I have seen my own recovery, and that of many other BS follow predictable steps. The steps or stages may be similar but the timelines are very different. Also, once the full set has been run through, stages can be selected in seemigly random fashion.

1.- Devastation.
Fear, shock, confusion, existential pain. Loss of hopes, dreams and every assumption about God and man.
D-day and just afterwards. Don't want to go there again, ever.

2.- Appeasement.
OK, I've been dealt a cr@p hand, but if she will at least stay home SOME of mt life support systems may at least function a bit.

3.- Indignation.
F'k that ! I'm stronger now and i WILL NOT suck up any more pain than I have to. Still scared, but not settling for crumbs.
This is where MB gets SERIOUSLY assimilated and applied. Turns hatred on OM as being to blame for affair.

4.- Gratitude.
The affair is ended, WS sends NC letter, exposure scares OM into darkness. THANK YOU GOD ! LA LA LA LA LA ! Still suspects FWS motivations for coming home, i.e comfort not love.

5.-"Advising others how to be wonderfully recovered like I am"

We have like SF 3 times a day, and a restored marriage is a decent possibility again and I am so PATHETICALLY grateful to not be in the deepest cr@p imaginable I am hyper-happy. Yessiree, no recovery problems for me !This is it for ever and it only took us x months ! Secretly suspects FWS motivations for coming home, i.e comfort not love.

6.-"Ah, theres an elephant in the sitting room"

So day to day life has been OK for a while now. SF, even maybe some ILYs. Kids are happy. Life is ACTUALLY not happier than for years but it is so much better than during the dark times of the affair and withdrawal that it seems that way. But you start to notice the 'elephant' in the sitting room : the enormous baggage of the affair that the BS has been previously too 'fight or flight' or psychotically happy to address. Suspects FWS motivations for coming home, i.e comfort not love.

7.- "I am angry and I don't need you so why am I here ?"

BS has operated in a loveless and hurt world for so long is now amost completely self sufficient. Is no longer even slightly desperate. Does not NEED FWS as whole life support mechanism has HAD to regrow without her while she betrayed and sulked over the months. Feels indignation at both the insult of the affair AND the insult of FWS not contributing HARD to recovery. Feels like an ATM machine and bodyguard and hugely taken for granted. KNOWS FWS still loves OP.

8. - What about MY needs ?

BS has developed a sense of self worth independent of what others think. Has had to. Thinks he deserves MUCH more affection, admiration respect, gratitude. " I didn't put this amount of effort in just to be nagged at all the time, and never be praised. I deserve MORE than that!." The kids happiness at a stable family quells thoughts of rebellion. realises OP was just an amoral scumbag who made the most of an opportunity FWS offered , 100% of the blame for the A is FWS. This hits hard.

9. - Resignation

The kids are happy, I am not unhappy, FWS is happy, this is just my lot in life. Better get on with it.

10.- make or break drive to get a M the BS deserves.

An effort from BS to challenge the peaceful but unsatisfying status quo in an attempt to get BS needs met.

Where do you reckon you are S ?

MB Alumni