Third, and this is more of a question, and I hope you don't find it offensive - in your next post you discuss the fact that if you and your wife have to go through this again, she'll be gone. One area that comes up quite a bit in JFO and reconciliation is consequences. It seems, and I may be missing something here as well, but that this time, you realize that there won't be a next time, and you've decided what is important to you. In other words, more bad behavior will result in consequences you absolutely do not want. Is this a fair statement? I ask because often a BS is afraid to use boundaries and enforce them with consequences. Others (myself included) are of the opinion that if you don't give a person a reason to change behaviors then usually they won't change - particularly if there is something they gain from the behavior. I"m curious, and I'm hoping you'd be willing to give your opinion on this.
This is an interesting question. I think sometimes the only way to snap the person out of their fog is to present them with the realization that they're going to lose the person. My wife said to me "I'm done. I can't go through this again". And she meant it.
I didn't think there was going to be a next time after the first time. But I also didn't remain mindful. A month later, we moved on, and were getting drunk and doing naughty things with this couple -- all four of us. I crossed the line when it became two of us, but that was an easy line to cross when the time came. We should have worked on us and never should have gotten involved with this couple.
The horror that there was something seriously wrong didn't really set in until this second time.
I don't think it was the threat of divorce that made me wake up but the realization that oh my god this is happening again and this shit is real.
I can't help but wonder if we'd have been better off now, had she left the first time. We wouldn't have been with this other couple, and maybe I would've seen the light then, and worked my ass off to reconcile, and the focus would've been on us all along.
But... I'm glad she's still here. For however long.
I think it depends on the couple. They know their spouse better than anyone. If the BS feels there's no getting through to their WS without a serious consequence, then that needs to happen. If the BS wants to leave it alone, then that doesn't make them weak. And if their worst fears are realized after that, as I've also seen in general and JFO, then it does not mean the BS made the wrong choice by inaction. It takes a sort of strength and courage, I think, to stand by your spouse and want to see the best in them and help them. My BW could've left this time. I don't know if I wouldn't have left, if she had done this to me. I just don't know. I can't play what if, and I can't even imagine. All I know is in this particular case, fortunately for me, she's had the amazing strength to stick around and not rush to any conclusions. And she even said recently "Well, if this is going to work, then I need to make some effort too and put in my 50%".
Every situation is different. Once a cheater, not necessarily always a cheater.
We didn't have the right tools the first time. No forums, no MC, no IC, no books. Who did we unload on? That's right, couple #2. BW had just found out and didn't want to cancel the date night we had set up. I remember going to the supermarket to pick up steak and shrimp and venting to AP's H, leaving AP and BW to do the same. I was forgiven, and they became our good friends, or so we all thought. I remember even having serious talks with them about how we'd hopefully all be friends 10 years from now and how awesome our friendship was and how none of us could see any way we wouldn't at least all remain friends.