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#2265374 10/26/09 10:51 PM
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it's like a nightmare.... -sorry for the long post; I tried to be concise but give pertinent info.
The EA.
Hi everyone. New to the forum and somewhat new to the MB concepts; I found the website in July and then promptly bought the 5 steps book (2 copies- one for each of us) and HNHN for Parents. We�ve both read them and filled out the LB and EN�s questionairre. It took some persuading as W really wasn�t into that approach although she has been going to counselling with me for a couple of monthes (bi-weekly and we�ve missed the last two...). I�ve read the Basic Concepts and many articles on the site, and I�ve been reading the forum for several weeks - very helpful in many cases.

Background: Over the summer my wife developed a habit of having several neighbors over to our house for socializing in the early evening out on the front porch mostly. All the kids played together and it�s a closely knit group. I never loved that kind of thing, but kinda went along with it, thinking there wasn�t much harm in it.
As it turns out, W was all the while developing an EA with the neighbor, a 30 yo (15 years her junior) who had become infatuated with her at least several months (possibly years) prior (we didn�t know that at the time). There were also other times when they were together on a �friend� basis while I was at work (no, nothing physical, I�m sure of it). In June I figured out things were not as they seemed and confronted her on her feelings toward the OM and she basically down-played it. Then on July 4 her behavior during the festivities was unmistakably inappropriate and I confronted her again- at that time she stated she �didn�t know� if she was in love with him. That�s when we started therapy and really started talking seriously about divorce or separation, going forward, etc. [Enter MB material mentioned above]. My understanding at that point was that the affair (which she refused to recognize as an affair) was over. At first I tried to be understanding with the OM but eventually made it clear that we no longer wanted him around - �stay away from my house, my wife, my kids.� He claimed his intentions were NEVER nefarious, so I allowed myself the false believe that it would be no big deal for him to honor my request (he was lying).

I thought my wife was being open and honest with me since around this time, but as it turns out she has been continuing to remain in contact with the OM, aparently through intermittent phone conversations. Tonight she returned from a visit with our daughter to her mother�s in Florida and confessed that she had spoken with him, that it was a common occurance and that she loved me but didn�t think we could realistically ever expect to be compatible. I was able to convince her to some extent that we would really never know until she recognized that she�s having and affair and it has to stop if we�re really able to proceed with the marriage. (a prior post I read here showed me this is a very common pattern where the wayward spouse justifies the behavior with �it�s not the OM, it�s our marriage that�s the problem� - I see some truth to the philosphy, but recognize it�s mostly justification. I think the quote was, �women usually don�t leave until there�s an escape plan.�)

More background and then some questions for the more experienced:
We have not had a great marriage ever (not terrible but not great. And we�ve provided a safe, sane environment for the kids now 13 and 8). We have both had affairs in our past, we have multiple times tried to piece things together. I totally recognize my role in all this- I�ve been selfish, critical, unaccepting of this beautiful woman. She has not been honest with me over the years, often due to the way I would react when she was. I understand I�m not the only victim. I�ve never allowed her to thrive and I finally came to that realization about a month ago, when I made a commitment to be a better person.
It�s questionable if our marriage was built on a strong foundation - we essentially married due to a pregancy, then had another; but have always tried to rise above our discontent with counselling at various times and reading other books, etc.
At one point over the summer, she had an epiphany of her own and announced that she had been dishonest with herself, that she couldn�t continue to be in a marriage without real love. Ultimately I agreed that it wasn�t the kind of marriage I really wanted either, and I committed to working it through. In fact, I asked her to give me/us a chance one last time and if, after a �reasonable period� we can�t get on the same page, I would be willing to let the marriage go (as she was basically requesting at the time).

Now, we�re back at square one in my view, because all of the time we have been working on the relationship, she was actually carrying on the affair. As I said, she never saw it as an affair; evidently because it wasn�t physical. Meanwhile, she was feeling like it�s been a �reasonable amount of time� and that we�ll never really find true love. Although, as I write and after some further conversation, I believe (hope) she now is somewhat aware of the destructiveness of the inappropriate relationship and is at least considering cutting it off for good (it remains to be seen what will happen there; where�s my chrystal ball?)

Finally, here are some questions (and thanks for staying with me this far), and thanks in advance for your support:

How do I lure her away from the temptation of the OM as I don�t think she is thinking rationally?

I firmly believe in the MB principles; how do I get her to feel the same way? Or might that come more naturally when/if the OM is REALLY out of the picture?

At what point can I expect her to feel some remorse? At this time I realize she is so wound up with the positive feelings she gets from �you�re all I ever dreamed of...I think of you first thing in the morning...we could have such a nice life together...etc� she is hardly seeing it from my (or the kids�) perspective.

This is so painful for me (fighting every urge to become violent with the OM, as well as a flurry of so many other emotions including regret that I let it go this far and didn�t recognize signs). I know irrational actions will not help matters. But, at what point do I say �I simply can�t trust this woman� and move on?

~Optimism

PS - I just read a letter on planA/planB and will ask my wife to read it tomorrow.

Last edited by Revera; 11/03/09 03:51 PM. Reason: title change and merged threads

Me: 43 y.o. BFWH, D-day 11/11/09 (NC since 9/01)
Divorce from WW final 9/16/10.
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Optim, please know that you've been heard. It gets slow around here at night. The Vet's will be around tomorrow to help you out.

Please come back, and please hang in there for this evening.

I know your pain is massive, just please, hang in there for tonight.


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Do you both want to create romantic love that will be real? I know you do but does she?

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I am so sorry you are here but welcome to MB.

Originally Posted by optimism
PS - I just read a letter on planA/planB and will ask my wife to read it tomorrow.
First things first....DO NOT show your WW the Plan A/B info or anything else from this site! You don't want her knowing about MB while you are getting help and information on how to fight this.

Your WW is under the influence of a powerful&addicting drug ~ the EA. You can expect her to be dishonest, act selfishly, and be "confused" about the marriage...while there is ANY CONTACT at all with OM. That means this will be an uphill battle whilst you are living next door to him.

My H was involved in EA with a coworker and said all sorts of things to me like he only viewed me as a friend, etc, while there was contact. When he didn't have contact with OW for a period of time, his feelings would start to come back for me. As soon as he saw OW, he would feel "confused" all over again. I tell you this to hopefully demonstrate the importance of NC. Even glances at the OP will trigger the addictive feelings and thoughts. Have you thought about moving?

I'm sure better posters will be by to help you soon, but a couple questions:
Is OM married? If so, has she been informed of the EA?
Who else have you exposed to?

Hang in there and read as much as you can here.


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I'm not a vet as you see from the number of my posts (I had more prior the forum crash still...).

I had somewhat similar situation (W had A) about a year and a half ago. I would have spared myself from alot of pain if I had followed advice that is spread here over and over again (I did not know about MB then):

- expose the affair to all who have influence to disturb the A (if there is, then especially OMW!)
- NC even if that means relocating or changing jobs (and that means no contact at all, in any level)

Without these prerequisites, saving your marriage is very hard (if not impossible).

Trying to "educate" your WW about MB principles is waste of time.

Citation from Bob Huizenga ("How To Break Free From The Affair"):

"The actions and thoughts of your spouse primarily originate from her need to attach to another person. Any behavior or concept that serves the purpose of maintaining the attachment will be valued. Others are discarded."

So, you need to act, but trying to convince your WW that she is wrong or the path she has chosen will lead to chaos, will not work. Actual reality is not her reality anymore.

Exposure serves the purpose of bringing her back to real life (which is painful for her of course as waking from drug high) and NC helps to avoid the contact with the drug (OM). After the withdrawal, actual marriage building can start but withdrawal cannot even begin without NC.

If you have read Plan A then this is a lot more than just being nice to WW. One part of plan A is the exposure. So, if you will introduce plan A (eg warn about exposure) to your spouse, you will actually give away most potent weapon to kill the affair.

So, instead of "introducing" plan A to your WW, start following it.

Link to "The Carrot and the Stick of Plan A"

http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2252378&page=1


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What's the neighbor(OM)'s situation? Is he married?


Me: FWH, 50
My BW: Trust_Will_Come, 52, tall, beautiful & heart of gold
DD23, DS19
EA-then-PA Oct'08-Jan'09
Broke it off & confessed to BW (after OW's H found out) Jan.7 2009
Married 25 years & counting.
Grateful for forgiveness. Working to be a better husband.
"I wear the chain I forged in life... I made it link by link, and yard by yard" ~Jacob Marley's ghost, A Christmas Carol
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Originally Posted by L2L
Do you both want to create romantic love that will be real? I know you do but does she?

I stayed home from work today and she went in late. I started watching "Fireproof" and she stayed and watched it with me - I didn't push it, it was just there as an option. After the movie she essentially continued to push the issue of a 'trial separation' to "clear her head." The movie did not seem to have much of a persuasive affect on her outlook. She either doesn't see the possibility of accomplishing a romantic love or is too clouded by the affair to be open to it.
Opt


Me: 43 y.o. BFWH, D-day 11/11/09 (NC since 9/01)
Divorce from WW final 9/16/10.
Current Status: MB-based Marriage to Nature Girl 12/8/12 (first date on 12/11/10)
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Originally Posted by optimism
PS - I just read a letter on planA/planB and will ask my wife to read it tomorrow.
First things first....DO NOT show your WW the Plan A/B info or anything else from this site! You don't want her knowing about MB while you are getting help and information on how to fight this.
[/quote]

Too late. I printed it out and it was on my desk. She read it before I got up. We didn't talk about it much except at one point today she stated "why does everything have to be out of a book with you?!"


Me: 43 y.o. BFWH, D-day 11/11/09 (NC since 9/01)
Divorce from WW final 9/16/10.
Current Status: MB-based Marriage to Nature Girl 12/8/12 (first date on 12/11/10)
Mine: S(16), D(11)
NatureGirls: S(23), D(21)
Another EA Story
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Originally Posted by optimism
Originally Posted by L2L
Do you both want to create romantic love that will be real? I know you do but does she?

I stayed home from work today and she went in late. I started watching "Fireproof" and she stayed and watched it with me - I didn't push it, it was just there as an option. After the movie she essentially continued to push the issue of a 'trial separation' to "clear her head." The movie did not seem to have much of a persuasive affect on her outlook. She either doesn't see the possibility of accomplishing a romantic love or is too clouded by the affair to be open to it.
Opt
No she won't be able to feel hopeful about being romantic with you while she is in contact with her OP and having those addictive feelings and thoughts.

She is pushing for trial separation? You know that's code for her wanting more freedom to pursue the affair, right? DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOME! There is a thread on this, I will try to find it and bump it for you.


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Originally Posted by recon6mo
- expose the affair to all who have influence to disturb the A (if there is, then especially OMW!)
- NC even if that means relocating or changing jobs (and that means no contact at all, in any level)

In July I decided to get some time alone and left the kids with some very good mutual friends. I told them W was having an affair and I needed some time to myself (I wandered around a mall). When she found out I told them she was FURIOUS. I was afraid it was a huge withdrawal from the emotional bank account. Now I'm hearing that's what to do- should I keep it secret and do it? Do I tell her parents? And the BIG question: what about the kids? She's extremely clear that she doesn't want the kids to know; she said tonight that if we separated and she did ever develop any "real" relationship with him she would wait a YEAR before telling them. There 13 and 8; it's bizarre.


Me: 43 y.o. BFWH, D-day 11/11/09 (NC since 9/01)
Divorce from WW final 9/16/10.
Current Status: MB-based Marriage to Nature Girl 12/8/12 (first date on 12/11/10)
Mine: S(16), D(11)
NatureGirls: S(23), D(21)
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Originally Posted by optimism
Originally Posted by optimism
PS - I just read a letter on planA/planB and will ask my wife to read it tomorrow.
First things first....DO NOT show your WW the Plan A/B info or anything else from this site! You don't want her knowing about MB while you are getting help and information on how to fight this.

Too late. I printed it out and it was on my desk. She read it before I got up. We didn't talk about it much except at one point today she stated "why does everything have to be out of a book with you?!" [/quote]


I would hide the MB paperwork and not mention it again for now. She is foggy so hopefully she won't connect the dots and find this site. Any effort on your part to educate her marriagebuilding is a lovebuster.


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Don't agree to a trial separation. If you want to work on the marriage, the place to do that is in the same house, together. NOT in two different places.

Obviously you can't force her to stay in the house but whatever you do, do NOT move out! This is abandonment and courts do not look upon it favorably.

If she brings up separation again, tell her you're not interested in separation, only in building a fantastic marriage.

Who have you exposed to, and when, and how?

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Originally Posted by SusieQ
Originally Posted by optimism
Originally Posted by L2L
Do you both want to create romantic love that will be real? I know you do but does she?

I stayed home from work today and she went in late. I started watching "Fireproof" and she stayed and watched it with me - I didn't push it, it was just there as an option. After the movie she essentially continued to push the issue of a 'trial separation' to "clear her head." The movie did not seem to have much of a persuasive affect on her outlook. She either doesn't see the possibility of accomplishing a romantic love or is too clouded by the affair to be open to it.
Opt
No she won't be able to feel hopeful about being romantic with you while she is in contact with her OP and having those addictive feelings and thoughts.

She is pushing for trial separation? You know that's code for her wanting more freedom to pursue the affair, right? DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOME! There is a thread on this, I will try to find it and bump it for you.


Holy Crap Susie, thanks so much. She's at work and I was planning on packing a bag and staying somewhere tonight. I'll stay home instead. I'll be happy to read the thread.


Me: 43 y.o. BFWH, D-day 11/11/09 (NC since 9/01)
Divorce from WW final 9/16/10.
Current Status: MB-based Marriage to Nature Girl 12/8/12 (first date on 12/11/10)
Mine: S(16), D(11)
NatureGirls: S(23), D(21)
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Originally Posted by optimism
Originally Posted by recon6mo
- expose the affair to all who have influence to disturb the A (if there is, then especially OMW!)
- NC even if that means relocating or changing jobs (and that means no contact at all, in any level)

In July I decided to get some time alone and left the kids with some very good mutual friends. I told them W was having an affair and I needed some time to myself (I wandered around a mall). When she found out I told them she was FURIOUS. I was afraid it was a huge withdrawal from the emotional bank account. Now I'm hearing that's what to do- should I keep it secret and do it? Do I tell her parents? And the BIG question: what about the kids? She's extremely clear that she doesn't want the kids to know; she said tonight that if we separated and she did ever develop any "real" relationship with him she would wait a YEAR before telling them. There 13 and 8; it's bizarre.
You need to get a stellar exposure plan together. It's the best tool you have to bust up the A. Yes, you will definitely need to tell her parents and your children.

Get your plan together ASAP (hopefully vets will be by soon to help you) and definitely keep it a secret from her.

What about OMW?


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Originally Posted by SusieQ
[quote=optimism]
I would hide the MB paperwork and not mention it again for now. She is foggy so hopefully she won't connect the dots and find this site. Any effort on your part to educate her marriagebuilding is a lovebuster.

I understand. This goes along with the "you're pushing it down my throat" statement from earlier.


Me: 43 y.o. BFWH, D-day 11/11/09 (NC since 9/01)
Divorce from WW final 9/16/10.
Current Status: MB-based Marriage to Nature Girl 12/8/12 (first date on 12/11/10)
Mine: S(16), D(11)
NatureGirls: S(23), D(21)
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Originally Posted by turtlehead
Don't agree to a trial separation. If you want to work on the marriage, the place to do that is in the same house, together. NOT in two different places.

Obviously you can't force her to stay in the house but whatever you do, do NOT move out! This is abandonment and courts do not look upon it favorably.

If she brings up separation again, tell her you're not interested in separation, only in building a fantastic marriage.

Who have you exposed to, and when, and how?


Okay TH, and you answered my other question which was more of a legal concern, in case it ever came to that. I have not exposed the situation to anyone besides our good friends a while ago, but they don't know it has continued past the original "d-day."
She wants to do this wacky thing where one of us sleeps in the office as a psuedo separation. How do I address that?


Me: 43 y.o. BFWH, D-day 11/11/09 (NC since 9/01)
Divorce from WW final 9/16/10.
Current Status: MB-based Marriage to Nature Girl 12/8/12 (first date on 12/11/10)
Mine: S(16), D(11)
NatureGirls: S(23), D(21)
Another EA Story
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Here's the thread I mentioned:
http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1984719&page=1

Do not leave the bedroom either. More help is coming. Hang in there.


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"- NC even if that means relocating or changing jobs (and that means no contact at all, in any level)"

In early October I wrote a heart-felt letter asking forgiveness and vowing to change my past behaviors. (It reminded me of a scene from Fireproof at the end, and I had yet to see the movie). She claims that after that she asked him to stop calling so much but he only laid off for a little while.
I don't know how to convince her about NC means NC.
I'd be willing to move, but that takes time and she'd never go for it.


Me: 43 y.o. BFWH, D-day 11/11/09 (NC since 9/01)
Divorce from WW final 9/16/10.
Current Status: MB-based Marriage to Nature Girl 12/8/12 (first date on 12/11/10)
Mine: S(16), D(11)
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You need to watch the DJs. You seem to know what she'd accept, what she'd do, what she'd go for... you speak for her a lot. Maybe that's just here on the forums but it's prevalent enough that I think it warrants an examination of your behavior with her in real life. Just in case.

If she wants to sleep in the office, you can't stop her. Do NOT move out of your bedroom though! Also don't finance any of the "separation" - like paying for a comfortable sofa-bed or any of that nonsense. If she says she's going to sleep in the office, be honest about your feelings. If it saddens you to see her pull away, tell her so. Tell her she's welcome back in "our" bed whenever she wants. Just be honest about it.

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You vowed to change your past behaviors.
What behaviors? Did you change them? For how long?

Actions speak much more loudly than words. If you say you're going to change, but never do, it's no good. It's even harmful.

If you change for a few days or a few weeks but slip up a little here and there, and then a bit more, and after six months you slip back into your hold habits - it's no good.

Anything other than real, permanent change is going to be seen by her as lies and tricks that you play to get her back in the marriage where she'll be "trapped" and unloved again.

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