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Newest Member: Crushedafter46years

Reconciliation :
Why do you reconcile?

Topic is Sleeping.
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 Scherzo (original poster new member #80983) posted at 12:57 AM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

I ask this sincerely. My WS technically did not have sex - and declared immediately that he chose me and our marriage over the other person - but there WAS an OP, and I cannot return to my prior innocence.

At the same time, I find myself signing up for our couplehood in coming fall plans, family and friend and holiday events. Is that the main reason people Reconcile? I will do it but I feel dead inside and of course the family and friends don’t know what I am going through.

Am I supposed to count my lucky stars that he wants to stay together? Is that real and valid? I don’t quite believe in it.

From reading here it seems reconciliation is a long struggle and I suspect for us, I am the one who will do the main struggling. He expects things to fall into place as always before. I suspect that is the bottom line for us. Me disillusioned and zero consolation, just get on with it.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022   ·   location: Dallas
id 8756460
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 1:30 AM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Practical reasons are what tip the scale. No one would even try if they didn't still love their WS. Specifically, because we have kids and house together. Love alone wouldn't be enough for me. Maybe it is for some people.

The idea that he says he "chose you" indicates to me that he is still full of shit. The AP is more often than not, in addition to the BS. Exit affairs are the minority by a wide margin. It's like you said you chose dinner over cake when we all know cake alone can't sustain you long term. If he were able to, he would most likely still "choose" both.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2173   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8756466
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3yrsout ( member #50552) posted at 1:31 AM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

You got kids?

If not, get out now.

If so, then debate your options. I stayed because it was the less shitty of my options. I would have had to pay an Obscene amount of alimony, and I thought perhaps he could successfully extract his head out of his ass.

posts: 663   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2015
id 8756467
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 2:14 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

For me, the only reason to reconcile is if the relationship can be made worthy of you and your time.

It’s hard, hard work, uphill both ways and all that.

No one is owed a last chance.

Based on your story, your WS has zero idea of the damage done. R can’t even start until your husband owns his poor choices and can find a way to be a safe partner.

Married 34+ years, together 40+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived
Restoration takes time.
"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself." ― Epictetus

posts: 4406   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8756505
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 Scherzo (original poster new member #80983) posted at 4:01 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Thanks for these responses. In therapy he told me he will never stop trying to repair our marriage, but I agree he is willfully clueless about the real damage. Such as, the way I feel now, this will always be between us. In the past we got along so easily and for him that was our great strength. But now, he "went there" outside our understanding and a crude form of bragging to me— without digging deep, he cannot even understand it himself.

Our kids are grown but we are matriarch/patriarch so separating would hurt them.

Lifestyle- that might be one answer to my own question- why reconcile. I will never see him the same again, but instead of falling off the cliff, I still have a peninsula. It is just hard for me to recognize that as a "reason." It might be a very good reason. I am still learning.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022   ·   location: Dallas
id 8756530
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 4:07 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

But now, he "went there" outside our understanding and a crude form of bragging to me— without digging deep, he cannot even understand it himself.

No one wants to be the villain in their own life story. However, if he continues to be flip or dismissive, then yeah, he’s the bad guy that’s nothing to work with.

I’m guessing it started with ego — poor self-worth, not the cool guy he thought he was — that allowed boundaries to be bent or broken. If he doesn’t seek to understand the validation he got from that person, then he isn’t a safe partner.

Married 34+ years, together 40+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived
Restoration takes time.
"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself." ― Epictetus

posts: 4406   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8756531
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:34 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

At the same time, I find myself signing up for our couplehood in coming fall plans, family and friend and holiday events. Is that the main reason people Reconcile?

Wasn't my reason

Am I supposed to count my lucky stars that he wants to stay together? Is that real and valid? I don’t quite believe in it.

That's very good question and very good thinking. The ow affaired down with your H. He is damaged goods, even though you didn't realize it for 30 years. But wanting to stay together is one indicator that staying together is possible, if you want to, too.

From reading here it seems reconciliation is a long struggle and I suspect for us, I am the one who will do the main struggling.

Not necessarily. I've been happy for many years; my W is still working on her own pain.

I saw my W's A as a symptom of illness in her (not in our M), and I signed up to stay with her while she healed ('in sickness and in health'). I had to go through a lot of pain, but after 6 months (your timeline may be different), we started to have good days together. So it was a long struggle, but life kept getting better during it, and eventually it became joyful. Besides, M - living one's life with another person - has elements of struggle anyway, because we don't always want the same thing.

I R'ed for these reasons:

1) My W was committed to R and to rebuilding our M; and

2) I thought I could heal from the pain of being betraued;

3) I thought my W would heal herself;

4) I thought we'd make an M that served both of us very well.

IOW, I saw R as the best way to a joyful life for me.

I've often written that it takes 2 things to make a successful R: 1) both partners want R, and 2) both partners are willing to do the necessary work - the BS to heal, the WS to change from cheater to good partner.

I've also often written that R succeeds when BS heals BS, WS heals WS, and they both work to build/rebuild the M they both want.

Three ways of saying the same thing. I hope at least one of them helps you.

And NOT BTW, don't discount D. If even one of the conditions for R is missing, I think D is the best choice.

My reco is to start by focusing on yourself - what do you want? Is R or D the more likrly way to get it.

Also, you don't have to decide now. You can work on your M for a while and then decide when you have data about your H's actual behavior....

I strongly recommend NOT "Just Friends" by Shirley Glass.

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: 27878   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8756547
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Trapped74 ( member #49696) posted at 6:06 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Why do people reconcile? Two things in my case: bad advice and money.

One of my best friends at the time said "Wouldn't it be a great lesson for your kids if you were able to forgive him and put this all behind you?" Also, a lot of folks on SI push for reconciliation. If I knew then what I know now, I would have immediately filed for divorce, except that...

We owned a business together. We would not have been able to sell it quickly enough or for enough money at the time to not take a huuuuuuge hit, possibly losing our house in the process. I couldn't/wouldn't sell my half to him because he's a lazy POS and I wouldn't have seen a dime ultimately.

If your kids are grown, you have no financial issues, and you know you won't ever see him the same way (even those here in "R" admit their relationships are forever changed), don't bother with R. It's a life-suck.

Many DDays. Me (BW) 46 Him (WH) 49
Happily detached and compartmentalized.

posts: 245   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Oregon
id 8756551
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Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 6:41 PM on Friday, September 23rd, 2022

Why do you reconcile?

For ME...I went in ALL directions at first. I immediately said the M was OVER as soon as my H confessed to his A. About an hour later we were talking about R rolleyes . I gave my H ultimatums and told him he didn't HAVE to do any of them...but if he didn't do every one of them...I was going to D him. I knew my H had been selfish when I married him...but I accepted him like that. When he showed me the ultimate DISRESPECT with his selfishness...I was NOT going to accept him like that anymore!!

I told my H I didn't love him like I did before...but I didn't want the adultery co-conspirator to just step in and take up the life WE sacrificed all of our M for!! Within the next 3 years I went through various feelings of R or D...sometimes in the same day!!

Around year 3 I started to feel like I had turned a corner in my healing smile . With that...I started committing to being ALL IN for R. That brought our M to healing by leaps and bounds at that point smile .

TODAY...I can say that I am so HAPPY that I chose to reconcile grin ! My H took the second chance I gave him and NEVER looked back. He told me that he was going to make it his life's mission to give me my "Happily Ever After"...and OH GOSH...has he ever delivered on that!! We learned from the PAST...and BOTH became better spouses for the M we have NOW. NOW is what counts grin !!!

A "perfect marriage" is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.

With God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26)

I AM happy again...It CAN happen!!!

From respect comes great love...sassylee

posts: 6324   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8756791
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 Scherzo (original poster new member #80983) posted at 4:14 AM on Saturday, September 24th, 2022

Want2behappy, thank you for sharing your happiness and your positive experience.I am so glad you are restored to a good relationship.

I admit the idea of YEARS of feeling the impact seems unimaginable to me, but in this new reality I am learning there is plenty I never imagined but it’s real anyway.

All answers here have helped me think more about what reconciliation will mean to me. Thx all for your honest answers.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022   ·   location: Dallas
id 8756856
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DogGoneIt ( new member #79698) posted at 7:57 PM on Monday, September 26th, 2022

What keeps me staying in it is recognizing that we're both different (healthier) people now. I'm not ashamed to have given my wife the opportunity to change. If it's not good enough or no longer the marriage I want, I'm still free to cut bait should I choose.
A good chunk of my healing is figuring out and pursuing how I want the rest of my life to look.
It's a hell of a road.

BH mid 40sDDay March 2019Reconciling

posts: 8   ·   registered: Dec. 21st, 2021
id 8757103
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strugglebus ( member #55656) posted at 10:22 PM on Monday, September 26th, 2022

There are as many reasons why as there are individuals who decide to take that route. We are made up of our own experiences and brain chemistry and emotional responses etc etc etc. There are healthy reasons and less than healthy reasons. Some are practical, some are purely emotional.

I decided to attempt reconcile because of my husband’s actions when I gave him a window of time to prove to me he was on the right path to getting his shit together and being a safe partner. I gave him six months shortly after DDay to make some tangible progress in the right direction.

The first three years were a contract that got renewed as long as he was meeting my expectations. After that I had seen enough commitment and progress and positive action that I decided we didn’t need the contracted time any longer and that we were now reconciling for the foreseeable future.

I stay now because I love him and I like him and our relationship feels healthy and respectful.

There are a multitude of practical reasons that I gave him a chance to earn a shot at reconciliation: we have two children, my income was low (at the time - I make 4x what I made on DDay now), I didn’t want to toss 14 years of a good marriage because he was a dumbass for six months. But also because when I told him he should leave if he loved her and promised him that I would never keep the kids from him and that I supported him in leaving if he is no longer in love with me - he threw her away, went NC and accepted full responsibility for his actions.

There was one singular emotional reason I wanted to give him a shot: I loved the dummy.

I never cared too much about being a couple during the holidays so that didn’t factor in too much even though my dday is in September. I know lots of families that are thriving despite divorce and that probably colored my view there.

Recovery isn’t an easy road for anyone - divorce or reconcile, it sucks and is full of potholes and detours and the worst traffic. There is no easy outs for the betrayed, we’ve got to heal one way or another.

For my two cents - the wayward spouse should only be invited to ride in the same car with the betrayed if they are willing to do the hard work it takes to pull their weight. They should make life easier - not harder (but I think that about most every marriage always)

[This message edited by strugglebus at 10:26 PM, Monday, September 26th]

BS -DDay: 9/26/16- Double Betrayal

Happily reconciling.

Be True to your Word. Don't take things Personally. Don't Make Assumptions. Do Your Best.

posts: 2557   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2016
id 8757126
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 1:07 AM on Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

NOTE: While WH and I are doing very good and are quite happy - I'm not sure I will ever be able to say Reconciled vs Attempting Reconciliation. That's just a Chaos-ism

No one was more surprised at my decision to attempt reconciliation than me.

There were many factors - and a teen child falling apart at the discovery was at the top of the list. Fear was another. Finances yet another. And self awareness - I know knee jerk reactions never serve me well. So I gave myself time to figure it all out. Idealistically, infidelity is a dealbreaker for me. However, when faced with the reality of what life would look like - Ideals vs Reality was a bitch slap. Another thing that my mind kept going to was that old Ann Landers question - are you better with him or without him. And the answer remained with him and still does.

And...I love him. And believe he loves me. Knowing he didn't love himself too much at the time - that's sad but ultimately on him to address. If the LTA wouldn't be a thing I'd say our life together is good. I see a future together with him. We are almost empty nesters now and are enjoying this time.

As time went on I thought like the Dread Pirate Roberts - Good Night WH, sleep tight, I'll most likely divorce you in the morning. And while my thoughts haven't gone that way in a long time, knowing I have the option is a bit of a security.

A final thing - I can look at myself in the mirror, look at my children, and even look at WH and know I did every thing I could to try to save us as a couple and a family. And in that, to me, in my case, tells me I did the right thing for me and mine.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3575   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8757290
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Ladybugmaam ( member #69881) posted at 10:23 PM on Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

Chaos....I feel this in my bones
"As time went on I thought like the Dread Pirate Roberts - Good Night WH, sleep tight, I'll most likely divorce you in the morning. And while my thoughts haven't gone that way in a long time, knowing I have the option is a bit of a security."

Why did I reconcile? Honestly, had I known just how hard recovery would be for me, I'm not sure I would have signed up so early. At the time, our son was a freshman in high school. I read that it would take 2-5 years to recover/reconcile. I figured, if we both worked hard for 3 years, at least we would know that we gave it a fighting chance. It wasn't strictly for our child. I was in such shock and so blind sided, I couldn't fathom how it had happened. If we couldn't make a turn around in that 3 yrs, I knew I could walk away. I did a post nuptial early to make myself feel like I was working for something I might ultimately want, not working to keep something that had already failed - if that makes sense. It gave me some peace of mind. He did go all in early, with a few hiccups, but to my knowledge...no new A behavior. The hiccups were in him learning how to be around the crazy that I became. I can't say I really like who I became....but him sticking that out and trying to show up in our new reality told me volumes about him "choosing" me. Now, I could be wrong about that. But, mostly I like who we've become. Until there are days when I don't. Because, no real relationship is all flowers and love songs. But, mostly because in this I've learned that nothing really worth having or keeping comes easily. You get out of relationships what you put into them....when they're healthy and balanced.
Against, all the better judgement here, we did MC and IC EARLY, early on. She gave us homework, we did the homework. We did the dates. He spoke with other men who had been through this and recovered their marriages. He followed their advice.
I said I WOULD work on us, because I loved him. I loved who I thought he was when I didn't know affairs were a possibility. I missed that man dreadfully. And, aside from him breaking NC once in the first week to tell her goodbye in his own way, I have seen no evidence of further A - BullS.
He tried to show up for me in my grief. Still does - it still happens on bad days.
It would have been far easier for me to just walk away. But, I loved the man and the life I had created with him. So far it's been worth it. But, like Chaos/Dread Pirate Roberts said....tomorrow may be another story. Isn't that the crux of any long term relationship with anyone?

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

posts: 300   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2019
id 8757422
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jailedmind ( member #74958) posted at 7:10 AM on Thursday, September 29th, 2022

Because I was programmed to stay married. It’s what my family did. They just didn’t get a divorce. And we had kids. And since I made all the money she wasn’t going to get a payment from me and get away with screwing someone else. Would I have reconciled if I knew what it actually cost me mentally ? I think if I knew then what I knew now I don’t think I would have reconciled for my mental health. But financially it was a no brainer. And the kids. Making them suffer for her stupidity wasn’t going to happen. But I sure in hell wasn’t going to reconcile for my wife because I was still star struck in love with her. Those days are long gone. So your left with two shitty decisions. Get divorced or reconcile. You choose the least shitty one. But they are both still shitty. When your in it your gungho to fix it. Years later after getting some perspective. I find it was a colossally stupid thing she did that cost me my trust in people and my belief on the sanctity of marriage. I remember saying the better or worse part. Should have read the fine print on the worse.

posts: 118   ·   registered: Jul. 21st, 2020
id 8757476
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irwinr89 ( member #42457) posted at 7:23 PM on Thursday, September 29th, 2022

I'll be honest, judge me all you want, but a large (but not most) part of my decision to R was because I just didn't want to deal w the divorce mess and time it would take from me, all because of what my WW had done..
I have a career which I love and hobbies I enjoy, and the hell if I was going to let her careless actions ruin what I enjoyed....
That was 10 years ago.....we have long since reconciled, but I know I can't use laziness as an excuse again!

posts: 74   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2014   ·   location: Miami
id 8757549
Topic is Sleeping.
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