@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]