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Reconciliation :
Just need to hear from people who understand...

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 smitty82 (original poster new member #80920) posted at 11:16 AM on Friday, September 16th, 2022

Hello,
I am very new to all of this but I don't have anyone else to talk to. On the 10th March my husband told me that he had been (as he put it) involved with another woman for 5 months. Involved meant that whilst he was working away Monday to Friday and staying at the pub that she ran they started a relationship. Since then he has not been in contact with her and no longer works away. I am sure that you all know what I felt and experienced straight afterwards, the shakes, not able to sleep, eat or concentrate and the start of obsessive looks at her social media and hatching various different revenge plans.
My gut feeling was that I didn't want him to leave. We have 4 kids and one was just about to take their exams so NOTHING was going to disrupt their happiness and lives. It wasn't just this though........I loved him more than anything, he was my dream man and I thought that the 20 years that we had been together was pretty much as good as it gets. I was utterly convinced that he would never cheat partly because this is what his dad did to his mom and he saw what this did to her. I had absolutely no idea what was going on.
He has never said anything other than it being his wrongdoing. He tells me that I am perfect and beautiful and never did anything wrong. One day I might believe this but so far I can't. He has answered all of the horrible, uncomfortable and hurtful questions and understands that there are things that I need to know to get even close to fixing what has been broken.
I have never told anyone and so to the rest of our world everything is just fine. I have been congratulated on my weight loss...if only they knew what the cause was. I have started drinking again (I didn't drink for years), not to excess but to begin with to try and help me to sleep. It certainly helps with the times when I need to ask him about the various details of what happened.
So this is why I am here, writing this. I have read loads of stuff from people that just ended it all and feel strong and have a whole new life but I need to hear from people who decided to stick with it. It is easier now than 6 months ago but I still think about it so much throughout my day. Do you ever have a day when you don't think about it? Am I weak for not breaking up? Was this just the easy option? Did any of you actually talk to the other woman/man? Was it worth it?
Thank you to SI for being here and creating a place for me and everyone to feel like they are not alone.

posts: 8   路   registered: Sep. 13th, 2022   路   location: UK
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psychmom ( member #47498) posted at 1:28 PM on Friday, September 16th, 2022

Welcome to the club no one ever hopes to join, Smitty. It鈥檚 actually one of the best places you鈥檒l find to help you after the trauma you e been through. 馃槉

You are not weak for staying. It takes courage to do what you鈥檙e doing, and I suspect you鈥檙e a very strong woman. But this shift in our reality is life-changing. And early on, the best focus is on you and your health. STD check, food, water, the basics of survival. I lost nearly 20 pounds in 6 weeks and I remember the praise and looks of envy at my weight loss. If only they knew 馃槈

The desire to talk to the OW (other woman) may be strong, but often it can hurt more than help. Hard to know what type of person she is, but you do know she鈥檚 the kind who apparently has no issues fucking a married man with 4 children ( they often are aware of the family situation at some point). So the general advice around here is to resist the urge to contact her, if you can. Personally, I did talk to all 3 of my Husbands OW. I was on the warpath at the time and was out for blood 馃槒

You鈥檝e got a long road ahead of you, but this is a great place to ask questions, vent, seek guidance. Many here have started where you are, and have made it through. You will too! You鈥檒l be asked what your H is doing to discover why and how he was able to do what he did, and what he鈥檚 doing to fix whatever made him think cheating and lying to you and his family was acceptable. For you to begin to feel safe with him, you鈥檒l need to know he鈥檚 doing some things cheaters need to do, like seek therapy, read books, and be open in answering all of your questions for as long as you need.

And you may need some professional help, too. This is a major trauma for most of us. It鈥檚 not something we can get through easily alone. More people will join in with their advice soon. I鈥檓 glad you found us, and glad to see you鈥檙e asking questions. You鈥檒l get through this, smitty82!

BS (me); fWH (both 50+; married 20 yr at the time; 2 DD
DDay 1- 9/13/2014 (EA)- 3+ yrs
DDay 2- 10/24/2014(PA2)-July'14-Sept'14
DDay 3- 11/12/2014(PA1)-Oct-Feb '14
Reconciled

posts: 4268   路   registered: Apr. 10th, 2015   路   location: Back among those who found Peace of Mind
id 8755496
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 1:54 PM on Friday, September 16th, 2022

smitty82, I'm sorry you find yourself here, but I'm sure you will benefit from the support and wisdom of so many here.

I'm five years out, but from a long and drawn out disclosure of a 9 year affair, so I'm on the slow path to recovery. I would like to tell you there are days I don't think about it, but I'm not there yet. I'm realizing that my biggest hurdle to that peace of mind is me, and I'm working on separating my feelings from myself, and retraining my brain. The first chapters of Living and Loving After Betrayal explain the how's and why's of that mental process, and I'm trying to do the work to reboot.

I suggest you read the recent post from psychmom in this thread or the positive reconciliation stories thread for more success stories, and there are many BS here who have beaten the odds and rebuilt a happy life with their WS.

For me, contacting the MOW was both good and bad. Good because my initial threats to out her scared her away, when they had taken the affair underground and I had no clue. I was led to believe the PA was long over and they remained online friends who only emailed each other. Was I ever fooled with that one. Good because I got to say every horrible thing to her that I needed to and I got to hurt her with some ugly truths too. Bad because in her initial responses, she lied and helped my WH gaslight me and led me believe the A lasted only a few months and they had no contact for years. Bad because some of the details she did share were a knife to my heart. If I take a step back, beyond the initial scaring away, I wish I hadn't given her the time of day or tried to tell her how much I was hurting, because why would a morally compromised cheater and liar care about that at all? I just let her see me weak and in pain, and that didn't make me feel stronger. She isn't worth the space in my head. I have had more email exchanges with her than I can recall, but I can tell you all of them were stressful interactions and most of what she had to say was of no use to me, other than a window into her entitled, excuse making victim mentality.

I advise you to do what you think is best, but to ask yourself what your motivation is and what you hope to achieve and whether you believe the outcome will be helpful or harmful to your healing.

Keep sharing and learning here, and keep working on your own healing. What your WH said is true, his A was not about you or your shortcomings. It was about his. Stop feeling weak for staying, I can attest that leaving is easier, staying is the harder choice and takes strength you don't know you have. You have to figure out what you want and need to be happy moving forward, what you value and what path leads you to the life you want. I've thought many times that leaving would help me heal faster, but my heart wants this life, this family and this relationship with this man I am getting to know all over again. There are good days, great times and there are really bad days and setbacks. But if you are both committed to trying, and if you both believe your lives are better together than apart, keep trying. I am really stubborn, hate to quit and love to win and that may have a lot to do with why I am still here, vomiting my emotions and struggles all over this forum. Thank goodness for this forum.

Also, if no one in your life knows, that is a sad and lonely path I would not recommend. It took me a year to tell my two best friends, and they were so hurt that I suffered alone, and reminded me that the point of having friends is to share both the good and the bad. The relief I felt having safe, supportive spaces to quit pretending nothing was wrong was huge! Both of those friends have maintained a decent relationship with my WH, which was one of my concerns. The other reason I kept my dark secret so long was from shame, but I learned mostly from here, that I had nothing to be ashamed of, and at this point in my journey, I have a lot of pride in myself. I'm proud of my tenacity, my deep adherence to my core values, my kind and loving heart, my strength in the face of adversity and a host of other things. The only thing I feel ashamed about is my slow path figuring out the truth because I didn't trust my gut, my slow path to healing and my inability to control my emotions when I spiral. I'm working on forgiving myself for those things.

I got compliments on my weight loss too, but told people it was a combination of yardwork and a huge flare of my IBS! It always stung a little to not admit that I was stressed, couldn't sleep and food made me gag for almost a year after I finally figured out my WH had a secret life. The hardest for me are those who don't know, when they comment on how lucky we are to have such a perfect happy marriage. It's easier to let some people think that than to have everyone know my business, so I shrug it off and say there's plenty that's not perfect but we try to make it work. I guess that sums up the current state of my marriage.

Best of luck to you moving forward. Keep reaching out, keep reading in the healing library and take care of yourself.

[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 1:56 PM, Friday, September 16th]

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 431   路   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   路   location: Southeastern USA
id 8755506
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Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 3:07 PM on Friday, September 16th, 2022

Sadly...all of us here definitely understand sad . Happily...all of us here definitely understand smile . You are doing great so far!! Reaching out to others was a Godsend to me. Like you...no one else knows about my H's (husband's) affair that he had while working alone overseas. THIS PLACE helped me keep my sanity...and I made some cool friends and "family" along the way smile .

Although most of the Waywards conduct their A's (affairs) in pretty much the same way...the HEALING for the Betrayeds takes various paths. We are here to HELP smile . I often write on here that whatever HELPS the Betrayed to HEAL...as long as it is legal wink ...DO IT grin !!! You will be given TONS of advice from people who are at various phases of healing. Take what you NEED from all of us...and leave the rest smile . Also...in "the healing library" link at the top of the page you will find a part for the abbreviations most frequently used on here. That was one of the things that puzzled me the most when I first got on here laugh !!!

Do you ever have a day when you don't think about it?

It has been over 8 years since my Dday (discovery day)...and I still think about it EVERY DAY. It isn't gut wrenching like it was the first few years though. However...my Mama passed away over 30 years ago...and I still think about it EVERY DAY. We very seldom forget the TRAUMA that happens in our lives. Everyone experiences some type of trauma...and we on here all got dealt the infidelity card sad . The GOOD news is that even though this has happened...it does not DEFINE who you are smile . This is ALL on your WH (Wayward Husband).

Those shakes you wrote about...that is so SCARY isn't it? I couldn't control the shakes. The wailing was so visceral too crying . I didn't know how I was able to survive...my body was so damaged...as was my soul crying . Warts started appearing on my hands shocked . I had EIGHTEEN before they finally subsided!! Thank God I don't have any today...but that was something else! I also started breaking my teeth. The dentist asked if I was under stress...YES!! He said that some people grind their teeth at night when they are stressed...and that could lead to teeth breaking. My H said that sometimes I was waking him up at night because I was grinding my teeth so hard look . Thank God...I haven't had any broken teeth in years grin !!

Am I weak for not breaking up?

NOT...AT...ALL. I bet EVERY person on this planet has said that there was NO WAY they would ever stay with a cheater...UNTIL it happens to them. We don't know what we don't know. There are so many things that are intertwined in a relationship that make it really HARD to just cut and run. One thing I can tell you is that EVERY A is a dealbreaker. PERIOD. We all have to either make a NEW deal...or not. You are still in the discovery phase...still recovering as well. When you feel stronger...you can make better decisions for yourself and your future smile .

My 1st M (marriage) ended in D (divorce) when I caught my XWH (ex wayward husband) with another woman. Almost 40 years later I can still remember the RELIEF I felt when he left me for her. Going for R (reconciliation) with my 2nd H was MUCH harder. It takes STRENGTH to do either one...D or R.

Was this just the easy option?

I am sure many of us have pondered that smile . It seems that within 5 years after Dday...people tend to know which option they need. For ME...I went back and forth...between D or R...for about 3 years until I felt we had turned a corner toward R smile . Sometimes I went back and forth several times in a day!!

Did any of you actually talk to the other woman/man?

The consensus on here is to NOT do it. The adultery co-conspirator is a cheater for the most part. There are some who truly do not know they are in a relationship with a married person...but that is RARE. Cheaters LIE. I have seen some HORRIBLE outcomes from when the BS (betrayed spouse) has reached out to the adultery co-conspirator. I have also seen it be very CATHARTIC.

For ME...I TRIED to not contact the adultery co-conspirator. She was a stranger my H met. He had advertised on Craigslist and Tagged that he was a "happily married man looking for NSA (no strings attached) sex while working in that country". Only ONE person agreed to this...most of the others told him he was a pig for doing this to his wife. But the adultery co-conspirator knew from the start that my H was married...and that it would be over when he left her country. She fell in LURVE with my H...and he had "feelings of lurve" for her too by the time he left...68 days later duh .

The adultery co-conspirator kept trying to contact my H after he sent her the NC (no contact) message. He went completely NC with her...but she would try every 2-3 weeks...for FIVE MONTHS. I HAD ENOUGH!!! I set up an email account..."theoneandonlyMrs(H's name)"...and started sending HER a barrage of emails. I was going to show her that TWO could play at this harassing game...and I WOULD WIN!!! It felt so GOOD to write out the vitriol I had stored up inside me. I practically DARED her to reply tongue !!! She took the bait...and sent me a reply...apologizing IF she hurt me...because that was not her intention look . The very NEXT paragraph...she wrote something that was a LIE...and was done solely to intentionally hurt me rolleyes .

I replied to that email...letting her know that she was a LIAR...and giving her the proof to know how I knew wink . I then twisted that dagger into her heart so enthusiastically with my words that my plan WORKED...she has NEVER tried to contact either of us again.

Was it worth it?

Honestly...NO. It felt GOOD at the time for me to spew all that poison toward her. But I hurt another human being...intentionally. Everything I said was TRUE...but it was mean and vindictive. I went down to her level. I don't want to be THAT person...but I was...and I can never say that I wasn't ever again sad .

However...in her reply to me...the adultery co-conspirator unwittingly corroborated some of the things my H had told me. Every time my H told me something that I could corroborate...it HELPED in my healing smile .

I personally wouldn't recommend contacting the adultery co-conspirator. But I HIGHLY recommend contacting the OBS (other betrayed spouse)...if there is one. They deserve to know.

ETA: because I actually FORGOT that my H advertised on Tagged...not Whatsapp rolleyes . I fixed that typo grin !!

[This message edited by Want2BHappyAgain at 6:59 PM, Friday, September 16th]

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: 6233   路   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   路   location: Southeastern United States
id 8755537
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 3:12 PM on Friday, September 16th, 2022

If I read it right, you are only 6 months in from D-day. This is still pretty early on in your processing, and it is generally not recommended that you begin R until you know what you are truly reconciling from.

You might want to post in the JFO forum for a different audience with different perspectives. This might help you sort your thoughts out.

After Dday1&2, I desperately wanted to save my M, so I engaged in epic confirmation bias, scouring the internet and books looking for anything that could tell me that I could save my M and it could be stronger than ever! I ignored everything else, because I was going to beat the odds. Yeah, I came around and realized that my WW just did not have it in her to fix what she broke. She was and continues to be a low quality person.

Had she been better, we might have made it work. I don't think I would ever have been happy again, but I might gave been okay. Only you know your situation, but my advice is take it slow and process it. Get some IC and someone you can talk to IRL in order to help you. Good luck.

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 and filed. Denied having an affair in court papers.

Divorced 2022!!!!

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gainingclosure ( member #79667) posted at 4:24 PM on Friday, September 16th, 2022

My gut feeling was that I didn't want him to leave. We have 4 kids and one was just about to take their exams so NOTHING was going to disrupt their happiness and lives. It wasn't just this though........I loved him more than anything, he was my dream man and I thought that the 20 years that we had been together was pretty much as good as it gets.

Always go with your gut and don't rush any decision. You CAN be in love again with him. I know I love my wife dearly and her A forced us to start taking our M seriously and highlighted the issues in our marriage that we needed to work on. She found out a lot about herself in the process as did I and has proven over time that she is better than her actions back then. We learned also about how our conflicting attachment styles contributed to her being vulnerable and are just overall way more self aware as well as aware of each others needs. Just realize also that R is not linear and forgiveness is a day to day process. There will be times when everything feels like its going great, and then a set back or flare up can occur. Totally normal. You will always carry this painful wound with you despite whatever you decide but its possible to get to a place where when you do think about it, it hardly hurts at all.

He has never said anything other than it being his wrongdoing. He tells me that I am perfect and beautiful and never did anything wrong. One day I might believe this but so far I can't. He has answered all of the horrible, uncomfortable and hurtful questions and understands that there are things that I need to know to get even close to fixing what has been broken.

This is promising behavior to see. Empathy and validating your feelings is the key for wayward to diffuse flare ups. Most often they will deflect, minimize, catastrophize, or want to rugsweep. Just hopefully he realizes that this can be a very long process (actually it never really stops completely) and to be completely open and honest.

I was utterly convinced that he would never cheat partly because this is what his dad did to his mom and he saw what this did to her.

This is totally counter intuitive but its been studied and determined that people who parents went through infidelity are a higher risk factor to cheat. My wife's life was turned upside down by her parents divorce when she was 12, as a result of her Mom having an affair with the aerobics instructor. Guess what? She then cheated on me with a coworker 2 years into our M. You'd think it would be the other way around, right?

Am I weak for not breaking up?

Absolutely not. In fact it's my strong belief that it takes way more fortitude to attempt reconciliation than it does to just leave. Also, there is no guarantee that the next person you're with wont cheat. Life is uncertain. The sooner you accept the fact that there is, at minimum, a small possibility that anyone (including your now H) will betray you again, the better. Accepting this fact helped me to let go of my need to control my spouse. Sure, she could do it again, its a possibility. But I know then what I have to do and I know it will suck for awhile but then I will be OK without her at that point. Such is the cost of love, and unfortunately thats life - its not always fair or pretty. In fact it can get pretty darn ugly! It helps me to focus on the positive things I have going for me and grateful Im not going through something worse and there could be things alot worse. At least with your H, he's (hopefully) learned a valuable lesson, a lesson that someone else may not have learned yet. Also, the horror stories I know of with dating today are rough to say the least and I can tell you many stories that my wife brings home with her from working at a beauty salon all day. Its a crap shoot out there and Ill take something I know well over something I dont.

Also the culture we are in tends to frown on staying with someone who betrays you. Shame for staying is a common emotion among us betrayeds. And its common for family and friends to give you advice to leave out of a desire to protect you from further harm as they see we are hurting badly, but only you can make that decision. In the end they will have to follow your lead about what to do.

Did any of you actually talk to the other woman/man? Was it worth it?

Sure I did. It involved me describing the things I was planning on doing to him when I got my hands on him. I almost did, but he ran into a nearby business screaming like the weasel he is. Felt good to scare the crap out of him and helped alleviate a sliver of my wounded pride, but not worth going to jail for. It's very natural to feel anger and rage at the AP, especially if they are seen at all as the "pursuer" and knew your SO was married. My advice is just don't do anything that could land you in trouble with the law. Ideally you get to the point where they dont even factor into your thoughts anymore. This is one thing I personally still struggle with due to the behavior of my spouses AP both before and after discovery.

Theres a workbook for couples that my WW and I are currently going over and its been great to help me reframe my negative thinking around my wifes affair and help keep our discussions about her A from descending into a fight. Id recommend it for you and your H to go over together. Search it up on Google - Infidelity Recovery Workbook For Couples by Monique Thompson. And both find yourself a good MC and IC if you havent already.

Best of luck in your reconciliation

[This message edited by gainingclosure at 5:11 PM, Friday, September 16th]

Reconciling BH. Full story is in my bio."The soul is dyed with the color of its thoughts" - Marcus Aurelius

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HardKnocks ( member #70957) posted at 5:17 PM on Friday, September 16th, 2022

Your WS will need to make some revolutionary changes in order to become a safe partner. You can't make him change, but you can see that he takes the necessary steps towards that end. There are no shortcuts.

Be careful with the drinking! My drinking-as-coping developed into a years-long full-blown affair with alcohol. Very similar behavior and consequences to what happens in sexual affairs. In any case, drinking in excess will only delay your healing.

I can tell you that I have the relationship I want, but with 2 DDays I don't know if that will last, and I cannot bring myself to say I'm "reconciled", because the word has lost meaning to me. I refer to myself as "recovering" because on several levels, I still am. I have made revolutionary changes, so I know it's possible. I am giving my S that opportunity (with nearly 3 years of IC), as he did for me. I personally feel better than any other time in my life, and this is independent of my relationship--maybe because I truly feel I can stand independent of my relationship.

IC saved me with my issues. I hope you have some lined-up for yourself!

All the best!

BW x2
Recovering
2020

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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 8:10 PM on Friday, September 16th, 2022

Sorry you had to find us, but glad you did.

I'm going to give some "JFO" boilerplate here to you, because I don't know what all you have done so far to engage in the potential for reconciliation.

1) You need the complete truth, or you cannot reconcile. You can't forgive what you don't know. You will keep having your healing clock reset by trickle truth without the complete truth. A written timeline of the affair is needed. One thing you will find happening otherwise is a lot of trickle truth by "clarification" of previous answers. Because you will ruminate, you will feel the need to ask the same questions again, the answers ought to be the same. A lot of posters here recommend a polygraph to confirm the completeness and accuracy of the timeline. Usually one of the questions is, "have you ever had any other affairs?"

2) He needs to do the work to lead the healing. Reading "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" by Linda MacDonald is the standard starting point. "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass is, in my opinion, the best book on understanding how A's start and how to set better boundaries to reduce susceptibility in the future.

3) Complete electronic transparency. He needs to be sharing all accounts and passwords, plus 24/7 gps location sharing on his phone.

Do you ever have a day when you don't think about it?

I'm at nearly 3 years out, and most days I think about it, but some days I don't. I also come to this forum a lot mostly looking to pass information forward that helped me so much. I don't know if that also counts or not.

Am I weak for not breaking up? Was this just the easy option?

I think that this is a key internal dialog you have to have with yourself and your values. If you previously thought cheating was a dealbreaker, and now you aren't leaving, you need to figure out why that is. Is it because you weak and afraid? Maybe. Is it because you are more flexible and resilient than you previously thought? Maybe. You need to think about your motivations and which is more accurate. If you find you are flexible and resilient, you will struggle with the loss of "something integrity adjacent". I need a better name for it, but that's what it is. It takes a great deal of mental toughness and grace to work through R honestly. On the other hand, it shows strong character to stick to your guns if it's a dealbreaker. It can be hard to make either decision because it's just so gutting to be cheated on. We all work through it in our own time.

Did any of you actually talk to the other woman/man?

Not in my case, though I did talk to other people that were AP adjacent. I had a very brief single exchange with OBS.

Was it worth it?

I'm going to answer this as if the question is NOT a follow on to whether or not it was worth it to chase down the AP and talk to them. Instead I'll answer this as a question about whether R is worth it.

I think this is a question you need to figure out by thinking about at least three futures. One, you have successful R. Two, you have false R and are betrayed again. Three, you leave now.

What are the pros and cons of each of those futures? Then if you choose R, what is the probability (in your case) that you think it might be false R? That will help you weigh whether the risk of false R is worth the benefit. And more broadly, whether R is worth it at all to you, or if divorce might just have a better net benefit out of the gate.

If you don't give D serious consideration, "R at any cost" will come at a very high cost to you.

In my case, I judge the benefits of R to be worth the risk of false R weighed against the outcome for D. So far, I'm content with my decision to R. There is a little fuzziness to that though, because one of the things that lets me stay comfortable with that decision is that I have mentally given myself permission to change my mind at any time. Just because I'm in R now, doesn't mean I can't wake up and for any reason, or no reason at all, decide R isn't working out for me the way I had hoped.

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

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Evertrying ( member #60644) posted at 9:45 PM on Friday, September 16th, 2022

I stuck with him and we reconciled. We are 5 yrs from dday now, and the first 18 months was pure hell.
We have been married for almost 28 yrs.
For me it was worth it to stay and fight for the marriage, BUT, there was ALOT he had to do to prove to me he was worth staying for. He did the work and now our marriage is better than it ever was. I still have my issues (though brought on because of his cheating) I have a seething hate for his AP and can't get past it, though it doesn't consume my life anymore. It did for a long time but eventually the scab wore off and now I just hate her.

I never knew or met her. She was a co-worker and they worked on a couple of projects together. After their affair bubble was burst he broke off the affair and quit his job and got a new one. Thankfully she was not a crazy stalker type and never bothered us except for a weird phone call about a year after the affair ended. She called his phone and never said anything. He thought it might have been a butt dial, but I think she did it on purpose to see if he would say something or call her back. He did neither.

I still think about it, but not everyday and the pain is very much behind us now. He is completely disgusted about what he did and calls that period of time "When my head was in my ass".

You are not weak by staying. Sometimes staying is far more difficult than leaving.
I don't regret hanging in there, but remember, your husband has to prove he's worth having you.

BS - 55 on dday
WH - 48 on dday
Dday: 9/1/17
Status: Reconciled

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jailedmind ( member #74958) posted at 9:42 AM on Saturday, September 17th, 2022

Talking to the AP is wrought with issues.
I went after my wife鈥檚 AP but he would not come out of his hotel room. To my knowledge he never contacted my wife again . Seems it was no longer fun once the affair bubble burst. My wife had to get tested for STDs non negotiable. I dropped her off at the clinic and made sure she went to her appointment. Like making sure your children do thier punishment. lThen soon after she met up with the wife of her old boyfriend she was also texting regularly. The boyfriends wife had her 4 children with her.. The look on my wife鈥檚 face after that meeting was utterly priceless. Finally you could tell she was getting it and the world wasn鈥檛 all about her. Today she鈥檚 the kind of person I could respect. But I don鈥檛. That鈥檚 the crappy part . Learning to live with it. Eventually you need to find a way to live with it. Some find religion. Some find some outside hobby. Some find working on themselves. Working on thier marriage. Doing something to quit thinking about the affair. At the beginning it is all consuming. At the end it鈥檚 living with the fact that your spouse can be a very shitty person. Remember you now have all the power . Your spouse is most likely scared shitless of what your going to do. Being outed is thier greatest fear. Because they believe they aren鈥檛 bad people doing bad things. To this day my wife lives in fear that our daughters will find out. That鈥檚 8 years of living in fear. People spend less time in prison for murder. I just sit back and smile inside. Karma is a bitch lol

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Thistooshallmakemestrong ( new member #80967) posted at 8:21 PM on Saturday, September 17th, 2022

Hello Smitty,
When I read your post I felt that I had to finally become a SI member so I could reply to you. I am so sorry that you are going through this.
My husband and I have been married for 20yrs and have 4 children 鈥 all school aged. I discovered in Jan this year that he had had a 5mth emotional and physical affair while he was living overseas last year for work. The affair ended December last year because he was returning home. He told me that he never wanted me to find out because he didn鈥檛 want to hurt me. I am a very resilient independent person. This has completely floored me. I hate feeling so vulnerable all the time. I have trouble sleeping. I have vivid dreams and when I wake it鈥檚 the first thing I think about.
We are reconciling. My immediate gut feeling was for us to stay together as well. Like you, NOTHING was going to break my childrens happiness and sense of stability. I also knew that I needed support to get through this and he is the only person in my life that you could provide that. We have not told anyone. No one we know would ever think we are going through this.
We have been working through any and all the resources we can find. He is doing everything needed for us to get through this. He tells me that I am beautiful and amazing and that he loves me. He said he has never stopped loving me鈥
I go through so many different phases. I can get so focussed on the other woman sometimes. We wrote an email to her together (signed from him), letting her know that I was aware of the affair, that my husband regretted having more then a conversation with her and that he wanted no further contact so that we could work on reconciliation. She knew he was married with 4 children too. I have really struggled with this fact. My husband described her as nurturing, compassionate, emotionally intelligent person. I get so angry because she cant be those things AND knowingly have an affair with a married man with 4 small children!
I still think about it everyday. I still get that 鈥榢icked in the gut鈥 feeling. I have also had moments when I have felt closer to my husband then ever before. I am trying to work on making sense of the past but also looking to the future. I let myself feel the pain so I can move forward. I was having a drink every evening to numb it a bit but its not helpful long term. It will just prolong the healing. I don鈥檛 drink anymore. When I feel angry, I let my husband know and we will talk so I can find out what the hurt behind the anger is. We have started walking together a lot. There have been walks where I have been 鈥榰gly angry鈥. It feels good to get it out. We never end our talks without us both feeling a sense of closeness from them.
Thank you for sharing and posting your story. I usually feel so alone with my thoughts and feelings. I guess our stories are so similar that I imagine we are often feeling the same. I hope you take some comfort in knowing you are not alone either and that healing and reconciling is possible.

Me-BS 45
WH - 50
4 children 9-15yrs
5mth EA and PA ended Dec 21
DDay 7th Jan 22

posts: 3   路   registered: Sep. 17th, 2022
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yellowledbetter ( member #70518) posted at 8:52 PM on Saturday, September 17th, 2022

Smitty88,

So sorry you鈥檝e had to join us here.

And the shakes鈥.omg, who knew that betrayal trauma can devastate us not only mentally but physically too. I shook uncontrollably for months. Couldn鈥檛 eat, sleep, think straight or stop crying pretty much the entire first year. I still have my really bad days though and it鈥檚 been almost 4 years since the worst day of my life.

I would not bother having any communication with the OW. These are morally corrupt people鈥hey鈥檒l lie, lie, lie and lie some more. Plus, they DONT CARE. In my experience it hurt me more than it helped me when I called her up and let her have it. Anything she said to me was a lie anyways鈥nd she made shit up to hurt me worse than I already was hurting. She ruined her marriage and had 2 small kids at home. SHE DID NOT CARE. Then she continued to harass me and my children. In hindsight I wish I simply had made sure I got in contact with her husband(which I did) and then had a lawyer draft a a letter stating exactly what would happen if she contacted any member of my family again. That along with a NO Contact letter from my husband to her. That鈥檚 what we should have done from the get go. But it鈥檚 so hard to navigate this shit show when you just want to curl in a ball and die.

She鈥檚 not worth your energy鈥on鈥檛 waste time on her. But if she is married or in a relationship, absolutely 100% blow that shit up by telling him. A betrayed spouse always deserves to know. Like, yesterday.

Take care of yourself鈥et std tests immediately鈥nd individual counselling for you both. Not marriage counselling at this point though. He needs to work through his own issues and you need support. You鈥檝e been terribly traumatized. Confide in a dear friend. It鈥檚 painfully lonely going through this alone.

I wish you healing 馃檹

[This message edited by yellowledbetter at 9:57 PM, Saturday, September 17th]

Me: BW 52, WH 55, LTA, AP 20 yrs younger. Married 33 yrs, together for 36
3 adult children
DDay Dec19/2018
Attempting Reconciliation鈥.still.

~where there is deep grief, there was great love.

posts: 122   路   registered: May. 9th, 2019   路   location: Canada
id 8755765
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ISurvivedSoFar ( Guide #56915) posted at 11:46 AM on Sunday, September 18th, 2022

I am truly sorry you find yourself here smitty. Our stories are similar and it is beyond shocking when the person we thought had our backs actually betrayed us and shook us to our core. It is a devastating experience. I wish it on nobody.

You are not alone. You will survive and eventually thrive. It is a long and hard road - and please know this road is long and hard whether you reconcile or divorce. At 6 years out, my circle of friends from SI run the gamut from R to D - and within that group many tried R and didn't make it others tried R and did make it. It isn't a decision anyone can make for you. However, it is not a decision that necessitates shame - either decision is honorable and I hope you can work that into your psyche so you don't have to feel badly for taking either road.

I wish the decision coming out of infidelity is easy but it isn't. From the outside prior to infidelity I was of the strong opinion that if it ever happened to me the relationship would be over. But circumstances surrounding our lives aren't that easy - those kind of inexperienced opinions (mine) don't take into consideration the people, the situation, the children, the years together, the impact of infidelity trauma and so on. It becomes much more difficult to know the direction to take with those layers of complexity.

You asked great questions.

Do you ever have a day when you don't think about it?

Yes I almost never think about it today - I even forget the APs name and if you told me that would happen when I was freshly traumatized I would have told you that's crazy. It takes a long time to stop the constant and unrelenting thoughts of the infidelity. Part of the lessening of intrusive thoughts comes from processing the parts of the trauma multiple times until our minds reconcile the activities with our reality. We get to lessen their impact by facing them - something that seems impossible when we are in a lot of pain but as folks here will tell you the best way to get past it is to go through it rather than around it. So keep up your work posting here and asking questions including getting the answers you need about the 5 months of the infidelity.

Am I weak for not breaking up?

Anyone here who has reconciled, including me, will tell you that staying and going through the process of working through the relationship after infidelity trauma is nothing but courageous. I've observed that no matter the road taken, it isn't easy and takes a lot of work. For me, reconciling meant I needed to be sure the relationship was solid and healthy even if we didn't stay together for the sake of our children. I was so broken as was my WS, that we needed a lot of repair to be able to best care for them. So in my mind I didn't want my children to be potentially half time with my WS when he was in sorry shape and still had a very warped sense of reality. As well I wanted my children to see how relationships get repaired for the sake of others and the greater good.

Was this just the easy option?

There is absolutely no easy option unfortunately. It is a long and difficult road - and we as BSs have to figure out our new reality and how we will reconcile what happened to us all the while working on building ourselves into a better version of us - that seems impossible early on but this forces us to learn how to care for ourselves better, putting the appropriate boundaries around ourselves that ultimately enhances our lives in a holistic way. This is a process we must take and we learn to be okay with not knowing the outcome. We learn that staying together or not is okay and the goal is to recover and become better individually. If together is possible, then it is a new M because the old one has been destroyed.

Did any of you actually talk to the other woman/man? Was it worth it?

I knew the OW unfortunately. But despite the incredible urge to contact her and to blame her, I heeded the advice of those that came before me on SI and refrained. Yes I stalked her on FB for awhile but that abated when I realized I was just torturing myself and she wasn't worth a second of my time. I had to invest my time in myself and my family - the people that really mattered in my life. Stirring up contention with the OW just was an additional layer of mess I did NOT want to invite into my stressed out life.

You will come to a position of strength from this but right now it is just important to process the trauma and to be sure you are taking the best care of you possible - without worrying about your WSs issues. Your WS needs to accommodate to your needs for recovery. I hope he can do that for you.

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

posts: 2831   路   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
id 8755820
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 smitty82 (original poster new member #80920) posted at 2:51 PM on Monday, September 19th, 2022

I am so overwhelmed by how supportive you have all been. Thank you for your advice and understanding.
I genuinely feel that I have found a safe place with people who have been there and know how I feel and how it can be like I am on the brink of madness and depression one day/hour and nearly normal the next.
I will carry on being brave and asking the horrible questions that my brain comes up with. My WH will hopefully carry on answering them, no matter how horrible he feels in doing so.
I know I shouldn鈥檛 have anything to do with the AP. I get so angry that she knew he was married, she knew he had 4 kids and yet just carried on anyway. Maybe the fact that she is 90 miles away made her feel immune to the wrong that was taking place. She asked him to take off his wedding ring鈥︹..that makes me very angry. If she didn鈥檛 like the wedding ring then don鈥檛 get into bed with a married man!
I still can鈥檛 promise that I won鈥檛 drive down there one day and spend a few hours in her pub. I wonder if she would recognise me? I wonder what she鈥檇 do?
For now I will go on day by day, keeping strong for my 4 amazing kids and working to keep a roof over our heads.
I can鈥檛 thank you enough for your responses and no doubt will be back with more questions鈥︹.
Thank you x

posts: 8   路   registered: Sep. 13th, 2022   路   location: UK
id 8755965
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Fof9303 ( member #70433) posted at 1:03 AM on Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

I am so sorry that you are here and that you are dealing with this by yourself without anyone to lean on. It is so very hard to go through this without someone to just listen to you ramble. Unfortunately everyone in our world found out when this happened to us. I told my kids-- they were in high school and they needed to know why dad would be moving out. He did just that too-- I made him leave, but he found his way back in.. I would have never believed it that I would. He did everything and anything to show me he loved me and how sorry he was... counseling.. full access to his phone (changed his number too), social media accounts deleted... checking in.. no more away trips unless I went... These things what were needed to help us move on, but also our faith.. my deep faith helped lead the way.. Honestly I did not know if it would work... but I gave it a chance... looking back now over 11 years later.. I am so happy I did. We got to see two of our children get married and a grandbaby is on the way very shortly. So let me say this... you are not weak.. you are Brave. It is an act of bravery to put your hope in your vowels that he will follow them this time. Never forget that you are strong! Also as others have said, avoid contacting the OW. My husband's OW tried reaching out to me.. and I never gave in. Why would I... do I want her to see my pain.. hear the devastation in my voice.. and what is she going to tell me... why would I believe any of it... she is not one of upstanding behavior... so walk away from that.. Also with the "stalking" on social media... ask yourself this... whatever I see or find out about her.. will it make me feel better later? I hope the both of you are in counseling. One day soon, you will get out of the shower and dry your hair, and you will realize that you did not even think of it.. It will happen eventually, but heal yourself. Get busy.. get new hobbies together... stay busy.. and pray for your marriage. Many blessings to you to get through this challenging time.

posts: 147   路   registered: Apr. 27th, 2019
id 8756122
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