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The value of honesty

forgettableDad posted 10/25/2020 15:49 PM

Couldn't figure out a better title but wanted to share.

So, been looking for a new job last couple of weeks. Contract was finishing up. I've spent the last few years away from my industry due to the affair and obviously taking space. Couple of places from the industry requested me to submit CV. Last week my wife and I spoke about the what-if of running into my AP. Was a low chance but still there (I've no idea where she's at to be honest). Wife said it was ok if she works in the same company as long as it's not in the same team - obviously it'll be a trigger but she's deal. I figured if I see her I walk straight to HR and tend my resignation. Not because I'm worried about my boundries mind you but I've very little interest in seeing my wife spend any more energy than she has (and still does) on my idiotic choices.

Anyway. Long story short. My AP, out of the blue, sends me a phone message (thought I had her blocked everywhere but I recently changed phone and SIM so something may have reset). I got the message on my way to work. My first reaction was a typical one. Ignore; block; hide; lie; hope things go away.

I couldn't do it. There was a part of me that wanted to try. Then I realized something. I could feel, literally feel, the weight of that lie - a first lie after the years of honesty. It was suffocating. And I couldn't do it. Didn't want to do it. Whatever comes, whatever happens, I want to be honest with my wife. She deserves my respect, she deserve to know. And we, as a couple, deserve the chance to deal with life together.

So, I called my lead. Told him I'll be either late or not in today. Turned the car and drove straight home.

Be honest. It's by far the easier option - even if it doesn't seem like it at the time.

JBWD posted 10/25/2020 16:36 PM

Awesome job!

The most universal benefit of turning to honesty- We become honest with OURSELVES. I had to get to 12 steps to truly start approaching my self-talk with honesty. And that’s the beginning of recognizing our dishonesty.

The lazy way out is corrosive, because it first masks our OWN intentions, thus removing the option of correcting our own assumptions.

Bor9455 posted 10/25/2020 16:37 PM

All things considered, what you did was probably the best move given the circumstances. I have been in a similar spot. My former EA AP went to extensive lengths to find me. Got a new phone number, created multiple fake Facebook accounts and a few weeks ago created a fake LinkedIn account and tried to add me.

One of things I did was ditch Facebook entirely, that solved one avenue. My wife and I discussed seriously changing our numbers, but we’ve both had our numbers for over 20 years and the pain in the ass it is to change numbers with every one/every company isn’t worth it to us. It just means that the APs win. Brought it up with my IC and he made a good point to me, the time it takes to type a short message like “how are you?” And hit send is 10 seconds. But when it hits your phone, it may cause minutes, hours or even days of shame/pain in the relationship. It isn’t worth it. So I think you were completely justified to bring it right to your wife. I’ve done the same in each of these instances above and we decide together what to do. It is the only way to rebuild some of the trust between us.

Unhinged posted 10/25/2020 19:43 PM

Honesty and happiness are inextricably linked. I'd say Socrates did a pretty good job of making the case. It seems Humanity agrees, too, after all, Plato wrote about him some 2,500 years ago.

Bigger posted 10/26/2020 05:56 AM

One thing that might be good to do now is talk to your wife about how she wants you to respond to comparable situations in the future.
NC is definite. You are not going to ask if you should Ignore; block; hide; lie; hope things go away.
But ask her what response she wants. Sometimes you just cant postpone work, a meeting or something comparable. What reaction would she be content with? This response NOW shows what you are prepared to do, but what does she NEED.

I would imagine and hope that she would be content with you letting her know ASAP and then you two discuss it when you get home.
But this is for her to decide.

IF your AP makes another or third contact attempt then consider sending a NC letter. But first of all I would share with wife and possibly ignore in the hope she desists when no response is sent.
It’s relatively unemotional and simple:
“OW – I am committed to working on my marriage and fixing the damage done. I have no wish or intention to be in any contact with you in any way or form and request that you do not contact me in any way or form. Any attempt to contact me will be shared with my wife and can lead to legal action”

MrCleanSlate posted 10/26/2020 09:03 AM

I recall that first post D-Day text message from the AP. I hadn't though to block numbers, etc.

I was shaking with anger and guilt. I had my finger ready to hit delete and pretend i never saw it. However, in that instant I chose the path to honesty and to show my BW and ask her what we should do.

That struggle was/is real for so many.

As forgettableDad said - be honest.

Chaos posted 10/26/2020 11:12 AM

BS here. And I will commend you on your upfrontedness and honesty.

As a BS though - this is one of my fears. That LTAP will try to come back. Even through an it's been a few years so I'll send a text type scenario.

The initial gut reaction was an honest one. BUT you used common sense and went the path of honesty. Good on YOU.

NotMyFirstRodeo posted 10/26/2020 14:18 PM

Well done.

forgettableDad posted 10/26/2020 16:28 PM

That LTAP will try to come back.
I don't know that she was trying to come back. Although the timing of the message was interesting. She actually wanted me to bring her back an item she gave me over two years ago. I'm not sure why it suddently came up.

I could've spent time trying to guess at her motives but neither myself nor my wife wanted to expand more energy on it than was needed. My wife figured it was best to find if we had the item in question (I've thrown out pretty much anything that had any contact with the AP - emotional or physical) and mail it over. Which I did. Minimum interactions and back on the blocked list.

Honesty and happiness are inextricably linked. I'd say Socrates did a pretty good job of making the case. It seems Humanity agrees, too, after all, Plato wrote about him some 2,500 years ago.
100% agree. I've been binging on Steven West's "Philosophize This" podcast - highly recommanded :)

I was shaking with anger and guilt. I had my finger ready to hit delete and pretend i never saw it. However, in that instant I chose the path to honesty and to show my BW and ask her what we should do.
One of the metaphors I like for myself about this struggle is trying to step over a finishing line pulling a boulder. And every time I step over it - the next race has a smaller boulder. I used to think I'd like to have the boulder disappear completely but I think, now, that the struggle helps me. I dunno, maybe in a few years I'll say something else.

Chaos posted 10/27/2020 06:53 AM

You had/found the item and sent the item back? Yourself or via an attorney with a no contact letter?

I ask because [keeping in mind I am the BS so I will tread very lightly] to an AP after so long wouldn't even that send a mixed signal? That you not only had the item still but that you quickly sent it? Won't AP see that as you still care enough to keep souvenirs and you beck to her call? May I ask how your BW handled that or if she was involved in the finding, packing and mailing of the item? And what [if I may ask] was the item that was held in such high regard [by AP] after so long a time had passed.

I'm not trying to hold your nose to the grindstone - but am very curious. I want to learn from this. Because - I'm the one who is concerned that LTAP may reach back out. While I'm confident in WH now and R is going well - our youngest is coming of age. And when the A was hot, AP hoped once that happened...well...she had her fantasy of a happily ever after.


forgettableDad posted 10/27/2020 16:37 PM

I'm not trying to hold your nose to the grindstone - but am very curious.
hold away, I'm jewish, I got to spare

I ask because [keeping in mind I am the BS so I will tread very lightly] to an AP after so long wouldn't even that send a mixed signal? That you not only had the item still but that you quickly sent it? Won't AP see that as you still care enough to keep souvenirs and you beck to her call?
I really don't know how she would take it. Or what sign she might think this sends. I've no interest in trying to guess what's on her mind; from my point of view, trying to obsess on her is a waste of my energy and would probably send the wrong message to my wife.

And what [if I may ask] was the item that was held in such high regard [by AP] after so long a time had passed.

It was a book. I had it because I completely forgot she lent it to me 2+ years ago (haven't read it tbh) and in the meanwhile we moved houses and it must've been packed then unpacked into the attic (where I found it). As I said, every other item that had any connection - emotional or physical - has been removed.

May I ask how your BW handled that or if she was involved in the finding, packing and mailing of the item?
We spoke about what we wanted to do. We weighed the benefits/draws backs of ignore, throwing or sending. And decided that the best course of action - if the book was still around to send it to her. My wife handed me a bag and that was her input into packing.

You had/found the item and sent the item back? Yourself or via an attorney with a no contact letter?
I went to the post-office and sent it ten minutes later. It did involve a quick back/forth on messages but my wife was there for the entire exchange. Kept it as simple and straightforward as possible ("what's the address", "sent + tracking-number"). And that's it. Nothing vindictive, nothing to open a dialogue; no investment.

[This message edited by forgettableDad at 6:19 PM, October 27th (Tuesday)]

cactusflower posted 10/28/2020 09:24 AM

It was a book. I had it because I completely forgot she lent it to me 2+ years ago (haven't read it tbh) and in the meanwhile we moved houses and it must've been packed then unpacked into the attic (where I found it). As I said, every other item that had any connection - emotional or physical - has been removed.

Unless said book was rare/signed/$$$$, it wasn't the real reason she reached out to you. It was used as an excuse to get in contact with you again.

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