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Joined: Jul 2001
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klm Offline OP
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Good Afternoon Everyone,<BR>I have a few questions that my WS and I need help with....<BR>Our Background:<P>My wife and I have been married for three years and dated 5 years previous to that. We were in love probably 6 months after we started dating and weathered, very successfully, her being on the opposite coast for three years attending law school. We were a very happy couple (not without minor problems) that seemed to be able to get over any hurdles that came before us. As I traveled 4-5 days a week for my job we were apart for most of the time we have been married. Through our entire marriage we have had 110% trust in one another; there were never any questions about where or when or with whom someone spent time with….<P>Looking back I am sure I got into that standard male pattern of starting to ignore the little things and became somewhat distant to her before our marriage which I wrote off to the feeling of lost freedom. What I didn't realize was the freedom I gained through being so in love with a person that I didn't have to watch my every step. I told her that I felt as if I were on autopilot during the months surrounding our marriage. I had just gotten a new job where I traveled 100% and felt that there may have been a different life out there for me but also didn't want to lose the most important person that ever came into my life. These feelings of a different life sprung up from time to time as I wanted to do things that she didn't have any interest in so I would pursue them and let her do whatever she wanted instead of explaining the importance of these things to her and that I wanted her to be a part of them. This led her to believe that when she told me of the affair that I would just pack and go. This was going to be her way to me to let me get on with the life I really wanted to lead in her eyes.<P>My wife expressed concern in the spring, while she was knowingly (perhaps unwittingly) being pursued, that we were drifting apart. We did not take this as a warning sign and were sure it would pass. Although she knew the OM was married and his wife was expecting their first child (which he did not want) and felt that she was immune to affairs, he was able to win his way into her heart through friendship and mentorship at the work place. He was able to express feelings to her that I chose not to express and this swayed her to the point where the EA started. My wife also tells me of the connection that was made but truly feels it wasn't the addiction or the Fog.<P>I found out about the EA about 2 weeks after it started (4 weeks after OM's first child was born) and my wife admitted to me 5 days later that one had started and that it was over. The over lasted 1 week before she and OM couldn't stand to be away from each other. I continued to monitor her e-mail and IM's for another week without letting her know. I confronted her the day before she was to take a pleasure trip to the West Coast and asked her not to go as I had been monitoring her e-mail and knew she was meeting the OM. She refused saying that she wasn't going to meet him and that she needed this time away. Like a good husband I caved in and took her to the airport where I gave her a copy of Surviving an Affair and begged her to read it on the way to CA. I also asked her not to call me unless she needed me and that I would see her when she returned. Needless to say I spent the most miserable weekend of my life alone at home worrying about who she was with and about our marriage. By Monday morning I had grown so desperate that I called her and then called the friend's house she was supposed to be at and she was not there. I then frantically paged her until I reached her and asked her where she was to which she claimed that she had stayed in a hotel (alone) so she could meet OM for work the next day. I found out 1 week later (2 days before our birthdays and 6 days before our third wedding anniversary) that she had indeed spent the night with him in the hotel but nothing had happened. I confronted her on our birthday and asked her not to contact him that day which she did anyway. <P>I spent the next several days planning our wedding anniversary night to be very special and succeeded. It seemed as though we were making headway as she recommitted to our marriage that night. The next night she was having dinner with some coworkers and OM was supposed to not be there. Of course he shows and she called me and said dinner was running late and needed several more hours. As I was supposed to pick her up in a short while from dinner I decided to go downtown early and have a few drinks to take the edge off so we could go out after and enjoy ourselves. As I am headed to a local bar what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer…….actually it was my wife and OM walking hand in hand down the street headed back to their office which was exactly where she wasn't supposed to be…. I was in utter shock and decided to take a course of action that might haunt me for the rest of my life… I parked the truck and ran her down and asked her if that was OM. She replied that it was. I then asked her to come home with me and she said she needed to talk with him and that she needed an hour. I reminded her that she was my wife and that it was the night after our anniversary and to please come home with me. She again declined and again trying to be the good husband I caved in and let her have her hour. One hour and 15 minutes later she comes out of her building and we head home. I came to find out three weeks later that they had sex that night in his office and on the trip to CA. The worst part is that my wife and I have herpes and the OM chose to take this risk (protected sex is not 100% as far as we can tell through research) back home……….<P>I tried Plan A for a short time and was in the midst of absolutely breaking down. I tried to be strong for her and was unable keep myself together enough to carry the plan out fully. I finally asked her to stop the other relationship and we could deal with any negative feelings from that in therapy. It took her three times to get the idea across to him that over meant no contact. She would not allow me to monitor any of the conversations and will not allow me to have access to her voice mail, e-mail, etc and gets very angry when I do. She says this is not the way we lived in the past and is not the way that we are going to live in the future. I am scared that even if she gave me access to these that he would find a way to get around me finding out anyway. She can't quit her job as I am unemployed at the moment so this keeps the possibility of contact real on a daily basis.<P>I am truly scared of what a person that is willing to throw a family with a newborn away is capable of even though he says he will not do anything to make her uncomfortable. He claims he never got married forever and was just doing it because there was nothing better at the time. He says that my wife is the most incredible person he has ever met and I am pretty sure my wife has many of the same feelings.<P>We are in therapy and have had 4 joint session which help deal with the feelings. I am having huge trust issues at the moment. I wonder how to reconstruct the trust? My wife has told me that she is throwing herself completely in the marriage and that should be enough for now and that the trust will come. My pain is up and down over the course of the week. Some of the images are hard to get out of my head and I have intense feelings of anger towards OM and my wife. I am angry because my wife is the most intelligent person I know and that wasn't enough for her to ask me for help when this started. I am angry because my wife told the OM on many occasions that we had a happy marriage and he still pursued with the sole intention of getting her to leave me. I am angry because the OM pushed my wife for months into this and that my wife became a willing participant. I am angry because my wife is in love with a man who told her two weeks after his unwanted child was born that he couldn't wait to have children with her. I am angry because my wife is in love with a man that never got married forever the first time but is ready to do so now. I am angry because they both knew it was the night after our anniversary and have now tainted that date for a long time to come. I am also angry because she chose him over me and our marriage that night after looking and seeing the intense hurt in my eyes. I am angry that I wasn't more proactive in our marriage for three years and at the beginning of the EA. I am angry that I can't remember what I did for our 2nd anniversary and had to be reminded of what we did for our first. I am angry that I was such a lousy husband that someone could work his way between us to the point that my wife is plagued by the what ifs had she chosen that route. So at any rate the list goes on and on and I am sure that my wife has a list of her own (rightfully so) of how I have hurt her in the past and how that played into our current situation.<P>Our relationship has been strained to the breaking point several times now when she wanted to move out and I couldn't bear to let her go. I was so afraid that if she was to spend more time with him while their relationship was perfect and ours was a disaster that she would choose him over me. I was either too weak or to strong that I could let plan a work itself out and forced her hand. I thank God that it worked out in my favor. So after spending the better part of the last 6 weeks in bed hiding I finally feel some strength to come back to the real world.<P>So on to the questions:<P>My wife is going through moderate to severe withdrawals now and is looking for other WS's experiences on how long it takes for the "what if I had chosen the other route" to begin to fade? <P>How do we begin to reconstruct the trust under these circumstances? <P>How can she deal with her feelings of resentment towards her actions and towards me for forcing her hand? <P>My wife has suggested a 16 month timeline for us to start to feel that we are making considerable progress or we should go our separate ways. How realistic is this?<BR>

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klm,<BR>Good Afternoon. First of all, I am no expert. I sincerely understand your pain though. My husband and I went through a similar experience about ten years ago. I thought I loved the OM. But once forced to let him go or end my marriage, I chose my marriage. However, ten years later my husband and I are separated (for one year now)and he still brings up the A. So . . . I am led to believe he never completely forgave me. My H and I did not separate when the A ended. We clung tightly to each other because we were both afraid to let go. I sought counseling but he refused, which I regret. <P>I wanted to address your wife's question about how long it takes for the "what if I had taken the other route" feelings to go. I would say in my experience it took 1-2 years. I don't believe I would have had the strength to completely break the relationship off if I had not quit my job; we worked in the same building, although not in the same office. I don't agree with your wife's not letting you monitor her emails, etc. She has to accept that the trust in the relationship has been broken and you will need time to trust again. And she needs some accountability to someone. My main concern would be how can she completely break the relationship with this man. Do they work together? If so, it's gonna be difficult, these things can be very compulsive, like an addiction. Part of the thrill is keeping it hidden. I agree with the Plan that it is imperative this relationship with the OM be completely broken and I believe that you, her husband, have to know that it is over to work on your marriage. <P>As far as the 16 month timeline, why the time limit on healing and why does she get to set it? <P>You sound very angry and I'm sorry that you're in pain. I remember my husband being more angry with himself and the OM than with me. <P>I don't regret the last ten years I spent with my husband trying to work this out and I hope he doesn't either. Of course our situation is different, we have three children. I believe my husband would tell you he never completely trusted me again. I think that's sad because I have been faithful ever since. I believe he has used the affair as an excuse to do whatever he has wanted and that eventually destroyed any chance at a good marriage. You have to decide if your marriage means more to you than your pride. And your wife has to commit to being faithful regardless of her feelings. Only the two of you can decide if you are willing to move forward.

Joined: Jan 2001
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Hi Klm,<P>Welcome to marriage builders. I see by your post that you are already familar with the book surviving an affair. Are you familar with the other tools offered here? There is a welcome package that can be sent to you here. Just let me know. Many of us try to share this package with a newcomers. In this package are tools to help you understand and implement the basic concepts, plan a and plan b along with the emotional needs of both spouses. The book surviving an affair touches on this. Also there is the phone counseling services offered by Steve & Jennifer. <P>Your questions and concerns are valid. I will share my thoughts and I am sure others will follow, but you do well to run this by either Steven or Jennifer. <P>So on to the questions:<P>My wife is going through moderate to severe withdrawals now and is looking for other WS's experiences on how long it takes for the "what if I had chosen the other route" to begin to fade? <P>Thought: Each situation/personality/circumstance is different therefore no solid time or route can be planned for recovery. What you want to learn and work on is how to meet your wife's emotional needs, make her feel welcomed back to the marriage and a safe place for her to be. Cultivate her desire to want to be with you and overcome the guilt she will bring back with her. <P><BR>How do we begin to reconstruct the trust under these circumstances?<P>Thought: Please read up on plan A. I can send you some good source writeups that have helped many of us. <P><BR>How can she deal with her feelings of resentment towards her actions and towards me for forcing her hand? <P>Thought: Your W is caught in the cross fire of feelings, we want to say it was euphoria for the OM and guilt for you. Unfortunately guilt is not a pleasant feeling, yet the OM is really not hers to do as she pleases though it is tempting. She has an internal struggle to overcome. She may need your assistance but fight you like the way you have to fight with a child to take his needed medicine. Steve and Jennifer will assist you in the best method for helping your wife. Strageties are important. Remember she may not always be a willing participant even though she knows better. <P>My wife has suggested a 16 month timeline for us to start to feel that we are making considerable progress or we should go our separate ways. How realistic is this?<P>Thought: As realistic as you can hold out for. Actually right now you don't know if that is realistic. This is a matter of the heart not the clock. You personally will need to set some boudaries/timelines, but not by your W. Do you really think she can set a time to turn off her heart? It is rare that some can do that. There is a way to sort of gauge the time, it is dependant on what you are able to do. Love bank points (as they say) is a factor on how long one stays in plan a vs plan b. <P>You have some homework to do. Let me know if you need that post. <P>Take Care, you have come to the right place. <P>L. <BR>

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klm Offline OP
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Orchid,<BR>I'd love to have the beginner package....<BR>Thanks,<BR>Klm

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Hi klm,<P>I'm nearing two years since my h stopped his affair. He was in-love with the OW, etc.<P>We are doing very well, by the way.<P>I'll try to answer your questions:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>My wife is going through moderate to severe withdrawals now and is looking for other WS's experiences on how long it takes for the "what if I had chosen the other route" to begin to fade? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>They say generally six months, but she needs to have NO CONTACT for this to happen. Some have done it with continued work contact but it is obviously harder.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>How do we begin to reconstruct the trust under these circumstances?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>If you could read SAA together, she may see that allowing you full access to her is an essential part of building trust. It will also help her resist temptation. By the way, all WS say it's not "the fog" until they are actually out of it. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>How can she deal with her feelings of resentment towards her actions and towards me for forcing her hand?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>A WS will have to answer this. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>My wife has suggested a 16 month timeline for us to start to feel that we are making considerable progress or we should go our separate ways. How realistic is this?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>It's in the range - usually 18 months to two years, BUT as a WS if she holds on to the IDEA that OM is there if you two don't work out, she will not get over him.<P>I was very fortunate that way. My h's infidelity was longer and with more than one, but once he made up his mind to try MB, he never went back.<P>Maybe you should be asking more questions related to you as the BS. Are you willing to set aside your anger and plan A her fully? Even though it seems so unfair when she's the one that strayed? Will you let her cry on your shoulder when she's missing him? Yeah, I did it, not fun...<P>

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Hi KLM,<P>Sorry this took so long. I have been away all day. <P>Here is the thread to the welcome package. <P> <A HREF="http://www.marriagebuilders.com/forum/Forum29/HTML/000553.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.marriagebuilders.com/forum/Forum29/HTML/000553.html</A> <P>L. <BR>


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