Two weeks ago she moved back into our apartment after about a month of being separated. She spent that month in her parent's house.
First I want to caveat the rest of my post with the fact that I am not sympathizing with myself, I take responsibility for my actions and I am working toward reconciliation.
The first week of her moving back home was good. It felt like we were making strong emotional progress. I am sure a lot of it was forced but either way we needed that first week to go "our way" -- we spent a lot of time together last week, we talked a lot, she even let me sleep in our bed together for three nights.
For the past two weeks I've been going to SA and SAA meetings almost every day, I've been reading books (Out of the Shadows, SA book, The Case for a Creator etc.). I am showing her love as best as I can given the horrible things I did to our marriage and I was hoping to trend that into this week as well.
The problem is that this week she started to seem a bit distant. We aren't talking as much as we did last week, my meetings are taking up all our time (she does to S-Anon too). Yesterday she found a charge on my credit card that looked fishy, it was a $7 charge... when she confronted me about it, I truly didn't know what that charge was for. She assumed it was for a calling card or something to that effect. I was baffled at the charge, looked into it today and it turned out to be a charge for a medium iced coffee and a bear claw from Coffee Bean Teal Leaf from last week. I told her that, but i don't think she believes me.
Today we got into an argument about religion. She is hyper-religious, her parents are hyper-religious too. I am not, I think I am an open-minded agnostic. My way of finding God is to question things about christianity the way a scientist would question the results of an experiment. Is it illogical to reason and question God or a religion? Is all hope lost if i don't find my higher power? I am truly trying. It is fair to say that her attitude toward me and my views on religion are fueled by other variables, the fact that i cheated on her for one.
I'm venting, I am not good at sharing feelings, I will get better at it. Anyway, this is my first post here, I will hope for the best.
Have you considered how lucky you are, that your wife (BW) is comfortable being anywhere near you? You say it's "a problem" that she seems a bit distant and scrutinizes your CC charges!? Friend, I suggest you seriously adjust your expectations. At only several weeks post DDay, BW may still very well be in shock and denial. It's often said here on SI that the "anger phase" for BSs kicks in around 6 months, and that the second year of R (reconciliation) can be harder than the first!
Trust takes years to rebuild. You've been deceiving her for most of your relationship. Expect to be questioned about CC charges for several years. Be proactive. Save receipts, have BW control the finances (if she doesn't already) and put you on a cash "expendables" budget. Don't put BW in a position to question you, and when she does be humble and contrite.
What do you do when she seems distant? Do you apologize sincerely for hurting her, and ask her what's on her mind and how you can help?
I'm only five months out myself, and have nowhere near earned BH's trust.
Today we got into an argument about religion. She is hyper-religious, her parents are hyper-religious too. I am not, I think I am an open-minded agnostic. My way of finding God is to question things about christianity the way a scientist would question the results of an experiment. Is it illogical to reason and question God or a religion?
Is her faith grounding her during this time? Is this an ongoing topic of discourse and disagreement between you two?
It is fair to say that her attitude toward me and my views on religion are fueled by other variables, the fact that i cheated on her for one.
Is it fair to ask if your scientific questions and analysis of her religion are founded in your desire to move the topic from the cheating to something you are more comfortable arguing and defending?
It just isn't the answer to me. She and her family have said things like, "we believe the only way you will fix this is if you accept God." and "This isn't an emotional or rational problem, we think this is a spiritual problem, the devil is acting out in you and you need to accept God to heal yourself." -- That sort of puts me in a corner to assume a relationship with religion without any real free will because if I don't I probably won't have her or her family's approval.
Also, in response to your question about me debating religion in leu of answering questions about my cheating ways, that is not the case. I am not debating religion to divert attention from the problem at hand. This is an on-going debate I've had with her for the duration of our relationship. The difference is, this time the debate has real stakes attached to it, if I don't accept her religion I will probably lose her.
20WrongsVs1: Thank you for your thoughts and response. Yes I have considered how lucky I am, with her around I may just be the luckiest guy in the world and that is no joke. She has always been unselfish and caring and most importantly faithful to me.
One of my many personality defects is that unfortunately I am by nature impatient. If I see things progressing in week 1 but regressing in week 2, my brain sees that as a contradictory path that needs to be righted. If there is progress in week 1, we should build on that progress in week 2 otherwise we will never budge from square one.
I am aware that the immediate path forward will be riddled by emotions and emotions are hardly rational, as such I wasn't saying it is wrong that we regressed in week 2. I understand that we have a lot of hills and valleys to walk through before we hit a plateau and finally trend the relationship upwards. This post was just me venting, not me saying "jeez this is so wrong this will never work." I know it is early. Very early.
[This message edited by hawking at 12:51 PM, October 4th (Friday)]
You have expressed an event that I am currently dreading: moving back home (if my WH and I actually R). I feel like I have a lot in common with your wife in the sense that I too am currently staying with family who are pretty religious/spiritual. I have returned to my path with God since being here after 5+ years of not attending church, praying infrequently, what have you. My WH was religious when we first married and is now pretty much a full blown atheist, though I assume his current faith choice is based upon him being jaded towards life as opposed to just questioning things.
At any rate, while I feel it's unfair of her family to try to shove religion on you as part of proving you are recovering, I definitely understand how faith helps you heal. There have been many times in the past almost 2 months I've been gone where I have had to pray for strength and 'put things in God's hand'; I pray for my WH as well. I genuinely feel if it wasn't for my belief I would have filed for divorce weeks ago.
Faith conflict or not, reunions under these circumstances are awkward and she is probably still dealing with a great amount of pain and uncertainty as to whether or not coming home was the right thing. I don't think you should accept her beliefs towards religion under false pretenses as it could cause problems later down the road, but to question her beliefs if that's all she has at the moment to keep her grounded and focused on R with you is unfair. By all means let her do what she needs to do. Hope this doesn't come off as harsh, and welcome to SI; hope you find the support you need.
[This message edited by mellie99 at 9:15 PM, October 10th (Thursday)]