Skelling and WSBob -
No one here takes offense and you probably have helped many people by seeing that similar issues echo in all our lives. Both of you need a short break (I mean like an afternoon, not a BREAK) to recover your equilibrium. Youa re still really, really, really early in this process. i can guarantee Skelling is still in PTSD mode and WSBob has a lot to unpack on his own. No one see either one of you as the good guy or the bad guy. You are two good people who have gone WAY off track and hurt each other really really badly. That is done. All you have a choice over is where you go from here. On a related note - parenting is HARD. You are both going to disagree at times. I will say that as a parent one of the most painful things that my husband has ever done (besides having an affair) was talk to me about our daughter in a way that made me feel like he didn't approve. During the time he was living away from home for work (and became involved in the affair), I was home helping my parents make a cross-country move when our daughter called hysterical from college. I drove to where she was going to college and slowly unraveled the fact hat she was having massive panic attacks (to the point of almost passing out) and suicidal thoughts. I stayed with her for the next 5 weeks to get her through the end of the semester and brought her home, slowly learning more as she felt comfortable to share. What it boiled down to is that she had a very progressed eating disorder along with clinical anxiety and depression. Where one started and the other ended wasn't clear - but both were threatening her life. I tried to share this with my husband but he struggled to understand (he wasn't there to see it first hand) - he thought she needed some tough love and to learn to "toughen up". It was how he was raised and one of the many reasons he has a hard time even labeling his emotional needs, much less articulate them. I, however, was there - and had days where I had to steel myself to go into to her room to wake her up - because I was terrified she'd be dead of suicide or a heart attack (I lost a friend in college to this from bulimia so I knew it was very possible.) This period hurt me almost as much as the affair. I never felt more devalued as a mother in my life. I was already doubting myself because my daughter was suffering - and he was not helping. In the three years since DD we've talked about this, and he has admitted that he was afraid and how he coped was trying to make it small and minimize it. He felt guilty because he knew he had said things about people's weight in the past (and even hers) that he thought were jokes but clearly had taken root in her head. In order to not live in guilt, he had to minimize it, make it not that big of a deal... but that hurt her and me. I don't tell you this because I think your issues are similar... they obviously aren't. I am pointing out that our feelings about who we are as a parent go DIRECTLY to our heart. It is one of the things we ALREADY doubt ourselves about - so when a spouse questions it, it is like a dagger to an open wound. So we have to work extra, extra, extra hard in dealing with conflict over how to parent to come from a place of ASSUMING the other person is trying to make the best decision and bringing up differing viewpoints with love and care. Saying. "You are an amazing mother and our daughter is so lucky to have you... but sometimes I worry that the tension around the house and the issues between us are affecting her - and you - and your relationship. Do you think there is any chance that your anger at ME for being deceitful is causing you to come down on hr a lot harder than you normally would have? " - and then LISTENING to the response would have probably brought about a discussion on how to make sure (for both of you) that your issues don't spill over into your parenting. Because that is always an issue in the aftermath of trauma. Often one parent wants to overindulge the kids because they feel they've already been put through too much and the other takes out their frustration on them when they do the stupid stuff kids do. Or even more often both parents rotate through these extremes. A conscious talk about that is fair. But approaching it in a way where one parent feels judged and the other feels they have no voice, is unfair to both.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child DD May 2016 “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl