Newest Member: Serenity7

Reconciliation :
I need some perspectives after 4 years

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 swatter555 (original poster Member #60555) posted at 10:24 AM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

My wife had a typical affair just over 4 years ago. I do love her a great deal and I think she is a good person today. I have forgiven her for the affair, in that I don't hold her actions against her anymore. Her past actions are in the past and I really try and judge her on her actions in the present.

In the present, my wife is devoted to working on the marriage, though she has serious issues with self-awareness that persist. This complicates and has complicated healing for years. I don't think she has bad intentions, she just finds it hard to make real, long lasting changes in herself.

We have kids and other ties that bind us and are compelling in their own right. Its these ties that have kept me in the marriage these years. I don't lack for love or affection for my wife, but only the stability of my children have enabled me to endure the suffering I have forced myself to endure.

I hit a turning point earlier this year in that I really wanted to get past the affair and I accepted my marriage for what it was (and wasn't) and my wife for who she was. We have had some really great times the last two years and our sex life is great.

Unfortunately, I began having panic attacks after a few months. Most times they would happen out of the blue. I get seized by a certainty she is lying to me and gaslighting me still. I go crazy for half an hour and return to normal. However, for that 30 minutes I am instantly transported back four years. Needless to say, that is highly unpleasant.

Context-

My wife was real big with TT. In the aftermath she told hundreds of lies, said "this is the absolute truth" several dozens times as she was telling a new story that turned out to be untrue. It was shameful and it cripples her today to recount.

It generally went like this- she told a lie and I had to prove it was a lie with hard evidence. She then told another lie that I had to prove was a lie...ad nausea. Eventually I ran out of facts and what was left was her "truth". These truths include:

-The AP arranged for his wife to be out of town with the kids for a weekend. My wife met with him at his home one of those nights. She was there about four hours. According to her they were pretty much naked within 10 minutes of arriving. According to her they decided not to have sex because they didn't have a condom. When she saw I wasn't buying it, she said he was impotent. The entire time, 100% impotent. She said they made out for a long time, but never touched each other's genitalia, not once. He didn't touch her vagina and she didn't touch his penis. Not once. They just kissed and made out for hours naked and talked.

I know, but bear with me. I never bought the story and she knows that. This is something I wanted to accept (her inability to admit), because intellectually those events don't matter anymore. If she can't admit to doing things she finds shameful afterwards, that's one of her faults as a human being. However, let me outline a couple more.

-The day before that she admits to trying to meet up with him (AP wife out of town). To this day, she can't get her story straight about what she did that evening. It's too confusing to recount here, though.

-A month before that, she arranged for me to be gone a whole night from home. She lied every step of the way on this one. She ended up admitting they planned for him to come over for about two weeks. She says he never showed up with no explanation that day, he ghosted her. Not a complicated story, he just never showed up. I did recover a text fragment from the next morning where she was terrified and asking him if he was caught. That text could cut both ways, but like I said, she lied a lot about this particular day.

Those are the major ones that I recall at the moment. There were a couple of other sets of lies that have to do with other people, which I won't recount. It was in service of hiding the affair partners identity from me.

I don't need judgment on my wife. I only list them for context. It is still very painful to recount, though.

I was in individual therapy for about four years. We have been in marriage counseling on and off almost the whole time.

I am not blind to my role in my own suffering. I realize I have a choice. Me. I have a choice. My children would forgive me when they get older I'm sure. I tried so hard.

My wife says that I know the entire truth and she did admit to a lot of other things. Unfortunately, deep down I believe she is still gaslighting me. Whatever the truth is regarding anything, I can't shake that feeling. I can't find peace and have that feeling.

There is great experience and wisdom here in this community of the broken and healing. I am not sure what I am asking here, but I am willing to open the floor to whoever wants to comment.

BS 44
WS 39
DDay July 15,2017
DDay 2 August 9, 2017

posts: 285   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2017
id 8688577
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guvensiz ( Member #75858) posted at 11:27 AM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Sorry for the situation you are in.

You thought you have reconiled or were in reconciliation, but obviously you're not and your brain knows this. This is how subconscious disturbances appear.

You are just sweeping things under the rug. For real reconciliation you should know the whole truth, you have to know what you reconcile with, what you forgive.

Don't take this as judging your wife, but she didn't do what she had to do to reconcile; TT, lying, gaslighting...These are classic cheat and post-cheat behaviors and have continued to this day. Having great sex doesn't solve everything, even it is a behavior made to make you forget about other issues, which is called sex/love bombing.

True remorse requires understanding your pain and doing whatever it takes to end it. So, your wife has to tell the whole truth. Her avoidance shows that she cares about herself, not your pain.

Ask her for a detailed timeline of her affaire and say that she will take a polygraph test to be sure.

Good luck.

[This message edited by guvensiz at 5:29 AM, September 15th (Wednesday)]

posts: 477   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
id 8688583
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Luna10 ( Member #60888) posted at 11:31 AM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Four years out too. Massively gaslighted but WH too, including keeping in touch with AP as friends for an additional 4 months after dday whilst also lying and gaslighting about the extent of the affair (he never denied sex) and swearing on his kids’ life he’s not in contact with her anymore. Writing this down again makes me feel nauseous but I wanted to give you the context. On dday 2 he came clean he was still in touch with her (don’t worry, he didn’t do it out of some sort of empathy or coming to Jesus moment, he did it because the AP was threatening to call me and was already doing so, listening to my voice and hanging up) and spent 24 hours vomiting every little detail he could remember. Literally like in those comedy sketches, “wait there is more”.

The reason I know I am aware of everything (factually, not things that can be interpreted) is that I was having a call with the AP 24 hrs later who was more than happy to torch him and I told him that if there are any factual surprises he’s out that day.

Sorry for the long story but I wanted to put it into context.

Following dday 2, although they hated each other by now, I spent a lot of time having anxiety and panic attacks besides processing pain. I haven’t had a major panic attack now in a while. I’m capable to control the intrusive thoughts now if they come up which prevents them turning into an anxiety attack. It is my strong belief the reason I am where I am (able to move on somehow successfully) is because whilst processing every painful detail, the sex, the additional details since dday 2, the fact that they remained in touch, the luuurve, etc etc, I have seen clear proof that my WH ceased to gaslight me. No matter how painful it was, he gave me all the info I wanted, again and again, and tried to support me with my processing.

I don’t think you’ll be able to move on from thinking your wife is still gaslighting whilst she’s still… gaslighting you. Look, you can’t feel safe when your partner is frankly insulting your intelligence, you’re losing respect for yourself in the process of trying to ignore her continued gaslighting. It is your body telling you it isn’t happy to trust someone who is willing to still lie to you and manipulate you in order to save her ass, your reaction (panic attacks) is a normal form of self protection.

I’m sorry… I hope you find your answers.

[This message edited by Luna10 at 5:34 AM, September 15th (Wednesday)]

BW - 38 at the time of the A
WH - 45
Dday - 27/9/2017

posts: 1365   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: UK
id 8688584
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The1stWife ( Member #58832) posted at 11:38 AM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

I’m sorry you are still struggling after 4 years.

Your wife has a definite pattern that you are aware of. She cannot tell the truth. No matter what it is not something she can or will do. The reason may be fear that if she admits the truth you will leave her or take some drastic action. She may be so ashamed of herself that she would rather lie than admit the truth. Or it may be that she just has a serious problem and lies about many other things too b/c that is her MO - deny, deflect and blame anyone and everyone.

You know her best. You know what to expect.

You seem to have accepted her behavior and know the lies she tells. Yet you continued to fight for the truth knowing the outcome. Knowing it would be detrimental to you.

I have a short fuse when I know I am being lied to. It has caused more problems for me.

My solution was to tell my H or my kids or whoever — "I’m sorry you didn’t have the courage or respect to at least be honest with me." And the conversation was over.

You are fighting to achieve an outcome that will not happen. I think if you stop trying to effect s change and remove the notion she will ever be honest you will find peace and calm. You need to just accept.

I’m sorry if this is preaching. But her lying is like an addiction. And unless she is willing to change then you cannot get her to do so.

Nothing you say or do will change anything. Liars would rather appear ridiculous and stupid than tell the truth. That’s the thing we as betrayeds need to understand.

I hope this helps you.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

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id 8688586
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Oldwounds ( Member #54486) posted at 3:22 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

That was tough to read.

I hate to see such suffering and panic attacks four years later.

I felt everything you did, but worked through and climbed out of despair by end of year three.

My wife confessed an affair she kept secret for years -- and yet -- I got four months of TT anyway.

I couldn't understand it.

Our MC described my wife was dead CERTAIN that ONE more horrible detail would be the one that would BREAK me forever.

I trust our MC quite a bit. We found out the reason he was so good at his job was 30-years of counseling and -- he was a betrayed spouse who got a D.

He didn't set out to 'save' our marriage, just get us to a point where we could best decide what we wanted.

Anyway -- that's why she held on to the very worst details.

Eventually, my wife understood what I wanted was to destroy the fantasy. Lurid details about how low someone will go to get attention really obliterates the romantic fantasy bull$#@ WS build up in their heads.

Still, I probably only have 95 percent of the truth and I assume the absolute worst about the things she couldn't recall.

What's important now is 100 percent of the truth going forward. My wife is so much better at telling me what's in her head NOW, it helps me a lot.

You noted you weren't quite sure what you're asking for and that could be part of the problem.

I wouldn't stay for the kids. I wouldn't stay out of sense of any obligation. You don't owe her this chance.

It took me a long time to understand what she did reflects NOTHING on me. Not one thing. That ended my suffering, that her choices were hers alone, and I can't change any of those choices.

If it's more details you need, I understand. But I think that maybe means you haven't truly forgiven and moved forward in any way. Which is NORMAL. We all recover at our own pace, and you don't owe forgiveness anyway. That said, RECOVERY life does need to become what YOU need and want -- in order to heal. Or at the very least, asking for what you need and want.

My guess is the panic attacks are because your wife is trying, but you don't feel safe.

A wiser person here reminded me, we tend to get what we aim for.

I know you can't possibly be aiming for suffering -- life is way to damn short for that.

What actions is your wife taking to make you feel safe?

What more do you have to have to feel 'better' about your choice to stay?

[This message edited by Oldwounds at 5:25 PM, Wednesday, September 15th]

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 8688611
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This0is0Fine ( Member #72277) posted at 5:28 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Regardless of whether or not you have the full truth, your wife has damaged your trust beyond repair. Can you live in an M without trust for you wife? That's what you are signing up for.

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

posts: 1329   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8688613
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Humbled123 ( Member #62947) posted at 5:42 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Swatter im right there with you, you are not alone. I believe my ww had an affair 3yrs prior to the one i caught her in. To this day i cannot get the truth. I also had pry every detail that I do have out of her. Like you i struggle with what know but don't have confirmation of.

Also like your situation my ww has become a much better person and i like the person she is today. We get along great, she treats me great in every way including sexually. I don't wamt to up end my life financially or loose the ability to spend almost everyday with my 7yr old grandson. Its a real mind fuck.

Just last night I had to take an ambien to sleep because of this.

On one hand i don't want to know and just accept and enjoy the person she is today but on the other it nags at me.

I already decided that if i find out im right that it will be a big problem and not something I can just accept and heal from.

I will string her along and make her think there's hope while I go out and "sow" every oat I've ever had. Healthy? No of course not. Fix anything? Nope I'd be making a whole lot of women pay for what she's done. So for now im sitting here just like you trying to figure it out

[This message edited by Humbled123 at 5:45 PM, Wednesday, September 15th]

posts: 187   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018
id 8688614
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ButAnyway ( New Member #79085) posted at 6:35 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Some will undoubtedly disagree, but I've come to believe that NONE of us ... NOT ONE ... knows the full truth. If you are going to attempt R, you just need to accept that your WW cares more about protecting herself than she does about your peace of mind or your M. It's just the special sauce that goes on top of the shit sandwich that you have to acquire a taste for if you're going to stay with them.

It really just comes down to honestly answering the question ... "Are you better off staying with your spouse or leaving them?" ... and accepting your choice, and then if the choice is to stay, forgetting the nonsense about "having a better M after an A", or "having a safe partner now", or pick any other empty cliche people tell themselves to cope. It simply is what it is and no amount of hoping, wishing or worrying is going to change that reality.

It SUCKS ... I KNOW!!!

posts: 20   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8688622
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Humbled123 ( Member #62947) posted at 6:57 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

☝🏼️Nailed it

posts: 187   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018
id 8688627
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 7:24 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

...if the choice is to stay, forgetting the nonsense about "having a better M after an A", or "having a safe partner now", or pick any other empty cliche people tell themselves to cope.

If I believed that, I would have D'ed. There's little doubt in my mind that I'd be better off alone than with someone I don't trust.

I agree that one can't know everything. If you require that, my reco is to give up.

I'm really sorry you're still in pain and stuck. I suggest asking yourself questions like the following with the aim of getting unstuck:

How do you see yourself healing?
What will be different about being healed from how you think/feel/act now?
What do you want that your WS isn't giving you?
What did you hope to achieve by staying?
Are you getting what you hoped for?
If not, what needs to change?
Have you asked for/talked about it?
If you think further talk may help, what's keeping you from initiating the talk?
Do you think your WS can ever give you what you want?
What changes are you willing to make in yourself?

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.

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id 8688632
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Marz ( Member #60895) posted at 7:46 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

You’re having trouble because you don’t believe her obvious lies. No one else would believe them either.

Sorry but it takes two for a true reconciliation. You don’t have that. Until you get her onboard your anguish will continue.

posts: 6611   ·   registered: Oct. 3rd, 2017
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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 9:47 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Unfortunately, deep down I believe she is still gaslighting me.

And you are probably correct, and this is why you're having panic attacks. Your body is crying out with the pain of knowing the truth and living a lie. Her past actions are not in the past because she hasn't resolved anything with you; instead she's created a wider intimacy gap between you by continuing to lie.

I don't have quite the physical reaction you have, but I can relate to feeling like you want to crawl out of your skin for 30 minutes or so before things calm down.

I recommend you read the book "Cheating in a Nutshell" for some insight into why your physical brain won't allow you to rest in cognitive dissonance.

Four years is not that long on the timeline, particularly with the continued lies. In fact, you should consider the healing clock essentially reset to zero each time your brain forces you to confront the FACT that she is still lying.

"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 8688654
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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 9:50 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

If you are going to attempt R, you just need to accept that your WW cares more about protecting herself than she does about your peace of mind or your M. It's just the special sauce that goes on top of the shit sandwich that you have to acquire a taste for if you're going to stay with them.

Sorry, but this does not seem to meet the definition of reconciliation as it is understood here on SI. I take reconciliation to mean a restoration of true intimacy, and an authentic and transparent relationship grounded in truth, love and trust. If you don't believe you can get that with a wayward spouse, and if they are showing you exactly why you won't be getting that, then you are not headed for reconciliation. You're headed for misery.


Still, I probably only have 95 percent of the truth and I assume the absolute worst about the things she couldn't recall.

I will accept nothing less than 100 percent of the truth. However, nota bene, that doesn't mean I need 100 percent of the details. No one is going to get that. It would be impossible for a WS to recall or reconstruct 100 percent of the details, like a historian, with footnotes.

But I believe firmly that 100 percent of the truth should be a non-negotiable. And I believe firmly that in most cases, the awesome mind you are gifted with will simply NOT ACCEPT less than 100 percent of the truth. So if you try to bully your own psyche around into accepting less than 100 percent, what you get is cognitive dissonance, with repeated flareups of moral anger and disgust (two primary emotions grounded in objective morality) followed by strong physical reactions like panic attacks and assorted health problems.

Thus, 100 percent of the truth should be a non-negotiable simply because that is how most human bodies actually operate.

[This message edited by Thumos at 9:56 PM, Wednesday, September 15th]

"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 8688655
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Luna10 ( Member #60888) posted at 9:59 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

After being in R for 4 years I can tell you for sure that this (an affair) isn’t something that you have to "get over" or "move on", at least not this way.

I knew about a year in that either my WH works hard to make himself a safe partner or we divorce.

There was absolutely no "accepting" that my WH will protect his ass at the cost of my mental and emotional health. We’ve made a lot of mistakes, he did, I did… they (my WH and AP) continued to work together a long time after dday for example which did have its cost, so this isn’t me being judgmental. However we made that decision together (the working for the same organisation) and with measures in place that perhaps would sound crazy to many.

Bottom line: I’m not a romantic so I’m not writing this from a position of gaslighting myself in order to "get over it". I know the work my WH did, the effort he put in to order convince me he is safe (100% naive trust will never return and that’s a good thing). The effort he still puts even now although the strong emotions aren’t there anymore. He’s not perfect and I still call him on his selfishness when I see it. But I would lie if I’d say he didn’t work hard.

I would have never personally accepted to stay with someone who can witness my pain 4 years out and continue to lie to my face and continue to gaslight me. Not because I’m a stubborn cow, but because it wouldn’t have worked, by now I would have probably either lost my mind or divorced. For the record I only stopped digging and asking questions when my brain realised I had all the info I needed, everything made sense, the puzzle pieces fitted together.

As to having the truth: you’ll never know the whole truth from a nuanced perspective (did he really love the AP? Did he promise to run away with her? Or my "favourite": AP claimed he wanted me to go away to another country and never return, whilst WH claimed that when I told him I want to go and visit my friend in another country he told her "I think it’s a good idea if she goes and spends time with her friend" but she interpreted it as him trying to get rid of me) but I can guarantee you that I do know the factual truth, the exact car park and parking lot where he got a BJ from her, the amount of time they spent together, how many times they had sex and where, where they went for walks etc. (I’ve explained why I believe that in my post above but I can expand even more).

In the heath of dday most WSes lie and gaslight. I’d challenge anyone who thinks they know everything within the first few months. But the only way to see an invested WH who REALLY wants to reconcile (rather than just wait it out until the Bs gets over it) is by watching their actions, how willing they are to sacrifice their ass in order to save your emotional and mental health. And that is what telling the truth is: giving you what you need even if it may cost them the marriage and half of all their possessions.

Can I 100% say that my WH will never cheat on me again or never lie and gaslight again? Nope. I doubt he will but I will never have that level of trust again.

But I can 100% say I’m not knowingly choosing to stay married to someone who is actively still gaslighting me, to someone who is showing me he is choosing himself over me and my well-being yet again. How is that meant to make you feel safe?

Main reason for affairs? Selfishness. Yet the op is willing to accept the same selfishness to continue, to persist, 4 years later and tells himself he has to "move on". No wonder his body is reacting the way it is. His body is shouting "you are not safe!!!"

What work has she done exactly if she still has absolutely no empathy? Because treating someone nicely superficially isn’t work. That’s easy.

The truth: you already have it. You know she’s lying. So then ask yourself why is it so important to hear it from her mouth? The answer undoubtedly is, because is the only way she can prove to you that your needs are above hers even if it may mean she may be losing something in return. (Can you see how that in turn leads to feeling safe(er)?)

[This message edited by Luna10 at 10:06 PM, Wednesday, September 15th]

BW - 38 at the time of the A
WH - 45
Dday - 27/9/2017

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id 8688656
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survrus ( Member #67698) posted at 12:27 AM on Thursday, September 16th, 2021

Swatter you wrote,

According to her they were pretty much naked within 10 minutes of arriving. According to her they decided not to have sex because they didn't have a condom. When she saw I wasn't buying it, she said he was impotent. The entire time, 100% impotent. She said they made out for a long time, but never touched each other's genitalia, not once. He didn't touch her vagina and she didn't touch his penis. Not once. They just kissed and made out for hours naked and talked.

It's insulting that she expects you to believe this story. Expect your WW to tell you OM is gay or about to commit suicide as fall back positions if she now backpedals on that story. You know she is still lying to you and will continue to do so for years or decades.

Do you want to be 60 or 70 and still without believable answers?

Get a written timeline tell her to include all the details

Take her for a polygraph to verify her timeline.

Have you spoken with OMW, ask her about the impotence?

Have you confronted OM?

Did you get STD tested, DNA for the kids.

Kissing can transmit HPV and give you oral cancers, kissing is physical sex.

posts: 1038   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8688675
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grubs ( Member #77165) posted at 3:59 AM on Thursday, September 16th, 2021

I will accept nothing less than 100 percent of the truth.

No truth in this world is 100%. None of us are Jesus. Black swan events happen. If you get over 90% you are doing extremely well.

posts: 736   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
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OneInTheSame ( Member #49854) posted at 9:48 AM on Thursday, September 16th, 2021

Our 6th antiversary is fast approaching, and it definitely is all the TT my wife put me through that STILL makes it impossible to know what was the truth and what was lies. I’ve told my wife there are some things I will never believe because she gave me too many versions to ever trust any one of them to be true.

I recall many times as she would be telling me yet another version (read: lie) I would warn her that she was doing more damage, pushing out any date by which I might feel safe and able to trust anything. She has lived the consequences of all that lying in knowing the damage she has done to us, to our marriage, and especially to me, has left deep and lasting scars.

I resent her for refusing to just tell me the truth the first time I asked. I resent her for the disrespect that thinking she would never get caught is part of the reason she allowed the affair to happen and to progress.

I am now choosing to give her the benefit of the doubt — which is not the same as trust — that she is living a more honest life. She knows if there were another breach it would be over.

By your description you do not know the whole story, swatter555. In fact, it doesn’t sound like you are sure about much of anything, other than your wayward is a chronic liar. Please be kind to yourself and at least demand the respect due you. Disrespect is so very toxic ....

(I edit to correct typos)
I am the BS in a lesbian marriage. My WW's ex-girlfriend was the AP.
D-day of the 6 mo A was 10/04/15
We are doing okay, but by now I wanted it to be better

posts: 2483   ·   registered: Oct. 6th, 2015   ·   location: Pacific Northwest
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Hippo16 ( Member #52440) posted at 12:44 PM on Thursday, September 16th, 2021

this post by "ButAnyway" is my thoughts too:

Some will undoubtedly disagree, but I've come to believe that NONE of us ... NOT ONE ... knows the full truth. If you are going to attempt R, you just need to accept that your WW cares more about protecting herself than she does about your peace of mind or your M. It's just the special sauce that goes on top of the shit sandwich that you have to acquire a taste for if you're going to stay with them.

It really just comes down to honestly answering the question ... "Are you better off staying with your spouse or leaving them?" ... and accepting your choice, and then if the choice is to stay, forgetting the nonsense about "having a better M after an A", or "having a safe partner now", or pick any other empty cliche people tell themselves to cope. It simply is what it is and no amount of hoping, wishing or worrying is going to change that reality.

It SUCKS ... I KNOW!!!

You have to learn to live with the memory of her infidelity for life.
You have to learn to accept her choice to perform coitus with another male outside your marriage"
And I add recommendation to read "Cheating in a Nutshell"

Go find a therapist that specializes in Trauma related to infidelity - take advantage of your employee EAP benefit if you have it.

Don't do the "Stay for the kids" act - that just teaches them to tolerate abuse and acceptance of immoral behavior.

Know that decades in the future (whether you stay married or not) - the memories will fade just a little - some details will "go away" but the majority of what you have learned is your life sentence. This said not to bring you down further - just saying to set expectations.

Your relationship and marriage is forever changed and this is your new reality if you decide to stay the course.

Not Just Friends

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 swatter555 (original poster Member #60555) posted at 5:49 PM on Thursday, September 16th, 2021

Thank you all for the responses. It is comforting to know that no matter how messed up things get, I can always count on human nature to make sure there are plenty of people who have been here before to offer sage advice. I say that half in jest, but it really is comforting to hear advice from experience. It's cliche as hell, but knowing your not alone is very comforting.

What can I say, I am not disappointed in the replies here. I received support and sympathy, but also hard questions I need to answer for myself.I needed that reality check. I need to ask myself what reconciliation even means.


Sorry, but this does not seem to meet the definition of reconciliation as it is understood here on SI. I take reconciliation to mean a restoration of true intimacy, and an authentic and transparent relationship grounded in truth, love and trust.

That is a high standard. The practical problem with that standard is that the same personality traits that had the WW spouse destroy trust are the same traits that prevent the WW from doing their part to restore trust. The things that cause people to go so far off the rails are going to seriously impede personal growth. If self awareness is a near alien concept to a WW, that is a tough road to travel.

Ultimately, I do think you are correct. Anything less is just varying degrees of discontent. I think aiming to minimize misery isn't a good frame to work from in marriage.

I agree with others, my acceptance of feeling like I am being gaslighted is a form of rug sweeping.


True remorse requires understanding your pain and doing whatever it takes to end it. So, your wife has to tell the whole truth. Her avoidance shows that she cares about herself, not your pain

That is the core of my intense uneasiness with the situation.


I don’t think you’ll be able to move on from thinking your wife is still gaslighting whilst she’s still… gaslighting you.

I probably needed to clarify my points a little bit. I don't know what happened. Her story is what it is. Its silly and it seems insulting to my intelligence based on sheer likelihood. Having said that, I don't know if she is lying. It feels like she is lying to me and it feels like she is gaslighting me.

Her job the last 4 years was to show me why I shouldn't feel like she is lying. Through strong communication and sincerity, she needed to demonstrate she no longer has use for lies and self protection. In that, she has utterly failed.


Nothing you say or do will change anything. Liars would rather appear ridiculous and stupid than tell the truth. That’s the thing we as betrayeds need to understand.

Yes, my Dad was a compulsive liar. My wife's dishonesty reminds me a great deal of him and that's a real bad thing for us.


My wife confessed an affair she kept secret for years -- and yet -- I got four months of TT anyway.

To my sensibilities this is particularly harsh. The action itself- the confession is a sign of character... but then to TT. That is so hard to understand. You have my sympathy and well wishes.


Eventually, my wife understood what I wanted was to destroy the fantasy. Lurid details about how low someone will go to get attention really obliterates the romantic fantasy bull$#@ WS build up in their heads.

I made it explicitly clear to her that there was going to be no secret places in her mind she can escape back to and get ego boosts and sexual thrills from the affair. That would be patently offensive and disgusting to me. I know damn well I needed to say that.


But I believe firmly that 100 percent of the truth should be a non-negotiable. And I believe firmly that in most cases, the awesome mind you are gifted with will simply NOT ACCEPT less than 100 percent of the truth.

I have seen the error in my thinking and you are correct. Not 100% details, but 100% truth. I cannot accept less.

sisoon- you questions spring from a deep well of experience and wisdom. I will work hard within myself to answer those questions. Thank you.

I will read Cheating in a Nutshell, it seems to address things I am missing.

I cannot separate my decision to stay married from my decision to live with my children in a stable home. My wife and I have our problems, but we show the good and the bad of marriage. That is not a bad deal in my opinion. We have our problems, but we still show love for each other and our children benefit from that.

Of course, there are limits and we are approaching them.

Thank you all for your assistance.

BS 44
WS 39
DDay July 15,2017
DDay 2 August 9, 2017

posts: 285   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2017
id 8688788
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Luna10 ( Member #60888) posted at 9:42 PM on Thursday, September 16th, 2021

Good luck and I hope you keep updating us on your journey.

I wanted to add one more thing in relation to you stating you don’t know for sure your wife is still lying.

I remember about a month after dday when I kept waking in the middle of the night and reliving the trauma (God, those are by far the most horrible moments in my life, waking up as from a bad dream, realising it wasn’t a dream…) I once woke up like a crazy person saying to WH "the evening a month ago when you went out with work… you didn’t go out with work, you were with her right, it wasn’t a work function?"

He admitted so and then launched into this story of how he went to her place and they talked and watch tv all evening. Remember, my WH didn’t deny having sex, he just shortened the affair, claimed they had sex twice and then stopped.

So there I was, a woman who believed her husband would never look her in the eyes and lie to her, whilst my husband told me this story about how he met his AP, the one he already had sex with and was in love with by his own admission, and they sat and watched tv for the evening together… I am embarrassed to say I believed it, or better said, I forced myself to believe it. Why wouldn’t I? I was still trusting my husband was the same honest person, after all he told me on dday he was in love with her (and me, he still loved me, lucky me!) and had sex with her twice, why would he lie?

Needless to say I then spent 4 months constantly torturing myself over this. I’m not an idiot, it just did not make sense. My brain kept going back to this puzzle piece and kept trying to shove it in its place and it just didn’t fit no matter how hard I tried. He swore it was true again and again… You guess the rest, on dday 2 when he had to vomit the whole truth (out of fear) not only they had sex that night, he didn’t even go to work that day, they had sex twice throughout the day, they went for walks, they went out to a restaurant (this was actually the only time they spent time together outside of working hours).

So when the puzzle piece doesn’t fit, when it just doesn’t make sense, when it doesn’t ring true…that’s because it isn’t. And if you want some peace, why not go down the polygraph route?

BW - 38 at the time of the A
WH - 45
Dday - 27/9/2017

posts: 1365   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: UK
id 8688839
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