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Reconciliation :
I love you's

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 sadgirlinsouth (original poster new member #77316) posted at 4:23 PM on Friday, April 23rd, 2021

Whenever my FWH says I love you, first thing I think of is "not really" or "not enough". I try to say I love you too back, which I do love him but not the same now, especially in front of my little ones. Does anyone else think that?

posts: 21   ·   registered: Feb. 15th, 2021
id 8653389
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 4:35 PM on Friday, April 23rd, 2021

Oh the things I have said in my head...

I have said I love you too. I always have. Because - I always did and will. After decades together you can't not - this will always be the father of my children, the man I pledged vows to, the man I shared more than 1/2 my life with.

Now - what is harder to say is "I really love you". That's next level. That took a very long time to come back.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3770   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8653401
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CaptainRogers ( member #57127) posted at 4:53 PM on Friday, April 23rd, 2021

I haven't said ILY to my wife in probably 3 years. Nothing more than "you too" if she says it to me. When she asked why about 18 months ago, I said "You've taught me that words are meaningless. Don't ever trust someone's words. Look at their actions."

Just like Chaos, I do love her and I always have. Maybe someday I will be able to say them again. Maybe. Until then, I will keep demonstrating the actions of love.

BS: 42 on D-day
WW: 43 on D-day
Together since '89; still working on what tomorrow will bring.
D-Day v1.0: Jan '17; EA
D-day v2.0: Mar '18; no, it was physical

posts: 3355   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2017   ·   location: The Rockies
id 8653420
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thatbpguy ( member #58540) posted at 4:58 PM on Friday, April 23rd, 2021

My ex would say that during our periods of R and I never knew how to respond. I found her saying that to me repulsive after what she had done. I usually tried to force a little smile. It was so hollow.

ME: BH Her: WW DDay 1, R; DDay 2, R; DDay 3, I left; Divorced Remarried to a wonderful woman

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C.S. Lewis

As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly...

posts: 4480   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: Vancouver, WA
id 8653422
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 5:08 PM on Friday, April 23rd, 2021

I'm probably still naive. Idk, I never thought she stopped loving me. I buy in to cake eating motivations. A WS doesn't stop loving the BS unless it's an exit A. They *genuinely* believe they can love two people. They push the hurt they could be doing to the back of their mind in order to maximize the temporary pleasure. Is that "love"? Ok sure not really. Also, I'm not going to say that love for the AP is real love. I'm not even going to try to define it here. But I never felt she was lying to me when she said ILY, even immediately after the A.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2582   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8653429
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 6:35 PM on Friday, April 23rd, 2021

This is a tough one around here, too.

My wife did not love me during her affair. She detested me. She treated me with utter contempt.

Now, she adores me. She says “I love you” and “I love you so much” and so on quite often. And her behavior is consistent with that.

For my part, I do care deeply for her. We have thirty years of shared lives. I do like her. I can utter the words, “I love you, too.” Most of the time.

I just don’t think what I feel is on the same level as what she feels.

I wish for one minute I could feel how I felt about her before I learned of her affair and compare that in real time to how I feel now. I think it might help me.

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 330   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8653459
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Underserving ( member #72259) posted at 10:10 PM on Friday, April 23rd, 2021

I say it when I want to, and don’t when I don’t.

When I’m experiencing triggers, or having doubts, I don’t tell him I love him, because in that moment I don’t feel safe with him. It’s not because I don’t actually love him. In fact the greatest act of love I have ever shown my husband has been offering him the gift or R.

Do I believe him when he says it? Most of the time, I do. Not because of those words necessarily, but because of his actions over time.

Some people say that “love” never returns for them after infidelity. That hasn’t been my experience at all. It’s taken time to feel safe enough to actually express it, or to even allow myself to acknowledge those feelings, but its still always been there for me.

With him, it’s taking intentionality on a daily basis for me to feel as if he is being genuine when he tells me he loves me.

BW (32)Found out 3 years post end of AD-day 12-9-19In R

Infidelity brings out the cuss in me. I’m not as foul mouthed in real life. ;)

posts: 775   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2019
id 8653506
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Gixxer1998 ( new member #77284) posted at 1:38 PM on Saturday, April 24th, 2021

Yeah I feel this completely. When she says it I only say it back if I feel something for her at the time. I know there's still a piece of me that does but it buried under a lot of shit.

And if it's ok I'll just grab my shit and leave
I won't say one word
I'll keep my tricks up my sleeve
Flew off of the handle
You opened fire on me
Put me down, put me out of misery
I'm fatally yours

posts: 30   ·   registered: Feb. 10th, 2021   ·   location: Ohio
id 8653627
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JoVCT ( new member #78523) posted at 4:24 PM on Saturday, April 24th, 2021

I absolutely also struggle with this. During this past year as we have worked on R, he has shown me almost daily how grateful he is for my giving him another chance, how sorry he is that he hurt me the way he did and betrayed our love for 15 yrs. I accept and appreciate this, but the words "obviously, you never loved me enough" are always at the tip of my tongue. I know he never stopped loving me; this was clearly a case of cake eating, and he got away with enjoying that cake for a long long time. Understanding all this, and appreciating the way we are with each other does not make any of this easier. I respond "I love you too," but it feels empty some of the time. I do show my love as he does, so that's something.

I hope that this gets easier with time. I think we are having a successful R, but I still always feel hurt and anger toward him.

Last night, I had drinks with some of my friends. None of them is aware of our situation. One of them said to me "it is clear that your husband would never cheat on you - he is obviously in love with you." I smiled and said nothing, but it was like a gut punch. I told him when I got home and he said, as he always says, that he will continue to try to make up for the horrible thing he was doing for such a long time. What more do I want? I think I want to go back in time and stop this thing before it started and maybe kill that bitch.

posts: 13   ·   registered: Mar. 17th, 2021   ·   location: NY
id 8653642
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 4:27 PM on Saturday, April 24th, 2021

I'm not in R, but I pretty much stopped saying it after dday.

There are times I feel love towards him and I will sometimes say that.

A part of me will always "love" him, but not in the "I really love you" way Chaos describes. After dday, I lost any sense of who my WH is/was as a person, and he's not done much to enlighten me, so I guess I'd say it's hard to hold that "really love you" to someone you don't really know.

I don't think it's possible to "love" someone while having an A or consciously/actively deceiving about core relationship boundaries, so him saying it during the As or after dday rings pretty hollow to me.

I don't think my WH and I have the same definition or understanding of "love".

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3828   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8653643
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:34 PM on Saturday, April 24th, 2021

I said it a lot before d-day, not much afterwards. It didn't work to help my W then, so I doubt it will help now.

But she always thought acts were more important than words, and our actions toward each other say ILY.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 29787   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8653667
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Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 10:39 PM on Saturday, April 24th, 2021

I'm ok with the I love you's from my husband. And I'm ok with me telling him I love you.

The meaning is no longer a romantic love, that was destroyed after I discovered his affair.

For me, when I say it, my meaning is more I care for you and I appreciate what you do for me, I am committed to making this reconnection work... I think it's all in our tone of voice...we kinda understand intuitively the meaning behind those words as we do have 40 years of marriage between us.

And bottom line, for us, it sounds good to say it to one another, despite his affair folly.

fBW. My heart is scarred.

posts: 346   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2020
id 8653711
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:51 PM on Monday, April 26th, 2021

My two cents.

As a WS, I used to think love was only about feelings. Feelings are changeable all the time and they are really often just reflections of our thoughts.

I now see love as an action, a commitment, and a choice. We have never stopped saying I love you because we are still here. We are still choosing this. The fact we are going through this process at all is maybe the greatest act of love either of us have given.

We will stop saying I love you when we have given up. Until then, we are choosing this.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 6934   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8654116
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 6:33 PM on Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

Whenever my FWH says I love you, first thing I think of is "not really" or "not enough". I try to say I love you too back, which I do love him but not the same now, especially in front of my little ones. Does anyone else think that?

My WW during her affair stopped saying this and went so far as to say she was annoyed I would say it at the end of phone conversations and the like.

Since I travel for work, I would always say it because I wanted to ensure that, if it happened to be our last conversation, I always wanted her to know it.

Now, I rarely say it and she's always trying to cajole me into saying it.

Odd how that works.

I think the various categories of love according to ancient "koine" Greek are helpful here:

Eros: romantic, passionate love

Philia: intimate, authentic friendship

Ludus: playful, flirtatious love

Storge: unconditional, familial love

Philautia: self-love

Pragma: committed, companionate love

Agape: empathetic, universal love

I can say I have philia and pragma for my WW, though in a very wounded state. Eros much less so.

When Jesus asks Peter "do you love me?" three times, he's actually asking "do you agape me?"

Peter keeps answering that he has "phileo" for Jesus.

Finally Jesus meets him there at phileo, and essentially indicates, "ok, that's enough for now."

I think WS's would be well served by considering that if a BS is able to have "philia/phileo" that should be enough for a good long while.

[This message edited by Thumos at 12:40 PM, April 27th (Tuesday)]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4598   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8654384
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 sadgirlinsouth (original poster new member #77316) posted at 7:02 PM on Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

Thank you everyone for your insight. I tell him I do love him but it will never be the same. You have broke that girl you promised so many years ago.

When he first told me of his affairs, of course I was distraught and said you didn't love me enough to keep our vows. He would always reply, I do love you and of course I said not enough. Thumos, that's funny you brought that up. Our message Sunday at church was about love. Our love for God, fulfills the law - law is not a checklist. He used an example of a recently married couple that if you truly love your spouse, that will make you want to fulfill your vows. You don't need a checklist or a reminder everyday to forsake all others. Right after the preacher said that, my husband squeezed my hand. I think in that moment, he realized what I said at the beginning of this.

posts: 21   ·   registered: Feb. 15th, 2021
id 8654395
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JimmyB ( member #43976) posted at 7:24 PM on Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

Several years ago, several years past my last Dday, my WW was lying on the bed under a blanket. She got up, pulling the blanket off and both her phone and Ipad went flying. I kinda chuckled as it seemed funny since she lives with her devices glued to her. She found it offensive that I chuckled and said this to me. "I think you have some kind of love for me but I don't think you even like me". The more I've thought about what she said the more I believe she's pretty much right, and the same goes for what I think she feels toward me as well. At this point it's more of we tolerate each other as best as possible and little more.

ME: 60 Madhatter, 1 PA, 6 months(making out, no sexual contact), 2006. 1 sexual act with a stranger in a car - w/hands, 2010.
WW: 57 Madhatter, 25 year (1988-2013) PA, 3 separate affairs, same OM). 8 year, 2005-2013, EA with 1st boyfriend/lover

posts: 570   ·   registered: Jul. 4th, 2014   ·   location: Ohio
id 8654815
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toonces ( member #25949) posted at 3:08 AM on Thursday, April 29th, 2021

pasted from my reply on same topic thread from 2017.

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nope, haven't said it in 16 years. That was a casualty of her A.

She says it to me but it doesn't have the meaning like it used to (i.e. pre-A).

When she says it to me, I want to reply asking if she loved me while the OM was in the act of f**king her.

Me - BS
Her - WS
affair length - 6 months with OM
married since 7/92
d-day 4/2002

posts: 281   ·   registered: Oct. 23rd, 2009   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8654933
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 3:11 AM on Thursday, April 29th, 2021

This is a deeply personal thing and the closer you are to Dday that more raw it is.

Expressing the feeling of love to your spouse is stating how you feel about them. Of course most of us in R or that give R a go still love our spouse. But to say it aloud really opens ourselves up to a certain level of vulnerability. So are we brave enough to do it? I think that's the real question.

I can tell you it absolutely become a whole hell of a lot easier when I healed myself some and when my H was truly remorseful. Changed behavior on his part and being strong enough to know I would be fine removed the vulnerable issue.

Saying it willingly and unprompted or parroting it back was like giving my H a gift or a reminder of the giant gift I gave him when I chose to R. Luckily he knew that. He respected it.

Now 12 + years later I can honestly say I say it when I want and it is often and I absolutely mean it. But it took hard work time and healing to get there.

Me: FBSHim: FWSKids: 23 & 27 Married for 32 years now, was 16 at the time.D-Day Sept 26 2008R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 20123   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8654934
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toonces ( member #25949) posted at 3:14 AM on Thursday, April 29th, 2021

Forgot to include in post.

https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=613102&HL=25949

Me - BS
Her - WS
affair length - 6 months with OM
married since 7/92
d-day 4/2002

posts: 281   ·   registered: Oct. 23rd, 2009   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8654935
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NotMyFirstRodeo ( member #75220) posted at 9:27 PM on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

From 2001 (wedding) - 2019 (more recent of the many DD's), she literally never offered me a genuine "I love you". The best I could hope for was her replying with it in response to my expressions of love to her. In hindsight, I believe she was avoiding an awkward moment by volleying an "I love you" back at me. My gut told me that then and it's more true than ever now....just in a slightly different way.

Never was she the one to initiate an expression of compassion or love towards me. The status quo was me saying I love you and she bounced it back to me while avoiding eye contact or any emotion. The times I didn't say it to see how she reacted, she didn't offer it. It was purely situational and relied on me to initiate this pomp and circumstance. Over the years I observed this as the way of things but accepted it as a nuance of our relationship. Later I discovered this was me being gas-lit.

So no. I do not believe she loves me even though she says it simultaneously with my not saying it anymore (And I've told her why I don't. I won't lie to her no matter her willingness to feed me lies). I believe she's attempting to avoid the awkwardness of me leaving without the formality of a "love you" being said. But I see it as it is. It's empty words without substance. She says it as she goes to sleep and when I leave. But never once has she taken a moment out of a moment to offer me a heart-felt, eye-to-eye expression of loving me. She simply can't fake that and we both know it. That requires something real. To offer an "I love you" in passing and at a coined moment requires no real effort.

Over 19+ years she's shown me how she feels about me. What's so different now, woman?? What? You all of a sudden "love" me and are willing to offer it when you're scared of me leaving you but only after you're no longer feeling so superior to me?

Quite frankly I believe, if anything, it's more likely that she's disgruntled that I don't offer it anymore and she's forced to be the one laying it out there now. Who cares though. It's just words. A person's actions carry far more meaning than their words. And that's why I feel the way I do. The actions always told me the truth. I just never listened. They still do...but now I pay attention and am not eating what she wants to feed me.

My recommendation is for a BS to listen to actions and ignore all words spoken. Words are easy to feign. Actions move mountains.

Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid.

posts: 362   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2020
id 8656634
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