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It was suggested I do a recovery thread since H and I are now into 9 months of recovery in the MB at home program. This is the *short* version. OK, so, not so short - but shorter than reading through my whole thread in the SAA forum. crazy

After 19+ years of marriage my husband up and told me in April 2010 that he was no longer in love with me. He claimed there was no one else, and that he knew he would never have "those feelings" for me again. Thankfully, I had read (years ago) James Dobson's book, Love Must be Tough - a GREAT book about the psychology of relationships and what to do and not do in marital crisis. Because of this, I was able to respond appropriately to H's bomb and NOT react emotionally. This was key, I feel, in eventually reconciling. Dr. Harley's works are a lot more specific in dealing with all of this, but Dobson helped me get the tough love mindset, being that I had no knowledge of Dr. Harley's works at the time.

Needless to say, I was shell-shocked by this bomb. It came out of nowhere for me at the time. In hindsight, I should've seen the warning signs that something was amiss. I immediately went to work on myself. Unknowingly I was in Plan A in MB terms. I did this for several months and even went back to school to finish my degree.

At the beginning of June, I discovered a very sexual text message H sent to me by mistake that was supposed to go to OW! Now, I had searched and searched for proof that there was someone else prior to this, but found nothing concrete. I'd seen some facebook messages I didn't like, but nothing incriminating. I immediately confronted H about it. He stated it was nothing - that it didn't matter anyway because he was planning on leaving. Basically, I said, "there's the door." I thought at the time because I'd stood tall against having a third party in my marriage and told him he was free to go and he chose not to, that he was ready to work on saving our marriage and give it a chance. I started counseling. He went once. That should've spoke to me louder than it did at the time.

At the end of July, we went to a "save your marriage" workshop held by New Beginnings. He didn't want to go but supposedly was working on the marriage at the time, so he grudgingly went with some pushing from our 3 kids. At the end of it, he was still unwilling to commit to the future of our relationship. Once again, I told him he was free to go if he wanted out and was not willing to look for hope that we could have a better life. Once again, he chose not to go. I was fortunate that New Beginnings uses a lot of Harley's works, including Fall In Love, Stay in Love.

After that, I started seeing some small improvements in H's behavior. He wasn't "back" but he was trying. Well, I now realize he was trying only so I wouldn't make him leave. He was torn. He didn't want to leave his kids and didn't want to be the bad guy by leaving me, but he was entangled in an affair. I found that out the beginning of October. (NEVER ignore that gut feeling and gather every bit of intel you can!)

Once I'd gathered the proof I needed, I confronted H about the OW. A big fight ensued and I gave him an ultimatum: end the affair, commit to saving the marriage, or go. He left. Within 2 days I exposed the affair to our 3 children (late teens) and found information on the OW and exposed to her husband's brother and sister-in-law and others I'd found on facebook. (I could not get direct contact info on the OWH.) H was LIVID, needless to say. I got text messages, emails, and phone calls that made my hair stand on end!!! However, within days the affair ended. H wanted to go to counseling. Then he said he wanted to work things out. After much discussion and boundaries set, H moved back home late November. We are now happily reconciling using the Marriage Builders at home program. LOVE it! There are challenges, for sure, but it is well worth it and I couldn't ask for things to be going better at this point.

I truly believe there were many keys to me maintaining my sanity and ability to lead us back from the brink of divorce:

#1: God gave me strength I never thought I could have. I prayed A LOT and read a lot of scripture that was very fortifying and encouraging.

#2: God put people in my life to provide support. It took some hand-holding to get through exposure, and the people here at MB were vital to me! Also, I got "real life" support through friends. I didn't tell everyone I know, but a few key friends I knew were pro-marriage and had my best interests at heart.

#3: I took care of myself and my kids. I took a hard look at what H had to say were my faults and realized some of those were true and I needed to change. I did and still am. I started taking better care of myself physically - exercising and eating right. I had heart to hearts with my 3 kids about what I needed to improve in my relationships with them. I became a more positive person. I also went to the doctor and was put on a very mild anti-depressant (short-term) to help me cope.

#4: Getting a life of my own helped give me the confidence I needed to overcome my feelings of how to react in my situation: to do what was best instead of how I felt - and overcome my fears in doing so. It also helped me start realizing my own self worth again!

#5: I absorbed the information from the forums and books. I thought it all through and employed what I felt best for my marriage. Harley's program made sense to me. Mainly, I think the principles I hung on to were that respect is at the bottom of every relationship. If you don't respect yourself, your spouse will not either. If your spouse does not respect you, he or she cannot love you!

I think "tough love" is also at the basis for every good method of dealing with all of this. You have to be tough - to hold your spouse accountable and maintain the line of self respect. However, you also have to be loving: anything you do that is mean, vindictive, or out of anger and lashing out is counter-productive. Finding the balance is HARD at times! Someone once called it being a "quiet warrior." I like that term. If you follow the plan and get good advice, it helps you find that balance.

If you are dealing with infidelity, you simply CAN NOT save your marriage with the 3rd person in it! You must get rid of that person in order to begin recovery of any sorts. Thus, you have to let go, set your spouse free, and by all means, expose the affair if it will do any good in your situation to end it. (I say the if part in that last sentence because this HAS to be done in the right way.) I was very fortunate to have someone lead me through this process step by step and others holding my hand while I did so.

Lastly, whatever you do, you must have WISE counsel throughout it all. Not all therapists are equal and not all advice is equal. Another must - getting past your fears of pushing your partner further away in the most trying circumstances. It's not for sissies! If you just look for people who tell you what you want to hear instead of what you need to hear, you'll never make it.

I'm sure after writing this I'll think of 10 other things to say. If you have any questions, let me know - I'm glad to help others through this very tough time.

If you are interested in more specifics, you can find them on my thread, here: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2435323#Post2435323


"The #1 reason why people give up so quickly is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, rather than how far they've gotten."

Me, FBW(46) H, FWH (43)
M - 21 yrs & counting
D (20)
S (18)
S (16)
Surviving and Thriving since November 2010 thanks to MB!
My Recovery Thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2538986#Post2538986
My Original Thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2457141&page=1

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So a 10-to-12 month EA/PA was blown up within two days of exposure? I will bookmark your story, Sunny, and send every tremulous "Should-I-really-do-that?" BH right here. Hope you can handle the traffic!

Thanx for sharing the summary.

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Originally Posted by NeverGuessed
So a 10-to-12 month EA/PA was blown up within two days of exposure? I will bookmark your story, Sunny, and send every tremulous "Should-I-really-do-that?" BH right here. Hope you can handle the traffic!

Thanx for sharing the summary.
Dang, she done good, didn't she? hurray


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Yes... it did not take long and anyone who doubts whether or not they should expose should be given my story!

I know not everything works as quickly as it did in my sitch, but I was glad I followed the right advice despite the apprehension I felt.

YES, they really should do it! And I can handle the traffic. smile



"The #1 reason why people give up so quickly is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, rather than how far they've gotten."

Me, FBW(46) H, FWH (43)
M - 21 yrs & counting
D (20)
S (18)
S (16)
Surviving and Thriving since November 2010 thanks to MB!
My Recovery Thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2538986#Post2538986
My Original Thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2457141&page=1

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YES, they really should do it! And I can handle the traffic.
Hey, Sunny - I think it would be great if you could occasionally check out the SAA threads. We get sooo many betrayeds who are afraid to expose and need help wrapping their minds around the concept! Comments from survivors who followed the plan are always helpful!


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Originally Posted by maritalbliss
Quote
YES, they really should do it! And I can handle the traffic.
Hey, Sunny - I think it would be great if you could occasionally check out the SAA threads. We get sooo many betrayeds who are afraid to expose and need help wrapping their minds around the concept! Comments from survivors who followed the plan are always helpful!

Sure thing, MB.


"The #1 reason why people give up so quickly is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, rather than how far they've gotten."

Me, FBW(46) H, FWH (43)
M - 21 yrs & counting
D (20)
S (18)
S (16)
Surviving and Thriving since November 2010 thanks to MB!
My Recovery Thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2538986#Post2538986
My Original Thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2457141&page=1

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I had a question I wondered if anyone could help me with. I still feel stuck on the affair in some ways - or possibly, even more these past few weeks than while in early recovery. I don't know if it is PTSD or if it's a normal phase or what! When H and I first reconciled, I didn't think much about what he and OW did. When we discussed the affair, I wasn't one who wanted a lot of details. I got all the basics and that was all I really wanted to know. Didn't want to hear about what positions they tried or if he said ILY ... where they went... none of that. I know myself and I have a hard time letting go of some things. Also, I felt the less specifics I knew, the easier it would be to forgive H.

Well, the last several weeks, the OW has been popping up in my mind more than ever. I've been wondering about just what they did all weekend when he flew off to see her those weekends. I thought the answer was for H and I to go back and redo some of the workbook things. You know - focus on OUR relationship - on making it better - and the triggers would subside. It hasn't helped.

I don't get it: our relationship is going really good! We're spending at least 15 hours together a week UA, meeting needs, avoiding LBs... but the thoughts just pop in my head at the strangest times!

H has been very good about being there for me when I trigger. I can't say we talk a lot about it. I try very hard to not commit LBs when my mind goes to that bad place.

I know time is the answer, but I just think I need better ways to cope... I don't know.


"The #1 reason why people give up so quickly is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, rather than how far they've gotten."

Me, FBW(46) H, FWH (43)
M - 21 yrs & counting
D (20)
S (18)
S (16)
Surviving and Thriving since November 2010 thanks to MB!
My Recovery Thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2538986#Post2538986
My Original Thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2457141&page=1

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Originally Posted by SunnyDinTX
Well, the last several weeks, the OW has been popping up in my mind more than ever. I've been wondering about just what they did all weekend when he flew off to see her those weekends. I thought the answer was for H and I to go back and redo some of the workbook things. You know - focus on OUR relationship - on making it better - and the triggers would subside. It hasn't helped.

Hi Sunny! I am of two minds here. When a BS doesn't have all the facts, she tends to get STUCK wondering what happened. Do you need to know what happened? For me, I would need all those facts in order to move on.

On the other hand, you are going to think about it. That is part of recovery and is an expectation the first year especially. The thoughts fade in the second year.

Do you need those facts filled in to move on?


"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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I honestly didn't think I did need to know. I weighed what I *had* to know at the time with the things that I was better off leaving alone, and felt at peace with the discussions. However, being that I'm feeling stuck, I'm not sure if I got enough info or not.

As you can imagine, H had no desire to share things unless I forced the issue - as most fws's don't. He made it clear that he was willing to talk about whatever it took for me to heal, but his thoughts were that details would make things worse for me.

I'm not sure right now if I need more information to recover, or if it's just the thought of the "anniversaries" coming up that are causing so much triggering. This time last year is when things began to heat up and I discovered the affair in early October, etc...

I'm not at the point where I want to insist on more info, but I don't want to remain stuck either.


"The #1 reason why people give up so quickly is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, rather than how far they've gotten."

Me, FBW(46) H, FWH (43)
M - 21 yrs & counting
D (20)
S (18)
S (16)
Surviving and Thriving since November 2010 thanks to MB!
My Recovery Thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2538986#Post2538986
My Original Thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2457141&page=1

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Sunny,

It sounds as if you don't really want any additional information. Rather, the anti-versaries are coming up and triggering you. The one year marks were tough for me. It gets better though.

I will look for and bump Mark's thread on memory management. It is an excellent thread about why triggers happen and approaches to managing them.

AM


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WH - 60
M - 35 years
D-day - 17 Apr 08
DD - 44, DS - 30, DS - 23
H broke contact 11/1/09
Back in love after the worst thing that every happened to us.
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Originally Posted by SunnyDinTX
I'm not at the point where I want to insist on more info, but I don't want to remain stuck either.

I would need to know in order to move on. Otherwise, I would wonder and wonder and the wondering would drive me crazy. I suspect this might be happening to you. It is going to hurt short term to hear it, but I think it will help you move forward. Just his willingness to tell you everything will go a very long way. It is hard to rebuild trust when there are secrets between the OW and your H to which you are not privy. If you do this, I would promise to never bring it again.


"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 had to know everything as well. I agree with Mel in that your H's willingness to tell you will go a long way.

AM


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Good thoughts! Thanks for weighing in AM, and thanks to you, as always, Mel. smile

I guess the thing is, you never really *want* to hear more, but weighing what not knowing will do to you and your marriage is important. It doesn't help that many MCs and things you find on the web actually discourage talking about the details! I know H brought that up in the past. He knows we are sticking with the MB program, but did some research himself on the subject and doesn't get that most marriage counseling sucks. A lot of them recommend not discussing specifics. It wasn't a big deal at the time since I didn't want them anyway, but lets face it: most MCs are dealing with theory.

I like the anti-versaries term!

We have a very busy next few days - going out of town for the weekend and such. I want to consider everything carefully and approach it all in the right manner, for myself and the marriage and will revisit it early next week.

My fear is, what if I hear all the dirty details and then it haunts me even more - forever?! What if knowing more doesn't resolve my stuck-ness and makes it worse? You can't unhear what you've heard and I'm very cognizant of that.


"The #1 reason why people give up so quickly is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, rather than how far they've gotten."

Me, FBW(46) H, FWH (43)
M - 21 yrs & counting
D (20)
S (18)
S (16)
Surviving and Thriving since November 2010 thanks to MB!
My Recovery Thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2538986#Post2538986
My Original Thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2457141&page=1

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SDIT, do you remeber the old mind-game where somebody tells you, "Whatever you do, don't think of elephants!"

Well, sadly you own psyche may well be telling you, "Whatever you do, don't think of dates, times, positions, and acts that defined your WH's affair."

I'd suggest waiting out the anti-versary period, and see if the "mind-movies" reduce. If not, you probably will have to kill them with your WH's aid. Think of ripping off a scab on a seriously infected wound to excise the infection, and start the true healing. It will hurt like hell.....and then it won't.

But let's be crystal clear on this: He gets NO say in what you tell him you need to know, in what format, or to what level of detail.

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NG, that's a good way to look at it. I keep wanting so much to not think about things that I'm thinking about them, you're right.

I know H won't want to talk about it again, but I also know he is willing to do whatever necessary. I used to think it was all about him: not wanting to face up to what he did. Part of me even worried at times that it was because he still romanticized the affair. Now, however, with all he has done and has been willing to do, I see it differently. I think now it truly does hurt him to see me hurt - and to know he caused it is very hard on him.

I also know in Mr. Sunny's mind that if he hadn't "truly thought our marriage was over" he would've never gone to see OW and had the PA. We haven't talked about this in a long time - but I want to make sure he understands, without a shadow of a doubt, that had he not started emailing and chatting it up with her, he would've never felt our "marriage was over" to begin with. He would've never started to develop the feelings that started making his psyche start to view me so terribly in the first place to justify his EA he was conducting via email/facebook. He knows he can't text/email/message/chat up other women at all now, without my knowledge...but I keep asking myself if he really understands that his negative feelings towards our marriage came from his inappropriate behavior in the first place. Not saying I was perfect or our marriage was either, pre-crisis, but had he not started down that path he wouldn't have had to negate me to justify his starting all that up.


"The #1 reason why people give up so quickly is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, rather than how far they've gotten."

Me, FBW(46) H, FWH (43)
M - 21 yrs & counting
D (20)
S (18)
S (16)
Surviving and Thriving since November 2010 thanks to MB!
My Recovery Thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2538986#Post2538986
My Original Thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2457141&page=1

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I think now it truly does hurt him to see me hurt - and to know he caused it is very hard on him.

Fully a year after our "crisis", my bride and I were joking about something silly that she did (I think it was locking her keys in the car), and she started to talk, turned deathly pale and started crying.

I finally pried it out of her that in response to my jibing, she was about to answer, "Well, it doesn't mean I'm not a good person," when she self-interrupted her thought train, and told herself, "You are NOT a good person, and can never again consider yourself one, after your actions."

As much as we BSs suffer through discovery and initial recovery, when the WS finally "gets it", I wouldn't trade our pain for theirs if you threw in all of Solomon's treasure. That said, I reiterate that he MUST accede to your request for whatever "history" you may require.

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Originally Posted by SunnyDinTX
My fear is, what if I hear all the dirty details and then it haunts me even more - forever?! What if knowing more doesn't resolve my stuck-ness and makes it worse? You can't unhear what you've heard and I'm very cognizant of that.

It is not usually the knowing that gets people stuck, but the not knowing. When you have the facts, you are able to put everything into perspective. Your mind seeks to do this when you have a trauma. But when you don't have the facts, you continually wonder and stay stuck because of the inability to put the puzzle together. Putting the puzzle together allows you to come to terms with it and it is at that point that ones moves onto the next phase of recovery.

The ones who don't move on are the ones that don't have enough facts to complete the picture. It might be that you don't have a complete picture yet.


"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 NeverGuessed
I think now it truly does hurt him to see me hurt - and to know he caused it is very hard on him.

Fully a year after our "crisis", my bride and I were joking about something silly that she did (I think it was locking her keys in the car), and she started to talk, turned deathly pale and started crying.

I finally pried it out of her that in response to my jibing, she was about to answer, "Well, it doesn't mean I'm not a good person," when she self-interrupted her thought train, and told herself, "You are NOT a good person, and can never again consider yourself one, after your actions."

As much as we BSs suffer through discovery and initial recovery, when the WS finally "gets it", I wouldn't trade our pain for theirs if you threw in all of Solomon's treasure. That said, I reiterate that he MUST accede to your request for whatever "history" you may require.

Hmmm...it may take awhile for me to actually want to "trade pains" with him. BUT...I guess you're right: when a good person does something as horrific as to betray their loved ones, it's gotta hit deep down.

I'm sure shame is a driving force - to not want to go into the details again. However, I do believe he will tell all I ask for even if he doesn't want to. I will make sure I don't harp on it. As Mel said - a one time thing, get it all out - be done with it.

I hate opening the wound back up but you know what? I don't want to stay stuck forever. Honestly - I think what he will tell me is probably not as bad as what I've got in my mind. I think that's the difference between a FWS and FBS: the FWS thinks we aren't imagining the worst, and more than likely, we are.

Timing will be important here.


"The #1 reason why people give up so quickly is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, rather than how far they've gotten."

Me, FBW(46) H, FWH (43)
M - 21 yrs & counting
D (20)
S (18)
S (16)
Surviving and Thriving since November 2010 thanks to MB!
My Recovery Thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2538986#Post2538986
My Original Thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2457141&page=1

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Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Originally Posted by SunnyDinTX
My fear is, what if I hear all the dirty details and then it haunts me even more - forever?! What if knowing more doesn't resolve my stuck-ness and makes it worse? You can't unhear what you've heard and I'm very cognizant of that.

It is not usually the knowing that gets people stuck, but the not knowing. When you have the facts, you are able to put everything into perspective. Your mind seeks to do this when you have a trauma. But when you don't have the facts, you continually wonder and stay stuck because of the inability to put the puzzle together. Putting the puzzle together allows you to come to terms with it and it is at that point that ones moves onto the next phase of recovery.

The ones who don't move on are the ones that don't have enough facts to complete the picture. It might be that you don't have a complete picture yet.

I do have the big picture, but it isn't all in focus, perhaps. I know who, how long, how many times he went to see her, their background together, how they started up, and the general nature of things. I know she told him her H was abusive (GAG) and what all he told her about our life. I read emails between the two of them so I know the nature of their conversations. Of course, I didn't read all emails - just some. (I wouldn't want to read all.)

What I don't know are the small details: you know, sexual positions...where he took her for dinner (assuming they went out) did she spend the night with him or did she go back to her husband since they were in her town? I never asked the questions such as, "What was it like?" because I really didn't want to know. I also never asked the "feelings" questions: how did he make her feel or vice versa...I didn't want to help romanticize the darn thing!

Does that help clarify?

Last edited by SunnyDinTX; 08/31/11 04:25 PM.

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Originally Posted by SunnyDinTX
What I don't know are the small details: you know, sexual positions...where he took her for dinner (assuming they went out) did she spend the night with him or did she go back to her husband since they were in her town? I never asked the questions such as, "What was it like?" because I really didn't want to know. Does that help clarify?

Now see, these questions are in a very different category in my mind. For example, sexual positions and "what was it like" are not really something I would need to know to complete the picture, but where they ate and if they spent the night together would be relevant facts I would need to know to get the full picture. Why don't you just ask him tonight?


"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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