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I agree AnnaB26. If it wasn't for Tim, I'd be gone already & I just joined this week.
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This question was for the WS's, and like Tim has warned in the OW/OM section, don't read us if you can't handle what we say. While you may not like what we say, it is meant to be helpful to share our experience to help you understand the mindset of your WS. I like to read from the BS perspective so that I can also understand what my H is going through. 

When you go to MC, one of the things you work on is the contributing factors for the A. This is where the WS often describes the feelings of an unhappy marriage. In my case, I was in an unhappy marriage for 20 years, and even though we tried counseling, we both knew we were just staying together until our 3 kids left the house. When I met my AP, I could have never imagined being involved with him. He was very different from my H, and I was a 180 from his wife. However, we were both in bad marriages, and we found ourselves needing to talk to each other everyday. We were good friends, but it wasn't until I sat in a 6 hr. class taught by his wife and witnessed how she talked crap about him the entire time that I understood him. After seeing the pain in his eyes the one time he happened to be in the room when she barked orders at him, I got very angry. I called him that night and told him he is not the person she makes him out to be. It was then we realized we had deeper feelings for each other. So see, as much as you don't like how Kal says the BS has some responsibility, you may have contributed to the reason your WS crossed that line.

There was also one very BIG reason the both of us crossed that line. We came from a long background of affairs. Both of my parents married their AP's and are still married after 20+ years. His father also had a long list of affairs and is still married to his AP. So you see, the two of us thought it was normal, acceptable and very reasonable to believe we were going to end up together.

I don't say all this to defend my actions. I say all this to give an understanding to the many factors that go into why someone chooses to cheat. And as I have said in another thread, I don't think every A is a textbook case. There are many things that go into why it happened, and there is a wide range of personalities of people that have affairs. It can be good but broken people, or it could be someone that has a real personality disorder.

The key for me in recovery is the understanding of why. The fact that in my case it goes all the way back to my childhood. I never lived with a father, I was always seeking the approval of a man because I never had that daddy tell me I was wonderful just the way I was.  I did not understand the boundaries of appropriate relationships in a marriage, because I never lived in a home with a happy married couple. I only knew about affairs. So while some on here have accused me of being selfish and blaming everyone for what I did, I strongly disagree. I know EXACTLY why I did what I did. Some of it is not my fault because of my childhood, but ultimately the decision I made was entirely my fault. The IC I have had for over a year has gotten me to where I am. This is why Tim says it's very important to treat everyone with respect. We all have our own demons to work through. My pain is not the same as yours, but I am still in deep pain. 

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Scarlett wrote:
...The key for me in recovery is the understanding of why...

Just the other day, a betrayed spouse in a recovered marriage gave some good advice from the BS perspective and one of her points was that it does little good for the BS to expect to ever understand WHY the affair happened. I think that is probably good advice, because even a complete explanation of all the factors that may have contributed to a particular affair cannot satisfy one question: "Yes, but despite all of that, why did you have to betray me?" In then end, the unfaithful partner makes a selfish choice and must take full responsibility for it.

But I agree with you, Scarlett, that it is extremely helpful for the wayward spouse to gain insight into all the factors that contributed to choosing an affair. I know people who simply have bad character and probably can NEVER be trusted because of it. But probably most of the affairs I work with involve people who would have previously stated honestly, "That is something I'll never do." But they do. Why? There is hardly ever a single answer to that question. It's like a puzzle: to see it clearly you need to have at least the big pieces figured out. And family history is a big piece for many (not all) people who have had an affair. Whether you blame it on nature or nurture or both, there is a strong link between intergenerational infidelity.

All these play a factor in influencing affair choices: a person's history, personality, beliefs, relationship problems, circumstances. None of them is a "reason" (or excuse) for having an affair, but they all contribute to what leads people to make the emotional and behavioral shifts that lead to infidelity.

I'm glad you're doing the work!
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Although yall don't think us BS belong here , even tho YES TimT did in fact ask for us to give insight also I'm going to respond again after a long 2 weeks of my WS away on business and when he came home a huge battle that we have not had in a long time I realized I will never understand the WHY as you say. I will never accept his reasoning ( as you asked). So I have thrown my flag in and I have surrendered to him to myself to my kids to my marriage. I guess that in the end that is how it ultimately has to go someone has to surrender and more times than not it us the BS who has to do it. So I guess in a way he won. He got off. I have no energy anymore to fight this battle I am mentally drained. Physically falling apart and I just don't think I'll ever get an answer I deserve so now I just live a new me. Like it or not.

These are questions and insights that was asked of the BS. This is the reality of the WS actions. This is not a vindictive post this is not pointing the finger at anyone inperticular , this is not meant to shake it up or get yall wound. This is reality and this is my life now
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I totally understand the place you are in. I think perhaps it's maddening. I don't think there ever would be an explanation that would make you pause, go, hmmm...okay,i totally get it. Or, maybe there is, but you are not in that place.

Sometimes it's hard to be succinct. That is, without being blunt. There is no way the truth is going to be told without some measure of pain on your end. You may not want to hear some things, and to be honest, I do not blame you. In your place, I think I would be even less understanding.

But, the why is not something you need to occupy yourself with. If your WS chooses to be honest, and give you that honestly about maybe what led him to the point where he thought about straying, that is something maybe you can dig into a bit, but other than that... It's up to your WS to figure that stuff out for himself.

It's not about giving up, winning, losing, it's more about your sanity. Thing is, like you were saying before, NO explanation will make you feel better, or able to accept it.

But, so what? In the present, you have a bigger issue going forward. You need to rebuild. Right now it's the sh*tty conversations that matter. The ones that get swept to the side because you are busy focusing and dwelling on the WHY. I think is what TimT was getting at about grace.

I don't think your husband got off "Scott free." You still know about it, and could easily let others know about it. But, is he all in? Willing to work on it? Then it won't matter.

You know, I was at a fondue last night, and my wife makes an offhand crack about how I "love" that name... The one of my AP. Of course, maybe not all understood what she was saying, but most did. So, that's a level of shame that I have to go with, if I let it touch me. I know she isn't doing it to be completely vindictive, but I also accept that you know what? She's right. Partially anyway.

When I read your posts, and others here... I see a lot of pain. A lot. I want to help. So, I write things to try and get you to see. I don't do it to be inflammatory, just to try to see if what I am saying can have an impact so you can move past this point of pain.

Don't give up in your recovery. You don't have to give a pass to the guy. No one ever said that. Hell, you have every right to lay out the groundwork for buddy to prove to you that he is in this. If he doesn't, to coin the phrase used before, get him to the curb. You are BOTH in control of this ship, it's your relationship.

If there is one thing I can say, you are feisty. Me, I'd like to see you direct that to your recovery, in points that mean something today. Like, figuring out why he did it probably isn't going to help you much, or definitely make you feel better. I call it a red herring.

Perhaps a better question is what now? I'm not sure about your situation, or his... But if the AP is out of the picture, how do you channel that feistiness and get that biatch gone? She doesn't deserve a breath in this life of yours, and while you didn't choose to have her introduced in your life, you sure as hell have a say whether she is in it now!

You are worth it. Nothing that has been done to you defines you. At all. You are articulate, passionate, and strong. As I like to throw around, you are badass. Look at how far you have come!

By the way, I want to let you all know, I am in no way offended, mad, upset by any comment left on my posts. It's all a POV. I may defend my position, but most times when I read, it gives me a sense of where you all are coming from, which in turn helps me understand my wife. (Who, by the way is a firecracker that makes any post I've read here pale in comparison. She's Italian, need I say more? =)
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