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The Why's?

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 Felix12306 (original poster member #78827) posted at 1:12 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

This is a question mostly for the betrayed spouses. How did you come to terms with never really getting to know the why or the how? I feel like no why is ever going to be good enough. There is nothing that can make this ok. I'm having a hard time having to accept that I'll never fully understand the why or the how. Can it actually not have meant anything? I'm having a hard time understanding that considering the waywards put so much effort into it and into hiding it.

[This message edited by Felix12306 at 7:14 PM, July 9th (Friday)]

BS Together for 15 years, married for 11. Dd 1/28/21 after a 44-day affair, only last week of affair was physical but didn't find that out until 6/18/21.

posts: 140   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2021
id 8674140
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landclark ( member #70659) posted at 1:52 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

Speaking for myself, there’s no why or how that I’ll get that will ever be a good answer for me. That has been extremely hard to deal with. I’m trying to focus more on how he’s dealing with his whys or how’s and how he’s showing me has changed, is remorseful, and won’t be a repeat, repeat offender.

Me: BW Him: WH (GuiltAndShame) Dday 05/19/19 with TT through August
One child together, 3 stepchildren
Together 13.5 years, married 12.5 First EA was 4 months into marriage. Last ended 05/19/19.

posts: 1916   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8674146
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Lsja ( member #74526) posted at 4:49 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

This is something I really struggle with. My husband's unfaithfulness took place years before I ever found out. Because it was so long ago, he claims to have forgotten so many of the details. Things that are important to me. I'm a detail kind of person and for me every little thing has meaning behind it. He says they meant nothing, so little in fact that he doesn't even remember their names.

I wonder if the missing details will haunt me forever. I can't put my mind to rest because it's always trying to put the pieces together. I really understand your frustration and sympathize with you.

posts: 64   ·   registered: Jun. 10th, 2020
id 8674173
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 Felix12306 (original poster member #78827) posted at 5:05 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

This just plain sucks. And it's complete crap. I hate all of this so much.

BS Together for 15 years, married for 11. Dd 1/28/21 after a 44-day affair, only last week of affair was physical but didn't find that out until 6/18/21.

posts: 140   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2021
id 8674177
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JanaGreen ( member #29341) posted at 7:02 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

The way I came to terms with it was to watch him do the same thing to his next partner. Treat her the same way, disrespect and disregard her the same way. She doesn't look like me, she doesnt act like me. Yet he treated her the same way. It really was never my fault. It really had nothing to do with me. He's incapable of being a safe partner to anyone. That's profoundly sad but that realization allowed me to move forward with a clearer head.

posts: 9413   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2010   ·   location: Southeast US
id 8674185
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 9:08 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

The only answer to “why did you cheat” is because the cheater wanted to.

Period.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10718   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8674190
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Moderator #29447) posted at 2:22 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

The only answer to “why did you cheat” is because the cheater wanted to.

Period.

Speaking strictly as a member and as a wayward spouse, this statement always boggles me.

If it is the only reason a person cheats, then why bother attempting to reconcile? What would the point be of doing the work involved to become a safe partner? Why dig deep to face demons and figure out what it was that allowed me to lie to myself and my husband? If the answer is as simple as “I just wanted to” then what stops me from wanting to again?

It might be the answer for some, but I believe it over simplifies a really complicated mindset when engaged in an affair. Without the digging into the why’s and changing perspective and behavior, they will remain dangerous people.

If the whys seem like blameshifting or excuses, then that person has not dug down deep enough. Nothing will ever excuse an affair. Nothing will ever make it right. What figuring out the why’s does is bring an awareness to both you and your wayward to avoid the patterns in the future that lead to unhealthy behavior and hopefully help change dynamics between the two of you to build a better marriage.

Me: WS late 40’s
Him: BH (HoldingTogether)
D Day: 7/24/2010
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

posts: 14328   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Texas
id 8674237
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 3:14 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

How did you come to terms with never really getting to know the why or the how? I feel like no why is ever going to be good enough.

I agree with TFW that on the basic level, it was because they wanted to, and further they lacked an integrity governor. A lot of folks feel that wanting something = permission to do it, especially if you want it real bad.

I also agree with WOE that there’s a deep question behind the why did you want it (which is, again, not the same as why did you do it). You can want something but resist doing it.

You actually have the tools and experience to understand the “want”. How great of a blow to your self-esteem, your Self, your sense of who-you-are has the affair given you? It has hit you right to the core, hasn’t it? Did you have any idea prior to this, that you could be hurt this bad? An attack directly on the Self.

Well, consider that underlying all As (ok, 99.9%) is a self-esteem issue. An imposter thing. A leaky hole that can never really be filled permanently, but only temporarily. With kibbles. An attempt to bolster the same Self that you feel has been attacked.

The pain you feel is the other side of the coin of the gain they pursue. They come from the same place. How could they not? You’re both humans.

That’s what I’ve arrived at, after 30 years of thinking about it.

Sending strength, Felix!

[This message edited by HouseOfPlane at 9:16 AM, July 10th (Saturday)]

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 2732   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8674249
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 3:30 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

The only answer to “why did you cheat” is because the cheater wanted to.

Period.

I can understand why this statement might bother someone, but it makes it no less valid. Infidelity is such devastating, soul crushing activity which essentially carpet bombs everyone around the cheater, the 4rason for choosing to do it must therefore, have been so significant that they warranted that choice in some way. There must have been some amazing set of reasons or factors at play for the wayward to have chosen their illicit pleasure over the health, safety, and wellbeing of those they purported to love. Otherwise, what would stop them from doing it again?

Well, the simple fact is that most cheaters will do it again. Granted, some will do the work to become safe partners, but the reality is most don't. This does not diminish the accomplishments of those that do. It makes them more significant.

You see, I have not cheated because I don't want to. I've had many opportunities, but it was something I never did. Yes, some will say we are all capable of it, but that is bullshit imho. It confuses thevremotest probability with possibility, and removes from the equation those who, regardless of the circumstances, would never betray their conscience. Think of all of those martyrs over the years who have chosen painful deaths over betrayal.

I think if a wayward does all the work, digs up all of the issues, then they may one day get to that simple place where the rest of us exist, that place where we don't want to do things because they are wrong. You see, when I am faced with a moral dilemma, I dont go through an exhaustive process trying to convince myself why I should put my selfish desires aside for some greater good, I dont do it because I just don't want to. It really is that simple.

Me:53STBXWW:51DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off.Denied having an affair in court papers.

posts: 1117   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8674253
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 3:33 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

How did you come to terms with never really getting to know the why or the how?

Hmmm ... I guess I focused on healing, and I urge every BS to focus on healing. I went for whatever helped healing, and I tried to stay away from anything else.

How would knowing the details, or whatever you're missing, help you heal? What would knowing do to help you decide on your path?

I interrogated my W for months. I thought knowledge and understanding the A would help me heal. I was wrong. I understood the A correctly on d-day. That's all the understanding that I needed.

The Q & A did show my W's commitment to R, though. I felt a need to ask the Qs, so she gave me the answers she had. That was an unanticipated benefit of my Qs, but an important one.

Another unanticipated benefit was that answering Qs, I think, helped my W take responsibility for what she did.

And all the answers helped me evaluate her truthfulness.

So what's your reason for asking? How will it help you heal?

I feel like no why is ever going to be good enough. There is nothing that can make this ok.

If your thirst for knowledge aims at making this OK, you will fail. There truly is nothing that makes it OK.

I'm having a hard time having to accept that I'll never fully understand the why or the how.

I understand why my W cheated, but it's not satisfying ... it's just at the logical level. So what?

Can it actually not have meant anything?

It probably says something important about your WS, but even if it was just a thoughtless one-time act for your WS, it is cataclysmic for you.

The meaning, IMO, is probably limited to the pain and healing.

IOW, my reco is to focus on figuring out what you need to do to heal - and do it.

You heal you. Your WS heals your WS. If you both want to R, you work together to heal your M.

[This message edited by sisoon at 9:44 AM, July 10th (Saturday)]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 26146   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8674255
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HardKnocks ( member #70957) posted at 3:34 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

I couldn't reconcile without that info.

Cheaters are broken. They are not healthy, and they are not safe.

The "why" and "how" are not excuses. They provide valuable and essential information for possible healing and possible redemption. IMO. YMMV.

[This message edited by HardKnocks at 9:38 AM, July 10th (Saturday)]

BW 30 year marriage.
DDay2 2/20 5 month EA/PA
Recovering

posts: 322   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2019
id 8674257
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landclark ( member #70659) posted at 6:13 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

If the whys seem like blameshifting or excuses, then that person has not dug down deep enough.

Agreed, but also almost every why or how can be met with “but you could have made another choice”, so any why or how, as sisoon says, ultimately probably won’t be satisfying to the betrayed. There’s no satisfying reason in my mind to explain why my WH chose to cheat on me.

That said, they do still need to be worked on by the wayward, but the OPs original comment was feeling like no why will ever be good enough, and that’s 100% valid.

I will add that in my opinion, if the wayward is not able to admit that they did it because they wanted to, and then step to this is what flaws in me made me want to and think it was ok, then to me that’s not completely owning the choice.

[This message edited by landclark at 12:39 PM, July 10th (Saturday)]

Me: BW Him: WH (GuiltAndShame) Dday 05/19/19 with TT through August
One child together, 3 stepchildren
Together 13.5 years, married 12.5 First EA was 4 months into marriage. Last ended 05/19/19.

posts: 1916   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8674310
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sleeplessinSTL ( new member #78728) posted at 12:50 AM on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

I will add that in my opinion, if the wayward is not able to admit that they did it because they wanted to, and then step to this is what flaws in me made me want to and think it was ok, then to me that’s not completely owning the choice."

I really agree with this statement... my STXWW has said "I have to own this" but I hadn't really seen much 'owning' on her part, especially since DDAY in August 2020... she restarted her affair in February/March 2021 and filed for D on June 1.

I've asked several times to try to get the 'logical' why did you do this? I've heard a few answers in the last few weeks:

- "Maybe I just felt like we never transitioned from being friends to being married, so I didn't feel like I was breaking any vows"

Then two days later..."Maybe I felt like I always did so much for others I did this just for me". Which is true... if was a completely selfish thing to do.

At this point we are getting divorced and while I would like to know WHY she did it (and kept doing it) I don't think I'll ever know, and have just kind of accepted that. Now it's time to focus on the D and my own healing and making sure my son is taken care of.

[This message edited by sleeplessinSTL at 12:52 AM, Tuesday, July 13th]

posts: 23   ·   registered: Apr. 28th, 2021
id 8674995
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 12:53 AM on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

How did you come to terms with never really getting to know the why or the how?

That would only be OK with me if I went D/S. The need for why/how, is to know my wife is now a safe partner that can recognize her own weaknesses and maintain solid boundaries to prevent a repeat.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1398   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8674997
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Seeking2Forgive ( member #78819) posted at 6:22 AM on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

The real "why" is because your WS has emotional problems that they failed to deal with appropriately. Instead of doing the hard work of understanding their own issues they've selfishly chosen to lie and cheat to fill the bottomless pit of their need for validation, self esteem, or whatever it is that they're lacking. The only real "why" is because they're screwed up.

Until they can recognize, accept, and deal with that fact, they'll be happy to dream up all sorts of other "whys" to deflect blame and make themselves feel justified.

For my FWW the first "why" was focused on the idea that she had changed and I had not. She was an outgoing party girl and I was an uptight introvert. She had become worldly while I was still a high school boy.

I think she realized that this romantic fantasy didn't play so well as an excuse for betraying one's vows so the "why" morphed to focus more on feeling unloved and "abandoned."

It's only many years later after shouldering my "share of the blame" for a decade, that I've finally shed that burden and see clearly that she created that all herself.

Me: 59, BS
Her: 58, FWS
Dday: 11/15/03
Married 37 yrs
Reconciled

posts: 93   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8675042
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 6:42 AM on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

I couldn't reconcile without that info.

I couldn't. I wouldn't. If I didn't think that my partner was trying to make herself safe again, and someone worthy of regaining trust, than I would avoid reconciliation like the plague. Even today, many years later, I have safeguards in place that I will not remove.....even at the price of intimacy. I simply will not make myself that vulnerable again. Ever.

And my wife knows this. It is part of the fallout. But in all fairness, the more genuine she is, the more vulnerable I get.....and it is an involuntary response. I really believe that one of the best healing methods, ASIDE FROM OUR OWN WORK, is a partner who is putting in the real effort without expecting(or even looking for) something in return. They say that character is what a person does when no one is looking, and I really believe that. So while I agree that the whys and the hows probably are not going to be satisfactory, there are methods to help make these points less important.

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married 28yrs.(together over 30yrs.)

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day(s): Enough
Accepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

posts: 3830   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8675046
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Phoenix1 ( Moderator #38928) posted at 7:29 AM on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

* Posting as a Member *

I asked Xhole why he did it. His response - I guess I just thought you were one of those wives that would look the other way.

Let me give some context though. Over the many years we were together the topic of cheating would periodically come up. I always told him it was unacceptable and if he did he better pray I never find out or there would be hell to pay. I may have also threatened bodily injury to a particular male appendage. So he knew my stance. Unbeknownst to me, he was cheating the whole time.

So, for him to use that excuse to explain his why is laughable. And no, I do not believe any of the OW meant anything emotionally. They were convenient and accommodating for him.

What his "why" really boiled down to is he felt entitled to it and has no conscience to feel empathy, guilt, or remorse (he admitted to no conscience as well).

While I can understand this on an intellectual level, I will never understand it emotionally/morally because I am not wired that way. I couldn't do that to someone else, especially someone I claim to love. I accept that this is just who he is.

Different waywards may have different whys, once you peel back the layers. There can also be personality disorders involved (I believe Xhole has an undiagnosed PD).

You may never fully understand, and acceptance of that fact can go a long way to help in the healing process.

This stuff is tough, and healing is a very long, bumpy road.

fBS - Me
Xhole - Multiple LTAs/2 OCs over 20+yrs
Adult Kids
Happily divorced!

You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. ~C.S. Lewis~

posts: 8993   ·   registered: Apr. 9th, 2013   ·   location: Land of Indifference
id 8675051
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TheLostOne2020 ( member #72463) posted at 2:33 PM on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

Felix12306

This is a question mostly for the betrayed spouses. How did you come to terms with never really getting to know the why or the how?

I figure it's one of two things, either she doesn't know or she's just an entitled horrible person (maybe both?). In either case, it's her issue to deal with, not mine.

I feel like no why is ever going to be good enough. There is nothing that can make this ok.

There really isn't a good enough 'why'. This person took action they knew would hurt you and they enjoyed it. It's a horrible thing to do to a stranger and they did it to someone they claim they loved.

People do horrible things in this world. Adultery happens to be the worst legal thing (in the US anyway) that you can do to another human being. If you look at it in terms of why do people do evil/horrible things there just isn't a satisfactory enough explanation. They're just damaged.

I'm having a hard time having to accept that I'll never fully understand the why or the how. Can it actually not have meant anything? I'm having a hard time understanding that considering the waywards put so much effort into it and into hiding it.

I mean, anyway you look at it - whether it meant something or not - the result is the same. The person you trusted most felt entitled to put your mental health on the line because they got an opportunity to do so. It's staggering to realize that some people are capable of such entitled pain on your behalf.

D-Day 1: New Year's Day 2020
D-Day 2: Jan 21 2020
There was no D-Day 3.

6/12/2020: Moved out.

3/02/2021: Officially divorced.

I'm 42 and just starting to have the answers to the universe...

posts: 892   ·   registered: Jan. 3rd, 2020   ·   location: NoVa
id 8675085
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Stayinghopefull ( member #57957) posted at 2:40 PM on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

I don’t think we as BS’s will ever understand they how or the why. I could never imagine cheating on my H or doing some of the things he has done. When I think about all the stuff he has done just makes me wonder how he could be that type of person and how was I such a bad judge of character when we met 26 years ago. It doesn’t help either when they lie and don’t even tell us the truth.

Joined SI 17 years ago when H had year long affair.
Found 5 new OW in the past 6 months. Heading towards D.
Two wonderful teen kids that don't deserve this.
Me: BS 48 H: WS 50 Together 27 yrs, Married 22 yrs

posts: 82   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2017
id 8675087
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wantnomore ( new member #71871) posted at 3:06 PM on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

I don't think any "why" or "how" answer would be good enough to be honest. What I've been told was always insufficient, in my mind, to justify her behavior.

Of course, much of her why was blame-shifting to me, so...

posts: 34   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2019
id 8675095
Topic is Sleeping.
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