accept what they have done and know that no matter what they say or do that they will ALWAYS be very susceptible to doing it again.
I can't. I've filed for and have proceeded with divorce even though she has expressed the desire for reconciliation.
i honestly think it is a joke when right after DDAY, all i wanted him to do was get into ic...as if that would fix everything. it didnt. he went to ic...to address all his issues, but that didnt make me feel any better. and you know what? he was still cheating..until i discovered we were in false r. he did that ic crap to satisfy ME....and because he felt really bad about what he did. but deep down, he still did what he wanted to do, and kept doing it. he was just continuing to fool me and everyone else. he wasnt fooling himself, because deep down he was just lying. and not ready to stop fucking. you know?
personally guys...you know what? i think the whole "get him into ic" is a load of crap. i really do. i may be the minority here but that is how i feel. people all over the world have crappy childhoods, parents abandoned them....all kinds of bad things happen to good people everyday....and a lot of them still do not choose to cheat. so, yes, go to the therapist when you get busted to "help you understand"...and maybe make the BS "feel" better, but you still cheated. i prefer if you go see the ic...keep that crap to yourself...you guys "work that out".... and next time when you get the urge to cheat...do the right thing...because you have already learned that when you get busted, you lose everything...and next time, you may be out of the house forever. it just isnt worth it.
cry to the therapist about how the world did you wrong...and fix that....
when you are ready to own what you did and be accountable most importantly save the "whys" for your therapist....come see me...and then we can get into mc....and really work on the issues within our marriage....none of which justified an affair. a mc is going to be needed for us to constructively work our way through all the infedelity damage you created.
personally guys...you know what? i think the whole "get him into ic" is a load of crap. i really do. i may be the minority here but that is how i feel. people all over the world have crappy childhoods, parents abandoned them....all kinds of bad things happen to good people everyday....and a lot of them still do not choose to cheat. so, yes, go to the therapist when you get busted to "help you understand"...and maybe make the BS "feel" better, but you still cheated. i prefer if you go see the ic...keep that crap to yourself...you guys "work that out"
Wow. What my WH did was bad, but it does not erase my compassion for him. Both his parents beat him (with a belt and other things) daily for years. They threatened him constantly so he would keep the violence a secret. He was this skinny little freckled kid with a gentle soul.
Yes he's a grown-up now, and yes I'm furious at him for choosing to cheat. But thank God IC is not a "load of crap" because WH was obviously not able to deal with the fallout from his childhood on his own. As his wife and his best friend, I don't want him to keep his past to himself (denying the effects of his past is what got us into this mess.)
There are circumstances that can set up a good person (a loyal, commitment oriented, basically decent person) to cross a line they otherwise would not have crossed.
still didnt have to cheat though.
see...i have compassion for the man. i do. it's terrible that he has issues. but we all do...and no matter what...you still have to be held accountable. i am not saying that i do feel bad for the challenges he experienced in his life...like a lot of people have...i am just saying that for me, i am "not taking that into consideration." it carries no weight with me...and provides no why, excuse or explanation.
for me, its like....you are a cheater AND a substance abuser. 2 separate issues. one did not make you do the other. you chose to do both. period. so get help for both. on your own...
at the same time be accountable for what you did.
see, i would "blame it all on the alcohol"...wrong! he knew what he was doing, and made the decision to do it and keep doing it.
bad childhood and all....he liked getting that ass on the side until he got caught.
i love him...and i feel compassion for what happend to him...but that for me has nothing at all to do with the concious decisions he made to mess around.
and you know what? i support my husband. i go to family meetings when their is group therapy...i support his recovery...i support the help he is getting for addressing all the bad things that happend to him when he was a kid....father left the home...blah, blah, blah....but that has nothing to do with what he needs to do in order to earn back the trust that he destroyed in our family.
my true reconcilation with my husband has began because i set a firm boundary for myself that i would not allow any whys, excuses or explanations...and the marriage will be much stronger for it...if we make it.
he doesnt need ic to tell him how to act. he already knows...at least mine does. he just chose to be foul.
[This message edited by sri624 at 7:00 PM, February 10th (Sunday)]
The why is different. It doesn't stop the pain or excuse the affair. It helps navigate the decision to stay or go and helps create a map to go forward. If the ONLY reason was because "he wanted to" I don't think I would have stayed and chosen to R. My fWH's why is complicated and does include sexual, physically and emotional abuse began when he was 5. I DO care to know. If I am staying with him I want to know all about it. I wish and I should have known about it before we married. That was part of his issues. He learned very early on to lie, to compartmentalize, to avoid, to fit in and be "normal". These were learned behaviors and they were for survival. At what point did he learn "normal". He didn't. In my/our situation, he has to do more than just change his behavior. He had to change his entire way of thinking. He had to learn what love was. I need to know what he's thinking and why he thinks what he does because its just as important as his behavior.
He has worked incredibly hard to change how he thinks which then changes his behavior.
My situation might be the only screwed up one and everyone else's WS might have been the normal "I just want to type". It's been 2 years and a lot of introspection on both our parts. The A was not fair. I was dealt a shitty hand. I didn't deserve any of it but then again, he could say the same thing about his abuse and yet he never has. He's never used it as an excuse. He's told me why he thought the way he did, why he felt the way he did but never has he used it an excuse.
Just another perspective.
i personally have accepted that. and i need for my husband to accept that too. i am not interested in the reasons as a way to help me heal. it wont. he did that. that is who he is, and now he is choosing to change his behavior. great.
all of his personal issues may be relevant...they may even provide some insight as to the kind of man he became...i get all of that. but i guess what i am saying is that when i am alone...or in the shower, or driving, or just having a private moment....it does not matter. it still hurts me terribly what he did. and that he IS that kind of man. he only stopped because he got caught like most waywards.
i think about all the people in jail for doing horrible things. well, i would bet that most of them had a bad childhood. but they dont get off the hook because of it. no. they are in jail where they need to be..being accountable for what they did. the victims that they hurt arent thinking about how bad their childhood was. no....let them rot in jail is what they think...because they are a POS for what they did.
same with my husband...at least that is how i see it.
i dont want to hear anything else from him but....see his trustworthy actions. keep all the whys, excuses, and explanations to himself or tell it to the therapist.
in my marriage, that is the only way he can earn my forgiveness...if there is even a possiblity for that. but he can start there in order to stay with a woman like me. i know my worth and value now.
just be a good man. that is all you have to do. and my husband knows how to do that. he just has to want to.
and you know what you guys....my husband KNOWS this. he knows what to do.
now, if they want to...well...that is a whole different story. mine didnt for a long time...until like i said, he got busted.
[This message edited by sri624 at 10:44 PM, February 10th (Sunday)]
The one thing that I had to realize to move on was that it wasn't because of the OW specifically. As the saying goes "in a storm any port will do". OW was just accessible and willing.
Up until then, it was all sorts of nonsensical excuses that he manufactured in order to justify what he did. I never bought into any of it.
Bottom line, he CHOSE to cheat. Until he owned this, there was no chance we had of working through this.
For me, when you get to the bottom line, yes, he did it, he wanted too, he thought of himself, he made it work. 4 yr lta w/mow. The children and I were collateral damage, but at the time, he wasn't thinking of anything but his own selfish needs. End of story.
I believe, he is now the man I thought he was, he shows me every day since DD, but Mr. Hyde was there before, how can I ever be sure he's not hiding there again?
Because of your post, and my realization, I was able to express this to him. Thanks for writing it. For me, it's a big next step.
"It's hard to be in love when you can't tell lies!
sooooooooooo, moving forward, day by day...i am going to begin focusing on the truth. we have mc today...our weekly session....and will bring it up.
if we make it...and my husband truly continues to "reform" , then i want a marriage and reconciliation built on truth. that is the only, only way.
the same as when i asked for access to his phone records....he said no. it was horrible..we separated...a mess. and then he broke down and gave them to me...and it was bad. all bad. he wanted to "start fresh"and no show me the records. but that was not going to fly becasue i wanted to know the whole truth and nothing but the truth. so, when i got those records, i looked at everything. it did matter. even though other people around me...(not here though)...wanted me to "just let it go." no way. no letting anything go to r. to r for me meant basing it on the ugly truth. and i learned that he had been up to no good for a long time. it was way worse than i thouhgt. but when we are really honest with ourselves...it usually IS worse than we thought. "where there is one rat, there are usually 20." i guess they say that about roaches too.