As long as there is entitlement, there is no hope at reconciliation.
Once you realize that, everything else falls into place. Chumps tie themselves in knots on the transparency issue. She didn’t give me her passwords! He won’t close his Facebook account! How can I monitor this?
You don’t have to. The fact that they feel entitled to their privacy means this is a nonstarter. They feel entitled to not answer your questions. They feel entitled to keep working with the person. They feel entitled to keep their good opinion of the affair partner alive.
The biggest, most humungous entitlement I see after discovery is that cheaters feel entitled to reconciliation, period. They think they deserve all the time they want to come out of the “fog.” To answer your questions. To read a book, or schedule a shrink appointment. They feel grossly entitled to a chump’s patience.
Moreover, they feel entitled to all the marital perks they enjoyed before discovery of their affairs. Comfort and validation from the chump. Sex. Housework. Income.
Humility is much harder. Humility means that it’s not all about you. It means you manage your expectations of any reward. Humility accepts consequences and lets go of outcomes. Humility does not try to control the narrative or protect its image.
Humility is painful. It wrestles with shame. Humility recognizes that regaining trust is a long, slow process that may end, despite their best efforts. Humility works hard without pay. Humility is forthcoming. Humility doesn’t keep secrets.
Most chumps who desire reconciliation accept that transforming entitlement into humility is a process. And so, after being betrayed, wrestling with their own enormous grief, chumps accept yet MORE humility and eat shit sandwiches waiting for their cheaters to catch up on this humility thing.
That makes me mad. All the false starts and failures at no contact. Cheaters “grieving” the affair partner, staring blankly at questions and “not remembering.”
If you were a cheater examining your choices after DDay, what would be your most likely choice? Authentic reconciliation — shame and mortification, hard work of trust rebuilding without guaranteed reward, but you get to keep your marriage and family and finances intact. Eternal expressed gratitude to your chump for taking you back.
Or cake! The veneer of reconciliation, doing the bare minimum in terms of apologies and marriage counseling. No shame, no mortification (because the chump won’t tell anyone and will continue to protect your image). Marriage, family, and finances intact. And options remain open for current or future affairs.
Or escape! Follow the rainbow and start over with your sparkly affair partner. Okay, you lose the marriage, family, and half the finances, but you gain sparkles and there is some imaginary trading up. If you remain “friends” with your ex, you may be able to control the narrative or have another person to fuck once in awhile. The escape option also keeps cake alive.
Or divorce. No marriage, half time with family (if that), half the finances. Mortification, shame, no controlling the chump’s narrative. But a chance to start over with a clean slate and someone new.
The only two honest choices here are authentic reconciliation and divorce. The two hardest paths. If you’re a person with demonstrated poor character, which path do you think would be most tempting? If you’re prone to escapism and entitlement — how long do you think you can stay on a hard path without lapsing? Only one of these paths requires total humility — reconciliation. The other three let you keep most or all of your cookies.