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Reconciliation :
Question From a (Evidently) Very Slow Learner: What Really is "Acceptance"?

Topic is Sleeping.
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ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 5:58 PM on Monday, January 9th, 2023

You won't get it until a certain amount of time passes, as acceptance comes with time. It just does.

OwningItNow's description was perfect (as is often the case):

When you think of what happened, you don't want to throw up. You don't feel rage. You don't cry or want to cry. You don't begin to ruminate and get stuck in the thoughts. It doesn't ruin your day. It doesn't cause mind movies. Or thoughts of revenge. Or the all-encompassing, "Why? Why? Why?" to go through your mind. You don't go into investigative mode or come up with one more question you need answered. You don't check, check, and more checking to grab onto some feeling of safety.

You can just think of it and it passes, very little emotional charge.

OIN's description of the process that followed that quote is also spot on. You don't understand/are struggling I suspect because you aren't there yet. It is akin to me 6 months after d-day reading someone who is 5+ years out like I am now explaining how they don't think about the A much anymore or they forgot the date of their d-day. I could not grasp this. It seemed impossible then - as in "how does that happen? that will never happen to me!" But alas it did. I don't know when. I can't pinpoint the moment.

Acceptance will likely happen for you too but it will just happen - that's how acceptance rolls. You can't rush it and you can't fake it and you likely will not really realize when you have gotten there...it just all of a sudden will be.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 6:01 PM, Monday, January 9th]

You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.

Constantly editing posts: usually due to sticky keys on my laptop or additional thoughts

posts: 2260   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8772659
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 Wounded Healer (original poster member #34829) posted at 7:01 PM on Monday, January 9th, 2023

Happy Monday (there is such a thing right?),

Grateful this conversation is still going. Hopefully it continues to be helpful to those who may come upon it.

Many more interesting thoughts being shared. And I appreciate it.

I think I can begin to see where I could come to some kind of terms with "it wasn't about me at all"...at least BEGINNING to see a POSSIBILITY of being able to embrace that is part at least.

But I'm not sure that's my silver bullet (if there is such a thing with all this) anyway.

I have written in some detail about other parts of this insanity that I am struggling to "accept"

The sex itself shared between my wife and AP1. The belittling engaged in with AP2. Mountains I must climb (and I know I'm not the only one) that I just can't imagine being able to pull off.

Rambler's short but pointed questions I guess seem pertinent here. I will readily admit that one of the most disorienting things in my experience of this has been that my wife adored me for 2 decades prior to going off the rails. Logic would seem to point to this being nothing but a nucelar powered positive. But, ironically, it seems I have experienced it as more of a setup. I was 1000% convinced it was true. I unconditionally believed that infidelity, let alone outright direct cruelty and callousness towards me was utterly and literally IMPOSSIBLE and beyond my wife's wildest most extreme abilities. Like, she did not have the literal abilty to do it. Like running a three minute mile, or bench pressing 1500 pounds IMPOSSIBLE. (Brief 'religious' talk coming...warning) As a pastor, I have had my tussles with God...and trust issues with Him...but...strangely not my wife. I think I trusted her with my life/heart/soul maybe even more than God. (religious stuff over). And that level of trust was earned in the previous 22 years of knowing her/being married to her. And then, almost in a relative instant, OTHER MEN. OTHER F*CKING MEN for my shy, boundaried, moral, ethcial. loving, literally adoring, family focused, Elementary School/Sunday School teaching, loving mother of 4, wife. As I sit here...nearly 12 years after initial discovery (albeit with more a more recent DDay twist) I think I STILL CANNOT BELIEVE IT. I mean, it happened, I lived it, I am not in ACTUAL denial of it...but I still CAN"T BELIVE IT. I am STILL STUNNED. And that's largely because I could not have been more convinced that the love and ALL of its accoutrements (happiness, sex, joy, safety, security etc) was REAL. She was an amazing wife and mom for the 20 years prior to the year from hell. She has been in the 10 years after...but that one year which divides the other 30 or so...has done unspeakeable things.

And, again, you'd think all that good behavior would be a HUGE PLUS. But you know what my mind/heart reasons? THIS:

She pulled off the wonderful wife thing for two decades before degrading herself and you and showing you who and what she really was and could do. So 10 years after the fact of the same great behavior? Means nothing.

I know that's not rational. I know that's not fair. But it is what I feel. For better or worse.

So, all that wordy stuff to say...maybe *I AM* trying to accept if my wife REALLY respects and loves me? I wrote about that very thing in a post about "when it was all a fantasy doesn't help"...where I shared my struggle with passing off demeaning and degrading things inflicted upon BS's by their WS's in words and deeds during their affairs as not really carrying too much meaning because FANTASY. It's A COLOSSAL JERK AROUND to think...

20 years...my wife adores me!

Wait...now she despises me, degradres herself in every way with OM! and loves him...

No wait! She doesn't love OM1 anymore ...no...he ghosted her so...she actually loves family friend OM2...and tells him all manner of terrible things about me...

No wait! One more time! She REALLY LOVES me now. She no longer loves those 2...but me again...whew. So glad.

And I will tell you...even with 30 or so years of great wife behavior, what I just described above has been akin to a teaspoon of rat turds in the monster cookie dough. Yep. 98% of that dough is just fine...but it is now just.....tainted. And you can pick out the turds...but you will always wonder what is REALLY in those cookies once they are baked.

So yes...I'll admit maybe I do wonder what is real in terms of my wife's respect and love. But it's only because she utterly convinced me what my reality was...for a looong time...before she showed me it wasn't.

And, look, I've gone to therapy, I know the path that is often the way out of this. You accept people change. As Oldwounds often says, his wife is not her worst choices. Remorse can flip the script. I get that. I get grace. Truly I do. I also know that people do and say things in affairs that can be argued that they don't mean. Hell...sometimes they aren't even emperically or FACTUALLY true. And I get that people are sexual beings...and maybe there should not be as much SCANDALOUS DISGUST at the thought of my wife being sexual with someone else. She likes sex. A lot. So...why so serious? Why such an impasse in my mind? IDK. But all I know...is that I know I have not accepted these things. And I am having a hard time believing that I can.

But....

Man. I love my wife. And I believe deeply in grace. And redemption. And I can hear how seemingly pathetic that sounds and can hear the quiet rumblings of astute SI'ers thinking "codependency". And there may be at least a partial truth in those things too...

And I'm pretty sure I'm not ready to accept that either.


Deep breath.


Thanks as always for all of your investment(s) here

WH

BS - 39 years on DDay

DDay #1: 10/13/2010 - 4 month EA/PA with divorced OM from 10/2009 to 2/2010

DDay #2: 4/14/2021 - 8 month EA with married OM/family friend 2/2010 to 10/2010

Crazy about each other. Reconciling.

posts: 66   ·   registered: Feb. 15th, 2012   ·   location: Northern Indiana
id 8772667
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 8:15 PM on Monday, January 9th, 2023

And, look, I've gone to therapy, I know the path that is often the way out of this. You accept people change. As Oldwounds often says, his wife is not her worst choices. Remorse can flip the script. I get that. I get grace. Truly I do. I also know that people do and say things in affairs that can be argued that they don't mean. Hell...sometimes they aren't even emperically or FACTUALLY true. And I get that people are sexual beings...and maybe there should not be as much SCANDALOUS DISGUST at the thought of my wife being sexual with someone else. She likes sex. A lot. So...why so serious? Why such an impasse in my mind? IDK. But all I know...is that I know I have not accepted these things. And I am having a hard time believing that I can.

I felt a lot of this too. In my case, that impasse was my internal arguing. My head and heart wanted R, my gut knew R wasn't on the table. Ultimately I knew for ME that it didn't matter what he did, I was never going to 'get over' the cheating. It took time for me to know that 100%. I can give grace and all that and still choose not to continue the relationship.

I'm not trying to tell you to stop trying for R, but instead to tell you to look in your own self. It could be that the cheating was simply a deal-breaker for you, and if so that's okay. Even if she's being the model fww and doing/saying/acting all the right ways, it's still okay if the cheating was a deal-breaker for you. Even if it's been x years since the last incidence of infidelity, it's still okay if you just cannot accept it. Only you can answer that, but just IMHO you should do some mental exploration of what life looks like for you not being married to her. It's scary, yes, but can also be very illuminating. When I started doing those mental explorations, it shifted my perspective a lot.

"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: 3901   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: Louisiana
id 8772674
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 Wounded Healer (original poster member #34829) posted at 9:37 PM on Monday, January 9th, 2023

Thank you so much for your concern and insight Ellie. It is truly appreciated.

WH

BS - 39 years on DDay

DDay #1: 10/13/2010 - 4 month EA/PA with divorced OM from 10/2009 to 2/2010

DDay #2: 4/14/2021 - 8 month EA with married OM/family friend 2/2010 to 10/2010

Crazy about each other. Reconciling.

posts: 66   ·   registered: Feb. 15th, 2012   ·   location: Northern Indiana
id 8772679
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kenny55 ( member #23014) posted at 12:33 AM on Tuesday, January 10th, 2023

I like what Ellie posted. I believe that Christ has given us the right to divorce in case of adultery. The results to a betrayed spouse can be too much to take. You can still love the person and forgive them, but not need to stay with them for the rest of your life. If I could do this over, I would have divorced sooner and gone about the rest of my life. My father is 94 and he believes that forgiveness does not mean you never think about it. you can forgive the person who threw the rock that put a scar on your face. It does not take the scar away.

posts: 560   ·   registered: Feb. 25th, 2009
id 8772700
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rambler ( member #43747) posted at 4:16 AM on Tuesday, January 10th, 2023

Just to let you know that a truly remorseful spouse does not lie to their betrayed spouse for 10 years nor bring AP 2 around for many years.


Your wife s being truthful that what she did was to manipulate
Her AP's. She used being a victim and sex. What you have to accept is she does it successfully to you too.

making it through

posts: 1406   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2014   ·   location: Chicago
id 8772713
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:08 PM on Tuesday, January 10th, 2023

One of the thoughts that kept me from discovering it was that my W had led a life that adhered closely to Western moral teaching. At one point during the A, I had the thought, 'Maybe she's moral because she fears getting caught.' That's a lot different from being moral.

Our vows did not include 'in sickness and health' etc., but I know that's what I signed up for. On d-day, I saw a woman who was sick. I had a lot of thoughts and feelings, but what stuck out was that everything stemmed from her being sick at heart. That allowed me to R, if she was going to participate - but she had to do her work, or I was out.

That makes me ask: what has your W done to heal? I take bad0-mouthing you to her aps as signs of anger at you. She apparently got herself so angry at you that she cheated 10 years ago - and then allowed herself to get so angry that she cheated again just a short while ago.

My W and I don't let resentments build up (at least I think and hope that's the case). How come your W did it a 2nd time? Has she explained that? Has she dug deep inside to figure out why she allowed that to happen inside her? I don't mean to attack her, but I think those questions need to be asked and answered. After all, your unhappiness could be due to her inaction WRT letting anger build up and justify hurting you. If that's what she's been doing, can you see a happy future with her?

IOW, have you may not be the obstacle to a successful R in your M. Does that resonate with you?

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: 29579   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8772750
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 Wounded Healer (original poster member #34829) posted at 7:15 PM on Tuesday, January 10th, 2023

Hi Sisoon,

Thanks so much for your investments in this post. I always appreciate your input.

I know my story is a bit confusing. She actually has not cheated recently. The PA with OM1 happened in 2009/10 and was quickly followed (when she escaped that affair) into an EA with OM2 in 2010. I discovered the original PA about a year after it ended in October of 2010, however I only recently discovered (April of 2021) the EA with OM2/family friend. So...all the infidelities were on 2009/10...but I only in the last 18 months have had the full truth. She was certain I was going to discover her PA with OM1 and was frantically trying to secure a landing spot with the EA and OM2.

I hope that clarifies some things...muddy as it still is.

And, honestly, that timeline is a huge part of the trippiness of it all for me. For, in all the interim times, with the exception of that one year where all the infidelities occurred, she has demonstrated nothing but consistent, positive, fully vested spousal behavior.

The 10 years of hiding the EA notwithstanding of course. And, in somewhat of a reference to Rambler's blunted observation, I actually understand that one a bit. I hate it of course, but it's not a huge point of stuckness for me as I at least can grasp the reasoning. She basically chickened out and hid under the discolusre of the orignial affair/PA. She reasoned (terribly, which she acknowledges) that I knew the far far worse asedcts of her cheating in the PA with OM1. In her mind, the stuff with OM2 was infintely less...so she thought that could remain secret as I already knew and was was reconciling far worse things. PLus, she was too scared to blow up all the family dynamics. A total coward move, again, which she totally admits. Terrible reasoning? Absolutely, and again she wons this. But...I do at least grasp the reasoning. The more complicated part is, in time, becuase of all kinds of FOO and abuse dynamics in er young life, her compartmentalization of the 2nd affair/EA was so thorough...she actually FORGOT how deep it went. I found the emails. She did not deny or attempt to escape any responsibility from them. Understood divorce was highly possible because of them..and denied none of it....but honestly had zero recollection she had said such horrible things. She locked it away and over time, it totally faded. Part of her healing process has been to work on how that is even possible. And she's discovering she has done that with many of the more ugly/traumatic things that have happened to her and that she has chosen to do. I have watched her wrestle with this, again, never trying to minimize or deny an ounce of it, but honeslty struggle to grasp how she could have wiped this from her memory so thoroughly. She knew the relationship had gotten inappropriate, but had no recollection of how graphic/demeaning the words got.

And, with the boots on the ground here. I believe it. I have seen her as exasperated as I am over how that could happen. But it did. The work on this obviusly continues.

I know many will call my "acceptance" of that part of my story foolish, blind, naive, etc...

Ultimately (and respectfully) that doesn't matter to me. that part of the story I am not stuck on...for WHATEVER reasons. I AM stuck on the belittling...it doesn't matter that she had no recollection of saying those things. She said them. And I have to try to reconcile that...and honestly don't know if I will be able to. Even her explanation of it being an act to try to "land" him because she just assumed I would dump her after eventually discovering the PA with OM1. Still doesn't matter to me. I understand that reasoning...but they were still said. And that just still means something to me. The sex in her PA...means something to me. Those are the main places I am stuck...and will continue to try and get free from.

Thanks so much again,

WH

BS - 39 years on DDay

DDay #1: 10/13/2010 - 4 month EA/PA with divorced OM from 10/2009 to 2/2010

DDay #2: 4/14/2021 - 8 month EA with married OM/family friend 2/2010 to 10/2010

Crazy about each other. Reconciling.

posts: 66   ·   registered: Feb. 15th, 2012   ·   location: Northern Indiana
id 8772785
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 8:21 PM on Tuesday, January 10th, 2023

Thanks for the clarification - cheating in '09-'10, discovery in '10. New discovery last year of more from '09-'10. The discovery last year resets the your timeframe somewhat, but not in the same way a new A in 2021 woul have.

I AM stuck on the belittling...it doesn't matter that she had no recollection of saying those things.

My therapist would say that it's not the belittling itself that's the big issue; rather it's what you are telling yourself about the belittling. Once you clean up your self talk, you'll see what she actually did in a different light, and you'll be able to make a decision more easily.

IOW, you may very well have accepted your W's A. It may be that your problem is that you don't accept yourself.

IDK ... to solve a problem, one has to give the right name to the problem....

I keep posting because I think you've opened up some very important questions, and I'm learning from them. smile

ETA: I'm very sorry she said those things. That's a significant obstacle to overcome.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:22 PM, Tuesday, January 10th]

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: 29579   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8772794
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Trapped74 ( member #49696) posted at 10:37 PM on Tuesday, January 10th, 2023

During all the messes that were our multiple DDays, I never found any indication that my WH badmouthed me to his APs. He swears he never did. Obviously, I have no idea if he did or not, but there is no physical evidence. If there had been, I sincerely doubt I could have gone forward with trying for R. Nope. Just nope.

That level of disrespect may just be a deal breaker. Completely understandable and justified.

Many DDays. Me (BW) 49 Him (WH) 52 Happily detached and compartmentalized.

posts: 335   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Oregon
id 8772825
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RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 6:18 AM on Wednesday, January 11th, 2023

WH,

In all your posts regarding your (f?)WW, you have nothing but praises about her (e.g. my shy, boundaried, moral, ethcial. loving, literally adoring, family focused, Elementary School/Sunday School teaching, loving mother of 4).

Am not saying that you must describe her in derogatory terms, but in a more 'realistic' sense. Even after all this time, you seem to have your (f?)WW up on a pedestal.

Perhaps this is part of your discontent/confusion, that you are not able to reconcile this angelic being with the behaviour during her As. The image of her doing things contrary to what you believed she could not do is throwing your mind out of whack. You say that you accept the facts, but internally, the facts are fighting what you want to believe about your wife.

Another thing, look into forgiving yourself. Not that you did anything wrong, but you seem to be torturing yourself over how you took her back so easily, and conformed to her wishes (not to talk about the A.... ever) for such a long time, only to be fooled again (DDay2).

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 1107   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8772868
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 Wounded Healer (original poster member #34829) posted at 1:56 PM on Wednesday, January 11th, 2023

Thanks so much for all the continued contributions to this thread. So much appreciated.

Rocket -

That is a great observation. However, I am fairly confident that my consistently describing her in those ways is not pedestal-izing her...it's rather to keep demonstrating the utter inexplicable, could-not-be-more-out-of--her-indisputably-established-character nature of the contrast. It's truth. She WAS/is all those things I describe. For nearly 30 years. 20 years prior...and now 10 after. For 10 months in 2009/10 my wife became literally some other thing. Maybe this is more cliche than I realize, but it was seriously like a fuse blew, or a switch flipped, a breaker tripped. Then, just as quickly as it blew, it reset. And she has been the woman I have always known for the last 10 years...as she was for the first 20. And maybe that is exactly what is blowing MY fuses? I cannot reconcile it. I just can't. And maybe there is no reconciling that. And maybe it adds to some deep, less-than-conscious looking over my shoulder or waiting for some other shoe to drop. Becuase it came out of nowhere, did its thing, and then left. She exhibited zero questionable, or really, less than admirable behavior prior to...and now after (her cowardly/misguided hiding of the EA notwithstanding). I have always maintained it is the most bizarre thing I have ever personally witnessed. And in over 2 decades of being in a helping/serving profession...I have seen quite a bit. Even as I am writing this, I find myself almost involuntarily shaking my head. It is still unbelievable to me. But only becuase I lived in the most intimate of ways with this person for over 2 decades before this happened...and a decade since...and this is not who she was/is. And yet it is. And, as I type these things out, this obviously is playing into my struggle to "accept" it. I guess I just don't know how. If there were red flags, or any behavior, poor boundary issues, etc. that I could see or identify, even in 20/20 hindsight...maybe that would help. But there were/are none. Just. Utterly. Bizarre.

Anyway...I'm sure you are on to something with your observation.

Thanks again for sharing it,

WH

BS - 39 years on DDay

DDay #1: 10/13/2010 - 4 month EA/PA with divorced OM from 10/2009 to 2/2010

DDay #2: 4/14/2021 - 8 month EA with married OM/family friend 2/2010 to 10/2010

Crazy about each other. Reconciling.

posts: 66   ·   registered: Feb. 15th, 2012   ·   location: Northern Indiana
id 8772886
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RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 4:32 AM on Friday, January 13th, 2023

WH,

Might be worth examining this with your IC, and come up with a plan to reset your perception of your (f?)WW.

You will need to reconcile who she was (during her As), and who she is now.

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 1107   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8773166
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 5:38 AM on Friday, January 13th, 2023

You obviously know your wife better than I do, and I'm admittedly inclined to not think particularly highly of cheaters so take this with a grain of salt.

I know for me, I thought I was married to a really honest guy. And I was.... until I wasn't. It was SO hard for me to SEE him when the cheating happened. I had the hardest time not looking at him through the lens of our relationship to that point. Through the lens of dating, and a wedding, and holidays, and family get-togethers, and road trips, and stomach flus, hopes, dreams etc. It was mind-bending.

But whether I stayed married or divorced, it was vital for my healing that I took those lenses off and SAW him. Was about the mentally hardest thing I've ever had to do and I only had 8 years with him at that point.

The point I'm making is seconding Rocket, because I kind of think you're putting her on a pedestal too. Because you say it goes against her character, but that just isn't true. You know it ain't so or you wouldn't be here. The fact is she's got a hole somewhere in her character that made cheating and lying to you perfectly acceptable to her. Even if she's been a model wife all these other years, that hole is still there.

"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: 3901   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: Louisiana
id 8773169
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 1:26 PM on Friday, January 13th, 2023

Because you say it goes against her character, but that just isn't true.

I think every person on the planet has low out of character times in life.

At one school, I was bullied so at the next school, I decided to be the bully. Terrorizing others physically and mentally is a horrible thing, but I did that for a couple years. Anyone who knows me now couldn’t even imagine it, wouldn’t believe me if I told them. Because it was an out of character moment. Same with drinking when I was in the USMC. Drinking and then driving- not good. I did that more than once, and am simply lucky I wasn’t caught or hurt someone. People who have known me the last 20-years haven’t even seen me drunk. It was against my character, it was out of character, I learned how to be a better person after those moments.

No one on this planet could pick my wife out of a line-up and say, I bet she cheated on her husband. In fact, most of the family and friends who do NOT know what she did, her nickname is "goody two-shoes" (she grabs a hold of my hand when anyone calls her that now). There are people we could tell who wouldn’t believe her. And if they did, they would ALL say, "Wow, that really goes against who she is, and against her character."

I think we’re all capable of falling and failing.

My wife failed herself. And me. And our kids.

She isn’t out of character for life. I would go as far to say, it is what we do AFTER we fail that can be a better measure of character. Do we learn? Do we try and improve? Do we repair the damage done?

WS either learn and heal themselves in order to be a better person, better partner (in this or their next relationship) or they don’t.

I don’t see Wounded Healer putting his wife on some pedestal. Based on his pain and anger, I think he sees exactly what she did and isn’t ever going to be okay with what she did. That’s healthy to me.

I don’t know if acceptance will happen or not for WH. We all recover our own way.

My wife’s lowest, worst days were not BECAUSE of me. That’s what I first accepted, and started to heal.

Married 35+ years, together 41+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived. M Restored.
"It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it." — Seneca

posts: 4698   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
id 8773185
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 8:00 PM on Friday, January 13th, 2023

I think every person on the planet has low out of character times in life.

I don't disagree with this Oldwounds. But just my feeling is that if you do a behavior, then it's in your character somewhere. And FWIW, I think that all humans have in them the capacity for greatness and awfulness and that the mark of character (to me) is which of those paths one chooses to walk.

I have a lot of my dad in me. He always used his intellect as a weapon. He was famous for always joking at the expense (and hurt) of others. He's also incredibly close-minded and judgmental. He is half of my genetic makeup and I could be all of those things too (and have at times in the past). I CHOOSE not to do those things. Sometimes it's hard, but I make a conscious choice NOT to engage in those behaviors because I hated having them done to me. But I also don't deny that they are in there inside of me. They are part of my being or character, just like my green eyes and the way my pinky toenail grows.

I don’t see Wounded Healer putting his wife on some pedestal. Based on his pain and anger, I think he sees exactly what she did and isn’t ever going to be okay with what she did. That’s healthy to me.

I think maybe 'pedestal' isn't the right word. Just my read, but I think WoHe is struggling a lot with reconciling the 'good' wife she's been for a long time with the person who chose to cheat. I really struggled with that too for a while. It was like my gut or subconscious or whatever KNEW my xwh had cheated and that he wasn't the good guy I thought he was, but my heart/head just were putting their fingers in their ears and going "lalalalala can't hear you..." It took time and effort for me to find a way to make both of those husband pieces fit in my mind. Does that make sense?

I don't think WoHe is in denial or is not acting in a healthy manner (and so sorry if it came across like that because it absolutely wasn't my intention), but I DO think he is having that same wtf struggle I did so I just wanted to share that part of my journey.

"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: 3901   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: Louisiana
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 Wounded Healer (original poster member #34829) posted at 3:12 PM on Saturday, January 14th, 2023

Oldwounds & Ellie,

I appreciate both of your perspectives and your genuine concern both so much. I do think I fall more on the spectrum of just dumbfoundedness that such an inherently "good" person (my fWW) with an long and consistent open and observable track record of being just, really, a truly great human...let alone wife and mom and friend...could do what she did. But that's the rub isn't it? How can truly good people do truly horrible things? While obviously pertinent here...that queation is really outside the boundaries of what I really care about in this particular context. What I care about here is how could MY wife do THIS to ME. That question transcends by far the philosophical musing of the bigger picture. I resonate with Oldwounds'observations about people having "low" moments in otherwise high character in certain circumstances. But I also totally see the notion that (TRULY?) good character just does not (cannot?) do the despicable. That good character can/may/will have low and regrettable moments of weakness and "bad" decision making...but doesn't it seem like there is a "limit" to the degree of "bad" that is relevant? If my wonderful wife gets angry at me and tells me to drop dead...that's "bad"...if she shoots me dead...that is?...despicable? What is it? And, I guess I'm just going off again which I didn't intend to do here...but it just seems like that willingness/ability/decision to "shoot me dead" with infidelity is just beyond a low/lowest moment of otherwise great character. IDK? So I totally get and resonate DEEPLY with the notion that truly good people can/will do truly bad things. But when "bad" becomes something a lot more than "bad"...and it's now personal....with my most trusted intimate mate-for-life person "shooting me dead"...it is (understatement of the millennium coming here) VERY hard to really reconcile that. Still not sure it's possible.

Thanks so much again to Oldwounds...Ellie...everyone for continuing to assist in hashing this stuff out.

WH

BS - 39 years on DDay

DDay #1: 10/13/2010 - 4 month EA/PA with divorced OM from 10/2009 to 2/2010

DDay #2: 4/14/2021 - 8 month EA with married OM/family friend 2/2010 to 10/2010

Crazy about each other. Reconciling.

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JasonCh ( member #80102) posted at 4:19 PM on Saturday, January 14th, 2023

Wounded Healer,

You obviously know your situation. You state that other than the affair(s) PA and EA approximately 10 years ago she has been a good wife. So for 30 years she haas been good with a blip at around year 20. But she has lied to you for the past 10 years about the EA. Out of the 30 years she has lied to you for what you know to be 10 of them. Is the lying just a blip too?

I had assigned motives and intentions to my wife's behaviors before i found out of her affair. After the affair the lying and secret keeping that i knew and had overlooked because I believed we were on the same team had to be re-examined. Not that i now know that everything was a lie -- but my assumptions about her motives and intentions were more than likely mine alone. I am wondering how you are not only getting past the lying for 10 years but you are saying she acted the same for the previous 20 years and that was all 'good'.

posts: 391   ·   registered: Mar. 18th, 2022
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 4:59 PM on Saturday, January 14th, 2023

I don't think WoHe is in denial or is not acting in a healthy manner (and so sorry if it came across like that because it absolutely wasn't my intention), but I DO think he is having that same wtf struggle I did so I just wanted to share that part of my journey.

I think anyone who attempts to stick around, and maybe even for people who do not R — the wtf struggle is a big part of recovery. And I think how we break that down, the whole, trying to assess exactly who it is we are married to, is a big part of whether R is worth the work. In that sense, I will not disagree with your take or your perspective— I just added mine into the mix.

Ultimately, I find I am not my worst days, worst moments or even my very best moments, I’m somewhere there in the middle. Decent dude, good dad, the friend who will pick up his pal at 2 am when his car breaks down, etc. And again, for part of acceptance, I am certainly not defined by any fail my wife accomplished.

A huge part of R is trying to figure out if this person who ripped out your heart and waffle stomped it on the sidewalk is capable of learning about why they failed, why they fell and can become someone who is a better person, better partner. It doesn’t happen everyday. A lot of WS never own the horror show they caused, a lot of WS own their choices but then fail to change.

From this distance, there isn’t any way I can know if Wounded Healer has a WS worthy of his time. Nor do I think he need ever to be okay with what she did.

We all find a path through, eventually, regardless of how the M turns out.

Married 35+ years, together 41+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived. M Restored.
"It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it." — Seneca

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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 7:47 PM on Saturday, January 14th, 2023

What I care about here is how could MY wife do THIS to ME. That question transcends by far the philosophical musing of the bigger picture.

I think it's healthy to realize that your philosophizing is directly connected to focusing on yourself. I'm not sure that helps get the answers you want, but I think it will help you deal with the answers if you get them. smile

*****

What I care about here is how could MY wife do THIS to ME.

I think this line of thinking is a trap - there's no good way out of it, so I think it's best to give it up.

The question really is another way of asking, 'If God is good, how come bad things happen to good people?'

I'll accept that there's good and bad in all of us, but I will not accept that I was somehow singled out to bear this pain because I sin, sometimes without remorse (I'm not going to stone anyone for adultery, for example). I just believe the BS is collateral damage in an A, even though the BS does not deserve to experience the pain of being betrayed.

'How could MY wife do THIS to ME' does assume, I think, that I some how deserved this. I just won't accept that. No way. No how. I did not deserve to be betrayed.

That is (part of) the approach that worked for me. It came naturally to me, though. I didn't have to force it.

*****

But I also totally see the notion that (TRULY?) good character just does not (cannot?) do the despicable. That good character can/may/will have low and regrettable moments of weakness and "bad" decision making...but doesn't it seem like there is a "limit" to the degree of "bad" that is relevant?

I simply can't draw that conclusion. Good people do VERY bad things, probably every day. I believe there is good in virtually all of, though experience can drive it out of a person. I alos believe it's possible that some people are simply born bad.

I believe most of us will choose 'Good', all other things being equal. The problem is that all other things are usually unequal, and some people just break themselves. My W's ap, a court-determined victim of abuse, kept battering down my W's barriers and finally found the way through them completely - she complained of pain so unbearable that she'd kill herself unless my W started a sexual A. My W initially saw herself as someone saving a life, not as a cheater. Beside, at ow's urging, she saw herself as so evolved that she could love 2 people simultaneously. barf

That sort of justification doesn't work for everybody, but it does work for the large number of people who (have to) see themselves as 'one up' on others, the helpers/ rescuers/Knights in Shining Armor.

Others see themselves as somehow entitled to the relief of an A ... the BS will never know. Besides, the BS causes the A by the BS's unfeeling/insulting/inconsiderate/hurtful behavior.

It's only after the A starts that many (most?) WSes realize they've fucked up - maybe it takes a d-day, maybe they never realize it.

I believe, IOW, that many, and perhaps most, WSes don't realize how despicably they are behaving until after they done the despicable acts. Alas, my data comes from a very small sample - one WS IRL, and maybe a thousand or 2 on SI (but it may only be a few hundred).

Not so BTW, my W saw my pain on d-day, and she knew it was connected to her 'saving a life', but she didn't see what she did as just another sordid A for at least 5 months, by her testimony.

If you have described your W's behavior accurately (and I expect you did), I can certainly see your W as a good person. I just expect some good people do very bad things. We are the stuff of tragedy.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 9:03 PM, Saturday, January 14th]

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.

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Topic is Sleeping.
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