comingclean
Hey folks,
In the immediate aftermath of DDAY, my BS, in her grief reached out to several people.  My parents, her entire family, some of her close friends.  Totally valid reactions.  But CAUTION - you are now inviting a lot of opinions, a lot of different perspectives, a lot of ulterior motives, and a lot of other peoples' baggage into a deeply personal discussion.
Anyway, what is done is done - now we have to deal with it.
This brings me to my dilemma.  I have always had a lot of respect for both of my parents - they have always been quite level headed (in my mind) and reasonable.  I value their advice.  My BS and my mother have always had a love-hate relationship.  They have a lot of similarities.  However, one point where they differ - my wife has anger issues - she can pick fights, fly off the handle, and become very emotional during arguments.  She is aware of this and is working on this.  Anyhow, when they are alone and talking about things - lately, they almost need a referee.  My question is - do I always need to take my BS side?  Even when I know she can fly off the handle and be unreasonable?  I know, especially now, that my BS is in a vulnerable spot and she needs my support... but how do I deal w her anger towards others, especially when it becomes destructive?
My latest approach has been - "BS, let's discuss issues together, figure out what you want, agree on it, and then present it as a unified argument to others."  I feel that right now, she just has too much anger to have productive discussions/arguments w others and I don't want her to do long term damage to her other relationships.
The other option I have considered is telling other parties in this crap show to not discuss the affair w my BS... but not only is that not enforceable, it is not possible when my BS is the one that initiates the conversation w them.
So please HELP!
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Negarcia
Coming clean is she in counseling on her own? Or does she have someone she can speak to about the affair that might not get her upset?
Does everything make her upset at this time?
Does she think people are judging her or on ur side?
I a BS but my husbabd doesn't want to work things out and but I would get upset when I knew people were giving me advice and not in my situation. I just truly wanted people to listen. At this point I did tell his best friend and brother because he was using them in his lies, my sister, mom, best friend and counselor. I felt I really needed the support. My mom because she has been a BS when I was younger and felt she would understand ( although she is still bitter about the A my dad had ) but she stayed and they have worked on thier relationship. It's so hard to know what is going on on her mind because there are many thoughts and sometimes the more you think the crazier we feel.
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UrbanExplorer
Are these other people giving her advice about the marriage, and that is making her angry?
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comingclean
yeah - she is getting individual counseling and we are in counseling together.  A lot of times she is venting - which puts third party in difficult situation (especially if they know us both) - I am hoping her counselor can help her with this.  I don't want to go there with her yet and suggest how she deals with third parties.  One other thing that really makes her angry is her friends suggesting that she gets over it - when that happens, I get a lot of redirected anger and I pay for this newly inflicted wound.  Overall, she has complained that she just feels very isolated right now.  I am struggling with how I respond to that.
Our couples counselor has helped us understand that our personalities have let us become good cop (me) and bad cop (her).  Since I am a pleaser, I don't stand up for myself, which leaves her to do the dirty work.  I can't disagree with this revelation.  However, on that same subject, I don't get worked up as easily about things.  Some things are worth getting angry about, others not.  I am not sure I can take up the banner and start a war every time someone is in the express checkout line with 13 items... it isn't me.  For serious things, I will have her back... but to me, I couldn't be happy if I had to acknowledge every single slight.
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comingclean
I am struggling with this situation.  My BW feels like she cannot "measure up" to her MIL (my mother) expectations inre her "perfect" son (me).  I know there will be a lot of questions why my MIL is even involved, and that this is between my BS and me.  I agree, but my parents happened to be in town on DDAY and they know the whole story - so that ship has sailed.  Here is how things stand now - My parents live several states away.  We have kids, so they visit for a weekend about every month or so.  Aside from that, I don't talk w them on the phone very often - so it is not like they are always around in our faces.  When they do visit, my wife and my mother spend a lot of time together.  They do have mutual respect for one another... but it is also like gunpowder and a match - they can have epic battles.  My BS thinks I have not set proper boundaries w my mother, she feels like I side w my mother too much - all true.  This became a long discussion at our MC.  I started to see these destructive patterns I have in my relationship w my mother - I even got pumped up about having the "boundary" discussion w my mother.
So this weekend, I had that discussion.  I felt good about it.  I was recounting the discussion w my wife, and somehow the wheels fell off.  I told my mother "BS has a right to be mad at me, and she will be, and you (my mother) need to appreciate that.  It doesn't help us when you (my mother) defend me at all costs during your discussion w BS.".  I thought that was a reasonable thing to say.  However, my BS thinks I completely failed in my discussion and betrayed her yet again.  Her perspective is that I should have said "Mom, you are not helping ME by continuing to defend ME.".  I thought by saying "WE" I was presenting the unified front of my wife and me - but apparently, for my BW, it was the OPPOSITE.  She felt like my mother would feel like I was just relaying my BW's message.  It made for a REALLY BAD night between my BS and me.  My response to BW was, "I am trying, I missed the opportunity, so back to the drawing board, I will have the conversation w my mother and fix it, I will use 'I' instead of 'WE'."  But to my BS, the damage is done and I see her point now... I just don't know what to do about it or how to make this right again.
Anyone have any suggestions on how to set up boundaries for conversations that will inevitably happen between these two?  I feel like they almost have to be in MC together sometimes - ugh...
I want to have my BS's back ALWAYS, but there are times when she is not behaving appropriately towards others (even those she loves).  My new attitude on this is to call her out when this happens and make her aware of it... it has to be, I won't bury it.  But at the same time, I know she is fragile right now - so how do I temper my new approach and my desire not to hurt my BS more???
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aliasbsmith


My question is - do I always need to take my BS side?  Even when I know she can fly off the handle and be unreasonable?  I know, especially now, that my BS is in a vulnerable spot and she needs my support...

YES! As a BS myself, I can say we have loyalty issues. We need to know you'll stay with us despite our faults...for better or worse.
The anger is the worse part. Hopefully your wife can get to the bottom of her anger reactions and heal, but that'll take time and patience on your part. 

My latest approach has been - "BS, let's discuss issues together, figure out what you want, agree on it, and then present it as a unified argument to others."  I feel that right now, she just has too much anger to have productive discussions/arguments w others and I don't want her to do long term damage to her other relationships.

GREAT APPROACH! You might add, "YOU are my wife; I've left my mother as my major confidant, so I'm asking you to come with me in that. I chose YOU when I left her and when I left the AP. This time it's for good. I'm so sorry I strayed. Mom is not an emotionally safe person to help you heal from the pain I've caused you. Please find a more neutral friend to help you. I want to heal our relationship; we need to choose wisely who can help and who might hurt our healing."

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comingclean
thanks for the posts here folks.  I have been working very hard redefining a lot of these unhealthy relationship patterns.  Not that I am shutting these other relationships down, just redefining/reprioritizing them.
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