5 years ago today, I finally found my proof. After months of feeling like I was loosing my mind, and being treated like a second class citizen, I finally got my proof. I must have approached 100 times since March of that year. I knew he was unhappy, I knew things were off, I knew in my GUT, that something was up.
It was difficult for me to get my proof. My H had routinely kept his phone password protected for work, and it didn't bother me because I knew he didn't have anything to hide. Until he did. Unfortunately for me, I had never asked for the password, so I had no clue, and couldn't ever get his phone to mess with it because he kept it on his person while awake, and charging on his night stand while sleeping.
But really that's neither here nor there. My H had his A, and it went on for a while. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason, so I'm not gonna coulda woulda shoulda'd my way through this.
Here are some things that I want to say, and share as a veteran.
First of all for any BS out there, know that no matter what your WS says, or does, their choice to cheat has absolutely NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING to do with you. It's not because you were a good/bad partner, that you were too mean/nice, too fat/thin, or any other reason you may think or they have told you the reason for cheating. KNOW and BELIEVE they the WS chose this path because they are broken, have poor boundaries, and felt they were getting something they needed from that AP that they couldn't find in themselves, in their M or in other place in their lives. This feeling, of whatever it is they are getting it temporary, and not real. It is an allusion that happens when the perfect storm is created.
Now if you have a truly remorseful spouse R is possible, and not only is it possible, but you have an opportunity to grow as a couple, and become better, stronger, and happier.
YES REALLY!!!! If you are new to this, or even a year into it, it may seem that I am completely out of my mind to say it and believe it. However it is possible. The recipe for successful R, is long and complicated, and requires tweaking along the way. The essential ingredients.
1. One REMORSEFUL WS (not regretful, that will only lead to a ruined attempt, with more pain for the BS.
2, One BS who has started to find themselves again, and gain their inner strength to the point of being able to share their needs, and feelings, and more importantly being able to call bullshit on the WS when they start to fall back into old habits.
3. Hard Work. This work MUST be done by both the WS, and the BS. For a relationship to R. A BS has to again tell the WS what they need. NEVER assuming the WS has an understanding of the BS's thoughts and needs. The WS absolutely HAS to do the work of figuring out their why's. I mean the REAL why's. Not the I didn't feel important/loved/needed. But I needed to feel important/loved/needed because I was unhappy with myself. WHATEVER THEIR reason WHY has to come back to them. They have to figure out what's broken about themselves, and the go about the work of fixing it. As a BS it's your job to tell them when they are off base, when they say things like You didn't need me, that's why, or we didn't have enough sex, or whatever other crazy thing they come up with. It's your job to push them to introspect.
4. The most hated ingredient, TIME. You have to give it time, this won't be fixed in a week, a month, or even a year. IT TAKES TIME. There will be times along the way where you will absolutely KNOW you are going to make it, and times where you will doubt it, and they will interchange sometimes so quickly you will doubt your own sanity. THAT's OK It's all part of the process, and healing of the wound.
5. Acceptance - Learning to know this has happened. There is nothing you can do to change it now. This will shape who you are, who your spouse is, and what your relationship is from this point forward. That does not make it bad thing, a good thing, or any other thing. It just is. With acceptance comes the realization that YOU as the BS couldn't have done anything to prevent it, and as the WS it was something had they stopped, and looked long and hard at themselves, like they do now on a daily basis that they may have been able to prevent, but accepting that they didn't have the tools, or self awareness to it at that point in their life.
6. Love - Yes love. You have to love each other, and yourself. For it to work, for the WS this can come slowly. Many hate themselves for what they have done, and learing that they have worth, and are worthy of a happy life again takes time, also takes acceptance, time, and changing themselves.
For the BS the self esteem takes a huge hit intially, and if codependent behaviors exist can take a long time to realize that loving yourself, and putting your needs first is acceptable.
I am not saying our R was without it's bumps, and difficulties, because it had them. However I can say that for the most part our M today is better than it was pre A. My H treats me much better, and respects me oh so much more. Through the hectic pace of life, with teens, work, home business, and everything else, I am happy that I have H as my partner through it all. But I can honestly say had he not done the hard work, I would have been able to do it on my own, and would have been just as happy, because I would have given myself the respect and love I deserve.
(((((and strength to all )))))
Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose
Me forgiving him wasn't a big deal for him, not a hugely spiritual man, I think he felt his gift was given to him, when he knew I could walk away, and gave him that one last chance.
It was for me. He is one Lucky Man.
I am nearing 4 years out but had NC broken not quite 2 years ago which really made it so much worse.
I have been trying to heal from this breach of NC but I don't believe my WH has done the work to truly understand what the breach of NC meant and the harm it has done to me and us. I have repeatedly asked him to read and discuss, but to date not yet. Maybe this posting will help him to see!
I am stuck at #5...I think that is the worst part...My accepting that my husband had a fuck buddy for 5 years. Hummm, still can't seem to wrap my brain around 'that guy' and the one in front of me now.
But I am still here. And things going back to the way they used to be. We were always a loving couple, working in tandem.
He wants the process to go faster... but trust has to be earned...and that takes time.
Never forget what is worth remembering or remember what is best forgotten.
If you see my response on the "You have to be willing to end the M to save it" thread you will see how I got there.
I do think you have to lay it all on the line, and sometimes you have to show them the door for them to really get it. I certainly did. I also had made up my mind I didn't want to stay in an M without a remorseful spouse, and I knew in my heart if he wasn't remorseful it wasnt worth the pain. I would have ended it.
I am worth more, and every BS on this forum is. NO ONE deserves to be a second choice, a runner up, or treated with anything but the utmost respect, love and understanding, if you aren't getting that from a WS, then it's up to you to change it.
I believe with all my heart that NO ONE NEEDS a partner, or spouse, we can go through this whole big thing all on our own, and be just fine, and be perffectly happy. If you think you NEED someone else for your own happiness that is when you will settle, and tolerate being treated with less respect and love than you deserve.
You have to find happiness within yourself, the rest will come after that. I really do believe this.