Not "Just Friends": Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity

Category: Relationships
Author: Shirley Glass
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by jkgibson1125   2019-07-21

I am sorry that you are having to deal with this. Let me preface this with I a wayward / cheater who is reconciling with my wife. We are currently 4.5 years into our reconcillation. What I am not going to do is defend what your husband did.

Most people, including waywards, don't truly understand what infidelity does to a person. The so called "normal" world's view is that its only sex and you just need to move on. Problem is that advice pretty much doesn't work because it doesn't address the underlying issues of betrayal.

When you found out about the infidelity, in a short period of time, you lost a huge amount of trust in your husband. You found out that he was having a secret relationship behind your back. He had opened up your marriage and your sexual health to someone with out your knowledge. Betrayal of this magnitude is an attack. You no longer feel safe and secure in the relationship. The whole enviornment of safety and security has been blown away and you body and mind are still processing the events of the betrayal and his actions and attitudes looking for clues to what you are dealing with.

On top of that, now you are dealing with having to piece together the truth. Even though the affair lasted 5 months it opens not only the last 5 months, but the whole relationship up. You now know that the unthinkable has become realtiy and your brain is having to process not only the affair timefram, but it also calls into question the whole time period of the relationship. Past events from your marriage are now seen in a different light because of this betrayal.

This is why you need to talk about the affairs, and have questions answered about them. This process helps you put the past together and is a way of helping rebuild safety and security. It is also checking to make sure that what you have been told is actually the truth.

The logical part of the brain has no control over this process this is handled by the limbic system which deals with flight or fright reactions. Affairs put this part of the mind on high alert which invokes the hypervilligance.

Many professional therapists who have studied the effects of infidelity have found that symptoms mirror the symptoms of people who have survived natual disaters, combat conditions, and accidents. The term they use is PISD which is Post Infidelity Stress Disorder, and the same types of therapy that help with PTSD help with people who have been victims of infidelity.

Healing from infidelity is long. Most professionals peg the timeframe at 2-5 years, and this is based on different variables, including if you are trying to repair the relationship with your husband, and his actions and attitudes after discovery. Since he has the McDonald book, which is good resource. The next book I would suggest to him is

Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Dr. Shirley Glass PhD.

https://www.amazon.com/Not-Just-Friends-Rebuilding-Recovering/dp/0743225503

Here is a part of the book which addresses talking about the affair and why you need him to talk about the affair.

>Why It’s Important to Tell
>
>I’m convinced that it is crucial to tell the story of the affair. My conviction is based on my own clinical experience with couples as well as the experience of trauma therapists and other infidelity researchers. But not all therapists agree with me. Many of them believe, right along with their unfaithful clients, that the less said about the affair, the better. To complicate matters, well- intentioned friends and family members usually advise “Be quiet. Talking about it just makes it worse.”
>
>Yet betrayed partners themselves verify that knowing the details is beneficial. Peggy Vaughan’s online survey of 1,083 betrayed partners found that couples who thoroughly discussed the affair were more likely to stay married. Open discussion and honest communication led to restored trust and an improved relationship that was even better than before the affair.
>
>From: Peggy Vaughan’s survey through her Web site (http://www.dearpeggy.com/results.html) reported on responses by 1,083 betrayed spouses regarding the impact of discussing questions about the affair:
>
>In Vaughn’s survey: (1) when the unfaithful spouse answered all questions, 86 percent of couples remained married and 72 percent rebuilt trust; (2) when the unfaithful spouse refused to answer questions, 59 percent remained married and 31 percent rebuilt trust.
>
>Telling the Truth Rebuilds Trust
>
>To cleanse the lying that occurred during the affair and in the early stages of revelation, the involved partner needs to be totally honest. Only information offered freely can clear the air.
>
>Fill in the Missing Pieces
>
>Telling the story of the affair replaces a fictionalized account with the truth. It is totally shattering and disorienting to find out that intrigue and deceptiveness were going on while you were assuming everything was normal. That’s why both partners need to get out their calendars, discuss the receipts, and review the cell phone calls. Things won’t make sense to the betrayed partner until all the missing pieces are accounted for.

Finally an FYI - this book can be majorly triggery for the betrayed spouse. So if you intend to read it, which I suggest, just realize that there may be points that you will need to put it down and then pick it up later.

Your husband may think that talking about the affair is just going to make things worse. When in reality you need to talk about it.

Again, I am sorry that you are dealing with this.

by jkgibson1125   2019-07-21

Hey WS,

I am glad you are here and you are trying to work on your relationship. I am also a reconciling WS and I want to give you some of my observations.

You start the letter out with you and how hard this is for you. You have to realize that no matter how hard this is for you; your wife's experience is deeper, darker, and more destructive than you can imagine. In the instant that she found out about the betrayal she lost all sense of security, safety, and trust.

After infidelity is discovered you will find that words mean less and your actions mean more. Words are almost meaningless because you are having to dig yourself back from a huge deficit.

You posts put you about 6 months out so I would like to tell you that you are on a 2-5 year journey. In most cases the reconciliation and healing is more toward the 5 year mark, and the work I am going to describe below isn't just embraced for the time period of healing its embraced for the rest of our our lives as wayward spouses.

I don't know if you have read How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda McDonald. If not please buy it and read it. This book focuses on the actions that you have to embrace to show your wife that you want to reconcile the relationship.

Waywards who want to rebuild the relationship after an affair

• are non defensive

• examine their motives for their affairs, without blaming their spouses

• accept their roles as healers to their wounded partners

• do not resist breaking off all contact with the affair partner

• show genuine contrition and remorse for what they have done

• make amends and apologize to loved ones

• apologize often, especially the first two years

• listen with patience and validate their spouses’ pain

• allow their spouses a lot of room to express their feelings

• respect the betrayed spouse’s timetable for recovering

• seek to assure spouses of their love and commitment to fidelity

• keep no secrets

• do not maintain close ties with those who condoned the affair

• are willing to be extremely accountable for their time and activities

• frequently check in with spouses as to how they are doing

• are aware of and anticipate triggers of the affair

• are willing to get rid of hurtful reminders of the affair

• don’t minimize the damage the affair had on the children

• commit themselves to a long-term plan for recovery, honesty, and Internal (Spiritual) growth

The last point includes these actions: (I added these from my own experience)

• Individual counseling for the wayward so they can find out what is inside them that allowed them to rationalize the affair.

• Learning what constitutes safe boundaries in interpersonal relationship.

• Couples counseling once the wayward finds those whys and begins addressing them, and acceptance 100% of the affair is on the wayward (no blame shifting)

• If substance abuse is present then wayward must enter a recovery program in order to get the addiction under control.

Again, what you will have to do is to pretty much rewrite your operation system with a new way of living.

Next, I would point you to Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Dr. Shirley Glass PhD. This was written in 2002 and was one of the first books to point out that PSTD sufferers and Betrayed spouses shared the same symptoms. So much so that they coined a new term for betrayeds which is PISD (Post Infidelity Stress Disorder.)

https://www.amazon.com/Not-Just-Friends-Rebuilding-Recovering/dp/0743225503

In your letter you talk about learning boundaries, the book talks about the boundaries you need to learn and why you should never talk to anyone of the opposite sex about your relationship or problems within it. This action opens the barriers between you and the other person and puts you on a more intimate level. Your marriage relationship must only be discussed between yourself and your wife and those friends which are deemed "Friends of the Marriage"

This book is a deep dive into infidelity and how it happens, what happens between the phases of the affair, what happens when the affair is discovered and then the steps to heal from it. This book can be majorly triggery for betrayed, because of the way she describes each of the phases because her descriptions are based on a composite of her patients who went though her practice.

Remember that you wife is longing to see actions that show her that she is important. Your actions will give meaning to your words. Enough actions over a long enough period of time you will build up trust again. However it will never be the innocent trust before the affair was discovered. I can tell you as a WS who is almost 5 years out there are still bumps in the road, and I still continue to show my wife via actions that I am changing. I will be doing this for a long time afterwards too.

Finally remember that this is a marathon, it isn't a sprint. Waywards because they were the ones who instigated the affair have a full timeline of the events as they happened. They know the beginning, middle, and end. They have the knowledge that it is over. Your betrayed only has your assurance and words about these past actions, she didn't observe them and since she didn't go through them and because the affair has pretty much emptied your words of any and all truth she will continue to harbor fears, and suspicions if what you are saying is truthful or not. This is NOT a dig at you, but the reality of the situation. AS I have said before this is why actions give meanings to words, and why actions are and will continue to be the keystone against which your words are measured.

Hang in there. I can tell you that it does get better. It takes a long time and a lot of hard work on the part of the WS to prove to our betrayeds that we are fully invested in reconciliation with them.

by jkgibson1125   2019-07-21

First, I would suggest that you get yourself a therapist to help you out with discussing what has happened. This gives you a place to discuss the affair without fear that the information might get out. I would encourage you to work with this IC to work on strengthening your interpersonal boundaries so that you are able to navigate outside relationships without opening yourself up to the possibility of an affair. You also need to look at what is going on inside your mind that the EA was helping to cover up or placate.

Next, I would point you to the book Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Dr. Shirley Glass PhD. This book will help you understand what you need to do to strengthen your boundaries to help protect yourself in outside relationships.

https://www.amazon.com/Not-Just-Friends-Rebuilding-Recovering/dp/0743225503

I used to wear my heart on my sleeve and thought that discussing how I was feeling about anything and everything made me more "authentic" than those who would just say fine. After our Dday, I had to learn to build barriers and walls with people in the workplace and outside relationships in order to protect my marriage.

This book helped me recognize those who had terrible boundaries and helped me to stop sharing too much emotional and relationship information with them. The person that I need to share this with is my wife.

Her book will give you steps that you need in order to be able to help your BS if he begins to start to ask questions. As others have said, he may be pushing the EA under the surface to simply not deal with it. This simmers under the surface and the pressure builds up and explodes out into emotional outbursts. If you find this happening you may want to try to talk him into going with you to a couple's counselor to help you both communicate.

If it comes to this I highly suggest you find a counselor who is up on the latest research on helping couples through infidelity. So you may want to talk to them on how they deal with this. Many counselors want to focus on the relationship as the cause of the infidelity, but in reality there was nothing in the relationship that caused you to have an EA. Emotional affairs are born in the minds of the two affair partners, and when the attraction starts, the WS needs to rewrite history of the relationship in order to allow them to engage in the EA or PA.

Focusing on relationship issues moves the focus off of the WS and tries to place the blame on other things.

My wife and I are 4.5 years out from when she found out about my affairs. This is a hard road for the BS because it does stick in the mind. Most professional estimates on the healing timeline put it at 2-5 years. But I am unsure how your BS not talking about the affair or not wanting to hear about it will affect it.

by refman1   2019-07-21

This is a pretty good list.

Waywards who want to rebuild the marriage: • are non-defensive • examine their motives for their affairs, without blaming their spouses • accept their roles as healers to their wounded partners • do not resist breaking off all contact with the affair partner • show genuine contrition and remorse for what they have done • make amends and apologize to loved ones • apologize often, especially the first two years • listen with patience and validate their spouses’ pain • allow their spouses a lot of room to express their feelings • respect the betrayed spouse’s timetable for recovering • seek to assure spouses of their love and commitment to fidelity • keep no secrets • do not maintain close ties with those who condoned the affair • are willing to be extremely accountable for their time and activities • frequently check in with spouses as to how they are doing • are aware of and anticipate triggers of the affair • are willing to get rid of hurtful reminders of the affair • don’t minimize the damage the affair had on the children • commit themselves to a long-term plan for recovery, honesty, and spiritual growth The last point includes these actions: • Individual counseling for the wayward so they can find out what is inside them that allowed them to rationalize the affair. • Learning what constitutes safe boundaries in interpersonal relationship. • Couples counseling once the wayward finds those whys and begins addressing them, and acceptance 100% of the affair is on the wayward (no blame shifting) • If substance abuse is present then wayward must enter a recovery program in order to get the addiction under control. • Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Dr. Shirley Glass PhD. • https://www.amazon.com/Not-Just-Friends-Rebuilding-Recovering/dp/0743225503 • This book pretty much started a revolution in the therapy industry on how they help those betrayed by adultery deal with it. She was one of the first using therapies based on PTSD recovery for those who have suffered infidelity. • I will warn you that Not Just Friends, while a very good book, is full of triggers because of how she maps out how affairs begin. What I recommend is that if you find it triggering, that you put it down and then come back to it when you are in a better mental state. • Finally you need to make sure that you take care of yourself. • Force yourself to eat small meals, and if you can't do that then try meal replacement shakes. • Drink water, maybe tea to keep you hydrated, and try to stay away from alcohol. It is a depressant and while it will help in the short term you need to watch out for the long term. • Sleep. I know you are having issues with this. If you need try an over the counter pain reliever with a sleep aid or a better thing to do is to consult your doctor. Most of these contain generic benadryl which causes drowsiness. • You need to have your wife and yourself go in and have a full STD panel done. Unfortunately in fantasy land waywards and APs rarely think about using protection. • Finally, don't be too quick to enter couple's counseling. Too many marriage counselors are trained in such a way to work on relationship problems, and not infidelity. They end up doing more harm than good. If you have decided to go this route then please interview the counselor first to find out how they work with couples dealing with this. IF the counselor talks about relationship issues and unmet needs causing infidelity thank them and find another therapist.

by jkgibson1125   2019-07-21

There are distinct signs that someone is cheating.

These points are from Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Dr. Shirley Glass PhD.

https://www.amazon.com/Not-Just-Friends-Rebuilding-Recovering/dp/0743225503

Its one of the best books I have found on healing from infidelity. I warn you that it can be triggery. But the information held in this book is so well done that It and another book I will list below were the ones that helped me through this.

Here is a list of actions and attitudes of a person who is actively cheating:

  • Privacy: More phone calls taken privately; staying up later and using the computer after everyone is in bed.
  • Schedules: More time away from home; longer working hours; more out-of-town travel; more evening or weekend meetings. The explanations for these changes may be overly detailed, or they may be blanket excuses, such as “the new project” or “the planning board” or “my yoga class.”
  • Interests: A sudden and intense interest in a new activity that is deliberately not shared with the partner, such as motorcycles, sports cars, or country-western dancing.
  • Personal Habits: Preoccupation with personal appearance; abrupt transformation in hair or clothing style, especially a new image more appropriate at a singles bar; efforts to lose weight that involve changes in eating or exercise habits; purchasing new, sexy underwear.
  • Children: Uneven and inconsistent attention to children, sometimes angry and impatient with them and sometimes lavishing attention on them; not noticing the routine details of children’s lives.
  • Money: Less open about expenditures; checks missing from the family bank account or questionable credit card charges; spending more money on restaurants, hotels, motels, or gifts or on enhancing own attractiveness and desirability.
  • Personal Interaction with Spouse: Unpredictable behavior that can sometimes be rejecting and critical and sometimes overly clingy; may give the impression that he or she would rather be alone and does not want to talk or be touched; may start arguments and storm out for a few mysterious hours away from home.
  • Sex and Affection: May have increased sexual desire, and sex may be more passionate; new techniques may be tried or broached, or there may be an avoidance of sexual contact—or both at different times; less spontaneous affection and fewer romantic kisses.
  • Social Life: Avoids including spouse in familiar social settings with people from work or the neighborhood; or, may want to go out more with others and avoid being alone with spouse.

After infidelity the wayward must do the work in order to help the betrayed feel safe and secure. Most people believe that getting over an affair is to Forgive, Forget, Move on. This doesn't work.

You can't erase the past. The infidelity doesn't go away if you decide to forget. Just doesn't happen that way. the only way to heal from infidelity is for the wayward and the betrayed to plow through it and get through to the other side. Another problem is that there is very little that that the betrayed can do on their own to fix this. The relationship after the affair is now blown apart and trust, safety, and security doesn't exist.

Think about it as a climbing team that is going up a mountain. The wayward is the lead climber and they have to move forward and plant spikes and map the way up the cliff. If the wayward doesn't pay attention to how these spikes are planted right and secure the climber behind them may fall because it wasn't set right.

So the wayward has to do the work on the way out of this shit and do it good enough that you, the betrayed, don't fall back into the shit. With this in mind I point out a book called How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda McDonald.

https://www.amazon.com/Help-Your-Spouse-Heal-Affair/dp/145055332X

In this book she lays out 15 points that include actions and attitudes. I warn you that this isn't a checklist of one and done. These are meant to become a way of life for the wayward.

Waywards who want to rebuild the marriage:

• are non defensive

• examine their motives for their affairs, without blaming their spouses

• accept their roles as healers to their wounded partners

• do not resist breaking off all contact with the affair partner

• show genuine contrition and remorse for what they have done

• make amends and apologize to loved ones

• apologize often, especially the first two years

• listen with patience and validate their spouses’ pain

• allow their spouses a lot of room to express their feelings

• respect the betrayed spouse’s timetable for recovering

• seek to assure spouses of their love and commitment to fidelity

• keep no secrets

• do not maintain close ties with those who condoned the affair

• are willing to be extremely accountable for their time and activities

• frequently check in with spouses as to how they are doing

• are aware of and anticipate triggers of the affair

• are willing to get rid of hurtful reminders of the affair

• don’t minimize the damage the affair had on the children

• commit themselves to a long-term plan for recovery, honesty, and Internal (Spiritual) growth

The last point includes these actions: (I added these from my own experience)

• Individual counseling for the wayward so they can find out what is inside them that allowed them to rationalize the affair.

• Learning what constitutes safe boundaries in interpersonal relationship.

• Couples counseling once the wayward finds those whys and begins addressing them, and acceptance 100% of the affair is on the wayward (no blame shifting)

• If substance abuse is present then wayward must enter a recovery program in order to get the addiction under control.

I know this is a long post, and I tend to write shitloads. Healing from infidelity is hard even when the wayward is doing the right things. It's next to impossible when they aren't.

Keep posting here and I would also suggest r/survivinginfidelity too. Both subs are here to help you navigate this storm of what infidelity does to a relationship.

by Bedtimeshine   2019-01-13

Speak with your actions. Be transparent. Be present. Get off social media. If it was a messaging service and the messages can be hidden, it no longer exists in your life. Have an open phone policy... he gets all passwords.

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/145055332X

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0743225503

by jkgibson1125   2019-01-13

Your husband is going to have to put a lot of work into this in order to for you to be able to start to heal from this. This is going to a really hard journey for you, and will require a shit ton of work on himself.

Here are two books that I recommend:

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful by Linda J. McDonald

r/https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/145055332X

McDonald has 15 things he must start doing to help you feel safe and secure.

Waywards who want to rebuild the marriage:

• are non defensive

• examine their motives for their affairs, without blaming their spouses

• accept their roles as healers to their wounded partners

• do not resist breaking off all contact with the affair partner

• show genuine contrition and remorse for what they have done

• make amends and apologize to loved ones

• apologize often, especially the first two years

• listen with patience and validate their spouses’ pain

by jkgibson1125   2019-01-13

Sorry about that

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful by Linda J. McDonald

r/https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/145055332X

Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Dr. Shirley Glass PhD.

r/https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0743225503

by jkgibson1125   2018-11-10

Hey there,

I am sorry you are dealing with this. Infidelity is hard even when the wayward is working hard to fix what happened.

Disclosure: I am a wayward. I was the cheater in my marriage.

First, you need take hold of these truths:

There is nothing you did. There is nothing you didn’t do. There is nothing you said. There is nothing you didn’t say that made your husband go out and have an affair. NOTHING. I know its hard to believe. But affairs have nothing to do with unmet needs.

It wasn’t the amount of sex he was getting, or not getting, not if it was the right kind, or the wrong kind. It wasn’t about the sex in the relationship.

There was nothing you could have done that would have stopped this, nothing that you didn’t do that would have stopped it.

Affairs happen because the wayward of internal mental and emotional issues with the wayward.

Affairs at their root are based in selfish, self centered entitlement. A lot of it had to do with my family of origin, I pretty much grew up in a fucked up alcoholic, drug addicted home.

However I can’t use my family of origin as an excuse for the affairs. Matter of fact I can’t use anything as an excuse.

When a wayward owns what they did they stop blaming people, places, or things, for the affair. When they accept that they can’t blame anyone but themselves they come to a place where they can begin to actually fix what is inside them that allowed them to believe that having an emotional or physical affair outside of their marriage or committed relationship was a healthy choice.

Healing from this is hugely one sided, and this isn’t on you. About 95% of the healing needs to be done by the wayward. The other 5% is the betrayed not murdering us as we continue to flail about trying to get this right.

I have come to the conclusion that very few people can heal from this by themselves. I believe it takes a good therapist, who has insights into the current research of what affairs do to the betrayed. If your spouse/SO isn’t in therapy at this point then I believe they need it. I would suggest that you interview therapists with your spouse/SO. He goes in and talks to them about what he is looking for, then you follow up and ask some very pointed questions on how they handle recovery from affairs.

Ask them what they believe the healing timeline for affair recovery is? Ask them what they believe is the root of affairs Ask them if they believe marriage issues lead to the affair Ask them if they believe that perceived lack of sex led to the affair Ask them what areas of work they would have the wayward work on in order to heal.

There are millions of questions, but what you want to find out which school of thought the are in. The forgive, forget, and and work on marriage issues (wrong answer) or that there is severe trauma on the part of the betrayed that the wayward needs to address.

Believe it or not bad therapists (and there are a lot of them out there) do a shit load of damage because of their lack of knowledge.

He also should be reading good books. I would suggest 2 as a start:

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda McDonald:

90 pages long, short, and can be read in an evening. Don’t allow the excuse that he hates reading allow you to back down.

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/145055332X

Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0743225503

Longer, but really helpful. Goes into boundaries and why good boundaries help keep affairs at by, really great information on emotional affairs, and how they turn sexual. Talks about timelines and other

Huge warning Not Just Friends is hugely triggery for a BS who is early into this.

Finally he can’t 1/2 this thing. Healing from this requires 100% from the wayward. You can’t do this for a couple of weeks and think you have it done.

by jkgibson1125   2018-11-10

Its not going to tear you apart, it is tearing you apart.

Nothing you did or didn't do, said or didn't say didn't cause the affair. Affairs are a series of choices that are made by the wayward. At any time she could have come to you and told you what she was feeling. She didn't do it. While both of you have blame for the relationship issues, she gets 100% of the blame for having sex with another person.

Again you didn't hold a gun to her head and make her screw another person. So please stop taking on the blame for her shitty decisions.

Second, waywards minimize affairs. The things they tell betrayeds is almost if they are on script. There is an inside joke by betrayeds that there is some mythical cheaters handbook out there that each one is referencing when they give explanations of various things out of the affair.

Minimization runs along the lines of:

We only kissed

We had sex once but I couldn't finish because I felt so guilty

We had full on sex but it was protected

We didn't use protection

The numbers will increase as the truth comes out.

Each time you find out she is lying your wounds opens up again. Its as if she is pushing the knife back in.

The reason why this continues is that your fear of losing her is in control. However infidelity is not one of those things that just gets fixed in 2 months. Infidelity healing is 2-5 years and this requires the wayward to put a huge amount of effort into it. Matter of fact 95% of the work in on her shoulders. What you have allowed her to do is to take control, and that has to stop now.

Affairs aren't about needs, they are about selfishness. You were in the same relationship yet you didn't cheat. In order for you both to be able to heal and move on requires full disclosure of the affair you need to be able to process the full extent of what has happened. She is not allowing you to do that because of her minimization and trickle truth.

There are some good books out there that are geared toward waywards about what they need to do.

One of them is Linda J. McDonald's How To Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair"

[https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/145055332X)

She list 15 things that the wayward should embrace to heal the relationship:

Waywards who want to rebuild the marriage:

• are non defensive

• examine their motives for their affairs, without blaming their spouses

• accept their roles as healers to their wounded partners

• do not resist breaking off all contact with the affair partner

• show genuine contrition and remorse for what they have done

• make amends and apologize to loved ones

• apologize often, especially the first two years

• listen with patience and validate their spouses’ pain

• allow their spouses a lot of room to express their feelings

• respect the betrayed spouse’s timetable for recovering

• seek to assure spouses of their love and commitment to fidelity

• keep no secrets

• do not maintain close ties with those who condoned the affair

• are willing to be extremely accountable for their time and activities

• frequently check in with spouses as to how they are doing

• are aware of and anticipate triggers of the affair

• are willing to get rid of hurtful reminders of the affair

• don’t minimize the damage the affair had on the children

• commit themselves to a long-term plan for recovery, honesty, and spiritual growth

The next book I will recommend is this one - Not Just Friends - Dr. Shirley Glass Phd.

[https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0743225503)

In the book she makes this point:

Most people, including unfaithful partners, think that talking about an affair with the betrayed partner will only create more upset, but that is actually the way to rebuild intimacy. Trying to recover without discussing the betrayal is like waxing a dirty floor.

While the book can trigger betrayed spouse, its such a good resources that I suggest that betrayeds try to push through it. She offers suggestions on helping with triggers, and dealing with issues in the affair. It was the book that helped me out the most. How To Help Your Spouse is a great beginners primer on getting started, but Glass' book is amazing and her insights are well thought out.

Hang in there and keep posting.

by jkgibson1125   2018-11-10

I am sorry that you are here. Infidelity sucks.

The only way through this is to go through. There are no shortcuts.

Try to move on without dealing with just pushes it under the surface and I can guarantee it will come back up at the worst of times. This is why rugsweeping (as we call it) doesn't work. It just pushes the anger down and it just permeates everything.

The good news is that you can get through this and there is a huge caveat on this. It requires your husband (your wayward) to put a shitload of work into figuring out just how he could come to the decision that an emotional and possibly physical relationship was a good and appropriate choice to make in any situation.

Nothing you did, said, thought, or didn't do, say, or thought made him have an affair. Affairs come about because choices. His choice to start talking to her about your relationship. His choice to start sending nudes and encouraging her to do so. He did have other better choices which would have been to talk to you about what was going on.

Now for the bad news - when there is an emotional affair where the affair partner is in close contact the chances that it didn't turn sexual are very low. With the emotional attachment, and the pictures being exchanged the sexual tension was being amped up. The only time that this isn't the case is when the betrayed discovers the affair before its gone physical.

Waywards lie and minimize, many times if given the chance waywards and their AP will collaborate on a story. This is part of them covering their asses. If they do admit to things usually it sounds like this:

We only held each other

we just kissed

we only had sex once, but I felt so guilty I couldn't finish

we tried to have sex but I felt so guilty I couldn't perform

there are a couple of books that I am going to recommend:

1) How to Help your Spouse Heal from your affair - Linda J. McDonald. This is short 90 page book that can be read in an evening. Its like the grade school primer for waywards, to show them the things they should be doing.

[https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/145055332X)

2) Not Just Friends - By Dr. Shirley Glass PhD - this book gets deeper into the subject of affairs, both emotional and physical affairs it also includes information on healing the affair. I will warn you that this book can be massively triggery for a betrayed spouse.

[https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0743225503)

Look at his actions, not at what he says. Since because of the deception of the affair his words will really hold no meaning to you. This is why you should be looking at what he does. If he gets frustrated when you ask questions over and over, that is a sign that what you have is regret. Regret means he is sorry he has gotten caught.

You are in shock. Infidelity is a massive physical and mental trauma. Physically it drains you of energy. It throws your eating off, It can throw off sleep patterns. Physically you are being put through a ringer.

Mentally you are dealing with just trying to figure out WTF is real. The point before dday you had this timeline and foundation in your head of all the events of your relationship. Now that DDay has happened you now have a whole shitload of new information that you have to fit in and reconcile what has happened. The old timeline and the new information need to be reconciled so that what happened makes sense. This is why you will get very frustrated when your wayward says "I don't remember" or "I don't know what I was thinking" because this gives you nothing you can use to making sense out of this whole thing.

You will question him over and over about specific events. This is normal, this is your brains way of fitting in the information. Its checking to see if what you were told is actually the truth. Sometimes the wayward will slip up and something is new is revealed. In a perfect world every wayward would be a willing candidate for reconciliation. Unfortunately many of them really just want this whole shit storm to go away and you to quit thinking about it.

You probably have or will become familiar with the term trickle truth. This is where your wayward will tell you something, then claim you know everything, and then a bit later will reveal something else. My wife begged me to just rip the bandaid off. I wish I had done so. We would be further along than we are now.

I know this post is freaking long. Unfortunately there are no short answers to infidelity especially if you want to reconcile.

I am going to post Linda McDonalds 15 points from her book "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" These are the 15 actions she says are keys in helping you to heal from his actions:

Waywards who want to rebuild:

• are non defensive

• examine their motives for their affairs, without blaming their spouses

• accept their roles as healers to their wounded partners

• do not resist breaking off all contact with the affair partner

• show genuine contrition and remorse for what they have done

• make amends and apologize to loved ones

• apologize often, especially the first two years

• listen with patience and validate their spouses’ pain

• allow their spouses a lot of room to express their feelings

• respect the betrayed spouse’s timetable for recovering

• seek to assure spouses of their love and commitment to fidelity

• keep no secrets

• do not maintain close ties with those who condoned the affair

• are willing to be extremely accountable for their time and activities

• frequently check in with spouses as to how they are doing

• are aware of and anticipate triggers of the affair

• are willing to get rid of hurtful reminders of the affair

• don’t minimize the damage the affair had on the children

• commit themselves to a long-term plan for recovery, honesty, and spiritual growth

I am so sorry you are here. I hope you are able to find this post useful.

by jkgibson1125   2018-11-10

Healing from this shit is hard. The hardest things I have found is the betrayed wants to do all the work and the wayward tends to want to do nothing.

You need to understand that 95% of the work of healing this is on his shoulders. It takes more than empty promises and words to get this done.

His actions of deleting content are not surprising, its him covering his ass and lying to himself that he is "Protecting you" which it total and complete bullshit.

>Swears he used condoms every time.

I told my wife the same thing. He is minimizing the encounter.

>he told her to text him. Its the text that sat on phone screen and started the walls crumbling. Hed never done this before he says. I wonder.

Nope... it isn't.

>He confessed to having set up an AshleyMadison account, it lasted 4 hours before he took it down because he felt ashamed and stupid.

No... again a lie

You have a serial cheater on your hands. In order for him to be able to get himself out of this way of thing and living he is going to need to change a lot of things about himself. There was nothing in your marriage that caused this. Cheating is born in the mind of the cheater.

There are two books that I recommend for those who are just starting this shit. The first one is:

Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Dr. Shirley Glass PhD.

r/https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0743225503

She explains why you need to know the details:

>The betrayed partner’s drive to hear about the inner life of the affair is more than just a desire to satisfy curiosity or uncover more lies. Knowing the true story behind a trauma is the only way the victim can stop obsessing and begin to heal.

and this:
Fill in the Missing Pieces

>Telling the story of the affair replaces a fictionalized account with the truth. It is totally shattering and disorienting to find out that intrigue and deceptiveness were going on while you were assuming everything was normal. That’s why both partners need to get out their calendars, discuss the receipts, and review the cell phone calls. Things won’t make sense to the betrayed partner until all the missing pieces are accounted for.

This book can trigger the betrayed spouse but I am convinced that the information she gives is worth it.

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful by Linda J. McDonald

r/https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/145055332X

She lists 15 points and actions that the wayward needs to do in order help you heal. This is why I tell people that 95% of the work is on the wayward's shoulders. Not on the betrayed's

Waywards who want to rebuild the marriage:

• are non defensive

• examine their motives for their affairs, without blaming their spouses

• accept their roles as healers to their wounded partners

• do not resist breaking off all contact with the affair partner

• show genuine contrition and remorse for what they have done

• make amends and apologize to loved ones

• apologize often, especially the first two years

• listen with patience and validate their spouses’ pain

• allow their spouses a lot of room to express their feelings

• respect the betrayed spouse’s timetable for recovering

• seek to assure spouses of their love and commitment to fidelity

• keep no secrets

• do not maintain close ties with those who condoned the affair

• are willing to be extremely accountable for their time and activities

• frequently check in with spouses as to how they are doing

• are aware of and anticipate triggers of the affair

• are willing to get rid of hurtful reminders of the affair

• don’t minimize the damage the affair had on the children

• commit themselves to a long-term plan for recovery, honesty, and spiritual growth

Healing timeline is 2-5 years, and this is if the cheater is doing all the right things. He still is lying to you and keeping secrets because he deleted the evidence.

I am sorry that you are here. Hang in there.

by jkgibson1125   2018-11-10

I think you are expecting too much from yourself... Infidelity isn't something that happens, and you forgive, forget and move on. No.. Infidelity is a physical, mental, and emotional trauma which requires the wayward to put in some pretty specific work to make you feel safe and secure.

Early on after dday my wife would text me and ask what the fuck I was doing at a McDonalds, or where I was when the find my iPhone couldn't determine my location. Because the infidelity had emptied her completely of any trust, she needed that iPhone app to make sure what I told her I was doing was actually what I was doing.

The call about the McDonalds was that I was working at a site, and needed lunch. I drove out to pick up lunch. When the iPhone showed that I was not in the location she thought I was supposed to be she called. What I had learned is that I couldn't be defensive over anything. I answered the phone and let her know I was picking up lunch and a drink from McDonalds and that afterwards I would be heading back to the work site. From that incident I learned that before I left to grab lunch, I needed to text her to let her know. Because of the trauma from infidelity which I put her through, when she couldn't locate me her head made up all sorts of scenarios.

One time I was at a 12 step group meeting. She called and I left group and called her back, she asked me where I was, and I told her I was at the church with the group. When I got back to my seat, I had a good friend who was in the program with me agree to take a selfie. I texted it to her. She knew the guy, and knew that I met him in the groups.

There were times that I would take a picture of where I was, and send it to her just to keep reassuring her that my actions were mirroring what i was telling her.

There are two books that were invaluable to me to help my wife through this healing:

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful by Linda J. McDonald

r/https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/145055332X

I am going to give you Mcdonald’s list of 15 actions that a wayward spouse should be doing to help the betrayed feel safe in the relationship.

Waywards who want to rebuild the marriage:

• are non defensive

• examine their motives for their affairs, without blaming their spouses

• accept their roles as healers to their wounded partners

• do not resist breaking off all contact with the affair partner

• show genuine contrition and remorse for what they have done

• make amends and apologize to loved ones

• apologize often, especially the first two years

• listen with patience and validate their spouses’ pain

• allow their spouses a lot of room to express their feelings

• respect the betrayed spouse’s timetable for recovering

• seek to assure spouses of their love and commitment to fidelity

• keep no secrets

• do not maintain close ties with those who condoned the affair

• are willing to be extremely accountable for their time and activities

• frequently check in with spouses as to how they are doing

• are aware of and anticipate triggers of the affair

• are willing to get rid of hurtful reminders of the affair

• don’t minimize the damage the affair had on the children

• commit themselves to a long-term plan for recovery, honesty, and spiritual growth

This book is 90 pages long, and it can be read in an evening by someone who reads quickly. For someone who is a slower reader it takes a weekend. if the wayward says its too hard to read, or takes too long to read it then it is showing you they think they don’t need to do much to help you heal. They need to understand that this work requires a shit ton of work on their part and they need to act. Promises don’t make it in this game.

Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Dr. Shirley Glass PhD.

r/https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0743225503

This book is a much longer and deeper book, but it really digs into what the wayward needs to do in order to help you figure out what has happened. It talks about how actually speaking about the affair helps build trust. It talks about how the details of the affair help you piece together the missing history that you don’t have in your head. It talks about boundaries and how boundaries play a part in the beginning of the affair. While it can be hard to read by a betrayed spouse, the information contained is so good that It should be read.

In order for you to heal, he needs to be putting in actions and attitudes that show that he is changing himself, and because these changes backup what he tells you that you can start to win back safety and security in a relationship where all of that has been blown away.

What you are going through is normal in the aftermath of an affair. Its because all the anchors that kept you grounded and secure in the affair were ripped out by the very person who was supposed to have your back. He has to actively work on each and everyone of those things that anchored you in your safety and security, and rebuild them via actions. Once actions and words mirror each other, then and only then can you feel any safety and security to feel like you can even begin to trust again.

I am really sorry you are here. Hang in there.

by jkgibson1125   2018-11-10

I am so sorry you are here, I know you are in pain and this is one of the hardest things you will go through.

I have been on infidelity boards for over 4 years. I have seen all sorts of these posts. I want to point out a couple of things:

  1. I was so drunk - This is almost the goto excuse for those who cheat. While he may have been drunk, this isn't an excuse for his action and his decision. He is hoping that by telling you that he was drunk will allow you to minimize in your mind as a mistake
  2. It was just a one night thing - This is a complete minimization of his actions. It doesn't matter if it was one night or not he still had sex with someone outside you relationship.

Did he offer you proof that he cut the connection? The fact that he had a connection with this person means they had prior contact. You need to know who she is, and how he knows her. Many waywards are not very forth coming with these type of details.

Affairs are an attack at the core and reality of a relationship. It empties the trust which the betrayed spouse had at the very beginning at the relationship to almost zero. You want to trust him, but you won't be able to. The trauma of infidelity is such that it blows apart your reality. I know it hurts to hear this, but it causes the betrayed to wonder who this person they married.

Healing from infidelity is hard. One of the hardest things that you will ever do, but the problem isn't you. The problem is him. In order for you to start to heal he is going to put some heavy work on himself and figure out why he could have allowed himself to do this.

The healing timeline for recovery from infidelity is from 2-5 years and depends on the actions of the wayward during this time.

You are in a difficult position at this point. You know of this one time. However there could be more that you don't know of. The girl who sent you a message may have been trying to force a break in a relationship between you and your husband in order for her to take advantage of the situation.

As I have said, I am sorry you are here. Here are a couple of good books that can help you and your spouse possibly navigate this.

There are two books that I recommend:

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful by Linda J. McDonald

r/https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/145055332X

I am going to give you Mcdonald’s list of 15 actions that a wayward spouse should be doing to help the betrayed feel safe in the relationship.

Waywards who want to rebuild the marriage:

• are non defensive

• examine their motives for their affairs, without blaming their spouses

• accept their roles as healers to their wounded partners

• do not resist breaking off all contact with the affair partner

• show genuine contrition and remorse for what they have done

• make amends and apologize to loved ones

• apologize often, especially the first two years

• listen with patience and validate their spouses’ pain

• allow their spouses a lot of room to express their feelings

• respect the betrayed spouse’s timetable for recovering

• seek to assure spouses of their love and commitment to fidelity

• keep no secrets

• do not maintain close ties with those who condoned the affair

• are willing to be extremely accountable for their time and activities

• frequently check in with spouses as to how they are doing

• are aware of and anticipate triggers of the affair

• are willing to get rid of hurtful reminders of the affair

• don’t minimize the damage the affair had on the children

• commit themselves to a long-term plan for recovery, honesty, and spiritual growth

This book is 90 pages long, and it can be read in an evening by someone who reads quickly. For someone who is a slower reader it takes a weekend. if the wayward says its too hard to read, or takes too long to read it then it is showing you they think they don’t need to do much to help you heal. They need to understand that this work requires a shit ton of work on their part and they need to act. Promises don’t make it in this game.

Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Dr. Shirley Glass PhD.

r/https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0743225503

This book is a much longer and deeper book, but it really digs into what the wayward needs to do in order to help you figure out what has happened. It talks about how actually speaking about the affair helps build trust. It talks about how the details of the affair help you piece together the missing history that you don’t have in your head. It talks about boundaries and how boundaries play a part in the beginning of the affair. While it can be hard to read by a betrayed spouse, the information contained is so good that It should be read.

by 33saywhat33   2018-11-10

FYI readers. Shirley Glass wrote the great book Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity

I like what you said and your rule of thumb. While I believe I really do have the character to not cheat, I know for a fact 100s of thousands thought the exact same thing. But it happened. They made dozens of bad, small decisions. I'm not naive enough to think it can't happen to me.

Lucky for me, I have no reason to ever be alone with a woman. I'm retired in my 50s. But as one commenter said, there is still texting and lots of ways to develop an EA without being physically with a lady.

The 'rule' was more of a reminder to think twice before being alone as sparks can happen. Like you said, pretend my wife is at my side.

by 33saywhat33   2018-11-10

I highly recommend Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity

Get audio book if that is easier to listen.

Maybe telling your story here might help? Writing really does help us work through it. Vent it out.

He needs to read this book .

by 33saywhat33   2018-11-10

I'm very sorry. I'm the guy who always leans to try to save the marriage if at all possible. It doesn't sound like you are anywhere near exhausting all resources to save this marriage.

Let's get to 1st base. Two suggestion one is a book. One a blog post.

Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity Consider audio version if easier

What I Learned from Reddit This touches exactly what you are experiencing. Feedback welcome.

Are you both willing to give your all for the remainder of this year and do the homework? I'm suggesting 4 months of intense focus. I'll help. Sound fair?

by jkgibson1125   2018-11-10

Part II

Because of all this family baggage, I seek out attention, and love from outside sources. It comes from admiration, physical touch, etc.

After all of this, my wife didn't leave, but we changed the dynamic of our healing. Instead of us looking to what was lacking in the relationship we started looking at me.

There are two books that I recommend to waywards who want to rebuild the relationship of their marriage. Both of these are not "get your needs met by your wife" but more of the you need to fix the shit inside you that allowed you to have affairs.

Here is what we started with:

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful by Linda J. McDonald

r/https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/145055332X

This book is a quick read, she based this book on the next one that I am going to give you in a few lines.

I am going to give you Mcdonald’s list of 15 actions that a wayward spouse should be doing to help the betrayed feel safe in the relationship.

Waywards who want to rebuild the marriage:

• are non defensive

• examine their motives for their affairs, without blaming their spouses

• accept their roles as healers to their wounded partners

• do not resist breaking off all contact with the affair partner

• show genuine contrition and remorse for what they have done

• make amends and apologize to loved ones

• apologize often, especially the first two years

• listen with patience and validate their spouses’ pain

• allow their spouses a lot of room to express their feelings

• respect the betrayed spouse’s timetable for recovering

• seek to assure spouses of their love and commitment to fidelity

• keep no secrets

• do not maintain close ties with those who condoned the affair

• are willing to be extremely accountable for their time and activities

• frequently check in with spouses as to how they are doing

• are aware of and anticipate triggers of the affair

• are willing to get rid of hurtful reminders of the affair

• don’t minimize the damage the affair had on the children

• commit themselves to a long-term plan for recovery, honesty, and spiritual growth

This book is 90 pages long, and it can be read in an evening by someone who reads quickly. For someone who is a slower reader it takes a weekend. if the wayward says its too hard to read, or takes too long to read it then it is showing you they think they don’t need to do much to help you heal. They need to understand that this work requires a shit ton of work on their part and they need to act. Promises don’t make it in this game.

The next book is what I consider the best book on healing infidelity written in the last 20 years.

Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Dr. Shirley Glass PhD.

r/https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0743225503

This book is a much longer and deeper book, but it really digs into what the wayward needs to do in order to help you figure out what has happened. It talks about how actually speaking about the affair helps build trust. It talks about how the details of the affair help you piece together the missing history that you don’t have in your head. It talks about boundaries and how boundaries play a part in the beginning of the affair. While it can be hard to read by a betrayed spouse, the information contained is so good that It should be read.

Again, this book can be triggery but information it has and the treatment plan it lays out can and will help a betrayed and a wayward to heal their relationship if they both are committed to it.

by jkgibson1125   2018-11-10

Healing timeline is 2-5 years, with the first year as processing what has happened.

The sad fact is that there is no universal agreement on the treatment and recovery from infidelity. Due to research by Dr. Shirey P. Glass PhD who wrote this book:

Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity

r/https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0743225503

A change within the therapy community has been that they have started treating those who have been affected by infidelity differetly. Because betrayal is so traumatic and recovery takes time, the use of interpersonal trauma recovery plans that parallel the ones recommended for victims of natural disasters, war, accidents, and violence is slowly becoming the norm.

However there is a problem out there that many therapists still view infidelity from the assumption that there was something wrong with the relationship or something missing from the relationship which facilitated the affair.

Assumption: Affairs happen in unhappy or unloving marriages.

Fact: Affairs can happen in good marriages. Affairs are less about love and more about sliding across boundaries.

Assumption: Affairs occur mostly because of sexual attraction.

Fact: The lure of an affair is how the unfaithful partner is mirrored back through the adoring eyes of the new love. Another appeal is that individuals experience new roles and opportunities for growth in new relationships.

Assumption: A cheating partner almost always leaves clues, so a naïve spouse must be burying his or her head in the sand.

Fact: The majority of affairs are never detected. Some individuals can successfully compartmentalize their lives or are such brilliant liars that their partner never finds out.

Assumption: A person having an affair shows less interest in sex at home.

Fact: The excitement of an affair can increase passion at home and make sex even more interesting.

Assumption: The person having an affair isn’t “getting enough” at home.

Fact: The truth is that the unfaithful partner may not be giving enough. In fact, the spouse who gives too little is at greater risk than the spouse who gives too much because he or she is less invested.

Assumption: A straying partner finds fault with everything you do.

Fact: He or she may in fact become Mr. or Mrs. Wonderful in order to escape detection. Most likely, he or she will be alternately critical and devoted.

These assumptions are deeply rooted in society. But the biggest assumption in society is that in order to heal from the affair that the couple must "Forgive, Forget and Move on" will do more harm than good. In order for you to process what has happened you need to know the truth. Unfortunately waywards tend to lie, minimize, and believe that by doing this they are "protecting" the betrayed by obscuring the facts.

Matter of fact Shirley Glass' research has shown this:

Most people, including unfaithful partners, think that talking about an affair with the betrayed partner will only create more upset, but that is actually the way to rebuild intimacy. Trying to recover without discussing the betrayal is like waxing a dirty floor.

The book that I have been quoting from is probably the best book on healing from infidelity in the last 20 years. It was published in 2003, and was used by Linda McDonald to help write:

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful by Linda J. McDonald

r/https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/145055332X

The difference between these books is the first one is 400 pages, but solidly packed with good information and research on infidelity.

Linda's book is 90 pages and is sort of a very very very short introduction of the concepts in Not Just Friends, which emphasises the actions that the wayward needs to be taking with only a basic background on why each of these actions is needed.

I find that the two books are used it does help the wayward to pull their heads out of their asses and start to do meaningful work on repairing the relationship which they destroyed with their actions and attitudes.

I hope this helps, and keep posting here.

by jkgibson1125   2018-11-10

Sounds like he is still in the cheater mindset. Selfish Self-centered. As long as he keeps this up you are going to be on guard. The wayward has to change in order to allow the betrayed to have a sense of security and safety in the relationship. You sound like you don't have these.

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful by Linda McDonald.

[https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/145055332X)

How to help your spouse is based on Not "Just Friends". Its a small book about 90 pages long and can be read in a weekend. I consider this the beginners version of the next book which is really the best book on healing from infidelity written in the last 20 years.

McDonald has 15 points that the wayward spouse must work on in order for the betrayed spouse to have a sense of safety and security in the relationship. This environment of safety and security then allows the Betrayed Spouse begin to heal. Her 15 points are:

Waywards who want to rebuild the marriage:

• are non defensive

• examine their motives for their affairs, without blaming their spouses

• accept their roles as healers to their wounded partners

• do not resist breaking off all contact with the affair partner

• show genuine contrition and remorse for what they have done

• make amends and apologize to loved ones

• apologize often, especially the first two years

• listen with patience and validate their spouses’ pain

• allow their spouses a lot of room to express their feelings

• respect the betrayed spouse’s timetable for recovering

• seek to assure spouses of their love and commitment to fidelity

• keep no secrets

• do not maintain close ties with those who condoned the affair

• are willing to be extremely accountable for their time and activities

• frequently check in with spouses as to how they are doing

• are aware of and anticipate triggers of the affair

• are willing to get rid of hurtful reminders of the affair

• don’t minimize the damage the affair had on the children

• commit themselves to a long-term plan for recovery, honesty, and spiritual growth

Not "Just Friends": Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Shirley P. Glass, PhD.

[https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0743225503)

By far the best book I have found on helping couples heal from infidelity. From her explanation of boundaries, to explaining how that when the wayward and the betrayed talk about the affair that it build intimacy. It also talks about how the details of the affair help rebuild the shattered past by helping the betrayed put together the lost history of the relationship. She says that the details fill in blanks that are missing which the betrayed needs.

A wayward who blames others for the affairs isn't owning their decisions. If he isn't taking ownership then there is no way that he can fix the stuff inside him that allowed him to make the decisions to have the affairs.