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Feeling Stuck in Anger/Plain of Lethal Flatness Phase

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Thumos posted 12/18/2019 19:19 PM

No matter what you say you're going to do if she fails it, you don't actually KNOW what you're going to do if she fails it, and you won't know until Monday night, and possibly long after that. And that is your right.

Actually I hope Iíve been careful to say I canít predict what Iíll want to do if she fails. If she passes itís a huge relief. If she fails Iím not gonna run out in the street raving and rending my garments. Iím going to take some time and think. Probably go off here for awhile and maybe even spend some time at a spiritual retreat.

BraveSirRobin posted 12/18/2019 21:00 PM

Well... You've actually said what you would do on a number of occasions. Here's the progression in this thread (dates are added by me).

The lack of transparency and giving me the full truth, the hard gaslighting, and the unremitting continued triggering Iíve had to endure. So if I feel that sheís fudging or just not willing to give me the level of accountability and admission I need, then Iím walking. 9/1/19
If my WW refuses to move forward with a poly, itís a deal breaker for me, and Iím prepared to walk. A refusal to submit a poly would be a tacit admission that she is simply continuing the pattern of gaslighting, burying information, refusing to let me see texts, withholding details, trickle truthing me, etc. Obviously I find this untenable, if that turns out to be her decision. 10/29/19
And if she refuses, it would in all the essentials prove she is lying to me ó so why would I want to continue to be married to someone who is so attached to their lies, and so untrustworthy? The logic is pretty clear for me on this, and Iím not budging. 10/31/19
So it's a big deal -- and it's a non-negotiable. It's a hard boundary that probably represents in some respects hard boundaries I should have put in place much earlier. I'd like to move on from the tactical debates on truth and fiction, as well, but I don't feel comfortable doing that until I feel I'm not moving forward under false pretenses. 11/3/19
All signs point to significant truth being withheld. I've said the poly is a hard boundary with me and it is. If my WW has been lying to me for three years, I can't see how I would want to continue a committed monogamous relationship with that person. 11/4/19
I am not backing down from the polygraph. I am willing to wait for the poly until after the disclosure appt. If she refuses I will institute an in home separation until I can find an apartment and formalize a separation. 11/5/19
While I donít think the panic attack was staged, I do think she is maximizing it for her own benefit and I think she intends to invalidate or refuse the poly on these grounds. Iím tired of debating with her about the things I need and most especially about the poly. I may ready to call it quits. If itís highly likely sheís still lying what is the rational perspective on even continuing with the poly. What is the rational point of trying to reconcile with someone who would do that for three years and then still try to weasel out of a polygraph? That person is still wayward and not reconciliation material. Part of me keeps saying Iíve come this far, I should at least see it thru. But do I, really? 11/8/19
Option A - I have to say honestly I would be relieved if she came clean with new information before the poly. That would make my decisions a lot easier, because I would know she was lying for three years.

Option B - So what if she doesn't give me a "parking lot confession" and still fails? Then I know with a high degree of certainty that she's been lying and I separate from her. It makes me sick thinking of it in that circumstance bc there's still an "unknown" and a small chance that she is telling the truth and just couldn't pass the poly bc of anxiety (this is rare).

Option C - What if she passes? I think I would need to accept the results of that too. Given her anxiety, I would think this would go a long way toward establishing and backing up her truthfulness. In that case, I do have a lot of work she has been doing to fall back on, and I would know I was dealing with a truthful person (most likely - yes, I know there are liars who do pass). But I think I would feel relieved in that direction too. Right now, my heart tells me in that case we would stay together, the cloud of limbo would lift and I would be more committed to an actual reconciliation. I wouldn't hold myself back as much. It would still take a lot of work.

Option D - She refuses to take the poly on the grounds of her panic attack and ongoing anxiety. In this case, immediate separation. 11/8/19

Given the widespread use in law enforcement, corporate, military and intelligence settings the debate about accuracy is pointless in my opinion. Nothing is 100 percent accurate and this is one more tool to help get at the truth. Full disclosure and truth must happen for a betrayed spouse to be able to at least put that aspect to rest and to make an informed decision. 11/12/19
That said, one thing Iíve learned through the past three years is that nothing about the aftermath of infidelity is linear. It is completely non-linear, circular, spiral even. Chaotic. Unpredictable. So for me to say how I would react in a given situation is really just spitballing at this point. 11/12/19
I guess what I meant by giving myself grace was I've tried to stop going through ruminations and self-recriminations about how I should have stepped up after D-Day. I did that for a long time, and bemoaned the fact that I let truth get buried. There's no use in this and the only way is forward. 11/26/19
If she passes the poly, then I will feel more secure that her detailed narrative is the truth. If she doesn't pass or I get a parking lot confession, I'll have to make a series of different decisions. It's impossible for me to predict how I'll react until I reach that Y in the crossroads.

That doesn't guarantee I will want to reconcile (EDIT: if she passes the poly). Hearing it all again yesterday laid out in so much detail was quite a sordid experience and it's still so deeply shocking that anyone you considered a loving, faithful spouse could ever do something like this to fellow human being, let alone someone they had pledged their lives to. 12/12/19

Cast away, believe me I've got plenty of self recrimination about it. I did some things right early on, exposed, did some shock and awe, and got essential truths, but I allowed other things to fester and participated in rugsweeping. I regret that, and it's one reason I'm so passionate about at least trying to keep folks in the JFO forum from making the same mistakes.

As to your essential question, I'm spending a lot of time pondering that in the wake of the disclosure session. Maybe the problem is that I've spent too much time ruminating about it the past three years and I've overcomplicated what should be a pretty straightforward decision on way or the other. 12/13/19

If I find out significant information has been withheld it's a dealbreaker for me. But if those two things (her timeline I just got and the upcoming polygraph) confirm she's been telling the truth, then I'll need to decide if on balance it's worth it for us to give this a shot.

I can't say today what my decision will be, because I'd be speculating in a vacuum. 12/13/19

In some ways sheís giving me an easier path forward. We donít have to twist ourselves in knots anymore, she doesnít have to do a restitution letter or talk about the affair anymore. Iím sure itís a relief for her in some ways.

I am ďdisappointedĒ that sheís turning out at the end of the day to be like so many other wayward spouses, I had hoped secretly that she was ďuniqueĒ somehow and she was going to come through and be one of these remarkable people I read about here on SI. I guess she just doesnít have it in her.

Itís sad but not as tragically sad as I thought I would feel. Strange. Maybe it hasnít caught up with me yet, or maybe Iím way out in front of it and she just really sunk that final nail in the coffin. 12/16/19

Iím done dancing around it. This has always been a clear point in my list of non-negotiables. 12/16/19
But now Iím no longer willing to do this status quo thing where we dance around it. I want the truth. 12/17/19

Thumos posted 12/18/2019 21:08 PM

That seems ... relatively consistent. I decided a long time ago that refusing the poly is grounds for separation. I havenít changed on that. Iíve said if she passes I would consider reconciliation, Iíve said if she fails, I would still lean toward separation but I canít say for sure bc itís all hypothetical. It doesnít read to me that Iíve changed my mind much.

Jorge posted 12/18/2019 23:10 PM

As others have said, it's pretty obvious she's chosen to go down without a confession, as she can always use the doubt that is inherent with confirming truth threw polygraph testing. With a polygraph result offering the 99.9% affirmative, sheís going to clean to the .01% chance itís wrong. The clincher for me, is her subtle, twice mentioning of a post-nup she Tells me, she's thinking through her post failed test strategy, to remain married by enticing you with a post-nup, in lieu of a failed test.

So, she fails the test (as she and everyone expects), has another panic attack following the failure, insists the test was incorrect or inconclusive, the process was flawed to begin with, then without an admission, swiftly offers a post nup offering and places the ball in your court. It's like when companies agree to settle class action or some other suit, and as part of the financial settlement, they craft the post settlement narrative by saying, the settlement does not represent an admission of guilt or wrongness. They then muzzle the plaintiff from making any public comments to mitigate post settlement damage.

I can see your wife, saying, OK, the test results indicate I failed, but they're wrong and inconclusive, and she continues to deny and refute them to her mom and sister and adopt a victim role now that the test is complete. She then starts with the post failed test strategy by offering the post nup to assuage your concerns about future infidelity. At this point, the pressure is off her and on you. Problem here is, should this scenario play out, youíre in the same boat in that she hasn't confessed. While the poly confirmed she is lying, you still have no details on what she's lying about, which is the prized result you seek if I'm not mistaken.

Another way to look at it, she gives you a parking lot confession by saying, "yes, there was more sex" and then says, thatís all Iím going to say about it, I gave you what you want. She tells you the truth, but by omitting details surrounding the truth, the confession is an empty one. Considering the degree of avoidance, dismissiveness, flip-flopping and sneaky, but highly effective manipulation, I wouldnít put this scenario past her. Seems kind of over the top, but that's been her M.O. for three years now, and especially in the last 3 months where your persistence and conviction has forced her to bring her A game.

This isn't a prediction, just a scenario to think about Thumos. You're doing a really good job considering the circumstance and where you've come from in the last 4-5 months. You've advanced in your "want to" and will significantly. Problem is, your wife's will is equally as strong, so you'll need to keep pushing the envelope further and with more conviction than you've had in the past in order to defeat her will.

BraveSirRobin posted 12/18/2019 23:17 PM

Well, that's good news, then. I read it more as a dichotomy between getting and not getting the truth, but I see what you're saying.

That also explains why she would opt to take the poly, lie, and fail it rather than not take it at all. You aren't sure you'll D if she lies and fails. You are, however, sure you will separate if she admits to three years of lies in a parking lot confession. And you will separate if she doesn't take the test at all. So purely from a strategic standpoint, if she has anything major left that she's hiding, you've set up a structure where lying and failing is her only chance at R.

Thumos posted 12/19/2019 00:02 AM

So purely from a strategic standpoint, if she has anything major left that she's hiding, you've set up a structure where lying and failing is her only chance at R.

Yep I set myself up. Seems like I keep getting it wrong in this cat and mouse psychic warfare the last 3 years. Women are better at it for sure. I find it exhausting and spirit crushing. I wouldnít have a different position on withholding the truth from me for three years though. thatís not a person I think I want to be with.

[This message edited by Thumos at 12:04 AM, December 19th (Thursday)]

BraveSirRobin posted 12/19/2019 02:14 AM

I wouldnít have a different position on withholding the truth from me for three years though. thatís not a person I think I want to be with.
This confuses the hell out of me. If she fails the poly, she's still the person who withheld the truth from you for three years. The only difference is that instead of finally coming clean under duress, she is doubling down and continuing to lie. Why on earth is that better?

romiane posted 12/19/2019 03:28 AM

I think you should maybe take an afternoon away somewhere calm, turn off your phone and start thinking about your situation in clear terms. You are behaving like a headless chicken with contradictory demands that put your wife in the impossible position of either telling you the truth and losing you (although with the amount of "I don't see/ I don't think ..." in your posts it's clearly not that clear cut) or continuing to lie and put everything in the possibility that the polygraph gives a false result.

Think about what are your dealbreakers, like think very deeply about them. And don't be afraid to be honest about them in a non-ambiguous way.

I've read on this website people who wrote very seriously that the affair was a dealbreaker eventhough they are still with their spouse and they are happily reconciling. Being this vague about a term's meaning can only invite confusion. Honestly it's one of the main reasons why I don't look for actual advice for myself in this website, and I restrict myself to reading, although I'm planning on posting my story when I'll come around writting it

So think about what exactly would make you leave (and not a "I fail to see how I could not leave"), and don't be ashamed to clearly say to yourself that there are things that you can move on from. If the EA was longer, if the PA was longer, if there were other affairs, each of these scenarios would invite a different response.

[This message edited by romiane at 3:38 AM, December 19th (Thursday)]

Butforthegrace posted 12/19/2019 05:07 AM

On a small point, I was thinking about your timeline for Nov. 5, 2016. That was a Saturday. You were at an event alone, and your WW did something other than what you did.

You know that, almost immediately when you left home, she was on the phone with the AP and, when you returned inside, she hung up right away and acted suspiciously.

She told you that the AP came over for a bit, dropped off his kid, stayed for some period of time, then he left, and she left to go to her 50th birthday party event.

Do you recall if, at the time you left, she was about ready to leave the home? If it was a special occasion like a friend's milestone birthday, she would likely have invested some time cleaning up, choosing and outfit, putting on makeup, doing her hair, etc. Where was she in the process when you left the home?

You say that you recall returning home about 9:00-10:00 p.m. Objectively, that's a somewhat early return for a Saturday evening, especially where you had to drive to a distant place for your function. Why did you return home so early?

You say there is some confusion about whether you arrived home first, or she did. Assuming she was made up and dressed up for her event, she would have likely spent a fair amount of time getting undressed, putting her event-specific outfit away, taking down her hair, and removing her makeup.

Do you recall what the state of her clothing/makeup was when you first encountered her that evening? Was she already "broken down" from the birthday party? That would mean that she had been home some considerable time. For example, if you left home at 6:00 and she left at 7:00, and then you returned at 9:00 and she was already home and cleaned up, that means she must have returned about 8:00 p.m. In other words, she could not have been gone from the home very long.

If she came home after you, then there may have been some time while you chatted as she was doing all of her post-party cleanup.

Do you recall whether she took a shower after you got home? Or, did it appear that she had taken a shower before you got home? Showering would not necessarily prove anything, but a person who has recently had illicit extramarital sex normally tries to shower to remove the odors of sex as soon as he or she can before encountering a spouse. This could, for example, explain why she was home so early (if she was fully cleaned up by the time you got home).

Finally, what was your normal in terms of whether the two of you had sex on a Saturday night? If you normally did, can you recall whether you hade sex that night?

On the poly issue discussed in recent posts, I've indicated that my bet lies with "no significant new outright disclosure, but likely inconclusive and possibly ambiguous results that she will try to blame on her anxiety."

I would remind you that you don't need a poly to tell her: "I don't believe you. I think you're lying." Even now, after the single mediated disclosure session, you are free to trust your gut about whether she is lying. It's also okay, if she presses you about the poly ("why are you insisting on this, don't you believe I've told you the truth?") to tell her you don't trust her. She has not earned your trust.

If she were to ask you why you harbor that feeling, you would be within bounds to point out that lying, deflecting, and withholding has been her norm since fall of 2016. Three years. Now, suddenly, she expects you to accept that she has changed that embedded pattern and is being 100% transparently honest? It is difficult to break patterns like that.

I concur with the others about the importance of pondering what you think you might do (keeping in mind the Mike Tyson adage -- "Everybody has a plan until they get punched"). My sense is that, come Tuesday, you'll be pretty much where you are today, with her sticking to the timeline she has given, but you plagued by nagging doubt about its completeness and/or veracity, fueled in part by the sense that puzzle pieces have been crammed into spots that they don't exactly fit, and in part by the cumulative impact of three years of DARVO/lying/blame-shifting/minimizing.

Really, in the end, I don't see her apologizing and seeking to make amends and help you heal in any real way from the Hell she has put you through. On your best day, I see her continuing to try to be a "good wife" on a going forward basis, hoping that this will be enough for you to simply rug-sweep the past and let bygones be bygones.

That may be enough for you. You have repeatedly described her as a charming, lovely woman, fun to be with, a real gem. To me that sounds forced. A real gem would not intentionally inflict the pain and humiliation she has inflicted on you. A gem would not do that even to somebody she doesn't like, much less her husband.

Your thread drifts through my head often. After wondering about this, I think it's because it is so extreme, even by SI standards, in the degree to which both the AP and your WW appeared to be intentionally trying to inflict the maximum possible insult to you as a man, a father, a paterfamilias, and a husband. The AP coming into your home and accepting your hospitality with the express goal of fucking your WW. Him making advance and her responding to his advances, under your roof, right in front of your face.

By the way, honestly, a married woman gets her ass touched inappropriately by a married neighbor on Halloween and her response is to almost immediately start meeting up with him for surreptitious canoodling sessions, culminating in sex in your marital home just a month later?

Your WW sneaking him into your home to be with your kids, while you were gone. Your kids!

What kind of woman does that? These actions are so utterly heinous. Completely at odds with your description of her as a nice person. A nice person would not inflict that level of insult on her enemy.

I'm hammering on these points because I guarantee that they will continue to float in your consciousness for years, probably decades, assuming you stick with her "bygones be bygones" plan. It won't go away.

This is why I've also hammered home "the Thumos who will be staring you down in the mirror in 10 years". From the beginning of your thread, it has been clear to me that, in the end of this process, you'd wind up more or less where you were when you started posting in August. At present, this is the case. Sure, she got a perfunctory STD test. Sure, she put on a one-woman 1-act mediated disclosure theater for you after making you wait 4 months for it (after 3 years of already waiting). Has she ever just sat down and talked to you about the A, as a wife? I dont think she needed two therapists and a couples retreat to engage in her A. Why does she need that to engage in her marriage? Why does the A come almost effortlessly, while a giant effort has advanced the marriage a fraction of an inch? If she wanted the marriage, she would go for it.

I realize there is the ongoing trauma therapy and the possible Retrouvaille in the spring. You've not talked on these threads about points of light or progress that have been achieved in the therapy sessions. The only point we know is that she did finally give her single disclosure.

What I notice is that you are still not at a place as a couple where you can discuss the A openly and freely at home, outside of the context of therapists. I frankly don't see how Retrouvaille can possible inject life into your marriage if the two of you come to it unable to have unmediated discussions about the A. It is, has been, and in my opinion always will be the elephant in the room that is stomping on your head, while she desperately tries to act as if it's not present.

Remember the rage you felt when you saw the AP at a school function recently. Rage. Dude, you're holding that inside. It's like drinking acid and trying to keep it down. Have you ever let your rage out at her, directly? In JFO, some of the earliest advice to BH's is to live your rage. You have mentioned that you've been hitting the bottle a bit more and the iron temple a bit less. That's not an accident. Your soul is unwell. The bottle is a refuge for an unwell soul.

On another item discussed above - the impact of D on children - I'm aware of the data, but I'm also aware of many successful children of divorced parents. Elon Musk's parents divorced when he was about 9. He was sensitive child, and small. South Africa in the 1980s was a violent, fucked up culture. Elon has done okay.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 7:20 AM, December 19th (Thursday)]

Sanibelredfish posted 12/19/2019 06:26 AM

Thumos, friend, I fear your tendency for analysis is beginning to work against you. You may be missing the forest for the trees. So, Iíd advise boiling this down to what you know for absolutely certain: she had an EA, which became a PA, and then she lied to to you and manipulated you for another 3 years in an attempt to rug sweep it all.

Does it really matter if she also jerked him off in the car on one of their meet ups? Should it? You are looking for a way to let her off the hook on a technicality in my opinion. One occurrence of PIV is forgivable, but two instances and a hummer arenít? You are spinning on things that are sort of beside the point, I think.

Her behavior has been atrocious and you are well within your rights to D her no matter the outcome of the poly. Her mental abuse alone is fucking ridiculous. You deserve better. Hell, anyone would deserve better!

Striver posted 12/19/2019 08:49 AM

Yep I set myself up. Seems like I keep getting it wrong in this cat and mouse psychic warfare the last 3 years. Women are better at it for sure. I find it exhausting and spirit crushing. I wouldnít have a different position on withholding the truth from me for three years though. thatís not a person I think I want to be with.

Remember the movie WarGames. The only way to win is not to play.

I'm sure she can run verbal circles around you. Mine could too. That is not intimacy. That is not connection. That is not trust. That is not honesty. That is not love.

Do you want to spend the rest of your life with her, given what you've seen the past three years? If you do, you're never going to have a good connection with her. You'll just be pasting a smile on your face and listening to her amazing spin and verbal gymnastics. But the game can end any time you want it to.

KingofNothing posted 12/19/2019 08:59 AM

What if I fail?

How can we stay a family for our son if I fail?

I totally support the poly decision Thumos has made, but part of me understands her anxiety, EVEN IF SHE DID NOTHING MORE THAN WHAT SHE ADMITTED ON HER TIMELINE.

In my case, I never cheated on my wife. I'm not a perfect human being and probably was a bad husband at times, but I certainly don't have that on my conscience. Yet, I wonder how I'd do under a polygraph, being asked questions about stuff I didn't do?

I'm a terrible liar. I can't dissemble worth a damn and try to avoid doing it-- that doesn't make me a paragon of virtue, just acknowledging I could never be a flim flam man. That's not a bad thing, really. Everyone lies at some level... to spare people's feelings for the most part. I've done it, but never very convincingly.

Strapped to a polygraph-- I wonder what would happen. Even telling the truth, I would be nervous and stammering. I know my weaknesses.

With that said, I know it's the right course for Thumos' situation. I hope she passes, for his peace of mind.

Butforthegrace posted 12/19/2019 09:06 AM

Strapped to a polygraph-- I wonder what would happen. Even telling the truth, I would be nervous and stammering. I know my weaknesses.

That is pretty common. Poly examiners know this and control for it. Even when examinees have anxiety issues.

Thumos posted 12/19/2019 09:13 AM

I feel like Iím getting fairly balanced perspective from most posters here and I want to say I appreciate it. That said, I will just note that for a site I thought was billed as leaning more in favor of reconciliation, there seem to be a lot of opinions here that really lean toward divorce ó and that reconciliation only succeeds in fairly unique circumstances where the WS does a heroic amount of work.

I read a certain ladyís blog who I think isnít welcome around here, and sheís absolutely 100 percent opposed to reconciliation ó sometimes her overly harsh rhetoric is a bit hard to take.

I had thought that part of the ďjourneyĒ of reconciliation was for the betrayed spouse to go through an expected and agonizing process of liminality ó which can last from 3-5 years if much of what is here on SI is to be believed. After this period, a new phase of reconciliation can begin. Or divorce and separation. It feels like Iím at that crossroads, but what a lot of folks here seem to be saying is that given my anger, humiliation, and pain reconciliation seems a risky gamble.

In which case, that would make a certain ladyís writings on this topic more correct than not, wouldnít it?

[This message edited by Thumos at 9:16 AM, December 19th (Thursday)]

Gunnut posted 12/19/2019 09:19 AM

When I had my WW polygraphed, the only new info I got, before the test, was that she joined Ashley Madison and chatted quite a bit but never met up with anyone. She actually complained to me is all the guys on the sight wanted was sex, duh. Some additional facts were fleshed out but no other new info.

I purposely made R contingent on her passing the poly and not D contingent on her failing. I figured that I needed all the truth in order to decide if I want to R. I figured she would be less anxious if the test wasnít a pass fail for our M. The first test was inconclusive and she passed it the second time with no new disclosures.

I never got the the satisfaction that I expected from her passing the poly. Her story still doesnít make sense to me. I do wonder sometimes if she found a way to beat the test or if she doesnít have a compunction to by bothered by lying. One drawback has been, when I ask questions about the Aís sheíll say ďI passed the Polly and you know everything.Ē
and then clams up.

hikingout posted 12/19/2019 09:29 AM

Okay, before I respond to these things, I want to make it clear I am not really defending Thumos's wife in the way I do think she is still lying. I can concede that as Thumos has stated, he feels he may not be as objective of a narrator for us to really be able to know what's going on, but we can pretty much all agree her behavior is suspect.

But, in Butforthegrace's response there are some definite places where I think that there is some overstating occurring:

Your thread drifts through my head often. After wondering about this, I think it's because it is so extreme, even by SI standards, in the degree to which both the AP and your WW appeared to be intentionally trying to inflict the maximum possible insult to you as a man, a father, a paterfamilias, and a husband. The AP coming into your home and accepting your hospitality with the express goal of fucking your WW. Him making advance and her responding to his advances, under your roof, right in front of your face.

While what I am getting ready to say is semantics in some ways, I want to say they probably weren't considering Thumos at all during this time. They were not doing what they were doing to intentionally inflict something on him. They were doing what they wanted to be doing, despite Thumos. Their motivations for how they were behaving was not with Thumos as a target. Their motivations were selfish.

I say this is semantics, because it still has the same effect, and I realize that. But, the reality of it is they likely pushed him aside completely in their mind. It doesn't make it better, but it more closely resembles what was happening. To them, the spouses were pushed aside. The way this reads is they intentionally carried out something specifically to hurt Thumos. Yes, they had to know it would, and it's the worst possible thing you can do to someone. But, their motivation was not to inflict pain on Thumos. Again, it's semantics, but I think it was enough so that needed to be restated.

By the way, honestly, a married woman gets her ass touched inappropriately by a married neighbor on Halloween and her response is to almost immediately start meeting up with him for surreptitious canoodling sessions, culminating in sex in your marital home just a month later?

They were already in an emotional affair by the time this happened. Again, not justifying it, but you have seemed to write your post as inflammatory as you can. I don't think Thumos needs help to feel angry, he's there. This post is reading like some of the ones that make me not read in JFO. And it always seem to happen on the male to BH posts.

And, while I agree that sneaking your AP in under the guise of a play date is heinous...I can also see where the playdates and the guy being in their house was commonplace, making it easier for her to justify and lie to herself about her motivations for doing it. I am not saying that's the type of thing that gets any of us mother of the year, but I don't think that it was maliciousness towards Thumos that was driving the behavior, it was her own selfish stuff to prop herself up on.


I get why you feel passionate about this, but honestly what is getting ready to happen for Thumos is going to be probably the hardest decision of his life. And, honestly if he chooses R after all this, that will be his decision. Let's see what happens with the poly, and where he stands then. This next few days is going to be hard enough for him to get through.

I hesistated to even speak up because I know your heart is in the right place, BFTG. I just felt some of what you said needed to just come down a notch.

I am as outraged for Thumos as you are, and if she doesn't go through with this poly, it's going to be even worse. But I think this man's nerves are about as frayed right now as they possibly could be. Let's try and keep that in mind.

Butforthegrace posted 12/19/2019 09:41 AM

Hiking, I appreciate your perspective, but I think your point of view is a bit of a one size fits all explication of adultery. Certainly selfishness and thinking only about one's self are usually hallmarks of wayward behavior during an A. No argument with me there. Also, dishonesty and deception as they sneak around and manufacture opportunities for time with the AP.

But compartmentalization is also a factor, and my observation is that is plays a big role in R. Here, almost the entirety of the A other than the actual intimate physical conduct occurred in Thumos home with Thumos present. I cannot imagine, honestly, a more bold face exclamation point "fuck you" by a WW than carrying on in this way. And then there is the fact that the sex itself, at least the sex he knows about, also occurred in the home. And the fact that she left all artifacts of the A in the home for Thumos to dispose of.

I really dont think I'm overstating things, at all.

Thumos, to your point, I know the blogger you're talking about and I dont disagree with her views in most cases, quite frankly. My observation is that true R works when it is driven by the I initiative

Butforthegrace posted 12/19/2019 09:45 AM

Hiking, I appreciate your perspective, but I think your point of view is a bit of a one size fits all explication of adultery. Certainly selfishness and thinking only about one's self are usually hallmarks of wayward behavior during an A. No argument with me there. Also, dishonesty and deception as they sneak around and manufacture opportunities for time with the AP.

But compartmentalization is also a factor, and my observation is that is plays a big role in R. Here, almost the entirety of the A other than the actual intimate physical contact occurred in Thumos home with Thumos present, or in the presence of the kids. Or both. I cannot imagine, honestly, a more bold face exclamation point "fuck you" by a WW than carrying on in this way. And then there is the fact that the sex itself, at least the sex he knows about, also occurred in the home. And the fact that she left all artifacts of the A in the home for Thumos to dispose of.

I really dont think I'm overstating things, at all.

Thumos, to your point, I know the blogger you're talking about and I dont disagree with her views in most cases, quite frankly. My observation is that true R works when it is driven by the initiative of the WW. It works when the WW throws herself into the process heart and soul. Yes, the BH must also be both feet in, but only if the WW is herself both feet in.

If you cannot communicate as a couple about the A, she is not both feet in. Period. And if that condition still exists three years after Dday, the chances of it improving are, in the immortal words of a colleague, "about zip point sheeit."

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 9:56 AM, December 19th (Thursday)]

hikingout posted 12/19/2019 09:48 AM

I had thought that part of the ďjourneyĒ of reconciliation was for the betrayed spouse to go through an expected and agonizing process of liminality ó which can last from 3-5 years if much of what is here on SI is to be believed. After this period, a new phase of reconciliation can begin. Or divorce and separation. It feels like Iím at that crossroads, but what a lot of folks here seem to be saying is that given my anger, humiliation, and pain reconciliation seems a risky gamble.
In which case, that would make a certain ladyís writings on this topic more correct than not, wouldnít it?

I have visited her site as well. And in many ways early on it gave me a good dose of reality in what I had just done, who I was.

The problem is not all people who cheat are irredeemable. Not all who try and R are successful, but not all of them are not unsuccessful.

The timeline to heal is 2-5 years based not just on this site but a lot of other well respected documentation of what happens after infidelity.

I think your situation is a bit atypical in that 3 years out you may not have all the information. I can tell you I am right behind you on the timeline and I can not even imagine that. 2-5 years in my opinion is closely built upon when full disclosure happens.

If you get the poly and she passes, that means as of your disclosure meeting you can possibly start thinking healing can begin. If that's the case, I would probably say your wife and you were ill-advised, you both conceded to rug sweeping, and with a full disclosure in which she didn't lie during then maybe you have the pieces where you can start to heal.

If you get a poly that she fails, then you don't even have someone remorseful enough to see what she is doing to you. This means to me, she has done no work on herself and she has been just self protecting this whole time to keep her world in tact. While that is understandable, the problem is you can't even begin to believe she has committed to be a safe partner for you. Your timeline is going to be significantly longer.

I was a complete fuck up about the whole first year after my confession, but with following this story, and knowing that I confessed to everything at once with no TT - I have drawn a conclusion more strongly than I ever have so far in my own journey - and that is the sooner you just get it on out there the sooner the healing can occur despite other obstacles, despite details, despite anything else.

I don't believe the particular lady that we are discussing is correct for everyone, but I believe there are a lot of people who should not reconcile because their WS for whatever reason is not at a place in which they saw their life at rock bottom and took control of that. And, I think there are times when a BS can't forgive. I don't think you would have been one of those BS. I think if she has not come clean and you D, you can rest assure that if you decide to go, you did more than most anyone would in saving a marriage after infidelity. And, if you choose R after all that, you will need to understand that your wife is not a safe partner to R with, and I don't even know what the requirements could be at that point to get her there.

hikingout posted 12/19/2019 09:48 AM

I had thought that part of the ďjourneyĒ of reconciliation was for the betrayed spouse to go through an expected and agonizing process of liminality ó which can last from 3-5 years if much of what is here on SI is to be believed. After this period, a new phase of reconciliation can begin. Or divorce and separation. It feels like Iím at that crossroads, but what a lot of folks here seem to be saying is that given my anger, humiliation, and pain reconciliation seems a risky gamble.
In which case, that would make a certain ladyís writings on this topic more correct than not, wouldnít it?

I have visited her site as well. And in many ways early on it gave me a good dose of reality in what I had just done, who I was.

The problem is not all people who cheat are irredeemable. Not all who try and R are successful, but not all of them are not unsuccessful.

The timeline to heal is 2-5 years based not just on this site but a lot of other well respected documentation of what happens after infidelity.

I think your situation is a bit atypical in that 3 years out you may not have all the information. I can tell you I am right behind you on the timeline and I can not even imagine that. 2-5 years in my opinion is closely built upon when full disclosure happens.

If you get the poly and she passes, that means as of your disclosure meeting you can possibly start thinking healing can begin. If that's the case, I would probably say your wife and you were ill-advised, you both conceded to rug sweeping, and with a full disclosure in which she didn't lie during then maybe you have the pieces where you can start to heal.

If you get a poly that she fails, then you don't even have someone remorseful enough to see what she is doing to you. This means to me, she has done no work on herself and she has been just self protecting this whole time to keep her world in tact. While that is understandable, the problem is you can't even begin to believe she has committed to be a safe partner for you. Your timeline is going to be significantly longer.

I was a complete fuck up about the whole first year after my confession, but with following this story, and knowing that I confessed to everything at once with no TT - I have drawn a conclusion more strongly than I ever have so far in my own journey - and that is the sooner you just get it on out there the sooner the healing can occur despite other obstacles, despite details, despite anything else.

I don't believe the particular lady that we are discussing is correct for everyone, but I believe there are a lot of people who should not reconcile because their WS for whatever reason is not at a place in which they saw their life at rock bottom and took control of that. And, I think there are times when a BS can't forgive. I don't think you would have been one of those BS. I think if she has not come clean and you D, you can rest assure that if you decide to go, you did more than most anyone would in saving a marriage after infidelity. And, if you choose R after all that, you will need to understand that your wife is not a safe partner to R with, and I don't even know what the requirements could be at that point to get her there.

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