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jah #3017239 03/16/24 12:18 AM
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Steve always says surgical exposure, at least he did to me, and what he means is be strategic about it. Being strategic in your thinking and actions is what he is all about. Being guided by your intelligence and not your emotions. Plastering flyers is the opposite of surgical and strategic, it is like carpet bombing or some mass e-mail spam. It will be perceived by your wife and everyone you know as vindictive and unhinged, although you will feel really good about it probably. It will have the opposite impact than you want, and drive them closer together, or make your wife hate you, which will make your Plan A harder.

Are you focused on your Plan A, since you do not want a divorce and are not in Plan B? What are you doing to help you wife fall in love with you again? What actions? Do you have a daily and weekly Plan A plan with bullet point actions? You may not be able to get her to open up while she is in an active affair, but you can still focus on family and yourself and invite her all the time to your family outings. And if the OM is gone this is your Plan A golden opportunity for 2 weeks! Take vacation and do stuff together if she is willing, with kids, without kids, just take steady actions to persuade her you are the best man for her, not with punishments and teaching her why she is wrong, but with positive loving family building actions. And see where that takes you with her.

In the end your goal is to show her you are changing, you are trying to become the man she thinks she needs, not the man you think she needs. If she thinks you are judging her or trying to shame her, you are going backwards and OM is winning her. It is not your fault you are in this situation, it is his her weak boundaries around other men, but she was not in love with you when this started. If she is an idealized romantic then she wants to be in love with you and without that she is struggling, lost, and open to someone else meeting her emotional needs. That is your goal then, persuade her to fall in love with you by your Plan A actions.

Last edited by Blackhawk; 03/16/24 12:20 AM.

Me: BH
Marriage: 22 years
2 kids
D-Day 5 Sept 2011
EA w OM started Fall 2010, PA w OM Spring 2011, OM died end Sept 2011

jah #3017240 03/16/24 01:27 PM
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I want to thank everyone here again, so very much. It's been 11 days since D day, and I am a very emotional person. Slowly by slowly my mind is becoming clearer, I can think better. Last night is the first night I actually got 8 hrs of sleep! I think that helps. Yesterday at work, I was sitting there during child checkups and my mind was going blank several times an hour. Mid sentence. Parents had a confused look on their face, it was a little funny actually. I think it's the lack of sleep.

Things are improving. Last night our family went out for dinner. It was irritating to see her on her phone most of the time, she kept hiding her phone under the table while texting. But I also had some good conversations with my wife. There was a time in fact she reached out and grabbed my hand. I held it there with her for about 20 seconds, were just there in silence holding hands. But I couldn't bear to look her in the eyes, and after 20 seconds with tears welling up in my eyes, I stood up to excuse myself. I'm a little pathetic, huh? I think I need a little more time before I can be in that situation and be able to look back up at her and lock eyes.

Then on the way home, my 9 year old asked us to tell stories about our life. Again, he knows about the OM, and I never told him to do that, it's a game we often play taking turns telling stories and then he would judge who won. We tell 3 stories each, and I won the first two rounds because my wife wouldn't even participate: "I can't remember any stories." But after a few of my stories and laughter, by wife brought out her own story, about how my 5 year old when he was younger, would keep calling a firetruck, "F**K* because he couldn't pronounce it correctly. We laughed happily.

This morning, I made pancakes for the family, while she is texting away. Her Vietnamese dad came out (he lives with us), more calm and normal. He knows what is happening. They had a cordial conversation in Vietnamese, and after I asked her, "Is he still making you feel bad?" She said no. My WW's dad has been saying cruel things to her all week. I told my wife how I sat her dad down several times, and with Google translate told him to stop putting her down. When her dad said to me, "WW is not my daughter." I told him that she will always be her daughter and he needs to love he no matter what. So I told my wife that, and that hopefully it is starting to help. My wife was touched and thanked me, said I am so generous and kind.

I think this first 10 days have been a whirlwind, but now things are becoming clear. This situation is making me a little bipolar really, so angry one moment and then excited (about my plan) the next. Which makes it hard, because one day I want divorce, next day work on plan A, next day I can't imagine bearing all this pain and want plan B, and so forth.

I come up with this "Drop posters of OM all over the town" plan because I want to hurt this man back, because I want a quick solution, because I want to have some control back, and I want to 'force' the situation. Dumb idea.

These ideas are ways for me to take a 'shortcut'. I know the pain that is awaiting me. But I'm thinking clearer now.

I wrote that long letter in the hopes of convincing my wife why she is wrong, maybe having her see the light, lift the fog a little. Again, fanciful thinking, I'm such an idiot. But I'm saving that letter to help remind myself why I am going to win this battle. But is there anything in the letter you think worth discussing with my wife? She rationalized her infidelity because of the bad things I've done, can I ask her how she rationalizes how it's right that this man is dating a married women? Or bring up statistics of abuse in stepparents? Or ask her, why is it that custody of his four children went to the ex-wife and not him? Maybe bringing these points up is pointless, she is still in the 'in love' phase. I suppose maybe these things are better bringing up if at some point she comes to me and says she is confused, loves both of us, doesn't know what to do.

Until then, I have a clear plan now:
1) I am clearly in Plan A. I can handle it now, being calm and caring and loving while watching her spend time and text this OM. I couldn't do it before, but I can now.
1) The OM is in Japan for 2 weeks. It's spring break, I have my golden opportunity! I took off the whole week from work, taking the family to Oahu for a family trip. Part of the reasons my wife is meeting a off island surgeon to possibly have surgery on her knee. She already asked if I will help pay for the surgery even if divorced, and I said yes. So . . . the plan is for me to show her my love and care the whole trip, show her how happy the family is together, show support with her surgery.
2) Get over my emotions. She held my hand, and I couldn't look in her eyes and teared up. How can I build connection if I can't get over that? I must look so pathetic, although I think it does make her feel bad and realize the pain I am in.
3) I have another opportunity at more exposure. The first time I did the exposure, I had limited info (she deleted her text messages, I only have the phone log to go off of). When I notified the OM parents (who are pastors at the Mormon church), they said that their understanding is the marriage is over and he is having no physical relationship with my WW. Well, I have text messages now of the physicality, and we are definitely not divorced. I also just found out where his church is located. I plan to send a new exposure letter to the church leaders and the OM parents. Do you think that's a good idea? I'm drafting a letter now.

And for days, I have been fixated on getting revenge on this OM. Things so unimaginably horrible I can't share on this forum, worse than the most unimaginable. But you know what my comfort is now? My revenge will be when at some point, and I know this is going to happen, he is going to ask her, "Why don't you just get divorced already so we can be together." And she will say, "I still have feelings for my husband and I'm not ready to divorce." That is the day I get some revenge and get to break his heart, even just a bit.


BH: 35
WW: 28
No children. Married 4 years.
D-Day (month?): Apr, 2010. Jan, 2012. May, 2012.
Plan A: Not sure; since marriage counseling began Jan 2012?
Plan B: 6/23/2012
No contact letter: 7/5/2012
Currently in recovery, and thankful to everyone here.
jah #3017241 03/17/24 04:00 AM
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Here is the letter I plan to send to the OM parents. OM's dad is a bishop, mom writes columns in their church magazine. I also plan so send a similar letter to the leaders at the church he attends. Comments are definitely welcome. Thank you for all your help!

====
Dear OM's parents,
My name is ------, MD. You might remember me as the pediatrician of your grandchildren, as I have cared for all four the them. As you already know, your son, ------, is having an affair with my wife. I am not sure what he has told you, but if I understand correctly you think that my marriage is almost over and that there is nothing physical happening. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

I included several text messages between him and my wife, and as you can see, they are absolutely carrying on a physical relationship. As for my marriage, you can decide. My wife has plainly told me she still loves me. We still have conversations and laugh. We still pray before meals and at bedtime with my children. We watch movies together. We take our kids to the park together, do activities together, have dinner together. She has asked me NOT to file any divorce paperwork unilaterally.

I have told my children what is happening and it is devastating for them. My 9 year old broke down and cried for hours. Things have settled down, but now when my older son sees my wife texting, he will ask her, “Are you texting the other man?” At night when I hug my 5 year old to sleep, and he asks, “Why isn’t mommy here to sleep with me?” I make up a lie when I know she is actually at your sons house late at night. How do I know? I know where you live (across the Methodist Church) and I can track my wife’s location on my phone.

I know you are both strong followers of the LDS Church or Mormon church. I know that the LDS doctrine is that the family is sacred and the most important social unit in time and eternity. Your son is destroying my family. He is hurting not just me, but my children. And despite this, I find it in my heart to forgive him. I know he recently had a divorce. I know his children are in the US Mainland. I imagine he has suffered and feels lonely. But courting a married women with children is not right.

I am also Christian, a Roman Catholic. I was an alter server and student at Saint Theresa School, and both my children also go there. We go to church on Sundays. My wife and I taught bible classes there years ago. So I absolutely believe that Jesus will also forgive your son for what he is doing. But your son cannot begin to ask for forgiveness until he stops what he is doing.

The point of this letter is to let you know the truth of what is happening. I want to remain married and work on my marriage. I am not a perfect person, but I am willing to make the changes needed to be the husband my wife deserves. But I cannot begin to heal my marriage with your son in the picture.

I do not expect you to stop your son’s behavior, as he is a grown man and an adult, and his choices are his to make. But I humbly ask that you voice your disapproval, let him know you do not agree with what he is doing. That is enough for me. And know that silence on the matter does not help me at all. Remaining silent is just another way of saying that you agree with what is going on.

Feel free to contact me by phone, -----. Or if you want to meet personally I am happy to. Thank you for taking the time to hear my side of the story.

Sincerely,




-----, MD


BH: 35
WW: 28
No children. Married 4 years.
D-Day (month?): Apr, 2010. Jan, 2012. May, 2012.
Plan A: Not sure; since marriage counseling began Jan 2012?
Plan B: 6/23/2012
No contact letter: 7/5/2012
Currently in recovery, and thankful to everyone here.
jah #3017242 03/17/24 05:55 PM
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I'm glad you are planning to send a letter to OM's parents and other contacts. However, I think your letter is far too long and very overblown. People will miss the important message that you are trying to convey if you give more details other than the basic facts and the request for their help.

Your message talks about how your wife's words show that she still loves you, describes how your son is broken hearted, and talks about the importance of faith in their lives and yours. None of this is necessary. The letter has the air of desperation when it needs to show strength.

I have searched the notable posts here and cannot find a template letter to OM's parents. However, I think the letter below shows how short and to the point the communication needs to be. You will need to change a few sentences so that they speak to the parents of OM rather than the friends of WS, but you should not add back in all your attempts at pulling at their heart strings.

Originally Posted by MelodyLane
FB exposure letter to family and friends of YOUR WS - this was written by board member, Underdog:

Dear friends and family,

I am writing you this message because you are an important person in the lives of xxxx and I. As some of you know, xxxxx has recently asked me for a separation, which has shattered my heart. To my shock, I am saddened to have discovered that the reason is because she has been carrying on an affair with a old boyfriend named xxxxx xxxxx who resides in xxxxxx. He is also married and has young children . The purpose of the separation is so that she can carry on her affair without my interference.

She refuses to end the affair. I want our marriage to recover from this affair. If you have any influence on my babe, please do what you can to get her to stop this dangerous affair. I want to stay married, but the affair must end.

As our friends and family, I am asking that you use your influence with xxxx to persuade her to end her affair and try to work on our marriage. Our marriage can be salvaged if she would only end the affair. Please support her in doing the right thing. Please support our marriage.

I would so appreciate your support and prayers.

Warmest regards,


BW
Married 1989
His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.
jah #3017243 03/18/24 03:37 PM
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Have you heard back from Dr. Harley?

I agree with SugarCane. I think the letter to OM’s parents is too long. I would make it shorter like the example, but give them the information about being their grandkid’s pediatrician.


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



jah #3017244 03/21/24 08:41 AM
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Have you heard back from Dr. Harley?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



jah #3017245 03/21/24 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jah
Her Vietnamese dad came out (he lives with us), more calm and normal. He knows what is happening. They had a cordial conversation in Vietnamese, and after I asked her, "Is he still making you feel bad?" She said no. My WW's dad has been saying cruel things to her all week. I told my wife how I sat her dad down several times, and with Google translate told him to stop putting her down. When her dad said to me, "WW is not my daughter." I told him that she will always be her daughter and he needs to love he no matter what. So I told my wife that, and that hopefully it is starting to help. My wife was touched and thanked me, said I am so generous and kind.
I don't think you should tell your father-in-law how to feel about his daughter. You can't tell someone to love someone else. I'm sure he loves her anyway, and that you are merely interpreting his grief and disappointment as not loving her. I don't think you should interpret his feelings or tell him what to do. And surely the point of exposure is that those people close to your wife, who might have influence over her, should shine a light on her destructive behaviour and tell her to stop it.

If he is being verbally abusive you should intervene, but if he is telling her she is not his daughter - by which I take it he means he does not recognise the person she has become, and he is disappointed - I cannot see how that is a bad thing. The bad thing is her behaviour, not his feelings about it.

In another post, you said you'd told your son that she will always be his mother and he should love her regardless of what she has done. Again, I think that the "love" part is entirely the wrong thing to say to your child. If he finds her reprehensible because she is in the process of breaking up his family and she is causing him, her son, great distress, he does not have to love her. You cannot tell someone, not even a child, to love someone else.

We have a poster here, Markos, whose mother chose someone over his father. Markos was just into double figures, I believe, and he would have nothing to do with his mother. He was court-ordered to attend sessions with his mother and a counsellor with the aim of getting him to accept her and get over the affair. He was dragged along, but refused to participate, and in the end the court gave up making him go. He does not contact his mother and ignores her when she tries to contact him. He and his father and stepmother are good friends, and he is happily married. His wife, Prisca, posts here.

My point is that if people do bad things, the innocent people that they affect are under no obligation to either love or respect them.

You might be hoping that by not telling your wife how badly she is behaving, even if/after she leaves you, she will see you as a stand-up man. I think it's more likely that she will believe you accept that she is happy, and happiness is all you want for her. I have no idea why you would condone her affair in this way. Plan A is about showing her you are the better man, and showing her what your marriage could be. It is not about showing her that you, her son and her father will love her no matter how she destroys your family.

Originally Posted by jah
Part of the reasons my wife is meeting a off island surgeon to possibly have surgery on her knee. She already asked if I will help pay for the surgery even if divorced, and I said yes.
Given what I've said above, you can probably work out that I have no idea why you'd say such a thing and show yourself to be such a doormat. If you divorce and she continues her affair, you should have nothing more to do with her. To pay for her surgery when she is with another man would be to condone the affair to the nth degree. Is that really what you want to do? Do you think that will bring her back to you? - because I don't.

Originally Posted by jah
My revenge will be when at some point, and I know this is going to happen, he is going to ask her, "Why don't you just get divorced already so we can be together." And she will say, "I still have feelings for my husband and I'm not ready to divorce." That is the day I get some revenge and get to break his heart, even just a bit.
Try not to focus on getting revenge on him. Your wife has had several affairs and seems hell-bent on pursuing this one. I'm not saying you need to get revenge on her, but I do think you need to focus on her and her seeming lack of care for you. If her attitude to affairs does not change, you are in for more pain.

The statement that you hope she will make someday down the line probably won't break his heart, not even a bit. He is a player and will probably be glad not to have to put his money where his mouth currently is.


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His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.
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Originally Posted by BrainHurts
Have you heard back from Dr. Harley?
Given that you were mixed up about who is Steve Harley and who is Dr Bill Harley, to whom did you actually write, and to what address did you send it?


BW
Married 1989
His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.
jah #3017247 03/22/24 07:10 AM
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Answering a few questions here:
1) My father in law is extremely verbally abusive to the nth degree. He looks for the most degrading, adverse, disgusting things he can think of and then says them over and over and over. I told him to tone things down; he is not someone that would help my situation
2) I agree that you cannot force someone to love someone else. However, if we did divorce, my relationship with my WW will turn into two parents taking turns caring for our two boys. She might suck at fidelity, but I must admit she is a good mother to our kids (we both are good parents). The way I phrase it for my son is that he might hate what she is doing, but she will always be his mom and should love her. However, he should express his feelings however he sees fit. If he is angry, sad, hurt, etc, he should let be known. I don't want to guide him along on what to feel or say, but just be honest.
3) Regarding paying for her surgery; I think if we did divorce, I'd just say to take the money out of the alimony to pay for it. I would't actually 'pay' for it. The problem I'm having is this OM is extremely manipulative. She sees him as a most upstanding guy in the world. He will say things like, "It must be tough, I really hope your marriage works out.", " Your husband must be hurting so much. I know what that feels like. I hope he is okay.", "If you want time away from me to work on your marriage, I'll respect your privacy and leave you alone." All lies, and she eats it up. How can I plan A against that? When I mention that I would pay for the surgery because she is still the mother of my children no matter what, she cries genuinely, not smirks greedily like she just found the perfect doormat. But I understand what you are trying to say about being careful what I say that expresses I condone the affair.
4) I emailed mbradio@marriagebuilders.com. Is that correct? It was the link mentioned earlier. I haven't heard back; I check email a few times a week. Doesn't he get tons of emails? Should I send another email to confirm he got it? Or is there someone to call?

Currently I'm in plan A and it's moving along. I am talking to my WW a whole lot more, sometimes just day to day and trivial things. But I make her laugh more frequently in conversation. I cut out angry outbursts, disrespectful judgments, etc. Taking care of the kids, and as a family when we eat together and play together it's very enjoyable. She mentioned how she caught herself saying several times, "I miss my [Jah]" which is her personal name for me.

However, even though things are pleasant and somewhat happy, I let her know how absolutely hurtful it is when I catch her texting the OM, calling him, or leaving the house to see him. I tell her that her actions and the affair is killing me, and she sees it in my weight loss and emotions. And when she come to try and console me with a hug, I tell her thank you but I don't need a hug, I need the affair to end. And she feels sad about hurting me and guilty at the same time.

I already know where this is heading. She will not be able to choose between the both of us, will be too afraid to hurt one if she chooses the other. So we are heading to plan B eventually, complete separation. Im not going to "win her over" with plan A. The reason for plan B is not for my sanity, but to force her to make a decision; she cannot have a cake and eat it too, have the best of both worlds. But she needs to at least remember how comforting and happy her home was before separation.


BH: 35
WW: 28
No children. Married 4 years.
D-Day (month?): Apr, 2010. Jan, 2012. May, 2012.
Plan A: Not sure; since marriage counseling began Jan 2012?
Plan B: 6/23/2012
No contact letter: 7/5/2012
Currently in recovery, and thankful to everyone here.
jah #3017248 03/22/24 07:51 AM
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Yes mbradio@marriagebuilders.com is the correct email. Yes I would try reaching out again because their emails are notorious for going to spam.

Please let us know what he says when you hear back.


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



jah #3017249 03/22/24 08:19 AM
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I have revised my letter based on taking to Steve Harley and also the advice given here:
1) I shortened it significantly so it is not rambling and overblown. I also put the purpose of the letter in the first line.
2) I cut out the part about what mormons believe in and my own faith. It's too preachy.
3) Instead of asking them to voice their disapproval with the affair, I took the advice of Steve Harley to 'ask for advice and guidance'. The reason being is that these are the parents of the OM. To mention what is happening is like an attack on their son, and to ask them to take my side over their own son is unlikely to happen, no matter how bad the OM behavior is. However, when I ask for advice and guidance, it is less like an attack and more like I'm being genuine and humble in asking for help. Now, it doesn't matter what advice they give. They might say, "Pray on it." or "Leave our son alone" or "You should get counseling with your wife and kids". I don't have to follow their advice and should't get caught up on it. But by asking for advice, they are more likely to listen to my side of the story. They might try to intervene. They might voice their disapproval to their son. And this makes a big difference, because the OM is living alone in the basement of his parents house and possibly dependent on them (the OM's ex-wife and 4 kids are in California). If anything, it makes the affair more difficult when the parents know what is actually happening.
4) I decided to include several very recent pictures of my family for several reasons: to show we are still a strong family, to put a face to the story, to help remind the OM's dad what I look like as I've met him as the pediatrician of his grandchildren (the OM's children) before.

For any advice you might have, thanks in advance.
=======

Dear OM's parents,
My name is ------, MD. The purpose of this letter is twofold: to update you on the truth on your son's affair with my wife and to ask for your guidance and advice on what to do. I am not sure what OM has told you, but if I understand correctly you think that my marriage is almost over and that there is nothing physical happening. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

About a week ago I found out that their relationship is not platonic but very physical. I have included texts I found on my wife's phone with your son OM as proof. Knowing this has caused my health and sanity to decline precipitously. I find it hard to sleep more than a few hours a night, I've lost 15 pounds in a week, and at work my mind goes blank, sometimes mid sentence. It is also affecting my two boys, aged 9 and 5, who know exactly what is going on. It is not only devastating for them them emotionally but starting to affect their behavior and performance at school.

As for the health of my marriage and strength of my family, you can decide for yourself. I included several pictures from our recent trip together on March 18, 2024. If I look familiar to you, it's because I cared for all of Josh's children as their pediatrician. As for my family, we still pray before meals and at bedtime together. The four of us still sleep together in the same bed. We take them to the park and play boardgames at night. My wife has plainly told me that she still loves me and cares for me. We still have conversations and laugh. And she is heartbroken when she sees me breaking down. She has also asked me NOT file any divorce paperwork unilaterally, and frankly I have no intention of doing so.

I admit I am not a perfect person. There are issues that I need to work on to be a better husband and father. But I am absolutely willing to make those changes, to do whatever it takes to become the man that my wife deserves. I love my wife and will never give up, but I cannot begin to heal my marriage and save my family while your son is in the picture.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to my side of the story. I humbly ask for your guidance and advice on what you think I should do. You can contact me by text or phone at ------. Or if you prefer, I would be happy to meet you in person.

Sincerely,


BH: 35
WW: 28
No children. Married 4 years.
D-Day (month?): Apr, 2010. Jan, 2012. May, 2012.
Plan A: Not sure; since marriage counseling began Jan 2012?
Plan B: 6/23/2012
No contact letter: 7/5/2012
Currently in recovery, and thankful to everyone here.
jah #3017251 03/23/24 02:27 AM
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jah, your situation was discussed on the MB radio program on the Friday show on March 22, between minutes 24-39 of the hour show. The show will remain to play until the next show next week.

On the show, Dr. Harley discussed your plan A strategy as viable and also discussed plan B as viable, and emphasized they are separate strategies and not to mix them. He also discussed your public flyer idea and found this not a good idea.

He also discussed how your wife has poor boundaries around her love bank to other men and it is easy for her to fall in love. He said she has to really get onboard for this to work and she has to want to strengthen her boundaries around men.

Please listen and let us know what you think and if Dr. Harley gave you other advice not on the show.


Me: BH
Marriage: 22 years
2 kids
D-Day 5 Sept 2011
EA w OM started Fall 2010, PA w OM Spring 2011, OM died end Sept 2011

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Originally Posted by Blackhawk
jah, your situation was discussed on the MB radio program on the Friday show on March 22, between minutes 24-39 of the hour show. The show will remain to play until the next show next week.

On the show, Dr. Harley discussed your plan A strategy as viable and also discussed plan B as viable, and emphasized they are separate strategies and not to mix them. He also discussed your public flyer idea and found this not a good idea.

He also discussed how your wife has poor boundaries around her love bank to other men and it is easy for her to fall in love. He said she has to really get onboard for this to work and she has to want to strengthen her boundaries around men.

Please listen and let us know what you think and if Dr. Harley gave you other advice not on the show.

Thank you Blackhawk! I appreciate this.


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



jah #3017253 03/23/24 09:50 AM
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Yes, thank you BlackHawk (and everyone else). I am going to listen to it now and let you know what I think. I'm at least happy that it sounds like my situation is viable and that with the proper boundaries my marriage might be worth saving.

Just to add another new development; I went ahead and sent the updated exposure letter to the OM parents. I sent it by UPS, by regular mail, and went to the OM house in person to tape it to the gate (I didn't want to take any chances that the OM might confiscate the letters before the parents got them).

At the house, to my surprise not only are the OM and his parents on vacation to Japan, but house sitting was the OM sister in law, married to the OM younger brother, who is in the marines. I was also the pediatrician to their kids. I explained the situation. and why I was there. I didn't have time to properly explain everything though (she was in a rush), and so I'm going to get a new exposure letter for them specifically. A younger brother (esp marines) would be a great asset.


BH: 35
WW: 28
No children. Married 4 years.
D-Day (month?): Apr, 2010. Jan, 2012. May, 2012.
Plan A: Not sure; since marriage counseling began Jan 2012?
Plan B: 6/23/2012
No contact letter: 7/5/2012
Currently in recovery, and thankful to everyone here.
jah #3017254 03/25/24 09:54 AM
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What did you think of what Dr. Harley said? Have you had anymore contact with Dr. Harley on your situation?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



jah #3017255 03/25/24 01:25 PM
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I thought it was very helpful; I listened to the segment 5-6x to let it soak in.

Some of it was educational to other readers; it talked about how the spouse that is cheated on has the right to divorce. About what plan A and B is about, and how plan A while exposing could work as a strategy. And a summary of my situation.

He of course did not recommend the 'mass flyer exposure' that I wanted to do. But he said that there are strategies to compete with the OM, but mass exposure is not one that is recommended. So I was wondering exactly what are other strategies to 'compete with the OM'. Or it is the basic things like: targeted exposure, meet wife's emotional needs, maintain health, etc.

He doesn't describe my wife specifically as a serial cheater, but as someone who falls in love too easily. My thought is that she has a very low love bank threshold in which she crosses into falling in love. He says that you can put barriers into place to deter it, but ultimately it's the spouse who needs to realize their weakness (to fall in love easily) and to avoid it. There's no 'plan' to perfectly prevent it. So to answer the question on if my marriage is worth saving, it's more of an, "It can be worth saving, but there's no perfect plan to guarantee ANOTHER affair might happen."


BH: 35
WW: 28
No children. Married 4 years.
D-Day (month?): Apr, 2010. Jan, 2012. May, 2012.
Plan A: Not sure; since marriage counseling began Jan 2012?
Plan B: 6/23/2012
No contact letter: 7/5/2012
Currently in recovery, and thankful to everyone here.
jah #3017256 03/30/24 03:32 AM
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I haven't posted for a few days because I think my wife and possibly the OM is reading my posts. 12 years ago, my wife and I did the marriage builders program, so she knows. A few days ago, my wife confronted me about my plan to put up posters. Although I gave that idea up long ago, I'm not sure if she got the information off my computer, phone, or this forum. I had already changed my computer and phone passwords, but you never know.

So now unfortunately I cannot continue posting knowing that they might be reading this. I'm not sure what to do. I've gotten a lot of great advice here, it prevented me from doing a lot of stupid things. I still get some guidance from Steve Harley counseling sessions, but they are only once a week or less. Could I message moderators directly? I have no idea what to do.


BH: 35
WW: 28
No children. Married 4 years.
D-Day (month?): Apr, 2010. Jan, 2012. May, 2012.
Plan A: Not sure; since marriage counseling began Jan 2012?
Plan B: 6/23/2012
No contact letter: 7/5/2012
Currently in recovery, and thankful to everyone here.
jah #3017257 04/01/24 06:42 AM
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Have you asked your wife why she is asking you about putting up posters - about where she got that idea from? If you haven't asked, is it because you are afraid of upsetting her? In Plan A you are not supposed to upset your wife, but this does not mean you cannot ask her a question about why she says something.

You are probably correct about her reading here, and if that's the case, people are unlikely to post giving you specific advice. I will limit myself to saying that I have never thought, since you started this thread, that your wife is even considering ending the affair. On that note, are you aware that Dr Harley has said that Plan A only works to end the affair in about 5% of cases? In the rest of cases, it becomes necessary for the husband to leave the home and go into Plan B. Plan B allows the affair to run its course and fall apart. When that happens, the good work done in Plan A encourages the wife to see her husband as worth returning to. Having had a quick read of your last thread, this seems to be what happened when you were here before. I think that Plan B will have to happen again. When to go into it is a matter of how well you are feeling in Plan A.

As I believe she is reading here, I will say that I don't think the affair will end by your showing loving actions towards your wife. I think she will stay with you and reap the benefits of a good income and a caring father for her kids, but when OM is in a position to support her (which he might not be right now), she will file for divorce. She has asked you not to file for divorce because she does not want to become reliant on OM before she is ready - not because she is conflicted by her love for you. I'm sorry to say that I don't believe she has any romantic love for you. I think she pretends to have that when necessary (crying etc), so that she can pull on your heart strings and get her own way, knowing that you are weak for her (sorry again).

In your shoes, I would write to Dr Harley again TODAY, asking him for his opinion on what I've just written. While you're at it, ask him for his advice on moving home, should the affair ever end and OM still be nearby. I heard on your radio show that you are unwilling to move because yours and the kids' lives are embedded where you are. Ask Dr Harley about your prospects of recovery if you and OM do not move.


BW
Married 1989
His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.
jah #3017259 04/06/24 04:26 PM
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If you come back, please answer this:

Originally Posted by jah
During the first 2 years of marriage, my wife had three affairs.

How did it go from 3 affairs, which we knew about from your first thread here in 2012...

Originally Posted by jah
Four days ago, I find a text message on an unknown app with a guy. I check phone records, and sure enough, one number is calling her all the time. I confront her and she comes clean about what is happening. She says she never even kissed the guy, but admits she is in love with him. I find out he also lives two blocks from us.

Wild emotions of course, and my first thought was, I want a divorce, this is the fifth time, wtf.
...to 5 affairs?

When did the 4th happen? How old were your kids then?

Who was he? (Not his name; his connection to her.)

How did you discover it?

How did it proceed? Did it last long? Did either of you ever move out?

How did it end?


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His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.
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Originally Posted by SugarCane
If you come back, please answer this:

When did the 4th happen? How old were your kids then?

Who was he? (Not his name; his connection to her.)

How did you discover it?

How did it proceed? Did it last long? Did either of you ever move out?

How did it end?

Thank you SugarCane, I can see you are very detailed and looking through all my texts carefully. It was not technically a 4th affair. This one happened before we were married. When we were engaged, separated 6000 miles (she was in SE Asia, I was in the US), she had an emotional relationship with a man. By the time my wife came over to be with me to be married, she had mostly broken it off, but I discovered that she was still contacting him on and off the first year after we were married. She broke it off shortly after I discovered it. So does that count? I know in hindsight I should have just left her then, but wouldn't life be great if we had hindsight? I like to joke that the greatest superpower a hero could have his hindsight.

Also, those first 3 affairs in the first 2 years of marriage, they were all back to back. As in they all happened within a 1 month block at the end of 2 years of marriage, after which I found marriage builders. I don't know if that counts for anything, but as a pediatrician, when a parent says, "My child vomited 5 times!" and I find out they vomited 5x in a 2 minute period, I count that as one episode.

Originally Posted by SugarCane
Have you asked your wife why she is asking you about putting up posters - about where she got that idea from? If you haven't asked, is it because you are afraid of upsetting her? In Plan A you are not supposed to upset your wife, but this does not mean you cannot ask her a question about why she says something.

Actually, I confirmed she was looking at marriagebuilders by looking at her browsing history; she had looked up marriage builders forums once about two weeks ago. Seems like she's not checking anymore, but who knows?

Originally Posted by SugarCane
I think that Plan B will have to happen again. When to go into it is a matter of how well you are feeling in Plan A. I think she will stay with you and reap the benefits of a good income and a caring father for her kids, but when OM is in a position to support her (which he might not be right now), she will file for divorce. She has asked you not to file for divorce because she does not want to become reliant on OM before she is ready - not because she is conflicted by her love for you. I'm sorry to say that I don't believe she has any romantic love for you. I think she pretends to have that when necessary (crying etc), so that she can pull on your heart strings and get her own way, knowing that you are weak for her (sorry again).

I do think plan B will have to happen. It's hard to be in plan A, because people are starting to find out about the affair, and my wife is pissed at me when it happens. When they come to me asking what is going on, I have a very specific answer: "My wife is having an affair with (OM name), and he knows that she is married with two children. The affair is killing me and devastating to my children, who knows what is going on. However, I have decided to remain faithful, wait it out, and fight for my marriage and my family." My wife is pissed when she finds out I tell people this, she wanted me to say, "We are separated" and leave it at that. Of course not. She tells me I'm ruining her and OM reputation, and I say I am not, they are the ones ruining their reputation, they can end it at any time, and I'm just speaking the truth of what is happening.

She is starting to have that far away look in her eyes when spending time with me and my family. I know that look; it's the look of, "How can I be with this OM and go out when it will ruin my reputation?" There is one other reason she might have this look, it's because recently I found out that this is not the first married woman this guy has targeted. At the school, there was another married female worker that had to quit because the OM and her were having a relationship. I confronted my wife about this, and she said she knew already, he told her. I'm sure he spun it own story, as in "She was flirting with me, I didn't do anything!" I wish I could get more details, but unfortunately the investigation is private and all I got to go on is rumors. I told her that she is the second married woman he is pursing, and she won't be the last. He doesn't value marriage and is not marriage material. She never tried to defend him when I said that.

But plan A is working a bit. We watched a movie together. I massaged her sore knee. We had a fun session at the table telling jokes with each other and the kids. But these moments are very far and few. She is still texting and calling and going out to be with this OM all the time. She is looking for a place to be separated, I refuse to help her based on the principle of I would be helping the affair, but I cannot wait for plan B to start. Now, you might think, just kick her out already and let her figure it out herself! Well, we are still married, our finances are still tied. She doesn't want to move into the OM house. She wants to see what separation is like. And she still wants to have her time with the kids. So kicking her out to be homeless isn't good, and if I did just kick her out she would have to stay at a hotel or something and spend 5000+ dollars a month while looking for a more permanent place. Plus, wouldn't that be the worst thing to do, after all my work making her remember the good things about me in plan A, to kick her out and say, "Get lost already!"

He will never be able to support her like I do, sorry but that's the fact. Unless he suddenly finds a job that pays 4x what it pays now; he's a teacher, so no chance. You are right, she has no romantic love for me, she even told me that straight, saying she has no romantic love for me but still loves me like a brother or a very good friend. And I tell her I still have romantic love for her, but the affair is killing me and its fading day by day. And her misguided 'romantic love' for this other guy is more like 'romantic lust'.

When I cry or breakdown in front of her, I don't think she is pulling at my heartstrings. She is genuinely sorry for hurting me. Sometimes she cries along with me. At first she apologized often, but now she doesn't apologize much, because every time she apologizes, I tell her, "You don't get to apologize. I'm hurting because of you. Only you can end it." But the fact is that her feelings of guilt right now is much, much less than her 'romantic lust' for this OM. So she shrugs it off.

I have more to write, but I'm hesitant again because she or the OM might be reading this. I am lucky to have Steve Harley to help guide me though; we talk once a week or so. I'm going to hold off writing to Dr. Harley for now, because I hope I answered your questions. If it progresses further where we start working things out, I'll ask the question about the chances of recovery if we don't move homes.

Thanks again for everyones help, and especially you SugarCane; I see how detailed you are in reading my responses and following along. If you wanted to give me specific advice that might be bad if read by my WW, are you allowed to message me directly? Just wondering.


BH: 35
WW: 28
No children. Married 4 years.
D-Day (month?): Apr, 2010. Jan, 2012. May, 2012.
Plan A: Not sure; since marriage counseling began Jan 2012?
Plan B: 6/23/2012
No contact letter: 7/5/2012
Currently in recovery, and thankful to everyone here.
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