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phoenix2015 posted 1/14/2014 18:17 PM

This is my first post! My D-day was 4 months ago and I feel very fortunate to have found this site within a few days. So many of you have helped me through the darkest days I have ever known. My husband and I have been married for 23 years and as 90% of you have said "I never imagined this would be us". In fact, just a week before D-day I jokingly told my co-workers that he must be having an affair since he was putting in so many late nights at work.
I accidently discovered facebook messages between him and a college acquaintance. My world changed forever in that instance the pain is beyond description, but I know you can all relate. It turns out he was 4 weeks into an emotional affair with "I love you" exchanges and plenty of sexual talk. There was also plans of leaving me and her moving down here with her youngest child.
So to the point of this post.....everyone mentions the hard work that needs to be done to reconcile and come out of this with a stronger union and a marriage we all wanted. My WH was remorseful by the next day. He broke contact with her and forwarded me an email she sent a few days later. It appears the NC has been a reality. He took 100% blame and admitted that he was selfish and disgusted with his behavior. I was getting specific apologies and gifts daily for the first week. He gave me all passwords, shut down his facebook account and answered questions that I would ask about the affair. Though it has tapered off, he texts me that he loves me and asks if I am doing okay. He has also started helping around the house and not being so critical of me.
My problem? Whenever I ask him to do something specific to help "How to help your Spouse heal from your Affair", write me a letter, or read something from SI it takes him a long time to do it and I feel like I need to nag him to do this for me. He NEVER brings up the affair. He gets a certain look on his face when I tell him I want to talk. He does not know the "how" and "why" and has no interest in reflecting on this. The man can spend HOURS researching cars he will never buy or how to get a stain out of the carpet, but he hasn't spent anytime researching how to help me heal or how to help himself. Anyway, I could go on for sometime, but what I need to know is if the "hard work" is him being the husband he should have always been or him finding out the deeper issues of how he could do this to our beautiful family...we have four children. He thinks it is time for me to move on and that he is doing everything he should be. I asked him this weekend if his opinion of the OW has changed. He didn't know what I meant by this so I gave him some guidelines "I know you don't love her, but do you think less of her?". He finally said he doesn't think any different. Of course that is not what I wanted to hear. I thanked him for being honest, but said that I had hoped he saw her as a person who was not deserving....she had no issues having an affair with a married man and felt that the things said between them was private.
This is like a constant minefield of confusion that I am trying to work through and hope to come out in one piece!

Katz13 posted 1/14/2014 18:23 PM

I really can't give you any advice. It is early days for me. Have you two discussed MC? So far we have been 3 times since DD. It has helped with my H discussing feelings. He rarely discussed those during 13 years of being together.

Teach8 posted 1/14/2014 18:33 PM

Phoenix...sorry you are here. It sounds like the hard work for you but not for him. Your wh is trying to rugsweep everything. No, you shouldn't be over this yet, and he isn't helping you by ignoring the important parts of healing. He needs to figure out why he thought it was ok to plan on leaving you for this woman after four weeks...even if he didn't really mean it? You shouldn't have to drag him through everything that helps you and him...reading, learning, digging, etc. Please don't let him won't solve the issues and you will never feel safe in the marriage.

Kyrie posted 1/14/2014 18:34 PM

I feel for you and am sorry you are joining us on this journey. I know it took some courage to write and I'm glad you did. You'll get some excellent insight from folks on this site.

The only thing I know to say is the hard work will need to come from you H. He can not figure this out on his own. He must get IC. He needs help understanding why and how he allowed this to happen.

I insisted on this in order to proceed in R. I wouldn't budge on this. And the results of my H's IC was extraordinary. He has done a ton of work to get in touch with his inner world, address FOO issues and reconnect with himself. This affair is all about him.

You have hard work to do, too, and it's mostly intensive self care. But as long as he is living in the fog of his behavior and is unwilling to initiate recovery with you and repair the damage, it's going to be an incredibly frustrating time.


Buckeye Wife posted 1/14/2014 19:08 PM

((Phoenix2015)) Welcome!

I can relate to your hope that he'd think differently of her now. My H was still TT (trickle truth) at 4 months. He actually said that she was nice, and under different circumstances, I'd have been friends with her. I think he would have maintained this sunny attitude about her if I hadn't done some digging on her. He learned she'd lied to him about lots of things. It isn't about the OP though. I think you know that. With time (and reflection), hopefully he'll see her differently.

Take care of yourself during this time. It's a long, rough haul. No, you shouldn't be over it yet. He needs to be supportive of you, and looking within himself.

blakesteele posted 1/14/2014 20:03 PM


Sorry you had to search the web for help due to adultery by am glad you found SI.

17 month "veteran" here. I found SI 6 months after DD.

The hard work? It's two fold so far for us. The hard work I had to do to recover from my wife's decision to choose adultery.....which was chaotic at first. 4 months of heavy fog, lots of TT'ing and outright lies.

At that point I pretty much wrestled with to D or not to D......and even THAT was too much to even contemplate early on .

Another hard work for me was accepting that my wife killed our M. Not all BS share my view on this...but my M was effectively killed when my wife chose adultery over it. It was hard hard hard for me to accept this...IC was beneficial....but this process was a very solo very hard one for me. Like all of this...once I complete a process I feel like others before me have, but before that occurs I think I am somehow trial is somehow different. So far....I have seen nothing unique or different about my trials. sigh. Still...very painful.

About 6 months out I had a pretty complete confession from my wife. That is when my "hard work" really started to materialize. Over the next 6 months I processed enough of this trauma to "accept" it happened. That seems simple , right? It want for me. The shock of this new reality my wife thrust upon me was very hard for me to accept.
12 months out I had firm acceptance.

Forgiveness came came as a whisper.

Lots of reading (17 infidelity and adultery books, prayer, 12 months if weekly therapy sessions.....MC and IC mix).

14 months we were focusing more on pre-M issues....but I still have A-related triggers and discussion points. I get why it is said to be a 2-5 year process.

That is my hard work in a very concise format.

WS hard work ? My fWW did not choose to put the "f" in front of that until about 9 months out.....and it, too, was a process. She avoided looking in herself, she picked and choose what she did to help me heal (partial application if "how to help your spouse " booklet, no timeline, slow to admit he damaged our family including our girls, etc).

Your husband thinking. 4 months and done? Yeah, I thought this would be quicker too. But if he has read How to help booklet.....he knows better but us not choosing to do better.

Best advice I can offer? From 0-6 months this is a SOLO journey ONLY!!!! Way to early to decide on R, too early to think you are "in this together", to early to even decide on ANY life altering decisions.

I better stop there.......I have regrets over MY 6 month period post- DD.....fear I will overwhelm you with thoughts as I try to keep you from taking my path.....a path with additional pain that I allowed to be applied to me.

It DOES get better . We are much better now at 17 months out....but i am still raw from this journey .

God be with us all .

[This message edited by blakesteele at 8:31 PM, January 14th (Tuesday)]

phoenix2015 posted 1/14/2014 20:31 PM

Katz13 and Teach8, thank you for your replies. I did wonder if this constituted rugsweeping, but was unsure since he acknowledges his actions and wants to help. To the MC question, we are not currently getting help, but have in the past and felt it was not too effective. The first time was 7 years ago when I realized that he had lied to me when we first started dating....when I was 19. I had asked about previous relationships and my WH said that he had one long term (6 yrs on and off) relationship through his teenage years and that he had been intimate with her. When I asked more about it he said she had died in an accident over a year ago. Needless to say I didn't want to bring up painful memories so I didn't ask about her anymore, but always felt I was his 2nd choice since she had been taken from him. This thinking took me 3 years to privately work through, he never knew. Then 15 yrs later I found out that she had not died he just didn't want to tell me that she had broken up with would make him look bad. So I ended up on AD's and in MC by myself for 5 months. Several years later I was a SAHM, we were in a beautiful home and he enjoyed his job, but he was increasingly unhappy at home. We both went to MC, but it seemed like we knew what we were suppose to be doing and she was telling us stuff we already knew. Our last encounter with MC was in 2012 for a couple months. I had discovered he was looking at porn again and he knew how upset I was so he sought out a counselor. Unfortunately, it seemed I was doing most of the talking and he would sheepishly admit that he had not done the assigned homework. It went nowhere.
Kyrie, I have enjoyed the insight of several of your posts and see that you still have your good and bad days....this is when I know how long this process will be. I did have him read a post of yours from the other day when you were discussing the pros and cons of questioning and getting details of the affair. You and Sisoon, agree that you don't get the results you wanted, but discovered other benefits. It wasn't always good but no one stated that they wished they hadn't asked. I wanted him to read through that thread about questioning because I wanted to discuss with him why I was still looking at the affair. I feel like he is sorry for the affair and has compartmentalized it as one mistake, but not looking at all the components and how painful it was to see all he had said. I proposed yet again that he read through the day and a half of messages I had managed to see and capture on a camera. I was hoping by reading through these with me that he may see all he had said and why it is cutting me so deep. I assume he was in a "fog" during these conversations and never really thought back on them, but just moved on. Whereas I have gone back over it time and time again. I guess I'm trying to do the work for him.
I don't know that I have the courage to insist on IC because I feel like he will get an ineffective counselor and nothing will change. It really has to come from him....just don't know if it will ever happen. We have known of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem issues for 24 years and we still haven't conquered those.
Thank you Buckeye Wife...

naivewife posted 1/14/2014 20:32 PM

Hi Phoenix,
WH did pretty much this same thing for quite a long time. One day I stumbled across this post in the Wayward forum and sent it to WH. It was the turning point for him. He finally got it. That it wasn't just a matter of not cheating any more, saying "I'm sorry" a lot, taking out the trash, and waiting for me to get over it. I can't promise you it will have the same effect of your WH, but I hope it can maybe snap him into reality at least a little bit. I'm so sorry. You have every right to expect more. No, he's not doing the hard work.
The title of this post was Dry Adultery Part Deux. It was posted by Uncertainone:

I had posted something about this a while ago. I've seen some post here wanting to save their marriage, relationship, but not often themselves. "What can I do?, what should I say, how do I help, fix, prove?!?, I get it now, I see it. I know now what I want".

All good questions, all great reassuring statements. Then often, poof. They're gone. Their marriage over or things aren't better fast enough. They may not have another affair. They're a dry adulterer. Just like a dry drunk may never have another drink yet not ever be sober.

There's so much more to healing from the choice to have an affair than never cheating again. You need to develop and grow spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Without the digging and the work, that initial guilt and shame that seemed so fresh and brutal fades.

The marriage you were terrified you lost seems to be at least temporarily saved and now those changes you committed to become stifling and confining. "I'm not a child, I have been good, I haven't lied lately, about anything like that". Your BS that you viewed as the love of your life, how could you have not seen it, is now jailer, parent, nag. "Will they ever trust me, get over this? It's been (fill in the length of time) I've done everything I could".

Nope. You haven't even started. You're still impulsive, discontented, restless, selfish, and now you have a healthy dose of judgmental and critical tossed in because you get it. You don't do that stuff anymore like those idiots. You have morals. You are now a finger pointer at those losers who can't get it together. In one word, insufferable.

You've never dealt what the affair caused you to lose and what it meant. Your escape, your validation, your holes, your boredom, your ego, your attention habit, unresolved FOO issues. All those toxic dysfunctions still alive and well but not having a secret,a person, people, ready and waiting when you slip away to fill, assuage, stroke, feed you. Now you have depression, numbness, just a hint of tapped down rage that echoes with a sharp remark or silence. Withdrawing, detaching, distancing.

You are in a full blown affair again, without the other person. No fixes, no health, no growth. Not fucking someone else mentally or physically is not being faithful.
There are no short cuts. Do the work. Get healthy mentally, emotionally, physically. The initial pain is what so many mistake for a wake up. It isn't always. It takes consistent focus and progress.

Make goals. As you achieve, high five yourself, pick the next one. Make them realistic. If you've never told the truth in conflict don't pick I will never lie again. It's not realistic. Pick I will think about something before I say it. When you fail, fess up immediately.
No contact. No mental contact. That doesn't mean no thoughts will come but don't obsess and daydream.
Transparency isn't a punishment for cheating. It's the only way to love an authentic life.

Honesty is not an option.

Don't just profess your love, live it. Songs are changed, tv shows are paused and addressed. Hugs aren't ended by you. Conversations aren't started by them. You don't ask if you can go out with the boys/girls. You know. You say no thank you and don't run home to tell your spouse how "good" you were. You're an adult, not a child.

Live your remorse. Carry your own water. Self soothe.

Embody your potential rather than just referencing that you have it.

Kyrie posted 1/14/2014 21:27 PM

Naivewife, Thank you so much for finding this and adding it to the thread. I really value the wisdom that continues to flow from this site. Thanks again, Blakesteel, for starting it off.

Phoenix, yes, there are good days and bad days and over time the good outnumber the bad. Finding a quality therapist that connects well with you is a tough job -- unfortunately, a lot of people give up after the first try. I went through 2 ICs before I finally found #3 and she just told me she's retiring this summer . We saw 3 different MCs over the past 2 years: 1 gave me only one 45 min session to ask every question I had about my H's 15 month affair and then I was to stop asking, 1 actually nodded off during one of our sessions, and one seemed to need to be reminded why we were there at every session. I'm not making this stuff up! My husband, fortunately, found an amazing IC who helped him rediscover himself. We are both very grateful that we finally found two good professionals to help us through this difficult journey. It's made a huge difference - but it was a job finding them.
Please keep posting and reading - that helps so much.
Take good care of yourself, too.

phoenix2015 posted 1/14/2014 22:05 PM

Blake thanks for sharing with me....I have been reading your posts for four months now.....some are so deep I couldn't focus through it all. It appears you have really discovered the best of yourself! I have read several books on infidelity so an avid reader prior to the A sadly I found that I no longer want to read for pleasure anymore, but am looking for answers now.
Naive wife....Wow! I am humbled that you would take the time to find that post for me. I love it and will share it with him when we take time to talk again.
Kylrie I know finding a great counselor would do us wonders but he is not a patient man and I will need to wait on him to make the commitment to start that search. I have said to him for many years that he will one day look back and regret his many years of unhappiness. He once said he already does, but it still has not spurred him into action
So glad I finally posted. Instead of the endless conversations I have in my head I have received some awesome advice tonight

2B1again posted 1/15/2014 00:11 AM

Phoenix, from a WS here. While everyone processes and accepts at different levels and for what some may consider different levels of offenses, the commonality is that most Waywards (including myself) have absolutely no clue of the damage they have caused until their BS practically beats them silly with the "facts". And then there is still the continuing: "I'm soooo sorry" and "I will never do anything like this again". This is genuine and is true, but we still don't "get it". For myself even after reading on this site and now up to 8 books I am still discovering the reality of the pain I have caused. As a WS I am in the minority here when I say, please keep prompting him, it will help if he is truly remorseful and wants to understand the full extent of his betrayal. It is not that he doesn't want to do the work, it is that he doesn't know how. We can study the specs of cars and become engrossed about the best cordless technology but these are tangible things. Discovering the "How's" of the "Why's" is tough stuff and for me this will be the most difficult and challenging thing I have ever tried to do. So yes, speaking as a WH this is the beginning of the hard work for you and he want's to do the hard work as well, but be aware that it might take him longer than it should because he already knows that he won't do it again.

catlover50 posted 1/15/2014 01:04 AM

Phoenix I have definitely shared your frustration at times.

But I want to point out that for many WS, including my own, the reason they don't dig deeply is not because they don't care or that they don't have time, it's because it's painful and scary. Many WS ARE WS because they have avoided self awareness, sometimes their whole lives. To insist that they do so at a time that they feel guilty and shamed is doubly hard.

But oh so necessary.

For a BS, we are often driven by extreme pain to search desperately for answers and can be so hurt that the person who caused the pain is not doing so. Unfortunately they are often trying to avoid the pain (again, how they sometimes end up a wayward, not dealing healthily with the "pain" that comes with normal life).

There were times I had to actually fight with my H to get him to answer questions in writing, etc, he was so avoidant. It did get better as his self-awareness increased.

Your expectations are valid and your experience is, unfortunately, not uncommon. BTW, it is quite uncommon for WSs to bring up the A on their own. Also, since APs tend to be a "mirror", admitting to oneself that they were less than desirable tends to boomerang back. Once a WS becomes truly humbled (ie "gets it") they can see that they were projecting for the sake of their ego.

Best of luck.

Holly-Isis posted 1/15/2014 06:13 AM

No that is not the hard work.

People actually in R can share with you what their WSs have done to heal but I can tell you that what you describe is MrH after his first A. Yup, first...there was another years later.

He did more this time around but still not enough so I'm in limbo.

SMH- he's just the same. Even down to the research...except it's watches for him. At least right now. During the A it was a certain type of vintage fountain pen.

I posted the other day in general about a research article that was forwarded to me. They listed the ten factors that help heal a M based on surveys and who knows what else.

Here they are:
-open and honest communication: discussion of feelings/emotions, how you plan to R, how running into the AP will be dealt with and so on.

- discussion of details of the A: how it began, what it consisted of (PA/EA), where it happened, how often...

-the A being ended

- WS's empathy
- BS's empathy

-genuine apology from the WS

-WS acceptance pf responsibility

-mutual understanding of factors leading to infidelity

-WS involvement in trust-building: checking in, wearing ring, access to accounts and records


I find that this is what I need and MrH hasn't done this fully, thus I feel unsafe, unloved and in limbo. I also believe that many WS feel like we should just rush to the forgiveness part. The part that requires the least amount of effort from them, right?

Kyrie posted 1/15/2014 07:40 AM

Catlover50 - excellent insight. Thank you for putting words to my feelings. You're really good at that!

Althea posted 1/15/2014 09:21 AM

(((Phoenix))) I'm glad you found this site, and you have received some great advice already. I'm with Holly-Isis here. Your WH has actually done none of the hard work. I'm guessing in the history of your marriage, you were the one to keep tabs on your relationship health. You worked to keep things happy, you were the one to reach out to your WH, and often made to feel like a nag for it. Now, after he cheated on you, you are the one researching all of the books, and trying to engage him in healing your marriage. Stop for a second and look at that. Does it make sense?

I did all of this, and regret it deeply. I thought because my WH went NC on his own and apologized, it meant that he "got it." Nope. In my case, I got TT for four months. Four months I spent researching endlessly, reading this site (but never posting), and trying to heal our marriage myself. He attended MC with me, but barely participated, and I ended up spending my one on one sessions with the MC talking about him and giving her information about his FOO and other issues that he didn't. There were always long silences before he spoke. I thought it was because he couldn't get his thoughts into words. In reality he was choosing carefully how much he would share so that he didn't get caught in a lie.

When I finally posted on this site, 4 months after Dday I got advice that saved my marriage and more importantly, saved me. In a nutshell, they told me to stop. Stop trying to fix my marriage, stop trying to fix my husband. He wasn't doing enough. I offer this same advice to you.

Find an IC. Work on healing yourself. Tell your WH that he isn't doing enough. Tell him exactly what you need, and if he can't give it to you then you have some hard choices to make. Read up on the 180. I think it will help a lot.

sisoon posted 1/15/2014 10:12 AM

I don't know that I have the courage to insist on IC because I feel like he will get an ineffective counselor and nothing will change. It really has to come from him....

The desire to change has to come from him, but it's eminently reasonable for you to require IC as a condition for R. That doesn't force him into IC - it just allows him to choose between losing you and possibly keeping you, if IC helps.

I recommend that your req be something like, 'IC with a goal of changing from a person who cheats to a person who's a good partner (one who doesn't betray anyone). I also think your H needs to sign a release that allows his C to talk to you about his goals and progress - otherwise he can tell you one thing and his C another - and I think you should schedule joint sessions periodically to make sure he hasn't lied to his IC.

Remember, you can usually change Cs if one doesn't help.

You mention fear. R takes a lot of courage. It's OK to be scared, but to R you need to remember that you're courageous, too, and that you can do things even if you're scared to do them.

I don't think WSes can make necessary changes without outside intervention into their internal processes. I think you need to demand IC, even though there's no guarantee he'll find an effective one the first time - or ever. No IC means failure to R, IMO. Any IC provides hope for success.

Again, the above is JMO.

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