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General :
The Why's?

Topic is Sleeping.
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The1stWife ( Member #58832) posted at 4:08 PM on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

WantNoMore — that was my point. There really is no good reason to cheat.

It’s just a choice that is made. It’s something the cheater chooses to do.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10519   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8675117
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NotMyFirstRodeo ( Member #75220) posted at 5:52 PM on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

It's the lack of effort to discover a why that pisses me off. Anyone of us could face an equally difficult self-realization that we're damaged is a certain way. So I can empathize that it may take a long time to iron out something so deep in a psyche.

But, to me, observing a lack of effort to figure it out just means the WS feels they're above it all no matter the trauma that very character flaw created in someone they took a vow to love. They simply can't be bothered with such "petty" things.

If, to date it's been accurate, trust your gut and not your ears.

posts: 204   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2020
id 8675154
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HalfTime2017 ( Member #64366) posted at 6:01 PM on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

In my experience, there is no why that ever justifies the cheating. In my own experience with the exWW, it was a whole bunch of blameshifting and rewriting of the marital history. She even said that she's not sure she was ever in love love with me, after being together for 17 yrs. Keep in mind it was her and her family that kept pressuring me to hurry up and get married. LOL.

I just don't think for many of the waywards, they'll ever get there, but I DO appreciate the WWs on this site that have done the work and are self aware. Hearing from the the WWs on SI has helped me with some of the answers I never really got from my own WW.

posts: 1142   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2018   ·   location: Cali
id 8675160
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wantnomore ( New Member #71871) posted at 2:34 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

The1stWife - Of course you are right, but some insight to the thought process or motivation....it didn't just happen spontaneously. At least in my case. It was a long, slow journey to an end.

posts: 34   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2019
id 8675424
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Mr. Kite ( Member #28840) posted at 3:10 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

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.

Maybe it's the other way around. In my case, W cheated with 2 men at the age of 40 with a baby at home. No drugs, no alcohol, and supposedly a Christian. Who acts like that except an individual who never grew up and is still stuck in the selfish thinking of a teenager?

Why do they cheat? Selfishness, narcissism, immaturity, take your pick. After a while the "why" no longer matters. In fact pursuing that for too long can drive a person nuts. The question is will they do the work to grow up and become mature, faithful people who you can trust? If they do, great. If not...

"Looks like I've been fooled again.
Looks like I'm the fool again.
I don't like it, I don't like it." Tom Petty - Fooled Again

posts: 1112   ·   registered: Jun. 18th, 2010   ·   location: Mid-Atlantic
id 8675436
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DIFM ( Member #1703) posted at 5:26 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

I think it is frustratingly simple. Desperately basic. I am certain that most cheaters are so broken that logic, reason, rational perspectives, basic concern for others is all lost on them. If you accept this terribly frustrating and painful premise, you can accept that mulling, over and over again, the norms expected vs the norms exhibited by broken people can drive you crazy.

Cheaters are inherently broken....so forget the attempts ant rational gymnastics. It gets complicated in that some broken people are able to confront that brokenness, realize the danger to themselves and others in their broken thinking, and then make a conscious and concerted effort to become whole and healthy and safe for themselves and their partners.

Some, however, stay in that broken thinking state. They are so broken that they cannot move from what they intellectually know to be true, to a dedication to get healthy and "fixed" in their thinking. Some never reach this state of "fix", but some, as we have seen, do eventually, years, and possibly years and years later, do manage to reach a state of "get it" that they act on and become safe and healthy.

The "why" question seems to be more problematic than helpful. People cheat because they are broken. Period. End of why. If you must have more than that, you may be very damaged and disappointed after months or years of not getting more. It is the reason. Broken things do not work as expected or hoped for. Broken does not follow norms or logic....hence the broken thing.

The issue really is, can your particular broken spouse own that brokenness and dedicate themselves to the work needed to fix it. Looking deeper into the why beyond simply being the fucked up broken unprincipled selfish reason.....you are looking for something that does not exist. That IS the reason. It may not be comfortable, or satisfying, or acceptable.....but it is it.

What matters is, do you have a broken cheating spouse willing to own it and work on it or not. That is really the most important element of the notorious "why" thing. If your cheater is not up to the task of owning and fixing their fuckedupedness.......but if you decide to stay and focus on the mental gymnastics over why, with a still broken WS............you will likely be a very unhappy and discontented BS.....always looking for the answer to why.

posts: 1726   ·   registered: Jul. 14th, 2003
id 8675475
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HouseOfPlane ( Member #45739) posted at 6:01 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

I am certain that most cheaters are so broken...

Well, then an awful lot of humanity is so broken.

I'm not a fan of the broken argument, because is someone responsible for being broken? Did they break themselves? Then they chose to do so. They made a choice.

If your cheater is not up to the task of owning and fixing their fuckedupedness...

Amen to that.

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: 2718   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8675482
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DIFM ( Member #1703) posted at 6:49 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

I'm not a fan of the broken argument, because is someone responsible for being broken? Did they break themselves? Then they chose to do so. They made a choice.

I don't see it as an argument or premise, I see it as a very real and palpable fact. Based on my many years on this planet and all the people I have interreacted with, most certainly, a significant percentage are broken in some way. Acknowledging this does not in any way diminish their responsibility for what they do or how they work or don't work to fix their broken shit. The evidence in the all that is day to day life interactions is pretty good evidence that most people have a load of shit that they have not dealt with and which makes then unsafe as partners.

Being broken is not a pass or excuse or reasonable reason for anything. Everyone is equally responsible for what they do and how hard they work or don't work to fix what they have brought on themselves and others. But, broken? You you bet they are, as are so many. Lots of people that are responsible for wrongdoings to others do make amends - and work to fix themselves. Lots do not. We see that here. Lots of cheating, selfish, broken to their core spouses never do.

When you are with a cheater (a severely broken person) who does not work diligently to make amends, asking "why" is a waste of time, if one thinks getting to the why will be the answer to their source of pain. Why? Their partner was broke as shit (selfish, unremorseful, defensive, me, me ,me ....) and was able to hide it until d-day.

Broke as shit!. Not an excuse. Very definitely a reasonable description. How much broke WS a BS is willing to take, and a how much a WS does about it, is their call.

[This message edited by DIFM at 12:53 PM, July 14th, 2021 (Wednesday)]

posts: 1726   ·   registered: Jul. 14th, 2003
id 8675508
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landclark ( Member #70659) posted at 6:58 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

I am also not a fan of the broken argument. There are broken people (lost their whole family, ended up on the streets, etc.). Speaking just for myself, my WH is an intelligent man. He can hold a job, speak in front of large groups, be an adult, a parent, maintain many healthy relationships, etc. Is he broken because he has a need for attention from women? Is he broken because he feels entitled to that attention? To me those are character flaws, sure, but broken? I don't know. I think accepting somebody is broken means you have to accept some sympathy for them and their choices, and I have zero sympathy in my case.

[This message edited by landclark at 6:34 PM, July 14th (Wednesday)]

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: 1911   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8675511
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HouseOfPlane ( Member #45739) posted at 8:00 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

Based on my many years on this planet and all the people I have interreacted with, most certainly, a significant percentage are broken in some way.

I kind of agree, just not on the word, 'broken'. This guy said it better...

Immanuel Kant: Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made.

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: 2718   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8675536
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HardKnocks ( Member #70957) posted at 8:35 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

Tomato/Tomahto

A WS needs to figure out why and how he/she f*cked up and get about that business of fixing it.

BW 30 year marriage.
DDay2 2/20 5 month PA
My Ducks are Aligned and I'm Good to Go! :)

posts: 307   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2019
id 8675546
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psychmom ( Member #47498) posted at 8:50 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

Among the very first words out of my mouth when it sunk in what exactly he had done, was “ what the fuck is wrong with you?!” I instinctively believed that only a severely damaged person could do what he did. I still believe this, at least in regards to my WH.

Had I believed he was a “normal” minded person who suddenly woke up one day and decided it was time to start cheating, I’d have had nothing to keep me in the R game. Because I believed he was broken emotionally in ways I, and he, had yet to uncover, I was able to take the R path in hopes he’d figure out his damage and work to fix it. And he willingly did IC for nearly 3 years to work on this.

Maybe it’s the story I need to tell myself to make peace with it. Thinking of a cheater as someone who is “broken” in some key ways is the only way this makes sense to me. The “broken” can take varying forms, but bottom line they are someone who has an inflated sense of entitlement, low self-esteem, unhealthy need for attention, poor insight into the self, coupled with an inability to say what they want and need. Again, I’m probably overly- focused on my WH, but this mindset has allowed me to see him as someone capable of change. And made the job of R a bit easier for me.

BS (me); fWH (both 50+; married 20 yr at the time; 2 DD
DDay 1- 9/13/2014 (EA)- 3+ yrs
DDay 2- 10/24/2014(PA2)-July'14-Sept'14
DDay 3- 11/12/2014(PA1)-Oct-Feb '14
Reconciled

posts: 4246   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2015   ·   location: A state of unrest
id 8675550
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DevastatedDee ( Member #59873) posted at 8:51 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

To me, "broken" implies that the person was ever whole or meeting whatever standards we assign to not-broken. I have two dogs who will immediately bite a stranger who enters my home. One of them is most definitely broken. He was abused for the first 7 years of his life and has profound trust issues. All humans are the enemy until proven otherwise through time and effort. The other dog has been with me since he was a puppy. He was socialized, trained, loved and given everything a dog could need to be happy and healthy. His base core nature is to be protective and I (and others) have been unable to untrain him from this immediate reaction to strangers in the home. One dog bites due to abuse. That's broken. The other bites because that is who he is. That is his core self. One bites out of fear and self-protection. The other bites out of deep loyalty and protection of his people. Don't panic for the lives of my guests...they're both small dogs.

If you are the one they bite, does it matter what the motivation was from the dog's point of view? Neither of these dogs is likely to change. Both will be who they are though one was formed this way in the womb and the other was made this way through mistreatment.

Same with people. Some were born with personality traits that don't play well with honesty and others were hurt so badly that they formed those traits in some kind of self-defense. I honestly give even odds on which of my dogs is more capable of being changed. Not sure that one would be easier than the other, though their issues come from different causes.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 2:51 PM, July 14th (Wednesday)]

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 4437   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8675551
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DIFM ( Member #1703) posted at 8:52 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

I think accepting somebody is broken means you have to accept some sympathy for them and their choices, and I have zero sympathy in my case.

I could not disagree more. Knowing someone is broken has no relevance to sympathy or excuses. If we want to view right and reasonable as being honest and trustworthy as a norm (i.e. not broken), then it is reasonable to see those that are shitfaced liars and cheaters as unsafe broke. It does not connote any sense of sympathy or empathy or acceptance or excuse for their behaviors. Being broken is a bad thing. It is a unacceptable. It is at odds with the norms that we all accept as right and just and expected. I cannot imagine not seeing a cheater as broken to the core. Still, they are 100% accountable they are fully responsible they are batshit unworthy partners.....and surely only the most broken of the broke could be satisfied with being all those things. It does not relieve them of any accountability, responsibility, or curse upon their beings.....but only broke as shit persons could lie, cheat, betray, manipulate, and bulshit their way to rationalizing such heinous acts. You have to be broke to your core to be a manipulating cheater. People not broke would never do these things.

Broken is obvious. It does not diminish anything as to what it means to be so shit faced broke. It just is an obvious reality. Kind, empathetic, considerate, honest people are what we hope are the standard for the norm of behaviors. Those that are comfortable at day to day behaviors that are at odds with this, are, in my view, broken humans unworthy of trust and unsafe as partners. If you have an unsafe partner as a result of their being broke, be warry and cautious. Broke is not easily fixed and broke is a reliable predictor of future broke.

Broken is not an excuse. It is a reality. Who wants a broken partner?

posts: 1726   ·   registered: Jul. 14th, 2003
id 8675553
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landclark ( Member #70659) posted at 12:47 AM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

My definition of broken is more along what DD describes with her pups. Dealt with abuse, drew the short straw of life, etc. Still accountable for their choices, but certain behaviors can be attributed to these things that broke them. I can have sympathy for that. So based on my belief of what broken means, I don’t see my WH as broken. Shitty, self centered choices that he justified to himself in stupid ways? Sure. Broken? Nope. So DIFM, you can disagree with me, but you won’t change my mind. Lol

A WS needs to figure out why and how he/she f*cked up and get about that business of fixing it.

This is really what it boils down to. Whether we accept they’re broken or not, or we have some sort of acceptable why or not, bottomline is they need to work on themselves. The why is more for them to understand and fix. Not to satisfy us or give us an acceptable reason for cheating.

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: 1911   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8675636
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TheLostOne2020 ( Member #72463) posted at 2:04 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

HouseOfPlane

Immanuel Kant: Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made.

That's great, reminds me of the saying 'you can't make good wine out of bad grapes'.

DIFM

I could not disagree more. Knowing someone is broken has no relevance to sympathy or excuses. If we want to view right and reasonable as being honest and trustworthy as a norm (i.e. not broken), then it is reasonable to see those that are shitfaced liars and cheaters as unsafe broke. It does not connote any sense of sympathy or empathy or acceptance or excuse for their behaviors. Being broken is a bad thing. It is a unacceptable. It is at odds with the norms that we all accept as right and just and expected. I cannot imagine not seeing a cheater as broken to the core. Still, they are 100% accountable they are fully responsible they are batshit unworthy partners.....and surely only the most broken of the broke could be satisfied with being all those things. It does not relieve them of any accountability, responsibility, or curse upon their beings.....but only broke as shit persons could lie, cheat, betray, manipulate, and bulshit their way to rationalizing such heinous acts. You have to be broke to your core to be a manipulating cheater. People not broke would never do these things.

I agree with this and I'll go a step further, serial killers are broken people...I can hazard a guess that no one feels bad for them.

Broken is obvious. It does not diminish anything as to what it means to be so shit faced broke. It just is an obvious reality. Kind, empathetic, considerate, honest people are what we hope are the standard for the norm of behaviors. Those that are comfortable at day to day behaviors that are at odds with this, are, in my view, broken humans unworthy of trust and unsafe as partners. If you have an unsafe partner as a result of their being broke, be warry and cautious. Broke is not easily fixed and broke is a reliable predictor of future broke.

Broken is not an excuse. It is a reality. Who wants a broken partner?

Exactly.

Some broken things cannot be fixed. Some are dangerous.

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 8675761
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 10:46 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

'Broken' may imply sympathy, but sympathy implies nothing more than kindness and empathy.

I think Hitler was broken. You name a conflict, and I'd bet the farm that there are war criminal on all sides. I have sympathy for war criminals who were so fucked up that they thought their crimes were not crimes. I'm really sorry they got that fucked up. And I'm OK with punishing them.

I have a lot of sympathy for my W. She was sexually abused, and that understandably messed up her entire approach to life. Nevertheless, if she hadn't committed to healing herself, I think I'd have D'ed her.

Look inside. Not all the assumptions we live with are valid. It's pretty natural to make connections between ideas, but not all connections are valid.

[This message edited by sisoon at 4:48 PM, July 15th (Thursday)]

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: 25999   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8675889
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scaredwoman ( Member #78680) posted at 10:56 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

I have been reading on here a while now, and it seems that there are no real why's, at least none that justify their actions.

The feeling of not being enough is hard to get through. Time, and may be some counseling will help with that.

I don't think any 'why' will be enough to accept. Because there is never a valid reason to cheat. Never. And it's not our fault. Sure, they blame us. But it's their burden to carry.

posts: 153   ·   registered: Apr. 20th, 2021
id 8675893
Topic is Sleeping.
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