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Reconciliation :
Positive Reconciliation Stories

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HFSSC ( member #33338) posted at 9:10 PM on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

This is especially for Want2be.

25 years ago today, JM and I said our vows to each other. I was looking at pictures last night. The picture of Daddy giving me a kiss on the cheek almost broke me. But they're good tears, because I was loved so deeply by my daddy. There's a picture of me and ds30, who was so cute in his little tux that matched JM's. DS walked me down the aisle and JM made vows to him as well.

And man, we made a mess of things. Both of us were broken, each of us thinking the other would surely fix everything. 11 years ago today, JM began to write the email that would unravel us. I would find it 2 weeks later, the day after spending my birthday helping dear friends bury their 23 year old son. 2011 was so hard. We separated, attempted "R" (which was not even close to actual R) and separated again.

I was DONE. D. O. N. E. Our false R didn't just fall apart, it blew apart like a nuclear blast. My discovery of the truth (that he remained in almost daily contact with OW despite swearing to me on everything holy that he didn't even know how to get in touch with her if he wanted to) culminated in a dramatic suicide threat at my work. I chased him and took him to our scheduled MC appointment and sorta manipulated him into making the threat again in front of our MC. He was then admitted to a psych unit for his protection. While he was there I packed up all of his belongings and put them in our garage. I met with his social worker and told her I didn't care where he went when he was discharged as long as it wasn't my house. I was honestly ready for him to be dropped off at a homeless shelter if he couldn't convince his parents to let him stay with them.

And somewhere along the way, he finally managed to get his head out of his butt. He had a spiritual experience that transformed him almost to his DNA level. He physically changed. He carried himself differently. His facial expressions and manner of speaking changed. He became humble and willing to do anything and everything to fix the mess he'd caused. So 10 years ago today we renewed our vows. And we have rebuilt our family on a foundation of shared faith, love and mutual respect. We had one "hiccup" in R that required a little adjustment. At that time, the Wayward forum was absolutely critical for our recovery. I'd been here almost a year at that point, but JM was never one to be online, and certainly not one to share his problems and ask for help.

Did I mention, though, his willingness to do anything? He fought through the discomfort because it mattered to me. He bared himself, asked questions, and listened to the answers. He printed out The Life Boat post and carried it with him. That's when I knew we were going to be okay.

I've shared this before, but I'll never get tired of this story. I came home from work one evening and he met me at the door. Told me to close my eyes. He guided me to our room and to sit down in a chair. He had a basin of warm water and proceeded to wash my feet in this warm soapy water. He dried them and then put lotion on them. All the while, he was weeping. And so was I. It was a tender act of humility and service that carried such powerful emotion and meaning.

So here I am today, sitting at my desk at work. He sent me some gorgeous flowers today and the scent of roses is amazing. At one point I thought he'd ruined our anniversary forever. But today I find it a precious gift. Because I can never think of our anniversary without thinking about how close we came to losing it all, and how hard we both fought to build something new.

I'll close with my favorite verse from one of my favorite hymns.

"Here I raise my Ebenezer; hither by thy help I've come;

And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God.

He to rescue me from danger, interposed His precious blood."

Ebenezer is a remembrance. A memorial stone placed to remind us where we once were and where we've come by God's help. Our anniversary will always be our Ebenezer.

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

posts: 4813   ·   registered: Sep. 12th, 2011   ·   location: South Carolina
id 8704139
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 8:33 PM on Thursday, January 27th, 2022

Posted two weeks ago in the R forum, reposting here:

Today my wife is finishing up the annual review process at her new job (maybe not super new at this point). She was asked to join a colleague (male) for drinks some time this weekend. Both the colleague's spouse and myself were invited initially (potentially kids too depending on location TBD at the time). We looked a little more at plans and it made more sense for them to just meet without everyone getting together. This doesn't bother me at all. There is no pattern that would match what I saw previously, and no risk in my mind of this being another EA.

That said, our conversation was WAY different from the last time she went to go get beers with a friend (who was a mutual friend with the AP). At that time it had been something like, "Do whatever you want." She said, "But there will be consequences?" I said, "Yes." and she went anyway.

This time, I said, "You should just go alone and talk shop. I don't want to deal with a baby sitter, I'm not going to drink any beer anyway (New Year's Resolution in play). I'd rather just stay home with the boys."

She said, "No really, we can just cancel, I don't have to go. I promise you this isn't anything but I don't want you to be even a little uncomfortable."

"It's really totally fine. This is way different than the last time you went out for drinks alone, and I think you can feel that difference."

"I really don't want you to be anxious. It's really no problem if it doesn't fit in our schedule."

"It doesn't bother me at all. Go have a year end beer, and I'll see you when you get back."

"I understand if you are anxious at all though. I could see how it could look."

"That's a solid transference of vigilance, you know from that book on forgiveness [Note: How Can I Forgive You, by Janis Spring], and I think you've handled this really well. Seriously, just go have a beer."

"Thanks."

Then we hugged.

...

Following the beers

...

She had a beer or two then came back when she said she would. We talked about what they talked about. Mostly work stuff. A little bit new years resolutions sort of stuff. Nothing surprising or too personal.

She said she couldn't help but to mentally compare it to her EA (that started at a conference over drinks with a coworker) but could recognize how different this meeting was emotionally. That she has good boundaries now and would immediately leave if she felt like anything flirty or bitching about spouses came up. She said she felt very aware of her words and actions. That she was acting as though I was there with her.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 8:34 PM, Thursday, January 27th]

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

posts: 2173   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8712157
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Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 1:59 PM on Wednesday, February 16th, 2022

I wrote this particular post on Valentine's Day. I got several positive comments on it...so I felt it should be in THIS thread too smile . I copied this post...but I used a LOT of emojis as well as the bold and italics in my original post. They don't paste well when I copy them...so I HOPE I fix all of them on here laugh !!

"You can't start the next chapter of your life...if you keep re-reading the last one."

This was one of the quotes that the adultery co-conspirator showed my H on the only full weekend he stayed at her house during his A. He said she had this written down in a journal...along with several other writings she "came up with". He was amazed at all of these thoughts she had that were put into words with these profound writings...so she sent him a picture of this one and another one for him to keep rolleyes . He was so SHOCKED when I showed him these same "writings" in memes. He really thought SHE had written these herself duh . Nope...just one more LIE she let him believe about her...just like the LIES he let her believe about him rolleyes .

I actually used this quote in the final email I sent the adultery co-conspirator tongue . I THANKED her for giving my H that quote blink ...and let her know that WE were starting the next chapter of OUR life...because his chapter with her was DONE wink . I can picture her face to this day...what it would have looked like when she read that quote I wrote to her...and KNEW that my H then KNEW another LIE she told him. I am not sure if that was the final nail in the coffin...because I wrote a LOT of venomous things...even though they were all true...in that email. She never tried to contact either of us since that time though...so mission accomplished grin .

This morning my H and I exchanged Valentine's Day cards smile . My day started off so WELL grin !! Then we started our daily Bible Study. WARNING: there is some faith based stuff after this!!

As a Catholic...I subscribe to "The Word Among Us" and read the articles as part of my personal daily devotional. I was reading the article titled "Silence is not Absence". It was a pretty fascinating article that started off with a psychological study that was called "planning fallacy". This study showed how people underestimate how much time it will take to accomplish a task.

The article then went on to talk about growing Chinese bamboo. It seems like nothing is happening with this bamboo...until about year 5. No sprouts...no stems...nothing. Then suddenly...this bamboo can grow about 90 feet in 5 weeks shocked !! What has been going on for those 5 years is something that can't be seen...above ground anyway smile . During that time though...the seeds of the bamboo have been setting out a root system that goes wide and DEEP in order to sustain the plant when it does start to sprout smile . I tell you...I was really getting into this article grin !!!

Suddenly I saw the words...in BOLD letters...Turn the Page. DANG crying . Trigger city crying . It brought me right back to the day my H showed me the picture of that quote. How he described where they were...in her living room...on her couch...when she shared with him her PRIVATE journal. He remembered thinking how he felt bad for leading her on into thinking that he cared...and she actually took a picture and sent two of those quotes to him. He also told me about being amazed at how PROFOUND her writings were...he was really impressed at that moment. It was a moment they SHARED. He had no idea at the time that she was lying to him...and had her own agenda like he did. To HIM...she was baring her soul to a man she was head over heels in love with...and he felt bad...but good...at the same time crying . Of course...with my help wink ...he realized that this SHARED moment was not REAL duh . It was just two SELFISH people creating this FAKE moment to propel their agenda forward rolleyes .

I OWNED this quote on the day I wrote it to the adultery co-conspirator in that venomous email. But MAN...it sure caught me by surprise when I read those words today. Isn't it weird how ALL of this can come flooding back in SECONDS? Only...time stood still when I read those words...and not in a good way crying .

I am not sure if it was because Valentine's Day was coming up...or because I am home in a self imposed quarantine...or because I have been reading about all of the posts on here showing the heartache that THIS day brings. But the devil has sure been trying his best to get me down lately. he didn't succeed...until I read those words crying . I tried to hide the tears from my H...who was sitting right next to me reading his personal daily devotional. But when it came time for us to read OUR devotional together...he could sense that something wasn't right.

He grabbed my hand and asked if everything was alright. I shook my head NO...and then the tears started crying . He immediately said he was sorry to see me hurting. Then he asked if I wanted to talk about it. I didn't want to talk about it because I don't want to bring his A up in his face anymore. But he gently persuaded me to open up...and then the damn broke. Tears flowing freely...I told him what triggered me crying .

My H sat there and listened...never letting go of my hand smile . After I finished he apologized for being the one to cause me so much pain. We went on to finish Bible Study...and then hugged before he went to get dressed to go to work. He makes sure I get my 4 hugs a day!

While he was getting dressed I asked him how all of this made him feel. He said he feels shame that HE is the cause of this pain. He feels helpless because he knows there is nothing he can do to erase anything that he did. He feels hopeful though because we can talk it out now and we can move on from it. Move on from it. Turn the page. See where I am going?!

After my H left for work...I went back to that article. I started where it said in bold...Turn the Page. The paragraph talks about how some people may be reading a book...then something really bad happens to their favorite character. Some people may just stop reading the book...or even throw it against the wall! But then they pick the book back up and keep reading...because they want to know what comes next. It then ends the paragraph with THIS profound writing...Just because something terrible has happened doesn't mean you abandon the story. It means you turn the page.

I turned the page smile . WE turned the page grin . I am going to add the above writing to my mindset about that quote that the adultery co-conspirator used. WE can't start the next chapter in our M if we keep re-reading the last one. Something TERRIBLE happened in our M...but we didn't abandon it...we just turned the page grin !!

This also applies to my 1st M...which ended in D after my H left me after I caught him with a 2nd adultery co-conspirator . It was a TERRIBLE time...but my life's story did NOT end there! I turned the page...and my story kept going smile . YES...I was put in infidelity HELL again through no fault of my own. But God never abandoned me...and somehow...He made my life RICHER despite it smile . He's amazing at doing stuff like that when we let Him grin !

May we never underestimate what God is doing when it seemed that He was doing nothing. Pretty profound smile . I won't be like the adultery co-conspirator...and pretend that I could come up with this! This was the last sentence in that article this morning smile . My DEAR faith filled friends and family on here...no matter WHAT life throws at us...we KNOW the end of our story will be GLORIOUS smile . Let's don't abandon OUR story just because something bad happens. Just turn the page...start the next chapter of our lives...whatever path we take...and ENJOY the ride grin .

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: 6323   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8716501
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howcouldthisbe ( member #4446) posted at 10:21 PM on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022

Update 2/22/2022: We're still together and I've gone on to get my Master's degree. We have two teenaged sons now, and I work as a psychotherapist, helping others through their own post-traumatic triggers. We still have our ups & downs and hubby has struggled with alcohol addiction and other forms of triangulation with hobbies. But he's in therapy and continues to work on figuring out what led him to this avoidant attachment style in the first place. Truly, do NOT give up - if the offending partner is willing to work on it, keep working together.

I highly recommend a good therapist trained in Gottman and/or EFT. You need a therapist who knows affair recovery. It takes 3-5 years before you'll both feel like you have your feet under you again. There is no quick-fix and it takes work, but if you love each other and can set good boundaries to protect your relationship, it's worth the work.

I am SO, SO thankful to this group. You have no idea how much you all helped during those early days. I wish loads of love and healing and recovery to all of you.

At time of A Me:37, H:36, Son:1
Dday1: 4/24/04 (claimed EA), Miscarriage: 4/28/04, Dday2: 6/20/04 (lied), Dday3: 6/21/04 (got ALL details of PA) "The only way out is through" ~Carl Jung

posts: 443   ·   registered: May. 24th, 2004   ·   location: California
id 8718176
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DrJekyll ( member #43618) posted at 11:41 AM on Wednesday, March 9th, 2022

Copying post here for history

It has been a few years since I have been here. But holesinmybucket and I are well reconciled. And have a better marriage than we have ever had. Triggers are rare on both sides. And through all the emotional growth we have gone through some rough times and come through stronger. Last summer our middle child had a full spinal fusion to treat severe scoliosis. But we are all well. Although I will say planning a kitchen remodel will put your relationship to the test. My friends, I want to remind you that reconciliation is possible. It will be the hardest thing you go through but will be worth it, if you put in the work. Hang in there and keep fighting.

A wound can be stitched shut, but it decides when it will heal on its own.

ME: WH HER: BS (holesinmybucket)

I do not PM with Women

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. C.S.Lewis

posts: 1266   ·   registered: Jun. 3rd, 2014   ·   location: Midwest
id 8721970
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Chicklette ( member #70303) posted at 1:51 PM on Friday, April 1st, 2022

I posted this Tuesday 22nd March.

It’s 16:30 here in the UK and I’ve just realised today is the three year anniversary of DDay. It’s funny really as I’ve been in a bit of a funk the last few days, knowing it was approaching. But now that it’s here... meh. Two years ago I had to take FWH into the shower with me as I knew I’d be hugely triggered. Today we haven’t even been together and it’s fine.

For me, FWH’s true remorse and willingness to really work on himself are what has made me able to recover quicker than some. The first year was pure torture but since then things have got easier. I still think about the A every day, but I rarely get into a panic any more.

Wishing you all the healing you deserve, all of you SIers out there. Infidelity is the worst thing to happen to any of us and takes the longest time to get over. I thought that first year would never end. But it did, and here I am. Still standing, still walking around like a ‘normal’ person. Still remembering that there is so much good in the world, and so much love.

Me: BS 59 at DDay
WH: 61 at DDay
Married: 27 years at DDay
Dday: 22 March 2019
In R since 11 April 2019
I love him and have forgiven him. He’s very contrite.

posts: 157   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Essex UK
id 8727284
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Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 4:16 AM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

I have been trying to get a BS and their WS to write a post together in the "Positive Reconciliation Stories" thread for several years now. It just dawned on me that my H and I could be that couple grin !! I asked my H…Want2LieNoMore…for a special anniversary present this year…one that can be shared with my friends and family on SI. We are each going to write a POSITIVE reconciliation story!! So…here goes MINE smile !!

Our Anniversary Story

Almost everything about US has been magical from the start…signs from God everywhere about how WE should be together smile . We had our ups and downs like most married couples…but more ups than downs by far! When we became empty nesters…we decided to have some adult fun since we were on our own…and set out on some rather risqué escapades. We were like kids in a candy store…and had a lot of FUN on these escapades!! What started out as fun for US...became our worst nightmare sad . My H decided he wanted MORE…and set about having sex with someone in secret crying . He told himself he would take this secret to his grave...what I didn't know wouldn't hurt me duh . He didn’t expect the feeling of GUILT and SHAME of what he had done. I often say that NO ONE leaves unscathed from an A…and my H’s A nearly cost us the most precious thing we had ever known…being US.

That was THEN…this is NOW grin ! One of the most significant changes we did…after all our years of M…is that my H and I finally turned TOWARD God…TOGETHER smile . My H reached out to God first…because he was looking for a way to FIX his broken relationship with God. He read his Bible from cover to cover…then took my Catholic Bible and read the books that weren’t in his. We started reading devotionals while sitting next to one another…and eventually started reading some of them together. I have to say that THIS part has been the most FUN and FULFILLING thing WE have ever done!! We have often said how much we WISH we would have done this more soon…but we can’t ever go back. We can however…go forward…and we DO smile .

I believe that RESPECT is the key to having the awesome M we have now. We still argue…we still have our disagreements…but we also have respect for each other like we have never had before…which makes our arguments and disagreements less volatile. This respect has strengthened our bond in a way that love or trust never did. We found that love and trust…without respect…are more like nouns. We want the verb versions grin !!

I came up with a mantra not too long after Dday…I was going to OWN the A!! I started to OWN the triggers first. It was rough in the beginning…but as I went through them I got stronger smile . My H started helping me with the triggers…and it soon became a FUN way of us bonding!! I have a cool write up about one of them in particular…in the "Positive Reconciliation Stories" thread...on page 13 blink . WE now OWN Dday!! We now CELEBRATE it as our marriage…version 2.0(Mv2.0) smile .

Life is what YOU make it my dear friends and family smile . My H and I are determined to spend as much time as we can…making OUR life a joyous one!! We both have PEACE now…the peace that only Jesus can give…something our souls craved for way too long. It took us many years and a lot of trials and tribulations to finally find what made US happy. The answer was there all along…but we were too blind to see it at the time duh . We are very happy that we finally opened our eyes to the possibility of what we now KNOW. We don’t know how much time we will be able to have together…but we know that we now will spend whatever time we have left…TOGETHER smile . It truly is our favorite place to be grin !!!

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: 6323   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8731562
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Want2LieNoMore ( new member #48628) posted at 4:17 AM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

This is my anniversary gift to W2BHA.

Romans 8:28:
"For God works all things together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose."

This was just another verse in the Bible, until a little after d day when my wife told me she couldn't believe I damned my soul to hell for committing adultery. That hit home and I started to question. I picked up a Prayer book and started reading.

I quickly realized that God and Prayer was missing in my life. I read more…then every morning.

Then one day, my wife asked me if we could do Bible Study together. More resources emerged and I started learning not only about the sins I had been committing, but about how we should be living our lives for God.

One day I heard about the Fruits of the Holy Spirit and realized that there was much more to this than I knew or imagined.

Together we study, question, and search for better understanding not only of the Bible, but of the world and why we do the things we do, and more importantly how to change to align our lives with God's path for us.

As we learn and apply the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, our lives together thrive better than ever in our marriage.

We find Joy in each other. We are MUCH more Patient with each other, even when we are upset. We quickly realize when we are not being Kind and work to fix it.

With God being first and each of us being second in our lives, we are aligned in our faith and marriage.

Reconciliation is sometimes hard. But we have found that if we apply Gods Word in every situation, our lives are filled with Blessing and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

posts: 6   ·   registered: Jul. 16th, 2015   ·   location: In Love
id 8731563
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Hannah47 ( member #80116) posted at 3:57 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

** A comforting thought experiment **

The exact extent of his past feelings for the cow is a big point of contention between us, especially in comparison to what he felt for me back then. One day a thought experiment popped in my head, providing some comfort, so I thought it would be nice to share it.

Let’s say that back in the past both me and cow are in a life-threatening situation and he gets to save only one. The other one will surely die. Who would he choose to save?

He said he would save me, but of course he’s gonna say that now. What was comforting is the fact that I had the same thought. I’m 100% certain he would save me. (As a bonus, he said he doesn’t think he’d risk his own life to save her life, in a modified thought experiment).

I know it’s silly and it’s not a decisive victory - it’s only a small victory but I’m gonna take it!

posts: 134   ·   registered: Mar. 21st, 2022
id 8741226
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Omnipicus ( new member #79316) posted at 1:58 AM on Thursday, July 7th, 2022

1 year was last week. It’s been the hardest year of my life. Somehow it’s gotten a bit easier with time and a lot of genuine remorse from my WW.

I have to admit that I have not forgiven her yet and am still nowhere near trusting of her despite her over the top effort to help me get it back.

My wife has done everything about as well as a WS can. She went to counseling, she’s been very honest, she’s constantly let me know where she is and made sure I knew for sure she wasn’t with anyone else. She confessed the next day when she cheated (I got confirmation of timeline from AP wife). She admitted a month after it was over when she kept seeing him bc it was so addicting. That helps bc I know she can’t keep things from me bc she hates hurting me.

She told me she never ever wants to be in that again bc the addiction can be so strong and you know you’re giving yourself to somebody else and it’s too emotional not to eventually get feelings (fortunately this was over before it became too emotional). I believe her. But I admit I wonder if that addiction could ever happen again.

Right now I’ve decided to stay mainly bc i do love her and she has shown me this isn’t who she is and she wants to prove to me for the rest of our lives that she is a good wife.

It’s weird but I am almost thankful this happened in a way. I was a shy pushover before this with shaky self esteem. It’s like this event backed me into a corner and forced me to face my inner demons that have held me back my whole life.
Now I’m a confident person. Now I love myself more than I ever have. Now I am more assertive and truly don’t care what people think about me anymore. And yes like many here I don’t put up with shit anymore. I don’t people please anymore bc it’s an act of control which I have let go of. I was at my breaking point where I felt so lonely bc all I had for the longest time was myself. But I’m grateful bc I needed that. I needed to look in the mirror and find myself and be the person I really am.

So yes I am better. My marriage is currently better bc we figured out all of the things we should have known before we got married. We also communicate better and share our inner feelings more which we didn’t do before.

Things seem to slowly be getting better but this cloud of pain is still there. I’m working hard on it and it’s helpful to have a wife that knows she messed up badly and still tells me to take as much time as I need to heal.

posts: 35   ·   registered: Aug. 23rd, 2021
id 8743604
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Ladybugmaam ( member #69881) posted at 8:46 PM on Friday, July 8th, 2022

Wow.....I never thought I'd ever belong to this club.....or that I would be posting here after all the pain.

Roughly 3 1/2 years ago my world turned upside down. OBS found you all first and after letting me know about the A, turned me on to this site. The devastation was like nothing I've ever experienced. There were several of you here that gave me immeasurable advice. I'm so glad to have had the support.

We were very lucky. Had great counseling IC/MC/EMDR. But mostly, we fought like hell to get through this together. I thought my marriage was a happy one. I had no idea, how MUCH happier it could be. I HATE why we got here, but I'm grateful that we did the work TO get here. The triggers are still there. But getting easier to deal with. I STILL run into OW about once a week. She STILL invades my space. And, I grit my teeth and get on with enjoying the happier marriage and life that I have now. She and OBS are divorced. OBS seems to have found his feet again and last I heard was happily dating a great lady....happy to be free of OW's toxic traits.

Flash forward to a couple of weeks ago......My FWH heard me mention how I thought the dress that Ana de Armas wore in the last James Bond movie was beautiful.....I'd love to wear something like that....but I don't have anyplace to wear it.

He researched the movie.....found the designer who was in Australia.....waited for Australia to open from Covid......ordered the dress several months in advance so that I could open it on my birthday. And, then planned a special dinner and drinks with friends who are friends of our marriage and a night in a boutique hotel.

I finally felt like I WON:). It was SO over the top, he felt a little bit like my hero again. He continues to plan amazing adventures for us. We're imperfectly doing all the things to recover and grow. My marriage will never be the same. But, it is becoming stellar. I won't settle for anything less.

EA DD 11/2018
PA DD 2/25/19
One teen son
I am a phoenix.

posts: 298   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2019
id 8743931
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 10:00 PM on Sunday, July 24th, 2022

I don’t know why this has taken me so long to put this here…..

It’s been a very long time since I have written about myself and our story. So long that there are only a small handful of members here that may even remember our story and our struggles. There are so many here that only know me as a moderator, but when I joined here I couldn’t imagine the position that I’m in now because I was such a pathetic mess.

DDay was 12 years ago today. It happened very publicly at a high school reunion and I am embarrassed and horrified by my actions during that time of my life.

I am lucky to be here today. I am lucky that through all of my husband’s pain, anger, shame, and sadness that he was still able to see something good in me and make the effort to fight for us. He is one of the best, nope the best man I have ever known. He puts his heart into everything he does and sees things through. He gives 100% in every aspect of his life and our marriage and reconciliation have not been an exception to that.

It’s funny (strange not haha) that waywards create a self fulfilling prophecy. We have a lack of self respect, don’t feel deserving of love, poor self awareness, lack of empathy, humility, vulnerability, and remorse. Yet here we are, needing to learn every bit of each and more to heal and to reconcile not just with our partner, but ourselves. I found the process of reconciliation to be a battle with all of those things.

I think the hardest part is getting started and figuring out a direction to take. I was fortunate that my husband had the wherewithal to to a search online. I had ordered a book but had no idea that something like this even existed at that time. I am also fortunate that he shared it with me as a resource. I began to read and read and finally gained the courage to post.

I spent a lot of my life being able to say and show what I always thought people wanted to hear or see in me. Reconciliation seemed no different at first. I desperately wanted that "A+" in R. Both my husband and the good people of this community were able to see through that and help me dive deeper.

I had no idea what it meant to peel back the layers or what I would find. I also had no idea how difficult of a task that actually was. I would hear people say dig deeper, be vulnerable, keep going, but I couldn’t grasp that initially. It took a good portion of two years before things began to click. Two years to develop the empathy I think every BS hopes for. It didn’t come all at once, but in small bits along the way. Each fight, each conversation building on the last until finally it grew into something more tangible. I have no idea how many hours we have spent talking about my affair. Much too many to count. Each hour, each minute has somehow brought us to this place we are today.

We had a lot of support from different places. SI, of course, which I credit most of our success to. Also, an amazing MC. When we had our last session with him, he divulged that he thought we were not going to make it when we first arrived. I was happy that we could change his mind. We also had support from AA and Al-Anon in addition to our IC sessions. Recovering from my affair had become a full time job.

We both wanted to be on the fast track of healing but that was not in the cards. There was so much to sort through. We (he) refused to sweep this under the rug. We were going to examine each piece, each hurt. We were going to look at our dynamic and work through those unhealthy behaviors (him wanting to be a KISA and me breaking down into tears to avoid conflict). We had decided that if in the end we were no longer compatible, we had done all we could and this is what I think of when we say you need to be willing to risk the M in order to save it.

I know our method isn’t cut out for everyone, but taking the deepest dive into who we were and are and our M is what has made our reconciliation a successful one. We took our time with it and revisited what needed to be. I have never tried to forget or erase what I have done. It is part of who I am and part of my marital history. I like the people we are today. We listen to each other, we prop each other up when needed and call each other out, as well. We are trying to figure out a way to semi retire and travel and just lives our best lives together.

I.Am.Lucky.

I have also worked pretty damn hard for it.

Me: WS late 40’s
Him: BH (HoldingTogether)
D Day: 7/24/2010
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

posts: 15562   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Texas
id 8747067
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psychmom ( member #47498) posted at 2:06 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

I posted this as a new topic several days ago, in memory of DDay1. I titled that post something like "8 years seems like a lifetime ago" as I reflected on how differently I feel today from "back then". I compartmentalize my recent life as "life BEFORE" and "life AFTER" DDay1. Because there really is a deep divide between those two realities. And maybe I need to add a 3rd reality, "post-life AFTER", to better represent where I am today and signify the point where real healing began to reveal itself.

I share my update in hopes of providing a glimmer of hope to those who are struggling today, to those living where I did 8 years ago. It is not an easy path, nor one suitable to all persons or situations. But Reconciliation is possible. And it's Real. It takes the right mix of ingredients, including the wisdom and support of the true warriors that have fought before us. Here is my most recent post to Positive Reconciliation Stories, with thanks to Want2BHappyAgain! grin

The start of Fall always makes me recall DDay1, the day I finally had to face the reality that my H had been living a lie for over 3 years, and life as I knew it was never going to be the same again.

It really is true that healing from this type of wound takes years, even under the best of circumstances. Our reality is challenged, we suddenly see our partner as a stranger, everything we had believed about our relationship has to be examined and questioned. The physical and emotional toll of this level of betrayal is something I could never begin to imagine until it happened to me.

And happened to me it did! But I was fortunate to have one solid girlfriend who held me up and likely saved my life more times than she knows. And then in April of 2015 I stumbled upon this website, and joined the best club nobody wants to join. 😊. The people here who had walked in my shoes and knew so much more about what I was going through and what inevitably lay ahead of me than I did. I found here a place to rant and vent and say all the horrible and scary things I felt inside that I didn’t think anyone would listen to without thinking I was nuts or pathetic. At various times I likely was one or both, but people here got it, and helped me make sense of so much that made no sense to me at the time.

On my 8 year anniversary, I salute SI and the people who make this site a safe space to heal, to hurt, to find whatever it is we’re looking for. For me, I wanted to find peace again. I wanted to jump off the emotional roller coaster way before that was possible, I wanted to stop the obsessions and incessant mind movies. I wanted to own my own mind again. I finally did, with a lot of help along the way, but it took over 3 very long years to crawl out of that darkness.

There is hope for a good life once you make peace with the past. It takes time and work to sort through the puzzle pieces and put that sucker back together again. But it can be done.

I’m at peace. I forgot my DDay and had to check my signature for the date 😉. There was that time I thought I’d never forget, never heal. But I have. And I owe much of my success to SI and the good folks here. I’d name names but I’m sure I’d forget someone, so I’ll resist. If you’re new here, I wish you the very best. And I’m so sorry you’ve found us. But this really is the best place you never thought you’d have to come looking for. If you’re among the old timers, thank you with all my heart. Keep doing the good work.

For the record, we’re still married, he hasn’t cheated again as far as I know, and our marriage has improved from what it was leading to DDay. The DDs are grown and living their best lives, and we’re inching toward retirement. The past is behind us, and that’s 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: 4269   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2015   ·   location: Back among those who found Peace of Mind
id 8755367
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strugglebus ( member #55656) posted at 10:04 PM on Monday, September 26th, 2022

Greetings members of the club no one wants to join. Today, it is CHOICE DAY for me aka the anniversary of DDay, the day I regained the information necessary for me to have full autonomy again. I used to call it "Freedom Day" but it isn’t really about freedom (though I was set free from unknowingly living a lie that day), for me the ability to have informed consent about the bodily risks I am taking on is the most crucial thing.

As always this is a day of reflection and in keeping with my own self appointed tradition, I come back to this little corner of the internet to provide a retrospective of my year.

It has been six years today since the affair came to light. In the past year a lot has happened:

The rough:
My kids lost their first grandparent and my spouse lost his father. It was at the very beginning of the year and very hard.

Our house has been hit by not one but two layoffs (blessedly they were several months apart so not the crisis it may have been)

We all got covid (first timers!) and it sucked. The only person who was not hit hard with it was our youngest who clearly has the immune system of an ox.

The above shot down our planned family vacation for the year.

The good stuff:
I landed a new job that is a much better fit than the company I was laid off from. I am learning a ton and doing work I really believe in! It’s fun and challenging and it feels like leveling up.

We celebrated our 20th anniversary in style by having a weekend away in a town neither of us have stayed in before and it was a blast. We had truly the best time together.

No triggers have come my way in a very long while. The closest I got was a dear friend sharing that she had been recently cheated on and our stories are VERY similar in creepy ways. And even then it was a very mild dull ache - like an empathy pain. No tears, no intrusive thoughts, just a small oof. When recounting certain parts of my tale.

The important bit - the bit that I think is the most crucial to healing from this particular flavor of trauma is this: you can’t make anyone do something they are unwilling to do - good or bad. You can (and should) have expectations/requirements and boundaries but it is up to you to deal with what happens if your partner falls short.

The best thing I did for both of us in the beginning was to let my husband know that I could not and would not live in unending limbo but I was willing to give him a chance to win me back. So at first I gave him six months to get on the right path or fuck off. I didn’t give him a book list or check his homework. I just watched and waited. Our first few years were basically "Goodnight, Westley. Good work today, I’ll most likely kill you in the morning."

Thankfully, I haven’t had to pull that trigger. My life is better with him than without him in it. He makes me laugh and smile every single day. From the outside no one would suspect that the house had been torched to ashes based on what we have rebuilt on the site.

Healing and growing is an ongoing process and one that may never be complete. But I can say that today I am happily married I love him and I believe that he loves me as evidenced by his consistent actions these past 6 years.

Wishing you all strength and fortitude as you walk this path. No matter which direction you go, it’s a hard road to healing.

My past updates if you are in for a read :)
1st antiversary update: https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=612040

2nd antiversary update:https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=628644

3rd antiversary update: https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=641187&HL=55656

4th antiversary: https://survivinginfidelity.com/forums/?tid=648864&HL=55656

5th antiversary: https://survivinginfidelity.com/topics/654776/5-years-/

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 8757122
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Luna10 ( member #60888) posted at 8:35 AM on Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

This is for W2BHA, I promise that if I am still happily married 10 years past dday, I will write a dedicated post in this thread (rather than copy and paste from another thread). grin

So it’s been 5 years. I only remembered because I saw Strugglbus’s update below and I knew we were pretty much a year apart in terms of ddays.

We are in a good place. Very good place I’d say. The affair is still there and it will always be a mark on our marriage history. But it isn’t as poignant as it was in the past. It became an event in our life that we dealt with and still do if anything comes up but that’s that. We all learn to deal and cope with traumatic life events and the affair feels like such an(other) event.

We’ve put in a lot of work, a lot, to be where we are. I can totally say I am proud of how my WH chose to use this as a change catalyst. He’s not perfect by all means but he’s now a new person who is able to work on any area of growth identified.

A few days ago he said something that will remain with me for a while "being given another chance to remain married to you is the best compliment anyone could have paid to me. I know I’m not on a pedestal anymore and I don’t need to be. But the fact that you gave me another chance meant that you believed in me, believed that I am not the jerk who cheated on you at my core and that I’m capable of change, that is very humbling".

I’ve changed a lot too. I’ve reorganised my life in such a way that if anything else comes up I will not become the wreck I was on dday.

And that’s the beauty of it, we, WH and I are not together because we need each other anymore. Financially we could both live independently comfortably. The kids are 15 and 21 so not a reason as such. We are together because we want to. Because we turned our lives around and it is pretty fun. We have individual hobbies and joint hobbies. We paint and draw together. We travel. We discover new places. We still discover who we are and who we can become.

Not everything is perfect of course. I do trigger sometimes if I feel like perhaps my WH did not work on certain traits that led to the affair, we usually discuss those areas.

I’m also still working on my abandonment issues. Last November I lost my brother and he was pretty much my last connection with my FOO (my mum is in a different country and has mental health issues). This means that from time to time I do get panicky feelings of being almost alone in the world and feeling that if my WH does something again I WILL be alone in the world. I do have internal chats with "little me" during those moments and I remind myself I am an adult capable to protect the little girl I once was as recommended in the Journey from Abandonment to healing. It seems to work as a coping mechanism.

So if you are just embarking on this road know this: true reconciliation is possible. Your life will change forever and if I may say so, this is an opportunity to turn it around and build the amazing life and relationship you always wanted.

On dday (or thereabouts, perhaps once I woke up from the shock of my life) I knew that the only way I could remain married was if my life and marriage will become what I always wanted it to be. No more compromise, no more conflict avoidance, no more power grabbing, an equal partnership where we discuss each arising issue with an aim to resolve it. And we do all that whilst also having fun, life is short.

You do need a willing participant to build that though, don’t compromise on that, define your boundaries and requirements and stick to it. If your WS truly wants this will join you on this path and be grateful for it. Good luck to all of you and I hope you all find peace.

Dday - 27th September 2017

posts: 1597   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: Europe
id 8757316
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