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Reconciliation :
Reconciled and married... but still very triggered after almost 3 years

Topic is Sleeping.
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 iamjack (original poster member #80408) posted at 6:50 AM on Monday, December 25th, 2023

InkHulk

I completely agree with all that has been said about not coercing or pleading, but if she just doesn’t have those feelings for me, I don’t believe I can live with that. And I’ve been patient as hell in letting us get re-settled, but it’s the next issue on the docket in my mind. Thanks for having this level headed discussion. Best of luck to you in your journey.

Thank you. I could have written this myself. I feel that she can't (or doesn't) want to understand what I desperatly need from her. We argued a few weeks back on this, as the passion she had with him and that I never felt has been the biggest problem for the last 3 years.

First she never, even during MC or IC, admitted that the A was passionnate, which is obviously a lie, from what I had to read, and what I heard from the AP himself. I told her this wasn't a whim on my part, as I never changed what I asked for, for the last 3 years. Is a 3 year whim still a whim ? So we had a fight, I went angry again, and she finally agreed on spending some time together. We went on a small hike together. Of course nothing happened, She didn't even take my hand, or spontaneously kiss me, snuggle up to me, etc. Yeah we went on a hike. Like buddies. Exactly like buddies. What the fuck was I expecting...

On a side note, the new girlfriend of the AP died from cancer 10 days ago. I'm sorry for that poor soul. Well guess what ? Just the day after she died, the AP went hiking with a drone he had bought, and posted numerous public photos of his little trip, along with commentaries. Not a single post for her. Who does that, seriously ? How come ?

My WS knew the girl had cancer because I told her, maybe I shouldn't have because she was moved by her sickness (she told me that this poor girl really had no luck being with such a jerk during these hard times). It came to my attention that my WS got the news of her death just 2 days after she died. I know she isn't in contact with the AP anymore, so the only way she could have known is by stalking his or her FB profile on a regular basis. As I have access to my WS's google searches, I found out she had been searching for the date of the funeral to send flowers. Now, I understand my WS was saddened by the news, but let's be honest : she never knew or talked to that girl... sending flowers would be like sending condolences to the AP, what was she thinking ? Luckily for her, it looks like she didn't go through and changed her mind...

[This message edited by iamjack at 6:52 AM, Monday, December 25th]

posts: 77   ·   registered: Jul. 6th, 2022
id 8819362
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standinghere ( member #34689) posted at 6:51 AM on Monday, December 25th, 2023

I can't accept I will never have what the AP had with her. I just can't. She doesn't seem to be willing to offer me that (the intimate moments in unusual locations, outdoors for instance). I know they had sex in pools, cars, woods, fields, possibly restrooms... We NEVER had that in 20 years. We stil didn't. How come ?

Because, you are not having an affair. Affairs are performative in many ways, and after the first fuck the WS is often feeling desperate, doesn't know what to do, faces the risk of losing their stable marriage, doesn't think clearly about the things that are happening, and tries desperately to keep the kibble coming, because if the AP drops them then they are "worthless" all the way around.

Many WS do these things in their affair, things they would never do in their marriage.

My FWS was no exception, sex in the park, sex in the woods, sex in our garage, making out in his car, sex in someone else's house, etc. My sexually repressed, disinterested, and dismissive spouse. My spouse was so uptight about sex that she had a hard time having sex in our bedroom when the kids were around and might knock or hear. But, she had no hesitation turning on the TV, putting on a children's show video, and walking 20 feet down the hallway with him and going down on each other and fucking him without condoms in our bedroom.

So, why would I be so graphic? Because THAT is affair sex. Breaking rules, boundaries, and norms of usual behavior all at the same time, taking risks that endanger everyone and everything.

My FWS, after 20+ years, is just like she was outside the affair when it comes to sex. No amount of counseling (more than 4 years of MC), talk, and effort on my part has changed that. This is who she is, who she will be, outside of an affair. I learned a lot during MC, such as how she had to be drunk or high to be like that, and drunk or high doesn't work for either of us in real life. Yes, drunk and high worked during the affair.

Painful as it may be, only she can change this. She has to WANT to change it, she has to WORK at it, and most people simply can't handle it.

You don't have to stay. Your marriage relationship was broken by the affair, you don't have to keep trying to build a new one.

But, if you stay and continue, understand that this will almost certainly never change.

If this is a deal breaker, let her know and move on, it is ok to do so. If it is not, stay and work on the marriage, with that understanding.

FBH - Me - Betrayal in late 30's (now much older)
FWS - Her - Affair in late 30's (now much older )
4 Children
Her - Love of my life...still is.
Reconciled BUT!

posts: 1615   ·   registered: Jan. 31st, 2012   ·   location: USA
id 8819363
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gr8ful ( member #58180) posted at 3:17 PM on Monday, December 25th, 2023

IAJ:

I can't accept I will never have what the AP had with her. I just can't. She doesn't seem to be willing to offer me that (the intimate moments in unusual locations, outdoors for instance). I know they had sex in pools, cars, woods, fields, possibly restrooms... We NEVER had that in 20 years. We stil didn't. How come ? We had a lot of discussions on it together or during MC sessions, but it seems nothing changed. She never arranged for this with me, and when I did arranged some moments with her, she wasnt in the mood (as I already mentionned, even during our honeymoon...)

I’m sure this will be denied by some on here, but based on all you’ve written, I’m sorry to say your adulterous wife is just not that into you sexually. Likely never was. Sure, she would on occasion "take one for the team" to be intimate with you pre-A (and it seems the bare minimum to keep your paycheck around), and then stepped it up when her world was briefly threatened post D-Day, but she’s now reverted back to form. This is who she is…. WITH YOU. I fully understand this is an ugly truth, but denying reality does you zero good, and keeps you forever stuck in an unfulfilling M with an adulterous wife. A wife who clearly has a much bigger sexual side, again, just not with you. Yep, some here will howl that "she HAD to do these things to keep the A going". I call BS. She WANTED to do these things, and CHOSE to do these things since she was clearly getting (likely) a number of things out of it, certainly including the sexual enjoyment. I don’t buy the argument she was just a poor victim of her (self-chosen) circumstances and then somehow coerced into her sexual awakening. She wanted this.


It’s time you demand a great deal for you, but sadly I think your fear of losing her won’t permit you to do that.

I fully agree with WWTL. It’s very sad from my vantage point to watch what pain your fear keeps inflicting on you. Also agree you’ve taught your wife her A was nothing but a life-improvement for her. She seems to have received little to no consequences for her treachery, and now, only upside. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if she steps out again at some point. She knows you’re not going anywhere.

posts: 356   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2017
id 8819372
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:58 PM on Monday, December 25th, 2023

You want to be loved and desired, but your W is not showing that she loves and desires you to your satisfaction.

Early in this thread you said you had to work on yourself. What work did you di? What changes have you made? You say you don't see yourself quite as lowly as you did, but is that really true?

Do you really want to R, or was the A a true deal killer?

Your words seem to say you're desperately unhappy. If that's so, your kids see your despair, and that's a barrier between you. Kids can and probably should learn to show sympathy and love for a parent who hurts, but they shouldn't have to take care of a parent who is in despair. If you'd be happier - perhaps a LOT happier - away from your W than with her, half time with your kids may be better for them and for you than full time with your kids and a W you experience as indifferent to you.

The big thing for me after d-day was finding out if my W wanted to be with me or just want to be with someone. I figured out what would show me she wanted me, let her know, and monitored. Not so strangely, sex was a key indicator, which I told her. After 3.5 years of consistent love, I accepted that she wanted me. The 3.5 years started when I told her, on d-day, that she had to treat me better than she treated ow to R, so for us the clock started on d-day.

Have you told your W what you required? If so, you see how she has responded, and she hasn't won you back. That should tell you something about whether she wants you.

If you haven't told her, your best bet is to tell her, start the clock, and monitor what she does.

If you can't bring yourself to do that, my reco is to go back into IC.

Nothing inside one's being changes unless the consequences of not changing are worse than the consequences of changing. Since you want changes in your M, you need to initiate. I know change can be scary, but that doesn't have to keep one from changing.

You desperately want something from your W. Ask her for it - give her a choice to give it to you or not. You may get it - and if you don't, look deep inside. Part of you knows that D is likely to be worth the risk.

There are people out there who would want you if you were available. You might not find one of them if you D, but you can't find them if you're married.

Freeing yourself to overcome fear of D would be a great Christmas gift to yourself and your kids.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 6:00 PM, Monday, December 25th]

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: 29809   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8819384
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 6:54 PM on Tuesday, December 26th, 2023

Hey Op, hope things are okay with you. I skimmed your thread and hopefully caught the salient points. From what I read, you seem to be white knuckling it to some degree. You also seem to be more emotionally aware than your WW, and have needs that she cannot or will not meet. It really does sound like you are mismatched. It is okay for you to step back and really ask yourself if this M is meeting your needs. It sounds like both of you have FOO issues that you have brought into the M and by staying together for the kids, you are modeling patterns of behaviour for them, good and bad.

I was married for 27 years on dday, and I thought our sex life was pretty good, all things considered. It was only after I filed and separated that I realized that for almost three decades, my intimate partner never really showed up to the relationship. She was never really present in any authentic way, not because she didn't want to, but because she just was incapable. Her family was never demonstrative in any positive sense. Quite the opposite, so she never had the good modeling needed to develop an emotional literacy. For her, everything was transactional and performative. Looking back, I've come to the conclusion that my EXWW, while displaying narcissistic traits, is not a narcissist. She has ADHD, and coupled with what I think is undiagnosed aspergers, she just has a combination of characteristics that are ill-suited to my personality. That plus her cheating...

It wasn't until I entered a relationship post S that I got a taste of what real intimacy was like, and boy, was it great! I had no idea that I was thirsting for that type of connection my whole M. I had endured my M, because I thought, that's what real men do. Maybe that's the reason so few men end relationships. It took me awhile to detox and really enjoy the intimacy, but I eventually got the hang of it and now expect it.

Earlier on in the thread, you mentioned madonna/whore complex, which I believe is a real thing and can be a stumbling block for couples on both sides. It can be overcome with IC/MC, but not if your WW is intransigent.

Lastly, it is okay if the A and the pre/post A version of your WW just does not cut it for you. You cannot relegate yourself to a M that results in the slow death of your soul. You need to put yourself first.

I'm an oulier in my positions.

Me:55 STBXWW:55 DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off and filed. Denied having an affair in court papers.

Divorced 20

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id 8819433
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 12:43 PM on Wednesday, December 27th, 2023

Iamjack

I read through this thread – focusing on your posts – and here are my thoughts:

The title: Reconciled and married… is only half-true. You two never reconciled. You two found a way of having the Big Pink Elephant in your relationship, and you have found some way to act married despite never having dealt with the infidelity.

In some ways reconciliation is a lifestyle. To use a parable:
If your doctor sits you down and suggests you make a will because your smoking, drinking and excessive eating with no exercise and bad hygiene are leading you towards diabetes, excessive obesity, cancer and death… You could ignore that warning or carry on with your lifestyle. You could even make a compromise, like only smoke one pack instead of the usual two.
Or… you could do what might be comparable to your actions after d-day:
Do hypnosis to curb and cut the smoking. Limit your drinking to a glass or two with Saturday dinner. Start eating healthy – like maybe go on the Cauliflower diet… Start exercising, walk and jog 5 miles a day, lift weights and so on.

Do this for six months and your bloodwork improves. You drop weight. You feel good.
But… you start smoking 2-4 per day and maybe have a beer once home from work.
You start eating fast-food 2-3 times a week.
You skip the gym and maybe only go for a walk 2x a week instead of the daily routine.

THIS is where your initial reconciliation has probably led you. Stagnation at best.

In "true" reconciliation exercise and self-care becomes routine. You might quit the radical cauliflower diet, and even enjoy the occasional greasy burger. But you would be aware of the balance required for a good, healthy life. A combination of exercise and relaxation, a peace through openness and honesty and a good balance of family, work and me-time.

For a marriage that has reconciled…
You should be 100% fine with telling your wife "Darling – I have an issue and this is the issue…" and she should be 100% open to addressing that issue. Now – the answer could be that she doesn’t have the same issue, or evaluate your issue as serious, but she should LISTEN and appreciate your need.

So… I think the reason things are stagnant is that you two don’t talk openly.

I suggest the following:
"Wife. I have issues, and I think those issues relate back to your decision to have an affair and how we have dealt with that affair. These are the issues (place a lot of issues here) and I need to get answers and resolution with your participation if we are to remain married.
No – I’m not threatening divorce, but I don’t think we can ever have a good marriage unless we find some resolve on these issues. Maybe we should go to MC to help us through it."

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

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id 8819479
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 iamjack (original poster member #80408) posted at 1:24 PM on Wednesday, December 27th, 2023

Hello guys,

Thank you for your wise words here. I'll try to reply in order :

standinghere

Painful as it may be, only she can change this. She has to WANT to change it, she has to WORK at it, and most people simply can't handle it.
You don't have to stay. Your marriage relationship was broken by the affair, you don't have to keep trying to build a new one.

Thanks for this wise comment. I do think she would like me to get better, but I also think some things for her are very hard to change.

gr8ful


I’m sorry to say your adulterous wife is just not that into you sexually. Likely never was. Sure, she would on occasion "take one for the team" to be intimate with you pre-A (and it seems the bare minimum to keep your paycheck around), and then stepped it up when her world was briefly threatened post D-Day, but she’s now reverted back to form. This is who she is…. WITH YOU.

I get your point but I kinda disagree with that. Even if sex was better when we were young and we just met, she has never been this much into sex, she was trying to adapt to my needs. Then after some time, she reverted to her natural self. I believe it was the same with him : even if they did it a lot together during the A, the relationship was brand new. I'm thinking the excitement also came from what I call her "triple transgression" (adultery, adultery in public places, adultery in public places during COVID lockdown). She became as childish and stupid as she could be, just to get her drug, to feed her narcissistic flaws.

sisoon

Do you really want to R, or was the A a true deal killer?

I really wanted to take a chance at R. The A wouldn't have been a deal killer, had she listened to what I was asking, these past 3 years. But without my needs being met, there's something getting very angry inside me.

You desperately want something from your W. Ask her for it - give her a choice to give it to you or not. You may get it - and if you don't, look deep inside. Part of you knows that D is likely to be worth the risk.
There are people out there who would want you if you were available. You might not find one of them if you D, but you can't find them if you're married.

I did - 3 years ago. In front of her, and during multiple MC sessions. Apparently to no avail. We had a long and very complicated talk a few days ago where I told her I needed to be far away from her for some time, to get some peace of mind (which is true). She broke down and begged me not to go, and we had that talk. I went back on the things she did with him and I would have liked to do with her during the 20 years+ that we were together, but never did. She said she understood, and promised she could do it with me, except for "doing it in the woods" because this specifically reminds her of the bitch she has been, and all the damage she's done. This is something she had also told our MC during the session. Honestly, I don't care about "the woods" as there are plenty other exciting places we could have had some intimacy. But we had none. And I don't believe her words now, I already heard her promising, so...

Justsomeguy

I realized that for almost three decades, my intimate partner never really showed up to the relationship. She was never really present in any authentic way, not because she didn't want to, but because she just was incapable. Her family was never demonstrative in any positive sense. Quite the opposite, so she never had the good modeling needed to develop an emotional literacy. For her, everything was transactional and performative.

Thank you. This comment really struck me. I really get the same feeling about her, she didn't get love from her parents and what I mistook for shyness was just in fact a complete inability to show true love and physical affection. No emotional literacy, exactly as you say...

It wasn't until I entered a relationship post S that I got a taste of what real intimacy was like, and boy, was it great! I had no idea that I was thirsting for that type of connection my whole M. I had endured my M, because I thought, that's what real men do.

I sometimes tell me the same. And because I had a few girls before her, I also know there are much, much more demonstrative girls out there...

Bigger

I read through this thread – focusing on your posts – and here are my thoughts:

Thank you for taking the time.

"Wife. I have issues, and I think those issues relate back to your decision to have an affair and how we have dealt with that affair. These are the issues (place a lot of issues here) and I need to get answers and resolution with your participation if we are to remain married.
No – I’m not threatening divorce, but I don’t think we can ever have a good marriage unless we find some resolve on these issues. Maybe we should go to MC to help us through it."

Funny you should say this. As I mentioned above, we just had that talk a few days after my earlier post. This is almost exactly how the conversation went through !

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id 8819485
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 1:24 PM on Wednesday, December 27th, 2023

It's ok to no longer settle for the crumbs she's been giving you.

Sure,you can tell her you need her to do ABC, or the marriage is over. And, maybe she will do them. But, does she do them because she wants you? Or does she do them so she keeps the life she's built? See, that's something very few BS really know. Does the ws do the work because they love their BS,and want to stay married. Or do they do it to keep what they want..the house, kids,money, status, reputation, etc?


She's had 3 years to figure it out. In that time,I'm sure you've told her what you need. If she wanted to do it,she would have done it by now.

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6628   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8819486
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 iamjack (original poster member #80408) posted at 9:31 PM on Friday, February 9th, 2024

Ok, just a quick update here. I think I can change the title to "And here I was, thinking we reconciled"...

Looking back, and now that the 3 year period is gone, I don't think we really reconciled.

Reading a post on another thread (I fear my W has getting a crush on someone…MIcrocheating? by Olderandhappier), a comment by JustSomeGuy really clicked for me.


You have trained your WW by your behaviour over the years. In fact, she probably knows you better than yourself, so she knows exactly what to say and how to say it, in order to get you back in your lane, and it works. So YOU need to make it not work.

I gave my WW 6 months to show me profound change. I didn't tell her about the date, as she is transactional and performative. She would just shoot for the finish line and then revert back to old behaviors the next day. Then I sat back and watched while I worked on myself. During this time,I continued the self work I had begun after Dday1. I hit the gym. I picked up heavy things and put them down. I peeled back the layers that had formed on the interesting man I was, layers that accrued during three decades. I became strong, physically and emotionally. As I became strong, I became more confident, and, ironically, more attractive to my WW. Even more ironically, she became less attractive to me.

At the end of the 6 months, I went on a solo road trip, taking along some reading, my journal, and a few cuban cigars. I thought long and hard about what I was going to do. When I returned, I shit-tested my WW, and she failed spectacularly. Books had remained unread, videos unwatched. She made everything about her, and saw herself as the real victim here, something she had done her whole life. So I announced that I would be divorcing her, got up and went to bed. It was the first night in 1.5 years that I had experienced peace.

You see, at that point, I had detoxed and detached enough to realize that my WW was never going to change. In fact, she had neither the ability nor the inclination to make any real changes. This was confirmed during our 27 year M and has been further confirmed in our 6 year S and D.

People are who they are at the core, which is usually solidified by age 10. Sure they can manage behaviours to a degree, but at the root, that's who they are. As Pope said, "As a twig is bent, so is the tree inclined".

Your WW is who she is. Her past behaviours are who she is, and unless she moves heaven and earth, she will not modify them. Hell, why would she? She gets what she wants, when she wants it, by following a script that works for her.

You need to be the one writing the script. I would recommend reading "No More Mr. Nice Guy". It's a short but good read.

This is exactly what's been happening all along. She often told be she knew me like the back of her hand. She was right. She knew damn well what would make me stay. As I said before, she knew very well how she could keep a man around her by giving him just enough sex so he can still be useful for her. Did that with her AP, but why wouldn't she, she did the same with me for 20 years... I trained her behavior and I only got myself to blame for this.

Problem is, she now is rugsweeping like hell and trying to pretend everything's fine. Of course : from her point of view everything's back to normal (and even better than before). But I've had enough. Like JSG said, I set myself a date. Not 6 months because that would coincide with my kids starting in their new school, so 9 months : this will be what could have been the anniversary of the day we met, if she didn't ruin everything. It's in november, so this will not be happening during christmas (I don't want them to associate this time of the year with the day their dad went away).

Why not earlier ? Maybe you'll find me stupid, but I'm still hoping that when hotter days come (from march to the end of the summer) we can find the time to go out and have sex outdoors. She knows I've been asking this, she knows it could be a game changer for our M, so this is one last chance for her not to screw this up. I don't think she will do the work, so I'm preparing for asking for a divorce in November and I've already seen a lawyer. I don't think she will do the work, since she never read any of the books I or the therapist recommended. I don't think she will do the work, because she just isn't smart enough.

Thank you for reading me.

[This message edited by iamjack at 9:34 PM, Friday, February 9th]

posts: 77   ·   registered: Jul. 6th, 2022
id 8824132
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 1:23 AM on Saturday, February 10th, 2024

I wish I was a tech person, but imagine a clapping giphy thing here.


Become the best version of yourself, for yourself. And no matter what happens, you will have the tools to navigate the shit life throws at you.

I'm an oulier in my positions.

Me:55 STBXWW:55 DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off and filed. Denied having an affair in court papers.

Divorced 20

posts: 1786   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8824156
Topic is Sleeping.
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