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Newest Member: Daughterofthemosthigh

Reconciliation :
When do you know you did the right thing?


 Webbit (original poster member #84517) posted at 9:27 AM on Monday, June 17th, 2024

When and how did you know you made the right decision in reconciling?

Lately (since my last IC session) I’ve been happy like really happy. I have only had a few ‘moments’ but when I do I calm down quickly. I don’t cringe when I talk about my ‘husband’ and I am wearing my engagement ring again (sometimes I feel sad when I look at it though). I also can now talk about the affair with friends without crying or being angry. It’s like I’ve just accepted that it happened and that this is my life now.

But am I just being naive in thinking he has changed enough by now or in thinking we can still have a changed but happy marriage again.

I know it’s still less than a year since D-Day and that there is still on-going work WH has to do but honestly I can’t fault him. He has really worked hard at this. I see the changes in himself that he promised me. I haven’t ever seen him try this hard at anything in his life.

But I still worry I’m a hopeless romantic and too forgiving and that this is all going to blow up in my face 🤷🏼‍♀️


posts: 84   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2024   ·   location: Australia
id 8839981

Ladybugmaam ( member #69881) posted at 11:43 AM on Monday, June 17th, 2024

It wasn’t a light bulb moment for me. I’m more than 5 years out now. I never made a specific commitment to stay. I made a commitment to "try". I clung to the 2-5 year recovery period, and said I would try for 3 years. If we couldn’t fix it by then, it was too broken. I do think it was the right decision to stay, but I also recognize now that it could end at any time.

I think that is part of acceptance. Being betrayed is living with the fact that it always could happen again. In contrast to pre-A, we’re both living in a different marriage. We’re both much more present for each other than we ever were. The fact that we were both willing to work so hard, has made a pretty good (though vulnerable) marriage that much better. A year out, I was still just trying to survive that hour or day. Trying for me then was doing whatever I had to do to get through the day. Trying for him was being trustworthy and supporting me. He did a million little things.

Hang in there. There are no guarantees.

EA DD 11/2018
PA DD 2/25/19
One teen son
I am a phoenix.

posts: 473   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2019
id 8839984

Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 2:59 PM on Monday, June 17th, 2024

I think it took me three years to rebuild me — to fully understand that my wife’s choices had nothing to do with who I am. Once I had my feet beneath me, and really knew I was going to be great with or without the relationship, that’s when I felt good about re-investing into the M.

Another five years later, I accept the facts of what happened and that I’ll never be okay with what happened.

I can also focus on who my wife is now, today with the changes she made.

If for whatever reason the relationship takes a bad turn, I still know I’ll be fine.

Self love seems to be the best healing for both BS and WS when moving forward.

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 8839992

emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 5:26 PM on Monday, June 17th, 2024

I think I knew within the first year that we were probably going to make it.

By "knew" I certainly don't mean to say that I was positive or free of doubt or anything like that. I had the same fears that it sounds like you do. My brain was certainly not naive enough to go there and abandon my back up plans or escape hatches or anything (and I still was doing regular checks/investigations that my husband was not living some double life), but like, most of the time I could see that the path we were on was the right one and it was leading us to a good place. I obviously had despondent moments and triggers, but large scale, all of it felt possible and little bits of trust were starting to be built back.

I do not say this as someone who has ever been described as a "hopeless romantic" and never actually set out to "forgive".

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2167   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8839998

hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:09 PM on Monday, June 17th, 2024

Everyone’s path is different.

If you are feeling better right now, enjoy it. Always remember grief is not linear and neither is any kind of healing. You will revisit things as they come up. You will continue to watch his consistency for a long time.

Here is how I would answer your question:

Only worry about the now. Just because you are content with whatever is happening doesn’t mean that you have to be consistent in that stance from now on. When do you know you did the right thing is about the present. In. The future you can choose differently on a different set of data points.

I think a lot of times bs want to say Okay I feel like we re reconciled, but know that doesn’t mean you can never get a divorce or change your mind. If you feel good, it’s a great indicator you are doing the right things for yourself in the present.

At some point, you will stop asking yourself these things because it will just be normal marriage. Before now, don’t pressure yourself to feel any decision or feeling has to be permanent.

All that said, it sounds like things re going in the right direction! Glad to hear that!!!

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:54 PM, Monday, June 17th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7301   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8840002

Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 6:44 PM on Monday, June 17th, 2024

The first year for me, it was one day at a time. I was thinking that I would kick him out of my life instantly if he took up his heavy drinking. I did trust that he cut all ties with his AP.

Over more time our marriage gradually worked itself to what I consider as a good marriage. In the sense that we both made the decision to stick with one another and do our best. Despite all his past lies and addictions and insecurities with himself.

I have to say though that the COVID restrictions of 2020-2022 in our part of the country, really helped me overcome my fear of him reconnecting with his AP. He never did and said he no intentions of ever doing so. I questioned him a lot during the first two years. And my trust kept building.

We are into our sixth year. I remain vigilant for any signs that things are going south for me.
I celebrate the times went things are just great.

With confidence I can say today, that many moments in my life are enjoyable and any fBS who feels that way ought to celebrate these moments.

I’m glad for you.

fBW. My heart is scarred.

posts: 372   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2020
id 8840007

This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 7:05 PM on Monday, June 17th, 2024

I don't know. Being ok with not knowing, I think is part of R.

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

posts: 2672   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8840010

HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 3:26 AM on Tuesday, June 18th, 2024

I think you are asking, "when did you know that it worked out?"

It is subtle, but this is different from knowing if you made the right decision. The reason why, is that you should always evaluate the quality of a decision based on what was known at the time you made the decision. Did you use the facts at hand, and did you follow your preference?

Thinking of it in this way, gives yourself grace if things don’t turn out great. You did the best you could at the time you had to make a decision. At that point, let the chips fall where they may. There are too many things that you don’t control.

As far as when do, you know that it worked out, I agree with This0is0Fine. Just accept that you don’t know. Go with the flow, one day at a time.

[This message edited by HouseOfPlane at 3:27 AM, Tuesday, June 18th]

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

posts: 3252   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8840061

AdLarue17 ( new member #84917) posted at 2:51 PM on Tuesday, June 18th, 2024

I’m struggling with this too. Sometimes I feel really good and I think wow, we are working so hard and our marriage is getting so much better. Like we are really growing together. And then I’ll think of the A and the burn in my chest is almost unbearable. How long does that searing pain last? Hopefully not forever right?

posts: 17   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: Virginia
id 8840079

Painful23 ( new member #84708) posted at 5:05 PM on Tuesday, June 18th, 2024

AdLarue17. I feel the exact same way. I have days I have pit in my stomach all day. Other times I am optimistic. I am tired and sad too often. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Keep telling yourself that you are brave and strong. I hope one day I will believe my own words.

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

posts: 19   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New York
id 8840085

AdLarue17 ( new member #84917) posted at 11:44 PM on Tuesday, June 18th, 2024

Painful23 I literally said that this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done just the other day. It’s even harder than when my dad died which sounds awful.

posts: 17   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: Virginia
id 8840099

 Webbit (original poster member #84517) posted at 7:45 AM on Wednesday, June 19th, 2024

Thanks everyone.

I’m such a life planner and after all this I realise that life just doesn’t work like that!!! Taking it day by day is now the new norm even though I guess I do struggle without the certainty I used to feel.

I’ve definitely reached the acceptance stage. But some days I still just want to scream ‘WTAF were you thinking’ 🤦🏽‍♀️

I think my marriage will be fine, heck it might even be great but it will always be marred from this. I will never forget annd I won’t ever let him either. And that’s just what my life and marriage is now.


posts: 84   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2024   ·   location: Australia
id 8840116

josiep ( member #58593) posted at 1:00 PM on Wednesday, June 19th, 2024


[This message edited by josiep at 2:16 PM, Thursday, June 20th]

BW, was 67; now 74; M 45 yrs., T 49 yrs.DDay#1, 1982; DDay#2, May, 2017. D July, 2017

posts: 3237   ·   registered: May. 5th, 2017
id 8840119

josiep ( member #58593) posted at 3:40 PM on Wednesday, June 19th, 2024

My opinion is, you’ll never know for sure. If someone had asked me 8 years ago what my proudest achievement in life was, I’d have said "saving my marriage." It was a lot of work but it seemed so worth it. We were the Golden couple, our relatives admired us, our friends commented all the time about the perfect couple we were, our kids thought we were the cats meow, and their friends would express the wish that their parents were more like us.

33 yrs. Later, If someone asked me what was the worst mistake I ever made in life, I would say it was saving my marriage.

I wish I had more encouraging words for you. Not that it’s impossible to reconcile, I don’t mean that. But what I do mean is, you’ll never know for sure if it’s the right decision.

So two more thoughts. First, divorcing now doesn’t prohibit the possibility of getting back together in the future. I know three couples who were divorced for several years and ended up remarrying. Secondly if you decide to stay, my biggest advice would be to protect yourself financially. If I had done that, I might not regret my decision as much as I do.

BW, was 67; now 74; M 45 yrs., T 49 yrs.DDay#1, 1982; DDay#2, May, 2017. D July, 2017

posts: 3237   ·   registered: May. 5th, 2017
id 8840125

crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 8:45 PM on Wednesday, June 19th, 2024

My opinion is, you’ll never know for sure.

Have to agree with the above. R is a lifelong process after an A. While for some the marriage 2.0 might be better or is better and others think they have R'd only to discover their WS has done it again or the WS is never remorseful and it becomes a marriage of convenience.

Like josiep my biggest mistake was trying to save my M.

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

posts: 8834   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8840138

Fof9303 ( member #70433) posted at 3:07 AM on Thursday, June 20th, 2024

I am so happy for you that you have found peace and happiness :) Don't overthink it. You are both doing great, and probably better than some marriages that did not even have infidelity affect them. You are both putting in the work and making improvements. Rejoice :)

posts: 181   ·   registered: Apr. 27th, 2019
id 8840164
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