Return to Forum List

Return to Just Found Out® > Just Found Out

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Perspective four years out

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5

Bigger posted 8/4/2020 09:28 AM

I see PTSD in your posts.
I walked in on my then-fiance having sex with another man when I was all of 22 or so. Decades ago. Left that relationship and a couple of years later met my present wife. About 15 years into that marriage it nearly broke down due to my paranoia and lack of trust.
I had the good sense to see an IC who dove into my past Ė my experiences as a LEO being stabbed, my experiences as a LEO at being a first responder to suicides, murder, road-accident mutilationsÖ AND my experience as a young man just about to marry the love of his life walking in on her under another man.

The IC taught me several tricks to isolate these incidents. Turns out that all the police-stuff was easy to deal with. These were things I could expect in that line of work. The MAIN cause for my PTSD and the one that had the most profound effects was the infidelity.

That too was relatively easy to deal with once I realized and understood it. Truthfully Ė I got rid of the PTSD in less than a month using the tools the IC provided.

One of the things I changed with my IC was my understanding of ďTRUSTĒ.
I no longer just trust. I trust but verify. With repeated verification I establish belief which in turn decreases the need to verify. That in turn establishes trust.

A simple example: I found a mechanic I trust with my truck. Over the years he has been forthright in what needs to be done and the cost has been reasonable. As a semi-capable DIY mechanic I evaluate his repairs and they always meet my grade. Yet I sometimes ask around for the price of comparable repairs. There is a certain simplicity Ė something that makes life that bit easier Ė to have some level of trust so I donít have to find a new mechanic, research reviews and comments about him and doubt his work. I trust him but still verify.

In the past I was constantly asking my wife (the non-infidelity one) where she was going, what she was doing and so on. With time I realized that all the times she claimed to be at the mall or at work or at her friends she was where she claimed to be. I also realized the futility of asking: If she said she was at work she could be telling the truth while doing the young intern in the supplies room for all I knew. So instead I looked at other factors, factors that supported that she was doing what she said she was doing. With time my need to verify diminished because my logical brain told me that the last 10000 checks had verified what she said and claimed.

BTW - that PTSD? It was still there 18-20 years after the cause for the PTSD. I'm rid of it now, and it was relatively easy to cure, but it did require that I acknowledged it's existence and worked at curing it.

[This message edited by Bigger at 9:28 AM, August 4th (Tuesday)]

Anna123 posted 8/4/2020 11:56 AM

So much wonderful insight here. Just a side-bar story to add to it: You say many times you are staying FOR the children. Not just for yourself so you can be with them everyday, which is different. Both are good reasons, just different.

If I were to divorce, I'd be gambling with my kids' happiness too

My sister had multiple years of quiet disrespect, small time quick affairs, and finally a long term, took him back bla bla bla same story as everyone else where he did cheat again (not like your story where the cheater behaved for a long period of time).

There were three kids when they finally divorced. One 12, one 15 or so, and the oldest I believe was last year high school or first year college. Of the three children, she was the most devastated. This isn't the first time I have heard the older ones are more affected than the younger ones. She went as far as getting a tattoo that marked the event and told me after the fact that it really messed her up for along time. I believe the older they get when it was a long term situation that was bad but covered up, it is almost like they were being gas-lighted as well. Pretending there is a happy family, but they find out when they are older it was all a scam.

Since then she loves both her parents, is aware of her fathers failings and her mothers devotion, and has a family of her own and has come out very well. Just something to add to the mix.

Take care and I really respect and admire your commitment to your family, whatever happens going forward.

Thumos posted 8/4/2020 12:12 PM

Jlarson, you might want to read the last page in my long thread about my situation:

I'm not saying we're twins, but our experiences so closely track that it's very strange. Four years ago. Double betrayal. In your own home. In your own town. Constant triggers. A spouse who kinda seems to get it, but also not. Who has been kinda sorta transparent, but also not. Who wants to rugsweep and wants you to get over it.

You're not doing yourself any favors here.

I haven't been through the divorce process yet, you'll have to check back in with me later, and maybe my opinion will change. But right now I feel resolved and lighter and better than I have in four years. I feel good. I don't feel bad.

I'm also more than ten years older than you, so I'm about to go out in the world as a divorced 50 year old man. And while part of me has fear, there's a lot of me that doens't have any fear at all. It will be okay.

I don't think it's going to be nearly as painful as I had talked myself into a year ago. It's going to hurt. And it's going to hurt my kids. But this is what is right for my health and sanity.

DO NOT sacrifice your health and sanity and even your spiritual wellbeing for something your wife already killed. If she can't or won't do the work -- and frankly it sounds like she is only back in this with you in a half baked way -- then you've given it the real college try here. Four years ain't nothing.

Take back your life! Arise from your slumber. Snap yourself out of it. If that means divorce, then do it. If you think there's really a chance to have a TRUE rewarding relationship with your wife that doesn't feel like settling where you don't look at her every morning and remember or where you don't look at your self in the mirror and feel a lack of respect, then by all means try for reconciliation.

But you are not reconciling right now. Your "lessons" are simply telling everyone what a wasteland your current situation is.

It's untenable, and you know it, and that's why you came here to "update" us again.

sisoon posted 8/4/2020 14:20 PM

I look back at my experience and feel like I was fed too much unrealistic expectation of what this can be....

I have looked back at the counseling, the AR courses and what my wife begged from me, which was all backed up by most affair literature - that you should give it x amount of months before you decide to stay or go. The problem with that....

That's why I almost feel manipulated by all the stuff I was fed by books, AR, counselors etc at first.

Those statements raise a big concern for me. You seem to be viewing yourself as a Victim of a conspiracy, not as a human being with power.

I've read several pages of your 'Literally just found out' JFO thread. What I read in that thread was that R was difficult and not guaranteed to succeed. I also read a lot of advice that it was too early for you to be in MC and that you need to take responsibility for yourself.

I don't understand how you got from that thread to buying promises of M bliss without ensuring that your W was a good candidate for R. I don't understand how you got from that thread to focusing on your W instead of on your own healing.

I may not be in a good reconciliation spot, but is there one? I mean really? Without some form of rug sweeping or compartmentalizing, how can anyone be in an amazing relationship when they picture their one and only wife with another dude every time they are physically intimate?
That's not R.

R requires staying in touch with reality. I won't pretend that my W didn't have an A; she did. I'm a Guide - I'm on SI every day. It's virtually impossible for me to avoid the reality of Affair consequences.

But the D/R decision isn't simple, as you know. Some facts say 'D'; some say 'R.' One has to weigh each factor and make a decision - and accept that there's no perfect resolution. What you've set up for yourself is lose-lose. You're essentially pretending you can have a life without a W who cheated. You can't.

But you can accept that she cheated and look for the choices that are most likely to get you a good life, given where you are.

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.

Well, you're not going to get an answer unless you think there is one. And if that's what you think a good IC will start with, you haven't met a good IC.

As for what else you can do, let me suggest:

1) Take responsibility for yourself. Accept that you've made mistakes in healing from being betrayed. Accept that you misread the advice you were given. Accept that you have to restart your healing.

2) Find a good IC. Tell them that your W cheated, that you're still filled with grief, anger, fear, and shame, that you're still uncertain about R vs. D, and that you want help processing your feelings and deciding what course to take.

You haven't gotten to the point of realizing your responsibility for your family life. You bought a bill of goods that haven't given you what you thought you'd get.

Others have read your words to mean that you really want to D.

I read your words to mean you've barely started healing, and you're not ready to make a good choice for yourself.

Heal yourself. Then you'll be able to make a good decision for yourself - and I have no idea what that decision will be.

[This message edited by sisoon at 2:21 PM, August 4th (Tuesday)]

leebick posted 8/4/2020 15:56 PM

Jlarson, I hear you. I'm about 2.5 years into the process and have come to realize that the "new marriage" will only be about 80% because I cannot figure out how to trust him. To me, trusting him means not protecting myself. I will choose to live the life that I can tolerate best- at 65, the wind is out of my sails for staying with him, but also for living alone. I don't want to start over, and I don't want to be alone. I don't want to see what this will do to our daughter, to our families, to each other. If I have to work my way through the thorns and thickets, avoiding dog shit and crap, I will... but it will always only be 80%.

thatbpguy posted 8/4/2020 21:15 PM

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

I disagree. I see a lot of realism and pragmatism in your posts.

I also see someone crying out for help.

I was devastatingly transformed by my ex wife's betrayals. It has followed me and haunted me for 20 years. The sense of loss is so profound. Loss of love, respect, friendship, trust, faith... I use the same lost leg metaphor as you do. A betrayal causes physical, emotional and psychological trauma. And sometimes when the spouse tries to make amends, it just seems to make it hurt worse. It's easy from betrayers to find a way to continue as they weren't hurt as they had the wildest time of their life. SO we take it and take it forever.

Waggingthedog posted 8/4/2020 22:45 PM

Hi again friend,

The medical analogy is really an attempt to look at the problem logically.

There's a lot to look at in your story.

Maybe it comes with the idea of marriage we have when we get into it... That we are marrying someone that wants to live by the same rules we impose on ourselves. It's a shock when that isn't the case.

Affairs steal so much from us mentally, too. I long for a day where this doesn't infect my mind but I'm only a couple of years out. As you see, your thread is drawing out people that still think about this 20-30 years later even when they've left the person that did it. I have zero doubt I carry substantial emotional scars from this and will forever. We all do.

It's how we deal with those scars. How do you use this experience to make your life better? Going with the lost limb analogy... So many people that go through that experience tap into strength they never knew they had and use it to improve themselves.

Right now... You have to give yourself permission to be selfish. You also have to give yourself permission to make the choice you're making staying in the marriage, and not feel bad about it.

Every day you decide to stay with your wife, for the sake of your kids or for the sake of your business or because there's something in you that keeps you there - that's a choice you're making. You've got to be kind to yourself for making that choice. Is it ideal? No. But you're making the choice to stay there. Give yourself permission to make the choice if it's what you want. Or give yourself permission to make that choice simply because it's the less bad choice you have.

If choosing to be there is getting unbearable, and it looks like it is, then you also have other choices.

First, you can have a talk with your wife. Maybe say something along the lines of: "[wife] I am appreciative of the work you put in early on in an attempt to heal our marriage. I am really struggling lately. I want to be open with you about it. I don't say this to trigger shame, or resentment or to belittle your efforts in this. I am telling you this because they are my feelings. I do not know how to stop feeling this way. I have to drive around town and be constantly reminded by pictures of the OM. It's like I am being stalked and it feels like I am trapped. I need to take time out of town more frequently and away from all of this. I want to put in everything I have for this family, but I am filling up with sadness. I need to address it in a constructive way to continue in this marriage.". And then do what you want to do in life. Make the choice to have fun.

The other choice is sexual. Your WW did what she did, but you never got the experience. I get it. Trust me I get it. I divorced and found it. I'll say this. Sex is sex. It's different with different people. But I would not put much stock in it. Sex is only 10% of a good relationship and 90% of a bad one. The first time I slept with someone else it was the strangest thing. It was nice to feel someone that authentically wanted me. But, I will tell you this, after that first time... it did nothing to ease the pain. In fact, it made me feel worse. It took a few tries with different people but that part got better. I don't say this to say 'run out and go wild.'. It's the opposite in fact. Sex is only a part of a life. And in the choices you're making, you're choosing something more important to you because you keep making the choice every morning...why? Because you're making the choice to stay. It must be more important because it is your choice... You just don't like your choices. You have the power to make a different choice if you want. Just knowing that hopefully gives you some relief. We forget it sometimes.

Maybe it's living in the unfairness of it all. That's a kicker. She takes your manhood, humiliated you (in your head...she really humiliated herself), and now she's living the life she wanted...where's karma? How do the scales balance? This is another part entirely. The scales never really balance. And that's life. Even if you divorce. Accepting that things never really balance out is a better way to happiness than an endless task of trying to balance the scales or waiting for someone else to do it. It is clear that living in the unfairness is eating at you. This is why you have to find fulfillment in you, and likely away from town. Balance the scales by finding your own happiness, but also by abiding by your morals and values. You won't like yourself if you violate your own code.

Divorce also comes with a host of other bad effects and you're well aware of them. I won't reiterate them; they're clear. You know them. But it's also a choice you make every morning - not to end the relationship. If you did divorce maybe you get your sexual fulfillment and balance the scales but let me tell you honestly... It'll be hollow. What's important in going to for tat isn't the act of sex as much as it is balancing the scale in your mind. If you're going into it with that mindset it will be hollow. It simply won't be worth the money.

I divorced because my WW didn't love me anymore, she'd had affairs most of the marriage and therefore didn't love me during that time. That time was most of the marriage. It was a lifestyle. And, I don't believe she understood what she did or the effect it had on me. It's just who she was. My guess was that, given what it was, no amount of work on my part would ever change that part of her nature. In other words, I didn't have any hope of change. And, frankly, I think I was right based on her actions after divorce. It just confirmed she didn't love me. But I digress.

Every day you stay in this marriage you're making a choice. Be that for your kids, or whatever reason. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself permission to make the less bad choice, even though it's not perfect. So long as that choice is what you want more.

Also be selfish. You need something here to continue on in it. Be upfront with your wife about what's going on (she will be your coparent for life, so honesty here goes a long way regardless) and get out of town for a bit. Reconnect with "you" again and find that contentment that's disconnected from all this. I think some time away...a mental vacation a few times a year...will really help.

Take care man.

jlarson posted 8/5/2020 00:09 AM

Bigger - I definitely hear you about PTSD. I recently read a good book on that, Transcending PISD by Dennis Ortman. And I've read others too regarding that.

I think I had a relatively bad string of counselors, so that jaded me into thinking they're all bad. Maybe I'll try and hunt one down again to see if they can give me some perspective or tools to use.


Those statements raise a big concern for me. You seem to be viewing yourself as a Victim of a conspiracy, not as a human being with power.

I've read several pages of your 'Literally just found out' JFO thread. What I read in that thread was that R was difficult and not guaranteed to succeed. I also read a lot of advice that it was too early for you to be in MC and that you need to take responsibility for yourself.

I don't understand how you got from that thread to buying promises of M bliss without ensuring that your W was a good candidate for R. I don't understand how you got from that thread to focusing on your W instead of on your own healing.

I was a victim. Everyone on here was or still is a victim. IT'S okay to feel that way at some level. That's basically my point about this whole post and getting back on SI for a time. Basically you're saying if I feel victimized I am not doing the right work, or enough work and I still need to fix me more. You're saying that I am broken - well yeah, a shark bit my damn leg off. So a part of me is broken.

I don't go around identifying as a victim of infidelity. I also don't go around saying I was duped by AR and the counselors I went to and by some of the information I read in different books. I suppose that for some people, with their unique personalities, histories, insecurities, faults, weaknesses, strenghts etc, they find happiness in R a lot easier than I can/will/might. My whole point, and if you look back at my initial post, was that with MY unique personality and my shortcomings, strengths, faults, mistakes etc etc, it has been really hard for me to work through certain things. I can say that I still have resentment, and still have anger, and still let fear affect me in my life. SO I guess I am just broken?

I posted on SI because I have no where else to post the negative side of my "recovery" or whatever ya'll want to call it. I may have not clearly described my wife in my post. She stopped her affair 3 weeks after Dday. Then TT me for several months. Then it was honesty. Then it was weekly calls and books and counseling and all that shit for 2.5 years. She did it too. Never betrayed again. Worked the best she knew how. Of course she came up short. Still does. Always will. As we all do. She's never even come close to cheating again. Hates part of herself for what she did. Has cried a thousand gallons of tears over the last 4 years. Still struggles with controlling things around her, and sometimes selfishness, but she's a much better woman now than she was 4 years ago. Much better. I'd pick her over any other woman I currently know if there was no infidelity. I'm still picking her with infidelity, with extenuating circumstances obviously. My point is that she has done a B+ job at recovery. So it's not that her recovery effort wasn't or isn't there. BUT, even had she been the unfaithful spouse recovery poster child, A++, it wouldn't get rid of my triggers, my feelings about betrayal, my inability to trust anyone now. Those are a result of her affair, not her recovery attempt.

For those people out there that think more simlilarly to me, I wanted to tell you that it sucks a lot still at 4 years. That's my point. I have great times with my wife and family now. We do a lot of things and when I'm in the moment I enjoy it. Yes, it is haunted by them together, the betrayal and whatnot, but it isn't sapping away any chance I have at feeling happy. I have happiness in my life now. I just don't need SI to post that. I needed to post my unhappiness because I have no where else to share it.

Sorry (but not really) that my unhappiness may have to do with my inability to completely rid myself of piss and vinegar when I think about the affair. I'm trying to forgive. I'm trying to love unconditionally, but it's hard as shit when I think of what she did. But when people to say I desparately need counseling, I think hmm, I guess I am the one that is so broken. I guess it's not NORMAL for me to still stuggle with stuff 4 years out. What is normal? What AR tells you is normal? What your IC tells you is normal?

How about this, it's normal to hurt for a long F-ing time after your spouse cheats. And its normal to have anger for a long F-ing time. And its normal for some to question whether they made the right choice by staying, or by going, or by doing whatever they did.


I was devastatingly transformed by my ex wife's betrayals. It has followed me and haunted me for 20 years. The sense of loss is so profound. Loss of love, respect, friendship, trust, faith... I use the same lost leg metaphor as you do. A betrayal causes physical, emotional and psychological trauma. And sometimes when the spouse tries to make amends, it just seems to make it hurt worse. It's easy from betrayers to find a way to continue as they weren't hurt as they had the wildest time of their life. SO we take it and take it forever.

Amen brother. I'm so sorry you are here too, but saying it how it is helps me feel not so lonely. Helps me know that I'm not the only one that will still be sad or mad in 20 years, when I think about my wife's affair. I'm human. What can I say.

And Waggingthedog - that was one of the best posts for me to read ever. Seriously. That helped a lot.

It sucks to get cheated on, and it will not ever not suck. I know I'm trudging through shit right now, and will be for a long time, but I will survive and I may never be a super optimist that carries no resentment or anger. And that's okay. I don't have to feel like I am broken becasue I'm human.

I promise to update again in another several years and hopefully I'll feel less pain, but I'm not about to believe there won't be pain at all. That I'll ever say I'm glad my wife cheated. That I'll ever not get disgusted when thinking about them together sexually.

[This message edited by jlarson at 12:13 AM, August 5th (Wednesday)]

gutpunch33 posted 8/5/2020 08:17 AM

JLarson, I wish there was a "Love" button for posts. You wrote so accurately from the position that I and many others find themselves in. I continue to love my wife to the extent that I'm able. Reconciliation is not a destination, but more of a daily practice. I equate it to what a lot of Christians mean when they say that they pick up their cross daily.

Ironically enough, today is DDay year 8 for me. It's rare that I don't think about it each day, it's rare that I don't have visions and thoughts pass through my mind when we have sex. I fight really hard to NOT let it come out every time we argue. It has become a constant companion to my life. I liken it to have a cataract in the corner of my eye. It doesn't affect my daily much, but you know it's there.

I believe now that filing for divorce would have been best too. Best for my dignity and sense of self, and best for my WW. But, I had 3 kids at home that were thriving. The youngest is a senior this year and she struggles with depression and anxiety. She did even before the cheating. I feared for her outcome, feared that the chaos of divorce and living in 2 separate homes would really do a number on her. My middle child is 21 and already a multi millionaire thanks to being drafted in the first round of a professional sport. The oldest adores her mom and calls her at least once a day. I guess what I'm saying is that I sacrificed for them by staying married to their mom. Their mom tossed a lit stick of dynamite in to the living room where they were sitting and I jumped on it to protect them. In protecting them, I also protected her from the shrapnel. It gutted me and I'm lucky to have survived it. She's paid no public price. Her kids don't know, her family doesn't either, no one but her, I and the POS. She's paid a huge price in terms of betraying herself, her husband and her family. I think it's taken a toll on her too and has broken her as well.

But I also am coming out of this a better man in many ways. I started doing things for myself again. I hit the gym, lost over 50 pounds. I go do things for myself now that I wouldn't have done before. I also have zero fucks given when she's not happy with me. Not that I do anything on purpose to mess with her. But when there is conflict, I don't get too worked up anymore when she's not happy with the decision/outcome.

On her end, she pursues me every day. She shows me every day that she wants to be with me, that she knows she screwed up and has gone above and beyond to help me in anyway possible to heal.

Unfortunately, there is a harsh reality that no matter what she does there is no fixing it. It's no different than had she cut off my arm with a chain saw. She could help me get with things I am no longer capable of doing, but the one thing she can't get to happen is for me to grow a new arm.

She broke a part of me about as efficiently and thoroughly one could possibly break another person and there's no fixing that.

So, I like you, continue to live with that broken part of me. I think if I weighed out the good and the bad, the scales tip slightly towards staying married for me. And for the kids, it was definitely what was best for them.

And so if I have sacrificed for them to help them succeed and thrive, the so be it. That's what a Dad does. He sacrifices for his family so that they can have a good launching pad for their own lives.

I respect your choices and I greatly respect you, knowing what kind of man you are.

Kaliber posted 8/5/2020 08:59 AM

Hi jlarson

This might help give you an insight of the way people deal with betrayal when infidelity was a deal-breaker for them:

From another website:

Today, I was reading about PTSD and came across the concept of ďmoral injuryĒ (Google scientificamerican article treating-moral-injuries) made me think of all of that. I am no specialist or psychologist, so I canít say whether there is any validity to the parallel I am making, but it still made me think about how I have acted in a way that was so contrary to my morals, my values and my core beliefs. Because of that, I have felt a lot of shame that I wasnít stronger. I often beat myself up when I think about it.

I felt like I reacted to the news of the betrayal like a loser, a weakling. I felt like I betrayed myself by being so weak towards her. I was ashamed of how I betrayed my own values for her by considering reconciliation and by forgiving her. I was pissed off that I wasnít the Super Woman that I thought Iíd be in this situation a year ago.

But now, I realize I havenít been very compassionate with myself for how I reacted to the betrayal. The truth is, on Dday, the shock was so great, the emotions so raw and the enormity of the damage of the betrayal on my marriage, my security and my life was so immense, that it was impossible for me to see clearly and to make informed decisions. I was in a state of distress that is greater than any other situation I have been in in my adult life. Even in the following days, weeks and months, the denial and the pain was so intense, there was no way for me to assess the situation in a rational way.

This treating-moral-injuries article was a good read!

[This message edited by Kaliber at 9:01 AM, August 5th (Wednesday)]

iberieli posted 8/5/2020 09:05 AM


Here's the thread of thirtyyearsmore

I would recommend you read it and pay attention to the last part of his opening post.

Bigger posted 8/5/2020 10:23 AM

Some years ago, people close to me started passing away due to old age and illness. Parents, uncles and aunts, family friendsÖ
It made me stop and evaluate life.

Of all the resources we have there is none as precious as time.
Each and every one of our actions and activities and abilities is limited by time. We can work as hard as we can but eventually run out of time and die. We can love, hate, regret, laughÖ whatever but eventually we run out of time. Itís your choice if you spend that time miserable or happy.

Once I realized this, I decided to make the most of my time. To use it wisely.
Fact is itís not the amount of time you get that counts, but what you do with it.

Granted itís best to get as much as possible and do as much good with it as possible, but we have numerous examples of people that lived a good but short life, as we have examples of those that die old, sad and bitter. Personally, I would want to die old and content and missed by those I leave behind.

IMHO the most important relationship we willingly enter is marriage. Its tops parenting in the sense that as a father I am a father. I canít morally refuse to be a parent. I can legally and for immoral reasons, but that in turn breaks my moral standards. I willingly decided to be a husband and I can use the same free will to leave this marriage. Itís really that simple. Shure there are all sorts of legal attachments and details, but that can be dealt with. There is NOTHING holding me in my marriage other than MY OWN FREE WILL.

Thatís why I would never settle for 70 or 80% as ďOKĒ for my marriage. My most precious relationship where Iím spending my even more precious and limited time. At the same time my realistic self tells me assuming itís 100% isnít attainable, but you can bet your last dollar that I will do my best to aim for it.

A good marriage doesnít just happen. Itís commitment and hard work. Itís mainly communications and both having a clear vision of what you want and where you are headed.
I had that conversation with my wife. At the time we were in a relatively rough patch. We decided that we wanted to be married. We wanted to spend our lives together. We also realized that there were certain gaps and gullies in our relationship. We did some things to decrease our differences, found common ground and worked at isolating our problems so we could work at them.

Didnít happen overnight. We took certain issues and dealt with them, slowly building our skills in communicating and negotiating. We developed ways to back out of situations if things got heated. Permissions to put things on hold and walk away. But eventually we managed to close our gaps and gullies.

Undeniably there were concessions and changes made. We both gave some and got some. We changed how we handle finances, how we organize family holidays. How we spend time on our hobbies. How we do things together and what we do apart. We take care to show mutual respect. We have an understanding that nothing is off limits and itís OK to question or warn rather than let resentment grow.
Part of that resentment were things we did to each other in the past. Things we did or said to each other that really shouldnít happen in a marriage. Although not sexual or emotional infidelity there was some mutual abuse (nonviolent), financial infidelity and lackluster participation in the marriage. We dealt with that and let go of that resentment. We both consciously decided that we had put that behind us. Doesnít mean itís forgotten, only we donít let it control our interactions. I still do an occasional credit-check (have to for my jobs clearance). I still keep my eye open for new purchases. But so far the trust-but-verify approach has worked fine for me.

My marriage isnít 100% and I hope I never think it is. That would make me complacent. But I hope I have the ambition and drive to regularly evaluate the marriage and remember the only think keeping either of us in it is our free will. Itís what we WANT.

This is why I often say reconciliation is a life-long commitment. Itís never ďoverĒ per se because it needs to be maintained.

Blaise092817 posted 8/5/2020 11:52 AM

I am close to three years out.
For me, this first post in this tread is beyond on point.
When you get served the plate full of shit, all who u were and all u had..... is long gone.

I too should have walked.
Mine was a monger at the AMPS, not full service (believe me I played the monger role on line and know every menu for way too many of the shit holes all around)... hand jobs only.

Due to my own homework I found out too much.

For the newbies... breathe. Just fucking breathe and truly work on yourself. They fucked you over.
You need to do all this work just for you so you can get your head is a place to be able to rest your soul.
When you loved someone beyond all else, and you look in the mirror each and every day after your discovery.... and see what the Hell you look like now... there is no greater loss than

thatbpguy posted 8/5/2020 12:26 PM

I have posted this before, but I used to moderate a rival infidelity board that eventually was closed by the owner.

On occasion I would email/pm both the betrayed and the betrayer after they had R'd. Without exception, the betrayer was always ecstatic. Their marriage was so wonderful, they were so much in love, all was stronger... But the betrayed had a different picture. They would write that, "things are ok,,,, I have my good days and my bad.... I R'd for [whatever] reasons and knew I would remain unhappy/noncontentÖ" It was always a sacrifice the betrayed made and they lived with a lot of silent issues.

I am sure there are some betrayed who R'd and are willing to state all is forgiven, forgotten, they don't even remember it happened.... but I'm not sure I really believe them. My guess is they simply gained an acquired taste for shit sandwiches.

[This message edited by thatbpguy at 12:27 PM, August 5th (Wednesday)]

ThisIsSoLonely posted 8/5/2020 12:35 PM

You are having a commitment-conflict. On the one hand, just in this post you have said you did not, and you do want to divorce. You have said that you regret staying, and yet don't think you should leave. You are trapped in ambivalence, and you have to do something to get out of it. Either commit mentally to R, or divorce - either way you must talk to your spouse about how you are feeling.

Oh the slippery slope of what-if land coupled with "it's never too late" ville - this shit can drive you crazy, really:

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.

Here's the deal:

I could ask myself those same questions quoted above about several things in my life - my career, my marriage (not the infidelity part), where I live geographically and my decision to live far from my family...and those are just the big ones.

I HAVE looked myself in the mirror and questioned myself on my decisions of years ago and where I am now (or at whatever time I was being introspective) and I have not been happy about the answers sometimes. That unsure feeling rears its ugly head sometimes, and that's fucking normal. The question I have for you is

Are you questioning your commitment to R every single day (or close to it)? Is it permeating your thoughts and overshadowing everything? Do sometimes you feel okay about R and other times you wish you were free?

You said that sometimes you wish your spouse would have another A so that you could leave. Think about that long and hard. If that is the case, then you at bare minimum need to have that talk with her. You MUST.

As for the kids, I am a child of divorce AND (after my parent's divorce) a child who lived through my mom being the AP, getting pregnant, and marrying her AP. My childhood, not without its issues, was pretty great and I can tell you that it was BETTER that my parents divorced for us, especially in the long run (and for them too). Don't let fear of divorce scare you - it's only as bad as the divorced parents make it.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 8/5/2020 12:36 PM


We are all different - and as much as I believe a lot of the posters on this thread feel how they feel, I find that I am not like them in many senses, and only take their experiences as it applies to me with a grain of salt. You should too.

Unlike you, I did not replay my WH fucking the AP (yes, in our bed, and on my couches and in our car as well). I still own that bed and sleep in it, ditto for the couches and the car (own, not sleep in the car's casen my !) - and I don't replay that stuff at all in my head unless I am on some thread like this one, and even then, it doesn't matter.

In my mind, bad shit happens, and I'm not going to let what my WH did, fuck up my world, and I am fully capable of forgiving because these things don't linger with me the way they do others - they don't hinder my ability to see rationally. I was able to forgive the act, the betrayal even, because I am human and I too have f-ed up in major ways before. But moving forward required much more than my required action on my WH's part that was more than he gave (a lot more).

I don't look at my WH and think about him and the AP sexually - I really don't care. It's in the past and I certainly didn't look at him and think about anyone he was with prior to me, so why would that permeate my thoughts just because it was an A? What I did struggle with was what he did TO ME, not what they did together. I didn't ask about sex, because honestly, I don't care whether he gave her hard core oral sex in the front seat of my car in the driveway of our house (no clue if that happened - just made it up) because the betrayal of me was the issue, not some sexual act that was a tiny moment in the grand scheme.

Why I am telling you all of this is to illustrate that I am different and that I feel things differently. You clearly feel differently, and that's fine. But remember, just because a bunch of people on here say they felt that way and divorced doesn't mean it applies to you too.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 8/5/2020 12:41 PM

I think ThatPBGuy is right on with this:

Without exception, the betrayer was always ecstatic. Their marriage was so wonderful, they were so much in love, all was stronger... But the betrayed had a different picture.

I think that is the problem for a lot of people. And as the BS you feel shitty/stupid for trying to R and then later realizing that you have wasted more of your own time.

But I will disagree with this in theory anyway:

I am sure there are some betrayed who R'd and are willing to state all is forgiven, forgotten, they don't even remember it happened.... but I'm not sure I really believe them. My guess is they simply gained an acquired taste for shit sandwiches.

I think more likely those BS who are actually forgivers (like myself) are more realistic, knowing that life deals you a lot of shit sandwiches of differing sizes and shapes - we are more quickly able to ACCEPT the realities of life OR come to expect less from it. Do I think that means you have "acquired a taste for them"? Yeah, I guess - but I prefer to think of it as not living in fantasy land about life in general. No, this is not about "are you a doormat" or not - it's about getting past things - through things - moving beyond the pain of infidelity. I'm 2.5 years out from d-day 1 and 1 year from d-day3 and I can tell you, I'm there. It doesn't hurt me on the daily anymore (in fact, I pretty much only think about it when I'm on this site) - and that's where it's at.

I think that once you recognize life for what it is...the moving forward is easier. Life is a minefield of shit sandwiches, so accepting that, and focusing on what good comes your way leads to a better quality of life IMO (and let's face it, even the shitsandwich-to-happiness ratio for everyone is different - and seemingly unfairly so in some cases). Letting go - forgiveness really is freedom for you I think.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 12:55 PM, August 5th (Wednesday)]

SlapNutsABingo posted 8/5/2020 13:12 PM


There is NO Statue Of Limitations on choosing to divorce. You can walk and walk with your head held high at any time....

Blaise092817 posted 8/5/2020 15:25 PM

I know SN... I know..
Still contemplating what I want to be... and where..
When I get to that crossroad which my come sooner rather than later... it will be very, very far from where I am now....

I am content being alone and by myself.

The sad part is I have the perfect role model of a remorseful WH.. A Poster Boy...

And here I write that no matter the efforts... he destroyed the person I once was...

sisoon posted 8/5/2020 19:20 PM

BSes have been victimized, but that's different from taking on the role of Victim in a big Drama Triangle. Note the difference: victimized vs. Victim, lower case 'v' vs upper case 'V'. ('Drama Triangle' is searchable.)

We can't change the fact that our WSes cheated. We can choose how to respond.

I'm not saying recovering from being betrayed is without work. I'm not saying immense pain doesn't get dumped on BSes. I'm not saying a healthy person will forget being betrayed. I'm not saying a BS needs to forgive the WS.

I'm saying the way to recover from being betrayed is to face the pain with a goal of letting it go. I'm saying that holding onto the pain harms the BS and the people around the BS. And I'm against adding pain onto the BS's burden.

Don't believe me. Believe Bigger and Epitectus:

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone."

Maybe that sounds like blaming the Victim - but it tells the victim that he can heal.

[This message edited by sisoon at 7:22 PM, August 5th (Wednesday)]

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5

Return to Forum List

Return to Just Found Out

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