Welcome to the
Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum

This is a community where people come in search of marriage related support, answers, or encouragement. Also, information about the Marriage Builders principles can be found in the books available for sale in the Marriage Builders® Bookstore.
If you would like to join our discussion forum, please read the Announcement Forum for instructions, rules, & guidelines.
The members of this community are peers and not professionals. Professional coaching is available by clicking on the link titled Coaching Center at the top of this page.
We trust that you will find the Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum to be a helpful resource for you. We look forward to your participation.
Once you have reviewed all the FAQ, tech support and announcement information, if you still have problems that are not addressed, please e-mail the administrators at mbrestored@gmail.com
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 17
V
viking Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
V
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 17
My wife and I have been married for a year and a half now, after having been together for the past 7 years.

I recently (3 weeks ago) discovered that my wife was having an EA with her boss. It had been going on for about 2 weeks when I discovered it. She admitted to it and asked me for some time to decide what to do about the situation, as she was unsure of her feelings. I have tried following Dr Harley's Plan A approach and I am trying to meet her all of her emotional needs.

My problem is this: Although her boss is likely to resign fairly soon (for other reasons) I know that she is still contacting him regularly via e-mail and sms, although she told me a few days ago that they would stop seeing each other and focus on their respective marriages. I have found messages on her phone from him. She is extremely secretive about her cellphone and never lets it leave her hand or pocket. It is literally eating me up inside - after I had initially felt that her promise to me (that we would work on our marriage) was the start of our recovery phase.

Our most significant marital issue is sex. We do not at this stage have a healty sex life and, although we have identified this as a problem, there is a lot of anxiety and pressure from both sides. I have read Dr H's advice on the topic and I am trying to follow it, but I am not sure how successful this will be in light of the ongoing EA. I do not think that she is engaging in a SA with the OM at this stage, although I am afraid that it could in the near future.

She has also told me that she is unsure of her feelings for me. Although she has a deep love for me as a dear friend, she is not sure whether she loves me as a lover. She has told me that these feelings were present before the OM was in the picture, and that he has merely highlighted the issue.

My questions are:

- Do I at this stage need to ask her to stop all contact with the OM, or should I persist with Plan A even harder without talking to her about the ongoing EA?

- Should the sex issue be put on the backburner while I continue with plan A?

- Will plan A assist her in deciding whether she actually loves me in the marital sense?

Please help - any comments or questions would be appreciated

V

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 5,860
T
Member
Offline
Member
T
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 5,860
Keep plan A'ing your WW.

More important is that you expose the OMW, human resources at work, and WW's parents.

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,245
C
Member
Offline
Member
C
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,245
The first thing you have to do is expose the affair. You find his wife's number and call her and tell her what he's doing, so that she can pressure him to leave your wife alone. If you know anyone else in his life who has influence on him, call them, too. At the same time (do it all at once so they don't have time to do damage control), you expose to everyone in your wife's circle who will go to her and say 'what the he11 do you think you're doing'? Her parents, siblings, best friend.

She will be furious with you, but all you keep saying is 'I'm fighting to keep my marriage.' She is in an addiction right now, so just go ahead and consider her a drug addict - you wouldn't say to a drug addict 'here, have some more, that's ok, it'll work out.' You intervene and get their head cleared. While doing Plan A - being the best possible mate she could choose. Exposing and Plan A are two separate things - you HAVE to expose because she almost surely will not stop the EA (or any other one) on her own.

Once she gets away from the high she's getting from the EA, and she sees how good you've been to her through the whole thing, she'll likely realize what a mistake she made and come back.

Another thing - you NEED to be in the same house to do a good Plan A. Don't make it easy for her to separate from you and don't move out yourself. If things go bad temporarily, and she insists on moving out 'to find herself', do NOT give her any furniture, any money, or any other help. Leaving you has to be uncomfortable. And keep doing Plan A - take the high road.

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 17
V
viking Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
V
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 17
Thanks for the advice

I have another question (seems like all I have these days are questions):

My WW has told me that she feels pressurized to make the 'right choice' (i.e. staying in the marriage) because of all the people that will judge/criticize her and all the lives that she will damage. So what it means is that she will choose me because it is the 'right thing to do' while she feels that she may be better off/happier with the OM (which I refuse to believe)?

Do these feelings sound normal for a WW caught in the mist? I do not want her to commit to the marriage but stay resentful towards me/her family/life in general for the burden that she now has to bear - I want her to stay because she wants to and loves me. Would I, by focusing on her emotional needs and avoiding all LB's, address this problem?

Your help so far has been most valuable - it is amazing how the insecurities that I feel are felt by so many who are struggling throught the same thing.

All comments are deeply appreciated

V

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,245
C
Member
Offline
Member
C
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,245
She says that because she is thinking through a 'fog' - it's not really her talking. So don't listen to anything she says for a good long while. Later, if you do this right, she'll be horrified and ashamed of what she's saying now.

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 858
D
dkd Offline
Member
Offline
Member
D
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 858
Originally Posted by viking
My WW has told me that she feels pressurized to make the 'right choice' (i.e. staying in the marriage) because of all the people that will judge/criticize her and all the lives that she will damage. So what it means is that she will choose me because it is the 'right thing to do' while she feels that she may be better off/happier with the OM (which I refuse to believe)?

Do these feelings sound normal for a WW caught in the mist? I do not want her to commit to the marriage but stay resentful towards me/her family/life in general for the burden that she now has to bear - I want her to stay because she wants to and loves me. Would I, by focusing on her emotional needs and avoiding all LB's, address this problem?

I know exactly what you're talking about. My situation is different then yours, but the same issue has bothered my wife. She doesn't want to go on in what she considers and unhappy and loveless marriage. But she felt guilty for what she was doing, how it hurt the kids and how it hurt me, and felt she was making a choice between her happiness and everyone elses.

But it really doesn't work that way. Right and wrong are not arbitrary. Right is right because it brings about what's best for everyone. Wrong is wrong because it hurts everyone. It can't be escaped.

However, right doesn't mean you just quit trying and stay in the marriage the way it is. It means both of you take a serious look at yourselves, what you've contributed to the marriage, and what you plan on doing to change things. It means brutal honesty.

You do deserve to be loved, and she needs to find a way to fall in love with you again, instead of just settling for a marriage of convience.

BTW, I found myself defending my wife from all the friends and family who were judging my wife. Maybe I shouldn't have, maybe I should have more. I wanted her to know that I saw her issues with me and the feeling she was having as legit...even if those feelings hurt me.

You shouldn't take responsbility for her affair, but you should take responsbility for not caring for the way she deserved, if that's the case.


Me 38
Divorced 8/09
DS 10,6
DD 4
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,224
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,224

Quote
However, right doesn't mean you just quit trying and stay in the marriage the way it is. It means both of you take a serious look at yourselves, what you've contributed to the marriage, and what you plan on doing to change things. It means brutal honesty.


Well, said, mel_vin.

And it's tough -- darn tough sometimes, not to mention humbling. But your marriage is worth it.

Last edited by StillLovingHim; 07/22/08 05:29 PM. Reason: word choice

[font:Arial Black]
JUMP!
-- and you will find out how to
unfold your wings
as you fall.

- ray bradbury


[color:red]
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,970
L
Member
Offline
Member
L
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,970
Viking,

Quote
Do these feelings sound normal for a WW caught in the mist? I do not want her to commit to the marriage but stay resentful towards me/her family/life in general for the burden that she now has to bear - I want her to stay because she wants to and loves me. Would I, by focusing on her emotional needs and avoiding all LB's, address this problem?

My WH was reluctant and resentful when he chose the marriage. Within three months of NC, after withdrawal, he was shocked at what he'd done, almost lost...and held no resentment for doing the right thing.

I had to get to what I really wanted...my marriage. Not condition it on the spirit it was chosen, the attitude, the way, the words, even when...I wanted our marriage.

Our feelings pass...which is why acting from love keeps our love banks going; you want her to stay. State it. You have no control over her choices, her whys, her stuff. You have total control over your own. Going NC and ensuring it, her choosing transparency...all of it works us through withdrawal and into recovery. Everything changes.

Humans don't do what they do not want to do...they sure can experience life as if they don't. Not real. Stay in reality. State what you want and stick to Plan A. You can do this.

Btw, she was resentful before she chose to attack the marriage with infidelity.

LA

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 17
V
viking Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
V
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 17
Dear Friends.

Thank you for your help.

I have also posted my topic under general questions II, and here is the latest on my situation:

Well, I did it. I exposed the EA to the OM's Wife yesterday. She confronted him with it last night and he contacted my wife to let her know.

Just as you described in previous posts, my WW was incredibly angry. Amongst other things, this is what I got:

- It was not my business to let the OM's W know, if she needed to find out, she would.

- I am weak because I need another person to help me fight my own battles.

- The OM was going to let her know at a more appropriate time and I should have given him the opportunity.

- I have done more harm than good because I have now damaged the OM's W and hurt her.

- I have placed our marital relationship back by many years

She is deeply upset and now declares that she is even unsure of what she feels for me as a friend, not no mention a husband.

I feel that I did what was necessary. THe OM'W surely deserves to know what is going on, and there is no way for the fog to lift or NC to be maintained if I have no assurance that the OM is working on his own marriage.

Regardless of the fact that I think I acted correctly, I am now being saddled with the guilt of "ruining another marriage," which I feel is unfair. I am now being blamed for being weak, spiteful and insensitive (funny how I am now the evil one in this whole affair).

Please give me your insights and comments, and keep praying. I have found immense strength through reading these posts, but my marriage now feels more vulnerable than ever.

Viking

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 23
B
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
B
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 23
Been there, done it. Our situations are freakishly similar. The only difference was that I let the OM's pastor know.

I got an ear full of the same sort of stuff, especially the "you have set us back" and "he was going to reveal it in his own way, you screwed it all up". And my WW used my disclosure of the situation as an excuse to totally check out.

There has been no resolve to this yet, and I am a few months ahead of you. Be prepared for the long haul in this one. My WW has friends telling her she didn't commit adultery, so it's not like she has much to be ashamed about. Meanwhile, underneath, she is harboring tremendous guilt and shame. She has done her best to transfer this guilt and shame to me, and I believe that is where most of the painful talk and accusations come from. It's an attempt to make you the bad guy. Don't fall for it for a second! You have remained faithful to your vows. She needs to break under the guilt and shame before true reconciliation can occur.

As far as my plans, we have been to a counselor a couple of times. The homework she has given my WW has not even been attempted. She is totally checked out. I however, have kept moving forward in life. Partially to show my WW that I am solid, stable, and dependable (things she claims I'm not), and also for my own mental and emotional health's sake. Not

Keep moving forward, one day at a time.

As for the feelings of vulnerability, yes. Your marriage is extremely vulnerable at this time, and unfortunately, there isn't much you can do about that. My advice is to stay firm. Don't chase after her. Don't talk about the relationship. Don't show fear. MOVE FORWARD. It's unfortunate, but the truth is, she has to want the marriage too.

Last edited by burnout; 07/23/08 10:14 AM.
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 17
V
viking Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
V
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 17
Strange how so many people are going through exactly the same thing burnout - thanks a lot for the post.

After the initial mad reaction and disbelief, she has also 'checked out' in a way. She is now distant and cool towards me, but I now that this is common post-exposure behaviour.

I have also gotten over the initial feelings of guilt and shame for exposing to the OM's W and now I am even more focused on making plan A work.

Thanks for the advice - I will keep on posting.


Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 13
E
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
E
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 13
Dear Viking

You did the right thing to expose the A and never think of yourself as the "bad" person in this regard. You are not the one at fault here. If you had to wait for the OM to tell his W it could have been too late.

Just be patient with her she will come around eventually.

You have a long way ahead of you and your patience is going to be tested to it's ultimate level.

Keep on with Plan A and keep Faith..

God Bless

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,245
C
Member
Offline
Member
C
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,245
Thank you for exposing. It may be the hardest thing you ever do, but the bravest. If your wife does stick around, and the fog lifts, she will thank you for bringing her back to reality. If she doesn't, the marriage wasn't meant for you. But you definitely did the right thing.

And she said exactly what every other WS says, huh? Funny how predictable they are when they're protecting their secret life.

And you saved that man's wife a lifetime of grief. I bet no one else has ever been brave enough to tell her. I would HATE to be the woman who doesn't know what her H is doing behind her back. HATE it! Maybe he'll start respecting her now.

Just keep taking the high road. No matter what she says to you, just keep repeating "I'm fighting to save my marriage." No more.

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 17
V
viking Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
V
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 17
Thanks catperson.

It is good to get responses like yours.

I will maintain the fight and if it is meant to be, believe our marriage will last!

Will let you guys know

V

Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 213
G
Member
Offline
Member
G
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 213
Quote
My WW has told me that she feels pressurized to make the 'right choice' (i.e. staying in the marriage) because of all the people that will judge/criticize her and all the lives that she will damage. So what it means is that she will choose me because it is the 'right thing to do' while she feels that she may be better off/happier with the OM (which I refuse to believe)?

That's typical WS-babble: "I'll just have to sacrifice my happiness for the benefit of the kids/the right thing/yada yada.

The point of Plan A, though, is in fact to make her feel pressured. You want to heep the evidence on her, subconsciously, that leaving you might in fact be the wrong thing to do (and not just for the sake of principles).


BH (me) age 55
FWW age 52
married 26 years
First DDay 2/23/08, 1 day after PA began, ~1-1/2 months after EA began
Multiple failed attempts at NC
confirmable NC since 1/23/09


(D 31; S 29) my first marriage
(D 27; S 25) her first marriage
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 213
G
Member
Offline
Member
G
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 213
Quote
Regardless of the fact that I think I acted correctly, I am now being saddled with the guilt of "ruining another marriage," which I feel is unfair. I am now being blamed for being weak, spiteful and insensitive (funny how I am now the evil one in this whole affair).

Don't feel guilty. OM ruined that marriage, not you. OMW has a right to know, as you had said.

My FWW had used the same descriptors of me after exposure, along with, "Oh, does that make you feel like more of a man, to go whining to my sisters?" Until the fog lifts, you will be to blame for everything, including the reasons for her A.


BH (me) age 55
FWW age 52
married 26 years
First DDay 2/23/08, 1 day after PA began, ~1-1/2 months after EA began
Multiple failed attempts at NC
confirmable NC since 1/23/09


(D 31; S 29) my first marriage
(D 27; S 25) her first marriage
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 720
F
Member
Offline
Member
F
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 720
My H was involved in an EA too with a co-worker. As several people here know, he once told me 'he thought he should be with her'. This was painful for me to hear and it still gives me chills when I type it. But, somehow, by the grace of God I KNEW that this was not a true statement. This was before MB and any knowledge that I have now. Several weeks later, as he was still struggling with separation I told him "sweetie, if I truely thought she was the love of your life, I would step aside and let you go...I love you that much." He has told me at least twice how much that meant to him that I had so much faith in "US". Keep the faith...your real wife is in there somewhere.


Me 44, H 42, DS 16, DS 13
H/EA 4/07, D Day 10/17/07..
500th d-day 10/14/08...
NO RAIN...NO RAINBOWS!
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 3
T
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
T
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 3
i'm a new member, but going through a very similar situation with my wife.

I don't believe you were wrong exposing it in the manner you did.
A lie is simply a lie until the truth finds a way out (and it always does in the end). You should feel good knowing you are acting with positive motives and simply being a channel through which the truth came out.


"Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them." Einstein
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 76
G
Member
Offline
Member
G
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 76
Ive been in a similar situataion before. Id suggest you leave n let her feel the absence


Moderated by  Fordude 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Search
Who's Online Now
1 members (1 invisible), 33 guests, and 58 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
cbm800, Dodo M, Kingpin, MikaylaVaux, I.P.
71,728 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics133,546
Posts2,322,790
Members71,729
Most Online3,185
Jan 27th, 2020
Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
Copyright © 1995-2020, Marriage Builders®. All Rights Reserved.  |  Web Development by SunStar Media.
Site Navigation
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5