I'm a BS.
I agree that it should be done with an IC.
One thing that matters a lot to me is using "I" statements and ACTIVE (vs passive) language that shows you taking full responsibility for your choices. No minimizing. Nothing like "we fell into it" or that kind of thing. I've read of WS going through several drafts with their IC beforehand to address that language piece (which I believe is beneficial for BOTH the WS and BS in that WS is becoming honest & accountable and BS is gaining some ground in the quicksand of trust s/he finds themself in).
I assume you and your BS have some ground rules about what info is to be disclosed? IOW, does she want all the details, including sexual? That can be somewhat controversial - there are some that want it, some that do not, and some that want it but have an IC/MC who advises against it. Personally, I'm in the want to know EVERYTHING camp. And I completely respect those who do not. What I cannot get behind is an IC/MC or a WS who refuses to provide all the deets to a BS who wants them. The BS is an adult and can choose what they want to know about the reality of their life. For me, that was particularly true given the significant chunk of my life that was lived in darkness of my WH's infidelity. Many suggest doing a "PG" and an "X" rated version so that the WS isn't providing details the BS really doesn't want (or doesn't want yet- that can change).
Again, I'm a BS, but I hope you are working on shame management. That can be a really tough thing to deal with.
As to dealing with her anger, what comes to mind is finding ways to manage the shame and find some empathy. There is a book called Help.Her.Heal by Carol J Sheets that my WH's CSAT recommended on WS building empathy. It has exercises that looked pretty helpful from my side of the street. There are also some brene brown TED talks on YouTube (I think) about empathy - one of the nice takeaways from her work is being empathetic means YOU get down to HER level.... you are on the floor WITH her, not looking AT her, and you are focusing on how hurt SHE is, rather than what an asshole you are (that's your shame talking). My WH was pretty good about empathy when I was physically in pain not caused by him.... but is like a 3yr old when it comes to pain for which he bears responsibility. I suspect some WS may have mind "tricks" to play to help in the midst of this (SI can be slow on the weekends, so give it a couple of days).
You can learn about trauma, and particularly relational betrayal trauma. I recommend (IF you think you can manage it) listening to Marnie Breecker's 2-part interview on Duane Osterlind's "The Addicted Mind" podcast. It's about 1.5 hrs altogether. It will go into some pretty deep detail about the BS's trauma response to relational betrayal, and I suspect that it's probably pretty tough for a WS to hear, esp early in the process. I really recommend it, but suspect the WS needs to be able to be in a good headspace (relatively speaking, of course) to take it all in. Relational betrayal can be an existential crisis (a term they use), and I found that to be true for me. Breecker & Osterlind went on to do their own podcast, Helping Couples Heal, which I have found very helpful.
You mention your BS putting together A dates and her memories. It's easy for me to say - and hard for a WS to hear/contemplate - that one of the big things that happens to a BS (esp? with an LTA like yours) is the shattering of memories. On my dday I basically hallucinated the photos of all our memories float up in the air before my eyes, burning. It wasn't until weeks or months later when I learned more about infidelity (and found SI) that I discovered how common that kind of reaction is. It can destroy EVERY good memory from during the A (and sometimes for the entire M). I've seen a number of ways to describe it but one that really resonated with me was from a fellow SIer who wrote: imagine you've had a dog named Sparky for the last x years. You have memories of doing everything with Sparky.... long walks, trips to the park, the vet, the pool, etc. And one morning you wake up and look over and see that Sparky is not a dog... he's a cat. Now you question EVERYTHING.... all those memories of playing fetch, how can that be if Sparky was a cat the whole time? The way I tried to describe it to my WH was asking him to recall one of his most fond memories of our M.... and when he had it in his head and could describe those little details, told him to put his AP into the picture. May not be what it's like for your BS, but that's what it's like for me.
That is painful and scary - hell, it's ALL painful and scary for quite awhile after dday. We have to figure out who our spouses are, bc the people we thought we were married to are not the people before us after dday.
The trauma of dday can set a BS' amygdala on fire - kind of takes over everything. That is scary as F to a BS. The emotion is sooooo powerful and overwhelming. I didn't think a person could experience that much pain and still be alive. I bring this kind of thing up bc it will be SUPER hard for you to try and temper YOUR feelings in the wake of hers.
If you haven't already, read "how to help your spouse heal from your affair" by Linda MacDonald. Also, be sure to read the "Things That every WS needs to know" thread which is pinned as the 1st post in this forum.
I'm sure you already realize you are in for a bumpy ride. Buckle up and Godspeed.
[This message edited by gmc94 at 3:08 AM, October 3rd, 2020 (Saturday)]