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What if itís a dealbreaker and we donít know it yet?

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Mickie500 posted 8/11/2020 14:34 PM

I am starting to think that my husbandís infidelity might be a dealbreaker for my heart but not my brain.

Did you start reconciliation believing you could forgive and move on but no matter what you keep sabotaging your own recovery and healing because maybe you just canít forgive?

I canít tell if reconciliation is just the hardest journey Ever and there is light at the end of the tunnel or if itís just not in me to move on in my marriage from this.

Can anyone relate?
My head is like no way I should let this blip in our marriage destroy years of devotion and love. My heart just replays all the lies.

Evertrying posted 8/11/2020 14:45 PM

You're only 8 months out. The first year is pure hell and your emotions will be all over the place.

I wanted to R, but didn't know if H was a good candidate for it for the first 18 months. I knew that if his actions could show me that he was and that he was truly re-invested in the marriage, we had a chance. At the 18 month mark I could really see we had a chance and I forgave him. I had to. It was the only way I could see my way through it and I did it for myself - not for him.

I won't lie, R is the hardest thing the two of us have ever been through. There were HORRIBLE times that were a struggle but we stuck it out and came through to the other side.

We are almost 3 yrs past dday now and the A is long in the past. Yes there are triggers along the way but together we tackle them and don't let them challenge or jeopardize all the progress we have made to get here. For us, there was a light at the end of tunnel.

Only your H's actions will show whether or not he is a safe partner and R material. Then YOU decide whether or not it's a deal breaker for you.

crazyblindsided posted 8/11/2020 14:52 PM

No matter what side this journey sucks. I agree that you are still early in the process. Has your WS been putting in the proper work and showing remorse and support to you?

Maybe give yourself a timeline and if you are not feeling better after x time maybe reassess.

For me the A was not the dealbreaker, but his actions and attitude post-A were definitely the dealbreaker. It took me FOREVER to figure this out though. 8 years later and I have finally decided to S. The decision is still not easy not is it clear cut.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 2:52 PM, August 11th (Tuesday)]

Mickie500 posted 8/11/2020 14:52 PM

Thank you. I guess for me his actions are showing it but these triggers are going to be the death of me.

I tell him the worst thing he did was treat me so well during his affair. How can I trust this person in front of me? Same face.

He says his insides are rearranged and nothing will let him return to betraying himself again and that means betraying me.

My heart gives him the side eye.

Oldwounds posted 8/11/2020 14:53 PM

There was a point ó about 18-months after discovery ó when we both realized that even though we BOTH wanted R, we both were all in, that all our effort may not be enough for us to make it.

I just wasnít sure I could get beyond her choices, regardless of how much she had changed.

We did get through, but I do think that when I was reminded by a wiser member than me that infidelity is always a dealbreaker, always.

I left the old broken deal behind.

I started looking at what we could be in building or rebuilding our relationship in a NEW deal, last chance scenario.

Itís semantics for perspective for sure, but I needed to find a way to approach the smoldering wreckage and see if we had anything to work with going forward.

The deal is broken.

And if youíre done, youíre done, no shame in that at all.

Itís a tough journey no matter what path you take, and itís very understandable if you just canít find a way with this person who hurt you.

Evertrying posted 8/11/2020 17:17 PM

I tell him the worst thing he did was treat me so well during his affair. How can I trust this person in front of me? Same face.

I think cheaters (especially men) are really good at compartmentalizing their lives during an A. My H would tell that when he drove home from work (his AP was a coworker) that he could literally feel one box being put on the shelf and another coming off of the shelf. They live two completely separate lives while engulfed in flames. He did a fantastic job of separating the two and did everything possible to prevent one live from crossing into the other. The other thing is the AP needs to know this as well so they don't interfere with the WH's home life. That's why AP's always accept the scraps. So while your H was home he was in one box and was nice to you. A lot of that is also because of the guilt they feel. They are super sweet to convince themselves that what they are doing is "ok".

Flatlined123 posted 8/11/2020 17:43 PM

I couldnít agree more Oldwounds. Infidelity IS a deal breaker. You might try to tell yourself you can deal with it, but itís always there. You have to learn to live with it if you want to stay together.

My H and I have a good relationship. Weíre friends, but it sure doesnít feel like it used to. I wish I could have some of the feelings back that used to be there pre A.

In all honesty, I wish I could go back to dday and divorce. That would have only been thinking about me. I wanted our kids to have a stable home. Everything comes at a price

Lsja posted 8/11/2020 19:58 PM

I'm going through the exact thing right now. My husband has always been so good to me. We get along so well and always have. So when I discovered the depth of his betrayal I was and still am in shock. He says he never stopped loving me and never saw a future without me. Even when he was having one night stands with random women.

My heart REALLY has a hard time with the fact that he says he loved me but made conscious choices to cheat.

He is doing everything in his power to restore trust and help heal my heart. What if it just isn't enough to heal the hurt that he caused. My fear is to go a few years down the road into reconciliation and wake up with the realization that it just won't get any better. That I'll be hurting, bitter and triggered until the very end.

I do believe that he is reconciliation material, but what if I just can't overcome it. My thoughts echo your post, and I can't help you with what you're going through, but I can surely relate. You are not alone.

Thissucks5678 posted 8/11/2020 21:10 PM

I was in limbo for what felt like forever. Iím pretty sure at 8 months, I was contemplating separation leading to divorce. I was miserable. It takes a lot of time to get through this kind of trauma.

I just took it day by day. If I remember right, I gave it 6 months at first before I made any decisions, then a year, then another 6 months, etc. Finally around 2 years I committed to R.

I still think infidelity is a deal breaker and sometimes Iím still surprised it didnít end up breaking our deal.

Stinger posted 8/11/2020 21:29 PM

Not sure how I knew, but I did. Much as I hated losing my marriage, I figured out this was going to eat at me forever. And, it still,does, decades later.

I have a good life, lots of friends, good jobs, travel, play golf etc. So, it is not like it completely ruined me. But, it has made it impossible to form a lasting romantic relationship. I used to miss that big now that I am old, I do not.

GTeamReboot posted 8/11/2020 23:41 PM

If you scroll down thereís a thread titled 8 Months Out. Iím 10 months out. Thereís something about this timeframe... it feels far enough out that you think ďI should feel sure of my decisionĒ... and yet in reality itís a blip of time in terms of a lifelong marriage. I truly worry sometimes about how much it still haunts me. Something must be wrong with me!? Iíll think about it daily!? (FWH wonders this about me as well. Lol!). And then moments where itís so crystal clear how full of remorse for the past and dedication to the future he is. And of course lots of arguments and misunderstandings and tears mixed in between. Itís exhausting. The timeline is easily a couple years. If R seems feasible and feels worthwhile, it makes sense to hang in there! But if your instincts are protesting loudly, it makes sense to listen.

AnnieOakley posted 8/12/2020 00:58 AM

My profile spells is out towards the end. He did the work and turned into the man I always thought he was, never treated me ďpoorlyĒ during our marriage. We were the fun, successful couple to be envied!

In the end it was a deal breaker.... I should have listened to my 23 yo self that CLEARLY remembers telling him during a dating convo.... a man cheats on me and his shit will be out on the fucking driveway, no questions asked.

I divorced because it was no longer fair to him or me. It still brings tears to my eyes sometimes as I could not move beyond the affairs. It took me years to make the final decision. Due to my job I traveled a lot, so I think I literally avoided dealing with the enormity of the situation to some degree by getting on a plane each week. At 8 months, Iím not sure that I even knew or cared what day it was.

Right now Iím in the early stages of finally dating someone and am determined not to hold on to the old hurt. Iíve done the work and it has been hard!!! But I can with certainty know that if it happens again....I will listen to my 23 yo self. No doubt whatsoever!!

Dragonfly123 posted 8/12/2020 02:06 AM

Iím 20 months or so from the end of my WHs affair. I can honestly say that I agree an affair is a deal breaker.

I can only speak for myself in that I always knew I would not forgive BUT I can accept that this happened to us. There is a HUGE difference. My WH doesnít deserve my forgiveness, what he put his family through is unforgiveable but I know I can accept it happened and negotiate a new deal.

Eight months on I was still feeling physically sick at making this decision. I had constant background noise, I was thinking of other peopleís opinions on my choices, my kids and what it meant for them, my own loathing at the idea that I was Ďweakí for considering it. I had to work through all that to drill down to what I wanted for myself; where I saw myself happiest, even if that was accepting that I would have to build a new Ďordinary worldí with a man who had destroyed me.

I think eight months is very early on. I was still reeling eight months from my initial dday. I was still reeling eight months from the end of my WHs affair.

Work through your feelings, drill down to what makes you happiest, put you at the centre of your thoughts and your path will become clearer.

[This message edited by Dragonfly123 at 2:33 AM, August 12th (Wednesday)]

marriageredux959 posted 8/12/2020 02:22 AM

One phrase I ran across early on is that infidelity is the end of innocence in a marriage.

To me, whether the marriage continues on or not, this is the essence of the thing.

An aspect of the marriage is lost and will never, ever return.

In fact, I'd go a step further and say that it's a loss of innocence for both the betrayed and the wayward as people. Even if that marriage ends, two very changed people emerge from it. If the marriage continues, two very changed people reside within it.

As a betrayed, I will tell you that if I could not blindly trust my husband not to cheat years ago, I can trust no one. He was literally the last man I thought would step over that line, not because he was physically incapable or that he'd never find another woman attractive, but because his personal pride in his own integrity would prevent it.

Finding out years later that even he was vulnerable despite his huge personal investment in the idea of his own integrity taught me that literally anyone can and will cheat given the right set of circumstances.

Husband will never again be a man who didn't cheat, and who didn't lie about it (largely by omission) afterwards.

Neither one of us will ever blindly believe in or trust each other, or anyone else, or even ourselves, again. No more running with scissors, like the unintended never happens.

I don't do the marriage police thing. I am the poster child for the fact that the truth will *always* out itself, eventually. It may take a while, but the truth *always* comes out.

What either of us does now is on each of us. It's not up to me to be Husband's conscience or warden.

And I honesty do not live in fear in this particular regard. In terms of infidelity, what would I fear now?

For me, the loss of innocence is already done, there's a solid callous over that raw wound, and the hard work of separating myself from him and this marriage is already completed. That virtual 'paperwork' is figuratively 'filled out' and sitting quietly in a drawer. I will never have to go through these past two years again in this lifetime, with him or with anyone else.

Should any further unfortunate 'truth' emerge, most of my 'work' is already done.
I am the bird who has learned to trust my wings rather than the branch.

In that manner, our original 'deal' is indeed broken, and another, far less idealistic, and probably more realistic if not more cynical, marriage has taken its place.

Sometimes I do miss the innocence, but I'm beginning to associate the innocence with a different kind of love. Perhaps that innocent love is not the 'long haul' kind of love that carries a marriage for a lifetime, through all sorts of human frailties and missteps.

For a while I was really angry at my husband for making me angry, bitter, ugly, shrill, cynical, generally not a very attractive nor even a sympathetic figure. I didn't even like myself. I felt the exact opposite of attractive in every way, which, in the aftermath of discovering infidelity, sort of acted as a fun house mirror held up to any and all of my flaws.

Infidelity brought out the worst in both of us. He did it, but I felt like a monster, like his sin turned me into some hideous raging Medusa.

Recently, and to my surprise (don't know where this came from) I've achieved an almost zen-like state of grace.

Some might call this the POLF or the Meh, but it doesn't feel that way to me.

It's a much lighter feeling.

It's as if I've finally internalized the message that what he did, what he does, has nothing to do with me at all.

It's on him.

Furthermore, I am completely free to choose how I respond to it, what I'm willing to accept in my life or not, at any given moment. If I change my mind tomorrow, well, that's my choice.

Of course, he can change his mind tomorrow too. I accept that as well.

I accept that he cheated, and that neither one of us will ever walk that cat back.

I guess this is the 'let go of the outcome' part. :)

But, more clearly defined, it's letting go of the narrative of the marriage I thought I had, clearly seeing the marriage I do have, and deciding purely for myself, on my on terms, if I can live with that.

If not, I walk. And it's just that simple.

I'm no longer filled with anger and a sense of being 'cheated.' I no longer feel like a fool. I no longer fear that another woman was, is, perhaps may in the future be more attractive to him than I am. I am no longer filled with uncertainty or dread.

Every moment that I am here, I am here because I choose to be here, and for no other reason.

I have achieved the grace of pain, and I survived. I am enough for me.

So yes, I agree, infidelity is by default THE deal breaker. The deal is broken.

What happens next really is entirely up to you. <3

[This message edited by marriageredux959 at 2:41 AM, August 12th (Wednesday)]

TwoDozen posted 8/12/2020 05:06 AM


I couldíve written your exact post except replace WH with WGF. I too am 8 months out and in exactly the same mind frame you are in

My WGF is not exactly the poster child for R but she has done a lot. Itís taken time but sheís getting there slowly and improving daily.

There is zero doubt that she loves me and would take it back if she could.

There is zero doubt I love her and would ďget over itĒ if I knew how.

Even if she does become the poster child for R I dont know if there is anything she could do or couldíve done immediately that would really make a difference in the end.

Is this a dealbreaker? my brain says one thing and my heart says another.

Tentwinkletoes posted 8/12/2020 05:30 AM

I'm saddened to agree its a deal breaker. Nothing is the same again no matter how hard you try. Its always there. But it becomes smaller and more tolerable to accept...IF your ws makes it safe for you to do so. At any time any of us can realise we have reached our tolerance saturation and even the new deal is broken off too.

R is a continued process and decision. To begin with daily...then the decision is considered weekly or monthly...then its consciously considered when you reach a conflict or red flag or some other means that makes you question it. And this is OK. Its normal. Its not just a done and dusted deal you need to live and die by. And most understanding remorseful WS know this.

We have just had a baby. And i think the vulnerability I feel post natally is surfacing some of those old feelings. Its caused me to retreat a little. We have spoken and my wh has been entirely understanding this is still the fall out 3.5 years later. Its still occasionally hard to be vulnerable in the moment knowing what he did to me in that position all those years ago. I look at my near 2 year old eldest child at the time and wonder how did he do that to him so young and dependent on us both to protect him??? Nevermind what it did to me. And it gives me anxiety towards him doing it to my baby. Perhaps irrational. But there's some trigger for me within that. Which I need to work through. Also my body feels vulnerable and used after having a child..this too has triggered feelings of being exposed or exploited like i felt during his betrayal. Where I felt violated, and his decisions exposed and endangered me. Everything felt dirty. Poisoned and ruined. Again mine to work through and figure out and during this time the deal waivers a little. And he understands. Recently he held me and told me he loved me. I went to say it back and it did feel forced a little because of my mind set...not because how I feel overall. He stopped me and said its OK if I don't feel it. He knows why. And it would be on him to help me recover it. But it doesn't need to be the end of the road or end of the world revelation. He would give me space to work it out and he would remain with me, consistent to show I could trust him and rebuild how I feel for him. This is over 3.5 years later. And he still gets the severe impact and his part to play. I think during one of these vulnerable times if he didn't show up for me then the choice to R would be under question again. But with his support I will work through what I'm feeling and as I realise again hes being consistent and honest then I will be able to relinquish this vulnerability and fear and step further forward.

secondtime posted 8/12/2020 06:24 AM

I'm sort of in the same boat.

DD2 happened 3 years ago.

It is VERY apparent that I do not trust my husband with some things.

I'm not sabotaging my own recovery-but I'm also not interested in doing the work to recover my own marriage.

Actually, after DDay2, it never dawned on me that I should or shouldn't forgive.

I dunno. We have a pretty full plate now- 4 kids 2-16, for starters. Getting through the day is enough without worry about next week.

Other than DH's behavioral choices, we get along really well. We are partners. We laugh. We enjoy each other's company. We have good sex when we have it. We're still meeting our goals that we set out when we decided to become parents.

It's still quite a good life, actually. Divorce certainly wouldn't be any ^better^. Infact, it would make everything a shit show. And I'm really not interested in dating.

He's come to accept that I make no promises about staying together in the future.

Bigger posted 8/12/2020 06:32 AM

I think we always know our dealbreakers.
What we donít always know is our breaking-point.
Reconciliation requires intense work, both on ourselves and our relationship.
Aspects of that work might make us think itís not worth it. It can also give us a vision or open us up to the realization that this isnít the spouse we want, or isnít the person capable of being the spouse we want.
Deciding to try reconciliation is exactly that Ė a decision to try. That journey CAN bring us to a breaking point. Its up to us to decide where that point is.

I have to say: I would hate to be in a marriage where I am not striving for it to be the best marriage possible. I can acknowledge Iím not there yet and even question if I can ever reach that goal. But the moment I realize that either (a) this partner isnít the one I want to cross the finish-line with or (b) I no longer want to run is the moment I would seriously consider divorce.

The1stWife posted 8/12/2020 06:40 AM

MR959. Excellent point.

It is a Choice how to react.

Every moment that I am here, I am here because I choose to be here, and for no other reason

A marriage is basically that. We choose to be married or in a relationship. Until we choose otherwise. I Believe before an A we are thinking differently and are blindly in the marriage/commitment to some extent.

After infidelity rocks your marriage or relationship you choose to be in the marriage or relationship.

We always had that choice. We just didnít think that way.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 6:41 AM, August 12th (Wednesday)]

Mickie500 posted 8/12/2020 06:42 AM

I am not alone.

This is why I am here.

Thank you all for sharing.

You get me.......you really get me.

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