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Firstly, I am the one who did wrong. Through our 5 year marriage I have communicated inappropriately with other women. We have had intimacy issues early on and a lack of "undivided attention" time due to my wife having a son with Autism from a previous relationship and no support to allow us time alone. The situation came to a head when I took it further, and had sex with another woman. I am extremely remorseful and have recognised what led to my actions. I take full responsibility for the bad choices I have made.

I have treated what I was doing like an addiction. I liked the feeling I got from talking to other women. That being said, I have ceased contact with all I have spoken to, and the woman with whom I had sex with.

My wife has filed for seperation however we still share a house due to our work commitments / children and lack of outside support. She is adamant she wants to remain friends but is not open to us working things out. She says I have had plenty of opportunities to do so, and that she has tried for a long time. I do not believe either of us have really tried, however I do not blame her in any way. It was my actions that have cause the hurt and pain.

Things all came to a head on 11th February. She expressed today she doesn't so much feel hurt now, it is anger she feels. Understanding the steps of grieving, I feel she may heal to a point where reconciliation may be a concept she is open to.

So, I guess my question is... can you suggest what I can do until she may be open to reconciliation? I am trying to focus on love bank deposits and avoid withdrawals. I am working at showing her my reliability etc taking steps towards trust. I have expressed my attempts to understand how she is feeling as best I can, and continue to reinforce my love for her. It feels that often this is having the opposite effect.

What kind of things do you suggest?

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Fred, sorry you've put yourself & your wife in such a mess.

Have you acquainted yourself with the concepts in the book "Surviving An Affair" ?

For best advice, can you give us a bit of background/context, such as: How long ago did the affair end? How & why did it end? How did your wife find out? Who was the other woman, how did you meet her, and have you taken steps to ensure that there'll never be any further contact between you & her?

Before you can put yourself into position to rebuild a positive 'love bank' balance with your wife, you need to make sure that 'withdrawals' stop, and in the early stages after an affair, ensuring cessation of contact, forever, is crucial, as is making changes to your life to eliminate the non-transparency that you used to cloak your inappropriate relationships with other women.

These steps are no guarantee that she'll ever want to reconcile, but while they're not necessarily sufficient, they are all necessary to allow your wife to feel emotionally safe around you & to make recovery of your marriage even a possibility.


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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Is the OW married?

Have you changed all contact information?

Have all avenues that allowed you to have the affairs been closed?

Did you answer all your wife's questions?


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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Thank you for your comments GloveOil.

How long ago did the affair end?
It was a one time thing, in May last year.

How/Why did it end?
I was in a state of denial leading up to it, and once it happened I knew it was wrong.

How did my wife find out?
Basically the other woman became spiteful and tracked my wife down through Facebook. She was aware I was married when it occurred and didn't care.n

Who was the other woman?
The other woman was a carer who had chaperoned a person to a music show I was performing at. We met at the show, and she joined my music page. At the start it seemed innocent enough, like she genuinely was interested in my music.

I have deleted and blocked her from both my music and personal Facebook pages as this was the only way we communicated. I have since deleted the music page and streamlined the privacy of my personal page. I have absolutely no interest in the woman or having contact with her again.

My wife has access to my personal Facebook and I will not be pursuing music any further. These were the 2 avenues where I was in a position to meet/chat to other women inappropriately.
I have also sought counselling to help me rebuild trust and rekindle intimacy with my wife. I understand that time is a big factor in this situation and I am patient and willing to allow my wife the time she needs. I have made a conscious effort to do things she asks, and only make promises which I can keep. I have started with small things, like if she asks me to do some errands for her.

The most difficult thing I am finding is finding a balance between being the loving husband I want to be with her, and being a cold stranger. Expressing and showing love has the opposite effect to which it is intended (understandably) and when I try to pull back so she has space and time to grieve, I feel like I have stepped back to much that it may appear I don't care.

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Hi BrainHurts

1. No the OW wasn't married.
2. I have deleted my music page which I had used to communicate with her.
3. I believe all avenues have closed. I have even ceased contact with the fan of my music whom I met the OW through.
4. So far yes.. I would like to encourage her to ask more if she needs to but so far she has only asked a few Q's.

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Originally Posted by FredGimble
Things all came to a head on 11th February. She expressed today she doesn't so much feel hurt now, it is anger she feels. Understanding the steps of grieving, I feel she may heal to a point where reconciliation may be a concept she is open to.
Your wife is in the state of withdrawal. That is not the same thing as grieving. She may never choose to allow herself to be vulnerable to you hurting her again. You need to respect her choices. You can start by being proactive about making all aspects of your life totally transparent to her. She may come to believe that you will be safe in the future if she is certain you have no secret second life. But in the final analysis, reconciliation is her option, not yours. That is part of the risk in being a wayward.


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DS - 38, autistic, lives at home
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Originally Posted by FredGimble
I have also sought counselling to help me rebuild trust and rekindle intimacy with my wife. I understand that time is a big factor in this situation and I am patient and willing to allow my wife the time she needs. I have made a conscious effort to do things she asks, and only make promises which I can keep. I have started with small things, like if she asks me to do some errands for her.

Hi Fred, welcome to Marriage Builders. You have hit on a couple of the things that would necessitate an affair proof marriage. It is good you have eliminated your music Facebook page and other avenues of contact. That will be the key to recovery: protecting your wife from this ever happening again. If you can prove to her through solid actions and a change of behavior that this will never happen again, she might learn to feel safe with you. If she can't feel safe with you, time will NEVER make a difference. Never. This is why it will take a radical change in your lifestyle that made it possible to conduct an affair.

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.



"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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mrEureka

I understand, and I have already put into practice steps to make my life transparent to her. I even message her through the morning of my work, to let her know where I am and how far from finishing I am. I have removed the music "second life" Facebook completely and she knows my password to my personal page.

If you have any further suggestions to making my life transparent I am more than willing to hear them. Nothing is too much effort for my wife. I went wayward, that was my mistake.

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Withdrawal is one of the 5 steps of grieving infidelity I have been told by my counsellor.

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Originally Posted by FredGimble
How long ago did the affair end?
It was a one time thing, in May last year.

How did my wife find out?
Basically the other woman became spiteful and tracked my wife down through Facebook.

When did your BW learn of your affair? Did you deny it and trickle truth your wife at all?

How long ago did BW file for separation? How many other children do you have and how old? Has your affair been exposed to family and friends?

Welcome to MB



BW - me
exWH - serial cheater
2 awesome kids
Divorced 12/2011




Many a good man has failed because he had a wishbone where his backbone should have been.

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.
--------Eleanor Roosevelt
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Originally Posted by FredGimble
Through our 5 year marriage I have communicated inappropriately with other women.

Is your wife aware of this?


BW - me
exWH - serial cheater
2 awesome kids
Divorced 12/2011




Many a good man has failed because he had a wishbone where his backbone should have been.

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.
--------Eleanor Roosevelt
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Fred, I understand that you want some certainty about the future.

Certainty is not out there to be had. There's not a map to where she'll get to, mentally/emotionally. Or how long it'll take her to get to wherever that is.

And even if you had a trustworthy emotional roadmap and a timeline, your ability to affect, much less control, the pace at which she processes things would still be -- as it is now -- limited & indirect.

Better for you to continue to focus on the steps & changes in your own way of living, that you can control directly.

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Hello black_raven

My BW learnt of it on the 11th February. Admittedly I did deny it at first. I think I was in denial myself however a couple of days later I told her I needed to talk to her. I told her I understand what I had done was wrong and that I understood she felt hurt and betrayed.

We have 2 children, 9 and 3. She got the forms for separation a week ago and has just left now to go lodge them. She wants us to continue living together, as she says I am the "best friend she has ever had".

I have told my parents what I did. My wife doesn't speak to her Mum and does not know who her father is.

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Yes she is aware. These things were the 2 main contributors to our separation however there have been other factors including my family treating us different to my brother and his wife. She has always said the "black sheep" mentality was aimed at her.

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That is great advice. I know certainty is not something that can be had in this situation. And time is a big factor, and no one knows how much time will be needed to get to where ever we are headed from here.

I have been doing a lot of reading on this subject with counsellors, and close friends in an effort to make positive changes to myself and my behaviour. I think while I was still pursuing my music, I had a performing name and it made it easy to separate what I was doing, from the "real me". This coming to head has "brought me back to reality" that we are one in the same.

I believe I have done most of the things as outlined to make my life completely transparent. I will begin documenting my monetary expenses and movements as I have identified that as 2 areas I can do more.

As I mentioned earlier, I have completely cut off the OW and have no desire to make any future contact.

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Originally Posted by FredGimble
That is great advice. I know certainty is not something that can be had in this situation. And time is a big factor, and no one knows how much time will be needed to get to where ever we are headed from here.

Fred, time will only heal if there is certainty. Certainty, i.e.: trust, is gained by creating a lifestyle where it is impossible to cheat. In order to cheat, one must have the ability to create a secret second life. When that ability is completely eliminated, trust and certainty is created. If that does not happen, then uncertainty and mistrust.....and RESENTMENT, grows over time. So time does not heal in such a relationship unless radical changes are to prevent another affair. If that doesn't happen, the betrayed spouse is better off getting a divorce.

I am not following why your wife is getting a "separation" if you are not separating. What is the point of this?


"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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You had sex with the OW last May and she told your wife just a few weeks ago...what was your interaction with OW during this time? It is hard to believe an OW would sit idle for almost a year and then suddenly decide to expose your affair to your wife.

During your affair with OW, were you also having inappropriate conversations with other women?


BW - me
exWH - serial cheater
2 awesome kids
Divorced 12/2011




Many a good man has failed because he had a wishbone where his backbone should have been.

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.
--------Eleanor Roosevelt
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There are circumstances which mean us living together still is the best option. Our eldest son is on the Autism spectrum and massive changes will be detrimental to him, and we are concerned for his schooling etc.

We also work opposite shifts as we can not afford childcare. I work mornings, come home then she works nights.

Centrelink have an option called Separation under One Roof. We have to demonstrate how living arrangements have altered since Separating. I sleep in a different room. We do our own laundry etc but obviously share responsibility of the children.

By doing this she is entitled to more Government assistance to allow her to become independent of me.

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The OW had apparently tried to contact my wife since September however as they are not friends on FB my wife didn't see the messages. They went to the "other" folder. I do not know what triggered her to do this, other than spite that I had indicated I did not want it to continue. It may be hard to believe, and I do not understand either.

The affair with the OW was a result of the inappropriate convo, and earlier conversations with others had ceased.

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Thank you for answering.

Dday is new for your BW. She will struggle with hurt and anger..and there is no way to predict how long or hard the rollercoaster will be for her. Everyone is different but it won't end anytime soon.

Originally Posted by FredGimble
We also work opposite shifts as we can not afford childcare. I work mornings, come home then she works nights.

This ^^alone would kill any marriage. If you are not able to fix the work schedules, then there is no hope to restore a marriage to something better than pre-affair...which you would need to do to survive an affair.


BW - me
exWH - serial cheater
2 awesome kids
Divorced 12/2011




Many a good man has failed because he had a wishbone where his backbone should have been.

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.
--------Eleanor Roosevelt
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