When the Betrayed Finds out What the Unfaithful Has Already Known: The Disclosure Process

Samuel shares insight into a challenging part of the disclosure process.

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When the Betrayed Finds Out - No Deposit

Samuel: Another great V-log. I am the unfaithful and this is spot on. Nothing should be put in the positive column because it is not deserved. The unfaithful needs to make do the work, make amends and show empathy. It took me a long time to really get this. During the EMS Virtual Weekend, I did hear my betrayed husband acknowledge that I had stopped the physical affair. It was nice to hear but not necessary to our healing. My advice to all betrayers is to use the tools (found here at Affair Recovery), read many books, and perhaps get counseling to learn how to be supportive and work on your baggage to learn how you got here. The work is worth it for yourself and your spouse to heal. Thank you for your work. Jennie

Thank you

Thank you for this vlog! I have been married for 20 years, we have two children. This is my situation and I have struggled with processing it. I would love to hear from professionals on the mental/emotional effects on the betrayed when affairs/addictions are kept secret. The effect it has on the betrayed before discovery, when everything is still secret. My husband (we are currently in the divorce process) believes that we are just two different people and that is why we are not happy being married. He kept an short-term affair secret for 4 years and has a lifestyle of going out partying with friends late nights for the past 10 years. About the affair, he says that he made a mistake, worked through it himself and put it behind him. The affair has nothing to do with our unhappiness. I disagree. I do agree that we have a handful of other marriage deficits that need to be worked on, but I do feel there is a need to address the affair behaviors. I recently heard a podcast with a professional talking about the secret creating a conflict between the commitment to your mate and your gut feeling/intuition. I do feel like this is something to look at further. I questioned whether he was being faithful many times, mostly to myself, and ignored my gut and gave him the benefit of the doubt.

Good insight. I was thinking

Good insight. I was thinking along the same lines listening to this. The actual betrayal is only one aspect, the secret-keeping and lack of intimacy is the greater problem.
My UH and I have had issues our whole marriage, 26 years this July! The infidelities have been for approximately the last 4 years off and on. At the heart of our marriage issues is a fear of intimacy on both of our parts, we both avoided true vulnerability and openness because of past history and were always guarded in our interactions. I think we thought our love would be enough to sustain us for the long haul, but the gaping holes were there.
Since D day we’ve been learning how to pour out our hearts, our deepest secrets, our true feelings and haven’t felt closer in years. The secret keeping on my husband’s part these last 4 years devastated both him and me. We look back on photos and realize his eyes look haunted and empty. We had so much conflict over the smallest of things, that’s because the deeper emotional needs of us both were not being addressed...the “secret” was in the way of that, like a huge blockade to true intimacy.
My other thought while watching this was this analogy: If a “trusted employee” confessed to you after 10 years, “The first 5 years of employment with you I was skimming off an extra $1000/month for myself...but I stopped,” what would your reaction be? I’m sure it wouldn’t be, “Oh, that’s great of you that you stopped, thanks for telling me. I trust you’ll never do that again.”
The truth is that deception will always destroy trusted relationships. We depend on people to be who they say they are, it’s what keeps any relationship on solid footing. Anything else is crazy-making.
I know you said that you are in the divorce process, but if you two could read a book my husband and I found of great benefit, it might be helpful. It’s called “Hold Me Tight” by Dr. Sue Johnson. We’re listening to the audible version. What your husband sees as “differences” might really be a lack of intimacy and an inability to communicate emotional needs. I believe that if two people can mend a 20 year marriage, especially with children involved, everyone benefits. I wish the best for you as I can hear that you don’t want to give up in this.
Praying for you today.

Thank you Samuel for

Thank you Samuel for addressing betrayal when it is found out years later. I found out my husband had an emotional affair with a woman from out of state that he connected with through business on and off for about 7 years. His company never sent him out of town so they never met physically although he admits he wanted to. I have found several emails that he had failed to delete from 10 years ago. I had told him that yes it was 10 years ago for him but it is today for me. What was and is disheartening ( although I have been trying my best to work through) is finding out he didn’t want to end the affair. The last words he wrote was “you can’t just say goodbye to me and have your closure”. How long would he have kept this going? Would he have eventually met up with her and left me? My counselor had told me I can’t rewrite history. I know she is right. My husband is very remorseful and through EMSO he developed deep empathy. We are almost 2 years out and our marriage is so much better than it ever was. I had considered leaving the marriage but he has become the husband I always prayed he would be. Thank you for all your work at Affair Recovery. It has helped save my marriage.

Need for Vlog to be Blogged

Samuel....You have been such a lifeline for me this year as I have blindly navigated the journey of a betrayed spouse without support. I watch AR videos daily and always find something to read that empowers me. My spouse, who is the unfaithful, is currently in treatment for drug addiction. With the limitations in place due to the facilities guidelines of no internet access or curriculum outside their own along with a year apart, we have decided to work what we can together by mail. I print blogs from AR's website and mail them to him. Where I have been running into a challenge is when I find a REALLY great topic like this one and it is only the vlog and there isn't anything I can print to send to him to read, journal or work between us. We do plan to seek further professional help and even join here at AR when the time comes. We are so grateful for the amount of free material available too, as it has equipped us through the darkest roughest days where support has been so inadequate to find given our situation.
Is there a way to get the blog of the vlog? 😂🙏
Either way...you're still the best! Much respect and appreciation my friend! You have truly stepped into your calling.....keep running your race! You have made a difference in our lives.

The Damage of the Long Held Secret

I am posting years after the last post, but perhaps my comment will resonate with someone out there. My husband’s affair occurred 30 yrs ago. He waited 9 yrs to disclose. I would have never known. It was with a mutual friend. It happened twice. There were a couple of letters (him to her), and some “I love yous” ( him to her). After the second time, they both decided it would never happen again. During the 9 yrs of deception, she visited us once and would call us on occasion. He never wanted to speak to her or be around her, but nonetheless, allowed her the benefit of my long distance friendship. When she asked me to be a bridesmaid, he ALMOST called her to explain herself, BUT did nothing, fearing the secret might come out. When he sat me down and told me one ordinary night, I began the journey of dealing with the double betrayal, the 9 years of silence, and a husband who was truly remorseful, but quite detached. I met with her and honestly, she was more in touch with the depth of the betrayal than he was. She wanted to work through it with me, and was devastated when ultimately, I had to cut her out. She said she’d realized too late that I was a solid, caring, and one in a million type friend (her words). She said it seemed like another person had done it and it was the worst thing she’d ever done. She said she never told him she loved him because she knew he didn’t really love her. She never responded to his letters. She had truly valued me over the years, and seemed genuinely bereft that I now knew what she’d been capable of all those yrs ago. She was terrified I’d tell her husband (she wasn’t married at the time of the affair) because he wouldn’t understand why she’d want to play that role in someone else’s marriage. She was furious with my husband for “shattering” me with the disclosure and for not at least giving her a heads-up. Anyway, that left me to deal with this on my own. My husband was empathetic initially, but within a few months, I was mostly met with impatience, anger, and exasperation when I’d bring it up. He’d given himself 9 yrs yet he wanted me to move beyond it very, very quickly. His guilt had been relieved, but the shame he kept, and that made him defensive. To be fair, we saw a therapist a few times and he began doing more work. He got better. It helped me. However, it was still too shallow and too abbreviated. There was no internet full of information and help for me. I patched myself up and moved forward (we had little kids at the time he disclosed), but mostly because I helped myself as much as I knew how. At least there was no anxiety about whether it was still occurring. Here's the thing, I have a beautiful marriage. He has been faithful because he understood the source of his bad choices and he saw my pain. We are very close and take care of each other. Sex is great. All the things. But, even in my happiness and security, I’m like one of those whales swimming around with scars on her because my husband was so unwilling (incapable) of getting beyond his shame to really help me emotionally those many years ago. And of course, now, it’s literally the last thing he wants to ever address. So that’s why I come to sites like this occasionally, and the information helps so much. Finally, I’ll say this: DISCLOSE IMMEDIATELY. You are lying to yourself if you think you aren’t bringing your affair into the marriage just because you ended it long ago and “worked through your mistake on your own.” That’s a lie. The most detrimental thing was that the guilt, shame, and anger my husband had at himself needed an outlet. When he was in the affair he turned it on me and treated me horribly. He was verbally and emotionally abusive and I had no idea why. He says he was trying to get away from “raging guilt and shame” and by always being angry with me, he could justify his immorality because I deserved it. Once he came out of his fog, his harshness thinned, but looking back, it explains so much. He’d have angry outbursts during those nine years of silence and I never understood why. That secret ate at him something awful and he transmitted that pain to me. He has changed a lot, matured (he was very emotionally immature in his 20s). Despite it all, and on a hopeful note: He is exactly what I’ve always wanted, and I am loved.

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