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Hi all,

Situation: Wife had an affair, we divorced, were apart (as apart as can be with children involved) for about 5 years, now in recovery and working to repair and improve our relationship.

The problems I am having right now are related to the relationships she had during the time we were divorced. She had every right to do so and I completely understand and acknowledge that fact, but I am having a very difficult time with the fact that she dated and slept with some of these relationships. We truly do love each other and are both very committed to beginning a new relationship together.

My question to start with is what can I do to help get past these feelings about her relationships during our divorced period. When something triggers those feelings, it literally feels like I'm getting punched in the gut. I want to get past this so bad, but have not found anything to help. Any advice?

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Originally Posted by recurring_pain
My question to start with is what can I do to help get past these feelings about her relationships during our divorced period. When something triggers those feelings, it literally feels like I'm getting punched in the gut. I want to get past this so bad, but have not found anything to help. Any advice?

When did you find out about these relationships?

Does she ever see these men today?

Are you talking about this to her?



"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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Hi MelodyLane,

I found out early on in our attempts to begin repairing our relationship. We've talked about it and she doesn't see any of them anywhere.

I've made my feelings very clear and she has voiced and shown deep remorse (even though she doesn't need to in my mind) for dating anyone. She explained to me that since she was the one who had the affair and initiated the divorce, that she didn't believe anything between us would ever happen so she was trying to move on. I honestly believe her when we talk about this because she voices and shows genuinely deep guilt to me about this.

I don't feel that she did anything wrong during this time and she hasn't been trying to hide anything from me. It's just that I'm having some pretty major issues with what happened. In my way of thinking, she was never NOT my wife. Hearing about her relationships during that time brings all these feelings of "being replaced" and feeling like an outsider in her life.

Again, I don't feel that she tried to hide any of this from me nor do I feel like she is at fault for any of it. I'm not looking to try to accuse her of anything since the affair. I'm looking for help for myself with this.

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I understand there will be an emotional reaction to her relationships and that makes sense. That will fade in time, IF your marriage is affair proofed. What has she done to make sure this never happens 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

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She has changed jobs since the affair and has dropped all communication paths to any/all of these guys.

She is all in when it comes to this. We have talked this over and she has expressed that she made a HUGE mistake. She has accepted responsibility of her actions and is very adamant that she will prove through actions (not just words) that she is ready to be committed to our relationship.

We've both moved on from the affair and are working to create a new relationship which I completely believe that she is fully committed to. I'm the one holding things back now. I'm just having such a difficult time with these "interim" relationships that I can't move forward at this point.

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Do you have the extraordinary precautions check list from Surviving an Affair? That is the list you would want to use.


"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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Many of these items would be relevant to your situation now. [some are not] One biggie would be opposite sex friendships. That is how all affairs begin. Has she eliminated those?

From Surviving an Affair, pg 66-67

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

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Hi MelodyLane,

I'm not sure you understand what I'm asking for advice on. I'm not asking so much for advice on the affair. I'm not concerned about that here. I'm here looking for advice on how I can deal with and get over the relationships she had before we started working things out.

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Originally Posted by recurring_pain
Hi MelodyLane,

I'm not sure you understand what I'm asking for advice on. I'm not asking so much for advice on the affair. I'm not concerned about that here. I'm here looking for advice on how I can deal with and get over the relationships she had before we started working things out.

This is why I am showing you this. You will get over them if your marriage is affair proofed. If she is still doing the things that led to the initial affair, you will remain triggered about all of her relationships. The solution is to remove any possible triggers, practice extraordinary precautions, stop talking about it and create a romantic marriage. Once that is all set in place, it is just a matter of time before you stop thinking about it.


"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 understand what you're trying to explain, really.

The things I'm hung up on are the thoughts that she has been with other men sexually, that she's done things (not even sexually related) with other men that she never did with me...those kinds of things. I'm having a hard time trying to find ways to get over those kinds of things. I don't really see how affair-proofing our new relationship is going to help me with these kinds of things.

I do see how putting all these measures in place will definitely help our new relationship. That's not where I'm having issues.

Does that make sense? Am I in the wrong place here to find answers to those kinds of questions?

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Originally Posted by recurring_pain
I understand what you're trying to explain, really.

The things I'm hung up on are the thoughts that she has been with other men sexually, that she's done things (not even sexually related) with other men that she never did with me...those kinds of things. I'm having a hard time trying to find ways to get over those kinds of things. I don't really see how affair-proofing our new relationship is going to help me with these kinds of things.

I do see how putting all these measures in place will definitely help our new relationship. That's not where I'm having issues.

Does that make sense? Am I in the wrong place here to find answers to those kinds of questions?

I thought I had explained this. Do you want to read my post again? You remove anything that might cause triggers, set up the framework for a safe marriage and over time you won't think about it again.

Were you looking for a magic pill?


"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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What I was actually looking for was a little compassion and understanding.

This is the second time I've tried to find some help on this site and all I continue to get is rude, condescending replies that treat me as though I'm some idiot that can't read or understand anything. I'm a very educated adult that thought by coming to a forum made for people in unique life situations that I would get some useful help to guide me through a very tough time in life.

With all due respect, maybe if you would try to be a little more understanding and patient with people that come here instead of pushing the same narrow-minded ideals on them when they ask questions, more people may come here for help. This could be a very helpful site for people that are experiencing some of the worst pain and hardship they will ever experience.

Instead, it seems to be a place to come to be talked down to like some brainless idiot that doesn't understand anything in life. I'll look for help in a more compassionate environment. You can keep your smart-[censored] comments because I will not be back on this site.

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I am sorry you are so upset. Best of luck to you..


"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 recurring_pain
What I was actually looking for was a little compassion and understanding.

This is the second time I've tried to find some help on this site and all I continue to get is rude, condescending replies that treat me as though I'm some idiot that can't read or understand anything. I'm a very educated adult that thought by coming to a forum made for people in unique life situations that I would get some useful help to guide me through a very tough time in life.

With all due respect, maybe if you would try to be a little more understanding and patient with people that come here instead of pushing the same narrow-minded ideals on them when they ask questions, more people may come here for help. This could be a very helpful site for people that are experiencing some of the worst pain and hardship they will ever experience.

Instead, it seems to be a place to come to be talked down to like some brainless idiot that doesn't understand anything in life. I'll look for help in a more compassionate environment. You can keep your smart-[censored] comments because I will not be back on this site.

I don't think you are being fair to ML. I looked back on your old threads and you lashed out a few times at posters, ML specifically in the past. On the first one, because you INSISTED there was no affair.

On another thread you wanted marriage building advice and said there was no more affair issue to deal with (when the affair hadn't been exposed) and you were angry and felt people weren't listening to you then either, when posters told you you could not sweep the affair under the rug. In both instance, posters were correct.

Just because you divorced during/after the affair and then decided to get back together does not mean that you can skip over the recovery checklist. That will not work. You were eager to skip over these steps in the past also and that didn't work.

We don't tell you this because we believe you are a brainless idiot and people are impatient and don't want to listen to your details about how your lifestyle and situation are different. We tell you this because it is what Dr Harley tells us and what we see over and over and over. If you cherry pick and skip over those items, your M won't make it.

I think if you come back, you owe ML a HUGE apology because she spent an awful lot of time helping you in spite of being lashed out at. She is a volunteer and was helping you out of the goodness of the heart. It kind of sickens me to see her being treated this way after all the time she spent with you in 2012.

And BTW, her advice to you also was spot on. If you were to email this thread to Dr Harley and ask him for advice, he would tell you to listen to MelodyLane.

Last edited by SusieQ; 01/10/17 10:02 AM.

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Sir - you should review your previous threads before you cuss out MelodyLane. She has been kind but firm in every interaction and has been correct about your situation when you have not. Dismissing her advice is not in your best interest.

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This was the same guy who cried he was "being bashed" back in 2012 when posters gave him some much needed advice. He overreacts and lashes out with attacks when he hears something he doesn't like. I regret that I wasted any time here and won't make that mistake again. He is wasting our time.


"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 recurring_pain
Hi all,

Situation: Wife had an affair, we divorced, were apart (as apart as can be with children involved) for about 5 years, now in recovery and working to repair and improve our relationship.

The problems I am having right now are related to the relationships she had during the time we were divorced. She had every right to do so and I completely understand and acknowledge that fact, but I am having a very difficult time with the fact that she dated and slept with some of these relationships. We truly do love each other and are both very committed to beginning a new relationship together.

My question to start with is what can I do to help get past these feelings about her relationships during our divorced period. When something triggers those feelings, it literally feels like I'm getting punched in the gut. I want to get past this so bad, but have not found anything to help. Any advice?
What is the status of your relationship now? Did remarry, or do you plan to do so? If so, when?

How did you come to the position of being back together? What were the signs that you were growing closer to each other? Did you date? Did she ask you to get back together? When did this happen? For how long were you behaving divorced, before you started getting close again?


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If you don't want concrete helpful advice, and you just want us to be nice and placate you, this is not that kind of forum.

Real help for this "life situation" - dealing with your wife's infidelity, rebuilding a lifelong fully-integrated relationship with your spouse - is not going to be easy. We know it's hard. You have to do the work to make it work. Lashing out at those who are helping you is counter productive. Answer the questions Sugar Cane asked.

Last edited by TheLongRun; 01/29/17 12:49 AM.

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Originally Posted by recurring_pain
What I was actually looking for was a little compassion and understanding.

This is the second time I've tried to find some help on this site and all I continue to get is rude, condescending replies that treat me as though I'm some idiot that can't read or understand anything. I'm a very educated adult that thought by coming to a forum made for people in unique life situations that I would get some useful help to guide me through a very tough time in life.

With all due respect, maybe if you would try to be a little more understanding and patient with people that come here instead of pushing the same narrow-minded ideals on them when they ask questions, more people may come here for help. This could be a very helpful site for people that are experiencing some of the worst pain and hardship they will ever experience.

Instead, it seems to be a place to come to be talked down to like some brainless idiot that doesn't understand anything in life. I'll look for help in a more compassionate environment. You can keep your smart-[censored] comments because I will not be back on this site.


I understand and can relate to exactly what you are asking.

I experienced the exact same emotions you are facing with my FWW and didn't think I the mental images would ever disappear. We are nearly 6 years out from D-Day. Our M is recovered and we have a better M than I ever imagined we could. We are in love. She has changed, I have changed.

However I do still from time to time struggle with mental images of the past. There are still certain songs and bands which will trigger me. They might pop up randomly on the radio or out at a restaurant etc..which I have no control over. I have learned how to manage them and not allow it to impact our current state of M. The feeling pass much quicker as time goes on.

I am not sure if they will ever completely disappear. We are not robots and cannot just flip a switch. We CAN however create new memories to focus on.

The longer we have been away from the A, the shorter time the images stay in my mind. Focusing on making the present great, spending 15hrs/week of UA, avoiding LB's, fulfilling EN's, and the other principles of MB's have allowed our M to thrive. Without these, I would not have been able to make it.

Recovering our M was a very long road. If you follow Dr. Harley's plan and create a new M, the images will fade. You may not think it is possible but it is.

If you can really follow Dr. Harley's plan, you in time too can have a great M and the thoughts and images you have now will fade in time.

R is a very long road. It is a marathon not a race.

I hope this is an encouragement to you.






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