I have to take ownership of a lot of our marriage problems. We've had 7 years of tragedy after crisis after tragedy that includes family deaths, cancer, strokes, dementia, a horrifying car accident that could've killed me and crippled my wife with our kids in the car, a possible problem with our baby boy's heart, and so on and so forth.
The problems began a half year or so after the first tragedy. I became controlling, and dominated all of our arguments. I probably gaslighted her, although I don't really remember. I wasn't like this before. I think it came about because I was incapable of coping with the aftermath of all of the deaths and misfortune.
So now a lot of my wife's anger and fear and pain from being crushed is coming out. This was about 2 weeks after discovery, after she had a very long talk with a trusted cousin whose husband did the same thing. As a result, her remorse for what she did is mixed in with the anger and pain she feels from what I did. This wasn't working for me. I had to know she was remorseful, that she was sorry, that she loved me more than anything else. Mixing in her issues made her feel distant and not caring.
After I was clear about what I needed, she agreed to address the cheating first in MC. I promised her in return that I would be there 100% to face the music for what I did, after enough of the pain had cleared away from her betrayal. She seemed okay with that. Not happy, but okay. She has begun re-supressing her pain and anger about the past. I am worried resentment will build up and harm our attempts to reconcile. But I can think of no other way to do this.
[This message edited by ArableSands at 12:37 PM, July 29th (Monday)]
Sending strength and peace.
I would trust your MC to help you figure out how to handle the awful feelings of grief from the several traumas you've experienced over the last 7 years, something that allows you both to get your feelings attended to.
It'll probably be trial and error, but you should be able to find a system that works for you.
sisoon, thank you too for your reply. She denies that she's using her feelings to deflect, that she's "entirely there" and being supportive, and refuses to believe me when I tell her when her anger came up I saw a huge change in the way she was ministering to my needs for healing. Is that denial at work? Or am I seeing things? I wonder if she's gaslighting me?
My late STBX was extremely controlling and abusive. I did not cheat on him, but I did not love him anymore either. Our marriage was over as far as I was concerned long before I discovered the cheating.
So don't discount her point of view. She may be done with you no matter what if you are abusive to her. And you would deserve that in my opinion.
If she was done with me she'd be done now. Her cheating would be to trigger an exit. Yet she's committed to reconciliation 100%. I'm the one who was seeking divorce, after discovery.
I hope you're not blame shifting.
I did not cheat.
How is that blameshifting?
Her feelings about our marriage are important, but they're going to have to wait until my agony from the betrayal subsides. Would you not agree?
My wife and I had very little MC, actually, and we ended up both doing a lot of individual work in IC. After that, we piggy-backed on each others sessions a couple of times as a form of MC.
I do think it is important to address the cheating first, otherwise it will just be an elephant in the room.
So sorry to hear about all of the tragedies that you've been through. That's a lot.
For me, I'm in my third relationship, where my SO cheated. It takes time for both sides to come to terms with it. As much tragedy as you both have suffered together, the A is a different tragedy for you each. I wouldn't be so quick to look at the past as a reason for her A, in fact, stop for a moment, and allow yourself time to grieve. Quit trying to figure her out. Even if she's been suffering for a long time, it's not a reason to cheat.
Her A was a choice. Your other tragedies sound like they were uncontrollable. Please take care of yourself right now, and if she is truly committed to helping your marriage, she won't regress.
I know what it's like to be so concerned will BOTH sides....but what I've learned is you end up sometimes losing yourself when you do that. Hang in there..