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JustStu posted 6/23/2013 16:20 PM

Hi. I am new here, and have a story to tell I apologize as it’s a long read, but here is how I screwed up my life, and dashed 20 years together on the rocks. Mods feel free to move this to where it belongs if I placed it in the wrong section.

As I sit here my wife of 20 years and I are separated. She kept demanded I leave until I could not take the hostility anymore. So I sit here, in a crap hole of a weekly motel waiting for the first to come when I have a new place reserved for me.

What follows is a long and sad tale…

My wife and I met in 1993. We were both married at the time, I was separated from a woman I hastily married, she was fed up with her cheating husband (first husband). I had a barely one year old son, she had two boys ages two and 4. Being separated, my divorce soon came and went. She filed for divorce as well, and was soon divorced. We then got married, and had an instant family. All told we were together for around a year living together, before we finally went to a Justice of the Peace and got married. We never had a proper wedding, only an instant family.

We had our ups and downs, but the downs steadily got worse. With the invention of the internet she got hooked on online chartrooms, and became increasingly more and more hostile towards me every day. She shut down, didn’t cook, or clean (she was a stay at home mom) I did it all for a time. Rarely a day went by when I wasn’t told how much of a mistake I was and that she hated me.

Well as you could imagine I started getting close to a girl I worked with, and started an affair with her. Yes I fully acknowledge I was at fault here, and am in no way justifying what I did.

When she found out, which was almost immediately things went from bad to worse. The thing is instead of hating me, she was angry (understandably so) and as she tells me she loved me all along, and I should have known. I know this is hard to believe I actually loved her still, but now I was also in love with this new girl as well. For about 8 months I moved out. I eventually came back to my marriage after my wife begged and begged for me to do so. During that time I was conflicted, loved both, and didn’t know what to do.

After I returned I guess I went thru some withdraws in front of my wife for the other girl, and we had many many ups and downs. Many fights ensued. We tried counseling, and found extremely bad counselors. One she told me also wanted me, but I guess I couldn’t tell.

In 2003 I deployed to Iraq with all our underlying problems left unresolved for the most part. Things were a little better between us but not too awful great either. The deployment came and went, she was extremely supportive for me when I was over there. I was good, and did not even think about having an affair with my time away.

After I returned we endeavored to get our life back on track. Typical man perhaps I wanted to forget anything ever happened. Even though she still pressed me for every little detail of my affair, those memories faded fast, and I had forgotten many of them. I also didn’t really like discussing anything having to do with it mainly because it would always turn into how bad I was, how I hurt her, etc. etc. etc. To make matters worse, I had now lost any privilege I once had to express any issues or concerns I had in our marriage. I couldn’t even disagree with her, about anything. Whenever I did it always turned into “But u had an affair” see how horrible I was. I got accused of not caring a thing about her, that even though I told her I loved her, I must not possible or I never would have had an affair. I was eternally a bad and horrible person. Did I also mention that anything having to do with the affair usually turned into a fight? Well it did. In addition to the fights I would also get running off the hook comments about me having an affair too. For example maybe something was on TV and I would get something like, that guy is wrong, like you having your affair. Things like that.

Now I know survivors of cheating spouses here may not believe the fact that I felt bad about it, but I honestly did.

Several years later my wife started becoming delusional, and paranoid. Thought everyone was out to get her. She took to doing things like running up and down the road. Driving our van as fast as it would go. She had visions and messages from God, and walked into our neighbor’s house to preach to them. The sheriff came out and picked her up, and she spent three days in a mental facility. They put her on meds, and released her.

She came back, was even more hostile than before to the point I actually lived in a hotel room for a while with all the kids (we had one together by this time so there were 4 boys all together). She went into another house near a church she liked because of the singing they did there. She thought this person was the pastor. Always an embarrassing moment when she did things like this, and the details I will spare from this story, but in the end she ended up with another 3 day stay in another mental health facility. I think I should add that during these episodes, I was the anti Christ, and she hated me, only this time with the rightness of God, and she was something special to God as well.

I am trying to think about when exactly this all occurred, around 2007/08 perhaps. I am not sure exactly, but she eventually came out of it. Embarrassed of what she did, and happy I had stood by her. She had been diagnosed with bipolar type one and manic depressive disorder. The arguments about the affair fizzled out to hardly any except for maybe once in a while. Life got to be somewhat normal for us. Still however I was not able to express a problem, or concern I had mainly because I had hurt her, and had an affair.

She had wanted me to do a lot of things around the house, and our property which I tried, and spent a small fortune on it all. There were times when I spent my entire paycheck on these improvements, and ended up taking loans out to partially pay for these and other projects as well as get money to eat and pay bills. The money issues slowly spiraled out of control, and to date I am still trying to deal with them. Always playing catch up. Now with all the monetary issues in addition to being a bad husband I also had the inability to manage money according to her, and all I wanted to do was make her happy. I am sure I took the wrong approach, but I sincerely wanted her happy.

Well things went on much in this fashion and I grew lonelier, and lonelier. I guess the evils of never really dealing with the affair from the first time. To make matters worse, the kids were now grown, and still living in the house. We never had any time alone, as our oldest (in his twenties) lived on our couch, just outside our bedroom. She also started the early symptoms of menopause. All these issues made out intimate life almost impossible. Only once in a great while, like at 3:00AM on a Sunday morning, as well as certain medical issues that I won’t discuss that made things more difficult.

So just how did I handle all of this? Along comes a young girl who showed an interest in me. She was in her twenties. So another affair I had. It nearly ended as fast as it started, and was only with her once. Too late however, the damage was done. I confessed it to my wife as soon as it started. She of course wanted me to break it off with this girl, and I did. She didn’t believe me tho. In the interest of “radical disclosure” She called around everywhere and found this girls boyfriend and confessed all we had done to him. For some reason, and I do not know why he starts telling my wife I pick up women on craigslist, and have had many affairs, but it was a lie. She believed him, and not me. He was telling her I continued to text her when I was not. She believed me on that one because she had placed an app on my phone that showed her all my calls and texts, in addition to telling her where I was via gps. I didn’t like all those measures, but was willing to put up with almost anything to show her it was definitely over with this other girl.

Wanting to reconcile she kept asking why I did this again. We had many discussions this time. This time I told her the concerns, issues, and problems I had, the things I should have told her all along, but felt like I couldn’t because I had my first affair. I should have just put up with it.

We decided to take a trip, to go have fun, so along with all the money issues, I spent nearly 700 to 800 dollars to take this trip. For a day or two it seemed to prove to her I actually loved her. And I do.

She started acting funny though, started going manicky again. She started trying to be a perfect wife all of a sudden, which I didn’t want her to be. This may sound funny, but I didn’t feel like I deserved it, but she did act like that. I wanted her to be mad at me, scream at me anything but that. Then she started seeing visions from God again. This time Jesus cared for her, and she became convinced I never did.

Again she was special to God, she was going to be married as Christ loved the Church, and further more God told her I was evil again. Many other even weirder details which I will spare. She was hospilitized again, and released.

To bring this long story to a conclusion, she is still seeing these visions, and decided she wants me gone, and to divorce. She set in to torture me (she told me she was doing this) to get me to leave. Things like not letting me sleep. Screaming at me night and day. In the end I left so I sit here in this crap hole place.

Now on top of all this she is accusing me of screwing around now that I am away from her. I am not.

Is there any advice anyone can give? Comments are welcome too, good or bad, from anyone whether they were betrayed, or were the betrayer. If you feel like you need to let me have it, then go ahead I’m a big boy and no one here could possibly make me feel any lower than I already made myself feel.

Thanks for reading all this.

canteat posted 6/23/2013 17:07 PM

wow, thats quite a mess you are in. i am new here and may not have a lot of advice but one thing that jumps out at me (for both of you) is that you never really dealt with the A or any of the M problems. Or any of your own personal demons (you and her both) sounds to me like you both just chose to kinda ignore what happened and hope that things would get better.

obviously she has trust issues with you because they were never addressed. its like the A is still ongoing (the first one that is) because the issues that caused it and were caused BY it were never addressed. so the second one was like a huge slap in the face. kicking her when she was down. (from her perspective even if she doesnt know it) a part of her is waiting for you to prove yourself-although she didnt tell you that or explain how and what she needed from you to do that. you both didn't deal with it head on, you buried it where it festered. your wife has been walking around with a gaping wound that she may not even realize is there-but it comes out in other ways. always aimed at you.
there is a pain so deep in her that maybe she didn't know how to handle, or wasn't able to handle at the time. if she has a mental illness on top of things that just makes her ability to cope even harder. (i suffer from depression so i know) or maybe her lack of coping was so traumatic that it caused her mental illness to manifest when it did. she was pre-disposed to the illness but life events can push you into it.

my advice for what it's worth is to seek counseling. for you both individually and together with a MC if you want to save the marriage. At least start with IC to help you determine what you both want to do and to start to deal with the A.
good luck to you.

DoneWithLove posted 6/23/2013 17:55 PM

Have you read the article on what WS and BS should do to successfully R? Maybe have her read it too. Have you told her how much hurting her hurts you... It might help her feel better, even just for a little while, to know that your suffering the consequences of your actions. I mean really get down deep when your professing your love and remorse. I have a journal I write in specifically for my H to read (maybe initiate it by writing to her first). When im having a hard time or even feeling optimistic, I write to him and when he gets home from work we talk until I feel better. Sometimes we talk for hours and have even kept the conversation going for a couple days. He will call me on his breaks, stay up late and even wake up early just to talk about whatever it is I need to get past. And of course we have revisited topics several times. Like I told my H, try putting yourself in her shoes. If the situation was flipped and you had been betrayed, what would you need her to do to help you heal? Combine with what you know about her and do whatever pops into your head... but with caution, not everything will work and somethings will take a couple tries before you find the right combination; ie, space, spoiling, listening, putting your feelings out there, etc. Good luck, I hope something helps.

20WrongsVs1 posted 6/23/2013 18:20 PM

Welcome to SI. Your tale is complex, but the underlying theme isn't uncommon here. You're broken. She's broken. You can't fix each other, and you can't love her back into mental health. As hard as it is to consider, it may be time for you two to (at least temporarily) spend some time apart, alone, and seek professional help. If you can each confront your own demons and start to heal independently, then perhaps you can start looking at the M.

Do the boys live on their own now? Could one of them return the favor and offer you a couch for awhile?

painpaingoaway posted 6/23/2013 18:48 PM

Wow Stu, what an awful situation. I am so sorry for BOTH of you.

Bipolar disorder is an extremely debilitating condition when not controlled, and extreme stress destabilizes even controlled bipolar. Getting her psychiatric help right now is absolutely necessary.

Infidelity is is a brutally cruel betrayal for anyone, but for someone with a mental illness, it is completely devastating.

Stu, based on what you have written, I believe you love your wife, I really do. However, the two of you are very very broken people, and it will take much much strength, love, hope, prayers, hard work, luck, MC, IC, medications, and probably a miracle, to save this marriage.

Maybe, while you are still separated, try writing her some letters telling her how much you love her, and how very very sorry you are for having ever hurt her.

Also, get yourself to a NAMI Family to Family course, and learn all you can about mental illness.

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