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User Topic: Question about confessing
Marriedman2013
New Member
Member # 39254
Default  Posted: 6:59 PM, May 13th (Monday)

I am a new member and have been doing a lot of reading within this site as well as many others. I haven’t yet shared my story, but I have a question for this group. Will I be accepted here if I am committed to ending, in counseling, identifying what is broken within me, living my life now in a way that shows I am 100% committed to my wife, and yet I choose not to tell my wife of my affair.

Is the belief here that if that step isn’t taken than you are not truly healed or repentant.

I respect the work that the WS’s have done in their lives and the passion by which they express their beliefs, but is confessing right for everyone.

If you have read the book “When good people have affairs” or have done research on Mira Kirshenbaum you will know she is a therapist and author who is considered by some to be a leader in the field of counseling and dealing with relationships, infidelity and healing from that. Here are her thoughts on whether to tell your spouse about the affair:

I really will do anything to tell the truth, so it took me a long time to get to the point where I say, just don't tell. Because how does it make a person less guilty to inflict terrible pain on someone? Which is exactly what the confession does. It puts the other person in a permanent state of hurt and grief and loss of trust and an inability to feel safe, and it doesn't alleviate your guilt. Your relationship is dealt a potentially devastating blow. Honesty is great, but it's an abstract moral principle.... The higher moral principle, I believe, is not hurting people. And when you confess to having an affair, you are hurting someone more than you can ever imagine. So I tell people, if you care that much about honesty, figure out who you want to be with, commit to that relationship and devote the rest of your life to making it the most honest relationship you can. But confessing your affair is the kind of honesty that is unnecessarily destructive. There are two huge exceptions to not telling: if you're having an affair and you haven't practiced safe sex, even if it's only one time, you have to tell. Again, the moral principle is minimizing the hurt. But this time, the greatest risk of hurt comes from inflicting a sexually transmitted disease, and I've never seen a relationship recover from that. You also have to tell if discovery is imminent or likely going to be found out, then it's better for you to be the one to make the confession first.”.

I ask this because I have seen some of the recent threads and I question whether this opinion would be fairly judged or even accepted here.

Posts: 21 | Registered: May 2013 | From: Midwest
Catwoman
Member
Member # 1330
Default  Posted: 7:14 PM, May 13th (Monday)

I have the utmost respect for Mira Kirshenbaum and have read her "Too Good to Leave; Too Bad to Stay."

However, I think she oversimplifies things here, I much prefer Janis Abrams Spring's discussion of this topic in "After the Affair." Se advocates telling unless there are circumstances of potential violence or other rare situations.

Lying is the enemy of intimacy. By intimacy, I don't mean sex but emotional intimacy. When you have parts of yourself from your spouse, you erect walls. That eventually leads to a serious weakening of the marriage.

I would encourage you to continue to read and especially to interact with those WSs that have successfully reconciled, They can give you the benefit of their experiences and help you see the best path to take.

I wish you much peace with your healing.

Cat


FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 25 and 22. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

Posts: 29610 | Registered: Apr 2003 | From: Massachusetts
solus sto
Member
Member # 30989
Default  Posted: 7:24 PM, May 13th (Monday)

I lived for many years with a man who told himself he was committed to remaining faithful after infidelity. He white-knuckled it---without my support (because I didn't know). What I DID know was that there was an inexplicable barrier between us. The intimacy--emotional intimacy--was robbed from our marriage.

And that, of course, resulted in further dissatisfaction, on his part. And additional infidelities.

You can remain married with secrets and lies.

But you can't have a real, fulfilling, honest marriage built on a foundation of respect and honesty. You won't have emotional intimacy.

You will erect a wall between you. She will sense it. It may or may not lead to more infidelity. But it WILL, effectively, end your marriage---whether you stay together or not.

I wish it were different. I really do.

But making this decision for your wife is hugely wrong.

[This message edited by solus sto at 7:25 PM, May 13th (Monday)]


BS-me, 52
WH (Trac-fone), 52, PD
2 kids-DD25, DS18
multiple d-days
DIVORCING
Alone, most strangely, I live on~Rupert Brooke

Posts: 8682 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: midwest
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 7:28 PM, May 13th (Monday)

So the only time to confess is in the event of unprotected sex or when there's a high possibility of getting busted?

Emotional intimacy will never, ever, ever be accomplished with these hidden truths or giant white lies.

Doesn't matter if a WS finds the whys, commits 100000% to the marriage, and never cheats another day in their life. They are still hiding a massive lie.

I dunno about you, but I've had enough lies in my life. And as sucky as it's been, confessing was the best thing I ever could have done. Because until I got real and honest, our marriage didn't have a snowball's chance in hell at surviving. I can't even begin to imagine hiding an affair and trying to "make the marriage work". That's counter-productive eh? Hiding, but "working". Doesn't make any sense.

WS don't want to confess because they are scared. They don't want to face the consequences. They don't want to deal with the fall-out. It's too much of an "inconvenience" for everyone involved. All that screams, "Me, me, meeeeee." They claim to have the BS's interests at heart. "I don't want to hurt them." Tooooo late. The marriage is already toast.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6227 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
hardlessons
Member
Member # 35025
Default  Posted: 7:46 PM, May 13th (Monday)

MM2013, if the roles were reversed would you be okay with it? Honestly? Your wife out there doing what your doing with another man?

That more than any author should be your guide.


Me WH
Wife Tired Girl
3 adult sons
"a wayward...annnnd just a tad betrayed."

Posts: 880 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Arizona
momdaughterwife
Member
Member # 32209
Default  Posted: 7:53 PM, May 13th (Monday)

BS here. No stop sign. My FWH confessed because MOW's BH was trying to call and out the affair. My feeling is your spouse deserves to know so she can decide what to do. Yes- she'll be in pain. But you can help her and yourself and your marriage. That being said you already cheated so whether to save the marriage should be up to her. I don't believe you can spare her. Maybe she's blissfully unaware but I doubt it. During FWH's affair I was in absolute misery. Knowing was a relief. Yes I wasn't crazy. My instincts were correct. Has your wife expresses any concerns? Barriers and walls make a spouse miserable. That's one thing I know for sure. Good luck.


Me BS
Him WH
2 boys
We've all been through a lot. Our family seems to be thriving again. I pray that will continue.

Posts: 825 | Registered: May 2011
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 7:54 PM, May 13th (Monday)

My husband didn't confess, but for all intents and purposes he did. He got busted in a way that he engineered. He felt so guilty and couldn't handle it. I didn't need his confession. I wish I had never known. Just like the affair was all about his being selfish, so was his "confession."

[This message edited by Skye at 7:58 PM, May 13th (Monday)]


Posts: 5620 | Registered: Jul 2002
mysticpenguin
Member
Member # 38839
Default  Posted: 8:08 PM, May 13th (Monday)

Betrayed wife here -- I don't see a stop sign.

My wayward husband waited until his indiscretions had all been over for ~6 months to tell me the truth.

During the months he was cheating on me, and afterwards, up until the confession, I was so terribly confused and hurt. I am so glad that I know now.... it hurts, but it's good to know what was actually going on in my marriage; WHY he was acting the crazy way he was, WHY all of a sudden he was distant, cool; why something intangible had changed.

I deserve(d) to know the truth about what was going on in our relationship.

While things got better in our relationship prior to the confession, he never could completely connect with me. There was always something missing, preventing us from attaining true emotional intimacy. Now that "wall" seems to be gone, praise God. It never would have come down had he kept these secrets from me.

[This message edited by mysticpenguin at 12:31 AM, May 18th (Saturday)]


Betrayed

Posts: 306 | Registered: Mar 2013
Itstoohard
Member
Member # 37629
Default  Posted: 8:28 PM, May 13th (Monday)

BW. When our 20 yr old son was having an affair with his 45 yr old married boss my FWH immediately told her husband. He felt he should know. But when he cheated he lied to me for 22 yrs. M was miserable.


BS 64
fWH 64
PA 22 yrs ago
Started as EA for 2 yrs then ONS CORRECTION Started as an EA for 8 years
Trustismyissue

Posts: 180 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: US
Marriedman2013
New Member
Member # 39254
Default  Posted: 8:45 PM, May 13th (Monday)

Hard lessons, I am not sure i would want to know. Its opinion that i know is not widely accepted here, but its how i feel. I wonder sometimes if people confess for selfish reasons. We are clearly selfish in having an affair and I think people can confess for selfish reasons as well. We sometimes hide behind the veil of they need to know, and if i dont do this, then i cant heal. I dont know if i agree with that, but i completely understand where it comes from and someones right to confess.

Posts: 21 | Registered: May 2013 | From: Midwest
ThoughtIKnewYa
Member
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 8:57 PM, May 13th (Monday)

To answer your question, as long as you are ending or have ended your A, you will be accepted here.

I SO wish my H had confessed. Instead, I found out and he really dragged out telling the truth. THAT really hurt our M and damaged trust.

Anyway, please read this thread: http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=495187
It's not about the initial confession, but I think it could be helpful to you.


Posts: 11668 | Registered: Mar 2008
Titanium
Member
Member # 38866
Default  Posted: 9:01 PM, May 13th (Monday)

Although your wife is not responsible at all for the affair, I do know that the marriages that suffer with an affair are suffering its own issues and that both spouses should take 50% responsiblilty for that. So I am thinking that if you keep this info to yourself will your marriage thrive or crash and burn???

Affair aside, don't your want to see if your spouse is truly happy in your marriage?? Why did you have the affair?? Just some things to think about. I fully respect your decision but how wonderful would it be to have a truly honest, trusting and healthy marriage hey :)

I wish my WH would tell me everything so we can build a much happier marriage together.

All the very best to you.


BS me 48
Him 45 NPD/SA fucktard
1 beautiful DS
M 20 yr T 24
DD#1 Jan 12
DD#2 Aug 12 LTA/PA with pond scum
Divorced....... :))
Shoot me down but I wont fall.
I am Titanium

Posts: 93 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Australia
grapefruit
Member
Member # 27090
Default  Posted: 9:07 PM, May 13th (Monday)

I read part of that book recently, and to be honest, I thought it was bullshit! She says at the beginning that even if you're asked point blank to deny an affair. Um, if you're asked point blank your partner probably already has a pretty good idea that something is going on!

I've also read Janis Abrahms Spring's book "After the Affair" and thought her take was much better, too.

I can see what you mean about confessing - but really, what chance do you have to really work on yourself and your marriage if you don't confess?


FWW / BS (me)
FWH / BS (him)
In R ...

Posts: 85 | Registered: Jan 2010
hardlessons
Member
Member # 35025
Default  Posted: 9:24 PM, May 13th (Monday)

I am not sure i would want to know.

I understand being unsure of feelings, After doing what I did and being who I am for so long I didn't and still don't always trust where my feelings come from. I want them to come from an honest authentic man that my wife, sons and I can be proud of.

So, sit on that question maybe for a bit and really decide if you could be happy living a fantasy.

Good luck


Me WH
Wife Tired Girl
3 adult sons
"a wayward...annnnd just a tad betrayed."

Posts: 880 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Arizona
mainlyinpain
Member
Member # 39134
Default  Posted: 9:37 PM, May 13th (Monday)

I applaud you for deciding to live a faithful life. I am a BS and I urge you to tell. There is a chance that your spouse will find out herself someday. There is immense value in your telling her and letting her choose the course of her own life. You have not allowed that so far in that she thinks she has been living in a monogamous marriage and she has not been. I also think this will be so much less painful than if she finds out another way. And so much less painful than if she finds out after many years have passed and she knows she lived those years with you where you kept it secret from her. You will be unusual from the WS here if you go to her, confess all truths, don't do trickle truth, lay it on the line and let her know her true life. Don't keep the part of her life that has been behind her back only known to you and the OW. You may find that going through this together brings you closer together and makes your marriage better than it ever was.


DD 1 - 7/7/2004
DD 2 - 10/31/2011
DD 3 - 4/30/2013(or continuation?)(Yes)
DD 4 - 9/25/2013
DD 5 - 2/15/2014 (found phone from 2009)

Posts: 489 | Registered: Apr 2013
She-Ra
Member
Member # 36033
Default  Posted: 9:38 PM, May 13th (Monday)

MM2013:

You are definitely accepted here if you are committed to ending your affair however you will hear a lot of opposing opinions about your theory on not confessing. If you are looking to get a bunch of people on your side about not confessing that won''t happen.

I didn''t want to confess either. Pretty fucking glad I did though. The longer you keep that secret, the worse it gets. I could never live with the dark secret and thinking if only my husband knew, he would leave me. Well he does know and he didn''t leave me. The real work began.

You say you are going to counselling? Does your wife know? Have you told her a lie about why you are going? Just an example of how lies are needed to cover up lies. She is probably already suspicious but she might ignore the red flags because she loves you. You are taking advantage of the trust she has for you

Do you think if you don''t confess that you won''t cheat again? Do you think that going to counselling and hiding your book reading is the answer?

From what I''ve learned in the past year is that society in general is ok with infidelity as a secret unless you get caught. And confessing relieves guilt only. That is fucked up thinking if you look closer at it. The person who loves you the most in life and is your family doesn''t deserve the worst treatment of all. Lying about affairs is cruel to them and their belief that you are someone they thought they knew. My husband would have innocently gone along with life while I wallowed in my own guilt. In the months that I had my As and lied, he thought I was acting weird. Did he think I was cheating? No not his wife. Something else was wrong. The miscarriages , his absence for his work, or my work.. Something else he rationalized and explained away. When I confessed a light bulb went off in his head and went wow.... Now I know what''s wrong!! It all made sense.

Now your wife... Maybe the same deal. She thinks oh my husband is stressed from late hours, family, bills etc. In reality your affair is the problem with you. If she is your soul mate, your love... She deserves the truth

I feel like I can talk a lot about this subject but realize it also falls on deaf ears. Whenever someone posted to me before I reached a point of wanting to confess it was hard to hear. How could this Internet stranger know what''s best. They don''t know me or my husband. But once I was willing to accept their advice to heart, I was able to gain strength with their support before and after confession. It was amazing to have the type of support on this site. You either want help or you don''t. Debating a topic is one thing but accepting help is a whole other kettle of fish


WW/BW 33 BH/WH 34
1 year old beautiful daughter

Posts: 846 | Registered: Jul 2012
scaredyKat
Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 9:46 PM, May 13th (Monday)

It is my belief, only because of my experience of course, that at some level, your wife knows that something isn't right. Maybe she suspects an affair, maybe she just feels insecure, maybe she even knows but is afraid to confront you. But this huge barrier between you will be there unless you have honesty.

Tell her.


Me-BS-60
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3537 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
Marriedman2013
New Member
Member # 39254
Default  Posted: 9:52 PM, May 13th (Monday)

Hardlessons, your question is interesting to me because for 17 years of my 22 year marriage, i felt i was just that. I was an honest, authentic man who was not only a nurturing father to my two sons, but a husband that was communicative, open, and supportive. I was an open book about every aspect of my life. It did little or nothing to make my wife happy or my marriage strong. As my wife circled into her world of depression, i tried harder and harder to be there emotionally, physically, asking her, begging her to get help...whatever it took to help her.

In all of my focus on her, i lost touch with myself, and then lost my way and made a huge mistake. I am 100% responsible for the choices i have made in my life, and the choice to cross the line, no one made me do that but me....but to say that being and honest, authentic man that my sons and wife could be proud will set things right or fix things, just doesnt fully compute with me because i was that man and it didnt mean much.

[This message edited by Marriedman2013 at 9:59 PM, May 13th (Monday)]


Posts: 21 | Registered: May 2013 | From: Midwest
Marriedman2013
New Member
Member # 39254
Default  Posted: 10:04 PM, May 13th (Monday)

Messedup, i am not looking to get anyone on my side. I was just trying to gauge whether confessing is a "deal" breaker here. I can tell by all the posts that i have read where most if not all posters stand. I just wanted to know if someone who had a different opinion on this aspect of healing, would they be accepted or would they be judged.

[This message edited by Marriedman2013 at 10:06 PM, May 13th (Monday)]


Posts: 21 | Registered: May 2013 | From: Midwest
She-Ra
Member
Member # 36033
Default  Posted: 10:13 PM, May 13th (Monday)

Maybe you will receive a PM from a random person likely a BS who will give their similar views as you on keeping affairs a secret. Check your inbox every now and then. They will not post to you publicly in fear of angering a fellow BS. I only know this because I received PMs like that


WW/BW 33 BH/WH 34
1 year old beautiful daughter

Posts: 846 | Registered: Jul 2012
BaxtersBFF
Member
Member # 26859
Default  Posted: 10:14 PM, May 13th (Monday)

Hi Marriedman,

The snippet from the book you mention above doesn't really compute. Moral high ground is not objective, so it does come down to a personal choice. If you want to make that choice, then make it. I'm curious why you would put effort into finding supporting documentation of what you want to do. Or did you have another path in mind before you read the book?

You mention that you were an authentic husband and father. You mention that you tried everything to get your wife to come out of her funk. I guess I'm curious if she tells the same story.

I remember feeling like you, that I had put in every effort and that I had lived an honest and authentic life. Never cheated on my wife, always a good dad...pretty much got along with everyone. And then something snapped. It wasn't until almost 6 months later that I got into an EA. So, what I'm saying is that I understand how you might feel that nothing will change if you tell the truth because that's what you did before. I would suggest that your memory may not be 100% accurate as to who you were, or even who you are now. It took a lot of time to break down my own barriers and see the real me. I'm honest now, but it is different than the honesty I prided myself on before the EA. It is more real now. And I wouldn't have gotten here if I had kept it a secret. (actually, I'm one of those whose head would have exploded if I didn't tell...)


WH - 44
BW - gerrygirl

Posts: 6099 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Boise
whensenough
Member
Member # 36700
Default  Posted: 10:29 PM, May 13th (Monday)

Betrayed Spouse perspective here- I think eventually it could bite you in the rear.

Whats done in the dark does some how some way come to the light.

You wouldnt want to put in all this work and one day, maybe years from now, she finds out the truth. then all the work you put in was for nothing. and it could all be ended.

once you tell her that could mark a new beginning. even if youve stopped the A and the truth comes out 10 yrs from now she may not believe that it ended so long ago and may believe that all those years were a lie. and she may be more devastated that you could hold onto a lie for all those years than the A itself.

You will also have to continue covering up things and continue to lie. It may make her upset but it will help her and your marriage heal. She not going to be fully okay until you tell her the truth. You will not either. Trust that she likely knows something is off and it will be a relief to her to know that she isnt crazy. If you never been a BS you probably have no clue the pain of knowing "something" is wrong but telling yourself your crazy and beating yourself up over it. confirmation of the deception becomes a relief! If you want to regain emotional intimacy and openness you have to tell her the truth.

You may want to take some more time to look into why you dont want to tell her.

Not telling you what to think but just seriously consider the pros and cons of telling vs not. and not how they will effect you, but her and the marriage.


WSO: 29
BSO: 27 mommy of 3 under 7, #4 due may 2013
D Day#1: august 25 2010 ow#1
D Day#2: jun 15 2012 from 7 mt PA/EA with ow#2
+ a couple of short term flings.
D Day #3 sometime the last week in march / false R Same ow
OVER IT ALL!! DONE!!

Posts: 222 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Tx
ThoughtIKnewYa
Member
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 10:31 PM, May 13th (Monday)

MM,

Like your W, I suffered from depression during my M. I always thought it was 'me'. Like you, my H professed to be an open, honest guy. In working through all of this, we discovered (well, he KNEW, so I should say I discovered...) that he had been suppressing emotions from a very early age- long before I was around- and this contributed to a lack of intimacy in our M. We discovered that this lack of intimacy and my gut feelings about things were what was causing my depression. My life was a lie and,on some level, I knew that.

Now, we can discuss the 'tell or no' issue until the cows come home and get nowhere. So, are you ready to get started sorting out your stuff?? If so, I have a few questions for you:

1) You say you were an authentic and honest man for 17 years of your 22 year M. What changed?

2) How long was your A?

3) Was it one A or a series of As?

4) Does your wife know your AP?

5) Why do you think you had an A?

6) If your W WERE to find out, how do you think she would react?


Posts: 11668 | Registered: Mar 2008
cdnmommy
Member
Member # 30182
Default  Posted: 10:36 PM, May 13th (Monday)

Whether you confess or not is up to you, but my question to you is why do you think you have the right to decide for your BW that she must stay married to the man who betrayed her? Do you feel you know what is best for her, and that she will make the "wrong" decision if left up to her?

To me, it is about the BS 's ability to make an informed decision about their future. It is about respecting her.


Me: BW
DDay: Oct 2010 + 6 weeks false R
2.5 (+?) year A with married coworker/my "friend"
1 great kid.
Reconciling and healing

Posts: 1732 | Registered: Nov 2010
Jrazz
Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 10:47 PM, May 13th (Monday)

Would they be accepted or would they be judged

That mindset is something that I'd like to help you shed.

Not unlike your worries about what people will think about you here at SI, it sounds like you are still wrapped up in people's perceptions of you on the outside.

Is it normal to be terrified of how your confession is going to go over? Totally. The thing is, if you are trying to do the RIGHT thing here, you have to let go of that.

We tend to foster a culture of transparency here, give or take. Cat put it really well...

Lying is the enemy of intimacy. By intimacy, I don't mean sex but emotional intimacy. When you [hide] parts of yourself from your spouse, you erect walls. That eventually leads to a serious weakening of the marriage.

The thing is, if you even have to ask what we think in the manner in which you have, you already know both the answer to how we'll respond, AND what the right thing to do here is.

I've lied. I've kept secrets. I've solemnly swore to myself never to do something again and wished that the evidence would just quietly evaporate, and I know that it was never the right thing to do. It was the easy thing. It was the selfish thing. Period.

I'm not judging you. I'm just reiterating the truth that you are fearful to face. Let us help you do the thing you know in your heart and mind is right.


I bow to those who keep their hearts open when it is most difficult, those who refuse to keep their armor on any longer than they have to, those who recognize the courage at the heart of vulnerability. - Jeff Brown

Posts: 17311 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
hardlessons
Member
Member # 35025
Default  Posted: 10:54 PM, May 13th (Monday)

but to say that being and honest, authentic man that my sons and wife could be proud will set things right or fix things, just doesnt fully compute with me because i was that man and it didnt mean much.

It doesn't compute because you do all those things for you! Not whether someone notices or not, not whether someone validates you or not. Being that guy is not a matter of compliance to how things should go or be, it is either who you choose to be or not.


Me WH
Wife Tired Girl
3 adult sons
"a wayward...annnnd just a tad betrayed."

Posts: 880 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Arizona
DecimatedHeart
Member
Member # 37657
Default  Posted: 11:16 PM, May 13th (Monday)

BS here. I know I am in the minority here, but I agree with Kirshenbaum. I would have loved for my WH to have worked his issues out without me knowing. I wouldn't wish this pain on my worst enemy. As Pink says - I want back my ignorance and bliss. You are working on fixing what was broken inside you that allowed you to make that mistake so it never happens again. To me, that is what is important.


Me, BS 41
Him WH 42 - LTA, EA/PA
Together 24 years
DD13 - the love of my life
DDay#1 11/10/2012
DDay#4 4/5/2013 (NC broken AGAIN)
A supposedly over 6/14/2013

All my posts are edited - I hate typos. :)


Posts: 129 | Registered: Nov 2012
LosferWords
Guide
Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 12:31 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

Marriedman,

One thing to keep in mind is that the affair will ALWAYS be there, whether you confess it or not. This can in fact cause some damage to both you and your wife in the long run.

I had a brief affair a few months into my relationship with my wife, long before we were married. I kept it a secret for 15 years. That was 15 years of looking my girlfriend/fiancee/wife in the eye, and just wanting to confess to her, but I didn't, because I didn't want to hurt her. That would be selfish of me to just release that burden off of myself and hurt her, right?

Turns out that my dishonesty and lack of transparency caused me to feel such guilt, I ended up overlooking boundaries that were being crossed in all sorts of different facets of life, including our relationship and our marriage. I thought that the fact that I was jealous of her male "friend" was just a byproduct of me feeling guilty, even though obvious boundaries were being crossed. Turns out she had a 15 year affair with this "friend" of hers.

I didn't confess my affair until after my wife confessed hers. By that time, my affair was old business to me, but it was a brand new hurt to her. Like it happened yesterday. That's some harsh shit there.

If I could go back in time, I would certainly do things differently.

Things to keep in mind...

Best of luck to you.


Posts: 7062 | Registered: Dec 2010
aesir
Member
Member # 17210
Default  Posted: 2:24 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

As your original question is just about if you will be accepted, the short answer is that as long as you follow the guidelines (which includes not being engaged in any affairs), there will be a place for you.

While there is an overwhelming majority opinion on some topics such as confession, it is seldom universal (except that it is better to confess than be discovered). Whichever path you choose, you will receive support, gentle guidance and two by fours, and a large number of people who really do want you to succeed. So long as you can roll with the punches and keep coming back, you will also find that many of your views evolve over time, and will likely discover that the people you come to admire, respect, and genuinely like, will often be the ones that piss you off in the early stages by telling you thruths you are not quite ready to hear.

One bit of advice before reaching the stage of confessing, is to make damn sure the affairs are truly over before confessing. It's kinda like the Rubicon, after you cross it, if you try going back you will just lose everyone important's respect and be crushed by an angry legion.*

*Okay, I just recently finished watching some documentaries on youtube that reminded me of watching Spartacus and Rome, but you get the idea.


Your mileage may vary... in accordance with the prophecy.

Do not back up. Severe tire damage.


Posts: 14924 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Winnipeg
cheerless
Member
Member # 38135
Default  Posted: 3:17 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

BS here, so BS perspective and probably a bit of snark but I'm sincerely trying to help.

Posted in general a while ago about wishing I didn't know. No one wants this pain. It's killing me.

I discovered my WH's affair. It would've been so much better if he had ended it, and then confessed everything while earnestly apologizing and expressing his desire to save our marriage. Instead, there were so many lies that I still don't know what is what. He lied to our kids too. Besides learning he cheated, we also learned that saving his own ass was more important than our well-being. That's been very hard on us.

I'm sorry that being authentic and honest for 17 yrs didn't set things right in your marriage. I do wish you could have eked out a bit more honesty to tell your wife you were unhappy in your marriage and wished to leave it and find someone else. Perhaps that would have motivated her to seek help for her depression and you could have started working on the M together, before you chose to head down the wayward path.

I think it's great that you have ended your A(s?) on your own. As far as not wanting to confess, I understand not wanting to start what will likely be a s**tstorm of epic proportions!

However, I wonder if being deceptive and dishonest for the last 5 years help set things straight in your life? If it did, I can understand why you're determined to now focus on your marriage with your inauthenticity and dishonesty intact. Aren't you concerned that whatever led to the A path last time, might remain open and seem welcoming again?

If it didn't fix things, though, please realize you cannot go back to being authentic and honest while keeping your secrets. You aren't really being faithful to your wife if you're still being faithful to your secrets about being unfaithful. And there's ALWAYS a chance she'll find out. Or your boys will. There are so many ways that can happen. Just read a few profiles in JFO forum.

Finally, I'm not sure how being honest and authentic with your sons did not work to make things right or fix things. if it didn't mean much to your sons that you were someone they could be proud of, what do you think it will mean to them if they find out they have a very good reason to NOT be proud of?

My son told his dad that, no matter what good he does going forward, he'd always have an asterisk by his name. That is one of the most devastating consequences of this mess—hearing my DS call his beloved father "a jerk."

Good luck to you and your family, with whatever you decide to do.


♪I'm not fine; I'm in pain
It's harder every day ~ Maroon 5♫

BS:45 WH:47 needhelp123
8yr EA&PA w/MCOW emp/frmr emp
19y M * 25y T, 2 teens
DDay 12/31/12*5w TT
Sick tired sad


Posts: 273 | Registered: Jan 2013
standinghere
Member
Member # 34689
Default  Posted: 4:15 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

It is one thing to lie yo your spouse a few times, and quite another to lie to them for years on end. It damages you somehow.

My wife had a mental health breakdown and during that time had an affair. It was short. She ended it. I suspected things were not right but had no clue how far wrong things had been. During this time she had treated me badly, and that hurt a lot, but I really knew almost nothing about the reality of her days while I was at work.

She got help, counseling, and committed to never doing anything like this again. She reconciled with me, apologized for how she treated me, and worked hard to be the best mom and wife that she could be. She would never tell about the affair, she would do the right thing and carry that cross to the grave so that the truth would never hurt me. She never wanted to ever hurt me again.

9 years passed. To keep the secret meant more lies, each lie was another betrayal, they piled up, guilt upon guilt, you love someone but you tell them lies, year after year. You live a lie with the person you love.

9 years of trying to figure it out, what was wrong in my marriage, disconnectedness for no apparent reason, racking my brain and talking to my wife and even counseling with her and coming up empty every time.

Finally, as I was nearly to the point of walking away from it all, leaving someone that I loved more than I've ever loved anyone, convinced that what was wrong was me, and tortured by the thought that I just could not connect with her, she confessed.

Guilt grows, into a might oak tree, that roots itself into your very soul.

That confession hurt. Horribly. I went through Hell. But, at the same time, it allowed us to become what we should have been all along.


BH - Me - Late 30's (now late 40's)
WW - Her - Late 30's (now late 40's)
4 Children
Her - Love of my life...still is.
Reconciled - Partly...she can't get over it.
Her - Thunderstruck by what she did.

Posts: 970 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: USA
ophelia24
Member
Member # 38438
Default  Posted: 4:50 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

It did little or nothing to make my wife happy or my marriage strong. As my wife circled into her world of depression, i tried harder and harder to be there emotionally, physically, asking her, begging her to get help...whatever it took to help her.

^^^^^This - quite a lot of resentment toward your wife there.

I'm a FWW who recently confessed to multiple affairs going back 21 years, the most recent 5 years ago.

I suspect your reluctance to confess your affair, and you looking for supporting evidence for this decision, is that you are reluctant to have your wife be in the position of occupying the moral high ground in your marriage, especially as you felt you did the lions share of keeping it together.

Many of us waywards blamed our SO for having our affair(s)- it is Wayward textbook justification for our behaviour because we are not willing to face ourselves and why we felt that taking ourselves outside our marriage could possibly fix what was wrong in it. Been there done that myself.

Many people on here have said what I now know is the only way to have real intimacy in a marriage, and that is that the truth must be told, and like the saying goes - "the truth will set you free". Secrets sit there and fester and create a barrier between you and your SO. I never realised how much until I finally told my H everything. Its been hard, but it becomes more worth it every day.

I hope you too find the courage to tell the truth.


“Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.”
― James Baldwin

Posts: 256 | Registered: Feb 2013
Lucky2HaveMe
Member
Member # 13333
Default  Posted: 6:15 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

Lies have a way of exploding... years later. I found out of my H's affair 13 years after the fact. They both thought it was just a dirty little secret that would go with them to their graves.

13 years. Digest that for a moment. 13 years of lies. 13 years of sharing a life with someone who was not the man I thought he was. 13 years of my life not making sense in so many ways. 13 YEARS.

You may think no one will ever find out. You may think you can bury this. You can't. And I can tell you, it is much worse finding out years later than having a WS come to you, confess, and you can both decide how to move forward.


Indian wisdom says our lives are rivers. We are born somewhere small and quiet and we move toward a place we cannot see, but only imagine. From Tending Roses

Posts: 6385 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: WNY
Laura28
Member
Member # 28997
Default  Posted: 6:27 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

What Lucky2HaveMe said!!!

I found out about OW1 16 years after the A, OW2 8 years after and OW3 a year after. All within about 3 weeks.

I actually believe if I had found out about OW1 16 years ago we might have had a chance at a good life together.

He has now realised the devastation his actions have caused me, is remorseful and faithful.

But it may be too little too late.

He has told me that he told himself it wouldn't happen again after OW1. I am sure you are telling yourself that too. Maybe in your case it won't.

Now he says he would do anything to go back and make better choices. But like I said it may be too late. I also find this hard to believe. he lied so often and for so long. Why would I believe him now?

There is no guarantee she will never find out.

How will she feel if she finds out in 10 years time?

How ill you feel waiting for the hammer to fall?

How will this effect your relationship with her?

If/when she finds out she WILL wonder how many others there were and like me she will not believe anything you say. Nothing you say will convince her that you are being honest.

Not after you have hidden this.

JMHO

Laura


Married 32yrs Me BW 57Yrs Him FWH 60yrs
OWzero 1988 EA?/PA? Gaslighted.
Dday May 28 2010.
OW1 1994(6mths PA, EA 16+ years).
OW2 2002(8yrs PA).
OW3 2009(1Yr PA).
Others???? Status: Not Divorcing..but.."You can't unfuck the goat"

Posts: 2748 | Registered: Jul 2010 | From: Australia
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 6:47 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

marriedman - Mira Kirschenbaum is WRONG! - it should always be confessed....
I had a 1 on 1 session with her, over the phone, the week before I caught my husband in his 2nd affair. She said, "what are you gonna do? You're not gonna hire a PI." which is exactly what I did and I caught him.
My point - her book When Good People Have Affairs - all it does is say recommit to the marriage and figure out why you did what you did. that is like HALF the equation. It won't work...
Please confess. I confessed my affair. I came here, to the wayward forum, and told people I was going to do it. I had page after page of support and that enabled me to move forward with confessing. AND, they were here after I confessed as well.
good luck!!


his Dday: 2/10
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4922 | Registered: Dec 2010
Marriedman2013
New Member
Member # 39254
Default  Posted: 7:42 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

Here is a very quick back story. I am a 44yrs old and have been married for 22yrs to my highschool sweetheart. We have been together since we were 16, so almost 30 years. We have two teenage boys(18 & 14). 5 years ago marriage was in a bad place. Wife deep in depression, and me losing hope in our marriage.

Intimacy is talked about a great deal but what is it exactly.....emotional and/or physical closeness?? Honesty and integrity about and in your life together??.....willingness to give and be everything for your partner. If its these things then I believe I was there. I felt as though I was there.....emotionally.....physically....spiritually....I shared everything with her. Thoughts, Feelings, fears, desires...did that. Had deep meaningful convesations about children, our future...did that. Expressed and showed my love and desire for my wife....did that! Wanting to help her with her depression, willing to do whatever it took. Done. Even with all that and two beautiful boys, she still couldn't love herself or be happy with life, or seek help. I was losing hope in us. Did I express this to her...absolutely I did.. These are conversations we have had through out the first 17 years of our marriage. I was unsure as a husband what else I could have done. It took me a long time to realize that love and intimacy are not always enough to save someone from themselves. I know that ultimately we cant save anyone and that they must help themselves, but its tough to sit and watch someone hate themsevles and the world around them and not try and do something for them. Its also difficult not to let resentment creep in when you feel that a relationship is not 50/50 and that emotionally you are carrying the heavy part. I don't know how to stop that part of my humanness.

I was lost and made the mistake of opening up to a married co-worker, which quickly turned into EA and then became a PA. I had a Dday shortly there after. I did leave, saying i couldnt continue like this, wanted a divorce, had feelings for someone else. We went into counseling, individual and marriage and i came back. We each were in IC for 2 years but both stopped. Things got better and life went back to what it was before. My affair stopped at that point but then started up again and continued off and on for the next 5 years. Periods of NC, brought on by both XAP and I. My wife believes I haven't spoken to her in 5 years. Her depression is still there but is controlled somewhat with Medication. Therapy was helpful at first, but she lost desire to go and stopped. I continued for a bit but stopped as well. Is our marriage or life miserable...No. We have moments of laughter, of connectedness, of contentment. Is that intimacy?? In the context of our marriage...it may be. Is it only one way since I had and affair that she is unaware of.....to some the answer will undoubtedly be yes.

Did I justify my affair, my behavior at that time, I am sure I did. Everyone justifies their behavior....even those that decide to confess. Do I justify it now... No. I own the choices I have made over the last 5 years. The lying, the deceiving, the cheating are by my hand, by my choice. My wife did not make me have an affair. My own inability to deal with my brokenness, my own issues let me to an affair. I am fully aware that I am lost and broken and that is why I am back in therapy and on this site. I am NC with my XAP. I want to change. I am trying to find my way back to the man I used to be. Is it addiction, is it co-dependency, am I just a cake eater, am I a love junkie. How could I have lived a double life for so long and so easily? These are issues I am trying to figure out.

I am not sure if I will confess or not. That is my choice. Its curious to me that an opinion of a therapist that has seen thousands if not tens of thousands of couples and what infedfilty has done to marriages can be so easily dismissed as being wrong. I understand the "born again" mentality of those that have seen the light and the benefit of confession and now believe that it is the one true way to salvation. I may get there. I am not there yet.

[This message edited by Marriedman2013 at 7:44 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)]


Posts: 21 | Registered: May 2013 | From: Midwest
metamorphisis
Administrator
Member # 12041
Default  Posted: 8:38 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

I have to be honest here Marriedman. I think you have found the literature to back up what you already want to do and are getting really wordy and thoughtful about it to support the position you have.
I only have one question..
Would your wife want to know?
She's been through this with you before, you know how she feels about it.



“We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.”... Anais Nin

Posts: 44692 | Registered: Sep 2006
lieshurt
Member
Member # 14003
Default  Posted: 8:48 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

I was an honest, authentic man who was not only a nurturing father to my two sons, but a husband that was communicative, open, and supportive. I was an open book about every aspect of my life.

I am trying to find my way back to the man I used to be.

You will never find your way back to the man you once were if you choose to live a dishonest life and keep lying to your wife. Lying to her has nothing to do with protecting her, but everything to do with protecting yourself. You don't want to face the consequences for your choice to continue cheating. You think that by being in IC now and stopping the affair that you have atoned yourself, but you haven't.

If you want to be an honest, authentic man again, then do what an honest, authentic man would do....tell your wife the truth and face the consequences.


I'm sorry if you don't like my Honesty, but to be fair I don't like your lies.

Sometimes it's better to push someone away...not because you stopped loving them but because you can't take the pain anymore.


Posts: 13752 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Houston
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 9:11 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

marriedman - right now you are manipulating and controlling your wife into staying married to you. Otherwise, why don't you tell her? Shouldn't she have all the information so she can make a decision? Do you want to be married to someone who thinks you are one thing but are really another? You claim to want authenticity. If you strive to live this way lay out everything on the table and let go of the outcome....


his Dday: 2/10
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4922 | Registered: Dec 2010
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Concerned  Posted: 9:26 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

My DD was just a few weeks ago, so I'll offer my very fresh, painful WS perspective. Currently I am a little torn between wishing BH hadn't found out, and being so glad he did.

My affairs (two since February) were brief but BH found out by rooting out an awful, horrible email I'd written complaining about him to a former AP. What a great way to find out, huh? And follow that up by learning of a wife's ultimate betrayal of being with another man (one of two As was officially consummated...but due to the first's physical malfunction, so I deserve no credit for that) and it has devastated him.

So I hate that I hurt him so much. Had he never found out, maybe I would've quit (the guilt was causing me awful insomnia), put the A behind me, realized how awesome my H is in comparison to the APs, put on my big-girl panties and talked to him about our M. Or maybe I would've continued being a lying, cheating, betraying slut till I got caught.

The discovery forced me to reveal my feelings to him, about our M, which I had suppressed for years. For that I am grateful, and I believe we will come out better for it. We've gone from watching hours of stupid TV, to talking all night. It has made us deeply reconnect--emotionally as well as (to both of our surprise) physically, intimately.

The past few weeks have been a manic-depressive roller coaster at home. My wish is that I'd talked to him about my feelings in the first place, and maybe avoided the A altogether.

Ultimately I truly believe it is for the best that he knows. But right now it is hard, because it is so painful. You have a very difficult decision that only you can make for yourself.

Will you be accepted here? To ease yourself in more gently, consider first posting your story in Wayward Side with a big fat stop sign! I haven't had the courage to post my full story yet. Just dipping my toes in by commenting on others' threads :)

Good luck.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1179 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
tired girl
Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 9:27 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

Hi MM,

My H is Hardlessons, our story is somewhat similar to yours, with out the 5 yrs to the same woman. My H walked in the door 18 yrs ago and told me he wanted a divorce and blindsided me with it. He had also made the mistake of opening up to a co-worker. He moved out and we were separated for a time. We eventually got back together, but it was never the same for me after that. There was always a wall. You see I knew what he was capable of from that point on. And I never trusted him again. I think this is where you are making your mistake.

We also were high school sweet hearts, got married at 19. I have also suffered from depression at times and my H has been at a loss as how to help me. For him, helping women at work was easier, they were fixable, I wasn't.

Unfortunately, my husband and I are the position of being madhatters at this point. I finally moved out three years ago and in a moment of pure rage and inability to cope with myself and my feelings, I slept with someone else. This devastated my H as you can imagine. We got back together and tried reconciling, he struggled with what I had done, and he fell back on his old methods of coping, and started another EA two years into our reconciliation. I busted him after it had been going on for three months. At that point, I was done. My love for him was gone.

It has been a tough year for us. Me standing back to see if he can really change, and him working his ass off to do it. And he has. And my love has slowly come back.

I worked my ass off and still am to fix who I am. And together we are making it happen.

See the part you are missing here is including your wife in on your story. That was what my H failed to do. And he eventually fell back on his old coping mechanisms when shit got tough again.

Is shit going to get tough for awhile if you confess? Ya. And your wife may not fix her shit, and then you have a choice to make, cause bottom line YOU can't fix her. She has to want to get better. And if she doesn't, you don't HAVE to spend the rest of your life with that. But at least leave on an honest note. Be authentic, and real with her.

I can tell you, she already knows in her gut that something is off. I knew, I always knew, I just pushed it under the rug and told myself that as long as he came home at night that was what mattered. And the rage that I had that night, that was directed at me, for staying with him.

And BTW, Welcome to SI.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 4859 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
numb&dumb
Member
Member # 28542
Default  Posted: 9:47 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

9 years of trying to figure it out, what was wrong in my marriage, disconnectedness for no apparent reason, racking my brain and talking to my wife and even counseling with her and coming up empty every time.

Finally, as I was nearly to the point of walking away from it all, leaving someone that I loved more than I've ever loved anyone, convinced that what was wrong was me,

Time difference aside that was my experience as well. I could tell something was wrong and kept pressing. Eventually she convinced me it was my problem. I felt so low and damaged. Later I found out the truth. I still resent that to this day and has made forgiveness near impossible for me.

As much as you think you can keep a poker face, the internal emotions have a way of showing. In the end the infidelity is not what hurts me and would end my M. It is the lies I would D over. Most BS would tell you the same.

It is your choice, but I offer my experience as anecdotal evidence on the confession side.

FWIW- My W too has Depression. I am sorry you have had to deal with that. I know that special brand of hell all too well. I know I carry a lot of resentment about that and you really need to talk to someone about that as it is likely a big part of the decision that brought you here.


Me-35 her-35

DS 1, DD 6
Dday 8/31/11. ONS that occurred 3 years earlier. Lied to for 3 years.

Every truth comes to light in a long enough timeline.


Posts: 2554 | Registered: May 2010
Marriedman2013
New Member
Member # 39254
Default  Posted: 9:59 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

Tiredgal, i appreciate your thoughts and your perspective.

I have read every one of the replies to my question and it has given me much to consider.

We all speak from our own experiences which i respect and i will continue my journey.....what ever that is.


Posts: 21 | Registered: May 2013 | From: Midwest
BaxtersBFF
Member
Member # 26859
Default  Posted: 10:10 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

I am not sure if I will confess or not. That is my choice. Its curious to me that an opinion of a therapist that has seen thousands if not tens of thousands of couples and what infedfilty has done to marriages can be so easily dismissed as being wrong. I understand the "born again" mentality of those that have seen the light and the benefit of confession and now believe that it is the one true way to salvation. I may get there. I am not there yet.

It's just as curious to me that you can dismiss the wisdom (what is it you call it? "born again" mentality) of a site that has been around for more than 10-years devoted to healing from infidelity with just about 40K members. How very convenient.

You aren't going to tell your wife. Your choice. Don't try to convince anyone here that it isn't because you're scared of the outcome.


WH - 44
BW - gerrygirl

Posts: 6099 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Boise
hopingforhappy
Member
Member # 29288
Default  Posted: 10:24 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

My FWH also had a LTA that he tried to stop several times, but started back up again for various reasons. When he finally ended it for real and OW understood that it was truly over, she decided to take things into her own hands and showed up on my doorstep with proof of the A. You know, just to give me the little push I needed to end the relationship with my FWH, so she could have him.

Let me tell you that it is a horrible way to find out. The only way that I can imagine would be worse would be to find naked pics of your spouse with their AP. I suffer from PTSD, as do many people here who have found out this way. If your BW is already suffering from depression, this would be a huge blow to her mental health.

5 years is a lot to have invested in a relationship. You may think you know how your AP will react, but you may not. Especially if you have always returned to the A in the past. It would be so much better for your BW to hear this from you, not from a stranger who is actually out to hurt her. I know this may not apply to your situation, but please consider it, if there is any possibility that it does.


Me--BW (56)
Him--FWH (53)--5yr. LTA--OW probably BPD
Married 20 years
DS-18, DD-15
Reconciling--but boy is it hard!

Posts: 1299 | Registered: Aug 2010
Marriedman2013
New Member
Member # 39254
Default  Posted: 10:33 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

Baxter, in no way am i dismissing the opinions of the people here. I understand and respect what this site is trying to do. If i didnt i wouldnt have joined and expressed my opinion as i did. If i was looking for validation, i wouldnt have reached out. The passion by which you believe what is right is what you felt was needed in your situation. I just wanted to know how someone who doesnt agree with confessing would be accepted. I may get to the point where i will confess. I am not there yet. Its very clear that confessing is "the" component one has to accept here otherwise a new path, a new beggining will never truly be attained.

Posts: 21 | Registered: May 2013 | From: Midwest
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 10:43 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

I may get to the point where i will confess. I am not there yet.

I realize I'm swinging 2X4s here but this quote MM - this is all about you and it's so self serving.
Make it about your wife and her healing.


his Dday: 2/10
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4922 | Registered: Dec 2010
cliffside
Member
Member # 38803
Default  Posted: 10:51 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

BS here, didn't see a Stop sign.

Do you believe you control the universe? That may sound snarky, but I'm being serious. Is your AP married? If so, how do you know her spouse won't contact your wife? How do you know you haven't been a little sloppy and your wife won't stumble upon something on her own? How do you know your AP won't become overcome with guilt in a year and decide to show up on your doorstep? How do you know someone who knows her hasn't seen you and isn't going to tell her down the road? You can't control the world.

You have an opportunity to give your wife what many of us BSs would kill for. Confessing the whole truth at a time where maybe she can take a few days to sleep in or hide. You can choose the actual day and time. I found out on my own, by accident, on a Monday morning when I had to get two kids to school and then I had to get through an entire school week dying for Saturday to come so I could curl up in a ball and try to get some sleep without any commitments to worry about. I was so traumatized I couldn't even make my kids lunches.

How old are your children? Does she work? If so, when you are ready to tell her, please try to pick a time where maybe the kids can go somewhere for the weekend and she can have some space and NO obligations. She deserves to know the truth and you're fooling yourself if you think it can't come out in some other way or from someone else.

P.S. Please tell her the WHOLE truth and answer any questions she has.


Me: BS 39
Him: WH 41
2 Kids
D-Day: 2/3/13
Broke NC 3/14
Very skeptically in R for now...

Posts: 269 | Registered: Mar 2013
tired girl
Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 11:04 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

confessing is "the" component one has to accept here otherwise a new path, a new beggining will never truly be attained

Actually I don't think it is confessing that is the component here. Because unfortunately many of our spouses didn't confess. You are getting confessing confused with being honest, and authentic. That is what we are trying to ask of you.

You might not confess to her. And that is certainly your choice. You are still welcome here. We will try to help you in your journey to find out what caused you to stray. In that journey to find your whys and learn to be authentic with yourself again, I think you may find a need to be totally honest. Maybe, maybe not. That is for you to decided.

But you do need to begin the work.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 4859 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
Marriedman2013
New Member
Member # 39254
Default  Posted: 11:06 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

Tired, i am in total agreement with you.

Posts: 21 | Registered: May 2013 | From: Midwest
rivenheart
Member
Member # 13838
Default  Posted: 11:48 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

BS here.

If your position is based on the fact that one counselor with years of experience treating thousands of patients is of the opinion that not being honest with your spouse is the best option, maybe you should try explaining how Shirley Glass, experienced researcher, counselor and author of Not Just Friends consistently says that disclosure IS necessary for a M to heal after infidelity.

Cherry picking among "experienced" opinions for the one that supports yours isn't going to convince anyone on this site.

You don't want to tell? Okay. No one here can make you. You will still get support, though certainly mixed with people taking you to task for your lack of honesty and for placing your own interests ahead of your BW's interests. Continuing to look for support for your desire not to tell is, in my opinion, simply a waste of time. You know the general stance and opinion of this community.


rivenheart ~ heartriven
Me: BW, 36 at d-day; WH, 40

Posts: 1037 | Registered: Mar 2007
HopeImOverIt
Member
Member # 34517
Default  Posted: 12:00 PM, May 14th (Tuesday)

There are two huge exceptions to not telling: if you're having an affair and you haven't practiced safe sex, even if it's only one time, you have to tell. Again, the moral principle is minimizing the hurt. But this time, the greatest risk of hurt comes from inflicting a sexually transmitted disease, and I've never seen a relationship recover from that.

Aren't people overlooking this huge exception to Kirshenbaum's "rule" of not confessing? How many Waywards truly use protection every single time for the duration of an affair? How many use protection for oral? Almost zero I would bet.

It sounds to me like Kirshenbaum would say pretty much all PAs needs to be confessed.


Me: BW (50)
ExWH: (51)
2 teen-age boys
Divorced

Posts: 261 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: PA
Jrazz
Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 12:00 PM, May 14th (Tuesday)

If i was looking for validation, i wouldnt have reached out

I respect the work that the WS’s have done in their lives and the passion by which they express their beliefs, but is confessing right for everyone.

If you're not looking for validation, what does it matter what everyone else is doing?

SI had guidelines against attacking each other, discussing politics, judging about religious beliefs or lack thereof. It's also been made clear that people still active in Affairs with no intention of stopping are not welcome.

The rest is a grey area that we debate about, share perspectives, and hopefully walk away from the computer wiser and with more compassion for our partners and ourselves.

I think the debate here is really about how much we are allowed to distort reality for the supposed comfort of our spouses or ourselves. Clearly there are two camps on this thread - those who believe that truth is absolute, including undisclosed events being lies by omission. The others believe that what you don't know won't hurt you.

The thing is, that's not real. You can't see cancer in the earliest stages, but it can hurt you if it's lurking in your body. Maybe it will never manifest to stage 4, or maybe it will. Being armed with the information means you can take way better care of yourself. You may choose not to tell your wife what you've done, but she regards you as trustworthy and that is false. Even if you spend your life making it up to her while she is unaware of your indiscretions, you betrayed her. You are not who you purport to be and all the shellacking in the world isn't going to present to her the real you.

You will find people here who laud better living through denial. You will find many more who know that integrity can only be expressed through authenticity. Reality. Not pretend.

Not telling her is pretending it never happened.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 12:03 PM, May 14th (Tuesday)]


I bow to those who keep their hearts open when it is most difficult, those who refuse to keep their armor on any longer than they have to, those who recognize the courage at the heart of vulnerability. - Jeff Brown

Posts: 17311 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
badchoice
Member
Member # 35566
Default  Posted: 12:09 PM, May 14th (Tuesday)

You will find many more who know that integrity can only be expressed through authenticity. Reality. Not pretend.

^^^This, plain and simply. Very well put Jrazz.

I did a ton of shit that my BW never knew about, but it created distance - distance that she blamed herself for. Now that she knows the truth, here reality is rocked to it's core.

I think you have to ask yourself how authentic of a relationship do you want with your W. Do you respect her enough for her to know what is going on in her life?


Me: fWH/BH 46

Separated transitioning to D


Posts: 725 | Registered: May 2012 | From: L.A.
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 12:24 PM, May 14th (Tuesday)

Do you respect her enough for her to know what is going on in her life?

yep. And this is the reason I may end up leaving - the utter lack of respect.


his Dday: 2/10
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4922 | Registered: Dec 2010
realitybites
Member
Member # 6908
Default  Posted: 12:30 PM, May 14th (Tuesday)

To get off subject here a bit as you have plenty of advice so far.

What do you believe is the cause of your wife's depression? And when did it start in your opinion? And you have mentioned that she has not gone to get help for the depression?


Posts: 5645 | Registered: Apr 2005 | From: florida
hardlessons
Member
Member # 35025
Default  Posted: 7:05 PM, May 14th (Tuesday)

T/J Rachel C
yep. And this is the reason I may end up leaving - the utter lack of respect.

That respect thing starts with self-----respect before we can expect others to have it for us.

end T/J


Me WH
Wife Tired Girl
3 adult sons
"a wayward...annnnd just a tad betrayed."

Posts: 880 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Arizona
LA44
Member
Member # 38384
Default  Posted: 7:27 PM, May 14th (Tuesday)

Hi MM, I am a betrayed spouse.

I am familiar with Mira Kirschenbaum and I remember reading the excerpt you included. I believe it was from a past Time magazine article. I wrote Ms. K to ask if she still stood by this statement. Afterall, her husband had had an affair. Was she better of NOT knowing?

As echoed by others I had NO clue about my husband's affair until I discovered it one year after it ended. I just thought there was something "missing" between us. Something I could NOT put my finger on. We even went to counselling! Like the others, I thought it was me. I would ask him time and again if something was bothering him. A reassuring "no" was always the answer. Perhaps you and your wife have this exchange as well.

My H for his part was determined to make things work with me. That is why he ended the A. For him, it was about sex. For the affair person, it became very emotional. He never wanted to leave me and our family. When she wanted more, he wanted out of the affair.

He really, genuinely believed (as I believe you do) that we could have a fulfilling married life even though there would always be this secret between us. A disconnect that was frustrating me to no end.

He was SURE I would leave him if I found out about the affair. Well guess what? I am still here. It has been a painful, gut-wrenching five months with the first two being the worst. I ask questions, he answers. He shows remorse, he holds me when I cry. He backs off when I want space.

Not only is our marriage in R but we are learning so much more about ourselves as a couple and as individuals in the process. Even though I wish this had never happened I believe without a doubt that had I NOT found out:
a) he would have entered into a second affair at some other point in our marriage bc he would not have done "the work" on himself to figure out why he started an affair.
b) that we would not be as close as we are today

Someone recommended After the Affair by Janis Spring. I do too. My H bought it and read it as did I. Perhaps someone will private message you with some more advice.

Also, the invite is there to PM me. If you have any questions for the BS, I can offer you my perspective in a non-threatening, thoughtful manner.

Take care.
LA
ps: Incidentally, Ms. K never wrote me back.

[This message edited by LA44 at 7:33 PM, May 14th (Tuesday)]


Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2287 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 8:04 PM, May 14th (Tuesday)

Yep, HL. Agreed! Self respect means living authentically towards ones values....


his Dday: 2/10
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4922 | Registered: Dec 2010
Mrs Panda
Member
Member # 27303
Default  Posted: 9:23 PM, May 14th (Tuesday)

So a 7 year...did I count that right? ...LTA. On and off. And she knew about the first 2 years.

I think it would an even bet that she still suspects.

Maybe that's why she's still depressed. Your on and off affair has led you away from her. It is simply impossible to have a good M while u are in an A. You are distracted, disengaged. Maybe you think you aren't. But the BS notices.

There is no salvation in confession. No fresh start. No amazing catharsis. It feels awful and scary and horrible. And the horror of that DDay never goes entirely away.

But it's a hell of a lot better than lying for the rest of your life.


Me-41 FWW Him-45BH
M 13years. Reconciled.
DDay#1 Nov 2008 (OM2)
DDay#2 Aug 2009 (Confessed to OM 2001)
"Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand." -Kurt Vonnegut

Posts: 1973 | Registered: Jan 2010 | From: The SouthEast
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 10:38 PM, May 14th (Tuesday)

Clearly there are two camps on this thread - those who believe that truth is absolute, including undisclosed events being lies by omission. The others believe that what you don't know won't hurt you.

I don't believe it's as black and white as that. I see it as a spectrum of evolving. Sometimes I find that the opinions on here are very forceful and adamant.

I do not deny that full disclosure is the way forward to a fulfilled and hopefully affair proof marriage. I also believe that if mm doesn't EVENTUALLY fully confess/disclose his affair that he's more vulnerable to another one. BUT, this is a process and intellectually one know's the theory behind "telling all" will lead to an authentic life full of integrity but there are also emotions and other dynamics involved that one needs to work through; fear, denial, unresolved anger, guilt, shame, protecting out of love or self-preservation. Whatever the stage may be at that time, please let's allow the process to take place and support that process. Perhaps it might be more helpful now (as many of you suggest) to help mm with his process and ask him questions that may lead to the end goal of confessing and allowing his BW to be fully part of what happens in their m.

There is another side to confessing all, which is my story. I confessed my A to my H who more or less has told me he doesn't want to know and is now walking around with his hands covering his ears in pain wishing everything could just go back to normal (which on the surface it has but obviously deep down everything is shattered). We are currently in limbo and although I'm petrified to give him the details (that he doesn't want to know)I know one day when the time is right and when he is ready I will have to in order for us to have any chance of a happy marriage with emotional intamacy.

According to him he wishes I could just deal with my issues and past indescretions and move on. Yes, he's in denial and yes he's hurting, of course he is he's human. But did I do the right thing by confessing? I think I did although HE may disagree (right now). Fact is, I made that decision for US as I know in the long-term it's for the best.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
Beautifulmom
Member
Member # 37611
Default  Posted: 10:31 PM, May 17th (Friday)

Hi, I am a bs but I find the research and guilt you are going through refreshing.
Please tell your bs. For yourself and for her. It will suck. But, imagine she finds one little piece of evidence. She confronts you and you tell her just the basics. She will dig and find more. You will never truly trust you again.

For me it was a Victoria secret confirmation from 3 years previous. So obscure. But it broke everything. I will never know if my husband is telling the truth ever again. I wish to God he had set me down when I was telling him I was suspicious, with tears in his eyes, and told me every single thing he could remember. But he didn't, and now it doesn't matter what he tells me.

Good luck.


33 years old (Wh and me)
Married 10 years
2 children: 4yo and 1yo
Dday#1 10/28/12
Dday#2 12/24/12 (Merry Christmas)
Affair: 3+ years (as far as I know) w/my best friend of 14 years

Posts: 71 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Beautifulmom
Heavy Sigh
Member
Member # 34243
Default  Posted: 1:33 AM, May 18th (Saturday)

This question has been completely aired and discussed. So, with you having decided to not tell, are there other issues to discuss that could help you?

The issues with roots into the affair are those you won't be discussing with your wife, so she will not make any moves to change, comfort or otherwise react to them. It will be difficult to address them without telling more fibs.

For example, If you are here to work on being dissatisfied with frequency or staidness of sex and to fill in the vacancy the OW left, then you will have to explain to your wife why suddenly you want an increase, when the past five years you were fine with frequency etc.

Then, if this were the case, you would wish to talk to a doctor about her anti-depressants, in case the type she takes impedes sex drive. Then explain to doc why no complaints for nearly five years until now. You'll have to lie to the doctor. Then you two would wish to talk to a counselor, if frequency of sex is an issue, or if she has difficulty being creative, which also means you have to lie (by omission) to the counselor.

And it's doubtful she will see the urgency of whatever issue you have in the marriage, when you were fine before as the affair covered your "needs" bases, which means she will not act on the issue as immediately as you would wish, or take it as seriously as you wish.

So be prepared for each step along the way: Lying to her by omission or about reasons/purposes behind requests. Then lying to others, if a doctor of counselor is sought.


Posts: 1917 | Registered: Dec 2011
cmego
Member
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 7:52 AM, May 18th (Saturday)

BS here. My EX had gay affairs. He felt just like you, what I didn't know wouldn't hurt me. Who the AP is, really makes no difference. I thought I wouldn't be welcome on this site since my situation is also different. What I discovered is the behavior patterns of WS are all the same.

The bottom line, my EX thought he was "protecting me from pain" and in reality it was much, much different. I knew there was something wrong, but he denied it "was him" because he didn't want to expose his secret life. He blamed me. Just as you are placing a LOT of blame on your W. How many times have you already mentioned she is depressed? My WS said I 'was mean" or "not happy" or "too busy with the kids".

He didn't want to lose his life, his cute wife, his cute kids, his big beautiful house, his standing in the community. He wanted to APPEAR like a really great guy. Just like you want to APPEAR like that too.

So, did I deserve to know that my husband was gay/bi and cheating on me with men? He thought I didn't. Take out the fact they were men...and replace with women...now I don't deserve to know? Right? (We had a "normal" marriage, we maintained an active sex life even after 17 years together)

What is your fear if she finds out?

I did find out. My EX never confessed. I was contacted by the AP. Even after finding out about the A's, even a long term A, we tried to R. Ultimately, he couldn't handle the pain from me, and sought relief with a former AP. When I found out, I left and never looked back.

He told me he never thought that I would give him a chance after I knew everything. Well, he didn't know me very well. He put me in a box in order to have the A's. It was easier for him to think I was "mean", "sad", "busy" then to see me as someone confused and hurting and searching for the truth.

We are now 3 years out past D-day. I moved away from him 2 years ago. The first 2 years WS pretty much checked out and lived his new life. Now, he is seeing the devastation he caused. He told me just a week ago, (after we were trying to work on a summer visitation schedule and he was treating me nasty), I said, "Wow, you are grumpy!" His response, after about 15 minutes of silence, "I am sorry I fucked everything up."

I had more respect for him when we were trying to R than I ever did. When he was open and honest and trying.

He told me that he tried to do what you are doing. He had an early A 5 years previous, knew it was wrong and "wanted to stop". So he did. He says he felt like he was committed to the marriage...but he wasn't. He had to tell lies on top of lies to cover the A. I was questioning him because I could sense it. To "protect me", he lied. The lies snowballed. He hated himself a little more, then blamed me because I was questioning him. So, I would pull back because I knew something wasn't right. We went to therapy during this time to "work on the marriage". I discovered later he confessed to the therapist but forced her not to tell me. I thought we were working on the marriage, but in reality, he was just trying to "throw me off the scent", which in turn made me feel horrible about myself. I kept trying to be a better wife, since there "was nothing on his end", therefore I thought the problem in our marriage was ME. Maybe I WAS mean. So, I would try harder... and be met with no change on his end because the wall around protecting the affairs was high. Covering the truth is what destroyed the marriage.

I did deserve to know the truth. It was my marriage too.

Yes, if your wife finds out it will be a hard and rocky road. But, not an impossible road to travel. You may end up with an open, honest and mutually satisfying relationship. Read on SI how the successful people do it. The BS on here will tell you how to be successful. Listen to SI, and it is possible for your marriage to survive even with the truth out.


me...BS, 43 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced

"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings


Posts: 4141 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
Marriedman2013
New Member
Member # 39254
Default  Posted: 9:40 AM, May 18th (Saturday)

I am still here, reading everything and taking it all in. Cmego, and all the BS's that have weighed in, i appreciate your perspectives.

Posts: 21 | Registered: May 2013 | From: Midwest
Topic Posts: 65