We made it through the storm and now have two beautiful little girls...and are trying for our third!
Reconciliation is not easy and in fact I still struggle with his A and triggers. He's been completely remorseful and I've realized it's really up to me now...to forgive and completely move on. I've held onto it for so long...and might need to hang on a little longer...but that's just me. Someday I'll hopefully let it go completely.
"The things that look like they will destroy you are the very things that bring you closer to God." -Unknown
For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning. - T.S. Eliot
Don't get me wrong there are at least moments in everyday that it hurts like hell but the intense rollercoaster swings have calmed down.
We are both working hard and that is why it is working. My WS is doing IC and vigilantly working a 12 step fellowship. We have been reading and working through books together: After the Affair, 5 Love Languages , How to Help You Spouse Heal from Your Affair, and The Marriage You've Always Dreamed Of. We pray together most mornings and inventory our day at the end of the night. WE COMMUNICATE!!!
I am not ready to(and probably never will)say that I am grateful for the A. But our Lives, Our Relationship, and Our Family is better than it has ever been.
[This message edited by Chicho at 5:31 AM, October 12th (Friday)]
"Knowing is half the battle"
52 weeks ago today I married my WSO (anniversary is actually on Tuesday). I married him 12 days before the first antiversary of D-day. Although it has been quite the year both joyous and with the downs that go with this ride known as the rollor coaster I have no regrets. I have been blessed with a truly remorseful man and have learned alot about myself. Thank you all who have been there on my downs. I appreciate everyones stories and hope that we all find that peaceful and comfortable place that we as humans deserve. Thanks
Mr & Mrs Bird
3 years ago, October 31 WAS our D-day. A day that I thought I would always remember with pain. Remembering his confession…
But, now, October 31 is OUR Celebration DAY!!
we are healed and stronger than before! My remorseful fwh has proven himself over time and I love him more than I did prior to the A because the aftermath of the A broke him down..he hit rock bottom and was forced to take a hard look at himself. He didn't like what he saw and he made a complete 180. He is a wonderful man now and I love him very much.
When D-Day happened over 2 years ago, I wasn't sure what I wanted. I had spent nearly 13 years with H, and we had just bought a home together a few months prior. I was scared of being alone, of starting over. And, despite the extreme hurt, I found that I still loved him and cared about him. Plus, I took my wedding vows very seriously, and felt like I needed to know that I tried everything in my power to save our marriage before I could feel at peace with walking away.
At the same time, because he had had an EA 10 years prior, I had always said if he did it again "I'd be gone". And I knew I didn't deserve to be treated that way. Having been through multiple affairs now with him, it was not lost on me that this was a pattern, and that I was taking a HUGE risk of being hurt again, by staying.
In those first weeks, I went back and forth from reading about how to save our marriage, to researching divorce attorneys, and even creating fake profiles on dating websites and researching apartments just to see what my options were (I never connected with anyone, and had no intention to -- I just needed to know that if/when I was ready to date again, I wouldn't be left with lepers and guys who live with their mother).
Every time I'd think to leave him, I'd freeze up. So, I decided to give myself time to not make any decision to stay OR go. I think I gave myself about 6 months, and then I would re-evaluate (H was not aware of this at all). This worked well to take off the pressure. I knew that, ultimately, I was in control if I felt it necessary to leave sooner, but I wasn't forcing myself to make a decision before I was ready.
Things seemed to be getting better. Then 3 months later, D-Day #2 hit. That apparently changed everything, for H (from what he told me). I was extremely cautious, waiting for the other shoe to drop -- not wanting to believe anything anymore. It was a dark time for me. But I didn't feel strong enough to leave, so I allowed myself to keep that 6 month "deadline". But I did get stronger in asking for what I needed and setting/enforcing my own boundaries.
Shortly before the "deadline" was up, H agreed to attend Retrouvaille with me. That changed EVERYTHING. It made H realize our MC was horribly destructive to our marriage (she had basically been avoiding the affair, and letting him sidestep fixing things by turning blame on me -- why I kept going, I don't know... maybe because I didn't know what else to do). He asked to fire her at our next session, which we did. And then, through the Retrouvaille post-sessions, we began the real process of rebuilding. H was a different person. And suddenly I felt like I really, really wanted to stay, to see where we could take this thing if we kept rebuilding like we were. It was the first time I felt real hope.
Now, 2 years later, I am glad I stayed. Our relationship is so different than it ever had been. H is a very different person too. He doesn't just say the "right things", he backs things up with actions -- actions that would be extremely difficult to fake. I've begun to trust again (though my heart is still cautious, and probably always will be), but he knows that trust was and is hard earned, and easily could be broken forever. We both agree that our relationship is exponentially better than it has ever been, and gets better all the time. And, now we have a daughter, who he loves to pieces, and I believe she's yet another motivator for him to stay faithful.
I move forward knowing that I'll never be able to control what H does. He may very well decide to hurt me again. But *I* will be okay; I will survive. I have choices, and I have power. And I have faith that all the work we've done will not be in vain. If nothing else, I'm really enjoying life again now, and I have a baby girl who is everything to me. So, I feel like so far I've come out ahead.
And, I think about how, had I left, I wouldn't have these things -- a beautiful daughter, a marriage that feels solid and happy, and all of the memories and things we have built together over the last 15 years. I may have ended up single for a long time. I may have ended up with a guy I thought was great, but who turned out to break my heart too. At least with H, he's the "devil that I know". And H has got a lot to lose at this point, whereas a new guy might not.
I don't regret my decision to stay one bit. It can get better. Doesn't mean it always will, and only you can decide if that's even probable for your situation. But if you want to try, and you think there's even a glimmer of hope, why not? At least if it doesn't work out you won't spend the rest of your life thinking "what if...?"
Fully in R! (and successful Retrouvaille "grads"!)
The last few years since dday have been better than ever. When we got married in 1998, I never really knew what being married was all about.
Now, whenever we can (and some times when we shouldn't) we snuggle in bed, entwined 'til noon, and luxuriate in the feeling of love.
That said, I still have thoughts that she did "that" with "them", but she has consistently refuted my triggers.
She recently was leaving early to see a friend in a nearby town in rehab, so the friend's house was empty. She left clothes to wear for the morning that included two pair of underwear... Which caused me to have a semi-major freak out.
She couldn't have been more supportive and helpful - she actually understood why I had triggered, and what was causing me anguish the night before.
I really think I'm back to 99.5% pre-A, now... It really feels great.
D-Day #1: 12 Aug. 2008. WW's 2nd affair w/college teacher.
D-Day #2: 18 June 2009. Affair #1 with neighbor was fall of 2002 - while I was coping with the fallout from 9/11.
Still trying to R.
22 years married
Both had DDays and TT
Do not let others be your reference for who you see in the mirror.
Stop allowing people to hurt you, because you don't love you enough to walk away.
I am humbled and filled with a sense of hope and strength, thank you.
Ding dong, the bitch is gone! Settling into the life of a single dad.
Dday was less than 3 months ago and my fWH has been trying so hard, both to support and love me and to do the work on himself and his childhood that needs to be done. The topper was this weekend, when we performed together as Clara's parents in our local town's production of the Nutcracker. We danced and acted and had the best time. This is far outside my fWH's comfort zone, but we started ballroom a few years back (strictly to make me happy at the time) and have taken it to this level. I was proud for the whole community to see us on stage together as a loving couple.
Currently I am pain and anger free. I understand that we are not done with the work and I am not done with the pain, but we are in such a good place right now!
But it happened. First I was surprised and amazed we made it a week. Then before I knew it the weeks turned into months and months into one year. It's not been all "mai-tai's and Yahtzee", not by a long shot. There's been sleepless nights and difficult talks and gut-wrenching sobs, from me AND from him. But, it gets better. It truly does.
I have my best friend back. My H and I do everything together, willingly and joyfully, the way it was the first six years of our marriage. Our conversation and communication skills are off the chart now - We learned the hard way what happens when you don't communicate what you're feeling to your mate.
We've become much better at recognizing triggers and working through them together, even though some days it really, really sucks. Because to borrow the phrase from the hair color commercial - We're worth it!
So I would say to those new to the process - I know that where you are right now sometimes seems insurmountable; it felt that way to me when I was new in this. I would read the comments of those further along than me and think 'yeah right, no way in hell this will get better'. Don't give up. It's worth the effort.
Don't look back...it's not where you're going. - Unknown
Many thanks to SI, to MH and DS, and the members who were here in 2003-2006 that were so much help. I learned so much from talking to all of you, and gained a lot of confidence in how to handle things during our recovery.
All those problems are in our distant past and we are doing really well.
Thanks again to SI!
"Some people call a willingness to work on things 'compromise'. I call it 'love'". - erzulie
It's been almost 19 years since DDay and 18.5 years since R began. We have come a long way during that time frame.
At the time of the A, we had no kids, it was the 2 of us and we had only been married a few years. After 5 months of Hell on Earth, we managed to come back together.
Since then we started a family. We have 2 beautiful children whom we adore. We treat each other with respect and love. We are in our second home and life seems to be going great.
We still have our moments (the ones all couples have....disagreements and such) but we have never fought. We have learned so much about one another and we try to make sure we don't take each other for granted.
As far as the A is concerned, I forgave her completely. I will never forget about it, but I will not beat her up over it. She has apologized enough and has shown remorse.
So for those that are trying for reconciliation, yes it is possible and it takes hard work, but it truly can be worth it.
Full disclosure: I found SI during a google search for controlling mind movies. My wife has not done anything to cause me to come here after all this time. She does not know that I have come here as I don't want her to relive this either. I'm trying to personally handle some emotional issues that cropped up about 5 years ago when the OM got a job about 2 minutes from where I work. I ended up seeing him every single day. Well he no longer works there....thank god! However, this caused the mind movies to start all over in my head and I will be seeking help in the forums concerning this.
Also, any information I can give to help another couple survive and lead to reconciliation, I am happy to provide. Just ask....BS or WS it doesn't matter.
[This message edited by LA44 at 4:11 PM, February 11th (Monday)]
My FWW and I were married in 1973, after being together a few years, and living together for one. When we got married, we made a wow to each other that even adultery was not necessarily grounds for divorce between us. We’d seen so many friends and friends’ parents break up over momentary lapses of judgment that we wanted to make sure there was another road for us to follow. Today, we call that R.
Almost 7 years to the day after we first slept together, the “Itch” caught up with her and I found a strange woman at my door informing me that we had both joined the same club, as the BS.
I was devastated, and confronted my WW that night. She denied it of course, but I only know one way to interpret, “They’ve been taking off work early and fucking in the afternoons.”
That led to a couple of months of TT and minimizing as the A continued and I dug the truth out of her. I thought a multi-month A that required planning and deception was well out of bounds of our vow, but I stuck it out and eventually got her to end it. I know this would have been a deal breaker for many, and it almost was for me.
She proved to be more emotionally detached than I knew, and refused to talk about it much, so it took me more years to heal than it should have, but we stayed married. We didn’t have Dr Glass, or SI or the internet and so we made a lot of it up on the fly, and in hindsight, we could have done our R a lot better. Lots of lumpy carpet in our house.
At her constant urging I finally had an “A of my own”, a ONS with the W of an associate. I guess my W thought getting even was part of the process. To me, it felt like more damage from her A, but at least the sex was good.
I recently found SI after getting triggered into excruciating flashbacks and have been going back and doing some of the work we should have done the first time. Later is harder, but it can be done.
SI has been a lifesaver for me, I’ve learned a lot and it is still sinking in. It’s getting better every day.
I thought I’d “affair-proofed” our M with my fidelity, attention, affection and support but I now see her risk factors were off the charts. Her FOO issues such that’s it’s likely I was making it worse by being such a good H. Wow.
I will never claim that our M is better than it would have been without our A’s, it’s not. My FWW says it was worth it, because she discovered that the grass isn’t greener anyplace else. Maybe that’s because she learned the lesson, and I paid the price.
I’ll repeat what I’ve said here before, the SI process is brilliant, but it is an ideal that does not have to be perfectly executed to have real value. Even half a loaf is a healthy meal. And it’s so good to know you’re not alone.
We’re about to celebrate our 40th anniversary. We have a couple of kids in college, a beautiful home, and some savings. Our friends see us as a model couple, and although we know better, we still love each other and I’m glad we’re still together.
[This message edited by MoreWould at 5:16 PM, February 15th (Friday)]