Allthatremains
How do you get back to where you were after an affair? I have no doubt there were 'blind spots' in our marriage that caused the fissures to grow but now that he has had an affair(a long one as well, 3yrs), how do you fall back in love? We are great at 'preten normal' playing house and checking in on each other. Trying our best to be kind and devoted but the hole is still there. The questioning how could he do this to us to our family is still there. it's been 10 months and I am sad, I feel like I was cheated out of something I had always counted on. Any suggestions? Anyone else feel the same?
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anthropoidape
At a minimum, I'd need to believe my wife were back in love with me. After that it is a road I can imagine slowly walking down myself.

But I doubt I'll ever find out because I don't think she will lead the way.
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Keepabuzz
Allthatremains wrote:
How do you get back to where you were after an affair? I have no doubt there were 'blind spots' in our marriage that caused the fissures to grow but now that he has had an affair(a long one as well, 3yrs), how do you fall back in love? We are great at 'preten normal' playing house and checking in on each other. Trying our best to be kind and devoted but the hole is still there. The questioning how could he do this to us to our family is still there. it's been 10 months and I am sad, I feel like I was cheated out of something I had always counted on. Any suggestions? Anyone else feel the same?



You were cheated out of something you always counted on. All we BS’s were. You feeling that way is totally normal. I’m 27 months out from D-day. My wife and I were also pretty good at pretend normal, but there was a big hole. I honestly didn’t even begin to feel better until after the one year mark. My wife did all the right things after D-day for the most part. She was doing all she could to show me that she loved me, but for a very long time, I just couldn’t believe it. After all the lies and deceit, why would I, right?  It took a lot of time and a lot of effort on her part, but the key I think was consistency. She never wavered. I wavered constantly. I went from wanted a divorce immediately, to agreeing to at least try to reconcile, then go from having hope we would make it, to wanting to pack my things and leave, and over and over and over again. She never wavered. I know it was hard on her(although she made her own bed, and deserved every bit of it), I never did a single thing with the intent to punish her, although I know that many things came across to her that way. 

I would say give it time. Give him time to build that back. I know it sucks, and feels like an eternity. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Kalmarjan
It will get better with time. Don't long for how things were before the affair, because that's what ended you up in the place you were. Maybe through no fault of yours, but the conditions were there. 

How do you get back to love again? Remember that love is a Verb, and like working out, it's hard work. You'll get there, but it may be painful. 

In my situation, our marriage is different now. Before the affair I used to walk on eggshells. Not anymore. I'm upfront, honest as much as I can be, and I always remember how close I came to losing it all. 

From the BS side, I'm not sure what you could do, except continue to work on you, making yourself okay with the situation. If your WS wants back into the mix, they will take a conscientious effort to make amends and make it right. Unfortunately you can't force them to do so. 
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Ginger
Kalmarjan wrote:
It will get better with time. Don't long for how things were before the affair, because that's what ended you up in the place you were. Maybe through no fault of yours, but the conditions were there. 


I reject this line of thinking.  Those same "conditions" of before the affair applied to the non-cheating spouse as well.  And I did not cheat bc our marriage wasn't perfect.  I also lived (unknowingly) thru the affair period which made those pre-affair "conditions" seem like a walk in the park compared to how he acted while involved with his whore.  And, still I did not cheat.  Your statement, to me at least, implies that some of the blame for the cheating spouse's affair, belongs to the non-cheater.  And it does not.  
 I think the longing for "before" are the intangibles like the naivety, innocence,  implicit trust, vision of what love and marriage meant as well as the untarnished view of your spouse is what we wish for and miss.
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Jennifer
Often times after infidelity we go through a grieving process. You are mourning the death of the relationship and partner you thought you knew. Part of the grieving process is sadness and that sounds like where you are now. The hopeful news is that this is temporary. As you continue to heal you will move through this time and begin to accept the past and look forward to a more hopeful future even if that is as an individual. It is important to give this the grief attention and recognize it but not to get stuck there. Continue to use all those healthy coping skills to help you move through.
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BrokenHearted
Ginger wrote:



 I think the longing for "before" are the intangibles like the naivety, innocence,  implicit trust, vision of what love and marriage meant as well as the untarnished view of your spouse is what we wish for and miss.


I agree with you. It is that innocence that I miss. I miss the ability to look at my husband and say "now there's a man who has treated me right". But I too feel that we are getting good at "pretend normal" right now. I'm encouraged to see that some are feeling like that hole has been filled, even a llittle, a year past Dday. My anniversary (of Dday) will be at the end of Feb. It's been a terrible year, and now with the holidays here, it is even more of a struggle. I feel like just sleeping until after the new year....but then I still have the Dday anniversary to contend with. 
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Allthatremains
I am learning more and healing more each day but the hole is still there. Whilst I do believe time has made the edges not as raw as they were in the beginning of this process, I long for my reality back. With the holidays, DDay and my birthday coming up - how to cope with the emotions of what I thought were special times, family times, were actually times he sat at our table but longed for someone else. The card given to me on my birthday would have been required instead of desired. The desire was always for someone else. Anyway we all have been there. What I think would close the hole is more work from my husband, more empathy and less justifications. If I say I am not that excited for my birthday because those memories are tainted, the answer "I understand and it makes sense" is an okay answer but the answer I really want is "I am so sorry I tainted your memories, I was so stupid to not realise what I was taking from you with my actions". Understanding when I feel bad is good, accepting that the reason I feel bad is because of his poor choices would be better. It would give me the safety and knowledge that he recognises that all of this chaos is because of his poor choices. A wrong choice is always a wrong choice regardless of the reason you chose to do it. A wrong choice cannot be swept away because of a reason other than the one they are faced with which is their bad behaviour caused this, their immoral behaviour caused this and any justification or rationale given is only shifting the blame and making the whole thing hurt more. I found some deleted emails in August to his long ago ex-wife. They were not romantic in nature but they were a little odd and more so they had been hidden. This after many emails and conversations about honesty and not hurting me. The answer was, "I wasn't emotionally attached to her so I minimised the importance of telling you about them as I thought communicating with her would upset you". Well all I learned there was he will still come up with any reason he can rather than facing the truth. He said he would be honest, he said he wouldn't do anything to hurt me but he justified doing both those things as he perceived the reason to be justifiable. What will stop him from justifying the next dishonesty? I don't have an answer and I think that leaves me vulnerable. I hope for those in this thread that your betrayed spouses have shown real empathy and ownership for their actions because I think it helps the healing process knowing that. If they haven't maybe like me you should ask for it, I believe regardless of what started the marriage fraying, I think all BS deserves that....
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anthropoidape
Allthatremains... the way I read it, he still thinks he can make judgments about what you should or should not know for your own good. But he cannot do that and has proven he cannot do that, so he needs to give you the autonomy to make your own decisions about things like communication with an ex. "I had some contact with Z. There's nothing to worry about in it, but do you want the details?" You probably wouldn't want the details if you got that disclosure.
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Trinity
Allthatremains; I agree with Jennifer.  You are in mourning for the losses.  That part of the process, I think is the hardest and the saddest.  The almost non existent silver lining is that it will not last and once you are through it, you do not have to repeat it.  We have all been there and my prayer for you is that you move through with grace and love.  Your return to love will begin on the other side of the mourning and grief.  

If it is of any consolation, my husband and I are doing pretty good.  I hated his actions but deep in my soul I never stopped loving him.  I also know that he never stopped loving me.  

I don't know if you are religious but for me some sanity and clarity came back to me when I remembered I am a child of God and in good company.  The betrayal is not OK to do to God's child and he will take care of that on his time and in his way.  I'm staying out of that one for sure.

I really don't want our old relationship back and I'm sure he doesn't either so, we are working on a new one.  A different one, hopefully a better one.
Only time will tell but I OK with the journey and through it, I will continue to LOVE.  I'm pretty sure that is what God would want me to do.  

I know you will be open to love again too.

"T"
BS - DDay July 2017

O GOD, take me, break me, make me. 
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minnie16
We  BS have lost the trust and innocence we one had. We are pretty good at pretend normal, and i honestly think that’s about as good as it is going to get. How do you look at a man who cheated on you with true love in your heart? Is that even possible, when you think about what he did? Don’t think so , so we pretend normal. 
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anthropoidape
I don't really have difficulty with loving her. The question that keeps coming back around is whether I should be with her. It is possible that it's a love that's better left.

Then again... I do love her but if I let myself think about it, I really wonder how she could have been so dishonest and so stupid. And I am not sure whether the dishonesty or the stupidity bothers me more. She sold her integrity, a lifetime of it, incredibly cheaply. Pretty much gave it away for nothing. 
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Allthatremains
It's shockingly the same for so many of the BS. I am sincerely grieving the loss of what I thought we had, the loss of reality in the three years that he shared with her makes all that time tainted. The love is there but it's not the same. It's there but not as clear, like a tiny drop of black ink in water. It's still water, it's just not the same and cannot ever be returned to it's original state.

It's time to figure out the acceptance part I guess or to walk away. Not sure how to do either, how to let go of the person I thought he was and to accept this new person, the one that thought nothing of me, the one that lied, the one that so easily took away 20+ years of commitment and trust. Is it religion, is it forgiveness, is it just time, what actually brings you to a place where what they did to us is okay? I do question myself as to how and why I stay with someone capable of such cruelty, such a lack of moral fortitude. And if deep down, it's not okay, if the proper investigation into the poor judgment and rationalisation of the affair hasn't taken place then what.....do you accept them for their flaws and keep your fingers crossed they won't do it again or do you give yourself another chance at true love somewhere else. Should our children learn resilience from our choices or a sense of self-worth. In what other situation would you ever let another human being treat you so badly and go back for more? I often wonder if 30 years from now my children will say, I hope you didn't stay for us and yet I often think that is the main reason I am staying.
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Keepabuzz
I have made the case many times that affairs and all that comes along with them is nothing short of abuse, without question. Yet it’s the only form of abuse where the abused person is not expected to escape the abuser, but instead we are expected to find forgiveness, acceptance, etc.   

Would my wife get that same advice if I had physically abused her?  Of course not. I would have been put in jail. Sued for pain and suffering, etc, right? Is physical abuse worse? Not in my opinion. There is no such recourse for the abuse I have endured.  The wounds I have no one can see, and they will never heal completely. I will always walk with an emotional “limp”.  Wouldn’t my wife sometimes “flinch” forever if I hade physically abused her?  Of course she would, and with good reason. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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anthropoidape
Allthatremains wrote:
In what other situation would you ever let another human being treat you so badly and go back for more? 


Yes... people also do this for family. For example children who steal from their parents - the parents keep hoping and giving.

I do not personally feel (rationally at least) too worried about another affair. I don't believe it is likely. And if I am wrong,  well I will at last have some real clarity and no doubt about what to do. 

For me it is more just... can the present be better? It is superficially fine but there is something more that I need. I don't need or want to erase the past but I know I need her to find some insight and do some new things. I don't actually know what they are so I couldn't tell her even if I wanted to (and I don't want to). I feel it's a waiting game. The status quo won't fly. But it is her move. And there's a clock ticking although I do not know what the time limit is.
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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