I wonder, if these characters were to return, just WHAT would they have to do that would make us feel as if they "made up" for having an A? How much can they (or, should they) do to help us get over it? Short of having a revenge A (not my style) I'm wondering now, just what should I ask the bum to do to make up for doing this to me?
Nothing can make up for your spouse having an A, although a lot of people recover from it.
In marriage counseling part 1, our counselor asked me what "restitution" I should receive for the wrong that had been done to me. I replied, "There is nothing that could make up for this."
Later, when I found out WH had continued the A, I took all the travel time, hours and money spent on counseling and went on 2 solo vacations.
Those were supposed to help me sort things out & make a decision about our marriage, but I'm still in limbo and on the fence.
If you're in R, the best you can hope for is a truly loving and engaged M - but that's what you both deserved all along, so it doesn't make up for the A.
It's a great outcome, though.
So far, he has made good on that promise, for the past 7 years.
Remorseful, NC, transparent, and mostly honest (some TT before we saw an MC). Willing to do what is needed for my comfort and reassurance.
* The WS needs to terminate all infidelity immediately and disclose all aspects of the A to the BS in whatever level of detail the BS feels they need to heal.
* The WS needs to work his/her ass off to understand the effects of the A on the BS.
* The WS needs to educate him/herself on infidelity in general and why it is so damaging and hurtful.
* The WS must strike from his vocabulary any language that tends to minimize, justify, obscure, or shift blame for the A.
* The WS needs to be proactive in understanding the nature of the pain caused and think of creative and sensitive ways to reduce that pain whenever possible.
* The WS needs to be completely open in all aspects of their life, including their inner emotional life, to the BS until such time as the BS thinks some privacy can be restored without significant pain or fear.
* The WS needs to express extreme apologetic remorse to whatever degree makes the BS feel like trust may be possible.
* The WS needs to completely abandon their pride in the service of this work.
IF the WS does ALL these things, then it might come close to "making up" for the A. Of course, we all know how many WS's actually do these things -- not nearly enough.
It is like when your home burns to the ground and there are only a few charred memories found in the ashes. Then the insurance company comes and 'pays you' what the house was 'worth' so you can buy 'replacements' of everything.
Do you end up with a new house? Yes. Do you end up with new furnishings? Yes. Is it the 'same?' No, not really. It is both good and bad. You've lost so much that cannot be replaced. But, you've also gained a point in which you can start over; completely, clean up, trash the trash and move on to a bigger better more stable life.
The way to reconcile is to build the honoring kind of marriage we all should have had before the affair.
Both parties MUST want to stay in the marriage AND do the real WORK each and EVERY day to have a good marriage. With a terribly hurting partner (the one who was cheated upon) it takes time (more than we want and usually longer than we think it should take) and extra special care to get there.
Failure to attempt is failure.