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Reconciliation :
Positive Reconciliation Stories


OnTheOtherSideOfHell ( new 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: 45   ·   registered: Feb. 28th, 2023   ·   location: SW USA
id 8780283

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: 2752   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8781279

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

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: 352   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2019
id 8782406

Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 11:12 AM on Thursday, March 16th, 2023

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

Husband of 20 years had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Two teenaged kids. Reconciling.

posts: 444   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8782427

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.

Me: fBS late 60’s
Him: fWH late 60’s
DDay : March 2019
Separation: March 2019
R: June 2019

Shift your internal stance from "I’m right and you’re wrong" to "help me understand." Everything else follows from it...

posts: 319   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2020
id 8787379

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

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: 3927   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8789899

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: 4630   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
id 8792176

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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