axj131 (original poster new member #70614) posted at 3:55 PM on Monday, July 11th, 2022
I am the wayward spouse and my wife and I have been trying to reconcile for almost four years. The specialness of our wedding/marriage and the importance of our vows are lost due to my adultery. I would like to do something special - some kind of action/ ceremony/ event/ etc etc to show that I am committed to her and the marriage. We would basically need a new time of year to celebrate. The wedding anniversary brings pain. We need a new thing to celebrate. This is where you all come in.
I am coming up short on ideas for something that is more special than a wedding ceremony, or renewal of vows. Any ideas are appreciated.
BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 4:46 PM on Monday, July 11th, 2022
What was your wedding ceremony like? Did it represent the two of you, or was it dictated by outside pressures? Had you never cheated, do you think she would choose the same wedding today? If not, how would it be different?
Does your BW still wear her rings?
Finally (and most importantly), are you sure she wants and/or is ready for what you're contemplating? It could come off like you trying to force an end to the process, stamping yourselves officially "reconciled" or "healed." It would be highly counterproductive to substitute a grand gesture for the time and work that she needs to feel truly reconciled. Then again, if you lavished your AP with such gestures, something extravagant may be just what she needs from you.
HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 4:48 PM on Monday, July 11th, 2022
I would like
Does she want to as well?
It's very important that she wants this. Many BS would not.
do something special - some kind of action/ ceremony/ event/ etc etc to show that I am committed to her and the marriage
This is known as The Grand Gesture.
Nothing like this will show her you are committed. After all, you already had a wedding,and here you are. I don't say that sarcastically.
What work have you done on yourself? You say you've been "trying" to reconcile for 4 years. That sounds as if it's not going well,and you are hoping this Gesture will make everything better.
What a BS needs is a remorseful, proactive,honest WS who is diligently working on themselves, to become a safe partner.
Of course, I'm only going off what you have posted in this thread. She may be very pleased with the way things have gone,you've done all the work,and she sees you as a safe partner now,and you want some kind of ceremony to seal the new marriage. If so please disregard the above.
Unhinged ( member #47977) posted at 5:09 PM on Monday, July 11th, 2022
Nothing like [The Grand Gesture} will show her you are committed. After all, you already had a wedding, and here you are.
It seems rather common for a WS to want some form of affirmation from their betrayed spouse, especially after years in reconciliation. It's understandable. Living in fear sucks. Unfortunately, this is basically what it comes down to for both spouses. Just as your wife has to deal with the fear that her husband will take another trip down Infidelity Lane, you're going to have to deal with the fear that your wife might one day call it quits.
Fear is a part of being human.
I am coming up short on ideas for something that is more special...
Grand gestures are nice. What makes all the difference in the world, however, are the everyday, seemingly mundane, little things that we can, if we choose, do for our spouses. Focusing on those things eventually adds up to something truly special.
D-Day April, 2015
Divorced May, 2022
"The Universe is not short on wake-up calls. We're just quick to hit the snooze button." -Brene Brown
The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 5:27 PM on Monday, July 11th, 2022
It doesn’t need to BIG or grand.
It needs to be heartfelt.
My H for Mothers Day put together a 1 minute video of all the places we lived. Dorms and apartments and homes - it was very touching. Cost him nothing.
Give your spouse a day off. No chores or meals to cook / she can go out with friends for a day or night and just enjoy her R&R.
Surprise her with her favorite dessert or treat from her favorite bakery.
Above all be honest and kind and caring.
Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.
axj131 (original poster new member #70614) posted at 6:29 PM on Monday, July 11th, 2022
Thank you for the replies and suggestions.
I'm not looking for a Grand Gesture, per se. No one gesture is big enough to overcome the infidelity. I am looking for another way of showing commitment and desire to be with her for the rest of my life, that is different than a new wedding or vow renewal.
I realize this has to heart felt and is specific to our relationship.
To answer some of the questions:
- This is something she wants (it was her idea)
- Yes, we are "trying" to reconcile but we have some real bad patches (wedding anniversary, affair season, many other trigger times)
- Our wedding was our idea, although I convinced her not to elope and to have our friends and family present.
- she still wears her rings (engagement, wedding, and some new rings (for her other hand) that I bought for her that she liked
- I have done some work over the years (weekly therapy, daily reading and/or listening to videos, intermittently discussing things with her). But not enough to make her feel safe/wanted/etc.
This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 7:49 PM on Monday, July 11th, 2022
- This is something she wants (it was her idea)
So ask her what sort of action would make her feel more safe and wanted in the relationship. A tattoo? A love letter? Some other symbol?
I've seen people recommend doing kintsugi as an R gift.
Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.
axj131 (original poster new member #70614) posted at 8:15 PM on Monday, July 11th, 2022
Ha! I actually mentioned the tattoo idea (we don't have any). I will look into the kintsugi idea. Might be able to incorporate that into something.
morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 1:11 AM on Tuesday, July 12th, 2022
I am coming up short on ideas for something that is more special than a wedding ceremony
Nothing is more special than a wedding ceremony. That's why the fact that the vows you spoke at your wedding were broken is so devastating to her. Nothing can replace it.
I have done some work over the years (weekly therapy, daily reading and/or listening to videos, intermittently discussing things with her). But not enough to make her feel safe/wanted/etc.
The only real way to convince her that she's safe and wanted is to show her that she's safe and wanted: stay dependable, connected, caring, faithful, honest, understanding, affectionate, etc., without wavering. Look into her eyes regularly, touch her every time you are close to her, listen to what she has to say, share what you are thinking rather than keeping it to yourself, etc.
This is something she wants (it was her idea)
Since she asked for something special, I recommend taking her on a special trip, such as to Europe- places there you haven't yet been, something both memorable and that will create bonding just by the uniqueness and little challenges of the new experience. But remember, my middle comment is what you need to be focusing on, 365 days per year.
[This message edited by morningglory at 1:22 AM, Tuesday, July 12th]
morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 1:26 AM on Tuesday, July 12th, 2022
With a proven cheater? Lol. Oh, dear, I really wouldn't recommend that any BS do that. The next DDay would be especially awful after that.
Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 1:49 AM on Tuesday, July 12th, 2022
I really wouldn't recommend that any BS do that.
I really wouldn’t recommend anyone do that. Say she divorces you down the road, and you get remarried someday. I’m sure new wife would love seeing first wife’s name in the middle of a heart on your arm, ya know?
WS - remarried to BH but not in R
Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 2:07 AM on Tuesday, July 12th, 2022
Do you feel sure that she wants this?
I ask because as a betrayed spouse, that is the last thing I would want, even though I love my husband and we are in the process of reconciliation, and it’s going ok overall.
Vows and ceremonies and grand gestures mean nothing at all to me at this point. The thought of them is painful and brings out my most cynical thoughts. What means most is him putting in the work day in and day out to be committed to me and our recovery.
Just because I feel this way doesn’t mean your wife does—she is a different person and may be in a different place. I didn’t really like ceremonies and big gestures before my husband’s affair, so maybe that’s part of it for me.
The only grand gesture type thing my husband has done since his affair that has warmed my heart was planning two vacations for us; one each summer since I found out about his affair. He put little to no pressure on me to act or react in any way, and he didn’t present them as grand romantic gestures; he just planned a really nice time and we went. There were some small rough patches on both trips, but he didn’t make a deal of it, and we had a nice time both times. It meant a lot that he did all the hard detailed work of planning, because that was something I had always done previously, and it’s not easy.
Anyway, tldr; make sure she wants it. No surprises unless your 1000% sure that’s what she wants.
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).
Dkt3 ( member #75072) posted at 3:12 AM on Tuesday, July 12th, 2022
There is no shortcut, no create a new day to celebrate.
What you have to do is be open, honest, consistent and show up for her everyday. In TIME, if those things are done you two will find plenty to celebrate.
This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 3:14 AM on Tuesday, July 12th, 2022
I wasn't suggesting matching tattoos. I meant just him. And yes Darkness Falls, that's exactly why I like the tattoo. Literally putting some skin in the game on a lifelong commitment.
Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.
Ladybugmaam ( member #69881) posted at 3:48 PM on Tuesday, July 12th, 2022
As the BS, I thought I wanted a grand gesture.....but it has really been the mundane, daily, little, small things that have made the difference. He showed me that he was present in this small actions. Even when I couldn't completely trust him to be faithful in the early days (not because he wasn't trying, but because he'd broken my trust), I couldn't deny that he had done the dishes - which he'd never done pre-A. He was suddenly present and involved in our household life like he never was before. Those little and often things helped me get through the terrible early days. I didn't wear my ring. I threw it at him on DDay. 9 months after he started wearing his and gave mine back to me.
I thought I wanted a renewal of vows, but it was meaningless. He broke the vows.....why would I want him to remind me of a new promise? I DID ask him to promise to let me know if he ever felt like he was disconnected again, or if he ever ran into OW or OBS again. And, he has made good on that promise.
In terms of bigger gestures....he's done what I call a lot of forward facing memories. It is very easy in the trauma of being betrayed for me to stay stuck reliving the past and triggers. He listens to my desires and fulfills them. He plans trips away that he knows I'll like. It could be a concert in town....or a trip to visit friends across the country or a dinner/movie date. Having those to look forward to and get excited about have helped me to know he was really here wanting to fix our marriage. We made lists of places we wanted to visit.....and he's planned them. And, for me, getting out of town and away from OW is such a relief.
EA DD 11/2018
PA DD 2/25/19
One teen son
I am a phoenix.
Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 6:18 PM on Wednesday, July 13th, 2022
For a couple years and during A season neither of us wore our wedding rings. I had gained weight and I didn’t fit. She is a trainer and the rings are uncomfortable.
When we entered R the second time she bought us a set of rubber wedding bands, she wrote a card and asked me to go for a walk to the park, that is where she gave them to me. It meant so much to me and neither of us have taken them of in over 2.5 years.
Vow renewal is a big NO for me. I’m proud that I kept mine and don’t feel a need to renew them.
Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH 55 WW 48 M 31 years, 4 kids 2 grown 2 grandkids
sundance ( member #72129) posted at 7:35 PM on Wednesday, July 13th, 2022
original poster: Ha! I actually mentioned the tattoo idea (we don't have any). I will look into the kintsugi idea. Might be able to incorporate that into something.
i think it's wonderful that you are planning something special for you and your wife to celebrate your recommitment to each other! if the idea of a tattoo appeals to you and your wife, i say, "go for it!"
if she's agreeable to renewing the wedding vows, perhaps she would like to do that during a vacation destination-- maybe having the tattoos done the week prior to the trip.
you could always incorporate the kintsugi idea by placing your rings in a small ceramic bowl that you break and glue back together (using gold glue), and then having whoever does your ceremony bless the rings while in the bowl before placing them back on your hands -- just a thought!
wishing you both much happiness in your new life together! sunny
[This message edited by sundance at 7:36 PM, Wednesday, July 13th]
Rusty: You scared?Linus: You suicidal?Rusty: Only in the morning.
Ariopolis ( member #75786) posted at 9:30 PM on Wednesday, July 13th, 2022
Can the two of you travel? How old are the girls?
I say no to the tattoo. Means nothing. I'd rather chop my own finger off than get a tattoo like that.
If you can travel, maybe planning to see the National Parks, or the finest gardens of the South or all the NFL stadiums would help with the hurt your BS feels right now.
You could eat a King Crab sandwich at Pike's Place Market, watch the Budweiser Clydesdales parade and get unhitched, watch a rocket launch at the Kennedy Space Center, see Valley Forge, or tour Kentucky Bourbon distilleries.
Or plan to visit famous places from movies you've seen like Devil's Tower, the Picasso in Chicago (Blues Brothers), the Rocky steps in Philadelphia.
There are lots of places to see that don't cost a lot of money. The best places are inexpensive anyway. Choose one place to go each year for the next ten years. More if you can.
I'm not talking about just a vacation, I am thinking about a long term plan to anticipate the future with gladness, make memories and put the bad times behind you.
[This message edited by Ariopolis at 3:31 PM, July 13th (Wednesday)]
axj131 (original poster new member #70614) posted at 6:21 PM on Thursday, July 14th, 2022
Thank you all for the suggestions and your opinions. While some opinions conflicted with others, that is fine. I think the suggestions will help with affair season, too.
BellaLee ( member #58324) posted at 11:49 PM on Friday, July 15th, 2022
Hi @axj131 In my opinion and from my own experience if you want to do something special for your wife is to keep loving her and doing all you possible can to rebuild the broke trust.
On the practical side, I'd say plan romantic dates with her, organise romantic holidays for both of you, so you can connect more intimately, listen to her, write her a love letter. Do all you can to rebuild the broken and then you will then begin to have more meaningful special memories and occasions together and to celebrate.