The Why Trap (And How to Get Out)

19 Responses

  1. Great post. I’ve been falling repeatedly into that why trap and trying to understand when things went wrong and how I could have behaved differently to have made things better. Helps to know that it’s common.

    Writing my blog has definitely helped.

  2. Liv says:

    This is an amazing post Lisa – you are a brilliant and inspirational woman. Thank you for putting it into words.

  3. This is great and I especially live the idea that not understanding them may mean something good about you. I believe this to be true as I have no understanding of my almost ex husband. He confuses me continuously. Trying to understand the why of him is a dead end road and I need to let that go!

    • I actually reached that conclusion with my now-husband. I used to get frustrated when he didn’t “get”my ex, thinking that his actions fell on the normal scale. It was a lightbulb moment when I realized that it was good he didn’t understand. It meant he couldn’t even imagine.

      So here’s to not understanding and the good found within!

      And, is it just me, or does anyone else think it would be really funny to set up a reality show where all of these difficult ex’s get thrown together:)

      • Hahaha! I have totally thought about that before. It’d make for some good tv, and I think they’d all love each other. But the scary, manipulative, deceptive, crap that would likely come out of throwing all that mess into one big pile would likely be too much for the world to handle haha! But, I think they call deserve each other!
        And yes, what a beautiful thing to have a husband who can’t even imagine behaving the way your ex did. That’s a very good sign. So glad you’ve healed and found a good one. It gives me hope 😉

  4. Myrna K. says:

    I have been your follower and your posts have helped me a lot. There were times when I did not agree with you and I always said that you have moved on and must forget and forgive your ex. For me, it is just the Christian thing to do.
    I just had my divorce finalized in July of this year and my ex had the marital settlement drafted by his lawyer and asked me to sign it in September of last year. I had no money and moved to AZ from FL because of a job offer. He agreed that I should do it and promised that he would follow me after he sold the house. Three months after I moved and started working at my new job, he sent me the marital settlement to sign and told me he would file for divorce in August of this year. I thought we had a friendly or amicable divorce. I didn’t want to fight as I didn’t have any money to pay for a lawyer and he filed it in FL. I was in AZ and just agreed to whatever he gave me. He told me he was going to pay for my rent money in AZ until February 2015. He said that he would continue to pay for my car payments until it is paid off. He agreed for me to trade in my 2011 CRV for a 2014 Honda Civic because he was going to pay the same amount for the new one and since I opened to get a leased car, I helped him shave off at least 8 months of payment for the 2011 CRV. He also said I would be his life insurance beneficiary for his group life insurance through his work. But he refused to give me documents to show that I would be the irrevocable beneficiary. I did not ask for his 401k or investments, etc. I just wanted to move on and accept the things he was giving me after being married to him for 11 years and 6 months.
    I always thought he was a good man and I trusted him. But 3 months after our divorce was finalized he sent me an email last Wednesday that he will stop paying for my car which ” he does not drive.” He cut off my cellphone today which was still in his family plan due to a contract with the provider, without warning me. I have two kids in college who could not text or call me.
    This is the man I married who I continued to understand and forgive for all his actions in the past that destroyed my trust and faith in him. I always thought it is the Christian thing to do. He cheated on me with my best friend. He wrote a letter to another girlfriend of mine who was going through a divorce and asked her to wait for him and not see other men. He took naked selfies of himself and sent them to a woman who also forwarded it to me much to my horror. I confronted him and he said he was drunk and was sorry and regretted it. These last two years, he managed to hurt me so much but I remained friendly with him because I felt that I needed to understand “why?”
    Tonight, I got my answer. When he cut off my phone, without warning me, just because I asked him to call me back after he refused to answer my email and phone calls so we could talk like human beings about why he wants to stop paying for my car, I finally realized that I was making myself look at all the good things he did and refused to look at the bad things that out numbered the good. I am delusional.
    Now, I need to know how I can raise money to fight him in court. I should have gotten a lawyer before the divorce was finalized. Many people advised me to do so, but I always said that I would be okay and that my soon-to-be ex would do the right thing. Yes, delusional.
    I do not need to know “why” anymore. All I hope for is that he gets the bad karma he deserves.

    • I am so sorry that he is being so cruel to you. It’s so painful when you realize that the person you loved and trusted is manipulating and lying. I hope you’re able to get the help you need to secure a reasonable settlement.

      One thing I learned the hard way – in many cases, the decree isn’t enforceable without an additional trip to court with the associated legal fees. Know how far you want to go before you begin.

      For right now, it is okay to focus on his bad points; it will help fuel your progress and remind you to not trust his words. Later, you may be able to see the good again. From a safe distance, of course.

      And as for his karma, that will take care of itself. That’s the best thing about karma; it happens all on its own.

      Take care,

  5. Momma Bear says:

    Wow. I read this at a great time. The beginning of this post is so spot on, describing the traps I have fallen into. And it is comforting to know that this is how it happens for others, too. What to do about it all is difficult, though. I struggle with how to move on. I guess time is the only answer.

    • Michelle says:

      Amen! He first three lines are what got me too. I’ve been on an understanding search. I always come to the conclusion it’s something wrong with him to lie and manipulate all the time. I’ll never understand. You cannot rationalize with irrational

  6. All the traps, I think we all fall into them now and then. The one that didn’t catch me, much or often was ‘Why’. I don’t know why, his actions were inexplicable to me and at the point and in the manner he left, I no longer cared about why. Is that strange?

  7. Honestly says:

    Once they agree and cross the line, I think they start believing the lie and then become the lie. Fear motivates them and not loyalty to you. That’s when you decide, do you want to be with someone who was willing to do this to you?

  1. November 10, 2014

    […] think my desperate quest to label him was not only coming from a need to understand why, but also from a need to prove that his judgement was somehow faulty. That I was rejected because […]

  2. November 10, 2014

    […] Are you convinced that you need to understand why it happened in order to move on? Careful. It’s a trap. […]

  3. November 12, 2014

    […] Why he did it. […]

  4. November 30, 2014

    […] an escape. It distracts from the pain and activates a more rational and aware part of the brain. But “why” is a deceptively sneaky trap. We convince ourselves that once we understand, we will be okay.  But no amount of information […]

  5. December 30, 2018

    […] Why he did it. […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: