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Reconciliation :
The feeling of not being enough

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qwert ( new member #57498) posted at 12:12 AM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

That is a tough spot you are in. My wife was and is still open to discuss whatever i need to regarding the affair. I stopped asking at some point because i didn’t want anymore pain from trickle truth and i saw how punishing it was for my wife to discuss.

I did yell at my wife early on. I called her a bunch of names. I had a therapist, a few friends in real life who were supporting me. The friends were either WS or BS. I would share with them what was happening. They advised not to yell or get too emotional. This was impossible in the state I was in. It was impossible for me. I was pissed.

My wife was reluctant to continue IC, MC, and Al-Anon after about 6 months. I made those a condition of reconciliation. I was afraid and am afraid if she did not find the root causes of the affair, she might have another affair if similar issues arise. At some point she said she had it pretty much figured out. She continues to be open to questions and discussions. I had freakin doubts and trust issues up to a few weeks ago. They come and go.

I would suggest you find the support you need in real life. Exercise. Continue to read all the great stuff from the healing library, FAQ for BS, etc. Try the best you can to focus on you and your well being. That is easier said then done from my experience. Try and try some more. Taking care of you is the best thing you can do for you, your kids, and your marriage.

posts: 34   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2017   ·   location: Los Angeles
id 8734443
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 12:24 AM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

The anger definitely spilled over -- a whole bunch early on.

It is well earned anger.

It sounds like your wife isn't ready to help -- sure seems like she is blaming you and the M, either a little or a lot, but it's there if she can't be bothered to read books on recovery or see how other WS are helping their spouses.

As to not feeling enough?

Welcome to the horror show.

I knew I was enough, but man, it took me more than a year before I actually believed me or believed in me.

The one person in the world you thought had your back, steps out of the relationship.

But thing is, it was never on you.

Never.

All relationships have problems, not everyone chooses validation OUTSIDE of the relationship. That's a series of selfish, calculated choices.

That's about their issues.

Infidelity never fixes anything. Again, not on you.

We can't ever R solo, she needs to own HER poor coping methods and horrible choices.

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: 4318   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8734444
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redbaron007 ( member #50144) posted at 1:54 AM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

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.

Your WW is actually CORRECT about this. There is zero empirical evidence of this "2 to 5 year" recovery, this "rule of thumb". It is downright unhelpful, yet is frequently bandied about on this site without any supporting evidence whatsoever. Can someone share the "2 to 5 year" distribution curve with outliers/long-tails? What was the sample size? What were the cohorts - across income, location, ethnicity, duration of marriage, duration of affair, gender of partner who strayed, etc. There's none. Yet the resident "experts" will keep repeating this nonsense, as they have been for years.

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. ....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 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.

Well, if I understand you correctly:
- Your WW won't answer any more of your questions
- She won't read any forums
- She won't read any more books

How does that make you feel? What are your minimum requirements? Have you communicated that to her clearly?

Me: BS (44)
She: WS (41)
One son (6)
DDay: May 2015 (OBS told me)
Divorced, Zero regrets, sound sleep, son doing great!
A FOG is just a weather phenomenon. An Affair Fog is a clever excuse invented by WS's to explain their continued bad behavior.

posts: 247   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2015   ·   location: West Coast
id 8734461
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 2:45 AM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

Can someone share the "2 to 5 year" distribution curve with outliers/long-tails?

Anecdotal. Experiential. That's real evidence too. But feel free to begin the longitudinal study! My guess? Longer than 2 to 5 years many times and rarely shorter. Ugh.

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5467   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8734468
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Confused282 ( new member #79680) posted at 4:23 AM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

Hi P,

I’m so sorry for what you are going through. Your pain comes through in your post. You are justified in your anger and hurt don’t forget that. I don’t know how long it will take you to be able to move on but the reality is you will never forget and will be triggered the rest of your life in your relationship with her. That’s the reality.

I do believe it is possible to come back from this as maybe she did learn a lesson. She seems from all your post to be at least trying.

The truth is you caught this affair early. She was in the process of transferring her love from you to him. That does not mean she does not love you but she fell into the trap of the new and exciting rush of feelings.

Thats why you are having a hard time because it was going to get worse but you snapped her back to reality quickly. (We would have to discuss the infamous "fog" as it gets misused but I think it’s real). Because you caught it early she realized hunky guy who cheats with a married woman probably was not going to be a good long term partner. Also she had a lot to lose you, kids, family.

You have mentioned this guys looks multiple times because you know the reality that he was good looking. Well you know what you need to do. Start working out. We all know why it is standard advise, looking better and being healthy can do nothing but good. Not for your wife but for yourself. Maybe for a future relationship? who knows but It will make you feel better.

As for your wife you need to try and stop calling her names. She definitely deserves it but no one can take constant abuse, No matter what evil they did. Talk about it but try and stop the name calling.

As for the fight you mentioned where you grabbed her wrist. Getting physical with her is a big no no. Leave the room and cool off if it goes there again. She got angry back as that was probably scary for her and can be interpreted as a step toward physical violence. It’s hard to judge each fight individually but it sounds like this one got extremely heated so she lashed out in anger too so I don’t know if what she said is permanent or was just said in the heat of the moment.

Maybe cheating was a deal breaker for you? Maybe you cannot get past it? I have no idea and it seems like you don’t know either. You need to work through that with your counselor. With that said…

I believe you are at the point you need marriage counseling. You need help guiding your conversations with each other. You both have decided to try and make this work so get some help.

Your wife is right about some things. All day everyday can’t be about the affair if your trying to rebuild. You need to try and have some good times together. Go out on dates and just have fun together. Even if you both have to fake it till you make it at first.

I believe the advise about having set times to discuss the affair so the rest of the time can be normal. you are not leaving immediately so you can shop around for a good counselor.

There is a reason people recommend Gottman institute counselors besides being the #1 largest collection of experience and science about relationships they have a good philosophy. 1 - should you be married? Because maybe you should not be? 2 - discussing the affair comes first as until you examine it throughly you can’t move on. 3- the relationship.

Google a Gottman counselor. You’ll very likely find one in your area. Also if you want some reading try his book "how to make love last" it walks through their philosophy. It even has practice examples of their quizzes they give to couples to test if they should be married. See if it sounds right for you. If not shop around. Start a separate thread here asking about counseling as a lot of people here have a great deal of experience with it and can help you know what to look for.

One thing I also believe that we men are bad at. The thing about us watching videos, listening to pod cast and reading books and articles and becoming super experts and then flooding the women with them because we want them to think like us. The 2 mandatory readings she needs to do are how to help your spouse heal from an affair by Linda McDonald and not just friends (the Gottman institute will make her read it) so there’s no getting out of it.

I don’t really have a great answer for you. Try to not get abusive and get some outside help. Use this place to vent as there are some real sharp people here. Work on yourself… It can’t hurt.

I am pulling for you and wish you the best of luck.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Dec. 16th, 2021   ·   location: USA
id 8734474
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 5:31 PM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

I can tell you this - I spent years sobbing at various levels of intensity of not being enough.

I'm almost 5 years out from DDay, 4 years from DDays 2-3 and just over 1 year out from when we had to send LTAP a Cease and Desist for CyberStaling/creating fake profiles trying to reach out.

Realize - I'm a BASGU [Bad Ass Sparkly Goddess Unicorn] and I spent a long time feeling not enough.

Recently - I had an epiphany of sorts. It came to me in a lightening bolt type way and changed my outlook.

It wasn't ME that wasn't enough for HIM. It was HIM feeling he was not enough for ME and choosing very poor coping skills.

I can't tell you how liberating and freeing that realization is.

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: 3452   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8734534
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Thingsthatmakeyougohmm ( new member #79337) posted at 3:17 PM on Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

You have mentioned this guys looks multiple times because you know the reality that he was good looking. Well you know what you need to do. Start working out. We all know why it is standard advise, looking better and being healthy can do nothing but good. Not for your wife but for yourself. Maybe for a future relationship? who knows but It will make you feel better.

THIS!!!

posts: 27   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2021   ·   location: New Hampshire
id 8734678
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ShockedAndShattered ( new member #79685) posted at 8:03 PM on Friday, May 13th, 2022

Man, the title of this post stopped me in my tracks. I feel like that every day since the 1st Dday. The voice in my head screams "if he lied for years about the affairs he had, why should you believe anything else he says? Why should you believe him when he tells you he loves you and that you're the only one for him? He obviously didn't feel that way before. He only feels that way now because he got caught." My heart screams "I want to believe him so badly!"

It's really hard to reconcile.

I'm sorry that I can't offer you advice. But I'm following this thread to see what the brilliant people of SI have to say. I have learned so much from people I don't even know on this site.

I wish you all the best and I hope you find peace in your heart.

BS(me):42 WH:43 Married 3 years @ 1st DD
DDay 1- 9/11/2021 EA 5+ yrs & lies TT
DDay 2- 9/23/2021 EA 2+ years & lies TT
DDay 3- 10/17/2021 EAs 1.5 yrs/5+ yrs
DDay 4- 04/11/2022 Confirmed PA w/1 EA
Currently in R

posts: 19   ·   registered: Dec. 17th, 2021
id 8735188
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DogGoneIt ( new member #79698) posted at 8:11 PM on Friday, May 13th, 2022

Looking back I see how helpful it was that we had structured "affair talk" time. We started off doing the FANOS check-in almost daily. It was torture for her due to the shame, not sure it was the appropriate tool for affair aftermath, but it was a tool, gave us a blue print and a designated time. She could emotionally prepare. We eventually backed off to a couple times a week, then once a week, today as needed. I'm sure a wayward could speak to this better, she would struggle immensely with feelings of hopelessness when we'd discuss the affair with little reprieve. She'd voice depression in that this is how it's going to be for the rest of marriage. I can only imagine what that amount of shame is like.
I also found it crucial to acknowledge our progress. Still have to today.

Respecting our affair talk time forced me to work on myself. You mention struggling about being enough.. strikes at the core of us betrayed. I believe those answers have to come from within. I already made the mistake of giving her, and frankly everyone, too much power in how I felt about myself. It's my wife that kicked herself off the pedestal. Not the other way around.
Also isn't asking if they're thinking about the AP a catch 22? Hang in there. The first year really sucks.

BH mid 40sDDay
March 2019
Reconciling

posts: 5   ·   registered: Dec. 21st, 2021
id 8735189
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RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 4:50 AM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

Have you ever thought that your WW is 'just not that into you'?

All that you have posted on what she has done, is the bare minimum (changing numbers, quitting social media, and all the low hanging fruit). The harder stuff of delving deeper into the issues is avoided by your WW (yes, she is still in wayward thinking).

Your WW has been trying to make you forget, which is something that you will never be able to do. What can be done is that the memories fade, but will never go away. That is how we as a species, learn. Once we forget, we are liable to make the same errors again.

The avoidance of IC by your WW indicates that she is not willing to sort herself out for YOU. To make herself safe for YOU. She is still protecting herself by not facing her demons, wanting to sweep it all under the rug.

If your WW were truly 'into you', she would be moving heaven and earth to make herself safe for you, so that you can heal.

So, is she really committed to you and the M, or is she committed to hiding and avoiding?


ETA:
Possibly why you are feeling 'not good enough', is that your WW is not doing what she needs to be doing to make you feel otherwise. She is still trying to control the outcome, and not wholeheartedly cede control over to you.

She cedes control over the small things (low hanging fruit), but not the big things.

[This message edited by RocketRaccoon at 5:03 AM, Wednesday, May 18th]

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 974   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8735803
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