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Why should anyone stay?

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Snowyjune posted 6/5/2020 21:34 PM

A question I have really struggled with these past few days is "why should he even stay with me?". And I don't mean it in the woe-be-me attitude where I give up.

As WSs, there's only upsides post A, when your BH tries to work towards R.

- have an A because of various reasons and gets all the corresponding feelgood feelings
- post A, gets to understand ourselves more and find out underlying whys
- become better people and pray it is enough for BS to want to be with you

- no crippling fear/ pain/ trauma pre A

- post D day(s), life is painted over with an angry, depressing brush
- constant fear of something bad happening
- you don't know who your WS is anymore
- don't trust your reality or anyone or yourself anymore
- triggers everywhere, stabbing you in the gut with knife at any moment
- humiliation and self doubt constantly
- Desperation to feel better, but just not being able to, wanting to love your WS but just cant

The list goes on. BS who consider the R route, there's no upside to anything, because what we ask of them fundamentally, is to accept and to try and ignore or overcome all of the above, in hopes that WS will wake up.

Why should they take the leap of faith?

In another thread, I read that all BS would have done things differently in hindsight, would have chosen D immediately. They will never respect or see WS in the same light again. Everything is different.

WS will never get 100% forgiveness, BS will never forget, so why should any BS stay? The trauma will always be there.

There's no real answer to this question. This is just really hitting me so hard and painfully, seeing my BH struggle through no fault of his, and that I can never make him whole. He would make any other woman so happy and that kills me, that it wasn't enough for me.

I feel that all WS, regardless of whether we become better or not, are all cake eaters. Because at the end of the day, we literally went to have fun, and regardless that we are better people because of that, at the expense of our BS.

Just feeling so lost..

Hippo16 posted 6/5/2020 22:42 PM

I think you have stated some good points.

However - some BS do really love the WS and do so enough to swallow pride and ego and embarrassment and all the other emotions to try and if the WS comes clean, no lies, and works their ass off to become a good mate - in time the marriage can become good - maybe better.

However #2, there is always the pink elephant in the room - "You cheated." Both have to master that topic and it has to be together or time will bring the festering pain to the forefront and separation will ensue.

the only thing you can do and this is for both WS and BS is be the best you can be and resign to accept that may not be good enough. but you tried

don't flog youself - work to fix yourself and bring your integrity up to an unimpeachable level

the rest will ensue and you may lose your BS but you will be better for it and the future possible mate and you will eventually find peace and happiness

it happens

Thanksgiving2016 posted 6/5/2020 22:50 PM

I agree with all you have said. In the end, even close to DDay,I felt sorry for him in a way. I couldnít imagine being the person who inflicted that on someone. My spouse. I can only say that for me itís truly important that he understands the depth of pain that this has and does cause and that he is truly sorry. And he seems to. Most of the time, he still pisses me off sometimes. I will also say I told my husband and never have thrown it in his face.

[This message edited by Thanksgiving2016 at 10:59 PM, June 5th (Friday)]

Stinger posted 6/6/2020 06:29 AM

I corresponded with a therapist who said she had a lot of experience dealing with betrayal trauma. She told me that in her experience people with very firm boundaries who know this is a dealbreaker heal the fastest. They accept it, move on and find happiness. They have firm, strong convictions and abide by these, so, not a lot of confusion about what they should do.

BeyondRage posted 6/6/2020 07:40 AM


Your question is very valid. If you ask the next 100 men you encounter what is the one thing that would be a deal breaker my bet is that infidelity would be the first thing on the list. But the fact is the overwhelming percentage of BH do NOT immediately leave and WW know it. There are MANY reasons that have nothing to do with love, which they all have or had.

Now while many will say these are not great reasons to stay, in reality they occur

(1) KIDS. A BH who leaves immediately leaves because of his wifes cheating now immediately finds himself alone and with his kids in most cases less than half the time

(2) FINANCES. Women have made great employment strides, which by the way not needing men for finances contributes to the increase in female infidelity, but in many cases the BH will find himself not only without his kids but in a shitty apartment, little furniture, and paying alimony and child support out the butt.

(3) SEX. Yes sex. If you read a book called His Needs, Her Needs, the author says sex is the primary need for most men in a relationship. Now you have a BH who on top of the above two points, is faced with for the first time in many years having to pursue women in a state of humiliation and poor self esteem.

(4) ISOLATION. Men are much less open about their problems, especially sexual issues. If you doubt that, when was the last time you heard about men having a sex toy party with wine discussing how many orgasms they get. We are much less inclined to ask for help.

You are 100%correct. All of the above has to be overcome to reconcile, but that term in itself is loaded with what it really means. Technically, if you are not divorced or separated, and still living in the same place you are "reconciling" in most cases. But even if we stay, what the new marriage becomes many times leaves both people miserable and somewhere down the road divorce happens but infidelity may not be blamed.

Obviously, an enormous amount of the answer to your question is dependent on the situation, the mental makeup of those involved, etc. Experts have been trying to answer your question forever. There is no real correct answer. Never will be.

This infidelity mess will continue to grow. For people getting married in their 20's who expect to live into their 80's there are a ton of minefields that many cannot navigate.

Just do your best for your BH, let go of the outcome, and hope.

Pippin posted 6/6/2020 08:10 AM

Snowyjune, I just wrote this to someone on a message and have cut and paste for you. So it doesn't speak so specifically to what you wrote but in the ballpark and that's what I have time for this morning :)

My husband and I sometimes joke (and also talk seriously) that the ways we were both broken fit together perfectly. His mother was a wayward who really wrecked his life with her misadventures. Some of his "brokenness" involved finding a woman to redeem. So it felt like a life's mission to him to help me - and thankfully for both of us I desperately wanted someone to help me and have faith in me. That was part of my "brokenness" and hyper independence that I grew up with. I did not get help I needed at critical points in my childhood and I was taught to believe I was an evil person. Finding someone who helped me when I didn't deserve it, and who believed in me when I was at my worst, was life changing. While it worked out for us, both of us also want to get a bit more control over those broken parts, so things feel more like a choice and less like compulsion.

It worked out for us, but it's also understandable when the adultery leans into people's wounds and hurts and they need to restart with someone else. It may be that someone wants a husband or wife who doesn't have deep wounds they need to fix. It's understandable but it is very sad to watch.

My husband and I also notice how our "brokenness" is sometimes really hard for the other person. He gets massively stressed when there is conflict with the kids. We have several teens so there is going to be conflict. I have to remember after a scrap with one of them to reassure him that he is safe. I forget sometimes - especially because the conflict I have with teens is moderate and normal - and that's really hard for him. On my side - my father didn't speak to me for years so when my husband is quiet for a bit for any reason I think he is condemning me and hating me and only with me out of duty. And, he's a pretty quiet and private guy (in some ways that's why I chose him, I was so used to it and anything else would have felt weird). But I have to check frequently - are you mad? Are you thinking horrible thoughts about me? and sometimes I'm so sure he is that I'm too scared to ask the question and everything he does at that time feels like confirmation that he despises me. He has to remember that I truly think that might be the case even though it's so far from the truth for him. Sometimes he forgets and that's painful, though I'm recovering more quickly, and he's learning how to help me.

Anyway Snowyjune, I hope that helps. For us it was a chance for both of us to revisit and heal old wounds, to gain a much deeper understanding of ourselves and each other.

Stinger posted 6/6/2020 08:57 AM

I read a book by Michelle Langley called "Women's Infidelity". She claimed that she did follow up interviews with all of the men she had previously interviewed and who had decided to stay.

She claimed that 100% of these men, at the roughly 18month point, regretted staying. Her theory was that, initially, there was a desire to reconcile due to 2 reasons, primarily:

First, fear of being alone and the unknown.

Second was a sense of competition with the OM. They wanted to win.

She said that after these 2 reasons had subsided, the men realized this "Prize" they had sought to win, was no prize at all. And their fear of being alone had largely abated.

Makes some sense to me, as, IMO, cheaters are deeply flawed and abusive people. Their abuse is seldom confined to fidelity and manifests itself in many areas. Once infidelity lifts the blinders off a BS, he or she can see more clearly what they have been putting up with in the marriage.

Thissucks5678 posted 6/6/2020 09:39 AM

I am a BS who stayed and Iím almost exactly 4 years out. I went through about a year and a half of pure hell where I felt all of those things you are describing in your post. Today, I donít feel that way at all.

At some point, a BS who stays has to decide to accept their decision to stay and to begin their own healing process. I love my WH and our life together, but I am disappointed in myself for the power I gave him over me. I allowed myself to lose myself so completely that when dday hit, it broke me. I will never allow that to happen again. I had put my WH on a pedestal and he was the center of my universe. Never again.

It is so important once a BS can function again that they work to build their self esteem back up and know their worth. They need to develop hobbies and outside interests that are separate from the WS and know that no matter what they will be just fine without the WS. It takes time and hard work, but it can be done. I will say that the trauma from this betrayal is awful and I canít imagine going through this with an unremorseful spouse.

I am a completely different person than I was pre-dday. I actually like this version of me better - scars and all. I am so much stronger now. Some of the things you read may be true for those posters. They are not true for me. I respect who my WH is today. I do not regret not getting divorced. I have bad days, but I canít remember the last time I cried over his affair. I donít really have too many triggers anymore. The majority of our issues now are regular marriage issues - not cheating issues. Itís not all necessarily doom and gloom if both partners do the work. The benefit for me was keeping my family in tact, keeping finances in tact, not having to go through dating again, and giving a second chance to the man I loved and wanted to be with.

Stinger posted 6/6/2020 11:41 AM

Cheating changes us. For me, it was for the better, too. I learned my sense of entitlement was way too low. I do not put up with abuse or disrespect anymore. I respect myself too much to stay with an abuser, like my XW. Life is more peaceful and makes sense now that I can recognize disordered people and avoid them.

Snowyjune posted 6/6/2020 11:49 AM


They accept it, move on and find happiness.
I assume this would mean choosing D? Or just general acceptance of the situation?
My BH is this way, clear demarcation of boundaries and decency, so it's been really difficult for him to accept what I've done. He's articulated the injustice of it all, and I just have no answer or solution or even words to help, because it's all true.


in time the marriage can become good - maybe better
To be honest, that was what I've thought and held onto, that I wouldn't see the need to be better without committing the biggest mistake of my life. Then the question would be "at what cost" and I'm rendered speechless again.
I don't plan to flog myself, just would like to at least not feel so.... Lost and helpless.


Just do your best for your BH, let go of the outcome, and hope.
I find this the hardest to do. To hope, and just do my best, and perhaps failing, means I didn't do enough.
I broke it, I should fix it. And to be speechless, and be unable to address the glaring issue of the injustice I feel isn't helping my BH. To have the thought that he'll have to come to terms with it himself, seems... wrong.

Pippin/ thissucks, yes that is the end goal I have in mind to, to have this kinda of intimacy and respect and trust with each other. But I think we aren't even close to R, as its been hard for BH to accept.

Stinger posted 6/6/2020 11:54 AM

Snowy, the "stronger, better marriage" deal is way overestimated, IMO. I have known and spoken to countless BS, and very, very rarely has any of them felt the marriage was very good after cheating. But, there is a big for profit industry selling the idea and offering their services for a hefty fee. So, the concept continues to be promoted.

Stinger posted 6/6/2020 12:00 PM

BTW, your BH sounds very emotionally healthy with these clear boundaries. He is exactly the kind of person this woman therapist described to me in terms of the type she sees healing fastest and most completely.
I know a few fellow lawyers who have gone through this and all have a particularly difficult time dealing with the injustice and unfairness of this. It is a direct assault on a person and the thought of the perpetrator feeling no real consequence of equal degree is very hard to swallow.

Newlifeisgreat posted 6/6/2020 12:50 PM

No stop sign so Iím going to throw my two cents in.

You asked a great question, and for me the simple answer was why would I even CONSIDER staying?

I filed for divorce immediately, and never looked back. It was the best decision I ever made. But I was fortunate in that my youngest was just about to graduate from high school and head off to college. So for me, the only possible reason of not wanting to miss my children growing up by only being a part time parent was not there.

In my opinion, marriage is like a stool in that it depends on 3 legs. For marriage, those 3 legs are:

How can anyone who has an affair honestly say that they can give themselves to another person and still be in love with their spouse???? Impossible.

How can you claim to respect your spouse when you are doing the utmost disrespectful things imaginable???? And do you think your spouse will EVER respect your cheating @$$ ever again? Of course not!!

And finally, how could your spouse ever trust you ever again????? Will never happen! Any time you are late by 5 or 10 minutes, do you really believe that they wonít be wondering who you are flirting with or in bed with??? Why would your spouse want to live that way??????

Then there is the stigma that will remain for the rest of your lives??? Speaking as a betrayed husband, I thought that if I stayed, I would forever be Plan B. I was the alternate. She would ALWAYS have fond memories of their time
Together, and I would always have to wonder if she is fantasizing about him when with Me. When she was looking up at me in bed, was that how she looked up at him???? Why would I want any of that????

And she Would FOREVER Be stigmatized as being soiled by the lowlife. And since she deserved to be viewed as someone special, and not soiled, we needed to divorce so that I could find someone for who I wasnít Plan B, and she needs to find someone who wonít view her as soiled.

For me the only conceivable answer would be ďfor the kidsĒ. I I have a group of friends of work that have become close because weíve all been cheated on. There are only 4 of us. Two of them clearly have stated that they plan on filing as soon as their youngest goes off to college. I donít think one of the two will make it until August, 2021, as I see him flirty with single women at work and we go out for a drink after work.

Also, there is simply too many single women out there that are attractive, smart, witty, caring, and loyal to be stuck with a proven cheater!

Good luck to you all.

I also strongly suggest that you all look up SpaceGhostís original thread to better understand those who think similar to myself.

[This message edited by Newlifeisgreat at 1:09 PM, June 6th (Saturday)]

hardtomove posted 6/6/2020 13:10 PM

We stay quite simply because we want to. We weigh the pros and cons and make the best decision. All those things you said are true. The marriage will always be different but we decide if we can live that way. No I will never blindly trust again, the love is different, and the deep deep hurt never goes away..It is choices.

Oldwounds posted 6/6/2020 13:24 PM

I'm not perfect. I didn't cheat, but I'm flawed. Overall, I'm a stand up guy who raised two amazing sons, and I imagine most people in my life see me as 'good' overall. But again, I was never perfect.

So, we either believe that good people are capable of making horrible choices or that our spouse is simply a bad person who does bad things.

I stayed because at the end of the day, my wife is a good person.

She's a loving mom, a good sister, loves her parents, is a leader at her company, and is genuinely kind and caring to people.

Cheating is the opposite of all that.

Cheating is emotional abuse at the minimum and the lack of empathy most WS have during an A is astounding to me, something I still have a tough time understanding.

But it's what a WS does after they've hurt us that tells us whether it would worth staying or not. For those that get out right away, or eventually, I understand it.

I also understand why some WS are offered grace.

If a WS owns those horrible choices, tries to understand those issues and the total sum of the person is more good than bad, then we're talking about someone who is still a valued soul worth sharing a life with.

I'm not defined by my worst decisions in life, so I tend not to do that to others (if I know them - friend, family, etc).

I don't care about assumptions by others, I look for actions of the person who is actively changing or trying to change into a better version of themselves.

I can always hate what happened, but still love the person in front of me.

She loves me flaws and all.

I love her, flaws and all.

No one SHOULD stay, unless life can be rebuilt and be better.

If we do stay, it's because we can still see the inherent good in them, beyond the horror show they caused us.

wantstorepair posted 6/6/2020 13:53 PM

Is it selfish as a WS to want the BS stay as a goal or end state? Is that pure and selfish entitlement? I absolutely want my BS to witness change and decide to stay with me, but that very sentence/thought/expression After reading your post And the replies now seems awful and representative of the kind of thinking and actions in which I have liveD my life and given myself permission to cheat and lie in the first place-no consequences, or ďfree passĒ as my BW calls it.

I am the one who did this and cannot hang on selfishly with expectations that she might chose to stay. She is not responsible for my absolution right?

thatwilldo posted 6/6/2020 14:15 PM

Snowyjune, you said:

I find this the hardest to do. To hope, and just do my best, and perhaps failing, means I didn't do enough.
I broke it, I should fix it. And to be speechless, and be unable to address the glaring issue of the injustice I feel isn't helping my BH. To have the thought that he'll have to come to terms with it himself, seems... wrong.

Snowyjune, you only just joined SI in February, so I'm thinking that your DDay is recent. I believe you're trying hard to understand the devastation you've wrought, but really, you're just beginning.
It's wrong to remain speechless and it's wrong to expect your BS to come to terms with it on his own. You will have to help him by talking through what, how and why you made the damaging choices you made.

I wasn't good at any of it and I rug-swept for decades, so don't think I'm on my high horse. I'm still working on all of this. This will take years for you and your BS to understand.

You sound very sincere in your desire to help your spouse. I wish you both the best.

gmc94 posted 6/6/2020 14:18 PM

committing the biggest mistake of my life
This is a sticky wicket for many, and I hesitate bc you are just starting on this journey. The thing is, semantics and language MATTER. They matter to the BS and the need to begin to matter to the WS as well. The use of the term "mistake" is a common one. And while it may be "only" an "expression of speech", the term "mistake" sends a message (subliminally or not) that the choice to lie and deceive a BS was an "oops" and not an intentional, deliberate, series of acts. IOW, a "mistake" is picking up whole milk when you thought you were getting skim. It's not intentional. A "choice" is very intentional, even if it demonstrates poor judgment. One does not have sex with an AP or lie to their BS by "mistake". It is a choice done on purpose... even if the resulting harm was not intentional", the decision to lie and the decision to have a secret sexual life, is very much intentional.

So, my hesitation is bc I think some WS (and my own WH is certainly in this group) get so worried about saying/doing the "right" thing, they may clam up bc they can't also be specific about their language (and I have to admit, more often than not I would respond to my WH's language foibles with anger that did not help one bit). Personally, I think that taking the time to be clear about the words used is a good exercise for a WS to begin to pay very close attention to saying what they mean and meaning what they say (something that clearly went out the window for the A(s) itself). I think it's pretty likely that even if your BH doesn't say anything, a part of him really cringes whenever the word "mistake" comes out of your mouth. And if you think about it, that makes sense (one reason for me is bc the acts of an A already show how insignificant we/our feelings are to our WS, so to continue seeing it as a "mistake" can feel to a BS s/he continues to be as insignificant as a jug of milk even after dday). On another front, that word is also indicative of not fully taking responsibility for the CHOICES the WS made to engage in the A and to lie to their BS.

I see linguistic mindfulness part of all the things a WS needs to become mindful of.

To have the thought that he'll have to come to terms with it himself, seems... wrong.
Of course it "seems" wrong.... because it IS wrong. Wrong to lie to yourself. Wrong to lie to your BS. Wrong to have sex outside M.... the list of "wrongs" committed in an A is practically endless. So, why should THIS part of it somehow be (or feel) any different?

I could describe it as a double fuck for both WS and BS.... the one thing most WS say they "want" after dday is to heal their BS. And it is something they cannot do. They can help/support, but they can never do the heavy lifting that is required of a BS to just learn to fucking sit up or crawl again. You cannot do it. You CAN help (and it's important you try). On the other side of the coin, the ONE thing the BS wants after dday is to have never been betrayed. And yet, that is something that the BS can never have.

On the WS support front, an oft-used analogy is being a passenger in a car driven by the WS. Who is drunk. BS is confused during that drive - can't figure out what's going on, bc WS is acting strange, but WS would NEVER drink (lie), let alone drink & drive (lie about a dealbreaker), let alone drink & drive while BS is in the car too (actually break the deal by having an A). Then BAM! Car hits brick wall (dday). WS is injured, sure. cuts, scrapes, some bruising (and, of course, the shame). BS is seriously and significantly injured. Internal damage. Broken bones from head to toe. Traction, etc. WS may feel shitty as hell. But the ONLY person that has to be in traction, the ONLY person that can do the physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc is the BS. WS can help (make the appts, bring water, etc). but cannot actually do the heavy lifting to heal all of those broken parts.

Moral of the analogy is let go of trying to "fix" or "heal" the damage to your BS. That ball is solely in his court, and you must accept that there's not a damn thing you can do about it. DO do all you can to support him in that journey. Bring the water, so to speak, at every possible opportunity. Learn to hear his pain, validate it w/o your own agenda (ie shame spirals, self victimization, etc).

I think we aren't even close to R, as its been hard for BH to accept.
I suppose just about everyone has their own idea of what "R" or "in R" means. Personally, I don't think a WS or a BS should even think about R until there's been some solid work on each side of the street. For the WS, it means proving, over time, by actions and not just words, that they are "R worthy". That they are fully committed to doing the deep digging and hard work to find their whys, find their hows, and change them. It's far far far more work than checking the boxes in How to Help Your Spouse Heal. Or being honest and transparent (tho those are both really good starts). I think changing from a WS to a safe partner requires a wide scale change in fundamental brain wiring (entitlement, self worth, empathy, external validation, etc.... basic tenets of the way one THINKS). It requires internally challenging EVERY thought/feeling/action, whether 'A-related" or not, against core values, integrity, etc. Of course you will fuck up. You - and I, and your BH, and all of us - are human, and learning new skills always entails imperfection. You will fall off the horse.... but will you get back on after those falls?

And even if you do a "perfect" rewiring of those thought patterns, your BH may still walk. THAT is what is meant by "letting go of the outcome". That is what is meant by working on changing you for YOU and not to save your M. Not even to help your BH (tho that may be a welcome byproduct in that IMO the work on healing/fixing your own broken parts is part of the "support' that a WS can give to a BS). We work on ourselves bc we realize we have NO choice, bc the pain of change is less painful than the pain of staying the same. For a BS, that choice was already made for them w/o their consent, the minute that car hit the brick wall. Either they do the hard fucking work of healing from that trauma, with all the therapies and adjustments, knowing they will NEVER walk the way they did before that fateful "drive", or they stay shattered, in pain, and in an emotional coma of sorts. To me, there was NO choice - either I got to work healing or I might as well commit suicide. Similarly, the WS also has a choice (albeit one that, unlike the BS, they always had sole control over): continue with the stinking thinking and broken parts that got everyone into this mess (which is actually pretty easy in the grand scheme of things), or put in the effort to actually change and become a person of integrity, honesty, solid values, and a safe partner for the future.

Your thread is titled "Why should anyone stay". Perhaps a different lens would be why WOULD anyone stay? And I think there are some good responses.

I don't know if it's the infidelity "industry" as Stinger suggests, or other factors, but I don't believe a "good" or "better" post dday M is a unicorn. I think it happens. I also think it takes a TON of hard fucking work by BOTH parties to get there. I also think timing can play a role to the extent that we see over & over & over again a WS who puts in a half-assed (or less) effort and the BS starts to heal and grow, the BS will walk.... not bc of the A itself, but bc of all the post-dday bullshit the WS has added to the shit sandwich already served by the A itself (which prolly best describes my own situation). If SI (or Peggy Vaughn, for that matter) is any guide, it seems that a majority of BS do not walk on dday. It seems that most post-dday Ds are not from the A itself, but from the WS' fuckups post dday (from continuing the A to TT to breaking NC to not making the much needed changes to becoming a safe partner).

On dday, it was crystal clear to me that my M was dead. I took off my wedding rings and will never again wear them. To me, those rings symbolize nothing but pain. I immediately asked WH to take his off as well. It took him 6 months, and even then he journaled that he felt "forced" to do it. I mention this bc his refusal to remove it is, to me, indicative of his dissonance about the damage. Indicative of his refusal to see or accept that the M was DEAD, and the only question was if he had the capacity to put on his big boy pants, to work his ass off to find the right tools to show he's "R material", and to then work with me (assuming I'm willing) to try and build a new M from the burning ashes and rubble that WAS our M. To rummage around for the few undamaged bricks left over from the bomb of the A, and to use them to start on a new foundation. I wonder if those WS who can see/accept this are more apt to find empathy, in that it means the WS is experiencing grief over the death of the M, just as the BS is, rather than holding onto the "unicorn" that the pre-dday M is alive.

I think people stay bc they can (or hope to) find enough of those relics - or useable bricks - in the rubble to begin to rebuild AND bc both parties can find the tools to actually rebuild on the same property. And the lucky ones are able to work together to do that rebuilding in a collaborative and cooperative way. To actually find and feel joy in those remains, joy in putting them to good use, and joy in the new foundation that is built, with the new tools/technology that did not exist at the time of the M or the A(s). Others may rebuild, but w/o letting go of all of the damaged bricks, or by not doing the hard ass work of getting the tools/technology that is appropriate for the situation, the new foundation is still unstable.... and the resulting M "post R" may not be strong enough to survive a tornado or flood or maybe even a thunderstorm or whatever other challenges -big and small- that life may serve up.

And the prospect of that new M. The prospect of finding joy in the repurposing of the "good" that may remain after the house is blownup. The idea of a foundation comprised of old and new. The hope of a new home, a better built home, is what the BS "gets" out of R.

I don't bring this up to emphasize shame or despair. I bring it up bc from where I sit, seeing these harsh truths is important for both the WS and BS. It must be faced, processed, fixed, healed, etc. And one cannot fix or change or support what they cannot see.


Jorge posted 6/6/2020 18:53 PM

Sometimes it's fear of being without the person they've always been with. Nearly all betrayed spouses deeply love their wayward spouses.

Not all have the capacity to recreate a loving life for themselves however. Some believe they simply can't do it ever again. Others are too tired or late in life to want do it. I don't think, waitedwaytoolong, spaceghost or any of the betrayed spouses who left marriages, loved their spouses any less than those who stayed.

So, it's not a testament of how much they love their wayward spouse, but how much they are capable of creating it with another individual. Many "JFO" posters come to SI and say they can't imagine not being with their wayward spouses.

Translated it implies the default, post affair decision is to reconcile first and foremost. Most never deviate off of this position. You can hear and feel it in the words of members who provide updates months or years later, following reconciliation. They're still hurting, but feel as if they have no options or are afraid to pursue them.

[This message edited by Jorge at 7:00 PM, June 6th (Saturday)]

Nanatwo posted 6/6/2020 22:37 PM

This question has been asked countless times on SI - and it always saddens me when R is looked upon as an act of desperation by the BS - they are afraid of being alone, finances, kids _ these are all very valid reasons - but in the end most BS regret their decision to stay.

This may be true - but we can't base our lives on the outcome of other peoples lives. We had been married 30 years when he had the A - he is a good man who is the first to admit he made a horrible unforgivable choice to cheat.

We had a imperfect marriage before the A - we have an imperfect marriage now - but it was basically a good marriage and it still is. I can chose to define our marriage from here on out based on his A - or we can accept the A will always be a part of our marriage but doesn't have to be the sum or our marriage.

In your post you state "all BS would have done things differently in hindsight, would have chosen D immediately. They will never respect or see the WS in the same light again. Everything is different."

Generalizations like this can be very damaging and confusing to those BS who are still struggling with the R/D decision. I know there are many on here who are happy with their choice to R and their marriages. I do respect him - I respect the enormous effort he has put in to unstanding and dealing with himself - the changes he has made to become someone who will never put his own selfish needs before others. Yes everything is different - but different doesn't have to mean for the worse.

I never stopped loving my husband - even when there were times that I hated him. The A changed us in ways I never thought possible - it is a different marriage in so many ways and I don't regret my decision to R.

In the end it doesn't matter if every BS out there regrets their decision to R - for me the only one that matters is my decision to R - and it is a decision I am very content with.

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