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Need help on my lists.

mamabear22 posted 7/28/2020 10:08 AM

Hi all,
Through this webpage I found another one that is really helping with Betrayal Recovery, which I think I have been suffering from and keeps causing the reoccurring pain. I am not sure that I can mention it here? If I can, can a mod please let me know. I think many of us would benefit from it and it is legit help.

It has been 3 years since my dday and had trickle truth for several months, have never had a formal disclosure and seemed to do everything wrong from the beginning because we were not with a therapist that was trained in our area of need.
So we are some what starting at the beginning of recovery with a therapist that specializes in Betrayal Trauma and knows how to do proper disclosure etc. Only 3 years after when we really needed it.

I am working on putting together 2 lists and trying not to miss anything. And hope that you all can help me with creating these lists.

List #1 is my Boundaries list. Hard boundarie for my wayward spouse.

List #2 is what questions I want answered when he does his formal disclosure.

What would you put on your list?
Thanks in advance.

Chaos posted 7/28/2020 10:30 AM

I'm not sure how helpful this will be, but my 2 cents is simple.

Boundary - if you don't want me doing it/saying it/thinking it with another man - don't do it/say it/think it with another woman.

Disclosure - every single detail start to finish. He can start with the very 1st thought and go through chronologically until he began speaking. I'm talking all communications, texts, sexts, hook ups, etc. Every little thing. No detail is too small.

Ladybugmaam posted 7/28/2020 10:39 AM

I'd think carefully about what you do want to know about the details of the affair in the formal disclosure. There are so many things that I wish I didn't know. There are so many details of the sex that are in my brain, that I wish I didn't know. It has caused me more pain than healing.
Is it going to help? We had great MC early on.....and that counselor cautioned us NOT to disclose every detail. We did it anyway. I know WHY you want this. I wanted every detail too. But, now I wish I could "un-know" this stuff.

mamabear22 posted 7/28/2020 11:17 AM

@chaos - I agree with your boundary.
However I think with the Disclosure I need to be specific.
A couple I have thought of are.
Were any of the women in our home when I was not home?
Was J*#$*&a ever in your truck?
but I give my questions to the therapist and they use it to compose the disclosure.

This was 3 years ago and I realize that he is not going to recall everything, but it will be assisted by a therapist. They do have guidelines of how much to tell. My list will go to the therapist and they will use it to compose the disclosure.

A couple of kind of contradictory things for me.

I don't believe that he has ever told me everything and that is because he has never done any disclosure, only confirmed what I found out on my own. So if he told me anything new that I don't know already, I think I would be happy and feel that he could finally be truthful with me.
SOooo many times he said'I don't know,' or 'I don't remember' and that was a couple of weeks after it happened...
I am hoping that this also works in my favour that he will actually tell me the truth not remembering what he did and did not tell me then.
I think many of the 'I don't know' were really I don't know what I should tell you, and the 'I don't remembers' were I don't remember what I told you the last time you asked.

sisoon posted 7/28/2020 15:29 PM

I wanted to know as much as possible. If there was a deal killer lurking in the mix, I wanted to know ASAP, so I could end our M.

And even if it wasn't a true deal killer, the sooner I learned about something, the sooner i could start healing from the betrayal.

The problem with not asking for everything is this: what happens if something comes out in the future that is important to your stay/go decision? What will you do if your H mistakenly reveals something that would make you dump him, but he does it 10 years from now?

Also, it's critical for your H to be honest with himself and you. It's also critical for you to be honest with yourself. My reco is to ask especially the questions that scare you. Get the truth. Otherwise, you don't know what you're dealing with.


Are the boundaries going to be yours, or are they the boundaries you hope you H will adopt?

Some people think a boundary is in the form of 'Don't be alone with another woman.'

The boundary will work better if it's in the form, 'If you're alone with another woman, I will ____.' You fill in the blank with what you will do.

[This message edited by sisoon at 3:31 PM, July 28th (Tuesday)]

mamabear22 posted 7/29/2020 11:38 AM

Sisoon I totally agree with knowing everything.

The problem with not asking for everything is this: what happens if something comes out in the future that is important to your stay/go decision? What will you do if your H mistakenly reveals something that would make you dump him, but he does it 10 years from now?

That is where I am at 3 years out. I want to know everything. So I can make the decision that is right for me. Do I need to know the gory details like if she moaned his name...no. But I do need to know the important details that will allow me to make an informed decision. And I am hoping to find out how much he really has been lying/or not telling me for the last 3 years. Which will also be critical.

I like your thinking on the boundaries, after all he can do what he likes, but allow him to know the consequences. Thank you this was a great tip I will use.

Unhinged posted 7/29/2020 13:19 PM

I'd suggest you try writing down any and all thoughts regarding boundaries and disclosure, a stream of consciousness type thing, and see what stands out.

Cooley2here posted 7/29/2020 15:40 PM

This might help. None of us have total recall except for 50-100 people worldwide. Can you remember what you ate for lunch three weeks ago? I canít remember what I ate two days ago.

I canít give you much advice because a friend told me but I was a young sahm whose mother died, and father very ill. I had no support system so I didnít ask for years. When I did he answered and then I let it go. We both grew up.

Your h was more involved emotionally so that is the threat you see. He probably has no idea the date things started but he sure knows where things happened. Start with those. Be careful asking about emotions because once words are said they canít be taken back.

Underserving posted 7/29/2020 16:23 PM

3 years out it is hard to pin down exact details. Some people on here say thatís a cop out, but I sure as hell cant remember specific things from that long ago.

My WH spent 2.5 years trying to block out and forget all his heinous actions. Not being able to nail down exact dates, or every conversation they had, is just something Iíve had to come to terms with.

I have the big picture. I have more details on the sexual part of the relationship than I care to. I know there were I love youís. I know every single time they saw each other in person, but I will never have dates or specific details of their 25,000 texts. Just the broad picture of she bitched about her work, he bitched about his, and they sent a million pictures. Gross.

If you want phone records, you can call the phone company to get those. Itís kind of a pain, but it was worth it to me to have an exact timeline from the first communication to the last. They also helped verify his story of how and when things ended. She of course gave me a different account, but sheís a bitch and a liar too.

gmc94 posted 8/2/2020 15:54 PM

I'm wondering if you start on the disclosure side with "everything" and then remove things you may NOT want to know?

I'm in the "everything" camp. I've said it a ton of times, but the sexual acts that I DO know about are not the ones that give me unmanageable mind movies or obsessive thoughts (except for kissing, which I think is really about his hypocrisy and not so much the actual act) . TBH, some of the sexual details were actually pretty laughable. Some hurt like hell, but have been processed and are quite manageable. It is - still - the unknown that haunts me. And - we are all different. I can understand folks who don't want to know the sexual stuff. That's just not me - never was, never will be.

I honestly don't understand the IC/MC who act as gatekeepers on information to the BS. I've read of CSATs who believe the WS should not even tell the BS the identity of the APs, unless it's someone the BS may know. I call absolute bullshit on that. I find it patronizing and condescending. I sure as hell would have a HUGE problem if I changed jobs and discover my new coworker was a former AP, but that identity was not disclosed bc at the time of disclosure I didn't know her.

If you are someone who wants sexual information, you should get it - whether or not the IC/MC agrees. You are an adult and you get to choose that for yourself. Personally, I am a big advocate of doing a timeline with all the gory sex - every single bit. And then they can take that document and do a 2nd disclosure that's been sanitized and is what you get at the formal disclosure. This way if you change you mind and want to know more sexual details, that information is already prepared and ready to go.

And I agree with Sissoon as to the dealbreakers. Sorry about the graphic nature, but what if, for instance, anal is a dealbreaker for you? If it is, then that needs to be communicated and answered, sooner vs later.

As to the non-sexual information I wanted, I found an old post where I listed out a ton of stuff (I hope I didn't violate some SI rule, but I did bump it for you - in reconciliation, called something like "best questions to ask" ). Personally, I don't think the BS should be submitting questions for the initial disclosure (more on that below). To me, the WS needs to purge EVERYTHING, and the point of the formal disclosure with the IC/MC is for the BS to ask any additional questions that arise in light of the information shared formally. In addition to the "basics" of who, what (sex, dinners, gifts, etc), where, and when, it came down to some basic themes/categories:

* how much were things planned/premeditated from beginning to end,
* how much of my space, my private life, and our children's lives were shared with a complete stranger w/o my consent,
* how removed he was from having any conscience about potential exposure and the hurt he was causing to me, the kids, the BSO, etc., and
* how he felt about various aspects of his choices and the steps he took to bring them to fruition - both at the time and post dday.

Finally, I am a firm believer that the disclosure is not "just" for the BS. IMO it is JUST as - if not MORE - important that the WS go through the exercise of re-living and remembering all of the steps they took. Each and every though & action of betrayal. Not for them to sit in shame, but to really SEE the person they became in their A. WS are cursed/blessed with some serious cognitive dissonance. They are able to truly believe they are "good" people while engaging in super hurtful and destructive thoughts & behaviors. IMO, unless and until they are able to truly and completely confront & own all of that, they are not safe partners. And this is why I really do think it's important that they do a written disclosure of all sexual details - whether or not they are ever shared with the BS. It's another way to take the shine off of all of it. It's a way of taking away the excitement (and power/control) of keeping secrets in their heads, cuz even if the BS doesn't ever see it, the IC/MC/CSAT will - there is another human being to which the WS has had to be fully accountable.

As to boundaries, I think Chaos has a great start. Mine included NEVER being alone with another woman w/o my knowledge (a boundary my WH has repeatedly broken - another reason I've not committed to R with him).

[This message edited by gmc94 at 11:41 PM, August 2nd, 2020 (Sunday)]

mamabear22 posted 8/4/2020 13:08 PM


It is - still - the unknown that haunts me.

And that is why I am having a hard time,
I feel no disclosure was made, and there was no effort on his part to tell me anything.
There will always be some unknowns, I get that.
I am hoping that after he puts thought into a formal disclosuer with help of a therapist that I do feel like he is being honest and that he is finally putting effort into being honest.

I hope to loose the feeling that he is not telling me to protect himself.
I don't know if I can ever believe him again , but I am willing to try, I think this will be the one last time.
I am sick of trying,
He says he is willing to do anything.
But I feel like he is acting like he is my teenager and thinks if he just doesn't bring it up, I will forget about it....
Exhausted after 3 years of trying.
Thank you all for your suggestions.

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