You can do it! It's the right thing to do. It's the first step to becoming a courageous person.
I was making a suggestion to OP.
I'll be good now.
I'm troubled that your IC says
She pointed out how much I'm making him suffer in deciding whether to continue with our marriage and if he knows this, it will probably stop the suffering and make his decision easy....
Is she really solely focused on him? Maybe does she worry this limbo and secret keeping is hard on you too? My IC told me some people need to confess, because the burden of carrying the secret is so stressful and it clouds their actions which makes the BS always on edge and untrustful.
Bottom line, I confessed. Because my husband was *supposed* to be an equal partner in our relationship, I knew how messed up I was, and he had a right to make informed choices about his life. Withholding any information (especially the fact its PA versus EA) is a huge deal. You are exposing him to disease and sickness. He needs to know so he can be tested.
Your secrets will kill you. From the inside out. You will always be looking over your shoulder.
And they always find a way of coming out.
You will never have a fully honest and authentic relationship with him. Because you will be holding the lies in. You will have walls up. That's not a marriage.
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?
Take a look back at this thread, and see how many people suggested that you hold back and not tell him.
Go ahead. I'll wait.
Can all of us be so wrong? We are not wrong, and deep down you know it. We know from whence we speak.
I thought I had all my tracks covered as well. She found out anyway. And not from the other woman, who was the only person who knew the details.
Currently living apart, unsure of reconciliation. In IC.
Tell. Him. Everything.
I made the mistake of minimizing, lying some more, holding secrets. I know where you are. You don't want to lose what you have. Well guess what, you already have. You lost it as soon as you lied, as soon as you started down that dark selfish path.
Don't be selfish now, it's scary as hell, find a way to face the fear and give up the secrets all at once. Do not TT, trickle it out. I did this and it made things infinitely worse. My BW will not believe a word I say now. Not one.
[This message edited by LostTime at 3:31 PM, July 25th (Friday)]
I was a weenie and waited until my BS triggered randomly a year later and found info that would of lead him to finding out the whole truth. Not being completely truthful about that was what actually made me almost loose him completely, it's taken much more now to show him that I truly mean what I say. Fortunately, when he did ask me if I had a 2nd A, I was completely truthful and answered every question with much remorse. I still to this day, can not believe he is still here and has offered the gift of R.
Now, read my bio. I was in your shoes in March of this year. It was one year after our 1st DDAY. I was convinced that I was protecting my BS by not telling him and causing him more pain. He, however, knew that something was wrong. I tried to compartmentalize it all, but deep, down underneath my unconscious actions told him otherwise. We were sitting there treading in luke warm water. He was in limbo. Limbo is in hell.
Now, read my tag line. You have destroyed your BS without his consent. If he finds out on his own, he will see that you have NOT changed your ways.
You will always wonder when and if it will happen. As Aubrie said, it's not the way to live your life.
If you go to him, he may be done, but you've given him the step forward showing that you are not the same person to lie and hide things any longer. You must tell him anything he needs and wants to know in order to heal. You have to let go of the outcome of your marriage and focus on his healing.
THIS IS YOUR CROSSROAD.
Now, I'm not going to lie. You may loose him, but you won't loose all of your integrity with him or even your children. He may also surprise you and after some time decide that he is brave enough and loves you enough to offer the chance to R. (With my BS, I told him everything. Childhood, dating life, anything that I could of ever hidden from him, then I offered him to give me a polygraph test. He took me up on it.)
If you are truly deciding to live up to your username and change your life, you must decide to stop running from your mistakes and face the damage that you caused. Until you do this, you actually won't even begin to change and grow as well.
There is no easy in hard work. If you truly love your BS and want to have a chance in your marriage, you all deserve to have the truth.
Not to t/j, but is your BS on SI? If not, that might be very helpful to give him a safe outlet to weigh things out (we are friends of the marriage here). SI has, no doubt, been a marriage saver for both of us by teaching us how to safely sort through the ashes and find ground again once it settled a bit.
I also highly encourage you to read "How to help your spouse heal from an Affair." He will- no doubt- be upset and angry. The way you respond to help and this book will help you see why he feels this way. Empathy is everything from this point forward.
We are all truly cheering for you. Do the right thing. You and your BS deserve the truth.
[This message edited by wheredoigo at 6:00 PM, July 25th (Friday)]
Are you in this to prolong your marriage at the expense of your BS or are you in this to make yourself a better, safer person?
If your only interested in prolonging your marriage in the short to medium term then don't tell.
If however you are wanting to become an authentic, honest, selfless, courageous and all round better person, then come clean.
As always, the choice is yours.
"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.
The bottom line, from this experience I learned to live in a truly authentic manner. Honesty and integrity above all else. My infidelity and the aftermath taught me that, the most important lesson from it all. I carry it into all areas of my life. I'm different now. A much better version of me.
I took over a year to tell it all, and like tangledknot I told the final truth in an email because the fear had me paralyzed and it was the only way I could do it. Scariest thing I ever had to do and yes, my BH had had enough. He almost left, he was livid, devastated, just desperately angry and hopeless and sad. He was done.
But...by some miracle he wasn't, and we reconciled, we got through it together. But even if your H chooses not to reconcile, he deserves to know the truth about his marriage.
My lies were weighing on me like an elephant on my chest. I was so happy to finally be done with lying, even with the fear of telling. Living in truth is always better than living a lie.
[This message edited by SI Staff at 6:44 PM, July 25th (Friday)]
"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."
I haven't read the rest of this thread, so I'm coming at it fresh. I'm just going to give it to you straight.
You need to tell the whole truth.
Period, full stop.
I also indulged in trickle truth and that did more damage to my marriage than the actual affair. There are a lot of things that can drive an affair and it's a pretty horrible thing all by itself. Continuing to lie about it will erode the fragile trust your spouse might be willing to extend to you afterward. It's like kicking them when they're down and it ruins marriages.
I know that you are scared. I hear what you are saying about you've already lied and don't want to disclose more because it will show you as a liar again. The truth will come out eventually. It's better to give it to him yourself. Even now, it's better that you tell him yourself. If your husband can't move forward after that, it's his choice. If you are trying to have a real marriage with him, then he has the right to know what he is choosing.
This is hard. You are probably ashamed and frightened of losing everything that is important to you. I understand. Here is some practical advice in doing it. This is going to be difficult and you need all the help you can get. I wish I had done all of this.
Pick a time and date to tell him. Write it down. That will help make it real and an obligation to yourself.
Pick a medium for telling him. In person, letter, email, phone. Whatever works for you guys. The medium is less important than making the choice, because it's an incremental step. The choosing makes it more real and has you on the path to doing it.
Write down the things you need to tell him. At a minimum, it will be an exercise to get your sins on paper. You will be tempted to minimize, distort and omit. Don't. This is for you and if you can't be honest with yourself, then you should think about whether you should be married at all.
Prepare for this like you would for a presentation. I'm not talking about power point slides and handouts, I'm talking about knowing your subject matter and being prepared to talk about it. The more you have worked with the material, the better prepared you will be to address it under stress. I promise you, this is going to be stressful. Do not use 'being prepared' as an excuse to procrastinate.
You are going to feel like chickening out and lying again. Pause. Right then, right there, pause. Consult your notes. Consult your conscience. Then tell the truth.
Chances are that your husband is going to have some really awful things to say to you at that point. Listen to him and feel his hurt. As long as it is just words, stand there and take it and empathize with him.
Be brave and do this. It's not just for your husband. This is part of fixing you.
Now imagine that you kept the secret from him. Years go by. You rationalize to yourself, if I can keep the facts of my A secret from him, I can get away with something else. Maybe it's not another A, but something else that would hurt him. Would you betray him again because you could get away with it? Are you really such a changed person as you say you are? In what ways have you changed? Is your integrity one of the things you count as changed?
I know these are hard questions, but you need to face them if you truly want to heal and become the kind person you aspire to be.
If your only interested in prolonging your marriage in the short to medium term then don't tell.
I can't imagine not telling the BS either way. By giving the BS the truth, they could then make the decision on whether the WW is making decisions and it be of false pretense or true motivation to be a better person who is empathetic and truly wants change.
Everything else you said, however, is spot on.
11 mo EA/PA
On April 30, 2013 my BW looked at my phone and saw emails between me and my AP. She was devesatated and the look on her face is burned into my memory, as I am sure everyone can say. I told her nothing happened physically and that it was an EA.
On October 11, most 6 months later, we were doing pretty well. Then she told me she found the other BS on Facebook and sent him a message to let home know.
Over those 6 months, I had periods where I was able to block it out, and other times that it ate at me. But when she sent that message, I had to choose to either break NC and contact the AP to get our story's straight, or I had to confess the rest of it. I confessed. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. But I am glad that I did.
There is something to be said about not having a lie eat at you. It gets worse over time.
I thought she would divorce me, but we are still working on R.
[This message edited by iAmAMess0809 at 12:18 AM, July 26th (Saturday)]
My H had no idea I was in an affair. I could have just buried it. And let me tell you the advice to do so was really tempting. But I wanted more of me. And so I confessed the entire thing not knowing if there would be a chance at R. And there really was more than a chance. But i didn't know it and it was scary as heck. So I get your fear. But you can do it!
[This message edited by SI Staff at 7:20 AM, July 26th (Saturday)]
I refer you back to every other post in this thread. DO IT. COME CLEAN NOW. TELL HIM EVERY EMBARRASSING PAINFUL TRUTH. It is a demonstration of commitment to him and your relationship; exactly the opposite of having an affair. Also, if he doesn't know about the PA, he doesn't know about the health risks you've brought home.
BTW, you added the stop sign, but I've discussed this post with my BH. He verifies what I'm telling you. Also, if you drag out the truth, it sets you up for further lies when he asks questions.
"Power, Lincoln, real power comes not from hate, but from truth."