TimT
Note: I'm looking of input regarding the experiences of the unfaithful partner. Some contributions may be quoted in an affair recovery manual I am writing. (I'll give you a free copy if I quote you.) I'm especially looking for quotes from those who had an affair, but betrayed spouses may also comment about their experiences with an unfaithful spouse in these areas.

Questions to consider: Have you done anything to help your spouse feel safe with you again? Who brings up issues of insecurity or trust more often: you or your spouse? Does your spouse feel more secure with you? Learning to trust you more? Why or why not? How long has it been (or how long did it take for them to begin trusting again)?
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Kalmarjan
TimT wrote:
Have you done anything to help your spouse feel safe with you again?


Yes, started marriage counselling, blocked AP on Facebook, am open and honest about contact with AP of it ever happens. Call and check up, and talk constantly. I constantly remind her how grateful I am that I get an opportunity to make things right again.

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Who brings up issues of insecurity or trust more often: you or your spouse?


I would say it's her.

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Does your spouse feel more secure with you? Learning to trust you more? Why or why not?


I don't know. I think so? I know it is too soon, and I know for a fact it's in the back of her mind (funny what happens when you just ask and don't assume...) but I try to make it so I set up myself to succeed. I talk to her now more than ever, and I don't hide my feelings.

I am showing her that I am working hard on me.

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How long has it been (or how long did it take for them to begin trusting again)?


It's still too new, I don't think there is the trust there. I want it to be, but I think it will be a long while of acting with integrity and knowing who I am and actually authentically being me that will make my wife comfortable again.

Establishing boundaries and healing some inner child issues will help for sure.
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EAM
Questions to consider: Have you done anything to help your spouse feel safe with you again?

Yes, I have done things to help my spouse feel safe-
I've embarked on serious counselling for alcohol and sex addiction, and I'm now following a number of 12-step programs to stay focused on my own recovery.  She sees my personal work, my new insights into my old patterns of behaviour, and actions to stay sober.

Who brings up issues of insecurity or trust more often: you or your spouse?
I do- I try to ask daily "how are you doing?" and she knows this is not just "How's it going" in a general way, she knows that this is me opening the door to allow her to express anything that she is feeling currently, positive or negative. I try to be open and honest about my own processes; I keep her updated as I dig into the addictions work, what I'm learning and open the discussion up to how my current personal work affects her. We find that using techniques from counselling really help- using "I" statements, listening to one another without interruptions, for me, sometimes taking more time to answer, since my thoughts are still based on old "addictive' thinking, where my tendency was to blame someone else for my choices.

I realize that I have to remain open- when she brings up an issue of insecurity or trust, my first instinct is to run and hide, defend my position, minimize the comment... If I take time to stop and think, I can listen without feeling defensive. I contunally have to remember, remind myself that I have caused an unseen wound in someone I love, and that this spirit of kindness and geneosity is required for our healing.

Does your spouse feel more secure with you?
Yes, it's happening. There are moments when comments, events, places, items even, will trigger her memory of negative things, and when that happens, she brings them up. My job, to create a better sense of security for her, is to weather her storm, so that she knows that i can withstand her anger and not run away to hide, to seek solace from her strong emotions by abusing alcohol or seeking solace from another (inappropriate) source.

By committing to staying present and engaging in challenging emotional issues, by listening and considering, her sense of security is improved by witnessing that I am actually committed to my own healing process, and our healing process.

Learning to trust you more? Why or why not?
Yes. I am committed to being open, to answer questions honestly (avoiding potential hurtful details- i recall reading Linda MacDonald suggesting that we should avoid putting 'disgusting images' into our spouse's heads). My spouse admits to a wavering pattern of trust re-building, that it is not happening in a straight line, that something I say or do may make her doubt her trust in me... if we talk that point, then we have (so far) been able to work it out. I have openly shared my recovery plan with her, and clearly indicated which behaviours I will no longer act out on, and in an ongoing process of personal discovery, I add to that list as issues arise. her trust is increasing as I exhibit through words and actions, through honesty openness and willingness, that I am committed to my personal growth.

How long has it been (or how long did it take for them to begin trusting again)?
From the time my wife threw me out to the time she exhibited a specific level of trust was 4 months. In that 4 months, I completed a rehabilitation program, moved all my crap out of our shared home, and continued to be active in our family life, babysitting the grand-kids and active in household activities, sharing some of the bills, buying groceries and cooking when I came to visit (like I did when i lived there...)

I also asked permission, a lot, if I could be there. I asked, a lot, if I could come visit. I asked, a lot, if we could have a date, and set up regular date nights.

When my wife decided to exhibit that she'd reached a new level of trust, it came out of the blue to me. I hadn't asked for any specific show of affection or intimacy, and my wife gave me an expression of affection that indicated she'd reached a new level of trust. She also made a caveat: "This doesn't mean that everything is okay now, we're still working things out, but I felt a lot of love for you today, and i wanted to show you that."

The trust building occurs day-by-day, and some days, i hate to admit, the progress is backwards, and I have to remain resilient when a bad day happens. I work to see the big picture, continue to take stock of my own personal growth foremost, and know that the positive effects of my own personal growth, my recovery plan, will have eventual positive effects for my relationship, my family, life, work, friendships...



















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