needhelp
Hi guys,

I'm new here and need help.  I am a cheating spouse my wife and I are 2 years post D-Day and I have spent at least 18 months with my head in the sand and hiding from my responsibility in healing my relationship.  I have just completed Tims "Understanding why" course.  This has helped me, but my wife still has questions regariding "Why her".  I have thought long and hard over this but still need help in understanding why I could open up to someone else and not my wife.  I can't get a satisfactory answer in my mind, let alone help her understand.  Has anyone out there come across any literature that helped you?

Thanks in advance.
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JORGE
The answer may be beyond your level of comprehending your actions. Professional counselors are often the source to help you answer this question. Varies from person to person, however it's mostly rooted in behaviors and exposures that happened quite some time ago.
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TimT
More often than not, the affair partner is easier to connect with for a couple reasons: (1) the involved spouse is experiencing limerence (when there is an emotional it romantic connection) that is not being experienced in the marriage and (2) "opening up" to the affair partner does not require the vulnerability that is being avoided in the marriage (and that is needed for true, healthy intimacy to be established in a secure relationship).

In most cases, the answer is not found by trying to figure out "what was so good about HER?" which is really just another way of asking "what's wrong with ME?" It's normal for a betrayed spouse to wonder those things... to feel that insecurity. But if your wife expects to find resolution by focusing on those issues, you will likely never be able to give her a satisfying answer. 

If you did the course, I hope you have some clear insight into what motivated your choices. If so, they are probably the best answers you can provide. 
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UrbanExplorer
I can only answer for myself. In hindsight, 4 years later, I think I just crossed paths with my AP at the wrong time and he could have been anyone (well, not ANYone, but it wasn't really about AP as a unique individual). My husband and I weren't communicating well, I felt ignored and overworked, we had three young kids, and I was busy with my career and was respected there but not so much at home. 

My AP was peripherally in the same circles as I was and quickly read me as a person overworked and lacking attention at home because I let that on in a moment of vulnerability. Perhaps more importantly, he was a charming and quirky underachiever, and I am a rescuer. He was a narcissist (which took me a while to sort out), and I'm a codependent. It felt natural to support and "help" this guy while he tried to loosen me up and make me more of a free spirit.

I wasn't afraid to say anything to my AP because the stakes were so low. I was unburdened by history. I didn't think he was going to judge me, and if he did, so what? He listened to what I was saying. Just like the beginning of any relationship, there just IS a lot to say before decades pass and take it out of you. You can be anyone when you're with someone new. Isn't an affair really just an attempt to outrun yourself and your life?
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Isitme
[QUOTE username=TimT userid=3962579 postid=1309127710]More often than not, the affair partner is easier to connect with for a couple reasons: (1) the involved spouse is experiencing limerence (when there is an emotional it romantic connection) that is not being experienced in the marriage and (2) "opening up" to the affair partner does not require the vulnerability that is being avoided in the marriage (and that is needed for true, healthy intimacy to be established in a secure relationship).

Tim, perhaps you could explain this statement a little further. I am new to this term limerence, but a Wikipedia search suggests it’s like an early ‘love type’ feeling (perhaps slightly more obsessively) which would seem an emotionally vulnerable time. So why would opening up to an affair partner be easier?

From reading A lot on the forum, there seems to be lots of only showing the affair partner the ‘best side’ of yourself, which again in contrary to showing any sort of vulnerability.

As a BS I also struggle with the ‘why her’ (in my case why them) question, especially as a wife who feels that they never denied their husband anything that was asked for. So when it is being insinuated that ‘his needs’ were not being met in the relationship, which implies I was to blame for the affair, I find myself thinking they must have been Mary F@£&ing Poppins - practically perfect in every way.

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Keepabuzz
Isitme wrote:
More often than not, the affair partner is easier to connect with for a couple reasons: (1) the involved spouse is experiencing limerence (when there is an emotional it romantic connection) that is not being experienced in the marriage and (2) "opening up" to the affair partner does not require the vulnerability that is being avoided in the marriage (and that is needed for true, healthy intimacy to be established in a secure relationship).

Tim, perhaps you could explain this statement a little further. I am new to this term limerence, but a Wikipedia search suggests it’s like an early ‘love type’ feeling (perhaps slightly more obsessively) which would seem an emotionally vulnerable time. So why would opening up to an affair partner be easier?

From reading A lot on the forum, there seems to be lots of only showing the affair partner the ‘best side’ of yourself, which again in contrary to showing any sort of vulnerability.

As a BS I also struggle with the ‘why her’ (in my case why them) question, especially as a wife who feels that they never denied their husband anything that was asked for. So when it is being insinuated that ‘his needs’ were not being met in the relationship, which implies I was to blame for the affair, I find myself thinking they must have been Mary F@£&ing Poppins - practically perfect in every way.



You have absolutely ZERO blame in his affair.  Anyone that says otherwise is a fool or a liar. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Vanessa

I am new to this term limerence, but a Wikipedia search suggests it’s like an early ‘love type’ feeling (perhaps slightly more obsessively) which would seem an emotionally vulnerable time. So why would opening up to an affair partner be easier?

I think of limerence like a "high school crush" - it is all about the googly eyes and flutters, not about any REAL relationship.  It is also, IMHO, very much like a drug - the addict knows it is destroying his/her life but "feels" powerless to control it - The addict IS the ONE who controls it, but addicts, like WSs like to blame their actions on others as a general rule.

As a BS I also struggle with the ‘why her’ (in my case why them) question, especially as a wife who feels that they never denied their husband anything that was asked for. So when it is being insinuated that ‘his needs’ were not being met in the relationship, which implies I was to blame for the affair, I find myself thinking they must have been Mary F@£&ing Poppins - practically perfect in every way.

I think you are likely to never know why HER - perhaps your WS doesn't even know - other than availability. Think of it this way - if some wonderfully handsome man came to you and wanted to have a "fling" would you have agreed?  I thought not.  Because you have morals, and standards and well, self-respect.  Someone who knowingly becomes a married person's side piece does not think very highly of themselves. So think of APs as low hanging fruit - i.e. easy pickings.

On the second point about feeling like you were a good wife, that goes DIRECTLY to the point that this was ALL about a problem in your WS, and not you!  In 18 years I never told my husband no for sex, was willing to "play" whatever intimate "games/scenarios" he wanted, and supported him through nearly 200 thousand dollars of flight training so he could pursue his dream of becoming a commercial pilot.  Was I perfect wife? NO.  But many men would say, "wow I wish my wife did XYZ! You are SO lucky to have a wife like Vanessa!"  Again, I was NOT the perfect wife, but I was a damn good partner, and did NOT deserve to be betrayed the way I was.  People who chose affairs as a solution to their problems, have broken life coping skills.  They have a problem and their preferred method of dealing with it is to "escape" into the LaLa land of an affair.  Me, I prefer dark chocolate and red wine, not necessarily great coping methods either, but at least I am not lying to the people who love me!
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Isitme
If the affair was ‘ALL’ about a problem with my spouse, how do you get them to disclose what the problem was/is?
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hurting
IMO you can’t. Why? Most WS won’t know unless they are able to get the heads out of their asses and start self reflecting. It’s far easier to blame others for your failings than taking along hard look at yourself and acknowledging it was all your fault. Even harder still to go looking deep enough to identify the issues. 

Just as you cannot make them disclose anything, you can control only your choices. This is why (as horribly difficult and painful as it is), the best thing for a BS to do is to focus on themselves and what they need rather than trying to climb into the WS’s head. Because we can’t. We will never ‘get’ their reasons till they at least can start looking into themselves... even then we won’t ‘get it’ because we are not cheaters. We didn’t make those choices and we do not know what they felt or thought...
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