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Damot
My wife the WS sounds just like Tim although she has separated from me and called it quits on the marriage and just wants to move on. Although a week ago telling me what she needs to see change. OM gets in her ear again and it's back on and the attitude and demeanor change. Her family doesn't seem to place much weight on the lying and EA. Probably because they are only hearing the problems about me, and blown out of proportion they are. They don't think the OM she has feelings for is a major part of the issue. Although she told me she loves him and he gets her and want to explore a relationship with him. At this point there is not one other person that she is in regular contact with to question her motives, actions other than her mother that thinks she in on the verge of a breakdown and she wont listen to her.
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flight
Not sure how to handle the 180. Little moments of connection actually work. But she is coming back from a work trip and will get home late. Do I get up and help her with her bags and say goodnight, or do I make believe I am asleep and let her be on her own?
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TimT
flight wrote:
Not sure how to handle the 180. Little moments of connection actually work. But she is coming back from a work trip and will get home late. Do I get up and help her with her bags and say goodnight, or do I make believe I am asleep and let her be on her own?

You can still do things that are respectful and kind. Helping with bags and saying goodnight are things someone might even do for a stranger. The kinds of interactions you want to avoid are the ones that invest in a deeper level of connection. The separation between "relationship building" and "business-of-life" isn't always a clear, distinct line. Some behaviors (like affection and sex on one side or paying bills and picking up kids on the other) are clear, while others others (preparing a meal, for example) might mean something unique to two different couples. You simply need to be honest with yourself and do your best to guard against interactions that seem to be motivated by attempts for more personal connections.
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flight
What do you make of this?

I was taking my daughter with me on a day trip. I think it made my wife feel lonely or sad about the fact she wouldn't see her and that this is a consequence of our in-house separation. But it is her idea not wanting to do things with us as a family for fear I won't get that we are "separated". My wife and I had a short conversation before I left about why we haven't discussed a budget and a separation agreement. I said that was her job to ask since she knew that is not what I wanted. She said she wasn't wanting to make waves because we have gotten along for weeks now but still wanted to discuss our separation arrangments. 


She did not move and thought if anyone did, I should leave because I could afford a cheap apartment! But she thinks we should still live together and co-parent our daughter until she is older. She says other people have separate lives, but live in the same house for the kids. She asked how I would afford to live on my own anyway and surmised I was thinking of getting a roommate. When I said yes, she got visibly agitated/scared and asked if I would really have a stranger come live with our daughter. Did that really have her best interest at heart? I wanted to say, "If YOU really have our daughter's best interest at heart, you wouldn't be putting her through this hell and would be working on our marriage". But I didn't. She said I should put my pride aside and do what is the best interest of our daughter. She is assuming I just want to kick her out because she had the emotional affair and I wasn't going to let her have the house out of spite. 

We talked about the holidays coming up and I told her she could have our daughter for Thanksgving and I would take her for Christmas. She again got agitated and said, "But she would want us both to be with her on the holidays! She wants a mommy and daddy". I did say this time, "Well, that is one of the many consequences of the divorce you want". So she doesn't want to come with us on a day trip or to go to the movies together, but because the holiday season is so important to her I am supposed to do all that with her as a family?

She started to vent again about the list of hurts I inflicted on her, this time mostly that I didn't get a better job so she didn't have to work and how she had to sacrifice more than me. I let her talk and then asked her how that made her feel. I validated her feelings and let her know I understood how sad that must have made her. Of course this made for a much more pleasant interaction for her. I mentioned that I got one job offer, but it would mean moving out of state. She then asked where it was because she would quit her job and move with me! That really confused me. She was wondering if I did have to move, if it would be to a place she would like living. I can't help but feel she is waiting for something to happen or at least questioning her choices. If she did this, she would quit her job and be completely dependent on me until she found a new job (or was a stay at home mome). Is she wanting her cake and to eat it too? 

During the road trip, I texted my wife to say how talkative my daughter was and wouldn't stop asking questions as if she was 4 instead of 11. My wife replied "It shows she's happy though. We should ensure she always stays that way!" That was a clear reference to our earlier conversation letting me know that I should do things my wife's way because that was in the best interest of our daughter. And again, I thought to myself the best interest of our daughter would be to keep the family together.

I want to do the right thing. Is my wife guilting me into doing what SHE thinks is best? I am wanting to give her a little "tough love" and feel like the in-house separation is actually worse for our daughter than if we just get this over with. I am fully prepared to end the relationship at this point, but am still willing to keep trying if she is having second thoughts. I also can't help but feel that my wife really wouldn't want to move out. On the one hand I want to enforce a separate holiday schedule, but of course want to make sure I don't do that at the expense of our daughter. Our older kids would be involved too as they would come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. On the other side of the coin, holiday time and the holiday spirit could be a chance to bond. Help me. I'm confused. Why is my wife giving me what I perceive as mixed messages and should I stand my ground and insist on separate holiday arrangements? I do not want her to use me for the holidays if that is her plan.
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flight
Anyone?
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Graceandhope
I think your spouse is manipulating you and using your daughter to manipulate you.

Yes your daughter wants her parents together. All children do. However if your wife isn't willing to work at the relationship on a daily basis why does she deserve the big emotional:Kodak moments. Other than it would be hard , it would look bad. I would think that would be confusing / upsetting, quite honestly for all involved. She wants it all her way with no repercussions.

If you and your wife are not going to work towards reconciliation, it seems that it is best for you and to show your daughter how to gracefully deal with adversity and set boundaries and take care of yourself and her. Your spouse does not seem to be its seems distorted to be the best for her.

Lastly I would request that she leave the house instead of me leaving.She is the one that broke the vows and stepped away from your relationship and the family. She seems to be the one that needs to figure out if and how to fit back in. That is hers to own.
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Kalmarjan
flight wrote:
Anyone?


If there's one thing that passes me off the most, it's when spouses use their children as pawns.

Here's the deal -

Sure, your child would want the two of you together, and happy... But, and here's a huge BUT - I'm pretty certain it would be the way it USED to be, pre affair.

Your job now is to provide a safe home and environment for you and your child. Your wife does not have to be part of that, especially if she is still mucking around in her affair. It seems to me that your wife is using this sensibility of yours to leverage staying "if only for the sake of your child."

Truth be told, it does more damage to your children to stay in a relationship like this and ignore your needs. Honestly, I can show you two set of friends of mine where this happened, and all of them suffered for it growing up.

You lay out some boundaries, and it's up to HER to navigate that. It may be tough, but it's something you need to do. The alternative is to be resentful, and live in an environment where your child will grow up and see that this behaviour is acceptable.

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Kalmarjan
As for you footing the bill while she finds her feet? She seems to think that your job is to be the husband, and she can be the wife. She stepped out on the marriage, and broke the contract, plain and simple. Let her vent. Until she makes reparation for that, and really comes to change (and has remorse and ISN'T using the child as leverage) then she has no right to appeal to your "duties" as a married man.

Bottom line, if she wants to get pissed off about the situation and how she wants to do the best for your daughter, gently remind her that she put you all in this position, and you had no choice in the matter. It's time she grew up and took some responsibility for her actions, like big girls do.

Man, I get worked up when I see people using their kids like that. It's a special place in hell for that. (I went through two divorces as a child, one ended in suicide. I'm well aware of the effects of adults using their children against one another. No way to put it, it sucks!)
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flight
Thanks for the input. In our situation, it is more complicated because I am not the "innocent" spouse. I see now how in trying to fight for my needs in the relationship, I hurt her and made her feel discounted or not respected. I also let online chatting get to far several years ago. I didn't have an EA or PA, but intimate conversations in the hopes of meeting someone for adventure sex is still a betrayal. At the time, that seemed a minor issue compared to her wanting to stay home and being resentful that I didn't find a job so she could quit work. She has only brought up the past now when she is justifying what she did. I tend to think that each incident should be taken in isolation. What I did or didn't do didn't make her have an EA and then decide to break up our marriage. Why not leave years ago? Why never mention it since the event? We had many moments of happiness in the last several years. But what I did (and her issues too) contributed to the state the relationship was in. So I can understand why she would feel her emotional and security needs weren't being met. And the past does have a way of all coming back up, especially as the history of the relationship is rewritten to have been all bad the entire time we were married.
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AHmember111
Intuition77 wrote:
Yes I can say some like my spouse are so adept at avoiding the reality of what they're doing/have done nothing and no one could get through to them. My husband purposefully avoided everyone except the ap and a few friends who condoned the affair. He was almost manic in his justifying to anyone (not just me) who even asked a question that would break the fog a bit. Something as simple as have you really thought this through, do you really know this woman or shouldn't you at least remain in your children's lives or simply what's the financial plan-for the first weeks anything like this would send him raging defiant like a crazed teenager. It was scary to watch. Our own child crying and simply saying tearfully dad why are you doing this sent him raging mad screaming and telling a child HIS child "I'm sick of you & everyone telling me What to do!" I see that now as (still awful cruel and undefendable) but as a man so concentrated -and invested in not seeing his own reality and facing what he had done. Another view is I think we as a society seldom hold people to standards. We make excuses. We ignore. And in doing so we don't just condone their deeds we make a pathway in our minds for those wrongs to be acceptable to us too. I read once about the much higher incidence of cheating among husbands who had friends who cheated. We make the unacceptable acceptable because we want to be liked or accepted. We don't want to be the one standing up saying hey that's wrong. I know now not then that a few of his friends condoned the affair as normal. And clearly had cheated on their wives. And based on things I saw in the immediate aftermath these same friends thought disrespecting women and marriage was funny. My husband never showed that side to me. But apparently adopted it behind my back over the years. I think the true man (or woman) comfortable with themselves and showing the self respect doesn't care who agrees with them they still stand up for what they think is right. And they're the same person in front of everyone. So now when I overhear men teasing a friend he's whipped or about the old ball and chain and other disrespectful comments I watch. Many will laugh and go along. And a select few will simply stand up for their beliefs and spouse and just say don't it's disrespectful. I know the ones who laugh and go along are slowly degrading their own integrity even if they think it's not hurting anyone because their wife wasn't there to see or hear it. And the biggest kicker to this? Men who stand up for what's right rather then try to be accepted are THAT much more respected because to me he's showing himself integrity & respect by doing so. So we should be careful what we condone thinking it doesn't affect us because we're pathing the way for the same behavior in ourselves. Birds of a feather and all that.

Thank you so much for your post! I can't begin to tell you how it helps with my struggles. After ten months since D-day I have finally gotten to the point where I realize I can't take care of myself and worry about his brokenness and if he'll come back. It's been so gut wrenchingly slow but I'm finally on the up swing and a big part is realizing exactly what you just said.
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