Newest Member: AcesEights

Reconciliation :
What was lost, even with a successful reconciliation

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 woundedbear (original poster member #52257) posted at 10:21 PM on Friday, October 15th, 2021

We are a long way from the D-Days. I found out about an EA when I discovered her plan to make it physical. Then as the trickle truth that went on for a long time (years) I found out about PA's that never included intercourse, but did include giving some BJs.

We have addressed her issues. She was emotionally neglected as a kid (and adult) by parents who had not emotional intelligence and enough trauma for many lifetimes. She suffered from chronic depression. fWW has gone to counseling and is on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds. I have done some cleaning up too. I am not as much of a workaholic, and have changed jobs, so I am happier and more present. (Not that any of this was my fault). Life is really good. I am certain she is no longer flirting or doing the behaviors that got her so sideways with our marriage. It should be great right? And it is. She is a better partner, friend, lover, you name it. We travel and hang out, we have a great time and we are starting to plan retirement in the next 9 or so years. Because there was no divorce and because we did not have to dole out a lot of money being separated, we are in a great financial spot. We will have enough income to replace our pretty strong salaries when we are in our early 60's. Sound awesome, right?

But as I followed her into work this morning (we drive separately to downtown because I do leave later than her in the evening)I started thinking about what was lost. What we will never get back.

I know she can betray me. I know she has said vile, rotten things about me (mostly untrue or exaggerated) to other men to gain their sympathy. I know she chucked her vows to get a fix of feeling "wanted". And it was just that cheap. I know she was willing to get on her knees and put another man's dick in her mouth without any thought of the pain she would cause anyone else. Including me. I will never get back the innocents of a secure marriage, even though I am sure that she will not do it again. I will never have that fairy tail marriage I thought I had. Two kids who met at the end of high school who went to the same college and got married after college and had great kids, great careers and a loving marriage. 95% of that is true. But she was a serial cheater for so many years. She was not my friend, partner or lover all the time, even though I stayed faithful, and worked my ass off to give my family all that we have now. Its just hard to process that....

Do I wish we did not reconcile? No, not at all. Did it come with a price? Yep. But that price would have happened if I did not reconcile too, and that price would have been more that the one I am paying now, with splitting our home, paying for child support, paying lawyers, all that crap. Even if I had dumped her, I would be left with the knowledge she did this. But sometimes, you just need to take a look at all that was lost when she decided to self-medicate her mental issues with someone else's dick. I guess the only thing that give me any solace is that I know that now that she is healthy, anytime she thinks of what she did, she feels gross, and dirty, and she feels a ton of guilt (and shame). If she knew then what she knows now, none of this would have happened. Thanks for reading, I needed to get this off my chest.

Me BS (54)
FWW (54)
DDay 3/10/2015
Married 30 years, together 34
2 kids, college and grown

posts: 231   ·   registered: Mar. 14th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8693509
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 11:38 PM on Friday, October 15th, 2021

There is a permanent damage caused to an M by infidelity. It's part of the cost of R.

I used to be proud of my M, but I'm not proud of it anymore. I have talked about this loss with my therapist. To some degree, you perhaps shouldn't take pride in things you can't control. So throughout it, I can be proud of being a good husband, and that has never changed.

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

posts: 1479   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8693524
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13YearsR ( member #58259) posted at 11:51 PM on Friday, October 15th, 2021

I used to be proud of my M, but I'm not proud of it anymore.

On the flip side, I'm even more proud of our M now. We're authentic and transparent and we worked hard to get real and build a relationship where we truly trust each other, enjoy each other, and let each other do our own thing. It's been a long time since DDay, though, and it took time and experience to get here. I hope that you get here, too.

The thing that pains me the most is that he was my last first kiss, but I'm not his. Whew, that really hurts sometimes.

[This message edited by 13YearsR at 11:53 PM, Friday, October 15th]

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

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence because you're not over there messing it up.

DDay 2004. Successful R. 33 years married

posts: 604   ·   registered: Apr. 13th, 2017   ·   location: TX
id 8693530
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 12:00 AM on Saturday, October 16th, 2021

Here's an example in practice about what I mean, even if I'm functionally happy with our R and M.

Let's say we are talking about "Red flags early in a relationship" and one of them is "You shouldn't ever get back with someone that breaks up with you, just let them go, it's over or it will result in a relationship riddled with problems."

I would have said, "Oh, my wife broke up with me early in our relationship but I didn't give up. We got back together and we never had a major problem since!" Can't say that. I just keep my mouth shut.

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

posts: 1479   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8693532
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13YearsR ( member #58259) posted at 12:16 AM on Saturday, October 16th, 2021

I would have said, "Oh, my wife broke up with me early in our relationship but I didn't give up. We got back together and we never had a major problem since!" Can't say that. I just keep my mouth shut.

Oh, lord. That's me, too. He tried to leave a couple of times but I held shit together. (We need a facepalm emoji.)

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

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence because you're not over there messing it up.

DDay 2004. Successful R. 33 years married

posts: 604   ·   registered: Apr. 13th, 2017   ·   location: TX
id 8693535
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 12:28 AM on Saturday, October 16th, 2021

Fun universal emoji facts:

Windows + Period

Opens the emoji keyboard.

🤦‍♂️

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

posts: 1479   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8693539
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NotMyFirstRodeo ( member #75220) posted at 12:49 AM on Saturday, October 16th, 2021

*edited*
OP asked feedback based upon a successful R. I have to remove my post as I jumped the gun on the topic applying to me.

[This message edited by NotMyFirstRodeo at 6:20 PM, Friday, October 22nd]

Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid.

posts: 258   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2020
id 8693542
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OrdinaryDude ( member #55676) posted at 1:20 AM on Saturday, October 16th, 2021

As posted above, there is permanent damage to the M no matter how complete the R.

Trust wast the victim of my WW’s As, something she can never fully regain.

She does know this, and hopefully never forgets it.

Me - BH 50+
Her - WW 50+
Married 30+ years, 2 adult kids
(1989) PA Rug-Swept
(2002) EA Rug-Swept
(2016) EA *Getting Out Of Infidelity*

**Working at Reconciling**

posts: 3391   ·   registered: Oct. 19th, 2016   ·   location: The Big Easy
id 8693548
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Hippo16 ( member #52440) posted at 1:21 PM on Saturday, October 16th, 2021


There is a permanent damage caused to an M by infidelity. It's part of the cost of R

.


Thanks for those words This0is0Fine


woundedbear - you have a LOT of company walking the same path

Not Just Friends

posts: 567   ·   registered: Mar. 26th, 2016   ·   location: OBX
id 8693595
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 5:09 PM on Saturday, October 16th, 2021

Even when Yang is at its maximum, there's Yin in the mix, and vice versa. Even when the loss is the maximum, there's at least some potential gain in the mix. IMO, that's reality, not 'philosophy'. It requires no reframing for me to see that.

Another way of thinking of the loss is that one has really lost illusions. Among the gains in the losses: I got closer to reality, knowledge of strengths I didn't know I had, authenticity (also important to me), the improved emotional health for both me and W that comes from healing from betrayal....

None of the growth comes from the A. It all comes from the work we did after the A. The work wasn't pleasant, but once I healed from the A, the work of maintaining our relationship is easy and very rewarding.

But I agree: the losses are real, permanent, and painful, despite the gains.

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 8693613
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Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 12:08 PM on Sunday, October 17th, 2021

But sometimes, you just need to take a look at all that was lost...


I agree with that. BUT...there's always a "but" tongue ...you have to also look at what was GAINED as well in order to balance things out smile . I think you wrote some pretty cool GAINS...so I want to do that too!

What did I lose?
Blind trust. Looking back...I should have never had that anyway.
Innocence. I don't see it as a loss necessarily though...I see it more as maturity.
Monogamous marriage. THAT one is the heartbreaker for me crying .

What did I gain?
An AWESOME marriage! WE are so much MORE loving...kind...respectful of one another!
A devoted spouse. I always thought my H was this way. But now that he IS...I can easily see the difference.
Self esteem. I always knew my worth...but I never articulated it the way I do now.
Authenticity. The truth absolutely WILL set you FREE!!
FAITH! We are LOVING our relationship with God more than ever!!

LIFE is all about stuff we never get back...and stuff we gain every day. We can look at it in a negative or positive light...the choice is ours. I choose POSITIVE 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: 5633   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8693683
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ISurvivedSoFar ( member #56915) posted at 12:40 PM on Sunday, October 17th, 2021

Sometimes we feel that loss more than other times. I was just thinking about this - how I feel now, in affair season (which I almost forgot) and almost 5 years out. I can see my WS's evolution - for the positive.

V1 was the funny loving I will do anything for you partner

V2 was the broken partner - ramped up for years until he broke in pieces and caused everyone else to break in pieces

V3 is the partner put back together as the person he was meant to be

This is good. I can track versions of myself similarly, the last version which was foisted as a result of infidelity but had the best impact on living a richer, more authentic life. It feels great to be real, to be able to express what is needed in the moment and with anyone.

All of these great things unfortunately don't compensate for the loss of the illusion (which I accept as an illusion) and exclusive attachment I thought I had with my partner. That's what stings so much in all of this. That's what is lost - that the promise and the M wasn't important enough to uphold and to hold onto forever. It was broken - forever fractured leaving me feeling like there is always a part of myself I keep to myself all twisted into irony as I am more vulnerable and authentic than before.

It would be great if this didn't have to pull in both directions at once. I suppose this is one of those things we accept in our lives - that we had this trauma and after we heal we get to be very deliberate about how we move forward with more knowledge and self-empowerment than we had before.

[This message edited by ISurvivedSoFar at 6:45 AM, October 17th (Sunday)]

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: 2642   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
id 8693685
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landclark ( member #70659) posted at 1:00 PM on Sunday, October 17th, 2021

The thing that pains me the most is that he was my last first kiss, but I'm not his. Whew, that really hurts sometimes.

This honestly bothers me a lot.

To the OP, you’re definitely not alone. It’s something I have tried to explain to my WH. Can we be ok? Of course. We can get along, have fun, etc. Will we ever be amazing? Doubtful. Too much damage was done both before and after dday.

Me: BW Him: WH (GuiltAndShame) Dday 05/19/19 with TT through August
One child together, 3 stepchildren
Together 13.5 years, married 12.5 First EA was 4 months into marriage. Last ended 05/19/19.

posts: 1920   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8693686
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 3:12 PM on Sunday, October 17th, 2021

I felt all of this the first few years of recovery.

But I couldn’t stay if the gains weren’t far greater than the losses. I couldn’t stay if we couldn’t be better, if we couldn’t do amazing.

For me, the ONLY reason to R is for something more not less.

Again, I felt the same exact things about what I thought my relationship was — but it NEVER was what I thought it was pre-discovery.

So my mindset focused on what my life can be TODAY, versus what I NEVER HAD in the first place.

I lost 100 percent blind trust. Good. That never worked out of any of us here anyway.

I lost a relationship where I had to walk on eggshells and go along to get along.

I lost playing games, and bad compromises.

I lost wondering if I am a priority.

What I have today:

I gained a healthier, stronger partner.

I gained strength from overcoming all of the shit show, I know my true value and will only be treated well or I can be fine solo.

I gained a world where I get to always share my feelings and be heard.

I think there must be one million better ways to build a relationship back up than the destruction of infidelity — but I can’t change what happened. I can only control my response to this adversity.

No WS deserves this chance we offer, I just found redemption to be a powerful force in our ‘new’ order.

Any relationship I’m in has to be worthy of me and my valuable time, or I need to go.

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: 4217   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8693694
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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 5:20 PM on Sunday, October 17th, 2021

I lost the things that could have been. We are planning my daughters wedding. Instead of it being a joyous event and collaboration, it’s a negotiation. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

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

Divorced

posts: 1858   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2016
id 8693708
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Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 9:20 PM on Sunday, October 17th, 2021

For me, the ONLY reason to R is for something more not less.


Very well said smile . I totally AGREE grin !!!

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: 5633   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8693736
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13YearsR ( member #58259) posted at 3:11 PM on Monday, October 18th, 2021

T/J

Fun universal emoji facts:

Windows + Period

Opens the emoji keyboard.

🤦‍♂️

Hey, schanks!

Another way of thinking of the loss is that one has really lost illusions. Among the gains in the losses: I got closer to reality, knowledge of strengths I didn't know I had, authenticity (also important to me), the improved emotional health for both me and W that comes from healing from betrayal....

None of the growth comes from the A. It all comes from the work we did after the A. The work wasn't pleasant, but once I healed from the A, the work of maintaining our relationship is easy and very rewarding.

I second and third and fourth this. And this:

For me, the ONLY reason to R is for something more not less.

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

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence because you're not over there messing it up.

DDay 2004. Successful R. 33 years married

posts: 604   ·   registered: Apr. 13th, 2017   ·   location: TX
id 8693807
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 3:51 AM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Only reason to R is practical entanglements if you ask me. Hence the "no kids, no house, no business, run" advice. Sure most betrayed spouses still love their partner in the wake of an affair, but that just isn't enough. You can go love another person. Takes a few months. Honestly faster than R. It's the added cost of D that makes the alternative cost of R bearable. Two shitty choices.

If a genuinely superior relationship (not just functionally better) emerged after an A then I would find such advice insulting. There has to be enough good left to make up for the bad.

And as you have all pointed out, you could have just improved other things even if the A is what opened the door to superior relationship building skills. There exists an alternative universe where you get all the "benefits" of R without the A. I fully believe this.

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

posts: 1479   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8693933
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13YearsR ( member #58259) posted at 3:05 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Only reason to R is practical entanglements if you ask me.

I always mine out how people really feel about their partner by asking them what they would do if they hit the lottery. If money was not an issue, would they stay?

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

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence because you're not over there messing it up.

DDay 2004. Successful R. 33 years married

posts: 604   ·   registered: Apr. 13th, 2017   ·   location: TX
id 8693984
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 3:40 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Certainly love is not enough to make a successful R.

There's no way, however, that I'd let practical entanglements keep me married unless I thought there was a good chance that R going to take me to the stars. Getting unentangle is not easy, but what's a couple of years of pain compared with the rest of one's life?

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 8693991
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