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Newest Member: Daughterofthemosthigh

Reconciliation :
It's more than rebuilding connection for R to have a chance

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 Oldwounds (original poster member #54486) posted at 11:46 PM on Friday, June 7th, 2024

As dday gets farther back in the rear view mirror, I've gained some clarity on how my wife and I were able to put this relationship back together.

I get asked "how" I got here all the time, online or off, people can't quite understand my ability to stay with someone who caused me so much pain.

My advice, that I borrowed from another SI member, was always, "We tend to hit what we aim for."

But that's too ambiguous. Of course, everyone wants better, wants to be better and wants their relationship to be what they want and need.

I also used to think the secret ingredient of R was focusing on rebuilding connection.

Connection has been a buzz word for all relationship books and blogs for years now, and it makes sense.

Connection is the key to any relationship in life, from family to friends.

Experience has taught me how fragile connection can be. It is very easy for connection to break down. Work schedules, having kids, getting sick, loss of a job, or family member, raising kids, money issues, etc., etc., all find ways to erode connection no matter how much effort goes into it.

The secret ingredient for R, and I think for any happy M is acceptance.

Acceptance includes the vulnerability to be who you are, faults and all and still be loved and accepted.

Infidelity absolutely destroys acceptance across the board. That's the foundation that's burned to the ground.

If all you see in your spouse is the pain they caused you -- you will not accept them back into your heart. Be it fear, anger, sadness, or a combination of those things, acceptance doesn't have a chance. Neither does R.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Fear, anger and sadness are all things we need to recover from before we can DECIDE whether we want the M.

I'm saying for successful R, once those feelings are worked through, if they can be, then acceptance is the goal.

For a WS, they often don't recommit to the M after dday because they are certain they can't be accepted, so they retreat.

It's absolutely a risk to invest again into the M, but every romantic relationship is a risk.

Ultimately, this is my path and what worked for me, there is more than one way to heal or to rebuild the M. I'm just putting together the "how" I get asked so often.

I don't see my wife as her worst days. I see her good days too, and I accept her as she accepts me and my flaws.

I can accept the facts of what happened and still hate the A forever. I find it very healthy to despise those dark moments in my past.

The how includes focusing on who we are today.

EDITED TO ADD: I just saw the concept of acceptance in a thread in general being discussed -- clearly it's an important aspect regardless of the path we choose -- my thread is more about the specifics for those couples considering R.

[This message edited by Oldwounds at 11:49 PM, Friday, June 7th]

Married 36+ 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

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Groot1988 ( member #84337) posted at 2:00 AM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

Old wounds what great advice!


This

IMPORTANT NOTE: Fear, anger and sadness are all things we need to recover from before we can DECIDE whether we want the M.


Thank you for this, I’m learning this could never be more true.

Married 5 years (together 11) Four children Me Bs 36Him WH 35- 4 month PA Dday Oct 6- lots of TT final disclosure Jan 16.

"If we walk through hell we might as well hold hands, we should make this a home"- citizen soldier

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:06 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

I tend to agree we hit what we aim for, if both spouses are aiming at the same thing.

This raised an interesting question, it made me think about why we have been successful.

I first thought stubbornness. Wanting to give up is a normal reaction to infidelity. For some, divorce really is the answer, but I am trying to frame this around personal experience and reconciliation.

But for a long time after dday the stubbornness was important because I think in those earlier days you are tasked with the grieving process on top of the shit show. I am going to say stubbornness is what gets people through recovery, or roughly the first year after infidelity. And for many this can go on for much longer. It’s things like "I don’t want to divorce because of" and the answers can have some to do with love but often you see kids, finances, shared history, not believing in divorce, and I could go on. They are reasons we throw into the mix that are valid but not really about free will.

Then came persistence. Seeing some success, it was less fighting yourself on the rollercoaster of stay/go and more "we are getting somewhere, let’s keep going" I think being stubborn is more about throwing obstacles up about ending the marriage. Persistence is more about intentionally staying because there has been progress. You aren’t at free will yet, but you are starting to want to be there more than you want to leave. Stubbornness is still present reinforcing.

Connection and compatibility are aids. Honestly I think most of the "relationship" words are just aids for R. The individual healing components is the engine.

Self awareness is a big ingredient for the healing process . Without becoming self aware, there is no way to change the perspectives, thoughts, and behaviors that are no longer serving you. And I feel this was important both on my ws and my bs journey. This is where things like FOO and patterns come in and tying some of your biggest triggers and emotional obstacles to beyond just the affair, but also to what the feelings bring up from past experiences or lack of.

Back to the relationship components. The connection actually can be strongest as you are in the earlier stages of trying to R. The ups and downs and instability have these glimpses of grounding during times like those soul baring middle of the night talks or other times you both manage to show up simultaneously in vulnerability.

We had the luxury of compatibility always being easy through our pre-a marriage so that aided us towards wanting to rebuild. That part was easiest for us to snap back into place so to speak. Having similar sensibilities can feel like you have something solid to point at, but not solid enough to drive the thing. Compatibility can be found elsewhere.

I think most couples who reconcile have those kind of pieces, the easier ones to put back, even if it doesn’t seem like compatibility. Those things that made it through the hurricane and are still there to rebuild with. Maybe it’s a shared passion, or enjoying the same humor. It doesn’t have to be full on compatibility. For us, I label it that way because there were many items on the list that could fall under that heading.

I would say the connection piece is the biggest of the two here because it means you are having honest conversations and feel there is understanding forming between you. Empathy is beginning to flow both ways, and even if the bs doesn’t like or accept the behavior, they can at least understand what the ws is saying as their realty is true for them.

Time. I don’t think time will cure all. It depends on how it’s used. But with those other ingredients some of the pain begins to mend into scars. It I think healing from infidelity is a lot like a thousand cuts and the scars all form as each cut is addressed. This is why it takes 2-5 years (and more). But because there is ongoing healing the pain gets gradualy less.

And eventually, I am going to agree with you. It becomes about acceptance and I will add compassion. Each person accepts their journey and has compassion for themselves over the parts that were more challenging for them to conquer. They have compassion for each other because both have empathy and understanding over the other. This only happens after thousands of details are processed and healed. The affair feels more like a shared loss, rather than just an individual one because you both can clearly see neither party won.

The biggest lesson infidelity has taught me is if both people love themselves and make happiness their priority and individual responsibility, they will learn to negotiate win wins in the relationship. It becomes less about sacrifice and compromise and more about freedom and love. I wake up each morning knowing I choose to be where I am and honoring that choice with gratitude and action, in all things not just my marital relationship.

So if I were to boil it down it’s what we say here often- the focus to heal yourself will be the most impactful part of the process. And reconciling, which I think rarely begins in year one, will become the art of honoring yourself while testing what can be salvaged in the relationship. And by the end it looks more like honoring yourself and the relationship for what each has become.

I used to think it was about building a new marriage. No. I think when both people do that much healing the relationship you both desire is elevated. I am not saying there isn’t a lot of intention and communication around wants, needs, and so forth, but a healthy relationship can only be formed between too healthy people. And it happens naturally.

Notice I didn’t address forgiveness. I think this is a nebulous term that has differing meanings and is difficult to qualify. Under the narrow understanding I have on it, my stance on that is what I did was unforgivable, what my husband did is unforgivable. But I am redeemable, as is my husband. The actions will never be exonerated. But the person he is today, I will gladly take over anyone and vice versa.

People ask all the time how they will ever get over the unfairness of it. How do you ever even the scales? You don’t. But because both have healed themselves and renewed the relationship, the rest is healed with grace. The definition of grace is UNDESERVED favor. Just like the divine gives us.

I am not a religious woman, but I don’t think I would have gotten through all this without developing a strong relationship with spirituality. I believe that the teachings that have been passed down in most religions is that there is a divine source that we are here to become more like. And so we all have grace to give and unconditional love. What you are calling acceptance I call unconditional love.

Now, if he cheated again, the unconditional love in me will say "I will always love you because we shared a great history, children, built a great life together, and because I chose you for many reasons. But get out and be on your own journey now without me because the relationship status now changes" and in that way the unconditional love extends to him, but also to myself. If I have been fooled again on his healing journey I know it’s futile to try and trust it again.

And to tie a bow around it, what has happened in my life (not the affair, the healing) allows me to not only be a better spouse, but a better mother, friend, daughter, employee. It’s made me softer and more compassionate and has guided me towards wanting to help others and be more like the divine teaches us to be- I am less judgmental, less worried and anxious, and I have learned to have joy despite circumstances.

I will never call infidelity a gift, but I will call what we both did about it a gift to each other. And a miracle given through becoming more like the devine.

But notice most of what I said if you take out the relationship components will apply to those who need to divorce too. Because the focus on healing yourself is something you get to take with you to build any life you want. When you feel strong in who you are and what you have to offer, and have gotten through something as profound as the trauma that comes with infidelity, you are a bad ass and the relationship needing to go is not a failure but a victory.

[This message edited by hikingout at 3:29 PM, Saturday, June 8th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:44 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

For a WS, they often don't recommit to the M after dday because they are certain they can't be accepted, so they retreat

Yes, very much so. I never thought about that so concisely before. But between that and shame there is often a stance of being reactive rather than proactive.

I also think that it’s hard to become proactive through the lens of shame. This, among other reasons, come the minimizing, the trickle truth, the defensiveness.

There are many ws who feel entitled to a second chance as well, and maybe those are even more dangerous to go down the path with.

Shame is useless, it helps no one, but it’s a natural part of the beginning stages. To get to remorse, you have to get past the shame. Guilt is healthier, but it’s still how the ws feels. To have remorse, the ws has to work through the big feelings of shame because until then they will not be able to look at your pain with understanding and curiousity. Instead it’s just a lot of thoughts about confirming what a piece of shit they are. Yes, a needed reflection, but not one that will row the boat.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:26 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

Sorry for so many posts but your has me thinking a lot. So, the one thing I missed saying on healing-

You said that connection comes and goes. In that way, you know how to retrieve it.

Healing is like that as well. It doesn’t keep you from the bad days, or even bad weeks. Feeling full in your well being isn’t a constant. But because you know how to get there, new coping and new skills, you can keep finding your way back. So if I made it sound like I have reached personal nirvana, I certainly have not.

I just know now how to hone my perceptions and challenge my thoughts. A big aid to that was the book "the power of now" by eckhart Tolle, and quite a few Pema Chadron teachings. Most especially her book called "when things fall apart" she is who taught me joy despite circumstance.

Good reads, but slow reads that are also worth revisiting through the process because the lessons begin resonating deeper.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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 Oldwounds (original poster member #54486) posted at 6:16 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

I first thought stubbornness. Wanting to give up is a normal reaction to infidelity. For some, divorce really is the answer, but I am trying to frame this around personal experience and reconciliation.

I hadn’t really thought about being stubborn, but that was clearly a major factor. Looking back, I would say stubbornness was a part of the bridge in between the shock of discovery and healing enough to truly choose a path forward.

Although, I have to add curiosity to my first two years as a part of that time. I truly wanted to understand infidelity, I wanted to understand my wife’s motivations. I didn’t think I could move on without really trying to figure her perspective in that moment and time. I was definitely stubborn about getting my questions answered as well.

Then stubbornness did help when there were bad days or setbacks as we tried to put things back together. Or stubbornness becoming persistence, especially after choosing to stay.

The biggest lesson infidelity has taught me is if both people love themselves and make happiness their priority and individual responsibility, they will learn to negotiate win wins in the relationship. It becomes less about sacrifice and compromise and more about freedom and love. I wake up each morning knowing I choose to be where I am and honoring that choice with gratitude and action, in all things not just my marital relationship.

The above paragraph IS what M is supposed to be, IMHO.

Giving versus taking and we both were more about taking and whining about sacrifice pre-dday.

Our MC who had counseled couples for four decades, and a BS himself thought compromise was horrible for couples, because someone always loses.

So we don’t compromise ourselves or each other anymore, which is kind of cool.

Married 36+ 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

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 Oldwounds (original poster member #54486) posted at 7:26 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

I am not a religious woman, but I don’t think I would have gotten through all this without developing a strong relationship with spirituality. I believe that the teachings that have been passed down in most religions is that there is a divine source that we are here to become more like. And so we all have grace to give and unconditional love. What you are calling acceptance I call unconditional love.

Ah, unconditional love.

I agree.

I went with acceptance, as the whole discussion around the concept of love gets buried in the forums, since infidelity is understandably viewed here as the antithesis of love.

It’s the second most asked question I have answered over the years, can there be love, real love after the pain of an A?

I don’t know if I can have a relationship without it. No love, no dice!

As you noted, after infidelity, healthy self love is really the foundation, whether people R or D.

R started when I was happy with me, regardless of the outcome.

R truly began for my wife and I when we figured out we learned far too many lessons the hard way and it was time to be in a relationship worthy of both of us. We really had no earthly idea what love was.

We were both latch key kids, and really unstable lives as kids without much parental concern, much less love. That unhealthy family life is what drew us to each other (the exchange being, oh you think YOUR family was messed up, how about THIS brutal playback…).

Love wasn’t enough. Certainly love as we understood it wasn’t enough. Our connection wasn’t enough. The whole happily ever after mantra about M didn’t help us a bit. I’m not ever making excuses for infidelity, it’s simply the map of where we were before her choices.

Everyday now, where we are today, starts with appreciation for the other, with kindness and care. And we’re still very human experiencing the full range of emotions, we just have much better tools to handle the sad days or angry moments.

I can safely add unconditional love to my take on acceptance. For me the term unconditional is more about allowing myself to be all in, to be vulnerable, to be open about needs and wants and open to her needs and wants.

Of course there are conditions, or boundaries or limits, should one person find a way to hurt the other, emotionally or otherwise.

Sorry for so many posts but your has me thinking a lot. So, the one thing I missed saying on healing-

No apology needed, you’ve done a better job detailing the elements of R I skipped or glossed over!

SI has plenty of data of what goes wrong with an M, there aren’t enough discussions, IMHO, about what it takes to put an M back together.

So if I made it sound like I have reached personal nirvana, I certainly have not.

Welcome to the club! I would doubt any such claim, from you or any of our fellow humans.

The goal line keeps moving for all of us. I am of the mindset that nirvana isn’t the end game anyway, it’s a few amazing moments along the way. Nirvana is a handful of beautiful glimpses — where we find some peace, or accomplish an achievement or simply a quiet moment of reflection.

The same applies to relationships, there is no end game, no end zone to spike the ball. The work continues and that work is so much easier when two people are finally, really looking out for the best interest of the other.

Married 36+ 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

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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 8:22 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

Oh man, two of my fav’s going back and forth! Not quite a hikingout v emergent heavyweight battle, but awesome none the less. Can’t even begin to say how much you two have done for me. I’ll have to re-read this a few times to let it sink in.

A big aid to that was the book "the power of now" by eckhart Tolle, and quite a few Pema Chadron teachings. Most especially her book called "when things fall apart" she is who taught me joy despite circumstance.

In my Amazon cart now.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 9:49 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

For a WS, they often don't recommit to the M after dday because they are certain they can't be accepted, so they retreat.

My W says she always thought I'd take her back until, while she was deciding to end the A, she realized I might not. So one of her decisions was to heal herself whether I took her back or not. That was one of the indicators that said to me she was a good candidate for R.

At the same time, she never thought I could really take her back. Our MC - also her IC - told me W was afraid for a long time that I would leave. (W signed a release that allowed her IC to tell me anything from her IC sessions that her C thought I should know. Meanwhile, some of our MC was spent on assuring me that W was truly committed to R, because I was afraid she wasn't.

Shame was and is a major driver for/in my W. Bugs the hell out of me. I guess it's worse for her....

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.

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 10:06 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

I can safely add unconditional love to my take on acceptance. For me the term unconditional is more about allowing myself to be all in, to be vulnerable, to be open about needs and wants and open to her needs and wants.

Yes! This is a great way to describe it! I think there are few conditions that I wouldn’t accept from him and they would involve loyalty to me and our relationship. But I am all in too. I don’t feel I hold anything separate from him and I doubt I would ever be content or happy in that state. But getting to that place is still fairly new, and his affair was 4 years ago.

It wasn’t raw and terrible those four years, everything is a gradient. It was downright hell for many, many months. And then there was a crack where the light started to come in again, and it progressively got better over time.But I had been on the healing path for 3 years by the time I learned of his affair. I think it took about 2 years to say I was staying, then another year to fully align with that. So that’s a total of 6 years and we just finished year 7.

SI has plenty of data of what goes wrong with an M, there aren’t enough discussions, IMHO, about what it takes to put an M back together.

Totally agree. And this has been an interesting thread so far. I am sure we will see more great discussion flow in, and I am interested in hearing it.

Oh man, two of my fav’s going back and forth! Not quite a hikingout v emergent heavyweight battle, but awesome none the less. Can’t even begin to say how much you two have done for me. I’ll have to re-read this a few times to let it sink in.

Lol well, we all kind of went through this together. We all joined in a similar timeline. we all gave each other a lot to go on from my opposite side of the fence.

Those books are fantastic but both are very dense in nature. I read the first chapter of power of now and then took two months practicing just that far. He has a podcast too. They are both spiritual teachers, she was a nun and now a Buddhist. It’s good stuff!

[This message edited by hikingout at 10:09 PM, Saturday, June 8th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 2:45 AM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

If all you see in your spouse is the pain they caused you -- you will not accept them back into your heart. Be it fear, anger, sadness, or a combination of those things, acceptance doesn't have a chance. Neither does R.

I definitely agree with this. It pretty much describes how I felt from day one of finding out to the day I told her I wanted a divorce. Our reconciliation didn’t stand a chance no matter how much she wanted it. I give her props for her persistence. She never really gave up, but you can’t reconcile if your partner, like you said can’t accept. I couldn’t accept that it happened to me, I couldn’t accept that this was an aberration in a life that was otherwise conducted with honor and grace, and could never accept the fact that I could ever see her the same way again. I think that’s why your story hits home with me. I accept the fact you have a successful marriage, but really have no understanding of how. It’s just such a foreign idea to me.

We had the luxury of compatibility always being easy through our pre-a marriage so that aided us towards wanting to rebuild. That part was easiest for us to snap back into place so to speak

I think for me that this worked against me. We were so compatible, had been through so much, and were on the home stretch that I just couldn’t understand why this happened. I had friends that cheated on their wives, drank way too much, were financially irresponsible yet their wives didn’t cheat. If I could have pointed to one of those things or something similar it might have made acceptance easier. I eventually saw that is was a flaw in her character and what she did was a result of a MLC but it didn’t make acceptance better.

I will say I am in awe of posters like you guys who could see a bigger picture. Not in the cards for me.

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician

Divorced

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 Oldwounds (original poster member #54486) posted at 6:44 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

Hey Waited -

I accept the fact you have a successful marriage, but really have no understanding of how. It’s just such a foreign idea to me.

The first time I ever heard of the concept of R was part of a Google search eight years ago.

SI showed up as part of my query wondering if anyone ever reconciles.

What I mean is, the idea was foreign to me to.

Infidelity means the deal is broken, game over, moving on. That's the book I grew up with. My wife was certain that's who I was, and the big reason she kept her A secret for so long. The deal was broken, we just figured out a new deal.

On a side note of an older mindset, I found out (well after my own dday) that my grandfather cheated on my grandmother, and they stayed because they thought they had to. No one talked about that until after they passed on. Neither here nor there, but it explains their struggles to me when I was kid.

In other words, R was not on my radar. Or in my vocabulary.

The start of the "how" was learning a whole lot more about relationships and human behavior. I had to learn if my wife was a bad person who did bad things or a good person who did bad things.

My wife messed up as bad as any spouse can. Hell, she maybe broke some records. But she rose from that fall a much wiser and stronger person.

Turns out, people do change, they do learn, they can be better and do better.

I'm a better partner now, my wife is a better partner now.

My heart took a beating, and yet, my little family remains whole.

Hiking's points about grace (the undeserved chance) and stubbornness are likely the most important ingredients of the "how" for R.

Married 36+ 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

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Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 7:23 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

I’d like to add patience as an important ´how’ ingredient for R. It compliments stubbornness.

In our ongoing marriage, we try to be the best for one another that we can. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s not enough, sometimes awful. But we are in it together.


.

fBW. My heart is scarred.

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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 5:24 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

Hiking's points about grace (the undeserved chance) and stubbornness are likely the most important ingredients of the "how" for R.

I think for me the grace issue was the most problematic. I recognized like you that my EX was a good person that did a horrible thing. She was and is today a fundamentally good person. In a way that hurt the cause.

My teen daughters, like most were challenging and did many a stupid thing. But they were kids so finding grace wasn’t that difficult.

My EX however was a good person and knew in her core what she was doing was wrong. Yet she did it anyway. To me it didn’t matter how bad she felt about it. Those feelings should have come into play before she jumped into bed with him.

Old wounds, did you have any feelings of wanting payback? I just could never get over my need to even the score. Might be how I grew up, but I was taught if someone screws you, you screw them back harder. To know she got to do what she did, and then gets her marriage back like nothing never happened (I know this is a simplification as she did feel pain internally and I was not letting her off easy) but if in the end she ends up like your WS with a better marriage is something I just couldn’t jump too. I know it’s cutting my nose off in spite, but like I said people don’t get rewarded for bad behavior.

The fact that you and others can elevate yourself to where revenge isn’t a factor to me is amazing. I guess I have something to strive for.

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician

Divorced

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:08 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

Waited,

I think that you tried your best to give it time and space. I do not think that there is something wrong with you to want to even the score or not have grace to give.

My husband is a good man, I believed (just like he believed) he would never cheat. I suppose that part of him thought it might even the score, it didn’t.

I would argue that maybe you were raised with strong boundaries and that was instilled in you. Some people are more forgiving than others but it isn’t a shortcoming that you were not. You were patient enough to stay and try, and even that wasn’t owed.

It’s the risk of infidelity that you are going to lose your spouse. Your wife knew that and ignored it.

While it’s a tragedy that your family didn’t stay in tact in its original way, that doesn’t fall squarely on you for not having the grace to give. She gambled and lost, and she knows that I am sure.maybe you still try and forgive her or forgive yourself, I don’t know.

[This message edited by hikingout at 6:10 PM, Tuesday, June 11th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 6:19 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

"the power of now" by eckhart Tolle


Great book.

The one I suggested to JustSendIt is Stillness Speaks, which is the big ideas distilled. Read for 30 seconds, think for the rest of the day. Since I have it digitally, I can cut and paste another example…

"A dialogue:
Accept what is.

I truly cannot. I’m agitated and angry about this.

Then accept what is.

Accept that I’m agitated and angry? Accept that I cannot accept?

Yes. Bring acceptance into your nonacceptance. Bring surrender into your nonsurrender. Then see what happens."

Excerpt From
Stillness Speaks
Eckhart Tolle

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:29 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

House of plane,

Good stuff! Yes, it’s read a little practice a lot. But it helped me conquer so much! (Still does)

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7301   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839266
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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 8:32 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

My husband is a good man, I believed (just like he believed) he would never cheat. I suppose that part of him thought it might even the score, it didn’t.

That’s the crazy thing about infidelity. I have read enough of your posts to know that you are a thoughtful and fundamentally a good person. I don’t know enough about your husband, but take your word that he is the same. Yet you cheated on him, and he cheated back. Do you think had you not cheated that his boundaries would have been stronger?

Same with my EX. Good person, horrible actions. And me my response to her cheating was to become a person I never would have recognized prior to her affair.

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician

Divorced

posts: 2170   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2016
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 Oldwounds (original poster member #54486) posted at 10:34 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

Waited-

Old wounds, did you have any feelings of wanting payback?

In the shock and awe of discovery, I thought of everything.

AP and his wife, and kids — family friends. My first thought was violence toward the guy who pretended to be on my side. And I’m human, I certainly considered payback. I imagine a lot of BS have the thought at some point.

I know it’s cutting my nose off in spite, but like I said people don’t get rewarded for bad behavior.

I guess I don’t see my wife reaping in any sense of being rewarded.

In the few moments I can get her to share her current feelings, she still feels tremendous guilt for the pain she caused me.

It’s a unique life sentence for each of us. I am with the person who hurt me most and she’s the person responsible for that pain, living with that fact until the end of time.

For a WS with no conscious or the narcissists — both examples we’ve seen here at SI, then they never care about what they did.

We worked for the place we’re in now in a way that accepts the reality and focuses on what new memories we create.

The fact that you and others can elevate yourself to where revenge isn’t a factor to me is amazing. I guess I have something to strive for.

Interesting way to phrase it, but I don’t feel like I managed to elevate myself. I feel like a better way to describe my situation is extricate.

I freed myself from the past, the pain, etc.

I let it be where it belongs. Any payback for me likely would have doubled down on the pain already caused by my wife’s horrific choices.

You extricated yourself from your situation too, you just went a different way. Your choice was nearly mine, it was far closer than I may have explained over the years.

I just wanted to see what happened if I offered grace, offered one more shot — could life be better? If two people work their asses off, yes, yes it can.

Married 36+ 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: 4721   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 11:45 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

AP and his wife, and kids — family friends. My first thought was violence toward the guy who pretended to be on my side. And I’m human, I certainly considered payback. I imagine a lot of BS have the thought at some point.

You mention here the AP, and of course it wouldn’t have been violence, but did you have any feeling that your WW should experience some sort of payback or punishment?

I know the standard line from the WS is their burden is knowing how much they betrayed their principles and hurt their BS, but this to me is a slap on the wrist versus the horror of the BS finding out their WS had been having sex with someone else. In your case a family friend.

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician

Divorced

posts: 2170   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2016
id 8839320
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