Newest Member: Chickenhawk

Reconciliation :
Just over a year after... need help.

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 particle (original poster new member #74493) posted at 2:24 PM on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

So it's been over a year now since DD.

A lot has happened, a lot more has come out. But none of that really matters. I need some thoughts on my situation (me, not her).

Our current situation: She is the woman I married again, actually better than the woman I married. The attention is there, the comfort is there, the sex is there, the care is there. She texts me during the work day, gets excited to come home, shows her excitement when she gets home. She cooks, cleans, does things specifically for me, for us. (things she wasn't doing and I was only doing).

She shows me affection like she's never done before, she's more open and aggressive in that sense, which is nice, but also a little unnerving sometimes (being not use to it). She wants to do everything, even small things, together.

She talks about how much she loves me, tells me so, leaves notes once in a while. She talks about how much she's learned from me over the years, how much I have done for us, how her life wouldn't be the same without me. She talks about me, to me, like I am the end all be all perfect man and when she does it, I can see how sad she is, how remorseful.

She puts her phone where I can clearly see it and rarely if ever picks it up and when she does it's to talk to a family member or to look something up, she's never on her laptop, in fact we're almost always together and it doesn't seem intentional or planned.

When she see's or thinks I am in a mood, not talking, she asks me if I want to talk and she let's me if so. Sometimes I do, sometimes she cries, sometimes it just gets better. Before (for the first 6-8 months) she'd get upset that I would bring up the "same thing", because she put it all in a small box as "one" thing she did, when to me it was a 1000 cuts or she'd just cry and clam up and (her words) think I wanted her out and it was over. Now it's different, she listens, apologizes, knows it wasn't just "one" thing she can package up, tells me how wrong and stupid she was and how she hates herself for it and then tells me she truly loves me. She actively avoids anything that might "trigger" a feeling or remembrance. She is not running away, she is "fighting" for it now and acutely aware, where it didn't seem like she was before.


Honestly, for the amount of stress I have put her through (I know what this sounds like), which was usually me getting super upset/quiet/angry every other week for whatever reason, I am surprised she's still here. I am surprised because I thought it was all fake on her part, a way to hold on to comfort and security when the alternative was very bleak. I am not sure if what I was/am doing was unconsciously testing her resolve or if I was trying to actively push her out. I hate myself when I do that but I also know that this was a life changing event and I have every right to be upset or whatever other feeling I might have (and she vocally agrees with this btw). I should not apologize for my feelings.


In short, it's "perfect" in a sense, there is nothing she is doing that is wrong, nothing she is not doing that she should be. It also doesn't feel like she is just making up for it, or trying too hard and she's expressed her feelings with "this is what I should have always been doing" with what seems like absolute belief and resolve and I believe her.


But that's the rub for me and why I am posting today.

Unfortunately I believe (now) that she may be the type of person who will go "all in" and convince herself of something that might not be real. She did that with the OP, went all in and now it's the same with me (again) and I cannot shake the feeling that while it's not "fake" it's also just a contrived scenario in her head and if something were to happen it could change on a dime. She has convinced herself we are back, I am the one and only and this is true love.

I cannot shake this feeling that it's not as real for her as it is for me and it's very troubling.

Then there's the other thing...

I still see the movies, I still get reminders. It's every day. Sometimes I cry, which is especially hard for me, it's silly but makes me feel weak when it happens. I still ache over what happened and what could have been, what I could have done and what she actually did.

I also occasionally feel trapped, I initially gave this a shot not only because of shock and being hurt but also for my youngest, I did not want him to have to go through what I did as a child and I am a better man than my father. Then I see her smile at me, like she used to, and I melt.

I sometimes feel unattractive, worthless even as she is literally telling and showing me otherwise.

I am also oddly jealous, or maybe that's just anger... I am pissed off that she got to experience "new" that she got to experience all the amazing things one experiences with a "new" person, a new "love" and just come back and me, I get nothing. It's stupid, really f-ing stupid and I know it, but it's there.


Then this last weird one...

I feel like if this had never happened, that we would still be just two people in a house, telling each other that they loved each other but one not happy with their life, the other just complacent with whatever he got. In other words, I would have been forever living with someone not capable of being happy and me being (understandably) oblivious to it. Now we have a shot at true happiness, two being as one and sharing everything where we might not have previously.

So therefore, this was a good thing that happened and I HATE, absolutely HATE believing/realizing this.

I mean, YES, the obvious is that we talked (or she talked) and we worked it all out beforehand but hindsight is never valid, that was never going to happen and never going to result in what we have now so therefore... ugggh. WTF!!! barf

Is this all "normal" is this sounding like a path to true reconciliation, my doubts, my fears, her actions, her changes? Does it seem right and real? Will it pass, or ease? Am I looking at years, or until I die before I can let it go?

posts: 44   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2020
id 8687692
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 3:03 PM on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

Is this all "normal" is this sounding like a path to true reconciliation, my doubts, my fears, her actions, her changes?

The short answer---Yup.

The bottom line is, unless she has cheated in her past(prior to you), then you are both in unchartered waters. And unfortunately, a year is not a long time in the grand scheme of things. That 2-5 year healing timeframe that they often say around here is based on collective members prior experiences. I have been here for 10+ years, and I can say that it seems to be a pretty general, and often correct, timeframe. I know that at 1 year out, it was still all-encompassing on my mind. I related everything to the affair. Fears included. So yes, I think that your concerns are most certainly 'normal'.

You know your WW best. How long is your relationship? How was she in the early stages? Middle stages? Has she always seemed like someone who chased windmills and over-committed? Or are these new found fears since infidelity?

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married 28yrs.(together over 30yrs.)

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day(s): Enough
Accepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

posts: 3830   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8687705
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Blandy ( member #79252) posted at 3:13 PM on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

After reading, I looked back at the previous post you had (The 4 month later one) and I see a lot of the same thoughts you post here.


I would suggest you re-read some of the replies there again as many of them saw this day coming and they offer some excellent advice/insights.

posts: 84   ·   registered: Aug. 8th, 2021   ·   location: TX
id 8687706
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BlueRaspberry ( member #76065) posted at 3:24 PM on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

particle, you said

Unfortunately I believe (now) that she may be the type of person who will go "all in" and convince herself of something that might not be real. She did that with the OP, went all in and now it's the same with me (again) and I cannot shake the feeling that while it's not "fake" it's also just a contrived scenario in her head and if something were to happen it could change on a dime. She has convinced herself we are back, I am the one and only and this is true love.

I cannot shake this feeling that it's not as real for her as it is for me and it's very troubling.

Has your wife been attending IC? Has her "all in" issue been addressed at all? That is, has she been able to articulate why she allowed herself to have an affair? More importantly, has she been able to articulate why this would (likely) never happen again?

Also, did you ever complete the pre-nup with your wife? If not, you should revisit this issue to give you some peace of mind. If she can turn on a dime with respect to your relationship (that is a fear you have), knowing you're financially protected might help you deal with the angst.

posts: 233   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2020
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 3:38 PM on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

Wow, I could have wrote this for you a year ago. You described my feelings very well. I felt after Dday as if she started a new A but with me. I knew if it wasn’t authentic I would start to see cracks, but 21 months in and she is still solid.

I see R like this. She burned the house down intentionally. She is remorseful and wants to help rebuild it. It might be a nicer bigger newer house, but never the same. Right now it’s under construction, dusty, dirty not livable, no utilities. So now you and her are cramped into a small apartment until it’s done. It’s annoying at times but if she stays away from matches and lighters you will have that new house smell one day.

We are still in the apartment but the house is coming along nicely for us. Take a deep breath you are right where I was a year ago.

Dday Sept 7 2019 working toward R
BH 54
WW 47
M 30 years, 4 kids 2 grown, twin boys 12 yo 2 grandkids

One day you will tell your story how you overcame what you are going through now, and it will become part of someone else’s survival guide.

posts: 776   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8687710
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13YearsR ( member #58259) posted at 3:44 PM on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

It's all novel to you, of course, but what you're feeling is textbook for a year out. I could have written your post. A lot of us could have.

So therefore, this was a good thing that happened and I HATE, absolutely HATE believing/realizing this.

It's really not weird, I promise. My H and I still talk about how it totally sucks that we had to go through this to get to the good stuff, but that we don't think we would have ever bounced this high had we not hit rock bottom.

Will it pass, or ease? Am I looking at years, or until I die before I can let it go?

It's always going to be there, but it loses its oomph. The first year is the hardest, just like when you lose a loved one. All the firsts are tough. As long as there aren't any new discoveries or betrayals, it fades and fades until you crawl into bed one night and realize "Hey, I didn't think of the A at all today!"

Hang in there. smile

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence because you're not over there messing it up.

DDay 2004. Successful R. 33 years married

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id 8687712
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 4:08 PM on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

I think it's normal, too. The thing is: one of the reasons the SI rule of thumb is 2-5 years to recover is that 'recovered' - not to mention R - is consistent behavior (and thoughts and feelings) over time, and a year just isn't long enough to have great confidence that the new behavior will continue.

I got no blameshifting, TT, minimizing on or after d-day. My W has worked for R without a break since d-day. It took me 2 years to have some confidence the change was permanent. I stopped worrying sometime between 3.5 and 4 years out. Your timeline will almost definitely be different, but ... one year is not enough time to be at peace.

*****

Yeah, d-day is a catalyst for change in an M. In every case, it's not the A that changes the M; it's the work the partners both do. That's a fine distinction, but a real one nevertheless.

In your case, you both chose to work for R, and that's what you're getting. One or both of you could have chosen a different outcome, and that may happen in the future. Until something changes, though, my reco is to keep monitoring yourself, your W, and your relationship and to enjoy the good parts of the ride.

*****

If your gut thinks she may go all in only for a while, you're probably right. What is your W doing to change either herself or your opinion?

*****

My experience is that the A is always in me - it's part of my life story, after all - but when it comes up, it's an annoyance. I remember it was a trauma, but it's an annoyance now.

[This message edited by sisoon at 4:11 PM, Thursday, September 9th]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 26163   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8687717
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Underserving ( member #72259) posted at 5:01 PM on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

Ah yes, the mind fucks that occur from infidelity. They’re real fun. At almost 2 years out, I still grapple with them.

One of mine is knowing how terrible of a wife I was for years, and that I absolutely deserved to be divorced, NOT cheated on. However, there’s a large part of me that is thankful he didn’t divorce me.(still shouldn’t have cheated.) It makes zero sense to people who haven’t experienced it.

Then there’s me finding out 3 years later. We wouldn’t have made it through the aftermath of his infidelity if I had discovered it when it was active, I can almost guarantee that. It’s weird to simultaneously hate that I didn’t know what he was doing, while also appreciating the buffer that 3 years gave me. Mind fuck.

The being jealous is one of mine as well. While I wasn’t a good wife, I still went to bed feeling alone and unloved, while he was getting his ego constantly stroked by some other woman. He got to hear how attractive and amazing he is, and I got nothing. He got to experience that first kiss and sex with someone new, and I will never have that if we stay married. My rational mind understands it’s not worth it. There was so much guilt and shame attached to what he was doing, and it was all fantasy and bullshit. Still, it’s not fucking fair he got to experience all of that and still gets to keep his faithful wife. People can come along and try to make this particular shit sandwich not seem so awful, but for me, it’s really freaking shitty.

I also find myself feeling sorry for my WH sometimes. Mind fuck. 😂 I have not made this easy on him, and I have had the same thought that I’m surprised he has stayed and endured it. I am not the poster child for doing things right as a BS. I don’t even know how to really offer advice to those experiencing this situation when it comes to healing the marital relationship. I needed to be an angry bitch for a long time. I still can’t say with certainty if all of that was justified anger, me testing him, or me pushing him away. Probably a combination of all 3. It has been hell, but he’s still here, and willing to do whatever it takes. It may not be "right" but that’s what I have needed to see from him, and what has allowed R to really begin.

I kind of got off on my own thing here, but the confusion, the mind fucks, the injustice of it all, are all part of this journey. There are many shit sandwiches we have to choke down along the way. There are feelings of betrayal to your own self when finding the silver linings in your story. Mostly, there is no textbook for how to R in your particular situation with your particular spouse. It is a messy and humbling experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but one I am growing so much from.

Sorry for the long post. 😂 it was cathartic for me to get some of this out

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. ;)

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Chicklette ( member #70303) posted at 5:27 PM on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

I feel like if this had never happened, that we would still be just two people in a house, telling each other that they loved each other but one not happy with their life, the other just complacent with whatever he got. In other words, I would have been forever living with someone not capable of being happy and me being (understandably) oblivious to it. Now we have a shot at true happiness, two being as one and sharing everything where we might not have previously.

So therefore, this was a good thing that happened and I HATE, absolutely HATE believing/realizing this

.

Yep, this is how I feel. we are now approaching 2.5 years out from DDay, and for me, the worst is past (thank God!) From day one of R my FWH has been the husband I always wanted him to be, but I HATE that we had to go through this trauma to get here. We'd been married 27 years at DDay and he had many issues that he'd never addressed. And I had tried so hard with him, but nothing changed, until DDay. The change in him was so profound that I honestly didn't believe in it. I assumed it was an act he was putting on to keep the marriage. But as the months and years have rolled on I can see that this is the new him. I wish it hadn't happened this way, but I honestly can't imagine any other situation that would have made him pull himself together so firmly.

So I hate, hate, hate that he cheated on me, but I am forever grateful that our marriage is now as it is. I feel loved. I feel seen. I feel wanted. So I am glad that I decided to forgive him and R. And as time goes on the triggers are fewer and the pain from them is less and less.

I am happy for you, and hope and pray that your wife is really all in and that your recovery will continue. Nothing good in life comes easy, so I hope you manage to enjoy the good you deserve and are now experiencing.

Me: BS 59 at DDay
WH: 61 at DDay
Married: 27 years at DDay
Dday: 22 March 2019
In R since 11 April 2019
I love him and have forgiven him. He’s very contrite.

posts: 129   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Essex UK
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 particle (original poster new member #74493) posted at 6:00 PM on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

I wanted to know if this was all normal and it seems so, so I thank you all for your replies.
At this point I do not really need specifics or specific answers, I just needed to know I am sane and not crazy, not being overly sensitive, overly demanding or unrealistic.


Sometimes I feel like I am the biggest sucker on the planet, but it's clear I am not. I needed that.

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id 8687736
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Underserving ( member #72259) posted at 8:07 PM on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

There’s not much you could experience that wouldn’t be considered normal IMO. I was legit batshit crazy for a long time, and I still consider that normal. 😂 infidelity fucks you up something fierce. You sure don’t have to stay that way, but for a while, it does.

You’re doing great! All the ups and downs are to be expected. There’s shit sandwich eating, but there are good days with your spouse, too. Be kind to yourself for still loving the person who betrayed you. You are definitely not a sucker! If you’re one, then I’m one, and I refuse to believe that. :)

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
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 8:12 PM on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

All these feelings are normal. I can also offer some advice as it relates to some particulars.

As the peculiarities of "is this real or is this false R", I think you have to live essentially permanently with some uncertainty as it relates to this topic. That's how I feel about this base on what I have read here. Enjoy what you have while you have it, and try not to worry too much if it is real or not until you have some material or gut instinct to believe it is not real. Go with the "preponderance of the evidence" and don't think you'll get to an absolute belief on it.

As for feeling trapped. Just know you can change your mind at any time. This is the other side of the accepting uncertainty coin. You aren't absolutely stuck with your decision to R for the rest of your life. If you ever decide, for any reason or no reason at all (assuming you continue to feel the same way for a long enough time) that it's not working for you, you can leave. You are not stuck.

For the jealousy, she did get those momentary tingles, and you get nothing but pain. It's horribly unfair. Hopefully she simply continues to make amends for it.

I think the bit about thinking of the A as a catalyst that happens to have improved your marriage is common. The Esther Perel line on that (which I sort of agree with) is that it is like fighting cancer. Many people live fuller lives after battling cancer than before, but you would never wish cancer on anyone. The reality is that you *could* have had this revelation some other way. You could have talked it out of your own volition (you don't see that as possible, but it is). You could have taken a trip on hallucinogens. Many things could have been a catalyst to the realization that you were living a life less than what you wanted. I wouldn't give the A "credit" for it one little bit. But that not stand in the way of enjoying the improvement in your relationship.

Sounds like you are overall doing well, so I wish you luck on your continued journey.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1403   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8687759
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ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 8:12 PM on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

It's all normal. Year two, IME, can be harder in some ways than the first year. The shock is over and we're left living with our choice. In the first year, we're distracted by what went wrong with the WS, but in the second, we've got lots of time to wonder if we're really where we want to be. The emergency is over and we're really FEELING the hurt and insult that was done to us. I think what helped me the most was recognizing that I had a choice, taking ownership of that choice, and knowing that if I ever decided I was truly unhappy, I could change it. It made me feel more in control and less trapped.

posts: 4599   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
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Ladybugmaam ( member #69881) posted at 11:03 PM on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

Exceedingly normal. Sounds like you guys are doing well, considering. We're 2 1/2 years out with same. You sound a lot better than I did at the same point. Hang in there.

EA DD 11/2018
PA DD 2/25/19
One teen son

posts: 182   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2019
id 8687784
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 particle (original poster new member #74493) posted at 10:46 AM on Friday, September 10th, 2021

All very helpful and inciteful replies. Thank you all so much.

posts: 44   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2020
id 8687861
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src9043 ( member #75367) posted at 6:48 PM on Saturday, September 11th, 2021

This0is0Fine pretty well nails it.

posts: 435   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
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