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General :
Ever get sad, because you know you're marriage could've been so much better without your spouse cheating


Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 6:11 PM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

I’m proud of how hard I’ve worked in a 30 year marriage. I kept my vows. But the pictures and memories are tainted I will never view the M the same way no matter how well R is going.

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: 750   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8692540

 78monte (original poster member #72572) posted at 6:34 PM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

Hi Sisson, I found an undeleted message end of July, 2017. Went to MC, my wife TT'd for 4 months, then told me the truth.
After that we stopped MC. In 2018, I was having difficulty processing what happened, so we went back to MC and I did some IC a few times too.
Beginning of 2020 did some MC, before Covid hit. After last session of MC I was done with MC as I felt like I was being blamed for my wifes actions. I guess that sent me on the downward spiral I've been on.
We have just a couple of acres, 2 horses, 3 ducks, a rabbit, dog and cat. Yes it is a chore, not to mention maintaining a farmhouse that was built in 1872.
I haven't had anyone to speak to, I am waiting for a mens group to get in touch with me. I have messaged a few fellow Si'ers.

Tanner, I hear you and know what you're feeling.

posts: 1268   ·   registered: Jan. 14th, 2020   ·   location: Canada
id 8692545

survrus ( member #67698) posted at 2:32 AM on Monday, October 11th, 2021


Yes one of the saddest things my W said to me was that it was too late to reclaim a romantic or sexual marriage, after I had improved my treatment of her and she felt generally happy with me.

But after rugsweeping and the lack of immediate consequences her lack of passion for me became a habit over 20 years and her sexual drive was replaced with religion.

posts: 1053   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8692598

Nanatwo ( member #45274) posted at 3:05 AM on Monday, October 11th, 2021

Don't misunderstand - I hate his A - wish it had never happened - but I don't know that our marriage would be better "if only" he had not cheated. He had underlying issues that he had dealt with for years - issues that kept him from fully being emotionally supportive at times when I really needed him. Of course, I know there are ways to deal with long standing issues without cheating. Unfortunately, his A was his way of dealing.

With lots of work in IC and MC he has found healthy ways to deal with his issues - is now able to be there emotionally. Our marriage is not perfect - and maybe not even better - it is different than pre A and I like the changes.

Maybe it's my age - but I have seen and dealt with a lot of crap in my life and I've come to believe that "if only" was holding me back. Life is filled with "if only" - and honestly, we don't know what life would be like "if only"this or that had not happened.

I know the A will always be a part of our marriage - but I don't think of our marriage as "tainted". I could dwell on the marriage I think we would have had "if only" he had not cheated - or we could rebuild the marriage into something we both wanted. It took me years to come to terms with his A (we are 8 years post Dday).

I am not being flippant - I understand wishing the A had never happened - I am truly sorry any of us are now members of the infidelity club. I do understand what you are feeling - wishing you peace.

Time heals what reason cannot. Seneca

First the truth. Then, maybe, reconciliation. Louise Penny

posts: 556   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2014   ·   location: Indiana
id 8692602

Jaybee2020 ( member #75201) posted at 6:51 AM on Monday, October 11th, 2021

I think about this hypothetical question all the time. What really burns me is that no one will ever really have an answer for it with solid backing...

On Dday
D-DAY: APRIL 15, 2020

posts: 78   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2020
id 8692614

crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 5:01 PM on Monday, October 11th, 2021

I get sad all the time that my 25 years with xWS were a lie, that I married someone with a personality disorder not knowing, that I stayed too long for my kids because I believed in "saving it." Yeah having your dreams of a future ripped from you is pretty sad.

fBS/fWS(me):48 Mad-hattered after DD1
XWS:51 Serial Cheater, NPD tendencies
Together 25 years, Married 19
DD(18) DS(15)
DD1 (2008) COW, DD2 (2012) MOW, False R (2014) Same MOW. DD3 (2019) Webcam girl

posts: 8063   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8692658

sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 6:22 PM on Monday, October 11th, 2021

Thanks for clarifying, 78.

I hope the group gets going soon, and I hope you like at least some of the other men in it. With just a little good luck, I think you'll find the group very helpful.

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: 26130   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8692667

suddenlyisee ( member #32689) posted at 6:38 PM on Monday, October 11th, 2021

Good question. 100%.

After DDay, for me at least, everything's ambiguous. Nothing is for certain. The magic is gone.

As simple as it sounds, prior to the affair(s) there was trust.
Now the best it gets is 'no immediate evidence that something's wrong'.

A funny feeling pre-DDay had me seeking her out for a conversation, and now, I over-analyze everything.
My marriage, for me at least, doesn't feel like "home" anymore.
Hope it does again someday, but should it end, I'd be very comfortable saying I'd never marry again.
I just wouldn't be able to believe in it again.

I will say I'm 'better' than I would have been had she not cheated, so that's something.
I'm more attuned to myself and others. I live more in the moment. I take less for granted.

Semi-pro BS in R

posts: 408   ·   registered: Jul. 6th, 2011   ·   location: Michigan
id 8692669

PSTI ( member #53103) posted at 6:41 PM on Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

I think this is just part of the mourning for the what-might-have-beens. We have a plan of what our lives are supposed to be and of course our partner's infidelity isn't in that plan. It shatters the plan.

But it's not really a healthy thing to dwell on because it's entirely out of your control. That future could never have existed because our WS weren't the people in them. They were flawed in whatever specific way let them think that cheating was okay. So that dream you are mourning? It really is nothing more than a dream and it didn't have a chance of occurring because our WS wasn't capable of it at the time.

It's okay to feel what you're feeling, but try not to dwell there long. Focus your energy on the parts of your life that you CAN affect.

A marriage takes two to stay healthy. You can't hold it up by yourself. But it only takes one to destroy it.

Me: BW, my xH left me & DS after a 14 year marriage for the AP in 2014.

Happily remarried and in an open/polyamorous relationship. DH (married 3 years) & DBF (dating 2 years). Cohabitating happily all together!! <3

posts: 710   ·   registered: May. 6th, 2016
id 8692826

maise ( member #69516) posted at 7:16 PM on Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

I’m so sorry you’re feeling so hurt right now. I personally did feel sad about my marriage being impacted this way - it’s a part of our processing of loss. Eventually though *for me* I realized that our marriage was dysfunctional in its codependence and very transactional in what we thought "love" for one another was. I remember feeling depressed and unhappy even before Dday. That eventually lead me to feeling dare I say happy that that’s over? I’m glad I didn’t live the rest of my life in that. And that this process taught me so much that now I could actually have a marriage that’s filled with the right kind of love and happiness due to all of the work I’ve done with myself. Sometimes in loss we can grow something better for ourselves after the journey of healing. 💛 ((((hugs))))

D-Day: 6/9/2018
Status: IHS

posts: 857   ·   registered: Jan. 22nd, 2019   ·   location: Houston
id 8692831

HalfTime2017 ( member #64366) posted at 12:09 AM on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

I think I was much more sad/devastated/angry at the loss during the first few months and probably even up until about 6-7 months after Dday. There were dreams of retirement, travel, a great lifestyle, grand kids some day way in the future.... all of that. Up until Dday, I thought we had a great marriage, but hey, what did I know, she never filled me in on how she felt, just decided to cheat b/c she thought she found something better. Til this day, I don't look back and see that there were many issues at all in our marriage, just my exWW's inability to really communicate with me about what was wrong, or what made her unhappy.

But now that we are divorced, I can tell you that my life has improved in many ways. I have a very strong relationship with my kids. They love and respect me deeply, and we love every moment we have together 50/50 as it currently stands, but I would love more.

My friendships, my extended family life is better. They came and showed me I could count on them in my time of need. They stepped up. I retained most of the family friends, neighbors, and kids parents as friends. They know the sordid details of my ex being a cheat.

I have an amazing new GF and we are very serious. We have new dreams of the future, with kids, grand kids, vacations, retirement.... all those things that I thought was lost with the exWW, has now been remade with my new GF, but its even better. My kids love my GF, and so does my family. She gets along better with everyone, and has a much more bubbly personality. I lost a cheated and gained someone much better.

So I guess in my case, the cheating brought upon a Renaissance for me in my life, and I guess I kind of knew it when I created my screen name b/c I called myself HalfTime 2017. I guess I knew it was my chance to start over. I got a second chance, a second half to improve my game. And I came out on top.

posts: 1169   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2018   ·   location: Cali
id 8692863

Marz ( member #60895) posted at 12:25 AM on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

After last session of MC I was done with MC as I felt like I was being blamed for my wifes actions. I guess that sent me on the downward spiral I've been on.

You see this a lot. MC’s are not Gods. Some cause more harm than good.

I would bet a lot of the so called unhappiness in the marriage starts with the affairs. Excuses, excuses, excuse.

[This message edited by Marz at 12:51 AM, Wednesday, October 13th]

posts: 6685   ·   registered: Oct. 3rd, 2017
id 8692866

countrydirt ( member #55758) posted at 4:08 AM on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

I was married for 27 years before my XW started her EA. We had a good marriage and produced 3 fantastic young men and had good time together always. After DDay, we embarked on a season of HB and attempted reconciliation for about 4 years and probably were closer than we ever were in so many ways.

I don't regret any of those years, except for a few months after the EA was discovered and then a few months leading up to separation and divorce when the EA returned and then became a PA.

Despite my occasional thoughts of "I hate her for the pain she caused my boys and I," I've made peace with the situation and wish her only the best. I have removed all of her pictures from my digital albums and she has all the scrapbooks and photo albums.

The family home is now on the market and should sell within the next 10 days or so. I'll pay off all of the joint debt and split whatever is left with her and be done for good. I don't plan to speak with her often, if at all after that. She did say once, "I hope we can be friends again." My response was that I knew I would be friendly, but we would never be friends again.

3 adult sons
Married 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021

posts: 303   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8692891

Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 10:38 PM on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

Answer: Yes. Legit sad. Of course. As I'm fond of pointing out here on SI, I'm quite skeptical that the majority of infidelity happens in the context of bad marriages.

It certainly wasn't a bad marriage in my case, and it's quite baffling to try to apply the rational thought process of a faithful partner (yourself, me) to the decision-making of an unfaithful spouse. Why would they do something so toxic and destructive in the middle of a good marriage?

Yes, of course, faithless spouses come up with retroactive narratives (and often predictive programming in advance of their infidelity) about how bad their marriages are/were -- but this typically falls apart under scrutiny and as the unfaithful spouse tries to give blameshifting voice to this flawed narrative inside their own brains. Once the actual blameshifting words start being spoken, these narratives start sounding increasingly desperate and foolish.

Take our divorce rate as a nation. Are we to assume 50 percent of marriages are bad or went bad?

Boy that sure doesn't say a lot for the institution of marriage, that your odds of experiencing a good marriage are equivalent to rolling a hard six. If that's the case, what's the point of getting married in the first place? Yet people keep doing it year after year. (side note here: I'll just say I do have some severe doubts about the institution of marriage now, given that both genders have achieved parity for being faithless -- your odds of being betrayed by your husband or wife and then divorcing are quite high, and I think this may be one reason younger people are increasingly reluctant to sign for something that has a high likelihood of turning into a heartbreaking toxic shit show at midlife).

A huge chunk of divorces stem from infidelity.

It's probably more reasonable to say that most marriages are good, and that most infidelity happens inside what any objective observer would say were good marriages that unfaithful partners disregarded and threw away. Even adultery apologists like Esther Perel concede this point.

I think it's reasonable to assume that most marriages are good, and when infidelity happens in the context of a good marriage, what was good now becomes soured -- i.e. bad.

I have to remind myself that this is the present, this is the reality I'm living in. And no amount of woulda coulda shoulda is going to change that. So regardless of the good marriage I had before -- and it was good -- I can't go back and live inside that marriage anymore. I have to confront the reality of what I have now instead, every single goddamned morning in fact.

As sad as it makes me to think about the good marriage I had before, I try to focus on the fact that I know I was a good husband, a loyal husband, an attractive husband, a good father, a stable provider. So I think less about the marriage and more about my own place in it, my own role.

A friend here on SI recently helped me reframe this: Don't take pride in your marriage that the infidelity killed off. At the same time, don't allow anyone, especially including your unfaithful spouse, to tarnish the intact memory and empirical grounding for what you know was in fact a good marriage.

But instead focus your feelings of pride (not vain pride, but justified pride) in how YOU acquitted yourself. Focus on that instead.

[This message edited by Thumos at 10:47 PM, Wednesday, October 13th]

"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 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2:

posts: 4301   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8693029

Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 3:36 AM on Friday, October 15th, 2021

Thumos... sorry for nitpicking, our divorce rate in the US is more like 25%. The 50% number is not based in fact. The reality is that no one really keeps track, but people who have studied it put it closer to 25%.

posts: 353   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8693261

bonitabellows ( new member #77250) posted at 9:58 PM on Saturday, October 16th, 2021

Our 15 year anniversary was a few days ago. It really affected me, now knowing that he cheated for the last 8 years (that I know of)
I really thought we had a very good marriage and looked forward to our future together. We got along really well.
Even with all his ic, men's groups, 12 steps, and book reading and supposedly being clean since dday last December,I don't know if I can live with it.
The years of lies, massage parlor prostitute, various online skanks dashed my image of our sex life. At 66 I don't know if I ever want sex again - all the women were way younger.
Counselors advise to be patient, give it time, he is doing really well. Well bully for him.

It is incredibly sad, the damage done.

Me: BS 65 yrs old. SAWH is 61. Dday Dec 15 2020.

posts: 17   ·   registered: Feb. 4th, 2021   ·   location: CA
id 8693650
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