The reason so many people are stressing the importance of honesty is because of what Wool94 mentions. It is a fact that many, many people say what truly destroyed their marriage was not the infidelity, but the fact that their wayward spouse continued to lie to them afterwards.
Continued lying becomes a barrier to a betrayed partner's ability to heal from the damage that an affair does, because if they are lied to repeatedly, they will never, ever feel like they have the complete truth.
If they feel like they do not have the complete truth, they do not begin the healing process. And it only takes a couple of lies for a wayward spouse to establish themselves as a person who can never, ever be trusted again. If you establish yourself as that in your husband's mind, it will be a huge factor in his decision process about his future.
Please understand that everyone is sending you these messages out of a desire for you to see the light and banish dishonesty from your relationship with your husband, and also from your relationship with yourself.
I wanted to stop things, but hadn't yet.
I would ask you whether wanting to stop things is something you wish you had felt as you look back on your actions now, rather than something you actually felt at the time. I say that because you had already had sex with the man, and chose to continue the relationship with him, which suggests a desire to continue the affair rather than stopping it.
Another way to look at it is that you were actively dishonest with your husband during your affair to protect it and continue it:
I want to say around April my husband came to me and told me that he was afraid he was losing me to another man. I told him he was crazy to think that and that I wasn't cheating on him. I remember sitting there during that conversation and having an outer body experience. I looked down at myself saying "what the fuck are you saying??? You're lying to your husband. You're doing the things he fears. Stop doing it all." I didn't stop. I continued to be selfish.
If you continue active dishonesty about the affair after the affair has been busted, then you are keeping a large, hurtful element of the affair alive in your relationship with your husband.
Is it really wise to do that, for your husband's emotional well-being, and for yours? Why keep the deceit of the affair going at a time when you want to build a new relationship with your husband?
There is a process that has the name 'trickle truth'. It is the name for what happens when a wayward spouse gives one account of their affair, only to follow it with more revelations, then more revelations, and then more revelations.
I sometimes wonder if that is because people find it hard to tell the complete truth in one hit, or they are testing the water by releasing a very sanitised, air-brushed 'press release', and seeing what the reaction is.
The trouble is, that slow release of the truth in batches of information, sometimes over the course of years, sends the betrayed spouse right back to square one every time.
At the start, they get version A of the truth. They try to get their head around it, deal with it, heal from it.
Six months into that healing, they get version B of the truth. So their six months of healing was a total waste of time, and they have a fresh D-Day (discovery day) to cope with, and start getting their head around, etc.
Three months later, they get version C of the truth, and it's back to the pain of D-Day all over again, and more time they thought they were healing goes down the toilet.
A person can only be put through that process a finite number of times before they conclude that they are never, ever going to have the complete truth, and that they will never be able to heal, which leads them with just one option: healing can only come from ending the relationship.
Now it could be that version C of the truth was absolutely every last detail, everything that could possibly be told, nothing omitted at all. That won't matter one jot if the person on the receiving end of it is convinced that there is still more to come because in their mind, there always is.
You see, it is not just about becoming 100% honest eventually. It is about becoming 100% immediately.
The timing of your re-commitment to honesty is crucial in the recovery process. I cannot stress that enough, and I am stressing it because I want to give your chance of saving your relationship with your husband, and your family, the best chance possible.
If you can find it within yourself to banish the active deceit of the affair and commit to honesty now, you can give your recovery a good chance. If it takes you two years to reach full honesty, it may be too late.
I wrote him a letter to explaining to him why I want to be with him. I told him what and how I love him. How I felt when I first fell in love with him and how I continued to feel. He feels that I am using his words against him and playing a game, trying to prove him wrong. He also feels that I am indifferent to our world crumbling. I don't know why he feels that. My letter came from my heart. I was honest in everything I wrote. I'm not using his words against him. If I am then I have no idea how I am. I told him that I am not playing any games or trying to compete. I'm trying to show him how much I love him and want to be with him and that I am remorseful for what I've done and caused. I know it will be impossible for him to believe anything I say right now. I just hope he can start believing me again one day. I want him to know that I really do want to fix myself and our marriage that I destroyed.
You did the right thing in writing that letter, and I hope that it was a true statement of your feelings. You cannot control how your husband will receive and process it, and right now, you have to bear in mind that your credibility with him is low, or possibly into negative numbers.
That is par for the course, and it would actually be strange if he had total and utter belief in the letter after being hit by a six month affair. In his place, you would probably feel the same.
However, this is where perseverance comes into play, if you really do mean what you wrote. You have written one letter, and it has hit the brick wall of disbelief that your actions during the affair built. If you write him another, it may hit the same brick wall. And the next. And the next.
However, if you prove by your perseverance that you are prepared to keep making efforts, that in itself will go some way towards convincing him that you are sincere about wanting to rebuild a relationship with him.
Single gestures will not provide an instant fix; repeated efforts will at least prove a level of commitment.
There is a weird level of recklessness that can enter the conduct of an affair. The decision to take your daughter to the house where you had sex with your affair partner to play with his children could be construed as you slipping further down the affair rabbit hole by playing happy families with your boyfriend.
Is it any wonder that that was the straw that broke the camel's back, and led to your husband blowing the affair up? How would you feel if your husband had taken your daughter to play with the children of a woman he was having an affair with, in the home where he had sex with her?
I do feel concerned that taking your daughter to the house where you betrayed her Father did not ring any alarm bells with you in terms of the significance of your actions.
It reminds me of another story here about a husband who was told by a neighbour who lived across the street from his house that a man from down the street was going to the husband's house every day when the husband was out at work.
The husband questioned his wife about it, and she lied and said the man was just a stay-at-home Dad she had befriended at the bus stop where they both took their kids to catch the schoolbus. The husband told his wife that he did not want other men coming to the house while he was at work. His wife said okay.
What she did not know was that the husband asked his neighbour across the street to call him if he saw the man going into the house again. The very next day after the husband had had his talk with his wife, the neighbour called and said the man had just gone into the house.
The husband worked close to home, so he drove back immediately, entered the house, and caught his wife having sex with her 'friend', the stay-at-home dad. The husband threw her out, and filed for divorce immediately.
Now why would his wife do something as reckless as that the day after being told that she had effectively been busted and he was onto her? And can you see how the 'lost' state of mind you must have been in to have gone to your affair partner's house to look after his kids after your husband made his unhappiness about it abundantly clear?
It was almost as if your husband had disappeared off your emotional radar completely, and his pain was inconsequential to you, particularly when you could do something to please your affair partner.
I mention this because there is much talk about 'love' in relation to affairs. Can you love someone while cheating on them? Did you love an affair partner? Endless variations on the theme have been discussed in these forums, and probably always will be.
Perhaps an easier concept to grasp in relation to affairs is that of allegiance. That during an affair, a wayward partner swaps their allegiance from their spouse to their affair partner. That is particularly clear in cases where women will cease to have sex with their husbands in periods when they are having sex with their affair partners, as if they do not want to cheat on their affair partners by having sex with their husbands.
The point of all of that is that for your husband, it will be clear to him that you switched your allegiance from him to your affair partner. That will make it hard for him to believe it when you say you have switched it back to him, as if your affair partner had vanished in a puff of smoke. And he may have a hard time giving credit or stability to allegiance that can be switched from one person to another so completely and so suddenly.
So please be prepared for your husband's 'questioning and disbelief' phase to last for some time. Essentially, what he is being asked to put his faith in is this:
The day before yesterday, you loved me. Yesterday, you loved him. Today you love me again.
Can you see how that is a tough thing for a person to get their head around? That is why your husband has a high level of incredulity at the moment, and may have for several months.
And that is why your best bet is to abandon any deceit, any lies, any air-brushing, sanitising, or white-washing that you do in your interactions with your husband, and tell him the plain, unvarnished truth.
Some of it may hurt him, but he needs the truth to enable him to heal, and it is better to get it all out now, and weather the storm, than to release it in bursts over the next few years. That really would grind him down.
None of this was written to hurt you, but to give you insight, in the hope that you can use it to give the recovery of your husband and your relationship with him the best chance possible.
[This message edited by M1965 at 7:15 AM, August 2nd (Friday)]