jasmine

Here is a link to an article called Do Unfaithful Spouses Deserve Respect?

https://vickitidwellpalmer.com/do-unfaithful-spouses-deserve-respect/

This post follows on from another thread where I said that verbal abuse and threats were not an acceptable way to communicate, that it maybe understandable or even inevitable after d day, but there is a point where it becomes harmful in many different ways.

In my experience, verbal abuse and abusive name-calling is not good communication. It prevents healthy communication. It keeps people in a constant state of fight or flight, constantly adrenalised and flooding the body with stress hormones. This can eventually lead to physical health problems. Very importantly, it impacts negatively on mood, quality of life, not eating properly, chronic insomnia, all sorts of things. I’m not saying losing your rag and calling your spouse an unpleasant name during one heated argument will lead to inevitable doom, of course it won’t, but when it becomes a set pattern of communication, or a go-to strategy to get “power over”, and this is happening at a later phase, then that’s not healthy for anybody. 

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Crushed
I believe respect is earned not just given.  If the unfaithful continue to lie and cause hurt they do not deserve your respect.  The definition of respect is "a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements."  The abilities and qualities they have shown does not garner respect.  They need to earn it back along with trust.
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jasmine
Crushed wrote:
I believe respect is earned not just given.  If the unfaithful continue to lie and cause hurt they do not deserve your respect.  The definition of respect is "a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements."  The abilities and qualities they have shown does not garner respect.  They need to earn it back along with trust.


But does that necessarily mean that the BS has the “right” to verbally abuse or threaten the WS? At what point does the “earned respect” make abuse and insults inappropriate? Is this “right” to rage at one’s spouse something that the BS is entitled to do for the rest of their lives? And does this actually help anyone in the long term?
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Keepabuzz

jasmine wrote:


But does that necessarily mean that the BS has the “right” to verbally abuse or threaten the WS? At what point does the “earned respect” make abuse and insults inappropriate? Is this “right” to rage at one’s spouse something that the BS is entitled to do for the rest of their lives? And does this actually help anyone in the long term?



Answer to the first question is YES. I never threatened anything.  I said exactly what I was going to do. 

Answer to the second question is it’s different for everybody. Some WS’s confess, and never again betray. Other WS dont. 

Answer to question 3 is YES. The BS is certainly entitled to hate their WS and scream at them everytime they want to forever.  That doesn’t mean that’s good for them, or that they can’t choose to stop. That also doesn’t mean the WS has to stay and take it, no matter how much they deserve it. 

Answer to question 4 is it does help a BS in the long run, if they only do it in the short run.  

Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Crushed
Not for the rest of their lives but until they can tell the truth, be accountable, accept responsibility, and try to make amends.  Does the BS deserve to be treated the way they were?  Should we just say it's ok dont do it again.  Just sweep it under the rug never say a word about it again. Should we just let them get away with and hope that maybe next time it wont hurt as much.  Or he will at least think of me as he rips my soul out again.   It's just my opinion but I still believe that they have to earn trust and respect.  It is not just freely given.  It's been 3 years and I have no respect for him, I have no trust or faith in him.  I dont even know why I hold on, i dont think i love him anymore but 37 years of marriage and 3 years of dating is hard to give up.   Am I still angry  yes very.  Am i bitter.  Yes.   I struggle every day with stomach issues and depression  that I try to hide from the world. But he continues to just cause more pain and  hurt by lying and not taking responsibility for his actions.  So yes he does deserve what he gets.  Sorry for the tirade
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seventy7
But does that necessarily mean that the BS has the “right” to verbally abuse or threaten the WS?
I don't think anyone has the right to abuse anyone, but unfortunately it happens. Did the WS have the right to lie/cheat/gaslight their BS? I know that Keep has said it on this forum a lot, and I agree, having an affair is just another form of abuse. My WS abused me for 2+ years while she was having an affair and trying to cover it up. She made me feel like I was going crazy for having feelings of suspicion. Actually told me that it was just me being insecure. Those actions have wrecked my confidence, and made me question my own intuitions. 

At what point does the “earned respect” make abuse and insults inappropriate?
Abuse and insults are always inappropriate. However the pain inflicted to the BS due to adultery is unimaginable. Unless you have been on this side of the fence it is impossible to explain. Controlling the hurt/pain/rage/anger/sadness is a daily struggle. There is an old saying from of all people, Mike Tyson, who said "everyone has a plan, until you get punched in the mouth". I believe that more than ever. My life's plan got punched in the mouth on November 1, 2017, and I have been trying to get back to my feet ever since. I never thought I would be a man that could do the things I did after I found out about my wife's affair. Had I not decided to leave the house that night, I know for a fact I would have gone to jail...for a very long time.

Is this “right” to rage at one’s spouse something that the BS is entitled to do for the rest of their lives?
Absolutely, but the BS also has to understand that carrying that rage with them will ultimately end any chances of recovery or reconciliation. Learning to harness the rage is, for me, the hardest part of recovery. So many thoughts & triggers enter my mind, I have to make a conscious effort to ignore them, or push past them.  

And does this actually help anyone in the long term?
Long term, maybe...

I say "maybe" because the BS needs to express their anger. Unfortunately for the WS, that anger is going to be directed at them. Expressing this anger may lead the WS to understand how much hurt they have caused, and how much their BS really loved them. My wife has told me multiple times "I had no idea you loved me that much, I don't know how I was so blind to this before". So yes, it can help in the long term. 


When it doesn't help long term is when both the BS and the WS continue to rage, but stay in the relationship out of shame or guilt. The only reason to stay together is love. If the BS is so blinded by rage, that they cannot move towards love, all hope is lost. And likewise, if the WS see's the rage/anger as justification for their transgressions, rather than their BS pain coming through, they need to move on from the relationship. 
Male BS
D-Day 11/1/2017
It gets easier as time goes, but the pain never goes away
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Fionarob
"It's been 3 years and I have no respect for him, I have no trust or faith in him.  I dont even know why I hold on, i dont think i love him anymore but 37 years of marriage and 3 years of dating is hard to give up.   Am I still angry  yes very.  Am i bitter.  Yes."

If this is how you feel after 3 years, I am also questioning why you are staying.  37 years of marriage is surely not enough of a reason, if your h is still lying and not taking responsibility for his actions?  Is that how you are willing to spend the rest of your marriage?  Or are you expecting him to suddenly change?  Is it fair that you live the rest of your life with depression and stomach issues, just because you have many years of shared history? Everyone has a choice.  Think about the choices you are making.


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jasmine

Crushed, I hear your pain. I am totally in agreement that trust is earned but after betrayal I don’t think trust is ever the same. I am also in total agreement that lies and deception are very destructive and it’s impossible to rebuild a relationship on a foundation of lies. I certainly don’t believe in trusting blindly. Also, I understand how it feels to reach a certain stage in life when it’s too late to start over and make a new life. I know it’s not impossible and I know that circumstances can force people into change whether they want it or not, but I know that the opportunity to start over in a meaningful way has passed. I was even thinking about it today, how there was a point many years before d day when my husband became quite aggressive towards me, not physically or anything like that, but his mood was hostile and he’d get very angry at me for reasons I couldn’t see were justified. I seriously thought about ending the marriage then. He’s never been the easiest person. To the outside world he has a “nice guy” public face but he’s totally different in private. Long before d day, many years before, I told him that I wasn’t going to be his verbal punchbag. I’d completely forgot about that until today. 

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Does the BS deserve to be treated the way they were?  Should we just say it's ok dont do it again.  Just sweep it under the rug never say a word about it again. Should we just let them get away with and hope that maybe next time it wont hurt as much. 


No, absolutely not. It is not OK for someone to betray their spouse, and then lie and gaslight. And they absolutely should not “get away with it”. Deception is a form of abuse and the responsibility lies with the person committing the behaviour. Even last night my husband tried to excuse his behaviour saying that I had rejected him, but that was garbage. He hadn’t looked at me in years, hadn’t touched me in years and I had enough of being turned down and feeling undesired so I stopped trying to initiate sex. His behaviour made me feel so insignificant and I wasn’t going to hawk myself like a prostitute to my own husband. And for what? Bad sex? There is nothing so degrading than that in a marriage. It took years to get to the stage of losing my libido, which was actually a symptom of depression. At least I was honest. But. that was his excuse, he pulled that old excuse on me again and once more I stood up to him. 

Communication is really hard and if you’re with someone who thinks they can lie their way out of trouble then it’s nigh on impossible. I still try and practice honesty in the hope that it will encourage him to be more honest. Does it work? I’m not sure. I’m not dumb, I know that a WS can also be abusive or threatening especially when they are being asked to account for themselves, and sometimes they do it to deflect the attention away from them and put the BS into the position of wrongdoer, just because they don’t want to own their behavior. So it works both ways. WS can sink to very low just to save face. I’ve had to end the conversation and leave the room because my husband has overstepped the mark. 

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Keepabuzz

seventy7 wrote:
But does that necessarily mean that the BS has the “right” to verbally abuse or threaten the WS?
I don't think anyone has the right to abuse anyone, but unfortunately it happens. Did the WS have the right to lie/cheat/gaslight their BS? I know that Keep has said it on this forum a lot, and I agree, having an affair is just another form of abuse. My WS abused me for 2+ years while she was having an affair and trying to cover it up. She made me feel like I was going crazy for having feelings of suspicion. Actually told me that it was just me being insecure. Those actions have wrecked my confidence, and made me question my own intuitions. 

At what point does the “earned respect” make abuse and insults inappropriate?
Abuse and insults are always inappropriate. However the pain inflicted to the BS due to adultery is unimaginable. Unless you have been on this side of the fence it is impossible to explain. Controlling the hurt/pain/rage/anger/sadness is a daily struggle. There is an old saying from of all people, Mike Tyson, who said "everyone has a plan, until you get punched in the mouth". I believe that more than ever. My life's plan got punched in the mouth on November 1, 2017, and I have been trying to get back to my feet ever since. I never thought I would be a man that could do the things I did after I found out about my wife's affair. Had I not decided to leave the house that night, I know for a fact I would have gone to jail...for a very long time.

Is this “right” to rage at one’s spouse something that the BS is entitled to do for the rest of their lives?
Absolutely, but the BS also has to understand that carrying that rage with them will ultimately end any chances of recovery or reconciliation. Learning to harness the rage is, for me, the hardest part of recovery. So many thoughts & triggers enter my mind, I have to make a conscious effort to ignore them, or push past them.  

And does this actually help anyone in the long term?
Long term, maybe...

I say "maybe" because the BS needs to express their anger. Unfortunately for the WS, that anger is going to be directed at them. Expressing this anger may lead the WS to understand how much hurt they have caused, and how much their BS really loved them. My wife has told me multiple times "I had no idea you loved me that much, I don't know how I was so blind to this before". So yes, it can help in the long term. 


When it doesn't help long term is when both the BS and the WS continue to rage, but stay in the relationship out of shame or guilt. The only reason to stay together is love. If the BS is so blinded by rage, that they cannot move towards love, all hope is lost. And likewise, if the WS see's the rage/anger as justification for their transgressions, rather than their BS pain coming through, they need to move on from the relationship. 



My wife also gaslight me endlessly during her affair. Told me I was insecure, I was crazy, etc. I also deal with the same lasting effects of that abuse. 


I disagree that insults are never ok. If they are true, then they are ok. I slug many insults at my wife, and I regret none of them. Everyone was true. I understand that some people say things they don’t mean out of anger and/or rage. I am not one of those people. Everything I say, I mean. When I’m angry, or when I used to let the rage out, I meant every word. They were just said in a different tone. I have never and will never apologize to my wife for raging at her.

Like you, I left the house that night, thankfully. Also thankfully her former AP was not accessible to me for about a month due to him being out of state for work. I could have gotten to him that night, lord knows I would have went to jail. 

Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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ABCOneTwoThree
I’ll reiterate what I said in a previous thread; had my ex husband come to me and “confessed” the details of his abuse to me, and then tried to do and be better, and reconcile, would I still reserve the right to return that abuse? Can I now start hurting him guilt free? Consequence free? 
He damn well didn’t deserve my respect, but you don’t need to respect someone in order to not abuse them. There is a huge difference between respecting someone, and refraining from abusing them. 
There is also a big difference between raging in the early stages of affair recovery, and forever tormenting and abusing your WS. If you can’t ever extend any love, trust, compassion or yes, respect to your WS, then you really have no business staying with them. For me, it’s completely understandable to never be able to love, respect, trust or hold dear a person who has wronged you so badly, and that doesn’t make a BS a bad person. But if you know you hate and always will hate this person, what’s the point in continuing to torture yourself by staying? And at what point have you turned from a victimized person, into an abuser yourself? 
I hated my ex husband, rightfully so. I stayed way longer than I should have out of fear, out of obligation and because I was SO convinced that a split parent household would be the worst possible thing for my children. I was “lucky” in the sense that I married young, had children young, and that after ten years with this man, I am still relatively “young” (I am still under the age of 30 at this point). So I didn’t have to contend with starting over later in life than seems realistic. So maybe my words here mean nothing, but I stand by my thought process that if you hate your spouse, if you can never trust them in the most basic way again, if you can never love them again, if you can’t help but rage at them and abuse them for the rest of your life, you may need to walk away. Not just for your WS, but for you. 
Formerly EasyAsABC 
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Crushed
Maybe that is the worst part you still love the person you had before they cheated.  That person died the day you found out.(along with the better part of your soul) They will never be in your life again.  You hate what they are now and you wish and hope so hard to try to feel something for this person they are now and it's just so hard.  You feel so responsible for them after being there for so long.   It goes against every moral, ever belief, ever dream to even give him a second chance.  Its wanting to do 2 things ( love them and hate them) at once and it literally tears you apart.  3 years may sound like a long time but it has been extremely rough for me. My mother and father have both passed away in this time. My best friend died of a brain aneurysm, my aunt who has always been my support had a stroke and died and my friend (elderly gentleman with no family) that I have taken care of for 20 years passed away. And now I'm expected to give up my pride my integrity my home my memories my dreams and just walk away.  You have no ideal the grief or pain I have had to endure just to make it to this point.  I will survive and one day I will be strong again but it is going to take time. And at this point I just have to take it as it is  (Ps:  menopause has also hit in this time frame if life wasnt bad enough lol)
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anthro
Most people aren't very stable after they discover they've been betrayed. There's some period when they are going to remain unstable. I think in that period, it would be unreasonable to expect them to act like they are stable all the time. So they are going to lash out, rage, etc, and nobody should be judging them harshly for it. But I don't think anyone wants to be that lashing out, unstable person. The raging mess is not the person anyone wants to be, so virtually by definition they are doing their best not to rage. They want to be calm, they don't want to rage, they don't want to be yelling, they don't want to go from okay to broken and back again at five-minute intervals. Also during this period, most people are not in a state where they should be making huge life decisions if they can help it.

After some time has passed, most people find their way to a little more stability. They have started to develop strategies for managing the big, unwelcome feelings and thoughts. I would think that some people never can find their way back to stability, either (a) at all or (b) if they are still living with the one who betrayed them. There's no set timeframe but if it just isn't happening at all, then reconciliation is probably not something to keep trying for.

That all said, there's a big distinction between gratuitous name-calling and fair truth-telling. Where we are now, 2.5 years from d-day, I let a certain amount slide but I am not going to just pretend there's some kind of moral equivalence in our shared history, or pretend that I have sound reasons to trust my wife when in fact I don't. Recently we had a reasonably robust discussion, for reasons not worth getting into, and she told me I was "judging" her. I think that concept of being unacceptably judgmental is more reserved for personal, private life choices. I was - I think, and I said - not doing any judging just stating some basic facts. My point with this is that there are some hard truths post-affair that are never going away, and that might feel like "name-calling" to someone who has not yet fully owned their actions and the consequences felt by others from those actions. If my wife feels I am kind of a downer because I am subdued and quiet some days, I am not going to pretend that's a legit complaint when it's simply that the damage she did is still something I am dealing with and always will be. I will let it slide but if she keeps going with it, then I will remind her why. That sucks but I believe it is forever now.

Me... I didn't do much name-calling but I did a lot of yelling, as did she. I don't do much name-calling now, nor yelling. I tend to leave the house and go for a drive if I feel like I am going to start yelling (I drive safely, btw, in my car on the road is a quiet and peaceful space for me.) 

You have to strive to be the kind of person you want to be. I assume most of us are striving just like that. If, tomorrow, I were to lose my sh!t badly and scream and yell names, that would be me failing myself, but it would most definitely be in a context where I was doing my best to deal with something that was imposed on me from outside.

I do get that we all need to be better at communicating. That's true for any relationship. But just to be clear, I never did claim to be a guy who would deal brilliantly with infidelity or have some special expertise in restoring a marriage after a lengthy, very abusive, invasive, unbelievably deceitful affair. It's not something I ever wanted to be good at, research, learn about, gain experience in. It was never even on my radar because cheating is something I would never do. Even with a gun to my head, I couldn't deceive my wife for a day the way she deceived me for two years. So I can bring a lot of good will and good intentions to reconciliation, but I don't think that the job of improving communication should be mine, or primarily mine. If a marriage is to be repaired then sure, the BS is going to need to be on board with improving communication and connection, but the hard work of finding a viable new shared journey is one that the WS needs to shoulder for as long as it takes.
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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Keepabuzz

Anthro, 

  I agree with all of that. Especially the differentiation between gratuitous name calling and truth telling. I did A LOT of truth telling in the first year and a half to 2 years, and many times at a very high volume. I am ex-military so I am well versed at yelling, and yelling properly as to not loose your voice. Although I could barely speak for a few days after d-day. I didn’t yell right that night. The only name I ever called my wife that she felt was not accurate was wh*re. I called her that a lot on d-day. She kept saying through tears while sitting in a ball on the floor “I’m not a wh*re”. At the end, right before I walked out, I looked back and said “relatively“ calmly “you’re right at least wh*res get paid. You’re just a worthless cheating sl*t. I gave you everything, and every single bit of me, and you sh*t on it all. You sh*t all over me.”  Then walked out the door.

While I yelled and screamed (correctly), for the next year and a half at least, I never called her anything other than a b*tch a few times after d-day. Now that’s not to say I didn’t swear, and swear freely, and very loudly. She brought it up in MC. She talked about how due to her childhood issues, she would just shutdown and go into fight or flight mode. When the MC asked what I thought of that, I said “l don’t give a f*ck”. That made her eyes get big. She then said “Do you think she really hears you when you’re like that?”  I said, “I don’t know if she is really listening, but I know for a fact that she hears me”. Then she suggested I go for a run, or go workout, or something else to get my anger out.  I told her that my wife was the one that did all of this, and she would be the one receiving every bit of it. If she didn’t like it, she knew where the door was and that I would help her pack. I ended up buying a heavy bag and hanging it in my basement. I beat that thing to death. I made a new rule in the house, if I went down to hit that bag, NO ONE was to come down there unless the house was on fire. I would crank up some hard angry music and beat that thing to death. I would beat that thing, and cry my eyes out at the same time. The first time I did it, my kids were at school, only my wife was home. I was down there for about an hour.  I beat that thing until I could not swing anymore. When I came back upstairs. My wife was sitting in the kitchen silent, and looking scared. All she said was “are you ok? You were shaking the entire house when you were hitting test thing.” I said “no, I’m not ok. I will never be ok” and went to shower. So even though I didn’t “give that anger to her”, She still received it. 

I am quite fluent in the use of swear words. I used the f word regularly. I would say the worst I said to her after d-day, would be when I would just tell her to “shut the f*ck up”. Now, I said that A LOT.  I do swear in daily conversation. But I haven’t sworn “at” her in a very long time. 


Crushed,
I agree with you also.  My wife died in d-day, and she took our marriage with her. We have been able to start over, but like Anthro said we will never be on even moral ground. 

Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Fionarob
Crushed
Yes, I remember it well, that feeling of wanting to love him, respect him, trust him again.  To be able to wave a magic wand and to actually like this person again after what they have done and what they are continuing to do.  The battle between what your brain is telling you and what your heart wants.  It really is a difficult place to be, on top of everything else you have had to endure in the last 3 years.  Living with betrayal was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  I can only imagine how awful it would be to be dealing with that, and also suffering bereavements as well.  I am not sure how I would have survived that much emotional pain. 

I did find the strength to walk away in the end, and it was definitely the right decision because I realised my ex was never going to end his affair.  However, I don't feel I had to give up my pride, integrity or memories to do that.  They are all still intact.  Actually, if anything, I am more proud of myself, my choices, my strength and my actions than I have ever been before.  I certainly didn't feel proud of myself when I was putting up with my husband cheating on me for years.

No, it wasn't an easy decision to make, it took me years.  But is my life better now?  Absolutely.
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Phoenix
Keepabuzz wrote:

Anthro, 

  I agree with all of that. Especially the differentiation between gratuitous name calling and truth telling. I did A LOT of truth telling in the first year and a half to 2 years, and many times at a very high volume. I am ex-military so I am well versed at yelling, and yelling properly as to not loose your voice. Although I could barely speak for a few days after d-day. I didn’t yell right that night. The only name I ever called my wife that she felt was not accurate was wh*re. I called her that a lot on d-day. She kept saying through tears while sitting in a ball on the floor “I’m not a wh*re”. At the end, right before I walked out, I looked back and said “relatively“ calmly “you’re right at least wh*res get paid. You’re just a worthless cheating sl*t. I gave you everything, and every single bit of me, and you sh*t on it all. You sh*t all over me.”  Then walked out the door.

While I yelled and screamed (correctly), for the next year and a half at least, I never called her anything other than a b*tch a few times after d-day. Now that’s not to say I didn’t swear, and swear freely, and very loudly. She brought it up in MC. She talked about how due to her childhood issues, she would just shutdown and go into fight or flight mode. When the MC asked what I thought of that, I said “l don’t give a f*ck”. That made her eyes get big. She then said “Do you think she really hears you when you’re like that?”  I said, “I don’t know if she is really listening, but I know for a fact that she hears me”. Then she suggested I go for a run, or go workout, or something else to get my anger out.  I told her that my wife was the one that did all of this, and she would be the one receiving every bit of it. If she didn’t like it, she knew where the door was and that I would help her pack. I ended up buying a heavy bag and hanging it in my basement. I beat that thing to death. I made a new rule in the house, if I went down to hit that bag, NO ONE was to come down there unless the house was on fire. I would crank up some hard angry music and beat that thing to death. I would beat that thing, and cry my eyes out at the same time. The first time I did it, my kids were at school, only my wife was home. I was down there for about an hour.  I beat that thing until I could not swing anymore. When I came back upstairs. My wife was sitting in the kitchen silent, and looking scared. All she said was “are you ok? You were shaking the entire house when you were hitting test thing.” I said “no, I’m not ok. I will never be ok” and went to shower. So even though I didn’t “give that anger to her”, She still received it. 

I am quite fluent in the use of swear words. I used the f word regularly. I would say the worst I said to her after d-day, would be when I would just tell her to “shut the f*ck up”. Now, I said that A LOT.  I do swear in daily conversation. But I haven’t sworn “at” her in a very long time. 


Crushed,
I agree with you also.  My wife died in d-day, and she took our marriage with her. We have been able to start over, but like Anthro said we will never be on even moral ground. 



OMG, The resemblance between you and my husband is uncanny. With the exemption that my husband still swears and calls me name sand says things that to me are very harsh. On Saturday he stood in front of me and said " I will never apologize for what I have said to you in the past 2 years and I will not apologize for what I am going to say now. The way things are right now and in the position you are in, you will lick my b**** when ever it pleases me." I thought that was very harsh, but what was I going to say? 

Wouldn't it be ideal that every BS reacted like Anthro and that every WS did all they can do to repair the damage and give restitution? This forum has shown me that there is no ideal situation. 

I know that the way we are going about our recovery (if you can call it that) is not sustainable. But I am in for the long haul.  I will continue working on myself. Hoping that one day he will see how much I love him, regret my actions, regret hurting him, hurts me to see him in so much pain, and want to treat him like the king he is. The problem is that if he doesn't the "viable new shared journey" will never happen, because I have resilience. 
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