R&R- recovery and reconciliation

Some searches that brought people to this page were for recovery and reconciliation from infidelity.  I’d like to share what I have learned about the topics, in the meantime, please use the links I have shared in the sidebars, they are some of the best resources I have found.  When I have more time, I will share my personal experiences on this topic.

Blessings and strength to any of you who have gone through this painful process.

And for those of you who find my site by searching for hedonism:  I hope your self indulgence isn’t bought with another’s pain.

I do want to add the shorthand for recovery.  Come at it strong.  Pay attention to your needs.  Realize that you may want the marriage but your spouse is not the person you married currently.  You are married to a changeling.  Someone who seems to be your spouse but is totally different.

Figure out your boundaries.  First should be no contact of any kind with the other person.  Second should be transparency.  What happens when they break those boundaries?  Whatever you decide, stick to it.  Don’t make idle threats or you will go through d-day (discovery day) after d-day.

You should not be so desperate to save your marriage that you do it at a cost to yourself.  Believe me, I have been there.  You may feel more secure at the moment, but the payments come later, often with penalties.

When you look at your cheating spouse, recognize that you love who they were and who you hoped they would be.  The person they are now is unlovable, until there is change.  In the beginning, they should not be able to call the shots.  They broke their vows.  They do not get to choose whether the OP (other person) can be bumped back down to ‘just friends’ status.  That person helped them betray you, their life partner.  There is no second chance for a person like that to be included in your lives.

Understand that when I say life partner, I am not trying to be PC.  I am trying to make clear what marriage should be but is often forgotten.  It should be a lifetime committment.  You have decades to live with your spouse.  Nobody else’s opinions or feelings should come into play.  It is your relationship first, all others are judged on whether they nurture or damage the marriage or one of the partners.

Your cheating spouse will often act like an alcoholic.  They will want just one more binge (the ‘in-person’ goodbye), a tiny shot (an email, phone call or text now and then).  That can’t happen.  Don’t feel pushed into letting them get their fix.  One more becomes one more and then some.  Your spouse chose you on the day you said your vows.  They don’t need time to think.  In or out.  That’s it.  You need to understand that an affair is addictive because it is built on fantasy and a rush of horemones.  Be prepared to address that.

And take care of yourself first.  No person is worth your health and self respect.  Look at who your spouse is in that moment and deal with them as is.  Don’t dream, expect or hope.  That may come later.  Right now, you need emergency care and that is a good healthy dose of reality.  If your spouse is hanging on to the affair, start taking the steps to show them what they are about to lose.  Consult a lawyer, get info on who gets to stay in the home, keep possessions, get custody.  Out the affair to the OP’s spouse.  Don’t believe stories of abusive spouses or ‘already separated/divorced’.  That is rarely true.  If work resources have been used to conduct the affair, consider going to the human resources department of that company and letting them know.  My personal theory is you no longer have an obligation to protect someone who did not protect you.  The habit is hard to break, but start doing it, your spouse already has practise.

Finally, I can’t stress this enough, get tested for STDs.  The cheater almost always minimizes the physical aspect of the affair.  They, pretty much across the board, claim to have used protection (if they will admit to more than ‘just a kiss’).  These are lies in a majority of cases.  Get tested.  Don’t be ashamed, this is not your shame, it’s theirs.  Your healthcare provider has heard it all before.  I was fortunate in that I had a midwife.  She hugged me as I cried.  GET TESTED.

You might go through a period of ‘hysterical bonding’ (HB).  It’s normal.  It’s your way of clinging to the normal, reclaiming your own.  The sex may be animalistic, amazing, reaffirming.  Use protection.  Don’t risk your life.  Your spouse would not be the first to reap the benefits of HB while still conducting the affair.

Take care of yourself and know that you will come out on the other side.

Betrayed Spouse Bill of Rights

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