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***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** #39497
12/23/10 03:43 PM
12/23/10 03:43 PM
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Many have angrily uttered "I'm gonna give them a piece of my mind." mad

Unfortunately, I did that too often and over the years I gave away too many pieces. crazy

Not only did I nearly lose my mind, but we nearly destroyed our marriage.

Mark has started a How to Recover your Marriage thread in the Construction Zone and inspired me to start my own Recovery thread. Because many relevant parts are already posted on page 3 of my blog I'll provide links instead of reposting them here.

My story is nearly unbelieveable. In fact many question if I've made it up for whatever reason. What's important, however, is that WE get to live it so I don't waste much time trying to appease the naysayers.

My hope is that by sharing our heartaches and successes, at least one couple might be inspired to make the effort to put the broken pieces of their marriage back together. Comments and questions are welcome at any time.

Here is one of Mark's posts that inspired this thread:

Originally Posted By: Mark1952
Originally written in June of 2008, this is a general list of advice for those wishing to restore their marriage after an affair. Some of it applies to the cheater and some to the cheated. Some aspects apply to both sides of the marriage. It is based in part on an article that originally appeared on WebMD.com and since I lost the specific link long ago, I don't know if the article still exists.



Ten Steps to Recovery:

1) "You have to stop the affair," says Jamie Turndorf, PhD, a couple's therapist in New York. "You can't reinvest in the marriage if you have one foot out the door."

2) Remember that there will be ups and downs after an affair. "The road to recovery after an affair is jagged, and that is completely normal," says Michele Weiner-Davis, author of Divorce Busting, The Divorce Remedy and The Sex Starved Marriage.

3) "The person who had the affair needs to be willing to discuss what happened openly if the betrayed spouse wants to do that." (Weiner-Davis)

4) "The person who had the affair has to be willing to be accountable for his or her whereabouts, even though he or she thinks that may be unfair." (Weiner-Davis)

5) "There needs to be a willingness to make promises and commitments about the future, that an affair will not happen again." (Weiner-Davis)

6) The betrayed person should set the timetable for recovery. "So often the person who cheated is eager to put the past in the past, but he or she really has to honor the other person's timetable." (Weiner-Davis)

7) "The person who had the affair should examine the personal reasons for straying and what needs to change to avoid temptation in the future." (Weiner-Davis)

8) As for moving forward, both people in the relationship should take responsibility for building a new foundation. "Both people in the relationship should ask the other what he or she can do to rebuild the connection and what actions should be avoided because they are breaking it," says Turndorf. "Even the person who was cheated on should say to him or herself, "What role did I play in driving you away and what can I do to make you more connected to me in the future?"

9) Try marriage therapy or take a marriage education class. "You really need to find a counselor or therapist who is pro-marriage, and can help get your relationship back on track," says Weiner-Davis. "Steer clear of therapists who see infidelity as a marital death-sentence "it isn't."

The original article had the above nine steps to recovery listed. I add this one:

10) Develop a plan to restore the love to the marriage. It needs to be a plan to improve intimacy and passion and not just commitment. It will be what happens from now on rather than what you do with the past that will matter most. You can't fix what happened, but you can fix the relationship so it doesn't happen again.

It is the discussion of developing this plan to repair the marital relationship that I am hoping for in this thread.


After 32 years of a dysfunctional marraige, 2 years of progressive disconnection (how's that for an oxymoron) and my H becoming a WH when he chose to have his needs met via OW, I was actually glad I had my "get out of jail free" card.

But I changed my mind when challenged to fight for our family.

After 4 false recoveries, my H decided to change when I finally gave up. He said he'd do anything to help me heal.

I asked my H what made the difference in his choosing to want to begin recovery and how we got started.

His answers:

Learning about Emotional Needs and Love Busters gave him hope that I could change so that made him want to make changes he needed to make, too.

IMVHO, the book Fall In Love, Stay in Love by W. F. Harley, Jr. provides the best plan for beginning and continuing recovery from a marital dysfunction with or without infidelity. In fact, FILSIL barely mentions infidelity.

The first and third statements I've bolded could be answered by FILSIL.

The second is where we were lucky; we have had an awesome MC who we originally sought help from about 25 years ago but lost touch with him for about 10 years. Coincidentally (or by divine intervention) we reconnected with MC about the time we really needed IRL help with beginning rebuilding trust and beginning recovery. (Details in my blog on page 3 mostly.)

It's been 4 and a half years since D-day #1. In piecing our marriage back together, our sitch is unique in that we had many broken pieces on the day we married and they shattered even more during the decades.

The Marriage Builders books helped us begin to recover but I received additional support when I discovered the MB discussion forums in January 2007. The subsequent history will be posted eventually and I hope to chronicle future accomplishments on this thread.

Although we've had many ups and downs like others on this Recovery Rollercoaster, we are building a better marriage than we ever dreamed of having before. As I mentioned, comments and questions are welcome at any time.

Thanks for reading,
Ace

ETA Please check out Mark's developing thread The Road to Recovery; Getting the Marriage You Want

Ace's Blog spACE cadet gazette page 3

Last edited by Ace; 12/23/10 04:01 PM. Reason: add links to Mark's thread and my blog page 3

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

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: Ace] #39900
12/24/10 08:08 AM
12/24/10 08:08 AM
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Hi Ace.

It certainly helps to work on the puzzle when you finally have the "big picture" on the cover to show you what it's "supposed to look like!"

Completers. Relationship with God. The First and Second Greatest Commandments as the Standard.

Love never fails.

God bless.


In Christ-like love at all times.

So that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2Cor 1:4b)

Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: ForeverHers] #39924
12/24/10 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted By: ForeverHers
Hi Ace.

It certainly helps to work on the puzzle when you finally have the "big picture" on the cover to show you what it's "supposed to look like!"

Completers. Relationship with God. The First and Second Greatest Commandments as the Standard.

Love never fails.

God bless.


Hi FH,

Thanks for your encouragement now and back then on MB. You have been a true blessing to DH and me and we both appreciate your assistance with our spiritual growth.

You are right, as usual, in that God has had his hand on our relationship from the beginning. When all seemed lost, God miraculously touched both of our hearts and subsequently gave us the resources for knowledge (info) and wisdom (discerning use of info) and actions (results of wisely using info in productive ways) to start our recovery.

I think that one of the more poignant miracles was when I was searching for MC and God had our MC from our earlier years call my work facility at a time that I happened to be walking past the front desk phone which I seldom answered. He called for a totally unrelated matter (says he didn't even know I was still working there) but it gave me the opportunity to seek contact information so we could set up an appointment with him.

Many more things like that happened which you've inspired me to write about here eventually. Again, thanks for your care and support, FH. You're a blessing to many more than you know.

Merry Christmas,
Ace


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

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: Ace] #40398
12/26/10 02:13 PM
12/26/10 02:13 PM
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I found more missing pieces.

What an amazing experience.

I've decided to post events that enhance our recovery on this Recovery Thread and post simple events on my blog. It may take me a while but I will get things sorted out soon.

As I mentioned on my blog, while my H was working in a challenging job 15 years ago, he related many intriguing stories to our then-teenaged DS and DD. They listened intently and H promised to write a book with a certain title related to these stories.

Yesterday, H finished the 20 page booklet and asked me to help him edit it.

That was a major missing piece from yesteryear; in the past, H would be offended if I mentioned a typo or errors of any kind.

As I was getting ready to print a copy, the cartridge holder on our 7 year old injet jammed (DS later discovered a broken piece so it may be toast).

I calmly emailed the word doc to our old PC attached to our 19 year old HP laserjet 4P (anyone still have one of these relics)? The fact that I stayed calm was another missing piece.

Unfortunately, the timing prevented me from completing the editing DH wanted in order to to give it to DD and DS as soon as they arrived.

Subsequently, I was unable to finish reading his stories until late last night.

Oh My Gosh!!!!! eek

I had no idea H was experiencing any of the life or death events described in his writings. I missed a ton of pieces by being disconnected and resentful for all those years. What an amazing man I was married to....and I didn't even realize it!

I'm so glad H could talk with the kids back then. They were very appreciative of his writing down what he committed to do years ago. They thought he had forgotten.

And I had no idea about his experiences, his telling the kids or his promise to write a book for them.

Sheesh!!!! What other missing pieces are on the horizon yet to be discovered!?

Ace


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

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: Ace] #40757
12/27/10 02:30 PM
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We had a wonderful Christmas with our immediate family in spite of medical challenges with our extended families.

One of the coolest things, however was something that happened to reveal another of my missing pieces which enhances our recovery.

As mentioned in my blog linked in my sig line, one of my reasons for getting married (in addition to NOT wanting to be left behind) was because this guy had a true heart commitment to make a difference in the lives of others, one of the 3 traits on my list or spouse requirements.

I'll probably tell the story on my blog (where I have more editing time) but I'm putting this here to remind myself to share the story of how my H demonstrated that trait once again on Christmas Day.

Seeing what happened enhances our recovery by reminding me that this 'piece' of our marital history is still intact (in spite of its being mis-used ~ missing ~ for a bit 4 years ago). This latest episode fills the Love Banks a lot more...which is always a good thing in recovery.

Ace


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

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: Ace] #48024
01/09/11 09:57 PM
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Here's the Christmas Day story I referred to above.

*************

A friend from church asked DH to help an elderly friend (mid 80's) who needed H's company product in her home. Because she thought DH had been so helpful and kind, when this lady discovered that her last name was the same as ours, she began thinking of my DH as her son. She lives alone, has no family in the area and only a few friends. For this story I'll call her "G'ma Ace."

In the midst of all our holiday plans with our family, DH mentioned he would like to take me over to meet G'ma Ace, possibly on Christmas day so she won't be totally alone all day long.

I found a card and wrapped a token gift, expecting we'd visit her in the morning before our family members arrived for brunch around noon.

On Christmas day, we slepted in, the kids arrived, we ate, watched a movie (we'd opened gifts the night before) and just hung out as a family. As it got dark, I wondered if DH had forgotten to visit G'ma Ace but I didn't say anything.

As we prepared to go to visit other family members, DH told our kids "We'll be there soon but we're stopping to visit one of my clients who is alone on Christmas."

I was elated. He had remembered after all!

G'ma Ace's house was dark but she answered the door and said she had been napping. We chatted for about a half hour and she told us that she liked being home alone on Christmas because she could feel her husband's presence in the house even if he had passed away over a decade ago.

She was delighted with our card, family newletter and token gift. She seemed to appreciate our admiring her classic decorations. She also said that she had received calls from a few family members wishing her Merry Christmas, but as she hugged us warmly, she said that our thoughtful visit had "made her day!"



Last week, we got a thank you note from G'ma Ace who said that she discovered that her sister had received the same token gift that we had given her and that both of them were enthralled with it: Susan Boyle's Christmas CD entitled "The Gift." G'ma Ace's sister lives across the country but both are enjoying their gifts together. In addition to our shared name, this mutual gift endeared us to her even more.

It was a highlight of our Christmas day to bring such joy to one person with so little effort. That simple act also added deposit$ to my DH's account in my Love Bank. It is one of the few activities we both enjoy doing together.

For me, the natural gift of giving time and thoughts is one of the redeeming qualities of my DH that intrigued me when I first met him (attracted is too strong a word considering our nebulous beginnings). In spite of our dysfunctional relationship, H often showed he cared about the needs of others continuously (sometimes to a fault) throughout the years.

Of course, one of those "faulty times" was when OW had needs her H wasn't meeting and my then-WH picked a poor time to exercise his altruistic tendencies ~ what started out as Phileo love became Agape love and eventually they both THOUGHT they were soulmates involved in Eros love with all the erotic trappings. Thankfully we are well on our way to overcoming that huge discretion in the midst of all our other challenges during our disconnected years together.

Experiencing DH's "random acts of kindness" now with people like G'ma Ace reminds me of the times he did similar things when we first met nearly 40 years ago. As described in my blog linked to my sig line, it is one of only 3 traits I desired in a spouse. We both made impulsive (and sometimes planned) outreach efforts on behalf of others back then and still do.

This is one of the pieces to our marriage that diminished for a brief time but has been re-emerging lately. Not only does this bring us both intrinsic personal rewards but it improves our relationship, enhances our marraige and helps us recover.

Thanks for reading,
Ace






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

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: Ace] #48077
01/09/11 11:49 PM
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That's a sweet story, Ace. I can easily see how your H's altruism made big deposits in your love bank! Bless his heart.

Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: right here waiting] #50301
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Thanks, RHW.

This really does help in our recovery. :9:

Ace


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

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: Ace] #74986
02/27/11 01:21 PM
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I found another missing piece but need to move it from the Way Station.

Here it is, partially courtesy of 2long's post about the difference in secrecy and privacy as well as the differences in truth and honesty. The missing piece is how this relates to building trust after an affair using predictability and reliability as related to truth and honesty.

Here are the posts:


Originally Posted By: 2long in the Way Station on the "Honesty and Infidelity thread ~ how to end an affair" thread.

Originally Posted By: 2Long (from Spacecase's post on iloveulove.com several years ago)

The Difference Between Secret And Private

Private matters are those traits, truths, beliefs, and ideas about ourselves that we keep to ourselves. They might include our fantasies and daydreams, feelings about the way the world works, and spiritual beliefs. Private matters, when revealed either accidentally or purposefully, give another person some insight into the revealer.

Secrets, on the other hand, consist of information that has potentially negative impact on someone else-emotionally, physically, or financially. Secrets, when revealed either accidentally or purposefully, cause great chaos or harm to the secret-keeper and those around him or her.

Private: I believe in reincarnation.

Secret: I have a wife and a mistress and neither knows about the other.

Private: I got terrible grades in high school.

Secret: I forged my medical degree.

The Difference Between Truth and Honesty

Truth is empirical, demonstrable fact. Your bank balance, today's date, whether or not you're married.

Honesty is about feelings. If you're honest, you are open and clear about how you feel. You can be truthful without being honest and you can be honest without being truthful (the latter a little more difficult). The best relationships, stating the painfully obvious, are both truthful and honest. Trust is built on both truth and honesty, tempered by the proof of predictability and reliability.

While I think that the difference between secrecy and privacy should be obvious, at least 2 most of the kind of people who've been through infidelity in their own marriages, the distinction between truth and honesty isn't so obvious.

-ol' 2long


Thanks for posting that here, 2L.

You're right. It is easier to distinguish between secret/private than truth/honesty.

For me, my honesty changed. I honestly thought that if/when my H cheated, he would give me emperical evidence that I could justify leaving him.

After it happened and I was challenged to fight for our family, my honesty changed. I honestly began thinking that we could build a better marriage, in spite of 3 more D-Days over the next 6 months.

For now.....nearly 4 years later, that honesty is becoming the truth based on the actions we both have undertaken to build that better marriage we both sought after the A. Hopefully, that will continue to be OUR TRUTHS for the future.

What I've bolded is an 'ahah' moment for me (trust built on truth/honesty, tempered by predictability and reliability) and will require some thought before I comment further. My very first thread on MB asked something like "How do you build trust...or it time the only solution?" (or something like that). I wish I'd read that statement back then.

Again, thanks for posting that here in the Way Station.

Ace

Edited to Add: After I posted my response to 2Longs post, I decided to move it here to my recovery thread as it is more related to a missing piece in our marriage than the core message of that thread.





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

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: Ace] #77614
03/05/11 05:11 PM
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Hey Ace,

After all these years I still keep finding pieces, and think I always will. All part of the journey I suppose. My mom says that life is like a patchwork quilt that we only see some of the pieces, and only God sees how they all fit together to make the whole thing complete. Good analogy, I think.

Thanks for sharing this. It gives me a lot to think about.

Peppermint

Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: peppermint] #80070
03/11/11 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted By: peppermint
Hey Ace,

After all these years I still keep finding pieces, and think I always will. All part of the journey I suppose. My mom says that life is like a patchwork quilt that we only see some of the pieces, and only God sees how they all fit together to make the whole thing complete. Good analogy, I think.

Thanks for sharing this. It gives me a lot to think about.

Peppermint


Hi Peppermint,

Thanks for reading and commenting. I think your mom is a wise person.

I see you're started a thread on this forum so I'll take a peek.

Appreciate your being here on MA.

Ace


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

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: Ace] #96319
04/20/11 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted By: 2long
The best relationships, stating the painfully obvious, are both truthful and honest. Trust is built on both truth and honesty, tempered by the proof of predictability and reliability.


I have another missing piece.....well, maybe I'm over-reacting and the pieces (truth, honesty, predictability and reliability) aren't really missing but just a bit misplaced.

I've shared on my blog that my H once started a secret business with the divorced wife of a couple we both knew....in fact, I think my H was a groomsman in their wedding a decade before. After they D'd, my H spent time taking their 3 DS's fishing and it was fine with me because if they went with him then I didn't feel guilty because I didn't want to go.

After the failure of the business and H's subsequent A, we lost touch with the woman and her DS's.

Last week, out of the blue, DH informed me that former business partner had called him to purchase a product from DH's company. He told me after the sale (he didn't see her, only spoke with her on the phone) and it was a casual matter-of-fact "guess who called the other day and bought a product?"

Here's the piece I'm missing.....I think. Or maybe not....

Should I have expected DH to tell me as soon as secret former business partner called before he pursued the possibility of a sale? Or was it no big deal....that closing the sale and casually mentioning it after the fact was a sign that it meant nothing other than a step towards his monthly sales quota?

I honestly didn't give it much of a thought until I mentioned it to an e-friend (making an entirely different point) and she asked me why it was OK with me for him to recontact this woman without immediate full disclosure....and I decided I may have missed something.

As far as I know, their secret relationship was non-romantic (the business was started as something the kids could do to keep busy and out of trouble).

I discovered the secret project when I found their joint email account that referenced a Pay-pal account but at the time, we were so estranged (and I was waiting for a justifiable reason to get out of the marriage) that I didn't really care about either. I'm sure I gaslighted him, expecting the business to fail and rubbing it in his face when it died. Shortly after that H was fired from his day job career so he experienced a double whammy jobwise.

Should I revisit the issue of this woman calling recently, reconnecting with DH, purchasing a product and the fact the DH did not mention it to me until after-the-fact?

Or should I just let it go, knowing that the secret business was not a big deal and this woman was just like any other friend who became a client merely because they knew DH could provide a certain needed product.

What, if anything, should I do?

If I bring it up it could set our recovery back (my H often feels like he'll never measure up cuz my bar is so high).

If I let it go, it could cause future regrets that could lead to resentment.

Maybe, maybe not....Should I say something or say nothing?

What do you think?

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: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: Ace] #96506
04/20/11 08:51 PM
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Mention that your friend has asked "why it was OK with me for him to recontact this woman without immediate full disclosure.."

and say that it was a non event for you, however your agreed upon EP's state that this is something that should be disclosed, and you want to make a plan in case something eventuated again.

That way your mentioning it could be a concern, without making H feel like he's failed in some obscure way.


AKA Lildoggie

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


Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: Ace] #96518
04/20/11 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ace
Last week, out of the blue, DH informed me that former business partner had called him to purchase a product from DH's company. He told me after the sale (he didn't see her, only spoke with her on the phone) and it was a casual matter-of-fact "guess who called the other day and bought a product?"

Here's the piece I'm missing.....I think. Or maybe not....

Should I have expected DH to tell me as soon as secret former business partner called before he pursued the possibility of a sale? Or was it no big deal....that closing the sale and casually mentioning it after the fact was a sign that it meant nothing other than a step towards his monthly sales quota?


I'm allergic to your should; in spite of that...

What was the marital boundary you guys agreed on during recovery if there was any contact attempt, either way, by DH or OW? To tell you immediately, with full disclosure?

This was not an OW. What was the marital boundary you guys agreed on for reporting out of the ordinary contact with past or present females?

I think your DH did a something rather extraordinary. He told you about his experience pretty soon after having it. In the past, he wasn't like that...he withheld information, lied by omission and tried to cover up even non-affair related activity.

For me, seems you're asking not if, but when. When is good for you and the marriage? When is acceptable? Because there was a time when if was the question. You've got the if now, predominantly. Now you're working out the when.

Don't let go what you want to go further with...talk it out. His honesty is admirable. Yours will be also. For you and for him. You guys keep growing from this...your fears are yours now...not what DH hides from, most fears in himself.

Match great behavior with great behavior, Ace. You do this so well in so many areas of your life...go further.

LA


The Paradoxical Commandments

Married 28 years/Together 30
Recovered 10 years
MALovingAnyway@gmail.com
Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: LovingAnyway] #96651
04/21/11 03:55 AM
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Thanks for your replies. I'll be back soon to reply specifically but wanted to acknowledge that I appreciate your time and suggestions.

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: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: Lil] #96712
04/21/11 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted By: lildoggie
Mention that your friend has asked "why it was OK with me for him to recontact this woman without immediate full disclosure.."

and say that it was a non event for you, however your agreed upon EP's state that this is something that should be disclosed, and you want to make a plan in case something eventuated again.

That way your mentioning it could be a concern, without making H feel like he's failed in some obscure way.


Great approach, Lil. I will make time this weekend to venture into this discussion, big deal or not.

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: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: LovingAnyway] #96720
04/21/11 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted By: LovingAnyway
Originally Posted By: Ace

Should I have expected DH to tell me as soon as secret former business partner called before he pursued the possibility of a sale? Or was it no big deal....that closing the sale and casually mentioning it after the fact was a sign that it meant nothing other than a step towards his monthly sales quota?


I'm allergic to your should; in spite of that...

Allergic, eh?...OK, let me rephrase that:

Is it better for our maximum intimacy of our relationship for DH to inform me of renewed contact with this former secret business partner before he pursues a potential sale?


What was the marital boundary you guys agreed on during recovery if there was any contact attempt, either way, by DH or OW? To tell you immediately, with full disclosure? Yep.

This was not an OW. What was the marital boundary you guys agreed on for reporting out of the ordinary contact with past or present females? In the absence of such a discussion or boundary, it obviously defaulted to "share it as part of your 'guess what happened today?' discussion."

One of DH's endearing qualities that attracted me to him initially was his care and concern for helping others. Ironically, this attribute also factored into his E/PA and another budding 'opportunity to help' with a struggling female co-worker who called him at home a couple years ago. After that call and our ensuring discussion, he realized he needed to shore up that EP (extraordinary precaution) and immediately referred the woman to seek help from their manager, which she did.


I think your DH did a something rather extraordinary. He told you about his experience pretty soon after having it. In the past, he wasn't like that...he withheld information, lied by omission and tried to cover up even non-affair related activity.

You're right but I didn't make a big deal about it because it's becoming more of the norm for him to tell me everything, sometimes to the point of overkill....but not that often. Until my e-friend mentioned it, I didn't give it a second thought.

For me, seems you're asking not if, but when. When is good for you and the marriage? When is acceptable? Because there was a time when if was the question. You've got the if now, predominantly. Now you're working out the when.

You're right again, as usual. wink Dh gave me the perfect set-up line last night just before we went to bed (and no time to discuss) so I will bring it up this weekend.

Don't let go what you want to go further with...talk it out. His honesty is admirable. Yours will be also. For you and for him. You guys keep growing from this...your fears are yours now...not what DH hides from, most fears in himself.

Not quite sure how you mean this. Please explain further.

Match great behavior with great behavior, Ace. You do this so well in so many areas of your life...go further.

Thanks for your insights now and over the years.

LA


It's comforting to know that this was NOT and OW. I've wondered about it over the years and now see how she easily could have become a potential OW resulting from DH's desire to be helpful without thinking, a good/bad habit he's had for years.

I can see how our discussion about finding a happy medium and, as you put it "matching great behavior with great behavior" can increase our marital intimacy. DH is finally getting to realize that I challenge because I care, not because I want to find fault for the sake of finding fault (like I used to do for all those decades).

Again, 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: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: Ace] #111337
05/25/11 09:10 PM
05/25/11 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted By: LovingAnyway

Don't let go what you want to go further with...talk it out. His honesty is admirable. Yours will be also. For you and for him. You guys keep growing from this...your fears are yours now...not what DH hides from, most fears in himself.

Not quite sure how you mean this. Please explain further.


It's been awhile since I wrote that request for an explanation and I may have the clarification I was once seeking.

I just heard a new concept that may describe one way to own my fears, and to realize how DH does NOT hide from my fears. (Still not sure about the end of that sentence "most fears in himself" but I'll progress beyond while I'm thinking about my new tool.

It centers on one word/concept: STORIES

Often fears are merely made up stories loosely based on fiction that we perpetuate with worry, right?

Why not create new stories based on fantasy of what we want, not what we want to avoid?

If we're gonna make stuff up that is not even there, why not make these new stories positive ones with a happy result?

For example, here are the facts of what hapened 5 years ago:

1. DH became WH when he focused on fantasies fueled by a fascination with another female. (Whoooah....pardon the alliteration but it just came out that way!)

2. DH/WH's fantasies destroyed all trust and could have easily resulted in a blown up family.

Story Number One based on possible fiction:

DH became a WH and I will never be able to trust him again so I may as well end it and get the inevitable over with by divorcing him now before he destroys me.

Story Number Two based on fantasy for the future:

DH became a WH and even if it was not my fault, I can contribute towards fixing my half so that together we can not only overcome this indiscretion but build a better relationship and marriage than we ever had before.

*****

Conclusion: If I'm going to expend energy creating stories (made up or real based on MY fears) I may as well focus on positive ones based on fantasies for the future that can provide a reachable goal for us to strive towards and hopefully achieve.

Like I said, this is a work in progress and I haven't ironed out all the wrinkles yet, but the basics are in place.

Does this make sense to anyone? How can you help me refine my new blossoming tool?

Thanks,
Ace


Last edited by Ace; 05/25/11 09:26 PM. Reason: clarification

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

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: Ace] #111406
05/25/11 10:29 PM
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It makes a lot of sense to me. The problem isn't with the concept, but how to implement it. I've thought along the same lines since entering recovery. "Focus on the future" has been my motto along with "Adapt and Overcome!" It takes really making yourself redirect your thoughts, however, and that can be hard if you're in one of those, "I'm so hurt right now" mode - at least for me.

Yes, you definitely have to have your end goals in mind, esp. when facing triggers and what you tell yourself. I believe fully in facing your fears. I allow myself to imagine the worst case scenerio, just so I can figure out how I would live through that and make myself better because of it. Once I've allowed my mind to go down that path, I realize I CAN live through the worse, so it makes it easier to cope with.

It's like, when I hear IdaHO's name, I immediately cringe. Worst fear? When H hears it too (it comes up a lot in movies and tv - very popular name) does it make him think of her? Worst case scenerio: Yes, it does. It makes him pine away and wish he was with her and not with me. A step further: he decides we're not worth it and seeks out OW again.

Can I deal with this? Yes - because I know despite the pain, I could make it on my own. I already faced that down when I asked him to leave.

Solution? I'm not sure exactly, yet. So far, it's to think, "My job is to do my part to make this the best marriage ever...so even if he still thinks of her now, he sure isn't going to in the future!"

Another tool I have is to allow myself only 15 minutes a day to feel bad about the situation. If I trigger, I let myself grieve, cry, get mad, vent, for 15 min. After 15 minutes, I find anything I can to redirect my attention elsewhere. If I have another trigger and I've already had my 15 min. that day, well - it'll have to wait until tomorrow. That way, I don't feel that I'm just avoiding my emotions. It also helps to give time to decide if something is really worth being upset about or addressing with H. Often, when the 15 minute allotted time slot has come around, I don't feel the need to be angry or sad anymore.

Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: SunnyD] #111438
05/25/11 11:10 PM
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Wow, Sunny, thanks for your reply and acknowledgement that you can relate.

How to implement?......you're right, that's the hard part.

I like your 15 minute respite you give yourself to be 'real' and how important that may be to the overall process of healing.

It will be good to explore these concepts together. I'm sure that what might work for me may not work for others, but at the same time, what works for you MIGHT work for me but I might not be able to realize it until you tell me about it.

Again, thanks for sharing.

Ace


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

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: Ace] #111657
05/26/11 03:04 AM
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Exactly - you never know what's going to really help you until you try. It's always good to hear others' experiences and how they have coped.

Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: SunnyD] #141098
07/31/11 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted By: SunnyD
Exactly - you never know what's going to really help you until you try. It's always good to hear others' experiences and how they have coped.


So sorry I haven't replied to your post here Sunny. Forgot all about this recovery thread.

You're right in that hearing other stories and experiences may (or may not) have an impact in our own relationships.

It's interesting how the discussion regarding "dating while married" has actual implications in our recovery, not in deed but possibly in thoughts and words.

And.....one particular 'event' was all an accident, but it may have had unintentional positive results.

As I've mentioned often, I was looking for my 'get out of jail free' card, hoping my H would cheat but not expecting that any woman would want him.

I was wrong.

H cheated.

He was busted by adult son & daughter and WH confessed to me (while kids sat on the front porch thinking I might go nutz).

I stayed calm, surprising us all, but WH invited kids in anyway.

WH agreed to give me a quick D with everything (including the house and car) transferred into my name.

I accepted.

To our surprise, DS-20-something protested, begging us to first fight for our family before giving up.

I agreed to fight under certain conditions and also pledged that we would NOT speak to our DD/DS-20-somethings about our recovery plans but, like they asked, we would show them actions over time.

WH was plagued with intense withdrawal symptoms and his fog took 6 months (and 3 more D-Days) to overcome. (I never told DS/DD about those.)

How was I able to cope?

The thought that another woman actually wanted H (when I didn't think that was possible) gave me motivation to endure H's lying and hiding after it was revealed to me 3 more times without my snooping.

On D-Day #4 just a few hours after I accidentally saw the History button showed that that H had lied again, we were seated in middle seats of opposite rows on a flight across the country for our 10-day vacation that I held off booking (which is why we only had middle seats - details in my blog).

The guy seated by the window struck up a conversation with me (I never initiate interactions with guys) and we chatted the entire flight.

When we landed, I introduced the guy to my WH and H suddenly became very possessive of me. H denies that my chatting with another man had any affect on him (claims he was sleeping and didn't even notice at the time), which may have been true. But the introduction may have jolted him.

After deciding to continue fighting to recover our M, I did NOT intentionally try to 'use' another man to make H jealous. But what if I had?

IMVHO, it would have been very cruel if the 'window guy' had become interested in me and continued contact, only to discover much later that he was being used to make my WH jealous.

Even if it was unintentional, it did impact our R. Would I suggest anyone else follow my lead?

Heck NO!

But these are pieces of our recovery that came to mind as I watched the "dating while married" discussion develop. Yes, it may work in one respect, but IMVHO it is disrespectful and unethical to "use" another person with feelings and emotions who might possibly be discarded later as collateral damage.

Ace


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

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: Ace] #141467
08/01/11 07:50 PM
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Glad to see your post, Ace!

I agree with you, on so many different points! It's good to read yours (and others) experiences and how they got where they are - and what helped.

I too think it's cruel to use someone to make a spouse jealous. I couldn't bring myself to do it. I can't disagree with the fact that sometimes you don't know what you have until you see it slipping away. Yet, I think personal integrity is very important!

I can honestly say that I'm glad my sitch never came to any of that. Interestingly, another woman being interested in my husband didn't make me "jealous" and want him more. When I found out about the affair I was so repulsed.... esp. after I found out that it had indeed been a PA and not an EA only. At that point it was harder for me to want to reconcile because of the lost of respect.


Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: SunnyD] #144842
08/10/11 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted By: SunnyD
Glad to see your post, Ace!

I agree with you, on so many different points! It's good to read yours (and others) experiences and how they got where they are - and what helped.

I too think it's cruel to use someone to make a spouse jealous. I couldn't bring myself to do it. I can't disagree with the fact that sometimes you don't know what you have until you see it slipping away. Yet, I think personal integrity is very important!

I can honestly say that I'm glad my sitch never came to any of that. Interestingly, another woman being interested in my husband didn't make me "jealous" and want him more. When I found out about the affair I was so repulsed.... esp. after I found out that it had indeed been a PA and not an EA only. At that point it was harder for me to want to reconcile because of the lost of respect.



So sorry it's taken me so long to reply, Sunny. Thanks for your post.

Your last line (about how much harder it was for you to choose to recover after you discovered that your H's A had progressed to a PA) is something I can't relate to very well. Not sure I could do it but of course we all say that before it happens to us....right?

For me, the EA/PA issue was bad but the continued lies, gaslighting, entitlement and anger during the ensuing 6 months (3 false recoveries) were far worse.

Like I've mentioned often, the two silver threads that kept me hanging on were:

1) WH confessed to an EA 6 months prior about which I would have never known, demonstrating his desire to become open and honest of his own volition.

2) WH made unsolicited comments about how OW was boring, ugly and a worse liar than him...and that she was probably already cheating with some other guy. WH also began to progress to FWH when he stated that he would do anything to help me heal (and then followed through).

Of course, the fact that we have a very tough MC who H respects (and we've seen him at least once a year whether we've needed to or not) has been the biggest aid in our recovery.

And the recovery pieces slowly continue to slide into place.....



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

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ***Acey's Missing Pieces ~ Our Recovery Saga*** [Re: Ace] #144980
08/10/11 04:21 PM
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I'm learning more and more to respect the fact that it was hard for H to come home. He had to be REALLY motivated and love me, and the kids, to do so. For awhile I was focused mainly on my pain - and rightly so. Now, I see more what it took for him. As man, it's hard to humble yourself and admit you were wrong. As women we've been more conditioned to do this and to make peace. He truly had to erase any concept of pride and be willing to face what he'd done to his family. He had to be able to go through the discomfort of looking my brother in the eye again... who he knew had been told about everything. There's a lot he had to face in order to come home. So, that's where I draw my respect for him right now!

I think in the beginning - when they want to come home but are still "entitled" - it's to protect that pride. Luckily my H was out of the house during that phase and it didn't last long. It helps them not face their wrongs when they can still justify it in some way. Makes them feel less of a bad person.

Your H being open and honest was key! Doesn't hurt that he made negative remarks about OW, that's for sure. LOL.

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