- He can't say I don't love him anymore because I've been taking care of him (doing his laundry, making him meals, taking care of our home and children etc.) PLUS we talked about renewing our wedding vows the whole time the affair was going on! I included him in future plans - I told him I wanted us to go on trips etc.
- I complimented him now and then about him being my "handsome hubby" so he can't say I don't find him attractive anymore.
- Don't know what to say about the sex issue. He was always the one that initiated it. In reality I felt he was the one not attracted to me anymore. He keeps reminding me that I'm still desirable and everything, I'm even prettier than the OW etc.
- I don't know what attention he wanted. I told him I was proud of him all the time and thanked him for working hard for our family.
- I don't know what he meant when he said she was his back-up. He admits he didn't see her in his future at all, he didn't want a back-up wife.
My heart refuses to understand why this happened. No reason is making any sense to me.
No reason is making any sense to me.
because there IS no reason good enough. They're all excuses...
And him saying that he felt like you..... those are actually really bad excuses and blameshifting. Please don't take them personally and like you didn't do something right. It's all on him.
Is he in IC?
me (WW/BS): 48
4 kiddos in mid 20's
The conditions we face do not define us. They remind us of who we are and who we want to be.
The reasons he quoted all reflect on you. How nice of him to not do any work and think he can pass these excuses off on your shoulders.
Tell him to get real and start digging.
The whys are never really acceptable, but it makes the puzzle easier to put together.
His whys, don't fit at all.
You know better.
I was reading about excuses vs justifications, and these sound like justifications to me so it may be that you are wasting your breath trying to defend yourself, he has told himself it was ok because of these reasons. PLUS a lot of them seem to blame you!
These answers aren't good enough. WHY did he want/need the attention? What's wrong with him that he's such a sponge for it? (Another analogy is that he's a bucket with a hole in it -- you keep pouring in attention and love, but if there's a hole there, it'll never fill the bucket.) Why did he not reach out to you? These are questions he needs to work through in IC.
The "answer" is usually that your WH has some deep wound/insecurity that he just can't deal with in a healthy way, so he's seeking somehow to explain/sooth that wound. The easiest thing is to blame the M and you, and to find someone else to make him happy. Well, having sex usually makes people happy! Affairs are fun! So that works for a bit, but usually they just make things worse over the longer run. The wound is still there.
He has to figure out what HIS wound is and he has to admit that he's powerless in the face of it. This is scary for a lot of people, and men in particular are allergic to this kind of "psychobabble". He also has to identify his behaviors and beliefs that led him to cheat. (Weak boundaries, hanging out with people who are not FOM.) It's a rough process, but if he's not up for it, he'll never be safe for you.
Being complimented and desired and wanted and loved by your spouse is very fulfilling and satisfying.
Being wanted and desired and complimented by someone NEW and DIFFERENT who isn't your spouse is sometimes too intoxicating for some people to ignore.
Sure, in a perfect world you would dedicate all your time and effort into continually feeding his pitiful little ego so he'd always be 'full' and not tempted to fall for the first woman who compliments him and makes him feel wanted. But alas, REAL life tends to take over when we're busy making plans.
You're having a hard time understanding because I think you may be looking at this as, "why did he do this to ME?" He didn't 'do' it to anyone - he was merely soaking up the ego strokes just as fast as she could toss them to him because it had everything to do with HIM.
Affairs are some of the most selfish things one can engage in. It's ALWAYS all about them.
Don't allow yourself to start thinking you drove him to it simply because his damned ego needed stroking. I'm sure yours did too, but you didn't choose the sleazy way of getting it.
THAT'S the difference.
you didn't love me
you didn't find me attractive
you didn't want to make love
I just wanted the attention
She said all the things
She gave me comfort.
Until he owns his behavior, he doesn't get it. And he won't be able to work with you to R. until then dont offer him your gift (because it IS a gift) of reconciliation
YOU absolutely HAVE to call him out on it.
I remember my H saying at one point
"It felt like you don't need me anymore."
I told him that was bullshit. I didn't NEED you when I married you, I didn't NEED you when I dated you. I CHOSE you, and if you think I am still here because I NEED you that is just sad. I am here because I WANT to be, because prior to your A you made me happy, you made me laugh, you valued our relationship. So you need to go back and figure out why being NEEDED is your reason. WHY is NEED the issue? Dig deeper.
He did. He figured out his whys it took a while, and it certainly wasn't happening when he was still in the fog.
My recommendation to you is to push him to dig deeper. Many times when they start to give "reasons" that are crappy like the ones he gave you, responding to WHY did you feel that way? What did you do about it?
My WH gave me these reasons so far:
"I felt like you didn't love me anymore".
"I felt like you didn't find me attractive anymore".
I felt like you didn't want to make love to me anymore."
"I guess I just wanted the attention. She said all the things I wanted to hear. She gave me comfort".
My WH said all of these things to me also.
They are not reasons.
They are justifications and excuses.
If he is not in it and he truly wants to R, he needs to get his rear-end into IC and find out his true reasons so he doesn't do it again.
I have FOO issues that contribute to me being a more introverted person and I have consistently had problems stating what I've needed in the relationship or being utterly honest for fear of angering my wife.
I think that the "whys" I've been given that Sunset listed have been legit issues in our relationship. Now I realize that they were not solely my responsibility nor are the reason my WW chose to have an affair. We are currently separated and recently started MC. It is incredibly difficult for me to try to work on my failings in the relationship or even discuss them in counseling when my wife sees those failings as the root cause of our marriage problems and the affair.
All of these are excuses - rationalizing destructive behavior after the fact.
There is no reason to step outside a marriage. Yes there are bad marriages. Bad marriages can be worked on, fixed or ended.
The decisions and actions involved in an entering an affair are completely separate from anything to do with a marriage whether it's a good or bad marriage.
And I am weary of those who pretend otherwise.
Her: WW/57 Me: BS/63 24yrs M
3 great kids, now 22, 20, 17 b,b,g
D-Day 8/14/08, D 1/13/11
My WH did the same thing for a week, then his fog started to lift and he has never said it again.
I told him that was bullshit. I didn't NEED you when I married you, I didn't NEED you when I dated you. I CHOSE you, and if you think I am still here because I NEED you that is just sad. I am here because I WANT to be, because prior to your A you made me happy, you made me laugh, you valued our relationship. So you need to go back and figure out why being NEEDED is your reason
Right on Tushnurse! I said the same thing to my WH.
I hope he pulls his head out of his butt soon.
OH MY DAMN!!! This is it!!! Im saving this!!! These are the words that are perfect for my situation too!
I am so very grateful for each one of you. I could go on and on about everyone's comment - each one validates me in one way or another. Sunset, this is good stuff - print it out and revisit it often. (((everyone)))
Me, attention, me, compliments, me. That's the crux. Then they also imagine the rejection, feeling unloved, etc so that can rack up more me, me, me attention and compliments.