were those the right actions? i don't know. she definitely is doing everything I ask. she definitely wants to stay married. i don't know if it's the right thing because I still don't know if I want to stay married. i keep wondering if i should divorce, if this should be the end of a chapter and that I should move forward free of baggage to have a happy new life. I still love her. she's the mother of my children. but I don't feel the same any more. maybe I should cut her loose. why do I have to deal with this bullshit?
so... i guess if the question is what should you do to save the marriage? i would guess i did the right things in my circumstances. if the question is, should you stay married? i don't know the answer to that. i don't believe in *true love* anymore. i think that's a romantic myth. consequently, i keep thinking that maybe meeting someone new might be a good idea.
[This message edited by mike7 at 11:47 PM, July 12th (Saturday)]
In a particularly crazy period of time that follows a completely shocking revelation of the affair, I am proud that I
1. Got into IC
2. Got into MC
3. Consulted a lawyer so I knew what to expect if we separated
4. Told my friends, his friends and his mother
5. Kicked him out of the house for 6 weeks
6. Let him back into the house to deal with the children's pain but only if he agreed to sleep in the Guestroom (which he did)
I'm sure that there are a gazillion things I could have done better but honestly, it literally took about 3 months to shake off the shock.
It took me longer than I would have liked, but I realized anything else I did--any requirements I set down, for example--was meaningless if I had a remorseless spouse, that the one REAL requirement was another person who wanted to R.
[This message edited by solus sto at 7:02 AM, July 13th (Sunday)]
I started making plans to leave him.
Then I did.
Best decision I ever made.
Finding SI was about the only thing I did right. Once I found SI I was able to start following advice here. Before that though, not much I'm proud of.
I think I did the best I could at the time. I was totally unprepared and totally unequipped to deal with an A. Every mistake I made, I really was doing my best.
It was easier to steal saturnpatrick's quote than to type it myself. Word for word.
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day: 9/18/09 D-Day#2: 2/19/10 The Marriage Killer: 6/6/11
Heading for D
I insisted on NC, honesty, transparency, IC for my W, and MC immediately, if my W wanted R.
I didn't commit to R until I was pretty sure my W was as committed to R as I was.
I pressed my W to answer my questions whenever I wanted to ask them.
I didn't hide my feelings from my W.
One piece of luck is that my W had a terrific IC (to whom she had been lying), and her IC was able to see us together on d-day. Turns out she's an excellent MC, too. Again, that was luck.
I have since cancelled the divorce and we've travelled a long hard road together and still have a long way to go. I haven't mentioned my mistakes because I made plenty but I think by me blowing everything in the open immediately brought the shame and embarrassment down on her completely and she was able to feel a fraction of the pain she caused. They will never understand completely what they've done to us but at least trying to understand is a start. I did get trickle truthed for quite some time after that about other in appropriate things but that's another story.
1. I was coming up on a milestone birthday, and had promised myself to get in shape. In the middle of that effort, the A hit, so the infidelity diet turbocharged my weight loss. I was walking for exercise, then used it desperately for a physical outlet. The end result being I looked terrific and felt really healthy, all while my world crumbled.
2. I read obsessively, books and on the internet, everything about As, relationships, mood disorders (H is diagnosed BPII).
3. I keylogged the computer and accessed all their emails back and forth. Mixed blessing there, because like another thread about non-D turning points, each intimate word I read and detail I learned was like a surreal stab in the heart.
4. I demanded NC and MC. Not a good counselor, and H lied and minimized, dated OW all the way through.
5. I consulted with and retained a D attorney. H has still not gotten over that.
6. I set up my own bank account, supported myself with a timely inheritance.
7. I exposed DOW to her family.
8. I believe that I kept it together and kept knowledge of the A from my children. Don't know if I'll ever learn the truth of that.
I second saturnpatrick's line, I did the best I could at the time. I was totally unprepared and totally unequipped to deal with an A. Every mistake I made, I really was doing my best.
The regrets as to how I handled it are simply things I have to cut myself a break on; no one gave me a primer in advance on what to do if your spouse implodes your world....
1. Gave him an opportunity to confess . He didn't.
2. Took the day off work to gather evidence. Gave him another chance to confess. He still didn't.
3. Confronted, nuclear exposed..... Not proud of the right hook I gave him.
4. Blackmailed the crap out of her.
5. Insisted on NC, IC and MC.
6. Insisted he read " how to help.,,"
He was so angry about what I did he did it again. 2dday I should have done a lot of things differently..,
me (WW/BS): 48
4 kiddos in mid 20's
The conditions we face do not define us. They remind us of who we are and who we want to be.
--I amassed a good deal of evidence before confronting him. I had confronted him before, so I knew I would need proof that he could not explain away.
--I rehearsed what I would say over and over.
--When I did confront him, I was the calm, cold interrogator. He broke down and sobbed, and I just sat there, stony and cold. It made me feel strong and in control. I did not start to cry until about an hour into our conversation.
--I let him know I was okay with D--in fact, I offered to free him to pursue the woman he loved. He declined my generous offer.
--Because he was showing deep remorse, I also let him know that I would be willing to R, but only with complete and total NC, after the NC phone call.
--The next day, I handed him How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair. That opened his eyes, and in fact he recommended it and quoted from it during his NC conversation with OW.
--I demanded total transparency. I got passwords to his e-mail accounts.
--I still am not sure if this was right or wrong, but when he offered to sleep in the guest room, I told him it was not necessary. He slept in our bed (but we did not touch for days). (My rationale was that if we were supposedly reconciling, then separate beds was not the way to go.)
--Seven months later, when OW contacted him, he did not tell me (he said he could tell I "already knew." He was right.) That precipitated a "Come to Jesus" talk during which I was wearing my very best bitch boots. The next time OW contacted him, five months after that, he told me right away.
D-Day: August 14, 2012
9 year LTA with former co-worker and family "friend"/7 years EA+PA, 2 more years EA
Had him cut all contact.
Kept my head about me- he has (had?) a temper, and if I had confronted him aggressively, he would have been aggressive back, and it would have been over.
Immediately told him I needed time to process what I'd seen and figure out what I wanted (he saw what I was saying and things changed).
Sent him the 'how to help heal your betrayed' manual. Thankfully he read it- and even referenced it in front of me.
Made him go to the bookstore and buy After the Affair. He wore a hat and sunglasses the whole time, but he still had to be out in public buying it. Not a major consequence, but still, those minutes at the store were a class in humility. Apparently he hadn't considered that a lot of people buying it are the betrayed, and that's fine by me.
Total transparency- passwords to everything
Complete change of WH's schedule effective immediately including quitting an extra job
Started spending time together and being very honest.
I showed my feelings rather than stuff them like I had always done.
Had him tell his parents and two best friends so that he would have some support and accountability.
Started reading and learning everything I could
Told him no tolerance at all for alcohol, porn, Facebook, texting women, etc. We set up some good boundaries.
Started spending a lot of time together- reconnecting, talking, crying, doing mindless house projects, etc.
I took very good care of myself and allowed myself time to be hurt and slowly recover. I felt like I had suffered a concussion for a couple of months really. During this time I allowed myself to do things that helped me heal. I read books. I took walks. I took baths. I went to lunch with friends. I read forums. I lost weight. I bought new clothes. I really took care of ME.
DDay was hard because it was the night before spring break started for our kids and for the first time ever we had no vacation plans so it was a very awkward time- trying to seem like everything was ok when clearly it was not. It is all a blur now...
Got mad. But not reactive. It was 11 p.m. when I found it; I woke him up at 5:30 a.m. - about 30 minutes before I had to leave for work.
Before I woke him, I wrote an email to both OW and WH - The gig was up. Told him his words were meaningless and poison - to go be with his dear sweet Sara and stop twisting me around. I was done, for all he could be concerned with and that if he didn't have a plan and some serious SA bottom lines in place before I left for work, he was expected to be gone before I returned.
I then wrote a 2nd email to OW and told her that her lip service to being sorry about hurting me a few weeks prior when I became suspicious was also meaningless and that if she cared for my husband she needed to disappear from his life because he would never be a good person while associating with her. That his self-destruction would continue unfettered by any goodness or faith-building activities in his life because of her influence. And asked her woman to woman to never contact him again.
I then outed him to those that mattered.
The next day I required that he have a job - any job. I didn't care if he didn't like it. he had to be W-2 employed. And stay that way.
I stayed stone-cold/dry eyed angry. He'd never seen my eyes so dead in his life and it scared him more than anything to see me so numb and dead.
I separated our finances. I drafted a separation agreement from a law website that complied with our state's rules. It gave me any assets with my name attached solely to the debts. It gave me my retirement. And it gave me spousal support. He agreed with it. And he still agrees to it, though we're not physically separated, everything in the agreement stays in place until we divorce or I rescind it. I won't be.
My gut told me to check his phone. I listened and found a "good night can't wait to see you in the morning" text to the cOW he had already admitted an EA with. I kept the phone.
I confronted and did not let him off the hook for anything. I pushed and pushed for more information.
He fell asleep after hiding my phone, purse, and keys. I jumped on my bike and peddled 8 miles to my SIL's house and called my sister to pick me up.
We immediately went to the oBS and have him all the information I has at that time.
I left. It was only for a weekend, but I left. I stayed with my BIL and his wife as they have kids they same age as my kids and it kept my children distracted from what mommy was going through.
I outed him to both families. They did not need details, but they knew he had a physical affair and who it was with.
I went and had my hair done the night I dd#2. I needed something to make me feel good about me. My hairdresser was amazing and would not even allow me to pay.
I demanded STD testing and IC...and I refused to make the appointments for him. It was important that he did the work.
I had delivered the NC letter to the OBS a week after dd along with copies of the phone records (6,000 text messages in six weeks plus text to the cOW's daughters. He thought he was going to have an instant new family)
I confronted OW after dday#1. I was kick ass. I did not have the true story at that time, but I came across as strong, loving, and a true lady that was not willing to take shit. Basically it proved all the lies WH told about me wrong, and I did not even know about the lies yet.
I did not allow him to feel sorry for himself. I constantly told him to grow up and face his mistakes instead of pouting in the corner.
I constantly reminded him (when he tried to oull crap) that I did not need him. I wanted him, but I did not need him. I explained the difference. I did it kindly, not mean spirited.
I got myself out of the house in the weeks after dday. At home I was a weepy mess and wanted to curl up in bed. The more I was out of the house busy doing somethig, the better and stronger I was. I had my hair done, went clothes shopping, went to parties with friends, and finally had a life for the first time in years. I was strong, vibrant, and beautiful while I was out. Unfortunately those feelings wore off after about a year.
DD#1 July 28, 2010 Admitted to EA. A went underground.
DD#2 August 19,2010 Admitted PA
At the time I didn't know it was a five year LTA, but could see by emails it was at least two years, so I wrote down my list of evidence and then put together a list of questions. When H called on his way home from the airport I suggested we eat out at our favorite restaurant because I knew I would never freak out in public...I just can't do that. After we ordered, I pulled my journal out and began asking about OW....he only denied it once and then answered all the questions I had but we still had a long way to go. We've never gone back to that restaurant.
And I wallowed ...the first six months I crawled inside and just tried to breathe past the pain. I cut off the world and focused on me...and H understood this time was about me getting healed and he supported me every way he could.
We started meeting weekly to discuss the A as neither of us wanted to go to MC. We read a lot of books. We declared our home our sanctuary, a place to rebuild and make a new marriage with new memories. We talked about the A outside of our home...not saying I have a perfect record for that, but we tried and for us, it worked. It was easier on both of us for me to not be throwing bombs in the middle of dinner or at night when we needed to sleep. The rage and sarcasm didn't help me any more than it helped him and it certainly wasn't helping to heal our marriage. I would keep notes all week in my journal and we'd go out to dinner and set aside 30 or 40 minutes where H would answer any questions I asked, no holds barred and I could say anything I wanted and he took it. After a year or so of meeting weekly, we were talking more about us and not the affair or his betrayal and then we went to meeting every two weeks, then once a month and now we set up a time to talk when either of us feel the need.
I didn't know if we'd reconcile....I didn't know I could love my H again. But almost five years and I can say I'm glad he's here. We built a life together for many years and this chasm he created between us is now, every day, being filled in with love through lots of hard work.
[This message edited by Alex CR at 6:06 PM, July 14th (Monday)]
D-day 2 - discovered PA, caught them red handed
1. I didn't keep my cool, but I didn't resort to violence that day.
2. Started MC immediately
3. Iniated NC immediately
4. Read extensively, found SI
I didn't kill him
47 is the new year of treating myself better than I have in 6 years.
What ever doesn't kill me makes me stronger so long as I remember that
My favorite drink is no longer Guinness but water. Call me Dasani23