Newest Member: AcesEights

Reconciliation :
What was lost, even with a successful reconciliation

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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 3:44 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

There exists an alternative universe where you get all the "benefits" of R without the A.

Such a universe may exist, but there is no way for any of us to travel there.

We only live in the universe where we were betrayed.

So, I get why people run or feel stuck. I never thought I would stick around after betrayal. I had no idea a better M was remotely possible. It’s RARE, and yet here I am. A happy man, in spite of the tragedy. If anyone is ever certain they are settling for less, then I agree, run. Get the D and move on.

I certainly never thought my marriage could be better in many ways, but it is.

I don’t think anyone has ever advised experiencing the Hell of infidelity in order to improve, and yet, my relationship has found a way to thrive despite all of the horror show.

I didn’t have any entanglements. Our sons are grown up and doing well. We have enough financial resources to live comfortably separate lives — if we wanted to.

I absolutely understand why people focus more on the damage caused than the evolution of their spouse or their relationship. I spent the first three years of recovery thinking exactly what Woundedbear is feeling now.

Eventually, I found I had a choice of focusing on what my wife and I do better now or on the damage and pain she caused.

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.
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 3:53 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

I had finances worked out. That isn't the only practical issue. And while love isn't enough by itself, I still very much love my wife. I would not leave if I won the lottery.

If we didn't have kids when she cheated, if we didn't already establish some shared goals, if I examined the other flaws in the M and thought it wasn't good enough, any one of those things could have tilted me enough towards D to have gone through with it.

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

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WTAF ( member #79274) posted at 12:23 AM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

The losses I feel the most are those that have tangible reminders. Looking at my wedding ring makes me feel that although we are legally married, the vows were broken and the M is somehow not intact. I don't wear my original rings, and have hidden them away so I won't have to see them.

A lot of happy memories and special occasions seem lost to me because I don't think they could possibly have been genuine, given what was going on at the time. Seeing pictures of us from that time underscores those losses for me.

The other stuff (loss of fairy tail, loss of innocence) does smack me in the face so much.

I do think our relationship is stronger now, more authentic. We communicate better and our life together seems more equitable. We make the daily effort to verbalize to one another that we are all in, and that we are choosing each other and our life together. For the most part, I believe we are happier and better off. Then again, what do I know anyway? I thought things were good before, and that turned out to be a big fucking lie. (Did I mention that I struggle with trust and optimism now too? laugh )

posts: 75   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2021   ·   location: All up in my feelings
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Seeking2Forgive ( member #78819) posted at 9:29 PM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Then again, what do I know anyway? I thought things were good before, and that turned out to be a big fucking lie.

To me, this is the saddest part. The knowledge that you can never, ever be certain of anything when it comes to the mind of another human being. No matter how much you love and trust them. No matter how much you may think they love you. There is no "never." There is no "always." There is only what you are showing and doing right now.

"She would never do that," is for fools. Even today with all the work we've done, as much as she has shown that she has worked hard to make sure it will never happen again, its, "She would.....probably not do that." Trust but verify.

Because part of getting to the bottom of it all is understanding that we're really just monkeys with nice haircuts. The right set of inputs to the right primal needs can override values and principles that you thought were immutable. I'm reminded of a Bill Burr bit about the challenge facing celebrities and pro athletes: "There is nothing out there to prepare you for the platoon of whores waiting on the horizon. Braveheart – faces painted, skirts on, running down the hill to jump on your dick in front of your wife, they don’t give a shit."

I like to think that I stood by my values and fought for our marriage. But I know now that even some of that was just the way I responded to trauma. I give myself credit for trying to hang on to what we had even once I had made it through the initial trauma. But clinging desperately to the only support system you have as it's stabbing you in the back doesn't seem exactly brave in retrospect.

Throughout our marriage chivalric tales of "true love" have been among our favorite movies. Stories like "The Princess Bride." I had always deeply believed that we both shared that same unbreakable commitment to our "true love." What I've learned is that if Wesley had been just a little bit late, Buttercup wasn't going to jump out the window. She was going to give Humperdink the greatest fuck of his life. Because that's what was going to get her needs met going forward.

I hate that all of that sounds so cynical and dour. Trust me, I'm happy even as I'm doing an alien autopsy on the aspects of my FWW's A that she hid from me all those years ago. I've always been very pragmatic. Love and commitment was the one place where I allowed myself to be wildly romantic. That was something my FWW always loved about me. Now she has to take her romance with a dash of pragmatism.

That's a key point. Romance doesn't have to die. It just has to become about actions rather than fairy tale ideals. And it has to be mutual and equal. If the Princess isn't willing fight the dragon with me she's going to get eaten.

Me: 59, BS
Her: 58, FWS
Dday: 11/15/03
Married 37 yrs
Reconciled

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id 8694221
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numb&dumb ( member #28542) posted at 9:58 PM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Pre Dday I defined myself by my M. Post Dday I consider it an after thought when talking about myself.

Considering that I was royally fucked in the head Pre-Dday. . .I don't want that back ever.

I like the new me. I am awesome. I also happen to be M'd. grin

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

Bring it, life. I am ready for you.

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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 10:36 PM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

I don't wear my original rings, and have hidden them away so I won't have to see them.

Same here and I can't even remember where I put it! We had this running gag for awhile where she bought me an assortment of rubber rings (on the basis of me saying I didn't like wearing a metal one for exercise) and I kept "losing" them. Finally I just told her straight up the rings made me feel gross and I didn't want to wear them at all.

"She would.....probably not do that."

My thought process now is usually "She might very well do that, or at least she's entirely capable of doing that."

Trust but verify.

Interestingly Reagan borrowed this slogan from the Russians themselves. It communicates the basic mistrust we had for untrustworthy individuals and a society based on lies. The Russians used it because in their society you basically could not trust anyone. There's a metaphor for the post-DDAY reality of a marriage in there somewhere, I think.

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.

To me, this is a key element. We don't really need to be proud of something that was based on tissue-thin lies from a bad faith partner. We can absolutely reside some amount of pride in being faithful, loyal, hardworking men who didn't cheat on their wives. That makes us a damn sight better than our wive's affair partners.

[This message edited by Thumos at 10:47 PM, Wednesday, October 20th]

"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: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

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WTAF ( member #79274) posted at 10:41 PM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

To me, this is the saddest part. The knowledge that you can never, ever be certain of anything when it comes to the mind of another human being. No matter how much you love and trust them. No matter how much you may think they love you. There is no "never." There is no "always." There is only what you are showing and doing right now.

This is true for me in whether I can trust that he won't do it again, and in whether I can trust that I really, truly know about everything that has already happened. Early on, when we were in the TT and absurd denial phase, I told him that he was basically Schrodinger's Cheater. His words and my gut were telling me different things, either of which could be true. A few years on, his behavior seems trustworthy but I always have it in the back of my mind that there is the possibility that I am wrong and he is still a liar and a cheater.

posts: 75   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2021   ·   location: All up in my feelings
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 10:52 PM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

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.

Yep, I've said close to this same thing to my WW. In addition I added, "And if that doesn't sit well with you, you probably should have thought that through a little more before bringing another man into our home and screwing him, and then stringing me along for three years with rugsweeping and blameshifing only to fail a polygraph at the three year mark after DDAY 1."

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.

woundedbear, can I ask, my sense is that 1. You know you are worthy of love and respect and that her lies about you, about what she did, the way she gaslit you, the way she wantonly sought out another man are not only transgressively (that is to say against the natural moral law in our universe) wrong but also reflect her low character and 2. This still haunts and on some level repulses you bc she’s done repulsive things you can’t unsee or unknow.

Is this an accurate reflection? If so, I can relate. I'm also trying to puzzle my way through this same thing. If it helps you might check out the book "Cheating in a Nutshell" - the book is not pro-R, but it is highly accurate in helping BS's learn more about the thought processes, moral emotions and other things they are experiencing.

[This message edited by Thumos at 11:32 PM, Wednesday, October 20th]

"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: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

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BlueRaspberry ( member #76065) posted at 12:35 AM on Thursday, October 21st, 2021

Thumos,

In addition I added, "And if that doesn't sit well with you, you probably should have thought that through a little more before bringing another man into our home and screwing him, and then stringing me along for three years with rugsweeping and blameshifing only to fail a polygraph at the three year mark after DDAY 1."

How did your wife react when you told her that? You've stated in the past that your wife is afraid you'll eventually divorce her. If that's accurate, what is she doing (if anything) to prevent that from happening?

posts: 234   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2020
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 woundedbear (original poster member #52257) posted at 3:00 PM on Thursday, October 21st, 2021

woundedbear, can I ask, my sense is that 1. You know you are worthy of love and respect and that her lies about you, about what she did, the way she gaslit you, the way she wantonly sought out another man are not only transgressively (that is to say against the natural moral law in our universe) wrong but also reflect her low character and 2. This still haunts and on some level repulses you bc she’s done repulsive things you can’t unsee or unknow.

You are right. While her A did cause me to fall back a little and wonder what I was lacking, it did not last long. I am like everyone, I have that voice that says "who do you think you are?" and "why would anyone love you?" but it is faint and I can quiet that voice for the most part. The farther away from the deception I get, the more I understand just how broken my fWW was (is). Her wanting or needing to be accepted by men came from some deep seeded crap that came from childhood. She was raised by parents who loved her to the best of their ability, but they were emotionally stunted. She was emotionally neglected. She was chronically depressed and she was co-dependent. I realize our early relationship was a co-dependent one, but I grew up. I was healthy, she was not all the time. Looking back, I can see the times that she was acting out line up with times she seemed more depressed. Helping her to fix that and understand why she was acting out has helped her tremendously. She is just plain a better everything, friend, lover, wife, mom, coworker...

But the cost was high. You are right. I cannot unsee the texts. I cannot unknow that she made masturbation videos and sent them to him then claimed she did not know he was masturbating to them (after all, that was the point of the videos). I cannot unknow that she went next door when we lived in another state and gave our unemployed neighbor BJs while I was working late as a young executive (leaving our young son in bed in the house alone) She is still learning her "why's". I understand the why's, and it had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with her mental health and how she dealt with it. (Let me also say that she was quite functional with all her issues. Other than low self-esteem, the common person would not have known she was depressed or any other issues. She is a professional with almost all of her relationships being normal and friendly. She is not a "nut") But when an attractive, broken man showed her any attention sexually, she went into co-dependent enabler mode in hyperdrive. It was like a fix for her low self-esteem and depression. She sees that now.

What I can fall back on now, is that I am a good husband. When it was clear she was repentant, I was able to decide to stay and walk with her through recovery. I still love her, and care for her. And maybe some of the co-dependence of our youth is still there, she had nobody else. If I had left her, neither I nor her can imagine the tailspin she would have gone into. And more than anything, despite what I cannot unsee, I understand what was going on. And I still like her. I love spending time with her. We still have so many common interests and love going to go to college football games, camp in the mountains, train German Shepherds, you name it. I love the woman she was when she was not cheating, and that was most of our lives. So, even with the pain and having to live with the knowledge of what she is capable of, reconciliation was worth it. But I am not immune from the blues every once and a while, and mourning what was lost.

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

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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 5:10 PM on Thursday, October 21st, 2021

How did your wife react when you told her that? You've stated in the past that your wife is afraid you'll eventually divorce her. If that's accurate, what is she doing (if anything) to prevent that from happening?

Not to threadjack here, but if memory serves she nodded sadly and didn't have much to say.

And I still like her. I love spending time with her. We still have so many common interests and love going to go to college football games, camp in the mountains, train German Shepherds, you name it. I love the woman she was when she was not cheating, and that was most of our lives.

This is a pretty close approximation of how I feel as well. Although I can't say I "love" spending time with her, I do enjoy it. And she has pretty much adopted my hobbies, including camping. I love the woman she was, but as I've pointed out elsewhere, I don't think that image I had of her was actually accurate. Instead I say "I miss the wife I thought I had." The woman I know now is the real person, and it's not the wife I thought I was married to. For me, I'm still in limbo because I'm not sure it's enough.

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.

Spot on analysis from TIF, as usual. I just don't see that many people saying their post D-Day marriages are AWESOME. I'm glad for those who feel that way, truly. I just have a high bar of skepticism to believe that's the majority. It seems to me I see a lot more people sayin "meh" and it's a struggle they are willing to engage in because of practical tradeoffs. My personal take is that most BS's are stable individuals, loyal people, empathetic, with high-level executive function in their frontal lobe. Thus, BS's tend to "game" things out several steps ahead, pay attention to empirical evidence and so on. If they think they can minimize damage with an R, they will probably do it.

[This message edited by Thumos at 5:34 PM, Thursday, October 21st]

"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: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

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 woundedbear (original poster member #52257) posted at 4:36 PM on Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

I just don't see that many people saying their post D-Day marriages are AWESOME. I'm glad for those who feel that way, truly. I just have a high bar of skepticism to believe that's the majority. It seems to me I see a lot more people sayin "meh" and it's a struggle they are willing to engage in because of practical tradeoffs.

I am skeptical of anyone who claims to have an "awesome" marriage. Even without infidelity, that is a really high bar. Is my marriage awesome? I don't know, but there are moments and times that are almost euphoric, so maybe. But there are times that are just hard. And now that everything is out in the open, it feels like there is honesty, and sometimes that sucks, but it is real. Real is good. Trust takes time and relentless rebuilding. I trust her more and more each month and year that goes by. That feels right.

I have a better relationship with my fWW. That I have no doubt about. I like her and enjoy her. But there is a ying and yang there. She is both the source of great joy and the source of great pain. Its probably similar for her too. I bet I can be a pain in the a$$. What if I had gone the D route? Would I completely trust a new wife? Nope. Would it take the stain of pain away from this marriage? Nope. Would it forever change the rest of my family relationships? Yes, split holidays, split time with the kids, you name it. Would I gain back my "manhood" by taking charge and dumping the cheater? No. Honestly that would mean that the other men won and took my fWW from me. (And honestly, they could have the old fWW, I like the woman I live with now. More honest, mentally much healthier, stronger.) In the end, I ended up with a better spouse, a better marriage than the one I had.

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
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HardKnocks ( member #70957) posted at 4:57 PM on Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

Well said, woundedbear!

And ditto.

BW 30-year marriage.
DDay2 2/20 5 month EA/PA
Recovering

posts: 333   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2019
id 8695133
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 7:29 PM on Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

I am skeptical of anyone who claims to have an "awesome" marriage.

...

Would I gain back my "manhood" by taking charge and dumping the cheater? No. Honestly that would mean that the other men won and took my fWW from me. (And honestly, they could have the old fWW, I like the woman I live with now. More honest, mentally much healthier, stronger.) In the end, I ended up with a better spouse, a better marriage than the one I had.

I would have called my marriage awesome or nearly perfect before the A. It has some functional improvements after the A from the stuff in the Gottman books and what have you, but those aren't major improvements. More like minor tweaks and some helpful tools to get on the same page and use the same language and understanding of a problem.

As for the manhood, I take a drastically different view. The cheating reflects nothing on your manhood at all. It's about her problems. Second, I do not see my wife or any woman, person, or relationship as a "prize" to be won. My wife isn't, wasn't, and never will be something I view as property. She also isn't someone I see picking a "winner" or whatever. I also see our commitment to one another as much more practical now.

I don't consider our R and M to permanent anymore. I used to say, "I will never leave you" or something to that effect a lot. I haven't said it once since the A. Just the other night she said, "Thanks for picking up the pieces. If you ever leave me, I won't blame you for it." At a time like that if she was having some sort of self doubt or doubt about our relationship, historically I would have said, "I'll never leave you". Instead I just said, "I still love you and don't have any plan on leaving".

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

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Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 10:52 AM on Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

The key words are "in a SUCCESSFUL reconciliation".

There are plenty of things lost. One simple but poignant thing being that no matter how much you might heal you have to live with that your spouse had a sexual partner after you thought you had committed to each other. Personally I find pride in knowing that since I met her my wife is my only partner and that’s the way it will stay.

Reconciliation is so much more than simply recovering from the affair or even getting over the affair. I think Thumos is correct that most people that stay together after d-day get into some form of "acceptable" or even "agreeable" state rather than an ideal or good state. That can even be irrespective of if they divorce or remain married. Both the D and G forum are peppered with threads about actions of the ex-spouse still impacting the BS and the whole forum has numerous posts from people claiming to have "reconciled" but also stating they are only waiting for the kids to leave or have their divorce-attorney on speed-dial. But to call all those relationships "reconciled"…. Nah, and least of all successfully reconciled.
To those that are in that state I refer to the quote I have had under my posts for over a decade:

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

The best way I can describe R is like you decide to improve your life, physically and spiritually. You can get a gym-card, buy the gear, read about nutrition and all that, but things won’t start happening until and unless you hit that treadmill, run those miles, lift those weights, stretch those muslces and start eating that fish and chicken and vegetables and doing that yoga, meditation or praying, reading good books and cutting back on the cigarettes and booze.

If you only go jog once a week for a couple of miles it might be an improvement from where you were – but it wouldn’t really counter whatever other bad habits you kept. Same if you celebrate your jog by downing a couple of burgers with a shake. Going to Church every Sunday where you constantly look at your watch wondering when it will be over won’t help. You can also go all-overboard for six months and get great improvements, but if you then go back to your old ways you return to the initial state.

Reconciliation is a lifestyle – for lack of a better word. It’s a decision that you consciously decide and define what you want out of life and if your partner is the one you want with you to reach those goals. It’s making sure the goals are compatible and comparable. It’s then deciding how to reach those goals – small step by small step. It’s about not taking the marriage for granted but seeing it as an ongoing project.

The above is something any married couple can decide to do irrespective of infidelity. Most of us got married without really having a realistic understanding of what it meant and the consequences of marriage. It’s all romance and lust and expectations that lead us into what’s supposed to be a lifelong commitment, without us ever understanding what that commitment is. Reconciling (or the acts that reconciling requires) makes us understand that commitment.

Just like getting healthy might require an initial boost then getting over infidelity definitely makes R that much harder and will leave some negatives that undeniably last a lifetime. But if done correctly you can envision a BH sitting in a rocker out on the porch looking at his wife thinking "Thank God I didn’t divorce her despite the affair", not realizing she’s looking at him thinking "Thank God he didn’t divorce me despite my affair".

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 5:03 PM on Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

most people that stay together after d-day get into some form of "acceptable" or even "agreeable" state rather than an ideal or good state.

Of course, it's also true that 'most people that stay together get into some form of "acceptable" or even "agreeable" state rather than an ideal or good state.'

It's scary and painful to raise and resolve issues unless one has a goodly amount of self-esteem, and our society simply does not support high self-esteem. It's not easy to take in Epictetus's words and do the necessary work. Following those words requires, IMO, looking inside to find and change a lot of one's internal messaging, and it's just plain painful. We're not taught do that work.

Infidelity can be a catalyst. One's WS's actions dump us into deep shit. The WS's actions make one question oneself. Being betrayed triggers all the internal messages one uses to attack oneself.

But it's an opportunity to examine the messages and discard them. As stated above, however, it's damned painful ... you'll probably have to access much of the pain you've stored up over your lifetime.

But I'm convinced it's better to address and resolve one's pain than to keep it stored up in one's body. If you don't address it, you're too likely to spend your life in bitterness, seeking and spreading bitterness wherever you go.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

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Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 10:34 PM on Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

What was lost, even with a successful reconciliation

During our reconciliation, my husband "lost" the woman, the AP, who had temporarily replaced me in my husband's life. As a former betrayed wife, I lost a shadow husband, I lost the man who made me cry.

I found a husband who is present, renders acts of service, and one who makes me laugh.
He found ME, the real me. The quirky me. And I make him laugh.

There is always a "found" to balance out the "lost".

It's your road & yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you. Though nobody can go back and make a new beginning... you can start over and make a new ending.

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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 10:52 PM on Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

My marriage has amazing days. And not great days too.

Overall, it is so much better.

I think I thought I had an amazing M pre-A as well. But I really had no clue. About that or much of anything else.

My M pre-A M was full of resentments (all those un-met expectations we both had) and bad competition for feelings and hoping the other would give more than they had. Of course, infidelity doesn’t fix anything, it burns the rest of the M down to the ground.

I always understand the sense of loss, since that was my focus the first 2.5 years of recovery.

It’s not magical thinking to focus more on what has been gained in the rebuild versus what was lost. For me, it’s simply a waste of time to focus on something I had nothing to do with. Infidelity wasn’t my idea, it doesn’t reflect on me or anything I’ve ever done, good or bad.

Spending the rest of my life focused on my wife’s shitty choices is a waste of my existence.

My focus, my energy — glass half empty or or half full or whatever — is on today.

Who is front of me today, and how are we making each other’s day better?

I just found that when I put my energy, and my thoughts on the good stuff is a far better way to spend my time.

Of course, I’ll never forget the pain, or the unnecessary bullshit I went through. It reminds me to be ever vigilant and mindful of my surroundings. I don’t try to bury it, I just don’t let it ruin the good things happening in the now.

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

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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 1:49 AM on Thursday, October 28th, 2021

Before I came to this site, I was totally convinced that a marrige could never be better after infidelity. I believed that to my core. But there are too many examples here of marriages and posters here who espouse this that I respect, that I don’t hold the same thought

I do think that it is rare, and in most cases the marrige was not working prior to the infidelity so that the honesty and lies that get exposed can actually make these marriages better.

My experience was different. We had a great marriage. It took me a while but I realized that ours would never be better. It got to the point of being "acceptable" but I finally realized acceptable was never going to be good enough. I have used the example before of a red wine stain on a bright white sofa. It will fade, you might not always notice it, but it will always be there and that’s where your eyes will mostly go.

I think it’s temperament too. I have always been a kind of take no prisoners guy. I fought the temptation of not punishing her, but wasn’t very good about it. I wasn’t calling her names, but gave very little affection. She would reach to hold my hand and my first thought was when I could let her hand go. Not good

I do recognize that it is a fault of mine and I commend the people here that can truly put it in the past. Unfortunately that wasn’t me.

I still really don’t get how those you can do it, but I now believe it can be done. It’s a gift to both of you if you can

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

Divorced

posts: 1858   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2016
id 8695353
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marriageredux959 ( member #69375) posted at 3:56 AM on Thursday, October 28th, 2021

Here's a radical and uncomfortable thought:

We've actually lost *nothing, nothing at all.*

We are only now (then, whenever) coming to terms with an accurate understanding of the person to whom we've bound our lives.

In some cases, perhaps the minority, I do not know, perhaps our waywards are coming to terms with that as well. Perhaps they are crashing into who they are, vs. whom they would like/love to think they are, vs. whom they would like/love/desperately need for you to believe (for whatever reason) that they are.

TL;DR: You can't lose what you never had.

Our waywards can't lose who they never were.

I was once a June bride.
I am now a June phoenix.
The phoenix is more powerful.
The Bride is Dead.
Long Live The Phoenix.

posts: 497   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2019
id 8695360
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