Return to Forum List

Return to Wayward Side

SurvivingInfidelity.com® > Wayward Side

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

First anniversary after dday

RedeemedSinner posted 5/28/2020 09:09 AM

Looking for advice on handling this day I know we are both dreading deeply. Dday was 6 months ago and weíd be making 17 years in a couple weeks. BW has not decided on reconciliation and still cannot see how people recover from this. Canít blame her one bit. I see how much my decision has tainted our once beautiful marriage. I donít know if to just survive the day without talking about it is the less terrible choice. Or should I just say how sorry I am for ruining this day for her. I ruined the day of her dreams and turned it into a nightmare. Thanks for any advice from either side of this.

thatbpguy posted 5/28/2020 09:54 AM

As a BS, I would say to keep it tuned down as much as possible. Maybe a card letting her know you love her and will do whatever is needed to R. But no big surprises or giant bouquet of flowers.... Just keep it simple and humble. Also, maybe suggest some takeout she might like... Again, keep it low key.

[This message edited by thatbpguy at 10:53 AM, May 28th (Thursday)]

RedeemedSinner posted 5/28/2020 10:19 AM

Thank you BPguy for your advice. I was thinking of just grabbing some takeout from a place she likes. I know itís no longer a day to really celebrate, but hope one day we can have another date to remember.

JBWD posted 5/28/2020 10:30 AM

If you guys are openly communicating I believe an apology in conjunction with something that will make her comfortable (I think take-out is a fantastic idea) is workable, AS LONG AS you truly strip your mind of any expectation. I think too often WSs are deeply motivated by reciprocity, so deep it might not even be recognized. While saying you know the date is ruined you have to truly appreciate that this wonít be what I call a ďJohn Hughes momentĒ: There might not be a ďconvenient resolutionĒ to the pain of the day, and you need to know that going in.

I donít know how effectively youíre processing that a lot of desire to R can be misdirected, but simply put this is a date thatís going to likely invoke pain and not much else.

gmc94 posted 5/28/2020 11:48 AM

RS - your posts have often about whether or not to talk to your BW. And I still don't have a sense of what your BW has asked for/wants (eg, has she said she wants you to bring up the A?)
I guess I'm wondering if you two have talked about what - specifically - she wants from you.

Our first anniversary was also about 6 months after dday. The worst part for me was him not bringing up any of the issues we were dealing with, letting his conflict avoidance, which is an underlying factor in his As, continue to dominate his approach. To me, it felt like he just wanted to rugsweep it all... just wanted to have a nice evening - like we would have before dday. That just did NOT work for me. At all.

Personally, I think something that demonstrates YOUR growth and change is the best "gift" for a BS, even on special (or formerly special) days. I've recently read on some other BS threads (and sorry, I can't think of what they are off the top of my head) about the WS being proactive, and creating a plan for their change/growth. If my WH's anniversary "gift" had been something like a list of what he has done, is doing, and plans to do to repair the damage, or to work on himself, or to grow and change into actually being and behaving like the facade of a man he'd created (to me and to the rest of the world) would have been great. Even if my traumatized brain wasn't very receptive at the time, it would have demonstrated action and thought. Instead, I got something in a jewelry box that I still (nearly 2 years later) have not opened.

The old adage that "its the thought that counts" rings true after dday. What are the "big" or emotional things she seeks now? Have you done a complete timeline? What about things like an impact statement - basically a letter describing how you understand all the devastation she's feeling, but from her perspective.

At the end of the day, the problem for me was that I just wanted to feel better. And 6 months in that is really hard. And for your BW, like me, there was a LONG time of living a lie. My WH continued his PA for years and did not come clean, but I think the damage is probably pretty similar. IOW, 8 years is a long time to be in a M that you later learn is not based in truth. Being deluded for such a long time really fucks with one's sense of reality and trusting themselves to understand what is happening in the deeply personal parts of their world. That length of time adds another layer & dimension to the trauma - and healing - IMO.

I'm making some assumptions here based on your earlier posts, but it sounds like you had already started to do some reflection/inner work which is what prompted you to come clean to your BW. And I think that deserves some kudos, as I think that is more of an exception than a rule. So, I'm wondering if some of that internal work done before dday feels remote to you... and if your BW senses that you aren't doing a lot of internal work post dday?

anyhow, just a couple of thoughts.

ETA:

simply put this is a date thatís going to likely invoke pain and not much else.
This is soooooo true. For me, that date is still nothing more than a very painful reminder of all that was lost by my WH, and all the hopes & dreams that will never come to pass. It is important that the WS be mindful of the likelihood that their BS will feel the same.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 11:53 AM, May 28th, 2020 (Thursday)]

Thissucks5678 posted 5/28/2020 12:46 PM

To me the best thing you can do is to ask her what she wants. Youíve made enough decisions without consulting her, and that didnít work out. Tell her what you are thinking of doing and then ask if any of those ideas will work for her. We went out to a fancy restaurant for our first anniversary after dday. It wasnít bad, there were only a couple of tears on my behalf. We had to do something because my kids wouldíve wondered what was wrong if we didnít.

I personally am not like a lot of other BSs and I do still value my anniversary. We have even renewed our vows on our anniversary this past year. So I wouldíve have been really upset if my WH blew it off. The most important thing to do is see what she is ready for and what she wants from you and then actually listen and follow through.

No matter what she decides a heartfelt apology for ruining the day and putting her in this situation usually canít go wrong.

RedeemedSinner posted 5/28/2020 12:52 PM

Thanks for the responses. Thereís not much communication. We are both in IC and she has asked for space and time. she always says she just not ready to say reconcile. Days I see her really struggling with the weight of it, Iíll apologize for having brought that upon her. Sometimes she says she just doesnít want to talk about it right now, so I completely respect that. I in no way expect anything from her. I know every moment I have is just undeserved grace from her.
Iíve changed a lot over these years, but I know I am no where near perfect so I continue the working on myself. I truly just know this date is going to be brutal on her, she does fb and I know thatís going to be hard. I just want advice on ways I can help and not hurt.

Justsomeguy posted 5/28/2020 15:25 PM

I only had the discomfort of onevannniversay before I pulled the plug after Dday. It would have been 5 months after, so very fresh. I told my WW that under no circumstances was she to mark or mention the day in any way. As well, she was to communicate with all family member who knew of the affair to respect my wishes and do the same. For those that did not, it was her responsibility to delete and messages concerning the date. It was a day that I wanted erased. Then I did whatever the hell I felt like 9n tge day. I think I left town to visit a buddy.

Ask her and respect her wishes. Oh, and put way more effort into doing this than you did stepping out. That might be a good signal that you are serious about R. Whatever you do, dont try to win her back. Earn her respect.

Notmine posted 5/28/2020 17:05 PM

I agree with other posters...something simple, humble, low key. An action that shows your care for her, like doing laundry or cleaning. Just do this without saying anything and do not expect any outcome. This is to make her life a little easier during this time. I also agree with the take out, but don't expect to eat with her if she needs space. No "Happy Anniversary", because it is not happy, and not even an anniversary to her. A statement like, "I was thinking about how much you mean to me today and want you to know how sorry I am that I hurt you and our family". That is it. Present it to her on a tray and let her choose where she wants to eat it. Be carful that there is NO connection with the restaurant or eating out and your affair or the other woman. I would be careful of cards....they can sound contrived. She should hear your message to her from YOU.

Sammi posted 5/28/2020 18:19 PM

This is a tough one. Iím a BW July will be four years since dday which happened two weeks before our 30 year anniversary. Iím sorry itís a no win situation, it is way to early. You will be damned if you do and damned If you donít. I wanted him to acknowledge it but when he did I threw everything in his face. However if he didnít acknowledge it I would have thrown that back at him. Do not buy a generic card, maybe a blank card to write something meaningful in. I still donít celebrate our antiversary (probably never will) but that is just another gift of infidelity. Take out sounds good just donít expect anything in return not even a thank you. Good luck itís a long tough road, when they say 4 to 5 years to recover it is spot on.

RedeemedSinner posted 5/28/2020 21:30 PM

A lot of good advice. Thank you all.
Not mine, I liked that idea of just treating her special and not making it about the anniversary day. We both know what day it is. Iím just dreading it because I know she is dreading it and she shouldnít be in that position about a day that was such a special moment in life. I hope one day I get the honor of asking her to renew our vows, but I canít expect that. Thanks again everyone.

Tred posted 5/28/2020 22:08 PM

We are both in IC and she has asked for space and time.

I'd give her that mate. Let it be just a day if she wants. If things work out and you reconcile, I would doubt that it goes back to "normal", more likely that it will evolve to suit what your relationship becomes. I'm 8 years out and got an anniversary next month. For the first anniversary (8 months from D Day) we did nothing. I didn't want to even think about it. Second year, not much different. After that, it wasn't a big deal. We would go on a golf trip sometime in June, and that was our implicit "anniversary". Most years since then my member/guest golf tournament falls on our anniversary, so her gift to me is dropping me off at the club and picking me up. I appreciate it, but it's what she would do for me on any other day. I'd prefer every day be something I can appreciate than just the day we tied the knot. It's a milestone, but so are chalking days in a prison on wall.

pinkpggy posted 5/28/2020 22:26 PM

Today is my 14th wedding anniversary and the 4th since dday. We do not celebrate it nor do we mention it. It's just another day. But before dday we didn't celebrate in any way, we just acknowledged it. He made it clear he no longer wants to do that so I respect that.

Cornucopia posted 5/29/2020 23:57 PM

Ask her. Phrase your question with respect to her pain. Don't assume anything. Particularly, don't take her choices away by deciding for her what would be best.
Then do what she says. Every detail of what she wants is important.
And whatever you do, it's the one day you're going to have to focus on no defensive behaviour, no minimising, no "yes buts".
Our first anniversary was 3 months after DDay. It was hell. But we got through it. I had not yet decided on R.

[This message edited by Cornucopia at 11:58 PM, May 29th (Friday)]

ChamomileTea posted 5/30/2020 04:23 AM

Your BW has asked for space, so I would say that your best bet would be to not make plans which demand her presence in a couples date, like dinner reservations or theater tickets. Buying gifts can be problematic too. Say, you buy her a piece of jewelry... well, every time she looks at it, she's just reminded of where she was in her life when you gave it to her. So, unless you KNOW that there's something she's had her eye on, you might try a gift which doesn't result in a memento of the occasion... like a spa day for her and your girls (or something similar.. you want to make sure that whatever you choose, appropriate precautions are in place due to COVID).

You might plan a dinner at home, buy a nice dessert, and take responsibility for preparing the meal with nice place settings, etc. But most important is the card. It needs to describe your understanding of what you did. Sit down before you write it and look at your wedding photos, watch your wedding video if you have one, look through old cards, whatever it takes to put you back to the day of the wedding. Then... tell her all the things you remember from that day, things you WISH you had thought about before you cheated. Tell her again WHY you confessed after so many years and about the emotional connection you still want to repair through complete and total honesty. Make the promises you want to keep for the future. And remind her that even though you understand how this day might be tarnished for her, that it never will be for you because you will never regret marrying her.

I found out about a month before our 32nd anniversary. It would have meant a lot to think my WH had pulled out the old photos, had THOUGHT about what he wanted to say, had spent some time thinking about what that day meant to him at the time. And of course, a month after DDay, I wanted nothing to do with the anniversary, but even then, I could see it's a no-win for the WS, damned if you do and damned if you don't. So, my advice is to err on the side of "do".

Refraining from making a couples date is a nod to her request for space, card and gift she can reject if she wishes but they don't carry the weight of never-ending reminders. Making food and dessert isn't over the top 'cause people gotta eat. The card is where it's at though, because if you spend the time with it, she'll know that your anniversary still means something special to you.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 4:33 AM, May 30th (Saturday)]

RedeemedSinner posted 5/31/2020 08:05 AM

Thanks for the advice and suggestions. I actually thought about a spa day, but donít think those are open yet. I think I might pickup some food from a restaurant she really likes that is a couple hours drive away. I do agree that jewelry or gifts might not be right for this moment.
I have been looking at her photos a lot, wedding photos included, and to see how her face was filled with such happiness and contentment that she had found her ďprinceĒ Man it really stings to know I ruined that dream for her. Those dreams she had as a little girl of getting married and living happily ever after, just squashed. Sorry if Iím off track, but I just hate that this day is ruined for her and us.

pinkpggy posted 5/31/2020 08:36 AM

Then that may ruin the restaurant for her if it's tied to the memory. Have you thought about just asking her and having the hard conversation? I think that would at least show you are validating what you did has taken this away from her. My husband made it clear he didn't want any form of celebration or recognition for our anniversary after dday. I think the idea of just stepping up that day, taking on household duties, cooking a dinner and letting her have the day to herself is your best bet.

[This message edited by pinkpggy at 8:37 AM, May 31st (Sunday)]

ISurvivedSoFar posted 5/31/2020 09:32 AM

I think the point here is infidelity made the wedding anniversary a grim reminder of what is lost. It makes her think of it as a farce. Why? Because when you took your vows you promised to be faithful and to love only her. And now that promise is meaningless in her mind.

I can tell you for me I felt used. At this point in the recovery I felt like what we had before was an illusion and any comments about a happy anniversary after made me feel like he wanted this for him and not me.

It is a no win situation. I think for me having my WS acknowledge that this day must be hard for me and asking me how I feel and what I need would have been better than asking me what I want or how I want to celebrate (which was impossible). Honestly any gift or gesture of a gift just felt hollow to me at that time.

I don't think I have any great advice here other than to say she is hurting beyond anything you can imagine and the anniversary is an opportunity for you to acknowledge the destruction and to be whatever she needs at that moment.

RedeemedSinner posted 5/31/2020 21:26 PM

Very good points about the restaurant bringing up memories. Iím already the cook in our home, but maybe some nice takeout from a different place. Honestly I donít want to celebrate the day either because I know itís ruined, but I just want to be a support for her in anyway I can. I really value advice from everyone especially the BS points. Thank you all.

Return to Forum List

Return to Wayward Side

© 2002-2020 SurvivingInfidelity.com ®. All Rights Reserved.     Privacy Policy