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Reconciliation :
Conflict Resolution and R

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 sisoon (original poster guide #31240) posted at 3:17 PM on Saturday, October 9th, 2021

This thread is a result of a post on G. I think I had to choose between a T/J or this new thread, and the new thread is my choice.

To R, we have to learn how to resolve conflicts, because they come up every day. Every conflict needs resolution, even though some conflicts are really trivial on the surface. My W used to ask me, 'Do you want peas or string beans?' I didn't care, and i wanted her to choose the one she wanted. She wanted me to choose. See, conflict.

My W wants to go to religious services today. I'd like to go, too, to say kaddish for my father, but I'd also like to watch a couple of bike races. That[s a conflict within myself, and if I choose a bike race, that's a conflict between W and me.

To resolve conflict:

1) both parties have to recognize it;

2) both parties have to be willing to do something about it;

3) the parties have to negotiate a solution that they both feel OK about.

If one or both parties don't feel OK about the chosen solution, furthering R requires them to do more work to do to resolve that conflict. In R, feeling OK about the vast majority of conflicts is, IMO, essential.

Most - maybe 'every' - conflicts have multiple solutions. The peas or string beans issue can be resolved by my giving an answer, by my W just making a decision, etc., etc., etc. Eventually we let our son decide, because once I realized that he wasn't babbling when we were fighting. He was saying 'beess, beess, beess', and I realized he was actually saying, 'Peas, peas, peas.' (The first word other than 'ma' that I recognized.)

And even with a trivial issue, it's easy to feel lousy about the solution. I could decide to over-comply, make a choice, and feel like a Victim, forced to make a choice when I didn't want to. I could also choose to feel good about myself for making a choice when she asked me to do so.

IOW, conflicts between people arise again and again in life. So do conflicts within ourselves. Those conflicts require resolution. They get resolved one way or another, often by avoidance. Our son's voicing his preference was a joyful occasion - but it allowed us to avoid recognizing the issue between us WRT W's wanting me to decide and my wanting her to decide. (And the real issue underneath it for my W was her self-hate, which led to her A....)

R is harder than just floating along through life, avoiding every conflict that can be avoided. If the solution chosen by 2 partners results in one or both feeling not OK about themselves, it's negative for R. If you don't feel good about yourself for being in R, I don't see how R can work for you.

To R, conflicts need to be addressed, and the partners need to feel good about the solutions.

R is impossible unless conflicts are not avoided.

JMO, of course.

[This message edited by sisoon at 3:18 PM, Saturday, October 9th]

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: 26161   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8692365
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CaptainRogers ( member #57127) posted at 3:48 PM on Saturday, October 9th, 2021

2) both parties have to be willing to do something about it;

This is what my wife continues to struggle with to this day. She is AMAZINGLY conflict avoidant.

In our last MC session, I made the comment about wanting to move our relationship forward (she smiled), and then I said that we couldn't do that if she isn't willing to address the issues from the past (she quickly lost her smile). Our MC jumped in and talked directly to Mrs. Cap about listening without defensiveness, about being willing to actually listen rather than just say she will and then finding excuses not to, being supportive & hearing the hurt she caused that continues to get in the way because she tries to rugsweep it.

It definitely takes two WILLING participants to resolve conflict, especially when it's of the elephant in the room variety.

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: 3037   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2017   ·   location: The Rockies
id 8692369
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guitargod ( member #14534) posted at 5:11 PM on Saturday, October 9th, 2021

Took me until 40 and over 20 years into this relationship to really learn that life lesson.

Also, learning communication skills to actually achieve those resolutions.

And learning how to have boundaries.

Started with mindfulness which allowed me to get in touch with my emotions and stay in the moment.

Getting over shame reactions was also key for me. Moving from reacting to responding in general.

Honestly, idk how we held on to each other for 23 years. There must really be something there worth saving.

[This message edited by guitargod at 5:12 PM, Saturday, October 9th]

ME=MHH 40MHW 37DDay=2/27/2007DDay#2=6/26/12DDay#3=9/9/21Married 17 yearsTogether 23 years

Daughters: 4, 2, 0

posts: 68   ·   registered: May. 8th, 2007
id 8692377
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 5:18 PM on Saturday, October 9th, 2021

Conflict to me is not about making simple choices. Sometimes I choose my option and sometimes not. It doesn’t create resentment or anger if I choose or my H chooses.

One time I really wanted to buy a house. I loved it. My H did not. So we passed. Moved on. Years later he blamed me for his unhappiness snd Affair b/c I told him I didn’t see a job opportunity it’s he has was a great choice.

He let that resentment build up over 15 years. That was his choice to resent me — and clearly he did for years.

The point is it’s not the conflict — it’s the communication or lack of communication that causes the issues.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10736   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8692378
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 7:31 PM on Saturday, October 9th, 2021

Very good post. Once we really entered into R I told her honest communication is a must. I had to tell her to stop walking on eggshells and just honestly communicate with me. It might be deciding on a restaurant. This has caused more conflict / disagreements in our M but it’s healthy debate not yelling or fighting. In the past we were both conflict avoidant and things would boil over. We have both realized that honest communication is so healthy even when we don’t always like what’s being communicated.

Dday Sept 7 2019 working toward R
BH 54
WW 47
M 30 years, 4 kids 2 grown, twin boys 12 yo 2 grandkids

One day you will tell your story how you overcame what you are going through now, and it will become part of someone else’s survival guide.

posts: 773   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8692389
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 1:05 AM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

Gottman suggests most conflicts are perpetual and unsolvable. The key to those is accepting the difference and coping with it. You could call that solving the problem but it really is a second option.

Solve the solvable ones, cope with the perpetual ones. If you can't do either, the relationship is toast.

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

posts: 1403   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8692423
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ISurvivedSoFar ( member #56915) posted at 9:11 AM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

I agree - these things need to see the light and get resolution so they can dissolve and make room for better understanding and deeper relations. And even more so that they don't become the basis for unhealthy relations.

For me it became the willingness to be exposed - to identify the pain I was feeling so the other person has the opportunity to address the intention of their actions. We've not only used this between us but with our children and it has helped immensely.

In other words, it became the new norm and we're all better for it.

Did you get to go to services?

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

posts: 2599   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
id 8692492
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outofsorts ( member #70701) posted at 3:50 AM on Monday, October 11th, 2021

Thank you for posting this sisoon...

Both WH and I are very conflict avoidant - in general and particularly with each other. His conflict avoidance is certainly one of the many issues that led to WH cheating.

Our conversations about where to go out to dinner are basically the same as your peas / string beans discussions grin

This is something we've both worked very hard on since dday and I felt like we were doing a good job on. But there is still not a lot of conflict in our relationship. Reading your post last night I decided to talk about the conflict avoidance issue again on our weekly Sunday relationship walk / check-in.

But I didn't have to! WH brought up how he felt about the way I reacted to an issue related to his job. Not fighting but definitely conflict. And one that was well discussed during our walk! Surely a situation WH would have ignored prior to Dday.

It made me realize how far we've come and made me happy to have that conflict in our relationship laugh

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

posts: 343   ·   registered: Jun. 4th, 2019
id 8692605
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 sisoon (original poster guide #31240) posted at 7:59 PM on Monday, October 11th, 2021

Yeah, we went to services. smile I watched highlights of the race when we got home. Turns out it was one race Saturday and one Sunday. Saturday's race was very interesting. I just wish I thought Performance Enhancing Drugs did not play a part.

A thought about 'perpetual' conflicts....

Many of the differences between W and me that lead to conflict are perpetual, and we can't agree on one approach that we'll both follow. In that sense, those conflicts are unsolved, unsolvable, and of course, perpetual. In another sense, we've resolved the vast majority of those conflicts by consciously recognizing that we're different people with different likes and dislikes, different thought process and POVs, slightly different values, different priorities, and different ...um... rhythms that are not always in sync.

My experience is that recognizing and accepting the conflicts is much better for us as individuals and as a couple than not recognizing or suppressing them.

That's a very interesting point that Gottman makes. I hope I remember it.

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: 26161   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8692680
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 8:23 PM on Monday, October 11th, 2021

In "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work":

Principle 1: Enhance Your Love Maps
Principle 2: Nurture Your Fondness and Admiration
Principle 3: Turn Toward Each Other Instead of Away
Principle 4: Let Your Partner Influence You
Principle 5: Solve Your Solvable Problems
Principle 6: Overcome Gridlock
Principle 7: Create Shared Meaning

Principles 5 and 6 are how you deal with "The two kinds of marital conflict". I wouldn't hate it if principle 6 were renamed, "cope with your perpetual differences". Probably doesn't sound as nice as overcoming gridlock. Haha.

I am a reasonably decent believer in the Gottman books between "Seven Principles" and "What Makes Love Last". I think both have improved my M.

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

posts: 1403   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8692686
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MrsWalloped ( member #62313) posted at 8:27 PM on Monday, October 11th, 2021

Sisoon,

First, may your father's neshama (soul) have an aliyah (ascension).

Did you find plainsong avoid conflict at all, but particularly closer to DDay, in terms of being more acquiescing or not standing up for herself? It's still not resolving conflicts to just give in, but did she assert herself at all or did she feel like she couldn't, not because of anything you did, but because she was the WW? If so, did that change over time?

I guess the flip side is, were you more aggressive in taking a particular stance or stronger in holding your line because you were the wronged party? Like you had a right to get your way (again, still not conflict resolution)?

I know for us, it took a long time for me to find my voice as a partner in our M where I felt that I could really work on conflict resolution. One area I had to work on was not giving into everything because I felt like I owed him everything and I didn't want him to leave me and so on. Totally unauthentic and the epitome of conflict avoidance. And in line with that, understanding that despite my being the WW, I was still allowed to have a position and actually defend that position. Part of working on authenticity was being true to myself in terms of what I believed was right. For example, if it was a child rearing issue, my opinion counts and understanding that I had a voice despite what I did was a very big step. However, if it was something like where did we want to go out for dinner and he wanted a steakhouse and I wanted Italian, I learned that my opinion counts too, but I had more leeway in terms of how much I wanted to agree. So I would express that I preferred Italian but was happy to go to a steakhouse knowing it would make him happy. As long as I expressed myself, it was a big step in acknowledging that my opinions shouldn't be shuttered.

Did you deal with this?

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 702   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8692687
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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 12:45 PM on Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

Mrs Walloped, this struck home to me.

One area I had to work on was not giving into everything because I felt like I owed him everything and I didn't want him to leave me and so on.

We had a pretty even relationship prior to the affair in term of decision making, although I confess it was probably skewed to my side. Like a lot of marriages she ruled the domestic decisions like with the kids, and I did the same with finances. The really big decisions like were pretty much joint such as the house renovation that started the landslide to hell.

After the affair, that all went out the window. For the longest time I could care less what she thought. I really wanted a classic car, but we both decided that at the time it wasn’t practical. Not enough garage space, storing it and the maintenance etc. I accepted it as they were very real issues.

A few months after the affair I was with a friend and we passed by a classic car place. I fell in love with a car and bought it on the spot. No discussion. I drove it home and when she saw it I could see the tears as she knew that in my mind, at least at this time, she didn’t matter to me at all. It kind of set the tone

Later when I became more of a human, and actually sought out her opinion, I could never get it. Restaurants, movies, household purchases all were what I wanted. Like in the quote, she was terrified if she made one mistake she was out. Had to be a terrible way to live, and I carry the guilt of fostering that environment.

In the end her becoming a stepford wife hurt us. She had no spark, and I was starting to become attracted to women who did. She never got her voice back. A lot of that is on me, but when she could have stepped up and when I woukd have been responsive to it, she couldn’t. To this day she has massive problems making a decision.

I do think her looking back at her decision to sleep with him in the first place scares her in that the wrong decision in some instances have terrible consequences. She remains frozen. Sad

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician

Divorced

posts: 1844   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2016
id 8692765
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MrsWalloped ( member #62313) posted at 1:45 PM on Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

Hi waitedwaytoolong.

I do think her looking back at her decision to sleep with him in the first place scares her in that the wrong decision in some instances have terrible consequences. She remains frozen. Sad


I can totally relate to that. When everything hit home about what you did and you're alone with your thoughts (not a pleasant place to be), you question everything about yourself. "How could I have been so stupid?" and "What the hell is wrong with me?" were common thoughts. So you question your ability to decide anything. Your WW's situation was different than mine. My A took months to develop. So I questioned every decision for every step of the way. Why did I allow this? Why didn't I say no to that? And that was about the seemingly innocuous "small" things. Much harsher thoughts about the big ones. So not only did you lose your BH's trust, you lost trust in yourself. In your ability to be a functioning person who knows basic right from wrong. How can you decide anything then? You totally screwed up your life and the life of your BH and destroyed your family and hurt everyone you love. How can you make any decision ever again?

So I was a stepford wife too for a pretty long while. But I think there were two things that helped me get out of that. One, I was still a mother and I had young children and teenagers at home. I made most of the decisions about their day to day before and my BH wasn't all of a sudden going to take over those responsibilities. So I had to do it like it or not. So I focused on that. Kind of like putting one step in front of the other. And that slowly built up my confidence in myself because the world didn't fall apart. Second, my BH was pretty vocal about R and that it was a together thing. And that did help create an environment where I felt safe to be myself and disagree with him about certain things. There were plenty of times where that didn't go well and my A was thrown back at me when we disagreed about a completely unrelated topic, but we usually discussed that afterwards and that stopped over time. When I saw that he wasn't going to throw me out at the slightest argument or issue, that encouraged me to continue to work on myself toward gaining self-confidence and helped me find my voice.

Regarding Sisoon's point, I think there's a stage in R where the BS and WS get to a place where they can have the kind of conflict resolution discussion he's talking about. It's not at the beginning of R. For many reasons, neither person is in the right frame of mind for healthy conflict resolution and mostly I'd guess that there's just conflict and dysfunction. But if R is progressing, then you can and will get to that point. And it requires effort from both people. The WS needs to step up and have a voice (again, this is in R and at a more advanced stage of R at that) and the BS needs to allow that to happen. It won't always go well, but when it does, it becomes something to build on and progresses R further IMO.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 702   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8692773
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 sisoon (original poster guide #31240) posted at 7:05 PM on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

MrsW, Thanks for your kind thoughts. My father died 25 years ago, which is difficult to fathom.

Did you find plainsong avoid conflict at all, but particularly closer to DDay, in terms of being more acquiescing or not standing up for herself? It's still not resolving conflicts to just give in, but did she assert herself at all or did she feel like she couldn't, not because of anything you did, but because she was the WW? If so, did that change over time?

Before d-day, she said 'no' t me on many things, but she didn't say 'no' to ow. She wasn't eating or sleeping, so she had no energy, and I wasn't blackmailing her; hence she could refuse me.

She was mired in self-hate and co-dependence, and she avoided conflict for those reasons. She saw her A as 'saving a life', so she didn't feel guilty until after she decided to stop and saw my reaction. IOW, her thinking was way off during the A. Important aspects of what she was doing just didn't get connected in her worldview. She didn't avoid conflict before d-day because of her general avoidance of conflict, not because she thought she was doing something wrong.

I guess the flip side is, were you more aggressive in taking a particular stance or stronger in holding your line because you were the wronged party? Like you had a right to get your way (again, still not conflict resolution)?

For some months after d-day, I required her to keep me informed of her activities, location, companions, etc. at all times, and I often withheld that info about my own activities.

But I also knew that there was nothing she could do to make up for her A. She could do every chore around the apartment for the rest of our lives, and that wouldn't make up for her A. She could kill me with sex (which seems like a good way to go), and it wouldn't make up for her A. She could agree with me on everything. she could go with my decisions on everything for the rest of our lives, and it wouldn't make up for her A.

I always valued her for her POV, which was usually different from mine, and for her willingness to share her POV. I think we made better decisions for us by sharing our thoughts than we would have made if one of us had decided alone, so I don't think I forced my POV on her.

I most definitely did make my boundaries more explicit, and I didn't bend much. I had real requirements for R that she had to accept for R to become my choice. There were times I vetoed a decision of hers that I would have accepted before d-day, but I don't think I imposed decisions, even though she often backed down because she had fucked up so badly.

But R was negotiated. There were a couple of things I wanted initially that she was definitely uncomfortable with. She met the requirements, they turned out to be uncomfortable for me, too, and I dropped those reqs. One thing I wanted got a response that was something like, 'ow coerced me into that. Are you willing to coerce me, too?' Well, no, I wasn't willing to coerce her, so I dropped that want from my list.

The biggest want/requirement was honesty, though, and she never wavered on that. The 2nd was probably IC for her. That's a work-in-progress - she still dislikes some of her most salient - and, to me, attractive - characteristics, and that really gets in our way. The 3rd was sex, I guess, and she hasn't wavered on that, either. (OTOH, sex has changed as we've aged. I won't go into that. smile )

*****

One area I had to work on was not giving into everything because I felt like I owed him everything and I didn't want him to leave me and so on.

This was a biggie for us, too. After d-day, I think she did give in more than she wanted to because she thought she owed it to me. Sometimes i liked it, but I think usually I wanted the real plainsong to come out. I want a partner, someone who helped make decisions about us; I didn;t want thoughtless agreement.

In fact, getting through this roadblock may be crucial for all WSes' healing. IOW, maybe a WS can't heal unless they assert themselves.

Maybe, after infidelity, R - perhaps even healing in general - requires both BS and WS to assert themselves, even though that runs the risk of finding out that they're a bad match for each other. After infidelity, ending the M MUST be considered, IMO.

*****

IMO, conflicts come fast and furious on d-day, both within the WS and BS and between them. For example...

- BS may have lots of questions that the WS doesn't want to answer...

- WS may think the A is over, and it's time to move on, while BS wants to talk about the A(s)...

- One partner wants sex, and the other doesn't...

- One partner wants to leave immediately, and the other wants to stay...

- BS wants to stay in the home and the WS to leave, and the WS wants the BS to get out....

The BS has to decide how to respond to the revelations and to the WS. The WS has to decide how to respond to the revelations and to the BS. The decisions usually come so fast that one doesn't realize a decision has been made.

*****

MrsW and waited, Your posts provoked a lot of thinking and discussion. The discussion is ongoing. Thanks.

[This message edited by sisoon at 7:16 PM, Wednesday, October 13th]

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: 26161   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8692970
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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 12:08 AM on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Your WW's situation was different than mine. My A took months to develop. So I questioned every decision for every step of the way. Why did I allow this? Why didn't I say no to that? And that was about the seemingly innocuous "small" things.

Not so different. I think it just took place in a more condensed timeframe. According to her she she kept making boundary lines, then crossed them. No meeting without other workers around. Not flirting. Not getting dressed just for him. No alcohol and definitely nothing physical. All broken one at a time. In my mind one of the biggest was fu*king him the second time. I’m a pretty worldly guy. I know things can happen. But when she went back again, that was a crossover from a stupid mistake to betrayal. Big difference in my book. For me one is forgivable, the other is not.

Back to the topic on hand, after the affair we had almost no conflict. I did what I wanted, and she anticipated what I wanted. Great for a while, but like Sisoon has alluded to, not sustainable in a real relationship.

Conflict is good. It’s how you get to the right answers. I used it a lot in business. Not pitting people, but pitting ideas against each other. Beating each idea up with pros and cons. Sometimes choosing one idea, but mostly coming to a hybrid solution taking the best from all points of view.

Unfortunately this requires the parties not to get too emotionally invested in their point of view. After infidelity it’s really hard to not be emotional. Or as a BS not to have a running dialogue in your head about the infidelity. For me it was hard to hide. It lingered below the surface to the point where even if it wasn’t brought up, if their were a conflict, and like I said they were rare, me starting to get pissed was a trump card about her cheating and I won. Even if the infidelity wasn’t mentioned.

I think that in most cases where the relationship returns to an equilibrium, it does so in relation to the BS letting go and forgiving. A jump I could never make, but congratulate those you can.

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician

Divorced

posts: 1844   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2016
id 8693057
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humantrampoline ( member #61458) posted at 4:09 PM on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Thank you for the post. I appreciate the topic and points of view in the responses.

Personally, conflict resolution and conflict management have always been a challenge in relationships for me. I can't imagine a person enjoying them. Maybe that's just me, but wouldn't we all rather get along?

Before d-day in my marriage, I tried to "choose my battles" or "not sweat the small stuff". After d-day, our MC pointed to a pattern of us working independently and resolving things on our own in ways that weren't effective. I'm not talking about restaurants or whatever. I'm talking about larger issues. It also led to resentment or a belief that the other person didn't care I believe.

One thing that helps now is being mindful and aware that something actually bothers me, rather than tossing it off as insignificant. My WS frequently "busts people's balls" as he calls it. I hate that. It seems passive aggressive. If you have a complaint, state it instead of making a sarcastic joke.

There's one huge thing that's been a hurdle to conflict resolution/management since d-day. It's that I believe my WS showed poor judgement during his affair, and it's difficult to trust his judgement since. Mrs. W referred to that. If I can't trust that my spouse is able to judge whether someone is a true friend or has good character or is able to make other sound judgements on their actions that accurately account for consequences or risk, it's just so difficult to treat their opinion in a conflict as equal to mine. That's been a slow thing to come back for me.

posts: 397   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2017
id 8693117
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 7:22 PM on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

A solid exchange going on here.

Conflicts and how they get resolved as well as relationship balance are especially important for R.

If my wife had gone the route of Waited’s WS — my result would have been the same as his.

Not that my wife didn’t spend time in a shame spiral or give up her relationship voice for a time, she did both way too well. However, that’s when our moment of truth happened two years in and I told my wife that love wasn’t going to be enough to save us. I wanted the strongest possible version of my wife — when we’re on our game, we push each other, intellectually, spiritually, and toward our key goals in life with family and time spent together.

Balance gets destroyed during an A (as the BS is in a competition for affection they don’t know they’re in) and gets buried after discovery.

Pre-A we sucked at conflict and conflict resolution. We made bad trades, lousy compromises and built up resentments so big they could be seen from space.

While there are no real silver linings to infidelity, we did choose to rebuild something worthy of us BOTH.

Our conflicts are down to none. Zero. Zilch.

We express our anger, sadness, frustration in real time and recognize each other’s feelings.

We give instead of take from each other. And that concept alone has changed us for the better. It took a long time to understand the difference.

All the stuff that we used to argue about turned out to be insignificant compared to the pain the A caused. So the little stuff doesn’t even hit our radar anymore, we’re focused on the big picture and healing as a team. It kind makes everything a big deal, and it is. Life is way too short for unnecessary misery. We did the misery thing. It sucked. No we aim higher.

If I have an issue I air it. If I have a hard question I ask it. I get heard and I get answers.

Without the old conflicts, or living in the past, we’ve built a fascinating zone where we can feel safe and be vulnerable — things I wasn’t sure I could feel again.

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: 4195   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8693169
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