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Reconciliation :
Positive Reconciliation Stories


Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 6:24 PM on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

That is quite an update hdybrh --

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.

We had this moment, and it's a big one. And to me, it is the only reason to stick around for R. The only one. Not money, not for kids, just good old fashioned, wanting to be together. Even with both people being all in, R is still plenty tough.

In all my posts going on four years, I've not hit on it as succinctly as you just did.

I hope the healing continues.

Married 36+ years, together 41+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived.
M Restored
"It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it." — Seneca

posts: 4722   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
id 8424061

hdybrh ( member #69288) posted at 7:57 PM on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Thank you Oldwounds.

She actually said "I don't need you but I want to be with you as long as you want to be with me" to me during a text exchange assuming it would be a 2x4 but it was what I was thinking as well. We both would be fine, maybe even good... but why would we even go down that road.

The lightbulb went off that, wait a minute, LET'S FOCUS ON WHAT WE BOTH KNOW WE WANT, to be together... We're compatible. We're attracted to each other. We enjoy being together. We love our kids. We've both made mistakes (though hers were worse) and our marriage was not good for a few years. We have a lot of fun together. We have similar worldview. We've built a good life together. And we're being honest and transparent which even when we were "happy" earlier in the marriage we weren't totally open with each other. if the goal is being happy and together then let's get to work at making it better. And it doesn't mean that after that and for the foreseeable future there's not going to be times where I feel inadequate or hurt, or that memories will come back to her as well... consistent IC every week will have to happen for a while. We know we have an uncertain potentially roller coaster ahead but we're in it together. As you said, it's for sure still plenty tough. But life is plenty tough. We're in a better place than we've ever been despite the rough parts. Every R is unique, but hopefulness focused on what you want as a couple and as an individual is the best line of sight. For many it takes a while to figure that out and I'm super grateful that's where we are today.

posts: 189   ·   registered: Dec. 31st, 2018
id 8424124

KdFenix12 ( member #69695) posted at 8:43 PM on Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

I was also driven here by Want2BeHappyAgain’s thread. I don’t post here because I’m only 7 months out, and everyone who has ever ridden this rollercoaster knows that when it seems you’ve been up for quite a while, that inevitable downward dive is lurking.

However, I read hdybrh‘s post, and it inspired me to make an update of my own. Aside from him being 8 months vs 7, and he has people he talks with to get through things, where I only talk to my IC, it feels I could’ve written that post word for word.

We are better than we used to be, because we’ve had this terrible wake up call and realize how stupidly fucking complacent we had gotten in our marriage. Time together is better, texting while apart is better, the sex is way better. We’ve acknowledged this and the fact that it took such a terrible act on her part for us to get this way. In no way will I ever be glad it happened, and I have no idea how far I am from forgiveness, but I can’t realistically see a scenario where we would’ve gotten to this better state on our own. That’s honestly a depressing thought. But I don’t think we would’ve recognized what was missing and done anything about it. Now, we know what we want out of life and marriage, and will take the appropriate steps if we ever start sinking into complacency again.

I’m nervous typing all this, scared I’ll come back to this post in January and scream “what the fuck was I thinking?!?” as I’m in the middle of a 3 month downswing, undoing months of R. But I want to post it for 2 reasons:

1. This serves as a progress marker I can come back to when times are harder.

2. When I found out about this site after DD, I thought I was beyond repair. I thought if it stayed with her, it would be for the sake of the kids, but I would never love her again. I thought life as I knew it was over. But then I started reading success stories, or progress stories of people well ahead of me in the R timeline. People like Oldwounds come to mind, and I wish I remembered the others now. Those posts gave me hope, showed me there was a reason to try. If I can post something that will help someone tomorrow because they’re finding out today that they’ve been betrayed, then I want to do that.

[This message edited by KdFenix12 at 2:46 PM, August 21st (Wednesday)]

A: 2 physical encounters with mutual friend, 5 months of flirtatious texting
DD: 1/26/19

Attempting to recover and reconcile

posts: 53   ·   registered: Feb. 7th, 2019
id 8424732

CaptainRogers ( member #57127) posted at 3:46 AM on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

It's been quite some time since I posted in here. There are a myriad of reasons for the gap, from work to new home to life just happening.

But, that's all part of the positive story. It took my wife a long, long, long (did I mention long?) long time to "get it". She, however, eventually did. And that has changed our relationship considerably.

We still have "moments" where she tries too hard. I still have moments when I don't try hard enough. And we both swap those roles still on occasion. But we address the issues as they arise, sweeping nothing under the rug. I'm too old and crotchety for that. Unhinged taught me how to be that way.

This isn't the "oh my goodness, we have an amazing, 500HP marriage that is always revving the engine" sort of a life. But I never wanted that. I prefer the quiet drive down an old country road where the view opens up over a beautiful lake. A spot where I can sit in a chair and cast a line all day kind of relationship. Sometimes I like to call that "fundane".

It is just a couple of weeks after our 25th wedding anniversary. We are just over 2 1/2 years out from D-day v1.0. The memory of it all is still there in the background like a shadow. But it certainly is a shadow. It is no longer a bright picture. It doesn't hang over everything like a spectre. It is a shadow, and with time, it will continue to fade.

There is hope, even in what may seem like a long road to nowhere.

BS: 42 on D-day
WW: 43 on D-day
Together since '89; still working on what tomorrow will bring.
D-Day v1.0: Jan '17; EA
D-day v2.0: Mar '18; no, it was physical

posts: 3355   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2017   ·   location: The Rockies
id 8424953

FamilyMan75 ( member #65715) posted at 7:08 AM on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

My wife and I are fifteen months from the final D-day. She is a serial cheater and has had many affairs, the longest being almost five years (3 1/2 years, then started up again for 1 1/2 years, which resulted in a pregnancy) The other man is out of our lives. We communicate better and she is finally working toward getting to the route of her low self-worth, need for validation from other men and other issues. I'm working on my co-dependency. It's really a one step forward, one step back journey but I'm feeling confident in the progress we have made on our reconciliation.

Me: 48 WW: 37 (serial cheater)T: 18 M: 15 3DDs: 16, 6, 5 Reconciled

posts: 482   ·   registered: Aug. 5th, 2018
id 8425005

Walloped ( member #48852) posted at 2:46 PM on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

So apparently I have an aunt with an emoji addiction...

Not a story per se, but a positive update. Just passed our 4th anti-versary, but overall life is very good. There are ups and downs of course - most life related, some A related, but that’s normal. What has really been helpful to me is seeing how my WW has internalized the work she’s been doing and lives that life now. I see it in her conversations with our married girls and how she talks to them about their M’s and what she’s learned. How she talks to our other daughter who’s in college and uses her own issues, failings, and subsequent work as a springboard to guide her through her dating life. She doesn’t shy away from what she did with them and owns it consistently. It’s how she lives her life now.

She does not walk on water. Far from it. But I see an authentic person now. Not a people-pleaser. She’s emotionally stronger and more honest with herself. And it translates into how we interact. Our conversations are more real and honest. We discuss things more openly and share way more than we ever did. And because of that, I’m more at ease. More comfortable and therefore more vulnerable. It’s not as scary to let my guard down with her. I know it’s a weird barometer of success, but it’s something I’m happy about.

And we laugh, and enjoy being with each other, and there’s lots of love between us. It’s not all peaches and cream and bouquets of roses. Not at all. There is pain and sadness at times. We don’t hide from it though. We acknowledge it and work through it. Basically it’s a real M with all that entails.

I know I am “fortunate” in this crazy BS world that my WW has been more than willing to work hard on herself and on us. But regardless of her work, a M is much more than just that. I’m not ready to say we have successfully R’ed at this point, but when all is said and done, after 4 years, I can say we are on the right trajectory and it keeps moving in the right direction. And most importantly, looking back, I don’t regret my decision to shoot for R for a second.

Me: BH 47
Her: WW 46
DDay 8/3/15
"Every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant.” - The Doctor

posts: 1816   ·   registered: Aug. 6th, 2015   ·   location: New York
id 8425150

nscale56 ( member #60270) posted at 8:59 PM on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

Walloped, still dancing ???

"If it ain't broke you're not tryin'"
The mans prayer--"I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess"

posts: 209   ·   registered: Aug. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
id 8425403

Walloped ( member #48852) posted at 10:35 PM on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

Don’t want to t/j, but no, we’re not taking lessons anymore. Nothing bad - good things actually. Some recent changes to our schedules just don’t permit us to continue. But we do put our classes and what we learned to good use every now and then.

Me: BH 47
Her: WW 46
DDay 8/3/15
"Every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant.” - The Doctor

posts: 1816   ·   registered: Aug. 6th, 2015   ·   location: New York
id 8425455

Unhinged ( member #47977) posted at 11:41 PM on Sunday, August 25th, 2019

Four years and four months later...

This isn't my story. That is, as much as I'd like to give myself a ton of credit for having reconciled, the simple truth is that my FWW deserves most of the credit. Rightly so, btw, because the bulk of the work of reconciliation falls squarely upon the shoulders of the wayward spouse.

I came to SI about seven weeks after d-day. I wanted to know if reconciliation was truly possible and, if so, how to go about it. Shortly after joining, I not only told my wife about the site, I also gave her my username. I printed out threads for her to read or we read together in bed. Eventually, she joined (doesn't post much) and started reading on her own.

She was in therapy for well over a year (a condition of reconciliation). She's read a ton of books on her own and continues to do so, constantly seeking to improve herself.

I'd say she's tried as hard as she could to reconnect, to be open and honest, vulnerable and authentic. She's earned back my trust and my respect. She's demonstrated, over several years, that she was worthy of the second chance that I gave her.

She's gone the distance, done the work, still does the work, and has given me every reason to believe, once again, in us.

It's not a perfect marriage. We're just two imperfect people refusing to give up on each other.

I think I made the right decision. I have few regrets. I love my wife and our family. I have hope for tomorrow.

[This message edited by Unhinged at 5:42 PM, August 25th (Sunday)]

Married 2005
D-Day April, 2015
Divorced May, 2022

"The Universe is not short on wake-up calls. We're just quick to hit the snooze button." -Brene Brown

posts: 6710   ·   registered: May. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Colorado
id 8426960

betrayalbrokeme ( member #69254) posted at 7:09 PM on Monday, September 9th, 2019

Last night I told him that I loved him.

and I meant it.

I used to say it to him multiple times a day and showed it any chance that I could, but those words hold power to me so I have never once said them when I didn't mean it- not to anyone. It's been about 13 and a half months since everything happened, and I finally felt it strongly enough to be able to say it. The smile on his face at hearing it- it was like a kid on Christmas morning. It was scary for me, but at the same time, also gave me a lot of hope.

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

posts: 131   ·   registered: Dec. 28th, 2018
id 8434506

Newbeginnings24 ( member #71510) posted at 2:29 PM on Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

Hi all,

Can anyone give me any support/advice on signs to look out for for R. WS very confused (won’t admit it). Now finding excuses why he doesn’t want our marriage to work. Lack of affection on my part. Told him I loved him too early (15 years ago) don’t know if I did or how he remembers that. I feel like I’ve had this overwhelming bond with him from the beginning and we have both agreed what level of relationship has been up until now. He isn’t he type of person to go along with things but has all of a sudden decided that he wants something different and almost a bid for freedom. I’m so confused and feel like I am being blamed for his actions. He has cheated (only just found out) previously and has now said this is due to us getting together when we were 17 and him Only having one short time girlfriend before me. He’s said that he lacked self esteem and found my advances flattering but has realised that he’s committed too much. I don’t know how you would do this for 15 years and then decide it was too much. Why hasn’t he done it before when he had chance. Going off to uni etc. I feel robbed of half my life and can’t now appreciate what we had. We also have a little DD who is now adapting to separated parents.

Please help?! X doesn’t matter, it’s in the past!

Having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage, not weakness - Katherine Henson.

Walk out of that door and don’t look back!

posts: 197   ·   registered: Sep. 8th, 2019   ·   location: England
id 8442032

fareast ( Moderator #61555) posted at 3:32 PM on Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

Sorry you are dealing with this Nb24. My perspective is one of someone who has been long R’d after initially filing for D after my WW’s ONS when our M was very new. The bad news is that your situation is not that unique. I’m sure you were blindsided by your WH’s betrayal and it has caused you immense pain. But if you read enough threads here you will see a recurring experience for those who M very young. It seems like there is a pattern where one spouse starts to feel like they have missed out on life by committing so young, and wants to get out and experience not only other AP’s but to feel independence. There is nothing you can do to change this feeling.

If he wakes up and understands what he is losing he will pursue you vigorously. But there are no guarantees he will wake up. Although it is very doubtful his relationship with his AP will last, he may just decide he loves being free of obligations involved in M. You have to move on with your life. Personally, I see this as so selfish and a lack of commitment especially when a child is involved. I wish you luck and send you my best mojo moving forward. Please don’t wait around for him to get it. He might and he might not. I know in my own personal situation, my fWW moved heaven and earth to save our M, and she made massive changes in her attitude and commitment to our M. For me, that is the only way I could stay. Good luck.

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

posts: 3898   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2017
id 8442084

Newbeginnings24 ( member #71510) posted at 9:08 PM on Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

Thanks Fareast,

Yes I know someone at work whose husband did exactly the same and she was pregnant with their first child. They have since R’d and gone on to have more children and are happy. I am not willing to wait around because I know this is no good for me or DD. Life is too short to wait around for someone who may never return. I have to focus on me and what I want now and I actually have days were I enjoy the freedom I now have. Strange really because I’ve always had freedom but something feels different.

He is still in self destruct mode and passing the blame, which I know makes R impossible. I am aware that these are excuses to make himself feel better. And him showing absolute dedication and remorse would only be the starting point, which may never arrive. Hopefully in time I will want something different too and this will open up doors I never knew were there. doesn’t matter, it’s in the past!

Having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage, not weakness - Katherine Henson.

Walk out of that door and don’t look back!

posts: 197   ·   registered: Sep. 8th, 2019   ·   location: England
id 8442889

strugglebus ( member #55656) posted at 4:31 PM on Thursday, September 26th, 2019

Hi friends! It is the third anniversary of my Freedom Day, today is the day that I broke free of lies and began to live life with my eyes fully open. On this day, it is my custom to review the past year and share it with you all.

Good Stuff

In Year Three I:

Gave a gift that I gave my husband back after taking it back on DDay

Got back into regular volunteering after being sidetracked by work

Reclaimed girl trips with a couple of lovely ladies from my college days

Took back a favorite town

Grew my professional community through conferences and meetups

Strengthened my personal support systems

Was promoted and received a 10% raise

Had a beautiful Thanksgiving

Reclaimed hiking with another wonderful friend

Chopped off the last of my damaged hair (the year after Dday...I took it out on my hair)

Advocated for myself - personally and professionally

Celebrated the holidays in a truly joyous fashion

Let go of a nagging trigger- finally

Was offered a new job and accepted it

Increased my pay with my new job by 49.5% and I now make over double what I was making on DDay (Sept 2016)!

Able to work from home on a weekly basis

Started a new exercise regime and fell in love with it

Offered editing services for resumes and cover letters, helping several friends land new jobs!

Increased my friend time - brunches and coffees and outings

Gave gifts to my husband on Valentine’s day in pure love

Finally, FINALLY got the hang of exiting the Drama Triangle

Was asked to speak professionally on several occasions

Volunteered time teaching others

Celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary and there was only joy

Found a new amazing doctor and started seeing vast improvements with my health by following their plan

Began writing again

Began mentoring people at work

Attended a conference in her (former) town and loved every minute of it

Amazing solo vacation visiting with friends

Started several really awesome personal projects that I love working on

Celebrated birthdays without feeling any triggers or sadness

Multiple super fun trips with the whole family together

Did not recognize ‘a season’ until it was 1 month from being over and then it was just a short dip in my day

Began studying for my NEXT big career move

Went on a trip with my bestie, claiming yet another trigger

The Rough Stuff:

There have been several tense discussions, but compared to year one and two they were minimal. Only two that felt like "blowups" in retrospect and each of them was immediately followed by immense growth. So the pain was worth something.

Lots of processing, sometimes it felt like I was going over the same ground over and over, but it does seem to get easier and further between every time

The OBS made the decision to harass me in an attempt to hurt my husband and was stalking my social media accounts (FYI, LinkedIn lets you know exactly WHO looks at your account). It makes me sad as we used to be friends. He thinks my husband has experienced no consequences or pain because we are still together (which is honestly laughable considering the standards to which I expect my husband to meet post-A). So I had to cut off his access. I am sad for him. He must be in a lot of pain to be lashing out this far from DDay at someone who did not harm him in any way (me).

My daily life looks like this now:

I wake up in the morning, greeted by kisses and gratitude. Then we hit snooze and snuggle a bit longer.

My husband and I round up the children, make sure everyone has eaten and packed lunch and get everyone moving and out the door on time.

We sing along to "family playlists" on the way to school

Post drop off we often have a coffee together while starting our day of work.

We listen a podcast together on our commute.

I leave him at his office and go to my own office.

Cute text messages are exchanged about how our days are going, asking how a meeting went, or planning something fun

Everyone is picked up post-work and after school activities and brought home.

A gorgeous meal is prepared for me as I finish up some of my work.

We eat dinner together

Spend time with the kids

Spend time with each other

Go to bed

I don't think about the affair every day.

When I think of it the pain is gone for the most part.

I would say I feel "down" about it maybe once every month or so.

When it does come to mind, it usually doesn't linger long

We are able to discuss difficult subjects including the affair without it being overly stressful or becoming an argument.

For the new people, here's what I believe made the most difference in reconciliation and my personal recovery so far:

- I was calm when I confronted and had papers ready to print out since he obviously loved her

- I gave him 6 months to earn the right to try and win me back (ie: get his shit together)

- No gaslighting or blameshifting from my husband, he owned his actions and the affair COMPLETELY

- All questions were answered

- NC established immediately and maintained

- IC's for both of us experienced in infidelity issues

- An MC who specialized in infidelity

- Non-Violent Communication (Year 2 and onward)

- Meditation and gratitude practices for us both

- lots of honesty and sharing our feelings even when they are not easy to hear

- The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu

- Rising Strong - Brene Brown

- Reading up on trauma response (both so we could understand the seemingly nonsensical responses)

- My partner actively working on empathy and dropping defensiveness

- being able to talk about the affair or triggers etc with no expectation that I am on a timeline to *get over it*

- regular exercise

- good nutrition

- a robust support system

I'm sure there's stuff I am forgetting but this is long as heck already. If you are interested in Year 1 and 2 retrospectives you can find those in my profile.

Onward into Year 4 I go, with a happy heart, curious as to what comes next.

BS -DDay: 9/26/16- Double Betrayal

Happily reconciling.

Be True to your Word. Don't take things Personally. Don't Make Assumptions. Do Your Best.

posts: 2557   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2016
id 8443263

TX1995 ( member #58175) posted at 4:44 PM on Thursday, September 26th, 2019

Strugglebus - This is an AWESOME update. It's incredible what you have accomplished professionally and personally in just a few years. I'm also glad to hear that your pain has diminished and your relationship with your H and family is closer. What a great place to be. I'm very happy to read this. :)

(As an aside, your OBS must not be very tech savvy - or just not care - as you can browse LinkedIn in private mode. I feel bad for him too. I am also a person who feels like my WH's AP got off scot free by the way her H has acted from DDay and the things she did/has done since to interact with my H. BUT - at some point, we have to let that need for justice go and focus on ourselves. I hope he does.)

I'm the BS. WH had an EA/PA with a cOW. DDay was 4/17. Working on R. Married 15 years and together 20 at DDay.
DDay #2 and #3 6/19. Grew a conscience and admitted a full blown physical affair.
Current and forever status is reconciling. I don't

posts: 1026   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2017   ·   location: Texas
id 8443267

strugglebus ( member #55656) posted at 5:56 PM on Thursday, September 26th, 2019

TX1995 Actually what I have believed since day one that has helped me most is keeping my eyes on my own paper because no matter what happens with the AP, the call was coming from inside the house. I made a conscious decision that she was not my problem and I had more important things to focus on.

Sometimes this was waaaaaaaaay hard as we were friends for multiple years prior to the affair. But I no longer had a relationship with her, so why concern myself with her growth or lack thereof? I hope she's somewhere working hard on not being the kind of person who hurts others on purpose. We just don't need any more assholes in the world - there is a surplus Sometimes I did have to pull myself back and use distractions to not dwell on her.

Her OBS quickly shifted into "Mr. Strugglebus took advantage of my wife" after DDay, despite the piles and piles of evidence pointing to it being her brain child and I doubt she tried to convince him otherwise. So I get it. If I had a partner that was not accepting their personal accountability and owning it I would probably be divorced or circling the drain.

But her lack of consequences just means that her husband is stuck with a less than stellar partner (if they are still together). While I have standards that are high and I've seen exponential growth in the human I am married to.

Focusing on my life, my rewards for having those boundaries and the perks that come with our recovery process has made me pretty much uninterested in what her life looks like now.

BS -DDay: 9/26/16- Double Betrayal

Happily reconciling.

Be True to your Word. Don't take things Personally. Don't Make Assumptions. Do Your Best.

posts: 2557   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2016
id 8443318

betrayalbrokeme ( member #69254) posted at 2:45 PM on Friday, September 27th, 2019

strugglebus, you are an inspiration!

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

posts: 131   ·   registered: Dec. 28th, 2018
id 8443773

Aubrie ( member #33886) posted at 8:19 PM on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

Eight years. Hard to believe its been that long. We were younger, bleeding out, terribly broken, lost, confused, and unsure of what our next steps would be. We didn't know if we could make it. We didn't know what a healthy relationship looked like. We didn't know how to properly communicate. We didn't know what one another needed.

Four days after our Dday, I was desperately searching the Internet, trying to find out how to fix the marriage I'd just dropped a nuke on and landed here. People like DeeplyScared, tiredgirl, UncertainOne, MissesJai, authenticnow, DixieDevastated, stilllovinghim, met me on the mat, immediately ready for a proper buttkicking. They asked me questions that made me stop and really think. WHY WHY WHY WHY. Omg I heard that question asked so many times, in so many ways! But they saved my life. I am eternally grateful to them. They held the torch so I could find my way.

Fixing myself, my side of the marriage, became my life. For years, I read, studied, dug, cried, picked at scabs, tore my entire self down, and started to rebuild. It's all.I.did. Nothing else mattered. Nothing else was important. I had to figure myself out so that I would be the wife my husband wanted, the mother my children needed, and the person I longed to be. Layer upon layer of emotion, thoughts, behaviors, memories, it all was peeled back. I'd think I had it figured out, then another issue would pop up. Or the further I was out from a situation, I gained a different perspective than before. Which set off a chain reaction of peeling, digging, and changing all over again.

I used to save all my threads. There is a folder somewhere in the recesses of my email that contains them all. I don't know if I could go back and read them. I shared way too much. I was way too open. At the same time, the advice and help I receieved saved me. In a way, SI was my IC. My group therapy. It's still a bit difficult to look back and read my words and thoughts when they were such a cringe-fest.

This whole thing was the single most exhausting, yet rewarding experience of my life. To a BS fresh from dday, I can understand how awful that sounds. "How DARE you say that this is rewarding! Don't you CARE what you did? Don't you UNDERSTAND what you did to your husband?" Yes, I do. He is absolutely part of the reason why I have done what I have done. It's taken eight years to get to this point. If you ask him today how he feels about this, he would say, "It happened and it sucked for a long time. But it doesn't anymore. It's a faint thought occasionally. It still hurts at times. But what we have now is new. You have to move on at some point." (True story. I asked. Those are his words.)

About 5 or 6 years into my process, my husband started looking at himself and decided that he wasn't in such a great place. He realized that he was responsible for himself, his happiness, his path. What I did to him wounded him greatly, but I could not be blamed for his childhood, his abandonment issues, his own insecurities. He started working on himself.

Around that same time, my health took a nosedive. I'm fighting an auto-immune disease. It'll never go away. I wondered if this would be the dealth knell for our marriage. Honestly, I begged my husband to leave. It's just not fair to him. First the Dday fallout, tnow this. He deserves so much more than this. He is young and can still live an incredibly full life, and I would completely understand if he was done. For any reason, at any stage. Sometimes enough is enough.

He has made the choice to stay with me. Oddly enough, my health complications have created a stronger bond between us and crystal clear communication. We. Talk. About. Everything. You old timers know how big of a deal this is. In a way, I think my deteriorating health actually pulled us closer together. It's created another layer of "us against the world".

Is our relationship perfect? For us, yes. We are stronger, more in tune with one another. We learned to fight fair. We are allowed to feel how we feel. (I feel X, you feel Y, let's find the middle ground.) He learned to speak up instead of simmering for months and letting resentment build until he lost his mind. We are a team. Forged together from the flames of the hell our lives were for so long.

Y'all. Never ever did I imagine I would be able to look myself in the eye in the mirror and like who I saw. (Seriously. I couldn't look in the mirror for a long time!) Who I see is strong, capable, confident. She doesn't care about the opinions of others. She has grown up. She has healed. Ironically, the physically sick side of me is scared, worried, weak, cries in the shower, and fearful of people knowing just how fragile she is. Talk about a weird place to be. To feel both ends of the spectrum at the same time in different ways is bizarre.

My husband and I were talking recently and I told him that I have never felt more sure, confident, and at peace with myself and my life, than right now. It took to age 35, but I made it. We both agree that while not perfect, we have never felt more secure and safe in our relationship, than right now. Chaos may surround us, our schedules might be insane, but he and I are safe. We are one another's safe place at the end of the day. When I was new here, they said it would eventually come, but I didn't really believe them. Newsflash, it can happen!

I see people in my real life and on my socials engaging in behaviors that I recognize from a lifetime ago. It makes me so sad. I know what it feels like to be so lost, worried about what other people think, desperate for validation. I wish I could shake them and show them the way. But I think that each of us have to have our own kind of "come to Jesus" before we'll even think about listening to someone. (Oh! I can hug people without flinching now. That happened!)

The biggest influence I can have right now is on my children. I have a teenager and a tween. It's the most frustrating, yet fun thing in the world. I'm enjoying each moment. Each conversation. Each question. From a question that makes no sense about a skin on Fortnite, to how to handle a situation in a small group. How to navigate heartbreak. How to say no to a pushy friend. I'm holding the torch for my children to find their own ways.

If you've made it thru this novel of an update, pat yourself on the back. It's been ages since I've been here. Way back, I couldn't go a day without visiting. Now, my life is full and busy, and this bloody chapter of my life has healed and closed. Every blue moon I poke my nose in to see if any of "my people" are still around. I don't recognize very many names anymore.

Veterans, thank you. Know that you've made a difference in my life, in my marriage. Newbies, if I can do this, I know you can. Keep pushing thru. It does get better. You can not only survive, but thrive.

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

posts: 7926   ·   registered: Nov. 11th, 2011
id 8446272

Aubrie ( member #33886) posted at 8:19 PM on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

oops. double post.

[This message edited by Aubrie at 2:20 PM, October 2nd (Wednesday)]

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

posts: 7926   ·   registered: Nov. 11th, 2011
id 8446273

Brennan87 ( member #57850) posted at 5:29 PM on Tuesday, October 8th, 2019

I was asked by another BS who I admire greatly for his journey recently, if I felt I was healed. My response to him was to laugh.....

Just a few shorts weeks later (today) after leaving EMDR, I sat in the car and thought to myself; My God, I am almost healed from this shit storm. I sat stunned for a moment, cried a bit and drove home.

It's as though a steel band that has been keeping me in one place has snapped and I can finally move forward with this in my review mirror. Those who have gotten to this point, can relate...

Yes, I have a bit of clean up to do (regarding Desire, sex, etc) but these are all in relation to the new marriage and I how I view these aspects as a result not only of the affair but also my own past trauma's.

A wise WS told me, she felt I would get to the brink of being "ok" and then pull myself back and she is right. I do, do this and this is the last remaining affair related item I need to address.

How do I know I've healed?

I show empathy, compassion, grace and mercy to my wife both verbally and through thought. Instead of verbally expressing it, while mentally thinking something else. It is genuine.

I am able to look at her affair as an unfortunate trauma on both of our paths and know it no longer defines or controls us. We are forging ahead together.

I can view our future together without tinges of retribution, revenge or I shoulda (left/kicked her out, etc). I view it together, growing old, with our kids and future grandkids, retired on Lake Erie.

You get the jist, so I won't bore you with more. Just know those of you struggling, if you focus 100% on yourself, you can heal and come out on the other side stronger, wiser and a total bad ass!

It's been a long 31 months but I'm almost there and the future looks bright...

posts: 976   ·   registered: Mar. 15th, 2017
id 8449207
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