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I will defer to JL's advice due to his experience and out of respect for how he helped us in our time of need.

I still feel that Mike's reactions have been appropriate in the big picture ... he may have fumbled a few of details, but "BEING WILLING" to walk away, along with his WW KNOWING he is willing to walk away will GREATLY improve and accelerate any potential reconciliation.

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Mike, you know the right thing to do. First go home. If you don't want to be in the house, exactly, stay next door or go to one of those executive suites. You can't assess the situation from far away, and you need to find out where she is in all this.

Plus, you need to consider if you're willing to do even more work to save this marriage. You were here when I first joined, and I'm assuming you made a lot of changes in your behavior to save your marriage. That's a long time to put in, only to find out your marriage wasn't affair-proof at all. It could be that to make her content in the marriage, you'd have to do stuff you don't want to do. I don't mean washing out the sink after you do the dishes. I mean turn yourself inside out. But, you don't know what's going on yet.

And, you may not know tomorrow either. By next week, you'll know more. Also, once your anger dies down a little, you can better sense how you feel about her aside from the infidelity. How happy have you been the last few years? If you've been telling yourself you're happy, if you've been working on seeing the good in her and your marriage, if you've been convincing yourself you don't need more affection or whatever, that would factor in to the decison too.

Oh, and you have to deal with your 17 year old. Throwing a party to punish mom isn't a wise idea. As a child of divorced parents, I can tell you to expect some playing the parents off each other, and some manipulation and double dipping. There have to be some perqs to having divorced parents after all. Just try to keep some control over the situation, whether you're there or not.


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Originally Posted by Greengables
MR, have you heard something I haven't? Last I heard K was still happily married.

I guess we all have to define "happily" for ouselves. To my mind if I hadn't had SF with my wife for 10+ years, and in fact the last person to have SF with my wife would have been the OM, then "happily" would not be the descriptive term I would use for my M.

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I agree with the "being willing to walk away part." Actually, I think all spouses should always be willing to walk away if certain boundaries are crossed. This greatly enhances the marriage even when there hasn't been an affair. It creates the mindset "We're married because we both choose to be married, not because we need to be married."


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Hi Mike,

First of all, I apologize if my question added to the derailing of your thread. That was not my intention, I thought it was an ok question to ask. So I wasn't going to contribute further and was going to stay off your thread but now I have a second of all...

Second of all, I had the same alarm as pk on reading about your son's underage drinking party with four cop cars showing up, and him giving you "laughing updates." I second everything he said.

And third, your latest post indicates you having some second thoughts... very natural, very human, and precisely why folks were recommending that you slow down. It is a biological fact that your brain operates differently when flooded with adrenalin. Decisions made under those circumstances are not necessarily decisions you will agree with later.

IMHO no one is telling you that you can not proceed directly to Plan D. Just that you make that decision based on your own thoughts when not under severe emotional trauma/adrenalin/what have you.

You don't know me, I'm a newbie by comparison. But please listen to the wise K and JL.


me - 47 tired
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I'm going to drive home so I'll be off the computer for 4 or 5 hours.

May I ask, without being obnoxious, that a few of you not post on here. I really need help from people like K and I don't want him insulted in my thread.

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Hi Mike,

I'm so sorry that you find yourself in this situation. I would suggest that you do nothing for now, if you can contain yourself. It's better to deal with this with a plan then to ad hoc it by reacting to your emotions. If you do need to expose/confront---I would suggest doing it only with your wife at first.

I'd be more comfortable giving you advice after hearing what's been going on for the last few years, where you're at, where you think you're wife's at, etc... And I'll close with the usual advice---it wouldn't hurt to get a session or two with one of the Harley's before you do anything.

Steve used to always tell me to not react during these situations. You need to stay calm, and not make any huge decisions. Act. Don't react.

I concur with K.

Per your request about who you would like to offer responses, opinions, and advice to you regarding your situation, why don't you ask K about me and if you think you'd like to hear from me I will continue to participate in discussing things with you.


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Originally Posted by Mike_C2
I'm going to drive home so I'll be off the computer for 4 or 5 hours.

May I ask, without being obnoxious, that a few of you not post on here. I really need help from people like K and I don't want him insulted in my thread.

Fair enough ... it's your thread.

Good Luck!!!

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Originally Posted by Mike_C2
I'm going to drive home so I'll be off the computer for 4 or 5 hours.

May I ask, without being obnoxious, that a few of you not post on here. I really need help from people like K and I don't want him insulted in my thread.

Mike c2, I have the greatest respect for K. I was going to let K and JL discuss the marriage aspects of your situation with you; I deliberately stayed away from that, as I felt that their guidance was sufficient.

Due to my background, I was confining myself to discussion of your children - or son, in this case. If you would prefer that I not post on your thread, that is fine.

PK


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Mike,

I hope the time away has helped you calm down and gain some perspective. The best advice I have is to listen to people like K and JL. They have an incredible perspective and a way to put things into terms that all of us can understand.

As I posted earlier your situation is similar in many ways to mine. I felt exactly like you immediately post d-day. I did many of the same things and had many of the same feelings you are experiencing right now. I saw no hope for my marriage and really didn’t want to try to recover it. But, when I got past the initial anger my perspective changed.

The first thing you have to do is to make your mind up that you ARE going to recover from this. Recovery is something that is unique in all of our situations. For some, recovery is a marriage that is better than it was pre-affair. For others, recovery is a better person that moves on from the marriage prepared to engage in future relationships in a way that makes them better than the one you just left. Only you can determine what recovery will look like for you. Either way, your recovery journey can’t begin until you allow your anger to subside and allow yourself to make calm rational decisions.

If you do decide to try and save your marriage, I promise you that plan A really does work. In my limited experience, it seems that the biggest problem people have with plan A is that they only do part of it and expect results. For me, plan A wasn’t just about meeting my WW’s ENs it was also about establishing firm boundaries, complete exposure to anyone who could possibly put pressure on her affair, and refusing to allow her to shift the blame for her affair to me. Every time that she tried to shift any blame to me, I reminded her firmly that while I accepted my share of the blame for the condition of our marriage that I would absolutely never accept any of the blame for her bad choices. I firmly believe that the total exposure and firm boundaries are what cut through the fog enough for WS’s to notice and appreciate your efforts to meet their ENs.

Finally, no matter what has happened and how angry your kids are, YOU can’t allow them to disrespect their mother. I know that’s hard because I had to leave the room a couple of times to keep from laughing when my children were giving there mother h&ll. But, I quickly realized that by allowing this to continue that it was not hurting my WW as much as it was hurting my children. It may not be fair, but while your WW is still in the fog of her affair, the responsibility falls on YOU to do what’s in the best interest of your children.


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Originally Posted by Runnerboy65
Finally, no matter what has happened and how angry your kids are, YOU can’t allow them to disrespect their mother. I know that’s hard because I had to leave the room a couple of times to keep from laughing when my children were giving there mother h&ll. But, I quickly realized that by allowing this to continue that it was not hurting my WW as much as it was hurting my children.

Spot-on.

Let me add that Runnerboy's actions in the face of his wife's adultery continue to define grace under pressure, IMHO. I think that Mike would do very well to listen to him, even if he ultimately chooses to go a different route.

PK

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Hi Mike,

Quote
First off all, what the h3ll happened to this place? I don't need to log on here to find 2 pages of intramural flames.

Yeah, isn't that the truth! Careful tho---those words could be considered defamatory. smile

Again---I'm so sorry for what you're going through. You've been getting some good advice:

1. Slow down.

2. Act, don't react (you are so emotional right now, and that rollercoaster is in full force).

3. Try to get control of the kids---my main issue with massive exposure is that they now have to recover from this too---and you're going to find it difficult to help them until you're through the process too.

4. Formulate a plan and start to execute---and do it with someone who cares about your marriage. Not just you. Not just your wife. But the whole family. I have no problem with you ending up deciding that you've put a ton of work into your marriage, and you just will not be able to forgive this transgression. But you probably won't know that for certainty for at least another 6 months. So in the intervening time, it's best to try to move forward with a plan that allows you to recover. I see you already trying to do this (moving out of state is an excellent possibility).

5. Your wife is an addict. She's been exposed as such. She will go through a very predictable pattern---and not all of it is fun to be involved with. Harley would recommend that if she's willing to try (and you too), that the two of you go away for as long as possible on a trip where you SOLELY have to meet each other needs (camping in Death Valley would be lovely, if you bring water).

6. **edit**.

7. If you need email, I'll be happy to give it to you.

Best,

K

(and FH is OK... wink )

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Originally Posted by Mike_C2
I'm going to drive home so I'll be off the computer for 4 or 5 hours.

Hey Mike - my sincere condolences for your loss - and that's exactly what it is - a loss of so many things.

When you are ready, try reading Starfish's post about the "good taker".

here it is:

The Giver is the part of you that follows the rule: do whatever you can to make the other person happy and avoid anything that makes the other person unhappy, even if it makes you unhappy. It's the part of you that wants to make a difference in the lives of others, and it grows out of a basic instinct that we all share, a deep reservoir of love and concern for those around us.

But the Giver is only half of the story. The other half is the Taker. It's the part of you that follows the rule: do whatever you can to make yourself happy and avoid anything that makes yourself unhappy, even if it makes others unhappy. It's the part of you that wants the most out of life, and it grows out of your basic instinct for self-preservation.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The giver is all about love and concern and the taker is our selfish side...so how can the giver be bad, or the taker be good?

Everybody recognizes the "good" in the giver and how giving can enhance relationships, but here's how a "bad" giver can ruin your marriage if all your marital choices are made solely selflessly:

*your giver is not honest....he won't tell your spouse what you need because he more concerned about your spouse feels, whether your spouse gets his needs met, than protecting your interests or your feelings. If your spouse asks the giver if it's okay to do something....even something you don't want to do...the giver says okay.

*your giver is the one who creates resentment...all that dishonesty cloaked in care....leads to misunderstandings, mixed signals, missed opportunities. The giver thinks...my spouse should KNOW what I need....just like I know what he needs.

*your giver is your martyr....endless giving creates the ever suffering spouse. Givers are praised for their selflessness, but they become very unhappy until all that's left is to somehow enjoy the pain....and get what secondary gain that offers.

*givers avoid risk and change...no rocking the boat...who knows what could happen? Nope, givers like safety....even when that involves enduring discomfort.

*givers believe in unconditional love...because they don't ask for conditions. They just give.

*givers handle your tender emotions...fear, sadness, care, consideration. They also tend to be weepy and needy.

We all know how "bad" the taker can be....afterall he's the guy who makes selfish demands, angry outbursts and most of our other LBs. But how can the taker be "good"?

*your taker is the guy you need at the negotiation table....because your giver will NOT create harmony, fairness, honesty in the dealings. Without your taker, your giver will create an environment of sacrifice....leading to resentment, anger and loss of love.

*your taker is honest about what you need and gives your spouse the information to CHOOSE to show you he loves you in the way that you would like it. He doesn't require mind reading...he lays it on the table.

*your taker fights for what you need and doesn't let you sit home three weekends in a row...he makes sure you're part of the fun.

*your taker is not an enabler or codependent.

*your taker saves your marriage as often as your giver does by making sure that reciprocity exists.

*your taker is willing to take risks and make changes.


As an example, I'd like to put forward my own marriage and how my giver undermined the happiness in my marriage for years. I NEVER went into negotiations with my taker....so I never even got close to getting what I wanted. I always put my husband first. But I wasn't happy. I didn't like it.....and I BLAMED HIM for not giving me what I wanted even though I wasn't honest and he didn't know how to please me. There is no negotiation without the taker...the giver just says "fine", do what you want. I lived with resentment every time he did what he wanted. I punished him for it too. And I was not someone who he would want to spend time with in the future either because I was pretty much angry all the time.

Letting my taker out saved my marriage. Oh to be sure, I couldn't let my taker rant and rage....but once he wasn't in chains all the time, he was far less volatile. My taker is the one who found out that my husband was actually willing and pretty enthusiastice about negotiation. Instead of the old pattern...H wants to do something...I say yes...then treat him badly. The new pattern goes like this....H wants to do something, I tell him how I might feel enthusiastic about that...we come to an agreement about how we can both get what we need....and I treat him well...and we both have fun! He gets to enjoy his activities without guilt. I know that I won't be neglected because we have also made plans together.



In my opinion, how the BS reacts to the sudden shock of discovering their beloved spouse has been intimate with OP often reflects the status of their giver/taker account.

My guess would be that you have been the giver A LOT in your marriage.
The rage and indignation is your taker protecting you. Your taker loves you - and will sacrifice the happiness and well being of others, in order to protect your feelings from more hurt/damage.

What I want you to know is that you are about to embark on a journey with your TAKER sitting in the middle of your chest barking orders at you. Orders like:

"get out"
"you're in danger"
"take what is yours"
"protect everything that you can"
"you've been robbed"
"you don't deserve this"
"there is a thief in your house, throw the thief out and bolt the door"

.... and guess what .... every single thing your TAKER is telling you .... is true !

And later (when? I don't know) your giver will begin to have a voice once more.

Remember - giver/taker are driving our emotions - not our intellect.

ALL adultery is born of the taker.
ALL recovery is a mixture of both giver/taker.

And, we are all individual in how this mix is expressed.

Personally, I think it is appropriate for you to be taker-ruled right after D day. I think it is cruel for people to express expectations that you ought to react otherwise. I think betrayed spouses who do NOT react to this robbery with their taker's howling rage are likely people who employ victim-status (which is a technique of manipulation in a marriage). I don't think there is a chance for full recovery after infidelity if the victims don't express their rage at their victimhood.

..... for a period of time .... and then it must stop.

This goes for your son as well, for he is a victim as well. His expression of rage at his age, could very well land him in court - so you must still parent him through this mess, although you did not create this cesspool yourself.

Again, "not fair", but there it is.

I hope you can read Star's post a few times - now and again in a few weeks .... I think understanding your taker's role in recovery is most beneficial. It's not all about "giver" during recovery - that is fool's gold.

Take care - try not to get an illness from the stress.

Pep

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Originally Posted by Mike_C2
PS: backstory. No affairs, I came here...Jesus....1999? just to work on the marriage because she was sort of cold. I guess she has been withdrawn for a long time.

(sigh).....

this has me concerned

"cold"
and
"withdrawn"
and
"for a long time"

Are we talking about emotional distance from you for around 10 years?

If that is true - I'd question this ---> "No affairs".

Sorry - just me being me.

Pep



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Hi Mike--

Just popping in or a minute to see what's up on your thread. Glad to see you are thinking through all your options; as K says, I've no problem if you decide that you don't wish to recover and this is it. But, whatever you decide, it's best to do so with a combination of heart and mind, not just gut reaction.

Pep's re-posting of Star's wonderful Taker and Giver piece is a good thing to keep in mind...I think people who choose recovery often tend to go too far one way or the other, not realizing that the combination is what is needed.

Didn't you do some coaching with Steve before? I seem to recall that...anyway, I think working thru this with a coach would be very helpful. And, calling a coach does not commit you to one path or the other...it's still your choice.

About your kids...yikes! I won't tell you the warnings and horror stories that come to mind. Instead, I'll mention my older brother and his ex, and their son. Despite a divorce which left an awful taste in my brother's mouth, they worked together respectfully in parenting their son, kept up a "united front" when it came to ground rules and such. It was really cool to watch, and their son, now grown, benefited greatly by it. I hope that even if your marriage does not make it, your kids will still have the parenting they need from both of you to thrive.

Hang in there. You are at a really awful point right now, but remember that you won't always be there.

Kathi

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Originally Posted by Mike_C2
I could be open to reconciliation, but I can not be open to a year of watching her be lovesick and cold to me. To make the outreach and be rejected would almost be D-2....

Help me out....that is what it would be, right?

When you arrive home - be watchful.
If you cannot tolerate watching her withdraw from her addiction and mooning over OM and feeling her "loss" of her "soulmate" - ask HER to leave.

Know your limits.
I would not tolerate more than a few days of this - that is me knowing my limits.
I respect myself and my marriage too much to be in an emotional threesome.

Your milage may vary.
Be aware you have accepted coldness for quite awhile - and if your expectations are that your wife will suddenly warm up to you - I believe you will be hurt once more.

If you are NOT like me, and if you CAN stomach being around her during her "loss" - keep an eye on your love bank - because it will be drained so fast you won't have much left.

Pep

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Originally Posted by Pepperband
Originally Posted by Mike_C2
PS: backstory. No affairs, I came here...Jesus....1999? just to work on the marriage because she was sort of cold. I guess she has been withdrawn for a long time.

(sigh).....

this has me concerned

"cold"
and
"withdrawn"
and
"for a long time"

Are we talking about emotional distance from you for around 10 years?

If that is true - I'd question this ---> "No affairs".

Sorry - just me being me.

Pep


This concerned me as well and considering your desire/need for a near immediate recovery I was thinking that, one of your demands/boundaries for even considering recovery may include a required lie detector test. This janitor may be one in a long or short line of OM's you need to discover the truth about.

I hope not, but it would explain her "coldness" all these years and the lie detector test requirement may be just what gets the FULL truth out of her (without having to actually take the test). Plus it allows you to prode for answers about the past without asking them directly and being met with the wall of denial. No recovery is possible without honesty.

Mr. Wondering


FBH(me)-51 FWW-49 (MrsWondering)
DD19 DS 22 Dday-2005-Recovered

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Originally Posted by Pepperband
this has me concerned

"cold"
and
"withdrawn"
and
"for a long time"

Are we talking about emotional distance from you for around 10 years?

If that is true - I'd question this ---> "No affairs".

Me 2.

This sounds more similar 2 my own sitch upon d-day 6.5 years ago. And it 2k me a few days 2 get the "whole truth" about the na2re and duration of the A out of my W. And it had been going on, off and on, for 11 years by that time.

-ol' 2long

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Mike, I do recall that when we were here 8 years ago, and Mrs. C2 was in withdrawal, the question came up of whether she was having an affair, and you concluded that it was not "in her"... Given the latest, do you think there was something going on back then?

Having said that, what was the nature of this affair with the janitor (yikes!)? Was there an emotional attachment, a one-night-stand, longterm, etc? I think that depending on the nature of the affair, and her current "remorse" status, your actions/plan may be different, right?

Anyway, this whole thing seems like a nightmare to me, I just can't believe that my 'ol bud Mike is going through this. I'm really sorry man...

AGG


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Mike,

I think you have had a lot of good advice. I do want to reemphasize that you need to be there for the kids. They need your guidance, your strength, and your wisdom NOW. Having a kegger underage is NOT good.

What would have happened if one of the kids at the party ended up driving drunk and got injured or worse? It would be on your son's conscience for the rest of his life, not to mention a possible police record.

Take good care of those kids.

I await more information from you, but knowing why you came here, and now finding out what your W has been up to lately, makes one want to revisit the past.

Now this may sound odd to you, actually it sounds odd to me and I am thinking it. IF you W did not have an affair/affairs in the past and was/has been withdrawn from you, that would bother me more than an affair. I can understand an affair, having been here a long time, I know these things can be overcome. But,someone that has no feelings, does not respond to a spouses effort to improve the marriage and then has an affair, would concern me more deeply. Something else is in the mix and that something may be so intrinsic to her nature that nothing can make it better.

All of this is idle speculation at this point. Take your time, but go to those kids of yours and be in their life. 17 year old needs grounding for his choice of actions. We all have options when responding to things. Some have affairs, others work on the marriage, and on it goes. Your 17 year old needs to understand that a kegger (if in fact alcohol was there, I don't recall right now)is NOT an otpion for coping.

Must go.

God Bless,

JL

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