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What if it’s a dealbreaker and we don’t know it yet?

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Thumos posted 8/12/2020 07:21 AM

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 can’t forgive?

Don’t confuse forgiveness with reconciliation for starters.

They are two separate things. You can forgive and divorce. You can forgive and reconcile.

Stop guilting yourself and putting undue pressure on yourself. The “reconciliation isn’t for everyone” bromide that gets thrown around here pretty casually is frankly a subtle form of blameshifting.

It may be that your brain needs to catch up with your heart and not vice versa. Your heart may be the wiser of the two.


Because Infidelity is not a “blip” and your heart seems to know this . If your brain is saying things like that, then your brain is wrong - it’s one of the worst things a human can endure, and it’s one of the worst things one human can do to another. It is also physical, mental and emotional abuse.

Your heart has its own set of neurons and research is ongoing into the separate wisdom of this physical organ— which indeed seems to be a center of emotional and spiritual life.

The “maybe it’s a dealbreaker for you” catchphrase around here also subtly implies that if infidelity is a dealbreaker for you, you’re somehow a hard hearted person. I disagree.

Infidelity should be a dealbreaker for everyone. The wayward spouse starts at less than zero and must steadily build a case for why you should lift a finger or stay. If the case is weak or if they undermine that case with their own actions and words, or if you’re getting the classic passive aggressive regret vs remorse, then infidelity remains the dealbreaker it clearly was on DDAY — and you remove yourself from a toxic situation.

[This message edited by Thumos at 8:09 AM, August 12th (Wednesday)]

Thumos posted 8/12/2020 07:31 AM

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, I’m not sure that I even knew or cared what day it was.

Exactly the same here. I got lots of mini breaks the last four years that probably extended things. Ironically it was these work trips that helped push me in the direction of divorce. I realized the sense of relief and freedom I felt being away from her, even when we get along great and always have and even when I can say I enjoy her companionship and our sex life.

I felt liberated on work trips from the moment I stepped on a plane — and typically didn’t think about her much at all. in fact the first time I travelled for work after DDAY, I didn’t call or text her at all the four days I was gone. She was hurt by this, but I didn’t apologize and said simply “I needed the space”

[This message edited by Thumos at 8:06 AM, August 12th (Wednesday)]

DaisyAnne posted 8/12/2020 07:58 AM

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.

You know, this is one of the hardest things for me too. He is being so loving and sweet, in words and actions. But he was also that way when he was lying to me and living another life I knew nothing about. It makes it so hard.

But sometimes when I look into his eyes when he says sweet things to me, I do see a difference. Just last night I was having an emotional moment. He consoled me, telling me he’s going to always be there for me. He knows it will take time and we are slowly getting there. I can see the pain in his eyes. Something about that look in his eyes is what giving me hope that we really do have a good chance of moving on and it not being a dealbreaker.

hikingout posted 8/12/2020 09:14 AM

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.

Hi Mickie,

Your heart is right to do that. 8 months out your husband has not rearranged everything. Change and growth take time. He may not be at risk for cheating, but there is a lot that goes into WS work that goes beyond that.

At 9 months in my husband was probably where you are, he asked me for a divorce. We went through IHS, drew up the papers. I think where you are is not uncommon at all. I can tell from the other post that I am working with you on that your insides are in a complete state of chaos and pain. I am not sure that's where the decision should come from.

I tell BS's all the time they don't have to put pressure on themselves to choose, there is no expiration date for deciding to change course. If my husband still wanted a divorce at this point, I would be devastated but I would understand that I am the one who broke the marriage. So, there is no pressure to choose, I think focus on healing you right now and then when you make the decision you will be more comfortable with whatever it is you choose.

Stop guilting yourself and putting undue pressure on yourself. The “reconciliation isn’t for everyone” bromide that gets thrown around here pretty casually is frankly a subtle form of blameshifting.

It is interesting that is your perspective of those words, Thumos. When I read "reconciliation isn't for everyone" I often think "because your WS is not remorseful" or "because your WS's transgressions are above and beyond a baseline and too much for one person to process" or "because your values and internal life will not allow it". That third one is not a slam, that is a condition that was still caused by the WS. I think maybe you read it that way because of your POV/experience. Just wanted to challenge you on that thinking a bit because I do not think that's typically what the poster is saying, more a shorthand that is often used on the site.

The “maybe it’s a dealbreaker for you” catchphrase around here also subtly implies that if infidelity is a dealbreaker for you, you’re somehow a hard hearted person. I disagree.

Again, I see that the same way - really not just "for you" but "for your situation". I think it's an interesting topic as to how people read that though, it falls in line with the other topic about language right now. I think if you feel this way others might as well and we may need to consider our shorthand. I know I am guilty of saying "R may not be for you" but I say it as often to a WS as I do a BS. I only say it to a WS if they have an unhealthy/abusive BS. If I think it's the WS's issue I state directly what makes the issue unhealthy.

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:15 AM, August 12th (Wednesday)]

Sunny69 posted 8/12/2020 19:04 PM

Great thread guys.
Great words MR959 and the 1stwife. I relate.
I am at this point myself. It's like a state of indifference

StrugglingCJ posted 8/13/2020 05:15 AM

After DDay I think we all worry what are the deal breakers.. Yes the A Has broken the marriage.. And sometimes the WS will show signs of being good for R.. And then sometimes they don't..
Some people will stick it out for the kids, like me, seeing some actions that show the WS is trying.. But these actions can be completely undermined by things like continued contact.. Trickle truthing.. Minimising etc.. The question becomes at what point do you either move on and file for D.. Or tell them what they need to do.. Give them more time and see..

We are all in charge of our own life.. We put up with what WE choose to.. Here in SI we can get advice from others who have been where we are.. But it is still our choice..

My wife stayed in contact with the AP.. she tries to show me she is all in our marriage.. And says I just don't seem bothered... And I wasn't.. Because no matter what she did no matter how much she put into the marriage .. She couldn't go NC.. the one thing I needed..

So R for us isn't an option.. Not because she won't do anything I ask of her.. But because there is just ONE thing which is a deal breaker to me.. NC.

If there is anything you are not happy with speak up.. Tell the WS.. it is then up to them to choose if they are actually all in.. Or if they are just doing the minimum to stay married..

Whatslove posted 8/15/2020 19:16 PM

I've already accepted I won't ever forgive. I can accept that it happened and that it's part of our our story, and I can try to understand why he did it. But forgiveness won't happen.

I'm about 5 months out and have gone back and forth. I've committed to trying for 3 months and I'll reevaluate at the end of 3 months if I want to commit to another. This was a personal decision I made with my therapist that I felt would work for me.

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