I am not saying the sex doesn’t matter. In my husbands affair it mattered to me a lot. We had to sell our dream house over his affair sex.
My original point was people in affairs are not logical. No more logical than anyone else using other unhealthy coping mechanisms. (Alcoholism, drugs, gambling, etc)
What a BS feels they are hurt the most by is always valid. But part of the sources of the hurt can come from projecting based on their own perspective.
If I said "I had an affair because I just couldn’t get enough sex". Then what? What would change?
The decision to divorce or reconcile is not often made based solely on the motivation of the affair.
Sex as a motivation is a dead end path for reconciliation because you can’t move forward with any assurance they won’t reoffend. A high drive person who is willing to put sex above all else will do that time after time.
There are people who see that in absolutes and they divorce as a result. It’s the once a cheater always a cheater belief. And divorce is the right answer for them, nothing wrong with that.
Those who try reconciliation are forced to look at a much bigger picture. The path begins with “what made you be someone who would put sex above everything else in our marriage?”
The question shifts from why did you do it to why would want to do it?
(Why did you steal gum? My mouth was dry. Why would you want to steal gum? Then the answer could be a lot of things. I didn’t have money to pay for it. I wanted to feel a thrill. I felt I deserved it, etc)
And the why would you want to answers are the only things that can be worked on and fixed. They gain a self awareness before it’s a true problem. Or when presented with an opportunity they will have different strategies and beliefs that makes abstaining from stealing more appealing.
There were hundreds of things in that answer for me in the affair. Not vague buzz words we use here like validation, or kibbles. But specific details of my belief system, coping mechanisms, my unstated desires, my limiting beliefs, my entitlement, my mental health, and the list continues.
It boils down to a logical person is not going to be able to understand actions of an emotionally immature person. Often that emotionally immature person is also in crisis mode amplifying the frenetic chaos. I can’t even put myself back into my headspace then anymore.
We barely scratch the surface in this forum of what truly motivates a ws because we try instead to apply logic. Having an affair makes a person have a lot of conflicting beliefs within their value system which creates a lot of contradictory thoughts and behavior. There is no way you can logic yourself through that in order to understand it.
I promise you I would not hesitate to admit if I only wanted better or new sex. It would have been a far more logical and realistic choice. I would not have to explain it. I could have saved lots of time here, and maybe my own reconciliation would have gone better.
We can disagree but I don’t think we believe we are debating the same topic.
[This message edited by hikingout at 1:16 PM, Thursday, March 16th]