eltel18
Hi all.

This is short and sweet.

The handful of people I have told about my wife's infidelity, including our couples counselor have all said, the only way I can move forward is to draw a line under it and try and put it behind me.
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anthropoidape
Well that should be easy then, clearly they know their stuff 😉 

Seriously there is literally no case where that has happened. You can draw a line under it fast-ish by splitting up, or you can jointly work hard for a very long time.
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Vanessa
Sorry you are in this situation (having your world ripped to shreds by the person you love) and sorry you are getting some bad advice. 

"draw a line under it and move on" is society's way of minimizing the impact of infidelity - it is so much easier to think of it as "an act of exuberance" like E Perel or as "star crossed lovers" as portrayed by Hollywood.  It is neither of those things.  It is an awful, selfish betrayal of a person's love and trust and will take YEARS to overcome. 

I remember at about 6 months out my mother wanted me to "get over it" and "put it behind me."  I asked her if my WS had beaten me and left me in the ICU for weeks would she give me the same advice? Of course not she said! well, I told her it is just like that only YOU can't SEE the bruises and no one brings around a casserole.  She hs not told me to "get over it" since then. 

You deal with this as YOU need to deal with it.  YOU did not create it, but you have to pay the price.
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eltel18
That k you for the replies.

I was told its okay to be angry and upset and to let my wife know when she asks am I okay. But to try and not ask questions or talk about the affair as we are trying to rebuild our marriage.

But my problem is my wife doesn't answer the difficult questions that would hurt me. 

For instance. After the 2nd hotel meet I know for sure from his texts they didn't have full sex because he had to much alcohol. My wife said after that meet she didn't enjoy it and felt uncomfortable about it all.

But I read a text from her to him about three weeks after suggesting he came with her to Amsterdam ( she was due to go in February this year but didn't as my mum died the week before) she said sje would be paying for the hotel anyway through work.

I asked her if it was so bad why did you offer that. She said it was easier by text and glad it didnt happen.

I know why she offered Amsterdam, it's because she enjoyed sex with him. But I still ask her.

Now he litrally repulsed her and she's embarrassed and disgusted with herself.

This is so tough, but it does seem to be getting easier.
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Keepabuzz
eltel18 wrote:
That k you for the replies.

I was told its okay to be angry and upset and to let my wife know when she asks am I okay. But to try and not ask questions or talk about the affair as we are trying to rebuild our marriage.

But my problem is my wife doesn't answer the difficult questions that would hurt me. 

For instance. After the 2nd hotel meet I know for sure from his texts they didn't have full sex because he had to much alcohol. My wife said after that meet she didn't enjoy it and felt uncomfortable about it all.

But I read a text from her to him about three weeks after suggesting he came with her to Amsterdam ( she was due to go in February this year but didn't as my mum died the week before) she said sje would be paying for the hotel anyway through work.

I asked her if it was so bad why did you offer that. She said it was easier by text and glad it didnt happen.

I know why she offered Amsterdam, it's because she enjoyed sex with him. But I still ask her.

Now he litrally repulsed her and she's embarrassed and disgusted with herself.

This is so tough, but it does seem to be getting easier.


You have every right to talk about her affair, what her actions have done to you, how you feel about it, and ask any question you want, whenever you want.  You have the right to be angry, hurt, sad, and literally any other feeling you feel.  You wife doesn’t get to decide what questions she has to answer. Of course she can choose not to answer, but that is when she gets shown the door. 

Whoever told you that you shouldn’t talk about it, is a fool!  If you don’t talk about it, you can’t heal. That is what is called “rug sweeping“, you’re acting as if it didn’t happen. You will never heal by ignoring it, and your wife won’t either. It’s VERY important that your wife digs into herself and truly figures out “why” she did this. If she doesn’t, she likely to have another affair. Once she figures out the root cause, then she needs to express that to you. You need to know the “why” too, and what she is doing to fix herself to show that she is a safe partner for you.  Equally as important as the “why”, is that your wife needs to gain a deep understanding of the pain and destruction she has caused you, you can’t do that without talking about it. 

I would make it crystal clear to your wife that you will talk about her affair whenever you want. You will ask any questions about it you want, and you expect answer to every one of them. If not, then I would separate and move towards divorce. This road to healing is terribly long, painful, and difficult. It’s impossible if both the BS and WS are not giving their all, just cut your loses and move on. You will still have to heal though. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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seventy7
Keepabuzz wrote:


You have every right to talk about her affair, what her actions have done to you, how you feel about it, and ask any question you want, whenever you want.  You have the right to be angry, hurt, sad, and literally any other feeling you feel.  You wife doesn’t get to decide what questions she has to answer. Of course she can choose not to answer, but that is when she gets shown the door. 

Whoever told you that you shouldn’t talk about it, is a fool!  If you don’t talk about it, you can’t heal. That is what is called “rug sweeping“, you’re acting as if it didn’t happen. You will never heal by ignoring it, and your wife won’t either. It’s VERY important that your wife digs into herself and truly figures out “why” she did this. If she doesn’t, she likely to have another affair. Once she figures out the root cause, then she needs to express that to you. You need to know the “why” too, and what she is doing to fix herself to show that she is a safe partner for you.  Equally as important as the “why”, is that your wife needs to gain a deep understanding of the pain and destruction she has caused you, you can’t do that without talking about it. 

I would make it crystal clear to your wife that you will talk about her affair whenever you want. You will ask any questions about it you want, and you expect answer to every one of them. If not, then I would separate and move towards divorce. This road to healing is terribly long, painful, and difficult. It’s impossible if both the BS and WS are not giving their all, just cut your loses and move on. You will still have to heal though. 


I could not agree with this more! I am not sure how far along you are into recovery, but anyone that has told you to move forward without discussing the who/what/when/where/why/how of this is just flat out wrong. Those are critical pieces to your recovery, and your wife's as well. You need to understand WHY her affair happened from your point of view, and she needs to share WHY it happened from hers as well. Failure to understand/acknowledge it from both ends will absolutely cripple any attempt at healing your marriage. 

Good luck going forward, and I hope that you and your wife can learn to be 100% transparent with each other about not only the affair, but your feelings as well. 
Male BS
D-Day 11/1/2017
It gets easier as time goes, but the pain never goes away
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BorealJ
That k you for the replies.

I was told its okay to be angry and upset and to let my wife know when she asks am I okay. But to try and not ask questions or talk about the affair as we are trying to rebuild our marriage.
You may think that those of us here calling BS on whoever is telling you this don't know as much as the professional or "expert" giving you this advice, so I'll point you to a couple of resources here so that maybe you can have a discussion with your counselor about this approach.  Affair counseling and marriage counseling are not one and the same.  Many of us here have put trust in marriage counselors only to find they are out of their depths with the affair part.  The podcast on affair counseling cautions would be one good place to start. The other that would be relevant to you in thinking about your counseling goals and approach would be podcast 212: Affair Recovery Myths. The second myth covered is that marriage counseling should be the first step in affair recovery.  Listen to that for a better understanding of why the advice given to you might be based on faulty assumptions. 
Basically, the best analogy I've heard is that it's like your house.  Your house was catastrophically damaged by this event.  The typical marriage counselors want you to get up and start rebuilding the house, but forget to pay attention to the damage done to the foundation.  The house might look good for a while, but it's built on a faulty foundation and is in danger of major failure.  A good affair counselor is going to start with the foundation.
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AnywhereButHere
I expressed it (to myself) as my wife has set fire to our house and burnt a good part of it. And now we must learn how to live in a burnt house.
BH, 5+ Mo EA, DDay 3/8/18
"...regarding all as God after God."
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Sorry
eltel18 wrote:
Hi all.

This is short and sweet.

The handful of people I have told about my wife's infidelity, including our couples counselor have all said, the only way I can move forward is to draw a line under it and try and put it behind me.
 

Good morning. 

These people are completely correct. This is the only way to move forward, however, to properly move forward will take years of introspection, excellent communitcation and lots of work on your relationship.

I think the focus should be on working to be able to let go of the past and really to move on with your life, but sincerely, not superficially. 

So dont cling to the pain and infidelity So that it defines you and your marriage. It becomes toxic in a way you will later struggle to get over. 

Work on understanding, forgiveness and compassion and "moving on" rather than dwelling and ruminating in the pain.

Than does not mean sweeping everything understanding the rug, it means sweeping the room properly once or twice and not becoming obsessed with sweeping and not letting anyone enter the room for fear that they might bring in some dirt and cutting yourself off from yourself spouse.

I wish it was a quick fix, I think it is quicker if you chose the intention to allow yourself to try to move on.
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eltel18
Sorry wrote:
 

Good morning. 

These people are completely correct. This is the only way to move forward, however, to properly move forward will take years of introspection, excellent communitcation and lots of work on your relationship.

I think the focus should be on working to be able to let go of the past and really to move on with your life, but sincerely, not superficially. 

So dont cling to the pain and infidelity So that it defines you and your marriage. It becomes toxic in a way you will later struggle to get over. 

Work on understanding, forgiveness and compassion and "moving on" rather than dwelling and ruminating in the pain.

Than does not mean sweeping everything understanding the rug, it means sweeping the room properly once or twice and not becoming obsessed with sweeping and not letting anyone enter the room for fear that they might bring in some dirt and cutting yourself off from yourself spouse.

I wish it was a quick fix, I think it is quicker if you chose the intention to allow yourself to try to move on.


Thank you for your reply.

I can really understand your point. I have actively dealt with this in a way it actually helps me. For example, if I have thoughts about them being together I try to rationalize it by saying to myself, " well ofcourse they would of dome that together, they are both adults" instead of thinking about the act and dwelling on it. So for me that works.

It's been 5 months since I found out and nearly 3 months since I found it all out. Reflecting on the last 5 month's it all feels like a massive fast rollercoaster ride with lots of noise. Now I feel everything is slowing down to a normal pace.

I seem to be in a more deeper thought about it all now, more rational and not so flippant.

I do worry that my tolerance for my wife's imperfections have a lesser threshold now but I guess that's because of what's she did.
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Keepabuzz
Sorry wrote:
 

Good morning. 

These people are completely correct. This is the only way to move forward, however, to properly move forward will take years of introspection, excellent communitcation and lots of work on your relationship.

I think the focus should be on working to be able to let go of the past and really to move on with your life, but sincerely, not superficially. 

So dont cling to the pain and infidelity So that it defines you and your marriage. It becomes toxic in a way you will later struggle to get over. 

Work on understanding, forgiveness and compassion and "moving on" rather than dwelling and ruminating in the pain.

Than does not mean sweeping everything understanding the rug, it means sweeping the room properly once or twice and not becoming obsessed with sweeping and not letting anyone enter the room for fear that they might bring in some dirt and cutting yourself off from yourself spouse.

I wish it was a quick fix, I think it is quicker if you chose the intention to allow yourself to try to move on.


This would make sense, if it were only that easy. The problem is that it isn’t, not by a long shot.

Years of introspection?  He didn’t betray his wife, she is the one that needs the introspection. I agree that excellent communication is key, Working on the relationship is optional, he could always just leave, or try to work to build something new, since his wife exploded what he had.  

Its been 3 months since his last d-day and his focus should be on “letting go of the past” and “moving on”?  Really? I literally could not disagree more.  He needs to be focusing on “self care”, and his own healing not trying to put it behind him. He has to work through it to actually heal and that takes a very, very long time. 

Who in the world “clings to the pain” and “ruminates in the pain”??? The reality is that we BS’s are literally haunted and tortured by the pain. You make it seem as if we can just turn it off, but choose not too.  That could not be further from the truth. 

Sweeping the room once or twice?  So go over what she did “once or twice”, then “draw a line under it” and “move on”?  That is NOT healthy. I assure you, if you were a BS and not a WS, you would not see anything that way. 

The average, THE AVERAGE time to heal from infidelity is 2-5 YEARS!  That means some are a little faster some are slower. This poor man is just 5 months from his entire world being imploded, and only three months since the latest disclosure of even more brutally painful information. NO ONE should be telling him to “draw a line and move on”. 

This level of trauma is impossible to understand unless you have experienced it.  He needs to heal at HIS pace. Not his WS’s, not his marriage counselor, not his friends, because (it’s highly likely) NONE of them have any clue as to what he is actually going through. 

We BS’s already feel way too much pressure to “get over it” and “move on”. I can’t express how wrong that is. It would be like being run over by a tractor trailer truck, breaking most of the bones in your body and then 3 days later, everyone telling you that you need to just get up and start walking. You know, draw a line and move on.

I can understand why you (a WS) would want nothing more than for your BS to “draw a line”, “move on”, “let go of the past”. It would certainly make life easier on you, but that is not what our healing as BS’s is about. If my wife had told me literally ANY of that, I would have divorced her. If she said any of that today, more than 3 years out, I would still divorce her. That would tell me clearly that she doesn’t “get it”. She doesn’t get truly how utterly devastating what she did is. If she doesn’t “get it”, she will never be a safe partner.  Our healing is FOR us, at our own pace.  We didn’t do anything wrong, but we pay by far and away the heaviest price for it, at the very least, don’t tell us how fast we should carry it. 

Eltel18,

Focus on self care, and heal at your own pace. Don’t let anyone, least of all your wife tell you how fast you should be healing.  
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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BorealJ
Keepabuzz wrote:


I can understand why you (a WS) would want nothing more than for your BS to “draw a line”, “move on”, “let go of the past”. It would certainly make life easier on you, but that is not what our healing as BS’s is about.

Eltel18,

Focus on self care, and heal at your own pace. Don’t let anyone, least of all your wife tell you how fast you should be healing.  
I'd also say that it's not what healing as a WS is about.  If the WS can't make sense of their journey to that place, they won't be able to identify what they need to work on to grow into someone capable of maintaining a healthy intimate relationship (or even just living a healthy, fulfilling life).  And if they can't share their understanding of their emotions, traits, personal histories and circumstances around the affair I don't see how any trust building is likely.  Yes, at some point, a page needs to be turned and you need to be committed to looking forward, but not when you still haven't processed the personal and relationship trauma. 

Ditto to the last point Etel18.  Self care is the most important thing at your stage.  I was guilty of this and have heard it echoed by many BSs here.  I thought that putting my energy towards marriage healing would get me back to feeling better quicker when in reality, it delayed my healing.  Put your energy into yourself right now.  It's the only way you'll start to truly feel better and it'll go a long way to ensuring you can come back to the marriage healing as a (close to) best version of yourself as you can be. 
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Sorry
I guess it all completely depends on what kind of marriage you want to have.

Quite honestly If I believed my husband would immediately divorce me at the slightest mis-step then I probably would not be game for that marriage either.

The amount of vitriol dished out at my measured and Quite frankly honestly response makes me truely greatful for the marriage I have.

I have made hugely poor decisions in the past and I have done my best to rectify then and move forward in the most loving an honest way I could but I would never want to live on perpetual egg shells nearly three years later

Life and marriage are for living. Some of the marriages described sound like prisons, I would honestly rather be alone than in that kind of relationship, and I would rather that my kids had two happy parents who lived apart than two who suffered through an egg shells marriage.

You are welcome to offload your anger at me, but you have probably taken what I have said and intended and misinterpret it through your own distorted perspective on infidelity. 
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anthropoidape
Sorry wrote:

Quite honestly If I believed my husband would immediately divorce me at the slightest mis-step then I probably would not be game for that marriage either.




I tend to think the same (from a BS standpoint). History is not nothing, but equally you have to believe that both of you are trying to make your marriage work in good faith, today. Therefore there must still be room for honest mistakes. 

It's also true though, I think, that some things scream out "there be dragons!" because of affair history and mistakes there are hard to take. 
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Keepabuzz
Sorry wrote:
I guess it all completely depends on what kind of marriage you want to have.

Quite honestly If I believed my husband would immediately divorce me at the slightest mis-step then I probably would not be game for that marriage either.

The amount of vitriol dished out at my measured and Quite frankly honestly response makes me truely greatful for the marriage I have.

I have made hugely poor decisions in the past and I have done my best to rectify then and move forward in the most loving an honest way I could but I would never want to live on perpetual egg shells nearly three years later

Life and marriage are for living. Some of the marriages described sound like prisons, I would honestly rather be alone than in that kind of relationship, and I would rather that my kids had two happy parents who lived apart than two who suffered through an egg shells marriage.

You are welcome to offload your anger at me, but you have probably taken what I have said and intended and misinterpret it through your own distorted perspective on infidelity. 


Well the marriage I want is one where I don’t get betrayed, or abused!

I am not going to divorce my wife over the slightest mis-step. She has said the wrong thing, reacted in ways that aren’t helpful, etc.  That is not to say that if certain behaviors or actions occur that I won’t drop her like a bad habit.  It seems in your eyes that is unfair, egg shell marriage, prison like. Betraying and abusing your spouse isnt fair, and literally ZERO BS’s “want” to be in that kind of relationship, but none of us had a choice in the matter.  Do you think ANY BS “wants” to live with the pain and damage caused by WS’s 3 years later!?!?! But again, WE don’t get a choice in that either, do we?  

My wife doesnt walk around on egg shells, but she certainly doesn’t expect me to “just draw a line under her affair and move on” either. She has remorse, and shame that she has to deal with, and she has compassion, empathy, and caring for me as I go through this hell she has put me through. Telling me to “get over it”, or “move on”. Would show none of those things. It would actually show me the opposite, and THAT is not the kind of relationship that I want to have. I would prefer to be alone. 

Marriages are meant for loving, not betrayal, abuse, and mistreatment. I don’t want an egg shell marriage, but I also refuse to rug sweep or rush my healing for anyone. I also refuse to bend on any of my boundaries, boundaries that are in place due to my wife’s affair. Absolutely zero of this is my fault. I will never again sacrifice myself. I’m not here for better or worse, I have lived the worst. I am only here for the better. If this marriage isnt great, then I will divorce. I will never suffer again like I have. I don’t walk around threatening divorce, I haven’t even said the words in probably 2 years. I also have no plans to divorce, as long as things continue to progress as they are. My wife doesn’t live in fear that I will divorce her at any time like she did the first year after d-day. I have made my boundaries and my thought process behind them crystal clear to her a very long time ago. There is no need to remind her.

I am not angry at all. Nor am I unloading any anger upon you.  What exactly about my view of infidelity is distorted? It’s wrong, immoral, cruel, and causes terrible, undeserved damages to innocent people that changes their lives forever. What part of that do you disagree with?  I do think it is wildly unreasonable to ask any BS to “just draw a line”, or “just get over it”. Statements like that show only that the person saying them doesn’t get the damage, or the depth of damage that has been done. I have never heard a BS tell another that they need to just get over it. That’s pretty telling, isn’t it?
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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