Newest Member: ibelieveinspring

Reconciliation :
Got Away With It

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 Avnp (original poster new member #79393) posted at 3:55 PM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

This will be my first post after being a lurker for the last month when I finally decided to register. And this is more of a rant/thought post.

I just keep thinking - he got away with it. That he got to live a life where he had no responsibility, affection, praise, and no one to hold him accountable while also showing someone "love" that should have been me. While I was home taking care of him and the house and our animals, being a wife thinking I was the one who put us at this distance I was feeling. In which he fully manipulated and gaslighted me into believing-that I was controlling and crazy.

Now he has this opportunity to "fight" for me. No real repercussions, other than my moods and having me tell friends/family. He still gets to live his normal life - to an extent. And it just bothers me, that I will always have this within me from him and he obviously can compartmentalize very well since he did for 7 months and can have "normal" days.

I see some remorse and I know its early in this process but knowing who is he (or I thought I did) I feel like he will bounce back to his happy, joyful, life of the party self. While I will heal but will always carry this with me regardless if I stay or go. And it never stops being fully about them.

Moments like these are where I am bitter about making a choice to stay, sometimes I wish I would've just walked out the day it happened and left him to his mess of a life - instead of begging him and doing the "Pick Me Dance" It does give me comfort to know I can leave at any moment but it's just making that final decision.
Its been one of the more struggling weeks I've had, where nothing he says or does helps and only makes it worse. It seems as the days go I've realized how I was played a fool and taken fully advantage of because I loved and trusted him.

I just needed to get this out in the world and for some reason the possibility of people who are also in my position reading it- is more comforting than me writing it in my journal.

posts: 13   ·   registered: Sep. 13th, 2021
id 8689532
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 4:31 PM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

I hear you!! Many betrayed’s have the same feelings. You are not alone. Trust me!

But here is some observations I’ve witnessed.

Every day the remorseful former cheating spouse has to wake up and look in the mirror knowing what they have done.

The cheater cannot erase their actions. Ever.

The cheater has to suffer watching the pain they have inflicted on our lives.

The cheater will soon realize the affair was never worth it (if they are truly remorseful).

Think if it like this. Riding that motorcycle at 85 mph sure was fun …..but it wasn’t worth a broken back and a lifetime of pain due to the recklessness was it?

Same goes for affairs. People / cheaters use affairs to hide from their pain, issues and/or unhappiness. The fun lasts awhile but then it begins to fade so they have another OW/OM or start drinking on top of the affair etc.

Glad that is not the life I have to face!

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10890   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8689542
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 Avnp (original poster new member #79393) posted at 5:51 PM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

Thanks for the reply smile .

I know I wouldn't want that reality, but we still get the shit end of the stick. It just makes me wonder how much of a reminder would someone (WS) have - in the way we do. Again the whole compartmentalize is clearly an art they have, makes me question truth of actually feelings.

And that just the fact that the WS truly enjoyed and lived a double life is just beyond me.

It also seems the more I dig - the more I find where the some sort of lie or betrayal had started with him- not with the OW yet but the strip clubs. So that's been going on behind my back for the majority of our relationship. He got away with that too.

I really hope one day I can stop thinking this or feeling this way but I'm not sure I ever will. It also goes right along with the whole "our things are not ours anymore" where he shared our words/actions with another or where they went together.

I know this whole thing is unfair and continues to be, and that's what begs the question "why continue"
If love enough after all this damage. I keep asking myself that everyday I wake up.

posts: 13   ·   registered: Sep. 13th, 2021
id 8689558
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numb&dumb ( member #28542) posted at 7:51 PM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

Hi AVNP. Welcome to the last club anyone wants to join. I am sorry you are here, but glad that you found us.

I agree with The1stWife. This is a very common feeling that BS tend to have. It takes different forms. I know for me that I felt like a chump because here I was doing everything to make my M work, but at the same time I was doing my best to be a good husband and partner. Further that she got to have fun while I was waiting at home felt like the ultimate form of disrespect.

Initially I had those feelings, but as time passed and I healed (with the help of a good IC) I saw this dynamic flip itself on it's head. The trick is that I had to remember that my W did what she did because she was broken . . .in many ways. It was not about me because by all measures we had a good M and nothing I did or did not do made the decisions for my wife. She did, without my involvement. I know it sounds bad to a few BS, but my W's A was never about me. I certainly suffered and it changed me in ways that I cannot never change back. It was one of those things that I had very little control over. Trying to force the A to be about us is most often about trying to regain control. In reality we only have control over ourselves. What others do that impacts us negatively is their responsibility. Cognitively that makes sense, right ? However there are certainly emotional aspects that are involved that can't be fixed with logic. The my healing damage we take to our sense of safety, self identity and self esteem are horrible.

As BS we have to heal ourselves and realize that just because we married someone that lacked integrity and morals that does not mean we are destined to suffer our spouses character flaws forever. While that seems unfair now I can tell you that despite the reasons I did it the benefits I reaped were enormous. I began to like myself again. I began to fix things about myself that always bothered me. It was an "excuse" to focus on me instead of everyone else. I learned true self love, compassion and even forgiveness. I know that sounds like new age-y crap, but it my case it is the truth.

As I began to heal and be comfortable with the new me my W noticed that I was happy without being stuck in a dysfunctional co-dependent lopsided relationship. My W became optional in my future. I knew the kids would adjust and I could be a much better dad without my W constantly taking more than she was giving.

So one day my W asked me if "we were ok." (Amazing how similar WS can be at times). I told her that I was OK. Our M only existed on paper and one day I will want a real relationship again that added to my life versus took away from it. I told her that I was nearing the end of my patience and if things continued the way that they were it likely meant a D. She did all the old tricks to hoover me (manipulate me), but they did not work. I told her that if she wants to be in this M then she needs to become someone worthy of being my W. Luckily she worked her ass off and finally became a much better version of herself. Remorse came in the middle of all of that and was unmistakably driving her actions. The balance got restored. No we never forget the A. Two things remain in my M. One the A and all it related elements are forever now open for discussion. I don't remember the last time we talked about it, but having the option helps me. Two all options about our future are on the table including a D. If one of us has an issue about something in our M we talk about it and put effort into making any changes that are required.

I know this is long so please bear with me. I am getting to my point.

I am a long ways past my DDay. I healed myself and it is something I can't regret because on a lot of days I can look in the mirror and love what I see. No one can ever take that away from me. My W is also a long way past my DDay too. The main difference is that while when I look back I can see something bad that happened to me. My W has to remember that she almost ruined her family, and without my compassion/generosity she would have. Further any time anything related to infidelity gets mentioned or brought up who do you think triggers ? Not me. My wife has been way harder on herself than I ever was. She feels she has to be a perfect wife just to get back to even. She knows that I never considered a D prior to Dday, but now it is an option. If even a slight EA enters the picture I will D her and be ok.

You know your husband better than I do. I know you love him, but you know what ? Sometimes love isn't enough when there has been damage as severe as infidelity. You can love someone and know that keeping them in your life will lead to more pain. It is a risk and no one, but you, can decide to take that risk. If your H was willing to do the very hard soul searching that is needed to fix the broken parts of himself then . . .ok you have something to work with. If he doesn't and wallows in despair, etc. Then I would not try to fix something that you know will not change. D then work on being the best and happiest version of yourself.

No we don't get to choose to be a BS. We do get to choose how to react from here going forward. I think working on yourself is never a wasted effort so why not start there and leave your H to wallow in the misery of his own making. Once he sees you being happy with yourself and your life it is oddly motivating for a WS to see what is possible.

Sorry that was so long. There is a lot in those years that led me to who I am today and . . .I like who I am today. We all have bad things happen to us and while we need to lick our wounds sometimes it does not really do anything to help us heal. I really hope you take what I've said to heart. You are worth so much more than you realize and I hope you find your way back to a fulfilled and happy life no matter the outcome of your M.

Dday 8/31/11. EA/PA. Lied to for 3 years.

Bring it, life. I am ready for you.

posts: 4979   ·   registered: May. 17th, 2010
id 8689589
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 Avnp (original poster new member #79393) posted at 8:10 PM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

Thank you numb&dumb -

sometimes having someone else say/write it helps. Thats part of the reason I felt the need to post on today. I needed to have those words said to me. Everything you said makes complete sense from the both of you and I truly appreciate the words and the time spent on them.

I do try everyday to try and turn this whole shit show into somewhat of a positive - in as working on myself or taking time on myself vs. H or our M which I always have done.
I'm trying to work on the not so great things I know of myself and also to find what I want in my life.
And I know my H has a long way to go but I can see some things that he is trying to do - but at times its not enough.


Ultimately, the decision is mine and thankfully even though I never thought I would be on a place like this - has really helped me understand things I've been questioning and having support from other people who understand the pain.

posts: 13   ·   registered: Sep. 13th, 2021
id 8689591
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numb&dumb ( member #28542) posted at 8:23 PM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

This site saved my life. No not in traditional sense. It helped me to see that my future is filled with hope if I was willing to so the work.

Keep reading and posting. There are a lot of great people here that are willing to share their wisdom and experiences.

Have you thought about seeing an IC (Individual Counselor) ?

Dday 8/31/11. EA/PA. Lied to for 3 years.

Bring it, life. I am ready for you.

posts: 4979   ·   registered: May. 17th, 2010
id 8689595
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 Avnp (original poster new member #79393) posted at 8:59 PM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

I've seen three different IC - first one wasn't really giving me anything to work with and kind of just sat there and stared at me haha, very awkward.

The second one was okay but still wasn't a fit

Now I just went and saw my third - she also sees my H so she gets both sides and one day we will move to MC when/if I feel ready but - I feel like she'll help me find ways to fix some of the ways I communicate with others moving forward and also to help handle my triggers/thoughts I've been having. She's also telling me that the affair was not about me, that it is my H brokenness and he's told me the same thing but I just need to wrap my head around that fully- some things I don't completely agree she has said ie in regards to happy marriages don't have affairs because as I've read a lot of people have affairs because of themselves not the marriage.

I'm not saying I had the perfect marriage before this but we were happy, and my H was unhappy with himself and lacked the communication skills to tell me or explain it. So, he acted out to have an A with the first opportunity that presented itself because the AP was also broken and vulnerable and was okay with his situation. He enjoyed the praise and "god complex" she provided, but H keeps telling me he had no feelings for her, which I see as somewhat of a trend between that and the limerence position. It helps to know it wasn't anything but sexual for him but he still lead her on to keep her around and not that it makes it feel any better.

posts: 13   ·   registered: Sep. 13th, 2021
id 8689602
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swatter555 ( member #60555) posted at 9:47 AM on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

I really don't have many wise words. My WW was still in love with the AP for a good 3 months after she was caught. She felt profoundly sorry for herself for a long time. Recognizing my suffering at a deep level didn't happen for many months. What drove your spouse to break the marriage and cause you to suffer so profoundly is the same thing that will prevent them from truly seeing the damage for a long time.

My standard advice- if you don't have kids together you should leave. The are few reasons remotely worth it.

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

posts: 286   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2017
id 8689676
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 5:03 PM on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

I'm another person who chose R. Our 'child' went on his own long before d-day. Obviously, I can think of many reasons to R without kids.

I agree with 1stWife: I think WSes cheat to avoid facing their pain. One of my requirements for R was for my W to face and resolve her pain. It's been very hard work for her.

I've had an image of As as glamorous ... me, with the abilities I had when I was 18, and the young Sophia Loren, living in the lap of luxury.... I listened to my W describe her A, and it was not glamorous at all.

So, yeah, she got to have sex with someone else. She betrayed herself. She didn't lose me, but she came close. It looks like she got away scot-free, but she didn't.

It' possible that the thought he got away with it is a sign that you don't really want R. My reco is to stay in touch with yourself and with what you want, and go for that.

My reco is also to demand that your WS resolve his pain. That's the best way to change from cheater to good partner.

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: 26262   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8689729
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Fof9303 ( member #70433) posted at 8:56 PM on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

I am so sorry that you are here. To say it is not fair is an understatement. Everything you are feeling is spot on because there is no right or wrong way to feel. It takes time to process these feelings and there is no need to rush to make a decision. Take your time. See what he will show you in terms of remorse and getting his act together. You will feel better in time...

posts: 103   ·   registered: Apr. 27th, 2019
id 8689774
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Underserving ( member #72259) posted at 8:59 PM on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

I could list all the ways my husband has suffered from his infidelity, but it wouldn’t help anything. At the end of the day, I still suffered more than he did, and it was all because of him. It’s unfair and I can’t really think of a single "punishment" that would make it feel like justice served. Not even divorce.

So I suppose I personally just had to swallow the harsh pill that this shit wasn’t fucking fair, and there’s nothing that will ever make it so. So then what? I could be bitter about it for all of eternity, or accept I am one of millions of people who had something unjustly done to them, without the perpetrator receiving a consequence worthy of their crime. It sucks, but here we are.

My advice is to be mad about it. Be fucking pissed. And then, when you’re ready, let it go. For your own sake.

BW (32)Found out 3 years post end of AD-day 12-9-19In R

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

posts: 735   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2019
id 8689775
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 10:12 PM on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

I've noodled on this a little.

Real R is hardwork. The fWS has permanent loss. They can no longer say, "I have been faithful".

They have to admit their wrongdoing. They must do what they can in attempts to earn forgiveness.

Comparatively, divorce could be seen as getting away with it internally, if there might be significant material consequences to losing a spouse/family. No one to hold their feet to the fire on whatever bullshit they want to spin about the BS. They can lie, minimize, rewrite marital history, and blameshift with no pushback. They never have to really admit and own what they did was horrible and wrong. That they hurt the person they love the most.

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

posts: 1484   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8689788
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 Avnp (original poster new member #79393) posted at 11:52 PM on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

I unfortunately keep flip flopping between wanting to R and wanting to D. We don’t have kids together and we’re both relatively young-ish that there’s not much to try and stick it out other than the love I once had for someone I thought I once knew. I’m stuck in limbo- wanting to be with him and then changing my mind with one wrong word he says my way.

I don’t see how this pain and the constant sadness I get when I’m not fighting off the thoughts and images - are worth in the long run to be with someone who has impaired morals and understanding of what it means to be committed and married. While I was 100% committed from the beginning and can never understand how you get yourself in that position of temptation.

And then on the other hand, I do still love him and I can see moments- in the worst fucking times I’ve ever had in my life where, we could be 10x better and improved.

I guess that’s what’s fucked up about the whole situation. Nothing is tying me to this man and it would be a clean break. But my gut/heart tells me to stay, that it will be worth it, and my mind says get the fuck out.

I’ve been doing a bit of backtracking lately and looking back into the past history of what happened with the A - comparing credit card records etc with dates And I’ve come to realize that I think subconsciously I’m trying to protect myself from being hurt further, to find make myself leave. But I don’t want to leave deep down.

And either way, whichever we choose - it will never be enough to even come close to what BS feel during the affair -when you’re being gaslighted and manipulated and lied to- DDay, and after for the rest of your life - you carry it even when healed it seems.

They have to look at themselves and know for the rest of their lives that they basically murdered the person they once loved for some validation and sex. But I still don’t think that’s fair. Which none of this is fair.

posts: 13   ·   registered: Sep. 13th, 2021
id 8689800
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WTAF ( member #79274) posted at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

I felt that way for a long time. I was broken and sad and changed forever, and it seemed to me that he was no worse for the wear. After the dust settled some, I was able to see the effects that this has had on him.

1. He has had to see my pain and know that he caused it.

2. He has to face the awkwardness and discomfort of my many, many questions, and deal with the sadness and shame of his actions.

3. I just can't bring myself to wear my wedding ring, which is upsetting to him.

4. Things that I consider lost to me, are also lost to him as well. Certain events and memories are tainted for me as I don't consider them genuine because they happened during his online whoring. Trips that (I thought) we cherished, along with favorite pictures, are no longer special. My rejection of those occasions and things have hit hard.

5. Before DDay, when our wedding song would come on, we would stop and dance, or hold hands if we were in the car. That's another special thing lost to us.

6. He has said that he is ashamed of that time in our lives, and he has to live with that. Honestly, I would rather be the betrayed person living with the hurt of betrayal than to live with the shame of nearly destroying the person I vowed to love and cherish forever.

7. I threw away a bunch of his clothes that were triggers/bad memories for me. He lost some of his favorite things laugh

I don't even feel bad either. One pair of shorts had to go because they figured prominently in a dick pic I walked in on him preparing to send. I couldn't get that image out of my head.

While I know his experiences in the aftermath aren't as painful and all-consuming as mine, he didn’t completely get away with it either.

[This message edited by WTAF at 3:29 AM, Thursday, September 23rd]

posts: 75   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2021   ·   location: All up in my feelings
id 8689802
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CaptainRogers ( member #57127) posted at 2:21 AM on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

I wholeheartedly concur that an A is just one of many destructive behaviors that are chosen as a way to avoid dealing with pain.

In the almost 5 years since my wife made that choice, she has had to face up to new truckloads of pain. While it seems like they have "gotten away with it" on the surface, there is a great deal of internal turmoil that they have to work through.

I hope estly believe that the truly remorseful spouse endures great pain that isn't always seen. First, they have to reconcile their actions with the picture they held of themselves. They often held an image of themselves as someone who was loyal, who was honest, and someone who would never cheat. Now, they know all of that to be incorrect. Now, they have to live with the knowledge that they aren't who they thought they were. The first person they have to reconcile with is the one in the mirror.

And for those that are truly remorseful, their self-inflicted pain is added to the pain they feel when they realize what they have done to the one person they say they loved the most.

They don't truly get away with anything if they are capable of remorse.

BS: 42 on D-day
WW: 43 on D-day
Together since '89; still working on what tomorrow will bring.
D-Day v1.0: Jan '17; EA
D-day v2.0: Mar '18; no, it was physical

posts: 3048   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2017   ·   location: The Rockies
id 8689816
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thatbpguy ( member #58540) posted at 2:46 AM on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

I will add this... think carefully where you want to be in 1, 3, 5, 10 years. Is it really with this guy? If so, try and make it work (so long as he does what he needs to do). If not, D him and seek your life elsewhere. Or maybe try a 90-day separation and see how you do. You may just enjoy life without him.

ME: BH Her: WW DDay 1, R; DDay 2, R; DDay 3, I left; Divorced Remarried to a wonderful woman

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C.S. Lewis

As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly...

posts: 4464   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: Vancouver, WA
id 8689820
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Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 2:46 PM on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

I just keep thinking - he got away with it.


This is a very normal feeling for the majority of BSs at first. After a while though...the signs come through showing that there was very LITTLE that a WS was able to get away with. This is a scar for them too...that will follow them around ALWAYS.

One thing my H told me later on in our R was that he HATES being a member of the "Cheaters Club". He would hear or see something about cheating...and think how DISGUSTING it was...then it would hit him that he WAS a cheater.

THIS club...the "Betrayeds Club"...isn't so bad smile . It is filled with people who have had pain inflicted on them...so they know what it feels like for when the new Betrayeds join...and are completely LOST in that pain. We are pretty cool too grin !! And STRONG as heck!!!

One day though...I found myself looking at this wonderful club I never wanted to belong to...and felt like an outsider. It really wasn't a bad feeling at all smile . I actually LIKE the fact that my H is an outsider in his club too smile .

Your thought is very valid at this point...but it will fade as new thoughts emerge to show the reality of what an A actually does to a Wayward smile .

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: 5634   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8689851
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 4:27 PM on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

I just keep thinking - he got away with it.

You could make sure he didn't. You could do everything possible to stay married, while using as many opportunities as possible to beat him down and make his life miserable. To even the scales of pain. That is an option here. You could pay back what he did over years and years.

Would you want to be that person, though?

Whenever you cycle through the "he got away with it" thoughts, revisit this line of thought.

Sending strength!

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 2750   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8689864
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 5:57 PM on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

I'm writing again to add that the constant back and forth is pretty normal. Have faith in yourself - you will be able to resolve the dilemmas. Have faith in yourself to find your way out of infidelity.

But where will you go? Have faith in yourself to figure that out, too.

A couple of thoughts ...

If you set your unconscious mind to answer questions like th following, you'll be more likely to go where you want to go:

- Do you want to spend the rest of your life with your H?
- Under what conditions?
- What do you want your M to be?
- Is he willing to be your partner in that M?

And remember:

- you can't control the outcome, but you have a lot of control over yourself.
- you can hold your head high, whether you D or R or wait to gather more info before you decide.

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: 26262   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8689881
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Shockt ( member #74399) posted at 6:10 PM on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

Well said, House of Plane.

It bugs me too, AVNP, the "unfairness" of it all - sure WS may be doing the work well, but the consequences for him/her are not on the same level. I spent some time wanting my WS to feel as much pain as I did. But ultimately and realistically - it ain't gonna happen - even with the most remorseful spouse. They did something awful and deceitful and indeed "they got away with it." Guilt/pain/shame - sure - but not like the bs whose reality was altered. I read and saved a great post from Chamomile Tea here months ago in which she describes the need (for successful R) to "write off some of the debt" in order to restore some kind of balance in the marriage. Yes, WS must do all the work needed to restore trust, but the M won't work if WS remains "one down" in the relationship forever. In other words, much as I might feel justified in beating my WS over the head with his betrayal, I'm going to need to let that go at some point in order to restore the kind of "equality" and balance I want for continuing marriage. I'm looking to be WS's partner, not his Mom/jailer

posts: 80   ·   registered: May. 6th, 2020
id 8689885
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