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#2825751 12/04/18 06:43 PM
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So I thought I would start my own piecing thread. Since we've been in piecing since March.

Here is a link to my other threads:

All of Steve85's previous threads

Quick synopsis. BD 12/23/17 - Initiated by me after discovering her long distance EA. Typical things from WAW/WW. "ILYBIANILWY." "I don't want to be married anymore." Etc.

Her plan was to get a job, get an apartment and get a divorce. For us to stay friends. For my D14 to live with me in the marital home. For her to have a key. For us to have dinners both at the marital home and at her apartment. Etc........

Typical WW fog. Up and down behavior. I want to stay. I want to go. I don't know what I want.

I made classic LBS mistakes the first 2 days of begging, pleading, moping, crying, using logic, etc. Day 3 I remembered DBing based on her first EA in Sept. of 2005. (That time she immediately recommitted back to the marriage.)

Last act of rebellion against the MR was in mid-Feb. After that she committed back to the MR. She began to participate in MC and do the homework. She did a 180 on many things, started to become invested back in the family, the home, etc.

We've been piecing since the end of February. And it has been hard work. I've maintained my 180s, I continue my GAL activities, and I also have learned that detachment is something that all married folks should have (lookup self-differentiation in marriage).


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
SteveLW #2825782 12/04/18 10:15 PM
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Hi Steve,

Welcome to the slow forums ;-) Maybe we can change the culture of that??? I did not read your initial threads. Your sitch turned around rather fast. Wow. 3 months? That's record time around here! I often wonder had my H not left for the full blown R with OW for 10 months, how things would have been different. On BD, it had mostly been an EA an he had no intention of leaving. I think it would have been easier to forgive his initial EA and piece because at least he was still home and with our family initially. Who knows that tho.

When I first started posting, there were several piecers - 25, Train, Mowgli, Lim, Stormchaser, NYGal, and then JoeJoe came around this summer. I'm sure I am forgetting many. Perhaps I should move my threads over here too. I do appreciate when they come back for a visit and update. How can we encourage folks to give more updates in piecing? And it seems like when folks piece (or give up on hope for the M) they often stop posting altogether.

I certainly do appreciate how much time and energy you give to the boards! You are pretty awesome. Thank you!

Blu

Last edited by BluWave; 12/04/18 10:18 PM.

“Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.” – Nelson Mandela
SteveLW #2825817 12/05/18 10:40 AM
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25 is now divorced and she moved to Poland this year, she is actually doing well

Also my friend was Jack 3 Beans who passed away two years ago, RIP sir


Welcome Steve


Me-67, D35,S34
SteveLW #2825923 12/05/18 05:58 PM
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Thanks Blu and Cadet. Yes I'd like to see these boards more active. Blu yeah I look back and am still surprised at how fast my sitch turned around. A lot of it was due to certain circumstances that most sitches do not meet. Like I initiated BD. My W's EA OM took himself out of the picture within a few weeks of BD. W started prowling for OM2, but due to still being in the marital home and being primary caretaker of D14 didn't have as much opportunity as some other Ws (she is a SAHM). Then there was the church angle. Some friends there invited us to a marriage retreat and to my surprise she agreed. She came to C with me (we were unsure if it was MC or if I was going to continue in IC alone) but she liked the C and agreed to continue attending.

But it was just shy of 3 months. I remember in my threads, the wayward side of her started initiating sex with me in early March. Within days we had had sex many many times. I was still mastering DBing at the time but knew not to attach significance to it.

Actually this morning in the shower it dawned on me. I am pretty sure I know the moment that she gave up her waywardness. We were on our want to MC and she casually mentioned that her voracious desire for sex had abated. Whatever switch had been flipped leading up to her EA that made her so sexual suddenly seemed to switch off again. Prior to BD we had a SSM. Since we've been intimate on a pretty good cadence (once or twice a month which is WAY over what we averaged for the first 19 years of our marriage). But the waywardness seemed to disappear along with her insatiable sexual appetite. I theorize that the two were part and parcel of whatever was causing her to want to walkaway.

Its okay though, I can live with once or twice a month! LOL And MR 2.0 is 100 times better than MR 1.0 was.

Sorry for the diatribe. I tend to do that. laugh


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
SteveLW #2829739 12/26/18 01:01 PM
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Steve glad to see you have taken your sitch here. I believe Newcomes believe that once entering Piecing that one is out of the darkness and on the road to MR bliss.
Although I don't claim to be any type of expert and depending on the day I believe that W and I are dipping our toes in Reconciliation only for the next day to leave me wondering, I can see that piecing is far from a walk in the park.

Healing, from the LBS standpoint, is paramount. Without healing, I don't know that there can be a successful R. I think many of us have had to deny ourselves this much-needed healing in order to DB. "Trust" being the casualty. Not just trust that the S is not cheating but that there won't be any more surprise BDs. That the two will both embrace a much healthier way of communicating that both protects the individual as well as the MR.

I do have a few questions regarding your sitch Steve. Do you believe that there was anything you could have done to prevent this latest BD in your sitch? Did you skip any steps or ignore any issues that may have helped bring you back?

Any reflective insight that you have that might help others, I'm sure may be cathartic as well as extremely helpful for others.


M 53 W 54, M since 98
D15, D19
8/2013 discovered EA, W maintained contact with OM
until 10/14
7/2/17 W said she wanted S, 7/25/17 moved out of MBR
12/17 W says moving out 5/18, W still in home.

SteveLW #2830708 01/02/19 05:20 PM
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For some reason, I can't use the full editor application, so I'll have to make do by using the Quick Reply. Here is a quote from the great Jack Three Beans for posters who move to the Piecing forum.


"IF anyone is coming here from Newcomers or MLC or any of the other forums, following 25 years, Starsky, me...anyone else and you think that the advice here is different...it is.

It is different. DO NOT take advice from Piecing and apply it to a newcomer situation. Do not apply it to god forbid an MLC situation.

Piecing is when both parties are (or say they are) committed to working on the realtionship and even then? Give it a few weeks or months to see if that is true."


It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!
RR17 #2830718 01/02/19 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by RR17
I do have a few questions regarding your sitch Steve. Do you believe that there was anything you could have done to prevent this latest BD in your sitch? Did you skip any steps or ignore any issues that may have helped bring you back?


Thanks for your response. Regarding your questions. I assume you mean BD just over a year ago? it is a good question, but I now think the answer is yes. I could have been the man I am today and that would have prevented BD.

I am not sure what your 2nd question means. Please expound. I don't want to presume and answer wrong.

Thanks RR. Your input is always so good, and I know you struggle yourself so it is nice to have a brother in arms in all of this.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
sandi2 #2830719 01/02/19 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by sandi2
For some reason, I can't use the full editor application, so I'll have to make do by using the Quick Reply. Here is a quote from the great Jack Three Beans for posters who move to the Piecing forum.


"IF anyone is coming here from Newcomers or MLC or any of the other forums, following 25 years, Starsky, me...anyone else and you think that the advice here is different...it is.

It is different. DO NOT take advice from Piecing and apply it to a newcomer situation. Do not apply it to god forbid an MLC situation.

Piecing is when both parties are (or say they are) committed to working on the realtionship and even then? Give it a few weeks or months to see if that is true."


Thanks sandi. Good stuff here. I will go back and read all of the stickies when I get some time to do so!


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
SteveLW #2831453 01/06/19 07:41 PM
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Did you skip any steps or ignore any issues that may have helped bring you back?


Sandi once made a whole list of requirements for reconciliation. The new platform makes it difficult to search or I would include a link. What I am asking is, do you think that you might have skipped any requirements in your first go-round that led to the second BD?


M 53 W 54, M since 98
D15, D19
8/2013 discovered EA, W maintained contact with OM
until 10/14
7/2/17 W said she wanted S, 7/25/17 moved out of MBR
12/17 W says moving out 5/18, W still in home.

SteveLW #2831477 01/07/19 02:01 AM
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RR that's what I thought you meant, but didn't want to assume. the answer is absolutely. In fact, after BD in 2005, once she said she didn't wasnt a D right away when I confronted her about the EA that I discovered, no work was done other than the requirement that she end the EA. She recommitted to the MR and for several years did alot of trying to improve our R. I got through the pain and went back to alot of bad habits. That contributed directly to BD 2017. And if I screw up again, forget what I've learned, and slip back into those behaviors I'm guaranteed BD#3 at some point and will end up D'd next time.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
SteveLW #2831488 01/07/19 03:07 AM
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Steve, you are an honorable man to own your faults. It has been discussed that the WW has to express or experience certain things as well. I wish I could find the thread. Alas, I remembered that I copied her list to notepad.

Quote
This list has some of the things the WW will need to do in order to reconcile, honestly and completely, with her H. If you see something that needs to be added, feel free. 

These are in no special order.

1). Consequences! And taking a hit with hard, maybe a painful loss of some kind.
2). Realizing the connection between her decisions with the consequences/loss.
3). Accepting responsibility for her decisions...and for every loss,
and every hurt she caused those she loves and who loves her.
4). Accepting and dealing with the consequences, without blaming anyone but herself.
5). Making a conscious choice to end her wayward direction and turn around.
6). Seeking guidance and/or spiritual counsel to guide her in how to cleanse her heart of the wrong attitudes, selfcenterness, resentment, rebellion.......whatever she carries that is unhealthy.
7). To be remorseful.  If necessary, even seek spiritual help, pray, whatever......to feel remorse for the destruction her decisions and feelings has caused her H.  She has to feel true remorse in order to emotionally reconcile and heal properly.
8). To completely forgive her H for everything in the past. To release the blame,anger, and hurt she held throughout their M.
9).  To be wiling to do whatever it takes for the MR to heal.
10). To agree and cooperate with the H's choice of transparency plan (accountability), sending a NC letter, having any medical tests, ending any friendships out of his request, (and of course, any contact with OM), place of employment, giving him requested information, attending MC, or anything else the H may request in order to ensure the success of their reconciliation, and the safety of the MR.
11). Accept/agree, without resentment, that she is in no position to give her H any "conditions" to her going back into the MR.  And, to accept without resentment, that the greatest level of work in piecing the M back together, must come from her.
12). To accept that it will take time for her healthy emotions to be restored.  To realize and accept she cannot measure the success of their progress by her feelings.
13). To be informed, and accept, that she must go through withdrawals from her AP, and could experience depression. She needs to understand this is normal, and not a sign that she will have never have feelings for H. 
13).  And the hardest one of all.........learn to forgive herself.

 Keep in mind, these things will not all come about at one time. Neither will she be able to know without someone guiding her.  It is really important she has help or coaching from an unbiased source who is pro-marriage and is familiar with piecing after an affair. 


M 53 W 54, M since 98
D15, D19
8/2013 discovered EA, W maintained contact with OM
until 10/14
7/2/17 W said she wanted S, 7/25/17 moved out of MBR
12/17 W says moving out 5/18, W still in home.

SteveLW #2831603 01/07/19 05:15 PM
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After BD#1, here is a point by point synopsis:

Quote

1). Consequences! And taking a hit with hard, maybe a painful loss of some kind.


This definitely happened. After BD in 2005 she lost a lot of freedom. She agreed to full disclosure. The most painful loss was the loss of OM. She went into about a 6 week withdrawal. It took several months before we were back to normal, but we eventually settled back into a new normal, which was very similar to the old normal except she was much more transparent. She also did a lot of reading trying to figure out how to fix things. She even did Love Dare at some point (I found out years later).

Quote

2). Realizing the connection between her decisions with the consequences/loss.


This one took the form of her realizing that she couldn't have and defend platonic friendships with males. She also realized that she had to make concessions with "freedom" and being transparent as a result of her actions.

Quote

3). Accepting responsibility for her decisions...and for every loss,
and every hurt she caused those she loves and who loves her.


This she did as well.

Quote

4). Accepting and dealing with the consequences, without blaming anyone but herself.


She definitely blamed herself. In fact that was a big difference in her post-BD#1 and post-BD#2. Post BD#1 she blamed herself exclusively. Post BD#2, she blamed me exclusively. It took weeks and MC to make her take responsibility herself.

Quote

5). Making a conscious choice to end her wayward direction and turn around.


This one didn't apply since she was not WW related to BD#1. She did turn around from her EA activities though.

Quote

6). Seeking guidance and/or spiritual counsel to guide her in how to cleanse her heart of the wrong attitudes, selfcenterness, resentment, rebellion.......whatever she carries that is unhealthy.


She did this.

Quote

7). To be remorseful. If necessary, even seek spiritual help, pray, whatever......to feel remorse for the destruction her decisions and feelings has caused her H. She has to feel true remorse in order to emotionally reconcile and heal properly.


She did feel remorseful. And while I think it was remorse at having been caught, initially, in the days that followed she realized she had jeopardized everything she had with me and was sorry for that and for hurting me.

Quote

8). To completely forgive her H for everything in the past. To release the blame,anger, and hurt she held throughout their M.


She did do this. A lot of it was that I had instituted changes. Unfortunately (more on this later) my changes were temporary just to save the MR rather then real and lasting.

Quote

9). To be wiling to do whatever it takes for the MR to heal.


She was. I, however, was not. She asked for IC and MC. At the time I didn't want to spend the money (our financial sitch was vastly different in 2005 than it is now). Again this was my fault, not hers.

Quote

10). To agree and cooperate with the H's choice of transparency plan (accountability), sending a NC letter, having any medical tests, ending any friendships out of his request, (and of course, any contact with OM), place of employment, giving him requested information, attending MC, or anything else the H may request in order to ensure the success of their reconciliation, and the safety of the MR.


She did this. I still have a copy of the email she sent. She ended the friendship, and went no contact. She did slip up on that once, but it was quickly squashed by OM AND, she later regretted even that. She wanted IC and MC but I refused.

Quote

11). Accept/agree, without resentment, that she is in no position to give her H any "conditions" to her going back into the MR. And, to accept without resentment, that the greatest level of work in piecing the M back together, must come from her.


Again, she did this but I only asked her to end the EA and have no contact with OM.

Quote

12). To accept that it will take time for her healthy emotions to be restored. To realize and accept she cannot measure the success of their progress by her feelings.


I think she did this but no way to know for sure. As once the EA was over I went back to pre-BD behavior.

Quote

13). To be informed, and accept, that she must go through withdrawals from her AP, and could experience depression. She needs to understand this is normal, and not a sign that she will have never have feelings for H.


She worked through this. Neither of us knew or understood this. I was more concerned that this meant she would never have feelings for me again, not her. In fact, she started making efforts to reignite the feelings. I was obtuse related to this.

Quote

13). And the hardest one of all.........learn to forgive herself.


I think she struggled with this the most.

After BD#1 she did a complete 180, immediately said she wanted to save the marriage, and started working towards that. She did have OM withdrawals. She processed through that better than I did.

The mistakes after BD#1 were almost exclusively on my side. I think I had trouble forgiving her. And I think I let that make me feel that she OWED me. I did mention it a few times over the next few years, but by 2010 never mentioned it. I had, however, gone back to my poor behavior as a H. Not empathizing with her, not listening to her, taking her for granted, being mean a surly, withdrawing into myself. By 2012 I had an HD TV in our MBR and would come home from work and spend all evening in there by myself. By 2017 I had become a pretty bad H other than providing for my family. Even then I nitpicked every single penny she spent. I was pretty bad.

BD#1 was on her (a lot of the worst behavior wasn't present pre-BD, though there was some.) BD#2 was mostly on me, looking back. Does that excuse her? Absolutely not. But the mistake I made after BD#1 was not doing the work I NEEDED to do. Not taking her up on IC and MC for us, and allowing myself to go back to pre-BD#1 behavior......and worse.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
SteveLW #2831669 01/07/19 09:33 PM
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Thanks. I hope others see this.


M 53 W 54, M since 98
D15, D19
8/2013 discovered EA, W maintained contact with OM
until 10/14
7/2/17 W said she wanted S, 7/25/17 moved out of MBR
12/17 W says moving out 5/18, W still in home.

RR17 #2831785 01/08/19 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by RR17
Thanks. I hope others see this.


Agreed. Much to learn from my two, very different BDs. Both initiated by me.

In the first, while I was far from perfect, it was more about her getting caught up in an EA with an old flame reconnected on social media, that just snowballed. He was married, unavailable, and she didn't want to leave me anyway. She immediately committed back to the MR. I got lazy again and my behavior became even worse. I eventually discovered another EA. This time she was full blown WW, and didn't want to save the MR. It took me doing my own work to finally get her to do her own work as well. It took a lot longer, was a lot harder, but I now realize that my changes have to be for life, and not just until the problems blow over.

I DB'd in both. But in the first my DBing was half-hearted and my 180s temporary. The learning here is that you as the LBS HAS to do the work, regardless of what your WAS/WS does.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
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Hi Steve,

How are things? I've been loosely following the boards in the last few weeks, but just haven't had the time to post to everyone. Between holidays, working OT, kids, travel, illness, etc, I just can't keep up! I am impressed how people, like yourself, can stay so committed to posting! Thank you for that.

So I have been thinking about you and your recent changes in perspective and desire to walkaway. I don't have a thread in the piecing forums so I thought I would put this here. We keep saying it's hard, but we don't say a lot more. I thought I would dig a bit deeper (as I advise everyone else to do) as to WHY it is hard, and harder in some ways, than DBing. For anyone reading here, I would suggest looking up Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs. I am sure that makes more sense than what I am going to attempt to explain!

My H has been back now for almost 4 years, and while we are not always "actively piecing," I think I can speak to it from the LBS perspective. In fact, IMHO, an important part of piecing is allowing yourself to second guess your commitment to the M and exploring those feelings. If you gloss over them or "force piecing" when you are not feeling it, I think you rug sweep something that needs to be addressed. If you do not address those issues, ultimately the LBS could become the WAS/WS. You might be getting a taste of that now. This has come up for me several times in the last 4 years. Now instead of acting on it, I dig a little deeper.

The shock of BD is devastating for all of us. The rug is essentially pulled out from under us and our entire life as we knew it changes. Many of us enter a stage of disillusion, anxiety, depression and desperation. That is how most Newcomers enter their sitch and thus the board. So there is no doubt that it is hard. It can feel unbearable. We read MWDs book and the links in Cadet's welcome thread. Some of us start posting and turn to the board, and some of us (myself included) just read in private for years.

For me, I did not create an acct, however I read for hours a day and found the advice/support through others that were in a similar position. I also read Sandi's rules daily and tried hard to follow them. I thought of them as my guide to just make it through the day. Because I was in a terrible crisis, I did not have the emotional bandwidth to do the greater task of self exploration. I was so wounded by his actions, that most of my focus was on wanting him back. I could not objectively think about what went wrong in the M and how I ended up here. Here lies the major difference between DBing and piecing. While DBing, I followed a set of rules, and felt as if I was in survival mode. Just getting dressed, getting through a work day, not falling apart, and taking care of my kids, and then sleeping through the night, was a challenge most days. I was at the bottom of the pyramid for many months.

The focus was on survival, following the rules, 180s, and GAL. I could not see clearly through my own fog, that him returning to the M would not fix my emotional damage. As Maslow explains, one cannot think about self actualization without basic safety! This pyramid on first glance is obvious, but a reminder we all need. How can you run a marathon without having had food, water or even oxygen?

Piecing is an entirely different animal. When my H pulled his head out of his rectum and left crazy XOW, of course there was an initial period of extreme relief. Perhaps it would be as if the doctor tells you that you have cancer and it is terminal, that you may have 6 months to live, only to later tell you that you are in complete remission and may live a full life. The emotional feelings of relief when the S returns to the M are indescribable. This for me lasted for a few weeks. As he continuously demonstrated his remorse and commitment to the M, I began to feel safe again. The safety, and detachment from the crisis period, allowed me to start seeing my sitch more clearly. I started to move up the pyramid. This is when a new kind of pain set in ...

As the months progressed, and I felt increasingly safe, my flog lifted and my perspective became more clear. As I moved up Maslow's pyramid, I was in a position to now see what had happened more broadly than just having become a victim. This devastation is less of a shock, but more of a dull ache with less and less periods of relief. The triggers were everywhere. And unlike DBing, there was no set of rules to follow. Reality stared me in the face and this was my new life, unlike the life I had created before BD. I chose a man to have a life and children with that is capable of the worst choices and here we are together again ....

The triggers were everywhere: in MC, during our conversations, when I saw a car that looked liked hers, when I saw HER, just driving down the highway on an average day, and waking up in a dark room with him laying there. While things may have looked normal, and yes, I got the guy, that dull ache and not knowing how to fix in was inescapable. Life went on, but the enjoyment was gone, and with a heaping side of resentment! This was not the man and life I had chosen.

If you are a LBS, and should be so "lucky" as us to have your S return, you would be a fool NOT to think about walking away. I said "think," and you really need to explore those thoughts. You owe it to your M and you owe it to yourself. The M was flawed before BD and it is even more flawed now, and that is the new reality. Because unlike a new R, where we don't really know if the person could cheat and abandon us, with our S, we know that they absolutely CAN and 100% DID. If that isn't a mind F, then I don't know what is. So if you decide to stay with someone after they return, there is work to be done and there is nothing fun or sexy about having to "work" on an R. The damage is 10 fold -- there is resentment now, there was a problem before, there is grieving the loss of what was and is now gone, there are triggers slapping you left and right and out of the blue, and then the "task" of creating something new. It can feel impossible at times.

I developed some very poor coping mechs in the last 4 years and I have also hurt my H a lot. I am not proud of it. I am changing, but I am still learning. I will say tho, that because so much time has passed, I don't have the same triggers, fears, or emotional responses to things that I did the first couple years. If I were to think about or see XOW, I would not feel much of anything, however I would more think something that includes pity for a what a mess she is. I think we are finally getting to place where we can discuss and address the bigger and more important aspects of our life and family, without as much emotional baggage. I still reserve my position that if I am going to leave my H, it will not be because of the mistakes he made, but it will be because we are no longer compatible.

And let's face it, we have all changed a lot during this process. We cannot really know if the new versions of ourselves will want to be together for another 10, 20, or 30 years. I am not disillusioned to what anyone is capable of anymore. But I also don't know what my perspective will be in the future. The silver lining for me is that this sitch has forced us both to really look at ourselves and our flaws and change. I think if we had maintained the old M without the BD, then we would have been our same selves. My hope is that the tools we are gaining in this mess will ultimately benefit us both personally and in our Rs in general. I hope what didn't kill me is making me stronger.

Hopefully you're all still awake .... Look up Maslow's pyramid. Good stuff.

Blu


“Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.” – Nelson Mandela
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Blue, excellent post. Very well said. I think the only thing I'd add that while working hard on a R is not sexy, it is absolutely essential. Most of us ended up in our sitches because we stopped working on the R. And while I agree we now know this person we're are with is capable of cheating on us, in some respect they didn't cheat on us because we weren't trying anymore. I know that comment will be controversial here, because we often say and I truly believe that nothing justifies adultery. But I hope people understand what I mean. In a way we were no longer together with that person. In my sitch I had allowed MR to get to the point where we were living separate lives. Would this person have cheated on me if we were connected, in sync, and part of each of our lives the way we were early on? I would say no. Is that true in everyone's case? No. But most adultery is a symptom of bigger problems in the marriage.

So the point is that we should never stop working. During limerance that work comes easy. After that in love phase it takes an effort. When we stop trying that is when there is a greater chance of one spouse stepping out of the marriage. I'd recommend anyone that is feeling the way I recently felt to deal with it properly. When I felt that before I allowed it to make me stop trying. To give up. To pull inward. To start behaving as a single person as if I had walked away. That jeopardized my marriage and allowed for a greater chance of infidelity.

This time I handled it differently. I tried to work on me and the MR rather than giving up. I tried to understand why I felt the way I did. I kept up with the self exploration and tried to grow through it. The book I'm reading talks about this in how to affair proof your marriage. And most of it is in self differentiating in healthy ways. I think that fits right in with what you are talking about here. You can't have a healthy marriage until you have a healthy self. That includes addressing your self esteem and dealing with the feelings you have, positive and negative, the right way.


Last edited by Steve85; 01/12/19 05:52 PM.

M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
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I completely agree with you Steve. My H and I were living separate lives. Originally we were “tag teaming” on weekends with child care and while that gave one of us a break, we forgot about the importance of spending time together to keep the connection between us. Unfortunately, I know this now in hindsight. If I ever find myself in another long term relationship, I won’t make that mistake again. Good for you for having the maturity to self reflect and do the work. When the two of you are through this, your marriage will be better and stronger than it ever was before. I think you are both blessed to have this second chance and glad you are not wasting it. (((HUGS)))


Me 53
H 48
B/G Twins 13
SD 21
Legal SA - January 2019
Divorce filed - June 2019
Divorce final - November 2019

Together 14 years
Married 12 years
BD1 - May 2014
BD2 - September 14, 2018

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Everyone, I am in tears typing this. I didn't want to put this in the newcomers because I know a lot of posters there are hurting today, and struggling. But my wife handed me a card tonight. It said on the front:

Not only am I glad we found each other.....

Then you open it and it says:

I'm glad we've never let go.

I can't believe it. If you had told me last year that this year I would get a card like this from her I would not have believed you at all! I am so humbled, and happy. I can't help but have tears well up thinking about it and reading this card.

I feel so blessed.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
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Super happy for you Steve!!! Hope you had a great evening with your W. smile


Me 53
H 48
B/G Twins 13
SD 21
Legal SA - January 2019
Divorce filed - June 2019
Divorce final - November 2019

Together 14 years
Married 12 years
BD1 - May 2014
BD2 - September 14, 2018

SteveLW #2837482 02/15/19 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve85
Everyone, I am in tears typing this. I didn't want to put this in the newcomers because I know a lot of posters there are hurting today, and struggling. But my wife handed me a card tonight. It said on the front:

Not only am I glad we found each other.....

Then you open it and it says:

I'm glad we've never let go.

I can't believe it. If you had told me last year that this year I would get a card like this from her I would not have believed you at all! I am so humbled, and happy. I can't help but have tears well up thinking about it and reading this card.

I feel so blessed.


Steve85, that was the sweetest card, you are blessed. You give me hope that maybe there is a sliver of a chance that my sitch will improve.

I also ageee with you upthread when you were talking about how we should always be working on the R. That’s the biggest lesson I learned from my sitch.

Glad things are going better for you!


Original BD: 10/26/2017
PA: 10/2017 - 11/2017
Second BD: 09/15/2018
Currently: IHS
M: 42 H: 45
S: 22 lives on his own D: 18 away at college S: 15 still lives at home - the only child we share together
SteveLW #2837745 02/17/19 08:07 PM
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Wonderful to hear! It gives me hope that the long haul does indeed have promise.


M: 56
H: 57
S: 22
D: 20

H Moved out: 10/1/18
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Wonderful to hear! It gives me hope that the long haul does indeed have promise.


M: 56
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S: 22
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H Moved out: 10/1/18
SteveLW #2895637 05/22/20 02:59 PM
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So we are solidly 2 years into piecing and I have to tell you, it has been a roller-coaster ride. I documented in the newcomer thread from late last summer, where I found messages between my W and another guy from an online game. It was pretty innocent but it was obvious to me that this guy, that lives in Canada, was smitten with her. For her part she wasn't really reciprocating, but she was really enjoying the attention.

I confronted, she was immediately remorseful. I pretty much told her that I was done with that behavior, that while I shared responsibility for her EAs in the past, this time this thing was all on her. And that I was not interested in having to worry about this kind of thing for the rest of my life.

She did a complete 180. When we first started piecing she was resistant to complete transparency. This time all of that changed. She gave me complete access to her phone, PC, PWs for all accounts, etc. I made it clear to her that I was not interested in having to keep tabs on her. But I have to say, her actions afterward spoke volumes! It was clear that she valued our MR and wanted to do whatever she could to make sure I was aware of that and that she was willing to do whatever it took to show that.

The one 180 I did out of it was I decided to be more forthcoming with compliments and words of affection. That is her primary love-language and I took this minor indiscretion as a sign that I needed to make sure I was keeping that love tank full.

The turnaround since then has been astounding. Our MR is better than it has ever been. I work hard at it, and while date night is much harder now in the COVID world, I still make sure we spend plenty of quality time together. I make sure I am providing her that level of words of affection she needs to feel love and fulfilled. She has begun to be much more forthcoming with the physical touch. Our sex life is the best is has been since we were newlyweds! I am amazed all the time at the improvements in our MR.

I really think the first year she was piecing, she was always expected the OLD Steve85 to come back. I think it took her a good year and a half to trust that the positive changes that I instituted during our sitch at the end of 2017, beginning of 2018 were real, sincere, and permanent. And once she could fully trust that the new Steve85 was the real Steve85, she opened up to me like she hadn't been in almost 20 years!

Anyway, that's the update right now. Piecing is a long process. After 2 years I believe w are still piecing, and possibly will be for the rest of our lives. But the results are work the efforts.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
SteveLW #2918423 05/03/21 11:57 AM
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Quick update from me.

Things continue to go well. We actually bonded more through the COVID crap. I know the lockdowns and being cooped up had 1 of 3 affects on families. No impact (some didn't notice anything different!). Made things worse (families that didn't react well to being confined together so much). Or brought them closer together. The latter was us. Even my D was embracing more family time as we treaded through the pandemic. We found that carry-out affords a lot of opportunity to sit down and talk without the hustle bustle and noise of a restaurant! And it is more private too.

Wife and I hit a snag in the sex dept. She has developed two bad shoulders. Her range of motion is really limited and movement and motion seems to really aggravate the pain. If this had happened pre-BD I would not have dealt with it well at all. But now I do not take it as a personal affront! We both know she will get over this and we will get back to regular intimacy. And it has caused intimacy in different ways. She often needs help with dressing and undressing due to the problem, and that closeness of her allowing me to help with that is very nice. Another thing that would not have occurred during BD.

So we continue to move forward, and each day seems to bring us even closer together than we were before. It is amazing that something like what we went through was necessary in order for us to wake up to how bad things had become, and motivate us to turn it around.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
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Dealing with a feeling of "now what" lately. Maybe it's our daughter graduating and getting ready to head off to college. Idk. I've actually been wondering how life could be different if I had made a different decision. I've had this on and off but it's been a little stronger lately.

I've also been a bit lax on GAL the last few months, I need to amp that back up.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
SteveLW #2920545 06/28/21 05:53 PM
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Honestly this is one of my biggest fears. We get to a point where it's just the two of us and then what? We have the luxury of never having a MR where it was just the two of us. So for us the novelty of it will push us through for a little while. But the converse of that is also true, you did have a MR that was once just you two. What about that time would you like to recapture? What kind of things do you guys want to do in this next phase in your lives individually and together?

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Oh and do you guys talk about that? Retirement, travel, later in life starts?

SteveLW #2920563 06/29/21 01:46 AM
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Good questions. To be honest our marriage wasn't great in the beginning before or daughter. We had a great courtship, but right away after marriage we fell into the classic mistakes so many couples make. I expected sex, I started having NGS tendencies. She started to feel like the only thing I wanted was sex. So she started withholding it. I then started withholding all other affection and intimacy. And it just snowballed from there. Then she went off the pill and got pregnant. We list the first baby, it was devastating and actually brought us closer together briefly. Then she got pregnant again and our daughter was born. Things just got worse and worse after that.

And no, we haven't really discussed what comes next yet. We will. Travel sounds good, but we've always had pets that have made it difficult to do. Our pets are older now and we probably don't have much time left with them. We will probably get more info travel once they've passed on.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
SteveLW #2920580 06/29/21 12:47 PM
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I mean I can see why the anxiety is there your D is a buffer and kind of a stop keep on spending much time looking backward. But with her gone, the opportunity for it to all slide back to exactly the way it was can feel greater. I think it would be best to focus on how much different your MR is now than it was in that time. And how different the 2 of you are. I think maybe having some conversations about life after kid would be great date night fodder. And maybe in true DB fashion you can take some time by yourself to think about what you had wanted this phase in your life to look like and what you now think you'd like this phase in your life to look like. What does Steve want between now and retirement? What does Steve want in retirement? What does that look like? What kind of steps would it take to get you there? Life seems to move so much more quickly as I age. Things that seemed years away sneak up on me now. Years long plans don't feel so far out and long lasting as they did. Just food for thought.

SteveLW #2920677 06/30/21 01:36 PM
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Yeah, I will discuss all of that with her. I have had those conversations in my own head though. I have a pretty clear plan. Some of it is investment based. If my investments do well, then I will actually retire fairly quickly (next 2-3 years). So we will see (cross-fingers!).

If not I have a little over 7 years left. Crazy I am actually considering retirement! Life goes so fast.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
SteveLW #2921873 07/26/21 06:06 PM
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Steve, I could see that as both exciting and scary. Kids definitely provide a reason NOT to divorce and a reason to reconcile. My XW's desire to R was based on giving our kids a "real home and family"--her words, not mine as I believe our kids already have those. I do suspect having a shared vision of the future that works for both of you would help immensely. Not that I ever got as far as you in marriage, so props, you have obviously been doing some things right. (:



SteveLW #2922699 08/25/21 01:59 PM
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Thanks CW. We are heading home now from dropping my D 2300 miles away for school. W is driving while I work from the car. She was pretty strong when we left but really broke down last night in the hotel. She's better today but a emotional. I think when we get home tomorrow she'll have a hard time.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
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All my love to you guys!! My commuter student is currently very irritable at her 2nd day of a 6 day orientation as her school doesn't really pay attention to their commuter population since they have such a large on campus population including grad and law students. I'm blessed I don't have to say goodbye this year. But accepting that she's like a real adult and I'm basically on the clock for how much longer I have her is finally starting to hit.

SteveLW #2922962 08/31/21 12:20 PM
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WF, yes you are blessed! I cannot believe how much I am missing my D already! I am so looking forward to Christmas for her to come home for a few weeks.

On the piecing front, what a difference a few years make. Prior to BD in 2017 I was plotting my own escape once my D was 18 and in college. Now I cannot believe how close my W and I are. The last almost 3 years we've been closer and have had a better marriage than at any point in our 24 1/2 years together. I wish I had been more mature and knew about NGS way back then, and then we could have had going on 23 years of wedded bliss. But as Bon Jovi said: I can promise you tomorrow, but I can't buy back yesterday.

So I continue to just learn, grow, and improve as much as I can. I love our playfulness. I love how much more secure I am in our R. I love how much better our dynamic is. To go from the edge of D 3 years ago to being in a place where D isn't even a consideration has been an amazing journey. Admittedly, I had a lot more work to do on myself than she did, but the fact that she has been willing to work on herself and on our marriage as well just endears her to me more and more.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
SteveLW #2923625 09/16/21 08:17 PM
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Hi Steve,

I thought I'd bring this convo over to your thread:

Originally Posted by SteveLW
May, very profound and well said. Though I do tend to disagree a bit here. SSM are rarely all one spouses fault. Maybe yours is in the rare category. But usually SSMs follow a similar path. The LD spouse starts avoiding, turning down, making excuses for not having sex. The HD spouse then gets bitter, angry, resentful and this causes them to behave in ways that further perpetuate the SSM. After all, the LD spouse is already struggling wanting sex, so when the HD becomes mean, short-tempered, stops helping with the kids and around the house, withdrawn, etc, the LD spouse now wants to have sex even less than they did before!

I didn't mean to say that it was 100% my fault-- I actually think we are equally to blame and we followed the exact path you lay out above. (Scary, really.) And PT is his primary LL, and it got to a point where anytime he touched me it felt like code for let's have sex, so I would flinch away. He's said, half- seriously, when we bought two couches for the TV room that was a major negative influence on our R, since we stopped cuddling on one couch to watch TV and instead each had our own.

Anyway, while I do think he bears responsibility (and we haven't really dug into this in therapy yet), I also totally own my part in it too. I didn't realize how important it was to him. I didn't realize what I was communicating to him with my actions. And I feel pretty badly when I put myself in his shoes. (Of course, none of this in any way excuses his behavior, and we also had other issues around communication, etc that need work.)

Originally Posted by SteveLW
As the HD partner, I am always going to want sex more than my W. But what a difference the last 3 years since R have been. I dropped all the passive-aggressive, resentful behaviors over when she doesn't want to have sex. I remain the same upbeat, helpful, partner whether we had sex last night or whether we did not! And what a difference it makes. We now have sex quite regularly, but there are the odd time when she just isn't feeling up to it. But I do not let it change me being the best spouse that I can be! Our dynamic is 100% better because I don't act like a jerk about the occasional rejection.

Steve, this is so great! It's so funny. Before all this happened, my H would roll in after work, not really help with dinner or the kids (he'd do some but mostly in response to my requests, not taking the initiative to handle things himself). He'd lay around and watch TV or go into his office and do work and I felt like I handled the lion's share of all the household work (I worked full time too). Then when we went to bed he'd start rubbing my back for 30 seconds and be surprised when I wasn't leaping into his arms. I had fifty million things on my mind with the kids and work and he was basically behaving like a third child for me to manage-- that is NOT sexy. Now, sometimes I'll come home from work and he's already gotten the kids from school, is making dinner, doesn't let me help, says to put my feet up and brings me a cocktail. Now THAT is sexy. (As I reread this, it sounds like he is a 50s housewife... it isn't like that every day for sure. We're pretty equal partners generally and other days I do most of this same stuff. But he also knows that my job is higher stress than his and is willing to go above and beyond to give me a break when I need it, which is nice.)

Question for you-- did you guys have explicit conversations about the SSM and your desire to have more frequent sex? Or was this more like you just changed your response and she responded positively? Has it been pretty consistent since you've been piecing or have there been harder times?


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2
may22 #2923645 09/17/21 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by may22
Hi Steve,

I thought I'd bring this convo over to your thread:

Originally Posted by SteveLW
May, very profound and well said. Though I do tend to disagree a bit here. SSM are rarely all one spouses fault. Maybe yours is in the rare category. But usually SSMs follow a similar path. The LD spouse starts avoiding, turning down, making excuses for not having sex. The HD spouse then gets bitter, angry, resentful and this causes them to behave in ways that further perpetuate the SSM. After all, the LD spouse is already struggling wanting sex, so when the HD becomes mean, short-tempered, stops helping with the kids and around the house, withdrawn, etc, the LD spouse now wants to have sex even less than they did before!

I didn't mean to say that it was 100% my fault-- I actually think we are equally to blame and we followed the exact path you lay out above. (Scary, really.) And PT is his primary LL, and it got to a point where anytime he touched me it felt like code for let's have sex, so I would flinch away. He's said, half- seriously, when we bought two couches for the TV room that was a major negative influence on our R, since we stopped cuddling on one couch to watch TV and instead each had our own.

Anyway, while I do think he bears responsibility (and we haven't really dug into this in therapy yet), I also totally own my part in it too. I didn't realize how important it was to him. I didn't realize what I was communicating to him with my actions. And I feel pretty badly when I put myself in his shoes. (Of course, none of this in any way excuses his behavior, and we also had other issues around communication, etc that need work.)

Originally Posted by SteveLW
As the HD partner, I am always going to want sex more than my W. But what a difference the last 3 years since R have been. I dropped all the passive-aggressive, resentful behaviors over when she doesn't want to have sex. I remain the same upbeat, helpful, partner whether we had sex last night or whether we did not! And what a difference it makes. We now have sex quite regularly, but there are the odd time when she just isn't feeling up to it. But I do not let it change me being the best spouse that I can be! Our dynamic is 100% better because I don't act like a jerk about the occasional rejection.

Steve, this is so great! It's so funny. Before all this happened, my H would roll in after work, not really help with dinner or the kids (he'd do some but mostly in response to my requests, not taking the initiative to handle things himself). He'd lay around and watch TV or go into his office and do work and I felt like I handled the lion's share of all the household work (I worked full time too). Then when we went to bed he'd start rubbing my back for 30 seconds and be surprised when I wasn't leaping into his arms. I had fifty million things on my mind with the kids and work and he was basically behaving like a third child for me to manage-- that is NOT sexy. Now, sometimes I'll come home from work and he's already gotten the kids from school, is making dinner, doesn't let me help, says to put my feet up and brings me a cocktail. Now THAT is sexy. (As I reread this, it sounds like he is a 50s housewife... it isn't like that every day for sure. We're pretty equal partners generally and other days I do most of this same stuff. But he also knows that my job is higher stress than his and is willing to go above and beyond to give me a break when I need it, which is nice.)

First, let me say, WOW. All of that sounds soooooo familiar. Your dynamics were very very similar to our dynamics. Any affection I showed her she would recoil from thinking "oh he wants to have sex!". And admittedly I had become pretty bad at showing any affection outside of the bedroom. Again, due to the resentfulness, anger and bitterness.

Now I show a lot of non-sexual affection, genuinely and sincerely. I also should point out that I have actually turned her down a couple of times, legitimately, from being really tired or not feeling well that night/morning.

Another WOW for me is the couches! We had a similar thing occur after I got my recliner. Amazing the parallels!



Originally Posted by may22
Question for you-- did you guys have explicit conversations about the SSM and your desire to have more frequent sex? Or was this more like you just changed your response and she responded positively? Has it been pretty consistent since you've been piecing or have there been harder times?

We have talked about it. And we both acknowledge that the dynamic is so much better because our overall MR is so much better. IC for me, MC for us also helped a lot. I had gotten to a pretty selfish worldview and IC really opened my eyes up to that. A lot of it was because I felt isolated and alone in the MR. Learning to be more empathetic, and remembering that I love this woman really helped too. It really is amazing how much better of a MR it is when you keep the other person ahead of yourself in priority.

But I do think that my change in response was huge. As the bald TV Texan asks "How was resentfulness, bitterness and anger working for you?" The answer was that it wasn't! That behavior caused our MR to be ticking time-bomb. When it exploded it was going to be a disaster, a mess. Not sure if you remember my sitch or not, but I actually initiated BD, she hadn't gotten to the point where she was ready to BD me. I think that actually helped me in DBing and made our outcome a little more likely to move to R, but I did wake up to how lousy of a H I had become.

It has been pretty consistent since piecing and Ring. When she first opened up to the idea of Ring, if you read my threads, she was initiating almost every night and every morning...for a couple of weeks. Since then we've fallen into a more consistent routine of once a week on average, except for when both of her rotator cuffs were injured. But I've been pleased with our sex life for last 3+ years. It has been way better than any other point in our MR.


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M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
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