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Flipping roles

SumofOne posted 11/6/2019 15:51 PM

I looked back over all my threads and man....have I been all over the place. I always come in here to post when I am upset about something. Then once calm I try to back track and damage control for me and the WW. It is all just a reflection of how my life has been.

I was going to post in my original thread but it has been closed. Quick re-cap, wife has been a serial EA and recently had several EA's and 1 PA.

Things seemed to be really going well until she dropped a huge confession letter on me and for some reason afterwards she changed. I was prepared for her to confess to sex in her PA. What I got instead was a laundry list of 1-2 time sexting friends and then she admitted to a 6 month sexting affair with a guy from her past. She pulled no punches and it was brutal to read the details. Following, she was the blueprint of everything you are not supposed to be or do.

Finally I decided I had enough and moved out. I needed room to breath. Strangely, I felt relief. I hated my life being unsettled but the path seemed clear. Almost immediately by wife started showing changes. Good ones. She didn't tick all the boxes those around her would like but it was a start. A few more weeks pass and she is getting IC, no social media for months, complete phone and location transparency, daily post it notes to me (I had to come home each day while she was gone to get things since I was living out of a duffel bag), asking if we can talk about things, etc.
That gets us up to this week. I felt good about everything but still wasn't sure, its just not been long enough, but my living arrangements were not great so I come home.

Here are some areas I felt needed more work, remorse. She has it but she compartmentalizes everything unpleasant. When I can get to her and reach inside of that her remorse is incredible, her regret is incredible. Uncontrolled crying, shaking, anger etc. I just don't see it as part of our daily life.
She initially burnt up every trail of proof of her A's so I really only have her word, she TT me for months. I do think I have the best story possible about the sexting and EA's. It's the PA that I don't think is complete. Maybe complete isn't the right word, but I have the most doubt. She could do better in her attempts to convince me I have that story too.
Lastly she has been lazy in giving me a good timeline. Her defense is this, when she gave me that very detailed confession letter we obviously had a very heated and emotional night. At some point I said, thank you for giving me this account of your erratic behavior I am sure this will come in handy. Now she is afraid to give me anything written because she thinks I only want it to use against her if we divorce and I want the kids.

I'll be honest here. I think for her she is doing pretty good. Like a solid B effort. I am the one not doing that good. I'm just different. She doesn't have that power over me she once did. A part of me is just dead and I am not sure there is anything to be done to get it back. I just don't need her like I once did. As I feel myself getting stronger, she is getting weaker, more needy. Here she is growing in ways I never thought possible and I feel like I could leave again at any moment. I know she is going to be a better person going forward, with or with out me. I can tell it. I'm just not sure I care though.

I have no real point in all this, but maybe looking for feedback. Will this feeling last? Any advice on how to proceed? I typically get a lot of 2x4's in my posts. I am used to it, so no worries there.

RedHeadTemper posted 11/6/2019 16:01 PM


I'm fairly new. I can relate checking out and then doing a double take when WW makes changes. I'd have divorced 2 months ago, except we have a cruise in December and I thought what the heck. I'll stick it out longer. 2 weeks ago she started making big changes.

No advice. Just trying to relate. That and something si soon said to me that if you D'd and married someone new there's still the chance they'll cheat. But you know your spouce and can be more confident in the changes they are making.

I looked at my wife yesterday and thought to my self, that's the person I want to be married to, but without the betrayal and no trust. I feel like I can get past the betrayal and I think I can rebuild the trust if she keeps up the effort. But I'm definitely demanding an A effort. Anything less than that is a no go for me. I'm just hanging around to see if it's long term changes.

[This message edited by RedHeadTemper at 4:02 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)]

hikingout posted 11/6/2019 16:05 PM

I am the WS in my situation. You registered in July, are you only a few months out past DDAY?

I think what you are talking about is normal. You detached from her when you moved out. Now that you moved back in you are feeling cagey because you still do not know that you really want R. You feel ambivalent. It could go either way from here.

I think don't put pressure on yourself either way. If you want to stay and see if you feel better in time, do that. If you don't want to, then don't. But, don't try and make yourself feel someway you don't. I can tell you that H hit a couple of periods of ambivalence and that has gotten better at this point in time. If you choose to want to try and reconnect, that takes a lot of intention, and it can take a fair amount of time. After all, why would you want to make yourself vulnerable to your perpetrator?

You are in the drivers seat, and you don't have to decide anything until you feel ready to decide. If you have already decided to go you are under no obligation to her just because she is trying.

BluesPower posted 11/6/2019 16:48 PM

You know, I have to say that you really seem to be bending yourself into a pretzel to tell us she has been doing a half assed job.

Do you see that if you read your post? Do you see that you, while trying not to sound like it, are making excuses for her.

Polygraph her, and do it now. I am betting that you will get much more information than you have now.

Further, is B level work ok for you? Do you think you deserve a B Wife? And since you seem to be covering for her, you should know that what you wrote sounds like barely passing to me.

Is that all you deserve in your life?

Cause I know that I deserve someone to treat me better that a C or D, or what you might call a B?

Does any of this register?

Not trying to use 2x4's, I just want you to maybe adjust your thinking...

layla1234 posted 11/6/2019 17:16 PM

Just dropping by to say I completely understand. Currently waiting for a detailed timeline that makes sense to me and answers alot more questions. I'm really hoping he's had enough IC and seeing how damaging this has been to me to at least give me the truth.

SumofOne posted 11/6/2019 19:46 PM

Thanks everyone for the replies. Iíve honestly known since May something was going on but didnít have proof until June.

Blues, I donít think sheís doing things completely right but not half assed. What I see is progress. Considering where she started itís nice progress. Itís just slow. For instance tonight we had a very deep and meaningful conversation about all of this. It was nice. She had depth of thought and showed empathy. 2 months ago that wouldnít have happened.

I hate that on here it sounds like I make excuses for her and cover for her. Iíve been told that before on the site. In our real life, people that know our situation consistently tell me I need to let up. My best friend, who doesnít care for my wife, has told me that I am beating her down.

This will make no sense to most but because she is making progress Iím not in a rush to do a poly. If there is more I hope it comes from her growing and not arm twisting. She has agreed to take one.

Maybe her B effort is why Iím ambivalent to our marriage. Iím not sure. I just know that Iím not losing sleep over the thought of us ending. Iím not monitoring her every move. Iím mostly focused on myself and becoming stronger and independent. Iím also connecting with my kids again. I was so in my head that I didnít like being with them. I worried I would be negligent. Now Iím far from that. I canít say I feel good, but I donít feel bad.

Striver posted 11/6/2019 21:29 PM

IMO, the more you grade inflate her progress, the slower the progress will be.

RedHeadTemper posted 11/6/2019 21:32 PM


One thing that rested with me on here, is people only treat you how you allow them to treat you.

I agree with others, I wouldn't be ok with a B effort. But slow and steady A effort is OK for me. Maybe keep a progress journal and write down clear expectations. Then see if she's meeting all of them. If not, address before moving onto the next issue.

[This message edited by RedHeadTemper at 8:13 AM, November 7th (Thursday)]

cocoplus5nuts posted 11/7/2019 08:09 AM

Progress is good. Have you told her what else you need and where you think she is lacking?

The difference between people here and irl is that people here have experience with getting out of infidelity in a healthy way. People you know irl may not. Most people push for some sort of rugsweeping, which may be why they are telling you to let up. They don't understand what needs to be done. My point is, I'd be more inclined to listen to the people here.

SumofOne posted 11/7/2019 09:23 AM

Change doesn't have to happen immediately. I see effort and progress. She was a low F 6 weeks ago.

I know she is going to be a better person going forward. Convincing anyone here isn't my goal. I am just trying to get feedback on how I am feeling about my marriage. Her being a better person going forward doesn't mean I think she is safe for me.

I haven't accepted a B effort. I think she will get to an A effort. I am not inflating what she has done so far. I sometimes am in awe of the difference I see. Yet others, there she still is, that damaged, selfish person that did all these things.

I made this post to say, this is where she is but I am finding myself drifting away despite her making progress. I'm wondering if it's too little too late or if she gets to that A level will my feelings grow stronger? Who knows? For every step she's made in a healthy direction I have made 5, then 6 backward and then 2 forward.

At the end of the day the only 3 things that matter to me are:
1. Do I know what took place?
2. Do I believe that it will never happen again?
3. That I know what I am worth and that I refuse to accept any less.

No one knows #2 for certain. Even if I started a new relationship the statistics aren't in anyone's favor.

I am in no rush. My current plan is to keep the course. See where my heart is on down the road and see where her progress is.

Dismayed2012 posted 11/7/2019 10:17 AM

Your feeling of drifting away is normal 'SumofOne'. Only tine can tell if you'll start to reverse that course. Don't force yourself to 'feel' something more than what you have. Your head will do the work on its own. In time and with her efforts you'll likely start drifting back to a more comfortable mindset. If that doesn't happen in a year or so then you may want to make a decision. For now though, don't worry about it. Take your time; don't make any decisions until you truly know what you want to do. Take care of yourself.

The1stWife posted 11/7/2019 10:20 AM

Iím sorry but I have to weigh in here.

IMO NO cheater gets an ďAĒ consistently in the remorse /make amends department. Some days itís a C effort and some days itís an A effort.

That being said I will tell you I am happily reconciled. My H has changed and is not the cheating jerk he was 6 years ago. Does he bring up the affair on his own? No. Shame and embarrassment prevented that.

Did he make amends? Still does almost every day.

So he wasnít perfect in terms of doing what I thought he should be doing. But he did things on his own and that was more important at times.

So your wife is showing you signs of remorse etc. itís not going to be everything you need and she may not know what to do. If sheís making an effort that counts even if itís not perfect or to your expectations.

My H thinksI have all the answers. I only got info based on questions I asked. Nothing volunteered ever. It bothers me a bit but in his mind he had a very hard time facing his choices and knowing he caused me pain and damage. So he avoided it sometimes.

I just had to accept it. I canít change it.

Your wife is doing her best and it will never be enough. But you have to recognize the sincerity of her effort.

sisoon posted 11/7/2019 15:39 PM

I suggest turning her confession letter into a timeline via a conversation during which you take notes. You can take every sentence in her confession and turn it into when/where/who/what/how.

It could be a very good experience.

Marz posted 11/7/2019 22:19 PM

Time will tell so don't rush it.

This is on your timeline no one else's.

ScarredSurviver posted 11/8/2019 06:50 AM

Sum, just a few quick takeaways from your post:

remorse. She has it but she compartmentalizes everything unpleasant. When I can get to her and reach inside of that her remorse is incredible, her regret is incredible. Uncontrolled crying, shaking, anger etc.

I deal with the same thing with my WW. As some members pointed out this can be a type of manipulation. I really want to believe that the remorse is real, but as a BS we can't take anything at face value anymore.

I am the one not doing that good. I'm just different. She doesn't have that power over me she once did. A part of me is just dead and I am not sure there is anything to be done to get it back. I just don't need her like I once did.

Yep ^^^ This
Somedays I'm just left feeling hollow. I don't know how else to describe it when your core has been cut out and you're just a shell.

nekonamida posted 11/13/2019 11:08 AM

I think sisoon's advice is very good. And maybe once you have a timeline, you will feel ready for a polygraph.

Sum, I don't think you're wrong for a wait-and-see approach while she is progressing. I do want to caution you though on waiting too long when you do not feel like you have the truth. R can't begin until you have a level of truth that you can live with. Her work doesn't really make much difference if its built on a foundation of lies. There's a small chance that she will reach a place where she is ready to be honest but if you keep reading here, you will see that most WSes are all too happy to R on lies and give their BS a new DDay years later. So decide for yourself how long you're waiting until a polygraph becomes necessary. Decide for yourself how much more progress over what period of time you would need to see before you're ready to commit to R. And if at any point you become disconnected and want D, never agree to R anyways even if she's come completely clean and transforms into the perfect WS. You deserve better even if she does and your happiness comes first now.

I do believe you're pulling away because you don't feel like you have the truth. Whatever progress she makes doesn't have much of an impact when your subconscious is labeling her as unsafe for withholding. Disconnecting and pulling away is your mind's version of protecting yourself from future hurt. If she comes clean and becomes safe, that could very well change but by then it might be too little too late or too much damage done from how she acted after DDay.

SumofOne posted 11/13/2019 13:23 PM

One thing that seems to happen a lot is I will ask her something and she will tell me that she has already told me. At first I thought she was gas-lighting me. However, I have written down some things here and there. I started going back and checking and I seriously have no recognition of a lot of what I wrote down. When she goes ahead and gives me an answer it seems vaguely familiar. She thinks I am lying when I say I don't remember.

It's like when you meet someone for the first time and they introduce themselves and 2 minutes later you have no idea what their name is. I don't know if it's shock or me blocking out things, but it's troubling.

Here's the thing, I had a rough timeline. She and I were talking about how I still can't believe that she won't give me a good timeline. She started with her usual of not wanting to write it down, and then said, plus we went over
it the night I gave you the confession letter. I was defiant...bull shit, I'd remember that. Well, I went and looked on a clipboard I had been using at first and there it was dates and events.

It's like lecture notes and I remember feeling dissatisfied because it wasn't exact enough for me. Like what I have, might say, she thinks early May for about 2 weeks. It makes me sad. I am a sharp guy mentally. Not the smartest person in the room but my mind is good and works fast. It is crazy for me to think of others things I might have done but can't really recall them.

She still could've appeased me and done a more thorough one. I do have exact dates on the big things. I feel OK now about the timeline, but wish she had been more eager to provide it.

[This message edited by SumofOne at 1:25 PM, November 13th (Wednesday)]

survrus posted 11/13/2019 17:15 PM


For goodness sakes she needs to take a polygraph.

Don't waver or settle for more trickle truth.

Also did you expose the OMs?

If you don't have money hock her wedding ring to pay for the poly. If she fails they can keep the ring.

[This message edited by survrus at 5:17 PM, November 13th (Wednesday)]

Butforthegrace posted 11/15/2019 07:07 AM

Sum, I dont comment much on your threads because frankly I get so frustrated reading them. In a forum like this we only know what people post, but the sum of all of your posts is that, bottom line, your WW is pushing an agenda of slow motion rug sweeping and you are letting her do it, rationalizing your steady retreat by a constantly shifting pattern of excuses and rationalizations, infused at all times by the reek of hopium. Sorry for the 2x4. I realize that healing looks different for each of us, and in many threads here on SI I suspect there is a lot more going on in the dynamic of the couple than what we know from the posts. Your is one of those.

SumofOne posted 11/15/2019 10:13 AM

She is willing to take a poly. I have even bluffed her on the topic telling her one day we were on our way to take it. She never budged, her basic attitude was if I needed it to believe her that we should do it. I bluffed all the way to the "parking lot". She repeatedly said, I haven't had sex with anyone but you since we have been married and that she has told me all the physical actions that have taken place. So either she called my bluff or ?

Butforthegrace, thanks for the input. I always feel like I want to paint a picture of good and bad, equally. I know how it looks from others. I do take in advice but I also don't think I am in anyway rug sweeping. I am fairly sure that I have turned over every rock that I can except a Poly, and that is my choice in how I do that. It might not make sense to anyone but, it is important to me that if there is more that I don't twist her arm to get it and that it comes from growth. The minute I say polygraph or else I take away her ability to tell me on her own. I can feel the moans and eye rolling now. Again, it's whatever.

Her confession letter went back 12 years to before we were married. It included things I never knew about and would never know about. It was detailed to a fault almost being more than I wanted to know. It was over 5 pages front and back. I feel confident that 98% of her infidelity was in there. Now In my heart I think that 2% she might have left out is hiding sex. I have literally done everything short of waterboarding her in an effort to get a confession. I have mentioned this many times but years ago when we were just dating we broke up and she slept with someone. I did as well. We both lied and hid it for years, but she was the one to admit it first.

I see her doing all the things people say need to happen but a few. That I mentioned.The main this is her remorse sucks, she compartmentalizes. Also, something isn't wired just right. I don't know why but her boundaries about nudity just don't align with what most people have. She feels badly for hurting me but at the same time in her mind, it's just boobs. That's something she is working on. As well as obvious self esteem issues.

The single biggest thing she did wrong, post A, was destroy and hide information on her phone. She now claims it is because of 3 videos that she sent. She says the way she talked and the pics and videos would've forever changed how I saw her. I struggle with all of that, while I am sure that played a big part in it, she also destroyed any evidence of if more did or didn't take place.

Someone else mentioned this, we accept the love we think we deserve. Well, I have treated her like shit...a lot. Made her feel stupid...a lot. It doesn't excuse cheating and unmet needs is a bullshit rationalization but, I know it plays a hand in how I feel.

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