minnie16
Tim,
your podcasts have helped me very much, especially the one on Forgiveness. I feel your Part 2 On E Perel’s Book was extremely hurtful To WS like myself. To give to AP so much sympathy and consideration is so disrespectful to the WS. I also disagree with the premise that the cheater doesn’t have to tell. My husband did not tell me for 3 years, feeling that it would hurt me too much, and that he was making it up to me. Well , I actually went into therapy those 3 years because I knew something was wrong and I was sad, but little did I know ( nor did my therapist know) that there was a crazy making secret between us which was the root of the problem. When the affair was revealed we finally went to MC and my husband found out he was a narcissist... he never would have come to that on his own.  I think if a man gets away with it and decides not to tell, he will whitewash and rationalize it. Really, do you think anyone can realize the depth of their depravity if they don’t feel the pain of the betrayed spouse? I don’t. You fell into E P’ s politically correct trap where everything is relative and all can be explained away. 
D day June, 2016
ws affair: 18 months sexual affair plus 2 years emotional affair after. Ow 20 yrs old; WS 60
live in Texas
Quote 0 0
TimT
I know there are some strong opinions about this. And if you understand our perspectives in the right context (we tried really hard to be clear about that), I believe they have merit. Once we move to an either/or perspective, we begin taking a stand that simply will not be appropriate for every circumstance.

Each will have to decide for themselves. I'm glad we can encourage some thought about this. Interestingly, a betrayed spouse contacted me this week to tell me that our resources and Perel's book have helped her the most in getting through the struggle.
Quote 1 0
seventy7
Minnie - I can honestly say that i was in your shoes at first as well. My WW had an affair for 2 years with a man from her office. I always felt like something was going on, and fell into a rut for that time. She ended the affair on her own in Oct 2016 and kept it from me, until I found out on my own in Nov 2017. At first I was enraged that she could keep this from me for so long, and that it only added to the damage that had already been done. She also tried to tell me that she knew it would hurt me, and she was trying to protect me from that. I called B.S. and she was only trying to save herself from the shame and ridicule of the horrible choice that she made. I read E.P's book myself and didn't quite understand how i was expected to forgive my WW and AP, much less show them any ounce of sympathy. I honestly thought that forgiveness was something that I could never give to either of them.  

I began seeing a therapist who opened my eyes when she asked me one simple question. "Knowing that the affair happened, how would you have preferred to find out?". Obviously I was pissed, and blurted out that I should have never had to "find out" because it should have never happened. She pressed me to think about how I thought the conversation would have went if my wife just came out and told me. I just sat there...I couldn't even envision it. The only thing that I thought about was that I knew I would have packed my bags and walked out the door. I began to reflect on what happened during the 1 year that passed, in which she ended the affair and I found out. How much my WW was trying to communicate with me about her needs. How she wanted to start traveling again, alone, and not having to do everything with our friends. She was trying to fix the relationship in her own way. Now before I go too far, I DO NOT CONDONE WHAT SHE DID IN ANY WAY. She made a choice that will forever alter our lives, and damaged the blind trust that I had in her. Honestly I think that is gone forever. However, that doesn't mean that we can't rebuild something great. 

I agree that at first, listening to Tim's podcast and reading E.P.'s book hurt, and utterly pissed me off. But after much thought, and a lot of therapy, forgiveness is for yourself. It's not for you spouse or their AP, it's for you. I fought in my head so much that I was such a buffoon, or naive, to let it go on so long without saying something. But figured out that in the end, I had the same problem my WW did. We both had issues in the marriage that we didn't know how to address, or communicate with each other about. We had lost our ability to talk about anything other than dinner plans and vacations. We had needs that weren't being met, we just handled filling those needs in very different ways...
Male BS
D-Day 11/1/2017
It gets easier as time goes, but the pain never goes away
Quote 2 0
minnie16
HI Seventy 7,
Thanks for your reply.  That gave me good food for thought.  It's true that it is horrible to have my WS hide the affair for years, but if I had found out when he was in the middle of it, I don't know how I could have handled it.  It was bad enough, but if I had caught them together, for example, I know we would not be together today.  Maybe that was God's way of protecting me a little from the trauma of finding out.
I commend you for being able to see your WW's point of view, even though you don't condone it, of course.  That shows a open mindedness that I haven't yet achieved. We went to MC together, and I believe I know his reasons, but they are basically just selfish.  He was 60 and the OW was 21... so that's pretty obviously a narcissistic midlife crisis.  I thought our marriage was good..
But, thanks again for your perspective about finding out after the affair was over for some time.  It is really helpful!
Minnie
D day June, 2016
ws affair: 18 months sexual affair plus 2 years emotional affair after. Ow 20 yrs old; WS 60
live in Texas
Quote 0 0
Keepabuzz
Like you, if I had discovered my wife’s affair while it was occurring, there is absolutely ZERO chance of me staying with her. I have thought about this so much. It’s like every aspect was right at the absolute line of me leaving. So many small detail that could have been just a bit worse, and staying would not have even been an option.
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
Quote 1 0
minnie16
Thank you... also, I went pretty “ crazy “ as it was.. who knows what I might have been capable of had I found them together? Shutter to think.. at The least I probably would have told his work and gotten him fired, and that wouldn’t have been good for me financially in the long run..
D day June, 2016
ws affair: 18 months sexual affair plus 2 years emotional affair after. Ow 20 yrs old; WS 60
live in Texas
Quote 0 0
Keepabuzz
 I felt the same way. I usually carry a firearm concealed. If I had found them together, I honestly don’t know if I could have restrained myself. I stopped carrying for about a year. I just didn’t trust myself. I had major rage and almost no control of it. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
Quote 0 0
anthropoidape
Keepabuzz wrote:
I have thought about this so much. It’s like every aspect was right at the absolute line of me leaving. So many small detail that could have been just a bit worse, and staying would not have even been an option.


Same. Right on the borderline, although I now think I'm just on the other side of it and will be leaving. 

I guess that is going to be common on a forum like this. The clear-cut cases are in other places - support during divorce forums or what to do on date night forums. 
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
Quote 1 0
GingerHoneyBunny
Has anyone here renegotiated the contract of their marriage? It can be better but make no mistake, it won't be the same anymore. Stay together but not necessarily exclusive to each other? I've come to realise that I don't own or have any part in the affection and sexuality of your partner. I'm starting to think of her as my domestic partner. Wife is too much of a word for me. Following Perels logic, she don't owe me and I don't owe her anything. We r here only for the children. It takes a while to digest this Perel stuff. But it's less judgemental. 
Male BS, D-Day 22th September 2017.
Probably a 10 to 12 month affair (I think, cause no one seems to remember anything!) 
Bleeding heart...
Quote 0 0
Ironsides1
seventy7 wrote:

She also tried to tell me that she knew it would hurt me, and she was trying to protect me from that. I called B.S. and she was only trying to save herself from the shame and ridicule of the horrible choice that she made. 
I began seeing a therapist who opened my eyes when she asked me one simple question. "Knowing that the affair happened, how would you have preferred to find out?". Obviously I was pissed, and blurted out that I should have never had to "find out" because it should have never happened. She pressed me to think about how I thought the conversation would have went if my wife just came out and told me. I just sat there...I couldn't even envision it. The only thing that I thought about was that I knew I would have packed my bags and walked out the door. I began to reflect on what happened during the 1 year that passed, in which she ended the affair and I found out. How much my WW was trying to communicate with me about her needs. How she wanted to start traveling again, alone, and not having to do everything with our friends. She was trying to fix the relationship in her own way.


From my own personal experience - My wife's first affair she confessed to me. It was a hell of a lot easier to work through than her second, 16 years later, which I discovered. The biggest difference (other than it being her first and second affairs) was that in the first, she made the choice to treat me (for the most part) like an equal and tell me what she had done - giving me the chance to decide if I still wanted to be married or not. That show of respect went a long way. Now I found out many years later that she had still been lying about some things from back then because "she thought it would crush me" - similar to some of the rationalization presented by Perel.

So when I DID find out about those things, they hurt me FAR more than her disclosure ever did. In the second affair she tried to hide everything from me. Tried to manage and control me. Treated me with absolutely zero respect - pure selfishness, which in my opinion is what keeping the secret is. 

In disclosing, you are at least respecting the dignity and human rights of your partner. I'm pretty much in the zero tolerance zone here (and yeah, my therapists tell me not to do so much black and white thinking 🙂 )in that if you have had sex with another person, and not told your partner with whom you are in a presumably exclusive sexual relationship, you are absolutely engaging in non consensual sex. If your partner's identical twin told you they were your partner and tricked you into having sex with them, what would you call that? Same thing in the case of broken sexual exclusivity. If your partner does not have material information in their decision they are not making informed consent to have sex with you and you are absolutely violating their human right to safety.

I believe that if you've cheated, you have completely given up any right or expectation for the relationship to continue. You abdicated that right the moment you had sexual contact with another. You have no right to claim that as protecting your spouse. I'm not saying that there isn't danger in telling someone who could react with suicidal behaviors - I'm one of those people - but you do have an obligation to tell, so do it in a safe way. Do it with a therapist, a doctor, a pastor, whatever. But you have no right to keep it from them. 

Disclosure is the path of respect and love. Hiding behind the veil of protecting your mate is just another justification to avoid responsibility.

Thats just my opinion....I could be wrong.

All that said, I do love this community and value everyone's thoughts and perspectives. 
Quote 2 0
Keepabuzz
Ironsides1 wrote:


From my own personal experience - My wife's first affair she confessed to me. It was a hell of a lot easier to work through than her second, 16 years later, which I discovered. The biggest difference (other than it being her first and second affairs) was that in the first, she made the choice to treat me (for the most part) like an equal and tell me what she had done - giving me the chance to decide if I still wanted to be married or not. That show of respect went a long way. Now I found out many years later that she had still been lying about some things from back then because "she thought it would crush me" - similar to some of the rationalization presented by Perel.

So when I DID find out about those things, they hurt me FAR more than her disclosure ever did. In the second affair she tried to hide everything from me. Tried to manage and control me. Treated me with absolutely zero respect - pure selfishness, which in my opinion is what keeping the secret is. 

In disclosing, you are at least respecting the dignity and human rights of your partner. I'm pretty much in the zero tolerance zone here (and yeah, my therapists tell me not to do so much black and white thinking 🙂 )in that if you have had sex with another person, and not told your partner with whom you are in a presumably exclusive sexual relationship, you are absolutely engaging in non consensual sex. If your partner's identical twin told you they were your partner and tricked you into having sex with them, what would you call that? Same thing in the case of broken sexual exclusivity. If your partner does not have material information in their decision they are not making informed consent to have sex with you and you are absolutely violating their human right to safety.

I believe that if you've cheated, you have completely given up any right or expectation for the relationship to continue. You abdicated that right the moment you had sexual contact with another. You have no right to claim that as protecting your spouse. I'm not saying that there isn't danger in telling someone who could react with suicidal behaviors - I'm one of those people - but you do have an obligation to tell, so do it in a safe way. Do it with a therapist, a doctor, a pastor, whatever. But you have no right to keep it from them. 

Disclosure is the path of respect and love. Hiding behind the veil of protecting your mate is just another justification to avoid responsibility.

Thats just my opinion....I could be wrong.

All that said, I do love this community and value everyone's thoughts and perspectives. 



SPOT ON!

No informed consent = Rape. Period. I have told my wife this. It hit her pretty hard, she actually tried to tell me I was wrong. Since she had been raped. She started to describe the inability to stop him, loss of control, the destruction to her mentally, emotionally, etc. I answered with a simple “Yes, I know exactly how that feels”. That conversation definitely changed the way she viewed what she had done. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
Quote 0 0