Q&A Can Minimizing Childhood Trauma Affect the Ability to Take Responsibility and Show Empathy during Recovery?

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Question: 

Last year my husband's 8 year affair ended when he left his job. He and his affair partner worked together when he traveled to her area or they were together on out of town trips, and they'd have casual sex 3 or 4 times a year. In his mind they were work friends and he thinks the sex was pleasurable stress relief from his high-stress job. My ongoing frustration is how little he can remember, including when he used escorts, when he got interested in his affair partner, why he bought her jewelry, and especially his belittling treatment of me during those years. Processing has been up and down because he doesn't remember how cruel he could be at the same time he was cheating on me. He believes what I tell him and says he's sorry, but it feels empty when he doesn't remember what he did---and I really think that he doesn't remember. In the last 10 years my husband was in an environment where heavy drinking was always part of the socializing. He functioned fine at his job but he drank every day. Could heavy drinking have affected his memory, especially if the details didn't matter to him at the time? Also, as a child he was routinely beaten by his mother. He minimizes the abuse, but could learning to minimize bad things be part of why he doesn't remember his bad actions?

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Forgetting

Yes. Spot on. It’s a defence mechanism- like trauma victims from war - why it’s healthy not to go there - some things are best shut away. But if it’s impacting your relationship perhaps he’s going to have to go there

Forgetting

Yes. Spot on. It’s a defence mechanism- like trauma victims from war - why it’s healthy not to go there - some things are best shut away. But if it’s impacting your relationship perhaps he’s going to have to go there