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Divorce/Separation :
Did any try to R then change their mind later on?

Topic is Sleeping.
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 LittleRedRobin23 (original poster new member #84806) posted at 5:31 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

Mind is currently in a swirl.

Looking for stories of people who tried to reconcile with their partner after an affair then decided it wasn’t what they wanted after all and separated/divorced?

How did you gain the clarity to make that decision?

Do you have any regrets and wish you’d stayed reconciling?

Did not sign up for this shitshow

posts: 45   ·   registered: Apr. 30th, 2024
id 8835569
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Perdita1 ( member #67654) posted at 8:23 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

Me. Tried R for 3 years. Then he got impatient with my healing (and my sitting on the fence, I never took D off the table in that time) and it was time to move forward with D.

I won’t deny that it was a hard decision to make, mainly because of the children. I wobbled a bit. Had one last MC session before making the call to my lawyer (who I had met with before) to formally start the process.

Do I have regrets? Well, sort of. If he could have coped with my pain better he might have seen me relinquish some of the contempt I had for him around year 5, and that might have turned the M around. But he couldn’t. So I guess the regret isn’t so much about the D, but that he couldn’t be the person I needed to R.

I regret my ‘status’ change, in the sense that I absolutely loved being married. I still feel a pang when I’m around other couples. But, I’m not about to be with just anyone for the sake of being in a couple.

I grieved my old life, and the life I thought I was going to have, probably for a couple of years post-D. But the old life was based on lies, it wasn’t real.

Ultimately, I am glad that he’s not my issue anymore.

posts: 195   ·   registered: Oct. 29th, 2018
id 8835602
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 8:56 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

I stayed for about 18 months after dday1. For me, it took about a year of recovering, therapy and reprocessing that I was able to start truly evaluating and drawing conclusions. Also, I was trauma bonded to my XWH who is a diagnosed covert narc.

At about a year, I could see that XWH wasn't really changing. Then, he said his IC said that MC would be ok. So, we do MC for a few months. In our last MC session, he confessed that he had inappropriately touched another lady (which he knew was my line in the sand.) He basically sexually assaulted her (they got high, she passed out, and he said he felt her up. I don't know how far it really went. Anyways, it was non-consensual on her part).

Here's where the clarity came in:

I asked if she was pressing charges. He got this weird look on his face like, "Why would she press charges?" You see, he'd done something similar to me a couple of times, and I realized that he didn't see any of that as rape or sexual assault.

A voice inside my head told me that he isn't going to ever change and he'd never be a safe partner. That's when I said we're going to D.

My only regret is that I wasted so much of my life with him. My post-D life is great. I have peace and contentment and I don't have to deal with XWH's treatment of me.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3573   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8835606
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demolishedinside ( member #47839) posted at 8:59 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

I'm not sure if my situation is what you are looking for. We tried to R for over three years...all kinds of individual, group, and marriage therapy. We were set to move long distance for a new start. He left ahead of me and I found out through a Facebook message that he had cheated again the night before he left. I knew then that I was leaving. It took me about six months to move home, file, and get everything finalized (during the pandemic!), but I have no regrets. I tried all of the things I could, and it just was not ever going to make either of us happy. I am glad I tried so that I knew I had left it all on the field, you know? I have a peaceful life now.

BS - me/3 kids
DD - April 2015 / SA-Jan. 28, 2017
DD2- October 23, 2018
Divorced and happy

posts: 2073   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2015
id 8835608
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 12:03 AM on Saturday, May 4th, 2024

I initially tried to R but ended up in False R. Then I stayed in limbo for 5 more years due to fear of D and breaking up our family. My xWS is diagnosed NPD and a lot of my reasoning behind leaving was that I could not stay with someone that had such an awful personality disorder not to mention all the serial cheating that went along with it. All the years I wondered why our M struggled and he had multiple A's and it took a therapist's diagnosis to get me to open my eyes.

I do have regrets with R because my xWS was showing me behavior that was not remorseful or empathetic and I believe I tried to R due to fear more than anything else. I have not regret leaving and filing for D one time. It was the best decision I have made in my life. It gave me my peace of mind back and I got myself back ;)

fBS/fWS(me):51 Mad-hattered after DD (2008)
XWS:53 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
DD(21) DS(18)
XWS cheated the entire M spanning 19 years
Discovered D-Days 2006,2008,2012, False R 2014
Divorcing

posts: 8834   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8835623
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Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 3:18 AM on Saturday, May 4th, 2024

"A voice inside my head told me that he isn't going to ever change and he'd never be a safe partner. That's when I said we're going to D.

My only regret is that I wasted so much of my life with him. My post-D life is great. I have peace and contentment and I don't have to deal with XWH's treatment of me."

^^^this

"It's a slow fade...when you give yourself away" so don't do it!

posts: 1676   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8835633
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 6:36 PM on Wednesday, May 8th, 2024

I think the biggest misconception that exists about infidelity is that everyone's first instinct when they discover an affair is immediately get divorced.

It's not. Reconciliation is the default setting. Unless the BS was seriously contemplating divorce before Dday, or the WS gave the BS no choice by running off with AP or filing themselves, the BS will almost always do everything they can to save the marriage.

To answer your question, I decided to leave when the prospect of staying in my marriage was more intolerable than facing the unknown by leaving.

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

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

posts: 2011   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8835922
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 LittleRedRobin23 (original poster new member #84806) posted at 7:03 PM on Wednesday, May 8th, 2024

Thanks all, really appreciate these comments.

How does the pain of staying outweighed the pain of leaving become clear?

We’re 9 months from d-day and in semi R. Semi in the sense that we’re back living together and doing things together but I’m not 100% committing or giving him any affection to rebuild what was broken and because of that, he’s also not really giving much affection back or saying I love you to each other. He’s doing a little more than usual lately but I’m scared I’m accepting breadcrumbs/ the bare minimum and thinking it’s ok because I don’t know any different. But when I hear my friends talk about their husbands, (bar the long and horrific affair) he’s a good bloke and would do anything for me.

I honestly thought he’d be mine forever, never thought he’d have had an affair and as everyone’s knows what happened it does add pressure on the process because of their judgment (although everyone is supportive there’s still shame and embarrassment at reconciling with someone who had the capacity to do what he did IMO) but I feel like I can’t let go maybe ever or just yet. Still on the fence, living in limbo wondering when I will have clarity. I don’t have years to waste as I’m 30 and I want a family.

So shit.

Did not sign up for this shitshow

posts: 45   ·   registered: Apr. 30th, 2024
id 8835927
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 10:03 PM on Wednesday, May 8th, 2024

Well, my ex made the clarity pretty easy because he wouldn't stop cheating. To address your situation:

I’m not 100% committing or giving him any affection to rebuild what was broken and because of that, he’s also not really giving much affection back or saying I love you to each other. He’s doing a little more than usual lately but I’m scared I’m accepting breadcrumbs/ the bare minimum and thinking it’s ok because I don’t know any different. But when I hear my friends talk about their husbands, (bar the long and horrific affair) he’s a good bloke and would do anything for me.

These are contradictory. Is he doing nothing but the bare minimum or is he doing anything and everything for you? Keep in mind that saying and doing are two different things.

Also, other people's dysfunctional relationships shouldn't be the standard you set for you own. Some of my friends were in worse relationships than I was but compared with my godparents' marriage-- 50 years of love, tenderness, and devotion-- mine was crap. I expected and deserved better, not by other people's standards, but my own.

On your final point, if having children is important to you, then that absolutely needs to factor into your decision. You are far more likely to regret giving up your best child-bearing years in a subpar relationship than you will divorce.

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

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

posts: 2011   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8835940
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Perdita1 ( member #67654) posted at 10:13 PM on Wednesday, May 8th, 2024

One thing I seem to be getting from your post (feel free to ignore if I’m wrong) is that there is a thought along the lines of ‘I’m 30, I want a family, so maybe this guy is good enough to give me that family even though he cheated’.

I absolutely get the longing for a family and the worry of the ‘biological clock’. A couple of things though:

- I have many many friends who had babies after 35, and many who had babies in their early 40s. It is quite common in my circle for women to start their families ‘later’ due to careers etc.

- Having a baby can put immense pressure on a solid relationship. The sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, and general upending of your old lives takes it toll. A baby will not fix a relationship. If the relationship is already shaky, it could well be a recipe for disaster.

- I tried really really hard to R largely because I already had children with my XWH. If I hadn’t, I really doubt that I would have tried so hard.

- Do you really want to start a family with someone who has cheated on you? Do you want that person to be influencing your future children?

- Once you have children, you are tied to the other parent for life. If you don’t have children, it is much easier to cut the cheater out of your life entirely.

All this to say, please only R if you really really want to be with this person. If you’re staying because you think that that is the only way you’ll have a family, please consider the above. Maybe have a chat with your doctor about fertility - there are tests you can do to check things like your ovarian reserve that might reassure you. 30 is not that old really. You have the potential of many childbearing years ahead of you. I think I’ve posted elsewhere about a dear friend who was cheated on during a 10 year relationship, she forgave him and then he left her a few years later anyway. It was hideous for her. But now she is married and had two children in quick succession around her 40th birthday.

posts: 195   ·   registered: Oct. 29th, 2018
id 8835941
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 LittleRedRobin23 (original poster new member #84806) posted at 10:33 PM on Wednesday, May 8th, 2024

Oh yea that does actually sound contradictory ! I mean he would do anything like chores or walking the dog, going to shops "acts of service" if you will.

But in terms of connection and affection that’s what is lacking most days but the bread crumbing is because it happens sometimes and I’m like ok this is nice we’re working in the right direction. Maybe I’m not giving him a proper chance to R though where I’m not all in with him affection wise.

I just feel sorry for the broken little boy in him to be honest maybe that’s why I’m still here right now even though I keep thinking about leaving and looking at solo trips/air bnbs. Don’t know how to get out of my head and into my life !! But I’m holding onto something at the mo for some reason just not sure what - can’t seem to stay and can’t leave and feeling desparate for a life that doesn’t exist anymore because he blew it up so I’m just burying my head in the sand I think.

Did not sign up for this shitshow

posts: 45   ·   registered: Apr. 30th, 2024
id 8835944
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 8:03 PM on Thursday, May 9th, 2024

Oh yea that does actually sound contradictory ! I mean he would do anything like chores or walking the dog, going to shops "acts of service" if you will.

These are things that he would have to do if he were living alone anyway. Acting like a decent room mate ≠ good husband.

When I think acts of service, I think of my husband letting me sleep in an extra hour on Sunday and handling the kids on his own, stopping by my favorite bakery on his way to the post office to pick me up something, or getting me a new pair of headphones without me asking because he's noticed that the ones I've been using look busted up. These are small gestures of care and love that are in addition to the many responsibilities that he fulfills as a husband and father.

Rather than comparing your marriage with your friends' dysfunctional ones, do you have any relationship role models? In what ways are they similar to or different from yours?

I’m holding onto something at the mo for some reason just not sure what - can’t seem to stay and can’t leave and feeling desparate for a life that doesn’t exist anymore because he blew it up so I’m just burying my head in the sand I think.



Have you actually tried sitting down with him and telling him how you feel? If so, how does the conversation go? Why not have an indepth discussion about what he wants, what you want, and how you can try to get there?

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 8:06 PM, Thursday, May 9th]

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

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

posts: 2011   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8836011
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 LittleRedRobin23 (original poster new member #84806) posted at 8:41 PM on Thursday, May 9th, 2024

So true BluerThanBlue! I haven’t compared how we are the same or different to positive role models like my parents and grandparents. Other than the fact my grandparents have been together since teens and are still in love and wonderful together and my parents (it’s my mums second marriage but they have been together most of my life) I feel like what I’m grasping onto is the longevity of a relationship and I could have that with my current partner that I wouldn’t get someone else given I’m older now and whilst I might still have a happy relationship it doesn’t have the same history.

My partner says he’s all in and only wants to be with me. He claims although first comms with him and OW started 4 years ago there were periods of 6 or more months where they didn’t speak let alone see each other so it wasn’t really 4 years …(he’s clearly minimising here) but he says he got himself into a situation he couldn’t or didn’t know how to get out of. I feel sorry for him but I don’t like the victim behaviour maybe that’s wrong of me and I need to be more understanding.

So yea he says he’s all in. As for me I really do not know. A big part of me wants to stay, he’s my person and I want to keep doing life together but another big part of me thinks, life is long do I want to spend it just with one person, might be nice on my own for a while and sometimes I get the ick a bit now which it’s probably a side effect from the trauma and feeling different toward him now. The pedestal I held him up on is no longer there and that’s my fault I guess for putting him there in the first place. Maybe he couldn’t handle the pressure of how perfect I thought he was.

So yea sorry for treating those forums like therapy, but they kinda are a bit. I am also in IC and doing other mindfulness things to help get me out of my head so I can just feel what I need to feel and understand what I want.

He wants to go on holiday in June and I’ve been avoiding massively but being we’re in June mere weeks away I can’t really avoid much longer. Maybe I’ll run away on my own holiday or it will do us good to go away together 🤷🏼‍♀️🙈

Just sick of not knowing my own mind right now. Thats enough to make me want to separate sometimes that he’s put me in his position mentally. I’m terribly indecisive as a person anyway so such a big life decision is just the worst thing for me.

Anyway thank you for always responding and being a pillar of support to bounce things off of. I sound like a broken record with everything I’m saying on my forums but it’s really appreciated that people chip in.

Did not sign up for this shitshow

posts: 45   ·   registered: Apr. 30th, 2024
id 8836016
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maise ( member #69516) posted at 8:48 PM on Thursday, May 9th, 2024

My situation wasn't one where I immediately wanted to reconcile. I was fence sitting for quite some time. I wanted to see if my ex could do the work...and I wanted to see if I could even handle reconciliation if she had done the work. In the mean time I gave no answer...no R...no D...just limbo for a while. Separated but in limbo. I got myself an amazing therapist that helped me focus on myself and my healing. As I did this I was able to see the red flags in my ex's behavior, and I was able to see what working on yourself really looks like and noticed that this was not what she was doing. She was performing again, but not actually working on herself to change what got her to cheat in the first place. So I eventually stuck with separation and removing my ex permanently from the home and started the D process. I did not regret it. I still don't regret it. She is still stuck in her same coping mechanisms, and I have moved on and thrived. No hate towards her or anything like that. Separation and Divorce have allowed me to find an independence and freedom in myself that brings me so much joy. And its allowed for me to years later find my current partner who is amazing and what I genuinely wanted and deserve in a partnership.

I hope this answers your questions. I knew, but it was because of the work I did in my healing and in my focusing on myself that allowed for me to see things clearer and know that I needed to remove myself. It also allowed me to be strong enough within myself to know I could remove myself and be okay.

[This message edited by maise at 8:51 PM, Thursday, May 9th]

BW (SSM) D-Day: 6/9/2018 Status: waiting to finalize the divorce

"Our task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."

— Rumi

posts: 954   ·   registered: Jan. 22nd, 2019   ·   location: Houston
id 8836017
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 4:46 PM on Friday, May 10th, 2024

I feel like what I’m grasping onto is the longevity of a relationship and I could have that with my current partner that I wouldn’t get someone else given I’m older now and whilst I might still have a happy relationship it doesn’t have the same history.

Longevity might be one measure of a successful relationship, but it's certainly not the only one. There are plenty of couples (and I'm sure you might no some of them) that have stayed together in misery for years. Also, using your own mother's second marriage, she didn't have the long history that she had with her first husband and yet she built it over time. My own mother married her current husband at 38 and they've remained married for over 30 years now.

But please know that I'm not saying that relationships are interchangeable or that people are disposable. I'm sure there's a lot of qualities that your husband has that make you hang on to the relationship; if he was 100% bad, you wouldn't have married him and you wouldn't have any questions about staying with him.

I think Maise's advice for how you should manage your decision to R or D would be the best approach for you. The only other additional advice I would offer is that you should be transparent with your husband about where you're head and heart is at.

He's going to say "I will do anything!" and look for guidance from you on what to do, but the reality is, he needs to be the one driving the reconciliation process, which means working on himself and being proactive about rebuilding the relationship. If he's telling you that he didn't know how to get out of his 4-year affair, then he sure as hell can't promise you that he won't keep out of one in the future.

Perhaps the conversation about the vacation in June can be your catalyst for the very serious discussion that you and your husband need to have. He seems to be under the impression that after enough time and good behavior, this will all go away. I think you're hoping for that, too, but it's really not possible.

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

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

posts: 2011   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8836194
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WhoTheBleep ( member #49504) posted at 6:05 PM on Friday, May 10th, 2024

I stayed for two years after D-Day. The first six months were pure trauma, could barely get out of bed. The next 18 months, I was doped up on anti-depressants and told WH I was "all in." That was all he needed as a greenlight to treat me like complete trash. He was awful every single day.

I weaned myself off of the antidepressants, and I could see clearly.. As stated above, he was never going to change. This was never going to get better. My only option was divorce. The actual divorce process took several years, and It was a nightmare. But I knew there was light and happiness and peace on the other side, so I just powered through.

Divorce finalized early 2023, and my life has been spectacular ever since. I am me again. I have traveled. I have freedom and friends and family and (gasp!) A good man who adores me, and has never So much as criticized me or spoken cross word to me, much less abused me.

My only regret was staying with XWH for so long. But we all have our journeys, and I had to grow and be ready. So I suppose I really have no regrets.

I believe we have two lives: the one we learn with, and the one we live with after that. --The Natural

posts: 4520   ·   registered: Sep. 6th, 2015   ·   location: USA
id 8836205
Topic is Sleeping.
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