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Reconciliation :
Positive Reconciliation Stories


psychmom ( member #47498) posted at 5:33 PM on Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Part of R is facing the truth, as hard as it can be at times. Just a few nights ago, Mr Psych and I were lying in bed, sharing a few minutes of intimate conversation, something we started doing shortly after DDay. Since nearly the beginning he has said, "I will NEVER betray you in any way again". And I would get a bit distant and tell him he could not promise this, as much as he might believe it or simply want to believe it. Yet he often would say these words and dismiss any attempts of mine to slow down and not make promises that he may not be able to keep. My goal was mainly to put the idea in his head that maybe the words were too flippant.

Apparently things are beginning to sink in. Nearly 16 months from DDay, during this recent tete a tete, he revealed some fears he hasn't spoken of before. Fear of himself, of what he is capable of. He said that all of the times I told him that I didn't know him, didn't know if he could change the core of who he is, is finally starting to make sense to him. He WANTS to be a better person. An honorable person. A person who does not cheat on his wife, his daughters, himself.

The fact that he's facing down his doubts and sharing this with me speaks volumes to me. Yes, it scares me. I would prefer to believe "I will never, ever hurt you again in this way", than to know that he shares my fears about his ability to hold up his end of the bargain, to maintain and exceed the many gains he's already made since DDay1.

So where are we? Right now he's starting a men's group, which will meet for 20 weeks. After that, he will continue IC if he believes he still needs it. He's very open to it and it has opened his eyes in ways he's never imagined. He admits that much more work is needed, but he's willing and eager to continue to do that work.

He also has made significant changes to his lifestyle. Since DDay1 we've been nearly inseparable, except for when we go to work. And even then, he calls me several times a day just to talk, to share what he's doing, to tell me he misses me and is eager to get home to me. (We seldom spoke during the day before DDay). He no longer goes out for drinks after work, plays baseball, or anything that does not include me. We both acknowledge this was a necessary, but temporary requirement after DDay; but as we move into our 2nd year post DDAy, we both realize we need to broaden our social lives.

He acknowledges that a big change must be how he interacts with women. Only recently has he realized just how often he eyed up women, paid attention to them, watched them, wanted to know if they "wanted" him. It is painful and frightening for me to hear him say this, to realize how fragile our R really is still at this point. But I believe this is all part of the process. These big changes don't occur overnight, and the more honest he is with me about it, the more connected I feel to him and to our M and changes of true R. And to hear him say that he knows this is a lifelong commitment, not something that gets "fixed" and then forgotten. R is a lifestyle. I new way of interacting with one another that must be renegotiated on a near daily basis.

For the most part, life is back to "normal" in the sense that I'm not bouncing off the walls anymore, not drinking to escape my feelings (which would only intensify them anyway). What I am doing is getting back to the business of living. The business of being a mother to 2 lovely young women who are just entering into their first "real" relationships. The business of being a professional, ready to take on new responsibilities related to my job as an educator, as well as return to those I'd given up with the blessing of my department when my world collapsed 15 months ago. I'm feeling more like me, stronger, wiser, less innocent, but "me."

BS (me); fWH (both 50+; married 20 yr at the time; 2 DD DDay 1- 9/13/2014 (EA)- 3+ yrsDDay 2- 10/24/2014(PA2)-July'14-Sept'14DDay 3- 11/12/2014(PA1)-Oct-Feb '14Reconciled

posts: 4271   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2015   ·   location: Land of Renewed Peace of Mind
id 7440903

Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 6:33 PM on Sunday, January 10th, 2016

OH GOSH psychmom...your post put this thread to TWELVE pages...YAY!!! I was so HAPPY to see it today...but you did it several days ago...THANK YOU for sharing your positive story !!

I will NEVER betray you in any way again

My FWH told me this same thing very soon after DDay...but after the trauma he put me through...there was no way I was going to believe him. It was too easy...he hadn't done the work to PROVE this. After almost 18 months from DDay...I have seen by his actions that this is very much a possibility . I will NEVER be 100% positive that he won't ever betray me...because he has shown he is capable of doing it. This is a truth we have to face.

I have a little bit of insight into the "NEVER" part because several years ago I betrayed my FWH financially. I confessed to it...and swore I would NEVER betray him like that again. I was called a LIAR for years...and questioned about EVERY financial matter. But I CHANGED. I KNEW that there was NO WAY I would put MYSELF through that again...let alone my husband. This has helped me to understand my FWH's feelings about this.

We are at a pretty decent place right now too . My FWH has had to face the man he was...and he was disgusted by what he saw. He has changed so much since then. His ACTIONS speak VOLUMES to me. I LOVE the little things especially . He is always reaching for me...just to be touching me makes HIM happy...and me too!! He opens the car door for always willing to talk about whatever I need to talk about...and just is THERE...for ME . I knew that in order for him to be the H I wanted...that I would need to give him the chance to prove himself. I knew from the betrayal experience I had gone through just how IMPORTANT it was for me to be given a second chance. I decided to give HIM a second chance too...and I have NO REGRETS over that decision . Life is WONDERFUL!!!

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: 6621   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 7444829

Furious1 ( member #42970) posted at 3:14 PM on Monday, January 11th, 2016

I guess it's time to share my story so here goes. I posted it on another thread so I'm just going to copy it here.

After 17 years of marriage where my WH relentlessly cheated on me and gas lit me about it while also emotionally abusing me into a life of pure misery, I sat on the floor of my walk-in closet with a loaded gun in my mouth working up the guts to pull the trigger. For all of those who say that informing the OBS of an A only causes more pain, I disagree. Had anyone thought enough of me to tell me about my WH's cheating at any point in all of his years of cheating, I would have seen it as an act of compassion because doing so would have spared me the pain of being gas lit for all of those years.

Out of nowhere, my daughter's school called and said that they were letting out early for bad weather. I did not want her to be the one to find my body so I put the gun away and reached out for help instead. That day was my absolute rock bottom. I knew something had to give and unfortunately, I was all give out.

I soon started counseling. It took an entire year of intense counseling to claw my way out of the trenches enough so that I finally had the strength to confront my WH so that D-day could even happen. Even though we didn't know it at the time, my WH was a narcissist and he used emotional abuse as his weapon of choice. On D-day, my WH only admitted to what I refused to allow him to deny. Of course, any admission on his part was accompanied by an onslaught of blame shifting so that every selfish choice he made was all of my fault. According to him, I was the root of all of the evil he had inside of him.

Needless to say, the first year after D-day was completely horrible. During a joint counseling session, WH threatened to divorce me if I wouldn't do everything his way. By his way, I mean rug sweep his A's so that I never talk about it and so that I act as though they never happened. His way also included me accepting full responsibility for all of his cheating as well as acknowledge how horrible of a wife and human being I was by realizing that my imperfections gave him the right to cheat on me.

Both my counselor and I read him the riot act and let him know just how unrealistic and toxic his expectations were. WH toned it down, but refused to believe that he was the source of any of our problems. Like I said, the first year after D-day was pure hell. WH did only what was necessary to keep me from divorcing him while resenting every single bit of it. He put up with me talking about his A's and asking him questions about it, but was angry and defensive each and every time. He read "How To Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair" by Linda J. MacDonald, but dismissed every bit of it and refused to implement any of it because he truly believed that none of it applied to him because he and his case was "special" and unique.

He continued to lie to me about everything and would only admit to what I caught him lying about thanks to his ever changing stories and answers about it all. It infuriated him anytime I would tell anyone about his cheating. According to him, him cheating wasn't the problem and wasn't what damaged his reputation. Me telling people was the sole problem. I should add that after D-day, WH took his last A underground and it only ended when I outed them to their co-workers. WH had no intention of stopping his A until me outing them forced his hand.

Like I lot of BS's, I clung to every trace of hope that my WH was getting it. I wanted to believe that him not wanting a divorce was the same thing as him wanting to R. It wasn't. He had no desire to change anything about himself. He wanted our marriage to stay exactly how it was before D-day. He was merely riding it out until things went back to his kind of normal. WH continued to openly flirt with OW right in front of me and he was bent on getting even with me anytime I acted outside of his abusive expectations of me. He would lash out at me with hurtful statements just to get me to get off of his back and quit talking about his A's.

After a year of that crap, I couldn't take it anymore. I could no longer wear my rose colored glasses while trying to cling to hope that he was "getting it." I finally saw the token gestures of love and kindness that I got along the way for the cheap manipulation tools that they were. Our "R" was so far off of the rails thanks to my WH's dysfunction that I had no choice but to finally accept that our marriage was beyond repair.

My WH's ongoing lies and unwilling TT was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I was finally DONE. That was at the beginning of Oct of 2014. Since it was just before the holiday season, I informed WH that I would be filing for divorce after the holidays were over so that our daughter could have one last holiday with her parents under the same roof. That gave him time to find another place to live while saving up for the move and impending divorce.

After that, I did a hard 180 while I waited for the holidays to be over. It took all that I had to even tolerate his presence. I stopped doing anything and everything for him. No cooking or allowing him to eat food that I had purchased. No cleaning up after him. No doing his laundry. I didn't bother with being polite to him and I darn sure had no interest in being his friend. If it wasn't about our daughter or our divorce, I didn't tolerate it being discussed. I would immediately end the attempt at conversation by telling him that if he couldn't respect my boundary about discussing only our daughter or our divorce, then he needed to move out immediately. That worked to shut it down.

I started making plans for life after WH. My daughter and I made plans for a vacation to celebrate the freedom I would have once we divorced. Since I was no longer slaving away at doing everything for my WH, I had a lot more time and energy to devote to myself and my daughter. I was really looking forward to being single again. I knew that it would be a while before I was ready to date again, but I was even excited about the prospect of doing so once I was ready to.

OTOH, my WH was thrilled with the 180 at first. I was no longer bugging him with my feelings or about his A's. He was as smug and selfish as ever. I didn't care. I wasn't doing the 180 for him. I was doing it for me. After a while though (when he ran out of clean clothes and grew hungry for a home cooked meal), WH snapped. He demanded that I clean up his mess at his desk, demanded that I cook him something real to eat, and demanded that I wash his laundry because he was out of clean clothes. I laughed at him and told him to do it himself because kissing his butt was no longer a part of my job description.

WH threw a massive hissy fit and threatened me with leaving to go to one of his OW's house. I told him that was a great idea because I was sick of putting up with him and I suggested he gather up all of his dirty laundry to take with him so that she could wash them for him too. While he was throwing his laundry in a trash bag, I was quite snarky about it and quipped "It's about time your OW has to do more than just spread her legs. I'm sure scrubbing your shit stained underwear is really going to put her in the mood for some thrilling romance so you two lovebirds have fun."

I guess that took the wind out of his sails or something because he started crying big ole tears as he took his clothes out of the trash bag and started shoving them into the washing machine. I did break the 180 a little bit by showing him how to turn on the washing machine after he begged. After that, he spent a lot of time moping around and crying while begging me not to divorce him. I ignored him and just kept doing the 180.

I didn't know it (and truly didn't care), but WH went back and read "How To Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair" again and he contacted my counselor for IC. I found out about it when the counselor asked me if I was okay with him helping my WH. I agreed to it because I didn't wish ill will on my WH despite everything that had happened. During the IC, he was diagnosed as NPD. This coincided with him meeting another guy who was NPD who treated WH the same way he treated me and our kids. It really opened his eyes and became a turning point for him. He knew he didn't want to be anything like that guy while acknowledging just how much he was like him.

Two months after I started the 180 (right after Thanksgiving), WH begged me to talk to him about our marriage. During Thanksgiving, I deliver meals to people in our community who are alone on the holidays so I had a little bit of a soft spot going so I agreed to listen to what he had to say. WH completely poured it all out. Everything. And I mean everything.

He finally came clean with everything he had been lying about and admitted to why he had lied about it (he was being a coward). He admitted to everything he had done wrong both before and after D-day while taking full responsibility for all of it. He told me that he knew that I had no reason to believe a single word he had to say, but that he would spend the rest of his life proving himself to me and making it all up to me regardless of whether I divorced him or not. He begged me to watch his actions.

It was a pretty intense conversation. I didn't budge on divorcing him, but I did start watching his actions while I thought things over. Over those three weeks, I didn't see a trace of the selfish guy I once knew. I decided to give it a try, but on my terms. I had no interest in being in limbo ever again so if we were going to do this, it was either going to be all in on both of our parts or I was going to be all out. On Dec 21st, I made that decision but did not tell WH. I put a rush order on new rings for both of us. The rings arrived Dec 23rd and I wrapped them and hid them under the tree. It was WH's only present.

We have a tradition that each person is allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve. WH wasn't expecting any presents at all so he was a bit shocked when I tossed him his tiny present. When he opened it, he asked me "Does this mean.." I opened my matching box, put on my ring, and held it up for him to see. I had never seen him cry like that ever. Poor guy got so worked up that he went to the bathroom and puked. When he came back, I told him that if we were going to do this, we were going to do it right this time. He more than agreed.

In the year since then, WH has not let me down even once. He did a complete and total turn around with his attitude and his behavior. To me, he has become and has been the model fWS since then. He leaves no room for doubt that I am his number one priority and that he does not take me for granted at all. I have had a lot of healing to do not only from the 18 years that he cheated on me, but also from the disastrous first year after D-day. He has consistently been my biggest supporter in that bar none. I truly have the husband and marriage of my dreams and I have no regrets about having given him this one last chance to get it right. He has surpassed my expectations day in and day out for over a year now.

I can tell you that I am the last person on earth who would have ever thought I would still be married today or that our marriage could actually be a healthy and productive one. My WH busted his ass to pull our marriage back from the ashes and I'm glad he did. I have hesitated to share my story on the Positive Recon Story thread because I guess I wanted to make sure that WH wasn't just putting on a show to win me over. After a year, I can say with confidence that it is no show and that it's for real. My WH has changed for the better since D-day, but I have changed for the better too. While I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy and I darn sure wouldn't go through a repeat, but I can say that this journey has been worth all of the hard work that it took to get us here.

BW (me): 46
2 adult kids
D-day: 10/4/13.

posts: 7036   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 7445524

psychmom ( member #47498) posted at 7:04 PM on Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Thank you for sharing your story, Furious1. I am at work with big fat tears in my eyes What an amazing story. Amazing because YOU are an AMAZING woman! No one would have faulted you at all for kicking him to the curb. But you didn't. You got tough, found yourself, and in that, helped your husband find himself, too.

Your story is one for the records! So close to the edge, yet you found a way to come back and recover. I wish you continued success in your R. And thank you again.

BS (me); fWH (both 50+; married 20 yr at the time; 2 DD DDay 1- 9/13/2014 (EA)- 3+ yrsDDay 2- 10/24/2014(PA2)-July'14-Sept'14DDay 3- 11/12/2014(PA1)-Oct-Feb '14Reconciled

posts: 4271   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2015   ·   location: Land of Renewed Peace of Mind
id 7446818

Carealot ( member #47603) posted at 2:41 AM on Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Wow Furious one! You have really been through some shit and gotten through to the other side.

I guess I'm just left wondering how you fWH was able to manage to rid himself of his NPD? Was it an epiphany after the Christmas Eve Renewal. Therapy? Did you call him on his less than satisfactory behaviors?

Your story is really amazing, and it really gives me hope. Thanks for sharing.

Me 56y/o BW
Him 56Y/O FWH BP
DDAY #2 4/13/15
TT DDay #3&4 4/20/15 and 4/21/15 EA from last July was actually a PA till Dec.2014.

posts: 258   ·   registered: Apr. 20th, 2015
id 7453667

longtobecarefree ( member #48408) posted at 4:39 PM on Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Thank you for sharing, Furious, I always read your posts and replies and believe that I gain so much from your words of wisdom.

So happy for you, you are an amazing, strong woman.

Me BW 49 Him WS 48
4 children
Together 15 years-thought he was my best friend
DD 01/15 Constant lies until 05/15
07/15 Another lie found out
Many more DD Days during that time
Massage parlours 25years
Many EAs via texts and calls
EA turned ON

posts: 196   ·   registered: Jun. 27th, 2015   ·   location: UK
id 7455269

Furious1 ( member #42970) posted at 2:38 PM on Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Thank you all. I don't see myself as strong though. I'm just profoundly and stubbornly resilient.

Carealot, my WH's changes happened before Christmas Eve. I don't know the full extent of what all he did to overcome his NPD selfishness because I was in the 180 and I truly wan't interested in what he was or wasn't doing during that time. I know he did go to my IC for individual IC himself because I had to give my permission for my IC to help him which I did. I can't tell you how often he went or what all was talked about. TBH, I haven't really asked. As far as I was concerned, this was my WH's battle to fight, not mine. Being in the 180, I was totally uninvolved in the whole process.

I do know what my WH has shared with me though. He told me that the IC helped him identify and correct his selfish and dysfunctional expectations that he had about his life, our marriage, parenthood, women, sex, etc, etc. He understands why he had those expectations, where it all came from, and why they are so unhealthy.

He says he also did a lot of reading online and in books about his abusiveness, about narcissism, about infidelity, etc. And he did a lot of self-reflection. He said that there was a moment in IC when he realized that all of my expectations of him weren't in place to hurt him, but were in place so that he wouldn't hurt me and that if he met those expectations, it would benefit the both of us because they were more than reasonable and were meant to create a healthy relationship.

My WH still has a hard wired desire to be selfish. It's like with any bad habit. Breaking that isn't easy. The good thing is that he recognizes that urge for what it is and fights it by doing what he knows is selfless while keeping me and our marriage as his number one priority. That is a complete turnaround from how things were when his impulsive desires and instant gratification was his number one priority.

The thing is that there was nothing I could do to make him want to change how he was. It was something he had to want for himself on his own steam. The only thing I could do was decide what I would or would not put up with in my life. Since he insisted on doing things that I would not put up with, I chose to end our marriage. It was only in losing me that WH finally decided for himself that he didn't want to lose me and decided that he wanted to overcome his issues that were causing me to leave him.

ETA: My WH could have just as easily decided that he didn't want to change and that losing me was worth staying how he was. I didn't do the 180 or plan on divorcing him in order to get him to change. In fact, I decided to divorce him because I gave up on any hope I had of him ever changing his toxic behaviors, expectations, and attitudes. What he accomplished is entirely to his credit. I had nothing to do with the actual work he did to change. Me divorcing him served as his motivation to change, not mine. Had he not done what was necessary to save our marriage, we would now be divorced. So the credit for our marriage coming back from the brink goes to my WH.

[This message edited by Furious1 at 8:51 AM, January 22nd (Friday)]

BW (me): 46
2 adult kids
D-day: 10/4/13.

posts: 7036   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 7456346

Kathgbon ( member #50510) posted at 2:37 PM on Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

6 Months since Dday - R since Dday. Rough rough days and nights BUT we have not stopped on the road to R. It has been life changing for me not only dealing with the worst pain in my life, but getting to know my H again. Getting to know ME again. I don't wish this on anyone in life, but I do wish that married couples could all some time in their marriage have an epic event that makes them STOP - LISTEN - FEEL - LEARN - LOVE again. I know R is NOT for everyone and some rough days that I face I still wonder if what I'm doing is the right thing, but if we still love, if we still are made to feel loved by WS then I believe we continue to try. It's not our marriage that we are fixing - it is a new marriage we are learning and loving. The marriage prior to A is dead - gone - almost like a death - yet I'm still blessed enough to know I have a new marriage and a new love that I'm enjoying yet still working on everyday. There is hope and the day I entered this site I wasn't so sure R was for me - I continue to support and read and help on here every day - still my therapy. But if there is a chance of R - never give up - whether R is for you or not - NEVER give up on LOVE - because it does exist.

posts: 99   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2015   ·   location: United States
id 7459951

Carealot ( member #47603) posted at 5:32 AM on Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Pretty awesome response Furious one. Thanks sooo Much. Gives me hope and I'm sure others too.

Me 56y/o BW
Him 56Y/O FWH BP
DDAY #2 4/13/15
TT DDay #3&4 4/20/15 and 4/21/15 EA from last July was actually a PA till Dec.2014.

posts: 258   ·   registered: Apr. 20th, 2015
id 7460814

Heartbroken139 ( new member #51062) posted at 1:51 PM on Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Kathgbon...I adore you. I saw your post last night and felt like I have found my twin. You express the thoughts I feel and thank you so much for that. I haven't posted much on here because I don't know how to take some of the comments at times. However, I do like do love this site and my heart breaks with every story. Thank you for your honestly and positivity. I am 6 months out also and my husband is doing everything 100% that is asked of him and also on his own. I went back and read all of your posts and it has brightened my day. I wish you were here having coffee with me because I would give you a big hug! Blessings to you! XO

posts: 3   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2016
id 7460991

tooclose ( member #44327) posted at 2:24 PM on Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Kathgbon - thank you for posting that. I am almost 5 months post-true Dday but R didn't start for us until November (I moved out for a bit). A lot of days I do feel hopeless while others I feel hopeful, it's still more roughy than it is happy but I do believe we are both committed to us. It makes my heart happy to see others not that far ahead of me already starting to see the tides turn. Thank you again!

fWF (him): 28
BF (Me): 26
Unmarried, together 8 yrs.
True DDay: Sept 2015
Started R: Nov 2015

In a gentle way, you can shake the world

posts: 124   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2014   ·   location: Ontario, Canada
id 7461024

Noosa ( member #47803) posted at 5:40 PM on Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

fWH and I are solidly in Reconciliation, and I've never been more sure of his love for me. I don't have time to elaborate on my story right now, but there was a call for positive stories and mine gets better every day.

There is hope, as long as you take responsibility for your own healing and your WS is truly remorseful. You can do this. It can be better. I know not all of you will make it, but it is absolutely possible to have a better relationship than you ever had or ever dreamed.

Don't rugsweep, don't rush yourself. You'll know when you're ready to start moving forward. Best wishes to all of you.

posts: 282   ·   registered: May. 7th, 2015
id 7461276

Noosa ( member #47803) posted at 5:51 PM on Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Not even a minute after I posted that last post, received this string of texts from my husband:

":) I love you

I love that you are my wife

It makes me extremely happy

We are a team

We choose each other every day

No matter what life throws at us I know you will stand by me and help me

Like your comment earlier

I'm worried about being a bad dad

But we will balance each other out

We are two parts to one whole

And I am extremely lucky and grateful to have you in my life to share all of my experiences with"

posts: 282   ·   registered: May. 7th, 2015
id 7461296

psychmom ( member #47498) posted at 6:01 PM on Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

The positive stories are uplifting and give affirmation that the journey toward R is worth the work. I particularly enjoyed reading this today:

but I do wish that married couples could all some time in their marriage have an epic event that makes them STOP - LISTEN - FEEL - LEARN - LOVE again.

This is much like I feel. Had I not discovered his affairs, not held him to the fire to see my pain, see the damage he had caused with his selfishness, he would not have woken up and most importantly, I would not have woken up. It took this catastrophic event to open my eyes and his. I don't know how else we would have gotten to where we are today. We had no clue how to be a couple. At least a couple that helped one another, put the other ahead of themself, saw their marriage as a team and partnership. But now we do, and we are working together to figure this out, figure out how to be married to one another in a way that works for both of us.

I often wish we'd have figured it out another way. We talk about this a lot. Regret for lost time, missed opportunities. But no going back to re-do, only the chance to do better going forward.

Thank you all for making this journey a bit easier than it would be alone

BS (me); fWH (both 50+; married 20 yr at the time; 2 DD DDay 1- 9/13/2014 (EA)- 3+ yrsDDay 2- 10/24/2014(PA2)-July'14-Sept'14DDay 3- 11/12/2014(PA1)-Oct-Feb '14Reconciled

posts: 4271   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2015   ·   location: Land of Renewed Peace of Mind
id 7461312

LifeisCrazy ( member #38287) posted at 6:18 PM on Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

It is always nice to hear positive reconciliation stories. In my case, I used to gravitate toward ones who gave me hope that I could reconcile with a WW. They always seemed few and far between. So I'll share mine... in the hope that some guy out there who can't see a light at the end of their tunnel can use my story as a framework to find happiness.

Our affair story is an ugly one. Very long term, with a coworker. Horrible decision-making on the part of my wife involving my kids, unprotected sex, pregnancy and termination. It was just a bad scene all around. We are both professionals and we could have easily ended our 20 year marriage and moved on. But, instead of focusing on how BAD the affair was, I would like to reflect on how we got past it.

Like most others, reconciliation goes through a tough first year or two. There are a TON of parameters that must be met - and, as I often remind the newly betrayed, a WS isn't always on board with those parameters just because they were caught. They are accustomed to certain behaviors and it isn't until they really decide to reconcile that those guidelines can be effectively put into place. And until that time... hoo boy. The roller coaster crazy train is going full speed ahead. I can easily recall the pain of looking at my wife as she told me she wasn't sure if she was 100% in on the marriage. The pain is very real and very deep.

The key turning points for us were two-fold. First, it was my wife seeing the enormous cost that her affair put on our family. If a WS can truly feel the pain they are creating and really WANT to make things right - it is a HUGE step in a positive direction. That, as we all know, just isn't there for everyone. My wife was able to feel the repercussions... in me, in our girls, and in the disapproval by family and friends. In her heart she knew she had made terrible choices and she simply couldn't sit with that - she needed to fix what she had done.

The second key is my tolerance. I tend to look at things objectively - even when they're very emotional. For example, the sexual exploits (some that she didn't do for me) really tore me up at first. But I quickly looked at it and realized that, in the end, it was just sex. Neither of us were virgins at marriage and I never dwelled on who she slept with before we met... so was it really THAT important now? I was able to understand that sex, and sometimes crazy sex, is what people do in affairs. Quite frankly, if I was in an affair I would probably do the same thing! So that part of the reconciliation made things that much easier.

There are guys who simply can't handle this when they discover their wife's infidelity. It's just too much. And I get that. To me, in the end, there are things that people do in affairs and sex is one of them. The SEX is not the deal breaker.

We are now 4 years down the road. My wife has become a new person. And so have I. When I have needs or wants I communicate them - still not always very effectively - but they are discussed. We work harder to be there for each other and we focus on making the marriage a better place. The boundaries that had been set up for my wife are now simply part of her M.O. - if she needs to go on a business trip I get the itinerary without asking, I get Facetimed from the hotel room, love notes are left on my bed. She sees me sliding toward the rabbit hole and immediately knows to gently bring me back. I try harder to be a better husband. To be supportive. To communicate. To be her guy. She makes a stronger attempt to meet my (sometimes new) sexual needs and I try to meet her needs of support and affirmation.

And that's probably the biggest change. The marriage is now the priority. We work to be the partners we always wanted to be but simply never were. And while the affair will always be a part of us - and somewhere in my head - it is fading to a distant place.

I often say that there comes a time when you have to stop blaming your spouse and sticking the affair in their face. It becomes counter-productive. If you can't deal with what happened - then move on. But if it has a chance there is a time when you need to move TOWARD one another. We have done just that and the marriage is SO much better as a result. It will never be perfect. There will always be a sense of sadness - but it's just as sad for her as it is for me.

And, guess what? We use that sadness to make sure we never, ever go down that rabbit hole again. It keeps pushing us toward better things, toward a better life.

I am a positive reconciliation story. You can be, too.

"Pain is temporary. Quitting is forever."

posts: 689   ·   registered: Jan. 28th, 2013
id 7461333

14yearaffair ( new member #51575) posted at 10:45 PM on Saturday, January 30th, 2016

Married 22 years this week. Nearly 3 years post DDay from a 14 year affair. I still wonder how I didn't know.

EVERY Day my H does every thing right to make sure I am the center of his world. He allows my triggers and emotions and has never blamed me for anything. Our marriage is stronger now but we went to individual and couples therapy for almost two years before getting to this point.

I just found this site today and I wish that I had found it three years ago. Many days I have felt like I had nobody that understands what I am going through. Reading everything on here makes me feel connected. I would love to connect specifically with others who have survived and reconciled from long-term affairs.

M 1994
3 Children
DD1 11/25/11
DD2 3/17/12 WT
14 years one OW

posts: 1   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2016
id 7464602

Shatteredlady ( new member #51457) posted at 5:55 AM on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Just 2 months since D day..... don't know if it is too early to post here. We have been married for 23 years and my husband had numerous one-night stands with call girls. But his reaction when I caught him was like...he was waiting to get caught. I did not have to make much effort making him convince all that he did (except the ones he didn't remember) .

He is working hard I know. He cannot imagine life without me.When I suggest that we live apart, he burst out crying, although he is a very strong man and he couldn't fake it. He keeps telling me a hundred times that he loves me....he used to say that before also, but now it sounds different....something right out of his remorseful soul.... I know it is hard for me to forgive and love him like before. It is so early to say that and my wound is still fresh. But for our kids sake, He is trying hard and so am I.


WS-My husband, 44 years

BS- Me 44 years

D Day- November 25

Been Married for 23 years and he has been cheating on me for 17 years( don't know exactly)

posts: 33   ·   registered: Jan. 23rd, 2016
id 7466540

Scruffynerfhrdr ( member #50957) posted at 4:41 AM on Monday, February 8th, 2016

LifeIsCrazy-thank you.....i want to be able to reconcile with my WW but the thought that another man saw my wife nude (they sexted-never had sex AFAIK) is still a issue for me as is her outright betrayal of our family and our marriage.....reading stories like yours gives me hope that maybe someday i'll be able to put all of that behind me and stay on the path towards an even better marriage

Me (BS):46
Her (WW): 39
Married: 09/27/2003
Been together since 2000
Kids: 2 (1 boy/1 girl)
Dday: 9/16/2014

Like clockwork, the PTSD/PISD has kicked in

posts: 59   ·   registered: Dec. 26th, 2015   ·   location: Kansas
id 7471743

onlytime ( member #45817) posted at 1:49 AM on Thursday, February 18th, 2016

I have been on SI now for just over 14 months and this will be my 1000th post. When I first came here I was a complete and utter mess. I felt worthless and was so hopeless that I thought the only way out of the pain was to commit suicide. In fact, that was all I thought about for the first four months after d-day and on February 3, 2015 I attempted to take my own life. I am so grateful that I did not succeed!

A lot has changed in the 16 months since d-day, and things are still changing almost daily. I see such a difference in myself and in BetterFuture13. We are each growing and maturing and so is our M.

We have both struggled with mental health issues and addictions but never really dealt with them, but the one thing that has come out of all of this is that we are both working on our own shit now. I was just diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Complex-PTSD and have started taking anti-depressants and mood stabilizers. I am waiting to get into a DBT skills group for the BPD and am in counselling for the abuse and sexual assaults that I endured between the ages of 12-25 (which I had stuffed deep inside until the trauma of BF13's A brought all of it to the surface).

BF13 is currently being assessed for BPD (and other mental health issues as well) and is working hard with a very good IC. He has suffered major depression and was an alcoholic (he now has just over a year of sobriety). He had a history of running away from life and making excuses for things. He doesn't run away anymore. He sits with me when I am screaming and crying and melting down and tries to comfort me. He doesn't get defensive any more. He is an open book and is completely transparent. He answers my questions no matter how many times I have asked them. He has admitted to so many things I never would have been able to prove. He is becoming honest with me, but more importantly, he is becoming honest with himself.

When he became visually impaired just over six years ago life as he knew it had ended. He gave up on everything - including himself. He felt worthless. After d-day he sunk even lower and was consumed with shame, he made excuses why he couldn't do things and I was very close to giving up...

And then he started to change. He begin digging himself out of the hole he was in. He finally started to use the touch screen computer we had bought and figured out how to use the screen-reading software on his own. He began reading on SI and then he began posting. He set up online banking and began taking care of paying the bills (something I had done for almost our entire relationship). He also has a CCTV that he uses to read books, although most of the time we read together (which has been really good for us as it has allowed us to have some very meaningful conversations and insights). He also has books saved to his phone so he can listen to them when he is working on things around the house or when I am in my IC appointments.

His actions every day show me how remorseful he is. He has been working so hard on himself and he has inspired me to work on myself too.

There is a long way still to go on our journey, and we recognize that there will always be work to do, but we are doing it TOGETHER!

R'd w/ BetterFuture13
T 20+ yrs w/ adult kids 😇 + grands
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall" ~Nelson Mandela

posts: 6298   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2014   ·   location: 🇨🇦
id 7482051

Itsanewday ( member #49991) posted at 2:37 PM on Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Onlytime what a truly inspiring journey. Congratulations to you both. I see many glimpses of the "other side" of this and I hope that eventually that is all I can see.


I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.

posts: 100   ·   registered: Oct. 19th, 2015   ·   location: Georgia
id 7482375
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