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Reconciliation :
Six year update

Topic is Sleeping.

 Hannah47 (original poster member #80116) posted at 3:10 PM on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

It's been a bit more than one year since I made an account on SI (I’ve been reading occasionally for at least four years prior to that), and it’s been six years since DDay. I wish I could say things are great now, but they aren’t. I’m sorry this is not a positive reconciliation story, but I still want to write it. There are things to be learned from other stories, too. Anyway, these are my truths.

#1 Reconciliation cannot happen if you don’t know the truth.

Six years ago, I knew enough to realize he betrayed me, but not enough to realize the extent of the betrayal. There were indications there’s more to the story than what he’s telling me, but I didn’t really have any proof, as the strongest evidence was in his head only. That enabled him to lie and minimize for years after DDay. We had countless conversations, read a bunch of stuff together, talked and worked on relationship problems, and so on. However, my gut was still screaming for answers and truth about the betrayal. At one point (4-5 years after DDay) he realized I won’t let it go, and then the torture of trickle-truth begun. For more than one year, he was giving me bits and pieces, along with some major revelations. I had to drag the information out of him. It was exhausting – mentally, emotionally, physically.

The worst thing is that now, after everything, I don’t feel I have full understanding of both whats and whys. The story changed so many times, there are still inconsistencies and unanswered questions. He claims he’s honest now, but he just "doesn’t remember" (it happened so long ago, it wasn’t important enough for him to memorize it, he tried hard to forget it all these years, he himself does not have a clear understanding of whats and whys, blah, blah, blah). This is the reason why I don’t have my story written on my profile – I don’t even know what to write. My shortcoming regarding this is that I’m the kind of person who needs to know. Ofc, due to lies, minimizing, and trickle-truths, I am now very reluctant to trust what he’s saying, especially if it doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know is there a way out of this, but I now feel that with each passing day, the chance I’ll get my answers decreases. That makes me sad.

#2 No amount of ABC can compensate for XYZ. Sometimes it really is too late for XYZ.

In a recent thread on Wayward Side there was a brief discussion how BSs need XYZ, but WSs do ABC, and think that should count. Well, ofc it counts, it’s just that it’s not enough. I made my XYZ very clear so many times, and I’m still not getting those. He blames it on his inner demons – avoidance, anxiety, fears – and circumstances. I feel I’ve been patient enough. I’m sick of promises, I’m sick of hearing "tomorrow, next week, month, summer…", and I’m sick of circumstances. We like to tell ourselves "It’s never too late". While that is a positive stance towards life, the truth is it can be misused. It can become an excuse to delay, to hesitate, to wait, instead of acting now. "It's never too late, so I’m gonna kick the can down the road, and deal with it in the future." If you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured, it may never arrive. If you wait too long, it may happen that there will be no future. Sometimes literally. Two weeks ago, I got a pretty serious medical diagnosis. I’m strong and hopeful, but it might be too late for some of XYZ.

#3 Time doesn’t heal (it’s just a correlation).

So many times I read statements such as "it will get better in time", "time really heals all wounds", "you just need some time", "it usually takes X amount of time to heal", etc. Bullshit. Time doesn’t heal anything. The only ones who can do the healing are WSs and BSs. Sure, they do it over time, but time here just does what it normally does – it passes. If I’m upset about XY, and it doesn’t get resolved somehow, I will be upset about it tomorrow, in 2 months, and in 17 years. That’s who I am – I need things resolved. The only alternative I can think of is to make things irrelevant. In this case, it means to divorce. I know myself, and I know this is how I function. Unfortunately, my husband is in a "time heals everything" camp. He thinks he knows me better, and that the passage of time has some special powers. I wish I could just "let it go", I wish I could forget, I wish I could let the time do its magic, but even if I divert all my conscious power into accepting that some things will not be resolved, my brain will remind me they are not resolved – I will dream about it. It’s like an itch. So, why not just scratch / resolve it? Time is not a healer, consistent actions over time are.

#4 There’s one more thing about time – we cannot get it back.

This is related to everything I wrote so far. The betrayal took our early 30s. Reconciliation attempt took our mid and late 30s. This means that on top of the betrayal issues, I have to deal with some other byproducts. Not having kids, for example. I do my best to do what sunflowers do – turn my head towards sunshine, but those dark shadows of resentment and anger are so tempting. I won’t write much about it; I need to be strong and positive for my upcoming health fight. Just want to say – if the betrayal had to happen, I’m sad we didn’t use the time after DDay more efficiently. Getting the truth, not delaying actions, and resolving issues would’ve made the difference.

Why didn’t I divorce him? I’m stubborn. And I love him. This time next year we'll be millionaires! And I’ll have a positive story.

Fate whispers to her, "You cannot withstand the storm."
She whispers back, "I am the storm."

posts: 363   ·   registered: Mar. 21st, 2022
id 8784653

Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 3:53 PM on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

So what about your relationship is good? It doesn't sound like you are really invested in you H and M. In fact, it sounds like you've been white knuckling it hoping that one day he will magically get it. Much of your post is devoted to the concept of time and you might want to really think about how much you have left. It's a sunk cost fallacy thing. You are investing in being unhappy.

Me:55 STBXWW:55 DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off and filed. Denied having an affair in court papers.

Divorced 2022!!!!

posts: 1588   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8784662

Revenger ( new member #80445) posted at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

I feel similarly. We are more than three years out and considering the revelations that have come out over this time, I don't know what's still being hidden from me and that prevents me from fully committing to R. My WH is also the type to try to "wait it out." And I am the type to be just as angry knowing what I don't know--no matter how many years pass.

In some ways, he's improved so drastically and really dug deep into his whys. We are very much in agreement with what his issues stem from. Most days, we are very strong and happy. In other ways, I still don't know what was in his heart during all the cheating, as he goes back and forth. I guess there's the rub: can you ever fully trust a WS again?

[This message edited by Revenger at 4:01 PM, Wednesday, March 29th]

Married to an SA
Many DDays after discovering many, many EAs/PAs Working on R

posts: 32   ·   registered: Jul. 20th, 2022
id 8784665

TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 6:07 PM on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

I love this post Hannah. Except for the part where you are sick. I wish you well with much, much healing.

I completely agree with your time assessment but I'd make one caveat. If the work gets done (in your case that would have included full, honest disclosure), time will help with the pain. In other words, time won't help an untreated wound. Time will only cause that wound to fester, infect and do untold harm to you. But a wound tended to and treated will heal... with time.

I guess what I'm saying is that time has a role in treated wounds. It will still take time, even if one gets full disclosure and a fully repentant wayward. The pain doesn't auto-recede.

posts: 457   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8784684

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 8:05 PM on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

** Posting as a member **

IMO, we need truth to heal, and that starts with being honest with oneself. Telling it like it is or seems to be is healing for both writer and reader. When I joined, less than 2 months from d-day, I wanted to read about other people's real experiences after d-day - that is one of the big ways SI helps.

I think you identified some universal truths about healing and R.

I'm sorry your life isn't better, but I think your post is a great service to anyone who reads it.

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: 29054   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8784714

Unhinged ( member #47977) posted at 8:21 PM on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

It is certainly difficult to heal while being continuously injured.

Married 2005
D-Day April, 2015
Divorced May, 2022

"The Universe is not short on wake-up calls. We're just quick to hit the snooze button." -Brene Brown

posts: 6697   ·   registered: May. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Colorado
id 8784718

This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 1:19 AM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

Great post. Agree a ton on time.

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

posts: 2494   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8784761

1345Marine ( member #71646) posted at 2:07 AM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

Really helpful post, Hannah. Thank you for writing it. I'm so sorry for your health struggles you're facing. And I was really struck in my heart reading you share your heart about bitterness over the time lost and things missed like children. That's heart wrenching, and I send sympathy.

Thank you for putting into words the concept of no amount of ABC being able to compensate for a lack of XYZ. I hadn't read that specifically on the site anywhere before, but it's a really helpful articulation for a lot of what I feel in my journey with WW. And trickle truth is a monster. Truly one of the biggest monsters in this whole process, though it does seem to be almost universal. More a matter of to what degree and for how long than if it happens or not. And like you said, that leaves us just always wondering what we don't know. I'm not sure there's a solution for that either. I don't trust the ground I'm standing on, and the only one who really knows what's true and what isn't has proven they'll lie passionately to deceive me.

Anyway, I just wanted to express how helpful this post was to me. Thank you for taking the time to craft it. Sending hope and love your way as you continue down a post infidelity road and deal with upcoming health struggles.

posts: 80   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2019   ·   location: Eastern US
id 8784763

leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 3:14 AM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

Time doesn't heal all wounds, but we learn how to deal with the loss.

A gem from my uncle on how to deal with the loss of my mom. Time doesn't heal the wounds, but it does help me deal with the scar tissue that's left behind.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 2695   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8784771

Blackbird25 ( member #82766) posted at 3:42 AM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

Sheesh, time. Just being told that in time I’d feel better. I remember being in the thick of it, sobbing, in agonizing pain and hurt on the living room floor and praying for god to get me through the next hour, and then the next. I couldn’t even fathom how I was going to get through an entire day - for me it was hour by freaking hour. That was almost 11 years ago. I got through it, but it wasn’t easy.
I wish you well in your healing process. Stay strong.

Me: BS Him: WH, Married 1996
DDay#1: 5/2012 (EA 3 mos, PA 1 month)
DDay#2: 12/26/22 (EA, 1 wk)
Reconciling and doing well

posts: 140   ·   registered: Jan. 23rd, 2023   ·   location: USA
id 8784777

Never2late ( member #79079) posted at 4:49 AM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

Yes, yes, regrets, regrets....but tell me more about this millionaire thing.

posts: 178   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8784781

Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 2:24 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

I think Unhinged summed it up rather well:

It is certainly difficult to heal while being continuously injured.

Unanswered questions sure sounds like you're trying to glue this thing back together without any help. I had to know what I was being asked to accept, and understand what that low point for wife REALLY looked like. For me it was the biggest part of my wife earning trust, was being brave enough to answer all my tough questions -- over and over again.

I understand human memory is tricky and fallible anyway. 100 percent recall is tough, but I appreciated my wife working on finding some aspect, some accounting of the time stolen away from our M.

I can't imagine still struggling to find answers this many years later.

Sorry for medical diagnosis and a WS who is either unwilling or unable to help you heal and help you heal the M.

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 8784811

ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 5:24 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

At one point (4-5 years after DDay) he realized I won’t let it go, and then the torture of trickle-truth begun. For more than one year, he was giving me bits and pieces, along with some major revelations. I had to drag the information out of him.

I can't say that this has been my experience. I had all the details I needed within the first month or so. I can't imagine struggling for YEARS to get my questions answered. While I don't think that we need every detail, I do believe that we need the ones we need, and that if our WS isn't willing to answer honestly any question we need answered, they're not good candidates for R.

So, yeah.. no amount of ABC can compensate for XYZ. That's a good way to put it. smile

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8

posts: 6918   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8784852

Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 7:24 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

I’m sorry your R isn’t going well. I do believe time heals but if he is still TT you, you haven’t even started R. You are not at a starting Dday 2 yet.

You cannot start the R journey until he is by your side helping you along through the obstacles. I wish you the best.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R BH M 32 years

posts: 3026   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8784882

 Hannah47 (original poster member #80116) posted at 12:07 PM on Friday, March 31st, 2023

Thank you all for kind words and support, it means a lot! (((hugs)))

It is no accident much of my post is devoted to the concept of time. When you find out there’s a real chance you don’t have much time left, you tend to think about time a lot. (Just to be clear – no one knows how much time we have left, and I’m sure everything will be fine. It’s just that these days I hear my clock ticking a little bit louder than a month ago.)

@Justsomeguy asked what is good about our relationship. Well, pretty much everything that's not related to the betrayal. Unfortunately, like many BSs here know, a betrayal is "a gift that keeps on giving." Since there are unresolved issues, it finds a way to crawl into many aspects of our life.

It’s like a heavy roadblock that neither of us can remove alone, but we also struggle to remove it together. But here’s the catch – somehow, we did push the roadblock down the road. It is still here, perhaps a little worn out due to friction, and we did manage to break off some pieces of it. However, this pushing gave us some nice muscles, and we were able to take some steps forward. In other words, there are positive changes and there is progress. So, although I agree there are times when I feel like I’m white knuckling it, I struggle to see this as a sunk cost fallacy. I’m not staying because I’ve invested so much time and effort into our relationship. I want to stay because we’ve achieved so many things together. More importantly, we’ve grown so much. Obviously not enough, but I’m not ready to give up on us just yet. Perhaps I’m just living on hopium. It is true that hope plays a big role in my decision-making (I’ve always been a rebel, and rebellion is built on hope – a kind of hope that is there even when you don’t see it).

This place has been a huge help. After DDay I read a bunch of articles about betrayal (since I got the very minimized story, my google search was mostly about "inappropriate friendships", "hiding friendship", "lying about female friend/coworker", "emotional infidelity", and similar.) I did learn a lot, but my eyes truly opened when I started to read stories about other people’s real experiences. I found out about SI approximately 1 year after DDay. I wish I had visited more often during that time; it would maybe make some things clearer sooner rather than later. What kept me going were the stories of WSs who eventually got it – those were the fuel for my stubbornness and determination. It took a lot of time for my husband to start getting it, and he’s certainly not quite there yet. However, I refuse to see these years as wasted time. If nothing else, I’ve learned so much about myself and I’ve grown to be a better person. I am no longer afraid.

Fate whispers to her, "You cannot withstand the storm."
She whispers back, "I am the storm."

posts: 363   ·   registered: Mar. 21st, 2022
id 8784984

OneInTheSame ( member #49854) posted at 10:37 PM on Sunday, April 2nd, 2023

Excellent post.

(I edit to correct typos)
I am the BS in a lesbian marriage. My WW's ex-girlfriend was the AP.
D-day of the 6 mo A was 10/04/15
We are doing okay, but by now I wanted it to be better

posts: 2533   ·   registered: Oct. 6th, 2015   ·   location: Pacific Northwest
id 8785440
Topic is Sleeping.
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