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Need help with timeline ďwhyĒ

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MrCleanSlate posted 1/6/2020 15:22 PM


My d-day was October of 2015, and I'm 51 same as you. I can tell you that it took a shit ton of work to get to my why's. And I'll be honest, one thing I cannot stand anymore is lame excuses. Been there done that.

If you really want to help your BW, then man-up and take the time to start to drill down into your why's. Seriously - it takes work. Maybe your BW can help you, or maybe you need to get some really good IC. I've been doing IC since DURING my A and both my BW and I did IC since D-Day and we still go monthly to MC. It helps. Yes it costs money, but so does smoking and beer and keeping an AP.....

Take a look at the top of the Wayward Side - there is one post pinned. Read it from the start.

MustardSeedFaith posted 1/6/2020 21:30 PM

Mrcleanslate, thanks for your reply. Since our D-Day in November 2015, my BS and I immediately started going to MC. We have been every week for the last 4 years. During that time I did go by myself for a while for IC as well. In wish I would have done it before the affair as it seriously would have prevented it. I have gotten so much out of it and still learn something every week. You are right, itís time to man up and thatís exactly what I am doing now, much later than I should have. Thanks again for your response.

LLXC posted 1/7/2020 13:49 PM

I am 50 years old and cannot afford to waste any more of my precious time on his issues. I see he is incapable of real love. He is just not reconciliation material

Your husband has been diagnosed woth NPD? Or with narcissistic tendencies? Ekther way, run away.

And even if you didnt have other men finding you beautiful, you should leave. You have inherent worth. After 4 years, you deserve better. You have been wit

Pippin posted 1/7/2020 16:32 PM

MustardSeedFaith, I was reading something today and thought of you and your search for whys. It is from John Eldredge's Wild at Heart, a book that helps me to understand my husband (as a man in general - he does not have problems with porn or infidelity). If it resonates, I suggest reading the whole book to see what else you can find in there.

This passage is about porn but I think it applies to the unreal quality of affair relationships.

If a man does not find those things for which is heart is made . . . he will look for them in some other way. Why is pornography the number one snare for men? . . . Though he is powerfully drawn to woman, he does not know how to fight for her or even that he is to fight for he. Rather, he finds her mostly a mystery that he knows he cannot solve and so at a soul level he keeps his distance. And privately, secretly, he turns to the imitation. What makes pornography so addictive is that more than anything else in a lost man's life, it makes him feel like a man without ever requiring a thing of him. The less a guy feels like a real man in the presence of a real woman, the more vulnerable he is to porn.

The other book that came to mind when I read your post about whys is Addiction and Grace by Gerald May. It's about all kinds of escapist addictions.

Those are both Christian authors, and I took from your username that they would be OK to suggest. I've been enormously helped with prayer and Bible study. But prior to the affair I did NOT pray regularly, attend church, or study the Bible, so I am coming to those practices with fresh eyes, questions in my heart, and a personal desire to learn. I'm not ticking boxes or doing it because my parents did it and I have no social pressure to engage in Christian practices. If you have previous Christian practices, I'd be very careful to note that they didn't protect you from your affairs and they need to change. Not that Christian study can't help you. But the way you were doing it before didn't work.

(I think this is OK under the "no religion" rule because it is not debate)

SI Staff posted 1/8/2020 10:23 AM

A reminder to members:

This is MustardSeedís thread. He is here seeking support. Please continue to respond to his questions and issues but place your advice and support to his BW on threads she starts in other forums.

Thank you.

BeingheldbyJesus posted 1/8/2020 11:37 AM

I want you all to understand that I posted so that you could all get a clear picture of both sides to know what you are dealing with when you are giving MSF advice and trying to help him dig for his why's and HOW. I didn't post for your sympathy or support for me. I just believe the best way for you to help him is to know about all of his issues and the bs I have put up with.

Pippin, I like your advice. We actually have the book Wild at Heart in our collection. I have never read it, perhaps I should. MSF read it a very long time ago...... The other book seems like another good one. MSF has been spending time in the mornings reading the Bible and working on other things. I know he has been working on things others have suggested on here.

Regardless of what happens between us, MSF needs help digging deep. I believe he is tired of the way he is and wants change. Thank you for all who have offered him help.

Chaos posted 1/8/2020 11:46 AM

Oversimplified MSF - you need to be brutally honest with yourself before you can be honest with anyone else - particularly your BS.

Anything short of that is a load of crapola that will be smelled from miles away.

Dig deep. When you don't like the way that feels, start to panic and are overcome by guilt, shame and a desire to flee - you'll know you are on the right path. Stay the course. Get your answers.

The truth shall set you free.

MrCleanSlate posted 1/8/2020 14:34 PM


I realize your BW is reading these posts, heck she is contributing too, but you need to start to come clean and also work on figuring out some whys. It looks like you BW is/has thrown in the towel, but maybe you have a chance to show you are changing. It may not save your M, but it could save you.

So trickle truth or rugsweeping are not options anymore.

-you had an EA/PA 5 years ago. Was this the only time you cheated? Did you (be honest with yourself here) tell your BW all the facts?
-I don't know enough about the narcissist issues, but reading your posts I do see that you want to improve. Why? Are you doing this for yourself or to try to save your M?
-After 4/5 years of IC/MC do you really open up in the sessions, or do you try to paint a picture of what you want to see or show? My last MC session I let me BW know how I was feeling about our recent lack of sex over the Holidays, cold/flu, issues with kids. She had no idea I was pent up. We talked it over and you know it wasn't about the lack of sex that bothered me, it was that I was feeling left out. That is opening up. It is hard.
- In your original post you wrote "I just want to reconcile with BS and fix what I have screwed up" It doesn't work that way. I had a year PA and after 4 years of R, my BW still has moments. What hurt my BW more than the physical acts I did was my emotionally checking out of our M, the lies, and sharing emotional ties with my AP. One thing that we have learned through our R process was we needed to communicate. I needed to actually learn how to be honest. Not just in telling the truth to her, but be honest with myself. Today, I can complain to my BW about my son's GF staying over too much, we talk about it and usually I realize I'm being an asshole in my thinking, I feel better about getting it off my chest. The point is That takes time and a lot of effort. So try to be honest with yourself and your BW on a topic of something recent - maybe you are pissed off at how your neighbour parks his car, whatever. Baby steps.
-Why did you start the EA/PA? That is a hard one. The reasons I gave after D-Day are a lot different than the reasons I give now. I was a coward to deal with M issues. It was easier to go off and get my ego stroked by a stranger where I could drive the narrative. There's more but you get the point.

MustardSeedFaith posted 1/8/2020 14:40 PM

Thanks for your response. I did read Wild at heart a long time ago but looks like I didn't take to heart what it said. A great idea to reread that one. Haven't heard of the other book but I just bought it from amazon so I look forward to reading it as well. I want to do anything I can to help myself and help my BS. Thanks again.

[This message edited by MustardSeedFaith at 2:41 PM, January 8th (Wednesday)]

Zugzwang posted 1/8/2020 16:08 PM

You need to let go of the outcome. You will never change unless you want to change for yourself because you are so disgusted with yourself and who you have become. Damage control is what you have been doing. It isn't working, so do something else.

What disgusts you about yourself the most. What is your biggest fear and Please don't say it is the fear of losing your wife because we all know that isn't true or you would have changed already. What do you fear even more than losing your wife?

MustardSeedFaith posted 1/8/2020 20:57 PM

Letís see how I do here.
1. Yes, this is the only time I have had an affair. My BS knows the facts of the 2 trips we took where the sex took place but I did a poor job of filling in all the other blanks on a time line and that is what I am working on now. I have told her many things about those 5 months however On everything I have done a poor job of relating the feelings I was having during those 5 months and trying to get that written down.
2. I am doing this both for me and to save my M. Like my counselor told me a few weeks ago, I canít fix anything until I fix myself. Finally it hit me like a ton of bricks. Since that day I have become much more focused on getting me fixed so I can give my BS what she needs.
3. I will say that I open up because many times during and after my BS will say, you always say more in MC than you do any other time. Why donít you communicate like that outside of MC? So I would answer yes, Iím opening up and not painting any pictures.
4. I completely understand my BS is going to have many ďmomentsĒ for the rest of our lives. I know that I caused those and I know it is my responsibility to listen to her and be honest with her and communicate with her. One of the things I I have always been terrible at is communication. If I would just have communicated with her early on we wouldnít be in this mess I put us in. Completely my fault. I do not see reconciliation as a right but as a privilege.
5. I have come to terms with how big of a coward I was to my BS. My lack of communication and willingness to work on problems. It wasnít the why but it played a part. As you ask this question you wonít get a complete answer because this is what I have been working on these past 2 weeks. I will say some of the the things that I have written down so far....
My affair was all about selfish wants, I wanted to feel special, I wanted someone to tell me how great I was. I was looking to fill a void in myself with superficial happiness. I was looking for validation that I was still the best. I ran to another woman for the satisfaction of my own ego. The ego boost from feeling wanted. I wanted those ego kibbles and my AP was giving them to me left and right. Made me feel appealing and desirable. I was a coward from my own insecurities and wasnít strong enough to tell my BS the truth and work through our issues. Weak, self centered and reckless. Again, I was looking for validation.
Is this a good why? No. Is it a complete why? No, but it is my honest attempt to come to grips with why and get honest and get it out.
Thanks for taking the time to pose these questions and help me on this journey.

MustardSeedFaith posted 1/8/2020 21:51 PM

What disgusts me the most is that I am a coward and wouldnít be honest with my BS. That I have put her through this hell. That everything I ever wanted was right in front of me and I screwed it up. That I wanted things, money, and success more than I wanted to pay attention to my family.
What is my biggest fear? Before you said I couldnít say losing my BS, that is what I would have said. Now you have given me something to think about..,,,,Iíll get back to you on that one
Thanks for words of wisdom

EvolvingSoul posted 1/8/2020 22:04 PM

Weak, self centered and reckless.
How do you think you became this way? Were you always this way ever since you can remember? Can you remember a time when you weren't this way?

MustardSeedFaith posted 1/9/2020 09:00 AM

Weak - think Iíve always been that way. Avoid conflict, donít communicate well, run from problems
Self centered - always as I look back now but I didnít used to think that. I was the best at everything, or so I thought. No one could play better, do it better, figure it out better or solve a problem better. In short, I was the best of the best in the room. Turns out I just needed to shut my mouth and tend to myself and not worry about what everyone else thought.
Reckless - this one came from the years right before the A. Making bad business decisions based on who I wanted to be not on was it a smart business venture. Not praying about it before making a move and not consulting with my BS for her opinion. I again always thought I knew best.

Hope all that kinda makes sense but those are the things Iím thinking when I wrote those 3 words

MustardSeedFaith posted 1/9/2020 09:03 AM

Didnít want you to think I missed your post. Yes, it is my time to dig deep and that is what I am sincerely trying to do. Like you said, when I donít like the way I feel, and I donít, and I have those feelings you describe then Iím on the right path. So, with that said I think I have taken the beginning steps and I will keep putting one foot in front of the other to continue down that path.
Thanks again for your comment.

MrCleanSlate posted 1/10/2020 10:08 AM


You need to take this quote from an earlier post here from your BW and frame it to remind you what guides you should be following:

These past 4 years have shown me that he is not capable of doing the work. He has not shown that I am the most important part of his life. He never even wrote a NC to her continuing to put her feelings ahead of my own. He cannot communicate and does not meet my emotional needs. Quality time is my love language and he cannot meet that need. I am lonely. Lonelier than I have ever been and I was lonely for years before his A

I also bolded a couple of items that are the key to where your BW is and where your failures exist.

Write out the timeline, write out a NC letter (whether you send it now or not does not matter) - but you need to dig deep and do these by being honest with yourself - put your emotions into it. you are not writing for your BW's benefit, you are writing for your own self enlightenment. you would then do well to ask your BW to provide comments on it. To correct any errors or to identify areas where more detail or thought is needed. Waht you may think matters may not matter zip to your BW, and vice versa.

I was emotionally constipated for most of my adult life. But my BW bascially said the same to me and I took that to heart. It has taken me a lot to start to actually share my feelings.
The way I did it was writing things out and drilling down by posing a series of Why questions. Almost like writing an essay with your thesis and supporting points.

Zugzwang poses some good questions to you. One part of your response was : I wanted things, money, and success more than I wanted to pay attention to my family
Expand on that now.If you look up at the quote from your BW you see the loneliness because you were always detached. so why?

[This message edited by MrCleanSlate at 10:10 AM, January 10th (Friday)]

MustardSeedFaith posted 1/12/2020 15:45 PM

Thanks once again for your post and suggestions. I now have that printed out and on my desk here at home where I am working on updating timeline, rereading books etc. it is definitely a harsh reminder of what I havenít done and what I need to do.

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