Newest Member: girlangry89

Just Found Out :
So confused

Topic is Sleeping.
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Robert22205https ( Member #65547) posted at 2:18 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

Within days (not weeks).

You both should read "Not Just Friends" by Dr Shirley Glass. It's based on research of couples that experienced infidelity. It will help explain how 'good' people have affairs and what you can do to protect your marriage going forward.

She should also read:

"How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful"

by Linda J. MacDonald

posts: 2409   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
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Robert22205https ( Member #65547) posted at 2:29 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

Who's the EX?

How did they cross paths again and start talking?

Exposure kills affair (Do not warn her in advance).

She has failed as a: wife; as a mother with the best interests of her kids; and as a woman.

The shame (and family pressure) of being exposed is also one of the few consequences to the cheater. It's actually also for her own good.

It helps them wake them up and see how inappropriate/self destructive their behavior is.

FINALLY, instead of trying to 'talk' to her all the time (especially with high emotions). Consider first putting your thoughts etc down in writing. And then talk. Writing it down first, gives you both time to think about what you want to say.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 8:36 AM, July 17th (Saturday)]

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 Hurting280 (original poster New Member #79125) posted at 2:55 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

So I wanted to post an update to how I am feeling and what I've been doing. Since I haven't start IC yet, still working on scheduling that (got recommendations and emails out there), you all have been what is keeping me focused and motivated.

I'm not feeling really anything about what has happened. I cried my eyes out, felt the pain, relived it over and over, and now I am to the point where what happened happened, I can't change it. My whole focus has now been about myself and my kids. I had a slight scare where I checked myself I to the hospital because of suicidal thoughts. I got to talk to someone and I have a plan. I discovered I only loved myself as long as I felt loved by my wife. I was codependent. We both struggled with that and went through therapy while we were dating over 6 years ago. I thought we had put that past us. Looks like that was not the case.

Anyways. I am now 100% focused on changing how I am so that I can love myself no matter the outcome. I'm trying to eat healthier, smoke less, be more of the father figure I set out to be when we had our first child, be the homeowner I set out to be when we bought our house, etc. Ive got a list of things I want to do for myself. And I actually feel good about myself regardless of knowing how my W might feel.

So things things I've changed in regards to how I am around her:

I'm not scheduling things with our kids around her. I'm telling her what I am going to do with them today, and letting her initiate if she wants to join or not. I'm not asking her to. Likewise, with all the family events coming up, I am choosing the ones I want to go to. Along with that, if it's an event where it's with her family I plan on telling her that in order for me to feel safe going, I am going to need to tell at her family what is going on. I know you have all said I should tell whoever whenever, but I am not that type of person, I am very private and selective when it comes to my personal life. The other things I am doing is not initiating touch. Which admittedly is the hardest for me. That is a huge part of the codependency that I need to learn how to move away from.

A struggle I found with my focus on making myself better, I am doing a lot more of the house work that was previously left to her. Such as dishes and cooking and picking up after the kids. I am worried she is going to see this as me changing for her since it makes her life a little easier.

We are not sleeping in the same room anymore either, but I am the one that moved to the couch because we still have an infant in our bedroom that wakes up to nurse throughout the night. Im struggling to know if that was the right decision.

Lastly when it comes to R or D... I am a firm religious believer that D is not ever the first or best choice for a family. This my immediate decision for R. Marriage is for life and if she doesn't feel that way anymore then she is going to be the one to end the marriage. That's not to say I won't kick her out if things don't change and she doesn't do everything I ask or put in the work to atone for what she had done. I made that clear to her.

I guess one more thing. I'm not sure how to discuss these new boundaries I've been trying to hold myself to. I haven't communicated a lot of these decisions to her. Do I need to? Or is letting her feel the change what the goal is?

I feel like some of this is working to an extent. She is asking and initiating more of the desire to "tag" along for family time. Which our kids love and they have been so expressive and loving towards both of us.

I guess I need help having a boundaries conversation. Making it clear that I am not working on her schedule, not initiating (trying to anyways) touch, and about needing to tell at least someone at an event if it is with people who don't know. I also want to say again that if this persists and my demands of her going to IC are not met then she is going to need to leave.

I am at least moving in the right direction here??? Like I said, I feel good about myself as of the last day or two, I see that I can be happy with or without her, but still would prefer for her to fix herself and get the help.

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Marz ( Member #60895) posted at 3:00 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

I am still wondering now how the advice about living for myself and separating as much as possible physically applies with kids involved. I read the article related to the 180 and was still let without an answer.

I know 3 who do this effectively. Use only text or emails. Kids or D only. Ignore everything else. Civil but short.

Any pickups or drop offs of kids can be done in 2-3 minutes.

Kids adjust.

Learn to ignore. You control you and your phone. No one else does unless you allow it. Don’t worry about hurting her feelings. She didn’t care about yours did she.

[This message edited by Marz at 9:24 AM, July 17th (Saturday)]

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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 3:44 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

I see nothing in your updated plan about getting an STD test from her, having her write a timeline, scheduling a polygraph, exposing the affair to her family, exposing to the OM’s spouse or girlfriend. Running Dr Fone on her phone.

Are you planning on doing these things?

If you're dead set on R you really need to do these things.

[This message edited by Thumos at 9:46 AM, July 17th (Saturday)]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH (me): 50, WW: 49
Married: Feb. 1996
DDAY: Dec. 20

posts: 4227   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8676404
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Buster123 ( Member #65551) posted at 3:48 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

So things things I've changed in regards to how I am around her:

I'm not scheduling things with our kids around her. I'm telling her what I am going to do with them today, and letting her initiate if she wants to join or not. I'm not asking her to. Likewise, with all the family events coming up, I am choosing the ones I want to go to. Along with that, if it's an event where it's with her family I plan on telling her that in order for me to feel safe going, I am going to need to tell at her family what is going on. I know you have all said I should tell whoever whenever, but I am not that type of person, I am very private and selective when it comes to my personal life. The other things I am doing is not initiating touch. Which admittedly is the hardest for me. That is a huge part of the codependency that I need to learn how to move away from.

Brother I'm sorry that you're here but your WW has committed the ultimate betrayal and has been having sex with POSOM for months and potentially exposing you to STDs/STIs and during a pandemic no less, yes she's been playing russian roulette with your health, this is no time to show weakness and be going to festivals or theaters, this is time for ACTION, you're in the fight of your life, WAKE UP !At this point your WW is NOT a good candidate for R by a very long shot, she's still pining for POSOM right in front of you. Those who take decisive and swift actions typically have the best results whether R or D, you can't push her away, she's already gone.

If there's ANY chance for a successful R you should heed the advice and EXPOSE her huge betrayal with ALL family,close friends and OBS/GF if any WITHOUT WARNING. Exposure typically kills the "beautiful, exciting and romantic" aspects of the A and replaces them with pure shame and embarrassment, the more she hates the A, the more she will hate POSOM, it typically kills the infamous "fog". We've seen this play out THOUSANDS of times here and in other websites, just look at your member number, every case is different but cheaters typically follow a similar script, the collective wisdom of SI could help you go through this difficult situation but you should follow our advice to get out of infidelity, it has stood the test of time and no therapist in the world has this amount of knowledge. Good luck.

[This message edited by Buster123 at 9:49 AM, July 17th (Saturday)]

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Robert22205https ( Member #65547) posted at 3:51 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

Boundaries: read the book "not just friends'

Divorce: Telegraphing your immediate decision for R (may make you feel good as a christian) but makes you weak and unappealing in your wife's eyes.

You are not fighting for your marriage (and the kids) from a position of strength.

Exposure: Exposure is for your mental health as well. In addition to killing the affair and helping your wife face her reality - every time you take/exert control you will feel a huge sense of relief.

Expose without warning her (has nothing to do with 'who' you are) and will give you a massive boost or sense of being in control.

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Happenedtome2 ( Member #68906) posted at 4:30 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

Sorry to see you here.

Regardless of what your values are, you need to speak to a lawyer immediately. Your wife has no values and I can guarantee you if POSOM says jump, she'll ask how high. Let your family know what is happening in case it hits the fan. This way she won't be able to skew it and make herself the hero and you the goat.

BH
DDay August 2018
Not so sure about R at this time.
My original post :
https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=633451

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fareast ( Member #61555) posted at 4:45 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

You are getting great advice. Remember, that you decide which advice suits your situation and your values. Ultimately it’s your decision and your life. Take the advice you can use and leave the rest is a wise course. But don’t ignore advice even if it seems harsh at first. To give you some positive feedback, yes, you are taking positive steps to work on your codependency. Taking care of you and being there for your kids is crucial. All good steps. As you can see your WW is beginning to respond to even these minimal steps. Good luck.

[This message edited by fareast at 12:26 PM, July 17th (Saturday)]

Never bother with things in your rearview mirror. Your best days are on the road in front of you.

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SnowToArmPits ( Member #50943) posted at 8:37 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

Sorry you're here man.

That's not to say I won't kick her out if things don't change

Legally you probably won't have a leg to stand on there. It's her house, too.

So if you're not willing to divorce, and she carries on with other men, you're stuck.

posts: 344   ·   registered: Dec. 25th, 2015   ·   location: Canada
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Stevesn ( Member #58312) posted at 9:42 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

Hurting

You’re not gonna like what I’m about to say. But I promise it’s has your health and happiness in mind.

You can’t reconcile with someone who has another man in her heart. It won’t work. Trying only makes it worse.

She must lead the rebuilding of what she has destroyed. Reconciliation doesn’t work if you pull her into it.

So you’ve done some good things here I commend you. Keep doing things for you. Keep your own schedule and inform her but don’t consult with her. All very good.

But here’s the hard part. You need to push her into her fantasy. You asked what so say. You need to explicitly say that if she’s not living up to her marriage vows, then you are out and moving on without her.

I always say honesty is the key. State what you need then stop talking until you see it. Stop leaving the decision up to her. Make it for her.

So here are the type of words i recommend you use:

“You have another man in your heart. I cannot be 2nd best to someone else in my marriage and life. I’m all in with this marriage but not if you are pining away for another man. That is not the life I want.

So I’m gonna make this easy for you. You need to go explore what you are feeling and that means I’ll be moving on without you. I will be working to heal myself from the pain your choices have caused.

I am not interested in a partner who loves another more than me. I’m not interested in a partner who's in-love with another man AT ALL.

So go figure out what you want. And if some day you realize that this man has helped you destroy your family and emotionally injure the man you vowed to love til death do you part, then give me a call, and if I’m in a place in my life where I’m interested in trying again, I’ll let you know.

Because it’s not enough for you to say you’ll go NC with this person and try with me. You need to WANT me. And you need to RID him from your heart. Until you do, there is NO us.

So go on. Find what is missing for you. I’ll be moving on with no guarantees. Only thing I promise I will make is to be the best coparent I can be. Not your lover. Not even your friend. Just the other parent to your children.

I wish you well.

The please, stop talking. Only kids and finances. And here’s the part you are really not going to like. Call a lawyer and get a consult. And in the next few days, ask him to draw up papers to serve her.

I am telling you this is what FIGHTING FOR YOUR MARRIAGE looks like. It’s not begging. It’s not playing nice and hoping she’ll come around. It’s actually fighting for it.

I hope you will consider what I’ve written.

Take care.

[This message edited by Stevesn at 3:44 PM, July 17th (Saturday)]

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

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guvensiz ( Member #75858) posted at 10:28 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

Just as I thought it was a good start, then I came to the parts about marriage and exposure.

I know you have all said I should tell whoever whenever, but I am not that type of person, I am very private and selective when it comes to my personal life.

Her family and OBS are a must. You can be selective about others, at least someone she'd be ashamed of when found out.

Marriage is for life and if she doesn't feel that way anymore then she is going to be the one to end the marriage.

I'm sorry, but your marriage is de facto over. She ended by cheating on you, by breaking her vow. We're only talking about officially ending it here.

What if she doesn't end the M and continues her A with the AP? You can't kick her out of the house unless she leaves on her own. Will you be able to live like this until death do you part?

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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 11:51 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

We can lead you to water but we can't cram your head in the pond and make you drink the water.

You have to do that yourself.

If you keep doing what you've been doing, you're going to keep getting what you've been getting: an adulterous wife making you dance on a hot plate, disregarding your pain and doing whatever she wants with whoever she wants -- all the while exposing you to life threatening disease.

Doesn't sound like a marriage to me.

I'm a devout orthodox Christian and there is no rule against divorcing an adulteress. In fact it's the one exception Jesus provided.

Read Proverbs 30:20 and Proverbs 21:19

Put them together and you have essentially an outline for what we have been telling you.

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH (me): 50, WW: 49
Married: Feb. 1996
DDAY: Dec. 20

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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 12:11 AM on Sunday, July 18th, 2021

I think you've gotten some good advice above, but I also think some of the advice has been flat out wrong.

IMO, some people have drawn unwarranted conclusions from just 3 posts. Maybe the guesses they've made are accurate; maybe not.

We all have to find our own way through this mess. Some people tell you what to do in their posts. Others aim to help you figure out what you want to/need to do. When I was new here, I never got much from posts that told me to do something. I did get a lot from those that raised issues, confronted contradictions, etc.

You wrote

I am certain I want to work through this and get our marriage back to what it was before her re entered her life. But I am stick waiting for her to figure out her feelings.

and

I am a firm religious believer that D is not ever the first or best choice for a family. This my immediate decision for R. Marriage is for life and if she doesn't feel that way anymore then she is going to be the one to end the marriage. That's not to say I won't kick her out if things don't change and she doesn't do everything I ask or put in the work to atone for what she had done. I made that clear to her.

It's great that you know you want to R. But what you want is one thing. What you actually do is another.

The next step is to see if your W is a good candidate for R. That is, will she do the necessary work? Will she remake herself as the partner you want to spend the rest of your life with.

Shirley Glass posited a stage she called 'working on the M' for people who weren't ready to commit one way or another. Her recommendation was to work on R and see how it goes. If it goes well, great - R is possible. If it doesn't go well, great - now you know R is impossible.

BTW, if R is possible for you and hysterical bonding hits, my reco is to go for it. Sex is a great tool for building bonds.

STI testing is virtually a requirement. One of my requirements for R was for my W to get tested. Since she tested negative, I never got tested myself except when I gave blood. Our MC recommended I get specifically tested, but I was satisfied with the testing that was done.

The reco against MC is iffy, IMO, but probably sound. My W's therapist saw us on d-day. She was terrific - confronted my W again and againa and again in a long session (90-120 minutes, IIRC). Gave me terrific support. Other members have reported similar results.

But most SIers who talk about MC early in R report different results. That's because, IMO, MCs treat the M, and they start by seeing the M as a system. They tend to look for systemic problems, and they set resolving those problems as their goal - even though the M is bleeding out because of the A.

And in the system approach to M, too many MCs end up blaming the BS for doing or not doing something that led the WS to cheat.

But WSes cheat because of their own internal issues, not because of issues in or with the M or with the BS. The M didn't fail; the WS did. Too many MCs don't understand that.

But a good MC can be priceless. It's pretty cool to be in a session in which my W got confronted 20 times for every time I got confronted - and that went on for months.

*****

Here's one thing to consider: if your W won't do the work necessary to R, there's no need to wait for your W to initiate D. If R looks impossible to you, it's really time for you to initiate. Don't prolong the pain ... it hurts you, your kids, and your erstwhile W.

*****

I am a firm believer in being honest. It's healthier and easier. Be yourself. Since you want R, I see everything right with letting your WS know that. If that makes you look weak to the WS, that's the WS's problem.

The 180 has no place in R or in working on the M. If R is possible, you and your WS need to maximize communication. The 180 minimizes comms. IMO, the BS's best approach is to give the WS numerous opportunities to step or fall down, and that requires communication. Again, if the WS steps up, it's positive for R; if the WS keeps failing, it's negative for R - and do you want a WS who keeps failing anyway?

The 180 is not a tool for manipulating an unremorseful WS back into the M. It's a tool for getting a co-d BS to find the strength to detach from an unremorseful WS.

*****

My reco - as strong as I can possibly make it - is to do nothing in the expectation of evoking a specific response from your WS. I especially counsel against threatening D, unless you mean to D. I especially counsel against filing for D, unless you intend to complete the D process.

Avoid manipulating your WS - ask for what you want. That may be counter-intuitive, but it works. Again, a request gives the WS opportunity to step up or fail. A high ratio of yeses to noes is positive for R; a low ratio is negative.

IMO, exposure to family and friends is up to the individual, except WRT OBS. If the ap is in a relationship, I urge the BS to inform the ap's S/SO.

I believe exposure makes the most sense if the BS's choice is D. That may prevent the WS from spinning a tale in which they are the victim.

I'd be very careful about exposing the A to friends and family if R is a possibility. R is hard enough without the interference of family members who don't know what recovering from being betrayed entails. (Of course, some family members probably do know what recovery entails, but I like to think they'll offer help and tell you their credentials, but won't interfere, but that'll happen only if they've healed.)

WRT exposing the WS to their family, I think that just gives them a head start on justifying support for the WS over the BS. Blood is pretty sticky, except when it's very fresh.

It's often said that exposure ends As, and I expect that's true.

But when I was new and making my decision, I wanted my W to make a free choice. I didn't want her to feel pressure to choose me. If exposure ended her A, I was afraid she'd choose me by default rather than because she really wanted to be with me.

*****

I don't care about looking weak. Being clear about what one wants does show others one's own vulnerabilities, but having vulnerabilities is different from being weak.

Like you I wanted R - but that didn't mean I cut my W much slack. (I've certainly cut her some slack: we've R'ed, so she got to have sex with someone other than me after vowing to be monogamous with me.) I set the boundaries I wanted to set, and I imposed consequences when my boundaries came close to being violated.

*****

Since you want R, here's some reading that I recommend:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/healing_library/reconciliation/what-every-wayward-spouse-needs-to-know.asp - if this resonates with you, I suggest printing it off and giving the printout to your H as 'something you found on the web.' My reco: DO NOT tell your H about SI until you're sure he's on board for R.

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=361740&HL=14993 - serjr threads for newbies

Tactical Primer:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=235051

Boundaries and Consequences 101:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=385631

Setting Healthy Boundaries:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=231851

Before You Say Reconcile:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=406548

The Simplified 180:

https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=598080

20/20 Hindsight: What I Wish I'd Done:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=161389

[This message edited by sisoon at 6:19 PM, July 17th (Saturday)]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

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id 8676489
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ChamomileTea ( Member #53574) posted at 12:32 AM on Sunday, July 18th, 2021

The therapist I was able to talk with told me I needed to give her space, but I cannot even fathom that. She is the only one I want to talk to about my feelings and struggles with this, I want her to see it my way. I feel like if I give her space she might see that as me backing away and conceding to her feelings for this other man. I can tell she is emotionally g struggling some mornings and I want to talk to her, but she gets angry and walls up saying, "it's nothing good and is just going to hurt you.".

When she says,

"it's nothing good and is just going to hurt you"

you can tell her "That's fine, I'm a big boy and I can take it. Better to get it out in the open than to keep it hidden behind my back, don't you think?"

You don't have to be mean. You don't have to be an asshole. You don't need any shock and awe. But your therapist, IMHO, is wrong. Giving your WW space while she's actively in an affair is WEAK. You don't want weak. You want her worried that she's going to lose you, her family dynamic, and the life you've built together. When a WS is allowed to sit the catbird seat, dawdling between two lovers, they just keep on eating cake. It's not until they're worried that they're going to lose something/everything, that they start applying themselves. Your therapists advice does MORE than make you look weak though, it allows your WW to ADD TO THE DAMAGE. The longer she dithers and fails to firmly choose YOU, the more there is to try to recover from, and sometimes, in that space of time between the BS finding out and the WS recommitting to the marriage, the damage becomes TOO MUCH.

Your better bet is to be firm. YOU ARE NOT AN OPTION. You're not Plan B. And if she's going to pine over her Ashley Wilkes, while you play Rhett Butler to her Scarlet O'Hara... she better remember how that shit fell out, right? You don't wait around for a WS to decide you're worth it or not. YOU decide your value and you, a faithful husband and father, trade high. If she doesn't want it, damned straight some other little gal will come along who does.

I know it's scary. But it's better right now to have her respect than her love. Her love is of dubious value right now. And like I said earlier, you don't have to be mean about it, but you will do well to be firm, to say what you mean, and to mean what you say.

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id 8676490
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Cooley2here ( Member #62939) posted at 1:09 AM on Sunday, July 18th, 2021

Every relationship, especially every marriage, develops its own personality so whatever you bring from your childhood, and previous life experiences, whatever she brings from her childhood, and previous life experiences, are going to make a marriage different from anyone else’s. In the mix of all of that are two people trying to hold onto their sense of self-worth and the ability to have power over themselves and their environment. When you are in a relationship you and your partner constantly manipulate each other to try be in charge of your own life. When this goes awry is when one of you comes into the relationship more committed than the other. That gives them much more power and sets the relationship out of balance from the beginning. It’s not a healthy way to live and it’s certainly not a healthy way to have a marriage. That’s when codependency starts. You start giving away bits and pieces of yourself to keep what you consider the status quo. It’s not ever in anyone’s best interest to give away their sense of self-worth to hold onto a relationship. The healthy way is to state your needs and then you and your partner compromise until both of you are satisfied. It seems like from what you have written that you have given away chunks of yourself to keep your marriage. That’s not sustainable. This is not to go after your marriage or your faith but to get you to face up to the fact that your needs and your wants and your desires are just as important as hers. How do you think this is going to work if you feel undesirable. All of us want to feel validated by the people we care about. If this is not happening in your marriage you don’t have a marriage regardless of pieces of paper.

To thine own self be true. Shakespeare

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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 5:31 PM on Sunday, July 18th, 2021

It is completely false to say that the 180 is a tool for ending marriages. Anyone who says this doesn't understand the method or the origins of it.

The 180 was created by a therapist and is used as a tool for salvaging marriages. It was first outlined and explained by Michelle Wiener Davis in her bestselling book Divorce Busting.

In fact that is where I first encountered it and I implemented it while my WW’s affair was ongoing. It was one of the first things that shook her out of the fog. It is specifically a method for saving marriages if possible.

Sisoon, please stop spreading this false trope that the 180 is used to end marriages.

[This message edited by Thumos at 8:15 AM, July 19th (Monday)]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH (me): 50, WW: 49
Married: Feb. 1996
DDAY: Dec. 20

posts: 4227   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8676574
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SnowToArmPits ( Member #50943) posted at 7:24 PM on Sunday, July 18th, 2021

Be sure to ask your wife what her plan is if this guy gets her pregnant.

Always good to plan ahead.

[This message edited by SnowToArmPits at 1:25 PM, July 18th (Sunday)]

posts: 344   ·   registered: Dec. 25th, 2015   ·   location: Canada
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Ifnotnow ( New Member #77201) posted at 9:27 PM on Sunday, July 18th, 2021

The idea of a long(ish) seperation and reflection period outside of the household is indeed very difficult to implement once you have smaller kids.

You will have to create that space otherwise.

Tell her that seperation WOULD be what you would be doing were there no kids involved. Instead, you will be civil towards her in their presence, but she must realise that this is a concession to them, not a sign of you forgiving/forgetting.

Very important though: continue to sleep in seperate rooms. You are still pining for her presence; she might use physical closeness to smooth things over. You need that spatial distance to clear your mind, and enforce your boundaries and conditions. Do NOT get intimate or cuddly even if she initiates it. Tell her straight out: Once you have decide you WANT us and us only we can be physically close again.

You are someone who needs to talk things over.

IT IS NOT HER. IT CANNOT BE HER. Even if you wish it was. Find a good IC asap and go there as often as needed.

Engrave the following in your brain: Your wife cannot decide what is important to her until she feels what its like to loose it. I am not saying this because it is generally true or because I believe Machiavelli to be a good MC, but because your wife STILL belives she can - and is somehow entitled - to have you both. As long as you do not consent to a poly-relationship, she will have to decide though. The only thing you can do right now to:

- genuinely find out if she is willing to work for R

- regain your self-respect and mental strength

- make the most efficient, rational and sustainable decisions for your children

is to take every possible step to very graphically show her what a life without you would feel like - emotionally,financially, socially. Radically prepare divorce. Detach yourself physically. Organise and live your own life. Do all these events with and for the kids, but decidedly NOT as intact family. If someone asks, tell them you are having a break for reasons not yet to be discussed - or: discuss them, if it feels right for you. She must know what she is loosing for the fog to lift.

In the process you will discover yourself to be a stronger, less greedy, more self-sufficient being than you thought possible. This is crucial, for one part of you is convinced right now that you cannot survive without her. You are co-dependent until you lead your inner child into the desert and let it experience that it CAN be self-sufficient. Fake it till you make it.

Subconsciously your wife did think she could get away with anything because your fear of loosing her would always be greater than your self-love and integrity.

YOU MUST PROVE HER WRONG ON THIS, before any kind of healing can take place, inside of you and between the two of you.

You are the one whom your kids can look to as an example of tough choices being made - to live a life with your spine and moral fibre intact, honesty, respect and introspection in place. For this life lesson a few months of disharmony at home are not too high a price to pay.

At the same time make it clear that you are open to honest communication. If she wants to talk, to offer suggestions on the steps to take you will be present. She can know that you would prefer M/R over D - BUT NOT ANY LONGER AT ANY COST.

[This message edited by Ifnotnow at 3:55 PM, July 18th (Sunday)]

posts: 17   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2021
id 8676609
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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 3:16 PM on Monday, July 19th, 2021

I'd be very careful about exposing the A to friends and family if R is a possibility. R is hard enough without the interference of family members who don't know what recovering from being betrayed entails. (Of course, some family members probably do know what recovery entails, but I like to think they'll offer help and tell you their credentials, but won't interfere, but that'll happen only if they've healed.)

WRT exposing the WS to their family, I think that just gives them a head start on justifying support for the WS over the BS. Blood is pretty sticky, except when it's very fresh.

Hurting, go back and review the DIY kit I posted on page 1 of your thread. Exposure like this is pretty uniformly recommended here on SI, just so you know.

In my own case, I was careful to expose to her immediate family (her mother and her sister) and not to anyone else. Mainly for the reasons Sisoon cited above (for example, I've never told my own family about my WW's affair bc I don't yet know whether we will divorce, and I don't want that additional pressure).

However, I have to strenuously emphasize that exposure to her parents will NOT give her a head start on anything. In fact, the opposite. It will put her back on her heels. You need that in order to assert control over your own life and to give yourself some psychic and physical space. Some room to breathe.

You're not exposing to her parents (your in-laws) to get them "on your side." You're not doing it for revenge. You're just approaching it in a businesslike and matter of fact way.

If anything they are likely to circle the wagons around her.

But it does two things immediately: 1. Begins to implode the fantasy bubble of the affair. 2. Prevents her from spinning a false narrative about the two of you "drifting apart." It will be much more difficult for her to introduce her AP to the parents as the new shiny model (or in this case, the restored model she previously pined for), or to have him around your kids without your inlaws feeling rather queasy about the entire thing, should the two of you split up.

Her parents will have her back no matter what, but a lot of parents will still make it clear they absolutely object to adultery. I told my SIL and MIL immediately. I didn't tell my family and I didn't tell my FIL (he's elderly and quite frail). Telling my SIL and MIL was one of the most impactful and effective things I did in the early days. My SIL was stunned (later she began being defensive of her sister) and laid into my WW. My MIL has had my back almost consistently from day one, while also supporting her daughter. She even wanted to know from her daughter three years later why she failed her polygraph.

BTW, if R is possible for you and hysterical bonding hits, my reco is to go for it. Sex is a great tool for building bonds.

Be careful with this advice. "Whatever feels good in the moment, do it" is not a great guide for a successful life.

The reco against MC is iffy, IMO, but probably sound. My W's therapist saw us on d-day. She was terrific - confronted my W again and againa and again in a long session (90-120 minutes, IIRC). Gave me terrific support. Other members have reported similar results.

But most SIers who talk about MC early in R report different results. That's because, IMO, MCs treat the M, and they start by seeing the M as a system. They tend to look for systemic problems, and they set resolving those problems as their goal - even though the M is bleeding out because of the A.

And in the system approach to M, too many MCs end up blaming the BS for doing or not doing something that led the WS to cheat.

Sisoon's first line is quite confusing. I'm not sure how a piece of advice can be both "iffy" and "sound" at the same time.

You will find very few examples here on SI of positive MC experiences after infidelity was exposed. That is because, quite simply, MC is designed for one thing: save the marriage. This means MC's aren't very good at dealing with infidelity. They tend to privilege the marriage itself (the old marriage, which has been murdered by infidelity) over the horrific trauma and pain of the betrayed spouse. Thus rugsweeping and blameshifting are encouraged and pressured. We read about it over and over. Be forewarned: finding a good MC who deals properly with infidelity seems about as common as winning the lottery.

Thus my clear and unvarnished advice about individual counseling with a betrayal trauma specialist. You should be able to find several practitioners in your area.

I don't care about looking weak.

You shouldn't care about "looking" weak. You should care and be concerned about BEING weak in this situation. This is a NFA (no fucking around) situation. It is probably the gravest crisis you will ever face, short of cancer (and as far as your brain sees the matter, probably as bad if not worse). So you can't afford to be weak. This will drive you to your knees and test you in ways you are only beginning to understand.

The advice you were given on page 1 of this thread is designed to shore up your strength, help you get out ahead a bit, begin to take control of your own life, and give you space and time to decide what you want to do.

Right now, you seem to have a remorseless spouse who is willing to watch you do the pick me dance, while she vacillates back and forth between the reality of your marriage with kids and the fantasy of her affair partner.

[This message edited by Thumos at 9:56 AM, July 19th (Monday)]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH (me): 50, WW: 49
Married: Feb. 1996
DDAY: Dec. 20

posts: 4227   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8676699
Topic is Sleeping.
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