When is enough, enough
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Reconciliation This forum is for those focused on reconciliation and success stories from people who have been through separation and reconciled successfully.

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Old 06-02-2008, 09:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default When is enough, enough

I thought I would share something very personal today. The last couple of weeks I’ve found myself in several threads about how long do you go on in an unhappy marriage. When is enough, enough. Not long ago was the first anniversary since I found out about my wife’s emotional affair. A couple of weeks later I received the “I’m not in love with you anymore” speech. At the time I was crushed, hurt, angry, frightened, confused, astonished and in general pretty screwed up. For weeks I couldn’t get full control of my emotions, couldn’t sleep, felt angry with her, blamed myself, lost my confidence, lost weight and couldn’t concentrate at work. I also realized how far I had let my love for her go over time. While in this period, neither my wife nor I raised our voices because we knew that at any given moment we were just one step away from one of us walking out the door for the last time. For those of you out there finding yourselves in this situation please take heart that things can get better but it takes time. I initially doted on my wife and tried to fix things as quickly as possible. Flowers, dates, cards, deep discussions… It was too much for her to process and it probably pushed her further away from me. We both came to the conclusion that we needed to give things time and let things build for us at a slower pace. We sought counseling for our marital woes and faith for our spiritual health. It took my wife seven months just to realize she was actually in love with him and it was not just a friendship. Something I had suspected for a long time. Contact ended in January and it has been difficult for her. With confidence, love, patience and faith I hope that I can help her rediscover her love for me and the marriage will be stronger than ever. While we have both endured much pain and anxiety over the past 12 months we have also enjoyed a lot of happiness. We have become great friends again and spend more time together than we have in years. We have seen our children reach milestones together and supported each other in times of personal and professional losses. We took our first vacation alone together in 18 years. We learned ball room dancing. We have both developed a more profound understanding of what each of us is all about and what we need in the marriage. We communicate at a level that was impossible for us a year ago. We learned that no matter what was going on between us that we had to protect our children and take our issues off line when they were in need of our help. While there is still no sexual intimacy between us, we laugh, hug and kiss daily. One day I pray she will wake up feeling the deep love she felt for me for so many years and our marriage will take the another step forward. While not easy, this year has also been a rewarding and insightful time for us both. She now understands that I am a man of great patience and love. I see the woman I fell in love with 20+ years ago and all of her wonderful qualities that make me love her so much. People do fall back in love, I did. Now I patiently wait for her to do the same. Is it a happy marriage? No, but it is happier than it’s been in years. While our life is not whole yet, and may not be for a long time, our relationship is relaxed, caring and open and our children see that. No matter how this ends we can both look back with pride knowing that we did everything possible to save the marriage and both emerged better people for it. Most importantly we have given our children another year to mature and grow and if it ends badly they will have that much more maturity to deal with it. Have faith all, there is hope when a marriage falters. People can change and relationships can recover but you must work together and accept there may be no quick fixes. As long as there is no abuse or lack of respect, give your marriage time to heal one step at a time. Bless.
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: When is enough, enough

WOw, thanks for the words of wisdom amp I think this can and will help many people. From time to time I would like to link back to this thread because you have so many good points.

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Old 06-02-2008, 12:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: When is enough, enough

Thank-you for sharing your personal story. It gives me hopes in a marriage constant ebbing and flowing that if you work on it with a spiritual level and you don't lose sight of one and other you can keep a marriage or save a marriage. I am happy that you have come so far with your marriage and I hope it continues to grow in a loving manner. Heal one day at at time.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: When is enough, enough

Amp,

Thank you for sharing your personal experience. I think for many, it is often a struggle between 'you only live once' and wanting a quick fix or move on versus really take the time and put in the effort needed.

We do only live once, but if in that life you put forth the effort that although is difficult, really makes you a better person, the time has been well spent.

All well said and I'm sure this will inspire many who read it, as it did me.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting your personal story Amp. None of this is easy, but it is good to know that it's possible to pass through and out the other side.
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Because there have been so many people here in dire situations in their marriages of late, I thought I would resurface this thread from 16 month ago. I felt an update was in order to hopefully serve as inspiration to some on the board who find themselves were I was over two years ago, 16 months ago, a few months ago.... I now find myself in a much better place and so does my wife. We are still together, still working on the marriage and still improving it.

Since I wrote that there have been more challenges and milestones in our lives as a couple and family. We have seen our children continue to grow in a caring and calm environment. We have seen one leave for college and another make great strides socially, academically and athletically. We have seen close friends and family members suffer the devastation of divorce and the impact on their kids. Those have only stiffened our resolve. There has been a job change, the financial plunge in our retirement accounts that comes a long with the economy. A drop in income for me personally as I am a commissioned sales person. Personal triumphs and set backs for all of us in our family. My wife stubbed her toe and began contact with TOM again after 8 months of no contact. I suspected and asked her, she was honest with me, confirmed and gave me the details. It had been very light and had not going on for very long in term. I did something I had never done with my wife in the history of our marriage. A carefully worded but firm ultimatum was delivered. I gave us both some time to think about the conversation and the impact on us both. A couple of weeks later she terminated the relationship for good. It was difficult for her and she resented me for making her do it. It set us back a bit but we slowly recovered. For six months, I let go of trying to recover her emotional attachments to me. I continued my changes in life but didn't push romance, date nights or physical intimacy. She got past her anger and hurt, I recovered my trust in her. Our close friendship held us together and helped us move forward slowly. Physical intimacy increased and eventually so did sexual intimacy after a two year abstinence. With intimacy grew stronger bonds between us emotionally. I once again became her emotional center and my love of her increased and deepened. Our ability to communicate and show empathy for each other operates at a higher level than I think it ever has in the history of our marriage. We are both happier than we have been in years.

Two and a half years ago, when I discovered her EA I gave the marriage less than a 25% chance of surviving the year. At the time I wrote this this thread last year the figure reversed with a 75% chance of success. At this point we both agree that unless something goes terribly wrong the marriage will go on and prosper. It is out of danger. The only thing missing is that my wife still does not have that "in love" feeling for me. I've not heard her say I love you in 2 1/2 years. But she is very committed to me, our marriage and family. I have my lover, my best friend and my closest confidant back at my side and so does she. When I hear those three little words again I will be able to finally close this chapter in our story and I still pray for that day. But in the meantime the marriage is good for us both. We spend all our available time together as a family and couple. We rarely pass each other in the house without an embrace, a kiss or a pat on the rump.

Marriages do come back and I will be forever thankful that mine was one of the lucky ones. Good luck all. Bless.
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am glad to hear things are going well for you Amp! Cheering you and your family on!
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: When is enough, enough

Thanks for bringing this back to the surface!! Hoping nothing but good things for you and yours!
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: When is enough, enough

Amp, what is apparent is that both you and your wife have committed to the effort. Mistakes are made, boundaries set, making the effort together. This is the give and take that defines the health of any relationship.

It is easy to look at the landscape and throw your hands in the air. I have thought to myself a number of times that from the moment you start a romantic relationship, in whatever capacity - you have just started a countdown.

I'm not that pessimistic any more. It is very easy for the success stories here to be overwhelmed by the all too common issues so that so many of us come here with - myself included.

However, that is not why this site is valuable. Most if not all of those who come here, want the reconciliation, the resolution, the apology, or forgiveness. Most people want to recover the good, the positive, the happy, the balance.

Nobody comes here initially looking for ways to torpedo their relationship. They are looking for ways to save it. That is a good thing. We still have hope. Even if not with the partner that brought us here, we hope for better and want to be better.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: When is enough, enough

Thank you so much for the update. It does give me hope. My H and I have been separated for 9 months and we too get along better, laugh, enjoy the children together with a much greater respect. I am still holding strong to my marriage. I have fallen in love with my H even more than I thought possible. Now it is just a game of patience.
Good Luck to you and your wife.
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Old 10-13-2009, 05:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Amp: You are awesome for posting this for us folks that need uplifting! It takes alot of time and patience..even when you don't see the light.

I've read that many marriages, 5 years after a crisis, have resolved themselves and are happier. That's if they stick together and if it's not severe (addictions/multiple or long term affairs and ongoing addiction or ongoing abuse). You are proving this after 2.5 years.

It's been 1 years since my H realized that he no longer was "in love" with me or should I say...he told me. He probably was unhappy for another year prior. We are separated for 3 months and he's already filed for divorce. As time goes by we get friendlier and more supportive. Like we were naturally in our married life (over 24 years). I know he thinks his life is going to be better after the divorce (grass is greener) but like I told him..."your life isn't better 3 months into separation and limited contact...how is it going to be different after the divorce?"

Keep us posted. Congrats!
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: When is enough, enough

you provided hope here, a long time ago. i hope to replicate your success.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:33 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voivod View Post
you provided hope here, a long time ago. i hope to replicate your success.
Ditto! thank you so much for taking the time from your busy day and sharing your success with us so that so many can find hope.

i can't speak for any one else but i search for these kinds of stories. They keep me going and keep me trying and that along with all the caring support i find here is what as made me turn a complete 180 and not give up, not throw my wife to the curb, and in short not make what would have been ,potentially, the biggest mistake of my life...

in the VERY short time that i have been on this forum i have found the strength and courage to confront my wife on several issues as well as let go of a few that are minor issues. we have spent time together and worked out a plan that keeps us from having friction and still gives us more "quality time" together. things are yet to show any real improvement but we have just begun... we may not survive as a couple but atleast the advice and support i have found here has made me able to see things clearly and given me the the strength to do every thing i can so that if it does end badly, i will know, that i have tried all i could and done my best to make it work.
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: When is enough, enough

Great story. I hope my marriage can indure it's problems. My story is in the general section "She says she's "done" I am not giving up on "us"
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:56 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: When is enough, enough

Thank you all for your kind words. I hope others find hope in our story. Deejo, you are very correct, it was and continues to be a joint effort. But there were times when I am sure I was fighting the battle alone because at first she wasn't sure she was even willing to try. I owe my wife a great debt in her decision to try and recover and I know she suffered just as much pain and anxiety as I. Best of luck everyone.
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