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Newest Member: Daughterofthemosthigh

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

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 11:54 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

Waited,

I don’t know the answer to your question. I definitely think had he not been in so much pain he may not have coped this way. I can take accountability for his pain but not his actions.

By the time I found out we were three years out and we had done a lot of work and things seemed better. It didn’t really seem like he was still in so much pain. He had been hiding that from me too. Even though I was still bringing up the affair, he just didn’t engage me on it enough for me to understand where he was at.

I think I am a good person, and have been for most of my life. But I don’t think we are all good or all bad. We all make decisions in life we wish we could take back. In general most people have hurt someone either through intentional or non intentional actions. My mom traumatized me in so many ways, yet her intentions were all to raise me right.

You are a good person too, and what you describe of some of your treatment of your wife sounded borderline verbally abusive/ neglectful by your own words. I am not saying that to shame you in any way, I think you regret a lot of that. You did it out of so much pain. That’s how I see what I did and what my husband did. And when you look at it that way there is some compassion to be found between us.

The key is making sure that’s never the reaction to pain again because life gets painful more than once. It’s two people who have made a lot of amends with one another and have built skills to deal with their mental well-being separately and within the marriage.

Life is just different now. We ask for what we want and we provide it to the other. I recently went back to work and now that we are not together every day, I asked him to help keep up the dishes and to give me more affection. (We have both been engrossed in getting our life built back in after the trip I missed our closeness). And every day since then he hasn’t missed a beat. He added picking up my prescription without me even asking him to (this has never happened, maybe after the birth of a child), and doing some projects I had planned to do. Last night, as we got in bed I said "honey I want you to know I have noticed you have been doing exactly as I have asked and I appreciate it so much. It’s so nice to have someone who cares about what you want and need"

The old days I would have said "you never hug me anymore and you don’t help me in the house!" And I would catastrophize it into "you don’t love me!" And this would be after never once mentioning anything was bothering me. Or if he did something, I would be thinking "it’s about time you did something around here". While I quickly said "oh okay thanks".

Appreciation I think fed some of that grace as I have sat here reflecting and trying to explain it to you.

[This message edited by hikingout at 6:03 PM, Wednesday, June 12th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7301   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839323
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 Oldwounds (original poster member #54486) posted at 2:45 AM on Wednesday, June 12th, 2024

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?

From the jump, I knew there was no punishment that would magically make me feel better. Even if I lowered my own standards and had an RA, I wouldn’t have felt better be it as a payback or punishment.

I can say the early days of R, I said some things that didn’t help, that I am not proud of — I imagine some of those things I said were a form of punishment. We can all be cruel at times.

But again, there is no way for her to balance the scales.

Infidelity is inherently unjust.

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 don’t see it as a "standard line" — I live with someone who is truly horrified at the horror she caused me. She is haunted by her choices, that’s not exactly heaven on earth.

Offering grace, a shot a redemption has been transformative for me and her. She didn’t expect or demand grace, she’s grateful for it.

After the destruction, the reset to ground zero after the A, it was really no additional cost to me to offer the gift of R. If we worked through like we did, it’s a good thing, if she couldn’t be better and do better, I walk and start over — which would also be a good thing.

No more oaths or promises, we simply choose each other every single day.

It’s a vastly different M. It includes the good, bad and the very real horrors (of the past).

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.
id 8839346
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:50 AM on Wednesday, June 12th, 2024

I don’t see it as a "standard line" — I live with someone who is truly horrified at the horror she caused me. She is haunted by her choices, that’s not exactly heaven on earth.

I don’t see it as one either. Part of the reason I still hang out here os because of that being haunted that he is talking about. It’s difficult to know how I lived the first half of my life so wrong while also looking like I was doing it right from the outside. And then what I put my husband through for absolutely no good reason. And the years of hell when we could have been happy. And the rigors of acceptance and failure and tears and frustrations. All for what? A couple of months having some old guy tell me I am pretty when he just wanted to get in my pants?

I prided myself in my marriage and what kind of wife I wanted to be. This wasn’t it. Not by a long shot. I have disappointed myself beyond description.

I have crawled out of that hole to the extent I ever will, but that haunted thing that he is talking about, that’s always going to be there. I can be happy and accept myself, but it left a scar on us both. Total shame because he is the love of my life. We are inching towards 3 decades of being together now. That’s 25 percent of our marriage spent mending what I broke in two months. It’s something like 10 percent of my life span.

I truly believe we see it as a shared loss.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7301   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839352
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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 10:21 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

After reading my post, I apologize for the using the term "standard line". Way too heavy handed and not respectful of those WS who do feel badly for the pain they have caused. My point is that even if they feel badly, in my opinion, it doesn’t come close to the pain most BS feels when they find out their partners have committed infidelity. I could have stated it better as Old Wounds did in acknowledging that the scales will never be balanced.

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

Divorced

posts: 2170   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2016
id 8839561
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 1:06 AM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

Oh, I didn’t feel disrespected.

Honestly I have been here talking about this for so long there is rarely a perspective I can’t find value in. You are not an antagonistic poster though, not by a long shot. We have had a lot of good conversations over the years and I have learned many things from you. So never feel like you have to apologize. I respond a lot of times just kind of openly to anyone who might want to read it. I just kind of tailor it to the prompts that are inspiring me to think more deeply about. I think I have intentionally journaled here because it inspires more things to think about and weigh than if I just wrote it in a notebook.

All this to say never take my long windedness to be a defensive mode. It’s more if you have said something that makes me want to explore the thought through writing you might get a long explanation. I believe sir, you have received many laugh

[This message edited by hikingout at 1:06 AM, Friday, June 14th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7301   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839581
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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 1:42 AM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

Thanks for the kind words hiking. I actually wasn’t responding to what you or old wounds replied, but rather responding to myself upon introspection and reading my words. I could have said the same thing, but the "standard line" put my comment into a different realm. Wasn’t needed to make my point. I know many of my views are off putting to some, but I try to be tactful and this wasn’t.

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

Divorced

posts: 2170   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2016
id 8839585
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:07 AM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

I don’t know, I think that it could be a standard line from many ws. I do not really consider myself a ws anymore. I mean I do in this site because we kind of self identify that way. But I haven’t been wayward in a long time so I do not feel sensitive enough about it to feel it was not tactful. You have to live by your own standards though nothing wrong with self reflection and correction.

I will say it’s far more tactful than many other things I have read on here laugh

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7301   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839595
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woundedbear ( member #52257) posted at 4:08 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

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.


I think this statement is very much in line with what I have seen from many. And the above discussion delves deeper into that outcome. But I think that "slap on the wrist" sentiment evolves over time. And it does not describe how the WS feels after time. In the beginning, after discovery, there is no comparison of the pain that is involved in betrayal and being a BS. The A happened to the BS without their participation and permission. The pain is excruciating. Over time, with a healthy R, the pain of the BS turns into well earned scars. Those scars remind us of the trauma. But a fWS, if they get healthy, cannot rely on the justifications and mental gymnastics they went through to get to the place where they would justify an A. After all that falls away, they are left with the aftermath of all the crap they did and how it affected everyone in their orbit. And they were responsible for that. In my own fWW, I have found that to be almost crippling sometimes.

She took what was otherwise a great marriage, decided it was not enough for her, and crumpled it up and tossed it to the ground. Only to find out it was really what she wanted. Both of us have to live with that, but she knows she is the one that screwed it up. In addition, instead of feeling those romantic fantasies of her A, she is left with a feeling of being used, and the guilt of using someone else. And being so foolish to think it was "cool". She has to live with the fact that she did it. And it is way worse than a slap on the wrist. I had to get past being a victim, and extricate myself from the pain. It took time, but I am much better. I can look at our marriage and know I did the right things, I did not break my vows. She cannot, and she knows no matter how much she makes amends, she will always be the reason....

Me BS (57)FWW (57)DDay 3/10/2015 Married 34 years, together 38 2 kids, both grown

posts: 274   ·   registered: Mar. 14th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8839715
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