Newest Member: Serenity7

Reconciliation :
Could use some encouragement, I screwed up

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BluerThanBlue ( Member #74855) posted at 4:06 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

<threadjack>Thumos, to clarify what I meant by "crass"... I don't like tone of language policing, but I also don't like cuckold as slur against betrayed men because they don't deserve to be defined by something their wives have done.

On the other hand, I do understand that you were trying to get him to realize the ways in which he's being emasculated at home, and with that, I 100% agree.</threadjack>

HowCouldSheDoIt, I'm glad that you don't have an imminent plans to quit your job and that you aren't willing to completely give up financial power in your relationship. I just hope that you will work on obtaining power in other aspects of your relationship, because at the moment, you are flailing around on puppet strings that your wife is pulling.

I would like to R, make up for my prior behaviors which are probably not abusive but were generally shitty. That wasn't how I want to behave and I've changed.

This is akin to talking about how you want to buy new curtains while your house is burning down. You need to address the fire first-- her cheating and the impact it's had on your relationship-- before you can even think about her grievances, which are petty in comparison.

Also, another user said this in a previous thread (I think it was ChamomileTea), but a common mistake a lot of betrayed spouses make is think that if they listen to and help fix the problems their cheating spouse had before the affair, the cheating spouse will then be more willing and amenable to fix the problems the affair caused and the betrayed spouse will get their chance to be heard.

As this user pointed out, if you put your cheating wife's needs first, your chance will never come. By the time you've given her everything she's wanted and get completely frustrated with how little you get back, she will tell you the affair is old news and that you're still living in the past.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 10:07 AM, July 14th (Wednesday)]

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 474   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8675449
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HardKnocks ( Member #70957) posted at 4:16 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

One one hand it is a waiting game, some have told me their WS "got it" later, after a year or two of living as roommates. Things clicked and they were able to rebuild.

Huh. I missed those posts.

What I see is people who are unhappy with their spouse's efforts staying unhappy for years and years. Inaction usually leads to more inaction. No action = no satisfaction.

BW 30 year marriage.
DDay2 2/20 5 month PA
My Ducks are Aligned and I'm Good to Go! :)

posts: 307   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2019
id 8675455
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OwningItNow ( Member #52288) posted at 4:25 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

One one hand it is a waiting game, some have told me their WS "got it" later, after a year or two of living as roommates. Things clicked and they were able to rebuild.

Who said this? Which page? Was it only one member or more than one? I have never seen anyone say that something changed suddenly, for no reason, and would like to go back and read this.

I have never known a WS to change from a stagnant situation and believe you may be mistaken. From what I have read, waiting leads to more waiting. There are many, many posters living in stagnated limbo. These posters are married but not happy. I'd really like to read these "waiting" situations you speak of.

me: BS/WS
h: WS/BS

Reject the rejector.
Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5263   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8675457
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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 4:39 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

Who said this? Which page? Was it only one member or more than one? I have never seen anyone say that something changed suddenly, for no reason, and would like to go back and read this.

I have never known a WS to change from a stagnant situation and believe you may be mistaken. From what I have read, waiting leads to more waiting. There are many, many posters living in stagnated limbo. These posters are married but not happy. I'd really like to read these "waiting" situations you speak of.

Agreed. Sounds like a big heaping bowl of hopium in a pipe to me. People don't suddenly change their core personality. It is possible for people to achieve metanoia -- but they must want it and seek it first.

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

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

posts: 4218   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8675462
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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 4:41 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

cuckold

Oh I didn't realize this was what was being referred to as crass. I don’t consider “cuckold” a slur when referring to adultery. I consider myself a cuckold as a betrayed husband. I'm a fan of blunt old fashioned language that gets to the point. I realize “cuckold” has been misappropriated in other contexts but not when we're talking about adultery.

I do understand your point and don't entirely disagree. That said what I'm really trying to do is get the OP to stand on his own two feet and stop accepting this untenable situation. I was saying if he quits his job, he only makes things worse.

[This message edited by Thumos at 10:44 AM, July 14th (Wednesday)]

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

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

posts: 4218   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8675465
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DevastatedDee ( Member #59873) posted at 5:57 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

One one hand it is a waiting game, some have told me their WS "got it" later, after a year or two of living as roommates. Things clicked and they were able to rebuild.

There's no magical thing that will happen to make everything as it was before. There's no way to remove the pain and betrayal by mining the past for things that you did wrong. There's no way out of dealing with this. Things aren't going to "click" magically for her. You aren't going to have that moment where she looks across the room at you and meets your eyes and suddenly romantic music swells and she sees the error of her ways and suddenly falls swooning at your feet in appreciation of how wonderful you are. There is no sudden character transplant coming her way.

This happened and there's just no way around it. There's not any easy way out of it. You're going to have to walk straight through it just like the rest of us have. You can blow everyone's advice and observations off for a little while, but you won't have a choice but to come back to it in the coming months. You will change whether you want to or not. You won't be so able to deal with this limbo as time goes on and she starts going out of town.

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 4442   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8675480
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OwningItNow ( Member #52288) posted at 6:41 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

And as a by-the-by, you two aren't living as roommates, which would at least be a type of boundary or consequence. So not sure how you are imagining she will suddenly get it.

me: BS/WS
h: WS/BS

Reject the rejector.
Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5263   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8675504
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Oldwounds ( Member #54486) posted at 6:51 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

Things clicked and they were able to rebuild.

This would be a first in known history.

I know you aren't being literal, but R is a....truck ton...of really hard work, by BOTH people.

On the other hand I also know it takes pain to make a change, like filing for D.

If you think the only way to get her full participation is to file, I fear this relationship is already done.

The pain is already here -- your wife betrayed you -- and isn't ready to own her poor choices.

You asked earlier if you were still "in infidelity" and maybe not, however your wife is certainly showing you wayward behavior and attitude.

You asking for her empathy is not controlling. Many a WS use the 'control' word instead of showing compassion, that's not a good thing.

The wounded party should not have to ask, or beg or hope for empathy.

As a good friend here explained to me, infidelity is always a deal breaker. Always.

If your wife is still around, she should be leading the rebuild, not dragged along for the R.

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

posts: 4175   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8675509
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 HowCouldSheDoIt (original poster Member #78431) posted at 8:18 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

I have never known a WS to change from a stagnant situation and believe you may be mistaken. From what I have read, waiting leads to more waiting. There are many, many posters living in stagnated limbo. These posters are married but not happy. I'd really like to read these "waiting" situations you speak of.

I don't know if I could find them, but the context was around not attempting R until the WS was ready. So employ the 180 and when the WS is ready, with real remorse, you'll know.

I have this recollection to hold boundaries and just carry on with your own life, and as you heal it can affect the wayward to come around to R, or not, or D, obviously no guarantees.

And yes, I know, I'm not doing the 180 myself. But this is what I recall.

If you think the only way to get her full participation is to file, I fear this relationship is already done.

It might be but I had hope(ium) for a bit there. And just for clarity I wouldn't threaten D to get participation, what I mean to say was there are other examples here where the BS totally gives up, can't take it, and just wants to end the M. Then the WS comes around. So pain, moving to D, that's what it took.

I told myself I would give it a year. I had hope, I saw real tears, she wanted to make amends.

And as a by-the-by, you two aren't living as roommates

The past few days we have, but generally you're right, we haven't been. But here's something strange... It has only been about a week since last sex, but I'm not wanting it. Usually I do. But currently I feel a small amount of anxiety / fear regarding sex. Maybe it will pass, but this is different...

Me: BH Early 50's
Her: WW Early 50's
D-Day Nov 2020
Married 21 years before D-Day
3 children
Working toward reconciling. The most difficult thing I've had to do in my life.

posts: 239   ·   registered: Mar. 3rd, 2021
id 8675541
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DIFM ( Member #1703) posted at 8:29 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

... It has only been about a week since last sex...

This is the operative and definitive reality. And "only" in the context of a week will be looked back on, after many months, with a clearer view of how valuable or not that one week was. Wat occurs or happens over months and months seems to be a better precedent and predicter of what the future holds. A week is a second, in infidelity recovery timelines.

[This message edited by DIFM at 2:31 PM, July 14th, 2021 (Wednesday)]

posts: 1726   ·   registered: Jul. 14th, 2003
id 8675543
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 9:03 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

I don't know if I could find them, but the context was around not attempting R until the WS was ready. So employ the 180 and when the WS is ready, with real remorse, you'll know.

I have this recollection to hold boundaries and just carry on with your own life, and as you heal it can affect the wayward to come around to R, or not, or D, obviously no guarantees.

And yes, I know, I'm not doing the 180 myself. But this is what I recall.

OK. Fair enough, but you misremembered or misinterpreted what you read.

The 180 is a tool for building your own resources and detaching from an unremorseful WS. It's a step toward D, not a step toward R.

The 180 minimizes communications. R maximize communications. The 2 do not mix.

Sometimes an unremorseful WS comes around when faced with D. Sometimes an unremorseful WS turns around when faced with the 180.

Yes, it doesn't make sense to enter R until the WS is ready, but I don't remember many BSes counseling others to wait indefinitely for their WSes. My sense of the pro-R SIers is that they think you look for the behavior you want from your WS, and if you don't see it, forget about R.

*****

How is something a comfort if it's not what you want when you want it? If your W does what she wants on her schedule, doesn't that add to your stress? Why accept it?

Do not state your needs. Ask for what you want. Make a lot of requests. A lot of 'yeses' indicate maybe you're a good mach for each other. Too many 'noes' means you're not a good fit.

If your W offers you something you don't want, tell her. How else will she learn to give you what you want?

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 26008   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8675558
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HoldingTogether ( Member #29429) posted at 9:33 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

One one hand it is a waiting game, some have told me their WS "got it" later, after a year or two of living as roommates. Things clicked and they were able to rebuild.

Oh buddy, you have got this so fucking backward! This is not a waiting game. A waiting game is about the worse fucking thing you could possibly do.

You wrote recently that you would like to know what is going on in her head. Well, let me give you my best guess based on 10+ years of reading on this site and dealing with this shit:

What is probably going on is that she is busily building the case in her head. She is telling herself that she isn’t a bad person. And if she isn’t a bad person? Well then there must be some good reason that she behaved the way she did. Sure there is… something must have driven her to act the way she did! She’s not a bad person! As a matter of fact she is probably the victim here!

Yeah, that’s the ticket! She’s the victim.

If you think I am just tearing into your wife or her character as some kind of ad hominem attack please do not misunderstand. That kind of shit is not unique to your wife. That kind of shit isn’t even unique to WS’. That shit is a pretty basic human survival instinct.

The human ego is a fragile thing and it will go to some pretty fucking extreme lengths to protect itself. I mean seriously, do you think most people that do bad or even evil shit actually think to themselves “I am a bad evil person”? Of course they don’t. What they do is rationalize and justify their behavior until they can tell themselves that the reason they behaved in a bad or evil manner is because their hands were forced by outside factors.

There are no mustache twirling villains man. Just tragically flawed humans lying to themselves to justify their own self gratification.

The problem with that is that the longer the lies rationalizations and justifications go on, the more time people have to buttress, reenforce and polish them, the fucking harder it becomes to make them see the actual fucking truth. Let that shit go long enough, play the “waiting game” long enough, and it becomes damn near impossible.

I have seen that shit happen over and over and over again. Both here on this site and in my day to day life.

The fact is that there is a vanishingly small window of opportunity to try to make a person face the reality of their actions. That clock is ticking my friend.

And the only real way to make a person face the reality of their actions is by letting them actually deal with the fallout and repercussions.

Something that you seem inexplicably hesitant to do.

As I said before. You need to get real. And you need to get real real quick.

And listen, I am not some hard ass, hate all WS, just divorce and move on guy. Fuck, if anything I would be considered Proreconcilliation here on SI. But I am trying to get you to see that everything that you are doing right now to try to save your marriage is more likely to fucking torpedo it in the long run.

Probably the smartest thing that gets said around here is this: “You have to be willing to end your marriage in order to save it.” Truer words have not been spoken.

You desperately want to save this marriage. She knows that. So she knows that, no matter what she does, you seem likely to stick around… With her knowing that, given the choice between doing the difficult, arduous and ego bruising work of facing her Demons and fixing herself or continuing on with the status quo. Which one do you think she is going to fucking pick?

You don’t need to be a fortune teller to figure that one out.

Get real with her man. Figure out what you need to have in order to heal and then demand that as a condition of staying with her. Starting today.

But you gotta fucking mean it man. No bluffing, no trying to manipulate her with empty threats. You need to get there in your own head or it’s all fucking pointless.

Best of luck to you man. Strength and healing brother.

HT

Us-Reconciled.
You keep waiting for the dust to settle, and then you realize... This is it, that dust is your life going on.

posts: 999   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010   ·   location: New Life
id 8675574
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BluerThanBlue ( Member #74855) posted at 10:55 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

Let me chime into the chorus saying that no WS suddenly wakes up and has an epiphany that they're treating their spouse like crap and need to mend their ways. If that happens after a year or more, it's because their betrayed spouse got fed up and filed.

Of course, you could be referring to other posts in Reconciliation where the BS rejoices because their WS showed them a tiny ounce of human decency, which they consider progress. These posts usually go something like this:

"It's been 5 years since DDay, during which my wife has been treating me like an ugly but very comfortable piece of furniture that she can't afford to replace and is too valuable to simply throw away.

But today, for the first time in our 20-year marriage, she asked me, 'How are you? Would you like pizza or Chinese for dinner?' You guys... I think she's finally getting it!!!"

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 474   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8675597
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This0is0Fine ( Member #72277) posted at 10:59 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

And just for clarity I wouldn't threaten D to get participation, what I mean to say was there are other examples here where the BS totally gives up, can't take it, and just wants to end the M. Then the WS comes around. So pain, moving to D, that's what it took.

Yep, that's what it takes. It's not exactly "waiting". It's suffering until you can't take it anymore, which drives you to action. Some of us are capable of suffering a great deal before we are driven to action.

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

posts: 1329   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8675601
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 HowCouldSheDoIt (original poster Member #78431) posted at 12:05 AM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

As this user pointed out, if you put your cheating wife's needs first, your chance will never come

This is very, very true. I'm actually kind of angry thinking about it just now:

A few weeks ago I was telling WW how I think that our MC screwed me up. I said it wasn't two months after finding out, with me still being in shock and trauma, that I'm sitting there while you tell me all about how horrible I was about the snow and the mice and the money. And having to muster all the empathy I could what that horrible MC would ask me "How does that make you feel? How does it feel to hurt your wife like that? Look at her! Look at her and tell her of your shame"

I then continued on by telling her that I never got a turn. I never got a turn to sit and write out and go through for 30 min about how this has harmed me, what I lost, what was taken, how I feel about it. I never got that chance.

This was I maybe a month ago, I don't remember. So I'm telling her this, and she didn't really say much other than "Yeah." She could have apologized for the experience. She could have discussed it with me. She could have offered to have me sit and do that activity with her. She could have asked me what she could do to make it better. She could have done many things to respond to my comment.

So you are so, 100% right. So far my turn has not come.

I'm going to re-read some of DaddyDom's posts, his suggestion was just to detach and see how things play out, and then before she leaves in a few weeks I can tell her that I'm very unsure about where this is going, that I'm tired of stating my needs and what I want, and if this M is worth saving, then save it. She pulled out all the stops getting her career in order. Lots of internet searches, paid subscriptions to different organizations, calling people / networking, attending meet-ups, etc. She's very resourceful when interested in something. She could do many things, the least of which a google search on generating some ideas to show remorse and empathy.

I'm also feeling hurt because a couple weeks ago I had the discussion about how in addition to some safety I'm going to need while she's gone, I also need her to acknowledge that this is difficult. I need her to tell me she understands, what she's doing so I feel safe. This was again like a month ago. I would think that she could have said something since then like "I know this upcoming trip is hard for you but I'll be there for you" or "I know I fucked up and so you're having trouble with this, but tell me what else you need." Instead she has never mentioned it.

My turn has not come.

Me: BH Early 50's
Her: WW Early 50's
D-Day Nov 2020
Married 21 years before D-Day
3 children
Working toward reconciling. The most difficult thing I've had to do in my life.

posts: 239   ·   registered: Mar. 3rd, 2021
id 8675628
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OwningItNow ( Member #52288) posted at 12:27 AM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Yep. You are seeing it now, and we all know what you mean. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. And it hurts, makes you angry, until one day you think, "What the absolute f$ck? I do not need this! I am sick of eating my feelings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner while he/she enjoys life. I cannot handle this even one more minute. I'd rather be alone."

Honestly, that day that you hit your wall is freeing. Finally someone picks you and listens to you. It still feels great even though it's just you picking you. It still feels fantastic.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 6:32 PM, July 14th (Wednesday)]

me: BS/WS
h: WS/BS

Reject the rejector.
Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5263   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8675632
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EllieKMAS ( Member #68900) posted at 12:55 AM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

When someone wants something they well put in effort to get it usually.

Your ww refuses to give you anything you need or want from her. She won't allow you to talk about the A. She won't offer you empathy unless you beg for it or schedule a 'comfort break'... of course so long as that works with her schedule and doesn't make her feel uncomfy at all. She will only offer you the tiniest crumbs of affection or compassion provided that you've spent enough money or have beat yourself up enough emotionally so you're sufficiently repentant to her for all of your meany-headness to sit her fancy. She won't allow you to speak honestly about your feelings. She did major damage to her child that she's not dealt with. She is going on a 6 week excursion, during which time she will have uninhibited access hundreds of available potential fuck buddies, but will offer you NO reassurance AND made the choice to do this worth NO thought of you. She has made sure to keep twisting the knife about what an awful abusive husband you were. She comtinues to blame you for her choosing to fornicate with a total stranger.

You saw a tear or two and got some words. Color me underwhelmed.

So what actual REAL effort to address anything substantive about her affair have you actually seen exactly?

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"Being weird is just a side effect of being awesome."– Unknown

posts: 3140   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8675641
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nekonamida ( Member #42956) posted at 1:43 AM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

I'm going to re-read some of DaddyDom's posts, his suggestion was just to detach and see how things play out, and then before she leaves in a few weeks I can tell her that I'm very unsure about where this is going, that I'm tired of stating my needs and what I want, and if this M is worth saving, then save it. She pulled out all the stops getting her career in order. Lots of internet searches, paid subscriptions to different organizations, calling people / networking, attending meet-ups, etc. She's very resourceful when interested in something. She could do many things, the least of which a google search on generating some ideas to show remorse and empathy.

This is a great idea. Better yet, be prepared to see a lawyer and start making steps towards separation if she doesn't step up by the time she leaves for her training. You will drive yourself crazy if you wait out the entire year while she travels around unaccounted for.

posts: 4961   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8675667
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masti ( Member #54237) posted at 2:50 AM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

I'm actually kind of angry thinking about it just now

Yess! Now use that anger constructively. Look if you end up separating/divorcing remember she was the one who took the infidelity sledgehammer to the marriage. And you might be surprised to find that your children support you.

posts: 119   ·   registered: Jul. 19th, 2016
id 8675690
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medieval ( New Member #78429) posted at 2:59 AM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Having gone through your story and the path you are looking at moving forward one thing becomes glaringly obvious - your wife is setting herself up with an exit strategy.

She is doing the absolute minimum in addressing the cheating up to and including blame shifting and rug-sweeping. Far from helping you overcome this to move on with R, she is feeding you the odd kibble to keep you in line so that the waters are somewhat smoothed for her. Her taking umbridge at your comment just shouts this. She has a mental picture in her head as to who she is as a person, and that doesn't include who you see her as.

But realistically, you are sleep walking yourself into a disaster of marriage ending proportions - something that was probably seeded back when you did MC. That allowed her to reset herself as the victim in this, with you as the "reason" for her cheating and it's telling that her reaction to you calling her "unprincipled" was so firm. It went directly against who she sees herself as being. You feeling that way bought into play a risk to her ultimate exit plan, the one that doesn't involve you.

You may think this story is about you but right now it is all about her. Everything has been about her, even the R has been about her. Unless you change this course then this story will continue on it's merry way to it's ultimate conclusion - the failure of your marriage.

For her, she is actively working on getting her "reward" for feeding you some hope. She gets some financial and some physical freedom to go with her new found sense of "guiltless self". And she will take full advantage of it and once she starts fully into her new job you will not see her for her dust.

Your comment whilst watching a tv show is not the screw up here, the whole R is.

She is walking out the door and you are standing by wondering if it's just to get the papers.

posts: 5   ·   registered: Mar. 3rd, 2021   ·   location: Australia
id 8675693
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