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After many years of an almost fairy tale marriage, almost four years ago my wife began an affair. I was not aware of the first one until much later. She was after something more, he just wanted sex. When that fell through, she began another with somebody else. I found Marriage Builders at that time. I read the concepts. In spite of what I read and what I was told by very experienced members, I chose NOT to expose. I had reasons. I had justifications. I had fears. I felt my reasoning was noble. I convinced myself you all were wrong. That maybe in all the other cases or many of them that was a good way to go, but not this one.

I do not even know if my old account still exists, but just created this new one. I am too ashamed of what I wrote under that account to be associated with it. It is bad enough I am ashamed of what I am writing now.

Maybe I will go into more detail, but after I successfully ended the second affair, I began using some of the concepts I read here to help rebuild my marriage - getting rid of Love Busters and making Love deposits. They seemed to work but only to a certain point. She was still very independent minded. Very stubborn. Verbally abusive at times if ever I did not let her do whatever she wanted. In my mind I was chiseling slowly away against the cause of her behavior. Then and now I do not fully understand it: was it simply a pure moral breakdown or was there some psychological breakdown?

Just when I thought things were beginning to go very well and seeing daylight, it began to very slowly get worse again. If I gave details, my sanity would be questioned, but I will say that it degraded so slowly that I just did not notice. If I did, I would adapt rather than restart the war. In the end, there was a third affair going on with somebody I had come to foolishly trust. This person ended up being so depraved I can still hardly believe it. When she realized what he was, she wanted to get away, but he blackmailed her and was very skilled at manipulation. He not only held onto her longer but had her involved in some very horrible activities.

Only near the end did I suspect what was going on. I did not know she was having another affair but knew that she was headed for the rocks. At that point I viewed it that the marriage was over and that she did not care about me. She was often gone and I had lots of time on my hands. I had by this time gotten back into very good shape, re-imaged myself and was receiving attention from women like I had not gotten in years.

In short, I had an affair. It was wrong, but I did it. This guy found out about my affair and decided to try to break my wife and I up for good. She looked on my phone (since I did not think she gave a rip, I barely made any effort to hide anything). When she confronted me, I confronted her with all the information I had and everything blew up at once.

After that exposure I told her that I was going to see my relationship with the other woman through. My wife was angry at me and seemed genuinely hurt. I brushed it off as an act because she knew she needed me financially.

I went out every weekend with this woman for nearly 2 months after my wife found out. She knew she had no leg to stand on. Although she knew nor knows anything of MB, she did a good Plan A on me throughout. When the woman broke it off with me (because she saw I was considering staying with my wife), my wife and I came together and had long, long talks and much time together.

From the moment she knew about the other woman until now, she was a totally different person - actually she was the same wonderful wife I had for many years prior. I waited for her to slip as I could not fathom this turn around. I still do not understand the turn around. She has been consistently wonderful now for almost 1.5 years - day in and day out. She is never arrogant. Never demanding. If I have a concern, she jumps through to do it.

In short we are in a very wonderful recovery. Also in short, if I had known...only known how strongly she still loved me ( I had convinced myself she did not and that I had to win her back), I would have exposed this in a heartbeat.

My lack of exposure led to the third affair. It also led to a world of pain on both our parts. Pain I am still working through. Yet, as upset with her as I may allow myself to be, I am more upset with myself for not fighting for my marriage.

I read many threads here. The experienced members are so often right. However, so often the bitterness of their experience is still in their mouths when they give their advice. Do I blame them> No. However, it is to easy for a newby to see that and make yet another excuse not to follow their advice.

I wish I had. I really wish I had. If you are hesitating about exposure. Do it. Do it now.


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LRB,

I am too ashamed of what I wrote under that account to be associated with it. It is bad enough I am ashamed of what I am writing now.

You are not alone in that feeling.

Most posters regret not finding this place sooner, not just so that they would have handled the A better, but so that they would have treated their spouses better.

Many too do not get some of the concepts at first, and I think the model of silence, denial and avoidance is so common that we never even reflect upon it. Heck cheating spouses are a big part of jokes and even an ad campaign "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas", so society at large does not cope well with infidelity.

God Bless
Gamma

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Welcome back to MB LRB. It's sad when people find all kinds of reasons not to expose an affair, when it likely could end it that day. Not always, but it has happened.

So, are you wanting to try again? Can you give us a little more detail? How long married?

Have you ended all contact with OW? Did you send a no-contact letter? It sounds as if your marriage never really recovered from the beginning.

You said this:

Quote
I read many threads here. The experienced members are so often right. However, so often the bitterness of their experience is still in their mouths when they give their advice.

I hope you weren't criticizing posters that help or that you were calling them bitter? That would be pretty rude. What did you mean?

Let us know how we can help at this point.


Widowed 11/10/12 after 35 years of marriage
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In a sense now, I am homeless. For the home, the place of refuge, solitude, love-where my husband lived-no longer exists. Joyce Carolyn Oates, A Widow's Story
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The experienced members are so often right. However, so often the bitterness of their experience is still in their mouths when they give their advice.
Can you tell us more about this? What advice sounds "bitter" to you? I'd really like to know. And why would you make this statement? Do you feel that there are embittered posters here who are giving bad advice based on their bitterness?


D-Day 2-10-2009
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Thank you Marriage Builders!

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Originally Posted by maritalbliss
Quote
The experienced members are so often right. However, so often the bitterness of their experience is still in their mouths when they give their advice.
Can you tell us more about this? What advice sounds "bitter" to you? I'd really like to know. And why would you make this statement? Do you feel that there are embittered posters here who are giving bad advice based on their bitterness?
Without defending the original poster's use of the "b"-word, as I read the guy's statement, he seems pretty straightforward in acknowledging that the advice he got here was on-target. I don't see anything that suggests he thinks the advice was bad. I see him taking a jab at how [he perceives] it was delivered.

And I don't think that should necessarily be off-limits for contemplation & discussion. So:

This is probably a T/J that'd be better considered on its own thread, but from what I've seen in my time around here, we (myself included) toss around -- along with lots of compassion, concern and wisdom -- a lot of language here that is strident. And before anyone thinks I'm tossing rocks at others, let me admit up-front that I've done it, for sure. You can look at some of my posts & see. Some of us -- again, myself included -- use language that I suppose the Harleys would not use in a counseling session.

On occasion, I have told people that they (or their spouses whom they're trying to rescue from an affair, or their affair-partners) aren't worth cold spit as human beings. I say that about my old self, as I was when I was in my affair. I've told WHs to grow a pair, I've told poor BHs shrinking from exposure to buy a pair, and I've felt smugly good about it. Sometimes. But even if my stance tends to be more of a drill-sergeant's "Suck it up!", I understand if some waywards, or even some BSs who don't initially show up here with an ingrained or a convert's devotion to the ideal of marriage -- are put off by it.

Yesterday, I pretty much told a new wayward to shuddup. Still don't know if that was the right tack to take.

On the site, it says up-front that forum members are peers, not pros. They're (we're) here to "heal" in both the transitive and intransitive aspects of that verb. And we sometimes try "healing" while we're still in the process of "healing." So I guess newbies shouldn't expect that they're going to hear the same measured tones as they'd hear from a Harley-trained professional counselor, even if the same good concepts are being advocated. (I'll admit up-front that I've never spoken with the Harleys. Perhaps they use the unabbreviated terms for POSOM and such in their counseling work. I doubt that they do, but if so, I'd understand, as a former POSOM myself.)

But where I come down is that I think this place is pretty unique in unabashedly calling a spade a spade. (It's sad that speaking truth is "unique", but that's what it's come to in the world of 2011.) Some waywards here, who long-ago stopped making the effort to put themselves in their BSs' shoes, only start to appreciate how infidelity wounds, sears & scars people in the way that it does, when they see it expressed here, in terms & tones that are indeed raw & strident. Because infidelity itself is a raw & bitter experience that cannot be sugarcoated! I think that is one of the great things about this site. In a culture where cheating is all too often laughed off in sitcoms, brushed off in politics, pawned off by Hollywood, smirked off in locker rooms & nail salons, and shrugged off by people whom betrayed spouses formerly mistook for sensible friends, here on MarriageBuilders it is called what it is, treated as what it is, and reviled because it deserves to be.

I think some of us (myself again included) may sometimes sort of view newbies with an attitude of "If they get it, if they're meant to get it, if they deserve to get it, then they'll stick around, ignore the barbs, and they'll eventually come around to seeing through to the abundant wisdom being offered here." Sort of like Calvinists view the Elect. (Which I only know because I'm rather a Calvinist myself.)

Is that the right attitude to take? Mostly, I think it is.

Yes, I'm open to the possibility that we might let some folks slip off the hook here once in awhile because we jerk the rod too hard sometimes for the particular fish at hand. But for every fish like that, I suspect there are other fish who would've swum away -- to continue limping along in wounded, bleeding or dying marriages -- if someone here hadn't jerked the rod hard enough to set a hook.

I'll admit, it's sometimes hard to discern which fish are which. Discernment sure is easier to pray for than to practice.

Just food for pondering.


Me: FWH, 50
My BW: Trust_Will_Come, 52, tall, beautiful & heart of gold
DD23, DS19
EA-then-PA Oct'08-Jan'09
Broke it off & confessed to BW (after OW's H found out) Jan.7 2009
Married 25 years & counting.
Grateful for forgiveness. Working to be a better husband.
"I wear the chain I forged in life... I made it link by link, and yard by yard" ~Jacob Marley's ghost, A Christmas Carol
"Do it again & you're out on your [bum]." ~My BW, Jan.7 2009
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mb,

I think that oftentimes the waywards who come here are met with some pretty rough postings at first. The problem is, of course, that waywards say things that are wayward! Then, members who see the obvious waywardness jump right on it, and often come off as much more rough than they might mean to be.

The truth is that most members want to help. The problem is that new waywards don't know the MB plans, don't get the concepts, and of course - they are in the fog, or are just coming out of it and really don't grasp the depth of the issues that they are about to face.

Most of the members do. The seasoned members get the subtleties of the comments that waywards are posting - and waywards don't realize that the members have heard those scripts 1,000 times before. Waywards are caught off-guard when members pounce on things they say in their posts, when to the wayward it seems so "logical" at the time. It's only after the wayward has a few weeks on the boards, after a couple of seasoned vets take the wayward in and guide him/her through the first part of the MB concepts, that the wayward begins to understand what really lies ahead in the recovery of a marriage after an affair.

This is tough stuff - and the "bitterness" seen by waywards when they come on board isn't a surprise to me. Sure, it's not uncommon for a wayward to come on with the first few posts with guns a-blazing, defensive, justifying, self-excusing, spouse-blaming. As MB seasoned members, we should recognize this as "typical" wayward speak, and draw out the MB cannons - and instead of seeing this as fightin' words, use the concepts to point the wayward in the right direction for recovery.

Some do, some pounce.

As far as the "bitter" part goes, I think that the rollercoaster plays a part in that, and also one other thing: if the wayward comes on board and hits close to home (or sounds like the WS of the responder), I think the responder is more likely to fire back with a little more bitterness. Human nature.

I have probably been guilty of this myself.


SB


Lucky to be where I am, in a safe place to get marriage-related support.
Recovered.
Happy.
Most recent D-day Fall 2005
Our new marriage began that day. Not easily, but it did happen.
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Originally Posted by GloveOil
[But where I come down is that I think this place is pretty unique in unabashedly calling a spade a spade. (It's sad that speaking truth is "unique", but that's what it's come to in the world of 2011.) [/color]

I agree with this assessment. I think that this site is very unique in that the truth is spoken here. Many are not accustomed to that and confuse straightforwardness along with an honest outrage over injustice with "bitterness." I am not bitter at all but have been accused of it countless times over the years.

I rarely see bitterness here, rather I see outrage over injustice that is rarely expressed in most social circles because our culture is retarded with political correctness and moral relativism. The accusation of "bitterness" is almost always expressed by the very foggy.

It is also important to point out that more BS's are smacked with 2x4's than WS's. What inspires 2x4's is not waywardness, but fogginess. But we never hear folks object to that for some odd reason. I believe it is because waywards are so anxious to portray themselves as "victims" that they are prone to self pity and drama queen theatrics. The ones who are serious about recovery straighten up and fly right; the ones who aren't simply leave.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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True enough :


"The ones who are serious about recovery straighten up and fly right; the ones who aren't simply leave."


And it is true for both WS and BS - equally!


SB


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Recovered.
Happy.
Most recent D-day Fall 2005
Our new marriage began that day. Not easily, but it did happen.
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Agree!


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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I was at a funeral tonight so I did not get much chance to write. I really had not expected such a response. I also had not expected people to zero in on the "bitter" part. I am not sure my context came across well.

I wanted to write to tell my story that I did not take the advice to expose and looking back I heavily regret it. I am hoping anybody on the fence reading it will be convinced to do so.

As for the bitter part. We all have a bitter taste in our mouth regarding infidelity. I know I do. When the newbies are hesitant and making excuses and justifying their spouces A, it has a certain affect on the posters. I can't fully describe it and certainly do not mean to be rude. However, I sense that this extra umph behind the words of wisdom can give the appearance to the newbie that it is out of bitterness. They then use this as an excuse to not follow the advice.

I will not name names, but I saw one exchange where one guy was genuinely asking for specifics on how to do something. No specifics were given and the veteran simply told him he just must not want to save his marriage. This went back and forth and I can just imagine how hard it was for him. He seemed to genuinely want to follow the advice if there was something more specific than he needed to "do something".

So that was kind of what I was referring to.

Yes my wife and are have broken all contact with OMs and OW for well over a year now. Neither of us have any desire to make any contact.

More tomorrow.

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What some people may read as bitter, I read as a lack of sugar-coating, and an extra-low bovine excrement tolerance.


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

"Fair speech may hide a foul heart." - Samwise Gamgee LOTR
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Well, depends on the goal, doesn't it?

If the goal is just to deliver the harsh truth of the wrong actions and decisions, then sugar-coating is not an option.

If, on the other hand, the goal is to make the person see their shortcomings and eventually understand&live the MB paradigm, I think it is wise to add some sugar sprinkles here and there. After all, we are all just humans. A bitter medicine is easier to swallow with some syrup on top. (And I don't refer to the word 'bitter' as discussed previously!)

I am just a meager FWW, so I can never fully perceive the pain of the BS-s that is ever so often projected on the fresh WS-s. I am not underrating this pain in any way. Neither am I saying to sugar-coat every post. But if someone every once in a while expresses some support in addition to those 2x4s (well-grounded support, of course - to show that at least in some aspect, the person is on the right track), it just may help bring them on board faster.

On another note, the actual/initial point of LRB that you cannot pick and choose seemingly more suitable parts of the MB way is something that cannot be expressed enough. I can think of a few people here that should read it...


Me: FWW 31
DH: BH 32
M: April 2001
DSs b 2005 and 2006
EA began summer~autumn 2009, D-Day1 Feb 2010
EA went uglier until NC-letters mid-June 2010
Discovering MB site end of June 2010
D-Day 2 Jul 7, 2010, followed by 2 other D-days (Jul 14, 2010, and Jul 31?, 2010)

Falling back in love - or so it seemed...
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You know, I'm not so much sure we're talking bitterness here as much as anger.

We're members of the club no one wants to join, and to see others going through the hells that we ourselves experienced -- and not listen to the voices of those who have been-there-done-that-got-the-tee-shirt -- well, it just drives us nuts.

We see what we did right, and what we did wrong, and we're trying to keep others from making the same dumb mistakes. And the fools just won't listen!

It's too easy to look back on things with 20-20 hindsight and forget just how fragile and confused we were when the nuke went off in our own lives.

When I've gone back and re-read my threads (the ones that survived the database meltdown of '09 at any rate), I just want to shake my head at the naivety on display for all the world to see. I made some basic mistakes, and the fallout from them still haunt me.

On the other hand, I did a bunch of things right, and that's one of the reasons I never really, truly considered going Plan D/FU.

The collective wisdom on this board is outstanding, but when you're still going through a car wreck, it's hard to appreciate that fact. Only after the Marital SUV stops rolling and you can climb out and look at the twisted metal do you truly get it. Of course, some don't get it even then.

Sigh. We're all fighting the good fight. We just keep on truckin'.

I personally want to thank everyone who ever posted to me when things were grim and nasty. Y'all got me through the darkest times in my life. There's still work to do, but it's nice to know that light at the end of the tunnel wasn't a train, after all.


BH 52
FWW 50
S26 S24
EA 3/07-1/09
PA 5/07-10/08
NC finally established after eight false starts: 1/23/09
Final Version of Events 6/09
In a solid Recovery, and lucky beyond belief.
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Ok looking at this with fresh eyes this morning all I can say is that 99% of the response to my post here surrounds a single word in my post. I chose an easy word "bitter" not realizing how inflammatory it would be and I apologize for that. Yes I could have chosen "angry" or "indignant" or just referred to the "pain of their own experience".

99% of what I was trying to say was that I was given great advice here and looking back I wish I had taken it. By not taking it, I had a much longer, more painful road I had to take.

1% of what I wanted to say was for some posters to try to go back and get into the minds of the BS reading your advice. You can get into their minds and understand their pain and experience because you went through it. Can you get into their minds and understand how they are perceiving what you are telling them?

The way these things are stated can make the new BS read more into them and take them wrong and not use the advice because of how the delivery of the advice is perceived.

I am not talking about sugar coating. Yes, they may need to be whacked with a 2X4 verbally. Sometimes the 2X4 comes out too early maybe.

The goal in giving advice is not to give it and then brush your hands off. The goal is for the advice to be taken.

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Originally Posted by LongRoadBehind
Ok looking at this with fresh eyes this morning all I can say is that 99% of the response to my post here surrounds a single word in my post. I chose an easy word "bitter" not realizing how inflammatory it would be and I apologize for that. Yes I could have chosen "angry" or "indignant" or just referred to the "pain of their own experience".

99% of what I was trying to say was that I was given great advice here and looking back I wish I had taken it. By not taking it, I had a much longer, more painful road I had to take.

1% of what I wanted to say was for some posters to try to go back and get into the minds of the BS reading your advice. You can get into their minds and understand their pain and experience because you went through it. Can you get into their minds and understand how they are perceiving what you are telling them?

The way these things are stated can make the new BS read more into them and take them wrong and not use the advice because of how the delivery of the advice is perceived.

I am not talking about sugar coating. Yes, they may need to be whacked with a 2X4 verbally. Sometimes the 2X4 comes out too early maybe.

The goal in giving advice is not to give it and then brush your hands off. The goal is for the advice to be taken.

Thank you for your apology.

I guess I just don't see what you're seeing because I see a lot of compassion and caring. When a 2x4 (so-to-speak) is wielded, it's out of that compassion and caring, unlike other places.

There are a lot of "vets" around here who post often (sometimes daily!) to help newbies. For you to come back and give "advice" on how to post (especially in your very FIRST post) seems disingenuous. Why not join us in the trenches instead of critiquing from the sidelines? Maybe you would understand then, that because MB gets 100s of newbies asking for help every week, there is not much time to waste on coddling. It's not like the old days, thank God!

Your message of "not following the MB path" is very valuable and kind of the point.

You are welcome here even if you did step on some toes! smile


Widowed 11/10/12 after 35 years of marriage
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Originally Posted by LongRoadBehind
The goal in giving advice is not to give it and then brush your hands off. The goal is for the advice to be taken.

Can you see how using an inflammatory, dismissive adjective such as "bitter" detracted from your own point in the very way you describe above? I don't know if you realize that you just did exactly what you are objecting to.

As far as the comments on posting styles, I would point out that it takes all types to reach different posters. There is no one way to reach a given poster. That is the beauty of a diverse forum with different styles. What might appeal to you won't appeal to another poster, for example. Criticizing other posters for their posting styles is an exercise in futility because it misses the point.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted by princessmeggy
For you to come back and give "advice" on how to post (especially in your very FIRST post) seems disingenuous.

It was not my intention directly to give any advice in my first post. I was relaying my experience and how I reacted and simply asking posters to keep it in mind. I wrote it intending it to be in a very soft reference tone, but was read as critical and hard and rude (by you I think smile ) and everybody just took off from there while I was away from my computer and could not diffuse it.

Originally Posted by princessmeggy
Maybe you would understand then, that because MB gets 100s of newbies asking for help every week, there is not much time to waste on coddling. It's not like the old days, thank God!

Very, very fair point. I can see how so many newbies and so little time makes it difficult. I don't have an answer, so I will just back away from that point and let you guys do your thing.

Originally Posted by princessmeggy
Your message of "not following the MB path" is very valuable and kind of the point.

You are welcome here even if you did step on some toes! smile

Thank you. I was trying to encourage people to take you guys' advice. That was my big point. I truly thought the reaction would be different. An admission that not taking your advice was very much regretted.

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Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Can you see how using an inflammatory, dismissive adjective such as "bitter" detracted from your own point

It was a poor choice of words.

Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Criticizing other posters for their posting styles is an exercise in futility because it misses the point.

Again, I was not trying to be critical. I was pointing to how I reacted and how I think some other new BS react and to keep it in mind. The flaw may be with the BS. In my case the flaw was with me not being willing to do what needed to be done, but at the time I felt it was a problem with the posters.

Anyway, I have apologized and explained on the bitter part and don't really have much more in that area to say.

I do hope my post will encourage other BS to take the hard steps I did not.

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I think you meant well, you're basically telling BS's to follow the good advice here, even if it's cloaked in 2x4s that may hurt, because you didn't and are very sorry about that. I think where you went wrong (to get less than positive responses) was advising the vets to sweeten up the advice.

This board has evolved a lot over the years and like everything these days, streamlined to more efficiently get results! And sure they may be a little frustration sprinkled in, everyone's human, but mostly it's doing everything to stop someone else from doing what they may have, to avoid further pain. Pretty much what I think you were doing here smile

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married 19 yrs
H's EA discovered Oct.2010
separated 11/10
in recovery!

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 8
L
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L
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by cabbages
I think you meant well, you're basically telling BS's to follow the good advice here, even if it's cloaked in 2x4s that may hurt, because you didn't and are very sorry about that. I think where you went wrong (to get less than positive responses) was advising the vets to sweeten up the advice.

This board has evolved a lot over the years and like everything these days, streamlined to more efficiently get results! And sure they may be a little frustration sprinkled in, everyone's human, but mostly it's doing everything to stop someone else from doing what they may have, to avoid further pain. Pretty much what I think you were doing here smile

-------------------------
married 19 yrs
H's EA discovered Oct.2010
separated 11/10
in recovery!


Thanks Cabbages. I really did not mean when I wrote my original post to advise anything. The sentence that has gotten me into so much trouble was such a half baked after thought and very little to do with the message I wanted to convey. I will be more careful in my wording in the future.

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