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Newest Member: Questiounanswere (45696)

User Topic: Question for BS Menz
Aubrie
♀ 33886
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 1:32 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sorry, but I'll admit to lurking in the Menz threads down in ICR. It really helps to get perspective from your point of view. Tough to read sometimes, but I know it's all truth.

If it's been covered before and I've missed it, my apologies.

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again? Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you? When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

Or are our affairs and brokenness just too much to see through? Reading your threads, I see alot of negative things piled up from our own messed-up stuff, to how badly we've hurt and scarred you, and I don't know that there are enough positives to ever reconcile the scale. At least not completely?

I'm struggling with the wording of this. Do you know what I'm trying to say?

I'm gonna go ahead and throw out the standard disclaimer of "Only QS and his opinion matter", and that's true. Guess I'm just curious what the other gentlemen here feel/think/say about it?


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne


Posts: 6418 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
Tred
♂ 34086
Member # 34086
Default  Posted: 1:39 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Aubrie,

I think I get what you are asking. Unfortunately, the only answer I can give right now is:

can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love

It's the one thing that I've always been sure of, genuine love for my wife. I'm not sure on the rest. I'm determined to try for now. I was there once before though or else I wouldn't be trying. I'm sure you'll get all kinds of answers


Married: 17 years (14 @JFO)
D-Day: 11/09/11
"Ohhhhh...shut up Tred!" - NOT the official SI motto (DS)

Posts: 4072 | Registered: Dec 2011
Brandon808
♂ 35619
Member # 35619
Default  Posted: 1:58 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Considering that none of the three long-term relationships I was (including my M) ever resulted in R my response may seem ironic. However, I can absolutely say it is possible.

Love grows. It is more than just "chemistry". It encompasses feelings, actions and choices. It must be treated with due care or it can be diminished. However, just as it can diminish it can also grow stronger.

Respect, much like forgiveness, can be earned. I know in my heart that my SO (or XWW) could have regained my trust and respect, the latter being easier to regain than the former.

The fact that you're willing to put that question out there says a lot imho.


xBH
D final 8/2012

Posts: 4081 | Registered: May 2012 | From: southeast
numb&dumb
♂ 28542
Member # 28542
Default  Posted: 2:17 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'll try to answer some relevant to my own experience.

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

I like to think so. I have learned that the future doesn't always turn out like it is supposed to. Even though I have had a myriad of emotions through this I have always loved my W (I call her simply my W rather than FWW, just my preference). While I have always loved her, it does not mean that I did not downright despise myself for having those feelings. Respect is partially restored. I respect my W in most things that she does now. I believe in second chances (now). I have seen enough remorse to know that she would change it if she could. The love and respect aren't the same as before, they aren't less they just come from different places now. IF that makes sense.


Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you?

I really think that this isn't something that I will ever forget so that's out. I don't think about it all day everyday anymore. I had to break the co-dependency and learn to love myself. The way I look at it (and this helps the times I do think about it) her actions only impact my life as much as I will let them. Her choices are her burden to carry. I know that sounds somewhat cold, but I exist first as individual then as a M individual. If I do trigger she is there to remind me of her remorse, sadness and pain for having brought that into my life. I have found myself and have never felt better with myself. Everything else is secondary in that it all benefits from me being a better me.

When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

I can be proud of her for some things. I am proud of her for the hard work she has done to make amends, work on her issues and be much easier to live with. I am proud of her for being more independent and not requiring me to fix all her problems for her. I am proud of her parenting skills now. Trust is going to take some time. I can't really do that 100% yet. She tries very hard and it is hard to be proud of her for that as her choices made that a new requirement for our M.

Or are our affairs and brokenness just too much to see through?

Sometimes. I have to decide to "stay M'd" every once and awhile still. At least it is isn't everyday that I have to make that decision. I have to force my rational rather than emotional brain to remind myself of things. Her remorse helps to a point, but she will always be the W who cheated on me and somewhere underneath the surface that still lingers. She realizes the impact this has had on me and our family. She realizes the impact it has had on herself. She owns all of that and does not place any of that blame on me anymore. I still have my needs which I don't compromise on anymore. I tried that and it cost me too much of myself. I have a feeling if she continues to apologize one day I will tell her to stop. For the time being I need to see enough to know I am not going to be made a fool again for loving her. That is important to me.

I don't know that there are enough positives to ever reconcile the scale.

There are not and never will be. I know that. She knows that. Mutual understanding of that point somehow makes it OK for me. We are giving our life a chance to be great. I know and control what I need to do, she does the same. Trust is the hard one. Convincing me that I am safe with little trust has been hard on her. She still tries and most days that is enough.

ETA: Hit send too soon.

[This message edited by numb&dumb at 2:20 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)]


Me-35 her-35

DS 1, DD 6
Dday 8/31/11. ONS that occurred 3 years earlier. Lied to for 3 years.

Every truth comes to light in a long enough timeline.


Posts: 2570 | Registered: May 2010
knightsbff
♀ 36853
Member # 36853
Default  Posted: 2:24 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Aubrie,

I'm a Menz lurker too and have been searching for the same answers. I doubt I would have been brave enough to ask it so thank you.


FWW 40's
D-day August 27, 2012
3 kids and 2 dogs

I edit often because I make a lot of typos. ☺️


Posts: 1509 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Deep South, USA
SuperDuperWonderboy
♂ 34716
Member # 34716
Default  Posted: 2:31 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I feel like I should add a gif or something here.


My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

I thought so. I worked hard at it for nearly 2 years. I think had she shown more, I could have. But alas, I will never know.

Initially, after DDAY, the genuine love was still there. The problem was, her lack of effort over two years, eroded more and more of my respect. Got to the point where the lack of respect, made me staying with her impossible.

Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you?

For me...No. Always and everywhere. Even when you are having a great day, it's still there...a dark cloud just on the horizon. It may not be mucking up the day, but it's still there. In fact, I would say haunting is a perfect way to describe it. It may not be blasting you in the face..but it's always around.

When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

Can't answer that. Didn't have a spouse do the hard work.


My Friends call me Wonderboy--That's Mr. SuperduperWonderboy to you Tred.


Posts: 1304 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Everett
Merlin
♂ 30221
Member # 30221
Default  Posted: 2:42 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I never got the chance to R though I wanted it badly. No assurance it would have worked.

But I agree with Brandon that "love grows" and ours (from my side anyway) was far deeper at the end than the beginning.

And, as Tred paraphrased "can you ever get to a place where you really love" is now the question.

It's as though something broke in me or was removed as my marriage disintegrated. 5+ years on, I am not at all sure that, other than my children, I am able to love another.


"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A bird will fall frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself." D. H. Lawrence

Her: WW/57 Me: BS/63 24yrs M
3 great kids, now 22, 20, 17 b,b,g
D-Day 8/14/08, D 1/13/11


Posts: 1164 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: East Coast
Joanh
♀ 39146
Member # 39146
Default  Posted: 2:52 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you, Aubrie and the Menz,

I too lurk, and I too wonder, and I too feel my BH opinion is the one I need to know.

It helps to hear from others and like you said Aubrie, it hurts to read cause I can read it and I hear my BH say it and see it in his eyes.

Thank Aubrie again for putting it out here, and thanks Menz for your candid responses.


BH 39
WW 43
D day November 9, 2012
3 children 22, 8, 6
Just....

Posts: 437 | Registered: Apr 2013
ascian
♂ 40304
Member # 40304
Default  Posted: 2:55 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

For me? Absolutely. I never stopped loving my wife, even as I was agonizing about how to confront her over her affair. I may not have liked her very much for a bit, but I still loved her and that hasn't stopped. We're making progress on reconciliation, I've forgiven her actions, and we're healing the wounds in our relationship.

Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you?

The affair's aftermath is, and will always be, a scar for me. That's alright, I've got plenty of scars, and each one is a story told and a lesson learned. Some were simple ("Don't cut with a knife towards your fingers again"), some more complicated, but they're all a part of me and have made me who I am. And since, for the most part, I like who I am I accept the price I've paid to get here.

Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you? When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

This one's harder, though my wife and I aren't even 4 months out from D-Day so my ability to answer this one's a bit thinner. The first two questions were internal to me. I can love, and heal, whether or not someone else is involved. Pride in another, though, means that they have to act as well as me.

I can say that I'm proud of the effort my wife has put in to learning productive introspection. She's always had a fairly negative self-narrative, and she'd rugsweep her own problems, but she's working on stopping those behaviors. It's not fixed yet, but she's not hiding from the job either.

Reading your threads, I see alot of negative things piled up from our own messed-up stuff, to how badly we've hurt and scarred you, and I don't know that there are enough positives to ever reconcile the scale.

You see that, in part, because the Menz thread is a place where it's socially acceptable for us to be vulnerable. Socially, we can't break down and cry in public when we trigger. We can't just drop everything and call up a friend when we're having a bad day. I mean, sure it's physically possible for us to do that, but the social repercussions for a man doing this are different than for a woman, unfortunately. We're told to "man up" or "grow a pair" or "stop acting like a heartbroken little girl" when we're overwhelmed, or at least have a somewhat reasonable fear of those reactions. So the Menz thread, then, is a safe space where we can let out that anger and fear and hurt.

I'll leave it there, though I can go on for much longer if you like. The benefits (and perils) of having an English degree background are that I can talk for a long time on any subject.


Me - BH 39
Her - FWW 36
D-Day: 8/13
Working on R

Posts: 319 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Midwest
MediumRare
♂ 35128
Member # 35128
Default  Posted: 3:04 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I can only speak for myself, but to make it pretty general from my standpoint, there are three main things that an affair/cheating destroys:

1) Trust. I do not believe it is possible to restore trust to pre-affair levels ever again. It's like a piece of paper that has been crumpled up... you can only straighten back as best as you can, but it will forever have the wrinkles of that event. This doesn't mean that trust is lost, just it cannot be the same, 100% level but instead maybe an 80%-90% level IF lots of hard work to regain that trust ensues.

2) Respect. I totally believe respect can be fully recovered if the WS has true remorse, strikes the event down with the same fury and abandonment as felt by the BS, and ensures there is no possible way they will ever do this again for themselves and NOT the marriage/relationship. When a WS opinions, feelings towards and reflection upon the affair matches of similar levels to that of the BS, then respect can begin to renew.

3) Intimacy. I also fully believe intimacy can be fully restored, but this particular step really requires the most amount of work for both the WS and BS... especially the BS. I think, at least for me, the deepest wound from cheating is the huge piece of intimacy is lost between the BS/WS from the affair. Anything "special" about that is suddenly and totally destroyed and cheapened as a third party has taken this from you WITH the consent of your WS. Getting through this as a BS is solely my most difficult challenge and not sure if this is "menz" specific or also applies to women BS's.

So the light I see at the end of my personal tunnel is the only permanent loss is I know I can not ever trust my WS the way I did before. We are rebuilding that trust now and it grows every single day, but I know that I cannot fully trust her again regardless of how things go moving forward... and in some ways, I'm okay with that and maybe it's not such a bad thing as it may make us both more comfortable.


BS (ME): 44
WS(HER): 42
9 years
OM#1- 20-something loser, stole bunch of my things after she had sex with him in our bed (no condoms, STDs)
OM#2- 24 year old, unemployed loser, lives with mom & dad
DDay 1/2012
NC 3/20/2012
SGASDay 4/1/2012

Posts: 722 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: California
atsenaotie
♂ 27650
Member # 27650
Default  Posted: 3:08 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi Aubrie,

I do think that there is a bias that those who were successful in R tend to spend (much) less time on SI, so consider the ratios in the answers you get.

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

I have not, but it is not the A-crap. I honestly believe that I have R'd that part. I understand why FWW had her As, and she and I agree on the reasons.

What keeps me from locking in R for my status is the lack of love that I feel from FWW, and the barriers her issues create to us forming an emotionally intimate bond. FWW is a much different person than the dday WW. She owns her issues, but they are so many and so deeply engrained that she struggle to be a happy and healthy person. In MC years ago she spoke of wearing an emotional body condom to protect herself; she let no one inside. I believe that this is still true for her. We can be roommates, parents, friend, but never a couple.

Healing from FWWs As was on me, I had to do the work. She helped by owning her crap, staying NC, and implementing transparency, but the healing was my responsibility. In addition to healing myself, I have identified and work on the issues (conflict avoidance, White Knight Syndrome, introvert) I can control that created stress in our relationship.

Healing the M is on both of us, and I just dont see her as capable of doing her part. I am trying to set aside the disconnect I feel in my M and focus on the positives in an effort to regain my respect for FWW, but I am having trouble seeing past the depressed, aged, weak, and negative person that I now perceive her to be.

--Ats

[This message edited by atsenaotie at 3:11 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)]


LTA FBS 54
dday 10.5.09
Separated and Divorcing

Posts: 4147 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: FL
wifehad5
♂ 15162
Member # 15162
Default  Posted: 3:25 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

Absolutely

Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you?

These are part of our history now. They're there. They don't really hold any power anymore though. When some reminder comes up, it's met with an eye roll.

When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

For me this didn't take too long. I was there witnessing the hard work she did. In a lot of ways she had to work much harder than I did. She worked her ass off, and I was there every step of the way. She didn't hide anything.

Or are our affairs and brokenness just too much to see through?

This is where there is a sliding scale. Early on as I found out what had happened and what we were dealing with, it was a pretty big pile. As time went on, and I saw the work she was doing, it got easier.

I see alot of negative things piled up from our own messed-up stuff, to how badly we've hurt and scarred you, and I don't know that there are enough positives to ever reconcile the scale. At least not completely?

This is where it's subjective. Some people will just leave when they find out when they've been cheated on. Some will stick it out to see what happens. What we see is that often the WS wants to rug sweep and do the bare minimum.

Sometimes the scope of betrayal and issues is pretty huge. When we first started our reconciliation we did everything wrong. We were dealing with pretty much every type of betrayal possible. And we initially tried to rug sweep. Luckily, we found this site, and then we found a great MC. BR hit her rock bottom, and from there we hit the reset button and started fresh.

It was a lot of hard work, and it took years, but it was worth it.

I know you already know this, but don't compare yourself or your R to others. You are not them and vice versa. Keep your chin up


FBH - 42
FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

The people you do your life with shape the life you live


Posts: 37604 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
Aubrie
♀ 33886
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 4:08 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I understand there's no one-size-fits-all. There's too many different variables that complicate the whole thing. But I really appreciate everyone chiming in with their own POV and experience.

numb&dumb

While I have always loved her, it does not mean that I did not downright despise myself for having those feelings.
My husband said the same exact thing. May I ask if you have gotten past that point and what you did to accomplish that? Is it a continuous work?

The love and respect aren't the same as before, they aren't less they just come from different places now. IF that makes sense.
Makes total sense. I'm seeing/feeling this from the flip side. I was all unicorns and rainbows. The love I have now is completely different from the love I had prior to Dday. Guess because for me, it's coming from a healthier, eyes-wide-open place now.

I know that sounds somewhat cold, but I exist first as individual then as a M individual.
I can respect that. My husband sort of got lost in the toxic soup I was spewing everywhere. He's been on a journey to rediscover himself. It's been hard sometimes to let go of that control, let go of that outcome, but to see him flourish as a human being is a very cool thing.

Knightsbff

I doubt I would have been brave enough to ask it
Brave? Pshhh, I've been curled up, flinching as I hit the refresh button.

Wonderboy

I feel like I should add a gif or something here.
You and your gifs. I'm not as quick as MJ so don't attempt a war with me. It would be a waste of time as you would win instantly.

ascian

I never stopped loving my wife, even as I was agonizing about how to confront her over her affair. I may not have liked her very much for a bit, but I still loved her and that hasn't stopped.
My husband said this too. I hated hearing it. I had no doubt it was true, but that phrase was beaten over my head by my FOO many times. Hearing my spouse say it decimated me.

Socially, we can't break down and cry in public when we trigger. We can't just drop everything and call up a friend when we're having a bad day. I mean, sure it's physically possible for us to do that, but the social repercussions for a man doing this are different than for a woman, unfortunately. We're told to "man up" or "grow a pair" or "stop acting like a heartbroken little girl" when we're overwhelmed, or at least have a somewhat reasonable fear of those reactions.
Understood. I'm thankful you gents have a clubhouse on SI to let it all out. And for the record, a man crying is not a bad thing. Yeah social stigma makes everyone think it is. One of the most precious things to me was when QS felt safe enough to break down on me. No, I'm not evil. I don't mean it that way. My parental unit shows no emotion. My ex-bf shows no emotion. Most of the men I grew up around showed none. For QS to actually have and show emotion was a very moving experience for me. He became the biggest man on earth in my eyes that day.

MediumRare,
I believe your views on trust are the same as just about everyone on SI. Oddly, my husband doesn't share that view. I find it fascinating. (And y'all probably think he's insane.) The way he expressed it to me was, for the first time in our married life, he trusts me 100%. He worried and fretted and stressed for 8 1/2 years. He saw broken, warped, little me and knew I was a ticking time bomb. When Dday hit and I had my come to Jesus moment, he knew that I "got it" down to my bones and he wouldn't have to worry about it anymore. I really struggled with accepting that because I felt that I should be punished and not trusted for pretty much the rest of my life.

I'm really not sure how he feels about respect towards me. I think he's trying and that it's coming in small increments.

Intimacy is completely different. I had no clue there was a such thing as emotional intimacy before. I'm like Jasmine singing "A whole new woooorld". It is something completely new to us. It's been a roller coaster and we've both put in an incredible amount of work into it.

atsenaotie
Had she broken the emotional body condom, do you feel that you could love/respect her again?

How do you continue a relationship with someone if the love/emotional intimacy is not there? Do you feel that you are selling yourself short?

WH5,
Thank you for your take on it.

I'm not comparing. Just genuinely curious how/what the gents here think/feel about it. It's probably been covered a million times in their own forum but that's a crapton of research.

If I'm being too invasive for anyone, please do not feel obligated to answer. The last thing I want to do is make anyone feel uncomfortable.

[This message edited by Aubrie at 4:09 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)]


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne


Posts: 6418 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
ascian
♂ 40304
Member # 40304
Default  Posted: 4:20 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My husband said this too. I hated hearing it. I had no doubt it was true, but that phrase was beaten over my head by my FOO many times. Hearing my spouse say it decimated me.

I can understand that. For me it's a compartmentalization mantra, to keep me from lumping everything into one overwhelming pile, but I can see how it may be used as a weapon (whether intentionally or not) in a FOO situation. Thanks for bringing that up, I'll keep it in mind when I feel that way about my kids and make sure it's a silent mantra.

If I'm being too invasive for anyone, please do not feel obligated to answer. The last thing I want to do is make anyone feel uncomfortable.

Speaking only for myself:

1) I have a lot of respect for the WSes that stick around this site and work on rebuilding themselves. There's a lot of anger from us BSes, and I'll bet that makes any infidelity forum online a tough place to be sometimes.

2) I can't think of anything more embarrassing or emotionally devastating in my life than my wife's affair and the fallout from that. That, for me, makes it relatively easy to talk about online and with our counselor. I'm never going to be able to move past it if I cannot face it, and I'm never going to feel the rage or embarrassment about the affair that I felt when I discovered it, even though talking about it is sometimes angering or embarrassing. So if my talking about it here can help myself and others to heal, that's what I'm going to do.


Me - BH 39
Her - FWW 36
D-Day: 8/13
Working on R

Posts: 319 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Midwest
64fleet
♂ 18710
Member # 18710
Default  Posted: 5:14 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Atsenaotie and I are married to the same woman, so what he said-I can't express things as well as he can.
I feel like I'm settling due to finances and 2 young children. Mine does the bare minimum(IMO)to keep me here.

I can't think of anything more embarrassing or emotionally devastating in my life than my wife's affair and the fallout from that.

x2


time wounds all heels

Posts: 5402 | Registered: Mar 2008 | From: deliverance land
ReunitePangea
♂ 37529
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 5:31 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again? Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you? When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

Aubrie, you ask some really difficult questions and things that I have been thinking about lately. Just some background on me, my WW & I are in R - overall its been going well. I feel like at a year out we are between 80 to 90% in dealing with the A - I just wish the last 10% didnt seem so hard.

Right now I do struggle still with missing the person who I thought she was. I put her up on a pedestal - I knew she wasn't perfect but she was perfect for me. Now, at a year out, she is good for me but sadly far from perfect. As a BS we have to protect ourselves after DDay which for many means we have to step back some and focus on ourselves more as individuals to protect ourselves from risk being hurt again. I no longer need my wife to be perfect, I am good on my own if thats the way it had to be.

Do I love my WW? I always have, I loved her before, I loved her on Dday and all the days since. I choose to love my wife - in good times and in bad times. Love for me is not some magical spell that unexpectedly has been cast on me - love for my wife is my choice.

Do I respect my WW? I probably made it easy for my WW to cheat on me for as long as she did. I never once asked her if she cheated on me. I gave her increadible trust. If she stayed out late, I didn't even ask her why she got home so late. She took advantage of my trust and respect that I gave her and hurt me. After DDay I lost some respect for her - when I see her do the hard work needed small amounts of respect & trust are gained back. Will I respect as much as I once did, probably not, that is a tall order. My WW is putting in some of the hard work - she could do more though. I am proud of the hard work she has done. I have always been proud of the things she has done as a mother to our kids and in her career.

I am not sure if I will ever be able to get to a place where the A doesn't haunt me at times. I think at the year out point it becomes somewhat exhausting. I hope as more time goes by my thoughts of it continue to become less and less. The chances of my WW having another A are probably far less now than they would be if I were to leave my M and find some other random person to be with. The problem now after going through this all is I am so much more aware that this could happen to anyone and how naive I was to think it would never happen to me. Some of the changes that were made post DDay will remain forever.

Aubrie, things will forever be different post DDay. An A in any marriage will likely always be a life changing event. If your H loved you before, loved you after and still loves you today, isn't that true love? He is loving you in good time and in bad despite all of your faults - that is probably as good as it gets.


BS - Me 38
WS - Wife 39
D-Day - Oct 12
Married 10 years
OM1 - 12-year LTA
OM2 - 9 month A turned into open relationship with couple for another 1 1/2 years

Posts: 489 | Registered: Nov 2012
1985
♂ 28171
Member # 28171
Default  Posted: 5:36 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Aubrie, in answer to your first question, can a man ever get to the point where he truly loves his W again -- My answer is Yes, Absolutely. In fact I think that over enough time, a man can reach a point of deeper and more mature love than existed pre-A.
BUT, you need to understand this. Reaching the level of love as existed pre-A is not something that is "work hard for xx number of months and then you are there and now its all ok and you will always be at that level". It is a process of ups and downs that can, gradually, reach that level and pretty much stay there. But the emphasis is for a long time it is ups and downs. How long? varies by individuals and how their R process goes.
I can tell you this. When DDay hit, I knew I still loved my wife. And take any point in time over the next 10 years and it would be quite probable that I would have said yes, I still love her immensely. But during that same time frame, there were points in time when I wasn't so sure. And there were points in time when I felt like maybe the love had died completely and I was hanging on for my kids. Why? Some of it was just the emotional turmoil/adjustments that many (perhaps most) males go through in finally coming to terms with what has happened. You can go for long periods where the A is some kind of a hazy, vague, almost ephemeral event that happened between 2 people. And you are doing ok. And the love level is there, like it always was. And then, whether from a real triggering event or just out of the blue, your mind focusses in sharply, 3D, living color on THIS MAN and YOUR WIFE and that they embraced, and kissed passionately and undressed each other and on and on in detail after detail --- and the A suddenly becomes so real and vivid that it is like a physical presence in the room. And you look at your W sitting across the room and you are looking at a stranger. Who is she. You don't want her around. And you start to question why you would still even think of loving her. And you start feeling ashamed and weak that you would still love her and stay with her.
And eventually -- maybe in 15 minutes; maybe in a day; maybe in a week -- but eventually all that goes away and you are back to feeling that love again. Why does it go away and love return? To some extent I thnk it is part of the emotional roller coaster a man goes thru accepting what has happened and getting past it. But it certainly can be influenced by the W's actions. You can return him to being level and loving much faster if you are doing the right things to help him heal and to feel loved and respected and cherished.
Now I know you are thinking, but it might take 10 years?? Like I said, it depends on how reconciliation is going for an individual couple. In my case, a long number of years included recurring episodes of verbal/emotional abuse. In fairness to my W, they generally, although not always, coincided with PMS times. Still, hearing recurring themes like: my life is puke because I am married to you OR I don't love you and I only stay with you because of the money you make certainly didn't enhance the reconciliation process and helped fuel my roller coaster. Now I stuck it out because I was able to convince myself that this was largely PMS and/or depression related and because my W would generally after a few days apologize and again behave like a person who really did love me and wanted to be married for the right reasons. Who put in work to help keep love alive.
And so eventually the roller coaster smoothed out and life went on and here we are today. Together. And yes I love her as much as ever. And sometimes, I feel like maybe it is deeper than ever. Because we have been thru the fire together. We have survived And we know what we have built together and because we know we are a part of each other. Like Kelly Clarkson says, What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger.
You also asked about respect. I am not sure how to answer that one. I respect my W in many ways for many reasons. But I also know that no matter how much I love her, I will never forget what she did. She has stood up and taken responsibility for what she did; no blameshifting. So I guess I can say I don't respect the person whe was then. I loath that person. But I respect her now.
Finally, the question of trust. There will always be that little question mark in the back of the head. But do I have doubts about where she is or what she is doing? No. No issue there and there hasn't been for a long time. I think trust will return to at least a 95% level.
I hope this helps.


Me-BH 63
Her-fWW 63
DDay: June 1985. 5 years after A ended
DDay June, 1985
DDay June 1985
Still married - actually in love
2 grown kids; 4 grandkids

Posts: 593 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: Midwest - large city
atsenaotie
♂ 27650
Member # 27650
Default  Posted: 6:55 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi again Aubrie, thank you for the follow-up.

Had she broken the emotional body condom, do you feel that you could love/respect her again?

That would help. As it is now, I feel that I am the one putting myself out there and taking the risk to be open. I also think that if she were able to be open it would impact a lot of other areas like honesty and communication.

How do you continue a relationship with someone if the love/emotional intimacy is not there? Do you feel that you are selling yourself short?

No, I do not feel like I am selling myself short, but I have decided for now to accept what is. My relationship with FWW is not as a loving spouse, it is more as roommates, or business partners. We have responsibility to each other and shared expectations. I do feel that for the time being I need to be more tolerant, but that is my perspective and I suspect she would say the same.

We (I) talked D a year ago and we had plans, but then she lost her job and has been un(der) employed since. I am well paid, but I cannot afford what she would get in support and also make the mortgage payments and support my boys in school. For now I prefer to stay as things are and be able to support my boys as they launch into their lives.

I do really miss being touched and sex, but the rest of my life is really good.


LTA FBS 54
dday 10.5.09
Separated and Divorcing

Posts: 4147 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: FL
5454real
♂ 37455
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 7:06 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

To answer the first I never stopped. That probably hurt the most. The second, it's a work in progress. After some time has passed, I am growing to respect her strength and determination again.

Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you?

I can't really give a firm answer to this. There are no *do-overs* and this will always be a part of our/my history. I will always be affected by her actions. However, on a day to day basis, consciously? I don't think I'll be *haunted*. Already having stretches of time(went from minutes to hours to days to now weeks) where *normalacy* is the rule.

When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

Absolutely. I want to be proud of my spouse. Part of the definition of love I think. The worry right now is complacency.

Or are our affairs and brokenness just too much to see through?

TBH, sometimes it is. Thanks to this site, I'm hopeful that by continuing to slog on through the tunnel the light I'm heading toward isn't an oncoming train. 2-5 years.

Reading your threads, I see alot of negative things piled up from our own messed-up stuff, to how badly we've hurt and scarred you, and I don't know that there are enough positives to ever reconcile the scale. At least not completely?

Honestly, it can't ever be paid back. Reconciliation is a gift. Probably the biggest a BS have ever given and a WS has received. I don't think that a true R is based on an expected balancing of the scales.

Truth to tell however. I'm somewhere between the second year being the hardest and the plain of lethal flatness. Still determined to try.


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 20(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 3154 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
Unagie
♀ 37091
Member # 37091
Default  Posted: 7:10 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Can I t/j just slightly? Aubrie great post, thank you and the SI men for the questions and honesty. Now my t/j, perfection was mentioned and I understand it was mentioned with the reasoning that the person in question was not perfect but rather perfect for that husband. The idea of perfection bothers me. My xSO told me he thought I was perfect and could do no wrong is his eyes and its one of yhe reasons my A hit so hard. I think the idea of perfection whether it be for a particular person or in general I feel sets the person up that's described as perfect for failure. I may be reading too much into this but I would like to know from the men if perfection is something that's necessary even if its only perfection for you. Not sure if I worded this right I hope it comes across the right way.

P.S. sorry for the t/j!!


Heartbroken madhatter trying to rebuild

No longer together

"To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think."


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