It has come to my attention that some people on this message board are strongly suggesting advice that runs counter to my Divorce Busting philosophy and practice- the notion of exposing a spouse's affair to family members. While this plan may be helpful to one couple, it would completely backfire in other marriages. I have worked with many couples where the betrayed spouse revealed all the information to friends and family with extremely detrimental outcomes. First, when the unfaithful spouse discovered this had happened, he or she decided to file for divorce and it became a final decision. Secondly, there are those situations where the couple began to heal from the infidelity and get their marriage back on track, but the family members undermined the couples' efforts and even "disowned" the betrayed spouse. This made life-long commitments after infidelity a very challenging outcome because few people like giving up their family and friends. So, while I do believe that betrayed spouses need support from loved ones when dealing with such a distressing situation, it is ESSENTIAL that the information about the affair be shared CAREFULLY and with full recognition about the possible risks. I always recommend that, if information is shared, the person with whom it is shared is marriage-friendly, even in the face of infidelity. Nonetheless, it's still important to recognize potential risks.
Additionally, several people have contacted my office feeling that they had been personally attacked for not following this sort of advice. This community was started many years ago and we rarely get such complaints. Confronting others by calling names or pressuring them will not be tolerated. These tactics are not reflective of the Divorce Busting spirit.
Have a great day,
Dear Ms. Weiner-Davis (and/or forum moderator),
I have a question regarding one of your points above, and as I'm a newcomer, I'm not sure to whom the question should be directed, or whether it's appropriate for posting as a "response" on this thread -- if you'd prefer to address via message to me, I'm fine with that.
The question concerns the DivorceBuster approach to exposure.
In reading around briefly, I have seen it characterized (perhaps mischaracterized?) as though you would recommend against exposure as a blanket principle. I am acquainted with other views on exposure, which are sometimes mischaracterized as being in favor of exposure to all parties & in all circumstances.
Based on my own (admittedly single-anecdotal) experience, I come down somewhere on a continuum between those two extremes, and I also think that these situations need to be considered on a discriminating, case-by-case basis. I think that there are certain instances in which, given a likelihood that exposure will disrupt & make untenable an ongoing affair, selective exposure to people (whether reliable friends, family members or sometimes even work associates) who, in the judgment of a betrayed spouse, are likely to be supportive of a reconciliation of the marriage, can be enormously beneficial. I can also accept that there are circumstances where exposure to certain others (whether friends, family members, work colleauges) could also increase, rather than alleviate, the strain to which a couple already committed to recovery is already subject, in a way that'd be detrimental to saving & reviving the marriage.
Can you post or send me a link to materials that might provide more elaboration on the DB view on exposure?
BTW, in my own instance (which I assume was pretty atypical), my wife & I did a selective exposure of my affair after it was discovered, mainly to a handful of close friends with whom we'd long been friends as a couple and whom we considered likely to support our marriage. Part of it was protection for my wife, and part of it was to establish accountability for me. My wife also exposed the affair to a couple of good friends of hers without my prior knowledge, and while I admittedly wasn't pleased about this at the time, in retrospect I appreciate why she did it & believe that it was beneficial not only for her but for us.
This is no longer a "current" topic in our marriage, which has been on a very good path for the past 4 years & 9 months, but as I sometimes am, and in the future may be, in position to render thoughts on the topic to people referred to me by others who're aware of my experience, as well as to comment online, I am interested in learning more about the milieu of various professional advice that is available in different places.
Me:46 W:47 Affair Oct'08-Jan'09 Grateful for a restored marriage. M 21 yrs & counting. "I wear the chain I forged in life...I made it link by link, and yard by yard" ~A Christmas Carol