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My husband had a five month affair during a troubled time in our marriage. I do believe the affair is over and we have gained strides in repairing our marriage. I have prayed so much for the ability to forgive and am getting there. I do love my husband and want our marriage as does he. I need advice on how to overcome the immense emotional pain I still feel (five months later) when triggered by thoughts of his affair or when going by places within our city where I know "they" were together.

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SM4,

Was the OW married, how did your WH meet this OW, how close do you live to her now?

Have you gotten a polygraph for your WH?

Did your WH get tested for STDs?

God Bless
Gamma

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Originally Posted By: sm4
My husband had a five month affair during a troubled time in our marriage. I do believe the affair is over and we have gained strides in repairing our marriage. I have prayed so much for the ability to forgive and am getting there. I do love my husband and want our marriage as does he. I need advice on how to overcome the immense emotional pain I still feel (five months later) when triggered by thoughts of his affair or when going by places within our city where I know "they" were together.


sm4, the best way to recover is to remove as many triggers as possible. Many of us have moved to other cities and experienced enormous relief and great recoveries in our marriages.

One way a betrayed spouse can stay perpetually triggered is when the marriage is not affair proofed. If the environment that led to the affair is not changed, you will stay triggered and will likely experience repeat affairs.

Has he ended all contact with the OW? Is she anywhere close by? What has been to protect you from a repeat?

Additionally, I would suggest you get the book Surviving an Affair if you want to recover your marriage. There is a very narrow path back and most do not make it because they don't follow these steps. You can have a great marriage if you do. Check out this thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2695379#Post2695379


"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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Surviving an affair is an amazing book and it helped me enormously.

One suggestion in the book is to have your husband write you a love letter. You can read this when the triggers make you feel despair and pain.

Another suggestion is to have a jar where you can put your thoughts and questions so your husband doesn't always feel like he is under attack, but you don't feel silenced. I always put three good ones in for every one that reflects the pain and betrayal I feel. He replies with notes that make me feel loved. It helps a lot and also keeps us from having these uncomfortable discussions all the time, which can be tiring for your husband.

Lastly there is a little script in the book for helping to divert painful and irrational thoughts. I put it into my phone and every time I have one of these trigger moments, I fill in the form and save the note. It is making me feel much, much more in control of my emotions and also, more connected to reality instead of to my bad thoughts and imaginations.

I think if you want to reclaim your town and move around it without pain that you should be able to do that and your husband needs to do whatever it takes to help you get there.

I think it gets better. You just can't give up on trying to find what works.

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Thank you everyone. I will try all of these suggestions and read that book!

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The OW does not live in the same state as we do. She was an old friend of his. He says he has told her he wants our family back and has shown me that he does. There is no trace of her around anymore.

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Originally Posted By: sm4
The OW does not live in the same state as we do. She was an old friend of his. He says he has told her he wants our family back and has shown me that he does. There is no trace of her around anymore.


Will he write the NC letter?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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What is the NC letter?

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Originally Posted By: sm4
What is the NC letter?


NC letter is a No Contact Letter:

Originally Posted By: JustUss
(From SAA, page 58)

OW,
I want you to know that out of respect and love for my Wife (W) and children, I have come to realize that I must never see or talk with you again. My relationship with you was a cruel indulgence that W did not deserve. While I cannot completely repay W for the pain I have caused her, I will do my best to become the husband she has been missing. I care a great deal for my family and I would not want to do anything to risk their happiness. I will not make any further contact with you and I do not want you to make any contact with me. Please respect my desire to end our relationship.

Sincerely, Husband


He would write it in his own handwriting, you approve it and mail.


Married 1980
DDay Nov 2010

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This is so difficult. That said and I hear and feel your pain,your husband must agree to the Extraordinary Precautions rule and absolute transparency regarding his emails, phones, and his whereabouts daily. he created the situation of lies so he must work with you and help your situation by doing what you ask. We were doing the transparency, still are, and the extraordinary precautions, and then he slipped up and spoke to the OW when my back was turned. I was in the same place but did not find this out until next day via pictures someone posted innocently on Facebook. I was devastated all over again. He forgot our EP rule and actually said he does not remember that we agreed to such! Wow. Didn't I feel frustrated, angry and hopeless for recovery! I remained calm, did not accept his excuse for talking with OW one bit. Why do it? To me it was reckless and uncaring and hurtful. He apologized but at the moment then after seeing the pictures in fornt of me, I calmly shut off FB and left house for the day.Not angrily. Just saying I had no words at the moment but I was hurt beyond belief. When I returned home, we discussed it further. The bottom line in my humble opinion is unless a person has been betrayed themselves, they do not know the pain it causes and the havoc it wrecks upon a relationship. having been through this before with him many years ago, it remains a heartbreak one does not get over easily. To walk in another's shoes is a concept my husband cannot fathom. Humility is not in his world of reason. As Dr. Harley says, to be forgiven comes much much later. The spouse that betrays must do the steps to recovery first. We are doing that now, in spite of the recent setback. He promises to read the books.I have not brought up the OW or the emotional and probably physical affair of last summer, when we were separated. In my eyes we were still married. In his, no. It was too soon and not at all appropriate to begin a relationship with another woman then. But in fact he did. Will we recover? If he reads the books, does the program with me. He has gone on the radio show twice. Just last week after this setback and Dr. Harley spoke mainly to him during the show. Because I am already on board with the program for quite some time. And, I cannot do it alone. We talk about life and our grown children, plans for outings together, and the future. But quite frankly, I am sad, do not feel amorous towards him, and feel like a fool. A fool who believed he was with me on this program to recovery. Sow e shall see... I hope you have as I do, good loyal girlfriends who you can turn to at this difficult time. My salvation has been this forum, Dr.Harley and Joyce who have been so helpful and speak straight talk. Plus I know at my age, 56, I will not settle for crumbs. I deserve much more, and so do you. Do I want to get divorced? No. Nor do I want to remain in a marriage by myself either. That is more lonely. Keep the faith, and take good care of yourself. Cry when you need to. Be gentle with yourself. What has also been healing is the exposure. My kids who are grown know the truth. he cannot spin it anymore like he did last year.My mother knows, his family of origin and mine know. Our friends know. The fake friends we have let go. They were not supportive of my decision to leave last year. So they get no friendship from me.good luck!

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Originally Posted By: sm4
What is the NC letter?

Originally Posted By: Dr. Harley

My advice is to write a final letter in a way that the victimized spouse would agree to send it. It should begin with a statement of how selfish it was to cause those they loved so much pain, and while marital reconciliation cannot completely repay the offense, it's the right thing to do. A statement should be made about how much the unfaithful spouse cares about his spouse and family, and for their protection, has decided to completely end the relationship with the lover. He or she has promised never to see or communicate with the lover again in life, and asks the lover to respect that promise. Nothing should be said about how much the lover will be missed. After the letter is written, the victimized spouse should read and approve it before it is sent

How Affairs Should End


[from SAA, pg 58]

OW, I want you to know that out of respect and love for my wife and children, I have come to realize that I must never see or talk to you again. My relationship with you was a cruel indulgence that BS did not deserve. While I cannot completely repay BS for the pain I caused her, I will do my best to become the husband she has been missing. I care a great deal for my family and I would not want to do anything to risk their happiness. I will not make any further contact with you and I do not want you to make any contact with me. Please respect my desire to end our relationship.

Sincerely, XXXXX


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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**edit**

Last edited by MBsurvivor; 09/19/13 08:49 PM. Reason: TOS non MB advice

Learning to be a real person.
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Please familiarize yourself with Marriage Builders concepts before posting. The purpose of the forum is to help posters understand and implement those concepts. Thank you


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Wow can I relate to you. I too am 56 years old. I can so see that no one else really does understand this pain unless they have experienced it. No one understands my even considering staying in this marriage. I chose to remember the good we have had and want that back and am willing to do whatever it takes to rebuild our marriage. My husband says the same but of course my trust level is non existent. My husband's affair happened when we were separated also due to other marital problems. But we had made a pact to give ourselves a year to work on the problems in our marriage with a goal towards reconciliation. We made a pact to not "date" anyone else during that time. My husband remembered everything else about our pact except the dating part.... so he says. My friends and family do not understand how I could even consider reconciliation. Most times I don't either. I feel so much for you given that you have had to go through this heartbreak more than once. I've ordered the book "Surviving the Affair" and am really hoping to find a plan of action in that book. I know I can't do this on my own. I struggle every single day. My husband used to be my go to guy when I needed solace. But now his actions are the cause of more pain than I have ever experienced in my life. He is doing everything he can to be there for me and is open to whatever I want to talk about. But it doesn't seem enough to get me out of this depression. Thank you for sharing your story. It does help to find others who genuinely understand and care.

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Will he write the NC letter?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.




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