RY1981
Hi, I've recieved a great deal of support after disclosing my multiple affairs to my husband a little over two weeks ago.  

I'd like to set a little context before asking my question.  

I have not seen the aftermath first hand from my husband, but because of this forum I'm well aware that he has every reason to never be in the same room with me again.  

I am horrified by the destruction I've wroght through my choice to cheat and lie repeatedly and recognize the wrongess and severe violations of trust.  I understand that I treated him like an enemy and am truly sorry for the way I've made him feel and think.

I know he feels unworthy and ashamed and like a fool and I am the reason for this.  

All this to say that I'm being realistic yet hopeful.  I am hoping and praying that somehow some way he will be able to extend mercy.  But I will not blame him if he doesn't.  

That being said, I have a sincere question coming from a place of concern for him.  

I want his healing after what I've done to him whether its together or apart.  

When we married, we were both broken.  I see that now.  He was depressed and needy and I was looking for validation by having someone want me (for more than sex.)

Those are things I can only recognize in hindsight though.

The truth is, I needed a lot of therapy and healing BEFORE we got married.  If I could have recognized this back then, maybe I would have had the guts to tell him and at the very least, postpone marriage.  

It's hard to face though because something deep in my gut said that I needed to slow things down, ask him to seek help for his depression.....SO manu things that I ignored and pretended not to see.  

Then I made the choice to cheat.  The worst possible thing I could do to this wonderful man whom I dearly love.  He would never hurt anyone and now I might as well have picked up a knife and stabbed him repeatedly in the back.  

I want HIS healing above all.  Sure, I want reconcilliation, but I truly wonder if I should break it off for his sake.  

I love him so much and haven't cheated since January of 2017 as a result of 1) recognizing that I wanted to be a peraon who was faithful to my husband and 2) Doing a ton of work (including trauma work which was the most healing). 

I truly believe that I understand why it hapoened and how to prevent it from ever happening again.  

But I don't want him to be traumatized for the rest of his life because of me.  

My gut tells me that since I do want reconcilliation, the best thing is to just wait and let him choose.  It would be far more hurtful for me to end the relationship and maybe I'm just being selfish for even thinking it.  Actually, the more I write, the more I realize that's exactly what this is.

Wow.  I'm just trying to protect myself yet again.  The right thing is to give him space and let him choose to give me a chance or reject me.  The right thing is to trhow myself at his feet and beg for mercy, not for me, but so that he can reject me if he chooses or give me another chance.  His healing is what I want but I can't protect myself and help him heal at the same time.  

I guess I don't have a question afterall.  
I thought about erasing this, but I think I'll post it anyway in case I'm way off base.  Outside perspective has been invaluble so far.  
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JORGE
Again, your humility is to be commended. I think your answer lies in the responses to 2 questions.

1) Are you safe for him? Only you know this.   

Do you consider yourself safe, meaning you are not fighting to abstain from a way of life you have lived for a number of years. In my mind, if you do not continue to have inner thoughts of straying or thoughts of unconfirmed validations needing fulfilled, then you can consider being on the road to becoming safer., and safer means promiscuity is no longer valued or pursued.  As with any addiction, a relapse can occur the moment a handsome, validating potential partner enters your world, however if you have encountered and dismissed situations that previously you would have succumbed to, then you can say your safe worthiness has been tested and so far so good.

Conversely, if your heart flutters too frequently and a naughty curiosity sets within you when in the company of an attractive man, then you may not be safe for your husband, or anyone for that matter, yourself included BTW. One thing to remember that could be lost in all of this is he's probably still in-love with you, hence remains even more vulnerable than before. Your question is will he extend grace, but you will have to extend mercy, which I believe you are poised to do.

2) Is he permanently or temporarily triggered by your presence? He doesn't know the answer to either question. Only time will tell, and when it does, you will see it, perhaps even before he says anything. 

A betrayed person's psyche is positively impacted by empathy and a noticeable change of caring behaviors by the WS. Your remorse and unyielding love and care can change this over time. Your compassion could be very comforting to him despite your actions being the source of his pain. I emphasize actions because he chose you to be his wife, so if your actions were not present, your presence would be greatly desired. Of course, one can't separate the two, but I guess what I'm saying is if your new actions can replace your old one's, his trigger responses can be softened over time. The degree of his vulnerability prior to his discovery will heavily determine this I would imagine. 

Often the person who inflicts the pain is also the person most capable of healing it. I believe he will let you know this as time passes by and his  acceptance (or non-acceptance) begins to show. What you said above though should be said to him, and that is you have released the outcome of your presence in his life, but your desire and promise to him is to prioritize his recovery, not because you feel an obligation, but because you love him and want him to be happy, whether it's with you or not.
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seventy7
If you haven't done so already, you may want to share these thoughts with him directly. I know the written word was more comforting than the spoken word, at least for me it was at the beginning. I couldn't have an argument with a sheet of paper, and it gave me something to fall back on and read when I would start to flood.
Your husband is going through his absolute worst nightmare right now, so he has erected walls to protect himself from any further damage. The best analogy I have heard regarding being blindsided by an affair is "You just found out that the house you live in was built in the middle of a minefield, You already stepped on the first mine and will do whatever it takes to not step on another one."

I will say one thing that you need to be very cautious about. My wife also kept saying that she just wanted me to heal, and I shouldn't stay if I thought that she was going to be a constant trigger. To me, her saying that made me feel like she was giving up and looking for a way out. If your intent is to make this work, he needs to know that, he needs to hear you say it A LOT. He needs to know that you will do whatever it takes to make him feel safe again. But you need to know that he can always walk away. His biggest fear right now is to let you back in, only to be let down again. 

Help him find the mines in the field...don't be one. 
Male BS
D-Day 11/1/2017
It gets easier as time goes, but the pain never goes away
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Keepabuzz
I think you do allow him as much space as he needs. You have said that you do wish to reconcile if possible, the choice has to be his.  He may be open to it, he may not. He certainly owes you nothing. If you truly want to reconcile, make that known to him. Make sure you tell him clearly that you are willing to do whatever it takes, for however long it takes to prove yourself to him. Tell him that often, over and over again, and back it up with your actions.  Tell him you are well aware that this is not something he will “get past” or get over”.  Tell him how you understand that it will take years to prove yourself, and that you understand that he may never trust you again.  You CAN NOT apologize enough, or too often. Don’t just say “I’m sorry” though. Say I’m sorry for “x”. Verbalize your understanding of what he is going through, let him correct you.  DO NOT BE DEFENSIVE.  

From what you have written on this forum, you are way ahead of most WS’s at this point. Being as you have confessed, completely (no trickle truth), are certain that you want to reconcile, and have done the some of the work already to fix yourself, and you have OWNED IT.  These things lean in your favor. The number of occurances, with the number of different people on the other hand, don’t lean in your favor. 

I agree with what other have written above. You CAN be a healing force for him, if you choose to be, and if he allows you to be. You consistently showing true remorse, and true empathy to him is extremely powerful. It will take openness and vulnerability on your part. He will likely need to see that from you for a while before he feels safe enough to allow himself to be vulnerable with you. He will probably be all over the map emotionally for quite sometime. Rage, deep sadness, hurt, isolated, anxiety, etc. Also anxiety and/or panic attacks. I could rage and rage, and then in a matter of minutes be crying. You are going to need to take this on the chin, and support him through it. He will have hundreds of triggers. These will torture him. After months maybe even a year, if he is like me, the rage will fade, and be replaced by a very deep sadness. He has to mourn the loss of the life he thought he had, the wife he thought he had, and the future he thought he had.  That takes a very, very long time. Don’t think that because he isn’t contemplating suicide right now, that he won’t in the future. He very, very likely will, many times. 

I do think that ending it “for him” is protecting yourself, unless you truly want to end it. I think infeldity is one of the very worst things that one human can do to another. Although, if you stay  (only because you love him and truly want to be with him) and go through the whole process, it shows a ton of strength. Leaving and starting over, never having to look at what you did to your husband everyday. Not seeing the destruction in his eyes. Not seeing how your actions have negatively effected every single aspect of his life. Not seeing how he is forever changed, and not for the better.  That would by far be the “easier” path.  

You husband has been in my thoughts often, and will continue to be.  
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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anthropoidape
Not wanting to muddy the waters, but I think there's merit in the idea that a WS with real courage would simply leave and remove the option of reconciliation. If you look at the BS three years on from d-day, I think it's likely that in 99% of cases you'll see a happier person who has moved on more effectively without their WS, as compared with someone who is still grappling with living with someone who betrayed them.

Having a partner who is supportive and loving and encouraging and understanding of what you have been through is very important for a betrayed spouse's healing. Is the WS the best partner to have in that role? I'm not convinced. 
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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ssix6pack
Not wanting to muddy the waters, but I think there's merit in the idea that a WS with real courage would simply leave and remove the option of reconciliation. If you look at the BS three years on from d-day, I think it's likely that in 99% of cases you'll see a happier person who has moved on more effectively without their WS, as compared with someone who is still grappling with living with someone who betrayed them.

Having a partner who is supportive and loving and encouraging and understanding of what you have been through is very important for a betrayed spouse's healing. Is the WS the best partner to have in that role? I'm not convinced. 


I think it’s way too situational to be black and white. 

It would have been foolish, imo, for me to leave my husband. No matter what the world says. I actually think I have a chance at a truly restored marriage, and a very dedicated husband. 
Betrayed female
2/11/18, d day #1. 
1/2019, d day #2.
Over a decade of unfaithfulness. 
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Ginger
Not wanting to muddy the waters, but I think there's merit in the idea that a WS with real courage would simply leave and remove the option of reconciliation. If you look at the BS three years on from d-day, I think it's likely that in 99% of cases you'll see a happier person who has moved on more effectively without their WS, as compared with someone who is still grappling with living with someone who betrayed them.

Having a partner who is supportive and loving and encouraging and understanding of what you have been through is very important for a betrayed spouse's healing. Is the WS the best partner to have in that role? I'm not convinced. 


Funny, I just recently told him he should've left me, (especially when he knew he didn't want to be with her--that would've been his punishment) when I was in the dark and being treated like sh*t.  It would've been the least selfish thing he could've done.  He was cheating, treating me like sh*t, and if he walked away--I could've hated him and moved on with my life.
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RY1981
Keepabuzz wrote:


You husband has been in my thoughts often, and will continue to be.  


Thank you so much for keeping him in mind.  

And thanks for your thoughts on my posting.  
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RY1981
JORGE wrote:
Again, your humility is to be commended. I think your answer lies in the responses to 2 questions.

1) Are you safe for him? Only you know this.   

Do you consider yourself safe, meaning you are not fighting to abstain from a way of life you have lived for a number of years. In my mind, if you do not continue to have inner thoughts of straying or thoughts of unconfirmed validations needing fulfilled, then you can consider being on the road to becoming safer., and safer means promiscuity is no longer valued or pursued.  As with any addiction, a relapse can occur the moment a handsome, validating potential partner enters your world, however if you have encountered and dismissed situations that previously you would have succumbed to, then you can say your safe worthiness has been tested and so far so good.

Conversely, if your heart flutters too frequently and a naughty curiosity sets within you when in the company of an attractive man, then you may not be safe for your husband, or anyone for that matter, yourself included BTW. One thing to remember that could be lost in all of this is he's probably still in-love with you, hence remains even more vulnerable than before. Your question is will he extend grace, but you will have to extend mercy, which I believe you are poised to do.



That is a great question and one I've considered.  I truly believe that I am safe for him because

1) The number one thing I learned through trauma work and mindfulness is the concept of self-soothing.  I basically learned that I can turn inward to meet all my needs.  I learned that that was what I had been looking for the entire time. 

2) I have greater self-knowledge now.  

I learned that I'm a person who NEEDS external accountability.  This is something I used to beat myself up over and ask, "Why can't I just do it?". "What's wrong with me?" etc.  

All this did was fuel my shame and keep me in a cycle of not behaving in line with my values.

Now I embrace external accountability.  Why make it hard on myself?  It's actually quite a simple fix when I just accept who I am and put any boundaries in place to help check and balance me. 

3) Finally, when I made the choice to cheat, I was naive to how my infidelity would destroy my husband.  I was selfish and did'nt consider the consewuences of my actions.  Now that I see how horrible the consequences of my actions are, I would stay single for the rest of my life before ever putting someone in the position to be hurt like that again.  
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RY1981
Not wanting to muddy the waters, but I think there's merit in the idea that a WS with real courage would simply leave and remove the option of reconciliation. If you look at the BS three years on from d-day, I think it's likely that in 99% of cases you'll see a happier person who has moved on more effectively without their WS, as compared with someone who is still grappling with living with someone who betrayed them.

Having a partner who is supportive and loving and encouraging and understanding of what you have been through is very important for a betrayed spouse's healing. Is the WS the best partner to have in that role? I'm not convinced. 


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  It doesn't muddy the waters, just gives another perspective.  

For our situation, the courageous thing would be for me to stick around if he will allow it, and really see, first-hand, the damage that I've done.  

I think my main hesitation is that I know how much I DO NOT deserve this chance.  

That being the case, rejection feels imminent.  I would be protecting myself only by taking myself out of the equation and potentially taking away his opportunity to choose yet again along with a potential opportunity for him to heal.  I appreciate your perspective as it helped me to really clarify my intentions.
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RY1981
Ginger wrote:


Funny, I just recently told him he should've left me, (especially when he knew he didn't want to be with her--that would've been his punishment) when I was in the dark and being treated like sh*t.  It would've been the least selfish thing he could've done.  He was cheating, treating me like sh*t, and if he walked away--I could've hated him and moved on with my life.


Hi Ginger, I don't know your story but I can feel the pain in your words and I'm truly sorry to be apart of the ranks of those who cause this kind devastation.  
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