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Reconciliation :
Positive Reconciliation Stories

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psychmom ( Member #47498) posted at 12:50 AM on Friday, March 15th, 2019

March 14, 2019. Four and 1/2 years since DDay1, the day the bottom dropped out of my world as I'd known it. Subsequent DDays for me were when I discovered prior betrayals. He went No Contact shortly (a week or so?) after DDay1, and has made it his mission to prove himself to be better than the man he showed himself to be at that time.

It's been a tough month or so. My doubts creep in, I question Mr Psych's ability to empathize in the way I believe I need to see. There's a bit yet to be worked out in this area. But in other ways, you got to give the guy points for effort. He takes all of my verbal punches and absorbs them; sure, he gets angry at times and we battle. But more often he is the one to soften first, to remind me that he made a promise and a choice 4.5 years ago that he is not going back on. No matter how hard I make it for him.

Today I had minor surgery. Nothing too serious, but they put me under. The sent me home on crutches and with pain meds. I'll be okay and back on both feet before too long.

Mr Psych was an ace. He took off work to take me to the appointment, went and got groceries while I underwent the procedure, was back in my room when I awakened. He had brought me flowers. He bought me ice cream and berries. He was PROUD to be taking care of HIS wife. (or so he told me )

I come on here at times, roughly every 6-8 weeks it seems, to rant that I don't think he's giving me all I want from him. What I seem to want is for him to live inside my head. To be with me when I have an off thought, when my mind wanders to what he did, with whom he did it. I expect him to know how it makes me feel, and to express that directly to me. We're figuring this part out!

But what I do have, what he does give me, is love. It's pretty simple. He isn't great at everything, like naming my emotions, knowing how to express himself to me in a way that should ease my mind and smooth over any triggery thoughts I'm having. But he is great at many other things. And among them are reminding me through words and actions that he is committed, that he knows how badly he ruined things, how strongly he wants to have me healed so we can both enjoy this new life we're creating together out of the ashes of the old one.

Our marriage before DDay1 was a horror show most days. We were the couple who lived separate lives, didn't support one another in the ways couples should. But we're doing things differently now, and we do live a shared life now, we do support one another, we express our feelings better than ever before, we talk about difficult topics like his affair and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, scared, open.

I have to remind myself about what I've often said -- it's not perfection I'm asking from him. Yet at times it seems like that's just what I'm expecting of him. And I know that's not fair. I know it when I see the pain in his eyes. When I see him struggle to find the right words. Words that won't make me snap at him that he's terrible at finding the right words. I'm thankful he tells me now that how I react hurts him. But not enough to send him away. But enough to tell me so we can add it to our list of things we are working on.

5 years ago, before my DDay1, I never thought I'd give someone who did what my H did a chance to ever hurt me again. And had he continued to cheat and lie, I don't believe I would have. But I gave him a chance and while it took a full year or so of clumsy efforts, he finally started to gain back my trust in him. Clumsy efforts is key -- he was trying, he wanted to find the words but didn't always know what they were, tying to be truthful but afraid the full truth would send me away from him. I get it. But I didn't like it.

Today, this far out, our R is where it is likely should be. This is Us. Imperfect. Angry at times, disappointed in our imperfection. But at the end of the day I have a remorseful H willing to do what is needed to mend what he broke. He fed me melted chocolate "Chocolate Therapy" Ben & Jerry's ice cream when we got home today. He acknowledged a key restaurant associated with OW3 when we drove past it today. He held me tight and thanked me for allowing him to be a part of today, a part of my life. Today I feel in love again with him. I always love him. But some days my anger over the past forces up my defensive shields. But because I believe he is worthy of this chance, I work to learn more about myself and what I need to keep R moving forward. It truly has been worth it. I sincerely am content with my decision to R, and happy with the relationship Mr Psych and I continue to work on and build.

Newbies may be wondering if real R is possible. Yes it is! It may look different for each couple, and only you will know when you have it. The pain is real. And can last a long time. But it gets better. It gets easier. And one day you will be able to laugh at some of the things that went wrong during the growing pain days of R (unrelated to any new betrayals of course). And I think that is a very good thing.

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

posts: 4246   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2015   ·   location: A state of unrest
id 8344708
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GodWillRestore ( Member #59424) posted at 4:41 AM on Friday, March 15th, 2019

Thank you for posting. Always nice to read the positives.

Congratulations on the progress!

posts: 135   ·   registered: Jun. 29th, 2017
id 8344812
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betrayalbrokeme ( Member #69254) posted at 2:42 PM on Friday, March 15th, 2019

psychmom what a great post- thanks for sharing. I'm happy for you and I hope the good keeps coming/progressing.

it's not perfection I'm asking from him. Yet at times it seems like that's just what I'm expecting of him.

I think this is where I struggle too- glad to know I'm not alone.

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

posts: 131   ·   registered: Dec. 28th, 2018
id 8344980
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Teresa1970 ( Member #56210) posted at 11:55 PM on Thursday, March 21st, 2019

PM

Fab post!!

I’ve always loved reading your words of wisdom.

All the very best,

T xx

Me (BW) 46
Him (WH)56
Together (common-law) for almost 10 years
DDay EA 27/10/16
DDay PA finally confessed on 02/12/16

We are R, it is far from an easy ride. I do try and remind myself he isn't a bad man - he just did some bad things.....

posts: 241   ·   registered: Nov. 30th, 2016   ·   location: Horley
id 8348632
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psychmom ( Member #47498) posted at 12:21 AM on Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Thank you for your kind words, GodWillRestore, betrayalbrokeme, and Teresa1970. I hope to see your latest positive reconciliation stories in the near future!

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

posts: 4246   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2015   ·   location: A state of unrest
id 8348642
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W3IRZ ( Member #48882) posted at 1:14 PM on Sunday, April 21st, 2019

This is brief but wonderful- last night we feel asleep facing each other holding both hands together. We are nearly 4 years out - our bond is stronger than ever.

BS - me 42 on DD
FWH - him 44 on DD
Married 21 years on DD
DDAY- 6/30/2015
8/29/2016 update - Reconcilled and completely happy

posts: 1534   ·   registered: Aug. 8th, 2015
id 8366189
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Oldwounds ( Member #54486) posted at 5:26 PM on Monday, June 3rd, 2019

I apologize in advance for those readers who aren’t fans of salty language. Six years in the USMC helped me get good at it – just know that those darned swear words are more about my comfort zone as well as some emphasis as needed.

Anyway, I borrowed the word restoration from another thread here in the forum. And as someone who spent some years as a journalist, word choices are always important. The root of the word, of course, is restore and the element of the definition that jumped out at me was; to return something or someone to an earlier condition or position, or to bring something back into existence.

In this case, we’ve brought our marriage back into existence.

Of course, we’re forever changed, as with any traumatic turn, but we’ve come a long way over these last three very long years.

I think I usually start with an overview of the whole story, but I’ll leave the past where it belongs today. Besides, everyone here is well versed with the depths of Hell that comes with the tragedy of betrayal.

These yearly updates do allow me one more chance to thank this fantastic community of fellow wounded souls. SI has been a massive source of support and information for me along the way. I'm grateful for everyone here who has been brave enough to share their story. The combined life experience here generates a truck ton of kindness and empathy.

Speaking of SI wisdom, among those first lessons echoed throughout our community here is self-care. I absolutely agree it is crucial to rebuild individual esteem and to know our worth before considering any kind of relationship. This includes whether or not to stay married to the person who hurt us.

I guess knowing my value has always been the easiest step. I survived a step-father who beat me like a drum for several years, starting when I was 8-years old, so adversity has been in my life a long time. Bouncing back is kind of my jam.

That said, infidelity is one uniquely horrifying jam.

In the early days after my wife confessed, it felt like a grenade went off deep inside my chest.

Three million pieces of duct tape later, my heart is finally able to fill back up again.

After piles of focus on myself, I also believe at some point, the focus needs to shift to create the relationship we want to be in.

Offering grace to the person who hurt you far worse than you thought possible is not easy. Grace can be so much easier said than done. The primal instincts are to run and/or build an emotional wall so high no one can ever get in. However, if that same person who hurt me is truly grateful for the last chance to be together and make a life worth sharing, some amazing things are possible.

I’ll always hate what happened. I imagine there are far healthier, wiser methods to forge a stronger marriage. The reality is we can’t change what happened, but we can choose how we react to what happened. I don’t really see a silver lining to any kind of infidelity as it burns any relationship back down to ground. It really is a rebuild from the foundation up.

I also understand why people walk away from this horror show. I know why people divorce five seconds after learning the truth. I also get how people can be stuck in limbo, so numb that moving in any direction appears impossible. Staying married is a tough path too. Not every WS is capable of change or deserving of a last opportunity to make it work.

In my case, my wife has left me very little room to doubt her efforts. I don’t know what it means when people utilize the term ‘model wayward’ in the forum. I only know of my wife’s relentless effort every moment of every day since her confession.

I also don’t know what the odds are for marriage after infidelity. Based on the thousands of messages I’ve read, it seems like a healthy recovery is a rare occurrence. I have been reminded a number of times how the odds are against me.

Here’s the thing.

Fuck the odds.

And this isn't to be flip or coy -- it was the attitude I had to have, the literal leap of faith required to push through this horror show. I had to not care what the outcome of my marriage was to reach the other side.

It sounds weird in a way to say out loud, but the truth is, only I can live my life.

I’m not going to be a person who lives in fear of something that may or may not happen again. If it does, I’ll fly and be free, and I'll be satisfied that I gave this relationship every possible chance to make it.

Infidelity in and of itself is indefensible. So, I find no great defense for sticking around either. You either believe some people capable of change and a shot at redemption or you don’t.

It helped our chances that my wife owned it all. The very first person she betrayed was herself and her own values. She’s never used that line by the way, it’s just how I see it based on her actions throughout the rest of our lives. If we are the sum of all of our choices -- as bad as infidelity is -- she’s doing enough to overshadow those darkest days.

FWIW, there are no bonus points for owning shitty choices, it’s just a necessary starting point.

So here we are with the succeeding in life in spite of infidelity -- which sounds a bit like a platitude in the realm of surviving infidelity.

In our case it’s more of a truism.

Of course, real life can’t sustain off of bumper sticker phrases alone.

This is why I really like what we’ve rebuilt so far. I find that I’m not only more honest with my wife about what I want and need, I’m more honest with the rest of the planet too. My bullshit acceptance meter is permanently busted, so my tolerance for any amount bullshit from anyone is all done.

Our marriage prior to discovery had fallen into a routine of bad compromises as part of a hollow, transactional marriage that wasn’t good for either of us. The masks we had to wear just to get by are long gone. I also don’t fake niceties for society in general any more, I’m completely unfiltered.

I’m all me, all the fucking time.

It’s strangely liberating.

Not quite a silver lining out of all this, but close.

Our marriage now is so much more authentic than I thought possible. Communication is on a level we never had, and far better than during those original puppy love days of our youth. Physical intimacy experienced some highs and some terrible lows. On the upside, just last week we joked about graduating sex school. As in, after decades of practice, we’ve figured out how to really have fun with each other. We’re very much looking forward to our post-graduate work in that department in very near future.

The little things matter as much or more than the fun stuff. We are kind to each other. Holding hands is automatic everywhere we go. I suppose we’re now able to be the people we need to be for each other, instead of intending to be.

I could lament about the lost time. It doesn’t do me any good. I could have easily stayed stuck in the loop I was in the first two years of recovery. Sometimes misery is better than feeling nothing. That aside, life is way, way too fucking short to stay miserable one more second than necessary. Of course, ditching misery is another one of those easier said than done deals.

Loving someone who stomped your guts out is not something for everyone, that's for damn sure. But l do love her and she loves me back, and there may be more love now than ever before. It takes lots of love to rebuild from a tragedy that didn't need to happen.

We’ve brought our marriage back into existence. Quite simply, we’re two flawed and fearless souls who didn’t give up on the other. I assume our continued restoration is going to be a lifelong project, but at least happiness is back on the menu again.

ETA: If you made it this far, be sure to read all of the stories in this section if you're looking for marriages that are able to recover and rebuild. R is clearly an endeavor that takes BOTH partners to truly want it to work.

Married 34+ years, together 40+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived
Restoration takes time.
"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself." ― Epictetus

posts: 4175   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8387307
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psychmom ( Member #47498) posted at 9:44 PM on Saturday, June 15th, 2019

I can give a brief update of where we are, coming up on year 5 post DDay. At this time 5 years ago, his A with OW2 was just heating up. It was a dreadful summer looking back, particularly now that I know what was happening. Our 25th wedding anniversary will be next month, and it so happens he and OW2 fucked for the first time several days after our 20th that summer. Still have that association, but the pain that used to come with it has faded to near nothing. More like an annoyance "oh, THAT!"

So today? Mr Psych wants to buy us new rings in celebration/honor of our 25th. A few years ago he told me if we made it, if I held on and allowed him to keep proving himself to me, he wanted to buy rings and renew our vows, or at least his vow to me. Here we are. We looked at rings yesterday then went for dinner and a free live outdoor concert in the city near us. I told him I thought the rings were too expensive, and he immediately stopped me and said he wants me to know that he is committed; that he's willing to pay that much to show how important this is to him, how committed he is. So I expect within the next few weeks we'll buy the rings (which are unique and something I've never done before. all my jewelry is inexpensive but usually represents something special to me).

It's not about the rings. My H holds my hand when we're out in public. He kisses my cheek, he is attentive and kind. Today we were cleaning the garage and he put on music. A Chris Stapelton song came on that we had listened to a few years ago while doing some inside painting. He cried back then, and today, he cried again. He held me and told me again how sorry he is to have brought this into my life, to have ever thought he could be anywhere else. He also thanked me for sticking around and giving him this chance. He knows he didn't deserve it, that I didn't "have" to do it. He knows, too, I did it because I love him, and he needed to earn back my trust and belief in him.

Our 20th wedding anniversary sucked. Our 25th wedding anniversary will be much better! Our daughters know about the rings, but I assured them that any renewal vows will just be between dad and I, which seemed to be a relief to them. We also just returned from a very special trip that included both daughters and my son-in-law. The 5 of us exploring a new country over a 9 day period. Again, something we'd always talked of doing when the girls were younger, but we never got around to it. So part of our R has been to be more mindful of the things that matter. To not put off things that are important to us.

Some days I feel sad for all that happened to get us here, but truth be told, I don't know what would have happened to us had I not discovered his A. Blowing up the M and our relationship was something that needed to happen in our situation. I know it's a topic for debate, but as much as I hate what he did, I am thankful that we are where we are today. And that is my positive reconciliation story.

[This message edited by psychmom at 3:45 PM, June 15th (Saturday)]

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

posts: 4246   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2015   ·   location: A state of unrest
id 8393336
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dragonflies ( Member #44188) posted at 12:00 AM on Sunday, June 16th, 2019

❤️

Me - BW 40ish/Him - FwH 40ish/4 young kids / Dday - confession out of the blue April 2014.

posts: 688   ·   registered: Jul. 21st, 2014
id 8393373
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HFSSC ( Member #33338) posted at 5:44 PM on Monday, June 17th, 2019

It's funny.. This post has been brewing for a while, and today is the perfect day to post it. Reading W2BHA's chastisement/encouragement down there was the push I needed.

8 years ago, JM was clearing out his apartment and preparing to move back home after our 6 month S. We had an "amnesty" conversation, where I told him nothing he could tell me would make me change my mind about R, but I needed all of the truth to be able to heal. Well, most of you know how THAT turned out. 2 months later it all blew up again. The truth was a thousand times worse than anything he'd told me. It was awful. But as most of us here know, it was the lies. The TT. The "I was trying to spare you" bullshit. That's what destroyed me.

He threatened suicide, got committed to a psych hospital for a week, and I refused to allow him back in the house. I packed his stuff up and put it in the garage for him to get. I was SO done. But God wasn't. JM finally reached his bottom and became willing to do anything and everything to become a decent human being. We ultimately reconciled for real, had an AWESOME MC, support from our families and church. One of the best parts for us is that we've been able to use our story to reach a lot of people and to help a few couples more intimately. We filmed a video for a Christian radio station that was played quite a bit, and received a lot of feedback about that. We had the opportunity to share our story at several marriage conferences/retreats.

But why today? What's special about today?

One year ago, he was in Nicaragua, essentially alone, as the country was deteriorating into civil war overnight. We spent Father's Day last year apart. He was in a literal life or death struggle to make it to the airport in Managua as I was home praying for his safety. I did not know if he was going to make it home. I spent a good bit of the week he was gone facing the horrific possibility that not only might he die there, but I'd likely never even see his body if he did. Some nights I felt like I couldn't even breathe, because the weight of it was overwhelming.

"Well damn, HF? None of that sounds positive!" you might be saying. And I don't blame you.

But stay with me. I read threads periodically here wondering if you ever can feel the same love you felt before. If R is truly possible. Can you really be "in love" with your WS again?

Yes. Yes you can. You can fall so deeply in love with your FWS that the thought of losing them brings you to your knees and takes all the breath out of you. You can trust your FWS enough to go thousands of miles away, or around the corner. And just so you don't think, "Well, you don't know how bad my betrayal was." Know that he betrayed me multiple times. Each one was worse than the previous ones. He was a serial liar and cheater who willingly allowed himself to be completely broken and rebuilt in God's image. And that was the difference for us.

I'm not saying everyone will R. I know there are M's that are not salvageable because the WS is not remorseful, is unwilling or unable to do the work to fix what they blew up.

But I am so grateful that I took that last chance on him in 2012. I am grateful that he made it out of Nicaragua safely last year. And I want to give one shout-out here. I have become friends IRL and on FB with some people here. And in the past 8 years, I have been the recipient of amazing acts of kindness. And on this night last year, when I was trying to get JM home and flights were outrageous at the last minute from Atlanta to our home airport, an SI member was willing to pay a ridiculous amount for airfare to help us. It turned out that all of the flights were booked and I had to drive 4 hours one way to the airport but just the fact that she made the offer and was so completely willing to do that... still humbles and amazes me.

We are in this club that nobody ever wanted to join. I am not one of those people who will ever say I'm glad this happened to us. I wish we could have found some other way to get where we are now. But I am and will forever be grateful for SI and the wonderful people I have met here. Without y'all, we may have reconciled but I don't think we'd be nearly as happy or healed.

Me, 54
Him, 45 (JMSSC)
Married 24 years. Reconciled.

posts: 4595   ·   registered: Sep. 12th, 2011   ·   location: South Carolina
id 8394038
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psychmom ( Member #47498) posted at 6:51 PM on Monday, June 17th, 2019

Good stuff, HFSSC! And this:

I am not one of those people who will ever say I'm glad this happened to us. I wish we could have found some other way to get where we are now.

I'm not glad about this either, and my H and I have talked about this numerous times; yes, wish we'd gotten here some other way. But it is what it is. It's done, over, we've somehow made it to the other side. As have you! Thanks for posting and giving hope to others out there who are just starting along this path, who can't believe it's possible to make it to the other side of R.

[This message edited by psychmom at 12:52 PM, June 17th (Monday)]

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

posts: 4246   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2015   ·   location: A state of unrest
id 8394060
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PeaceLily210 ( Member #48607) posted at 9:27 PM on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

In response to W2BHA's post - I'm sharing my most recent positive update from the R forum.

Here y'all go.

Gunnut and W2BHA have both inspired me today to post something positive that I've noticed happening.

My WH has been making a lot of personal changes, all on his own. They are positive changes and they are beginning to have a positive influence on our R.

He was having a really bad evening on Friday night and was going through some personal stuff. He didn't feel he was coping with it in a healthy way, (having a few drinks specifically to numb himself) and he brought it up... he initiated a conversation about why he was unhappy with this choice he made and how he wanted to be better. Mind you, he wasn't the same belligerent drunk I used to know. He was just having some beers, and realized what his motivation was... but instead of internalizing that, he talked to me about it... about how he saw it, how he felt about it... how he was working on better coping skills so he was disappointed in himself. He's NEVER been that vulnerable with me in the past regarding a perceived failure. He's also never been so self aware regarding the motivation behind a 6 pack of beer before.

Despite feeling crappy from the beers the night before, he got up early Sat AM and went to assist with a charity venture he'd agreed to do to feed the homeless. He didn't back out. He did what he said he'd do.

He then came home and again, did what he said he would. We had the grandkids overnight and I was dealing with an infection in my leg. He not only doted on me with the infection, he went above and beyond in helping get the house ready for the grands, and ran to the store to get extra things we needed. He was back super quick - rather than during the A when a 30 min trip would take him over an hour and a half. He also was completely invested in talking to and playing with the grandkids. He's working so hard on being a present dad and grandpa... again a change from before.

We went to a cookout over the weekend and he chose to drink soda the entire time. (It was a loooong day with most people drinking) As soon as we arrived one of his buddies made a snarky comment on the 12 pack of soda he was carrying. He just shrugged it off and stuck with his choice. He also was present with me the entire time. Yes, he wandered off and socialized like he normally would, but I didn't have to search for him like I did during the A when he'd sneak off to text in secret every 20 min or so. His trips to the bathroom were just that, with him leaving his phone on the table half the time.

He thanked me during the day on Sunday for listening to him with love on Friday night. It opened the door for us to talk about our coping skills and where we both are working on ourselves. It was a really beneficial conversation. His realization of that, and thanking me for that, was a HUGE change. He also thanked me for being so appreciative of his help the last few days.

This weekend while getting some lawn chairs out of his car, I noticed a journal I'd never seen before. I'm not one to ever read his personal journal so I went to move it out of the way. While doing this two greeting cards fell out. We exchanged greeting cards on a few occasions over the last few months, so my first thought was "aww sweet, he is keeping two cards I gave him close by". Then I noticed that the handwriting on the top card was not mine, but it was definitely female. My stomach dropped and I almost got sick on the sidewalk. I looked inside... lo and behold it was a sympathy card from one of the departments he has to deal with at his work (from when his dad recently passed) which is primarily female. It was generic, as were the messages inside. The other card was from the guys in his own department. I remembered him telling me that the CS dept and his dept gave him cards when he returned to work. I breathed a huge sigh of relief, pulled myself together and went on with the day.

Later that day he went for a walk back to the car to get something. As he was walking down the sidewalk I noticed he'd pulled out his phone and was texting. My heart skipped a beat again... Dang I hate those triggers!! I sat there trying to decide if I should ask him who he'd been texting when he returned. I probably would have, but as soon as he returned he asked "Did you get my text??" He'd been texting me about a sign he'd seen in a window.

So here we are, 4+ years after Dday 1, but only months after full discovery. There were a couple of other instances during the week/weekend where I had triggers or began to swirl down that rabbit hole. Either he noticed my expression and asked, or I mentioned the trigger and we talked about it. He held me, apologized for causing me to be in this place and reassured me of his love for me.

The instances mentioned above were also triggers, but all turned out to be nothing to worry about.

Last night we had a family crisis. He was right there by my side dealing with it.

At the end of the day, instead of complaining about how stressful the day was and shutting down, he asked me how my day was with regard to triggers and his As... how was I doing? Thus he opened the door again for me to talk about anything that was bothering me. He'd never initiated those conversations before.

I was able to tell him that all of those things can only add to the health of the new foundation we are building, and man are we building... brick by heavy brick.

Is he still missing the mark in some ways? Yup!! He's not perfect by far. But this crap isn't easy, and I'm trying to focus on the positive changes I do see. I'm hoping he'll continue working and eventually get to those other areas that he even admits to me he knows he has to work on...

My mantra lately is Dory's "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming...".

Me-BS Him-WH (Razorbyrd)
DDay1 2/10/15 EA-he was in love
DDay2 5/29/15 TT still emailing OW & others
4/21/16, 10/3/17, 11/3/17 SO much TT
11/30/18 TT - Admits PA with ExGF in 2014

posts: 1863   ·   registered: Jul. 15th, 2015   ·   location: By the sea
id 8394601
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PeaceLily210 ( Member #48607) posted at 9:39 PM on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

HFSSC, thank you so much for sharing that. WH and I attended a Marriage retreat this past April. It was a game changer for us as a couple, thanks in part to people like you who shared their stories, and their reality. I'm not sure where your video aired, but if it's possible we'd love to see it. Is it a link you can send in a PM? It sounds like my WH is going through a similar transformation as your H did.

Me-BS Him-WH (Razorbyrd)
DDay1 2/10/15 EA-he was in love
DDay2 5/29/15 TT still emailing OW & others
4/21/16, 10/3/17, 11/3/17 SO much TT
11/30/18 TT - Admits PA with ExGF in 2014

posts: 1863   ·   registered: Jul. 15th, 2015   ·   location: By the sea
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2frayedsouls ( Member #48177) posted at 5:50 PM on Saturday, June 22nd, 2019

Our background is in my profile. I am four years out from dday, but 19 years out from the infidelity. He changed a lot from his cheating days until dday, but had held onto some of his wayward thinking until all of the ugliness was drug forward into the light of day and challenged by his IC or me.

Dday was Feb 18, 2015 and it was ugly. He confessed to his past partly over the phone, and spilled the rest of it when I got home (most of the rest of it, because, you know…waywards love their trickle truth). We were standing in our basement so the children wouldn’t overhear. When he stopped speaking, I asked him if he was needed to tell me anything else, because I had better spill it all. I wouldn’t tolerate secrets or half-truths anymore. He said “No, I’m good.” I looked back and said, “No, no you are far, far from good.” He dropped his head and then left, taking the kids to their scheduled piano lesson. I fell apart. I have never felt so humiliated, isolated, alone and trapped (thinking of the kids and how this would affect them) in my life. I wanted to die. I second-guessed whether I had a right to be so traumatized, because it was all so far in the past. I loved him and hated him.

Year 1: We found an online “boot camp” program that was free and helpful. He opened up about his childhood sexual abuse. I read everything I could on infidelity and sexual abuse. I found SI. I printed Joseph’s letter for him and for the most part his “I don’t remember” answers were replaced by genuine answers although dates were fuzzy because it had happened so long ago, and generally alcohol was typically involved. He started IC. The same IC started to see me at about 8 months when my anger began to threaten my health. I know the same IC is not recommended, but it has worked for us. Most of the time when he talked, I answered politely out loud, but would mutter “lying fucker” in my mind. I lost weight when I couldn’t eat. Vomited most meals for the first few months when I tried to eat. Sobbed a lot when no one was around. He had managed to break me, something that my dad had tried but been unable to do.

Year 2: I was just so tired, and angry and resentful. I was sick of driving the reconciliation bus. I was tired of paying the price for his bad behavior. I was pissed about the time and money we were spending on rebuilding something he broke. We had a few joint MC sessions, but mostly still in individual IC. As he delved into his abuse he began to have some intimacy issues, which triggered the shit out of me. I was tired of our story revolving around his pain, his injuries, his abuse, and his shame. He really wanted to hold onto his “nice guy who was victimized” title without acknowledging that he was also the victimizer. He didn’t want to accept that he was “that guy” too. Still added “fucker” in my brain often when talking to him. I pulled away from his family, and away from my own. I isolated myself a lot this year, something I regret. We did run into his abuser in public, and confronted him which helped Mr.Frayed take back some of his power. I had some spectacular meltdowns after having a few drinks. Year 2 was ugly.

Year 3: Sadness was the theme for this year. I realized I was holding onto anger to prevent grieving and had to make a purposeful effort to let myself feel it rather than stuff it away and cover it with anger. The sadness made me feel vulnerable and I hated that. I started to see the truth in his words that he had been a mess and I was collateral damage, not a purposeful hit. He became less defensive, brought up things he was realizing in IC, apologized in a more specific and genuine fashion when I was off or having a trigger. I had one really ugly melt-down after a wedding. I had a few drinks (I know, I know…not my best moment). I cried for hours, repeatedly saying I wanted to go home. We were at our house at the time. In my head, home was a place that was safe, where I was loved… so I was out of luck. “Home” as I meant it, had ceased to exist.

Year 4: Coming together, acceptance were the themes this year. He has worked to accept that his actions were his choice, not a forgone conclusion to his abuse. He hurt me willingly and repeatedly, and now owns it. I have accepted that our past can’t be changed. He is the good, the bad, and was the ugly. I have learned to grieve, learned to communicate my wants and needs, and have learned to let him handle his own baggage. There is a song by Imagine Dragons called Next to Me that has these words in the lyrics:

Oh, I always let you down

You're shattered on the ground

But still I find you there

Next to me

And oh, stupid things I do

I'm far from good, it's true

But still I find you

Next to me

My son listens to their music often, and my fwh heard it when they were together. He said, “Do you remember on dday when you asked if I had any more to tell and I told you I was good? You told me I was far from good. This song reminded me of that day, and how fortunate I am that you are still here, next to me.” He went on to apologize for how deeply he’d hurt me, and thank me for sticking around, supporting him in his work to become the good guy he’d fooled himself into thinking he was.

Year 5: He is healing himself. I am healing me. As we have become healthier humans, our marriage has been healing. I think R takes a lifetime. Triggers still hit me, but not with the ferocity and frequency of the first few years. Our story has good chapters, bad chapters, and some downright ugly chapters, and it isn’t finished yet. At first I thought, 2-5 years, to heal?!?! I can’t do that! Now it seems about right. Oh, and 99.99% of the time I no longer add “fucker” in my head to the end of my replies to him.

ETA: I always hesitated to post here...I know it sounds ridiculous but posting here felt like it was an open invitation for the darkness to come back and have another swipe at me. Also, several dear friends have had subsequent days....and as a BS you learn to never say never again. But I remember how often I read thru this thread in the early days looking for a tiny thread of hope. Our story isn’t pretty....it wasn’t a quick and easy recovery...but it is authentic, and damn, I am beginning to really believe we are going to make it...happily, and together.

Me: BW 44
Him: WH 42
One son, one daughter

posts: 510   ·   registered: Jun. 9th, 2015   ·   location: Northeast US
id 8396394
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BraveSirRobin ( Member #69242) posted at 4:44 AM on Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

ETA: I always hesitated to post here...I know it sounds ridiculous but posting here felt like it was an open invitation for the darkness to come back and have another swipe at me.

I feel the same way. Thank you for articulating it. When I start to feel like I might be holding R in my hands, it's so fragile and delicate that I'm almost afraid to breathe. I'm not ready to post in this thread, but hope is sending up little shoots through the dirt lately, and I am carefully watering them and watching them reach towards the sunlight.

WW/BW 51 (Me)
BH/WH 51 (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2038   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
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ndfan ( New Member #47187) posted at 5:08 AM on Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

About 10 months ago I posted a 5 year update... I left it there and hadn't thought about looking at any responses until today. All is well.. still not perfect but what is? It was suggested I post that here... Any way I hope somebody sees this and recognizes some familiar thoughts within it. The emotions we experience are different. The feelings we used to trust are no longer taken for granted. It sounds strange but I didn't trust my own perceptions of most things for the first 6 months. I am glad now I took time to breath, to ignore my imagination and stay on the path. In my case it was worth the several months of discomfort. This was that post from last year..

________________________________________________

I stayed because I truly love her, still do. It wasnt easy and it certainly wasnt fun. But staying for me was an easy decision. I thought when I was at the 6 month mark that I was completely abandoning my own dignity by just just wading through it. In a sense I was but now I look at it as just kind of suspending it for a bit. I sometimes feel guilty that she now lets me do anything, buy anything without any question or debate. I am fairly sensible fiscally so its not like I am in a free for all spending spree.

What I can tell you if youre in reconciliation, its a process. Everybody is different although the more stories I read I was surprised how similar people behave and react. I was surprised to see that thousands of stories that basically fit into 3 or 4 story lines.

The grief subsides but the trust is something that remains in a constant state of repair. I trust her today but not in the complete way I did before. I dont think there is anything going on but at every possibility my mind runs through the scenarios. Its not daily any more but it still comes up. It effects my mood and probably how I respond to her, then I a eventually get over it.

I wished there was a magic wand that could eliminate that entirely. Suspicious is no way to go through life, even if its only occasional. She really doesnt do anything particular to incite suspicion its just how my brain works now. I think that will get better as well eventually.

Our lives have actually been much better in so many different areas. she has a new job as do I and financially were in a much better place. We dont fight... like ever... we have some disagreements infrequently but they are quickly resolved and forgotten. in the end this was her fault but we have both sacrificed emotionally to work things through. She still thinks about her guilt and struggles with how she did what she did. I see it, she knows I see it. We dont talk it about much at all but we both know were working through through stuff mutually.

If youre going to attempt reconciliation be prepared to suspend your ego, your dignity for a period and focus on this is where we are, this where were going. My feelings are important but I wont let them derail the plan.

5 years will be exactly 3 weeks from today. It's not over for me but its better to the point where I live my life free from grief and it just gets better. Ultimately our relationship is stronger now. Hang in there.

posts: 17   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2015   ·   location: Midwest
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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 12:52 AM on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Just a question - is it my imagination or are there way more women posting positive reconciliation stories on this thread than men?

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH (me): 50, WW: 49
Married: Feb. 1996
DDAY: Dec. 20

posts: 4218   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
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Want2BHappyAgain ( Member #45088) posted at 3:36 PM on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

It isn’t your imagination 🙂. There are a LOT more women on here than there are men for one. Also...a lot of the men are Waywards and they seldom post on here. Several people are afraid to post on here because they are afraid it may jinx the good space they are in... and this is the MAIN reason that the men I have talked to have given for not wanting to post on here. The thing is...there will be good times and bad times...it isn’t called an emotional rollercoaster for nothing!!!

I will post another thread to hopefully get more positive reconciliation stories from the men on this site . I am sort of a pest when it comes to this thread !!!

ETA: Please feel free to post YOUR positive reconciliation story!!!

[This message edited by Want2BHappyAgain at 9:37 AM, August 20th (Tuesday)]

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
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hdybrh ( Member #69288) posted at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Well hadn't expected to post. But as a male BS in a good spot with R, the bat signal calls. No doubt that when things are not good many of us come to vent, when things are good it's less of an inclination.

My WS and I are doing really well in month 8. The last I really posted about my situation was at our worst point 4 months ago. Since then we've made remarkable strides.

Our turning point was a realization that we didn't need each other... we could be apart and be okay, but what we WANTED was each other. Our vision of our life together today and in the future was aligned and it was clearly best for all of us. We'd fight for, go to therapy for, work through, to attain that future. And we are.

It doesn't mean that every week or so there's not some rough patch. Something triggers me and there's anger, sadness and hurt. It passes and we work through it faster.

I found two wonderful other BSes that I facebook message with that are at a similar stage and with a similar goal of R. My wife found a great therapist and has weekly been making progress. I have a friend on here that's really helped via PM.

We've really focused on spending quality time with each other, dates, weekends away, sex, texting during the day.

We talked this week about whether we could have got "here" if the A hadn't happened. The level of honesty, sexual adventure and commitment would not have been possible. The place where are in is better in so many ways. It's REALLY hard to admit that because the A is still a source of pain. But there is so much good in our marriage that wasn't there before all this happened. It was a wake up call for both of us and most of the time we're just grateful that we have a second and better chance at everything.

I hesitate to post, because to many this may be "too soon" or that I'm looking at it with rose colored glasses and optimism. But we're having fun together. We're fighting through the hard stuff and grateful to be rebuilding.

[This message edited by hdybrh at 1:58 PM, August 20th (Tuesday)]

posts: 189   ·   registered: Dec. 31st, 2018
id 8424024
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betrayalbrokeme ( Member #69254) posted at 6:04 PM on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

I sometimes hesitate to post because like Want2BHappyAgain mentioned in her call for posts, I get afraid that I might jinx something. Hell half of the time, I get afraid to even feel good things in real life because I'm afraid to jinx it. But I know that seeing the positive posts of others helps me and maybe even writing down some of the good will help me to believe in a happy future too so...

It wasn't much, but this morning before work, my H took me by surprise by pulling me close and then looking me in the eyes and telling me that I am the best thing that ever happened to him and that he will never take me for granted again. It was out of nowhere, but i think mostly because he knew I was about to be alone in the car for a half hour and those lonesome car rides are when my mind seems to be the worst. He normally tells me he loves me, gives me a kiss and tells me that we're getting closer to the life we want, but it just felt like he went a step further today.

Nothing crazy but it was a nice moment that i'm grateful to have had today.

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

posts: 131   ·   registered: Dec. 28th, 2018
id 8424044
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