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Reconciliation :
Questions for the betrayed who've healed

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 GraceLoves (original poster Member #78769) posted at 7:27 PM on Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

Hey All

I have posted a couple of times and had great help. I have a few questions I wanted to ask of those who have been where I am standing, and I'd appreciate it so much if anyone can answer some of this for me. I feel like my head is constantly racing with these questions and I thought maybe hearing from those who have been through the same could help answer with any thoughts they have on these topics?

1. If you were drip fed and over time the story just got worse, did you, like me, find this made it much more painful and hard to deal with? Had I known the full extend from DDay I would have left the M immediately without question, but it unraveled over time and by then I had invested so much time and energy into the R I felt almost like I was beaten down and I am not sure how to screw my head back on.

2. Affairs seem to come on different levels, and in my case I thought it wasn't quite as painful because my WS had no deep feelings for the AP. A long time into R, it became obvious that was not true. He is desperate to R and has cut off AP, but the pain of knowing he had feelings for someone who was not me literally eats me up inside. It's a thousand times worse than the sex. Can anyone tell me if they have Rd in these circumstances and how it turned out? I am worried I will just never get over it.

3. My WS seems to be desperate to R but is clueless on what I need and he keeps asking me over and over to tell him. I don't know how to answer and I am getting more and more angry that he doesn't figure this all out for himself. Can anyone tell me what their WS needed to do for them to help them through this?

4. If you forgave something you found unforgivable, how did you make it right with yourself afterwards? I feel like he's trampled my boundaries so many times I don't recognise myself and I feel a deep sense of heaviness inside like it's changed how I feel for myself. How can I re-establish the strong, happy, confident person I once was?

5. How does couples counselling work? Can anyone explain what to expect from this? I feel like WS and I have so much crap to deal with because of this and he's clueless and I am angry and I have no idea what we need, but if a counsellor started trying to tell me I was partly to blame or anything I think I'd go crazy!

6. Can anyone just tell me a bit about how they made the decision to stay or leave? Finances /kids aren't at play in my situation, and his infidelity has left me in a position I feel no matter which way I turn I will be sad. How did you make the decision, and did you make the right one?

Thanks everybody. I am struggling so much right now, as we are 9 months into R but it's really only beginning properly because until recently he worked with AP and we were separated by distance but in the 9 months he has let me down so many times. I am confused about pretty much everything and have no idea how to move forward. I guess I want to be happy again! crying

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13YearsR ( Member #58259) posted at 8:46 PM on Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

I typed out this big, long response, but I backspaced over all of it because it really boils down to this:

Honor yourself first.

Take care of your needs first. Do something fun just for you. Seek IC. Detach from WS for a bit while you nurture yourself. (Think "Towanda" in Fried Green Tomatoes.)

Ask H to seek IC. When everyone's got a good grasp on their own stuff, start MC - if you still want to. wink

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem

DDay 2004 Successful R and going on 33 years married

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irwinr89 ( Member #42457) posted at 9:04 PM on Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

only 9 months is nothing and is totally normal to have all those thoughts.....like was said take time to figure out what you want, but try do it when you are in a balanced mood....it takes 3-5 years to come to grips and accept what happened to you....

whether you stay or go, you will still hurt for being cheated on, it sucks, there is no magic answer really, is like losing a limb or hand or something, you have to process your grief all the way for the healing to start, and just simply takes time to re-learn certain things and you will actually come out a better person

its important to take the time to do something for you, just you....a hobby, career kickstart, whichever.....

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EllieKMAS ( Member #68900) posted at 9:15 PM on Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

1. The common wisdom around here is that you can't forgive what you don't know. And your ws needs to be crystal clear that ANY trickle truths will reset your healing to zero every single time. I know in my case, it was the further deceit and TT that ultimately ended my M.

2. You might not get over it. I'd like to have something more philosophical to say, but it just might be that infidelity is a deal-breaker for you. That is completely up to you to decide, and it's okay if deciding that takes time. It takes a while to get your feet under you once you've had a dday.

3. Ugh - my xwh did that too. It is supremely frustrating when they act so clueless. I would say start with him buying and reading How to Help Your Spouse Heal by Linda MacDonald. But ultimately, the ws has to get their head out of their behind and start taking steps on their own. I always felt like (and said to mine more than once) that if he figured out how to have an affair on his own, then he could darn well figure out how to fix things alone too.

4. This kinda goes back to #2. That's a process finding your personal equilibrium again after dday. But if it is a deal-breaker, then it just is. I am D'd so take it with some salt, but I found me again after we separated and I went NC.

5. MC is always dicey (and there's a lot of MC's that pretty much suck). My advice is to have both of you do IC separately for a good period of time before trying MC. And if the MC tries ANY of that blame-shifting, get up and leave. Just nope that immediately.

6. I tried for R for 9 months. And then I just couldn't anymore (side note that my xwh was doing NOTHING he should have, no remorse, no healing, no IC etc). Infidelity was something I was just never going to 'get over'. Divorce sucks and it's sad and scary, but it was 1000% the right choice in my case and I have not regretted it once in 18 months.

"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

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whatisloveanyway ( Member #66450) posted at 9:26 PM on Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

Hi Grace, Apologies, upfront. I wish I was a healed BS with answers but I am not. Your questions broke me a little today. I have many of the same ones and I am struggling to find a path forward.

1. I had a terrible trickle truth, gaslit filled false recovery and I think it has affected me very deeply. I share your remorse at not having the right information all at once to make an intelligent decision. I operated in shock and heartache and never left my WH, clinging to him and playing the pick me dance. Worse, was unable to see the now obvious tells and my disappointment at my failure to protect myself is something I am still struggling with. I think it affects how I operate now, hypervigilant, trying to not let myself down again. I wish I had concrete steps to take to help you, but all I can offer is to be kind to yourself, and to remember your core values and operate on them, no matter what others do. I am 3-4 years downstream but still struggle with the mental spaghetti of all the different stories and lies I was told. I still want to rehash things to stop my brain from spiraling, and think if I could get all the facts straight, it might help. Truth is, the truth won't change anything that has happened or anything I have learned. My therapist told me that very early on and he is not wrong. Small comfort.

2. I have both stories here, OW meant nothing to me, OW and H had a deep meaningful friendship, they filled the voids in each other's lives. Like you, I can handle an A and the sex, it's the intimacy created between them, and stolen from me that is the hardest. In my WH's rear view mirror, the MOW never meant anything to him, but that is not the story I get from the evidence I have found. I'm more concerned that the story of what it was keeps changing, and I can't wrap my head around what kind of relationship they really had. I struggle to figure out what kind of relationship we have now too, in the wreckage of what remains.

3. Mine is clueless too. I know what I need, and it is meaningful, authentic conversations about our inner lives, wants and needs moving forward. I want honesty about his past needs and motivations and choices, and I really need some assurance that he recognized how far he fell and is committed to being a better person and a better spouse. I need him to make time to make my healing a priority, and I need him to do his own research and share with me what he has learned. I asked my WH to schedule healing conversations or self therapy sessions with me, to take a day off to spend on helping me through some of my mental hurdles, since neither of us is currently in therapy. I am still waiting.

4. This is a hard one. It is a hit to my psyche, that I have broken my moral code and lowered my standards to stay with someone who could betray me, lie to me and then lie to me about lying to me until I tenaciously uncovered the truth. It is very humbling and humiliating being betrayed, especially when you are the wonder couple everyone is jealous of, and I get exactly what you are feeling, heavy inside. No-one who knows me who knows about the A can fathom how I have stayed. No-one is more surprised than me. Sometimes it feels like I'm watching myself from afar, marveling at how out of character I am now, after all this. I think you need more time on this one, because life is more complicated than we knew. I am not sure I get to feel like my old confident self again, because this took so much of the wind out of my sails. You will need a lot of patience with yourself as you try to get your mojo back. Make note of everything that is awesome about you, and try to separate who YOU are from who you are in the marriage, if that makes sense. There is no getting around being changed by this, you just have to try to steer yourself toward the good changes and away from the bad ones. Also, time. Always time. I'm much better about myself now than I was in the earlier years, but it is a slow rebuild.

5. Ugh. We tried MC during false recovery, what a fiasco. I wouldn't go near MC until individual therapies have done all they can do to patch you back up and get you centered. I'm interested in other opinions here. I follow Captain Rogers' therapy posts and they have found the right match to help them make progress. The wrong therapist could set you back, so tread carefully.

6. I want my marriage and want to fight for it, so my stay decision was easy. Several years downstream, with me still struggling, I wonder what leaving would look like. I believe all the options are sad too, but I am weary of the struggle. I cling to my therapist's answer to the stay or leave question: You can always leave. You have time to decide what future you want and what it looks like. You seem to love your life, family and husband very much and they are a huge part of your identity, so what do you have to lose if you stay and figure out if this works for you? I think about that conversation a lot. I did lots of math, lists, calculating pros and cons, and the answer on paper has been to stay. But we are also reaching that critical point where Reconciliation seems to either take or break, there must be something about the 3rd or 4th years based on my reading here? If you are like me, the head and the heart are constantly negotiating with each other. I like the advice given here, to figure out what you want, and choose that path. Commit to it and give it your best shot. It will either work or it won't, but at least you have tried to make your M work if you choose to. It is really hard not to second guess everything now, and I sure empathize with your situation and wish I had answers too. I don't know if I have made the right decision, but for now, staying is what I want to try to do. I guess if it works it will be because he stepped up and did his part to help me heal. Only time will tell.


I am sending you so many hugs, because I understand how these questions must be churning in your head, and how desperately you want there to be definitive answers. It is very early in your recovery process, so you need a ton of patience with yourself. You need to get your bearings and heal from your trauma. Take note of how you are feeling, and what you need and make sure you address those needs. You may find many of these answers on your own journey, and I hope your WS can step up to help you on the way. Best of luck to you in your healing.

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.

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This0is0Fine ( Member #72277) posted at 12:53 AM on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

1. Thanks to advice here, I gave my wife a very clear understanding that I will not accept any trickle truth. That I needed a complete and total account of the affair. If at any point I get a substantive TT, I'm filing for divorce. If you think it's a dealbreaker, don't go for the sunk cost fallacy. Leave.

2. My wife's A was mostly an emotional affair. She developed deep feelings and an attachment to her AP. This combined with other stubborness on her part essentially put me in limbo for a year until I asked for D. Only then did R really begin. And probably not until a few months after that were her feelings for him well and truly in the rear view mirror.

3. "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" by Linda MacDonald. You can both read it. I think you'll find it satisfactorily describes what you would like to see behavior wise as well as the issues you are having. My wife didn't actually absorb this book and the advice within until I quoted it heavily in my written needs list that followed asking for a D.

4. I will say that broadly speaking, forgiving what I *previously* would have told you was a dealbreaker was a big eye opener in terms of how I see myself. I often tell people this is a tough part of the journey. Can you actually feel resilient in the face of injury or do you feel like a doormat that is just lying to yourself? Finding you are more capable of forgiveness than you thought you would be is not weakness or lack of integrity. "How Can I Forgive You" by Janis Spring is a great book on unraveling some of the emotions and assumptions about forgiveness. It also has stuff for your husband to consider in attempting to earn forgiveness.

5. It doesn't work until after your husband has done enough work to take 100% of the blame and accept the burden of leading the healing efforts. Maybe in exceptional cases this isn't true. Many people have found MC to be detrimental to healing. I fired my first MC. My second MC had a specialty in infidelity and helped hold my wife's feet to the fire.

6. Part of making any of my decisions, was knowing that any given decision isn't permanent. I decided to stay and try for R. My wife kept on violating agreements and I kept walking back and caving like a bitch. This put me in limbo. One day I had enough of caving like a bitch, she was testing a boundary, and I asked for a divorce because I was done living in a marriage that was constantly grinding me down emotionally and stress wise. I figured that was probably the end of it. We took a week apart, after which I told her I wouldn't be leaving the house again, but that she was free to find a new place. She wrote up a massive apology, asked for my needs and wants in the marriage, and developed a plan to meet those needs and help me heal. I chose not to move forward with the D at that time. Now we are in R, and we will be in R for as long as we can hack it. My M is much improved in a variety of ways. I'm no longer as interested in keeping the peace. I'm interested in both of us being transparent and honest more than both of us being happy. This has resulted in much better communication in general, though our communication wasn't particularly poor to begin with. We can imagine a parallel universe where those improvements come without betrayal.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 6:54 PM, August 17th (Tuesday)]

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

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This0is0Fine ( Member #72277) posted at 12:53 AM on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

double post

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 6:54 PM, August 17th (Tuesday)]

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

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Oldwounds ( Member #54486) posted at 1:17 AM on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

1. If you were drip fed and over time the story just got worse, did you, like me, find this made it much more painful and hard to deal with? Had I known the full extend from DDay I would have left the M immediately without question, but it unraveled over time and by then I had invested so much time and energy into the R I felt almost like I was beaten down and I am not sure how to screw my head back on.

Ah the dreaded "trickle truth" — it seems like it happens to most of us. My wife actually confessed her A (years later) and even that confession revealed very little of what actually happened. WS understandably try to hold to things as they feel the very next truth will end the relationship. Eventually, my wife understood I needed to know what I was being asked to live with.

2. Affairs seem to come on different levels, and in my case I thought it wasn't quite as painful because my WS had no deep feelings for the AP. A long time into R, it became obvious that was not true. He is desperate to R and has cut off AP, but the pain of knowing he had feelings for someone who was not me literally eats me up inside. It's a thousand times worse than the sex. Can anyone tell me if they have Rd in these circumstances and how it turned out? I am worried I will just never get over it.

My wife had an LTA, four years with a family friend — we babysat their kids, they watched ours, co-workers, family dinners, town fair, ugh. She was certain they loved each other, until he dumped her like a bad habit. But yeah, the feelings, the sex — it’s all a horror show.

3. My WS seems to be desperate to R but is clueless on what I need and he keeps asking me over and over to tell him. I don't know how to answer and I am getting more and more angry that he doesn't figure this all out for himself. Can anyone tell me what their WS needed to do for them to help them through this?

My wife needed to show me why I should stay. By this I mean her actions had to show me she could be honest again, she could be kind with empathy again, she could communicate when she was away from home, etc. To her credit, she took action, she read online, she went to counseling, she read books. She found a site that told her how she should approach R. Open with appreciation, affection and she apologized (almost too much on the I’m sorry stuff).

4. If you forgave something you found unforgivable, how did you make it right with yourself afterwards? I feel like he's trampled my boundaries so many times I don't recognise myself and I feel a deep sense of heaviness inside like it's changed how I feel for myself. How can I re-establish the strong, happy, confident person I once was?

I only have to accept the A happened — those are the facts. I don’t ever have to be okay with it. As for how I feel about me? I’m awesome! I kept my word. I kept my vows. I chose to offer the gift of reconciliation to my wife, as one last chance. However it goes, I feel fine knowing I did all I could to hold up my end, and then some. You’re still that person you were — you have new scars to go with it. And you have trauma to recover from, that takes time. As you do recover, you’ll remember how cool you are.

5. How does couples counselling work? Can anyone explain what to expect from this? I feel like WS and I have so much crap to deal with because of this and he's clueless and I am angry and I have no idea what we need, but if a counsellor started trying to tell me I was partly to blame or anything I think I'd go crazy!

Get a counselor who understands trauma and who understands infidelity. They are hard to find, but they exist. Ask a counselor who is generally at fault for an affair — if they say, "that depends" — hang up and go to the next name on the list. Our counselor was great, he was also a betrayed spouse. He didn’t tell us that until much later, but he did great.

6. Can anyone just tell me a bit about how they made the decision to stay or leave? Finances /kids aren't at play in my situation, and his infidelity has left me in a position I feel no matter which way I turn I will be sad. How did you make the decision, and did you make the right one?

For me — and I totally understand other people have their own reasons — the ONLY reason to EVER stay is if there is a chance to rebuild the relationship into something stronger than what there was before and most important, is worthy of your time and effort.

Infidelity is ALWAYS a deal breaker. Only stay if you think you can get a better deal.

I stayed. My wife and I are doing amazingly well, all things considered. We play no games, we have no walls, we give instead of take from each other. I’m willing to see the good in her and she’s willing to live in the now with me, focusing on what we do well in rebuilding something from the total destruction caused by infidelity.

Only you know the best way forward for you.

If it isn’t worth your time, nothing wrong with starting completely over. We don’t owe our spouses a second chance.

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

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outofsorts ( Member #70701) posted at 1:31 AM on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

Hi GraceLoves,

A few answers for you....

3.) I echo the suggestion to have your WH read How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair. That's a good starter pack of what to do. You may also have other things that you would find helpful - for example, I asked for more hugs from WH, he (voluntarily) started putting all of his money into our joint account so he had full transparency with his finances, etc., etc. At the same time, it's kind of unfair to you to expect you to always know what will help you move forward both in the long run and at a particular moment in time. It's just not that clear cut.

5.) I think it depends on the counselor you end up with. After Dday I just didn't have any idea what to do (this was well before I found SI) but MC seemed like the next logical step so WH found a MC through his Employee Assistance Plan at work. We were incredibly lucky to end up with a fantastic counselor who I think both saved my marriage and possibly my life. However, I've heard a lot of bad stories about MC at SI so I would not suggest our hope for the best approach! I would recommend talking to several MCs. If you can find one that specializes in infidelity that may be the way to go. But, at a minimum you should make sure that they plan on dealing with the damage caused by the infidelity for the near term and intermediate term future. You should also make sure that they believe that the cheating is solely the responsibility of the cheater and that the WS bears no blame for the cheating at all! And, of course, that it is someone you feel comfortable with.


I hope that some of this is helpful!!

(((hugs)))

Me(BW): 40
WH: 40
Married 7 years, together 20.
Dday 2/22/19
Reconciling

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3yrsout ( Member #50552) posted at 4:04 AM on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

If I didn’t have kids, I would have gotten out. Why stay with someone who cheats unless it’s to try to keep shit stable for the kids? It’s going to be a walk through hell no matter what. Go it alone.

Read "cheating in a nutshell". Good book. It strongly recommends separating for your sanity. Even if it’s temporary, I should have separated to heal for a bit. It would have helped me now.

And I never would have tried if I didn’t have kids. It’s just not worth it.

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Hippo16 ( Member #52440) posted at 4:23 AM on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

1. If you were drip fed and over time the story just got worse, did you, like me, find this made it much more painful and hard to deal with? Had I known the full extend from DDay I would have left the M immediately without question, but it unraveled over time and by then I had invested so much time and energy into the R I felt almost like I was beaten down and I am not sure how to screw my head back on.

Yep - BTDT -

I don't feel beaten down - but just Effed over big time but sort of blame myself for being trusing & gullible.

Head screwed on - maybe but forever jaded

2. Affairs seem to come on different levels, and in my case I thought it wasn't quite as painful because my WS had no deep feelings for the AP. A long time into R, it became obvious that was not true. He is desperate to R and has cut off AP, but the pain of knowing he had feelings for someone who was not me literally eats me up inside. It's a thousand times worse than the sex. Can anyone tell me if they have Rd in these circumstances and how it turned out? I am worried I will just never get over it.

You never "get over it" - you have a memory forever until death or senilty takes your brain.

My WS had "deep feelings" as "he treated her nice" etc.

I will never get over her not being woman enough to come to me and tell be things had to change or "she was out." - Instead she just dismissed my existence and carried on as if I was just a convenient roommate.

3. My WS seems to be desperate to R but is clueless on what I need and he keeps asking me over and over to tell him. I don't know how to answer and I am getting more and more angry that he doesn't figure this all out for himself. Can anyone tell me what their WS needed to do for them to help them through


Some (all?) or just a minority ever "get it" and figure out the damage done. You either accept they are mentally challenged in that (empathy dept?) or figure out how to put the ketchup on the sandwich. Some (lots?) of people cannot figure out a lot of things without external help. (IC?)

4. If you forgave something you found unforgivable, how did you make it right with yourself afterwards? I feel like he's trampled my boundaries so many times I don't recognise myself and I feel a deep sense of heaviness inside like it's changed how I feel for myself. How can I re-establish the strong, happy, confident person I once was?

Forgivable? Nah - forgive in that I don't use the transgression to beat on her - but I don't have the internal stuff to "forgive" as I will never forget and that means the pain (memory and ?) will forever be a part of my life. Even if I was to split -

"Right with myself" - I can't comprehend what that would be.

Strong, confident, etc.? Ya - I am there but I don't want to start another relationship just to prove ?

5. How does couples counseling work? Can anyone explain what to expect from this? I feel like WS and I have so much crap to deal with because of this and he's clueless and I am angry and I have no idea what we need, but if a counselor started trying to tell me I was partly to blame or anything I think I'd go crazy!

"Couples counseling" - wtf is that? To me - honesty, integrity, boundaries are an innate part of a person. You don't havem 'em? How the EFF is counseling going to make up for your lack of integrity?

such "counseling" is like trying to plug the dam after the flood

6. Can anyone just tell me a bit about how they made the decision to stay or leave? Finances /kids aren't at play in my situation, and his infidelity has left me in a position I feel no matter which way I turn I will be sad. How did you make the decision, and did you make the right one?

At the time of "the fun" - I was soooooooooooo naive and there was no place like SI to try and find info and work to sort out feelings and thoughts - so I just went with what felt good and what I fantasized the path forward. If I had a do-over -

I'm not sad all the time - just when life gets quiet and I'm stuck with my own thoughts - and also - 'Better to live with the devil you know rather than one that you don't."

I wish you well on your journey - there is no roadmap that can specifically fit your situation as we are all different with life experiences that shape our thinking and how we will process what life does to us.

Best I can say - take stock of what you have and change as necessary to attain a level of happiness you can sustain. Keep in mind - that path to happiness will often be very rough in getting to the goal.

Suffer in the short term for the long term goal.

old guy

[This message edited by Hippo16 at 4:27 AM, Wednesday, August 18th]

Not Just Friends

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Want2BHappyAgain ( Member #45088) posted at 5:20 AM on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

I felt exactly what you are feeling...thus my username. At 9 months in I was about to start into my 1st A season...and I didn't think I could make it out crying . I finished my 7th A season about a month ago...and I can honestly say it was "meh" grin !! Please give yourself some time Dear Lady...what you are going through is very normal at this stage smile . Now to your questions.

1. I had some TT for a few months...but once my H and I committed to R...he was willing to help me as much as he could. It still made me feel out of balance for a while. Slowly but surely though...as his story was corroborated...I was able to make the pieces FIT to put together a "puzzle" of the A so I could see it more clearly. It took time...and when a certain piece of information didn't fit...I would ask about it more.

2. There is a chapter in the book "Not Just Friends" that talks about how we think about the GOOD parts of past relationships and forget about the BAD parts in them. We ALL do it. Do you think that your WS is being this way? The thing is...ALL A's are FAKE. My H's A was just like everyone else's...it was NOT a real connection. It was just two selfish people USING each other. I would ask certain questions about the adultery co-conspirator...letting my H talk about what happened at certain times between them. He soon came to realize...through his own thoughts and words...that SHE was using HIM just as much as HE was using HER duh .

What do you know about these "feelings" your WS had for the adultery co-conspirator? Think about the questions you would like to ask him...to show him what feelings they really WERE smile . The thing is Dear Lady...YOU have TRUTH on your side! Whatever "feelings" he had...they were part of the fantasy...nothing more.

3. I actually thought up ULTIMATUMS on Dday in order to R. The first one was obvious...he had to send the adultery co-conspirator a NC message and then never contact her again. The next one dealt with his selfishness. I always knew my H was a "taker"...but that was alright because I was a "giver". I accepted his selfishness...until he crossed a line he knew not to cross!

For the next ultimatum...I told my H he would have to PLAN two nights a month...something just for ME. He would have to make the reservations...or pick the movie...or do whatever it was...for ME. It was awkward at first because my H had never had to do anything like this before. But after a while he actually became quite GOOD at planning grin . He told me once that he never realized how EASY and FUN this was smile . We don't have this ultimatum anymore because he has kept this up on his own...and MORE smile .

4. Your CORE hasn't changed Dear Lady smile . You may have it tucked away in a safe place in your heart...until you are strong enough to bring it back. But don't worry...YOU will come back smile .

I was cheated on in my 1st M...and I SWORE I would NEVER stay with a cheater again!! My H knew this...he knew my past...and he STILL did the unforgivable crying . Yet here I am today...still with my H...and very much HAPPY about the decision I made to STAY grin . My H showed me he was willing to do whatever it took to help me heal. So I gave him what he didn't deserve...MERCY smile . He got another chance to PROVE to me that he could be the husband I deserved. My H KNEW he had done me wrong. But when I showed him the compassion that mercy brings...he was so grateful for another chance and he is a changed person because of it smile . It doesn't always work though. My 1st H took the GIFT of mercy...and used it to cheat on me again. Then I showed him NO MERCY!!!

5. We never went to counseling so I don't know much about it.

6. Finances or kids didn't play a part in my decision to stay either. I decided on the ultimatums...and I told my H that he didn't have to do ANY of them. But if he didn't agree to EVERY ONE...I was GONE. He quickly agreed to do all of them smile . He told me later that when he was in the living room all alone...he told himself that if I gave him another chance...he would do whatever I wanted...just to be with me. If I had known that...I would have given him MORE ultimatums laugh !!!

I remember thinking that I would never be happy again...even if we reconciled. I soon found that I could get to happy...but I would lose it again. As it turned out...what I was really missing...was PEACE smile . Once I found peace...the happiness stayed smile . I survived infidelity TWICE. I decided to divorce my 1st H...and to reconcile with my 2nd H. I do not regret either decision grin !!

You have been given great advice on here smile . YOUR path is the one you need to focus on...so please...take what you need from the advice given...and leave the rest. We are here to help and walk your path WITH you...but no one else can walk this path FOR you. Don't worry Dear Lady...the confusion and doubt will clear up in time (((HUGS))).

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: 5567   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8684093
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The1stWife ( Member #58832) posted at 3:11 PM on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

I had the same thoughts, doubts, anger and general unhappiness even at 3 years post Dday. Even though my H was doing everything he could, I kept waiting for it to be "fixed" so I could be happy again.

A number of other posters alluded to the fact that you are the only one who can resolve this. Or make yourself happy.

You learn to accept the affair and that it had nothing to do with you.

You accept you cannot change the past but you can change the narrative in your head. Stop (and this is soooo very hard) allowing the affair to be a central focus in your life.

You can choose to live under the black cloud or to move past it and live your best life. However you choose to do so (whether married or separated or divorced) - it is your goal to be happy.

Your healing is your responsibility. Your H can only do so much and the rest is on you. Substitute the affair for a physical injury. You got to physical therapy to heal your arm or leg. Same with an affair - you heal yourself.

You will see over time the anger and hurt becomes more manageable. You heal yourself and everything else falls into place.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10526   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8684128
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Underserving ( Member #72259) posted at 3:54 PM on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

I wouldn’t say I’m healed, but I am on my way.

I had some TT but only for a few weeks. When I went into detective mode I went ALL in. He learned pretty quick it was better to tell me the truth than it was for me to discover another lie or minimization.

The sex hurts me more than the “I love you’s” but maybe that’s because he had to lie so much to the AP, there wasn’t any way for them to actually form a real emotional bond. He never discussed me or our kids. I don’t know what it’s like when that happens.

This isn’t an excuse for any wayward, but I had to understand this is unchartered territory for the both of us. Books helped some, but I was practically bipolar for a long time. Some days I wanted him to be really attentive and affectionate, only to want him to leave me the F alone the next day. Even when I wanted him to leave me alone, I still wanted him to check up on me. I didn’t tell him that, and would get mad when he would listen to me when I said “I need space today.” Wtf? 😂 I will never be an infidelity expert. I will never give anyone advice on what they should do going through this, because I probably handled it all wrong. For me, I needed to be batshit crazy for a while, and him hang in there and do his best. To not get defensive. To try to understand why I was being that way. To take responsibility for us being in such a shitty place. I needed to know he was going to weather this storm with me even when it got really dark and scary.

I’ve struggled a lot with the shame of staying. It’s easy to use my kids as an excuse. Like it makes me more noble or something, and not just a chump. The truth is, they aren’t my only reason. I weighed my options and believe I will be happier staying and working through this than I would be leaving. No one else has to live my life, so fuck anyone else’s opinion. I can’t even be mad at myself, because like I said, I looked at my options and I made this choice because I think it’s the best one for me. How can I punish myself for that?

BW (32)
Found out 3 years post end of A
D-day 12-9-19
Meh-ing through R

Infidelity brings out the cuss in me. I’m not as foul mouthed in real life. ;)

posts: 648   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2019
id 8684145
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 GraceLoves (original poster Member #78769) posted at 5:39 PM on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

Thanks everyone for these replies. I've read them, crying softly. I'm so sad this is my life now. It sucks that nothing I can do will ever change it.

My WH continues to get things wrong. He wants to reconcile, but I don't think he really gets any of this. He just wants to move on like it never happened. He can't understand the damage done to me. He can't put himself in my shoes.

I feel like R is back to square one because he exchanged messages with AP behind my back a few months ago. He and I were seperated and she approached him. He engaged in messages where he basically said he missed her and how great their friendship was and how he is miserable at the idea of not seeing her again.

That was six months into R, and I feel like maybe it's destroyed me. He's left his job now (for me) and doesn't see AP anymore, but she now continues to email him and post lovesick lyrics on her social media.

He's making excuses about why he can't tell her coldly to stop emailing (he did block her on other things but she keeps emailing). He says ignoring is better to avoid drama.

I know deep in my heart he's avoiding shutting the door completely on AP. I think because if I reject him, he wants her love as a comfort blanket.

I know we can't reconcile on these terms and I've told him it's my way or the highway and I really mean it. The fact he's even hesitated makes me feel like he's not up to R.

I'm so sad posting this. I think today he's probably going to do what I asked as I told him I'm leaving if he doesn't. But the fact it has to come to that shows he's not committed to my healing as his #1 priority.

I really love my WH and my M and our life and he says he loves me and wants that, but he's just done so much damage and the false R nearly broke me completely. I feel so badly let down. So lost.

I really miss feeling like I used to. I felt so special and valued and loved and now I feel none of that. I feel like i put 100% into R and he put like 20% and I know that's not enough.

I never thought I'd ever be in this position sad I don't recognise myself.

posts: 78   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2021   ·   location: London
id 8684180
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This0is0Fine ( Member #72277) posted at 7:25 PM on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

So sorry you are going through this GraceLoves.

It's a very common experience that the WS just doesn't put in the effort. I mean, really that's so much of it. I experienced everything you are talking about. I think if you are really done, at a minimum discuss a "therapeutic separation". This will help you clarify your thoughts and really deliver them one last time.

That he isn't full NC is infuriating to me.

Someone else brilliantly pointed out that the things necessary in a BS for them to R often get directly in the way of it: patience, resilience, empathy, forgiveness. You 100% need to have these things, but it also allows you to suffer injury after injury if you don't finally take a hard stand.

Tell me if anything I'm saying doesn't sound right:

You have calmly and clearly told him he is still hurting you. But he keeps doing it anyway because "It's important to him" or some shit. You cave.

You have told him what you need. He doesn't do those things but says, "I'm trying my best!". You say, "I understand this is hard and you are trying your best."

You have asked him to educate himself. He has a book on healing after infidelity dog-eared on page 7. You don't want to badger him about it because he needs to want to absorb that material for it to matter.

You have told him you just don't seem like his top priority. He says you are, but the effort just isn't there.

Here is what you haven't done. Told him "If this is your best, it just isn't good enough. I'm sorry but this isn't working."

Maybe, for yourself first, write down your absolute boundaries and needs as well as your wants in an ideal marriage. How many of these needs is your husband continuously dropping the ball on?

Then deliver them to your husband and say, if this isn't possible, we are done. There is no room for negotiation on the needs, but figure out how you can both strive for a marriage you both want. Ask him to prepare the same thing for you, or whether D might be the right path if the needs can't be met.

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

posts: 1329   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8684211
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nekonamida ( Member #42956) posted at 7:29 PM on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

I'm so sad posting this. I think today he's probably going to do what I asked as I told him I'm leaving if he doesn't. But the fact it has to come to that shows he's not committed to my healing as his #1 priority.

It takes him 30 seconds to block her in front of you. If he hasn't done it yet even after you said you were leaving, he's not going to. He might try to figure out a way to pretend he has which is why he's stalling but he doesn't have any good reason for stalling in the first place. If she is not currently blocked through his email, you should take this for what it is and do what you need to do for yourself.

posts: 4961   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8684216
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whatisloveanyway ( Member #66450) posted at 7:36 PM on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

Oh no, grace, so sorry to hear the window to contact is still open, that is a huge deal for me. It took my guy quite a while and many threats to realize i was ready to walk at any hint of any other person we both didn't hang out with or talk to. He kept at it for a while because he was sure I wouldn't find out and he had it under control and seriously underestimated my ability to keep looking. But here's one thing that came to mind - is he afraid you might leave him so he needs a back up plan? Is he clear that you are committed to trying as long as he goes NC and commits to an honest and open relationship? If you don't have that, you may have to pack a bag and call a lawyer to get his attention. It took me a while to bang my message into my WHs head, that he is welcome to do and be and go anywhere he chooses but marriage comes with very specific rules, as does friendship. If he wants mine, the rules about any contact with any past or potential AP must be met. I hope you can get him to go full NC, at the very least and give you a chance, if that is what you want.

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.

posts: 257   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8684220
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13YearsR ( Member #58259) posted at 7:40 PM on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

He needs to block her today. Now. Right now.

My H was also hesitant to cut off the OW completely because he felt like it was mean. I told him it was mean AF to me to worry more about being nice to her than doing what he needed to do to help me feel safe in our R. Me or her - you cannot have both. You pick.

You say "My way or the highway" and that you really mean it, but if he hasn't cut her off completely and you haven't done anything about it, you're not putting your money where your mouth is. Are you prepared to nuke this marriage if he doesn't cut her off?

He's making excuses about why he can't tell her coldly to stop emailing (he did block her on other things but she keeps emailing). He says ignoring is better to avoid drama.

He doesn't want to block her because he wants to see what she's saying. He's getting his fix. He doesn't get to partake of this drug anymore if he wants to stay with you. Cold turkey, or GTFO.

[This message edited by 13YearsR at 8:47 PM, Wednesday, August 18th]

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem

DDay 2004 Successful R and going on 33 years married

posts: 438   ·   registered: Apr. 13th, 2017   ·   location: TX
id 8684222
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13YearsR ( Member #58259) posted at 7:45 PM on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

Is he clear that you are committed to trying as long as he goes NC and commits to an honest and open relationship? If you don't have that, you may have to pack a bag and call a lawyer to get his attention. It took me a while to bang my message into my WHs head, that he is welcome to do and be and go anywhere he chooses but marriage comes with very specific rules, as does friendship. If he wants mine, the rules about any contact with any past or potential AP must be met.

This. But you have to mean it and be prepared to follow through. Don't do it unless you mean it.

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem

DDay 2004 Successful R and going on 33 years married

posts: 438   ·   registered: Apr. 13th, 2017   ·   location: TX
id 8684224
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