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Reminder of the good

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Notdaniel posted 2/11/2014 14:35 PM

I have read a couple of books and articles about the reconciliation process. It has been about 3.5 months since Disclosure and it has its ups and down. At this time when we have our talks, my wife feels that the entire marriage is a lie and my love isn't really love which I get. The problem is that I ask or mention some good that we had she rejects it as false and not real love. Since she focuses on the bad that I have done in the history of our marriage and the good is fake, how can we begin to reconcile? I know it is a long process. I have never rushed it or told or get over it or even implied it. I agree about the bad times. And I understand why she believes the marriage and love wasn't "real". I do. But How do I respond when I know that it was real and that we had good times?

SurprisinglyOkay posted 2/11/2014 15:06 PM

My Bs still feels this way about our past. And it's true.

Even if I didn't agree with him at all, it still true for him.

Validate her feelings, don't beat her over the head with yours.

You are allowed to have different feelings about your past.

In time there may be a perspective change for either or both of you.

1bigidiot79 posted 2/11/2014 15:19 PM

Just want to let you know you've been heard. I understand where you are coming from as my BW has this same mindset.

To tell you the truth I don't think about it anymore. If you stick in there and begin to do the work on yourself, for yourself you will begin to realize the past is the past and there is nothing you can do about it.

Focus on you and focus on the future with your BS. It's definitely a process I had to go through to get to that point but you will.

Hang in there.

Prayingforhope posted 2/11/2014 15:35 PM

You have been heard and I could have written your post for you. My DDay was 3.5 months ago and just this Sat my BS said exactly those things - Our entire 18 year relationship was a lie. The version of love I offered was fake and not the love she wants. And I have destroyed everything with my A...the marriage, the family, everything. Right now she is not able to consider anything close to R.

All I can say is this seems normal and I am hoping that through my efforts to work on myself, the healing of my BS, our separation and the passing of time, her POV may change.

In the end I know I am changing every single day and that is all I can control. Good luck!

HUFI-PUFI posted 2/11/2014 15:48 PM

Notdaniel- I understand why she believes the marriage and love wasn't "real". I do. But How do I respond when I know that it was real and that we had good times?

I understand your feelings, after all, it rankles me to no end that my wife also feels that she was living a lie for most of her marriage. It hurts to think that 23 years of our shared life is seen as worthless, that my life is invalidated.

However, I have come to understand that I feel that way because I've had to accept that it really was the ugly truth in my situation as I examine the wayward thinking behind my EA. I might feel guilt and shame over this new reality but it doesn't change how my wife feels and as you know, perception is reality.

Whether you agree this might or might be the case in your situation, the truth is that if your wife feels that way, that is your new reality.

So, yes, it comes down to accepting two different view points about your past. Yours and hers. Accept the fact that she will never ever really know what was true in your heart or what might have been the lies in your marriage. Since your past actions were not those of a loving husband, your true feelings will always be suspect. That's simply the way it is and may always be for you now.

And so what if this is the case?

You either learn to accept it as reality or you fight tooth and nail on a issue that you will never be able to win. Do you want to do that for the rest of your life? Having this as the demon dialogue in your marriage will not support healing. Trust me, I know this cause its a BTDT thing.

broevil- You are allowed to have different feelings about your past.

That sums it up better than anything else.


[This message edited by HUFI-PUFI at 3:51 PM, February 11th (Tuesday)]

Notdaniel posted 2/11/2014 16:37 PM

I'd like to thank everyone for their responses. I can only accept that that is how she is going to see it. I am not sure how to validate her feelings about it but I will try.

The next question is, if she believes it was all a lie, what reasons are there for her to stay...

I am working on me for me and can only pray she starts to see the change but...idk. anyway..thanks again.

Notdaniel posted 2/11/2014 16:40 PM

and I do know what real love is for her and me..

it is unselfish and giving of oneself.

Prayingforhope posted 2/12/2014 05:23 AM

Notdaniel, I often read the 10 reasons to take back a cheating husband from Samantha Baker. Who has been a big help to me in my own journey and as far as BS goes, has been through the ringer and come out the other side in a better place.

Please note, it is WAY too early in my journey for me to offer this insight directly to my BS (I'm assuming the same for you). However, it really helps understand there are reasons, GOOD REASONS, for a BS to stay with their WS, if he is willing to go "all in" to the marriage. I hope this helps you as it does me.

Excerpt from her website starts now:

So Iíd like to counter the article and give 10 reasons to take back a cheating husband:

The Relationship will never be the same, but it can be better. Iíd like to challenge the article saying that ďusuallyĒ the relationship can not be better after infidelity. It CAN. But it takes a lot of work and a remorseful spouse. Yes, trust is lost, but that trust can be rebuilt over time. Transparency and honestly always are a must, on BOTH spouses. By work, I mean counseling both marriage and individual. Deep introspection into the whyís of how the affair began. Open and honest discussions. And most importantly? The wayward spouse has to take on the role of healer and help the betrayed spouse heal.

Cheating can happen in any relationship at any time, by fixing your current relationship, there is less risk in the future. Throwing in the towel does not guarantee infidelity will not hit your life again. In fact, the risk goes up in second marriages. By working on your current relationship, trying to dig deep to fix what is broken, you have a chance at not only repairing your relationship, but stopping infidelity in its tracks.

You teach your children that cheating is not acceptable but you can recover. By staying with my husband, I am NOT teaching my children that cheating is acceptable. They are seeing the hard work that both of us are doing to repair our marriage. They know that by choosing to stay it was a difficult decision. They also know that I am not a door mat and that if, heaven forbid, my husband does cheat again, there will NOT be another chance. But they also see that we are FIGHTING for our marriage and each other. Some times, marriages are so disposable, we are showing them that we are choosing a different path.

Therapy is worth the money. I began seeing a therapist long before I found out about my husbandís infidelity. Therapy has made me a better person. Therapy has changed my life. Therapy has changed OUR lives. Therapy has helped my husband in more ways than I can count. Iím sure I would have found numerous ways to waste that money, like on shoes or take out. Instead I see it as an investment.

I never lost my self-respect. I never lost it. Yes, my self-esteem took a hit, but even that is back now. But my self-respect? I never lost it. I did not cheat, therefore, I had nothing to lose my self-respect for. My husband? He did. By staying in my marriage, I find that is something TO BE respected for. It is not easy to either end a marriage or fight for a marriage. However, to say one loses their self-respect because they choose to work at repairing their marriage? Hog-wash. In my husbands eyes, my childrenís eyes and more importantly in my eyes, I have earned that respect.

Things CAN get better. If you have a unremorseful spouse, of course things can get worse, but if you have a remorseful spouse, who wants to help repair the marriage, make amends for the pain they caused, your marriage can come out stronger and better than ever. Will you forget? No. There will always be memories and some pain attached, like any trauma suffered. However, you can heal, you can grow, and you can have a chance to make your marriage into something youíd always wanted.

There is no easy way. Regardless if you choose to reconcile or divorce, there is no easy way. Neither is harder than the other. Both are fucking hard, both cause pain and heartache. Both cause growth, both can have happy endings or not. Hopefully itís the former.

I *DO* need a partner. I donít have a child. He was never a child, he made very adult decisions. Drastic, devastating ones. He was a crap partner for a while, I admit that. However, now, heís become an amazing partner. Frankly, as long as he was willing, Iíd rather be with him, who Iíve spent the last 13 years with and have him work on becoming an amazing partner, than to divorce, start over and have a crap shoot guessing game if Iíd get a good partner or not. Even if I divorced my husband, there is no guarantee that Iíd end up with a good partner. I could end up with another cheater! (High probability in second marriages). It is correct that it isnít my job to fix him, but you see, Iím not fixing him, heís fixing himself, and we are BOTH fixing the marriage.

I *DO* deserve better, and heís becoming better. Heís becoming the man I always wished for, the one I always knew he could be and our marriage is becoming better. In turn *I* am becoming better. Again, there is no guarantee that I will find better if I divorce. Instead we are making better together.

I do NOT need a reason. I donít *need* to justify my reasons to anyone as to why Iíve chosen to reconcile with a cheater. However, I have opened up to you all as to why I have made the decision I have. I believe in us, I believe in our marriage, I believe we have something worth fighting for.

KBeguile posted 2/12/2014 06:04 AM

I'll just stick my head in here to chime in with the earlier men. My BS continues to assert that the entirety of our relationship has been a lie, and that for that very fact, she finds the prospects going forward to be daunting.

20WrongsVs1 posted 2/12/2014 07:25 AM

I am not sure how to validate her feelings about it but I will try.

Acceptance is one element...

I can only accept that that is how she is going to see it.

What you may be missing here, in my very limited observation, is empathy. Validation does not equal agreement. Validation is, "I can see how you would feel that way." Because...can't you?

Imagine for a second that your wife is currently pregnant with another man's child, and she says she cheated on you because she was mad that you refused to give her another baby.

A few months later, sporting an ever-growing baby bump, she says to you, "But honey, our M was real. We had good times, too!" How would that land with you?

That's validation, my friend. Not grudging acceptance that she sees it that way, even though you disagree.

morethantrying posted 2/12/2014 07:47 AM

WS Only

[This message edited by SI Staff at 7:49 AM, February 12th (Wednesday)]

Apple3point14 posted 2/12/2014 10:21 AM

3 1/2 months is not that much time. Expectations and interpretations of her actions are a dangerous road. I recommend that you concentrate on accepting her new reality.

Notdaniel posted 2/19/2014 09:01 AM

What you may be missing here, in my very limited observation, is empathy. Validation does not equal agreement. Validation is, "I can see how you would feel that way." Because...can't you?

In my response I don't think I conveyed the right idea. I understand what she is saying. I KNOW why she feels this way. I DID this to her. I didn't want to make it seem like grudging acceptance. It is just a deeper understanding of how things are.

If I was her I wouldn't be able to look at me so I am ridiculously grateful...

changedlife posted 2/20/2014 06:04 AM

It is all very hard. All those happy moments of the past become clouded from the pain they have endured. As a WS we can remember those happy moments and still feel them, but to the BS it truly does feel like a lie. It's hard, its saddening. You want to reach out and help them but sometimes it just takes a while. As others have said, be understanding for her. Try not to be defensive, try to listen, console her and tell her in detail about how sorry you are for all the pain she is going through and how you can understand how she questions all those good moments.

Infidelity and the lies are just hard to overcome. It hurts them to the very core.

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