Scuffy
I came to this forum a while ago, after my wife began seeing another man and found Tim's post on guarding your heart after an affair. It was one of the most important things I read as I went through the horrible journey from desperately trying to save my marriage of two decades to giving up and resigning myself to the fact that the relationship was irrecoverably shattered.

If it is of any use to anyone else, here's the lesson, neatly encapsulated by Tim, in the form of questions to the wandering spouse:
  • Are you single-minded in your desire to restore your marriage?
  • Are you willing to change in ways that allow your spouse to heal? 
If the answer to either of those questions is "no," you should immediately hire a lawyer and get it over with. I didn't, to my chagrin, even after I caught her repeatedly lying about her contacts with the other man. She finally acknowledged, after I announced that I was going to divorce her, that she'd decided from the start to lie to me, that she would not give him up. In other words, the emotional torture she put me through meant nothing to her. Think of all the gaslighting and pain I'd have been spared if she'd said that back when we had it out in the first place.

I will add another caution: If she starts complaining that the problem in your relationship isn't her affair, but that you don't trust her (after she's repeatedly undermined that trust with lies and manipulation), hire a lawyer and get it over with. It will never get better. 

I still believe that reconciliation is possible, and in fact I've seen it in the lives of some of my friends. But it requires that the betrayer be absolutely determined to restore the trust. Without that, it's hopeless, and it should be pretty easy, frankly, to tell if that's the case or not. I refused for too long to accept what was really obvious from the start.

So, yes, I gave up, the divorce is nearly complete, and two little boys have had their home destroyed by their own mother, who was cheered on by her friends and therapist.

I'm moving on. I wish you all the best. Be strong. You'll get through it.
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Keepabuzz
I'm glad you have at least found your way forward. I sorry for all the pain you have had to endure. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Fionarob
Scuffy

My story pretty much reflects yours exactly.  I still today realise that I waited far too long, forgave far too much and had way too much hope for reconciliation.  I can now see that my husband was a coward for not having the conviction to leave the marriage.  Instead, like you I was put through years of pain.  I was also the person who had to have the courage, in the end, to make the father of my children leave our home and decide our marriage was over.  This was something I never wanted to do, and I still feel very sad and have very low times that my children have had to have their lives changed forever.

I hope you move on to better things and I hope your children have a happy life.
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Heidi
Scruffy, thank you for your post, and all the best to you in the future. The fact that you (and so many others) wait so long is a testament to what caring and empathetic individuals you are. Or we are. And gaining the strength to be alone is a huge part of this journey of healing. Even though I'm still with my WH, I will never stop working on this strength. It's an important part of who I am, and I'm not afraid to use it 

You are a strong, loving & kind person. Your boys are lucky to have you. 
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Scuffy
"I can now see that my husband was a coward for not having the conviction to leave the marriage."

Yes.


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Scuffy
"You are a strong, loving & kind person. Your boys are lucky to have you."

Doing my best. We'll see.
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TimT
Scuffy wrote:
...I'm moving on. I wish you all the best. Be strong. You'll get through it.
I wish you well, Scuffy. Thanx for being here. Your healing isn't over, it's just different than expected (or wanted) it to be. Be well. TT
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annachristina
Scuffy,
You are a brave and wise man. You will overcome this, you will rebuild your life! All the best to you in future. AC
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Scuffy
Thank you all for your kind wishes.

One other thought for those whose lover has revealed herself/himself as a narcissist and pathological liar. Ask yourself, what is there to build on? Hoping that person will "work on" healing the relationship is equivalent to hoping they will change their personality and the psychological habits of a lifetime. What are the odds of that happening? Essentially zero, I would bet. 

Couples therapy COULD be useful, if the therapist is attuned to that dynamic. In my case, unfortunately, couples therapy just provided another way for my narcissist to learn more about my inner workings so as to better manipulate me.

Don't be like me.
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TimT
Counselors and couples should know what to look for in determining whether there is a legit move toward healing. Nobody can accurately judge the heart/mind of someone, but the signs of an unfaithful spouse who is truly committed to kind of change necessary for relationship renewal includes a certain commitment to the truth and an early acceptance of the responsibility to guard the marriage and focus on the change THEY need to make (rather than ways the marriage or spouse needs to change). If not, move on.

P.S. Those, and other "Predictors of Successful Relationship Renewal" are included in the Couple's Guide.
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Scuffy
>the signs of an unfaithful spouse who is truly committed to kind of change necessary for relationship renewal >includes a certain commitment to the truth and an early acceptance of the responsibility to guard the marriage >and focus on the change THEY need to make.

Amen. 
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