Surviving the first year
One year since the bottom fell out of my world.
I have lived through false R, trickle truths, therapy (so much therapy), marriage counseling, lies told to my face both big and small, secrets from a decade ago revealed, a couples weekend, family holidays and road trips, a continuing dead bedroom, apologies (so many apologies), tears, intense 4AM talks, hugging, screaming into the void (when no one else is home), holding hands, confessions, soul-searching, a lawyer consultation, heartfelt talks with best friends, health crashes, hope, and despair.
I have no idea how I have held it together, but somehow we are still trying to reconcile. I love my spouse in a familial way, but struggle to like him. In the past couple months, he has become kind and affectionate and is desperately doing whatever he can to salvage things. I wonder daily if it's better to walk away, but I have fears about what that would do to our teenager who, as far as I know, doesn't know about the affair. It's like choosing between walking over hot coals or a bed of nails.
Outwardly, everything is fine. We live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood with a nice kid. We have a healthy nest egg for retirement. We have health insurance. We get together with friends and family. I tell myself daily to be grateful for all of this.
So why is this so hard?
I'm also deeply thankful for this community and all the wisdom, humor, and compassion that you all provide on a daily basis.
5 comments posted: Saturday, November 11th, 2023
If I feel happier when he's away, does that mean I won't be able to reconcile?
Lately, whenever my WH travels, I feel this sense of freedom and relief. I'm starting to wonder if that's a sign that part of me is done trying to reconcile, and if we're destined to split up.
For further context, we are nearly a year past dday1. WS has only properly started to work on himself for the past 2 months. Prior to that, he was still pretty defensive and shutdown/shame spiraled a lot. We were in false R for the first 2.5 months. That ended with dday2, but after that came two big trickle truths, the most recent of which was via voluntary confession about a month ago, when he started doing more intensive therapy work.
We have been trying to reconcile, but it has been rough. He keeps begging me to give him more time to improve himself. I know a year is still relatively fresh, but I am really tired of the upheaval and the changing narratives around what's "really" going on, why it happened, etc. He had a nearly 3 year long EA+PA with another married woman. On dday4, he admitted to a brief EA/crush about 9 years ago that was one-sided until the OW turned him down for sex.
He seems to love me again, but it took him so long that I've gone numb. (He did "not in love with you but love you" thing during his affair.) The main reason I haven't walked away is because our kid (teenager) is already struggling emotionally. I don't want to add more trauma by way of divorce, but I'm getting to the point where I'm really wondering if I can ever move past WS's lies and secrecy and crappy behavior. I have dropped friends after they got involved with married men. I'm not sure I can truly move forward with my WS, and that fact that I feel a lot more positive about life when he isn't here really makes me wonder if I should give up.
Then I read these stories of successful R where it took several years, and I question myself. WS and I have been together for 30 years. I used to think of him as my best friend, but I can barely think of him as a friend now. I haven't wanted to wear my wedding ring since dday, and I don't feel like we are married anymore (even tho we legally are), but we have so much history. I wish someone could tell me if it's worth sticking around or if I'd be better off divorcing.
16 comments posted: Sunday, October 29th, 2023
A question for those who have divorced after a failed reconciliation
I keep going back and forth on what to do. I'm currently attempting to reconcile (see my sig for the tl;dr version), but I frequently have a strong urge to divorce. It's been 8 months since I first learned about the affair, and while he hasn't been a horrible person since (no abuse, no financial misbehavior), he also hasn't given 100% the way I was hoping would happen.
Here are the factors that are stopping me from heading straight to a lawyer: our kid is about to start high school, and she changed schools twice during the pandemic. I worry about destabilizing her life right now (if we D'ed, I would move out and have primary custody). I'm also disabled, so I'm dependent on my spouse's income and health insurance, and moving will be really difficult (physically). We live in an area with a high cost of real estate, so both of us will take a big financial hit from splitting our daily expenses.
Yeah, I didn't mention love or any emotional stuff there. I do still care about him, maybe I love him at some level - it's hard to detach after nearly 30 years of knowing each other. At the same time, I don't *feel* married right now, and I have no desire to be married to him. I don't like using the word "husband" or "spouse" about him, even though it's still legally true, because I don't feel it in my heart like I used to.
Anyway, to get to the question: for those of you who divorced (especially if you tried to reconcile first), I would love to hear your stories. What made you pull the plug? Do you feel like it was the right decision for you? How are your kids (esp older ones) handling the changes?
13 comments posted: Monday, July 17th, 2023