EasyAsABC
I’m hitting a brick wall lately with recovering and moving on from the affair I participated in, I have some unresolved guilt that I just can’t move past. I know this is par for the course given the role I played, however I don’t feel there is an appropriate resolution for the issue I’m facing. 
The attached man I was involved with chose to stay and work things out with his girlfriend, and she was willing to do that given his story. The issue is, he lied about almost everything to her, and having that knowledge makes me feel even worse about what’s been done to her. She’s not getting the chance to make a real and informed decision about her own future, and she’s choosing to rebuild a relationship based on nothing but a continuation of lies and deceit on his end. He lied about aspects of our relationship to her, and most importantly, she has NO idea I wasn’t the only one. He had been having affairs for years before we met, she believes this was a one time lapse on judgment, not an established pattern of behavior. 
I’ve already decided that without a shadow of a doubt, I am not ever going to initiate contact with her to dump all this truth on her, it would be extremely damaging to everyone involved, and wouldn’t aid in anyone’s recovery. My therapist advised against it as well (as did his therapist). I just have no idea how to move on from this aspect of the affair, I feel like it’s the only thing holding me back from truly finding peace and feeling this entire thing is finally behind me. It’s been the constant focus of my therapy sessions lately, and it weighs on my mind daily. 
I know this isn’t supposed to be easy for me, but this goes a little beyond the pain I’m expected to feel, because these feelings are based a bit on compassion and empathy as well. I’m just lost about how to deal with this. 
BS to an abusive H 2009-2018
OW 2018-2019
I wear many hats.
Quote 0 0
ThrivenotSurvive
I totally get where you are coming from.  You are in a very difficult situation. As you have opened your heart to feeling compassion for this woman and to recognize your part in hurting her, you now feel a sense of wanting to protect her from further harm.  

That makes perfect sense to me.  Unfortunately, as you already know there is no way you can do that.  If you did tell her, she's likely not going to believe you More than one AP has tried to muddy the waters out of vindictiveness and she has no reason to believe you have good intentions even though you do.  

At this point the best thing you can do for her is what you are already doing - staying out of the situation all together.  Make no more trouble for her, have no contact with him and focus on being the best you that you can be.  Take heart in the fact that now that she's aware of this betrayal, she will be far, far more alert to any additional ones.  I think one thing all of us BS can agree on is that your spidey senses become VERY sharp after DD.  And things you told yourself that you were "blowing out of proportion" in the past don't get brushed off so easily any more.  So it is unlikely that he will get a free ride in the future.  

But at the end of the day, you can['t save her.  She will have to do that herself.  You should know that better than most.  You can only be sure that YOU aren't the one hurting her - and you are already doing that.  

So try to let go of their story, his and hers.  Focus on the only one you have 100% control over - your own.  You are on the right track now.  You are focused on healing your own past trauma and making choices that are good for you.  Be passionate about that,  Daydream about the life you are building.  Get so focused on you that you forget about them.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
Quote 0 0
Experiencethedevine29
neither of them should be of any concern to you now that it’s over, and frankly, your best bet at attempting to resolve your feelings of guilt lies with you and your therapist.  Your therapists advice about contacting her is good. What could you possibly gain from it? A sense of...what?

How do you know all this?  How do you know she isn’t aware of his obviously unscrupulous characteristics and either chooses to live with it or is biding her time while she sets about her options? 

Whether she’s getting all the information you believe is missing or not isn’t and shouldn’t be your concern. Let her deal with him as she sees fit, it’s not your business.

lean on your therapist, girlfriends you can trust and start the hard work toward getting to a place of healing. Once you start to focus on what YOU do, neither of them will matter, and while you might always carry some residual guilt for your part in it all, hopefully one day you’ll reach a point where it’s something you accept and can live with.

of course I could also be talking bollocks, but there it is. 

ETD🌻
Quote 0 0
EasyAsABC
It’s something I feel guilty about, but I don’t want to gain anything from it. There’s nothing I’d stand to gain by telling her the truth, in fact I may feel more guilt over hurting her more, and for betraying him, as he swore me to secrecy and I agreed. 
My therapist pointed out that maybe my bad feelings about this stem from maintaining a promise to him, and nothing more. 
Theres more, we continued seeing each other well past DDay, and he at one point drove to a house a few miles away from his own with the intention of having sex with yet another woman, this was also after DDay. 
I’ve been there, I wish I had been able to get the full truth about my husbands affairs, but that’s the kind of person I am, I need the whole truth. Maybe that’s not the kind of person she is. She has my number and has never reached out to confirm any suspicions she may have, or to get more information from me. Which is a big factor in why I have fully committed myself to never reaching out myself, and I know how it would look to her. 
I’m not posting because I’m struggling over whether or not to do it, I’ve already decided not to. I’m just lost as to how to get over this issue mentally. 
BS to an abusive H 2009-2018
OW 2018-2019
I wear many hats.
Quote 0 0
ThrivenotSurvive
I wish I had an easy answer.  As someone who needs more truth than most, I would struggle with having information that I thought was important to someone else as well.  

If your therapist is right, it might be helpful to remind yourself that your are NOT keeping your promise to him.  That you have already decided to tell her anything she wants to know IF and WHEN she reaches out to you.  Instead, you are giving her control - if she wants to get more information, she can reach out and you will be honest in the most compassionate way possible.  

But she may not be ready to hear it all... we all come to change in our own way/time.  Or maybe she knows more than she lets on but has not decided what she wants to do about it.  Whatever the case is - she will be on the look out for signs from here on out.  And given that he sounds like he's fairly compulsive he's likely to hang his own self with no help from anyone else. 

Regardless, the best thing you can do is stay on course.  But I feel for you.  It is a heavy burden.  I have no idea if it will help you, but in somewhat similar situations where I wanted to help someone but felt my hands were tied I just tried to send prayers/good tidings to that person every time I thought of them.  When she comes to mind - instead of thinking about what she doesn't know - see her as happy and whole, loved by someone who treats her with honesty and respect.  Hold space and prayers for her happiness and healing.  And leave the rest to God or whatever higher power you believe in.  
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
Quote 0 0
UrbanExplorer
I read something recently that resonated with me as a former OW/WS. It touches on how to live with what you have done to another woman after the fact. The gist of it is to grow as a person and let the woman you harmed move on without your influence in her life. It's often the best you can do.

The forum blocks me from posting the name of this column because it includes profanity, but it's worth reading. Replace the asterisk:

https://theoutline.com/post/7557/ask-a-f*ck-up-slept-with-my-friends-boyfriend

Like you, I also knew that my AP had previous affairs. His wife divorced him after our affair, but had she not, I don't think I would have meddled further to provide that kind of information, which has nothing to do with me and surely would have been denied by him. 
Quote 2 0
anthro
It can't really ever be behind you if you genuinely own it and change because of it.

Guilt in a case like this is a sign that you have a properly functioning conscience. It helps you learn more about yourself and your values, and changes how you live from here on.

I  sure it becomes more of a background thing over timw but it wouldn't be right for it to vanish completely. 
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
Quote 1 0
ThrivenotSurvive
One of the things I really liked about Brene Brown's work was how she encapsulated the difference in shame and guilt.  

Shame tells you that YOU are bad. 

Guilt tells you that something that you DID was bad.  

Guilt is a force for good.  It helps you realize the consequences of your actions on yourself and others and helps you correct your course.  It helps you improve your choices in the future.  

Shame is unhelpful in every way.  Shame has been repeatedly linked to substance abuse and addictive behaviors of every kind.  Shame and self-defeating behaviors go hand-in-hand.  

Shame needs to be healed and let go.  Guilt can be kept for a lifetime - giving wisdom and guidance to future choices.  
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
Quote 1 0