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Newest Member: Crushedafter46years

Reconciliation :
Should I wait for my WS to sort out their feelings?

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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 8:16 PM on Monday, November 14th, 2022

Coming from the other side of this now (I'm D not in R) I would never wait for the WS to come around. If they are not making any efforts to improving themselves in therapy and working on the M I would show them the door.

fBS/fWS(me):49 Mad-hattered after DD (2008)
XWS:51 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
DD(19) DS(16)
XWS cheated the entire M spanning 19 years
Discovered D-Days 2006,2008,2012, False R 2014
Divorcing

posts: 8358   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8765146
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 11:18 PM on Monday, November 14th, 2022

Coming from the other side of this now (I'm D not in R) I would never wait for the WS to come around. If they are not making any efforts to improving themselves in therapy and working on the M I would show them the door.

Yep yep yep. Of the many things I look back on with regret about my situation, my biggest one BY FAR was being a soft place for him to land and not bringing the hammer down on him immediately. You choose the M, right now or we're done. I put myself through so many more months of pain and upset because I didn't do that.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3629   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8765163
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 ff56k2 (original poster new member #82305) posted at 5:35 AM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

Wow...I really see everyone just dog piling in on this. I really liked this place and the advice I got here helped me a lot to cope with the pain and trauma. But at this point I can see how all the replies are so cynical. Straightaway into conspiracies and tactics into how the other side is probably still cheating. I'm actually glad that I chose to discuss this openly with my WS.

Just for context, I've done the 180, I got to the point where I was ok to just walk away and leave. I'm not choosing to try out of fear of losing the relationship, my wife, or how it will affect my son. In fact I am fully aware that if I were to leave, things would probably be simpler and easier in every respect other than initial effects on my kid. Since I posted this up, I've been spending every day talking and breaking down barriers with my WS, and she has genuinely been making so much progress in becoming a better person, so much more than I hoped for.

I respect the experiences of everyone else here, I know each of our situations are different, and everyone's experience is valid. It just feels like a lot of people here are looking for some semblance of justice. "She wronged me so I shouldn't forgive her, she owes me etc.". My view is that there isn't any justice to be had in this situation. An eye for an eye isn't going to make you happy in the long run. If you want to pursue an R then either do or do not, there is no try. I came here for help, and I know everyone here has the best intentions, but I've got to do what I feel is right.

@Stevesn , I actually did use what you said, and I really did mean it at the time, and it was extremely helpful to me, and for that I am grateful. Like I said, I'm not waiting for her passively doing nothing, I'm actually working with her through this, and she has been telling me exactly how she feels, that she still thinks of him from time to time, that she knows that he is scum and a cowardly lying dirtbag, and although she her heart still grieves the affair, she knows she's made her choice and she is making it work. She's actually grateful that I stayed and am being understanding of what she's going through, and she feels good that she can talk to me openly about it instead of me vs her.

There is still a long road ahead for the R, and I think your mileage may vary based on who you are, who your partner is, and the individual circumstances. I just want to leave a note here that people should consider the advice here but ultimately make your own decisions because only you understand your personal situation best.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Nov. 3rd, 2022   ·   location: Malaysia
id 8765211
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 8:46 AM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

FF

Sorry if the collective group came off as "harsh".

In relaying to you our collective experience you can see that we have been in your situation and are trying to help you, based on our experience.

You are right in saying your wife is working with you on getting over the Affair and she deserves some support from you. It is great you are trying to be understanding and supportive and help her through this period of "limbo" to move towards full reconciliation.

I hope for your sake that you are not making the same mistake I did. I too was sure being supportive to my H during his affair was the better path. The one that would lead us to happily Reconcile.

Turns out if I had been lucky enough to have known about SI during his affair — that every caring and experienced poster here would have called out the red flags.

I would not have spent 6 long torturous months trying to Reconcile while he was still cheating and undermining all of my efforts.

That was the basis of my posts to you. I never suggested D. I only told you about the cheater’s mindset based on my experience.

I hope this helps you to see where I was coming from. I apologize if it came off as harsh or something else. I am always pro-reconciliation whenever possible.

But I am also against watching a BS putting in the effort to R when the cheater is waving 🚩.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12794   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8765219
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 11:33 AM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

The hope is that you don’t return here in five years snd say, yep, you guys were right, I should have listened.

posts: 571   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8765223
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 4:54 PM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

FF

Thanks for the update. It’s true many of us are skeptical because we’ve literally read hundreds of threads that sound like yours and in the end the cheating spouse was simply giving lip service to making promises they never Intend to keep.

I understand what you are saying and do hope you find happiness through your approach as that truly is the end goal isnt it. Of course there have been scores of examples of betrayed partners hoping thru their coaching that their partner will finally get it and become the safe and living spouse they always desired. I fear the percentages for success are low, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work some of the time.

Listen we are all different and must follow the paths we feel most comfortable with. I can only tell you how I would approach it if I were in your shoes and then you take that info and use it as you see fit. That’s exactly what you are doing.

What would be most important to me would be:

1) we do not reconcile until she has the other man out of her heart. In fact for me, she would have disdain for him, not just indifference. But that is just me. I could not be with a partner who longs for or thinks fondly of anyone who helped her hurt me terribly. Maybe you can live with that. I know I could not.

2) my cheating partner would have to drive the recovery. I couldn’t just drag her along for the ride. If I did that I wouldn’t know if she truly cared enough about me to rebuild what her awful choices destroyed

3) I would truly have to feel empathy for the pain she inflicted on me. I could not be with someone who didn’t feel deeply and badly about the pain she caused me. It would be as if she raised a gun and shut me in the heart.

4) I would not start the rebuilding process until she had spent 6-12 months minimum with a therapist focusing on what was broken in her to cause her to make the choice to give away what were the most important parts of your relationship physically and yes emotionally

These to me would just be the start of what I would need. I do not take infidelity lightly. In my mind it ends the vows taken that create a marriage. As I have said to you before, I am not sure I could stay married to a partner who did that even if I were going to try to rebuild with that person and my cheating spouse would have to understand and know that and accept it if they were going to have a chance to ever be a romantic partner of mine again.

As I said, all this is food for thought for you. This is your life and your process and you’re the one who gets to choose. We just want you to know, that a cheating partner will always take the path of least resistance if they can. Unfortunately it’s your job to lay down the requirements and then evaluate if they meet them enough, over time, for you to stay and accept the new relationship going forward. Because the old one is gone forever.

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3475   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8765263
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 6:49 PM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

Friend, you only found out two weeks ago. You are likely just at the precipice of the cliff right now. I’m about 5 months out, I feel improvements, but not fully stable. There is a lot of hurt and cynicism on this site, I agree, I try to filter it too. But there is also wisdom and experience here and you are just at the start of a mind warping, heart wrenching journey. You almost certainly don’t have everything in control, even if you want to believe you do. Hoping for nothing but good for you and your family.

posts: 119   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8765280
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 9:02 PM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

It's not cynicism. You're getting the benefit of member's hard earned wisdom. You would do well to listen, instead of disregarding.

We get members who come back,and say they wished they had listened. You can be one of them..or not.

posts: 4854   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8765305
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Trapped74 ( member #49696) posted at 10:59 PM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

Definitely not cynicism - collective wisdom from people who have been here once, twice, thrice. Count me amongst the BWs who came on here thinking I could get over it, my WH was different, no one's story was like ours. barf We're holding at DDay 4ish so far.

Although it's painful to know your WS has these feelings and emotions for another man, understanding why allows me to put aside my pain to have honest conversations with her about it and how to get through it.


Forgiving the other person relieves them of their burden, but also my own burden holding onto the resentment and the hate.

You're not too far out from DDay. This "understanding" will not last. You're going to start hitting the emotional roller coaster: calm and accepting one minute; murderous rage the next. No rhyme or reason

I would not immediately assume the answer was "because she's a ****ty human". I would want to know how we had failed together to build a relationship that was fulfilling enough to make the alternatives look poor by comparison. Sometimes infidelity is the disease, and sometimes it's only the symptom.

Wrong. You were in the same marriage. Did you cheat? The number one reason cheaters cheat is because they wanted to. They try to give us grand and deep (bullshit) reasons, but it comes down to it, they wanted to, felt entitled to, and thought they could get away with it.

that she knows that he is scum and a cowardly lying dirtbag,

So if he wasn't those things, and he showed up on his white horse to rescue her from her poor terrible marriage, where would that leave you? Do you want to stay with someone who considers you the least scummiest option?

Many DDays. Me (BW) 46 Him (WH) 49
Happily detached and compartmentalized.

posts: 245   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Oregon
id 8765323
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 12:00 AM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

Your question was whether you should wait for your spouse to sort her feelings out. It’s a straightforward question and you got honest, straightforward responses based on years of collective experience.

Reconciliation is a gift. It’s not something to which a cheating spouse is entitled.

Your WS should be moving mountains right now to win back your trust and convince YOU to stay married to her.

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 8765486
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 1:41 AM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

From Stevsn:

I could not be with a partner who longs for or thinks fondly of anyone who helped her hurt me terribly

^^This in a nutshell.

IMO right now she is confident you are not going anywhere.


From Ellie:

You choose the M, right now or we're done


Exactly my sentiment on D-Day. No way in hell would I tolerate any more disrespect from my WH. He threw OW under the bus on D-Day and never looked back. He understood if he f*cked up again, I'd file for D. I was not going to allow him to play ping pong with my life.

I don't think my WH missed his AP, he might have missed his daily drug via emails of her telling him how wonderful he was, but I am confident he never actually missed her. Probably within a week or two he felt nothing but disgust at his own behavior and for her. I can remember him calling her every derogatory name in the book, and he meant it. He saw her for who she actually was.

Honestly, while you appreciate her being honest, telling you she thinks about the AP is downright cruel. Telling her husband she is thinking about another man. mad

posts: 11669   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8765502
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 ff56k2 (original poster new member #82305) posted at 2:04 PM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

@Stevensn, your advice to me earlier really helped me out and helped me cope with my situation, so I'm definitely happy to engage your points.

1) we do not reconcile until she has the other man out of her heart. In fact for me, she would have disdain for him, not just indifference. But that is just me. I could not be with a partner who longs for or thinks fondly of anyone who helped her hurt me terribly. Maybe you can live with that. I know I could not.

So to clarify, she does have disdain for him, she knows he is a lying cheating scumbag and she feels used and taken advantage of. She also takes responsibility for being stupid and going for it and I'm generally convinced at this point that she's feeling remorse. What we have acknowledged together is that she has bouts of depression and guilt when she is reminded of the affair. She worked with this person and when they finish a group call, things like that trigger her. The other issue is that her feelings of love for me have not fully returned, although her mind thinks she should love me for sticking around. The idea that it might not come back scares her, and perhaps it never will, which is why I am waiting for a bit but it is a gamble for me. Personally I can't wait around forever for her, but I'm willing to give it a little time. We're also going through both IC and MC.

2) my cheating partner would have to drive the recovery. I couldn’t just drag her along for the ride. If I did that I wouldn’t know if she truly cared enough about me to rebuild what her awful choices destroyed

I am happy to report that she has been driving her end of the recovery. She has been sharing pictures of her whereabouts and who she is with without me asking. She has also joined a community to seek help and guidance on how to help me through this time, something which was very unlike her in the past. I wholeheartedly agree that the commitment has to genuinely come from the other side, and not just from something like fear or coercion.

3) I would truly have to feel empathy for the pain she inflicted on me. I could not be with someone who didn’t feel deeply and badly about the pain she caused me. It would be as if she raised a gun and shut me in the heart.

I've been dealing with this quite a bit lately. The other day I had to leave work early and get back to her because she broke down crying about how sorry she's been for everything she's done to me. Things like this did give me some relief but at the same time I am not exactly joyful to see my WS going through this.

4) I would not start the rebuilding process until she had spent 6-12 months minimum with a therapist focusing on what was broken in her to cause her to make the choice to give away what were the most important parts of your relationship physically and yes emotionally

I understand where you are coming from and I respect your POV. I am in limbo at the moment until she figures out her feelings. I do think getting the root of what was broken is important so that we don't repeat the situation, the only difference being I've decided to support her through this journey of discovery.

To be honest, the thing that keeps me going is the silver lining that there is a chance to come out of this wreckage with a marriage that was far stronger than the original one. The odds are stacked against us, the journey is hard and long, but at this point, there isn't really much else to lose.

Friend, you only found out two weeks ago. You are likely just at the precipice of the cliff right now. I’m about 5 months out, I feel improvements, but not fully stable. There is a lot of hurt and cynicism on this site, I agree, I try to filter it too. But there is also wisdom and experience here and you are just at the start of a mind warping, heart wrenching journey. You almost certainly don’t have everything in control, even if you want to believe you do. Hoping for nothing but good for you and your family.

Thanks for the good vibes. I don't know if I'm damaged or what, but my emotional reaction to this doesn't seem to sync up with most of the site. I went through the typical thing for like a week, and that was when all the advice on the site gave me the perspective to cope. But right now, I really feel like I either walk away or be the most supportive recovery partner I can be, nothing in between. There is no advantage to half ass-ing it somewhere in between. I understand that I cannot control the outcome, after all it depends on both my partner and my commitment to R. I cannot control what my WS thinks, what she feels, and what she decides to do. All I can control is my own thoughts, actions and responses. There is no guarantee that we will succeed at R. And at this point I am completely at peace giving it my best shot and walking away without regrets if it doesn't work out. I can safely say up to now, I've handled a shitty situation with as much grace as I could, no begging , no manipulation, keeping my dignity (thanks again to @stevensn) and responding with compassion.

It's not cynicism. You're getting the benefit of member's hard earned wisdom. You would do well to listen, instead of disregarding.

We get members who come back,and say they wished they had listened. You can be one of them..or not.

While I do appreciate that everyone has the best intentions to help, and I do not wish to invalidate anyone's experience, I stand by that there is a general tone of negativity and cynicism on the site. I'm not saying what I'm doing is right for everyone, but I'm going to make my own decisions instead of blindly following orders because I have to live with the consequences of my actions, not others. You'd also never know if there were members who made their own decisions and never came back either.

Definitely not cynicism - collective wisdom from people who have been here once, twice, thrice. Count me amongst the BWs who came on here thinking I could get over it, my WH was different, no one's story was like ours. barf We're holding at DDay 4ish so far.

I'm sorry to hear that you had to go through that. However as I stated before, I believe everyone's situation is different based on who you are, who your spouse is, and the circumstances. I'm choosing to make my own decisions and I will have to live with the consequences.

You're not too far out from DDay. This "understanding" will not last. You're going to start hitting the emotional roller coaster: calm and accepting one minute; murderous rage the next. No rhyme or reason

I don't think it's fair to put a blanket prescription on everyone. Certainly I'm not the type to go into murderous rage, even at the height of discovery.

Wrong. You were in the same marriage. Did you cheat? The number one reason cheaters cheat is because they wanted to. They try to give us grand and deep (bullshit) reasons, but it comes down to it, they wanted to, felt entitled to, and thought they could get away with it.

This quote isn't from me. What you said is true, but I'm past that. She did me wrong, but I'm not looking for revenge or justice. Cause those things won't give me happiness.

So if he wasn't those things, and he showed up on his white horse to rescue her from her poor terrible marriage, where would that leave you? Do you want to stay with someone who considers you the least scummiest option?

Already went past this phase, the answer is to not participate, state your boundaries like what @stevensn mentioned before, and force them to get off the fence.

Reconciliation is a gift. It’s not something to which a cheating spouse is entitled.

Your WS should be moving mountains right now to win back your trust and convince YOU to stay married to her.

She never demanded reconciliation, it was something I gave to her. I don't see how this doesn't track? Your 2nd part is what I mean by people seeking out justice. "She wronged me therefore she owes me". IMO There is no justice in this if you truly want to give reconciliation your best shot. Yes she has to be genuinely committed, but that doesn't mean you fold your arms and wait to get served. She's doing her part and I'm doing my best to be supportive in the R.

Honestly, while you appreciate her being honest, telling you she thinks about the AP is downright cruel. Telling her husband she is thinking about another man.

She actually didn't want to tell me at first. When I asked her why she said she didn't want to hurt me further. But I was reading up and trying to understand what she was going through, so I could help process this together for both our sakes. I'm actually glad I could talk to her up front about it. IMO The thing is happening already, you either man up and face it together or live in denial.

[This message edited by ff56k2 at 2:13 PM, Thursday, November 17th]

posts: 11   ·   registered: Nov. 3rd, 2022   ·   location: Malaysia
id 8765562
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 3:15 PM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

I think now is the time to put yourself first. Whether you Reconcile or not, I just hope that you put your happiness first so that you end up happy no matter what the outcome is.

I just wonder what the heck is going on with your wife that she feels she can no longer love you. How sad.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12794   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8765570
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 7:34 PM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

She never demanded reconciliation, it was something I gave to her. I don't see how this doesn't track? Your 2nd part is what I mean by people seeking out justice. "She wronged me therefore she owes me". IMO There is no justice in this if you truly want to give reconciliation your best shot. Yes she has to be genuinely committed, but that doesn't mean you fold your arms and wait to get served. She's doing her part and I'm doing my best to be supportive in the R.

I didn't imply that she demanded reconciliation. But the fact that she is leaving you in limbo indicates that she takes you and your marriage for granted and doesn't full appreciate the value of the opportunity that you have offered her.

You're only 2 weeks out from Dday, your wife has thus far "trickle-truthed you" (continued to lie, really) and so you offered reconciliation without even fully knowing what you're choosing to forgive. Your actions thus far demonstrate to your wife that you are desperate to remain married to her at any cost, so there's no impetus for her make her intentions clear.

That's what I mean when I say that reconciliation is something that needs to be earned. It doesn't mean that your wife has to grovel and be your slave. It doesn't mean that you're not responsible for your own healing. It does mean that the onus is on her to prove that she is committed to your marriage, fix herself, and proactively rebuild what she's broken.

As the person who upheld your end of the marital agreement, you shouldn't feel like you need to convince her to remain in a marriage that she chose to destroy.

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 8765608
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WontBeFooledAgai ( member #72671) posted at 10:22 PM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

@ff56k2, please REREAD your original post on this thread. This certainly has something to do with the responses you are getting.

But even besides that, the general gist of what you are saying: 'I recently discovered my partner's affair, but she says she is so sorry and we are communicating how to make our relationship stronger than ever and we are on the road to recovery!'.... It's something that is seen over and over again on here. And Events always say the same thing to this--'Yeah Right'!

You just had a bomb dropped on your reality in the past 3 weeks. And yet you are still there. Mr Nice Guy? Codependence? Well who knows, but more than anything, you're a human being who is in shock and you really just want to wake up from this nightmare, your old life back. You still love your wife. And your WW doesn't want her life blown up either (although right now it is actually mostly about her self-interest). So now you and your wife are where you both are now, pretending you are in R. There are some SERIOUS problems with this though.

The first problem is that your wife is still not a safe person. She is someone capable of betraying you. Didn't she keep lying to you right up until she was caught? Anyways your WW won't be safe until she digs down into her Why's, including why she GAVE HERSELF PERMISSION to betray you as she did.

The next problem is that, with you being so nice to her no consequences--and that is what is happening here, your WW is just going to start feeling awfully funny about things. I mean, good grief bro, she stepped out on you with another man and yet there you are, playing her therapist while she tells you that she still misses AP! Eventually the guilt will eat her up inside and in her own distorted thinking she may even resent you for that. Probably via the same crazy thinking she used to justify her betraying you in the first place.

The net result of both of the above problems is that the contrition and the relief your WW seems to be expressing now for you for staying, will NOT last. There will likely be another affair in the future.

And finally, YOUR rage will come out. You are not there, yet. But you will be there. Beware, YOU will be caught off guard with the intensity of your anger when it hits you!

Anyways friend buckle up. The worst of the storm is still on its way.

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 3:38 PM, Saturday, November 19th]

posts: 428   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2020
id 8765625
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 1:22 AM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

This last post of yours to me sounds more reasoned than your earlier ones. The one thing I would stress, and that you already said you’re doing, is to stand strong and not appear desperate to keep your WW and the M.

As has been said, you need to put yourself first. I would thus recommend detaching a bit. There is nothing more off putting to a WW than a clingy BH who desperately wants to R. Also, in case it ends up in D, you are emotionally prepared for that.

So I recommend detach just a bit. Pursue your hobbies, friends, stay out of the house and live your best life. Go out for drinks after work. Your WW will definitely take notice of this confident, self reliant you, snd question why you’re detaching. My answer would be I love you and hope we can R, but if your love for me doesn’t return I’ll be totally fine. I’ll stand on my own two feet snd come out the other side just fine. The most important thing to me is me, not you or my M. I would also tell her that this is not an open ended thing. You will only hang around so long.

posts: 571   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8765640
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