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#2584648 01/12/12 10:51 PM
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I'm new here but I imagine my story is not. After 15 years of marriage, I learned my husband has been having an affair for the past 3 years. I discovered it by chance. He blamed me (if you had...this would have never happened)Then he said it was over. He could never leave me and our young kids. Two great months followed, then he stated distancing himself again. Suddenly, he was confused. He still wanted her. The sneaking around, unaccounted for time has started again. It's a roller coaster of torture. he gives mixed signals. Some days I think he loves me still. I HATE this. I can't function in my daily life. Every other relationship is suffering. Please give me advice. Someone tell me it can get better.

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cedarnew, welcome to Marriage Builders. I am so sorry for your pain. WE can help you kill the affair, but I have to warn you that if he won't end all contact very soon, that separation is warranted.

As you are discovering, an affair is extremely painful. Women have nervous breakdowns and suffer years of post traumatic stress disorder from enduring this kind of stress.

Has the affair been exposed to everyone? Who is this OW? Is she married? Do they work together?


"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

Exposure 101


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Cedar, welcome to Marriage Builders. I am so sorry that you have to go through this.

Who is the OW? Do you know her? Do they work together?

You can kill this affair, and we can help you. Stay with us.


D-Day 2-10-2009
Fully Recovered and Better Than Ever!
Thank you Marriage Builders!

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The first step is to understand how to survive your husbands affair.
I encourage you to read Surviving An Affair by Harley.
Your husband is distancing himself because he is having an affair with this other woman; you have a serious choice to make:
Follow the Marriage Builder Affair Recovery Plan or allow him to keep having sex with her and turn yourself into a helpless victim.

Get the bookN follow the MB plan. Don't be a doormat for your husband

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Welcome and I am sorry that you are here.

Click on the newly betrayed link in my sigggy and it will help guide you through the website.


BW(Me)aka Scotty:37
DSx2: 10,12
DDAY2(PA)Nov27/09
Plan B Dec18/09
Personal R in works
Scotty's THING laugh
Newly Betrayed click here


Praying for walls and doors. Thanx MM

Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.
? Maya Angelou

PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION

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Hi, cedarnew. I just want to say I understand what you're going through. It's excruciating!

Nothing compares to the pain or the trauma. I had a wayward who made me feel like the "thing" he claimed he couldn't live without, yet he continued to betray me, lie to me (in the most sneaky and underhanded ways), and cake eat.

I think Marriage Builders has the best advice on how to deal with this. Though, as another poster has mentioned, when a wayward does this, it creates EXTREME damage -- especially resentments, trauma, and trust issues in the betrayed (more so than other types of infidelity or EA's that end quickly, etc). It changes the way your heart feels,....how you feel about yourself, your marriage, and the wayward (and not in a good way).

I am about a year and a half out of the 3rd and last NC letter/proclamation (and, I assume it's been a true NC since then), however, I continue to be extremely hurt and forever changed by the fact that I was somehow the "burden" that got in the way of his "happiness" with the POSOW or his personal freedom/happiness somehow.

The conversations he had with OW (and occasionally with me) seemed to swirl around issues of obligation to me, our kids, his reputation, our finances, our house, or financial losses that he'd have to endure as a result of a divorce......and NEVER about his love for me. There was maybe one time when he mentions he "felt bad" about hurting me, but followed that with stuff about how HE felt too weak to do the right thing, or concerned about HIS guilty feelings --- despite fully acknowledging his selfishness with all of it. It's a very hard pill to swallow.

I don't have any super advice to give you other than trust yourself, despite how things seem out of control. Know, understand, and act on what you KNOW is in YOUR control. You will be forever changed, but it will most likely all be for the good.


BW
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Originally Posted By: cedarnew
I'm new here but I imagine my story is not. After 15 years of marriage, I learned my husband has been having an affair for the past 3 years. I discovered it by chance. He blamed me (if you had...this would have never happened)Then he said it was over. He could never leave me and our young kids. Two great months followed, then he stated distancing himself again. Suddenly, he was confused. He still wanted her. The sneaking around, unaccounted for time has started again. It's a roller coaster of torture. he gives mixed signals. Some days I think he loves me still. I HATE this. I can't function in my daily life. Every other relationship is suffering. Please give me advice. Someone tell me it can get better.


Yes it absolutely gets better. If there is hope in him - MB has the tools to unlock it. If he is determined to be unrepentant, MB can heal you.

Hugs. The pain is unbearable but it is not permanent.


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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Originally Posted By: Daisy
Hi, cedarnew. I just want to say I understand what you're going through. It's excruciating!

Nothing compares to the pain or the trauma. I had a wayward who made me feel like the "thing" he claimed he couldn't live without, yet he continued to betray me, lie to me (in the most sneaky and underhanded ways), and cake eat.

I think Marriage Builders has the best advice on how to deal with this. Though, as another poster has mentioned, when a wayward does this, it creates EXTREME damage -- especially resentments, trauma, and trust issues in the betrayed (more so than other types of infidelity or EA's that end quickly, etc). It changes the way your heart feels,....how you feel about yourself, your marriage, and the wayward (and not in a good way).

I am about a year and a half out of the 3rd and last NC letter/proclamation (and, I assume it's been a true NC since then), however, I continue to be extremely hurt and forever changed by the fact that I was somehow the "burden" that got in the way of his "happiness" with the POSOW or his personal freedom/happiness somehow.

The conversations he had with OW (and occasionally with me) seemed to swirl around issues of obligation to me, our kids, his reputation, our finances, our house, or financial losses that he'd have to endure as a result of a divorce......and NEVER about his love for me. There was maybe one time when he mentions he "felt bad" about hurting me, but followed that with stuff about how HE felt too weak to do the right thing, or concerned about HIS guilty feelings --- despite fully acknowledging his selfishness with all of it. It's a very hard pill to swallow.

I don't have any super advice to give you other than trust yourself, despite how things seem out of control. Know, understand, and act on what you KNOW is in YOUR control. You will be forever changed, but it will most likely all be for the good.


Hi Daisy,

I'm new here at the forum... but after just reading your response gives me shivers. What you briefly described here sounds so close to what my own WH has said in the recent past. *sigh* How do you cope?


I am a veteran. I was an Army wife. Now I am a separated, government, full-time working single-mother of two:

ME: 33 WS: 28

Daughter 4, son 2

Married 7 yrs both first time.

WS met OW during deployment aprox. 11/2010

A: Nov 2010-May 2011, Jul-Aug 2011, he claims its over.

D-Day: Mar 17, 2011 on FB

I own and read HNHN, SAA, LB, HNHNP and the 5Steps workbook.
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The OW is someone he worked with. They have known each other for 10 years. She was married too when they met, but got a divorce the year before the friendship crossed lines. Apparently, her husband abandoned her and their son one day and moved to another country. How fortunate she had my husband to turn to! It's a complicated web-my husband was fired from his job (after a 27 year career) last May so he no longer works with her. There are so many issues here. None of us can think with a clear head. We have 2 young children and financially are not able to separate (easily). It's just a total mess. I cannot understand how he could value the relationship with the OW more than the life and family he has built the last 15 years with me. His moods change on a dime. I'm certain he is manipulating both of us in the same way. Desperately trying to keep us both somehow- me the friend and partner. Her the passionate lover. He got away with that for a while, but now that I know what has been going on, I won't settle for that. I'll do anything to keep my family together and have been the bigger person on everything, but I'm not going to live in a loveless, passionless relationship.

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Did you read our posts about exposure?

Was your husband fired over this affair?

And how do you know her husband has left? Do you know this for a fact? Or this just information that you got from your husband?

cedarnew, it is real important that you focus on the tactics we discuss if you want to save your marriage. I understand you are in pain, but you will feel better if you focus on a strategy to save your marriage. Can you please read the link in my signature? Then come back and we will talk about next steps.


"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

Exposure 101


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Exposure sounds very destructive. I agree it will probably end the affair, but I'm pretty sure it would kill the marriage too and hurt the children and negatively affect a whole lot of other relationships.
He wasn't fired over the affair, however in the time he was having the affair his professional career and every other relationship suffered. Of course, he does not see this but he became someone who was completely self-consumed, paranoid, guilt ridden etc. It affected every area of his life very negatively. He refuses to acknowledge this, choosing instead to blame others (mostly me) for how he reacted to situations. This is a very painful experience and maybe this marriage can't be saved which is hard to accept. I'm not sure I'm willing to engage in that radical of behavior.

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Originally Posted By: cedarnew
Exposure sounds very destructive. I agree it will probably end the affair, but I'm pretty sure it would kill the marriage too and hurt the children and negatively affect a whole lot of other relationships.


Oh no, exposure is not destructive, it is extremely therapeutic. It does not end marriages, it ends affairs. Affairs thrive on secrecy, so bringing them out into the open ruins the fantasy aspect and erodes the FOG, which makes it possible to recover the marriage. It is the best resource there is in saving a marriage from an affair. It is like bringing a crowd of onlookers into the crack house to watch the crackheads get high. It is no fun to get high when everyone is watching. It not only ruins the high but helps the crackheads see themselves through the eyes of others.

Keeping the affair a secret only serves to enable it because affairs thrive on secrecy. You are much more likely to end up divorced if you don't expose it. NOT exposing it is destructive.

I know it is scary, but it will HELP your husband get over his fog and gives you the best chance of saving your marriage. Dr. Harley is a clinical psychologist with 40 years experience specializing in saving marriages from infidelity. He is the founder of Marriage Builders and here is what he says about it:

Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
"Exposure is very likely to end the affair, lifting the fog that has overcome the unfaithful spouse, helping him or her become truly repentant and willing to put energy and effort into a full marital recovery. In my experience with thousands of couples who struggle with the fallout of infidelity, exposure has been the single most important first step toward recovery. It not only helps end the affair, but it also provides support to the betrayed spouse, giving him or her stamina to hold out for ultimate recovery." here


And here is a radio clip where he explains to a betrayed husband that it is very hard to save a marriage when you are an enabler. This man's wayward wife was leaving him and a big part of the problem is the husband enabled the affair by keeping it a secret: http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=2815


"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

Exposure 101


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Originally Posted By: cedarnew
, but I'm pretty sure it would kill the marriage too and hurt the children


Dr. Harley on telling the children:

Quote:
The same can be said about telling children about an affair. My experience with the positive outcomes of hundreds of families where an affair has been exposed to children has led me to encourage a betrayed spouse not to fear such exposure. In fact, to mislead children, giving other false explanations as to why their parents are not getting along, causes children to be very confused. When they finally discover the truth, it sets an example to children that dishonesty is sometimes acceptable, making them the judge of when that might occur.

An affair is an attack on children as well as the betrayed spouse. And it's true that children are deeply affected by this form of irresponsible behavior. But it's the act of infidelity that causes children to suffer, not the exposure of it. Facts point us toward solutions. Illusion leads us astray. That's true for children as well as adults.
here

Quote:
Q: So, you do suggest telling our 10 year old son? Is this more than he can handle? He never saw any real unhappiness as my husband and I had a very low conflict marriage. I have been protecting our son from this truth. He still has hope that his dad is going to come home.
___________________________________
A: As for your son, the truth will come out eventually, even if you get back together again. And your son won't be emotionally crippled if he hears the truth. It's lies and deception that cripple children. He should know that your husband is choosing his lover over his son's mother. It's a fact. He's willing to ruin a family unit all for what.

When I first started recommending openness about an affair, I wasn't sure what would happen. But I did it because I knew it was the right thing to do. Now I know that for most couples it marks the beginning of recovery.



Quote:
The reason that children should know about an affair is that exposing it to the light of day (letting everyone know), helps give the unfaithful spouse a dose of reality. An affair thrives on illusion, and whatever a betrayed spouse can do to eliminate the illusion is justifiable. Mold doesn't grow well in sunlight.
here

Quote:
2. How honest should I be about the A? (they are 7 and under)

Tell your children as much as you can about their father's affair, and how it affects you. There are some counselors and lawyers that strongly disagree with me on this issue, but I have maintained that position for over 35 years without any evidence that children are hurt by it. They're hurt by the affair, not by accurate information regarding the affair. Just make sure that you don't combine accurate information with disrespectful judgments. For example, you can say that the OW has taken their father away from you, but you should not say that she is home-wrecker (or worse).
here

Quote:
My basic approach to life is that radical honesty is valuable on many different dimensions. It keeps us out of trouble, it helps others understand us, and it helps others avoid the same mistakes we have made. Letting your children know the details of your husband's affair would help them in all three areas.

The more your children know about your husband's affair, the more careful he will be to avoid them in the future.


The more your children know about his affair, the more they will understand what you are going through in your recovery (by the way, you are doing very well -- keep up the good work!).

Being radically honest about your husband's affair with your children would also help them avoid affairs themselves. How it happened and how could it have been prevented is a great object lesson for children. I learned that I was vulnerable for an affair when I learned about my grandfather's affairs. The extraordinary precautions I've taken were directly related to what I learned about him.

It's the approach I've always taken, and while it's difficult, especially for the WS, there's much more upside to it than downside.



"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

Exposure 101


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Exposure is the right thing to do. Exposure will not end the marriage. The affair WILL end the marriage. You must kill the affair to have your best chance at saving your marriage. Exposure may help kill the affair. Why not take that chance?

I don't know of one poster who has ever regretted exposing. There are some who regret not exposing, some who regret exposing too late, and others who regret not exposing wide enough.


BW(Me)aka Scotty:37
DSx2: 10,12
DDAY2(PA)Nov27/09
Plan B Dec18/09
Personal R in works
Scotty's THING laugh
Newly Betrayed click here


Praying for walls and doors. Thanx MM

Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.
? Maya Angelou

PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION

THANK YOU
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CN, the best way to think of exposure is as follows:

"Well, WH, you seem to have decided that splitting your attention between two women is good, wholesome, and something that you can feel comfortable with! Well, let me see how committed you are to this new morality by telling your PARENTS, your SIBLINGS, your FRIENDS, your CLERGY, your former/prospective CO-WORKERS, and ask them to share in the joy that is the new you!" (Can you see the tongue firmly planted in cheek in this private monologue?)

He will likely go bat-sh1t crazy when you do it. (Seriously, wouldn't you?) But the affair got this far under the covers (figuratively); now is the time to let the light shine in!

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Originally Posted By: cedarnew
Exposure sounds very destructive. I agree it will probably end the affair, but I'm pretty sure it would kill the marriage too and hurt the children and negatively affect a whole lot of other relationships.

How can you possibly be sure of such a thing? There are no experiences on this forum of exposure hurting children and it is recommended every day on here - and has been for years.

Plus there are many instances of children who have seen/overheard things to do with the affair and keep quiet about what they know due to guilt. This actually hapened to me with a young relative who saw my WH and OW holding hands. I could not have known about that or anticipated such a thing without exposure. Not to mention what children see happen to the marriage without getting any explanations.

As to it ending the marriage - how could it? He may go because he wants to live in a secretive marriage where he is free to have affairs, but it is the affairs and the secrets that would end it - not the exposure. Many people saved their marriages entirely on the day of exposure. It is the strongest tool you have.


As for it affecting 'other relationships' I have lost one or two friends - because they knew of they A and they were ashamed about not telling me. Exposure shamed them further, and so it should have. But I have gained the support of his family, my family and numerous other friends. Their support has been invaluable. Yu need to find out who in your life truly supports your marriage through thick and thin - and get rid of all the toxic friends in sheeps clothing.


I'm not sure I'm willing to engage in that radical of behavior.

It is impossible to recover without exposure. It is like trying to paint over mould. What do you have to lose? He 'cant accept' reality because the truth is still hidden from the light and he still lives in that dark fantasy world. Exposure shines a light on all that. Like an intervention for an alcoholic.



What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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in response to tee_ivy:
I "manage" in various ways, though I still sway back-forth (and all around) on any given month. Most of my difficulty continues to be a matter of emotional security; I put all of mine in my marriage and my husband -- big mistake. And, unfortunately, I am still financially dependent on him. The only way for me to dig out is to find/develop a new sense of security in myself. I continue to work on this. In my opinion, that's the only way I will get through this. I also believe it's the only way my marriage will work at this point. If I try to "go there" and get cozy (or lazy) with feeling he will support me, be there for me, or the comfortable feeling I had with him and our marriage, I get extremely anxious,...even, physically sick.

I would say it's kind of like getting a computer virus that requires swiping the drive and reformatting/reinstalling new system software/programs. I have to CHANGE all of my thoughts/feelings and form new ones or find new ways of managing the old ones.

It helps to erase many of those old corrupted files and make sure the virus protection has killed off any of the crap stuff and protects the new system from getting any more.

smile


BW
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I also wish to add, that I whole-heartedly agree with the concept of exposure. Fortunately, I did it before I even knew about MB. I can't say that it works in one giant swoop, (sometimes, it takes numerous times), but it does indeed work.

In my case, the more times I exposed (amidst his cake eating and lies), the more he realized he simply couldn't get away with it without consequences everywhere he turned. He ended up with nothing but her shoulder to cry on. Which, he soon realized wasn't the most pleasant place to be.

Last edited by Daisy; 01/17/12 09:44 AM.

BW
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PA/EA, 2 FR's, 2x sep, D on hold
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I know this person hasnt posted anymore, but in case they decide to peek.

The affair will kill your marriage, not exposure.....The damage is done...the affair has already happened, now to begin repair the damage already done to your marriage by the AFFAIR....exposure is a very important step, it is not the thing that will destroy your marriage.

The affair has hurt your children, damaged your marriage and ruined relationships...Exposure has no play in that damage...

....I did expose, but not the their workplace...i regret the decision i made not to do that....my outcome may have been different....but i remember being so caught up in what i should do and if i would ruin my marriage...I failed to recognize that that damage had already been done by my WH...MB gives you the tools to best repair a relationship that has already been damaged, sometimes beyond repair but sometimes not...

Last edited by stillhere8126; 03/07/12 09:57 PM.

BW me-41
WH -39
DS - 9
married 12 Yrs together(?) 18 yrs when A discovered
DDay aug 2007
found MB dec 2007
Moved out april 2008
still seeing OW
Plan B

Okay I fixed the ages, it was looking screwy. smile

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