It has been 5 months since I found out my wife had an affair. She describes it as friends who crossed the line, but I can tell you it was an affair. At first she told me she wanted to do anything in the world to work it out that she didn't want to divorce or sell our house and that she would pay any consequence to make up for it. I was shocked at first, but after a couple of days I went kind of crasy for a while. I nvestigating and interrogating non-stop. We saw a MC a couple of times, but I kept finding out more and more like she was looking into contraception when I had a vasectomy. She said it only happened three times physically and didnt ever think it would happen or want it to happen again after each time. Fast forward and now she says she doesn't want to even try and work it out. She doesn't feel anything, but she doesn't want us to get a divorce either. She says that my behavoior led her feelings for me to change and that she thinks Iw as never in love with her. I told her I don't want to get a divorce and was willing to try anything. She said she wants me to date other people. Anyone else ever experience this?
Her reasons for not wanting to try are that she doesn't think I really care about her. She says I am just obsessed because I was cheated on. She has also said she is the most miserable she has ever been in her life and just wants me to leave her alone, but when I moved out recently she asked me to come back because she felt bad for the kids (we have a 6 and 3 yo). She is really all over the place, but when I try to talk to her about the relationship or trying to work on it she shuts odwn and says that isn't what she wants. She also doesn't want to do anything about her misery and when I suggest individual counseling or seeing a doctor she tells me it isn't any of my business if she chooses to stay miserable. She recently said to me that because I decided not to leave when I found out she wasn't to blame for this marriage falling apart. I just don't even know what to do anymore. It seems like anything I say will set her off. She says she feels like a prisoner, that she has no social life, that she is destined to be miserable because she is a mother and has to put up with me for the kids. Friends have told me to just try and leave her be for a couple of months and avaoid talkign about it at all. I am not sure what to do, but one thing that is hard is she is really good at making me feel like the villian here. Any ideas?
This message has been edited by blevinscm on Oct 19, 2007 10:48 PM This message has been edited by blevinscm on Oct 19, 2007 10:35 PM
Welcome to HH, home of the hurt and sympathetic. We have all dealt with some variation of your story, so we understand. I am sorry you are going through this nightmare.
First off, make sure you are taking care of yourself and your kids. Make sure you get enough exercise, sleep, and healthy meals. Second, if you haven't had any IC to help you deal with this situation, I strongly recommend that you do so. It is so important for BS to understand and accept that even if the marriage was having problems pre-A (and not all are!), your wife is 100% responsible for giving herself permission to have an A. Of course it makes absolutely NO sense whatsoever for a spouse who is unhappy in the marriage to get into an A. Doing so just exacerabates a problem; it never improves it!
In addition, if you have not yet read any of the excellent books on A (see list on Helpful Links on the left side of this page), I urge you to do so. The three books that I found most helpful are Janis Abrahm Spring's "After the Affair" and "How Can I Forgive You?" and Dr. Shirley Glass' "Not JUST Friends." I also recommend that at some point you print out a copy of Joseph's letter and give it to your wife. You will likely benefit from reading at Peggy Vaughan's website, dearpeggy.com, too.
WS who are still in the fog often perch themselves on the fence between staying in the marriage and leaving it. They have already lied to themselves when they started the A, and they often continue lying to themselves after the A has ended because they can not bear to admit to themselves just how bad their choices were and how much damage they have done to the BS and the marriage. Trust me, her telling you that she didn't love you or didn't believe you loved her is just another version of the famous WS line "I love you, but I'm not IN love with you" that BS have been hearing since before Moses could walk.
You see how messed up she is, but she is still in the A fog, and she refuses to admit she is wrong. It sounds like she is confused and hurting and going to IC would be really beneficial to her. She and you both need her to go to IC to discover what is in her background that she was able to give herself permission to have an A. She doesn't have a clear understanding of appropriate and healthy boundaries, and she needs to develop one if your marriage is to heal.
Most experts in treating infidelity agree that it takes about two years for a marriage to heal--that is when both partners are actively working on self and marriage. (I am three years out from Dday 2.)
My question to you is what do you want? Remembering that you can only tell your wife what your boundaries are and what consequences you will put into place if your boundaries are crossed, what are you planning to do to save your marriage?
It's OK for you to decide not to decide anything for a while, just to focus on healing yourself. I don't know what impact her A has had on your self-esteem and health, but if you haven't started on the rollercoaster ride, at some point you will, so it is good to find out as much about A and A recovery as you can, so you will be prepared to deal with the downside when it hits.
Not too many folks post on the weekend, but don't give up if you don't get many replies in the next day or so. The people here are wonderful, kind and supportive. I am just sorry you have a need to be here. Love those sweet little ones of yours because they need their daddy very much right now because their mommy doesn't sound like she is capable of doing her best.
Oh yeah it hit me. I was on the rollercoaster and still am. I lost 80 pounds because of this and I was really up and down. I am in IC and my therapist actually wants to meet her. We did try to go to counseling a couple of times, but it was much too soon because I was still in full PTSD mode and the counselor put on restrictions on me to not niivestigate or ask questions. When I did that was the premise for WS to push me away. She said she wants a divorce, she said I have put her through hell and that she refuses to live in hell. I don't want to get a divorce. I am willing to "try" anything to keep my family intact. I have told her I think she really needs to get some IC and she said my opinion means nothing to her because if my opinion meant anything to her she would have killed herself a long time ago.
The hardest part it seems like there isn't anyone that will help my cause that she will listen to. I have made a decision to live here as roommates for right now and do my best to give her the space and time she needs to make up her mind what she wants. Her complaint now is that she doesn't believe anything I say or do. She says that she is in constant paranoia and that I make her miserable. Thank you for your response. I will post as things happen to get feedback. For now my plan is to work on me, take care of my kids and let her figure out what she wants. She has some pretty formiddable defense mechanisms though so I am not holding my breath that it will ever hit her.
Wife has told me she needs time to figure things out and just wants space. She doesn't know how she feels and doesn't know what she wants to do. She wants to stay together for the kids, but she says "she can't handle this anymore". I told her look the simple truth is that you don't beleive that anyone can love you especially me and you are afraid to "TRY and work it out". She said I was delusional and that "Maybe it was just that I am an AHole". I told her the fact of the matter is that I do not want a divorce and I will not file for divorce and I am willing to do anything to try and keep my family intact and she is not. She told me that she doesn't think it is fair for me to say that. She realizes the best thing for everyone is that we work it out but she doesn't think she can try right now because she is too messed up (still refuses to go to IC) and can't I just give her some time and breathing room. In response I wrote her this Email to make sure she understood my boundaries:
I am writing this because I feel our conversations really get us nowhere right now. I know you want some piece and this will be the last I say on this until you make up your mind on whether you are willing to try and work it out or if you want a divorce. I first want to say:
1) I do understand that my lying about checking up on you and the extent to which I took it was too far and I understand that it was totally unfair and disrespectful to you. I am sorry for that.
2) I understand that you are going through alot right now and it is hard to believe anything I say.
The following is the God's honest truth.
I care about you. You are a very important part of my life and I need you in it. I truly do need you and want to reconnect with you and start our marriage fresh.
I love our kids and want them to grow up in a family with both of us there. You have also stated that you know us working it out would be the best thing for the kids.
I recognize that I was not the perfect husband and not the perfect Family man. These are things that I am working on personally along with controlling my obsessive nature, balancing my work-life and emotional availability.
I accept my share of the blame for our marriage falling apart and leading up to the conditions that made it vulnerable to both of our affairs.
I do not believe you deserve any punishment. I treated you very poorly after finding out and it I am truly truly sorry for that. My reaction and my emotions were out of control.
Because I believe these things and accept them I am willing to try anything to work it out. For that to have any chance I understand that you need piece of mind and just some stability to think which I am willing to give you that so you can think and figure it out by just living our lives day to day for right now.
For my piece of mind and my mental well being while this is going on there are certain boundaries that I am asking you to adhere to. This is not about controlling you which I don't want to do, but what my boundaries are and what I need to be able to live in this situation right now. I need piece of mind as well and certain things you have done lately has made it difficult for me to live in our current situation.
I understand that in your mind "you are not with me" and that we are not at that point, but to me that is not the case. We are still married, we still live in the same house, we still share money and we still rely on each other. I need you to agree that until we decide to formally separate or divorce that you are with me and that means monogamy.
I understand that you have male friends at work, but I am asking you to limit your interactions with them to appropriate levels of contact at this time. My boundary is that anything more than a handshake with any other man is too far right now. It makes me uncomfortable and hurts me. When Rick and Marvin came to the house you gave both of them hugs to greet them. I do not feel this is appropriate behavior between coworkers, and the fact that you did not hug me when you left must have seemed odd to them.
I want you to go out and have fun, but the fact that you drank to the point of passing out and throwing up the next day was a problem for me but I wanted to be understanding and caring and so I didn't try and make a big deal out of it. It is also a problem for me that you did that with Mel at that party and then didn't tell me he was there. My boundary from this point forward is that you need to keep your consumption of alcohol to a level that allows you think clearly. If you can't do that then I am asking that you not to drink.
No contact with OP.
When I ask where you are going to be or any other information it is unfair for you to ask me why. I have a right to know where you are going to be and I have right to know about what is going in our house. Because of what happened I am changed and so I want to know more now. It was wrong for me to be so detached in the first place and I realize that now. My boundary is that you are open with information on where you will be, what you have been doing, what you will be doing and what is going on with our finances and our home. This is normal for any married couple which we still are.
These things are about me and what I need to continue to live day to day and have piece of mind in my life. It is not about me thinking you are a slut or you are a bad person. I know that you are neither. It is about my comfort level and what I need to stay sane and not be a wreck.
You can decide that you won't adhere to my personal boundaries and if that is the case then I will have to decide whether I can continue this way. I do not believe that this is asking too much. I am willing to do my best to do whatever you need right now as well so you can make the best decision for you. Please let me know if you are willing to do what I need to live and give you the piece of mind that you want.
I care about you and hope that we eventually can try to be together again and keep our family intact.
One statement that JUMPED off the screen was "I accept my share of the blame for our marriage falling apart and leading up to the conditions that made it vulnerable to both of our affairs."
Am I understanding you correctly? Did you have an A prior to her having one or concurrently? If so, we've got a whole other ballgame going on. If that is the case, there is a good chance that the Mods will move your thread over to Open because WS are only permitted to post on Open as a way of keeping Healing Heart and Deeper Healing safe for BS. Of course we want you to keep posting and reaching out for help because obviously you know you need help, but the Mods have an obligation to keep the site feeling safe for the BS.
It is good that you came up with boundaries for yourself, but because I don't know the sequence of activity, I don't know if your W had an A as a way of lashing back at you for having one. I hope that if I understood you correctly, and you did have an A, that one of the HUGE issues you are discussing in IC is why you had one. As a BS, I desperately needed to understand why my H could have an A. When I read your last post and you talked about having been distant from your W, what came to my mind was how distant and cold my H was to me during the years that he was involved with OW.
I really hope that your W will go into IC. If you did have an A, and especially if you and your W didn't have any kind of IC and WC, there is a strong possibility that your W is getting drunk and passing out and acting out inappropriately with other men because she was traumatised by your A and that she had what is called a revenge A. If she did, there is no wonder she is full of anger and self-loathing because, of course, as much as her actions may have hurt you, they hurt her even more.
Please correct me if I misread what you wrote because I do not want to write anything that would hurt an innocent person. Actually, I don't want to write anything to hurt ANYONE. I just want people to get the kind of help they need for their specific situations.
I am glad you are going to IC, as it can be a life-changing opportunity. I hope your W will go for HER sake, too.
I do need you to clarify if you yourself did have an affair. If that is true the post will be moved to the Open Forum. It really is not a problem if you post as both, but any postings in regards to your affair will have to be on open. You can post on Healing and Deeper as a BS, you just can not discuss your affair on these forums. I know it seems odd, but often a BS is not ready to hear from a WS and for that reason we keep the healing and deeper forums BS only so they can feel safe.
PS thank you ff for pointing the matter out to us.
I did not cheat on my wife or even come close to cheating. I did have inappropriate relationships in my mind though. I talked with another woman about my marriage and the problems in it and shared things with her that I did not share with my wife. It was a friendship with a woman that I now see as having too much emotional involvement. I did not ever cheat or even think about cheating though.
Thanks for the clarification. I don't know how long or how involved you were with this woman. You might want to do some reading about EA. And I don't know whether this involvement preceded or followed your W's A.
Regardless, it sounds like both you and your wife are hurting. I am sorry for that. I hope your W will get some IC, so she can discover why she lacks the boundaries that would have helped prevent her A.
Dear Chris - Let me add my welcome. I apologize for not responding to your thread earlier. Life is indeed....complicated...for us all. But, please know your message is being read and heard. We are all sorry for the pain that you are in.
Thank you so much for your recent clarification. I know I had been confused by something you said in the email letter to your wife:
"I accept my share of the blame for our marriage falling apart and leading up to the conditions that made it vulnerable to both of our affairs."
In saying "both of our affairs", it sounded like you both had cheated on the other. Though you've clarified that you have never had a physical affair with anyone, I'm wondering if, in this sentence, you are including the idea of your emotional affair, or if instead, you are sharing the responsibility for your wife's affair. (Did she have more than one?)
I'm most concerned if you are somehow taking on responsibility for your wife's bad decision(s) and behavior. Even if you were a terrible husband who made outrageous demands on your wife, nothing - nothing! - condones or justifies an affair. There is always divorce. There is always counseling. There are just so many other avenues. Nothing gave her justification or a "right" to go out and do this.
Frankly, you don't seem from your post like an uncaring spouse. You seem very connected with her hurt and her anger...to the point that your own feelings and needs remain unheard, unseen and unimportant by her/to her.
Perhaps there is more to your particular situation that is still unknown to us. Your wife is obviously very angry at you. But it is unclear why. Oftentimes, WS will deflect their emotions and blame their spouses for everything under the sun. But was your wife angry at you before she had the A?
Whatever the answer to that question is, I really liked the boundaries that you outlined for your W in the email. They're very clear. They are not at all unreasonable. However, the last adjective I would use to describe your W right now is "reasonable". She seems to very much be running in circles herself and with you because in the end, when she stops and thinks about what happened or talks with you about it, all roads of blame end up leading to HER (correctly so). She can't handle that. She is futilely trying to escape dealing with the mess she created and I believe has been hoping that you would let her off the hook by:
(a) leaving her and the marriage (then you can look like the bad guy).
(b) blaming you for everything leading up to the A (because she's trying to justify her behavior)
(c) punishing you for your reactions and feelings regarding finding out about the A (because this takes the focus off of what she did wrong and creates a diversion)
(d) giving her space (because it postpones her having to face the consequences of her actions).
I don't know what your reaction was when you found out about her A(s). I know I fell apart into deep depression that spiralled in time into acting like a P.I. because my H wasn't offering any information. You have every right to be hurt, angry, depressed, confused, whatever! None of us would have the right to physically hurt our spouse after learning of an affair, but do we have a right to EMOTIONALLY express all those feelings: hell, yes!!!!!!!
My response here has gone longer than I planned. Chris, I am frankly afraid that your W has spun a web to entangle you so that you have no clear path to exist. That is not fair, nor right.
There are a number of people here at HH who have "fence-sitting" spouses - - they will not commit to whether or not the marriage should be worked on. I think you could benefit from hearing from them...and from talking/venting/sharing with them. "Deeper Healing" doesn't always get as many posts as the "Healing Heart" and "Open Board" portions of this site. I really, really hope we will see more of you here. Your situation is tugging very much at my heart and I am concerned for you and the games your wife is playing.
I wish for both of you a path towards healing. BlueIris
"We cannot wait for the storm to pass; we must learn to walk in the rain."
Wife has told me she needs time to figure things out and just wants space.
Space so she can continue her affair and you won't get in the way???
She doesn't know how she feels and doesn't know what she wants to do.
Yes she does. She wants her cake and wants to eat it to. You've destroyed that by finding out about the affair. Now she has to do something, and she can't make a decision.
She wants to stay together for the kids, but she says "she can't handle this anymore".
What is "this" exactly? A committed relationship? Working out tough marital problems together instead of going to somebody else?
Your wife does not sound the least bit remorseful for what she has done. That is pretty normal, and a marriage cannot begin to heal until she realizes that the problem is her not you!
I suggest you start attending individual counselling and start working on healing you. If she decides to join in along the way and participate in the marriage then good, if she doesn't that is her loss.
Read as many books as you can get your hands on relating to infidelity.
Lastly, don't have sex with her until you are absolutely certain she doesn't have any STD's and she is no longer having sex with somebody else!!!! I thought having sex with my exhusband was safe, and I now have an STD I must live with for the rest of my life. Go get tested yourself, but know that STD's like HSV are usually only diagnosed once you have an outbreak. By then its pretty much too late.
If you truly want to heal the marriage you must insist on no contact. If she can't do that to repair it then I would question her motivation and remorsefulness.
Be strong. This is tough but you will get through it.
Before finding out about my wIfes affair on May 15 I wuold not have considered my relationship with this woman an Affair. She was a really good friend who understood me and I could talk to. After finding out about my wife's affair and reading everything I could on Infidelity and how to survive it I realiized this was naive on my part. I beleive now that if there are thoughts and feelings I can't share with my wife I should not be sharing them with another woman. This friendship was only a couple of months, but I ended the friendship once I realized it was inappropriate. To my knowlesge she has only the one affair that consisted of approximately three months of "friendship" and three pyhsical encounters. I learned about it because my 17 1/2 yo step son thought it would be funny to put a key logger on my wifes computer otherwise I never would ahve found out. I had total trust in my wife. We have been married for 7 years now and she was always so adamant that infidelity could never be overcome and that she was all about the family.
She has had a very hard life. Abaondment by her father, her mother, the father of my step son was killed in a drug deal when she was 22 and her son was 3. She then decided it would be smart to marry his best friend who proceeded to go to jail for 6 years for armed robbery. I met her in 1998 when she was just starting to get her feet under her as an RN (put herslef through school and worked during the night) and we had an instant connection, but as time wore on we grew apart. I take my responsiblity for not being there emotionally and for not doing more to make our marriage better. I do not nor will ever accept blame for her actions. You are right about that BlueIris. I always cared about her and still do, but I can say we did fall out of love with each other. I beleive she is angry because she has made another decision that has made her life harder than it needed to be like when she had a kid at 19 with a drug addict, married his best friend, prmiscuity throughout her life. When she met me I beleive she saaw it as a way to atone for all of that and make a life she could be proud of which we did. I beleive She is angry at me because I couldn't make her happy. We grew apart and she feels like she did everything she could to keep us together which I can say now looking back he did try mroe than I. She is angry at me for my emotions and now for her "feeling like a prisoner". I can only guess what else.
I am living with her and giving her time because I want to do the right thing and be able to walk away if I have to knowing I tried every possible thing to save my family. It SOOOOOOOO hard. She constantly keeps me at arms elngth, she tells me she wants me to date other peoople, she says that I am like every other man who will leave his kidsin the dust when I meet another woman, she says that I obsesses like every other man that is cheated on because I want to prove my worth and win her back, she says that I have issues and that she doesn't know what she wants or whether she can work it out mind you when I found uot she said she would spend the rest of her life making it up to me and pay any consequence to stay together. Now I do feel trapped. I have thought of leaving and when I expressed that she said I am abandoning my chldren. I want to be here, but God it hurts so bad. I feel like the table have totally been turned and I am the bad person here. Anyone else get this treatment?
IMO your wife is deflecting the blame onto you so she doesn't have to take responsibility for what "SHE" did. She is deep in the fog so do not consider anything she throws at you as rational. Obviously you know right from wrong because you cut off a relationship that was inappropriate before it went too far.
I got the comments about being with another man from my H after d day too. In their minds if we were with another person it may get them off the hook and ease their quilt.
My H used the analogy of that I didn't love him anyway so he thought it wouldn't matter if he slept with OW. Saying we would leave the relationship if we slept with another person is another way of releasing themselves of blame and in a way giving themselves a pat on the back for not leaving.
I understand why you feel trapped by wanting to salvage what is left of a family and ruined relationship while dealing with a wife that is not remorseful.
Unless and until she takes responsibility for the A recovery won't start. Honest communicating is of utmost importance in a marriage. With her avoidance of taking responsibility and her request for time to figure out what she wants, she has put herself in control over you. She does not deserve this status right now.
All I can say is don't let an out of control person control your life.
Thank you for your post. I would also like to take an opportunity to apologize for my horrible typing. Rereading this I realized I have not been very diligent on the edit review.
Question: How will she ever come out of the fog? She refuses to get IC. She refuses to go to MC. She says both are a waste of time and money until she can figure out what she wants. Anyone out there been in this situation? How do they come out of the fog? My friend told me I needed to show her a world without me in it for her to realize, but I just think this might backfire and I don't want to hurt my kids.
At one point she called me at work and said "she thought I should leave her because she is just a bad person". I convinced her that wasn't true and that she just needed help and we started to go to counseling. The counselor put these rules in place that I shouldn't question her or investigate the affair any more, then thru the course of my "investigation" which for me felt impossible to stop I found out more about the affair like her looking into birth control. She said she never intended it to happen again after each time, but this sort of called that into question. Once I brought that up all the sudden she wanted out of the marriage and refused to go to counseling. This was three months ago.
I figured her telling me to sleep with someone else was a way of relieving her guilt. I am not sure how she thought it would make anything better though. If you hit someone in the face and then feel bad and let them hit you in the face does it make their face stop hurting? Heck no.
I am glad to hear that what she is saying is pretty common it makes it easier, but what do I do in the meantime?
Hey Chris, welcome, a few things which came to mind on your post
October 29 2007, 3:44 PM
I have noticed here on HH that a lot of us with fence-sitting spouses spend our energy on wishing and hoping and looking for them to do something different and, y'know....they don't. They don't because while WE are doing all the agonising, they don't HAVE to do anything, and so they don't.
Several folks here have said that the definition of insanity is keeping on doing the same thing hoping for a different result.
Chris I came to the conclusion that nothing was going to change unless I made the changes, took a step back, thought about what I would advise someone else, and...started putting myself first, not last, and stopped making allowances for bad behavior. My H often blames his bad childhood. Well he didn't have a great time - a lot don't - but he had a stable family with pretty normal issues in it, I wish I could say the same. I have learnt to get through stuff, H learnt to avoid it and dump blame wherever he could.
Anyone no matter how battered by life can choose to draw a line under it and go on into the future different. That your W will not or can not is sad, it's awful to watch, it is tragic, but it is not your decision.
Ultimately if you stand there and take whatever she throws at you, the damage you suffer is your choice, sad, but true; that IS your decision, another thing I finally figured out after having H have an A then do nothing for over 2 years to either improve the situation, or leave...not a good time for me.
In all the things I have gone through in life, the last three years have been the worst. The lessons I have learnt have been hard ones!
My advice is - think on the kind of life you need and want, and set your eyes on that, and walk resolutely towards it. YOu may not need to get there, your W MAY turn around and improve, but you need direction and choice, and that's how you get it. I appreciate your concern for your kids but so long as you remain stable and predictable and loving, they will cope.
I don't believe she is using her tough life as an excuse. I think one of the major problems is she uses it as a badge of honor of some kind that she has survived all of that by just moving forward and getting on with her life. She built up defense mechanisms to do that and it has now manifested in halting any kind of reconciliation. She doesn't understand why I can't just "move on", but I know that defense mechanisms like hers to try and forget about what she has done now and in her past are only going to surface one day and it will take an exorcist to handle all the crap that comes out. I am hoping to avoid that for my kids sake.
One thing I have learned in IC is you can't just move forward because you will keep making the same mistakes. I am starting to realize the mistakes I have made and starting to understand that if I don't deal with them I will make them again. I am a fixer. I have a compulsive need to fix people and situations, and I have to learn to stop being that way. I never would have recognized that in myself if it not for wifes A and me seeking individual counseling. I wish my wife would go to IC and see that those defense mechanisms are what keep her from being happy. If you keep screwing your life up and don't do anything to learn from it but just move on then in the future you are doomed to make the same mistakes. I am endeavoring to wait patiently to see if she comes to realize that on her own. My patience is not infinite and eventually if she doesn't then we will have to move on with our lives separately, which will suck, but I can't fix her this time.
Everyone is right she has to want to fix herself and right now she can't make that decision, and thinks that what she is doing to survive will allow her to move on again. Defense mechanisms help you survive, but only so you can die slower I think.
Chris - I'm sorry for the bind your W is putting you in. Its a horrible thing when a person won't face their demons/issues/shortcomings to try and turn their lives around. It would be one thing if there were no ripple effect for the family and friends they are connected with, but there are.
I'm wondering if you would be at all comfortable with setting some sort of timeline for your W to have space, with the understanding that when that time is up, she needs to either really start working on herself and reconciliation, or she needs to make the decision to be who she is...even if it means sacrificing your M. Its late here, and maybe I shouldn't be spouting ideas when I'm this tired, so I'm not sure that's necessarily the wisest road to follow. But it would at least not leave you stuck. An idea to mull around.
Just as an FYI, there is something similar in your W's defensiveness and deflection on making you out to be the bad guy that reminds me of BlueBayou here at H.H. I do think there are other people here who have a similar experience of getting the tables turned on them, adding insult to already grievous injury. Perhaps BlueBayou or others could speak of their experience and what's worked/what hasn't for them.
((Chris)) I keep thinking of you and your kids and hoping somehow that your W doesn't miss the opportunity to save her family, marriage and herself. It would be a lot of work, but isn't that a better prospect than reliving old destructive patterns? I know: I'm preaching to the choir. Wish there was a way for HER to hear and understand the threshold she's on. BlueIris
"We cannot wait for the storm to pass; we must learn to walk in the rain."
How long has it been since D- day? Like Blue Iris said, it may be helpful to you to have some kind of timeline in your head , make it known to your W, when you feel ready. Let her know, that within this timeline, she needs to be committed to the M, with sincere effort on facing her problems that are breaking the M, or else face going her own way...
I am in a similar situation...My D-day was a year and 2 weeks ago...I haven't seen the improvement I need in my H(I've made it clear to him my bounderies and what I need) he still blames me for not meeting his needs..we are physically together in the house, but emotionally separated.. My H is in this fog of thinking I can work on my problem of not meeting his needs, and once I conquer that, and start attending to his needs the M will be a good one again...Unless I see H work on his problems, and stop blaming me for the A, I will physically separate from him, when my finances allow me to have a little peace of mind, (I'm slowly getting there).
He won't leave the house, and I'm not going to leave until we can work things out somewhat legally.
Take care of yourself...
It has been 5 months since D-Day. We got into a heated conversation today where she said can you just leave me alone? Over and over again. I ask her what she wants from me and she says "nothing", but we still rely on each other. We still look to each other for support. It is so frustratng to keep hearing just leave me alons, give me "piece of mind", give me some time. I have told her that I will give her till January 5. If she can't make a decision by then I will have to make my decisions.
So yesterday was an interesting day. I got into it with my wife about her inability to make a commitment and decided for good measure that I would tell her everything that is wrong with her. Of course this wasn't going very well and she said look it is as simple as this "either you give me time and leave me alone so I can have peace of mind or you won't. I told her I didn't think I could do that she said then leave. I said okay I am on my home to pack. She hung up on me.
She called me en route on my cell phone and asked me not to make a scene. I said I wasn't going to. I was going to come home talk to the kids explain that I had to leave and pack. She said that is making a scene. So I said I will wait till they go to sleep then I will pack and leave. She said "oh that is just great". I asked her how she suggested I do it then and she said like a man. I of course followed up that question with "so tell me how a man should do it then". I then went on a tirade and told her that she either needed to own what she did, be sorry for it and commit to addressing her serious problems or divorce me. I said a lot more than that, and when I got home it continued. I started packing and she said you know I work the next four nights are you going to be here. I told her no, she wants to be single so she can figure it out like other single moms, just like I will have to figure it out when I am single father and I have the kids. She started crying and said I wasn't being fair to the kids. I told her I was being fair and that she "can't have her cake and eat it to", and if she couldn't handle it then she should leave and I will stay wit the kids and figure out how to make it work. She cried even more to that.
So I gave in and said look, "I will give you till January 1" to make up your mind on what you want to do. Whether you want to try and save our family or you want to be single? So that is where I am now. When I came home today she wouldn't talk to me and was obviously mad still, but I just couldn't do the fence sitting any longer. I am committed to leaving her alone for the next two months, but after that she has to make up her mind.
Quite a way to begin November, eh? I dont think the gist of what you were telling your W was wrong at all, Chris. It sounds like it may have over-escalated at points. However, youve been in a pressure cooker in many ways because of the circular thinking shes been doing and how shes reversed the blame and made herself into a victim. Youve bent over backwards in many ways to give her space and to let her know you want to work on the marriage. All that being nice and supportive has gotten you and the M no where. I think you were ready to blow.
Im not big on confrontation and angry dialogue. Thats rooted a lot in my family past. I know for me, I would potentially shut down or shut out what was being said by the other person if I was getting yelled at. However, sometimes a person needs to get loud to be heard.
I like that with every criticism your W had about how you would be leaving, you either suggested another reasonable approach or you asked her how it should be done, and didnt just let her get away with criticism and put-downs.
I still think the January deadline is a good idea. Its reasonable. It gives her time. It sets out your need for a decision. It seems fair.
If I were in your shoes, I think I would consider taking the time to write your W a letter. Id apologize for anything unkind Id said the day before, or that had been said in the heat of the moment that might have added fuel to the fire already burning in her. From there, I would reiterate the January 1 deadline, but I would add to that the other things that are important to you for reconciliation should she choose to work on the M. In other words, if she says at the beginning of the year, Chris, Ive decided I want this marriage to work. I think it would be appropriate for you to have already given her a list with what you want that reconciliation to consist of, i.e., IC, MC, behavioral changes with people of the opposite sex, etc., etc. Whatever are critical sticking points for you that you view as important on a going-forward basis. I guess maybe restating what you'd already outlined for her that you shared with us in an earlier posting...but really look at that and fine tune it to a "T".
Hanging in there for 2 months without really working on the M is asking you to be incredibly patient with your pain. Honestly, its quite a gift to your W in light of what shes done. And I am fearful of the damage it does to you to contain your need to work through this trauma. Perhaps you could go to IC during this time yourself?
It strikes me that the two of you have a great deal of trouble talking with one another without things getting pretty emotional. Is that accurate? If it is, its a pattern that the two of you will need to both change.
I dont think you made a mistake, Chris, in talking with your W. Could the execution of it have gone better? Maybe. In the end, though, I think shes got your message loud and clear and that, sir, is a very, very, very good thing. BlueIris
"We cannot wait for the storm to pass; we must learn to walk in the rain."
I am in IC. Have been for a while now and I don't think I would have been able to make it this long without it. She was very angry it seemed to me when I got home today. I am sure she is stewing right now on a lot of things I said to her. I am hoping that just one thing might have sunk in with her. That there is a very real possiblity that there could be a world without me. As soon as she thought I was leaving she didn't want me to leave, but she said she wasn't attracted to me and didn't have feelings for me because of my emotional reaction after finding out about the affair.
I asked her if she was not physically and sexually attracted to me and she said it wasn't that; she said that she wasn't attracted to my personality. This was very diffcult to hear and I asked her to tell me what the exact personality traits were that she didn't like. She said she wasn't comfortable telling me that because she couldn't think clearly.
I am committed to trying to work things out, but I just felt like you all said that if I didn't put a timeframe on it she would have held me in limbo forever. I also discovered she isn't willing to go to counseling because she feels I am only going to want to rehash the whole affair. I admit when we tried to go to couneling before I was hung up on rehashing the affair, but now I want to work on our relationship. You know there are so many things I could say about what transpired last night.
One of the last things she said to me is that "I guess I will just have to put on a front and pretend to work it out with you or my kids will suffer" This is of course not what I want. I want her to want to remarry me. I want us to start fresh and learn from our first marriage and the problems we had. She doesn't believe me though because I have told her that she needs to address, "How she allowed herself to do something so destructive to her life"
Well I guess I am really just babbling at this point, but I wanted to say thank you for your support.
Well my WS has now crossed a line in that she hit me over 20 times when I tried to leave the house, then she said that I made her do it. I am now done with trying. Her inability to take responsiblity for anything is beyond anything anyone could expect of me. This happened three days ago and the next day I told her that I would stay in the house until Janary so as not to ruin the kids holidays, but that I am done and I will be filing for divorce as soon as the new year hits ( I would now but I don't think she could emotionally handle it). She is a sranger to me now. The hitting for me wasn't a big deal. It is not like she could really hurt me, but to blame me and say I pushed her to it is the end. I have now totally detached and she has even used the word "I guess you are now indifferent towards me".
THAT IS CORRECT.
Want to hear the irony of it, she said to me tonight she wants to try and work it out. I responded with two words, "Too Late."
Oh, Chris. I am so very sorry for all that you've had to endure. It is perfectly understandable that you are at the end of your rope. Certainly, none of us should have ever had to suffer the anguish of our spouse's A, but physical abuse (whether she has the pure strength to cause damage or not) is a deal breaker.
Sadly, I don't find it that surprising that now - finally - she is expressing a desire to work things out. I don't know what is in her psyche that needed you to hit bottom, too. But all her name-calling and blaming was emotional abuse, and each of us has a limit to just how much they can take.
Have the kids sensed anything? Do they know any of what's going on? Do you have a plan to talk with them? I don't trust that your W will handle that well, and I fear for their emotional well-being. Its going to be difficult enough even if informing them is handled well. But your W seems ...unstable. She already blames you so much for what she herself did. Will she paint your leaving the M in such a way that she'd make the kids blame you, too?
Please do be careful. I don't know how desperate she'll become to hold on once the reality of you filing for D and leaving set in.
This site can still be a resource for you, too, Chris. Though many of us are working diligently at R (whether are spouses are or not) there are also a number of other people who have reached the end of their rope. Please know whatever you wish to share, vent, and even celebrate you are still welcome here.
My thoughts are with you for the strength you'll need in the days to come. My hopes are with you for better days to come. My prayers are with you and your children - - and even your W - - that all of you will come out of this crisis safely. Be well. BlueIris
"We cannot wait for the storm to pass; we must learn to walk in the rain."
Unfortunately my son walked ina nd saw her hitting me and thoring my stuff out the window. He went up to his mother and said I hate you I hate you. I think that was the main thing that made her snap. It was very unfortunate. She is trying to act like we are still a family. Had my son's birthday party today and most of the people don't even know we are having problems.
All they do know is that I look 10 years younger because I lost 80 lbs, and they ask me how it is just the usual "Oh just watching what I eat and working out" Which is total BS. She then numerous times tried to engage me in some form of conversation and each time I shut it down. At one time she was trying to tell me about this deal at work this person got on a Plasma screen TV and if I thought that it wa a good price, "I said I have no idea I really don't know what the prices on Plasmas are" She responded, "That she finds it hard to beleive I wouldn't know about theproce of electronics and wouldn't it be easier to just say FU since it is less words." No reaction from me. Not a word which I could tell infuriated her even more. I think I am going to have to just say, "Look I don't want to talk to you about anything unless it has to do with the kids, so STOP talking to me". Thanks again for your support and caring Blue and everyoen else. I have gone numb and I am sure there is no turning back.
I'm so sorry you have such anger. It shows you still care, and if you still care, it will make leaving all the much more difficult.
It sounds like what you want may be something she can no longer give.
Personally, and now looking back (hindsight's always 20/20!), I reacted out of anger right after DDay 3, and regret some decisions.
Perhaps licking your wounds for a while wouldn't be such a bad idea. But I think you do need to communicate with your wife how you feel, so she can back off for a while, because it sounds to me like right now you are enjoying seeing her suffer, and I truly don't think that's what you want.
Sorry. I can feel your pain.
Peace is not just the absence of war; it's an exercise in compassion. -Dalai Lama
Coming to you from JJ
Well as many of you have read and know I was done in my marriage and made it known that I was going to be starting divorce proceedings at the beginning of the year which my fence sitting WS said she wanted as well. Over Thanksgiving I found out that the affair was more than just friends crossing the line as she put it and P encounters happened more than the three times she told me. Even though mentally I had detached this brought back all kinds of emotions and I decided to move out now instead of waiting.
As I was packing she admitted to me, "That she never wanted a divorce, she always intended to work things out, but she couldn't handle all the drama so it was easier to be mad at me and keep me at a distance." She now says she wants to go to counseling with me and try and work things out. Question: What if it is too late for me? I have been waiting to hear her say that, but now I am not sure.
Interesting turn of events... For those with Fence Sitting spouses, I can tell you that being Bright Shiny and Indifferent worked to get the result of her committing to trying to work things out.
I guess I am going to go to counseling and give it a try, but I just don't know if I can:
I just reread your posts and have to say I think it is wonderful that your W is now willing to go to counseling, but make sure she gets in to IC, not just MC for the two of you. It sounds as if your W has so much baggage that she needs to work on herelf before she can really work on MC.
You say it might be too late for you and that very well may be, but if you don't give it a chance you will probably regret it. You outlined boudaries in your previous posts make sure they are still in place and that W is adhering to them. She also needs to accept that you will be suspicous and need to check up on her, that is a normal part of repairing trust. Don't apologize for your need to have proof that she is not doing anything wrong. You blindly trusted her before and got burned. Of course you will now need proof that she is being truthful, trustworthy and faithful.
I know it seems like it has been forever that you are dealing with this issue, but it really has only been a little over 6 months. Affair recovery is estimated at around 2 years and thats if the WS has been doing everything right from day 1. It is a long process and there are many ups and downs. But now that your WS seems to be coming arounbd maybe you can start making some baby steps forward.
You may also want to look into a different MC, than the first one you had. I don't think I would be comfortable with an MC that said you shouldn't ask any more questions about the A. IMHO.
I truly hope you and your wife can work things out.
Sadly, the small amount of WS that do eventually check back into the marriage and strive to repair the damage, usually don't do so until they realize they are loosing something worth keeping. Sigh... Plan A, Plan B appears to have the best percentage of success, if there is anything that makes a WS see. You have done Plan A, Plan B, whether you did it knowingly or not.
I wish you the best. I believe you are doing the right thing by attempting to give your marriage a 2nd chance. If it turns out that it is, indeed, too late, then it is. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is always better to make sure first.
I think Lee offered excellent advice, as well as Ami. I also think that if you do not try this one last thing, that perhaps you will always wonder "what if". I am of the mind, that I have to know I did all I could before giving up...not that you havent, and you may very well BE done. I also agree that for MC to do any good, your W must also go to IC and work on her personal issues. I wish you and your W luck
"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection" ~ Buddha