Cookies are required for login or registration. Please read and agree to our cookie policy to continue.

Newest Member: Coconumb

Reconciliation :
16 years out, and finally recieved what I have been asking for

default

 3yrwait (original poster member #29907) posted at 11:06 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

I haven't been here in a while. DDay was almost 16 years ago (unfortunately it took me 2 years to discover SI and learn I was doing everything wrong.) I stayed all this time because I didn't feel like I had a better choice; I won't go into details.

We've had our ups and downs, I never truly felt like WW was remorseful. I had to work to get apologies, or for her to put any effort into healing. I got us into MC about 5 years ago for other issues, but eventually the affair bubbled to the surface and never left. I've been in IC for about 1.5 years; the first year was not very effective, but the last 4 months my new therapist has been great.

In MC, I've strongly and repeatedly expressed that I have not felt true remorse, sincere apologies, or any indication I was better than the AP. WW generally listened to my complaints quietly, or argued that I don't accept the (forced) apologies that she has given. The MC would remind me that WW was with me, I won in the end...I just never felt like it. From our discussions about the AP, I knew that he was a better communicator, smart, wealthier, had a nicer house, was more successful professionally, and to top it off, had a longer package than me.

In MC, I repeatedly said that WW is putting it on me to heal the wounds she caused then blames me for not healing faster. Yet WW just really struggled to tell me any ways that I was better than the AP. I always had to ask, her answers always seemed forced, always brief and always evasive. This really bothered me and became an obsession. There were a couple of instances where I tried to prove to myself and WW that I was better. I performed tasks that I knew AP failed at, but when I pointed this out to WW, I hardly got acknowledgement; she forgot that AP had failed these tasks...so even when I tried to point out that I was better, it was minimized.

Eventually, MC acknowledged we weren't getting anywhere, and maybe we should discuss splitting up or no longer returning to counseling. We stopped going, and I did start looking at law firms without her knowledge. I pretty much shut down.

THEN

A few weeks later, we went out to dinner. WW asked why I compare myself to AP (how can I not compare myself?). I responded that I felt like she already made the comparisons and I lost. She then spoke to me in ways that sounded sincere. She said AP met some communication needs that I wasn't providing at the time. She said I am definitely smarter, definitely better looking, and my package was better. She got a little descriptive, more so than ever before, so I do think she was being honest.

And, for the first time in a long long time, I felt good about myself. I felt like I was living with a person who wanted to be with me. This actually happened a couple of months ago, but I haven't felt the need to share. I also haven't obsessed over whether I am better than AP.

I have expressed that I am angry at her for taking so long to tell me how I compare favorably. I have asked her why she did that, and she doesn't really have an answer. Could she be lying about me being better? Possibly...but it is really on her. She repeatedly pointed out that I wouldn't let it go after 16 years...but she also refused to help me for 16 years...so that is on her.

Thanks for letting me vent. I have felt pretty good about things for a few months.

Me: BH (early 50s)
Her: WW (early 50s)
Married 25 years
1 daughter, under 10
DDay July 2007

posts: 536   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2010   ·   location: 3yrwait
id 8791490
default

Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 12:29 AM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

Anything that finally helps you process the pain of it all sounds like a pretty good update!

I hope you get to heal some more as time rolls on.

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: 4630   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
id 8791511
default

Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 2:23 AM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

The MC would remind me that WW was with me, I won in the end...I just never felt like it.

I won. Whoopee. My prize is a cheating wife who doesn't value me. What a lucky guy I am.

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 4166   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8791528
default

Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 4:40 AM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

Yeah, I'm going to echo BFTG. You won, exactly what? Please describe, in detail, the nature of the prize you've been awarded.

Your MC is an idiot.

You seem to be competing with your WW's AP. A truly high value person does not compete. You seem to be playing a version of the pick me dance, hoping she will finally snap into appreciating you.

Why not 180, work on you, and get you to a better place? If she wants to do the grunt work to join you then great. If not, then you got you.

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 2022!!!!

posts: 1503   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8791535
default

Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 11:29 AM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

On the main page of this site – the page that lists all the forums – there are guidelines to how to contribute to that particular forum.
For the Reconciliation forum this is shared:
A wonderful place to share your struggles, success stories, and triggers while trying to reconcile. There is to be no name calling in this forum. Venting is to be limited to you and/or your partner. Please post respectfully and constructively keeping in mind the goal for this forum is to reconcile. It's a long road, but you can do it!

I think those that contribute on the various forums should keep the guidelines in mind. If you can't be helfpul then go post somewhere you can help.

3yrwait

Congratulations on the progress.
I often think that the remorse many demand and expect early-on after d-day isn’t the REAL remorse required to reconcile. That initial remorse is more like a "sorry I got caught, sorry you feel this way about my actions, sorry that I’m in such a miserable place…" basically rather self-centered sorry-for-myself remorse.
I actually think that TRUE remorse cant really be gotten until you grasp the total enormity of your actions and the consequences. I think your wife might be getting there.

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

posts: 11573   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8791551
default

BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 11:37 AM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

You seem to be competing with your WW's AP. A truly high value person does not compete. You seem to be playing a version of the pick me dance, hoping she will finally snap into appreciating you.

THIS!

I would also add that staying focused on the AP's ways he was "better" than you keeps you (and her) stuck in the wrong fundamental assumption about affairs: that a person cheats because something is lacking in their partner or their relationship.

Even her recent conversation with you reinforces this assumption.

She said AP met some communication needs that I wasn't providing at the time.

While communication might have been lacking at the time on your relationship, she cheated because she was willing to shut down empathy for you and break vows she made in order to focus on her needs and get them met in a destructive way.

I would offer this: affairs are not about the AP. Affairs are not about what the AP had that you didn't or what they gave that you didn't or what they accomplished that you didn't. They are about fundamental failings in our partners. They are about ways our WS need to grow in their own lives--be more empathetic, be less avoidant and more truthful (with us and with themselves), and ways they need to be less self-centered.

Be the best version of yourself for yourself, not because you're in competition with some broken AP. You are the prize. Own that. Then decide of your wife meets enough of your needs for you to stay with her. Is she the person YOU need?

[This message edited by BreakingBad at 11:38 AM, Friday, May 19th]

"...lately it's not hurtin' like it did before. Maybe I am learning how to love me more."[Credit to Sam Smith]

Me=BW; fWH=online affairs with 3 APs over 3+ yrs.Both in IC & MC.Married 32 yrs now 2 kids-both in HS.Attempting R

posts: 375   ·   registered: Oct. 31st, 2020
id 8791552
default

The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 11:55 AM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

I’m glad to see such a positive post.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 13247   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8791556
default

Edie ( member #26133) posted at 1:02 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

how can I not compare myself?

I know this was a rhetorical question and yet it seems worth answering, and your wife was onto something by asking why you made such invidious comparisons. That you think it’s axiomatic is concerning, and the sense of inferiority you describe you have felt is equally so. At a deeper level, it was never a choice (comparison) between two men but between two women, who she feared she was and the other one she wanted to be.

I’m really glad that you now feel reassured by her, and actually more importantly that you now feel seen by her. I would encourage you though to really dismiss the itch to see the A as a competition between two men, as that gives somehow you a false sense of agency, hence control, in the matter whereas mostly it’s the ego strokes our WS’s receive from the affair that is a primary factor. There’s a lot of highly smart good looking well-endowed BSs been cheated on in favour of much lesser APs, who had novelty and the illicit as factors in their favour.
That you felt so downgraded in comparison is useful information for you as that shows you that you have some insecurities that YOU have to work. It might be helpful to read the post and comments in the Honey They Always Affair Down thread in JFO, as that offers a useful perspective on the very human but self destructive tendency of comparison in the first throes of shock after Dday. So therefore NOT asking what is wrong with you but what is wrong with your WS seems to be a more constructive and reality based response. Yours seemed until now short on empathy but that has seemingly finally emerged and she has helped you to feel better, chosen. But please don’t rely on her for your self worth, which can only come from within.

Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
FWS 55
Together 29 years; 2 kids 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) R'd.

posts: 6553   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2009   ·   location: Europe
id 8791564
default

This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 9:32 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

Unmet needs. barf

Glad the rest of it made you feel really wanted.

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

posts: 2429   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8791750
default

SacredSoulSister ( member #83038) posted at 9:56 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

I too have struggled with internal "competition" with the OW. I've always felt like I was better than her in almost every regard, but for some reason, that didn't quell the urge to win at everything and obsess over proving to myself repeatedly that I was better. I agree with Edie that it's something that you and I need to work on. I intend to seek some IC trauma therapy, and I think you should definitely explore this with your IC if you haven't started already.

There was one time early in MC where I said, "I don't think one person is better than another person, but..." and our MC stopped me and said, "You're better than her. Go ahead and own it." 3yrwait, you're better than AP. Go ahead and own it. smile

posts: 168   ·   registered: Mar. 10th, 2023   ·   location: Texas
id 8791755
default

Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 10:23 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

3yr (I guess we are on first name basis…)

I want to address two issues:
First the communication needs you weren’t providing…
A key-factor is that even if true, then your wife needs to be totally aware that having those needs met outside the boundaries of the marriage is wrong. The needs might have been real, but having them met outside the marriage definitely wrong.
To use a comparison: If she wanted a new car but money was tight then she could talk to you about a budget, how to save money, work extra… but she couldn’t have just gone and robbed a bank.
Might be a real problem, but definitely not the correct response.

OK – the other issue is the classic "his stuff is bigger" (no pun on my user-name) debate…
I get it… I guess all we men have at some time wondered about the size issue. Statistically something like 90% of all males are within the same inch. Granted that can be read that you have 5 and OM has 6, but it’s a lot more likely that any difference can more be attributed to slightly less tummy-fat or more excitement or whatever. The other 10%? Good news is that they are equally distributed to the have-less and the have-more, and it’s a very steep bell. There are more men with 1/16th more than the 90% than there are with the extra inch on us normal guys.
In human-terms: In a group of 20 men 18 will have comparable peckers, one slightly bigger and one slightly smaller. Toss them into cold water and nobody would see the difference.
If you were to go online and search for some porn you might find men with back-issues from carrying their stuff – only note two things: Male porn stars are usually just over 5 feet, and they are skinny. Member-length does not correspond to body-height.

Furthermore – your wife didn’t cheat because OM had a bigger package. By the time she discovered his size it was already too late. It’s like saying she realized she had killed someone after she blew his head with a shotgun. By the time the first button was undone, the first zipper lowered… she was already cheating.

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

posts: 11573   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8791773
default

FindingaWayHome ( member #78829) posted at 2:38 AM on Saturday, May 20th, 2023

Hi 3yr,

It was great to hear your latest update. I hope that the good feelings continue, and you wife eventually comes to understand how destructive trickle-truthing can be to a marriage.

I just reread some of your threads.
Do you believe that you have the full story, or do you know enough for you to move forward with your relationship?

We hope that you continue to experience a heathy marriage and family,
FAWH.

posts: 55   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2021
id 8791811
default

 3yrwait (original poster member #29907) posted at 11:06 AM on Saturday, May 20th, 2023

Thanks all for the comments.

Edie, SSS,
I am part of a family of obsessive and critical people, and have spent a lifetime comparing myself to others. I have worked on my feelings of inferiority more directly with my IC the past few months; perhaps that is a contributor to recent successes.

I hear you…it takes some effort to reverse a lifetime of comparisons.

Me: BH (early 50s)
Her: WW (early 50s)
Married 25 years
1 daughter, under 10
DDay July 2007

posts: 536   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2010   ·   location: 3yrwait
id 8791828
default

Edie ( member #26133) posted at 9:04 AM on Monday, May 22nd, 2023

I hear you on the effect of critical significant others, in my case, my mother, who also criticised herself terribly. Some of the recent work by people like Kristin Neff on self compassion and self acceptance is worth looking into as not only is it a helpful daily practice (to break the habits of a lifetime as you say) but it also means you don’t pass on those habits to the next generation, I.e, you pass on self compassion/ self acceptance habits and break the chain.

Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
FWS 55
Together 29 years; 2 kids 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) R'd.

posts: 6553   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2009   ·   location: Europe
id 8791984
default

SacredSoulSister ( member #83038) posted at 4:14 PM on Monday, May 22nd, 2023

I am part of a family of obsessive and critical people, and have spent a lifetime comparing myself to others.

Whoa. shocked Thank you for this lightbulb moment.

When I was a child, my mother and I would often go the mall, buy candy at Russell Stover, then sit on a bench and quietly critique everyone walking by. Mom still talks about it to this day - how much fun it was. She'd say things like "She's too fat for that." "Her butt is too big." "She shouldn't be wearing stripes." I was reared on unkind criticism of others and a better-than-you ethos.

Mom also went to treatment for anorexia when I was a young adult, so...

Whoa. Just whoa. Lots to think about here.

posts: 168   ·   registered: Mar. 10th, 2023   ·   location: Texas
id 8792025
default

Seeking2Forgive ( member #78819) posted at 6:42 PM on Monday, May 22nd, 2023

I'm truly happy for you that you are finally feeling some kind of a appreciation and validation. It sounds like it was long overdue.

But as others have pointed out, your WW's comment about "unmet needs" hits a sore point for many of us. How sad is it that she used her "unmet need" for communication as an excuse to cheat while you've suffered with her failure to provide the communication that you have needed for 16 years?

The defect within a WS that leads them to cheat is almost always internal and pre-existing. It's much easier to blame someone else for "unmet needs" than to find the reasons for their unhappiness within themselves.

I'm not surprised that you haven't felt that your WW was remorseful. It sounds like she has continued to idealize the OM and failed to really take ownership of the harm that she has done. She was happy let you do the work in R until D became a serious consideration. You talked about MC and IC for you, but has she done the work to understand exactly what was wrong with her that allowed her to cheat?

Wishing you the best.

Me: 60, BS -- Her: 59, FWS -- Dday: 11/15/03 -- Married 37 yrs -- Reconciled

posts: 501   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8792058
Cookies on SurvivingInfidelity.com®

SurvivingInfidelity.com® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.001.20230524 2002-2023 SurvivingInfidelity.com® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy