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Reconciliation :
Are explanations always so basic

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 Pained123 (original poster new member #83357) posted at 2:19 AM on Saturday, September 9th, 2023

Nearly one year after D-Day (one PA, three EAs, multiple instances of reaching out to other women which could have turned into more).

He's doing IC but closest he's come to a why is essentially a need to feel wanted that is partly rooted in childhood issues. While he presented it as a bit of a breakthrough, it doesn't go very far in helping me understand why he would betray me and risk turning all our lives upside down. For starters, everyone wants to feel wanted and by his own admission he was the one withdrawing - spending more time away from home and keeping me in the dark about a lot of things.

I guess my question is, is the 'why' for the WS always so simple? I have been hoping for a thorough explanation for all this behavior - one that helps me connect the dots between the different instances of cheating and lying. However, I am starting to feel that this doesn't exist and it leaves me feeling pretty flat. Like how can I accept and forgive this if I can't understand it?

posts: 36   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2023
id 8807096
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 4:14 AM on Saturday, September 9th, 2023

Very good question without having an equally good answer.

There are many reasons people cheat just like there are many reasons people spend too much $ or overeat or whatever their lifestyle is.

The cheater has a void in their life and choose to fill it with sex or drinking or gambling etc.

Of course this is just my opinion but it explains the why to some extent. Whether it’s a childhood issue or a midlife crisis thing or too much stress in life from work or ill parents etc. I think the one thing cheaters all have in common is it’s an escape.

It gives the cheater that feeling of being wanted and valued etc. sort of like that first crush type of feeling. The cheater feels entitled to "happiness" and becomes a lying cheating jerk because they become selfish and lose all sense of right and wrong.

Cheaters don’t care about why. It’s too painful for them. The betrayed spouse cares about why because they feel traumatized and hurt and are trying to make sense if it.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13941   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8807102
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 4:36 AM on Saturday, September 9th, 2023

It is probably too early for him to have figured out his why. In reading some of the posts in the Wayward forum, DaddyDom has mentioned that it took him several years to figure out his why. (Like 3 years.) He's one of the WHs who seem to have done the work to be a safe partner.

There's a thread in the ICR (I Can Relate) forum where a BS can ask questions of the WS.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3459   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8807106
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 Pained123 (original poster new member #83357) posted at 5:36 AM on Saturday, September 9th, 2023

Thank you both. I am hoping it is a matter of time and the more he works at it, the more he will be able to explain and the better I can understand.

The selfishness and losing complete sense of right and wrong rings so true. He will say things like, I now know that was wrong and it is inconceivable to me that he didn't know it was wrong at the time.

posts: 36   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2023
id 8807108
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 10:09 AM on Saturday, September 9th, 2023

Pained123

Oh believe me the cheater knows what they are doing is wrong. They are just so selfish and absolute jerks they don’t care.

My H practically flaunted his affair in my face. When he told me 10 days after dday1 that he wanted a D, I was blindsided. Totally unexpected.

And then he decided he would "let me know" at the end if the summer what he wanted. So I was expected to wait 8 weeks for his decision. Talk about the "pick me dance" — I was doing it but didn’t know what it was.

He then had me practically auditioning to be his wife! I was being compared to the OW and he was deciding if I "measured up".

And he thought (at the time of his affair) that this was all okay.

Of course now he realizes the damage he caused blah blah blah. But……at the time of his affair he wa a pompous arrogant lying cheating jerk. Someone I hardly recognized.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13941   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8807111
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 6:30 PM on Saturday, September 9th, 2023

Feeling ranty today. I am only going to speak to my own situation so as to avoid making any type of "generalization", though my story might be common.

I am under the impression that my EXWW began her slow slide towards cheating being impacted by a few factors. She was in her forties and her looks were quickly fading, not that this should have been an issue, but she defined herself exclusively by her beauty and was very vain. Her aging created an existential crisis for her, that she did not have the emotional maturity to deal with. Add to this home renos, a recent terminal diagnosis for her father, the pressure of raising kids (not maternal at all), a recently divorced friend who is now living her "best life ever" and constantly talking about it, and the feelings of being discontent or missing out, start to percolate. Of course, this is also the time that she started reading a sexy romance series geared to female audiences, and the deal was done. When she turned her head and saw an exhausted husband who had just finished a 14 hour day building a home for the family and in-laws,she realized that I was just not enough compared to the ruggedly handsome and exciting fictional hero on the pages she was reading. So when a drifter cowboy offered to alleviate her boredom and save her from a life of tedious responsibility, she agreed. It was oh-so-exciting and romantic!

Well, turns out the juice was not worth the squeeze. Now, 6+ years later, her new life is shit. She suffers from chronic depression and is on the verge of losing her home. She is in a toxic situationship with a man she dislikes and once called creepy, only keeping him around to do things for her (like walk the dog and clean her house). Turns out her BFF was not in fact living her best life ever, but lying to herself and everyone around her. Funny how social media works.
And the drifter cowboy... it turns out, he was a consumate player who used her and was cheating on her with multiple women while she was cheating on me. This incensed her (cognitive dissonance anyone?).

So looking back, she has most certainly realized that her previous life, by every realistic metric, was pretty damn good, and had she invested into the M instead of a dive into fantasy land, it could have been great. So why give up a good life for an A? Because it was easier to scratch an itch than do the work. It was a faster route to feeling good than digging deep into her psyche and finding the source of her personal issues. It is the same reason people join gyms but never go. She saw it as my job to make her happy and since she was not happy, I must be failing at my responsibility. So she replaced me (of course without telling me) with someone who gave her that dopamine hit.

As the betrayed in this script, we tend to look at the complete devestation caused by infidelity and look for an explanation that is equal to the damage caused. Surely there must be some cosmic reason to have sacrificed all of these lives.

Here is the kicker. I recently had a conversation with my EXWW. I asked her about the cowboy. You know, THE intoxicatingly exciting guy who destroyed everyone's lives. Yeah, turns out she doesn't really think of him ever. In fact, she can't remember much anymore...

I'm an oulier in my positions.

Me:55 STBXWW:55 DD#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 and filed. Denied having an affair in court papers.

Divorced 20

posts: 1821   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8807131
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 Pained123 (original poster new member #83357) posted at 2:27 AM on Sunday, September 10th, 2023

I am so sorry to hear of your experiences...it is always unbelievable how some WS continue the destruction after d day - whether by continuing to tell lies (like mine) or even continuing the affair. The selfishness and entitlement is so hard to understand.

I have admittedly been looking for an explanation equal to the damage caused (or at least somewhat close). Everything else feels like an excuse or justification (even if he doesn't mean it to be).

posts: 36   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2023
id 8807159
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antbee ( new member #80981) posted at 5:44 PM on Monday, September 11th, 2023

Yeah, we look for some deep explanation because in our mind, there MUST be something that would cause them to risk hurting us so badly, hurting our kids, breaking up our family, destroying the relationship, putting our physical health at risk, etc.

But the reality is pretty simple, I think. They do not care. My WH simply didn't think it was a big deal if we divorced and he didn't see our kids very much. He didn't think a divorce would impact himself so badly (we are legally separated, but not divorced, and he pays me alimony & child support). He knew I would be badly affected, but he didn't think he would be. He just didn't care!

He didn't think about how it would affect our kids, because he only thought about himself and what he thought he deserved. He thought, "life is short, I think I'll regret not having an affair."

It's deep character flaws. Something in his values told him his behavior and treatment towards me was acceptable. I don't understand it because I actually think things through, I very intentionally behave in ways to give me the best possible chance at having a good relationship, because I care about that. I would never be a careless as he has.

It hurts to know the answer is a simple "I did it because I wanted to and because I didn't think it would be a big deal if you found out and divorced me because of it."

It's just not a simple *thing* that can be solved. It would take a whole overhaul of him learning how to respect his partner, how to be introspective, how to have empathy, what real love and care looks like, how to be a good dad, emotional intelligence, etc.

posts: 22   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022
id 8807341
Topic is Sleeping.
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