Happy anniversary of the day you got to know what your life REALLY was about! No, I’m not sarcastic, I view my dday anniversary as the freedom day, freedom from projection, freedom from believing in something that didn’t actually exist, freedom from illusion and personal compromise.
My post isn’t meant to stir any conflict but balance the R argument, at least for new joiners who may read and feel disheartened by the posts on your thread.
With that in mind it is worth mentioning that both the OP’s and Thumos’s WSes have done minimal work to deserve the gift of reconciliation. Not only did they lie their way through every minute of dday, as most WSes do when caught, but they have continued to do so and both posters are still unsure, 4 and 5 years out, if they have the truth. I won’t get into the semantics here of "nobody ever has the entire truth unless you’ve been there with them during the affair", you know what I’m talking about, the factual truth of when/where/how regarding the affair.
Their WS’s reconciliation concept is basically "act nicely and behave lovingly and I’m sure the BS will get over it one day, or at least shut the F up about it".
With that in mind I’m not amazed they both feel the way they do.
Reconciliation has many facets for many people. Some people rug sweep, others don’t wish to rug sweep but have to as one partner isn’t willing to work through the hard process of R and they also don’t wish to divorce. And then there’s the hard R work which comes with a lot of pain for BOTH the BS and WS, in addition to the self recovery work for BOTH partners which often leaves you feeling emotionally naked, exhausted, spent, but the results are authenticity, genuineness, safety, closeness, admiration and the list can go on.
For me my love towards my husband pre dday included a lot of pride for the person (I thought) he was, a good husband, a good father, a good child to his mother. I won’t get into the entire process where we both realised that I convinced myself he was all those things ignoring the parts where he actually wasn’t any of them. Bottom line on dday I lost all that pride and admiration like all of us do for our cheaters.
He wasn’t the good moral, honest man I thought he was. There was nothing to be proud of. I married a liar, deceitful, cheating, horrible man. He fell of that pedestal hard.
But… and here comes the big but… here I stand, 4 years later, realising I have a new found pride for the man who didn’t waver from all the work I demanded of him if he wanted to remain married to me. I’ve seen him at his worst, crying realising his shit coping mechanisms, his double standards, his selfishness, entitlement, he’s done IC, MC, we’ve spent probably hundred of hours talking about the affair, our FOO, what happened, how it happened, even about how our pickers were obviously broken as we both chose each other based on our FOO unmet needs.
During these 4 years we unpicked ourselves and put ourselves back together individually and as a couple and interestingly my WH was only capable of this work once he owned up to every lie on dday 2, four months after dday 1. I could see it happening in front of my eyes. On that day, as he unpacked it all, you could see the abandonment, the letting go of control, the desire to stop playing the deceit game. I do not believe the work a WS has to do can happen whilst they are still covering their asses. It’s impossible. In order to become a better person you need to own up all your shitty ways. ALL OF THEM!
No, he wasn’t perfect in this work, he still isn’t. We still find little unprocessed moments and I’m not sure this process ever ends. During the last 4 years we also drafted what our life together should look like as I also decided what MY own life should look like, with or without him in it.
Do I see him differently? Yes of course. The pedestal is gone. Am I sad at points that we have that on our marriage history? Yes. Can I guarantee he won’t ever cheat again? Nope, I can’t guarantee that about anyone.
I can though say I’m happy, not in my fairytale pretend world pre dday but in my current real and authentic world today.
Humble I didn’t believe this was possible either. I’m a very black and white person, once a cheater always a cheater type of beliefs, I didn’t believe my husband had it in him or that it will ever be enough. I have no advice for you and it pains me to read between the lines and see you’re still struggling a lot.
Yes perhaps you were murdered that day emotionally and mentally (like most of us) but that doesn’t mean that YOU can’t emerge stronger and build the life you want to build for yourself.