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MC says stop asking

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Kudulies posted 4/18/2019 00:48 AM

I donít feel satisfied by what my WH and our psychologist have settled on as ďreasons for him strayingĒ

These are their Reasons cited for his cheating...

As per psychologist- Here is list of contributory things identified in his sessions:

-Sex
-sexual excitement/fantasy
-Porn
-Feeling inadequate
-Low self esteem - hence feeling flattered and getting hooked in when someone flirts with him - which may have opened the door
-Work stress and not communicating it
-Having small children and the changes within the marriage that accompany that
-Not choosing right (from wrong)
-not thinking about the consequences actions may have on others

These are what has been identified by our psychologist. At the end of the day. She says I have got the answer now and should stop digging as she says- There are usually lots of contributing factors - but it doesn't change the action.

I however feel like this list is so superficial and doesnít make him dig any deeper. On a personal level. I donít know. Or does this explain why and no need to dig deeper?

Lieswearmedown posted 4/18/2019 01:28 AM

Think of it this way: if you consider each of those statements a bucket, then in IC, he and his therapist should dump that bucket out in the middle of the table and get down to the business of ďWhy?Ē

The first three in the list could go in one bucket. Numbers 4 and 5 another bucket. Numbers 6 and 7, a third bucket entitled Stressors and How to Manage Them. The last two should have their own separate buckets.

Maybe itís too early to have decided on reconciliation but you need him to be transparent and honest about his progress dealing with those buckets. He should be talking to you about those issues. He should be dealing with the ďwhy?Ē.

In other words, until he can honestly tell you why he has low self esteem and why he elects to choose wrong when right is an option too or why he canít empathize with you and other when someone else is in pain, he isnít safe for you as a partner. He isnít safe for anyone as a partner.

If those are the reasons, fine (I donít know him, so what do I know?). That said, the ďwhy?Ē would be critical for me to know. The step after all that painful self examination where he figures out why is to develop the understanding that he has to behave differently in order to be safe and he has to understand and change his set of tools for dealing with life.

However, if he is perfectly comfortable leaving it with just that list and no further discussion and examination, then he probably isnít a candidate for reconciliation.

Just my 2 pennies.

cocoplus5nuts posted 4/18/2019 07:40 AM

I agree with Lies. The first thing I thought reading that list was, but why did he choose to cheat because of all that? He had other options for dealing with those issues. Tell your MC that. Sounds like s/he is not experienced in infidelity.

You have to keep asking. If your CH doesn't figure out why he can't deal with problems in a healthy way, he will never be a safe partner.

sami1234 posted 4/18/2019 07:48 AM

Honestly you'll never really know THE answer. The truth is he made a very poor decisions, when he had choices. He needs to manage his stressors or issues in healthier ways.

We all have stressors in our lives and our relationships, that is NO excuse for bad behavior and betrayal.

I also strongly believe that you have the right to ask why until YOU feel comfortable. And his answer should be "I made very bad choices."

I do also agree that he needs to pick these issues apart in his own IC...dealing with his stress is his problem, not yours. As I said to my own WH, "you are responsible for your behavior, I am responsible for my behavior" end of story. Just be sure you don't look at these "reasons" and wonder what YOU could have done differently to prevent his infidelity, that doesn't matter, his choices do.

Marie2792 posted 4/18/2019 08:19 AM

These reasons are all standard issue for cheating. Therapists are supposed to help the person identify why they cheated. Iím sorry I worked full time raising three small children with a husband who worked nights. I didnít cheat.

At times I felt not good enough, I remained faithful to my husband and our vows. I was still sexually attracted to excited by him in those days.

Perhaps the one that needs to be expanded on is not choosing right? Thatís a concept we learn early on in life. As an adult already a few decades old, thatís not a plausible excuse.

Keep asking until youíre satisfied with the answer but know this MC may throw more stuff at you.

ChamomileTea posted 4/18/2019 08:51 AM

Of course those answers don't feel satisfactory to you... because there's a glaring omission. Each of those answers invites another why, and the answers to those whys is unflattering. Because those answers are going to be things like entitlement, and envy, and laziness, and maybe even some chauvinism.

MCs are there to treat the marriage. But often, they are insufficient help after betrayal because adultery isn't a marriage problem, it's a character problem.

If you don't feel like you can stand up to your MC, get another one or do IC instead. These folks unwittingly make the situation worse when they allow minimizing to occur.

thatcantbetrue posted 4/18/2019 08:55 AM

Something else that bothers me in the list is that it contains an obvious lie.

It's not possible that he didn't think of the consequences. First the human brain is incapable of not thinking of consequences. Second, you know he did think about it, because of the lies and other deceits he made in an attempt to evade them.

It's bothersome that your WS would accept to put such a lie in plain sight, and that the therapist wouldn't have a problem with it.

Your WS thought about the consequences, he knew what they would be without any mistake, and he proceeded with his actions. He is supposed to own what he did, not lie about it.

Dismayed2012 posted 4/18/2019 09:01 AM

The list is superficial and lazy. This is the reason you want to keep digging. There are underlying issues that aren't being dealt with; your counselor should know that. You are the one who decides when enough is enough not the counselor. Get a skilled counselor or force the one you have to do their job. I wish the best for you.

nekonamida posted 4/18/2019 09:58 AM

It's not possible that he didn't think of the consequences. First the human brain is incapable of not thinking of consequences. Second, you know he did think about it, because of the lies and other deceits he made in an attempt to evade them.

It always amazes me how often people accept, "I didn't think of the obvious outcomes to my behavior," as a legitimate answer to something they knew was wrong enough to cover up. How can he simultaneously be too stupid to know what could have happened if he chose wrong, also understand that there was a right choice he didn't make, and yet also be smart enough to deceive you in the process? It makes no sense because it's not true.

If you legitimately don't believe you have done wrong, you have no problem openly talking about what you have done because it's no big deal and you can't imagine anyone disagreeing. This includes psychopaths and mentally ill people. They have no problem talking about things that make other people extremely uncomfortable because to them, it's no big deal if they killed their pet bunnies in a horrible and traumatic way because they had good reason and didn't do anything wrong (real life example I've known unfortunately). There's no such thing as someone who didn't understand that their behavior would lead to consequences because it was wrong but also tried to hide what they were doing.

ErinHa posted 4/18/2019 10:38 AM

This could have been my XWHs list too. Over a decade later I boil it down to pure selfishness. We have 3 kids under 5 years old when he first started cheating actively. I was stressed too because my XWH didn't help me with the kids much at all. He left me for dead while he partied and screwed as many other women as he could.

I guess the question you need to ask yourself is do you want to be with someone who will easily put himself over you and your kids?

I'm not crazy about the "stop asking" part. It's like "shut up, you got your answers" seems weak. Now that you know the "why" there is a lot more to figure out.

How are you feeling about all of this now that you've had a chance to think about a bit?

k8la posted 4/18/2019 10:43 AM

Think of therapists on a skill scale of 1 to 10. The 1 level therapists are like designated emergency techs in an office or school; they have the ability to apply bandages, do CPR, handle a defib machine and that's about it. The 8s are like E/R docs who actually diagnose, prescribe treatment, etc. but they know they're not 10s so they refer to the tens. The 10s are specialists who give the bad news, prescribe chemo and radiation and do surgeries to remove cancers.

All of them think of themselves as 10s, and carry weight and authority in their voice as if they know what the heck they are doing.

The dufus you're seeing is a 1, no better than a manager on a sales floor. He/she lacks the skill to deal with the deep stuff, so once the labels are out there (the superficial stuff), you get the "all done; better now!" signal, when there's malignancy that will kill your marriage if not dealt with.

[This message edited by k8la at 10:43 AM, April 18th (Thursday)]

sisoon posted 4/18/2019 10:53 AM

The whys are not enough. At least one noted therapist has written that some people seek therapy so they can get better at their dysfunctions.

Your H needs to change from low to high self-esteem, from self-hate to self-love. That's a LOT of difficult work for any WS. And talking about the A helps the WS do that work.

Peggy Vaughan has a website on which a number of her books are available at no cost. I suggest you send your MC a link to, IIRC, Help for Therapists (and their clients).

It presents the results of her surveys, and it shows clearly that, at least for the people surveyed, the more the couples talked about the A(s), the better the outcomes.

In all probability, your H doesn't want to talk because he's not taking full responsibility for cheating. He can't heal without doing that.

I however feel like this list is so superficial and doesnít make him dig any deeper.
I think you've got that right.
On a personal level. I donít know.
I understand the uncertainty. It's normal. I've been reading about psychology and psychotherapy sine 1966, and I'm confident that any knowledgeable objective observer would tell you that you probably understand what's going on perfectly: your H's therapy has been superficial, and it won;t work unless he shifts from 'understanding himself' to 'changing from cheater to good partner.'

HardenMyHeart posted 4/18/2019 11:10 AM

-not thinking about the consequences actions may have on others
If your WH lied about and hid the affair, then he definitely thought about the consequences and knew what he was doing was wrong.

The list would be a good "starting" point for your WH and an IC skilled in dealing with infidelity; however, as an end point, I agree this is very shallow, almost to the point of being, "well duh!"

Some MC's are not often the best choice for dealing with infidelity. Their priority is to focus on fixing the marriage, rather than deal with the WS issues. That's why it is often recommended to find an IC for the WS first, let them work through their character flaws, then deal with the marital problems. That's why R takes so much time, energy and patience. You need to make sure your WH is a safe partner and is R material, before deciding to R. At this point, if he doesn't think that infidelity is wrong, then you're likely to end up in this same boat somewhere down the line.

Sorry you are going through this.

[This message edited by HardenMyHeart at 11:18 AM, April 18th (Thursday)]

sewardak posted 4/18/2019 11:17 AM

how can professional people be so inept?? those aren't reasons at all. Everyone has that shit going on in their lives but not everyone has an affair. he did it because he felt entitled and he's selfish. who cares what was going on in his life.
please stop going to this "psychologist." -

emergent8 posted 4/18/2019 11:30 AM

You're never going to be satisfied with the "whys". I'm not saying you shouldn't continue to dig and to discuss the issues that have been identified but there is no magic answer that's going to justify it to you.

Cooley2here posted 4/18/2019 12:25 PM

How about he never grew up? He is about 6 years old emotionally. How is he going to fix that? He might have cheated because it rained for a week. There is no reason to cheat. Inthink your last line from the therapist said it all. No excuse changes the action. He cheated because he wanted to.

Wool94 posted 4/18/2019 12:30 PM

I'm sorry that you had that advice from your therapist.

It's time to fire that one and get one that understands infidelity.

I can understand what he's saying, but you're going to have questions until the end of time, regardless of whether he answers the same ones over and over again.

Right now your brain is trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole.

You're still coming to terms with what has happened to you.

A little over a week and a half ago was my 3 year DDay anniversary, I still have questions pop up. Guess what? If my wife wants this to workout, she'll answer them.

You should be in the driver's seat telling him what you want (when you can decipher for yourself).

May God bless you!

[This message edited by Wool94 at 12:30 PM, April 18th (Thursday)]

ItIsWhatItIs99 posted 4/18/2019 13:26 PM

Bear in mind, not sure how long you've been in counseling, but early on there's very little confrontation. It's all about creating a safe space and a rapport so you can share the big issues. That said:

A) some counselors never move past that stage it seems like. If that's the case, find a new one

B) selfish people, like cheaters, are already looking for validation when they're cheating, and often use this period as a way to gain it from a professional ("see, we don't communicate, that's one reason i cheated") or never move past this or quit counseling when real issues rear their ugly heads.

In any event, sorry you're here. I'll keep you in my prayera. Stay strong.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 4/18/2019 13:29 PM

My WH said last night he is "insecure" which I can't believe he would ever say about himself...but he's still digging around and I think that's key for him. I guess it's when they stop wanting to look any further or stop wanting to implement change that you have to worry. It sounds like that is the real root of your problem here.

Notmine posted 4/18/2019 17:17 PM

I never found any reason to be a good enough one for cheating. My husband's poor coping skills/self esteem/selfishness/porn watching, fantasy of screwing a client. All of these contributed. He has been in IC for the last three years and we have also been in MC. Our therapist told me point blank that I might never get an answer that would satisfy me...becuase I 'm not a cheater. I agree with him. I never did. I can tell you that the why's lost some of their importance over time. He his getting the support he needs to be safe for me and is delving into his issues so that he will never see cheating as a solution to anything every again. I want to believe this can be true......I forgive but do not forget. I will always be watching. Sigh.

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