The most important point is has her morals/integrity/boundaries improved such that your wedding vows are no longer in jeopardy of being violated?
I feel confident that she’s a safe partner now. At this point, Im not really sure why Im making such a fuss over the letter. I think it may have even had something to do with the conversation we had in the moments before the letter idea came up and the way and tone with which she shot down the whole idea. Before it came up, we had been talking about how at that time she felt very lonely because I had ramped up my motorcycle racing. I thought we had a secure enough relationship to where we were safe to pursue our own outside interests. I was wrong. But the thing is that I was doing just as much racing the two years prior, including the year we got married. So maybe thats how she felt, but its not like something had changed that year in regards to my time spent racing. It was maybe a few weekends a month for 6 months of the year. She even admitted at one point that the guy was such a good manipulator that even if I had been a model husband and around all the time, she may have fallen for it, and that it wouldve been harder, but not impossible for it to have happened. So although she loves to try and assign some amount of blame on me, there are things that dont add up. Why marry me in the first place if I was gone too much and made her feel alone? When I feel blamed for her A in any way at all, I get into a bad headspace. The shooting down of the letter idea was the cherry on top. I dug in.
Someone said on this forum that a good wayward should be willing to crawl through broken glass for their BS. My wife said she’d rather do just that than write a letter to APs Mom.
I think that you may nit be as happy with your decision to R as you might think.
Im Ok with the decision to R. Happy with it even. I feel like we have a pretty good marriage aside from this issue which has come back to haunt me. Admittedly I do sometimes engage in "what if" thinking over if it would have been better to D at the outset. Ill never know what wouldve happened. Couldve been better or worse as far as who I met next and how my life went. My main gripe is getting her from what I think is an low average grade C wayward to an A. She may be a B now after alot of work, but its things like this that prevent me from seeing her as a grade A recovered wayward. Overall we are compatible and I do love her alot.
If I had to guess, this has more to do with you feeling like your WW'S plan B, even years later.
I think plan B only applies if the WS still maybe pines for the AP in a wistful way as if they were the one that got away. Thats not my WW at all. If fact its the opposite. Shes thankful for my forgiveness and she knows well that the AP was a grade A POS. She’s indifferent to him now. Its me who is struggling with letting go of hatred. He held her arms down the first time they had sex and used his weight on her so she couldnt move. Then scared her into continuing it. He boxed her in, trapped her on an airplane the first time he touched her. There are very, very good reasons to hate this guy. I mean would you hate someone who raped your wife and brainwashed her? Its not your garden variety AP and its not as easy to just "let it go" as some here like to think. Anyway, AP was her plan B when she felt like I wasnt giving her enough attention.
The fact is I dont feel like Ive gotten an acceptable apology for her giving flowers to APs Mom. Thats what this all most likely boils down to. And shes not that good at apologizing. She is good at deflecting, minimizing, and catastrophizing my feelings.
What does giving flowers to APs Mom say about her A? To me it says that she made promises to AP and his family that they would be together. As well as she felt sorry for AP and wanted to save face and leave her affair with a nice aftertaste for all those involved on APs side. But not so sorry for me. I had to play the pick me dance for months while she sympathized with AP and his Mom. I didnt deserve that. I was not a bad husband. Id like to hear her say something like:
"It was wrong for me to have sent his Mom flowers and Im disgusted with myself for trying to save face for leaving a relationship that I never should have been in in the first place. You didnt deserve that at all. Im amazed beyond words at your resilience towards some of the horrible things I did like this back then. Its jaw dropping and I didnt deserve your forgiveness. You are an amazing man that has shown me the meaning of deep love and its agonizing for me to see you in this much pain. I will do anything and everything possible to make it up to you and prove myself worthy of your forgiveness."
And maybe if she said something like that in a sincere way as well as dozens and dozens of times, I wouldnt feel like I have to "manipulate" her into anything.
What specific things did she do back then to show her commitment?
Which books did you two read?
Did you both do IC? MC? For how long?
Who did you tell? What type of consequences did your WW face? Did you have a support system?
She wrote me a letter of apology and vowed to make it up to me and prove her worthiness and loyalty over time. After I exposed the affair to their supervisors and he was fired, she never spoke to the guy again nor attempted to contact him. She hasnt read any books except for I had her read "How to help your spouse heal from your affair" earlier this year. I on the other hand have read that book as well as "After the Affair", "Not Just Friends", and "Hold Me Tight".
We went to MC for months after the A and I went to IC for years. Suffered from crippling anxiety attacks as a result of the A for a few years. We went back to MC this year and ended MC after several visits once things felt like they were in a good place and there was nothing left to discuss. Im currently seeing two different therapists for IC and we have an emergency session scheduled with one for tomorrow to talk about this specific thing.
Yes I do have a support system. Two close friends who are not on the side of the marriage (mainly since I vent to them alot) and my Mom who is on the side of the marriage but wasnt initially post A. Mom is a therapist, so cant get much better
Not much in the way of true consequences although she would strongly disagree. I think she sees herself as a victim and that nothing she does is ever good enough for me.
The fact that we have actually done alot, but it seems from the outside as if hardly anything has been done, is disheartening. It may also just be that you are all just seeing a very narrow window of the bigger picture. People tend to post their problems and roadbumps on here and not so much their successes, so its easy to assume "nothing has been done" and "you have a long road ahead". I actually dont feel we have much further to go here. Hope Im right.
[This message edited by gainingclosure at 12:30 AM, Saturday, September 3rd]