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Reconciliation :
Does Reconciliation Really Work?

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 TrustBetrayed (original poster new member #83700) posted at 6:48 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

My husband and I are trying to reconcile but I am not sure it is possible. Let me give you a little history. We have been married for 13 years. The first time he cheated was at three years into our relationship. He denied everything because I did not have concrete proof but I had some texts from the woman he cheated with. He said she was lying and I chose to ignore what I knew. We then moved out of state so I know that the affair ended. I think it ended prior to us moving and it did not end well which is why she was texting me. Fast forward three more years and this time it was not an affair but he did some illegal financial fraud. He went to jail for three years so those don't count. Once he was released, fast forward three more years and I catch him cheating again. This was my breaking point because it seems to be a pattern that every three years he gets in trouble some way and I continue to forgive and move on. Now it seems like a pattern.

I told him he needed to move out. He wanted to reconcile and I kept saying no. When it came down to the reality of moving out, I agreed to try reconciliation. I realized that stupidly I still love him but I do not trust him at all. We are working on our relationship but it is very hard because I really think he will do it again. The root cause of the issue is the fact that everything is about him and what he wants. He has to get the latest and greatest of everything and he spends thousands of money on stuff. I pay all of the bills and he wants his money to go spend how he wants. He gets new everything and I get seconds. I know he wants to resume a sexual relationship but I just can't seem to get to that point. I don't trust him and I do not want to be hurt again.

I just wanted to ask anyone who has reconciled, how do you get past cheating and learn to trust again. Does reconciliation really work or are we just putting off the eventual split?

posts: 4   ·   registered: Aug. 9th, 2023   ·   location: Tucson, AZ
id 8808484
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

He's a serial cheater. He seems to have zero remorse. He's not done any work to become a safe partner. He's sorry he got caught,and that's about it.

Reconciliation is a process that takes years. It requires the ws to do a ton of work on themselves. It can not even begin,if he is unremorseful.

If a ws isn't moving mountains to heal themselves, and the damage they've caused,the chances they will cheat again is sky high.

[This message edited by HellFire at 7:01 PM, Tuesday, September 19th]

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6178   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8808485
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:11 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

There are many of us reconciled, many that say it’s good enough, and many who stay until the kids are raised. So it’s a rainbow. As hellfire pointed out it takes a lot of work from the ws, but I want to add it takes work from you too.

Not on him or the relationship. But on you. The best thing you can do is focus on yourself. What you need, what you want, what boundaries you need in place to feel safe. Being cheated on is often a huge impact on your self worth. It beats you down, and makes the world gray and cold.

Let go of the outcome of your relationship with him and focus on the relationship you have with yourself. Work towards your healing, your self love, your happiness. What you will see is your perspective will grow and change. Likely without any growth from him the answer will be clear.

As it’s stands now it sounds bleak for your marriage. I am not saying it can’t change, sometimes when the ws really feels the impact of what they have done they will either act out or realize they are rock bottom and need to get themselves to higher ground. Unfortunately, you do not have control over his decisions. So all of yours need to be about protecting yourself, your finances, and finding your own way to higher ground. If he meets you there then sure reconciling is possible. But right now, the way it sounds is that it’s not. You can’t fix the relationship until he fixes himself. Work on you and your future, it’s the only thing within your control and how you will become empowered. Keep posting, there are lots of happy people here after infidelity regardless if they divorced, reconciled, or made a conscious decision to stay until they can get themselves in a better situation.

[This message edited by hikingout at 7:12 PM, Tuesday, September 19th]

6 years of hard work
Reconciled WS and BS

posts: 6500   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8808486
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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 8:14 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

I agree with what's already been said, especially the part about focusing on yourself and your needs first.

Reconciliation only works if the wayward spouse works it. Is he capable of introspection? If not, it's not going to improve. You might float along in surface-happy limbo for a while, but he's very, very likely to offend again, as you've already said.

The root cause of the issue is the fact that everything is about him and what he wants. He has to get the latest and greatest of everything and he spends thousands of money on stuff. I pay all of the bills and he wants his money to go spend how he wants. He gets new everything and I get seconds.

I can relate to this. My H is the spendthrift and I am the responsible one, by default. I pay the bills. I drive the old, paid-off car. I (used to) fret alone about the money he spent without him having to think about it, because I'm the one who did all the thinking about it for him. He'd tell me to go ahead and cut loose and treat myself, but if I did, we'd be broke AF. We restarted MC this year because of his financial infidelity. He charged up credit cards on a hot rod, I paid them off with savings. He charged them up again and got a 401k loan to pay them off. Then he did it again, but there wasn't any money left to pay them off and I lost my damn mind. I was ready to leave if the cycle didn't stop. So we went back to MC, he started IC, I started IC, and we refinanced the house to pay everything off with the understanding that we would agree on any purchases over $200, and that we'd keep a minimum balance in savings that's pretty substantial so that I can sleep at night. Finally, he's on board with reining in the spending because he finally gets how detrimental the imbalance is to our marriage. He's remorseful for causing me such stress. He's grateful to me for handling everything for so long. He's working hard to challenge his ingrained thought processes.

Is your H capable of that?

Let the world feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it.

posts: 803   ·   registered: Mar. 10th, 2023
id 8808493
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 8:24 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

It's true,you have work to do as well. On yourself. Not the marriage. It is an exercise in futility to work on a marriage when you have an unremorseful ws.

You do need to work on healing. It will be very hard to heal,in an unsafe environment, where you have an unremorseful WS, who doesn't value and respect you. The only way to heal in that environment, is to detach from your spouse.

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6178   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8808496
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 12:26 AM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

Unfortunately, he's a serial cheater. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Is this how you want to live the rest of your life? Aside from the fact that he was in prison for financial fraud?

Please seek a good counselor for yourself to figure out why you would tolerate his betrayals over and over.

Detach:

Don't

Ever

Think

About

Changing

Him


He is who he is, he has shown you repeatedly who he is, please believe him.

Sounds like he enjoys the security of a wife who pays the bills, handles the household, while he does what he wants.

You have absolutely no reason to trust him. None. You deserve so much more.

posts: 12022   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8808528
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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 12:45 AM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

I don’t think this is so much a reconciliation question, but rather the question is why are you with this guy? Taking the cheating out of the equation, he is a felon who has committed financial fraud, and is continuing to live way beyond his means. That easily coukd turn into another scheme where he violates the law again, with possibly you holding the bag and paying off his debts.

There are plenty of great caring and stable guys out there. Do you really need this drama in your life? You should look into IC or of that’s not in the picture, look deep into yourself as why you don’t think you deserve better. You do!

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician

Divorced

posts: 2102   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2016
id 8808531
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 2:01 PM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

Your problem isn’t that your husband cheated on you; your problem is that you are married to a habitual liar, thief, and fraud. This is a man who is incapable of being honest and decent in any aspect of his life. In fact, his cheating on you probably had little to do with sex— he seems like the type of person who thrives on duping people.

Some people do reconcile, but I would say the common denominator among them is that they had good marriages before the cheating occurred and the cheating was—more or less— out of character for wayward spouse. Also, the WS was remorseful, accountable, and willing to accept the consequences for their actions. They are willing to put themselves and their desires second in order to rebuild the marriage. And even then, their BS is not obligated to forgive them.

As you can see from my tagline, I’m not among the successfully reconciled. My ex was selfish, narcissistic, and financially abusive (although his flavor was squirreling away money instead of contributing equally to the household) but I loved him so I gave him a pass after Dday1. My reward was Dday2.

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 1676   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8808564
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 3:44 PM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

Here’s my two cents.

He’s not your partner. He’s not a man. He’s a child in a man’s body.

He appears to have a definite pattern of behavior. Does he have any diagnosis of a compulsive personality disorder or traits similar to ADHD? He appears unable to make rational decisions and does what he wants whenever he wants.

It must be horrible to live a life waiting for the next shoe to drop.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13699   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8808580
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