Good Wednesday to everyone!

As the holidays fast approach, many of you I’m sure not only have your thoughts on shopping and gift giving, but also on affair recovery, rebuilding trust and healing from the affair.

This time of year can certainly provide you with a real roller coaster ride of emotions that flies from one extreme to the other.

Most everyone has a holiday gift wish list that may include clothing, toys, gadgets, electronics, etc., but…

What is your wish list as it relates to affair recovery?

What do you need your cheating spouse to “give” you? True remorse?  To talk about things more?  To end their affair?  A safe environment for trust?

What gift for healing can you “give” yourself? Self-esteem?  Inner strength?  Physical strength?  Control over the painful thoughts? Therapy?

Basically, what are the top things that you can think of that will help you in your own journey towards healing from an affair?

Please respond to each other in the comments section.

Thanks!

Linda & Doug

    43 replies to "Discussion: What is Your Wish List for Affair Recovery?"

    • Norwegian woman

      Wish list:
      1. For him to think about what will benefit and build up OUR relationship and trust, istead of what he desires and wants.
      2. Stop saying that we “have to put this behind us”
      3. Me beeing able to just accept that there is nothing I can do to stop him from having an affair again. To just “go with the flow” and take it as it comes….

    • Bewildered

      Wish List:
      1. An apology
      2. Accountability
      3. For him to ask me to marry him again…this time without his 20 year friend I didn’t know about in the picture
      4. Honesty

    • melissa

      Wishlist…
      For him to say – in WORDS – ‘I have chosen you and you are the only woman I really want to be with’ (so I can stop thinking I’m second best and that he would have chosen the OW had he had the chance)

      For him to acknowledge, again in words, how much pain his behaviour has caused me and how stupid, uncaring and selfish he was

      For him to accept that I have to take as long as I need to heal (I’m with you, Norwegian Woman, about the ‘we have to put this behind us’)

      And, Bewildered, also on the wishlist is honesty, day in, day out. No more lying, no more hiding, 100%

      And for me to understand that is was just a blip (albeit a really bad one) and that it’s up to me too to go forward and move on and make tomorrow a better day, not a bitter day

    • csb

      1. For my H to recognize that even if things appear to be getting better, I will still have “down” days and triggers
      2. For the strength to stop punishing myself by focusing on what they said/did.
      3. For the the true belief that we can make it through this.

    • ifeelsodumb

      1. For my H to do what he promises me he will do, read this blog and discuss it, read the booklet, “Helping Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair” etc.. instead of making excuses for NOT doing it!

      2. For him to ask me how I am doing, and what can he do to help me heal….WITHOUT prompting from me.

      3. To stop doing acts of service, and do more of the things I know I need so I can heal faster. (Talking is free, and makes me feel so much closer to him)

      4. To stop acting like everything is fine and normal and realize that for me it is not and won’t be for a long time!

      5. And finally, I want my H to realize that my DDay anniversary is in 18 days…and to make plans to spend the day with me, and make a NEW memory of that day… :'(

    • SamIam

      For me~ being selfish & putting myself fist 🙂
      1) I wish for a heartfelt, well thought, totally romantic proposal of re-marriage
      2) I wish to find an awesome way to let him know I have forgiven him.

    • RJ32

      My wish…..
      1: For my husband to truly forgive me
      2: To regain stability in our lives as husband and wife
      3. Just to have my best friend, lover, other half back.
      4. To hear him say the words “I love you’ to me one again

      My last 3 months have been the hardest in my life…I am usually happy go lucky around the holidays this year has been hard. It is the instability, the fear of him possibly not staying, the fear of not working it out. So much on my plate and yet I still have to have a smile on my face for my children’s sake. Having this EA was the most selfish thing I have ever done. I just wish he can truly forgive me and stay with me, committed.

    • don't know

      1. Remorseful not pride attitude
      2. Open EA everything, read all the article & book I give to him, & discuss with me, accountable
      3. Check inner, realize his character flaw, prevent in future
      4. Give up OP illusion, I know her, I only need fact, she is not perfect, not at all
      5. Always put family & marriage at #1, treat me as special, limit care to all others (MC ask him stop care others)
      6. Check his anger reason, I’m not the source of his anger temper
      7. Data me, give me a new memory, new vow, new ring when I’m ready
      …………
      Sounds like day dream, actually, he didn’t do anything for help.

    • CautiousButHopeful

      1. I would like my wife to be truly transparent. Not just tokens that she picks and chooses.
      2. I would want her to choose to help me heal, instead of making me feel guilty about the feelings I need to talk about.
      3. I wish I could get the text that I saw out of my mind. It was truly disgusting, and causes my imagination to run away with what she must have sent to elicit such a response.
      4. I want to have the feelings of rebuilding we both seemed to have before she had her “relapse.”

    • Holding On

      1. I wish to fully and completely love my husband again. To not have the doubt, fear, and thoughts hold me back from loving my husband as I once did. I want to see him as someone I can put my life into his hands and trust that he has MY best interests at heart as well as his.

      2. I wish to remove the horrible things I read and saw from my husband to another woman and from her to him. I wish to not keep reliving what was said and done.

      3. I wish I didn’t feel judged by my progress after the EA. Judged about how I haven’t forgiven yet, how I am so angry, how I am being hurtful to him, how I seem to be in a worse place than before, etc.

      4. I wish I could let go, move forward, and feel true forgiveness. That I could step away from the pain and hurt.

      5. I wish could have complete confidence that this will never happen again. I wish I could completely believe my husband and his future actions.

      6. I wish that we can ultimately heal from this and be a stronger, more faithful and dedicated couple.

    • mona lisa

      My wish would be
      1. That the OW would develop a case of crotch rot
      2. And that my H would have to scratch himself every time she itched

      • blueskyabove

        LOL! Tell me, mona lisa, we’re you able to keep a straight face while you were typing this?

        • monalisa

          Blue
          Well sure I was able to keep a straight face….It is NOT a joke. HaHa
          Really, I have already cried a river so I have decided to laugh a little because I am so sick of being stuck in the middle of a perpetual Lifetime movie!
          Merry Christmas!

      • Holding On

        Ahahahahahahaha! Sometimes laughter is so much better than tears! That is a great picture! 🙂

        • Dee

          Love it!!!!

        • monalisa

          Glad to hear you laugh Holding On….Merry Christmas!

      • ifeelsodumb

        ROFLOL!!! Mona lisa…I bow before you….as I laugh til my stomach hurts!! THAT answer wins the best of the year!!!

        • Paula

          Yep, except for those of us who did catch “crotch rot” – or one of it’s many beautiful cousins – from our lovely loving other halves!!! Delightful….

          • ifeelsodumb

            Sorry Paula 🙁 You’ve been through so much!! Hoping 2012 is a MUCH better year!!

            • Paula

              IFSD

              It was said tongue in cheek, I’m over it, gotta laugh!!! 🙂

      • Tricia

        LOVE IT!!!!!!

    • Still struggling

      I thought about writing that I wish I could compartmentalize my feelings like he did during the affair so that I would not take my frustrations out on the people in my life that have truly been there for me…the innocent ones. But I have rethought my wish.

      I don’t want to compartmentalize myself. I want to be whole. So my wish is that I can learn to love myself and trust myself the way I loved and trusted him before the affair.

      I want to learn and live everyday to the fullest. I want to be able to take on the triggers and be able to head them off by saying I am perfect just the way I am and know every moment I am the way God intended me to be because He makes no mistakes.

      I want each of us to have this strength in believing in ourselves and become better people because of the trauma we have endured.

      And lastly I wish her a case of the hell I have been through so she can learn and never do this to another person again.

    • changedforever

      Great timing of this post…as I recently asked my H to create ‘our’ new year’s resolutions this year. ‘We’ created them last year but he broke every one even as they were being written…by us. And we both wrote & agreed to them! (He broke every one because of his continued contact with the OW for 8 mths AFTER I found out about their PA.) So…..this year I asked HIM to write the resolutions & he wrote SEVEN! All and each focused on issues we’ve had & stumbled thru & discussed MANY times this 1st year of recovery, PLUS SOME! (wow: he really was listening!) I am very impressed with what my H wrote in his resolutions. H exhibited proposed, real commitment to these promises to each other…let’s hope this year coming includes NO LIES to explain ANYTHiNG. A lot different than the affair year of 2010 into 2011 – and continued contact year for the 1st 6 mths (of 2011) that I know of…(this is one of the resolutions: no lying!)
      14 mths past DDay…
      6 mths past DDay#2
      Trying so hard!

    • Elizabeth

      1: for each and every one of you to have a great Christmas
      2:for each and every one to link up mentally over the Holidays and give each and every one of us strenth
      3:To make each day count

      And on Santa’s naughty list
      To have the NRW,s Husband to one day meet someone just like her,so she can trully understand.

    • csb

      I noticed several of you have the same wish I do…for the CS to recognize you will have triggers, bad days, etc, and not make you feel guilty. I’m so glad I’m not the only one, I had a trigger last night (ended up eating dinner at the place they had their first “secret” meeting).

      I’ve learned a lot here about being open about your feelings and stating your needs, so I voiced my pain. Although H appologized, it ended up with his statements being “we haven’t moved forward at all, we’ve moved backwards, I thought we were better, etc.” End result was I felt like I was somehow the destroyer of our recovery process! Amazing how I was the one who was cheated on, yet I feel guilty…anyone else feel like that? What’s the solution? I know it can’t be that I should keep quiet.

      • Sam

        I’ve been feeling like that a lot lately. Over the past week, I’ve had a series of small breakdowns and my H seems to be losing his patience. He just keeps saying “This will go on as long as you want it to. Stop holding on.”

        Easier said than done.

        I feel terrible everytime I get a trigger and basically turn psycho (I admit it, I do go nuts) and start telling him that I cannot trust him; that I feel he’s lying and hiding things. I’m sure he feels terrible about being accused like this – particularly when there’s probably no reason for it.

        Last night was a particular tough night and today he didn’t say goodbye to me in the morning and when we talked on the phone he was a bit cold. I feel guilty because I know everytime I have one of my explosions I’m only making things worse. I keep asking if he’s mad at me. And he says he’s not, but I feel the distance. In a way, I’m sabotaging the marriage I’m trying so hard to save.

      • Holding On

        Yes, csb, I’ve been put in that position many times. I feel a need to defend myself. To tell my H multiple times that I am hurting and not trying to mess us up, or punish him or make him hurt (although early on and during the “angry” phase, I DID go through a phase of making him feel the pain and hurt like I was hurting). I have got the “We are in a worse place now than we were a few months ago.” Then I felt the need to make him feel like I AM progressing. To list the progress – I no longer feel like suicide…I am not balled up in the closet crying my eyes out every day…I don’t have the constant anxious, tight stomach feeling as a constant physical sensation…

        It is very hard, to feel like you are not “recovering” correctly. Like it isn’t quick enough or good enough or simple enough or whatever! Like we don’t already put enough pressure on ourselves to move through this faster! No one wants to be in this mess! I keep thinking up ways to help heal me – that maybe all I have to do is ______ and then I can finally forgive and put it behind and move forward. I have gone through lots of things that have helped, but ultimately, it is a long process of 2 steps forward and 1 step back…or probably 1 forward, 5 back, 2 forward, 3 forward, 1 back, 2 forward, but don’t let that discourage you or your husband. If we both have that desire to heal, we will eventually get there.

        I’d like to tell my husband to judge me from my good days, not the “PIT” days where I have triggers or something sweeps me back to the yuck where all I have is despair and I don’t think we can get through it.

        No, I don’t think it can be to be quiet about it. I would like my H to know that I am mad/hurt over the man he was, the choices he made in the past, the actions taken, and the consequences of those choices. I realize he is different from the past. He has stopped everything and done everything. However, I still have that anger, hurt, pain, etc. over THAT MAN and THOSE ACTIONS. And THIS MAN, this changed man, the man that is helping to heal our marriage needs to step up and allow those feelings to be expressed. To simply hear my pain, acknowledge it, and reassure and love. And I know how hard it is to remove the NOW HIM from all the tears, sadness, frustration, anger, etc and not end up feeling like I hate him. But I so need him to do that. And realize that it won’t be forever. I guess that is my H’s problem. Maybe that is his fear…that I will never get over the past? That this is our life now? Not sure…

        • Doug

          Holding On, BlueSky asked that I reply to you for her with the following image:

    • csb

      Holding on – I love your referral to “that man” and “now him”! It’s so true! I think part of my struggle is I used to “keep my mouth shut” and not speak up or express my needs or upset when something was wrong, I was very passive. Now, my H probably doesn’t have any idea how to take it because I have given myself license to state my needs, concerns, upset, etc. (I guess there is something positive that came from this EA).

      I sometimes even surprise myself because I’ll think we’re doing better and then I fall back into the “pit”…I wonder how I can go from one extreme to the other so quickly, I used to be so clear headed and focused.

      Sam, I find myself saying the same thing “are you mad at me” and apologizing!

      I think I’m afraid that by having these bad days or triggers, it will eventually push him away, and I will be blamed.

    • Sam

      csb
      Sam, I find myself saying the same thing “are you mad at me” and apologizing!
      I think I’m afraid that by having these bad days or triggers, it will eventually push him away, and I will be blamed.

      Yes, that’s how I feel too. I think the most frustrating part about any type of affair is that the BS ends up feeling like they’re being punished TWICE. Not only do we have to deal with the pain of the betrayal, but then we have to suffer the consequences and do a lot of work to repair something that we didn’t break in the first place.

      I feel like if the marriage falls apart, I’m going to be the one feeling guilty for not being able to forgive and move on.

      BTW, today is exactly 6 months since my Dday. I can see that in many ways I’m doing better: I’ve regained most of the weight I lost and no longer look anorexic. I’m sleeping better and my house doesn’t look like a disaster zone. The “bad” days are becoming more infrequent, too. I’m also less frightened about what might happen. Somehow being a “divorced woman” isn’t quite as scary as it was 6 months ago. I no longer think that going to sleep and never waking up again would be the best solution.

      I guess my wish for the New Year is feeling happy and peaceful – the way I used to feel prior to Dday. I want to feel proud of my husband and be able to call him my best-friend again. I really, really want to say that he’s wonderful – just like I used to – without feeling like a complete fraud.

    • Holding On

      Thanks for putting that up, Doug! And thanks for the visual BlueSky!

      BlueSky – YES! We are in the thick of the dark tangly mess…but nearing a bit smoother area I hope. At least I can verbalize and think through my messy emotions and thoughts a bit easier now.

    • Donna M

      If I added everything I wished for, they could get me on premeditated j/k… Besides Prison Orange is not my color!
      I wish for all that are in pain for the pain to go away!
      I wish for all of us to get our wishes!
      I wish the OW would just go away. We have done everything from changing email address to blocking her, yet when this is will there is a way. She has no involved my 90 year father-in-law in her sick games.
      My H has asked me again to marry him, I am still holding out. He has done everything I have asked him to do. He is accepting that there are major triggers and we now avoid everyone of them.
      My wish for him, that he understands this a little better, I am not trying to bash him! I just want to him to understand the pain that his disillusion of me not loving him has caused. Also that the journey of this emotional Roller Coaster ride could have a happy ending.

    • ifeelsodumb

      ROFLOL!!! Mona lisa…I bow before you….as I laugh til my stomach hurts!! THAT wish wins the best of the year!!!

    • Notoverit

      My wishes are:
      1. Everything would start to feel normal again (whatever normal is) and we wouldn’t be so uneasy with each other.
      2. That I never have to face such a mess again for the rest of my life.
      3. For Mona lisa to get her wish. LOL

    • RJ32

      I made some wishes earlier in this thread….apparently my wishes won’t come true. Because my husband decided that he could not live a happy life with me anymore and basically said he does not want to be committed nevermind married to me or anyone. So with a broken heart, I make new wishes:

      1. That I find strength to continue everyday
      2. That next year starts off on a happier note
      3. That I can find stability and a way to channell my pain
      4. Take the hurt I feel and turn it around into positive energy to feel better about me.
      5. Give my children a happier life again.
      6. Wish my husband can see the good in me and just come back to his senses and come home and work this out.

      I know I was the actor…I had inappropriate conversations with another man but never did I imagine I would lose everything I have and that his love would die for me. He would rather be sleeping with other women than be home in bed with me.

      I love him so much …so much more appreciation for him and I tell him everyday. Left my life as open as a book. As transparent as anyone can be. Gave him passwords to everything…nothing else to hide. And I showed him I love him every single day. But it wasn’t enough 🙁 Merry Christmas 2011.

      • Lynne

        RJ32-

        I am sorry very sorry to hear this news, and particularly at this time of year. I don’t know your H, but I can imagine that your having an EA right up until the time you were getting married to him, must be very painful for him. If you picture yourself being in the same situation, with him having an EA right before you married, I’m sure the devastation would make sense. He likely needs some time and separation to sort out his feelings about all of it. This may not be the end, but might instead be a break that allows both of you to work on yourselves and what you want.

        Can you afford counseling? If so, I would run, not walk, to learn more about why you made the choices you did and how you can grow from them. It might not be too late to save this marriage, but if nothing else, you can learn tremendous lessons from this experience that will benefit you for the rest of your life. We all make mistakes. This is a HUGE one on your part, but you can come back from this and live a better, more fullfilling, transparent life.

        Shift your focus right now to the holiday–it’s what your children deserve–I know it will be hard not to let them see your pain, but it would in no way be fair to allow this to color this joyous time of year for them.

        Please take good care.

      • ifeelsodumb

        RJ32,
        Don’t give up!! He is hurting, it’s a pain you cannot even imagine until you go through it yourself! Just continue to show him love and transparency when you do see or hear from him! Once the pain starts to dull…and it will, over time, he might decide to work on things with you.
        You just continue to work on YOU and be there for your children!! Try to understand why you felt the need to do this, and work on that!! Eventually your H will see the change in you, and even if he never comes home again, you will be ready for whatever comes your way in the future! ((HUGS))

    • jewel

      My wishlist is to:
      1. Forgive
      2. Accept
      3. Stop obsessing over the OW.

    • John

      I wish for W to realize her inner beauty and her ultimate self; to find healthy living and peace; to seek to be loved and recognized for how she builds others up and how she values her physical, mental, and spiritual health, not for how she covers up her lacking in those areas with clothing, make up and other material status symbols. Happy holidays!

    • SamIam

      RJ32
      I am so sorry. I wish it weren’t this way for you.

    • Julia

      This is a question for Linda I have wanted to ask for some time but I know it is a sensitive issue. How do you know if Doug and Tanya ever had sex? If they had would you have behaved any differently? My husband had emotional affairs for five years with 2 different women he worked with that did not come to light until after the sexaul affair he had with a new co-worker, that led to our separation. My wish for the last 3 years is that he would tell me the total truth about the six months they were together. In the last three years a new revelation/detail comes out about every three months which sets my trust in him that I am trying so hard to recover back. I have told him if I had known every intimate detail in the beginning I think I could put it behind me, but my intuition tells me he is still not being totally honest with me. Any advice would be appreciated. He tells me he still does not remember where he gave he a birthday present at. I do not believe a man infaturated with a new love would not remember that detail. Thank you for any input as I am still struggline to trust him. If he cannot tell me the truth about the affair, how can I believe him about present issues? I really do not have anyone I can ask this of because my familty, including spouse thinks I shoud leave his past sexual affair alone and not speak of it to anyone.

      • Doug

        Julia, I will never truly know if their relationship was physical. After our third d-day, the day I finally viewed all the phone contacts I begged him to tell me everything. I couldn’t believe that it did not become physical based on the intensity of their contacts, etc. I gave him every opportunity to be completely honest with me, at one point I had to just let it go. If I would have found out right after Dday I am not sure if I would have behaved differently, because honestly in the initial stages of our recovery I was naive of how difficult this journey would be. I didn’t know how hard it would be to regain trust, to forgive and feel good about myself and our marriage, I just thought it was a bump in the road and the pain would be over quickly. I know that dealing with the physical aspect of the affair would have been very difficult for me, I am not sure if I would have been able to overcome it. However I never thought I would be able to overcome the EA either.

        Cheaters need to understand that they are not protecting the BS by withholding information, they are only protecting themselves. A marriage cannot regain trust unless the cheater is willing to be completely honest about everything. Any information that is lingering in the minds of the BS need to be addressed, or they will continue to resurface throughout their marriage. Linda

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