3yrsout ( member #50552) posted at 5:25 PM on Thursday, July 7th, 2022
Spoiler alert: you’ll never get justice. It doesn’t exist.
I’m guessing that this post is about how to feel like reconciliation is a just outcome. It’s not.
But as an attorney said on here once, justice doesn’t exist. I can’t recall his wording, it was far more elegant. But he’s right.
Definedbygrace ( new member #80351) posted at 5:40 PM on Thursday, July 7th, 2022
As a BS I can understand thinking that the WS 'got away it with' sort of. I used to think that way too. My FWS and I both sort of stuffed our feelings and didn't properly deal with the aftermath in a way conducive to healing. We didn't talk about it the way we should have. He made 'major' changes in his life including stopping alcohol and drugs. He became a true family man. Still we never addressed things like we should have. Not until something triggered me 38 years later and I could no longer keep the pain in a compartment in by brain. The pain was unreal, as if it just happened. We had to face it and deal with it. So we talked, I ask questions I wished I had asked decades before. We cried, yelled, prayed, cried and yelled some more. We talked and dug in together. It was the first time he saw how much he had damaged me. AND it was the first time I saw his pain. I saw a man that hated the old self, that considered himself a failure for breaking his marriage vows. He swore he never had a pleasant thought about the affair or the OW over the years . That if it did enter his mind it brought up feelings of self hatred, disgust, shame and literally physical sickness. He says he will never forgive himself. The pain in his eyes/face and even body is undeniable when we would talk about it, It was harder for him to talk about than it was for me because he hated to be taken back to that time.
Im sure there are some WS that do not ever reach that level of introspection or take full ownership of the devastation they have caused. So there are bound to be some that are incapable of seeing the pain their choices caused and are able to somehow see something they consider 'fun' or pleasant to remember about their cheating. Those cheaters are not capable of R because of their mindset. My FWS says even during the affair (a NSA sporadic arrangement that lasted about a year with 5-6 hookups total) after the first couple times the excitement of 'something new' was already gone and all he felt was stress and guilt but the alcohol and drug use made it easier to say 'yes' when she would ask him to stop by. He was so relieved when he finally ended it. He ended it on his own and confessed to me a couple years later, I would have never known if he hadn't. Cheaters come in all forms and you can't lump them all together (altho alot of the behaviors mirror each other)
I am forever changed and so is he. I have actually thought to myself, 'would I rather be the BS or the WS?' IF I had to be one, I would choose to be the BS as terribly grievous as it is and has forever changed/marred me, I didn't have it in me to sink to that level and that is something he can never say about himself.
EDIT: I would like to add that although I truly believe my FWS feels great pain from what he did I am not able to feel empathy or sympathy at this time for that pain he feels. What that says about me Im not sure. I dont reach out to try to soothe him but at times I will say something like "your not that person anymore and haven't been for a very long time." thats all I can manage and he certainly doesn't expect any sympathy from me either. He takes the full responsibility.
[This message edited by Definedbygrace at 7:27 PM, Thursday, July 7th]
Me: BW63 (24 at time of betrayal)Him: FWH66 (26 at time of Adultery)DD: 3/86 14 month NSA PA with married Co worker, 6x for lunch time quickies between 10/82-11/83Severely Retriggered 9/2021Reconciled but still healing from trigger
Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 6:55 PM on Thursday, July 7th, 2022
A "perfect marriage" is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.
With God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26)
I AM happy again...It CAN happen!!!
From respect comes great love...sassylee
Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 7:01 PM on Thursday, July 7th, 2022
IF I had to be one, I would choose to be the BS
I’ve seen this question come up from time to time and I prefer to stick with what I know, healing as a BS. A remorseful WS has so many things to heal and repair, so many people that were let down, I am thankful to not be in their shoes.
My W initially enjoyed the A’s and jerked me around in false R for 2 months. But when she came to her senses and started busting ass in R, I see the deep pain and disgust in her. She does not have fond memories. If I mention something about it, I see the pain and the shame. I’m not saying poor WS here, I’m saying it’s no cake walk.
Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH 55 WW 48 M 31 years, 4 kids 2 grown 2 grandkids
Jameson1977 ( member #54177) posted at 7:05 PM on Thursday, July 7th, 2022
I’m not a WS, but just wanted to add that I feel exactly the same as you.
Yes, my WW had to "deal" with my wild swings of emotion, taking a (verbal) beating from me, etc., but other than a few select people that know, to the outside world, she is a faithful, loving wife. She didn’t lose much other than knowing that she stepped out on our marriage, a couple times and broke my heart. She would say she lives with this everyday, but somehow, that doesn’t really resonate with me.
Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 7:34 PM on Thursday, July 7th, 2022
We’re all saying a lot of different things here and are at different places in different journeys. But it strikes me that there’s a lot of raw honesty and empathy on this thread, and it reminds me of why this site has been really helpful for me, even if it’s hard sometimes. Thank you all for sharing openly about your pain. I’m sorry that all of us have experienced what we have.
Married for 20 years with two kids when my husband had a six month emotional and physical affair with a coworker. DD1: 6/2020 (soft evidence followed by a month of lies). DD2: 7/3/2020 (hard evidence, truth, started reconciliation journey).
DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 8:03 PM on Thursday, July 7th, 2022
Came back and re-read my response and... wow. Sorry about that. Seems I was on a rager this morning. Had everything to do with outside stress and I suppose it hit a nerve when I was already worked up. My apologies. That came out much harsher than intended, and I got way more upset than I should have or needed to. Sorry to everyone for the outburst.
Thanks to the BS's that have shared their stories and opinions, and as was mentioned, for the empathy and honesty.
D-Day Nov '16
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."
3yrsout ( member #50552) posted at 8:18 PM on Thursday, July 7th, 2022
Perhaps you should fix your post to reflect your current feelings, then.
DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 8:54 PM on Thursday, July 7th, 2022
I thought exactly like the OP for many months following Dday. But over time I saw my ex suffering from regret, sadness, depression, guilt, etc.
The reality of what he has done has hit him hard. He didn’t realize the consequences of his actions until it was too late. Seeing him struggle breaks my heart. I believe WS with a conscience do suffer. I am sure my ex wishes he never did what he did and wishes he could go back to the way things were. And so do I.
[This message edited by DailyGratitude at 8:55 PM, Thursday, July 7th]
Me: BW mid 50’sHim: WH late 50’sMarrried 25 yearsDday: EA 2002 PA 9/2021Divorce 10/2021 (per wh’s request) WH left to be with AP
SadieMae ( member #42986) posted at 9:53 PM on Thursday, July 7th, 2022
I appreciate you coming back and posting DaddyDom. I also can understand why a thread like this would hit the nerve of the WS who are or have worked very hard to understand who they were and who they want to be.
I don't think you should change your original post, I think it's powerful and yours.
I just saw this on a friend's Facebook feed and wanted to share it to this thread.
"The best revenge is none. Heal, move on and don't become like those who hurt you." - Pamela Short
Unfortunately, WS didn't make that choice when they betrayed us, but BS can still make the choice, and being a better me is a choice I try to make every day. I fail, but I still keep trying!
Me: BW 40 on DDAY
Him: WH 40 on DDAY (FlawedBroken)
Together over half our lives.
TT until 6/2016
TT again Fall 2020
BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 10:06 PM on Thursday, July 7th, 2022
p12241342, your post assumes that all cheaters are actually willing to sit around and wait it out.
I wanted to save the marriage, but my ex couldn't be in the room with my pain for longer than 5 minutes... let alone endure years of tears, trigger, and incessant questions. His massive ego also wouldn't tolerate any criticism or bear the fact that I viewed him as less of a man than I did before Dday. And he was certainly unwilling to quit his job with AP1 or give up his ability to come and go as he pleased without suspicion. He didn't even try to pretend he wanted to reconcile; divorce was my only option.
In my opinion, he certainly got away with it more than the cheaters who actually choose to live in the wreckage they created for any amount of time.
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.
hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 10:36 PM on Thursday, July 7th, 2022
I am a ws, later a bs. I understand your perspective. It was likely your very painful experience and it is valid. Truth is I think it’s pretty common that it happens that way. The ws that truly are on this site and trying are typically not what you are describing but I won’t talk you out of the idea there are many out there who are. They will never get it, they will do the bare minimum and likely repeat it or other destructive behaviors in the future.
It was just not my experience. I have lived through a lot of hell, not from my bs but inside of me over my feelings of guilt, remorse, regret, you name it. I wish like hell I had not made the decisions I have. And I did so callously and flippantly at the time, feeling entitled after all I felt I had sacrificed.
Personal accountability is a game changer. I can now see any resentment I held that led to that entitlement was created entirely by me. I didn’t have boundaries and I blamed him and the marriage for that. I have had to learn to be braver, more aware and present, and do a whole lot outside of my comfort zone to try and get back to someone I can actually like and respect.
I think I have changed for the better having had the experience but I wish I had come to it a better way. I believe my husband feels the same for his affair or I would no longer be with him.
The quality of any marriage is the two people in it. I was of an okay quality in many ways, but where I wasn’t I really wasn’t. Reconciliation of a marriage can be possible and even lead to greater happiness in it in many ways but the damages are something both people live with and carry together as much as possible or else it’s not a reconciliation, it’s a marriage of convenience.
5 years of hard work
WS & BS
The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 10:44 PM on Thursday, July 7th, 2022
My 2cents here.
If you actually get past the whole thing- the rage and anger and hurt and devastation and pain etc. to a point where you have accepted it (the affair, the cheater) and understand it, I consider that healed.
If you get to a point of forgiveness then you are very lucky.
And if you really are lucky and are happily reconciled and still married and love the former cheating spouse, that’s a blessing.
I know my H regrets all of it. I would rather have a H who really gets it than the CH I had for 15 years who had an EA for 4 years and denied it, rugswept it and then had another affair.
Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.
WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 12:26 AM on Friday, July 8th, 2022
Just popping in to let the OP know that your post is valid and there is no need to remove it.
In addition, I want to thank Daddydom for coming back and apologizing.
Like Luna and some others have said, I think it is important to recognize that only some waywards do the the work.
It is not everyone’s experience to have a remorseful WS.
Me: WS late 40’s
Him: BH (HoldingTogether)
D Day: 7/24/2010
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.
HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 1:01 AM on Friday, July 8th, 2022
I think it is important to recognize that only some waywards do the the work.
It is not everyone’s experience to have a remorseful WS
I believe we have some actually, truly, remorseful WS here on SI. I think they are the unicorns. I believe, IN MY OPINION, that most ws do just that..wait it out..throw some crumbs..wear their mask..and wait until the BS either rugsweeps, or have been appeased enough that most of the storm has passed. We want to believe they're sorry,so we believe they're sorry.
My husband has certainly lost a lot due to his actions. Several times a week, he will want something from me,something I used to do before dday. A variety of things. He will say," back before we were married you used to/would have..." It was a phrase that would grate on me. I finally told him ,no. It was not "before we were married." It was/is "before you cheated." Let's get that straight. I was *that* wife. But you didn't appreciate that wife. You cheated on that wife. And I will NEVER be that wife again. My entire world revolved around that man. My whole soul was wrapped up in him. Then he cheated. And,while he hasn't cheated again,I do believe that(trust that I very much watched his every move), he still failed to do certain specific things that I NEEDED. So, he killed that wife. And he has to live with that. Unfortunately, our children know(thanks to the OW messaging my oldest daughter on Facebook). So he has to live with that as well. I've come to realize he is sorry..for how it's all affected him. But not so much about how it's affected me. He's a narcissist(true story). So it is what it is.
Daddy Dom is a unicorn. I'm sorry this thread upset you so much.
[This message edited by HellFire at 1:03 AM, Friday, July 8th]
Luna10 ( member #60888) posted at 9:21 AM on Friday, July 8th, 2022
I think it is important to recognize that only some waywards do the the work.
For OPs benefit I would suggest he reads a lot of the posts in the Wayward side to get some guidance on what that work may look like.
I would also caution the OP on projecting what he reads there on his WW. I’ve spent about 4 months assuming my WH was remorseful and working on himself because he kept apologising (therefore he MUST be going through what other WSes were going through as I’ve read on SI)…
While I stand by what I wrote with regards to the work MY WH ultimately did and the pain it brought him, sadly in real life the majority of WSes I came across either run away so they don’t face the fallout or wait it out till the BS stops bleeding. In fact in real life I talk to two other BSes and they are both recognising they are married to emotionally inept men.
So OP don’t assume that what other WSes write here with regards to their pain, shame and work they do necessarily applies to your WS. At the time when I needed support and guidance it did help me though to read what a truly remorseful WS may feel and frankly set my own standards of what I expected from my WH.
Finally if it doesn’t feel like enough I’d say it may just not be enough. Most WSes from what I can see start the reconciliation journey by thinking it is a waiting out process. In fact I strongly believe that if both the WS and the BS would know exactly the scale of the work required they would not commit to trying to R. My WH told me that early in this journey he could not understand my pain and thought that once he told me he was sorry and he wants to stay in the marriage I would just be a bit angry from time to time but that’s it. Additionally he initially believed that it must be me reacting this way due to being a highly emotional human being, other people would not react that way.
The WSes are then challenged by their BS’s pain and forced either into starting to do some introspective work or turning it all against their BS (I told you I’m sorry, it is you the BS who cannot move on).
I don’t know where your WW is on that scale. But keep in mind it is a growth process for both you and the WS (arguably more so for the WS). It isn’t over night. It is a marathon, not a sprint. It is painful.
Your WW needs to dig deep, very deep, and face it all, understand why she lost her integrity (if she ever had any, she may discover she always thought deceit is just a way of life) and how can she align her values to yours.
You need to start looking at yourself too, even if this wasn’t your fault, and identify the changes needed that will enable you to go through life with joy and gratitude regardless of the outcome of your marriage. Once you do that I guarantee you you will be in a much better place.
[This message edited by Luna10 at 9:40 AM, Friday, July 8th]
Dday - 27th September 2017
p12241342 (original poster member #79267) posted at 11:14 AM on Friday, July 8th, 2022
Firstly, I would like thank you all for taking the time to reply to my post.
I understand that this has caused some waves amongst the SI community.I honestly didn't mean to upset anyone. But I am glad that some of the WS's of the forum have been honest and added some insight from the other side of the fence.
All your comments have really helped me and hope they help others going through this nightmare of a situation, that we all didn't asked to be placed within.
As others have said. There are many WS's that will learn by their mistakes and do everything they can to fix the situation, they have found themselves in. I also do see, that certain people will see the pain they have caused, and in many cases to innocent people and feel that pain and do everything they can to write that wrong. But as people have said, its not always the case.
To those who have, well done. I really mean that. Well done!
I think we all feel pain, just in different ways.
Im just grateful to all the people who have followed my journey and offered support and advice in the last 14 months throughout my hell.
I really do appreciate it and as many of you will know, the experience and support of the posters in SI is invaluable.
I was a little concerned about this post at the start due to upsetting users on the forum. Once again I do apologise for that. But I also believe by leaving the post run its course, it could help people asking the same questions in their own head.
We are all aiming towards peace and if difficult questions and even difficult answers are the way to do it, then so be it.
Thank you all once again
Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 12:27 PM on Friday, July 8th, 2022
OP - all of these thoughts and feelings you posted you should say to your WW, word for word. Then, gauge how she reacts.
Part of the problem I perceive is that you think she’s remorseful and has done everything she can to make you feel better, so it’s all on you to recover now.
Yes and no. Yes you’re responsible for your personal healing but no, your WW doesn’t get to sit back and observe your pain and simply comfort you and empathize. It seems like she’s doing that now, but the fact that you’re posting means it’s not enough for you.
And, you wonder if by giving it more time things will get better for you.
Of course things will get better as time goes on, as these things usually do. However, although your severely negative thoughts and feelings about her A will lessen, you face the prospect of becoming very angry, despondent about staying in a M where you have to eat the Shit sandwich, then perhaps eventually reach the plain of lethal flatness.
I wouldn’t wait on this to happen. You’re far enough from D day where you should both be in MC with an infidelity trauma specialist - remember not some run of the mill counselor who wants to fix the M at all cost snd thus rugsweep.
So, unless you become less passive snd more vocal with your WW and let her know how you feel, and insist on quality MC, you’re heading towards the shit sandwich and POLF.
Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 12:42 PM on Friday, July 8th, 2022
But the betrayed life has been changed for ever. We will always have the scares, while they have the nice memories. No matter what they try and say.
Whether we stay in the betrayed relationship or move on. We will always carry around the burden of the waywards affair.
First, if you are still feeling this way, then you're not moving toward R. Rather, you're just white knuckling it and stubbornly remaining in a dysfunctional marriage. One of the hallmarks of R is that the truly remorseful and doing-the-hard-work WW is working with the BH toward a goal of a good marriage, one that both of them can envision together, one that each of them desires to be a part of.
Second, I can assure you from personal experience that the italicized portion of your quote is not true. My situation was different because I was dumped for the AP. The pain initially was more than I thought I could bear. There were times where I felt, literally, that I could not breathe. That I would suffocate under the weight of it. My heart ached. Actual physical pain. At times, I couldn't see. I was blinded by the pain.
Eventually, I got up and started putting one foot in front of the other. Baby steps at first. I met a woman. We had sex. It was such a cathartic experience, hard to describe, but truly wonderful to have sex with somebody who had not betrayed me, who just wanted to have sex with me for the sake of having sex. It gets better. Way better.
"The wicked man flees when no one chases."
Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 3:29 PM on Friday, July 8th, 2022
BS here. For those that take offense at pain comparison, I think that the salient fact in this equation is simply agency. As a WS, you had complete agency over your life and the life of your spouse. You made unilateral decisions that affected them in every way possible, while having the benefits of those decisions, albeit momentary. If you withheld info or TT'd, then you extended that agency into the future, sometimes perminantly. That's pretty unfair for a BS.
Now, my ExWW has to live with knowing that she was andvis a pretty shitty person. She made and continues to make shitty choices. It's just in her nature. Does she care? Yes and no. On some level, she feels regret, but I don't think it is in the same way an emotionally mature person might. She, at some level, continues to vilify me in order to retroactively justify her choices. I understand that. She does it so she can live with herself. After all, no one wants to be the villain in their own narrative. The problem is, the consequences of her choices have and will continue to follow her throughout her life. And if I'm being honest, there is a little bit of comfort in that for me....
But mostly, I don't care. I've hit that much lauded promised land of indifference, or at least I'm on the mountain looking down on it. Her level of regret, her level of happiness, her created reality just don't make any difference to my life. If my kids came home and told me that mom spends every night sobbing on her bed, I just wouldn't care. She's been relegated to someone I used to know.
Me:55 STBXWW:55 DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off.Denied having an affair in court papers.