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Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3
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I
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3
Recently my wife told me that she had been having an affair for approximately two months. Prior to her telling me, she would be very distant. She speant alot of time away from home. Late nights with friends, and other nights with her lover. When she was at home with myself and our two little girls it would only be in body. Her mind was obviously elsewhere. If I asked her questions she would just get agitated. She would tell me things like, "I don't think I want this family anymore." or "I need my own space." or "I want to get my own place so I don't have to deal with all this responsibility." Another thing she said quite a bit was, "I need my own space so that I can pursue my own interests." In hindsite I realize she was trying to make an emotional break from our family because of the guilt that she had for what she had done. She has told me that that is what she was trying to accomplish. But I wouldn't let her off so easy. She saw me dismantling right before her eyes. I would spend the majority of my day looking on the internet for help. I came across several websites that dealt with problems in marriages and repairing them. I would try to talk to her about what I would find, but I only got lukewarm interest (probably because of her guilt). Finally, I found a Christian Fellowship website that talked about standing for your marriage. I showed her the website and told my wife that no matter what, I would stand for our marriage and our family. Then she broke down and told me. Since then we have really come together emotionally. She's dealing with some pretty strong feelings of guilt and I am dealing with a very deep sadness and sense of betrayal, but we're still making a go of it. Yesterday, she came home late from work. When she came home she told me that she had gone to break it off with him and give him money for a cell phone bill that she was partially responsible for. But late last night she told me that she felt that she had betrayed me again, because I had told her that she couldn't have any more contact with him. She said that part of her wanted to stay because she still has feelings for him, but she was able to turn and walk away. The problem that I'm currently dealing with is the fact that she still has feelings for him. She feels guilty about these feelings, and feels as though she doesn't deserve me for having them. She says that she loves me and that what she is feeling for him is not love. She has told me that she wants to make a stand for this marriage and our family. She has also told me that she is positive that we will make it work. What can I do? I don't want these feelings of guilt to get the best of her. I don't want her to trick herself into believing that she doesn't deserve me or the family for what because of what she has done. Please help.

Joined: Aug 1999
Posts: 15,284
J
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J
Joined: Aug 1999
Posts: 15,284
isutlick,

OK, here is what you do. Go down to your book store and buy two books. One is entitled His Needs Her Needs and the other Surviving an Affair. Both of these books are by Harley.

Sit down and read SAA first and perhaps with your W. Hopefully with your W. You will both see many things is this book that you will recognize. It will explain the stages that you and your W will go through.

Next, read HNHN so that BOTH of you can address the things that you were doing incorrectly in your marriage. The concept of meeting needs is subtle, because we tend to think that our spouse has the same needs we do, and meet them in a way WE would like, rather than they way the spouse will recognize what we are doing. Leads to many misunderstandings.

Short, term you and your W need to read about withdrawal on this site. That is the stage she is in and it will last for awhile. She will think of her OM a lot at first and less as she finishes this process. I know it will hurt, but ask her to talk to you about her thoughts, but just listen. Don't offer any defense or any suggestions unless specifically asked.

Then work on meeting her needs. There is an emotional needs questionaire somewhere on this site, but also in the back of HNHN.

If she really wants to rebuild this marriage and you really want to rebuild this marriage, there are definite ways to do it, and interestingly you can endup with an even better marriage than before.

The affair isn't what will make it better, but how you handle the affair will. Communications is key as is avoiding Love Busters as Harley calls them.

Your W is surely welcome to post here when she feels like. There are many former Wayward Spouses here and she can benefit from their advice.

So go do your homework, and invite your W to do it as well, but don't insist. You are the only one that can make yourself better and so I recommend that you do that. It will help your marriage and eventually help your W.

It sounds as if you two are on your way. So keep up the good work, but get a plan as to how to address things. That is what this site offers in the articles by Harley and the books. A plan and a framework with which to evaluate where you are and where you want to be.

I hope something I have said will help.

God Bless,

JL

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,516
J
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J
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,516
Great advice JL!

You and your W can make it through this together. Tell her that we all make some mistakes in life, that when we do, we feel remorse and began reparations for the harm we have done...not only to others, but to ourselves. While I understand the guilt, she needs to move pass it and get to remorse. (Difference in guilt and remorse...Guilt, is about self, remorse is about making changes and taking action.)

Good Luck as you travel your healing path...together.

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 4
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Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 4
I feel you pain brother. I know that personaly when I get to thinking about what happened to me I really don't know what to think. My imagination can go pretty far sometimes. Aside from all of that, after talking with my woman many many times I know that she truly loves me more than anyone in the world. We've been together for seven years and I think (know) that we know one another just as well, if not better than we know ourselves. Just like I can tell when she's being untruthful to me I can tell when she is being truthful. How long have you two been together? I'm sure you can tell too. Make it easy on her and let her find the way. I know that I am still young in many peoples eyes, but I do know that women have the desire to have a strong man to carry them when they're weak... just as we men have the desire to be a little boy and let our women take care of us like only a woman can. I love women. Hell, I love men too. Don't mistake my love for just males or females, but men and women. There is certainly a difference and I would be willing to bet that you and your wife are the same. I have a good feeling about you two. Stick togehter, be strong, ****'s tuff sometimes (a lot of times) that's no excuse. Maybe you'll let your wife read this too. Maybe you'll both find the time to write back.

Sincerely,
Clay


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