The most asked question probably begins with the word “why.” People are driven to know the reason for things. It is, in part, due to our natural curiosity. Often, our desire and even need to know seeks a useful understanding of something that affects us. We search for a story of explanation. It is a common way that we make sense out of our world. It is a way that we strive to develop an understanding of things, events in our lives, other people, and even ourselves. So we ask why. Sometimes, we even feel compelled to ask why so as to know the answer to an emotional question.
We like to have a clear, singular, and simple answer. Something that can effectively and efficiently resolve our discomfort with not knowing. Elaborate methods of understanding, ranging from religion to the scientific method, have largely been driven by the question “why.” Answers to this question can allow us to feel more secure. The unsteadiness of uncertainty can seem resolved. We feel better. We gain a firmer grasp on our reality by being able to hold the answer to the question “why” in our hands.
The challenge of course is that the answer to the question “why” that may comfort us is often an illusion. It’s a story that we decide to tell ourselves. It’s a story that may loosely fit the facts but may actually be inaccurate. It can be a story that is driven by emotion and constructed with self delusion for the purpose of self-defense.
“While I search for the reason why, I look for the story in your eyes. Will they reveal the truth or merely tell me more lies?”
The question that begins with why is commonly the most torturous one for the partner that has been hurt emotionally by infidelity. Often compelled to seek the answer to this question, the person’s fears and insecurities tend to fill in the blanks in distressing ways. Fears of some sort of inadequacy are dreaded as the primary answer to this question.
“Am I I no longer attractive enough?”
“Have I gained too much weight?”
“Am I no longer interesting?”
“Am I a poor lover?”
“Has aging made me unappealing?”
“Am I unlovable?”
These and many other upsetting beliefs and fears commonly lurk behind the question “why” in the mind of the aggrieved partner. Sometimes, the factors that contribute to infidelity, particularly in the case of cyber infidelity that have little to do with inadequacies of the betrayed partner, are not even considered. The intrusive role that technology now plays in our personal lives and our relationships can have a disruptive effect wholly independent of any imagined personal inadequacy. Social media, cheaters apps, and pop up ads enticing illicit sex have entered the living rooms of most relationships. Infidelity no longer needs to be pursued or driven by sexual or relationship dissatisfaction. It can find and disrupt good relationships as well as troubled ones. Getting expert treatment that understands these factors and does not simplistically assume cyber infidelity is automatically and purely a result of personal inadequacy or a bad relationship is essential to recovery.
The challenging reality is that, like the explanation of most things, cyber infidelity requires careful expert analysis of a variety of factors that often interact in complex ways. By participating in treatment with a properly trained psychologist, both the aggrieved partner and the unfaithful partner can develop a useful and healing understanding in the collaborative pursuit of an answer to the question “why.”