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Originally Posted by SusieQ
Marriage Builders will help you develop EPs (extraordinary precautions) to protect your marriage, but first things first, you need to expose this affair.

Now that I have exposed the affair, what EPs should I be developing?

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Originally Posted by SugarCane
[
That was a really lecturing, sanctimonious and judgemental response - and as for swearing at her in print; that is absolutely against Plan A.

She said that she felt alone, that she was hurting, that she was really sorry for "all of this" and that she was sorry for hurting you. All you needed to say was that you are sorry that she is hurting, and you don't want her to feel alone. You love her, you are fighting for the marriage and you would like to work with her to restore it.

Affairs are wrong, and we all need to exercise enough judgement to know right from wrong, but you should not write judgementally to your wife. You took the time to compose these sentences; they were not blurted out in the heat of the moment. Such a letter could do more harm than good. Somewhere in her message was the faintest sign that she was reaching out to you. If she were really absolutely finished with you, the tone of her letter would have been different - or she might not have written at all. You wrote 10 times as much as she did, and unleashed a torrent of condemnation on her.

You can tell her the affair hurts you; you can tell her you want her to end it and work on your marriage, but you must not tell her she "sinned against you" or she "will not heal unless she has godly counsel to get herself out of this mess". Tell her that you can be happy together if she ends her affair, but don't sit in judgement on her.


AMC, Sugarcane is absolutely right. This is not Plan A. It is extremely important that you eliminate lovebusters, which would include judging her and giving her sanctimonious lectures. It simply is not strategic. I assure you the OM is not giving her lectures. The goal here is to save your marriage, not to push her away with moralizing lectures. We all know that adultery is wrong and we don't need to pretend its not but this is about like lecturing a falling down drunk. It doesn't motivate the person to stop drinking, it just makes them angry.

Plan A involves a) exposing the affair, b) eliminating all lovebusters and c) looking for opportunities to meet her needs.


"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 A.M.C.
Originally Posted by SusieQ
Marriage Builders will help you develop EPs (extraordinary precautions) to protect your marriage, but first things first, you need to expose this affair.

Now that I have exposed the affair, what EPs should I be developing?


That comes down the road with recovery.


"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 MelodyLane

AMC, Sugarcane is absolutely right. This is not Plan A. It is extremely important that you eliminate lovebusters, which would include judging her and giving her sanctimonious lectures. It simply is not strategic. I assure you the OM is giving her lectures. The goal here is to save your marriage, not to push her away with moralizing lectures. We all know that adultery is wrong and we don't need to pretend its not but this is about like lecturing a falling down drunk. It doesn't motivate the person to stop drinking, it just makes them angry.

Plan A involves a) exposing the affair, b) eliminating all lovebusters and c) looking for opportunities to meet her needs.

I understand. I can't take the words back but they weren't meant to be judgmental. I see how they can easily be interpreted that way given the circumstances. I regret sending that message to her.

Does this mean Plan A must be abandoned?

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Originally Posted by A.M.C.


I understand. I can't take the words back but they weren't meant to be judgmental. I see how they can easily be interpreted that way given the circumstances. I regret sending that message to her.

Does this mean Plan A must be abandoned?


It means you need to start Plan A and stick with it. Start with this article and if you can, download the book Surviving an Affair on kindle and read it WHAT ARE PLAN A AND PLAN B?
Willard F. Harley, Jr., PhD


"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 MelodyLane

It means you need to start Plan A and stick with it. Start with this article and if you can, download the book Surviving an Affair on kindle and read it WHAT ARE PLAN A AND PLAN B?
Willard F. Harley, Jr., PhD


The book arrived in the mail today and I started reading just moments ago.

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Originally Posted by A.M.C.
Originally Posted by MelodyLane

It means you need to start Plan A and stick with it. Start with this article and if you can, download the book Surviving an Affair on kindle and read it WHAT ARE PLAN A AND PLAN B?
Willard F. Harley, Jr., PhD


The book arrived in the mail today and I started reading just moments ago.



Good man! laugh


"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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I've made it to chapter 5. I plan to see my family tomorrow after work and will continue reading tomorrow. Thank you for your continued support.

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Originally Posted by A.M.C.
I've made it to chapter 5. I plan to see my family tomorrow after work and will continue reading tomorrow. Thank you for your continued support.


Good job!! We will see you tomorrow. Remember to be as pleasant and inviting as possible. I would avoid trying to reason with her because she is not using reason now. The goal is to attract her back. So think back to when you were dating and do what you did then.


"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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AMC, have you done a background check on this OM? Since he has been essentially grooming her since she was a young teenager, it is very likely he has done this before.


"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 MelodyLane
AMC, have you done a background check on this OM? Since he has been essentially grooming her since she was a young teenager, it is very likely he has done this before.


I have not. She met him on a missions trip during her teenage years. Do you have any resources to perform a background check? His first and last name are very typical for his culture. All I have from the evidence is his text app (WhatsApp) number.

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Originally Posted by MelodyLane

Good job!! We will see you tomorrow. Remember to be as pleasant and inviting as possible. I would avoid trying to reason with her because she is not using reason now. The goal is to attract her back. So think back to when you were dating and do what you did then.


Doing my best. She has pretty much shut off contact with me since the previous message that she clearly interpreted as an attack as your analysis indicated. I will be far more cautious going forward but it’s going to take time after the damage my words may have caused. I want to make love deposits but I don’t know how right now.

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Originally Posted by SugarCane
Affairs are wrong, and we all need to exercise enough judgement to know right from wrong, but you should not write judgementally to your wife. You took the time to compose these sentences; they were not blurted out in the heat of the moment. Such a letter could do more harm than good. Somewhere in her message was the faintest sign that she was reaching out to you. If she were really absolutely finished with you, the tone of her letter would have been different - or she might not have written at all. You wrote 10 times as much as she did, and unleashed a torrent of condemnation on her.

You can tell her the affair hurts you; you can tell her you want her to end it and work on your marriage, but you must not tell her she "sinned against you" or she "will not heal unless she has godly counsel to get herself out of this mess". Tell her that you can be happy together if she ends her affair, but don't sit in judgement on her.



Right here, dude.

Them big ol walls of texts you are sending? She's hitting the first word that so much as sniffs of being preaching, judging, condescending, disrespectful. or otherwise not to to the actual point, and the rest goes in the mental trash.

Right below here; "Fair speech may hid a foul heart."


It's short and simple;

"Your affair hurts me deeply. I am willing to work to restore our marriage - to make it better and more romantic than it's ever been. But, first you must end your affair, and end all contact with this man."


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

"Fair speech may hide a foul heart." - Samwise Gamgee LOTR
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Originally Posted by MelodyLane

Good job!! We will see you tomorrow. Remember to be as pleasant and inviting as possible. I would avoid trying to reason with her because she is not using reason now. The goal is to attract her back. So think back to when you were dating and do what you did then.


I have finished reading the book (Surviving an Affair) and have some questions, but first I want to summarize the current circumstances.
  • She has been out of the house since Wednesday night. She is living with her female boss, who is married.
  • I am temporarily staying with my family for the weekend. I plan to return home sometime today.
  • My wife and I exchanged business-like messages yesterday about an unrelated topic.
  • I have exposed the affair to our family and friends but have not been able to expose to the OM's contacts as I cannot access his social media network.
  • I attempted to perform a background check on this guy, but his name and information that I have came back empty (his name is the same as an international soccer player).
  • I reached out to try to confirm the identity of this man with the mother of the compassion international sponsor child who is receiving emergency medical/dental care from this man (to my knowledge). She does not speak English so I had to use a translator. I did not mention the affair (more on this later).
  • Her mother reached out to confirm the identity of this man with contacts familiar with translators, medical assistants, etc. of previous trips to the OM's country during her teenage years. So far no one recognizes him.


After reading the book and the replies on this thread, I believe I understand what a "Plan A" message looks like:

"My beloved Aubrey. I want you to know that I now understand that my initial approach expressed my feelings as selfish demands, disrespectful judgements, and even punishments. I am very sorry for the way I communicated, and will work to protect you from my selfish instincts going forward. I want to be your greatest source of happiness and stop being a source of unhappiness. I acknowledge that although I may have met some of your emotional needs, that I did not make it a priority to identify and meet your most important emotional needs, leaving you vulnerable. I want to work to build a more fulfilling and romantic marriage than it's ever been."

OR as HoldHerHand put more concisely:

Originally Posted by HoldHerHand
"Your affair hurts me deeply. I am willing to work to restore our marriage - to make it better and more romantic than it's ever been. But, first you must end your affair, and end all contact with this man."


However, I feel like I am stuck in between Plan A and Plan B since she is out of the house.

1. Should I send her a "Plan A" message to help regain some of the trust that I clearly broke in my initial approach to this situation and hopefully have her move back in even though it's unlikely?

2. In the book, both marriage scenarios eventually reach a point of willingness to work on the marriage on the part of the unfaithful spouse. I understand that the willingness comes when the affair is over. I have no real "proof" that the affair is over, especially now that she is out of the house. Do I wait until the affair dies a natural death from the exposure (basically Plan B) or do I keep asking her to end it like HoldHerHand's "short and simple" message (Plan A)? I want the affair to die but I feel like at this point mentioning the affair will shut her out and push her away even more than she already is at the present time.

3. As I mentioned earlier, one of the things I did was reach out to try to confirm the identity of this man with the mother of the compassion international sponsor child who is receiving medical care from this man (to my knowledge). I did not mention the affair, but should I mention it if/when she responds?

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Originally Posted by A.M.C.
[
After reading the book and the replies on this thread, I believe I understand what a "Plan A" message looks like:

"My beloved Aubrey. I want you to know that I now understand that my initial approach expressed my feelings as selfish demands, disrespectful judgements, and even punishments. I am very sorry for the way I communicated, and will work to protect you from my selfish instincts going forward. I want to be your greatest source of happiness and stop being a source of unhappiness. I acknowledge that although I may have met some of your emotional needs, that I did not make it a priority to identify and meet your most important emotional needs, leaving you vulnerable. I want to work to build a more fulfilling and romantic marriage than it's ever been."

OR as HoldHerHand put more concisely:

Originally Posted by HoldHerHand
"Your affair hurts me deeply. I am willing to work to restore our marriage - to make it better and more romantic than it's ever been. But, first you must end your affair, and end all contact with this man."


However, I feel like I am stuck in between Plan A and Plan B since she is out of the house.


You should maintain Plan A for a long time. Plan B is not appropriate for your situation at this time. I would use the words that HHH wrote out for you because your comment is too wordy and uses too many shop specific phrases. Your wife is checked out so you need to be BRIEF and to the point. It's also important that you regularly express how HURT you are by her actions.

Quote
3. As I mentioned earlier, one of the things I did was reach out to try to confirm the identity of this man with the mother of the compassion international sponsor child who is receiving medical care from this man (to my knowledge). I did not mention the affair, but should I mention it if/when she responds?


YES. Tell her everything you know and ask for her help in identifying this man.


"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 MelodyLane

You should maintain Plan A for a long time. Plan B is not appropriate for your situation at this time. I would use the words that HHH wrote out for you because your comment is too wordy and uses too many shop specific phrases. Your wife is checked out so you need to be BRIEF and to the point. It's also important that you regularly express how HURT you are by her actions.

I will send the brief message. Should I explicitly invite her to move back in even if she doesn't end express intentions to end the affair or ignores the message altogether?

Originally Posted by MelodyLane

YES. Tell her everything you know and ask for her help in identifying this man.

I went ahead and informed her and even sent a picture of the man too. It is often days before she has connectivity to read and respond to messages.

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Page 87 from the book: "Some of the best examples of recovery I've witnessed involved couples who were forced, due to a prior business or vacation commitment, to be together almost twenty-four hours a day..."

For about 6 months, we have/had a nearly 10 day vacation planned starting August 16 (August 16-18 was just us on our own dime, August 18-25 was with my family: mother, father, sister).

Obviously after all of this has unraveled it feels like none of this planned time away will take place. There's a lot of uncertainty right now. Should I offer to still go on the August 16-18 trip with my wife, or at least offer to go with her?

In a perfect world I could repurpose the family trip to extend the trip for ourselves.

I don't imagine her agreeing to any of this, but it can't hurt to ask right? In fact, she might appreciate it. She needed time off from work before all of this. I'm sure she REALLY needs it now... just not with me?

Any other advice/suggestions since I am uncertain if she is committed to end the affair? Should I avoid the planned time-off altogether? I don't know... Sorry for all of the questions.

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That portion of the book was clearly more in a stage of recovery while I don’t have my wife’s commitment to even begin that journey yet.

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Originally Posted by A.M.C.

I will send the brief message. Should I explicitly invite her to move back in even if she doesn't end express intentions to end the affair or ignores the message altogether?


YES, however, I suspect she won't want to come back because she now has the freedom to carry on her affair without interference.

Quote

I went ahead and informed her and even sent a picture of the man too. It is often days before she has connectivity to read and respond to messages.


Good job!


"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 A.M.C.
Page 87 from the book: "Some of the best examples of recovery I've witnessed involved couples who were forced, due to a prior business or vacation commitment, to be together almost twenty-four hours a day..."

For about 6 months, we have/had a nearly 10 day vacation planned starting August 16 (August 16-18 was just us on our own dime, August 18-25 was with my family: mother, father, sister).

Obviously after all of this has unraveled it feels like none of this planned time away will take place. There's a lot of uncertainty right now. Should I offer to still go on the August 16-18 trip with my wife, or at least offer to go with her?

In a perfect world I could repurpose the family trip to extend the trip for ourselves.

I don't imagine her agreeing to any of this, but it can't hurt to ask right? In fact, she might appreciate it. She needed time off from work before all of this. I'm sure she REALLY needs it now... just not with me?

Any other advice/suggestions since I am uncertain if she is committed to end the affair? Should I avoid the planned time-off altogether? I don't know... Sorry for all of the questions.


This would be a perfect opportunity to ask her to go with you. Instead of going with your family, can you plan to spend the time alone with your wife?


"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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