Newest Member: cobblerock

BobTheBuilder

Me: BH

D-Day: 4/13/23

Wondering if "mostly good" is good enough...

Update After A Long Absence

Been a bit since I posted here. Six months maybe? I thought I'd write an update. Not really sure why it occurred to me to do so. I think I might be in a phase I've heard called "momentum" where things have improved because of the work done in reconciliation but you don't fully trust it and you sometimes feel like you're waiting for something bad to happen.

My profile has a timeline of significant events (AKA mostly the worst events of my life). Short version is D-Day in April 2023 followed by false reconciliation after false reconciliation; it nearly broke me but I'm still here.

In early July I got as close to filing for divorce as I had since the start of this mess. I was so dispirited flying home. I knew we weren't in a great place when I left but that was worse that I could have imagined. I was so brazen, too. She was sharing her real time location with me so she was just counting on me not looking, I guess.

July 30th was the last time I found out WW was lying about continued contact with AP. It was also when she finally opened up about how scared she was that I was going to leave her and she'd be alone. September was when I learned about dopamine and its relationship to addiction and was able to connect that with my WW's behavior to that point. None of that excuses what she'd done but it did help me understand it and understanding led to empathy.

So August and September was really a turning point for us. When her AP messaged her through LinkedIn in September (yes she should have told me about it and no she shouldn't have responded to tell him to stop) she said that it wasn't a good feeling to hear from him; it just made her sad. That tracks with the normal resetting of dopamine levels and learned triggers.

Since then things have mostly been good. I think our biggest challenge had been her rug-sweeping and her tendency when I was upset to get defensive and bothered that I wasn't "over it." We had something of a breakthrough on that front last month. It seemed like I was finally able to get her to understand what she was doing and what I was hearing. When I had a bit of breakdown last Tuesday she didn't fall back on those old tendencies and was really supportive.

I still worry about hysterical bonding sometimes. I think there was some of that before but what we have now lacks the "hysterical" part. There isn't the same sense of urgency that I can see in retrospect in previous months. Sometimes life gets in the way and we don't have sex for a few days. When we do have sex it's better than at any other time in our lives. I've learned to slow down and she's become comfortable telling me what she wants.

I also sometimes worry that she's just making the best out of a bad situation. Heck, I sometimes worry that I'm just making the best out of a bad situation. Our daughter is still struggling with her own mental health. There were some improvements after a brief inpatient stay last August but things got worse at the end of the year. We pulled her out of school and put her into a day hospital and this week she's stepped down to an intensive outpatient program. In early January we were having an argument and WW said "it's not like either of us have anywhere else to go," meaning that we wouldn't divorce while our daughter was not coping with her depression and anxiety well. When I asked about it the next day she walked it back and apologized for having said it but I can't help feeling like a comment like that doesn't come from nowhere.

Anyway, so that's me. How are you doing?

22 comments posted: Friday, February 9th, 2024

Can you convince a skeptical WS that reconciliation is possible?

Update: My WW has accepted my conditions for beginning to reestablish trust and sought IC. I'm not doing any convincing and what got us here was advice from this thread and elsewhere on SI.

I've read the Tactical Primer and the Newbie Guide.

D-Day was last week. I'm pretty fucked up but I think I can move past this for the sake of my marriage and our kid. But I think when my WS looks at me all she sees is the guy that she stopped liking, my own prior mistakes and bad habits.

I can see why she wouldn't want to be with that guy but a months long affair spending time with AP instead of me or our kid certainly wasn't the answer. I wish she'd said how bad things were. I'm not taking responsibility for the affair but I'm willing to take responsibility for letting our marriage weaken.

She's lied or obfuscated since I confronted her.

1. She denied at first but after I demanded that I be able to look at her phone she admitted that it happened though she still wouldn't let me look through her phone.

2. She let me look through her phone the next day but she deleted texts from him and from a friend of hers that knew about it the previous evening. She said, "oh I delete texts all the time" but then admitted to having deliberately cleaned out her phone.

3. She's said that it wasn't that often but I'm a bit more tech savvy than she is and I've gotten evidence of most of not all of her visits to his house. It's nearly 50 over the course of seven months including multiple instances where she spent the night there, probably after telling me that she was picking up a night shift at the hospital.

4. She's said that she ended things in November but I know she went there once in December and once in January. I know that clean breaks in an affair are rare so I understand it but I still hate that she misled me.

Even though she had broken off the physical part of the affair they talked or texted every day until the day after D-Day. Which is either when they really stopped talking or started talking on a platform I can't track from the cell phone bill.

I got Healing From Infidelity and read the first chapters for the BS and WS. It helped me get perspective and start feeling better about myself and that reconciliation was possible.

But my WS doesn't seem to want to read the book. She has had bad experiences with therapy before and is reluctant to get couples counseling. It's infuriating that she'd rather give up than try.

I'm doing my best on following the principles of the 180 in hopes that she'll get on board but it's so damned painful when I don't even know if the result is attainable.

104 comments posted: Wednesday, April 26th, 2023

Questions about Questions

I know I have a few questions that I'm going to ask. I think I know what they are but my list changes day to day. I've taken a lot of them off. I've added a few or changed the way I asked others. My WW isn't ready (I think) to commit to the R and hear these questions. But if I'm wrong about that or if that changes soon, I want to be ready. And for me, ready means research.

My Questions for The SI Community below in bold and my current thoughts on them (where they exist) using quote blocks.

1. Did you ask any questions to which you already knew the answer to catch your WS in a lie?

It seems shitty to do and my wife has explicitly stated during previous talks that the "catch her in a lie" energy was pushing her away (it came up because she said one set of months when I confronted her and another in that talk). But fuck me running if the lying doesn't piss me off and make me feel like I'm justified in testing her commitment to honesty.

2. What sorts of questions did you find especially helpful?

3. What kinds of questions did you find especially unhelpful?

For both 2 & 3 I'd also be interested in the perspective of any WS that wanted to chime in. Either because the WS is a member of the community or if any BS wanted to ask their WS and report back. In the case of the latter, please don't risk your R just for this. It could be triggering for either of you.

4. I was thinking of, at least at the start, instituting a "flag system" for my WS. Basically, she could yellow flag any question for which she thought the answer would be particularly hurtful or other detrimental so that I could reconsider whether I wanted to ask or not. And she could red flag any question that she didn't want to answer. A red flagged question wouldn't go away entirely but it could at least be put aside for a week. Am I being too generous?

Even if this is overly generous that wouldn't necessarily bother me. I'm not in a rush. I can come back to questions later or even decide I don't want to know. I think that if the yellow and red flags pile up I'm going to have to revisit the rules but I'll bake my ability to change the rules into the rules.

20 comments posted: Saturday, April 22nd, 2023

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