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Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage #128988
07/01/11 03:11 AM
07/01/11 03:11 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,064
Looking4 Offline OP
Member
Looking4  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,064
Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage

For much of mankind's history on this planet, men and women have had flings, affairs, engaged in infidelity, or (call it what it is) Adultery. In spite of all attempts to minimize the very real negative impact that Adultery has on the participants, the spouses, children, immediate family, and society itself, Adultery continues to infest and infect marriages.

If you are having or you have had an affair (A) and you wish to join with your betrayed spouse (BS) to recover what once was, there is a path available.

Gathered on this thread are suggestions provided by multiple sources that can help you end your affair, help your heal, help your spouse heal, and help you both move through the damage of the A so that you might recover your marriage (M). Sources include professionals who have studied marriages and infidelity and posters here on Marriage Advocates (MA) those who had an affair and those who have a spouse who had an affair who are recovering or who have recovered their Ms after the A.

If you want to attempt recovery, the underlying issue is building trust when trust has been shattered. The information here is meant to help you rebuild trust while also maintaining your dignity and autonomy.

With that in mind, note that what is necessary for rebuilding is different for each person. When considering whether or not to act upon any of the recommendations here, please first consider if the information offered has the greater possibility of helping your Ms recovery chances or has a greater possibility of hurting the Ms recovery chances.

For example, if youve had an affair and youre considering returning to the M, carefully examine the possibility of your BS forever using the affair as a bludgeon and controlling device. Examine if your spouse might use your A as the reason to not make changes in themselves. If you believe your infidelity will be used as a weapon against you or against reconciliation, you may want to be very selective in which recommendations you pursue. Or perhaps you reconsider if reconciliation is best. Also, if your BS doesn't want to push through this very tough time, s/he won't. If s/he doesnt, it's up to you to decide what you are willing to live with.

So what things can you do that might rebuild the trust? We have put together a list of suggestions here.

But before you get to those, understand that if you feel forced to do something, its likely that you don't believe in why you are doing it. And if you dont believe, you probably shouldnt do it because the insincerity might cause more harm than if you didnt do the act at all both for the BS and for yourself. Therefore, if youre not set on doing something, ask yourself why. If youre comfortable living with your answer and you believe passing on the idea will result more positively than negatively, then act according to that answer. But if youre not comfortable with the answer and you feel not doing something might prove more hurtful then helpful, search within and determine if you can either change your beliefs so the act is acceptable for you or find another way to accomplish the same ends.

Because not all affairs and affair situations are created equal. In terms of this guide, the suggestions are not numbered or listed in any particular sequence. The order in which things occur or might get finished is a personal matter and has more to do with what happens at each stage of recovery than any specific order. This is not a checklist where if you dont do every element in a specific order you will fail.

There is, however, one thing that will greatly increase your chances of succeeding should you decide to attempt any of these recommendations. The most critical element of every one of these recommended steps is that you must be willing to do it.

You have to want to recover your M for yourself if you want a chance at repairing your M. If you dont want a recovered M and only go through the motions because you think youre supposed to or because you feel forced to, you will resent the process, resent your spouse, and resent anyone you think put you up to it. You have to want to do this for you.

The guide is multiple ideas that might apply, with the operative word being "might". The actions listed are not absolute in that they do not guarantee results one way or another. Also, to be clear, the list of suggested actions is for the wayward spouse (WS) who wants to do what s/he can to help his/her BS heal, to help him/herself heal, and to help the M recover. The guide is not a litmus test for the BS to judge their WS's effort in recovery. BSs are of course welcome to read this but if a BS looks at this guide and thinks, 'My WS has to do a, b, and c before I will let him/her feel forgiven,' the BS will be headed for disappointment.

Is this for you? If you are a WS and you want to:
1. end your A and
2. begin rebuilding trust and
3. heal yourself and
4. help heal your spouse and
5. recover your M,
this list can be helpful.

We at MA have an interest in the simple fact that the more someone knows, the better they can deal with adversity. And knowledge starts with a mindset to learn as opposed to having melt downs and laments about how life has been so horrible because of what someone else has done.

But, like all advice and suggestions here at MA, one size does not fit all. We remind you to fit what you know to the person. Don't expect the person to fit what you know. Stop, look and listen.

Throughout this guide, you will find links for additional resources at the end of each section that can offer additional information and insight on the steps listed.

Also throughout this guide, you will see several acronyms used as they are throughout most of MA:
  • M = marriage
  • A = affair
  • R = relationship
  • WS = wayward spouse (the person who had the affair)
  • FWS = former wayward spouse (had an affair and is now repentant and working to heal from it)
  • BS = betrayed spouse (the spouse of the person who had the affair)
  • OP = other person
  • OPBS = other persons betrayed spouse
  • AP = another person
  • O&H = openness and honesty
  • NC = no contact
  • EPs = Extraordinary Precautions
  • UA = Undivided Attention
  • MC = marriage counseling
  • MA = Marriage Advocates

Whether you feel you need to implement only a few or several of these suggestions, prepare yourself in knowing that its going to take time. Working through all that was involved with the affair (why, what, who), determining if you want to stay married, and working to heal and help your spouse recommit to the M takes time. And then youll need to address any problems that existed or exist in the M that were not related to the A which is when real marital recovery gets underway. Many use the analogy that its a marathon, not a sprint, and there will be many low and high points along the way.

Only you can answer if its worth the time and effort. But if you want to repair your M and restore it to a better condition, someone has to take the lead. As Al Turtle once wrote on MA:
Originally Posted By: Al Turtle
Seems to me, someone has to take the "lead." That position can be handed back and forth, but I think someone has to be "going first."

Both cannot be waiting for the other to do something. That surely never works, I fear. Perhaps a better way to say that is that I think progress just sleeps until someone starts to lead.

I don't think it matters who is the "leader."

Ideally, both you and your spouse will work toward repairing the M. But you are the one who is here looking for help so this is written for you, the WS. Couples who have worked through the infidelity and who are ready to work on rebuilding and improving their relationship, might consider looking into the many other resources here on MA for renewing their M.

SUGGESTED READINGS:

"Getting to Work" by Al Turtle (unfinished)

"What Is An Affair?" by Mark1952

"Some Facts About Infidelity" by Mark1952

"Seven Myths About Infidelity" by Mark1952

"Drugs and The Addiction of An Affair" by Mark1952

"Keith Drurys Fifteen Steps to Infidelity" by Mark1952

"Emily Browns Five Types of Affairs" by Mark1952

"Healing vs. Curing" by Looking4

"It Takes Time to Process" by LadyGrey

The Way Station forum on MA (for registered MA members only) is a safe place for WSs to get support for ending affairs, developing boundaries, and turning their lives around.


Married 19 years
Two children - DS12 & DD10
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Looking4] #128989
07/01/11 03:11 AM
07/01/11 03:11 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,064
Looking4 Offline OP
Member
Looking4  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,064
Ending Your Affair

Please note that ideas and actions can work differently for different couples. The steps given here are not absolutely right or wrong. They are steps based on experts' recommendations and much discussion among FWSs and BSs on this and other marriage forums. How you, your spouse, and your M respond to these recommendations may vary.

Please be aware that while recovering from an affair is quite feasible, it takes time for you and your spouse to work through the infidelity while wrapped in confusion, pain, shame, anger, and many other emotions that accompany the process. And while the time and effort may be well worth it, it may be a difficult road.

Before implementing anything suggested her, examine all possible outcomes of each action first to determine if the suggestion will be more helpful or more hurtful in recovering the M.

And remember You cannot change your past but you can change who you are today and going forward.


Recovery cannot begin until the affair is over. If you are in a relationship with another person and also with your spouse, you cannot focus fully on your M. Before you can work through your A and rebuild trust with your spouse toward recovery, you need to end the A.
  • Accept 100% responsibility for and own your choice to have the A. It may be very hard for you to understand this right now. You may be convinced that your spouse made you be with someone else because s/he neglected, disrespected, abused, dismissed, or took advantage of you and you feel, therefore, that s/he pushed you into anothers arm. But regardless of what your spouse says or does, only you control your actions. It was your choice to dial the telephone, send the email, drive to the meeting place, and be with someone else. Every decision that lead up to you having an affair was solely yours. Perhaps your marriage is or had been a bad one, but even if your spouse treated you poorly, your choice to not be monogamous was made by you, not by your spouse or anyone else.

    You can deal with marriage problems in ways other than having an A. Do not blame your BS for your decision to commit adultery.
  • If your spouse does not yet know about your A and youve decided you want to return to the M and make it better, confess. If you want to stay in the marriage, then you should reveal your affair to your spouse. Its the only way to start a "new" marriage with a stable foundation.

    The marriage has been damaged by the affair. Thats been done. Its just that the BS doesnt know that yet.

    There is some debate among professionals who study infidelity on whether or not this is mandatory if you want to recover your marriage, and surface intimacy can possibly be achieved without confession. But if you want the deep type of intimacy that a husband and wife can share, full disclosure needs to happen. The majority of people who are recovering or who have recovered their M who gave input for this guide believe revealing your A is a must if you want to recover the marriage and turn it into a good one.

    Why?

    Assume your BS starts working seriously toward improving things and the marriage makes great headway for a while. The fact that information has been withheld is likely to cause a rift of unexplained origin a rift that will be hard to cross. This alone might cause your BS to start looking at available detail and conclude information is being withheld on purpose. This conclusion will stall the growth of the marriage unless you cover with additional lies and willful deception, neither of which benefits marriage reparation.

    Another reason to disclose is because things have a way of coming out even years after the fact in some cases, so being forthright now gives the best chance at recovery.

    BSs have said hearing a confession (verses discovering the A on their own) is viewed as a step toward regaining marital integrity and that works in favor of reconciliation.

    Also, revealing your A allows the BS to decide what to do about their M based on the facts of their M.

    If you had unprotected sex even if just one time your BS needs to know their health may be at risk so s/he can take proper actions.

    Still unsure about confessing? Think about this...

    Will the dishonesty rot the marriage?

    Will the disconnect of protecting this deep secret infect the relationship and inhibit the depth of connection between you and your spouse?

    Can a good marriage be made based on deceit of the deepest level?

    If you have a conscience, can you handle all on your own, the guilt and shame you likely feel about your what youve done for the rest of your life?

    John Powell wrote in his book The Secret of Staying in Love, "Permanent withholding will always be a permanent deficiency in the relationship, an obstacle to the love that could have been." Honesty is required for a good and rich marriage. Honesty, in this case, requires both courage and empathy on your part.

    When revealing the A, consider the timing and location of the confession. Do it at a time when the two of you will not be interrupted. Turn off telephones and have someone watch the kids away from where you will disclose the infidelity. Do it in a private place where your BS can ask questions and you two can face this without the possible embarrassment of others watching and listening.

    Temper your confession with the questions being asked by your BS and don't make it a general unloading of your conscience.

    Like all of this, from an affair's beginning to ending, then to restoring the M after the A is over, confessing the details and revealing the truth of what happened is a process and not a single event. Even years later questions might arise in the mind of the BS that need answering so be certain the answers given in the beginning are the real answers, because if the answers are later shown to be less than the full truth, recovery can take so much longer to accomplish and might not happen at all.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: If you think your BS will be violent or do any bodily harm but you still insist on trying to repair the M and make it better, withhold the information about the affair until you can reveal it in a safe way, at a safe time, and in a safe place. Talk with your spouse in the presence of a trusted third-party such as a therapist, pastor, or family friend. In addition, have a plan in place that will enable you to safely exit the premises after your confession and remain away from your BS for as long as necessary to protect yourself.
  • Stop the lies. Commit to and practice complete and absolute openness and honesty (O&H). Affairs thrive in secrecy so being truthful may initially be difficult for you. You may instead try to convince yourself that you need to withhold the truth in order to protect your BS from further hurt and harm. You may think you are doing what's right by not sharing the details about what you've done. But that could not be farther from the truth.

    You do not get to determine what your spouse wants to know about his/her M. Your spouse gets to decide what s/he wants to know about your relationship with someone else because that relationship directly impacted your BS's M too.

    Not being honest only adds fuel to the problem. Every time your spouse discovers another lie, it's like s/he is discovering the affair all over again and this chips away at the chances to recover the M. Many BSs have said the fact that their spouse was with another person (AP) hurt deeply, but the fact that their spouse repeatedly lied to them hurts even more.

    Be honest and tell the truth, not matter how much you think this will hurt your spouse. This cannot be stressed enough.
  • The task of convincing the BS that the affair is over and all precautions to prevent reigniting the affair have been taken falls to you the WS. Most, if not all, BS would like to have a No Contact (NC) Letter sent by you to the other person (OP), but you must be willingly to write it.

    The goal of an NC letter is to begin the process of assuring the BS that the affair has ended and any chance of it resuming (meeting regularly, etc.) has been eliminated. How that is accomplished is not as simple as an NC Letter, but The Letter does indicate a first sincere step toward reaching that goal.

    If you write an NC Letter, have your BS approve it and have your BS send it (or witness you sending it) to the OP. The OP needs to know the NC originated from you and not your BS. The best way is to hand-write the letter and have it sent certified mail or delivered by a trusted source. If you must send it by email, copy your spouse on the email so the OP sees that your spouse knows about the A and the NC letter as well.

    Another example of an NC Letter is what Al Turtle refers to as Turbo NC Letter. He knows of a case with a couple where the WS wrote the letter (kept it short), sent it to the OP, and then the WS also called the OP on the phone with the BS listening on the other line. The WS read the letter out loud, ending with, "Thank you for listening. Good bye." The BS got to hear this, the WS got to write it and read it, and the OP got to hear it plus will have the NC in writing as well, in case the OP missed something.

    There is an NC Letter caveat. You may opt against sending an NC Letter if the affair was over years ago and discovery or confession only recently happened. In that case, its suggested you do not re-contact the OP solely for the purpose of the NC Letter, assuming NC has been in place for quite a while as in year(s) have gone by and not just weeks or days. However, since people from our past tend to turn up when we least expect them, especially in today's social networking format, if contact is ever attempted by the OP, then perhaps an NC Letter is warranted.
  • Any necessary contact between you and your spouse and the OP or the OP's betrayed spouse (OPBS) or significant other should only be conducted between the BSs. You cannot break NC with the OP nor should you ever insert yourself into the OPBSs life in any way ever again.
  • Do everything you can to ensure you do not see or have contact with the OP for the rest of your life. This might require changing your cell phone number, closing your email account, or ending mutual friend relationships. It also might require making drastic lifestyle changes.

    If you work with the OP and the OP will not resign, you and your spouse will have to get things in order quickly so that you can quit your job as soon as possible. If leaving your company is absolutely not an option (and only if this is agreed to by your BS), seek a job transfer or find another work arrangement in another location (other campus or a home office) to ensure you will never have to meet with, correspond with, or see the OP.

    If your BS and you determine staying with your company is the only option for your family, realize your BS may check up on you during the work day in whatever way makes him/her comfortable with you being near the OP.

    If you live near the OP and the chances of running into him/her are likely, you and your family may need to move to another location.

    Putting yourself in financial ruin and/or throwing your kids in total crisis in NOT the way to do it but NC is critical in getting you through your withdrawal from the OP quickly and it's imperative for recovering your M. You need to do what you can to establish NC right away.

SUGGESTED READINGS:

"Joseph's Letter" by Larry

"So You Want to End Your Affair" by LadyGrey

"Gunzbergs Three Phases of Recovery" by Mark1952

"The No Contact Letter" by lildoggie

"Working with The OP" by wiser_now

Last edited by Looking4; 07/01/11 06:29 AM.

Married 19 years
Two children - DS12 & DD10
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Looking4] #128990
07/01/11 03:12 AM
07/01/11 03:12 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,064
Looking4 Offline OP
Member
Looking4  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,064
Begin Rebuilding Trust

Please note that ideas and actions can work differently for different couples. The steps given here are not absolutely right or wrong. They are steps based on experts' recommendations and much discussion among FWSs and BSs on this and other marriage forums. How you, your spouse, and your M respond to these recommendations may vary.

Please be aware that while recovering from an affair is quite feasible, it takes time for you and your spouse to work through the infidelity while wrapped in confusion, pain, shame, anger, and many other emotions that accompany the process. And while the time and effort may be well worth it, it may be a difficult road.

Before implementing anything suggested her, examine all possible outcomes of each action first to determine if the suggestion will be more helpful or more hurtful in recovering the M.

And remember You cannot change your past but you can change who you are today and going forward.


You might be thinking that ending the A should be enough to convince your spouse that you want to stay married. But thats usually not all it takes to make your spouse believe youre re-committed to him/her. In her book When Good People Have Affairs, Mira Kirshenbaum wrote: Youre judging yourself by your intentions. And you may very well firmly intend to never do anything hurtful again. But our intentions are always invisible to other people. Thats why our intentions, which count for so much to us, count for little to the people were closest to. They have only two things to go by: the past and the future. And based on the past, you already stand condemned. After all, youve done something to hurt their trust. So all you have to work with is the future, your actions in the future. And dont neglect the obvious: Make it totally clear that you will never, ever even come close to cheating again.

Kirshenbaum continued: If the person with whom youre trying to rebuild trust is a nut, then you should not be with him. A nut, in this case, is someone who is in love with his own paranoia. Or its someone who is thrilled to have this opportunity to control you. Does that describe your partner? If not, then hes not a nut; hes just someone whos really hurt and scared. And all that means is that you have your work cut out for you.
  • Listen and validate the feelings of your spouse, especially when it is difficult. You will likely see expressions of deep pain, which may be expressed as anger and criticism. Accept their feelings unconditionally and let them know that you understand and accept them.
  • Answer every question your BS asks. As Snyder, Baucom and Gordon write in Getting Past The Affair: A Program to Help You Cope, Heal, and Move On Together or Apart : An affair calls everything into question. And from the injured partners perspective, beneath any unturned stone lurks another danger the chance that whatever led to this affair could lead to another.

    If you think an answer might be very hurtful for the BS, consider asking your BS if s/he is sure s/he wants to know the answer. That might be a clue between the two of you that the information might be very difficult for the BS to know. This will allow for pause, for the BS to reconsider how important knowing those details are to him/her. If the BS wants the information anyway, tell him/her the truth.

    Exposing the details of your affair will probably be very hard for both of you. Your spouse is going to be imagining many things things that may or may not be true and you may be struggling with protecting your spouse and/or yourself, anxious about the information requested and unsure what the reactions might be. If you or your BS find it difficult to talk about your affair or your relationship, find a way to make it as comfortable as possible during a designated time.

    You may need to assign certain days/times to talk about it and agree that the infidelity is otherwise not discussed so other times together are not anxiety-ridden about if/when the topic might be broached.

    You may need to ask and answer questions in writing, utilizing a shared journal, email, or instant messaging. Some couples find it easier to talk in the dark or even with each other on opposite sides of a door or curtain. Perhaps conversing with a third-party present will make the conversation easier.

    The BS is going to question everything that ever happened between the two of you before and during your A. S/he will want to know what was truth and what was lies so s/he can piece back together that time of his/her life. Do your part to make this possible.

    The importance of honesty from this moment going forward cannot be pressed upon enough. Honesty gives the best chance at real recovery. Lying and hiding details delays or prevents recovery from taking place. The truth sets you free. Lies keep you both in bondage indefinitely. Anything that comes out well into the process of recovery sets the entire deal back to square one and if it was something that was sworn to early in recovery that is later revealed as being anything less than fully truthful, it can undo ALL the work that has occurred and even prevent the process from happening at all resulting in the end of the marriage.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Avoid these conversations while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or sleep deprivation. You both want to be alert and in control during what may be emotionally charged conversations.
  • Turn over your passwords and terminate the private access points you shared with the OP: email accounts, IM accounts, secret cell phone numbers, etc. There is a difference between secrecy and privacy and you need to show you are not keeping secrets from your partner. If your spouse can see all that you're doing, it keeps you in check and it gives your spouse transparency. You may request the same of your spouse but you cant control whether or not s/he will comply.
  • Determine what precautions you will take to ensure you are not ever again tempted to be with someone else. These actions are referred to here on MA as Extraordinary Precautions (EPs). Write these precautions down and share them with your BS. EPs should be the result of you doing the analysis and soul searching required to figure out your points of vulnerability and guard against them. EPs are for you and should be upheld because you want to uphold them. They are preventative measures that can keep you, your spouse, and your marriage safe from your weak boundaries. Read the thread titled "Extraordinary Precautions (EPs)" for more details on EPs.
  • If your affair was physical, get checked for STDs right away and share the results with your spouse. Do this even if you had protected sex because protection is not 100% foolproof. Be responsible and learn now if you need to deal with health issues. Get re-checked 6-months later.
  • Consider taking a lie detector test if requested by the BS. Or consider offering yourself to take one. Offering a polygraph early on can build confidence in what is being revealed as being true. Resisting one can indicate details yet to be revealed, typically things much worse than what has been admitted thus far. To some, taking tests is the best way to show you're telling the truth. Because you lied throughout your affair, respect that your BS likely will not believe what you say for a long time. Taking a test could show you're willing to prove you're not hiding anything.

    Note there is debate on the accuracy of lie detector tests and this might influence your decision. You might want to refer to the discussion on this topic on the MA thread titled "Polygraphs: Validity, Reliability and Admissibility" and do your own research.
  • If you are a woman, consider taking a paternity test if requested by the BS. You may know for a fact that your child or children are your husbands and you might find such a request heart-breaking and offensive. But you have put into doubt much of what has happened during the M. Dont be surprised if your spouse questions paternity.
  • Get rid of everything that carries any memory of or relationship to the OP: photos, CDs, emails, jewelry, clothes, notes, ticket stubs, fragrances, stuffed animals, iTunes songs, tchotchkes, etc. Any material item you have that in any way triggers you to think of the OP should be disposed.
  • Avoid situations that remind you of the OP. If a certain restaurant or radio station has associations with the OP, do not patronize the restaurant or tune to the station. Share these things with your BS and you two can work together to address how best to handle those situations.
  • Discuss with your spouse what actions you will take if you are ever contacted by the OP or if you ever cross paths with the OP. Knowing in advance what your spouse's expectations are and what you will do will help you deal with the situation more effectively in the moment and immediately after. It will help both you and your spouse, knowing there is a plan if unexpected contact ever happens because you'll have already thought it through.
  • Provide contact information for OP's BS if you know it and do not inhibit your BS from contacting the OP's spouse and other people in the OP's life who can help keep NC intact between you and the OP. Your spouse might also want to compare your version of the affair with what the OP has (or has not) told the OPBS.

SUGGESTED READINGS:

"Extraordinary Precautions (EPs)" by OurHouse and Flick

"Polygraphs: Validity, Reliability and Admissibility" by LadyGrey

"Emotional Memory Management Dealing with Triggers" by Mark1952

"What About Getting Through Withdrawal?" by Looking4


Married 19 years
Two children - DS12 & DD10
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Looking4] #128991
07/01/11 03:12 AM
07/01/11 03:12 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,064
Looking4 Offline OP
Member
Looking4  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,064
Heal Yourself

Please note that ideas and actions can work differently for different couples. The steps given here are not absolutely right or wrong. They are steps based on experts' recommendations and much discussion among FWSs and BSs on this and other marriage forums. How you, your spouse, and your M respond to these recommendations may vary.

Please be aware that while recovering from an affair is quite feasible, it takes time for you and your spouse to work through the infidelity while wrapped in confusion, pain, shame, anger, and many other emotions that accompany the process. And while the time and effort may be well worth it, it may be a difficult road.

Before implementing anything suggested her, examine all possible outcomes of each action first to determine if the suggestion will be more helpful or more hurtful in recovering the M.

And remember You cannot change your past but you can change who you are today and going forward.


As is written in Mark1952s post called "Frank Gunzburgs Three Phases of Recovery", if you want to recover the marriage, both partners need to heal. This requires understanding and sorting through the emotional problems before you can focus on healing as a couple and working on a new relationship. And "both" includes you. As Mark1952 wrote:
Originally Posted By: Mark1952
Phase I is all about YOU whether the betrayed or the betrayer. While the betrayed spouse most often has the most emotional turmoil to sort though, the betrayer also has a lot of emotional baggage to deal with as the result of the affair.

When a person is affected by infidelity, whether cheater or cheated, the first thing they do is look for reasons why it happened. They want to know the details of the affair. They want to know why their loved one cheated or why they themselves became unfaithful. But this is really externalizing the problem; that is, it seeks to explain our feelings and emotions and even actions in light of something outside ourselves. It is looking outside ourselves for answers and solutions to the turmoil within us.

We need to stop looking outside for answers to what lies within us. We need to stop trying to figure out the other person and start trying to figure out our own emotions. We need to look, not without, but within. We need to be honest about our own emotions and pain and thoughts concerning the affair.

Phase I is all about developing strategies to deal with your own emotions, thoughts and feelings about the affair. All the rest can and must be addressed, but each of us must first deal with our own raging emotions and learn how to deal with them so we can act rationally without a desire to inflict pain on the other. This is especially true for the betrayed spouse, but applies to the wayward spouse as well.

With this in mind
  • Get support. Unfortunately, you cant expect or demand support from your BS because s/he may not be able to offer it due to lack of trust in you. But youll need support too, through this very difficult time so find it in a same-gender friend, a family member, pastor, or therapist.
  • Work through why and what you did by reading self-help books, writing in a journal, posting on MA, and utilizing other resources. Your spouse may be able to help you with some of your pain and self-analysis but do not expect it as s/he will be trying to deal with his/her own emotional roller-coaster.
  • Be open to seeking individual counseling and if you find yourself depressed, talk with your doctor about taking anti-depressants.
  • Take care of yourself as best you can physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You may feel like curling up into a ball and hiding forever. But secluding yourself and wallowing in what has happened will not change what you did and it will not help anyone especially not you, your spouse, or your family. You need to be fit for the hard work ahead, and your body and mind need exercise, basic grooming, and proper nutrition. Do all you can to practice healthy habits for your own well-being.
  • Understand what happens during the withdrawal period and make a plan to help you get through it. (Withdrawal is that time immediately following the termination of your A.) You may find yourself tempted to renew contact with the OP and questioning your decisions. You may become depressed. One key to getting through withdrawal is learning how to manage your memories. See Mark1952's Emotional Memory Management Dealing with Triggers for ideas on how to do this.
  • Be honest with yourself and respect yourself. This may be the hardest thing to do because it's likely you feel you do not deserve anything positive now (or ever) because of your A, least of all respect. But there are people who are counting on you. Your spouse, your kids, your parents, co-workers, and community need you. You need you. And the fact that you want to change things is a big first step toward repentance, redemption, and gaining back the integrity you may feel youve lost.

    Use your desire for change as motivation toward healing and recovering yourself and your M.
  • Read "The Lighthouse" board in The Way Station forum here on MA (viewable only to registered users) and see how other once wayward spouses became former wayward spouses. Learn from their journeys.

SUGGESTED READINGS:

"Gunzbergs Three Phases of Recovery" by Mark1952

"Something I wrote a few years ago" by wiser_now

"One Unfaithful Husbands Story back to his Marriage" by SFB

"Lay Your Burden Down" by Amadahy

"What Has Helped Recover Me So I Can Help Us" by Looking4

"From Faithless to Faithful" by heremainsfaithful

"Emotional Memory Management Dealing with Triggers" by Mark1952

"Boundaries" by Mark1952

"Diet, Fitness and so on" by OurHouse

The Way Station forum on Marriage Advocates (for registered MA members only) is a safe place for WSs to get support for ending affairs, developing boundaries, and turning their lives around.


Married 19 years
Two children - DS12 & DD10
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Looking4] #128993
07/01/11 03:12 AM
07/01/11 03:12 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,064
Looking4 Offline OP
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Looking4  Offline OP
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Help Heal Your Spouse

Please note that ideas and actions can work differently for different couples. The steps given here are not absolutely right or wrong. They are steps based on experts' recommendations and much discussion among FWSs and BSs on this and other marriage forums. How you, your spouse, and your M respond to these recommendations may vary.

Please be aware that while recovering from an affair is quite feasible, it takes time for you and your spouse to work through the infidelity while wrapped in confusion, pain, shame, anger, and many other emotions that accompany the process. And while the time and effort may be well worth it, it may be a difficult road.

Before implementing anything suggested her, examine all possible outcomes of each action first to determine if the suggestion will be more helpful or more hurtful in recovering the M.

And remember You cannot change your past but you can change who you are today and going forward.

  • Listen and validate the feelings of your spouse, especially when it is difficult. You will likely see expressions of deep pain, which may be expressed as anger and criticism. Accept their feelings unconditionally and let them know that you understand and accept them. This will also help strengthen a skill that will prove very useful in the relationship in other circumstances.
  • When you are sorry about anything (not just A-related), apologize to your BS. And adding a but is NOT allowed. Sometimes "I'm sorry is all that's needed. But most times you will need to identify what you're sorry for so the BS knows why you are apologizing, which makes it more sincere. For example, "I'm so sorry for lying to you about taking our son to the park when I was going to see the OP instead. I apologize for deceiving you and for using our child in that deception. It was wrong."
  • Comfort your BS when s/he wants it from you. There may be times when your spouse does not want to be around you and other times s/he may want you right at his/her side. Be ready whenever your spouse needs you to lean on, talk with, or simply wants you to hold him/her.
  • Meet your spouse's emotional needs. It's believed by some professionals that people are tempted to have an affair when they feel their spouse isn't meeting their needs while someone else is. (You may have experienced feelings like this during your own affair, thinking your OP fulfilled needs that your spouse couldn't or wouldn't.)

    You should show your spouse you want to be their partner and you can fulfill his/her needs. S/he needs to see you as his/her spouse who will do whatever you can to protect and care for him/her. Show you have learned from your betrayal and you are no longer selfishly caring only about what you want, which along with entitlement and disrespect, is what an affair can convey to the BS. Your spouse has to see you not only as wanting to help him/her work through the current crisis but also as the person who will do whats necessary to create a new and recovered M.
  • Remove all LoveBusters (LBs). LBs are a Marriage Builders term from Dr. Willard Harley, explained on the Marriage Builders website here. (This link will take you to another website.) LBs are behaviors that make your spouse feel disrespected, angry, and/or annoyed, which makes him/her want to stay away from you. Get rid of the LBs and keep them out of your M forever. You need to do what you can to help your spouse feel comfortable and safe around you.
  • Allow for an environment that's conducive for your spouse to sort through what has happened. This may mean letting him/her go to a family member's house for a while. You may need to move your bedroom items into another room of the house. (Do not move out if you want to stay married!) Your BS may feel a need to journal or post on a marriage support website without you reading their words. They may call you three times while you're at the grocery store or call your mother after you've had lunch with her to confirm the meeting. You are trying to earn back trust so understand your spouse may reach out, process, and do what s/he thinks will help make that possible again.
  • Do not ever tell your BS to "get over it". Neither s/he nor you will ever forget your infidelity. Don't expect him/her to. Your partner will hopefully move through the devastation and learn how to deal with the triggers from your A including those triggers that may last a lifetime. But they will never forget. Do not ever not today or tomorrow dismiss how your spouse feels about the affair.
  • Your timeline for working through the affair may be different than your BSs. Some BSs may feel they've worked through their spouse's infidelity and have a handle on things in a matter of several months. For others it takes several years. People process differently and your spouse may be similar to or nothing like other BSs. Keep this in mind if you want to impose a timeline for recovery.
  • Take your spouse into account whenever you do anything or go anywhere. If it's not something your spouse would approve of, don't do it. Your actions, much more than your words, will be what your BS goes by in measuring your commitment to recover the M.

SUGGESTED READINGS:

"How EMOTIONAL NEEDS help MAgnify Marriages" by Ace

"It Takes Time to Process" by LadyGrey

Last edited by Looking4; 07/01/11 04:44 PM.

Married 19 years
Two children - DS12 & DD10
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Looking4] #128994
07/01/11 03:13 AM
07/01/11 03:13 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,064
Looking4 Offline OP
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Looking4  Offline OP
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Looking to Recover The Marriage

Please note that ideas and actions can work differently for different couples. The steps given here are not absolutely right or wrong. They are steps based on experts' recommendations and much discussion among FWSs and BSs on this and other marriage forums. How you, your spouse, and your M respond to these recommendations may vary.

Please be aware that while recovering from an affair is quite feasible, it takes time for you and your spouse to work through the infidelity while wrapped in confusion, pain, shame, anger, and many other emotions that accompany the process. And while the time and effort may be well worth it, it may be a difficult road.

Before implementing anything suggested her, examine all possible outcomes of each action first to determine if the suggestion will be more helpful or more hurtful in recovering the M.

And remember You cannot change your past but you can change who you are today and going forward.


Affairs don't fix marriages no matter what the problems might be and once the affair is over, those problems are still there. Only now they are buried under the affair and its aftermath. While it can be said all of the above recommendations are for the marriage, there are things you and your spouse can work on together as you consider pursuing marital recovery.
  • Make yourself available for undivided attention (UA) time with your spouse. In order to fall in love with or strengthen your feelings for someone, you need to spend time with him/her without distractions, where your focus is on each other. This may be time spent playing a card game or dancing. Perhaps it's reading a book together or having dinner together.

    Dr. Harley recommends spending a minimum of 15-hours a week together to keep an M healthy. If you're trying to recover from adultery, he recommends you increase that to 25-hours per week. So call the baby-sitter, arrange a camping trip, spend time in the garden, and buy the ingredients for a special dinner so you can make that time happen.
  • Participate in a marriage-focused recovery plan such as marriage counseling (MC), attending a marriage seminar, and/or enrolling in a married couples program. While you cannot make your spouse do anything including participating in marriage counseling or a program, both of you working the same plan might make things go more smoothly and more quickly. If you wish to pursue third-party assistance and your spouse is hesitant, one suggested way to present it is: I deeply regret my actions and I am determined to do everything possible to make sure this never happens again. I need to work a marriage recovery program with you if we are to survive. Here is a list of suggested programs; could you check it out and tell me which one you would like to do with me, or find another, by this weekend?"

    Some think including an outside source isnt necessary. But many who helped develop this guide think outside intervention can serve multiple purposes. For example, an MC can inject the occasional note of hope, which could encourage you to hang in there during those especially low times.

    A marriage counselor might be able to periodically provide much needed relief from that anxiety you and/or your spouse may be feeling.

    A third-party can also provide a measure of safety to keep the conversations honest and on-track as well as provide objective translating for each of you to ensure words are correctly heard.
  • Remember, part of working through the A and toward recovery is O&H. This includes you being O&H with your BS about where s/he is falling short in drawing you toward him/her. This is not about justifying your A or blaming your A on your spouse. Its about letting your partner know what s/he may be doing that is causing you to feel disconnected from him/her or disengaged in the recovery efforts. Not sharing your true feelings about how your spouses actions affect you likely played a big role in letting your guard down and allowing feelings to develop for another. To do your best to prevent that vulnerability from returning, you both need to communicate with each other how the other is doing in keeping you feeling protected, cared for, and wanted.

    Use "I" messages and not "you" accusations when sharing your feelings. "I" message example: "I feel hurt when you go somewhere without telling me where youre going and youre gone for hours. I believe you may not ever come back and I become very sad when I think you may have left me. Going forward, how do you feel about telling me when youre leaving the house and when you think youll be back?" "You" message example: "You make me mad when you leave and dont tell me where youre going. Youre selfish thinking you can come and go as you please. You dont even care how I feel. You should tell me what youre doing because I have a right to know."
  • You and your BS may choose to tell many, few or no one about the A. And while you cant stop your spouse from telling anyone (you cant control others), ask if s/hes open to agreeing who will be told about it.

    In order to attempt recovery, you will likely need support for your marriage from sources that nurture the M and reduce its vulnerability. You both may also need outside, personal support from those who will have the greatest influence on your personal healing. Talk about whether or not certain people should be told, based on whether they can help personal and/or marital recovery and be clear and honest with yourself and each other about why you want to talk to someone about the A.
  • If you have children, there is debate about whether or not to tell them. Some say to tell the kids regardless of their ages. Others say telling depends on the length of the A, who the OP was, and/or the children's ages. Still others say do not tell and keep it a matter between the spouses. Whatever is decided needs to be agreed to by both of you.

    If recovery is under consideration and it's agreed to tell your children, both of you should be there together when the kids are told in order to show them you two are working as a team to get through what has happened.
  • Make amends with others who were hurt by the A. Addressing those who were also affected by the adultery will allow you to put those issues aside and focus on your M.

    If OP is married, apologize to the OPBS. It's recommended this is done in written form because hearing your voice may be too much for the OPBS and s/he may not listen to what you say. A letter or email allows the OPBS to read it if/when they are ready on their terms and not yours. It also allows the OPBS to re-read it if they want to.

    Be clear about for what and why you're apologizing and have your OPBS send it for you.

    Also consider apologizing to your BS's family, his/her friends, and your own family and friends.
  • Be conscientious of triggers both yours and your BS's. Be supportive and non-judgmental of your spouse's and do not discount them. And considering sharing yours with your spouse only if s/he asks you to explain what is happening. If you do share, discuss but do not dwell on what you're experiencing. Do what you can to remove triggers from your BS's and your life or do your best to avoid them as much as possible.
  • At around 6 - 8 months after the day your spouse discovers your A (this is called Discovery Day or D-Day), it is common for your BS to become very angry as the reality of what happened becomes clearer. Show your resolve to work through this by remaining committed to O&H, UA, meeting ENs, avoiding LBs, and taking complete responsibility for having the A. You may have to carry most of the load through this extreme time which can last between a few days to a few weeks.
  • If you and your BS try to recover the M, according to Dr. Harley it can take 2 - 5 years for recovery to take place from the day when the decision is made not from the day when the affair was exposed. Most of the distance in the long road will be covered in the first year. (Calendar-related triggers tend to be much worse the first time through.) Keep in mind that this time frame differs for every couple depending on attitude, effort, commitment, and other factors.

    Remember also that recovery has many parts. Just working through the A issues alone can take time. Then youll likely need to address the pre-A issues. And then there are making plans for marriage goals and more. Forming a new marriage takes analysis, understanding, learning new skills, implementing new skills, practice, and time.

Hopefully this information helps you make the decisions that are best for your family, your spouse, and for you. If you have any questions or if you just want to "talk" through things, consider starting a thread in "The Lighthouse" on MA and people here will help. If you have questions youre not comfortable asking publicly at this time, hit the notify button and ask one of the moderators for direction on how you might get started.

Youve taken a big first step in changing your life by coming to MA. You can take the next one too.

You can do it.

SUGGESTED READINGS:

"How do you identify a good marriage counselor" by AntigoneRisen

"Selecting a Marriage Counselor" by Larry

"Emotional Memory Management Dealing with Triggers" by Mark1952

"Boundaries" by Mark1952

"Recovery Outline" by Mark1952

"The Road to Recovery: Getting the Marriage You Want" by Mark1952

Al Turtles Whiteboard forum on MA

Marriage Resources: Program Reviews forum on MA

Marriage Resources: Book Reviews forum on MA

Marriage Resources: Forum Reviews forum on MA

Success Stories and Inspiration forum on MA

The Way Station forum on MA (for registered MA members only) is a safe place for WSs to get support for ending affairs, developing boundaries, and turning their lives around.


Married 19 years
Two children - DS12 & DD10
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Looking4] #128996
07/01/11 03:14 AM
07/01/11 03:14 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
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Looking4 Offline OP
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There it is -- draft #3. If you are interested in the discussion of how we got to this point, you can check out the previous drafts here.

A few comments...

There was good discussion elsewhere about what acronyms to use in the guide. I understand why it was brought up because I agree we need to be very careful in how we use definitions since we dont know in what way people interpret perceived labels and words. I agree with some of the points made. However, roles need to be identified in the guide and I want to use terminology that is most widely understood among MA and also among other forums, since we might get people reading here who have also spent time on other M-related sites. If terms other than WS, BS, and FWS become more widely used and accepted among MA, we can do a find-and-replace to change them. (Well, someone in Admin can.) Until then, its what I went with.

I am thinking about swapping out all the s/he and him/her uses for just a single pronoun to make it easier to read. I used them so the suggestions are not read as biased toward one gender or another and so the reader can relate to them regardless of their sex. But am I being too politically correct at the expense of ease-to-read?

Im still looking for additional resources so people can learn more about:

* Secrecy vs. Privacy

* How to write an apology letter

* How to apologize

* LoveBusters

* Telling your kids about the affair

* Forgiveness

I may have gotten a little wordy in some areas. I may have also missed something. Let me know what you think. Ill give 2 weeks from today before I close feedback on this third and perhaps final draft.

I look forward to comments.


Married 19 years
Two children - DS12 & DD10
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Looking4] #129008
07/01/11 03:32 AM
07/01/11 03:32 AM
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Ace Offline
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thumbsup claps highfive dancing cool

Great job L4 and committee!

One quick question after first glance:

AP to me was Affair Partner, not Another Person. (I think OP was Other Person ~ ~ ~ or Original Poster.) Not a big deal but it caught my attention.

I especially like the disclaimer at every step. No one plan of action will work the same for every relationship. I'm glad those semtiments are emphasized.

Again, thanks for the tons of time, talent (and possibly tears) involved with this project.

((((((((((((((((L4/friends)))))))))))))))))))

Ace


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Looking4] #129009
07/01/11 03:33 AM
07/01/11 03:33 AM
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SoCal
Chrysalis Offline
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Wow, L4, you have been working very hard at this. I am impressed!


Chrysalis
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Looking4] #129013
07/01/11 03:41 AM
07/01/11 03:41 AM
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Ace Offline
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Ace  Offline
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Originally Posted By: Looking4

* How to write an apology letter

* How to apologize


While channel surfing last weekend, I came across the scene in Pretty Woman when Edward (Richard Gere) is apologizing to Vivian (Julia Roberts) as she's about to get on the elevator of his penthouse after she left without the money he offered to pay her for the week.

It wasn't the most edifying movie but that scene showed many aspects of "how to apologize" and it made me think about possibly starting a thread called something like "The Art of the Apology."

I'll get on it soon unless someone else has already done it.

Thanks,
Ace


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Looking4] #129030
07/01/11 04:16 AM
07/01/11 04:16 AM
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right here waiting Offline
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L4, I sincerely applaud you for taking on this gargantuan task. No small trick. I am way too tired to read it carefully tonight, but I will tomorrow.

I did note one thing as I started reading:

If you are having or you have had an affair (A) and you wish to join with your betrayed spouse (BS) to recover what once was, there is a path available.

"recover what once was" might kick a WS (particularly one not fully committed to recovery) back to their recent (or current) revisionist history of the marriage--e.g. "We were never happy." "I never loved him/her." "It's hopeless."

We frequently talk here about not wanting to go back to the old marriage, but to build a new, better one, which is why this phrase jumped out at me. I'd like to see something more like "to create a marriage that both of you are happy with," or something to that effect.

Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: right here waiting] #129055
07/01/11 06:22 AM
07/01/11 06:22 AM
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Looking4 Offline OP
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Looking4  Offline OP
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Got it, Ace. I always thought it was another person but affair person makes sense too.

I agree, rhw. Thank you.


Married 19 years
Two children - DS12 & DD10
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Looking4] #129083
07/01/11 09:22 AM
07/01/11 09:22 AM
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Texas
Larry Offline
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This was a massive job by any measure. In terms of sheer complexity and the daunting task of dealing with the emotions that the subject brings out, the caveats, the light touch, the heavy touch, the level of information provided, I see how much work went into these guides and I am amazed.

While you directed the work L4, you also did the work. The guides had to be pulled together on one computer by one person; way it works and you were that person. The level of information you had to absorb, analyze and come up with yourself to do that job boggles my mind. Yes you had help. Yes the various threads on the subject ran their course, with mostly positive input that I would guess helped you.

Thank you L4 for the work you have done directing and doing the work to put together the #3 guide and those that preceded it and heck, just taking on the task and sticking to it.

Thank you L4 !!!

At least four well dones.

There may be places that still need adjusting (or not), I really don't know yet since I just skimmed down the words and then rushed to do this thank you post. Knowing how MA works, I would be amazed if people didn't find something to talk about smile

The guides aren't finished until YOU say they are. I suspect you accept input in both PM and in this thread.

Larry


It's often the truth we hide from ourselves that causes the most damage in life.

My old email address no longer works.
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Larry] #129340
07/01/11 08:37 PM
07/01/11 08:37 PM
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right here waiting Offline
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L4, I just finished reading the whole thing, and all I can say is, WOW! Great stuff, even-handedly presented. Musta been like birthin' a 12-lb baby...

I've been assigned to copyedit these guides, so lemme know when you're ready to post it and I'll address the minutiae.

<Raising a toast to L4>

Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: right here waiting] #129350
07/01/11 09:02 PM
07/01/11 09:02 PM
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L4 you rock! My giddy aunt you rock.

Hats off!


AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Lil] #129357
07/01/11 09:25 PM
07/01/11 09:25 PM
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Monterey, CA
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This is fantastic L4! The hard work, insightful thought, and especially the willingness to stay open and connected in the face of criticism (such as some of mine) is so appreciated. Brava!



"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Fiddler] #134325
07/13/11 04:37 PM
07/13/11 04:37 PM
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Looking4 Offline OP
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Any more thoughts? Tomorrow (Thursday) is the deadline for comments on this.


Married 19 years
Two children - DS12 & DD10
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Looking4] #134849
07/14/11 02:22 PM
07/14/11 02:22 PM
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Vittoria Offline
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I just noticed your notice of today being the deadline, glad you mentioned it and glad that I checked here.

Quote:
For example, if youve had an affair and youre considering returning to the M, carefully examine the possibility of your BS forever using the affair as a bludgeon and controlling device. Examine if your spouse might use your A as the reason to not make changes in themselves. If you believe your infidelity will be used as a weapon against you or against reconciliation, you may want to be very selective in which recommendations you pursue. Or perhaps you reconsider if reconciliation is best. Also, if your BS doesn't want to push through this very tough time, s/he won't. If s/he doesnt, it's up to you to decide what you are willing to live with.

I've been mulling this paragraph over. It's difficult if not impossible to predict if the BS will forever hold the A over the WS's head. With time and healing, this dissipates with a BS who is willing to rebuild. It seems the WS is making that choice for the BS if they are asked to predict the R and base reconciliation on this. I'm thinking it's too early to mention this, I mean the first year of R is/can be hell. There is also that grey area of what a WS considers 'holding the A over their head'. Guiding the WS with boundaries against this, if this is an issue seems a better alternative to me.

I wonder if it's not better to leave that paragraph out. I'm open to seeing it another way.


26 yrs. married
There's nothing more powerful than a woman with an open heart ......
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Vittoria] #134869
07/14/11 02:48 PM
07/14/11 02:48 PM
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Vittoria Offline
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I've had the Turbo NC on my mind too, not as much as what I posted above.
I put myself in the situation had my H suggested that he call OW with me listening on another phone, to covey NC. I would have spit nails at him. Going through my mind would be, 'you want to hear her voice', 'how dare you ask me to listen to her voice or a good bye sweet love sort of convo', 'why do you feel you owe her one last call'. My H wanting to speak to OW would have raised my suspicions of his sincerity to R. That's me and what would be going through my mind.

Is this something that unless suggested by the BS who feels they need this type of NC sent, are we sending a WS into a sitch that would do more harm than good???

Also a voiced conversation is more difficult to control than what is written in a letter. The WS, who may still feel a loyalty to the AP may find themselves in an awkward spot if the AP argues this NC.

Maybe it needs to be worded differently (cuz I understand that a BS might find this turbo NC helpful) ..... something like, 'If your BS needs to hear you voice your NC directly, by all means do so. Keep the conversation focused on the relationship being over, ignore all comments from the AP and keep it short.'


26 yrs. married
There's nothing more powerful than a woman with an open heart ......
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Vittoria] #134871
07/14/11 02:51 PM
07/14/11 02:51 PM
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Vittoria Offline
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And thank you, L4. You've done a great job with this, a lot of time, careful thought and effort.


26 yrs. married
There's nothing more powerful than a woman with an open heart ......
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Vittoria] #134922
07/14/11 05:01 PM
07/14/11 05:01 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,657
L
LadyGrey Offline
Professional Attorney
LadyGrey  Offline
Professional Attorney
L
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,657
Originally Posted By: Vittoria
With time and healing, this dissipates with a BS who is willing to rebuild.


It may dissipate or it may not.

The faithful spouse may deem the marriage rebuilt to their satisfaction because they have the affair as a weapon, not in spite of the fact of the affair.

Originally Posted By: Vittoria
It seems the WS is making that choice for the BS if they are asked to predict the R and base reconciliation on this.


I see this as the unfaithful spouse making the choice for themselves, not for the faithful spouse.

The unfaithful spouse has an equal right to decide whether to attempt to repair the marriage.

Evaluating all the factors that might influence that decision early in the process seems sensible to me. An unfaithful spouse who acknowledges early in the process that their spouse will use the affair to keep them a man down for an indeterminate period of time/forever is more likely to endure than one who fails to evaluate that factor.

It seems fair to me to suggest to the unfaithful spouse that they evaluate the likelihood of ending up with marriage that is tolerable to s/he within a time frame that is reasonable to the unfaithful spouse prior to jumping through a bunch of highly unpleasant hoops.

I see encouraging the unfaithful spouse to be realistic as a service to the marriage.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: LadyGrey] #135782
07/16/11 08:45 AM
07/16/11 08:45 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,737
Vittoria Offline
Member
Vittoria  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,737
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: Vittoria
With time and healing, this dissipates with a BS who is willing to rebuild.


It may dissipate or it may not.

Exactly. How can either spouse predict how recovery/rebuilding will go. I understand and I can appreciate the fears of the WS. Like I don't think a WS can predict how a BS will deal with R, a BS can't predict how the WS will deal. Neither know until they try.

Originally Posted By: Vittoria
Originally Posted By: LdG
It seems the WS is making that choice for the BS if they are asked to predict the R and base reconciliation on this.


I see this as the unfaithful spouse making the choice for themselves, not for the faithful spouse.

The unfaithful spouse has an equal right to decide whether to attempt to repair the marriage.

I'm not seeing this the same way that you are. If the WS is making the choice for themselves then wouldn't they base their decision on what they are willing to commit to in R. Examples like NC with AP, committing to fidelity, committing to healing the BS, EP's.
Likewise the BS makes their choice based on are they willing to attempt R, work towards healing rather than bitterness, rebuilding rather than tearing down.

Questions like this of predictability of the other spouse are disrespectful to me cuz each spouse is answering for the other/assuming what is in the other's head.
It's like asking if you don't think your BS will heal, then don't attempt R. Likewise, I don't think it's wise to ask a BS to base an attempt at R on whether or not they think the WS will ever heal.

Certain things you don't know until you forge ahead and both spouses work towards the goal of R.

I'm still not seeing how asking that question is wise for a basis of attempting R.
RHW mentioned how a WS rewrites history .... is this a rational question for a WS who could easily still be foggy and only remember their BS as being sour and then believe that they will always be over the A. IDK.

(It's late, if this doesn't make quite the sense that it should .... just ask me to expand, if you/anyone would like)






26 yrs. married
There's nothing more powerful than a woman with an open heart ......
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Vittoria] #135979
07/16/11 10:36 PM
07/16/11 10:36 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,737
Vittoria Offline
Member
Vittoria  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,737
L4, your past your 2 week notice. Wrap the article up as it stands, it's good and my interpretation of something is not what everyone else's is. Not to worry, wrap it up and get it filed out in the open. I'm good with that. smile

btw, thanks for extending your deadline.

*edited for spelling*


26 yrs. married
There's nothing more powerful than a woman with an open heart ......
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Vittoria] #173883
11/02/11 07:02 AM
11/02/11 07:02 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,064
Looking4 Offline OP
Member
Looking4  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,064
Okay. I guess the deadline has been extended enough. (Yes, I forgot about this.)

Here are comments collected for the final, finished guide. Comments on these and anything else are welcome. Sooner than later.

1.) Change AP definition to Affair Partner -- not Another Person.

2.)
Originally Posted By: Ace
Originally Posted By: Looking4

* How to write an apology letter

* How to apologize

...

I'll get on it soon unless someone else has already done it.
Know of anything, Ace? Anyone else have a source or sources to reference on apologizing?

3.) In the 1st Post, 2nd paragraph it currently reads:
If you are having or you have had an affair (A) and you wish to join with your betrayed spouse (BS) to recover what once was, there is a path available

Change to instead read:
If you are having or you have had an affair (A) and you wish to join with your betrayed spouse (BS) to create a marriage that both of you are happy with, it's likely a path is available.

4.) In 1st Post, 6th paragraph it currently reads:
For example, if youve had an affair and youre considering returning to the M, carefully examine the possibility of your BS forever using the affair as a bludgeon and controlling device. Examine if your spouse might use your A as the reason to not make changes in themselves. If you believe your infidelity will be used as a weapon against you or against reconciliation, you may want to be very selective in which recommendations you pursue. Or perhaps you reconsider if reconciliation is best. Also, if your BS doesn't want to push through this very tough time, s/he won't. If s/he doesnt, it's up to you to decide what you are willing to live with.

It was suggested the above be changed and also suggested it not be. Does the following address the concerns of both V and LdG?:
For example, if youve had an affair and youre considering returning to the M, carefully examine the possibility of your BS using the affair as a bludgeon and controlling device.

Any desire to hold your A against you usually dissipates for a BS who is willing to rebuild and create a new M. If you believe your infidelity will be used as a weapon against you or against reconciliation for an indefinite period of time, you may want to, if the hostile behavior continues, re-evaluate if reconciliation is best for you.

Also, keep in mind, if your BS doesn't want to push through this very tough time, s/he won't. If s/he doesnt, it's up to you to decide what you are willing to live with.


Thoughts? Anyone?

5.) In the 2nd Post, 4th bullet regarding NC, alter to instead read:
If your BS needs to hear you voice your NC directly, by all means do so, which is what Al Turtle refers to as a Turbo NC Letter. Turtle knows of a case with a couple where the WS wrote the letter (kept it short), sent it to the OP, and then the WS also called the OP on the phone with the BS listening on the other line. The WS read the letter out loud, ending with, "Thank you for listening. Good bye." In doing this, the BS got to hear the NC, the WS got to write it and read it, and the OP got to hear it plus will have the NC in writing as well, in case the OP missed something. If your BS wants to hear you tell the OP about NC, keep the conversation focused on the relationship being over, ignore all comments from the AP, and keep it short.

6.) I will send the final version of the guide to right here waiting to copyedit.


Married 19 years
Two children - DS12 & DD10
Re: Ending Your Affair and Returning to Your Marriage [Re: Looking4] #174109
11/03/11 06:10 AM
11/03/11 06:10 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,542
Ace Offline
Advocate
Ace  Offline
Advocate
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,542
Originally Posted By: Looking4
Know of anything, Ace? Anyone else have a source or sources to reference on apologizing?


Here's a site with a few links. Hope they work:

How to Say I'm Sorry


Ace


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
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