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Betrayed Menz Thread - Part 34

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Brew3x posted 4/3/2020 12:04 PM

People stay married all the time after infidelity. Often they remain in fucked up highly dysfunctional marriages for decades. We see it all the time here on SI. Staying married is not the same as actually reconciling.


Anyone want to give me their idea of R, Iíve asked several people lately what it looks like and Iím still not sure. Some say itís the WS putting in the work. I get the NC, open transparent honesty part but beyond that Iím not sure. My WW and I both agree we want to build a better M but idk it kinda feels like rug sweeping. Covid 19 has put all that on hold, long story.

Butforthegrace posted 4/3/2020 15:59 PM

Anyone want to give me their idea of R

I think it's easier to talk about what isn't R. I think real R is one of those ephemeral things, like love. Could you define for somebody what "love" is?

I don't think R means forgetting about the A. In fact, I think R is the opposite. R works when the couple talks about the A any time they want, in any language they want, over and over again until they tire of it. The A remains a permanent part of the marriage, but its emotional weight becomes spent.

I don't think R means a BH stops feeling hurt. Couples that successfully R should expect the BH to feel moments of pain, and triggers, for life.

I don't think R can occur, at all, unless the WW transforms herself into a new person, a better version of herself, a woman her BH wants to fall in love with all over again. In the process, the woman she transforms herself into is completely invested in the process of healing and uplifting her man.

Loukas posted 4/3/2020 21:07 PM

Anyone want to give me their idea of R
I can't really give you my idea of R. It's only a theory having never actually experienced what a successful R is like. I can only tell you what it isn't. Hopefully some of the guys who have experienced successful reconciliation will chime in to share what it looked like for them.

Walloped posted 4/5/2020 08:50 AM

Hey Brew3x.

You asked a few questions and I thought I might chime in an provide my answers in case they help at all.

1) 180 - seems like opposite of R

2) Doesnít the BS have to put in work too?

3) What does R look like?

So, here goes:
1) The 180.
The 180 is not about D or R. Itís not walking away from the marriage and itís not a tool to manipulate your WS. The 180 is all about the BSís emotional health. In the wake of a DDay, thereís way too much drama and emotional garbage going on to make any kind of informed decision about R, D, or anything related to your marriage. The idea of the 180 is to disassociate yourself from your WS. You focus on your health, both physical and emotional, on what matters to you. You donít engage with your spouse and get your life in order. You basically remove the codependency many of us have in our lives by extricating ourselves from our spouses. What it does is it shows the BS that if they D, they will be okay. They are strong on their own and they will be fine. Then, when mentally healthy, the BS can determine R or D from a position of strength. Not power over the other. But internal strength without fear of the unknown. Thereís clarity and calm about life outside of your marriage. So if the answer is R, itís not because your scared, itís because thatís what you want (and it goes without saying that itís dependent on your W and the work they put in, remorse, etc.). A side effect of the 180 is the impact it has on the other spouse and as a result they get a bucket of water dumped on their head and in many cases it serves as a wake up call. But itís not meant as a manipulative tool. Itís about you. Not about the other person.

2) The BS putting in work:
The unfortunate and unfair reality is that the cannot simply just sit back and have the WS put effort into the marriage or R without any work from the BS. Itís a marriage. And despite the BS being the wronged party, if you are interested in R, itís going to require some heavy lifting from the BS. That doesnít mean the WS gets a free pass or anything of the sort. It means that the BS can assess their WS but they need to be involved in the marriage and engage with their WS (after the 180 is over and youíve decided to R, obviously). Everyone goes at a different pace, but whether itís IC and then eventually MC, discussing the affair, etc., the BS needs to put in effort toward R as well. Again, this doesnít absolve the WS and the onus is on them, but the BS has to play a role too. Not fair, but thatís the reality.

3) What does R look like?
This is a tough one and Iíd presume itís different for everyone. But maybe there are a few constants. A remorseful WS. Complete honesty and transparency about everything. Empathy. Being attentive to the BSís emotional needs and triggers and proactively addressing them or mitigating them when possible (i.e., a willingness to discuss the affair as often as the BS needs/wants to). Massive amounts of IC/work to identify personal issues and fix them. A slow rebuilding of trust. Consistent selflessness over time.

Notice, I didnít say NC, or giving up passwords, ownership of the affair, and not going to certain places, etc. Those are, in my book, prerequisites for R. Not indicators of a successful R.

How the above list manifests itself and how the WS exhibits those things will be different for everyone. But if theyíre doing that and thereís love between the two of you and a desire for the marriage to work, R is possible. It will still be tremendously difficult, but you have the ingredients for a successful R. Iím not going to get into my personal sitch too much, but I have all of the above and itís still a not so easy ride. I believe our R is successful but we are not fully there. There are ebbs and flows and ups and downs. Thereís a reason many people D after infidelity. And even for those who donít, that doesnít mean they are in R. It just means theyíre still married.

Anyway, my $0.02. Hope that helps.

Unsure2019 posted 4/5/2020 17:03 PM

Walloped,

Excellent post. I always find your contributions insightful as well as helpful. Iím not sure if this is the place to ask you, but I donít know how else to do it. Iíve read both of your threads in the JFO section and found them really helpful. Near the end of your last JFO thread, you said you would be moving over to the Reconciliation thread. Did you ever start one there? If you did, I would appreciate you pointing me to it. II would very much like to read what you had to say. Thanks in advance if you can help.

Walloped posted 4/5/2020 18:46 PM

Did you ever start one there?

Hey Unsure2019. Itís been about 4 years since then and Iíve posted numerous times in General and in the R forum, either my own threads or contributions to other folksí threads. I have a post or two in Positive R stories, as does my wife, who also posts in the Wayward forum. Sorry I donít have links.

DIFM posted 4/6/2020 07:56 AM

Anyone want to give me their idea of R, Iíve asked several people lately what it looks like and Iím still not sure. Some say itís the WS putting in the work. I get the NC, open transparent honesty part but beyond that Iím not sure.

There is a close relationship between what R means and looks like in a relationship, compared to the common concept of "reconciling" that we all understand when it comes to ledgers and accounting and your own checkbook. When you reconcile your checkbook, you see two numbers that are not the same but should be, and this causes dissonance and concern. The balance in one place and the balance in another don't add up. It is essential to dig into the details of what those differences are, why they exist, and what to do about the details associated with those difference. You do that because not knowing the truth about how much money is really available causes reasonable discord.

After the deep dive and significant work, when you and the bank are in 100% agreement as to how the gap factors into the two different numbers and everyone agrees as to why those differences exist and, most important, agree on what the actual available funds are, you have reconciled the issue. The bottom line number was not what you expected it to be. Something happened somewhere. It took lots of digging and work to expose why the differences exist and then there a decision that, if we all agree with the existence and the where and why of the gap, we can then agree to call the balance reconciled. There is a strong analogy between the general accounting concept of reconciling and the process and needs associated with infidelity reconciling.

However, the difference is that the process of reconciling the gap or differences that have been created as a result of the infidelity takes much longer and is far more difficult and taxing than the process of figuring out why two numbers in the ledger that should be the same aren't. But the concept is not that different.

R to me is that process that starts with both parties agreeing that the marriage balance is out of wack. The balance has been blown up. To reconcile requires that both parties, individually and together, come to agreement as to accountability and details about the gap that separates what should be in balance. If the person that is the cause of the checkbook being so out of balance is not willing to come forward with honesty and ownership of their part of creating the out of balance problem, then you can't say the process of R exists. To add, if the party responsible for causing the out of balance is not willing to examine their spending habits and resolve their need to overspend, just owning it and promising will not make that person a safe financial partner.

So to the question, what does R look like besides NC and honesty and transparency. There is one huge piece missing there: fixing the brokenness of the person that caused the gap in the balance of the M: the thinking, the view of the world, embracing humility. Partners that have a comfort level of crossing boundaries to cheat are unsafe. You cannot reconcile with partner that is not willing to dig deep, own up to, and repair that which was so broken that it enabled them or place their BS in such jeopardy and potential pain. A compulsive spender will not stop simply because they agree to. To cheat is a deep, internal character flaw that has to be resolved.

It is not just NC and honesty, it includes the necessary work that the dangerous, unsafe broken character of the cheating spouse must do to be safe and trustworthy. NC is not a trust builder any more than stopping the wife beatings is a healer to a battered wife. NC stops the knife twisting, it is not a repair. It seems that the rug-sweeping element most often is associated with the BS allowing the WS to not be required to actively and overtly engage in digging to determine the core brokenness and then committing to a lifestyle of choices and behaviors that show they are in continuous fix mode. A cheater must become humble and safe with their choice of words.

A cheater than sticks 100% to NC and who is committed to honesty can still exhibit wayward behaviors such as defensiveness, poor empathy skills, criticism of others and hypocrisy that triggers a BS anger and inability to "move on". A cheater is not unsafe only because of the cheating. They are unsafe because of thinking and choice making that affects many other parts if every day life. They have to fix that and that often takes much more work than simply staying NC and committing to honesty and transparency.

In my view, in addition to NC and honesty, if a WS is not actively fixing the everyday thinking and behaviors that trigger a BS, R is not occurring. Stopping cheating and honesty are not the fix. They are essentials just to open to the door to the possibility. Transforming their character is the fix. In my view, that is the only way the out of balance M can be reconciled.

Brew3x posted 4/6/2020 14:02 PM

All right those are some very good explanations of R. Iíve taken a hard look at my situation and had some conversations with my W and brought up my feelings about the A, Iím only 6 months from dday and although things are improving we are definitely not in R, maybe heading there. Does the WS always come around to R right away of can it take time? Or I guess it could be never too. My W doesnít express her emotion well due to a lifetime of trauma caused by cancer but if she gets upset enough she will take responsibility and own the A. Other times she does some minimizing and blame shifting, itís like sheís caught in the middle, does this or can this ever change?
Thanks

DIFM posted 4/6/2020 14:24 PM

Does the WS always come around to R right away of can it take time?

Rarely does a WS come around right way. A few stories in SI suggest some do, but the vast majority of stories shared says NO, they don't.

Or I guess it could be never too.

It very much could be never. Again, many stories of phony R, just time buying and rug-sweeping. It almost always boils down to whether the WS shows unmistakable remorse, empathy, ownership of all the details and pain, transparency, and honesty. How deep and how dedicated the WS is willing to work to repair. That seems the be the most important indicator of real R or phony R. Prior trauma is not an excusable reason for WW behaviors that create a false R.

Other times she does some minimizing and blame shifting, itís like sheís caught in the middle, does this or can this ever change?

Change is possible. How deep and hard is she working to fix the broken issues within her. The ultimate decision is on the BS as to how long they are willing to wait for the possibility of change or how long they are willing to accept the continued trauma and anger that comes with the lack of consistent efforts by the WS.

In my definition of genuine R, there is no blame-shifting or minimizing present. If there is, there is just time buying and hope making and something erroneously being called R for the sake of not addressing what must be addressed by both WS and BS.

64fleet posted 4/12/2020 09:41 AM

I would hazard a guess that most folks just stay married verses true reconciliation.
R seems a true unicorn.

Brew3x posted 4/12/2020 10:00 AM

I would hazard a guess that most folks just stay married verses true reconciliation.
R seems a true unicorn.


Ah so glad someone mentioned this. I was thinking about this, I was talking to a guy that told me he Ríed with his WW in 2 years, so I asked what that was like and what it looked like. Well his explanation was not R at all it was more like massive rug sweeping and white knuckling just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Iím not in R but I might be getting there and my M definitely seems better, we communicate more, express our feelings more spend a lot more time together but my W does still blame shifts and tries to minimize sometimes, She is improving. Is it possible to stay Married snd not truly R but still find a reasonable amount of happinesses ? This is not what I want but Iím curious if it happens.

64fleet posted 4/12/2020 10:48 AM

I am happy enough, mostly. I put zero value on M, and I was working with a fella married 40 yrs and he is soooo happy still, kids grown and he and his wife still into each other, really made me wonder why some of us marry whores. My spouse claims to have changed, maybe she has- too late I suppose? Too many guys? Too many years of lies? Not safe?
Some thngs are simply broken, not fixable.
My M reminds me of cars I see after a tornado- beat to smithereens, no glass except a brand new windshield, still rolling down the highway. No one wants to buy it,not worth repairing, but it still gets point A to B.
Got 4 years til the girl graduates, will reevaluate if the spouse hasnt drank herself to dewth. 3-1\2 liters of 80 proof cactus a week lately....

sisoon posted 4/12/2020 15:05 PM

Is it possible to stay Married snd not truly R but still find a reasonable amount of happinesses ?
I think there are many aspects to a good M, and nothing is perfect. We all have to compromise on some things. We all get to decide what to compromise on. I know my W wants me to share more, and I don't get it - that's on of her compromises.

WRT R, I guess I guess I look at M as a work-in-progress. I look for a trend that shows more happiness as time goes on.

My W is still more Co-D than I'd like. We've both been in a funk this last week because of stuff that happened in 1967 - 1967, for crying out loud! - due to her Co-D. But overall, she's getting less Co-D as time goes on. The 1967 stuff IS meaningful to her; she has a right to bring it up.

Some people think BSes who R sell themselves out. They think we have to put ourselves through painful mental gymnastics to stay M. Maybe it's that everybody has to put themselves through painful mental gymnastics to stay M.

If asked, we can submit our opinions for the requester's consideration. But each of us gets to decide what he'll tolerate in his M. Each of us has the right to decide what he'll accept.

bluewater posted 4/12/2020 18:18 PM

Got 4 years til the girl graduates, will reevaluate if the spouse hasnt drank herself to dewth. 3-1\2 liters of 80 proof cactus a week lately....


WOW!!! I remember you saying that she was a dry drunk. What happened?

64fleet posted 4/12/2020 20:51 PM

No clue,bluewater. She went to training in another state, drank there and brought home alcohol when she came home, was sober 7 yrs. Last yr Dr said to quit, liver function is down and it is enlarged. Same again last week from same Dr.
She seemz to drink even more since the dx. Doesnt remember eating etc.many nights.
She did AA six mos.2018.

bluewater posted 4/12/2020 22:40 PM

No clue,bluewater. She went to training in another state, drank there and brought home alcohol when she came home, was sober 7 yrs. Last yr Dr said to quit, liver function is down and it is enlarged. Same again last week from same Dr.
She seemz to drink even more since the dx. Doesnt remember eating etc.many nights.
She did AA six mos.2018.

Suicide by alcohol?

64fleet posted 4/13/2020 13:16 PM

I guess so, bluewater. Told her the kids need her, she said she was a bad example and they would be better off without her.
I asked her about it(liver dx) last year, says she just likes to drink. Me too but when the Dr says quit....my cholesterol was high last yr and I quit french fries-dropped my score 60 points
And I really like fries.
Not sure what- if anything- I can do at this point.
Talked with one of her AA peeps, they said they see it all the time.

sisoon posted 4/13/2020 13:40 PM

What a loss, 64!

rambler posted 4/13/2020 22:35 PM

The 180 is generally a reconciliation tool used when the WS is deep in the fog. It was written by the same woman who did divorce busters.


It does have benefits for the BS as well.

Reconciliation is not a place or thing. It is a feeling more or less.

For you, there needs to be acceptance. Acceptance is knowing that you will be ok with or without your wife. The problem you have is there is not an acceptance of without the wife. Since you can not guarantee your spouse, you remain a victim not become a survivor.

Your WW needs to find empathy. Often a BH being desperate to reconcile interferes with the WW from developing empathy.

Loukas posted 4/14/2020 13:58 PM

Often a BH being desperate to reconcile interferes with the WW from developing empathy.
Can you expand on this idea, rambler? Seems like it could be a good topic.

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