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Unanswerable questions

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Iamtrash posted 9/25/2019 14:39 PM

It’s possible to hold onto old feelings and still refuse to get divorced. It’s also possible to enjoy power over someone that had hurt you. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. (And yes, mega shame on me. As Chaos said, I was a fool to his game too.)

My own mother and I have a very painful past. I still love her. However, as I grew up, she lost that power over me. As an adult, I had the upper hand in our relationship. It is possible to have feelings for someone and still thrive off of the power you have over your relationship with them. That was the same in this case.

I never said there wasn’t an emotional connection, but this person had hurt me in the past. I wasn’t trying to let that happen again, even though it happened anyway by hurting my BH.

I know I’m a vengeful person. Even with my own mother. Even with my AP. So yes, it is possible to care and still be a monster to someone. Nothing was a premeditated ego trip; however, the time apart for sure turned into that. This was long distance. The time in person and the time apart were very different in nature.

Reality is, right as things started to turn with AP, he completely changed his time from “come here and be with me” to “fine, I’ll come be there with you.” He didn’t get the answer he wanted. That’s when he outed.

There is no looking for validation for myself. Even the wicked wayward is allowed to ask for feedback to see if what they are doing is helpful or not. They’re allowed to receive positive feedback about what they’re doing right without it being a “good job, WS.” How can you expect people to do what’s helpful and healing if every time they ask for feedback and list what they’re doing, you accuse them of looking for validation? This isn’t about me, this is about learning what I can do to be better for him. This is about trying to see things from his perspective. I can’t do that without talking to BSs.

sisoon posted 9/25/2019 15:30 PM

How could you do this? Why did you do this? Why did you continue to go through with x, y, z? Why wasn’t I good enough?
The questions are normal, but they're the questions are really hard to answer.

Can you get in touch with your exact thought process and feelings during the events he's asking about? Telling him your thoughts and feelings would constitute a good answer in my book.

GeoV posted 9/25/2019 15:34 PM

my most sincere and deepest apologies. I have been hammering you IMT and I was absolutely in the wrong thread. I am sorry.
You are doing well, keep it up and I pray it works out.
Again, my apologies

[This message edited by GeoV at 11:46 PM, September 25th (Wednesday)]

HellFire posted 9/25/2019 16:00 PM

GeoV..actually, no. She is concentrating on exactly what she should be. She is trying to figure out her whys, and the answers to his questions, so she can become a safe person for her husband. He will feel better,once he knows she has figured her shit out, and taken measures to not allow herself to cross boundaries again. She is working in herself, which is exactly what is needed.

She can do all of that while being there for him, loving him, being honest with him, and helping him heal.

[This message edited by HellFire at 4:01 PM, September 25th (Wednesday)]

Beachwalker posted 9/25/2019 16:24 PM

GEO: While what you are saying may have merit, I think you are getting off topic. From my view point, what you are telling her to do:

Get you butt in gear and help him cope.
is precisely what IAT is attempting with this post. As a BS, I took her question that way. It seems to me she is stuck trying to answer questions from her BH which she cannot answer, but wants to in order to help him heal. It appears she is trying to help him cope but needs some input from us. I think she’s doing the right thing, here.

Iamtrash posted 9/25/2019 18:24 PM

Geo, I think you might be getting my story mixed up with another one on here. I never hooked up with a work out friend. Nor do I hang out with random guys. My AP was someone from my past and doesn’t live in the same state. To be better for my BH, answers are necessary. He can’t feel safe until he knows why.

Anyway, finally able to respond to everyone else.

Chaos, I’m for sure working with an IC. I had a slip up yesterday because I felt some frustration that my answers weren’t enough. We got past it though and were able to effectively communicate what we were each feeling in that moment. It was a successful break and return to what we felt. I also agree that we (AP and I) both had some sick addiction to the back and forth game we played.

Hippo, wouldn’t even “because I wanted to” have some more answers behind it? No one just wakes up one day and decided to have an affair, or do they? That’s a scary thought. I am slowly learning to weed through info and take what I need. I have several BS and WS whose opinions I value greatly. Self reflection is hard, but 100% necessary.

ES, thank you for breaking that apart. It gives me a lot more to reflect on and dig into.

Follow, thank you for sending me to your why post. That was also beneficial to read.

Hiking, I often wonder if I will never have the answers for him. Maybe that’s not the point though. Maybe I am finding the answers for me so that I can be a safe person for him again. I need to hunt in order to change. Pairing apologies with specific emotions, is that what you mean? “I’m sorry I made you feel inadequate by doing (x, y, z). I want to help you feel adequate by doing (a, b, c).” The length is the process is tough, but necessary.

Forever, that makes sense. All of it. Especially thinking of a disaster. The trauma of rebuilding a nightmare you didn’t create. It is still so fresh. I wish I could fast forward and just be the person he needs me to be.

BSR, let me clarify a bit. AP would get upset because he’d start really pushing about how I should leave my husband. HM is aware that I was playing AP. He is aware that when AP would get upset, I would give him false hope and/or pacify him. (And it could be as simple as, “Why do you want to fight with me over this?”) I didn’t want to lose the attention. I didn’t want to lose the desire. He would always call me out about how I was never leaving my husband, yet he couldn’t live with that answer either. At least not without a fight. It was like he wanted me there but couldn’t stand my reality. Couldn’t stand being #2 when he used to be #1 (in our past relationship.) But yeah, I have flat out told HM that I completely played with AP’s emotions.

Chance, good luck to you, too. I feel like we both have some deep digging to do.

Beach, it’s good to know that the little things are meaningful too. It’s hard to feel like small efforts are meaningless. This shows me that they’re not without their own benefits.

Lies, I absolutely love this idea. Start with the big issue and break it down. Don’t stop until there are no more whys to answer. This seems super time consuming, but totally worth it. Likely, this will be the best way for me to find out all my whys (besides IC).

Sisoon, we did finally have a timeline 2.0. Not a change in what happened but rather than focusing on the events, we focused on the emotions I felt at every single moment. That was very helpful for both of us and helped me to feel more comfortable answering questions.

Hippo16 posted 11/23/2019 18:23 PM

I'm rooting for you to find your happiness -

Catwoman posted 11/23/2019 18:58 PM

I was stupid.

Insufficient. You knew right from wrong. But if this was your first rodeo, you probably either deliberately downplayed the potential impact on your spouse, figured they would never find out, or otherwise figured out that there would be no consequences. This statement requires a much deeper answer. Analogy: We know speeding is wrong and has potential consequences. Yet why do we do it? Are we in a hurry (which asks why we didn't leave earlier)? Do we feel entitled (much deeper dive required)? Do we think the speed limit is too low (again, much deeper dive required).

I was selfish.

But WHY were you selfish? WHY did you think only of yourself? WHY did you feel entitled? Much more work to be done here.

It felt good to be desired.

Of COURSE it does! The question here is why didn't you feel the same good feelings about your spouse desiring you? Why did you ignore your spouse's feelings and ACTIONS of love? This is key--you have what I call a "clogged filter."

You're familiar with filters, right? They let good stuff flow through and filter out bad stuff.

Your filter was clogged. The GOOD stuff from your spouse couldn't flow through because of all the BAD stuff (rationalizations, blaming the spouse for the issues in the marriage) clogging it. Maybe the "good" stuff wasn't "new" and "exciting" any longer. But nonetheless, your filter to see, accept and glow in your spouse's loving actions was clogged.

The issue is to find out why. WHAT mental gymnastics did you do to block loving actions from your spouse and accept actions from another person?

You were good enough, I was the problem. You weren’t able to meet my unrealistic expectations for my life.

Now, WHERE did this unrealistic expectations come from? Did you expect porn-star sex every night, even when the baby was colicky and your spouse had been up 20 out of 24 hours? Did you expect your spouse to be instantly turned on just because you directed your mostly absent attentions to them? Did you put so little into the marriage and expect a 3000% gain on investment?

Studies have shown that it is normally the WS that is investing LESS in the relationship than the BS.

Think about that. If you're investing less, and expecting more . . . where does that come from?

A good friend of mine who is a quality guru says "Ask why until you get the answer."

Why are you late to work?

Because I had to stop for gas.

Why didn't you leave earlier?

I didn't know I needed gas.

Why didn't you look at your gas gauge?

I did--I didn't see that I needed gas.

Is your gas gauge functioning properly?

I don't know. Maybe I need to fix it.

Maybe that's where you need to start.


Tallgirl posted 11/24/2019 06:30 AM


Cat is referring to the 5 whys, a tool that is used to get to root cause. It is effective when the answers are real and true.

Stopping at these, let’s call them, level 1 answers absolutely feels unsatisfying to the BS (me). They feel cheap. Working through the whys and real reasons is painful and scary for both. And you need help, it Is very emotional. For us, this represents in anger and blame. We rarely get past this.

After 18 months of some answers, I don’t yet feel satisfied. I resent my WH for not trying harder. And frankly, I am tired of not emotionally healing, so I am detaching. Keep digging, and sharing with your BS otherwise he may detach.

Please know, these questions are are on my mind daily, sometimes more. Doubt if I am alone in this. They are raw and crippling. If you don’t answer them, the BS will and this likely will not be good for R.

Real answers will help your BS trust you again. And, will open honest and earnest conversation.

I hope you can get there, it will help you both heal regardless of the outcome.

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 6:54 AM, November 24th (Sunday)]

sundance posted 11/24/2019 09:12 AM

I don't necessarily think all affairs are as complex as some people want or need them to be...

I'm not even sure it's helpful or beneficial to insist on finding deeper whys if the honest answers have been shared.

If the affair killed the marriage, and no answer/why will ever be enough, then recognize this and move on with divorce.

If the M is to be saved, at some point, both parties in the M have to agree to move past discovery and focus on recovery.

I seem to be seeing a lot of stuck couples here at SI... which makes me sad.

Zugzwang posted 11/25/2019 06:00 AM

(Ex. How could you do this? Why did you do this? Why did you continue to go through with x, y, z? Why wasn’t I good enough?)

What do you tell him? Do you claim to have loved him while you did this? If so, that is probably where he stops listening to anything else but that. Your BS wants reasons and he wants you to acknowledge/trust yourself to dig deeper and be honest. How could you do this? your answer- I wanted to and I didn't care about you enough to not hurt you. I chose to take you for granted. I chose to use you. I chose to hurt you. You BS is digging because you aren't digging enough and you aren't trusting yourself enough to accept who you became to yourself and with him. Have you addressed your lack of self confidence, self esteem, love, and respect for even yourself with him? When you do talk, does self pity come across? Do you passively aggressively look for him to argue against the shame or guilt? To tell you you aren't trash? Are you truly listening to his question and what he is really asking you?

Zugzwang posted 11/25/2019 06:07 AM

So yes, it is possible to care and still be a monster to someone.

There is your answer. Tell your husband that. See what he says. Chances are that with that view point, he will never feel safe with you. For most normal healthy people you can't claim care (what they see as love) and be a monster to them. For them, for the healthy you value them like an object and that gives you the ability to be a monster to them. I truly believe most of the WS to BS hang ups are based on the WS idea of what love is. Of course it would be. We are unhealthy. We have an unhealthy warped definition of what love is. Probably a large majority of BS would be healthy and have healthy relationship with love and definition.

Zugzwang posted 11/25/2019 06:13 AM

"I was stupid."

The first one you aren't telling the truth. No, you weren't stupid. Stupid suggests a mistake. It was a choice. A series of them. You were intentional, calculating, and deceitful. Far from stupid. Stupid is giving up. Stupid is claiming to be only human and things were out of your control because you couldn't have done any better when you could have if you had chosen to. Just that one answer condemns you. Stupid is used as a condition you can't change. No, you weren't stupid and he knows it. You aren't trusting yourself and he will never trust you.

Smjsome1 posted 11/27/2019 22:20 PM

Small part of a big subject

As a BS here’s why “I was selfish” actually hurt me - I had offers (flirting approaches) when he was deployed, when we were having bad years, etc, and I shut that right down

Not because I’m so unselfish, a saint - etc, but because I’d play it out in my mind - and I could feel the pain it would cause him. In my heart it hurts to think he could know the pain it would cause me and still do it.

So that’s why I would ask over and over wanting an answer that would help that hurt. That’s why I needed IC for me.

Is he in IC?

66charger posted 11/29/2019 02:25 AM

Good luck and have a happy holiday season.

[This message edited by 66charger at 8:36 PM, November 29th (Friday)]

BeingheldbyJesus posted 12/1/2019 10:15 AM

As a BS, I come here to read how you are all working on repairing the damage. I get a little jealous that I don’t have a WS like you. Crazy, huh? I just wanted to let you all know that I am proud of you all for working on your issues to try to be better. My WH wouldn’t do the work. His actions and lack of work have left me stuck. He is still lying 4 years out. Stupid lies so I know he is still hiding things. I could never trust him ever now. He has totally ruined any chance of R.

Keep digging deep and find the true answers. Be honest no matter the consequences. Your BS deserves that.

Best of wishes to you all.

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