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Reconciliation :
Feeling stuck 4 months in and losing hope

Topic is Sleeping.
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 uncomfortablynumb (original poster new member #82843) posted at 10:00 AM on Friday, May 5th, 2023

Hi All

So we're 4 months from DDay and I thought we were doing well until now.

I have just hit some kind of wall, or maybe it's the end of initial shock and the beginning of something altogether more real. HB has well and truly come to an end and last night, I just had to stop sex because all I could think of was them together. The OW was obviously very eager to impress and I'm sure they got up to all kinds of stuff that we don't (or haven't for many years). I now just feel violated and really disgusted with it all.

I had the realisation this morning that if we were child-free, I would probably have bagged his stuff up and dropped it outside her door with a note saying 'You're welcome to him'. But we have a 3 year old and he's an excellent dad and we're tied together anyway for the rest of our lives. There is no escape from this, either together or apart.

Did anyone go through patches of severe doubt during reconciliation and come through them? I just feel so stuck sad

posts: 32   ·   registered: Feb. 6th, 2023   ·   location: England, UK
id 8789680
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iamjack ( member #80408) posted at 10:29 AM on Friday, May 5th, 2023

Dear uncomfortablynumb,

I really feel what you're going through. I don't have the details of your story, but all I can say is 4 months is really not much, so it's normal you're experiencing this. You're in the emotional rollercoaster zone, and you may be for another 4 to 6 months...

Images of what your WS did, even if you didn't actually see the thing, can still be very vivid. But chosing reconciliation over divorce is a gift to the WS, a real gift because beyond forgiveness, the BS who chose to R have to endure pain much longer. And how couldn't they, when the simple presence of their WS is enough to remind of all the ugly things they did ?

Maybe you would have divorced if you were child-free. Maybe not, you'll never know because it didn't happen. What you may need to focus on is that you chose to stay not for the dad he is but for the partner he can be. He'll still be a good dad if you divorce, don't worry. What you need now is a partner who shows contrition, remorse, and does everything he can to become a better person, a better husband, a better lover. Did your man start IC ? What actions did he take to work on the R ?

[EDIT]

I've read the story, and it seems he is doing the work. That's good ! How is he with you on a daily basis ? Does he show affection, offer support, does he answer your questions ? I've seen in another post you were talking about his sadness. I can get the sadness on his part, but let's be clear : posing as a victim is something he has no right to do. He has to own that sadness and take full responsability for what he did. His sadness is nothing compared to what you endured, and he'll probably never know the suffering an A can cause. I'm not saying he didn't suffer, or that you should victimize yourself here : the truth is there will come a time where you can listen to his sadness, but for now no one should care about his feelings. He's the only person to blame in the A, him being sad is a good thing, but you're the one you need to focus on. Not him, not your couple, just you.

[This message edited by iamjack at 10:43 AM, Friday, May 5th]

posts: 77   ·   registered: Jul. 6th, 2022
id 8789682
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Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 2:44 PM on Friday, May 5th, 2023

Did anyone go through patches of severe doubt during reconciliation and come through them?

I felt that way very often at first. For ME...it wasn't until about year 3 that I felt I had turned a corner and took D completely off the table. That emotional rollercoaster you are now on is a DOOZY at first!! After a while it can smooth out...but it's not called an emotional rollercoaster for nothing.

The OW was obviously very eager to impress and I'm sure they got up to all kinds of stuff that we don't (or haven't for many years).

Of course she was. Anyone who is willing to be a sidepiece knows they need to do all kinds of stuff in order to keep getting whatever attention they are getting. NOTHING can compare to authentic intimacy between two people who truly love each other. They NEVER had that. You...Dear Lady...could. If this is what YOU want.

Four months from Dday is still very early in your recovery...and the pain is still so RAW (((HUGS))). I have seen where it is written that it takes between 2-5 years to be able to heal from this trauma. I was a little slower...and it took 7 years for me. BUT...every day got a little better...until one FINE day when I found myself at PEACE. What you are going through now is a pretty normal phase...but thankfully...it will pass. Just remember...2 steps forward and 1 step back is still progress!

A "perfect marriage" is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.

With God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26)

I AM happy again...It CAN happen!!!

From respect comes great love...sassylee

posts: 6604   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8789734
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 uncomfortablynumb (original poster new member #82843) posted at 5:18 PM on Friday, May 5th, 2023

Thanks both for your reassuring words.

I know I just need to ride this out and accept the emotions as they come and go. My WH is showing remorse and doing the work in therapy, and I believe is proving himself to be a good and safe partner. What if that's not enough? I worry that in the end, the A will just prove to be a deal breaker for me.

We're about to start IC soon, which I hope will help. It's just so hard and it's taking so much emotional and mental energy. How on earth do people do this for years?!

Thanks again - this forum is a life line at the moment.

posts: 32   ·   registered: Feb. 6th, 2023   ·   location: England, UK
id 8789825
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 10:59 PM on Friday, May 5th, 2023

It's by far the world's shittiest roller coaster. I was back and forth a lot. At least three times was certain I was headed for divorce. The final time I asked for it in writing with a letter explaining why divorce was the best option.

We are now R'd and generally happy.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2597   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8789858
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survrus ( member #67698) posted at 1:33 AM on Saturday, May 6th, 2023

Iamjack,

You wrote, Not sure what's the point of this question.

By delivering consequences to OM you are also setting an example to your WW that you will respond. Does not need to be done in anger can be as impersonal as a judge sending someone to prison in the name of justice.

Did your WW write out a timeline subject to a polygraph?

posts: 1462   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8789867
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Saltishealing ( member #82817) posted at 4:47 PM on Saturday, May 6th, 2023

This was about the time I started really getting angry and feeling more disconnected. I went through the denial and hysterical bonding and thinking everything will be fine phase the first few months, And then that phase was over. Things went deeper. My feelings started to change. I really started to digest what had happened. I’m still very up and down even though my WS has been extremely remorseful and doing the right things. You’re definitely at a normal point at 4 months.

posts: 75   ·   registered: Jan. 31st, 2023
id 8789895
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:13 PM on Saturday, May 6th, 2023

I worry that in the end, the A will just prove to be a deal breaker for me.

My reco is to stop worrying as a 1st step. Then reframe how you view what you're going through.

Maybe the A is a deal breaker; maybe it's not. You're OK either way.

This is a time to deal with the feelings that come with being betrayed, release the pain, and figure out what you want. You may feel as if it's taking forever to realize that, but 4 months is only enough time to come out of shock, and most of us don't make our best decisions when in shock. So give yourself time to reach your decision - really you're setting the stage for decades of your life right now. Doesn't it make sense to take the time you need?

If you want R under certain conditions, it WILL take time to know if R will succeed. It takes thousands of trust-building actions from the WS, over at least a few years, to R. R requires a LOT of patience. It's totally reasonable to decide you don't want to wait that long to know if R will succeed. You don't really know if R works unless you're happy until one of you dies, hopefully many decades from now.

*****

IMO, periods of great doubt about R are healthy. We can't predict the future. We can't know what our WSes are going through. It's always possible the WS will eff up again. Four months is simply too short a time to have confidence that R will work.

I believe most of us go through periods of doubt until we reach a point of no longer doubting - we know that D or R is our better choice. Many of us get there in 4 months, but not all of us - and I daresay that very few of us who succeeded in R were very confident when we were 4 months out.

IOW, as painful as life seems right now, you're probably on track for recovering from being betrayed. It's time to send yourself nurturing messages like

Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint...

Doubt is healthy...

You're on track...

Take all the time you want...

You want the best resolution, even if it's not the quickest....

[This message edited by SI Staff at 5:14 PM, Saturday, May 6th]

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: 29800   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8789897
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 12:58 PM on Thursday, May 11th, 2023

I can tell you that often the affair is not what kills the marriage. But it goes open your eyes b/c you are no longer wearing the rose colored glasses.

You now see the cheater in a very different light.

My H no longer gets his own way. I’m not the giving in kinda person I once was. No means no. He betrayed me last year (not cheating) and I very easily told him I was leaving him. It was the last straw b/c if he cannot honor his word then there is nothing left in this marriage. He finally got it. He saw how the choices he made were wrong.

Four months is the early stages. You will survive all the stages - grief, anger, resentment etc.

It will not be the same marriage. You will need to rebuild the marriage into something new in some ways. I was convinced the first year of R I was still going to D him. Every day was a struggle for me.

But we managed to rebound from being 30 seconds away from having our marriage blow up — and not being able to recover.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13858   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8790417
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 uncomfortablynumb (original poster new member #82843) posted at 10:15 AM on Monday, May 15th, 2023

I've just re-read all the responses to my initial post and there is so much wisdom here - thank you.

I'm still having a really hard time and feel very disconnected from WH, but I've managed to change my mindset to one which is probably healthier and more realistic. Reconciliation is no longer guaranteed: it's a process, not a destination. We may ultimately separate, and I'm okay with that, but for now the focus is on healing. We will be in some sort of relationship for the rest of lives anyway as co-parents, so we need to process this bullsh*t whatever happens, and I think it'll be easier to do that together.

I've told him that he needs to be much more proactive about leading the process and demonstrating that he's doing the necessary work. This has led to some actual honesty from him about motivations and what he was getting from the A. I don't think this is TT as such, more that he is only now admitting some really unpalatable things about his character. These 'revelations' have been hard to hear, but at least I now know what we're dealing with.

We've also agreed that the aim is to get into a good financial position to separate (unsurprisingly, his business tanked during the period of the A). This would leave the way clear for an amicable split without having a massive detrimental effect on my (and my daughter's) lifestyle, which I think would help me to feel like I had actual options.

Thanks again for all the responses - they have helped so much.

posts: 32   ·   registered: Feb. 6th, 2023   ·   location: England, UK
id 8790913
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 1:16 PM on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

If he is not doing the work you need to figure out where your line in the sand is, and have a plan in place on how to move forward. Let go of the outcome, work on healing your heart, and hold him accountable for recovery/recon. It is the hardest part of making your way through this, but if you do it, you will never ever regret how you walked through this shitstorm.
If he isn't doing the work you cannot force him to. You can clearly outline what that work looks like and that you will not stay if the work is not done by a certain point and time. Smaller consequences for not doing the work too helps. Out of the bedroom, 180, etc.

Me: FBSHim: FWSKids: 23 & 27 Married for 32 years now, was 16 at the time.D-Day Sept 26 2008R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 20130   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8791035
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 6:33 PM on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

Sometimes it takes a disinterested outsider to point out the positives.

I was very set on Divorcing my H. Second affair blah blah blah. Nothing could change my mind.

But two things did. One was from a close relative who made a few good points. Second was my therapist. He pointed out the positive changes my H made/was making that I refused to acknowledge.

Free advice from my very expensive therapist. I’m order to successfully reconcile both parties need to be all in. One partner cannot work 100% and the other work 50% and have the best outcome.

True advice. You need to be all in.

But maybe not right now. You need to process the pain and grief etc. You need to feel that you are valued and the cheater understands your pain and trauma.

I think it is important to heal yourself and then focus on the marriage.

Every day I had to wake up and tell myself - he’s not the same lying cheating jerk he was last week, last month, last year. This sent in for 18 months and I had to constantly remind myself not to live in the past.

I hope you get there. At 4 months from Dday you have not really had the time you may need to heal. It takes longer than that.

Have patience. With yourself and your progress. If you take stock you can probably say today is better than where I was 30 days ago. And that will help you to continue to move forward despite the Setbacks that may occur.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13858   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8791087
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Devon99uk ( member #82658) posted at 10:15 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

I was exactly the same. A year in and I'm still very unsure & doubtful but what I have realised is I need to do whatever is best for me and almost not concern myself about my husband as he's responsible for himself. It helped me to detach and concentrate on myself. It's hard to do, but if you could try to help yourself by doing things you want to do in your own life personally/with friends & family etc or with your little one, do that to try and take the main focus off of your relationship. As time goes on your feelings will change and it will become clearer to you on what you want to do, but I think only time will do that, there's no shortcut sadly. Sending you hugs 💖💖💖

posts: 72   ·   registered: Jan. 2nd, 2023   ·   location: South of England, UK
id 8791473
Topic is Sleeping.
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