My question is does my WW seem like a safe partner to you, her fellow WS’s?
There is really no way for us to know or answer that. If I give her the benefit of the doubt and say "Yeah, she probably learned her lesson here", that could be true. There has been a lot of pain and she might not be one to ever forget that, and it could be enough to make it never happen again. Many people cheat once and they never do it again. I think that the best predictor is did they find their whys and can they demonstrate the changes they made that would make that not be a why in the future.
For me, my affair happened in the middle of a pretty big existential crisis. Part of what I have worked on post affair has more to do with reinforcing my coping mechanisms, being more self aware of my own feelings, not numbing, etc. So that was a big part of my work. Believe it or not, I never had lust or boundary issues with other men outside of the affair.
So, it's really more than "buckle down and be a better wife" though, I will say I did a lot of that. I am so much more aware of what love and commitment mean and will be more sacrificial in areas I never was before. But, in other ways, I had an issue with overgiving before. The difference is I was just overgiving anything and everything and really not doing the things that mattered the most to my husband. I had created a role for myself in the marriage and it really didn't serve me well, or him well. So, the relationship work is also important for R, but it's not as helpful when it comes to being "safe".
BUT I will say - after all the pain we both experienced, it likely would have been enough to keep me from ever cheating again. Does not cheating define safe for you? To me, that's maybe even the easier box to check?
I see Mr. Clean got called out for saying he can't predict with certainty about whether he will ever do it again. In the WS forum, I once said I would never do it again and I truly still feel I mean that but most of the BS said that was arrogant to say and not being vigilant. My feeling is I know I will not do that again because I am vigilant and plan to continue to be. Those who said they will never be sure are the ones most BS agreed with so a lot of BS would see that statement Mr. Clean Slate said as healthy.
But aside from being "safe" that doesn't make for a full reconciliation. That's an important one to check off, but it's hard to picture reconciliation without feeling satisfied the BS knows all the information they want to know about. To me, the affair has to be an open book at all times. Meaning there is never any hesitation to sit down and talk about it or answer questions. Checking in. Showing concern over the damage that you caused. That is an action that shows and reassures love.
I don't think of the time of anyone's affairs they tend to really weigh the damage. We often operate on antedoctal information that is usually not even first person. So, I think there are many WS who are surprised it would be an issue 3 years out. And without any sort of corroboration of that being normal, and fully understanding Trauma I could certainly see a WS just thinking YOU specifically are having a hard time getting over it. And that creates another tension. Only you can decide from your standpoint if she is doing a good job or a bad job in this area.
There are people on SI that do push on buttons that if you linger on too long I do think it could delay healing. Most any example I will point at has to do with man to man toxic masculinity. It's almost like egging on the other's worst fears and saying things that are further emasculating. I wouldn't say it's always present but I see it ALOT on JFO and with new BH's. And, I think it's very well intended because they want the BH to see the truth of their situation, so I am not putting anyone down. I have specifically seen people really belittle you for not doing this or that (things that are perceived as tougher or more manly), and as long as that doesn't create more mental stress and issues for you then I see nothing wrong with SI. There is for sure more that is right about SI than wrong. And, I agree with Mrs. Walloped as usual that some people are pushing for her accountability, which is different than insulting your masculinity. I think you are balanced enough to know the difference.
The other thing that is potentially dangerous about SI is we only see one side of the story often here. So, the advice given is based on one person's perceptions only. This could be a skewed way of getting advice for some. However, I have seen you back up and explain something because you can see that the advice was slanted based on one of your statements.
Overall, SI has done nothing but strengthen my understanding of what I have done. It has been unhealthy for me at times, yes, because I was unhealthy. I will say that SI can be very hard for the second spouse to join after the other one has been a member. I remember Mrs. Walloped being bombarded and answering for posts that she had never even seen from early in their recovery. I watched my own husband get greeted in perplexing ways of "he had better not mess it up" and that "Hikingout grieves for you to open up to her emotionally". While I think both of us appreciated the support, it was strange that a BS was being greeted this way. I don't think my husband really ever engaged this site seriously again due to that. He still reads a lot of my posts, but any more I often will go home and say "I read this, and I said this but what do you think about it?" This is a long winded way of saying that with two people on here there can be a sense of there being a third party voting in your marriage. You have to make sure that you and she have the biggest vote. It's not as bad when the spouses are just responding to things but when they are actually building posts there are a lot of sides taken.
Anyway, those are just some different thoughts I have for you. I have seen you grow tremendously on this site. You came here very closed off, and non-communicative with your wife about how you were really feeling. She may see the fact that you got more forceful on some things and started communicating your anger, grief, etc and associating that as a negative effect of the site. She may not realize that those feelings you were just trying to bury them and coming here gave you some insight that what you were feeling was common and ways other people dealt with their WS. I am sure that does overall feel negative to her because it ceased the comfortable rug-sweeping.
[This message edited by hikingout at 8:46 AM, July 21st (Tuesday)]