How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful

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

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by jkgibson1125   2019-01-13

I am sorry you are here. One thing I want you to understand is that infidelity isn't easy to get over. The fucking world thinks it is but it isn't. Most professionals out there give the healing timeline as 2-5 years.

Infidelity is traumatic. People don't understand what happens but when you discover the person you are in love with isn't the same person you thought they were it really turns the entire universe upside down.

Its kinda like those movies where the nerdy spouse turns out to be an international Superspy and then all of a sudden the other spouse is caught up in this world he/she didn't know existed with a person who is able to do things they didn't know about and had abilities that were hidden from them.

yeah.. it's not a movie, and the turning upside down is real.

When infidelity is discovered it activates a system in the brain called the limbic system, which controls the flight or fright response. It also decimates the known history of the relationship and called EVERYTHING that has to do with that relationship into question. It causes tremors all up and down the memory timeline and brings into focus events and things that happened in the past that didn't quite add up and now because of this new revelation your brain grabs on to them and tries to figure out what the truth is.

This is called processing... and in order for you to be able to move on it requires you to go through and ask questions.

I am going to recommend a couple of books to you. 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

This book 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 I warn you this book can and will trigger.

The Second Book is a short book based on the above book. It's called:

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 gives the wayward partner a starting point in finding the right actions and attitudes that a betrayed partner needs from the wayward in order to begin to heal.

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 it's 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.

by jkgibson1125   2019-01-13

I am so sorry that you found yourself here. Please understand something right now. This is not your fault. This didn't happen because you got sick.

First, what your husband shows is bad relationship boundaries. This isn't something that happens overnight, but is something that was inside him all along. People like that get emotionally entangled with others because they share things with other people that builds intimacy and connection. Most likely this is not the first time that he has overstepped relationship boundaries.

People with emotional boundary issues can't have close friends of the opposite sex, and frankly after the discovery of an emotional affair this option is off the table for him.

Second, he isn't a great father. Great fathers do not blow up their marriages with random strangers on the internet. If he had been a great father, he would have thought through the consequences of his actions would have on his son. Please understand, emotional infidelity spills over into the family dynamic, and no matter what you try the kid or kids will know that something isn't quite right.

People who haven't been through emotional or physical infidelity really have no basis for their opinions. The "common wisdom" of the world, society, and those who have never experienced it is absurd. General consensus is you 1) forgive 2) forget 3) move on.

Problem with that is that it hangs all of the steps of healing on you and you alone. If after a few months you bring it up then you must not have been able to forgive, forget and move on. This is great for the wayward because it requires them to do almost nothing. This sucks for you because it leaves the affair unresolved.

Even in the marriage counseling world this forgive, forget, move on model tends to be prevalent. Also marriage counseling tends to look at the relationship as the cause of the infidelity (which isn't true.) This is why those of us who have been through this usually agree that marriage counseling at least in the first year is a waste of time and money.

I suggest that you find an individual counselor that you can talk to to help you process this betrayal. This will give someone in your corner who can listen to you and be a sounding board and help you through this.

You are in the beginning of a 2-5 year process of healing. This is not a linear processes, you will go through an emotional rollercoaster. This is not something that you can will to go away. Many have tried, but it will keep popping up.

99.5% of the work is on the shoulders of the wayward and requires them to dig deeply inside themselves and fix those things that allowed them to decide that an emotional or physical affair was an acceptable choice.

There are two books I recommend for the wayward to read and the betrayed to read also:

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

Know that you aren't alone.

by jkgibson1125   2019-01-13

The wayward is consumed with selfishness and self-centeredness. There is also a bunch of guilt and shame mixed in there.

One of the main things is preservation of the “myth” they have built up inside their heads that none of this is their fault.

If they break it off they look like the bad guy. There is a kind of affair that is called an exit affair where the wayward hopes the betrayed will break up and /or file for divorce which then allows the wayward to keep hold of this idea that the breakup is none of their fault.

It sounds like your boyfriend regrets getting caught. Which means he isn’t taking responsibility for the fact that he secretly started a relationship behind your back. You have probably been already bombarded with reasons why he had the affair. These at this point will be things you did or didn’t do or he “felt” you were thinking or not thinking.

This is blame shifting the affair away from him and putting it on someone else. Also most of this shit you were never told about and has come out of nowhere to slap you in the face.

Waywards pretty much act the same way during and after an affair and the situations are not as unique as everyone thinks. The problem is that society at large doesn’t like to dwell on cheating and also unless you have been through it you really can’t understand it.

Now, I’m going to be the bearer of some pretty bad news. My belief, and this comes from hanging around these types of message boards and forums for over 4 years, is that most Waywards aren’t reconciliation material. The reasons are simple, in order for a wayward to get past the selfish and self centered inner nature, and move from:

regret = I’m sorry I got caught. Let’s move on and never deal with this again (until the next time)

To

remorse =I really fucked up our relationship because of my selfish thoughts and actions. I am willing to do anything to rebuild our relationship so that you feel safe and secure.

Remorse requires massive internal restructuring of thought and attitude changing actions. It also requires a long term outlook and a lifetime of commitment.

Infidelity and the aftermath are really messy and not easily forgotten and worked through. This work is impossible for a selfish, self-centered, entitled individual to do and requires the wayward examine their actions, words, and thoughts based solely on their own actions vs placing blame on the partner, relationship, affair partner, or other outside factors.

I call this hitting bottom where they realize they can’t blame anyone but themselves. This is a very hard place for a wayward to look.

Now, I must confess something to you. I am the wayward in my marriage. We are on the verge of 4 years in reconciliation. This has been the hardest thing my wife and I have done.

For me to get to this point has been over 4 years of individual counseling. 4.5 years in a 12 step recovery program. Total acceptance of my decisions, thoughts, and actions were the cause of my affairs.

For the last 4.5 years my wife has had total access to all my electronics, accounts, and anything she felt she wanted or needed to make sure she was safe and secure.

I am neither pro-reconciliation nor am I pro-dump the relationship. What I am is pro-GTFO of infidelity.

There are two books I recommend that both the wayward and betrayed read.

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful

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

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

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0743225503

99.99999% of the work for healing the relationship is on his shoulders. Right now he doesn’t seem willing to do it.

by jkgibson1125   2018-11-10

Darkstorm, sorry you found yourself here.

Betrayal is a huge mindfuck. Recovery is counted in years not days or months. It’s a hard road even when the wayward is willing to put in the hard work.

What you are feeling is normal. It’s part of the shock of the first year. You believed one thing and 4 months ago what you thought was true was blown to hell. Your mind is trying to piece together the truth from what you thought you knew and what you have just found out was happening.

One thing to realize is that nothing you did or didn’t do, said or didn’t say, think or didn’t think caused the infidelity.

The reasons for infidelity are encased inside the waywards head. Waywards will rewrite the marital history to excuse their behavior. They will also grab onto any excuse they can to take the blame off themselves.

Most books put the healing timeline at 2-5 years and this time period is if the wayward is doing everything right to repair the relationship.

Just what is your wife doing to help you feel safe and secure in your relationship? This is the question. The reality is that the majority of what needs to be done is on your wife’s shoulders.

There is a basic book I recommend to waywards.

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

In it she lists 15 things the wayward should be doing consistently.

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

Take each of these points and grade your WS on them.

Here is the url but don’t buy it for her. Give her the url and see if she takes the initiative.

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

Many waywards will get the book and 2 months later they are on chapter 2. It’s 90 pages and in larger type. A slow reader who has initiative can read it in a weekend. I was able to read it in less than 4 hours.

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

Yeah, waywards tend to muddy things up really well.

At this point is the only source of information about if these friends know about the affair from your wife? If so then this must be taken with a gain of salt. Wayward lie, minimize, and obscure the truth.

You could do one of two things:

1) Since your wife tainted the relationship with these two friends by mixing the AP in with them that she drops the friendship. This is perfectly acceptable IMHO.

2) Think about this:

Invite the friends over to talk. Be sure that your wife understands this is about you feeling safe and secure in the relationship. Tell her that you will not accept anymore untruths about the affairs. That she is going to have to reveal the affair to the friends and apologize for involving them in this situation. Point blank you ask if they know about the relationship between your wife and the AP.

You then simply say this:

Your wife is not to have any information about the AP passed along to her.

The friends are not to pass any messages relayed from the AP to her.

If you find out that this has happened it will be considered a breech of the marital boundaries and at that point the friendships get dropped. Also say that you will seek out legal remedies against the businesses if this happens.

You tell your wife, that if you find out that she wasn't truthful about the situation, that this means she has picked the AP over the marriage and that you will file for divorce.

Now realize that both of these may seem extreme, but in reality are not. After my wife found out about my affairs there were things I had to do:

I had to write no contact letters to every woman I had an emotional or physical affair with.

I deleted my facebook, twitter, and other social media.

I read a shitload of books on infidelity I found the ones where the majority of work was done by me to be the most helpful.

The shortest and most basic is How to Help your spouse Heal from your affair:

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

I had to drop friends who knew about the affair, and I had to drop groups I was associated where we mixed.

For me to heal my wife, I had to make some major changes to my life. Which included friends that weren't healthy to me.

Finally this journey is long and isn't easy even with a wayward that is doing everything right. Keep posting here and talking about what is going on. There are people here who have gone through the same situations.

The sad fact is most affairs go by the same playbook. You will hear the term "Cheaters Handbook" from time to time because the actions that waywards do are eerily similar like they are taken out of the same book. There are very few "unique" situations in affairs.

Hang in there. I know this isn't worth anything... I was the cheater in my marriage. In October we will have been in reconciliation for 4 years. I spent the first 7 from our real dday minimizing, and trying to keep the real truth from coming out. I am not proud of that. The other day my wife turned to me she said "I like being around you." Which was a win.

A couple of weeks later she triggered during sex. When I got home I asked her how the day was, she said ok, but I could see something was going on. So I pushed and she told me. She said she wished they would go away. I told her this "It was my affairs, my selfishness, and my lies that did all of this. I know you can't help triggering. I know it will happen, and I appreciate you telling me that it happened. I want you to know that I love you, and I going to continue to work on myself to be a safe partner. You didn't deserve what I did to our relationship and each minute you choose to stay with me is a gift. I am so very sorry that I put you through this, and that it continues to haunt you."

The one of the worst things a wayward can say is "aren't you over this yet" because this means they don't understand the true depth of the wounds they have caused. I can only guess at that depth, but I know she hurts more than I ever will.

So, again, I am sorry you are here. I know this isn't easy for you.

by jkgibson1125   2018-11-10

I am so sorry that you made it to this place.

First your fiancée is doing what is called minimizing and giving you trickle truth.

Here is how it usually goes:

Nothing happened

We just held hands

It was just oral

I couldn't finish

Also, please understand that most waywards who are caught often say they couldn't finish. Its a tactic that is used to make you think they were so ashamed and sorry for what they did that they couldn't go through with it.

Please understand that this happens so often that betrayed spouses actually joke about there being some book out there called the Cheaters Handbook. The reason is that this comes up so often that its almost a cliche.

Trickle truth is another weapon of the wayward. In their mind they will tell themselves that they are protecting you but in reality they are deeply afraid that if you know the full truth that you will simply dump them. But the truth comes out in dribs and drabs and each time you get more truth you get hurt again.

You do not have the full truth. Right now he is in full damage control mode. Do not be so quick assign remorse to him. Many waywards can fake it for a few months. The healing timeline for infidelity is 2-5 years and to get to the end of it your wayward will need to do some major work on himself.

Another thing you need to understand is that since he was still in contact with her, they got together to get their stories straight. This is another typical wayward action

The AP isn't your friend, she may give you some truth, but remember if you call her you are going to give her some major power.

I am the cheater in my relationship, I am telling you that what he has done is standard wayward operating procedure. I personally think you are only seeing the tip of the iceberg here.

Affairs have nothing to do with the wayward's needs not being met. It has nothing to do with the state of your relationship. It has nothing to do with her looks. Affairs have everything to do with screwed up ideas and beliefs in the wayward's mind. Nothing external caused this, the blame is all on him.

I am going to recommend a book for your wayward, and actually it's a good test to see just how committed the wayward is:

How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair

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

Its 90 pages long, largish type, and a slow reader can get through in a couple of days. There are 15 points she covers in the book on actions that waywards must do in order to help the betrayed partner heal from their actions:

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

I've highlighted one of them which is keep no secrets. In order to heal you need to know the truth. If he gets defensive and abrupt saying he has told you everything, then you know there is probably more to this.

You are very early into this shit storm. First thing to understand is that you didn't cause this. It was his decision, nothing you did made him do it. Second is that the majority of healing this is on him. He has to figure out what the fuck is wrong inside him that made him think this was a perfectly acceptable choice. Third, this is long term, its not over in days, or weeks. Healing is counted in years, and the relationship won't heal if he won't heal himself and become a safe partner for you.

by jkgibson1125   2018-11-10

>I became insecure, depressed, and self-hating, but I ultimately decided to dig even deeper in the relationship and commit harder. Making more time for her, spend more money, etc.

This is a standard reaction by betrayed partners. Here is the problem with this. None of what you have decided to do will fix this this problem. Nothing in your relationship before caused her to go cheat. Anything that she told you that sounds like:

You did XXXXX so I did YYYYY is called blame-shifting

You didn't commit hard enough so I had an affair

You didn't spend more money so I had an affair

You didn't spend enough time with me so I had an affair.

After finding out about an affair the betrayed is usually searching out the underlying reasons for the infidelity. They look at their actions, they look at the relationship, they look everywhere but at the cheater.

The reasons for the infidelity are solely in the brain of the wayward. They made a decision to go behind your back and outside the relationship. The only way you get to share blame for this is if you held a gun to her head and make her do what she did. I doubt that happened.

>Disclaimer: I was not perfect in this period. I was highly suspicious moving forward and became extremely paranoid, periodically asking her moot questions. There would be plenty of times that whenever we would argue I would ask/beg her to leave if she's not invested in the relationship anymore. She would then constantly reassure me that she was and reaffirm her love for me. Her words made me feel safe and secure.

After you find out about cheating a huge surge of trauma hits you. Its like being attacked. Quit thinking that infidelity is something that a person gets over in a weekend. The news of infidelity affects a person on the physical level, the mental level and the emotional level. Research in the last 20 years has put a rest to this old idea that infidelity is something you forget, forgive, and move on from. Modern research shows that when infidelity is discovered its symptoms mirror PTSD symptoms from both war zones and natural disasters. Don't apologize for not being perfect, you reacted in the textbook reaction when you found out. There is no shame in this.

So then she does the standard wayward bullshit of trickle truth, where she doesn't tell you everything. You finally pull it out of her, you guys are together and you are wondering if you will ever get over being paranoid.

>Do you think I'll ever get over the paranoia and find reconciliation with her?

The healing timeline for affair recovery is counted in years, not days or months. This timeline ultimately depends on the actions of the cheating partner.

Loving her more, spending more time, spending more money will not stop her from having sex with other men. Because that doesn't fix the shit that is wrong with her internally in her mind. There are things such as false reconciliation and where the wayward take the affair underground to continue it.

Since I am not in your GF's head, I can't tell you what is going on, but I can give you a list of what one infidelity expert has of what the wayward should be doing consistently and over the next few years that show that they are a candidate for R.

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 relationship:

• are non defensive

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

• 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 partner’s pain

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

• respect the betrayed partner’s timetable for recovering

• seek to assure the partner 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 partners 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.

This will take a shit ton of work on her part. You are going to continue to hurt from her actions for years. All I can say is good luck with this because this shit is fucking hard to do even with a remorseful wayward.

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 jkgibson1125   2018-11-10

I am sorry you have found yourself on an infidelity sub needing advice.

It sounds like he is love bombing, unfortunately its more than just those actions that you need in order to get through this.

Where was this before you found out? I will give you some thoughts. I am a wayward, and my wife and I are coming on 4 years of reconciliation. Wayward's are selfish, self-centered, and they are that way even after dday. They just don't become different people in days or a few weeks.

For my recovery, I needed and counselor that understood infidelity and what it takes for a wayward to help the betrayed begin to heal. My wife gave me a timeframe for showing results, it was 2 years. Because of trickle truth during first seven months, my wife didn't believe shit that came out of my mouth. She asked for and I agreed to take a polygraph. I passed.

During those seven months, I was still selfish and self-centered. I was making choices to cover my ass and not to allow my wife to heal.

It takes more than I love yous or flowers, or candy, to fix this. It takes concrete actions that allow you to feel safe and secure in the relationship. I am going to give you some info from a great book that is written for waywards. The author, in her practice, when working with betrayeds and listening to them on what they needed in order to heal.

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.

Finally healing from this is akin to a team of climbers who are climbing up a mountain. The lead climber moves up the mountain face, and as they climb up they have to fasten stakes and anchors up the face of the mountains so that the climbers that are following have safety because of the anchors and stakes that they have fixed before them.

Now lets put this in the perspective with the wayward and the betrayed. The wayward is the lead climber. They have to put in the right work (anchors) and right attitudes (stakes) in order for the betrayed to feel that they attempt to start the climb up (healing.) Each time the wayward doesn't do the right things its like sinking an anchor wrongly and the rope pulls out and the betrayed falls (trickle truth) If the wayward is careless and doesn't do the work right or does the wrong work, then you can't even begin to heal.

I am sorry you are here. I am sorry that are hurting. My wife was so hurt by what I have done to her. I post here to try to give a perspective by a wayward who is working to hold the relationship together. I will tell you that I am not pro-reconcillation or pro-divorce. I am pro getting out of infidelity, and in order to do that with the relationship intact requires a lot of work on his part. I will be the first to say that if he doesn't do the work, or ignores what he needs to do then the only way out of infidelity is to move on. There is no middle ground in infidelity, the middle ground is limbo and that is not healthy or safe for you.