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Healing after confessing

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Aching44giveness posted 10/29/2020 10:44 AM

I havenít quite gotten the lingo down yet but this post welcomes responses from both wayward AND betrayed.

Good morning. Iím new and havenít shared my full story. In a nutshell, my A ended 10 years ago. It started when I was 19 with my boss who was 10 years older than me. He pursued me. My H (boyfriend at the time) and I had been dating one year. The A happened during work hours and was on and off for 3 years (a big gap of time that it was ďoffĒ , H and I got engaged). We married and then it happened once more after marriage. H and I were friends with AP and his wife during all of that time. We donít talk to them anymore.

I have been completely faithful to my H since then and have lived in shame and guilt about this secret A. I am a Christian and the Lord really began convicting me and I felt like I needed to tell my H. I knew it would break his heart but June 19th Of this year, I confessed. I tt and have had 2 more Ddays since then. Not a soul knows about the A besides us. My ExAP doesnít even know I confessed (as far as I know H hasnít had a real conversation with him about it). We never talk to him anymore.

My H and I have always had a WONDERFUL marriage. We are seriously best friends and have been so happy to have each other. My needs have always been met and Iíve never felt like I was lacking anything.

My H has been doing ďHarboring HopeĒ through affair recovery but other than that neither one of us have had any counseling. He is unsure about whether or not he wants that.

I know 4 months is still VERY early in the process but Iím just wondering what yíalls experience is with reconciliation when the WW willingly confesses.
Also, does it make it harder that it happened 10 years ago? We both want our marriage to work. We also have 2 children We are in hard days right now. I guess Iím just looking for any kind of hope.

[This message edited by Aching44giveness at 10:57 AM, October 29th (Thursday)]

survrus posted 10/29/2020 11:33 AM


Write out a detailed timeline

Take a polygraph to validate the timeline

DNA for the kids

Offer a postnup

STD testing

Confess to Other Mans wife

Lawsuit against the OM if he owned the company.

Widespread exposure for the OM

Having to socialize with someone who had your W is really hard to overcome.

[This message edited by survrus at 11:33 AM, October 29th (Thursday)]

survrus posted 10/29/2020 11:39 AM

I will say this and it applies to me, and might apply to your BH.

The fact that you were 19 when this started makes the OM a bit of a predator.

But also the fact that you were 19 makes it more difficult to deal with because the OM got you when you were 19 and now your BH has you when you are older.

I sometimes feel that OM1 from 30 years ago got the best my W could or would ever give.

For clarity what is your age now?

[This message edited by survrus at 11:40 AM, October 29th (Thursday)]

landclark posted 10/29/2020 11:45 AM

I know for me, finding out about an affair years later didn't make it any easier. It actually made it much worse because now I feel as though our whole relationship has been a lie. In my case, he didn't stop cheating like you did which does add another layer to it. One of the most annoying aspects of finding out years later is that he claims to not remember all of the details, even though I want details. So I second the suggestion to write out a timeline, and then add as much detail as you can remember. Then at that point it's up to your betrayed husband on how much he wants to know. Answer all of his questions openly and honestly, and for the love of all that is holy, don't say "I don't remember." It is absolutely one of the most annoying phrases I have ever heard! It's ok to say you need to think on the details as it was so long ago, and you will come back to it (and follow through on that), but don't just leave it as "I don't remember".

You're already off to a bad start by TT. It is likely going to be very very hard for him to believe he now knows everything. It would have been much better to just lay things out at the start. I get that seems to be a natural first reaction, but man oh man, it really makes it that much worse for the betrayed.

Time really does help, but you need to be fully committed to R. Both of you do. You need to prove that you're remorseful, not just regretful (there is a huge difference).

There are many very wise people here, and I think you'll get some awesome advice from others. Best of luck to you!

Buck posted 10/29/2020 11:52 AM

For fucks sake, OM didnít do anything illegal, she was an adult and she knew it was wrong. Let her own her choices.

Aching, where was God when you made those multitude of choices to betray your SO/H over the 3 years you were unfaithful? You have made your entire marriage a sham. You have let your H make decisions that he may or may not have made because of your lies. Do you think he would have married you if he knew what you were doing? Would he have had children with you? Thatís the reality of your situation now. Iím sure your H is questioning everything about you and the marriage.

I always wonder what prompts these unsolicited confessions. Why not just let it fester in your gut? Why share the pain with your H? Do you really want to be in the marriage now?

fooled13years posted 10/29/2020 11:53 AM


We are seriously best friends

You might consider exactly what the term best friend really means to you.

Would you consider someone your friend should they have hid something that directly affected you all those years?

Did he not have any questions about what had happened between you and your boss?

H and I were friends with AP and his wife during all of that time

Were the 4 of you friends before the affair happened or did you introduce your BH to your AP after the affair started?

You need to prepare yourself for some of the things your BH may feel and have to work out soon.

What are you prepared to do to save the marriage? Please don't just say anything, be specific.

Aching44giveness posted 10/29/2020 12:14 PM

Survrus, I just turned 33. I was an adult the time that it happened so I take responsibility for my actions.

Landclark, thank you for the response. I truly do regret the TT.

Buck, I absolutely 100% want to be in my marriage. I honestly thought I would keep this secret forever but I felt like confessing to him would be the right thing to do. I agree that I should have done it much sooner.

Fooled13years, we were friends before this happened. We all worked together and started hanging out. Then I started babysitting for them and thatís where ExAP made his first move.

I guess I donít know what kind of specific answer to give as far as what Iím willing to do to save our marriage. I have suggested counseling several times. The last 4 months have been a roller coaster (as expected) but he has stopped asking many questions the last month or so. Is it normal to stop asking much about the A?

[This message edited by Aching44giveness at 12:15 PM, October 29th (Thursday)]

Timeforhelp posted 10/29/2020 12:31 PM

Sorry to tell you Aching, but Ď you and your husbandĎ have not had a WONDERFUL marriage. You have managed to have a wonderful marriage after having your fun with OM, then you lied to your husband for the entirety of your marriage.

My WS also kept information about his affair which occurred before our marriage to himself and then told me 17 years later, I assure you if he had confessed prior to proposing I would have said NO. You lead your husband into a relationship built on a lie, and I would prompt you to have a serious look at the rest of your perceived wonderful marriage and answer honestly if the affair was the only lie you have been keeping.

Wayward behaviour seeps into everyday life and selfish behaviour you may have felt entitled to could have devastating affects on your husband.

You stated that you willingly confessed, but this in itself is a lie as by your own admission you TT!

You MUST provide your husband with a FULL confession of any and ALL wayward behaviour to enable him to decide if you can be trusted enough for him to grant you reconciliation.

You might like to offer a polygraph to ensure your timeline is the full truth, and if you want your marriage to work you need to offer to do anything your husband needs with regards boundaries.

You may find your husband requires DNA testing on your children along with STD testing for you and him.

You say you meant to take this to your grave, but then you have confessed in order to make yourself feel better. Again this is an extremely selfish act if you have truly been the perfect wife since. Ask yourself honestly why you have confessed now?

I know a lot of these responses have been slightly harsh, but this is likely to be the things your husband is thinking, I certainly was on discovery. However you need to keep reading and posting here, there is a lot of experience to help you and your husband heal.

Aching44giveness posted 10/29/2020 12:46 PM

Time for help, I do agree with what youíve said. It was a selfish thing to do to not tell him before we married so he could have the choice in whether or not to marry me. I really do understand how awful that is.

This is truthfully the only lie that Iíve kept from my H. There is nothing else that Iíve ever withhheld from him throughout our marriage.

Honest to God, I didnít do it to relieve my guilt. I didnít want to confess!!! I would have kept it a secret until death. But my conviction to confess was very strong. I understand some arenít religious, but maybe those who are would understand that.

HellFire posted 10/29/2020 12:56 PM

This was not one lie.

A 3 year affair before,and during the marriage is not one lie. An affair in which you, and your husband, were friendly with the other man,and his wife, is not one lie. An affair that happened 10 years ago is not one lie.

Several thousand lies. At least. Every day has been a lie,because you chose that for him.

The responses will be harsh. Hang in there. Your husband has been traumatized. You will get the best advice here, if you want to reconcile the correct,most healthy way. You have a lot of work to do on yourself.

Show your husband this site. Ask him to sign up and get support.

You said he has stopped talking about it. Are you bringing it up? It's on his mind. He needs to know it's on yours as well. Rugsweeping is the worst thing you can do.

Aching44giveness posted 10/29/2020 13:05 PM

Hellfire, thank you for responding. Itís true that itís been a lie every day of our marriage. Iím sure thatís what heís thinking also. Which is hard. To know that I caused this. Itís a mess.

My H is in the final weeks of ďHarboring HopeĒ through affair recovery. Thatís the only outlet that he has at this point. I will suggest this site.

I donít offer to talk about it as much as I should. A couple of days ago I texted him and said that we should talk it out and asked him if he had anything he wanted to ask me or talk about. He said ďI guess I really havenít thought of anything to ask latelyĒ. Could it be that heís rugsweeping? Or does there come a point where the BH feels like the questions might all be answered?

[This message edited by Aching44giveness at 1:06 PM, October 29th (Thursday)]

HellFire posted 10/29/2020 14:28 PM

It generally takes 3 to 5 years to heal. He may still be in shock.

Why did you cheat?

Something else...your username. Forgiveness is earned. Over an long period of time, through consistent,honest, and remorseful actions. And forgiveness a requirement for reconciliation. Some BS never forgive, yet go on to have a happy marriage.

Has your husband told his wife yet? That is something that needs to be done.

HellFire posted 10/29/2020 14:28 PM

It generally takes 3 to 5 years to heal. He may still be in shock.

Why did you cheat?

Something else...your username. Forgiveness is earned. Over an long period of time, through consistent,honest, and remorseful actions. And forgiveness a requirement for reconciliation. Some BS never forgive, yet go on to have a happy marriage.

Has your husband told his wife yet? That is something that needs to be done.

survrus posted 10/29/2020 15:11 PM


You wrote, Honest to God, I didnít do it to relieve my guilt.

No matter why you did it, you did a good even just thing. You allowed your BH to make an informed choice about staying with you.

Biblically he has the right to divorce you for cheating on him as well.

Generally men don't exhibit the hurt they feel they just burn inside their heads in a private hell without windows.

HomeAlone95 posted 10/29/2020 16:03 PM

My H and I have always had a WONDERFUL marriage. We are seriously best friends and have been so happy to have each other. My needs have always been met and Iíve never felt like I was lacking anything.

I'm sorry, Aching44giveness, but you're the one who got the wonderful marriage here. My WW hid her infidelity from me for several months and when I found out it retroactively destroyed SO much during that time. Like, every happy memory made became tainted, the holidays we spent happily because she was guilty about what she did were all poisoned. Everything.

On reading your post, what stood out to me most was the thought "my God, she's stolen a decade of his life and forced him into life-altering choices without his informed consent." Like, you may not see it that way, but there will come a time when he starts to wonder if the reason your confession finally came was that you thought you'd finally entrapped him enough that he wouldn't leave. Like sure, he loves the kids, but he could have had kids with someone else. Does your faith view that hiding infidelity that occurred before a marriage invalidates the wedding? He may be sitting there wondering just how valid all your relationship even is as well...

I'm also worried about the fact that he's seeming to rug sweep the whole situation. That's not something that can last forever. I would suggest that even if he doesn't want to pursue counseling yet, that you at least pursue IC with a counselor who can work through your infidelity... it will help if/when he finally does burst at the seams and has real hard questions for you to answer.

[This message edited by HomeAlone95 at 4:04 PM, October 29th (Thursday)]

NotMyFirstRodeo posted 10/29/2020 16:20 PM

I know it's hard for you in your own way and I don't feel compelled to pile anything on you but I will share what I experienced. No hate is meant but even if you view my feedback as I intend it, as raw data, it may read a tick harsh sounding. It only reads that way because the reality is truly harsh and there's no circumventing that with soft words.

It's a good thing that you made a decision to share hidden details of your/your H's life with him that he deserved to know. But you simultaneously devalued your willingness to open the window to your other life when you TT'd.

The TT hurts like the most royal of SOB's on this side of things. It's maddening and causes a type of damage that is hard to move beyond. From what I've read, some never do really heal from it. Imagine you have an open wound in your stomach and then someone regularly digging around down in it with janky finger nails just after the wound appears to begin to heal over....rinse repeat until the TT stops. And then you look up and see the person willingly digging around and causing all kinds of secondary trauma to your wound is none other than the most important and trusted person in your whole life. They aren't cringing as they are doing it, they are just staring at you with a blank look...a kind of indifference to the trauma being caused. It's kind of like that. So expect long-term fallout from the TT.

How long ago it occurred did not matter to me and from what I've read of others they would mostly say the same. It's old to you but brand new to the BS. Everything since the betrayal is as someone else said, a "sham" or a ruse. And if your H is like me, he will feel like the biggest fool on earth. He is going to feel humiliated and he is going to be angry that he blindly trusted you. Trust may never return. The person he was before may be dead. The person he was before "was a fool".

Survus spoke of something I've dealt with and your H likely will: the idea that someone got you in your "prime" and then got handed "left overs" only once you felt he was worthy. (I do not mean that I personally see things exactly that superficially but I do feel my wife did/does and only once the tables began to turn on how male/female "primes" are historically valued did she all of a sudden give herself exclusively to me. Quite frankly how I see things doesn't mean as much to me as how she saw/see's it and the implications of her feelings of valuation and worthiness)

All of this said, he may still love you, have deep feelings for you and he may wish to work things out. Regardless of that, if any rug sweeping occurs it will show itself later down the road.

I wish you both the best. Please do not force him to ask the perfectly phrased question to get the information you know he is seeking. You should be as open a book as he is asking for.

NotMyFirstRodeo posted 10/29/2020 16:27 PM

survus: "Generally men don't exhibit the hurt they feel they just burn inside their heads in a private hell without windows."

This is the closest thing I have read that describes how all of it has wrecked me. But "closest" still only gives the reader a glimpse.

Carissima posted 10/29/2020 18:56 PM

H and I were friends with AP and his wife during all of that time.

Please stop this narrative. While your husband may have been this woman's friend it's not a title you can claim.

Justsomeguy posted 10/29/2020 19:13 PM

You might want to rethink your "wonderful marriage" comment. You know, houses built on sand and all that. I suspect that you BH isn't quite as convinced that the marriage was wonderful. He might have considered the ficticious one great, but not the real one now that he has seen it for what it is. Was it wonderful for you living a lie? If yes, then I worry for you. If no, then you are beginning your journey.

I don't want to appear harsh, but brutal and naked honesty are the order of the day from now on if R has even a hope for both of you.

Babette2008 posted 10/29/2020 19:26 PM

So, I found out about affairs that my husband had had many years earlier. We had always gotten along well and I thought we were happy.

So yes, it did hurt a lot, even though it was long over.

The fact that his AP was a ďfriendĒ made it worse because it meant that I felt like a fool when I thought about all of the times we were together and had had no clue.

It has killed any good memories I had about our time together during the years they were having their affair. They slept together for the first time right before a particularly memorable family vacation, what had been a great memory I donít even want to think about. Over time I ended up deleting all of the pictures of the two of us together during those years. Itís like he was a ghost then. Weíll never get those years back.

I found out 3 years ago. We are still together and he is entirely remorseful. But There will always be this big hole in our marriage. With enough good years, maybe the end result will be that the hole Will be overshadowed by good years. Thatís the hope.

Thatís my experience with finding out years later.

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