billb3
My affair was discovered December 18 of last year. My W filed for divorce three days afterward. She had been suspicious for quite some time. I cut all ties with the AP and I am focused on trying to save our marriage and family. I take full responsibility for my actions and the TERRIBLE consequences that are following. She states that the divorce filing is in place in order to protect her financially and that it will take six months in which time if a miracle occurs ( some kind of agreement to stay together and heal) we can call off the divorce. Neither of us are willing to stay in a false marriage "just for the kids". We have been married sixteen years with two young teenagers.

My questions is; Can you work on healing while a divorce is underway?
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Tim2014
Well that's totally up to you owning up manning up and showing her you're geniue and not hiding anything! If you truly want her and your marriage it doesn't matter what state of things are in you have to prove to her that a miracle is in the making! No ones gonna tell you it's gonna be way you going to have work your butt off and show her ! The first place would be to become transparent and show her everything ! You have to do the work not her! You acted alone in your decision to have the affair but you have to reconnect with her to get her to be willing to work on your marriage! Good luck
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TimT
billb3 wrote:
...My questions is; Can you work on healing while a divorce is underway?
Yes, if your wife is willing. Look for a counselor in your area who does Discernment Counseling. It's a good approach for couples in your situation. DiscernmentCounseling.com
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Stashh
My perspective is that of a BS 13 months past DDay who is "technically mid divorce".

I was so angry post discovery and so "certain" that I could never accept living with a wife who had betrayed me for 2 years that I wanted to file for divorce immediately and, but for being in medical recovery post operation at the time and very long discussions with my wife re the potential effect on the x 3 children (18, 17, 15) children, would have done so even though I knew deep down I did not want to lose a 35 year relationship / 25 year marriage with someone I loved deeply. To some, the desire for a divorce but, at the same time not really wanting to have to end the relationship may seem incompatible but the "post DDay world" is a strange place. In the end, I agreed to defer filing and to reassess how I felt 6 months later.

During that time, I discovered more re the affair and over the months learned what had truly happened and why (was lied to at the start - over many, many fundamental issues such as duration, identity of partner - and that lying caused VERY significant damage to the healing process), thought about how things would impact the children if we actually did separate, how I really felt, lived with my wife and tried to gauage how serious she was at attempting a post DDay relationship etc 

I always fundamentally and desperately hoped my wife and I could build again out of the chaos post DDay but, to me, the betrayal was devastating and post DDay was a roller coaster of emotions where I found myself at both ends of the spectrum: one day wanting to kick her out of the house and end everything .........on another talking about renewing vows. One moment, one day I would be desperate, the next positive. 

For a number of reasons I did, in fact, file for divorce a few months later: "protecting" my / children's position(s) in case things did not work out, symbolically "disposing of a failed 25 year old marriage" and potentially allowing a completely new start (i.e. not still being "within a failed" marriage), perhaps in part to "get back at my wife" (?) and make her truly appreciate how "serious" the position was etc. etc ...........yet all the while deep down I still fundamentally and desperately hoped my wife and I could build again out of the chaos post DDay.......... I guess you could say that we are in the six months time and we are working towards the miracle occurring

So, billb3, to your situation......

I do not believe that any WS can EVER truly understand or appreciate the impact on a BS but WSs can at least demonstrate that the BS's feelings and needs are now paramount, that they are genuinely 
willing to work at whatever is required of them by their spouse and to do so for as long as it takes, that they are genuinely remorseful (not simply apologetic), are willing to atone completely for what has happened and not only willingly want to start on a potentially very long journey towards (hopefully) relationship recovery but, as importantly, understand the need to show that they will be there for the duration....and beyond.....are you?

IF you are genuinely willing to take full responsibility for your actions and the consequences then yes, I do believe that you can work on healing whilst divorce is underway if your wife is willing to let you but, even if she seems utterly resistant, if you are truly genuine that you want to atone, do not give up. 

As Tim2014 says, you must, however, own up and show your wife you are genuine and do not hide anything: reading Linda Macdonald's book will help as a start. Read as much as you can (books, websites, web forums, podcasts, you tube etc) educate yourself, try counselling, work on yourself to understand why you made the choice you did, be completely sympathetic to your spouse's pain and at this stage let your spouse and her emotions/reactions take complete priority, learn that she still needs to process so much in the initial weeks and months, accept whatever timescale she needs, take the verbal punches she throws. Be there for her and reassure her that you are now and that you will always be.

One final point: you refer to "Neither of us are willing to stay in a false marriage "just for the kids". Is there really anyone who has had or wants to have a "true" marriage that could, in truth, accept less? It sounds like your objective is to try to mend/re-new/start afresh and give it everything to do so. I truly hope for you both that you will find a way through the turmoil and be able to begin to resurrect a new relationship. By posting and seeking comments/assistance you have taken a further step in that direction: reading posts on the AH website helped me hugely to realise I was not alone. Using the resource and reading many of the threads/posts on the AH website can maybe also help you, looking at things from the WS perspective, to understand the pain your wife feels and look for ways to help and understand her at this time.

I am fortunate that my wife willingly did so much hard work at the start. There were all too many lies at the start that caused unnecessary and additional problems but having a supportive WS who then took full responsibility has allowed me the time to begin on a very long road towards recovery/healing and indeed to "come around and to look at the bigger picture", to see and understand that she had unfulfilled needs and to see and understand what had created the circumstance for the affair.

Good luck
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DMB
Thanks! ( change in user ID as the OW has actually been on this site..ugh)

I spoke with her today. She appears steadfast on continuing with divorce. It was a short conversation, with her stating again that I "crossed the line".

I have spoken to several friends who know the story and have experienced their own divorce for a variety of reasons ( none for cheating, etc. ).  They all are advising me to put the "hope" idea away and prepare for what is to come.

Of course, I do not want to do that. I won't ramble on, only to say that I take full responsibility for my actions and the devastation that I have caused. I will continue to try to work on bringing her to healing, however, I know that if she ever get's there, that it may well be after the legal things are finalized. I actually now am fantasizing of going through divorce and then remarrying her. My actions were never worth this....

Thanks everyone for your help and support!
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Graceandhope
She very well may change her mind, but, at this point you need to honor what she wants. You didn't do that during the affair so pushing to fix things may come across as you once again not taking her into account and assuming it'll all be fine.

You could show her your changing by figuring out what is missing in you that made it ok to cross the line. She may need proof that you're change and working on you not just minimizing your consequences. Or she may be done. It's early in the process. I know I am not the same now as I was right afterwards.
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Stashh
DMB. Sixteen years and two young teenagers is a lot for your W to consign to history but against that is the fact that one cannot really begin describe to you the hurt, anger and pain and so much more that your W will be feeling. You betrayed her and that really is so incredibly hard for a spouse to begin to understand, especially in the early days/weeks. If you have always been faithful up to now, have been in a good and loving relationship with a history of love and emotional connection and what happened really is out of character and has genuine explainable reason (N.B. never believe that any reason/reasons an excuse(s): betrayal is utterly inexcusable in a spouse) and you are genuinely remorseful, given time your W MAY soften to that genuine remorse and to attempts to reconcile and eventually she MAY begin to accept those attempts, begin to reciprocate and thereafter to understand and forgive. No guarantees but "may" is as good as you can reasonably expect for a long time. If you genuinely want reconciliation then you have to understand the length of the road you are on and that the smallest demonstration of a lack of understanding and willingness to pursue that road will be noticed. You have to want it, be prepared to hurt for it and understand that your W needs time and constant reassurance as to your intention and feelings for her. Do not smother but always let her know "you are there", understanding her situation, accepting complete responsibility for your past actions, genuinely remorseful and in all cases willingly so. There can be no assumption she will relent. For some spouses "one strike and out" no second chance is the way they want to deal with betrayal and they will stick to that. Until that is definitely shown to you I would suggest not giving up hope: not even to show a single sign that you might even be thinking of it. Doing so will show itself to your W, she may see the slightest doubt and interpret that as a lack of genuine intent. At this stage, if you are genuine, that should be your sole focus. It is not unreasonable to take legal advice just in case but if you want renciliation focus your enegies on that. I too long entertained a divorce but retain a relationship "fantasy". My thought was, show how pained I am, punish her so she has to face the full consequences of what she has caused, show I can move on without her (much as she showed she did not "need" me by having an affair) and if she really does want me she will "still be there" post divorce in which case maybe we can "start over" but if she is not willing still to be there it will "prove" that taking the road to divorce was "right". As I say for some, "one strike and out" no second chance is absolutely what they intend to do. I would say, unless and until you know, for absolute certainty, follow what you want. Be honest and do not lie or waiver in your sincerity. For me the lack of certainty, the lies, the betrayal of emotion, love and trust far exceeded the fact that my wife was physically intimatewith two other men (albeit that alone was truly devastating). If your friends' divorces did not involve cheating, there was (I assume) genuine marital breakdown over a lengthy time and (I assume) one or both parties intent on divorce after time to consider all options. You wife has been hit by a cyclone, a tornado and an earthquake in one go, she was/is in shock and has had not time to consider. She is rejecting your help, understandably so as you caused the cyclone, a tornado and an earthquake and directed them into her path. She MAY change her mind. Keep being prepared to show her you are willing to be there to try to repair that damage but not to smother her. That is a fine line to tread and no way of knowing if you are treading it "the right way". In the meantime....stay positive, educate yourself about affairs and betrayed spouses, read as much as you can about affairs and spousal reactions to them, understand why you did what you do, maybe talk to a counsellor/good independent mutual friends etc etc ...who knows....wishing you both all best
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Dirazz
I believe one of the best things my husband was told by a friend when this came out was to " STAY HUMBLE". Day after day week after week he stayed humble and took every verbal and yes sometimes a little physical abuse ( not proud of that). He stayed the course of my healing. To the point of sleeping on the floor next to our bed just in case I needed something. He was not allowed in our bed the first few weeks. After a few months and lots of IC and martial counseling I can see the light! My husband did a terrible horrible thing to me our marriage our family, But he is determined to not let it define him. If you still love your spouse and you see genuine remorse there's always hope!
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DMB
Thank you everyone for your time and constructive comments.

We are now 5 weeks past DDay. I cannot say that it is getting any better. I am committed to be patient, humble and diligent in doing the best I can to do whatever I can to heal & reconcile. The hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute grief is sometimes overwhelming. I can only try imagine the suffering that I have put onto my BS.

As mentioned in the replies, she has, and perhaps will be brutal, telling me that I am going to hell, that I am a bad person, etc. and more. I will absorb these things that hurt so badly, knowing that I caused the pain and grief that she is feeling.

I truly believe that if she was willing to see a counselor ( individually or together) that we have the potential to heal from the affair and work to correct the many issues of our relationship that were ongoing prior to my trespass.  ( Again, I take full responsibility for going outside the marriage, rather than working within our marriage).

She is at this point, not willing to seek outside help. Meanwhile, the legal process continues, talks with the kids about what is happening and lot's of pain.

Thank you again

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surviving
DMB - My husband and I had the same reactions you two have had after DDay.  My husband uses I Corinthians 6:9-11 to get me to understand.  He emphasizes verses 11 -  And such were some of you.  If there is true change, you can hold that verse for yourself and your spouse as well.  God is faithful, He has never failed you yet.  Early after DDay, I told my husband to go to hell, he answered back that I was going with him.  He later apologized.  Things have changed for us.  We aren't reconciled yet, but we are learning so much about each other and what we want in life.  Please give it time, be patient, there is always hope.
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Graceandhope
A different perspective is that she may not be ready for counciling. She could still be too hurt/angry/confused. I don't understand why everyone accepts the whole " fog" thing for the WS but doesn't think that the BS might not be clear thinking and ready to work things out just because the spouse, that took time outside to see what else was going on, might have"realized his/her mistakes" and are ready to fix things.

We met with a couple therapists early-ish but I was not in the right frame of mind. I was pissed and hurt and everything about both therapists and my husband had me throwing up walls and digging in.

My suggestion would be work n you . Figure out the WHY, keep trying to communicate, but listen to what she is saying to you and asking you. Regardless of her contribution to the downfall of your marriage, you have show her your ability to not be an honorable man, to take her not only for granted but to disregard her completely . You've show her how terribly wrong and naive she was. You have hurt her more than she thought possible and she's pissed and disappointed in both of you.
That is a lot to face, process and reconcile.

Finally, not to be too blunt but you have no control over this. It doesn't matter that you think MC or both doing IC will help you heal together. You already had your chance to be in control and make decisions. There was the decision to have and continue , for however long, an affair. Now she gets to say what her reactions to those decisions are.

Go to IC support her and answer questions if/when she has them. Go seek treatment for yourself so if she asks you why you did it ? How you know you can be trusted and why she should trust you and give you another chance you have an answer for her that means something.
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UrbanExplorer
DMB wrote:
Thank you everyone for your time and constructive comments.

We are now 5 weeks past DDay. I cannot say that it is getting any better. I am committed to be patient, humble and diligent in doing the best I can to do whatever I can to heal & reconcile. The hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute grief is sometimes overwhelming. I can only try imagine the suffering that I have put onto my BS.

As mentioned in the replies, she has, and perhaps will be brutal, telling me that I am going to hell, that I am a bad person, etc. and more. I will absorb these things that hurt so badly, knowing that I caused the pain and grief that she is feeling.

I truly believe that if she was willing to see a counselor ( individually or together) that we have the potential to heal from the affair and work to correct the many issues of our relationship that were ongoing prior to my trespass.  ( Again, I take full responsibility for going outside the marriage, rather than working within our marriage).

She is at this point, not willing to seek outside help. Meanwhile, the legal process continues, talks with the kids about what is happening and lot's of pain.

Thank you again



My psychologist and I have been talking a lot about what it means (or doesn't mean) to be selfish. Yes, you hurt your wife deeply, but you didn't set out to do so, and the wheels that set it in motion might have started long ago. Relationships are complicated. You are receiving her hurt and anger and feeling guilty about it, and I definitely know this guilt as a WS. I think all you can do is try to be kind and honest and patient and see where she is after more time passes. Even if you do not reconcile, you will want to work on your own self.
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Dirazz
DMB, my WS wanted me to go to counseling right away, but at the time I was so angry and hurt and thought why should I go he's the one that messed up. Not me!! So I told him he needed to go to IC before I would even think about couples counseling. Part of me wanted to see if he would really go. He called right away and got in the next week. So after a couple of months of his own counseling I could see his commitment to fix things to make me feel safe and secure. That's when I told him I was ready for couples counseling. We are currently still in counseling and it's been great. We go to a bible based counselor who's sole job is to help heal our marriage. However I will tell you our counselor calls my husband out on his behavior which is what he needed. He also will tell me know even though I have every right to be angry and and scream at him DONT. We both have to stay focused on what God really wants for our marriage. I know when I told my husband that I was ready to work towards our healing that all my anger would only hurt those chances. Something had to give. Not to say I still don't get sad and cry about the affair, but angry I finally let go of. I was able to get to the point of where I am now because of 3 reasons:

1) GOD
2) my husband was a excellent husband, father our entire marriage( except for those 2 months)
3) His extreme remorse and his commitment to change.

This my own personal experience. Just wanted to share because I believe any help, ideas we can give to each other can be helpful.
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DMB
HI:

Thank you again for the input and support! Thanks Tim for the call yesterday. I had to hang-up after 30 minutes as the discussion combined with terrible emotional days this week was overwhelming. The fact that my BS has stated that divorce is imminent took hope away last night.

Between some financial issues and my BS focused only on divorce ,my older son me resents me, is a strong believer that I broke the 7th Commandment, it has been a rotten week.

I do not know if I can convince my BS to even thinking about trying to reconcile. I am going to ask her to participate on the next conference call and hope to move her into participating. It is a real mess and I am certain that I am in a place where many WS have been, I feel like crawling into a ball.

Thanks again ,
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UrbanExplorer
I am not a religious person and wonder if dogma is helpful or harmful in this scenario. However, I have stumbled upon lots and lots of Christian marriage repair websites that stress redemption and forgiveness. And while adultery causes harm, it isn't the most harmful or abusive thing a person can do to another.
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