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Reconciliation :
And then, it clicked...

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 CaptainRogers (original poster member #57127) posted at 5:30 AM on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

The last (roughly) three weeks have been an interesting ride. If I use the MC session from 3 weeks ago as the starting point, what was basically 1 1/2 days later, something in Mrs. Cap "clicked".

We had a conversation the next day about her countenance, her being silent (for roughly 24 hours) and the unfair expextations placed on me (you should do X for me because I didn't do X for you and you know how that felt).

As I went through the "your reasoning is a bunch of selfish BS" response, something in her changed. The look in her eyes was different. It seemed as if someone totally different was inhabiting her body. She immediately stopped her "woe is me" and had a look of concern on her face. She opened up and said that what she had done, how she had treated me was horrible. She lost all concern for herself and was sad about how she had treated me. She used the phrase "I can't believe I was that kind of monster." She seemed genuinely heartbroken about having treated me like garbage, yet asking for grace in how she was being treated.

I have to say, I'd never seen that before. Ever. As in for 33+ years kind of ever. I was shocked.

Since then, we've had 2 more MC sessions. At last week's session, she thanked me for not walking away and not giving up. This week, she apologized for the "stolen years" as I had called it, as well as for being my harshest critic throughout the years.

She apologized for not responding the way I needed after her A. She apologized for all the hiding & lying that happened.

She told me that she was sorry for ignoring my pain, for minimizing it, and frankly, for not caring about having inflicted it.

And that is just the MC sessions.

Over that time frame, Mrs. Cap has smiled. She has been intentional about touch & words of affirmation. She has genuinely shown care about my stress levels, the causes, etc.

It's a totally different person at my house.

One of the biggest things is that she hasn't run away or gotten silent when I've voiced my concerns about whether this is real or an act. And I have voiced that concern. Multiple times.

She has said that she understands why I would be wary and that she is going to keep showing up to demonstrate that consistency over time.

And for the first time in years (yes, plural, and not exaggerated) she said "I love you."

That hit hard. My initial internal reaction (not surprisingly) was "I don't believe you." I didn't say it out loud. But I thought it.

And she continued with "I don't expect you to believe that. I wouldn't if the roles were reversed. But I do. And I want to show you that every day."

There have been discussions regarding the sadness she feels for the pain inflicted and the things that I still struggle with. There have been discussions where she has asked what she can do to help with my sadness/stress/whatever is going on.

This woman has NEVER shown up this way for this long before.
I don't know what happened with Mrs. Cap. I don't know how things clicked. I simply don't know.

But I'm not jumping out to grab on to hope, either. There is a glimmer that I have allowed. Everything is still being viewed with a wary eye. But that wary eye is open to trust IF there is consistency over time.

I've seen the "I'm all better" movie before. I know the facade doesn't last long.

I'm open to the possibility that it has clicked, for real, this time. Time will tell.

But I can tell you this: it has been close to 20 years since she went to a baseball game with me. She's never gone to one since we moved from the Chicago suburbs 15 years ago.

But she went with me this past Sunday (yes, we did Easter at Coors Field). And she said she enjoyed it. She liked being with me at a place where I found joy. And she wants to go back. And she wants to plan a trip to Chicago so I can go back to Wrigley Field (haven't watched a game there in 15 years). She wants to see me enjoy things AND she wants to share in the experience.

I don't know what clicked or how with that discussion. But I am looking for that consistency over time. Three weeks in, and she has shown up every day thus far.

Maybe...just maybe...

BS: 42 on D-day
WW: 43 on D-day
Together since '89; still working on what tomorrow will bring.
D-Day v1.0: Jan '17; EA
D-day v2.0: Mar '18; no, it was physical

posts: 3235   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2017   ·   location: The Rockies
id 8730707
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Notthevictem ( member #44389) posted at 7:44 AM on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

Capt,

You know my wife just passed. That kinda thing leaves me a whole host of regrets.

One of those regrets is not trusting when it did click with her. I never fully reinvested, I think. At least, not in a way I can look back on and say that we made the best of those years.

Even after she passed, I did one last sherlock holmes check through her stuff... I'm not sure why. I hadn't done one in years.

I don't know what I was looking for either. Would my grief be easier if I found something or would it compound it? Does the regret I feel for not trusting make it worse?

It's only two months or so later, and I wish I could have spent that time better. Given her more of a chance. Not right after dday--she was still in the fog--but right after she got it.

So, while I get what you're saying and have myself been at that crossroads of suspicion, fear, hope, and "why the fuck couldn't you do this earlier?!", my advice to you is to enjoy it.

If it's the truth, then you've no reason to fear.

If it's another lie, at least you enjoyed yourself until you found out.

And I know what I'm recommending isn't as easy to do as it is to type. Letting go of that distrust might not be possible for you. But trying to should be worthwhile.

BH: Me 37 WW: Her 41DDAY Mar 2014 Washington StateWidowed - breast cancer

posts: 13420   ·   registered: Aug. 5th, 2014   ·   location: Washington State
id 8730714
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jailedmind ( member #74958) posted at 9:59 AM on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

It is a fear of mine that if my wife passes before me that I will regret not giving her that part of me I locked away to protect after her infidelity. But it was the price paid for it. I do remember the day she "Got it". Her first familty was strewn with infidelity and she relied heavily on her siblings who had a cheaters mentality. After a talk on the phone with her sister she was in the hallway and I looked up at her and she said. "They just don’t get what cheating does to people". I was shocked. She slowly removed herself from their advice after. It was then that I saw a glimmer of hope. I do hope I find some way to give her that piece that is locked away. Not because she deserves it but so I don’t have to live with the regret because of something she did. Betrayal, it simply casts a shadow on your soul.

posts: 107   ·   registered: Jul. 21st, 2020
id 8730719
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ISurvivedSoFar ( Guide #56915) posted at 11:48 AM on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

Two things.

Cap - I so hope this is the true Mrs. Cap and that she has turned the corner. As you know time will tell. And that tell will come at a time of stress when the former Mrs. Cap would crumble, put up her walls and blame you if she feels she is put in a negative light. The new Mrs. Cap should take it in and recognize that she could do better and still she can be a good person even with a need to change some part of herself. She will say, yeah I see that let me work on it. Stressors tell all.

NTV - wise words from someone who knows. We all keep a part of ourselves to ourselves after infidelity. I have no idea how to unlock that part for as you say, ourselves. What we keep only really hurts us. Perhaps though we hold to a different belief though. I am so very very sorry for your loss and your perspective is so very important - thank you.

Wrigley Field is still awesome - may you get to go back soon Cap!

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

posts: 2798   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
id 8730727
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 CaptainRogers (original poster member #57127) posted at 1:12 PM on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

So, while I get what you're saying and have myself been at that crossroads of suspicion, fear, hope, and "why the fuck couldn't you do this earlier?!", my advice to you is to enjoy it.

If it's the truth, then you've no reason to fear.

If it's another lie, at least you enjoyed yourself until you found out.

And I am trying to do just that, NtV. Thank you for those words. For that "permission" as it may be seen. I've tried to do that for myself the last couple of weeks, to sit back and enjoy the ride, as it were.

It is a fear of mine that if my wife passes before me that I will regret not giving her that part of me I locked away to protect after her infidelity.

I hear ya, jailed. 100%. My nature is to plan forward, but to do so by looking backward. Part of that is often looking at what "could have been". And having had so many years stolen by her walking away (both before the A and in the years since), I don't want to regret not being invested when her heart came back.

As you know time will tell. And that tell will come at a time of stress when the former Mrs. Cap would crumble, put up her walls and blame you if she feels she is put in a negative light.

It's almost like you were sitting in our session yesterday, ISSF. The MC had given us an assignment the week prior. We had to look at 4 things. What are we fearful about? What are we sad about? What do we regret? What are we grateful about?

Mrs. Cap said that she was fearful about falling into the old Mrs. Cap, behaving in a way that pushed me away, and losing everything because of it. I think that statement from her was the biggest tell that this may be a real change and not a white knuckled facade because it dovetailed with her sadness (over how deeply she hurt me), her regret (over not just the A, but in viewing me as the enemy for so long), and her gratefulness (that I didn't just walk away).
Time will tell, indeed.

BS: 42 on D-day
WW: 43 on D-day
Together since '89; still working on what tomorrow will bring.
D-Day v1.0: Jan '17; EA
D-day v2.0: Mar '18; no, it was physical

posts: 3235   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2017   ·   location: The Rockies
id 8730732
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

My wife’s "click" moment was years ago. I did not even know of the affair yet, and wouldn’t for several more years, but I can see it in retrospect.

She backslid during the disclosure phase, a lot, and that was very damaging.

But NotTheVictim’s observations here are what has landed hardest on me. We aren’t getting younger, we don’t get to buy more time.

I think I’ll enjoy the wife and the life I have now.

Thanks for the update and the observations, fellas.

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 211   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8730736
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ISurvivedSoFar ( Guide #56915) posted at 2:19 PM on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

Ya know Cap I wrote about Mrs. Cap in the last post and how fearful and downright terrified she is. That fear manifests itself towards you as the abuser and her the victim. In reality, the person she is afraid of most is herself. And you leaving her is the proof that she isn't any good. Not yours to fix of course - but if you are to R then understanding it allows you to maneuver perfectly with your boundaries. You don't have to blame her to keep your boundaries safe even though we both know what has caused this rift.

Mrs. Cap said that she was fearful about falling into the old Mrs. Cap, behaving in a way that pushed me away, and losing everything because of it.

You don't have to deny this statement to allow it to help you manage your behavior appropriately. You honor it. "I so understand this fear Mrs. Cap. I have a similar fear. I fear that if I let my walls down I'll be hurt in a devastating way again. And it is so scary that I don't think I can survive it." Then she has the option of telling you that she understands it and will work on it - but that patience will be needed because it is a process. Nobody changes overnight and we all backslide into our old ways until we get used the new paradigm we create for ourselves.

I'm guessing hearing that from her would have tremendous value for you. It won't take the walls down necessarily, but if followed by action it may start to allow you to see the change so needed to be in a loving relationship. It will chip away at that wall. And that wall doesn't have to be 10 feet deep to protect you. That's the part we have to realize as BS's. It need only be as deep as our honesty to ourselves and by extension our WS's. That honesty will allow us to trust ourselves much more and be a lot less defensive because we will know that either way our BS's act, we will be able to provide our own safe haven by the decisions we empower ourselves to make at that time.

In essence we both suffer the same - BS and WS alike. We get defensive, put up our walls, and don't want to allow the vulnerability that we think will kill us. The problem with that thinking is we can't prevent bad things from happening all the time and being vulnerable only allows us to live more authentically in the moment. As NTV points out, every moment counts.

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

posts: 2798   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
id 8730739
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 3:46 PM on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

I think in ANY relationship, the most difficult leap in the world is truly being open and vulnerable with another.

After infidelity, this leap into being vulnerable is far more difficult. Even if BOTH people want to rebuild the relationship. A WS believes they will never be accepted as they once were (legitimate concern), so their effort is reflected as someone being too cautious. This doubles down on the pain and frustration for a BS who needs consistent evidence of an all in effort — just to consider staying!

I walled up quite a bit.

The whole idea that CAP has been this patient, to allow for this potential click, is something I hope Mrs. Cap appreciates.

Getting and staying vulnerable is still hard. It’s the hardest part of R, at least it was for me.

Good luck. Especially if you go to Wrigley.

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: 4319   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8730751
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 CaptainRogers (original poster member #57127) posted at 6:41 PM on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

You don't have to deny this statement to allow it to help you manage your behavior appropriately. You honor it. "I so understand this fear Mrs. Cap. I have a similar fear. I fear that if I let my walls down I'll be hurt in a devastating way again. And it is so scary that I don't think I can survive it." Then she has the option of telling you that she understands it and will work on it - but that patience will be needed because it is a process.

We did exactly this in our session yesterday. We addressed the fear of backsliding and what we were both committed to doing when (not if) it happens. We also addressed my fearfulness regarding being disregarded or dismissed if there's something I want to discuss that makes Mrs. Cap uncomfortable.


As to my walls, I've tried to disassemble those over the past couple of weeks of consistent behavior. There are still some small pieces up, but I've made a conscious effort to come out from behind those walls.

[This message edited by CaptainRogers at 6:43 PM, Wednesday, April 20th]

BS: 42 on D-day
WW: 43 on D-day
Together since '89; still working on what tomorrow will bring.
D-Day v1.0: Jan '17; EA
D-day v2.0: Mar '18; no, it was physical

posts: 3235   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2017   ·   location: The Rockies
id 8730771
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Notthevictem ( member #44389) posted at 6:53 PM on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

Sounds like you're on the right track! Keep up the good work, capt.

BH: Me 37 WW: Her 41DDAY Mar 2014 Washington StateWidowed - breast cancer

posts: 13420   ·   registered: Aug. 5th, 2014   ·   location: Washington State
id 8730773
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 7:41 PM on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

That's great news, CR - for your W and for you.

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: 27132   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8730781
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tarduck ( new member #79063) posted at 10:35 PM on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

Cap, she never told you she loved you after dd?

posts: 6   ·   registered: Jul. 3rd, 2021   ·   location: Oregon
id 8730808
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 CaptainRogers (original poster member #57127) posted at 10:44 PM on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

Cap, she never told you she loved you after dd?

Not after D-Day v2.0 (which was about 15 months post D-Day v1.0). That was the point where I told her that her words were meaningless and if she actually loved me, she needed to show it through her actions.

BS: 42 on D-day
WW: 43 on D-day
Together since '89; still working on what tomorrow will bring.
D-Day v1.0: Jan '17; EA
D-day v2.0: Mar '18; no, it was physical

posts: 3235   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2017   ·   location: The Rockies
id 8730809
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 12:49 AM on Friday, April 22nd, 2022

Good luck, Capt. I hope she doesn’t disappoint you.

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 747   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8731019
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 CaptainRogers (original poster member #57127) posted at 1:44 AM on Friday, April 22nd, 2022

Thanks, Blue!

BS: 42 on D-day
WW: 43 on D-day
Together since '89; still working on what tomorrow will bring.
D-Day v1.0: Jan '17; EA
D-day v2.0: Mar '18; no, it was physical

posts: 3235   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2017   ·   location: The Rockies
id 8731035
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 8:41 PM on Friday, April 22nd, 2022

Wow I know the click and the look in the eyes. When it clicked for her it was 2.5 months post Dday. She had lied and TT so much plus confided in a "friend" that she was going to play nice in R while making her exit strategy.

Her click came when I set her free and made an appointment with a lawyer. It was like an entity left her body. Obviously I didn’t believe her but as time went by and lots of help from the WS here making sense of some of it, i started to believe her. One day we were talking and she said "thank you, for not giving up on me, you deserve so much better." That meant so much more than the hollow "I’m sorrys" I had been getting for so long, it was a sign that the click stuck.

It sounds like progress in your R. It’s something that has to come from within them and you know it when you see it. Best Wishes

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH 55 WW 48 M 31 years, 4 kids 2 grown 2 grandkids

posts: 1382   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8731292
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 CaptainRogers (original poster member #57127) posted at 12:02 AM on Saturday, April 23rd, 2022

It was like an entity left her body.

And that's EXACTLY the same way I would describe it, Tanner. It couldn't have been closer to a 180° difference or the change in her eyes. They had life (and love) back inside them.

BS: 42 on D-day
WW: 43 on D-day
Together since '89; still working on what tomorrow will bring.
D-Day v1.0: Jan '17; EA
D-day v2.0: Mar '18; no, it was physical

posts: 3235   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2017   ·   location: The Rockies
id 8731347
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 1:02 AM on Saturday, April 23rd, 2022

It couldn't have been closer to a 180° difference or the change in her eyes. They had life (and love) back inside them.

I’ve said it many times here, her eyes told me everything. When her eyes returned I knew we had a shot at R, again didn’t believe her at the time, but knew the eyes were back. I hope for both of you that she has turned a corner.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH 55 WW 48 M 31 years, 4 kids 2 grown 2 grandkids

posts: 1382   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8731356
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pureheartkit ( member #62345) posted at 3:59 PM on Friday, April 29th, 2022

I'm wishing a summer of great happiness for you both.

Thank you everyone for your wisdom and healing.

posts: 2325   ·   registered: Jan. 19th, 2018
id 8732715
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number4 ( member #62204) posted at 8:22 PM on Monday, May 2nd, 2022

It was a busy weekend, so I had no chance to post here, but this thread has been at the forefront of my mind since late last week when I read it.

Honest to God, I had been thinking about starting a thread about the conflict I feel between my inability to reinvest in our marriage and my fear of, what if he dies suddenly and I haven't made peace with him. It's been almost five years for us. We are connected in a way now that we never were before the affairs, but I know I'm still not giving him my all. He's done all the right things, as defined on SI by many members. I don't know why, but I just have a hard time looking him directly in the eyes for more than a couple of seconds. And I know he feels it and misses the connection, and he's being very patient, but I just can't figure it out. I would hate myself forever if I never got to that place again, and something happened to him.

So thanks to those of you who shared your experiences. It helps me normalize mine.

Me: BW
Him: WH
Married - 30+ years
Two adult daughters
1st affair: 2005-2007
2nd-4th affairs: 2016-2017
Many assessments/polygraph: no sex addiction
Status: R

posts: 980   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2018   ·   location: Southern California
id 8733187
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