I was thinking it might be helpful to someone, one day, to read about what actions cheating spouses took that were most helpful for betrayed spouses. And perhaps better to put them here first since a WS who comes here for advice can sometimes get whacked pretty hard. 

So after the obviously bad move of having an affair, what steps were right? 

For me, the single biggest good move my wife made was confessing the affair rather than getting caught. I doubt we would be together right now, nine months after d day, if she had not done that and I had found out some other way. 

Another was probably not physically separating. 

I should say she got a truckload wrong as well but those two were pretty pivotal. 

Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Sorry to say there was more wrong than right, but I will tell you about the "right."  After getting caught, he confessed part of his sexual sins.  He got counseling and his severe anger almost stopped, I would say it is 95% gone.  That is the biggest change in him.  After 2 1/2 years of trickle truth, I think I know it all.  The next biggest change was asking forgiveness of all those he hurt - me, our six children, and mostly God.  He quit his job and moved us out of state.  Boundaries were set, transparency began (passwords, phone, computer, etc.).  If anything happened at work, he told me about it.  He started calling me when he got to work, when he went to lunch, and when he was on his way home.  There was no chance of him meeting up with his AP.  He doesn't go anywhere in the car without asking me if I want to go with him.  If I don't go with him, he calls when he gets there, and calls when he is leaving.  His tone and responses to me are no longer demeaning and he has started being a gentleman (opening doors for me, pulling my chair out, helping around the house, sticking up for me, and helping with the children).  Before confession, he never did any of those things.
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I would say my wife confessing was a big one. Like Anthro, if she had not confessed, and it had not been over, I just can’t see a way I would have stayed. 

She made it clear when she confessed that she chose me, not her AP. If she had even been unsure, I would have made the decision for her and been gone. 

She agreed to go every single boundary immediately. Full transparency, quitting her job, no lock on her phone, password were handed over. All willingly. She did resist ending all friendships with other coworkers (non APs). I had to say it then or me. This chapter closes completely for me, one way or another. 

She didn’t leave the house without me often. If she did, then she would call when she arrived, left, etc. If I needed further reassurance she would FaceTime me to prove where she was. I tracked her via GPS as well. 

She never faltered in her desire to heal our marriage. On d-day there a little “I know what I did was wrong, BUT”. That ended that day. From that point forward she “owned” it completely. 

She continually said said the only way our marriage was going to end was if I chose to end it. She had seen the error of her ways and was fully committed to do whatever it took to help me heal, for as long as it takes. She has done that, but it took me a REALLY LONG time to begin to believe it. 

She showed empathy, not so well in the beginning, but she came to it pretty quickly looking back. If there is one thing the WS can do is show TRUE EMPATHY. Don’t say I’m sorry, EVER. Say I’m so sorry FOR hurting you so deeply, being so stupid, being so selfish, not valuing you, etc etc. That is much easier to receive. I’m sorry is something you say to someone who has the flu. Not someone who’s would you have literally destroyed. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Last night was one of this first times I feel like she's shown true remorse over what she has done. That was a big step in reassuring me. She has told me she's sorry and apologized before. She's even told me that she didn't respect herself anymore and didn't know if she ever could again, but it was always a result of a conversation or disagreement we were having, or because I was saying something hurtful or lashing out at her.

Last night I came home from work and she was sitting on the couch watching something on TV. I sat down next to her and put my arm around her and kissed her on the cheek. Instantly she began to cry. She told me how sorry she was gorgeous what she had done and how stupid she was for it. How terrible it was for her to risk losing me over this and how she knew she could never fix it. It was the first time in the 2 months since discovery that she has really opened up like this. 

She has no idea that I spent the entire day thinking about if I could continue trying to rebuild or if I was done. I was leaning towards not sure if I could carry on, but this one moment was enough to give the the strength to continue at least a little longer.
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Only 3 months past d-day, I can't say that my WS has done much of anything right.  The one thing he has done right is continuing to take great care of our kids and spend a lot of time with them.  We agreed on 50/50 custody and he has held up to his side of the deal.  I was worried that he would put his AP ahead of the kids and that has not been an issue at all.
BS: Married 8-1/2 yrs, together 13
Separated 6/11/17
D-Day 3/10/17
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Making me aware of the reality that when bad things happen the true friends who have unconditional love for you will stay around.  Those who believe they are holier than thou, will leave or stick closely to their gossip.  Essentially it reveals who cares and who doesn't.  As a result, it makes me wiser in choosing my friendships and relationships.
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SadAndLonely wrote:
Only 3 months past d-day, I can't say that my WS has done much of anything right.  The one thing he has done right is continuing to take great care of our kids and spend a lot of time with them.  We agreed on 50/50 custody and he has held up to his side of the deal.  I was worried that he would put his AP ahead of the kids and that has not been an issue at all.

My husband, as well, did little to nothing right on dday, or for a long time thereafter.  Except he also did the best he could to stay as lovingly involved with our children as he was able.  Despite the complete chaos and the fact I pretty much kicked him out of the house almost immediately.  He didn't have much in him to give, at that point, but he did try.  

He also refused to move in with his AP, despite her open invitation for him to do so.  

Can't think of much else that was good in the beginning.
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the best thing my WS did was LEAVE.  As horrifically painful as it was at the time, it showed me his true colors.  It showed me that I deserve better than a man who chooses to write "I love you" notes to me as he walk out the door to screw his AP.  I could forgive the actual sexual affair, it was the lying and deception that was just too much.  A one night stand is a "mistake."  A long term affair is a series of choices with MANY opportunities to make the choice that demonstrates concern for your spouses physical, emotional and financial well being.  My WS repeatedly choose himself and that told me that he was not someone I could count on as a life partner.
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Look inside yourself quickly and be honest with you and your spouse.  Answer questions to help your spouse see the picture from the inside.  Say your sorry and ask for forgiveness clearly and often.  INITIATE the hard conversations.  Reach out often.  DO NOT turn away.  What happens when you fail at these...your spouse can't begin to heal as they are still being injured.  Your inability to be honest accomplishes several things.  Your spouse will envision their own versions and you will have several to heal instead of just the actual one.  Lies've done enough.  Simply stop.  Your dishonesty feels like the AP remains more important and that is the last thing your spouse needs.  It will kill your attempt to be loving if your injured spouse has do to all the will get an all new level of resentment.  Put your spouse first in everything you do (except stay healthy yourself).  Remember there is something worth fighting for if you are trying...put on your big person panties, get vulnerable and be a fighter for that person you love.  
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First and foremost, he came home ready to work. He knew he had one chance. He respected my boundaries (i.e. sleeping arrangements and access to our bedroom) until I gave him the green light to move forward. We began counseling very quickly with extremely well qualified and vetted professionals who specialize in infidelity and addiction/substance abuse plus more. I cannot express how important this was to find the right fit with our MC and his IC.

Although he did not confess, he wanted to get caught. When he was, it took him 24 hours to leave (fight or flight style) and return home to me. I heard him tell her it was over. I heard him tell her it was all lies. I spoke to her myself as I was sure he would not disclose everything immediately due to his mental state. She was angry and so very willing to let it all loose. While it was painful, it allowed me/us the ability to avoid trickle truth so we could get to dealing with all that had happened immediately. To this day he is thankful I found out and that I spoke to her as he knows he was far too weak to do it himself. Since then, he has been in intensive therapy and I see nothing of that weak man when I look at him now. 

He has never denied me any time I have wanted to discuss the affair, answer questions or simply pick me up and hold me while I am in pain. The continuous support over the past (almost) year is very important to me. He has not turned away no matter what I have said to him. The early days were some of the most vile...I don't even know who that was. Still, he took it and through counseling we learned how to safely manage my anger so as not to hurt the relationship further. 

He has been completely transparent. All access to everything has been provided to me and he hands over his phone in an instant if I feel the need to check. Facebook is limited and all friend requests go through me. Simple controls put in place to make me feel more at ease for as long as I need them

He has done everything I have asked from getting rid of his old phone, selling his truck, burning clothes etc. in order to help with my triggers. He doesn't question. 

We have a fidelity agreement in place. It's symbolic for us and something we sign when we feel it is significant to do so. 

All in all, I can't say he has done everything 100% right. This has been a process and we are human. Communication is something we all do, but in the case of infidelity it is something that has to be relearned and practiced. I can say for sure that we have both done our best even if at times one or both of us felt we needed more.
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