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Newest Member: Crushedafter46years

Reconciliation :
Looking for help making a decision.

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 antbee (original poster new member #80981) posted at 4:55 AM on Sunday, October 23rd, 2022

Just over a year ago, I kicked my husband out. It had been a year of trickle-truths, D-days, finding out about a LTA (PA at first with her, and then the rest of the time was online), false reconciliation, and I just needed him out. I couldn't stand to even look at his face anymore and was in constant hypervigilant mode and deep rage. I have never felt so terrible in my whole life. At first I was positive I'd never want to reconcile with him again, but I needed time to think, breathe, and start to process all of this. It's been nice to have this year of space and time alone.

My biggest issue is that we have kids and I have always just wanted my family together. Honestly, if we didn't have kids, I would never speak to him again. But we do, and it's an important consideration for me.

I'm glad my kids saw me stand up for myself and refuse to accept my husband's mistreatment. I'm not trying to go back to a bad relationship "for the kids," I only want to consider trying to reconcile with him if it can be good and healthy and I can feel good about it. We don't have the fairytale love story, but if they could see their dad turn himself around and be the dad/husband we need, I figure that would be a positive thing.

I am still attracted to him, and I still hate the thought of him moving on with someone else. Neither of us have been seeing anyone else this past year (of course he's proven himself a liar and a cheater, but from what I see and know, I really don't think he has been). But I don't know if I can ever trust him enough to really feel secure and safe with him again and let down all these huge walls I've put up. Although, I don't think I will trust anyone so completely again. I feel like that part of me is gone.

There have been a couple times over the last several months where I told him ok, I've made a decision, I'm officially calling it quits. But then I call him the next day saying "Wait, maybe I'm not...." I know I can't keep doing this.

The reality is that he hasn't done a whole lot to improve himself over this last year. It's not nothing, but I was really hoping to have seen more. But still, I have this part of me that feels like maybe I want to move forward with him and see how it goes. But I don't want to do this to my kids again and possibly have to go through the separation all over again if it doesn't work out. I have so many conflicting thoughts and feelings.

I hate that he's put us here, but here we are. I know I'm the only one who can ultimately decide, and I have to be able to live with it either way, but I'm hoping I can get some clarity here about whether I want to try again to reconcile.

posts: 9   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022
id 8761755
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 11:40 AM on Sunday, October 23rd, 2022

The reality is that he hasn't done a whole lot to improve himself over this last year. It's not nothing, but I was really hoping to have seen more.

This is your answer.

It’s a no as far a traditional marriage IMO. You can be friends, you can have whatever relationship you choose.

But I would say NO to reconciling with him. I think you would very quickly regret it.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12794   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8761759
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Hannah47 ( member #80116) posted at 12:20 PM on Sunday, October 23rd, 2022

I know I'm the only one who can ultimately decide, and I have to be able to live with it either way, but I'm hoping I can get some clarity here about whether I want to try again to reconcile.

Ask yourself which answer / advice you are hoping to get from people here. Are you hoping people will tell you "you can totally reconcile" or "you’re better off without him". That will be your answer on whether you want to reconcile.

As for whether you should give it a shot, ask yourself what is important to you and did you get that from him this past year. I believe I’d be willing to give it a shot if he had moved mountains to get me back. You have proven to yourself that you can live without him, no need to take him back until you see that "more" you are hoping for. I think only then you would feel good about it.

posts: 134   ·   registered: Mar. 21st, 2022
id 8761761
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 1:19 PM on Sunday, October 23rd, 2022

All those times you said you wanted to divorce and then backed down were opportunities for your husband to move Heaven and Earth to show the depths of his remorse and do everything he could to win you back.

Instead, he’s doing the bare minimum. In fact, I’m willing to bet that he thinks you’re bluffing and that all he needs to do is wait long enough for you to cool off and then you’ll take him back. That’s certainly what my ex thought would happen.

I know you’re worried about your kids, but the worst thing you can possibly do is to take your husband back without being on the road to reconciliation. It will cause a vicious cycle of instability, drama, and anxiety that is probably worse than coping with parents who are divorced. He clearly isn’t as committed to keeping your family intact as you are; that’s evident by his affair and his lack of effort afterwards.

Very few people are skipping to court to file divorce papers. I sure as hell didn’t; it was one of the worst days of my life. I still loved my husband. I still yearned for the life that we planned together. But he really didn’t give me much of a choice, and I don’t think yours has, either.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 1:20 PM, Sunday, October 23rd]

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 953   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8761763
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PSTI ( member #53103) posted at 5:08 PM on Sunday, October 23rd, 2022

Honestly, if we didn't have kids, I would never speak to him again.

I know that children are important, but honestly? I wouldn't ever want to be the person to hold my parent back from finding happiness. Your kids will be happier if YOU are happier.

I think all your equivocation makes it clear that you know you won't be happy if you go back. You deserve better than that.

Me: BW, my xH left me & DS after a 14 year marriage for the AP in 2014.

Happily remarried and in an open/polyamorous relationship. DH (married 5 years) & DBF (dating 4 years). Cohabitating happily all together!! <3

posts: 866   ·   registered: May. 6th, 2016
id 8761777
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crumbs ( member #28953) posted at 10:30 PM on Sunday, October 23rd, 2022

I'm actually the one who moved out because I knew he never would and, after confirming with my attorney it wouldn't negatively impact me if I went through with the divorce, I gave him a year to "do the hard work." At first, I waited for any signs of that before I realized that the year apart was as much for me as it was for him. Yes, he needed to do a LOT of work, but that was on him. It didn't mean I didn't need to be doing a lot for myself as well. If I wanted to know what life was really going to be like for me and my son without WS, then I needed to focus on that and less on him. I needed to get mentally, physically and financially stronger--if we had reconciled, I would have been in a much better place to do so. If not, I would be better prepared to move along on my own.

I think it's too easy to fall into the habit of keeping one foot in and one foot out and waiting for the other person to make the moves that allows us to actually not have to make a hard decision. They do a few "right things" and we allow that to persuade us to return to the old marriage. They screw up and we feel like we don't have a choice, so ending it just seems easier. That still gives the WS way too much power over our lives and they lost the right for that.

Honestly, ending a marriage, breaking up the family unit, will NOT be easy. Returning to a marriage *just* to keep the family unit together when there isn't trust and two people willing to give it everything, will NOT be easy. There is no easy way regardless.

But what I found when I stopped focusing on him and mentally tallying up his faults vs efforts and just focused on me and my own improvements, the decision took care of itself. The more I built up my own support system, friendships, healthy habits and routines, then supported my pre-teen son through the same--the more I realized that I truly was in a much better place without the weight of a fractured marriage. When the year was up, filing was the logical next step. It wasn't "easy" but it was looking forward rather than hanging on to what was broken.

My question for you is what are you doing FOR YOU in this time of separation? How are you growing, learning, expanding, finding your own joys? I think that's the best way to make a good decision for both you and your children.

DDay 2009Wouldn't stop - Moved out 8/10Divorced 2015 (Divorcing a NPD is no fun)

posts: 80   ·   registered: Jul. 2nd, 2010
id 8761799
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 11:48 PM on Sunday, October 23rd, 2022

he reality is that he hasn't done a whole lot to improve himself over this last year.

I think you answered your own question. IF he truly wanted to reconcile, he would have put 200% effort into fixing himself and the marriage.

We all know this is a difficult decision, but please don't play ping-pong with your children's emotions. By now they have probably adapted to their new normal, bringing your husband back into the mix (IMO) is going to create a house full of stress as your emotions are still raw. You are not yet healed, and your husband hasn't done the work.

posts: 11669   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8761809
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stubbornft ( member #49614) posted at 11:55 PM on Sunday, October 23rd, 2022

Wonderful post by crumbs.

Focus on yourself, healing and building up your support system. You’ll know what to do. My ex had a window of time that I was traumatized and vulnerable and he could have worked his ass off to help me and show me that he could be better. He didn’t. And at a point he didn’t make sense in my life anymore. The decision became less agonizing once I focused on myself and what I need, and getting out of the toxic cycles with him.

It sounds like you don’t want him back. I think a common fear is that they will get better and we deserve the better "him". Personally I don’t believe in that. I used to feel it. My ex and I have mutual friends and he isn’t better. He’s still the same as he ever was. But he isn’t my problem anymore. I am better than I ever have been. I highly recommend a good therapist if you don’t have one already.

Me: BS 40 Him: WS 51 He cheated with massage parlor sex workersDday 01/19/2021
Kicked him out in 2021 - life is better on the other side. Moved on with the help of a wonderful therapist.

posts: 837   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2015   ·   location: TX
id 8761814
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 antbee (original poster new member #80981) posted at 12:43 AM on Tuesday, October 25th, 2022

Thanks for all the responses here. On further thought, I think he's probably done as much as he's capable of doing or knows how to do. It's not what I would do, but it's definitely not nothing. I can see how he's put in the amount of effort he has in him, and that he may really be able to be better going forward, especially if we're working on things together (I've refused to engage with him this past year toward any kind of reconciliation, only unleashing my rage and grief on him). I just need to decide now if that's good enough for me, if I can be happy with that, and if I want to move forward with it.

I have not done much with my year alone, to be honest. It's a bit embarrassing, I'd like to be one of those people who gets it together, makes a firm decision, and is in a better place one year out, but I've just been deeply deeply grieving. Also relaxing, reading, going for a walk every day by myself, and enjoying my time with my kids, too.

I'd been with him my entire adult life, and I don't have any family or support system to lean on, so this has been tough for me. I have been in counseling, but I've not had luck finding a good one, so I'm doing the best I can on my own.

posts: 9   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022
id 8761972
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:25 PM on Tuesday, October 25th, 2022

I'd like to be one of those people who gets it together, makes a firm decision, and is in a better place one year out, but I've just been deeply deeply grieving. Also relaxing, reading, going for a walk every day by myself, and enjoying my time with my kids, too.

So you really mean 'I wish I were in a good place,' right?

Look at yourself objectively. Haven't you made it to a better place than you were a year ago? Haven't you done a lot of work, and haven't you done it effectively? You've done a great job for yourself. You've used the year well.

My wish for you is that you celebrate what you have done and, not beat yourself up for what still remains to do. IMO, you have a lot to celebrate in your healing so far.

Healing takes longer than anyone things should be necessary.

A hug for you, if you want one: (((antbee)))

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: 27878   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8762058
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crumbs ( member #28953) posted at 5:50 PM on Tuesday, October 25th, 2022

I get that completely. And sometimes "doing the best I can" is all you can and should do. Please don't be hard on yourself AT ALL for taking the time to grieve, recharge, heal, and just *be.* In our society, we often feel like we should be doing something productive, but honestly, giving yourself time and space to just breathe is often what your soul needs most. For me, as lonely as I was apart, it was still so much less "lonely" than being in my marriage which had morphed into a roommate situation at best. That was hard to admit, but it was true. The feeling of being "alone in a crowd" was harder to accept than being alone with my own thoughts and company. I also came to relish the feeling of coming home to peace and calm rather than wondering what kind of mood would await me when I opened the door to my now-Ex. Walking on eggshells is slowly soul killing.

But again, everyone has to find the way that works best for them. My only caution would be not to make a decision simply because you feel like it's time. If this is still working for you in some way, then continue to give yourself time. Is "dating" each other again an option to see how it feels now? Taking it slowly to see if you can negotiate a new relationship before jumping back in fully? Letting your children know you are trying but there are no promises?

If your counselor isn't working, maybe look into some of the online, virtual resources. There are a lot more options there and some have had great success finding a better fit outside of their communities.

My friend network didn't happen immediately...but in time, I found a great group of friends, many who were in similar stages of life. I was already over 50 when I left so I do know how overwhelming "starting over" can be. Once I moved ahead though, I was pleasantly surprised to find a tribe building their own "next life stage" and it's been amazing to share that together.

But I would remind you not to give your WH too much credit for doing the minimum...if he had the ability to create an entirely secret LTA then cover that through false reconciliation, he has the ability to put at least that much effort into recovery and rebuilding his family. You didn't help him to cheat, he shouldn't need your help to become a safe partner and father...that's on him alone.

DDay 2009Wouldn't stop - Moved out 8/10Divorced 2015 (Divorcing a NPD is no fun)

posts: 80   ·   registered: Jul. 2nd, 2010
id 8762062
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 6:12 PM on Tuesday, October 25th, 2022

So,in the past year,you've been allowing yourself to process your emotions,and taking care of yourself. You've been doing EXACTLY what a BS should do during the first year.

As for him doing what you think he's capable of? Mmm..not good enough. A wayward must step out of the comfort zone and work harder on themselves to become better people. That often entails doing more than they are capable of.

posts: 4854   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8762068
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 antbee (original poster new member #80981) posted at 5:59 AM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

So you really mean 'I wish I were in a good place,' right?

Look at yourself objectively. Haven't you made it to a better place than you were a year ago? Haven't you done a lot of work, and haven't you done it effectively? You've done a great job for yourself. You've used the year well.

My wish for you is that you celebrate what you have done and, not beat yourself up for what still remains to do. IMO, you have a lot to celebrate in your healing so far.

Healing takes longer than anyone things should be necessary.

A hug for you, if you want one: (((antbee)))

Thank you so much for this. Yes, I wish I was in a good place. I feel somewhat embarrassed at how much I've just been in deep grief this last year (2 years really, I kicked him out summer of 2021, but it's been 2 years now since the last dday). I read these stories of people moved on and in such a better place after only a year, and I worry that I'm doing something wrong.

But yes, I took the space I needed, I've been patient and kind and gentle with myself, allowed myself to just FEEL whatever I feel and go through the process. And really, finding out my husband who I've been with my entire adult life has been lying to me for such a significant portion of our relationship is a huge wound, so it makes sense that it's taking me time.

And thank you for the hug. I need it.

posts: 9   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022
id 8765531
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 antbee (original poster new member #80981) posted at 6:11 AM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

I get that completely. And sometimes "doing the best I can" is all you can and should do. Please don't be hard on yourself AT ALL for taking the time to grieve, recharge, heal, and just *be.* In our society, we often feel like we should be doing something productive, but honestly, giving yourself time and space to just breathe is often what your soul needs most.

Thank you, yes, you're right. That's what I keep telling myself too. I've been trying to just lean into letting myself feel and grieve.

If this is still working for you in some way, then continue to give yourself time. Is "dating" each other again an option to see how it feels now? Taking it slowly to see if you can negotiate a new relationship before jumping back in fully? Letting your children know you are trying but there are no promises?

This is a good idea, yes, I can do that. I don't have to make a decision right away, really. I was having this internal sense of panic like I'm running out of time, I just want my family together and for us to be having fun, making happy memories, doing things, etc. But I can take things slowly.

My friend network didn't happen immediately...but in time, I found a great group of friends, many who were in similar stages of life. I was already over 50 when I left so I do know how overwhelming "starting over" can be. Once I moved ahead though, I was pleasantly surprised to find a tribe building their own "next life stage" and it's been amazing to share that together.

Where did you find them?

But I would remind you not to give your WH too much credit for doing the minimum...if he had the ability to create an entirely secret LTA then cover that through false reconciliation, he has the ability to put at least that much effort into recovery and rebuilding his family. You didn't help him to cheat, he shouldn't need your help to become a safe partner and father...that's on him alone.

Thank you, yes.

posts: 9   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022
id 8765532
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BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 1:40 AM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

When my husband isn't/wasn't doing the work consistently or not doing much,etc., I really weighed: Is it will? (As in, is he just not motivated to meet my needs or challenge himself in important ways?) OR Is it capability?

I thought about it a lot. My IC and I have discussed it.

My answer is this:
For me, it doesn't matter if it's will or capability on his part. I don't need to resolve that question.

The only question I have to resolve is this:
Based on what I know I need for him to become a safe partner for me, if he doesn't/can't become that, can I stay married to him? My answer is no. Full stop.

I was a clarifying realization.

It helped me pull way back and increase my 180.

We have 2 older kids still at home, and I don't want to disrupt their lives with a split of households, so my own timeline is probably about 2 years to watch what my H does.

Since I've pulled way back, he has started to be consistent on the work. (And that's a sad fact in and of itself.) But time will tell if it will be enough.

I know that I don't want years and years of marriage with a partner that I feel/know hasn't done the work to become safe.

Cheating takes a lot work and energy. So, it's not asking too much to expect a partner to do the work needed to become safe.

"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 yrsBoth in IC & MCMarried 31 yrs now2 kids-both in HSAttempting R

posts: 291   ·   registered: Oct. 31st, 2020
id 8765641
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 2:32 AM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

I gave my WW 6 months to show me that she was capable of something, anything really, and she failed. She didn't fail because she's was this horrible human being, she just was not a quality woman. She could not step up for the same reason she has never stepped up for anything unless pushed by those around her.

After I got my degree and started my career, I encouraged her to upgrade and then get a two year certificate in the health industry. Had I done nothing, she would still be a fitness trainer working for peanuts. Her friend pushed to try to race and so she did. There are many examples, but the pattern was clear. Unless someone made the plan, made the appointment, drove her there and back, it wasn't going to happen. So when I needed to her to step up, she just wasn't capable of doing it.

After I separated and lived on my own, I realized that I had been set free. Paul talks about being released from the dead body of his sins. He refers to a particularly gruesome form of execution used by the Romans where they would strap a corpse to the condemned, palm to palm, toe to toe, nose to nose. Being cut loose from my WW felt like having a corpse cut from me. I was finally free.

Everything after has been a confirmation of the utter correctness of my decision. My lifechas become largely stress free. Hers not so much. She has had to finally shoulder the full burden of life, something she has normally offloaded to others. It has taken a toll on her. She even gad the audacity to ask me if I knew how difficult being a single parent was? Her solution was to find a simpy guy to be her orbiter and rescue her when required. I feel bad for him, but he is 60 and should know better.

Bit of a ramble, but there is a point in here somewhere. When I was first faced with the dissolution of my M, I wept, felt my life was over, that I could not live without my W. Turns out I can, and quite well too. It turns out that I had been literally subsidizing out relationship with my very soul, slowly withering away. I'm not saying it's not hard being on my own, but damn it's peaceful.

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!!!!

posts: 1364   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8765644
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 11:40 AM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

JustSomeGuy

Thank you for sharing. I think this is important b/c I tell people all the time the person you might choose to be with in your 20s or 30s may not be the person you chose in your 50s.

Age and experience give you a different perspective.

I was very serious about my Boyfriend st age 20. My mother made one comment that stuck with me. She said "if there are things you don’t like about the relationship now, don’t think marriage will make it better".

What she was alluding to was my then Boyfriend being all about his sports teams and hanging out in bars. It would be no problem for him to play on 4 baseball teams during the summer so that every minute if free time it was either at a game or hanging at the bar. And I was expected to attend with him.

He turned out to be an alcoholic with a nasty temper, insecure and jealous too. I definitely dodged that bullet by getting out of the relationship.

I am sorry you had to endure a marriage that made you the one who had to drag your wife along to get her to accomplish anything. It sounds daunting.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12794   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8765689
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 4:14 PM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

Thanks The1stwife,

I remember the moment I called it. I had returned from a solo trip during which I dove into the mess of my life and what it entailed. I spent time in thought, journaled, smoked cigars and generally tried to sort things out. When I came back, I asked my WW one question: What are you doing to help me heal? Her response was telling. She said that she could be there for me until I was in a better place, because I made her feel too guilty.

It was like, in that very moment, that things thatvwere blurry suddenly came into focus. I realized that if I stayed, this would be my life until the day I died. And this was all my life would ever be, nothing more. It was like some perverse feedback loop. So I looked at her, told her we were done, and went to bed.

We did have a conversation some time later where she admitted that, based on who I am as a person, she knew we were done on Dday#2 when the truth finally came out. Like many BS'S I fought to keep my old life intact, not realizing that my old life was pretty shitty.

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!!!!

posts: 1364   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8765792
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