Newest Member: woname


Me: BH

D-Day: 4/13/23

Trying to breathe in active infidelity

How do I know if WW is sincere about restarting reconciliation?

Short version of the background: WW had a physical affair for 6-8 months, continued emotional affair until D-Day1, D-Day2 about a month later when I found out she went back to AP.


On Wednesday we had set aside time to talk about an upcoming vacation but instead of having that conversation WW said she wants to try to reconcile and do couples counseling. Tuesday had been our consultation with an attorney-mediator and apparently the reality of the situation really hit her after that. Literally a week earlier I had told her that I had given up hope that she could or would dedicate the effort that our family deserves to healing our relationship and now this.

I think that staying together would be the best thing for our family but I don't know how to tell if this is sincere.

Points Against Reconciliation
- Two days earlier she said she loved AP.
- She's lied so much in the last year that it's difficult to trust anything she says.
- She didn't break off the affair before talking to me about reconciliation. This one is a little weak to me because in her shoes, especially since she knew I had given up hope that she would actually be able to try to reconcile, I might have left open the fallback position, too. But if she had done it that way I would have been much more certain of her sincerity.
- The timing of it makes me worry that she's afraid of the stresses of divorce. Wanting to avoid divorce isn't really the same thing as wanting to be married.
- I don't think she will tolerate electronic transparency unless CC convinces her to do it. She says it gives her panic attacks and flashbacks to being stalked by a man that sexually assaulted her as a young teen
- One of my daughter's friend's father recently wrapped up his divorce and I opened up a little to him about what was going on. When I told him about this offer to try to reconcile he warned me that his exwife had done similar things to delay divorce so that she could try to collect or manufacture evidence so that she could get a better result in the divorce. Now, bear in mind that he eventually won full custody after getting a forensic psychologist to diagnose his exwife with a slew of things from the DSM so that might not apply here.

Points For Reconciliation
+ She is in IC and it does seem to be helping.
+ The same day she said she loved AP she also said she wasn't sure that she could ever introduce our daughter to him. Apparently AP is kind of crude and not super tolerant of alternative lifestyles. He used the word "faggot" in a joke (it wasn't even that funny, I asked). Our daughter is gay and has friends that are gay, trans, or non-binary. I brought up limerence. She was aware of the term and maybe it finally resonated with her. At the very least, I could tell that it rang some mental alarm bells for her when she said out loud how inappropriate the relationship was for her actual reality rather than as something separate and hidden.
+ It would be an unmitigated good thing for our daughter to live in a happy, healthy two parent home. This is especially true given our daughter's own struggles with depression and anxiety.
+ When it comes right down to it, I think I know the major factors that contributed to the degradation of our marriage and the affair. Her issues with shame and poor coping mechanisms. My stubbornness and difficulty understanding my own feelings and anxieties. Both our poor communication skills. This is all very fixable stuff if we want to fix it.


Thoughts? Questions I could ask to better gauge her sincerity or capability to reconcile?

23 comments posted: Friday, June 16th, 2023

Well, this has gone about as poorly as I can imagine...

Lets sum up the timeline

June 2022 - February 2023: My wife of about 20 years engages in a physical affair with another man.

February 2023 - April 15th 2023: WW ends the PA but continues an EA.

April 13th: D-Day. I confront WW with my suspicions. Denial and attempted gaslighting lasts for barely a minute so certain I am that she's lying.

~April 24th: Agrees to my conditions for reconciliation. No contact, electronic transparency, staying away from the casino where they met.

~May 7th: I look at her phone and she has a Reddit throwaway account with which she has communicated with AP. The fact that didn't delete it and left open an avenue for communication even if she wasn't using it (which I can confirm is true).

May 8th: WW uses a Google Voice number to get in contact with AP again in a way that she believes she can hide. I don't know about this yet.

May 14th: On Mother's Day of all days she lies about staying late at work so she can go to the one casino that she'd agreed not to go to. I tell her that this is no kind of reconciliation and it's on hold until she's ready to really commit to it or I give up.

May 23rd: She tells me she's going to get a massage. It occurs to me that she's used that exact excuse before to go see him. I check her location history and she's turned it off. I check her Google Voice and see that they're texting and she went to see him. I call her and ask her to come home. I do not tell her that I know at first but she doesn't come clean and eventually I show her the proof. That's when she tells me they've been in contact again since May 8th. We decide to proceed with divorce.


Since then we've actually had the most open and honest conversations possibly in our entire relationship. I guess because she has nothing less to lose. She was able to tell me that the electronic transparency had been giving her panic attacks because after she'd been sexually assaulted when she was thirteen, the perpetrator stalked her after school every day. That hit me like truck. I think I could have lived without it if she'd just told me that she was being retraumatized. Without that reason, I was like "Join the fucking club! We're all having panic attacks!"

It's so fucking frustrating. She wasn't ready to try reconciliation; she shouldn't have agreed to it when she did. If she hadn't I had a game plan for that but she did so I followed a different game plan and it fucked her up so that at the slightest setback she went back to old ways.

I've told her that if she was willing to give it another shot we could talk about it but only because at this point it costs me nothing to leave the door open. I'm progressing as though we're getting a divorce, though. I don't see how she could prove to me that she's really ready to make a change.

I've started reading The Good Divorce by Dr. Constance Ahrons. If we're going to do this I'd like to do it in the best way possible for the two of us and our daughter. I'd like is to at least be friends. Right now, I could stand to be friends with benefits because I'm super tired of not getting laid laugh

60 comments posted: Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

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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