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Healing and Reconciliation on two different schedules

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mrplspls posted 12/6/2020 11:23 AM

I wrote about our situation in "Just Found Out" in September.
I have been asked to start again here.
We have a relationship that stretches back over 37 years.
A marriage that will hit 35 years this coming March.

This past September my wife confessed to extra marital PA back in the fall of 87 and the spring of 88.

I will try to post a clear time line of the affair.

I knew that there was turmoil in her heart only in 88, I thought that it was unrequited.
We healed and stayed together. Had and raised three children, now adults ages 30, 28, and 24.
My wife has been a devoted and loving partner since 88. She looks back at her situation then and uses sincerely words such as regret, remorse, sorry beyond sorry. It makes her sick and disgusted to think about the choices she made, the risks she took and the blindness she suffered from.
The recent confession hit me like a ton of bricks. In my mind this threat to "us" felt like a recent thing. I was angry, I was hurt, I had questions. I had an episode of self harm. I felt pain in my body from emotional overload. They say that the injured spouse goes on a roller coaster of emotion. I rode it.
Calmness has begun to come back into my life.
I am aware that I am always able to have an emotional setback.

More to come...

Want2BHappyAgain posted 12/6/2020 12:00 PM

This is a good place to be if you are planning on going for R with your wife . Waywards can't post in the JFO Forum...so you may be able to get some insight from WW's who have been in your wife's shoes.

There have been several BH's in your shoes also who have moved here and will be able to give you some insight too . I applaud people who can post in the JFO Forum because it is very hard for me to do. THIS Forum is the one I am most comfortable in...and hopefully you will find answers that you are looking for .

Unhinged posted 12/6/2020 18:30 PM

Healing and reconciliation are two very different things and each has its own "schedule."

Healing is all you. Focus on you, mrplspls, your recovery and healing. I cannot stress enough how vitally important it is to recover before you say reconcile. Forget about your marriage for a while. Forget about reconciliation. Just focus on you, your recovery and healing.

Reconciliation is about restoration and harmony. Most of that work falls upon the shoulders of the wayward spouse. They have to be willing and able, I believe, to explain it all as well as they possibly can, even knowing that we, the betrayed, will never truly understand. It takes a lot of patients, courage and fortitude to endure the inevitable fall-out and still do their best to repair the damage.

I read enough of your thread in the JFO to be familiar with your story. I think you'll find the guidance and support in the R forum to be more compassionate and thoughtful. We value serenity in the R forum.

Oooohhhmmmmmm....

Keep posting where you're most comfortable, brother (within the guidelines, of course).

HouseOfPlane posted 12/6/2020 19:26 PM

Unhinged

I cannot stress enough how vitally important it is to recover before you say reconcile.
True dat

You got untethered from your reality, and you need to sink some new roots down before worrying too much about fixing the marriage.

Don't be in too much of a hurry to replace the old life narrative with a new one. It's OK to be in a state of not-knowing. Not a natural state for human beings, we love certainty in our lives, but in order to make room for new perspective you have the jettison the old, and then wait to fill the space it occupied.

In short, do a lot of just watching and listening. you thought you knew your wife. You didn't.

Sending strength!

Bigger posted 12/7/2020 07:27 AM

We value serenity in the R forum.

For some reason the first lines of The Power of Love with Frankie Goes to Hollywood sprung to mind when I read that from Unhinged:

Iíll protect your from the hooded claw,
Keep the vampires from your doorÖ

I am certain that Unhinged will keep your thread safe, even if the vampires from your past come knocking on this threadÖ

Heal yourself. That is the best advice one can offer. Keep in mind that itís two separate processes Ė the helping yourself and working on the marriage.

Would you say that you and your wife have true, open communications? Are you totally unafraid to be totally 100% honest to her? What about the future? You two ever talked about how that should look?

sisoon posted 12/7/2020 13:20 PM

IMO, recovery/healing is about processing the anger, grief, fear, and shame that come with being betrayed out of one's body. In doing that work, a BS will often meet obstacles, and those obstacles need to be removed or circumvented in order to continue healing. It's hard work, but the payoff makes the work worthwhile.

Also IMO, BSes need to do that work whether they D or R. It's probably a fact that a BS can heal without help from the WS. It's also probably a fact that a BS - any person - has to heal on his own, because the only person who knows what they need to do to heal is the person who's healing.

You heal you.
WS heals WS.
Together WS & BS heal the M.

IOW, don't let your WS hold your healing back.

R is a process of (re)building/healing the M, of creating an M that serves both partners. The BS can't do that alone.

R requires work from both BS & WS. IMO, both partners need to be on a healing path for themselves as individuals for them to be effective at creating the M they want.

*****

Not only is your healing possibly on a different timeline than your R. Your healing and your R may be on different TLs than your W's.

My reco is to look for consistent incremental improvements in your life.

*****

Welcome to R. If you haven't read these threads, I recommend you do so:


http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/healing_library/reconciliation/what-every-wayward-spouse-needs-to-know.asp - if this resonates with you, I suggest printing it off and giving the printout to your H as 'something you found on the web.' My reco: DO NOT tell your H about SI until you're sure he's on board for R.

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=361740&HL=14993 - serjr threads for newbies

Tactical Primer:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=235051

Boundaries and Consequences 101:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=385631

Setting Healthy Boundaries:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=231851

Before You Say Reconcile:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=406548

The Simplified 180:
https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=598080

20/20 Hindsight: What I Wish I'd Done:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=161389

mrplspls posted 12/11/2020 07:51 AM

Wow, helpful words, helpful resources.

I do find that I need to filter through things. Some guidance for those dealing with infidelity "hot" seems hard to apply to infidelity "cooled" by decades.

Sometimes in moments of anger I want time travel, I want things I cannot have.

So much time has gone by and I can only impact today and my future.

HouseOfPlane posted 12/12/2020 11:05 AM

MR++, never forget that we all live an arranged marriage. In my case, it was arranged by two hormone-fueled 20-somethings who had no clue about anything.

TwoDozen posted 12/14/2020 09:43 AM

@mrplspls actually if I couldíve had anything I wanted on Dday of what you call ďhotĒ infidelity it wouldíve been a time machine. So I think there are still many similarities between hot and cooled.

It took my WGF around 2-3 months before she was wishing she could have a time machine too

never forget that we all live an arranged marriage. In my case, it was arranged by two hormone-fueled 20-somethings who had no clue about anything

One of the best quotes Iíve seen on this site, although Iím not married the sentiment applies

mrplspls posted 12/14/2020 09:58 AM

I love the hormone fuelled quote too.

I understand the spirit of saying young = clueless, yet I think we also had a lot of clues.

We stumbled across a letter my wife wrote to her father in April 1987 and in it she predicted SO many things that came to pass. Back to school, find new jobs and start a family all explicitly written.

So hormones pushed and pulled, but a clue or two or three lay at the heart of our story....

mrplspls posted 12/16/2020 15:04 PM

I have been asking questions, getting truthful responses, thoughtful discussions.
If the path of reconciliation is lined with hard truths and deep thoughts, we are getting there.

I am able to remind her of things she has said and put them into a context.
She made mistakes, keeping things secret from me certainly was one. We may never be sure of her role, his role in setting the stage for a work relationship, a boss - employee relationship turning into trouble.
In the end, she hated herself and had to heal from an abusive scenario because she had been lured away from me....

Bigger posted 12/18/2020 03:41 AM

What was their work-relationship? I know he was her boss, but did he hire her? Was he the top-boss or a department manager? Age difference? What was her age and his age at the time?
Was this your WW first serious job? Career move upwards?

Donít take this as an excuse for her. I am on record for demanding personal accountability and no matter how the affair started then itís definitely on her. Iím trying to better to understand the dynamics that led her to the stage where she consistently passed each hurdle thinking ďthis is OKĒ.

fooled13years posted 12/18/2020 07:51 AM

mrplspls, as I did not experience R I am basing my statements below on what I have gleaned from those who did experience R

Healing and Reconciliation on two different schedules

From what I understand there really is no set schedule in regards to R.

Good days and bad days are experienced.

Set backs happen.

A TT shows up and resets the process back to zero.

If R is the ultimate goal then take some of the pressure off and get rid of any self-imposed schedule.

I wish you the best.

Thumos posted 12/18/2020 08:42 AM

We may never be sure of her role

Stipulating that your wife is a lucid and reasonably intelligent human being in possession of her cognitive faculties, sheís quite sure of her role, even if you arenít.

This statement seems to indicate a form of rug sweeping. Youíre getting a kinder gentler approach here in the R forum, but I hope no one helps you enable rugsweeping.

I continue to insist that authentic reconciliation requires the whole truth. Accepting less than that sets you up for hellish limbo, swallowing your pain and being haunted by questions the rest of your days.

That doesnít mean she has to recall every whispered word of dialogue or every scene in excruciating detail like a novelist.

But accepting a black puzzle box from her as a dark gift isnít going to get you an authentic reconciliation.

[This message edited by Thumos at 5:46 PM, December 18th (Friday)]

Unhinged posted 12/18/2020 08:45 AM

In the end, she hated herself and had to heal from an abusive scenario because she had been lured away from me....
Is this something that she's said or is this your analysis?

There are predators out there, both men and women, who are constantly on the look-out for vulnerable people. It's entirely possible that the OM (her boss) was the "aggressor" who knew how to manipulate your wife into doing... whatever.

If that was the case, the question then becomes: why was she so vulnerable?

I wanted (needed, demanded) to know and understand, at least as well I could, why my FWW was vulnerable to an affair. More importantly, however, if we were going to stay married, I had to understand why she was no longer so vulnerable.

Butforthegrace posted 12/18/2020 11:24 AM

We may never be sure of her role

I concur with the comment above that you saying this smacks of a desire to rug-sweep the truth. In fact you can be absolutely crystal clear of her role. It can be inferred by working outward from the factual truth:

She decided to take off her clothes and lie down and allow him to have sex with her.

Why?

Because she wanted to.

Why?

Because ....

I have not seen you describe the affair as a rape or sexual assault. It was, to my understanding, a consensual act between two adults. Her "role" was an adult woman who decided to, wanted to, and consented to having sex with another man.

sisoon posted 12/18/2020 11:36 AM

There's no question that my W was manipulated into sex by ow.

That in no way mitigates her responsibility - all she had to do was say 'No!' at any point before she betrayed herself and me.

I urge you not to make the mistake of minimizing what your W has done.

*****

Is every reader aware of the 'Fun & Games' forum? If not, for your reference, I recommend the 'Quote' thread and the 'Stupid Picture Friday' thread if you're looking for a laugh or if you think you need a laugh.

I've added HOP's brilliant insight to the quote thread.

mrplspls posted 12/18/2020 12:19 PM

What was their work-relationship? I know he was her boss, but did he hire her? Was he the top-boss or a department manager? Age difference? What was her age and his age at the time?
Was this your WW first serious job? Career move upwards?
Donít take this as an excuse for her. I am on record for demanding personal accountability and no matter how the affair started then itís definitely on her. Iím trying to better to understand the dynamics that led her to the stage where she consistently passed each hurdle thinking ďthis is OKĒ.

It was her first serious job. She had worked as a grocery store cashier part time for high school and university.
Then she graduated and a friend suggested she work at her husband's chain of stereo stores, first as a book keeper and then she went on to the sales floor, attracted by how much money sales folks were making. She was the only female on the sales floor. It was the 80's, the work environment was openly sexist. Guys felt they could be crude suggestive and descriptive. Her looks were always on discussion. Some peers would take the time to grind their clothed crotches into her butt if she bent over behind the counter or on the sales floor.
The boss did not hire her. He did come on as a "good cop", did not curtail or end the abuse of others, but as he took a shine to her, he was luring her, be my girl and all the others will back off. She was 23,24 and 25 in the hostile work years. when he arrived he was 29 and she 25.
He was store manager. Only above him were store owners. They were ruthless and known to fire staff on the spot, so element of fear, store manager played protector role.
In the two times there was sexual interaction, she admits once she was very drunk
There were other factors. More to come

Thumos posted 12/18/2020 12:22 PM

Her "role" was an adult woman who decided to, wanted to, and consented to having sex with another man.

And told him at the time she was prepared to leave him for OM - doesnít sound like anything predatory at all - this admission was apparently rug swept for decades until his cognitive dissonance overwhelmed and more of the truth came tumbling out.

But letís face it - he already knew there was an intense physical affair. A wife doesnít threaten to leave for another man out of the blue.

Butforthegrace posted 12/18/2020 12:51 PM

There were other factors. More to come

Yes, such as the factor that she was in a committed relationship with you and, by what you have said, went to great lengths to sneak and lie to you so she could have sex with this man. My God, man, how much effort you put into covering for her?

Millions of people remains faithfully married as they navigate the normal stresses associated with moving into the adult world of work and family.

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