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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2890859#Post2890859

Quick summary

12 months of limbo Mar 2019-Mar 2020. Confused WAH; on/off EA, ILYB
Separated Mar 2020, currently 11 weeks, in COVID lockdown the whole time
May 31st 2020 WAH has asked me to take him back. Im considering what to do and how to handle this.

Last post on Part 3:

So I have seen H today and he has asked if I will take him back.

I asked what has changed in the last couple of weeks. He said he cant explain but something has flicked a switch and he realises he loves me and is in love with me. He says things he couldnt imagine before (us as lovers) he can now see . He wants to be my husband, to shower me with love, affection, be my lover, do all the things to make me feel special. He says hes been so focussed on me and my role in the relationship that he has overlooked his role, and his contribution to making the M work. He wants to be my partner as we grow older.

I said its not as simple as just taking him back, and I need to think about what I want. I said we have danced this dance (pursuer-distanced) many times before and I dont want to play anymore. He said he can see how it has been, that hes always felt love for me but something missing has held him back. Now he feels like everything he wants is right there.

The cynic inside should be asking how can you just flick a switch to turn on your feeling again, but I can 100% vouch for the fact that it is possible. 15 months ago we went out for dinner, we were at rock bottom, we hated each other, we hadnt been intimate for a year and I was convinced the conversation would be about D/S. What actually happened was we had a brilliant night, I saw the man I had fallen in love with, we ended up in bed for a whole weekend and it felt amazing and I was in love again. Unfortunately he found it hard to,understand how I could go from no sex for a year to wanting him so much literally overnight. ( It was about a month after that that I found out about the EA. )

In spite of that, I am wary. I feel in control, I feel like I have seen glimpses of my original H, the one I loved deeply, not the sh1tbag of the last 12 months.

He got very emotional explaining about how he felt and how he had hurt me. But now he is seeing the me that he fell in love with, the confident, happy person. He wants to be a proper husband, and treat me the way I deserve. He wants to love me and for me to love him in the way he wants to love me.

He came back to the house after the walk and helped me finish the patio heater. I dropped him home and we pecked on the lips and that was it.

I feel a bit giddy, excited perhaps. This is definitely the most genuine I have seen him in 12 months of wishy-washy confusion. All it seems to have taken is a dress and a pair of heels! No discussion or Qs about if I had OM. I feel calm but a little bit fearful of him changing his mind. He said he feels certain. But Ive heard that before.

So DBers....what next? How do I play this?

Last edited by Pommy99; 05/31/20 11:04 PM.

M:49 H:49
T:20 M:18
D:16 D:14

EA: Feb 2019-May 2020
Separated: Mar-early Aug 2020
H asked to reconcile: Jun 2020
EA relapse: Oct/Nov 2020
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So DBers....what next? How do I play this?


Very, very slowly.

The wisest information Ive seen on this board is believe none of what they say, and only half of what they do.

I would tell him you need time and then think about it for a week or two. Then Id sit down and very simply and calmly explain that you want the marriage too, but that his actions have broken your trust. The only way back from here is for that trust to be built very slowly, over time - through actions rather than words. Explain you wont go back to how things were, and something completely new needs to be built from the ground up. Then thank him for listening and get up and on with your day. Dont get drawn into a long relationship talk. His actions from that point forward will show you if hes genuine.

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Hi Pommy,

Wow. Big news! smile Some thoughts for you-- you might read or re-read AlisonUK and BluWave's threads. Alison had a similar sitch to you, H with an EA, S for some time, and I know she feels like she took him back too quickly. Blu's sitch was much harder (H had a full-on A, living with AP, etc) and she set very firm boundaries before she let him back, he didn't move back in right away, etc.

For you, I might just spend some time thinking really seriously about what YOU need in order to feel secure about taking this next step. What do you need to see from him in order to feel like this is different from the last time? it sounds different, for sure (though I'd also be annoyed at him telling the kids before talking to you-- that smacks a bit of unclear judgment/desperation). I also wonder if he's really freaking out about the possibility of losing you to an OM. I definitely think that can spark the pursuer in him and he's frantic not to lose you. I guess the big question is did his light switch turn on for real and is he willing to do all the hard work to be the H you deserve, vs once he feels secure again in your R and OM is no longer a threat will he backtrack.

I definitely think you did the right thing in not just taking him back. I know everyone here is going to caution you to take your time, and I agree. However, I do think it is important for you to decide what you will and will not accept, what behaviors you want to see from him, how to protect the kids from too much whiplash. Will he take a local job and stop the traveling? What's he going to do about the EAP? How does he think he can regain your trust after the lies?

When my H finally made his decision, the thing that stood out to me that was really different was that previously it had all been about emotion, what he wanted, how he felt, what he didn't want to miss out on. There was no logic, no real thought put into the realities of S/D, just this fantasy of being best friends and still the perfect dad while living next door with AP. He is logical to a fault in real life and in all other scenarios. (Annoying to argue with.) When he made his final decision, it was very logical, focusing on his responsibilities and the right thing to do by to the kids, me, himself and even the AP. It was one of the main reasons I felt he was serious about his decision-- but I also tried to not put too much stock in it, but to let it be and see if his actions followed his word.

It sounds like you're seeing your H back again, which is great. But he also sounds really emotional and flowery and I just want to ask you-- is this him at the core? Or is he possibly swinging a bit manic into the perfect H and telling you everything you want to hear? I'm not saying this to doubt him or his intentions. I just think he might be reacting out of fear of losing you right now and you know him best to be able to judge how solid this, and what you'll need to see from him in order to have that confidence.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
The cynic inside should be asking how can you just flick a switch to turn on your feeling again, but I can 100% vouch for the fact that it is possible. 15 months ago we went out for dinner, we were at rock bottom, we hated each other, we hadnt been intimate for a year and I was convinced the conversation would be about D/S. What actually happened was we had a brilliant night, I saw the man I had fallen in love with, we ended up in bed for a whole weekend and it felt amazing and I was in love again. Unfortunately he found it hard to,understand how I could go from no sex for a year to wanting him so much literally overnight. ( It was about a month after that that I found out about the EA. )


As an aside-- I had a very, very similar experience with my H last Feb, where I walked away feeling like I *saw* him again for the first time in years, let go of a bunch of resentment, and wanted him again. (My H had a similar reaction to yours as well). So I also totally know how that can happen. It doesn't negate all the hard work you'll both have to do, but I agree it is possible.


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
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Originally Posted by may22
Hi Pommy,
For you, I might just spend some time thinking really seriously about what YOU need in order to feel secure about taking this next step. What do you need to see from him in order to feel like this is different from the last time? it sounds different, for sure (though I'd also be annoyed at him telling the kids before talking to you-- that smacks a bit of unclear judgment/desperation). I also wonder if he's really freaking out about the possibility of losing you to an OM. I definitely think that can spark the pursuer in him and he's frantic not to lose you. I guess the big question is did his light switch turn on for real and is he willing to do all the hard work to be the H you deserve, vs once he feels secure again in your R and OM is no longer a threat will he backtrack.
May, these fears are very real. I am scared of him backtracking again. I am scared that his motives aren't genuine. We are still in lockdown, and even once restrictions are eased, socialising and getting back to work are a long way off. My company has today notified us that we need to plan to WFH until at least end of September. H's company will be the same, and there is no way he will be going to the city for a long time. I do worry if he's coming back through circumstance - realising he's possibly not going to strike up any new relationships, social life any time soon and it's a case of stick with me or be lonely for a long time. That's the side that sees the negatives. Then there are the positives, talking about growing old with me, wanting to love me and be the husband he hasn't been, wanting me to love him back. That's the side I've not seen in any of the pursuer-distancer games. His pursuing has very much been " I dont want you but I cant let you go" up to now.

I do possibly think seeing me happy, confident, knowing that I'm talking to another [successful] guy, being made to feel special, etc has made him realise that I am desirable to other men, and if he doesnt pull his finger out he will lose me. What sticks with me is that he always said before we separated is that he really needs to feel like his lost me in order to know if he wants me. He also said he would only come back if he knew it would be forever as he could never put me through this again. I hope this is genuine.

I've just received the most amazing bouquet of flowers. They are anonymous. But they are my favourite flower (had them in my wedding bouquet) and only he would know that.

Wow, I could get used to this!!


Originally Posted by may22
I definitely think you did the right thing in not just taking him back. I know everyone here is going to caution you to take your time, and I agree. However, I do think it is important for you to decide what you will and will not accept, what behaviors you want to see from him, how to protect the kids from too much whiplash. Will he take a local job and stop the traveling? What's he going to do about the EAP? How does he think he can regain your trust after the lies?

When my H finally made his decision, the thing that stood out to me that was really different was that previously it had all been about emotion, what he wanted, how he felt, what he didn't want to miss out on. There was no logic, no real thought put into the realities of S/D, just this fantasy of being best friends and still the perfect dad while living next door with AP. He is logical to a fault in real life and in all other scenarios. (Annoying to argue with.) When he made his final decision, it was very logical, focusing on his responsibilities and the right thing to do by to the kids, me, himself and even the AP. It was one of the main reasons I felt he was serious about his decision-- but I also tried to not put too much stock in it, but to let it be and see if his actions followed his word.


Do you think my H is showing similar to yours? Up until now it's been about what he wants, what I'm not, what he doesnt feel. Now it's about what he can do for me, what role he wants to play as a husband, what he contributes to the M.

We've got to get the balance right between talking about our boundaries, requirements etc and just actually enjoying each other's company. We are so battle-weary and I think both of us are more than ready to unchain ourselves from the constant negativity of the last year. We are exhausted.

I think Wayfarer mentioned on one of your posts recently that whilst not seeing a MC, to keep to a weekly timeslot to discuss the R, and keep it off the table for the rest of the week. I think I would like to do that. In the meantime, just have some time being in each other's company. Truth be known, I feel completely blind right now - I have no idea how to move forward and potentially end a separation. I need to read my DB book!


Originally Posted by may22
It sounds like you're seeing your H back again, which is great. But he also sounds really emotional and flowery and I just want to ask you-- is this him at the core? Or is he possibly swinging a bit manic into the perfect H and telling you everything you want to hear? I'm not saying this to doubt him or his intentions. I just think he might be reacting out of fear of losing you right now and you know him best to be able to judge how solid this, and what you'll need to see from him in order to have that confidence.
Do you think he sounds flowery? In what way? Do you think his fear of losing me is NOT a good reason to want to come back? I dont think he has ever been overtly emotional, and I think he has struggled through our M to express his emotions, and perhaps that is also my fault if he felt that I havent been there for him in that way. I dont think either of us have been good at expressing our needs or understanding what we can do for each other. We both seem to be in a better place right now of knowing what we want and what we want to contribute to a M.


M:49 H:49
T:20 M:18
D:16 D:14

EA: Feb 2019-May 2020
Separated: Mar-early Aug 2020
H asked to reconcile: Jun 2020
EA relapse: Oct/Nov 2020
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Hi Pommy,

All my advice needs to be taken with a big, giant grain of salt for a few reasons-- one, I'm projecting a lot on your sitch from my own, and while there are a lot of surface similarities, I don't know your H the way I know my own. They may be acting the same way but driven by different mechanisms... so you need to pick and choose what makes sense in your own situation, with your own R and your own H. Second, I'm really still very much in the thick of it. I do believe that my H has ended his A and is committed to working on our R, but I don't necessarily think that we're "piecing", whatever that means-- we haven't even talked about what our vision(s) of M2.0 would be like, let alone constructed a shared goal; he hasn't fallen desperately back in love with me; he isn't fitting that picture of the remorseful, rock-bottom WH who would do absolutely anything to get me back. Maybe I spend too much time thinking of what things SHOULD look like from what I read here... but I just feel we both have a lot of work to do, and a lot is on his side and not within my control. And I see the repeat LBSs on the boards here and have trepidation about our path... so I just don't want to come off like I know what I'm talking about, because I'm working through all the same things too, maybe just a few months ahead of you.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
Do you think my H is showing similar to yours? Up until now it's been about what he wants, what I'm not, what he doesnt feel. Now it's about what he can do for me, what role he wants to play as a husband, what he contributes to the M.


Originally Posted by Pommy99
Do you think he sounds flowery? In what way? Do you think his fear of losing me is NOT a good reason to want to come back? I don't think he has ever been overtly emotional, and I think he has struggled through our M to express his emotions, and perhaps that is also my fault if he felt that I havent been there for him in that way.


With all those caveats in place, I think it is a good sign that he's focusing on his own behavior and what he'd need to do or change in your R, rather than the "you aren't sexy enough" kind of stuff he was in before. And the flowery language may just be a projection on my end because if I heard it from my H I'd be wondering what was up-- I guess I would just ask you to think back and see if this sounds like him and his usual decision-making process, or if there is a chance his pendulum is just swinging back in the other direction.

I generally feel like making decisions out of emotion is not a good way to make decisions, especially big ones. Fear can be a decent motivator but I don't think it is a good basis for such a big decision as S/D or not... just like you don't want fear of losing him to be your primary motivator for staying, you don't want it to be his primary motivator either. There also needs to be the positive of what you're building TOWARDS, not just what you're worried about losing. It does sound like he's talking in that arena which is great. Now, what do YOU want to see in your M2.0 and what will it take for him to show you he's up for it?

In your situation, your H did leave and pulled that major trigger, so I feel like you actually have more control over the situation than I did in terms of navigating him coming back. (I know that was a choice on my part.) So I guess I am just suggesting you take the time to really unpack what you want in an H and what you need to see from him in order to feel secure that his shift is real and not temporary. The work of piecing is difficult for both of you, they'll be ups and downs, and he's got to be personally just as committed to the end goal as you. Up until now, he's been waffling and very much focused on what he wants/needs and how you weren't meeting them rather than what work he needs to do in order to build M2.0 together with you. I think that is a very encouraging move... but you just want to feel confident it is not transient and will fade as he gets less fearful, or as things open up with the lockdown and he is again able to get out and about with other people. Or, when you work through piecing and things get difficult, that he'll give up too easily.

You got this, Pommy. Just take your time, do what is right for YOU and the kids, on your timeline. Stay in the driver's seat. I think as long as he knows you aren't cutting him off completely, he'll continue to work towards R if it is for real. Also, the flowers are a nice touch and cute that he sent them anonymously. smile


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
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I agree with May, Pommy, take your time!

In fact, the longer you take, the more attractive you become to H as he sits with his desire for reconciliation and the question of whether or not you will ever take him back. Not in a 'game' sense, but for you to rest assured that you are now in the power seat and can take your time making the best decision for YOU.

Have you ever created a list, even in your head, of the changes that H would need to make for you to let him back in your life? Are they written down? A good first step would be to write it all out. On Wooba's thread I mentioned how a friend of mine was taught to write her intentions and visions of the future in the present tense. 'I am', 'I have', 'It is', 'I feel' are good starting points. From there you may be able to distill the steps that your H will need to take to reach the present tense future self of yours (oof, that's an existential mouthful, sorry).

One thing that I would request from my H if we were to ever to get to the point you are at is to woo me (good first step with those lovely flowers from your H, BTW). Date me. Convince me that you are truly the one for me. If this is really M 2.0, then why lose the opportunity for the limerence, the flirting, the sexual tension, the heady 'I might be falling in love' feelings? This is an upside to an actual physical S, you have separate spaces and can date again. There is nothing better than a great date night where you go to separate beds thinking about each other and what you want to do to them the next time you see them, right? But we're not 20-somethings anymore and you actually DO know this person, so there is none of the awkwardness of our youth getting in the way. Sounds kind of dreamy, really.

And in your situation (I am in the same) where the (supposed) lack of sexual chemistry has been used by H as an impetus for the decline in your M, milk it for all it's worth. Take advantage of that limerence, the unrequited sexual chemistry and leaving things on that last passionate kiss instead of taking it all the way. For your own psychosexual enjoyment, of course, but also as a reminder to you both that the chemistry it does exist between you two.

And as you have read in all the other returned WAH's, piecing seems to be just as hard, if not harder, than the actual BD and S. So prolong it as much as you can by enjoying the 'get to know you again' phase.

It is a long road ahead, but you have done so much work to get here!

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Hi Pommy! Thanks for your thoughtful reply on my thread, I am going to get back on some of those thoughts in a bit. In the meantime, I hope you had a great day yesterday and today!

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May, Sage thank you for your thoughts. You gave me a lot to think about last week. So what's been happening since I last posted a week ago? H had told me several times ILY - but I hadnt been able to reciprocate. It didnt feel right - it felt like I would have been saying it because he had said it first. I'm so glad I was able to shake off the pressure to respond in kind. Since then H has stopped saying it. This confused me a little and by the end of the week I felt like he had stopped making an effort, but perhaps he recognised that it was pressure for me. Fri night he stayed over and we spent all Saturday togther, doing stuff in the garden, trip to the garden centre (where he bought plants for our garden and new bird feeders laugh ). It's been very relaxed.

Originally Posted by may22
In your situation, your H did leave and pulled that major trigger, so I feel like you actually have more control over the situation than I did in terms of navigating him coming back. (I know that was a choice on my part.) So I guess I am just suggesting you take the time to really unpack what you want in an H and what you need to see from him in order to feel secure that his shift is real and not temporary. The work of piecing is difficult for both of you, they'll be ups and downs, and he's got to be personally just as committed to the end goal as you.

We havent had any R talks, except one mini-discussion on Saturday where I asked if he still felt the same as the previous week and he said yes for sure, although also said he fully understood that just because he knows what he wants, it doesnt mean I know if I want him back or am ready for him to come home. I said I need to feel that he's really into me, that he really wants me. He seemed to go the extra mile on Saturday with being extremely tactile, hugging me, holding my hand, kissing me etc. I think I am giving off good vibes about wanting to be with him, and the conversations - especially from him - assume a future together (places we would go, things we would do in the house).

I dont feel inclined to push a R talk. At the moment we seem to be enjoying each other's company, and I dont think either of us feel the need to rush things. I do worry if I'm brushing stuff under the carpet (like what's happened with EAP recently), and I wonder if we should be having more serious conversations about "us". I guess I'm trying to weigh up how and when I communicate to him what I want in a husband. Sage, I havent written a list but it a good idea. I know there are things that would need to change - I just dont feel like now is the time to go to him with a 'husband wish list', but undoubtedly there are things that I know we would need to discuss, especially around his work (although thatn is not so much of an issue right now and wont be for some time so I dont feel I need to hurry this one along).

What would you be doing if you were me? Would you be having these deeper conversations or just spend these initial few weeks rebuilding some trust, connection and intimacy ?

Originally Posted by Sage
One thing that I would request from my H if we were to ever to get to the point you are at is to woo me (good first step with those lovely flowers from your H, BTW). Date me. Convince me that you are truly the one for me. If this is really M 2.0, then why lose the opportunity for the limerence, the flirting, the sexual tension, the heady 'I might be falling in love' feelings? This is an upside to an actual physical S, you have separate spaces and can date again. There is nothing better than a great date night where you go to separate beds thinking about each other and what you want to do to them the next time you see them, right

There has definitely been some chemistry and leaving things on a passionate kiss, going home to separate houses. I stayed over at his last night and things do feel better. Unfortunately *that* has been off the agenda as H is on some pretty strong neural pain blockers for a back injury with some unwanted side effects affecting certain body parts! However, he has talked about wanting to *show* me how he feels about me in that way - we're talking about sex and wanting to get that side of things back on track which is a real positive for me. I just crack up everytime I think of this, but Wayfarer once said that her H looked at her as if she was a minotaur with boobs - and that's how I had felt in front of my H for the last year!!


M:49 H:49
T:20 M:18
D:16 D:14

EA: Feb 2019-May 2020
Separated: Mar-early Aug 2020
H asked to reconcile: Jun 2020
EA relapse: Oct/Nov 2020
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P,

Just keep in light and enjoy one another like you were first dating. Hangout, have fun and hookup. At some point he will start to back away and the key is going to be not to panic and pursue. Remember that you are the prize and he needs to EARN another chance with you.

Also dont be shocked if you get the feeling you want to walk away. If you do make sure you sit with it for awhile.

Im happy that it looks like youre getting what you wanted.


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Originally Posted by LH19
P,

Just keep in light and enjoy one another like you were first dating. Hangout, have fun and hookup. At some point he will start to back away and the key is going to be not to panic and pursue. Remember that you are the prize and he needs to EARN another chance with you.

Also don’t be shocked if you get the feeling you want to walk away. If you do make sure you sit with it for awhile.

I’m happy that it looks like you’re getting what you wanted.

LH - is that the norm - that he will start to back away? Thanks for the heads-up. Hopefully I know enough by now not to go pursuing him if he does start to retreat.

I am going through my own emotions, some of which are surprising me. I feel remarkably relaxed about taking things slowly, whereas before it would have been a case of getting him back home quickly before he changes his mind! Now I'm happy for us to have some distance and space, especially as we are still in lockdown and both of us expect to be WFH for the next 4 months minimum. Reading all the GAL activities on other threads I'm really going to make use of the time I have to do more for myself. I really feel like I have completely taken the pressure and expectation off H and he is responding in a positive way. I'm not pushing conversations about him moving home, I'm not starting R discussions, I'm not asking to see him every day. Baby steps is the right pace right now. smile


M:49 H:49
T:20 M:18
D:16 D:14

EA: Feb 2019-May 2020
Separated: Mar-early Aug 2020
H asked to reconcile: Jun 2020
EA relapse: Oct/Nov 2020
Recon #2: since Nov 2020
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