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Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
On the first page, some expressed hope that yes, spouses can turn around but the chances are narrow.


My whole point in expressing that is that if you don't follow the plan that actually works you will not be able to turn this around.

For the sake of your wife and children and church I'm begging you to listen to Dr. Harley's advice because he actually knows what works and what doesn't.

Have you listened to the show yet?


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
markos #2898138 05/01/17 02:10 PM
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In addition to exposure, you should be in Plan A. Have you read about Plan A?

You have said multiple times you are doing everything you can to 'win your wife back' so to speak. What are you doing to accomplish this?

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Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
Call me dense, but I honestly didn't realize 2 years ago that she was so determined to end it all.


If she was determined to end it all, she would have. The fact that she hasn't left yet, 2 full years later, means that you do have a chance to turn this around. But as ML stated, it will not happen with you being complacent and enabling. Even if she does end the affair and you stay married, if you don't do do this the right way, you will not recover your marriage. You are seeing right now that despite your best efforts, and seemingly years of ineffective counseling, you are worse off than you were 2 years ago.

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To markos:

I need to get the app. And read that specific book by Hartley you mentioned.

Yes, teaching my kids about faithfulness is very important to me. Our daughter is in a serious relationship with a fine young man. Very happy for the two of them. He's from a good family with parents that have a healthy relationship. And they both have good values and a good relationship.

To which specific show of Dr. Hartley's are you referring?


To unwritten:
No, I haven't read Plan A yet.

Re: wife determined to end it all 2 years ago.

At that point 2 years ago, she made some decisive changes to shun me and pursue her own interests apart from me. The main reason she didn't end it all then was probably because we still had 2 kids living at home. They will be both be gone from the house to college at the beginning of September. So then there will be less reason in her mind for us to stay together.

The main thing that is ending our marriage was not her affair. That simply made it worse, and why I tried everything to thwart the affair from going further. She had gotten frustrated with me and had enough of me.

Long story short. One of the main reasons was the two different ways we approached disciplining one of our kids who is offtrack with his life. I'm more strict, confrontational, disciplinary, tough love. She doesn't like that at all, and she's more hands-off and hugs and kisses.

But there are other issues that put us at odds with each other. We're both very opposite in personality types (Myers-Briggs) and what we emphasize and find important in decision-making, etc. All of this piled up far more than I ever realized. Since my wife is not confrontational, she suppressed a lot of her hurt feelings over the years that I never knew she had. It's all like a beach ball that can no longer be kept under water. And it's all popped up to the surface and so much of it I never knew. I never realized how much she had been hurt through the years and I hate it and it's my biggest regret in life and most certainly the main reason she's turned to other things and other people to have her needs met. And it's not merely her fault for suppressing it... I wasn't a good listener. I thought I was, but I now understand that I really wasn't. (I would anticipate what she was saying and interpret her words in ways that she wasn't saying... but I didn't even realize that I was doing that.) I now understand much better what she was thinking and feeling that I never realized. And she's not willing to give me another chance. She doesn't think "new me 2.0" is really any different than "old me 1.0"... but she's also not willing to try and see.

So yeah, the affair happened, but we had serious problems before it and still after. But the affair takes our problems to a whole new level of difficulty to overcome.

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Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
To markos:

I need to get the app. And read that specific book by Hartley you mentioned.

Yes, teaching my kids about faithfulness is very important to me. Our daughter is in a serious relationship with a fine young man. Very happy for the two of them. He's from a good family with parents that have a healthy relationship. And they both have good values and a good relationship.

To which specific show of Dr. Hartley's are you referring?


I am referring to the Marriage Builders Radio show by Dr. Harley (not Hartley - that's Bob Newhart). I encourage you to install it immediately and start listening because you are going to need a lot of expert help.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
markos #2898145 05/01/17 03:59 PM
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So after posting that you didn't have the app yet, did you go install it? Have you listened?


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
markos #2898148 05/01/17 04:35 PM
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To markos:

I have the app now. But I can only pull up 1 program from Jan 30. I tried logging in, but that's still all I get.

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Where is this book called "Plan A"? I don't see it in the bookstore or catalog.

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Rookie mistake to think because after confrontation that the affair is "over" because the affairees aren't texting each other any more.

All that happened was that they are communicating in a new way (taken the affair underground) that you don't have access to (burner phone, secret email account, etc). That's why we NEVER advise confrontation without exposure. It only backfires on you.


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Originally Posted By: anonymityplease


(12) RE: kids knowing of the affair.
I'm still trying to figure out if the kids should know about the affair. If we don't split up nor divorce, I doubt I would want the kids to know. If we do split up, I probably do want them to know otherwise they might think the divorce was all my fault.



Yes, of course they would want to know. They need to know regardless of whether your marriage makes it not. Lying to your children about the source of tension in your marriage just teaches them that dishonesty is sometimes acceptable. Your kids know something is wrong, and not telling them is confusing and harmful to them. Children are not made happy or secure by believing illusions.

Read Dr. Harley's comments about exposure to children on the Exposure 101 thread in my link.


Quote:
To unwritten:
(13) The OM is not married. He evidently was and has a daughter from his first wife. He sounds like someone who enjoys "playing the field" so to speak.


Do you know this for a fact? Or is this what you have been told?

Quote:
(14) Yes, she declared her disengagement from me 2 years ago. And she gradually put up more and more walls. I can see from our texts 18 months ago when she would still express in minor ways some love and concern for me (heart smiley every once a while). Call me dense, but I honestly didn't realize 2 years ago that she was so determined to end it all. I honestly thought she would realize she had a good thing with me and not destroy it. But as the months rolled on, the distance between us became greater. Finally, in October we got to counseling (stupid mistake on my part not going sooner... but I foolishly thought I could fix our marriage ourselves).[quote]

I am sorry to see you are wasting your time in marriage counseling now. It is a needless distraction from your marriage problems. As you can see, it has helped nothing. Counseling is very desrtructive to marriages in crisis and almost every saved marriage on this forum can attest to this. Marriage counselor's have a higher personal divorce rate than the general population.

[quote]After going to counseling, things got worse. As she expressed her disappointments and frustrations with me, it helped her build more walls. In the process of verbalizing it in counseling, she became more determined to distance herself.


Typical marriage counseling causes more harm than good, because they are little more [censored] sessions where the couple leave more angry than before they went in. This is why Dr. Harley does not use this approach.


Quote:
Please understand, I do respect what you're saying and I'm trying to think through the implications of your advice, because it still seems to me like the nuclear option and once I press that button, I can't undo any damage caused by publicly exposing this. So yes, I'm thinking through what you're saying... just hesitant to make an unretractable decision to do it at the moment.


Thanks for thinking it through. Keep in mind, though, that I am not asking you to {"damage" your marriage. That is a false paradigm. You are still in the mindset that making your wife angry = bad. I am asking you to question the validity of your opinion that exposure is "damage." It is not damaging, it is therapeutic.

You are talking to many people whose marriages were saved due to exposure. You have read the Dr Harley, clinical psychologist and author of Surviving an Affair, opinion that "exposure is the most important first step towards recovery." Can it save every marriage? No. But it gives your marriage the best chance possible.

Quote:
(15) I am snooping on my wife in a way that she has no idea about. I can track the location of her phone so I know where she is at any time. And I can see the past history of it all. So yeah, I know when she was in that other city and where and everywhere she goes. How do I put spyware on her phone without her knowing? Or VAR? Is that illegal?


But she knew you were tracking her before and can easily leave her phone somewhere. You can place spyware on her phone without her knowing. It is suggested that you place a VAR under the drivers seat in her car.

Quote:
Due to our location, there is virtually no chance the OM will visit my wife in our city.


But you don't know that. Our goal is to help you make decisions based on facts.

Does she invite the OM to come to your home when you are gone? Is she home during the day? .

Quote:
(16) RE: fears, hopes, wishes... and a plan
All of us have fears, hopes, and wishes. I'm simply try to express mine. No, I do not think any of those are a plan to execute. I'm doing everything possible to show my wife I love her and to wait for her to choose to love me. On the first page, some expressed hope that yes, spouses can turn around but the chances are narrow.


The person on the first page said spouses can turn it around IF THEY FOLLOW THIS PLAN. If you won't follow this plan, there is no hope. The path is very narrow, IF YOU FOLLOW THIS PLAN.

We all had FEAR, but the difference between those who make it and those that dont is the ability to act despite the fear. By allowing your fear to dictate your actions, you can't win.

Quote:
The plan in the back of my mind right now (and I'm still thinking through this), is to expose all of this to her parents when we visit them in June. They live in another state. They don't know of any of this. We will stay with them, and I would like to explain first to her father what all has happened, not just her affair, but also my failures that created a context for my wife to seek someone else.


This is a waste of time. And a clear plan of conflict avoidance. You can't save a marriage in crisis by avoiding the conflict.

If you are serious about savig your marriage, you must put aside your own failed ideas and take objective advice. Your own best thinking has led you to make many strategic mistakes. We can't help you if won't put those aside.


"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: anonymityplease
Well, she did really neither. She wants space, freedom, and independence from me and the kids, but she's also not willing to end our marriage. She's very indecisive. And yet, she will not do anything that could be seen as a positive step for rebuilding our relationship.


Of course. She's cake eating which is very NORMAL for a wayward spouse. She is getting some needs met by the OM (currently - and I assure you of this) and some needs met by you.


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SusieQ #2898154 05/01/17 05:33 PM
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Dr. Harley on telling the children:

Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
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

Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
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.



Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
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

Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
Q. How honest should I be about the A? (they are 7 and under)

A. 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

Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
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


MelodyLane #2898155 05/01/17 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley,, clinical psychologist and founder of Marriage Builders
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 wayward 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.

<snip unrelated>

Infidelity is not something that can be swept under the rug. While those who have affairs want to forget about it and move on, those who are betrayed must take very specific steps before they can fully recover. In your case, those steps have not been taken, and as a result, your fear persists. I will send you a complimentary copy of my book, "Surviving an Affair," if you send me your address. It will describe these two steps to you and provide you with a roadmap toward full recovery. But the path will require full disclosure of all details.

Best wishes,

Willard F. Harley, Jr.
here


"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


MelodyLane #2898169 05/01/17 06:39 PM
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I'm not sure why this whole thread has diverted to the subject of publicly exposing my wife for an affair that is over. It is over. I've checked up on it without her knowing or even suspecting. I could go on but it would beat a dead horse. We've talked through the circumstances and causes of the affair. It's over. The advice to publicly expose this is treating a symptom, not the main problem, and would currently be like throwing gas on a fire.

The main problem is what MelodyLane copied and pasted as Step 2 (beyond Step 1 of complete separation form the lover and eliminating the conditions that made the affair possible). Step 1 is done. I need Step 2... how to create (or re-create) a romantic relationship between my wife & me.

That's what I came on this forum asking. Is there a chance this can return?

Thanks.

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Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
I'm not sure why this whole thread has diverted to the subject of publicly exposing my wife for an affair that is over.


The reason why is because you asked this:

Quote:
Does anyone in this kind of situation ever come back around?
I'm really afraid my marriage is a lost cause, but I'm not willing to give up.
I keep fighting for our marriage in every possible way, but she does nothing recipricol.

Any chance or hope that someone like this might come back around?

I really hope, yes, there's hope.


You told us you wanted to save your marriage so we gave the best advice to achieve that objective. Thanks.



"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


MelodyLane #2898173 05/01/17 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley, clinical psychologist and founder of Marriage Builders

What about exposure of an affair that took place years earlier and is now ended but recently revealed? I feel that the children, close relatives, close friends, and the lover's spouse should be informed. Granted, it's embarrassing to admit an affair, but publicly admitting failure is usually the first step toward redemption.

As you probably already know, I'm a strong advocate of honesty and openness in marriage. I call it transparency -- letting your spouse know everything about you, especially your faults. But should that level of openness carry into the public arena? I believe that it should in cases of extreme irresponsibility, and that certainly includes infidelity. When you have done something very hurtful to someone else, others should know about it. Such exposure helps prevent a recurrence of the offense. Your closest friends and relatives will be keeping an eye on you -- holding you accountable.


and

Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
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 marital recovery.
here


"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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Quote:
need Step 2... how to create (or re-create) a romantic relationship between my wife & me.

That's what I came on this forum asking. Is there a chance this can return?

If you don't expose, then very likely no.

Exposure is the first step. It is where healing starts. It gives you support you need, and it gives your wife accountability. Without it, there is very little hope for your marriage. IF you stay married (and you'll likely end up divorced), your marriage will limp along as an empty shell of what it was before the affair.


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What to do with an Angry Husband

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Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
To markos:

I have the app now. But I can only pull up 1 program from Jan 30. I tried logging in, but that's still all I get.


That's today's show. It's a repeat. Have you listened to it, yet?

Tomorrow there will be another show, probably a new one rather than a repeat. Either way it will be new to you. Be sure to listen.

Get the book Surviving an Affair by Dr. Willard Harley. It tells you all about Plan A. You can buy it as an ebook from Amazon and read through the whole thing tonight or tomorrow.

Then send Dr. Harley an email on his radio show at mbradio@marriagebuilders.com and see what he says about your situation. This is his website you are on - tell him we sent you.

Have you read the Basic Concepts section of the website? What parts of the website have you read? Have you watched Dr. Harley's video on infidelity in the videos section of the website?


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
SusieQ #2898186 05/01/17 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted By: SusieQ
Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
Well, she did really neither. She wants space, freedom, and independence from me and the kids, but she's also not willing to end our marriage. She's very indecisive. And yet, she will not do anything that could be seen as a positive step for rebuilding our relationship.


Of course. She's cake eating which is very NORMAL for a wayward spouse. She is getting some needs met by the OM (currently - and I assure you of this) and some needs met by you.


Later you're going to realize that this is correct.

If you address it soon enough there's a better chance of turning this around.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Thanks again for taking the time with all the responses.

The reason I question doing the nuclear option as MelodyLane explains in Exposure 101 is that ML is describing a situation in which a spouse *is* having an affair (quoting her signature line). This would have been great advice 2 months ago when I discovered it.

But now, my situation is that my wife *had* an affair. It ended. I ended it by confronting the OM in a text from her phone and confronting her in person with pics of all the text messages in which she was sexting and mentioned the hook-up in her own words. It ended. I have no reason to think it has gone underground. The OM was not happy with her. I ruined it for them.

I do agree the reason a WS seeks another person is that they feel they're not getting their needs met in their marriage. And my wife is still in that position. In fact, she does not want me to even try to meet her needs. She's told me that. So even though she is not currently in an affair, she is not getting her needs met in our marriage. I'm fighting for our marriage, but she is doing nothing in return. I think she is waiting for our son to leave for college in September, and then she'll move out.

That's why I'm asking for advice. I think it may be best to serve her divorce papers sooner than September. She cheated on me. She has shown no interest in having her needs met in our marriage (before or after the affair). I feel like I'm fooling myself to think she's going to come to her senses and decide not to throw away our marriage. It's a lost cause unless she decides to rebuild our marriage. I'm willing to do so, but it takes two to rebuild a marriage, not just one. And she has given no hint that she's interested.

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