I took the Free Pass, and I’m not proud of it. Consider my story.
Many years ago, not long after we were first married, my WW had an affair with a coworker. After they were outed to me by his BW, my WW just wanted to rugsweep the whole thing and move on. Part of her strategy was to encourage me to have my own A, so I’d understand better, or we’d be even or whatever. After a couple of years of turmoil, I did. Bad idea.
First, not only was I busy betraying myself by staying with someone who had violated her marriage vows and my values, but I betrayed myself again by doing the same thing. Believe me, these two events don’t cancel, they add. Double trouble.
Second, my AP ended up divorced. OK, their M had lots of problems, and was probably headed that way anyway, but I was the match that lit the fuse. I will carry that one to my grave.
Third, as far as my WW was concerned, we were “even” and I had no right to ask her any more questions about her A. Unfortunately, she not been the least bit forthcoming by this point, and continued to work with her AP.
My questions about the nature of their ongoing relationship were met with, “You had your fun. It’s none of your business.” I now believe their A only lasted a few months, but the ensuing decade of uncertainty left me with a wicked case of PTSD that erupted about a year ago when two of my coworkers engaged in an obvious A.
We somehow got through all this, are still happily married, and recently celebrated our 40th anniversary. So yes, it is possible to R after both parties stray. But it reminds me of an old piece of advice given to young men by older and wiser ones. Let’s say you’re at a party with your spouse and a cute young thing starts hitting on you. Your spouse notices, and says, “Go ahead, do what you want.”
This might be a Pass, but trust me, this pass is not Free. There will be blood.
Same thing after her A. Don’t.