I have really been struggling the last few weeks and with some major work stress it came to a head about 2 weeks ago. I had a mini break down. In talks after that she offered to tell her parents. These are very religious and single political minded people. She cannot even tell them her best friend since childhood is gay. WW was married at an early age to a dunk and drug user. He also beat her, and cheated on her. There are things that happened in that M that she has never told them about.
I am not really sure the "why" I wish her to tell them. Is it to punish her and show that this non-christian has lead a better life than her? Please note I am not taking aim at any religion just at WW. Or am I hoping for some sort of support? I doubt they have any experience with this issue. I am worried about them judging me as in their minds I should have been a better husband and this would not have happened. They do live about 2 hours away and we only see them a few times a year.
I will add that it has been getting harder and harder for me to spend time with them as they are so one sided, that maybe subconsciously I am looking for a reason to push them out of my life?
Good post. You guys are processing. Not sure if I can say what your motives for asking this of her is...or what her motives for offering to do this are. That is for you guys to figure out.
I do think "motive investigation" has been a big factor in determining if a course of action is healthy or not for me....am still learning how to do that. Our own minds can and do lie to us at times.
My Mom is a BS too...I have not engaged her that much at all because of this bias within her. Plus I am her son...another bias in her. I really was seeking a good close friend with few bias's. I am lucky to have one such guy. BUT, my Mom has exceeded my expectations recently with regards to her support of both me and my wife. I have seen other SI members parents step up...and it actually brought them closer together as a family.
So don't just assume you know how they will react....hell, we didn't even know how WE were going to react to adultery entering our marriages, did we? And we live with ourselves 24-7!
Keep posting...keep processing.
Peace be with you both as you explore this choice together.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 8:49 AM, October 9th (Wednesday)]
I will add that although no family knows I do have a support system. Besides the one or two of you here that knows we are in MC and both have IC. I do have a coworker male friend that JFO about 2 months after me. We have been going out to lunch once a week to talk and check in. This has helped.
But that is one reason I forgot to mention I might want WW to tell her parents. She does not have much of a support system. She says I am all that she needs, but them will say she cannot open up to me as she does not feel justified to feel sadness since she is the cause of all this. I will admit to not always being able to be supporting. Just wish she had someone close. Hell she even admits if she had someone to confide in during the A , that they might have helped her end it years before it did.
I think you may need to look at your motivations. I suspect you may harbor anger at your in-laws for their religious and political views, as well as your wife for the betrayal. I kind of wonder if you may be trying to drive a wedge between your wife and her parents as a way of punishing both of them.
I could be way off base here, but the bottom line is to consider whether telling her parents would help or hurt R.
[This message edited by HardenMyHeart at 10:21 AM, October 9th (Wednesday)]
I havent told my parents or sister because its not their marriage, its not their problem. Its mine. I am an adult. If i choose to separate then I would have informed them of the reason why but other than that I try to keep my relationship between us.
I have only told my best friend because she knows me too well.
I ask the following in earnest:
Can she not trust her parents to still love her?
Do you not trust your own mother to have compassion for both of you in such a difficult situation?
While it's a personal decision to tell others, I sometimes wonder what it says about us,when we don't trust those closest to us, with the truth.
Isn't that part of what keep our WS's from telling the truth in the first place? They don't trust us to react the way they would prefer?
These are just some thoughts your post brought to mind.
My WH was in a very entrenched EA turned PA long-term affair with a co-worker. They wouldn't break off contact and still worked with each other. He refused to go to MC or change jobs. After I caught them texting again (after he told me it had stopped) I confronted both her and her husband. She is not a very nice person to say the least. She started telling the community that I was crazy, blah, blah, blah. She is very aggressive and is always out for a fight. I determined I had to fight fire with fire or she was going to ruin my reputation with her defamation. I have a service business in a small town and it would affect my business. I couldn't take this from her.
In addition when you are at the very worst time of your pain and despair you need people to talk to not just your counselor or one friend. In my case, I was reaching out for anyone who could help me since I was close to a nervous breakdown.
After confrontation he still refused to send her a no contact letter and refused MC. I proceeded to tell him of all the friends and family I told and told him that I wasn't doing it to hurt him, but to save our marriage. Then I took all my evidence to his/her's work HR dept and had a meeting with both of their bosses. Also, she had been sending me threatening texts saying she had already called the police, etc. It was such crap because all I did was walk up to her and tell her to stay away from my husband. And her husband has the right to know about their affair because I got HPV from the A. After the meeting with HR, her boss said "well it looks like you're NOT crazy." They didn't get fired, but were banned from ever working again together and thankfully they work in separate buildings. I still want him to change his job.
My situation was extreme because of his refusal to work on the marriage, do MC and have no contact. In my case, exposure worked because it was only after I did exposure that it got him out of the fantasy affair world he was living in and got him to start realizing what he had done. I truly believe that exposure is the way to go, but I realize it isn't correct in all circumstances like when the WS is remorseful and willing to work on R. I didn't make this exposure decision quickly or lightly. I did tons of research about it and thought about it for a long time and talked to others on other forums. I thought what could I lose I don't have a marriage anyway if he is not willing to do MC and go NC. I consider myself a nice, quiet person who doesn't like confrontation so this exposure step for me was very, very difficult and the hardest thing I have ever done. I was putting everything on the line because my husband could have lost his job. I thought to myself am I acting out of revenge. I determined I was not, because of the type of OP I was dealing with. She had to be treated this way otherwise she would have kept pursuing my WH and would have kept defaming my character. Since I exposed both of them at her work I have not heard a peep form her. It worked in my case. But there are some people in my family who thought I did it out of revenge (he was a FWH), but they aren't living with my WH nor are they living my life. Everyone's circumstance is different.
I say exposure worked in my case because now there is a NC plan in place, the A is over, he is getting more remorseful as time goes and we have had over 20 sessions of MC so far and things are getting better. He is not as remorseful yet as I would like him to be, but he may get there.
Exposure made my WH very, very angry at me which is exactly what I expected. The angrier he got the more I knew that I did exposure correctly. After several terrible few days he was back and more remorseful and more willing to work on our M. Only then did he start coming out of his affair fog.
I 100% realize that my situation is totally different than yours. Please forgive me, I guess I'm just venting.
I'm sorry for the circumstance you find yourself in.
[This message edited by Simba at 3:50 PM, October 9th (Wednesday)]
I have felt since the begining how tough this trauma is to deal with. If I had been diagnosed with cancer it would be easy to tell your work and work with them to modify work loads as I went to therapy, could have told basic friends and they could watch kids for us as I recovered from treatments, etc.. This is different....but I agree...we need to reach out for support as well as look within to change.
God be with us all.
"What did you expect? I am a scorpion."
I get the motivation - I to have not told any family. When I am with my in-laws - I see how they put my WW on a pedestal, I find myself thinking if they only knew that their daughter cheated on me our entire M. My MIL was a BS herself that D prior to my WW being born. Them knowing what she did would send shock waves - but in the end it would not be helpful so no reason to tell them.
I can just offer a little info of my own experience. I was terrified to tell my parents. (They are Catholic and pretty conservative.) I was afraid of their judgment, especially if we would try to R. Since WH moved out, it was very difficult to not have a good explanation. It took me a little while (and I was ready) but they handled it very well and have been super supportive. My mom has been the most compassionate, non-judgmental supporter I have. My dad has held his tongue and is waiting to see the outcome.
MIL was devastated. She loves me dearly and knows she modeled very poor examples for her son with multiple A's (and as the OW). She is in a bad place over our situation. Very torn up. She loves her son, but has been extremely supportive of me.
Since he moved out, it was hard to keep things secret with friends. Since we were trying to R, we told very few friends about the A. As time has gone on, and rumors spread (my kids knew before I did and did some ranting, too), I've gradually informed a few more friends. The support has been amazing. I don't like people knowing my business and giving their opinions (except for the SI tribe who knows what they are talking about!), but I've found that people have been rallying on my behalf in a positive way. It does help.
Best of luck to you!!!!