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post #16 of 135 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 02:00 PM
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Re: Steps to stop an affair

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Granted my situation is a little different than most, but I would never want an affair by my spouse to be exposed like this. It would hurt my H, would certainly hurt him professionally, could create some really difficult family situations, and more than anything would hurt my children. I don't see this as a positive step at all. While I can see the value in confrontation between the two of you, I see this as something private for the two spouses to work on. Private matters should never become public knowledge, imho.
And the odds if you don't expose are that (1) he will LEAVE you for that other woman or (2) he will CONTINUE to have more and more affairs, because you condone it by accepting it.

Either way, YOUR life is ruined. But hey! at least your husband (or exhusband) looks good to everyone.

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post #17 of 135 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 02:04 PM
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Re: Steps to stop an affair

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My wife had sent me something about the 20 mistakes a hurt spouse can make after an affair. This was at a point when she seemed to sincerely regret her actions.

Two points they make go against exposing the affair:
1. More people may know already than you might realize. Some of them perhaps have even offered your unfaithful spouse support or encouragement in the affair or behavior. (My wife has been hanging out with a different group of people - one of which I believe has been willing to cover for her on a couple of occaisions).

2. Telling friends - you might be hoping they will help your unfaithful mate to "wake up and see reality." Some of his/her friends may come on board. This does not mean that your spouse will listen. Others of their friends may believe the unfaithful mate is correct in leaving someone so controlling if you try this approach. (I know my wife's mom has questioned her actions, but my wife has just put more distance between them. Also - my wife's main claim to others is that I've been controlling - so I see where contacting her friends would give her a chance to say "See how he's acting?" - and serve as an example for her to use.)

I'm not sure one way or the other on this one.
All it takes is ONE person to call her and say 'what the h&ll are you doing' and, if it's the right person that pulls the right triggers in your wife, she suddenly sees the devastation she's causing. YOU don't know which person that will be. But if you never tell them, they will not have the opportunity to say something.

As far as people already knowing, most people who know and don't say anything, do so because they don't know if YOU know, and don't want to rock the boat. Once they know they have YOUR permission to defend your marriage for you, they may do so. Again, if they don't know how YOU feel, they will remain mum.

As for those who help her...so what? What do you care what they think? They are already harming your marriage by helping her. You have no interest in pleasing them.

And, btw, if you do recover your marriage, you'd better make removing them from your friends list a top priority.
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post #18 of 135 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Steps to stop an affair

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Granted my situation is a little different than most, but I would never want an affair by my spouse to be exposed like this. It would hurt my H, would certainly hurt him professionally, could create some really difficult family situations, and more than anything would hurt my children. I don't see this as a positive step at all. While I can see the value in confrontation between the two of you, I see this as something private for the two spouses to work on. Private matters should never become public knowledge, imho.
What about you being hurt in all this? You don't have to send email to all of his contacts on Linkedin and all the headhunters but I am sure there are people at his work to whom is also friends and those should certainly know especially if they know your family. As for the kids, it may look like they would be hurt, I don't know what age they are now but later on in life they would be able to understand. You are right private matters are private but if he is confiding to someone about his relationship or if he is being seen with the OW in public by any of your friends then it is no longer private.

Take a look at Tiger Woods(ok he is celebrity but still). If his secret life was not exposed he would have been still hanging out with those women.
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post #19 of 135 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 02:26 PM
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Re: Steps to stop an affair

And, by your children growing up and watching a parent cheat, and NOT being told it's wrong (in action and in word), THEY grow up thinking they, too, should either cheat on their spouse, or be a doormat. Not a great model for your kids.
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post #20 of 135 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 02:33 PM
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Re: Steps to stop an affair

I see both sides, but I'm also thinking that I want my wife to be faithful out of love, and not shame or guilt.
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post #21 of 135 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 02:59 PM
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Re: Steps to stop an affair

What does that mean? That, by her mother knowing she's cheating, she'll stay with you so her mother doesn't disapprove?

That's not what exposure is for. It's for showing the two people who are sneaking around that the new 'reality' they've created in their heads (the kids will understand, they'll like you as their new daddy, you'll love taking care of my 4 kids, etc.) really won't turn out that great. Once she goes to visit her sister, and everyone stops talking when she walks in the room, and her sister pulls her outside and asks what she's doing, she 'gets it.' She gets that no matter what happens in her marriage to you, the family knows. They know that POSOM broke up your marriage; he won't ever be welcomed.

This is psychology we're talking about. We do what makes us feel good and we avoid what doesn't. If being with POSOM makes us feel worse than before, we'll stop sneaking around to see POSOM.

Once the fog of the affair, the addiction, wears off and the air clears, she looks around and sees that you fought for her; for your marriage together. You didn't yell. You didn't threaten. You didn't kick her out. You didn't post an ad in the paper shaming her. You called her important people (and his) and said 'I love my wife and I want her back.'

She'll see that. Plus, to make your marriage work, and have her not dive right back into temptation alley, she needs to face some sort of humility to see the damage she's done; otherwise, she'll just find another guy. I can think of no greater humility than to face your parents, admit you made a mistake, ask for and receive their forgiveness, and then move on with the marriage, grateful for the second chance and determined to make it even better than before.
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post #22 of 135 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 03:48 PM
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Re: Steps to stop an affair

But you assume that forgiveness will be offered and received. That is not the case in many families... Sides are chosen, grudges are held, and relationships are irreparably damaged. Guilt is sometimes therapeutic, but sometimes it is the straw that breaks the camel's back. Shame has the same issue. Those emotions can help you fix your issues, or they can push you to become a completely different person that has no joy in life. It's dependent upon what type of personality you have...

Two things... First, kids come first - always. What I want and how I feel don't matter until they are out on their own. Telling kids about the affair risks ruining their relationship with your spouse, potentially for the rest of their lives. Would they understand later on? Maybe, maybe not. But the potential for hurt is so enormous that I don't see the benefit except as a selfish one. I think as they grow up, you talk about fidelity and trust and honor in marriage. You show them good examples (if you can find one ) and talk about what works and what doesn't. As they get older, circumstances may change enough that more information might be appropriate, but I think you'd have to have an extraordinarily mature child for that to happen. Second, why does your spouse define you and your life? Why is your life "ruined" because of an affair? Different? Yes. Uncomfortable? Yes. Changing? Yes.
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post #23 of 135 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 04:16 PM
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Re: Steps to stop an affair

Isn't the best example for you to not accept a cheating spouse? They will mimic what they see. All you have to tell a five year old is 'mommies and daddies shouldn't have a boyfriend or girlfriend; just friends.' They understand that.
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post #24 of 135 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 04:34 PM
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Re: Steps to stop an affair

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I see both sides, but I'm also thinking that I want my wife to be faithful out of love, and not shame or guilt.
Niceguy, your name betrays you! :P Yes if you were dealing with a normal, mature, loving woman you want her to be faithful out of love. This is so true.

But the idea of exposing the affair is not to tattletale nor is it to "embarrass you spouse" or guilt/shame them into being faithful. Part of the glue that holds an affair together is that it is exciting due to the secretiveness of it. The "forbidden fruit" thing...know what I mean? So the idea of exposing, at least as I promote it, is to selectively tell some people whom you believe will be pro-marriage and help your marriage by telling your spouse to stop this foolishness and return to their marriage--people whom the disloyal spouse looks up to as an authority. Usually that would be people like their boss at work, the pastor, or their parents...and sometimes it's a sibling or friend.

Again I say that the point of exposure is NOT guilt and shame! It is to bring "the dirty little secret" to the light of day so that a lot of the fantasy of it is tarnished. It is to get some people in the disloyal spouse's life saying "stop the affair--it's not right" because chances are about 100% that they are hanging out with people who are saying "the affair is okay." Finally, it is to inform people there may be an issue that will affect them and impact their life and/or to gather a bit of a support network for you as struggling with an affair can be very emotionally taxing.

One thing that people OFTEN raise as an objection to telling the boss/employer is that their spouse might lose their job, etc. Yes, the economy is not great right now and each job is precious, but marriage is for a lifetime, and in any lifetime jobs are going to come and go. Looking at the big picture, losing a job to save a marriage is a reasonable price to pay. Furthermore, if the lovers met at work, chances are 100% that they are using company resources for their secret meetings (like the office PC, company time, company cars, or even company cell phones) and the boss could be SUED for sexual harassment. Yep the loyal spouse could sue a company for unwanted sexual advances if the disloyal spouse works under the other person! An employer NEEDS to know that their company is at legal risk due to the behavior of two of their employees--not to mention loss of productivity and using company resources.

So I hope this helps explain why exposure really is necessary to ending an affair. When you find out your spouse is having an affair, you go to them directly and ask them to stop. If they're willing to do so, then obviously you don't need to expose. If they are not willing, you go to the other person and the OP's spouse and tell them you know and ask them to stop. THEN if the disloyal spouse and other person persist and harden their hearts...exposure is necessary. Otherwise their relationship keeps the intrigue of secrecy and fantasy, and they can continue living the lie. Not exposing to the select helpful few is basically enabling the affair and saying that it is okay with you, that you won't fight for what is right, and that potential embarrassment means more to you than your marriage.

Are you willing to go to the mat for your spouse? Then gather courage and bring the affair to the light of day! Yes, they will be mad--but you have a chance that you may save your family!


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post #25 of 135 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 04:38 PM
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Re: Steps to stop an affair

First of all - yes - I absolutely missed the point of revealing the affair.

Not revealing your spouse to the world does not equal acceptance.

If things don't work out for me, I'll feel no need to tell the world what happened. If she doesn't change her behavior, the world will figure it out with no help from me.

As I've also said, my wife seems to be pushing away the few people I would trust to be of help. Her new friends, I don't know that well and don't trust either.

Also - my fighting thus far has been ineffective. I've smothered, begged, yelled, etc., So now, I'm just going to lay back for a bit and see what happens.


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post #26 of 135 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 04:42 PM
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Re: Steps to stop an affair

And as I've said, it doesn't matter if she is pushing them away. She still HEARS what they say. She may pretend she doesn't, but she does.

It is BECAUSE she cares for their approval that she is pushing them away - she doesn't want them to find out and disapprove of her, so she distances herself from them. Which means, they are exactly the right people to tell, and to ask for help from.
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post #27 of 135 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 04:50 PM
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Re: Steps to stop an affair

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And as I've said, it doesn't matter if she is pushing them away. She still HEARS what they say. She may pretend she doesn't, but she does.

It is BECAUSE she cares for their approval that she is pushing them away - she doesn't want them to find out and disapprove of her, so she distances herself from them. Which means, they are exactly the right people to tell, and to ask for help from.
Totally agree on the reason she is pushing them away and finding new friends. But literally - physically - not sure she is talking to them. She is avoiding them. During our first trial sep - which was only a week - she had ME call HER MOM to explain what we were doing. I used the opportunity to talk to her mom and clear up some things my wife claimed her parents were saying (and they weren't) and to get some things out in the open.

Plus - and maybe I'm wrong - I think her parents probably appreciate me not dragging her name through the mud. I think they would lend me more support if I asked, but if I always have that "blood is thicker than water" fear in the back of my head.

One thing I know is that I haven't found an answer that works yet, so please keep the suggestions coming!!!
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post #28 of 135 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 04:56 PM
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Re: Steps to stop an affair

You're not dragging her name through the mud. She did that all by herself!

All you are doing is talking about the TRUTH. And you aren't telling the whole world (though you could) - you are telling her parents. And asking them to call her. That is all.
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post #29 of 135 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 05:08 PM
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Re: Steps to stop an affair

LOL I love you turnera. You are so passionate!

Niceguy, I have something that may help you understand this a little more clearly. Let's suppose your wife did something great like give $10,000 to Haiti orphans. If you spoke to her parents and boss and said, "My wife gave $10k to Haiti orphans!" would that be dragging her name through the mud? Nope. Just speaking the truth.

What if she pledged to send $10,000 to Haiti orphans and then didn't follow through on the pledge? Would you be dragging her name through the mud if you told your accountant that she didn't actually GIVE the $10k? Nope, just speaking the truth.

Now, what if she embezzled $10k from the Haiti orphan fund, was caught doing it, there was evidence, but she refused to admit it...and she was going to prison for ten years? Would it be dragging her name through the mud to call her parents and tell them she might be in court and they might not see her for ten years? Nope! Just stating the truth! Furthermore their life is going to be affected by her choice to embezzle!

See, Niceguy, it is her choice to embezzle that would be dragging her name through the mud--not you're calling a lawyer to protect you and the kids, or calling her pastor to visit her in jail, or calling her parents to help with the stress of court.

Can you see it better now? Can you see that an affair is the same way? It is her choice to be inappropriate with someone other than her spouse that would be dragging her name through the mud--not you calling a lawyer to protect you and the kids, or calling the pastor to visit her while she hards her heart and is separated from you, or calling her parents to help with the stress of divorce court that you don't want!

Doesn't that make it more clear?


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post #30 of 135 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 11:08 PM
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Re: Steps to stop an affair

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What happened between you and your husband? Did you reconcile?
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Yes we have almost 20 years together I wasn't about to let it all go. Now there are somethings I still have a hard time dealing with. He knows this and has bent over backwards trying to help me deal with this issue.

It's been a year and a half and I can say it's 100% better then a year ago. We still have a long road to travel but we are working on making it better then before.

He has told me several times that me telling her H was one of the things that made him wake up, and really see what was happening. That he was living in a fairy tale and it wouldn't have worked out in the end anyways. Plus they couldn't just run off into the sunset and everything thing and everyone just disappear except them. I think if one spouse is in the dark about what is going on. Then it needs to change so that all parties know and it's all out in the open.
So our marriage is a work in progress and I love a lot of the changes we have made.

We have two kids that I tried to keep out of this whole mess. My oldest found out by accident had over heard me talking on the phone. So that was also a wake up call to my H as he didn't want his kids to hate him. Plus I told my H if he thought our kids would welcome the OW with open arms he would be in for a rude awaking. I never said anything to them but if he chose to leave me it wasn't their fault. That their dad would still love them and they should do the same. I can say my oldest wasn't dealing very will with his dad hurthing his mom. So my H had to sit down and talk to them and let them know how sorry he was and that he made some very stupid choices.

I just hope that they can one day forgive him too. I ask my H was the OW worth it? Was the A worth all the hurt and pain it caused our kids. His answer NO he wishes he could roll back time and take it all back.

"May those who love us love us. And those that don't love us, May God turn their hearts. And if He doesn't turn their hearts, May he turn their ankles, So we'll know them by their limping."
~ Irish Curse ~

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