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Trying to get better and be worthy


 ShatteredImage (original poster new member #79477) posted at 8:09 PM on Sunday, November 7th, 2021

So could use some advice, wife asked to recover any deleted WhatsApp and Telegram messages as a condition of ever hoping for R.

I did some googling and found forensic analyses of the messaging platforms and updates each has made that make it sound impossible (ie only keep messages to enable chat history if you have multiple devices - I had one logged in, and that's only for some types of chats, tried a new login from computer but only active stuff came down like this person is now on Telegram, removal of notification logs which was a previous exploit for Android only, severs are kept in different countries to make requesting data nearly impossible and of course there's the thing TGram says on their website that "To this day, we have disclosed 0 bytes of user data to third parties, including governments." etc). I also looked at AXIOM as a data recovery tool, only available to Law Enforcement, I took my phone to forensics place before so I will double check with them if there was anything.

Wife had a friends who said a hacker might be able to get something, but then asked for 10K-20K USD I think upfront. I found links to independent white-hat hackers on UpWork but they don't seem to focus on this type of recovery, more on penetration testing etc. On Facebook there's a channel for white-hat hackers I could read, but one referral seemed like a scam as they asked for $200 with half upfront but it wasn't the contact that did it, but someone he/she knew.

I downloaded a lot of data recovery tools for iPhone backups, but they didn't find anything related to the above - could only find content that was not deleted.

Anyone have experience with this - is it a lost cause or any hope?

D-Day 9/11/21 - 9/19/21WS(me 40sM)Status: IC, reading and forums

posts: 27   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2021
id 8697397

BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 9:19 PM on Sunday, November 7th, 2021

My understanding is that WhatsApp and Telegram are unrecoverable, which is why they are so popular for affairs. I would be very leery of handing your phone over to a random hacker without established references. They won't get the messages back, but they might be able to infiltrate passwords and/or install malware before giving your phone back to you.

I'd also consider whether you're paying someone to commit a crime, which would explain the hefty price tag. Searching your phone is one thing, but if a hacker is proposing to infiltrate the private networks of WhatsApp or Telegram, I'd nope right out of there.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2136   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8697410

forgettableDad ( member #72192) posted at 8:34 PM on Monday, November 8th, 2021

You can maybe recover something locally (media files more likely than anything else, maybe) but if you've deleted the chats and files and switched between phones etc then probably not really. As far as getting Telegram or WhatsApp to show you their servers - no chance.

"Hacker". lol. Nope. What BSR says is correct. Not to mention if a "hacker" knew how to exploit into Telegram or WhatsApp they'd make WAY more money by either data leaking and selling or notifying Facebook (or Meta or whatever they wanna be called) - companies offer good bounties to have security exploits discovered in their services.

I'm not one to offer advice these days tbh. But if you can have an honest discussion with your wife ask her (or find a mediator to facilitate) to talk to you about what she hopes to get from the messages and whether there is another way for you to accommodate that particular need..?

posts: 275   ·   registered: Dec. 1st, 2019
id 8697589

DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 11:15 PM on Monday, November 8th, 2021

For what it is worth, I'm going to suggest you try to turn your thoughts in a different direction. Your wife isn't dumb. She must know it's impossible to get those messages. As others have pointed our, those services were practically built with cheating in mind. Their whole existence is based on the fact that they destroy the messages. She gave you an impossible task with the knowledge that it is impossible.

So ask yourself then, "What does she really want?" Let's be honest, even if you could recover those messages, is there anything in there that's going to make anything better? Anything to make her trust or respect you more? Nah. You know that, I know that, and she knows that. She wants the messages because she can't trust you and she wants the FULL STORY. She's got a puzzle with missing pieces, and you're the only one who can supply those, and so far, you've been TT'ing and avoiding when it comes to details. She's sick and tired of being lied to and of having you expend less effort on her behalf than you did during the affair(s). She's seen you now, she knows you now. Cheating itself is a near-impossible task, and it takes TONS of work to keep up all the hiding and lying and sneaking, not to mention the actual affair. She's seen you make the effort, and succeeding, when it came to getting what YOU wanted and needed. So she knows you can do it. She wants to see you make that same effort on her behalf. And more than that, she wants to see you respect yourself enough to be honest and to take responsibility for your choices.

In my personal opinion, what I think your wife really wants is to feel as if you're being honest with her. She wants to feel that you are bending over backward to make this up to her. She wants to see you throw yourself, heart and soul and 120% effort, at this impossible task she gave you, because if you did that, it would least prove to her that you were willing to do something FOR HER BENEFIT and not for your own. She wants to feel you "own" what you did and move heaven and earth to make it right. Instead, what she gets are TT, excuses, and more effort being put into NOT helping her than was put into the affair in the first place.

Do you have kids? If so, then you know that if you ask a typical kid to clean their room, they will spend 5 hours coming up with complaints and excuses to not do it, and then 5 minutes actually getting the task done. And the whole time they are making excuses, we parents are getting more and more aggravated with them, and wondering why they are being so difficult? Why does it have to be a fight? Why do we have to yell and scream and threaten to punish them just to get them to do the thing they should have done in the first place? WS's can be like that. We spend so much time and energy on trying to "make things better" (for ourselves really) that we fail to see that just telling the truth and owning our deeds from the get-go would have made everything since D-day a little easier, a little better. At least, that way, our BS's could have some hope that we're really repentant and really serious about what we did. Now, not only do we have the sin of infidelity on us, but the added anger from our spouse, since they had to put up with all our deflections and blame-shifting and lies first. Our BS's do not have infinite patience. They might be willing to give you some time or slack, maybe once, maybe a hundred times, but at some point, they are going to stop banging their heads against the wall and just move forward with divorce. The truth will no longer matter at that point, because the lies and excuses mattered more.

Look, you can't get the messages, period. So what CAN you offer her? Is there anyone in your life that you've "written off", no longer speak to or interact with? If so, what do you think it might take from them, in order to help you to trust them again? What if you saw them going to therapy, and support groups, and reading up... NOT because they are being asked to or forced to, but because they desperately can't stand who they are and want to be a better person, someone who is more deserving of your attention and forgiveness? What if you saw them, when they didn't know you were looking, and they were acting and speaking in a way that lets you know they have fundamentally changed who they are? For the better? Might that at least allow you to even think about talking to them again?

Your wife doesn't want her cheating husband back. She might, MIGHT, consider taking back a husband who has ripped his own heart out trying to be someone better. At least she would have some reason to reconsider it. Anything less however, is not gonna cut it. And you can't fake authenticity. That's why we tell WS's to work on fixing themselves, not their spouses. Our spouses were not part of this. They didn't ask for this, didn't want it, and didn't deserve it. Since they didn't do it, they can't fix it, all they can do is try to protect themselves from further harm as best they can, and in most cases, the easiest and best way to do that is to simply remove the betrayer from their lives. If your wife is still here and still trying, then she is already giving you a gift. That gift, is a little bit of time, and a little bit of opportunity, to show her you are heading in the right direction and for the right reasons.

As Ru Paul says on his "Drag race" show... "... and DON'T, fuck it up".

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1176   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017   ·   location: Marblehead, MA
id 8697619

BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 2:54 AM on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

She wants to see you throw yourself, heart and soul and 120% effort, at this impossible task she gave you, because if you did that, it would least prove to her that you were willing to do something FOR HER BENEFIT and not for your own. She wants to feel you "own" what you did and move heaven and earth to make it right. Instead, what she gets are TT, excuses, and more effort being put into NOT helping her than was put into the affair in the first place.

Yes, this too. Absolutely.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2136   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8697644

MrsWalloped ( member #62313) posted at 1:40 PM on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

Excellent post by DaddyDom for every WS no matter what stage you're in.

Thank you.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 723   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8697684

 ShatteredImage (original poster new member #79477) posted at 2:09 PM on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

Great post DaddyDom. Mirrors my thoughts on being given the task, it's really about demonstrating effort. I don't know how to make right or fix the things I did wrong post D-day, aside from go forward behavior. I'm continuing the other paths like IC, reading and applying for jobs. Getting a sense of what she must have felt with emotional swings lately. Can't write more now, grappling with finding words.

D-Day 9/11/21 - 9/19/21WS(me 40sM)Status: IC, reading and forums

posts: 27   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2021
id 8697691

 ShatteredImage (original poster new member #79477) posted at 12:19 AM on Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

Just reread DaddyDom's last reply and time helps things sink in. The days vary a lot and I'm not always able to absorb or live what's been written and shared, sometimes reading a post is just scratching the surface until it sits with you a while or one's in a better frame of mind. I had to do some work over Sunday evening because I uncovered errors in a report for work, but it was a detail oriented activity that gave me a sense of satisfaction from uncovering a problem and fixing it. I always got satisfaction fixing things around the house.

On Dom's post - I have to make the effort for HER benefit and when I think about the effort put into the A, I can work harder than that. It's my job to make this better and I owe it to both of us to be the best version of me that I can. I'm sure that I'll get a more profound sense of satisfaction as I progress along that journey than what I felt tonight for work and I know it won't be steady progress either.

Writing these lines as a reminder to myself in the future as I know it won't be easy.

I got some insight from looking over other threads and had a reply ready, but decided not to post. In the end, I took this away from it - it was easy for me to see the early starting steps the original poster hadn't taken and the apathy/excuses, I was also pleased to see that the majority of the posts were genuinely trying to be helpful. I need to be on guard against the same rationalization/justification behavior in my own thoughts/actions. Some of the comments written early on in this thread about feeling worthy of love and forgiveness, the deep shame that can feel so oppressive and needing to move through it are slowly making more sense or perhaps more accurately I've encountered those hurdles more frequently and can recognize/understand what was meant a little better.

I shared my unposted draft with BS and she shared a few comments that I wanted others' perspectives on - she said my reply (the one I drafted and didn't post) lacked the same perspective that I lack. I was basically suggesting to create some roadblocks for questionable apps the WS used, uninstall facebook or whatever, do screentime or internet downtime etc. I also indicated he needed to get a therapist, which would help him unpack the rest, and that he could do this with his BS to find a mutually agreed upon therapist.

She felt that cutting off external temptation and creating punishments is essentially flawed as "temporal bias" as she calls it will kick in and lead to the same behavior. I've read the term white knuckling and I agree with her assessment about control fading in the absence of other change. I think I'm aligned there.

She said to recover one needs to build a new core value and understand why the slip occurred. I can understand this perspective, and have talked to therapist about if we ever make it to MC, what we'd need to change and specifically what I'd need to change. He's like if problem X (communication, intimacy, the whole gamut of potential problems) remains you might be fine for a few years, but it won't fix things or make the relationship resilient long term.

MC aside, I reflected on my core values. The rub is I think I must not have had the core valuesI thought I did (specific qualities aside some listed later), or that I compromised them. If I ever had a core set of values then they ceased to be a core value when I entered in to affair, or I was living in conflict with my values - neither seems right, so how do I make this more permanent.

She used an analogy of drug use. I've never done drugs aside from coffee and alcohol, and said if someone offered you a super exclusive drug you wouldn't do it, which is true and went on to say said that the external temptations don't move you. So ignoring some crazy movie situation (and I'm not an undercover cop who has to prove it by taking drugs) - I get it, it's not something I want to do to myself and furthermore I had an uncle who ruined his life and saw some negative examples growing up.

Back to the affair - I certainly had guilt, but didn't stop which I look back on with disappointment. It makes me think of the flawed statements I read in so many places "I'm not a bad person, I did a bad thing" and how people seek to rationalize or create accommodations for their behavior. There is no excuse for my behavior and I know that. I'm thinking of core values in terms of religion as well: people lose faith or change faiths/religions, does that mean they changed or lost a core value or that they found one that was more encompassing for their spirituality?

I want to live a life that's consistent with the image (ala ShatteredImage) that I have of a moral, dedicated, loving, confident and loyal spouse. The qualities that I so very much wanted to project externally and fooled myself into thinking I was living before the A, but I want to really live that value. I lived portions of it to varying degrees during the marriage, but had lots of failures too and wasn't as affectionate/loving/appreciative/considerate/empathetic as I should have been and can see selfish or apathetic behaviors in the past before this betrayal. I'm trying to think through how I make faithfulness and adherence to these attributes a core value and something substantial - just living it, maybe it's that simple and it becomes evident over time as it becomes more consistent because I know it won't be a flip of a switch. The why is more elusive as we've discussed before, nothing transcendent, but likely a myriad of compromises or character flaws and pushing that voice of guilt and reason out of one's head as much as possible though they (guilt/reason) were never really silenced which manifested in the affair (ED and anxiety).

I also spoke to therapist about my general lack of feelings for AP. As soon as the A was brought to light, all feelings just went away, the desire for praise and attention that seemed to have fueled things so much just gone from the equation. He said that's not common and that I likely felt some withdrawal from communication, but also that it probably shows that the connection was shallower that perhaps I had believed and overshadowed by "real" life instead of an idealized fantasy.

The above is written partially for me as I've mentioned (been coming back to this between meetings and hope it isn't too disjoint), it's therapeutic to write sometimes and occasionally rereading gives insight into where I was on the journey. I'm trying to focus on the way through as opposed to the stumbles along the way and trying to insulate the dynamics of BS and my relationship, thinking that would be MC if we make it there. At the same time, I am hesitant to post because sometimes the complete thought is difficult to get out, but appreciate the feedback and guidance of others who maybe didn't feel this withdrawal that people write so often about from the AP, thoughts on compromising values and how to assess their durability and anything else relevant.

[This message edited by ShatteredImage at 1:34 AM, Wednesday, November 17th]

D-Day 9/11/21 - 9/19/21WS(me 40sM)Status: IC, reading and forums

posts: 27   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2021
id 8698792
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