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Reconciliation :
Feelings for former wayward spouse: before the affair and after reconcilliation

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cheatstroke ( member #67708) posted at 10:56 PM on Saturday, January 1st, 2022

What is the currency of your debt?

Community service helping victims of CON ARTISTS and ADDICTS.

Divorced single parents, the elderly, etc. One day of service for every day the AFFAIR went on.

What is owed, for you, that can’t be paid back?

Compensation for the TRAUMA caused by infidelity.

[This message edited by cheatstroke at 11:38 PM, Saturday, January 1st]

posts: 173   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018
id 8706952
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 12:10 AM on Sunday, January 2nd, 2022

Compensation for the TRAUMA caused by infidelity.


Right, but what are the possible currencies? You wrote:

Community service helping victims of CON ARTISTS and ADDICTS.

One day of service for every day the AFFAIR went on.


So...those aren't enough?

Have them pay in...
Money?

Pain? Penance?

Maybe the currency can be their change? That the payback is they work continuously to be a different person?

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 2801   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8706961
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cheatstroke ( member #67708) posted at 4:44 AM on Sunday, January 2nd, 2022

Have them pay in...

Money?

Pain? Penance?

Maybe the currency can be their change? That the payback is they work continuously to be a different person?

Nope. Sorry. Not good enough.

They need to pay in TIME. Time spent DOING THINGS that are SPECIFICALLY for the BENEFIT OF OTHER PEOPLE.

Working continuously to be a different person, if only done for the benefit of those around them, is largely done for the BENEFIT OF THEMSELVES.

They need to do things for the benefit of other people that do NOT benefit themselves.

They need to show that they can be a source of GOOD instead of a source of PAIN. For OTHER PEOPLE. Other people that can't do them any good.

One day of community service for every one day they were in the affair, spent doing things that help other people who were victimized by people like them, would be one way of accomplishing that.

[This message edited by cheatstroke at 7:00 AM, Sunday, January 2nd]

posts: 173   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018
id 8706982
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 2:48 PM on Sunday, January 2nd, 2022

Nope. Sorry. Not good enough.

They need to pay in TIME. Time spent DOING THINGS that are SPECIFICALLY for the BENEFIT OF OTHER PEOPLE.

Working continuously to be a different person, if only done for the benefit of those around them, is largely done for the BENEFIT OF THEMSELVES.

They need to do things for the benefit of other people that do NOT benefit themselves.

They need to show that they can be a source of GOOD instead of a source of PAIN. For OTHER PEOPLE. Other people that can't do them any good.


So the debt is owed to you, but you don’t want them to do anything for you to repay the debt, because then that would benefit them indirectly.

It sounds like what you really want is for them to be punished, and you are willing to extend your own pain in order make sure it happens.

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 2801   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8707001
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:57 PM on Sunday, January 2nd, 2022

What do you do if you get scammed? What do you do if you invest in a company and the CEO transfers your company's assets to his own company? What do you do if you loan money and don't get complete repayments? What do you do if you take a vacation, and it turns out to be no fun at all?

If you can't get what you want, you write it off and move on, right?

I haven't been able to find your story or much about yourself, cheatstroke. Are you in R, in the process of D, D'ed? What help are you looking for?

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: 26513   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8707016
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jailedmind ( member #74958) posted at 10:54 AM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

I love my wife. But not the way I did before her affair. I wish I did but that’s gone. The blind trust is gone too. I feel differently about marriage. It’s not the safe place I thought it was. I found my feelings on marriage greatly changed after the affair. I’d have died on the hill protecting it. Not so much anymore. It changed my view on all of it from naivety to that 1000 yard stare. My wife would say things are so much better. I would rather it never happened. So just in that we have resentment. The reality is as the betrayed after reconciliation is a shift in power. It’s like you have something on them but you never use it. You get into a big discussion and going through your head is you had an affair , I win. But you don’t say that . But it’s always there after. It’s just different. That takes a lot of time to adjust to. I never rubbed her nose in it but there are times when you think, you don’t get to say that because you had an affair. Or where do you come off so high and mighty after what you did? It’s not all the time but it’s there. And of coarse there is the doubt that infidelity grows. I now will forever have doubt in what she says. It’s the crappy consequence of infidelity. After 7 years I have accepted it. But I don’t think I will ever come to forgiveness for it. I am at peace with that. It took me a long time to understand the difference between acceptance and forgiveness.

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id 8707105
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 8:53 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

The reality is as the betrayed after reconciliation is a shift in power. It’s like you have something on them but you never use it.

Very true. Felt the pull to weaponize it more than once.

I’ve wondered if some BS stick around because they have that power, which can last far past the affair.

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 2801   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8707180
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 9:36 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

you have something on them but you never use it.

I don't bludgeon her with it. But like if I want to do something and I know it's going to make her a little upset (say, play too much video games on the weekend) I just don't care. What's she gonna do? Divorce me? Ok.

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

posts: 1648   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8707187
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cheatstroke ( member #67708) posted at 11:53 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

If you can't get what you want, you write it off and move on, right?


Yes Sisoon. But I joined this thread when it was suggested that anything is possible in R (written "ANYTHING is possible").

This bothered me because I believe, like probably many BS', that there is an actual debt created by infidelity.

Not just a debt caused by time or money or intimacy lost, but a debt caused by loss of the relationship.

I've seen it said many times on SI that it is impossible for this debt to be paid back.

So alas, "anything is possible in R" is true for some things, but not when it comes to paying back the debt created by infidelity.


Then I was asked that, if it were possible to pay back the debt, what currency would the WS use to pay it?

"paying" for something, to me, means it has to COST you something. It was suggested: would it be their Money? Sex with them? Some type of Pain maybe brought on by torturing them?

So I thought about this and, while I agree that it is impossible to pay BACK the debt, it may be possible to pay DOWN the debt.

So, what would be the currency used to pay DOWN the debt?

My opinion is it has to be their TIME.

If there were a way to pay down the debt, it would be with their TIME.

But not just time spent with the BS and/or the rest of their family, "fixing" things.

THAT would have a direct payoff return for the WS. They get to stay in the family. So of course they're going to do that. It's the bare mininum.


No, what would really cost them is time spent helping someone that can't give them a direct payoff return. Someone that can't do them any good at all.

That's why I suggested Community Service helping victims of Con Artists (divorced single parents, elderly people, CHILDREN, etc). One day of community service for every day the affair went on.

That, TO ME, would be something that would pay DOWN the debt.

posts: 173   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018
id 8707234
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 4:31 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Cheatstroke, really good points. I've suggested elsewhere that some form of recompense (and you've suggested several thoughtful approaches) ought to be included in most reconciliation discussions. I mean, what is a post-nup if not a form of guaranteed monetary recompense? So it only makes sense.

Because I believe infidelity carries out spiritual harm on the numinous as well as the physical plane, the debt cannot be paid off. But it can most certainly be paid down. That's a great way of looking at it.

If a wayward spouse is serious about remorse, they will figure out a way to pay it down with forms of recompense, and start tout suite.

In fact, as I never tire of pointing out, recompense in a variety of forms is a major part of Bishop Desmond Tutu's Truth and Reconciliation model.

"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

posts: 4527   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8707346
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 4:58 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

What do you do if you get scammed? What do you do if you invest in a company and the CEO transfers your company's assets to his own company? What do you do if you loan money and don't get complete repayments?

If you can't get what you want, you write it off and move on, right?

Actually, I think most people go after the scammer, or seek redress in court. They don't write it off and move on, because justice is demanded.

Someone who defaults on a loan gets turned over to a collection agency. A CEO who defrauds investors can go to jail. I'm pretty sure Bernie Madoff died in Supermax.

There are laws in place for that.

[This message edited by Thumos at 5:00 PM, Tuesday, January 4th]

"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

posts: 4527   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8707356
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 5:28 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Cheatstroke

an actual debt created by infidelity...So I thought about this and, while I agree that it is impossible to pay BACK the debt, it may be possible to pay DOWN the debt.

It's only a debt if they choose to take it on. They can walk away from it.

What then?

EDIT: after thinking about your posts and my answer...

The debt isn't created by the affair. No value has been exchanged to be owed back. The debt, such as it exists, created by the BS offering something that is valued by the WS, that you feel needs to be paid back.

1. What is offered that is of value?
2. What is the currency of the payback?
3. What is the ultimate goal of both parties in the transaction?

If those goals don't align, the deal will ultimately fail

CheapStroke, I know I am coming across as a hardass, but I want to thank you for your posts. They've made me think of some things I haven't contemplated before.

Sending strength!

[This message edited by HouseOfPlane at 8:46 PM, Tuesday, January 4th]

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 2801   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8707366
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 4:41 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

OK, one more post since I want to get these thoughts down on debt owed:

- There is no debt unless something is offered by the BS. What is offered? Grace. A chance. Repentance.

- There's no reason to make that offer unless you want the WS back (or you are looking to extract revenge)

- Assuming you don't want revenge, then you want to use the debt owed to help the WS change. To become the person they should be. A person you would want. Your definition of payback currency is the tool to
(1) guide them, while also giving them
(2) justice (a price must be paid, and place back in the marriage earned)


My mind has been expanded, Cheatstroke

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 2801   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8707662
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 5:11 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

As to the ANYTHING is possible take I have now — that’s new to me and my perception. My friends considered me one of the most cynical guys they knew for a very long time.

This optimist tone is still something I’m trying to get used to feeling and expressing.

When the original poster in the thread asked about feelings for a spouse who has hurt us, I had no idea R was even possible, before finding SI.

To get past the pain, and the triggers, I definitely thought that was impossible.

To be able to see the good in a person who made such devastating, abusive choices, I certainly didn’t think that was possible either.

After discovery, even after two years, I knew love wasn’t going to be enough to save the M.

So, to sit here today and have joy in my life again, after all of the Hell and the pain, I truly had to offer an open heart (after I healed for several YEARS) to allow anything to be possible again.

If someone had told me anything was possible during my first two years?

I wouldn’t have accepted or understood how someone could suggest it.

And yet, here I am.

In spite of the trauma. In spite of the odds.

It takes a whole lot of work and two people really trying to find a way back to each other. Being vulnerable is a tough assignment in a normal relationship, much less one where one partner has devastated the other.

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: 4269   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8707673
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Breachoftrust ( new member #66252) posted at 6:04 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

It's almost 4 years now since d day and he's finally getting therapy to discover his "why's". Mostly I am in limbo, waiting. He's working on himself and I am working on me. As I have said before I do not believe I have the whole truth. I realized recently that I am waiting in hopes that therapy will help him to finally be honest. I am not sure what I will do if he never feels the need. I don't know how I feel about him. I do understand the loss of connection and trust. I'm not sure it will come back. I do still love him but most of the time I am just numb and don't feel much of anything. I recognize the signs of depression and anxiety, I just don't feel like I have the energy to do anything about it. I exercise and eat healthy and just try to focus on the fact that I am alive. I cannot solve any problems right now nor do I want to. I just want to survive this somehow.

Married 18 years, together 23. 3 children. DD1 2/21/18. DD2 6/7/18 EA. BS 48, WH 49.

Actions prove who someone is; words prove who someone wants to be.

posts: 36   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2018
id 8707686
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 12:08 AM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

I think 'debt' is the wrong term. A debt can be repaid, but there's nothing that can repay either BS or WS for the losses suffered in an A.

*****

A lot of people do go after scammers and fraudsters. I think it's rare for people who lose to scammers to recoup their losses. Sometimes a thief goes to jail, but the people they stole from don't get their money back.

The people who were defrauded have to choose between staying stuck in their loss and doing the work they to move on from the loss.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 12:09 AM, Thursday, January 6th]

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: 26513   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8707829
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 2:38 AM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

A debt can be repaid, but there's nothing that can repay either BS or WS for the losses suffered in an A.

The debt isn’t for the losses suffered. You gave them nothing, and what they took from you they may not even value.

The debt owed is for the second chance. The grace offered. It is something of value to both of you, otherwise the transaction is meaningless.

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 2801   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8707858
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Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 10:19 PM on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

Monetary Debt...during infidelity.

During my husband's affair, my husband paid for all the travel costs for his AP when he took her to his business travel destinations. He had the nerve to secretly use our business accounts to cover the costs. At the time I was an equal shareholder in the Corporation. The total amount was substantial enough that I hired a Corporate lawyer after D-Day and together we compiled a case against him. Quite complicated. I was livid at the time. Being cheated on was one thing, having funds secretly channeled from a company we built together, to pay for his AP was another thing.


During our separation and one of "our talks" about the business, I told him I was ready financially to bring him to Corporate court to recoup the amounts owed.

After a number of discussions, we settled out of court. I accepted the final outcome. It was a good settlement for me. I moved on, and in time resigned from the Corporation.

Now the personal devastation was another thing. Dealt with separately.

Before the affair, I never thought my husband would cheat me. I never thought he would abuse our business funds. Never crossed my mind. We worked and lived well together.

We are in R. And as my trust in him is precarious, I wanted all our finances separate. Got that. Also got an agreement from him to fully pay for the costs we spend together travelling. No 50/50 splitting on travels. He has done that. All other expenses are split accordingly.

I asked and got answers to all my questions about his affair. Not easily, sometimes reluctantly, but in time he opened up and the more he opened up, the more I felt safe. And I made myself a promise when we reunited after the separation: live my life fully. I only have one life. I want to live it in peace, enjoyment, laughter, feel pride in my accomplishments, feel happy around my children and their families. Should my husband ever do anything to jeopardize my life, he's gone. Out. No third chances.

Forgiveness sometimes just means accepting that it happened and refusing to let it guide your choices.

posts: 261   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2020
id 8709386
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