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User Topic: Question for BS Menz
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 1:32 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

Sorry, but I'll admit to lurking in the Menz threads down in ICR. It really helps to get perspective from your point of view. Tough to read sometimes, but I know it's all truth.

If it's been covered before and I've missed it, my apologies.

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again? Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you? When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

Or are our affairs and brokenness just too much to see through? Reading your threads, I see alot of negative things piled up from our own messed-up stuff, to how badly we've hurt and scarred you, and I don't know that there are enough positives to ever reconcile the scale. At least not completely?

I'm struggling with the wording of this. Do you know what I'm trying to say?

I'm gonna go ahead and throw out the standard disclaimer of "Only QS and his opinion matter", and that's true. Guess I'm just curious what the other gentlemen here feel/think/say about it?


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6229 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
Tred
Member
Member # 34086
Default  Posted: 1:39 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

Aubrie,

I think I get what you are asking. Unfortunately, the only answer I can give right now is:

can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love

It's the one thing that I've always been sure of, genuine love for my wife. I'm not sure on the rest. I'm determined to try for now. I was there once before though or else I wouldn't be trying. I'm sure you'll get all kinds of answers


Married: 17 years (14 @JFO)
D-Day: 11/09/11
"Ohhhhh...shut up Tred!" - NOT the official SI motto (DS)

Posts: 3932 | Registered: Dec 2011
Brandon808
Member
Member # 35619
Default  Posted: 1:58 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

Considering that none of the three long-term relationships I was (including my M) ever resulted in R my response may seem ironic. However, I can absolutely say it is possible.

Love grows. It is more than just "chemistry". It encompasses feelings, actions and choices. It must be treated with due care or it can be diminished. However, just as it can diminish it can also grow stronger.

Respect, much like forgiveness, can be earned. I know in my heart that my SO (or XWW) could have regained my trust and respect, the latter being easier to regain than the former.

The fact that you''re willing to put that question out there says a lot imho.


xBH
D final 8/2012

Posts: 3806 | Registered: May 2012 | From: southeast
numb&dumb
Member
Member # 28542
Default  Posted: 2:17 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

I'll try to answer some relevant to my own experience.

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

I like to think so. I have learned that the future doesn't always turn out like it is supposed to. Even though I have had a myriad of emotions through this I have always loved my W (I call her simply my W rather than FWW, just my preference). While I have always loved her, it does not mean that I did not downright despise myself for having those feelings. Respect is partially restored. I respect my W in most things that she does now. I believe in second chances (now). I have seen enough remorse to know that she would change it if she could. The love and respect aren't the same as before, they aren't less they just come from different places now. IF that makes sense.


Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you?

I really think that this isn't something that I will ever forget so that's out. I don't think about it all day everyday anymore. I had to break the co-dependency and learn to love myself. The way I look at it (and this helps the times I do think about it) her actions only impact my life as much as I will let them. Her choices are her burden to carry. I know that sounds somewhat cold, but I exist first as individual then as a M individual. If I do trigger she is there to remind me of her remorse, sadness and pain for having brought that into my life. I have found myself and have never felt better with myself. Everything else is secondary in that it all benefits from me being a better me.

When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

I can be proud of her for some things. I am proud of her for the hard work she has done to make amends, work on her issues and be much easier to live with. I am proud of her for being more independent and not requiring me to fix all her problems for her. I am proud of her parenting skills now. Trust is going to take some time. I can't really do that 100% yet. She tries very hard and it is hard to be proud of her for that as her choices made that a new requirement for our M.

Or are our affairs and brokenness just too much to see through?

Sometimes. I have to decide to "stay M'd" every once and awhile still. At least it is isn't everyday that I have to make that decision. I have to force my rational rather than emotional brain to remind myself of things. Her remorse helps to a point, but she will always be the W who cheated on me and somewhere underneath the surface that still lingers. She realizes the impact this has had on me and our family. She realizes the impact it has had on herself. She owns all of that and does not place any of that blame on me anymore. I still have my needs which I don't compromise on anymore. I tried that and it cost me too much of myself. I have a feeling if she continues to apologize one day I will tell her to stop. For the time being I need to see enough to know I am not going to be made a fool again for loving her. That is important to me.

I don't know that there are enough positives to ever reconcile the scale.

There are not and never will be. I know that. She knows that. Mutual understanding of that point somehow makes it OK for me. We are giving our life a chance to be great. I know and control what I need to do, she does the same. Trust is the hard one. Convincing me that I am safe with little trust has been hard on her. She still tries and most days that is enough.

ETA: Hit send too soon.

[This message edited by numb&dumb at 2:20 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)]


Me-35 her-35

DS 1, DD 6
Dday 8/31/11. ONS that occurred 3 years earlier. Lied to for 3 years.

Every truth comes to light in a long enough timeline.


Posts: 2554 | Registered: May 2010
knightsbff
Member
Member # 36853
Default  Posted: 2:24 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

Aubrie,

I'm a Menz lurker too and have been searching for the same answers. I doubt I would have been brave enough to ask it so thank you.


FWW 40's
D-day August 27, 2012
3 kids and 2 dogs

Posts: 1428 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Deep South, USA
SuperDuperWonderboy
Member
Member # 34716
Default  Posted: 2:31 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

I feel like I should add a gif or something here.


My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

I thought so. I worked hard at it for nearly 2 years. I think had she shown more, I could have. But alas, I will never know.

Initially, after DDAY, the genuine love was still there. The problem was, her lack of effort over two years, eroded more and more of my respect. Got to the point where the lack of respect, made me staying with her impossible.

Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you?

For me...No. Always and everywhere. Even when you are having a great day, it's still there...a dark cloud just on the horizon. It may not be mucking up the day, but it's still there. In fact, I would say haunting is a perfect way to describe it. It may not be blasting you in the face..but it's always around.

When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

Can't answer that. Didn't have a spouse do the hard work.


My Friends call me Wonderboy--That's Mr. SuperduperWonderboy to you Tred.


Posts: 1272 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Everett
Merlin
Member
Member # 30221
Default  Posted: 2:42 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

I never got the chance to R though I wanted it badly. No assurance it would have worked.

But I agree with Brandon that "love grows" and ours (from my side anyway) was far deeper at the end than the beginning.

And, as Tred paraphrased "can you ever get to a place where you really love" is now the question.

It's as though something broke in me or was removed as my marriage disintegrated. 5+ years on, I am not at all sure that, other than my children, I am able to love another.


"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A bird will fall frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself." D. H. Lawrence

Her: WW/57 Me: BS/63 24yrs M
3 great kids, now 22, 20, 17 b,b,g
D-Day 8/14/08, D 1/13/11


Posts: 1164 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: East Coast
Joanh
Member
Member # 39146
Default  Posted: 2:52 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

Thank you, Aubrie and the Menz,

I too lurk, and I too wonder, and I too feel my BH opinion is the one I need to know.

It helps to hear from others and like you said Aubrie, it hurts to read cause I can read it and I hear my BH say it and see it in his eyes.

Thank Aubrie again for putting it out here, and thanks Menz for your candid responses.


BH 39
WW 43
D day November 9, 2012
3 children 22, 8, 6
Just....

Posts: 435 | Registered: Apr 2013
ascian
Member
Member # 40304
Default  Posted: 2:55 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

For me? Absolutely. I never stopped loving my wife, even as I was agonizing about how to confront her over her affair. I may not have liked her very much for a bit, but I still loved her and that hasn't stopped. We're making progress on reconciliation, I've forgiven her actions, and we're healing the wounds in our relationship.

Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you?

The affair's aftermath is, and will always be, a scar for me. That's alright, I've got plenty of scars, and each one is a story told and a lesson learned. Some were simple ("Don't cut with a knife towards your fingers again"), some more complicated, but they're all a part of me and have made me who I am. And since, for the most part, I like who I am I accept the price I've paid to get here.

Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you? When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

This one's harder, though my wife and I aren't even 4 months out from D-Day so my ability to answer this one's a bit thinner. The first two questions were internal to me. I can love, and heal, whether or not someone else is involved. Pride in another, though, means that they have to act as well as me.

I can say that I'm proud of the effort my wife has put in to learning productive introspection. She's always had a fairly negative self-narrative, and she'd rugsweep her own problems, but she's working on stopping those behaviors. It's not fixed yet, but she's not hiding from the job either.

Reading your threads, I see alot of negative things piled up from our own messed-up stuff, to how badly we've hurt and scarred you, and I don't know that there are enough positives to ever reconcile the scale.

You see that, in part, because the Menz thread is a place where it's socially acceptable for us to be vulnerable. Socially, we can't break down and cry in public when we trigger. We can't just drop everything and call up a friend when we're having a bad day. I mean, sure it's physically possible for us to do that, but the social repercussions for a man doing this are different than for a woman, unfortunately. We're told to "man up" or "grow a pair" or "stop acting like a heartbroken little girl" when we're overwhelmed, or at least have a somewhat reasonable fear of those reactions. So the Menz thread, then, is a safe space where we can let out that anger and fear and hurt.

I'll leave it there, though I can go on for much longer if you like. The benefits (and perils) of having an English degree background are that I can talk for a long time on any subject.


Me - BH 39
Her - FWW 36
D-Day: 8/13
Working on R

Posts: 299 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Midwest
MediumRare
Member
Member # 35128
Default  Posted: 3:04 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

I can only speak for myself, but to make it pretty general from my standpoint, there are three main things that an affair/cheating destroys:

1) Trust. I do not believe it is possible to restore trust to pre-affair levels ever again. It's like a piece of paper that has been crumpled up... you can only straighten back as best as you can, but it will forever have the wrinkles of that event. This doesn't mean that trust is lost, just it cannot be the same, 100% level but instead maybe an 80%-90% level IF lots of hard work to regain that trust ensues.

2) Respect. I totally believe respect can be fully recovered if the WS has true remorse, strikes the event down with the same fury and abandonment as felt by the BS, and ensures there is no possible way they will ever do this again for themselves and NOT the marriage/relationship. When a WS opinions, feelings towards and reflection upon the affair matches of similar levels to that of the BS, then respect can begin to renew.

3) Intimacy. I also fully believe intimacy can be fully restored, but this particular step really requires the most amount of work for both the WS and BS... especially the BS. I think, at least for me, the deepest wound from cheating is the huge piece of intimacy is lost between the BS/WS from the affair. Anything "special" about that is suddenly and totally destroyed and cheapened as a third party has taken this from you WITH the consent of your WS. Getting through this as a BS is solely my most difficult challenge and not sure if this is "menz" specific or also applies to women BS's.

So the light I see at the end of my personal tunnel is the only permanent loss is I know I can not ever trust my WS the way I did before. We are rebuilding that trust now and it grows every single day, but I know that I cannot fully trust her again regardless of how things go moving forward... and in some ways, I'm okay with that and maybe it's not such a bad thing as it may make us both more comfortable.


BS (ME): 44
WS(HER): 42
9 years
OM#1- 20-something loser, stole bunch of my things after she had sex with him in our bed (no condoms, STDs)
OM#2- 24 year old, unemployed loser, lives with mom & dad
DDay 1/2012
NC 3/20/2012
SGASDay 4/1/2012

Posts: 716 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: California
atsenaotie
Member
Member # 27650
Default  Posted: 3:08 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

Hi Aubrie,

I do think that there is a bias that those who were successful in R tend to spend (much) less time on SI, so consider the ratios in the answers you get.

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

I have not, but it is not the A-crap. I honestly believe that I have R'd that part. I understand why FWW had her A’s, and she and I agree on the reasons.

What keeps me from locking in R for my status is the lack of love that I feel from FWW, and the barriers her issues create to us forming an emotionally intimate bond. FWW is a much different person than the dday WW. She owns her issues, but they are so many and so deeply engrained that she struggle to be a happy and healthy person. In MC years ago she spoke of wearing an emotional body condom to protect herself; she let no one inside. I believe that this is still true for her. We can be roommates, parents, friend, but never a couple.

Healing from FWW’s As was on me, I had to do the work. She helped by owning her crap, staying NC, and implementing transparency, but the healing was my responsibility. In addition to healing myself, I have identified and work on the issues (conflict avoidance, White Knight Syndrome, introvert) I can control that created stress in our relationship.

Healing the M is on both of us, and I just don’t see her as capable of doing her part. I am trying to set aside the disconnect I feel in my M and focus on the positives in an effort to regain my respect for FWW, but I am having trouble seeing past the depressed, aged, weak, and negative person that I now perceive her to be.

--Ats

[This message edited by atsenaotie at 3:11 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)]


FBS 54
Separated and Divorcing

Posts: 4130 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: FL
wifehad5
Moderator
Member # 15162
Default  Posted: 3:25 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

Absolutely

Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you?

These are part of our history now. They're there. They don't really hold any power anymore though. When some reminder comes up, it's met with an eye roll.

When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

For me this didn't take too long. I was there witnessing the hard work she did. In a lot of ways she had to work much harder than I did. She worked her ass off, and I was there every step of the way. She didn't hide anything.

Or are our affairs and brokenness just too much to see through?

This is where there is a sliding scale. Early on as I found out what had happened and what we were dealing with, it was a pretty big pile. As time went on, and I saw the work she was doing, it got easier.

I see alot of negative things piled up from our own messed-up stuff, to how badly we've hurt and scarred you, and I don't know that there are enough positives to ever reconcile the scale. At least not completely?

This is where it's subjective. Some people will just leave when they find out when they've been cheated on. Some will stick it out to see what happens. What we see is that often the WS wants to rug sweep and do the bare minimum.

Sometimes the scope of betrayal and issues is pretty huge. When we first started our reconciliation we did everything wrong. We were dealing with pretty much every type of betrayal possible. And we initially tried to rug sweep. Luckily, we found this site, and then we found a great MC. BR hit her rock bottom, and from there we hit the reset button and started fresh.

It was a lot of hard work, and it took years, but it was worth it.

I know you already know this, but don't compare yourself or your R to others. You are not them and vice versa. Keep your chin up


FBH - 42
FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

The people you do your life with shape the life you live


Posts: 37181 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 4:08 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

I understand there's no one-size-fits-all. There's too many different variables that complicate the whole thing. But I really appreciate everyone chiming in with their own POV and experience.

numb&dumb

While I have always loved her, it does not mean that I did not downright despise myself for having those feelings.
My husband said the same exact thing. May I ask if you have gotten past that point and what you did to accomplish that? Is it a continuous work?

The love and respect aren't the same as before, they aren't less they just come from different places now. IF that makes sense.
Makes total sense. I'm seeing/feeling this from the flip side. I was all unicorns and rainbows. The love I have now is completely different from the love I had prior to Dday. Guess because for me, it's coming from a healthier, eyes-wide-open place now.

I know that sounds somewhat cold, but I exist first as individual then as a M individual.
I can respect that. My husband sort of got lost in the toxic soup I was spewing everywhere. He's been on a journey to rediscover himself. It's been hard sometimes to let go of that control, let go of that outcome, but to see him flourish as a human being is a very cool thing.

Knightsbff

I doubt I would have been brave enough to ask it
Brave? Pshhh, I've been curled up, flinching as I hit the refresh button.

Wonderboy

I feel like I should add a gif or something here.
You and your gifs. I'm not as quick as MJ so don't attempt a war with me. It would be a waste of time as you would win instantly.

ascian

I never stopped loving my wife, even as I was agonizing about how to confront her over her affair. I may not have liked her very much for a bit, but I still loved her and that hasn't stopped.
My husband said this too. I hated hearing it. I had no doubt it was true, but that phrase was beaten over my head by my FOO many times. Hearing my spouse say it decimated me.

Socially, we can't break down and cry in public when we trigger. We can't just drop everything and call up a friend when we're having a bad day. I mean, sure it's physically possible for us to do that, but the social repercussions for a man doing this are different than for a woman, unfortunately. We're told to "man up" or "grow a pair" or "stop acting like a heartbroken little girl" when we're overwhelmed, or at least have a somewhat reasonable fear of those reactions.
Understood. I'm thankful you gents have a clubhouse on SI to let it all out. And for the record, a man crying is not a bad thing. Yeah social stigma makes everyone think it is. One of the most precious things to me was when QS felt safe enough to break down on me. No, I'm not evil. I don't mean it that way. My parental unit shows no emotion. My ex-bf shows no emotion. Most of the men I grew up around showed none. For QS to actually have and show emotion was a very moving experience for me. He became the biggest man on earth in my eyes that day.

MediumRare,
I believe your views on trust are the same as just about everyone on SI. Oddly, my husband doesn't share that view. I find it fascinating. (And y'all probably think he's insane.) The way he expressed it to me was, for the first time in our married life, he trusts me 100%. He worried and fretted and stressed for 8 1/2 years. He saw broken, warped, little me and knew I was a ticking time bomb. When Dday hit and I had my come to Jesus moment, he knew that I "got it" down to my bones and he wouldn't have to worry about it anymore. I really struggled with accepting that because I felt that I should be punished and not trusted for pretty much the rest of my life.

I'm really not sure how he feels about respect towards me. I think he's trying and that it's coming in small increments.

Intimacy is completely different. I had no clue there was a such thing as emotional intimacy before. I'm like Jasmine singing "A whole new woooorld". It is something completely new to us. It's been a roller coaster and we've both put in an incredible amount of work into it.

atsenaotie
Had she broken the emotional body condom, do you feel that you could love/respect her again?

How do you continue a relationship with someone if the love/emotional intimacy is not there? Do you feel that you are selling yourself short?

WH5,
Thank you for your take on it.

I'm not comparing. Just genuinely curious how/what the gents here think/feel about it. It's probably been covered a million times in their own forum but that's a crapton of research.

If I'm being too invasive for anyone, please do not feel obligated to answer. The last thing I want to do is make anyone feel uncomfortable.

[This message edited by Aubrie at 4:09 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)]


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6229 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
ascian
Member
Member # 40304
Default  Posted: 4:20 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

My husband said this too. I hated hearing it. I had no doubt it was true, but that phrase was beaten over my head by my FOO many times. Hearing my spouse say it decimated me.

I can understand that. For me it's a compartmentalization mantra, to keep me from lumping everything into one overwhelming pile, but I can see how it may be used as a weapon (whether intentionally or not) in a FOO situation. Thanks for bringing that up, I'll keep it in mind when I feel that way about my kids and make sure it's a silent mantra.

If I'm being too invasive for anyone, please do not feel obligated to answer. The last thing I want to do is make anyone feel uncomfortable.

Speaking only for myself:

1) I have a lot of respect for the WSes that stick around this site and work on rebuilding themselves. There's a lot of anger from us BSes, and I'll bet that makes any infidelity forum online a tough place to be sometimes.

2) I can't think of anything more embarrassing or emotionally devastating in my life than my wife's affair and the fallout from that. That, for me, makes it relatively easy to talk about online and with our counselor. I'm never going to be able to move past it if I cannot face it, and I'm never going to feel the rage or embarrassment about the affair that I felt when I discovered it, even though talking about it is sometimes angering or embarrassing. So if my talking about it here can help myself and others to heal, that's what I'm going to do.


Me - BH 39
Her - FWW 36
D-Day: 8/13
Working on R

Posts: 299 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Midwest
64fleet
Member
Member # 18710
Default  Posted: 5:14 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

Atsenaotie and I are married to the same woman, so what he said-I can't express things as well as he can.
I feel like I'm settling due to finances and 2 young children. Mine does the bare minimum(IMO)to keep me here.

I can't think of anything more embarrassing or emotionally devastating in my life than my wife's affair and the fallout from that.

x2


time wounds all heels

Posts: 5395 | Registered: Mar 2008 | From: deliverance land
ReunitePangea
Member
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 5:31 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again? Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you? When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

Aubrie, you ask some really difficult questions and things that I have been thinking about lately. Just some background on me, my WW & I are in R - overall its been going well. I feel like at a year out we are between 80 to 90% in dealing with the A - I just wish the last 10% didnt seem so hard.

Right now I do struggle still with missing the person who I thought she was. I put her up on a pedestal - I knew she wasn't perfect but she was perfect for me. Now, at a year out, she is good for me but sadly far from perfect. As a BS we have to protect ourselves after DDay which for many means we have to step back some and focus on ourselves more as individuals to protect ourselves from risk being hurt again. I no longer need my wife to be perfect, I am good on my own if thats the way it had to be.

Do I love my WW? I always have, I loved her before, I loved her on Dday and all the days since. I choose to love my wife - in good times and in bad times. Love for me is not some magical spell that unexpectedly has been cast on me - love for my wife is my choice.

Do I respect my WW? I probably made it easy for my WW to cheat on me for as long as she did. I never once asked her if she cheated on me. I gave her increadible trust. If she stayed out late, I didn't even ask her why she got home so late. She took advantage of my trust and respect that I gave her and hurt me. After DDay I lost some respect for her - when I see her do the hard work needed small amounts of respect & trust are gained back. Will I respect as much as I once did, probably not, that is a tall order. My WW is putting in some of the hard work - she could do more though. I am proud of the hard work she has done. I have always been proud of the things she has done as a mother to our kids and in her career.

I am not sure if I will ever be able to get to a place where the A doesn't haunt me at times. I think at the year out point it becomes somewhat exhausting. I hope as more time goes by my thoughts of it continue to become less and less. The chances of my WW having another A are probably far less now than they would be if I were to leave my M and find some other random person to be with. The problem now after going through this all is I am so much more aware that this could happen to anyone and how naive I was to think it would never happen to me. Some of the changes that were made post DDay will remain forever.

Aubrie, things will forever be different post DDay. An A in any marriage will likely always be a life changing event. If your H loved you before, loved you after and still loves you today, isn't that true love? He is loving you in good time and in bad despite all of your faults - that is probably as good as it gets.


BS - Me 38
WS - Wife 39
D-Day - Oct 12
Married 10 years
OM1 - 12-year LTA
OM2 - 9 month A turned into open relationship with couple for another 1 1/2 years

Posts: 484 | Registered: Nov 2012
1985
Member
Member # 28171
Default  Posted: 5:36 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

Aubrie, in answer to your first question, can a man ever get to the point where he truly loves his W again -- My answer is Yes, Absolutely. In fact I think that over enough time, a man can reach a point of deeper and more mature love than existed pre-A.
BUT, you need to understand this. Reaching the level of love as existed pre-A is not something that is "work hard for xx number of months and then you are there and now its all ok and you will always be at that level". It is a process of ups and downs that can, gradually, reach that level and pretty much stay there. But the emphasis is for a long time it is ups and downs. How long? varies by individuals and how their R process goes.
I can tell you this. When DDay hit, I knew I still loved my wife. And take any point in time over the next 10 years and it would be quite probable that I would have said yes, I still love her immensely. But during that same time frame, there were points in time when I wasn't so sure. And there were points in time when I felt like maybe the love had died completely and I was hanging on for my kids. Why? Some of it was just the emotional turmoil/adjustments that many (perhaps most) males go through in finally coming to terms with what has happened. You can go for long periods where the A is some kind of a hazy, vague, almost ephemeral event that happened between 2 people. And you are doing ok. And the love level is there, like it always was. And then, whether from a real triggering event or just out of the blue, your mind focusses in sharply, 3D, living color on THIS MAN and YOUR WIFE and that they embraced, and kissed passionately and undressed each other and on and on in detail after detail --- and the A suddenly becomes so real and vivid that it is like a physical presence in the room. And you look at your W sitting across the room and you are looking at a stranger. Who is she. You don't want her around. And you start to question why you would still even think of loving her. And you start feeling ashamed and weak that you would still love her and stay with her.
And eventually -- maybe in 15 minutes; maybe in a day; maybe in a week -- but eventually all that goes away and you are back to feeling that love again. Why does it go away and love return? To some extent I thnk it is part of the emotional roller coaster a man goes thru accepting what has happened and getting past it. But it certainly can be influenced by the W's actions. You can return him to being level and loving much faster if you are doing the right things to help him heal and to feel loved and respected and cherished.
Now I know you are thinking, but it might take 10 years?? Like I said, it depends on how reconciliation is going for an individual couple. In my case, a long number of years included recurring episodes of verbal/emotional abuse. In fairness to my W, they generally, although not always, coincided with PMS times. Still, hearing recurring themes like: my life is puke because I am married to you OR I don't love you and I only stay with you because of the money you make certainly didn't enhance the reconciliation process and helped fuel my roller coaster. Now I stuck it out because I was able to convince myself that this was largely PMS and/or depression related and because my W would generally after a few days apologize and again behave like a person who really did love me and wanted to be married for the right reasons. Who put in work to help keep love alive.
And so eventually the roller coaster smoothed out and life went on and here we are today. Together. And yes I love her as much as ever. And sometimes, I feel like maybe it is deeper than ever. Because we have been thru the fire together. We have survived And we know what we have built together and because we know we are a part of each other. Like Kelly Clarkson says, What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger.
You also asked about respect. I am not sure how to answer that one. I respect my W in many ways for many reasons. But I also know that no matter how much I love her, I will never forget what she did. She has stood up and taken responsibility for what she did; no blameshifting. So I guess I can say I don't respect the person whe was then. I loath that person. But I respect her now.
Finally, the question of trust. There will always be that little question mark in the back of the head. But do I have doubts about where she is or what she is doing? No. No issue there and there hasn't been for a long time. I think trust will return to at least a 95% level.
I hope this helps.


Me-BH 63
Her-fWW 63
DDay: June 1985. 5 years after A ended
DDay June, 1985
DDay June 1985
Still married - actually in love
2 grown kids; 4 grandkids

Posts: 591 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: Midwest - large city
atsenaotie
Member
Member # 27650
Default  Posted: 6:55 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

Hi again Aubrie, thank you for the follow-up.

Had she broken the emotional body condom, do you feel that you could love/respect her again?

That would help. As it is now, I feel that I am the one putting myself out there and taking the risk to be open. I also think that if she were able to be open it would impact a lot of other areas like honesty and communication.

How do you continue a relationship with someone if the love/emotional intimacy is not there? Do you feel that you are selling yourself short?

No, I do not feel like I am selling myself short, but I have decided for now to accept what is. My relationship with FWW is not as a loving spouse, it is more as roommates, or business partners. We have responsibility to each other and shared expectations. I do feel that for the time being I need to be more tolerant, but that is my perspective and I suspect she would say the same.

We (I) talked D a year ago and we had plans, but then she lost her job and has been un(der) employed since. I am well paid, but I cannot afford what she would get in support and also make the mortgage payments and support my boys in school. For now I prefer to stay as things are and be able to support my boys as they launch into their lives.

I do really miss being touched and sex, but the rest of my life is really good.


FBS 54
Separated and Divorcing

Posts: 4130 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: FL
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 7:06 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

To answer the first I never stopped. That probably hurt the most. The second, it's a work in progress. After some time has passed, I am growing to respect her strength and determination again.

Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you?

I can't really give a firm answer to this. There are no *do-overs* and this will always be a part of our/my history. I will always be affected by her actions. However, on a day to day basis, consciously? I don't think I'll be *haunted*. Already having stretches of time(went from minutes to hours to days to now weeks) where *normalacy* is the rule.

When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

Absolutely. I want to be proud of my spouse. Part of the definition of love I think. The worry right now is complacency.

Or are our affairs and brokenness just too much to see through?

TBH, sometimes it is. Thanks to this site, I'm hopeful that by continuing to slog on through the tunnel the light I'm heading toward isn't an oncoming train. 2-5 years.

Reading your threads, I see alot of negative things piled up from our own messed-up stuff, to how badly we've hurt and scarred you, and I don't know that there are enough positives to ever reconcile the scale. At least not completely?

Honestly, it can't ever be paid back. Reconciliation is a gift. Probably the biggest a BS have ever given and a WS has received. I don't think that a true R is based on an expected balancing of the scales.

Truth to tell however. I'm somewhere between the second year being the hardest and the plain of lethal flatness. Still determined to try.


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 20(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 2842 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
Unagie
Member
Member # 37091
Default  Posted: 7:10 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

Can I t/j just slightly? Aubrie great post, thank you and the SI men for the questions and honesty. Now my t/j, perfection was mentioned and I understand it was mentioned with the reasoning that the person in question was not perfect but rather perfect for that husband. The idea of perfection bothers me. My xSO told me he thought I was perfect and could do no wrong is his eyes and its one of yhe reasons my A hit so hard. I think the idea of perfection whether it be for a particular person or in general I feel sets the person up that's described as perfect for failure. I may be reading too much into this but I would like to know from the men if perfection is something that's necessary even if its only perfection for you. Not sure if I worded this right I hope it comes across the right way.

P.S. sorry for the t/j!!


Heartbroken madhatter trying to rebuild

No longer together

"To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think."


Posts: 2741 | Registered: Oct 2012
still-living
Member
Member # 30434
Default  Posted: 7:23 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

Can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

The question is, what is your definition of love? I believe love is improving ourselves through another, including improving our legacy. I believe my wife is still my best option for improving my legacy, therefore, I still love her. Working hard towards reconciliation also improves my legacy, possibly more than ever, regardless of our outcome, and if my wife fails with reconciliation, then leaving her is then my best option for improving my legacy. Its all selfish I agree, but it's all about surviving, dead or alive. Similarly, when we risk our lives to save another, are we doing it for the person or for our legacy? We are doing it for our legacy, I believe.

As for respecting her, all I can say is that I respect anyone. Disrespecting others hurts me, hurts my legacy.

Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you?

I bulldozed my way through it. The affair doesn't haunt or hurt me anymore. If anything, I might be too numb. I would rather believe I have reached peace with it. Some call this reaching acceptance and forgiveness.

When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

Tough question. Most of what my wife does is by the book, as expected, or per my request. I am reluctant to agree that I should be proud of her. If I should be "proud", then should I be "let down" by the affair? Proud is a parent/child thing, IMO. WE are all adults here.


BH(me)47
WW 47 FOO Issues
DDay 11/09 Coworker
High School Sweethearts
Married 06/91
8 months TT
Sons 19 and 14
Recovery is constructing a pyramid of inference from which to see clearer.
The process involves using the reflexive loop.

Posts: 739 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Ches
HardenMyHeart
Member
Member # 15902
Default  Posted: 7:32 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again? Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you? When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

Yes to all questions. Been there for a few years now. I'm very happy with our relationship and my FWW says she is too.


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: 5652 | Registered: Aug 2007
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 9:43 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

ascian
I can see how it may be used as a weapon (whether intentionally or not) in a FOO situation. Thanks for bringing that up, I'll keep it in mind when I feel that way about my kids and make sure it's a silent mantra.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think hearing it once or twice will kill anyone or cause damage to a child. But when you have a parent who says it constantly? "M'k parental unit, I get it. You don't like me. You've made it abundantly clear. Got anything else you care to share with me?"

I appreciate your willingness to discuss this and share your experiences ascian. Thank you.

ReunitePangea

Right now I do struggle still with missing the person who I thought she was.
I assume the A blindsided you? My husband came from the opposite side. He knew I was a ticking time bomb. He was not surprised in the least when I confessed. Sad really. I had spun completely out of control and about 4 years ago, he just checked out. Went thru the motions of life. Like some of the men here describe, we were just existing. He stayed to provide and care for our kids. Divorce would have been a mess. Dday was 2 years ago. Everything is different now.

things will forever be different post DDay. An A in any marriage will likely always be a life changing event.
Oh absolutely! I'm not expecting everything to go back to "normal". There is no such thing as normal now. Everything is new. Different. And that's ok.

If your H loved you before, loved you after and still loves you today, isn't that true love? He is loving you in good time and in bad despite all of your faults - that is probably as good as it gets.
Most assuredly.

1985
I always get so much from your posts. I appreciate seeing your name pop up on the forum.

BUT, you need to understand this. Reaching the level of love as existed pre-A is not something that is "work hard for xx number of months and then you are there and now its all ok and you will always be at that level".
I understand. Two years, ten years, whatever. It really doesn't matter to me. I have the rest of my life. I'm ready for the challenge.

atsenaotie
Thank you for answering my questions. I guess I struggle with idea of a partnership as you describe. It probably has to do with the fact my husband was kind of there 4 years ago. I just didn't know it at the time as my head was shoved firmly where the sun doesn't shine. Knowing it now hurts my heart. That he would willingly and knowingly stay in that position in order to protect the children and the family as a whole.

5454Real

Honestly, it can't ever be paid back. Reconciliation is a gift. Probably the biggest a BS have ever given and a WS has received. I don't think that a true R is based on an expected balancing of the scales.
You're correct. I guess what I was trying to say is, with all the bad we've done, should one choose to R, can the WS ever be/do/show enough to make it "worth it". Do you ever get to a point where the final healthy FWS, the new, rebuilt marriage is worth the hell you've been thru? Does that make sense or did I cloud it up worse?

still-living

The question is, what is your definition of love? I believe love is improving ourselves through another, including improving our legacy. I believe my wife is still my best option for improving my legacy, therefore, I still love her. Working hard towards reconciliation also improves my legacy, possibly more than ever, regardless of our outcome, and if my wife fails with reconciliation, then leaving her is then my best option for improving my legacy. Its all selfish I agree, but it's all about surviving, dead or alive. Similarly, when we risk our lives to save another, are we doing it for the person or for our legacy? We are doing it for our legacy, I believe.
Interesting take. I'm chewing on this one.

Tough question. Most of what my wife does is by the book, as expected, or per my request. I am reluctant to agree that I should be proud of her. If I should be "proud", then should I be "let down" by the affair? Proud is a parent/child thing, IMO. WE are all adults here.
So take the word "proud" away. What do you replace it with? "Expectations" and "responsibility"?

I don't see anything wrong with being proud of people that aren't our children. My sister has been bound by FOO for years. She finally got a clue and started changing things. I'm proud of her for that. Should it be "expected" of her, and her "responsibility" to do it? Absolutely. But it took nerve to do it. And I'm happy/proud of her for doing so.

QS stepped out on his own in a business venture. One lead. In a dried up economy. That took balls. Is it an "expectation" that he provide for the family? Yes. Is it his "responsibility" to do his utmost best? Yeah. But I'm proud that he took that leap off the ledge to better himself and his business.

Doesn't seem childish to me at all. But that's JMHO.

Once again, thank you gentlemen for chiming in. So many different angles on this. I appreciate them all.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6229 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
AFrayedKnot
Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 10:24 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)

The way he expressed it to me was, for the first time in our married life, he trusts me 100%. He worried and fretted and stressed for 8 1/2 years. He saw broken, warped, little me and knew I was a ticking time bomb

I don't think he is insane at all. I felt the exact same way. It was finally the rock bottom I had been praying for for years.

As far as love and respect. I don't think they are quantifiable destinations. They are not a point at we get to and arrive. I think that is how I viewed them PreA and it was a mistake. They are ever changing, ever flowing, hopefully ever growing.

To be loved one needs to be love-able. To be respected one needs to be respectable. To be trusted one needs to be trustworthy. This is daily vigilant stuff. Like 5454 said, what I fear most is complacency. On both of our parts.

I think that after the A's. There is a microscope analyzing every move looking for those thing to grow. If there doesn't seem to be forward momentum than they must be falling back. There is no such thing as stagnant.

[This message edited by Chicho at 10:30 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)]


BS 39
fWS 36 (SurprisinglyOkay)
DD DS
A whole bunch of shit that got a lot worse before it got better.
"Knowing is half the battle"

Posts: 2586 | Registered: Aug 2012
still-living
Member
Member # 30434
Default  Posted: 3:37 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)

So take the word "proud" away. What do you replace it with? "Expectations" and "responsibility"?

"Grateful" best describes how I feel about my wife 4 years out. I am grateful that she made the choices to work hard on herself, to work hard on our marriage, and that she continues choosing me, authentically, now. I believe these were her choices, not mine. I have not accepted responsibly for them. As a result, I am grateful, especially knowing how difficult it was for her to face her FOO issues. I am proud of our marriage. I am proud of what "we" have accomplished together. I am proud of our children and their accomplishments.

I hope this helps. I'm not trying to split hairs and be controversial. I'm just trying to best describe how I feel right now, 4 years out. I'm not sure that my feelings are right or wrong. I also accept that I was pissed off, scared, and felt justified in my actions early in our recovery, and that I controlled my environment to control the pain. Had I kept controlling my wife, and/or had I acquired a sense of responsibly for her actions, then maybe I would be proud of her (or proud of my control of her), maybe, I don't know.

Possibly "grateful" is what you are thinking but it seems unachievable right now? Yes, I am grateful for my wife, the same wife that cheated on me 4 years ago. I could not imagine being in this state 4 years ago, but here I am, through choices of my own for which I am proud, and through choices of my wife for which I am grateful.

[This message edited by still-living at 3:42 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)]


BH(me)47
WW 47 FOO Issues
DDay 11/09 Coworker
High School Sweethearts
Married 06/91
8 months TT
Sons 19 and 14
Recovery is constructing a pyramid of inference from which to see clearer.
The process involves using the reflexive loop.

Posts: 739 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Ches
blueeyesonthebay
New Member
Member # 33831
Default  Posted: 5:30 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)

Yes, the scales can be balanced again. Sometimes we fudge and put our thumb on it. The problem is that we sometimes put it on the wrong side. Whichever side that might be.


It's a dark ride my friends
BH 54
WW 51
2 grown children DS and DD

Posts: 15 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: NL Canada
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 7:59 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)

Chicho
This is daily vigilant stuff. Like 5454 said, what I fear most is complacency. On both of our parts.
I understand that. There have been moments where both of us have slid into the old 'norm', the old behaviors. When we realized where we were, it really rattled our cages. I think we both strive to be comfortable, but not complacent. If that's even possible.

still-living
Thanks for commenting back and giving clarity. What you say makes sense. I don't think there is a right/wrong way to feel. You feel what you feel. Thank you for adding another dimension into this.

Possibly "grateful" is what you are thinking but it seems unachievable right now?
Hmm, maybe so. I think there are moments of "gratefulness" on his part for isolated events, but as a whole package deal, I dunno. If he isn't and/or doesn't get there, that's fine, it's part of our journey. About all we can do is the best we can do and see where it takes us.

[This message edited by Aubrie at 1:52 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)]


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6229 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 10:48 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)

can the WS ever be/do/show enough to make it "worth it". Do you ever get to a point where the final healthy FWS, the new, rebuilt marriage is worth the hell you've been thru? Does that make sense or did I cloud it up worse?

Ummm.....I hope it's still cloudy. I interpret that to mean the better stronger marriage/spouse was worth the A. Hope not, but just in case. Our goal is to have a better/stronger/healthier M *in spite of* the A. There are just too many other options available to get to the better M instead of an A.

To throw my own clouds in, if she and the marriage weren't worth it, I wouldn't stay. It's why forgiveness/acceptance plays such a large role in R. You have to be willing to *let it go*. Forgive, but not forget.

Confused yet?


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 20(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 2842 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
Mr. Kite
Member
Member # 28840
Default  Posted: 11:20 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)

Thank you for asking these questions, Aubrie, and for asking the menz to join in. I have read every word on this thread and it has been most cathartic. Thanks to all who have and will contribute their thoughts and experiences.

WW and I have been married for over 28 years. D-Day 1 was in the summer of 94, and there has been TT since then - other men, other incidents. Her hiding, lies, and TT made something awful into something much worse. It is not just sex with other men that ruined this M, it's the destruction of any and all trust due to her pathological lying and her need to control the flow of information.

I lived in a high crime are in San Jose, CA for many years. One never knew when a drive-by or assault would strike next. I went on with my life but it was always in the back of my mind. Will the next incident kill me? So it has been living with Mrs. Kite. I became hyper- vigilant, in survival mode, for much of our M. One can never rest being around a person like that.

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

We get along for the most part. She's only home on the weekend due to her work situation, and that makes it much easier to get on with life and keep the peace for those two days.

There are things about her I still love and respect but there are other parts of her personality and history with me that I don't. Other than in the beginning of this nightmare, she has done next to nothing to work on herself or on the marriage. We are occasional roommates with occasional benefits.

Why stay? For most of those years it was to raise our son. Now that he's an adult and on his own, I'm not willing to lose half of everything at this point in my life. If I came into a lot of money tomorrow, I'd begin planning my exit strategy. She knows this. This is not what I had envisioned while exchanging vows with this woman but you play the cards you're dealt.

Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you?

It's with me every day but has little to no power any longer to affect my emotions. It's like a fly that I shoo away with my hand. It took a lot of years to get to this point.

When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work? Or are our affairs and brokenness just too much to see through?

The only hard work WW has done is ignoring the elephant in the room and shrieking and throwing a hissy fit when it's mentioned. That tactic must have worked because I rarely speak to her about her A's, her issues, or getting IC or MC any longer.

Some believe that cheating spouses get to have their fun and get away with it, while the rest of us suffer. I disagree. WW has to live with herself - a broken, haunted woman of 60, who still believes, like an adolescent, that the best way to handle a problem is to lie about it, ignore it, and hope it goes away. She hates SI with a venom because here we are daily encouraged to deal with our issues. I'd rather be me because my suffering has lessened while hers has increased due to her inability or refusal to deal with the mess she created.

Is there hope for a WS that respect, love, and trust can be restored? Absolutely! There are many examples of that here at SI. But my M to WW is an example of what happens when there is no transparency or work done to repair the damage after the A's.


Posts: 900 | Registered: Jun 2010 | From: Mid-Atlantic
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 11:21 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)

5454Real
*in spite of*
I think that is was I was looking for and couldn't find in my mind last night.

Confused yet?
Completely.

No, I get it. Makes total sense. And I agree with that you said. Thanks for the follow up.

[This message edited by Aubrie at 11:21 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)]


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6229 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
1owner
Member
Member # 41157
Default  Posted: 11:33 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)

I can look at my WW for who she was during her A, and I am disgusted, she was a terrible person to me, the kids.

But I can look at her now and see a woman who is trying in our marriage. Someone who has at least started to come back from that terrible place. Someone who truly wants our marriage back. Someone who would undo the past and the hurt if it were possible. Someone finally out of the "fog".

I carry the scars and paint of her betrayal. There was never a time I didn't love her. I cannot respect the person she was during her A, but I can respect her as a person for coming back and trying to fix herself, I know it is difficult. I think at some point respecting her as a person will evolve into respecting her as my W again, if she continues her progress individually, and we continue together healing our marriage. Like so many others have said, it just isn't easy.


Posts: 198 | Registered: Oct 2013
Decimated
Member
Member # 31656
Default  Posted: 11:34 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

I think I could have, I always loved her. Respect was something different. I wanted to respect her but she needed to earn that back. Sadly, XWW never put in the effort to gain that back. As time went on, without respect, my love for her began to die. I was really left with no alternative but to divorce her and leave her behind.

Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you?

Not so far. The first D-day was back in 2009. The divorce was final almost a year ago. Her affair still haunts me every day even though we now live separate lives and co-parent. As time goes on it becomes easier but it will always be there. If she would have showed true remorse, put in effort, and we stayed married, I do think that it could have faded with time but she needed to be a big part of that.

When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

Sadly...No. I cannot look at her and feel proud of who she is today…she didn't do the work. I feel that she failed as a wife, a mother, and a person. She had over 2 years to redeem herself but wasn't grateful for the opportunity and the gift of R that I extended to her. She has left a trail of devastation behind her and hasn't even figured out why she did it.

[This message edited by Decimated at 11:37 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)]


Decimated
Me -BH 48
Her-WW 40
D Day #1 9/09 (found out about friendship, she promised NC...she lied)
D day #2 1/11 (found out EA on going...she lied)
D day #3 4/11 (found out EA was a PA...still lying)
M 16 years, 3 kids
Divorced - 1/13

Posts: 106 | Registered: Mar 2011
7yrsflushed
Member
Member # 32258
Default  Posted: 11:37 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)

My xSO told me he thought I was perfect and could do no wrong is his eyes and its one of yhe reasons my A hit so hard. I think the idea of perfection whether it be for a particular person or in general I feel sets the person up that's described as perfect for failure.
I can't speak for your EX but I used to feel the same way about my STBXWW. I never told my STBXW she was perfect though. To clarify, she was perfect but what that meant to me was she was perfect for ME. I never said she could do no wrong or could walk on water, my perception of her was she was perfect for me. I clearly understood prior to my M, during my M, and after that no one is perfect. I also told her after Dday that she was perfect for me and she had a similar response that you had but I couldn't get her to understand that perfect for me did NOT mean free from failure or making mistakes. It meant I didn't care if she gained weight, had some wrinkles, cursed to much, spent too much money during christmas, or any other thing that comes in relationships over time. I saw past all of those things because I loved her and I understood no one is perfect but she was perfect for me. I loved her faults and all. I looked at the good and focused on positive and when things were tough I "thought" we were tackling them together. I didn't realize that she didn't feel that way about me and every little thing I did wrong was indexed, categorized and filed away in the justification cabinet.

My STBXWW was the one that put the weight on her shoulders like she had something to live up to. That was never my intent nor the premise behind it and she never once until after Dday said anything about these "unrealistic expectations" I had of her. Problem was I didn't have any expectations of her. Those were all things she put on herself and hang ups she had. Even after Dday I hung around way longer than I should have because I understood that people make mistakes. Which leads me to my response to original question. I never stopped loving my wife even after DDay, I did however lose respect for her. My WS wasn't evil, she was just messed up but had no intention of trying to fix herself which was her choice. So instead of shoring up the love I felt by working on herself and trying to fix what she broke she systematically killed the love I had for her over time and I never did gain any respect back for her as a woman or wife.

Was it possible for her to get the respect back, sure but she never tried. All I wanted was for her to love herself enough to work on and resolve her issues.

Just my 2 cents.

[This message edited by 7yrsflushed at 11:43 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)]


D-day 5/24/11
BH = Me
2 children
The first true sense of calm I felt in YEARS was when I filed for D...
Divorced 9/2/14 and loving life!

Posts: 1903 | Registered: May 2011 | From: VA
ontheslope
Member
Member # 40574
Default  Posted: 11:50 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again? Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you? When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

Genuine love? I don't know. I'm not there yet. I love my W in that she is the mother of my children and has been with me for 16 years; it is a family love. But, and pardon me if this sounds like the dreaded ILYBINILWY, but that deep, genuine, "you are the best thing to ever happen to me / it's us against the world / you are my soul-mate" type love is gone, and it hasn't come back yet. I read a post once that said it feels like all the butterflies in your stomach died, and I'd say that's pretty accurate. The warm and fuzzies went away. The spark, the connection.... I don't know if it can ever really be the same.

I'm not haunted by her actions, but I am haunted by the toll it has taken on me and on our M and on my view of the world.

I can look at her and be proud of some things that she has done. She is trying to be healthy. She is trying to better herself and deal with her issues and become the person that she wants to be. But... in the meantime I sit in limbo, unsure if I will ever truly get my W back or that I will find the happiness that I once thought I had again.

I'm sorry if that wasn't what you wanted to hear.


Me: BH, 36
Her: WW, 37
Two girls 8 & 10
Married 12 years
Dday: July, 2009

She wants answers... I'm still trying to figure out what the questions are.


Posts: 269 | Registered: Sep 2013 | From: Maine, USA
Unagie
Member
Member # 37091
Default  Posted: 12:04 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

7 yrs thank you. That makes sense actually. I think I projected a little. See in his eyes I could do no wrong, I even asked after dday, monyhs after what would have happened if and when I did mess up, because I was going to eventually as I'm not perfect and I got the answer something similar to dday, even if it wasn't an A.

Sorry again for the t/j. Thanks again to all the men answering. Your responses are invaluable.


Heartbroken madhatter trying to rebuild

No longer together

"To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think."


Posts: 2741 | Registered: Oct 2012
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 12:11 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

Mr. Kite
So it has been living with Mrs. Kite. I became hyper- vigilant, in survival mode, for much of our M. One can never rest being around a person like that.
Would you say that you're still hyper-vigilant or does it just not matter one way or the other anymore because you have reached a sort of agreement of existence with her?

Why stay? For most of those years it was to raise our son. Now that he's an adult and on his own, I'm not willing to lose half of everything at this point in my life.
I have very little patience and therefore cannot fathom a situation like this. You must have the patience of Job. Of course like you said, she's gone most of the time so I'm sure that helps.

Some believe that cheating spouses get to have their fun and get away with it, while the rest of us suffer. I disagree. WW has to live with herself - a broken, haunted woman of 60, who still believes, like an adolescent, that the best way to handle a problem is to lie about it, ignore it, and hope it goes away.
I've seen many posts from people who believe the WS gets away with it. Alot of people believe I got off easy. I guess in a way, you could sorta say I did. QS didn't stalk my every move, he didn't rage on me, he didn't tell everyone we knew about my As. But like you said, the WS has to live with themselves.

Sure there are people with no soul that have no clue they're actually doing anything wrong. Then there are those that are miserable in their own skin and simply refuse to change. And there are others who do changes, but are still haunted by what they do.

Even though QS didn't act in "typical" BS fashion, I don't feel for a second I got off easy. I live with the knowledge that I did these horrible things to him. I'm a "better person" because I crushed him in the process of finally hit rock bottom. The cost is enormous.

It's a mixed bag of emotions. I can look at him and love him and be enjoying the moment, but in the back of my mind I see the scars and know I'm the one that put them there and I can never, ever take them back. I live with that knowledge forever.

1owner

I think at some point respecting her as a person will evolve into respecting her as my W again,
Interesting you put it that way. I didn't really specify, but that's how I meant it in the original question. Wife rather than person.

Decimated

As time went on, without respect, my love for her began to die.
Ok, so I have another question for anyone who wants to answer. Can a person truly love your spouse without respect? And/or vice versa? Or is that kind categorized in the "I love you but don't like you" or ILYBNILWY columns?

7yrsflushed
I'm not even going to bother quoting because I'd just quote the whole entire you said. You just described QS and I in a nutshell. He said that. I was perfect for him. I am the one that put those unattainable expectations upon myself. Huuuuge difference between the two.

Good stuff man.

ontheslope

I'm sorry if that wasn't what you wanted to hear.
I knew the answers wouldn't all be flowers and ponies. I appreciate your honesty. I see your Dday was 4 years ago. That's a long time to be in limbo. Do you think that what she's done is just a dealbreaker, despite whether she fixes herself or not? Is this something you're taking a day/week/month at a time, or do you have a deadline of sorts in your mind?

Unagie, the T/J was fine.

[This message edited by Aubrie at 12:12 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)]


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6229 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
numb&dumb
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Member # 28542
Default  Posted: 12:45 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

May I ask if you have gotten past that point and what you did to accomplish that? Is it a continuous work?

Yes you may.

Not as much anymore and working on yourself is always continuous work :). I am fairly certain my R will successful, but I hesitate a bit to state that outright. There is a lot to it, I will try to keep it brief. Most BH in general go through a blaming themselves for the actions of their spouse. If this gets explored, as I did, you come to the conclusion that blaming yourself is really about control. Trying to own someone elses choices creates a self image crisis and guilt, but being in control is preferable to losing self esteem and feeling guilt. Once I let go of blaming myself for her actions, it got much better. I also had to admit to myself that I was still in control of my life.

We both worked on my self esteem. I know that the mantra is you need to heal yourself, but those jump starts from my W really helped me in so many ways. My W also helped me by showing me that I was not a second choice (actions not words). By speaking my love language, by showing me things about myself that I refused to see through my pain. She had to work to bring me back to the M after I had detached to the point that I really could care less if my M ended. I think this sometimes gets lost in the traditional R dogma. A BH really needs to believe that they are not second choice and that their WW really and truly wants to be with them and them only. Emphasis on believe, not just be told that. For every 1o compliments my W paid me I dismissed 9, but I heard all 10 and they still made me feel a little better.

Most men define strength and courage in a very narrow way. I had to broaden those definitions to include overcoming emotional adversity and showing mercy/grace/empathy to someone who probably doesn’t deserve it. Deserve is a loaded word, but I could not think of a better one to use in that context. Staying M to someone who cheated on me does not make me weak. It takes a man of great character to survive this. It takes a huge heart to think of everyone involved and not just yourself. Marriage vows ? I kept mine. I am proud. I am man of my word, who honors his commitments no matter how difficult. Forged in fire is an understatement. It also takes courage to ask for what you need. It takes strength to walk away if it comes to that. I had to redefine what these things meant to me. They are close, but have a few new additions. In hindsight, lesser men would have crumbled. I am not a lesser man therefore I made it through.

My W put 200% into loving me and showing me that she would change the past if she could, but she can’t , so she does what she can do today. I had to accept that it happened so that I was open to the “amends,” being offered to me in the present.Don't underestimate the "amends," aspect. It has it's place and was important for me to stop hating myself. The feelings of being taken advantage of, being a chump, cuckold and second choice are easier to work through with examples of amends to reflect back on. Effort counts as much as the effect. If I see/saw my W going out of her way to do things for me and our M, it helped me rationalize those thoughts away. (It still works BTW) . If she wasn’t, it all too easy to begin my exit strategy, lash out in anger or spiral into despair.

My W has been great with helping me see that being who I am is not a curse. I did not fail. It wasn't anything I did or did not do that caused this. It isn’t about who I am/was it is about who she was. I loved and trusted her. That is a great credit to me. People who can love without fear and condition are rare. My W found one and she almost lost me. She tells me everyday how much she loves me and is always the first person to talk me up when I get down on myself.

Again, sorry for the length. FWIW I lurked in the Wayward so many times (still do) to try and gain insight from WW and help out if I can. So many WWs have helped me during my time here. So thank you.


Me-35 her-35

DS 1, DD 6
Dday 8/31/11. ONS that occurred 3 years earlier. Lied to for 3 years.

Every truth comes to light in a long enough timeline.


Posts: 2554 | Registered: May 2010
Mr. Kite
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Member # 28840
Default  Posted: 12:51 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

Would you say that you're still hyper-vigilant or does it just not matter one way or the other anymore because you have reached a sort of agreement of existence with her?

No, I've mellowed out. For the sake of my sanity I've had to let go. It's been a gradual process over many years. The obsession to stay up to speed on her activities and to try and fix her has noticeably lessened. "Let go and let God" has been a long, arduous lesson and she's been my teacher.

There's a lyric in a song by Jethro Tull that sums it up best for me, "I had waited for time to change her. The only change that came was over me."

I have very little patience and therefore cannot fathom a situation like this. You must have the patience of Job. Of course like you said, she's gone most of the time so I'm sure that helps.

Don't know if it's patience, selfishness, or petulance on my part. The thought of her getting half of my stuff for something that was entirely her fault causes me to hang in there. Staying married out of spite? Not something I'm particularly proud of. Some people think "Oh, I would never do that," but one doesn't truly know how they would react until reality hits them in the face. Everything else is just speculation.

Aubrie, at times I get very envious that there are wives like you and others here who have worked so hard to make things right. Then I look at my own situation and think WTH?


Posts: 900 | Registered: Jun 2010 | From: Mid-Atlantic
64fleet
Member
Member # 18710
Default  Posted: 12:58 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

Aubrie, at times I get very envious that there are wives like you and others here who have worked so hard to make things right. Then I look at my own situation and think WTH?

true-in fact sometimes reading here about fWW's who really get it gets me down, like "why can't mine do that?"


time wounds all heels

Posts: 5395 | Registered: Mar 2008 | From: deliverance land
ontheslope
Member
Member # 40574
Default  Posted: 1:09 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

I knew the answers wouldn't all be flowers and ponies. I appreciate your honesty. I see your Dday was 4 years ago. That's a long time to be in limbo. Do you think that what she's done is just a dealbreaker, despite whether she fixes herself or not? Is this something you're taking a day/week/month at a time, or do you have a deadline of sorts in your mind?

My situation is a little unique in that I rug-swept for 3+ years and it was only after a panic attack landed me in the ER and I spent the next year in IC did I finally come to terms with what had happened and start to deal with things. My therapist had to literally drag the emotions about the A out from the depths of my soul, and that happened only over the course of the past year or so, and even then albeit slowly. I didn't even feel anger over the A until I was given an exercise to write down the details of it... the "who did what to whom" part of it and all that went along with it. I will never forget that moment when I had to write "And then he pushed himself into her" and I broke down and nearly threw my laptop across the room. This was almost 4 years to the day after DDay. 4 years.

So... I haven't been in limbo for 4 years... more like just the past year. I know now that the A was a dealbreaker for me. I lost that bond with my W. I lost that special connection. Our M wasn't all sunshine and roses but it was good enough for me at the time when DDay hit. I'm stuck now with the fact that I fell out of love with my W and now I'm trying to re-kindle those feelings, but there just isn't much there to work with. I'm attracted to her physically, but emotionally we both put up walls with each other and the intimacy just isn't there.

That being said, I wake up every morning and make the conscious decision to stay M'd another day. And I hope that slowly we can rebuild what I thought we once had. But I can't hold out hope forever and she knows that.

The hardest part for me is knowing how easy it would be to detach and find someone else... I have to remind myself to stay away from the "grass is greener on the other side" mentality, because I know that can be dangerous. But I crave that connection. I want to love someone again, to truly and genuinely love them, and to have them love me back. Maybe that will be my W. Maybe it won't. Until I know for sure I just keep on keeping on.

Limbo sucks.


Me: BH, 36
Her: WW, 37
Two girls 8 & 10
Married 12 years
Dday: July, 2009

She wants answers... I'm still trying to figure out what the questions are.


Posts: 269 | Registered: Sep 2013 | From: Maine, USA
64fleet
Member
Member # 18710
Default  Posted: 1:43 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

Lost that bond also, and it hasn't come back. We have sex, but it is mechanical and seldom, simply a release.


But you are trying, aubrie and that is a lot.

I wish my fWW had half of your courage.


time wounds all heels

Posts: 5395 | Registered: Mar 2008 | From: deliverance land
wert
Member
Member # 34478
Default  Posted: 2:05 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

Yes.

I stopped loving my W after dday. I just cut her out of my heart. She has had to earn her way back in.

Your H's opinion is the only one that matters, but its more than that. Your H's history, make up, mental flexibility and courage are only his. Just like mine belong to me. It's those things that will allow us to see our W's as whole people again.

A WW can do the work. A BH has to do their work in order for what your talking about to happen. Can it, yep. I'm dropping grace all over the place and my W knows it.

My W asked me once if her A defined her in my eyes. I responded by yes it does right now. When I look at you I see a childish selfish stupid dirty ho. But people change, they evolve. If you change and evolve I don't think I will see you that way anymore because your behavior will tell me different. She changed. It's cool.

You have too and your H better recognize. If he does the answer is yes.

take care...



Posts: 1428 | Registered: Jan 2012
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 2:41 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

numb&dumb
Again, sorry for the length.
Please don't apologize. Your post was awesome. Thank you for answering and going into more detail.

We both worked on my self esteem. I know that the mantra is you need to heal yourself, but those jump starts from my W really helped me in so many ways. My W also helped me by showing me that I was not a second choice (actions not words). By speaking my love language, by showing me things about myself that I refused to see through my pain. She had to work to bring me back to the M after I had detached to the point that I really could care less if my M ended.
I went thru this with QS, the only thing being different is he was detached and indifferent, but wasn't willing to end the M, if that makes any sense. He more or less had this, "Oh really? So you "get it" now? Well show me what you got Babydoll." kind of attitude. And I can't say I blame him in the least. After 8 1/2 years of toxic, the only thing that would speak to him was new actions. Alot of it.

There were so many times where I felt I was hitting a brick wall. I would talk, try to tell him things, and it just seemed to fall on deaf ears. One of the defining moments that something was changing in him was several months in when we went to a social event at a local park. After Dday, if we went out with a group, he would get out of the car and bail and I wouldn't see him till time to leave. If he was close by, there was zero eye contact and he would ignore me. If/when we went to a social event, he was glad to get away from me. Anyway, this particular day, I was having a conversation with a girlfriend and I looked across the the pavilion and he was watching me. My stomach actually dropped. Was he triggering? Was he angry? Panicking? But when my eyes met his, he smiled. And then he winked. I melted into a puddle on the pavement.

From that point on, he was more receptive. I think he went more from hearing what I was saying, to actually believing it.

And BTW, for those of you who don't know, love languages are legit and change so much. Once we figured it out it was a real, "Well duhhhh!" moment for us. We were no longer speaking Greek and Mandarin to one another. We were finally speaking in ways that completely made sense and more importantly, yielded results.

I've seen such a change in him the last 2 years. I don't know that he's fully "there" yet, but there are more good times than bad. His confidence and self-belief is so much stronger. It's a beautiful thing to see.

ontheslope
Thanks for sharing the details. I'm sure it's difficult.

I had 2 EAs in the first couple years of our marriage. We didn't know what they were called. He just knew I was whacked up and wasn't getting a clue. We didn't do anything about it. (aka: rugswept) It simmered and stewed till 2011. Then ta-daaaaa! Out in full force. I had 2 EAs back to back. The last two were very progressive. The final one was by far the worst. That one would have been the killer had Dday not come.

No more rugsweeping. We got down to the nitty-gritty. And here we are today.

Limbo sucks.
I have no doubt. I'm sorry.

wert

I stopped loving my W after dday. I just cut her out of my heart.
It must to be incredibly difficult to allow yourself to let her back in. Do you feel you will ever have love for her again? Have you reached that place yet?

I'm dropping grace all over the place
Dunno why, but that made me smile.

You have too and your H better recognize.
I have and he does.

Thank you, thank you everyone for chiming in. Seriously! Very good stuff here!


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6229 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
wert
Member
Member # 34478
Default  Posted: 3:37 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

Do you feel you will ever have love for her again? Have you reached that place yet?

In so much as I understand the word. I think most people have a very different take on it.

This really resonated with me.


I went thru this with QS, the only thing being different is he was detached and indifferent, but wasn't willing to end the M, if that makes any sense. He more or less had this, "Oh really? So you "get it" now? Well show me what you got Babydoll." kind of attitude.

It was a stage thing. At first panic. Then f-you. Then show me what you got and now that she has for a while its OK and getting better.

Love. I will leave that one to someone else to figure out. Respect I understand. I respect her.

It takes two to tango and all that you know. That said, I am a heal yourself first kinda guy when it comes to being a BH. My approach (after fear and rage settled down) was step back and watch her. I did not need to commit to anything until she had done some flips and somersaults. Dance for me. Not in an evil punishment way, but in a show me your are serious way.

Nice topic.

take care...



Posts: 1428 | Registered: Jan 2012
wert
Member
Member # 34478
Default  Posted: 4:04 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

t/j

Numb that was some insightful shit. Thanks. I have not been around much lately, but my how you have grown. Seriously, take a step back and look at the journey and give yourself a hand.

I got a great piece of advice on my wedding day from a dear friend. He said, take 5 minutes with your W and hide in a corner where you can see the room. Then...just watch. Chances are, for the rest of your life you will not have all those people you love surrounding you like that. Enjoy.

We should all do the same with our journeys at some point when were are ready. Step back and appreciate the ride.

What a long strange trip it's been.....

End t/j

take care....



Posts: 1428 | Registered: Jan 2012
1owner
Member
Member # 41157
Default  Posted: 11:58 AM, December 5th (Thursday)

Can a person truly love your spouse without respect?

Can't speak for everyone, but in my case, yes.

I went through a hurricane of emotions after dday. I loved her always. I was hurt for what she did to me. I was also hurt that she was a broken person who would do something like that. I hurt for the way she felt. I hated her for a while, yet loved her at the same time. It was hard for me to understand how that was even possible.

I think you can respect you spouse for many reasons: character, morals, integrity, accomplishments, parenting, how they treat you, and many other qualities I'm sure. I think you can earn respect in that sense. I didn't respect my W immediately after dday.

Love must be unconditional. If my W and I divorce, I will still love her. Love is what you can give, respect is what can be earned. A marriage must have love, but also respect, it can't survive without both.

Or maybe I'm just weird.


Posts: 198 | Registered: Oct 2013
DWBH
Member
Member # 35512
Default  Posted: 3:34 PM, December 5th (Thursday)

can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

Love... absolutely, that's never been an issue. I guess the word unconditional would apply here.

Respect... getting there, but not yet. I can't sincerely say I trust her, and for me, respect (and many other things) are built on trust.

Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you? When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

I can see and acknowledge the work she's done, but I think forgiveness needs to come, before I can find pride. As I'm still working on forgiving myself, I've not found my way to forgiveness for her yet. Work-in-progress, I guess.


Me: BH, 43
Her: FWW, 41 (ThornyRose)
M: 16 years, together 19
2 Daughters: 14 and 12
D Day: 9/25/2011; Lies & TT to 5/4/2012
~Double betrayal; caught them in the act~

Posts: 729 | Registered: May 2012 | From: WI
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 11:01 AM, December 7th (Saturday)

can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

Like many here have said, I don’t think I ever stopped loving her, so to speak. What I have felt is more of a loss of “special-ness”. My wife and I weren’t virgins coming into the marriage, but once you decide to be exclusive with someone, there is (for me, anyways) a feeling of specialness. I’m going to give my sexy bits to you and only you, and you’re going to do the same. It’s like an inside joke that only the two of you know…for lack of a better simile here.

That feeling is gone, because she chose to have sex with someone else. The guys before me have never really bothered me, because at some point she made a clear choice to leave them behind. But at some point during our marriage, she left my son and I at home so that she could go hook up with OM. That just is what it is. That was clear choice she made.

Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you? When you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

I haven’t reached a point where it doesn’t haunt me at some point during the day, but I can say that at nearly a year out, I have sustained periods of a few hours where I don’t think about it. I’ve been at the point for a few weeks now where the affair finally feels like something that happened, not something that is happening. I still respect the hell out of my wife in a ton of areas: she’s a really thoughtful person, she is a good friend, she’s a successful business owner, a talented clothing designer and so on and so forth. Where the lack of respect comes into play is during times where I see an old married couple who seem super happy, or go to a wedding, or a funeral, and hear someone speak about their spouse in such glowing terms and how they’ve always stuck with them through thick and thin, etc. That kind of stuff cuts me to the core. I think with enough hard work from her that I’ll reach that point, though. I tend to be an optimist when it comes to the capacity of people to change themselves through hard work.
Can a person truly love your spouse without respect? And/or vice versa? Or is that kind categorized in the "I love you but don't like you" or ILYBNILWY columns?

Like I said above, the respect thing for me is not a package deal. There a ton of things about my wife to respect. On the front of respecting her as a faithful wife...well...that’s creeping back in slowly but surely. As time goes on, and she does IC, and I see her thinking about issues in-depth and from angles she never has before and changes from the person she was before, it’s coming back. If, like some of my BM brothers on here, my wife had stayed exactly the same, I don’t think the respect would come back. She’s slowly, painfully, morphing into a more authentic person before my eyes….and that’s worth my respect and admiration, surely.


I refuse to let a wound ruin me.
**Guts over fear.**

Posts: 2080 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Illinois
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 11:12 AM, December 7th (Saturday)

And BTW, for those of you who don't know, love languages are legit and change so much. Once we figured it out it was a real, "Well duhhhh!" moment for us. We were no longer speaking Greek and Mandarin to one another. We were finally speaking in ways that completely made sense and more importantly, yielded results.
I agree here. I think where BSes get defensive on this front sometimes is when the '5LL' idea gets whipped out quickly after DDAY with the thought, "Look! This is why it happened! We were speaking the wrong languages!"

But I totally agree that it's a real thing, provided the reader is intuitive enough to ferret out their own needs. I read the book and we talked it over in MC, and my wife's first thought was, "Well, I think they're all my love language...."



We decided to table that concept for the time being.

ETA: Also, for a good, long time after DDAY, I didn't really care what her 'language' was, because I had zero interest in doing anything nice for her. That cam back eventually, though, too...

[This message edited by FacePunched at 11:15 AM, December 7th (Saturday)]


I refuse to let a wound ruin me.
**Guts over fear.**

Posts: 2080 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Illinois
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 8:28 PM, December 7th (Saturday)

Y'all just keep throwing awesome things in here. Thanks. It's cool to check back in and see something new.

FacePunched,
In regards to the love language thing...I get what you're saying. And I absolutely agree. Knowing the LL doesn't "fix" everything. BUT! It has helped me to "speak" and support QS in ways that he is receptive to.

I'm a sappy, sentimental chick. I can spend hours on a mini scrapbook with romantic quotes and love notes, and when I present it to QS, it falls completely flat. I know from experience. I made one. He's looked at that book exactly twice in the 10 years we've been married. Why? His LL are physical touch and acts of service. A romp in the sheets and me washing his truck speak more to him than flowery words.

In post Dday devastation, armed with LL knowledge, I know how to do things that are more meaningful for him. I don't waste time for either of us by writing epic love notes. I mean, I could, but it wouldn't mean anything to him. Instead, I can clean his truck out, organize his desk, wash his work jeans, and rev his engine after the kids go to bed. Those things make him feel loved and he is receptive.

Also, for a good, long time after DDAY, I didn't really care what her 'language' was, because I had zero interest in doing anything nice for her.
Understood. He was totally the same way too.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6229 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
Sal1995
Member
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 9:10 PM, December 7th (Saturday)

What I have felt is more of a loss of “special-ness”. My wife and I weren’t virgins coming into the marriage, but once you decide to be exclusive with someone, there is (for me, anyways) a feeling of specialness. I’m going to give my sexy bits to you and only you, and you’re going to do the same. It’s like an inside joke that only the two of you know…for lack of a better simile here.
That feeling is gone, because she chose to have sex with someone else. The guys before me have never really bothered me, because at some point she made a clear choice to leave them behind. But at some point during our marriage, she left my son and I at home so that she could go hook up with OM. That just is what it is. That was clear choice she made.

Yep. FacePunched summed up my feelings perfectly. Add to that the diminished trust and respect, and it creates a hell of a challenge. Like we say around here, R isn't for sissies.

ETA: I still love her, though. And we're back in R mode.

[This message edited by Sal1995 at 9:11 PM, December 7th (Saturday)]


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
Uhtred
Member
Member # 40392
Default  Posted: 3:25 PM, December 9th (Monday)

"Can I ever get back to a place where I love and respect my ww"

I've always loved my ww. My respect for her is gone out the window at this point. I'm only 7 months out but the respect has not returned and I'm not sure if it ever will. I was madly in love with my wife before this happened, she was my school sweetheart. I hope that one day it will return.


"Is there ever a place where her affair and lousy actions don't haunt me"

There is not a day that goes by that this doesn't affect me in a negative way. Some days are worse than others and I'm working on it.

"When can I look at my WW and be proud of her after she's put in the hard work"

Again I'm not sure that I can ever be proud of her because of the dark place she has put me in. I loved and cared for her very much and what she has done is inexcusable and I'm not sure I have it in me.

We have small children together and there are two things I know to be as facts.

1: I don't want another man part time raising my children

2: I don't want my children having to live with us separated.

I'm not too sure what the future holds for us as a "loving couple" it's too soon to say. In the end this may be a deal breaker for me but I will fight the good fight and be the best father I can be to my children as I have always done.


I'm sure that you may detect a bit of bitterness in my post. It's all very fresh to me still. We've been going to counseling And my ww has been doing the necessary work to repair what she has done. I'm struggling with the question of divorcing her and staying for my kids. If I divorce her now I'll never have to pay her spousal support. If I wait and divorce her later I will be obligated by law. She does not work and I'm the bread winner in the family. If if do this I will stay in the house and raise my kids with her. She is a good mother to them but I seriously question her decision making skills since she put them in serious jeopardy by making the conscious decision to do what she did. She didn't think twice about how her decisions would affect their lives. I don't know if I want this person "watching my back" from here on out. The last time I allowed her to do this she stabbed me deeply.


I wish the best for all of those in recovery, I hope to find myself there one day.


Me: BH 32years old DDay 4-29-13
Her: WW 33 years old
“Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a bitter look
Some with a flattering word
The coward does it with a kiss
The brave man with a sword”

Posts: 602 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Houston, Texas
dadof4
Member
Member # 25534
Default  Posted: 12:12 AM, December 11th (Wednesday)

can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again

I never stopped loving my FWW. Indulge me here. My love for her reached into every part of my being. It is in every fabric and every thread of who I am. When I suspected something it was that love that blinded me. When d-day happened that love was ripped apart, shredded, emptied on the floor, stomped upon (along with my heart at the center of that love) but not destroyed. The heart still beat and the love still existed. The fabric of my being was a horribly disfigured but it was still alive. My FWW was responsible for that.

I/we but mostly I had to rebuild myself. The love is different. Perhaps it was immature prior to D-day. But none the less it is now different.

Respect. That is the toughest. I want to respect her fully but alas 4+ years out that will never reach the level it was before. That respect however was blind and contributed to my own blindness. That wont happen again.

The real question I think is can you love and respect yourself. So much of this life is learning to live with yourself.

I can respect a person that trips and falls, then picks themselves up dusts themselves off faces the thing that tripped them up beats it down. That is a whole person.

Aubrie, as an aside, kudos to you for lurking in the Menz thread. It isn't a place for the faint of heart. It is the only place in the world we have. Society looks upon us men like we can't keep our wives happy (otherwise they wouldn't have strayed)and thus some sort of emasculated loser. However, the opposite is really true. The guys on the Menz thread are some of the finest people on the planet .
It is kinda sad that it is one of the most active forums on this site. It's the best forum that none of us want to be part of.

[This message edited by dadof4 at 5:19 AM, December 11th (Wednesday)]


Me 52(BH)
Her 46 (FWW)
Kids-24,22,18,15
Married 25 years.
D-Day Sept 12 2009
LTA=4 years

Reconciling.


Posts: 305 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: New Hampshire
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 9:28 AM, December 11th (Wednesday)

Sal1995
And we're back in R mode.
Really? Wow. I'm sure that's incredibly nerve wracking. Fingers and toes crossed for you guys.

Uhtred

I'm sure that you may detect a bit of bitterness in my post. It's all very fresh to me still.
Completely understandable. At seven months out, everyone is struggling. We had moments and days of good, but realistically, it wasn't till well into year two when things started really clicking and locking in.

She didn't think twice about how her decisions would affect their lives.

I didn't deliberately neglect or mistreat my children during the A. I fed, bathed, and clothed them. But I was not putting the one on one time in with them that I should have. They were not a priority to me. And after Dday, I really messed things up with my DD as I'm a homeschooling mom. We are still a year behind and she still struggles. Why? Because after Dday, life was chaos, I had dropped an atomic bomb on our lives, it took a year just to find footing. All because I had an A. The fallout from it just kept rippling out.

dadof4

The real question I think is can you love and respect yourself.
I'm learning to. I think my problem is, I have this goal or ideal in my mind of what I should/need to be and it's difficult to love and respect when I haven't reached the stage of "completion" yet. Which I know realistically never happens because being healthy and whole isn't a destination. It's a continuing work. It never stops.

I had made progress but I have been recently dealing with a huge issue that's rocked me to my foundation yet again. There's been a bit of regression in my healing. So I'm working on rebuilding again.

So my answer is kinda sorta yes. Getting there.

Society looks upon us men like we can't keep our wives happy (otherwise they wouldn't have strayed)and thus some sort of emasculated loser.
I've noticed that. Sadly, my own mother said something along those lines when I told of her of A. "I understand. QS is so difficult to live with sometimes..." W.T.F.? So that makes it ok??? Funny thing is, my own Dad is guilty of several EAs, crap boundaries, and there is suspicion he's had a PA. Wonder how she'd feel if I flipped that around. "Well Mother, what are you not giving Dad that he has to look outside the marrige? Hmmm?" I'm guessing that it wouldn't fly.

The guys on the Menz thread are some of the finest people on the planet .
Absolutely correct.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6229 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
DWBH
Member
Member # 35512
Default  Posted: 9:43 AM, December 11th (Wednesday)

Society looks upon us men like we can't keep our wives happy (otherwise they wouldn't have strayed)and thus some sort of emasculated loser.

Truer words have not been spoken. I can substitute "Society" with "all friends and family who know about her A".


Me: BH, 43
Her: FWW, 41 (ThornyRose)
M: 16 years, together 19
2 Daughters: 14 and 12
D Day: 9/25/2011; Lies & TT to 5/4/2012
~Double betrayal; caught them in the act~

Posts: 729 | Registered: May 2012 | From: WI
dadof4
Member
Member # 25534
Default  Posted: 1:28 PM, December 11th (Wednesday)

Facepunched quoted Whincing_At_Light (AKA WAL)in the Menz thread. It goes to the heart of how our friends view us and how to a large extent society. Thus we have the Menz thread so we don't have to work through this in silence.

Aubrie, be kind to yourself. I wonder if there is a double edge to a WW who is a FWW. WW's have a low sense of self worth when the A starts (to a point of depression), after discovery, the self worth sinks deeper into the abyss as their BH spirals into insanity. I like to think a real woman (such as yourself and my FWW) would recognize that you have faced one of the most horrific demons you will ever face and squashed it like a bug. What emerges is a most awesome and beautiful FWW who has the self worth that screams, " fuck the world, I'm awesome and you lose if you don't get that" . A FWW can fix anything (even healthcare.gov) with that new found self worth because they just went through the deepest darkest depths of hell.


Me 52(BH)
Her 46 (FWW)
Kids-24,22,18,15
Married 25 years.
D-Day Sept 12 2009
LTA=4 years

Reconciling.


Posts: 305 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: New Hampshire
TrulyReconciled
Member
Member # 3031
Default  Posted: 1:53 PM, December 11th (Wednesday)

My question is, can you ever get to a place where you can genuinely love and respect your FWW again?

Yes. It took a lot longer in my case since my FWW had a work affair and continued to work with the OM for years afterward. That was difficult to say the least.

Is there ever a place where the A and our lousy actions don't haunt you?

Sure - when I refused to allow it any more. The memory never goes away of course, and serves as a reminder of what can happen in life, but I got to a point where I was a lot stronger than the memories. Part of getting to that point was an agreement that I made with myself that there would be no marriage should there be any repeats.

When can you look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work?

It took awhile, because she was so affected by some of the events that contributed to the A (including a miserable childhood and psychological issues) that she needed a lot of room to work through that. I gave her that room.

Or are our affairs and brokenness just too much to see through?

The affair stopped before D-day. The brokenness took many, many years to address. It was certainly too much to see through for awhile but not now (of course it's 11 years later).

Reading your threads, I see alot of negative things piled up from our own messed-up stuff, to how badly we've hurt and scarred you, and I don't know that there are enough positives to ever reconcile the scale. At least not completely?

I simply refused to be victimized by it in the long run. Yes, we are 'victims' of what people did, but we don't have to regard ourselves as 'victimized.' This is all part of having the maturity to deal with the internal dialogue of the most difficult person you will ever deal with in your life - YOURSELF.

It has been incredibly rewarding to see your spouse develop, to a high degree, the very necessary traits of humility and gratitude, especially when you had once given up on seeing those qualities.

It's been a long and challenging road ... we are truly reconciled.

TR


"In a time of deceit, telling the Truth is a revolutionary act."

Posts: 21116 | Registered: Dec 2003 | From: Hell and back, way back :o)
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 2:07 PM, December 11th (Wednesday)

I wonder if there is a double edge to a WW who is a FWW. WW's have a low sense of self worth when the A starts (to a point of depression), after discovery, the self worth sinks deeper into the abyss as their BH spirals into insanity.
I think it's a WS thing. Not prejudiced to male/female. It would have been soooo much easier to just run away. Noble? Not by any stretch of the imagination. But definitely easier. Before/during my As, I felt like such worthless trash. After Dday? Pshh, even more.

It's sad looking back, seeing a broken, struggling person, who only made it 100X worse by pulling the trigger on fidelity. It's an incredibly difficult fight back to sanity.

Had a WS PMing me yesterday that's stuck in that place. That zone where nothing we do/think/say is right. There is nothing "good" about us. Nothing is right. Nothing is as it should be. There are no positives. It's a very dark place.

It feels so pathetic in the beginning to have to make a list and cross crap off, just to see "progress", and feel a sense of accomplishment. No matter how small it is.

Brush teeth. Check.
Get dressed. Check.
Feed kids. Check.
Pay light bill. Check.
Read 2 chapters in self help book. Check.
Don't kill self. Check.
NC with AP. Check.

But after a while, you find yourself checking off bigger items on the list.

All the other stuff ^^^, plus:
Not thinking of AP at all. Check.
Successful date night with spouse. Check.
Difficult conversation about *insert issue*. Check.
Slaying the lack-of-intimacy dragon. Check.
Tell FOO to eff off. Check.
Saying "no", even when under pressure. Check.
Not being worried about saying "no". Check.
Flipping the bird to people pleasing. Check.

It's a time thing. *shrug*

What emerges is a most awesome and beautiful FWW who has the self worth that screams, " fuck the world, I'm awesome and you lose if you don't get that"
One day.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6229 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
SandAway
Member
Member # 37775
Default  Posted: 2:12 PM, December 11th (Wednesday)

It's sad looking back, seeing a broken, struggling person, who only made it 100X worse by pulling the trigger on fidelity. It's an incredibly difficult fight back to sanity.

Amen to that...

I find this an interesting read; thanks to all the Menz that have ventured here


fWW
BH Tred
M 16yrs
DDay Nov. 2011

Guns don't kill people; Affairs kill people


Posts: 436 | Registered: Dec 2012
FeelingSoMuch
Member
Member # 38814
Default  Posted: 2:25 PM, December 11th (Wednesday)

It's been nine months and I'm still here because I believe I can get to a place where I'll love and respect WW again.

I doubt that I'll ever forget and that it'll ever fully stop hurting. I believe it'll eventually be a very small pain that flares up from time to time. But I'm only at nine months, so what do I know? :)


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
No12turn2
Member
Member # 40996
Default  Posted: 2:29 PM, December 11th (Wednesday)

I don't know that I will have the chance. My WW would not consider R and doesn't have it in her to even touch me. It sucks so much and I often feel jealous when I see the WSs on here who actually want to do the work.


Me/BS 35
WW 32
M 12 yrs 2 Girls 10 & 7
Phone/Cyber Affairs (3 D-Days)
Status: DIVORCED 4/24/2014

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.


Posts: 526 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: United Staes
joeboo
Member
Member # 31089
Default  Posted: 8:32 PM, December 11th (Wednesday)

Your constant quest for resolution is very impressive. I’ll admit I was a little reluctant to post because it does expose my own wounds, but your responses to me have been very helpful so hopefully what I say makes a little sense to you. With that said, please don’t let my words offend you.

There is a huge difference between effort and work. For example, you can mow the lawn three times a day every day. That would take a lot of effort but would accomplish little work. The effort could be noble, and the actual work be little. My point here is that it appears you are still not sure what your husband’s dagger really is and quite possibly your husband may not even know or reluctant to admit it.

In my own situation, I have a compound issue. Not only am I dealing with how the betrayal affected my relationship with my fww and how I interact with her, it also affected my self-esteem so much that I can come to grips with how I view myself.

Rhetorically, do you know what your husband’s daggers really are? Does he know what his daggers really are? Can you accept his perception of what happened?

I hope one day all your effort will be all work. I wish you and your husband much peace.


[This message edited by joeboo at 8:33 PM, December 11th (Wednesday)]


Posts: 1211 | Registered: Feb 2011
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 5:34 PM, December 12th (Thursday)

joeboo,

I'm not offended. Honestly, I'm kind of confused.

I hope one day all your effort will be all work.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the implication is that I'm only doing "effort" as opposed to "work". And that's simply not the case at all.

Everything I've done on myself is "work". All the crap I'm fixing internally has absolutely nothing to do with QS. He hasn't touched it. Hasn't gotten involved. Hasn't pushed, asked, or prompted. It's all mine to own and fix. Everything within myself is 100% work.

As far as "effort" and "work" in regards to the relationship aspect, I can only go off of what QS gives me. I can only be pro and reactive to his lead.

What do you mean by a "dagger"? Are you referencing a trigger?


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6229 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
GotPlayed
Member
Member # 41294
Default  Posted: 5:59 PM, December 12th (Thursday)

Aubrie,

You cause what you fear.

My WS feared I would "hold it over her head forever". I was ready to start trusting again, and was towards the end of hypervigilance. But she didn't want to own up to it or make amends, she just wanted to sweep it under the rug.

And then I found out she was meeting OP again at a hotel.

Complete blowup and now we're going towards S because she made it "my fault" again.

Someone used an analogy of shooting you in the knee then complaining you can't walk. Well, in my case, after I stood up, she *then* shot me in the other knee and complained I couldn't run.

But before Friday I was there. I was ready to R if she showed me remorse and opened up about the relationship. Alas, instead she blameshifted, stonewalled, trickle-truthed, and self-victimized, plus continued lying, a lot, or possibly all, out of the very fear you illustrate here.

To her credit, the one thing she never did (save the first few minutes during D-Day) was gaslight.

Nothing she did showed me empathy for my position, even after I showed complete empathy for hers.

Now she's asked me for S because she still doesn't accept her own part on this. So maybe we'll never know.

I'm in the NC the WS phase, and planning on moving out to a different place.

And stupid me, a part of me still has hope. The hope of a child.

None of us want perfect. We just want honesty, effort and the opportunity to trust and be trusted again. What y'all did was *big* and didn't happen overnight. Big steps and a similar amount of time are important to heal the hurt.

I read in a book that rule of thumb for time is, once R is agreed upon, both parties are committed and you start dating again, 1.5x the amount of time the A lasted from first contact can repair the damage, so in my case of an 11-12 month affair in 1.5y we would have been ok. That may be too long to wait for her, if she can't even go 3 days without breaking NC to OM.

We're weak, we're hurt. And although we're not vindictive (remember, we loved you deeply until D-Day), we're not stupid either.

Cheers and thank you for the questions,


Master of my Fate, Captain of my Soul.
BS 42, WW 41. 18y married
DD: 11/5/13
DS10 Autism, DD8
OM: Reformed wife-beater ex-con
D filed 1/14/14 by WW (never warn them, they'll get ahead)
Married a powder keg

Posts: 733 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: California
AFrayedKnot
Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 6:03 PM, December 12th (Thursday)

Brilliance Joeboo...

Absolute Brilliance!!!!

ETA: The concept I mean, not necessarily directed at you Aubrie

[This message edited by Chicho at 6:16 PM, December 12th (Thursday)]


BS 39
fWS 36 (SurprisinglyOkay)
DD DS
A whole bunch of shit that got a lot worse before it got better.
"Knowing is half the battle"

Posts: 2586 | Registered: Aug 2012
GotPlayed
Member
Member # 41294
Default  Posted: 6:08 PM, December 12th (Thursday)

Aubrie,

Have you read "After the Affair", or "Not 'just friends'"? It's possible your BS is so hurt that he can't bring himself to self-analyze. IC for him and you will be important, and going through and working on things with him, off the book if need-be, may jumpstart it a bit.

Until recently I was underlining what I thought were her and my childhood issues and hangups about As and security driving the problems. She refused to sit down and analyze with me. Maybe in your situation it's him that is having trouble facing it?


Master of my Fate, Captain of my Soul.
BS 42, WW 41. 18y married
DD: 11/5/13
DS10 Autism, DD8
OM: Reformed wife-beater ex-con
D filed 1/14/14 by WW (never warn them, they'll get ahead)
Married a powder keg

Posts: 733 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: California
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 6:18 PM, December 12th (Thursday)

GotPlayed
You cause what you fear.
I'm not afraid. My questions are not from a place of fear and/or frustration. I asked these questions for informational and educational purposes. To have a conversation. To read and understand the diversity of the gentlemen here. And because I know that every other WW on this site wants to know as well. Yes our situations are our own. Each is unique. But to hear other people sound off on it is very encouraging and eye opening for many here.

Our Dday was November 4, 2011. We're in year 3 of recovery and we're in a very good place.

There are times when QS doesn't talk. He's more introverted. Which I have discovered is not always a bad thing. It's just part of who QS is. I understand and respect that part of him now. Many, many times I start threads and it opens up a huge conversation for he and I.

I'm not at all saying he isn't forgiving. He isn't loving. He isn't dealing. That's not the case at all. And if my post was misleading, I apologize.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6229 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
GotPlayed
Member
Member # 41294
Default  Posted: 7:45 PM, December 12th (Thursday)

Ah, sorry about the confusion. Please remember I'm on month 1 after D-Day. So we're talking about two completely different parts in the process.

It sounds like you're in a good place. If you're being honest with each other, then it will improve with time maybe?

My therapist said, when we were starting the MC which we may no longer go back to unless she wants back in, "it will *never* be the same, but that doesn't mean it can't be *very good*." He never promised "better". But I'll take very good over my entire past year (even before I knew what she was doing, I should have known there was something wrong; I should have seen the signs and I didn't).

Anyway, be grateful for what you have. Think of how many others will never get as far as you have. Love each other, and be strong for each other. Cheers.


Master of my Fate, Captain of my Soul.
BS 42, WW 41. 18y married
DD: 11/5/13
DS10 Autism, DD8
OM: Reformed wife-beater ex-con
D filed 1/14/14 by WW (never warn them, they'll get ahead)
Married a powder keg

Posts: 733 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: California
joeboo
Member
Member # 31089
Default  Posted: 11:41 PM, December 12th (Thursday)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the implication is that I'm only doing "effort" as opposed to "work".

Your original question was asking if BH’s could ever get to a place where they can genuinely love and respect their FWW again. You also asked if you can look at your FWW and be proud of who she is today, if she has done the hard work. I was in no way implying that you were only doing “workless” effort, especially when it comes to working on fixing you. I am implying that just because a WW gets better it does not mean there is a proportional healing of the BH. As a BH, I think that any WW that makes gains in fixing their issues is a great thing. But just as you said, fixing all the things internally has absolutely nothing to do with your BH, in my opinion has absolutely nothing to do with how a BH views what has happened even if he is proud of all the work she did to help herself.

Maybe I misunderstood the original question because even if my wife is not at risk to be a repeat offender, it does not address the issues of why I lost the love, respect, and pride in her. Those things also take work by both parties. I have spent an incredible amount of effort on just that but have not accomplished much work, nor has my fww.

What do you mean by a "dagger"?

It’s just a figure of speech for a significant pain of betrayal. At this stage it would probably be more of an unresolved betrayal. For me, it is what keeps me from progressing my opinion of my fww. Granted, some of those daggers cannot be fixed by her. Some of those daggers have to be fixed by me, and some by both of us. Then there is one dagger left for me that that is so emotionally debilitating it seems like it is irreparable damage. My fww doesn’t consider it an issue, or at least that is what she claims. It creates an environment ripe for “workless” effort.

Even though each situation is different, I suspect that every BH has his own daggers. I cannot imagine his regard for his WW would improve until those daggers are removed. Sometimes, he cannot remove them himself. So to any wayward, regardless of gender, what are the remaining significant betrayals your BS feels? It is my opinion that until those are resolved, it is very difficult for a BS to move forward without any sense of reckless abandon.

So, if the efforts to resolve those issues are not focused on the most significant of unresolved betrayals, that effort doesn't accomplish as much work. I guess what I am trying to say is I wish you and your BH the best and may each of you be successful in focusing your efforts where it will do the most work in hopes of a happier ending much sooner than not.



Posts: 1211 | Registered: Feb 2011
Camalus
Member
Member # 40199
Default  Posted: 8:59 AM, December 13th (Friday)

I’ve been following this thread, hesitant to chime in because we’re not quite six months from DDay. My wife’s A ended in 1998 but I only found out about it this July which, while the circumstances aren’t unique, causes the dynamics of our recovery (I hesitate to call it reconciliation as yet) somewhat different.

That being said, I do feel my fWW is re-earning my respect and the scars caused by her actions will heal and become fainter over time. The hardest part for me is the intimacy that has been lost. I’m not talking about sexual intimacy but rather emotional intimacy.

For me, this damage will be the hardest to overcome. Simply put, I no longer feel I can open myself up to her, confide in her, and discuss my deepest/darkest thoughts and fears with her. It is sad that after more than thirty years of marriage I do not feel I can tell my fWW when I am worried about something.

I know that sounds trivial compared to what many on SI are going through, but this lack of emotional intimacy (on my part) concerns me more than anything else.


Me–BS age 61
Her -- WS age 59
Married for 34 years
One child, 30yrs

Her 'A' 1994(?) through 1998
D-Day 7/4/2013 Yes, I didn't find out for almost 15 years... but the pain is just as bad as if she were with him last week.


Posts: 118 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Near Houston Texas
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 9:47 AM, December 13th (Friday)

GotPlayed
Ah, sorry about the confusion. Please remember I'm on month 1 after D-Day.
I completely understand. I'm sorry your WW doesn't have the courage to face her demons. It's a disservice not only to herself, but everyone around her.

Anyway, be grateful for what you have.
Absolutely.

joeboo

Thanks for clarifying. Makes a ton more sense now.

He said he doesn't have daggers. More like a couple splinters here and there. It's finding them and getting the little boogers out.

Camalus

I know that sounds trivial compared to what many on SI are going through, but this lack of emotional intimacy (on my part) concerns me more than anything else.
It's absolutely not trivial. It's your pain and it's very real to you. I learned a long time ago to not compare my issues with anyone else's. It's mine and I'm "allowed" to feel what I feel. You're correct, it would seem that we don't have it "as bad" as some here. While my FOO was screwed up, I wasn't molested, raped, beaten, and locked in closets like some people. I suffered in other ways. Doesn't mean that what I endured doesn't hurt me now. kwim?

Emotional Intimacy is something I'm relatively new at. I went about 9 years without it. Weird marriage to have. Always keeping your partner at arm's length. I learned from the best. My Dad is king of lack of emotional intimacy. I don't think there's a person alive that really knows my Dad, Mother included. I don't really know him. It's interesting how you can live almost your whole life and still not know a person.

Breaking down that wall between QS and I was herculean. And it's still an effort to be completely open, to lay it all out, to put my feelings, heart, and soul out there for him to see under the bright lights. It's terrifying to be that vulnerable to anyone.

You're relatively fresh out from Dday. The betrayal is "old" but the discovery is new. And it still hurts. Give yourself time Camalus. Feel what you feel. Don't feel guilt for feeling it. And don't push yourself. It's a time thing.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6229 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
Topic Posts: 71