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How to survive an affair

(90 Posts)
Raini2 Tue 28-Jun-11 19:41:31

Has anyone heard of, or had any experience with the system by Dr. Frank Gunzburg, called How to Survive an Affair? It's a Step-by-Step System for Saving Your Relationship after It's Been Shattered by an Affair.
This only seems to be available on the internet. I am considering this rather than going to Relate.

Wisedupwoman Tue 28-Jun-11 20:28:47

Never heard of that one, but I have read the Shirley Glass book.

I wouldn't rule out going for couple's therapy too though.

I take it you have just discovered this, or you have been an affair partner and you're trying to mend the relationship?

Raini2 Tue 28-Jun-11 20:41:27

No, this happened 3 years ago, I have dealt with it the best I can without help so far, but we recognise that we would probably benefit from help. A few weeks ago we spoke to someone at Relate, but we would prefer to speak to someone who's speciality is in dealing with the after shocks of an affair.

Aislingorla Tue 28-Jun-11 20:49:04

I take it you are still together?
I am 2 years on from the discovery of my H's affairs. And feel we are doing well.
Relate did not work for us.
We talked and talked, he answered all my questions. I read many books about relationshis, especially about infidelity.
Why are you still dealing with the after shocks?
Andrew Marshall's 'When will I trust again' (something like that) was a great help. He goes through all the stages experienced after discovery, how to deal with them and move on.

Raini2 Tue 28-Jun-11 20:56:07

Yes we are still together, and he has answered all my questions. I suppose part of my problem is that I did not confide in anyone, therefore kept an awful lot to myself. I also think that part of me held back as I knew that when we spoke about it, it made him feel ashamed and he found it very difficult and painful knowing what he had put me through. I suppose part of me wanted to protect him or should I say not cause more pain.
"wisedupwoman" mentioned the book Not just friends, I have just been reading up about it. It sounds quite good.

Aislingorla Tue 28-Jun-11 21:09:56

Read lots, it helped me enormously.
I have only confided to 2 (close) friends. They had different opinions but mainly just listened.
I had a lot of angry outbursts (directed at H) , they are becomming less frequent.

Raini2 Tue 28-Jun-11 21:36:19

Maybe it's because I have not ranted and raved at him that I still feel this way. I will read some books. Why do you think that Relate did not work for you?

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 28-Jun-11 21:47:10

I read both Not Just Friends and Andrew Marshall's book - NJF was very helpful. My H has been to individual counselling and recently we have started going to couple counselling which we are finding really helpful.

I also confided in a couple of close friends.

I would also do a search on affairs threads on here (especially those with WhenwillIfeelnormal's comments - sadly she no longer posts on MN) - I found these very useful and even copied the relevant bits onto a word document to read and digest.

Raini2 Tue 28-Jun-11 21:48:37

Thank you

Aislingorla Tue 28-Jun-11 21:48:49

Well,we're not totally against Relate. I think we were unlucky with the therapist, she became embarrassed and changed the subject when we wanted to discuss our sex life issues. Also it's expensive (income dependent,but still..)
We had 6 sessions with an NHS therapist and it helped. But I think we did it ourselves,mainly, by sheer determination to survive!
And, yes Raini, the 'ranting and raving' was an important part of my recovery. I was very angry and it had to be expressed.

Raini2 Tue 28-Jun-11 21:50:31

I think that's probably where I went wrong! I was too worried about making hubby feel worse that I repressed my own feelings! Thank yousmile

Aislingorla Tue 28-Jun-11 21:55:56

You are so welcome.
As I read somewhere, anger is a secondary emotion, expressing hurt and fear.

Wisedupwoman Tue 28-Jun-11 22:13:38

Relate didn't work for us either OP. We found a private couples therapist in our town. She was relate trained but had done other couples training too. She was great. Cost £50 per hour, much cheaper than Relate.

Hope you find your way through this. smile

toomanyeasterbunnies Tue 28-Jun-11 22:29:25

Raini2 - I'm only 3 months on from discovering my H's affair so cannot say whether Relate is helping or not. I'm a bit like you and I am repressing a lot of my feelings for fear of driving H further away. This week I had a session on my own and found that more helpful than our joint sessions. Perhaps, having individual counselling for you may be helpful if you are having issues expressing your feelings to your H?

lisapenn Wed 29-Jun-11 09:27:47

Yes I used the free e-mail course and it was very helpful to me. Maybe you can try the free version and see if it works for you and only than I would buy it. You cna find it free here:

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 29-Jun-11 11:28:43

Given that you have never talked to anyone about the affair, I really think you need to see a counsellor rather than sign up for an online course.

In order to succeed, your H needs to be working with you and doing everything he can - talking, answering questions etc. Frogive me if I am wrong but I get the impression that you seems to be doing all the work?

Raini2 Wed 29-Jun-11 21:14:05

Thank you all!
I have ordered 2 books as have been recommended above, hopefully this will help me work through things. Hubby does answer my questions when asked, but i know it pains him.
I am 3 years on and still trying to understand what happened. I don't know the woman involved but I have seen a picture of her on Facebook. I also recognise that maybe part of my problem was that very early on, just after finding out about the affair I felt sorry for her as he chose to stay with me. I spent a lot of time sending her healing. I no longer feel that way and in fact would love to smack her in the mouth if truth be known, although it would not change anything! I know I lost all my confidence and I have since suffered from panic attacks, although I have managed to work my way through them. I just need time for me to grieve I suppose! I did not even cry when I first found out, except for the initial shock, with the palpitations, feeling sick and knees feeling like jelly, I just seemd to take control of the situation with what seemed at the time a very calm approach to things. Told him what he had to do and he did it. However I am the one now who needs the healing, and I know I am the one who will need to supply it, with his help of course. (I think just sitting down and writing this is actually helping me) Thank you for reading it!

brokenlady Thu 30-Jun-11 21:21:25

I am glad I stumbled upon this thread. Have posted previously that I found out 2.5 weeks ago that H had had a 2 month fling with a married woman. I have gone through so many emotions - shock, fear, devastation, utter sadnedd, anger, fury, hurt - to name but a few. Currently tentatively seeing what we can salvage...
I have started to dip in to the "Not Just Friends" book and so has H. It has given us a starting point for discussions. We have considered Relate but just not sure it is for us - plus the cost is extra money we would have to find when the credit crunch is already biting.
At the moment, I am obsessed with asking questions about OW - I am going over things in my mind from last few months in minute detail and replaying things. I find the nights the worst. I also get incredibly angry and rant and rave at H about how he could do this to me and young DC. I suppose that I feel he is not the man I married - instead he has become a liar and a cheat. I feel like I don't know him anymore.
How the hell do I move forward with these feelings? Sorry for the rant but mumsnet has become a bit of an outlet for me

MadAboutHotChoc Fri 01-Jul-11 09:40:39

brokenlady - I know how you feel esp with regards to obssessive thoughts and questions, its mainly because I need to understand what happened, how and why etc. Because I felt I had been on a different planet, I spent a lot of time going through emails, facebook postings and my diary in an attempt to find out what was really happening during the past year. These thoughts are starting to recede now that I have a good understanding of what happened - it will take time before I can stop these thoughts.

My H has been great about answering my questions - I found that its important for me to remain calm during these intense discussions. I do the ranting at other times. I kept going through different phases - anger, sadness and at times I have thought about giving up as it is really hard staying in a marriage with someone I do not recognise.

Have you told anyone in real life? I found telling a couple of close friends very helpful. You may also find relate useful at a later stage - I wasn't ready for couple counselling until a couple of weeks ago, H went for individual counselling as there were a few personal issues related to the affair.

brokenlady Fri 01-Jul-11 12:22:52

Madabout What you say about the emails, fb and dates and times really resonates with me. H has closed all fb and email accounts, changed phones etc... He says he has stopped all contact and I have no evidence to suggest that this is not the case. I just think it is going to take time for me to trust him again and I think he is starting to accept that.

I also feel like he is no longer the man I married. The man I married was honest, decent, loving and kind. I hate what I feel he has become - a liar, a cheat and someone who hurts people (not just me but also OW's husband and DC have been hurt by this). I no longer feel proud of him. I have said all of this and he says he is determined to be the man he was. It's just time I suppose.

Both sets of parents know about the affair - his want us to make it work again for the sake of the children and mine think I am insane to even contemplate taking him back. So in a way, that is an added stress. I have also told one friend who has been a super support - crying with me and generally letting me vent and decide what I need to do.

I just want to feel like me again. I feel I just go through the motions right now. My self esteem is shot - I no longer feel pretty, attractive, interesting, intelligent etc.. all the things that I would have said about myself before this. I have had the misfortune of seeing OW and she is really nothing special - older and fatter than me - of course I know really that these are not the things that an affair is about, but I just keep comapring myself and wondering why the hell her.

MadAboutHotChoc Fri 01-Jul-11 13:24:08

The OW in my case is also older than me, fat with big boobs and blonde hair...I am the complete opposite so I know what you mean about feeling attractive. H tells me that he went for her because of the attention and ego boost etc he got from her. Also the fact that she is different and someone new added to the excitement. He says it was like being in some kind of fog and once the bubble burst upon discovery, he could see her for what she really is and he still can't believe his appalling behaviour.

Both sets of parents do not know and putting on a brave face is so hard but I know that they will be destroyed if they knew.

So pleased you have a friend who is helping. Its early days so it will be a while before you start to feel a bit more like yourself. Be kind to yourself, dont push yourself to do too much and try to plan little treats (e.g beauty treatments, haircuts, long baths, coffees in town etc).

countingto10 Fri 01-Jul-11 13:26:17

Brokenlady, you know his affair was about him, his issues, his self-esteem, selfishness, self entitlement etc. It really was nothing to do with you. One of the first things I said to my H when I discovered who the OW was was "was she all you thought you deserved!" (OW was a truly vile, foul mouthed women).

Your H could probably do with some solo counselling to find out why he gave himself permission to do this and you could do with some solo counsellig too, a space where you can vent without being judged etc. In a way I am pleased my parents didn't judge me or my H otherwise our marriage probably could not have been repaired (they had had their ups and downs in their 40+ year marriage). DH's parents were stunned by his actions, had his mother in tears on the phone to me at 6.00am, thoroughly ashamed of him.

I found very helpful at the beginning together with the Shirey Glass book "Not Just Friends". We also did Relate but to be honest I was so shellshocked none of it really sunk in but it did give us a focus to get through each week and it helped having an independent third party to discuss things with.

Good luck, it is really one day at a time in the beginning.

brokenlady Fri 01-Jul-11 17:09:12

H said that it started as just flirty texting and that he was flattered by the attention and it was an ego boost for him. He has also said it was exciting and out of the ordinary. He maintains that they never had sex but that they did kiss. This point is irrelevant to me though as I still feel so so so betrayed. Once they were found out, he says he went into shock and, as you say Madabout, the bubble burst and he realised that she was not the person he thought - basically she initially tried to make out he was a liar and a fantasist to save her own skin (and marriage). He says that he feels very guilty about what he has put me and DC through. His parents are also devastated by his behaviour and I know he feels he has let them down too. He is considering counselling and I am entitled to 121 counselling through a work scheme which I intend to use.

I sometimes have moments where I feel a glimmer of what it used to be like between us. Though these moments are few and far between right now, I hope that there will be more of them.

I know that some people will think I am a fool to take him back - and I have wondered if I am weak and feeble. However, I feel that walking away would be the easier option right now - staying and fighting for this is hard. But I meant my wedding vows - 'for better, for worse' and I want my DC to grow up with 2 parents at home and I truly believe that we can still be happy together.

On a final note, I was having coffee in the town with a few friends this afternoon and OW walked past with 2 of her DC - she was rude enough to kind of stop and stare at me for a second. I know she is terrified that I am going to tell people what she has done. Anyway, I was able to recall what someone posted on MN to me about her being beneath me and me leaving her to her sordid little life and it really helped and I didn't give her the satisfaction of showing any emotion. I was proud at my own strength - although I did allow myself to think how dowdy and frumpy she looked on a nice sunny day.

I have a hair appointment on Monday and have treated myself to a couple of bits from the Boden sale.

Aislingorla Fri 01-Jul-11 17:33:18

Well done, when I have the bad luck to be near my H's ex ow, I look right through her/past her as if he isn't there. To be ignored is the highest insult!

countingto10 Fri 01-Jul-11 17:53:26

OW had the audacity to phone me to explain her side of the story (she knew DH was married with 4DC). I couldn't believe it, asked her why would I want to speak to her ? what could she say that I could possibly want to hear ? and promptly hung up on her. She then showed her true self by sending me a load of vile texts. Still haven't forgiven DH for giving her my mobile number hmm - he said she terrified him suffciently enough for him to give it to her (even more hmm).

We all have loads to forgive Brokenlady sad. You are doing well smile. One thing I used to do when/after I had a meltdown with DH was to do something civil like mke him a cup of tea. Sounds strange but it fostered goodwill even when I felt like murdering him ......

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