Below I copied one of my old posts from 2007 because I see a lot of newbies here wondering what plan A is or of it will work for them.
I hope this post gets pinned for other BSs because if you read my posts down below you will see it works and your faith in these concepts and pricipals will grow and you will come through all of this bull**** stronger, better person, better marriage etc. Your plan is right here, its SAA and MB way. Dr Harley rules. Work the plan, be a man (or woman) with a plan, don’t allow yourself to be thrown around in a tumultuous ocean of feelings. Feelings are temporary and many times they betray us. Do the plan based on your goals and your convictions and your vows. This is where real confidence comes from. That is the most attractive thing your WS will see. Panic does no good (I panicked for 2 weeks). You will panic. Tell yourself I am having a bad hour, not a bad day. I am having a bad day, not a bad week. etc.
I am sensing the end of my plan A. I know it has worked. Wife told me so. But she cannot let go of her addiction. She says she is changing her mind hour by hour, day by day. She cannot decide so I must. I have a plan, MBer’s plan. It worked so far. I will trust it more.
Plan A serves many purposes.
1) Primarily it serves to demonstrate to your spouse the partner you can and will become with improvements that will meet their EN’s and avoid LBer’s. So you must read, read, read HNHN, LBer’s, or for a simpler approach read Gary Chapman 5 Languages of Love.
2) It gives the WS time to decide to end the A before separation.
3) It gives BS time to deposit as many love units into WSs account as possible. It sucks that your primary duty becomes give, give, give while your Taker is screaming at you and your spouse is trampling all over you.
4) It gives time for exposure to work. Two approaches here: 1) Expose all at once to as many as you feel will be effective or 2) Expose like peeling an onion, each layer adds to the affect.
5) It gives BS time to fall out of love. Plan B is on the horizon and when that time comes hopefully you will not hurt so badly after 3-6 months of your own EN’s not being met.
Plan A “strategeries”:
1) Get right with God. I would not be in this mess if I had obeyed biblical rules and my vows. Instead I fell prey to the ways of the world: sin, selfishness and lust. BUT, I have been forgiven through Jesus Christ. We all need saving at one time or another, most of us need it all the time. Pray. Ask others to pray for the 2 of you and your marriage. Days when I was at my lowest and about to give up, fellow Christians would call me out of the blue, people I barely knew and give me strength to press on.
My wife replaced me with another man. I replaced her with God. I prayed daily, then 2 times a day, somedays I prayed hourly. I prayed for my wife, for her to have strength, for her to open her heart again to me and the Lord. I prayed for and with our children. I prayed with my in-laws. I prayed in the bathroom at work, in the car to and from work. I asked God for a miracle in my marriage. GOD DELIVERED see below! She thinks God is not talking to her but she is wrong, she is just not listening. I don’t mean that to sound condescending but I swear God has provided me/us with miracles, some small, some big. She just won’t acknowledge them. When we went around the table at Thanksgiving saying what we are thankful for my 5 year old said God and Jesus. Tell me that’s not a miracle.
Just today my MIL forwarded her typical mass email but this one said “Nobody falls in love by choice, its chance. Nobody stays in love by chance, its work. Nobody falls out of love by chance, its choice. If that’s not God talking to WSs I don’t know what is. I have many more examples.
2) Grow. Make up your mind to grow through the tough times. Failure is really the only place we learn. I grew, I read extensively. Counseling helped me greatly when we did the Meyers Briggs personality profiles. She is stuck, not growing, only read one book. I changed the bad stuff, I learned how to stop attacking my marriage (withdrawing from arguments instead of communicating with her), I learned how to not LBust. I learned what EN of hers I was neglecting. I admitted my mistakes. I asked for forgiveness from her and God for not honoring my vows. I am being a responsible and caring adult with a family who needs me.
3) Demonstrate what you learned in #2. Change is possible and real. Change will be noticed but may go unacknowledged by WS. Change will be acknowledged but not be trusted by WS. Press on. Demonstrate your changes and how you can meet WS ENs, don't state them. Walk the (positive) walk. State your LBers, don't demonstrate them. Don't walk the (negative) talk. Tell yourself your happiness does not depend on your WS. Repeat! Now go do something that does make you happy, reading for me, reading to my 5 yr old, helping DD with math, etc. This helped me a lot early on.
S. Harley described plan A like this: (sorry I don't know who to attribute this too but someone else posted it first) Imagine trying to cross a river with no boat, you need to build a bridge but your only resource is rocks on the river bank. Every EN you meet for your WS and every good deed/positive interaction you do for them is a rock you throw into the stream. Many rocks get thrown in without any obvious progress because they are hidden beneath the surface, all at the bottom of the river. But then one day a rock breaches the surface. aahhh progress that you can finally see. Its been happening all along but you couldn't see it till now. Keep throwing rocks. Still need to cross the river.
4) Take care of self. Emotionally you might be a wreck so balance this by getting physical and spiritual in shape. You will lose weight; you might as well make the most of it. I worked out, gained muscles. I look great, always was too skinny. Instead of running to her to get her to change her mind about our marriage, I did sit-ups and pushups. She is stuck, gained 10 pounds in 3 months.
5) Keep living. Get out with other people. Sometimes to vent, sometimes to have fun. She was stuck in bed crying when I went to my friend’s mother’s funeral. He needed me. She didn’t.
My opinion on the "need to know" and talk about or discuss the A during plan A: Don't. If you keep bringing up OP the focus of your conversations with spouse is on OP. You want it to be just the 2 of you as much as possible. Be attentive and caring, listen, offer help. If you want details, thats understandable BUT the details will then consume your thoughts about where and what you were doing while WS was doing god knows what with god knows who. That leads to anger and LBing big time. That will NOT help plan A. Details and A talk can come after plan A assuming you enter recovery. I rarely asked my spouse if she had spoken to or seen OM. I knew deep down, it was obvious in her actions, demeanor and mood. I just kept on being the great spouse I need to be.
The end of plan A has to come before you start LBing all over your WS. I caught myself last night and left the house for 2 hours. I was so mad that I might have blown a gasket in front of her and kids. I can't believe her selfishness. It’s amazing how people refuse to make decisions because of their own pain they will feel. How about the pain our 3 kids are going to feel? Narcissism I guess is the keyword.
Assuming the A has not ended, at the end of plan A, because your ENs likely have gone unmet, you will probably also be out of love from WS as they are from you. This is important because when plan B goes into affect it may not be as bad as you think. (But it'll probably still be horrible.) But I think I may enjoy the respite. After putting forth so much effort it will be nice to let it all hang out for awhile and sleep in on Saturdays.
My WW is caught in a double life and a web of lies. She lies to me about being with him, then she lies to him about being with me. No matter which way she chooses there will be pain. I don't envy her at all. Cake eating and fence sitting come with a high price. We BSs could argue all day till your blue in the face but the fog is too thick I guess.