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Perspective four years out

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Waggingthedog posted 8/3/2020 08:08 AM

Hi friend,

I am one of those ones that tried to reconcile and it failed. I didn't share my story on here but the basics are that my exWW had two LTAs for a substantial chunk of the marriage. I tried to make it work but I ultimately couldn't based on two things: more contact with the OM (that I came to believe was more than she let on) and her going back on taking a lie detector test. Those two things happened when I was at my lowest and I believed that maybe saying I was filing for divorce would make her stop... And she ran back to him (gut instinct that proved correct later) so I filed. Call it a test that showed the truth.

The reality I came to was that she did not love me anymore and she would have just left me down the line anyway. The only reason she wanted to reconcile was to save what was on the outside of our relationship, not anything having to do with me or wanting to be with me. All things considered, she didn't really want to be with me.

It's probably a bit more extreme than your case.

I wrote this on another thread:

The analogy I want to use is a medical one.

One day you wake up and your right arm is swollen and extremely painful. Itís not moving, or barely moving. You go and see the doctor and to your shock, itís an infection. A terrible infection. Itís not your fault that you have this infection, but you have to deal with it. Maybe you lament that you should have eaten healthier, or not engaged in some activity that exposed you to that risk. But, those considerations are past; they have no bearing on your current situation going forward.

The doctor gives you the prognosis. If you do nothing then the infection will spread and possibly kill you. Your choices are these:

The doctor can give you a round of very serious and expensive medication that has some really nasty side effects, but you might be able to keep the arm if the medication works. If you do keep the arm, then it will never really function the same way. You might regain some function, with a lot of physical therapy, but it is not likely that it will ever be the same. If you take the medication, you will have the side effects, but the infection might still spread even with the medication. There is a slim outside chance that the arm will return, and you can make it stronger, but it wonít ever be the same. (This is reconciliation)

Another choice is to cut the arm off. The plus side of this is that the dangerous infection wonít kill you or impact other organs immediately. The downside of this is that you lose your arm. And, you will always have a feeling of a phantom limb. Your life will be changed in a day. You might be depressed about it for a time, but you will live for sure. Itís just the arm. (This is ending the relationship.)

The last choice is to do nothing, watch the infection spread, and see if your own immune system is enough to fight off the infection from the rest of your body. Doing nothing will almost certainly result in death. (This is rug sweeping.)

How do you choose?

The first two options both suck, objectively. The final option is objectively stupid.

How do you decide what to do? You have limited time, and the effects of both of those first two choices are life altering regardless of how you decide.

In the first, you take the medications, the terrible side effects, and you may still lose the arm to the infection or possibly more of your body. In the second, you lose the arm, but save the body. You may be plagued with the Ďwhat ifsí if youíd taken the medication and saved the arm. Youíll have the phantom limb to deal with for a very long time.

There are no good choices, only less bad choices depending on your situation.

Iíve been through the LTA gambit, and itís really mind boggling. There is no way to know what parts of your history are real, and what are fake. Every ĎI love youí over the years Ė family vacations, anniversaries, life eventsÖ all of them are tainted. You can cut off the future, but you canít change the past.

To me, I have done a huge amount of pondering after the end of my marriageÖ what is love? In my opinion, itís something that encompasses four subparts: trust, respect, attraction and friendship. Maybe thereís something deeper to it too, but I canít put that part into words.

An affair, for the duration of it, shows a complete lack of respect and destroys trust for the other party. The person going into the affair does not respect you prior to (for a time) or during the affair. Hereís another analogyÖ say you go into work and youíre exposed to COVID. You know youíre exposed to it. Your employee tested positive and is in the hospital. If you respect your spouse, do you then go home and give them a kiss every morning, sleep in the same bed, use their toothbrush and so onÖ without telling them? If you respect them and care for them you donít. You let them decide if they want to be exposed and handle the situation together. This is the affair aspect with STDs. If you WW knew the other man, and knew he had other affairs, and in fact didnít know where he had been before or during the affairÖ then she was exposing you to STDs without telling you. Itís an objective lack of respect. This also flows into other areasÖ public standing if she got outted, financial issues, issues with the kids. Itís a complete lack of respect for the family and you.

Then there are the other two partsÖ attraction and friendship. Friends donít stab friends in the back and humiliate them (at least good friends). And, letís face it. Was she really attracted to you during the affair? Think back. Thereís no competing with the thrill of the new sexual partner. Think she just Ďtook careí of you while waiting on her lover? You may not have had a dead bedroom but my guess is that she didnít exactly bring her A-game home. By way of analogy, I got a statement after D-day that, and I quote, ďIím not sure that I was ever attracted to you.Ē That one hurt. But itís what she believed. My guess is your WW probably felt the same, even if she wouldnít say it.

This is now what youíre dealing with. Itís the infection. Youíve found youíre living in the Truman Show Ė a simulation Ė where the laughtrack is on but you canít hear it. And if that lack of respect and trust continues it will slowly cause you more and more harm. Some people go off the deep end. Donít be one of them. You can take control of the show, get out of the show, or just accept it and live in it.

The kids thing factored heavily into my decision. My WW, if my gut was correct, was staying in our marriage because it was secure and for the kids. But she didn't want to give up the lifestyle more than she wanted to be with me. I think the nearest approximation to her thought pattern was "maybe I can make this work, maybe I can learn to love him.". That attitude would have resulted in her leaving anyway a few years down the line. Again, gut call. Then, where would my kids and I be?

I won't say divorce isn't hard on kids. It is. It rips my heart out to this day. In some ways I feel I prioritized my own happiness above theirs. Their lives get changed through no fault of their own and because I was the one to end it, I feel the guilt of their hurt every day.

I won't say it gets better or worse. That's a bit of the experience of life. You make a choice and you live with that choice.

Affairs take away that specialness of love. And you don't really, I think, get it back fully ever. Maybe you look at life as a cynic more now.

Truisms are that the person in the affair did not love you during it and humiliated you for their own enjoyment. The longer it went on the worse it gets for recovery I think. It takes a certain bit of your manhood. That sting gets dull, but never really comes back to the point where you forget it entirely even if you leave the marriage.

There are days I wish I didn't put my kid through it. And some that I wonder what the triggering point was where I was done. If I think about it, it was likely rescinding the offer to take a polygraph. I think she said it was humiliating and didn't want to do it. At that point I knew for a fact that she'd had oral sex with another man and come home and kissed me. Didn't really seem like she should throw out that card. But there were so many other things that happened it's hard to point to the true "thing."

You're making a calculation based on a terrible fact... The life you wanted isn't possible so what do you salvage? You can't go back and change it so what is important going forward?

Your wife was your one and only and now she's gotten that but you don't have it. Are you looking to settle that disparity? I'll tell you, sex isn't the most important thing. It's a momentary thing that you do. And, frankly, it's probably not worth ending the marriage over to get your jollies or settle the score.
Let me clear up the mystery. You're 6'4, gainfully employed and a good dad. If you made a tinder profile you could be getting girls by the end of the day. But, it won't make you happy in the way that you want. You can have it, sure. Now you know without doing it.

Is it trust? That never really comes back fully. I'm pretty familiar with estate planning. Want to see who people really are? Put a bunch of money on a table and say that someone is getting more. People are self interested above all else for the most part. It's the rare occurrence where we just accept life. We all want more.

So what's important to you. A really bad thing happened. You can't change it. You can only take steps to preserve what's important. To me, that seems to be your kids. It was for me. And it's like that for most dads.

There is something in your post that I think you need to look at more. You don't think about it when you're on boys weekends.

I think for now what you might want to do is this. Sit your WW down and open up to her how much you're still hurting. Say that you need time away from the house yearly to have just time to focus on you. Tell her about the billboards and how they effect you. Say you need to get out of town and get space away from all of this a few times a year for an extended time each time. Then go do it. Reconnect with you.

The calculation you've made is that your kids are more important but the imbalance in the scales is hurting you. If you look at the scales though, mentally, you have to think that there's more good in staying because you are staying. Look at it again in your head and see that image. Your kids lives are more important than the segment of happiness in your life. You go through this life and we all lose something, but we make due with what we have and make the best of it. The best is your kids, but her affair should also entitle you to be selfish. Not cheating selfish, but selfish in that you should be able to go on your guys weekends more often. Maybe take up something that you like.

Life is too short to be miserable.

And, even if you got divorced there would still be sadness. The maze analogy is a good one. You trade one form of sadness for another. It's up to you which is the lesser of two evils.

jlarson posted 8/3/2020 14:19 PM

I do believe that this would be driving you crazy. You have compromised your own beliefs system, and that is probably causing you immense confusion and pain.
Out of curiosity, what consequences did your WW have? From what you have posted, it seems very little of her life was impacted. It was essentially hushed up, and major damage control on your part. You helped minimise the impact on her. Are you upset at that? That she got through it relatively unscathed?

Are you angry at yourself for protecting her, and hence compromising your values even further?

I don't know for sure where the biggest source of internal conflict lies. She didn't face any significant consequences, which I know slowed her ability to learn and grow from this. She did stop TT me and lying after several months. I am not sure, if it all came out right away, if that would have been better or not for me, or us. I assume it would have led to our divorce. Had she been better at empathy, I am sure that would have been better for me. It is frustrating to think about how much pain I've endured for her and in place of her. But don't all BS's feel that?

I hear and appreciate what everyone has said. I'm just not sure there is an answer. My guess is the counselor would say, "you have to fully forgive" or "fully accept what happened" or something along those lines.

I don't really know what else I can do. Like I said, I've read books about forgiveness, I treat her with much kindness and love. But, that doesn't get rid of the high jacking thoughts that I still have regularly.

I am also not sure she can do anything more. Maybe more empathy, which she tries to do. But ultimately, this is my battle.

Are there people 4 years out that don't have intrusive thoughts still? How can someone really "get over" a betrayal like this? I mean where they can think about what the unfaithful said and did without it just killing them? Maybe it's due to my vivid imagery in my head? I don't really know. I just know this is not what I was thinking it would be 4 years down the road.

And my gut told me to stay right away - remember the day 4 after dday post about how I'd chosen to reconcile? Then came more lies and pain and contact. There's my gut for you.

It would make it so much easier if my wife wasn't trying hard. I still almost want her to cheat again so it makes the decision for me. That sounds insane to me, but I have that thought regularly. That's why I would recommend not trying to reconcile for most couples after infidelity. I think divorcing and then growing individually is the way to go. It's more natural. I wouldn't get in the shark tank with a shark that bit my leg off and try to get intimate.

Continual shit sandwich. But, I think I already went through the most painful part of the R road. I don't really feel like taking the D road and having to start over and have that most painful part too.

HalfTime2017 posted 8/3/2020 14:24 PM

This is one of the best Post I've ever come across on this board. There is so much truth and and insight into the lives of the betrayed, from the OP to the other members on this forum.

Sometimes we don't have a choice to R or not, and sometimes, you head down the road in the direction of the maze and it still sucks. NO matter which path you choose, infidelity made sure that they're filled with land mines and piles of dog shit all over the place. There is no good choice, just ones that we try to make to help us get back to some sort of normal.

Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I'm sorry you are living a life of triggers. I hope that you can find peace at some point.

As to your point about God, I find religion in all of this to be bullshit. My exWW and the POSOM make the kids pray around the dinner table. We were never religious and don't go to church, but now that they are together, they make the kids pray. What a laughing crock of shit. My kids hate it, and they see thru the fakeness of it as well.

Blindsided2425 posted 8/3/2020 14:26 PM

Tough spot, personally I wanted to reconcile she didnít and that where it ended for me. A leopard doesnít change their spots unfortunately.

Butforthegrace posted 8/3/2020 15:09 PM

I don't really know what else I can do.

I am also not sure she can do anything more.

How can someone really "get over" a betrayal like this? ... I just know this is not what I was thinking it would be 4 years down the road.

It's never too late to divorce. People divorce al the time even where there is no infidelity. You'll be looking yourself in the mirror in the morning 1 year from now, 5 years, 10 years. What are you going to tell yourself about those years? Sounds like, at present, you feel the past 4 years were wasted years.

It would make it so much easier if my wife wasn't trying hard. I still almost want her to cheat again so it makes the decision for me. That sounds insane to me, but I have that thought regularly. That's why I would recommend not trying to reconcile for most couples after infidelity. I think divorcing and then growing individually is the way to go. It's more natural.

What your heart wants is so patently obvious. What's holding you back? Fear?


StillCoping74 posted 8/3/2020 17:11 PM

I will say, that it has negatively affected my relationship with god, if he's there, and that's a bummer. I don't mean to get into that, but wanted to bring up the fact that the only reason God says you can get divorced, if you believe in the bible, is for adultery. Why is that? Perhaps because the damage to one's soul is so deep? Who knows. Maybe Christ could forgive to a level where reconcilation was a no brainer. Unfortunately for me, I am way off from his level. hah.

I am a Christian who was left by my XH several years ago. I really wrestled with forgiveness (and still do--because of the crap he still does to our children). Anyhow, I was telling a family member that I wish we could have had a chance to see Jesus in the aftermath of Judas' betrayal. How would that have played out? Then I surmised, of course he'd forgive Judas, he's Jesus. My family member said something that has stuck with me to this day. "He would, but it doesn't mean he'd let him be in charge of the money bag again."

[This message edited by StillCoping74 at 5:11 PM, August 3rd (Monday)]

Dkt3 posted 8/3/2020 18:26 PM

Jlarson,

I've been reading this site for well over a decade and I just now joined because I see alot of myself in your words.

My wife's affair was 15ish years ago. It had become clear to me she had had or was having an affair. I confronted her and she lied of course. For 6 months she lied. I knew, and the worst part was she knew I knew she was lying. I quit, took me about 8 months to get comfortable with what divorce would look like, had her served and we divorced.

Couple years go by (the first year I spoke to her face to face once maybe twice). Slowly over the next few years we start to get closer, due to us having two young children.

Not to make this too long and lose your attention. We remarried about 6 years ago. At that point we started to actually deal with her affair in a mature partnership kind of way.

For a while I struggled internally with all the issues that you are having. I saw a different woman in front of me, but I battled with letting her close because of the woman she was during and following her affair. I wondered if I had made a mistake, few times I almost walked away, again.

There is no magic answer here, nothing i or anyone else can tell you that will make it easier on you.

What worked for me was sitting my wife down and saying, looked you cheated and divorce was a result. I'm struggling here to truly commit, I have to be comfortable with why I'm here. She got it,

For me, all these years later its still there. The mind movies are shorter and not longer affect my mode. Unfortunately, I still find myself questioning what she says, even if briefly.

Affairs change who you are, not necessarily all bad. You have to create a new normal, this will be necessary with your wife or a new woman. You also have to realize and accept this is your story now, its part of who you are and what you will continue to grow into.

I like to tell people isnt like knee surgery. After the injury it was very painful, extremely uncomfortable and limiting. After a while its less all those things. After more time it just pops in once in a while and reminds you it happened. And no matter how you strengthen the muscles around it, it simply will never be the same. It functions well, you can still have a great lifestyle with it.

faithfulman posted 8/3/2020 19:36 PM

I hear and appreciate what everyone has said. I'm just not sure there is an answer. My guess is the counselor would say, "you have to fully forgive" or "fully accept what happened" or something along those lines.

If you really want a therapist to help you, you have to be prepared to fire a lot of them until you find one who is worth a damn.

There is so much bullshit in the therapy world, particularly when it comes to infidelity and betrayal, and so many therapists are full of shit quacks.

I really don't understand the constant drumbeat for the cheater and the betrayed to "seek counseling", particularly on the part of a lying cheater, as if they won't lie and minimize to the therapist looking for an excuse, which the therapist will often provide.

A great deal of therapists will dispense a lot of shitty advice to both the betrayed and the betrayer.


I don't really know what else I can do. Like I said, I've read books about forgiveness, I treat her with much kindness and love. But, that doesn't get rid of the high jacking thoughts that I still have regularly.

Sounds like you are doing most of the work, and bearing most of the pain.

"My wife cheated on me - I need to treat her better!"

Does that sound right to you?

I am also not sure she can do anything more. Maybe more empathy, which she tries to do. But ultimately, this is my battle.

She's sucking the life out of you.

And my gut told me to stay right away - remember the day 4 after dday post about how I'd chosen to reconcile? Then came more lies and pain and contact. There's my gut for you.

You'e confusing your "gut" and a "knee-jerk reaction".

Your gut is more trustworthy than your heart.

Your knee-jerk reaction comes from your good heart.

oldtruck posted 8/3/2020 20:57 PM

Jlarson, another example that after an affair moving far away is
needed for recovery.

Remove reminders, reduces triggers, makes it harder for NC to
be broken.

jlarson posted 8/3/2020 21:13 PM

Halftime nailed it.

Sometimes we don't have a choice to R or not, and sometimes, you head down the road in the direction of the maze and it still sucks. NO matter which path you choose, infidelity made sure that they're filled with land mines and piles of dog shit all over the place. There is no good choice, just ones that we try to make to help us get back to some sort of normal.

If I were to divorce, I'd be gambling with my kids' happiness too. And if the only options of roads all have land mines and piles of dog shit, I might as well not take my kids down the same road.

Granted, if our marriage turned beligerent and sour, I wouldn't want my kids exposed to that either. So I will always look at how everything we are doing is affecting my kids.

What your heart wants is so patently obvious. What's holding you back? Fear?

YES. Fear for sure. I am super afraid of what it could do to my kids. I am also afraid of what it will do to my wife. I am also afraid I would regret it if I were lonely and miserable after. I hate that I allow fear to drive me too much in my life, but it is a big driving force. That's why I almost feel manipulated by all the stuff I was fed by books, AR, counselors etc at first. 18-24 months and you'll be so much better. 3-4 years and you'll be saying you are glad your wife had an affair because of how awesome your marriage is. That shit is just plain fake. But I got sucked into it, and now I'm down this road a ways, and not really wanting to go all the way back to the maze to take the other road.

This "new normal" is sort of shitty. But there are lots of people out there that deal with shitty circumstances all the time.

I get that I am not fully healed, or totally mentally healthy, or doing all the right things in my marriage post infidelity, but that's my whole point with getting back on SI. I wanted to be real about the shit that never stops. I will look into another counselor, but after going through 3 in the first 12 months, I'm kind of a non-believer that they really know anything more than what their text books or mentors told them.

For me, all these years later its still there. The mind movies are shorter and not longer affect my mode. Unfortunately, I still find myself questioning what she says, even if briefly.

Dkt3 is 15 years out. Still struggles, although less. I truly don't believe you can come from infidelity and "recover" like you do from a cold. You can adjust and adapt and heal some, but not like some complete recovery that I've read and heard about so many times.

I think it would be better to be realistic about infidelity.

Waggingthedog's analogy is a good one. That arm is shit no matter what. It's not ever going to be normal again. We need to sell that to those who are just finding out. Otherwise they grab on to this false sense of what can become of their marriage down the road. Or at least that's my two cents.

Sorry to be so cynical. Also a side effect from seeing so much terrible shit out there. I am glad I've learned things from the books I've read, from the posts on here and from this experience, but I also want newly betrayeds to know that they may have been taken from a higher plain (if their marriage was good), to this lower plain, and the best you can do on this lower plain is less than the best you could have done on the higher plain.

I really do want ya'll to know how nice it is to have your thoughts and feelings about this shit storm. It decreases the loneliness I feel during times of struggle.

I assume my posts come across negative and pessimistic, but I think too much unicorn and rainbows doesn't help either.

jlarson posted 8/3/2020 21:16 PM

Oldtruck -

I agree with you. I should have moved away. Now my kids are that much older, in high school and jr high, and I am also part owner of my company. The financial hit would be huge and then I'd just have another reason to build resentment toward the lady I'm trying to not resent.

It's like a booby trap nightmare. It's the horror movies where everyone dies anyway. No way out unscathed.

nekonamida posted 8/3/2020 21:31 PM

JLarson, so what's going to happen when your kids are grown and out of the house with lives of their own? Will you just be forever triggered and kind of sad with your FWW? Will you have a whole new set of excuses as to why change/S/D can't happen?

I think you see an IC. Not because there is more that you can work on. You need an IC because you seem depressed (little to no hope for the future) and paralyzed by fear. Depression's ultimate goal is to isolate you and kill you. The fact that you are not happy with your life and are unwilling to explore any options into changing it goes hand-in-hand with depression. Don't focus on the A. Don't focus on R. Don't focus on D. Focus on yourself, your healing, and getting something out of life that you are currently missing. That something does not need to come from your FWW either. You can immerse yourself in a local hobby, make new friends, get closer with friends and family you already have, and create a life outside of your FWW and your marriage. This way you are not looking to your FWW and marriage to validate your self worth.

Dkt3 posted 8/3/2020 22:06 PM

I believe you've set yourself up for failure. It seems that you have an expectation that you will completely forget about what's happened. That isn't realistic.

Yes I've doubted my wife over the years, yes I've thought about her affair over the years. However, we do have an amazing relationship. One I wouldn't trade.

You asked the question, no it doesn't go away, no you will never forget it. Not even if you divorce her.

Like another poster alluded too, I think your issues go beyond her affair. It maybe the foundation. Its likely because you are a dealbreaker person and accepting her back is slowly decaying your self worth.

This isn't a one size fits all. It's time for you to explore other options so you can be your healthiest for your 4 little ones.

Good luck my man, its a difficult journey no matter the road you take.

Stinger posted 8/3/2020 22:10 PM

What makes you feel your wife is no longer dangerous? She had a LTA and brought tr he guy into your home, right? He was a friend and your kids knew his, right? Sounds like she is dangerous.

rambler posted 8/3/2020 22:12 PM

Acceptance is not accepting the affair. Acceptance is when you know you will be alright with or without your wife. You no longer allow the affair to run your life.

Forgiveness is not for your wife but for you. Again it is to release your pain and the power the affair and your wife has over you.

Thumos posted 8/3/2020 22:15 PM

This story is eerily similar to mine. Eerily. Iím almost 4 years out. Tonight ó about four hours ago ó I told my wife definitively that I want a divorce. I came to this conclusion about a week ago and have felt lighter and better since then than I have in almost four years.. this weekend I had several dreams about divorce ó not one of them bad and several good. I felt good and for about telling her tonight and not sad.

[This message edited by Thumos at 12:05 PM, August 4th (Tuesday)]

RocketRaccoon posted 8/3/2020 22:43 PM

I don't know for sure where the biggest source of internal conflict lies.

I would think that after 4yrs, and you are still unsettled, it might be a good idea to delve into this.


She didn't face any significant consequences, which I know slowed her ability to learn and grow from this.

It is frustrating to think about how much pain I've endured for her and in place of her.
From what you have posted, it seems that you have been doing an extended Pick-Me dance, but not realise it. Please do not take this negatively, but just as a prod to get you thinking.

All the pandering to your WW and little thought for yourself. It is one of the qualities of the practitioners of the Pick-Me dance.


I don't really know what else I can do.

"Ask not what you can do for her - ask what she can do for you" (apologies to JFK). Flip that thinking. What has your WW done for the R? Has she cut off social media? Given up any enabling friends? Given up friends of the opposite sex?


I am also not sure she can do anything more. Maybe more empathy, which she tries to do. But ultimately, this is my battle.

You are half right on this. It is ultimately your battle, but your WW must be the one helping you get to that end point. You cannot win this battle alone.

YES. Fear for sure. I am super afraid of what it could do to my kids. I am also afraid of what it will do to my wife. I am also afraid I would regret it if I were lonely and miserable after. I hate that I allow fear to drive me too much in my life, but it is a big driving force. That's why I almost feel manipulated by all the stuff I was fed by books, AR, counselors etc at first. 18-24 months and you'll be so much better. 3-4 years and you'll be saying you are glad your wife had an affair because of how awesome your marriage is. That shit is just plain fake. But I got sucked into it, and now I'm down this road a ways, and not really wanting to go all the way back to the maze to take the other road.

This links back to the first quote above. You are massively conflicted, and it has kept you in chaos/limbo. It also sounds like you are also experiencing bitterness. That you have been hoodwinked by the books/AR/counsellors into believing that the Land of Milk & Honey existed, and gave you false hope. The problem is, you are still clinging on to this false hope.

Will be blunt here. All the reasons for you not moving/changing are just that... excuses. You want to be the martyr for the family. 'One life for the life of many'. KISA much?

Either that or you are a masochist. Revelling in the pain. Yes, it can be 'comforting', and many have done that before. I would think it would be like why people cut themselves (pure conjecture on my part, as I have never cut myself, as I am squeamish about shit like that).

Now, back to normal programming.... Please get yourself over to talk to an IC. You seem to be in desperate need of one.

jlarson posted 8/3/2020 23:24 PM

Whoa.

That's a lot to take in from those last posts.

Like another poster alluded too, I think your issues go beyond her affair. It maybe the foundation. Its likely because you are a dealbreaker person and accepting her back is slowly decaying your self worth.

So if this is the case, does that leave me no choice? It kills me inside to think of divorcing her. I try to break that down and discover the why - it's a lot of things. We do have good times frequently, even though there are intrusive thoughts within those times. Does that make sense? She seems to me to be a pretty dang good wife (sans the infidelity). And the kids. Not to mention the negatives of divorce. I don't know. Maybe I'm kidding myself.

Real question - why does it make me sick inside to think of getting divorced? I definitely don't consider myself a masichist. And I'm not trying to be a KISA or a martyr. I'm actually trying to protect my kids.

I definitely have suffered some symptoms of depression since this went down, but even if I get out of that hole, aren't the things she did still going to haunt me? Forever?

Dkt3 - does it not really eat at you if you think of them or the betrayal? Or was getting divorced almost like a whole new relationship once you started dating again?

Thumos - did your wife do the work? Like is she safe and remorseful and whatnot?

Thumos posted 8/3/2020 23:41 PM

Jlarson, you can read more here:

https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=640195

She did some of the work. Not nearly enough.

Donít be a knight in shining armor or a martyr.

ďYou break it, you own it.Ē - if they canít or wonít do that, itís a waste of time to try to R

RocketRaccoon posted 8/3/2020 23:55 PM

So if this is the case, does that leave me no choice?

Cliched but true, you always have a choice. Does not mean that the choices will all be good though.

Your first course of action that you should attend to, is your mental and emotional health. Not your WWs', not your kids', YOURS. The very fact that you are still struggling so much within yourself, is that you are still confused.

Address your value system, your fears, your confusion. Do not address the M, as that will be for a different time. Sort yourself out first, so that you can be in a better frame of mind (and emotionally) to make better decisions.

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