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MyBiggestFailure posted 4/17/2013 15:11 PM

I cheated. With multiple women over a period of time.

Last summer she found out, by checking my phone after becoming suspicious. After about a week we decided to try to make things work, which included a lot of evenings spent answering her questions. Stupidly I was only partially honest in the answers I gave, and she always had the feeling that there was more that I wasn't telling her. We went to couples counselling during this time, and I also had solo therapy for depression, which had been a contributing factor to my cheating.

About 2 months ago she discovered evidence of what I'd been hiding from her, and she threw me out.

We still see a lot of each other, as we both seem to want to remain friends, even if the marriage can't be salvaged, and we have 2 small children, whose lives I very much intend to remain part of. I've stayed some nights at their house, mostly at the weekend, and always at her suggestion, and although it's often felt awkward for one or both of us, I think we both get some comfort from the time together.

She's been using SI since she found out, tonight is my first visit.

I still want to fix the mess I've made, and it feels like part of her does too, but the big problem is trust. Obviously her trust in me has been shattered, not once, but twice, so that she's got no reason to believe that anything I tell her is the truth. This isn't helped by the fact that my own memories of a lot of the circumstances surrounding the affairs are fuzzy at best, were so even when it first came to light, so I can't always answer the questions she's asked. There have even been occasions when I've told her one thing, believing it to be the truth, when she's got evidence that it's not.

So what can I do? How can I pro-actively help her?

hardlessons posted 4/17/2013 16:21 PM

MBF, the best way you can help her is two fold. First, you have got to figure your issues out? How did you make it ok in your head to do what you did? IC, books and SI have been working for me and am sure they can for you if you are genuine in your commitment. Secondly, support your BS how she asks. Be present, aware and understand that for a long ass time everything will be connected to your past actions. Movies, comments, jokes, friends, work, you name it in a BS mind all roads lead back to the A. If you are doing what you need to do to get healthy and she is doing what she needs to do to recover then there is hope. Good luck

wanttogoforward posted 4/17/2013 16:49 PM

BS here.... hope I can help...
trust is my biggest issue as well.... it simply takes time...lots of time.... and ACTION, not words!
Your actions need to include: answering all questions, over and over
being 100% truthful
being open and honest in all areas
giving up all passwords, emails, everything SHE needs/ wants
Not crossing boundaries the two of you set together
With those open and honest communications she will learn to trust you again.... it takes years and you will often feel as though you take one step forward and two back... be honest with yourself and her to rebuild what you have torn down.... nothing can be rebuilt quickly once destroyed.... put in the time and effort and it will help in her healing.

1Faith posted 4/18/2013 14:17 PM

BS here:

My advice:

Triple the time and energy you put into your affairs. Take the time to demonstrate through your actions that you have changed. That you are sorry (you can not say this enough ) and that you will NEVER hurt her again. Be prepared to be challenged on these statements over and over again.

You will NEVER have what you once had but you can have something better. Be more open and honest than you ever have been. With yourself and your wife.

Your wife and children deserve a person they can count on, trust and that will cherish them.

Show up, be present, contribute, help, seek ways to contribute to the family without having any expectations in return. Do these things because you love them not because you hope it grants you forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a gift that will come with time, once it is earned.

I am glad you have woken up from your fog and realize that your family is worth more than any thrill you got from cheating.

Time, it is just going to take time and you are going to have to demonstrate more patience than you may have at times.

Sounds as if she still loves you but is keeping you at arms length so she doesn't get hurt again.

Good luck and keep the focus on your wife and family.

1Faith posted 4/18/2013 14:27 PM

helpful link...

MyBiggestFailure posted 4/19/2013 02:21 AM

Thanks all.

Sounds as if she still loves you but is keeping you at arms length so she doesn't get hurt again.

She's told me that this is the case. After DD1, she'd often say that she couldn't let herself trust me again.

She texted me last night to say that she was going to try to stop using "Find my iPhone" to check up on where I was, because it's not any of her business where I am or who with. I replied that she should only stop if she wants to, not becuase she doesn't think should invade mt life in that way. In a way, I don't want her to stop, as (when it worked properly) it gave her concrete evidence that I was where I said I was, which should have helped to build her trust back up.

I've been over with her and the kids every weekend since she threw me out, and some weekday evenings too, mostly helping out with the kids - I've taken them out for the afternoon to give her a break - but also time after they've gone to bed, spending time together, catching up on tv shows that we used to watch together, and it's felt good. More than a little wierd at times, but spending the time together feels good. Unfortunately that also means that it confuses us emotionally. We're both dealing with the fallout from my betrayal, but when we're together it's hard to think objectively. I've had plenty of time on my own to do that thinking, and I'm 100% certain that if I can win her back, I do want to. My A was never about not wanting her emotionally or physically, it was about the problems in the relationship that I was scared to talk to her about, but are now in the open. I definitely believe that if we did get back together, the relationship would be stronger for the changes that we've both gone through, but mostly the IC that I've had.

I want to ask her out on dates (we never really dated when we were first together), but I'm afraid of rushing things, of putting pressure on her that she's not ready for, and damaging whatever chance there might be of R. But if I don't ask, she won't know, and not telling her how I feel was a major factor in why I ended up cheating. I guess in some ways I'm scared of being shot down, but also it would have been our wedding anniversary in 2 weeks, and I don't want to let that pass unnoticed.

1Faith posted 4/19/2013 10:26 AM


I think you are getting "IT"

I am encourage by your awareness and understanding of how deep she has been hurt.

I encourage you to gently bring up the subject.

"I know this might not be where you are right now but I would like for us to go out on x date. I have arranged for a sitter and I just want to spend time with you. I know this may be too soon or you might not be ready for this and that is okay but please know that I want to be with you."

No pressure but sincere desire. You don't have to problem solve or discuss anything heavy. Just being together starts to bridge some of the hurt.

Good luck. Don't give up. The journey of healing is long. It is not an overnight fix.

Right now she doesn't trust herself to trust you. Own that and give her reasons to let you win her back. Little by little, day by day.

If you are sincere and consistent it will pay off.

Theradin posted 4/20/2013 14:57 PM

BS here.

It sounds like she is still reeling from the 'discovery' that occurred very recently. She is likely scare, apprehensive about who it is she actually married, and trying to protect herself (mentally, emotionally, etc.) and the kids. That is likely her #1 priority at the moment.

R is not guaranteed. It is a personal choice made by both a BS and a WS. I don't think she's at the point where she can make that choice. And based on the fact that you mentioned she has actively given up even caring where you are or who you're with, I regret to say this may be a red flag that she is attempting to actually detach from you emotionally. That usually isn't a good sign for R, but it may be what she needs to do to feel safe, etc.

All I can say is that if you are truly serious about R, then do everything you need to do in order to get to the bottom of why you did what you did, and to ensure you NEVER repeat that kind of behavior again in the future. In addition, expressing true remorse (only when you truly feel it - trust me, a BS knows when it's legit or not), and doing everything to be a better man, husband and father. What do you have to lose at this point, ya know? If R doesn't work, then at least all the work you've made on yourself doesn't get lost and can be used in a future relationship.

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