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Reconciliation :
Why did you stay?

Topic is Sleeping.
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Dazedandconfused1978 ( member #79527) posted at 10:53 AM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

I stayed because I loved her. We had 3 kids, all 6 years or younger. And mostly because of the wedding vows that I took very seriously even if she didn’t.
"For better or for worse and in sickness and in health." She has definitely fit the for worse and I’m beginning to see she she fits the in sickness. She is a mental mess and can’t figure herself out ir what causes her to act so selfishly.
Now 16 years post DD, I am questioning that train of logic thinking. I didn’t know the pain and trauma I was setting myself up for. She is still the same person making excuses and behaving in such a selfish way it repulses me. She sees my love and admiration as entitlement and knows I love her way more than she does me. I feel I am to blame for these actions as my love has never wavered and she continues to manipulate me and I allow it. I just wish she would get her head out of her ass and see what a great marriage we could have is she could just pull her own weight so to speak.

posts: 70   ·   registered: Oct. 26th, 2021
id 8704226
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Numis67 ( member #57209) posted at 11:10 AM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

The reasons I stayed varied from I loved her to I was a weak, naive, wounded fellow scared he was going to lose his wife.

Hindsight, being 20/20, has taught me that clinging to a serial cheater is a recipe for emotional disaster. It's a mistake I will never make again.

I applaud those who successfully reconcile. I tried and clearly my XWW did not.

So, I do regret giving her another chance. I should've moved on with no doubt or hesitation.

Infidelity is not simply a mistake. It is a series of decisions made for selfish reasons at the expense of a significant other.

posts: 79   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2017   ·   location: Missouri
id 8704227
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psychmom ( member #47498) posted at 1:14 PM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

I stayed because I had an image in my head of what our relationship could be, but somewhere along the lines we stopped being friends and our M was in name only. I felt anger and disgust toward him most days, but it didn’t occur to me to end the M or demand we work to improve it. I was just doing my thing, raising our DDs and barely speaking to my H.

DDay hit me like a ton of swinging bricks. Why I was surprised he was capable of creating a parallel life to deal with the same toxic M I was in, I don’t know. Maybe I just didn’t believe people did that to one another, even when things were bad. I was so naive.

Seems like a story where it should have been easy to walk away, right? Didn’t work out that way. We fought like wild animals for the first year. Spewing all of the anger and hate snd hurt and disappointment toward one another. Also the attraction, love and desire to keep our family together. He ended everything immediately snd never looked back. But the pain of it all was worse than anything I’d ever felt.

My situation may be different than some. Most of our situations are. But I felt at my core that giving R a shot was the right move. And I was correct. We worked for years alone and with therapists to figure out and improve our relationship. Individual therapy for him for years, too. The main thing was watching him and seeing that he wanted R as much or more than I did, and working to make the changes needed. I still am annoyed by some of who he is, always will be. But I have deeper understanding and we have different ways of communicating and getting through these annoyances.

R is a long, lonely and often painful road. But I believe we know in our heart/core if it’s worth a shot or a path for us. Always expect respect and remorse from the cheating person, it’s on them to prove their worth. The betrayed partner needs time to know themself. Ask the hard questions, to not avoid the hard truths. And to learn that they did nothing to deserve what happened, that they are worth so much more than what occurred. Whether or not R is "successful" in retaining the M, we all learn a hell of a lot about ourselves in the process.

Add: I’m reading prior posts and am reminded of the healing timeline. It took me a good 3 years to finally feel like the sand wasn’t shifting beneath my feet, and I wasn’t flying into rages at him and the situation I was in.

Best advice I can think of is to respect the healing timeline and not be too hard on yourself. Easy to say from this side of things, I know. Hard to believe when you’re still drowning in the pain and uncertainty that the relationship can be saved. I had no idea of the time and energy I would ultimately spend on R and my healing. Better I didn’t know, I imagine. But it felt like necessary and important work at the time, and ultimately it did bring me to where I am today.

[This message edited by psychmom at 1:59 PM, Wednesday, December 15th]

BS (me); fWH (both 50+; married 20 yr at the time; 2 DD
DDay 1- 9/13/2014 (EA)- 3+ yrs
DDay 2- 10/24/2014(PA2)-July'14-Sept'14
DDay 3- 11/12/2014(PA1)-Oct-Feb '14
Reconciled

posts: 4260   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2015   ·   location: Back among those who found Peace of Mind
id 8704235
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 6:47 PM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

I didn’t stay for my kids. I did not stay because I loved him I did not stay because he was begging me to R.

I stayed because he proved he finally got it. He finally understood (after 2 Ddays and the last was his second affair) it was HIS fault. And his poor choices.

And he needed to prove he was worth my time and love to consider reconciling. Which he did on his own from the moment dday2 occurred.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11901   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8704307
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 7:44 PM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

I had a good marriage for the first 10+ years. Better than good.

As my wife started her slide, we argued more often, but I was still happy....for the most part. Shortly after, I could literally start to feel her resentment towards me, and I seemed unable, or willfully oblivious, to remedy the situation. I remember telling her that I felt hated in my own marriage, and I don't know how to change it.

I can only describe this now, as I am many years past discovery. In the first year, I was in a state of flux. I knew that we were trying to reconcile, but it didn't feel right. It's still hard to put into words the gut feelings and uneasiness about me, because I knew what we had, and things were supposed to be heading back in that direction, but something was off. That's the best that I can describe it. I tried so effing hard to convince myself that its getting better, but as many of you know, it is hard to convince yourself....at a total conscious and subconscious level, that your lies are truths.

It was only after I not only let go of my preconceived outcomes, but actively looked out for my own best interests, did I start feeling better in my own skin. I think that was more of a wakeup call for my wife than for me. I never ruled out divorce after discovery, but instead of fearing that outcome, I was willing to embrace it as opposed to living like I was. My wife seemed to be doing most of the right things, but, like me, I don't believe she felt things were right in her gut either. Once she tried to address that, I think we made large strides.

I have my regrets today, but being where I am now is not one of them. We are reconciled. My issues today are with me solely, and my actions.....or lack thereof.....after discovery.

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married almost 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: 4015   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8704318
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ButAnyway ( member #79085) posted at 7:46 PM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

I am feeling a lot of anger in the last couple of days so perhaps my answer is tinted by that but I think that, once you peel off all the layers, as BH, fundamentally, we stay because we're weak, we act from a place of fear, and we lack self-esteem.

Love is not a healthy reason to stay.
Actually, the more I think the more I realize that there are no real reasons to stay, and that true reconciliation is impossible.

The damage is done, and unfixable. Whatever marriage one can reconcile will always be a diminished, damaged, tainted version of it. I read other stories People 5, 10, 20 years out. That anguish never goes away, it never really heals, the pain never really stops.

One can love their partner immensely (I do) and still leave. That's perhaps the only healthy and empowering choice.

Finally, someone with enough honestly and self-awareness to admit what most choose to white wash and address with self-deception.

The bolded part above may be the most honest response I've ever seen on a Reconciliation Forum.

posts: 105   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8704319
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 8:19 PM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

At first I didn't so much "stay" as I did, "not leave". I truly didn't know what I was going to do. I had always assumed (like many others) that leaving was the only real option. I remember thinking (and saying) on D-Day, "oh my god, we haven’t even been married a year and we’re already going to get a divorce" (note: we had been together 11 years total by that point though so it wasn’t like we didn’t have a history – it was more just embarrassing that it took us that long to get married and then we were turning around and getting divorced immediately).

Then I stayed because I loved him and our relationship was otherwise really good. He was doing all the right things and demonstrating that he was likely a good candidate for R (no blame; immediate no contact; minimal trickle truth – I got 95% of the truth on D-Day and was willing and open to all methods of verification; he didn’t balk when I contacted OBS on D-Day; offered to quit his job; and jumped into reading, IC, and MC). I didn’t take divorce off the table, but I decided to stick around long enough to determine if this was something we could overcome. This wasn’t just about his actions either – at that point I didn’t know if this was something I was going to be able to "get over" and I wasn’t satisfied to have a marriage with someone who I could never trust and who I would always resent.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that my fears about infertility and desperately wanting to have kids didn’t play a role in my motivation to R. We had been trying to get pregnant for almost a year pre-D-Day without success. In light of my age I feared that if we were to divorce, my options for having children would be limited and I desperately wanted to be a mother.

I’m far enough into R to know that I made the right choice for me.

[This message edited by emergent8 at 8:25 PM, Wednesday, December 15th]

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 912   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8704323
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Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 8:56 PM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

Why did you stay?

When I told my H that the M was over after he confessed to his A while working alone overseas...I got up to leave the room so that he could call the adultery co-conspirator and talk about THEIR plans for a future because WE were done. Oddly...when he actually HAD his freedom...he instead followed me into our bedroom and asked to lay down with me in our bed look . He had barely touched me for the two days that he had been back home from overseas...but NOW...that we were DONE...he wanted to be with ME?? That made NO sense duh .

After I made him leave the room to go and message the adultery co-conspirator to let her know our M was over...that ONE act of him coming into the bedroom instead of contacting the adultery co-conspirator made me wonder if MAYBE there was something worth salvaging with our M. I started thinking up ULTIMATUMS that my H would have to do in order for me to even consider staying. When I went back into the living room my H was finished messaging with the adultery co-conspirator. I told him what my ultimatums were...and he agreed to every one...and readily did the first one immediately as I told him...he sent the adultery co-conspirator a NC message. Within an hour...WE went from being DONE to being in R. THEY went from being together to being DONE. Seeing her messages...where she was blindsided by that sudden turn of events...it still makes me smile at times smile .

Was it the right decision? Or would you have done differently?

It was ABSOLUTELY the RIGHT decision grin . I look back on Dday and I am really pleased with the way I acted...although I now know it was my lizard brain that took control at that point smile . My H told me later that he thought to himself that IF I were to come back in the living room and offer him another chance...he would do ANYTHING just to have me back. If I had known that...I MIGHT have given him more ultimatums tongue !!!

I see my H today and I am very PROUD to be his wife grin !! He was a broken person who picked himself up out of the crap that was his life...cleaned himself off...and ROSE to become the H I deserve!! He actually didn't do any of this for ME...he WANTED to become a man of God. By doing that...God graced us BOTH by giving him the title of MY HUSBAND smile .

I also found out I had a break here and there too smile . Thank God that He can make ALL things NEW...and now that we are BOTH healed...our M Ver2.0 is AWESOME grin !!

A "perfect marriage" is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.

With God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26)

I AM happy again...It CAN happen!!!

From respect comes great love...sassylee

posts: 6041   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8704333
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Nanatwo ( member #45274) posted at 1:25 AM on Thursday, December 16th, 2021

I did not stay because I was scared or weak or had low self esteem. In fact, it was my self-esteem that got me through the first dark months. My mantra was "I will be ok - I will get through this." I'm not saying I didn't have dark days - days of endless pain and devastation - but there was always that underlying thought that I will be ok.

We had been married 30 years - and he had been a faithful, decent, loving father and husband. It may sound cliche - but I knew the A was not the man he truly was. I did tell him I wanted a divorce - and he broke down - became hysterical. At that moment I saw a broken, hurting person - someone crying out for help. I chose to stay and try to support him in his healing because I did love him - I knew we had a marriage worth fighting for and I knew the man he truly was. Of course - there were certain conditions that I insisted on - and if those conditions were not met I was not too scared or weak to leave.

We are 8 years post Dday. Yes, our marriage is different - but it's MY marriage and I am content with where we are. To say I - or other BS - stay because we are weak, scared or have low self esteem is a generalization that belittles the real strength it takes to fight for something you believe in.

I stayed because I do love him - even though I hated him for a long time after Dday - that love came back (it never went away) - because I saw the man I kew he truly was start to re-emerge from the ashes of his self destruction. Love comes in many forms and changes throughout the years. Our love endured one of the worst thing possible - and it survived - we survived because we refused to let the A define a basically good marriage - and because we love each other.

Time heals what reason cannot. Seneca

First the truth. Then, maybe, reconciliation. Louise Penny

posts: 595   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2014   ·   location: Indiana
id 8704408
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Chicklette ( member #70303) posted at 7:43 AM on Thursday, December 16th, 2021

This is a great thread. FWH and I had both been married before, and both marriages ended when we were cheated on. Both previous spouses left us for their APs. I had always said that infidelity was a dealbreaker, so as soon as I found out about his A I threw him out. We barely communicated for the next 3 weeks until we had our first MC session. Although that was one of the most painful hours of my life, it made me realise that I still loved and missed FWH. We talked every day that week, then I asked him to come home.

I have always known I could change my mind at any time. FWH made the decision that if he came back he was ‘all in’ and would do his best for the marriage, and he has done. Yes, like everyone, the first year was so, so painful, but he treats me the way he should have always treated me and is truly remorseful.

I guess the reason I decided to R was that I love him. We had been married 27 years at that point, so a lot to throw away-it had mainly been a good marriage.

The reason I have stayed is our continued success as a couple. My eldest daughter recently remarked that we seem happier together than she’d ever known, and it’s true. Although I always loved him I didn’t always like him, but he’s done so much work on himself that he’s a much better person and husband.

He knows that any further betrayal would end our marriage, and it really would. Although I love him I know that if I offered him R after another betrayal I would be showing him he could walk all over me, and I deserve better.

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: 153   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Essex UK
id 8704451
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jailedmind ( member #74958) posted at 10:04 AM on Thursday, December 16th, 2021

I’m 7 years out. I look back now and think what a shitshow . I really stayed because I didn’t know any better. Programmed to keep the family together. It’s what my parents did. What my grandparents did. What my aunts and uncles did. Protect my kids. Not make them suffer from poor decisions their mother or I made. If we didn’t have kids I don’t think I would have stayed. But you can play the what if game all day. I’m here now . It’s the new reality that is always the hardest to adjust to. I don’t even know if you adjust or just learn to live with it. I do know before it happened I never felt alone in the world. After it happened and since I feel like you go through things shameful like infidelity alone for the most part. Most guys don’t want to talk about their cheating wife’s.As for love what I learned was you can love something that is really not good for you. I also learned I can go anytime I want so that was liberating.

posts: 107   ·   registered: Jul. 21st, 2020
id 8704467
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fullgoosebozo ( member #46607) posted at 5:40 PM on Thursday, December 16th, 2021

I am nearly seven years out from D-Day. We went the route of R.

I stayed not because I was weak. Anyone who knows me would laugh at such a comment. I stayed because we had young kids who didn't deserve to be damaged. Their mother hurt them -- without them knowing it -- and I knew I was strong enough to eat that shit sandwich long enough for them not to be hurt by ME.

Reconciliation was hard. We went to a therapist who totally got me, but who said "she is fragile right now... you have to be patient with her." Her?! The cheater?! What about me and my kids?!

The therapist wasn't crazy. My WW has low self-esteem issues, and WAS really fragile. It still sucked, though, that I was betrayed, yet I had to be the one strong enough to hold my family together... WHILE I was hurting myself.

So please, folks... don't over-generalize by saying people who stay are weak.

Would I do the same thing again? I honestly don't know. For my kids, yes. Without a doubt. If it was just me, probably not.

Someone else put it best that things are never the same again. That is as true a statement as there is.

Therapists will tell you "no... but it can be better." That's also partially true, because my relationship is better in many ways, but isn't in others.

That trust, that romanticism of being in true love, coming home to a "home" where you are loved, wanted, and safe... that goes away. Every time my WW bitches or says something negative, it's a trigger. If she says she wants to lose weight -- which I would normally support -- my mind goes back to her saying the same thing before her affair. Note: She actually yelled at me way back then and told me she was losing weight for ME... double-kick to the forehead.

So in a nutshell it is different for each of us here on this site. If there is hope, if there is honest regret for hurting you, etc. then maybe yeah. But there is no right or wrong decision, because that decision is so personal to each of us.

I personally live each day the best I can, and I am VERY close with both my kids. They are my life, and I love them with all my heart. So I have no regret with trying to make it work with my WW. We are where we are, and that's where we're supposed to be. And I know that if that ever comes to an end, so be it.

posts: 112   ·   registered: Feb. 2nd, 2015   ·   location: Pittsburgh, PA
id 8704518
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Repossessed ( member #79544) posted at 9:43 PM on Thursday, December 16th, 2021

I learned was you can love something that is really not good for you.


Amen

Here to keep myself mindful that I don't always see what actually is. I certainly didn't when I married her.

posts: 217   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021   ·   location: Chicagoland
id 8704558
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HUM1021 ( member #6222) posted at 12:18 AM on Friday, December 17th, 2021

Not "love".

I had to get my wife out of Hell.

Maybe that is love. But not some romantic thing. I just had to get her out of Hell.

Me: BS 34
Her: WS 33
M 5 years
dday with 1st OM 4/30/04 EA/PA
dday with 2nd OM 12/11/04 EA/PA
on the reconciliation rollercoaster

posts: 823   ·   registered: Jan. 13th, 2005   ·   location: Colorado
id 8704586
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suddenlyisee ( member #32689) posted at 2:42 PM on Friday, December 17th, 2021

I feel somewhat crazy for even posting this...
Given my history, I knew INSTANTLY on D-Day #2 that she was the last person I would ever entertain a romantic relationship with and that this R would be the last chance I will give ANYONE.
I didn't stay because she's my wife, or my soulmate, or because we have history and kids together. I didn't stay because I can't be alone. I stayed because I was finally ready for my last relationship.
I just don't have it in me to put myself out there again, ever. She will either be the last person that will ever experience my devotion, or she will be the last person to hurt me in this way. Which one is up to her - and her chance to make the right decision this time is my last 'leap of faith'.

Semi-pro BS in R

posts: 426   ·   registered: Jul. 6th, 2011   ·   location: Michigan
id 8704698
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Gottagetthrough ( member #27325) posted at 4:21 PM on Friday, December 17th, 2021

I should have left. I reconciled because of the kids (i didnt want them to be with him at times he had custody. He has bipolar 1 and was abusing meds. And our lovely legal system didn’t seem to have a problem that he lived with OW and they were very mentally ill. I mean, yeah, judge, be fair with time!! He deserves to have overnights with a 1 year old and his mistress, right! And dosing a crying 1 yr old with benadryl so he stops crying is TOTALLY ok parenting.

Obviously. I was let down by the legal system. So i reconciled.

Plus, financial reasons.

We had an ok few years! Eventually my desire for another kid took over and i ignored a lot of bad, had baby 3, was blissfully happy and unaware of problems, and a month after baby 3 was born, found out about OW 2.

Currently in limbo but mentally separated and moving on. We are not in reconciliation now. My therapist said, "eventually you will leave him and…" yesterday and it was so validating! I thought, "she believes in me! I can leave!"

But no. Our screwed up judicial system that let him have custody, finances, and that little glimmer of hope that we could survive this led me to R. Wish i had not now

posts: 3745   ·   registered: Jan. 22nd, 2010
id 8704772
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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 5:07 PM on Friday, December 17th, 2021

I entertained trying to reconcile but I knew my XW would most likely not take any responsibility for cheating plus one of her sisters recommended I divorce her, as my wife is a narcissist.

I cannot imagine, frankly, what type of mental gymnastics I would have to perform to allow me to either forgive or trust.

posts: 230   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8704781
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Dbug ( new member #79446) posted at 5:19 PM on Friday, December 17th, 2021

Simplest answers....

I love him.
We have three kids and I loved the life we built together.

posts: 12   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2021
id 8704783
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HUM1021 ( member #6222) posted at 11:22 PM on Friday, December 17th, 2021

suddenlyisee,

That is a great summary of my decision.

Me: BS 34
Her: WS 33
M 5 years
dday with 1st OM 4/30/04 EA/PA
dday with 2nd OM 12/11/04 EA/PA
on the reconciliation rollercoaster

posts: 823   ·   registered: Jan. 13th, 2005   ·   location: Colorado
id 8704838
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outofsorts ( member #70701) posted at 4:11 AM on Saturday, December 18th, 2021

I decided to try to reconcile initially about a month after dday. I realized that I still loved WH and we had had a fantastic relationship for almost 20 years prior to this point, it seemed worth giving it another shot.

And then it was a decision I made again and again over the past 2 years and 9 months.

At a month out I didn't really know what I was doing. I was so in over my head and overwhelmed by the situation. I've since come to realize that whether or not you love your WS is both really important and completely irrelevant.

It's important because if you realize you no longer love WS the decision is simple (not easy, I'm sure it's definitely not easy) - you divorce. It's irrelevant because if you love WS and they don't do the work to turn themselves into a safe partner then you need to divorce anyway. In the past nearly three years I've come to realize that if WH were to cheat on me again I would probably still love him. But that would be irrelevant because I love myself more - I would need to leave.

I'm very lucky that WH has done the work.

Me(BW): 40WH: 40 Married 7 years, together 20.
Dday 2/22/19 Reconciling

posts: 401   ·   registered: Jun. 4th, 2019
id 8704867
Topic is Sleeping.
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