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Newest Member: Lissa

Reconciliation :
Feels like a lifetime and yesterday..


 Abigail22 (original poster new member #82816) posted at 4:14 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

It has been just over a month since D-Day. I have kept saying "if" I want to work on this since day one, but I feel like it’s time to admit that I/ we have been working towards reconciliation. I am still hurt, angered, disappointed, and disgusted by the entire situation. Even after feeling all those things I still see good in this man. He has been proving himself through actions and patience. I know it’s still early days but I need to admit that I do want to make this work..but not half assed by sweeping it under the rug. I want to do the real work and I want to truly feel like we are happy and in a healthy relationship. I still cry and I feel really overwhelmed at times. I feel really insecure and I’m not sure how to cope with that. How do you know when you can finally relax a little and not always be on high alert..also how do you move forwards with intimacy? I am definitely wanting to be intimate but also I refuse to be the one initiating since I already feel insecure in the relationship after what he did. I do have to admit I am also very scared that I might be mad at him during or after an intimate encounter..

posts: 16   ·   registered: Jan. 31st, 2023
id 8780966

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 4:19 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

As someone familiar with your situation, can I ask what work he is doing on himself to become a safe partner? Exactly?

Reconciliation is a process that takes years.

The first year you are basically reeling,and in shock. Many say the second year is harder. The shock has worn off,reality is setting in. Healing for a BS typically takes 3 to 5 years. You keep saying "still," as if you think you should be improving already. Sadly, it's just starting. I'm sorry.

posts: 5274   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8780968

BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 4:40 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

There's never been a question in my mind since your very first post that you desperately want to reconcile. But there's a distinction between wanting reconciliation and actively working toward it.

So I have the same questions as Hellfire... what is he actually doing to earn his second chance? Not what is saying or what is he planning to do... what are his action?

How do you know when you can finally relax a little and not always be on high alert..also how do you move forwards with intimacy? I am definitely wanting to be intimate but also I refuse to be the one initiating since I already feel insecure in the relationship after what he did. I do have to admit I am also very scared that I might be mad at him during or after an intimate encounter..

I think it's way too soon after DDay to even be thinking about intimacy. (1) You can't be sure this early on that he's not cheating on you and you don't want to put yourself at risk for STDs. (2) You need to keep your head clear and soberly assess his actions without dopamine clouding your judgement. (3) You've astutely pointed out that you're not entirely sure how you will feel or react after having sex with if you don't feel comfortable being emotionally vulnerable with him, you shouldn't have sex with him.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 4:44 PM, Monday, March 6th]

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 1294   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8780980

 Abigail22 (original poster new member #82816) posted at 4:55 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

HellFire: sorry I don’t know how to tag in this forum yet.

As for what he has been doing. He has given me space when requested. He has taken it upon himself to go to individual counseling and respected that I do not want to do couples counseling until after he has done multiple individual sessions. He reads books without me prompting him (he asks me if I would feel comfortable trying things he is reading about). He has deleted all social media, and is actively trying to be on his phone as little as possible since he is aware this is a habit he has and is a big item he used to cheat. He sends me a screenshot of his phone usage at the end of each day to show what apps he has been using through the day. He has thrown out all camo sweaters since this is a trigger for me. He is actively looking for a new job that is going to keep him busy and happier than his current one. He doesn’t use our computer at home unless I am there. He answers any questions I have and he allows me to vent without pushing back or being defensive in anyway. He respects that I am not ready to be intimate..including not walking around the house naked or sleeping naked. I mean anything I ask he has done..I feel he is truly remorseful.

posts: 16   ·   registered: Jan. 31st, 2023
id 8780990

 Abigail22 (original poster new member #82816) posted at 4:56 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

He also went and got STD tested.

posts: 16   ·   registered: Jan. 31st, 2023
id 8780991

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 5:01 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

What books is he reading?

How often do you discuss his infidelity?

He needs to be tested for stds.

He needs to answer all of your questions without anger or defensiveness. And zero blame.

He needs to ne completely transparent. You get full access to all accounts and the phone. Passwords included.

He drops any friends who knew of the cheating.

He allows you to sit in on an IC session, so you can be assured that you know he has been honest with the IC.

He figures out the reason he cheated.

And anything else you need to feel safe.

posts: 5274   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8780992

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 5:03 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

You also should look for a burner phone.

posts: 5274   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8780993

 Abigail22 (original poster new member #82816) posted at 5:13 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

He has provided me a list of all passwords and usernames. He has not once ever blamed me or our relationship in anyway for his behavior/ cheating. He has been open with answering anything I ask even if it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I ask question at least once or twice a week and we talk about what he did often through the week not in detail from the start but about how bad he hurt me and that I am worried I won’t ever be able to believe him again. I tell him about how I’m feeling often because I go through waves of depression and just plain sadness. He tells me about his sessions with the therapist we did an initial couple session just to get the details out there and I wanted to make sure he shared the entire experience throughly without leaving anything out. No one knew he was doing this because he was embarrassed and ashamed of it from the start..he deleted all photos from iCloud and his phone/computer I have checked every single folder I could. I read a book referred from the library and he read the same book twice how to help your spouse heal from your affair, and he read a Dr. Phil relationship recuse book. His mom provided him with a few books she had..since her ex husband cheated on her while she was pregnant with him. He has not at all refused or been defiant in anyway. He has said he wants to do everything in his power to fix what he has broken. He is always reminding me that he will do anything to work through this.

posts: 16   ·   registered: Jan. 31st, 2023
id 8780995

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 5:38 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

You're very close to your dday. That you are only asking one,or two,questions per week is concerning. It's not at all unusual for couples,at this stage,to be discussing the infidelities several times a day. So,it's worrisome that you are only talking about it a few times a week,at best,this close to dday. Being a serial cheater, it seems there should be a lot to talk about it. I know it's on your mind,constantly. What's stopping you from talking about it more often?

[This message edited by HellFire at 5:38 PM, Monday, March 6th]

posts: 5274   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8781003

Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 5:49 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

I was still in shock a month after dday. I didn’t know which way was up and I was completely unable to wrap my head around the concept of what my wife had done.

I will also say, my wife confessed, she wasn’t caught — however — her initial confession left a HUGE amount of information OUT of the story. That’s trickle truth and is sadly, very common. My wife was certain the very next bit of truth would be the final straw, so she was protecting her, not me.

What I’m saying is, seeing some good in your WH is nice, but I think it is far too early to determine your path forward. You’ll need to process a lot more of this, get all the information from him with very normal, endless questions and see if he continues to take steps to be a safer partner. As an example, why did he need validation beyond the M?

Although I did want to find a way to rebuild my M, and I eventually did, it takes a LOT of time and a tremendous amount of work. My R didn’t start in earnest until YEAR THREE. I had to process pain and anger, heal myself and become aware enough of what I was being asked to accept in order to inform my decision to stay.

Take your time, be kind to yourself, take care of you.

[This message edited by Oldwounds at 5:50 PM, Monday, March 6th]

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

posts: 4559   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8781005

 Abigail22 (original poster new member #82816) posted at 5:58 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

We talk about it often through the week probably to some degree every day and not just me bringing it up him too. But I feel like I know a lot of what I need to know basically everything except the details of every single girl he talked too and what kind of photo each of them sent. I ask questions as they come up which is a minimum of one-two times a week. I have asked the same question multiple time with with the same answer being returned. I feel like it’s healthy for me to not deep dive into this everyday. I am going to therapy on my own and this helps me express my feelings without a breakdown. I am working on best coping mechanisms for myself so that I can continue my day to day. I can’t let this ruin my career or sanity. I feel comfortable asking him questions I have never held back but again sometimes just writing in my journal and talking to the therapist is what I need to calm my mind for a moment.

posts: 16   ·   registered: Jan. 31st, 2023
id 8781007

TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 6:46 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

I think it's common for a BS to want reconciliation. Or at least think that they do. It's natural to want what we had, to not want change and to want to return to the comfort and safety of our life "before."

That's not the same thing as working toward reconciliation. It's a human reaction to having everything you held dear burned to the ground.

But that's ok.

What you need to focus on right now is your own healing. Once you are stronger and more healed only then will you be able to a)assess what you want going forward (not backward) and b) do the very, very difficult work.

So give yourself a break right now. See your IC. Read books you find helpful. Obviously, you two are going to talk about your marriage and read books on the same but also invest in things that are about your healing only. Not his. Not the marriage. Just you. Take extra good care of yourself. Feel your feelings. Talk when you want to. Take space when you need to. Radical self care is a must.

If he is serious about wanting to save this marriage he will support your healing. Yes that means transparency and answering questions to make you feel safe but also allowing you the space and freedom to work on your healing without catering to his. Sex falls into this category as well. If you're not feeling it or are afraid of it, then that's a no until you feel stronger. At the same time, you can ask him for anything you want or need to feel better. A hug, a talk, affection, space, time... whatever you need to get through a moment and heal.

posts: 358   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8781020

emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 8:05 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

Hi Abigail,

I’m sorry you’re hurting. I think I’ve mentioned it to you before, but I found out about my husband’s A less than a year after we said wedding vows too, so I can very much empathize with your story and how you must be feeling right now.

It sounds like your husband is doing the right things right now. You are the feet on the ground and are the person best able to gage whether this is genuine. I will trust your judgment. The things you have mentioned ARE positive indicators if R is what your heart is set on. Some people will disagree, but I don’t think cautious optimism is a bad thing as long as you are able to maintain an objective view and don’t let what you want blind you from reality.

I will say that only time will tell whether the changes he is making are sustainable for him in the long run. For that reason, I think it makes sense, for now, to commit to attempting to R on a "watch and see" basis. That means you can move towards R but without putting all your eggs in that basket for now (ie. don’t make major life or financial decisions etc.). Give yourself a timeline, a date (maybe 6 months or so), in which you will do a thorough reassessment of whether your spouse

BUT and this is the most important part, while you’re cautiously moving towards R at the moment, I also encourage you to focus on your own healing. Read, exercise, journal, connect with friends, shore up your finances, do whatever it’s going to do to put YOURSELF in the best possible position can be in if at the end of 6 months (or whatever your timeline is), you come to the realization that R isn’t for you. That way, you KNOW you are going to be okay, no matter what happens with your marriage. If you are the healthiest possible version of yourself, you are less likely to be willing to put up with a spouse thinks he can get away with giving you anything less than his very best effort. You deserve nothing less.

Finally, give yourself grace. If, at a month past D-day you weren’t feeling overwhelmed and crying and feeling insecure/hyper-alert sometimes, you would certainly be an anomaly. Even in the best possible circumstances, recovery from the trauma of infidelity is excruciating and hard and slow.

As far as sex goes, triggers and feelings of insecurity are perfectly normal. It is okay to stop if something doesn’t feel right. Don’t push yourself to do anything you’re not ready for and my best advice to you when you do feel ready is to focus your thoughts on YOURSELF and not your spouse.

Me: BS. Him: WS. Together 16 years.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two kids) into R. Happy.

posts: 1320   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8781033

 Abigail22 (original poster new member #82816) posted at 4:01 PM on Tuesday, March 7th, 2023

Thank you everyone. I appreciate the feedback and guidance. I just want to know that I am doing what I should be and that we are on the right path (separately and together).

posts: 16   ·   registered: Jan. 31st, 2023
id 8781144

BellaLee ( member #58324) posted at 7:49 PM on Thursday, March 9th, 2023

Hi @Abigail22 I'm so sorry you're having to go through the pain of betrayal but happy for you that you're being strong and intentional in finding healing and R for your relationship.

It's good that your H is showing by his words and actions that he wants to rebuild the broken trust and to work on himself, hopefully time will tell if he's sincerely remorse and I do hope he is.

The one thing I can tell you from my own experience is not to rug sweep any issues that comes up and if necessary do also consider couples counseling to process what happened, why it happened and what safeguards you need for your relationship moving forward.

I'm always rooting for true R in marriages, so will be rooting for you to be one of the success stories on here. Much hugs )))

posts: 250   ·   registered: Apr. 18th, 2017
id 8781419

Uxoragain ( new member #83025) posted at 8:25 PM on Thursday, March 9th, 2023

"How do you know when you can finally relax a little and not always be on high alert..also how do you move forwards with intimacy?"

This was your question. And I also noted your fear that you are afraid you will be mad at him.

We are all different. But I remember when I decided on intimacy. And I didn’t have words to say it then, but it was when I felt empowered. NOT because of anything Mr Uxor did. (I will explain that in a moment). But because I wanted what I deserved for all of my devotion.

I deserved physical intimacy too. Physical connection and pleasuretoo. I certainly deserved a whole lot more than the emotional war zone his affair had created. BUT that it was not just his to say he wanted more. Now it was mine to want more too!

I think what went through my mind was something like "their affair took away my stability. My good family home for our kids. All the love and effort I poured out meant so little? I am tired of the taking. Tired of the emptiness. I want back what I can have back.”

And we had always been intimate weekly. And I wanted that back. And I wanted it better and more connected.

I’d had enough of the devastation of loss. What could be mine would be mine.

And it would be up to him if it would be "ours" again.

On his part, it was done with the AP. I not only knew everything, I knew more than I wanted. I had to because I had been a witness to their work connection without knowing what I was seeing until I added it up. And I had to work with the HR timeline of what had happened with whom and what I knew.

Not fun. But at least I knew it was very very over.

And he had met all of my demands to reconcile at that point.

On the practical side, that was about 2 months out from DDay. I wanted STD checks and rechecks. Those were done for both of us and I felt physically more safe.

BTW - I still have a panel run every couple of years to be sure. My doctor said she has patients who went through what I did who she told to let go of hangups or guilt and just test every couple to few years. As if you were getting any check for any increase for disease risk. You are caring for your health because you now know you are at higher risk.

So. I began intimacy again for me. To have what I deserved too.

To address your fear that you might be mad at him after. That is a possibility.

I was. And sometimes still can be.

The thing to fear is never what you feel. We all feel what we feel.

Likely what you fear is what you will do, or that you will also miss very much, NOT feeling anger.

We always have to build inner muscle to control actions as related to our feelings.

If we don’t…well, then that is the moment to realize we are expecting our spouse to now control their actions.

Heal and build that inner emotional muscle. Feel what you feel, but grow that control.

Just as we ask our spouses to do.

Hopes this helps.

[This message edited by Uxoragain at 8:40 PM, Thursday, March 9th]

Me: Mrs. Uxor, BW, 50's

Mr Uxor, WH, 50's

DDay Summer 2013

Currently Married almost 30 years.Reconciled but working on ripples so we stay that way.

I was here before - read about it in my story.

posts: 16   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2023   ·   location: here
id 8781424
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