Newest Member: Dazedandconfused1978

I Can Relate :
For Those Who Found Out Years Later

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UnstuffedGiraffe ( member #74937) posted at 12:15 AM on Wednesday, December 9th, 2020

Some days feel easier than others..

Today is a tough one.

I don't want to put words in her mouth, but she can give the impression that because she is not the person she was back then, I am to accept the past as past. That the emotional work ahead is on my side, to find a way to forgive.

That if we are working towards renewing our marriage vows ahead, that be looked upon as a gesture of faith in the future, not a correction of her past.

I wouldn’t listen to any talk of renewing vows at this point, I still cringe at the idea of celebrating our anniversary. She doesn’t get to decide what you leave in the past, it’s all new to you.

Me BW - Married 20 years
Him - 2 Affairs 9 years apart
DDay October-December 2019 & July 2020

posts: 226   ·   registered: Jul. 20th, 2020   ·   location: Texas
id 8615235
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mrplspls ( member #75665) posted at 3:47 PM on Thursday, December 10th, 2020

I love her.

There are times when she speaks out of defensiveness, bluntness. Not every dialogue happens when we have cleared our decks of all considerations.

I got her at a bad moment. She was stressed about getting the car to the service department and the phone was buzzing with work calls.

She has walked back on her comments. She has to find a balance between us.

My healing is proceeding. I do have setback days or even hours, minutes. My mind snaps back to calculating how much she hurt me by being selfish, secretive, sexual, social, solo in her thinking and having no faith in me, kind of, at the same time.

When I move the hurt aside and remember that I MADE A VOW, a vow to love her, through better and worse.

That I can question her fall, her failure, her secrecy, but I have to embrace that she rejected her dark side and clung to my bright side. That our conception, birth and child/teen raising years were done as true partners, I never questioned her dedication to me, to our family, to finding ways to love and love more. To embrace our family and the world as a couple.

Even though I might have been blind, by my being me, the long road to trying to heal TODAY exists.

Sometimes I feel hurt and look back to that bad time and feel that I was the fool.

She flatly and firmly rejects that.

She says that I was her hero.....

posts: 59   ·   registered: Oct. 14th, 2020   ·   location: Ontario, Canada
id 8615574
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 8:35 PM on Thursday, December 10th, 2020

It’s still early for you Mrplspls- don’t be in a hurry to get the other side until you really get a chance to reassemble your life and your timeline.

It sounds like you’re making some progress, I hope your healing continues.

Married 34+ years, together 40+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived
Restoration takes time.
"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself." ― Epictetus

posts: 4195   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8615663
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mrplspls ( member #75665) posted at 8:14 PM on Friday, December 11th, 2020

Oldwounds, I bow to your guidance and wisdom.

I don't feel that I am in a hurry. Although you might be right.

posts: 59   ·   registered: Oct. 14th, 2020   ·   location: Ontario, Canada
id 8616015
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Dontwanttogiveup ( member #60432) posted at 3:03 PM on Sunday, December 20th, 2020

I don't even know if this will go in this thread, this topic or where it goes. I am just looking for advice. I was a WS in my first marriage, in this marriage of 17 years I am the BS. Long story short he has had one long term affair that I know of three years ago with the wife of his friend, and they tore my life apart. I stayed. Since then, like just the other day, I found old emails to another woman back in the same year, also someone I knew, telling her he Loves her very much and she is so beautiful. My love for him is gone at this point. His lies and betrayal have forever altered me. However, I have not even confronted him about this latest find. It is Christmas and I dont want my life blown up and I certainly dont want my kids lives blown up. Our home life is fine. We do not fight, and it is not volatile. I don't know what to do. Would I harm my kids emotionally by divorce more than by staying? I dont care about me, I can't hurt anymore by this point. So many times I want to shout I want a divorce but I also want to wait until my kids are older. I just need some advice.

Me-BS/WS 49
Him-WH 49
LTA for 1 year, 3 other women before that but not LT
Dday-Aug 21st 2017
M 15 years
3 children together 15,12,11

posts: 61   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2017   ·   location: Indiana
id 8618238
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Moderator #29447) posted at 1:43 AM on Friday, February 26th, 2021

Bump

Me: WS late 40’s
Him: BH (HoldingTogether)
D Day: 7/24/2010
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

posts: 14337   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Texas
id 8636360
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Underserving ( member #72259) posted at 7:29 PM on Monday, March 1st, 2021

Hi all.

This thread isn’t very active anymore, but thought I’d give it a shot. I also feel like maybe I don’t really belong here, as most people found out several years later than I did. However, I still feel like finding out even 3 years removed has presented me with some unique struggles (compared to those who discovered shortly after or while the A was active), and could use some insight from those who understand.

Did anyone else have what they considered an “unhappy marriage” before and during the A, but then had the relationship dramatically improve over the years before d-day?

[This message edited by Underserving at 1:30 PM, March 1st (Monday)]

BW (32)Found out 3 years post end of AD-day 12-9-19In R

Infidelity brings out the cuss in me. I’m not as foul mouthed in real life. ;)

posts: 692   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2019
id 8638278
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 10:23 PM on Monday, March 1st, 2021

Hi all.

This thread isn’t very active anymore, but thought I’d give it a shot. I also feel like maybe I don’t really belong here, as most people found out several years later than I did. However, I still feel like finding out even 3 years removed has presented me with some unique struggles (compared to those who discovered shortly after or while the A was active), and could use some insight from those who understand.

Did anyone else have what they considered an “unhappy marriage” before and during the A, but then had the relationship dramatically improve over the years before d-day?

I found out a number of years after my wife’s long term affair ended. Before the affair, our marriage had become unfulfilling and unhappy. During the affair, it was insufferable but I didn’t know why. After the affair, my wife dedicated herself to being a great wife, and our marriage flourished. I am sure our struggles under these circumstances are quite similar, not the least of which now is, “what do I do with this woman who years ago treated me with such contempt for so long but who in recent years has been so wonderful (except for that bit where she continued to conceal the affair and then trickle truthed me nearly to the point of divorce)?”

posts: 96   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8638326
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somanyyears ( member #26970) posted at 10:40 PM on Monday, March 1st, 2021

..@ wiseoldfool,

Try starting a thread in General or Reconciliation... you'll get more traffic than on this "Found out years later" thread.. I think.

Welcome to Si.. lots to read and learn here.

smy

trust no other human- love only your pets. Reconciled I think!
Me 74 Her 70 Married 49 yrs. 18 yr LTA with bff/lawyer. Little fucker died at 57.Brain tumor!

posts: 5972   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2009   ·   location: Ontario Canada
id 8638333
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Underserving ( member #72259) posted at 10:05 PM on Thursday, March 11th, 2021

Wiseoldfool: Somehow I missed your reply, but my goodness yours is the FIRST story that actually sounds like mine. At least, in the 15 months I’ve been here.

Now I want to know all the things lol how long are you from discovery? How is your relationship now?

I have more questions, but will wait to see if you reply.

Others who have experienced what I addressed in my previous post, please feel free to reply as well.

BW (32)Found out 3 years post end of AD-day 12-9-19In R

Infidelity brings out the cuss in me. I’m not as foul mouthed in real life. ;)

posts: 692   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2019
id 8641177
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 11:49 PM on Thursday, March 11th, 2021

There have been a few long threads in General and such that involve "found out years later" facts. My observation about these threads is that they include some unique dynamics:

First, there is often what I call asymmetry of urgency between the WS and the BS. That is, usually the WS has had years, maybe even decades, to process the infidelity and come to terms with it. When the BS finds out, for the BS, it's as if it just happened. One of the factors I have seen that can be a predictor of whether the WS and BS can R is how quickly the WS can ramp up her/his urgency to meet that of the BS, including showing empathy and remorse with urgency.

Second, there is the natural feeling of the BS that the entire marriage between the A and the Dday has been based on a lie. It causes the BS to re-examine the entire marriage over those years. Were there periods during which the WS treated the BS badly, so badly that if the BS had then known of the cheating, he/she would have left the marriage for greener pastures? It can be a real mind fuck.

Third, but related to the above, it really matters, a lot, whether the BS has been happy in the marriage during the intervening years, and especially during the recent years. If the marriage has been "meh" during that time, the first two factors usually (in my observation) push the BS out of the marriage.

Fourth, there is often the reality that, due to the passage of time, much of the detailed information about the A has been lost. Phones replaced/discarded. Memories faded. Participants moved away. It can be a real problem for the BS because a lot of BS's, perhaps most, want to know a great deal of detail about the A, at an intimate level, but that can be impossible in some cases.

As to this specific issue, it can make a big difference whether the BS found out by happenstance, versus the WS confessing. If the BS found out by happenstance, she/he can be pretty sure the WS had long since decided to take the secret to the grave, and had grown comfortable with a paradigm under which the BS remained an unwitting BS. How can a BS who discovers this under these circumstances ever trust a WS who has been lying for so many years, where lying has become the normal, to ever be honest?

Finally, on top of all of those unique issues, there are the facts of the A itself. Are there details that are especially emasculating/effemulating to the BS? Did the WS allow the AP to do stuff that was degrading or humiliating. Did he/she do a bunch of "extra" for the AP that he/she denied the BS?

There was a thread on here some years ago where a man stumbled upon evidence of his WW's long-ago A. I believe maybe cleaning up a hard drive on an old computer. He found messages, photos, even videos of his wife engaged in sex with the AP. The cached messages and videos indicated that the A had been highly sexual, way more sexual than the marriage ever was. The A ended when the AP died in a car crash and the BH found evidence that reminded him of his WW grieving that death. However, he also said that his WW had thrown herself into being a great wife in the aftermath. She indicated that the death of the AP was a sort of wake-up call for her, she felt like she had been a fool. The BH said that the 11 years since the A had been 11 happy years for him (although he did note that the marital sex during those 11 years never approached anything in the A). Nonetheless, the BH started D proceedings almost right away. He also informed their young adult daughters, who scorned and shunned the WW. Before it got too far, the WW took her own life.

In contrast, there was a BH who discovered an A years later, I think possibly by stumbling across a hidden thumb drive and putting it into his computer and BAM. The details were awful. Among other things, the WW believed that a child born at that time was the AP's child, which she had never revealed to her BH. Nonetheless, the couple stayed together and the BH sort of drifted away from here after learning that, against all odds, the child was biologically his child.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 8:37 PM, March 11th (Thursday)]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3771   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 1:27 PM on Friday, March 12th, 2021

Wiseoldfool: Somehow I missed your reply, but my goodness yours is the FIRST story that actually sounds like mine. At least, in the 15 months I’ve been here.

Now I want to know all the things lol how long are you from discovery? How is your relationship now?

I have more questions, but will wait to see if you reply.

Others who have experienced what I addressed in my previous post, please feel free to reply as well.

Well, I’m an anonymous open book.

My wife confessed, in response to a direct question, on May 18, 2018. We were having our anniversary dinner. She admitted that night that she had a long term emotional and sexual affair with my (our) best friend of 20 years. She admitted the affair began in 2010 and ended in 2013 and that it was sexual and emotional throughout. She then spent the next two years minimizing, avoiding, and trickling out the truth. She made what I think is a full and final disclosure in November 2020.

As for the relationship now, it is difficult to describe. She ended the affair in 2013 and spent five years being a model wife. She was completely honest (minus the affair thing) and she made extraordinary effort in all the ways that make a husband feel loved. Our relationship flourished. We were, without doubt, the happiest we had been in what is now almost thirty years of marriage. So I felt, saw, and lived what our marriage could be.

And then came the initial (incomplete) disclosure, and then came two and a half years of interrogation, relentless mind movies, gaslighting, minimization, and outright lies. So I saw (once again) what kind of person she could be when she feared a bad outcome for herself or wanted what she wanted. She could justify lying to “keep from hurting me.” This, of course, had the opposite impact, which she finally realized.

So now we have what I would call an asymmetrical relationship.She is deeply in love with me, desperate to make amends, sex bombing me, feeding me all the homemade meals, listening to podcasts, going to counseling, answering any question directly and honestly, and so on.

Meanwhile, I vacillate between resentful, indifferent, and hopeful. I have mind movies daily. I know I do not feel love or trust to half the degree I used to feel. I know what she’s capable of because I know what she did. I don’t think she’d do that again but what she did might have been more than I can ultimately accept. I don’t want her to spend the rest of her life with a man that can’t love her the way she should be loved.

And so I take it day by day. It is a work in progress.

[This message edited by Wiseoldfool at 7:43 AM, March 12th (Friday)]

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id 8641308
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 1:34 PM on Friday, March 12th, 2021

There have been a few long threads in General and such that involve "found out years later" facts. My observation about these threads is that they include some unique dynamics:

Butforthegrace:

I didn’t copy your entire post but I think your analysis is very accurate. It is applicable across the board for me, at least in terms of issues.

posts: 96   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8641310
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 3:06 PM on Friday, March 12th, 2021

My wife confessed, in response to a direct question, on May 18, 2018. We were having our anniversary dinner.

I'm curious to know why you were directly questioning her about this on your anniversary dinner?

There is another "found out years later" thread by a poster, I'm not sure if I recall his name but I think it was something like "Cantbeme", who also questioned his WW about a long-ago A during their anniversary dinner, and she confessed. In his case, he suspected the A IRT when it was occurring, but he let it slide. It nagged him for years, until he finally pressed.

Was this also the case for you? Is it possible that the "good years" between the end of the A and your Dday were a sort of Stepford Wife routine that your WW was proffering in an effort to distract you from what she perceived was nagging you about her behavior? Then her meanness and hostility after Dday more of her "real self" when her effort to distract you with wampum failed?

The above may be unfairly cynical, by the way. It's also possible that her "good wife" stuff is genuine, that she truly loves and cherishes you, and that the meanness was her fear materializing as action.

I know what she’s capable of because I know what she did.

You know what she did (a) during the actual A, (b) in the intervening years, to conceal it from you, and (c) during the gaslighting phase, directly to your face.

This is a normal part of the aftermath of discovery of infidelity. The BS sees this previously unknown and unsuspected facet of the WS. "Do I really want to be married to a person who is capable of that?"

I don’t think she’d do that again but what she did might have been more than I can ultimately accept. I don’t want her to spend the rest of her life with a man that can’t love her the way she should be loved.

I would commend to your reading the threads by a poster called "Waitedwaytoolong". He ultimately, 5 years after Dday, ended up divorcing his WW, for exactly the reason you describe.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 9:11 AM, March 12th (Friday)]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3771   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 5:29 PM on Friday, March 12th, 2021

I'm curious to know why you were directly questioning her about this on your anniversary dinner?

At the very beginning of the affair, in 2010, I found some emails that implicated them in at least an emotional affair. I confronted them, they denied anything physical, I told them I didn’t believe them but I forgave them anyway. I told them to knock it off and get back in their lanes. They promised they would. I know how naive this was.

So I always harbored suspicions but by 2018 we were so happy it never came up. In fact, it never came up at all after 2010. Until in early 2018 I had a dream, a dream in which they were being physically intimate.

I woke up and told my wife about the dream, saying, “I had a dream you were fucking xxx again.” The look on her face was a confession. The absence of an immediate protest to the word “again” was a confession.

A couple of weeks later, at our anniversary dinner, I asked her, “so, do you want to get this out of the way?” She knew what I meant. Thus began her confession.

EVERYTHING she has done, before the affair, during the affair, after the affair, is her “real self.” She was real. It all really happened. Most everything that happened was because of her insecurity, need for validation, and fear, in various doses depending upon what action or omission she was committing.

Waitedwaytoolong and I have corresponded at great length. We have compared and contrasted what our wives did. I won’t speak for him, but I’ll say it’s very clear he has not suggested that my effort at reconciliation is in vain.

posts: 96   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 5:43 PM on Friday, March 12th, 2021

Until in early 2018 I had a dream, a dream in which they were being physically intimate.

I have seen multiple threads here on SI where this sort of dream triggered a confrontation and confession. Power of the subconscious and all that.

Most everything that happened was because of her insecurity, need for validation, and fear, in various doses depending upon what action or omission she was committing.

In the vast majority of threads here we find that the fundamental drive of the cheating spouse was rooted in a need for validation.

However, lots of spouse feel a need for validation, but do not make the decision to cheat. To me, the inquiry goes to that threshold. What makes some married people decide that, when they feel a need for validation, they will break the vows they made when they got married, and then lie to their spouse about it? It goes to integrity, self-examination, moral character, things like that.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 12:00 PM, March 12th (Friday)]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3771   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8641459
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 6:17 PM on Friday, March 12th, 2021

I have seen multiple threads here on SI where this sort of dream triggered a confrontation and confession. Power of the subconscious and all that.

Indeed.

I do not think the timing of my dream was any accident, either. My WW told me that after the affair ended she resolved to herself that she would not lie to me ever again. Yes, I’m aware her silence was not affirmatively telling the truth. Yes, I’m aware she would have preferred to just live happily ever after without my dream, or her fucked up confession or all the pain she’s caused.

There were many times after her affair and before the first disclosure that I wondered why she was being so deliberate and even aggressive in her honesty and transparency about even silly, little things. I remember thinking a number of times that she was passive aggressively suggesting that I was not being honest and transparent. She wasn’t doing that at all, but it all makes sense now. She was doing what she believed was sufficient to make our marriage work. Of course she didn’t want to take what had become a great marriage and destroy it with an old truth that had been left to lie in the past.

She has said, and I believe this, too, that by the time I asked she felt confident and comfortable that she could tell me the truth and we could work through it. It wasn’t that she only became willing to tell the truth years later, it’s just that in her mind she thought the state of our marriage at the time I first asked was strong enough to withstand this terrible truth. She was - so far - not wrong about that. If the disclosure had happened much closer to the end of the affair, we’d have been done.

In any event, she resolved that if I ever asked, she would answer truthfully. I believe that. When the moment came, she followed through, but soon saw the devastation literally written on my face and she flinched. It was not as easy to do as to decide to do.

So that’s a long story to say this: I think the brain knew I needed the truth, but also that the truth delivered any sooner than it was would have been even more damaging to those I love. My brain timed the dream for maximum effect and minimum collateral damage.

[This message edited by Wiseoldfool at 12:19 PM, March 12th (Friday)]

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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 6:36 PM on Friday, March 12th, 2021

She has said, and I believe this, too, that by the time I asked she felt confident and comfortable that she could tell me the truth and we could work through it. It wasn’t that she only became willing to tell the truth years later, it’s just that in her mind she thought the state of our marriage at the time I first asked was strong enough to withstand this terrible truth.

Interesting. This goes to a sixth factor about "Found Out Years Later" threads that I've observed some BS's wrestling with: the lack of consequences for the WS. The WS manipulates the timing of the truth via lying by omission, timing it with the hopes of avoiding a D. The BS is left munching the shit sandwich years later.

I referred to another thread by the poster whose name might have been "Cantbeme". His WW confessed voluntarily, without being pressed. She had been, by his account, a fantastic wife for many years. But he was really wrestling with the sense of injustice. She essentially got away with it. There were other factors in his thread that irritated the wound. In particular, her A involved very casual sex with a man she barely knew, just a few hook-ups while partying after work. The BH had been awkward and shy and never had any casual hook-ups with women in his single years, though he had fantasized about this. In other words, his WW had given the AP a fantasy act that the BH had desired, but could not have. I don't know what happened with him. He was on the brink of D when he drifted away from SI.

Is there an issue of that nature with you? A sense that your WW had no consequences? There was one here whose WW's A was with a co-worker. They were both teachers. Even though the A had occurred years earlier, as part of R, the WW agreed to go to the school district and self-report the A. The AP was fired as a result, if memory serves.

Is there anything like that possible in your life?

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3771   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8641472
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 6:48 PM on Friday, March 12th, 2021

Is there an issue of that nature with you? A sense that your WW had no consequences?.

Is there anything like that possible in your life?

There have been no “consequences” for my wife. There could be no “consequences” short of divorcing her that would even begin to be commensurate with the wrong.

But I am not in the business of wrath, I am i the process of reconciling toward a healthy marriage. “Consequences” for my wife now would be like smacking the dog around today for the shoe it chewed up when it was a puppy. It wouldn’t fix the shoe, it would confuse and terrorize the dog, and it would make me feel like a monster. It is sufficient that I have the wife today that I wanted then. I see no way to get more than that, especially not in the way of seeking “consequences.”

I could theoretically exact revenge on the AP, my former best friend, by ratting him out for the scoundrel that he is to his current girlfriend, who is no doubt unaware of his capacity for betrayal and deceit. I could tell licensing authorities about his drug history and possibly prompt a drug test for him, which if he failed would ruin a career he spent a lot of time and effort creating. But I choose not to invite that vampire back across my threshold lest he appear. He is gone, long gone, and he should stay gone. If God loves all his children, God will see that we are never in the same room again. I will not go looking for him.

Does all of this seem terribly unfair and unjust? Yes. It does. Does that make it harder to make peace with what happened? Sure. Is pursuit of consequences in my case a selfish and hollow act? Also yes.

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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 7:01 PM on Friday, March 12th, 2021

“Consequences” for my wife now would be like smacking the dog around today for the shoe it chewed up when it was a puppy. It wouldn’t fix the shoe, it would confuse and terrorize the dog,

I flatly disagree with this statement as an abstract concept. Your wife isn't a non-sentient animal. As a human, she would fully understand the nexus between her actions and consequences, should you choose to exact them.

That said, as to your particular thread, you sound like a man who lives an examined life, possibly a spiritual man as well. I will not quibble with a BS who feels like R is proceeding according to his satisfaction. I do, however, worry about phraseology like this:

I am i the process of reconciling toward a healthy marriage.

"I". It is possible that the use of singular first person was merely a result of the sort of informality that we often see in social media, but to me that detail is at least interesting when it is coming from a betrayed spouse. Not: "my wife is doing everything she can to help us reconcile toward a healthy marriage" (although maybe she is doing this). Instead, you say "I am ...". A BS cannot do this unilaterally.

I guess what I'm getting at is that it's okay for you to be angry. Really, deeply, profoundly angry. In fact, it would be unusual, to the point of dysfunctional, if you weren't. And if you've not allowed that anger to come out without filter, then it's still in you, festering like a cancer. Over and over on SI, the most successful examples of R that we've seen are those where the BS fully and without restraint vented his legitimate anger, until it was spent. R seems to work best, possibly only, when it is rising from those ashes.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 1:15 PM, March 12th (Friday)]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3771   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8641478
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