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Reconciliation :
The feeling of not being enough

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 p12241342 (original poster member #79267) posted at 3:54 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

Hello Again

Im just after some more advice.

When you were going through the reconciliation stage did you feel like you wasn't enough or not really what your spouse wanted.

Its been nearly a year since DDay and even though my wife is doing everything she can to try and make things slightly better, there are still times when I get the feeling that I'm just not enough or not what she really wants.

I look at her sometimes and think is she feeling down, she doesn't seem herself and I question if she is missing her AP or what they had.

I have seen her AP and he is a good looking guy, physically fit and in really good shape. He is everything I am not, or everything I think i am not.

I have spoken to my wife about this and she says that he is not all them things and she wants me for me, she loves me and she does find me attractive and I am what she wants.

But I just cant help thinking, why would she want me when she could have him. She has had 20 years of me and it must be boring compared to the exciting fun that she had when she was having the affair.

She has already admitted that he made her feel good and they had fun. How can I compete with that? The sex must have been out of this world too. Sex with some one new after 2o years that is physically fit as he works out in the gym 3 days a week must have been so uplifting for her. I often think is she thinking of him or does she find our sex life boring compared to what she had this time last year.

She says she loves what we have and isn't thinking of him or even comparing. But that cant be true can it? The excitement the good feelings of being wanted by some one so good looking must have given her a right ego boost. Why would she want to stay with me when I'm the person that caused her to stray and have the affair in the first place.

It just doenst make sense

posts: 62   ·   registered: Aug. 11th, 2021
id 8733928
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3yrsout ( member #50552) posted at 4:27 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

WS are broken, fucked up, bottomless people at the beginning. Even if they do a shit load of work, they still remain broken, fucked up, bottomless people at their core. They just put in better coping skills in place to suppress it. Good for them.

Are you enough for yourself? Why on earth would you want to satisfy the bottomless pit of a new WS?

Satisfy you. Stop throwing coins in the deep well without a bottom. It is unfillable. They gotta plug that hole. (Spoiler- it’s never completely plugged. It’s like fixing a bad foundation…..)

Make yourself enough for you. These are the times I pretend RuPaul is my life coach.

None of this matters. Use your meat sack which houses your brain to do something good for yourself. Otherwise, you’re sinking into limerance and bullshit. Just like they did with their affair partner.

posts: 623   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2015
id 8733959
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3yrsout ( member #50552) posted at 4:33 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

Also- you didn’t cause her to stray. Her shit ass bottomless sucking pit of endless need caused her to do that. She’s like a binge eater. It will never be enough. Ever. Or an addict.

Place good boundaries and live your life, however that looks. Plug your own holes in your own foundation. Your house that you share with her will never be the same. Even if it’s "good", it won’t be the same.

posts: 623   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2015
id 8733964
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Thingsthatmakeyougohmm ( new member #79337) posted at 4:36 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

I agree with 3yearsout. Do something for yourself. Work on something you'd like to change about yourself, whether it's working out or learning a new language or whatever it is that YOU want to improve. Do it for you...

posts: 27   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2021   ·   location: New Hampshire
id 8733968
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DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 4:55 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

We don’t know the reasons your wife cheated but this you do know- her AP is a man who has no character. A man who sleeps with a married woman cannot be a man of substance. He’s immoral, dirtbag, scum. Probably superficial as hell. I speak from a woman’s perspective: I would 100% rather be with a man who is kind, caring, and loving than a man who is handsome but immoral scumbag. Physical attractiveness NEVER trumps what’s inside a man.

My guess is that your wife is attracted to who you are as a human being. You are everything the AP is not. In a good way. You are a good man who sacrifices to keep a marriage together. You are a man who values commitment. You are a man who is willing to forgive the most egregious act committed against a spouse. You are a man of real substance.

[This message edited by DailyGratitude at 4:58 PM, Friday, May 6th]

Me: BW mid 50’s
Him: WH late 50’s
Marrried 25 years
Dday: EA 2002
PA 9/2021
Divorce 10/2021 (per wh’s request)
WH left to be with AP

posts: 217   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8733978
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3yrsout ( member #50552) posted at 5:21 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

Yes, your wife is attracted to who you are, a man of substance.

But- never forget she is also a person who binges on generic year old dollar store oreos in a dirty 7-11 bathroom. And act accordingly.

I feel strongly that finding the good in you is not the place to go. We all get old, have unattractive moments. Denying that is a losing battle.

It’s realizing that she is sick. That she doesn’t see the good in you when she is bottomless. It’s about her flaws and blindness, not about you not being good enough to be seen.


The focus must go to her blindness or you end up in the pits. Trust me. Going on 10 years out now.

[This message edited by 3yrsout at 5:24 PM, Friday, May 6th]

posts: 623   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2015
id 8733982
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 6:37 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

Personally, I think people can change, if they do the necessary work. I've seen it happen too many times to reject the possibility.

Feeling like you're not enough is common for BSes. The thing is, it's the WS who is not enough, but the BS needs to keep repeating that truth in order to come to believe it.

I know it's counter-intuitive, but WSes cheat for their own reasons, not because of anything the BS did or didn't do. Remember, your W cheated without letting you know about her own angst, and it's their own angst that enabled the A.

You didn't cause her to cheat; she chose to cheat. From what you write, she cheated because she thought external validation was what she needed. It's not - what she needs to do is learn to validate herself. That's something we all need to do. All of us, including you and me.

You really are enough. That's the truth.

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: 27110   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8733992
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 7:05 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

I have seen her AP and he is a good looking guy, physically fit and in really good shape. He is everything I am not, or everything I think i am not.

If we accept what your low impression of yourself here, you discount your own attributes as we all do, beauty and fitness are just two qualities of a person. They might be most important early on, but pale in comparison to the whole when thinking long term. We all know beautiful fit people who have very ugly souls.

Waywards get 90% of what they need from their partners. No one is perfect after all. The AP only has to add to that not be sufficient on their own. Quite frankly APs by default are less than the BS because they are willing to accept less than all of the WS and are willing to be part of an illicit affair.

What I really hear you saying is you are afraid that your WW is about to bolt again. You're afraid she will stray or leave again. That's a fair fear to have. She's done it before, so you know she is capable. Believe us when we say this is more about her failings than anything you lack.

Are you both in IC? She needs to fix what caused her to fail her vows. You need to rebuild your self-value. You are enough. You are more than she deserves being the broken soul she is. The self fulfilling prophecy is a powerful concept. Its one of the few things I remember from Psych 101. Use it to get what you want and deserve, not to cause you to fail in that quest.

[This message edited by grubs at 7:08 PM, Friday, May 6th]

posts: 1122   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8733999
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 9:32 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

I feel like I keep giving you the same advice on your various threads so if it’s not resonating with you let me know and I’ll step back.

If it were me and I felt like you do, and wanted to rebuild with her, I would sit her down and discuss this feeling that you have that she must desire the AP More than you. Sounds like you did this but need to go a step farther.

Hopefully she did a time line of her affair for you. If not, first step is to request that and have her outline each interaction.

Then, once you have that, discuss what she did to show desire of the AP over the affair. What actions did she take, How far did she go to get his attention. What did she do to ensure they could have emotional and physical interactions together. Really discuss them. Dissect how much she went out of her way to do these things for the AP.

Then ask her to document a plan to do 10 times more for you. Ask her to outline some things she will do then tell her 1/2 of them she should discuss with you and half she should leave as a surprise.

Then Tell her you expect her to do these things twice a month if she wants you in her life. Of course there will always be the day to day, but if she was able to do these things to keep her AP, a man she knew much less well than you, then she should want to make 10 times the effort at least to keep you.

Tell her once a month she should do the things she shared with you and the other time a month she should surprise you.

You obviously need to feel desired. It’s understandable. So be clear and honest about that. And let her know, if she cannot do these things then perhaps you and she shouldn’t be together.

Be honest about what you need from her. There needs to be truthful boundaries and requirements outlined in your relationship.

[This message edited by Stevesn at 5:57 AM, Saturday, May 7th]

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3391   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8734017
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 12:11 PM on Saturday, May 7th, 2022

I addressed this by making sure my H proved to me he wasn’t settling but that he really wanted to be married to me.

8 years later and he still shows me he loves me and values me.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11864   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8734067
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:11 PM on Saturday, May 7th, 2022

You have a PM, 3yrsout.

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: 27110   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8734086
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 5:56 PM on Saturday, May 7th, 2022

Don’t try measure up to broken people. If AP was that great he wouldn’t have to mess with a married woman. You are better than both of them. I told my WW I am the prize and if you ever doubt that, you are free to leave and live a miserable life elsewhere.

I’m coming up on 3 years, I have a plan B and an exit strategy ready if needed. I’m confident we are going to make it but I will never let my guard completely down.

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

posts: 1380   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8734100
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 7:00 PM on Saturday, May 7th, 2022

We’ve all met people we thought were physically attractive and then we got to know them and they start to look ugly in our eyes because they have a poor character, are mean, or whatever.

Likewise we’ve all met people that at first did not strike us as particularly attractive but as we got to know them and learned how good they are, their true beauty became apparent to us. And we found them to be the most attractive people we’ve ever met.

Attractiveness at first is completely superficial. True attractiveness and beauty comes from character.

I am sure you are selling yourself short b/c infidelity does a number on our self confidence, and I also find it very possible and probable that a person can find you more attractive than any other person because your goodness shines through.

So maybe she did find the AP attractive…at first. But then as his character showed itself, that diminished.

Conversely, I found my WS to be very attractive for all 25 years we were together. But I saw him a couple years ago and I honestly could not tell you what I ever found attractive in him. Because I now saw his changed character.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And that really means the emotional connection, not the physical attributes.

If you are really struggling here, a good IC can help.

Good luck!

[This message edited by BearlyBreathing at 7:00 PM, Saturday, May 7th]

Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 4701   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8734107
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qwert ( new member #57498) posted at 7:33 PM on Saturday, May 7th, 2022

Esther Perel has a Ted Talk (rethinking infidelity) that explains why some people cheat. I found it helpful.

I was pissed and jealous that my wife could go out and cheat and I couldn’t or wouldn’t. I kept on asking her if the AP would make her happier. I truly wanted her to be happy. And mostly, I did/do not want to be part of a loveless or fake marriage. Today, I believe that the affair shocked our 26 year marriage. My wife was not in a good place. I was in a great place in my own recovery in CODA and Adult Children of Alcoholics. I detached in many ways from my wife at that time. I detached with contempt. I figured she would hit her bottom and hopefully find a road to her own happiness. Little did I know her unhappiness/depression would lead her to an affair—i would have never suspected.

It took around three years to get out of the shock phase of the traumatic event for me. At 5 years, I recognize I still experience an undercurrent of resentment. I had an epiphany the other day that I was afraid to be happy or put a 100% faith in our marriage.

It has been a roller coaster ride.

posts: 34   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2017   ·   location: Los Angeles
id 8734109
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 1:48 AM on Sunday, May 8th, 2022

IMO the best thing you can do for you is to eat a healthy clean diet, drink plenty of water, hit the gym at 3 days per week (hire a trainer if you can afford it) snd do cardio on 2-3 other days.

This has nothing to do with competing with how the AP looks. It has to do with how becoming fit and healthy will make you feel.

posts: 402   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8734155
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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 11:07 PM on Sunday, May 8th, 2022

It hasn't even been a year since DD. How do you and where do you believe you should be as far as progress goes in your healing journey?

I suggest you go back and read all of your posts again. Get a good feeling for what she has put you through these last months.

I still think you are very, very early in your recovery and you aren't going to be feeling better for a very long time; 2 to 5 years is pretty much the norm for getting back on a better path.

You keep asking your WW to validate her love for you and for her to convince you that she didn't mean what she did and you are still her number one. Quit asking for her validation, it doesn't matter at this point. She screwed you over. It really should be the other way around. She should be begging you not to see her for who she has become, a cheating, lieing spouse with no morals and values.

I like what the last poster wrote:

IMO the best thing you can do for you is to eat a healthy clean diet, drink plenty of water, hit the gym at 3 days per week (hire a trainer if you can afford it) snd do cardio on 2-3 other days.

This has nothing to do with competing with how the AP looks. It has to do with how becoming fit and healthy will make you feel.

Spend some time and make space between you and your WW and get to the gym or do something equivalent to help yourself feel better because realistically, you are the only one who can do that. Your WW lost those privileges to reassure you how special you are once she stepped out of the marriage.

The marriage you once knew no longer exists... we all contribute to the downfall of our marriages but still doesn't give us the right to cheat.

Time to plan for a new and better outlook, first for yourself and then for the marriage if she is even capable of becoming a safe and honorable life partner again.

Work on changing your perspective about YOU!

posts: 840   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2018
id 8734259
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StrugglingCJ ( member #72778) posted at 10:50 AM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

This is always a tough part of the process to get through, mostly because by the time we find out what has gone on our WS has made it obvious how far they are willing to go for the AP, and
in nearly all cases point blank refuses to put the same effort to show the betrayed that they are desired Infinitely more than the AP.

This is not a failing of the BS, but purely one of the WS, they need to understand that they have a huge uphill struggle to get back into the relationship, and it takes ALOT of work on their part, if they are willing to do it. You need to have an honest talk with her and tell her how you feel, tell her that she needs to understand that her affair has made you feel like you aren't desired by her, and it is up to her to work out what she needs to do to make you feel wanted.

For yourself you need to remember that this was not due to any failing you may think you have, but I will echo others and say a good way forward is to keep healthy, find a hobby you like and invest time into it, basically invest in being a better you regardless of you partners actions.

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

posts: 242   ·   registered: Feb. 10th, 2020   ·   location: Essex
id 8734313
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GoldenR ( member #54778) posted at 1:45 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

even though my wife is doing everything she can to try and make things slightly better

This sentence bothers me. Why is she only trying to make it slightly better?

posts: 2708   ·   registered: Aug. 22nd, 2016   ·   location: South Texas
id 8734331
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 p12241342 (original poster member #79267) posted at 3:40 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Thanks to everyone for the responses

I think things have gone a little down hill since I last started this thread.

Basically we had a huge argument yesterday which split over into this morning. I said some horrible things to her and even grabbed her wrists at one point which I'm not proud of. Our children herd this and that makes me feel sick.

My wife is stating that at times I'm horrible. I call her some horrible things which I do, but I'm hurt and I'm angry.

I'm now at a stage where she is telling me that I need to stop asking her questions. I need to stop talking about the affair. It happened, we cant go back i need to move on and get over it so we can move on as a family. She is saying that just because I read all this on the internet that it will take 2 to 5 years doesn't mean thats us or me. She is saying because i have read that, I'm working to them time lines. I need to stop.

I have asked her to read the forums and she wont. She has read one book and wont read anymore. She has said in the past she will go to IC and CC but nothing has been done.

She is saying she doesn't need to read other people situations as our issues are unique to us.

She was willing to do the questions time after time and help me heal. But now I feel that she has said no more we need to stop this.

She said to me this morning that she is pissed off by the names i called her and grabbing her wrists. She said this has to stop. We are horrible to each other and we are dragging our kids with us.

She even sent me a message this morning saying what are we going to do as this cant carry on.

She said she wants me and she loves me but we have to stop all this.

I feel like i cant let go of the questions i feel i cant just push it under the rug like she wants to.

Im really down about the whole things now. SHe has done a whole year of being there answering questions and talking about the affair every day and now we have got to a year, thats it. Quit the questions, quit the affair talk and lets get on with our lives.

How can i suffer in silence

She has done everything to shwo she was serious about us. She has changed mobile numbers, moved house, quit social media. SHe holds my hand in the car, on the sofa, walking around the shops she texts me and tells me she loves me multiple times a day. But now its stop the affair talk or thats it.

What now.

ANd whu is she doing this now

posts: 62   ·   registered: Aug. 11th, 2021
id 8734360
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StrugglingCJ ( member #72778) posted at 4:24 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

I have been where you are.. Your wife thinks she has done enough now, enough time has passed, she has said sorry so why aren't you over it by now??

You wife wants to rugsweep this away, and that won't work. It will just blow up in your face later on in life. SHE needs to accept that she cheated on you, she needs to look at this as something she needs to fix, and it won't be gone in a year, it takes time, lots of time, and it takes a hell of alot of empathy on her part. Empathy she is not showing you.

I understand the anger, please try to control this more, as you are at risk of damaging your relationship through this, even though the anger comes from HER actions and your bodies response to those actions, given that flight isn't an option, the fight part of the cortex kicks in.

Yes she has done some of the work, moving, changing phones, telling you she loves you.. But what has she done to show you that she desires you now? Has she put things into practice that show you she actually wants you more than she ever wanted the AP? Post DDay, words are meaningless we all know cheaters lie, actions are everything.

You need to talk to her, apologise for the anger, but tell her it is NOT up to her to drive recovery, it is at your pace not hers.

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

posts: 242   ·   registered: Feb. 10th, 2020   ·   location: Essex
id 8734373
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