By safety net, I mean some kind of proof of her love, respect, desires and loyalty. So far, she has done all that I have asked, and much, much more. Even to the point of suggesting things I hadn't thought of. A good point that my Buddy's wife made, is that there is no evidence of any kind that she cheated after March, and even the OM and his wife say the same thing. Plus, these last four years , before my knowledge of the affair, were some of the best of our marriage. we have become a lot more communicative and loving and close. I asked her what she would do if I divorced her, and she said that she would wait for me, forever if need be, to come back to her.
A safety net? There are no guarantees in life. But her post affair actions speak volumes about where her mind is concerning you, your marriage and her respect for herself.
I get where you are coming from. Your mind is reeling. Her affair from 4 years ago feels like it happened today for you.
But to your wife it was 4 years ago. She did it. Went to counseling to own up to it, process it, understand it and bury it.
So while she does not want a separation please look at both sides.
I again will stress not rushing to any major decisions regarding your marriage but I will say that some separation will maybe clear your head and lower some of your emotions.
Sadly if you do separate you will likely spend some serious time consoling your wifes fears.
Crazy isnt't it.......
I think you have handled this lousy event in your life so very well. Admirable in fact.
Be strong for your family.
All kidding aside, you have to do what you feel you have to do. Personally, if you do decide to separate, your WW will struggle emotionally. She will relapse, to what level I do not know.
Will she cheat again, or start crossing her boundaries again? I doubt it. Is this fair in the least to you? Nope. But these are very real possibilities that I am sure you are considering. She is paying her price....in spades....as are you---the only problem is, believe it or not, you are still the mentally stronger one right now. You didn't betray yourself and your family. Your wife is reeling, and if you do want to protect her as you have stated, keep that at the front of your mind. In other cases, it may look like codependency, but that is the farthest from the truth. I just don't think that your wife could handle a separation at this point.
I don't think that I have ever given this advice in 4 years here, but that is how I see it---a WW who was remorseful before discovery, and was "trying" to do the right thing after her betrayal. It has eaten her alive for years, and I do believe that if you do reconcile, she will heal even more than she did the last 4 years, because it is now in the open. That doesn't make this shit one bit easier for you, because it should have never have happened. You shouldn't have had your world nuked this last month. But it has, and you can't change it.
What you do now is your choice. Leave or stay, there is no wrong answer. You have a world of healing to do, and you need to do what is best for you. All I am doing is giving you my opinion from the information you have told us.
There are no safety nets. No guarantees. For either of you. The score has been reset to 0-0. The rest is up to the two of you.
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day: 9/18/09 D-Day#2: 2/19/10 The Marriage Killer: 6/6/11
Heading for D
The score will never be 0-0 again. The score will forever be tillted the wrong way if he stays.
The thing is though. Could Bdell live with that. Some can some can't. Make sure you make the right decision for you Bdell, let it take time...
It is reset. The old marriage is gone....as Bdell knew it.
The point is, he doesn't have to start a new "game". If he wants out, he is well justified in doing so. But if he chooses to attempt reconciliation, then you don't go into it with the intent of keeping an upper hand. The intent is to create(or re-create) a satisfying, healthy, loving, reciprocating relationship.
There is nothing wrong with forgiveness.
A. If she is truly deserving of it.
B. If you truly give it to her as the gift that it truly is.
But take it from me and many others on TAM; just because you forgive does not mean you will ever forget.
And privacy has very little meaning in open, committed relationships.
I hope the holidays are peaceful for you at home Bdell.
The score will never be 0-0 again. The score will forever be tilted the wrong way if he stays.
JB is right. The old marriage is dead Tom.
If Bdell decides he still loves his wife and knows he is strong enough to attempt reconciliation with his wife then they both are committing to a rematch aren't they?
And if Bdell and his wife truly love each other they will not keep score on their marriage.
Her remorse is their. BDell's honesty is there.
Now is the time to let emotions settle, the dust to clear and ponder what life will be like with and without each other.
They have a lot of history so a good amount of time might be necessary to think about these big decisions.
Of course she agreed to do it. You could probably ask her to cut off her finger and she'd do it. So that is not an argument for doing it.
Just remember, you can't unring this bell any more than she can make the affair disappear.
If you look at your responses from the beginning of this thread to now, you can see an evolution? Because you cannot know how you will feel 6 months or a year from now, why not err on the side of caution?
Just my opinion.
[This message edited by k9lover1 at 2:43 PM, December 26th (Thursday)]
However, I don't Think the M could ever be equal again. We are just human and as many have said you can forgive but you can't forget. It's Always gonna be there in the back of your mind. It might not Always be pressent in your thoughts but it will be from time to time. Therefor I don't ever Think it could be an even score if you R.
That doesn't mean that, if you R, you should use it against your wife for the rest of your M. It doesn't mean that you can't have a very good M after the A.
What I said was just that the BS will Always be down in the scoreboard if they save the M. If you can't live with and accept that you will not R successfully.
You could reconcile with your wife- she seems more than interested.
You could divorce her and move on, she seems resigned to give you a good deal.
You could divorce her and try again with her as a live in girlfriend. You already took her wedding ring. This would enable you to get a good settlement now, while she is agreeable. Her willingness to be so agreeable may not last.
She was obviously into this guy a lot at the time, all other BS considered. She spent family money, when money was tight on a special B&B so they could have sex.
I have a hard time believing it is such a terrible memory for her since it went on more than once. She must have really liked the sex with him. Maybe he's a real ace in bed, who knows, except for your wife.
As for POSOM, you are being nice to him. This guy was balls deep in your wife more than once. He consumed your family's money as well and kept her contact information and called her to tip her off. Post him on cheaterville and send the link to everyone you can including him and his wife.
Did your wife at least get tested for STDs to protect your health? If that was covered, I can't recall.
If you want to divorce, go full steam ahead. You can always get remarried if she proves herself in the future. If she fails again, show her the door.
He agrees, as do I that he has given up, FOR LIFE, the right to privacy. I have access to all passwords, and I can check anything, anytime. I looked rather obsessively in the beginning. I hardly do anymore. If you decide to reconcile, I predict it will be much the same for you. It's not so much that you're checking on her as you are protecting yourself from further trauma and damage. Every time you DON'T find anything frightening, you build trust and repair damage.
We decided not to tell too many people. We did tell our adult children. Ours is an addictive issue that caused overall dysfunction. Our kids needed to know. That decision was yours to make.
I think you are SO early in this process that you are expecting too much of yourself. They say to NOT make any major decisions after a life trauma for 6 months to a year. You will cycle back and forth and rise up and down so many times...allow it to happen. You'll rage at your WW, you'll want to hold her and never let her go, sometimes all in the space of the same 20 minutes. It's a loss of control that I never thought I'd experience, and then never thought I'd heal from.
January 2009 was my final d day. So 5 years. That's how long it took me. And I'm still not there. But that has more to do with the fact that I was verbally and emotionally abused for the 20 years prior to d day. YOU have a WW who has shown you for the past years, with concrete actions, that she regretted her cheating, that she was devoted and loving to you. If you choose to reconcile, I strongly suspect your healing will be significantly shorter.
Holding you in the LIGHT...
This has been your mantra since you came here...
punish punish punish
It will never work....has been proven never to work....
Not everyone here wants to punish their WS for life....a true Reconciliation can not have one party holding it over the others head. No....you don't easily forget....but you can forgive over time with work...and you can move on.
I met a man at an Ironman event I did this year....His name is Chris Mcdonnell. His daughter was killed at Sandy Hook last year. Something he said will stick with me for life. "You can go through life with the anger and bitterness and the unfairness of what happened but it will drag you into a black hole that you may never return from".
Choose not to live that life....If it was a deal breaker for you...set yourself free
I'm not saying to punish. I'm just saying that if you want to R you will forever be in a loopsided M. You need to learn to live with that as a BS. That's all.
But I'm all for showing real hard consequences. I'm not pro R or D It all depends on the situation. I'm all for filing for D early on to show the seriousness of the situation, you don't have to go through with it. I'm all for the WS having to work his/her a$$ off to help heal the BS.
But I'm not at all against R and I do not beleive in punishing the WS forever. I do however beleive that it is, for many BS, very difficult not to punish during the first couple of months after DDay and francly I Think the WS should accept that as long as the punishment doesn't get out of hand. The BS needs to let of steam realy bad and it's up to the WS to help with that. If the WS does it right the steam letting will be directed in a better and more constructive way.
I strongly beleive you need to realy dig into all the mess and let it out if you are gonna make R work and also make sure Another A doesn't happen again.
But then again that is just me...
I appreciate all POV's but I have no intention of punishing my wife.
That^^^is laudable. Just remember that anger and grief are on the way. Sorry. You have to go through this shitstorm called infidelity. And no matter how you try to avoid these stages, you will have them. Again, sorry.
Mr. Happy and I are about 3 years past DD. I am not proud to say it but I punished Mr. Happy for about 2 years. No, it was not pretty. But I was devastated by his dishonesty and infidelity. That was my process. YMMV.
As time went on my mood mellowed and allowed me to come to grips with my 'New Normal'. My husband had another lover for about 5 years out of our 35 together. That was not pretty either! But we persevere.
The real reason that I am here today is because after DD, he never gave up on our marriage. I totally gave up, hell I left the family home for about 8 months! But he never lost sight of my healing and took all of my ire and saddness like a champ. Honestly, anything less would have sent me packing.
Yes I gave him divorce papers...that was when he went into overdrive to prove his love for me, only me.
His horrible choices sent me down the rabbit hole of depression and self hate. But I must say Mr. Happy has balls of steel to put up with what I was dishing out.
He surely bent our loving relationship, but we are still here, somehow it did not break. I feel that that is a testament to the strength of our love for each other.
We made it through. A lot of work, tears, anger, sadness, hugging, laughing, loving...we made it. And so will you.
((((((Bdell and Mrs. Bdell)))))
Never forget what is worth remembering or remember what is best forgotten.
My family was driving in the country along a paved highway. We came to a crossroads with a gravel road. We did not have a stop sign, but the gravel did. There was a pickup on the gravel stopped at the stop sign. Just as we got to the intersection, the pickup pulled out right in front of us, and we smashed into the side of it at close to 50 mph. Luckily no one got hurt, but from that day forward whenever we came to an intersection where there was a car waiting, I got VERY tense and my eyes were glued on that car. Traumatic experiences have a way of imprinting themselves on your brain this way. It's a survival trait. But I gradually lost that reaction after I went through hundreds of intersections and hundreds of cars didn't pull out in front of me. The human brain is very flexible that way.
How does this relate to your situation (and mine with my wife)? I have spent a lot of hours checking phone records and checkbook transactions. I have questioned by wife pretty closely when I feel suspicious. And so far every time my suspicions were not confirmed. The car didn't pull out and I didn't go smashing into it. As time goes on and your suspicions remain unjustified, it erodes your mistrust and pain. Eventually instead of a trauma that elicits pain, it becomes more of a fact. A piece of information. You still don't like it. In fact, you still hate it. But it no longer overwhelms you.
If you have had the experience in your past of having someone you loved break up with you, then you know what I mean. When it happens, the pain is immense. But time is a healer, and eventually it just becomes an item in the history of your life.
You are going through a traumatic experience, and from reading your posts it seems to me that you are having a pretty normal reaction to it. Overwhelming pain and anger. It's really raw and fresh for you right now. It's a struggle just to get through the day. There's a line from an old Peter Himmelman song called This Too Will Pass that really resonated with me when I was going through this: "Some days seem to drag on forever. You need all your strength just to keep your head together."
My advice to you is simply this: don't give in to despair. If there is one thing that we can guarantee in this life, it is change. Things always change, whether we like it or not. In good times, we don't want to think about this. But in bad times, it is comforting to know that no matter how bad it feels, it WILL NOT stay this way.
I didn't think I could go on with my wife. For a while I hated her and I very nearly divorced her. But she and I have a certain connection. A bond that I know I would have a hard time finding again. She is the mother of my children, and we have gone through a lot together. These things have value and meaning. With the benefit of hindsight, I can say that it might be a mistake to throw them away in the midst of all the pain and anger and trauma you are experiencing. These emotional states don't make for rational decisions, much less wise ones.
I'm sorry for how long this is. And I know that you may not be in a place where you can/want to hear this. But as one betrayed husband to another, I just really felt the need to reach out.
The problem of course, is after your wife has been fucked by another guy, she doesn't really look so good anymore does she? She doesn't seem so special. After all, she was willing to let another man pound her, and she actually sought it out.
So you're left with, she's mostly been a good wife, but you know she's just not that special anymore. Maybe it would be better to divorce her with kindness and find someone who won't look for another dick when you aren't looking. That's pretty much where I am. and I don't like it. Not even a little.