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Newest Member: AnnSar

Wayward Side :
4 months since Dday, zero physical contact...& 25 year anniversary coming up

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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 3:08 PM on Wednesday, October 26th, 2022

Cheatinghusband

You didn’t cheat because (nor despite) your wife or your marriage. Nothing external made you cheat or justifies your cheating. The OW wasn’t special, the dream-princess or whatever. She was simply someone that was available at the same time that you somehow justified your decision to cheat.
Not saying that to disrespect her – to her you had the same role and were not Prince Charming. More like Prince Available.

IMHO understanding the above and the implications is key to personal recovery, and personal recovery is the key to discovering if relational recovery is possible.


There are a very typical response people have when they do something they know is wrong. It’s something that was pointed out to me when I was in law enforcement, and I have witnessed repeatedly in life: Even when you know and acknowledge you did something wrong you justify it somehow.
Like "I know I was speeding, but I have a job-interview I can’t miss", or "I know it’s stealing, but my family is hungry" or "He deserved to be beaten, he spilled my drink".
Be careful not to use any excuses to minimize or justify your decision to have an affair.
It’s just "I had an affair". No "because I felt you didn’t love me" or "our sex-life was stale" or whatever. No excuses – no minimization – no justification.

One strong statement you can make is to acknowledge your actions to your wife:
"I had an affair. It is totally my decision and there was nothing you did or the marriage did that can in any way or form explain or justify what I did. The reasons I decided to have an affair are totally mine, and I am going to work on realizing and understanding how I could allow myself to consciously make that decision. I hope you give me time to improve myself, but you are as always totally free to decide if you want this marriage or not. "

Note how I say repeatedly that this was a decision? That is another key factor. If you insist the affair just happened, then there isn’t any way you can tell your wife it won’t happen again. It’s like if you accidentally slip and fall and break her favorite cup you can’t promise your wife that you won’t ever fall again. You DECIDED – probably with a series of smaller decision leading you to it – to cheat.
If you can decide to do something you can also decide not to do something.


I notice above that you seem reluctant to do things suggested if they include shame, sacrifice or pain on your behalf.
For example: The STD test. Why wait? You aren’t doing it for her per se. It’s not that you go and do the test and e-mail her the results. Wait until she indicates she is willing to have sex again? What then – "hold that thought honey, I’m going to pop off to the 24-hour STD clinic and the results should be in next 72 hours…"
You go and do the STD test for YOU. To know that at least THAT issue is off the table – or on it if that’s the case. You don’t announce it to your wife or anything of that nature.

Going to IC… You were thinking about it. Have you done it? How many sessions?
Once again – make an appointment and go! Don’t tell your wife as if expecting a reward. Just go. You are doing this for YOU not her. If she asks, then yes – let her know. What you want is that YOU have a benefit from this. That happens if you take note of what the IC says and try to improve. It’s working for your marriage if your wife sees a change to the better, not because you hand her an attendance slip.

Telling the OW husband. OK… I personally don’t see this as necessary. Morally right maybe, but IMHO exposure should serve towards a goal. Usually, we advocate exposure to end infidelity, and it does sound like the affair is over. IMHO this should be the prerogative of your wife. If she knows who OW is, then you could let her know that she is free to contact the husband if she wants to.
But your reluctance to do it… and the excuses you use… they sort-of support what I said about actions you probably deem painful. There is no way change can be made without pain.


Other than that.
I recommend you be an open book.
Tell her your agenda for the day. Not like you are reporting in, but more in passing over breakfast before leaving.
Without forcing it on her then let your wife know she can see your phone, tablet… whatever at any time she wants.
Be available over the day. In a meeting and she calls? Quick message and phone back. Have the meeting in your agenda that she has access to.
Going to be late? Let her know and where you are going.
I’m not suggesting that until the end of time she constantly monitors you. It’s rather that now she has no trust. If you repeatedly are where you claim to be and she can verify that for a reasonable amount of time she can regain trust. After the nth time of verifying you being in the gym at 6:30 instead of possibly in a motel bed your wife will begin to trust that you are really doing push-ups and not OW.

Never lie. This is something we all do, but "innocently". Like if she asks you to do the lawn next Saturday and you have other plans then tell her so, tell her "I will mow the lawn on Friday because Fred and I have golf at 10 next Saturday" and then do it. Mow the lawn. Promise only what you can deliver, refuse what you can’t.
Stop trying to win all arguments. Look for books and courses on negotiation tactics and conflict handling. There are so many ways, courses, books, dvd’s… on self-improvement, goal-setting etc that always lead to some change and improvement in us.

Find ways to be with your wife. Not date-nights or watching tv together, but maybe you two cook and clean together? Do you both go to a gym? How about sharing the ride and spending the same time in the gym? Would she be willing to take a daily 30 minute walk with you? This isn’t about solving the issues, but about being together. Feeling comfortable and safe in each other’s company.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 11139   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8762214
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 cheatinghusband319 (original poster new member #82222) posted at 8:12 PM on Wednesday, October 26th, 2022

Thank you very much for the advice. I signed up for a STD test - as far as IC goes, would you recommend it is with our MC or someone else (our MC thought that may be a good idea to meet w/ both of us between sessions.)? As far as being an open book she has my passwords & my computer and phone whenever she wants it but she hasn't checked them out since DDay..is that a concern? Also we have life 360 and I tell her where I'm going - pretty much the grocery store, work, and kids activities are the extent of my travels at this point. We do spend a little bit of quality time together - our MC recommended 30 minutes a week until our next appointment, which isn't until Nov. 6th. We've done small stuff together like walk the dog, drive to an event together...my favorite was laundry where she "trained" me how to clean our son's dirty underwear as I'm taking over that shitty job (sorry). Thanks again.

posts: 9   ·   registered: Oct. 24th, 2022   ·   location: IA
id 8762262
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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 10:44 PM on Wednesday, October 26th, 2022

You have gotten great advice from everyone here as to what you need to do in terms of just basic things like STD tests and showing her that you are serious about trying to save the marriage. I am going to address the anniversary as I was the BS right before our 25th also

We had a trip scheduled that would have been amazing. Think South Pacific and the hotels you see with the rooms on stilts right over turquoise waters. We had taken really nice vacations before, but this was on a whole different level. In our ill fated attempt at MC I remarked that I had to start canceling various aspects of the trip to try to recoup as much money as I could. They both looked at me like I was crazy as she was convinced I would still want to go, and the MC insisted that the trip was needed for us to try to repair the marriage.

The next day I canceled everything I could. There was no fu*king way I was going to spend that much time with her. Especially a 17 hour flight and reward her with the trip after what she did. She was crushed.

The thing is it wasn’t her choice to make. Anniversaries after an affair can be tough, but milestones are especially hard. You need to talk to her and you might suggest that you celebrate, but you understand if she doesn’t want to. Please, under no circumstances if she doesn’t want to do anything, surprise her with something special anyway. You might get flowers or a token gift, but this is now her choice and you need to communicate on it.

This is still early and she still is very hurt. Make this about her, not what you think she or the marriage needs.

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician

Divorced

posts: 1932   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2016
id 8762287
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Unhinged ( member #47977) posted at 11:50 PM on Wednesday, October 26th, 2022

In the Wayward Side forum, you'll find a thread pinned to the top of the list entitled: "Things that every WS needs to know."

anyone have any advice on how to deal with the upcoming milestone anniversary?

I have some advice for you, brother, although I'm pretty sure you won't want to read it.

It's no longer a milestone anniversary. You didn't make it. You blew it! Your marriage ended the moment you broke your vows. Now, I'm sure you're shaking your head, telling yourself that you never intended to leave your wife, that your marriage was always important to you, and I've got it all wrong.

D-day for me was about three months shy of what would have been our 10th anniversary. I had absolutely zero interest in any sort of celebration. We didn't make it. We (she) didn't earn it. My XWW ended our marriage the moment she crossed that line.

For me, and I think for the vast majority of people, infidelity is a deal-breaker. Discovery profoundly and permanently changes the nature of any relationship. For me, nothing that ever happened before discovery had any real meaning anymore (except the kid). The only thing that mattered to me was that I was married to a cheater. And I will not be married to a cheater.

I can't say that your betrayed wife feels the same way. However, I bet she does. And I say this because I've been there and done that and have read from more members than I could possibly remember who have also been there and done that.

It seems to me that you're focused on fixing your marriage, which is both understandable and common enough. Your betrayed wife, on the other hand, is more likely focused on the fact that she's in a world of hurt that is completely foreign to her and you are the source of that anguish.

So, more than likely, your betrayed wife isn't too interested in honoring a milestone anniversary that you didn't earn.

Married 2005
D-Day April, 2015
Divorced May, 2022

"The Universe is not short on wake-up calls. We're just quick to hit the snooze button." -Brene Brown

posts: 6608   ·   registered: May. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Colorado
id 8762300
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 12:10 AM on Thursday, October 27th, 2022

as far as IC goes, would you recommend it is with our MC or someone else

I don’t think you are getting it…
MC is for marital counseling. Nothing in the marriage led to you cheating. This is why the "solution" won’t be found with your wife. It’s in YOU.
When you can improve yourself and if you can do so in a way your wife sees, beliefs and appreciates it your marriage has a chance.

Ps. If you do decide to use the same counselor then do so as two totally separate projects with no (or limited) connection.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 11139   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8762306
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SI Staff ( Moderator #10) posted at 2:58 PM on Thursday, October 27th, 2022

The mods have concluded this thread really belongs in the Wayward Side forum. It is therefore moving. Please follow and contribute there.

posts: 10009   ·   registered: May. 30th, 2002
id 8762372
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SI Staff ( Moderator #10) posted at 2:58 PM on Thursday, October 27th, 2022

  Moving to Wayward Side

posts: 10009   ·   registered: May. 30th, 2002
id 8762373
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Bulcy ( member #74034) posted at 5:18 PM on Thursday, October 27th, 2022

CH319,

Something I have been very guilty of is reading, posting and speaking with MC and IC without actually taking the advice in. I've described it recently as I get it intellectually but emotionally I way off the mark. I know I need to be more supportive or show more Empathy. I know I need to do "the work" and believed I was doing this by reading a couple of books. I was not truly listening to everything I was being told. I've come to the conclusion recently that this was two fold. 1) I did not want to do all the hard work and was hoping for a nice easy way out of this mess and 2) I really did not understand what was being said. The words made sense, but I was not allowing them to impact me the way they should.

It is easy to convince yourself you're doing well, when you're not. I'm not saying you're not doing the right things, you are, but make sure you're doing them properly and for the right reason.

Good luck

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, Jan 21 and 2022

posts: 245   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8762402
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doninvaun ( member #75329) posted at 3:55 AM on Friday, October 28th, 2022

It's been 4 months since my wife discovered my affair... but her main hurdle is she can't even think about ever being physical with me again, even holding hands... or is 4 months still pretty "fresh"


FYI, 2.5 years since Dday and still no physical contact of any kind, and it is still "fresh" for my BS even after 2.5 years, she's still hasn't decided yet about R or D, more likely heading for D.
However good to hear you're in couple therapy, I'm sure it will help. One reason why we're still in limbo is because my BS refuses Therapy (even just IC for her own recovery). I've been in IC since shortly after Dday but R needs effort from both, can't clap with 1 hand.
Be patience and good luck.

posts: 67   ·   registered: Sep. 3rd, 2020
id 8762488
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Hannah47 ( member #80116) posted at 6:13 AM on Friday, October 28th, 2022

Betrayed spouse here. After DDay, I wanted to acknowledge every anniversary, birthday, holiday, or any other important date. I wasn’t necessarily up for a big celebration, but I wanted him to give me a nice, meaningful gift, and I wanted us to spend nice, quality time together. I wanted him to initiate it and to plan something. It was my way of reclaiming our relationship and reclaiming his attention + affection.

The point is: every person is different; every BS is different. The best you can do is to communicate with your wife, as that is something you most likely weren’t doing prior and during your betrayal. Be open, vulnerable, empathetic, engaging, and most important – listen to her and believe what she’s saying.

posts: 133   ·   registered: Mar. 21st, 2022
id 8762501
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JustNonna ( new member #80456) posted at 2:27 AM on Tuesday, November 1st, 2022

BS, Dday2 Sept 4,2022

Our 25th is coming up spring next year. We had planned to renew our vows. I just can't now.
We are in R, we are working it out. We are in the same bed. We are intimate. I just can not move forward with renewing our vows.
I do not know why but I am just sure I do not want to do that. I am resentful with the idea.

With your 25th being so close, I think I get where she is coming from. I get it.

posts: 42   ·   registered: Jul. 28th, 2022   ·   location: Washington
id 8763060
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 cheatinghusband319 (original poster new member #82222) posted at 4:33 AM on Tuesday, November 1st, 2022

Thanks to everyone's advice - I hopefully came to the 100% realization that I didn't know I just wasn't 100% getting it. We were having a Halloween firepit, just the two of us sitting there in the driveway handing out candy. We weren't sitting too close at all, pretty far apart so I decided to scoot closer to her; she responded in a fun way that she should have scooted away too. It wasn't a contentious exchange or anything, but it put it in perspective that what in the heck am I trying to do to get physically closer to this saint of a women that is giving me a chance? I should just be counting my blessings to be currently living at the same address as my family with no divorce papers filed as of yet as she contemplates things...but yet here I am trying to get close to her when she clearly doesn't want that right now. So, I apologized to her and told her from here on out I'm only thinking of what's best for her and won't get in the way of her recovery by selfish attempts at getting close physically. Thanks again, everyone has been more help then you know!

[This message edited by cheatinghusband319 at 4:44 AM, Tuesday, November 1st]

posts: 9   ·   registered: Oct. 24th, 2022   ·   location: IA
id 8763071
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