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R-Looking back what would you have done differently?

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cds22 posted 6/5/2013 12:28 PM

So, tentatively, cautiously starting to think about R over here. We have our first MC session tomorrow night. I am feeling very guarded and my absolute limits on this are that if I find out that my H did not disclose more serious acting out behavior that occurred (H is porn addiction and acting out with strippers), if he ever acts out sexually again, and if he stops treatment I am 1000% done with the marriage.

So, on that cheery note, I am wondering what you all think worked well or didn't work well in trying to R. What would you have done differently? Can be big things or small everyday things that made a difference, one way or the other, to your R.

SisterMilkshake posted 6/5/2013 13:01 PM

I would have made him leave, at least for a couple of weeks. I would want to see if he was willing to fight for me or just slink away with his tail between his legs.

I would have demanded a timeline immediately, if I knew about timelines, didn't know until I joined SI 8 months after d-day.

The best things we did was to read "Not Just Friends", wish we knew about it sooner. Going to MC was good, but I wish we had a MC that had a better understanding of infidelity and how the BS is impacted.

eta: Going to Retrouvaille was another wonderful thing we did!

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 1:02 PM, June 5th (Wednesday)]

Undone1 posted 6/5/2013 13:31 PM

If I could do something differently, I would try to get all the information quickly. TT was end of Oct to end of Dec. and seemed to make things so much worse for me and for our marriage. I would also have gotten him to do a timeline earlier, however, he avoided the truth and your cannot force it out of them.

As SisterMilkshake said going to MC and IC are great. As much as you can, focus on taking care of yourself and do not worry about your spouse. They will either get with the program or not.

crazyblindsided posted 6/5/2013 13:39 PM

I would have kicked him out immediately on DDay.

Hrtbrken1 posted 6/5/2013 13:43 PM

I would have kicked him out as well. The TT for months just about killed me.

hardlessons posted 6/5/2013 13:44 PM

I would have recognized my pain and done something about it instead of letting it eat at me and fuel my stupidity.

rachelc posted 6/5/2013 13:49 PM

Would have filed for divorce after the 2nd dday and let him figure out what to do. Would have taken several months just to work on myself...

toomanyregrets posted 6/5/2013 13:52 PM

I wouldn't try to win her back.
I would let her win ME back.

pewpewpew posted 6/5/2013 13:55 PM

I too, would have made him leave.
I would have made it clear at our first MC, that its full disclosure this session or we file.
Put your botch boots on and do not take them off.
R is HARD. Make sure you are in charge. Also - make it crystal fucking clear what your boundaries are.
Good luck! :)

fooledbyapilot posted 6/5/2013 14:02 PM

I wish I had told him to stay away for a while. I was silly to think he would have gone immediate NC with OW. I sometimes feel that he is stayed with me for the kids. I would have rather him left me if that is/was the case. I will never know now because she has returned to Europe and he finally gave up on her. Well that is the way I feel anyways!!!!

atsenaotie posted 6/5/2013 14:09 PM

Hi cds22,

I am wondering what you all think worked well or didn't work well in trying to R.

I realized that it was not just R or D, there was a third option I call "not divorcing". In retrospect, FWW and I spent 2+ years after dday "not divorcing". She was getting to the point where she owned her crap and then was working on fixing it. I was working on me, getting to acceptance and healing. We spent some time seeing MC, but mostly her seeing IC.

For instance,

...if he ever acts out sexually again, and if he stops treatment
I am 1000% done with the marriage.

Rather than working on the M with the idea that if it happens again you are out, give him some time to prove he can control his porn addiction and acting out with stripper. Give yourself 6 - 9 months to work on you and watch him.

In my instance FWW had to do the work on her before she was able to participate fully in the M. She had to get her miss-perceptions realigned, she had to learn new and healthier coping mechanisms than the ones she had used since childhood that in part led to her As.

While you are working on your healing, your WH can work on his acting out and addiction. Then, when he and you are in a healthier space you can work on the M together.

From an earlier post of yours... treatment for addictive behavior related to the infidelity and per numerous therapists we can't even begin working on the marriage for a number of months until he is well into recovery.

Good advice.

[This message edited by atsenaotie at 2:12 PM, June 5th (Wednesday)]

TXBW68 posted 6/5/2013 14:20 PM

I wish I had found this site sooner. I spent the first 3 months doing all the wrong things. Even though we separated within just a few weeks of DDay 1, I spent the next few months trying to convince him he was making a mistake. Trying to get him to talk to me. To go to counseling. Anything to save our marriage.

It wasn't until he flew to her city after 3 months of separation - and I could tell by the change in his voice/attitude that he finally slept with her - that I found this site and went NC on him. THAT was the 2nd best thing I did. (First was the separation.) I got stronger and started to heal.

But during those first 3 months, I tried to hang on to him as much as possible. Which made me look like a helpless, whiny, basketcase - at least in my own eyes. Based on emails I found of his during that time period, he thought I was "crazy". Hot one minute. Cold the next. Yelling. Then hugging him.

Looking back, I would have changed my own behavior so that I wasn't acting like a lunatic. I like the strong version of me better.

LA44 posted 6/5/2013 14:28 PM

Done different:
Would have been more on top of the NC thing as I didn't think she would have the balls to contact him.

I would looked at emails/phone records sooner then I did.

Would have INSISTED on seeing a therapist (they were all on holiday apparently 3 weeks before Christmas!)

Best things:
We read After the Affair within the first 2-3 weeks.

Contrary to what others said, I allowed him to stay put but once the boys went to bed he either slept at his dad's or in the basement.

Let him know that IC was a MUST or he had to leave.

We talked and talked and talked. Every day. And we still are. Better every month.

Best wishes, cds22

[This message edited by LA44 at 2:36 PM, June 5th (Wednesday)]

ineedtoleave posted 6/5/2013 14:32 PM

(((Hand Up))) I would have left him.

sisoon posted 6/5/2013 14:48 PM

In the context of our horrible 'luck' to have to recover from an A, I've been very lucky - my W did the right stuff from the beginning (not that it was enough for me... ), and her IC is also an excellent MC.

The thing that still gets me from time to time is that the pain is much greater than I ever imagined. It just keeps coming and coming, and it's taken me a long time to accept that. I spent too much time and energy trying to suppress or ignore the pain, in the belief that the A couldn't possibly cause as much pain as I felt (and continue to feel, to some extent).

So A-#-1 thing not to do is to doubt or ignore the pain you feel.

I did 2 things that helped immensely.

First, I kept saying again and again that she had to come clean fully and as quickly as possible. I didn't sugar-coat anything - I said a revelation now might cause me to end our M, but revelations that come months down the line could definitely end our M.

I believe my emphasis on 'truth now' scared my W into answering honestly. As the months flowed on, I occasionally felt I was getting a new revelation, but my W could tell me when and what she said, and she was right - every 'new revelation' was just an aspect of something that I already was aware of but was thinking of in a new way.

The 2nd good thing I did was withhold commitment to R for 90 days, though longer would probably have been better. I used that time to think about being without her after 40-odd years. I didn't explicitly commit to R until after I knew in my guts I could make it on my own.

I also used the time to observe my W. She was committed to R from D-Day on, and her behavior showed it.

You may think the above makes me a strong, independent man. WRT my W, however, I'm a lot less independent than I sound - which means that setting those boundaries at the beginning, when my W was most vulnerable and scared of being kicked out, really helped our R.

[This message edited by sisoon at 2:52 PM, June 5th (Wednesday)]

IslandGirl18 posted 6/5/2013 14:54 PM

I would have left him.

Searchingforhope posted 6/5/2013 14:58 PM


In reading the others responses I see so many that wish they would have thrown out their WS.

I didn't throw out my FWS. In fact, I said to him, "If you leave, don't think that you can just come back when you want to. That front door is not a revolving door!"

For the FWH would always want to "leave me" when I was expressing anger about the A. He wanted to run from the pain of the whole mess.

My FWS doesn't like to face conflict. He used to drink but since he has been sober for 9 yrs, he doesn't have alcohol to ease his pains.

Since my dday, just over a year ago, I have said to my FWH in anger, "I wish you would have left! I wish the OW would have taken you!"

He says he considers that he dodged a bullet that he didn't go off with her..that it would have been the worst mistake of his life..etc..He says he is grateful that I handled him the way I did.

This is something that I have struggled with. I know at the time, I was worried that if he left our home, he may do something stupid, like contact OW.

I know I felt that I needed to protect him from himself. He was in such a self-destructive frame of mind.

So I guess, in response to your question..The sensible side of me thinks I did the right thing and kept him "safe" at home.

The emotional side of me wishes he could have experienced the horrible full consequence of his choice to have an A.

So complicated...

Good luck to us all.

outtanowhere posted 6/5/2013 15:38 PM

Good luck at MC tomorrow cds. I truly hope your picture becomes clearer for you. Mine is still completely blurred & am so scared of being sucker punched again, don't know if I can live with this aftermath.

Let us know how it goes. We are cheering for you!

libertyrocks posted 6/5/2013 16:53 PM

NOT married my H! Jk.

I don't want to think about it. Guess it's a Freudian slip. So be it.

But with R, realizing and accepting he wouldn't tell me everything until he was ready to do so. He was waiting for R as I was waiting for full disclosure.

[This message edited by libertyrocks at 4:55 PM, June 5th (Wednesday)]

cds22 posted 6/5/2013 16:54 PM

Thanks everyone.

I guess I should be clearer I am not 100% decided to R but I am thinking seriously about it. And if I do it, I want to do it right. :) I don't know that I can fully "commit" to any R because my buy-in is very contingent on his continued fervent efforts at recovery, remorse, and also eventually making amends.

Atsenoie, we have rec'd conflicting advice from the same therapists. In my H's first two months of treatment, they said not to pursue MC. Since then, H has launched himself into counseling and 12-step in a huge, daily way and been porn/strip bar sober since then. The other thing that happened was that things started to go nuclear in our household. The focus was 100% on the H, his recovery, it was like the 24 hour, 7 day a week SA Recovery Show in my house and it got hard for me to take. His IC and my IC both started rec'ing we start to see the MC. Their view was that the focus was still primarily on H's recovery but we would benefit from a space and some professional help to talk about how to cope at this early stage and to begin in a modest way the process of R. I believe H's IC also thought he seemed pretty stable. So I dunno what to make of it but our thinking is to go once per month at first mostly to keep our M on life support and then gradually start to work on some issues.

As for kicking him out for more sexual acting out, that is very firm with me. The health risk to me is way too high. I have two very small children, one still a toddler. I cannot take on any further risk of cancer or hiv and possibly dying on my kids. No way.

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