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Last Stand (very lengthy)

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TemporalReset posted 7/31/2013 01:34 AM

New member, occasional reader....done being desperate and in limbo. I am at a turning point in my relationship with my wife. The story is long and spans years and I will try to sum it up efficiently.

(Note: After writing this post I came back here to apologize for it not being short or efficient...Sorry for it not being short or efficient...but keep reading! Yay!)


We have been married for over 8 years. We have two children, 3 and 6. She stays at home with the children and I work a 12 hour night shift 6am-6pm.

My wife comes from a different country (this was not a citizenship ploy, never even had those fears) where she was finishing university for her chosen career (she has wanted this career for as long as she can remember). When we met, she was finishing up a summer work trip here in the United States and had to return home to finish the last 2 years of her university. We fell in love almost instantly and a few months after she left, I quit my job and went to be with her there. I spent three months with her and we got married. I came back to the US and she stayed. For the next year, she traveled to be with me for summer and winter breaks. After graduating she moved here permanently, leaving behind her chosen career, friends and family to begin a life with me.

Our life was wonderful and our first son was born 2 years into our marriage. We were awesome together for the first year of his life.

My wife has SAD (seasonal affective disorder), we know this now, but didn't then, and she slowly became lifeless and depressed during a particularly dreary year (she only felt alive in the summertime). She became overly critical of me, getting upset at the smallest thing I did. This wore on me and I withdrew. Our marriage was beginning to show signs of stress that, in hindsight, could have been handled with therapy.



Summer 2009 (seeing this written down....I had to pause for a few minutes to get over how long it has been).

Through some friends she met OM. He owned a restaurant and, funny enough, the restaurant was what she fell in love with. It had a beautiful outdoor seating area that was like a fairy garden and she does love her gardens. She would go there often at night to sit and sip a drink in the garden and meet people . I had been there with her a few times and it seemed safe and as I had trusted her without question, I had no worries. I also was pretty deep in my withdrawal from her that I really didn't care. Of course...beautiful woman....beautiful setting....late nights and constant exposure....she began to fall for the OM.

He is older than her (21, successful business owner (and owner of her favorite retreat). He was also a major player and he pushed every one of her buttons, enticing her with the glittery night life he was a part of. She fell for it, hook, line and sinker. To this day she describes those months as if she was mesmerized (but she does take full responsibility for what occurred).

I digress. She came to me shortly after she began having feelings for him and actually told me she thought she may be falling in love with him. My reaction was less than.... well here is pretty much the conversation.

Her: I think I'm falling for OM.

Me: What?

Her: Yeah, falling.

Me: I don't think you should see him anymore....or whatever.

Her: I can handle it, don't worry, it'll go away.

Me: K.

And that was it. Instead of rushing to the guys door, telling him to keep away from my wife, standing up for her (and me!), I turned a blind eye. She gave me an opportunity to stop her and I was in a place where I didn't care. I know I let her down and I took responsibility for that part of it later.

Pardon my use of the word, but I was a pussycat and proceeded to remain one for the next 4 years.

I discovered the actual PA only a month or so after that (09/05/09 DD#1). She fully admitted it and we decided to reconcile. Seriously, I wish I had put any amount of thought into doing a little bit of frickin' research on how to reconcile. But I didn't(neither of us did anything right, no MC, no NC, for someone who researches every detail before purchasing a product, I decided to wing it...go me). I cared but was lost in this inner turmoil. She insisted she needed the restaurant garden in her life and.....wait, here you go:

Her: I love you and want to be with you...BUT I need to keep going to the garden and hanging out with people.

Me: But you'll be around OM.


Me: Whatev's. Just pick me, K?

Her: K.

I was not really so ambivalent but, yes, I let her hash out her feelings for the two of us. I remained as strong as I could for her, regaining some of my manhood, but still faltering occasionally. My pestering and his advances drove her to a very dark depression and suicide (attempted...yes). Twice. Once while pregnant with #2 (just an exploratory wrist cutting, barely drew blood). Oh yeah, #2 was conceived late spring 2009, we didn't find out till midsummer and...yes...he's mine, looks just like me and doesn't share the genetic color variation of OM.

This continued until December 2010 when she tried to take her life for a second time. At that point, reality smacked me upside the head. I arranged for her to go to IC and her transformation over the next few months was miraculous. During her therapy I was strong and supportive and she has often thanked me for helping her through the darkest time of her life. She went from this dead thing wandering around the house to the bright fairy I had always known.

She chose me (I've seen her therapy records) and began to see OM for the scumbag he was. She actually began to feel pity for him because he became obsessed with her. He would follow her around whenever he saw her. This Lothario actually cried...wait skipping ahead.

My turn. After years of trying to prop her up, and being strong emotionally for her, I cracked. I became the zombie. So I entered IC. My therapist helped me through the worst and her remorse for the affair and her truthfulness about the OM from there on helped me come out. This recovery fell apart when I came home from work one morning and she wasn't there. I know she liked this spot at the beach and drove there. Imagine my surprise when I see OM's car parked next to hers. I stormed onto the beach and saw them hugging.

(Disclaimer: it has been pointed out to me by another member that the following section makes it seem as though I am making light of violence against my wife. I assure you this is not the case. I do not condone violence and I am truly sorry for the actions I took against her that day. This has been addressed with her and in IC and MC.)

He didn't see me coming and my rage put him on the ground (actually it was a flailing wild punch, but it did connect a bit and he did fall down! Yay!) and then he ran away. Who da man now! Yeah....this guy. In my anger I slapped her, put my hands around her neck and pushed her to the sand, while saying some very not nice things. This, I am not proud of. Side note, I am not a violent person, I never touched her before this moment and have never done it since. Although I did jokingly tell her I would punch her when she wouldn't stop poking me and she didn't and I punched her leg. Which hurt for two days. She could barely walk. Seriously, I couldn't charlie horse worth a damn in grade school but now, when I'm not trying, I push a knuckle through her muscle. I digress...

I left her there on the beach and drove home. Her phone GPS was enabled and I followed her throughout the day. She walked....and walked....and...seriously, no lie, she walked along the beach through 4 towns over the course of 15 hours, the last two hours in a raging thunderstorm. I tried calling but she wouldn't pick up. She eventually responded and I went to get her.

She was broken, not because she was “caught” but because she thought she lost me. She explained and I verified. He followed her to the beach from a friends party that evening. She asked him to leave and he started blubbering and crying (there it is!) and professing his love and she told him that she was with me and that was that. She was consoling him, not making out with him. She never spoke with him, texted, had any contact with him again. I verified. Often.

From this point forward OM no longer refers to the guy above.

Affair #2 (one strung into the other....I consider them in my head a single long stupid event).

This is now say December 2011.

Life with me was hard for the next few months but she tried. And she was slowly becoming my wife again. Beginning to show affection, reaching out. I was dealing with a lot of conflicting emotions and lingering depression. IC took it away but we never did MC (huge mistake).

She met a guy who helped her with a drawing for a project she wanted to propose to the town we live in. Artist type. Business owner (seriously with the f'ing business owners). Seriously, he's a nice guy. (He actually helped me with their first separation and admitted to me what they did was wrong and, get this, he showed me remorse. Yeah, wierd. Ahead of myself...) I met him, hung out a few times. They began a friendship that started off innocent. I was still on alert and trust wasn't fully rebuilt and I monitored. Phone records, I had access to texts, deleted or not, location. And slowly I watched their relationship progress into an emotional affair. From the end of February to mid summer when it heated up.

And this time I spoke out right away. But she blew me off with the usual EA rug sweeping. And as their relationship progressed ours regressed. We had never reconnected and it was easier for her to fall into this, I'm not condoning it, I just get it. She pulled away from me emotionally I got more and more paranoid, more and more insistent she end it. But she placated me with “just friends” and even though I knew what was happening I pussycatted out again. Until the end of November 2012 when I found deleted texts about I can feel your breath and I want to feel you and well, yeah....

I freaked out and demanded she end it and she's all...

Her: But he's just a friend and it doesn't mean anything, and those words for us is only like writing poetry and..and he's my only real friend and I gave up so much for you to come here, my career and my friends and my family and you want me to get rid of my only friend....cry cry cry.

Me: Yeah, get rid of him.

Her: sniffle.

Me: buh-bye to him!

Her: K.

It took her a few weeks to break it off but she did. And I monitored and I verified and (btw she's not too bright in the tech department so no hidden phones or anything) watched and she joined back in our relationship although she wouldn't show me much affection and would not admit to any wrongdoing or show any remorse. She'd barely participate in MC but I gave her time.

And then in April 2013 she sent him a message. And then a few weeks later he sent her one. Brief converstations. Nothing interesting. And since it was sporadic I didn't protest too loudly. And we talked and she has begun to show me more and more affection, slowly, I can actually feel the love from her. But still no admission, still no remorse. But I'm still cautious and still wary. And then in May she fired the text machine back up and I immediately stepped in.

Now, understand, I'm a sucker for this girl. She does all the things WS say, you'd let me have a friend if you understood me, I can't believe YOU'd act like this. And I fell for it. But only briefly (okay two months but after 4 years, it's brief).

07/21/13 : 10 days ago I told her I want him out of our life and that she needs to own up to what she's done. It got late with no resolution so we postponed the end of the conversation.

07/22/13 - 07/26/13 : I had the week off from work. We had a wonderful week together and with the children. Went to water parks, the beach, six flags. There was just the 4 of us and we had a blast. I didn't want to talk.

07/27/13 : I'm in a funk all day and she's ignoring it. As I'm leaving for work she starts acting pissy because I'm upset. I tell her I'm upset because we have unfinished business. We need to finish talking but now is not the time. Hi-ho! Hi-ho! It's off to work I go....

07/28/13 : While I'm at work I see she has taken a trip to where he works nights tending a bar. Of course this bar has a beautiful garden (f'ing hate gardens now). She turned her phone off so I didn't find this out till she was leaving well after the bar's closing time. Watching her drive she stops for a bit, starts up again. By now I know she stopped to text him. With the delay in text and call usage hitting the website, I can't confirm, but I know. She starts driving again and I watch her pull into the town where he lives. Down towards his house. She parks in the lot across from his house. The lot has beach access. I watch her phone wander onto the beach.

I head to the office, emergency at home, gotta go. Where she is now is over an hour away from me. By the time I get near our house, still a ˝ hour from where she was, I see she's left and is heading home. I wait for her. 2:00am she pulls in.

Her: What are you doing home? Is everything okay?
Me: I can't take this any more, let's go somewhere and talk.
Her: I can barely stay awake, I have to sleep.
Me: So be it....(meow)

I get in the car and drive to the beach where she just was. Smokes: check, Flashlight: check, Channeling Native American Indian tracker: f'ing check. I stalk out onto the beach and honestly, seriously, 100% I know they're her footsteps, pick up her trail. Comparing the locations where I saw her GPS I'm lead right to where she sat on the beach and there is only her footsteps going there and back. The mark where she put down her purse. The ring where she put her juice bottle. At least I know she wasn't with him. I checked her texts that morning and confirmed he didn't have time to see her and also wouldn't spend time with her at the bar. Left her a note telling her to wake me up when she gets up because we are talking.

07/29/13 : She wakes me up. We talk. I can't have him in our life, you won't own up to what you did, it will just happen again. Him or Me, D I V O R C E (it rhymes if you spell out divorce!). Same story. She listens, I think it may be sinking in. She needs time to gather her thoughts. Fine, two days, we talk. Downloaded a copy of Not “Just Friends” onto the ipad and asked her to read at least Part I.

07/30/13 : She tried to see him because she is dealing with some other drama that I wasn't really receptive to although she did try to talk to me about it. From her text messages, I got that he stood her up, no show.

Tonight, 07/31/13, after we put the kids to bed we are having the last conversation about this OM that we will have with him in our life. I plan on taking her to the beach where we had our first conversation. Where we fell in love. I think it's a fitting place to have what is potentially our last conversation. After tonight, either he is gone.....or I am.

I am SO VERY SORRY this is like a short novel but once I started writing I couldn't stop and it was therapeutic.

I realize I've been dealing with a lot for 4 years. But I also realize that neither of us dealt with it correctly or with any knowledge of how to reconcile. We punched around in the dark and hit a couple times but missed a whole lot.

I hope you can tell from my writing but I've become very centered. I'm not angry. I'm not upset, I'm not depressed, I'm just done. Either she wakes up or I walk out. And in case anyone feels like bringing this up, It doesn't matter if the EA went PA (I'm on the fence over whether I think it did, there just isn't any real evidence), the damage is done, the admission of a PA wouldn't make me feel any different, just answer a question.

Thank you for reading this. Thoughts? Advice? See you soon.


PS: In case anyone was wondering, my MIL lives with us so the kids are being watched while she gallivants around.

[This message edited by TemporalReset at 5:41 PM, August 1st (Thursday)]

Tearsoflove posted 7/31/2013 03:49 AM

I read your post. I don't have a lot of advice since you've already started "Not Just Friends" and you've finally learned to draw your line in the sand- perhaps literally. I hope the conversation goes well and she makes the right decision.

That said, she is now on her second affair which indicates that her coping mechanisms for low points in your marriage suck. She needs serious work on her boundaries and probably to be much less indulged. There are a lot of excuses for her behavior but none of them sound like legitimate reasons. And if she did it again, IC didn't really help her get it the first time.

I hope the book will help her understand and set better boundaries. If not, you'll be in this same boat the next time your marriage is in a low point or she doesn't get enough sunlight.

TemporalReset posted 7/31/2013 04:36 AM

Thank you Tears.

She is definitely over indulged. But I'm growing a set, slowly. Going from soft innocent ubertrusting me pre-affairs to this has been a journey. Pain and depression sucks. Kinda done with it.

I would find it akin to having to watch Tom Cruise movies over and over and over again (My apologies to TC fans here at SI!).

I think back to one of the more recent moments where she was crying about me wanting her to give up her only friend (she has others, but he's her 'only' friend) and I told her that if she hadn't f'd up and crossed boundaries she could still have him as a friend. New boundaries are coming if all works out.

I just watched the sun rise (I work on the coast). It was beautiful. I'm hoping this is the beginning of a wonderful day.


TemporalReset posted 7/31/2013 13:45 PM

Midday update.

She's been wonderful today but it could be because of the impending conversation.

Signs that don't bode well:

She hasn't tried to read Not "Just Friends". Still on the first page on the ipad where I left it.

She texted OM a picture of beans from her garden, so she's still thinking of him.

Tick tock.


Skan posted 7/31/2013 13:53 PM

I am wishing clarity, strength, and calmness for you today. Best of luck.

Tired05 posted 7/31/2013 14:48 PM

I read the whole thing and you seem, like you said, very level headed. You've reached the point where you value yourself and have basic standards for your no matter how tough the times are. It seems that even if she chooses him, you know you will be just fine. I hope everything works out for you in the best way possible, which ever way it happens to be. Good luck!

TemporalReset posted 7/31/2013 15:57 PM

Thank you Skan and Tired, your words mean a lot.

Just found out she was trying to meet with him today for coffee but he blew her off again.

Also just watched her look up movie times for later as though she is trying to come up with something for us to do rather than talk.

I see this as an attempt to deflect the coming storm. She has a choice to make and it's not something she likes doing. Make sense?


myperfectlife posted 7/31/2013 16:17 PM

That said, she is now on her second affair which indicates that her coping mechanisms for low points in your marriage suck.

^^^ This.
And my STBXWH's first affair was an EA and I begged him to do counseling, he refused. 5 years later, PA.
He can't deal with his own stress, so how can he deal with the stress of making a marriage work?
Think about this.
And I wish you one wants to be here.

JustAShadow posted 7/31/2013 16:22 PM

TR - I read your entire post and it seems as though you are going into tonight eyes wide open. Strength to you tonight and good luck.

Markone posted 7/31/2013 16:23 PM

I may be pointing out the obvious, but I bet you dollars to donuts, she'll say "you".

The question then is will her actions line up with that?

One suggestion may be to take some of that decision and put it back in your hands - File for D, and tell her she has however long it takes where you live to prove by actions she is choosing you. The onus then becomes on her - there are real consequences if she says she chooses you but continues with OM. Plus, you'd be closer to the exit.

[This message edited by Markone at 4:24 PM, July 31st (Wednesday)]

redrock posted 7/31/2013 16:33 PM

Fact is that she has had enough time to get onboard with 'R' and so far has done a piss poor job of it.

Depending on the skill of her IC she has also may have been given the tools to develop relationships that are marriage friendly. She hasn't been able to put that into practice either.

That said, some ICs are not as well training on the subject of infidelity/boundaries as they should be. But that doesn't mitigate her responsibility for her own choices.

Having young children can be isolating, I have been there. But there are healthy ways to expand your friendships and not so healthy.

IMO, I think that not much good can come from hanging out in a restaurant/bar to 'meet people'. No matter how pretty the garden.

How many people with great boundaries are meeting 'friends' in that environment? Take away the garden and it is a women seeking company while drinking.

With young kids it was so easy to meet mom's of kids in the same age group as mine. At church, at preschool, at the park, in our neighborhood, at the library...? Does she make an effort to build relationships with women?

She texted OM a picture of beans from her garden, so she's still thinking of him.

This would be contact and it needs to stop. Today. She can block his number. And she needs to.

She doesn't 'get it'. She may be lonely, but how much effort is she putting into developing healthy friendships? If she loves gardening, then find a club or a volunteer opportunity.

Why does she seek out situations and friendships that feed attention and validation on an intimate level that should be reserved for her spouse?

She continues because cake tastes good. And until she faces some consequences she will keep visiting the bakery. That is what entitled people do.

TemporalReset posted 7/31/2013 17:58 PM

Sorry I don't have time to respond individually but I will. Thank you all so much for your input.

She's trying to wiggle out of tonight.

Her (sitting on the beach just now): My head is so foggy (lol -ed).

Me: get your head straight.

Her: Why?

Me: (sigh) We have a date tonight, remember?

Her: oh.

Me: you aren't taking this seriously. This is very serious.

Her: I know but two days isn't enough time to think (lol -ed) about something so serious.

Me:'ve had way more than two days to think about this babe. But now isn't the time. Lets have a good time. We'll talk later tonight.


SisterMilkshake posted 7/31/2013 18:20 PM

For some silly reason I believed my FWH made his choice on a beautiful day in April, 1979. I would imagine you thought your WW made her choice 8 years ago.

I wouldn't be one to wait for my WS to make a choice after d-day. I believe you have waited long enough. Maybe it is time for you to make a choice and stop giving your WS a chance to make one.

I agree that she is a cake eater and that you need to make the right choices for you.

uncertainone posted 7/31/2013 18:52 PM

Your wife is married. She's behaving like a mopey teenager. I'm not dismissing S.A.D. I have a good friend that has this. They bought lights and plan things together that get them out and help cope with this. It isn't sit around tea gardens meeting people. In fact, people with S.A.D. don't feel like doing shit. They become less social, not more. I used to have to damn near use a crow bar to get her out of the house even to go, ffs!!!! At Nordstoms, no less.

I'd let her perform her own cranial extraction with no help from me. Seriously. Two days isn't enough time to collect herself for a discussion? Does she operate heavy machinery? God, I certainly hope not. Taxis and buses. No car keys for her.

I'm not making light of this. Just have a hard time believing the shit some people do and I'm a wayward. You don't have to accept this and absolutely shouldn't. It's not pull back to see if she gets it. It's pull back to see if you get it. No custodial work on her mess. Taking your own time to gather your thoughts. Long walks on the beach as you visualize your life without someone fucking yours over. 

I wouldn't listen to a damn word out of her mouth. It doesn't matter. Stupid isn't entitled to an audience even if it's a spouse. 

Redrocks post is great.

You don't have to make any decisions right now. It sometimes helps immensely to just solidify some realistic options. The more choices you can make the more control you can regain and maintain.

Good luck. This site is amazing.

painpaingoaway posted 7/31/2013 19:35 PM

Maybe it is time for you to make a choice and stop giving your WS a chance to make one.


We have two children, 3 and 6. She stays at home with the children and I work a 12 hour night shift 6am-6pm.
No, she doesn't stay home with the children. It sounds like your MIL does while your wife goes galavanting around town picking up men. That's what it is. She makes it sound rather romantic with the whole 'beautiful garden' scene, but, come on, lets call a spade a spade, and take off the rose colored glasses...she sounds like a bored spoiled brat.

Let me tell you something, any woman on this site can tell you that being a mom to 2 kids the age of yours is a FULL TIME JOB if she is doing what she is supposed to be doing. Shit, when my kids were that age, I barely had time to breathe much less galavant around town looking at beautiful gardens. (BTW, I adore gardens, but I planted my own, taught my children how, ate fresh produce, canned, and pickled and cooked healthy nourishing meals every single night). I'm not trying to toot my own horn here, but trying to get you to realize that your wife is a self-absorbed woman that appears to be USING you.

You are right to give her an ultimatum, and I hope things go well tonight, but are you ready to BACK up your ultimatum? Because if you are not, it is pointless, and she will only continue with her nonsense, and you will have lost all respect with her.

Shock and awe my friend, shock and awe are the only weapons you have now. Most of us here on SI will tell you that you must be willing to lose the marriage to fix it. Are you truly ready to walk?

[This message edited by painpaingoaway at 7:38 PM, July 31st (Wednesday)]

TemporalReset posted 7/31/2013 20:07 PM

Again, sorry not much time for everyone. I will tomorrow night.

You are right to give her an ultimatum, and I hope things go well tonight, but are you ready to BACK up your ultimatum? Because if you are not, it is pointless, and she will only continue with her nonsense, and you will have lost all respect with her.

Shock and awe my friend, shock and awe are the only weapons you have now. Most of us here on SI will tell you that you must be willing to lose the marriage to fix it. Are you truly ready to walk?


Simply. Yes. I am. This will end one way or another tonight. Putting boys to bed, heading out soon.

noescape posted 7/31/2013 20:20 PM

TR, read your entire story, you write well. I'm sorry you're here. You DO realise you're being used by an entitled and selfish person? Right? You sound like you had conflict avoidance issues, they may still surface which is why she still carries on doing what she does. UO and red and ppga and SMS have all given great advise, internalise as much as you can. Don't allow her to manipulate you with insincere words tonight. Best wishes to you.

TemporalReset posted 7/31/2013 21:03 PM

Thank you all again.


Thank you for the writing compliment

Yes, I too have come to realize that I had some serious conflict avoidance issues. That time is past. I'm committed to a full access R or a D. Either way I'll be happy in different ways. Her floundering has helped me into a true 180.

I am almost beyond most of the stages of discovery. I need her to admit and give sincere remorse. She gets one shot at NC. It's on to rebuilding boundaries and trust.

Time to take the reins.

Boys asleep, leaving soon. I feel that she realizes that I'm serious this time and she fears what is coming.

Will post more after if I can.

Wish me......whatever you wish to wish me!

TR - centered, calm, a feeling of serenity.

[This message edited by TemporalReset at 9:04 PM, July 31st (Wednesday)]

brkn_heartd posted 7/31/2013 23:00 PM

I hope it goes well. Given the past for both of you to be allowed time to "think" I would believe she is expecting that time again. From the behavior you described today, it sounds like she is bargaining for it.

I have sent you good thoughts for tonight.

TemporalReset posted 7/31/2013 23:28 PM

I discussed calmly and peacefully, she argued and blamed. She wouldn't agree to with anything I said. so I told her I'd start on the sep agreement and D papers and have them to her asap. I'll get into the details later but now I have a dilemma.

We are still here at the beach. She won't leave me. She asked me to come back home with her, I told her I wanted to stay and I'd walk (it's not that far). She laid down on the blanket next to me and is still there.

What to do?


PS: added with edit. I'm not trying to manipulate her, I'm comfortable with the outcome. I just don't know what to do.

PPS : I just put the keys to the car in her purse and told her they were there if she wanted to go, I was going for a walk. And then....I walked away.

[This message edited by TemporalReset at 11:46 PM, July 31st (Wednesday)]

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