Feelinghopefulsometimes
My WS and I are about 7 months post DDay. To quickly sum up our past - I got pregnant and we got married 7 years ago. We have two kids. During those 7 years was a porn addiction and many years of never feeling chosen. I felt as though he never ever saw me. I cannot say I was the perfect wife by any means, but I always tried. We went to many years of counseling to try and patch what we could. We were even in counseling during WS affair, talk about lying. Anyways, here is my question. Can you really rebuild to the point of healing 7 years of hard marriage and rejection after an affair? I feel as though he gave her everything I’ve wanted in seven years to her in a matter of months. Validation, romance, pursuing her. I love him, but SO much pain has been caused I’m unsure I can really move past this. I know forgiveness needs to happen no matter what I do, but can a new relationship truly be built past this much pain? For context, he is very sorry and repentant. But it kind of feels like ...NOW? Sometimes I can’t even care that he’s trying because I cannot trust it. We’ve never had trust, true intimacy and a safe relationship. I just struggle with doubt a healthy relationship can be forged after so many years of rejection from him. Really wanting to find hope, but often no where to be found.
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ThrivenotSurvive
I am not a big believer in ever telling anyone that something can't be done.  It is a question that can only be answered by ourselves, for ourselves.  And many people have achieved things that I personally wouldn't have bet on.

That being said in my OPINION (and that is all it is) - you have some incredibly big hurdles to overcome.  As was discussed on a different thread, we all need to determine our reasons for staying.  For me the fact that the vast majority of my 25 year marriage had been loving, supportive and happy was a key reason that I was willing to stay.  I wanted to see if we could recapture the magic and treat it with more care the second time around.  

It sounds like you've spent the vast majority of your relationship NOT feeling loved and supported (forgive me if I misunderstood.)  So before I would start to even look at, or consider, HIS reasons for wanting to do the hard work of reconciliation (and believe me it is LONG and HARD road) - I think you need to take a bit to discover and consider your own.  

Why do you love him?  Is it is a healthy love for you?  Does it build you up?  If your child was in this relationship, what would you say/feel about it?  

When you can answers those questions - and you are sure you want to stay for reasons that seem healthy and you are content with... then and only then you can look at whether he's ready to do the things he needs to do... which is the next big hurdle.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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hurting
I had no good years of marriage pre-affair like you. We were together for many years before that though (total 14 years). I would say maybe only half of that time was ok.

My marriage too was marred by porn addiction and an affair. My husband was a childish, selfish person, lacking in emotional intelligence. He was also clever and superficial enough to hide this well. He presents well superficially. But nothing ever went much deeper than that... 

I often feel that my reasons for staying weren’t really good enough. I made a conscious decision to NOT decide whether I would leave yet because I was a mess post d-day. I opted to give it time, though in reality I know I deserve FAR more than this person he used to be. He HAD to change. I wouldn’t tolerate him otherwise. He wasn’t worth giving a second chance to otherwise. To me, it was honestly: change and prove to me that you even deserve a second chance. 

Yet not all of our years were bad... and I saw a glimmer of hope. I gave him a choice. Grow up, take responsibility for your poor choices and their consequences and I will give you a chance. Stay as you are and I will undoubtedly leave. It took me time to accept that I COULD leave and be ok. Once I did this, told him so and took steps to secure such a future, I felt a bit better. My paths became clearer.

Our journey over the last 20 months has been long and hard. The first 6 months in particular were full of set backs, lies and more damage. Thereafter, things have gradually improved. It still sometimes feels like one step forward two steps back, but it isn’t always. 

He has worked hard to change. He isn’t there yet, but i do see that he is trying. His emotional intelligence still needs work (a lot of it!). I don’t think he will ever be ‘good’ at that. But he at least is more aware of MY emotional turmoils, will now ASK about how I’m feeling and ASK me what he can do to help because he’s never quite sure himself. 

Trust is another HUGE issue... but it will come, or not with time. I remember being where you are. I didn’t trust a word he said. Nowadays, it’s more like I don’t actively MISTRUST him. I just don’t necessarily trust him. This does fluctuate. The thing is with trust, once broken, it is so very hard to regain. You cannot CHOOSE to give it... you either do or you don’t. I would be lying if I said I trusted my WS. I suppose a lot of it is that it takes a LONG time (many years) of ongoing CONSISTENT actions and NO lies before someone who has betrayed it can even start to earn it back. It is probably a bit early to say whether your WS can or not... heck, I feel like I still don’t know. It has improved from actively doubting every word he says to not actively mistrusting him most of the time for me...
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Phoenix
hurting wrote:
I had no good years of marriage pre-affair like you. We were together for many years before that though (total 14 years). I would say maybe only half of that time was ok.

My marriage too was marred by porn addiction and an affair. My husband was a childish, selfish person, lacking in emotional intelligence. He was also clever and superficial enough to hide this well. He presents well superficially. But nothing ever went much deeper than that... 

I often feel that my reasons for staying weren’t really good enough. I made a conscious decision to NOT decide whether I would leave yet because I was a mess post d-day. I opted to give it time, though in reality I know I deserve FAR more than this person he used to be. He HAD to change. I wouldn’t tolerate him otherwise. He wasn’t worth giving a second chance to otherwise. To me, it was honestly: change and prove to me that you even deserve a second chance. 

Yet not all of our years were bad... and I saw a glimmer of hope. I gave him a choice. Grow up, take responsibility for your poor choices and their consequences and I will give you a chance. Stay as you are and I will undoubtedly leave. It took me time to accept that I COULD leave and be ok. Once I did this, told him so and took steps to secure such a future, I felt a bit better. My paths became clearer.

Our journey over the last 20 months has been long and hard. The first 6 months in particular were full of set backs, lies and more damage. Thereafter, things have gradually improved. It still sometimes feels like one step forward two steps back, but it isn’t always. 

He has worked hard to change. He isn’t there yet, but i do see that he is trying. His emotional intelligence still needs work (a lot of it!). I don’t think he will ever be ‘good’ at that. But he at least is more aware of MY emotional turmoils, will now ASK about how I’m feeling and ASK me what he can do to help because he’s never quite sure himself. 

Trust is another HUGE issue... but it will come, or not with time. I remember being where you are. I didn’t trust a word he said. Nowadays, it’s more like I don’t actively MISTRUST him. I just don’t necessarily trust him. This does fluctuate. The thing is with trust, once broken, it is so very hard to regain. You cannot CHOOSE to give it... you either do or you don’t. I would be lying if I said I trusted my WS. I suppose a lot of it is that it takes a LONG time (many years) of ongoing CONSISTENT actions and NO lies before someone who has betrayed it can even start to earn it back. It is probably a bit early to say whether your WS can or not... heck, I feel like I still don’t know. It has improved from actively doubting every word he says to not actively mistrusting him most of the time for me...


Hurting, are you still not sure of wanting to fully commit to a new relationship with your WS? 
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hurting
No, I think I’m As sure as I can reasonably be expected to be. But my wish to continue and build a new/better relationship doesn’t mean I trust (tried that- look what he did to my attempts to trust him... I don’t have it in me to just trust any longer), and it doesn’t mean it is unconditional. 
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BorealJ
My WS and I are about 7 months post DDay. To quickly sum up our past - I got pregnant and we got married 7 years ago. We have two kids. During those 7 years was a porn addiction and many years of never feeling chosen. I felt as though he never ever saw me. I cannot say I was the perfect wife by any means, but I always tried. We went to many years of counseling to try and patch what we could. We were even in counseling during WS affair, talk about lying. Anyways, here is my question. Can you really rebuild to the point of healing 7 years of hard marriage and rejection after an affair? I feel as though he gave her everything I’ve wanted in seven years to her in a matter of months. Validation, romance, pursuing her. I love him, but SO much pain has been caused I’m unsure I can really move past this. I know forgiveness needs to happen no matter what I do, but can a new relationship truly be built past this much pain? For context, he is very sorry and repentant. But it kind of feels like ...NOW? Sometimes I can’t even care that he’s trying because I cannot trust it. We’ve never had trust, true intimacy and a safe relationship. I just struggle with doubt a healthy relationship can be forged after so many years of rejection from him. Really wanting to find hope, but often no where to be found.
There's a good blog article here about looking at some of the things that suggest it's going to work: https://www.affairhealing.com/blog/6-predictors-of-affair-recovery  It's the first item on the list: A relationship history of love and trust, that your comments suggest might be missing.  However, at 7 months, I might have also said that those things have always been missing in my relationship, but those would have been emotional words, not well considered ones.  There's an activity in Tim's BS guide about recalling your marriage history.  I'd consider looking at that. 
To be honest, there were quite a few of those predictors missing for my marriage at the 7 month mark and I didn't feel terribly hopeful.  I did see that my wife was going through a process though and so had a little bit of faith that there would be at least more clarity if she were to stick with the counseling.  I probably gave it more time than most would have.  It may not have been for my best in that time period, however, now there is honest to goodness change and a different marriage than before.  So yes it's possible, but it is a long and difficult process that requires legitimate effort to work on growth. 
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