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Reconciliation :
Looking for hope..

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 Felix12306 (original poster member #78827) posted at 6:40 AM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Wanting to hear positive reconciliation stories. We're reconciling and he is doing the work, I am doing my work of healing but I just feel like I will never accept this. I'll never be able to let him live this down and I'll always hold it over his head. I'll always think of his betrayals daily and be angry and hurt and unable to heal. I'll never care about how he feels about things. Does this mean maybe reconciliation isn't for me? That I can't do it? That is was my deal breaker?

Anyway wondering if anyone else felt these things in the beginning and can now say they are truly happy with their marriage? I'd like to note last d-day which were more details regarding his affair that he lied about was early March. I just feel like I could explode with all the anger I have.

BS Together for 15 years, married for 10 on D-Day. D-day 1/28/21, 44-day affair. D-Day that is was physical 6/18/21.

posts: 183   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2021
id 8741172
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 10:18 AM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Your signature says that Dday was in January '21, but you didn't find out the affair was physical until June '21. So there were 2 ddays for the same affair. And you also wrote that only the last week of the 44 day affair was physical.

OP, that "only the last week was physical" claim stretches credulity. Do you have hard evidence of that? Maybe the reason you can't begin to forgive is that you're sensing you still don't know everything and that a dday3 is on its way.

posts: 454   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8741184
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 1:13 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Yes we are one of the lucky ones who have happily reconciled.

It will be 9 years in a few weeks from dday1.

We rebounded from false reconciliation, my H planning to D me for the OW and your typical mid life crisis affair.

I did not plan to R - I just had enough and didn’t have any feelings for him that I believed were strong enough to overcome the affairs.

But I credit my therapist for showing me R was possible.

If you are going to R — you both must be all in. Fully committed. Otherwise you are not giving R a chance.

I also re/defined our marriage and addressed every issue we had. Some things were going to change or we were not going to R.

I hope this helps you.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12289   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8741197
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Hannah47 ( new member #80116) posted at 1:36 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

I read your March "Looking for hope" thread on "Just Found Out" subforum. There is a great reply by jb3199 that I think you should read again. You say your husband is doing the work, but that’s not what you were saying in March. I think it would be helpful if you would write what has changed since then.

Yes, it is possible that his betrayals are you deal breaker. But it is also possible that he just didn’t do good enough for you to see the change in him that would give you hope.

I apologize for not having a positive story for you. I can tell you that I went from being hopeful, to hopeless, to not caring about hope. It was a good move as hope clouded my judgement.

posts: 39   ·   registered: Mar. 21st, 2022
id 8741202
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 2:15 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

What work is he specifically doing?

posts: 4483   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8741211
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FairyTaleGone ( member #79059) posted at 3:08 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Felix, our timelines are super similar, my dday was 2/19/21, and found out it was physical 6/9/21. My WH is doing the work and it is HARD work on his part, and I can physically see the changes in him and shit is still hard some days. I have to remind myself at least weekly, if not daily sometimes that it has been only barely over a year since my heart was shattered. Infidelity isn't something that just disappears and you get over. I think the things that you are worrying about are completely normal.

I read "The Empowered Wife" by Laura Doyle. I do not subscribe to her entire line of thinking, but there is a part in the book where she explains that our husbands WANT to make us happy, but sometimes they feel like they just can't, or don't know exactly what they want. The takeaway that I got from this is that it helps if I am extremely detailed when I am speaking to my WH regarding what I need/want. He struggles with his reactions when I get upset, normally I would spout something like "omg you are so mean, why can't you just hear what I'm saying and be nice" but that doesn't help him understand what I'm really looking for, so recently I told him "I want to feel safe opening up to you about how I feel, I need you to put your feelings aside, just for a moment, and focus on me when I bring something to you" and that seemed to resonate with him, and he is doing a great job trying to make me feel safe. Its become a mission. I'm not saying its your job to fix him, but I have found that he learns what I need better when I frame it with an attainable action for him.

I haven't read your story, so I don't know how your WH has been, but I know my WH is trying to unlearn his bad ways of thinking, and replace them with good behaviors and ways of thinking and that just takes time. And just as him changing his ways takes time, it will also take you time to see and believe the changes. He isn't going to be perfect overnight, and this shit isn't linear at all...the roller coaster rages on, but even small improvements are steps in the right direction and give me hope.

DDay 1 - 2/19/21 (found out about EA)
DDay 2 - 5/22/21 (TT found burner phone)
DDay 3 - 6/9/21 (TT found out about PA)

EA/PA ended 3/22/21 -WH went NC
Working on R
13yr old DD at home - unfortunately knows way too much

posts: 111   ·   registered: Jul. 2nd, 2021
id 8741220
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 Felix12306 (original poster member #78827) posted at 4:31 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Since March he has started with a CSAT, going to 12-Step, listening regularly to podcasts, and tells me what he took away from them. Does the homework from his CSAT. He tells me what they are working on. Asks me to watch the videos assigned by his CSAT if I want to.

He encourages me to come to him when something is on my mind, which I'm trying to do but from the past and his anger, shame, and defensiveness it's hard for me and he understands and hopes I'll be able to trust him with that more. And the times we have talked about it he does do well but I still have the fear it will not go well. When I'm hurting or having a hard time he is there for me however I ask, whether I just need time alone or need him near.

He is very encouraging of me doing self care things. Getting a massage, getting my lashes done every three or so weeks. I joined a gym which puts me out of the house more which he used to give me so much crap about and he hated it so he has come far on how important self care is for me, he roots for me to do things for me now.

I have seen big changes from how he was from a year ago it's just so much extra damage was done that could have been avoided and that just plain sucks. Having to heal from his affair on top of the extra damage from lying, gaslighting, and anger.

I have been doing EMDR in hope that can help me accept this and while it has helped with how the thoughts of them together affect the reaction my whole body would have I and still super angry this happened and that he did this. I want it work out I'm just worried like I said before that I'll never see him as an equal in the relationship and I'll hold this over him forever.

BS Together for 15 years, married for 10 on D-Day. D-day 1/28/21, 44-day affair. D-Day that is was physical 6/18/21.

posts: 183   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2021
id 8741230
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Ladybugmaam ( member #69881) posted at 4:32 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

We are 3 years and 4 months post DDay. I am glad for where we are now. We're in a much better marriage than we were before the affair. I'm glad we were able to work together on this. And, it was also the hardest and most painful thing I've ever been through. It still pops up. I still think about it much more than I would like. I wouldn't say I've gotten over it.....but I am accepting that this was something that happened that I had no control over that I didn't choose. That we had to go through this to get to where we are is incredibly painful and unfair and downright Shi%%y. But we're here. And, I'm grateful for the marriage I have now.

Honestly it took me closer to 2 1/2 years to start to feel like it was worth the immense effort. It took me a very long time to be able to see the work he was doing without discounting it because he was the cheater. And, we had incredible counseling both IC and MC.

You would be the rare exception to NOT feel incredible anger over this. Cut yourself some slack. I think eventually, recovery is two people who decide that they will move forward together. That is not to say that there were and have been days where I changed my mind hourly. That is ok.
One of our MC helped my FWH to see that the intense emotions I was feeling were because I loved him. If this betrayal doesn't cause you incredible pain and anger.....would it really be worth fighting for? And, also, it is ok to acknowledge that you might need to tap out. It may be a deal breaker for you.

I don't know your story. I stay away from JFO, because it is too soon for me to read the stories there without getting enormously triggered. I will say, that this far out, if he continues to show up in ways to win you back, to build safety without blaming you, to own his mistakes and be willing to make amends......AND you can see that(which any trigger will blind you to in the moment) ....AND you feel that you had something worth saving for you - not kids, not divorcing is failure....but that have/had a marriage worth working for....then you have reason to have hope that you'll survive. And, further, this process has made me realize that I will survive with or without this marriage. Regardless, I know I am a much stronger and more confident person for it. I still hate the reason why. But, I'm glad for where we are. My husband is so much more connected and takes so much more care with me that he ever did. He became a different man. I don't hold it over his head every day anymore, because he's given me many little reasons over a LONG time to see that he would do anything to prevent this from threatening us again. That he's chosen us over a fling (not to minimize it).

I'm so sorry you're going through this. It is horribly painful and confusing. Give yourself whatever time and space YOU need to heal.

EA DD 11/2018
PA DD 2/25/19
One teen son
I am a phoenix.

posts: 254   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2019
id 8741232
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Underserving ( member #72259) posted at 8:54 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

It took me nearly 2.5 years to realize how much the PTSD I had from discovering my husband’s affair was affecting me. Even when I WANTED to get past it, I couldn’t. That’s how ptsd works. You likely have it as well, especially with so many d-days. Your body has been in fight or flight mode for a long time. Your brain is like a computer, and when it forms pathways it automatically keeps those going. It takes a lot of work to retrain the body and mind.

I am not a professional, and would never couch diagnose, but I needed to treat my PTSD before I could actually start moving forward. What that looked like for ME was seeing my doctor. I got on a low dosage of anti anxiety/anti depressant medication. I started taking vitamins and supplements. It’s amazing what your body becomes deficient in when it’s constantly being flooded with cortisol and adrenaline. I am now almost like a completely different person. I am able to process things more logically instead of feeling out of control with my emotions.

I have no idea whether your husband deserves R or not. I have no idea whether it was a real deal breaker for you or not. I DO know it is extremely difficult to make that decision when you’re in a constant state of emotional flooding.

Wishing you the very best!

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: 775   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2019
id 8741287
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 9:45 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

What you are feeling is completely normal, especially since you have had two ddays and have just made it to a year. The foundation of your marriage was shattered before you, regaining trust, hope, etc is not going to happen overnight.

That being said, there is no shame in walking away if you need to. I think you are going to find you are going to need to heal either way, so it's up to you how much time you want to give your marriage.

I had an affair 5 years ago, I found out my husband had one after mine, presumably using poor coping mechanisms over mine. We are almost two years from his dday. We have found understanding of one another, and in many ways we have improved individually and that's definitely created a marriage I didn't know was even possible. I am very happy that we have made it to where we are today. It's never perfect, mind you, but my marriage is a source of great joy to me today.

That being said, having been the first WS, I think there were some aspects that I actually could empathize with some of what my husband learned about himself and how he was seeing his affair. I don't think empathy is an easy thing for a BS to do only because the thinking that led to the affair and through the affair and even after the affair is quite unfathomable. I also don't think a WS is always deserving of empathy. Notice I don't say sympathy here. I don't feel sorry for my husband, he doesn't feel sorry for me, but we have gained enough understanding of each other's internal world that we can at least put ourselves in each other's shoes.

I don't know that's even a healthy thing to suggest in many situations. Empathizing with your WS could really take you down a road of self-abandonment. Stay true to yourself - if your husband does enough work he may be able to become a safe partner, and if he does that he may even be able to help you understand in a way that you will be able to heal while in the marriage. In absence of him working his ass off, you will stay feeling unsafe and it will be hard to move forward.

Grace is a hard thing to grant to someone. Undeserved favor. Be patient and true to yourself. Don't pressure yourself in order to appease him. I think a lot of times the pressure comes from wanting to be settled and decided. It's uncomfortable to be open-ended while also still being in a marriage. Keep doing the things you are talking about - focusing on what you need. Eventually there will come a time when you realize you can be whole with or without him, and that is a freeing feeling that you are in control of your life once again.

But, with all the gaslighting, trickle-truth, etc, it's a very normal place that you are in. Even if he does all this work, and you still don't want him any longer, it's not for nothing. What he is doing and working on is going to benefit him for the rest of his life. What he is doing he owes to himself, so you owe him nothing just because he finally worked on himself. Don't allow any guilt surrounding that to hold you back. You need to keep focused on you, what you want, what makes you feel better, and put your hope in you and your own future. If you do that, you might find there is room for him there too. I know you are frustrated with yourself, but you shouldn't be. You are having a very normal reaction that anyone would have, you are not defective or unable to do anything that you want to do. It just may take time, but in that time you will learn a whole lot about yourself. It's never a blessing to be cheated on and have your world fall apart, but some of our greatest blessings come from the ashes of things we thought we never would survive. Take care of yourself, and post when you need encouragement.

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6113   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8741299
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 Felix12306 (original poster member #78827) posted at 12:20 AM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Thank you so much to everyone who answered my question! I truly does help to hear that what I'm feeling is completely normal and that you too were there at some point, and are now happily reconciled. It's something at this point in time. I can't imagine ever being a thing.

BS Together for 15 years, married for 10 on D-Day. D-day 1/28/21, 44-day affair. D-Day that is was physical 6/18/21.

posts: 183   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2021
id 8741318
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 8:48 PM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Felix,

If nothing else, you are going to learn A LOT about yourself over the coming months/years. You are far enough out now that the minute-to-minute/hour-to-hour/day-to-day is not nearly as critical.

Let's say that your assessment of your WH is correct. I'll even do one better and assume that he is doing virtually everything that he can to make amends. If that is the case.....even if that is NOT the case, you are the one who is going to have to hold yourself accountable for your decision to stay. Or go. Or to forgive. Or not to forgive.

Just as a wayward is responsible for their choices, so are we. We don't get to perform illegal acts due to our pain. We know right from wrong, and we know that the world can be an unfair place. So with that knowledge, we know what we can and can't do. And we are also responsible for those choices that we do or do not make. If we choose to attempt reconciliation, that means that we chose to do so. We don't get to sit back, and put the full burden of reconciliation on their shoulders. We have responsibilities. That comes with our commitment to reconcile. If we can't let go of the past, and hold the past transgressions above our partner's heads, when they are trying to do the right things to reconcile, or else that makes it an 'us' issue instead of a 'them' issue.

If you decide that you can't get past the cheating? It's a healthy decision if you are honest about it. Some core values are not redefinable(is that even a word?) for many people. People end their relationships AND forgive their partners. It happens a lot on this site alone. But if can't let go of being 'one-up' on your partner, no matter their efforts? That is when some deep introspection may be beneficial. As a BS, we aren't mandated to forgive our spouses(I haven't as of yet), but we are responsible for being honest and fair.....especially if we make a new commitment after the infidelity----the choice to reconcile.

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 8741413
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BellaLee ( member #58324) posted at 1:49 PM on Monday, June 27th, 2022

Hi @Felix12306 I'm indeed grateful to have a positive R story after infidelity and because of my experience I'm always rooting for marriages to be healed and for true reconciliation between spouses.
It's great that you are on the journey of R with your H and I truly hope you will be one of the lasting success stories on here.

In my opinion R and emotional healing after the pain of betrayal does take time and it's usually a roller coaster of emotions. There was a time I was so full of anger and hurt and didn't think I could forgive and love my H again but looking back now I do have to say it was nothing short of miracle that healing came for my emotions, my marriage and together with my H we were able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I have come to understand that forgiveness is a choice that we make daily especially after the pain of betrayal and a choice that really helped me in my journey of healing. I realised that as long as I held on to the anger and refused to forgive I was stuck in that space that was not healthy for me emotionally and hindered my ability to move forward.

One thing I know that is is important in the journey of R and that is two people fully committed to working on the R. If you're H is doing the work on himself and in rebuilding the broken trust and you are also doing the work of healing, this is a positive phase in your journey of R, so I encourage you to stay hopeful and not give up.

Are you both in IC and MC? My H and I found it quite beneficial and honestly I don't think we could have achieved R by ourselves.

Wishing you all the best and praying the near future brings complete healing for your emotions and true and lasting R for your marriage.

posts: 211   ·   registered: Apr. 18th, 2017
id 8742138
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 4:12 PM on Monday, June 27th, 2022

Felix,

In addition to your most recent TT, it's one year from your PA DDay. I'm sure that doesn't help.

If it hasn't been recommended before, I highly recommend the book "How Can I Forgive You" by Janis Spring.

I don't think it's a great book to get right out of the gate, but if you are struggling with acceptance and forgiveness, I can't think of a better book.

You can also revisit the section in "Not Just Friends" about when to throw in the towel. That's part of what encouraged me to ask for a divorce in writing, and what led to my wife really taking the lead and making more effort in R.

I'm sorry you are still hurting, but it's also totally normal. It takes a long time to heal from betrayal.

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

posts: 2021   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8742161
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Fof9303 ( member #70433) posted at 4:36 PM on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

Hey there, I am so sorry that you are feeling so rough. We have all been there. It is still so very early for you.. the feelings are crazy at that point. There is no right or wrong way to feel. It is a process. You may very well need some space right now. It does not mean that you can't do reconciliation. If you want it bad enough and he wants it bad enough, it is possible. In fact anything is possible in life,, so don't give up hope.. Brighter days are ahead and your anger and pain will subside... I promise. May you have a weekend full of blessings.

posts: 137   ·   registered: Apr. 27th, 2019
id 8743161
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LIYA13 ( member #62026) posted at 4:43 AM on Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

I am over 5 years out. First of all I should tell you that I never thought I would make it to this point. It has been a rocky 5 years. I agreed to reconciliation not because I wanted to but because I had a choice to make. Would I be able to live without him? The answer was no. Like many I always said an A was a deal breaker for me. I am not someone who gets over trauma so quickly and I cant really put a timeline to my traumas. I have really bad anxiety and I guess I have had it nearly all my life. I wish I could say that I have accepted that this happened to me but even after 5 years Im not over it. I hardly think about it but thoughts do cross my mind. Only for a few seconds and then they disappear. Forexample I am 100% sure I had a trigger yesterday and I had tears rolling down my eyes but this morning I cant rememeber what that trigger was. I think its pretty normal to think about the A even after 5 yeara but I dont let it get to the point where I am angry like I used to. Its more like I am strong, I am grateful that I have made it this far.

I am so much stronger mentally now than I was 1 year after dday. I know that whatever happens I will be ok. I know that I will not stay if something like this was to happen again. I would walk away because it will be that much easier to do so. So yes an A is still a deal breaker for me. However I have made the choice to gift him a chance at reconciliation.

Communication is the key. If you feel that you are triggering then tell him. He needs to support you and not shut you down. If he is shutting you down by saying things like 'i dont want to talk about it anymore' or 'havent you got over it yet?' etc then these are red flags. Do not let him believe that everything is ok when you know you are not. After 1 year I cant exactly remember the feelings but all I know is that I kept triggering and I was very angry inside. Take each day at a time and stay strong. It is a lot of work but you will get there!

posts: 151   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2017   ·   location: United Kingdom
id 8743205
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