My Dearest [WW],
I have some things to say to you. I don't expect it to have any effect on you because I understand that *you* control yourself. Please don't take anything that I'm saying as a threat because it is not meant that way. I'm merely letting you know what is going on with me and what you can expect from me.
It has been over a month since I discovered your affair. I've been an absolute basket case since my discovery. I've listened to what you've told me about your feelings and what you think about mine. I've heard that you love me, but you are “in love” with him. I've listened to you tell me about your right to privacy and your right to have fun, and I've felt your wrath when I've violated your privacy. I've heard your admission that you have been friends with [OM] for 3 years, that you began a sexual relationship with him in June 2012 and that the sexual relationship with [OM] was ongoing until my discovery. I've also heard your admission about past infidelity with [AOM], who was, at one time, your supervisor.
On discovery of the affair, I told you that it needed to stop immediately and that there may be no more contact between you and [OM]. You refused those terms and told me that I'm not allowed to come into your store anymore. Unfortunately, I accepted those terms and that was a huge and unhealthy mistake on my part. I gave you and [OM] control over me, and I enabled your affair to continue. You recently told me that you are no longer having a sexual relationship with [OM], but that you will continue to be friends with him. Again, unfortunately, I made another unhealthy mistake and accepted that. You have only ended the Physical Affair. You have not ended the Emotional Affair.
On Sunday evening, Mothers' Day, our 12th Anniversary, we had a heated discussion wherein you gave me some details you thought I should know about your affair. I almost walked out on you, but you called me back. The reason I wanted to leave is not because of what you have done. It is because of what you continue to do. I have told you several times that I can forgive you for what you have done, but I cannot forgive you for anything until you accept responsibility for your actions, and agree to stop contacting [OM]. Until that happens, we are not in a marriage.
Also on Sunday evening, after you went to sleep, I thought about some of the things that you talked about, and I especially thought about some of the things that I talked about. I went onto the Internet and searched on exact quotes and phrases that were said. It led me to an online support group for people suffering through the pain of infidelity.
This group is not only for people who have been betrayed, but it is for everyone involved in the affair. It is not overtly religious which is comforting. This group will provide support for betrayed spouses (me), wayward spouses (you), even the other man ([OM]). Unfortunately, they will not provide support for you or [OM] until you have really ended the affair and agree to “no contact”. This is for my safety. Additionally, until you make the decision to stop the affair, the only support that will be given to me is to get me a “soft landing”. This means, they will help me to return to independence and teach me how to live in the event that our marriage cannot be reconciled. I want to let you know now, I intend to fight to keep this marriage and our love alive. I am deeply hurt emotionally, but I will not give up without fighting with every ounce of strength that I have.
You are currently in what is called a “fog”. I was in a “fog” the day you came home with a hickey on your neck and told me that it wasn't, and that you were doing body shots with your friends. Fortunately for me, my fog was easily lifted when I went through your phone and discovered the truth. You have a much more difficult road ahead of you to get out of your fog.
Until you make the decision to end the Affair, I will be focusing on myself. I will get the help that I need to cope with life and become less dependent on your emotional support. I will be going to meetings with people—counselors and people that are going through similar issues to my own. I have regained control of myself and I'm going to make myself stronger. I will do this for myself, not for you. Your feelings are not my concern until you emerge from your fog and recommit to our marriage. This doesn't mean we won't talk. We definitely need to talk, but I won't waste my breath telling you things that you won't listen to. Don't be afraid to ask me any questions you have. I'm happy to answer answer any questions you have.
I will also use this time to reconnect with our son, [C] who has been hurt by this affair, and our behavior. I love [C] with all of my heart. I always have. I have told you that I love you more, but that is not true. I said that because, as your husband, I want you to feel special. In my mind, how can you tell someone that you love them forever and ever and you also love someone else the same? Isn't that cheating? Love is exclusive. “No man can serve two masters”. I was wrong. Romantic, passionate love, like the love I feel for you is exclusive. This is the love for which you “forsake all others”. It is the love of a man and his wife. But the love that I have for my son is not related. It is the protective, caring, and nurturing love (which I also have for you). This love is inclusive. It is the love of a family--A unit. They are equally strong, but different. They exist at the same time and they strengthen each other.
I will be contacting some lawyers. Again, I'd like to remind you that this is not a threat. I do not intend to give up on my marriage without a fight. This is merely to find out what types of options there are for myself and [C]. I must give this decision more thought than any other decision that I have ever had to make and this will take time. Remember that we dated for 5 years before I proposed.
I'm aware of the potential outcome of a Divorce. I'll even describe for you how I believe a Divorce would pan out: The house, my childhood home, will be sold and all of the equity will be used to pay Lawyer's fees. We will be given joint custody of [C]. I will most likely not be able to survive financially on my own and you will also have great difficulty. You will likely be able to move back in with your parents. They do love you, and they love [C], as well. I will most likely have to move to Arizona and live with my father. At that point, you and your parents will take over caring for [C]. I will then provide child support payments and attempt to keep in touch as best I can.
These are not desirable circumstances for me, but now that I know what is going on, I see that there is NOTHING desirable about my current circumstances. I did not marry you so that I could share you.
I am now requesting, again, that you stop this extramarital affair and agree to NO CONTACT with [OM]. If/when you agree to no contact with [OM], I will ask you to handwrite a no contact letter to him and send it via certified mail to his address. I will read the letter before you seal it and I will go with you to mail it. I have instructions available for you to help you write the letter, which is quite simple, when you become ready.
Finally, I'd like to reiterate, that this is no way a threat. I'm not attempting to coerce you in any way. You are in complete control of yourself right now. I'm aware that you are probably very angry at me right now. You probably haven't heard much of what I've said. You likely don't care. Again, this is the “fog”.
I accept you for who you are, who you have been, and who you can be. I offer you my forgiveness and love. I offer you my heart, mind, and soul—just as I did the day we were married. Please come back to me.
Your Partner in Life and Love,
End of letter
I wrote the letter about 1/2 hour before I gave it to her. I hope that I haven't misrepresented anything about the site, but I certainly didn't misrepresent my feelings or my intentions. Thoughts, guidance, and help from the group would be VERY helpful right now.
I can feel your passion, and your sorrow, but I'm afraid the reality is that these are just words. words will achieve nothing. Threats and promises will achieve nothing. You're trying to shock her with words into coming to her senses. Admirable, and I did the same thing. It won't work.
Actions are where it's at. Don't tell her about the 180. Just 180. Don't tell her about lawyers. See a lawyer. Don't talk about becoming distant. Become distant. Don't talk about refocussing on your life and kids. Now is the time to do exactly that.
Here's the 2 by 4.
I can sense how much you lofe your wife. If you want your very best chance at winning her back you need to be prepared to lose her. Stop asking for things. Start demanding things. Don't say you need NC. Tell her she better go NC right the fuck now or get out of the house. Don't ask her to recommit. Tell her she needs to wake up and put a stop to the affair TODAY or pack her bags.
I get you are afraid. I get that you are terrified if you push too hard she will go and you will lose her.
She's already gone. And she is losing YOU.
You talk about fighting for your marriage. Well, stand the hell up and fight. For yourself first. You have been betrayed. Then for your marriage. Don't reason her to her senses. Do your best to shock her ass back into reality. Before she can love you, she must respect you. that won't happen until you respect yourself.
I read a lot of myself in your words. You clearly adore your wife. She's clearly a fool for treating a good man in this way. I'm sorry for your pain. Stay strong. I love the fact that you recognise that you gave control of the relationship to her and the OM by accepting her "terms". Kudos to you. Now wrench control back properly. It's your life. Own it.
[This message edited by LonelyHusband at 1:11 PM, May 15th (Wednesday)]
Like you, I have preferred to communicate the hard stuff in writing, when I can think and order my thoughts. I have emailed my FWH, which might have been useful for you. I have found that it gives him time to process what I am saying and to respond. I don't see the initial shock and anger and we discuss it when we have both calmed down a little. Taking it to her store might have felt that she was put in a spot, which is fine, as from what you have said she clearly has a lot of thinking to do. She might need some space to do it.
I decided not tell FWH about SI initially, as I felt that it was my safe place. I felt uncomfortable about him reading my posts until I was easy. Instead I recommended some of the articles and books in the healing library. He was resistant to these books at first but has come round slowly. I have latterly hinted about this site and told him he should make the effort to find resources on the Internet to help him. I don't know whether he is here yet, but recently he has shown as if he has learned a lot, so I think he is reading here. Your WW may not be ready for the site yet. If you do R, in time, it will help her, but for now, you need to get what you can from it.
Others here ma say that you are allowing your WW to get off too easily. You clearly love her and want to make it work and you need to find the way that it works for you. Make sure that you look after yourself and your son. If you both commit to R, make sure it is real. You do not want to be deceived into false R. She has to want to be with you and prepared to do the hard work required to R. If you do all the work, that is not fair on you and you will always feel betrayed and lacking in trust.
You have set out your position very clearly. Allow her some time to consider what you have said ( you have said a lot), but not too long. Make a time to discuss it as rationally as you can. Between now and then will seem like for ever, but it is better to wait a little for a productive discussion.
Ps if you like writing, try keeping a diary of your feelings every day, all the ups and downs. I found that it helped me, as in the bad bits I could look back to see when I felt good and you can monitor how you are progressing
This is your safe place.
There is a thred here on JFO called "Good grief!" It is by a BS who shared this site with her WH,and he turned around and told his OW,and now they view her posts together and laugh. Learn from that. (BTW..this is not a slam at strangfreak...I,too,shared SI with an unremorseful,still lying WS...BIG MISTAKE!)
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
Just know that there are many on this site who can relate to the hell of an unfaithful spouse. Wishing you peace and healing brother.
VD is not Victory!
I did the same thing. I wrote my husband a four page letter listing everything I felt was wrong in our marriage. I asked him to correct me where I was wrong and hoped that it would be starting off point to a good discussion.
It backfired on me. I found it on the basement floor, so I ran it through the shredder.
Sending you (((HUGS))) and strength and I admire you for wanting to fight for your wife and marriage, I wish I had that.
Please do not tell your WW the about SI. She doesn't need to know the name of the website. Giving an unremorseful wayward spouse access to SI would be a huge mistake. She will take what you have posted and use it against you...or use it to get one step ahead of you so she can hide the affair or other things.
This is your safe place.
This is your safe place.
I also agree with this. Keep this place your safe place to vent. If she turns remorseful, and I hope she does, there are other sites out there that can help her as well.
The only problem I see is that you mentioned another A.
If she's already had two A's, there might be more to come.
"Affairs are not mistakes, they are a series of deliberate choices." - CrappyLife
"Regret is when you realize you broke your own heart.
Remorse is when you realize you broke someone else's." - Blakesteele
You may imagine that you declarations of love and loyalty to her inspire warm feelings of affection and some feelings of remorse. Actually I suspect she sees that has a weakness she can use against you; just more ammunition for selfish manipulation.
Your WW's loyalty lie with the person she has emotional ties to and thats the OM. She has little respect for you; just doesn't want to lose her marriage. I'll warrant the sexual relationship with the OM is likely ongoing; he will press for this as his main reason for the affair.
As for phrases such as
I will not give up without fighting with every ounce of strength that I have.
Nice letter. I wrote a similar letter hoping to stir some emotion. It didn't work.
I do not intend to give up on my marriage without a fight.
I had the same intent. You see something you love under threat and obviously you want to protect it. Unfortunately it takes 2 people to make a marriage. One person fighting for a marriage will not work. You both need to be fighting for it
[This message edited by simplydevastated at 9:41 PM, May 15th (Wednesday)]
One fact about a WS thats absolute. They can smell fear a mile away
Perfectly put stronger.
You need to detach and reach a point where you don't give a hang for your relationship; you've become so tired and weary of loving and caring and it not being reciprocated. The fear then dissipates; the WS notices and alarm sets in, no more manipulation on the menu. WS's hating losing this power, it delates their ego and makes them face reality.
Your letter opens with 'My Dearest' and many declarations of love and faithfulness. You have a long road to travel.
I do not intend to give up on my marriage without a fight.
I suggest you do give up on your marriage. Your old marriage is dead and gone. she killed it with the affair. Let it die and see if she has the courage and common decency to step up to the plate and fix what she has destroyed. Make her choose now. Put all of the weight on her. Look up the 180 and implement it. Tell her if she wants the other man then pack up her bags and leave. Don't say you will work on yourself until she makes a decision. you detach, file, and work on yourself regardless of what decision she makes. Don't give her options. She has had to many options already don't you think. You make the decision for her by filing and making her decide instead of sitting back as she continues to cake eat knowing you are at home giving her time to decide what she wants to do.
Go see a lawyer start the process and have her served. You can always stop it or put it on hold later on if she truly gets her act together and shows you consistent actions over time and not just words.
This will suck eggs man but you can't be her jailer or her warden. All you can do is open the door and give her the option of either staying and owning her shit or leaving and if she leaves she wasn't going to stay anyway and just saved you so much misery down the line.
Lay out your requirements then go file for Divorce. Watch how quickly she either comes to her senses as she realizes that her backup plan and soft place to land is gone or she shows you just how much she thinks of your marriage and leaves.
This isn't a 2X4 it's just reality. If I had done that 2 years ago I would have saved myself 2 years of pain. By telling her you will fight for her and love her it actually puts you in a position of weakness. People want what they can't have and right now you have basically told her she can have you while you wait until she figures out what to do with her relationship with OM. Well tell her she can't have you both and you are removing yourself from the equation then actually remove yourself from the equation by filing for D and 180ing her.
ETA: She got mad at the lawyer thing because you are threatening her cake eating and her ability to use you as her back up plan. An unremorseful spouse is not your friend. They will mentally destroy you through manipulation and YOUR soul is the one that takes the damage. Continue to focus on you but if you can't file right now then go NC with her as much as you can. You will get through this.
[This message edited by 7yrsflushed at 3:06 PM, May 16th (Thursday)]