Marriage Builders®
Posted By: Pepperband Confession - What say you? - 02/13/10 10:15 PM
What I required. In no particular order.

1. Confess and apologize to OW's husband. In person. In public. Me by his side.

2. Confess and apologize to my parents.

3. Confess to our priest.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The purpose was not humiliation.
The purpose was H gaining my respect.
And gaining self respect.
And owning his own relationships with others.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Has any other BS made this a requirement to recovery?

I place a high value on honesty.
If my H required me to lie to my friends and family in order to recover our M ... he could go find a different place to enjoy secrecy.
Not with me.


Posted By: Tawandabelle Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/13/10 11:44 PM
This was non-negotiable for us:

I confessed to parents
I confessed to boss (looking back, I know this doesn't jive with MB exposure, but I wasn't in lying mode then, so it worked)
I talked with H's parents (he had alread told them)
I pulled away from the one mutual friend OM and I had had
All passwords given
All cellphone info given
NC with OM - ever
Report any accidental contact (same aisle at Wal Mart, etc)
Stay on bipolar treatent - forever
No male friends, never alone with a male
Honest with DS and DD
Answer any and all questions any time they are asked
Take 100 percent responsibility for A WIHOUT qualifying it (i.e. saying "Our marriage made me vulnerable")
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/14/10 12:10 AM
Thanks oosi

What do you personally gain from confession?
How did it help you as a person?
Did you feel better?
Worse?
Stronger?
Weaker?
More in control?
Less in control?
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/14/10 12:45 AM
I required that my husband apologize to my parents and my #2 sister. They were furious about his affair and my #2 sister said "I HATE HIS GUTS."

She was the most hurt so when he suggested that we "never see those folks again!" I explained that if I had to choose between a lying, cheating bum and my family who stood by my side, guess who would be the bum on the curb!? smile

Anywho, he apologized forthwith.....
Posted By: Tawandabelle Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/14/10 12:48 AM
Confession was scary, but it was absolutely the right thing. It hrt H terribly to know what I had done, but he needed to know. Telling those close to us was a way to take responsibility for my actions, seek out help and support for our M, and keep me accountable.

The first few days after D-Day, the pain H felt was so raw, I wondered if I should've just kept quiet, but even then deep down I knew that would have been no solution. And sin has consequences, so pain was going to be part of the deal. H didn't deserve to hurt, but honestly, I did. I don't think there would have been the kind of change in my life that wa needed had there not been honesty and exposure.

I would advise every WS I encountered to come clean, face what they chose, and make no excuses. And I wouldn't advise any BS to be satsified without that.
Posted By: drgnfly Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/14/10 12:58 AM
Skald confessed to everybody before I could even expose. He also apologized to OWH (in person) and my family without me having to ask. That's when I knew my H was back. The man I know and love always admits when he's done wrong.

It was hard for him, but he never waivered. He was scared to see OWH in person, but he said he deserved it if he got shot. He cried when he apologized to my parents.
Posted By: ExpectsAMiracle Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/14/10 01:57 AM
Wow! You all are lucky. All I get is blame and lies. It is good to know that there are some remorseful people in the world though. It gives me a flicker of hope; not for my H but in general.
Posted By: staytogether Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/14/10 09:39 AM
J was reluctant or me to confess. Didn't want to tell OMW or friends and family. I think reading here helped understand that it would work in his favour

I was keen to fess up to everyone anyway. In part because I wanted some support for our M. I wanted people to be watching me - I knew I was still very vulnerable.

J was adamant he didn't want me to tell his mum and dad, but did 8 months later when he was explaining that he was moving out due to his very AO. They live miles away and we don' see them very often.

Fessing up was liberating - accountabiltity is a wonderful thing.

I felt very able to deal with anything coming, knwoing that everyone knew what we were up against.


J had NO requirements of me - he even thought I could continue going to band with OM initially.

I think because I came here before I ended the A and had read up, I knew what I had to do because I had asked - I didn't have someone telling me (ie BH) what I should do. I think i would have found it harder to confess to people if I felt I was doing it because he required it.
Posted By: Verve Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/14/10 05:17 PM
One requirement that I had was a long talk and an apology to our children and another was an apology to my mother and grandfather. My grandfather said that Ike was not welcome in his home (the fact that Ike left was bad enough, but leaving when I was pregnant was even worse. He's old school, ya know) and Ike had to make that right.

There were other, typical requirements (NC, passwords, etc), but these were just two of my personal ones.
Posted By: armymama Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/14/10 10:06 PM
After D-Day, H apologized to me, to OWH, to military commander and his subordinate staff. 15 months later, in Nov, he broke NC, contacting OW via email and phone for a 10 day period. Since then, he apologized to me (again), to OWH (again) and to some family members. This topic is on the list of things for H to do to return to the M, one of two things on the list he has not yet fully completed.

AM
Posted By: sexymamabear Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 12:10 AM
Originally Posted by Pepperband
Has any other BS made this a requirement to recovery?




Yes, apologies were on my requirements for recovery list.

Apologies to:

me
our children
my parents
his cousin who confronted him multiple times and who was completely in the corner of our marriage
some close friends who confronted him (actually tst added this to the list along with a few others)


The most important one other then to me, was to our children.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 12:25 AM
Thanks for each and every response.
I appreciate it very much.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 04:15 PM
Thanks guys. I appreciate every response.

Follow up question:

What do you think is going on when the WS expresses a desire & a willingness to confess to friends/family, but is told by the betrayed spouse NOT TO ???.... Told not to confess/apologize because "It's too humiliating."

Posted By: black_raven Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 04:24 PM
What thread are we supposed to comment on? laugh Since SAA forum gets more traffic, I'm going to cut and paste my reponse here:

H didn't have much chance to confess since I exposed but he did step up in other ways which honestly surprised me.

1 - H apologized to BH without any prompting from me or others. I doubt the apology was perfect but his willingness to face the man and extend an apology was more than I thought he'd do.

2 - H faced our parents/children and apologized.

3 - H apologized to Tramp-o-lean. I feel a mix of emotions on this one. On one hand, I don't think he owes her crap but on the other I was happy to see that he recognized he used her and was wrong for it.

On Dday, I told H to get out. If he had not faced what he had done, I would never have given him another chance no matter what he said.

As for a BS telling a WS not to confess or going along with the WS's "logic" of why not to confess, it is primarily for embarrassment IMO. Could also be the fears the BS plays out in her head so she convinces herself it is for the best. IMO it will only eat at the BS and build more resentment.
Posted By: Pariah Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 04:28 PM
Mine refused to even acknowlege the affair, even when confronted with the evidence of both BS.

She went straight to D after abandoning me to cover up the whole deal when OM dumped her immediately.

I'll never get a confession or apology.

The only recourse I can hope for is I meet up with her in Hell.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 04:30 PM
I might as well tell you what I am trying to work out with these questions.

If a wayward said they would not confess to friends/family because "It is too humiliating." ... the forum would be all over that person's case.
Is it the same risky business if it is the betrayed speaking?

The way I try to approach MB is by identifying the underlying principle behind every decision. I'm somewhat perplexed about this.

Is confession/apology not just good for the soul, but good for the marriage recovery as well?

To me this is very "9th Step"...
Quote
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

I recognize this is not MB-speak , but The Steps work for me as underlying guideposts for life in general. I am trying to figue out if I am wrong about something.

Again, thanks.


Posted By: mindshare Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 04:48 PM
Pep,

I suspect this is rolling around in your brain due to HBH's thread?

As I posted to her, it is my belief that in order to truly experience the best R possible that the BS needs the help and support of family and friends. As I told HBH and BR mentioned as well, I think if you hide the wayturds dirty little secret, even if you convince yourself you are doing it for yourself and not them, it will breed resentment in the long run. There will be points in time when the BS will feel uncomfortable around friends and family due to subject matter of discussions but will nobody will know. There will times when the BS will have to either outright lie or severely bend the truth around family or friends to keep them from knowing. I strongly believe that this will cause resentment and anger which quite naturally will be directed at the WS even if they were willing to fess up to the world.

Bottom line, the marriage may survive without telling loved ones but I think it's an additional risk to take on to not do so.

My .02 cents which in cyberspace is worth even less!

Mindshare
Posted By: black_raven Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 04:50 PM
I don't think you are wrong here. A great life lesson can be learned...doesn't matter the circumstance.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 04:52 PM
Thanks mindshare.
Do you think this is part of a power struggle?
A permanent "got'cha" ?

At worst, I think it is an intentional way to avoid recovery.
It certainly shows some of the inner dynamics. think

Posted By: armymama Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 05:09 PM
Pep,

I tend to agree with you. A BS who asks WS to not apologize can interfere with personal growth of the WS and I think this personal growth is necessary. Maybe, though, if there are people who had not been informed at D-day, confession/apology to them might be more harmful to the BS.

As a note, I don't think this is something the BS can push. It has to come from the WS. In my case, H has not talked to everyone he needs to. I am watching and waiting as his willingness to do this is an indicator to me of his commitment to the M.

AM
Posted By: mindshare Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 05:16 PM
Originally Posted by Pepperband
Do you think this is part of a power struggle?
A permanent "got'cha" ?

At worst, I think it is an intentional way to avoid recovery.
It certainly shows some of the inner dynamics. think

Interesting idea. Not sure it is part of a power struggle. Perhaps it's a way to self-sabotage a chance at recovery?

I think it has alot more to do with a BS that has their own self esteem issues and wants the world to think that their life is perfect when it's really not. I also think it is due to the embarrasment and humiliation that a BS feels more then anything. I know I felt alot of that in the beginning but once I told loved ones I felt strangely more free and empowered. Weird how that works.

Good topic for discussion though.

Posted By: hurt_but_hopeful Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 05:43 PM
I've been keeping up with this thread and debated on whether or not to post.

I hope that my unwillingness to talk about it to other people isnt sabotaging our chances at recovery. We had our first counseling session with Steve Harley today. We have another tomorrow. I am going to ask him about this tomorrow and will post his response.

All I can say is this: I have respect for everyone's opinion on MB forum...you have all gone through this terrible experience and have lived to tell about it.

But for me, I can't go through any more right now. It takes every ounce of energy I have to play with my little ones, keep up my business face and run my company, and try like hell not to LB WH when every time I look at him I want to scream.

I feel like I'm letting the MB community down by not taking the bull by the horns and doing things the right way. But I just can't tell my story, not yet.
Posted By: mindshare Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 05:54 PM
HBH,

You aren't letting any of us down. Ultimately, you have to decide what is right for you. It's good that you are following along and thinking about this stuff. There is no reason that you have to act upon it immediately. Just consider what is being said. You've got a lot on your plate right now. Hang in there!

Mindshare
Posted By: not2fun Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 05:56 PM
Originally Posted by hurt_but_hopeful
But for me, I can't go through any more right now. It takes every ounce of energy I have to play with my little ones, keep up my business face and run my company, and try like hell not to LB WH when every time I look at him I want to scream

BHB,

My thinking is that it takes all of you BECAUSE you are keeping this secret. It is an infection that is pulsating through your body and effects every aspect of your being.

I cannot imagine going through this and NOT having my closest friends/confidants/family surrounding me for support. I would have NEVER made it through it without them. I would have literally died a slow and angonizing death.

That being said.....on Pep's original question

I only required H to apologize to me and my children. My thought process at the time was getting the affair to end......as far as confessing, well, I beat him to the punch with exposure.....

He has apologized to his mother and uncle as well, but not to my family. This has been a hinderance of sorts in recovery though.

As far as apologizing to OWH, I left that up to him. I do know that OWH'S was not interested in any apology as neither was I. And in fact, when she DID email me with an apology, the pain inflicted because of it, especially the circumstance surrounding this, was awful. It did not alter my feeling towards her at all and only caused my dislike to grow. As that 9th step states.....apologize and make amends UNLESS doing so causes harm.....

not2fun
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 06:05 PM
Originally Posted by hurt_but_hopeful
I've been keeping up with this thread and debated on whether or not to post.

I hope that my unwillingness to talk about it to other people isnt sabotaging our chances at recovery. We had our first counseling session with Steve Harley today. We have another tomorrow. I am going to ask him about this tomorrow and will post his response.

All I can say is this: I have respect for everyone's opinion on MB forum...you have all gone through this terrible experience and have lived to tell about it.

But for me, I can't go through any more right now. It takes every ounce of energy I have to play with my little ones, keep up my business face and run my company, and try like hell not to LB WH when every time I look at him I want to scream.

I feel like I'm letting the MB community down by not taking the bull by the horns and doing things the right way. But I just can't tell my story, not yet.

You do what you need to do.
I'm working some of my own ideas out.
I pose questions to the forum as a method to check if my ideas are too rigid.

I view confession/apology as a brightness shone upon a darkness.
I view confession/apology as a healing decision.
And, that is true for my own transgressions, not just my husbands.
But, maybe I am just peculiar in this way.

What I am doing with this thread is for me.
To help me think something through.

You do what is best for you. That's all we can ask.


Posted By: Pepperband Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 06:16 PM
Quote
We had our first counseling session with Steve Harley today. We have another tomorrow. I am going to ask him about this tomorrow and will post his response.

It will probably become an important POJA decision.
That's my guess.
Posted By: Cameo Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 06:18 PM
Pep, my H wasn't interested in me confessing to anyone else. We don't have children, parents, or close friends so we're kind of an odd duck case. We just didn't really have anyone. I would have been willing, though.
Posted By: drgnfly Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 06:54 PM
Pep, I can see what you mean by a power struggle.

A BS is grasping for whatever control they can get, and having this to hold over WS looks like a very powerful weapon. Unfortunately they are mostly hurting themselves with it.

Being a BS is humiliating at first, and I can understand not wanting everybody to know. You feel like a failure and you're sure that everybody is going to think you were a horrible spouse. That's not true though, and any friends/family that believe the worst of the BS aren't really friends/family. The WS is the one that should be humiliated and ashamed.

I also believe that this is a huge step for growth in a WS. They need this step.
Posted By: black_raven Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 06:56 PM
Quote
I feel like I'm letting the MB community down by not taking the bull by the horns and doing things the right way. But I just can't tell my story, not yet.

You aren't letting anyone down and the "right" way isn't the same for all but you may still end up in the right place. You sound a lot like me...you poor woman stickout.

Exposing for support was a relief for me. Keeping it together for work and the children was tough...I could not have gotten through it without the support of my friends and family. Give it some thought. smile
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 07:09 PM
Originally Posted by drgnfly
Being a BS is humiliating at first, and I can understand not wanting everybody to know.

I agree with this drgnfly - I too understand the humiliation felt by the BS.

The part that is confusing to me is that if they divorce, her plans are to expose to friends/family. What? I thought that would be humiliating?

Letting the family/friends know as a step towards healing = humiliation

Letting the family/friends know if there is a divorce = humiliation

I don't get it.



Posted By: mindshare Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 07:19 PM
This part is actually pretty easy to understand Pep.

For many BS's, admitting you have a cheating spouse and that you are staying with them is the part that is most humiliating. It's un-nerving to think that your family and friends will look at you like a doormat for keeping a cheater around.

It's easy to say that you are divorcing a cheating spouse because it is no longer humiliation, it is justification. Then the BS feels the world is looking at them as being in control and having the strength to kick the cheater to the curb.

We here at MB know this is backwardarse logic but most BS's do not.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 07:26 PM
It is the shame of taking a cheating spouse back.
Is this what you are saying?
Mercy and forgiveness as a source of shame and humiliation.

.... Interesting.

I'm going to Costo. Talk more later.....
I pray I don't spend more than $200
rotflmao
(It could happen)

Posted By: sexymamabear Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 07:47 PM
Originally Posted by hurt_but_hopeful
But for me, I can't go through any more right now. It takes every ounce of energy I have to play with my little ones, keep up my business face and run my company, and try like hell not to LB WH when every time I look at him I want to scream.


HBH,

This is WHY you need to stop pretending and lying to close friends and family.

Your own lies and facades are sucking more emotional energy from you and you have none to spare.

There is relief in truth.

Posted By: black_raven Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 07:49 PM
Don't get a cart. If you can't carry it, you can't buy it. Happy shopping!
Posted By: sexymamabear Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 07:58 PM
Pep,

It boils down to.....


P R I D E


For those of us whose WS's left us for OW, or those of us who exposed and fought a long battle with the affair, we didn't have the luxury (or curse) of holding onto our pride.

It was stripped away and we stood "naked" for the world to see.

And we speculated that we were being judged and found...

lacking.

Truth is, when we stop pretending,

we found there were certain people that were THERE for us,

that carried us when we could not stand,

that loved us through our sorrow and grief.

Being real with people doesn't make us weak. In fact, I think it's the strong that are willing to be real. It's the weak that want to hide behind the facade.
Posted By: schoolbus Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 08:03 PM
Pep,

You ask what's happening in the BS brain who asks the WS not to apologize or publicly acknowledge the affair.

In my case, this is exactly what has happened. There are only three people who know of my H's most recent affair - me, my H, and his OW. I strongly suspect OW's H also knows, but I am not positive - I suspect because he and I worked together for three years post-affair, the way OW's H dealt with me after the affair, and also because of the nature of OW's marriage (they have an open marriage - and have for many years).

The fact that I did not disclose to OWH is not MB "policy", certainly; however, given the nature of the open marriage issue, my H and I fully discussed this and mutually agreed that this particular affair was unlikely to tip their marriage one way or the other. Indeed, they continue with their practice to this day, and my H and I have independent verification of this lifestyle and their continued nuclear bombing of other marriages. Our devastation would have made no difference to these people. They do not care.

So you have asked what goes on in the mind of the BS who doesn't want the public apology, etc?

In my own case, it all hinged on the conditions within my personal family. I take care of (at the time) four elderly parents. It is now three, as one has died of complications related to traumatic brain injury. One has terminal cancer, one with heart conditions and battles a recurrent type of cancer, and one with mental illness and alcoholism.

My H and I knew we wanted to attempt to recover the marriage by the two-day mark.

Then, within a few weeks, he was diagnosed with cancer, and we were definitely fighting THAT battle together.

We decided that the affair was a back-burner issue in some ways, and the cancer was the priority.

And to place the health needs of those elderly parents ahead of what we realized would be a tough - but temporary - uphill climb within our marriage seemed the right decision for us.

We had to make some difficult decisions because the situation we were in was dire. Do we make the last months of a dying man who was confused and anxious even more confusing? Do we include the details of an affair into the life of a mentally ill and alcoholic woman who finds drama and sadness yet another reason to drink and spiral out of control? We had our hands full, and there was no way for us to add to that pile, given the nature of what we were facing in that arena.

I think sometimes it isn't what is INternal to the BS, but what factors weigh on the EXternal side of the marriage that feeds the decision. At least, in our case, this had the most emphasis for us.

I'd like to say that at times, I do wish that I could have had the support of my parents and in-laws. Their experience would have been great for me, especially my MIL, who managed to save her marriage even after she and my FIL were divorced for 8 years! Unfortunately, she isn't in any condition to do that for me. I take care of her instead.

Sometimes, even in the face of our own devastation, we have to be the pillars to support the rest of the family - in spite of our desire to ask them to support us, and our need for them to do so.

SB
Posted By: Aphelion Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 08:30 PM
Originally Posted by Pepperband
What I required. In no particular order.

1. Confess and apologize to OW's husband. In person. In public. Me by his side.
2. Confess and apologize to my parents.
3. Confess to our priest.


The purpose was not humiliation. The purpose was H gaining my respect. And gaining self respect. And owning his own relationships with others.

Has any other BS made this a requirement to recovery? I place a high value on honesty. If my H required me to lie to my friends and family in order to recover our M ... he could go find a different place to enjoy secrecy. Not with me.

Very Step Eight. Just right for a WS who is also an addict. But is it right for all WS?

For the record I had the above plus two more in my Plan B Letter:

4. Confess to her family.
5. Confess to all at work who knew them during the VLTA.

I accepted a letter of apology sent registered to OM�s wife since she would not meet in person. She is the OW from his first M and I did not particularly care what she got or did not get but as you note at the time it seemed a necessary benefit for my W to do it.

Interesting aside though � I required all this after the fist D-Day of the VLTA too. Then they took further underground for another five years.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 09:31 PM
Thanks all.
That's what is great about this forum.
Differing points of view.
I really do appreciate it.

Under $100.00 hurray
Posted By: ElCamino72 Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/15/10 11:27 PM
I tried to "protect" my WS for a few months after D-Day. I didn't want to expose. She didn't have any intention to confess though. But I see myself sort of discouraging her to confess to her family at that time. I thought that the humiliation would have been a deal breaker for her.

I hindsight, as you probably suspect, that was a HUGE mistake. The window for exposure/confession closed on me. Now there isn't much point of exposing or having her confess at this moment. So that has created a lot of resentment in my part and I think that it has contributed to a sense of entitlement in her.

My FWW has not shown any intention really apologize to anybody including me. She confessed to her sisters and a friend but I am not even sure what she told them and I suspect she put a spin to it.

I am not going to explicitly ask her for an apology or confession at this point. That's because I feel that getting a forced apology/confession is not going to help me to heal. I am looking for a genuine apology/confession to come from her. Unfortunately it may never happen. I am on the fence on whether my M will R without my FWW being remorseful.

--ElCamino72
Posted By: Still_Crazy Re: Confession - What say you? - 02/16/10 06:49 PM
I did not require my h to confess or apologize to anyone except me and the kids as we were the ones that were affected by the A.

The FOW was single so no OWH to consider, my parents and his parents are deceased so no parents to consider. The extended family really had no part in it so no confessions or apologies to them either.

I would have been pi$$ed off if he apologized to the FOW.
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