I don't know why I keep pushing to hear him confirm what I already suspect, but I cannot imagine actually walking away from this without hearing something solid from him. I can't STAND that thought, it just makes me want to crawl out of my skin.
Trauma is just weird like that. Your brain can do all sorts of crazy things, connecting disparate thoughts and ideas, making you fixate on one thought or another, messing with your sense of time. It all feels crazy, but it's NORMAL. If you combine the effects of trauma with your need to control your surroundings, it just stands to reason you'd feel a sense of urgency surrounding this thought. It's not doing you good service though.
Yeah, it would be nice to get a real explanation and to hear something that makes some semblance of sense from your WH, so you could feel like there's hope or at least choices going forward. But you do understand that when he doesn't volunteer those things, that too is an answer, right? It's not that he doesn't know. He knew enough to brag online for who knows how long about what a slick cheater he was. He DOES know. He just doesn't want to say.
Ultimately, cheaters cheat because THEY WANT TO. They might have myriad reasons for wanting to, but the reasons aren't the impetus for action. He wanted to be that guy, the one with the family dynamic at home and the one who could do whatever he wanted and was too smart to get caught. That's a face he CHOSE for himself. He wasn't just walking down the sidewalk and tripped into a vagina. This wasn't a situation where boundaries were insufficient and an acquaintance or coworker slipped in under the fence. This was a lifestyle, a deliberate quest to search out potential sex partners. I understand the pain of that. My own WH went on a Craigslist binge after three decades of marriage, but it wasn't the first time I'd caught him being inappropriate with women. In that cheater's mind he has an image of the guy he wants to be, and as new BS's we think surely the guy he turned into was a mistake. But it wasn't. THAT was the guy he fantasized about being, the persona he created so he could live in the real world as that guy. You're waiting to hear that he didn't mean it, but he absolutely DID mean it.
Again, this is not to say that there's no hope of change. But that change does NOT come easy. The WS has to wake up and SEE that all those rotten things in his character which allowed him to do all those bad things make him a bad guy, not a misunderstood guy, or a guy who couldn't cope, or a guy who was damaged by his FOO, but a bad guy who needs to change. And you can't do ANY of that for him. If it's not real, you end up with the same cheater who is still capable of great perfidy. He needs to be willing to crawl over broken glass to make those changes, not be led to it while dragging his feet and demurring pathetically about communication issues and weakness. What's in it for you? What has he got to offer to you that you would want? His lies? His stonewalling? His damage? That guy needs to be scrambling to prove there's some kind of redeeming quality there. Or are you just supposed to feel lucky that he's not with a hooker right now? Is this broken, pathetic specimen the best you deserve?.. because that's what he's saying when he hangs his head and clams up. He's "the prize" here and YOU get to do all the work to fix everything he's broken. THAT is what his attitude says.
Anyway, my point is that you didn't create this mess and you can't fix it, not even if you wanted to. The idea in your head that you NEED to hear his reasoning is a natural figment of your trauma and your need to recreate normalcy in your life, but really, you don't need it. You already know what you need to know. The ball is in his court. What's he willing to DO to try and remediate his poor character? His response of "not much" isn't abnormal at this stage, but still... yours is to observe, not to lead a horse to water. He could find out in thirty minutes or less what he needs to do to get started on R if it's important to him. He didn't have any trouble finding online hookers or sex/cheating chats, did he?, And it's not like you've left him guessing as to what you want. He heard you when you told him you needed an explanation. He's just not willing to give you one.
It's hard, I know, believe me, I do.. but try to really focus on yourself and what you need. Your WH has said he needs help, but he's a grown man who chose his course along with the face he decided to wear while treading it. It will inform your own choices to stand back and watch what he does to get that help.
ETA: Also, I would recommend that you don't mince words with him either. Those aren't "escorts". That makes it sound like they're walking senior citizens across the street. They're prostitutes or hookers, and he's a common, skeezy "john" who pays for sex and is lucky he doesn't have a mug shot posted in the newspaper.
ETA again: Remember that your default setting is compassion. Don't let him take advantage of that. It won't serve either of you right now. The way is through, not around.
[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:39 PM, Monday, August 29th]