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Where did R go wrong?

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AFrayedKnot posted 2/26/2014 20:38 PM

There have been quite a few returning members lately that have found themselves in unsatisfied or unsuccessful R. I am sorry that you are hurting. But it makes me selfishly wonder.

I observed and experienced that for R to work both partners need to work independently and together on all three:
1. WS healing
2. BS healing
3. M healing

If it could be identified, where did the breakdown of R happen?

Morhurt posted 2/26/2014 21:35 PM

I'm too early in the process to even have a clue, but what I reassure myself with is this; the people who come back are not representative of the whole. As in, only the sad and hurting ones come back to check in, the happy ones have forgotten all about SI. At least that's what my self talk says to calm me down.

morethantrying posted 2/26/2014 21:54 PM

I think you got it right. I have found that I have to work more on me becasue I must forgive, move on, accept, work on how I am now in this "new relationship" and find myself again....a bit part of my identity was how I was with him...that changed. I find myself going through a strange search for "me" again...not only in how I am in relationship but how I am with myself.

Sometime I just have NO IDEA what I am feeling or why....I just know that it feels "not quite right"...going through so many changes are takes way to really speed this up...we all have to accept that it is okay for it to take time for all three of those items you mentioned and in the end, truly, and I truly believe, all will be okay. its a process....and I rambled here!

blakesteele posted 2/27/2014 05:38 AM

Gently.....Chico, I have picked up on an "unsettled" feeling about your path to R over the past few it's just not working out for you.

I know porn is a part of your R process....use it with your wife to sedate some of the pain (mind movies) you experience while being intimate with your wife.

I also know we have differing views on what porn is and is not.

It is with concern and hope for you that I offer the following;

Can you continue being intimate with your wife without porn for 6 weeks?

As a former porn user I can confidently tell you that my use of it kept me from some internal pain I wasn't even fully aware I had. You have to feel to heal. Feelings get buried alive and need daily feeding....subconsciously influencing your actions.

This could be a source of stumbling for you....could rule that out by stopping using porn for 6 weeks. If at the end of 6 weeks you feel no have ruled out another possible intimacy blocker.

At about 4 weeks into being porn free....I was feeling FREE. 6 weeks out I was free to start feeling some pain I had buried when I was 12 and NOT have to sedate it with porn. Now, at just over 1 year porn free I can pretty clearly see why I used porn, what it did for me, what it did to me, and how much more fulfilled I am now.

When I first joined SI you were positive and inspirational.....over time I have seen you get drawn into a bit of darkness. I submit this to you out of concern for you.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 5:40 AM, February 27th (Thursday)]

cantaccept posted 2/27/2014 06:09 AM

Hi Chicho,

I am sorry you are struggling right now. Maybe just still part of the journey? The roller coaster, this is not linear. It would be so much easier if it were.

From my perspective, as a bs whose R failed. The why...

Both parties have to give 100%

The bs has to work on themselves, constantly, examine the role you played in the marriage. Not saying by any means that is contributed to the a!!! Just how it can be improved, deepen intimacy (not just sex!) Rebuild yourself, rebuild that self love, respect for yourself. Discover in yourself what you need to feel safe and willing to expose your heart again.

The ws must work 100% and more towards repairing the damage done to the bs. They must work on themselves and get to the root of the hows and whys of their choices. They need to face and change the behaviors.

Then, the work on the marriage can begin.

My stbxwh, is still the same. He never changed, even a little. He pretended that he was "going to" but never did.

I can tell by the emails now. He gives shallow words with no action. He makes promises but behaves the opposite.

Our R was never real, never had a chance because he would not face himself.

From what I have read from you, it seems that you are both giving all. Could it be just a low point?

I recently read Living and Loving After Betrayal, by Steven Stosny. You can google it and there is a podcast. It helped me enourmously.

It helped me to feel better about my feelings about myself and it also helped me to clarify what I really needed from stbxwh to be able to move past the hurt.

It also helped me to be strong in holding my boundaries in the face of his inaction or I guess in my situation, his new actions.

Please be kind to yourself. You sound like you are really struggling right now.

Big hugs to you.


karmahappens posted 2/27/2014 06:20 AM

I have sensed a lot of sadness in the R forum lately, some return visits that aren't going as hoped. :(

I agree with your 3 pieces of working through R Chicho. So there is a break-down somewhere.

For me, what I see ( and we know I am seeing only through the glasses I wear)

I see many folks not living with their truths. Hoping that the WS (and even the BS doesn't work it at times) will eventually "get it". By get it I mean wake up one day having changed, rather than working and taking the time to make the changes.

They hang on, living life with the hopes rather than the truth. I believe hope is key, but only when you are walking with your eyes wide open.

I see quite a few brooms lately. The want and need to get back "what we had" vs working hard to get to "where we can go."

I don't know what the real answers are, I am not in their situation, so I hope you don't mind me chiming in.

I do worry about a few folks that have left SI in the last month or two. I know they weren't ready but full of piss and vinegar. I pray they find their way in a healthy, emotionally secure fashion.

[This message edited by karmahappens at 6:28 AM, February 27th (Thursday)]

rachelc posted 2/27/2014 07:38 AM

vs working hard to get to "where we can go."

I believe this is pivotal in recovery. Many want what they had before but it's not a possibility and it's so hard to grieve that loss.

Moving forward and the "where we can go" involves letting go and accepting what happened and moving forward with two healed and improved people. Our marriage is really pretty good right now. It's the letting go and acceptance of the past I fight against. And I believe that's what keeps people sad and in limbo..

A lot of us sit here with time going by working on all three of these things and then finally realizing that it was, indeed, a dealbreaker. The ok, I'll work really hard for 2-5 years and see where we're at...

[This message edited by rachelc at 7:41 AM, February 27th (Thursday)]

SisterMilkshake posted 2/27/2014 07:45 AM

I also feel that for some BS's it takes 3 years or so for them to realize that the affair was a dealbreaker. That even though their FWS has changed and the marriage has improved they just aren't happy or in love with their spouse anymore. They tried, they gave it a chance, it just was a dealbreaker and they finally have accepted and realized that.

rachelc posted 2/27/2014 07:56 AM

I'm offering this gently:
there was a thread the other day that really bothered me. I sat back and thought to myself, Wow, people are actually talking themselves into staying with their spouses and are throwing out all kinds of excuses including: affairs are quite common and we shouldn't be surprised they happen.

I predict those are the people we'll see back here in 3 years not happy. Or maybe they'll be the people who are great. No idea.

painandgrief posted 2/27/2014 07:58 AM


Your question is a good one. The veterans will certainly have WAY more experience than I do to tell me if I'm off base or not, but I actually find this specific forum to be too broad.

By that I mean, there will be a veteran who can share their trials and tribulations after several months or years of experience with this nightmare. They have gone through the stages. Infidelity is brutal to your psyche, your family dynamics, your health, etc. I personally couldn't contemplate saying my BS and I were reconciling when this was all so new. However, you will see members with d-days within 3 months and they are calling themselves reconciled.

I respectfully wonder if that's part of the issue. Are people saying they are in reconciliation when it's far too soon?

Crushed15Feb13 posted 2/27/2014 08:05 AM

I believe hope is key, but only when you are walking with your eyes wide open.

I also feel that for some BS's it takes 3 years or so for them to realize that the affair was a dealbreaker. That even though their FWS has changed and the marriage has improved they just aren't happy or in love with their spouse anymore. They tried, they gave it a chance, it just was a dealbreaker and they finally have accepted and realized that.

I don't mean to t/j but these two statements landed pretty hard on me. Not sure what I can do about this, except be patient.

I've already handled (or at least think I'm handling) far more than I ever thought I could. So it might take another two years for me to realize I couldn't really handle it?

karmahappens posted 2/27/2014 08:27 AM

I don't mean to t/j but these two statements landed pretty hard on me. Not sure what I can do about this, except be patient.

Crushed, I am sorry if I was vague or confusing.

Crushed15Feb13 posted 2/27/2014 08:42 AM


I don't think your post was vague or confusing. What you say makes sense - some people may just process more slowly than others. I think I am probably one of them. I think my WW is too, which may help explain the 5 yr length of her LTA, even after she claims a couple years in to it, she started to realize she didn't love him and didn't have a future with him. But she just kept cheating on me with him until the OBS told me about the A.

There do seem to be lots of posts recently from long term BSs who say they still struggle every day. I don't want to be like that, but I wonder if the key is to D and move on?

I don't want to make judgements about my own situation from just a few posters, though. I need to remember every situation and couple is unique, though there can be things in common between all. Feels like I'm just trying to keep my head above water lately though.

EDIT: oops Karma, sorry I attributed the wrong quote to you. Yes, I guess "eyes wide open" could mean different things. Could I have my eyes open and still learn 2 yrs from now it was a deal breaker?

[This message edited by Crushed15Feb13 at 8:45 AM, February 27th (Thursday)]

sohurtbyhim posted 2/27/2014 08:44 AM

I believe Sister Milkshake may be right in my case. It's been three years since the last DD and I feel as hurt and sad as I did during that time. The difference between then and now is that I truly believed WH and I could work through it. I guess it was because I still believed that deep down somewhere he and I still shared similar values and morals even though he pushed this aside for a while. But the more I find out about him, the more I see that my whole married life was a lie, he never was who I thought he was. I was married to a stranger, someone who was one way when he was with me, but different when he wasn't. I know that if he had shown this side of himself to me when we were dating, I would never have married him. Perhaps he didn't know this side of himself back then and truly tried to be the man I thought he was, but failed at it. Who knows??

I am so sorry for everyone's pain.

karmahappens posted 2/27/2014 08:51 AM


Eyes wide open, IMO, means seeing your situation as it is, not as you want it to be.

Have you seen when someone goes on and on about how mean their WS is to them, name calling, bad boundaries, whatever... but the poster insists they are in R and their WS is great ...and yesterday they brought me a box of candy.

Well that's what I mean, that R ^^ is in danger but the poster is willing to accept the shitty behavior and settle for scraps from a WS (or BS) to make themselves believe they are happily married and R'ing. You can't fool yourself. You need to face the truth.

Deciding 3 years later it's a deal breaker....kudos to someone who does. They face their situation, gave it time and later decide it won't work. Disappointment, sadness, yes, but it's their truth.


AFrayedKnot posted 2/27/2014 09:02 AM

Thanks for the responses. When I posted this last night I wasn't talking about us. In reality we are in the best place we have been in this shit storm.

Morhurt- I agree that there are many who found peace and moved on. I too, am too new to really understand the long term effects and what pitfalls lie ahead.

In the past I have posted a lot of naive hopeful posts while floating on a pink cloud. They have almost made it worse for me, because those feelings didn't last. Most were posted at the peak of the roller coaster only to be followed by the spiral. The higher the peak the lower the valley. I have learned that the roller coaster is inevitable. That reality of all of this is never as good as the highs seem and never as bad as the lows seem. Everything is exaggerated. There has been much more clarity lately, its more like a kiddie coaster.

and Blake, you are right, I have had quite a few struggling posts the last couple months. Thank you for pointing that out. I have suffered from seasonal depression for years, in the winter everything is tainted with a little more pessimism.

I am sure there is a combination and everyones stories are different. But I was wondering if like Sister said, it is just a matter of coming to the conclusion that enough is enough and it was just a dealbreaker. Or if is more of a breakdown somewhere along the way.

Our pattern has been that of pain being the motivator. When things are struggling both of us are proactive at our healing independently and together. When things are more stable, apathy and procrastination set in until the pain returns. I am just as guilty of this as broevil so I am not pointing fingers. This is a dangerous pattern especially if it is progressive.

At this moment we have a good balance of comfort and effort...knock on wood.

*and Blake- about the porn...I dont know if I misrepresented its use in the past. It is used/enjoyed maybe once or twice a month, no different really than any other toy in the nightstand, except for maybe the...oh, nevermind.
But its been about a month since we last used it. We will give it another month or two to see if it makes any difference. Thank You for your concern.

AFrayedKnot posted 2/27/2014 09:02 AM

Thank You for sharing your experience sohurtbyhim.

I am sorry you are hurting. Sending Prayers

[This message edited by Chicho at 9:12 AM, February 27th (Thursday)]

somethingremorse posted 2/27/2014 09:08 AM

t/j, The thread probably started talking about vets who were still going through some bumps or doubts.

I agree with this:

I actually find this specific forum to be too broad.

There are lots of posts here that are more of the "thinking about what is necessary to start R." Not that those posts aren't valuable or sincere. It's just that they are very different from posts from people that are years down the road. I have been on a streak where I read here a lot, because I get perspective from BS who are at a similar point as my BS.

I don't think the forum needs to be limited or anything. I just need to remind myself that a lot of the threads do not apply to me, and to take from the ones who do.

MrsDoubtfire posted 2/27/2014 09:13 AM

As in, only the sad and hurting ones come back to check in, the happy ones have forgotten all about SI.

I actually find this sentence offensive!

Are you saying *I* am unhappy because I stay and still post down as well as upbeat posts?

wert posted 2/27/2014 09:27 AM

I also feel that for some BS's it takes 3 years or so for them to realize that the affair was a dealbreaker. That even though their FWS has changed and the marriage has improved they just aren't happy or in love with their spouse anymore. They tried, they gave it a chance, it just was a dealbreaker and they finally have accepted and realized that.

Yep. I would add a few things to this.

I think adjusting one's expectation about who they are and how they fit into the world, or mental flexibility, plays a big role here.

For me it has come down to two things.

- Really paying attention and a constant reminder to myself to see the world as it is and not how I want it to be. In short, puffy pink clouds no longer exist for me. They are white and while beautiful hold the chance of rain, which is also beautiful because it helps my garden grow...well you get it hopefully...and if you don't learn it.

- Adjusting my view of M, love and what they mean. My definitions and expectations of both of those things have changed. I don't want the rush...I'm to old for that. I want vigilance, commitment and a partner who tells me the truth and who wants those things as well. It seems easy, but I don't think most BS's and WS's who fall apart (not necessarily bad) can really change there world views and lives significantly enough to allow for the faults of their partners.

I don't believe in deal breakers, primarily because I think the deal was already broken. Instead I view R, which I refer to as recovery or rebuilding, as remodeling the house that burned partially down. The old memories are still there and they hurt, but I like my new kitchen as well. Reconciliation? To much pay back in that word for me.

I have been a strong advocate of turning away from your spouse after and A. I think this diatribe supports that. Break it off. All A's are deal breakers. It is just a matter of what you do from there. Do you have the mental flexibility to incorporate it into your life? I do and I am better off for it.

So much is put on the WS in this process. I think that is done because it is seen as supportive for the BS in the beginning. It is true that if a WS does not bend over backwards to "try" and fix it there is little hope of a good healthy recovery. I think it is also true that assuming the WS does that, if the BS doesn't fully accept there responsibility in the process, the unfairness of it all and the fact that they simply got screwed, but are OK with it, it is going to be a long slog.

I got called out on my anger by rachelc the other day - thank you. It really has made me think about my part in that anger and what I can control and what I can't. I'm working on it. That said, it has brought around many of the concepts I raised above. Letting go of those things, the unfairness, the pain and the wrongs and really looking at how things are now.

My first IC, after D-day, told me, "you have a lot more control over your relationship right now that you think you do or you may ever have again." She was spot on. I see that now. It was always there. I use it now.

take care...

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