Thanks for all this great information, help, and care.
I just found this site yesterday from a link on another blog.
Thanks to all the suggestions, I'm now finally at the point where I understand that I need to work on my own independence and get to where I don't need my wife for anything. I'm just beginning to work on myself, but I do now see that I need to get to that point so I can let her go if she decides to go to her EA partner. I'm not quite ready to force her to make that decision, but it is getting closer each day.
All credit for this goes to a poster named Fighting2Survive at the SurvivingInfidelity forum. It's a great guide to see if your WS is truly remorseful or just trying to sweep it under the rug.
INDICATORS OF REMORSE
* Actions match words.
* Accepts full responsibility for the affair without blaming the BS, a bad marriage, or other outside factors.
* Expresses sorrow for hurting the BS and the M.
* Shows compassion and actively assists the BS with handling triggers.
* Does not become defensive or shut down when BS brings up affair-related emotions, issues, or questions.
* Answers questions honestly and completely.
* Does not avoid the BS or become frustrated that the BS is not “healing fast enough.”
* Contributes at least 60% of the joint effort at rebuilding the marriage.
* Actively works to understand why he or she made the choice to have an affair and shares insights with BS.
* Does not think solely about himself or herself. Considers how actions impact the BS.
Remorse is so important to R. It's the conerstone that everything else is built on. Without it, the M can not heal.
Remorse involves far more than just saying "I'm sorry." It's conveyed through consistent actions. The above list is not comprehensive, but it is meant to be an example that the FWS's behavior should be clear sign that he or she understands the pain the A caused and is committed to healing the M. Simply hanging around the house is not remorse. And it is not R.
No Contact Letter - information below extracted from another forum
Once the affair has come to light there must be proper closure to the affair. An agreement must be made between that all contact must end between the Wayward Spouse and the Affair Partner and it must be permanent. There are no if’s, and’s or but’s on this one. This MUST be done for there to be any healing in the marriage. The Wayward Spouse must commit to the No Contact Agreement. Every time the Agreement has been broken the Wayward Spouse must tell the Betrayed Spouse about it as soon as possible. Even if it wasn’t them that broke it, any contact whatsoever should be told immediately. This will build some trust back up in your marriage if this is done every time.
Writing a No Contact Letter to the Affair Partner is the best way to end the affair. This way everything that needs to be said can be with no interruptions and without adding or saying anything you don’t want said. Doing it over the phone or by email allows things to open back up for the OP to respond...and that's what you are clearly trying to avoid.
It should be written in the Wayward Spouse’s own handwriting. It really should be sent certified. Remember, this isn’t a “goodbye forever love letter” but it’s really stating that the affair is over, it was wrong, you were selfish, you love your spouse and family very much and you want to make your marriage work and that you’ll be fighting and working on saving your marriage. You should also state how much you have hurt your spouse and how you are going to spend the rest of your life making it up to them.
You also state how you no longer EVER want the affair partner to contact you in ANY way, shape or form. If the Wayward Spouse does this just for his/her spouse and continues contact with the Affair Partner, then the Affair Partner won’t take the No Contact Letter seriously. It also might not be taken seriously by the Affair Partner if the Wayward Spouse has tried numerous times to break it off with the Affair Partner only to come back time and time again. So, the Wayward Spouse must stand firm and continually tell the Affair Partner how much he loves his wife and wants to work on their marriage.
If you get continued contact the best defense is to IGNORE ALL CONTACT!! The Affair Partner thinks that if they can’t just get the Wayward Spouse to talk to them then the affair will continue on.
After the Wayward Spouse has finished the No Contact Letter, the Betrayed Spouse should read it, if it wasn’t written together. There should be nothing in the letter hinting about missing the Affair Partner, and that the letter doesn’t mean anything, etc.
Here is an example of a No Contact Letter:
Dear [put name here],
The relationship I had with you was thoughtless and cruel. It hurt many people, particularly my spouse, who did not deserve to be treated that way. I am committed to my marriage and determined to make up for all the hurt I've caused my family. I am going to work hard to be the best husband/wife that he/she deserves.
Because of the terrible offense to my spouse and the damage I have done to our marriage, I am permanently ending all contact with you. Please respect my wish to regain my integrity, and to heal my family. Please also respect my wish that you not attempt to contact me in any way at any time.
My spouse has all the details of our relationship and he/she will also be told of any attempts at contact.
lordmayhem I am on your thread....again apologies, got the wrong name its your thread Almostrecovered
Advice on exposure :-
Parents of all concerned, family, close friends, children of the BS, workplace [if a workplace affair], spouse of the OP, pastor. Facebook friends of OP.
Exposure should be done immediately. The longer you wait, the more entrenched the affair becomes. There is never any “perfect” time to expose, so don’t delay while looking for an imaginary perfect time.
Expose on the SAME DAY – or as close as possible – in order to achieve a tsunami effect. The affairees should be completely taken by surprise. Doing this creates a powerful hit on the affair and prevents the affairees from pre-empting you
Spouse of affair partner- Give your full name, phone # and email address. Tell the other BS all about the affair, offer to share all evidence with him/her. Offer to follow up to ensure that contact is truly ended and ask the other BS to do the same. The other BS will be shocked when you tell him, so be sure and give your email address and phone # for follow up questions. ALWAYS GIVE THE OTHER BS YOUR WS'S PHONE # IN CASE HE/SHE WANTS TO CALL.
Parents, close family, friends – Tell them about the affair, giving them names, general timelines, etc. Explain you are attempting to save your marriage and would be willing to forgive your WS if he/she ended the affair. Ask them to use their influence to persuade the WS to end her affair. A way to save time is to call both sets of parents and send an email to the other close family and friends. Template letter posted below
Parents of OP. Give your full name and explain why you are calling. Ask them to use their influence with their son/daughter to persuade them to leave your spouse alone. It might also help if the PARENT of the WS calls them too.
Workplace exposure: Expose to Director of Human Resources, a key VP and both of the affairee’s supervisors using the template letter posted below.
Facebook exposure: Should be done to the OP’s facebook friends via private message. This is a very, very effective exposure because it is a collection of the OP’s closest friends and family. SPACE THE PM’S OUT 60 SECONDS APART SO FB DOES NOT SHUT YOU DOWN FOR FLOODING. Before you begin, copy and paste all the contacts into a WORD doc. Change your fb picture to a picture of you and your spouse and children. Template letters posted below.
Expect your spouse to be FURIOUS and to make all manner of threats, “I was going to work on the marriage, now I am not!!” “I cannot trust you” “You have to pack and leave!!” “You have ruined any chance you had!!” Do not let this bother you!! Just imagine that you have taken the crackpipe away from the crack head. Of course they are angry. But it will blow over. Don’t laugh, don’t fight, don't attempt to reason with them, and most of all, don’t be SCARED! Your marriage can survive some temporary anger, it cannot survive an ongoing affair! The madder your WS, the harder you hit the target!
The goal is to save your marriage, NOT to avoid your wayward spouse's anger at all costs.
Just say, "I am so sorry you are upset.
Common Exposure Mistakes
Telling the WS that you got the idea to expose on the internet rather than taking ownership of your actions. Then the discussion becomes “who???” You need to OWN IT. Saying somebody told you to do it does not work for 5 year olds and it won’t work for you!
Keeping exposure a secret. Yes, you read right. But we have had exposure targets say “ok, I will keep this a secret!!” And they never tell the WS they know. That defeats the entire purpose. If that person won’t help you by speaking to your WS, at least TELL the WS that person knows.
Doing trickle exposures. Meaning exposing to just a few people but not to everyone that could have an influence. Trickle exposures are a disaster because they are not enough to kill the affair but just enough to infuriate the WS enough to come after the BS. So the exposure essentially only served to beat down the already beaten BS for no benefit.
Eliminating exposure targets because that person “has no influence over my WS” even though this is a person with long history over the WS. Such as a mother or father. Such targets cannot be dismissed on such a subjective basis because the BS CANNOT PREDICT WHO WILL OR WON’T HAVE AN INFLUENCE OVER THE WS. Sorry, but unless you are psychic and your name is Madame Cleo, you don’t know. Many WS are estranged from a parent, sibling, pastor but that is not a knock out factor.
Threatening to expose. Using exposure as a threat only serves to forewarn the affairees and cause them to go further underground. All you have achieved is to give the enemy your battle plan so they can come back and kick your rear tomorrow. It also gives them an opportunity to pre-empt you and tell others you are “crazy” “jealous”. Then then when you do expose no one will take you seriously. Threatening to expose is the equivalent of giving your battle plan to the enemy. Don't do that!
Facebook or email template
Should be done to the OW/OM’s Facebook friends via private message. This is an effective exposure as it is a collection of the OW/OM’s closest friends and family. Space the private messages 60 seconds apart so Facebook does not shut you down for flooding the system. Copy and paste all the contacts into a word document. Change the gender as required.
Dear friend of XXX (Full name)
It grieves me to write this letter but I believe all of his/her friends should know the kind of person he/she really is. XXX is having an affair with my wife/husband , (name of your spouse) YYYY, from ZZZ (month or year) until ZZZ (month or year) . I believe that his/her friends should know this, so you can protect your marriage from him/her. My wife/husband and I have X small children and this affair has almost wrecked our marriage.
I would be happy to provide the evidence to anyone who asks.
I would appreciate it if someone would notify his parents and ask them to call me at xxx-www-xxxx.
(Betrayed Spouse’s name)
To Whom It May Concern: XXXX
This letter is to bring a matter to your attention that may be a violation of your Company's Code of Conduct and/or other policies, procedures and business ethics.
(Your wayward spouse name ) and OM/OW (name) are involved in an extramarital affair that is taking place, primarily, in the workplace. Aside from the potential sexual harassment claims this situation presents, it also involves the inappropriate use of company resources and assets.
(Your wayward spouse name ) and OM/OW (name) are using company time and company resources to further their affair. If you check the call histories on their office and cell phones along with their workstation computers, you will find the two of them are spending an inordinate amount of what should be productive work time to further their sexual relationship.
If you have any questions, please call me at xxx-xxxx. Otherwise, I will anticipate a response from you once you have investigated these concerns and taken appropriate corrective action.
For information : I am not the creator of the above templates, they were borrowed from another pro-marriage forum.
More information from another poster , Affaircare
Just to be clear, let's define a few things:
GASLIGHTING-- Gaslighting is a form of mental abuse where false information is presented as true in such a way as to make the "victim" doubt their own observation, their own memory or their own perception. A perfect example of this would be if your spouse were missing all of January 1st, came stumbling home January 2nd, and you have a recording your spouse on January 2nd talking in their own car to another person saying they had sex, and they try to tell you "No you're mistaken. I said that on January 3rd and remember WE had sex that night before, so I was talking about that!" You KNOW what you have, but they are trying to spin the false information to make you doubt your own self.
RUGSWEEPING-- Rugsweeping is a form of denial. Either the Loyal Spouse or the Disloyal Spouse can do this, and basically it is named after the idea of sweeping dirt under the rug, so that it's not really clean at all...just hidden! Same here. The issues in the marriage are not addressed. There is no real repentance by the Disloyal Spouse ... or the Loyal Spouse just pretends that "now that the Disloyal is back everything can go back to normal." It's fake.
RECONCILIATION-- Reconciliation is when two things occur: 1) the Disloyal Spouse is truly repentant and does a complete about-face regarding the affair, taking complete personal responsibility, and 2) the Loyal Spouse truly acknowledges the issues and forgives the Disloyal, working on making the marriage a place that is mutually intimate and loving. If both things don't occur, then reconciliation can not occur. (Now... they could continue to live together and co-parent but it would not be a "marriage" relationship--it would be like roommates. )
It is entirely possible in reconciliation that the Loyal Spouse may want to know every single detail about the affair, the other person, each sexual contact, etc. But it is equally possible that the Loyal Spouse may consider it enough to know that their spouse was unfaithful and have reason to believe that is no longer the case--some sort of provable evidence--and be willing to move on from there and rebuild trust. Each Loyal Spouse is different. But overall the following concepts remain the same:
Gaslighting tries to present false info as true--this does not lead to recovery.
Rugsweeping denies that there was a problem and pretends everything is okay--this also does not lead to recovery.
Reconciliation acknowledges the problems, each party looks at their own self, each party does their own work AND does the work to build the marriage, but the level of details may vary--this DOES lead to recovery.
FWIW... regarding indications of genuine remorse I once put together a short list on the subject of determining if your WS was being genuine and remorseful which some found useful... It's also along the lines of what lordmayhem shared...
There is no infallable way to know if what you are seeing is genuine remorse or not.
What I would start with would be your gut... that's where it all begins. No one knows your spouse quite the way that you do. Do you sense genuine remorse?
As with all people that mislead, lie or decieve there are always subtle non-verbal cues (facial expressions) which can give you some indication whether the person is being genuine...
People who fake remorse tend to show a greater range of emotional expressions and swing from one emotion to another very quickly - if the base emotional responses are grouped into three categories; Good (happy) /Neutral (neutral, surprise). /Bad (sadness, fear, anger, contempt, disgust) a person intentionally decieving you will tend to swing from category to category very quickly. Particularly from good to bad or bad to good (skipping nuetral). The phenomenon is referred to as emotional turbulence - They will also speak with more hesitation.
It might also bear mentioning that the saying about people lying not looking you in the eyes, is actually completely false in the case of WS's. You will find that they go out of the way to look you dead in the eyes while lying to you.
There are also some qualities/behaviors to look for when someone is genuinely remorseful...
They are signs/actions that someone will commonly exhibit (coping mechinisms) when internally healing from an action or decision that they have made which they feel was wrong... These are obviously not hard cold "musts" for a spouse to qualify as genuinely remorseful... But, I hope this gives you a "roadmap" of some indicators....
1. A remorseful spouse is willing if not eager to confess everything about the behaviors and mistakes they made. They commonly show a genuine desire to "come clean".
2. A remorseful spouse is openly accountable for their actions and seeks to identify and make changes to insure that this behavior does not reoccur. (They feel genuine pain, therefore they seek to prevent this pain from reoccuring. (normal human response to pain - AVOID IT) (No genuine pain = No reason to seek a solution to avoid repeating that pain).
3. A remorseful spouse will seek to "work", not only on themselves but on general life responsibilities. A remorseful spouse faces the responsibilities of thier day-to-day life and will often show increased motivation to meet those tasks. The work is often approached in a more "humble" way by the remorseful spouse.
4. A remorseful spouse will not object to limitations (i.e. transperency) set by the faithful spouse as a result their actions and in an effort to promote the healing of the violated trust.
5. A remorseful spouse faces the pain they have caused. A remorseful spouse will allow you to express the intesity of the feelings and hurt their actions have caused without justifying, minimizing or blame-shifting.
6. A remorseful spouse seeks forgiveness and respects the process of forgiveness often takes time. They will not be impatient or pressure the injured spouse to say "I forgive you" and will never exhibit a "get over it!" attitude.
Sorry you are all here, but hope this proves useful to you on your journey.
Thanks AlmostRecovered. Great, clear writing. Well placed references. We are also grateful to Lord Mayhem for his wisdom. Morituri, and aug are also very proactive in airing their views. One feature you may like to add is private messaging. Good work and help, AR. This should be stickied!