It's a timely question. We have gone now through 2 affair seasons and our 2nd dday anniversary is in a few days. We have done a few things:
The first year after, I asked H what he wanted, I was freaked out by what I had read here and was prepared for triggers. We were only a few months out from him asking for a divorce. So he basically said, let's try and make it about us. He said he really wanted to look at it as the day I decided to get honest with him about what happening and by doing so showed I wanted to recommit to the marriage. He wanted to go on a trip to "celebrate that" but we were only somewhat successful. But, it wasn't a horrible day or trip, and that might have been a good start towards not anticipating negatively this year. Considering where we were at that time it was a win.
This year we've talked about it on and off (mostly at my prompting). We again took a trip that I planned (it was last weekend due to his work schedule) to celebrate our progress. He basically told me that day was devastating and brought a lot of pain, but that it had changed our lives for the better in many ways too that will enable us to have a deeper, stronger, happier marriage. He said he refuses to let the affair be commemorated by holding a "funeral" for it or our marriage every year. (He doesn't subscribe to the idea it was the end of our marriage and the beginning of a new one - he actually bucks up against a few of the SI common statements) He feels that the "bastard relationship' that I had behind his back is not going to get his energy on a specific time of the year every year until he dies. (If you knew my husband this is very typical of his approach to a lot of things)
I didn't have anything to do with that attitude, I was willing to do whatever was needed - send him on guy trips, plan another trip for us, stay home, give him space, shower him with attention, talk, whatever he wanted and he does know that. And, maybe if I weren't going to do that he would have a different reaction? The fact that I care deeply about it and fall all over myself to comfort him makes him not feel like he has to fight me to care deeply about it?
We had a great trip last weekend. We exchanged letters this time reaffirming our path as a couple and I took a lot of time and care making sure he knows how much I appreciate the second chance and why. I shared with him my hopes for the future. His letter was something I would have a hard time telling you about, but suffice it to say it blew me away...the utter grace that man has given. Honestly, it felt more like a honeymoon of sorts (I know that may be hard to imagine but it just was)
I am cognizant of the fact we haven't crossed the finish line until we actually have *the* day on Sunday. So, while I will anticipate triggers and be sensitive that day, I don't think I am going to probe him on it based on conversations that we have already had, as he hopes we have already put it to bed this year. I will just will be on alert now.
Because you are a rare WS that we actually have heard from your wife on here I don't think it's a matter of Mrs. Walloped not caring deeply about it and you needing to fight her for that? I realize I don't know her in real life, so you can tell me- Am I wrong? Minus having a time machine, is there something she could do that she isn't doing?
I am also not saying that the way you are viewing the time frame is wrong by giving you my husband's contrasting opinion. There is no wrong or right answer with how someone decides to deal with it. We as WS can anticipate the triggers, try to give you room to decide how you want to navigate that particular year, we can be a safer and better spouse every single day.
But, and I say this gently, and knowing you know better than I do that we can't do all that healing for you. It's a joint effort with a lot of communication to get to a different place, and it's another one of those injustices that come with infidelity. It's not hard to understand why a remorseful WS would do it willingly over and over for as long as it takes, but it's always hard for me to understand why a BS would keep putting themselves through it. It takes a strength and commitment that I am in awe of - to work through a massive traumatic experience that you were the innocent victim of and to do so with your perpetrator.
I guess I would ask you -and you don't have to answer me, just questions for you to think about- are you happy with the progress that has been made so far? How are you the majority of the time - as a couple and individually? If it's coming to a good place, you may want to find a way to break the dday pattern and ease your suffering?
I am by no means saying "get over it" or that the WS should not open discussions on how you are feeling about the affair season or dday anniversaries. To empathize with you and do whatever we can think of or be directed to do. But, to some extent we don't know what will make you feel better any more than you do. I think there should be a lot of trial and error and effort on the WS side, but it's difficult when the target can't be found through that. Sometimes the target doesn't seem to exist.
I often think that's the part where the extending grace occurs. (Which by definition is not deserved by the WS). But by doing so, it may take a burden off of you that you don't have to carry any more? I really don't know - it' s a question you might also pose to the BS folks.
If she isn't doing her part, you need to figure out why that is, she hasn't been on as much lately but she has always struck me as very accountable for her actions. If that's lapsed for some reason that should be communicated.
If she is still giving it her all, maybe you will need to be introspective on if there are things you can do to make that time frame easier for yourself. Not for her sake, or my sake, but for yours? I am coming at this at the angle of it's you that is bearing the brunt of a punishment for actions she took and you were innocent of - I hope that is coming across because it's a very delicate matter for a WS to be asking a BS if there are things they may also not be doing to help themselves? I cringe saying that because it sounds wrong, but I do think it takes two people and hope you take it in the spirit I am saying it.
Anyway, I am sorry if this is unhelpful, and I certainly wasn't trying to be insulting either. If your post had been specific of "Mrs. Walloped doesn't seem to care about this the way I do" my answer would have been different. But it came across more that you suffer through something and you are looking for anything that might ease that in the future. And being that open ended I think both people have to look at what contributions are made to it so it can be removed for you for the future? I am so very sorry you had an awful time this time.