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Years out

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Iamtrash posted 5/2/2020 09:08 AM

Iím just looking for opinions from couples that are years out from infidelity. People that consider themselves in R or working towards it.

Do people truly find their marriage is better after an affair (obviously with work)? How or why? What makes it better?

For the waywards, are you ever afraid that you will never understand the full extent of your BSs pain? Do you ever feel afraid they theyíve just learned to bury their feelings and tolerate what youíve done?

For the betrayeds, do you ever feel like youíre lying to yourself or burying your feelings in order to reach R? What makes R real or fake for you? What was it that finally made it a place where you were ok? Maybe not healed or great, but ok.

Is happiness after an affair a myth? The numbers are clearly against any marriage surviving that has had cheating. The reality of staying together, even with work, seems like such a fairy tale. Is love just not enough?

Any feedback welcome, whether in R or not. I just want to know what was it that made R possible. I would guess it is many things, but did you ever feel you had to bury your own true feelings and pain to make it happen? Do you ever feel like the only way to get to R is to live with soul crushing pain for the rest of your life?

Nanatwo posted 5/2/2020 10:12 AM

You ask a lot of very good questions. I am the BS so I will try to answer from my point of view - and it will be different for other BS.

Is our marriage better? Yes and no. We are more open and honest with each other. Communication was never his strong point - but he has learned to share his feelings - he has finally come to realize that I may not agree with everything he says - but that doesn't mean I don't love and respect him. Unfortunately, the scar from his A will always be a part of our marriage - and that does sadden me.

Honestly, the WS will never fully understand the extent of the pain they have caused. It's like seeing someone burn their hand on a hot stove when you have never been burned - you can see they are in pain - see the red swollen hand - but unless you touch that stove you will never understand what they are feeling. I was not one of those BS who buried their feelings - I was very vocal about what I was feeling - and that was one of the things that helped us - I was able to get my feelings out and he was so very supportive when those feelings would overwhelm me.

When infidelity hits the BS is consumed with so many feelings - shock, anger, devastation, loss of reality , loss of sense of self, so many feelings the mind cannot process them all at once. I realized early that I was burying my feelings - but only because I couldn't cope with them all at once. It was like peeling away the layers of a onion - I dealt with one feeling at a time. That is one of the reasons it takes so long - one cannot deal with all those emotions at one time. For me, I had to deal with those feelings - I kew I couldn't live with buried feelings - I'm just not that type of person.

No, happiness after infidelity is not a myth. I don't like the concept of happiness - reminds me of the Smurfs! We are 7 years post DDay and we are content with our marriage. It is true what is said - first you have to heal yourself then heal the marriage.

We will be celebrating our 37th wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks - we both worked hard on ourselves and then the marriage because we both wanted to build an authentic marriage based on honesty and respect.

Don't get me wrong - our marriage still is not all sunshine and roses. We know that the scar of infidelity will always be a part of our marriage - but it doesn't define our marriage.

It takes years to start to truly heal - but the pain does fade. I know it doesn't seem possible now - I still remember that soul crushing I can't deal with this I just want to die pain - but it really does start to fade. What helped me the most was to just meet the pain head on because I knew if I tried to rugsweep or deny the pain that would just prolong it.

I apologize if this reply is a little long. There is so much that goes in to R and trying to heal from infidelity - that's why there are entire books written on the subject. You will survive - it will get better - take what works for you - IC, reading, posting on SI - and work on yourself.

The cure for the pain is the pain - Rumi

Zugzwang posted 5/2/2020 10:14 AM

The dynamics have changed. It is a partnership instead of me relying on my wife. I do more because I actually enjoy doing it. Communication makes it better. Since I have changed, I can communicate without feeling like anything and everything could be an opening for someone to take advantage of or attack me. I have accepted myself. Matures. I don't need or want those first stages of a committed relationship. It is now that quiet stage. I want to play games with my family and I want to enjoy them. Vulnerability makes it much more intimate. I will never know how it feels. My wife didn't bury feelings. She isn't that type of person. Which was important for my own personal growth because I learned how to communicate from her. There isn't any tolerance here. Just acceptance. For example, I know my wife doesn't feel passionate about me like she did before I chose to hurt her. We both have accepted that and I am mindful of what I do have. Deep love. I don't need that passion. That I want to rip your clothes off want/need/desire like I wanted to prove my worth previously. I have something better than superficial passion. I have a wife with grace, mercy, and forgiveness that stayed and worked through this with me. That level of commitment and intimacy is worth more than passion to me. Yes, it is better. Just addressing the marriage R part. It wouldn't have happened without my own R.

godheals posted 5/2/2020 11:16 AM

Do people truly find their marriage is better after an affair (obviously with work)? How or why? What makes it better?

Yes I do. Before my A we did have a lot of problems with the M and of course it had nothing to do with my cheating. After the A of course there was a lot of things I had to do on my part. It come to a point where my H was able to forgive me and we were able to move forward. We both recognized the area of the M we needed to make improvements on. Communication was a huge one. We communicate a lot better then we did before. Spending time together. We never spend anytime together. Listening to each other when we are feeling a certain way. Learning we are on the same team and supporting each other. We donít hold things over each headís for very long. We fight less and able to overcome fights better.

For the waywards, are you ever afraid that you will never understand the full extent of your BSs pain? Do you ever feel afraid they theyíve just learned to bury their feelings and tolerate what youíve done?

I am not afraid that I will never understand the full extent of my Hís pain from my A. The thing is I canít. I canít ever fully understand it. No WS can. I can see and recognize what I did to him that caused him pain and make a choice not to ever hurt him again like that. My H never buried his feelings about my A. He told me what he was feeling when he was feeling it. Was probably how I begun to understand what I actually did was a huge fucked up thing. He never held back. I am glad he didnít either. Now we are at the point we both can talk about the past but we are at peace with it. There are times I am so shocked how he can be so clam about it.

Happiness after an A is not a myth. It can happen. I would just say itís a rare thing. Probably because the WS didnít do the work or it was too much for the BS. Which is fine. The BS has ever right to feel like itís too much for them. Is love not enough? No itís not. My H never stopped loving me after knowing about my A but he did hate me for what I did to him. Told me over and over that love may not be enough for him to stay with me because I hurt him so bad.

We both know that infidelity is part of our story but it donít need to be the whole story. Yes there are times it does make me sad I canít ever say I was truly faithful to my H. And my H canít say he didnít have a faithful wife. I told him this a while ago. He told me not to be sad about it. He was not. He is happy with the progress we have made and he didnít want the past to continue to hold us back or prevent us from moving forward with our M.

Itís always going to look different for everyone. I can honestly say my H loves me more now then we first got M. How do I know this? He told me this. He tells me all the time. I love him more now then we first got M also. Why? Because he gave me the gift of a second chance. Gave me my family back when he didnít have too. Gave me back a life that I didnít deserve. Literally went through HELL and back from the pain I caused him.

Darkness Falls posted 5/2/2020 12:50 PM


Iím 10 years out. My BH is not a member here.

When I cheated weíd been married two years. We divorced (his choice) immediately after I was caught after 5.5 months of the A.

We got remarried 2.5 years later. Weíve been remarried now for 5.5 years and have two small kids.

I donít sugarcoat: our relationship sucks balls. We are both unhappy but we stay for the kids. I also take personal responsibility: I knew the minute we started talking about getting back together that we werenít right for each other anymore but I figured it was ďgood enoughĒ and was too lazy to find someone else, plus being in my 30s and the bio clock ticking, etc.

Spoiler alert: it is NOT good enough and if I could kick my own ass into next week, I would. No, love is not enough.

BraveSirRobin posted 5/2/2020 12:56 PM

For the waywards, are you ever afraid that you will never understand the full extent of your BSs pain?
I think about this a lot. I could argue that I do understand it because I'm a madhatter. I literally sat by myself crying one night, knowing he was out with another woman on a ONS RA. But honestly, that didn't give me a grasp of what he went through being blindsided by my four month EA/PA. This isn't meant to minimize the struggle of any BS who is working to overcome a single night of infidelity, but for me personally, it would be a false equivalency.

I do feel like I can conceive of the level of pain that he went through based on another life experience. Most of the symptoms -- both his and those of other BS -- match what I felt when my sons died of complications of prematurity. Grief, denial, rage, sleeplessness, inability to escape the agony whether awake or dreaming, memory loss, weight loss, self-reproach, powerlessness, destruction of a planned future, and suicidal ideation are all things I have experienced firsthand. It wasn't caused by infidelity, and yet it taught me more about that depth of suffering than his actual ONS did.

Of course, remembering isn't the same as actually experiencing. You can remember the pain of breaking a bone, but that's not the same as feeling it snap all over again. I believe that there are levels of pain that defy imagination, because the brain goes into protective mode and blunts the effort. I don't think I can fully grasp the pain of a person who lost a child yesterday, even though I went through it almost 21 years ago. I try to remember what it was like, and survival instinct won't let me occupy that space. I would fall on the floor screaming if I really, truly let myself remember it. I let my husband's pain in at that level just four times since D-Day 2, and all four instances were physically incapacitating.

Do you ever feel afraid they theyíve just learned to bury their feelings and tolerate what youíve done?
All the time. Although I'm just 18 months out from D-Day 2, we had decades of false R after D-Day 1 because I was still lying. Burying and tolerating is exactly what he did. He was good enough at it that we had some very happy times together, but it always came back.

This time around, we're both committed to going for R head on and all in.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 12:57 PM, May 2nd (Saturday)]

sisoon posted 5/2/2020 13:14 PM

Do people truly find their marriage is better after an affair (obviously with work)?
9+ years out, our M just is. We maintain it pretty much every day. I don't compare any more. It always was good, except during the A, and people with a different experience will probably give a different answer.

For the betrayeds, do you ever feel like youíre lying to yourself or burying your feelings in order to reach R?
Yes - but I think it makes sense to question everything.

Besides, the best we can do is evaluate our perceptions and thoughts, bring in our feelings, and decide on a course of action. I know I can be kidding myself, but I believe I'm on the right course.

Is happiness after an affair a myth?
Absolutely not.

The numbers are clearly against any marriage surviving that has had cheating.
I've never seen numbers that can be extrapolated to the whole population. The best numbers I've seen are Peggy Vaughan's, and her surveys show a majority of people impacted by infidelity stay together.

The reality of staying together, even with work, seems like such a fairy tale. Is love just not enough?
Love is absolutely not enough. Staying together and being happy requires facing and resolving issues, among other things, IMO.

[This message edited by sisoon at 1:15 PM, May 2nd (Saturday)]

Maybehurtforever posted 5/2/2020 15:59 PM

I have ended trying to reconcile. I think the thing that did it in completely for me was lies. It made it pointless to talk to him anymore. There was no point in full disclosure, no point to a poly (he proved he could beat it 3 times), no point in any of it. Even knowing that we are way past the point of no return, I would cherish any truth from him.

The cheating hurts. Nothing is going to take away that agony. If I had my best friend to help me through it I think it might have worked. But I didnít. I had an enemy whose job was to keep from finding out the truth. To minimize and to deny.

I think what most people are looking for is that special person they can completely be real with and to trust totally. An affair tells us we didnít have that. If that could be achieved, it possibly could form a stronger bond. I think the cheating will always leave us with a dark spot on our hearts but if the person that did this to us could have been the one to help us recover, then I bet a lot more reconciliations would happen.

LongSigh posted 5/3/2020 04:03 AM

Four years out, quite a few with more time under their belt have already answered but I have a few things to add.

Is our marriage better? Absolutely not. can never be sure. Infidelity is synonymous with deception and betrayal so I can NEVER know the full state of my marriage again. For me, itís only ok until I find out....next time.

Do they understand the extent of the pain? How could they? Itís literally like having your reality violently ripped inside out, by someone you love, for someone who means nothing. This is one of those you have to experience it, to know it things.

I can say I do a lot of tolerating my husband. I love him, but I donít feel like a partner to him anymore. I donít resent him anymore, but I am disappointed in his weakness. Itís a major turn off. Really, thatís what cheating and lying boils down to, weakness and cowardice.

I donít think Iím lying to myself to reach R. Unfortunately, part of our problem is that I canít lie to myself to reach R. The human mind and behavior are literally the focus of my profession. So I know the science behind trust and trauma. Itís a grim view through my eyes. Real R for me is restored trust. Faith in character. Itís almost impossible. Once itís violated, there will ALWAYS be moments of doubt about the spouse or fear of compromised emotional safety. Even if itís just quick flashes, it erodes the bond over time.

Iím hoping my wayward can one day restore my faith in his character since he canít rebuild my trust. I even know what itíll take but canít tell him since its authenticity would then be suspect. The clock is ticking. Iím ok now. Not happy, not hurting, just waiting for him to either man up, or the clock to stop.

Echoes of pain are bearable. We have them for all sorts of things. Loss of a partner, parent, pet, regrets and embarrassments for whatever. Soul crushing pain and intense doubt canít be borne long term. You canít really bury that kind of pain. Itíll only flare out in other areas of your life. Or, youíll shut down completely. I did that for a couple of months. Somehow just turned it all off. Nothing and no one mattered. Itís a protective mechanism in the brain when emotions are too Intense to handle without causing psychological harm. Careful there though. You can get lost and forget how to come back.

Really, the main question Iím parsing out is what makes it R, how do you get there, and how do you know?

I found my answer in absolute and extended solitude. Sent him and the kids away for a week and a half and just sat around with myself trying to figure out how can I ever believe in this man again. I found my answer and my soul tells me itís what I need above all else. For me, Its something tangible. unfortunately, Iím starting to believe heís actually incapable of providing it. Mores the pity cause I think I could actually Feel safe and be happy with him again. Iím close. But close isnít good enough. neither is love. Safety trumps love every.single. time in healthy relationships.

oldtruck posted 5/3/2020 09:00 AM

numbers are not against you.
85 % of marriages with an affair stay married.
men tend to be more willing to recover with a WW.

how well they heal is another story. staying married after an
affair does not mean there are no problems with healing the

from no healing, some healing, fully healed, a recovered
marriage better than before the affair.

there are no guarantees on this trip.

Jameson1977 posted 5/3/2020 12:20 PM

Iím a BH, nearly 5 years from dday 1, 2 years from dday 3.

Our marriage is better in some ways. My WW is healthier than any point in our 24 years together. Thatís the good part, for her, me and our son/

Iím forever changed. My whole take on life and things I believed in prior to dday is completely different.

So, infidelity changed us both, in a positive way for her and negatively for me.

We donít talk about the Aís too much anymore. Just this past week, I had four nights of the same dream I had after dday. The re-enactment of her last PA.

I did react badly, mind movies, Covid isolation driving me mad, started a new job in the middle of this pandemic, it all sort of came out. We fought for a day, but things are better.

After dday, any fights between my WW and I were bad. Now, with her IC, we have been able to bring back some of the normalcy to our relationship.

It is however, forever changed and there is nothing that can be done to go back. Makes me sad.

Newlifeisgreat posted 5/3/2020 23:33 PM

Sorry to throw cold water on this thread, but I thought I should put my two cents in.

I read this thread and thought about the original posters questions. Now I filed immediately so I can not answer the questions, but I copied and pasted this thread to 3 friends who were also cheated on, but stayed with their spouses. They are the only three people I know that were cheated on and stayed with their spouses.

Last night we had a virtual night out at a bar via zoom, and discussed this thread and their marriages.

If this is not a proper response to this thread just tell me and Iíll delete it.

The quick summary is that the three guys all realize that they have been permanently changed, and not for the good. They said that they are ridiculously more cynical about everything in the world, they are a lot quicker to anger, they smile significantly less, and are lot more callous towards many things. One of them said, ďyou enjoy the happy moments whenever they rarely come aroundĒ

Two of three confirmed that they still plan on filing for divorce as soon as their youngest child graduates from high school.

The other one said he thinks that he has a shot at actually reconciling with the wayward wife. He was cheated on the longest time ago, and he waited about 2 years before he had a revenge affair and told his wife all about it. He showed her photos and text sent to one another, as well as his g@@gle calendar which showed each time they got together. He and his wife then restarted from square one with the counseling sessions and healing. He said that his wife believed that they were fully reconciled when he had the revenge affair. But he said that he felt like he needed to do it in order for her to understand what she had done and the pain she caused. The revenge affair was a few years ago and as I said before, he believes he is going to make it. Personally Iím happy that I filed immediately and didnít have a revenge affair, I think that it would only increase the problems exponentially, but if it works for them......

The other two both said that there are happy moments, but those are about family events, not couple events. Both said that they get happiness from being more involved in their kids lives and activities. One said that he rarely goes out with just his wife. This guy said they are like long time friends with benefits that both love their kids. He said that if not for their kids, they wouldnít talk about anything. He believes that his wife believes that they are well on their way toward complete reconciliation.

The other guy, who was cheated on about 2 years ago, said that his wife is still trying anything and everything to make him happy, and while he is appreciative, it really doesnít matter. He still has a great deal of anger and bitterness toward her. He says he tries to put on a good face, especially if either of his kids are around. This one also said that he has yet to kiss his wife on the lips since d-day, and that he now understands what his wife meant when she said ďit was just sexĒ when she talked about her affair with the other guy because that is all it is with his wife now. He said that when he files, he wants her served at her work, because even though the AP left, many of her coworkers that knew about the affair are still there.

I believe his youngest is a freshman in high school. I donít think he is going to make it 3 more years, as I see him looking at, and being very friendly with a few of the single women at work. I also know that he turned down a promotion about a year ago. I THINK he turned it down at least in part because it might have an impact on potential alimony. At one time he told me that his wife made just a tiny bit more than him. I never asked him directly if that was the reason, but knowing him, think it is a real possibility. For me, it would have been cutting off your nose to spite your face, but to him, it would probably either be the principle or ďscrew herĒ. In the end, who knows?

As I said before, if the original poster believes this post is not appropriate, please let me know, I will delete or edit it significantly.

I wish you all good luck.

[This message edited by Newlifeisgreat at 8:53 AM, May 4th (Monday)]

hikingout posted 5/4/2020 08:47 AM

I can say itís possible to move on from these feelings, and possible to have a good marriage after. To go into it wiser, more developed with better skills and insights. But the things you are wrestling with are present for a long time as they are actually some of the obstacles that are the opportunities so grow into that better person. Change never takes place in comfort or it would never happen. That means there are times that we feel hopeless or tired or any number of things. We have to continue to look for what it is teaching us and look for where we can show gratitude and find joy and learn more self compassion. The more compassion we have for ourselves, the more we have for others. It create patience too. Itís the thing that allows us to go through it with them even if we donít understand all aspects and we hurt differently from them.

Be gentle with yourself also in that you are pregnant and it does effect your moods and state of mind. There is no way but through and how you manage that is going to determine what you learn and practice. I donít know that it evolved completely goes away but it does become less and less a daily part of life.

fooled13years posted 5/4/2020 09:09 AM


For the betrayeds, do you ever feel like youíre lying to yourself or burying your feelings in order to reach R? What makes R real or fake for you? What was it that finally made it a place where you were ok? Maybe not healed or great, but ok.

Infidelity is FUBAR!

Until someone invents a time machine there is not a thing you can do to change the fact that it happened.

There comes a time that everyone must accept this fact.

I am not speaking from experience but it seems to me that those who do stay together find a way to mitigate the possibility that something like this will never happen again.

Iamtrash posted 5/4/2020 11:39 AM

Thanks for all the responses. I am always afraid for what the future holds for us. Sometimes answers seem so clear and other times they donít. The reality of this lifelong pain is almost unbearable at times. I need to hear both sides of this.

These were all extremely insightful.

Sadwife53 posted 5/4/2020 12:26 PM

Iím 2.5 years from dday. R is going fairly well and at times I am truly happy. I can say with certainty that my marriage is much better in many respects. My formerly heavy drinking WH hasnít had alcohol in over 2.5 years and routinely does IC and AA. He spends much more time and effort on me and on our marriage than ever before, and he makes a real effort to communicate his feelings honestly. We were so busy with kids and jobs that we ran on autopilot for most of our marriage, not acknowledging or addressing our feelings or the problems in our marriage. He was immature self-centered and entitled his whole life, but now has found a new humility and sense of gratitude.

Iíve spent the majority of my waking hours outside of work since dday learning about all things infidelity, healing and forgiveness. It was the most traumatic soul-crushing experience in my life, but I feel that the my persistence has paid off. I found self-guided internal family systems therapy YouTube videos particularly helpful to sort out my emotions.

Things vital to our R:
While he can never understand the depth of my pain, he tries his best and accepts full responsibility for causing it. It is important to me that he not blame his choice to cheat on his perceived unhappiness or dissatisfaction with our marriage. If level of happiness or marital satisfaction is plotted on a line, the only pertinent point on that line is the point at which you choose to end the marriage. For a normal person with integrity, there is no space on that line where you are not unhappy or unsatisfied enough to end the marriage but are unhappy or unsatisfied enough to have an affair. That space just doesnít exist for healthy people. So all his whys had to do with why having an affair was ever an option to begin with. He has humbly identified and is worked to fix his character defects. Very difficult process taking years. Basically he had to change his thinking to agree with my thinking on a lot of things if he wanted me to feel safe in our marriage going forward. He of course had the option of holding onto his old beliefs, but heíd be doing it without me in his life.

We are both a work in progress.

I donít think love is enough for R. It takes a ton of hard work, patience and compassion for each other and for ourselves.

strugglebus posted 5/4/2020 14:34 PM

Love is never enough- not for ANY marriage but especially not for one that has been impacted by trauma on the level of intimate betrayal.

Iím coming up on 4 years out.

At this point I consider our marriage better in that we communicate extremely well now, we are vulnerable with each other and we are both empathetic to the other ones needs. Now we share the same goals and reality. This is the result of years of work on both our parts.

I donít feel like I am burying my feelings because I donít. I feel my feelings deeply. I meditate on them, journal, reach out to my support group and I share them with my partner if I am moved to. I donít hide hard emotions from him.

Recovery and reconciliation are real to me because I feel at peace with my decision to stay. I no longer seek justice. My partner adds to my life as opposed to taking from it.

Happiness post affair is not a myth in that I am certainly a real human who feels joy in my marriage on a daily basis.

I donít have soul crushing pain every day. I maybe feel slightly blue once every 6 weeks or so. Itís nowhere near crushing to me at this point. My husband struggles with what he did far more than I do at this point YMMV

R was possible for me because:
My spouse took full accountability right away
Dropped the AP immediately, without me asking
He did not blame shift or gaslight me
He did not mourn her in any way I could see
He dove head first into the work because he knew I would leave
He focused on empathy in therapy and stopped compartmentalizing
He took the lead on his own healing

I watched and waited for 5 months while he hustled and let him know he had a year and then I would reassess. Iíve reassessed each year. Until last year when I simply forgot and was surprised when he brought it up. So I guess I am keeping him

Iíve worked a lot on my own healing and he has worked a lot on his and weíve worked on the marriage together. Itís not easy. We had long marriage before this happened and two beautiful kids to think of and that provided motivation and a belief we could make it

66charger posted 5/5/2020 07:53 AM

I chose not to reconcile. In fact, I did many things to insure a reconciliation did not happen. However we have a child and are still in each others lives today.

What was it that finally made it a place where you were ok?

Many years later, My Xs garage flooded. In the process of helping her sort things out, I came upon several of her water logged journals. In order to save them, I placed tissue paper between each page and put them in a microwave. I did not intend to read them, but did so.

There it all was. Deep deep remorse and regret. Unfiltered devastation. Words she never said to me. I honestly had no idea what she was going thru. Would it have made a difference at that time?. Yes it would have. The hardest thing for a BS to do, is to believe you are there for the right reasons, after all you did chose another.

What makes R real or fake for you?

Is love just not enough?

Deep down you know if R is real or fake FOR YOU. Deep down you know if you love your husband the way he wants you to love him. Reconciliation is real if you live it. Love can be enough if you give it consistently. Neither R nor love mean anything if they are words on a forum or a wet journal.

Answer your own questions and keep talking to your husband.

numb&dumb posted 5/5/2020 08:03 AM

To me it is like this.

I used to put way too much emotional investment in my M and used it to define me. Through R I've learned to diversify that definition of myself. I've learned that it is never worth sacrificing who you are under the guise of "martial happiness." Further as long as my M adds to my life more than it takes away I will stay present in this M. I've learned that I do not need my M as I will be ok no matter what happens in the future. If my M ended I would not.

My grace has limits. Further my W is out of second chances and there will not be R 2.0. I will D and walk away. We are both 100% clear on that point. The only way I will stay is if my W works hard to ensure that our relationship enhances both of our lives. We both address issues as they come up now. We have a clear plan to address issues now. We don't left things "Assumed," or "unsaid."

There are plenty of happy moments for me, but not all of them are directly related to our M. It was misguided to think that my M would would be the only source of happiness in my life.

nightmare01 posted 5/5/2020 11:35 AM

It will be 19 years post dday this coming July. WW and I are still married.

Is our relationship better?
That's a tough question because while our marriage might have improved, I'm not better at all. AT ALL. I have nightmares still. Pain, resentment (a lot of which is directed at myself), uncertainty, and deep profound sadness. I've lived a hard life, and my wife was my only safe space - that's not true anymore. Other than those niggling issues, we get along fine.

R is fake for me because WW never answered all my questions (under direction of our counselor). I can't forgive what I don't know.

For me, happiness in my marriage is just a facade.

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