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Am I the idiot here?

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NoReGrets posted 10/14/2013 21:46 PM

About ten months ago, I had my final DDay. I have learned over the course of the year that pretty much the whole 2012 year was a joke of a relationship, which I didn't know at the time. Two days before Christmas 2012, I had my final DDay and walked away and didn't turn back. I truly wish I had found SI after my first DDay, as I at least hope I would have handled things much differently if I did know about SI then.

During the course of the past ten months, he has attempted contact several times, most of which I ignored. Was I tempted to respond each and every time? Did my heart break a little each time? Absolutely, yes. There were a few instances where I did give in and break NC, but I had no plans to even consider reconciling. I wanted answers I never initially got.

A week ago today, he must have caught me at a weak moment, and I responded to a text and said he could meet me at a local coffee shop. I am not sure if that was a good idea, but I am also not sure I regret it.

We talked for several hours, and for the first time, I saw remorse and not regret. More questions were answered, and not all the answers were easy to digest, but I was glad to have those answers. On top of all that, no more excuses were made as to why he behaved as he did.

Several days later, we spent time together, and it was nice. Any additional questions I had were met with answers, even if he was not comfortable answering those questions. We ended our "date" with a hug after he dropped me off.

If a week ago, someone even suggested that I would be talking to him, I would have laughed in their face and adamantly said "no and impossible." I would have never thought I might even consider reconciling, even if it is only a slither of a chance I am offering it at this point. I am going to watch him and his actions and then decide whether I want to give him the full chance of reconciling.

He is doing things a BS looks for in a remorseful WS, and this is without the guidance of SI telling him what a WS should be doing. To be honest, I am quite shocked at his behavior and how he, for the first time since the beginning of 2012, is taking responsibility for EVERYTHING. He is owning up to everything, even to TT, blameshifting, and cake-eating. Of course, he did not use any of those terms. I have started to tell him what I will need for reconciliation to be left on the table for consideration. He has agreed.

I have told him that I have come a long way, and I am not the same person he knew in 2012 who tried to "nice" him back. I did EVERYTHING wrong after the initial DDay, and I truly wish I had found SI then.

I am confused. *I* know that I don't need him. He knows I don't need him. I wasn't even looking to date, nor was I interesting in dating anyone. Am I being an idiot for even considering that reconciling is a possibility?

I *know* that I should just keep walking because we were not married, nor do we have any children. Now I am not so sure that I want to walk away. Maybe I do want to attempt reconciliation. I have not told him that I will consider it, and he is giving me all the time I need to decide. He even says that only time and his actions can show me that he is and can be the person he once was many years ago, not the person he became, who he, himself, didn't even recognize.

Any opinions are welcome, even 2x4s. Thank you.

SpiderGrl posted 10/14/2013 22:11 PM

I don't think you are an idiot. But, then again, I never even separated from mine. So maybe I'm not a good source. I wish you the best!

NoReGrets posted 10/14/2013 22:15 PM

Thank you, SpiderGrl. I think separating and 180 was the best thing I could have done for myself. It's empowering to know you don't need a man to be happy and to know that doing good by you is more important than a SO's validation.

I am a perpetual lurker here on SI, and I have seen many of your posts. You are always kind and encouraging. Thank you.

Williesmom posted 10/14/2013 22:16 PM

Watch his actions. He needs to be consistent.

I hope the course that you take works out, whichever course you take.

NoReGrets posted 10/14/2013 22:23 PM

Williesmom: I will indeed be watching him closely if reconciling is the route I decide to take.

It does seem that I am leaning more towards it than not, but this time, I'm holding my cards close and not revealing them all up front.

Also, I do not plan on letting him know that I am watching him, because I don't want his actions to be an act he is putting up for me. I also have decided that I will watch closely his behavior before I make any final decisions until the end of the year. Again, I do not plan on letting him know that because I do not want him to think that he only needs to be vigilant until the end of the year.

I hope this doesn't make me immature or childish. I do not want to play games, and I have never played any games throughout the course of our relationship in the past, but I don't want to be fooled again either.

I have told him that our old relationship is dead, and no matter what either one of us do, it will never go back to what it was. If anything progresses, there is a possibility that it could be good, but it would be different.

heartache101 posted 10/14/2013 22:38 PM

I dont believe you are being an idiot.
My spouse said he is a different person. I dont have his FOO issues so I really dont get the cheating oh well.
But watch him closely communication is the key to a great relationship.

NoReGrets posted 10/14/2013 22:49 PM

Although I believe FOO issues may contribute to a person cheating (my ex included), I don't personally believe FOO can be used as an excuse for cheating. If it's one thing I've learned from SI, there is NO EXCUSE for cheating.

As an adult, one is responsible for his/her own actions and the consequences thereof. Had he come at me with "I did what I did because you didn't do ___" or "I did what I did because I came from a f'd up family," I would have gathered my things immediately and walked away.

I have plenty of FOO issues I could use as excuses for my actions and mistakes, but I know that they are nothing but excuses I would be trying to make for myself. As an adult, I know that any mistakes I make are mine to own, and owning up to my actions, to me, is more respectable than trying to lay blame elsewhere. Perhaps that is just me, but I tend to see a lot of things in black and white and fewer things in the gray area.

Marathonwaseasy posted 10/15/2013 00:53 AM

You're right noregrets. There is no excuse for cheating. There are things that make someone more likely to go down that path than someone else - FOO stuff, poor boundaries, illness, life events etc etc
But no excuses
I never even separated from my fwh so maybe I'm the idiot. But I want to believe that love is real and change is possible.
Be careful but decide based on what your heart tells you as well as your head.

NoReGrets posted 10/15/2013 04:15 AM

Wow! Thank you all for the support and the optimism. I was expecting more negative criticism, and they might still be on the way, but I am still surprised by how positive and hopeful this forum is.

As with the rest of us on this forum, I am hoping that I am making the best decision. The difference this time is that I will not walk into this with blinders on.

Sometimes I catch myself getting ready to say or do something I may have done a couple years ago, but then I catch myself and remind myself that he has yet to prove that he is right now worthy of my trust and confidences since he pooped all over it last time. Only time will tell if he can be trustworthy again.

Is it weird that I am glad he didn't come to me the way he has recently a year ago? I feel like these past ten months, as difficult as they have been, has allowed me to not only rediscover who I am again, but also given me enough time to reflect on different aspects of what our relationship was pre-cheating. I feel that if he were to have come to in this manner even just six months ago, I would not have had the time to fully understand the 180, the healing library, and all the concepts that all the veterans here preach.

As a result of my daily SI lurking, I think and hope that I have been able to absorb all the advice given here and utilize them to the fullest. In other words, TT, blameshifting, rugsweeping, gaslighting, etc. is not going to be acceptable. Actions and consistency is what I shall look for from this point on.

Thank you all. This site has been my life support during the worst time of my life. Any further opinions, advice, and 2x4s are still welcome.

cantaccept posted 10/15/2013 05:54 AM

No, you're not an idiot, not at all.

It sounds as if you are as strong as you need to be to consider R with him.

I did find SI very early on but I wasn't in the emotional or mental state to even understand a lot of the concepts.

If h and I were just beginning R now, the path would have been a whole lot different.

It is so true that you have to be strong in yourself before true R is even possible.

I get that now, finally.

Just be true to yourself. Hang on to the best of you, remember that. Try to maintain that new sense of self.

Good luck to you. I hope you achieve whatever is best for you.

SI has been a life saver for me. I would never have been able to understand all this or help myself without it.

Raven96 posted 10/15/2013 07:58 AM


You are NOT an idiot. You sound like you've become a lot stronger in the past 10 months, and he found out in a hurry last December that you're not going to take his crap. Maybe he has changed, too. I'm sure he definitely realized what he lost when you left.

Enjoy this time...familiar yet new. I wish you the best!

fourever posted 10/15/2013 08:09 AM

I agree with everyone. Sometimes losing what you really loved can be the best life lesson of all.
Do follow your gut. Actions, not words. No reason not to take your time.
Think about finding a GOOD couples counselor later, if you decide to take the chance on the two of you.

sinsof thefather posted 10/15/2013 08:49 AM

I don't think you're being an idiot either - I actually think that if he is truly remorseful and you do still have some love for him - you've probably got more chance of achieving R now than you did a year ago. Both of you now know that you don't need him in your life if he gets back in, he has to earn it.

Did he tell you when he and the OW were finally 'over' - how long he's been NC, and if he is seeing the reality about the A now? Has he had/Is he in IC? If the answers to all those questions are 'yes' and he's come to those things by his own volition too - then I certainly don't think you are being a fool if you decide to give him the time to prove to you he's serious about his changes.

NoReGrets posted 10/15/2013 09:04 AM

I have definitely thought about couples counseling, but I don't necessarily think this is the right time yet. I want to watch him to see how sincere he is and if it's even worth it. If I see or feel it is only an act, then (I hope) I will be strong enough to walk away one final time. If he reverts back to the person he was in 2012, then counseling would be a waste of time and energy and money.

In hindsight, I realize at some point in our past relationship, I had become codependent. I don't want to become that way. Is it normal to become codependent in a relationship? Are there ways to avoid it if it is bad?

I've been accused by many of being nice to a flaw, including my ex. He was just one of those who exploited that flaw. I don't want to be less nice because I feel I can always be a nicer person. I suppose I should learn to look out for my best interests above others? Sometimes it just feels good to make those you care about -- friends, family, SO -- feel good too, you know?

NoReGrets posted 10/15/2013 09:26 AM

sinsof the father:

He didn't give me an exact date as to when he last saw her, but he did give me a time frame. I think I believe him, but anything regarding her, I take with a grain of salt. I do believe, however, that he was seeing her on and off because of her promiscuity. He's even admitted as much himself. I do know her personally, so I'm familiar with what type of person she is.

I ask him if he's figured out what it was that led him to stray, and we all know the reasoning behind why I ask that. He says he has been and is still trying to figure that out. He says if he cannot answer a question I ask, it's not because he is unwilling to do so, but some of the "why" questions are the same "why" questions he still asks himself, so he asks me to understand that and will share the answers with me when he does figure it out. He then suggests to me that he might need IC. When he said that, I nearly fell off the chair because he has never had any faith in that type of stuff.

When asked why he has kept trying to maintain contact with me even when it would probably be easier to have a fresh start with someone new, his answer is that "anything rewarding requires the effort" and that he's "taken the easy way out too many times by keeping his foot propped on the door to keep it open because it was the easiest thing to do." In SI terms, cake-eating.

Any type of questions like this even pre-cheat would have triggered an angry and defensive reaction. It is to my utter surprise that he is swallowing his pride and acting as he is.

As much as I think SI may help him, this is MY safe haven, and right now, I'm just unwilling to give him access to the safety net that kept me afloat when he almost drowned me. I don't post very often, and maybe it's selfish, but I think I have a right to protect myself.

[This message edited by NoReGrets at 9:27 AM, October 15th (Tuesday)]

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