I understand what you are saying. And yes, it’s easier to say this sober than in the moment.
It’s not transference, it’s more like self brainwashing. It’s not that I gave my love to my husband to someone else. It’s more I didn’t appreciate my husband, and instead of taking responsibility for that I blamed him. I allowed the resentment to harden me and as I became more depressed looked for ways to escape not just him but myself. The AP didn’t get the kind of love I had for my husband over the years. He got someone who was a black hole of need and was my audience and my source of validation. That’s not love. The highs were all there but the person was interchangeable. Who the AP was had no real part of the equation.
I would tell you it’s not transference because I didn’t love anyone while I was like this. I was a screwed up person.
And you are correct, there is NO foundation left of the marriage. Trust is gone. Specialness is gone. And in many ways it would be easier to start again with someone new as a bs.
People who truly reconcile it’s a complete start over and with someone who has a long term proven track record of new thoughts and behaviors. There is a risk because the biggest predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
For us, we saw benefits of choosing each other, given our compatibility, our family, shared history, and other practical reasons.
I know it’s hard to believe but my self awareness went from very low to pretty high. I act differently in all my relationships because I am very different. I no longer think feelings are permanent, and my emotional maturity has expanded. The words love, commitment, etc all have a different meaning to me. Are most people going to go to those lengths maybe not. I think I did because I did not like the outcomes I was producing. I would have totally kept going regardless if he divorced me because I never want to feel or stoop that low again.
But this is not about me. It’s the only experience I can relay as examples.
We have rebuilt our relationship with a lot of unmistakeable intention. We truly enjoy being Together and we have started over more intelligently. I was very close to divorcing him after his affair. But he too has shown me a bettered person and it’s evident to me in so many ways I could not list.
Sure, he could cheat again. I would not go through this again. And it’s true in reverse. Honestly I think if there was so much as a lie the other one would be out the door.
Reconciliation is a miracle because so many things need to be in place. The work is astronomical. It’s hard now to say there isn’t something special about the two of us together that we were able to get to this place. And trust is probably restored to as far as it ever will be. I trust him, he trusts me, no one will blindly trust again, but Neither of us would blindly trust anyone now so I don’t see that as a disadvantage to our specific relationship.
Anyway, that’s my experience. I have had other relationships and this marriage, having an affair is a different animal because the chemical dependency of the dopamine and the adrenaline and the lack of really being who you are and the lack of them being who they are. That’s the best way I can describe it to someone who has never had one.
[This message edited by hikingout at 11:55 PM, Friday, August 12th]