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Thoughts from the other side of confession

830ll posted 3/20/2020 17:37 PM

Since it seems like people regularly come here for advice about whether or not they should confess to their partners, I thought it might be helpful to those still on the fence to hear from someone who's actually confessed.

Here's what I've learned through confession:

1.) I had no idea how controlling I was until I let go of control. Even now, I'm catching myself trying to control my wife's healing, and ultimately the outcome. Before I confessed, I thought I knew exactly what to do afterwards. I'd buy all the books, I'd sign us up for therapy, I'd do this and that to get us on the "right track". Even six days out, I can see how nonsensical that was. The truth is, theres really not very much I can do at this point except work on my own issues, and try not to make things worse. Eventually, at some point, I might have the chance to help my wife heal, but thats a choice that I have no control over.

2.) I do not feel better after confessing, so the line of reasoning that says "The only reason to confess is to make yourself feel better at your partner's expense" is hot garbage from my perspective. Sure, there was a little bit of relief that came from knowing that I wasn't actively deceiving my wife anymore, but it was more than offset by the pain I see in her eyes every time I look at her. I caused that pain with my shitty choices, and there's nothing relieving about that.

3.) Despite the above, I have no regrets about confessing. I regret the choices I made immensely, but I don't regret telling my wife about them at all. She deserves to know who she's married to, and to make that choice intentionally.

That's all for now. I have a lot left to learn, and I'm sure that I'm going to look back on this post one day and laugh about the naiveté of these "lessons", but in case my perspective is useful to anyone stuck on the fence, I thought I would share them anyhow.

eehamlet posted 3/20/2020 17:50 PM

It would be great if anyone contemplating having an affair would read some of the posts on this board BEFORE they killed their marriage.

Good luck to you I hope that you can save your marriage. All of us do stupid things but the price that we have to pay for bad choices can be a whole lot more than we ever thought when we made them.

bluephoenix posted 3/20/2020 19:39 PM

83011 I appreciate your self awareness of how controlling you are. I must admit I was a little concerned by how organized and planned you were to tell her. It makes sense now. My first husband was a control freak. He made all the major decisions and was financially abusive. He was a sex addict which was embarrassing and exhausting to me. So step back now and look at yourself and how you treated her in your relationship. As I mentioned before just because you weren't happy and was finding the euphoric feeling of being desired by an old girlfriend, it doesn't mean your BW wasn't unhappy either with your relationship. You read those books and I know some of them mentioned respecting one another. That means communicating, listening, thoughtfulness, loving, praising and empathy. Both waywards and betrayed’s take it all for granted. She gets the choice at the end but that doesn't mean you pull away and stop being a loving husband. Yes, as BS’s we are a sock drawer full of emotions but we still need that validation that you want us and only us at the end of this horrible mess. That you will never look back or betray us again. You only fail if you didn't try!

ISurvivedSoFar posted 3/21/2020 08:46 AM

Honesty is best and now you can live an authentic life. Please hang onto this notion and dig deep to reveal the remaining truth to your BS when she wants to know why you did this to her and your M.

Eventually, at some point, I might have the chance to help my wife heal, but thats a choice that I have no control over.
The choice you do have a control over is working hard to change yourself so the reasons you allowed this to happen to someone you "cared for" never happens again.

As BSs we scan for truth post d-day. We are hyper vigilant and look for behaviors that tell us who our WS really is. Lies, TTing, blameshifting, defensiveness are all behaviors that reinforce the character of the person we thought had our best interest at heart but in reality did not. They reinforce the fear that the trauma of infidelity causes and prolong our healing. Each time one of these behaviors reveals itself, it feels like another d-day. So the choices you make do matter right now and you have control of you.

She is on a journey that is incredibly painful and difficult. Channel empathy and allow that to triumph over your own needs when dealing with your BS right now. That's the best choice in my opinion you can make at this point.

Zugzwang posted 3/21/2020 17:47 PM

It would be great if anyone contemplating having an affair would read some of the posts on this board BEFORE they killed their marriage

Unfortunately most that do, read, and then keep on having their affair. Many taking it to the next level. They all think it is true love and they are special snowflakes. They will be back in a year.

gmc94 posted 3/21/2020 18:40 PM

As BSs we scan for truth post d-day. We are hyper vigilant and look for behaviors that tell us who our WS really is. Lies, TTing, blameshifting, defensiveness are all behaviors that reinforce the character of the person we thought had our best interest at heart but in reality did not. They reinforce the fear that the trauma of infidelity causes and prolong our healing. Each time one of these behaviors reveals itself, it feels like another d-day. So the choices you make do matter right now and you have control of you.
Just wanted to re-emphasize this.

WS are EXTREMELY good at telling themselves they are doing better, making progress, showing empathy, telling the truth, etc. The problem is that bc they come to dday with the same effed up wiring that lets them rationalize the A to begin with. IOW they can still be dishonest with themselves, which in turn means dishonest to the BS.

So, first off, you are ahead of the curve IMHO bc you voluntarily confessed. That would have gone a very long way with me. It shows that you are already beginning to change that way of thinking.

And, it's important that the WS also remain vigilant about falling back into ways of thinking that get them into the mess to begin with.... which, IMHO, means a touchstone. It can be your BS (if willing). It can be SI (if you are honest here - which so far it seems you are). It can be an IC (again, if you are 100% honest).

Just another $0.02 on the subject.

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