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A Message from Michele
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Thank you LH/AS/CW/Sandi, you've been helping me stay sane and on track.

After having been NC since the weekend W came over last night wanting to update me. No actions yet, but her conversation was entirely about the future and what she wanted to do, cutting out OM, making the M work for good and getting back together. She said she couldn't believe how well I now understand her and that she wants my support in cutting off OM. She said she needs to arrange her support network too because she knows she'll find it difficult to give up OM but she wants to, and she's putting it off because she knows how difficult and hurtful she will find it. Should I be helping her with withdrawal? She also told me about the times she's tried to end it with him already and from a few comments she made I think a few cracks are beginning to show too. She said how upset she's been and that she's made a lot of mistakes and how sorry she is. She said there was no chance of this ever happening again because she never wants to feel like she has again.

I was a bit surprised but just stayed calm and collected, validating, while telling myself it's only words not actions. It's also just how she feels today, and I need consistency over the long term. Things have changed so rapidly day to day/week to week I have to remain focused and ride out the long term view. I do have a feeling something might have changed though, whether that's my withdrawal, looming D, less-bothered attitude or just her taking time I don't know. Perhaps the major change is that she's now told me how she feels about OM and her still being in contact with him which she said she was scared to tell me because she had been lying about that for a while and thought she'd lose me.

I've changed a lot through this too, and think I'm finally handling everything stronger and more calmly than before. Perhaps saying goodbye to her parents, moving her things out and preparing for a D have helped with that mentality too. She said she hasn't been able to cut OM out on her own so far, and asked me where she could get support from. I said she could lean on friends and read about affairs to validate her emotions, and said it's an addiction and it's helpful to rationalise feelings and not act on them - and it's brain chemistry that's driving the addiction. Tempted to recommend here (bad bad idea) or particular books but not a good idea either right?

I've been working on myself, enjoying my own company and have read quite a few books recently including Women's Infidelity (after reading Sandi's threads), what a great book. There are so many things about our M that I now understand far better. I wish I'd read up on relationships after getting married (or preferably before). I don't want to stop now on understanding relationships (and the opposite sex) better, it's obviously an area I can improve on.

Originally Posted by CWarrior
Originally Posted by OS2
Does the WW go back to normal over time?

What you experienced as "normal" ended like this--so I hope not! The future would just repeat itself. If you R successfully, by the time you R, one of you or probably both of you, will undergo real changes.

This is so true, and deserves a place in the quotes thread. I think if we get through this we'll be on marriage #2 and we'll be starting again as two entirely different people with a different relationship dynamic. And if not I'll be far more understanding and a better partner for my next relationship.

OS2 #2891233 04/02/20 02:25 PM
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Yo OS so nothing has changed in your situation after no contact for a couple days. Not surprising. Sounds like your getting a little excited that your winning the competition with the OM.

Unless she truly has to work hard to EARN another chance with you IMO you are wasting your time and are going to go through some serious pain.

Keep DBing.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

“Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.”- Will Smith
OS2 #2891244 04/02/20 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by OS2
After having been NC since the weekend W came over last night wanting to update me.


OS, stop the madness! Why in the world do you keep letting her come over and tell you the EXACT SAME NONSENSE she's ALREADY told you over and over again? You have GOT to be firm with her. Enough is enough. Tell her "W, I am done speaking with you about this. You know what you need to do. I don't want to talk to you or see you again, please respect my privacy." PERIOD. END OF STORY.

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No actions yet


Then the rest doesn't matter. Words are cheap, especially when they're coming out of a WW's mouth.

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but her conversation was entirely about the future and what she wanted to do, cutting out OM, making the M work for good and getting back together.


If it really mattered that much to her then OM would be in the rearview mirror and she would be begging you to forgive her transgressions, NOT to take her back because once she hits rock bottom she will no longer feel worthy of being your W. SHE WILL BEG YOU TO FORGIVE HER. <<< Read that, sear it into your mind. All she is doing right now is STILL blaming you, and then telling you she needs your support while she TRIES to wean herself off of OM. I mean are you kidding me? She's throwing you stale crumbs and you are crawling on the ground lapping them up. Please stop!

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She said she needs to arrange her support network too because she knows she'll find it difficult to give up OM but she wants to, and she's putting it off because she knows how difficult and hurtful she will find it.


I wish you could step outside of your situation for a moment and just bask in the absolute absurdity and selfishness of a statement like this!! Where you see hope I see utter ridiculousness.

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Should I be helping her with withdrawal?


NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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She said there was no chance of this ever happening again because she never wants to feel like she has again.


OK so let me give you an analogy here. A heroin addict will tell you over and over again about how they are done, they're going to get clean, get a job, get a car, get a house, get their kids back that they lost in a custody battle, and make the life for themselves they've always wanted. ALL WHILE STILL DOING HEROIN. I have known a couple of addicts and heard it all first-hand, believe me. They just need a little money to put themselves on the right track. Do they mean it? Yes they absolutely mean it at that time. If you give them money it gets immediately shot right into their arm, just "one last blast" before they go on the straight and narrow. And one more, and one more... until they're in jail or dead. YOUR WIFE IS AN ADDICT. She's addicted to OM. Remove him from the picture and it won't be long before OM2 arrives. All this talk of "oh I need your support" and "I need a support network to help me through this" and "I'll never do it again" it's all BS. Only SHE can stop, and she's nowhere close to that yet.

Please, just leave her alone. No more R talks, or OM talks. Let her explore her addiction and hit rock bottom because of it and pray that when she does, she'll well and truly do the work on herself that she needs to do. Until then, tell her to leave you alone.


Me: 60 w/ S18, D24, D27

M: 21 years; BD: 06-14-12; S: 09-10-12; D final: 03-17-14; XW:57
OS2 #2891248 04/02/20 04:39 PM
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AnotherStander: those words resonate with me as well. OS2, we both need to stop the absurdity. Cold Turkey...let's quit our W for now and focus on us. I agree it is so hard but we are running on a hamster wheel going nowhere. Be strong today. Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow

OS2 #2891274 04/02/20 08:41 PM
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I'm sure a lot gets left out whenever you write an update, especially trying to recall conversations. I'm wondering if she has the wrong idea about what part you play. Are you leaving out something important in Sunday's update post? I'm leery of her keeping you on the sidelines while she goes back & forth with OM. I mean, how can you support her if she's wanting space "to sort things out"? She can't have it both ways.

At any time, did you make it clear that the affair had to die a sudden death? No last meetup with OM, no face-to-face goodbyes, no final date........no nothing. Was anything said about a transparency plan? Did she even ask what YOU would need from her?

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She said she couldn't believe how well I now understand her and that she wants my support in cutting off OM. She said she needs to arrange her support network too because she knows she'll find it difficult to give up OM but she wants to,


Not absolutely sure what she means in how well she sees you understanding her, now. She should be much more specific in what she means by wanting your support in cutting off OM. Neither do I know what she means by arranging her support network. I think I have a good idea, but not positive. These cannot be friends who like to have girls night out where they behave like GGW. Any "new" friends who have shown up right before or during her affair with OM, shouldn't qualify for the job. Her support network should not be a group of women negatively discussing marriage, husband bashing, or talking in favor of single life, taking more time to decide. which guy she wants, etc. She doesn't need women who are going to tell her about seeing OM somewhere, yada, yada. B/c that type of talk entices her cravings. She'll want to know how he looked, was he with anyone, etc., etc. See what I mean? She can't see photos of OM, or see his posts on social media, etc. She literally has to be cut off from hearing about him through someone else, hearing his voice, seeing him pass by in a car........anything & everything. She has to do the work. It's fine to have a support team, as long as they fully support this M and they are fully aware of their job.......and she doesn't expect them to do her part.

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Should I be helping her with withdrawal?


First things first. How can you help her, if the two of you haven't reconciled? You aren't living together, and she hasn't committed to doing the work to save the MR. Nobody can go through the withdrawal process for her. I could give some tips on ways to encourage her, and hold her accountable........but until she decides to all necessary work to save her M, how can you support her? Maybe she's trying to find the right road, but she's not following a map. From what I gather in your post, she is using you like one of those friends in her support network. I realize her feelings are confused, but that's why it's important that she makes a decision from her free volition, rather than emotion. First, she has to make the right decision to honor her marriage/husband and follow through with the right action. Then her emotions will catch up sometime down the road. The problem with most WW's is depending on her emotions to make decisions. Emotions are designed to respond.......not think. The WW is afraid she'll never be happy if she stays with her H. Well, she can't feel love or happiness with her H, if she has OM on the side. So, first things first.

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She said how upset she's been and that she's made a lot of mistakes and how sorry she is. She said there was no chance of this ever happening again because she never wants to feel like she has again.


I don't say this to nit-pic, but to use to teach. And..... I'm not there to see her face or hear her voice. I think some WW's try to put their infidelity down as a "mistake". It's more than just a mistake. My belief system says it's a sin, but that may not be true for everyone else. It was terribly, terribly wrong......with several other wrongs wrapped along with the infidelity. Betrayal, deceit, etc., are all part of it. I say this to remind LBS's not to let the wayward spouse get off too easily.......and they will get off easy, if you allow it. That's why you've got to know your terms of reconciliation. Neither of the two sentences in the above quote carry weight. They are just words. Without a solid recovery plan......there's a good chance she'll be guilty of adultery again.

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I was a bit surprised but just stayed calm and collected, validating, while telling myself it's only words not actions.


What did you say to validate her?

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Perhaps the major change is that she's now told me how she feels about OM and her still being in contact with him which she said she was scared to tell me because she had been lying about that for a while and thought she'd lose me.


This is why I am unsure what she means. Does she see you being her BFF, telling you all about her feelings for OM while she tries to taper off contact with him? IDK, that's why I'm asking you. I could be reading it wrong.

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Women's Infidelity (after reading Sandi's threads), what a great book.


Although the timing played an important part, that book did scare me. If I remember correctly, my mentors had already laid some vitally important foundation, and that book just finished it off. I did not want to end up like the last woman in the book's illustration.

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Originally Posted by CWarrior
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Originally Posted by OS2
Does the WW go back to normal over time?


What you experienced as "normal" ended like this--so I hope not! The future would just repeat itself. If you R successfully, by the time you R, one of you or probably both of you, will undergo real changes.


This is so true, and deserves a place in the quotes thread. I think if we get through this we'll be on marriage #2 and we'll be starting again as two entirely different people with a different relationship dynamic. And if not I'll be far more understanding and a better partner for my next relationship.


Getting through "this" is not the end, but the beginning. The mistake people make about marriage is settling for normal. When we accept things as "normal", we stop working to have better. If we want a good MR, we cannot go back to our previous normal.

The problem I have in seeing the relationship as marriage #2 is how easily things get swept under the rug. I haven't seen a LBH, yet, who isn't eager for things to return to normal. Yes, I agree that a couple doesn't want to remain stuck in the past and dwell on the negative, but I can't stress enough how important it is to work through the issues that caused the problems in the first place. The fact that wayward spouses see marrying a new person so much easier than working on the current M.........should be enough ground for caution. I fully get what you are saying. Just hope LBH's get what I'm saying, too. I wish it was that easy, and I tend to think it's much easier for a young couple who haven't been together as many years.

To answer your question about the WW going back to normal, I believe she can change for the better. I may appear normal to others who know me, but I know I am better than I was prior my WW days. It didn't "just happen"..........like a great MR doesn't just happen. It takes hard work. I'm here to tell everyone that your MR can heal and be happy again. The WW has a tremendous amount of inner work ahead of her. Without the work, the MR may never get much better after ending her affair. The couple may settle into a routine, but they aren't truly happy. That's why I stress that there's more to it, than simply reconciling. Don't be like the guy who only sees getting his WW back as his goal. That's only a step, not the goal. smile


It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!
sandi2 #2891857 04/09/20 02:00 PM
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Hi all, in answer to previous:
Originally Posted by sandi2
I'm leery of her keeping you on the sidelines while she goes back & forth with OM. I mean, how can you support her if she's wanting space "to sort things out"? She can't have it both ways.

At any time, did you make it clear that the affair had to die a sudden death? No last meetup with OM, no face-to-face goodbyes, no final date........no nothing. Was anything said about a transparency plan? Did she even ask what YOU would need from her?


Yes, I have made this very clear. No last meeting etc. We have discussed a hand written letter.

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She said she couldn't believe how well I now understand her and that she wants my support in cutting off OM. She said she needs to arrange her support network too because she knows she'll find it difficult to give up OM but she wants to,
Originally Posted by sandi2
Not absolutely sure what she means in how well she sees you understanding her, now.


She has played OM down constantly since I found out and has repeatedly said how OM doesn't really mean much to her. I told her recently what usually happens in affairs and she then revealed she has had strong feelings for OM. She was quite amazed at how understanding I was of what she said I think. I didn't flinch and suspected it all anyway so just validated. I said I understood it was difficult having these feelings and that it was a product of the A.

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Does she see you being her BFF, telling you all about her feelings for OM while she tries to taper off contact with him?

This is a worry of W. She thinks we work great as friends and finds me attractive etc but we would have work to do to become comfortable intimately again.

Update -

I went NC for a few days (which as you'll know from my history is a big deal for us!), W contacted, wanted to see me and said she doesn't want a D and that she wants to work on the relationship. We talked about terms and what would be required for her to come back, she left and said she would work things out and come back to me. There was still no action and she was contacting me so I calmly told her I didn't want to hear from her or see her again until she was ready for action.

After another few days of NC W said she was ready to act and came over last night to sort things out. I was expecting her to write a letter to OM and break it off last night. She said she wants me back but is having a hard time with her feelings. She said she can leave OM but feels bad for leaving him. She said relationship with OM is reduced to messaging now. After discussion she agreed again on writing a letter. She is reading up on relationship advice, marriage advice and has booked to see IC. She wants to MC and start seeing each other again. We have talked through other things about the M that went wrong and agreed IF we tried again we would do things differently. Aside from her intentions, booking IC and reading no action yet. It is what she wants but she keeps putting off the inevitable pain that will follow. It's tempting to recommend some of the many books I have read (like Women's Infidelity) - good idea?

Last edited by OS2; 04/09/20 02:01 PM.
OS2 #2891860 04/09/20 02:19 PM
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OS,

Your updates are painful to read. Are you aware of the definition of insanity? I’m afraid you’re weakening your position here. IC is not a positive action IMO. If she gets the wrong IC it may and probably will make matters worse. Relationship books mean didley right now because she could take tips she learns to use with OM.

Don’t try to force infidelity books on her.

Here are some positive actions:
Gives you all passwords to devices you can check anytime.
Sends NC letter to OM in your presence
Schedules and actively participates in MC sessions


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

“Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.”- Will Smith
OS2 #2891900 04/09/20 11:05 PM
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She has played OM down constantly since I found out and has repeatedly said how OM doesn't really mean much to her. I told her recently what usually happens in affairs and she then revealed she has had strong feelings for OM. She was quite amazed at how understanding I was of what she said I think. I didn't flinch and suspected it all anyway so just validated. I said I understood it was difficult having these feelings and that it was a product of the A.


I was concerned about this part (in bold) in the previous post. I think she was quite amazed at how understanding you were, b/c a W naturally thinks her H will react to her expressing feelings for another man.

I believe newcomer LBH's have trouble balancing all this information they read, and knowing when to apply certain things....and when they shouldn't. For instance, she was talking to you about her strong feelings for OM........and you validated her. What you said to her is what a BFF would say to her.......but, not a husband. This is why she says you work as good friends, b/c she can discuss her feelings for another man with you. I'm not saying she should lie. I'm just saying she'll keep you in the friend zone, as long you sit and listen to her discuss her feelings for another man. IMHO, it does not make the H look attractive or strong, and why would she respect him? At this point, I suggest you don't listen to her talk about how she feels for OM. The only thing you need to hear is that she is ready to do whatever it takes to save this M.

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After another few days of NC W said she was ready to act and came over last night to sort things out. I was expecting her to write a letter to OM and break it off last night. She said she wants me back but is having a hard time with her feelings. She said she can leave OM but feels bad for leaving him. She said relationship with OM is reduced to messaging now.


She is more concerned about hurting the OM, than hurting her own H. I'm just sorry you didn't call her hand on it, and tell her you don't have anything else to discuss. In my previous post, I think I mentioned that an affair cannot taper off, b/c it has to die a sudden death. As long as they are messaging, it's giving oxygen to the A.

She is playing games with you. She knows you are waiting for her to make up her mind and choose which man she wants. Take yourself out of the contest. You have to let go of your fear of losing her. When you stop being afraid of losing her and/or getting a D, and stop having all these discussions about the MR.......and her relationship with OM, she might get off her rear. But right now, she's still in an A, and I don't think she'll give up her A for a H she has friend zoned.

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Aside from her intentions, booking IC and reading no action yet. It is what she wants but she keeps putting off the inevitable pain that will follow.


It isn't what she wants! This is an example of her playing games. She's got two guys who want her. One guy is her BFF, and the other guy is her lover. She doesn't want to give up either one.

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It's tempting to recommend some of the many books I have read (like Women's Infidelity) - good idea?


At this point, I think you may be trying to help her too much. Removing yourself from the picture, IMHO, will be more effective that giving her books. Yes, that book was instrumental in opening my eyes a little wider........but my H didn't give it to me, nor did he recommend other books for me to read. If I remember correctly (and there's a possibility I don't), the dominoes had already started falling around me by the time I read that book. Timing plays a large part in all of this.

Am I telling you to file for a D? No, but I'm telling you to drop her and move forward in your life.

((hugs))


It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!
sandi2 #2891943 04/10/20 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by sandi2
I believe newcomer LBH's have trouble balancing all this information they read, and knowing when to apply certain things....and when they shouldn't. For instance, she was talking to you about her strong feelings for OM........and you validated her. What you said to her is what a BFF would say to her.......but, not a husband. This is why she says you work as good friends, b/c she can discuss her feelings for another man with you. I'm not saying she should lie. I'm just saying she'll keep you in the friend zone, as long you sit and listen to her discuss her feelings for another man. IMHO, it does not make the H look attractive or strong, and why would she respect him? At this point, I suggest you don't listen to her talk about how she feels for OM. The only thing you need to hear is that she is ready to do whatever it takes to save this M.


Please listen to Sandi! I'm a huge proponent of validating but it is possibly the most misunderstood, misused and even abused DB technique. People say things they think are validation that really aren't (yes I agree with you, yes I was wrong, yes it's all my fault) or use it at wholly inappropriate times (oh things aren't going well with OM, that must be very difficult for you). Personally I do not think it's EVER appropriate to have casual conversations with a cheating spouse. I think conversations should be avoided, but if necessary they should be short and to the point and all business. "I will pick up D at 3:00 pm, does that work for you?" "I paid XYZ bill, can you please transfer more money into the bill account." If the spouse gets chatty then don't be rude, but don't engage. "I need to run, talk to you later." We always say "you can't nice them back" but I think people engage in these friendzone convos with their cheating spouse hoping to do exactly that.

Sandi often talks about the lack of respect a WW has for her H. Letting her chat you up about OM and you responding by being accommodating and understanding and validating about it, that just encourages the disrespect. Your attitude should be "if she wants to talk about OM then the conversation is over, period."


Me: 60 w/ S18, D24, D27

M: 21 years; BD: 06-14-12; S: 09-10-12; D final: 03-17-14; XW:57
OS2 #2891984 04/11/20 08:00 AM
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Thanks Sandi/AS, that's a really valid point. We've skirted over feelings for OM to be honest but some of it I can see was probably a bit too much to validate - they would mainly include things that he's said or done that she liked. At the time she was wanting to tell me things she thought were missing from our interaction in the M and hence she was getting outside the M. Some of the things W has said during those conversations (like how difficult it is to "turn her back on OM") have been quite unreasonable and have made me quite angry, but I haven't risen to the bait and have just been calm and collected because it's her emotions talking. My instinct during those times has been to walk away when the conversation was unreasonable but I've not felt that would be helpful as W is opening up at those times and I'd rather hear it than not.

I think W is finally sorting her head out, but it's on her own terms. She has started a blog where she is writing about doing what is right, "sorting her mess out", self healing and following your head and your dreams, not your emotions. She's booked IC and has suggested I do the same and would like to do MC after that. And she's been messaging me saying she misses me and would like to wake up beside me. W's IC has suggested she doesn't see anyone (aside from parents living with) for a few weeks (until her first app), so she can take time for herself and not make any fast decisions. That's quite easy with coronavirus lockdown anyway. She's offered me her IC's details if I want to ring to check, I haven't. IC told her sharing passwords "sounds like controlling behaviour". W said herself though that she's done a lot of stupid things and regretted them (like resuming contact with OM) and she didn't trust herself. I said if she can't trust herself, how does she expect me to trust her without being transparent. She's also written "the letter" as I requested but it's on pause until she sees IC and is "better equipped for what will follow". I've made it clear I would need to see and approve it. W also says she is reducing communication with OM. It seems to me that W has a plan of getting over OM and getting on with her life, and she said "I'll take help from wherever I can get it because I can't keep living like this and want to move forward with the M". Sceptical of the whole situation and I've no control over what she does and have zero expectations, but that's where we are. I imagine you'll all tell me I should be entirely detaching and letting her come running back?

Last edited by OS2; 04/11/20 08:02 AM.
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