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Reconciliation
User Topic: As Good As It Gets
Raidra
Member
Member # 33789
Default  Posted: 8:28 PM, May 7th (Tuesday)

My father mentioned this movie to me the other day, and where the title comes from. The main character says at one point, "Do you ever wonder if this is as good as it gets?"

I've been thinking about that a lot lately because I've been really struggling with a sense of disillusionment regarding love and marriage in general. Things are decent in my marriage right now, I guess. I just feel very apathetic about us and marriage in general.

I feel like I (along with every other woman in this country) was sold a bunch of crap. Like we were told there was this wonderful thing called romantic love, that we could have a wonderful marriage, that Mr. Right was out there waiting for us.. and I believed that for a long time. But after finding out about my husband's sexaholism, I wonder if love and marriage are all just a fantasy. Are there any really truly happy marriages, or is that something we just see on TV?

Is a good working partnership with someone you get along with as good as it gets?


Me: BW, 34
Him: SA WH, 36
4 young kids
Initial D-Day: 8/16/11

Posts: 127 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: MA
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 9:05 PM, May 7th (Tuesday)

I talked with a friend recently about how ambivalent I felt about my marriage. She said,"are you sure you wouldn't be throwing something away that is good enough?" Or my mom saying, "at least he wants to stay with you."
W. T. F.?
Yep, I get it....


his Dday: 2/10
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4926 | Registered: Dec 2010
HardenMyHeart
Member
Member # 15902
Default  Posted: 10:23 PM, May 7th (Tuesday)

Your topic title, As Good As It Gets, is a question I have asked myself many times.

The following brief YouTube video by Jon Kabat-Zinn pretty much describes how I have tried to look at the affair, as well as other areas in my life where I have suffered:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fpLGpeeW5c

Are there any really truly happy marriages, or is that something we just see on TV?

Yes, there are many happy marriages out there. I include mine as one of them. Happiness is found from within. It does not come from your spouse or your marriage. Learn to find your own inner peace and calm, and you will see things differently. I recommend the following book to get you started on looking at things differently:
The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

So sorry for the pain you are going through.

[This message edited by HardenMyHeart at 11:58 PM, May 7th (Tuesday)]


Me: BH, Her: FWW - Long Term EA/PA
d-day: June 25, 2007
Married 30 years, Reconciled

Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.


Posts: 5651 | Registered: Aug 2007
mysticpenguin
Member
Member # 38839
Default  Posted: 11:10 PM, May 7th (Tuesday)

This is an interesting question for me on a sociological and psychological level. I do feel that movies and the media in general portray love as something that never needs any maintenance or upkeep or hard work -- you meet Mr. or Ms. Right and everything is hunky dory forevermore. And at the very same time, there's a subliminal sense of entitlement: entitlement to perpetual effortless happiness, a permanently trouble-free and satisfying sex life... and I do wonder whether these overt and slightly more subliminal messages have something to do with the fact that large-scale marital woes like infidelity and divorce are on the rise.

To address your question, though, I do think there are truly happy marriages. I think they require a lot of proactive work and compromise -- BUT I also think that everyone deserves a fulfilling relationship that meets their needs. I'm not a big believer in settling or "good enough."

I'm so sorry you're having a rough time <3


Betrayed

Posts: 306 | Registered: Mar 2013
FeelingSoMuch
Member
Member # 38814
Default  Posted: 11:12 PM, May 7th (Tuesday)

I used to be happy. Happy about my life, happy about my marriage. When my WW first got caught cheating and went to IC, the therapist told me she said she didn't know why she cheated, that her marriage was "perfect" and that I was a "wonderful, kind husband."

It's not just women who were sold a bunch of crap.

Some people cheat. Some people don't. It hurts a lot when they cheat. But it is possible to feel happy and be genuinely happy. I had that for 11 years before my WW cheated.

I'm sorry for your pain. Please don't lose hope.

Take care of yourself, as hard as that sounds. Please don't lose hope.


Me: BH
Her: WW
Together since 2001, married since 2007.
D-day: Feb. 20, 2013.
Broke NC: 2 phone calls since
Today: In MC and IC, attempting R.
It got easier: They no longer work together.

Posts: 509 | Registered: Mar 2013 | From: Canada
Undone1
Member
Member # 37683
Default  Posted: 12:12 AM, May 8th (Wednesday)

For a long time I thought I was Cinderella and living the perfect life. Great husband, great marriage, wonderful kids, started my own business, etc. That all changed on October 27, 2012 when I found out about my WH 3 year affair. I was devastated. I believed in a fairy tale life, but that was a lie.

I just started reading Goodbye Prince Charming: The Journey Back from Disenchantment : Creating the Marriage You'Ve Always Wanted from the Ashes of Storybook Romance

Not far along in the book but it addresses the very issue of expectations etc. You might check it out.


Undone1
Married 10+ years to my high school sweetheart
DDAY 10/27/12
Me 55
WH 55
Blended Family: 25, 21, and 20
Married 10 years
"The Universe Unfolds as it Should"

Posts: 301 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Missouri
Raidra
Member
Member # 33789
Default  Posted: 8:57 AM, May 8th (Wednesday)

Thanks for the responses, guys.

I do know (now) that my happiness isn't dependent upon another person or relationship. I am happy with most areas of my life and I do feel fulfilled as a person. I wouldn't consider myself unhappy in general.

At the same time, though, I do feel like I was sold a line of crap. And I worry about my own daughter. What do I tell her as she grows up? I don't want her to have to deal with this same disenchantment, but I also don't want to be negative, either.

In S-Anon the idea of finding happiness and joy in spite of living with a sexaholic comes up sometimes. I've gotten pretty good at that, but it is still sometimes rough to realize that this could be as good as it gets.


Me: BW, 34
Him: SA WH, 36
4 young kids
Initial D-Day: 8/16/11

Posts: 127 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: MA
Raidra
Member
Member # 33789
Default  Posted: 9:01 AM, May 8th (Wednesday)

Okay, this is kind of silly, but I just got a link to this video in my email (our UU church is playing it for our Children's Sunday service).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyVzjoj96vs

This morning, I love this message.


Me: BW, 34
Him: SA WH, 36
4 young kids
Initial D-Day: 8/16/11

Posts: 127 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: MA
PeaceLove187
Member
Member # 33559
Default  Posted: 10:50 AM, May 8th (Wednesday)

Thank you!! Love it!!


BW--Me, 57
FWH--Him, 59
Married 35 years
Empty Nesters

Posts: 638 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Midwest
hopefullromantic
Member
Member # 16652
Default  Posted: 11:10 AM, May 8th (Wednesday)

there's a subliminal sense of entitlement: entitlement to perpetual effortless happiness, a permanently trouble-free and satisfying sex life...

Well said, Mystic.

Raidra, like you, I went thru that phase of disillusionment too. Which is surprising because previous to the A I had found myself in amazement at how easy and rewarding my marriage had become. Just as there are myths about the fairy tale marriage, there are just as many claiming that marriage grows stale over the years, whereas for me it had become better than ever. Maybe it was just the calm before the storm. It wasn't fairytales that had set me up but my own surprisingly happy experience. So maybe I took things for granted and that is why I was so shocked when the marriage took that awful turn. I thought we had "arrived", but really for us, the journey was just beginning.

I do think there is an element of destiny to many marriages. The person was destined, but perhaps so was the infidelity. Or some other tragedy (or tragedies). But the infidelity was part of the marriage experience, not the marriage itself. If I had lost one of my children that would have tainted my marriage experience, but it would not have defined it as a whole either. Life happens. Shit happens. Infidelity is just one of those things that a great many of us must endure. And to be honest, if I had a choice in tragedies to be befall me, I'd chose it over many others. Partly because I always knew we would survive it.

So yeah, I am in a truly happy marriage. It is not a perfect marriage and it certainly has some sad undertones. But it is more than "good enough" and if it never gets better I'm okay with that. I have someone to love that makes me smile (most) every day and that is as good as it gets.

Edited to add: It took me 5+ years to really feel happy (more than fleetingly) again.

[This message edited by hopefullromantic at 11:24 AM, May 8th (Wednesday)]


It's not really a fairy tale 'till the witch is deposed and a few dragons are slain

Posts: 1768 | Registered: Oct 2007
Sal1995
Member
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 1:26 PM, May 8th (Wednesday)

I feel like I (along with every other woman in this country) was sold a bunch of crap.

Read my bio and those of many BH's on this site. It's not just women who get sold a pile of crap. As a man, I always assumed that I could keep infidelity out of my marriage simply by being faithful myself. 80 days ago I discovered that my reward for not so much as kissing another woman during 17 years of marriage was a wife who had spent the past 10 months screwing someone else. Every chance she got, apparently.

Believe me, I understand your disillusionment.

[This message edited by Sal1995 at 1:30 PM, May 8th (Wednesday)]


Me (BS)-45, WW-42
DDay 2/17/13, 9-10 month PA/EA
Final NC late Feb. '13
M - 18 years, 4 children
Reconciling

Posts: 1387 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
I think I can
Member
Member # 17756
Default  Posted: 1:45 PM, May 8th (Wednesday)

I remember feeling this way. Like "life is shit and then you die." And my kids' lives will be shit.

It got better.


I'm not the winner, I'm the prize.

Posts: 8815 | Registered: Jan 2008
Undone1
Member
Member # 37683
Default  Posted: 2:19 PM, May 10th (Friday)

On a forgiveness podcast the counselor talked about if we don't forgive and move on, how will our children view us? This question really resonated with me. I want my children to see me as a strong woman who can stand on her own, who can get thru tough times with grace, that is respectful, honest, and can apologize when I am wrong. There are no guarantees that our lives are going to go as we planned and I think we owe it to our children to be a good example in the ups and downs.


Undone1
Married 10+ years to my high school sweetheart
DDAY 10/27/12
Me 55
WH 55
Blended Family: 25, 21, and 20
Married 10 years
"The Universe Unfolds as it Should"

Posts: 301 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Missouri
crazyblindsided
Member
Member # 35215
Default  Posted: 2:29 PM, May 10th (Friday)

And I worry about my own daughter. What do I tell her as she grows up? I don't want her to have to deal with this same disenchantment, but I also don't want to be negative, either.

^^^This is my biggest concern over everything. I tell my daughter that she does not have to marry if she doesn't want to and that sometimes married people don't get along and have lots of issues and need to get D. Some decide they want to try and work on it (like mommy and daddy).

I'm definitely not pushing any fairytales on her. Plus after what she's been through with my WH's A she has voiced that she never wants to get married, which isn't good either.

It's so hard. The thing I don't want her to see is a mother that is a doormat.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 2:29 PM, May 10th (Friday)]


BS/FWS (me):40 Madhatter
WS/BS:42 Serial Cheater
Together 18 years, Married 13
DD(10) DS(7)
DDay(s) 5/08, 5/09, 3/30/12
Final Dday 7/11/14 Affair never ended

Posts: 2266 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: California
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 4:05 PM, May 10th (Friday)

I feel like I (along with every other woman in this country) was sold a bunch of crap.

Overgeneralization. Both my mother and my W's were happy to be M, but never pretended it was a bed of thornless roses. Both my W and I always knew there was more to life than being in love - and I place a very high value on being in love.

Gently, take responsibility for accepting the image sold by people who just want to take your money. Change your view. In particular, a working partnership can be immensely more pleasurable than the marriage sold by marketers.

[This message edited by sisoon at 4:08 PM, May 10th (Friday)]


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10083 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
so_lost
Member
Member # 7726
Default  Posted: 4:46 PM, May 10th (Friday)

I think most of us are delusional especially when it comes to happiness. While my FWH was in the midst of his affair, he told me he just wasn't happy anymore. We'd only been married 2 years:( I thought well, duh, happiness waxes and wanes in marriage and in life. It takes work. It's not all roses all the time. We expect happiness always and that expectation in itself is absurd.

Sisoon-I totally agree.

[This message edited by so_lost at 4:50 PM, May 10th (Friday)]


D-day April 2005, R.
Me-BS 37
Him-FWH 37, 8 month EA/PA with coworker. Married 2 yrs at the time.
2 kiddos after D-day, Married 11 years.


Posts: 262 | Registered: Jul 2005
FeelingSoMuch
Member
Member # 38814
Default  Posted: 6:43 PM, May 10th (Friday)

Sal1995, I feel the same way. Agreed, it's hell on earth.

I'm finding that there are better days, but there also are terrible, unbearably painful days.


Me: BH
Her: WW
Together since 2001, married since 2007.
D-day: Feb. 20, 2013.
Broke NC: 2 phone calls since
Today: In MC and IC, attempting R.
It got easier: They no longer work together.

Posts: 509 | Registered: Mar 2013 | From: Canada
cdnmommy
Member
Member # 30182
Default  Posted: 4:19 PM, May 11th (Saturday)

I never believed in fairy tales. I believed in deep friendship, mutual respect, shared dreams and values, and a healthy (if sometimes varible) dose of attraction. FWH and I talked about these things throughout our relationship. I figured if that was as good as it got, I would be petty happy. And I was!

Respectfully, I don't think it is about the death of the fairy tale, but of what we thought we were building. That is why it hurts so much whether you're male or female, old or young, living out a fairy tale or not.


Me: BW
DDay: Oct 2010 + 6 weeks false R
2.5 (+?) year A with married coworker/my "friend"
1 great kid.
Reconciling and healing

Posts: 1732 | Registered: Nov 2010
FeelingSoMuch
Member
Member # 38814
Default  Posted: 6:48 PM, May 11th (Saturday)

When I was happy, before the A, it never felt like a fairy tale. It felt like I had a lover and best friend all in one.

Yes, there were problems, difficulties and we both have many flaws. But that's life with anyone on earth. I believe the affair felt good because they weren't living in reality. They were meeting for sex, told each other they were confused as justification and went on until they got found out.

They were living the fairy tale.

An honest marriage, where you grow together, is much more rewarding and much happier.

I failed to see that my WW didn't get this. I gave her too much credit. Now she gets it and I'm asking myself if it's too late.

The MC tells me the life lesson for me here is to learn to forgive, but that my WW has to do her part to regain my trust.

The pain is unbearable at times. I feel like a shadow of my former self. My WW is in pain all the time, too, which leaves me asking, was it worth it? Why do they do it if it's never worth it?

Grrrr.

So on we go. I want to want my friend and lover back.


Me: BH
Her: WW
Together since 2001, married since 2007.
D-day: Feb. 20, 2013.
Broke NC: 2 phone calls since
Today: In MC and IC, attempting R.
It got easier: They no longer work together.

Posts: 509 | Registered: Mar 2013 | From: Canada
Topic Posts: 19