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Healing after confessing

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BraveSirRobin posted 11/2/2020 12:30 PM

If I can offer some advice, gently, don't fall into the trap of using FOO issues as a false narrative in your head about why you were unfaithful.

My WW was essentially abandoned by her father at a young age -- and unfortunately she has allowed herself to use this is a FOO (family of origin) crutch to help her feel better about her infidelity.

Thumos and I see this a bit differently. I agree with him that using 'whys" as self-justification is lazy and toxic. Nothing can absolve you of responsibility for the choices you made, so the whys are useless if you want them to rewrite the past. They are, however, essential for writing the future. If you don't understand the weaknesses that allowed you to cheat, you can't heal or repair those flaws to become a safe partner moving forward. Saying "I was an asshole, I hate myself, I won't do it again" simply is not enough.

Thumos posted 11/2/2020 13:51 PM

Saying "I was an asshole, I hate myself, I won't do it again" simply is not enough.

Also true.

hollowhurt posted 11/2/2020 15:34 PM


4 months is nothing. Your BH may still be in shock.
You have reasons to hopeful. Find them, count them every day, talk to your husband. Chase him some if he is ready.

You have some things to your advantage.

1. your new walk with Christ
2. you confess
3. you have this forum for help, it has its issues, but you can cut years off of the really bad part healing by using this place, if any thing just read. Your BH also.
4. you are not a bad person, just not a perfect person.

I am a BH and WW TT and lied for years. Now every thing that was/is good or bad in our marriage has a filter to hold against it. It is not fair, not to my wife and damn sure not to me. She was caught years ago, and felt for almost 20 year that not telling all the details was 'protecting' me and our marriage. No matter, that leaves a marriage built on lies. She fought admitting every detail until everything melted down. That lie lived and grew between us for years, wish I had those years back. I am sure A44orgivness you understand this. I think, I hope you do.

I am going to give you somethings that I wished my wife would have done years ago. This my BH POV.

1. GET counselling now. IC and MC and beg your husband to get IC and go with you to MC. Don't get someone that has the skill set of 'how does that make you feel?' get a counsellor that will 'get in your business' so to speak.

2. Speaking to Creditability I believe and he did it well, Thumos said:

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

To put my view on his work:

Timeline, have the counselor help, but do it immediately and give to your husband. It better not change later. Answer any and all questions, sexual, why's, why not now's, lying, who else knew. After talking to a good counsellor hold nothing back. It will only come up later, bigger and uglier.

Poly, after counselling offer one. It gives you creditability.

DNA, if your children were born in this timeframe, yes. If not only if your husband wants them. (infidelity is so much fun, ain't it?)

STD, yep, you played, you pay. whatever embarrassment you feel is nothing compared to what others are experiencing. it is your health, your husbands, the other BS.

Postnup, creditability. your husband may or may not want this or poly or the DNA

3. Do all the research you can on triggers, mental movies, (EMDR helped me) empathy, compassion, etc. for him now, and you also. You did one stupid thing, it will hurt forever somewhat, but you can make a good life, and a good marriage.

4. You will most likely be asked the same questions over and over. Answer them, over and over. He will get mad. So?? It will get better. If he is still at home, he is fighting his demons, and they are there. You can do this. DO NOT BE DEFENSIVE.

5. This was exposed now for a reason. Your marriage will always have this scar. BUT, you can heal it faster if YOU work at it. It is hard. But I venture that is will not be as hard as the lie you have been living with.

6. Be careful of who, if anyone at church you confide in. Some of the most hurtful and plain ass stupid counselling we received came from a minister, and lay people love to love you with the love of the LORD as the gossip their buttocks off.

One other thing. You and your husband are planning on keeping another lie it appears from your postings. It will haunt you one day.

The other betrayed spouse. She needs to be aware of what happened. YOU should tell her and then your husband should tell her. Then shut that door. Creditability for you, closure for both of you, doing the right thing it not always the easiest. Let no part of this lie exist. Erase it all, then when the questions come, your husband will know the truth, ugly as it is. You will not have to keep anything from him. Yes, the truth can set you free.

Work hard at this. If your husband wanted to hurt, embarrass, humiliate you I would wager he would be gone. He is not, that is good.

RocketRaccoon posted 11/3/2020 02:06 AM

My H and I were in a monogamous dating relationship at that time.

Errrm, you might want to re-word this a bit... your B(etrayed)H(usband) was in a monogamous relationship, but I don't think you can say the same.

I don't raise this to spite you, but as a word of caution when explaining the relationship to others, and especially to your BH.

It is a difficult path you are on, as you have just hit your BH with something so primal (betrayal) that he will be reeling for a long time, and you will need to be mindful of minimising.

You have already committed a cardinal sin of TT, so it is best that you do not minimise, nor beautify your past actions.

The truth does hurt, but it is best for the B(etrayed)S(pouse) to know the full truth, so that they can make a fully informed decision about their future.

Gently now, another point to note, is that you should let go of the outcome. It is not for you to decide.

What you can do, is try and earn the chance at R. Take the default position that R is not an automatic path, but it is something that you will need to work hard at to earn.

hikingout posted 11/3/2020 08:38 AM

If I can offer some advice, gently, don't fall into the trap of using FOO issues as a false narrative in your head about why you were unfaithful.

I am with BSR, and just wanted to share how I sort that.

The reason we cheated, no matter what is because we wanted to. That is an important truth for us all to recognize. But without going any further all you are doing is staying in shame. Handwringing is not going to fix this for you.

So, you have to look at many things:

Why did you want to do it?
Usually the root answer is you were unhappy in some way. And that doesn't always, in fact I don't even think it usually has anything to do with the relationship. Affairs are usually pretty selfish, ego based things. It's going to be harder for you to disect because this was so long ago. Whatever you were unhappy about may have passed. You may have found your self worth and self love since then. But, you still have to find the answers to those questions because it will matter to your BS.

What made you feel entitled to do it? Usually we think we deserved it in some way, this is about justifications you used.

How were you comfortable doing it? That's your FOO stuff. Your FOO isn't why you cheated, but it created you. It created your inner environment - how you cope with things, your integrity, how you interact with people, your boundaries. Everything we are relates to FOO. I have seen many a BS say "I had horrible foo and I didn't cheat" and that's not relevant. because FOO doesn't generally cause the affair. It causes how we can be comfortable having an affair. And, as BSR said, these are things that you have to heal, understand, and change in order to rehabilitate your self talk, the trauma you may have carried around unhealed, your thoughts, behaviors, patterns, all of it. If it was unimportant to look at, therapists would not start there. And, by the way, they start there with everyone. I went to my first Counseling appt the other day at the BS, and that's the first thing we talked about. Because, it's going to matter for my healing. I now may have to understand different things about my FOO as a BS than I worked on as a WS.

If I was harsh, I am sorry. I have been in your shoes but I am wearing a different pair right now. I am trying hard to keep the right hat on with my posts, but I am sure some of it unintentionally bleeds over.

OLDMANSEA posted 11/3/2020 10:07 AM

Hi Aching,

I'm still thinking about you and your husband and of course your sweet little kids. I hope you guys are doing better. I'm sorry your dad isn't around to help. I hope you have somebody. Thank you for your kind words regarding my post and my kids.

I was thinking about your situation today after working out. I was so focused on my thoughts I ended up getting in the shower without taking out my hearing aids. Not good. I even have a sign hanging down from the shower stall that I have to move prior to getting in shower that says "no hearing aids". Yikes, I'm getting old.

Your starting to get some good stuff to think about. If the tone of the BS posters bothers you and especially if it keeps you from coming here, I'd suggest putting up a stop sign. Not that they don't make valid points, but the tone may not be what you need right now while your down and struggling. You can find their thoughts on other threads where they are posting. While every situation is nuanced, it seems to me the recommendations tend to be sililar and you'll still get a lot of good, specific recommendations from the other posters.

Hang in there. As an act of faith, I am believing that you will get on the other side of this situation and have a great life. I'm praying for you, your husband and your kids. I hope that helps a little bit.

Aching44giveness posted 11/3/2020 14:30 PM

Old man sea,

How do I put up a stop sign? Iíd like to do that. While I initially welcomed all thoughts and criticism, it is true that itís hard hearing it all at once. Maybe I shouldnít have been so brave.

Iím so sorry about your hearing aids! Hope they didnít mess up at all. I do thank you for thinking of my situation and praying for me and my family. That means so much to me. Today is a good day with my husband. Iím soaking it up. Just trying to take it one day at a time.

Please continue to keep me in your prayers.

OLDMANSEA posted 11/3/2020 15:32 PM

If you can get back to the page where you initiated your thread, there is a little box with a stop sign with ws in it below and on the left side of where you type in your message. I guess if you check that box you will get a stop sign on your thread. I've never started a thread so I'm kinda guessing. If I'm wrong, hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will help out.

M1965 posted 11/3/2020 16:14 PM


Before the stop sign goes on, I want to say a few things.

As regrettable the actions of the past may be, they do have to define you for the rest of your life. You can change. In fact, what a lot of people are saying supports that, and shows faith in you, by suggesting that you get some individual counseling and figure out your 'whys' (the reasons you wanted to do what you did, and why there were no boundaries to prevent a thought becoming an action).

The purpose of that is all about your personal evolution and development. The past cannot be changed, but the future can be what you choose to make it.

The same can be said of you; the person you were back then cannot be changed, but the person you want to be tomorrow, next week, and next year can be very different. It is up to you. And there are some very wise women who made the same choices who can guide and advise you using their experience.

A friend of mine who became a born-again Christian told me that his pastor said this to him: hate the sin, not the sinner.

You can hate the decisions you made in the past, it may help motivate you to get into a different mind-set and to be more protective of your marriage and husband. However, please do not waste a second hating yourself. That is pointless. Do not write yourself off for a second, because what you need is belief that you can be someone you can be proud of.

There may be some tough issues to face honestly, but that is all part of the change process, to help you become someone who is bigger than her past, not trapped by it.

And by hanging, you will be helping your husband too, making him feel more secure.

Have faith in yourself, and work to become the person you want to be.

Thumos posted 11/3/2020 16:49 PM

I think you should have a little more faith in yourself and others here before putting up a stop sign.

In reviewing almost all of the advice youíve received, almost none of it seems harsh but rather directed at tangible next steps for you.

And most of this has come from betrayed spouses like myself.

It seems that stop signs often go up when someone doesnít want to read the truth, as painful as it can be. I hope you will leave it down and allow others interact with you, aside from unfaithful spouses trying to recover. Thatís a small sample size and youíll miss out on pretty good perspective, especially as it relates to the unique and horrific pain your husband is now enduring.

Hoping for the best for you. If you do put up a stop sign please donít neglect reading the following for yourself:

-How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda McDonald

-Cheating in a Nutshell

And one more time survrus put up a good initial list of tangible actions you could take right now to show your husband you want to move to being what McDonald in her book calls the transition from Destroyer to Healer (her terms). Hereís the list again:

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

[This message edited by Thumos at 4:56 PM, November 3rd (Tuesday)]

HellFire posted 11/4/2020 08:11 AM

I'm going to suggest you NOT use the stop sign. While it is your right,I would like to explain why.

First, no one attacked you.

Second, you are 4 months out from confessing. You are 10 years past the affair. You are not some foggy wayward coming here,still thinking you are a victim.

Third, while we have amazing former waywards who can help you work on you,only the BS can tell you how your husband is feeling,and how best to help him.

You say you may want a stop sign because you were not ready for the criticism. Which again, was really a harsh dose of reality. Regardless, you may want a stop sign because of how its making you feel. But by doing so,you cut off the info to help you help your husband. So..your feelings, versus helping him. Maybe,instead, you need to grow a thicker skin. Something most waywards have to do if they want to attempt reconciliation. Lord knows a BS does.

Sure,you could read other threads to get an idea as to how your husband is feeling and what to expect. But, by keeping the thread open, you will get specific advice for your situation.

The waywards who seem to have the most luck, are the ones who can take in what is said,and apply it in their lives.

You would be doing yourself, and your husband, a huge disservice by using a stop sign at this point.

[This message edited by HellFire at 8:13 AM, November 4th (Wednesday)]

HighNightFlyer posted 11/4/2020 10:01 AM

JESUS! You have have the gall to write that that you have a "wonderful marriage: But you cheat on him! HE had a shitty marriage to a shitty wife! GET OVER YOURSelf

Carissima posted 11/4/2020 10:38 AM

Something to consider - it's often the posts that sting, the ones you want to turn away from which are the ones that need to be considered the most. There's usually a reason, even if it's not always obvious.

leavingorbit posted 11/4/2020 11:00 AM

Hi, A44F, to add a stop sign, you can ask a mod. I think the stop sign is a good idea for you, for now. Additionally, I think the best advice I could extend to you would be to get into IC and try to put some pieces together. I think the death of your father (Iím so sorry ) and the impacts from that may be a big place to start, but youíll arrive at your own conclusions with your IC.

Strength to you as you begin your process, and welcome to SI.

NotMyFirstRodeo posted 11/4/2020 11:20 AM

Regardless of a SS being placed at some point, it's not a bad idea to read back through the thread from the start from time to time. As people, we tend to resist quality recommendations which are also difficult to swallow. But after some time, it may reach your heart and mind differently.

Seriously, some of the recommendations here are ones I wish my W would act on/would have acted on. You've a prime opportunity to begin the best opportunity to heal by strongly weighing everything said here by BS's.

IronStitches posted 11/4/2020 15:24 PM

Aching44giveness - I wish I had written the other day. I'm a BS and I just want to say THANK YOU.

Thank you for your courage. If you are truly remorseful, no one on this forum can make you feel any worse than you already do. I think when people jump on your words, some of them are actually triggered and responding out of emotion. It's expected, esp if a BS ventures into the Wayward forums.

Mixed in among the judgement is really good advice. My WF seems to get MORE out of reading BS information than things meant for cheaters. I suggest you do the same to really really try to understand the level of loss and devastation your BH is feeling.

You came here looking for advice, I'm sure from people who can understand where you're coming from. If you want to have any understanding of what your BH is feeling, both Just Found Out and Reconciliation has more open wounds than a battle field.

Again, just wanted to let you know, someone who IS your BH in a similar way, sees you. As a person. As a hurting person who wants to do better. Wishing you strength. You and your husband deserve and need your strength. You'll find more than you could ever imagine you had -- if you do this the right way.

SI Staff posted 11/4/2020 15:55 PM

Please note the stop sign has been added to this topic.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 11/4/2020 20:20 PM

HighNightFlyer, you have a pm.

OLDMANSEA posted 11/5/2020 10:37 AM

In your last post, you said you were having good days. That's fabulous. Keep on the path. Just because I may not be posting doesn't mean you and yours are not in my thoughts and prayers.

Now, a bit of a vent,

"come in and share,...you're safe here." Hey SI staff and mods, over promise and under deliver much?

Aching, in some ways I hope you never read this because you have gotten past needing a site like this. Either because you are receiving effective support elsewhere or because you have resolved your issues and have moved on to the joyous, fulfilling life that you and your husband, as a loving couple totally focused on each other and your kids, deserve.

There is the old joke that divorce is expensive because that's what it is worth. The same logic can apply to this web-site. Why is this web-site free, because in some cases, that's what its worth. There are some broken people that post here, venting their vile trash. I won't judge them but I will judge their actions. Turn your back to them and keep on your path. I am convinced there are good people here. There have been supportive posts all along but sometimes the vile trash just overshadows the good stuff.

When you go in the kitchen and something stinks, you take out the trash. Hopefully your Stop Sign will accomplish this.

JBWD posted 11/5/2020 11:22 AM

Maybe I shouldnít have been so brave.

I have been meaning to post and this caught my eye- I propose that itís not bravery that led you in that direction, but rather hubris.

That is not to say that youíre not brave- Your decision to speak the truth, no matter how long removed, proves that you have changed as a person- For the better.

But I will suggest that when faced with the thought of hearing from BS here, it was less a question of being afraid and more a question of supposing a degree of awareness and empathy that wasnít as developed as youíd have expected. I think that disconnect between actual personal capability and oneís own perception of such capability is the hallmark of a WS. We believe ourselves capable of certain superhuman feats, and the interference of reality is an unpleasant fact of recovery.

What Iím discovering as I heal is that I have less surprises like this. That comes from a continuously developing integrity, and a more honest eye towards myself and others. Your honesty is a good start- KEEP IT UP.

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