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

Category: Relationships
Author: Linda J. MacDonald
4.5
This Month Reddit 11

Comments

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.

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.

by 33saywhat33   2018-11-10

May I suggest this book for both of you to read...but its directed to him and what he needs to do to make this right.

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