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UnGenius posted 3/29/2014 15:48 PM

I was involved in an EA (with inappropriate online communication), the AP and I are both prominent members of an organization. We've ceased all inappropriate communication, but still interact in regards to running the organization. My BW has asked that I step away from the organization for an extended period of time... or else. I understand why she needs me to do this, but I find myself reluctant. These people are my best friends and I would desperately miss the interactions we enjoy and the joy I get out of being part of the org.

I'm sick with guilt for what I did to our M, I know what I need to do to start to heal it, but I waver.

If I do anything I will lose something very valuable to me. If I do nothing I will lose something very valuable to me.

I did take about a month away from the org, and thought we were making progress in R'ing. My BW thought she would be ok with me returning, but it seems to have caused further hurt. I feel terrible and I've stopped going in person and only conducting business via email.

From moment to moment I don't know which way I lean. When we have a good day I'm sold on sticking it out. When we have a bad day I can barely stand it. I read stories on here and I think I can do it, too. Then I look at myself and begin to doubt, especially when I'm reluctant to give her this one thing I know she needs.

I know I did this and is no fault of my BW, and I'm sorry. I didn't think I was this kind of person and I never intended to hurt anyone.

Things that go through my head every day:
Can we fix this?
What will it be like if we R?
What will it be like if we can't?
Am I strong enough to stick with it, to go through all the pain?
Will I do it again?
Am I that broken?
Why did I do it?
How do I support my BW?
And so many other questions, so many.

BrokenButTrying posted 3/29/2014 16:15 PM

Which is more important to you, the org or your marriage?
Your wife has made it clear you cannot have both so you have to chose. It's that simple.

Can we fix this?

Yes. If your BW wants to and you put in the work then you can rebuild your marriage.

What will it be like if we R?

Hard work but worth it.

What will it be like if we can't?

Sad that marriage has ended but you'll get through it.

Am I strong enough to stick with it, to go through all the pain?

Only you know the answer to that.

Will I do it again?

That depends on how much work you put into yourself.

Am I that broken?


Why did I do it?

Again, only you can answer that. You need to go to IC and figure it out.

How do I support my BW?

Ask her what she needs and do it. Full disclosure, full transparency, openness, honesty, patience, empathy, understanding, compassion, comfort, love, reassurance. Whatever she needs, you give her.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 3/29/2014 17:13 PM

I can tell you now that staying with the organization will be the equivalent of telling your wife that the organization is first and she is second. Choosing the organization over your wife will most likely derail any chance of truly R'ing.

I didn't have an A with a coworker, but a close coworker knew of my A. She never said or did anything to discourage my behavior. When my BH found out and we began to talk, me working so closely to this "friend" became a problem for him. We had several discussions regarding this person. I adamantly stating that her knowing should not be a big deal, him adamantly stating that he was troubled by the whole thing. He wanted me to transfer and I wanted to stay. Because he didn't want me to have any resentments towards him, he agreed but he continued to feel uncomfortable with me working with her. I ended up transferring. I wanted to demonstrate to him that he was much more important to me than a job. A job I loved. But you know what? I was fine. And three months after I finally made that transfer we picked up and moved halfway across the country. And I was fine. Because I realized that I can enjoy my job anywhere I go. But the place I most wanted to be was with my husband.

You may enjoy working with this organization, you may really like the people you interact with. But it's your wife who needs you now. She needs you to show her that she is number one on your priority list. There will be other friends and other organizations when the time comes.

Right now focus on complete NC with your AP. That means severing ties with the organization. Only then can you even begin to fix this. As to whether or not you are strong enough? Leaving the organization can be a way to demonstrate to both your wife and you that the strength is there. Because we are all strong enough. It just matters whether or not we choose to put in the hard work. And it is hard work. But it is worth it when you can become a person you are proud of. But for now, yes, you are that broken.

[This message edited by WalkinOnEggshelz at 5:16 PM, March 29th (Saturday)]

BaxtersBFF posted 3/29/2014 17:27 PM

I'm sick with guilt for what I did to our M, I know what I need to do to start to heal it, but I waver.
What do you need to do to start healing? Listening to your BW and leaving the org even though you have many good friends there seems a good start, but you're, you know what to do but are reluctant to do it? You are reluctant to save your marriage? You are reluctant to put your wife above others in your life????

For some reason I'm getting nit-picky with your wording...sorry about that...

Can we fix this? No. You can fix you. She can fix herself. You can't take responsibility for each others healing, and you can't do the work for anyone but yourself. So "we" can't fix this.

What will it be like if we R? It will be different than what you had, but hopefully better. It will take a few years of a lot of hard work on both your parts, but when you get to that point where you realize you haven't thought about what you did for a while, it's pretty cool.

What will it be like if we can't? I've seen situations where the BS thrives and the WS keeps falling even lower. I've seen the opposite. For yourself, if you can't R, you will be living with the knowledge that what you did was too much for your BS to take. You'll have to live with the knowledge that you destroyed your M. It will likely be a very lonely place for a while at least. Hopefully you'll find a way to heal. It sounds like you may choose your friends and the org over your BS, so maybe they'll help you feel better...

Am I strong enough to stick with it, to go through all the pain? It's a choice. It isn't really about strength more than it's about whether you have the ability to be honest with yourself. If it doesn't hurt, you aren't doing it right. Look at it another way...are you strong enough to be the person you were? You know, the one who cheated? That's the easy way out, to stay the same. The harder path is to really embrace the pain, look at it, and figure out where it all came from.

Will I do it again? If you don't think you're strong enough to face the pain, then yes, you will likely do it again. It's sort of like an addiction, especially an EA, and it is likely you'll have bumps in the road. The point is to do whatever you can to make sure you don't.

Am I that broken? Yes, but it sounds like you didn't know it. I get that. I had now idea how screwed up I was until I started working on things...

Why did I do it? If you do the work, you'll find your answer. Takes a lot of time. and the answer may not be what you expect/suspect.

How do I support my BW? You support her by taking responsibility for your own actions, by standing there while she is raging or yelling, by looking at her when she talks to you and keeping your mouth shut if anything that is about to come out of your mouth sounds the least bit defensive...You support her by working on yourself.

UnGenius posted 3/29/2014 18:51 PM

Thank you for the responses. I think I knew some of the answers and feared others.

I try to never be defensive about what happened. I did it. I do get angry, but I never direct at my BW. It's more at myself for what I did and what it's going to cost me.

NoGoodUsername posted 3/29/2014 22:09 PM

UnGenius, I understand about leaving an organization that you have a large investment in. In my case it was a bit different because both my wife and I were involved and she did not ask me to leave it.
Nevertheless, I get the difficulty of leaving an organization where you have invested much of your time and identity. You don't want to leave because you still derive benefit from it and you also don't want to lose this piece of yourself or feel like your investment in it was for nothing. Friend, I get that. It's time for you to think hard about whether your wife means more to you than this organization. In more normal circumstances, perhaps you could have room to negotiate this but after infidelity theren is no compromise left for her to give you. Your oganization will survive without you. Your marriage won't.

UnGenius posted 3/30/2014 08:59 AM

She started doing the 180 yesterday. Hurts a lot. I get it, but this is also the time when I really need to talk to her. She's been my best friend for nearly 20 years, we've always supported each other.

I thought we were making progress over the past 2 months, but this past week has been the absolute worst. Yes, we had some bad days early on, but we also had days where we laughed together. I felt those days were really helping us. But the distance now makes me feel the rift is widening.

She says she's been thinking about moving out, trial separation, maybe. Time to clear her head, maybe. I'll give her whatever she needs. I'm even starting to be ok with letting go of the org.

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