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Reconciliation :
Life just doesn’t feel how I thought it would 2.5 years into reconciliation


 Moonpenny (original poster new member #70656) posted at 6:24 PM on Sunday, August 27th, 2023

[Husband had an affair and we were separated for 18 months. After lots of to and fro cake eating from him, then me ending the limbo and moving on, he split with the Ap for good and asked to come home to work on our relationship. As it was during lockdown time and the fact we had a 3 year old child and he was effectively homeless I agreed to let him sleep in the spare room of our co owned home. As time went on and he proved his intentions to me, doing independent counselling, we slowly attempted reconciliation].

We will have been back together 2.5 years now and we have done so well to rebuild the pieces of our marriage. Everything is ok… but the problem is me- everything does just feel "ok" not how I used to feel about him, I don’t fancy him the same as I used to, the sex feels more detached for me. I’ve been telling myself that it will just take time and we are doing the right thing by giving it a real try. However recently I just can’t shake the feelings of "is this just it now for the rest of my life?" Nothing looks or feels how I thought it would. I don’t feel proud to be his wife anymore. I feel like our marriage has been devalued by us being with other people and having vows broken. I feel like all our key life memories and lovely bonding times are all before his affair and now it’s just.. flat? Yet I can’t bring myself to end it and I don’t want to go back to not seeing my child for days and missing out on time with them. I know it would be so upsetting for them and a financial nightmare. I keep thinking about had I met someone else and never attempted reconciliation could I be happier right now? Are these feelings familiar to anyone else? I feel so messed up! X

posts: 20   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8805763

Saltishealing ( new member #82817) posted at 7:25 PM on Sunday, August 27th, 2023

I can completely relate to this. I am only 18 months into reconciliation and feel like our marriage is so different than what I perceived it to be. He did trickle truth for 4 months but since then he has been extremely empathetic, supportive, getting counseling, full transparency. He is doing all the right things and has consistently been an extremely good spouse for over a year. And while I’m doing somewhat better I do feel like that spark is gone and I doubt it will be back. I can’t stand the thought of wearing my rings or celebrating our anniversary. We never separated so I never had another relationship. I never wanted to. But I miss that feeling of being someone’s special person. It’s just not there and I have been grieving that pretty heavily. I’m also usually the type of person that once I see you differently it is very hard for me to ever feel the same. I do hope that I can open my mind to feeling something more for him with time. But it is sad for me right now and I totally get where you are at.
I would have the same repercussions as far as kids being devastated and financial complications also. . So it seems easier to just stay and hope that some sort of romantic love will come back with time.

posts: 21   ·   registered: Jan. 31st, 2023
id 8805764

ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 8:20 PM on Sunday, August 27th, 2023

At two and a half years in, I was still a mess in a lot of ways. For me, depression had set in, but a big part of it too was grief at the loss of "our love story". It wasn't the same and it was never going to be the same. That said, sometimes the new story can become quite powerful in its own right. It might just still be early for you.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8

posts: 6914   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8805767

The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 10:38 PM on Sunday, August 27th, 2023

While you have reconciled and things are good, you recognize they will never be the same.

In some cases there is nothing that will restore the marriage as it " once was". Some may get close but it’s never quite the same.

For others while the Reconciliation occurred it is just a flat acceptance of the fall out. It’s not great but the feeling is "things are ok".

I was in your shoes 3 years after Dday. My H was doing everything possible but I just continued to have days where I questioned myself. Why wasn’t I happier. Why wasn’t I in a better place. Why why why ……

I realized (after seeing a YouTube video by Will Smith called Fault vs Responsibility) that I needed to heal myself. My H could only do so much and the rest was on me. I had to create the joy in my life. I had to create the feeling of peace etc.

Once I took charge of my healing I made dramatic improvements. I realized that my life is my responsibility and I need to ensure that I am doing what works for me. Not in a selfish way but in a self satisfaction way.

I hope this helps you. The rise colored glasses are off. You don’t see your H in the sane way you did. You have to see him in a new light — he’s not the same guy he was.

And you are not the same spouse you once were either.

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

posts: 13515   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8805775

Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 3:21 AM on Monday, August 28th, 2023

I can relate. I’m three years out from Dday, we’ve done lots of work, and my husband has tried really, really hard. I feel like we’re in a good place, but things still feel flat in exactly the ways you describe. Exactly.

However, I do see glimpses of possibilities for what chamomile tea describes—a new story that has some good and powerful aspects of its own. So I guess I have hope.

Husband of 20 years had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Two teenaged kids. Reconciling.

posts: 529   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8805783

Copingmybest ( member #78962) posted at 8:10 AM on Monday, August 28th, 2023

I’m there with you also. At 2-1/2 years post D day, I still love my wife more than anything. I went whole hog on the work needed from the get go, but she has been reluctant in doing the work. I don’t believe it’s because she doesn’t love me, but her coping mechanisms aren’t up to speed with where we are. She just wants to pretend it never happened and move forward together. It’s left me in a sort of limbo state as to what our future holds. I do get glimpses of greatness but in my eyes, she’s just not the person I’d give my all to. I love doing things with her and going places, but she just doesn’t give me the butterflies I used to get from her. To me, she feels more like damaged goods. I know that sounds shallow, but it’s still hard to get over the lies, deceit, and the general feeling of worthlessness in her eyes. I’d do anything for her in the past, but now I have shifted my focus onto me. I wake up almost every morning between 2-4 am wondering what the future holds as it all seems so uncertain to me.

Me: BS 56
Her: WW 50
A 8-20?-4-1-21 (April Fools Day)
Attempting recovery me-90%~her 10%
Married 25 years

posts: 104   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2021   ·   location: Ohio
id 8805789

ZetaCephei ( member #79378) posted at 12:23 PM on Monday, August 28th, 2023

I'm 2 years after DDay and feel very similar. I miss the relationship I thought we had, I miss feeling like I am special to him, the closeness, the intimacy and I miss being proud of our marriage. I grieve for the loss of our bond, I really believed we had something precious. I still love him, I am still in love with him, but I do see him differently now. We are in a much better place then anytime in the last 5 years, but there is a boundary within me that I don't let him cross. I don't trust him and I don't let him close, so he can't hurt me again. Don't get me wrong, I am happy with my decision to stay and try to reconcile, but even though he is doing a lot to fix the mess he made, there is also a flatness in me and pretty much everything just feels meh. I often wonder if infidelity is a deal breaker for me after all and I hope it is not. I hope I have it in me to forgive and give myself to him completely again, but for now, it is just too soon.

Me: BW, 46 -- Him: WH, 47 -- 2 LTAs (2012-2021 and 2016-2021) + 4 ONS -- Dday1: July 2021 -- Dday2: September 2021 -- Just want to be happy again

posts: 87   ·   registered: Sep. 8th, 2021   ·   location: Europe
id 8805793

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 3:53 PM on Monday, August 28th, 2023

Whenever I thought I missed the relationship we had, I was also able to remember that W was getting ready to cheat before her A. Thought of in that way, the past wasn't quite as attractive as it seemed.

More than that, I learned to ask myself what more I wanted. If it was available, I asked for it. If I asked my W for something, she responded with 'yes', 'no', or 'how about this instead?'

I don't think I have ideal images of my W, but I do have to deal with having known her body since 1966 or '67. She does not look as good at 78 as she did at 20. I don't, either. Neither of us can do what we could 50 years ago. So I emphasize the positive. In a sense, I make myself happy with what we can do instead of letting myself be unhappy with what we can't. It took a lot of therapy for me to adopt this attitude. blush

Accepting 'what is' while attuning to 'what can be' is essential to our well-being, in all spheres of life.

Doubts at 2.5 years out seem entirely normal and healthy to me. My reco is to keep listening to yourself. Unhappiness may be due to a growing realization that you don't want R as much as you thought. OTOH, it may be just a phase on the way to a full life with your fWS.

My 2nd reco is to avoid settling for too little. If you want to love and be loved, take the necessary actions.

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: 29032   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8805804

This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 5:34 PM on Monday, August 28th, 2023

I relate a lot to the "no longer proud of our marriage" feeling. What helped me a lot is that feelings of pride in a group effort are somewhat misplaced. You should really only be proud of your effort. You can be happy or upset about the other person's effort, but it is never something that you should take pride or shame in. That was their set of actions, not yours.

I'm proud of being a good husband and father. I'm not proud of my marriage or family. I perhaps never should have been proud of my marriage.

Epictitus has a line on this (and a member here has Epictitus in his signature). You shouldn't be proud you have a good horse, because it is the horse that is good, not you. In this case you shouldn't be ashamed of having a lame horse, because it is the horse, not you, that is lame.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 9:07 PM, Monday, August 28th]

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

posts: 2489   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8805818

CFme923 ( member #82955) posted at 6:42 PM on Monday, August 28th, 2023

I'm not as far out as you but I can understand this. My WH is someone who I viewed as the "good" one in our relationship. He seemed to have endless patience, always positive, never put anyone down, and reserved but well liked. I am impulsive, hotheaded, and opinionated. The fact that I never felt as "good" as him has now sent me reeling as I realize how much better my character is than his. It's hard to imagine this calm, patient man making such a poor decision and being impulsive.

We get along, we know each other well, we laugh and are good at parenting together. I just no longer see him as I did and likely never will.

posts: 72   ·   registered: Feb. 27th, 2023
id 8805826

 Moonpenny (original poster new member #70656) posted at 6:46 PM on Monday, August 28th, 2023

Thankyou all for your replies, I have taken on board each one and I really appreciate it.

I think what I find most difficult is that this has all happened at what feels like the most life affecting time. I am mid/late 30s and our child is now 6. We always wanted two children but due to the affair and aftermath this hasn’t been a possibility yet. I feel like due to my age I need to decide what I’m doing with my life, am I going to stay with my husband and try to expand our family as we once planned to? But this bad time will be forever physically evident with the age gap between our current and any future child.
Or if we have no more children at all it feels like something else that was taken away from me (and our child’s life) by his affair.

Do I end reconciliation and hopefully have the chance to have a new relationship and build a life up with someone new? But by that time I might not be able to have any more children anyway, and this might affect a future relationship. Will I not meet anyone else and I’ve broken up my child’s family unit just because I thought "ok" wasn’t good enough.

My husband’s affair partner was much younger so her life won’t have really been affected by this -whereas I feel like crucial years of my life have been affected and time wasted in limbo.

posts: 20   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8805827

Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 7:01 PM on Wednesday, August 30th, 2023

I’ve broken up my child’s family unit just because I thought "ok" wasn’t good enough.

No, you decided to end your M because your WH unilaterally chose to break his vows. Had he kept his vows, you would not be in this predicament.

Now, try to really imagine what life you want, either R or D. Take into account cost vs benefit, keeping it mind all of the unknowns.

It took me a tremendous amount of introspection to get to the point where I could admit that staying with my WW would be a waste of my o e precious life. Now, I am in no way qualified to comment on the whole issue of having children as a woman, so you'll need to factor that into your process, but I would look at the one child you have and ask yourself if your relationship with your WW would be good enough for her and her future partner, or would you hope for more? Are you setting the bar at an appropriate height for them? And if you would want more for them, why not you?

I thought long and hard about all of the consequences for my kids, of each option before making a choice. The fact that you are doing the same shows me that you are a good parent. Shame your WH didn't do the same.

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: 1578   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8806007

ibonnie ( member #62673) posted at 3:48 AM on Friday, September 1st, 2023

I'm 5+ years out from d-day, and WS and I also legally separated and lived apart for quite some time. Here's my 2¢. No, the relationship is not the same as it was pre-d-day. That mad, unconditional love feelings have not returned. There are DEFINITELY conditions now. Some days are quite difficult emotionally, because I see my WS for who he really is now, and understand what he is capable of. Do I think he would cheat again after everything we've been though? No. Would I bet my life on it? HELL NO. Do I have a plan B in place for just in case? Yes.

But... most of the time things are pretty good and I recognize the fact that who I though WS was, and what I thought our relationship was pre-d-day wasn't real. I just didn't see the full picture... yet. So, in that regard... I'm happier with life now because my blinders are off, if that makes any sense.

Now, for this part:

I am mid/late 30s and our child is now 6. We always wanted two children but due to the affair and aftermath this hasn’t been a possibility yet. I feel like due to my age I need to decide what I’m doing with my life, am I going to stay with my husband and try to expand our family as we once planned to? But this bad time will be forever physically evident with the age gap between our current and any future child.

If your biological clock is ticking and having another child is very important to you, this would be my pragmatic advice from a non-emotional standpoint.

Could you figure out a way to raise two kids on your own? Can you afford to pay rent/mortgage and childcare on what you make right now?

If yes, then have a second child with your WS and have a plan B set up in case you decide you need to divorce.

And I'm sure some people might this is bonkers, but this is my reasoning:

Your children will be full-siblings, that share the same father, and you can avoid some issues blended families face with coordinating custody schedules or drama with step-parents or step-siblings. If you have a second child solo, or divorce, work on healing, start a new relationship, get married? and then maybe have a second child with someone else, then in theory one of your children would be with you full-time, and the other would be in a shared custody schedule with your WS. If both of your children have the same father, then you would only have to coordinate custody schedules with one person, and your kids would spend holidays together regardless of which parent they're with (if you all didn't spend them together).

If you google statistics, they vary, but generally they say that first marriages are about 40% likely to end in divorce, second marriages are about 60% likely, and that number goes up if the second marriages involve kids from other relationships.

As for the age gap, my kiddos are 7 years apart in age, and it's been way more enjoyable that I worried it might be. My oldest was totally potty trained, could get dressed on their own, get themselves their own snacks if they were hungry, slept through the night, was in school full-time etc., and there was very little jealously around a new baby coming into the house. If they were only 3-4 years apart in age like we had initially tried for, I think it would have been much more difficult helping a preschooler that wouldn't be as independent while also taking care of a newborn. Plus, we only had a couple of years where we were paying for childcare for two kids at the same time. Now I have a kid that's elementary-school aged, and one in high school, so I only have to worry about summer camps or paying a babysitter on days schools are closed for one kid.

"I will survive, hey, hey!"

posts: 2104   ·   registered: Feb. 11th, 2018
id 8806112

Fof9303 ( member #70433) posted at 8:31 PM on Friday, September 1st, 2023

I am so sorry you are feeling so "ick" about your relationship right now. I would definitely say that you are still a little early into the process. It took me a good five years to feel differently. Instead of feeling shame, I feel proud. It took a friend to tell me that one day which really surprised me. She said I am so proud of you for changing your mind and reconciling and going through the tough stuff and look where you are now. So feel proud that you decided to reconcile. Don't fret, all your key life moments and bonding times are not behind you.. trust me. I am 12 years out from it, and I have had some of the most wonderful and deep connecting moments since that time. Just this past fall, waiting hours in the waiting room while our daughter was giving birth, us holding each other so worried, and then elated when things turned out beautifully. Watching two of our children walk down the aisle, and my husband whispering over to me.. thank you... thank you for all of this.. 8 years out then.. We can find beauty from the ashes of our lives. Instead of thinking about what it should have been, try thinking of this as new, a whole new start and a new relationship from here on out. Create new hobbies and interests together.. We all get a little mundane in our relationships and definitely go through seasons. Hope your new season begins soon. God Bless.

posts: 170   ·   registered: Apr. 27th, 2019
id 8806296

truthseeker77 ( new member #83435) posted at 9:39 PM on Wednesday, September 6th, 2023

I am only ~6 months out so perhaps should not be commenting, but I can relate. I feel there is no meaning to the marriage at this point. It is no longer sacred. I feel if we have fun, get along that is great but SO WHAT. I say there is no guarantee, he says there are never any guarantees. It just feels like wedding bands are pointless and vows were meaningless. So I tell him even if we have fun together or as a family or intimate times, it's just that- nice moments, memories. All that he could throw away again. I definitely have a back up plan in mind. And have said this is is his ONE chance.

It's really awful to see him in this new light but I'd rather live my life in truth and without blinders on as someone said. Know what I am dealing with and know I AM MAKING THE CHOICE TO STAY. I'm not forced to be here, I can leave. (Not easy with kids and intertwined lives) but you know what I mean.

The key for me is now to focus on what I want, what I want to do, what I have time for. Before I was worried about guilt and what he was doing, who cares? We can't control anyone else, may enjoy ourselves and self-care, etc. I can't stop him from cheating again even with checking his phone, location, etc. etc. But now I am different too and will hopefully clue in sooner.

I think the biggest part is the grief of what was, the innocence is gone. In this club, we are tough, we are courageous and we don't shy away from the tough questions. I'm a different person as well but I'm not willing to compromise that now, if he's not interested, there's the door. I won't change to accommodate your needs, clearly he was able to find someone who met his needs better than me, so he can find someone else again!

posts: 23   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2023   ·   location: Canada
id 8806742

LostOpportunities20 ( member #74401) posted at 11:43 PM on Wednesday, September 6th, 2023

My WW's infidelity was over a decade ago.

And I felt detached until recently. I still don't know what caused me to reconnect.

WW has done everything I could ask, without me having to ask. Even 10 years on, she immediately owns my feeling down, even when it has nothing to do with her. So she feels safe. I suppose that helped me regain trust.

There was a moment where I saw her as human again (buried somewhere in an old thread, so I won't rehash) where I suddenly gained empathy/sympathy for her again. It was almost as if a switch had flipped.

I still have issues, and I know I always will. That will never go away. But I hope it just slowly gets lost in the shuffle of "downs" in my life, to be outshone by the "ups".

My biggest mistake was not committing to either divorce or reconciliation for YEARS. Either one would have helped out tremendously.

So my advice is pick a course that you feel is best for you and those that depend on you, and then jump in with both feet.

[This message edited by LostOpportunities20 at 11:57 PM, Wednesday, September 6th]

BH (late 40s) WW (late 40s) EA 2008, EA/probably PA 2009

Confessed the first, I caught her the second.

Not sure what to call it, but I guess we're in R.

posts: 218   ·   registered: May. 7th, 2020
id 8806756

Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 11:21 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

This hits home.

I'm 6 years from DDay1, 5 years from DDays 2/3 and 2 years from having to send a C&D to LTAP for cyberstalking and trying to reach back out.

WH and I are in a good place. Individually and together. But I feel what you are saying.

I describe that as the innocence of our relationship is gone. I miss it at times. But I don't let it define me/us.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3689   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8807854
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