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I believed that we had a marriage other's wished they had. 9 years. I am 42. Wife is 40. Now I am not sure of anything. Last year my wife started reconnecting on Facebook with old friends. I told her to be careful with it. In December she reconnected with her first boyfriend. Mentioned it and that she had talked to him on the phone. Once. I told her I didn't like it and again said to be very careful because this is how things start.
Two months later she she said she was going to visit her mother for her mother's birthday and wanted to have dinner with her mom, her old boyfriend and his live in girlfriend. I wasn't exactly invited but then I don't like her mom and had to work so it wasnt' that big a deal. I should have clued in

Cut to the chase. 3 weeks ago I discovered an email which led to 100's of others. then phone records showed 3000 texts per month since December. Wife had just left for the beach with the kids. 2 days with a girlfriend, then head to her mom's house. They had plans to meet. Again.
I drove down and confronted her. I had already printed and captured all emails I could find. She cried. said she didn't want to lose her marriage. handed me her phone and told me to smash it. I called him and put him on speaker phone. talked to him....he of course swore he would never contact her again. I left. Told her not to come home. Ever. She followed me home a few hours later. Kept saying she would fix our marriage no matter what.

Lies upon lies have been unraveled. At first she tried to deny sex. I'm no fool. There is ALWAYS sex in these things. Eventually, within the first few days, she admitted it. She has been making extreme efforts to be completely transparent to me. He texted her once about a week after I found out and she handed me the phone. She has given me the password to her work email and we have started to see a counselor. She seems genuinely remorseful. I am keeping a watch on email, web history, phone records (thank god for online monitoring). She seems true to her word so far. I worry about the future and I do not trust.

As a background. 2 years ago we discovered that she had Breast Cancer. She is a survivor...it tore her down. I am not making excuses but I know it had an effect on her view of life and her self image and I suspect this played a part in things. I am also looking at myself trying to see where I might not have filled needs but she is adamant that it had nothing to do with me that it was all her. She has said that she is "going to own this". has not tried to transfer responsibility to me.
It is only a few weeks in and I know it will take a very very long time if we survive this. She is doing all the things that any man who wants his marriage to survive could hope his wife is doing. And I'm still paranoid and suspicious and unsure of everything.

Last edited by NiteLite1; 04/26/09 08:11 AM.
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NiteLite,
Welcome to Marriage Builders. Sorry you have to be here, but it is the best place to be given your situation. Her reaction to her affair is very positive. It looks good for you for recovery if that is what you want.

Is there any other history of infidelity on her part, in your marriage with her. Was she married before? If so, any infidelity there?

Do you have children? If so, how old?

Does the OM's live in girlfriend no about her boyfriend's affair with your wife? She should be told about the affair. It is a good way to ensure continued no contact between your wife and OM. Also, the live in girlfriend has a right to know what has been going on in her relationship with her live in boyfriend. They are not married, so the relationship is different--no marriage contract--but she still should know and it will help ensure no contact from this old boyfriend of your wife.

Is she completely transparent? Answered all your questions? Have the two of you been tested for STDs?

Have you looked at the material on this site about affairs, emotional needs questionnaires, love buster questionnaires?

Welcome, and feel free to post either here or in the General Questions II under infidelity. GQ II gets more traffic.


Lake
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Your wife seems to understand what she needs to do. Has she grasped that you will never look at her the same again? It's like she killed your wife and you will have to fall in love with a different person. You stuck by her through cancer and she turned around and did this to you? What is your outlook? Do you think you can make it? How do you deal with the anger?

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There is no history of infidelity. I have been married 3 times. First wife cheated, it was long and drawn out so I knew the signs. Second wife died. My wife's first marriage ended because her husband started cheating when she was pregnant. I knew almost immediately that something was wrong. Could sense the energy that was missing. Don't want to get silly but felt something missing. Started seeing the signs. confronted with those more than once. OF course the lies were there and she smoothed things. And they always do that till you have irrefutable proof.

Yes we have both gone for testing. We were fortunate No disease. Yes I told OM's gf. She kicked him out. He is a bum. doesn't hold a job....so he went back to live with his mother...at 40. I wish he had a nicer life so I could mess with it more.
Her mother knew that she stayed out all night while she was there and her brother witnessed a blow up argument after dinner between the OM and his girfriend because he had sent a text to my wife. So my Wife's family members knew something very unsavory was up....and they said nothing to me. not a word.
After this blew up, my wifes mom called me and tried to make out that she had no idea. I told her to go to hell.
yes I have told my wife in no uncertain terms that she blew our marriage out like a match. I took my wedding ring off and tossed it. We have talked a lot....she has taken a great deal of my anger. Sometimes I have wanted her to leave...but she hasn't. And hasn't let me drive her off. The counselor asked if she had both feet in this marriage and she said yes. I was elusive when he asked me. I am having trust problems that I know will last. and I don't want to set myself up as a sucker. Don't want to think that since she did the right thing for 3 weeks that it means this is over because I know it's not.
She knows I don't look at her the same. I have tried not to say ugly things...hasn't always worked. but for the most part I am just honest. Told her I love her but don't know why and don't know what that means. maybe I love what I remember from before or perhaps I was fooling myself.

Do I think we can make it? that's tough....this is the hardest thing I think I have ever dealt with. When my second wife died it was devastating but you survive it because you don't have a choice. I had 2 kids. We have raised our 3 kids together the last 9 years and I still have 2 living in the house. My desire to protect them was a big motivator not to make a sceane at first and kick her out. I'm no martyr...I also don't want it to be over. Before December I had an Idyllic life. I gained strength and pride and a sense of self from my family. I always felt safe in her arms and do not any more.

I combed thru her laptop while she was out today. checking cookies and temp files, etc. then tore her car apart later to make sure she didn't have another phone. hurray for me. I'm the insane jealous husband.

If she continues to do the right thing and I learn to swallow the hatred in myself, then we have a chance. And of course slowly lowering him into a vat of acid wouldn't hurt either.

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Wow, I wonder if your wife has any idea of what she has done to herself. To live without trust again (I know I couldn't trust mine out of my sight if that happened to me). The fact of how much less of a person she is now. To sad. All for an ego stroke and an orgasm. You sound pretty tough though. Sorry to hear about your second wife. So you're gonna see how you feel in a few months, I imagine. You've got a lot of guts, my friend.

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I took her aside tonight and told her. If there is anything I havn't been told set me straight in the next 2-3 days. I plan to tuck myself into the effort to salvage this marriage and if I put in that kind of work and find out it was all bullshit and lies there won't be any talking, just attorneys.
She says I know everything she has given details of everything...So I think we are at a start. This sucks balls.

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You may consider having her write it down in a detailed time line. The thing about truth, is you don't have to work or be creative. Truth just is. I suggest this so she understands the full weight of what she has done. I believe it is more difficult to write a lie then to tell one. She will also understand that at anytime over the next weeks or months, you could ask her a question. You can even be entirely open and tell her, that you suggest that she tell the whole truth. Because 3 months from now. It will be an SOB to try and remember a lie. It could also come in handy if you do need those lawyers. You may also want to consider a post nup agreement. If she cheats again. She loses everything.

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You can recover your marriage. It will take time and work. You have been through a traumatic event and it will take at least a couple of years for you to get back to anywhere near normal. Since she has re-committed to the marriage, will she come to this site and read the material? Can the two of you go over the questionnaires?

It is very normal for you to look through everything of hers--car, computer history, etc. If it would help, you could install a key logger also, just to give you some peace of mind. This is all normal.

Many spouses who commit adultery actually do have a hard time remembering all the details themselves: How many e-mails sent, how many phone calls, how many texts, how many gifts, how many times, etc.

You decide how much you need to know. Some BSs want to know every little detail, others decide they know enough and want to know no more. Details do stay with you and can haunt you as you try to recover. It is always a tough issue.

Hang in there, you are normal.


Lake
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Its hard to get all the truth this fast, this early after D day.

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She has been to this site and read the material. I think we hit every site we could before going to our first counseling session. Then started a book he suggested. She may not have remembered all the emails but I read hundreds of them to her one day early on. I wanted to make sure she heard what I saw and understood what had been done to us. When you are living in the moment like this and it consumes every minute of the day no matter what else is going on it doesn't seem like a short amount of time. I know it is and I know that repairing a marriage takes a long time. The writing down timeline and details seems brutal but also seems helpful. I think that it will lay things bare. I might discuss it with our counselor tonight at our 2nd session. He had some very good insights and we both felt very comfortable talking to him.

He wanted us to come up with some goals to work on together. I came up with finishing all the little things that need to be done to our house. We have been remodeling our house for several years with a project here and there. We are down to a couple bathrooms, windows and exterior work, a Tin Ceiling and some walls that need paper removed and some paint applied.. I think it is a good thing to do together something with a beginning and an end and opportunities to communicate and work together.....and I mentioned that if we didn't manage to fix things between us, at least we could sell the place off when we get divorced. She started to cry. I was being practical.

My experience doesn't seem to have fallen in exactly with many of the stories I've read. Certainly not like my first marriage. I know it's early on and she could change his mind....have something trigger her desire to speak with him, etc. But since the 2nd or 3rd day that I knew she has answered every question and owned up to everything. Of course if I was confident in everything I wouldn't be here right now. I'm here to get it out and to make sure I'm keeping my eyes open and not fooling myself.

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Quote:
I told her to be careful with it


When the time's right I'd suggest you and your W do the LB questionnaire. The above is a LB - even though your concern's valid the attitude you adopted and the way you said it is disrespectful.

The LB questionnaire might help identify any LBs of yours.

Eliminating LBs comes before the meeting of ENs in restoring love.

I think your owning your part in creating the environment that led to your W's affair will help restore love in your M and overcome resentment.


Me 49 SAHD; W 41 SAHM; DS3, DS4.
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OMG. My story except he had the affair. It lasted almost 2 years! He is doing everything he can to make things right with me. I want to believe him and trust him so badly but I'm afraid to let that happen in case he hurts me again.
Their affair also included that damn texting. He too has shown me his phone etc so I can know he's telling the truth. Problem is, I don't want to live like that. I've never been suspicious. How do we overcome that? It's been 2 1/2 months since I found out. We're both in counselling - separately right now but I can't turn off my brain. Questions often pop in my head but I'm not sure I want to know the answers. How do I deal with that?
How do we forgive and forget? Can't imagaine right now.

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How far away is this guy?

Also was it during the trip that the sex occured?

Make sure you have keloggers on the computers, cell phone password, GPS on car, and access to her work computer/email.

The good thing here is that is sounds like your wife is remorseful and is driving the recovery....your not dragging her like some.

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Yes during the trip. HE is a couple states away. LB or not I told her to be careful with it because that is exactly what she should have done. and LB or not I also told her if she goes to that state again stop at a divorce attorney because it's on. if she wants to see her mom she can see her when her mom visits her sister . She is no longer welcome in this house. and I'll drive her up there when somebody throws a pail of water on the old hag so she can pay her last respects.
'him' I can only offer this perspective. you play the hand that's dealt to you. You have the option to fold and walk away from the table but in life unfortunately you can't ask for the cards to be redealt. You got screwed by his affair. You are suspicious so give in to the suspicion and check up on him. IF you want to have any sense of stability you have to check or you will drive yourself insane. Better to know what's out there in the dark than to hide in the corner because you heard a noise.

Good luck As for mine...I'm trudging forward. She is doing the right things and I am checking behind her. so long as she does what she is supposed to do I will figure out how to swallow the agony. If I am lucky we will eventually work things out.

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You are absolutely justified. 5 years down the road if she asked to go see her mom. I would be triggering all over the place. The divorce lawyer comment would still be on the table. Personally I would make certain arrangements in case I couldn't swallow that elephant.

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Originally Posted By: NiteLite1

I drove down and confronted her. I had already printed and captured all emails I could find. She cried. said she didn't want to lose her marriage. handed me her phone and told me to smash it. I called him and put him on speaker phone. talked to him....he of course swore he would never contact her again. I left. Told her not to come home. Ever. She followed me home a few hours later. Kept saying she would fix our marriage no matter what.




What an arrogant statement. Like you don't have a choice.

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Quote:
LB or not I told her to be careful with it


Understandably you're angry with your W and perhaps not feeling a lot of respect for her.

This site talks a lot about 'affair-proofing' your M.

It has a lot of suggestions to help become the type of guy whose wife DOESN'T have affairs.

Your martial history suggests you're not that kind of guy yet. Maybe it's just bad luck. Maybe there's something you could do about you.

Your posts suggest to me that DJs and AOs might be a problem - even pre-affair. Do you think that's right?

I'd encourage you even now, despite the obvious and severe pain your W has inflicted on you, to find the strength to show your WW/FWW humility and compassion and respect and a calm demeanour.

I think this will help you get a fulfilling M down the track.

If on the other hand you continue to show the behaviours now that perhaps sowed the seeds of the A, you might be setting yourself up for more pain.


Me 49 SAHD; W 41 SAHM; DS3, DS4.
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DJ I understand. don't know what AO is. Have I looked into myself. of course I have. Can I find things. yes. a few. I get insomnia on occasion and would stay up. Reading, surfing the net, studying. I work long hours sometimes. I came home every night. Emailed my wife during the day to tell her I loved her. Reminded her constantly of how much I love our life together. bought little gifts for her from time to time. Don't gamble, don't hang out at bars. I go out with the boys about twice a year. And I'm usually home by 10. I have had to travel a few times a year but so has she.
We have raised our children working together and talking together to come up with the best choices for our kids. When she was sick I was here, every night, holding her and telling her how much I love her trying to reassure her that we would fight and win that battle. that she was as beautiful as she had ever been. I have put out and put out and put out for this family and for her and right up until she reconnected with him. We would spend our evenings sitting on the couch. rubbing each other's feet. talking, laughing. I put in every bit of energy I had to nurture her. I opened myself to her.
I am by no means a perfect husband or a martyr. In the last few years, pretty much stopped working out to focus on my career. I changed jobs twice because I didn't feel I was making enough money to provide the family with things I wanted to be able to give. Our lives have always been fast paced and hectic because of the activities we keep the kids involved in. But we were always doing this together. Using the time on the sidelines to talk.
I am opinionated and arrogant. I'm certainly not as confident as I was before this happened. If I can figure out what I wasn't doing here at home. I would gladly make adjustments. I told her everyday how beautiful she was. How much richer my life was. how the lives of everyone in our family were wonderful because of her.
And she turned on a dime to go to this putz. I can not possibly tell her how great she is as often as a guy who doesn't have a job. he can sit on the couch all day and email her and text her because he has no place to be.
If THAT is the kind of guy whose wife doesn't have affairs then I can't compete.
I can't believe that I have to clean this shit up and do the heavy lifting. I was married and my wife had an obligation to protect me and our family and she didn't and I'm pissed and hurt. and some of my descriptions of events are terse. When I told her to be careful with it, I was holding her hand and looking in her eyes and I told her that it scares me and I don't like it and that she should be careful because our marriage was special and fragile like any other. And we are grown ups and judgement or not if you can't tell your spouse that you have a problem with something they are doing, then you already have a ton of other issues in your marriage.

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I think your road will be tougher because you were an attentive and loving husband. It makes her cheating all the more treacherous. In fact it actually seems that she thought that you loved her so much, that she could cheat on you once and get a freebee. And though it meant trouble in your marriage, you would eventually give her a pass. In essence, "I know he loves me, so if I only mess up this once, he'll forgive me". And now she's thinking "whew, dodged a bullet there, but it worked out pretty much how I thought it would go". I wish you the best of luck.

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Originally Posted By: ouchthathurt
I think your road will be tougher because you were an attentive and loving husband. It makes her cheating all the more treacherous. In fact it actually seems that she thought that you loved her so much, that she could cheat on you once and get a freebee. And though it meant trouble in your marriage, you would eventually give her a pass. In essence, "I know he loves me, so if I only mess up this once, he'll forgive me". And now she's thinking "whew, dodged a bullet there, but it worked out pretty much how I thought it would go". I wish you the best of luck.


This is so asinine. It's a round-a-bout way to call Nitelite a sucker.

I guarantee your WW was "thinking" nothing of the sort. There ARE issues that need sorting out and addressing but her "confidence" in your love and being able to play you was not one of them. In fact, her issue is more likely a LACK of self confidence whereupon she escapes into coping mechanisms of self-soathing (escapism, shopping, fantasy, etc).

My wife had an affair with an old high school boyfriend she reconnected with off classmates dot com. He too was nearly 40 living at home with his parents. She didn't start out wanting an affair with him but in the course of communicating with him...they both went back to their youth and completely lost touch with reality. The "remember when's" became "what if's" became "why not now?". Their "affair" began the minute they started communicating and neither of us had the boundaries in place to protect our family.

3 years later we are completely recovered. Love can be restored and rebuilt. In fact...you may just end up with an even better marriage. I think your wife should post here too as SHE has the most work to do right now.

Good luck,

Mr. Wondering


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

"agree to disagree" = Used when one wants to reject the objective reality of the situation and hopefully replace it with their own.
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AO - angry outburst. If you haven't already, and it seems you haven't, I strongly recommend you click have a look at the Basic Concepts

Quote:
I am opinionated and arrogant.

Huge problem if you're like that in any way with your W.

An opinionated / arrogant person sets him/herself above others.

With this ATTITUDE ("I'm better than you"), disrespect will seep out in words, tone, behaviour or body language.

I see this so often IRL - "I don't have opinions, I have facts. I tell it like it is and that's good - I am a strong person."

This is poison to a Marriage and IMO not much good in any other part of life either.

I wouldn't be surprised if arrogant people tend to have unfaithful spouses.

Anyway, I'm speculating. Why not ask the expert what you did wrong - your wife.

That's the purpose of the Emotional Needs and Lovebusters questionnaires.

You wrote at length about the good things you did for your W and kids and marriage, and I don't disagree you put a lot in by the sound of it.

What I can't tell is if you met your WIFE'S important emotional needs in the way SHE wanted them met.

As opposed to meeting what YOU guessed her ENs were, to YOUR satisfaction.

For example you may have been going all out to provide FS (Financial Support) and Admiration, when all the while she was feeling empty and unloved because of a poorly met need for Conversation or Affection.

All your hard work may have been misdirected. Evidently it was.

More importantly though, you may have been LBing her with DJs, AOs and SDs (Selfish Demands), which negated any good you did.

This is the purpose of the LB questionnaire and my hunch is that this will give you the most valuable information for restoring love in your marriage.

I recommend you start with this, when you're ready.


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Don't worry. I pretty much discount anything that OUCHTHATHURTS says. He goes from thread to thread insulting the unfaithful spouse with a lot of venom. I think he has as many issues to work out as I do.
Your description of the situation is perfectly matched to mine. And no, I don't think even for a minute that she considered the consequences. The problem is we DID have the boundaries in our marriage because we had both been the abandoned spouse in previous marriages that were destroyed this way. Many many long discussions of expectations and consequences. It makes it hard because she didn't even realize it until it was too late. and it was too late almost immediately.
Over the years of our relationship I have always been hypervigilant about interaction with women. I don't like to work to closely with them on projects. I won't go to lunch with a woman alone. I have female vendors who want to take me to lunch--strictly for business reasons-- they will invite me and some of the other people in my office and if it is just me who is available I will decline. I don't take that first step because I know that it's a huge slippery sloap. trying to see how far can I take this and just have fun....dance to the line of the limits. people don't realize what happens when you get close to the line. You cross it.

Your report of recovery is encouraging. I have a bit of difficulty believing it will be a better marriage. Mine wasn't perfect but it was DAMN close.
She is greiving now as much as I am because the aftermath of all this is that she has lost just as much as me. In some ways it might be worse. I can always get self rightous and wrap myself up in my victim status. She is responsible for all of this being destroyed and she knows it. She hasn't stopped crying for days. And yes I've considered that she might be mourning the loss of her relationship but she ended it right away. No phone contact, email, nothing. And I didn't have to tell her family. Wouldn't have anyway.
I think that she has finally had it sink in, just how deeply this hurt us and our family.

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Originally Posted By: 5outof6aintbad
AO - angry outburst. If you haven't already, and it seems you haven't, I strongly recommend you click have a look at the Basic Concepts




Anyway, I'm speculating. Why not ask the expert what you did wrong - your wife.





What I can't tell is if you met your WIFE'S important emotional needs in the way SHE wanted them met.

As opposed to meeting what YOU guessed her ENs were, to YOUR satisfaction.




We would spend our evenings laying on the couch, our heads at either end of the couch rubbing eachother's feet. If she ever said "wanna rub feet?" I would put down my computer or book and do it. It was an opportunity to talk. I never let an opportunity to talk to her go by. My second wife used to try to wake me up in the middle of the night because she needed to talk and I was tired and would resist and be upset with her. After her death I was troubled by that. I made sure I didn't do it again. I verbalized my desire to available at any time.
I made my self available and I sought conversation and asked often if she needed anything else of me. I spent time sitting on the couch holding hands and watching the stupidest shows on earth because she enjoyed them.
I have discovered a few things that really bothered her. First I get insomnia and get up out of bed at night. Sometimes I would be working late or reading and wouldn't go to bed when she did.

I also, since this occurred found out that she thought I had an affair at the beginning of our marriage. My job took me to another part of the country for several months. I flew home almost every weekend. I would work 12-16 hours a day, and work out twice a day to keep myself going. I lost weight, got cut up, wore some tighter fitting clothes and she interepreted this as me pursuing other women. She says she just thought it was serving my needs and when I took another job that didn't require that kind of travel she figured it was not worth talking about.
She never said a word to me about her suspicions. I can look back now and connect them to things in our marriage early on.She held back from me and I thought it was due to the way she had been treated in her first marriage. It eased over time and I thought it was because she finally accepted that I wasn't like him and would not mistreat her the way others had.
There was no affair and no one night stands. There was nothing. She envisioned the luxury of staying in hotels and eating in restaurants every day and I was up at 530 for my first work out, at work before 8, I'd take a break in the evening to grab a workout and then work till midnight or later. it was brutal on our very new marriage but we both had financial problems when we met. and it was the only way to dig out of them.


And I have asked her again and again what I did to contribute to this. what need I didn't fill. She keeps telling me there was nothing. That it was all her. I'm hoping that in time she will discover something I wasn't doing because I am unsteady at the idea that there is nothing for me to address. That just tells me it could happen again at any time.
I don't use all the kiche terms like LB and AO and FB and all because I think it's a bit too dime store one size fits all. the meat and potatoes of the things I have read on this site work for me. the cutesy stuff doesn't.

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NiteLite1 I see what you mean about being arrogant and opinionated.

If you just want to have a chat about your M here, more power to you.

The most useful information though in my opinion is found not on the forum but in the articles on the main part of the site.

As you enter the Forum, this message appears:

Quote:
Before participating in the forum, please follow these guidelines:

1. If you are having difficulty resolving a marital conflict, first read Dr. Harley's Basic Concepts.


Of course it's your perfect right to ignore this.

But there's nothing more fundamental on this site, 'meat and potatoes', if you will, than the Basic Concepts, and you seem ignorant of these.

Much of the advice you get here though will or should draw on the basic concepts.

Now you can dismiss this as 'kitch' or 'cutesy' or 'dimestore' but I think thereby you're missing out on some information that might help explain why your first and current marriages struck problems.

It might be true that you DIDN'T fail to meet any of your wife's needs. As you say though, it would be concerning if there was NOTHING you could do to stop this happening again.

Good news though, going by the dismissive and angry tenor of your posts, is that you will find plenty to work on if you read the basic concepts, especially the section on lovebusters, and, in particular, if you ask your wife if she would complete the lovebusters questionnaire.


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Originally Posted By: 5outof6aintbad
NiteLite1 I see what you mean about being arrogant and opinionated.

If you just want to have a chat about your M here, more power to you.

The most useful information though in my opinion is found not on the forum but in the articles on the main part of the site.

As you enter the Forum, this message appears:

Quote:
Before participating in the forum, please follow these guidelines:

1. If you are having difficulty resolving a marital conflict, first read Dr. Harley's Basic Concepts.


Of course it's your perfect right to ignore this.

But there's nothing more fundamental on this site, 'meat and potatoes', if you will, than the Basic Concepts, and you seem ignorant of these.

Much of the advice you get here though will or should draw on the basic concepts.

Now you can dismiss this as 'kitch' or 'cutesy' or 'dimestore' but I think thereby you're missing out on some information that might help explain why your first and current marriages struck problems.

It might be true that you DIDN'T fail to meet any of your wife's needs. As you say though, it would be concerning if there was NOTHING you could do to stop this happening again.

Good news though, going by the dismissive and angry tenor of your posts, is that you will find plenty to work on if you read the basic concepts, especially the section on lovebusters, and, in particular, if you ask your wife if she would complete the lovebusters questionnaire.


Nite,

Even though I don't really read anger in your posts I say you can be angry all you want.

I also don't think you were criticizing the concepts here...just the cutesy names. I did that too...I mean, "love bank"...how corny is THAT. However, after applying the concepts the catch-phrases kinda grew on us as simple ways to communicate complex matters in our day to day life. I mean here it's common, but in everyday life to say to your spouse, "is that a lovebuster?", "I believe that to be a disrespectful judgement?"....is just hilarious and often diffuses any situation.

Finally...just maybe you weren't doing a single thing wrong in your marriage and you've got nothing dramatic to fix. That's OK. Your wife didn't have the affair AT you to punish you or hurt you. It's certainly not YOUR fault. She did this to herself and her God. Maybe she's really insecure and didn't feel she deserved you (i.e. - you were too perfect), maybe there wasn't enough drama and she grew up with a lot and had a lot in her first marriage, maybe you were just so good to her she felt entitled to have her cake and eat it too (it doesn't appear she wanted to run off with him and that it started as a secret fling apparently not meant to last long). Point is...don't try to kill yourself with the "what could I or should I have done". Instead focus on moving forward from TODAY. What can you do NOW to make your marriage and future(s) better.

That's not to say I don't understand the emotions you are going through. This IS a process, individually and as a couple. Take your time & ask questions.

Mr. Wondering


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Quote:
It might be true that you DIDN'T fail to meet any of your wife's needs. As you say though, it would be concerning if there was NOTHING you could do to stop this happening again.


Wanted to come back to this...

This isn't "concerning" at all. There is NOTHING a spouse can do to STOP an affair from happening. My former WW's fidelity is not my responsibility. It's hers. I'll worry about being the best husband I can be including being diligent on my boundaries; however, I can't watch her 100% of the time, nor do I want to.

Using MB techniques and striving always for an affair proof marriage may help protect us from an affair; doesn't mean neither of us aren't forever vulnerable and forever culpable for our OWN actions.

Mr. Wondering


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I was most certainly NOT perfect. But I have always made it a high priority to be a good husband. To care for her properly and to put our family above my own interests. And one of the many things that I like about her is that on the rare occasion that I wasn't putting the family before myself, she reminded me of it in a simple way that gave me clarity. As I said, I drew strength from our marriage.
I also do not want to watch my wife 100% of the time. But right now I give in to the need to check up on her just to keep my sanity. It's encouraging that you have recovered from this. I'm lucky in that my best friend went thru a similar trial in his marriage 6 years ago. They are a strong and caring couple now and his reassurance that it can be fixed has helped me to keep going. I know there will be scars that will not go away . And I know and she knows that the person she is married to will be vastly diferent from the person she was married to before. I have insecurities that didn't exist before. I don't know how long I will be needy of reassurance or how long I will have feelings of panic. I expect some of these things will just be around for the long haul. We have been reading and discussing the book our counselor gave us. And I am still trying to figure out how to deal with my anger and trying not to say things that will damage us.

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Please reread this and think about it. I saw the same thing. You can tell your wife ILY every single day, but if you LB her every day, those words mean nothing. You need to ask her to fill out the LB questionnaire.

Originally Posted By: 5outof6aintbad
AO - angry outburst. If you haven't already, and it seems you haven't, I strongly recommend you click have a look at the Basic Concepts

Quote:
I am opinionated and arrogant.

Huge problem if you're like that in any way with your W.

An opinionated / arrogant person sets him/herself above others.

With this ATTITUDE ("I'm better than you"), disrespect will seep out in words, tone, behaviour or body language.

I see this so often IRL - "I don't have opinions, I have facts. I tell it like it is and that's good - I am a strong person."

This is poison to a Marriage and IMO not much good in any other part of life either.

I wouldn't be surprised if arrogant people tend to have unfaithful spouses.

Anyway, I'm speculating. Why not ask the expert what you did wrong - your wife.

That's the purpose of the Emotional Needs and Lovebusters questionnaires.

You wrote at length about the good things you did for your W and kids and marriage, and I don't disagree you put a lot in by the sound of it.

What I can't tell is if you met your WIFE'S important emotional needs in the way SHE wanted them met.

As opposed to meeting what YOU guessed her ENs were, to YOUR satisfaction.

For example you may have been going all out to provide FS (Financial Support) and Admiration, when all the while she was feeling empty and unloved because of a poorly met need for Conversation or Affection.

All your hard work may have been misdirected. Evidently it was.

More importantly though, you may have been LBing her with DJs, AOs and SDs (Selfish Demands), which negated any good you did.

This is the purpose of the LB questionnaire and my hunch is that this will give you the most valuable information for restoring love in your marriage.

I recommend you start with this, when you're ready.

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NiteLite, what I see when I read your posts is something that we don't see very often here on MB. I see a husband who has been betrayed and has righteous indignation at what has happened. I have no doubt if your wife were still actively involved in her A, you wouldn't be here twisting your hands, doubting yourself, or afraid to confront for fear of making your wife angry.

I also see a man who is in pain and shock that this would happen to him... again, especially after you both shared a history of betrayal in your previous marriages.

You sound sure of yourself but even the smartest, most savvy people can still learn. I encourage you to read and learn form the materials.

Recovery is not for sissies. It's HARD WORK.

You've come to the right place. We'll help you through your pain, even when you try and hide it.


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Nitelite,

I was smiling as I read your thoughts on the "love bank", "love busters", etc. I think most guys who come here have that reaction, I sure did. I thought to myself "How quaint?" "Give me a break", etc.

After many years here, I have found what Mr. W said to be true. It is a handy shorthand for far more complex things. So know it doesn't bother me much.

However, you said something that is actually pretty common and your concern is well found. You said
Quote:
And I have asked her again and again what I did to contribute to this. what need I didn't fill. She keeps telling me there was nothing. That it was all her. I'm hoping that in time she will discover something I wasn't doing because I am unsteady at the idea that there is nothing for me to address. That just tells me it could happen again at any time.


I am sure there are things you could address, but the reality is that in many cases on this site, what needs to be addressed is really minor. Yet the A occured anyway. People like to think they are in control, and it is unsettling, to say the least, to realize you don't have that sort of control.

HOWEVER, what you should seek from your W is HER plan to assess what her boundaries really are, where there are weaknesses, and what her plan is to protect her boundaries and shore up the weaknesses in them. You are not in control of her, but she is. It is appropriate to inquire as to what she has learned about herself, and what her plans are to address what she has learned.

In an extreme example, if she stated: " I don't have problems with my boundaries, you help create a bad marriage so I stepped out, you need to work on yourself to fix this." Then you KNOW nothing was learned and your marriage is just a fragile as you might fear.

If she on the other hand says something like" I realize I did not see my vulnerability to ..., but now that I do I plan to protect myself, the marriage and you, by doing the following things..." and then she follows her words with actions, the I would say you have a good chance of a great recovery.

Your fear is well founded, the solution lies in her plans to address her weakness.

I hope this helps.

God Bless,

JL

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Just Learning, it does help thank you. One thing I have learned is that in the last 2 years she felt like I didn't notice her. Stack her illness on to that and she felt like a burden. She claims I didn't make her feel neglected because when I was home I gave her lots of attention. But the truth is I have been working a lot. 50-60 hours a week (closer to 50 usuallly). Considering the economy I felt like what I was doing was taking care of her and the family. From her angle though she was alone more. I would say that is neglect.
I'm not trying to excuse what she did. It was wrong. Absolutely wrong. But I'm starting to understand some of the things that contributed to it and created the circumstances for a "perfect storm". I'm also reading. I've read most of the material on this site before I came to the forum. And even though I won't be drinking the coolaid I have and will continue to learn from the discussions I've had on here.

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Nitelight,

Coolaide is not a requirement. smile Thought, introspection, questioning, discussion, requestioning, more discussion, those things are required.

I will tell you that Harley's approach is much deeper than it appears or is often described in the discussion forum. It is deceptive, because it really is not one size fits all. It is an approach which is togather data and then effectively use that is one size fits all.

Harley's original thought was that a lot of marriage were not good not because the couple did not try, but they put their efforts into areas that did not meet the needs of the spouse. So step one is determine what our spouses needs are. Step two find out how the want them met. These two steps insure that each of us uses our efforts more effectively. His observation if you simply do this marriages improve.

I think your story illustrates this. However, in the case of affairs and other issues things must be addressed and this again is about acquiring data, analyzing and then making the appropriate response. Given that I am a scientist I find this approach appealing.

But, here is the very scary part and something I just find astounding. I take pride that I am unique and that other people are unique. I would have never in a million years guessed how "common" we all. If you read here for awhile you will be absolutely amazed at how the WS say the same things, not just in general, I am talking word for word. It really is as if they had a script and I have seen this for a decade here. As for the BS, the response are pretty much the same as well.

So while you don't have to "drink the coolaide" you should become aware at how commonly humans seem to respond to the same stimulus, and affairs are definitely that. This commonality is very unsettling, but it also means that Harley's approach has a good probablility of working.

Just thoughts.

God Bless,

JL

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Originally Posted By: ouchthathurt
I think your road will be tougher because you were an attentive and loving husband. It makes her cheating all the more treacherous. In fact it actually seems that she thought that you loved her so much, that she could cheat on you once and get a freebee. And though it meant trouble in your marriage, you would eventually give her a pass. In essence, "I know he loves me, so if I only mess up this once, he'll forgive me". And now she's thinking "whew, dodged a bullet there, but it worked out pretty much how I thought it would go". I wish you the best of luck.


I agree, she rolled the dice because she felt like there is no way he wouuld end the M being a great stand up guy, big family man. Nope, and that will make it much harder for you to overcome. My sitch was similar, and I went off(retaliated), exposed to everyone, then Plan D. Now, I'm going back to fix it. There was no way at the time, the resentment was unbarable..DUDE

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Originally Posted By: NiteLite1
And even though I won't be drinking the coolaid I have and will continue to learn from the discussions I've had on here.


Nitelite,
I can see what you mean about your own level of arrogance. Judging from your posts, its pretty high. Maybe you should think on whether you should adopt a shred of humility, especially when seeking help from others. While you may have been a good husband in most respects, I'm willing to bet that your attitude undoes some of your efforts. Remember that you are here for the same reasons as everyone else.

There is really no coolaid here to drink. Often people get thrown off by the somewhat corny names for the concepts. But any intelligent person can look past the names love bank, lovebusters, etc. to the underlying concepts that they represent. Its very basic and serves as a good foundation for relationships and general human interaction. Its ironic that you seem to reject the advice of the people posting to you (and even deliver some indirect insults, like the above quote), even though you apparently (at least) attempt to live by the same concepts they are recommending.

Lastly, please consider that many people mistakenly confuse arrogance with confidence. One inspires respect and love, the other doesn't. Which do you think is which?

Last edited by Unfettered; 05/05/09 07:16 AM.

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Unfettered,

There certainly is coolaid to drink here. When I hear that phrase it usually means follow the rules without understanding, and that is what is recommended. I'm not saying the rules are bad, but MB has rules and many recommend following them even if you don't understand yet.


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Quote:
but MB has rules and many recommend following them even if you don't understand yet.


MB has no "rules", it has guidelines and coaching. Those guidelines ARE recommended even if a person doesn't quite "get it" because they are PROVEN to work. Dr. Harley didn't just make up a bunch of rules to see how many would "follow". He wrote these guidelines as a result of many years of experience, counseling and coaching.

MB is not for wishy-washy people. It takes COURAGE to actually follow the recommended guidelines. I've personally seen it work. Others have too. Just because you chose not to follow it in your own situation, doesn't mean MB is wrong. As many MB people that reached out to you, I'm amazed that you dis MB in this way. sigh


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Princess,

I followed the MB rules as much as I could. I'm not saying it is bad. I'm saying that there are things (guidelines, rules, whatever) that are recommended without understanding. That is precisely what drinking the coolaid means. Even if the coolaid is good for you. There is also a tinge of Harley worship in some posts that strikes me as odd.

There are many here who say they are not marriage at all costs but preach a different story. I have not read enough of your story to know if that is true but your last post seems to imply otherwise. Yes I am D, and I am 100% convinced that it was the right decision. And that I waited too long. MB actually helped me reach that decision and be happy with it.

I like lots of things about the MB approach. I've seen it work, I've also seen the anguish of people trying to make it work with a reluctant cheater. I've also seen it fail. I'm specifically trying to avoid discussing the merits of MB. I am saying it is a program that has approaches, guidelines, etc, to follow without understanding and a charismatic leader. That is what drinking the coolaid means.


Last edited by 6yearsleft; 05/12/09 04:59 PM. Reason: clarification.

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6,

I often view coming to MB much like buying your first diamond ring. You don't know much about it and you are planning on one visit. A deep understanding of what and why Harley as laid things out comes from using the tools seeing the affects or in some cases the lack of affects doing something incurs in the spouse, and then learning from it.

I view the MB approach very much as an iterative approach because the user really has not gone through something like this before, nor have they spent much time contemplating marriage and relationships like one does when the throughs of a relationship breaking up.

If you read the articles, I think you see Harley trying to explain why these things work. I think most of the better posters don't say "just do it" or "fake it until you make it", the attempt to add reasoning, logic, and of course offer feedback. Everyone is feeling their way. The new poster is, people posting to them are because they truly don't know the new poster and the details that come out over a period of time.

And yes the first response is try to save the marriage as this is marriage builders after all and sometimes that does come across as "marriage at all costs", yet as time goes on you see people who decide to leave the marriage supported and cheered on as much as those who are fortunate enough to succeed at making it to work.

I have seen and posted to people over the years that jump right in and really seem to get with the program, and I have posted to some posters for well over a year, before they actually make an attempt to save their marriage. It takes differing amounts of time for people to come to a point of acting in productive ways. I think that does frustrate some of the posters here. But, it is the way of things.

God Bless,

JL

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JL,

I see both opinions here. I'm just saying that he needs more explanation than some before he buys in. It took a long time to get me on the program as well, in fact I still have some areas that are mysterious to me.


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6,

I agree with you, and he should be asking lots of questions. Thinking about the answers and then asking more questions.

The other thing he needs to understand is that none of the posters here are professional counselors, so most of us, and certainly me refer people to what Harley says, because frankly he says it better, and he understands it better. We all bring our own experiences with this as well.

My best advice to anyone is to seek out a promarriage counselor and work with them, and also read the articles here. Harley has some unique ideas but most of what he says is really pretty standard, he just says it/orgainizes it differently.

JL

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I seem to have hit a nerve and wasn't trying to. Was trying to give an idea of where I am mentally. And where I come from as well. I agree that there seems to be some hero worship toward the Harleys but I understand it. If your marriage is in the toilet and someone helps you restore it they definately deserve high praise and since I want my marriage to work I have been willing to do things that I didn't have a lot of faith in logically.
We started counseling in week 2. Rolling into the weekend, this is 6 weeks now. I came here because the approach they have to dealing with infidelity made sens the first time I saw it. Most other things I looked at didn't. And I find it helpful to say what I am thinking and what I think I am experiences and consider the comments of others and also just to come back and look at it after I've had time to about it. While I might not use the lb shortand I recognize the advice as having great merit. I sometimes question the viewpoint people hat on here of how some of these concepts should be applied. Perhaps in time I will change my own view of these things.....but I don't think you'll find me hanging out at home in a bunkbead, wearing sneakers and a blue jumpsuit, waiting for my "ride" to show up.

Anyway. I'm not sure if my situation should still be here on this subfoorum. She is doing everything she said she would do. I am the one having the struggle now. Forgiveness is a beast. anger, hurt, and fear area also tough.

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