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Reconciliation :
Do you ever regain pride in the relationship?

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 BreakingBad (original poster member #75779) posted at 2:08 AM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

As I was driving and contemplating today, it occurred to me that, even if we successfully reconcile, I'm not sure I'll feel "pride" in our relationship like I used to. Is pride just one more casuality of betrayal?

I used to be proud to say that I was "happily married"--even as we approached the 30 year mark in our marriage before Dday.

In the months following Dday (now about 2 years ago), I stumbled across 2 different comments I'd made on other advice columns (one comment was written about 5 or 6 months before Dday and the other only about 1-2 months before Dday). In both comments, I'd mentioned that I was in a long-term and happy marriage. I was truly proud that my H and I still had a happy marriage at year 29 of marriage (and year 35 of being together). Happiness in the relationship was a goal we'd discussed multiple times--like a lot of couples probably do. We wanted to work to stay TRULY happy and joyful together and not just take the slow slide into becoming married roommates (like his parents were then...and like mine are now) or not like disgruntled roommates (like my grandparents were) living in a silent truce of war.

So, pretty much right up until Dday, I believed and I publicly characterized my relationship as happy (not perfect, but happy). And I was so proud of that.

Now this....and the all in all that betrayal entails.

Are those who find true reconciliation proud of their marriage? Maybe differently proud because they had to claw back out to happiness together? More proud because of who and what they've become?

It's hard to see that from where I stand right now. It feels a long way off and maybe unreachable.

I'd love to hear the collective wisdom of the reconciled--BS and WS.

"Don't you love it, don't you love it?
No, I ain't happy yet.
But I'm way less sad."[Credit to group AJR]

Me=BW; fWH=online affairs with 3 APs over 2.5-3 yrs
Both in IC & MC
Married 31 yrs now
2 kids-both in HS
Attempting R

posts: 179   ·   registered: Oct. 31st, 2020
id 8747203
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78monte ( member #72572) posted at 2:19 AM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

I am 5 yrs out and we are not fully reconciled yet, so I hope you don't mind my prospective.
On our 27th anniversary and more than 30 year relationship, I felt proud of our accomplishment. Two weeks later, I found out my wife had been having an affair. As I look to our future, if we make it to 40 or 50 years, I will not feel as proud as I was about the first 30.

posts: 2587   ·   registered: Jan. 14th, 2020   ·   location: Canada
id 8747207
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 5:22 AM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

2.5 years out myself. One of the best things I learned in IC is that it's not really fair to have pride in your relationship because you are only responsible for half of it. You should have pride in how you have behaved in your relationship. Have you been a good spouse? A good parent? Have you tried your best to be gracious, resilient, loving, and kind in the face of betrayal? If so, you can be proud of yourself and what you have done in your relationship.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2028   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8747228
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getbusyliving ( member #71058) posted at 5:36 AM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

WH said to me in February 2017, that he is proud to tell people that we have been together 30 years.
This was one month prior to dd1 when I got a very watered down TT of what he had been upto for years. Now in Feb. 2017, he was in the midst of an Ashley Madison created affair, as well as an ongoing EA.

I just don't say anything much about our relationship anymore, maybe that we have been together for 35 years if asked, and then if people make a comment about the length, I say we have had a lot of challenges and shit. I am not proud of my marriage, would never celebrate any significant anniversary. My kids would think we were utter hypocrites if we did anyway.

We were doing really well with reconciliation up until around 10 months ago, I was even trusting (although not blindly) wh again - yay. And then stupid WH chose to deliberatley lie to me about something (being upfront and honest is my mantra) to my face and then only fess up when he had to. I dumbly believed him because I was trusting him again. Nothing to do with cheating or anything but connected to his old MO. Since then, our reconciliation has been on hold with a kind of inhouse separation (my decision) so I am probably not the best person to answer. It's a bit depressing really.

BS:54 (me). WS:54. together 30 yrs on DD1 March 2017.

TT /lies until DD2 July 2017OL,P, EA, Sex workers.

Dates known: 1991, 2004, 2009, 2011, 2016, 2017.

posts: 91   ·   registered: Jul. 21st, 2019   ·   location: Aotearoa /NZ
id 8747229
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Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 12:24 PM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

I don’t know that I would have used the word "pride" to describe how I felt about my relationship before my husband’s affair, but I can relate to your post. We had been married 20 years, together 22. I didn’t see us as perfect, but I felt very lucky to have a strong, stable, happy long term partnership. We worked together well, enjoyed each other’s company, had common interests and values, were on the same page as we raised our kids together, and were sexually compatible. There were rough patches and difficulties here and there like in any long relationship (at the time of his affair, we were both overwhelmed with work and caring for a close, dying family member). I can also identify some mildly unhealthy communication patterns (we’re both too conflict avoidant for our own good). But overall, I felt like we had won the lottery.

Then, he went on a three week trip for work, fell in love with his coworker, had a six month affair, and lied and lied and lied to cover it and try to keep me from finding out.

Two years into reconciliation I have no idea how to think about our relationship. I certainly don’t have pride in it, and I don’t feel lucky. For at least a year after D-day I questioned whether it was all a lie, and whether my whole concept of our relationship as a good one was a decades-long exercise in fantasy and denial. Those thoughts still sometimes flash through my mind.

At this point, I mostly hang on to the practical, concrete goods that I can identify. We still parent as a team easily and work together super well. We still enjoy each other’s company, share common interests, and like doing things together. We still have mutually satisfying sex, though it’s been a roller coaster in that area and remains a lot more fraught for me than before his affair. We still have a mutual vision of a future together. I’m grateful for those things, truly. But that romantic, won-the-lottery sense about our relationship is completely gone.

Last week my brother in law and his wife visited. We were all sitting around talking, and my mother in law said something about how happy she is that both her sons have such strong, healthy, happy marriages, and how she feels almost jealous (she’s divorced). I smiled and nodded, but felt a visceral flash of pain.

Sorry for the long, meandering response.

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).

posts: 190   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8747246
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RaggedyAnne ( new member #78800) posted at 1:33 PM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

In my case, I don't think so. I too was proud of our marriage and relationship and openly spoke about it prior to dday #2. I was proud of surviving all of the struggles and to be married for 30 years for the most part happily. Or so I thought. I will never be proud of or celebrate my marriage again. I only hope to get to a place of content without humiliation.

posts: 40   ·   registered: May. 15th, 2021
id 8747248
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LIYA13 ( member #62026) posted at 2:59 PM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

I have been married 13 years so not as long as some of the members on here. After 13 years I dont feel the same way in my marriage. I dont feel proud of the decade we were together. Once upon a time I used to. Now as the years go by I feel like its just any other day. Anniversarys dont feel the same. As I have said in some of my other posts WH took AP to a restaurant that we celebrated our anniversary. He basically ruined that beautiful memory I had. He also took her to the cinemas and that was a weekly thing for us as we had unlimted yearly passes. I havent renewed those unlimited passes for years now. So basically since Dday I havent been to the cinemas. Hes basically done all the things with her that he done with me. I thought everything we did was special for us only because we did everything together. So much for that. I was naive and young. Not anymore. I know now that I have to make my own happiness for myself and it doesnt have to involve him. I know that everything I strive to do is for our family and not for just the marriage. That 'unique' special bond that we both had in this marriage is gone now. I am proud of my individual accomplishments thats taken me years more than our marriage.

posts: 151   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2017   ·   location: United Kingdom
id 8747261
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Breachoftrust ( member #66252) posted at 3:50 PM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

I feel everything that has been said. 24 years together and I can't count the years since his infidelity as "good". We don't fight and argue although we never did before either. I too thought we had a happy marriage right up until I found out about his affair. We get along just fine but it's nothing special anymore. I mean, I could have our relationship with anyone and it would be mostly the same. At least that is my perception. I don't believe those feelings will return because the trust is gone. We parent well together. Sometimes make plans for the future. I'm just not sure I'm looking forward to just the two of us when sometimes it seems like we no longer have anything to say to each other. I feel numb a lot and a lot of going through the motions of life. I hope to find my passion again for something, anything. Sometimes I feel as though he sucked the very life from me.

Married 19 years, together 24. 3 children. DD1 2/21/18. DD2 6/7/18 EA. BS 49, WH 50.
DD3 3/30/22 PA

Actions prove who someone is; words prove who someone wants to be.

posts: 64   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2018
id 8747271
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 3:51 PM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

I'm not sure 'pride' is the right term for me, but I was happy to celebrate our 50th, almost 7 years after d-day. I consider myself happily M. It took a while, but I felt extended periods of happiness with my W starting in the 3rd or 4th year, but I was lucky - we were totally consistent in working for R from d-day on. We had rough spots, but we just kept working to resolve them.

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: 27424   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8747272
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 4:28 PM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

I know it takes years to process the trauma of it all, but I believe we tend to hit what we aim for — if we choose to stay.

In that sense, I couldn’t possibly stay if I wasn’t proud of the work I did on me, or my wife’s work and positive changes that she has made.

Overall, I am very proud of us.

It isn’t perfect, it never was, but there is something about not giving up on each other or what we want out our relationship.

I always understand when people choose to leave after betrayal. I also understand why some of us try R.

But I couldn’t stay one more day without being in a marriage worthy of me.

Life is brutal and short, filled with change and upheaval and all sorts of adversity. The adversity I least expected was infidelity.

I conquered that one too. And it took a massive amount of work to get here, so yeah, I’m proud of fighting for the marriage we BOTH wanted and found a way to get it, despite the horror show.

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: 4371   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8747279
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NotMyFirstRodeo ( member #75220) posted at 5:33 PM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

My W's betrayal has proven to be many years deep and multi-faceted. I'd suspect that the severity of a betrayal will affect a BS's feedback.

All that said, today I'd say no. I can also say that my feedback may change one day.

Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid.

posts: 343   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2020
id 8747287
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WhiteCarrera ( member #29126) posted at 6:06 PM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

BreakingBad - a very good question!

I've been married for 13 happy years ... 26 in total but 13 were happy ones. Since her affair, it's just changed. We get along well, love each other, and have raised three great kids, but "pride" in the marriage is a different thing. I was proud of what we had; believed we had something unique, truly a situation where 1 + 1 equaled something more than just 2. Now it's just "good" and like Breachoftrust said, "I mean, I could have our relationship with anyone and it would be mostly the same." I agree with this so much. Now it's just 1+1 = 2 (no more, no less)

If I want recovery, then I must allow for it to actually happen. Is it possible that I actually do have all the truth now?

me - husband; her - wife, Married 13 years @ D-Day 09-02-2009. Now married 25 years and hanging in there (maybe by a thread someti

posts: 336   ·   registered: Jul. 23rd, 2010   ·   location: Midwest
id 8747292
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 6:21 PM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

Hell yes I'm proud, and happy. I wouldn't stay if I wasn't.
I'm proud that we have gone through some shit, and came out the other side healthier, and in a better relationship than we were prior to the A.

We have been together since we were kids, I was 15. The wheels fell off, but together we put them back on, and got this bus moving on down the road. I also see that we displayed a healthy good relationship for our kids, as they both now have quality partners, and are in relationships that are balanced, healthy, and make each other laugh every day.

Life is hard, and if you can overcome major events that create the level of pain and trauma that an A does then you absolutely should hold your head high, and if your partner does the work to own and fix their shit, then they deserve some recognition for that. And if you both can be happy fulfilled, and have a well balanced relationship where you are treated with kindness, love, respect, and honor then you absolutely should be proud. The A doesn't define who we are, but is instead just a piece of the whole.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19420   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8747295
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 6:50 PM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

I don’t have much pride in our M. I’m proud that I kept my vows, I’ve busted my ass in this M and I’m a great H and father. We celebrate our anniversaries now, but not make a big deal. I celebrate all the shit I’ve endured and I came out better in many ways.

I’m not proud of what my WW did to it. 2 PA 3 EAs and a half a dozen sexting partners. She tried desperately to escape this M. No matter how great R turns out, she wanted away from me. I will live with that knowledge the rest of our M.

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

posts: 1637   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8747300
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MegMeg ( new member #79978) posted at 2:35 PM on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

I am only a few months out, so I don't have a long-term view but since DDay I often feel like we have a pretend marriage. An out-of-town couple from my WH's home town came to visit. At one point they both agreed that WH had found the right woman, that I was the perfect wife for WH. I wanted to scream! I wanted to yell out the truth to all that I'd married a lying, cheating dishonorable cad and our marriage was a farce. I really wanted to cry. Any pride I'd had at being a faithful, loving wife for 36 years has been replaced with the knowledge that I'm just fool and a chump.

Me: BS | Him: WS | Children: Grown | Married: 36 years

posts: 50   ·   registered: Feb. 20th, 2022   ·   location: Pulling myself out of the mire
id 8747382
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shareonhearts ( member #52869) posted at 4:07 PM on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

I do not feel "pride" in my marriage. It is comfortable, nice and happy/content. I know he selected to be with someone else. I don't have on my rose colored glasses anymore.

Fool me once shame on me......Fool me twice shame on YOU!

posts: 188   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2016   ·   location: California
id 8747388
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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 4:47 PM on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

I think pride was a big factor in my decision to finally pull the plug on our marriage. Her affair partner was scum and a predator. For her to choose him and do the sexual things they did in our house was something I just could not get over. In my mind she was damaged goods. The images of those two together was debilitating.

Exacerbating the issue was I had so much pride for her prior to the affair. She was a great wife, mother, and friend. She was constantly getting awards for her civic achievements, but more importantly did those same things when no one was watching. I was just so proud to be with her. She made me a better person. All that went out the window with her affair, and the fall from where I saw her prior, to how I saw her after was like falling off Everest. I did gain some pride in her as she tried everything, but the real pride of having her as my wife never returned.

I also had no pride in myself for staying, or for the clinical way I treated her for 5 years.

No pride in her, no pride in me, no pride in our marriage.

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician

Divorced

posts: 1907   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2016
id 8747392
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

WaitedWayTooLong

I always remember your backstory. I sometimes wonder if it would have been different if the Affair had not occurred in your house.

I think those memories can be horrific. And hard to shake.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12308   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8747393
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Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 6:19 PM on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

Do you ever regain pride in the relationship?

I sure did grin !! I remember thinking how I felt my H was the most HONORABLE man I had ever met. He was also the most faith filled man I ever knew. All of that BEFORE Dday. AFTER Dday...I felt PLAYED crying .

I KNEW that I would NEVER be able to feel the same way about my H after that. How could he EVER be honorable...or faith filled...after doing what he did??? All I can say is "Never say NEVER" laugh . There were so many things that I THOUGHT I would NEVER get back...that I was indeed getting back smile . So I decided to at least TRY to get some of the things back about how I felt from my H.

Just thinking about what my H DID...on his own...to become a different...more healthy person...I knew that would be a good place to start smile . As I watched my H's actions...and saw the reactions from our family members who knew nothing about his A...I started to see the difference between what I thought of him before...and the reality of what he is NOW smile .

To ME...it would have been a little arrogant of me to not think that my H could change some of his BAD choices. I changed MY bad choices...so why would I think HE couldn't? I am NOT saying that MY bad choices were anywhere as devastating to my H as HIS bad choices were to me. But NONE of us are perfect. We ALL make bad choices...and if we don't LEARN from them and make better choices...then we will just stay in the same cycle.

My H LEARNED from this...and I am so very PROUD of the honorable and faith filled man he is NOW grin . I am also very PROUD of OUR relationship...because we DID learn...and we DID become better...and we DID become a TEAM again. I am VERY PROUD of THAT!!!

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

posts: 6170   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8747402
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Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 6:21 PM on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

MegMeg, I’m so sorry. Hearing words like that in the early days after Dday is like having salt rubbed in the rawest of wounds.

WaitedTooLong, I can see how you felt that way and had to pull the plug. I don’t think I could do reconciliation in a situation like yours, either. It’s just so much trauma.

Sometimes when I hear stories on here that are so much objectively worse than mine, I feel embarrassed of how much/how long I’m struggling with my husband’s garden variety midlife affair. Love and peace and strength to all of you who have gone through so much ar the hands of the people who should’ve loved you and treated you best.

[This message edited by Grieving at 11:24 PM, Wednesday, July 27th]

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).

posts: 190   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8747404
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