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I've lost my best friend

amberlicious posted 9/25/2019 14:01 PM

I fully admit that I am responsible for breaking my best friend's heart and ruining our marriage. It has been 2 months since Dday, my husband took the dog and moved out a little over a month ago. Every day is completely different from the next; one day I am devastated and one day I could be very angry with myself and/or my BH.
While I am seeking IC, my BH is just starting seeking individual therapy and is still very hurt and sad. I am not sure how this will all play out, as my BH is still thinking about whether he wants to reconcile or not. I guess my question is whether my spouse can make such a permanent decision while still in the grieving process?

hikingout posted 9/25/2019 15:46 PM

BH is still thinking about whether he wants to reconcile or not. I guess my question is whether my spouse can make such a permanent decision while still in the grieving process?

Yes, he can make any decision he wants at any time. You had an affair it was free will. How he chooses to react to that is his free will.

I am a WS too, so I am not trying to be evil by saying that. But, one of the healthiest things you can do is to let go of the outcome. As long as you are trying to control the outcome you will manipulate, minimize, and lie. These things will kill any chances for getting the outcome you are hopeful for.

Instead, use your time to think about why you did this. Reasons should be internal to you. And, coming up with a plan on what you will do to fix the character flaws that allowed you to do this.

Make sure you are NC with AP, be transparent with your H as opportunities allow and get in IC. You don't want to be the type of person who cheats, get on a journey to be the type of woman who doesn't. This will serve you well no matter what the outcome, and it will give you power to change the things that are within your control.

JBWD posted 9/25/2019 15:56 PM

Remember that you already minimized your husband’s choices once. As you all progress the best thing you can do for him is honor his decisions moving forward- And that begins with the humility to acknowledge that you don’t know what’s best for him, only he does. It’s ok to be afraid of this future, but as you face days where you feel you won’t have the same partner you once had, take comfort in the fact that his future decisions are the ones that will best fulfill him.

ETA my best advice for you is to build a plan for how you’re going to optimize this time to come out better than when you began. Every day, regardless of the challenges you face, strive to see that you are living with integrity. We’ve been there and are here for advice and support. Post and read as often as helps...

[This message edited by JBWD at 4:01 PM, September 25th (Wednesday)]

Lifeitself posted 9/26/2019 02:40 AM

Can you give more context please?

Is your AP married/attached? If so does AP spouse know of your affair? Was it an EA or a full blown PA? How long was the A? Did your spouse find out or did you come clean? Are you in regular contact with your H or is it minimal. From your post I understand you don’t have kids.

amberlicious posted 9/26/2019 07:59 AM

Thank you all for the advice and support. I certainly do not know the outcome, but appreciate your thoughts. I have been seeking IC for a few months now, and still hope for R but may need more time for H to figure it all out; he seems to still be grieving.

@Lifeitself:
The AP was single. The affair was mostly PA, and a little EA. I never mentioned issues at home with AP. The A lasted about 4 months, my H saw a text message and asked me about it. I flat out lied for over a year and have now come clean about it. Minimal contact with H, as that was what he asked for.

sorrowfulmate posted 9/26/2019 08:28 AM

When a BS asks for space they really need to process what has happened. It isn't an automatic sign that you guys will divorce. The separation is a sign of how deeply infidelity hurt the relationship.

You are seeking IC, which is a very good step. I caution you to find an IC who is familiar with infidelity as a traumatic event akin to surviving a natural disaster, or major accident. The reason is that therapists pretty much split into two camps on infidelity.

Camp 1 is the forgive, forget, move on. This is nothing more than rugsweeping. The therapist looks at the relationship as the source of the infidelity and focuses on that. Problem is that the relationship was never the source of it.

Camp 2 is the therapist group who looks at it as a traumatic event, which recognizes that the wayward made the choices to have the affair and to hide the truth. This path is the longer path which focuses on the wayward internal mental state and works to find out those things deeply inside them which allows or allowed them to make this destructive choice (we call these the why's)

If your relationship is going to heal making you BS feel safe and secure must become the priority in your focus. Betrayed spouses who don't feel safe and secure are hard pressed to move out of the hyper-vigilant early stages of processing the affair. This stage is a normal stage for them because it is at this time they are trying to figure out just what the fuck happened to them and the relationship. It is akin to a veteran who keeps his gun under his pillow after he/she gets back from traumatic tour of duty. That weapon represents safety and security to them.

In much the same way early recovery from infidelity has several things that are like this. The looking at FB pages, phone records, searching the physical phone, looking at computers. These give a small amount of control to the BS which is needed after the world they thought they lived in has been torn apart.

There are several books that I recommend for wayward spouses that can help them to become safe and secure partners.

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful by Linda J. McDonald
Yourhttps://www.amazon.com/HelpSpouse-Heal-Affair/dp/145055332X
PDF found here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/65498163/How-to-Help-11-06-10-Final-PDF

She lists 15 points of action and attitude that the wayward must embrace to build an environment where the betrayed feels safe and secure. Since the initial trust, safety and security are gone, these actions are needed in order to show the betrayed that the wayward partner is doing everything in their power to show they are willing to make you feel safe and secure. These 15 actions and attitudes are:

Waywards who want to rebuild the relationship after an affair

are non defensive

examine their motives for their affairs, without blaming their spouses
accept their roles as healers to their wounded partners

do not resist breaking off all contact with the affair partner

show genuine contrition and remorse for what they have done

make amends and apologize to loved ones

apologize often, especially the first two years

listen with patience and validate their spouses’ pain

allow their spouses a lot of room to express their feelings

respect the betrayed spouse’s timetable for recovering

seek to assure spouses of their love and commitment to fidelity

keep no secrets

do not maintain close ties with those who condoned the affair

are willing to be extremely accountable for their time and activities

frequently check in with spouses as to how they are doing

are aware of and anticipate triggers of the affair

are willing to get rid of hurtful reminders of the affair

don’t minimize the damage the affair had on the children

commit themselves to a long-term plan for recovery, honesty, and Internal (psychological) growth.

The last point includes these actions: (I added these from my own experience)

• Individual counseling for the wayward so they can find out what is inside them that allowed them to rationalize the affair.

• Learning what constitutes safe boundaries in interpersonal relationship.

• Couples counseling once the wayward finds those whys and begins addressing them, and acceptance 100% of the affair is on the wayward (no blame shifting)

• If substance abuse is present then wayward must enter a recovery program in order to get the addiction under control.


The second book is Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Dr. Shirley Glass PhD. This book is one of the best on detailing the recovery process that is needed for a person to deal with the trauma of infidelity. The biggest thing for me in the book was to reanalyze my interpersonal boundaries with people outside my relationship.

Finally have to own your affair 100%. You made the decision to have the affair, your BS didn't force you into it. Your marriage issues didn't make you have an affair. The AP didn't seduce you into it. You have to let go of all ideas that somehow there is someone else to blame for your actions.

McDonald's book is the actions book. Those actions show the BS you are serious about healing the relationship. However Glass' book is the book that shows how the paths to affairs happen. These areas are shitty boundaries, opening up to the AP and closing off the spouse. Glass' book gives a roadmap to healing which includes talking about the affair and bringing it up as the WS.

I would also highly suggest that in your IC you look into Family of Origin issues (FOO) this was one of the biggest areas which I avoided for most of my life. My FOO issues didn't make me choose an affair, but it gave me the tools that made that choice a hell of a lot easier to make.

Even if your BS decides to end your relationship, I urge you to do all of the above. We wayward have something inside of us that allows us to choose to go outside of our marriages and long term relationships to fill something inside of us. Moving down the road without doing this work means that you will still have all the old tools and mental twists and puts any future relationship in danger.

Hang in there.

Endy posted 9/27/2019 20:14 PM

WS Only

[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:35 PM, September 27th (Friday)]

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