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Reconciliation :
How can he be besotted with me?

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 Tentwinkletoes (original poster member #58850) posted at 7:44 PM on Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

Increasingly in the past couple of years during 'good phases' my wh just appears besotted with me. Even if I don't reciprocate or encourage it. He uses verbal, physical, acts of kindness and service to show this, he goes out his comfort zone. It often feels all too much to be put on a pedestal. And often it just reminds me or makes me think is this how he viewed or acted with AP and it just makes me want to repel it. I think hes genuinely feeling these things and his actions feel genuine. But it really makes me think of what he did far more than when we are just coasting along.

He has had issues along the way. I won't pretend he has done everything I need. But he is persistently turning corners with different things. Rome wasn't built in a day. And I certainly won't be skipping off happily ever after just yet. But if he really feels all these things how could he have done it? It makes me so suspicious of his actions and how to receive and perceive them. I dont think its lovebombing or trying to detract from anything hes up to just now. It happens usually when I'm doing well and he sees the "old me" more and when there's little upset in the way of life stresses. He finds it easy to turn everything towards me.

It should be lovely to have alot of appreciation and attention and made to feel I deserve the world and mean the world to him. Yet I struggle to do that. I struggle to enjoy or appreciate it without questioning it or going down the rabbit hole of that unhealthy attraction to an ap. I am not an AP. I have always been true to myself and lived by high standards. What he says isn't empty,they are true statements. Yet I can't accept them?

[This message edited by Tentwinkletoes at 1:48 PM, May 19th (Wednesday)]

Nobody is the villain in their own story. But if a stranger read your book would they agree?

posts: 770   ·   registered: May. 21st, 2017   ·   location: UK
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 9:05 AM on Thursday, May 20th, 2021

I call it the “it’s A Wonderful Life” moment. The scene where George Bailey realizes his life isn’t do terrible and he has everything he wants or needs - and always did. He was just too blinded to see it.

I hope this helps you.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13792   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8661057

Luna10 ( member #60888) posted at 11:29 AM on Thursday, May 20th, 2021

I’m in the same boat. It isn’t constant but it is happening a lot. I struggle to accept it as truth as I can imagine this is how “in luuuurve” he was with his AP too so I do find it a bit triggering although less and less.

My main struggle with this is generally the fact that his track record shows me he tends to discard people when he doesn’t feel besotted anymore. I think it’s easy to be faithful when you’re in love, it’s hard to be committed (or at least it was for him) when you experience marriage adversity or life routine. I want to see him committed despite hardship when things are tough, when life is “boring” I want to see active investment in us.

We’re approaching 4 years since dday so I am quite happy with the progress made. What he lacks is active investment in us. By that I don’t mean only practising gratitude, I also mean “things are a bit routined, I need to actively do something to address it”. His affair landed when my focus shifted from us due to life adversity. I need proof he is capable to sail through it in similar circumstances.

But living in gratitude for them, hence being besotted, is a start...

Dday - 27th September 2017

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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 2:13 PM on Thursday, May 20th, 2021

I think it comes when they realize and truly accept that they are extremely lucky to have been given the gift of R, and they did it, they were able to rebuild.

Personally I allow my H to treat me like a queen, and he often does. Now it was fairly intense in the early days of real R. But he always gets me special treats, be it reeses pieces (my favorite car candy for road trips) or a new item for the house that I just wouldn't spend money on, like last week a new grill, as mine was done.

So gifts are one of his ways of showing his love, acts of kindness are another be toward me or others. He LOVES to be generous, with his time and energy.

It is legit, as it has been over 12 years, and he still odes it. It is genuine.

Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:34 PM on Thursday, May 20th, 2021

I can tell you about my process (prior to having my own DDAY)

Every person and affair is different, but part of what I understood even early on was that I had made some really bad decisions for myself. It was not in my best interest at all to cheat on a good man. The reasons I cheated had really nothing to do with him or our marriage. I know we say that so much on this site that it almost can get lost.

If your husband knows the reasons he cheated were all internal to him, if he has re-evaulated his definitions of love, and if he has continued to evolve (it sounds like you are saying he has) then he probably fully understands the gift you are giving him in staying, what he almost lost, and what he wants for his future.

that last year (year 3) prior to finding out about his affair was maybe the most in love with him I had ever been. I took nothing for granted, and I did everything I could to express it. It was genuine, for sure.

What was not genuine was what was with the AP. I don't know about your husband, but the relationship I have with my husband and the things I said to him whilst genuinely trying to R with him were not even in the same ballpark of anything that was happening with the AP.

Only you can decide when you are ready to and whether to believe him. I can only tell you that my relief, remorse, and gratefulness for his willingness to say and try to R were and still are genuine even with all that has happened. So, I can only tell you it's possible, your gut will eventually decide if it's true for your situation as well. We all have our own time tables.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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 Tentwinkletoes (original poster member #58850) posted at 5:21 AM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Ah 1st wife! Its a wonderful life moment is much more romanticised in the movie than real life. Its the moment you hope for work for and long for then when it happens you mistrust and question it. But yes I guess you are right it gives a different perspective to what's going on in his head and why!

Luna we have similar time scales. I wonder if the shame and guilt is far away enough and the work and steady progress makes way for this bigger appreciation? But like you question the timing and lack of adversity. When the next crisis hit will he remember how much he loves and adores me now? Who knows. And that's the sad fact we can't rely on it too heavily because tried and tested experience tells us so.

Tush nurse his acts of service have been fairly unwavering which is his love language. As is physical contact. He's always got me little things but even during A he did too. So they just don't mean as much which is quite ungrateful on my part I realise but recently he's been more vocal. Both on appreciation and validation. As well as physically and emotionally complimenting me. Esp the emotional side I'm used to it being transitional or transactional but seems more genuine. And although he's working insanely hard he is going out his way to make things easier for me. Rather than get pulled into the much easier resentment distance cycle he is accustomed to. His energy for me is incredible. Not just in a sexual way like it sounds. But all his actions seem to in some way relate back to me and our family and our well being. Its a lovely place to be. But hard to accept with the gratitude and trust it probably deserves.

Thank you for the insight hiking out. He definitely realises the A and reasons were all on him. And he has caught himself going into similar coping cycles and taken different action. Guess that is both cause for concern and a good thing to actively see. The ability to still fall into the behaviour pattern looses respect and love. But what I probably do less is the rebuilding of respect and love for working on those faults. And being honest about them...

I guess I am naturally mistrustful what's the motivation. How long will it last. He seems extremely genuine and like you describe very much in love with me. Accepting of my faults and very open with me. Accepting me for who I am. Yet I definitely don't feel the same in return. Its sad because in my head to be loved in such an intense but open and transparent way is probably been my aim during R but I still don't feel capable to accept it for what if is or return it in full.

I guess like everything with time and consistency, actions backing it up. I might.

Nobody is the villain in their own story. But if a stranger read your book would they agree?

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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 6:03 PM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Your H may have figured out that being besotted with you is the safest way to be.

That's what I did. I associate sexual thoughts with my W. If I didn't, I fear I'd go crazy with all the attractive women around.

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.

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 Tentwinkletoes (original poster member #58850) posted at 8:50 PM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Strangely an adversity has come up in work this evening. Meaning it will affect us and our plans. Normally he would roll over. And get annoyed at me. He's fighting our corner. He's furious he's called me and is genuine, he repeated all the things I'd say or think. And he's letting them know this last minute change of plan is not acceptable. He never raises his head above the parapet for us. Work is always a high priority. He said he understands how this affects me it isn't fair he doesn't want to do it.

I had to talk him down to realise its.not worth jeopardising this job. And yes fight his corner. But if he has to go along with this work request then fine. He replied he knows I will be hurt and angry and he understands and he will do what he can not to.

Normally he would've agreed told me. And withdrew when he got my anger. Then avoid and close down to me even if deep down he felt the same. It felt like we were very much on the same team without me having to remind him. I am genuinely grateful for that tonight.

Nobody is the villain in their own story. But if a stranger read your book would they agree?

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 Tentwinkletoes (original poster member #58850) posted at 8:53 PM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Sissoon something you said there just clicked with me. Most positive traits and situations I used to akin them to my wh. I had a realisation most comparisons and recognitions are for negative traits. Some probably unfairly so. Even when it comes to being loving, doting, good looking. I just refuse to make that connection with him in my head when I did so for many years before automatically. Instead I down talk him in my head. Probably through fear and hurt. But just realised I really need to start with the negative self talk about him if I want to actually appreciate or even enjoy what I have

Nobody is the villain in their own story. But if a stranger read your book would they agree?

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 8:55 PM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

It truly sounds like he is making progress and is more self aware. It sounds like he is aligning himself fully with you and your marriage. It will take time for you to feel recipricol of everything, and that's probably why it's hard for you to believe how besotted he is. This is a great update. I hope he does nothing but continue his progress.

In the end, you can still not choose to remain married but I know you know that. This sounds hopeful so best wishes to both.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 12:20 AM on Thursday, May 27th, 2021

I see 2 possibilities:

(1) He is love-bombing you; ie, using grand romantic gestures and being hyper passionate to distract you from his deception and cloud your judgment.

(2) He’s experiencing the emotional side of hysterical bonding... the fear he’s experienced over the possibility of losing his marriage has kicked his emotions into over drive and he’s desperate to reestablish his connection with you.

Pay attention to whether his words match is actions and if his passion is matched by sacrifice and hard work. If he’s love-bombing you, his mask will slip and you will eventually notice the dissonance between what he says and what he does. If he’s in the throes of hysterical bonding/rekindled passion for you, then enjoy it as much as possible and make sure you’re getting what you need to rebuild trust and intimacy in the long term.

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

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Triedntesty ( new member #77363) posted at 2:53 AM on Thursday, May 27th, 2021

Hi Tentwinkletoes

Some things you've said bring back memories of when my husband was besotted with me years ago when our kids were small, and essentially I fell out of love w him because he was not supporting me enough in raising our three kids and he was in a constant state of obsessing about his career and perceived failure in life, I basically felt like a married single parent balancing a career and home. My lack of feelings became evident to him. So he really went into overdrive to save our marriage, and it worked, after a few years I came around and loved him again. Fast forward to his affair which started with an office friendship that developed into "love" over 2 yrs maybe? He was clearly so enraptured with her that he walked out on me and our family. I kicked him out when my suspicions were confirmed. This was end of Jan/21. By March he realized he did not love her, in April he had a break down and hit rock bottom. He was unable to talk to me at this time because I was all about no contact, though I had lost it on him a few times when he tried to come around the house and be Mr. Nice Guy. In this past month we have talked and he has said he wants to reconcile and get professional help. He is not love bombing or hysterical bonding, he is giving me space and getting the help he needs. But you have made me think that he may do these things at a later point and I don't want to get overwhelmed by it or think of him passionately pursuing the bitch he was involved with. I guess it's just better not to think ahead too far (be in the moment) and it probably helps to give some honest feedback to them when we feel triggered by the onslaught of their emotion and when we question if it is authentic or if it is fear based. It's hard to forget how cold and ruthless my husband was when he was leaving and when his understanding was that he no longer loved me, during his affair fog. To treat his spouse of 20 yrs like that, like kicking a dog to the curb is so inhumane. There was no compassion for me, I think the mark of a virtuous and honorable person is to show compassion regardless of how you feel about that person, just based on the premise that you shared your life with them for 22 years and you brought three kids into the world together. How could that have been forgotten???? Sorry if I made this about myself Tentwinkletoes, but your post really got me thinking, so thank you. Anyhow if your husband is treating you like a jewel, you deserve this. His affair was not true enduring love like a marriage.

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Notriangle ( member #70597) posted at 3:47 PM on Thursday, May 27th, 2021


I understand your hesitancy. I feel the same way toward my husband. It seemed like he was besotted with me in the years before the affair so how can I trust or accept the gestures of kindness now? How can I know they are legit? I don't want to be stupid or vulnerable again. Your post really resonates with me.

I guess the key to accepting your perch on the pedestal is knowing that you deserve to be there, whether or not he is besotted with you.

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Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 8:33 PM on Thursday, May 27th, 2021


And often it just reminds me or makes me think is this how he viewed or acted with AP and it just makes me want to repel it

It seems to me that you are still healing, and when his Ex AP no longer matters to you, in other words, you can think of her with complete detachment, etc. ; only at that time will you begin to accept your husband's amends to you, for that is what he is doing right now.

I am entering year three of our reuniting, after his affair and our subsequent separation. I think of his ex as a lonely woman, who had fun with my husband, I do feel sorry for her. But that's all.

This whole mess with the exAP fades in time, as your husband keeps making amends to you. That is healing. Bless you.

fBW. My heart is scarred.

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CoderMom ( member #66033) posted at 4:34 AM on Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

It sounds like he really loves you. Most people would give greatly to have what you have when it comes to your spouse doting on you.

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 Tentwinkletoes (original poster member #58850) posted at 8:24 PM on Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

I think that's what is so sad. He really is everything I could want. Yet it comes with so much risk and history. So it's hard to appreciate it for what it is. The irony isn't lost on me in terms of my own happiness being blocked by my own healing and hurt.

Nobody is the villain in their own story. But if a stranger read your book would they agree?

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 9:38 PM on Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

It takes time, Tentwinkletoes. Give yourself credit for where you have been and where you are now. If he continues with consistency and surprising you, eventually you may accept all these things as true. For right now, it's enough to accept he's trying. You are doing that with grace and love and that's amazing! You are doing amazing!

And, on the other hand, if you can't get there in time, you didn't fail, it just means something different is required for your journey.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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prissy4lyfe ( member #46938) posted at 9:57 PM on Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021


I just wanted to share that I love that you used the word "besotted". In my head, all these responses have an English accent.

Except for sisoon...his is Irish.

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 Tentwinkletoes (original poster member #58850) posted at 8:06 AM on Friday, June 4th, 2021

Thank you HO I needed to hear that!

Prissy I had no idea it was an "english" word I will now need to reread with English and Irish accents in order to gain more clarity

What if I threw scottish accent spanner into the works?

Nobody is the villain in their own story. But if a stranger read your book would they agree?

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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 6:40 PM on Friday, June 4th, 2021

My W never expected anyone to be besotted with her. She didn't quite know what to do with me.

By the time I was 16, I totally mistrusted hormone-based desire, because it seemed so transitory. I hoped never to fall in love ... I guess I thought relationships could be based on logic! I was pretty lost in besotment.

One thing that was forever on my mind: I may have been in love with W2b, but that didn't mean she was in love with me. IOW, your H may be besotted with you, but that doesn't mean you owe him anything.


The right woman with a Scottish accent could take some of my attention away from my W. If I came across a smart woman with red hair, a Scottish accent, and a nice alto voice, I wouldn't stray IRL, but I won't accept responsibility for my dreams.


That's really funny, prissy.

For the record, I can't do accents. I think I speak straight 'American' - just a mix of Illinois, Michigan, NY, and RI. A lot of people hear NYC, but you'd probably have to be very familiar with regional accents to hear RI. My gut, however, is pure RI - rebellious, skeptical, and anarchic. If I were reverent, I'd be a true follower of Roger Williams.

[This message edited by sisoon at 12:58 PM, June 4th (Friday)]

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: 29580   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8665126
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