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Too late for a timeline?

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1Emptyglass posted 12/4/2013 12:18 PM

I have asked for a timeline a couple of times in the last two years. A few things don't make sense and they eat at me until I melt down and we re-hash details once again. Each time new information surfaces....each time is like re-living discovery. We are back in MC after a year of sessions, followed by a year of no sessions ( IC or MC).
When FWH told MC he was finally willing to give me a timeline, she was not too hip on the idea. She thinks I am just reliving old hurts. Maybe I am, hell I don't know anymore. I am one of those kind of people who needs to know all the details in order to process and move on.
We all finally agreed to reveal and discuss the timeline in our next MC visit on the 13th. He wants to work on it alone, without the help of what I know already, and we are not to discuss it outside the office. FWH feels very defensive about discussing and this would be a good discussion to have mediated.
So my question is....after 2 years have passed since Dday, and details will have been mostly forgotten, is just going to be an exercise in futility? Anybody get a timeline this far out and have it help them process the affair and heal?

steadfast1973 posted 12/4/2013 12:27 PM

I have a better handle on the timeline than WH does. He leaves a paper trail, every time... he said he couldn't even pick her out in a crowd... he remembers so little, and it was just a month ago.

Trying2Survive1 posted 12/4/2013 13:13 PM

I think if you need the timeline to help you heal, then he should provide one. I needed a timeline and FWH's ONS was in 07. I didn't get a lot of information since it was 6 years ago, but I got enough wrap my mind around it.

I hope you get the answers you need.

sohowamI posted 12/4/2013 13:16 PM

I definitely relate to how you feel about this. My WS has pretty much refused to ever provide a time line. He's simply too lazy to do it and, probably, can't remember too much. Too much happened. Too many occasions, too many different women, too many places... He won't even provide me with his phone bills so that I can place myself in our 'history.' I have also had to create some kind of time line that only fits in with what he has told me and what I've put together using my diaries and what I have of his.

It's so frustrating. He says that he 'doesn't want to hurt me' with more details. I've told him that I will get over far easier if I can put everything into some kind of narrative. But it's 32 years of stuff. I guess that it's really too much to ask that he does remember what he was doing and where and when...

We are 18 months out. He's doing as much as he is capable to make things better and I really don't think that there will be further cheating [famous last words?]

If you can get your WS to provide a time line that suits your purposes, then good for you. I wish you lots of luck but will live vicariously while you go about it!

Camalus posted 12/4/2013 13:21 PM

It's never too late.

My WW's A ended in '98. I found out about it in July 2013. What I have gotten is not so much a timeline, but more a series of disjointed memories of the A.

I found it very helpful as did our MC. WW has said forcing herself to write it out has caused her to reflect on her actions more so than ever before.

karmahappens posted 12/4/2013 13:40 PM

It's never too late.

But remember,it has been 2 years.

When you get the timeline and find some things are off take into consideration what it is that doesn't match. Little details for them, get lost. The BS's remember every detail told down to the color of the toothbrush someone used.

His memory may not be perfect, so unless there is a naked lady on fire screaming in the closet I would let little inconsistencies go. You want to be clear on the who, what and why's. Not get caught up in the fact that last time he told you the story her shirt was blue and now it's purple...KWIM?

When they are in the middle of an A it is a whirlwind and they don't figure they will be required to have a deposition years later.

I hope you find what you need to close the door on this.


LA44 posted 12/4/2013 14:07 PM

As usual great advice by karmahappens!

Good luck to you 1emptyglass. The only thing I have to add (and in a previous post I was told it was helpful) was to write your own timeline under his. That way he can see what was happening in "real life" while he was in the A. I am not talking every detail but the major things like a death in family, moving, first day of school, etc.

Razor posted 12/4/2013 14:16 PM

When FWH told MC he was finally willing to give me a timeline, she was not too hip on the idea. She thinks I am just reliving old hurts.

IMO a MC or IC should NOT be telling what you need or dont need. She can warn you that it may bring more bad memories to the surface. But on the surface is where stuff gets handled.

As for the WW forgetting. I dunno. WW remembers pretty much every place we went while we were dating. She remembers every my misstep and foible of our marriage. So why cant she remember where she and OM went? And at least at a general level what was talked about?

As Karma said tho. It depends on how detailed you expect the information to be. Small details are likely lost. But I feel your WH should remember the larger events.

I think it would be a good idea to really try and not make WH sharing to unpleasant for him. Crying and beating him up over what you have asked for is not going to encourage him to come forward with anything again.

1Emptyglass posted 12/4/2013 15:05 PM

Thanks for the responses. My WH has a history of remembering everything like what I wore on our first date, when he first told me he loved me, etc. So I have always struggled with questions I would ask and he could not remember details. All affair meet ups happened out of town, starting at a job location and then once he was transferred she would fly to spend the weekend once a month with him. At this time he was only coming home one weekend a month also. there has been a pattern of denial of who knew about them followed by revelation. And new details about the circumstances of how the affair started. He originally claimed there had been no previous flirting and he no idea of her intentions when she invited him for dinner and then seduced him. Turns out there had been flirting and ego stroking and he had an idea of her intent and headed to her house with the hope that something might spark up. This was 5 days after our 21st anniversary.....nice huh? Why did it have to take two years of asking about this before I got the real story?

I just want the real story of the it started, who knew, where they went, plans they made together for the future.
He didn't want to do the timeline because it would be painful, his way of coping is to forget it ever happened. My way of coping is to know every lie and for him to be accountable.
If it is painful to relive....we'll welcome to my life every day since Dday.

ptsdrecon posted 12/12/2013 08:45 AM

Karmahappens is spot on.

Deep in A season, closing in on D-Day #2 and still no timeline. I no longer need it for me, but I can tell you that I get irritated when significant days come up and she is unaware.

Then I feel as though I don't have the right to address my feelings. Dec 18th 2011 he gave her a heart necklace. She wore it and kept it even after I knew it was from him. This year when I see heart necklaces when I am shopping for Christmas I am just sad I was so angry with her last year. I am progressing just fine.

I'm pretty sure that a timeline would help her if she was really focused on dealing with her self and what caused her to give herself permission to lie.

It's the ongoing lies and betrayal that are the most significant. The attitude about our marriage that created the fertile soil allowing for the affair. The lack of boundaries and small lies that come from taking the easy path instead of putting in the effort. Then the sense of discomfort knowing that secrets are separating us as a couple. The bitterness that builds in a person's heart when they can't turn to the one person they should be able to... Surely it's their fault. So you start picking. Then you start comparing...Then the comments from the A partner come and you share feelings with him. That's when it really started. The ground work was done and watered and in came the chance.

We are doing well as a family, and for a couple we are making pretty good progress considering the 2-5 year estimates. We can have conversations now that we couldn't have six months ago.

The timeline? I made mine. It was never about what happened and when, it was about transparency and intimacy. Ours, not theirs. My wife calls it her "bubble." Perhaps one day she'll feel close enough to me to allow me in to it. She talks about that period of time, but she avoids it. Writing it down would be like admitting it was real. She still gets defensive about the timeline. I think she would benefit more from it than I would at this point. For me it would be a painful trip down memory lane.

I'm ready whenever she is. I knew this would hurt when I decided to stay. The feeling of healing on my own I didn't expect, but so be it.

I'm closer to God because of it. You can probably tell I still have some trust issues, but I feel like those are legitimate. Time. The infamous time word.

I love my wife and family. Love is a verb. I still believe that with all my heart. Saying "I love you" isn't the same as risking your heart. Relationships that are worth it are gonna hurt. Heck, my kids can cut me to the quick when they're angry. I have learned not to defend myself. I hope it makes me a better Dad, a better husband, a better friend and a better person.

It ain't about the glass being half full or half empty, it's about being thankful that we have a glass with something in it.


womaninflux posted 12/12/2013 09:10 AM

Last week I got what I believe to be the complete the timeline after 9 months. It was read to me by him in the company of our MC and his CSAT. He and his CSAT worked on it for a few weeks to make sure it was appropriate and complete. The purpose of it was for him to acknowledge formally that all of this happened, that damage was done and so that I could see that I wasn't crazy…that all of this did happen and he lied to be all of those times and I knew something wasn't right but he just made up lies to cover up lies. Luckily there were no big surprises for me…no other women other than the 2.5 year affair partner. The thing I did not get was how his porn addiction has played a role in our marriage. I thought it was supposed to be a timeline of all acting out since the time we were an exclusive couple.

At any rate, your husband should probably work on this one on one with the MC before he reads it to you just to make sure it accomplishes the goal intended and that it is not read in a TMI way. I don't think it is too late - especially if after 2 years you still have questions that have gone unanswered. It is supposed to be a very big part of the healing process. Also, I put together my own timeline which included texts of his lies and it showed what a jerk he was to me and that shortly after the start of the affair he was coming and going as he pleased and was basically a horrible husband and not present father so that he could be in his affair (interpret that any way you'd like to ). I read that to him as sort of an "impact statement" after he read his timeline. I wanted to show him the havoc he wrecked upon his own family who he proclaimed to love and how ridiculous he looked playing "father of the year" when he was around.

FightingBack posted 12/12/2013 09:35 AM

I have also been waiting for a timeline for almost two years. lately I reminded my H that I still need it. He was surprised that after two years of recovery that I still expect him to write it.

The "urgency" of repairing damage has passed. We are healing. We are not longer in crisis mode. Things have balanced out in that we both feel more secure in our relationship. Even the rollarcoaster has become tamer, although there are still sudden steep dips that come out of nowhere.

I worry about complacency. In the beginning he was ready to talk whenever I needed to. He understood its importance and my need to ask questions. He still does but our talks now have to be scheduled

Whereas at first they were top priority, real life moved in and our connection time has moved on down the list of "must-dos".

yes, I still need (want?) that timeline. And I hope it isn't too late. I understand the memories may be foggy. it was a very long affair so the events are repetitious.

I don't expect much more than a generalization of events and conversations, but I would like him to organize his thoughts on his FEELINGS at various times during the A.

Only then can I compare it to my feelings and perceptions of what was going on in our life and family history.

I still hope that he will do this for me, if only because I say I need it. He may not see the importance of it at this point but I won't give up asking. In doing it he will make good on his promise to "do whatever it takes" to make things right between us.

I really don't think it is asking too much, so it makes me a bit sad (and sometimes quite angry) that he hasn't dedicated himself to it. I think it is part laziness, part complacency and part an unwillingness to stir up uncomfortable feelings.

But I still want it. When he writes it, he will be showing me his actions match his words.

FeelingSoMuch posted 12/12/2013 11:29 AM

Not too late and it'll probably include information that will be really hard to hear at first. Then you get to work on it and not ever have to wonder or create situations in your mind that are actually worse than reality.

Make it safe for your WS to share, prepare for immediate pain and know that having the timeline aired is an opportunity to work on it and then never have to relive it again.

womaninflux posted 12/12/2013 12:20 PM

I wanted to add that perhaps you should all agree in MC that a timeline will be ready by X date. That way, it's not an agreement to do it but also and agreement to get it done by a specific date. Enough already, right?!

Also, provide the questions you want answers to. That will help them in the process. Otherwise, what is important for you to know may not be what they think is important for you to know. For example, I wanted to know about all of the money spent on hotels, gifts, travel, etc.

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