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HBH, I've read your thread and I'm very sorry for what you've been through. The pain that was caused to you is horrible. I understand to a point as my WH had his A with a coworker/friend. Someone he brought into our lives along with her H and kids as friends. She and her family came into my home, spent weekends with us and went on vacation with us. The hurt and humiliation cannot be described. I get that.

I see something in you that I used to see in myself; the inability to be vulnerable. I kept what my WH and OW did to myself for a long time. Not only did it do my M no good, it hurt me and caused me to miss out on the love and care of my family and friends during the most painful time in my life. It also caused the anger toward my WH to fester and that did damage. I was unable to do a Plan A because of my anger. I see that in you as well. I encourage you to at least tell your family. You need their love and support. Please don't keep this to yourself. Don't do that to yourself. Let your walls down. Once I started to open up I felt such a release. I can look back now and know without a doubt it was the best thing I did for myself.



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Exposure is an important, powerful & crucial tool. I've seen it firsthand, and for me, it was painful medicine, for someone as stupid & selfish as I'd been; but it had the desired effect for my wife & for my marriage.

I do want to suggest that before HBH pursue exposure to her family, she do a deliberate motivation-check on what would be her reasons for exposing to particular people at this time.

As has been articulated on this thread by others, main purposes of exposure are (1) to improve the chances of killing an active affair, and (2) to make it more difficult for a "dead" affair to resume, as it can provide a greater level of accountability upon the wayward spouse. Additional purposes may be (3) to obtain important emotional support & advice; and (4) for her & her H to practice complete transparency toward third-parties such as friends, children & family members. There may be other purposes that I've missed. (Disclaimer: Those numbers 1-4 aren't a "Harley" list, they're just my own shorthand for this particular post.)

Anyway, as I understand HBH's situation, the affair is ended as far as she can tell, so purpose (1) would no longer be served. As far as she can tell, her husband has maintained NC for over 5 months, so purpose (2) may not, or may, still be served. She does not appear to have a close relationship with her family, so it is not clear whether purpose (3) would be well-served. Transparency is usually less stressful than putting on false-fronts, so there may well be some benefit in terms of my purpose (4).

It took exposure to end my affair. (Athough I wasn't looking for an "out" from my marriage, I was a total cake-eater, and when my OW got found out by her H's PI, I was automatically exposed as a result; and so I felt I had no choice but to come clean to my wife, so that she would hear about the A from me & not from someone else). Exposure to certain others also has also been a huge plus for our recovery -- my wife exposed the affair to her best friend on d-day, and in the days immediately following, we together exposed the affair to our pastor as well as several couples who were long & true friends of ours & whom my wife & I both trusted to have each of our best interests as well as the survival of our marriage at heart. So based on that experience, I'm a firm believer in strategic, purposeful exposure.

At the same time, my wife did not expose to everyone. She considered telling parents and children, and decided against it. This was her decision; and I'm sure that if I'd not broken off the affair, or if I'd slipped up on no-contact, then she may well have reconsidered & done additional exposure. But it was her choice. (Obviously, it was an easier choice on me not to have our kids or parents know; but if she'd wanted it otherwise, I'd have been in no position to object.)

In HBH's case, she may have a certain feel for whether her particular friends would, or would not, be supportive of her, and/or helpful to her, and/or beneficial to recovering her marriage. I allow the possibility that bringing in certain outsiders (friends or family) with whom her friendships or family relationships are not particularly close or trusting, could bring more stress for her than it alleviates, and thus potentially be a distraction from her relations with her husband. Or not. I also understand that her H has expressed acquiesence to additional exposure, but that HBH is currently not in favor.

HBH, I guess all I'm suggesting (in a too-wordy way, sorry) is, you should really consider whether there are good people in your life whom you can lean on -- go-it-alone has been your style, but consider whether that's what's best for you now. At the same time, be sure to expose with a clear purpose in mind, not as a "stab-in-the-dark" act.


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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Just a quick thought: we did limit exposure to our pastor, my best friend and her husband, and three of four other couples that were very close to us. No further exposure to family, children, or workmates seemed necessary. I will tell you, however, that now, more than a year later, we have exposed to a few more couples, and those who knew us before D-day and were told just recently ALREADY KNEW, either because of the OW telling them or they just put two and two together.

It was NEVER easy to expose to people who saw my DH as an upstanding, moral guy, but now that they know, it has allowed us to have a freedom of conversation with those people that not all our friends have with us. I find now that I would like a few more of our friends to know just so I can be free to talk about whatever when I see them. The A no longer monopolizes my thoughts, but it has changed who I am and it has an impact on my worldview. I don't like having to analyze what I'm going to say based on whether person I'm talking to knows or not.

Would you be humiliated if you split up? Would that make you a failure? If that is the way you think, then conversely choosing to stay should make you a success. You are choosing to do the hard work to save your marriage, and if your marriage recovers, that would be quite an accomplishment.


ME: 45 FBS
FWH: GloveOil 43
D-Day 1/7/09 (A: 10/08-1/09)
DD: 16
DS: 12
Married: 19 years
In love for 24+ years and counting!
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Originally Posted By: hurt_but_hopeful
[2) Because I don't know how this is going to play out
a. if WH leaves, then obiviously I will tell the ugly truth
b. if WH stays, then I have to decide how to handle it long-term


HbH, You've mentioned several time that you're not sure if H is staying??

Is this because of your own doubts and fears?
OR
Is this because H has not committed to staying yet??





Recovery began 10/07;

Meeting my wife's EN's is my "thank you" that refuses to be silenced.
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tst,

I don't think WH knows what he wants...he talks alot about "logically" what he should want for his life and what the "right thing to do is"...

WH struggles with his desire to live a care-free life...so far, he's chosen to stay with us..but that doesn't mean that its because he wants to be here...he feels guilty, feels like he "owes" us, and I think (although he denies) its a financial decision for him as well..

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Ahhhh yes, the care-free life. As if all life's responsibilities will magically disappear if he's on his own. I wanted to smack my H when he talked about this. It's like they don't realize that they will still have payments, children to care for, a house to clean, etc. The difference is - they have to do it on their own without our help. crazy

drgnfly #2323524 02/14/10 11:35 AM
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Exactly drgnfly!!!

WH had this idea in his head that we could still be friends if Plan D....he said something to the effect of "I know you'll be mad at me for a little while, but I can see us still be best friends" and then gave me CRAZY examples of how he pictured our D-life:

1) I could call him in the middle of the night (if I needed help with babies) (we still have bottle/diaper issues)
2) He would come over every night and do our "nightly rituals" with babies
3) He "knew" I would still want him to participate in all our family traditions (this one infuriated me...he wants all the perks of family, but none of the responsbility)
4) He knew that I'd get re-married to a great guy and we would all "hang-out" (my personal favorite)

I told him he had "f-ing lost his mind". If Plan-D, I don't ever intend on speaking or seeing him again unless it directly involves our children. FRIENDS??? With friends like that, who needs enemies?

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It troubles me when the WS has gone as far as thinking through a separation. It shows that they are on their way out of the marriage - unlike, say my cake-eating H whose ideal life would have been to have his marriage and his affair.

DId your H still talk like this after D Day, and after NC was supposedly established? In other words, was he still thinking of leaving even though OW was out of the picture?

If so, that's a red flag to me.


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Yeah, huge red flags...he still talks like this (at least up to the day he got on MB...i think 4, maybe 5 days ago). Since he first posted on MB, he hasn't mentioned leaving. He's been better for these past few days and says he isn't leaving no matter what....doesnt erase everything he said before and after d-day, but its something i guess...

How nice for me and my kids...to be reduced to a pro/con list

And all of this is ONLY because OW went SWF...he would have Plan D'd us if OW didnt seriously scare the S&%T out of him

ain't life grand....

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Originally Posted By: hurt_but_hopeful
Exactly drgnfly!!!

WH had this idea in his head that we could still be friends if Plan D....he said something to the effect of "I know you'll be mad at me for a little while, but I can see us still be best friends" and then gave me CRAZY examples of how he pictured our D-life:

1) I could call him in the middle of the night (if I needed help with babies) (we still have bottle/diaper issues)
2) He would come over every night and do our "nightly rituals" with babies
3) He "knew" I would still want him to participate in all our family traditions (this one infuriated me...he wants all the perks of family, but none of the responsbility)
4) He knew that I'd get re-married to a great guy and we would all "hang-out" (my personal favorite)

I told him he had "f-ing lost his mind". If Plan-D, I don't ever intend on speaking or seeing him again unless it directly involves our children. FRIENDS??? With friends like that, who needs enemies?



Here is a recent MB thread called "The Fantasy of Divorce" which addresses exactly this situation:

http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2275600#Post2275600


Me, BW
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Originally Posted By: SugarCane
It troubles me when the WS has gone as far as thinking through a separation. It shows that they are on their way out of the marriage - ------


I don't now SC..... When a wayward talks this kind of stuff..... He's just living in the fantasy, and the fog!

This is why exposure AFTER the A is often necessary..... it ends the fog and the fantasy quickly.





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It seems to be a common fantasy among wayward spouses. I don't think it has much to do with being on the way out of the marriage; it's more to do with blocking out reality. Once they start blanking out nasty truths, the world becomes full of rosy possibilities, including the one with the painless semi-separation and the contented, abandoned spouse, and the flying pigs.

TA


"Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people." - Spencer Johnson
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I call your h's attitude the mummy train.

There are many people who seeing the support systems which are built for the benefits of the children, ie nice home, pleasant surroundings, regular meals, birthday parties,outings etc, feel free to take a ride on the situation .

My h was one of these. I constantly felt that I was dealing with 3 children my h being the most demanding of the 3 he had no idea what his role was. So he clambered aboard the mummy train for the good times and the free ride.

When I discovered his VLTA cake eating odyssey he took the same attitude as your h. What is the problem? it is over now.Let us just put it behind us and get on with our lives. Most people would take it all in their stride. What is the matter with you? blah blah blah blah.

The trouble was his concept of the a was that it was just an added extra where as to me it was a total secret invasion of my life.Come to think of it the ow had this only a little bit extra attitude she was the invisible cuckoo on board the Mummy train.

I really sympathize with your sitch

PS I found that printing a few choice postings from here helped to refute some of his assumptions and change his attitude.I had quite a collection in the end.

BEST WISHES

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Originally Posted By: tst
He MUST create boundaries, the type that Dr. Harley calls Extraordinary Precautions (EP's)



Does anyone know in which book Dr. Harley addresses EP? Or is there an online article/link?? I'm about to go on a search but thought someone may know....

WH asked for the info...curious because I would think WH's already taken EPs...

1)moved to another city
2)changed cell #
3)transparency w/passwords and cell
4)no contact with "high-fivers"

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Originally Posted By: hurt_but_hopeful

Does anyone know in which book Dr. Harley addresses EP? Or is there an online article/link?? I'm about to go on a search but thought someone may know....




Pgs. 59-65 of Surviving An Affair.

and these two link will get you to some of the info as well.

Link

Link 2





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Quote:
"you know that logically and rationally, i have thought this through and chose to stay"


This is just part of the arrogance and selfishness of the WS (not FWS) - he honestly thinks it's all up to him whether he stays or not.

He still seems to have the idea that all he has to do is grace you with his presence, and you'll be happy and grateful because that's all you want or need.

When he loses this arrogant, disrespectful notion, you'll know he's starting to turn around. But not before.


Me, BW
WH cheated in corporate workplace for many years. He moved out and filed in summer 2008.
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Originally Posted By: hurt_but_hopeful
Because WH doesn't just "go away" with a divorce...he will always be in my life because of our children. Obviously in a different capacity, if I chose D, but still in my life. There are birthdays, school programs, sports, I can't even list it all..I just think our lives are intertwined regardless...

Well, I asked because this statement of yours, and a number of others, sounds to me like a big generalization. This sort of thing is called magnification by psychologists. The future has so many possibilities it is essentially unknowable, but when we are under stress from fear, or anger, or shame we tend to select the worst possibilities and run around and around with them inside our head. Its an understandable error in thinking that includes over-generalization, magnification of negatives and minimization of positives.

In reality your bonehead WH will be entwined in your future as little or as much as you want. It will be your choice to arrange and adjust as you see fit. You simply dont yet have the tools to arrange it to your desires. In fact you dont even know what you truly desire yet (except the innocent past).

This is not the end of life as you know it.

Not yet.


"Never forget that your pain means nothing to a WS." ~Mulan

"An ethical man knows it is wrong to cheat on his wife. A moral man will not actually do it." ~ Ducky

WS: They are who they are.

When an eel lunges out
And it bites off your snout
Thats a moray ~DS
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Originally Posted By: hurt_but_hopeful


a. if WH leaves, then obiviously I will tell the ugly truth





Originally Posted By: hurt_but_hopeful


b. if WH stays, then I have to decide how to handle it long-term (I'm not saying I will NEVER tell...its just that once it is out there, you cant unring that bell)





Originally Posted By: hurt_but_hopeful


3) Because I am very private...I havent told one "girlfriend" about this...the ONLY people that know are people that OWH and WH exposed to...I don't like talking about personal things with anyone other than WH....its not just the PA...I have never once called a girlfriend, sister or mom to say "had a bad day ,needed to talk"...just not me





The above quotes are not indicative of someone who is the "real deal" with people.




Originally Posted By: hurt_but_hopeful


It is VERY important to me...not the "image" but being the real deal.





HBH, what are you afraid of?


Happily married to HerPapaBear



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