You Must Know Why You or Your Spouse Cheated

Samuel tackles a sensitive subject: understanding the importance of why a spouse cheats.

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Development, or flat change?

I have no authority over these issues and have struggled with that which I will write here. My purpose for writing this is to relay my understanding and to be checked if I misunderstand; I would appreciate feedback if you have the time.
I assume that some betrayer's understanding of "why" changes flatly because they were wrong. However for me (so far, 1 year+ since I started contemplating after my self-induced soul crushing), my understanding of "why" has only changed because it has Developed from my initial understanding, which was/is true. My initial comprehensions haven't changed because they were "wrong". Rather, with a lot of work, humility and submission over time~ developing information has compounded my understanding for a brighter, more clear big-picture of "why" (as opposed to simply "changing"). And it is still developing. I think if we're honest with ourselves~ this development shall never stop if we're on a righteous path. That is why I find it paramount to share with my betrayed spouse my introspective journey, because she needs to be kept up to date on the "why" as well. This communication is a basic common task for a righteous marriage. It shouldn't be viewed as something "above and beyond". With out loving communication & connection, marriages with fidelity have trouble, not to mention marriages with infidelity. If I'm not on track with what you are saying, please respond. Thanks~ ScumBum

great points one caveat...

great obeservation and i think you're right on with most of what you're saying.  however, some spouses do not want to be up to speed on the continual development.  they sometimes, want to maybe hear at benchmarks at say a year or two or something, but sometimes they just do not want to be kept up to date too frequently.  they are not hiding, but they would rather talk about regular everyday life so if a spouse is not wanting to talk about the progression that's not unhealthy as much as it's really just not wanting to relive it every day or week.  hope that makes sense. 


Thanks You Sir

It does indeed make sense. We greatly appreciate your and AR's wonderful work.

Importance of Knowing Why

When there is no clear answer to Why, after months of counseling, boot camp, sex addiction group therapy, questions asked and talking it out. When all you hear are excuses (justifications) and a mix of contradictions on thoughts and feelings during the time of the affairs, and loads of lies and cover ups that keep coming to light, then I feel as if he can’t be truthful because he just doesn’t trust me. Why does he continue to lie when he tells me how much he loves me and wants us to heal from this? I am having more anguish over his non or partial disclosure than I am with him having the affairs. If he doesn’t know why (after over a year) or can’t truthfully tell me why then how can he expect me to trust him about the present and future? I’m dealing with anger now over this because he just keeps poking at the boil and covering it with little heart covered bandages instead of lancing the thing. Sometimes I wonder if he has Deeper issues and actually enjoys the roll he has of the healer white knight . That maybe he is purposely keeping me in a state of confusion. Without the truth about everything and especially the Why then the betrayed spouse is put in a place where the imagination runs wild and paranoia reigns supreme. Non disclosure is a cruel and selfish, emotionally tormenting thing. It is the heart of betrayal. Selfish secrets kept at the expense of another.

it's very true...

often times, spouses can get over the affairs, but not the lying and perpetual deception.  in many ways it's fear of you finding out all the info and then deciding you don't want to stay in the marriage.  or, it can be that he just doesn't want to tell you everything as it hurts too much to give it up and is afraid you'll throw it in his face for the rest of his life.  not saying you will at all, but he may fear that.  he's just not aware of the suffering and the turmoil you are in due to his actions.  it's very normal. this article if you or he haven't read it may help:  maybe he will read that and see the need to help you get the information you need.  you may also tell him, "no matter what you tell me, i will not make any decisions for at least two weeks.  i'll think about it, pray about it, meditate about it (if you're a praying person) and then get help to decide.  but i have to know all the information.  i commit to not making any decisions like "i knew it."  "we're done, i can't believe you did that."  if you say those things, after he comes clean, he'll never come clean again.  so i'd commit to that and see if he will give you more information.



I cheated on my spouse 19 years ago. He wants to know why. I can't give him the answer that he's looking for. The only answer I have is that I was in a very low place at the time. I felt as though our marriage was over and that he no longer loved or cared for me. I allowed myself to take the bait of someone saying nice things to forget how I was feeling. This only lasted maybe 2 weeks. When we had sex, I immediately felt guilty and regretted what I did. I realized that I loved my husband and wanted our marriage. He always suspected that something happened and I have lied to him about it for 19 years. I wanted to hide the truth from him, because I didn't want to hurt him. Also, selfishly I didn't want anyone to know and I didn't want to lose my husband. I finally came clean with him 9 months ago and it has been a struggle. I love him more than anything and want our marriage to last. I know he loves me, but the pain he has is just too much for him to bare. He says he has to know why and that there is more to it than I am telling him. We need help! Any advise?

very sorry for the delay....

hi there.  have you done the bootcamp yet?  i would do that asap:  then, i would encourage you to do the hope for healing course for unfaithful spouses found here:  there definitely is more to the why of your affair, but you don't get there on your own.  you'll need expert third party care from those who have been through it before to help you on your journey of 'why' did this happen.  your why evolves over time as well and it will take time to absorb the info.  after the bootcamp, i'd highly suggest you do the ems weekend or the ems online course on the site as it will give you a space to both do recovery work, while also helping each other heal and find momentum.  the betrayed always suspects more and it's normal, but as you continue to answer questions and as you continue to be open about it, it will typically subside IF you get third party care, from experts to support you both.  there are things we/I/expert resources can say to him that he won't believe or even receive from you and the same goes for you.  it's about finding a safe place, and not a general safe place for help as much as an expert third party who have been through this before. 


Knowing why.

Hi .
I'm the unfaithful one and already have changed or not been able to pin point the "why" but I've recently realized that it started during a difficult time in my life when I got hurt at work and thought that was the problem but I kept falling back to the something was missing but refused to make excuses so I wouldn't except it. The other day I was holding my wife and it hit me like a Mac truck, that what was missing was me.. I was missing, my wife is amazing and does so much and during the difficult time that I felt might have caused this I removed myself from our marriage around the same time we got pregnant. I didn't have sex with another woman I found it in pictures from woman I know then moved to kissing over a span of 4 years..... only 1 month in and everything I watch of yours has happened or explains something I need to understand about how she's feeling. I'm worried that even though she's trying to work on this that unless I find the "why " the woman of life of 15 years will be gone over pics and a kiss.... She's dead set on details and the how's and why's.

it's a critical point

it's imperative you understand why it's happened.  what help have you received?  have you pursued any counseling, courses on our site, or anything along those lines?  

A good place

Thank you. This has helped me to realize that we are in a really good place. I’m the betrayed spouse wanting to know why. Since disclosure 2 months ago, my husband has offered many contributing readons mostly centering on our relationship and how he thought we weren’t doing well at all. We weren’t doing great, but in my mind what was going on was hardly affair causing; although I do agree it was a contributing factor. Recently he had said that he really doesn’t know why, but that he wants to do the work to figure out how he got there and how to not go back into that dark place where he found himself, without a moral anchor, lost and hopeless. After listening to this video by Samuel, I see that my husband is right where he should be: broken and humble and knowing that he needs some outside help to sort it out. I also want to sort out my own issues that may have contributed to the distance in our marriage. We both agree that our goal is to create an enviable relationship, an example to our children and grandchildren.

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