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Newest Member: Crushedafter46years

Reconciliation :
Questions after reading Beyond Remorse and Regret post

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 Howcthappen (original poster new member #80775) posted at 1:59 AM on Sunday, November 20th, 2022

I am a BS and very concerned about my FWH. As I read the Remorse post I realized there were similarities.

My FWH has so much remorse that he puts me first all the time and it’s stifling and kind of scary because I think his affair may have had an aspect of " I’m doing something just for me to be selfish".

He doesn’t go outside for lunch when he’s at work because that’s when he would see AP who works a block away. This is at my request. He reduced work dinners and I now travel with him when he needs to travel for work. Also my request which he says he enjoys.

He’s being very transparent but it doesn’t build trust in me for him. I WILL NEVER fully trust him again and I’ll forever double check anything he tells me and verify every thing he says.

He seems to like to keep proving how dedicated he is now and how he is determined to make up for all the damage he caused…. But to me I feel Insecure because it seems like a formula for building up resentment.

It’s a constant conflict in my heart because I want him to feel like he can be enough for me and make me happy again - I never realized how much he felt insecure about me and our relationship. He had been intimidated by former relationships I had with other men.

I don’t want him to stop trying to make up to me for all the horrible things he did BUT I ALSO don’t want the pressure of always seeming like this pain can subside by fulfilling tasks and putting me first in his mind. Does it make sense?

By him being the doting husband who is devoted and all about me and our future - I like it and it is sincere but I feel like he thinks I’m going to be filled up and repaired by his actions. It’s hard for me to tell him that YES what you did destroyed BUT your actions alone can’t heal me. I’m not in a transactional relationship with you. I AM STILL unhappy and no amount of changed behavior or present day loyalty and devotion is filling the chasm left by the betrayal……at least not yet.

How can I keep encouraging him yet make him stop thinking he can repair my heart by doing what he’s doing?

I try to tell him that I’m working on healing myself and besides loyalty he can’t just do everything right and I’ll be healed instantly.

I told him to stop treating me like I’m the AP who you could by a trinket and make it up to me!

[This message edited by Howcthappen at 2:23 AM, Sunday, November 20th]

Three years since DdayNever gonna be the sameReconcilingThe sting is still present

posts: 20   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
id 8766022
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 8:03 AM on Sunday, November 20th, 2022

Dear How,

I understand your pain and where you are on the R path.

My H too had a mid life crisis affair. Except my H added an extra level of pain because he was planning to D me — kick me to the curb for the much younger woman.

Here’s my take on the whole sordid mess.

While I put my H first and was very considerate, I’m less so now. Now I put myself first. Not in a selfish way but in an "eye opening" way.

I am 9 years from ddays. So my perspective may be different but I was at the same point you were at 3 years post dday. I expected to feel better, happier, "healed" etc. I was very unhappy when I didn’t.

Until I really put forth effort to heal myself.

I put my relationship as a lower priority and focused on me. I challenged myself and did things that helped me move forward. Yes my H did everything he could to make amends.

But once a piece of paper is crumbled up, it will never be smooth again. Same for any relationship after infidelity.

It’s like survivor mode. The pain lessens a bit each day if we are lucky. Then there is a Setback. But you move on. You keep moving forward in healing yourself. Because you know you are the only one who can heal yourself.

I look at my marriage and I am happy we survived. My original plan was to D him. I had no plan to R at dday2. But with a great counselor and a bit of willingness to try to R, we made it.

I still love him. I still think he’s a good guy. I have financially protected myself. I have good friends. Like I said we are one of the lucky ones.

I hope you can survive the infidelity trauma. Some marriages just don’t.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12794   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8766037
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Jimmy1962 ( member #59923) posted at 9:41 AM on Sunday, November 20th, 2022

It sounds to me like your husband is trying. It sounds like he is really trying hard. That’s worth something.

DDay 7-20-17 Found about 10 month physical affair that my wife had back in 97 & 98
I thought that I was going to die!
Trying to reconcile.
Infidelity is to marriage as Roundup is to plants.

posts: 641   ·   registered: Jul. 31st, 2017   ·   location: Kentucky
id 8766042
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 12:35 PM on Sunday, November 20th, 2022

I have always felt suffocated by people who seem to do things to curry favor from me. I see through it and resent it. I try to detach from what they are doing since they often deny the intention of their actions, but then I watch as these same people are often resentful or withholding when they don't get what they want from me. This happens when they buy me a gift, do me a favor, or offer me compliments. I can feel how they expect something in return--best friend status when we are not that close, a return favor that I am unwilling to do, or compliments and praise that I am uncomfortable giving (i.e. male coworker or whatever). It's manipulation, pure and simple.

You are right to be concerned by your WH's behavior. You are being manipulated in an effort to secure an outcome. And watching people behave inauthentically so that you "owe them" something in return--which is 100% what people who do this want whether they admit it or not--creates resentment in YOU! Because you know you are being manipulated.

There are only two ways that I have successfully handled this.

1. Tell him that you need authenticity in his behavior which means his behaviors should have a benefit to HIM and who he wants to be. When you doubt an action, ask him to explain how it was a benefit to him (and he can't say that it makes you happy because you two are not the same person). If R is about fixing yourself as a WS, he should be able to explain how his actions are proving he is a more confident person, that he is learning to be proud of himself for seeing the big picture, how he is enjoying different things in life and growing when he participates in a new behavior. Keep bringing him back to himself, not you or the M.

When he brings up a future goal for you two, ask, "How does this make you a healthier or better person? How does this help you not to be wayward?" I'd like to hear his answer because THAT should always be his goal in R.

I have found some success in drawing my husband's attention to his own need for authenticity and self-satisfaction (without hurting others, of course). He still occasionally just tries to make me happy because his codependency is innate. But he's working on it. It's better. And he definitely suffered from "I'm owed this sexy side stuff because I do SO much for my W!" So no, I don't want anymore of that either.

2. I also have had some success with intentionally not giving the person what they want right up front. It's hard, but I do it. If I think a friend buys me an unneeded gift to hear a gushing thank you and over-the-top praise, I give only a lukewarm thanks. If my WH expects warm affection and enthusiasm for doing something that I didn't really need or ask for, I offer a muted note of appreciation and move on. I have had some success with this because I feel I am teaching these people through my actions in a way that they refuse to understand with my words.

I cannot be bought.

I do think that codependency of this type ("all I want is for you to be happy with me!") is learned at a young age and absolutely does come with hidden resentments and an entitlement mentality that the codependent is not aware of. They do not understand that NOT making someone else happy and instead making themselves happy in that moment (by saying No, for example) often eliminates the need to act out privately. When you tell people to "do things for the right reasons," they often automatically assume that the right reason is making someone happy. Helping people and being seen as nice gives them such a high that they cannot even find another criteria to make a decision. Their own true feelings on the event are hidden behind their overwhelming desire to be seen as good and agreeable. Is your WH even in touch with other criteria for decision making rather than just pleasing you? Is he in IC? Because he cannot do what you are asking for if he has no idea what his own opinions and needs are. It sounds like he does not know how to work on himself.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 12:47 PM, Sunday, November 20th]

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5682   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8766046
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