I'm so glad you responded with your thoughts on the subject of the recovering spouse not being as excited or have as much energy as the LBS toward piecing. I should have explained that those could be the recovering spouse's feelings at the time of reconciliation, and even during most of the piecing period. However, it can change, once that spouse goes through the necessary steps of full recovery. (I just use the term "recovering spouse" to save typing out WAS. WS, or MLCS every time. It is not be seen as an excuse for the recovering spouse to continue any sort of disrespectful behavior. What I meant by not having as much excitement or energy is that the recovering spouse is usually going through quite an emotional transition, unless the couple has been physically apart for a long time and the recovering spouse has made the necessary changes before they reconcile.
If the LBS has set stipulations upon reconciling and the piecing process, then the recovering spouse will usually have to undergo a lot of changes. Although the recovering spouse can end an affair, go through the withdrawals, start showing respect toward the LBS, etc........the recovering spouse's emotions could be in a mess. Depression often comes when the recovering spouse is going through the withdrawals of NC with the AP. Depression can rob the person of not only positive feelings, but from having hope. It also robs physical energy. It can rob the person of interest in most everything. It is the WS, trying to recover from an unhealthy mental/emotional mindset. So, it takes time for the transition.
Now my thoughts are that in order for reconciliation and piecing to work, the walkaway should be excited and energized and willing to do anything (fight back pride, maybe eat a few of those disgusting sandwiches themselves so they can empathize with the taste and gag factor). They need to want this like they wanted their affair partner. Returning to their spouse cant just be plan d for them or how can this actually work?
Ever situation is a little different, so it's difficult to give a one size for how every recovering spouse will feel upon reconciliation. The decision to do the right thing, has to come from the recovering spouse's free will. The LBS may want the recovering spouse to feel certain emotions upon reconciling, but the fact is that actions are the most important factor at that point. The LBS should require certain things, such as ending the affair, NC of any type with AP, maybe getting a STD test, cooperating with a transparency plan, attending MC, etc. The LBS should not reconcile with the other spouse without full agreement to meeting whatever steps are necessary to heal the MR. Some LBS make their mistake by not laying out requirements, and allow the other spouse to more or less pick up where they left off. Thereby, serving a lot of sh't sandwiches.
Having patience with a recovering spouse does not mean the LBS should walk on eggshells, allowing bad behavior. However, it does require the LBS to be consistent in commanding respect. The LHS must not endure bad behavior, disrespect, bullying, or any previous wayward behavior on the part of the other spouse. In fact, I strongly suggest none of those previous behavior types be permitted. Those are are characteristics often found in MR's before the bomb drop.
Where the LBS must have patience is by not having expectations in the recovering spouse feelings upon reconciling. As long as the recovering spouse is cooperative in meeting the stipulations of the LBS, and is not lying or showing other forms of disrespectful behavior, their feelings have to have time to catch up to their actions. They have to completely let go emotionally of the AP, before feeling in love with the LBS. I know that may be painful to hear, but if your spouse has just ended an affair, then they may not be able to "feel" in love with you until they get some healing under their belt. The LBS is not the only one who has to heal from the unhealthy experience. Their pain and healing may be not be the same, but if the wayward spouse recovers properly, s/he will need to heal. The spouse who had an affair, may need IC in order to get healthy enough for both spouses to attend MC. It depends on the individual case.
Here's what I sense from reading your post. It sounds as if you see the wayward spouse getting off scott-free, and never having to suffer or make changes......while the LBS must continue to sukk it up to the WS's terrible behavior. If the WS recovers, there will be suffering, and there will be changes. It won't be the same as the LBS's and not on the same time table. They are two different experiences. The mistake I see with many sitches on the board, is LBS's allowing the WS to pick up where they left off, and call it reconciliation. It's not reconciling; it is just continuing a very bad situation. The WS must not be the spouse who calls the shots when considering reconciliation.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and if you have more questions, please ask. I'm sure I don't explain everything as fully needed.
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!