Every now and then we get some real gems from you guys in the comment sections that can help others in recovering from an affair, and we feel we just have to share with everyone. 

Today we would like to do just that.  Here is a comment left by Jay to our most recent Open Discussion post on the importance of knowing “why.”  We thought everyone could get some value from what Jay has written:

“Why? I think there are so many different answers to the question why. I don’t think any answer justifies any kind of an affair but I do think we need to look at all the ‘whys’ in our own unique relationships. I am beginning to think that when people are together long enough they stop being friends, and that is the biggest answer to the question why. They start to take each other and everything they have for granted. We all have insecurities, we all need to be validated we all need to feel loved.

When I really look at my relationship with my husband I can see all the things that were right. The nice house, the successful job, good kids, good colleges, gosh from the outside we were the perfect family. But I sometimes feel that we were so busy doing all the right things that we stopped doing things for us as a couple. We put our needs behind everything else and we started to neglect us.

I don’t take responsibility for his bad decision and I know it will always hurt but I decided last night to write my husband a promissory note and ask for one in return. It’s my way of committing myself back to US. Maybe he had an emotional affair to fulfill his needs and I threw myself more and more into my work and my children to fulfill mine, but we had a responsibility to each other that we neglected, so my promissory note goes like this:

Dear H:

I want you to be my best friend again and I accept responsibility for the things that I could have done and I would like you to accept yours, so with that being said here is a short list ( which I will add to as I think of things) of what I will do to commit myself back to us:

1) I want to hold your hand more than my Blackberry. No one in my office will die if they can’t reach me, but our relationship could die if you and I can’t reach each other.
2) It doesn’t matter if the house is messy or the laundry isn’t done, I’d rather go for a walk together or enjoy a cup of tea with you. The laundry will certainly wait for us.
3) We don’t always have to buy things for the house or the family, we can spend some money to get away for a weekend and just enjoy being together.
4) Dinner can wait half an hour or more if you have had a bad day and just need an ear to listen to you. I am sure we will not starve to death.
5) I want to know when your sad, overwhelmed or just don’t know what your feeling and I won’t try to fix it. You can let me know if you would like my help.
6) I want to be your best friend again too. I don’t get annoyed with my friends when they need to vent or need help or encouragement and I want to do that for you too.
7) I want to smile when you walk through the door and enjoy your company and not discuss 11 million things about bills, laundry, car repairs, college essays, the SAT’s, your office issues or mine. There is plenty of time for that.

These are just a few things I can think of, what are the things you would like to change?



See also  Why Betrayal Makes You Feel Worthless

I think we can all learn from Jay’s idea of a promissory note.  Perhaps the rest of the readers can use this as a template and add to it to present to your spouse. Good luck. 

Thanks again Jay, and if any of the rest of you ever have anything that you would like to suggest to the rest of us, please don’t be shy!



    2 replies to "Recovering From an Affair: The Promissory Note"

    • HarrieB

      Jay, thank you for sharing that with us – and well done on your positive approach to your recovery. Sometime ago I left a rather long comment (really sorry for it’s length everyone who tried to read it!) after Linda’s “I hate you because…!” posting. My comment comprised of part of a list of things “I am proud of…” – it was done in a effort to remind myself of positive things about myself, and was written when I was feeling really down. This list has developed, and is less one sided now, and includes things I am proud of about my husband and our marriage. I have printed it off and intend to show it him this weekend. I know that he has insecurities too (they conributed to the start of the EA after all), and recent postings about the effect of ending an EA, or even his guilt now that he understands a little more of the effect of the EA on me, have likely left him feeling pretty wretched. I hope that knowing that I am proud of him, but I am also proud of US, will help. I shall go ahead and give my H my “Proud” list but I think you are right, Jay, that any such letter to your partner shouldn’t be one-sided. I think your invitation to your H to respond with his own letter is a good one. Thanks again for sharing that. Beautifully and courageously written and a really positive thing for others to try. Hx

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