Marriage Builders®
Hi, I'm new here. Found out about my husband's 3 year affair 37 days ago. Yesterday was the first day I didn't cry. My story in a nutshell: My husband works with the OW and they first were friends. We were having normal life problems: three little kids (one being an infant), new house addition, new position at the company for my husband- lots of stressors. Their affair at first was long distant, physical when at meetings, etc. Lots of calling, texts, emails. Tons of calls. Then, 10 months ago, my husband takes a new job with the same company and we transfer. The move takes us 3 miles from the OW's house. I still know nothing. My husband introduces us (me and the OW), I get to know her, like her. We get together socially with the OW's family, our boys end up being best friends, the OW introduces me to her friends, inviting me to holiday cookie parties, etc. She and her family (husband, kids, and her mother) come to Thanksgiving dinner at my home with my family, my husband's family all there. I obviously still know nothing. Dec. 20, her husband calls me to tell me he has found emails/calls that prove an affair. He tells me its been three years. My husband was right there while I was on the phone. I have not stopped crying since.

The lying, deceit, the disrespect, the utter lack of love or caring for me is what hurts the most. I'll take half responsibility for the marital problems aside from this, but I didn't know our issues were to this magnitude. I wasn't given a chance to fix things. All of his emotions, emotional energy, his worries, desires, dreams were being told to her not me. I was robbed of my marriage for three years. We have been in therapy now 5 sessions. I just am not sure what to do. I want to do the right thing for my kids, but I don't want to stay in a relationship that is broken beyond repair. Very ambivolent right now as to what to do. So angry that if I decide to divorce, it will be my fault in the eyes of the kids. That breaks my heart. If I choose to move on, will I trust again? Can I possibly find happiness and a true meaningful relationship with another at age 39? Can I make it on my own? Will my kids be damaged?

So many worries- trying to remember to take it one day at a time.

Thanks for letting me ramble.
imstrong, I am sorry you are here. Your marriage can be saved *IF* you follow a very strict path. Those that don't, don't make it. All contact between the affairees has to end to make this work. That means they can't work together. But you can have a great marriage again if you both follow this program. I will give you a thumbnail sketch below, but I would implore you go buy the book Surviving an Affair today.

from Requirements for Recovery:
Originally Posted By: Dr Willard 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.

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 betrayed 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.

con'd here
imstrong, here is another newsletter that is key to your recovery. The affair should be exposed everywhere. Your children should be told about the affair. That is the start of recovery. Everyone should know.

Exposure
Imstrong, you have one factor in your favor that many don't: The other woman's husband (OWH). Since he contacted you, he seems to be already implementing Plan A on his side. Together, the both of you exposing this affair to everyone who has influence on the two of them will go a long way to ending the affair. Affairs thrive in secrecy, and the two of you can blow this thing up like a neon sign in Times Square.

What MelodyLane says is true: Exposure is the #1 most effective threat to an affair. Without it, you have almost no hope of rescuing your marriage.

There is absolutely terrific help here! MelodyLane is one of the best; you can absolutely trust everything she says, and if you do exactly as she instructs, your chances are the best they can be.

Good luck. I'm sorry you find yourself having to be here.
ImStrong. So very sorry that you are here, but be assured that you have found the best place for healing yourself and your marriage, if you both want that.

First, take a deep breath. You have been traumatized and it is very normal for your feelings to be all over the place. Find some really good friends to confide in (friends who have your marriage's best interests at heart) and confide in them. You need a support network right now and your WH is not going to be it.

Second, evaluate your WH's reaction when he was told you knew. Was he contrite? Was he professing his love for you and your kids, or was he professing the "I love you but I'm not in love with you" garbage? You need to know where he is in his mind to help you determine if this marriage can be saved. If you've read many of the posts here, you will know that WS run the gambit of willing to do everything to heal the marriage, to willing to give up everything (you, the kids, the house, etc.) for the OP. As Mel said, your marriage can be saved regardless of where he is at right now, but only if you follow the MB plan she described. Only you can determine how much you are willing to go through.

Third, Read Surviving an Affair. It saved many a marriage and it will help you too.

Finally, post here, vent here, get advice here. You are not alone in this. We've all been where you are now and we have survived and, in most cases, thrived. I wish the same for you.
I wanted to let you know that I know how you feel. My STBXWH and OW did the same thing to myself, my DD, and OWs BH and kids. It was horrible beyond words, so much so that the pain cannot be described. The utter disregard for us was beyond understanding. The magnitude of the betrayal is beyond comprehension. It was all out of pure selfishness.

I encourage you to listen to the advice given here. It is the best hope for your M. And if you don't end up R your M, the support and advice here can still help you recover on a personal level. I speak from experience. I am past a lot of the hurt and pain now. I have evolved into a better, stronger person. I am ready to face the next phase of my life.

I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I truly am. I wish you the very best and pray for strength for you for the tough road you're facing.

It will help you to get familiar with this:

accronyms & appreviations
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