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Reconciliation :
Positive Reconciliation Stories


ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 8:58 PM on Sunday, December 6th, 2020


[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:17 AM, December 8th (Tuesday)]

[This message edited by SI Staff at 2:17 PM, Tuesday, December 8th]


posts: 2104   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8614691

Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 12:03 AM on Monday, December 7th, 2020

THANK YOU ff4152 for contributing your story on this thread !!!

As a person who has followed your journey from the beginning...I would like to add something that really struck me as a BW.

Most of us Betrayeds KNOW that something is wrong with our M...even though we may not know WHAT it is. My H was an ocean away when he had his A...but I KNEW. There was a distance between us that was more than just the ocean.

One of the posts you made that really struck me was when you and your wife were at a park once. She told you that she had her husband back . She KNEW that whatever it was that was wrong...was in the past...and y'all were connecting again . Judging from your posts on here...she was right!

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: 6627   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8614719

Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 6:11 PM on Monday, December 7th, 2020

ETA: Promised W2BHA I would add my fall update to this thread — this same thread that inspired me to join SI. I didn’t know R was a thing until finding this place and this very thread in particular.


A day in my life.

Around four and half years later, mornings are still the toughest part of the day. It’s that quick mental inventory that yes, indeed, the nightmares weren’t imaginary, they were real.

My wife understands this, every single morning since she confessed her A, she wakes up 90-minutes before me, works out, showers and crawls into bed with me. She cuddles beside me, rubs my back and shoulders, runs her fingers through my hair. If I have questions, I ask them. I don't ask many questions anymore. Sometimes her kindness leads to fooling around, other times just a hug.

But she works on our connection every - single - day.

Based on current world events, we have breakfast and go to our respective home offices. Our youngest son had moved back in for a while, found a new job and moved back out a couple months ago. We miss him, but it’s back to empty nest.

Based on meetings and schedules we try to time it out to have lunch together everyday, and then back to work.

In the evening, we wrestle eternally with the ‘what’s for dinner?’ dilemma, and found a couple in-home cooked meal programs we like a lot.

I should be walking more, old Marine Corps knee injury has slowed me to the point I should probably get it looked at. But sometimes we get a walk in, sometimes we read together, and a lot of nights we watch some of our favorite movies and shows.

It’s as normal as life can be in area covered in smoke the last three months because of wildfires, and a pandemic that limits a lot of our normal choices.

We’ve overcome adversity we didn’t think we could. We learned love wasn’t enough — or at least the word love as we previously understood it. We’ve learned that a healthy relationship is about giving, not taking, about kindness and not competition for the attention of the other.

We definitely used to live in a ‘what have you done for me lately?’ environment.

She’s grateful for this opportunity to show me that the worst version of herself — is not who she wants to be. In that sense, I still believe the first person a WS betrays is themselves and their own standards. I’ll grant a number of WS never own or understand their actions, or the pain they caused, but some do.

I’ve seen recent, thoughtful threads regarding the abusive nature of infidelity. I agree. The key for reconciliation is that the person who made those choices has to learn a lot, including how to help the relationship heal from that lack of empathy that happens during every A.

We can’t control our spouses, we can’t control much of anything in life but we can choose how to respond to trauma and adversity.

I’ll never care how people get clear of infidelity, be it a quick divorce and a new start, or those of us who find a way to restore their marriage. I just want people to make it to the other side of the pain.

There is a lot of projection about those of us who stay. It ain’t easy getting back to happy, but it happens. This entire place is founded by a couple who reconciled. Their love and care for each other inspired me and others to find a way back as well.

R is hard because marriage is uphill a lot of times without infidelity. It’s extra tough to get back on the same page once one person has hurt the other.

No magic, no rainbows, just a lot of hard work for two souls who aren’t ready to give up on the other. And no one ever deserves a second chance, but in my case, I’m glad I offered grace.

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 8614863

DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 8:56 PM on Monday, December 7th, 2020

As ISSF and I walk into year five of R together, looking back, I realize what a long and hard-fought, but also rewarding, process it has been for us both. Early on, we glommed on to the phrase, "Reconciliation isn't for wimps". Nothing could be more true. We cried. We argued. We fought. We were ready to throw the towel in many times. Mistakes were made. We took steps forward, then took some back, over and over again. We leaned heavily on IC and MC to help guide us, and of course, SI and the many good people here who offered advice and support throughout.

Both of us have been on a journey of self-discovery. While I would never argue that infidelity is desirable to any degree, it does have one benefit. It forces you to look long and hard and yourself, your life, and your relationships with everyone in your life. Nothing is done blindly anymore. Nothing is unconditional. Nothing is beyond reproach. Everything we do, both individually and together, is done with eyes wide open and with our motives, intentions and desires having been examined and justified.

It is an incredibly painful process to take such a critical look at yourself (into your heart, your mind, your feelings) without the protections of a rosy self-perception, and harder yet to have the strength and bravery needed to face your fears and to accept and own who you really are, and the trauma that you created, or that was foisted on you. You have to be prepared to jump into the fire with both feet. You have to accept that you can and will fail, make mistakes, misunderstand, grow, learn, hurt, heal... and there is simply no other way around it. More than anything, you have to be prepared to lose the relationship if it comes to that, and accept that what once was, is no more, and will never be again. Anything that exists moving forward is a product of your own hard work and willingness to not give up. Holding on to preconceptions will ultimately fail.

As a WS, one of the biggest hurdles I personally had to overcome was the pit of shame and guilt that I allowed myself to sink into. It took over my life and overwhelmed me completely, and I cannot begin to state how much damage it did to my wife and our efforts at R. It's impossible to reconcile with someone who cannot face themselves. It is also impossible to offer any kind of support to your betrayed spouse when you can't even move past your own pain and "see" them and understand their trauma. I lived in that pit for probably three years, and still struggle with it now and then. At the end of the day, I had to let go of my identity as a victim (of my FOO), and accept that I had become the abuser now instead (in my infidelity). I had to learn to love myself, which is a work in progress but a necessary step if you are to ever have the ability to truly love someone else. And I had to find a way to forgive myself, because living with my head in the sand was just doing more damage to everyone involved.

I owe everything to my wife as well. She has/had every right and every reason in the world to kick me to the curb, and I know that option isn't off the table... it never will be again. She put up with more shit and more pain from me than I can honestly comprehend, and yet... even though she was the victim, MY victim... she still loved me enough to fight for us, which often meant just getting through one more day without losing her mind. I owe her everything. I know some of you have told ISSF how amazing she is, how strong, how focused, how empathetic and how... decent, humane and giving she is as a person. All I can tell you is, you have no idea just how much she is all those things and more. Sorry if this part sounds a little kiss-assey, but honestly, she deserves recognition for all she's been through and all she's sacrificed, or had taken from her by me, throughout this shit show. I think a little ass-kissing on my part is well deserved, and I give it gladly.

For the other WS's who may be reading this and looking for advice or answers, my best advice to you is to simply keep working on yourself and never stop doing so. You can't heal your spouse nor do the work for them, and they cannot fix you either. Stop asking questions and instead, start providing answers. For example, don't ask, "Will I ever win an argument again? Will my BS ever love me again?" In time, you'll begin to realize that nearly every question you've asked since D-Day was likely to be selfish or at the very least, and attempt to control the outcomes. Instead, be the answer. Make the changes you need to make in your life and in yourself to be the person you want and need to be. Want to win an argument with your BS? Then first understand that "winning" isn't the goal, the goal is to understand each other and come to an agreement that honors everyone. Learn to listen. Learn to understand. Focus on what's really being discussed rather than what your mind/triggers are telling you. You "win" by understanding the problem, and showing the care, concern and willingness to sacrifice that you were unable to show them during your affair. If you want to be loved again, then become someone worthy of being loved. If you want to be trusted again, become someone worthy of trust. Be vulnerable. Be honest. It's funny... it can be so very terrifying to accept who we are and what we did and the damage it caused... but in time, when you learn to own it, you instead become shielded from the pain. Dignity and decency are powerful traits to have. Honesty and accountability too. Once you own your life, you then own your feelings, and your responses. So make your life what you need it to be. Or stay stuck in the shame pit. It's your choice, no one else's.

Last thing... forgive yourself. Stop the black and white thinking and allow yourself to see yourself as more than one thing at a time. Yes, you cheated and were a POS in general. That was a bad thing to do, but it does not define you as a "bad person" unless you let it. Instead, see it as "part of your story". You peed your pants once but you still have self-respect. You got into a fight once but you don't identify as violent. We grow, we learn, we change, we adapt. You are what you do!!! So BE someone worthy of love, or respect, of forgiveness... and that is who you will be. Then you can move forward with rebuilding what was destroyed.

We are all broken. We are all healing. We are all just doing our best to survive the trauma. If you are reading this, then you've already taken the first step, which is reaching out, making an effort, and learning how to change for the better. Keep it up. You've got this.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1437   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8614917

Sunny69 ( member #65876) posted at 6:18 PM on Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

Hi ff4152, I have come to read your story, but it would appear I am too late. I will just reiterate I have found your experiences and input to be very useful to me during my journey. I can see why some betrayed spouses feel the way they do, but I also agree positive stories can take very many forms. People tend to turn to this site for guidance, to try to help them understand, to try to make the best informed decisions on how to move forward. Whilst your story does not conform to others, it still can have a positive effect on others on their journey. Since I have been on SI, I have been most interested in the opinions and evolvement of the Wayward Spouses, what they say and their journeys. Whilst I can empathise with the pain endured by a BS as a BS, I also see how they get caught up in their own pain and become blinkered to any other versions of the path from infidelity. I am glad you have 'found' your wife again and are being the husband she thought she always had. I wish you both the best of luck in your onward journey together.

posts: 125   ·   registered: Aug. 18th, 2018   ·   location: Uk
id 8615142

wifehad5 ( Administrator #15162) posted at 7:05 PM on Friday, February 19th, 2021


FBH - 52 FWW - 53 (BrokenRoad)2 kids 17 & 22The people you do your life with shape the life you live

posts: 55811   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2007   ·   location: Michigan
id 8634588

This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 11:10 PM on Monday, March 22nd, 2021

I'm in R, feel safe, and happy. That in itself is a positive story.

The path there has not been a happy one by any means. I had to get to the point that I truly didn't want to be married. Ultimately, I think that's what the advice of "You must be willing to lose your M to save it means". It doesn't mean deciding you are willing to lose it. It means really absorbing the negative experiences you have had and not wanting the M you are in. It's unfortunate that the characteristics of kindness, grace, and patience are needed for R, but also prevent it from occurring.

Things could have gone better. I could have gone into conflicts harder. I felt I was pretty open and honest, but the reality was that I would bring my feelings up in a way that minimized my own pain. I also gave up on R, and allowed the M to continue in self-imposed limbo for what amount to material reasons.

But importantly, we did reach an understanding. My fWW recognized the damage she did. She did take the lead in making repairs. She has stopped taking actions that make me question her motivation. She apologizes quickly and often. She gives me whatever reassurances I need, often without me asking for them.

I think the hardest thing for her was to find the "unhappy" middle ground of recognizing the amount of harm she caused, while still believing the damage to be repairable.

We have both learned a lot and are much better at communicating openly. We no longer avoid conflict. We are both able to be vulnerable with one another. And as I said, I am happy.

I'm not going to blow smoke up your ass and say our M is better than before the A. It isn't. I don't trust her like I did before, and never will. There is a parallel universe where we make similar relationship improvements without an A and without the associated betrayal trauma.

So I guess if you are new, and you are reading this thread for hope that you can come out of R happy, I will tell you yes. It is completely possible (it's also possible I'm in false R ). I just won't say it's better than before, or that the trust ever returns. You just have to be well and truly OK with that result.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2673   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8644150

wifehad5 ( Administrator #15162) posted at 11:50 PM on Saturday, May 22nd, 2021


FBH - 52 FWW - 53 (BrokenRoad)2 kids 17 & 22The people you do your life with shape the life you live

posts: 55811   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2007   ·   location: Michigan
id 8661919

HFSSC ( member #33338) posted at 1:49 AM on Sunday, May 23rd, 2021

The first part of this post is in General, topic “50 years ago”

My parents have been M almost 61 years. My mom is mentally ill and was not controlled or treated at all for most of my childhood. Daddy was the glue that held our family together. He took care of my siblings and I. He was the one who attended all our school functions. He was the cool “band dad” who went to all the football games an competitions for 6 plus years as my sister, brother and I made our way through HS.

As I was typing out the other post I realized I know a LOT more about my parents than is probably healthy. I’ll skip most of that here. But basically, my mom had an A with their BIL (dad’s sister’s H) and they R’ed. (More rugswept than reconciled). A couple of years ago my dad confessed to multiple PA/ONS during their early M. It just about destroyed my mom. His dementia is so far advanced that there is nothing he could or can do to help heal their M. Oh, but she tried. She bought a SA workbook for him. Tried to do MC.

I felt so helpless. I understand her pain. But it’s my Daddy. Who is vulnerable and child like now. And my siblings and I have struggled with the decisions about the future.

Here’s the beautiful part of the story though. Since Daddy almost died in early April, Mom has done a lot of healing. I think it’s been happening slowly and the crisis with his health solidified things. She’s been going to work with me a couple of days a week and spending the day with him. We’ve talked a lot during the drive to/from. She has found acceptance and peace. I think she’s found, if not forgiveness, then the grace to just not keep punishing him. She acknowledged to me that she had been a terrible wife and mother a lot of the time. And I told her she didn’t cause him to cheat any more than he caused her to. They both made choices. But he took care of us and her during the times she couldn’t take care of herself. He never ever disparaged her or allowed us to disrespect her in any way.

And in all of the dysfunction and brokenness, they raised 3 children of their own, plus half a dozen unofficial foster children. And my sister, brother and I love each other. We love and honor our parents. All of our children have close relationships with each other and with their grandparents. So for all they did wrong, they got some stuff right.

Daddy is coming home from rehab next week. And Mom has been helping to prepare the house. She’s even willingly parted with stuff she’s hoarded, in order to make their home safer for him. (This is HUGE, y’all.). And she is planning a vow renewal and anniversary party a couple of weeks after he comes home. It will be on their 61st anniversary.

It’s never too late to do better. It’s never too late to change unhealthy patterns. That’s the one thing about my mom that I admire more than anything else. She’s 80. A CSA survivor. She has several mental illnesses that are difficult all by themselves. No one would blame her if she just quit trying. But she won’t quit trying to do better.

She has a peace about her now that I don’t think I’ve ever seen in my life. And that makes me a happy daughter.

Me, 56
Him, 48 (JMSSC)
Married 26 years. Reconciled.

posts: 4956   ·   registered: Sep. 12th, 2011   ·   location: South Carolina
id 8661931

PeaceLily210 ( member #48607) posted at 6:29 PM on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

This is a positive post with a couple of "Stories" in the mix. Sharing it here because this thread helped give me hope I desperately needed at one time. I hope this gives others hope.

Gosh y'all, it's been so long I almost forgot my login info.

I've thought of this site so often and how much it helped me navigate this infidelity mess. I've referred many here when I realized they were dealing with infidelity in their relationships as well. I don't know where we'd be today if I hadn't seen some positive reconciliation stories here, with all the brutal and raw honesty regarding what real healing and reconciliation looks like. So I came on back for a minute to share that healing continues and it IS possible to reconcile a M after an A.

I've posted in the past that we were doing well, and we continue to. We grow, we struggle, we learn, and we grow some more.

FWH continues his Individual therapy. Mine stopped due to Covid at first, then I realized I just didn't want to go back to her. I felt that she did not respect our attempts to reconcile. She often would interject derogatory comments toward men in general being untrustworthy and dumb when I was trying to navigate some issue we'd come up against. I'm now looking for a different therapist as I realize I still have issues unfolding for myself, mostly from my childhood but which continue to affect me now.

Overall however, we are doing really well. We're a team now. Unlike before, he's there for me when I struggle. He listens to me when I'm dealing with things. He no longer dismisses feelings he doesn't understand, he hears me and has actual empathy for me. If you'd have told me a few years ago that he would truly learn empathy, I'd have laughed. Yet here we are. It's not fake, it's not mimicry, it's real honest to goodness empathy in his eyes, his voice and his heart.

We share our hearts now like we NEVER did before. We thought we were close and intimate, but now we look back and realize that our M was pretty shallow. Today we have such a deeper, more honest, and authentic connection. FWH has experienced so much growth and change that he's simply not the same person who betrayed me so brutally. This came to light once again today as we hit a major bump in our road and I saw how differently he responded now vs. how he would have a few years ago. Today he slipped. He shared with a trusted group of HIS friends something deeply personal that I shared with him over the weekend. It's something I've been struggling with and as a Christian praying about. He's become a Christian also and has a group of men who support each other and hold each other accountable. So today as he was sharing with this "Men's group" and asking for prayer, he brought up "us", and asked for prayers for that personal struggle I mentioned. He really thought he was doing the right thing until I lost my sh*t after he told me. I was crushed and felt so betrayed. I shared something in confidence and he threw it out there to men I do not have that trusting relationship with. Years ago he'd have angrily defended his actions. I mean, c'mon, how bad is it to ask for prayer, right? But instead, today, he stopped himself, he heard my pain, and he apologized. Now even a few years ago he'd have thought a hollow apology via text was enough. I'd have heard a lot of "How many times do I have to say I'm sorry?" Today however, even though we were texting, I could feel his horror at hurting me and betraying my trust. Next thing I know he's walking in the door. He'd abruptly left his office and came back to our home to look me in the eye, apologize again face to face and admit how much he'd screwed up. We talked about how any betrayal of trust brings me emotionally back to those old feelings. He explained why he felt safe sharing with his men's group, but not as a justification. He made sure to let me know he was not justifying the behavior, just explaining. He let me know he heard me and acknowledged how wrong he was. Again, the differences are astounding to me. Before he'd have stopped with the first apology and then become defensive and angry if I kept trying to explain and discuss the situation. He even called his therapist to talk about his decision to share the information without considering how that may affect me. We discussed it for about an hour before he had to go back to work. When he left I knew that he had a new level of understanding about me, my PTSD, and how he'd disrespected all of that. That my friends is healing. I don't expect perfection from him. I do expect continued growth as we work together to heal our Marriage.

People told me to expect healing to take anywhere from 2-5 years. We're only a bit shy of 3 years from the final D-day. I can say honestly that I no longer fear infidelity. He's not that guy anymore. Gosh that sounds so cliche... but it's accurate. He's worked so hard to develop a stronger character. Being a man of integrity is important to him now. As a Christian he is open and honest about his determination to "Die to self" and put me, us, our family before himself, and we all see the changes. That old guy tries to pop up every now and then, but the strategies and safeguards he put in place catch it and he's also open and honest about those instances. For example, he tells me about most email interactions with the women he works with. It's just something he started a couple of years ago to hold himself accountable. Emails and conversations stay impersonal and work related. He tries to keep any conversation to a "3 comment rule" which would normally consist of a response to "Hi/Hello", another generic impersonal response to "How are you" and a closing comment like "Have a good day". Emails are strictly work related conversation, despite the women in his CS Dept. trying to be friendly or funny in their responses. Well he recently was telling me about an email exchange and realized as he was talking that he'd shared personal knowledge. It wasn't flirty or even personal information about himself. The CS rep was commenting outside of a group email, in an aside email just to him, that another rep in Canada was awfully chipper that day. He responded with a comment about their hockey team being in the playoffs and it being a Canadian National holiday. I didn't say a thing right away. I thought about it for a while to determine if my feeling twitchy about it was appropriate. One of his APs was Canadian, so I was wondering if that was why it was bothering me. Before I could bring it up though, he came to me and said he had been thinking about it. He felt that he'd overstepped the boundaries he'd created for himself (and me). He wanted me to know that he realized he shouldn't have responded to that "aside" email just to him. He realized it was an open door to becoming friendly with a female co-worker, which he avoids due to his past. I was grateful because I told him long ago that I will not police him. He either becomes safe or he doesn't and my decision to stay would be based on the work he does to that end. His introspection is also of his own doing, and his desire to reassure me of his focus on character and integrity helps this healing process.

So, here we are. As I said, we are growing, learning and growing some more. I would definitely consider us fully reconciled at this time, though I hesitate to say fully healed as those wounds can still open at times. We just try to air them out and talk it through to continue the healing process.

I just want to end this with the acknowledgement that this is simply not possible if you have a WS who is not willing to do the really deep deep work inside themselves. We almost didn't make it here. I was so ready to walk away 3 years ago, and I'm not sure anyone would have blamed me. The real change happened when he started a real deep effort to walk a Christian life AND we found a really healthy church that believes in discipleship. Since then I've seen his character changing in front of my eyes.

And to be clear, I'm not saying you can only heal if you follow Christ. I'm simply saying I cannot deny the changes in my FWH as he does. I believe it's the deep introspection and desire to be a person of integrity that change a person.

I had a friend tell me once "Once a cheater, always a cheater". To me that is like saying "Once a drunk, always a drunk" when the truth is, you may always be an alcoholic, but you can live in recovery as a new healthier stronger person who understands their demons and chooses to beat them.

If you're still reading, I hope you find some encouragement in our journey. And yes, I will be posting this to the Positive Reconciliation Stories pinned thread.

Take care y'all and thanks for being there when I needed you desperately.

He cheated - It was bad
He changed - yes, they can change
We both put in the work and continue to work on our healed M.
R is possible!

posts: 1867   ·   registered: Jul. 15th, 2015   ·   location: By the sea
id 8675176

Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 4:41 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

I put this in General earlier. It was suggested I put it here too. This is a new forum for me. I'm still not quite sure I "belong" here yet.

Well – my 4 year Antiversary of DDay1 just passed and I had no idea. I realized it when a FB memory popped up of the day after – where my then 14 year old daughter and I went to lunch – desperately trying for a sense of normalcy and a break from being at home. In that photo there are 2 smiling people and anyone looking would have no idea we were so traumatized. The effort that took still boggles my mind.

Yes – the LTA then went underground for another 15 months before I found out and ultimately exposed to OBS. Then there was the visit to the local precinct due to that aftermath and threats put out on me by LTAP. And we just recently had to send a Cease and Desist to LTAP when we discovered LTAP cyberstalking and attempting to reach out using fake profiles.

4 years. Both seems like the blink of an eye and an eternity at the same time. 4 years I’ve lived with the truth that my WH had a LTA. At times I feel like Atlas carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. At times, I can almost forget this happened to me. At times I feel in-between.

I’ve learned a lot about myself and my own resiliency. I’ve learned a lot about WH. I’ve learned a lot about toxic people and how scary some really can be. I learned I can hold others together while my own world is falling apart and learned that I can keep others from knowing. I learned that doing so may be effective but really isn’t healthy. I learned I can’t pour from an empty cup and made my self-care a major priority. I’ve learned WH had a side he kept very hidden [he’s since had a shit ton of IC]. I’ve learned there is no shame in IC and currently am going again myself after this Cease and Desist thing. I’ve learned it OK to not be OK. I’ve learned to ask for help. I’ve learned to lean into the triggers and feel the feels. I’ve learned triggers happen and suck but we can learn to process them. I’ve learned to have a plan and a backup plan (for triggers, for marriage, for life). I’ve learned there is a world of healing and help out there [thanks SI]. I’ve learned to keep fu*king going. I’ve learned the world will keep on turning – it up to me if I want to hide in the basement or dance in the sun.

Some days, I do wonder when this became my life. Some days I do hurt. Some days I do succumb to Lizard Brain. Most days, I just go about the business of being my usual BASGU [bad ass sparkly goddess unicorn] self.

Infidelity has changed me. I won’t let it define me.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3802   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8675464

Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 4:04 PM on Monday, July 19th, 2021

Well y'all...I MADE IT !! Today is my 7th antiversary. I could NEVER have imagined that I would be looking forward to this day...yet here I am...all giddy and stuff !!

Y'all can read about my original Dday for some background on it in the "Positive Reconciliation Stories" thread...on page 13 . Skan starts off that page with a positive story of her own...may she Rest In Peace .

THIS A season was very unexpected for me because it didn't have the pain that the previous A seasons had . That was a very NICE surprise! There were a few things that happened this year that may have contributed. First...Covid shut down so MUCH last year...and it felt GOOD to get back to some sense of normalcy this year . My Dad passed away...which gave LIFE a nuanced meaning. A good friend of mine passed away as well...and he and his wife were married about the same time as when my 1st Dday hit. Seeing her GRIEF at the funeral...knowing her husband is gone from this made me even more grateful that my husband is still here.

I don't know which event made more significance. It was probably a little of ALL of the events that happened leading up to and during my A season that may have been significant. I won't underestimate the path I have taken toward MY healing as well. I FOUGHT...for ME...and I've WON . I have had some GREAT friends and family on this site who have continued to show their support and LOVE through MY journey OUT of infidelity...and I THANK each and every one of YOU for being here for me . Last...but certainly not FAITH has returned and God has been so GOOD to US !!! Whatever it was...THIS A season was...well...not that big of a deal...and that says a LOT !!!

By the time my 1st antiversary rolled H and I had constructed a pretty decent EACH DAY of those 68 days of his A from the previous year...I pored over the information we had. I relived what HE was doing as well as what I was...and the feelings were so overwhelming .

The 2nd can read all about it on page 13 of the "Positive Reconciliation Stories" thread .

The 3rd antiversary was a turning point in my HEALING . By this time I was fairly convinced that we were going to stay together...and that I was going to have the loving and faithful spouse that I wanted in order to be in this happy and healthy M . Those words in italics...I came up with that as a PLAN for MY life not too long after Dday. I told my H what my PLAN was...and said that IF he wanted it too...GREAT. If he didn't...I would find someone who WOULD!! My H agreed wholeheartedly with this PLAN...and we started working on it TOGETHER .

By my 3rd antiversary...I knew that reliving those 68 days over and over in my head was only going to create a rut in my neuropathways that I didn't need to have. I KNEW what was in the PAST...and I was ready to move FORWARD again to live out my fairytale M and have my "happily ever after" . isn't is moving on .

Sometime around or after the 3rd antiversary...I found out about the Google timeline from a post someone did on here. MOST of our original timeline was spot on...but some of the when he first went to her house...were off. My H could remember what THEY did...he just couldn't remember what particular day they did these things. We tweaked our timeline to reflect what the Google timeline showed...and I was able to get more of the pieces to FIT in that affair puzzle. a present to ME...I forced myself to NOT look at the calendars...timeline...emails...etc...that I had all the information on during my 4th A season. It didn't work out that well though . I would panic at a certain date during A season...wondering what REALLY happened...and I just HAD to look . Once I saw what happened on a particular calmed me down...but then it made me sad because I felt I had let myself down .

On my 5th A season...I didn't force anything . If I felt the NEED to look...I looked. Somehow...THIS helped me to NOT look . My 6th A season...Covid...I don't need to say any more because we ALL know what THAT was like.

Now we come to THIS A season . I actually LOOKED at the calendars and the timeline...but not with was more like a detective looking at a cold case...out of curiosity. Because my H was working overseas during his A...I have finite times with time stamped restaurant and event receipts. I have a LOT of trivial information such as gas receipts...ATM store receipts...that are all time I can practically tell how long THEY were together.

Believe it or not...I SAW things that happened...that were there all the time...but the emotions got in the way of doing a clinical analysis so to speak. They didn't amount to much in the grand scheme of things...but I could glean stuff to show the reason for WHY certain things happened. It was sort of FUN to put more pieces together. YES...I said that right...FUN .

I didn't KNOW what my reality actually was during my H's A. By putting this stuff together...I could tell that THEY didn't know what THEIR reality actually was either . My H and his adultery co-conspirator each had their own perspective of WHAT this affair was...and it did NOT align with the other's perspective. They USED each other...and ended up causing FAR worse things to happen to THEM than they ever did to ME. I am a pretty decent person who came out WAY BETTER than either of THEM did. YES...I am decent...even if I was cussing like a sailor when I first got on here !!

I've healed . Those first years though...DANG!!! Besides the constant cussing...I remember the warts on my hands...EIGHTEEN of them...just popping up all over the place . They are all gone now . My teeth were breaking too...THAT was surprising! My dentist asked if I was under stress...because sometimes people grind their teeth at night if they are stressed. AHA!! After I told my H what the dentist said...he told me that sometimes I was waking him up at night because I was grinding my teeth so LOUD !! It has now been several years that I have had that happen though. The "zoning out" has ended too...woohoo!!! My poor family had no idea what was going on when I was in this phase. I bet it was scary! I saw that video of Beyonce at a basketball game once...with JayZ. The reason I saw it was because people were making fun of it...saying that her body must have been inhabited by aliens because of her blank stare and the rocking back and forth that she did. When I saw that video though...I KNEW WHY she was doing that . Worst of all for me was the shaking . Oh body would just start shaking and I could NOT control it! I couldn't understand what was happening...and feared that it was causing some kind of reaction to my central nervous system that was going to be permanent .

I knew I HAD to find a way to get control of all of this...for my HEALTH. I just didn't know HOW . Thank God I am a curious person by nature . My reaction to my H's confession on Dday...when I told him the M was over...with NO emotion whatsoever...that intrigued me. It was like my body took over and just REACTED. I am still proud to this day of how I reacted . That POPPED that affair fantasy bubble he was in so FAST!!! A WS wrote in the Wayward Forum about "limbic lag". When I looked that became so CLEAR to me about WHY I reacted the way I did...because of the experience I had gone through with my 1st H...almost 30 years to the DAY earlier!! My "lizard brain" took over...and I was in flight response. I stayed in that response for a while...until my limbic system calmed down .

Another thing going for me...which some of you MIGHT have picked up on from these years I have been on here ...was that I have always had a POSITIVE personality . I KNOW my WORTH . I also KNOW that being POSITIVE has helped me maneuver through many of MY life's troubles. But THIS experience...I have to destroyed me . didn't . I was still there...under ALL that CRAP...and I made it OUT of that HELL...into the LIGHT...and it FEELS...SOOOOOOO...GOOD!!! THANK YOU GOD !!!

My H and I are CELEBRATING our Mv2.0 tonight...just like we have since our 2nd antiversary...the one you can read about on page 13 of the "Positive Reconciliation Stories" thread at the TOP of this Forum . I gave him another chance to RISE to MY expectations of him...and he has far surpassed every expectation I had . Like Joseph in the Bible...what was meant to DESTROY me...God took it and made GOOD come out of it . I truly have the BEST M I've ever M I always dreamed of...with a H who is so IN LOVE with me that he can't even fathom that he was ever THAT person he was before. He has helped ME heal...and I have helped HIM too . He WAS broken...I was just bent . We stand much straighter now...and we are doing it TOGETHER!! Like my tagline says...we were two IMPERFECT people...who have...TOGETHER...made this PERFECT marriage! I am LIVING PROOF that not only CAN you survive can THRIVE despite it !!! THANK YOU GOD...because with HIM...ALL things are possible !!!

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: 6627   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8676714

Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 2:08 PM on Sunday, August 15th, 2021

I danced and sang before and after supper last night for THE FIRST TIME since 2018.

I was happy, I let it rip....I am no singer nor dancer... laugh But it felt so great to do something for me, with me.

I am healing. My husband watched in amusement. We had a great time.

It's the little things that make the biggest positive impact! grin

fBW. My heart is scarred.

posts: 373   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2020
id 8683598

Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 4:11 PM on Thursday, August 19th, 2021

So WH is out of state for the next few days on an annual guys camping trip. I've been having a hard time with this. He used this area as cover during his LTA. While he has been going on this particular trip since before we met almost 30 years ago - with LTAP cyberstalking and a Cease and Desist having to be sent a few months back I am extra tense.

I got home yesterday to find a bouquet of flowers on the kitchen table and pillows arranged under the covers on his side of the bed.

It was touching. Lizard Brain tried to creep in and remind me of LTA and LTAP - but I [surprisingly easily] shut it down. No PTSD reaction, no panic, no trigger. Just a big smile from a touching gesture.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3802   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8684361

strugglebus ( member #55656) posted at 4:48 PM on Sunday, September 26th, 2021

Yesterday, was 5 years out and that feels like a true milestone.

I can say that I feel like I have recovered from the affair.

I no longer have intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares or mind movies about the affair.

I enjoy many forms of media that touch on the subject of infidelity without an adverse reaction (movies, tv shows, books, podcasts etc).

I no longer dwell on the events or wish things were different.

I routinely visit places that I used to go to with the OW and do activities that we did together as friends without a second thought. Those memories are mixed in with so many new experiences that they have faded almost completely. They don't cause me pain to consider.

I don't have an issue trusting new people in my life. (This was a large issue in the early years of recovery).

The affair doesn't come into my mind most weeks. In fact, often times months pass and I don't think of it. When it does come to mind, it upsets me maybe 1/10 times. It's more like a passing fact - like the fact that my beloved granny died years ago. The fact is still sad, but it doesn't make me sad the majority of the time.

On the occasions when I do feel upset and would like some support, my partner has no issue with discussing it in whatever depth I wish to do so. Our discussions are calm, centered and based in respect and understanding in care.

I consider myself in the process of healing. I have lingering physical effects from the trauma (an autoimmune disorder lying dormant was activated by the stress, per my doctors). The impacts of my condition will be life long, but I have made

Sometimes I will find myself depressed without knowing why and when I investigate I realize that it is a date from the affair. This happened this week, I literally forgot DDay. I was chugging along doing all the things, making plans, etc and out of nowhere I feel very down. When I told my husband I was really sad but I had no idea why, he was the one who reminded me what the 25th was. I bounced back to normal pretty quickly (literally the day after the depression hit, it lifted). I'm sure that body-led emotional reaction with no attachments to thought patterns is something I will address with my therapist.

We both say we are back to a happy marriage with a healthy amount of trust. I trust my husband to handle himself respectfully and with good boundaries based on the consistent actions, attitude and growth I have seen from him over the past five years. But more importantly I trust myself to uphold my own boundaries and do what is most healthy for me if he proves that trust wrong. I no longer make excuses or doubt my gut - if I have a question, I ask it. If something feels off, I address it. My husband is transparent, brings up concerns and has changed careers all in an effort to be the kind of person he wants to be (rather than the one that he was).

Our daily life is pretty normal (as normal as it can be in 2021). We both have fulfilling jobs and personal hobbies at home plus we have some fun hobbies that we do with the entire family. Our boys are both teenagers and so we have been having a lot of fun playing cooperative games and learning new skills as a group. We spend a lot of time 1:1 including date nights (planned and spontaneous) but we also just like to spend the night on the couch listening to music or watching something together.

I love my husband, without any qualifiers. There are no "but" statements silently in my mind when I say it. I'm proud of the marriage and the life we have built out of the ruins. But really I am proud of myself. I have come a long way since the person I was in 2016 even before the devastation. I am changed in many ways, some bad, some good but most ABSOLUTELY FUCKING AMAZING. I am the most authentic and least fearful version of myself and that is the best revenge.

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 8690309

Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 8:49 PM on Saturday, October 30th, 2021

StruggleBus, I hope to be you in a few years. Would you say that it has taken the whole five years to get where you are? How did you feel a year or two in?

Husband had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Married 20 years at that point; two teenaged kids. Reconciling.

posts: 638   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8695916

merrmeade ( new member #36180) posted at 11:14 PM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

I can say that I feel like I have recovered from the affair.

I no longer have intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares or mind movies about the affair.

I enjoy many forms of media that touch on the subject of infidelity without an adverse reaction (movies, tv shows, books, podcasts etc).

I no longer dwell on the events or wish things were different.

I routinely visit places that I used to go to with the OW and do activities that we did together as friends without a second thought. Those memories are mixed in with so many new experiences that they have faded almost completely. They don't cause me pain to consider.

I don't have an issue trusting new people in my life. (This was a large issue in the early years of recovery).

The affair doesn't come into my mind most weeks. In fact, often times months pass and I don't think of it. When it does come to mind, it upsets me maybe 1/10 times.

Ditto most of this. Mainly it's that I'm stronger than the PTSD. I stopped being triggered because I stopped caring about making the AP, an in-law, understand what she'd done. That was possible because of the realization that she can't. My husband does and is accountable. That was key.

I agree, too, that being stronger, clearer and more secure in what I need for my own happiness has made the relationship better - more mature, authentic and, therefore, more enduring. There's not much to miss from the clueless denial we perpetuated during the time of the affair and before.

Still, it was like opening a door with dynamite that was already open.

Aren't we all a work in progress?

posts: 26   ·   registered: Jul. 19th, 2012   ·   location: US
id 8697135

BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 7:22 PM on Monday, November 8th, 2021

Last night, as we were cuddled talking in bed, my BH kissed my forehead and whispered, "You are my forever person."

He's the only one in the world who knows everything about me now, all the toxic shit I had to disclose... and yet he found the grace and strength to see me as more than that. Out of all of his options, he still picked me.


posts: 3636   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8697567

psychmom ( member #47498) posted at 1:48 PM on Friday, December 10th, 2021

Hello to all! Life on the other side has been good. It’s been over 7 years since DDay1. A few days ago my fWH put his forehead against mine and once again apologized for his selfish actions and the devastation he brought upon me and our family. He thanked me for giving him the chance to change himself, to gain his place as my husband and father of our 2 amazing and awesome adult daughters. I need to hear his genuine words of remorse occasionally to keep this all in proper perspective.

For those still struggling, listen to your inner voice. Trust your gut. If your person is worth the work of Reconciliation, give it a chance. Put 100% effort into healing yourself and keep your persons feet to the fire. Make them prove their worth to you. If they don’t, accept that they are toxic to you and your well-being. It is better to be alone and healing then involved with someone who cares more about themself than about you. Your inner voice will guide you.

We can’t change others but we can give them a space to make changes. The test is what they choose to do with that space. Cheaters can change. It comes down to why they cheated and whether they are willing and capable of facing the darker parts of themself and work to change and improve. And you’ll improve, too, since you’ll be forced to re-evaluate everything about yourself and the life you are living. Use that gift wisely.

I’ve taken a longer break from here than at any point since I joined SI in April 2015. I witnessed so many good people reaching out to help others. I knew you all were in excellent hands. I came here today because I read a story presented as a "positive story" of a couple who finally left their spouses and found "forever live" together. The message being to follow your heart and dreams. But what I saw was a trail of devastation and broken hearts and lives as 2 families were destroyed so these 2 could be happy together.

Once we’ve made it to the world of infidelity there is no turning back, no way this experience won’t change us. We can choose how our story ends. But before we get to our happy ending, we must face many battles within ourself and as we fight for a life we may not be ready to let go. Those early days and yes, years, are brutal. But keep faith that you will survive and you will go on to create a good and healthy life for yourself. You have it inside of you to choose yourself and your happiness. Use the support of the wise snd wonderful old timers you’ll find here. They helped me get where I am today and I am forever grateful.

In peace,

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

posts: 4271   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2015   ·   location: Land of Renewed Peace of Mind
id 8703373

This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 5:27 PM on Friday, December 10th, 2021

Some signs of progress are a little less exciting but nice to notice either way.

One thing that happens during R is you get so caught up with improved communication, trying to pay off the massive debt in the "sentiment override" bank that you might not recognize when you have really hit the positive side of that love bank.

This morning I was a little snarky (as I used to be more frequently). I apologized and said, "I could have made that a more positive interaction". My wife said, "You don't need to apologize. I like when you are a bit sarcastic and snarky, you've been serious for long enough. It's ok to put the books down, we are in a really good place."

Maybe not gonna blow anyone's mind with this post. Just a small sample of something I probably wouldn't have posted if W2BH didn't ask for a Christmas gift. I do think it's a positive R story.


Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2673   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8703483
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