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Newest Member: Unsureofhope

Reconciliation :
16 months past DDay and now its Flatlined

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 p12241342 (original poster member #79267) posted at 12:23 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

Hello Once again.

I seem to be struggling over the past few weeks and things don't seem to be getting any better. In fact they seem to be going a bit flat.

I have been trying to move past my wifes 8 week affair for the past 16 months. When things are good, they are ok. When things are bad they are bad.

As I'm sure, so many of you are aware. Its so, so hard, and I see why a lot of people just can't do it.

Things are good in the bedroom. My wifes always checks in to see how I am throughout the day. She always says she loves me, she always comes and gives me a cuddle and she can tell when I'm down. But its just not enough.

She sees me as being very critical over everything she does. She sees that even though i know she is doing everything is criticise what she is doing because it just doesn't cut for me.

I will say things such as her texts saying she loves me seems like a routine and just words. I will say sex is just routine to try and keep me happy. I will say she doesn't want me the way she wanted her AP. This could and probably is all just in my head and possibly is just me being jealous. But its causing problems.

I asked her to read one of the articles from the healing Library and how a Betrayed spouse feels and what they need to do. She said she gets it and feels my pain.

However, I still don't feel I'm getting the truth. Some of the things she says just seems impossible to be true. She keeps saying the affair was a mistake and she hates it and what she has done. But she cant explain how she was able to go out and meet her AP every night. I know this is something she needs to work on with a IC. But while I'm not getting the answers I'm not allowing us to move on.

At what stage do I just give up trying to get my version of the truth? Because my IC said that I have a version of events in my head. Now because her story doesn't match with what happened I'm saying its lies and i don't believe her.

How do I know whats the truth and what is my head playing games with me. After all I have been hurt, I'm suffering a trauma. Whats real and whats not?

While I'm trying to get things clear in my head I think I'm pushing her away.

When we argue in a big way, she will say tings such as she is done and she means it. She cant do this anymore. She will say she is going to go and tell her parents what she has done as we cant live like this.

Most of the time we are fine and we get through the days. But times she will say the above.

Then when we are fine she says that she gets angry too. Its frustrating as I'm not accepting her version of the truth. But I have a feeling in my gut that its just a story to protect me and our relationship.

After last nights arguing and saying she has had enough we did eventually make up. But this morning she texted me and said that she loves me so so much. I text back and said I love her to but this is making me ill. She said she can see that and she thinks I shouldn't be with her any more because I don't believe the things she says and I look at her differently.

Im confused. Because I read some much on her that the wayward spouse will do what ever they cant to fix things. My wife does do that. But at times its like she is threatening to leave me with out saying the words. Its like she wants to leave but doesn't have the guts. But when things are good, i can see she loves me. I really can.

Im confused, I'm tired and I'm heart broken. I don't know how much more I can take.

She says one minute we will get through this together and we will be ok and the next she is telling me she cant do this and thinks i shouldn't be with her because of what she has done and that she has been cruel.

I understand that if she is telling the truth it must be frustrating.

I understand that there will be the POLF. I am going through that at the moment. Im also feeling that im not good enough or what my wifes wants.

But is this normal behaviour from a WS thats wanting to fix the damage they caused?

Please note that my wife is doing everything she can and i really do mean everything but for me at the moment its just not enough

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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 1:30 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

I’m sorry you are struggling. Here’s my two cents for what it’s worth.

My H had his second affair and this time planned to D me. So yes I agree it’s hard to make the connection with the cheater wanting the AP so much and then it’s a mistake after Dday.

My POV is that the cheater gets caught up in the "newness" and excitement of the affair and all common sense goes out the window. It’s not an excuse or justification - it’s the reality of the cheater mindset.

My Ah had to prove to me he never really intended to D me which was challenging to do. He told me he wanted a D. But he never left me - and next day would realize he made a mistake and ask for forgiveness. But yet he did this 4 or 5 times. So it’s illogical.

Searching for answers or the truth? That’s almost impossible to achieve - because it makes no sense and I doubt the cheater ever gives it all up. At least not 100%.

And I can tell you my H never once said to me "I can’t do this anymore". That’s not a position for the cheater to take. They created this problem. They have to fix it without whining "it’s too hard".

If it’s too hard for the cheater then they just don’t get it. They don’t get a pass. They don’t get to call the shots on R. No matter how long it takes.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

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 p12241342 (original poster member #79267) posted at 2:20 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

@The1stWife

As always The1stWife thanks for the advice.

I said this to her. She said that she finds it hard to. She gets angry, she gets upset.

Today its really like she has given up.

Our son has started to play up in school since DDAy and things seem to be getting worse. He is playing up more and more. I said to my wife on text that does she think that its our fault that our son is being affected in school. She said she didn't know.

I feel like she is giving up. She says she isn't but she hates the mess she has caused.

I have said to her that all i give her is questions and a hard time and make her un happy and all he give her was happiness. She said that the hard time i give her she deserves and then she says the affair wasn't real life it was pretend it was a fantasy. In a way i dont know if she is denying what this actually is. I feel that may be she is resenting me. She has told herself that the affair wasn't real so the feelings she felt for him weren't real also. Its like he give her everything and i give her nothing but shit.

I feel let down that she is the one saying she cant do this anymore. But then she says she can do this and she will.

I just feel she feels that she doesn't want this anymore but at the same time she doesn't want to leave.

We are in a mess. Both of our words. We are in a mess.

When we are good its fine, but when we are not its like we are in this depressive state.

She says she wants us, but now I'm really not sure

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veryconfused ( member #56933) posted at 8:08 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

You might be too literal with her wording. Affairs are fantasy, an escape, a way to run and hide from problems. If she realizes that, yes, she was projecting her wants onto to some schmuck, she is telling you the truth. A few of the long time posters would always say they affair down. I agree on that.

Is is hard isn’t it? Even more difficult may be accepting that you may never understand it.

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Buster123 ( member #65551) posted at 11:20 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

Have you asked her to take a polygraph test ? if not I suggest you do ask her to take one and pay for it, you may get a version of the "parking lot confession" before the test, or she may pass with flying colors and help you accept her version of the A, of course there's also a chance she fails the test, that often times trigger further admissions.

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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 2:21 AM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

I'm sure I've recommended it a bunch and probably once to you already.

I highly recommend "How Can I Forgive You" by Janis Spring.

You don't "move past" an A, IMO. You accept it, integrate that reality into your past, and find a way to built a new and better M.

You wife may be doing her best to earn forgiveness. If you could state more clearly why it isn't good enough (and you say it isn't) she may be able to improve. If she tells you to just get over it already, my suggestion switches to a reread of "how to help you spouse heal from your affair".

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

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 p12241342 (original poster member #79267) posted at 12:44 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Thats the problem that I have.

I don't have a clue whats missing and don't know what more she can do or how she can put it right.

My IC has asked me this and so has my wife.

When things calm down and we talk again, she says that she knows that I just cant get over it and she doesn't mean it when she says it. She says she understands and she is here to talk when ever, but there are times when she gets frustrated with what she has done and who she has hurt. She says she gets mad at times too. Its frustrating for both of us for completely different reasons.

I feel we have got to a point where she is either saying what she thinks I need to hear or my mind is starting to play tricks on me.

She says that she doesn't miss him, she doesn't think about him and she doesn't want anything to do with him. She says at the time they had a laugh, they had fun, she enjoyed spending time with him and she looked forward to seeing him. But that was then. It was wrong, it was a fantasy and it should never have happened. She has even got to a point where she says even though she played a part in all this, she hates the AP for what he has done.

I know we are 16 months out now. But is that even possible. She must look back on what they had and miss it. After all they did, they had so much fun together and she enjoyed it.

I don't know whats missing, but something is. I love her. I want her and I'm not going anywhere. Im here to fight. But the thing I can never be sure of is whats going on in her head.

She keeps saying she is so sorry. She keeps saying I didn't deserve it and it shouldn't have happened. She keeps saying, we will get through this and what happened was fantasy and not real life and she doesn't see her life with out me

That worries me. Because my head is telling me that she doesn't see her life with out me and doesn't want to loose her kids. So, she is staying with me, not because she wants me but because she doesn't see her life with out me. She is dependent on me. Also she doesn't trust the AP, because what happened wasn't real and if she left everything for him would it be as good in the real world. Would it last?

Or it could be that she does see she has done wrong and she does want to put things right.

I just don't know. My head is telling me different things and my heart is saying something else.

But what worries me is whats in her head and whats really in her heart.

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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 4:20 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Well you can never actually know what is going on in her head with certainty.

You are also fully justified in not really trusting what she said. She has lied to you.

So, the only thing you can really ask yourself is, "Am I happy in this M?" "Can I continue to be with my wife despite not really trusting her? Can I keep this up, or is it slowly killing me?"

We often see people find out much later, even though they wanted to, and tried to R, that it wasn't for them. The loss of trust was too complete to ever rebuild an M that they could be happy in with this person that has betrayed them.

Is it possible that you want to stay in the M because you are still holding on to what your life was like before the A? Even though it is 16 months later, you might still be looking for that time machine. You want things to go back to the way they were before, but that's not the trajectory of R. Things don't go back. And I really meant what I said before. You don't "move past" or "get over" the A in my opinion.

You accept that your wife hurt you. Then you look at her actions today and how she has changed. You decide if she is making you feel loved, appreciated, and safe now. That's what has to be good enough.

If you also want to trust her like you did before, I think that you'll never find the missing piece of what isn't good enough.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 4:20 PM, Thursday, September 8th]

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

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leafields ( member #63517) posted at 4:32 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Do you think the issue is that she still is minimizing and doesn't realize the devastation?

She keeps saying the affair was a mistake

This is the part that makes me wonder. Forgetting to grab milk at the grocery store is a mistake. An A is thousands of conscious decisions to betray you. How many hours did she spend thinking of AP and spending time with him, rather than work on her relationship with you?

Does she realize that this isn't just a mistake, but a lack in her core character traits to decide to blow up her world for some fantasy? Is she truly working on making herself a safe and better partner?

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:32 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

But the thing I can never be sure of is whats going on in her head.

When can anyone know what's going on in someone else's head?

It's possible that you need more months of consistent R behavior from your W. I remember it wasn't until I hit 2 years that I had confidence that R would succeed.

It's also possible that something IS missing, but you're the only one who knows what that is. My reco is to let that (continue to) simmer until you figure it out in a way that you can communicate it.

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.

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irwinr89 ( member #42457) posted at 1:38 PM on Sunday, September 11th, 2022

16 months is about the peak of how bad it can get, dont beat yourself up over it too much, you are looking at 3-5 years easily.....let your feelings flow, vent all you need to your WS, and she has to be there to support you all the way...

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RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 5:14 AM on Monday, September 12th, 2022

There are quite a few BS who feel that their WS 'got to have fun', whilst the BS stayed on the straight and narrow path for the sake of the M.

This can build a sense of resentment in the BS. This is exacerbated if the BS only had one sexual partner (assuming that the A was/is a physical one), as the WS got to 'experience' more.

With regards to the A being a mistake, as leafields posted:

Forgetting to grab milk at the grocery store is a mistake.

How could a person mistake aisle 16 where the milk is, with aisle 6, where they stock the A? "Oops, I turned into the wrong aisle and picked up some illicit sex, and forgot to pick up the family sized bottle of milk in aisle 16."

I know this can be divisive, but WS classifying their A a mistake is trying to blameshift. It becomes their 'go to' easy response and helps in minimizing, instead of admitting that there were decisions made to betray their SO, and not label it as anything else but an act of betrayal.

You cannot cure stupid

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 p12241342 (original poster member #79267) posted at 11:43 AM on Monday, September 12th, 2022

Thanks for all the replies

At 16 months I feel a bit lost... I feel we should be further forward.

I find myself still talking about the affair in some way or another a lot of the days and we talk openly about how down Im feeling every day.

I know there is know time line for this but we are still stuck or at least it feels that way.

I still don't think I have had the real truth. But that could be in my head. That could be my head playing tricks. I just don't know.

But we are in a bit of a mess where we seem to be stuck. We have both agreed at times things are good. But we seem to go 2 steps forward and 3 steps back.

She says that in my eyes she cant do anything right. She says I always criticise what ever she does. Its like what she does isn't good enough. In a way she is right. I compare what we have and what we do to her and her AP. Then I think its not good enough because she would have given him better or done it with him differently.

I do feel sorry for her because she is doing all she can. But its missing something and I just don't know what.

When we argue, at times (not always) she will say she cant do this anymore. She will say she loves me but she can see that I'm not happy and the hurt she has called. She will also say that I'm not treating her like i did. Im treating her bad because I throw the affair back in her face. She knows she has done wrong, but she cant take it back no matter how much she wants to.

It feels like even though i can see her trying so hard she is wearing down. Its like she isn't sure now if us staying together is the right thing to do. These are my words by the way. Because she says that isn't the case. She says I don't listen. Im just hearing what I want to hear.

But how do you guys do it?

How do you feel wanted when they give them self to some one else? She has stayed 16 months and put herself through hell. She must want this, I see that. But I don't see why she would want to put herself through the hell fixing our marriage when she could go off an be with the AP.

She says she wants this and she loves me, but its hard. But she is saying more and more that we cant do this forever and i need to try an help myself. She says that she wants this, but them when we argue she now says she cant do this anymore. But she says she gets frustrated too. Its hard. But she never goes anywhere and never will

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Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 1:38 PM on Monday, September 12th, 2022

I think she fears that perhaps she damaged you too badly and that you won't recover from it, that maybe you would be better off without her. If she is remorseful, that's going to be hard on her to observe and feel. Some waywards are going to be able to deal with their role fixing the relationship better than others. It sounds like she has empathy but is dealing with frustration grounded in worries about progress but even more so in the fact she caused it. All those emotions are appropriate for her and we have to acknowledge them even though she is the one who cheated.

Do you think you could limit the affair disucussions if you tried? Write down all your thoughts and questions but save them for one day a week instead of every day or every other day? If you are ready for that, it could be helpful to try it, for you and for her.

About your doubts about the truth, have you gotton a written timeline from her?

posts: 709   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2018   ·   location: US
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 p12241342 (original poster member #79267) posted at 2:02 PM on Monday, September 12th, 2022

@Trdd

Thanks for the reply

She has said that she see's how much she has hurt me. She says that she see's me so sad every day and she did that. But, she also said that she sees me sitting on the sofa looking so sad and she somethings things its not right and i shouldn't be with her. Because of what she has done.

She does do everything but there are some things that seem to be missing that were there a few months ago. When i talk to her about them she says that nothing she does is good enough and I'm always criticising, but I'm not.Im just saying how I feel. because I want them things back. But them things only made me feel like that did because they were effortless. If she has to be told to do them its not the same.

I try to limit affair talk and even though I managed it some days, some days it gets the better of me.

Its like she is fine talking about certain things in the affair, my feelings but it seems that when i drill her on her feelings and hows feelings things turn and it feels like she clams up. May be thats in my head i don know.

She is just saying more and more when we argue she cant do it and she is tired of the way we are. She says she is p!ssed off. Because of what she has done to us and our family.

My head is messed up as i dont feel safe. I thin she is trying to want to be with me. I felt like she wanted us before. But now it feels like she is just trying.

Is this normal at 16 month out ?

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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 3:33 PM on Monday, September 12th, 2022

My head is messed up as i dont feel safe. I thin she is trying to want to be with me. I felt like she wanted us before. But now it feels like she is just trying.

Is this normal at 16 month out ?

Yeah, IME it's normal. Your WS doesn't know any more than you if you guys are going to make it as a married couple. All she can do is try. All you can do is try. You're each looking to draw security from the other when, just now, neither of you has it to give. The only assurances you can offer is that you're both here today.

This is the reason why the work you do to redevelop emotional self-reliance is so important. Wholeness is within you. It really is. You were a whole and separate person before you became enmeshed together and you can be again. And once you have achieved that, you won't be each looking to the other to make you feel secure. You'll be free to simply enjoy the good things you have without feeling terrified all the time that your safety is going to be pulled away. Your safety is within you. smile

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.

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 p12241342 (original poster member #79267) posted at 4:00 PM on Monday, September 12th, 2022

@ChamomileTea

Thank you. That makes sense

Everything feels so uncertain. We have been together so long and nothing has rocked our world like this.

I only really see it from my side. Im not a selfish person but at the moment I see that my wife caused this problem. Yes may be I contributed but she chose to cheat. She made the decisions while i have been picked up and dropped in this mess. Now i sink or swim and at the moment I'm drowning.

She says she is hurting, she is sorry yada, yada. But she cant be feeling all the horrible disappointing feelings that I'm getting now.

I miss our life as she even admitted it was good. But i just think that now she has experienced some thing with some one else, how can she ever look at me being enough again. How can she want us as much as i do when she give it away.

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Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 6:39 PM on Monday, September 12th, 2022

She did cause this and brought you trauma that was not your fault. However, I have learned here at SI that a remorseful WW will feel a large amount of real pain and shame from their own actions. It may not be as bad as yours but that does not mean it is not significant. Think about a time you screwed up and magnify that feeling, that may be how she feels about herself.

Also, remorseful waywards do seem to come to truly despise the whole affair and want to completely forget the AP. It's like a party they went to and had a lot of drunk fun at but on the way home they drove their car into the side of a minivan with a family in it. The good time they had at the party is forgotten and replaced with the anguish of what they caused.

And btw, the family in the minivan is their own.

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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 9:49 PM on Tuesday, September 13th, 2022

I miss our life as she even admitted it was good. But i just think that now she has experienced some thing with some one else, how can she ever look at me being enough again. How can she want us as much as i do when she give it away.

You're really stuck in that one particular thought. I get it, I really do. It just doesn't compute that the cheater goes to the extremes they went to for some other relationship and then stands there claiming that they're sincere in their desire to be with you again. There's this appalling disconnect between what they did and what they're saying now. I get it. I expect most, if not all, of us have felt that way. We hear things like, "you are the prize", and "invest in yourself", and dozens of other little encouragements meant to turn your attention from the cheater back to yourself, and they all sound like worthless platitudes after awhile.

Here's the thing though.. IME, that's what works. Relearning how to be emotionally self-reliant, to love and care for ourselves without dependence or enmeshment is what makes us feel whole again.

It's kind of hard to explain, but imagine two clear classes half-filled with translucent colored water, one red and one blue. Now, if you were to mix the contents of those two glasses together in a third glass, you'd have a nice purple color, right? That's kind of how we are when we're emotionally enmeshed. We're so thoroughly mixed in with our partner it's hard to think where we end and they begin. But if you go back to one glass of red and one glass of blue, you can still line them up in such a way as to see the purple without changing the integrity of either color. They're in sync, but still separate.

I think sometimes that what we're trying to accomplish in R is to go back to the illusion of safety we had in enmeshment, but clearly, we were NEVER safe because it's impossible for one person to truly mix with another. We were always each in our own container. Our purple shone because we were synchronized in such a way as to allow the illusion of mixing. The betrayal simply reveals the truth of it.

For me, the trick has been to accept that I'm in my container and he's in his. The more I love, care, and improve ME, the more secure and complete I feel, and the easier it is to maintain synchronization and to enjoy the purple of it all. If for any reason we should fail to make purple in the future, I'm still a fantastic shade of ME.

No one can guarantee you that your former cheater means what she says when she tells you she loves you and only wants to be with you. What we can tell you though is that you'll never believe her if you secretly feel unworthy of love and devotion. Once you KNOW in every molecule of your body that YOU ARE ENOUGH and that you are deserving of all the good things, you'll be free to take that leap of faith because you'll know that you'll be okay no matter what happens.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 9:52 PM, Tuesday, September 13th]

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.

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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 1:35 AM on Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

Everything feels so uncertain. We have been together so long and nothing has rocked our world like this.

I might be in the minority, but I think you have to make peace with the uncertainty. Trust and certainty are gone. Never coming back to where they were before.

But i just think that now she has experienced some thing with some one else, how can she ever look at me being enough again. How can she want us as much as i do when she give it away.

I can't be bothered to ask if I'm "enough" or not for my wife. I know I'm enough for me, and certainly enough to make someone happy if it isn't her. If she has a black hole of dissatisfaction, I sure as shit am not going to fill it. Overall, whether she will stay satisfied with me or not isn't something I really worry about. I can only ask whether I think she'll be honest with me if she feels dissatisfied and whether we will split amicably if that's the case.

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

posts: 2175   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
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