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BluWave,

Thanks for sharing your story! There are a lot of threads on here which don't end up well, or at least not leading to reconciliation. I think reading sitches such as yours is helpful to folks who are reaching out for hope.

I know what you mean about the silver lining of COVID being families having more time together at home without the countless activities and running around. I thought about that often in my sitch as I saw families taking walks in the neighborhood and playing in the yard. Unfortunately due to my sitch whereas it could've been time for me and my W and family, but W wasn't interested - at least I've been able to use it with the kids.

Good luck with your work in the hospital, and your marriage going forward!


Me:39 Ex-W:37
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:3
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
Divorced: May '21
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Hello friends, old and new.

Thank you for reading and for replying. Iím glad people have gotten something useful from my story. I appreciate the kind words. I got so much out of reading here 6 plus years ago after H left. I was in a dark place and felt so hopeless. The stories and advice here kept my head above water. It also helped me to not feel alone in the madness.

Things are going well for us. H has been back 5.5 years. I couldnít have seen back then where we could be today. I held onto the belief that things would heal in time and they have. Triggers and painful memories do fade. We donít have rose tinted glasses on and I donít hold him on a pedestal anymore. I think the relationship is fairly steady and he is more free to be himself. I have learned the art of compromise and letting go of the small things. He never told me that I pushed him away and was critical and controlling, but Iíve come to understand how I was. I donít want to be that kind of person. I like who I am more now. I like who he is more now too. Heís stronger in his views, stands up to others and is able to find time for himself now.

We are landscaping our yard and remodeling a detached garage in the yard. We have owned this home for 10 years and the back has been mostly dirt and a big cr0p hole for the dogs. Now itís evolving into this beautiful oasis. Itís been amazing to work on this together and look forward to the space. We have hired people for the larger projects, but H has done some of it himself. Itís impressive how much he can do ó gardening, heavy lifting, electrical, building structures, you name it! ... itís also nice that we are creating something new and awesome together. I keep reading about marriage 2.0 but Iím not sure what that means. Some things in the M are the same, some different, and we continue forward, together.

H had Covid last month. It was very mild and we were fortunate for that and that they rest of us didnít get it. The kids and I all quarantined for 2 weeks and then tested negative. Then I go back to work and see people dying from it. Itís all very strange and uncertain indeed. I hope we can find some answers to this virus and heal as a nation. This has been such a messy year and there has been so much loss, suffering and divisiveness. Iím trying more and more to think for myself and not let politics corrupt me.

I do have a good suggestion for anyone that likes podcasts on relationships. Esther Perel (my other fav psychologist on Ms) has a podcast called Where Should We Begin. It really helps to listen to these couples and her advice to them. She has helped me think about M issues and how they relate to our childhood and upbringing and not only the present day problems. Iím trying to better accept and appreciate why we are the way we are and that our greatest strengths are often our same weaknesses. Over 6.5 years later and Iíve come to fully believe that my own Hs A (OW) has nothing to do with who she was or his feelings about her and that she herself was irrelevant.

Stay healthy all!

Blu


ďForgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.Ē Ė Nelson Mandela
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Blu - thanks for continuing to post. It is really helpful to hear that triggers/painful memories fade and that growth and change has stayed in a positive way. That sounds amazing with your yard, and glad to hear your H is back well again.

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Thank you.

Just journaling a bit. We lost our senior dog last week. He was 14.5 yo, had several health problems and was a big dog, so we knew we had to let him go. I havenít cried this much in years. Maybe since my sitch 6 years ago. I didnít know it would be so hard. He was such a calm, present and loyal guy. My emotions are not just about the loss of him, but the reminder that he was there for all of it. The only stable one. He was there through it all ó before things fell apart, birth of the third child, watched them grow up, bought our first home, my oldest D was diagnosed BPD, my father died, my M fell apart, H left me for OW, I sent my D out of state, H came back, D came back, H lost his mother, and on and on. He was right there. I feel so much gratitude for him. And also for the way we came together as a family. We have cried together, held one another, talked about how he is part of our family, and H and I have reminisced about the good times and bad. In our own grief, it somehow feels cathartic and right. Iím glad H and I are still together. I value him in so many ways. I stopped trying so hard to push my feelings around and work on the M, and then somehow it got easier. He is a good man. I can see that more clearly now.

Blu


ďForgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.Ē Ė Nelson Mandela
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Oh Blu,

I'm so sorry for your loss. Thinking so much of you and your family. I'm glad you were able to grieve together.

xx M


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
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Blu,

My condolences. Sorry to hear about your big puppy/family member. I hope you and your family gets the proper time to grieve. Glad to hear from you. Glad to see you getting closer to hubby again.

Joejoe01


M:37 W:37
T:11 M:10
S17, S13, S10, S4
BD:06/28/17
OM confirmed 07/20/17
Recon the M 10/29/17
Working hard:2gether

Onward and forward

This process is not a sprint it's a marathon! Patience, Patience, Patience.
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Hello friends,

I still follow several of you. I donít post as much, but I am here. Iíll post an update, however I dont have much news to share. I also canít get my hands on a keyboard because the kids are still distant learning, so Iím trying to type from this little iPhone.

One of my fav coworkers has become a good friend over the years and was very supportive during my BD/separation/initial recon times. For the last couple years she has been going through something similar and the table has turned. Her sitch reminds me of Mays a bit. So now he has been back this time since spring, waivered with OW again, and then recommitted again in summer. Seems like they are able to function and coparent on a day to day basis. They have been in weekly counseling but they donít seem to do any real work, or have an intimate connection or trust.

Itís all very sad to me. Yesterday she pulled me aside and asked me, ďwhen will I stop thinking about OW when we are together (ML)?Ē I donít think they have much of a physical relationship but at times try to reconnect or have date nights, etc. I tried to answer her as best I could, but our sitches are different. One, I really convinced myself that H and X-OW didnít have a good physical connection (long story but he also reinforced my belief). Am I fooling myself? Maybe. But what difference does it make now?

Two, I didnít let H back into my life, home or bed until I trusted him. Not forgiven ó thatís a looonnngggg process ó but trust. I needed to see that he was completely done with his A and feelings for her, I needed to know that he was remorseful, and I needed to believe that he was committed to doing the hard and uncomfortable work with me. I just couldnít open up to him in any way until those were in place. And then, I allowed him to come home and start the process of piecing. So now when I speak with her, or read sitches here, I have trouble understanding how it can work when we allow them back before that. I donít know honestly.

Things lately have been pretty good. We have our health, our family and our community. I feel grateful. Iím trying to remain optimistic that with a vaccine and new administration we can depoliticize this virus and treat it as the public health crisis (global pandemic) that it IS. Itís not easy to watch people die. Itís even harder to see people dying alone.

(Jumps off soap box) I will say that things are not rainbows and unicorns in my M. Iíve realized lately that we both absolutely svck at arguing and civil discourse. Iím so acutely aware of it yet so clueless on how to fix it. We both seem to have the same two dysfunctional responses to disagreements ó fight or flight (ignoring until it passes). I find myself having anxiety about even bringing things up. I know it will lead to a frustrating and tearful, voices raised and interrupting, debate and it does. It saddens me that after all these years, and after so many ups/ downs, we can still have such bad habits and not have learned these tools. Ugh.

So Iím trying to step out of my comfort zone and reflect on what I do wrong and where I can do better. Definitely a silver lining for all of us here that has tried follow the rules. I can only control myself and be responsible for what I say and do. What Iíve learned about myself is that my automatic response is to retreat into victim more. My parents had a nasty D when I was 5, and I recall crying every day and feeling completely ignored. Then in adulthood I had this H do the unthinkable, which only reinforced that I was abandoned and left vulnerable and alone. Because now, today, when we argue, I feel those same feelings ó no one listens or cares about me ó and it hits me like a tsunami. I need to learn how to identify that before the emotions take over and challenge that thinking. It really doesnít serve me. I am not a victim anymore. This is so hard stuff tho!!!

Blu


ďForgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.Ē Ė Nelson Mandela
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So I am left with a few questions to ponder if anyone would like to weigh in:

1. What are the tools to challenging our own limiting reactions/emotions that have become so habitual and engrained in us, including from childhood? (ie I retreat into feeling as if Iím a victim and feel hurt, unheard and defensive)

2. At what point does our own belief system, including the lies we tell ourself, become harmful and when does it no longer matter? (ie I have believed that my Hs A with X-OW was not as meaningful as it may have been in order to accept it happened)

3. Do we need to see remorse and begin to trust our S before accepting them back into the M and build a connection? (I believe that we do, but I fully acknowledge my limited understanding because my H did show me that person, while others here have not had that experience)

Would love to read peopleís reactions, thoughts and opinions.

Blu


ďForgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.Ē Ė Nelson Mandela
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Hi Blu!! So good to hear from you, as always. I'm very glad to hear you are staying safe and healthy, and things are going as well as can be expected with your H. Truly, with COVID and so many other things going in the world, I think even the healthiest couples are having difficulties. I have some thoughts I'll share later on your questions but I wanted to address your friend's situation.

Originally Posted by BluWave
One of my fav coworkers has become a good friend over the years and was very supportive during my BD/separation/initial recon times. For the last couple years she has been going through something similar and the table has turned. Her sitch reminds me of Mays a bit. So now he has been back this time since spring, waivered with OW again, and then recommitted again in summer. Seems like they are able to function and coparent on a day to day basis. They have been in weekly counseling but they donít seem to do any real work, or have an intimate connection or trust.

Itís all very sad to me. Yesterday she pulled me aside and asked me, ďwhen will I stop thinking about OW when we are together (ML)?Ē I donít think they have much of a physical relationship but at times try to reconnect or have date nights, etc. I tried to answer her as best I could, but our sitches are different. One, I really convinced myself that H and X-OW didnít have a good physical connection (long story but he also reinforced my belief). Am I fooling myself? Maybe. But what difference does it make now?

Two, I didnít let H back into my life, home or bed until I trusted him. Not forgiven ó thatís a looonnngggg process ó but trust. I needed to see that he was completely done with his A and feelings for her, I needed to know that he was remorseful, and I needed to believe that he was committed to doing the hard and uncomfortable work with me. I just couldnít open up to him in any way until those were in place. And then, I allowed him to come home and start the process of piecing. So now when I speak with her, or read sitches here, I have trouble understanding how it can work when we allow them back before that. I donít know honestly.

Throughout all of this, particularly since the summer when we were so close to splitting up physically, I've been pondering the question of whether or not it is possible to reconcile and piece in the same house, without the physical separation. In so many ways, it seems both more traumatic but also cleaner to have him MO and have the break, be able to have your own separate life to live-- and then, should he come back around and want to R, to be able to wait until you're totally sure you're both ready to piece before moving back in together.

When you never have that separation, it is all so messy. Things bleed over. It is hard to get the privacy you need to grieve, to rage, to fully acknowledge and accept just how $hitty your H's behavior has been when he's right there in front of you and generally acting like a decent human being instead of a lying cheater. You basically need to do the work you would have done on your own while living with your H, while still keeping up some level of harmony in the household. It seems really really easy to slide into pretending everything is okay, until something hits you and you realize it isn't. Or-- like it was for me in the spring-- having these questions gnawing away at me and being terrified everything was going to be swept under the rug, which was really uncomfortable in a different way. (And I might posit that not having everything out in the open and total transparency is a recipe for disaster. To me, at this point, I'd consider full transparency a must for even the reconciliation stage.)

I guess what is working for me right now, and what you might communicate to your friend-- is fully accepting that we aren't in piecing yet. I won't be ready to consider it piecing until the same criteria you listed for yourself to need for your H to move back in-- I will need to trust that it's over, in his heart as well as in his head, he's fully remorseful and takes full responsibility for his own behavior, and that he's wholeheartedly committed to a renewed MR with me before we piece.

Until then, I'm working on following the same DB rules you would if you were separated-- dropping all expectations, sending as little energy as possible towards him and focusing it wholly on me and the kids. I think it is possible-- MWR talks about it in her books, and Wayfarer and Steve85 did it-- to R and piece in the same house, but it definitely feels (at least in comparison to what I read on these threads) much more difficult to hold your boundaries strong when your H is physically present but not really ready to piece, yet (even if he says he is).

I totally know what she means about ML and I decided to stop, for now. I felt that the reasons I had had for having sex with him, related to the SSM and proving to myself I was capable of wanting and enjoying sex from a physical standpoint had been met. Also, I had a couple of experiences where I realized I was missing the ML part of it and AP was invading at least my mind (he *said* not in his, but I am not in a place to trust that). I didn't like it and decided I didn't want to do it anymore, and communicated that to him. He's been respectful of it so far. He has initiated a couple of times (nonverbally) and I've taken his hands and put them off of me and that has worked out just fine.

I haven't been opening up to him or expecting him to open up to me, as you would if you were in piecing. We're just coparenting and getting along, much like your friend and her H, but I see it as an extended reconciliation process rather than piecing.

I guess if I was to talk with her and give her advice, what I'd try to find out is, best I could, where in the process she and her H are. Are they in piecing, or are they in a situation like mine, which might look like piecing from the outside but really isn't? Your requirements for letting him move back in, BTW, are the same that my IC told me are required for healing an MR after an affair-- he takes responsibility and is remorseful, and I need to be able to see my way towards forgiveness-- but instead of needing them to be demonstrated before he moves back in, I need them demonstrated before I move into piecing with him.

Until then, I'm working on myself and holding my boundaries. And there very well may be a day when I decide I've had enough and piecing isn't ever going to happen. But not today.

So back to your friend-- if she is in fact in piecing, you will have great advice for her. If she isn't, I'd say she needs to accept that and realize his head isn't in the game, yet, and it may never be, and she needs to decide what it is she wants to do in the meantime (and I'd vote for the DB basics of GAL, dropping expectations, etc.). The added difference that I see from where I sit right now as compared to not living together-- besides it just being difficult to go through these parallel processes under the same roof without expecting any support from your H-- would be really thinking through your boundaries and holding to them. I think that has made a big difference for me, too, along with letting go of any pretense of control I have or expectations for what might be in the future. It isn't fun. But it's the choice I've made, for now, and I'm living with it.

Hugs to your friend. (And you!!) xx M


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
Joined: Jan 2020
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Hey Blu thanks for stopping over on my thread I really appreciate it. As far as the civil discourse goes I would strongly suggest picking up a copy of Difficult Conversations by Stone, Patton and Heen. I picked it up for business related training but I discovered the techniques have been helpful with communicating with my H and the teens in my house. It's geared for both personal and professional communication. It lays out how to handle these conversations in a step by step manner which the way I'm wired I appreciate. It also accounts for variables. Some of the case studies are a little dated but the techniques are worthwhile.

FWIW I don't think choosing to spend the rest of your life with any human is ever going to be rainbows and sunshine. Humans are complex, flawed, creatures of habit, that also love to try to predict the future. Any one who says their long time R is rainbows and sunshine at all times is full of it.

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