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Weezel posted 8/21/2014 13:52 PM

I recently had an old A discovered by my BH--he has reached out to the community here for help and I am also. He has invited me to view any responses to his post and I will of course do the same for him. First I want to share the situation as he has very eloquently (and far kinder than I deserve) written:

My wife and I celebrated our 20th anniversary earlier this summer, we have 2 boys. My wife and I married pretty young, I am told I am her first and she never had a chance to date or develop a social life until I scooped her up. I had a little more experience, not much. One month ago I could have stood on the mountains and screamed how perfect and wonderful my life was, I guess I spoke too soon. Don't ever take for granted what you have. I woke up this morning to a black and white world and I am completely numb.

As I mentioned we were married young and thought we were in love, the problem is we had no idea how to communicate and my wife is a very closed person. After the birth of our second about 10 years ago, my wife had severe post partum depression and was even suicidal. I suspected this but had no idea how to approach or help. I guess someone else did.

My D-day would be about 3 weeks ago I guess. I was in bed with my wife falling asleep, she was on her phone. My head was by her shoulder and we both assumed I was asleep. Something awoke me and I glanced at her phone and saw a rather explicit image very briefly and the end of a text message that closed with "Night Sweetie". I woke up and snapped out of it. I asked her about the "Night Sweetie" only because I wanted to see how clean she would come. For the most part she just talked it out and tried to cover up the text, she did not come forward or confess anything else and it was late. I guess I should have been more honest also.

The next day we went out for a bit with the kids and did family stuff. We came home and I was in a dangerously dark place that I am almost ashamed of. I decided to not do what I had in mind but tell her what I had seen as a picture. This led to days and weeks of talking (mostly on my part), soul searching and some details. I wasn't sure how much I should ask for and she answered whatever I did ask but didn't offer much more. She showed no emotion, just steel resolve. At first she didn't want to break off "their" friendship because of how he helped her thru the dark times of her life and he truly was a "friend". A few days in I did force her to break it with a message she showed me and I saw the response back from him confirming her request. I found out that they had sexted several times, initiated by both over 7 years! I also found out that there had been a petting incident back when this started 7 years ago, she was completely transparent as to what I asked and asked for forgiveness. I do trust that she wants to get back but I truly don't know if she knows how.

I stewed with my feelings for 3 weeks and tried to get over this and let her relax and both of us get on with our marriage but I couldn't drop the nagging feelings. Finally I found SI and I read and read. I found that my feelings are not wrong and I needed more detail. I had said a LOT to my wife over the past 3 weeks but she has said virtually nothing, she has listened. I shared this site with her and she read all that I asked her to. We sat together and read the FAQs and answered questions. Finally I asked her to detail the actual events so I could get a better understanding of her thoughts, I had NO idea. I am back at D-day times 10.

We started back at the beginning and she repeatedly stresses how bad a place she was in and how dark her world was and how she couldn't communicate. She had no one to turn to and she was a worthless person. She found a male friend at work she could simply talk with. She could go to him to discuss her day or issues. This led to some other comforts and eventually led to her going to his house to watch a movie while his wife was there. Nothing happened and I do believe that. She tried to keep giving me the petting issue and I had perceived it as just a passing action at a convenient place so I didn't put as much weight into that as the sexting. It was a long time ago and fairly innocent, I thought. She was withholding the details to shield me but we agreed we needed to go over them last night. The petting incident was actually her leaving the house, going to his house, switching cars and going to dinner. He then asked her if she liked stars and they went to a park. They walked thru the park to a secluded area and he made sexual offers and suggestions as to his abilities. They really just sat and talked though. During the talking he advanced on her and the "petting" incident is him fondling her thru her top and rubbing her. When he tried to go up her shirt is when my wife apparently got scared and stopped the action. Although this was something she tried to offer early on, she does not see it as cheating. In her mind cheating is only touching genitals or intercourse so she saved those for the marriage. I almost threw up at this, literally.

The sexting was actually a year and a half of Cyber Sex between the two of them while I was away or sleeping. It was words and many pictures both ways and involved complete sexual acts and release, digitally. They also would have still been working together and doing lunch meets. Again, not cheating supposedly. I see it as dating and a year and a half of sneaking around behind my back. He traveled a lot and supposedly had no contact with her for about 5 years.

The exchange 4 weeks ago was his coming back to town and "poking" here on Facebook. They exchange pleasantries and eventually he sent a picture of "himself", 2 actually. She bantered with him a bit and even offered that it was a positive thing for her but she needed to leave for work.

She never saw this as cheating or wrong and was not going to stop or tell me even after the initial discovery. One of the worst parts is that I really have wanted to do sexting and tried with her a while back, in hindsight my timing was wrong and she got the picture at work and it could have been embarrassing I guess. She came home and scolded me for that and never tried again with me. She was comfortable doing this with him but embarrassed with me... She still can't Sext with me.

She claims that she is sorry and that she will do anything to fix this. She claims to have broken off contact with him. She supposedly is starting to see all this as wrong. I talk and talk and talk and she sits on the couch and stares back at me emotionless. Understand that she NEVER cries and internalizes everything but I am doing ALL the talking here and I don't know what else to say. I asked her to come to this site and I am going to show her my post. I don't know what else to do?

Sorry for the ramble, we can't possibly afford counseling and we are not counseling kind of people. I want this fixed and she says she does but I have no idea where to turn or what to do to fix this. I am at work now trying to deal. My wife does not work with him anymore but she works nights and I work days, I did ask her to call in tonight so we will see if she can see this. Thoughts?

So...from my side of it...(I am not looking for pity or to try to justify what I have done, just some more info that I will try to put out as impartially as I can--please feel free to call me on this if it really is not, I am also still working through this)
He is very right--I am for the most part very unemotional and am the poster child for compartmentalizing. Over the last few years I have really worked to open up, to realize my self worth for myself without looking for external validation. I still struggle with this every day and know it. I have suffered from depression and not just post-partum. Never sought help--this was just a flaw that I felt I had to deal with on my own. I fix objects for a living--I can see very quickly what these objects need and how to deal with it. I can't see how I can possibly even begin to try to "fix" this situation. I am at a desperate loss as to what to do. I have tried to read, I have asked BH what he needs, I have been far more open and honest about the A and anything else we have discussed than I may have ever been about anything else in my life. I realize I am still grieving for the loss of the A, but mostly for the shock of discovery and abruptness of the NC. It is not something I feel I need anymore, it is not even something I still want--I had moved past that before the most recent contact--the one that led to D-Day. There were never any delusions about a life with the AP, we both knew and agreed that it was just cheap quick thrills. I honestly never in my mind at the time thought I was hurting anyone else (since D-Day I am still realizing more every day and with every discussion how wrong that statement is.) I want so desperately to work toward R and I know it will take a LOT of time on his part and even more effort on mine, I just don't know where to start. I do not want to lose my BH and fear that I may have done irreparable damage to him and to us. He says he still loves me and wants me to stay if I want to--I very much want to stay if he will let me and VERY MUCH still love him, probably more now than ever, maybe because of the new-found openness and communication? Or the fact that I so nearly obliterated something we had that really was so beautiful, but I guess I was still selfishly blind and taking life for granted? I just don't know what else I can do to help him start down a path of healing. If anyone can point me in the right direction I would love to hear anything you have to offer. I am not too proud to admit my failure as a person and partner, I want to own my S and do whatever is necessary to work towards R.

DrJekyll posted 8/21/2014 15:07 PM

Welcome to SI,

First I would start by reading the healing library in the upper left. I am sorry that you are here, but glad that you found us. We have been where you are, and know what you are going through. And can help you through it.

Now to discuss

I recently had an old A discovered by my BH

The A was not that old your BH found you sexting him. You may have been on a break with your AP, but still in the A if you picked back up. I understand saying "An old A" helps you feel better. But it is just plainly not the truth.

I fix objects for a living--I can see very quickly what these objects need and how to deal with it. I can't see how I can possibly even begin to try to "fix" this situation

Why are you objectifying your BH and your M? I am sure this ties with your life pattern of compartmentalization. When did this start? What were the circumstances?

I am at a desperate loss as to what to do. I have tried to read, I have asked BH what he needs, I have been far more open and honest about the A and anything else we have discussed than I may have ever been about anything else in my life.

what does tried to read mean?
what has your BH told you he needs?
being open and honest is a choice by choice lifestyle. You definitely need to continue working on being even more open and honest.

I realize I am still grieving for the loss of the A, but mostly for the shock of discovery and abruptness of the NC. It is not something I feel I need anymore, it is not even something I still want--I had moved past that before the most recent contact--the one that led to D-Day.

if it wasn't something you needed or wanted why did you do it again?

There were never any delusions about a life with the AP, we both knew and agreed that it was just cheap quick thrills.

So you are saying that your BH is worth less to you than a cheap thrill?

I honestly never in my mind at the time thought I was hurting anyone else

so you were completely ok with your BH sexting or whatever he might have decided was a cheap thrill? the thought of that never hurt you?

I want so desperately to work toward R and I know it will take a LOT of time on his part and even more effort on mine, I just don't know where to start.

start with unpacking those compartments.

I just don't know what else I can do to help him start down a path of healing.

This is a complicated answer. The reality is you cannot fix him or start him down any path. The only path that you can start him on is the destruction path, but you have already done that.

So you have to control absolutely everything that is in your control. Because the only thing in your control is you. So you work on you. You fix you. You heal you. And when your your BS asks for something you give it to him. You listen to him, answer his questions, be an open book. transparent, honest. Basically you need to be everything that you are not.

So do you think you can handle this? this is going to be 2-5 years of questioning and trying to rebuild trust and heal. Have you started IC, MC, and what are you reading?

BlueBlueEyes posted 8/21/2014 15:33 PM

I really try to stay out of this forum, because as a BW, it can be pretty hurtful to me. I am here because I read and posted on your husbands thread. First, I'm glad you are here and at least trying to make some attempt. Second, this isn't enough. My DD was May 25th. I had rugswept an affair prior to a deployment to Afghanistan because I wanted to believe him and I didn't have the strength to face what I realize now I knew. My world and who I am changed forever on May 25th. I have only ever been with my husband. He has not returned that faithfulness. I feel broken, lost, empty, betrayed and violated. I did't invite anyone into my marriage or my personal issues, however, he did and told them lies about me. This is a very selfish thing to do regardless of the reasons. I am working to R with my husband. I had him removed from the house for a couple of days whle I prayed and thought long and hard about our marriage. What I needed and still need from him is a sense of security and safety in my marriage. I hate that I've become insecure and questioning. I need him to be 100% honest about everything right now. I don't want trickle truth. I can start to heal with all of the facts but I can't handle a continuous picking of the scab regardless of how well meaning he thinks hiding facts is intended. I wish someone had given my husband this advise to help me. Read "How to help your spouse heal from your affair" together. Drop your defenses (you expect him to!) and really put yourself out there. Explore what you think is broken about you and why you were selfish in this action. He knows you've lied to him and he trusted you! This is very difficult for me to forgive. I'm struggling with trust and trying hard not to shut down to protect myself. Please get IC. If you can't afford it, buy every book you can, read them together and talk about every painful thing. I needed details that I don't have. He may just need to know what you were feeling and thinking. Ask him what he needs and do everything possible to help him. IMHO you caused this. You are 100% to blame, and you need to do the work to protect your family and ensure this doesn't happen EVER again. Good luck and feel free to PM me if you really want to know how a BS rollercoaster feels like. It's more awful than I think I can describe....

caspers1wish posted 8/21/2014 15:42 PM

I have suffered from depression and not just post-partum. Never sought help--

Maybe you should start here and seek help dealing with your depression. Working on your issues is a good start in becoming a healthy partner in your marriage. It sounds like you have a hard time opening up and communicating and being cut off from your own emotions. It might be a way for you to protect yourself from the mental pain that is a result from your depression.

megahertz posted 8/21/2014 16:45 PM

I too posted in your husband's thread. I'm new to SI, but not to infidelity and the struggles you are going through. I wish my WW (who's personality is the complete opposite of yours as best I can tell) would comes here and get some input. I've had to do 99% of the work in our limping along R. R is impossible if only one person wants it. So kudos to you for wanting to listen, learn and share. It's a good start.

My advice to you is to do more of the work in R than your BH. I read somewhere the WS should do 60% of the work. That means first, complete disclosure of everything you need to own it before you can fix it. You need to show remorse, true remorse for your infidelity, and understand the deep pain your betrayal has caused. Everything you do from here on out should serve to build trust that has been shattered. Finally, you need to get into IC and MC and work hard and honestly on resolving issues that got you here. Go out and buy Not Just Friends and other books and start reading them. Read the materials in the Healing Library. It will open your eyes.

There is no quick fix. Plan to spend the next several years working hard on this.

capilot posted 8/21/2014 17:37 PM

But it is just plainly not the truth.

That stuck out at me.

OP, I apologize if I'm wrong, but your story feels like classic "trickle truth" to me. Your pattern is to admit to your husband the things he can already prove, and deny the things he can't.

You can lie to us if you want to -- we're all just a bunch of nobodies anyway -- but you must NEVER lie to your husband again. Even if you think the truth will hurt, it still never hurts as much as a lie.

You have to go into full disclosure now, and you have to absolutely cut the other man out of your life. The fact that you hesitated for even a second speaks very poorly of you.

SI Staff posted 8/21/2014 17:56 PM


BSs are not to throw 2x4s in this forum, it is against the guidelines. Please refrain from doing so.

Thank you.

nuance posted 8/21/2014 23:22 PM

Full disclose is a must. Now is the time. My FWW had a similar thing and it took 3 weeks of TT. After that I gave her an ultimatum and she came clean. It's the TT that kills the marriage.

It took years for us to recover but you both have to do the hard work - he healing and you regaining trust.

[This message edited by nuance at 11:23 PM, August 21st (Thursday)]

GetEvenInAZ posted 8/22/2014 00:59 AM

Drjekyll has it exactly right. Even though I'm a BS, understand fixing things. It comes naturally to me: there is a problem and i find solutions. It is one area I excel at and it sounds like you do too.

Maybe change your focus? Instead if fixing M,fix YOU first? The M will follow if work on your issues? Put those problem solving skills to your own benefit, which will help your relstionship with BS in finding the Whys and endyring doesn't happen again.

jb3199 posted 8/22/2014 06:00 AM


As a betrayed husband, this is as simple as I can put it--

Nothing would help me MORE than to see my wayward wife work as hard as she can on herself. And I don't mean her "going through the motions" in what she thinks that *I* want. It means her posting on here ACTIVELY, and absorbing the support. It means her ordering books, and voraciously reading through them. It means investigating Individual Counseling---because she WANTS to get to the root of her problems. And of course, I would want her to have as much empathy towards me as possible.

Being open and honest is a great start. And as much as your husband may be uncomfortable if you bring up affair topics/discussions, it will be better than sweeping them under the rug.

The last thing that may help, is that you have to accept that you do not control the outcome of your relationship. You can let him know that you are here for the long haul, and will continue to work on yourself whether the marriage survives or not. These would all be positive steps towards possible reconciliation, because these are all positive steps in making you a better, safer partner in the future.

It is uncanny how a betrayed spouse will know if you are not putting in the *real* effort. So, make sure that you are ready for this---remember, being honest trumps all. If you do NOT have it in you, the best thing that you can do is let him know this. But if you ARE ready to bare your soul to your husband, then it starts with working on you.

You can do this. There will be many backslides and mistakes along the way, but that is part of the process. It is time to get to work.

Good luck.

Weezel posted 8/22/2014 09:57 AM

Thank you everyone for your outpouring of concern and your willingness to share and offer advice and opinions!!! I have not posted since I started this thread yesterday, but I have read EVERYTHING that has been responded. I have also been reading the responses on my BH's thread and he has read everything here. After reading everything individually we sat down and read and discussed each response together--how we felt about the post, how we felt about the issue(s) brought up by the posters, and we (mostly I) answered every question honestly to ourselves and to each other. Sometimes painfully so. When I started this thread and posted his description of the A it was at my BH's request, so that if anyone was interested in both parties involved it would be very easy to connect us. We have agreed to hold no secrets throughout this, pull no punches, and say whatever needs to be said no matter how painful or unpleasant, however this agreement has allowed much of this to be far less unpleasant than it could have seemed. After we discussed both of our threads and put our DS's to bed we continued talking about the A. After discussing TT earlier I repeated my retelling of the details and progression of the A, going into as much detail as I could remember--timeline, order of incidents, details of everything, even things that were probably completely unrelated to the A specifically, but I wanted to make sure that NOTHING was left out. He very patiently sat and listened, taking notes on what I was saying and jotting down questions for later. I could see that rehearing all this again did pain him, although not as much as I had expected. At the end I answered his questions, he told me that I had filled in a few more details that he had not known or asked about. Then he dropped a bomb on me--he told me that my FAP had not been nearly as discrete as I had assumed. That he had actually gotten a warning from a close friend in the past about some pictures being shared publicly that he completely dismissed because "she would never do that!" Boy were we both wrong in our assumptions!!! I was shocked at hearing what my FAP had done. I went through a rollercoaster of negative emotions and debated if I needed confront this person I had trusted. I quickly realized that it would do absolutely no good and could very easily stir up another huge S-storm that I have no desire for. So I decided to let sleeping dogs lie and not give the jerk the satisfaction of any kind of acknowledgement, he isn't worth it. As I think about that this morning I am surprisingly ok with it, it hurts that my trust was violated, that I was that oblivious to life that I let myself end up in that situation, but it is also a wonderful tool and insight for me. I can see just who the FAP I thought I trusted really is, it squashed ANY last little shred of interest for that person, it has helped me to continue to realize the level of shock and pain and disappointment I have put my dearest BH through. After probably 18 hours or more of talking and honest discussion the last 2 days and this bombshell from last night I can finally step back and see what happened for what it is. I had an AFFAIR at a point in my life where I did not care about anyone or anything, not even myself. And once I did start to care about myself and the rest of the world I did not do anything to end it, I just left it at the trickle off that it was, we did not need each other any more and that was ok, until the contact that led to D-Day when I fell right back into old habits. I do not say that to justify or excuse because there is nothing that EVER could. I have just been given the gift of clarity to see everything for what it truly was. I can now understand EXACTLY what I did. I know the beginnings of why I did it, although that will take more soul searching to truly grasp. I can see how unfair it was to everyone else and how much it has hurt my BH. I think this was a cold hard slap in the face that I really needed.

We are both working toward our R, and we know it will be a long hard road. I am committed to pulling my weight on this and whatever of my BH's weight that he can't carry, and then asking if I can shoulder even more for him. We are somewhat exploring the counseling options available to us and trying to decide if that would be beneficial for one or both of us. We will continue to talk about anything and everything, we will continue to read the posts here and discuss them together. I will continue to do my own soul searching to learn what I can about me, this I feel I can be more honest about with myself and my BH than with any outsider, even a trained professional. But I will certainly not rule out outside help and if that road is taken I will put 125% of my effort into it. If anyone has any additional comments, concerns, questions, advice I am eagerly waiting to hear it. If you all in light of your previous experiences feel that it would be of benefit for my BH or me to put any of our realizations out into the universe or to put the A into my own words for others to analyze I am more than happy to.

Thank you again everyone, I look forward to being able to one day leisurely stroll down the road I am just beginning to create with my dearest BH with all the support you have provided and will continue to into the future! I know this is FAR from over and will never be completely gone ever, but now I can at least see that there is a tiny pinpoint of light in the far distance I need to keep striving for!

Weezel posted 8/22/2014 11:03 AM

My wonderful BH has called me on something in my last post:

I went through a rollercoaster of negative emotions and debated if I needed confront this person I had trusted. I quickly realized that it would do absolutely no good and could very easily stir up another huge S-storm that I have no desire for.

After going back and reading this again I realized just how wrong it sounds. Please let me clarify--these were simply my thoughts in the midst of the maelstrom of negativity the revelation of my FAP's sharing of pictures that I had no intention of making public. I knew deep down inside that I would not contact the FAP--it would serve no purpose whatsoever and would make things infinitely worse than what we already have. I am not strong enough to deal with having contact with this individual again, even before this revelation, and now I have no desire to even know of their existence for the rest of eternity. My NC letter was a promise to me and to my dear BH that I would never have contact again, and I will stick by that no matter what!!!

BlueBlueEyes posted 8/22/2014 11:04 AM

I'm sorry if some of my comments and opinions hurt you. Further hurt accomplishes absolutely nothing. I really hope you understand the Earth shattering pain your BH is experiencing and are willing to take the amount of time this will require to heal. I'm proud of your efforts thus far. I wish you both peace and happiness.

Weezel posted 8/22/2014 12:39 PM

Thank you Blue Eyes! There is nothing that has been said that was hurtful because someone said it, all the hurt has come from the growing realizations those comments have produced in me. Thank you all again for your support and I will keep posting our work and discoveries about the A, ourselves, and each other.

Lark posted 8/22/2014 12:44 PM

I'd recommend reading How to Help Your Spouse Heal.
read it first just to get through it (it's like 80 pages). Then read it again. Then start highlighting and revisiting it.

It's free on the author's website in a pdf form, and it's cheap on an amazon kindle or buying it in print.

As a BS I can't 2x4 you, so I'm not sure if this is a 2x4 and can delete it - this was not an old affair, it was a seven year long term affair that was emotional and physical. To start fixing it, you gotta start at ground zero and see it for what it is.

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