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Confronting when 'no contact' is broken

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MidnightRun posted 7/26/2017 08:56 AM

Don't beat around the bush.

Keep it simple, bold, and to the point.

[This message edited by MidnightRun at 5:34 PM, July 26th (Wednesday)]

twisted posted 7/26/2017 09:24 AM

All hat, no cattle.

Sharkman posted 7/26/2017 09:42 AM

OK, I understand where you are. None of us are frustrated with you, we are here in your best interest and you seem to be taking the advice to heart (in the kind manner that it is intended).

Here is a short exercise that you can achieve to see where her heart is.

Have her write a letter exposing the affair to the workplace to be delivered AFTER she has found a new position. She will need to trust you that you will not send it. This will tell you if she's more interested in protecting him, a miniscule aspect of her career or your mental well-being.

Just because she doesn't work with him anymore doesn't mean she can't go back to him (or isn't with him right now for that matter).

beenthereinco posted 7/26/2017 10:42 AM

I don't think opening a business with her at this time is a good idea. You will sink a lot of money, perhaps go into debt to do it and if things don't work out it would be an asset/debt that you have to figure out how to value and split. I'd tell her that discussion about opening a business need to be on hold until you get through this crisis in the marriage.

Sanibelredfish posted 7/26/2017 12:38 PM

20years, you are 9 months post D-day and:

...we are both just now getting into chapter 8 of NJF...

Seriously?!? That gives new meaning to the term, "glacial pace". I understand being deliberate in your approach to such a serious issue, but your extreme deliberateness also suggests a lack of urgency. If your WW is a cake eater (and her A indicates she is) her lack of urgency is self-explanatory. However, I am greatly puzzled by your lack of urgency. Don't you want the pain from this to stop sooner than later? I think that is why many people reading and responding to your thread are urging you to take more action than an occasional apologetic letter to your WW. We don't want you to suffer any longer than you already have.

Sharkman posted 8/4/2017 06:58 AM

How's it going dude?

notperfect5 posted 9/5/2017 14:26 PM

Hey 20yrsin, How you holding up? Any movement on the job front? You doing ok with this being drawn out?

20yrsin posted 9/6/2017 22:52 PM

Hey NP5 thanks for reaching out. Things continue at their glacier pace. As noted we went on a 2 week vacation and during that time, which was enjoyable, we did not discuss the past. When we returned my FWW went on an overnight consultation. She sent me many reassuring pictures of her and a female co-worker who were on the consult together.

My wife works on herself a lot. She reads and quotes Eckhart Tolle and other teachers and it helps keep her grounded. She still has a lot of work to do on the reconciliation path. We are inching along through NJF and probably talk about the past less than once a week. Yes its glacier. And for context when we watch a tv show such as GOT it can take an entire week to get through an episode. We are busy as many are, but I hope that gives an indication that most days we only have a few minutes to sit or chat. (Makes it really impressive that she managed to have a full on fucking affair doesn't it? :-0)

For myself I read SI a fair bit, looking at wayward and reconciliation threads mostly. Some JFO threads occasionally and have spent a lot of time reading walloped's story. I am still not through that one yet although I did find the 100 questions he asked by skipping ahead. I will go back and look at yours NP5. I really could feel your pain while reading it earlier.

I have raised the fishbowl technique with my FWW and am asking for a more detailed timeline much to her frustration. I now have my own list of 100 questions as well. The pace of this, as many have pointed out, is making it harder as my wife does not want to look back and wants to look forward. There have been times where I do grow tired of this. I think it was NP5 who warned of this risk but continuing to read the SI site helps me with the endurance needed. For myself I have taken extensive notes on NJF and as she goes through the audio and now her own paper copy we will discuss what she and I have read. There was a lot of confusion at first as the bloody audio has 49 chapters and the book much less so we were way out of sync. Me being much further ahead due to the mis-understanding. She finds it painful to read/ listen to.

I am about to enter an executive training course at work so the focus will be on supporting my career for once which is positive. In general she recognizes she was selfish, even before the affair and since d-day she has been much more conscientious and contributing to the family. I give her credit for her self improvement there. The rugsweeping is frustrating and I will bring it to a head eventually (find the cattle for my hat so to speak).

I haven't been pushing too hard on progress toward this as of late (or ever really lol) since the final interview for one of the jobs is tomorrow . Your timing to prompt an update in that regard was almost bang on NP5.

The job prep requires extensive research so I haven't wanted to distract from that with painful discussion. There have been a few other job opportunities that are also in flight but this one tomorrow is ideal. She is up against it to some degree as there are a couple of incumbents but this is a lower level position so if they are looking at experience and skill she should have a good chance. Fingers crossed.

If the job works out I will certainly post about it and as we get into the timeline and 100 questions I will share. Based on the length of this post I guess a few things have happened in the past month.

For myself, I still find the situation sucks of course, but it does suck less over time. I still flip flop from wanting to say fuck this bullshit and file to the other side of the spectrum where I believe in who she is now and could see moving forward with that as part of our history. Mostly I am on the latter end of it but at times have those dark moments. Divorce impact on the kids is a huge factor in cooling these thoughts of blowing it up.

It was very interesting to read in the reconciliation thread some of the experience of those who were also about 10 months out. I have thought of posting there just to share. I think I even saw m1965 posting in a WW thread with his usual well thought out prose. That thread was of interest as it was about a 'disclosure' weekend which is something I will arrange in the future.

Thanks again to you and sharkman and many others who have taken time to provide advice. I really appreciate the effort and take a lot of it in for consideration and act on what I can. I think stevesn scored me a D- or something and that sounds about right and maybe I will move up to mediocre C in the fall. Will keep you posted.


Stevesn posted 9/6/2017 23:15 PM


Just so you know I think of you often and I have my fingers crossed that the new job away from POSOM comes thru.

Does she still claim to still be maintaining NC? I seem to remember that you guys work far apart but perhaps some surprise visits to her work place every week or two would help to show everyone that you are there and a real person.

It'd be good for her coworkers besides the POS to know you exist and put a face to the name. If any funny business were still happening one might even slip u a message.

Finally, just so everyone doesn't think I was being mean I actually upgraded you to a D- to support some progress you had made. So I'm glad to hear you are still trying not to rug sweep what she has done, even at your snails pace.

Stay vigilant and don't let up no matter which way the job interview goes. Your version of q&a will be very interesting.

You are the prize here. She needs to win you back, not vice Versa.

osk123 posted 9/6/2017 23:43 PM

I don't know if to admire you or pity you. I admire your strength and resilience in this tragic times and I hope your wife recognizes that gift. I pity you, because I see an early version of me in some your posts and didn't want to use logic.

I hope that your wife finally gets it and really understand all she put you through. She really has to work hard for you. And you have to work on yourself and tell her when things are not ok and stand up for yourself.

Really wishing she finally gets the job or he quits, otherwise is russian roulette on your marriage.

Sharkman posted 9/7/2017 04:10 AM

Thanks for the update bud. Glad to hear you're moving to a better place.

My main concern in your case has always been rug sweeping. The main issue with rig sweeping is that it does not establish a basis of trust to grow from. Unless that basis is 100% in both directions you will never ever ever heal. Your update was full of rug sweeping terms (mainly referring to how busy you are).

There is something missing here and I am not quite sure what it is.

Do me a favor. Schedule a poly for you wife. You're busy and talking isn't going to cut it. The purpose of the poly is simply to ask if she has been no contact with her boyfriend since the time that she says she has been.

If she has, then the story kind of lines up to me. If she hasn't, then that explains why my gut is still kind of screaming here. Referring to another thread you mentioned, Walloped did this almost immediately. NP5 had to do it twice and it's literally all that saved his marriage.

When you tell her just watch her face for the first three seconds. It'll tell you the truth as well.

I'm not trying to make a case that my gut is right and you are wrongZ. I'm trying to make a case that you've tried to move on without full trust being established and unless you get that there WILL be another day of reckoning.

M1965 posted 9/14/2017 16:14 PM

Hi 20yrs,

Thanks for the update, and apologies for not replying faster.

The point about the pace that comes through to me is that you are not dropping things, which is good. You wouldn’t say this, but a point that could be made to your wife is that if she wants to make the work last twenty years (no pun intended), then you will still be asking the same things twenty years from now; that slow motion is not making anything go away, it is just making the period before true reconciliation can begin last a lot longer than it needs to. And if a slogan for a t-shirt is required: Slow Motion is Better than No Motion. What you need to make her understand is that you are not giving up on this, she is just dragging it out.

I was not aware of Eckhart Tolle, but here’s one for you to put on a t-shirt and wear around the home:

“Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake, at least you learn something, in which case it's no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing.”

It’s one that I think is applicable to your situation as an individual in the unhappy aftermath of infidelity.

Some of the guy’s other quotes seem tailor-made for rug-sweeping, though, and I do not think they will help your wife ‘develop’ or learn to take responsibility or own the things that she has done. If anything, they will encourage her to think that as long as she ignores the past, everything will be fine. That is not learning, or development, that is letting herself off the hook. Stuff like…

“The past has no power over the present moment.”

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”

“Give up defining yourself - to yourself or to others. You won't die. You will come to life. And don't be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it's their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don't be there primarily as a function or a role, but as the field of conscious Presence. You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.”

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”

And this absolute doozy could be on a motivational poster to encourage infidelity:

“Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? What could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”

Yes, give in to the moment, don’t give a sh*t about right or wrong, or anyone else…It’s all about you, and if you can get your jollies, that’s all that matters.

Your wife surrendered to the present moment for a year and half, with no inner resistance, and didn’t it all work out wonderfully well for you? Do you really think a mental diet of “Everything you do is just great, and you’re a wonderful person who owes no loyalty or responsibility to anybody as long as you are getting your kicks, and just forget the past”, will help your wife take the responsibility you need her to if you are going to be able to ever reconcile with her? Or is that stuff taking her in the opposite direction?

It is a shame that while she finds time to consume, memorise, and quote that kind of self-excusing, past-erasing, responsibility-free material, she has barely made any progress on “Not Just Friends”, a short and brief book that many people read in a day. It’s not hard to see that she only wants to focus on stuff that excuses what she did, rather than trying to grasp and understand why what she did was so wrong, and why it caused you so much pain that you still have moments where you feel like chucking the whole thing in. Who wants to feel bad about themselves, right? However, recognising and owning the harm that was done is a valid part of the reconciliation process, because it helps the person who committed infidelity to understand and empathise with the person who was betrayed. And taking ownership of the infliction of that pain shows the betrayed person that the cheater does feel remorse and regrets having caused the pain. The Tolle stuff goes in the opposite direction, and is helping her avoid developing an adult sense of responsibility for her actions, or understand that if her pleasure is bought at the price of another’s pain, there is actually – sorry Eckhart – something bad about it. Far from keeping her grounded, that material is keeping her head in the deluded affair fog.

I think what you need to do is buy a copy of, “How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair”, and tell her that it will be the next book you will be working on after “Not Just Friends” is finished. See if she can start memorising some quotes from something more productive. And please do make time, one evening a week at least, to do this work. It may not matter to your wife, but it matters to you, and she owes you big time.

For all the pap she is wasting her intellectual energy on, you can ask her, regularly, if she doesn’t care that you are unhappy, and why she isn’t willing to do what you need. Remind her that she isn’t married to Eckhart Tolle, she is married to you, and that if she loves you, she should be doing what you need, not tranquilising her conscience and neutralising her morality with the kind of self-focused “give in to life” platitudes that imply that all that matters is whether an individual enjoys going with the moment, and if they leave a trail of pain and destruction in their wake it doesn’t matter, because it will soon be in the past, and as Yoda tells us, the past has no power over the present.

Your wife’s perpetual focus on herself is actively preventing her from doing the work on the marriage that she should be doing. She is effectively gazing into a mirror and telling herself that she is lovely. You aren’t even in the picture. Does she think she is married to herself, or that she is the only person in the marriage that matters? There are far more important things for her to be doing than gazing at her own reflection, ignoring you, but she lacks the courage to face up to what she did. The longer you allow her to remain in that fog, the longer she will avoid developing an adult sense of responsibility, and owning what she did. That is not good for you, her, or for the future security of the marriage.

Wow, she feels frustrated when you want a more detailed timeline? Does she not understand that you could file for divorce and expose the affair to everyone around you? She has got away with what she did with no consequences at all, and all she wants to do is rug-sweep.

Seriously, 20yrs, you need to be firmer about her doing what you need, not wasting her time with a load of pointless, counter-productive pap that is irrelevant to your unhappiness. What you could say to her is that is that she does not have forever, that you have your own internal clock ticking, and that time is running out for her to start making an effort. Be no more specific than that; the point is to unsettle her, and to disempower the weapon she has been using so successfully since discovery, which is dragging her heels.

You say: “The rugsweeping is frustrating and I will bring it to a head eventually (find the cattle for my hat so to speak).”

“Eventually” is her enabler. You need to step up your game. You could even try a conversation starter like:

“You cannot avoid this forever, but if you keep trying, I will be gone. Do you want that?”

Isn’t that how you feel sometimes? So why not be true to yourself and say it?

It’s good to hear about your new job, and I am sure everyone here wishes you well with it. You’re a bright guy, and you deserve every success.

It’s also good that the effort to get your wife out of the office with OM is continuing. I hope you will update us about how the latest interviews.

“For myself, I still find the situation sucks of course, but it does suck less over time. I still flip flop from wanting to say fuck this bullshit and file to the other side of the spectrum where I believe in who she is now and could see moving forward with that as part of our history. Mostly I am on the latter end of it but at times have those dark moments.”

20yrs, who she is now is a person who chose to have a year-and-a-half long affair, abusing your love and trust and endangering the family her children rely on, and who still refuses to grow up and address that like an adult, or take responsibility for it, and all the pain that it caused you. Instead, she wants to live in a child-like state of denial, as if nothing bad happened, and even if it did, it should be ignored because it happened in the past. It is great that you want the marriage to continue, but can you really do that before she proves that she actually understands what she did, and what was bad about it? Or will it be fine for the affair to morph into some kind of rose-tinted, life-affirming experience that should be celebrated because your WW and the OM really enjoyed seizing the moment and going with it on a regular basis, with no responsibility, scruples, conscience, honesty, discernible indication of morality, or loyalty to you?

My point here – for you, your wife, and the future of the marriage - is this: until your wife faces and takes responsibility for what she did, and does what you need to be able to heal, then in what way is she any different to the person who was fine with having a year-and-a-half long affair? All she will be is the same person who now quotes authors whose philosophies let her off the hook.

Remember the old motto about exercise: No pain, no gain.

Think about that; it is hugely relevant to your wife’s personal development, and for your marriage to actually move on honestly, rather than in a state of denial.

I’m sorry if stuff in what I have written sounds negative. I would actually like you to reconcile meaningfully with your wife, and obviously to preserve the family and the security it brings your kids. What I have always tried to do is advocate truth and meaning in your reconciliation, by facing the unpleasant facts and elements and neutralising them using tried and tested methods, so that the new phase of your relationship with your wife will be safe from the parts of your wife’s psyche, boundaries, and value framework that enabled her to cheat for many months. What is frustrating, for you, me, and several other posters here who want the best outcome for you, is that your wife is devoting so much energy to avoiding the process that has the potential to make her a safer life partner for you, a safer parent for your kids, and a truly more developed and wiser, mature human being with a sense of personal responsibility that will – hopefully – keep her out of trouble in future. Tolle’s ‘live for the moment, ignore the past’ platitudes won’t do that. Denial won’t do that. Avoidance won’t do that. Yoga won’t do that. Running won’t do that. And taking the next forty years to read a tome as brief as “Not Just Friends” won’t do that!

The question is, how serious are you about doing the motivational work needed to enable your marriage to reach the higher, safer plateau that is within its reach if you can get your wife to stop wasting so much of her energy on denial and avoidance?

The journey continues, and I am crossing my fingers for you, but what worries me is that you will just give up on your healing, and pushing your wife’s development, and instead pretend that nothing needs to be changed because it is easier.

[This message edited by M1965 at 6:27 AM, September 15th (Friday)]

Stevesn posted 10/7/2017 12:21 PM


How are you doing.

Any progress in the job or your relationship?

notperfect5 posted 4/24/2018 10:46 AM

Hey 20yrs,

Just popping in to see how you are doing. Did the wife ever get a new job? Is the OM gone? Are you reconciling still? Just thought I would drop by to wish you well and send some strength and goodwill.


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