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Hey all... new here. I'm a FWS (H). Long story made incredibly short: Long term family of origin and boundary problems plus me mishandling issues in the marriage resulted in me having two PAs this summer (one lasting a month, the other a one night drunk thing). I didn't realize what the hell I was doing until my W and I were separated for a month (I had asked for space to figure out what was happening with me), then it hit me that I was operating under thinking errors, emotional swings, and alcohol induced thoughtlessness... I believe some call it "the fog" (looking back on it, I was not the person I know myself to be). When I realized this, I ended the A and attempted to come back home and restore the marriage. BS (W) would not take me back. She had just started a 180 (even though she didn't know about the PA). She asked about A, and I told her of both. This was 3 months ago. I've since been open/transparent, doing all that I can to meet her needs, we're in MC, I'm in IC, I've stopped drinking, I've made other amends and protective measures (stopped all opposite sex friend contact, stopped opportunities for any inappropriate encounters), but she is still saying she is ambivalent to commit to the marriage now. Btw, married 5 years, together 10... no kids.

I know I have a long journey ahead for atonement, but I feel so worried and unsure of what I'm doing. When I say "I love you" or "I miss you," she says "I know." When I express my feelings in the form of wishes/hopes/wants, she says "sorry." She doesn't want to stop living like she is single right now, saying that she doesn't know if she can trust me or forgive me. Our MC is working on us having a dialog about the A and for her to work out her ambivalence.

My question: I know in the case of a BS dealing with a WS, the recommendation is Plan A for a month, and then Plan B after until there is a change. For a FWS dealing with a BS who is ambivalent or having a wayward-mindset and maintaining separation, what then? My impulse is to do Plan A and be contrite for as long as it takes unless I learn she is having an A or is saying she wants D. A few other people in my life say that I should go Plan B/180 (from Divorce Busting) if she doesn't respond to requests to enter mutual agreements about things. I'm confused.

I feel so stupid and ashamed for what I did, and so angry about what my life looks like now. I feel so sad, angry, and disappointed with what I did to her, but I know I won't let this happen again. I've learned my lesson, and am installing practices and safeguards in my life so this never happens again. I feel so lonely, sad, and worried that those feelings are going to last forever. My relationship/marriage has been such an important part of my life the past 10 years... I can't believe I fell into the A trap. One bad move and the chink in my armor revealed serious flaws in its construction, causing it to fall apart. This is my rock bottom.

What's a FWS to do other than stick to NC for the APs, work on meeting BS needs, be transparent and contrite and remorseful, and work out my own issues that led to this vulnerability in the first place?

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Hi, NoName, welcome to Marriage Builders.

There's a mistake in this sentence:

Originally Posted by NoNameToClaim
Long term family of origin and boundary problems plus me mishandling issues in the marriage resulted in me having two PAs this summer

Let me show you how it looks like without the mistake:

Quote
Long term family of origin and boundary problems plus me mishandling issues in the marriage resulted in me having two PAs this summer

You are not safe for your wife if you aren't clear on how affairs start. Can you send her here to post so we can help her?

It doesn't sound like your counselors are doing a lot of good if you still feel you need to "work out my own issues that led to the affair." They should be explaining to you that we are all wired for affairs and would all have an affair under certain circumstances, and teaching you how to live with extraordinary precautions that will make an affair impossible.

Also, I would drop the contrite and remorseful. Most waywards become major drama queens trying to emote their way to a recovered marriage. That isn't attractive at all and won't give your wife a reason to want to stay - it just reminds her why she wants to leave. If you have revealed to your wife every bit of information you know about yourself and your history, then don't dwell on the mistakes of the past. Instead, tell her you want to be married to her and make her happy, and then do it.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted by NoNameToClaim
Our MC is working on us having a dialog about the A and for her to work out her ambivalence.

I don't think your marriage counselor knows what he or she is doing, then. Having a dialog about the affair? Is there anything you haven't told your wife at this point? If so, tell her. Otherwise, don't have a dialog about the affair.

As for your wife's feelings, it is up to you to change those, using the principle of the Love Bank. OF COURSE she feels ambivalent. She should not be trying to force herself to feel different; instead, you should be providing her extraordinary care and letting her decide for herself whether she wants to stay with you or not.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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alcohol induced thoughtlessness

Are you an alcoholic? Have you ever been drunk?


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted by NoNameToClaim
What's a FWS to do other than stick to NC for the APs, work on meeting BS needs, be transparent and contrite and remorseful, and work out my own issues that led to this vulnerability in the first place?

Were your affair partners married or have a boyfriend at the time? If so, have you told those BS, and appologized for ruining that relationship/family?

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A few other people in my life say that I should go Plan B/180 (from Divorce Busting) if she doesn't respond to requests to enter mutual agreements about things.
There is absolutely no reason for you to be going to Plan B. The 180 (which is not the same thing as Plan B), will not win her back to you.


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This checklist is from Dr. Harley's book Surviving an Affair. What has been done on it? What is left to be done?

From Surviving an Affair, pg 66-67

The extraordinary precautions do more than end marriage-threatening affairs; they help a couple form the kind of relationship they always wanted.

These recommendations may seem rigid, unnecessarily confining, and even paranoid to those who have not been the victim of infidelity. But people like Sue and Jon, who have suffered unimaginable pain as a result of an affair that spun out of control, can easily see their value. For the inconvenience of following my advice, Sue would have spared herself and Jon the very worst experience of their lives.

Checklist for How Affairs Should End

_____The unfaithful spouse should reveal information about the affair to the betrayed spouse.

_____The unfaithful spouse should make a commitment to the betrayed spouse to never see or talk to the lover OP again.

_____The unfaithful spouse should write a letter to the lover OP ending the relationship and send it with the approval of the betrayed spouse.

_____The unfaithful spouse should take extraordinary precautions to guarantee total separation from the lover OP:

_____Block potential communication with the lover OP (change e-mail address and home and cell phone numbers, and close all social networking accounts; have voice messages and mail monitored by the betrayed spouse).

_____Account for time (betrayed spouse and wayward spouse give each other a twenty-four-hour daily schedule with locations and telephone numbers).

_____Account for money (betrayed spouse and wayward spouse give each other a complete account of all money spent).

_____Spend leisure time together.

_____Change jobs and relocate if necessary.

_____Avoid overnight separation.

_____Allow technical accountability.

_____Expose affair to family members, clergy, and/or friends.


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Hi NoName, welcome to Marriage Builders. You are in the right place. Dr. Harley's program is completely different from other programs so the advice you get here will be dramatically different from what you get from a "counselor." Dr. Harley is a clinical psychologist who has specialized in infidelity for 40 years. The difference between his program and others is that his goal is to affair proof the marriage and create a romantic marriage, a better marriage than what preceded the affair.

I will point out some huge red flags I saw in your post.

Originally Posted by NoNameToClaim
She doesn't want to stop living like she is single right now, saying that she doesn't know if she can trust me or forgive me. Our MC is working on us having a dialog about the A and for her to work out her ambivalence.

Talking about the affair after she has all the facts will ruin your chances for recovery. All it does is brings the tragedy of the past into the present and keeps your BS angry. If your counselor is doing this, you should stop going to counseling because this person does not understand how destructive this is. Ask yourself this: do you want to sit in a room and talk about your affairs? Does your wife want to sit in a room and become enraged all over about the worst thing that ever happened to her? Does that make any sense?

Once all the facts are known, it should never be brought up again.

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aying that she doesn't know if she can trust me or forgive me

Your wife should not trust you, nor should she forgive you. Forgiveness is inappropriate and trust is EARNED. Too much trust is what leads to affairs. I would show your wife this article about "forgiveness": Can't We Just Forgive and Forget?

Quote
My question: I know in the case of a BS dealing with a WS, the recommendation is Plan A for a month, and then Plan B after until there is a change. For a FWS dealing with a BS who is ambivalent or having a wayward-mindset and maintaining separation, what then? My impulse is to do Plan A and be contrite for as long as it takes unless I learn she is having an A or is saying she wants D. A few other people in my life say that I should go Plan B/180 (from Divorce Busting) if she doesn't respond to requests to enter mutual agreements about things. I'm confused.

Your impulses are correct and your friends are wrong. Do what you can to attract her back and don't give her ultimatums.

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My relationship/marriage has been such an important part of my life the past 10 years... I can't believe I fell into the A trap. One bad move and the chink in my armor revealed serious flaws in its construction, causing it to fall apart. This is my rock bottom.

Please remember that you are not the victim here and eliminate all self pity. Calling this "one bad move" is an astonishing minimization that should scare her to death.

This "one bad move" was enough to destroy life as she knows it. Is that a big nothing to you?

Quote
What's a FWS to do other than stick to NC for the APs, work on meeting BS needs, be transparent and contrite and remorseful, and work out my own issues that led to this vulnerability in the first place?

The "issues" that led to this were pisspoor boundaries around women. Your family had nothing to do with this. If you are going off to "counseling" to talk about your childhood, I would advise you to knock it off and get serious about saving your marriage. We know why you had an affair: you have poor boundaries. You don't need counseling to know that. And going to an IC to talk about your childhood is a needless distraction at a critical time in your marriage.

Read this:
Originally Posted by Dr Bill Harley, clinical psychologist
"An analysis of the wayward spouse's childhood or emotional state of mind in an effort to discover why he or she would have an affair is distracting and unnecessary. It takes precious time away from finding the real solutions. I know why people have affairs: We are all wired for it. Given certain conditions, we would all do it. Given other conditions, however, none of us would do it. So the goal of the first step is to discover the conditions that made the affair possible and eliminate them.


"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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Thanks for the feedback. I perhaps mispoke: I agree, boundaries are THE critical piece to what happened. Those were first to get rebuilt better than they were before, and those will remain that way, period. I don't mean to sound like I'm minimizing what happened... what I meant by "one bad move" was by weakening one boundary with the first woman, the whole boundary system collapsed until I caught what stupidity I was engaged in. Obviously, it was a series of boundary failures and mistakes of the worst kind. And, no, I'm not sitting around talking about FOO stuff... we're more focused on assertiveness and how to manage conflict now that things are stirred up.

The check list:
Checklist for How Affairs Should End

__X___The unfaithful spouse should reveal information about the affair to the betrayed spouse. (New MC states that sexual details need to be limited to limit PTSD potential... W wants to know EVERYTHING... working on this in therapy. I wouldn't say I've had TT, but because I didn't tell my W every detail, every time she asks for a new detail and I give it, she says I was lying... not sure how to handle that except to talk about details/questions in front of the therapist only)

___X__The unfaithful spouse should make a commitment to the betrayed spouse to never see or talk to the lover OP again.

__X___The unfaithful spouse should write a letter to the lover OP ending the relationship and send it with the approval of the betrayed spouse.

__X___The unfaithful spouse should take extraordinary precautions to guarantee total separation from the lover OP:

___X__Block potential communication with the lover OP (change e-mail address and home and cell phone numbers, and close all social networking accounts; have voice messages and mail monitored by the betrayed spouse).

__X___Account for time (betrayed spouse and wayward spouse give each other a twenty-four-hour daily schedule with locations and telephone numbers).

__X___Account for money (betrayed spouse and wayward spouse give each other a complete account of all money spent).

_____Spend leisure time together. (she's not so keen on this)

__N/A___Change jobs and relocate if necessary

_____Avoid overnight separation. (wife will not have me home. I'm in an apartment that she approved of and I give her the "find my iphone" ability so she can GPS track me if needed/wanted)

__X___Allow technical accountability.

__X___Expose affair to family members, clergy, and/or friends. (my family knows, our therapists know, and some friends know... the new MC advised that we don't tell everyone about this...)

No, I'm not an alcoholic, and, yes, I have been drunk. I have abused alcohol, but it's not a normal thing. Normally a moderate drinker (1-2 drinks max a day, 2-3 days max a week), and abstinent now for 60 days. Alcohol was part of the picture in terms of my boundaries getting bad. Screwed with my impulse control... as alcohol does. Hence, why I've stopped drinking.

My wife hate the idea that we are wired for affairs, and suggests that she is immune from it. She is keeping her close opposite sex friends (who she discusses our marriage with) despite my discomfort with it now that I understand better the dangers. Our MC has stated that OS friends need to be eliminated, but she is refusing to give them up. States "he's the cheater... not me". Also refuses to stop drinking saying "he's the one who messed up... not me." Not sure what to do about that. I am concerned that she is vulnerable to an affair right now, and if not an affair put her into a wayward mindset leading her to the divorce trap.

Thanks for the feedback all. Keep it coming.

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Originally Posted by NoNameToClaim
No, I'm not an alcoholic, and, yes, I have been drunk. I have abused alcohol, but it's not a normal thing. Normally a moderate drinker (1-2 drinks max a day, 2-3 days max a week), and abstinent now for 60 days. Alcohol was part of the picture in terms of my boundaries getting bad. Screwed with my impulse control... as alcohol does. Hence, why I've stopped drinking.

VERY GOOD MOVE. I would suggest you need to abstain from alcohol use for life if you have ever been drunk, especially because you can see it has led to behavior that is very hurtful to your wife. I would suggest that if you ever take another drink you need to get treatment for alcohol addiction.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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NNTC,

You wrote, W wants to know EVERYTHING... working on this in therapy. I wouldn't say I've had TT, but because I didn't tell my W every detail, every time she asks for a new detail and I give it, she says I was lying...

That's radical honesty, and you don't get to choose how much you BW needs to know, just tell her everything, she has the right to divorce you based on those details. And yes it�s trickle truth, you don�t get to keep those details as confidences with you affairs partners. At some point a betrayed spouse will just give up when faced with continual resistance and minimization.

Write down everything in a book allow her to read it. Or allow her to right down tons of questions in a book, and then you write in the answers.

When the therapist is on your side it feels like you are ganging up against her.

Get tested for STDs.

God Bless
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Originally Posted by NoNameToClaim
__X___The unfaithful spouse should reveal information about the affair to the betrayed spouse. (New MC states that sexual details need to be limited to limit PTSD potential... W wants to know EVERYTHING... working on this in therapy. I wouldn't say I've had TT, but because I didn't tell my W every detail, every time she asks for a new detail and I give it, she says I was lying... not sure how to handle that except to talk about details/questions in front of the therapist only)

You need to find an experienced counselor because this one has no idea what he is doing. Your wife will NEVER trust you again if you have secrets to which she is not privy. This should be simple, basic common sense. How dare YOU, the cheater, decide for your victim what she needs to recover? Only your wife can decide that. This is vital information about HER LIFE to which she is entitled. It is being wrongfully withheld from her.

If you want to save your marriage, you need to answer all of her questions completely and honestly, holding nothing back. RADICAL HONESTY. A marriage is not recovered based on DECEIT and withholding information is DECEITFUL.

Originally Posted by Dr Bill Harley, clinical psychologist
"The first step, complete separation from the lover and eliminating the conditions that made the affair possible, requires a complete understanding of the affair. All information regarding the affair must be revealed to the betrayed spouse, including the name of the lover, the conditions that made the affair possible (travel, internet, etc.), the details of what took place during the affair, all correspondence, and anything else that would shed light on the tragedy.

This information is important for two reasons: (1) it creates accountability and transparency, making it essentially impossible for the unfaithful spouse to continue the affair or begin a new one unnoticed, and (2) it creates trust for the betrayed spouse, providing evidence that the affair is over and a new one is unlikely to take its place. The nightmares you experience are likely to continue until you have the facts that will lead to your assurance that your husband can be trusted."


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_____Spend leisure time together. (she's not so keen on this)

I can see why. Why should she waste her time with someone who is not honest about his affairs? She understands the marriage is hopeless.

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__N/A___Change jobs and relocate if necessary

How far away does the OW live?

Quote
__X___Expose affair to family members, clergy, and/or friends. (my family knows, our therapists know, and some friends know... the new MC advised that we don't tell everyone about this...)

More bad advice based on inexperience. The more people who know, the more people to hold you accountable. The affair should be exposed to close family and friends on both sides.

Originally Posted by Dr Bill Harley
"In my experience with thousands of couples who struggle with the fallout of infidelity, exposure has been the single most important first step toward recovery. It not only helps end the affair, but it also provides support to the betrayed spouse, giving him or her stamina to hold out for ultimate recovery."

Quote
My wife hate the idea that we are wired for affairs, and suggests that she is immune from it. She is keeping her close opposite sex friends (who she discusses our marriage with) despite my discomfort with it now that I understand better the dangers. Our MC has stated that OS friends need to be eliminated, but she is refusing to give them up. States "he's the cheater... not me". Also refuses to stop drinking saying "he's the one who messed up... not me." Not sure what to do about that. I am concerned that she is vulnerable to an affair right now, and if not an affair put her into a wayward mindset leading her to the divorce trap.

Yes, she is vulnerable for an affair now. That would be an accurate statement for all betrayed spouses. However, you need to clean up your side of the street and let her worry about hers. She has not even decided to take you back.

Your first step is get honest with her. You can't seriously imagine she will consider taking you back on any other basis.

Please stop the "marriage counseling" and follow the steps in Surviving an Affair. Your "counselor" does not know what he is doing.


"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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Originally Posted by NoNameToClaim
Also refuses to stop drinking saying "he's the one who messed up... not me." Not sure what to do about that.

And she is correct. Don't expect her not to drink when she hasn't acted as you have. If she was a falling down drunk, you may have reason to say something but you are projecting your failure on her.

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I am concerned that she is vulnerable to an affair right now, and if not an affair put her into a wayward mindset leading her to the divorce trap.

She is vulnerable to an affair now. However, I find this disturbing and even insulting as a BS. There is no "divorce trap" for her to fall in. She has every right and reason to divorce you if she chooses. I hope you never utter that phrase to her or imply such a thing. Your adultery would be the reason for a divorce. Her not wanting to be married to you anymore would not make her wayward either.

Welcome to MB

Last edited by black_raven; 12/01/14 11:03 AM.

BW - me
exWH - serial cheater
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We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
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Thanks for the feedback. I haven't suggested she stop drinking... the MC did. And, the "divorce trap" is a term from Divorce Busters... sorry if that came across as insulting.

Truth: I want my marriage to survive and thrive. I am willing to do what is best for the marriage. Our current MC is a Gottman therapist... given the research knowledge supporting Gottman therapists, I'm doing whatever the MC says for now. If what MC suggests doesn't work, then, sure, I'll give some other approach a go. I'm not expert on affairs... nor do I want to be... I wish I never did this in the first place.

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Originally Posted by NoNameToClaim
Thanks for the feedback. I haven't suggested she stop drinking... the MC did. And, the "divorce trap" is a term from Divorce Busters... sorry if that came across as insulting.

Truth: I want my marriage to survive and thrive. I am willing to do what is best for the marriage. Our current MC is a Gottman therapist... given the research knowledge supporting Gottman therapists, I'm doing whatever the MC says for now. If what MC suggests doesn't work, then, sure, I'll give some other approach a go. I'm not expert on affairs... nor do I want to be... I wish I never did this in the first place.

I strongly suggest you dump this MC and stop listening to stupidity on DB. You will FAIL big time if you do whatever your MC says. My then WH and I went to two sessions of MC before I found MB. When the MC told me I did not need to know the details of my WH's A, I had enough sense to LEAVE and thought she was a complete idiot. You keep listening to bad advice and your BW will not care at all by the time you realize it's not working. If your BW wants to know the details then give them to her. You are hiding behind your MC...and he/she is clueless.

Last edited by black_raven; 12/01/14 11:16 AM.

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We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
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Originally Posted by NoNameToClaim
Truth: I want my marriage to survive and thrive. I am willing to do what is best for the marriage. Our current MC is a Gottman therapist... given the research knowledge supporting Gottman therapists, I'm doing whatever the MC says for now. If what MC suggests doesn't work, then, sure, I'll give some other approach a go. I'm not expert on affairs... nor do I want to be... I wish I never did this in the first place.

Sorry, but you are getting bad advice that will doom your marriage. Dr. Harley is a clinical psychologist who specializes in saving marriages from infidelity. His work is based on 40 years of successful clinical experience. If you don't follow those steps, you won't make it.

We can't help your marriage if you insist on following bad advice.


"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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If you want to mix and match programs, there is nothing we can do to help you. I will just tell you that as long as you keep secrets from your wife about your affair, she will never trust you. And she SHOULD never trust you.

Here are Dr Harley's credentials: Bill Harley, PhD

Originally Posted by Dr Bill Harley
The plan I recommend for recovery after an affair is very specific. That's because I've found that even small deviations from that plan are usually disastrous. But when it's followed, it always works. The plan has two parts that must be implemented sequentially. The first part of the plan is for the unfaithful spouse to completely separate from the lover and eliminate the conditions that made the affair possible. The second part is for the couple to create a romantic relationship, using my Basic Concepts as a guide.
here


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Here is what happens when a betrayed spouse is not given the full facts ABOUT HER OWN LIFE:

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Dear Dr. Harley,

I discovered my husband's affair in May. He was very repentant, ended it and has been working very hard on our marriage ever since. I was not familiar with Marriage Builders at the time and I just followed my instincts. I suppose we are in recovery.

But our communication skills are almost non-existent. We only talk about things that are "safe." My husband’s idea of dealing with his affair is to put it behind us. I need to talk about it to heal. I am still having nightmares and sleeping little. I know nothing about this woman, including her name. He has refused to give me the information because he feels it is over so what difference would it make now. He has agreed to counseling but has been dragging his feet.

Our communication skills are so poor that I can't even bring up his affair for fear of "rocking the boat." He will not read any books or discuss the reasons for his affair with me. I am terrified it will happen again.

We went for a few counseling sessions over a year ago (before affair, communication issues) and it was a disaster. It was so much psycho-babble that neither of us could stand it. Where should we go from here?

Please advise.

K. R.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Dear K. R.,

The plan I recommend for recovery after an affair is very specific. That's because I've found that even small deviations from that plan are usually disastrous. But when it's followed, it always works. The plan has two parts that must be implemented sequentially. The first part of the plan is for the unfaithful spouse to completely separate from the lover and eliminate the conditions that made the affair possible. The second part is for the couple to create a romantic relationship, using my Basic Concepts as a guide.

I'll describe these two parts to you in a little more detail.

The first step, complete separation from the lover and eliminating the conditions that made the affair possible, requires a complete understanding of the affair. All information regarding the affair must be revealed to the betrayed spouse, including the name of the lover, the conditions that made the affair possible (travel, internet, etc.), the details of what took place during the affair, all correspondence, and anything else that would shed light on the tragedy.

This information is important for two reasons: (1) it creates accountability and transparency, making it essentially impossible for the unfaithful spouse to continue the affair or begin a new one unnoticed, and (2) it creates trust for the betrayed spouse, providing evidence that the affair is over and a new one is unlikely to take its place. The nightmares you experience are likely to continue until you have the facts that
will lead to your assurance that your husband can be trusted.

An analysis of the wayward spouse's childhood or emotional state of mind in an effort to discover why he or she would have an affair is distracting and unnecessary. It takes precious time away from finding the real solutions. I know why people have affairs: We are all wired for it. Given certain conditions, we would all do it. Given other conditions, however, none of us would do it. So the goal of the first step is to discover the conditions that made the affair possible and eliminate them.

After the first step is completed, the second step is to create a romantic relationship between you and your husband using my 10 Basic Concepts here
as your guide. While your relationship may be improving, it won't lead to a romantic relationship because you are not being transparent toward each other. Unspoken issues in a marital relationship lead to a superficiality that ruins romance.

Your nightmares are only the tip of the iceberg. They are but a small reflection of the suffering you experienced when you discovered your husband's affair, and the fear you have that the suffering will be repeated. You have no assurance that the affair is over because you don't even know who the other woman is. You are being asked to trust your husband, who has already proven to be untrustworthy. For all you know, he could be working with her, or you could be going to the same church, or she could be
your neighbor. And since he won't discuss the details of how the affair took place, you have no assurance that another affair will not take its place.

Infidelity is not something that can be swept under the rug. While those who have affairs want to forget about it and move on, those who are betrayed must take very specific steps before they can fully recover. In your case, those steps have not been taken, and as a result, your fear persists. I will send you a complimentary copy of my book, "Surviving an Affair," if you send me your address. It will describe these two steps to you and provide you with a roadmap toward full recovery. But the path will require full disclosure of all details.

Best wishes,

Willard F. Harley, Jr.


"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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Please listen to these clips.
Beware of Bad Counselors


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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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Originally Posted by NoNameToClaim
...A few other people in my life say that I should go Plan B/180 (from Divorce Busting) if she doesn't respond to requests to enter mutual agreements about things. I'm confused.
NNTC,
You had your affairs this past summer. It's what, beginning of December? So you've been out of the affairs for max of, say 6 months at most? And some people in your life are suggesting that you should be giving 'see it my way or I'm outta here' ultimatums to her after that little time has passed?

Step #1: Recognize the anyone who advises you thus is dumber than a tree stump when it comes to post-affair marriage recovery. They may be Einstein in other areas, but about this, they're toxically uninformed. Recovering a marriage after infidelity takes years, not months. It can be done, but shortcuts, there ain't.

I also want to suggest that you have only peeled part of the onion when it comes to owning your affairs. (You're maybe partway there, and I don't want to minimize your progress, but you've got a ways to go.) Do you realize that when you chalk your conduct up to family-of-origin issues, or "errors," that's offering your wife no reassurance at all? See, your family-of-origin history is never gonna change -- so when you attribute your infidelity even partly to that, this gives your wife zero reassurance that she can trust you ever again. After all, if family-of-origin issues made you a cheater, then you're always a cheater & you've got no hope to ever change. And "errors?" No, that's letting yourself off the hook too easily. You didn't just make mistakes -- you made decisions. Plenty of them, you made while sober. You don't stay drunk for a month-long affair. You make plenty of decisions every day during that month. None of those decisions was to get out of the affair, until the end.

It's important that you own your selfish decisions fully -- not fob them off on errors or alcohol or family-of-origin. Owning your lousy decisions might give your wife some hope that you'll start making better ones more reliably.



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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