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Originally Posted by Down_in_Az
One question I have. Is it common for the offending spouse to make the following comments:

- I am not sure I want the marriage to work
- I just don't have feelings for you right now, and I don't know if I ever will. I need this space to work that through
- The marriage has been broken for a while, but I just never spoke up (much to my surprise and everyone we know)

All... I know I am being naive. But that is why I am here, for cold hard truth and advice.

I will move back in tonight.

Not trying to be glib here, but I think there is some kind of "guidebook for cheaters" that is issued once you decide to have an A. I really don't know of any situation where that (or some variation) has not been said.

Good on ya for moving back in. I thought state department jobs were in DC?

CV


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Originally Posted by Down_in_Az
Thanks... it is just hard to hear that someone you love (and have loved) has no feelings for you. And they stopped on a dime (Friday before she left for Vegas, we joked about finding time to be intimate). When she came back Monday, the marriage was a wreck and she was ready to bail.

Down,

Don't be so sure. She *may still* have feelings for you. One of the things an A does with some people is bury stuff. There is so much crud that is dumped on top of the marriage because of the necessity to lie to keep and justify the A that the truth gets buried. Now what the truth is in your case, I am not sure, just don't discount the fact that the lies have consumed her mind and this fog is really confusion to the truth.

CV


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Originally Posted by Down_in_Az
Expose affiar to the kids as well? Really?

You have to understand my reluctance to the exposure part. Is there a very likely chance this drives a stake in the relationship and it never recovers? Help me to see past the WW getting so pissed they never forgive.

You have to see how mad she was at her sister for telling me. smile

I probably did exposure wrong, but it worked for us... We told the kids together. Ours were 17, 15, and 14.

I told the kids that "Mom and I are having some problems, there was an affair". Then My wife explained to them what she had done and with whom. My kids were furious (you really have to know my daughter) for months and months. But you know what? They love their mom, still did. It is important they know, it is important that you stay and work through this with them. They will be shattered, but in a different way.

You often don't hear of what to do with the kids, but sit them down and talk to them. Be there for them. This boy seems to look to you as dad. Be dad to them both, and be mom until mom is no longer FUBAR'd.

My kids now love and respect my wife, not because of what she did, but because of what she is doing to repair.

CV


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CV, you and Beverly did fine with your exposure to the kids. Beverly told them the truth. And that's huge to kids.


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Kids? Hate to be a Dr. Philler/Dr. Laura-er, but truer words can't be spoken (paraphrase): "Kids have an uncanny ability to make any problem in mom's and dad's life THEIR FAULT". That is, unless and until you tell them the TRUTH. It would be enormously unfair and cruel to allow them to wonder what they might have done wrong...regardless of age, and they will carry that with them for. ev. er.

They KNOW things are very wrong already, right? They are going to suffer for a time (until you kill this A and get back on track). You can't shield them from the pain, but you sure can be the one to assure that they don't ever blame themselves. Suffering x 100. They are going to be angry. Don't be a witness to them to being quietly angry with themselves.

Hey Down. Ya home yet?






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Originally Posted by celticvoyager
I probably did exposure wrong, but it worked for us... We told the kids together. Ours were 17, 15, and 14.

It sounds like it worked out for you two... but just for any lurkers out there, Dr Harley has said on his show for the BS to expose alone without the WS. It usually isn't a good idea.


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Originally Posted by SusieQ
Originally Posted by celticvoyager
I probably did exposure wrong, but it worked for us... We told the kids together. Ours were 17, 15, and 14.

It sounds like it worked out for you two... but just for any lurkers out there, Dr Harley has said on his show for the BS to expose alone without the WS. It usually isn't a good idea.

Yeah. and I want to reaffirm that too. Follow the MB path.

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Home now, found more incriminating evidence they are still in contact. Exposure starts tonight.

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Originally Posted by Down_in_Az
Home now, found more incriminating evidence they are still in contact. Exposure starts tonight.

Good job moving home! Ok, to whom do you plan on exposing tonight. What is your plan? Tell us who and we will help you pull this off in a strategic way.


"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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Who should I expose tonight? Threaten to tell the kids? I tried confront him (calling via skype). I have email, do I email him?

Do I start calling people tonight? Threaten to call? Email people? Help...

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NEVER threaten exposure.
You do exposure ... "shock & awe" style.
As a surprise.

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Originally Posted by Pepperband
Because the original is locked in the archives .... and most people only quote the first bit .... Here it is.

(from 2006)


Quote
The Carrot and the Stick of Plan A


The carrot of Plan A

Meeting your wandering spouse's emotional needs.

Making "home" a warm and inviting place to be.

Placing emphasis on what has worked in the marriage.

Showing consistent self improvement in areas where previously lacking.

Stop lovebusting behaviors.

Communicating with a calm reassuring voice and relaxed body language, even in the center of a verbal storm created by the infidel.

Becoming the person any reasonable spouse would want to come home to.

Remaining open to the possibility of recovery.

Offering forgiveness and understanding.


The stick of Plan A

Exposing adultery where it matters most. Exposure that takes the form of a swift and sudden unexpected tsunami of truth.

Not apologizing for exposure or speaking the truth in a kind yet direct way.

Directly communicating the hurt and devastation that the affair has caused.

Not accepting blame for the infidel's choice to become adulterous.

Let the consequences of adultery and infidelity fall freely upon the heads of the adulterous.

Establishing boundaries that disallow the affair to effect children of the marriage, financal security of the marriage, and otherwise ruin innocent bystanders.

Standing up to infidelity as a beast that must be slayed for the good of the family.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plan A is both a *carrot* and a *stick*.

And there is more ....


Quote
Plan A is NOT a decision you and your adulterous spouse make together !!!

Plan A is a tool for the betrayed spouse to implement in order to try and stop the affair ~and~ attract the adulterous spouse BACK to the marriage

do NOT discuss this tool with the adulterous spouse

Plan A is YOUR weapon against infidelity !!! The adulterous spouse is ~for~ infidelity, not against it .... be careful NOT to reveal your secret weapon of Plan A !!!

and more ....


Quote
Stop lovebusting behaviors.

from the site:

Quote:



Selfish Demands
Disrespectful Judgments
Angry Outbursts
Annoying Habits
Independent Behavior
Dishonesty






I think it is impossible to completely stop ALL ~LB~ behaviors during the initial SHOCK of discovering your spouse is/was unfaithful

having said that

if the affair continues

once you start Plan A ... YOU must be in control of your emotional outbursts

ASK the board for HELP to do this

and some more ....


Quote
Placing emphasis on what has worked in the marriage.


time to take your OWN inventory

compile a list of things you historically contribute to the marriage that make the marriage work .... and do MORE of this

don't make announcements about what you are going to do ... just take action

DEMONSTRATE what an awesome spouse/contrubutor to the marriage YOU are

.... continuing Plan A ....


Quote
Meeting your wandering spouse's emotional needs.

re-visit the emotional needs questionairre on this site

if your spouse is ACTIVELY continuing their affair after discovery ... try to get the information about his/her emotional needs indirectly

take the questionairre answering ~as if~ you were your adulterous spouse

then take the top 3 needs and get a plan together to fill their most important needs ~when possible~

caution is required if your spouse scores high on sexual fulfillment as their emotional need ... if your spouse is sleeping with someone else YOU need to enforce the use of condom protection ... and even that is not foolproof protection you won't be exposed to a disease

GET TESTED for STDs every so often if you are having sex with a still cheating spouse

MOST people in an affair do NOT use protection <~~~ is's a fact you must face !

and ....


Quote
Offering forgiveness and understanding.

By this I mean .... suggesting to the confused foggy affair-addicted spouse that there is HOPE for the marriage even though what they are doing is awful ... there is a map leading to home

Often their thinking is thus: "It's too late now. I've done too much damage ... my spouse could never forgive me, so I might as well continue with the affair."

You, the sane spouse, need to squash that belief that they can never be forgiven for what they have done.
You do not need to forgive them right away, but offer them the hope of a future where all is forgiven.

You can word it something like this:

All of us do things we regret. When I think of some of my past mistakes, I am extremely grateful for having been forgiven by those I've hurt. I want to be in the position to offer you that same grace. I have been forgiven, so I understand what it feels like to be in a position where you hope forgiveness is possible. It is possible.

continuing ...


Quote
Exposing adultery where it matters most. Exposure that takes the form of a swift and sudden unexpected tsunami of truth.


Exposure is your most effective tool to end the affair !

It is important to SNOOP ~before~ exposure.

There are ways to snoop in order to gather evidence. If you have questions about snooping tactics ... go to the general Questions infidelity forum and begin a thread titled something like: ~~~> I need to snoop. Teach me everything you know!

OK ... once you've snooped and you know there is an affair ... and your spouse refuses to end the affair relationship ... you will hear:

"It's only a friendship."
"You are too controling."
"I love you but I am not in love with you."
"You are too suspicious."
"You are crazy."
"Our marriage never worked."
"I've never been happy."
"Our marriage was a mistake from the start."

TIME for exposure.

WAT has a great exposure thread ... read it

Exposure is NOT to the 2 infidels ... they already know they are in an affair!

You expose to the other betrayed spouse first.

You expose to your family as well as your spouse's family (if appropriate)
You expose to work, or neighbors, or others .... ASK the board for help regarding who to expose to

HOW you expose is important

wording something like:

I am saddened to tell you my sweetie is having an affair. It's been going on for (length of time).He/she refuses to end the affair. I want our marriage to recover from this affair. If you have any influence on my sweetie, please do what you can to get him/her to stop this dangerous affair. I want to stay married, but the affair must end.

don't forget these words

swift and sudden unexpected tsunami of truth.

you NEVER tell your adulterous spouse you are going to expose

you just do it

more ....


Quote
Not apologizing for exposure or speaking the truth in a kind yet direct way.

Exposure makes the infidel furious rant2

stay calm
breathe

no one can stay furious forever ... being furious is exhausting ... consumes a lot of energy ... let the furious infidel fume and exhaust his/her self

YOU stay cool cool

You will hear:

"That's it. We are never going to stay married after what YOU did."
"I am moving out now, thanks to you."
"You are getting OP in trouble at home."
"Now our kids will have a broken home thanks to you."


blah blah blah

You respond to all the raging comments: I am still holding out hope for our marriage.

You stay calm

You don't argue

You don't explain

You do not preach

You do not educate

~and~ you do NOT apologize for standing up for truth and marriage and keeping your family intact

YOU calmly re-state your belief that there is hope for the marriage ....

if things get out of hand ... excuse yourself and go for a walk or a drive ...

remember ... exposure makes the already foggy spouse act insane ... but it is temporary

.....


Quote
Directly communicating the hurt and devastation that the affair has caused.


Plan A is often misunderstood as "acting nice"

excuse me acting "nice' in the face of an affair makes me want to puke puke

Plan A is taking control of one's self ...it is NOT "acting nice" ~as if~ there was no infidelity eating away at your family .... infidelity hurts like battery acid poured on your skin

am I right?

heII yes I am right

so you scared and panicky betrayed ~~~> SPEAK UP

tell the truth

"This affair hurts me. This affair is going to destroy our family. Let's get help."

If your spouse does something really thoughtless ... SPEAK UP.

"What you just said (did) hurts me terribly."

"I feel wounded by your affair."

"My heart aches for the love we used to share."


But be careful ... don't get needy or whiney or weepy ... those are love-busters

it's a fine line between telling the truth about what hurts ... and staying away from LB behaviors

ASK for help from the board

if you are unsure if what you are doing is correct... examine how much self control you have at any given moment ... and if you are feeling in control of yourself ... you are probably right on the money !

if you feel yourself losing control ... step away and re-group

>>>>>>


Quote
Not accepting blame for the infidel's choice to become adulterous.

You never were a perfect spouse. You never will be.

You are part of the equation of your marriage environment .. but you have no power to cause your spouse to choose an affair

The freshly wounded often look at themselves and blame themselves for their spouse's choice to go outside the marriage....

stop

Sure, this is an opportunity to take your own inventory ... but NEVER accept blame for your spouse's choice to have an affair

The issue of not meeting the emotional needs of the adulterous spouse ~before~ the affair began is NOT a reason to choose infdelity

not ever

You are responsible for your choices, not for the choices of your spouse

relax
breathe

~~~~~~
Quote
Let the consequences of adultery and infidelity fall freely upon the heads of the adulterous.

If we experience no consequences when we mess up ... there is very little motivation for us to change our wrong behaviors that have become a habit

do the infidel a favor

do not stand inbetween them and their consequences

show respect for the infidel by allowing them to feel whatever their behaviors have earned them

be it
shame
embarrasment
fear

whatever they have earned

let it be

unpleasant consequences are what motivates changing habitual bad behaviors

let it roll


******


Quote
A very very important part of Plan A !!!

That is some serious self-pampering .... which may include but is not limited to:

>manicures/pedicures

>dates with friends

>hire a sitter so YOU can have fun

>relaxing your usually busy schedule

>say "No, I can't do that now." when you are running out of energy

>pray and ask for spiritual and emotional support from someone wise in your circle of trust

>buy all new sheets

>paint the bedroom

>treat yourself to something sexy to wear

>try a new hairstyle

>get contact lenses or Kewl new glasses

>glam up

>buy concert/theater tickets

>exercise

Self pampering will keep your Taker happy for awhile which IMPROVES your Plan A

~~~~~~~

and finally, This is an old post of mine ... written in 2002... I was trying to put the "doormat of Plan A" issue to rest .... in my own mind. Now you can look at what I came up with, back then.


Quote
Looking back ... I can see I worked myself through a very awkward "plan A" ....
although I never heard of plan A until years into recovery and I started poking around this site.

Looking back ... I can see my efforts to become differentiated ... although I did not read Schnarch's Passionate Marriage until years into recovery.

Plan A is very much complementary to Schnarch's ideas of differentiation.

Developing a positive identity within the context of a marriage struggling to overcome infidelity.

Developing a strong sense of self-worth that is valid both within and outside the boundaries of the marriage.

I can NOW see plan A as a path to greater self worth and NOT necessarily as a plan to "win back" the heart and mind of the infidel ... although that might happen.

It is a plan to differentiate myself and identify myself as a worthy person apart from the circumstances of the marriage relationship.

Plan A'ers are not like doormats to wipe your feet upon and to mis-use .... more like a *welcome home* sign... if both persons choose to re-inter the marriage!

Plan A says : "I can hold onto my better self under the worst of circumstances".

Schnarch says: "We develop a contingent identity based on a 'self-in-relationship'. Because our identity depends on the relationship, we may demand that our partner doesn't change so that our identity won't either."

Then ... comes the grenade of infidelity tossed into the marriage and the entire fusion of identities is blown apart!

The aftermath of the grenade then boils down to this question ....

WHO THE HECK AM I ... AND ... WHO THE HECK ARE YOU?

And, asking this question to the *fogged-in* infidel is pointless. They got INTO the affair because they were lost to themselves, and went searching for a new self .... and, INSTEAD of differentiating themselves ... they fused identity to yet another relationship ... actually moving away from a healthy differentiated view of their self-worth ----> I am wonderful because my affair partner thinks so.

Plan A says and demonstrates to OURSELVES: I am not some weak pathetic person deserving to be abandoned or cheated. I am demonstrating decent and loving behaviour. I am worthy of love and devotion. ... If the infidel notices .... double bonus points. If not, I become better differentiated along the way ... and I can see my strengths despite terrible and hurtful circumstances.

Once I become more fully differentiated and have stable and accurate self-worth (after the grenade) ... I am then in the position to identify
healthy choices.

I can honestly say that I will be a sensational woman within this marriage... or after this marriage terminates.

I think I finally understand what I went through. I understand that I am the better woman for it. I understand my spouse is the better man for it.

That is a powerful message to myself.

The anxiety that floods the betrayed spouse is the perceived loss of identity .

Self worth and a differentiated identity is the harvest of plan A .

I think I get it now.

Best to all of you travelers on this journey!

And now, I can bookmark this thread instead of searching for it every time...
kiss

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Oh lord, my husband said those exact words when I discovered his affair! We had a fantastic marriage, yet he said he wasn't happy. Well, if he wasn't happy no one got the memo! It was a shock to me, friends, family and kids. It is their way of justifying their behavior. Be prepared to hear them say those horrible words over and over after exposure. It will get worse before it gets better...


Me: 34yrs
OM #1 ONS July 2010
OM #2 internet/text EA (9/10-2/11)

He: WH 38 yrs
OW#1 Former friend, 7 month EA & PA 1/11-7/11
OW#2 Ex-GF, 1 month phone/ FB EA & ONS 7/11

Recovering MB Online!


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Originally Posted by Down_in_Az
Who should I expose tonight? Threaten to tell the kids? I tried confront him (calling via skype). I have email, do I email him?

Do I start calling people tonight? Threaten to call? Email people? Help...

Don't do anything tonight but quietly put together a list of exposure targets to call and email TOMORROW. Don't ever threaten to expose because that would be giving away your game plan. Don't tell your wife your plans. Be pleasant and say nothing to give away your plan.

I WOULD sit the kids down alone tonight and tell them all about the affair. Let them know you are home now to protect your family.

Don't email the OM.


"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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As a side note, in my State, Oregon, the judge does frown upon exposing to children. Grrr...oh well, too late smile


Me: 34yrs
OM #1 ONS July 2010
OM #2 internet/text EA (9/10-2/11)

He: WH 38 yrs
OW#1 Former friend, 7 month EA & PA 1/11-7/11
OW#2 Ex-GF, 1 month phone/ FB EA & ONS 7/11

Recovering MB Online!


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Originally Posted by TexasSun
As a side note, in my State, Oregon, the judge does frown upon exposing to children. Grrr...oh well, too late smile

Anyone who would use that as an excuse to lie to children is a poor example of a parent and is guilty of dereliction of duty. We parents don't answer to judges for our parenting; we are ultimately responsible for our children and how they are raised.


"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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Down,

I know you want to do something right now. But the best advice is to slow down and come up with a plan. Read what pepperband and Melody wrote above. Here is the link to Wat's guidelines.

WAT's Quick Start Guidelines for Betrayed Spouses

Without a plan your going into this fight blind. Follow the advice of the experts and they will guide you through this. Get some dinner, talk to your kids and then try to get some sleep tonight.

Last edited by PhrogDriver; 05/11/11 08:22 PM.

Me DH 39
WW 45 EA/PA LTR
DD2 6 yrs old
Divorced 2000

Cypress


I believe God challenges us with every crisis. Its more than just choosing good over evil, we have to learn and grow along the way.
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Amen. I'd like to see that in court. Anywhoo...

Down, stick with the advice here, OK? Take a breather, and plan for tomorrow. No need to go off half-cocked. Better to plan and calmly follow through. You have great advice here, but hear it as best you can rationally and calmly, OK? ASAP means just that...do it right, and do it quickly. That doesn't mean this very minute in a frantic way. Take a sec and maybe get a good nights rest and be fresh on Thursday.

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Phrog and I crossed over. Agree! Get some sleep, my friend. Tomorrow you go to war.

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DIZ,

If you're not sure you have enough info on the POSOM, here's another website to try: Net Detective .

It's not free ($29.00), but it gave me a wealth of information that turned out to be crucial.

Hang in there, and listen to the vets on this site -- they know what they're talking about.

Last edited by AheadOfTheCurve; 05/11/11 10:39 PM. Reason: Fixing error in price

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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