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Is R harder than separation?

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NoReGrets posted 10/17/2013 00:58 AM

Is it strange that I trigger more now that I am leaning more towards R?

I have not fully made the decision to do so, but that all depends on the actions that I see, and not just the words I hear.

For those who have said that R is harder than walking away, it's no joke. When I maintained NC, there wasn't a day that went by that I didn't think about the sh*t sandwich I was force-fed and the ramifications of eating it. I had hurt every day, but I had come a long way. Now that things are being brought to the surface, and R is now a possibility, I am on a bigger emotional rollercoaster than I was when I was on my own after I had walked away.

Is this normal?

[This message edited by NoReGrets at 12:59 AM, October 17th (Thursday)]

Jrazz posted 10/17/2013 02:22 AM

I think "harder" is in the path of the beholder. They are both damn hard - but the goal is to figure out how to be true to ourselves.

It makes all kinds of sense that you're triggering - I think that every time we start to lean a direction the panic of "Crap, am I making the right decision or a huge mistake?!?!" creeps up.

R is hard and scary too. Just take it in small steps, and know that you are allowed to change your mind if it doesn't feel right after giving it a fair shot.

No regrets, right?

crossroads2010 posted 10/17/2013 04:49 AM

I think it may be b/c R is an ongoing process...leaving is final.I did not leave for many reasons, but probably the main one was I did not want to make a mistake...a rash decision. As time went on, R looked more and more possible. At 4 years out, I now look back and think that if I had left, it may be "over" by now, but since the WS is a trigger, it seems to go on even though our live are more more normal. Maybe I am really not in R b/c the option of ending the M will always be on the table in my mind.

cantaccept posted 10/17/2013 06:05 AM

I think either path is hard, it just is. There is pain and fears associated with either choice. Maybe it's that the pain is just different.

On dday, h left, told me it was over, marriage was dead. I was devastated, barely functioning. Gradually, I did get a bit stronger, filed for D, started thinking about my future. It was torture knowing he was pursuing his "perfect life" with her. I was a mess. In time though, I believe I would have been okay. The one thing that I never would have had from him was any closure as to what had been happening in my life. I guess the fear of the unknown was also a huge factor. Wondering if at 54 I could really have a life.

Now that we are attempting R, there are different pains. It seems that there are issues that maybe I would not have had to deal with if we had stayed with D. Trying to show love to someone that has betrayed you is tough. Trust, of course is an issue. Mind movies.

I just keep telling myself that the possibilities are worth the pain.

With D there did not seem to be this extreme conflict of emotions. The path just seemed a little more straight forward, NC, detach, remember all the bad to get you through.

Now, I remember the bad, wish I could forget but try to focus on the positive.

sisoon posted 10/17/2013 11:13 AM

You're asking a question which can't be answered unless you can predict the future. If you want to R and choose R and R works, R is easier than D. If you want R and choose R and R doesn't work, it would probably have been easier to D. Bu there's no way to tell what will happen.

I think you're taking the best approach - wait and watch. If your H shows he's committed to doing the work, and if you want to R, you'll probably succeed. If your H doesn't step up or if you decide you don't want to R, you can choose D.

But there are no guarantees.

ItsaClimb posted 10/17/2013 14:56 PM

I'm sitting on the fence between R and D. For me personally (and I stress that this is my own, personal, take on things) R feels harder, because if I R I have to live with the fact that I accept that he betrayed me. In some ways D would lead to me feeling more powerful, the "he betrayed me, so I kicked his sorry ass to the kerb" thing. So I personally feel that R is a lot harder.

NoReGrets posted 10/17/2013 15:55 PM

You are all right, and this possible attempt at R is completely new to me. I'm familiar with a false R though. Too bad I did everything wrong then.

I've just been so used to being on my own these past ten months, and I'm scared. Terrified, actually. I know that he doesn't even deserve *this* chance I'm offering, but there's always the "what ifs."

It's only been two weeks since we have started talking, so it is still too early to tell. I just realized that I have gotten more upset more frequently in the past two weeks than I have in the past 6 months.

I want to just move on, but I know I also need to talk about it and get all the answers I need, even if I ask the same questions over and over. But when I talk about it, I get upset again most of the time. Wtf...It's just so unfair.

Reality posted 10/17/2013 16:21 PM


None of this is fair, No. Not a single part of it.

I thought separation was easier than R has been in lots of ways. I missed WH, but was in such shock over who he was showing he was, being away from this new stranger felt safer. With R, that diminishes because you are committing to trying to know this person and having to deal with all these lovely new revealed character traits and the ramifications of them.

For me, the sight of my WH doing innocuous and necessary - if now extremely loaded - activities became massively triggering. Just watching ordinary life became fraught.

He has to study on his laptop? (TRIGGER! Another on-line affair?!)

And it goes on and on. The whole "out of sight, out of mind" part can be an aid during separation, but R is all in your face, all the time.

You're completely normal. There's a lot to process.

NoReGrets posted 10/17/2013 16:23 PM

Thank you, everyone.

I thought I was crazy during false R. Now I was beginning to worry I'm crazy during possible real R. Lame.

sisoon posted 10/17/2013 17:44 PM

I'm biased toward R, but I have to ask: since you were finding happiness and freedom separated, after an A and false R, why are you thinking of R now? What's in it for you?

R works only if you're committed to it, and it's not worth committing to the work unless you really want to R for you - not for kids, not because your H wants to R, not because your peer group or parents are pushing R, not because of fear of the unknown. R needs to be something you want. And if you don't want R, if you think you'd have to give up too much to R, that's OK.

[This message edited by sisoon at 5:45 PM, October 17th (Thursday)]

NoReGrets posted 10/17/2013 18:37 PM

Two weeks ago, I was not even thinking towards R. In fact, it had been about 10 months since the last DDay, which was the end of false R.

I am not committed to R at this moment because I need to see the actions of my exSO to see how serious he is. If I feel his actions aren't showing true remorse, I'm out. For the first time in a little 1.5 years, I am seeing what I feel might be remorse. I truly didn't think R was anything that I would ever consider. Guess I was wrong. Either that, or I'm being duped again.

There are very few people who know I have started talking to him again. The ones who do are mostly not in favor of R because they remember how completely devastated I was.

As a response to giving up too much for R, I've come to learn that a relationship should be like this: A romantic relationship is the proverbial cherry and chocolate sauce on the ice cream sundae of life. It isn't always necessary to be in a romantic relationship (cause a bowl of ice cream is delicious and perfectly fulfilling), but a good one is one where you want to be in it anyway.

He was that cherry and chocolate sauce. Maybe he could make that ice cream sundae better again. Currently I'm giving him the opportunity to show me that he is worth being on my sundae, but that can only be done by watching his actions.

hitbyatruck posted 10/17/2013 21:28 PM

I did both. The separation happened happened a few weeks after dday. It lasted for 18 months. For most of those 18 months I truly thought and was planning for divorce. We lived as single people. I was moving on and doing OK. I had accepted what happened and was dealing with all that came along with it.

THEN THEN H tells me he wants to try. My moving fwd seemed to stop. R to me felt more like taking steps back. Agreeing to R is what I wanted. Is what I felt was right for me, him and our kids. BUT I did have to actually deal with his infidelity and all of our other issues as well.

I dealt with his cheating in a different way when I was planning on divorcing him. FOR ME "R" has been harder.

BUT who knows what my life would be like if I had divorced.

SO this is a hard question. Both are hard. Very hard.

NoReGrets posted 10/17/2013 22:14 PM


Your story parallels mine a bit, and I think our mindsets were similar at the time also.

I think I'm glad to be experiencing both separation and possible R. I don't think I would necessarily be able to R in a healthy way without the time apart or deal with other issues alone.

Now dealing with issues together allows me to totally deal with things on both ends of the spectrum regardless of whether or not things work out in the end. I just hope I'm not making a mistake this time.

Thank you for everything, everyone. I am not sure where I would be today if it were not for SI. I can't believe I somehow made it over to this forum.

crossroads2010 posted 10/18/2013 04:40 AM

R works only if you're committed to it, and it's not worth committing to the work unless you really want to R for you - not for kids, not because your H wants to

R, not because your peer group or parents are pushing R, not because of fear of the unknown. R needs to be something you want. And if you don't want R, if you think you'd have to give up too much to R, that's OK.

Great food for thought! Until you figure out whether D or R is TRUELY the goal,you are in limbo...going through the your life in limbo makes it difficult to look ahead.

I understand that R being "in you face" all the time...the WS is the biggest trigger of them all...don'tknow when that goes away. I used to trigger badly when my H I am actually better when he travels.
Weird...the places life may take us. Did you ever think you'd be pondering these questions?

LAFA posted 10/18/2013 05:06 AM

I am attempting R.In several ways it seems more challenging than walking away. It is, however, far easier than was being the whiny self pitying mess that I was when my first W cheated on me. Many life lessons were processed between the two situations. I have chosen R because I can see the rewards possible provided a thorough and honest two way dialogue can have for us. If I doubted her sincerity and drive for a better life for us, I'd likely have chosen differently.Only you can decide if you can believe in a true marriage with the essential elements is possible with your spouse and yourself. If the two of you can get there the difficulty, stress, tears and finally letting go of the anger can be worth it. With the caveat of not getting blindsided again. That would send my ship to the bottom posthaste.

NoReGrets posted 10/18/2013 05:10 AM

So I get that the *smarter* thing to do would be to walk away. Do I want to? I started this thread, and therefore, I have to be honest and say that no, I don't want to walk away. I DO want him to be the cherry and chocolate syrup on the ice cream sundae. I have finally admitted it.

That being said, I guess my so-called "limbo" is that I'm watching his actions to see if he is truly working towards R. So far, he seems to be, and he seems to be doing what's "right" for a WS. But it hasn't even been two weeks, so time will only tell.

The R that I am gifting him is not for anything other than for me. It's not for him, and there are no other external factors, ie. children, family, marriage, etc.

The happiest times of my life were spent with him, and in an ideal world, I hope more of those good times will be spent and shared with him. I know that the old relationship is dead, but I am hoping to build a new and improved one.

That ice cream sundae is great, but an ice cream sundae with chocolate syrup (or maybe caramel) and a cherry on top is even better.

[This message edited by NoReGrets at 5:14 AM, October 18th (Friday)]

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