deena04 - I am a firm "not stay around if he cheats" kind of girl. I agreed to try, but I know in my heart there is no way I will ever feel the same again or even want to be his wife anymore.
For some, the affair is a deal breaker right from the get go and for others, its a realization that comes after trying to reconcile. Either way, the decision from the BS to leave is utterly one that belongs to the BS. He may beg, he may plead but in the final moments, its your decision.
However, I would like to ask why you feel the way you do when you say your a firm never stay girl?
Do you feel that "once a cheater always a cheater" is a truism? Was his affair truly a sign of character defect (serial cheater) or was this a classic "perfect storm" affair. Is Redemption something that just can't happen? Do you fear that he can't change his spots or have you just lost respect for him and his bad decision?
I recently posted a thread in both the WS and R forums that touch on how hard it can be to make the hard decision to either S or D. From what you say in your profile, it seems that while you made a decision to R, in fact, your heart was never fully in it at all. Is that still the case?
Your right that you will never feel the same again. Marriages that survive affairs don't get better because of the affair, in large part, they survive despite the affair. Closer and deeper relationship build on a honest understanding of the faults and strengths of each partner along with great communication skills developed in the aftermath of the affair can exist. In some respects, the trials and tribulations can be a source of empowerment resulting in a more authentic partnership which did not exist in the pre-A days. Still sucks, though.
I think you need to eventually decide what it is that you can settle for. If this new post A husband sucks and or if the marriage still sucks, then do yourself a favor and leave. Better a new life on your own where you have hope for a future than being stuck living in a marriage that you can't stomach anymore.
To WS - How many of you did everything right from DDay on?
My H went NC, totally transparent, IC, MC, books, articles, websites, remorseful, understanding, owns his shit, ALL the stuff he is supposed to do perfectly - even though I tell him I don't trust him, and end many sentences in MC about "us" with "As far as I know". (There was TT for a couple days after DDAy)
I am committed to R as well. I do what I'M supposed to do. I have never yelled obscenities at him. I don't "jab" at him about the A. I am loving, kind, considerate, and caring. I have REALLY tried to understand where he is.
We are loving and affectionate. We talk. We spend time together.
But I am FREAKED OUT because this seems to be too good to be true. He was such an incredible liar to me during the affair, and NOW he knows all the things that made me suspicious, and what makes me feel more trusting, etc (like a road map for the perfect lie, right?!) So I worry that he is just doing everything he knows he SHOULD do, but isn't REALLY being honest. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting to find out he lied to me about something, or finding our he is in contact w OW.
Our MC says this is a defense mechanism. When i start to feel things are good, I begin to look for things to tell me they aren't because if I believe they are really good and begin to really trust again, that I put myself in a place to get hurt again. I know this is true.
I thought it might help if there were some other WS who could tell me they "got it" from day one and did everything right. maybe then it will be easier to believe he is doing it.
We had a partial D-Day, one caused by my own discovery of something very suspicious though not conclusive. I'd suspected- and accused- her of an affair before that, which she denied (to both me, and really, herself.) But when I found it, and moved out, the shock for her was profound-- and it cracked her affair delusion apart. She hastened to bring it to an end, then lied about it for many months.
During that time, she was growing ever more disgusted with herself, her actions, and the manipulations of her Affair Partner. He pushed for renewal of the affair, re-asserting his false narrative of its transcendent meaning. (He was a PRO at adultery rationalization and moral justification, having done it before.)
But it just made her ever more sick, more repulsed by him, and ultimately, ever more convicted of her own unworthiness to remain married to me.
Eventually, her own conviction and guilt became too great. She'd lied so many times to keep covering up her past actions, and couldn't keep doing it and still telling me "I love you" or "I really want to stay married to you."
So she confessed, and in the perfect, broken way that Betrayeds long for. She expected divorce, and knew she deserved repudiation. She just wanted forgiveness, and said of even that, "I know I have no right to ask. I just hope so badly you can grant it to me one day."
It made forgiveness easier to grant. Because she honored me, finally, by surrendering the very future of the marriage solely to me. With no conditions or demands. No blaming of my past actions. Nothing.
I can't say everything was PERFECT. We had the predictable setbacks. But she is a different person--a completely different person-- as a result of forgiveness. She is a better woman than I married. A truer woman than I've met. And I neither doubt her love, her gratitude, nor her faithfulness.
I understand the fear-- the fear of being conned again. There's always the chance that could happen- to you, or me. Only time, lots and lots of time, will give you a fuller picture of whether the changes you see on the outside are borne out of changes you can't see on the inside.
I hope for you, and your husband, that they are.
ďNo, Lord,Ē she said.
And Jesus said, ďNeither do I. Go and sin no more.Ē
LostSamurai - Did any of the WS's take a long time to show remorse?
What defines a long time? Are you referring to a period of weeks, months or even years before the WS found remorse?
I think its more common for the WS to find themselves regretting their affairs in the days and weeks directly after D-day. I think it takes a few weeks, even a few months of seeing our BS's fall apart in pain and sorrow before we really find remorse. IMHO, I'm not sure that a WS can actually say they are fully into R if they have not found remorse.
For some WS's, especially the ones that continue to hide the affair even when caught or those who find themselves in the fog for weeks and months, dithering about whether to leave or stay, finding true remorse may take a very long time. In fact, I think it can be said for some that they never do find true remorse. IMHO, I would think that if you can go for a year or more, seeing your BS fall apart emotionally and physically in front of you and not feel remorse, then your ability to empathize is zero and you may never find it.
If you moved in with AP on dday, were you more mean to BS to "help" them make the break in the marriage? And if so, did you do it because it was easier for you to think BS hates you than to do the hard work of breaking the "addiction" to AP and R with BS?
Do WS REALLY fall in love with APs? Or is it a defense mechanism to justify the behavior? Is it different with LTAs?
If you did divorce after dday, did you try to win BS back ever or was D the thing that stopped you from expressing true R?
[This message edited by griefandrelief at 7:43 PM, March 6th (Thursday)]
If you did divorce after dday, did you try to win BS back ever or was D the thing that stopped you from expressing true R?
I did not try to win XH back after D-day; I accepted and respected his decision to divorce. The divorce did not stop me from feeling remorse.
Married 2.5 years
Reconciled and remarried.
Do WS REALLY fall in love with APs?
Speaking only for myself, I considered myself in love with AP during the affair because he was my ex. At the time of the affair, I rationalized it by feeling that I had never stopped loving him and would never have married XH had I known that he (the AP) would have wanted to get back together (he dumped me 3.5 years prior to start of A).
Looking back, I should have had way more self-respect than to carry a torch for someone so indecisive about me that he couldn't muster up the guts to ask for me back until I was married to someone else. And it goes without saying that I should have had more self-respect than to commit adultery.
If your X had indicated that the D was not something he was completely happy about, would you have tried to express R?
In this context I'm assuming "express R" means express remorse? If so: I did express it to him, even though I knew he wanted to divorce. And he definitely indicated that he was not happy about the divorce, at all---in fact he was very upset about the divorce, and he regrets divorcing now. But it was something he felt he had to do...and I agreed completely with him (and still do). There was no way we could have reconciled under the circumstances, even though I wanted to.
And honestly what did remorse look like. If I say something is bothering me she says she is sorry. Am I in a dog and I can't see some of her remorse.
How long did remorse last for you?
Thanks so much, Hufi!
LostSamurai - And honestly what did remorse look like? If I say something is bothering me she says she is sorry. Am I in a dog and I can't see some of her remorse? How long did remorse last for you?
I can't remember who posted it but recently a member described finding remorse as "when it happens, you will know it, its tangible in its effect on the WS" and I believe that to be true for a lot of the WS community.
While remorse may differ from WS to WS, I think I can be 100% confident that merely saying "sorry" is not proof of remorse. After all, I can say the words without feeling the feelings. Being sorry that I got caught is not remorseful. I think that remorse demands more than just words.
If you read the quotes below, you will see that a open willingness to step forward and support healing is a major component of remorse. The focus of the WS has to be on your pain and your healing and a remorseful WS will try their hardest in this regard. Not saying a remorseful WS will always be the model spouse, after all, they still have the same old habits and coping techniques to deal with post A as before but the intent to be supportive and pro-active in healing has to be there.
Now for some of us, myself included, on the day when I had to really see how much damaged I had just inflicted on LF, I was in shock, devastated at what I had done and terrified that I would never be able to make this right. I cried, sobbed and cried some more. It can be that dramatic. and yet for others, its something that comes quietly in the dark, in the quiet hours of the day and perhaps tears are the only sign of the pain.
I'm 6 years out and I don't think true remorse goes away. After all, each time the BS triggers or each time the affair impacts some other thing in our lives, the reminder of the pain and hurt should be rekindling the feelings of remorse.
You can check out the healing library at http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/faq_ws.asp#FAQ10 and I think these quotes might be insightful.
OktoberMest - When the intent behind the actions is driven by selfishness then there can be no remorse. When those same actions are done to improve one's self to learn from the disaster we created, and/or to help and support the BS, remorse can follow. A remorseful WS does not have to be in R and likewise R can start without a remorseful WS; but it cannot progress far and surely, will not succeed without a WS developing remorse.
Lostinthismess - Remorse for my fwh looks like pain. Like his soul has been shredded and he's slowly stitching it back together. I see him struggle with his fear of losing me and his family. I see him hate himself, sobbing at how could he have actually done it. It looks like a lot of work, to reshape himself and realize that there's still more to do. He looks weary and broken, but determined. That's what remorse looks like here....
Jrazz - Signs of true remorse regardless of where you are at include COMPLETE transparency and some degree of humility or ownership. Some people say "I'm sorry" and don't mean it. The ones that say it with humility are easier to spot - they don't hurl it at you and they don't expect that those two words are going to fix the situation. They are just. plain. sorry.
sadtoo - Remorse is different for everyone and how they express it is different. But the result should MAKE SENSE and FEEL GOOD to the BS.
steadfast1973 - Regret still focuses on how they feel about what they did, remorse is focused on how what they did makes YOU feel. If that makes any sense.
I hope this answers some of your questions.
[This message edited by HUFI-PUFI at 12:46 PM, March 7th (Friday)]
The thing is, it is not a natural thing for me at all. Detaching is easy for me, being present and vulnerable is not. I am in IC to learn and work on that part. Lots of work ahead but I'm all in and doing everything right that I can.
I would say to you to remain wary however, just because he is doing everything right doesn't mean everything is good and he is "cured". I am a master at acting how I know I should, it's part of this detaching ability I have. I know what I need to do, but I make myself think about it and be present in my actions. I want it to be authentic, not fall back on "faking" it.