Newest Member: SoBeyondLost17

Reconciliation :
BH claims he wants to R, but no effort after 4 years

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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 1:29 PM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

Regardless of what you did and how you went about it, it does not justify his abuse of you.
He is mean, and abusive. That is NOT OK!.
At what point do you say enough?
He is clearly broken, and as I said before your relationship is toxic. Your kids deserve better, if he can't get healthy and be better then it's up to you to make a safe place for your kids.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 21 &23
Married for 28 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19026   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8688256
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survrus ( member #67698) posted at 9:02 PM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

Broken Ash,

You wrote, Revenge is his whole focus. It scares me because I don’t know when the OM or OW will reach their breaking point and retaliate on their own. He does mostly subtle things through people around them to let them know he’s still not letting it go. I don’t think my BH hates me to the level that Buck did his WW, but the indifference can feel like that.

No I don't think your BH hates you, rather the fact that he loves you with great loyalty possibly duty makes this so difficult on him. He can't hate you which is why he hates the OM / OW so much, I can't hate my W either.

If I am reading correctly the OM is nearby or within striking distance? This can keep your BH triggered indefinitely, are you in overlapping social circles with OM or OW? Are you stuck together with OM by distance, employment or family ties?

In my case OM1 moved away about 600 miles, so I no longer think about "visiting him" when I drive by where he used to live.

You mention OM and OW was this a threesome situation or did you mean OMW. Bear in mind that the sexual details are usually critical to a man and can extend recovery.

posts: 1073   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8688320
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Fof9303 ( member #70433) posted at 9:45 PM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

@brokenash

I am sorry that there is so much pain in your marriage. The pain from infidelity is like no other that I have experienced so far in my life. So I can imagine how bad he feels and honestly how bad you feel. I saw the regret and remorse that my husband went through.. of course it was self inflicted which makes it even harder... knowing you did it to yourself. I am surprised that your husband is still stuck this far out... I mean he did have a revenge affair... kinda evens the playing field just a tad.. in my opinion. I believe this just causes more anguish and fractures in your marriage, but I would think in a man's view helps to lessen the blow to their ego and the stigma of being cheated on. Again, this is just my view and it does not make it right. I would not say that your marriage cannot be saved because a wise woman once told me anything in life can be fixed as long as you are both alive... and she was right (that was my mom lol) The fact that your husband wants to seek revenge this far out is concerning. Has he tried books on forgiveness? I know that you can forgive without still having a relationship together, but maybe this can be his starting point. There are so many good books out there. Ask him if he really wants to stay together that you both need to work harder... maybe start by reading some books together. Here is one: Forgive, Let Go, and Live by Deborah Pegues. Maybe start with something like this. I hope things turn around for you. God Bless.

posts: 103   ·   registered: Apr. 27th, 2019
id 8688325
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ButAnyway ( new member #79085) posted at 10:01 PM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

Reread survrus’s post above … I think he’s identified your issue.

Your BH can’t hate you and attempt R, but there is plenty of residual hatred left over for your OM, which I understand completely.

Do your paths still cross … mutual friends, family, small town, employment connection, etc.?

posts: 40   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8688329
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 BrokenAsh (original poster new member #78473) posted at 3:39 AM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

I meant OMW may want to retaliate back. No threesome, but the OMW found out about the A before my H and there was a period of TT where BH wanted to talk to OMW to compare stories and she lied to him about the extent of things in an effort to protect her H. So this was yet another person lying to him making him feel unworthy and inconsequential. Another layer. They are not physically nearby as they moved out of state after DD, so there is no social interaction or bumping into them anywhere, but BH still has an employment connection to people who know OM and he also reaches out to people who may know or work with him via social media. Some good did come of that because a new co-worker of OM opened up to BH and we found out he was likely trying to set up a very similar situation with her. She even mentioned that she can’t imagine someone with less confidence or someone more vulnerable trying to deal with him. She quit the job to get away from him.

BH often says that he doesn’t even think he desires having a true partnership with anyone again, that it’s too late for him for that. I don’t believe that’s true, I’m sure it’s the hurt talking, but I know that I really want a true partnership. An example to show my children and the ability to be myself and not walk on eggshells at all times. I swing back and forth constantly btn feeling like giving up because things will never change and formulating plans to separate, to immense guilt that I’m responsible for breaking the person I love, possibly for life. In the guilty moments I don’t think I could ever leave because I don’t want to cause more hurt. I just so desperately want to feel happiness again. My anxiety is getting to an uncontrollable level, I’m overeating, I’m procrastinating, I’m physically tearing at the skin on my hands to the point of scars and pain (a very old anxious habit that I had under control for years but have now relapsed). It’s so hard for me to do what I need to do, I feel physically paralyzed.

My father cheated on my mother and I hated him for it for so many years. I’ve detested cheaters ever since, I mean everyone does, but my hatred was other level because of my dad. The fact that I allowed myself to cheat sickens me.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2021
id 8688385
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ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 9:37 PM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

Lastly, he did agree to start joining me in counseling again so we will begin MC again.


BH often says that he doesn’t even think he desires having a true partnership with anyone again, that it’s too late for him for that.


I think you would do well to get to the bottom of that. What's the point of going back to MC with a guy who has no desire for true partnership again??? Either he's willing to make an effort at healing or he's not. Which is it?

Like I said earlier... it's typical for healing to take between two and five years. Sometimes it will be more, and heck, for some it could even be less. But the thing you need to be seeing if your BS is still unhealed... is effort, the will to TRY. So, which of those two statements above is the true one? Remember also what I told you about taking a clinical look and making sure that you're not dealing with "object love" or narcissism. Those two situations will make it impossible to reconcile successfully. I disagree that your BS's focus on the AP means that he loves you. I don't think you can infer that. This could also be "object love" or narcissism. Yours are the boots on the ground. You'll need to be the judge of that.

Try to get to the bottom of which one of those statements above is true, and depending on which one it is, you might consider the trial separation your IC recommended.

posts: 4677   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
id 8688487
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gr8ful ( member #58180) posted at 10:31 PM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

This could also be "object love" or narcissism.

So her BH is a narcissist? Did I read that right?

posts: 103   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2017
id 8688496
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rambler ( member #43747) posted at 4:51 AM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

If you go to MC it should be with someone who is not your IC. Although it is neither illegal nor against ethics, it is generally not good where you both see the same IC. The fact he took you on as a client while working with your BH troubles me.

He knows your BH and should have known how your BH would have handled he advice he gave you. He is not independent AZ he should be.

I do not understand how you can not understand why your husband is upset prior to the A. He did not want another child but you still went ahead.

You also talk about your job. You say you got a promotion and felt over you head. You were upset that your husband was not supportive as you needed. You also stated that your BH said you were putting your job before your family. Is it possible that your husband was upset you wanted another child then focused in your job.

You also said that your husband saw what was happening and warned you. You did not listen.

Is it possible that your husband does not communicate because you will not listen anyway.

I am not bashing you but the one sided bashing of your BH is not helpful either.

making it through

posts: 1279   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2014   ·   location: Chicago
id 8688562
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numb&dumb ( member #28542) posted at 10:04 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

I need to say this and I mean what I say. Fire your IC. Also do not do MC with them either.

He has 4 years !? WTF? I am sorry but he is not helping you, ckearly did nothing to help your husband and is just cashing checks at this point. He clearly has made very little progress with either if you.

You are still co-dependent and your posts being all about him are very telling.

Find a new IC. Further if both if you are taking meds for various conditions you need to see a P-doc.

You need better care than you are getting.

Further I don't mean this to sound snarky, but your answer as to why you choose to have an A seems like it needs further exploration with a much better therapist and/or pschologist than you have today.

I hope you do that. Bad therapist can make things worse and prevent either of you from moving on in your lives whether that means R or D.

Dday 8/31/11. EA/PA. Lied to for 3 years.

Bring it, life. I am ready for you.

posts: 4979   ·   registered: May. 17th, 2010
id 8688657
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 BrokenAsh (original poster new member #78473) posted at 4:29 PM on Thursday, September 16th, 2021

Rambler - just want to clarify a couple of things. You asked how I couldn’t understand he was upset about our second child. It was hard to understand the depth of his feelings about that at the time because it only was expressed via angry snarky comments or he was just ignoring me. We both agreed initially to try for a second child, when I didn’t get pregnant after about 1.5-2 years, I wanted to go the IVF route and do everything possible. I admit I got really myopic and desperately wanted a second child. I would’ve done anything at that point but as the fertility issues got worse he made it clear he wasn’t all in. Eventually I agreed to stop with the fertility treatments and we agreed that if it happened, great, but we weren’t going to go through any more treatments. I got pregnant very shortly after we agreed to stop trying. I felt like it was a mutual decision at that time and I was obviously thrilled when I found out. I didn’t realize that he was crushed. He didn’t let on because he didn’t want to spoil my happiness, but he was very unhappy. Post A I found out he only was careless because he thought there was no way I could get pregnant based on what the doctors were telling us. This manifested into his resentment and anger towards me. I understood that part of it was our second child, but I also felt like it was time to get over it and deal with the reality. He was getting angry at me every time he had to do his share, making some pretty hurtful comments and I was beyond upset that I didn’t have a partner in this. I understand all of it more fully now that we’ve hashed it out in MC and just together. I don’t necessarily agree that he should have handled it the way he did, but I understand why he felt the way he did.

As for the job promotion and him feeling I placed work over the family after wanting a second child, again, I understand his point of view but never agreed with it. We were always both working parents and split our days evenly to maximize our time with the kids. Despite my promotion I was not putting in any extra hours. Our hours were different but I generally worked an 8 hour day just like he did. From my perspective he was angry anytime he was asked to deal with the kids because when they’re young they prefer mom, so I get that it was hard. But I didn’t feel I deserved the treatment I was getting.

We weren’t communicating anything properly at that time, which was clearly a huge problem. None of this justifies my A, and I fully get that. I agree that maybe my "why" for the A isn’t fully explored yet. I know that I compartmentalized the parts of my life to justify things and be able to live with myself. It honestly feels now like I was living in an altered universe.

I will consider the things some of you have said about getting a new counselor. I really never saw it as a problem. I thought it would be helpful for the counselor to see both sides of things. Of course my BH was on board with it or I never would have gone through with it. I don’t think he’s giving me advice against my BH, but is helping me to fix my issues which could ultimately help R.

The slowness in progress with him is also due to difficulty getting to see him regularly and my own difficulty with therapy. It has taken me a long time to dig into my childhood issues and I saw 4 other IC’s before this one, but none that were helping me a lot.

Thx for all the feedback. I’ll ask BH if he’s still comfortable seeing this MC.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2021
id 8688767
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rambler ( member #43747) posted at 4:12 AM on Friday, September 17th, 2021

Thanks for the reply and I am glad you are still posting.


The role of the IC is to help you. That may or may not help your spouse or your marriage. The problem is your IC also works with your BH. He can not help both of you.


I am glad you moved back as I am not surprised it did not move your marriage forward.

I realize things look dark right now but it can be done.

making it through

posts: 1279   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2014   ·   location: Chicago
id 8688904
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PricklePatch ( member #34041) posted at 6:54 AM on Saturday, September 18th, 2021

There is a thread in JFO, you might want to read. The thread is by Thewrongone, he talks about staying for his son. Maybe it will it might be helpful for you.

Your situation is a prime example of actions not meeting words. As a BW it was important to watch that in my husband. However, if your BH wants to keep the marriage his actions need to meet his words. Reconciliation is a choice and a decision. If you decide as a betrayed to stay in the marriage you have to do your part. Only you can decide how long to stay in the marriage. Because you made horrible choices doesn’t mean you have to wear a scarlet letter the rest of your life. You deserve happiness as well.

BS Fwh

posts: 3072   ·   registered: Nov. 28th, 2011
id 8689141
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 BrokenAsh (original poster new member #78473) posted at 5:11 PM on Friday, September 24th, 2021

Just now I tried to have a conversation with BH about expectations for our upcoming counseling session. We went through whether it’s ok for the same therapist to see both of us and he said he believes this therapist can do it without any ethical concerns. I tend to agree. I also addressed what someone else said about what we can get out of it if he’s not ready to commit to R and he just said he has no idea. He’s in a bad place right now and I suggested he also get IC and he was non-committal. This was our first chance to talk in a while as he’s been mostly ignoring me for several days. Maybe ignore is the wrong word, but not initiating any conversation. It has been extra awkward lately. So I he began talking about his latest plan to get back at OM by reaching out directly to his current boss and went into detail about what he wants to say. I explain why I think it’s a bad idea and try to steer the conversation back to us unsuccessfully. I asked if we’re planning to talk to the MC about R or separation. He said he’ll never be separated from his kids for something he didn’t do. I stated we really only have 2 options, to work on R or to separate. He said there’s another option, death. Referring to his own death. So in response to my suggestion that we consider separation if we aren’t working towards R, he mentions suicide. He seems to believe that because of what I did I just need to deal with this life for as long as he’s unable to change. I am just completely irrelevant to his life other than being the person that keeps his kids in the same house. I’m unable to help him. I moved back into the bedroom as others suggested and it’s just awkward. Last night we were both obviously still awake but not one word was spoken. Not goodnight, not how was your day, nothing. Yes I could’ve initiated but I always do, and I usually regret it. I could have our circular conversations without him at this point, I know exactly how he’ll respond.

What’s the best case scenario for a WW? Will we ever feel truly loved by our BS even in the best situations of R? I get absolutely nothing, no how was your day, how’s your meeting go, how’re you feeling, good morning, good night, nothing. My personality is one that loves to talk snd interact so this is especially hard for me.

I know this sounds like I’m not empathetic to him, but I am. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2021
id 8690054
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 5:54 PM on Friday, September 24th, 2021

What’s the best case scenario for a WW? Will we ever feel truly loved by our BS even in the best situations of R?

I think the experience is different for everyone.

I suggest not asking this type of question, because you're nowhere near a best case scenario or the best situation. You actually may be in the worst.

The suicide threat kept my W in her A. I urge you not to buy into it. The next time your H mentions it, call 911 and tell them your H is threatening suicide. Either it's a real threat, and he'll get help, or he'll find out the consequences of a false threat.

I'm really sorry your H is so stuck. Again, though, he's the only one who can get himself unstuck.

It would be great if he participates in setting goals for your joint counseling. Since he isn't doing that, I urge you to communicate your own goals to the C.

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: 26262   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8690068
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ButAnyway ( new member #79085) posted at 6:26 PM on Friday, September 24th, 2021

Personally, I can relate to your BH and I would be uber upset at you forprotecting OM by trying to keep me from causing him some consequences. You may not see your actions in that light, but I damn well bet your BH does.

posts: 40   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8690070
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ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 6:40 PM on Friday, September 24th, 2021

What’s the best case scenario for a WW? Will we ever feel truly loved by our BS even in the best situations of R?


The best case scenario for a WW is either that she achieve REAL reconciliation and equal partnership with her BS, resulting in love and acceptance, or that she leave the marriage and find peace and happiness without him. The worst outcome is the limbo you're living in. That shit can go on for decades. Even worse, you can end up in a situation where your BS assures you that he's on board for R, but in actuality is hiding his resentments so that in 20, 30, or even 40 years, you're right back where you started.

He said there’s another option, death. Referring to his own death. So in response to my suggestion that we consider separation if we aren’t working towards R, he mentions suicide.


There's nothing that pisses me off like suicide threats. They're a blatant manipulation on your emotions and a complete stonewalling of any kind of communication. It's throwing the trump card in order to shut down the other person. And I agree with Sisoon, the best response to a person who threatens suicide is to call 911. They'll either get the help they need or they'll learn not to do that.

He said he’ll never be separated from his kids for something he didn’t do. I stated we really only have 2 options, to work on R or to separate.


He's wrong about that. Non-action is also an action... and a choice. As things stand right now, you are correct, there are two options, R or separation. And I'll be honest with you, I would give this a little more time to see if this next round of MC can pull him out of his apathy, and if it doesn't, I'd see an attorney and start getting my ducks in a row. Punishment and R are antithetical to one another, and it sounds to me like he's still punishing you in a really passive way via stonewalling. There's an online article I'd like you to read. Punch into your brower, "Four Horseman Gottman" and read the article you find along with its extensions. Your marriage cannot recover in its current dynamic. The communications have to change, and if your BH is not willing to get on board for that, the situation is hopeless.

posts: 4677   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
id 8690074
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ButAnyway ( new member #79085) posted at 7:52 PM on Friday, September 24th, 2021

While I don’t advocate "staying for the kids, this is what it looks like when a BH has the rose colored glasses ripped from his face and starts seeing his WW for what she is, rather than who he thought she was and is simply enduring the situation to stay with his kids.

posts: 40   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8690083
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13YearsR ( member #58259) posted at 8:32 PM on Friday, September 24th, 2021

He said he’ll never be separated from his kids for something he didn’t do.

He cheated too.

I got pregnant very shortly after we agreed to stop trying. I felt like it was a mutual decision at that time and I was obviously thrilled when I found out. I didn’t realize that he was crushed. He didn’t let on because he didn’t want to spoil my happiness, but he was very unhappy.

Does he treat your second child differently because of his resentment?

The role of the IC is to help you. That may or may not help your spouse or your marriage. The problem is your IC also works with your BH. He can not help both of you.

My C wouldn't see us for IC unless we were also doing MC with him. If you're not in active MC, your C seeing you both for IC seems out of line. If you are in active MC, I think it's actually helpful to do "one stop shopping." Your C can get a fuller picture of what's going on, IMO.

If I was wearing your shoes, I think I might strongly consider a trial separation. He doesn't seem interested in being in a healthy marital relationship with you. He just wants to be all up in his anger and it's hurting both of you, and very likely hurting your children.

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence because you're not over there messing it up.

DDay 2004. Successful R. 33 years married

posts: 604   ·   registered: Apr. 13th, 2017   ·   location: TX
id 8690091
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TruthIsPower ( member #75776) posted at 8:38 PM on Friday, September 24th, 2021

BrokenAsh,
well, your BH needs to figure out what blocks his healing. For one reason or another, he can't find Peace. Do you have a feeling what this might be? Do you feel healed yourself?

Will we ever feel truly loved by our BS


What is your definition of Love? What does it mean to you?

"Stop giving people the reasons to love you. Not all will see the beauty of your soul. Those who know, those who know who you are, will love you with something fierce and never let you go. Those are the ones worth holding out for."

posts: 112   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2020   ·   location: US
id 8690093
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ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 8:46 PM on Friday, September 24th, 2021

While I don’t advocate "staying for the kids, this is what it looks like when a BH has the rose colored glasses ripped from his face and starts seeing his WW for what she is, rather than who he thought she was and is simply enduring the situation to stay with his kids.

If someone can't love you for who you are, particularly when you have learned from your wrongdoings and made the painfully humbling corrections, there's no point in staying with them. Maybe it's true that we all fall in love with the illusion of a person we create. I dunno. But time will certainly disabuse us of our fantasy, won't it? I loved my fWH along with his weird quirks and his damage before the adultery ever happened. I don't feel like I had illusions of who he was. And I certainly have no illusions now, but... I still love him. Perhaps if there is nothing left once illusions are stripped away, the love was never real enough to survive.

posts: 4677   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
id 8690098
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