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Newest Member: Daughterofthemosthigh

Reconciliation :
Someone please explain

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 Painful23 (original poster new member #84708) posted at 3:35 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

I still don’t get it. He keeps telling me that he never stopped loving me and that he never wanted to leave me. Was he loving me when he was in a hotel room with her, was he loving me when he was plotting how to take her on a little vacation, was he loving me when he was buying her jewelry on our sons birthday??? I get that he was a cake eater of course he never wanted to leave me. I was busy working to help fund this double life.
I get that he had poor self esteem and this was ego driven. But the resentment is so strong in me.
He has been doing everything right since the full truth was given to me 6 months ago. Totally transparent, no contact, lets me track everything. IC and MC but I still feel sick to my stomach everyday.
I think what i need to know is what does he really think love is???? Maybe I am not sure anymore.

I am strong, I am smart, I am brave, I am worthy

posts: 19   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New York
id 8839002
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:56 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

I am sorry, the pain and confusion is so strong early into this.

Your question is 100 percent valid. Most ws do not have a good perception of love. It’s more than fond feelings, it’s considering the other person like you would yourself. It’s protecting them and being loyal to them, and actively loving them.

You are right to feel he hasn’t given you those things.

Can he give these things in the future? It is possible. Part of our work as ws is to redefine some of the character flaws that made having an affair possible. I believe the view on love is always one of them.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7301   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839005
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 Painful23 (original poster new member #84708) posted at 4:08 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

I think there was an inherent selfishness that he was brought up with. His Dad is a selfish self centered person and even though my WH tried to not be like his dad with our children, he was obviously more like his Dad than he or I realized.
He says that I am his priority for the rest of his life and he tells me that every day. I see the remorse and sadness in his eyes. I really hope he can learn and figure out true love.
Thank you for your insight

I am strong, I am smart, I am brave, I am worthy

posts: 19   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New York
id 8839007
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Groot1988 ( member #84337) posted at 6:47 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

Painful.

Your H and my H sound very very similar, before and after the affair.

We are both finding out that he didn’t know what love was at all , he didn’t love the kids, me , or even himself the way he should have and he sure of the hell never loved his AP, it is a very hard reality to face.

I broke down last night and asked him how he would have felt if his last 11 years had been a lie. It is so very freaking traumatic, he sees it now, he sees that he never had a good role model for love and he never tried to learn.

Every day I wake up I have to face my new reality and realize the past 11 years he wasn’t who I thought he was but I think it’s harder on him. Some days looking in the mirror he feels sick. I would hate to be him knowing what he was capable of.

My H was a cake eater too, when I asked him why he just didn’t leave the kids and I, he didn’t have a good answer. It wasn’t because he loved us I think it was comfort , I think he wanted to love us but he just wasn’t capable.

He blamed the kids and I for anything and everything wrong in his life because he couldn’t accept his bad decisions , his shitty job, his failures were on him, oh boy he sees it now.

I’ve learned I have to accept that I can’t change the past, all I can do is look to the future and see what he’s changing to be a good husband and dad , I know I need to but I’m not there.

[This message edited by Groot1988 at 6:49 PM, Sunday, June 9th]

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

posts: 347   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2024   ·   location: Darker side of gray
id 8839026
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 Painful23 (original poster new member #84708) posted at 9:32 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

Yes Groot1988
Except he didn’t blame the kids or really me for any of it. The only thing he said about me was that he was "undersexed". I let him know that was because he didn’t want to have sex with me. I was the one who was undersexed. He realizes that this is about him and his problems. Family of origin is so important when you are a child and learning what healthy loving relationships are. And how a spouse should treat their partner. Lots of work ahead. At least I am seeing improvement. I am trying to be hopeful but boy it is hard. I know you understand.

I am strong, I am smart, I am brave, I am worthy

posts: 19   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New York
id 8839043
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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 1:01 AM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

Painfull,

My WW told me the same thing. Honestly i think it’s bullshit. She would tell me how much she loved me and how I was the only one, on her way home from having sex with AP. She even tells me now she never stopped loving me. I don’t believe her. I don’t think she is lying to me, but I don’t think she understands what love actually is. What I believe is that she used how I feel about her to love herself, though she didn’t at all. Impossible for any of us to make someone actually be happy with who they are. Probably same as your WH. Seems to be very common. with cheating. I think pre and during the A my WW equated love to how the other person makes her feel about herself.

So no, I don’t think she loved me because her actions prove otherwise. I believe she believes this falsehood because her version of love is warped.

Also, and most importantly, I don’t care if she loved me or not during the affair. She had an affair, i really don’t care what she felt about me during it. Even if it was true that she loved me, it didn’t matter and didn’t stop her.

I recommend you finding a way to get to that place as well. It’s a pointless place to be because your WH was cheating on you. Proclamation of love is moot. What matters is in R is he changing the way he views himself and what love is.

Me mid 40s BH
Her 40s STBX WW
3 year EA 1 year PA.
DDAY 1 Feb 2022. DDAY 2 Jun 2022. DDAY 3/4/5/6/7 July 2024
Nothing but abuse and lies and abuse false R for three years. Divorcing and never looking back.

posts: 488   ·   registered: Jun. 26th, 2023   ·   location: U.S.
id 8839066
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 1:37 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

My WW claims she loved me throughout her LTA.

Her words and deeds then were decidedly unloving. She treated me with contempt and hatred.

I think it’s part of the self deception and cognitive dissonance that goes along with affairs.

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 346   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8839090
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Tobster1911 ( new member #81191) posted at 8:10 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

This sums up my feelings exactly.

Also, and most importantly, I don’t care if she loved me or not during the affair. She had an affair, i really don’t care what she felt about me during it. Even if it was true that she loved me, it didn’t matter and didn’t stop her.

If that is love then I don’t want it. I used to believe love from someone else mattered. I don’t anymore. Love and commitment only matters from my side, I can’t depend on it from anyone else…

BH(45), married 16yrs, DDay1 Feb 2022, DDay2 Apr 2022, 2EA + 4PA over 6+ yrs.

Glimmers of hope for change

posts: 34   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2022   ·   location: CO
id 8839163
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woundedbear ( member #52257) posted at 9:27 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

I believe my fWW loved me even when she was in the throws of the PA and EAs. Her version of love, not mine.

What I have learned is that her version of love was more dependency than love. She depended on my stability and maturity to ensure that she had a great home and reasonably successful kids. She needed me to take care of her. In her way that was what she thought love was in a marriage. But she also wanted the feelings of infatuation that you get when you are a high school kid and all you are doing is dating or hooking up. We had that once too when we were first together. She wanted the high of a new relationship, and to feel sexy.

While I thought our marriage (25 years then) had evolved into mature love, she did not understand what that was. Her FOO issues and constant depression had her looking for "a fix" now and again to help her feel "alive". I don't believe she even had the language to understand mature love like I did. With time, IC and a lot of learning, she gets it now. And she is grateful for what she has. She even feels like a kid again when we go out on dates, or for a weekend getaway.

The APs were never going to replace me. She knew they could not. That was not what she was looking for. She wanted to play fantasy and get feelings that are hard to replicate in real life. To say she was immature at least in relationships is likely an understatement. She has grown a ton. And she is much more healthy and happy now.

So was my fWW in love with me when she was acting out? Hard to say, it certainly was not loving. Here is where I am going to bust on the fairytale of Disney and romance novels; mature love does not "make you happy". (You can find happiness and sometimes bliss in a mature marriage) Many immature women and men, expect the relationship, or partner to make them happy. It is a false premise. The only thing that can make you happy is yourself. They will never find that in a fairytale or A.

Here is the worst part. If they would have put half the energy they put into their As, they could have found much of what they were looking for in their own marriages. That is what R is. Putting the energy into the marriage, and fixing themselves.

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 8839176
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 Painful23 (original poster new member #84708) posted at 9:42 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

Wounded Bear I can so related to what you wrote. I am hoping that my WH can grow and realize what real mature love is.

I am strong, I am smart, I am brave, I am worthy

posts: 19   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New York
id 8839178
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woundedbear ( member #52257) posted at 3:37 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

Painful23, I am glad it was helpful.

It has been a long journey to get here. There were a lot of setbacks and not so pleasant experiences along the way. First my fWW needed to get to her why's and get treated for chronic depression. Then she had to learn a whole new language of emotion, and love. It turns out, that while she had parents who loved her and took care of her physical needs, they were emotionally ignorant. She grew up in a home that was mostly void of emotions, and a mom that would not rock the boat. A dad that had been abandoned as a kid and was very distant. Don't get me wrong, they did the best they could with what they had. The challenge is they did not have much when it came to emotional or relational intelligence.

My fWW was essentially emotionally neglected. That is her why. Is it an excuse for acting out? Nope. She still knew it was wrong, so she has to own that. But it gave us a starting point to address the hole in her that she was trying to fill. It gave her and her IC a place to start working from. Nine years from D-day, she is a much stronger and more grounded person. She is honestly a great spouse. We ride to and from work together most days, we travel and camp and hang out. We are great friends. She is honest, and has learned to express her emotions, and she is grateful for her life. I worked hard in all this to make sure we were equally yoked in all this. I did not want our marriage to continue to be me as the caretaker (parent) and her the co-dependent. She had to step up and be an equal member of the team.

The biggest challenge in all this was the fact that I needed to work on my trauma while I helped a broken wife find her way to healing. It took a ton of work. But it was worth it.

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 8839241
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BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 12:37 PM on Wednesday, June 12th, 2024

Everyone is hitting the nail on the head with responses.

Affairs are a flashing neon sign for the wayward's self-absorption.

I think that many waywards are being honest in saying they loved their spouses throughout the affair; mine said this and I think he believed/believes this.

But it really made me question how he defined and experienced feeling love for me. It made me think that his version of love had more to do with how being with me made him feel good about himself and less about altruistic love where the focus is giving and even some sacrifice for the person you love. We had some good conversations about this years 1-2 post Dday.

IMO, if you R, that definitely becomes part of the wayward spouse's work: how to ensure their version of love isn't self-focused, but rather focused on the person they love. Ongoing acts of selflessness--big and small--are also important to show change.

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

posts: 508   ·   registered: Oct. 31st, 2020
id 8839377
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sparkyrn ( new member #84938) posted at 8:40 PM on Wednesday, June 12th, 2024

I am new to this forum, but my immediate thought is, does he know what love is? I am getting same message here, very early into this. DD was 5/21/24.
The other thing that stands out to me is that very clearly you know what love is and is not!

Be strong and stay positive.

Sparkyrn

posts: 1   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2024   ·   location: Florida
id 8839421
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 Painful23 (original poster new member #84708) posted at 8:45 PM on Wednesday, June 12th, 2024

Thank you Sparkyrn. Reading everything on SI has helped me to stay strong even when it is a struggle. I hope you can stay strong also.

I am strong, I am smart, I am brave, I am worthy

posts: 19   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New York
id 8839422
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 Painful23 (original poster new member #84708) posted at 9:06 PM on Wednesday, June 12th, 2024

I just saw this quote I liked.

She wants to be loved with an honest tongue, devoted heart and exclusive eyes.

This is what all of us BS want.

I am strong, I am smart, I am brave, I am worthy

posts: 19   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New York
id 8839425
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5Decades ( member #83504) posted at 10:05 PM on Friday, June 21st, 2024

I told my WH that there is no way he loved me.

And the evidence is that none of my pain mattered at all. It wasn’t until HE felt pain that suddenly things became important. That’s because HIS NEEDS AND HIS FEELINGS are the only things that mattered - and not one thought was given to mine at all.

If you love someone, their needs and feelings matter most of all.

He loves himself, not me.

5Decades BW 68 WH 73 Married since 1975

posts: 149   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2023   ·   location: USA
id 8840449
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OnTheOtherSideOfHell ( member #82983) posted at 11:48 PM on Friday, June 21st, 2024

The word love means so many different things. I do believe people can feel love yet behave as if they don’t. My kids have acted terribly to me and like brats at times, but I do believe they always loved me. They weren’t yet emotionally mature. I think my husband always felt love for me, but his actions were selfish and all about him. I don’t think he was actively trying to hurt me nor did his dumbass think he was as long as I didn’t know. 🙄Anyone capable of cheating is mentally F’ed up. So, the question is in what ways did he "love" you and is that enough or can he learn to love to your standards? I am not a cheater, but I absolutely have hurt those I’ve loved before. To be honest, through my husband’s cheating years ( yes years) I wasn’t in love with him, but I loved him. And I didn’t stay faithful for him or his feelings, I stayed faithful for me and lack of desire to cheat. I think he "loved" me as much as I loved him at the time. Now he gets to live with the shame of betraying me, his family, and himself. I will never carry such shame and I am proud of that.

posts: 205   ·   registered: Feb. 28th, 2023   ·   location: SW USA
id 8840457
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standinghere ( member #34689) posted at 1:22 AM on Saturday, June 22nd, 2024

I agree with a lot that has been said above.

I think some people, like my FWS, have such FOO issues that love, betrayal, deceit, secrecy, etc, all go hand in hand. Every single one of her family members from her FOO, including her, cheated on their spouses, or other partners, multiple times. My FWS only had one affair in our relationship, but it was far from the first time she had cheated, which I learned in MC.

I, on the other hand, never had.

She loathed cheaters.

But, as the years went by, her siblings, all eventually divorced because of infidelity, at least in part, continued to have partner after partner, I think at some level she felt like she was missing out. She began to take some of her childhood resentments out on me and blame me for her unhappiness. An opportunity arose, she went for it, and was heedless of the consequences.

FBH - Me - Betrayal in late 30's (now much older)
FWS - Her - Affair in late 30's (now much older )
4 Children
Her - Love of my life...still is.
Reconciled BUT!

posts: 1655   ·   registered: Jan. 31st, 2012   ·   location: USA
id 8840472
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