I am 9 months post Dday1 and about 7 post D-day2. My WH had 2 LTAs, a 9 year EA/PA with a coworker, another PA for the last 5 years of the first LTA and 4 ONSs inbetween. Altogether a pretty gruesome betrayal, which devastated me and destroyed my entire world. After I found out and when he was faced with loosing our relationship, he had a come to Jesus moment and wants to do anything possible to repair what we had. And I have to admit, he is trying. In the last few months he is checking almost all the boxes of what a remorseful WH should be doing. He is transparent with everything, I have access to all his accounts, he accepts full responsibility, there is no blameshifting, he is NC with both APs (except for seeing AP1 once in a while at work, but nothing more, he ignores her and for the moment she ignores him too). He is proactive in helping me, starts conversations about the affairs, so I don't have to, actively predicts triggery situations and comes up with solutions (he even overthinks sometimes and bulletproofs situations that wouldn't really be problematic for me), he is working on himself and his boundaries,...
I don't know if this is enough, if it ever will be. What does it matter if he is the best version of himself now, when he was the worst version for 9 years. He was lying, gaslighting, cheating for so long, how can I believe he is even capable of changing. And every time I feel there is a chance for us, I hear this voice inside of me, screaming how can I be so naive, how can I even consider trusting him again after what he has done. I blame myself so much for letting him ruin 9 years of my life, and I did let him. I knew something was not right, or at least I should have known and I should have left years ago or give him an ultimatum, I should have done something, but I chose to grasp onto the shread of hope, that he is not that person, that he is not capable of such betrayal. I know hindsight is 20/20, but still, I feel I let him destroy 9 years of my life, 9 years of memories, which should be most special, the tender years of our kids. I can never get that back and now, how can I even consider believing him again. I know I can be OK without him, if this is what is in cards for us, but I don't know if I will be able to live with myself, if I give him another chance and he destroys another 2, 5, 10 years of my life. I know, I should watch his actions and at the moment he is doing everything right. But then again, he actually doesn't have a lot of chances for continuing the affairs right now, PA is almost impossible, except maybe for a quick fuck at the work toilet, and EA would also be very limited, with all the access I have to his devices and accounts. But I can't be the police forever and one day, I will have to let go of the control and I worry about how firm his boundaries will be then.
So I am stuck in this purgatory of indecision. It sometimes feels like I haven't made any progress since D-day. Ok, I sleep better and the pain has maybe lost a bit of the edge, but regarding how to proceed with my life, I am just as stuck. "Just living from day to day, not capable for any major decision at the moment" is what I wrote back in September. And it is still the same. I am still stuck at the same place. I love him and I actually believe he loves me and I want with all my heart to rebuild our relationship. I believe what we had for the first 20 years together was special and if we both try, I think we can rebuild a different, but just as special bond. But I don't know if I can get past what he has done and I fear what giving him another chance will do to me, if he doesn't change.
I am sorry for rambling, it is just I am not at a good place right now. For as long I can remember, to love and be loved was the most important thing to me. Not money, career, education, and we both are successful in that areas, but what matters to me most are the people I love. And I have others in my life, who are just as important and I love them with all my heart, who also love me immensly, my children, my parents, inlaws, friends, but in the end, there was supposed to be us, me and him and I can't count on that any more. I am so lost, I feel I have not only lost my past, but also my present and my future. I don't trust anymore, not just him, but also not myself. And in a way this is the worst, because I doubt and beat myself for every decision I make. And I just don't know what to do any more. I know what I want, but I don't know if I am capable of it and I fear going for what I want will destroy me even more.
How can I get unstuck? When did you know, which way to go, no matter if you went for R or D? When were you confident, you chose the right path? When did you learn to trust again, not just your WS, but yourself?
22 comments posted: Tuesday, April 5th, 2022
Getting back the joy for life
I used to be a very happy person. Woke up sometimes feeling my life is almost too good to be true. I felt I had everything I could want in life - a husband, whom I loved with all my heart and believed loved me just as much, three happy, healthy, smart, beautiful children, loving parents and inlaws, a job which I love. My life was great. Then he had the affairs. The LTA lasted for 9 years and for most of the time I suspected something was wrong, but let myself be convinced otherwise time and time again. And every time I let him gaslight me I lost something, a piece of myself, of our relationship, of joy for life and after some time, 3 years before Dday, I kind of gave up on our marriage. I stopped asking questions, I just lived from day to day but at a great cost. I think I haven't really been happy since then. I tried to find the joy in things we did with kids or just the two of us and succeded sometimes, but mostly everything was just meh. Then Dday came last July and it shattered my world even more. Even though I was convinced he was having an affair before Dday, I now knew for sure and all the hope that I was somehow wrong was gone. The devastating new info I got on Dday 2 made things worse, just as I was starting to think I was getting better. And on top of that I had a major exam coming up, a final exam after 4 years of specialist training, one of the toughest exams in my field of work. I was dealing with the biggest crisis of my life, trying to figure out what I want and how to proceed with my marriage, and dealing with a WH who was remorseful and did a lot of work, but sometimes still just didn't get it and on top of that I had to find the strength to study. And even though things were moving in the right direction with my husband, I just couldn't feel any joy about anything.
I passed the exam a couple of weeks ago. It was a huge relief, but also brought me something I didn't expect. That day, I was happy again. The intensity of it kind of surprised me, I was suddenly excited about so many things, about the winter vacation we have coming up, spending time with kids, about the sun shining outside, I actually really wished to take a long walk by myself for the first time in so long. For the first time in months, getting out of bed was not a struggle. And all these overwhelming feelings were so new to me. It has been so long, that I actually forgot, what it feels like, to just be happy and excited about life and future. I didn't last, of course, after a few days I was back to dealing with the aftermath of infidelity. But that's OK. I didn't expect it to last, I am just happy I can feel that way again and now I at least know, what to strive to. Not just to get better, but to be that happy person, full of life and joy again. I won't ever again be able to say I have everything I ever wanted in my life, but I will strive to come as close to that as possible.
I was thinking about what caused this sudden burst of joy. It couldn't have been just passing the exam, my work is important to me, but it never was what made me love my life. I think it was a combination of being out of infidelity for the first time in over 9 years (my husband finally did the last thing I asked of him regarding his LTAP just a few weeks prior and hopefully it will stop the her from contacting him ever again), of getting control over my life and decisions again but even more, I think it was the pride, that I made it. In the midst of the worst destruction in my life, when my world was crushing around me, I managed to get up, pull myself together and did what had to be done. I think now I finally know, I will be OK, no matter what happenes with my marriage. I hope we will manage to rebuild our relationship and my WH will prove that he can be the man he says he wants to be, but whatever lies ahead, I will survive.
4 comments posted: Wednesday, February 9th, 2022
Feelings for former wayward spouse: before the affair and after reconcilliation
For those who consider themselves succesfully reconciled. Are your feelings towards FWS the same as they were before the affair? I guess the trust can never be quite the same, but how about love, being in love, feeling a special bond with your spouse? Is it the same or if it is different, do you feel it is less than you felt for them before?
What got me thinking is a quote from Thumos in another thread, that even in successfully reconciliated relationships, many betrayed spouses end up feeling ILYBINILWY. And I read the same or similar sentiment many times in this and some other forums. That something was lost and that the BS can't ever look at their WS the same way again.
Is it like that for you? Did you settle for less (regarding how you feel abouth your FWS, not anything else)?
I am nowhere near reconcilliation, I guess we haven't really started the process yet, but I hope we will get there some day. Today, almost 6 months after D-day, I can't say I love my WH any less than before, even with the enormous betrayal he put me through. I am still very much in love with him and while I hate what he did, I don't hate him. But the feeling that we have something special is gone and it bothers me. I always felt a special bond with him, from the beginning and throughout our 30 years together, but now I just don't know. I certainly don't feel I am special to him anymore, even though he claims I always was and will be. And I am afraid, somewhere along the way, because of the resentment of what he did, I might loose the feeling of being in love too. I don't think I would want to be with someone I am not in love with. Just liking the person, enjoying their company and preserving a life together is not enough.
Edited to remove quote from another thread. Sorry I didn't know it was a violation.
37 comments posted: Sunday, December 26th, 2021
Is it really to much to ask?
My H had 2 LTAs in the last 9 years, first EA/PA lasted for 9 years and the second, just PA, for the last 5. I found out about both in July / September this year. He wants to reconcile and has broken off both affairs in July after D-day 1. I wish for that too, but right now I just don't know if all this isn't a dealbraker for me, so we will see. WH is trying really hard to show me that he can be a safe partner for me, he is doing almost everything right, and he is showing real remorse, but we have one thing we just can't agree about.
The first LTAP was a coworker and they still work together. Changing jobs at the moment just isn't a realistic possibility, so we agreed to try it and it has been going fairly OK in the last months. The AP doesn't completely get "no contact", so she approaches him from time to time, but he always tells me about it and about everything she says. It happened more often in the first few months after D-day1 and only once in the last 2 months, because he is avoiding her the best he can. She is mainly complaining about NC and why they can't at least communicate about work stuff, but sometimes also about how ugly the breakup was, how she cried because of him for a long time, etc. I hate that she is still reaching out and I struggle with the fact, that she just got away with everything and doesn't feel one bit guilty about interfering in our relationship and in our family. There is not much I can do about it, but at least I want to see her get hurt, at least a little bit. So i want my WH to send her a final NC message, to tell her once and for all, that she was always the second choice, that he never for a second considered leaving me for her, that being with her is the worst choice he made in his life and he regrets it immensely, that he wants to do anything to repair the damage and a part of this is staying no conact with her. All true according to him, so I don't expect him to lie to her, just give her the brutal truth. Basically I want her to know that even though he thought he was in love with her and she believed thay had a great love story, she never had anything real and she wasted 9 years on a fantasy with a man who chose his wife the second he had to make a choice. She has a huge ego and she still can't get over the fact that he chose me over her, so if he told her all this, she would probably stop contacting him.
My WH of course isn't thrilled about this idea. He gets that I hate her and want her to pay, but he doesn't want to be the one to deliver the blow. He says while he doesn't have any more feelings for her, he also doesn't want to hurt her and this just pisses me off. He had no problems hurting me for the last 9 years, he didn't even think what he was doing to me and now he is worried about hurting her. He says he doesn't think about her at all any more and just wants to keep it this way, and any communication on his part, except maybe another NC message, is a step in the wrong direction. I can understand his view, but just want her to suffer a fraction of what they have put me through. The way I see it, it was him and her against me for the past 9 years, so now I want him to stand with me against her. If I push, he will probably do it, but I want him to be a willing participant, just as he was willing to cause me pain for her sake.
So I need an outside perspective. Is it wrong to want to get back at a person who did me so much harm? And wanting WH to participate? Is it too much to ask? I get that I should focus on myself and my healing, but I just can't get her out of my system. So I think if I put her in her place somehow, maybe I will be able to move on. Is it strange to think that?
And yes, I realize, WH is the one to blame the most for the affairs. If he had boundaries, nothing she did or said would have mattered. So I am angry with him, way more than with her, and I expect him to work to become a better person, a safe partner for me before considering reconcilliation. But she had her role in this mess and I need her to pay somehow before I can move on.
40 comments posted: Friday, December 3rd, 2021
How did you know, you have it in you to forgive?
It has been 4 months since D-day1 and 1.5 since D-day2, so way too early to commit to anything, but I am considering my options. Even after all the shit my WH has put me through, I still love him and I really want to try to see if there is any chance we can rebuild our relationship. When I think about my future, about myself in 10, 20, 30 years, he is almost always still a part of my life. I really want that future and I think I owe it to myself to try to see if he is sincere and is really committed to being a husband I deserve. But there are moments, when I get so angry with myself for even considering staying with a person, who has put himself and his needs in front of me and my wellbeing for 9 years. Who didn't care about the pain he put me through. I always thought cheating was a dealbraker for me and here I am, considering to stay, after worst kind of betrayal. I feel like I am betraying myself as well.
So sometimes, I think there is a chance for us, I feel reconcilliation is the right path and the next moment I don't think I can ever accept what he has done. I am so confused. I want to be with him, but don't know if I am capable to forgive and to move on. My question is, when did you know you had it in you to forgive your wayward or at least to accept what he/she did and to stay with them? How long after D-day? If my WH proves to me, that he is willing to change, to put us first, to be a safe partner for me and if he will find a way to make me believe that he really loves me, I think I will be open to reconcilliation. But how will I know, if it is really an option to me, even if he proves to be a model rebuilder? I want to be with him, but I don't want to spend years trying to reconcile, just to realize at some point, it is just too much for me to accept.
16 comments posted: Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021
Music after infidelity
After D-day, I often have problems listening to some songs, and other seem like they were written just for me and my situation. Not just lyrics about infidelity, I don't listen to those anyway, they are too triggery, but some, which have an entirely different background just speak to me. For example the first two songs ABBA released after 40 years. I have loved their music since I was in high school and was really looking forward to the new songs. And both seem to me like they were written exactly for me and my H. The first – »I still have faith in you« is how I really wish to feel some day. I am not there yet, it is still too early after d-day and my WH affairs were really devastating, so I haven't even decided yet how to go on, but still, when I hear the lyrics, this is what I wish with all my heart for us. If he will prove that he can be trusted again, of course, and if I manage to find the way to accept the enormous amount of betrayal, which I always thought would be a dealbreaker for me.
And the second song »Don't shut me down«, I essentially see as what WH wants me to believe, that he has changed and wants to be a safe partner for me from now on. That he has seen the damage he has done and is prepared to do anything to repair our relationship. I don't believe it yet, but maybe, if he is sincere, I will come to that.
None of these songs are about infidelity, yet I see my story in them.
Then there are some songs that were my favorites for a long time, and I just can't bear to listen to them now. I have always loved »The winner takes it all«, again from ABBA, but now the verses
»But tell me, does she kiss, Like I used to kiss you?, Does it feel the same, When she calls your name?" just kill me. And it is the same for so many other songs. My playlists are so different now, compared to 4 months ago.
Does anyone else feel this way? Do you listen to music like you did before the infidelity crushed your world? Or do you find new meaning in lyrics, find yourself and your story everywhere? I find some music helps me through the worst moments, while other sometimes triggers them. Unfortunately, I don't always know in advance, what my reaction will be.
16 comments posted: Tuesday, October 26th, 2021
Is reconciliation possible after really long term affair?
I am new here, I have been reading for about a month, but this is my first post.
We have been married for 19 years, together for 28 and I found out in July, that for the last 9 years, my husband and father of our 3 children has had a LTA (EA and PA) with his co-worker. I sort of knew for at least 7 of those 9 years due to slip ups he made along the way, I just didn't want to believe and with more or less success tried to convince myself it wasn't true. He finished it immediately after D-day and wants to reconcile.
We have been talking a lot since D-day, any time I need, he is there for me. I see that he is devastated about how his affair has affected me and he tells me he is sorry all the time. He comforts me when I am down. He does small things that make me feel loved every day. He is ashamed about his behavior and struggles with the fact that the image he has of himself as a good person and a good role model to our children is in conflict with what he did for the past 9 years. He took full responsibility for the affair and never even tried to blame anything on me. He says he was happy with me before, that nothing I did contributed to LTA and believes we can be happy again. He cut contact with her as much as possible given they work together (he sees her almost every day, but they don't interact at all anymore). He gave me access to all his accounts and devices, together with track my phone app and he accounts for his whereabouts all the time.
He keeps reassuring me, that while he can't change what he did, he is willing to do anything I need to make things better and to repair our relationship. I want the same, but I am not sure, I am capable of it. How can I accept the fact that he has been lying to me for so long, that for 9 years I was not important enough to him, that he put her and himself before me and my wellbeing. Is it possible to recover after something like that? To go on? How can I live with the fact, that he is the only one I have been with, but I am not the only one for him anymore? These questions, together with images of them together have been rolling around in my head for the past two months. And while I have a good feeling about us sometimes, there are also times when I don't know if I am able to survive this and go on with him. I want to, more than anything, it is just so much to accept. How can I be sure, he is safe for me to be with? That he won't continue with the affair and hurt me again. He says he would rather die and he is not the one to use such words lightly, but how can I know for sure? How can I ever trust him again? I don't like checking on him. He doesn't mind, he says he deserves it, but I don't like stalking him via electronics everywhere he goes. I do it anyway, but have a bad feeling about it and I really don't want to feel this way for the rest of our lives.
I know there is also a LTA thread, but not many post there at the moment, so I decided to post here. Is anyone here, who has reconciled after a LTA? How long did it take to know you are on the right path? How long to trust again? I believe a one time thing is also painful as hell, but this is hell incarnate
102 comments posted: Monday, September 20th, 2021