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Newest Member: Crushedafter46years

Reconciliation :
5 year update, still feel stuck

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 Learningtofly17 (original poster member #58870) posted at 5:16 PM on Sunday, November 20th, 2022

My 1st Day was in 4/20/17. My WH had multiple affairs, including one that had been the whole duration of our marriage (15 years) and probably before.

Even though some healing has taken place and It seems like he is finally all-in and “present” in our marriage, I’m still feeling stuck. I still grieve, get angry, trigger, etc.

If I could go back and change things, I probably would end it after the 2nd D-day.

My WH hasn’t really done the work, but has been very good at keeping me informed of his whereabouts, doesn’t protect his phone, etc. I recently put a tracker on his car for 2 weeks without his knowledge and nothing.

I can’t really talk about the affairs, my feelings, etc because it turns into him being defensive. He can’t handle shame of looking at what he has done.

His family have been the family I always wanted since we’ve been married. I come from a dysfunctional family dynamic with very little support or guidance.

His father always has advocated us staying together and has always tried to be supportive. Unfortunately he has often told me I need to “get over it and move on” to save the marriage. I’m not happy with that. I’m offended by that. I’ve become very angry over him saying that. I’ve stuffed down my feelings and it’s painful and miserable. I feel like everyone wants me to continue doing this so no one is uncomfortable and the family is in tact, no hurt feelings for my WH.. Our daughter graduates next year and I’m thinking about what the future is going to look like for us.

I think I need IC but it’s been difficult to find the right councilor/therapist.

I did IC and marriage counseling after DDay 1 and for the most part, it was an expensive waste of time.

Im feeling defeated, I guess. My self-esteem is still in the toilet, I’ve gained 25 lbs, I feel like I wasted the best years of my life on a bunch of lies and someone that didn’t ever treat me or love me the way I needed. When I get triggered and act out, then I’m the crazy one. This is hard, staying is hard. Pretending nothing ever happened is hard. I thought this is what I wanted, but now, I don’t really believe that.

Hugs to everyone that is struggling and can’t find peace.❤️

posts: 137   ·   registered: May. 22nd, 2017
id 8766070
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Hippo16 ( member #52440) posted at 5:42 PM on Sunday, November 20th, 2022

Learning to Fly grin

I like that handle

I looked at your profile and see:

I'm barely functioning and I feel like he thinks I have grieved long enough and should just shake it off.

The functioning part - you have to fix yourself on that piece of your merde panini.

The 2nd part - "grieved long enough" - Ask him (sarcastically?) how long you should grieve.

My trip down the same road happened several decades ago. I'm still bothered by the memory.
It never will leave your brain - it is part of your life. So, yes, you have to teach yourself how to live with that piece of your history.

In my case, I have accepted the fate - sort of like a vehicle wreck. It happened, I survived and experienced a loss.

A book that helped me is: The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.

It is a very good read - a bit towards not so easy but the presentation and discussion is spot on.

another item you might find helpful:

Why We Love, Why We Cheat: Helen Fisher - put that in your browser url window and should give you the links to a transcript and a youtube video

Not Just Friends

posts: 686   ·   registered: Mar. 26th, 2016   ·   location: OBX
id 8766072
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 Learningtofly17 (original poster member #58870) posted at 7:33 PM on Sunday, November 20th, 2022

Hippo16—Thank you for the feedback . I own “The Body Keeps Score” but haven’t taken the time to read it yet. I will get started on it soon. I’m ready to feel better.

posts: 137   ·   registered: May. 22nd, 2017
id 8766079
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78monte ( member #72572) posted at 3:12 AM on Monday, November 21st, 2022

Learning to Fly, I'm sorry you are still suffering.
I am also 5 yrs out and still having difficulty.
I am sorry people are telling you to get over it. No one understands the trauma you have been through. It takes time to get through what you've suffered.
Know that you are not alone, take care of you,get through this at your own pace, don't listen to those other people.

posts: 2990   ·   registered: Jan. 14th, 2020   ·   location: Canada
id 8766120
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leafields ( member #63517) posted at 5:21 AM on Monday, November 21st, 2022

Why stay? What can you do to make things better?

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 1494   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8766127
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 8:40 AM on Monday, November 21st, 2022

I’m so sorry you are struggling.

I think you just need to be heard. But unfortunately your H doesn’t seem to understand the damage he caused, his family just wants you to sweep it under the rug and you wasted your time with prior counselors.

I think you need to find a counselor who you connect with. I think that veil be the best thing for you.

In 5 years you have not felt loved, respected or heard. How sad. Maybe here at SI you will get time support and understanding. Maybe you can connect with this community and feel supported.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12794   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8766130
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DayDreamBeliever ( new member #82205) posted at 12:31 PM on Monday, November 21st, 2022

I had the help of a trauma therapist (the affair was linked to PTSD and I had my own trauma that reared its ugly head) but she have me some very simple but great advice

-Banish uncertainty. If you can't problem solve it don't waste precious energy on it

-You don't have to make a decision on your marriage now. You can make a decision when you are ready too

-Always ask yourself what is my opportunity right now?

-Take time to do something for you and preferably something that faces uncertainty such as joining an exercise class, get a new hobby, order something new at a restaurant, watch something you wouldn't usually etc

These all sound small and irrelevant but when you start doing things just for you, focusing on the opportunity and relieving the pressure of knowing your future you start to love yourself a little more and when you love yourself you will set the boundaries that protect you and that will allow you to know whether to stay or go.

I also read 2 things on here that actually helped me when I had a wobble too which were

-Knowing you can leave at anytime is a reason to stay. Just because you stay today doesn't mean you have to stay forever. If it isn't working you cab chose to leave and if it is you can chose to stay

-A marriage isn't a failure because it ends. You can reconcile and end years later and it doesn't mean those years were a failure.

It probably sounds like I'm telling you to leave and I am not. What I am hopefully doing is providing you a sense of not being trapped. You have choices and they can be made and altered at anytime. Create yourself, learn your values and what makes you who you are, enjoy yourself and love yourself and when you are in a place of putting you first your boundaries will start to be drawn and you will be ready to move on with or without him

posts: 11   ·   registered: Oct. 20th, 2022
id 8766138
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 6:25 PM on Monday, November 21st, 2022

I can’t really talk about the affairs, my feelings, etc because it turns into him being defensive. He can’t handle shame of looking at what he has done.

Poor Guy, Consequences and accountability are a tough thing. (Sarcasm)

You are in limbo not R. He hasn’t done anything to help you heal. R takes a lot of work, it requires a remorseful spouse. It’s seems he hasn’t shown either of those elements.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH M 31 years

posts: 2007   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8766172
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 11:38 PM on Monday, November 21st, 2022

If I could go back and change things, I probably would end it after the 2nd D-day.

This is the line that stuck out to me the most about your post. Obviously we can't go back and change things, but there is nothing stopping you from leaving now if that is the way you are looking back at the past 5 years. By your own suggestion, your daughter is older now - you have stuck around to see if he has done the work and he has not. You have tried R and you are not happy. If all of that is true, it seems like your next step seems obvious. Are you looking for permission? If so, you have it.

I don't say any of this to be unkind. Truly. I want you to find peace. I'm about 5.5 years out and I would agree with you, staying is hard.... at least at the outset. When R goes well however, it shouldn't STAY hard. It should get better over time. I have never pretended nothing happened (and still don't). Like any BS, I still have triggers sometimes, but when I do, my husband does not get defensive, he is apologetic. He feels sad that he ever did something so terrible that it caused lasting trauma.

I get it, he is the family you have and you are USED to dysfunction. I promise you, you deserve better.

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 1026   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8766206
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 Learningtofly17 (original poster member #58870) posted at 3:25 AM on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

((78Monte))- Thank you for your kind words. It’s nice to know that someone knows exactly how I feel.

((Leafields))- I think I stay because I’m afraid, I don’t have a support system outside of his family. I’m not close to my family because I need those boundaries in place to protect my well being.

I was a single parent when I met my husband, so I think I would be fine on my own, but my lifestyle would definitely be more modest.

((The 1st Wife)) - I agree I need a therapist

((Day Dream Believer))- thank you for your advice. It makes sense and sounds doable. Self love is something I’ve always struggled with.

posts: 137   ·   registered: May. 22nd, 2017
id 8766232
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 Learningtofly17 (original poster member #58870) posted at 3:38 AM on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

((Tanner and Emergent8))- I agree with you both. Some days are great, and others are not as great. I don’t feel like he has been remorseful for what he has done. I think it upsets him that people now see this dark side of him that he kept hidden for so long. That’s what he regrets most in my opinion, getting caught.
Idk why I stay, I feel like I’m just afraid of the unknown. I have a home life with him, I didn’t have that growing up. It’s security I guess.

posts: 137   ·   registered: May. 22nd, 2017
id 8766236
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 9:56 PM on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

(((Learningtofly17))) maybe it is time to focus solely on yourself and detach from the M a bit to gain clarity. R isn't for everybody and not every M is worth saving especially when you are miserable. Why keep hanging on so tightly?

I used to be afraid of leaving so much that I straddled limbo for 5 years after False R. What I did was start working on myself in therapy and in life. I put all my energy into my kids and my girlfriends who became my life support. Get out there and make a life outside of this M. Sure leaving my M has caused me a great deal of financial stress and am living modestly but I am no longer in my miserable M and have healed exponentially from infidelity since then.

Maybe you will feel differently about your M once you take your focus off of it and your WS and put all that energy into yourself.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 9:56 PM, Tuesday, November 22nd]

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 8766334
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BellaLee ( member #58324) posted at 7:31 PM on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

Hi @Learningtofly17 I'm so sorry you've had to go through the pain of betrayal and the aftermath and truly my heart goees out to you.

I found IC beneficial in my healing journey and I really hope you can find a great counselor to help you too, so don't give up on getting one.

Please remember that your self-worth is not a reflection of someone else's wrong choices and despite what has happened, you are worthy of love that can be trusted.

Praying that the near future brings you strength, peace, lots of new joyful moments and complete healing for your emotions. You deserve it and more.

posts: 233   ·   registered: Apr. 18th, 2017
id 8766486
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 Learningtofly17 (original poster member #58870) posted at 2:21 PM on Saturday, November 26th, 2022

(((Crazyblindsided)))- Thank you for sharing. I’m also in limbo I think, 5 years now. It’s good to hear someone else’s journey. It helps me to see beyond now.

posts: 137   ·   registered: May. 22nd, 2017
id 8766783
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 Learningtofly17 (original poster member #58870) posted at 2:24 PM on Saturday, November 26th, 2022

(((BellaLee)))- Thanks for reminding me that I’m not the problem, his actions are not a reflection of my self worth. This is such an easy concept to understand, it’s just real hard to feel it sometimes.

posts: 137   ·   registered: May. 22nd, 2017
id 8766784
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