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ak23123 posted 9/20/2013 17:29 PM

I'm so lost...

I read these books, websites, and talk to my therapist. They all say, "You should still be living together while you sort this out".

I've seen my BS for 15 minutes in the past week since she found out. Yes, we have talked a lot via text - but I can feel her pulling away from that and it's terrifying. She has our 18 month old, and I can tell that she's using her as an excuse to not deal with the most monumental issue we've had in our relationship.

I'm trying to be supportive and understanding. I'm trying to give her her space...but I am having a difficult time with it. To me, no communication = no hope and it's so scary...

Should I just pack up my stuff and go for good? Take the initiative and say, "you want your here it is". Should I just continue with the "status quo" and engage in her texts but nothing more?

I really could use some perspective...please help.

SuperDuperWonderboy posted 9/20/2013 18:27 PM

Well hello Ak,

Have you read the healing library yet? It is the yellow box on the top left of the screen. There are some excellent articles on what your BS is going through at the moment.

It's tough to give any advice given the lack of detail about your specific situation. I am sure some former waywards will be along shortly to offer some guidance that is much more astute than mine.

If I get it straight from reading your post, she found out about your affair this past week? Understandably, if this is the case, then her world has been shattered. As a BS, when I found about my wife's affair I didn't eat or sleep for a week. I think your first focus should be reading up on what she is going through at this moment.

and I can tell that she's using her as an excuse to not deal with the most monumental issue we've had in our relationship

Two things immediately strike me about this statement. First, I doubt it's true. If she indeed just find out this past week, she is probably struggling to breath and get out of bed. She is most likely exhausted and she is caring for an 18th month old. Might want to cut her some slack on this.

The second thing that struck me about this quote is that you choose to define the betrayal as "the most monumental issue you've had in your relationship." I think it's a bit more than just an issue. call it what it is, don't minimize it.

Should I just pack up my stuff and go for good? Take the initiative and say, "you want your here it is". Should I just continue with the "status quo" and engage in her texts but nothing more?

Not an encouraging sign. A week out and your are ready to pack it in? If you really want to have any shot at making this work, then be all in for the long haul my friend. 2-5 years is what we refer to as the standard recovery time for getting through infidelity. If you are ready to "go for good" after a week, well, you may as well, because that isn't even a glimmer of the fortitude that is going to be required if you want to have any shot at fixing this.

I think if you posted some more of the situation, people might be able to give you some better feedback.

Sorry that you had to end up here, but you found a good place.

ak23123 posted 9/20/2013 20:34 PM

Hey thanks Wonderboy -

I'm sorry, but my head is so scrambled right now that I think some of my thoughts and how to I use my words are not quite matching up.

I've pretty much been reading any opportunity I can (and I have a lot due to a general lack of sleep). I've read the Healing Library here, I've read "Getting Past the Affair" and "How to Help Your Spouse Health After The Affair". I'll probably read a couple more books that I gave to my wife today so she can read when she's ready.

I didn't mean to minimize what happened by calling it an "issue" - I couldn't find another word to use. My monumental f*** up that has shattered our marriage? I like that better.

The reason why I'm concerned that she's "pushing this down" is just because she's done it in the past, and has admitted it. She's had a couple major losses over the last couple of years - that I thought she was handling in her "own way" (losing my dad when I was a young adult made me realize that we all grieve differently). But she recently admitted that she just bottled it up and put her time and focus on the baby or other things.

So that's why i'm concerned. Whether or not it's true? I don't know. But the feeling is there.

Sorry, I also didn't mean to give the impression that I just wanted to "pack up and get out of there". The last thing I want to do is leave, the thought of it scares me immensely. I just want what's best for her...and I just feel like she doesn't want anything to do with me but can't bring herself to say it, so I could help her by taking the initiative.

And yes, this is all very raw - and I fully expect that this will take a long, long time to be resolved (I'm ok if it takes 1, 2, 5, or 10 years). I'm just tired. I don't want her to hurt anymore.

And re: what happened? I left that out so my first "newbie" post didn't become a novel. I'll give the cliffnotes (because really, the rest is just excuses).

I had a brief physical encounter w/ a co-worker back in 1/2011. No sex. ~ 5 minutes of kissing before we both stopped and said no, not gonna happen. This eventually led to inappropriate emails/texts. Very random, very sporadic - but also very inappropriate. We could go 3 - 5 months not saying anything, and then go a few days of it being pretty regular, and then another couple-few months of nothing, etc. It was almost like getting a "fix"...and really nothing more.

In 8/2012 (so 18 months between then) during our last night at a company retreat we ended up sleeping together. We both very much regretted what happened. I vowed I wouldn't do it again. And I haven't. However, ~ 6 months later the emails/texts started back up again and I couldn't stop it. Our last contact of this nature was probably 3-4 months ago.

This past week the OW's BS contacted my wife because he found out. He had found out because he caught his wife with another man, and then started investigating and found some emails and/or texts between us.

For me, there's zero desire to continue anything with the OW.

Any way, that's the cliffnotes. I could go on and on, but I'm sure all of us can with our stories.

Thanks again for your reply wonder boy. I really appreciate the insight.

[This message edited by ak23123 at 8:36 PM, September 20th (Friday)]

Steppenwolf posted 9/20/2013 21:46 PM

Read the Life Boat thread. That's a great starter. When you're finished with it, read it again.

SuperDuperWonderboy posted 9/20/2013 22:48 PM


It sucks that you posted here on a Friday night, because weekends can be a little slower around here.

Thanks for posting more information. I am not going to actually respond to your latest post tonight because I just got home and have had a couple of drinks. I prefer to actually post advice and thoughts when I have a clear head.

So I'll end this post with the acknowledgement that it's excellent that you are posting here. And an acknowledgment that if you are really committed to fixing this (which may or may not be possible), then you are in the right place.
But roll up your sleeves my friend, it's gonna be tough.

GotMyLifeBck2013 posted 9/20/2013 23:34 PM

ak, you almost have it right. You say, "should I take the initiative"?

Let's forget the rest of your statement. The answer is yes. Take the initiative. You're respecting her boundaries. That's good. But if you want to reconcile you have to want it more than you wanted to screw up your relationship. Simply put, nows the time for the rubber to hit the road. Write out your simple rules for interacting with her:

1. I will never be defensive. You hurt her, so she's going to naturally want you to feel the depth of the hurt she's experienced.

2. Stop worrying about you. That's what got you here. Worry about her. Period. Always. She's first. In those 15 minute conversations, don't blather about anything, dominate the conversation, or try to move the conversation in any way. Women are far more verbal than men, so she'll open up when she feels "safe" and those will be fleeting moments for a while.

3. She's in control of the way this will end or continue, but it doesn't mean you can't give it everything you have. I have said this to my now ex WW, it's not time that heals, it's what you do with the time that counts. She didn't do the work, and all she wanted was someone else to fix her issues. IF your BW won't work with you, it still doesn't mean you can't work on you. Get into intense counseling, set goals for yourself, work hard at fixing whatever it is that made you the kind of broken person who would do this, and get better, and if ultimately she ends your marriage, that's her decision, not yours. Respect it. Sitting on your rear doing nothing will insure that happens. Fix yourself! And ask, and beg for marriage counseling.

If she goes, do not make the mistake of dominating the conversation, answer honestly, but she's going to redefine, with the MC, what she expects, talk about hurt, want answers (give them to her), and expect you to do every single bit of homework. My own experience here, we left MC with a list of to do's. By the time we got home from the 5 minute drive she was already on the phone with her mom telling her she wasn't going to do what the MC suggested because she just didn't think it mattered. Last Monday when the divorce became final, I think she found out it probably did matter.

Don't be that guy. Be the guy that says you will do anything, and I do mean anything she asks to rebuild her trust, to create a safe environment for her, and allow her time to vent, grieve, and become accepting of what you've done. If you are hurting inside, suck it up. If you aren't truthful, get truthful, and fast. Otherwise you'll lose any chance you may have with her.

ak23123 posted 9/20/2013 23:44 PM

Thanks everyone.

I read the LifeBoat thread. Very, very good.

She just shared a revelation to me that makes sense. I've seen a therapist, I've had time to read, reflect, etc. she has not (her first appt is in 2 weeks, which is a long time).

She's at "ground zero"

I'm all in here. I have no desire to do anything but be a better person, husband and father. Even if she divorces me ( which I do not want to happen) I can still be a better person and father. For my entire adult life I've suppressed my issues just assuming they'd go away (and think my medication was enough).

Not a good idea.

Thanks again everyone

[This message edited by ak23123 at 11:45 PM, September 20th (Friday)]

GotMyLifeBck2013 posted 9/20/2013 23:48 PM

Good luck. Will say some prayers for your family.

ak23123 posted 9/25/2013 19:39 PM

Here's an update.

We're going to do a "trial" or "controlled" separation.

I move in to my new place this Friday.

Everything is happening so fast, but this is what she wants (she hasn't had her first IC session yet, that is on the 3rd).

She really feels this is the second time I've done this to her, which is sad and even more painful. To me, this is the first time I did this to her (never had what I would consider an EA or a PA before) - BUT I did leave her before we were married because I wasn't sure if I wanted to get married. And there was another woman - someone I very much connected on an emotional level, but it was strictly platonic (I don't have many friends...she was a true friend while I was going through everything). Did we get too close? Yes. But I couldn't talk to my wife (at that time GF) about my struggles and concerns because many were about her and us...and I didn't want to hurt her.

Little know, I extreme amount. We never talked about it, we just got back together and pretended it never happened and everything would be ok.

I'm going to try to bring up MC again tonight (my IC is strongly recommending it, and I agree).

So...wish me luck. I think if she agrees to MC it's a strong "next step".

ak23123 posted 9/26/2013 13:15 PM

Another mini-update.

Basically I realized last night (because this is the first time we ever talked about it, and she showed me documentation that described it) - that this is actually the 2nd time I've cheated on her.

My friendship with another woman was really an EA. Even though it was platonic, I ended up paying MORE attention to her than my wife (fiance at the time). It also didn't help that I did develop some level of feelings for this person - which resulted in me moving out (my fiance and I were living together). I didn't move out because I wanted to be with this other woman, but my now wife and I were heading towards marriage, and developing a "feeling" for someone scared the hell out of me (ie, am I ready to get married? Is she the one I want to marry? Why am I feeling this way if she is? etc.).

Nothing physical ever happened, nor did anything emotional happen in the sense of us "sexting" , "talking about a future together" or anything about us romantically. Very odd, but we had a very strong bond, if there wasn't that fleeting "feeling" that I had developed I could describe it best as being a strong "big brother/little sister" relationship.

Nevertheless, I'm just NOW finding out how much hurt and pain I caused my wife through this - and have accepted that this is in fact the 2nd time I cheated on her.

Where does this leave her and I? I have no idea, but I think there's a positive that I actually understand a little more of why she's doing what she's doing (for example - kicking me out) than I did before.

ak23123 posted 9/26/2013 13:19 PM

Also - sorry, newb question:

What does "FWS" (or FWH, FWW, etc) mean?

I know it means "Former Wayward Spouse" but does that mean Former as in "reconciled" or as in "separated/divorced"?

Just curious...

Want To Wake Up posted 9/26/2013 13:49 PM

I know it means "Former Wayward Spouse" but does that mean Former as in "reconciled" or as in "separated/divorced"?

'Divorced' usually attracts an "X" as in "XWS"
(or depending on gender "XWW" or "XWH"

'Separated' oftens gets the "STBXWS" (or replacing the "S" on the end with "W" or "H"... depending on gender) which stands for...

And just to confuse you ak ... here's some useful links to more abbreviations commonly used here...

[This message edited by Want To Wake Up at 1:53 PM, September 26th (Thursday)]

gonnabe2016 posted 9/26/2013 14:15 PM

for example - kicking me out

Re-framing ^^^this in your head might be helpful.

Instead of this: she *kicked me out* -- try to think of it this way: she asked you to leave so that she could have some necessary time and space.

Which, under the circumstances, isn't an unreasonable request.

ak23123 posted 9/27/2013 15:06 PM

Thanks for the re-framing advice.

I think I've hit the stage of "this is really happening"...this morning I finalized the lease on an apartment - so for at least 6 months we will not be "officially" living together.

brknwmn posted 9/27/2013 21:30 PM

Should I just pack up my stuff and go for good?

as a BS I just wanted to have my FWH show initiative. Not saying that you haven't but she's probably just trying to figure things out. I have a 2 1/2 yr old son and I put all of my energy into him when I found out. I can't speak for her and how she's feeling but it's probably very lost. I didn't know who I was for a while and I'm just now getting that back...

Just do little things. letters, flower, texts, whatever she likes...whatever you used to do when you were trying to get her to date you...whatever you did when you were her create new memories and if you really plan on changing prove it to her.

brknwmn posted 9/27/2013 21:35 PM

I've pretty much been reading any opportunity I can[/quote

After the Affair by Janis Abrahms Springs helped me a lot.

It's a really good book that goes over both sides. It helped me have a little empathy for FWH and he is reading it now and says he's getting a lot of insight on how the affair affected me...

1DumbHusband posted 9/28/2013 09:55 AM

Ak: I hope you are able to move past this and the new home is only temporary. I was in your situation and in some ways may still be there. The only suggestion I have is to keep working on yourself to show your BS you are changing and committed to fixing your issues. Whether you're together or apart, work on you and work to become a better husband, father, and person. It's a very scary thought to be without out BS and kids, but one that must be faced as a consequence of the horrible things we've done.

mom of 2 posted 9/28/2013 19:55 PM

As a BW that "kicked" my WH out on DDay I can tell you everything I wished he had done.

What I wanted (and I drew him a road map) was for him to take the initiative like brknwmn said to...

-Get into IC
-Join SI
-Read the books I suggested
-Be available 24/7 by cell phone in case I wanted to talk to him (as a BS it is trigger HELL not be able to reach your WS)
-Cut off communication with the toxic friends
-Have the courtesy to let me know his whereabouts if he were going out of town, unreachable, etc.
-Work on a detailed timeline for me with all the affair details.
-Change his cell phone number.

There's more but you get the idea. And the above is unique to me and may or may not apply to you and your BW.

My point is, just because your wife wants a trial separation does not mean there is no hope. What you do during this time however, is crucial to the long term outcome.

Best of luck to you and just by posting and asking shows you really want to do the right thing and save your marriage.

[This message edited by mom of 2 at 7:38 AM, September 29th (Sunday)]

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