After Spouse of a Sex Addict (SSA) and author of A Couples Journey of Recovery from Sex Addiction read my story, A Review: Day 22 – Guessing, she wrote to me and asked me a few questions (I’ve added her question and comments below).
At the time I didn’t have an answer. I’m still not sure I have a real answer and as I’ve discussed repeatedly with the men and women on Twitter, I’m not sure I will ever be able to provide a personally or socially satisfactory answer to the “Why” question.
Often the answers to “Why” leads down a meandering, maze-filled rabbit hole. Often the answers simply lead to more “Why’s”. Eventually, answers become answers for the sake of answers or devolve into me leaving and going to the pastry shop.
I firmly believe most people do not know “Why” they do most things. However, that doesn’t mean talking about the question isn’t important. Why matters.
I read your entries with a heavy heart and it’s confusing for me because I was betrayed (many times, with many women, over our entire relationship). Notwithstanding, I have compassion and am rooting for you in all areas of your journey with healing from the loss of your relationship with C. Do you mourn the loss of your romantic relationship with K? I’ve wondered if my spouse mourns them, he of course says no, but I still wonder.
I haven’t read much on WHY you had the affair or what YOU were lacking – have you figured that out yet? I 100% believe you have owned and taken full responsibility and recognize that affairs are never the answer – but have you figured out why you went down that road?
Heartache is heartache and regardless of what side you’re on, it hurts like a mofo (in different ways respectively).
Regardless of your actions, you are human and are allowed to hurt xo
Do you mourn the loss of your romantic relationship with K?
However, what I mourn far more than the romantic and sexual relationship is the friendship.
K and I had a lot of issues while married. Some mine. Some were hers. There were a lot of good things in our marriage too. I miss and love my stepson. At moments I miss her.
There were also a lot of abusive things and depending on who you talk with we might both give you conflicting explanations for Why. Even though we shared the same marriage, we shared two different marriage experiences.
I’m not sure C ever really understood why I spoke so kindly about K. C would often withdrawal if I tried to talk to, or about my life with K. I don’t know if she was jealous, insecure, or simply disinterested in aspects of my life that didn’t involve her.
K isn’t a monster, crazy, or dangerous. She’s a human being with her own frailties, damages, experiences, passions, loves, and qualities. On more than one occasion I said to C and K I wanted them to be friends. It certainly would have made it easier to live more congruently and maturely.
The one time C and K could have met, C once again ran off and hid in other artists’ tents leaving me to carry the emotional weight..but that is a different story for a different day.
Without K, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and although my heart is broken, and there have been personally horrific and humiliating consequences, this is where I need to be. Regardless of K’s motivations for calling C, I needed the help breaking the cycle of shame that was killing me. Her motivations may be suspect, but it resulted in a very loving outcome.
I may be angry at K but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss aspects of our relationship.
I haven’t read much on WHY you had the affair – have you figured that out yet?
I’m going to assume we are talking only about the sexual act of the betrayal.
Here is the short answer: I slept with K because I wanted to sleep with K.
I wasn’t drunk, raped, or seduced. There is no justification for my behavior. The decision was self-destructive, selfish, and mindboggling to me even when I was acting this way. I selfishly and thoughtlessly betrayed C, K, our families, and my values, principles, future, loves, interests, needs, wants, and desires to sleep with K.
The first act was unplanned and purely opportunistic and not premeditated. The next five to six acts were a result of fatalism and shame: “I fucked up. I am a fuck up. C is better without me. K is better without me.”
The meaning of Why is more complex and nuanced. I’ll give you the short list as I understand it now and knew even when I was sleeping with K:
- Issues of abandonment
- Lack of boundaries
- The overdeveloped sense of responsibility for the well-being of others
- Fear of dying alone
- Financial insecurity
- Inability to grieve the end of my marriage
- Unwillingness to be vulnerable and open
- Confusing sex with caring
- Empathic overload
- Social anxiety disorder
- Unaddressed shame
- Cognitive dissonance
That is the short list.
If you want to know why I kept secrets and used an escalating series of lies and manipulations to cover my tracks I’ll eventually get to that in a post. There are similar issues but different dynamics at play there. I am happy to discuss that in more details because I understand those motivations more clearly right now.
What YOU were lacking – have you figured that out yet?
Boundaries. Humility. Lexapro.
Maybe pot to ease the anxieties. Avoiding anxieties created more bad decisions which created more anxieties. I would also refer you to the short list above.
I will say my betrayal, secret-keeping, and escalating series of lies had nothing to do with C, K or anyone else. It was never a reflection of their value, how I value them, or the importance of those relationships. It had nothing to do with sex or a desire for more sex.
My choices were completely a reflection of how my inner saboteurs were driving my own insecurities and doubts to create new levels of anxiety. Eventually, the little things become big things and the big things become insurmountable.