| | Re: Red flag from disloyal spouses of false reconciliation/recovery
I’ve gone through the false R and a real R..
With the false R, it should have been obvious. What my WW wanted was for us to work on marriage problems. Everytime I turned the subject toward her affairs (EA’s at the time), she would get massively defensive and restate how her ‘why’ had to do with this ‘void’ I had created for her in the marriage and not meeting her needs. That boat sank when I discovered underground continuation of those affairs. The next round is different. Noticeable changes in approach and attitude. After the six month bumps and rocky road, it looked like a real R.
My wife does say things similar to yours Sara8; Its sort of a defeatist attitude of “You won’t ever forgive me will you.” and “You do understand you’ve told me you don’t love me or care.” I’m just brutally honest about it: “No. Not for a long time.” Then I go onto explain what forgiveness really means to me. It is the highest level of acceptance where this past no longer influences my choices, thoughts, or decisions. Sort of a ‘that’s the past’ flair. It goes hand in hand with trust. Trust is nothing more than your ability to predict future behavior based on your past experiences. Affairs, lying, etc., severely harm that past experience.
So, where I am is a level of acceptance. I have accepted this happened in our marriage. I have a reasonable understanding of why. I have some experience and history now of changes that correct the thought process that went into the ‘why’. Yet, it does affect my thoughts, my actions, and my perceptions still. I’ve told her as long as I see progress, and feel the R is working, I will not leave.
My heart and emotional tie is still distant. I have explained my ‘why’. She’s not done working on herself, nor me either. I stay distant because those little things she says, little complaints, etc. would hurt and trigger. If I don’t care all that deeply, it doesn’t bother me. The more work she does, and myself, the more I allow myself to rebond and open myself up for pain... It takes a lot of trust for me to do this with someone who used this in the past to harm me. So she’ll just have to excuse me that I’m not eager to jump right back into the cage with her. She does get this; Yet I do empathize that she doesn’t like that answer and just wants the full forgiveness and love now... This is why we are in R, and not fully reconciled yet.
So it really comes down to expressing yourself correctly and giving them enough hope that reconciliation is possible, even with someone who thinks very little of them at the moment. It is a long, slow process of building a new history.