[This message edited by hurtandlost31 at 2:10 PM, October 3rd (Thursday)]
[This message edited by ShatteredLove00 at 1:42 PM, October 3rd (Thursday)]
You are still about as early in the process as one can be, and unfortunately there is not much in the way of magic cure-alls for the pain that you will be feeling.
My advice - don't hold anything in, don't bury anything, don't ignore how you feel. I made the mistake four years ago of learning about the A, and then burying my feelings about it so deep that they nearly ate me alive. DON'T make my mistake. Allow yourself to feel. Yell, scream, cry... express your feelings.
Things will get better, but it will take a lot of time. The fact that she confessed is hopeful, she is obviously remorseful and cared enough about you that she wanted you to know the truth.. that means a lot. You are a few paces into a journey of a thousand miles. Give it time, and you will get there.
Sorry you have to be here - but post often. There are a lot of supportive people on here. We've been through it, too. You are not alone, no matter how much you might feel it right now.
She wants answers... I'm still trying to figure out what the questions are.
OK – so can you reconcile? Well yes. Definitely. In fact only a minority of marriages dealing with infidelity actually end because of the infidelity. This site was founded by a successfully reconciled couple. Some of the best posters here are reconciled WS and BS. But then – some of the best posters are also separated or divorced. There is really no right or wrong other than remaining in infidelity.
It’s also perfectly OK to divorce. It’s your call.
What I do want to emphasize is the positives in your situation:
Your wife on her own free will came out with the truth because she realized dragging this albatross through the marriage was not feasible.
I know that this might not sound like a positive but it is IMMENSE.
Add that to your WW free acknowledgement of responsibility and blame… and you have a head-start to recovery most husbands would give their left testicle to have.
Yes – I know it doesn’t sound like much but IMHO you have to deal with this from an angle of pure reality: Your wife has had the affair. Wishing it goes away won’t fix anything. So dealing with what you have can be compared to finding an extra big bucket in a leaking boat. It sure beats emptying the boat with a paper cup.
My suggestion? Well – basically communications:
Acknowledge to your wife that above all you wish to reconcile. But also make it clear you fear your ability to do so. Be very honest and open about this. I would thank her for her honesty. I would make sure she knows that although it hurts then you understand that this needed to come out. Tell her that there are some things you need to know about the affair. That the truth has to come out before your marriage even has a chance.
[Be careful here; you need to evaluate WHAT you need to know and how you will use that info. We have cases here on SI where the BH asked if OM was “bigger” (no pun intended and my user name has NO below-waist relevance) or if the sex was better. Personally I don’t see much use in any possible answer to those questions; if the OM was bigger do you believe her when she claims it doesn’t matter? Do you believe her if she says the sex was crap? I would really evaluate each question you need answered based on a) is it answerable and b) is it necessary for your recovery]
You need assurances the affair is over. What is their business relationship? Is she in any contact with him or his company? How can she assure you that it’s over? How can she assure you next business trip that she isn’t jumping him or another man? In order to reconcile many of us (me included) will tell you total enforceable NC is required. This means that “we only correspond on business issues” is not good enough.
I would then acknowledge with her that this issue is bigger than you two can deal with. You want outside help to get to the bottom of what made her decide that having sex with another man was a swell idea (note I don’t really care about the “why”. To me it’s more of a “what made your logic go in a way that made you end up with another man” thing) so she has to go to IC. This could be the same therapist as does your MC because that’s the second outside factor you two need. Do some research on MC’s and find one that says he/she specializes in infidelity. Tell the MC the agenda is to a) help your wife find out what made her do this b) help you deal with this knowledge and c) help you two improve your marriage irrespective of the affair.
I would also be clear on some things with her. Tell her that the next months will be extremely tough and that your mood will sway to and fro. That most info indicates it will take you two years of hard work to come to some acceptance.
It’s a long rough path ahead but I really think you two can make it IF you are willing to commit to it.
One of the reasons we tend to handle these situations wrong is the simple fact we never imagined being here. Try this exercise; try switching the cause of your pain from infidelity to appendix. Imagine your appendix burst and you felt the extreme pain that causes.
I’m certain you got some sharp knives, razor blades and disinfectant at home. I’m sure that you are willing to tolerate pain to save time and money. I’m certain you can search online and get a pdf with step-by-step instructions on how to remove a burst appendix… Heck – you can probably find a procedure on YouTube…
But would you do it? Would you call your wife, strap yourself down on the kitchen table and show her the knives?
It’s the same with this. It’s extremely unlikely that you and/or your wife can fix this alone. Find a good competent MC/IC and get professional help.
Also make this a traumatic experience for your wife. She has to acknowledge the damage done to your marriage and the betrayal of promises made to one another. Tell you are considering divorce, and need a few months to think things over, even if you are not. Some BS's forgive immediately when it should be a drawn out process.
Some BS's forgive immediately when it should be a drawn out process.
That was me. Nearly went mad from it. DON'T BE ME.
Forgive only when you are ready. Trust only when you are ready. Love only when you are ready. And if you're not, that's OK. Don't feel like you have to do any of those things. This is about you. Do what is right for you. Stay. Go. Now. Later. But ONLY IF IT IS WHAT YOU WANT.
Best of luck and I'm sorry you had to join the ranks here. Wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
[This message edited by hurtandlost31 at 9:05 PM, October 4th (Friday)]
I have little doubt that she loves you. Most members here---betrayed and wayward---love their spouses. The problem is that your world, as you knew it, just got nuked....with you and the children at the epicenter. Ironically, your wife was right there too.
As much as you are hurting right now, remember---your wife betrayed not only you and your family, but herself---and has the unenviable task of not only helping you heal, but to find out where her boundaries became so blurred that she could do the unthinkable. It is a mess the whole way around.
You are going to go through emotions so strong, that you could never have imagined. It is called the rollercoaster, and for good reason. Don't be surprised if you swing from one extreme to another in a moment's notice---it is natural in this instance.
There are no short-cuts to work through infidelity. It has to be dealt with head-on, and it takes time. Time to absorb what has truly happened; time to get to reasons how this happened, and time to heal from the trauma. Time. Time. Time.
But you are pointing in the right direction. Your wife has shown positive indicators that many members here will never receive. And although you were in a much better place a couple of weeks ago, you can get back there again.
It just takes time and effort---from the two of you.
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day: 9/18/09 D-Day#2: 2/19/10 The Marriage Killer: 6/6/11
Heading for D