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Help to confess everything.

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MrCleanSlate posted 1/7/2020 09:34 AM

Buzzy,

If Emma1207 could have buried it she would not have landed here.

nervousnelly posted 1/7/2020 09:35 AM

The best thing to do is confess and not keep this secret. It will come out eventually...maybe not in a year or two, maybe 20 years down the road where it will be even more devastating to your H.

Lies upon lies won't make it easier on him. He is owed the truth about his life and can make the decision on how to move forward. It will not be easy, but it is what should be done.

Your counselor has great advice...keep that one.

Robert22205https posted 1/7/2020 10:02 AM

I admire your courage. You can't change the past but you do have control over what you do today.

This is probably the most difficult thing you have ever done. Do you have kids? If so, perhaps they could stay with a friend/relative when you confess.

IMO, I think the more you prepare the more determined you will become to confess (rather than lose your nerve).

Think of dealing with infidelity as a process (which will take years). Your confession is just the first step.

Make sure there is absolutely NO current contact with the OM of any kind (including social media).

Have yourself immediately tested for STDs.

I suggest you read this (it's a short read) before you tell him:

"How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful" by by Linda J. MacDonald

The more you prepare prior to the confession the better you will be able to help him.

Do not withhold anything he asks for. Every time you add a piece of new information (e.g., the next week or month) he will trigger all over again.

Be prepared for him to ask how it started and why.

Prepare in advance two timelines: a high level and a detailed version (who, what, where, when, and what was said). Start with the high level and provide the detailed version if he asks.

Prepare a list of things you will do going forward: IC to make yourself safe, full transparency, offer him a postnup, and whatever else he needs from you.

Encourage him to see his doctor for help with sleeping and anxiety.

Encourage him to post on here.


Unhinged posted 1/7/2020 10:09 AM

Aside from summoning more courage than you've ever had to summon before, hold on to your hat, because you've blown-up your life and now you're going to blow-up your husband's.

Don't do it Wednesday. Don't confess yet. I would highly suggest you get a copy of the first book on the list below and read it like it's the Bible.

"How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair," by Linda MacDonald.

Read it. Peruse it. Learn it. Live it. I bought this book on the advice of SI members and my FWW read it moments after I unwrapped the packaging. She kept it with her for months. It's not a magic formula and it's not likely to make confessing any easier. It will, however, give you some much needed insight into what's about to happen to your life and, more importantly, his life.


When you're ready, also read:

"After the Affair," by Dr. Janis Spring.

"Not Just Friends," by Dr. Shirley Glass

[This message edited by Unhinged at 10:12 AM, January 7th (Tuesday)]

Sanibelredfish posted 1/7/2020 10:19 AM

It will be difficult, but confessing is the right course of action. You’ve received a lot of good advice on how to reveal this problem to your BH. Please know that hiding the A, or hurtful aspects of it after the fact, prolongs the betrayal. That said, every BS varies in what they consider necessary information. So preparing both bare bones and detailed timelines is great advice.

WilliamM posted 1/7/2020 10:22 AM

BH here. Your story is hard one to read. Your POSAP was your my husband's childhood friend? This will feel like a double betrayal to him. I do suggest you tell him everything that happen. You should also write out a timeline with all details. This should include sexual details as well. Believe me, he will want to know. I asked my wife about everything from penis size to positions used. I asked everything. Be prepared to be called names (does not always happen), to be yelled at, cursed at, cried on, pushed away, embraced, or any number of reactions.

The thing that helped me the most was my wife telling me that she loves and wants me, and only me. Make sure that I knew and believed (this took time) that I was not plan b. This will be harder for you because you did not end the affair, you were devastated that it was over, and your husband saw that devastation, though he did not know why. But when he puts the pieces together, he will see himself as the choice only because POS AP moved away. I am praying for you. It will be a long and hard journey no matter outcome.

ShutterHappy posted 1/7/2020 11:18 AM

Never blame your BH for any of it. It was 100% your fault. Be prepared to contact the OBS. she has a right to know. Yes... you will need to tell her that you and your AP broke her marriage and family.

Seek support on this forum. The waywards in here will help you fix your wayward thinking if you are honest with them and with yourself.

gmc94 posted 1/7/2020 11:23 AM

I agree with all the other posters that confessing is the best thing for both you and your BH.

FWIW, I am not a fan of the book "after the affair" (and certainly not in the immediate aftermath of dday - I found a lot of it to be BS blaming - just my opinion, as I know others enjoyed it).

Timelines/telling the details:
I would prepare the timelines (one with the "basics" and a 2nd one with all the sexual details), but let your BH be the guide on what to disclose - he may not want all the details (most - but not all - BS do want all the nitty gritty). I didn't even want that many details the first day, i was so completely blindsided I needed a bit. But w/in 24-48 hours, i wanted to know every detail. So, let him and his feelings dictate what gets shared and when - your job is to be prepared.

I'm going to assume that he does not have an IC - you may want to at least ask if your IC has any recommendations. It may be that he would prefer to get the details in a therapeutic setting (some do, some don't).

Telling OBS:
Personally, I would not like it if my WH had told the other betrayed person before telling me. However, it would have been great if he had offered to do so after i found out. AND (and this is an important "and" ), as a BS, learning of the A from my WH's AP and not from my WH made a bad situation worse. It sounds to me like your BS telling his childhood friend may be the most compassionate way for her to learn about this. I assume she will trust/believe your BH and I believe that learning from someone who actually cares for her would be better than finding out from a person who's stabbed her in the back already for the past 2.5 years.


Final Thoughts:
If I could give only one piece of advice it's this: do NOT lie about ANYTHING. Even the smallest lie about something you feel is insignificant or of no consequence will set you (and more importantly, your BS) back to square one (or maybe in negative territory). I'm not talking about "only" things related to your A. I'm talking about any lies.

I wish you the best.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 11:24 AM, January 7th, 2020 (Tuesday)]

IHatePickingName posted 1/7/2020 11:35 AM

I am glad the stop sign is removed, because you are now able to get the insight you need to minimize the ways you can make this worse. Also glad it closely mirrors what i pm'd you. Please take the advice here seriously. Many of us are speaking from experience about things our own WS did wrong and the damage it caused, the things we needed to begin healing, and the things our WS did that helped us.

I do understand wanting to confess immediately before you lose your nerve. The reason we suggest waiting is because those first days and weeks after dday are so intensely painful that you will be in crisis mode and wont have time to do it then. Instead, you will be reacting to what he says and does, and there is such a great potential to worsen the harm you cause him. Taking some time now to prepare those timelines, read the books and the thread i recommended, and whatever else advised will leave you in a better position to help him after, and for him to see you take ownership for your actions and their effects without blameshifting or being defensive.

emergent8 posted 1/7/2020 11:45 AM

Hi Emma,

I'm sorry you find yourself here. I applaud your decision to be honest with your husband about your affair. I would encourage you try to do so in the most open/honest way you can. Please try to resist any urge you have to lie about small details or to minimize your actions or their effects. I understand you are trying to avoid a divorce but your husband deserves to know the whole truth. There can be no forgiveness unless he knows and understands what he is forgiving.

none of my husband's friends(other than the AP) know about the affair and my husband doesn't have many friends to talk to, he has his sister and a best friend you think I should tell first so they can help my husband?

While I think its admirable that you want your husband to have a support network in place to help him grieve the loss of the marriage that he thought he knew, please DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE tell his family/friends before telling him. I would be humiliated to have found out AFTER my family/friends. It would create distance between us. He does not need you creating distance between himself and any more people he loves. I do think you should encourage him to speak with whomever he wishes after you disclose. Be prepared however for him to react differently than you think - us BS don't all react the same way.

IHatePickingName posted 1/7/2020 11:55 AM

I missed that. I agree. Dont tell other people. But make it clear to him that he can tell anyone he wants to, for whatever reason. The first irl person i told my my mother in law, because she was a BS herself and i knew she would understand my pain. She was a great support to me. I also wanted her to know to reach out to him to offer support since he would not ask himself (this is a major part of his current work) and i knew he needed someone too.

Support him in telling his friend about your affair with her husband. He should be the one to tell her. She should be told. She also deserves to know the truth of her life and make decisions based on reality and not lies. Offer any proof you have so he can offer it to her.

Lefty posted 1/7/2020 11:56 AM

I am a betrayed spouse who found out 40 years after the affair. You cannot imagine the damage that it has done to our relationship. Everything from the day of his affair to disclosure is questioned. Who did I spend my life with? How could he look at me and lie to my face for so many years? Was any of our marriage real? The feelings and questions are endless.


Under the “I Can Realte” forum, scroll down and find one that is called “For Those That Found Our Years Later” ... read the devastation that it causes when a secret lives to long in a marriage. I feel sick to my stomach whenever we discuss any of our past, even the good things.

Under that same forum there is one called “Double Betrayal”, my husbands affair partner was my best friend, who stayed in our lives even after the affair ended. How could he have us sit side by side for so many years, and not convey any hint of what had gone on between them.

Find the courage to follow thru with honesty in your relationship. No matter the outcome, your husband will always know that, even though you did this terrible thing, you respected him enough to be honest with him. That thought alone might be enough to help him decide that you are worth the work of recovering from this affair.

CantBeMe123 posted 1/7/2020 12:02 PM

My wife hid her affair from me for almost 15 years. Many days I feel that her confession has ruined my life. Do your husband a favor and take one of two decisive actions:

1. Tell him immediately and tell him everything. Prepare for being divorced - that is the natural consequence of what you did, isn't it? So accept it and tell him and let him make his own choices of what he can live with it. If you truly love him and respect him, this is the only choice. It is the only for you to ever feel fulfillment in your marriage, because otherwise he will never know or love the "real you". And he may not be able to, and that's OK, that's his right.

2. Tell him nothing and NEVER tell him. And I mean never ever. This is a cowardly, selfish choice, meant to minimize the fallout to YOU, not to HIM, so let's be clear about intentions. But IF you are able to be the wife you should have been in the past, and IF you are able to feel remorse and make changes in yourself without disclosure, then this is the second best choice.

Please don't ever do what my wife did to me. Don't hide it and then wake up one day and decide your husband is now "ready for the truth". No one is ever ready for that truth. The longer the time has passed, the more fucked up he will be. For those of us who found out much later, life feels like an inside joke that we're on the outside of. We lose all trust, in ourselves and our spouse. We are truly lost, with little ability to make any sort of meaningful choice, we have no agency in our own life because you, the cheater, unilaterally made choices for us, stole our agency. Don't ever do that to him. If you're going to steal his agency, do it all the way through and make a commitment (HAH) to never tell him your awful, shameful truth.

ShutterHappy posted 1/7/2020 12:09 PM

It’s possible he may ask you to leave the house; although he cannot legally make you leave, you can leave him the space he needs... plan ahead for alternative accommodations for a couple of days.

MrCleanSlate posted 1/7/2020 12:24 PM

Cantbeme123,

She landed here from a guilty conscience and doubtful she could keep it in for ever.

On top of that her AP is married to her BH close childhood friend - and who is to say that he doesn't decide to come clean at some point and news gets back to BH.

Best to plan out an affair reveal for sometime soon and spill the beans, otherwise she will always be walking on eggshells or worse.

BTW - I ended my affair and was trying to build-up the courage to tell my BW when before a week was gone my AP went nuclear on her. So best not to wait too long to open up the dialogue.

[This message edited by MrCleanSlate at 12:28 PM, January 7th (Tuesday)]

Emma1207 posted 1/7/2020 12:58 PM

Thanks everyone for the answers, I just got back from a session with my IC and yes I will tell him everything tomorrow, the question of writing an affair timeline I already did that at the beginning of my sessions with IC, she basically told me to write everything I did, all the details, and then she made me read it, but as if my husband were writing it so that I could get an idea of what I was doing to him, it was actually one of the things that made me "wake up" to reality, especially when she told me to take everything I was feeling and multiply by a thousand and that would be a fraction of what my husband will feel.

Aside from talking to AP wife I had this intent for a while, but I'll focus first on my husband.

I talked to one of my friends and she will let me spend a few days at her house if necessary, I do not want him to leave the house.

I don't blame my husband on anything at all, that was 100% my fault and I know it, I think that's why it's so hard, tomorrow I'll destroy his life and he has done nothing to deserve it.

numb&dumb posted 1/7/2020 13:02 PM

To echo what CBM123 said, the longer you wait the worse this becomes.

I had three years myself. The thing is that on some level I knew. I left it alone until I couldn't anymore. If it gets to that stage you have the A plus many more days, weeks, months or even years of lying to come back from.

Please don not rob him of being the narrator in his own life story any longer that you already have. I can't put into words how maddening that can be.

Respect is big deal with most BH. If you are upfront and tell him everything at least it leaves room for respect to return some day. If he doesn't respect you he won't trust you and those are prerequisites to any love than might make him "want," to reconcile with you.

There is a risk he may want a D, but you made a choice already that can't be undone. He has a choice to make about the future of the M that likely will be as unilateral as the choice to have an A is. Leave the choice up to him, but be clear about what you want too. Be clear about what you'd be willing to do to build a new stronger M for both of you.

Best of luck in your journey and hope things turn out for the best for both of you.

IHatePickingName posted 1/7/2020 13:16 PM

I really like your therapist and you seem to have made some good initial steps with your therapy. Good luck tomorrow.

3greatkids posted 1/7/2020 13:23 PM

With all due respect, tomorrow you aren’t going to destroy his life. You’ve already done that. Tomorrow you have the chance to start making things right by being 100% truthful and giving him the agency to make his own decisions fully aware of your actions.

I truly hope you will choose the truth, for both of your sakes.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 1/7/2020 13:42 PM

I can only add this (I am a BS of a 2 year A with a co-worker who was the wife of my WH's very good friend - all three of them, my WH, the OBS and the AP all work together in close contact - after discovery they took the A underground for a year, and then after dday 2 they stopped but after 3 months went back to it for several months - we are done):

My WH told me almost everything - I didn't want gory details so I didn't get those, but he omitted one time of broken NC sex after telling me all kinds of stuff. I found out because I had access to all of his old messages on his phone, that he knew I had in my possession but hadn't read most of them. I happened to read one message that alluded to this "one magical day" they had after a year of no sex and it just decimated my ability to trust him....so no TT, but my point is not to reiterate what others have said, but to explain this and remind yourself of this when you have the urge to omit something:

Had he told me about that one day, when he was found out, in the middle of telling me all the rest of the almost 2 years of the affair - it would have just been "another thing" - when lumped in with the rest of it, the one say of sex made no difference to the enormity of the whole affair for me. But, withholding it - withholding it made it "special" - I can't remember half of what he told me, but I will always remember that in February he took 2 hours of sick leave from work and met her in a hotel room. Had he told me that in the midst of everything else, it would have been all part and parcel of the same thing. So my point is:

If you "wan"t to make anything about your A have special significance, there is no better way to do it than to not tell it upfront, and have it confessed to or found out later.

My only other point is this: Do NOT say you want to R unless you are willing and able to go the hard yards to do it - through the nightmare that will unfold. The worst thing my WH did to me after having the A to begin with was to beg me to give him another chance, put me through false R, beg for yet another chance, and then later tell me he wasn't interested in "trying anymore" because he wasn't happy. If you want to crush someone completely, asking for the gift of R and then throwing it in their face later is the way to do it. Don't say you want to R unless you are 1000% committed to the process.

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