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Reconciliation :
Are there any truly happy reconciliations?

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Humbled123 ( member #62947) posted at 5:37 PM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

Nothing for me to add here. As always Thumos seems to echo a lot of mens(including mine) feelings very well. It is definitely a pact with the devil. She may look and act like a queen now but the devil is still inside there.

posts: 216   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018
id 8707962
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 5:46 PM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

Isn't this the exact core of the suffering that we BH all through? The pact with the devil, the horrible compromise that we need to accept.

There was definitely suffering, I agree, that was a big part of the trauma for me.

Key word there is WAS.

We all have our pace to recover, and I believe in will and free will and that most people can climb out of the emotional crater/devastation infidelity creates.

I can only relate my experience and my ability to choose my feelings and what I aim for each and everyday I wake up.

After several years, I didn’t suffer anymore.

As to compromise, I comprised NOTHING.

I kept my vows. I held up my end.

Once I discovered my wife had not, I required change, new boundaries and a new approach to our relationship to give her one LAST chance.

Allowing for redemption is not compromise, it’s a kindness, that NONE OF US OWE our spouses.

I only need to accept the facts of what happened, I never have be happy that it happened.

At some point, every bad thing that happens to us moves to the past, the rear view mirror (again, at our own pace).

I’m simply done living in the pain, and the sadness.

If a BH deiced to R, he needs to deal with this for the rest of his life. that's where I can't wrap my mind around

What I deal with is every morning I choose my path.

If the relationship stays this good, if my wife continues to be kind and care about how I am now, today, then I am happy to stay.

If anything changes, that front door to my house is open.

I can walk out and choose a new path anytime I want.

We all get to choose, when we have regained enough strength and taken the time to heal — to decide what we want.

Giving the gift of reconciliation is a hard call to make.

I made it, I’m glad I did. But I haven’t compromised, I required MORE in order to rebuild the M.

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 8707964
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Underserving ( member #72259) posted at 6:16 PM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

I probably shouldn’t reply to this, as I’m only 2 years out. So take what I have to say with a grain of salt.

I rarely come to SI about the positive parts of my R journey. I don’t feel like I need help with the things that are going well. I need encouragement and advice with the hard stuff. And boy is there a lot of hard. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth it, or your R is doomed, it just comes with the territory of infidelity.

I wouldn’t consider my story as the norm. My marriage was never all that happy before my husband’s affair. I mean… ever. That’s a long story. Anyways, somehow we hung in there, even when neither of us should have. I found out about my husband’s A 3 years after it was over. In the time between his A and d-day he changed, I did too, and our marriage did a complete 180. D-day was obviously a huge set back, but I can genuinely say my marriage is better now than it has ever been. NOT to say it wouldn’t be even better if he had never cheated, but that’s just not how it happened for me. I have a very attentive, affectionate, and intentional husband. He is a great father and provider. Even when I really wanted to, I couldn’t picture myself finding a better partner than the man he is today. I would say I’m content with the marriage we have been rebuilding from the ashes. I hope that contentment eventually leads to real happiness.

[This message edited by Underserving at 6:17 PM, Thursday, January 6th]

BW (32)Found out 3 years post end of AD-day 12-9-19In R

Infidelity brings out the cuss in me. I’m not as foul mouthed in real life. ;)

posts: 752   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2019
id 8707974
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 6:53 PM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

I rarely come to SI about the positive parts of my R journey. I don’t feel like I need help with the things that are going well. I need encouragement and advice with the hard stuff. And boy is there a lot of hard. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth it, or your R is doomed, it just comes with the territory of infidelity.

This is a great point. We're getting a skewed perspective here because it's an oversampling of our collective angst. We tend to bring our problems here. Nobody gets to see the good stuff. I genuinely like my wife, I'm attracted to her (even when I struggle with being repulsed by her actions), I enjoy her company, we get along well, we're very compatible on multiple levels (including first and foremost sexually). And I love her as the mother of my children. For instance, earlier this year I took a small vacation by myself. It was good for me. I enjoyed myself. Then later this year, I had some extra miles and hotel points, and I decided to set up an extended weekend trip in a fun city -- complete with restaurant reservations, museum trips and so on -- and I asked my wife to come along. And we had a great time. My WW is also doing a helluva lot to be a better wife and has been consistent. I've detailed some of that here in the past (but of course I struggle with whether it's too little too late for me, and there's the elephant in the room about me not believing I've gotten the full truth). So as much as I show up here to unburden myself, we need to also make sure we present as accurate a picture of our IRL daily existence as possible.

"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: 4528   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8707983
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DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 7:48 PM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

I enjoy reading successful R stories. They are like fairy tales to me as I cannot foresee my UH changing enough for us to be able to R. And I can’t imagine how I could possibly trust him again, forgive, forget, and get over what disgusting thing he has done. And the fact that AP will always have a place in his heart. I don’t think I can deal with that. The challenges seem insurmountable and not worth it. So i am living vicariously through your positive stories. Thank you for sharing them.

posts: 68   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8707996
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Fof9303 ( member #70433) posted at 11:22 PM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot even fathom the pain that you have been through with the loss of your child and then to be hit with infidelity. I always said that nothing could compare to the pain of infidelity except for the loss of a child, so my heart truly hurts for you that you have had to endure so much pain. I am 11 years out and reconciled with my husband. We are happy... We are two imperfect people that chose to stay together and really are happy. With that said, it has not been without it's ups and downs and ins and outs. It was so hard and terribly difficult in the beginning.. Counseling... two steps forward and three steps back. I hope that the two of you find your way and he shows you how wonderful you are and that he will be forever grateful for you to forgive him. That is one thing I remember my husband telling me on Christmas a year or so after reconciling-- he thanked me .. for giving him a chance... he knows he didn't deserve it but that he would earn it. He was lucky.. I hope your husband shows you that he can be lucky too. God Bless.

posts: 110   ·   registered: Apr. 27th, 2019
id 8708055
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 1:58 PM on Friday, January 7th, 2022

Reconciliation is a process that takes years. Sometimes good,sometimes really bad.

I'm over a decade out. We reconciled. It was hard. At this point,however, any issues in my marriage have very little to do about infidelity. Now we deal with typical marital issues.

Our infidelity issues lasted far longer than I think they should have,but we had a bunnyboiler OW who just wouldn't go away. She even followed me here. Several years after dday!

Someone in this thread said happy Reconciliation stories are like fairy tales. I think that's accurate. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn't.

posts: 3876   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8708191
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 4:37 PM on Friday, January 7th, 2022

For me every effort was futile until I concentrated on healing me.

This right here. You have a lot of wisdom from some very wise SIers that have helped me immensely over the years. But this statement - holy crap! And it took my a long time and much resentment to realize this.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home)
Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS in 2018
Cease & Desist sent spring 2021
"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3366   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8708305
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 5:16 PM on Friday, January 7th, 2022

Someone in this thread said happy Reconciliation stories are like fairy tales. I think that's accurate.

Unless of course, my life is real.

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 8708339
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HardKnocks ( member #70957) posted at 6:13 PM on Friday, January 7th, 2022

I'm still married and truly happy in my recovery--does that count? :)

I tend to avoid using the word "reconciled" because it's too marriage-focused (ha) and I'm still working on creating healthy separation from my spouse (hard to do after 30 years together, but I highly recommend it). I'm still processing trauma. And I'm also working on long-standing personal goals that existed pre-M, some that got lost in the marriage, and in the period post DD1.

If I use the R lense, I'll say I'm happy with my relationship as it stands today. I've worked hard in IC (and later MC) to define everything I needed in the relationship--for my recovery, and to see if H was capable of redemption including his nearly 2 years of intense IC (ongoing), work with a very talented infidelity-focused MC, total transparency, all the "standards", etc.). Completely different ballgame from a rather rug-sweepy Round 1.

Based on the sum of experiences over decades, I don't view my H as a devil but as a wounded and deeply-flawed person who has a chance to become whole, and it appears to be possible--but I'm only comfortable with this experiment--after having 2 Ddays--because I have given up on the outcome.

I still believe there is a good chance we can have a good, loving, authentic, healthy relationship. As individuals we had/have work to do. I have been forgiven sins. I've worked really hard on personal matters and I have first-hand knowledge of a person's ability to make real changes and become a better, healthier person-lover-friend. That's still my primary goal and my primary journey. I'm hoping my H can be part of that. He's currently a "value-add." We'll see if that lasts.

Either way I'll be fine.

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

posts: 361   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2019
id 8708351
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DogGoneIt ( new member #79698) posted at 6:22 PM on Friday, January 7th, 2022

I wish I got to the marriage I have now a million different ways. I think I read that from someone else on here but that's how I feel as well. I'll take who I am now, who my wife is now, and how our marriage functions now over the old one. I've always likened DDay to being pulled out of the matrix.

An article I read early on from Affair Recovery the author wrote that the most intimate thing a couple can do is recover from an affair. So far I've found that to be true.. given that both of us are working for it. Still wish we got here a million different ways but I can't change the past.

My hat's off to everyone on this journey.

[This message edited by DogGoneIt at 6:45 PM, Thursday, January 13th]

BH mid 40sDDay March 2019Reconciling

posts: 1   ·   registered: Dec. 21st, 2021   ·   location: FL
id 8708353
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Hippo16 ( member #52440) posted at 12:53 AM on Saturday, January 8th, 2022

Any BH could write a long essay on "getting on with life with a WS"

I like this - a short bit of words:


alucard ( member #78796)posted at 12:15 PM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

3. I couldn't shake the perception that the betrayed husband had compromised more than his wayward wife. It felt like he had settled. I didn't like that feeling. I was like, "Gee this doesn't seem ideal at all. Could he have done better with another woman or alone?"

Isn't this the exact core of the suffering that we BH all through? The pact with the devil, the horrible compromise that we need to accept.
If a BH deiced to R, he needs to deal with this for the rest of his life. that's where I can't wrap my mind around

the part that stings the most - "rest of his life"


Well - the ladies "blessed" with a WS have it the same.

Not Just Friends

posts: 596   ·   registered: Mar. 26th, 2016   ·   location: OBX
id 8708439
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 10:23 PM on Saturday, January 8th, 2022


Unless of course, my life is real.

I meant fairy tale,as in rare. And I stand by that. I do see that we have some genuinely happy couples in reconciliation, here on SI. I also see many members who want to believe they are in R, but many of us can see they are not,based on their posts about their marriage. We also have many who said they were happily in R, but end up with a "I can't believe this happened again!" thread on jfo.

Im not saying that people can't be in happy marriages after dday. I just don't believe it happens very often. Based on what I've seen IRL, and here.

I'm glad you are happily reconciled. I think that's wonderful!

posts: 3876   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8708584
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HoldingTogether ( member #29429) posted at 12:09 AM on Sunday, January 9th, 2022

We also have many who said they were happily in R, but end up with a "I can't believe this happened again!" thread on jfo.


To be fair:

To be faaaaaaiiiiiirrrr (for the Letterkenny fans out there)

You aren’t likely to see a whole bunch of the successfully reconciled couples coming back to regularly post: "I can’t believe it didn’t happen again."

Cause that would just be kind of weird. And also kind of an inappropriate humblebrag in a forum full of people working out their trauma.

As has been said before, SI is a bit self selecting for terrible stories. I mean, I feel like me and WOES are successfully reconciled but there isn’t a lot to say about that as far as day to day goes. I mean here is my positive reconciliation story for the day:

Got up early, me and WOES had coffee while we farted around on our phones for an hour or two, then we made a grocery list, I went to a movie with a friend and then WoES met the both of us for lunch. I fixed the washing machine (clogged filter). Now we are back to farting around on our phones… probably watch some TV later….

That’s the thing isn’t it? If shit’s working out there isn’t much to say about it on a day to day basis.

But if your life is currently a dumpster fire? That shit has new flavors of terrible to talk about multiple times a day.

Like I said, self selecting sample bias. No way to avoid it in a format like this.

That’s not to say that I don’t think successful reconciliations are rare. Just to say that, judging how rare based on the samples posted here is probably gonna end up skewing your view a bit.

Us-Reconciled.
You keep waiting for the dust to settle, and then, one day you realize... This is it, that dust is your life going on around you.

posts: 10000   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010   ·   location: New Life
id 8708601
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 12:56 AM on Sunday, January 9th, 2022

I'm glad you are happily reconciled. I think that's wonderful!

Thanks. I’ll take this and skip over the qualifiers you included before this particular sentence.

I do see R and a quality R routinely dismissed and I usually let it slide, but I think it’s important to show that we few, we happy few, exist.

Because it was the positive R SI threads that caught my attention.

And I don’t know the odds.

I bet it’s rare but maybe not as rare as fairy tales.

In the last six years I’ve run into some happily recovered couples outside of SI. This is a great place, but it isn’t the only place where people rebuild their M.

I think because I’ve hung out in the R forum a while, I know a bunch of people who were doing pretty well before they left, since they got the help they needed and moved on.

I don’t often recommend one path or the other until the BS is healed enough to decide. Heck, I’ve advised as many people to run as I have offered members should give R a try, if their WS is showing any signs of understanding the damage caused by their choices.

All that aside, I stop by SI to offer those couples working hard on R, that some good can happen after the horror show.

As I often say, no WS is owed a second chance and even if BOTH people work hard, the M can still not make it.

We all project our own experiences, and there is some hope on the other side of Hell. Regardless of the path people choose.

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 8708609
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HoldingTogether ( member #29429) posted at 12:59 AM on Sunday, January 9th, 2022

For what it's worth, I've been able to talk in-depth with exactly one couple that felt they were happily reconciled. I don't say that to suggest that there's a dearth of happily reconciled couples, just that I myself only have had access to exactly one couple in real life that I could actually talk to in person and watch their facial cues and so on.

Thumos,

That right there is just another reason that you are on my Desert Island Top 5 wishlist of people I hope to one day meet at a SI get together (g2g).

That and the fact that I think you are wicked smart, thoughtful, articulate and analytical. I am absolutely certain that we would get on like gangbusters and have some seriously fucking productive and mutually enjoyable long ass conversations about infidelity without all the constraints and limitations of text getting in the fucking way.

I was unbelievably lucky in that WOES and I got to meet MH and DS at a G2G about 2 years into my reconciliation (along with a whole bunch of other amazing WS’ and BS’ all in various stages of R or D). Seeing the two of them together, seeing how they looked at one another, interacted, treated one another, it was a fucking revelation. An solid concrete example right in front of me in the flesh, of what could be accomplished. It changed R from something I hoped could happen to something that I believed could happen.

Hopefully, someday soon, things are going to get back to normal enough for SI G2G’s to start happening regularly again. When that day comes I recommend anyone attempting R or struggling to find peace after D, try to attend one. There’s really nothing quite like face to face with someone who truly gets what you are going through.

[This message edited by HoldingTogether at 1:39 AM, Sunday, January 9th]

Us-Reconciled.
You keep waiting for the dust to settle, and then, one day you realize... This is it, that dust is your life going on around you.

posts: 10000   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010   ·   location: New Life
id 8708611
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 4:49 AM on Sunday, January 9th, 2022

I am absolutely certain that we would get on like gangbusters and have some seriously fucking productive and mutually enjoyable long ass conversations about infidelity without all the constraints and limitations of text getting in the fucking way.

Oh man, do I want to be in the room where this happens.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2387   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8708646
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Notmine ( member #57221) posted at 1:49 PM on Sunday, January 9th, 2022

Reconciliation is neither happy or unhappy IMHO. It is a process. Like any process, it is dependent on a series of actions. Some of these actions will result in happiness and others will result in unhappiness. My FWH works diligently on the daily to be worthy of a marriage to me. He is grateful, takes decisive actions towards being a better human and partner, attends therapy twice per month with a CSAT who specializes in infidelity, reads literature and uses the information therein to improve himself, attends 12 step meetings weekly, talks to sponsors and takes suggestions. These actions have created a marriage that I would say is satisfying overall. A year ago, I would have told you that he was rigorously honest as well. Although this is still true the majority of the time, he continues to be dishonest about an action which triggers me. This has happened 3 times in the 6 years since DDay. He has come clean each time without trickle truth, rugsweeping etc., but the fact remains that he has been dishonest and it is something I cannot accept. Since this is the only thing he is dishonest about (that I can discern), and since he immediately began to take actions to address it, I am in wait and watch mode. Is this a happy reconciliation? Are 3 instances of dishonesty about an action that is not directly tied to his addiction or infidelity over 6 years a reason to divorce? That would be a matter of opinion. For me, it means that I did the right thing by making sure that I can securely leave when and if I need to. It means that the therapy I did will help me to be ok, no matter what. My marriage is as happy as it can be, based on current circumstances. My FWH takes recommended actions and some here might say that I am fortunate that he is so willing to do whatever it takes to make our marriage work.

Marriage to a cheater, especially a sex addict, is a work in progress. I am a recovering alcoholic, and take the daily actions I need to in order to maintain my spiritual condition, which is the foundation for sustaining long term sobriety. As an alcoholic, I also live the life of potential relapse. It is always a possibility for us. I think that my own addiction makes me a little more immune to the some of the side effects of living with an addict, but I also recognize that it is very rare for sex addicts to achieve the same level of long term sobriety that addicts to substances can. This is very scary and sobering. I am not sure what my level of endurance is, but time will tell. I am prepared, no matter which direction I choose.

Today, I feel that I am in a successful marriage most of the time, although much of that is due to the work I have done on myself. Marriage is work. This is common knowledge. Infidelity makes it even more work intensive.

When you're going through hell, for God's sake, DON'T STOP!

posts: 691   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2017   ·   location: DC
id 8708674
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IHatePickingName ( member #70740) posted at 3:33 PM on Sunday, January 9th, 2022

I am so very sorry for your loss, and for the fact you then had this second trauma.

I dont post here anymore, and wasnt a prolific poster at any point, but i read a ton in the past and SI was integral in my healing process and in my husband getting it amd starting his own healing process. I sometimes check in and read a bit even now, whenever I am doing some reflecting or want to dig in on something that came up for me, and I saw your post during the latest of these check ins.

We are almost 3 years out, and I can honestly say we are in a good marriage these days. We are content, which is a word I prefer to happy because I believe perpetual happiness is an unreasonable expectation for any person. We have each done significant work on healing past and infidelity related traumas, setting and maintaining boundaries including with families of origin, and communication. We are well into the part where we primarily work on improving our relationship and the infidelity is a relevant part of our past, but no longer a central one. We parent better, communicate better, support each other better, and have better sex than we did at any previous point in our relationship. I dont like that it cost me so much pain to get to this place (and neither does he), but where we are now is solid.

I say this with a word of caution though, because I think many recently betrayed spouses really should leave and I dont want to be the reason someone gives themself false hope. It wasnt easy and it was only possible at all because my husband hit a place where he couldnt stand living with himself as he was and was willing to do hard, painful, and lengthy work to heal traumas beginning in childhood, learn how to be a safe person, and develop strategies to communicate better. My husband would not have been capable of being the person he is today before extensive therapy and work, even if he had never gone down the cheating path. That is a choice he made for himself and I could not have made him do it, nor could he have done it if he was doing it for anyone other than himself, not even for me or our family.

It also took similar amounts of therapy and processing trauma and pain for me to get to a place where I dont see him as a trigger and source of pain, have good boundaries, and communicate in ways that work for him (he has a language processing disorder, diagnosed in childhood. We learned in therapy how much this was effecting his comprehension and learned steps to help).

So yes, it is possible to be happily married. It just takes two people who are both willing to do incredible amounts of often very painful work, which very often is not what couples have. It goes far beyond the WS feeling remorse and being completely honest about the affair, and many waywards never even get past those first two hurdles. We were there by the 3 month mark, and that wasnt even close to as hard as it got for either of us. And if we had stopped there, we would never have gotten to a place that was happy or even safe.

BW/WW Me
WH/BH DoingThingsWrong

I can finally say we are reconciling and it is going well ❤️

posts: 237   ·   registered: Jun. 9th, 2019
id 8708688
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HardKnocks ( member #70957) posted at 5:18 PM on Sunday, January 9th, 2022

It just takes two people who are both willing to do incredible amounts of often very painful work, which very often is not what couples have. It goes far beyond the WS feeling remorse and being completely honest about the affair, and many waywards never even get past those first two hurdles. We were there by the 3 month mark, and that wasnt even close to as hard as it got for either of us. And if we had stopped there, we would never have gotten to a place that was happy or even safe.

It's my story. We stopped prematurely and had big problems. Some A related, some not. Remorse was not enough.

But I do want to say that while doing the work is paramount, it's still no guarantee that it will work, or stick. It's a big, scary, gamble, and people have every right to say,"F it; I'm out."

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

posts: 361   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2019
id 8708708
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