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Reconciliation :
Questions for those who have been through R and succeeded or failed or for Waywards who found it hard at first to do the work

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 GraceLoves (original poster member #78769) posted at 6:25 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

Hello all,

I am at a point now where I know (at least now) that my R is really not going well and I don't feel very hopeful that the things promised to do to help me heal are going to be delivered any time soon. If ever. And I need to decide my next steps.

I'd really like some advice, input or guidance from people who have been where I am. Maybe with Rs that didn't work out, or with Rs that went badly for a while and then improved or from Waywards who really screwed up R initially but pulled themselves back.

We had about 9 or 10 weeks of textbook perfect R initially when I was really hopeful, and then it fell apart over the next month. We were 5000 miles apart for eight months trying to R and his AP lived next door and worked in his office closely with him and, so it's not like we had the best circumstances and by about week 10 he had started having severe panic attacks and that spiralled into what I'd classify as a complete breakdown.

His doctor actually called me in concern, it was that bad. The "relationship" with AP was pretty severely abusive, and this has triggered a pretty seriously abusive childhood and to be honest, even without the affair the person he is right now is too much of a mess for even a regular relationship without this on top. I think he has pretty severe depression and trauma.

He is actually a real mess, like a bonafide complete mess. He badly needs IC and maybe medication but he refuses both. But the bottomline is that while he is in this state there is zero capacity for R.

Right now, his attitude is basically that he's clinging on my the tips of his fingers for survival and he thinks just because he's now back together with me physically it's enough. I have asked him what he's doing to move towards R, and he said "I am with you every day, I choose to be here and I try every way I can to show how much I love you", which makes me incredibly angry as if showing up does me a favour.

Sure, he says when he is better in himself he will help heal me, but then it's been 8 months he has been in this state and although he's probably improved 60% in terms of his mental health from when he was at his worst, it's talk about the bad stuff that sends him backwards so I feel too guilty to express my anger and sadness which is no way to live.

If I explode with anger or sadness, he is sick for a week (and I mean seriously sick) and then he says things like "why are you trying to punish me for things I can't change?" or "I can't change the past" or "You make me feel like a bad person" or "I feel guilty and inadequate". I know al this shows he is a wayward who is not ready or willing to do the work he needs to do.

Sure, he does all the nice stuff. Like reminding me he loves me. Apologising frequently and often. The AP is dead in the water now and I feel sure he's out of the fog. I do trust he would never cheat again. I am just not sure we can heal by just acting like it was an anolmaly and getting on with life.

He really ISN'T a bad person, and reading a lot of the stories of waywards on here, none of them are "bad people" either, but he's also not taking responsibility and he's trying to rugsweep or make out that he can just show up home, make new, happy memories and somehow we will be okay.

The guilt, shame, sense of inadequacy which made him a prime target for cheating when some woman chased after him is all the same stuff that makes it hard for him to sort his shit out right now and I don't know really what to do.


Questions I have are:

Aside from someone being sorry and you believing they'd never do it again, what did it take for R to really work for you? I can't explain what I am missing from him and he keeps asking me

Has anyone screwed up R like this and then made changes?

I don't really know what else to ask. I don't really want to leave and end our marriage because I think we'd be happier together once this is all over, but I am scared about the future version of us that I can't yet see.

BW - seperated since Nov 21
DDay 1 - Nov 20, LTA during LDR. DDay 2 - Feb 21, ONS with AP. WH will maintain we were separated
DDay 3 - June 21, discovered WH had exchanged closure emails with AP

posts: 124   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2021   ·   location: London
id 8698421
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 6:38 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

Your husband needs to read "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" by Linda MacDonald.

He is literally using language that is called out as damaging the R.

If you want an idea of how to forgive, I really can't recommend "How Can I Forgive You" by Janis Spring enough. Use a critical eye when she treads toward blame shifting, but otherwise a great book on what earned forgiveness is. It's something that's important for R in my opinion.

Her concept of transference of vigilance is a key to making the repair last.

My fWW was more of a classic half-assing footdragger for a long time.

https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/topics/649198/marriage-without-reconciliation/

There is my R failing/being in limbo up to nearly getting divorced to finally starting R all documented in real time.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 6:39 PM, Sunday, November 14th]

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

posts: 1479   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8698424
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 GraceLoves (original poster member #78769) posted at 7:06 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

@ThisOisOfine that's really helpful. We both read the book a year ago, but it was in the days after Dday and I honestly don't think we even remember what was in it.

I will try the forgiveness book - maybe a positive step to feel less frustrated is to work on that within myself.

Thank you for the link, I will read it now..

BW - seperated since Nov 21
DDay 1 - Nov 20, LTA during LDR. DDay 2 - Feb 21, ONS with AP. WH will maintain we were separated
DDay 3 - June 21, discovered WH had exchanged closure emails with AP

posts: 124   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2021   ·   location: London
id 8698426
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 7:36 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

No offense, but this is honestly the way I see it with most BS, not just you:

The problem is not that the WS is unworthy of R, which they usually are for any variety of reasons; the problem is that the BS refuses to accept that. Due to their own issues.

And there you have it.

The only thing that can help you is detaching and letting him stand on his own two feet like the capable adult that he is while you create the life that you want for yourself. He is not your responsibility, and neither is the condition of the marriage. Since he is in no shape to be a partner, you need to let go. Just be you. You don't have to D, you just have to mentally and emotionally detach from fixing this. Don't think about 6 months from now. Don't ask people what they did to encourage change, how they fixed their marriages, if there is hope. Let go of thinking about it. He is not capable of being your partner, so you need to become that for yourself. Love and care and work at fixing yourself every time you want to love and care for and fix him. Enjoy yourself.

This is not a WS problem--he is who he is and it's not enough.

This is a BS problem--moving to a healthy acceptance of the situation and living your best life on your own.

Good luck.

I think GMC94 could be a helpful member to consult. Her journey has been similar, and she is in a pretty good place now.

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5284   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8698431
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 8:01 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

ThisIsSoFine makes great points (and I agree with him on both books - and am now kind of kicking myself for not including the blameshift disclaimer WRT How Can I Forgive You smile Esp bc I cannot stand her 'After the Affair' bc of the blameshifting duh )

I'm not in R, and my WH had some similar behaviors (tho not the living 5k miles away or him living next to his AP). As to your questions, yes, there are folks on SI who have "screwed up" R, and then found the path to change. IMO, anyone can find a path to change at any time. The question is what do YOU want and how long are YOU willing to wait for him to make DEEP and significant and lasting change?

I don't really want to leave and end our marriage because I think we'd be happier together once this is all over,

Again, I'm not in R, but after nearly 4 years since dday and on SI, my impression is that the "this" of an A is never really "all over". That does not mean we don't heal, or learn to love again. It does mean that it's now a permanent part of the lives of everyone involved (WS, BS, AP, their families, etc). There aren't any mulligans in life. I forget the quotes, but there's the old adage that our character is not defined by our bad choices, but by how we respond to and learn from them.

The problem is that it sounds like your WS is not responding very well. He's had a complete breakdown. At 9 months out, my WH hung himself, so I really GET that part. The thing is that all of that shame and guilt was really about him and not so much about me - at a time when I really needed his empathy for the damage caused. Anyone can make poor choices that hurt others and then get consumed by guilt and shame rather than try to make amends to those harmed and learn/grow. Brene Brown, the queen of shame IMO, has a lot of good research and books and talks about this. They aren't about infidelity, but about the ways in which human shame becomes paralyzing and a barrier to joy and good relationships and a bunch of other "happy" stuff. Her 6 or 8 hour "the power of vulnerability" (got it from library via Hoopla, as I don't think it's what you find on youtube) is, IMO, a good synthesis of the big points she has.

I am scared about the future version of us that I can't yet see

Yea, I get that too (I suspect most BS feel this at some point). I think the question is what is the future version of YOU that you DO see? Or want to see?

He badly needs IC and maybe medication but he refuses both

That does not bode well - but you don't need me to tell you that. Put simply, successful R is not possible without TWO people, seriously committed to DEEP introspection and growth. If your WH isn't there - what do YOU want? How long do you want to wait for that to change? You can NOT change him or fix him or even do his homework for him (ask me how I know laugh ). What you CAN do is look into yourself. You can ask yourself what it is you want, given the current situation. You can work on healing your own trauma - which may be a huge undertaking in & of itself (it was for me).


ETA - I drafted this and got a call - so funny to see someone refer to me!

[This message edited by gmc94 at 8:02 PM, Sunday, November 14th]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3509   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8698434
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 GraceLoves (original poster member #78769) posted at 8:40 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

@GMC94, I appreciate your post so much, but I went over and read your post about the hanging and I'm feeling really worried now. I am tying myself in knots with guilt for some reason. We have a weird dynamic in our relationship in that even though he's the one who cheated, he's also definitely the one who needs me more. I just wish this had never happened at all which is unhelpful

BW - seperated since Nov 21
DDay 1 - Nov 20, LTA during LDR. DDay 2 - Feb 21, ONS with AP. WH will maintain we were separated
DDay 3 - June 21, discovered WH had exchanged closure emails with AP

posts: 124   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2021   ·   location: London
id 8698437
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 8:48 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

I had parts of my journey in my earlier post that I'd deleted - perhaps prematurely.

It was sometime during year 2, that I was able to really see how the bulk of MY energy was nearly entirely devoted to doing all the homework for my WH / the M / potential R. I was the one who found/read all the frigging books, podcasts, etc. I was the one on SI regularly. I was the one reaching out to couples counselors and the like, learning about retreats, etc. And that may have been what finally helped open my eyes: I called some renown infidelity experts about a program they were doing. They called me back and went through their questions - what was going on with me, my WH, the M, etc. And then they said: we would not accept you for this. Your WH is not ready for what we have to offer for this program. Whodathunk someone rejecting my hard-earned $$ would be such a catalyst? But it was.

I told myself (and my WH) that I needed to shift all focus from him/M/R to MYSELF! Again, seems so silly in retrospect to have taken so long, but I now know it's a lot more common than we realize. I told myself/WH that I was going to devote my energy to my own healing, that I WOULD learn to get myself back up, to sit up, to knee, to crawl, to stand, and ultimately to learn to walk again on MY own two feet. He was on his own to figure out how to become a "safe" partner, how to be honest. How to act with integrity in ALL things. How to grow empathy. Basically, how to become someone worthy of the gift of R (or really, someone CAPABLE of being in a healthy romantic partnership or M). And I made it clear that by the time I found some solid healing, and was able to walk on my own, either he would have made progress and we could, together, decide if we both wanted to R and were willing to commit to R (which I've learned is very different from recovery and healing), or he could not, and that I would likely D.

It was not long after that I asked for - and WH agreed to - a 6 month S. BEST thing I could have done. We'd arranged for a weekly date night, and on the first date he brought up a subject that I'd told him many times was not OK with me. We then went a long time w/o any contact other than the kids/finances. Because my job at the time was out of town (where I was paying for another home - and was ridiculous to be paying for THREE homes when I wasn't living in one for 4-5 days/week), at the end of the 6 months, he moved back.

Emotionally speaking, today I'm walking, but with a limp that still sometimes requires a cane (and OCCASSIONALY a trigger gets me to "walker" area!). But the wheelchair I lived in during those first couple of years is long gone. In Jan/Feb 2020 (right after my WH returned to the marital home), I was actively looking at houses for me to purchase (which my WH was aware of), and seriously considered one or two that had most of the things on my wish list. For several reasons (the first knowing I had one year left on my job and no idea what my next one would be), I didn't buy at that time. Then Covid hit and I was glad I hadn't taken the financial risk of two mortgages, etc. Today, I have some minor regret about not taking the financial risk, but it was the choice I made at the time w/o a crystal ball. And, I know there will be more houses and I have to have faith in God, or the universe or myself (or all of the above) that it will happen.

FWIW, despite the many external factors that gave my WH more time to dig into "the work", he has yet to make any observable progress on his front (starting with still NEVER brings up the A, our M, etc. IMO, he's OK with my emotional detachment, bc it means he can rugsweep/pretend there is no problem, despite no emotional or physical intimacy between us. I can't figure it out, but it's not MY problem TO figure out). If it weren't for Covid and having to change jobs, we would be D by now. I'd characterize our relationship as friendly roommates, tho we still do things as a couple (mostly parties - our social circle is not aware of the infidelity or suicide). I've made resentment become my hard/fast rule on boundaries - IOW, if I will resent someone, I can NOT do it, whether it's my WH, my kids, or anyone else. I would rather have someone else be mad at me for saying no, than me carrying around anger at them bc I CHOSE to say yes (if that makes any sense). It works for me.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 8:49 PM, Sunday, November 14th]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3509   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8698438
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 8:48 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

We also read the book early on, felt it was "heavy handed" and "lacked nuance". When we returned to it and read it again after trying ourselves, the whole thing made more sense.

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

posts: 1479   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8698439
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 9:11 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

I'm feeling really worried now. I am tying myself in knots with guilt for some reason. We have a weird dynamic in our relationship in that even though he's the one who cheated, he's also definitely the one who needs me more. I just wish this had never happened at all which is unhelpful

I understand. AND I know that it's not your problem. It really isn't. And, just bc it's not your problem, doesn't make it any easier. One SUPER frustrating thing I discovered after WH's suicide is I was unable to locate ANY resources, groups, etc for loved ones of those who survived an attempt. What little I did find seemed to focus on how we were to be supportive. Nothing about how to be supportive to someone with a history of abuse (and I DO believe infidelity is abuse) and the ways in which that support basically harms the one who is told to be supportive. IMHO, it's therapist sanctioned codependence.

So, I learned pretty quickly that keeping him alive, given the circumstances, was NOT my job. He HAD to create his own support system, one that I could not be a part of (remember: we put on our OWN oxygen mask FIRST). He had CHOICES... and one of them is to commit suicide.

And I had choices: one of which was to NOT be codependent (for me, both generally and WRT his suicidality). Of course I didn't want him to die (If I had, all I had to do was close that garage door and walk away rather than call 911 and try to cut him down) Of course I'd feel awful if he were to die by his own hand. AND I would NOT - under any circumstances - be RESPONSIBLE for that. Or guilty of anything other than keeping my own boundaries, something to which we are ALL entitled.

This is something a good, TRAUMA INFORMED therapist can help with. I'd had some CoD tendencies before dday, and did some CODA work both before & after dday. Personally, I didn't get a lot of mileage from CODA (for a lot of reasons). After dday, one of my kids went off the rails into addiction, so I began to attend an Al Anon parents group, which resonated in the way I needed. It just fit.

So, the question is - WHY do you feel responsible for your WH's choices? What is it in YOU that is OK with him "needing" you more? Or rather, what is it in YOU that responds to that need, even if it's at your own emotional expense? Why are your emotional needs somehow less important? What is it about being in that role (which I suspect is about you being the emotionally "stronger" one) that scratches some itch? I don't have the answers - it could be a million things - it's up to you to figure this out (and again, a GOOD therapist with solid trauma experience and training may be helpful).

We talk a LOT about the WS's "whys", but sometimes the BS has some "whys" to look at themselves. Those whys can come from all over the place - most (but not all) BS get really entrenched in the trauma of dday, and trauma can - literally - change us at a cellular level. It messes with our wiring. Old wounds we thought were LONG healed, resurface as it they were happening at the same time as dday. I thought my emotional baggage was pretty neatly folded and packed nicely in that suitcase... but dday was like that baggage opened and exploded all those neatly packed items across every aspect of my life. It took me a lot to shift the focus from the "why" my WH was screwed up and made such damaging choices, and onto the "why" I was so completely devastated by it all - to the point of barely functioning and my own self harm (or making choices that were damaging to ME).

And FWIW, of COURSE you wish "this" had never happened at all! We all do!

[This message edited by gmc94 at 9:17 PM, Sunday, November 14th]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3509   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8698441
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 GraceLoves (original poster member #78769) posted at 9:29 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

@gmc94 this is definitely me...

It was sometime during year 2, that I was able to really see how the bulk of MY energy was nearly entirely devoted to doing all the homework for my WH / the M / potential R. I was the one who found/read all the frigging books, podcasts, etc. I was the one on SI regularly. I was the one reaching out to couples counselors and the like, learning about retreats, etc.

I asked a question in my OP about not being able to put my finger on what's lacking for me in the R but this is a BIG one. I make excuses, because basically the entire M I have been the one who did that stuff, and that was fine. We have a division of labour in the M, complimentary skills and weaknesses, so one of his things is to take care of anything practical like banking, or domestic like shopping or meal planning and I take care of anything like illnesses or making sure everyone takes their vitamins.

IT would mean a HECK of a lot to me if he ever just once did something like joined a forum or sought out a book. The only thing he has really done is YouTube videos

BW - seperated since Nov 21
DDay 1 - Nov 20, LTA during LDR. DDay 2 - Feb 21, ONS with AP. WH will maintain we were separated
DDay 3 - June 21, discovered WH had exchanged closure emails with AP

posts: 124   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2021   ·   location: London
id 8698444
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 GraceLoves (original poster member #78769) posted at 9:37 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

@gmc94

Can I ask if at the time of DDay and the time of trying initially if you were really in love with each other, and that went away because he failed to "do the work?".

It sounds like your describing a situation where he never got to the point of properly digging or healing himself and wanted to rug sweep so you just detached and emotionally moved on?

BW - seperated since Nov 21
DDay 1 - Nov 20, LTA during LDR. DDay 2 - Feb 21, ONS with AP. WH will maintain we were separated
DDay 3 - June 21, discovered WH had exchanged closure emails with AP

posts: 124   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2021   ·   location: London
id 8698445
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 3:53 AM on Monday, November 15th, 2021

It sounds like your describing a situation where he never got to the point of properly digging or healing himself and wanted to rug sweep so you just detached and emotionally moved on

I'd say that's a good way to put it.

Love? As Tina Turner told the world decades ago... what's that got to do with it?

Dday and all that's come since have changed my views. My WH swears he "loved" me throughout his LTA, at least 2 other PAs and Heaven only knows how many EAs. Is that the kind of "love" I want in my life?

Just because someone "loves" someone, doesn't mean it's a healthy relationship. There are plenty of people I have some form of "love" for, but that doesn't mean they are in my life or that I don't have really strong boundaries with.

My work today is about loving MYSELF, which ain't always easy (and in some ways, is more difficult than loving anyone else).

[This message edited by gmc94 at 4:00 AM, Monday, November 15th]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3509   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8698482
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 GraceLoves (original poster member #78769) posted at 5:31 PM on Monday, November 15th, 2021

@This0is0Fine I really appreciate you recommending I re-read the book. I did today (it's short!) and can see out of the 15 things WS need to do he is only doing about 2 or 3. I get now why I feel so frustrated and stuck, despite him being outwardly so loving. I made a positive decision to start IC and look after myself, even if he's not participating fully in the healing process.

BW - seperated since Nov 21
DDay 1 - Nov 20, LTA during LDR. DDay 2 - Feb 21, ONS with AP. WH will maintain we were separated
DDay 3 - June 21, discovered WH had exchanged closure emails with AP

posts: 124   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2021   ·   location: London
id 8698545
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 10:45 PM on Monday, November 15th, 2021

GraceLoves,

It really isn't such a long read, but until you go out and make the mistakes involved in a self-directed R attempt, or go hit the roadblocks, the value of the book is hard to realize.

I also use a lot of car maintenance analogies, and while I don't know the specific things you are missing, if your car needs an oil change it doesn't matter if you fill it with gas, get it detailed, replace the brakes, swap the spark plugs, change the battery, etc. It still needs the oil changed. Likewise in a relationship, you can't make up for a missed need by doubling down in another area.

Good luck in getting your R moving forward.

To quote Ted Lasso, "Limbo: Great party game, terrible relationship status."

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

posts: 1479   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8698596
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 9:21 AM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

I am happily reconciled so I hope this helps you.

My H told me this once. Just because he doesn’t mention anything about the situation or affair doesn’t mean he’s not aware of it or think about it every day.

Your H is not operating at full capacity so to speak. Not making excuses but it is clear he has some serious issues to address. And if he is not really helping himself he is ill-prepared to help you. I’m just sayin……😢

In answer to your question my H had to work very hard for at least 2 years as I told him I planned to D him. The things he did:

Passwords voluntarily given to everything and not once changed in 8 years

Checking in constantly (his doing not mine)

Consistency in behavior - if he went to Home Depot he did it and came back. No mysterious behavior or anything to raise the red flag

Willing to talk whenever I needed to.

He attended IC

He made me a priority

I don’t know if your H has the capability to change or wants to change. But it appears he hasn’t done enough in terms of R because he still doesn’t get the fact that he caused serious damage to your marriage but he doesn’t know or want to do the heavy lifting to repair the damage.

He needs to stop 🛑 whining and start doing.

My H initially tried to use the excuse "we were disconnected" to rationalize the affair. I told him to stop blaming me as I was never disconnected— he was. And that his comments blamed me for his actions.

He understood my point and I never heard that excuse again.

I’m not taking your H’s side or making excuses but he needs to heal himself and address his issues before he can help you or your marriage.

Sadly that leaves you to heal yourself in some respects.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10878   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8698651
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 GraceLoves (original poster member #78769) posted at 6:35 PM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

@The1stWife

Your post made me keep it real. My WH does all the things in your post apart from IC.

Things he has done well:

HE is always with me
He checks in every minute
He has been open with all communications
HE is constantly loving
He is always willing to talk
He uses his love language (acts of service / words of affirmation / physical affection) constantly
He reassures and listens
He ended the A as soon as DDay happened

He's accepted full responsibility and never tried to blame me or our M
He has always apologised frequently and well
He has read the books I have given him
He responds kindly to my triggers and has adapted to protect me from them
He has checked in frequently on my emotional status
He accepted his role as healer (even if he wasn't great at it always)
He has shown deep contrition and guilt and hates the pain he caused me
He has thanked me constantly for staying with him

Things he has been okayish with or has at least tried or shown a mostly successful effort at:

He has mostly avoided being defensive, but that can seep out at times for sure.
One two or three occasions in the past year, he told me more lies
He has made some attempts at growth and so on, but it's a bit too much for him and he avoids
Although he allows me to express feelings, he'd rather rug sweep given the option
He turned to drink at times he felt stressed instead of facing it head on with IC

Things he has done really badly which have damaged R:

He ran back to AP for comfort sex once when I asked for a divorce and we separated briefly
He felt he owed some sort of care to AP after he broke it off
He has started lately to use phrases like "why are you still punishing me? because his shame is out of control
He had never instigated a single action himself or been proactive in this
He never brings up the A independently
Real remorse is probably lacking - guilt and shame, yes. But that's self-absorbed and doesn't involve making amends.
He has not shown great empathy at times, I recall during our separation I went out for a drink with another man and was gone for two hours. WH went insane with anxiety. Then said to me, "OMG, I felt so threatened, is this how you've been feeling?" duh
He has failed to go into IC and tackle his issue, as well as the PTSD he has from AP

Worst of all was the diabolical attempt at No Contact. For my own benefit I am going to write this out, because I think this was the most damaging part of our R

BW - seperated since Nov 21
DDay 1 - Nov 20, LTA during LDR. DDay 2 - Feb 21, ONS with AP. WH will maintain we were separated
DDay 3 - June 21, discovered WH had exchanged closure emails with AP

posts: 124   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2021   ·   location: London
id 8698723
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 GraceLoves (original poster member #78769) posted at 6:56 PM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

@The1stWife.... I am touching on what you said about your H feeling like the A happened due to disconnection in the marriage. In our case, we were long distance so disconnection was forced on us. I have not read too many of these situations, but BraveSirRobin has posted so many things I identified with in my H and our situation.

Obviously what occurred here were circumstances where I was not there and she was and WH justifies or rationalises it by saying "this only happened because you were not there". Had there not been a global pandemic we would have visited each other every few months but that was impossible. Had our house not been in one of the most isolated little communities imaginable, then he would not have been thrown together with someone in such a way day in, day out.

It began when I had been gone about two months and she arrived in the village - I remain sceptical about why a woman of that age (mid 50s) would arrive in a place where there's literally about 60 people living and not much else within 300 miles, so I suspect she was running from something. Probably a similar situation.

In their small office (the only office that actually existed in the village as everything else is just farmland, a little shop and so on, he was working with her every day. She moved in next door and asked him for help carrying her couch inside. He helped. Then she asked for help with various other things. He thought there was nothing weird about it, she was old enough to almost be his mother.

Then she started the talks at work. She was funny and liked asking questions, so they started to become work friends. She started bringing him coffee and cookies. Then she started asking him if she could walk her dog with him (we had the same kind of dog). My WH loves long walks, so a bit of company was great, especially as he liked mountain hikes with no phone signal and was always a bit wary of being alone for safety. He wasn't attracted to her, she had made no advances, so thought it was okay.

Then a pandemic. My plans to visit were cancelled indefinitely. There was a lockdown across the country on and off for months. He made a DIY gym on the porch he used every morning. She asked if she could join him and he agreed. She started to cook meals and say she had extra and would pop it over. If he was sick, she started to bring soup.

He had some problems at work, big ones, and he turned to her as confidante instead of me because she "knew the situation better". She listened and comforted and boosted his ego when he felt he'd failed at something at work. Then she started suggesting they "walk together" to community events. So if there was a BBQ in the village, they'd walk down together.

He wasn't ever a drinker, but he started drinking heavily with her like a teenager. She would have a lot of dinner parties and social events and make sure he was invited and there was a lot of drinking. Bit by bit, she was basically acting as his substitute wife!! The drink left to long, late night chats on the porch drinking whiskey and listening to music, where he disclosed intimate details of his childhood abuse, that she claimed to share.

It took six months from the day she arrived to the day he got very drunk one night, and they ended up in bed and it was a slippery slope of one shitty boundary after another that got him from A to B. I think he was disconnected from me, and someone else showed up giving him approval, an ego boost, flattery, attention and mothering and by the time sex entered the picture there was already a close emotional dependency.

He told her it could never happen again and asked to just be friends again, and this lasted a little while before it happened again. He tried to stop seeing her completely, but felt a "gap" when he did, because he was by now used to doing everything with her and talking to her every day. Then BOOM, the crazy came out and if he tried to stop seeing her she would threaten to call me /ruin him at work / kill herself. So he fell into a pit of hopelessness and drinking heavily where most of his life was spent ashamed of himself and not knowing how to get out of the situation he created.

I think all the above was why he found it so hard to forcefully get rid of AP. He had spent way too long getting close to her and letting her meet his needs, that he found it hard to live without that, even at my expense. In many ways, I feel like he almost found a temporary wife and that hurts me beyond imagination.

Most affairs involve sneaking out to see the AP, but in my case, she was more or less living my life in my absence. He excuses this by saying, "it was never romantic" and in his head he kept some "rules", like no kissing her, no hand holding, no affection....he said that somehow made it feel less bad!

[This message edited by GraceLoves at 6:58 PM, Tuesday, November 16th]

BW - seperated since Nov 21
DDay 1 - Nov 20, LTA during LDR. DDay 2 - Feb 21, ONS with AP. WH will maintain we were separated
DDay 3 - June 21, discovered WH had exchanged closure emails with AP

posts: 124   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2021   ·   location: London
id 8698728
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 7:58 PM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

Yes you were physically disconnected snd the OW took advantage of that.

My H traveled all over the world. I think I made his life just too damn easy. And he took advantage of me and I was a doormat. We were never disconnected.

His affair was a mid life crisis snd b/c he was mad at me b/c I told him "no" on something. He wouldn’t stop snd I would not give in. Three weeks later his affair started. Coincidence? I think not.

And yes it’s trauma snd pain snd ugly snd all that bro g the BS. Sadly we as the BS do more work to R than the cheater. I don’t care how you look at it but if you truly want to R you accept the affair happened, you accept the effort of the cheater (good or bad) and you then also have to heal yourself. The cheater can only do so much to heal the betrayed, make amends, etc.

The rest is up to you. Heal yourself. Readjust your marriage. Accept the crap and deal with all of it.

I just made a choice at year 3 after Dday that the affair wasn’t going to ruin my life any longer. I had to move on and look for the joy snd blessings I have.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10878   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8698735
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 GraceLoves (original poster member #78769) posted at 8:10 PM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

I am sorry I am talking so much these last couple of days, but as I reflect on my first year of R, it's helpful to reflect on the good parts and bad parts.

My most disappointing and painful element of all of this was the way No Contact was handled. It hurt me, for some reason, worse than the affair itself.

I have to allow he was living in our tiny countryside community, that was very isolated and I was 5000 miles away and because of the pandemic visiting was very hard (we ended up together for about 9 weeks in 8 months of R). We had a village population that you could fit on a bus. Everyone knew everyone else. If there was a BBQ, then the whole village went. He was working closely with AP daily and living 20 yards away. There was one little supermarket in the village, one bar, they had a lot of community activities they shared. His only option for NC was to leave his life, our home, friends etc. and start again. I make an allowance for that.

But if I put my hand on my heart, I think he resisted NC in so many ways because he didn't really want it, or to deal with the consequences of it.

I think he wanted to keep her validation, and even stalking was validation
I think he wanted to keep her as an option if R failed because at least she loved him (even if I thought he was a POS)
I think he felt sorry for her and split his loyalty at times
I think he was unwilling to make sacrifices (eg: staying home alone all weekend to avoid events with mutual friends)
I think she was meeting needs and he didn't like not having those met anymore
I think he thought as I had "won" he was entitled to do it his way and so on

I think he ignored what the books said, what I said, and what everyone said and thought he would handle it "his way" and because he did that, he left the door open and it meant constant terror and threat for me, and more betrayal.

I will find this the hardest to forgive.

BW - seperated since Nov 21
DDay 1 - Nov 20, LTA during LDR. DDay 2 - Feb 21, ONS with AP. WH will maintain we were separated
DDay 3 - June 21, discovered WH had exchanged closure emails with AP

posts: 124   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2021   ·   location: London
id 8698742
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 GraceLoves (original poster member #78769) posted at 8:24 PM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

@The1stWife

Yes you were physically disconnected snd the OW took advantage of that.

I think he is to blame. Being long distance meant sacrificing getting needs met, and he was too selfish to live without that so he created a story in his head where is was okay to spend loads of time with an OW and chat to her about his problems as long as he wasn't into her. That's on him entirely, he knew it was wrong, he just didn't care at the time.


His affair was a mid life crisis snd b/c he was mad at me b/c I told him "no" on something. He wouldn’t stop and I would not give in. Three weeks later his affair started. Coincidence? I think not.

A lot of waywards come across like children in some ways? I don't mean that rudely as there are so many wonderful members here who are incredibly enlighted, but this process of being so selfish and wanting needs met is childish, no? Almost like they hadn't learned to soothe feeling bad in other ways so they looked outside for it.

I just made a choice at year 3 after Dday that the affair wasn’t going to ruin my life any longer. I had to move on and look for the joy snd blessings I have.

That's how I felt today

BW - seperated since Nov 21
DDay 1 - Nov 20, LTA during LDR. DDay 2 - Feb 21, ONS with AP. WH will maintain we were separated
DDay 3 - June 21, discovered WH had exchanged closure emails with AP

posts: 124   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2021   ·   location: London
id 8698746
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