Welcome to the
Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum

This is a community where people come in search of marriage related support, answers, or encouragement. Also, information about the Marriage Builders principles can be found in the books available for sale in the Marriage Builders® Bookstore.
If you would like to join our discussion forum, please read the Announcement Forum for instructions, rules, & guidelines.
The members of this community are peers and not professionals. Professional coaching is available by clicking on the link titled Coaching Center at the top of this page.
We trust that you will find the Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum to be a helpful resource for you. We look forward to your participation.
Once you have reviewed all the FAQ, tech support and announcement information, if you still have problems that are not addressed, please e-mail the administrators at mbrestored@gmail.com
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 2
L
Lags7 Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
L
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 2
I have posted my situation 2 times before. Just to recap, I had an secret A for 16 months. After I disclosed it to my W 6 weeks ago, she was extremely angry....understandably. I finally came to realize (through God's conviction and power) that I was wrong and must stop it. I ended my A, told my W this, and I told her that I want to work on rebuilding this marriage. We have been in counseling for 10 weeks and we still go weekly. It's been 3 weeks since the affair was ended and she is still very hurt. I can see that and I feel that and I can't blame her for that.<P>This is the latest:<P>#1) I told her that I was sorry for the destruction I caused and I asked for her forgiveness. I have genuinely cried and shown remorse to her on several occasions. I don't stick up or defend what I have done.<P>#2) I told her and continue to tell her daily that I love her, that I want her, that I want this marriage to work, that I am committed to making changes to accomplish this.<P>#3) I have not contacted the OW in any way(And to be honest my temptation has been almost non-existent. I attribute this to strength provided by God and a sense of peace & contentment knowing I made the right decision)<P>#4)I am applying Plan A constantly every day, and I feel I'm doing it very well (even it the face of extreme aggression from her...I have not blown up even once)<P>#5) She has dated a guy 5 times after I told her about my affair.<P>#6)Four days ago, she finally told me she was willing to work on our marriage. YEAH! Praise God! I am SO grateful! But she still refuses to say anything about her intent with her "friend" or address the topic with me.<P>The difficult thing for me is that she is still continuing to use LB in her communication to me. We both admit & realize that our marriage had problems for 5-7 years before the affair. But I'm the only one right now avoiding the LB. And it's starting to push me away. {This is exactly what it was like before the A started, and it scares me to feel this way again}. Don't get me wrong! I have no desire to go back to my affair or ever start another one. I WANT MY W!!! I want to break the cycle of hurt and truly work on things. But she is in so much pain that it comes out in horrible ways.<P>Let me be honest. It makes it even more difficult when I read all the postings in these forums of BS's who so deeply want their WS to return, and they so patiently wait and pray for this. And then there's me......I have returned with deep regret, remorse, and a new perspective (not wanting to repeat past mistakes and LB with my wife) and then I'm treated in an equally horrible way. I know I've made the right decision now, but it is so difficult to try when faced with her LB.<P>I know I should hang in there, but it is SO hard when she acts in such a "punishing" way.<BR>Dr. Harley's book and his principles have helped me immeasurably to understand what happened, why it happened, what we did wrong in the past, and it gives me such optimism to do things right in the future. If only she would join me. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>This is my current status. Please advise or encourage. Thanks!

Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 14,283
K
Member
Offline
Member
K
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 14,283
Lags...<BR> It sounds like you are doing all the right things. It does take time. And, if it comforts you any, some of us faithful spouses who are so nice to our WS while they are recommiting to the marriage find that the anger was there...just pushed aside til it was safe to express it. In a way, it is good that your wife feels safe to express it now...it won't just go away on its own.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Four days ago, she finally told me she was willing to work on our marriage. YEAH! Praise God! I am SO grateful! But she still refuses to say anything about her intent with her "friend" or address the topic with me.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>This is GREAT progress!!! Don't bring up the friend at all right now.<P>Keep doing what you are doing. Think about taking the LB and EN q'aires together (might want to show them to your counselor first). To make your marriage great, you do need to address those issues...not sure if now is too soon tho...<P>Hang in there--<P>Kathi

Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 13
L
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
L
Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 13
Lags7<BR> WOW I know exactly where you are at and how you are feeling. I too went threw the same situation. I use to think the same thing when I first found the board last year, It give me hope the people here gave me hope as well.In my situation SO much damage was caused by my A. When my H wanted to work things out I was in no way ready (guilt) andf when I was ready he had moved on. Stay there with her, Don't ever push sometimes we push more than we realize and all we do is push them right out of our lifes. I cant tell you how she is feeling Even tho I have also been on that side of the fence.<BR> What I want to say to you is DON'T GIVE UP!<BR> reassyre her always that you love her, and you are willing to go to any depths to save the marriage.<BR> God Bless you <BR>You and your Family are in my prayers<BR>LOML (ginavan)

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,380
F
Member
Offline
Member
F
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,380
Lags7<BR>It is wonderful that you are throwing yourself into your marriage and with God's help have detatched yourself from the OW. You are doing the right thing.<P>However, just as the betrayed can not fully empathize with the betrayer, the betrayer can not usually fathom how it feels to be betrayed....even when the betrayer is remorseful.<P>The pain of betrayal was far worse than I ever imagine pain could be. My H only had a kissy face date thing going for about a month topped with phone contact for a few more. <P>It is 18 months later, although I can honestly say I am not threatened by the affair and I really believe I have forgiven him for it, I still struggle with issues of trust and honesty...not only with him, but with the whole world.<P>Yup, betrayal jaded my whole view of the world. What is reality? What good are promises...seems to me they are only false security.<P>My marriage is better than ever (it was already good and I was floored infidelity violated it) and I honestly don't think my H will ever have an affair again. He is remorseful and horrified by his own actions. But absolute trust...in anything with the exception of God...is shattered.<P>Your situation is even more touchy. You obviously lied to your wife and repeatedly betrayed her for 16 months. Judging from your time table you started counseling, then disclosed your affair, THEN ended it. <P>I am not doubting your sincerity, but I don't think near enough time has past for your wife even to begin to trust you or your intentions. She is probably hurting way to much to give back to the relationship now. Although those of us who fought for our marriage did what we had to do when we were "in the trenches" it is true that anger has to be processed at some time. True, I processed most of my anger privately...or here...and my H didn't experience much of it...but I wish I could have, it would have made it easier to get it over with. Hard as it is, try to welcome your wife's anger as evidence as she feels safe enough to discharge it.<P>Above all, remember you can not control your wife's thoughts, feelings or actions. She is on an emotional rollercoaster which has just started. Judging what she should be doing or feeling will be counterproductive.<P>You can control your words and actions. Continue to do so.<P>Take care...it takes time, but it is worth the wait.

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 661
H
Member
Offline
Member
H
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 661
Welcome, Lags!<P>I agree with FHL that even though three weeks seems like such a long time when you are living it, those weeks are really just the beginning of your new relationship. I am betting that she is only just now beginning to come to grips with the fact that you had an affair. <P>If she hasn't been reading anything about affairs and recovering from affairs, it is probably harder for her. I know I thought I was going crazy until I read "After the Affair" by Janis Abrahms Spring. The first two chapters of her book describe what the betrayed and the wayward spouses are often feeling. It calmed me to know that I wasn't alone in what I was feeling.<P>Don't give up! Your marriage didn't get to the point that you wanted to start an affair overnight, and it's not going to get to the point that you're truly happy overnight, either.<P>I'm glad that you're here. Good luck in your marriage. --HBC

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,380
F
Member
Offline
Member
F
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,380
Just had to add, I too thought I was losing my mind until I read those same chapters.<P>The pain and the confusion is overwhelming for a long time. I didn't even begin to feel like a glimmer of myself for 4 1/2 months. I didn't stop thinking about it 24/7 until about 11 months post discovery. In fact I remember sitting through a Christmas program and enjoying it, then afterward realizing I hadn't thought about the affair that whole hour...11 months later. That was breakthrough.<P>There are no real short cuts. You can make things worse, but it is going to take you months and maybe a couple years to fully heal.<P>But it is possible...and it is the right thing. God will bless your efforts!

Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 51
N
Member
Offline
Member
N
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 51
Yeah.. I think it is great that you are trying ..but she has been hurt badly and probably surpressing that hurt for a while... I hate to say it.. but suck it up for a while.. you are going to have to be the strong one for a while and let her hit out at you.. she needs to release her anger...If she is not already seeing an individual counselor why don't you urge her to go to one to help her deal with her own personal issues... also look into the retrouvaille program.. I have heard it does wonders! Best of luck.. I hope that everything works for you both.

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 3
L
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
L
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 3
Me again. First of all, thank you all for your input. I do value all opinions.<P>Update! I just got back from our counseling appointment, and it ended very badly. When we are alone, she sometimes asks questions which I feel are better answered and dealt with in front of our counselor. I assure her I'm not putting her off....I just think it's wiser to deal with it there in order to prevent it from flaring out of control.<P>One of her questions to me last week was how I could do this to her, how I could continue it over 16 months, and how I could still showed expressions of love to her while I was having the A. [Keep in mind that she has already read Dr. Harley's book] She told me she wants my total honesty and not to sugar-coat it. <P>So I took her question very seriously and spent some significant time (when I was alone) to think about it, analyze it, and try to honestly remember what I was feeling back during the A. After much thought, I was able to put some things down on paper which I felt were honest and as close to accurate as possible.<P>Well, today in our session the question was brought up. I then started to explain and answer her question. But before I even started I again told her and the counselor that this is not a justification. What I did was wrong and I make no bones about that. It was my poor choice. I am simply attempting to answer her question honestly.<P>Well, as I was answering, she continuously made durogatory comments and attacked what I was saying. The counselor tried to settle her down and stay focused, but she continued. When I was finished, she stormed out of the session...never saying anything about my honesty. She just flat out didn't like what she heard. Sorry to say this, but too bad. I didn't answer it to make her like it and I didn't expect that. She asked for total honesty and I gave that. I stopped her in the parking lot where she continued to berate me with anger, rage, and LB and told me she did not want to see me. Maybe this was wrong, but I decided to stand up for what's right.....and I raised my voice (not yell) and told her that I did what she asked and that her reaction is not encouraging honesty, it is discouraging it. This is the first time I've raised my voice to her in 4 weeks.....I just couldn't take it. I then told her if she wants honesty she has to be willing to hear it, if she isn't able to deal with anything bad then don't ask. I again calmly told her of my love for her, of my intent to be completely honest with her and that I will continue to do that. Maybe that was too harsh, but I felt it needed to be said at that moment. She then stated angrily, "Maybe I'm not able to deal with your A!!" You know...she may be right. Problem is, she's the one who's been requesting me to be at the house every night and to spend some time together. In my opinion, she is still in denial and not able to deal with the truth or the situation. I WANT to be there and I'm willing to deal with this. But I think my constant presence there (at her request) prevents her from wholeheartedly dealing with the truth and it contributes to her denial. I offer to give her space but her reply is "When you're at the house, it helps the healing process and I see the good things you're doing. When you are not here, I start to again think the worst of you and bad thoughts come back." Anyone out there have any thoughts on this one?? In the session, in the parking lot, and on several occasions she has said, "The single most important thing to me in a marriage was a faithful spouse. Now you can never give me that. I'd rather be alone or have a loveless marriage than be with someone who was unfaithful to me. I'd rather find someone else who treats me special and who doesn't bring me this pain and baggage. I just don't want to hurt our kids and that's the only reason I'm even remotely considering working on this." She has also said in private and with counselor "I don't believe you are broken, remorseful, or sorry you did this to me. If you were, you would be thoroughly disgusted with yourself and your behavior. You would be on the floor weeping and begging me to take you back and falling over me with gratitude that I was considering it." Well, she is wrong on that one. I have expressed my sorrow with apologies and tears and efforts to prove my changes and optimism about what we could accomplish together.<P>Obviously my affair has caused my wife excruciating and traumatizing pain. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] Unfortunately, I cannot take that away....and that is something I will forever live with in regret. But now, I have done all that I can to ask for forgiveness, implement Plan A, and to make the necessary changes per Harley's book.<P>I would again welcome any feedback & encouragement, and I ask that you pray for us. Thanks!

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,380
F
Member
Offline
Member
F
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,380
Wow...I thought all those things...but never said them.<P>I love my H...I have always loved my H. I thought we led a blessed and charmed life. I knew he wanted me to be more efficient (he's an engineer), but overall I thought we had resolved our issues. Although when first discovered, he gave me some nonsense of ALWAYS having questioned our marriage and how I kept him from EVERYTHING he wanted to do (absolutely not true) after a few months, he maintained it was all him and he didn't mean those things and he has no idea he had ever believed them to be true.<P>Given your time table...you may rethink some of your reasoning. Of course maybe you have some valid points that your wife truly is reeling too hard to deal with presently.<P>Believe me, she craves the truth, but dealing with it is another issue. Overall, given some time, she may reflect a bit and take ownership of some of the contributing factors.<P>I always said I would take 50% of the responsibilty for the vunerability of our marriage (H now says that's way too high on my part), but not one second of blame for the affair. I really did take a hard look at myself and make some adjustments. I think that was easier than have my H give me a list. Of course, I don't think I ever asked specifically.<P>As much as I loved my H, I could have walked away and never looked back (at least I think I could have), because I a faithful partner meant everything to me, too. Before my H, I had a boyfriend that adored me...but he was young and a bit wild and on a drunken night was unfaithful. That was it for him. From the morning I discovered him (not a pretty sight) I vowed I would not be betrayed again.<P>Although I didn't "settle" for my H, I thought he was truly the one for me, a big part of the attraction was his steady personality and Christian upbringing. No one would suspect him, and since I kept his secret, no one would suspect him today.<P>Although it was painful, it was relatively easy to forgive him for his kissy face fling (much harder for your wife considering your time table), but it is still a struggle to accept that he did this to our marriage. I feel violated, secretive and cheapened when before my life was an open book...an almost charmed life with many blessings.<P>I have studied books on Forgiveness, read countless books on marriage and affairs, but it is still difficult.<P>I stayed because of the kids. They did not deserve to pay for another's mistakes. In fact, I remember thinking I will not allow my family to be destroyed by this, I will do whatever it takes to hold us together.<P>But I could have easily walked if I didn't have kids, even though I honestly love my H and had a good marriage.<P>I truly understand where she is coming from, and if I had what she had to deal with, I may have at least initially behaved the same way.<P>Try not to let the present discourage you about the future. You are so new to this and there is so much ahead.<P>Remember too that she feels totally out of control. Her life was a lie. She did not have control over your affair. Her life was hit by a freight train she may not have even seen coming. Her emotions are engulfing her and she feels threatened and desperate and disorientated. Nothing makes sense, but she desperately needs it to.<P>You really can't expect more than existing from day to day for a while. You should keep trying to reach her. Whether she admits it or not, she is looking for you to be consistant and congruent. You can do that.<P>Be ever so careful of labeling her words or actions, even to yourself, or attatching any personal meaning to them. You are interpreting her outrage as vengence and her dating as relalitory. There may be no clear reason she does anything.<P>Did you have your affair with malice in your heart toward your wife? Probably not, so whatever she does it not necessarily all about you.<P>Turn to a prayer partner or your Pastor for accountability. It doesn't look like your wife can handle watching you withdrawl. I'm not sure I could have, either.<P>I am sure in your mind you are sincere and have clearly communicated your remorse, but she just isn't hearing it for now. It may be too soon, or you may not have the intensity level that she is running on right now, so your lower key style is actually being misinterpreted as either insincerity or lack of conviction. It is hard to tell.<P>Don't give up...you have barely started. If she as intense as she sounds, when she turns this around, you may make sudden improvement. That could take some time, so get out your calander and be prepared to stick it out for the long haul.<P>Your efforts will be blessed.<P>

Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 1,299
P
Member
Offline
Member
P
Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 1,299
Hello lags,<P>Eight months ago I was exactly where your wife is right now. There is no way to really describe the hurt, anger, and pain. Just a couple of thoughts I would like to share.<P>You seem very organized, rational, etc. (maybe an engineer?), but there is nothing rational about your wife's situation. When your wife feels the need to talk, ask questions, etc., DO IT. She is looking for some comfort and reassurance from you. Don't tell her that YOU FEEL it would be better to wait for the counseling session. CONSIDER HER FEELINGS FIRST, not yours. Talking is the first way to start reestablishing the connection between you and your wife that the affair has broken.<P>Yes, you need to be honest, but do it in the kindest way that you can. Your wife needs to hear that you love her, that you know that the affair was a horrible mistake, that you regret it, that you will never do anything like that again, that she is so much better than the other woman, that she deserves so much more than you have given her, that you are so very sorry, that you will do anything to make it up to her, etc. Ask her everyday to forgive you.<P>Perhaps you realize that you are sorry, but obviously you are not convincing your wife that you are. Please understand that after a year and a half of lies, your words mean very little to your wife right now. Your actions are what she needs to see. You seem to take great pride in your self-control, and seem disappointed that your wife doesn't exhibit the same. But ask yourself this, has anyone that you love hurt and betrayed you the way you have your wife? Probably not, so you cannot begin to understand what she is going through.<P>One of the mistakes my husband makes is to tell me that he knows how I feel. IMPOSSIBLE! I have NEVER lied to or betrayed him.<P>Focus on comforting your wife first and put your feelings and desires second for a while. Prove yourself through your actions, but it will take a long time. Some marital experts believe that healing takes one to two times as long as the affair lasted to even begin. That means 16 to 32 months for your wife to really come to terms with the affair and truly begin to get better. YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST SHOW PATIENCE AND REMORSE. Let her see your true feelings, and love her completely even when she doesn't seem to love you.<P>I wish you both the best.<P>Peppermint

Joined: Apr 1999
Posts: 5,798
L
Member
Offline
Member
L
Joined: Apr 1999
Posts: 5,798
One thing your wife is mistaken about...everyone comes with baggage, whether it is ex or current other partners, relatives, job dissatisfaction or workaholic, finances, kids, habits, well, you get the picture. She just knows what is in yours, a new person will still have baggage, maybe it will be better baggage in her eyes (no unfaithfulness), maybe not, maybe she just won't know about it for awhile.<P>This OM offered her an escape, her relationship with him doesn't currently include the pain in her relationship with you. My H's affair was about 18 months, and he resumed off & on for another 10 months after telling me about it. You will never know your wife's pain...but with her EA, you've got some idea.<P>Anything else I would say, FHL & Peppermint have already said.

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 12
L
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
L
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 12
Lags7<BR> Your wife is just like me when I first found out. You need to be strong now for your family. To help your wife listen and reassure her often. Be an open book. Tell her where you are at all times.If possible arrange for your wife to have massages to help her relax. She may also need antidepresant medication. Is she able to sleep? Does she know of this board? Have her come here for support. Believe me your wife is doing her best. This will seem to go on a long time and you should be ready for some difficult times. Also spend as much time as possible doing fun active things with your wife. You have to rebuild trust. I am proud of you for stopping your affair that is difficult also. I know you can do this. It is so important

Joined: Jul 1999
Posts: 527
U
Member
Offline
Member
U
Joined: Jul 1999
Posts: 527
here is a good outline I got for resolving conflict..... and we all have to deal with that.... keep up the plan A lags.... God will strenghten you to continue it when you have nothing left.....<P>24 Guidelines for Resolving Conflicts in Marriage<BR>Excerpted from 7 Secrets of a Happy Family<BR>by Paul Meier and Richard Meier<P><BR>1. Sincerely commit your lives to Jesus Christ as Lord.<P>2. Consider the marriage a life-long commitment, just as Christ is <BR>eternally committed to His bride, the Church.<P>3. Agree to always listen to each other’s feelings, even if you disagree <BR>with the appropriateness of those feelings.<P>4. Commit yourselves to both honesty and acceptance.<P>5. Determine to attempt to love each other unconditionally, with each <BR>partner assuming 100 percent of the responsibility for resolving marital <BR>conflicts (the 50/50 concept seldom works).<P>6. Consider all the factors in a conflict before bringing it up with your <BR>mate.<P>7. Confess any personal sin in the conflict to Christ before confronting <BR>your mate.<P>8. Limit the conflict to the here and now – never bring up past failures, <BR>since all past failures should have already been forgiven.<P>9. Eliminate the following phrases from your vocabulary:<P>a. "You never" or "You always"<P>b. "I can’t" (always substitute "I won’t")<P>c. "I’ll try" (usually means "I’ll make a half-hearted effort but won’t <BR>quite succeed")<P>d. "You should" or "You shouldn’t" (these are parent-to-child statements).<P>10. Limit the discussion to the one issue that is the center of the <BR>conflict.<P>11. Focus on that issue rather than attacking each other.<P>12. Ask your mate if he would like some time to think about the conflict <BR>before discussing it (but never put it off past bedtime – see Eph. 4:26).<P>13. Each mate should use "I feel ..." messages, expressing his response to <BR>whatever words or behavior aroused the conflict. For example, "I feel <BR>angry toward you for coming home late for supper without calling me first" <BR>is an adult-to-adult message, whereas "You should always call me when <BR>you’re going to be late for supper" is a parent-to-child message. A parent-<BR>to-child message will cause the mate to become defensive.<P>14. Never say anything derogatory about your mate’s personality. Proverbs <BR>11:12 tells us that he who despises (belittles) his neighbor lacks sense <BR>(NASB).<P>15. Even though your mate won’t always be correct, consider your mate an <BR>instrument of God, working in your life. Proverbs 12:1 says, He who hates <BR>reproof is stupid (NASB).<P>16. Never counterattack, even if your mate does not follow these <BR>guidelines.<P>17. Don’t tell your mate why you think he or she does what he does (unless <BR>he asks you), but rather stick to how you feel about what he does.<P>18. Don’t try to read your mate’s mind. If you’re not sure what he meant <BR>by something he said, ask him to clarify it.<P>19. Commit yourselves to follow the instructions carefully in the "Dealing <BR>with Anger Biblically" section of this chapter. This will help you avoid <BR>depression, which results in increased irritability and increased martial <BR>conflicts.<P>20. Be honest about your true emotions, but keep them under control. <BR>Proverbs 29:11 says, A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds <BR>it back (NASB). Proverbs 15:18 says, A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, <BR>but the slow to anger pacifies contention (NASB).<P>21. Remember that the resolution of the conflict is what is important, not <BR>who wins or loses. If the conflict is resolved, you both win. You’re on <BR>the same team, not opposing, competing teams.<P>22. Agree with each other on what topics are "out of bounds" because they <BR>are too hurtful or have already been discussed (for example, in-laws, <BR>continued obesity, and so on).<P>23. Pray about each conflict before discussing it with your mate.<P>24. Commit yourselves to carefully learn and practice these 24 guidelines <BR>for "fighting fair" in marriage and agree with each other to call "foul" <BR>whenever one of you accidentally or purposefully breaks one of these <BR>guidelines. (You may choose to agree on a dollar fine for each violation!)<P>------------------<BR>Jesus is the only answer!<BR>His blessings, Cozy


Moderated by  Fordude 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Search
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 140 guests, and 97 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Overcomer4513, caraduke, Convict20, GTNY, Avianna
71,737 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics133,550
Posts2,322,810
Members71,737
Most Online3,185
Jan 27th, 2020
Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
Copyright © 1995-2020, Marriage Builders®. All Rights Reserved.  |  Web Development by SunStar Media.
Site Navigation
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5