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Reconciliation :
Do we ever really “get over it”?

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NotMyFirstRodeo ( member #75220) posted at 3:44 PM on Saturday, June 11th, 2022

Getting over it sounds oddly similar to rug sweeping to me.

If I had to use a specific term in its place I'd probably speak of learning to cope with my spouses betrayal.

Some may view this as debating semantics. The thing is. The precise meaning of words and phrases is so very important when it comes to how our brains process traumatic events.

Can't speak for anyone else. But I happened to have been asked about when I'd "get over it" (in various ways) shortly after DD. In my experience, "getting over it" has a selfish undertone to it. On the other side, I was never asked how or if I could cope with events. And had someone asked me *that*, I believe it would have indicated empathy from that person rather than selfishness.

Today, I actively work on coping with trauma of all forms that have affected me. This is personal growth that I know to be positive in all ways for me. I cope with and accept that which I never had control over as an effort in not allowing it to define me. Coping with the bad stuff keeps me from being stuck.

I can "get over" a bad umpire call as it has no real impact on my life. I can't "get over" intentional cruelty which shook the foundation of my core and caused a paradigm shift in who I am as a person forever more.

I "get over" all things inconsequential. Infidelity is anything but inconsequential.

[This message edited by NotMyFirstRodeo at 3:47 PM, Saturday, June 11th]

Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid.

posts: 343   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2020
id 8739736
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NotMyFirstRodeo ( member #75220) posted at 4:00 PM on Saturday, June 11th, 2022

One more thought. And maybe it's a bridge too far but I toss it out there anyways.

If any of you had ever been physically abused by your spouse and were asked by another if it still bothered you that they beat you up. Could you ever imagine replying with, "I'm over it" ...as though it were nothing?

From time to time would you ponder to yourself, "will I ever get over it"? My guess is that you'd probably be asking yourself something different which allows the abuse to maintain its gravity.

Now instead of being physically abused, insert some other tragedy to you or another person. I've still not gotten over any instances of genocide, murder or intentionally vile behavior. I can learn to cope with those realities but they're far from things I get over in life. Those kind of acts deserve to be remembered for what they were so that signs of reoccurring are given due attention.

Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid.

posts: 343   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2020
id 8739737
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 4:55 PM on Saturday, June 11th, 2022

Well, no matter what, it will always be a part of your history. As will any other aspect that has happened in your life. Your future will never be the same because of it. For better or worse, we can't change the past.

What is your definition of 'getting over it'? As in, completely forget that it ever happened, or to a point of acceptance? I believe the prior is simply folly. For me, personally, I have accepted it. I have not forgiven her, nor do I think that I ever will. And I don't say that in a bad or punishing way. Forgiving, at this point, is a ME issue, and I can say the words, but not truly mean it. It would be the same of me saying that I am of a certain faith when I am not. I may wish to be that faith, and say the words, but who would I be kidding? Myself? It doesn't work that way. Infidelity will always be part of our past, but it doesn't mean that I don't enjoy the present or possible future. Like I stated earlier in this thread, we, the BS, ultimately have to be accountable for the choices that we make. If we don't try to make the marriage better, when our partner, over time, has shown that they are once again all in, who's accountable for that?

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: 4049   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8739741
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 6:04 PM on Saturday, June 11th, 2022

I ask myself if maybe it’s time to contact the OM and "bury the hatchet".

Why on earth would you feel the need to bury the reality of what he did to you? This is a man who eagerly helped destroy your marriage. He is not your friend. You are not over the hurt of what he participated in. Do you really think that pretending to forgive him (let's be real, you won't forgive and forget deep down) is going to make you feel better? It will only hurt you even more. Stay away from him for your own sake.

OP, it's been 5 years and you're still hurting, still asking yourself if you should stay. At this point, it ought to be clear either way. The fact that it isn't clear suggests that you should seriously consider ending the marriage. You posted in the reconciliation forum, so not many posters will steer you this way, but since you seem lost and asked the question, I'm answering it. How many more years do you want to spend feeling like this? If you split up, there will be pain, but then the ability to move on and out of this situation.

To help make up your mind, you might want to read Cheating in a Nutshell by Tamara and Wayne Mitchell. It might help you see through the fog you're in.

posts: 454   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8739748
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 6:23 PM on Saturday, June 11th, 2022

What does 'get over it' mean to you?

In a sense, I'm OK with saying, 'I'm over it.' I no longer think much about my W's A. It's almost always just a fact in my life story. I can look at posts on SI and not trigger. I can watch movies. I assume I can still trigger, with results ranging from wistful sadness to rage or grief, even though I haven't felt much anger since 2013 - but I assume I might feel rage again.

Here's the thing for me: I spent 3+ weeks in hospital starting on Christmas Day, 1966. Knowing I was near death was traumatic. I recovered. As time went on, I thought about it less and less. When I did think about it, I thought more about the positive aspects of recovering.

In 2015, my mom was in that hospital, having fallen at home (1000 miles away from my home). W & I took an emergency trip home, and we went directly to the hospital. We rushed from the parking lot to the doors ... and my steps got slower and slower and then stopped. The trauma of 1966 kept me from entering the building. I had to psych myself to enter.

My mom was in hospital for 4 or 5 days, on my old floor. It wasn't until the last day that I was able to view my old room, and even then I just got close enough to see the view from the window. It was exactly the view that I remembered it.

I don't think human beings get over trauma. We can tame it, though.

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: 27413   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8739751
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LIYA13 ( member #62026) posted at 9:53 AM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

Drumerboy,

I am 5 years out. I just passed the date of Dday in April. Im still with my H. Im always on SI. Just reading other peoples stories and also trying to help in anyway I can. It has been a rocky road for everyone on SI. Ofcourse the pain I felt on Dday has subsided but I cant help but feel anxiety every year around the same date and also when I pass locations and areas that they visited together. Its horrible what we have been through but we just have to get through day by day. Life is so much better 5 years and his actions have shown that he wants to continue to be in this marriage. I do as well.

Youre doing really well especially if youve made it this far. So keep doing what youre doing. Be in charge of your own happiness. Remember to do things for yourself.

posts: 151   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2017   ·   location: United Kingdom
id 8739826
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hollowhurt ( new member #75149) posted at 5:37 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

Drummerboy,

Your answer to first question: Is there anyone that is this far out from D-day, still in the relationship, and still frequenting this site?

Yes, and farther out than 5 years.

Second question: How long is too long try to hold on to your marriage?

You decide, I assume you made a vow, ‘better or worse, health, etc’. Has your spouse stayed true after a ‘one off’? Can you deal with it? Is she trying and taking responsibility for her actions?, on and on. What’s your integrity level? (no right or wrong answer here)

As for myself and my wife’s infidelity: it sometimes gets easier, it is almost always is present in the background running deep in my mental processor, her affair that is. Her affair, if I believe her, has been over for decades, her deceit has not, after lying for so long even the truth can not be true.

Analogy: When I was a young man I had the opportunity to catch my right arm on fire with gasoline. Both hands, right arm, both shoulders burnt very badly. I put my self out in a mud hole full of water. I had lots of flesh stay in that mud hole replaced by mud. The smell came first, then the pain. The pain stayed for months. I hope I am just graphic enough for you to get the picture.

Debridement is a thing, google it. I was told the scars would never leave, the skin would never tan in summer. But, I would get full use of everything back. It took years actually.

Full use came quickly.

The skin would change all sorts of colors during wintertime.

The skin did tan after a few years, even hair grew back.

Now, useless someone knows where to look that can’t even tell of my injuries. (I think)

But the scars are there: more in my head than on my skin. Sometimes I can see them and the pain seems to return, even the smell. The warm water of the mud hole, the warm water of the debridement.

Now, I like my hands and I like my arm. They serve me well and I am blessed to have them. I trust them. But they do have scars. Only I see them. I am trying to deal with what I see.

(side bar and unrelated to you question, I would gladly experience the burn as opposed to infidelity, but hell, I wasn’t given the option)

posts: 34   ·   registered: Aug. 11th, 2020
id 8739978
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 6:21 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

I wonder if it’s healthy to have a relationship where I always have one foot out the door: Because I still do everything in my power to make sure I don’t get cheated on again.

I don't know if I'd characterize it as having "one foot out the door" this far out (7 years), but I think recognizing that we're where we choose to be at this moment is empowering. That also means recognizing that we're not trapped and we have the option to make another choice if things change. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't feel like I've made a commitment, but my commitment is no longer "at all costs". I'll do "in sickness and in health" but I won't do "abusive and selfish". Does that make sense?

In terms of "doing everything in your power", I'd recommend a gut check to see if you feel like you're doing "pick me" dancing or marriage policing. If you feel like you are, that's something you'll want to work through. There's no guarantee that a fWS will never repeat. Once you've been intimately betrayed, it's toothpaste which doesn't squeeze back into the tube, right? You can't UN-see what you've seen. But you can't control other people either, and THAT is what "pick me" dancing and marriage policing really are.. an attempt to take control. So it stands to reason that you'd start with the only person you can control, YOU. Once you've made sufficient investment in YOURSELF, you know that there's someone you can always rely on, someone who always has your back. The trick is developing some REAL appreciation for that person. You ARE enough and once you really know that, you also know that you're perfectly capable of handling whatever might come next.

I do think that part of our trepidation is fear of the pain we've experienced. We tend to think that if the bad thing happens, we'll fall apart the same way we fell apart before. But I think maybe what's happening is that we're afraid of FEAR. I want to say I was four or five years in before I realized that no matter WHAT happened next, I actually did have the tools to deal with it. I had survived. In some ways, it seemed a miracle that I had made it through. The pain and depression had seemed insurmountable at times. But the experience was in the past, and just like every other experience, good or bad, it was going to stay there. That's the thing about trauma.. the past feels present. But feelings aren't facts, and the facts are that when my emotional reliance was severed by my fWH's adultery, I was plunged into crisis and dealing with the leftover vestiges of the Fear of Abandonment I'd carried around since birth. That reflex is necessary for infants. We're born helpless and we need care. When we're grown though, we tend to subconsciously transfer that reliance onto our primary relationship. At the time when my fWH cheated, I was in such a state that even I would have thought I could care less. I didn't know that I'd invested that leftover reflex with him, that HE was the embodiment of my abandonment fears. I was devastated.

Surviving infidelity forces us to deal with that fear of abandonment. For me, I eventually realized that I had resolved it by processing the betrayal. IOW, when I really boiled it down, I wasn't afraid that my fWH would hurt me again, I was afraid of returning to that state of pain. What I hadn't realized was that because I had resolved the source of that pain, the fear of abandonment, it meant that no matter what my fWH does, I'm never going to experience that kind of pain again. That's not to say I wouldn't be hurt and disappointed if he flaked out again. But wrecked?.. no. I'm not that person anymore. I'm stronger than I've ever been. I'm free to simply enjoy my relationship (or not). I don't NEED it in order to feel whole.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5742   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8739985
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DIFM ( member #1703) posted at 10:07 PM on Saturday, July 16th, 2022

I wonder if it’s healthy to have a relationship where I always have one foot out the door: Because I still do everything in my power to make sure I don’t get cheated on again.

I don't know if I'd characterize it as having "one foot out the door" this far out (7 years), but I think recognizing that we're where we choose to be at this moment is empowering.

CT, I think that I think we may agree on several things here. I agree it is not healthy to always feeling one foot is in and another may be out. But, I know a lot of relationships where both think both are would say 100% both feet are in....and we know how reliable that certainty can be.

I also think that recognizing that one or both feet can be out or in is on the table, because I am significantly impaired by my own experiences, particularly when one or the other has made the very poor judgment of lying and manipulating and betraying the other, at some point in the relationship. It doesn't mean that one foot has to be out, but it does mean both can be out, if the pain of the abuse just becomes overwhelming, no matter how long ago that abuse was.

One in one out. Maybe both in for now and possibly both out later. Lots of configurations of the theme.

posts: 1749   ·   registered: Jul. 14th, 2003
id 8745062
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FragileandHurt ( new member #80011) posted at 10:52 PM on Sunday, July 17th, 2022

Thank you for your post. It will be 8 months for me this week and I was wondering how long it will be for me to not be so hurt. This past week was the one-year point from when the affair started. At the advice of our MC, we took the day back and did things as a family and spent an hour with our marriage counselor.

It is impossible to avoid shows or movies with infidelity unless I watch cartoons. I try so hard to fight the triggers. He has stood by me each time and has taken all the angry outbursts and tells me he wants to be with me. He has given me access to all email, I track his location, and we are both in IC and Marital therapy. He says he understands that I may never be able to forgive and if that is the case, he understands, but wants us to be together and will do what he has to to restore the trust.

Last night I was reading a book about when good people cheat. The author asked the question about whether or not to tell the betrayed spouse and she said unequivocally, NO, unless you put their health at risk or if it was inevitable the spouse was going to find out. Many days I wish that I could live in ignorant bliss and not have to have flash backs and feel the betrayal but alas, I know and I am working through it the best I can. I take the good days and have a great appreciation for them and grit my teeth and work through the oh so awful days. Through the process I have learned more about myself and have worked on the areas that I need to own in the marriage.

We are doing much better today. I still am not sure if I will stay as there are some days where I don't feel like I will get over the betrayal, but there are other days when I look back at what we have built and the love we have for one another. I know he is a good person who just made horrible choices. It will be up to me to decide if I can live with that and forgive or whether it is time to move on.

Thank you for sharing your story. It is so helpful to see others on the reconciliation journey and hearing stories of hope but also understanding the reality that this will not go away.

posts: 9   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2022   ·   location: Midwest
id 8745191
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ZetaCephei ( member #79378) posted at 10:27 AM on Monday, July 18th, 2022

I am a long way from 5 years, it was just 1 year post Dday two weeks ago and I also wonder if I will ever be able to get over it. Or maybe "getting over it" is a bit to much, I would settle with accepting and adapting to my new reality, learning to cope as NotMyFirstRodeo said. I would settle for some chronic pain residue, as long as this acute stabbing pain is gone. Unfortunately, I am nowhere near that. So I appreciate reading your stories and experiences which give me hope that things can get better for me, for us.

This is a not perfect translation of one of the quotes of my favorite singer/songwriter:

One day you will stop somewhere in the middle of a well-known street, you will look up at the sky and you will understand why everything happened the way it did. You will breathe in new life and move forward with brave steps, and finally realize that life is too short to be unhappy.

I am looking forward to that day.

[This message edited by ZetaCephei at 9:01 PM, Monday, July 18th]

Me: BW, 46 -- Him: WH, 46 -- 9 years + 5 years LTAs simultaneously + 4 ONS -- Dday1: July 2021 -- Dday2: September 2021 -- Just living from day to day, not capable for any major decision at the moment

posts: 60   ·   registered: Sep. 8th, 2021   ·   location: Europe
id 8745231
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WishidleftHer ( member #78703) posted at 6:27 PM on Monday, July 18th, 2022

To be honest I still have thoughts about my Dday. It's been over 35 years and I can still remember that day.

Me: BH 72. Her: WW 67 Dday over 35 years ago and still feels like yesterday.

posts: 62   ·   registered: Apr. 25th, 2021   ·   location: Upstate NY
id 8745273
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StrugglingCJ ( member #72778) posted at 12:16 PM on Friday, July 22nd, 2022

You don't ever get over it, unless you suffer global transient amnesia you will never forget, for most BS DDay is irrecoverably etched in your memory..

What you can do is incorporate it into your history, your memories, class it as one hell of a learning experience, whether you stay or D, learn from it.. Learn to trust your gut more, learn to see the red flags long before they do too much damage.

It happened.. you can NEVER change that, you aren't a time lord, bill and Ted and you dont own a delorean with a flux capacitor, unfortunately. So learn from it..

It hurts, yes it really hurts in the early days, but the pain will fade, just make sure the lesson doesn't.

Getting over it, yes we do one way or the other eventually, but this doesn't mean it didn't happen, just means you survived one of the harshest things life will throw at you.. You are a badass, never forget that.

WW caught in EA May 17
DDay Mar 19 it was full PA
Struggling for R, but still trying.

posts: 252   ·   registered: Feb. 10th, 2020   ·   location: Essex
id 8745826
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saturnpatrick ( member #35989) posted at 5:50 PM on Monday, July 25th, 2022

I think this might be my first post in 5 years...

My wife's A was around this time 10 years ago.

I haven't been triggered in years. Perhaps the only trigger that remains is that every year around this time of year I feel more down than my usual self. This summer has been a little worse than usual, maybe the 10 year mark holds some significance.

First: Most of the time I'm ok.

But...

I still read on this site at times when I'm feeling down.

Sometimes I look up youtube videos of others who have been cheated on. I'm not totally sure why - perhaps it just helps to hear someone else feeling the same hurt I felt.

Sometimes I still go through emails and voicemails I kept from that time.

I don't really compare myself to him anymore.

Sometimes I wonder if she ever thinks about him.

As my confidence has slowly grown over time, so too has my anger at times. Now I mostly get mad when I think about the A. During and after the A it was difficult for me to see my value, and so I was consumed with sadness (and anger too but mostly sadness and an overwhelming feeling of worthlessness). Now it is so undeniably clear to me that I wasn't deserving of the way I was treated that when I think about it, it makes me angry.

Sometimes, when I'm feeling down and reflecting on the A, I wonder if I made the right decision to stay.

Sometimes I go back and look at my first posts on this site. I cringe at how blindly I trusted her. The evidence was overwhelming. I was a fool.

I also sometimes get angry at myself for my foolishness in believing her at the time, given the evidence I had. I trusted her so completely.

Sometimes I wish she could actually feel how hurt I was. I don't think I'll ever be able to describe it. All the words I've tried to use seem to fall short. Fractured, crumbling, shattered, devastated. It was easily the most painful part of my life. I've lost two parents and neither one of those losses comes even close to the pain of her betrayal.

Sometimes I wonder if there is more that I don't know.

Sometimes I wish I had a time machine, or that psychics were real (sorry psychics but I'm not a believer), or something along those lines -- some way that I could know for sure that there were no details left out.

BH
I edit.

posts: 223   ·   registered: Jul. 1st, 2012
id 8747155
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