The Process of Knowing Why Why did he do it? Why did she do it? What made them risk their lives and their family for such a stupid rush? What could propel them to risk it all, for some tramp or some prostitute? Why did they affair-down? Just how deep does the dysfunction and/or addiction really go? I’ve talked to many who have spent months and years, several years actually, trying to find the ‘why’ of the affair(s). From numerous visits to therapists, counselors, pastors, and friends, to endless books, seminars, and retreats, the ‘why’ of it all is a quest all betrayed spouses are on. The good news is: there is a why. There is probably more than one. The bad news is: it will take the right kind of process to discover what it is. The worse news is: it will never be a some cavalier, trite, one sentence explanation. A bit of even worse news is if the unfaithful spouse cannot share why he or she had the affair, I hate to say it, but relapse is probably in the very near future and they may not be safe right now. It’s been 8 years, and the ‘whys’ of my affair have become more and more clear. It’s not a one sentence answer, and anyone that has a one sentence answer is probably not safe. Here’s some of my why: I was addicted to the applause of others outside my home. Outside my house, and on stage, I was treated like a hero. In my home, I felt like a fourth kid who could never do anything right, or ever do enough. I was insecure and at the right time, the right woman came along and I was ripe for disaster. I was so self-absorbed, I thought the world revolved around me and had no clue what maturity was and what being a father and husband really looked like. Samantha had some personal dysfunction that had to be addressed as well. Six sentences. It’s taken more tears than I care to itemize, and more money than I care to remember, and more collaboration with Samantha than I could display on any chart, to get those six sentences. It doesn’t encompass it all, but it does narrow down much of the ‘why’ of my affair. I blame myself more than anyone and Samantha would agree with all of those six sentences. All of them. Even her own. The process we utilized literally saved my life, and saved our marriage. The why will take time and will be a byproduct of the recovery methods you utilize. If the unfaithful spouse cannot tell you why, with some pin pointed accuracy and wisdom from someone besides themselves, danger is on the horizon. If you are in a process of recovery and the lights are not slowly but surely coming on for both spouses, I’d caution you to re-evaluate either the methods you are using, or the commitment by either spouse. The why is essential to both spouse’s recovery. For some it seems they can never know enough, they can never stop digging for more answers, more reasons, more motives. For others they prefer to shroud themselves in the darkness of knowing nothing and pretend it didn’t happen. The answer for many lies in the middle. Knowing enough to prevent relapse, while also knowing when to stop digging to be at peace with what has happened. Allowing the why to become an idol will only create paralysis and frustration. Trust the process, dump the methods that don’t work and find new ones, and get help to find out the why’s. They are there if you use the right methods to uncover them.