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Have you listened to the Marriage Builders Radio 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.
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Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
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.


Serving divorce papers isn't going to motivate her to save your marriage.


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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Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
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.


No, it is applicable now as indicated by the quotes I posted. Please read my posts. Exposure applies to affairs that have ended as stated in Dr. Harley's quote. [did you read my posts? I addressed this] I am not recommending a "nuclear option," but standard exposure.

Quote:
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.


You are fooling yourself by imagining she will come to her senses. And yes it is a lost cause unless you expose the affair. You are headed to divorce, but you might be able to pull this out. I would try other things first.


"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 #2898195 05/01/17 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
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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Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
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.


Please listen to the experienced folks giving you great advice, like MelodyLane, markos, and others. I understand why you felt the need to confront OM & WW, it's a natural reaction. But even using your surveillance techniques, the A may still be in progress, because once you confronted them, they took the A further underground.

After I discovered my WW was in what I thought to be an EA (she claimed it was only a friendship), my WW swore that should would stop texting and talking to the OM (a coworker). I wanted to believe her but her behavior changes continued, and actually got a bit worse, so I was suspicious. It took me 3 weeks of investigating before I discovered the truth, that it was both an EA & PA and that the A was ongoing. Even with the methods you have been using, you may need to be more creative to discover the truth. Is this a workplace affair? If so, most of the time the A is conducted in the workplace itself. Don't think they can't find a way to do that.

Please don't think that because WW or OM have told you they will stop, that they will actually stop. One or both of them are in an addiction, and without exposure, sending a NC letter, and other precautions, they will continue to conduct their affair underground and out of sight.

I was unaware of Marriage Builders when I discovered the EA, so I mistakenly confronted WW immediately, and she hid the A more effectively. Had I known about MB and why exposure is the single most effective tool to kill affairs and recover marriages, I would have not even attempted to find more proof (I had originally discovered hundreds of texts being sent per month, though not the content), I would have exposed.

Yes, exposure is a scary notion. But your marriage might survive your WW's anger at exposure, but it will not survive on ongoing affair. Please listen to Dr. Harley's advice. Please listen to MelodyLane and others who have experience with thousands of marriages. You can choose to try your own plan, but read some of the threads in this forum. When a betrayed spouse avoids the tried & true methods advised here, it only gets worse.

Reading your first post, your situation has many similarities to mine. Also married 20+ years, three teenagers, a wife who has been been getting more & more distant the last 2 years, and many of the some complaints that your WW describes. Don't shoulder all the blame for the M yourself, it is a normal reaction for betrayed spouses. Yes, you are partly to blame for the state of the M, but so is your wife. These may be contributing *reasons* for the A, but they are NOT an excuse. She *chose* to go outside of the M, not you.

Last edited by abrrba; 05/01/17 11:21 PM.

BH (me) 50, WxW 47
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D-day, plan A, & exposure Jan 2017
Divorced Nov 2017
abrrba #2898198 05/02/17 12:16 AM
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I understand why everyone says to expose an ongoing affair. I completely understand that and agree with it.

But in my situation since the affair is over, I would feel foolish to suddenly announce publicly to our families, to our friends, to our church, to everyone: "My wife had an affair 2 months ago. It's over, but I just want everyone to know what she did." How is that therapeutic?

The main problem with our marriage is still the same now as it was before the affair, she is done with me and does not want me to meet her needs. To quote her, "I want a buddy, not a husband." In other words, she doesn't mind if I go biking or hiking with her, but she doesn't want to share a normal married relationship with me.

I've tolerated this for 2 years now only because I know it was my depression and grumpiness while depressed that drove her to reject me. And I hate that I was ever that way and I want to show her I'm not that way. But she seems completely unimpressed. And it's not an act that I'm putting on. Trying to save our marriage and impress her with my love is what dug me out of depression in every area of my life (work, ministry, kids, etc). Depression (for me at least) was wallowing in self-absorbed self-pity. I realized I was about to lose the best thing that ever happened to me, and trying to win her back was what got me out of that depression.

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Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
I understand why everyone says to expose an ongoing affair. I completely understand that and agree with it.

But in my situation since the affair is over, I would feel foolish to suddenly announce publicly to our families, to our friends, to our church, to everyone: "My wife had an affair 2 months ago. It's over, but I just want everyone to know what she did." How is that therapeutic?


When I found Marriage Builders my (now ex) husband had already dumped the OW months earlier. At that time exposure was recommended for on-going affairs so I did not expose other than to my children and immediate family. I still regret that decision 10 years later.

1. The OW reappeared months later (they always do). So there was a second round of discovery. Sadly my teenage son had to witness that.

2. XH was able to spin his version of the divorce and told family and friends that I 'abandoned the family'.

3. Had we found a way to avoid divorce, he would have inevitably had another affair because there were no negative consequences to his behaviour.

Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
The main problem with our marriage is still the same now as it was before the affair, she is done with me and does not want me to meet her needs. To quote her, "I want a buddy, not a husband." In other words, she doesn't mind if I go biking or hiking with her, but she doesn't want to share a normal married relationship with me.


The fact that your wife is behaving like this strongly indicates that the affair is not over. This is not the normal behaviour of a wife in a situation where her husband is trying to win her back. Active conflict yes, passive rejection no. You need to be Sherlock Holmes my friend.


3 adult children
Divorced - he was a serial adulterer
Now remarried, thank you MB
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living_well #2898202 05/02/17 06:34 AM
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To living_well:

I'm not sure which you mean by your opening paragraph. You regret that you exposed the past affair to your children and family? Or you regret that you didn't expose the past affair further to more people and more publicly?

When the affair reappeared months later, did you publicly expose the affair to everyone at that point? If not, why not? If so, why did it not work well? The affair would have been current and ongoing at that point.

My apologies for not fully understanding what you're trying to say. Your situation sounds more similar to mine at this point. Thanks.

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Originally Posted By: anonymityplease

The main problem with our marriage is still the same now as it was before the affair, she is done with me and does not want me to meet her needs. To quote her, "I want a buddy, not a husband." In other words, she doesn't mind if I go biking or hiking with her, but she doesn't want to share a normal married relationship with me.


You need to accept the fact that the A is still going on, you may not have caught them yet, but your WW is still in love with OM, exposure gives that fantasy world a strong dose of reality.

Like arrba posted, I too had a very similar situation and mine played out exactly like the folks here say it ALWAYS does. Before I found MB, I confronted WW with the affair, and confronted OM and told him to stay away (thinking he would cause he was a close friend). All that did was make things go underground. Meanwhile, WW then put every thing on me, as she re-wrote history to justify the affair, sending me into a deep anxious depression. 1 month later I confirmed the affair was even stronger and had hard evidence, AGAIN I confronted WW and OM, did a mini-exposure to OM wife, and family. EVEN that wasn't enough, 2 weeks later I caught WW at OM house, then did full exposure. It wasn't until full exposure that WW finally started to snap out of it. Sure she resented me for months, and actually still does, we are barely on the road to recovery, BUT the affair is dead. Now the only options for WW are to fix the marriage or leave for the unknown, there is no other option with OM at this time.

Listen to the folks here, I'd be willing to bet money that your wife is still contacting OM.

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Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
To living_well:

I'm not sure which you mean by your opening paragraph. You regret that you exposed the past affair to your children and family? Or you regret that you didn't expose the past affair further to more people and more publicly?


Sorry that I was not clear. Yes I told immediate family right away but there was no broad exposure. For example, friends and neighbours were not told. He showed up at my mother's funeral as the bereaved son in law. Indeed he even spoke to the priest before the service and said I was a wicked woman for abandoning my family and should not be put in the front row. Fortunately the priest ignored him.

Maybe I should add that the divorce took six years as he fought it every step of the way.

Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
When the affair reappeared months later, did you publicly expose the affair to everyone at that point? If not, why not? If so, why did it not work well? The affair would have been current and ongoing at that point.


No I did not although I should have. It is exactly what I should have done. I just filed for divorce citing her as his adultery partner. There was no 'no fault' divorce in my state at that time.

Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
My apologies for not fully understanding what you're trying to say. Your situation sounds more similar to mine at this point. Thanks.


Affairs are addictions. How is the snooping going?


3 adult children
Divorced - he was a serial adulterer
Now remarried, thank you MB
(formerly lied_to_again)
living_well #2898207 05/02/17 07:53 AM
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AP,
Please listen to them - I am in a similar situation as you - but not through a lack of desire. I want to expose, but have no proof, and cannot locate the POSOMs Wife ***EDIT*** to expose to. My wife claims there is no contact, but as I have no way of verifying calls or emails she makes at work I cannot verify this. Heck the POSOM used to work for her, and was a big part of her office, his name is mentioned once every few weeks - this brings back the fog. I can plot the days on a calendar when his name is mentioned just by how she reacts to me. She gets closer, and closer, we seem to make progress, then someone brings up his name. Guess what? That night she is withdrawn, and her Love Bank is not receiving. And we start again, lucky that my deposits are still there - the balance is growing, but slowly.

Next - I haven't seen anyone here mention it, but do not bring up this site. Don't invite her here, and don't talk directly about MB or Dr. Harley. If you wish to share some information from the site, I recommend copy the text to a word program and print it out without the URLs or names etc. At least until the Affair is dead, crushed and you are in fully recovery a football team protects it play book, this site is your play book, and you have the best offensive, and defensive line your could every hope to find.

Next - you need to expose - your children are adults, and have the right and a need to know. They can be your allies in this.

This will also help them see that every person - no matter faith, education, or how it seems on the outside can be tempted. I think MB would be best taught to teens, before they start serious dating, but hey too late for us, failing that it should be mandatory pre-marriage learning.

Your exposure doesn't have to be nuclear as you see it, you, I am sure have a gift for words, and can present this as a call for assistance. Start with your children, tell them the truth, and nothing but the truth, tell them (if this is your goal) that you want to save your marriage, and that you would like their support.

How close is your wife to her family? Parents? Siblings? Who has the greatest influence in her life? These people can help you, but they need to know about the affair.

Yes she will be mad - I know that is daunting, but what is she mad about? Her actions? Or her actions being revealed to people she cares for? If she doesn't / didn't want people to know what she did, then she needs to ask herself why would she do it?

You have basically said that there is a timeline - August of this year. You have until then to win her back. I have a feeling that about two years ago your oldest left for school, correct? I make this guess as I am thinking that her changes towards you, are a combination of your depression, and some empty nest type reactions on her part.

How much time are you spending together? Your depression makes me think that you might not spend as much time with her as you did when you were younger. Good news, she is looking for you as a buddy - not great, but this gives you an open door to start making deposits - if the bank can be re-opened. (hint to re-open the bank you need to eliminate the other depositor). In the meantime that is a great way to Plan A. I know that you have been told to get and read SAA - do it. Also while waiting read up on the Emotional Needs (EN) start here:http://marriagebuilders.com//graphic/mbi3550_summary.html

What are your wifes biggest ENs? Can you fill any of them? There are some that you might not be able to - until the other depositor - or fantasy of him - is gone, but start with what you can.

I used to tell my kids that before telling a joke I want them to consider would they be willing to tell their grandparents sitting at the front of a church? This works pretty well for judging any action. If I (your wife, my wife...) consider would we do this, or say this in that situation it may have an impact on if we would do it.

In short, when she expresses anger, you tell her you are sorry that her affair is causing her so much pain. As it isn't your request for support that causes her pain, but that the affair itself is no longer a secret - which is what she wants.

***EDIT***

Last edited by Ariel; 05/02/17 08:55 AM.
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Thanks for the clarification.

I have snooped and not found any evidence of any contact for an affair. I have looked on her laptop, her phone, and tracked her every movement with her phone. She has it with her 24/7 and has no idea I can track her phone. The OM was ticked at her when he found out she had lied to him and risked facing an angry husband who could've been violent. I ruined the affair for them by texting him from her phone. She had met him in a bar in another city that she used to visit. I know she has not been near that city ever since I confronted her about the affair. And I have no reason to think he has made any effort to come to our city or anywhere nearby.

If affairs are as addicting as crack cocaine as everyone is saying, if my wife is currently having an affair, it would be with someone else. She was just going to use this original OM for sex and only sex. I read all the texts and can tell. She had zero interest in him other than as a boy toy.

Another problem in our marriage is that my wife reads lots of erotic books on her phone. Probably 2-3 hours a day she reads this stuff, and I've seen what books she reads. It's 50 Shades of Gray kind of stuff, not merely Hallmark movie sweet romances. She started doing this when she declared 2 years ago that we were done. I didn't realize until the affair and started snooping what she had been reading. Also, I discovered that she had started drinking a good bit, not merely wine, but margaritas and martinis. Of course, with me in my position in Christian ministry, she couldn't do this locally, so she would go to this other city and do it there. That's how she met this guy in a bar.

Her brother (with whom she's close) flies for the airlines and every now and then when he would fly into a city near us. She would use that as a cover to go to that city and stay with her brother over night. But then try to hook up with this other man. It never worked out, but she tried. I read all the texts. She even tried to go to a resort city further away to meet her brother there, a city this OM frequented (which I know from reading the texts and his social media pages). But that's when I ruined the affair and so she never did.

She is embarrassed that I found out about it all. And now she has cleaned up her act, at least temporarily. She no longer reads books on her phone (something that I never confronted her about, but I've noticed the change). She no longer visits her brother in other cities. She hasn't gone out drinking (I have other ways I've tracked this). I hope these are permanent changes, but I suspect she simply cleaned up her act so that when she leaves me in September (when our youngest goes off to college), she won't look like the bad person in this divorce, because despite all these changes, she has made no positive step to rebuild our relationship, and any time I try to talk about us in loving positive ways, she gets irritated and builds walls. Every indication is that she is just delaying and postponing til she pulls the plug on our marriage in September.

So I do not think any affair has gone underground. Every possible way I can check, I'm finding nothing. Two months ago, when I checked on anything, nearly every single time I found evidence of her double life. And I never revealed what all I knew about her double life or how I knew. There were ways I was snooping that she doesn't even suspect.

So yeah, I think she has cleaned up her act temporarily until she leaves me in September. That's what I fully expect. And that's why the bigger problem I'm facing is not that she had an affair, but that she has built walls against me. That was true before the brief affair and is still true afterward. The affair made it worse and gave her more strength and reason to shun me.

Nothing will improve for our marriage until these walls come down.

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Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
...

Nothing will improve for our marriage until these walls come down.

So how can you tear down the walls - sorry Pink Floyd just ran through my head?
Is SF a big EN for her? This could be sensitive, but before she built the walls were you meeting her EN for SF? Does she have specific desires? Is pornography and issue? http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8122_Pornography.html

During the Plan A - what can you do to start meeting her ENs? Which can you meet without her even noticing?

Who was she going to the bar with to drink? Alone, or always to meet her brother? Or someone else? Why did this start?
The answer to these questions may help you tear down the walls.

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Thanks, Allan Tweed. That's kind of the position I'm in. If there was a current ongoing affair, I would expose it (knowing what I do now from this site). But I have no indication or evidence that my wife is having an affair. Every indication is that she has cleaned up her act (at least temporarily) so that she doesn't look like the bad person when she splits from me when our youngest goes off to college in September.

So the reason I keep resisting the advice to expose her now is simply because I already missed my chance with the past affair.

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If you are not going to take the advice, what can we do for you?


"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
Thanks, Allan Tweed. ..snip.. Every indication is that she has cleaned up her act (at least temporarily) so that she doesn't look like the bad person when she splits from me when our youngest goes off to college in September.

So the reason I keep resisting the advice to expose her now is simply because I already missed my chance with the past affair.

You don't need to have a current affair to expose, you have proof of the past affair, that is enough for your children, and family. If as you believe she is just pretending to be nice until she divorces you, and you do nothing then she will look like an angel, and this will be blamed on you - she will spin it. This act that you describe is what she is doing, laying the ground work. Take the proof that you have already from her phone - her texts etc, and tell your children, tell her family, her closest friends, then ask them for their support in saving your marriage. Or, as ML's post below is - if you don't start there, what is your next step? I wish I could expose, but I truly have no proof (My ww confessed her feelings) and I have no one to expose to - she told my parents herself.

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Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
I understand why everyone says to expose an ongoing affair. I completely understand that and agree with it.

But in my situation since the affair is over, I would feel foolish to suddenly announce publicly to our families, to our friends, to our church, to everyone: "My wife had an affair 2 months ago. It's over, but I just want everyone to know what she did." How is that therapeutic?

The main problem with our marriage is still the same now as it was before the affair, she is done with me and does not want me to meet her needs. To quote her, "I want a buddy, not a husband." In other words, she doesn't mind if I go biking or hiking with her, but she doesn't want to share a normal married relationship with me.

I've tolerated this for 2 years now only because I know it was my depression and grumpiness while depressed that drove her to reject me. And I hate that I was ever that way and I want to show her I'm not that way. But she seems completely unimpressed. And it's not an act that I'm putting on. Trying to save our marriage and impress her with my love is what dug me out of depression in every area of my life (work, ministry, kids, etc). Depression (for me at least) was wallowing in self-absorbed self-pity. I realized I was about to lose the best thing that ever happened to me, and trying to win her back was what got me out of that depression.


ap,

I see that we're not going to be able to convince you that this affair is ongoing.

What you're going to find is that your efforts to make love bank deposits and change your wife's feelings are ineffective.

Exposure would bring that to an end.

Also, exposure would save you from shouldering a silent burden. You tend toward depression and now you are quietly suffering the pain of your wife's affair with no support from anyone in your life. That's too much to ask of anybody, let alone someone who tends toward depression. Eventually you won't be able to sustain your efforts to continue to win back your wife. Exposure will make your efforts more effective and make it possible for you to keep them up longer.

Have you listened to Dr. Harley's radio show yet? I'm going to tell you what Steve Harley, Dr. Harley's son and a counselor himself, told me: embark on a program of education about Marriage Builders. There is a lot to learn and you need to get it firmly fixed in your mind if you are going to save your marriage.

Again, a divorce threat won't do it. You are well within your rights to a divorce, but if you are hoping that your wife will finally be motivated to do her part if she thinks she might lose you, I can tell you from my own personal experience with my wife that that does not work and makes her like you even less.

Please send Dr. Harley an email on his radio show at mbradio@marriagebuilders.com and describe your situation to him and get him to answer your questions on his show. Please start listening to the show daily - if you want to save your marriage you cannot afford to pass up a free hour of counseling help every day. Please watch the infidelity video here on this site. Please read the Basic Concepts, Q&A columns, and articles here on this site.

Do you want to stay married? The answers to how to do that are here, free of charge. Your present course isn't working. I've been there.


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.
Allan_Tweed #2898219 05/02/17 08:57 AM
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Please do not recommend non Harley resources to posters seeking help.

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Thanks again for all the responses.

To Allan Tweed:
I don't know the code words here. EN is probably emotional needs. Is SF = sexual feelings? Not sure.

For months and months, I've been trying to meet her EN. I am working hard to become a good listener, an active listener, taking mental notes when she describes her work or friends that I don't know personally.


To MelodyLane:
I do appreciate your continued responses. I am willing to take advice if it applies to my situation. You're going to have to spell out in specific steps what you think I should do and say. Like I said above, I would feel foolish to suddenly announce publicly to our families, to our friends, to our church, to everyone: "My wife had an affair 2 months ago. It's over, but I just want everyone to know what she did." How is that therapeutic?


To markos:
I plan to listen to the show in the car today.


To all:
It's hard to convince me that the affair is ongoing because there is no evidence that it is. It's hard to convince me the Yankees won last night, because there is no evidence that they did.

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Joined: Apr 2001
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Originally Posted By: anonymityplease
TTo MelodyLane:
I do appreciate your continued responses. I am willing to take advice if it applies to my situation. You're going to have to spell out in specific steps what you think I should do and say. Like I said above, I would feel foolish to suddenly announce publicly to our families, to our friends, to our church, to everyone: "My wife had an affair 2 months ago. It's over, but I just want everyone to know what she did." How is that therapeutic?


WE gave you advice that applies to your situation but you have rejected it. Are you in a position to even KNOW what is therapeutic or not? How is that? I am looking at your marriage and it doesn't seem like you do.

Are you wasting our valuable free time here? Just so you know, we are all volunteers who have careers and marriages. We are posting to you out of our own free time.


"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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