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General :
Hard to believe reconciliation is real

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 Scherzo (original poster new member #80983) posted at 12:06 AM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Husband and I are married 30 years, both retired. We snowbird between Boston area, where we own a condo, and Dallas, where my daughter lives with our grandchild.

This two-location lifestyle has worked for us for five years, but you can guess why I am here. In July I came to Dallas for some specific events, then I had a crisis with my back that kept me grounded here for two extra weeks. That was enough time for the my husband to —

Respond to what he says were unmistakable signals of admiration from a neighbor.

When I returned at the end of July, he was riding some mental high. Day 1, he told me the extra long separation caused him to really have tothink about his commitment to me. (!) But he CHOSE his commitment to me, isn’t that great? A little while later he said someone in the building—I had an idea who—had found him attractive. My reaction (in retrospect, denial) was to say "wow! I can see how that would boost your mojo" given our age (we are both white haired but he is older) I was giving him the benefit of the doubt for being open with me and needing to talk about it.

But—

As the days wore on he kept referring back to his amazing experience— I already knew who he had been to dinner with, a woman on the condo board — and then before I arrived, she had invited him into her apartment for drinks. WS said to me "you should see OW’s apartment!"

At the end of the 4th day when he said out of the blue, "it was HER-NAME, of course"

I finally asked for details and he said he had kissed her more than once.

By this time I had been feeling like he was manipulating me to make me jealous or more attentive— but then I was thrown into the knowledge that he had-

1- used the extra time while I had a health issue to fawn over this woman, and spend time with her

2 - kissed her after his first dinner with her, because he "just knew" she wanted that

3 - even though all in the building know we’re married, with her he must have pretended our marriage is just a formality

4 - yes I found flirting and fawning emails

5 - he gave HER a "tour" of our apartment —i believe it was only a tour but to me it was a violation of MY space. Needless to say it is unlikely I will ever see her apartment.


After I became hurt and angry, he said he had always wanted nothing but me, he loves me, he "chose"our commitment, he had a boundary of no sex so technically he was not unfaithful.

Over the past two months I have entered all the classic emotions of betrayed spouse- feeling my foundation of life is shattered, and crying off and on that my marriage will never be a safe place for me again, and wondering about his bullying way of revealing it all to me. (All that I know, I mean.)

We have seen a counselor twice. Currently we are in neutral space in Dallas but I dread going back to the northeast.

I honestly don’t know at times how I will ever get beyond this.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022   ·   location: Dallas
id 8756453
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 1:36 AM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

If he has never acted like this before I think you should take him in and have a thorough exam done. I’m talking about neurological as well as physical. Sometimes this behavior is the beginning of a mild form of dementia

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 3491   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8756468
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:09 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

I believe, too, would react to a kiss as you're doing - if my W kissed some adult after dinner, I'd think it was a betrayal. I also believe I'd surprise myself with that reaction - when I first wanted my W, I wanted so much that a kiss seemed inconsequential, but it was not.

So I think you just have to go through the healing process ... denial, anger, bargaining, etc. It's a painful process, but it's cleansing and empowering.

For R to work, for your H to heal, he needs to change from a cheater to good partner. How did he not know that he owed his kisses to you, not to ow 'because he knew she wanted it'? What is he doing to teach himself to do what's right in the future?

What do you mean by 'Hard to believe reconciliation is real?'

[This message edited by SI Staff at 5:10 PM, Thursday, September 22nd]

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: 27569   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8756544
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 Scherzo (original poster new member #80983) posted at 6:24 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Thx cooley 2and sisoon.

Cooley you have an excellent point— When I married an older spouse I signed up for knowing he might have health issues before me, but I didn’t take into account the idea of an old-goat ego emerging. Yikes.

Nevertheless— he has his faculties and so for now I am holding him entirely responsible, which hurts.

Sisoon thank you for your response here and in reconciliation thread, which I am reading over and over.

When I say — hard to believe reconciliation is real (next post)—

[This message edited by Scherzo at 6:26 PM, Thursday, September 22nd]

posts: 11   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022   ·   location: Dallas
id 8756556
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 Scherzo (original poster new member #80983) posted at 6:36 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Before being in this position, I thought I knew how married people could or would decide to stay together. But now that I have this breach of trust that has changed my perception of him and our marriage.

So however charming and good-natured and even affectionate he is toward me—I feel he is doubling down on his old charm and expecting that to be enough. It WAS enough before the breach. Now, It’s just not. Love him, yes, very much—before the breach. Now, more anger, and love is relegated to a memory at best.

But yes, we get along. I want to be able to understand how anyone—not just me—gets beyond these feelings.

It seems some really do accept the reality for what it is, make some kind of peace with it and that is the way to progress to possible future happy life—with the old days of innocence gone.

I can’t go backwards anyway. New reality.

Again thx for your recommendations in both threads.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022   ·   location: Dallas
id 8756559
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 10:00 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

I posted to your other thread before this one.

In your case, it would be the practicalities of a retired life that would make it worth it. You have two homes, you'd have to figure that out.

Not sure what the financial situation is. Have to figure that out.

If you think you could take half, and be happy with your new found freedom, I'd go for it. If you really like what you have, maybe accepting that you won't trust your husband the way you did before for the rest of your (his?) life is worth it.

1- used the extra time while I had a health issue to fawn over this woman, and spend time with her

2 - kissed her after his first dinner with her, because he "just knew" she wanted that

3 - even though all in the building know we’re married, with her he must have pretended our marriage is just a formality

4 - yes I found flirting and fawning emails

5 - he gave HER a "tour" of our apartment —i believe it was only a tour but to me it was a violation of MY space. Needless to say it is unlikely I will ever see her apartment.

Why do you believe his story as told? A lot of people recommend a written timeline and a polygraph to confirm it is complete and accurate. In your case "have you ever cheated before" would be a question I'd want on there. I didn't go the polygraph route, but I did confirm through various sources and surveillance that my wife's story was complete and believable. The warning here is about "trickle truth" which almost all cheaters use.

Even if his betrayal is limited to romantic emails and a dinner date that ended with a kiss, it's still a betrayal. That's not something a faithful husband does in a marriage. It's still something you have to work through. My wife's A was not physical (not for a lack of trying), and it still took a couple of years to build into a new relationship that I could call happy. That said, it still has ups and downs and the affair still comes up now and then almost three full years later.

I am very concerned about the your husband's framing of this whole thing. I am concerned with his use of the word "chose" and how he was thinking about his affair in the first place. It sounds like he dipped his toes in the affair, it felt good, but he decided it wasn't quite worth the risk of losing half his shit. Much the same as you might decide leaving him isn't worth losing half of yours.

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

posts: 2091   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8756574
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 Scherzo (original poster new member #80983) posted at 10:20 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Thx, This0is0fine. I appreciate all your insight.

Yes there have been trickle truths coming out. Yes he spent more time with her than just a dinner.

And, yes, I am still coming to terms with my new landscape, that will never go back to the way it was. In no way do I excuse what he did and yet— weird reality, if reconcilement is to happen, then getting past this means a kind of twilight zone feeling in our marriage.

I am reading about "Acceptance" which for now seems my best emotional path.

Of course your point about what I lose is relevant— I don’t feel trapped financially. But stunned as to re-evaluating my place in the world.


You are right, his framing of things has been awful.

[This message edited by Scherzo at 10:23 PM, Thursday, September 22nd]

posts: 11   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022   ·   location: Dallas
id 8756577
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:41 PM on Friday, September 23rd, 2022

Some stay bitter and unhealed - many of the BSes who always argue for immediate D seem to me to be in that group. But I think most BSes accept their reality, whether they D or R.

Some of us in R decide to rugsweep; some of us decide not to D; some of us build new Ms. You decide what you want, negotiate it explicitly or tacitly with your WS, and build what you want.

My reco is to figure out what sort of M you want and see if your H wants something similar. If you agree, the you can work to build it; if you don't agree, you can split.

That's easier said than done. You have to do the work of finding the core of what you want, and that's difficult. You have to accept the possibility that you want different Ms and that the differences are so great that you have to leave or sell yourself out to stay. You have to take charge of your life. The thing is: the more you take charge of yourself, the easier it is to keep taking charge.

So I urge you to pin down what you like about your M and your H, what you don't like, and what you want. Find out if your H wants the same thing. Go from there.

To heal - to reach acceptance, my reco is to process the anger, grief, fear, and shame that comes with being betrayed out of your body. Those are the words I use to describe recovery. If they don't resonate for you, don't worry - you just need a different metaphor.

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: 27569   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8756769
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 Scherzo (original poster new member #80983) posted at 4:25 AM on Saturday, September 24th, 2022

Sisoon thx, your words resonate very much. Ido have a lot to process out of my body. I have gone once to a grief massage and will go again. Deep breathing helps with the anxiety in the pit of my stomach that still wells up.

Since I posted, my WS actually has demonstrated behaviors that make me believe he is serious and sincere. I see it as progress on the path, definitely not out of the woods. For us, counseling sessions are helping.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022   ·   location: Dallas
id 8756858
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