I was doing some 'tidying up' in my emails, and found this in an old folder. It is by an old poster called kiwiJ who use to post here, that I met on Marriage Builders in 'the bad old days', and another called Plank.
While I dont necessarily agree with all, it is an insight into at least 2 peoples minds.

Originally Posted by KiwiJ
I'm bumping this for people who haven't seen it. It was written by Plank (a BH and no connection to me) and me.

BS: The last thing you remember were the words of your lovely wife or your handsome husband. There was a long string of nonsensical dialogue and then the unmistakable uttering of the word affair. Affair? How can that be? What the ****** is happening? You're moving quickly to the bathroom to vomit. This is a ritual you may repeat many times over for several weeks or a month.

WS: You are wakened at 3.00 in the morning. Your husband is touching your shoulder. He whispers Are you going to leave me, are you having an affair?

You are suddenly wide awake. This is it. It,s finally out there. All the hiding and lying are over. This is what you've been waiting for and dreading but there,s also a sense of relief. At last it's out and you didn;t have to confess.

He wants to know who? He wants to know why? He wants to know how? You have no answers. You confess who and he says of course, what an idiot I am, I should have known. You say don't know to all the other questions. You don't know. You've never had to question yourself. You've had the length of the affair to process everything, You don't even realize the extent of the bombshell you've just dropped.

BS: You wake up slowly blinking from a mind ringing daze. Did you fall asleep sitting up? Did you faint? Were you out? Your memory must have failed.

WS: Both of you wake in the morning and say what happens now? He says do you love him. You look blankly at him and say yes, and Ill go with him if he comes back for me. He says is it over? You cry and say yes. You look at him blankly and coldly and you keep looking at him blankly and coldly. Doesn't he KNOW what youve just been through, leaving the OM behind?

BS: Impending doom sinks heavy on your soul. There is a fog obscuring everything in your vision, it makes things hard to focus on. The detail of things in the world seems to have disappeared. Everything that once had glint is now dulled. Your soul seems empty. If you could thump it, it would reverberate with the empty sound of a ripe pumpkin as its tested for ripeness.

All the laws and postulates that you have come to lean on in your reality have changed. No more are the days when the sun rises with certainty. Gone are the times of family familiarity there to embrace you when you come home from your livelihood, your job. You feel that you make your way through life alone now.

The natural order of things has been mucked. Your family, your spouse, even your pets seem so distant, so unfamiliar. Your priorities have been upended. Your chest is heavy and tight. You heave for your next breath. Your mouth is dry; a dryness that will pervade for many days, weeks, months with slowly lessening severity. Your tongue feels like a big wad of cotton crammed into your mouth, near useless when you try to talk.

WS: You are frightened by whats now changed in your world. Are you going to be removed from your family? You know you should try and offer help, you know you should offer comfort but all you feel is coldness. You want to reach out but you cant. It would all be lies. All you can say is Im here. That could mean anything. It means I’m here for now. You have no idea what the future holds. You will yourself to feel something, you will yourself to feel empathy, to feel sympathy, to feel what youve done. Its not there. Just emptiness and detachment.

BS: You tell yourself this isnt real. This couldnt have happened to me. The one person that I trusted more than life itself would harm me how? The one person that was part of a special oneness did violate me how? Do I need to know the details? Does he or she love me? Your mind is reeling with visions, clips of film, unknown faces, pain, flashbacks to strange conversations, unbeknownst previous clues. Oh God you feel raped.

WS: It starts to dawn on you how horrible it must be to remember those times when you were late home, when you were distant, when you drank too much and went to bed too early. The first flickerings of guilt start to appear. You remember how you ruined the trip of a lifetime to Europe and he DIDNT EVEN KNOW. You imagine what it must be like to think of you with the OM. You know you can’t tell him what it was like. Youve already twisted the knife, its obvious, you cant twist it anymore.. You cant add to his horrible pain. But my pain, what about MY PAIN?

BS: Youre shaking. You are numb. Tears pour out. The ability to process emotion is completely absent; you have no control. You cant talk coherently.. The stabbing pain. Death is close; right now it seems your best friend. But you can not let yourself shake his hand.

In the furthest recesses of your mind you know that this is the one thing, this is the single most life altering event that you will ever experience. This is the knock on your door in the middle of the night that a dear family member has been killed; but in this scenario they come back relentlessly night after night. The crust of every good horror film is now yours for the tasting. For possibly the first time in your life you have accepted defeat at the hand of someone you knew well. Someone that was the focus of your universe. Its starting to sink in. The spouse you held high on a pedestal has let loose a raining fire storm of torment, agony, and despair on your personage without mercy.

The flower has wilted and died.

Surveying your new affairscape you realize that life has indeed changed.

WS: Surveying your new affairscape you realize that life has indeed changed.

BS: This is the desolation of finding yourself on Mars. It seems you are a million miles from home without food and water. Yet, he/she is in front of you weepy. Why? Their eyes lined with tear but none to flow down their cheeks. They are gazing in awe at what has just transpired, the awareness; the applying of torch to fuel laden timber and the subsequent blinding explosion of leaping flame. There is a look on their face like you weren’t supposed to care.

Damn, why do they seem so surprised.

WS: You only know that now its out there and you have no idea what is going to happen next. Is he going to say pack your bags right now. Is he going to hit you? Is he going to leap out of bed and go after the OM. But he doesnt. He just cries and you sit there watching from a distance and thinking He MUST have known. He must have been blind. Thats all I meant to him“ he didnt even NOTICE.

BS: In your mind you go back and forth between the previous visions and total void. From complete numbness to the pain of being set ablaze while still alive. Back and forth this will continue, unknown to you, for days. Its the beginning of a fire that will continue to spread, raging, until it consumes everything in your previously familiar life. Until there is nothing but scorched Earth as far as you can see. In your reality; this is the visage of your mind. This is the expression of all the interpersonal transactions that have occurred between you and your once betrothed. And as you stare at them, its like looking through an ever lengthening tunnel; watching them slowly retreat from your life like they were falling off of a cliff. All in slow motion.

Hope has been vanquished from your life like the snuffing of a burning candle. It was just there burning bright. Now its gone.

For the next few weeks there will be no sleep. No hunger. No eating. No happiness. Little emotion. Horrendous feelings of isolation and loneliness. Everything that you used to enjoy; your hobbies, collections, past times all now seem meaningless wastes of time.

You dont seem to care about most anything anymore except the details of the repulsion that burns like hot shrapnel in your mind. You need to know everything right now. Every minute passing without equal knowledge is another cut.

WS: He starts to say nasty things. He says was it good. Did he get a good f*** You look in horror. You hurt. Doesnt he see how you hurt? He says I just cant stop thinking about you and the OM together. It makes me sick. You remember you and the OM together. You want to contact the OM. You say hurtful and nasty things back.
BS: You are bending over to pick up the crumbs of your former life now at your ankles and trying to frantically put them back together again in an effort to restore some semblance of order.

Its the map of your life and love that you are picking up after its been cut into tens of thousands of pieces; trying to reassemble them around the clock- one piece at a time. This is a puzzle that has pieces contorted with lies and deception.. Adultery has changed their outlines. After much effort you realize that the puzzle may never be whole again. The picture that you are looking for may be forever obscured by protectionism and shame. Day and night does this continue until you can finally make enough sense to build a wall around yourself and if necessary around your children also.

A week or two later you reclaim a piece of yourself.

WS: After a week or two of marriage counseling its starting to dawn on you that you have hurt another human being almost beyond repair. Little twinges of guilt appear. But still you justify. You still miss the OM. You still look blankly at your H. You want to make everything ok again but how can you? Its all broken, your whole life is broken. Youll never love your H again.

BS: You plant a flag into the field of dignity. Its not much, but its a start. It seems like just inches square of land but its yours. It seems pathetic that youve fought so hard for such a small patch of ground to call your own. Its the cornerstone of the new life that you are now embarking on. Its a new life where you can only count on yourself. Its a life that you never heard or learned about before. You now know what Louis and Clark, Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Neil Armstrong and all the other great explorers felt as they embarked on a journey of great risk against seemingly insurmountable odds. You know what its like to look death, danger, and the unknown in the eye and nod your head approvingly to the challenge. You are on your way to a different life.

WS: Your H starts to behave differently. He asks what was wrong with your marriage. He asks how he can help make it better. He asks what he should do. You start to tell him of course, you think youre justified. It was because you were neglected, it was because you werent being given attention “ it was all his fault. But he loves you deeply. You had no idea he loved you so deeply. You thought he didnt even notice you were alive. Hell do anything to hold on to you. He wants you to talk to him about the A. Hes stopped saying nasty things and hes listening. You feel grateful and awed that someone could love you so much. You start measuring that against what the OM did for you and the OM comes up wanting. But you still pine for the OM. He was so much of life for so long “ can you just let him go from your mind. It seems to be what your H wants you to do but you cant do it. He becomes impatient. He starts to wonder if its worth it to wait. Why cant you just forget the OM and the A. You try and explain. The MC explains it. She says you cant forget just like that and neither can your wife. Youve both been hurt, you both must grieve and then you will both come back together.

BS: Several weeks to a month later you are now in marriage counseling. You may be in individual counseling. You have by chance, or reference from a friend, found Marriage Builders. MB has helped you to formulate a plan. Its the plan that you knew you wanted to have but just didnt know how to go about bringing to bear. It feels great to finally feel like you have a semblance of control over yourself again. Once again you are beginning to feel like a person. You look in the mirror and for the first time in weeks, indeed maybe months you see hope in your own eyes.

WS: You find MB. You realize that not only are you not unique but that there are many, many like you. Your love affair of the century has been played out hundreds of times. Light begins to dawn. You start to see the OM for what he was and what your friends have been telling you for months, what he was. You see the pain of others like your H, you read their stories and you begin to understand just what youve done.

BS: The details have been coming out one by one. Each delicious factoid has become an obsession. You are driven to know everything about your spouses affair. You have an indescribable need to know everything. You are relentlessly aggressive in your pursuit of the truth. Knowledge of the affair is guarded secrecy that is given to you by your wayward. Perversely you equate their willingness to divulge the intricacies of their affair with their commitment to pure radical honesty. Truth is your friend and you know it like never before.

If your spouse could help; if they could just understand. Why cant they just get it all out in one fell swoop. They can not reason that during this critical time its necessary to bare their soul and divulge all. They release one fact simultaneously with a lie. They cover up, and back step, reformulate all the facts until you dont understand what is truth and what is untruth anymore. You start to dig. Youre digging like a miner that knows there is gold buried somewhere close. You have to do this to protect yourself and get to the bottom of the mystery.

You feel self loathing for playing the detective but you rationalize that its reasonable and necessary for you to ever be safe again.

WS: Your H rings you at work. Hes been checking your cellphone bills and finds an unusual number. You are upset. You know you havent contacted the OM. Youre annoyed that the trust you thought was building up isnt there at all. You get snappy. You ask if youre going to be checked up on for the rest of your life. You say to him ring the number then. He does and its your voicemail that you checked recently. He rings back, apologetic but you feel like youre never going to get past this.

BS: During all of this you liken these few last days, now about six weeks into this hellish journey, to that of being sucked into a black hole and spit out into a different universe; where the rules and results governing marriages and relationships are amplified much more. Actions speak louder than words here. Truth and deception have far greater influence with far greater consequence. The light of day kills bad things here. Good and evil are much more polar. Happiness here is palpable. Sadness is like a calmed ocean on an oppressively hot endless summer day. Cause and effect are much more pronounced.

Since the discovery day of the affair you and your spouse have been charged magnetically toward each other then driven apart hundreds of times. You know that you keep putting one foot in front of the other. Momentum is your ally. You made a commitment to rebuild your marriage and embrace the pain. It was a clear choice. It does seem ironic that your commitment and supporting actions toward your marriage seem counterintuitive. You know that you have to keep pushing forward. If you stop, youre fearful that you will be bogged down and all will be lost forever.

You are trusting the same hand that once before, in very recent history, set fire to your mind.

You don’t understand why you want to rebuild your marriage in the morning and then get a divorce that same night.

WS: You decide you just cant do this. You start to talk divorce. He doesnt want it. You cry in each others arms. You know you have to make a decision. You have to stay 100% or you have to go. You are torn. The OM is gone, really gone. You have to reignite the spark. Youve been talking to everyone on MB. You KNOW you can reignite the spark.

BS: You have reasoned and finally understand completely how important the relationship is between complete radical honesty and successful marriage. Still your spouse holds on to their secrets and tests the limits of your love along with your new boundaries repeatedly. They dont want to give up anything just as much as you dont want the secrecy to be maintained. And so it is that this bone of contention will cause much hostility and hurt in both of your lives until the evil is purged from the equation completely through complete disclosure.

WS: You dont want to talk about it any more. Talking about it makes you remember the OM. It also feels like twisting the knife over and over again. You dont want your spouse to hurt any more. You want life the way it was, but better.

BS: The betrayed spouse has to know that the submission to complete honesty is embraced by the wayward and the wayward has to understand that by practicing this they can find safety. Through this process you will both build intimacy and trust each other more and in turn find more safety in your marriage. It will build like a snowball rolling down a mountain side; small at first then exponentially bigger and more beautiful. For you to find the truth you have to be willing to stuff your emotions when your wayward spouse is explaining their affair and the details. Its maddening and hurtful to hold back but its necessary to provide an atmosphere for them to feel safe in. Its the price you have to pay to find the truth.

WS: You talk and talk and talk. You are more honest with each other than ever before. You find you both have complete misconceptions about what the other was thinking and feeling. You are forgetting the OM, you are forgetting the feelings you had for him. You are looking at your H in a new light. You are thinking, this man is the key to everything, he is the key to my happiness, he always has been.

BS: Some several months after D-Day you will find that you are exhausted.

A sense of peace will fall on your spirit. You will start to see things through new eyes. Things will start to seem more fresh. The details surrounding you in your life will slowly start to return. The dulling that once displaced glint will slowly fade. You’re not sure if you are broken and worn out or if you are truly seeing life from a different perspective. Your€™re thinking that youve been changed forever.

You have a different appreciation for truth, love, family, your spouse, and God.

You are discovering a life of compassion.

WS: You feel forgiven. You have a weight lifted from you. You know that your H is the only person who has ever truly loved you. You know for that level of forgiveness to take place you are loved unconditionally. You see the affair as the tawdry thing it was. You know that your H is your one true love. You are grateful and awed. You do all you can to show him you can be trusted. You account for your time. You meet his needs willingly and lovingly.

Every day that goes by you realize you haven't thought about the OM. He hasn't crossed your mind for days, then weeks, then months. You and your H are smiling and laughing and talking and planning the future and having the same lovely SF you always had throughout your marriage.

You catch yourself one day telling your H that he should have listened when you asked him to buy milk, he teases you that you haven't done the ironing for a while.

You are no longer walking on eggshells with each other.

BS: Most importantly, you will be ok.

WS: Most importantly, you will be ok.

BS: Welcome to recovery.

WS: Welcome to recovery.

AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse