Cookies are required for login or registration. Please read and agree to our cookie policy to continue.

Newest Member: 39Robbo

Reconciliation :
Obsessing over "what ifs"

default

rambler ( member #43747) posted at 3:33 AM on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

Two things must happen for a good reconciliation.


Empathy by your wife.

Return of confidence/self respect for you.

The problem is your wife is in control.

making it through

posts: 1291   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2014   ·   location: Chicago
id 8709205
default

jailedmind ( member #74958) posted at 3:46 AM on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

Forgiveness? Nah I’m not a fan. Acceptance yep that I will do. I do not forgive my wife for what she did. I accept it. Took a long time for me to figure out the difference. I used to listen to my wife’s family talking about how you can’t hate someone all your life because you waste so much of your energy and you need to forgive to move on. I waste no energy hating my wife’s AP. Guy gets run over by a truck tomorrow I could care less. Giving my wife a hall pass and forgiving her for what she did? Nah I accept it and use the experience to make myself stronger and smarter. As for what ifs? My best friend and brother both got divorced. One is doing quite well the other struggles so it could be a crapshoot either way. I made my choice to stay. And like my wife told me if I left no one would have blamed me. So I accept that it happened and put it in the rear view mirror. I can’t change the past but I have control of my future. What we betrayed forget is we have choice. Some of them are shitty to make but we still always have choice.

posts: 86   ·   registered: Jul. 21st, 2020
id 8709206
default

Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 6:38 AM on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

My self image and confidence took a big hit when my WW decided to cheat on me with one of the first random guys she got to know very well after marrying me despite years of shared history and great times.

Me too brother. There are very few things in life that can drive you to your knees in pain; this is one them. I'm not saying it doesn't take the wind out of you. It does. I'm not saying it doesn't make you feel emasculated. It does.

I'm saying as you think about it, consider this objectively.

WS have a bad habit of saying "this was never about you." Of course that is bizarre and ridiculous, in one sense, because it is a soul attack. I call it an infidelity attack for a reason.

But in another sense, there is a grain of truth to it. That is to say, it wasn't about you as a man.

You can easily look at an AP and know they are not the better man. Once you get that straight you can rebuild your sense of manhood and pride. You've got nothing to prove. That burden is on your wife.

This is one reason I often recommend the book "The Way of the Superior Man." Funny enough, some women here have attacked this book when it is mentioned.

If you read it, you'll be confused as to why they were so threatened, but I think it is because the book helps a man understand that a woman, any woman, is not the core purpose of a man’s life.

The book isn't demeaning at all to women; it isn't misogynistic. Far from it. It simply asserts they're not the Summum Bonum of your life. Nothing like female infidelity to help make that crystal clear to a man. They are welcome to come along for the ride. If they have betrayed you they have an even higher bar to prove their worth.

[This message edited by Thumos at 6:40 AM, Wednesday, January 12th]

"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 8709215
default

ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 9:47 PM on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

Personally, I believe that cheating is about the cheater. If I thought it was an "attack" on me, I'd have filed for divorce and got out. I've spent quite a bit of time studying infidelity, and I believe it's about the cheater's perception of their life and about their relationship with their own values system/boundaries. It's about the inability to self-soothe and/or their need for external validation. It's about selfishness and a lack of coping methods. What it's NOT about, not typically... is us. If you BELIEVE that your WW's cheating was about you, I don't think there's a way forward for that.

Commonly, cheaters go to great lengths to keep from being discovered by their spouse. Mine certainly did. If I was the target, if I was the point of his cheating, why bother doing it behind my back where I wouldn't see it? His shitty narrative at the time was that I wouldn't care because I didn't love him anymore, but he knew better. The proof is that he was hiding and lying. They all say ridiculous stuff like that because they're enjoying what they're doing and they don't want to see us. They don't want us intruding on the fantasy. We're on the periphery, compartmentalized out of the cheater's fantasy life by excuses and rationalizations which convince the cheater that what s/he's doing isn't such a big deal. Think about it, if they hadn't done their own heads in, HOW are they so shocked and scared when dday comes and they find themselves plunged into reality?

After a few weeks of discussion, I could lead you through every stupid rationalization my fWH used and what internal void his behavior was filling. And it had nothing to do with me, even though he had a target painted on my forehead where all his angst was directed. It still wasn't about ME though because none of it was true. He had made me into this caricature, an unpleasant parody of a wife who was out to get him and out to use him. This was simply his way of making it okay to ignore me and put me in that box. But it's not an "attack". This is wholly different from an "attack" because we are not the point of the behavior. We're not the goal or intent. This was about giving himself permission to do the sexual things with other people that he wanted to do. The intent was fucking around and proving to himself that he wasn't an old man yet.

In R, there has to be empathy and it has to go BOTH ways. You don't have to agree with the crazy bullshit your WS has made up in their heads to justify their behavior, but you do have to understand how they got there, why it made sense to them at the time, what internal voids were filled by the behavior, etc. If you can't do that, it's just better to go ahead with divorce so that everyone can get on with their lives.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 9:51 PM, Wednesday, January 12th]

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

{edited for typos.. again}

posts: 4888   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8709371
default

Hopingtobreakthrough ( new member #79666) posted at 10:09 PM on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

I'm nearly 12 months since dd in R. I had similar thoughts - my Ww fortunately for me, and I have proof - tried to end it a week before DD and a month before which helped see i was her choice

But her AP turned out to be some weirdo, would she have stayed with me had he remained as he was when he asked her to meet him the first time?

Maybe. But would she have stayed with me for 10 years had I been a weirdo after a month, no.

So trying to think if someone could have been with another had the other been someone different is the same as sayung would they be with you if you were someone different - possibly not.

The reality is, your real and were chosen on the basis of what you are in the end not what you were not.

That's true for me, clearly, but it doesn't mean that she'll be allowed to not put every effort into R else face consequences of choosing someone that failed her.

BS DDAY 20.02.20
3 MONTH EA/PA.
(ESCAPE AND FANTASY AFFAIR ACCORING TO WW STILL WORKING THROUGH)
IN R.

posts: 30   ·   registered: Dec. 8th, 2021
id 8709380
default

Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 11:31 PM on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

If I thought it was an "attack" on me, I'd have filed for divorce and got out.

Clearly the exposure to STD risk, gaslighting, DARVO and more are all attacks. I don't know why this is hard. Maybe you weren't subjected to those. For those of us who were, calling them for what they are isn't threatening. And yes, I've been on the fence about possibly divorcing for two years.

Intent does nothing to ameliorate. Drunk drivers kill people all the time and don't intend to do it. In the law -- which as a field of study has had to suss out a great many of these issues carefully -- negligence is grounds for being held responsible for the harms to a person, because the careless actions injured the innocent party. But since nearly all infidelity involves animus directed at the innocent party (even though the animus is batshit crazy) it's nearly impossible to see it as ignorant neglect. It is willful neglect and that's certainly a kind of attack.

As the old saying goes, ignorance of the law is no defense. Ignorance of the ramified toxic fallout of infidelity (and such supposed ignorance is suspect in any case) does nothing to mitigate.

[This message edited by Thumos at 11:44 PM, Wednesday, January 12th]

"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 8709405
default

ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 4:47 AM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Clearly the exposure to STD risk, gaslighting, DARVO and more are all attacks.

No, they weren't, Thumos. You claiming it so does not make it so. Maybe that's what happened to you. I doubt it, but you were there and I wasn't. Maybe your WW was just sitting around one day wondering how it would be possible to hurt you the most and decided to expose you to some STDs. Who know? I think it's more likely that she got caught up in her own shit and didn't think about you, but yours are the boots on the ground. Believe whatever you want to believe regarding your situation. What I know fully well though is what happened in MY marriage. I know what happened. I know why it happened. I know what my fWH's motives were for making it happen. And it was NOT some kind of premeditated "attack". rolleyes

My fWH's cheating was about HIM. I don't know what's so hard to understand about that. I am not so egocentric that everything has to be about me. My fWH is an INDIVIDUAL, not an extension of me. He's not a reflection on me, who I am, what I'm doing, or anything else but about HIM. I don't own him and I can't control him. If his shit gets fucked up, it's his shit, not mine. And it's his job to fix it, not mine.

It's very empowering to let the other guy carry his own bags. I can let it go and put it behind me because I understand what happened. I am in R and content to be so, and I am HEALED from wounds that I once believed would kill me. I should get one of those buttons that says, "Ask me how I healed from my husband's adultery". The only problem would be that when I tell people that they have to let it be about the cheater rather than internalizing the behavior as a personal attack, I'd apparently have some people who couldn't believe it.

quote boxes

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 4:48 AM, Thursday, January 13th]

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

{edited for typos.. again}

posts: 4888   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8709451
default

Seeking2Forgive ( member #78819) posted at 8:23 AM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

No, they weren't, Thumos. You claiming it so does not make it so. Maybe that's what happened to you. I doubt it, but you were there and I wasn't. Maybe your WW was just sitting around one day wondering how it would be possible to hurt you the most and decided to expose you to some STDs. Who know? I think it's more likely that she got caught up in her own shit and didn't think about you, but yours are the boots on the ground.

My initial thought is to agree with this. But maybe not. I don't think we really have the right language to express it.

In most usages "attack" assumes belligerence, or at least intent, to act on the subject. I agree that for most WSs the subject of their actions is almost always themselves and not anyone else.

But to me, this is similar to what we see with the definition of murder. Normally "murder" requires intent. But it's also recognized that if someone behaves with depraved indifference that causes or allows a death, it's effectively murder even if there wasn't intent.

And that's really what we're talking about, depraved indifference toward someone that you professed to love and swore fidelity. It seems to me that's worthy of "attack" even without intent.

[This message edited by Seeking2Forgive at 8:34 AM, Thursday, January 13th]

Me: 60, BS
Her: 59, FWS
Dday: 11/15/03
Married 37 yrs
Reconciled

posts: 201   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8709480
default

The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 11:52 AM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Cheating is selfish behavior.

Regardless of the intent, the cheater knows this is hurtful and devastating to the BS. I doubt most cheaters think they will get caught so they figure "why not cheat".

The series of steps it takes to cheat allows the cheaters to have ample opportunity to choose to NOT cheat too.

Again selfish and selfish serving behavior.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11162   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8709489
default

 gainingclosure (original poster new member #79667) posted at 6:00 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Thumos, thanks for the reading suggestion. Im going to add that to my list. Im currently going to be listening to "The Power of Now" on audiobook.

ChamomileTea, I think my problem is rumination leading to resentment. I decided to start ruminating on it again because I also recently decided to open up to my wife more, both emotionally and intimately. This change has been a positive thing for us, but Ive noticed its had the side effect of increasing my anxiety, because I am afraid of being hurt again.

One of the things my WW said to me after I found out, was that she honesty thought I wouldn't care and I would be glad to have an excuse to get rid of her. That perception was so far away from the reality of the time, that it still does not compute. I mean, here I am 16 years later agonizing over it. So now I have an anxiety that whatever I do, she will think that I don't love her/don't care and it will lead to her having another affair. So what I do now is basically go over it again and again with her in order to let her know that I do care. Im wearing her thin and she is under a ton of stress with her business right now and is starting to react in frustration.

Honestly, for me, putting these thoughts in a locked box and away is what I need to try and do. That shit happened. So be it. I can spend months analyzing it, justifying what would've or could've happened, or I can just leave the pieces on the floor and move on.

[This message edited by gainingclosure at 6:44 PM, Thursday, January 13th]

posts: 29   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2021
id 8709569
default

ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 7:36 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

ChamomileTea, I think my problem is rumination leading to resentment. I decided to start ruminating on it again because I also recently decided to open up to my wife more, both emotionally and intimately. This change has been a positive thing for us, but Ive noticed its had the side effect of increasing my anxiety, because I am afraid of being hurt again.

Rumination past the point of your stay or go decision is just wiring an insecure neural pathway into your brain. It's kind of like the way a stuck needle wears a groove into a vinyl record, right? Your preferred pathway becomes the ruminative one and it doesn't matter that it's causing you suffering, your mind will continue to default to the familiar.

I tend to think of this as like the parable of The Two Wolves....

A Cherokee elder was teaching his young grandson about life.

"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil- he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt and ego.

The other is good- he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The boy thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,

"Which wolf will win?"

The elder simply replied,

"The one you feed."

When we continue to feed this neurotic, ruminative pathway, we continue to be stuck there. And yeah, I get it, it FEELS necessary, and I think it actually is necessary up to the point where we've made our "stay or go" decision. After that, it becomes an unhealthy obsession. We tend to find what we're looking for in life, to hit where we aim. And if we're aiming to keep our pain alive, that's what will happen. If we're looking for happiness and contentment in our marriage, that can happen too... but that requires feeding a New Wolf. That new wolf has to represent the future we're trying to achieve, right? When we visualize our destination and start FEEDING that vision with optimism and positivity, we're creating a new neural pathway. And yeah, it takes time and our old wolf is always waiting to gobble up whatever we let slide on a bad day. But the longer we starve him, the weaker he gets.

Rumination has no purpose past the decision to stay or go. It's there to inform our choice, and believe me, I argued my ass off with my therapist, so confident that there must be more, some purpose I was missing, but all that got me was two years of deep, dark depression. If you love your fWW and you want to be happy with her, you have to stop ruminating, stop obsessing, and feed your new wolf. If you don't, get an attorney, file for divorce and leave. This ugly limbo stops when YOU stop it. It doesn't just magically go away on its own when you're feeding that bad wolf every day and driving that groove into your brain.


ETA:

I am afraid of being hurt again.

This part is about being emotionally self-reliant. When you can trust YOURSELF to handle whatever comes your way, that fear dissipates. Honestly, I think you'd get a lot out of The Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson. It's geared toward people who have split, but the author does a really good job of explaining how the Fear of Abandonment is hardwired into us from birth. It's why we cry for our moms as babies. Then later, we kind of transfer that emotional reliance onto our primary relationship. Of course, when that relationship breaks, we're defenseless. But we can learn to have that kind of emotional reliance on ourselves and then simply enjoy our relationship. At that point, we're bulletproof. grin
This book actually helped me more than any other title that I read, even though it wasn't about R. It turned out that getting into a primary relationship with myself is what allowed me to move past the trauma. I can experience emotional intimacy with my fWH, but it doesn't replace the emotional reliance I have on myself anymore.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 7:51 PM, Thursday, January 13th]

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

{edited for typos.. again}

posts: 4888   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8709594
default

 gainingclosure (original poster new member #79667) posted at 10:38 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Chamomile, wow, thanks for that parable and commentary. I got a lump in my throat as I read that. Such sage words that I needed to hear. This forum is full of people who have been in the trenches and is a goldmine. I appreciate all the perspectives.

Reminds me of the quote

"The soul is dyed with the color of its thoughts" -Marcus Aurelius

[This message edited by gainingclosure at 10:38 PM, Thursday, January 13th]

posts: 29   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2021
id 8709653
default

Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 10:53 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

"The soul is dyed with the color of its thoughts" -Marcus Aurelius

Keep in mind that Aurelius, upon discovering his wife's infidelity, had the affair partner (a burly gladiator) hauled in front of him by his Praetorian guard. Then forced his wayward wife to have sex one last time with the gladiator in front of him and his secret police, then ordered the AP slaughtered by his soldiers, then made his wife bathe in the gouts of blood, then had sex with his wife amidst all the gore and copious blood. Yeah, that happened. Game of Thrones has nothing on real history. Apparently, though, this just amounted to rug sweeping back in the bad old days, and his wife kept cheating. laugh shocked

[This message edited by Thumos at 10:58 PM, Thursday, January 13th]

"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 8709657
default

 gainingclosure (original poster new member #79667) posted at 2:07 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

Thumos, wow, didn't know that about Aurelius. I fear what demented things I would come up with to satisfy my rage and baser instincts if I had complete impunity the way he did.

Interesting to read up on that and that he not only DIDN'T kill his wife, but ignored her continued infidelities and diefied her after she died. There is a lesson in forgiveness and acceptance in there somewhere. I'd personally consider bathing in APs blood as we had sex to be "even stephen".

posts: 29   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2021
id 8709791
default

StrugglingCJ ( member #72778) posted at 8:05 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

Thanks thumos, will try that book now.

And in the realms where laws were different I am not actually sure what I'd have done to AP and WW Assuming no repurcussions.. Almost glad we have laws to moderate such behaviour.

WW caught in EA May 17
DDay Mar 19 it was full PA
Struggling for R, but still trying.

posts: 178   ·   registered: Feb. 10th, 2020   ·   location: Essex
id 8709907
default

The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 11:10 PM on Saturday, January 15th, 2022

I healed to the point that I gained a new sense of confidence. I looked back and believe I gave my H the best life. I’m not perfect and I have my faults but I truly believe I had/have a happy marriage.

If he’s not happy he knows where the door is. Seriously.

My life is good with him or without him. Period.

I don’t sweat the small stuff because I learned it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I am happy. If I am then I hope everyone around me is.

I don’t worry about my H leaving me. Not for a second.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11162   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8710083
default

HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 2:37 AM on Sunday, January 16th, 2022

my painful internal dialog keeps thinking that IF her AP hadn't been a lying sack, then she'd be with him right now.

So assume you are right, that if he'd been mister wonderful (but still a lying sack of shit since he knew she was married), she'd have left? Why is that painful?

What it tells me, is that you are basing your own worth partially on her decision to not run off.

That's a dangerous thing, basing any measure at all of your self-worth on the judgement and choices of a cheating spouse (or ultimately any other person on the planet - see Marcus Aurelius). So maybe instead of treading water in the surface muck of ruminating about her choice 16 years ago, dive down into the depths of how you define Who You Are, and how much it is attached to who she is. And then detach it. Stand on your own, define yourself by your own actions and no one else's.

Cheers!

HOP

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: 2802   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8710113
default

alucard ( member #78796) posted at 4:58 AM on Sunday, January 16th, 2022

I cannot reccomend enough the "Way of the superior man " and "King Magician, Warrior Lover" books.
They are not book about infidelity but wise and profound exploration of mature masculinity.
Among other tools, these two books have helped me immensely in shifting perspective and reawakening my deeply wounded masculinity, and claim my worth INDEPENDENTLY from my WW, and the daunting R or D choice.

Among other inner work, I have particular enjoyed working on my inner warrior. Strengthening my discipline, learn new practices, Practicing and exceled at a combat sport, solitudine, lot of studying.

15 months past DDAY I am in the best shape I ever been, I have the most money I’ve ever had, my work is the best I’ve done in many years, and I stand proud, talll and grounded.
I still experience sadness pain and mind movies however my response to them is rather different. I see the affair and related traumas as events in my journey, as challenges, obstacle to overcome rather then life defining events.

I think that each BS at one Point must make a choice. Feeling forever harmed by what happened or become stronger and wise. As for now I have chosen the latter.
I am re-creating a stronger self.
Of course the fact that my R is going well and that my wife has had some powerful moments of awakening, that completely changed her behavior after discovery and that brought back the woman I love, a wounded and even more caring honest and sensitive version, Is helping immensely.

However as we all know all this could end abruptly. I could be hit by another DDay, Or restart arguing with my wife or simply say that it’s too much. But this time I feel I will react differently and stand stronger, And I think this is the right Direction for each BS no matter R or D.

posts: 126   ·   registered: May. 14th, 2021
id 8710122
default

BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 6:44 PM on Sunday, January 16th, 2022

Yeah, that happened. Game of Thrones has nothing on real history.

Actually, the Historia Augusta is widely regarded as apocryphal by modern classical scholars. Many of its claims are provably false, and many more are inconsistent with what we know about the emperors from other contemporary sources.

Fun fact: the Historia supposedly had six different authors, but last I knew, the consensus was that there was really just one author entertaining himself and advancing a political agenda through the use of multiple pseudonyms. Basically, he was a Reddit troll two thousand years ahead of his time.

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

posts: 2387   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8710182
default

 gainingclosure (original poster new member #79667) posted at 8:34 PM on Sunday, January 16th, 2022

Thanks for the responses guys. I dropped a VAR in my wife's car the other day because I knew she'd be taking a long drive with her Mom and I wanted to know what she really thought and see if there was anything else she might not be telling me.

Its clear from the audio picked up that she is getting extremely frustrated and impatient with my resurfaced trauma and continued desire to talk about it. A few highlights:

- the thing thats upsetting to me is that Im getting to the point where Im about to say "f*** you" which is not going to be good

- just shut your f***ing trap about it

- grow a pair of balls dude, you whiny bitch

- her imitating me crying about it

Her Mom encouraged her to tell me to F off and "get it off her chest" if she needed to but she said "its not helpful when I shut him down about it".

She's right. The more she reacts in this way, the more I want to double down on it. Not sure how to handle this one since technically "I never heard it".

posts: 29   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2021
id 8710198
Cookies on SurvivingInfidelity.com®

SurvivingInfidelity.com® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.001.20220124 2002-2022 SurvivingInfidelity.com® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy