MITM
I've been in this community a while now, and many others will have seen my posts sprinkled around here and there. And I'm at a point where I'm really struggling to comprehend some things, so I thought I'd try to pull everything together into a single topic. So, the facts...
  • In late November or early December, my WS reconnected with an old college boyfriend.
  • Although she pretended that he was just "an old friend I can talk to", I felt uneasy about this, and I was right; eventually she admitted it had blown up into a full-on emotional affair.
  • My WS for a long time was insistent that she needed time to make up her mind - that she really didn't know how she would really feel about him until they met up. Which is problematic, given that (a) she's scared to fly, and (b) he has no money.
  • I tried everything I could think of - reasoning with her, seducing her, begging her to just make some kind of decision - all to no avail.
  • We have one child, a fiercely bright girl of 13. Supposedly she doesn't know what's going on, only that her parents are having a "disagreement". (Personally I suspect she knows a lot more than she's letting on.)
  • About a week ago, I simply couldn't deal with this any more, and moved out to stay at my cousin's house, which is about 12 minutes down the road.
  • Since then I've called my daughter every night, and been round to the house occasionally.
  • My WS hasn't really talked about counselling or reconciliation. Or anything at all, very much.
  • 20 years ago, my WS did almost exactly the same thing to me. That's another whole story, but her pattern in what she's done and said this time around is remarkably similar.

Last week I had a long phone conversation with my WS, where she told me a few things: "I've backed off with my AP for now", "He is a good person", "I don't feel like I can be married now", "I want to feel passion in a marriage", and "I've been unhappy for a long time". There were other things, but that's the upshot of it.

To me, that sounded like a bunch of excuses and self-justifying rubbish. Because we certainly were both happy (and sometimes very passionate) - 5 years ago, 2 years ago, 1 year ago, 6 months ago. Maybe she was unhappy, but if so it was pretty deeply buried - and, I strongly suspect, to do with her own feelings of inadequacy or entitlement, not anything to do with us. Rewriting history to suit her current predicament, in other words.

A day or so later I came round to watch a movie with my daughter, and noticed instantly that my WS, who is usually very careful about her appearance, was flopped out on the sofa in tracksuit pants and an old fleece, with no makeup and her hair a mess, looking more tired and wrung out than I think I've ever seen her. Certainly didn't have the appearance of someone who has seen their new and wonderful future, and is reaching out to grasp it.

In the meantime I'm starting to get over some of my initial shock, and am starting to make a few decisions for myself - finding my own counsellor, getting some legal advice, buying a car that's just mine, etc.

Finally - yesterday I was at home again, so I could drop my daughter off for an activity she does on Saturdays. When I got back from that, my WS was suddenly soft and tender for the first time in literally months, telling me that she really did care about me. Came up and gave me a long embrace, and when she pulled away from that she was struggling not to burst into tears.

So, my new, analytical self is trying to figure this out. Something's changed, that's obvious. But what?

My WS is our daughter's primary caregiver. But that's starting to change, now our daughter's getting older and more independent.

Does it sound to anyone else like maybe she's finally starting to grasp the enormity of what she's very nearly thrown away? After all, the consequences are what you might call non-trivial:
  • The loss of her lover, husband, best friend, only true confidant, and greatest supporter (All those things are me, in case that wasn't clear!)
  • The estrangement and disrespect of not only my extended family, but also hers
  • The certainly that eventually our daughter will find out the whole story, even if one of us doesn't just tell her
  • The loss of the home she loves
  • The loss of more than 50% of her assets

From my own perspective I obviously have to remain pretty neutral about all this, and just concentrate on the things I want (and need) to do for myself. But the thoughts of others here might help clarify things.

Am I seeing the beginnings of genuine remorse and empathy here? Or does this just sound like standard in-the-fog backing and forthing? And how much should I care, either way? (That's the hard one.)
Male BS
D-Day Jan 2018
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stillme
She has done this before and had the exact same pattern - what you are seeing is 'her' who she really is. Would she be able to financially support herself after your daughter turns 18 if you were to divorce? If you conclude no, she has also concluded no. Before going back into the relationship, 1) ask for full disclosure, 2) ask that she be tested for STIs/STDs, 3) get tested yourself. If she has already done this twice that you know of, chances are this is a pattern that she turns to often and you may not know of other times. They big alarms are 1) telling you she has to experience the other man to determine if she wants him or you and 2) letting you go as far as to move out the home while she tried to figure out what she wanted. 
Begin to protect yourself (emotionally, financially, etc.). 

Try some time "no contact" beyond discussing what is needed for your daughter and see if there is any fog that lifts for you.
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stillme
Sounds like you are doing all the right things. Remember, it on her to show changes. You should never be in a position to have to 'figure it out'. It is her responsibility to show you fully that she is ready to do the right thing and be fully committed to the relationship as well as mending the hurt that she caused. So, just continue with what you are doing, build strong bonds with you and your daughter, and work to find your place of peace.
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Trinity
Matt - I would definitely require absolute full disclosure from her and accept NO less.  I don't think that you will be able to make any solid decisions until you know everything you need too about her relationship with this "old friend".  

I agree with STILLME that it IS on her to show change and movement away from this "friend" and towards reconciliation.  

In my opinion it seems that your wife is confused and depressed.  I feel for your own sanity staying neutral is probably best right now.  DDay is still pretty recent for you both and SO MUCH changes on a daily and weekly basis - it's maddening.  If it is better for you to stay out of the home for now, that is what you should do.  Eventually she will make decisions and you will make decisions.  I think the goal is to keep your sanity while she is trying to figure out who and what she wants.  Now in saying that, only YOU know how much you will tolerate.  

"T"



BS - DDay July 2017

O GOD, take me, break me, make me. 
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MITM
Trinity wrote:
Matt - I would definitely require absolute full disclosure from her and accept NO less.  I don't think that you will be able to make any solid decisions until you know everything you need too about her relationship with this "old friend".  

I agree with STILLME that it IS on her to show change and movement away from this "friend" and towards reconciliation.  

In my opinion it seems that your wife is confused and depressed.  I feel for your own sanity staying neutral is probably best right now.  DDay is still pretty recent for you both and SO MUCH changes on a daily and weekly basis - it's maddening.  If it is better for you to stay out of the home for now, that is what you should do.  Eventually she will make decisions and you will make decisions.  I think the goal is to keep your sanity while she is trying to figure out who and what she wants.  Now in saying that, only YOU know how much you will tolerate.  

"T"


Well, it's not as if I even have an offer of R on the table yet - although she did ask me when/if I was planning to move back in. I told her I hadn't really thought about it, which is certainly true enough. It's like this weird dance right now, where what she doesn't say is more important than what she does say.

Until/unless the 'R' word is actually mentioned (and it certainly won't be mentioned by me, no matter what happens), I find I'm actually not interested in full disclosure right now. In fact, I really can't think of anything I'm less interested in hearing about.
Male BS
D-Day Jan 2018
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MITM
Trinity wrote:
In my opinion it seems that your wife is confused and depressed.  I feel for your own sanity staying neutral is probably best right now.

Hey, Trinity. Yes, I think 'confused and depressed' sums it up pretty nicely. And in the meantime, I'm trying very hard to do the '180' and the 'charging neutral' thing - and it's an awful lot easier for me to concentrate on all that when I'm not around her. So when I am around her:
  • I don't say an awful lot
  • What I do say is mostly just practical things, typically related to our daughter
  • I don't ask her questions about anything at all
  • I try not to show much emotion at all (that's a tough one, as I'm a pretty frank and open person, usually)

Etc. I'm sure you know the drill!
Male BS
D-Day Jan 2018
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MITM

I was thinking about the breakup of my parents' own marriage, which happened when I was 11. My father had had multiple affairs, and my mother finally could tolerate it no more and basically threw him out. Now that I think about it, I start to recognise patterns here: my dad was very self-focused, something of a closed book emotionally. And not just with my mum, either - I never felt like I knew him very well when I was a child.

Male BS
D-Day Jan 2018
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Trinity
MATT.....

OK FIRST... I am now enthralled with the word schadenfreude  !!!  SO thanks for that .
We are walking out own paths.  At times we walk with others and at times we walk alone.  We are weak and we are strong. 
Even though we have been handed a bag of WTF and told to deal with it, we have an obligation to walk on with dignity and grace.
It is what I believe gets us through this healing process with our minds in tact.  There is noting more exalted then a soul that has been thrown into the depths of hell and has come out with forgiveness.   

"T"
BS - DDay July 2017

O GOD, take me, break me, make me. 
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MITM
Thanks T, I appreciate it. I'm just having a very hard time dealing with it today. Having to walk alone right now and finding it very difficult.
Male BS
D-Day Jan 2018
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hurting
Matt, like you... I’ve spent an awful lot of time analysing my WS and his issues/upbringing since d-day. Issues that neither of us ever gave thought to or discussed prior to all of this.

As we BS need to do... I think we are right in identifying that the problem was always with the WS. That’s not to say there may not have been other issues in the relationship- but to say that our WS fundamentally had something lacking or broken inside them... which contributed to the HOW they could do this question. 

It’s one thing to know it logically though, and quite another to accept it emotionally, isn’t it? I know that it was my husband’s own issues (immaturity, emotional stunting, conflict avoidance, entitlement to name a few!) which led us down this path. He has said so himself. But somehow, the hurt is still the same. I still question while in the depths of pain and sorrow ‘WHY?!’ ‘How could you do this to me? What didn’t I give you that you had to seek elsewhere?  Why wasn’t I enough?’

I think you’re doing the best you can given the circumstances. In some ways, the ability to step back and analyse the situation as you have been able to do is a gift. It helped me to create an objective understanding of what has happened and to stop myself from falling straight into depression, self questioning and self blame. I just need my emotional understanding to come to grips with what I know logically now. 

Journalling is a great idea... I keep one, but I mostly go for it when I’m in a particularly bad place. It helps me to get it out.
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Trinity
HURTING...  

I think as BS have those many thoughts of Why, why, why.  I have come to understand that it is not because of US, it never had anything to do with US ... who we are, what we do, what we want, lack, desire etc... it has ZERO to do with us and it never did.  The WS did what they did all because of how THEY feel about themselves AND then add in a dose of selfishness.  [redface]   I really believe that IS the cocktail.  I will challenge any WS to prove me wrong.

"T"
BS - DDay July 2017

O GOD, take me, break me, make me. 
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MITM
hurting wrote:
I think you’re doing the best you can given the circumstances. In some ways, the ability to step back and analyse the situation as you have been able to do is a gift. It helped me to create an objective understanding of what has happened and to stop myself from falling straight into depression, self questioning and self blame. I just need my emotional understanding to come to grips with what I know logically now. 

Thanks for that. Not that anything much helps when you have a really bad day, as I did today. It wasn't intrusive thoughts. It wasn't panic attacks. It was simple grief and loss and heartbreak, and I couldn't stop it.
Male BS
D-Day Jan 2018
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