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Reconciliation :
Positive Reconciliation Stories

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OnTheOtherSideOfHell ( member #82983) posted at 5:06 PM on Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

Posting again here to offer hope. :) I have read here on and off for years. (Almost 5) I initially arrived here broken beyond comprehension in desperate need of help. I searched many sites. Some members here definitely helped, but I feared telling my story because many members were beyond hurtful. I now know they were acting from their intense pain yet I was not in a head space to "take what I need and leave the rest". The "rest" that I didn’t subscribe to still hurt like a bitch. So, I backed off in search of more compassionate places to read.

That being said, I vowed to myself to report how my story turned out when I felt I was healed. I felt I owed it to the ones here who did help me and to push back on some of the absolutes so many hurting spouses spew. I don’t believe them to be helpful to anyone, ever. The statements I am referring to are "your marriage is a sham", "your spouse is not remorseful he is sorry he was caught", "your spouse is still cheating, he’s just underground now", "reconciliation is a mythical unicorn"… etc. Those statements were/are people simply pushing their truths, their reality, and their mindset on to others and it’s not helpful. Ever.I don’t mind these statements if they are preceded with "in my experience " or "me belief is…", but blanket Statements about my marriage or anyone other random internet stranger is ridiculous.

So, I am here to push back on some of those absolute statements. Before I do, I want to make clear I acknowledge they are many people’s truths in their situation, but not mine. Let me start with the one that bothered me the most as I was going through hell (user name) "your marriage was a sham or a lie". Nope, not my truth. My marriage was more than just fidelity. It was built on shared dreams and goals. Some goals we have achieved and many we still work for, even during cheating years we still worked as a team. We had wonderful now adult kids. We traveled. W e laughed. We loved. I worked hard to get all my memories back. My husband always said they were real "yes, I was being a cowardly, cheating asshole, for a longtime but it was all in a box and when I walked away from it each time she meant nothing. My family was always my priority". Now, is this an excuse to let him off ? Hell no. And did his actions match his words? Yes, and no. He was financially very faithful. Always worked multiple jobs and brought all the money home for me to not have to work or want for anything as I raised kids. I had a house cleaner and rarely cooked. (He’d often bring dinner home). He never told me no. He did his own laundry. When D day came about, the 180 was easy because he never had any demands or expectations on me to begin with short of caring for the kids. Throughout the cheating years we enjoyed each other’s company and shared love. The fact that he was also cheating does not change that. Yes, he had a horrible lie he was hiding, but that’s not all our marriage was. Therefore, my marriage was real and not a sham. He was behaving unbelievably awful, behind my back, but that does not negate our times together. If he had secretly been doing drugs for years would I think my marriage as a sham because he has a secret life? Nope. I’d just be hurt and pissed. For me, marriage is much more than undying love and fidelity and just because one is absent the marriage is still real. At least my marriage is.

Another absolute I hated was "your spouse is still hiding truths". Maybe, but I have no reason to think so. He answered all my questions as painful as they were.

And another "your husband can’t walk away after all those years without missing her"… well, if he didn’t he deserves an academy award for acting as he dropped her cold and callously. I’d have felt sorry for her if she didn’t deserve it. 🤷‍♀️😂 in fact, when I suspected he was cheating and asked, he admitted and was relieved if was over. She of course thought it was their "time". He was relieved to be done. I asked a therapist how he could spend years f’ing another and walk away and feel nothing? And could he do that to me too? Apparently it’s not that unusual. I am not making excuses or minimizing the horror show my husband inflicted on me. This is just my story. He knew his affair was just an escape and it was not real. Just a bunch of nonsense perpetrated by two mentally weak, unhealthy, and broken people. Hurt people hurt people. It truly had nothing to do with me. I was just the innocent bystander sucker punched.

That brings this too long of a post to my final "truth". My husband’s infidelity was not abuse. He never meant to hurt me. Never wanted to hurt me. I think abuse needs intent. For me, it does. I know many of you feel that your betrayal was abuse and I respect "your truth". It’s just not mine so I cringe when I see people insisting their truth is universal. I think it comes from a place of pain and extreme self doubt in one’s decisions. They need others to believe like they do. I don’t need others to feel like I do to be confident is my choices, but if offering my perspective helps anyone, I’ll tell my truths.

In a nutshell, almost 5 years out I am happy. My marriage survived. It is different. It would have been different with or without cheating as humans grow and change. Is it better because he cheated? Hell no! Is it better because he finally worked to heal his demons? Yep. Would it have happened otherwise? I don’t know, but doubt it. For me, staying was the right choice. There is residual pain and likely always will be. But, at my age, everyone has scars and aches. This is just one of mine. But, this marriage has also provided me a rich life full of family and unbelievable blessings. Those mattered to me more than the idea of divorce and the hope of finding a new love. That was never a priority to me. My dreams were always an intact family and happy kids. I still have those. My priorities may be different than others, but we get to decide our own life. This is mine and it’s wonderful. I’ll end this finally by saying I believe I will be married until one of us dies. However, if we do ever split, it won’t be because of his affair. That’s over and we’ve healed. I wish all of you newbies healing and an outcome you hope for. Whatever that is LIVE YOUR LIFE and TRUTHS.

posts: 189   ·   registered: Feb. 28th, 2023   ·   location: SW USA
id 8780283
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Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 4:58 PM on Wednesday, March 8th, 2023

I have always hesitated to post in this thread because I felt as I had to plant a flag and declare "we are reconciled!!"

We are still on the journey but felt it was time to share some positivity. This is a copy and paste of my Anniversary post:


Today is our 32nd wedding anniversary. Yesterday was 3.5 years from Dday, I’m about 90% healed, and things are "normal" again.

At about a year and half after Dday I started to believe my W was serious about R, she had a solid consistent behavior of being all in on the M, I really wasn’t, I was very guarded. She was nervous around me afraid to make a mistake, any mistake, dinner, shopping, laundry, she was on eggshells. I decided it was time to stop treating her as a cheater and running our M like a dictatorship. I offered her true R, an equal level M, with open and honest communication. I was also letting go of some of the baggage weighing us down on this journey. It’s not rug sweeping, it’s processing and letting go, lighten the load, to work on the un healed areas.

Like I said, today is 32 years and we are going to celebrate. I have the sweet lady I couldn’t wait to marry. I’m proud of my M, we are a great team in our Son’s care, she is a great W and I couldn’t imagine spending these years with anyone else.

Thanks to everyone on SI that lit the path for me in the darkness. You all are a big part of our successful R.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R BH M 32 years

posts: 3387   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8781279
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Tinina33 ( new member #83031) posted at 8:07 PM on Thursday, March 9th, 2023

blush It has been about 5 years now and we are expecting our first child it looks like. I am so happy and he has been absolutely amazing. I can’t wait for him to be a father and I am so glad that I chose reconciliation and didn’t leave like everyone in my family wanted me too. He has worked super hard to regain my trust and has shown me how much he loves me and I can say that I am truly falling back in I’ve with him again.

Therapy has been helping a lot too. It has helped to process everything and log it into the past.

Christina Smith

posts: 1   ·   registered: Mar. 9th, 2023   ·   location: Arizona
id 8781421
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Ladybugmaam ( member #69881) posted at 3:23 AM on Thursday, March 16th, 2023

I’m cautiously hopeful we’re getting there. Feel like I’m 75%-ish recovered. There are more good days than bad. Still have intrusive thoughts….actually while writing that I’m cautiously hopeful. Grateful for the work we’ve both put in.

EA DD 11/2018
PA DD 2/25/19
One teen son
I am a phoenix.

posts: 467   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2019
id 8782406
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Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 11:12 AM on Thursday, March 16th, 2023

It’s encouraging to read your stories. Thank you.

Husband had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Married 20 years at that point; two teenaged kids. Reconciling.

posts: 622   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8782427
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Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 6:44 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

As a former betrayed spouse, I’d like to share how I see our marriage today and talk about where we are at. It really is my story, seen though my eyes four years into our reconciliation.

I now say with certainty that I had/have anxious, avoidant behaviours. And until I became fully aware of the outcomes of my behaviour on myself and on those around me, I had difficulties reconnecting with myself and my husband. I did not want to open up to him, and yet, I wanted to. It was a constant fight in me. I was experiencing a certain amount of stress over this ambiguity.

Over time, those feelings within me shifted towards the positive with their intensity diminishing and shortening.
I continue to work on accepting feeling ambiguous. It’s ok to feel that way.

My fear of being deceived and hurt one more time has changed me into a hyper vigilant individual. It is an uncomfortable sensation. Something new for me and I don’t like it one bit. I understand it’s nature, the cause and I have made plans in the event we break up for the last time, and yet we are working out our marriage. Slowly, step by step. That plan lurks in the background of my mind and makes me feel like I’m the one in control of my life. I don’t have to like it to realize that it is necessary for me to have such a plan.

I am still figuring this out…my fear of being hurt and discarded again, versus looking at my life today and realizing that it’s safe to live with my husband. He abandoned me for his affair partner and with hope for new life, he moved in with her. That was the deepest cut for me. Deeper than his affair with her. I did have the coping skills to deal with it. For this I am thankful. I kept my sanity as I felt my world was crumbling, driven in part by fear of the unknown.

The biggest change that impacts our lives today is how we handle everything that goes on between us compared to how we handled it years ago: our arguments, our sex life, our boredom, our decisions, our happy times and the list goes one. Just life things. Our attempts at talking about sensitive issues are getting less defensive, and that is a huge plus.

We made a choice four years ago to give us a second chance and it took all this time for us to experience a different trust/loyalty/commitment/communication between us. I’d like to say that my husband was as uneasy with me as I was with him during the first two years or so. We did not give up on the "us" though, and slowly we muddled thought our uneasiness with set backs and gains. Maybe this uneasiness was lack of trust. Sure sounds like it.

I did therapy, my husband chose not to. It would not have worked for him. Instead, both of us, at a different pace, gained personal self awareness and the courage to speak up during sensitive situations. We made so many errors, lived through the silent treatments, denials, gaslighting, more lies, defensiveness, proving one is right the other wrong, doubts, his withdrawal symptoms from the affair partner, his withdrawal symptoms from his heavy drinking. We experienced remorse, shame, guilt, amends, moodiness, sadness, happy times, joy, laughter, curiosity, boredom, calm and so much more.

And here we are, four years later, still working on the "us".

We are not perfect people, nor do we have a perfect marriage. What helped me a lot is to finally accept that. Another lesson I had to experience is that I cannot change him and I am not his counsellor. This awareness took me about three years to not only sink in, but also to make sense to me and to us. And together, we are changing what goes on between us. We know that nothing is forever and critical to both of our well-beings is what happens between us when we catch one another repeating ingrained habits that diminish our bond for one another. We are working through this step by step. We reinforce the positive habits that bond us. We both had dismissed those positive habits over time. Over 40 years. I don’t know why. Call it taking one another for granted. It was lethal to our marriage and it led to misguided choices.

For me this is not a new beginning nor is it a new marriage. It is our marriage that has gone through considerable marriage trauma, shaking up my core values of love, honesty, trust, and loyalty. Ditto for my husband. It is the same marriage with two damaged spouses living together and healing. It no longer matters to me who is/was to blame. We both need healing and love.

I retain memories of my gutted feelings. I know that I will never forget those feelings. I have forgotten the details of his abandonment, including his affair stuff. But those feelings are still around and I am facing them head on. We have talked about his feelings for his ex partner, and I do realize that he remembers having wonderful times in his new life with her as well as coming to terms that living with his new "squeeze" perhaps was not as great as he imagined it would be, her baggage greater than once known and this caused him problems he did not expect. All this to repeat that we are human, we make horrid mistakes, we make destructive choices along with all that is constructive in our lives.

I am thinking that this may be a forgiveness I am living with. I don’t know. Though I’d like to believe it. That raging, hurt, sad, rejected woman called Notaboringwife is a remnant from a different time in the past. I do not give her a strong voice in my life. She’s only allowed to whisper to me as I gently escort her out my front door. Over and over again. For how long I don’t know.


I’ve acquired the strength to live my life with my husband. I’ve also acquired the courage and ability to live by myself without him. I can do both and feel contented and happy in doing so. I think what I am saying is that I don’t need my husband to make me happy or unhappy. I can do this all by myself.

When I began this reconciliation journey, I did not know what to expect. I did not know if that was even what I truly wanted. I weighed the pros and cons and the pros won for me. My husband had his set of pros and cons, and the pros won over the life he was living cut off from me. He abruptly and heartlessly culled her from his life when he moved out of her home.

So for me and us, reconciliation was a fitting choice to make. Perhaps an unconventional way to decide following our break up, but for us it worked. And four years later, it remains the right choice to keep.

I believe we are actively clearing the path for the people we want to be (and maybe already are).

In ending, a promise I made to myself when my husband and I chose to reunite is that should my husband choose to intentionally break either of the following two conditions or boundaries, we will break up for good. The first one: he returns to his past friend the bottle and reverts to heavy consistent drinking. The second one is should he ever hurt me or my family again with regular intentional actions and behaviours, I will throw him out of my life. No more second chances.. My husband knows this.

We are good.

It is my hope that parts of my story will ring true for others on SI. I’d like to extend my very best wishes and courage to all who chose the journey to reconcile.

fBW. My heart is scarred.

posts: 346   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2020
id 8787379
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SoveriegnCrux ( new member #83279) posted at 6:24 AM on Monday, May 1st, 2023

For me, D-Day was December 3rd, 2018. My partner of 9.5 years had been cheating on me and I discovered a sexual email. To say it rocked my world in the most horrible, traumatizing way is an understatement. He was not forthcoming, he was absolutely dishonest and treacherous and I had to drag the truths out of him over several years. I suffered a stroke due to stress and heartbreak, the inside of my nose was lined with scabs from all the crying and blowing my nose. I was a complete, barely functioning mess.

It would have been so much easier to leave him. To kick him out. To move on with my life. But I didn't. I stayed. Staying takes a phenomenal amount of courage and inner strength. It is a constant guessing game riddled by triggers. For me, it was having my trust knocked back down time and again by his lies. However, in all of this, he did dedicate himself to the relationship despite how toxic we had become. He'd thrown away eleven years of sobriety in the midst of my discovery. He was awful to me, he was a mean drunk. But he did not cheat again (verified).

At some point after we got him into substance abuse therapy the second time, I had begun investing in relationship help books. Some I read alone, some I made him read, and several we read together and discussed them chapter by chapter and how these things applied to ourselves. We were raw, torn, brokenhearted and we wanted to find a way back to one another so desperately. We fought constantly, I had so many triggers a day that I could barely keep my head in the present. I began taking antidepressants but was allergic to them.

Somewhere in all of this, maybe two years in, I realized I had forgiven him. Do not mistake this for forgetting, or saying it is water under the bridge. No, but I forgave him for the four year online affair he had with an unsavory woman. I know many people would tell me I am stupid, just walk away. Four years is an unforgivable trespass, and I have to agree with that. I felt stupid staying half the time, but I persevered. He got sober. We began to fight less. And sometimes we were actually finding happiness together again.

It began with just laying in bed, holding one another, or resting with my head upon his chest and his arms around me. Spending afternoons entwined. We often recharge this way now, ii is a great way to reconnect with your partner. Its like when someone holds you and all the broken pieces of yourself come back together and you just feel whole and at peace in that moment. We became less about our "sides" and more of a pair again. We found one another again this way and we are closer than anything I have ever known - we even finish one another's sentences all the time. We're just absolutely connected and in tune with one another now.

It's been four and a half years since my D-Day. This month will be our 14th anniversary. We are more in love than we were when falling in love so very long ago, and we show it all day, every day. We are incredibly affectionate and playful, and we're in our fifties now. I still have triggers, but they don't send me spiralling into anger, depression or anxiety. He still has his own triggers, and sometimes they are bad and he becomes tearful while trying to just tell me how much he loves me and how sorry he is for all he's done.

I guess I just wanted to offer some assurance to those who feel brave enough to dig their heals in and try to withstand the storm you find yourselves in. It will hurt like nothing you have ever experienced, it will leave trauma scars. Most importantly, know that your relationship can never return to what it once was. However, if your partner is willing to recommit 100% and put in the effort WITH you - either with self-help together or therapy with a councilor, you have a chance to come back from the devastation of infidelity. It's not an easy road, but you can both come out stronger together.

I wish you all the strength, all the hope, all the perseverance in the world. Just be true to yourselves in the process. ♥

[This message edited by SoveriegnCrux at 6:34 AM, Monday, May 1st]

posts: 4   ·   registered: May. 1st, 2023   ·   location: Seattle, WA
id 8789124
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 5:28 PM on Saturday, May 6th, 2023

Mine was not R because I never confronted. He cheated while traveling, I was told and rug swept. There is a powerful reason I did. We were young with very young children and was pregnant before I finished my education. I had no way to provide. All the kids were young, including a baby. Once the youngest was in preK I started part time then moved to full time and had my degree in a couple of years. Then got a job and got a lot more spine. Until then I had no way to support my kids so I never confronted. When I look back I know that even if I did I would have believed any lie he told me. I basically worshipped him.
Like OTOSOH said life throws curve balls but as a team we have managed. If I had gone home to my parents it would not have worked, so I stayed, and stayed quiet. Truthfully it was not something I thought about until many years later I saw an article about how many people get away with cheating. Many, many do but it was time to ask. I did, he admitted and we have never discussed it again. I have been happy. We lived in lots of interesting places.
I come here to give hope to those whose WS is truly remorseful. I have noticed I am less hopeful, if not downright negative, about some of these Ws. Many of them were so wounded as children that they give their BSs PTSD, STIs, and financial ruin. Those need to be gone. The good ones need a second chance.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 4209   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8789899
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 5:37 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

I think I am a few days early with my annual reflection of where my life is seven years after discovery. The exact dday is a bit of blur now anyway, because so much has happened since then.

I’m a vastly different person now, as with any trauma, our experiences inform us and change us. I’m much stronger than I was before all of this, with a dash of new wisdom.

In my late 50’s, I can safely say infidelity is the most painful experience I have dealt with so far, and my life includes losses of loved ones, and my childhood trauma of a step-father who beat me like a drum for 3-years.

But we all know about the pain, the crippling sadness and the battles with depression after being blindsided by the person we loved.

The hope is that we all find a way back to some level of peace, regardless of the path we take to that peace. As always, I will never care which path any of us takes, be it D, or R or even those souls who stayed for kids or financial security only — as long as we recover from the trauma and find some peace.

I find that my observations are evolving as well.

I used to frame my choice to R around a ‘new deal’ or a ‘new M’ — but another member’s post in the positive R story section has permanently altered my perspective. While both my wife and I have changed a bunch, the truth is, this isn’t a new marriage or a new relationship. It’s a continuation of what we started nearly 36-years ago.

The relationship is dented, scarred and scorched in spots, but it’s all of ours. All of our bad choices, all of our poor decisions and every lesson we learned in the hardest way possible.

Infidelity is definitely damage we did NOT sign up for, and I sure as Hell didn’t vote for it.

My wife didn’t go from princess to horrible monster and back to princess again. There is no magic here. There are no rainbows or broken spells. She’s a flawed person, like me, and everyone else on the planet.

Human beings fail every single day. Sometimes the fail is epic.

Humans who don’t cope well with adversity often retreat from reality with alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, and yes, no one’s favorite, they escape into the arms of another person.

There is NO logic to it, and there is no legitimate reason to ever lie and cheat. Ever.

For me, it’s what humans do AFTER they fail that matters.

We can learn from it and change for the better or stay down in the muck.

I can focus on my wife’s worst days or her best days OR, I can see her as a complete soul, a good person, capable of bad things — who failed herself, her family and me — and then aimed for much better on the other side of it.

I will always, ALWAYS hate the A. I only have to accept the fact that it happened, that it’s part of my existence, but I don’t have to be OKAY with it. I’ll never wake up and be happy my wife chose poorly on her lowest days.

However, I can choose how I respond to this and every adversity in my life.

My wife’s lowest point doesn’t define me or reflect on me.

And to keep this old marriage rolling, I do not allow my wife’s lowest point to define her either. At some point, we do have to let the past BE the past.

Again, as anyone who has ever attempted R KNOWS, ain’t none of it easy.

We worked our asses off and we forged this M into something we both want. We love that we didn’t give up on each other. We love that we found a far better way to talk to each other, that we don’t hide our feelings, good or ill, and that we love each other, flaws and all.

The dents are still there. The damage doesn’t disappear.

We just aim for better every day. We give more to the other every day.

After seven years of finding a way back to vulnerable and taking one last leap of faith, I think we may yet get the hang of this marriage thing.

Married 35+ years, together 41+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived. M Restored.
"It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it." — Seneca

posts: 4699   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
id 8792176
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Tryingtobestrong ( member #48027) posted at 9:21 AM on Saturday, June 3rd, 2023

I found this site in 2015, a few months after discovering my husband of 34 years had been cheating for the prior year with an old high school friend. And for the next few years I posted sometimes and lurked a lot and found so much help and support as we fought our way back from his betrayal. I was healing, but his affair was never very far from my mind.

In 2020 I was very, very sick for 6 months and almost died. This man, whom I would have never in my wildest dreams imagined as a nurturing caregiver, watched over me like I was a baby, cooked, cleaned, hooked up my IV meds, cleaned my surgical wounds, drove me to specialists hours away and held down a full time job. He never flinched, never gave up and never let me give up. And I'm back to healthy now, in every way. By the end of that year his infidelity was so far in my rear view mirror that d-day passed the last couple years without me even noticing the date - something I thought would be impossible.

We both retired this year and are doing a bit of traveling while we're capable of it, spending a lot of time getting long delayed home projects completed and are together almost all the time. I am beyond blessed to have the life I have now and am thankful every day that we survived infidelity!

Me:64-BW Him:61-WH
2 DDs, 32 & 35, M-37 years
DDay - 3-25-15

Reconciling, and most days now feel like we're getting there! Finally!

posts: 498   ·   registered: May. 27th, 2015   ·   location: Northern Indiana
id 8793736
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macleod ( new member #83474) posted at 10:47 PM on Thursday, June 22nd, 2023

i am a 55 year old married man. we were high school sweet hearts even though we went to different schools. first date was 09 dec 1983 of our sophomore year. i remember the day because the next day was her birthday! we met in an outfit called the "sea cadets", sort of a navy oriented type of scouts. i still remember after an event when my mom asked who that cute girl was. i knew even though i was only 14 that she was the one.

in 1986, joined the navy and two months after graduation, i was running laps yelling "yes sir!" after graduation after my post boot camp training i was posted to the uss nimitz out of bremerton, wa. this is important later. during this time we made the long distance work. we married 20 may 1989. 7 months into our marriage, her dad had a mental break down in december. before this, we had a VERY very healthy sex life. when her dad had this break down, she went frigid, cold turkey with no explanation. in some respects, this was more harmful than what was to come. our sex life never really repaired after that. on 14 january 1990, she became pregnant. our son was born in 02 oct 1990. re enlisted and then got out in 1995, mainly because our son was diagnosed as severely autistic and did not want to leave her alone with that responsibility.

we settle near both our home towns. in our complex. ran into a guy who was a former shipmate from the uss nimitz who remembered me. we became friends. i was and have been a very good husband. have only been with two women sexually my WHOLE life, though tempted a few times. main provider at first. cooked, cleaned, cared for both our kids, treated her right. and when she needed something from me or i had to be corrected, i listened. my only thing was i played D&D on friday nights at a friends house. in december of 2002, while cleaning out my glove compartment and found a note. she wanted to be caught! for the past three months, she and our "friend' while i was gaming. only a few times. he confirmed. she was very remorseful.

it is now 2023. had our 34th anniversary last month. since then, we have had one other rough patch due to a HORRIBLE friend of hers who encouraged bad behaviors in her until she pulled her head out and saw where she heading. yes we are happy. had issues with triggers for a while, i admit

reconciliation CAN work. both parties NEED to be there for one another. have a good sense of humor and communicate.

btw, wanted y name to maccleod, as in from "highlander" but screwed up! LOL!
even though i was angry and hurt, naturally, i went into anger sessions for the initial phase, therapy with a professional and our family pastor. she went through individual counseling with a professional and spoke with our pastor as well. then we BOTH had marriage counseling together. had trouble with triggers for a long time and fought them down. as time passed, they have almost (99%) have faded. i KNOW she loves me, she was and is, truly remorseful, and she KNOWS that she has been my only sexual partner since our senior year,1986. she needed to know why she did what she did. that she, at the time, was a weak soul.

this little ting almost ruined it 6 years later. she had a friend who was a TERRIBLE influence on her. this woman and her husband are swingers. wanted us to join them. this woman WANTED me, it was quite clear. even though she did not come out and actually say it, i knew and never even reacted to it. physically, she repulsed me. i am quite different from her husband. he, short and mousey. i am 6'0 and was pressing in the high 200s at the time and was running. when she saw that she was NOT getting me, she began to spread bad things about me, encouraged my wife to "get out there", so to speak. this initially worked on her, but when i pointed out to her what was going on, she dropped that friend at once. we both had couples counseling on the reasons why this small event happened. even though she did not do anything, (confirmed!) she saw the signs and was remorseful we have OPEN phone and social media to one another as well.

posts: 6   ·   registered: Jun. 14th, 2023   ·   location: OR
id 8796491
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 4:28 AM on Wednesday, August 9th, 2023

This is not a long story of everything working out perfectly. But for the past week things have been really good. We seem to have turned a corner where consistently there is almost no defensiveness. We have both made some pretty significant changes in how we are dealing with each other over the past month and its really starting to pay off. Anyway, I don’t feel things have been better long enough to put in the clear sailing sign, but very happy for right now. We haven’t been rugsweeping - far from it. We have been having regular talks to clear the air but we are finishing them feeling closer rather than further apart. One major turning point started over a month ago when I decided (after 8 years) to stop looking at his texts and gps location. I have never found anything amiss but I had a big d-day 12 months ago that set everything back. It was traumatic but it does seem to have put everything out into the open and enabled me to baby step toward trusting again. He still had a flub up 2 weeks ago of poor communication but in the grand scheme it was not significant. We are feeling guardedly optimistic. We are having a lot of open conversations about the things I have trouble forgiving - in contrast to the things I have forgiven - trying to understand what stands in the way. I think it is a believe that he doesn’t recognize the magnitude of some of the secondary events in terms of how they have magnified the trauma. His listening and calmly showing understanding has been a big step.

[This message edited by Stillconfused2022 at 5:33 AM, Wednesday, August 9th]

posts: 354   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8803742
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Ladybugmaam ( member #69881) posted at 1:13 PM on Friday, September 22nd, 2023

In 3 days, I'll complete my first Ironman. Five years ago, my husband was training and racing for an Ironman with his female training partner....and thus began their brilliant idea to have an affair. Since then, I embraced the sport...which I've grown to love. I was training too, 5 years ago, but was a baby triathlete and just learning the ropes (OW was my mentor....yeah)

The last few weeks and months have been physically and emotionally demanding. Run ins with OW multiple times a week....and she's not sorry. I'm holding myself together trying to not lose my shit and make a scene....but it's been obvious that I've given her a lot of my power. In the last couple of weeks, I've taken that back.

1. I've done lots of self help reading....moderators take this down if needed, but I found a book....The Choice, by a holocaust survivor turned clinical psychologist specializing in trauma. She wrote this memoir/self help for trauma book in her 80s. Her focus on choosing your path forward whatever the journey was eye opening for me. She even divorced her husband and remarried him. 2. I may not have made a scene, but I've enlisted a lot more support. It's been nearly 5 years. I didn't keep it a secret when it Dday occurred, but I DID keep my discomfort and triggering a secret on all those training swims where OW just didn't respect her part of my pain and my desire to just politely ignore her and move on. So, virtually everyone important to me on those swims....knows now. Knows her name. Knows what I've been dealing with. And, they've come out in droves to support me. OW deserves friends and support - just not from me. Funnily enough, this is so common in the tri community that I've made a few more close friends who've been down this road and either R or D....but can empathize. I'm no longer keeping their shame a secret. It isn't mine to carry and I deserve support in those triggering times. I have to fix my own triggers, but I can enlist help. 3. Taper week crazies. Tapering is when you suddenly stop all the crazy workouts and rest in the week leading up to these races. And, if you use exercise to get through your demons.....all those demons show up on your doorstep. It's not been easy. FWH has stepped up. He's human, but I've also been able to express my needs - which I stuffed down before in favor of what he needed- in this week. He's showed up. Particularly with me on the boat last night.....and having him there, rubbing my back...reassuring me helped. Earlier in the week, tongue in cheek, I said....ya know....sometimes I feel like you're a really lucky dumbass over this. He acknowledged that he definitely had been a dumbass, that those days are long gone, that he's VERY lucky....and I feel lucky too. I still miss the fairytale. But, I like this the man I'm married so much more. He is present in ways he never was before. He leans in.

He used to say, pre - A, that we didn't need MC. He said we had a "Porsche" marriage. Lol......now we have a Ferrari. They are finicky m-fr's. They require a lot of maintenance. They are not the most comfortable to drive. But, they're a lot of fun and a big adventure (not that I've owned one....but, got to test drive one once).

So this weekend, rather than celebrating his birthday on the day, my FWH is going to be there clapping and supporting me. OW will likely be hanging too - as this was her community before it was mine. But, she's the Pinto now. This is my bookend to this experience, and I'm going to burn it down.

EA DD 11/2018
PA DD 2/25/19
One teen son
I am a phoenix.

posts: 467   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2019
id 8808845
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Sincity ( new member #83901) posted at 3:40 PM on Thursday, October 12th, 2023

I really needed this thread today. Thank you, thank you all. - from a broken woman trying to pick up the pieces.

BW
Taking it one day at a time

posts: 29   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2023
id 8811328
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Luna10 ( member #60888) posted at 9:54 AM on Friday, October 13th, 2023

It’s been 6 years since the rug has been pulled from under my feet and my life turned upside down in a matter of minutes. The memory of the day itself still brings me goosebumps.

If you would have told me 6 years ago that I’d be where I am now, still married, I would have been confused. Because I was THAT woman, the one that would NEVER stay with a cheater. My view on cheating was pretty black a white: people only cheated when their marriage sucked (lol) and I was convinced that I was able to prevent it by being the perfect spouse who compromised a bunch (lol again).

One thing I did definitely know though: I knew that cheating was never a marriage or a betrayed spouse issue because divorce is legal and we live in a different society than the 1800s therefore I never took any responsibility of his cheating (and WH did not try to claim it was my fault).

So with that in mind dday floored me. I was convinced that my marriage was good (regular sex, ILYs, constant communication) and my WH actually believed that too. He didn’t serve me the ILYBNILWY script but, in true modern fashion, he loved us both. look

Initially, once I decided we should try and mend things, I thought R was a simple process. He would apologise, I would accept it and we would move on. We all know how wrong I was.

After a second dday 4 months later and my acceptance that WH didn’t appear able to understand what it takes, he finally decided to take his head out of his backside and "win me back". Just as I checked out pretty much and started focusing on myself. 6 years later and we’re still married, happily may I add.

We’ve done hours of IC and later on MC, hours of talking about the A, endless crying sessions, dealing with ptsd, panic attacks, emotional flooding, feeling suicidal and the list can go on and on. I have never been at a lowest point in my life and I have been through some tough times prior to this.

Here we are today: I almost forgot it was dday anniversary and only noticed it when someone mentioned the date in a meeting and it felt familiar.

We are happy. The A isn’t the centrepiece of our marriage anymore. I’ve built a nice career that enables me, should I need to, to fully support myself if I decide to divorce at any point. We openly communicate and have a much more authentic relationship than we ever had. We both have hobbies, common and individual.

I trust him as much as I would trust any man following the trauma of an affair. He is still my best friend and we laugh through life even when we want to cry because we’ve been through so much in the last 6 years (including losing my brother, WH was my biggest support), there is very little that can bring us down day to day.

Overall I have grown immensely and I realised that the way I have trusted and relied on WH prior to this was never healthy in any relationship, affair or no affair. Pedestals should not exist in marriages and I definitely demolished the one he was on.

If I would be to give one piece of advice that helped me post dday is this: for me, reconciliation post A was all about "what’s in it for me". I felt like I was giving up a major moral principle, not ever remaining married to a cheater, therefore I needed to understand how it would benefit me. I wasn’t willing to just forgive and forget, I needed to know what I was forgiving and see a better man emerging and a better marriage.

So if you are at the beginning of a R process maybe ask yourself, taking the emotion out of it for a second, what’s in it for you?

If like me, you can only remain married post dday if it becomes better than before (it was the only way I could come to terms with it) then identify what that means. Where are the required changes, what would you expect your spouse to do in order to achieve that? What do YOU need to do to achieve that?

6 years later we are in a much more balanced marriage. This wasn’t a power struggle. But it definitely was an opportunity to balance the power (previously sitting with WH) and ensure our partnership is more equal.

Dday - 27th September 2017

posts: 1826   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: UK
id 8811432
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HurtinMan ( member #15695) posted at 6:44 PM on Friday, October 27th, 2023

It's now been over 16 years since I signed up to this site and began a journey of countless hours posting, reading, digesting, and working on R. It was very hard for me to see past the pain and betrayal I felt at the time and to imagine the future where we are now.

We both did the work. It took time and had ups and downs. She earned my trust and respect back. I healed and forgave her. We grew closer and stronger. We weren't and still aren't perfect but we have a great relationship and are going strong after 20 years together and 19 years of marriage. Our first grandchild came into the picture recently and we are over the moon. Our children have cited us as an model relationship in various ways over the years. They engage in healthy relationship behaviors with their significant others. I don't want to imagine any other outcome than what we have now and there were many times in the early parts where I could not imagine staying with her.

I thought of this site and returned here because of a friend who is struggling with the impact of infidelity on his marriage. I wanted to put out another example of when R works, though I know not all relationships will make it there.

I am grateful for this site and the resources herein, and the amazing 24/7 support I was able to get and try to give to others all those years ago. It saved my marriage and I couldn't be happier about it. I wouldn't change a thing about our journey, even the infidelity itself because it taught us a lot and brought us closer together in the end.

The 10 biggest things I would tell someone now, looking back at it all would be:
1. Don't make any rash decisions in the immediate aftermath. Give yourself time.
2. Write out and process things through, thoroughly. Re-reading things had a helpful effect on my healing and piecing it all together before putting it down and moving on.
3. Trust your gut and trust in transparency - those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing.
4. Give as much as you expect of your spouse. It is a two-way street.
5. Be honest, but don't be cruel with your honesty either.
6. Find safe, remote outlets for when you need to vent because those feelings will pass but the damage they can inflict may not.
7. Focus on the future you want and do the work to progress to that instead of the pain you feel now.
8. Infidelity shouldn't be a "card" to play - you're not in this to beat, win against, or control your spouse, you're in this to build back stronger together.
9. The OP doesn't matter - all that matters is what you or your spouse would do when faced with anyone, anywhere.
10. Don't lean too much on family or friends - they're not counselors, but do get someone professional involved if you're struggling.

Godspeed to all those who are struggling and striving to find your way forward. No matter what the outcome is, you will learn and grow from this experience. Hang in there!

DDay - 8/2007 BrokenNC -11/07
BH with 2 kids
Committed to R

posts: 1620   ·   registered: Aug. 8th, 2007
id 8813194
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RecklessForgiver ( member #82891) posted at 2:06 AM on Monday, January 8th, 2024

As I approach the first anniversary of DDay, I want to say how much I appreciate the voices on this site that do speak out for the possibility of meaningful--even transformative--reconciliation.

I found the best advice I received on this site was to recover first. I am glad I did. Like you, I found that when I took time to understand what happened, it was complicated. It was not a cold-hearted attempt to hurt me, but a sign of depression and crisis. I knew, before I knew about the affair, that my spouse was lost. I just did not imagine it was an affair. The fact that it was is not a sign of how bad he was, but rather how lost he was.

Love is hard. We are not perfect. For some of us, affairs are about facing the human failings of the people we love. We are not weak for reconciling. We are strong enough to trust that lost loved ones can find their way home.

RecklessForgiver

posts: 94   ·   registered: Feb. 17th, 2023   ·   location: Midwest
id 8820589
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Abigail22 ( new member #82816) posted at 6:02 PM on Friday, February 2nd, 2024

It has officially been a year and I have a lot of hope and positive vibes for my husband and I’s future. I reflect on how I felt this time last year and I never in a million years thought we would have made it this far. We are continually working on us now. We still attend counseling once a month we both agree this has been very important in our relationship. We are expecting a baby girl this year and we are so focused on creating a healthy family for her❤️ I am more excited for our life together than I am nervous. I can’t say we are perfect because we are not we still struggle to maintain perfect communication and I still have days where insecurity creeps in but overall I am happy in my life.

posts: 21   ·   registered: Jan. 31st, 2023
id 8823370
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Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 3:38 PM on Monday, March 18th, 2024

I gave myself five years to see where I’m at and if it’s at all possible to continue living with my husband following his leaving me for his OW once I discovered their affair.

As I plunged headfirst into self awareness, I found less tolerance but more understanding of my feelings, and his feelings as well. Through counselling, books, SI posts, friends etc. I could not have done it alone.

I have a sense that my boundaries have relaxed because of his efforts in the right direction that is to live in harmony with one another. By whatever means possible.

Well I have reached the "five years later" time frame. And I feel relieved actually. Relieved that kindness and humility are present in my life. There were multiple times that I questioned my decision to reunite. Often just shaking my head and thinking did I fall again for a master manipulation plan of his? I suppose this suspicion will linger with me in the future. It is not an obsessive thought, it’s just out there.

At times I wish our marriage was all love, and trust. I guess a bit of nostalgia, you know, like in the movies…romantic, innocent. We now have roughly 45 years of togetherness and today I have companionship, I have stability, I have contentment in my life. And I’m ok with that.

I have trust but not innocent trust. I do enjoy my life. He does things with me and for me the way it should have been done years ago. I have the knowledge and the wisdom and the humour to understand my contributions to our then failing marriage.

What my husband is doing with me and for me, is not contrition or repentance or remorse after his infidelity. It’s simply the "positive, kind things" any couple do for one another, as best they can. Because they want to.

And we do remind ourselves when stuff happens opposite from kindness. We are not the best of communicators, I know I’m not, but really as long as the intent is to seek sincere harmony between us, it works for me. Or simply just venting. It works.

I have a husband who manages his alcohol intake. After five years of relatively little alcohol drinking on his part, I see that he is capable of at least controlling that part of his life. I know what his alcohol dependancy or addiction is all about. So I remain vigilant.

I have accepted his apologies. I understand his apologies. I do not need any more " remorse or contrition" from him. He gets it and he gets himself and he gets me. I feel unsettled to see him humble though. It is such a swing from his other selfish-self. Takes for me getting used to and to trust this humbleness but it’s all good.

My mother and MIL-passed away within two weeks of one another. This shook us both in different ways, got us to be vulnerable with one another. My mother was there for me, until the very end. I grieve her passing. She listened to my rants during my separation from my husband. She did not judge. She listened. she showed me that living kindly without harsh judgement is one of the most powerful healthy ways for me to feel at peace and let go of bitterness. So I’m alone now. I’d like to believe I have the courage and wisdom to keep trying without her guidance. Ditto for my husband.

So in another five years, all I can say with certainty is that I will physically and likely mentally change. My life is my own, with or without my husband. I have battened down the hatches in my life. I am taking care of myself and my family, in that order. I have good friends, I have a community.

I wish godspeed to all betrayed spouses.. smile

fBW. My heart is scarred.

posts: 346   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2020
id 8829406
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Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 10:26 PM on Monday, March 18th, 2024

Notaboringwife, I read this through several times. Thank you so much for sharing your story. There’s so much wisdom and kindness and honesty to it, and I really value that.

Sometimes I focus too much on loss. That’s where I’ve been lately—worrying about lost feelings of romance. But I can do kindness. I can do grace. I can do acceptance. Those are all things I value tremendously—I value them more than romance—and your post is an inspiration to keep working toward them.

Thank you again for sharing, and I’m so sorry for the loss of your mom.

Husband had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Married 20 years at that point; two teenaged kids. Reconciling.

posts: 622   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8829453
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