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Wayward Side :
My promise

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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 10:20 AM on Sunday, March 20th, 2022

The list below is my agreement to BS. I agreed to this several months ago and have failed on may of them ever since. Today I remake that promise both to BS and to the SI community. (I have removed a few of them as they contain information I do not want to share).

I know this is a symbolic gesture and me doing these things is only important to BS and I. Maybe it will promote discussion or offer others and idea. Happy to discuss and even consider (discussion with BS before) additional items that have worked for you guys, if you have a similar agreement.

1.You will COMMUNICATE with me, thoughts, feelings, activities all to induce intimacy and formation of a
relationship
2.TOTAL HONESTY (24 hour rule)
3.You will provide a FULL account of ALL wayward behaviour (triggered memory rule)
4.You will offer an honest apology each and every time this is needed
5.Access to all accounts, email, bank, phone etc (provision of passwords whenever they change)
6.No creation of new email or social media accounts without discussion and prior permission
7.No lone masturbation or porn use
8.No unsafe people (old or new)
9.You will disclose contact from any AP or previous unsafe people ASAP having ignored the attempt at contact. We
will review the contact method together and decide on how to prevent further attempts
10.You will tell me about ANY and ALL wayward thoughts ASAP, we will discuss possible triggers and coping methods
11.You will disclose any approach in a flirtatious or more than professional manner from anyone you have contact
with
12.You will answer ANY and all questions ASAP (24 hour rule)
13.You will no longer go to football
14.No new apps on phone or iPad without prior discussion and agreement
15.You will answer paired every day and induce discussion of the topic
16.You will continue with IC
17.You will call your sister to talk to when you don’t have IC
18.You will continue to read SI and any book recommendations on affairs
19.You will ‘lead’ the recovery process with discussions and actions : These actions will include - ‘dating me’,
compliments and words of affirmation to help return my lost self esteem, hand holding (no dropping hands if you
are annoyed etc), initiating physical intimacy in a caring and appropriate manner, romance, you will make me
feel special, cherished, desired and pursued
20.You will attempt to replace all of the lost memories and specials from our time together
21.You will do your best to help with my triggers
22.You will GIVE thought to each and every answer you provide me with, be that through speech or written language
23.You will GIVE me 110%
24.You will give back everything you gave to ‘them’
25.You will do EVERYTHING and ANYTHING you say you will, when you say you will
26.You will control your anger
27.You will do anything I need to make me feel safe
28.You will curtail to me with regards to impromptu social scenarios
29.We will discuss attendance of social occasions fully before agreeing either individually or as a couple
30.You will inform me of any work related social situations and will only attend if things are in place to ensure I
am comfortable and safe
31.You will work with me and the IC to discover the ‘whys’ and ‘how’s’ this will only be completed when I am
satisfied that we fully understand and feel safe we have done everything we can to prevent re-occurrence
32.You will prove OUR RELATIONSHIP comes before anything else
33.You won’t make large financial purchases without prior discussion (over £100)
34.
36.You won’t get another credit card or bank account without prior discussion with me

38.You will be willing to accept changes to this list of needs dependent on my emotional state (prior discussion
will occur)
39.answer all communications within a timely manner (discussion of timely for work place situations needs to occur,
ie texts can wait a little while but phone calls need a reply ASAP)

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs, Two physical affairs (2000). D-Day's 2003, August '17, multiple discoveries through 2018,19 and 20, and Jan 21

posts: 175   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8724397
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Crushed7 ( member #41129) posted at 3:56 PM on Sunday, March 20th, 2022

I know this is a symbolic gesture

In part, yes, but it points to something even more important.

It took me several months after the last Dday to come to the conclusion that...

1. No list is ever going to be complete/loophole free.

2. That my WS's multiple affairs over the years despite my own attempts to change and/or help her demonstrated that attempts aimed at controlling through rules wouldn't solve things -- she needed to want to change herself.

Which helped me to come to the realization that what I wanted was quite simple and I shared that with my WS -- "I want to be treated with love and respect". Ultimately, any list or set of rules was really trying to communicate that underlying truth. And, going forward, I expected her to be able to apply my statement to her own decisions and actions rather than me having to continuously update/add to a list of rules.

One very important part of that which was specific to a past history with multiple affairs and her IC indicating she had an attention/sex addiction was whether she was doing all the work necessary to become and stay "sober" going forward. And that was a lot of self-work that had nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping me believe that she was capable of treating me with love and respect long term.

Taking that all into account, I look at your list and see a very wounded BS who is trying to communicate specific ways in which you can avoid things that are hurtful, do things that are helpful and steer away from situations that could become problematic. But I also see the need for you to realize that the core asks are for you to be loving and respectful while understanding that dealing with your own inner challenges that allowed you to have affairs is going to help you become a healthier you that will pay benefits for yourself along with your BS.

[This message edited by Crushed7 at 3:58 PM, Sunday, March 20th]

Me-BH
Her-WW
Last DDay-2012 (several month EA/PA)
Married 30+ years

posts: 3788   ·   registered: Oct. 27th, 2013
id 8724427
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 6:32 PM on Sunday, March 20th, 2022

You've been failing at reconciliation for a few years. You make these promises,then you go back on them.

What is it that is your biggest hindrance? You seem to want to follow through, but something always gets in the way. What is THAT? Whatever THAT is,is what you need to fix.

Is it your anger? If so,maybe anger management classes are in order.

Is it entitlement, and selfishness? If so, you need to be in therapy to work on eliminating those.

Is it lack of commitment? If so, you need to figure out why you lack the commitment. Do you really love your wife? Do you really want to be married to her? If so,then you need to work on committing yourself, every day,to her.

I don't know. It just seems there is something in you that stops you from following through. You must figure out what that is,and work on that,above all else.

[This message edited by HellFire at 6:34 PM, Sunday, March 20th]

posts: 4332   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8724449
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Timeforhelp ( member #74605) posted at 8:36 PM on Saturday, April 2nd, 2022

Follow up to this post as the BS in question, BULCY has managed to do a grand total on NONE of the things on this list.

He has he head well and truly shoved so far up his arse that he could probably lick his own brain, would that he could find it!

For ALL you BS out there, promises and words mean a grand total of FUCK ALL!

Believe the actions, or in my case INACTIONS of you wayward, they will tell you if they are genuinely remorseful and attempting to fix whatever is wrong with them that makes them behave like they are the only person on the planet that has any worth.

Thank you to the successfully reformed waywards for trying to help lead my husband onto the path of being an actual human. Sorry your breath was wasted.

posts: 86   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2020
id 8727639
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 4:12 PM on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022

Gosh I wish we could start a group therapy chat for BS and WS (seperated of course). Like AA or something led by a counselor experienced in this shit.

Zoom meetings anyone? Anyone know of a counselor who would be interested in chairing a session? We could chip in as a group for the fee.

Accountability, being open and honest, calling each other on our shit, positive peer pressure. I really dont think change is easily accessible without this.

Bulcy, you have good intentions. Why are you self sabotaging? I self sabotaged a lot and I still struggle with it. Theres things I have had to be honest with BH about, knowing it would set him back in his recovery (nothing I did, but AP changed positions and moved campuses into MY building😡) this news hurt BH and makes my life more difficult as now I have to work with HR to make sure our paths dont cross.

Either way, wayward in me initially thought to keep it to myself, as I can avoid him by taking back routes in the building to avoid his lab. New me said, "thats a bullshit coward thing to do. BH is not going to trust you if he finds this out some other way." I decided to build trust and tell the truth, even at the cost of my own convenience. BH was hurt, but he trusts me more now and I treated him with love and respect.

All that to say, what is keeping you back from doing so? What is keeping you from listening to that new voice in your head telling you to do the right thing for your own growth and by proxy, for the healing of your BS?

Oh, and timeforhelp, Im not a mod, but I am sure its is bad manners to post on your WH thread.

WW Dday July 2019

posts: 656   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8727775
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 4:35 PM on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022

Hugs to you, Timeforhelp.

I've been here awhile. I don't think there's any rule against a BS posting on their WS thread. I've seen it many times.

posts: 4332   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8727782
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wifehad5 ( Administrator #15162) posted at 11:35 AM on Monday, April 4th, 2022

PM for you Timeforhelp

FBH - 50 FWW - 51 (BrokenRoad)2 kids 15 & 20
The people you do your life with shape the life you live

posts: 55314   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2007   ·   location: Michigan
id 8727904
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MrCleanSlate ( member #71893) posted at 10:35 PM on Tuesday, April 5th, 2022

Bulcy,

I've not been active on SI as I was trying to deal with my own mental health from Covid and other issues, but I have kind of lurked of late and I really feel for you and your efforts so here I am posting for the first time in like forever.

No amount of lists will help you if you aren't ready to change yourself.

Many months ago I started to sleep on the couch - OK, I was barely sleeping and mostly just feeling sorry for myself and laying down in bed was not possible for me. Depression sucks. My wife started to get majorly triggered. Similar pattern to when I cheated 6 years ago. Internalize, ignore, withdraw. The difference is that this time she called me out and we spoke. I was still depressed, but this time I communicated. I actually realized how much I, and she, had changed. I expressed my feelings and my mood, etc. We worked on our shit together. I love her.

You know, I really believe you want to change, but you are struggling to get there.

Stop the lists. Listen to what your wife is asking for and really try to put yourself present and ready to be a partner. It is really a one day and one step at a time process. Be thankful she loves you enough to still be by your side. And realize that you owe her that much and more if you want this to work.

You won't be there all at once. But maybe, just maybe you take those crumbs and do something with them one step at a time. One thing my wife said after D-Day is that she stayed out of a sense of responsibility to our kids, and that she still loved me. But what made her stay after was seeing my effort to change and improve.

Reminds me a bit about when I quit smoking - one day at a time.

You can do this.

WH 52,my BW is 51
1 year PA, D-Day Oct 2015
Admitted all, but there is no 'clean slate'. In R and working it everyday
“To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day

posts: 672   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2019   ·   location: Canada
id 8728227
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 12:35 PM on Friday, April 8th, 2022

Hi,

I'd like to start with an apology for not responding to all the comments sooner. I've been hiding away from my responsibility, wallowing in self pity again. There is a whole lot of shit going on in my and BS life right now and I chose to focus entirely on this rather than keep focused on my BS and her needs regarding my infidelity. I have focused on trying to help BS through a very low period with her parents being ill, me losing my job and trying to get my head out of my ass and doing "the work". I have neglected any attempts to even begin R and even gave myself credit for being there for BS. I saw doing things around the house or taking her parents to the hospital, cooking, cleaning as things that were going to help us. In the real world, these are things that people do for one another and this is not doing "the work" or focusing my attention on "us"

Crushed

2. That my WS's multiple affairs over the years despite my own attempts to change and/or help her demonstrated that attempts aimed at controlling through rules wouldn't solve things -- she needed to want to change herself.

I see that more clearly. I know I'm the only one who can do it. I am the only one who can make the choice to do everything I need to do. I know I lack empathy in areas of my life and that I am lacking emotional intelligence. Although I do have empathy for BS. I feel and see the pain my infidelity has caused. I understand the stress and anxiety she is feeling for her parents and I can act on this. I know what needs to be done and I am there for her and them. It seems I cannot break through the shame and do what I need to do regarding infidelity. AM I ALONE IN THIS?

"I want to be treated with love and respect"

Seems simple enough. Achievable by some quite simple activities... Honestly, openness, putting BS first, always thinking about BS in decision making.... As I said in a post recently "Doing the next right thing"

Taking that all into account, I look at your list and see a very wounded BS who is trying to communicate specific ways in which you can avoid things that are hurtful, do things that are helpful and steer away from situations that could become problematic. But I also see the need for you to realize that the core asks are for you to be loving and respectful while understanding that dealing with your own inner challenges that allowed you to have affairs is going to help you become a healthier you that will pay benefits for yourself along with your BS.

This is where I need to work. The inner challenges and becoming that healthier person. I will show this post to IC and focus the sessions onto doing this.

Hellfire

It was your post (and subsequent post from BS) that hit me hard. The comments you made are both very obvious and I've heard them so many times, so I should know better. This was pointed out by BS and I immediately hid from the truth and distanced myself from this post. You ask a lot of pertinent questions. (edit I hope this does not came over as an attack, I keep reading the line "The comments you made are both very obvious and I've heard them so many times" and it seems a bit childish or snappy. It's not what I mean. I mean, you're absolutely right and I know this. I've heard it before and I guess I need to keep hearing it as I'm not doing enough to change)

What is it that is your biggest hindrance?

Clearly I am. I've made multiple promises and do intend to keep them. I struggle with some elements of my past behaviour and rather than focus on these, I latch onto simpler ones. I convince myself that doing certain things for BS will be enough to give me extra time to work on the difficult bits....Then there is always something that gets in the way. When this happens my default position is to switch focus on the latest
crisis or often something totally unimportant in the grand scheme of things (fixing light fittings, putting up a shelf, contact the solicitor for our recent house sale you name it, I've taken on that challenge) and try to fix this. So I can say to myself I've done something useful today and then expect credit from BS. This goes on day after day and eventually BS gets frustrated and the lack of effort and calls me out on it. I get defensive, that realise what she said is correct and shame spiral kicks in and the cycle starts again.

What is THAT? Whatever THAT is, is what you need to fix.

Yes, you're absolutely right. I'm avoiding the really hard stuff by focusing on either then next crisis or sometimes focusing on us having a good day. Hey, we're having a lovely date night or a nice walk with the dogs, why spoil this feeling by thinking/talking about affairs. This needs to change. Having a meal out is awesome, but I need to learn that ALWAYS in the back of BS's mind is "when are we going to talk" has he answered the question on SI and if so when is he going to talk about it? I'm still very selfish and when I'm feeling good I don't want to feel bad.

Is it your anger? If so, maybe anger management classes are in order.

Yes, anger has been a big problem in recent months. Previously I would get angry when called out on a lie. Now anger is coming when shame kicks in, when I am being asked questions about "gaps" in my timeline, when I am told I have done nothing to help BS and I am convinced that all week I've been focused on her (see above). I get angry when I am told that I put all my effort into affairs and nothing into my marriage. I get angry when told to "Just leave and go fuck AP whoever" I know I don't want this. I get angry all the time. I have read a couple of books on domestic abuse and have started group therapy on this. At this time I have only had two "online" sessions, but start the face to face group on Tuesday evening next week. (I will start a post on this separately). A bit shock to me was the minimising I have done over the years and especially in recent years of the abuse I have subjected my BS to. This was another realisation that hit home.

Is it entitlement, and selfishness? If so, you need to be in therapy to work on eliminating those.

Yes, yes, yes. I've lived my entire life feeling entitled. Through the whole of my relationship with BS I have felt entitled to more. More fun, more freedom, more sex, I should be the one who come first. It has been about me. In the past I would have got defensive at this and stated all the nice things I've done for BS and of course there are...Not the point. In having affairs, in living this secret life, I have written off anything that was special between us.....Hey, cue shame spiral. Shame spiral in itself is entirely selfish. So yes, I need to work on this. Even recently when going things around the house, I feel I am entitled to a pat on the back for doing something. I feels so pathetic just writing that. I'm an adult in a marriage. Just do the washing and get on with doing what is actually needed rather than reach out for recognition (which is something I have been guilty of on this forum)

Is it lack of commitment?

I think it kind of has to be. Despite my current feeling of "hell no, I'm committed to fixing this". I think I commit to only parts of "the work".

Do you really love your wife? Do you really want to be married to her?

Yes, I really do. I love my wife more than anything, yet I cannot seem to be able to prove this by doing the right things at the right time. I've said on here and to BS that EVERY day I need to wake up and commit to her and the marriage. It is something BS does every day, despite the pain and anguish I cause. It is the reason I started this post. To show commitment to healing myself and to focus my attention in the right direction. What happened is....I was challenged on this forum and by BS and I ran away...

I don't know. It just seems there is something in you that stops you from following through. You must figure out what that is, and work on that, above all else.

Yeah, You're right. This post has taken me a while to write. I am currently fighting back tears. Which is something I really need to stop doing. Crying is OK, showing emotion is OK. I can just release my emotions. I want to just hold her right now, but I feel that this is benefitting me and not her... Does that make sense?

MIgander

Bulcy, you have good intentions. Why are you self sabotaging?

I wish I had a simple answer to this. Thinking back on this I always seem to. Something to discuss with counsellor.

Either way, wayward in me initially thought to keep it to myself, as I can avoid him by taking back routes in the building to avoid his lab. New me said, "thats a bullshit coward thing to do. BH is not going to trust you if he finds this out some other way." I decided to build trust and tell the truth, even at the cost of my own convenience. BH was hurt, but he trusts me more now and I treated him with love and respect.

This is something I am trying to work on. Fortunately I am unlikely to cross paths with BSs from the past. I've changed job and some have moved away. I mean more to the point of "bullshit cowardly thing to do". Not to hide things either from BS or even at work. if you fuck up...a) do what you can to fix it and more importantly b) admit to it, showing trust in your partner, openness, honesty and attempting to prove I can and will no longer have any secrets. Fighting that default position of "protecting" myself is hard. It is certainly something I've been doing for well over 40 years.

All that to say, what is keeping you back from doing so? What is keeping you from listening to that new voice in your head telling you to do the right thing for your own growth and by proxy, for the healing of your BS?

Again the simple answer is ME. The voice of reason, of "do the next right thing" is there and hey, sometimes I do. Then the focus goes wayward or I relax into "thinks are ok at the moment" and slip backwards. Only to have this pointed out and rather that accept it and refocus I hide away and sulk. Yes, I come back, but I can't seem to avoid the sulky stage...Selfishness again?

Oh, and timeforhelp, Im not a mod, but I am sure its is bad manners to post on your WH thread.

I will have to defend BS on this one. She mentioned this thread and a) my lack of commitment to it and b) my lack of response to it. On the night she posted this we had an argument on me not doing "the work" and not doing the things in the list above. She was absolutely right in what she was saying. I again got defensive and agressive. She said she was going to post on SI to tell you guys about my lack of effort and I said something along the line of "do what you fucking want to". We do have an agreement that we will not post on one anothers threads. However in this instance I gave BS no choice, she needed something to kick my ass out of the pit I was in and onto the correct path. I have absolutely no problem with the post. It was necessary for me. As talking to me and in fact pleading with me has not work, she needed to do something like this.

Hellfire again

Hugs to you, Timeforhelp.

Thank you. I know this was received well.

MrCleanSlate

I've not been active on SI as I was trying to deal with my own mental health from Covid and other issues, but I have kind of lurked of late and I really feel for you and your efforts so here I am posting for the first time in like forever.

Welcome back and thank you for finding the time to message me. I'm sorry to hear of your recent struggles.

Stop the lists. Listen to what your wife is asking for and really try to put yourself present and ready to be a partner. It is really a one day and one step at a time process. Be thankful she loves you enough to still be by your side. And realize that you owe her that much and more if you want this to work.

Yeah, I need to listen to this and act on it. I owe her so much. She is incredibly strong and yet so hurt right now. I am being there for her and helping her through every day. Where I fall down is the "us" work and the "me" work. A huge gap I appreciate.

You won't be there all at once. But maybe, just maybe you take those crumbs and do something with them one step at a time. One thing my wife said after D-Day is that she stayed out of a sense of responsibility to our kids, and that she still loved me. But what made her stay after was seeing my effort to change and improve.

Seeing effort to change and improve. That's what I need to show.

You can do this.

Thank you.

Thank you all for the feedback and as ever pointing out areas I need to focus

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs, Two physical affairs (2000). D-Day's 2003, August '17, multiple discoveries through 2018,19 and 20, and Jan 21

posts: 175   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8728646
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