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Reconciliation :
Marriages that have R in real life?

Topic is Sleeping.

 WhiskeyBlues (original poster member #82662) posted at 3:42 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

I don't know of any relationships in real life that have R. I've only known of couples that have separated following an affair. I actually didn't know R was a "thing", I just naively presumed infidelity leads immediately to divorce.

I feel people around me just don't have any comprehension of how painful infidelity is 😔 I can't help but feel people secretly think I should just be moving on given that we are R.

It is a lonely place to be at times.

[This message edited by WhiskeyBlues at 3:58 PM, Thursday, May 18th]

posts: 114   ·   registered: Jan. 3rd, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8791397

Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 4:09 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

I actually didn't know R was a "thing", I just naively presumed infidelity leads immediately to divorce.

Same. I had no idea R was an option, I assumed anyone who chooses infidelity is completely done with the marriage.

I do know a number of R couples in real life, I only recently found out my grandparents were one of those couples. They’re gone now, but my aunt revealed that family secret a year or so ago. And I have two real world friends who never heard of SI who R’d as well. It’s not something we talk about or compare notes, we just ‘know’ we’ve been through Hell.

And yes, unless someone experiences infidelity, like most TV and movie writers apparently, they have zero clue how painful it is.

That’s why I have really appreciated all of the kind souls here at SI over the last 7-years, gives me a place to vent as needed.

Even with SI, and knowing other people have R’d, it’s STILL a lonely feeling. Less lonely than it used to be for me, as my wife is the witness who knows the pain she caused and that helps, because she does care about how I am (now).

Married 36+ years, together 41+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived.
M Restored
"It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it." — Seneca

posts: 4721   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
id 8791403

3yrsout ( member #50552) posted at 4:16 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

Yeah, ten years post d-day myself. Stayed for the kids and to see if he could fix this.

It’s too broken to fix. There is so much resentment. He’s got a biopsy result pending for a possible cancer and I’m just angry and numb and feeling like this is my chance to be free.

Insight comes slowly to the WS, I think, when you stay. And each grain of insight is like some shit pearl they think is a treasure. Then you get hopeful and then you see them flirting with volleyball girls on vacation. And boom, the feelings that maybe they understand are gone and a sadness stays.

It’s been minimal trickle truth, but there has been a lot of trickle idiocy. Like crumbs of stupidity I find and get sad about. Like you didn’t know this?!?! For real?!? How can you function as an adult? And larger, HOW DID I NOT SEE THIS?!?!

That with menopause and poor communication and so much resentment, I don’t think good is the goal for me anymore. I’m putting my eggs in other life baskets, and planning for the future.

posts: 753   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2015
id 8791404

tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 5:48 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

As someone who did choose R, and did it successfully there is a lot to it, I don't think one path is easier/harder than another. What I think happens a lot is people stay out of fear of financial concerns, or just fear of being alone, or "not wanting to share the kids". These are not legit reasons to stay, and if that is the reason, it is setting one up for failure in R.

R is full of authenticity, being painfully open, and honest. If you and your partner are unable/unwilling to do that, then it won't work.

I was very clear w/ my H from the get go what was expected of him for us to try R. He unfortunately did not get super serious w/ it until I was ready to file, and walk away, threw him out. But once I had enough and stood my ground, we started to rebuild. It sucks, it is incredibly painful, it takes years, yes years to heal. The acute pain and bleeding ends, but those are some deep deep wounds that take many many months of care, attention, and nurturing to heal. But is can be done. Had we not been able to do the work, and rebuild, I would have left. I could not live life in an inauthentic way. We all have our set of reasons for doing what we do, but we also have to be able to objective, and hold ourselves and our partners accountable.

Me: FBSHim: FWSKids: 23 & 27 Married for 32 years now, was 16 at the time.D-Day Sept 26 2008R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 20203   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8791414

Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 6:04 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

8 years in and sometimes the process is daunting. I agree that it is so lonely. I like OldWounds comment about the spouse as Witness. It is an important role and one that offers the BS some solace. My process has been incredibly slow and in some ways his process has just begun. Last summer he admitted the EA was a PA and we hit rock bottom again. But, his truth telling - with nothing to be gained but coming clean- has taken down some walls that were standing in the way of a full recovery for us. We send this emoji ❤️‍🩹to each other constantly. We both want to heal but we are still getting triggered a lot. Yesterday a women who was the AP in one of our best couple friends affair texted him. She wanted to make an appointment to see him in the office for medical care but her insurance had lapsed and wouldn’t be back in effect until june 1. I felt seeing her and allowing her not to pay was a boundary violation with a person we already know has terrible boundaries. He said that he would never make anyone pay under those circumstances, which I know is true for him. So it was messy. It sometimes feels like there are messes around every corner. But even though we fought we are back to the ❤️‍🩹emojis within a matter of hours. We don’t let it fester and try to talk it out. I am less tolerant than I was before his data dump last summer, but I am trying to get back to showing a little more grace. It is tough but right now it seems worth it.

posts: 391   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8791415

Devon99uk ( member #82658) posted at 7:00 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

Hi again Whisky 👋😊 I remember you saying on another post that you were going to try EMDR... How did you get on if you don't mind me asking? I get free counselling through work so have considered EMDR too. With regards to the subject of your post, would you believe my stunning 30yr old hairdresser recently told me she found out her partner of 7yrs had a 7month affair, just before she fell pregnant 18months ago, so now she's stuck with him forever, poor her!! I asked her how she could carry on being with him & she just said she still loved him & believed he won't do it again, so they carry on as before. She made it sound so simple! Perhaps how we cope as BS is simply based on our personalities - I'm a soft emotional person & she is not, maybe that's why she's fine and I'm traumatised. My strong morals & values just don't seem to go hand in hand with staying with a weak man like my husband, even though he's generally a nice person 🤷 I wish I didn't feel like this though, I really do.

Shame I can't PM you, I've gotta hit 51 posts first I think 😂

posts: 72   ·   registered: Jan. 2nd, 2023   ·   location: South of England, UK
id 8791429

SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 8:27 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

R is full of authenticity, being painfully open, and honest. If you and your partner are unable/unwilling to do that, then it won't work.

100% agree with that, and everything else that tushnurse said. Infidelity recovery takes a long, long time and is not for the faint-hearted or the emotionally stunted. We're 19 years out, and it's still a topic that comes up from time to time.

I think there are a lot of people who experience infidelity in one form or another, but don't talk about it.

I think there are a lot of people who are very judgmental about infidelity because it hasn't happened to them yet.

And I think it's a lot more common than statistics show.

Remove the "I want you to like me" sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror, where it belongs. ~ Susan Jeffers

Your nervous system will always choose a familiar hell over an unfamiliar heaven.

posts: 1327   ·   registered: Mar. 10th, 2023
id 8791448

Devon99uk ( member #82658) posted at 10:08 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

SacredSoulSister - I think you are sooo unbelievably correct in that infidelity is more common than we think! Tbh I have been astounded by the things friends & family have admitted to me about what's happened in their own relationships after I've told them what my husband did. It's made me realise I was actually very naive beforehand in thinking you just breeze through your relationship & stay together forever because you love eachother. I truly understand this is not the case.

posts: 72   ·   registered: Jan. 2nd, 2023   ·   location: South of England, UK
id 8791470

Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 11:39 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

I never knew R was an option. Then again, over the years, I've learned that the Court of Public Opinion is a mother so I'm silently curious over the years of how many R couples [for whatever reason] kept it private.

I also never thought I'd be in R. At it root - Infidelity was always a deal breaker for me. Idealistically it still is. Yet here I am.

It not for wimps. And I've had a few false starts [ahem - going underground with LTAP - having her over the years create fake profiles to cyberstalk - trying to duplicate our lives - having a C&D sent].

Looking back, D would have been easier. Not in the moment for sure. But long term D would have been easier. I wax poetic on this in IC at times. IC agrees in many cases.

Now a days, the Land of Chaos is a happy place. Looking back I'm glad I didn't give up. I'm glad I was patient for WH to pull his head out of his ass and do his work.

I do wonder if I will always feel....incomplete somehow as a betrayed spouse. I then tell myself that I'm totally complete as a person and that being a BS shouldn't define me.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3802   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8791496

Ladybugmaam ( member #69881) posted at 12:07 AM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

I naively thought that this couldn’t happen to me. And, that BS who stayed were somehow flawed….or lacking in self respect (not that I haven’t felt that on this journey). I knew of 1 couple who had survived….and even they are now divorced. I had NO idea how common this is until it happened to us.

You’re not alone. It is incredibly painful. In my early days, I would look at groups of people and try to pick out which 50% had been the BS or the WS. Made me hate humans for a bit. I used to wonder why people didn’t just drop dead in the street from the pain of it.

And, then I had some heart to hearts with a few girlfriends who had been on both sides of the equation. They’d been married and divorced or it multiple times. Nothing is guaranteed. R takes two people who are not only willing to lean into each other, but both have to make fundamental changes and growth as individuals. I don’t know what will happen in our future. I no longer have the false sense of taking that for granted. And, I also know that I have to honor my own needs for connection and safety on a much higher level than I did.

Hang in there. This is brutal.

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

posts: 473   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2019
id 8791505

 WhiskeyBlues (original poster member #82662) posted at 3:52 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

Ah, thank you so much for all of your responses. It does take the edge of this feeling of being "the only one". I know my WH feels alone in his own suffering of what he's done, so we do draw a lot of strength from eachother. But obviously our pain is very different.

Stillconfused2022 - oh, I love the emoji's you send, that's lovely!

Devon Hi!!! 😊 oh, the EMDR has been great so far, I've had 3 sessions from a therapist based in Exeter. Although, we've been mostly talking through my feelings, it's proven to be really helpful. I'd happily give you her details but I don't know how to message you?! I work for public sector, and apart from their "wellbeing hub", there seems very little in the way of support 🙄 so having to fund it ourselves, which is tricky! My WH has had 6 free sessions through his work and his now getting CBT through talkworks. See I WISH I could be like your hairdresser and just "move on", but I feel so internally crushed 😔 We sound extremely similar - I'm so soft and tend to let my emotions get the better of me. I care a great deal about others, even when maybe I shouldn't! But equally I have very strong morals and can't let injustices go. I feel I'm really compromising my internal values by staying. I'm perhaps the worst type of person for this to have happened to. Our WH's sound similar too; weak with poor boundaries, but good people.

SSS - completely agree, it's so much common it seems, then I ever gave it credit for. I just naively thought never in a million years it would be me and my H 😔 and certainly thought if it did, I'd be kicking him out, cutting up his clothes and getting a new hair cut. And start listening to Beyonce or something. What I ACTUALLY did when I found out was fold (yes, FOLD) his clothes neatly in a suitcase - and then 2 days later I wrote myself a list of all the things I would need from him to R.

Chaos - yes!!! I definitely have a feeling of incompleteness now and wonder will I ever get that back. I can't pinpoint exactly where this feeling comes from or why I feel incomplete though. I feel perhaps I've lost a huge part of my internal belief system. My belief in love, forever, humanity, trust. I used to get teary over anything even remotely romantic; now I cry tears of sadness or scoff at the idea of how ridiculous romance is...I miss that part of me.

Ladybugmaam - I've also wondered how people don't just drop dead from the pain. At times I've actually thought I was dying, and kept googling whether you can die from a broken heart. I didn't know it was possible to feel like every single organ aches - who knew, eh?!

posts: 114   ·   registered: Jan. 3rd, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8791646

BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 4:35 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

I know of several in real life. Ironically, in all of them, the partner I'm closest to is the BS.

I also have a BW friend whose marriage didn't survive infidelity, but she did, and she's happy and peaceful with her second husband.


posts: 3632   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8791679

Edie ( member #26133) posted at 9:43 AM on Monday, May 22nd, 2023

certainly thought if it did, I'd be kicking him out, cutting up his clothes and getting a new hair cut. And start listening to Beyonce or something. What I ACTUALLY did when I found out was fold (yes, FOLD) his clothes neatly in a suitcase - and then 2 days later I wrote myself a list of all the things I would need from him to R.

😀 You sound in fine fettle actually. A sense of humour is definitely helpful on this road so I am appreciating yours. There are plenty of reconciled BSs and couples on SI, who have good cognisance of the pain you talk about, which is not widely known or acknowledged in the glamorisation and sensationalism in the media re affairs, so here you are in good company. In irl, one of my FWH’s OWs reconciled with her BH, greatly helped I think by the fact that she confessed to her BH, which I encouraged her to do.

[This message edited by Edie at 12:00 PM, Monday, May 22nd]

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id 8791986

DogGoneIt ( new member #79698) posted at 1:59 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

In 2006 my future wife and I were staying with my best friend from college. For whatever the reason that was the evening my friend's wife chose to disclose her affair to him. Absolutely surreal to be there as my proud and confident friend got absolutely destroyed in one evening. I wasn't much help to him, I wish I could have been at the time. However he and his wife committed to the process and are still together today. Sometimes thriving, sometimes struggling as all couples do. Fast forward to 2019 my wife of 11 years discloses her affair to me. I was able to lean on my friend and their story heavily. He's a major reason I believed reconciliation was possible. We'd spend hours talking about what it means to be restored. How we've been pulled out of the matrix etc.

I think we're bumping in to infidelity stricken folks every day that we'd have no idea. Aliens walking among us.

[This message edited by DogGoneIt at 12:51 PM, Wednesday, May 24th]

BH mid 40sDDay March 2019Reconciling

posts: 13   ·   registered: Dec. 21st, 2021
id 8792151

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 2:59 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

To start from the beginning, I question this statement:

I don't know of any relationships in real life that have R.

What's makes you think everyone you know is open enough with you to reveal that they's gone through infidelity and R'ed? A couple of examples: it's not something my W or I talk about with friends, and it's not something that a couple who separated for a year (while the WS lived with ap) and R'ed talk about.

I'm not saying anything about you as a friend. Rather, I think lots of (most?) people do not publicize their As when they R.


ETA: They say laughter is the best medicine. I agree that a sense of humor will help you heal. I know a new BS may think they'll never laugh again except at gallows humor, but the more you heal, the more you'll be open to laughter.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 4:20 PM, Wednesday, May 24th]

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: 30025   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8792154

 WhiskeyBlues (original poster member #82662) posted at 11:08 AM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Oh thank you Edie, that's actually given me a bit of a boost (although I had to Google the expression fine fettle 🤭). I have managed to retain my sense of humour somehow, which definitely helps! Actually, come to think of it, it's a bit of a sore spot with me... Our marriage has always been centred largely around humour, we bounce off eachother extremely well and we know no bounds. Therefore I thought a great sense of humour was a fundamental must have for my WH - and yet he left me (well for a week, and then scurried home when he realised he'd ballsed up 😒) for the most vapid moron. I don't get it 🤷‍♀️

Sisoon- you're absolutely spot on. And actually it's something my WH says, when I say I feel like we're the only ones going through this. Just because I don't know about it, doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

posts: 114   ·   registered: Jan. 3rd, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8792291

BellaLee ( member #58324) posted at 10:59 PM on Saturday, May 27th, 2023

Hi @WhiskeyBlues I'm so sorry you're having to go through the pain of infidelity and my heart goes out to you. No one can really understand how it feel unless the person has experienced it too.

I think people assume that if you choose R that means you've healed and no longer in pain but that's actually far from the truth because choosing to forgive and R can be much harder than deciding to walk away from the relationship and divorce.

I know people who have dealt with infidelity in their marriage but kept it a secret mostly because they did not want to been seen as weak or stupid for choosing to stay in the marriage.

I don't know how your R journey is going but it seems you and your H are communicating and you both want to stay in your marriage.
The journey of R after my H's betrayal was a roller coaster of emotions for me, a mixture of love, anger, pain, sadness, good and bad memories all intertwined but with time I healed and was able to forgive and we reconciled.
I do think people are capable of change but that person has to be ready to do what it takes, hopefully this is the case with your H.

Navigating R is not for the faint hearted, you are actually stronger than you think and I do pray that the near future brings healing for you and true R for your marriage.

posts: 270   ·   registered: Apr. 18th, 2017
id 8792858

Saltishealing ( member #82817) posted at 2:03 AM on Sunday, May 28th, 2023

This thread has been very helpful. I am struggling with the same issues. I never would have thought this would be my life and my marriage. We are in R and my WH is stepping up in every way. But I grieve what I thought our marriage was and there’s a certain security and innocence that I don’t see ever coming back for me. I’m also realizing I have a very strong sense of Justice and that I have a hard time reconciling in my mind why I would stay with a person that wronged me so deeply. I know two couples that have reconciled but I do not know them well. I actually do not think highly of either of the former wayward spouses. And not just because of the infidelity but from observing other behaviors and traits. But that is not my relationship and now I completely understand it is not an easy thing to do to walk away from a long marriage and feel tremendous empathy for the betrayed spouses.

posts: 81   ·   registered: Jan. 31st, 2023
id 8792863

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 6:42 PM on Sunday, May 28th, 2023

The loss of innocence is a big loss. I could not have healed without feeling that loss very deeply. I think that's a necessary part of healing for all of us, though I'm sure there are some exceptions.

The only 'justice' I could come up with after 2-4 years of looking was D. My W did not deserve to have me. The trouble was that I still loved her and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, and she looked like a good candidate for R.

My conclusion was that R required giving up justice and accepting that I was merciful, knowing that mercy was in my own best interests as I saw it.

So I guess that giving up the desire for justice makes R go better, IMO. I did give it up, and I wish I could describe how I did it, but I can't. I will say, though, that if you find yourself years after d-day wanting justice more and more, it is probably a sign that D is your best bet or that you have more healing work to do.

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: 30025   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8792886

Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 9:09 PM on Sunday, May 28th, 2023

I don't know of any relationships in real life that have R.

No one else outside of this site knows about my H's A. So MANY people have told us how WE are an inspiration to them on a long lasting M. I often tell them that it takes a LOT of work to get where we have gotten. It did. We definitely don't take things for granted now...we realize how BLESSED we are to have come through to the other side!

There are signs that people who are traumatized from betrayal reveal. Someone mentioned Beyonce in an earlier post. If you google "Beyonce" and "trance" may see the video of her at a basketball game...shaking back and forth with a blank stare...just zombied out. It has been a while since I looked at that video...but it should still be there. There are comments of her being on drugs...or she was an alien...silly stuff like that. But we BS KNOW that feeling...that RAW despair. Especially given the way Jay Z is acting in that video too.

About a month ago we were at a restaurant with several couples. Something was mentioned about one of the husbands having a "girlfriend". It was a joke...and people were laughing...except for us and another couple. It was subtle...but it was an obvious "tell"...for those of us who KNOW.

This particular couple has been married for over 50 years. The RESPECT they show each other is actually an inspiration to US. Now I understand a little more as to WHY I feel they are an inspiration. Something happened in their M. I don't need to know WHAT. They rose above it and have come through it to the other side...and are very much a SUCCESS story! I believe people see that in me and my H too.

When I think of feeling alone in this betrayal journey...I think about the quote..."Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always." EVERYONE. That is profound. We truly are never alone in our everyday battles. It might not be a battle of infidelity...but ALL of us are fighting a battle in our lives. When I think of it this way...I am more gentle...more open...more KIND to people...even strangers I meet in the local Walmart. A smile from someone would make MY day feel a little more better when I was in my darkest place. So now...I SMILE to everyone I see. The thing is...about 99% of them will smile back!! That makes ME feel better too...WIN-WIN!!!

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: 6615   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8792899
Topic is Sleeping.
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