Don't buy into his "justified revenge" theory though. The old saw about two wrongs not making a right clearly applies. Additionally, it could be said his was the worst betrayal because he knew first hand the depth of the emotional impact it would cause. Revenge isn't the best of motives in any human endeavor, btw. I don't like people who act out because they want to "get even."

You've got the right idea, TFC. If an objective person re-reads what I said, they'll see I was urging you to not buy in to an assertion by WH that he was entitled to have an affair because you did. I stand by what I said. If someone accidentally hits another person's bumper in traffic, that is one thing. If the “victim” in this analogy broods about the accident, becomes bitter, and drives the streets every day looking for an opportunity to retaliate against the first, sincerely apologetic, driver…then that is something calculatedly cruel and malicious. It's worse than the initial accident, and that’s what I was trying to get across.

Let’s summarize.

I’m not downplaying the effect your affair has had on the marriage, TFC, but I recognize you can’t go back in time and undo something. You have to deal with the situation as it exists today. To keep carping about you having been the first to allow yourself to slip into infidelity is counterproductive. In previous posts, I’ve suggested you and your WH need to get into couples counseling as soon as possible to jointly resolve the fallout from that event, but it isn’t possible at the moment because of resistance from your WH. The smart thing to do, as you’ve been doing, is to deal with the problem at hand and hope for mutual healing when WH is ready for it. You’ve told us you are seeing an IC to explore how you could have left your integrity behind for that time in your life.

Additionally, I’ve read your early posts and I think you instinctively did those things you could that normally would allow your WH to heal. The problem is he wasn’t receptive. From your account of this whole tragedy (and before you even read SAA), you began to apply Dr. Harley’s Four Rules of Marital Recovery to the extent you could. Additionally, I saw distinct remorse in your words and your actions. These are exemplary things for a wayward spouse to do.

A quick look at the active threads on this board show there are many, many betrayed spouses who are months into a bona fide recovery but who have yet to receive an apology or any sign of remorse from their wayward spouses. You, on the other hand, skipped months of fog and went right to an attempted recovery. As I said, many, many betrayed spouses out here would give their right arms to have their wayward spouses behave in such a fashion.

I personally don’t believe there is any value to a suggestion you should, in some fashion, be publicly castigated and punished in some arcane manner. Some people do, for whatever reason they may have. They frequently use words with high negative connotations in order to shame others, they mock other people’s ideas, and they deliberately use personal invective as a weapon. I personally will never understand why some people get stuck in that mode and refuse to budge.

I suspect they think they’re showing “tough love,” having been attracted to that policy at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, they don’t ever see the negative things they do by applying that technique at inappropriate times. Though they have contributions to make from time to time, whatever good they could do is lost in the flood of negativism they spout as a knee-jerk reaction. Regretfully, they do far more damage than they ever do good.

Frankly, it’s not helpful, it’s not intellectually honest and it’s not in keeping with Dr. Harley’s principles.


Keep working on your strategy, lady. That’s the important thing, but don’t rush it. It’s been months since this all began and you can afford a few days to explore things and set things up properly.

Boundaries are important. How about re-reading Ark’s recent post about Plan A? There’s a section on boundaries in that thread. Then browse through other threads on boundaries using the search feature at the top of your thread. That’s quite a project but I think you’ll get a pretty good understanding very quickly.

You’re right. Plan A is for the betrayed spouse and expecting anything from the WS is an expectation that just isn’t going to be met. Again, re-read Ark’s post, but Plan A...and Plan B, for that matter...are for the betrayed spouse. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a subliminal effect, as it were, on the wayward spouse. Perhaps you can take a quick review of SAA’s discussion of Plan A and B? If you do, please note Dr. Harley talks about the pressures unmet emotional needs has on the wayward one.

You must set your own time limits for Plan A. We can't see everything that's in your mind...only you know that. As a guidline, Dr. Harley tells us three months is about the average limit for a woman and six months for a man, and he tells us why in SAA. But averages are built from time lengths that are shorter, and longer than the median. SH regularly recommends doing a Plan A for as long as you can. I think a good rule of thumb would be to carefully gauge your own emotions. When you begin to feel resentment, when the emotional fatigue begins to overwhelm you, when the anger begins to return, then it’s time to move to Plan B.

I hope you get a chance to call the radio show. I think your case would be of interest and it would benefit you enormously to hear again from Dr. Harley.

Hang in there, TFC.