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

Category: Relationships
Author: Linda J. MacDonald
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by jkgibson1125   2019-11-17

I am sorry that you are dealing with this shit storm. It is a very difficult path. I am the wayward in my relationship. My wife and I are coming up on 5 years of reconcillation. My comments mirror what I have learned during my wife and I working to reconcile.

You are on the emotional roller coaster. Infidelity isn't something you just get up and dust yourself off from and then get better. It takes a great deal of processing.

Here is the reason. When infidelity is discovered it effectively deals a blow on an mental, physical, and emotional levels.

You lose the innocent trust that was invested at the beginning of the relationship, you lose your security and safety in your partner.

You also now have found out because of the partners decision to have a secret life your past that you remember with your partner now has holes in it. This is why you are asking for details, and why the you keep asking questions over and over because you are trying to process and merge these two seperate realities into a single whole.

As you have found out your parnter's words don't mean much anymore. Your partner can tell you that he is going to get gas for the car and your mind will wonder if he is really doing that or is he going out to meet someone.

Recovery from infidelity requires a huge amount of work on the part of the wayward since they blew up the relationship. This work is focused on building a new relationship where your security and safety is of key importance. These actions then give meanings to the wayward's words.

As another commentator said the process is 2-5 years and takes a lot of patience on your part and even more patience on the part of the wayward.

I would recommend that your WS read this book, it is short and gets to the heart of the actions they need to embrace in order to help you get to a point where you can heal.

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

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

PDF found here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/65498163/How-to-Help-11-06-10-Final-PDF

by jkgibson1125   2019-11-17

I am really sorry that you are dealing with the fallout of infidelity. It is one of the hardest things that you will have to endure in your life. I am a wayward in my marraige, so my comments are given from what I have learned in my marraige reconcillation which has been going on for almost 5 years.

Early on after dday I would emotinally melt down due to the shame and and guilt crying about all the destruction I had done to the marriage, How I can't seem to do anything right, How I didn't deserve to be married to my wife, etc. My therapist called this shame spiraling.

While there is pain on both sides of the equation. Since the WS has a full picture of the affair in their mind i.e. a beginning, a middle, and the end, and they were the active participant in the infidelity this means that the emotional impact of the affair is less devastating on the WS than the BS. Now I am not discounting that there is pain, it is just that the impact of the infidelity is of a lower order than that of the BS. In terms of lets say an earthquake the WS feels it at a 5.5 where as the BS feels the same event as a 8.0 to 9+

My therapist gently but firmly pointed out that many times shame spiraling is more of putitng on a "show" of remorse for the betrayed spouse. It becomes a "look at me and how sad/guilty/broken I feel about what I have done. It is also a way of pulling the spotlight off the BS and back to the WS. While it may not be something that is conscious to the WS, it may be an unconscious reaction to lessen the impact of the BS trigger toward the WS.

The aftermath of the infidelity for the BS is the loss of trust, safety, and security in the relationship. The WS becomes the primary healer of the relationship but this is via actions showing that the WS has opened themselves via transparancy, honesty, and accountability. The best list of those actions I have found has been in:

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

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

PDF found here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/65498163/How-to-Help-11-06-10-Final-PDF

A wayward who wants to save the relationship:

• 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

I know that every case is different. Again I am not trying to downplay the pain that the WS goes through, but I know from my own experiences and talking about the affair and the after effects on my wife, that I will never truly understand the true depth of the pain she suffered by my actions. I do know that she needed me to be active and do everything she needed me to do in order for her to begin healing. One of those things was channel my pain, guilt, sorrow, and remorse into actions rather than breakdowns.

by tryingmybest101   2019-11-17

You’re not alone. That’s what this sub and others are for, you might also want to check out r/AsOneAfterInfidelity for more support.

I’m three weeks out from D-Day, was in an argument about something else and when she caught me in one stupid lie and asked what else I was hiding I came clean about visiting sex workers sporadically throughout our two year relationship and very recent two month marriage. I broke her. She had a very rough childhood and had literally never met anyone that she could be 100% honest, 100% vulnerable with. We had an open relationship so the worst part is I could have shared what I was going but had too much shame and fear, i.e. ego.

First days were hell, considered suicide for blowing the most beautiful thing I’d ever experienced in my life. Since then I’ve started IC and joined a 12 step program. Have also read and written a lot on this and other subs. It has helped to know I’m not alone and that others have gotten through this.

We are currently living apart, she needs time to figure things out and I have to respect that. At first I thought a lot about how dumb I was, how I could have done things differently, if this was the end. Since then I’ve realized that if I ever want a chance at being back together with her then the only thing I can do is work on myself. Try to understand what led me to that in the first place and remember that one action doesn’t define me. I’m trying to be the best version of myself for me, and if I ever have the chance, for her.

I know it’s hard and cliche but focus on you. Love yourself, forgive yourself. I recommend reading the book:How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair

Short read and while neither of us know if we’ll get the chance to apply it I think it helps to understand the other person and what they need of you.

Best of luck and keep on writing.

by jkgibson1125   2019-11-17

The two books that helped me get my head out of my ass are these:

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

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

PDF found here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/65498163/How-to-Help-11-06-10-Final-PDF

She lists 15 points of action and attitude that the wayward must embrace to build an environment where the betrayed feels safe and secure. Since the initial trust, safety and security are gone, these actions are needed in order to show the betrayed that the wayward partner is doing everything in their power to show they are willing to make you feel safe and secure. These 15 actions and attitudes are:

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.

This book was written in 2010 and a lot of information is condensed from this book:

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 is a larger more in-depth book on infidelity, and it was the book that opened my eyes to just how shitty my boundaries were with people outside of my marriage. This book is hugely triggery for the betrayed because of how she writes the encounters in her examples, but the information within the book is very important.

Because of this book I found out that it is important to talk to my wife about my affairs and answer any and all questions that she had. I also found out that that even years later she might bring up the affair and I don't have to be afraid or defensive when that happens.

Yes, I do get sad when this comes up, but it isn't sadness about the affair coming up, but because of my actions she is still dealing with the fallout of my betrayal.

by jkgibson1125   2019-11-17

Affairs have nothing to do with the satisfaction of the current relationship. Happily married couples are not immune to infidelity.

I’m going to be harsh. I’m the wayward in my relationship and almost 5 years into reconciliation. This is 100% on you. Your BP isn’t responsible for helping you with your issues. So leaning on her post discovery is disingenuous. The amount of work required by the wayward partner is huge.

You need a therapist who can help you sort out the deep issues inside you that allowed you to make the decision to betray your GF. Ego stokes are a surface issue. You need to dig into the idea of WHY you need these ego kibbles. It goes deeper than self esteem issues it goes to the roots of the cause of these self esteem issues.

Here are the two basic books I suggest.

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful by Linda J. McDonald https://www.amazon.com/Help-Your-Spouse-Heal-Affair/dp/145055332X

PDF found here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/65498163/How-to-Help-11-06-10-Final-PDF

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

The top one is sort 90 pages. It gives you the actions you need to be doings and some information on why.

The second book goes deeper into how affairs begin. Spoiler alert �� it’s you. One of the red flags is the description of the relationship with the girl you kissed. Your boundaries you exhibit with this woman show that you have none which is what lead her to forming an emotional attachment. You simply being alone with her while your partner was out of town and the fact you kept the relationship secret show that you were forming an attachment yourself.

Look I understand. I used to be the one who would be the shoulder to cry on. It is a subtly powerful feeling, but leads to emotional entanglements. Now I am not that guy. I don’t talk to other women about their relationships because it’s NOT my job. My job is keeping my relationship secure.

Find a therapist to work through your issues. One who isn’t going to settle for the surface ones.

My guess is that if you look at your history you will find that this isn’t the first woman that you have gotten emotionally entangled with. This may be the first that broke the physical barrier, but my guess is that you have broken the emotional barriers more than this single time.

by jkgibson1125   2019-11-17

Wayward here.

Any communication be it no contact, or breaking it off should be made with you there and on speaker so you can hear it and know that it happened.

This is one of the stark realities of what happens after dday. After dday because you have been betrayed his words have no meaning this is why they must be backed up with actions.

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

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

PDF found here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/65498163/How-to-Help-11-06-10-Final-PDF

It lists the actions needed to be taken by the wayward which builds up an environment of safety and security. I will post the 15 points from her book:

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.

Finally also in her book she writes about how you are in control of reconciliation, not him.

You Get to

Successful Rebuilders understand that when they crossed the line into romance with an outside person, they deprived their spouses of an important “vote” on the matter. They realize they violated their spouses’ marital rights of exclusivity and privacy. To compensate for these violations, Successful Rebuilders respect the offended spouse’s choices on how to proceed post-affair.

Karen Johnson, a counselor in Maui, Hawaii, says to wounded spouses, “You get to.” In other words, the betrayer broke all the rules without permission, so now the spouse “gets to” choose the next move. Successful Rebuilders under- stand the vow-breaking nature of their transgressions and respect their partners’ rights to have choices of their own.

As for the Agreement. You need to check to see how long that agreement is valid after it is signed. Some jurisdictions require the agreements to be signed in a specific time period. For protection check if there is an expiration period to a signed mediation agreement. Look you need to protect you.

Consider looking to see if your state allows a post-nup agreement. If so then it may be worth it to have a lawyer to hammer out one that will be upheld in the state. You need to figure out the conditions that allow you to invoke the agreement, but many simply write it to the point where if they just can't deal with the infidelity they can walk away. Sometimes infidelity turns out a dealbreaker but it only realized years down the line.

by jkgibson1125   2019-08-24

I would use the actions and attitudes listed in How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful by Linda J. McDonald

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

PDF found here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/65498163/How-to-Help-11-06-10-Final-PDF

I have put these in question format.

Is my spouse non defensive?

Has my spouse examined their motives for their affairs, without blaming me?

Does my spouse accept their role as healer to me, the wounded partner?

Has my spouse broken off all contact with the affair partner?

Does my spouse show genuine contrition and remorse for what they have done?

Has my spouse made amends and apologize to loved ones for what they has done?

Does my spouse apologize often, especially the first two years?

Does my spouse listen with patience and validate your pain?

Does my spouse allow me a lot of room to express your feelings?

Does my spouse respect my timetable for recovering?

Does my spouse seek to assure me of their love and commitment to fidelity

Is my spouse keeping any secrets?

Has my spouse cut ties with those who condoned the affair?

Is my spouse willing to be extremely accountable for their time and activities?

Does my spouse frequently check in with me as to how I am are doing?

Is my spouse aware of and anticipate triggers of the affair?

Has my spouse gotten rid of hurtful reminders of the affair?

Does my spouse minimize the damage the affair had on our children? (If any)

Has my spouse committed themselves to a long-term plan for recovery, honesty, and Internal (Spiritual) growth?

The healing timeline for affairs is 2-5 years, and your husband needs to realize that he must build a new relationship with you where your safety and security are the most important things. Words have no meaning, because he was able to lie so convincingly and hide a secret life, his actions will be what gives his words meaning.

by jkgibson1125   2019-08-24

I am a wayward and I am sorry that you are going through this. Reconciliation is a hard road when the wayward is doing everything they can to help you heal. It is next to impossible when they aren't doing the hard work of making you feel safe and secure.

My wife was a details person and she needed to know everything. So I had to give her a written timeline with all the details. Since I went on an information nuke on DDay (I was out of town) we had to go and resurrect my texts from my iPhone so she could read these.

Healing timeline is 2-5 years and in my opinion that is when the Wayward is doing everything in their power to help you heal from this. 99.9% of the work is on the shoulders of the wayward because they blew apart the relationship they need to be the one who does the work to build an environment of safety and security.

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

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

PDF found here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/65498163/How-to-Help-11-06-10-Final-PDF

is one of the first books that I read and I will tell you that it lays out the actions a wayward need to take in order to help you heal. These are:

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.

I am a novelist and poet, and a lot of my poems were written for my AP. My wife read each and every one of them and she posted on another forum that the shitty thing about it was that most of them were great poems. However after she read them we shredded all the poems.

Dr. Shirley Glass in her book Not Just Friends has a great part about talking about the affair and why some some level details are needed.

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.”

>Of the 465 therapists in my survey, 41 percent believe that “a spouse’s desire to know details of the partner’s extramarital involvement should be discouraged by the therapist.”

Yet betrayed partners themselves verify that knowing the details is beneficial. Peggy Vaughan’s on- line 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.

>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.

Research by Jennifer Schneider and her colleagues found that honesty is crucial for both sex addicts and their spouses.3 Nearly every betrayed wife of a male sex addict felt that she should be the one to decide how much to be told. Most did not ask for information they were not ready to hear.

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.

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

by jkgibson1125   2019-08-24

WS here... I am over 4 years in R with my wife.

There are two books that helped me pull my head out of my ass. I am only going to give you the first one at this point.

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

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

PDF found here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/65498163/How-to-Help-11-06-10-Final-PDF

for the relationship to heal, it requires action on the part of the wayward spouse. Not just any actions but action that build an enviornment of safety, and security.

In her book she lists 15 consistant actions and attitudes that the wayward must learn and live so that you can move through from what he has done to you and your relationship.

Modern society thinks that healing from infidelity is just forgive, forget, move on. Problem is that it doesn't work.

You can't forgive what you don't know. Your brain needs infomration about the affair and the only place that info resides is in his brain. Some people need all the gory details (my wife was one of those), others need just enough so they can get the timeline straight from the affair and intergrate the timeline in your head where he didn't cheat, with the timeline in your head where he did. This is because the betral of infidelity rips and warps your reality and your are now forced to try to figure out how all of this stuff fits together. This is why questions keep coming up in your head.

You can't forget. It happened. There is no magic pill that makes this go away. The reality of the forget part is that it requires you to push the affair down under and put a smile on your face and pretend it didn't happen. This places a huge amount of emotional pressure on you and there will be times that it comes to the surface with expolosive force. The reason is that the infidelity has never really been addressed.

Move on. I hate this term. I tend to say that you move through it. Moving through it means that the wayward acknowledges what they have done, is willing to discuss the affair when it comes up, answers any and all questions that come up, and becomes transparent, honest, and open. It means the wayward goes to therapy to figure out just WTF is in their brains that allowed them to make the choice to have an affair and working on fixing those, and building appropriate interpersonal boundaires so he / she can become a safe partner for you.

Moving on sounds like that you are creeping along on a highway and you finally get to the 4 car accident that is holding everything up and then you pass it up and you go back to full speed. Its not like that at all. That is just waiting it out till things get back to "Normal" but it never does.

in the book How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair she lists 15 points of action and attitude that the wayward must embrace to build an environment where the betrayed feels safe and secure. Since the initial trust, safety and security are gone, these actions are needed in order to show the betrayed that the wayward partner is doing everything in their power to show they are willing to make you feel safe and secure. These 15 actions and attitudes are:

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 majority of the work in reconcillation is done by the wayward. They were the one who broke the trust, security, and safety of the relationship. It's up to them to but the work in place so that you can start to feel safe and secure enough so that you can begin to heal. If these things aren't done you will live in a state of limbo and this state doesn't allow you to heal, it just keeps you on alert.

I am sorry you are dealing with this.

by jkgibson1125   2019-07-21

Just a FYI, I was the cheater in my marriage and my wife and I are 4.5 years into reconcillation. I am sorry you are here and having to deal with this. I want you to know that my advice comes from the things I did in order to help my betrayed deal with my decisons and actions to betray her.

I looked over your post history, and it looks like you are about 10 weeks out. You need to be gentle with yourself and give yourself a break. Healing timeline on infidelity from most professionals is 2-5 years. Healing is not linear. You don't go through the stages but you move back and forth through them.

This is because of the nature of infidelity. In reality the hard work of this isn't really done by the betrayed but is done by the one who betrayed the relationship. When infideltiy is discovered in a relationship it empties almost all of the innocent trust, safety, and security which was first invested in the realtionship. This is why betrayed spouses need to see actions by the wayward because it's these actions which give meaning to the words they are told.

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

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

She lists 15 points of action and attitude that the wayward must embrace to build an environment where the betrayed feels safe and secure. Since the initial trust, safety and security are gone, these actions are needed in order to show the betrayed that the wayward partner is doing everything in their power to show they are willing to help you feel safe and secure.

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.

>I asked my husband for patience while we get through this and I can't even give that to myself.

Your husband needs to show patience to you, not the other way around. You weren't the one that blew up the relationship. Common wisdom says that the steps of getting over an afffair are: Forgive, Forget, Move on. I am here to tell you that common wisdom is bullshit. These three things lead to rugsweeping which is where the whole situation about the affair is simply pushed under the surface. Problem is that it can and does claw its way back out and when it does it is usually explosive.

Here is why it doesn't work:

Forgive: You can't forgive what you don't know or understand. Usually the waywards explanations are pretty much a white wash of bullshit and blame shifting where they try to pin the blame for the affair on anyone and anything but themselves. The most common one is relationship problems. Which I might point out that come as a surprise to the betrayed after dday. The stark truth is this:

  • Nothing you did or didn't do
  • Nothing you said or didn't say
  • Nothing you thought or didn't think

Caused him to have an affair. The forumla for this: Because X then Y happened.

Because I felt unloved I had an affair.

When we break this down it really says: Because you didn't show me enough love I had an affair.

Until you have enough of the information on how the affair happened you can't forgive.

You will never forget the affair. This doesn't happen. The affair is now solidly in your past and in this relationship. The wayward and the betrayed can make the decisions on dealing with it constructively or destructively. Constructively is where the wayward takes responsibility for the decisions and the affair and does the work which includes McDonalds points. This also includes working on figuring out what I term the deep whys. These are figuring out what inside them made them believe that having an affair was constructive and acceptable choice rather than actually trying to work with their partner. Again the choice to have the affair had nothing to do with your actions this is blame shifting.

Finally I hate the term move on. There is no moving on. I prefer the term moving through betrayal and infidelity this means the wayward takes responsibility for their actions, and puts the work into themselves to fix it the attitudes and actions which alllowed them to betray. At the same time they do the work on themselves to figure out what they were trying to compensate for in their mind which they were trying to fill by having an affair.

By doing this work and showing the betrayed these actions it helps build the enviornment where you can begin to heal yourself and work on yourself. If the wayward does nothing to give you safety and security you are left feeling in limbo and you will never be able to move through what the wayward has done.

This takes time, and this is why healing is marked in years. Its because you have discovered that the person who you invested a deep trust, and felt deeply safe and secure with has shown you they are not the person you thought they were. They brought another person into your relationship using deception on all levels to hide what they have done. This is not something that is gotten over is weeks or months. It takes sustained effort on the part of the wayward in order to show you they are doing everything in their power to help you heal. Again the healing process is not linear, it isn't that you just need to go thorugh the stages of grief and you are done. Because of the how betrayal is, anything action and attidude which goes contrary to the healing process such as if your partner becomes defensive can and will move the healing process backwards.

Again I am sorry you are having to deal with this. This isn't an easy thing to go through and there are no shortcuts.

by jkgibson1125   2019-07-21

Sorry about the bad birthday, It was three years after our DDay that it felt like it was a celebration.

Healing timeline for infidelity is 2-5 years. So it's a long ass time. I am a wayward spouse. My DDay was over 5 years ago. We have been in reconciliation for 4.5 years.

You betrayed your partner. This simply isn't about sex and its not something that someone gets over in a few weeks or a few months. Your partner in the span of seconds had all of his invested trust in you, his safety, and his security which invested in you ripped away. Who he thought you were, what he believed about you, your shared past dissolved inn an instant.

Men who have been betrayed this way it can be a terribly emasculating experience. So the rejection of sex brings these thoughts and feelings back to the surface. Your rejection of sex most likely triggered memories of you and your ONS. This is something he has no control over. Triggers and obsessive thoughts can hit a person out of left field. Even the most mundane items can cause this to happen. Understand, that these are generated in a level of the brain that the logical part of the brain can't control. He isn't doing this to hurt you or torture you.

This is the reason why therapists have started using therapies based on those given to those who have lived through harrowing combat situations, natural disasters, violence, and accidents. Betrayal can cause symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder within the betrayed which get worse when the betrayed feels less safe and secure.

I am going to suggest a couple of books which helped me figure out what I needed to do to show my wife that I was making the relationship safe and secure for her.

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

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

PDF found here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/65498163/How-to-Help-11-06-10-Final-PDF

The next book I would like to recommend 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

This book is a longer book, more detailed and goes into a lot about what goes on in the mind of both the betrayed and the one who cheated.

One of the biggest things that I had to learn was to understand what was going on inside my wife's head and learn empathy for her and what she is feeling.

One last suggestion that I want to leave you with. I would like you to look at your use of the word mistake. The term is a minimization of the action which has occurred. This term also makes the betrayed believe that you are not taking responsibility for your actions.

Please understand where I am coming from, because I also said this to my wife about 3 weeks after she found out about my betrayal. Her reaction to what I said was eye opening to say the least.

by jkgibson1125   2019-07-21

There is a good 90 page book named How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda McDonald.

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

Here is a list of actions and attitudes that the wayward needs to embrace in order for you to be able to heal.

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.

Reconciliation is more than just being nice, its making the relationship safe and secure for you so you can heal from what the WS has done to you. In the matter of a few minutes when you discovered the infidelity all trust, safety, and security was ripped away from you. In order for you to heal he needs to do things that make you know that he is building that environment of safety and security.

But this isn't all, he needs to give you any and all information that you require about what happened in the affair. The reason for this is that what you thought was the past turns out to not really be the past. Your mind needs to take the affair and then integrate it into what you though was the past so that you know what happened in your life. Its like there are holes in your memory and your brain is trying desperately to fill them this is why you question and keep going over the affair in your mind. Realize that if you don't get details your mind will be more than willing to provide them for you. Sometimes these are worse than the real details, but your mind will still try to fill in what it doesn't know.

by jkgibson1125   2019-07-21

You can't do this all by yourself. The sad truth for infidelity is that 99% of the work that needs to be done is on the cheaters side of things. He is resting on his ass because you have shown him that he can just sit around and put very little effort into it and you will just try to do it all.

Best book I ever found that helped me in my marriage after Dday was:

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

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

This book focuses on the actions that the wayward spouse must be doing in order to build an enviornment of safety and security for the betrayed. The reason for this is that the betrayed, in order to heal, needs an enviornment of safety and security which then allows them to move forward.

Here is her list which was built working with betrayed spouses and finding out what they needed from their partners for healing. Again, you can't do this, he needs to step up and do the work.

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:

• 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.

​

by jkgibson1125   2019-07-21

Cheating is not a mistake. A mistake is picking up the wrong kind of milk at the store. Not meeting a girl and cheating with her.

The healing timeline for infidelity is between 2-5 years, and it requires the wayward partner to do the lions share of the work in order to build a new relationship with you where your safety and security are of the first importance.

Here are two books that will give him what he needs to do in order to help you heal from this. You can't fix this, because cheating is something that is inside the head of the wayward, somehow they are able to rationalize and convince themselves that it is ok to have sex outside a committed relationship.

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

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

Her book is based on actions that she found were common to all of the betrayed spouses which she worked with going through infidelity. its short, and can be read in an evening for someone who reads fast or in a weekend for a slower reader.

I have rewritten them in statement form for you:

In order to to help me heal from the infidelity

my boyfriend must be non defensive

my boyfriend must examine his motives for his affairs, without blaming me.

my boyfriend must accept his role as healer to me.

my boyfriend must not resist breaking off all contact with the affair partner

my boyfriend must show genuine contrition and remorse for what he has done

my boyfriend must make amends and apologize to loved ones

my boyfriend must apologize often to me, especially the first two years

my boyfriend must listen with patience and validate my pain

my boyfriend must allow me a lot of room to express my feelings

my boyfriend must respect my timetable for recovering

my boyfriend must seek to assure me of his love and commitment to fidelity

my boyfriend must keep no secrets

my boyfriend must not maintain close ties with those who condoned the affair

my boyfriend must be extremely accountable for his time and activities

my boyfriend must frequently check in with me as to how I'm doing

my boyfriend must be aware of and anticipate triggers of the affair

my boyfriend must be willing to get rid of hurtful reminders of the affair

my boyfriend must not minimize the damage the affair had on our children (if any)

my boyfriend must commit himself 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 your boyfriend 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.

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

This book is longer and more in depth. It goes through how affairs start and the mechanics of the interactions. It can be hugely triggery for a betrayed because she writes out the story of a couple's affair which was built out of a composite of some of her clients. So the descriptions can be hard reading on the betrayed spouse. However she does go through the stages of the affair, discovery an then what is needed for the partners to heal.

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

I am sorry that you are having to deal with this. It's probably one of the hardest things that you will go through.

by 33saywhat33   2019-07-21

"How to Help your Spouse Heal from your Affair." It lays out a 15 point recovery plan the WS needs to follow...if they want true reconciliation. It's a short read. Good for you too.

"Not Just Friends" is a longer book that goes into details on how affairs start, the affair, and the aftermath. Also excellent.

Frankly, these two books are the gold standard for reconciliation.

by jkgibson1125   2019-07-21

First let me say that I am a wayward that is in reconciliation with his wife. I am not going to defend your husband's actions. I am not going to explain them away.

I am sorry that you are here, and dealing with this. Affairs are a traumatic experience, and what you are going through is normal in the aftermath of discovery.

There are a couple of books that I recommend for affair recovery. Lets start with the first one:

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda McDonald. It is a short 90 page book. I read it in an evening, and I am a really fast reader. Most waywards can get through it over a weekend.

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

This book was based on a much larger book which I will talk about down below.

When your husband revealed his ONS to you this caused some deep mental, physical, and emotional reactions in you. First your limbic system which controls the fight or flight reactions was flooded with emotions. The limbic system is NOT controlled by the higher functions of the brain so you can't mentally will these reactions away.

The revelations stripped away the idea of who your husband was, it was like you didn't know him. This caused you to lose any trust, security, and safety you thought you had in the relationship. The very person who you thought was going to protect you ended up not protecting you. Another thing is now what you thought was the past isn't really the past, there is now the information about the affair that you have to fit into it. This is why you will continue to ask questions because your mind is trying to figure out if the situation is safe and secure or if it isn't.

Your mind not only races around the history around the date of the affair, but it races up and down the full history. It's looking for things that you were able to brush off due to the invested trust of the relationship before the ONS. Now things that seemed innocent and were easily put aside now seen with different eyes. This is because you aren't sure If you have the truth or not, and this is why it is important for you to have as much truth as you need in order to feel like you have full knowledge of what happened.

Healing from infidelity requires the wayward spouse to build an environment where you feel safe and secure. This requires constant work and action on his part. Unless this happened you will not be able to move forward because your limbic system will still feel you are at risk.

Linda McDonald has a list of 15 actions and attitudes that are common to all betrayed spouses. This list was put together in working with women who had been betrayed in her own therapy practice.

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.

After infidelity you don't go back to the innocence of the relationship of before. This is because the affair happened, you can't not pull it out of your mind.

Like I said Linda McDonald based her book on Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Dr. Shirley Glass PhD. This is a longer book and goes deeply into how affairs happen. She goes into why strong interpersonal boundaries are key. She goes through the stages of the affair and the discovery and was one of the first writers to notice that betrayed spouses suffer symptoms that mirror PTSD.

This book can be extremely triggery for the BS, even so I recommend that the BS read this book. If you get to a part that is hard, then set it down until you can pick it up again. Because the information is so good.

Shirley Glass, emphasizes that talking about the affair with each other actually is healing, the problem is that most waywards don't want to do this because they believe it will just make the BS angry.

From my experience as a wayward, I found that I wanted to control the flow of information and the reason was that I was trying to protect myself. Waywards will make the excuse they are protecting the betrayed but that is just a rationalization. We minimize the truth and hope that you will accept the minimization, but the problem is that the truth has a way of coming out.

With this in mind I now want to focus on this part: “ONS” that didn’t lead to sex.

Unfortunately this is what I am talking about when I mention minimization. What does this actually mean. If this is all the information you were given and you haven't found out anything else your brain can and will try to figure out just want your partner means by this term. In my vocabulary ONS means having sex with someone you just met. So not only is there no clarity in this term he has given you. On the surface is also sounds misleading.

I have been on infidelity boards way too long and have seen too many betrayed partners talk their partners who just "kissed' or "Held each other" and later they come back to post that it was full on sex.

I am a firm believer that in order to heal you have to know what you are healing from. Anyhow, I have written a huge wall of text. I am sorry that you are dealing with this.

by jkgibson1125   2019-07-21

Honestly there are no little things. They are all big things. Please understand that when your BS found out about your betrayal it was like a torpedo blowing a hole under the waterline of a ship. Almost instantly any safety, security, and trust she had in you were pretty much gone. After discovery you need to be focusing on actions to show her that you are trying to build an environment of safety and security.

First buy this book How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda McDonald. Its available from Amazon at this link https://www.amazon.com/Help-Your-Spouse-Heal-Affair/dp/145055332X.

It's a short read, 90 pages and larger type. A fast reader can get through it in an evening, and a slow reader can get through it in a weekend. McDonald gives 15 actions and attitudes that the wayward must embrace in order to help heal their spouse.

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.

McDonald's book is based on a longer more detailed book Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Dr. Shirley Glass PhD. which can be bought at amazon here https://www.amazon.com/Not-Just-Friends-Rebuilding-Recovering/dp/0743225503

Glass goes into detail about how affairs form both emotional and physical, and the reasons for this. She shows the wayward what strong interpersonal boundaries are and why you never talk about your relationship with a person of the opposite sex (or same sex if you are attracted to that)

Glass also goes into the reasons why you need to talk about the affair and give the details of the affair when the betrayed asks for them.

Glass was one of the first Therapists who observed that the symptoms of PTSD also affected those who were betrayed by infidelity.

Please know that your partner isn't going to get over this in a few days, a few weeks or a few months. The healing timeline for infidelity ranges from 2-5 years. I don't want to put too much pressure on you but that timeline relies on just how honest, open, and transparent you become.

As a wayward myself, I urge you to find an IC who specializes in infidelity and understands the trauma that it inflicts. Unfortunately therapists run the gamut from criminally negligent to freaking awesome. You need to understand what inside you allowed you to make the decisions to cheat. We call these the deep why's. These are the things inside you make you feel the need to fill a void inside of you with other people, sex, etc. The whys aren't the reason you had the affair, the only thing you get to blame the affair on is yourself and your decisions. But those deep whys help you find out what you were trying to make up inside you.

The final thing that I would like to tell you is stop trying to place blame for the affair on anything outside yourself. You made the choice to cheat. the AP didn't hold a gun to your head and make you do it. Neither did your spouse or partner make you have an affair. I spent the first 6 months or so after dday trying to pin the blame on anything and everything besides myself.

Get the books, and treat them like text books. You need to come completely clean with your partner/spouse. You need to open up everything to them: Phone, computer, all social media accounts, email accounts passwords, cell phone account. You have to become an open book.

The work entailed in doing all this is hard, I am not going to fool you. I found that once I accepted that the only person I could blame for the affair was myself, then I was able to concentrate on doing the actions which then backed up what I was saying that made her feel safe and secure.

by FalconGK81   2019-07-21

https://www.amazon.com/Help-Your-Spouse-Heal-Affair/dp/145055332X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1W3A2J23MEQAK&keywords=how+to+help+your+spouse+heal+from+your+affair&qid=1553097648&s=gateway&sprefix=how+to+help+your+%2Caps%2C272&sr=8-1

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.