Most of the fog left my WH on Dday, but more lifted when he had to face his leadership and HR and tell them why he needed to move teams (2 months out) prior he had me convinced they could still work together. The remaining fog lifted when we each saw lawyers to discuss and sign a postnup. (4 months out)
Reading this thread, it seems like reality hasn't set in for her yet. IMHO I would meet with a lawyer at least to be more knowledgable. I told WH two that I was going to meet. told him which one I selected to start drafting the document. I think just the excercises of documenting all the assets and having strangers part of our marriage was a big enough jolt that WH really woke up.
It's a long road, we are over a year out and we are following a plan similar to yours, but I wouldn't say we are in R yet.
I would be very careful about being so enthused about how things went. Either way , that should have no impact on you telling the OM wife. She deserves to know what you know and make her own decisions and you will be taking a major step I. Insuring that he will want no part of your wife/ . I would also make it clear to HIM that your wife has confessed and that you WILL expose him at work if he ever has any contact with her again in a non business manner. She needs to get out of that job period.
As far as her confession , you had the evidence. What could she say.
You do not need to immediately focus on why. You need to focus on her begging you to give her another chance and for her to understand that your demands are not requests. There are many instances on here about WS lying even during MC
You are not in the R stage yet. You have a WW who spends her workday in close proximity to the guy she was banging .
If that does not change you are in for a long period of nervous anxiety.
Sample recovery plan, feedback welcome: http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=539961
First, TELL THE OBS!!! I'm so angry that what happened almost 3 years ago was NOT shared with me by the OBS. I had a right to know.
That aside, my WS agreed to some basic things I put on the table for R after our separation. She followed them like a blueprint without the understanding for a bit. True remorse came when I explained this:
The relationship is drowning in this and you are on the shore trying to coach me about how to stop the drowning and throwing me a life preserver that's just out of reach. This happened to us, not just me. I am so scared and anxious about everything that happened because you aren't sharing it all with me and because you aren't in it with me. I don't need your coaching, and unless you get in the water with me and swim back to shore alongside me, I will help myself to the opposite shore. If you are so afraid of what you did that damaged our relationship that you can't bring it fully into the light with all the thoughts and emotions that surround it, then all you are doing is making my assumptions about it worse. Until you can do that, I will have to find my own way, because your lack of true remorse and teamwork is hurting me more and I don't deserve that at this point. The relationship will drown if you don't help me. I will let it go in an effort to save myself.
While she finally expressed true remorse by crying and validating my feelings that night, it took a few months for her to fully embody it. It was enough for me to continue to work on R, though.
The truth is that you deserve more from her. I commend you on the details of your contract, but caution you about it for several reasons. First, it was an independent project, even though she was invited to make changes. While expressing your needs to R is necessary and independent of their input, a full contract is something that is better developed with teamwork and a blank piece of paper, IMHO. Second, I agree that too many things are your responsibility. I think it's wonderful that you are willing to do so much to R, and that you are willing to commit to it via contract. But if you look at the percentages, I think at least 51% is on the WS after infidelity.
At this point I suggest coming up with a few concrete things you need that you aren't getting to "consider" R. Make them simple and realistic, but don't sacrifice anything from the list you need. I have transparency, IC, MC, full disclosure, no alone time or secret conversations with feminine women, and remorse on mine. Full disclosure and "true" remorse have taken time, but she committed to them when we decided to R. Once your basic needs are being met, then you have her expressed and demonstrated commitment to begin to build a contract for saving the M. Until that happens anything you put on paper in such detail will mean nothing.
And, I'm not defending her, but as she begins to fully realize the amount of damage she has done to you, her and the relationship, a long list of do's and don't's will be overwhelming. I couldn't imagine facing the worst of what I was capable of doing to someone I love and trying to follow specifically outlined steps to prove myself. If she is successfully progressing in IC you might find that she has some good ideas (even the same) that you had now. You've taken her ability to show you her progress by being able to later come to you with her own ideas about how to prove she is committed to making you feel safe. We all need to feel as if we can creatively and productively fix our own problems and the devastation we caused. You will need some demonstration of her growth. If she spits back the ideas that you've already expressed you will have no way of knowing the difference between following an outlined plan or truly experiencing self awareness and growth.
I share those thoughts will the intention of providing you support, some things to think about and some experience in attempts to micromanage the process. I try to control what hurts me because for some reason I believe understanding or controlling the actions of others will keep me safe. Not only does it not, it can drive a wedge toward my own destruction. I am just coming to terms with that and thought my insights my help you.
Take the time to embrace your pain and self-soothe. Make your demands simple, realistic, appropriate, and unwavering. Until she is able to meet you where you are, focus on healing yourself.
Hugs to you.
i like you list...all of it. i hope you dont blame yourself for any of it. nothing. the cheating is all on her. you sound like a good husband, and father. if she was going to cheat, there would have been nothing you can do about it to stop it, you know?
keep you list. if she complies, then only time and consistent respect for your requirements over a long period of time will BEGIN the process of healing on you end. if she does not....or if she balks...or complains, then you will know that she is not serious. i dont think truly remorseful spouses who are sincere in changing, and being transparent...and willing to do whatever it takes to help you heal will say no to your requirments. they are all very normal. i mean, wouldnt you do the things on that list as well?
i had a long list too...and i was so happy initially when my cheating husband at the time agreed to my terms. he agreed to everything except giving me access to his phone records...not the physical phone...he agreed to that, but not the phone call detail that shows everything. i let it go initially....because i was in denial...and accepted that it was "okay" that he did everything else. and he did...he was great. but deep down i know something was not right by him refusing to provide me with the records. 9 months later i learned he was still cheating the whole time.
next time around...i had my list...like you...and when he refused, i through him out. i meant business. it was only until he knew that i would really leave him that he decided to get his head out of his ass. and he did. the records were horrific....proving that he was out of control and still cheating...but it all needed to come out.
he looked like a fool. but it wasnt about him..it was about me and what i needed to heal..and i needed the truth and transparency.
i think you are doing the right thing. i think if she doesnt comply, serve her papers or throw her out if you can. that is the only way...the only real shot left when dealing with cheaters. hardball. the crying, and showing them all our pain does not work...they already know that...especially the ones who do false r. they feel bad because of the mess...but it is rarely enough to encourage them to enter into a true r. these are not threats i am suggesting, just another way to look at it. i hope you are okay.
Tomorrow is our 19th anniversary. I hope it isn't too hard for either of us. I have mixed feelings at the moment. I think she is still gradually starting to understand the impact of her A and what we need to do to fix it. On the other hand, my emotions are so raw, volatile, and burned out that I feel our R plan will have to wait a bit longer. Still need to heal.
I think WW is upset that I can't commit to R yet. She truly wants to work it out. She's recently registered on SI and has read this thread and many others and I think that's a great sign. There is hardly anything I've written that I haven't told her directly so it's not new information for her but maybe it will help to see it all in one place. But it still seems so hard and I'm still so tired, and we have so far to go.
So I guess carry on for now, and accept Limbo for the time being.
[This message edited by mhca at 1:22 AM, July 1st (Tuesday)]
She asked if it would be ok to read my posts here on SI. While there are some downsides I agreed. I think this has given her a much deeper appreciation of the impact of the A than she had before. It really feels for the first time that she might be "getting it" but hard to say for sure after only a couple days. I've suggested she use the wayward boards for support. Not sure she's willing to post but we'll see.
Today after some difficult periods, feeling apart, we read a chapter of After the Affair out loud to each other. Sounds weird but we both agreed it helped us feel better connected and raised some things for us to work on together. Next time I'll probably choose what we read, I'm guessing something from NJF.
My emotions are still too volatile to embark on a real R effort but they are headed the right way, and WW is making steady progress with no slips recently. I'd like her to be more open about some of the mundane aspects of the A and she's coming around on that, and I haven't had any sense that NC is at risk. She's given me all the passwords to all her accounts and nothing problematic. I don't have any feeling that NC has been broken but my paranoia is keeping me alert to any clues in that since it's so easy to go underground with communications.
I'd also like her to open up more about her feelings and help me understand how the possibility of an A became legitimized in her mind, but slower going on that front. I don't think she's resisting me so much as having a hard time talking about it. But I think her efforts are there and I appreciate those. This will be important because it's still the emotional risk of putting my heart into R that keeps me from jumping in. If we can get started on R soon, maybe 3 or 4 months after the last D-Day I think that would be a great achievement but I don't want to force it and revert back to limbo.
That isn't paranoia you feel - it's healthy self-protection at this point, and for at least the next few years. Just sayin'....
I've felt more like well be able to work things out so that's good, but now I feel like the wave of pain is ready to come back. Ugh. Good to escape for a bit I suppose, and maybe things will be better now once we're home.
Now it's time to power off electronic devices....
Look, your wife spent the better part of it looks like a year hooking up with other men online, and even went back for seconds after being caught the first time. If you were not still apprehensive and nervous about returning home after getting away from it, there would be something wrong with you.
The fact remains you are living with a woman who some disgusting things to you and she does not get to rug sweep that after a nice week end. If you let that happen, you will get it again.
You need to insist on maintaining all of your demands and transparency and she needs to understand that there are no more second chances. Your trust will tale a lot of time and hard work and commitment on her part for her to earn back. She needs to totally understand that.
Personally I'd challenge her like this...
Go to anyone. Could be someone you know or just a stranger. Pose to them this scenario. You just found out your SO has been using AM and having multiple A's. You catch them in the act but give them another chance (bet half the people you ask stop her right there and say no way they would). Your SO disregards that second chance and continues to cheat. You wouldn't see that as black & white, right? You know people cheat all of the time right?
My guess...she knows damn if she even suggested that a lot of people would curse her out. In fact she might risk getting punched for saying something so ridiculous.
My point is that she knows damn well that she's full of sh*t with her excuses, blameshifting and minimizing.
Brother, I feel for you. I would say for all intents and purposes your M is already dead. The M cannot be said to be truly alive with everything she did and put you through. It is her responsibility...not yours...to resurrect the M. To regain your trust. I hate to say this but the person you described, the person capable of what she did is not someone who will truly get to the level of remorse you deserve. Not for all that she did. She knows you want to stay in the M. She clearly doesn't fully appreciate that.
It's now a over a month since the latest falsehood was uncovered and I'm not needing as much antianxiety meds (was several times a day a month ago, now usually just a bit before bed and sometimes not even then) and my physical reactions are lightening.
I'm not feeling so driven to work on the M, just letting it go a bit since I can't really control things as much as I sometimes want to. I think that's healthy. I feel like soon I will be able to work more on myself and my goals soon rather than just being tossed around by the emotional storm.
Just wanted to respond to some of your thoughtful comments, thanks everyone:
ILINIA: IMHO I would meet with a lawyer at least to be more knowledgeable. I told WH two that I was going to meet. told him which one I selected to start drafting the document. I think just the exercises of documenting all the assets and having strangers part of our marriage was a big enough jolt that WH really woke up.
sisoon: That isn't paranoia you feel - it's healthy self-protection at this point, and for at least the next few years. Just sayin'....
Badhurt: If you were not still apprehensive and nervous about returning home after getting away from it, there would be something wrong with you.
Brandon808: I have to say your willingness to even consider R is impressive. Her reaction to being caught I find just as shocking as the cheating itself to be honest.
[This message edited by mhca at 9:46 PM, July 5th (Saturday)]
Just remember , most guys who have had the experience you have had would have thrown her out on her ass by now. So while it is ok for you to be sad and emotional at times ( who would not) , you MUST show no weakness ore bactracking on your transparency demands. If she does not work you need a GPS on her car and she needs an I Phone that you can track her location on. And you cannot buy I to Im going to girls night out.
Your wife is now very experienced on how easy it is for a woman to get laid on adult sites and Ashley Madison is not the only one out there. And since she was caught twice she will learn from her mistakes and be better at it if she tries it again.
You cannot let your guard down over a few weeks of good behavior. She is a multiple time cheater, and the little exercise you did with how divorce would look to her financially needs to be kept fresh in her mind
She should learn a great deal. I think one of the most important things she can learn on that forum is that she is not alone in what she did. Many people do something wrong and recover from it.
She or an affair is nothing unique or different.
I think in the beginning, many WS's think that their affair was unique when nope, they are not unique at all.