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Reconciliation :
Positive Reconciliation Stories

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hopefulkate ( Member #47752) posted at 3:04 AM on Thursday, September 13th, 2018

So...saw WTBHA’s post and feel like maybe it’s time I posted here.

So quick recap: depression, manic episode, split personality, years of fighting his suicidal tendencies, all culminating in an affair.

And yet...still here. He is my best friend, my biggest fan and supporter, and I completely believe in his love for me. And wow, I would be so wrong not to mention that through the entirety of our time together, he has always just been there for me. Hard to explain how that is still true during the affair, but it is. And that is really something. (Hopefully I can put that into better words one day.)

It’s been almost four years and he has not stopped working on getting help, getting better, and making it up to me. He brings me coffee every morning (that is just a survival skill taught to the kids as well ), and life, though it is filled with bumps and still pain from such a big hit, is sooooo much MORE than it was before. I would be lying if o didn’t struggle at times still, but the gifts of this explosion have been...life changing in the best of ways.

We had some medical scares recently, and it does help to bring perspective. While of course I wish that I didn’t belong to this club, it does give perspective to what could be lost, and the latest stressors have shown me what I truly want - my best friend growing old with me. And for him? He can’t stop almost crying and saying thank you. And while he isn’t good with words, I know what he means.

However much longer we have in this life, I wonder if we won’t keep fighting for each other like stubborn toddlers.

"and so together, they built the life they love."

posts: 1808   ·   registered: May. 3rd, 2015   ·   location: United States
id 8246708
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Skan ( Member #35812) posted at 1:37 AM on Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

So, I'm sitting at one of my favorite places. At a bar in the airport. Going somewhere, anywhere. Love to travel! As long as it's not a war zone, I will take a ticket to anywhere and manage to have a good time.

It could have been more tragic. My mom has been ill for months and had finally been diagnosed with gall bladder stones and pancreatitis, and then had her OR delayed until her potassium levels came up. Now she's in Rehab trying to get her strength back up to go home, and I'm going up there as a surprise to try to lift her spirits.

I remember the first time I had to go up to my folks after DDay. It was a visit to help out after my Dad had surgery. But things were SO unsettled, to say the least, after a major bit of TT had come out. I remember being perfectly OK during the days, but at around 5pm each night, starting to hit the wine, and losing it in my bedroom. Sobbing calls to FWH. Crying myself to sleep. Throwing up in the middle of the night. Just a mess ... while unbeknownst to me, my mom heard a goodly part of it through the heating vent.

Today, completely different scenario. I get the gut feeling that I need to go, FWH says GO! I book without hesitation and we create a Do list for him (engineer, good at what's in front of him, but bad at pre-planning his personal life) for the weekend. He offers up other things that he's thinking of doing for us to discuss, and we finalize plans for my coming back. He makes

TMI TMI TMI TMI TMI

tender and passionate love to me last night and holds me through the night.

END OF TMI END OF TMI

And I leave today, with no apprehensions or hesitations. Honestly, this isn't the first me going away thing either. Two weeks ago, I spent 6 nights on a Tall Ship doing a Festival of Sail, and he joined us only for the weekend. And no problems.

The point of this post is that, if you both truly work it, and are invested in recovery and reconciliation, you can get to "normal." Maybe a new normal, but normal.

Imagine a ship trying to set sail while towing an anchor. Cutting free is not a gift to the anchor. You must release that burden, not because the anchor is worthy, but because the ship is.

D-Day, June 10, 2012


posts: 11513   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2012   ·   location: So California
id 8254151
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numb&dumb ( Guide #28542) posted at 5:06 PM on Friday, October 5th, 2018

So I realized today I never actually added this to this list. . .

So many things we talk about on here on painful. The screaming into your pillow level of painful. Your eyes hurt from crying so much and so often. We share our pain here and we all are at different stages of our journey. Let us all be very honest none of us would “prefer” to be here. Until they invent time travel we can’t change that can we ? We have accept what is in the past, but can totally change the future.

It seems like only yesterday I was a noob. I was angry, hurt and felt like the only life I knew was ending. A lot of you would not recognized that guy. I was angry, I projected my angst onto others. I probably gave the advice to D the “worthless WS ,”more times that I told anyone to try and work anything out. Until a few years ago I still wanted justice. I wanted to repaid for the pain I had endured. I wanted to see something to show that I was rewarded for keeping my family together despite everything in the world seemingly working against me. So a lot people say you can’t ever really know what something feels like unless you lived it. Yep. 100% true.

It was a struggle. My W fought hard. I fought hard. I wanted to give up so many times I can’t count them. I doubted myself and I certainly doubted my W. I crumbled. She crumbled. Our M crumbled. There was a time in our R where I wouldn’t even consider us being M. Mentally I was not there. She was in her own space and by that point I could really give ,“ no fucks,” whatever she was dealing with. I did not care anymore. I turned everything off. I was functional, but totally dead inside.

I know to a lot of you that sounds better than whatever you are feeling right now. It does for awhile, but ultimately it trades one form of misery for another. Humans are social creatures. Our penal system in the US reserves solitary as the strictest form of punishment. What do other people give us ? They don’t create emotions exactly, but they help us to feel them. We respond and they respond. They remind us that we are all more alike that we like to admit. Not all of those feelings are good and being betrayed teaches you that no one is immune from hurting you. Just because we realize this is true, now, does not mean anything changed. Your perception has changed, but certainly humans’ hurting one another is not a recent development. We just have different weapons today. It was always that way and will continue for the rest of our lives. You can continue to refuse to believe that truth, of course, but why would you want to? Experience is by far the best teacher, but only if we learn from our experiences, and incorporate that into our lives.

My M survived. I survived. As my W began to work on herself she began to try to bridge the gap that had grown in our M. We lived together and acted like M people, but there were walls. Big, tall several feet thick walls. We both put them there. She began facing her A, her contributions to the crappy M Pre-Dday and was vulnerably remorseful (New word. Dibs on the trademark). While I couldn’t admire her for much else at the time I had to admire her resolve and dedication. Everything I was putting out there at the time said I was going to leave. It still did not deter her. I noticed. I softened little by little. Communication was opened up little by little. I can say that in a few words, but want to emphasize there is whole lot more there. I think we sometimes forget that. It is impossible for any of us to put “all” of our thoughts on SI. We just can’t and sometimes that leads us to misunderstandings and misconceptions.

Anytime my pride starts pointing out that my W had an A I do well to remember how hard she fought for not just our M, but me as well. Would anyone else have fought that hard . . . IDK. While she certainly left the M for a time she paid a heavy price and earned her way back into it. We talk about deserving here a lot. No one deserves this. No one. Did my W deserve a second chance? No. No one “deserves,” a second chance after choosing to have an affair. That is why grace is an important concept in any R. While my W didn’t deserve a chance she did earn one after the fact. It was a risk for sure, but I don’t see it that way anymore. Some may say that is impossible or was foolish, but the only opinion that matters today is mine and hers. We are M today because we choose to be, not because we have to be.

No one needs to suffer this alone. There are people who care. There are resources. SI was beyond helpful for me. It gave me a sense of being less of an oddity and more the norm. I had the benefit of some fantastic people who always gave me solid advice and support. For that I am eternally grateful. You will never know the full extent of the impact you’ve had on my life. Nobody does that for any other reason than they see another human suffering and want to make it better. It is rare to find people with that good of a heart on the,” anonymous” internet nowadays. I guess that is why I am still on SI. I like helping in any minor way that I can. It reminds me what being human is really about and I need that sometimes. It helps me connect to my human side.

I learned so much about myself through this journey. I learned that I am stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. I have my integrity intact and comfortably look back on my choices without regret. I know that life is going to test me at times. I can’t get all bent out of shape when it does. That is the eternal struggle. Life can be challenging. Life can be difficult. We should never judge ourselves by what has happened to us. We should judge ourselves on how we are able to move on with our heads held high.

Fuck life. Bring on the next round. I own you.

Dday 8/31/11. EA/PA. Lied to for 3 years.

Bring it, life. I am ready for you.

posts: 4967   ·   registered: May. 17th, 2010
id 8261211
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BrainFreeze ( Member #61754) posted at 6:44 PM on Friday, October 5th, 2018

So, today (10/5) is my wife's birthday... guess what... I'm happy to celebrate it with her.

Last night we went as a family, all 4 of us, to a NHL hockey game. Ours is a hockey family. That was my wife's birthday gift... it's what she wanted.

While I was watching the game, I noticed how focused my wife was on the game, (she loves the game, she plays too), then I looked at my kids, giggling and chatting with each other, laughing... and having fun. Probably because I bought them cotton candy and they were both jacked up on sugar they are 16 and 17 yrs old. It was nice to be with them.

I was enjoying a cold $10 over priced beer along with the game.

And I was very thankful that we could still be together as a family.

I will never take that for granted again.

I was genuinely happy. It was a good day!

BH 49, WW 47
Married 24 years, DS16,DD17

You all know.

posts: 973   ·   registered: Dec. 8th, 2017
id 8261294
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OneInTheSame ( Member #49854) posted at 11:53 PM on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

I truly was not sure if I would ever be able to post in this thread. We just passed the 3 year mark post d-day and I am happy to report that I believe the worst is finally behind us!

My fWW had a 6 month affair with her ex-girlfriend of 14 years. It began as a self-destructive escape from responsibility and stress, but because she chose the one person she knew would devastate me should I find out, she engaged in all the typical wayward behavior: TT, blame-shifting, deflection, lying, gas-lighting, anger, yelling, screaming, drinking binges, and more cruelty than I though was possible from this woman I had known for 16 years. Our last huge fight was on our 4th wedding anniversary, and our last significant dispute was a couple months later. It has been a roller-coaster ride I would never have imagined I could survive. I guess survival is relative, because my health, both physical and mental, has suffered greatly. The multiple auto-immune conditions I suffer have all worsened or become more symptomatic. I will never be the same, nor will I ever fully recover from this . . .

About two months ago I once again challenged her to commit to doing more to help move us toward healing our marriage. For three years she believed that just not continuing the affair was sufficient to both prove she was sorry and help me heal. I had to repeatedly remind her that I have been pulling the load of the hard work, reading and going to therapy, while she stumbled along not willing to engage in painful self-examination and reflection. I was close to giving up several times . . .

Then I began to notice more physical attention: hugging more often, but often it felt like it was to satisfy a quota, and I even told her so. She also began to take my hand or offer some other gesture to acknowledge a trigger or a difficult moment, but it was an incomplete effort. Then somewhere, either here or in another support group, someone referenced the song "Say Something I'm Giving Up On You." I had never heard the song before, and spent that evening listening to it over and over, crying hysterically the entire time. The next week or so I obsessed over that song, it was so my exact feelings at the time. Then one day after one of her silent gestures I played it for her and told her that I have been close to calling it quits for that very reason. I told her that when she did something but did not accompany her action with words, she was still leaving me with the burden of filling in the rest. I told her I needed both actions and words, as I didn't want to soothe myself with imagined conversations anymore. I told her I knew it was hard for her to do this, but that it has been excruciating and very hard for me for almost three years. I began to see a change after that . . .

Then one night we decided it was time to find out what all the talk about "The Handmaid's Tale" was about. Immediately it produced trigger after trigger, but this time, instead of avoiding talking about them, or telling me she was sorry "it" triggered me, she began to share how she realized her actions, her affair, her poor handling of the aftermath, caused so much damage that she hoped she could now help repair it, now that she saw what she had done. She stopped glossing over the hurtful details and began to accept responsibility for her actions and her decisions and the damage they caused. The series has had a profound positive effect on us, despite it's bleak and frightening apocalyptic message: it has propelled us into the conversations we have needed for years, even before the affair.

Things are getting better these days. She has started initiating conversations, seeing that hitting them head-on and letting me express my hurt keeps them from becoming marathon fights. The attention she is paying me now feels more honest and sincere and is much more helpful, now that it is accompanied by words. She has also actually begun looking at both side of issues and making better assessments and decisions. The world isn't all about her anymore.

I know there are no guarantees that we will not have any more fights, but I do know I feel much safer now. I know trust-building will take some time, and so does she. But we have crested that hill . . . the one I never though we would get over. We are in R now . . .

Last week-end we finally made the long three-hour drive to see our grandkids. And wouldn't you know it, freeway traffic came to a screeching halt as we neared the exit to her ex's house, and we sat there, right at her exit for a long time. I remarked that it seems to be my fate, to have to live with inescapable reminders of the affair. This time she agreed that she should never have chosen to take that exit, ever . . .

Sigh . . . . . . finally . . . .

(I edit to correct typos)
I am the BS in a lesbian marriage. My WW's ex-girlfriend was the AP.
D-day of the 6 mo A was 10/04/15
We are doing okay, but by now I wanted it to be better

posts: 2483   ·   registered: Oct. 6th, 2015   ·   location: Pacific Northwest
id 8263548
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fareast ( Member #61555) posted at 5:34 AM on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

I thought I should post a positive note about our upcoming 45th Wedding Anniversary and almost 40 years since my fWW’s infidelity. We were a highly unlikely couple. On our first date I picked her up at her dorm still somewhat stunned that this popular young woman agreed to a date with a guy like me. She looked amazing. As we walked to the street she looked perplexed. Her: Where did you park your car? Me: Eh, I don’t own a car we’re hitchhiking! Her: Shit!

But after two years of dating and lots of hitchhiking we were M. Early on we were very good together but in the fifth year I noticed red flags with late nights for work Happy Hours and GNO. And finally her confession immediately after her ONS at her office Xmas party. As far as I was concerned that was the end of us. We separated immediately and I filed for D and moved on with my life. Five months later she tracked me down in embarrassing fashion while I was waiting in line with her mentally disabled brother to go to a minor league baseball game. Out of nowhere she ran up and hugged me and started to cry. With lots of people standing around gawking I did the only thing I could think of: I told her in a raised voice: “ There’s no need for tears, I hear the team is much better this year.!”

Long story, short, my WW demonstrated actions to my satisfaction that she sincerely wanted the M. She was steadfast and consistent. Prior to DDAY you could say her middle initials were ES ( entitled and selfish) and after our separation HA ( humble and appreciative). There was a shift in her, more maturity. The first two years after DDay were difficult. Many good days and bad, but she never flaggedin her commitment. Finally at two years from DDay I looked at the woman in front of me and knew if I wanted to move forward I needed to let go of my anger and lashing out. I made myself vulnerable to her and moving forward we made so many new memories.

Her ONS is like a scar on the body that fades but never goes away. She knows that around the holidays I still get sad thinking about the A. After the first two years from DDAY I just began to trust and not anguish over separations. The scar is there but it does not define us. After DDAY we raised two children, both advanced in our careers, we each earned two advanced degrees while working full time often being apart for many days at a time for work or school, we dealt with deep depression ( me ) and metastatic breast cancer and chemo (her). We persevered and now relish our time together in retirement.

I have read enough threads here to know that I have been very fortunate to have a fWW willing to make the personal changes and face her demons and stay committed to the M. I have been blessed. She has been consistent in always making me feel safe. I don’t put her on a pedestal like I did early in our M, but I should never have done that in the first place. I also believe by acting decisively on DDAY and thereafter( uncharacteristic for me) it was the catalyst for my fWW to take a look in the mirror and decide that she wanted the M and to make the changes to save it.

Looking back I would tell anyone considering R, yes, your WS can change if they put their heart and mind into it. Of course too often there simply is not the commitment to make it happen. As a BS don’t accept blameshifting or rugsweeping. Above all else value yourself and do not sell yourself short on the type of relationship you deserve.

I saved some money and surprised my fWW and for our 45th Anniversary we are going to take her dream trip with another couple to rent a R.V. and explore the South Island of .Z. for a couple weeks. I had a recent accident but my physician has said I have healed enough to travel. Hopefully, we will be rolling down the highway on our way to Queenstown raising the roof to our song: “Happy To Be Stuck With You” by Huey Lewis and the News. Peace, out.

fareast

Never bother with things in your rearview mirror. Your best days are on the road in front of you.

posts: 2794   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2017
id 8267827
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emotionalaffair1 ( Member #63263) posted at 2:54 AM on Friday, November 2nd, 2018

H and I went to our final MC session the other day. We've been in MC off and on ever since our DDay about 2 years ago. (You can read my story for background in my profile.) I truly feel we have come to the final chapter in the reconciliation process. We received some excellent guidance from our MC that I want to pass along to those of you who have chosen to reconcile:

If you struggle with anxiety or ruminating over the past after successfully reconciling, write a Truth Narrative:

I was struggling with rumination quite a bit long after the OW left my H's workplace. I kept going back and questioning things, analyzing everything, and worrying about it happening again. MC suggested I write out a "Truth Narrative", meaning what I know to be true about my H and our relationship. I was to read through this narrative any time I began to feel anxious and worried. It really helped a great deal! It helped in two ways:

1. It helped me to see H's weaknesses - how he has a difficult time with boundary-setting, confronting problems, and that he is a KISA. These weaknesses were important to see because they helped me understand that the driving force behind the choices he made weren't due to anything I was doing or was not doing. It was all based on his own inner issues. This helped me stop comparing myself to the OW. I could have been the best looking, most awesome wife in the world and it still wouldn't have prevented anything from happening.

2. It helped me to rebuild my faith in H. Seeing the truth of the strides he has made and is making to become a better man helps me not be so worried that he will fall again. He is now setting strong boundaries and is taking responsibility to shore up those weak spots in his his life. Whenever I start to remember the old H, I read my narrative and think, "This is how he is NOW."

The other thing MC had us do was strategize what to do/say when OW approaches us, which she has done several times and is is apt to continue to do since we live in a small community, she and H work in the same industry, and we all attend the same church. Basically, MC wants H to brush her off every time she approaches or just ignore her ... basically make her feel like a non-person. We both hope someday she will just walk past H and regard H as a stranger. MC says it's important that H not give her any kindness because she will misinterpret it. We role-played various situations and H now has a solid strategy for every contingency. Just hearing that he doesn't have to be "nice" to OW was a real eye-opener and relief to H.

The last thing that came out of our final session was more empathy. The other night, H was uploading our photos to an online storage site. Around DDay, he had asked me to update our family photos in the office. At the time, I struggled to do this because I just kept thinking, "If he's having an affair, I don't want to waste my time updating anything because I'm not sure I'm going to even stay in this marriage." There were almost 2 years of photos we went through between DDay and now. Several of them taken right around DDay were especially painful to look at back then and even months after, so I never went back to look at them ... and I certainly didn't want to print any out! When I told H the reason I never updated the photos like he wanted me to, he was really shocked that he had hurt me so much so that photos of us together during that time brought me pain. He told the MC about this, and said he kept thinking about it ... how in all the photos I had this smile on, but it was masking all the pain he had inflicted on me. He cried during our session. I'd have to say, EMPATHY is so huge in reconciliation. I don't think it's possible to truly reconcile until that happens.

So, that's it ... the final session. For those of you in the process of reconciling, I truly hope yours can be a success story and that your marriage will be better and stronger than ever!

posts: 212   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018
id 8277297
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Lionne ( Member #25560) posted at 4:57 AM on Sunday, November 18th, 2018

Not a whole story. Little but important things. We fight, not alot, but two retired folks in a house can be troublesome.

We fight, we are seriously pissed off, but we don't take it personally, if that makes sense. The anger is there, it's real, and then it's gone. Sometimes we have to talk it out, sometimes it's just finished. I don't hang on to resentment (much) because I express my feelings, no more passive,aggressive bs. He does the same, tells me why he's pissed and it's shortly over with. In the bad old days he'd have used the fight as an excuse to cheat.

Still a work in progress, have to work as a team to overcome our newest challenge.

Me-BS-65 in May<BR />HIM-SAFWH-68<BR />I just wanted a normal life.<BR />Normal trauma would have been appreciated.

posts: 8391   ·   registered: Sep. 18th, 2009   ·   location: In my head
id 8286116
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iamanidiot ( Member #47257) posted at 10:06 AM on Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

Just a short note to say I'm almost 4 years from DDay. I'm in a good space and I'm OK!!

I feel good!!

I haven't needed to bring up anything A related for a few months now. If anything, WS has opened the topic a few times. So right now, 30 years after the A's, it bothers her more than me.

I find that reading in the JFO forum is upsetting for me at this time, so I will try to avoid it for a while.

That said, my heart goes out to all those newbies struggling to find their way. Hang in there Guys, you will get great help here from the SI'ers.

At the end of the day - 'it is what it is'!

Wifey turned her life around and went on to become a great wife & mother.

I have found a way to accept and move on.

I have learned a lot about her, her A's etc - but more importantly I have learned some things about myself.

That I loved greatly and have a great capacity for love.

That contrary to what I thought before, if there was a D, I would survive.

That when I 'looked' the other way - it was my brain's protection mechanism taking over.

Although I was 'blind' to what was happening, I was blindsided by my spouse and her partners.

And no matter what happened, I was and still am A GREAT guy.

Me BS,57 Her WS,55
2 LTA & 2 ONS 30+years ago
D-day 27/12/14
At least I still have my sense of humor.
I need it.
Coming to grips with it all
3 Adult children
Still married

posts: 470   ·   registered: Mar. 20th, 2015   ·   location: South Africa
id 8297214
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Terrain ( Member #67607) posted at 8:46 PM on Sunday, December 16th, 2018

WH and I are in reconciliation and things are going very well. DDay was in early October and we’ve been going to IC and MC weekly since. We’ve been communicating, spending a lot of time with each other, going on dates and concentrating on us.

I’ve been thinking a lot the last few weeks about forgiveness and trust. Talked about it a lot in IC and MC the last 2 weeks too. Also talked with our pastor about it.

Today, I decided to tell WH that starting today I am giving him my trust and foregiveness. I believe I need to do this to continue to move forward, I needed to do this for me. I’ve made it crystal clear the last couple of months that if there is another DDay, I’m gone.

I feel great about our conversation today. I feel like I’m putting the past behind us and really moving forward. I don’t want to continue to dwell on the past. I want to move forward and continue to work on us. I’m certain I will still have sad days and triggers and he is very aware.

We renewed our vows early in our reconciliation and our wedding anniversary is coming up in January and we have decided that we will renew them every year on our anniversary as a way to celebrate.

I’m sure I’ll get unkind words, about this happening to quickly and that I’m rugsweeping. But this is right for me at this stage and I’m looking forward to the future with my husband.

posts: 87   ·   registered: Oct. 24th, 2018
id 8299546
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betrayalbrokeme ( Member #69254) posted at 7:18 PM on Saturday, January 5th, 2019

This thread has really helped me during rough moments so I thought I'd add to it in case I can help someone else...

H and I are still in the semi-early stages of R and I've seen the efforts every day which is reassuring, but this week, there was a particularly meaningful moment...

This week was the 9th anniversary of when I was sexually assaulted. This was extremely traumatizing when it happened and I was so messed up that I came close to killing myself. It took therapy and a lot of hard work and time to get to a better place, but I had managed to do it and for years, I haven't even thought about it. But my H's ONS reopened a lot of old wounds and this was one of them. So when I woke up the other morning remembering every detail, it was as if all of the years of hard work hadn't happened. I was scared and triggered and suffering. He sat down next to me and held my hand and I told him that it was the anniversary. He looked me in the eyes and said 'I'm sorry that happened to you. Do you want to talk about it?' I shrugged, not really knowing what I would say. And so he continued

"You didn't deserve that. You didn't deserve what I did either or what your dad did when you were a kid. You've had so much pain in your life and you didn't deserve any of it. I promise that I will do everything in my power to make sure that no one ever hurts you again- myself included. You deserve to feel safe and loved and I promise I'm going to make sure that happens. Because I am so in love with you. You are so much more than the things that have happened to you and I swear to you that you're going to be happy again."

And then he pulled me into a tight hug and kissed my forehead and held me until I felt better. And for a while, I was actually okay. I was able to remember how happy I had been for the last few years and I was reminded that I had successfully clawed my way to healing from this before and that I will be able to do it again. I can already feel myself coming to terms with that can of worms and putting it behind me again so that I can focus on healing from this current pain.

I am not what happened to me. I am so much stronger. I am going to be okay.

Healing isn't pretty, but I know the other side will be beautiful.

posts: 131   ·   registered: Dec. 28th, 2018
id 8309398
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betrayalbrokeme ( Member #69254) posted at 7:24 PM on Saturday, January 5th, 2019

also, Terrain, I just read your post and I'm happy for you.

I’m sure I’ll get unkind words, about this happening to quickly and that I’m rugsweeping. But this is right for me at this stage and I’m looking forward to the future with my husband.

My H and I also renewed our vows (and added new ones!) on our wedding anniversary a few weeks ago which is also pretty early in... It was very meaningful for me and I think it was a huge step forward in our R and taking back my claim on a date that had been important to me, as was me deciding to move towards forgiveness like you. As you said, this was right for you- only you can know what is right for you.

I hope it continues to go well for you (and for me too!)

[This message edited by betrayalbrokeme at 1:29 PM, January 5th (Saturday)]

Healing isn't pretty, but I know the other side will be beautiful.

posts: 131   ·   registered: Dec. 28th, 2018
id 8309403
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neecee ( Member #43523) posted at 6:18 AM on Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Many SI members asked me to post this in here to encourage those struggling, so here it is! Don’t lose hope!

Today is 4 years from Dday. Oh how things have changed! This time four years ago, a part of me died. I remember it like it was yesterday. I’ve been thinking about the events leading up to Dday over the past few days as though it were yesterday. I remember that it was a Thursday and I was almost finished at work when my best friend called me to tell me that some guy had sent her a message on facebook asking if she could give me a message to call him. So I went onto my facebook page and saw that he had sent me a message to please contact him about an issue with my husband that concerns me. I didn’t even know who this guy was, so I immediately became nervous and go into panic mode. Not wasting a moment I step out of my office and walked over to my car with my cellphone in hand as I approach my car I distinctly remember thinking to myself as I reached for the handle on the car door “this is the moment my life may change forever ” I opened the car, sat inside and dialed this strangers number, I could literally hear my heart beating so loud in my head that I could barely hear the phone ringing as I held it to my ear. The phone rang a few times and then he answered it, I said “Hi this is Neecee, you wanted me to call you” he says to me “ hold on, I’m at work and I need to go somewhere private to talk” OMG!!!! Now my heart was pounding out of my chest at this point. After what seemed like an eternity he says “ok I can talk now” so I say “who are you” to which he replies “I’m the guy who’s wife is having an affair with your husband”

MINDBLOWN!....... the best way I can describe my immediate thoughts would be a Hiroshima type explosion!

I do my best to keep my composure as I’m continuing our conversation. He goes on to tell me all the details that he knew about the affair. We talk for about 20 minutes and the we agreed that i would call him back after I got out of work and we would talk some more and come up with some kind of plan to catch them. I hang up in complete shock, get out of my car and walked back into my office dazed and confused. I worked in a dentist office and had to somehow put on an act for the next two hours like everything was fine because my mother was bringing my granmother in for an emergency appointment. I had to work on her and carry on like nothing was wrong. This was truly the most agonizing two hours of my life. So I finally left work and called him back. We came up with a plan, I went home and within an hour I got my husband to confess. He confirmed my worst fears, that my world was in fact, destroyed.

Well you know the rest of the story....... shock...... anger...... rage...... pain....... heartache....... tears.......separation........dispair...... reconciliation........hysterical bonding.......triggers......... grief.......more saddness.

And then........finally ........HAPPINESS!!!!

I didn’t think it was possible, but I’m here to tell you that IT IS 100% POSSIBLE!!!I certainly didn’t believe it 4 years ago when I was sitting in the bathroom in the dark. Alone. Wailing! I couldn’t imagine that I would ever be truly happy again, with the man who shattered my world in an instant. Life as I knew it was over. After all, our love was different, right?! he loved me and adored me, right?! he would NEVER cheat on ME, right?! I mean we’ve been together since we were teenagers, we have a family, children, a life!!! What is happening??? I never believed he would do this to me, to US!!! So how in the world would I EVER be happy again?! HOW????

Well......It ain’t easy.

In fact it’s a total mindfucking shitshow. And boy oh boy what a shitshow it was, for quite a while. But somewhere along the way, slowly but surely, things would change. I would change, HE would change, WE would change. We both put in the time and effort to rebuild our life together, we both wanted a future together not apart. There were times when I just wanted to throw in the towel, but I hung in there. Today I feel like I’ve been through my own private war. How else would one discribe being mentally attacked and brutalized in such a way by the person who is supposed to be your protector.

But thank God I’ve come out victorious!!!

Through my own efforts (and of course with my Husbands support) I made it through this shitstorm and this is what I’ve learned along the way!!

1. A remorseful WW is KEY!!!!

I can’t stress this ebough. If my husband wasn’t as completely devastated by his own actions as I was, then reconciliation wouldn’t even have been a consideration, in fact I’m certain it would be absolutely impossible. It takes a little while for the WW to truly “get it” and understand the complete and utter emotional heartbreak they’ve caused. My husband has to live with that guilt for the rest of his life knowing that he hurt beyond words, the one person he loves the most in this world. I for one would not want to be in his shoes for a moment. He is now completely dedicated to being the best possible husband and father. This is what makes the difference. That being said......

2. Forgiveness.......I’ve learned that you don’t have to forgive if you don’t want too. I love and adore my husband, and we are in a good place, but I don’t forgive him for bringing hell on earth into our lives. I don’t know if I ever will. I don’t hold it against him any longer, but I definitely don’t forgive him. I just can’t, maybe someday I will. But not right now. I believe you can move on from a bad situation and heal without saying “I forgive you” and thats Ok with me!!!

3. Happiness is a CHOICE!!!!

Yes it is!!!! I without a doubt chose, chose, chose after a year of complete and utter despair that I no longer wanted to dwell in the dark places of my mind. I made a literal, conscious decision to CHOOSE not to be miserable. When those soul crushing, heart breaking thoughts would enter my mind, I would stop myself in my tracks and declare, literally out loud “No!!! I will not go there!” And I would redirect my thoughts. I choose to keep my sanity. Because let’s face it, after a year of grieving for what I had lost, I was tired, T-I-R-E-D TIRED of feeling that sorrow, I. Was. Done!!!! And I’m so happy I came to that conclusion, because it was life changing. I HAD CHOSEN HAPPINESS!!!!

4. I’m a badass!!!

Seriously, I Need to give myself props! Anyone who can live through infidelity in their marriage and work to stay together is not someone to mess with!! This whole experience has made me less tolerant of peoples bullshit. I won’t think twice about telling someone how I feel if they are being an asshole. I don’t know why it is, something about me just has no patience anymore for bullshit. I say it like it is. And ya know what, I like that about me! Mean nasty people can suck it! Cuz I’ve been through enough and I don’t have time for that shit in my life!!!

5. It’s ok to feel shitty every now and then!!!

Sometimes my emotions will catch me off guard and something will trigger me. Of course this happens. I imagine it always will, so once in a while I’ll have myself a good cry, and then I move on, I’m careful not to stay in that mindset because who the hell has time to be feeling all sad and shitty???? Not this girl...... choosing happiness remember!!!

6. I used to think that it would be less painful if my husband had died then if he cheated on me, because betrayal is an intentional act whereas death is random. But I know now that althought the pain of betrayal is something so profound when it’s inflicted on you by the very one that you love, it is far less painful then death. I have the opportunity to continue this journey with the one I started it with. I can see now that I am out from under the dark cloud of infidelity that there is hope and happiness after the storm. Where there is life, there is hope. SO GRATEFUL FOR THAT!!!!

7. Stop worrying if you’re rugsweeping!

I had asked my therapist about 8 months arter the affair if I was rugsweeping on a certain issue and if I should be focusing more on it. She said to me “that’s a bunch of bullshit” If I had dealt with the issue, discussed it and felt the effects, then what would be the purpose of me continuing to dredge up and keep rehashing these issues? If I wanted to and was ready to move forward then I should!!! Thats how it works, you move forward, not backwards. That made me feel good!!! I wanted to move forward. I was ready to let the healing begin.

And finally, my most favorite thing I have learned through this crazy ordeal is that....

8. LOVE PREVAILS!!!

I have a girlfriend who’s husband had an emotional affair. He was texting back and forth with his ex wife and she found out. They were working through it and then she found out that he was still texting (sexting) with his ex wife and so she decide she wanted out. So they divorced. I speak to him every now and then, he tells me how much he misses her and how sad he is now a single man in his 50’s who made a mistake and lost it all. I feel bad for him, as a friend and as a human being, I feel bad for the mess he’s made of his life. I see him outside his house working in his yard, alone, and I think to myself, how is it that she divorced him for an emotional affair, and I stayed with my husband after a physical affair, that lasted an entire year??? I would say to myself “ whats wrong with me???? Why did I stay???” I felt leaving would be easier and staying was definitely the harder choice, for me. Why wouldn’t I just leave???? And then I think long and hard about it and I realize LOVE PREVAILS!!!!

It’s just that simple. I love this man so much that I cannot live without him. He is the love of my life and I just cannot see it any other way. Some stay. Some go. To each his own. But I am committed for life, willing to endure all the bullshit. For better or worse.

So here I am 4 years further away from the worst day of my life. And I’m happy. Really truly happy. Again. WE are happy. It is possible. There is life after infidelity. It takes a lot of work. Oceans of tears. But it’s possible. Life returns. There is hope and happiness after the storm. I’m glad that I chose to continue this journey and see where this life will take us. Our lovestory is still an amazing one. There are chapters I would prefer to leave out, but this is our story, whether I like it or not. This is definitely not an easy road to travel, but I think it’s worth it. I’m proud to say that our marriage has endured and we have not lost everything because of infidelity, but we have stayed strong in spite of it!! That’s pretty hardcore if you ask me. I give much respect to those who are enduring and choose to reconcile. Leaving is an option, but staying is a true testament to your love and commitment. Undoubtedly a challenge. So hang in there my fellow BS and WS there is hope, there is a light at the end of the tunnel because there is love and......LOVE PREVAILS!! ❤️

[This message edited by neecee at 12:34 AM, January 16th (Wednesday)]

There is happiness after infidelity
me 49
WH 51
married 22 years
together 31 years
3 children 21, 19, 11
D-Day 5/8/2014

posts: 335   ·   registered: May. 24th, 2014   ·   location: I'm pretty sure I'm in hell!
id 8314573
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neecee ( Member #43523) posted at 6:22 AM on Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Dup post

[This message edited by neecee at 12:24 AM, January 16th (Wednesday)]

There is happiness after infidelity
me 49
WH 51
married 22 years
together 31 years
3 children 21, 19, 11
D-Day 5/8/2014

posts: 335   ·   registered: May. 24th, 2014   ·   location: I'm pretty sure I'm in hell!
id 8314575
default

betrayalbrokeme ( Member #69254) posted at 1:41 PM on Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

neecee,

I just wanted to say thank you for your post.

I am so happy for you to have reached this point!

If I had dealt with the issue, discussed it and felt the effects, then what would be the purpose of me continuing to dredge up and keep rehashing these issues? If I wanted to and was ready to move forward then I should!!!

This was a really great thing for me to read, as I had the same fear that moving forward would be rug sweeping, even though we have discussed the issues and I've seen him make the changes and become a better man. Thank you- you gave me a nice fresh dose of hope this morning!

Healing isn't pretty, but I know the other side will be beautiful.

posts: 131   ·   registered: Dec. 28th, 2018
id 8314647
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sunwillshine ( Member #47200) posted at 6:53 PM on Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

My h is a musician and a song writer. Years ago he wrote a song about one of the ow. The song was actually a pretty good song. Although, it had the dark undertone of infedelity. I had long suspected that he had written it for her. After disclosure, he did admit that he had. I asked him if he told her that it was for her. Yes, he had but she didn't seem to care. I was furious! Weird, I know. I was mad at her for not appreciating the song. I would have been absolutely trilled about any song he had written for me.

At that time, he did write a song for me and our girls. Our daughter picked it for the father daughter dance at her wedding.

Back to the point, I asked fwh to fix the song he had written for the ow because the song deserved a rewrite. I asked him to take it off reverb nation and but a new version of the song up.

It took him a long time to do it. However, he rewrote the song, making it for and about me! It turned out great! Way better than the original version. The lyrics now match the music. The song will be posted tomorrow for Valentine's day. I'm so excited about it. I hope someone famous, who is looking for a great song, finds it and makes it famous!

D-day 2/12/15
5 DD (3 his, 2 mine) all grown
married 9/97 together 8/94.
Moved back in 5/30/16 working on R

posts: 1136   ·   registered: Mar. 17th, 2015
id 8329011
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maise ( Member #69516) posted at 6:32 AM on Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

((Neecee))

Thank u for your post! I come here sometimes to read inspirational reconciliation stories (few times I think of heading the other way to see the D stories also but haven’t actually settled there)

Forgiveness.......I’ve learned that you don’t have to forgive if you don’t want too. I love and adore my husband, and we are in a good place, but I don’t forgive him for bringing hell on earth into our lives. I don’t know if I ever will. I don’t hold it against him any longer, but I definitely don’t forgive him. I just can’t, maybe someday I will. But not right now. I believe you can move on from a bad situation and heal without saying “I forgive you” and thats Ok with me!!!

I read something once regarding forgiveness in infidelity that I really liked and thought I’d share...

“You don’t have to forgive the affair. Can you forgive the person?”

I believe this is me. This resonates with me because of how I think of it...

“I could never forgive that!” Is something I find myself saying. Followed by “I could never understand those actions because I could never DO THEM!!! I’d think of you and refuse to hurt you this way!”

But I’m not forgiving the actions. I’m not forgiving the betrayal. I’m not forgiving the horrible affairs.

I’m forgiving my spouse for hurting me. I’m forgiving my wife as this flawed person, for causing me pain in her brokenness.

Can I do this?

I believe I can. I believe I can forgive her. Not the affair, but her as a person.

I see her pain. I see her brokenness.

I will never see myself forgiving her actions. But I can forgive her brokenness.

[This message edited by maise at 12:34 AM, February 20th (Wednesday)]

BW (SSM)
D-Day: 6/9/2018
Status: IHS

posts: 856   ·   registered: Jan. 22nd, 2019   ·   location: Houston
id 8332323
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betrayalbrokeme ( Member #69254) posted at 1:21 PM on Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

maise

your post... Wow. Thank you for sharing that. It's a way of looking at it that I haven't heard before and it really resonated with me.

I thought that I had successfully forgiven my husband for what he did but from time to time, I had some unresolved feelings about it that left me confused and uncomfortable with that forgiveness, because even though logically I knew that forgiving didn't mean condoning, it still kind of felt like it sometimes. And so during those times I'd start backsliding in my healing and start internally freaking out. I think looking at it your way will definitely help me in regards to handling those feelings!

Thank you.

Healing isn't pretty, but I know the other side will be beautiful.

posts: 131   ·   registered: Dec. 28th, 2018
id 8332384
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Want2BHappyAgain ( Member #45088) posted at 2:37 PM on Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

I originally wrote this post in a thread titled "I'm so in love with him!!!"...

It is now the day before Valentine's Day...and I am thinking of the romantic night I have planned . My H is not feeling well right now though...so it may not come to fruition on that day. But that's alright...because NOW...every day is like Valentine's Day .

It used to be so different...before DDay. I would get the obligatory red roses...a card...and hershey kisses...which are my favorite . All on Valentine's Day...then things would go back to "normal". We were HAPPY...but not nearly as HAPPY as NOW!!!

It is weird as I look back...I was so willing to accept what I got...because I didn't want to force my H into doing something he didn't want to do. I still feel that way today. Only...he LOVES doing things for ME now. That's a pretty cool feeling .

I don't NEED my H to do anything for me...I never have. I used to feel pretty good about being a stay-at-home wife who could do anything I wanted to do. I still do . My house...dinner...etc...is my JOB...and I LOVE it!! But it is really NICE when my H helps me fix dinner...and we are talking and laughing while doing it . The other day I wasn't feeling well...and my H actually cleaned our bathroom !!! He did a pretty darned good job of it too !!!

He includes me in HIS things too...which is pretty cool . My H is a very smart man. We ALL know that though...because he married ME . I used to feel like I would be intruding on him by going into his home office. NOW...he asks for me to come and see his latest creation!!! He LOVES including me in his world now...just like I do for him in mine. WHY didn't we see how WONDERFUL this kind of interaction would be BEFORE???!!!

There are still arguments...still tears...and I am sure there always will be. But we BOTH try to see the other's side of the argument...and we truly fight FAIR now. No more manipulation...or blameshifting from either of us. We RESPECT each other...even if we don't always agree with each other .

I LOVE his smell...his smile...the cute way he walks...and his fingers!!! I watch him while he sleeps...and SMILE . No more disgust...no more wondering if the adultery co-conspirator looked at him this way...NOTHING but LOVE as I watch him sleeping so peacefully .

Life on the other side of infidelity is GOOD my friends...better than I ever HOPED it could be . When BOTH spouses are ALL IN for R...there is NOTHING that can't be accomplished!!! I LOVE US!!!

To those who may be experiencing a traumatic Valentine's Day...please know that this day will pass. Life is what YOU make it...so make it the BEST it can be. You only have ONE life dear friend...so ENJOY it while you can .

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: 5567   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8332425
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maise ( Member #69516) posted at 11:01 PM on Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

((BetrayalBrokeMe))

This brings me so much joy!! I’m so happy that my words could offer some help to someone else going through this very painful experience. ((Virtual hugs!))

BW (SSM)
D-Day: 6/9/2018
Status: IHS

posts: 856   ·   registered: Jan. 22nd, 2019   ·   location: Houston
id 8332754
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