Hello all. I'm hoping that this post isn't misplaced. I've

Hello all. I'm hoping that this post isn't misplaced. I've read some posts from both the betrayed and the betrayer. Please advise if this is out of line. I'm looking for support and suggestion from others who have dealt with infidelity.

Background: I am married to a wonderful woman and have two kids under 10. We've generally always been happy. But I am a betrayer. I was a betrayer. About two years ago, I began an emotional affair with a close married friend. She was in my circle of influence, involved in similar groups, and looked up to for her opinion. One late night, she said she had feelings for me. I didn't go looking for that or expect it. I initially brushed it off and didn't think anything more. It slowly decayed into flirting and private conversation. Overtime it became more personal and intimate until one night I kissed her. As the weeks and months went on we began manipulating time and others to find those kisses more regularly. Eventually her husband recorded a conversation and it came out.
My wife was crushed. She is still crushed. I am crushed. 18 months after the affair was brought to light we still struggle often. I have great remorse and went through months of shame and feelings unworthy of love and forgiveness over my decisions. I and we've done counseling and communication journals and all kinds of different books / podcasts / journals, etc. She has asked me to step up and see her and romance her. I have to win her back in some ways.
My question to you, those who have been in either situation, what helps? What things have worked to help build trust and regain some of the spark that you once had? What has helped you to feel safe again? Dates? Gifts? Marriage and relationship building courses / topics / books?
I am forever regretful of my choices. They cost me my marriage as I knew it, friends, groups, church, and not to mention the constant triggers. I have committed to my wife and she wants this to work and repair.
I'm sorry that so many of you are going through this pain. It is real and wish that none of you who were betrayed and none of us who were betrayers had this in our lives. Any input would be welcomed. Again, I apologize if this post is misplaced.

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stepbystep2021's picture

Welcome, your post is well placed. Well done for reaching out, it takes real strength to acknowledge our failures. I think learning about affairs will help your understanding. I recommend the book NOT just friends by Shirley Glass. It will help you get to grips with the how. To understand how love is felt I recommend the book The 5 love languages by Gary Chapman. To get the most effective benefit I recommend that you both read it and talk about it. It helped me to understand that the things I thought expressed love were not always seen as love by my wife (she experienced the same with me) but we only found out after discussing

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CKBlossom's picture
(518155)
Nov 24

I would let your wife really lead, you are here to follow and do what she needs from you to show her you are worth working this out. Therapy can help, books too, but you need to ask her point blank what do you need and then really consider doing it.

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JP1313's picture
(705)
Nov 24

How did you win her over when you first met? Who were you, and how did you carry yourself back then? She 100% has to feel safe again, and constantly reassured. Actions speak louder than words. You have to start simple. Just go for walks, away from the kids, etc. Go get ice cream, sit and hangout. See a movie and take her to dinner. I'm sure gifts are nice, but you can't buy her. You need to build her back up, and yourself for that matter. Go watch a sunrise or sunset. Grab a blanket and have a simple picnic. You need to date her and win her all over again. First you need to be a friend. I recommend never talking about the affair in your bedroom. Let that be the safe place where it won't be brought up. Only time will take the sting away.

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