I'm confessing because I love you? I wouldn't buy that. I'm confessing because I can't handle the guilt? poor baby. sounds selfish
How about "I am confessing because you have the right to know"?
He is out of town for work until next week. Makes for a good stall then huh? : ) but really I am not doing it over the phone.
"Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few." Pythagoras
There are two kinds of people in the world.
Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
Good on you for finding the bravery to take this step. This is going to be breathtakingly hard.
As others have said, you can't really prepare your husband for DDay, but you can prepare yourself. You have had plenty of good advice so far and I'm going to try to avoid repeating anyone. I would like to share some of my own experience and maybe it will help.
During your confession to your husband, you are going to be tempted to lie. He'll be hurt or furious, or goodness knows what else. You will be avoidant, self-protective, convince yourself that some things can just be left alone. Who knows what the trigger will be, but you will be tempted to lie while coming clean.
Don't. It's much easier said than done.
Write things down ahead of time. It will help keep you accountable. If you start feeling like you might want to part ways with the truth, ask for a time out in the conversation and tell him that you are trying to stay honest.
You have lied to him and yourself for a long time. It will be tough to break those habits, particularly under the stress that you are about to experience. Hang in there. Breathe.
Your husband will probably say some awful things to you in the middle of his hurt. He won't know how much of it he means at the time, but it will all be indicative of the damage that he is experiencing. Hear it for what it is and stay emotionally present.
Feel your emotions through this and own them. Don't shy away from your own hurt, anger and sadness. The more you acknowledge them and the reasons for them, the sooner you will be able to work on the broken pieces in you.
You can't fix this for your husband. You can work on fixing you and maybe become a spouse that that he'll want to invest in again.
I wish you strength in this, you're going to need it.
1. Are you NC with the OP?
2. How did your A end?
I ask because I think this will affect your chances of R, for better or worse.
If you aren't NC with your AP, can you do that first? Possibly via an email your WH can see?
TTing, blame shifting, making excuses for the A, blaming pre-A marriage, and defensiveness are all killers.
Accept all blame for the A.
Be prepared for your BH to leave or kick you out. He might need time to process.
I know your concerned about details (although, I think its more about shame, what he thinks of you, and fear it will hurt the chance of you getting what you want then his pain. Concern for his pain would have pervented the A in the first place) but as a former BS I can promise you its better and easier to move foward armed with ALL the story. Its also a risk of him being disgusted. I'm almost certain your truth is not nearly as bad as where his mind will take him if you leave gaps and holes in your story.
Be honest with yourself, if flipped do what you would like done.
[This message edited by 2yrsblind at 2:04 PM, January 18th (Saturday)]
As a BH, my advice is for you to never ever make it sound like you are defending your AP. Your BH is going to feel like he is your second choice and under no circumstances should you defend your AP. If you do, it will compound his thoughts and emotions tenfold. If he was, in fact, a good and respected man then he would have never had a relationship outside of his M with a married woman.
Thanks in advance
DO NOT TT, i know you say you don't intend to but in the face of his reaction you might feel pulled to do it. Tell him anything he needs to know, regardless of what YOU think he needs to know.
Bear witness to his emotions, whatever they are, with no anger, no defensiveness. Don't try to discuss the marriage problems, that's for later, after your BH stops hemorrhaging. Just be there, hold him, listen; give him whatever he asks for, to help him, even if that is to leave for a while.
Be proactive, try to think of anything that might upset him after he finds out, and deal with it, then let him know. My WH changed his work schedule, gave me a list of all Email/ FB acct passwords, changed his cell #, etc.
For me, I had such a hard time when he left to go to work( he stayed home as much as possible otherwise.) Oddly, it was comforting to have him there, and him apologizing over and over, saying he would never ever do it again etc - helped so much. When he had to leave eventually, to go to the store etc - he would take time stamped pictures with his phone to prove he was where he said he was.
Are you booked with an IC to help figure out your own issues? If not, do it; show him you are working on yourself and taking responsibility. Don't book him an IC, he will make that decision himself.
Don't expect any appreciation for your efforts for some time. Remain steadfast anyway. I know it took a good 3 months before I was able to even begin to believe my WH meant what he said, and to start to appreciate his efforts and feel the beginnings of compassion for his pain. It took almost 4 months til I could commit to trying to R.
It is very courageous to own what you did, and respect your BH enough to give him the truth about his own life and marriage. Confessing is so much better than being caught, it speaks to your motive of doing the right thing, hopefully he will see that. It won't help initially, but later on it will occur to him.
Don't defend your AP or say anything remotely nice about him. Be prepared for intense hatred for your AP from your BH. You must demonstrate your absolute loyalty to your husband and repudiate AP in every way possible.
Strength to you and your BH.
When my WH told me I walked outside and sat for over an hour. Unable to move. Eyes glazed. Shell shocked.
Looking back I know he was hiding in the house and being a coward basically. I wish he would have sat in another chair silently with me.
For me, the worst thing that happened during/after DDay was TT and outright lies. In one instance, WH lied to protect his AP from what he (correctly) thought would be my wrath, and that was especially unforgivable.
The TT and lying during the process of confession, as well as the secrecy during the affair, nearly destroyed our marriage, much more so than the affair itself did. I really wish he had just come clean in the beginning. The dishonesty really fucked up the whole process and magnified my trauma ten-fold, because then I didn't just have to try to get my head around a cheating husband, I had to get my head around a lying, secretive, hiding-stuff, deceptive husband too.
So my #1 piece of advice would be: DON'T LIE! And don't conceal things. Your BH may not want to know every sordid detail, but if he asks, please be honest and forthcoming with information. Don't make him feel like he has to drag it out of you, or make him wonder whether he is getting real, truthful information from you. That will seriously damage his desire and ability to reconcile with you down the road. Be respectful enough of his autonomy as a human being to let him make his own decisions about you, your marriage, and his life based on accurate and complete information.
Has anyone heard of this guy and his marriage workshops?
As I see it, you can only destroy the evidence if you want to lie about the destruction, as well. Totally counter to the path that you have (laudably) decided on.
My X did okay on the first night of DDay and was very much himself and repentant. After that, he started to get worn out from my grief, eventually getting defensive and, ultimately, verbally and emotionally abusive. He had never done that before in all of our years together, so it was doubly disorienting to process this "new" him that I was learning about, on top of his lashing out.
Keep it. Even if he thinks he wants it gone, make sure it can be retrieved if/when he decides he's ready to know.
That day may never come. And if that's the case, you can revisit what to do with it, with him, when you're in a good place, marriage-wise.
But if the time does come, and the evidence has been destroyed, it can be a real barrier to R.
Haven't been able to get back on since Friday but wanted to answer your response to me.
I feel for you, I truly do. No matter what happens, your confession is for the best & kudos to you for doing what is right. And the best of luck to you when confession time comes.
First, I do want to say that no matter what, at this time, I will NEVER now tell my BH of my A. I had posted in another thread that I would take it to my grave & caught alot of flack for it, but after explaining the sitch, it made the why understood a bit more.
And not because I didn't want to, but because of the fact that it has now been almost 6 years since my A went down & ended. My BH & I have had enormous fights when the confession convos came up so I am now over the trying to confess stage. It took a bit for me to realize my IC was right. After I found SI, I did what you are & prepared for the whole sit-down with my BH. After the biggest fight about it one evening with my BH, my IC finally made me see that my feeling of need to confess was at this point being very selfish. (I had mentioned that I thought I should just blurt it out some day out of the blue.) And she said what you did....this is now my punishment & I have to work through it on my own.
But it is a secret that can never be resolved. Unlike when you sit down & confess all to you BH. Then (I hope) you can both begin repairing the damage & your marriage & hopefully have a stronger & happier M than ever. For me, since my BH will not let me confess, it will never be worked through together. I feel we have a great marriage at this time, but it will always be that dark cloud hanging over my head for the rest of my life. And even though we are happier than we have ever been, I will always have the feeling that it has a kind of a fakeness about it because of my dark secret. It just sucks all around & as crazy as it sounds, I would prefer it to be known. Then I believe that eventually it could be put behind me & we could move on. Now that is never a possibility.
So again, it feels so wrong to say that I am happy you have the courage to bring this down on your head & work through it. It is the right thing to do & I, oh, so hope it goes as well as it can for you.
One thing I would like to suggest.....before your confession, spend a LOT of time reading the JFO side. Do more preparation for what a BS goes through & how you can help him, more than you prepare for what or how you are going to tell your side. Being more prepared for his reactions & how you can help with that is more important than how it all comes out, IMHO. The JFO side will give you a lot of info about what he will go through & you being prepared for it all will hopefully help you maneuver the whole mess better?!?!?!
We are here for you & sending hugs & prayers your way.
If you are committed to working through this, make sure you communicate this and also acknowledge that you are going to have good and bad days for sometime to come.
Some books I found helpful:
NOT just friends (shirley glass)
How to help your spouse heal from your affair
After the Affair
Work on writing a timeline of when it started and any trips taken, all of the lies you had to tell, any gifts/money spent. Tell him you are working on this. Give this in a therapeutic setting so both of you have proper support you need.
Stay away from graphic details such as sex acts but you will want to share that you did or did not practice safe sex. Also make plans to get yourself tested and your spouse tested for a full panel of STDs.
ETA: I strongly urge you not to play victim. What I mean by this is saying something like "I had to tell you this because the guilt was overwhelming me" or if you are called upon to disclose this to your employer or minister or someone you respect, instead of saying "my husband feels you should know about this" YOU should say "I want you to know I did this and take full responsibly for it." In other words, take ownership and be completely forthright about what you did and how you deceived people and how you regret your actions…don't just say you are coming clean because someone else wants you to do it. YOU should want to come clean on your own for obvious reasons.
[This message edited by womaninflux at 8:45 PM, January 19th (Sunday)]
A little bit of a t/j here.
I'll preface this by stating this is not a critism just an observation.
You have posted a link to an article giving advice on confession of an affair, obviously you are impressed by its content.
(Other than the advice to destroy evidence, which you correctly indentified as utter crap, kudos to you)
What I find interesting is that the exact same good advice in the 'article' has been given to you repeatedly by numerous posters here on SI for weeks.
Why did it take an 'article' on the internet from a dubious source (self proclaimed marriage and christion sex expert) for you to 'get it' so to speak and not give credibility to people who have actually BTDT.
Again I'm not having a go at you, it's more a comment on the lack of critical thinking we WS's suffer from.
You are doing really well, more power to you.