BTW, it's been a year since d-day and confrontation. She has blamed me more than once for not forgiving her, saying that I didn't know what forgiveness was because I was still acting all hurt and stuff. She was taking it as punishment, but she doesn't get that me acting hurt is just me acting hurt! Yeah, she caused it, but I'm not doing it to punish her. In essence, she's giving me the "Get over it" attitude, although she has had a few minor aha moments recently in terms of being remorseful and contrite. Still, nothing even close to gratitude. I just find that weird and disturbing. Not too mention she continues to lie about her communications with the OP, and I've caught her in her lies. I don't think she feels any remorse for that.
Another sad fact: She's had me so gaslit at times that I was telling her how thankful I was she didn't leave. Pathetic. I feel like, after she offered me nothing more than a few "I'm sorry"s for the first 6 months after d-day, that I have lost my last shred of dignity and self-respect for still staying without laying down the law. Being on this forum has given me same great insight and encouragement, though, so I am thankful for that. I know that I cannot going the same ho-hum way and have us survive in any recognizable and functional form.
I understand your feelings. I needed my husband to be appreciative of the chance to R.
He showed me he was through his actions.
She is just becoming remorseful? What are the 2 of you doing to heal together? Have either of you been to IC or MC?
What does she do to help you heal?
What do you need from her and have you expressed those needs to her? Sometimes when we don't we wait for something they don't know how to give and we are disappointed.
I would hope she would be more open to communication if she is starting to get it.
You deserve to be heard, helped and appreciated through this.
I can only speak for my own position, so take it for what it is worth.
Words only go so far. I have expressed gratitude to my wife for being willing to continue working on a life with me and do try to show my gratitude through actions. If you feel that your Wayward isn't doing either, I'd consider that troublesome.
What else is she doing? Is she, perhaps expressing it in other ways and the message isn't making it clearly?
Talk to her about it. If what she's doing isn't enough, tell her. I'm sorry she isn't the one leading the way on this. She should be.
But I found my way here (better late than never), discovered the thread entitled something like "things every wayward needs to know" and put that list prominently under my WW's nose, and said "I need you to read this and behave accordingly". And it took a while, but she did improve, and did express gratitude, and more than just once.
And while I wish she'd have participated here at SI, and that she'd talk about the affair and R without me having to initiate it, and apologize again when I stumble across the consequences of her affair, it's still better than it was.
If you haven't already, I strongly recommend you find that thread, with its main useful contents in the opening post, and get her to read it.
(Wish I'd discovered the 180 a lot sooner, too. Oh well. Life's pretty good now.)
My XH gets mad when I tell him "I'm so happy and grateful we're back together" or "Thanks for still wanting to be with me." Because it just continues to remind him of it, on one hand, and also because (I think) he feels it puts us in an imbalance of power...he doesn't want to be "thanked" for being in a relationship with me.
But then again my XH is NOT the average BS. So YMMV. I say it anyway sometimes even if it pisses him off...because it's how I feel.
Divorced from and remarried to XBH
You gave her the gift of reconciliation.
And she didn't say thank you.
Don't let her squander all the hard work you do to make reconciliation even possible.
I gave my WW a copy of the "What every WS needs to know" post a few weeks ago and her biggest responses have been, "Where's the list for you" and "Why shouldn't you consider me staying a gift."
I think I was and maybe still am too understanding of her perspective and patient with her getting it. This has adversely effected R and my healing. At the moment it seems like we are closer to D than R, but I still have some hope.
Almost two years since D-day. She was in weekly IC during and since the affair and we have been in MC for over a year. I'm in biweekly IC as well.
If you really don't think she is remorseful, maybe you should also try some 180 until you are sure you are getting remorse and help from your WS.
It sounds like your WS is still justifying her actions by highlighting things you did poorly in the relationship if I read that right. Mine did that for a while. It was just a few weeks ago that she joined me in my pain and matched it with her own. It was beautiful. I'm still struggling with some anger and hurt, but I feel safe expressing it to her now. I hope you two get there, too.
I can see how perhaps she doesn't want to give the verbal gratitude because she's afraid of it triggering something. I've never told her specifically to say thanks, mostly because I thought it'd be weird to do so. Unfortunately, when we first got married, she turned into someone who would seek first to be offended by anything someone says or does to her. In other words, she looks for the bad in what others do, and she assumes it's directed at her (or something that she holds dear). This attitude has held me back in a lot of ways, because I didn't want to sit through a couple of days of silent treatment and lack of any affection (yes, even after d-day).
The times when I have felt safe to let her know what would be helpful to me, I have been very direct. She turned off her physical and verbal affection soon after we married, and after d-day, I let her know how much those things mean to me. She would be good for a day or two, then back to the same old habits. It makes me feel stupid because I still want to show her affection, my love language, but she doesn't seem to want to return the affection. It's funny, because when we were dating, she made a point to tell me that physical affection was one of her love languages!
An important piece of information (in my profile): Our daughter was born a few months before the first confrontation. It was a rough pregnancy, and we weren't able to have sex after about five months into the pregnancy. It was then a rough delivery, and we weren't able to have sex for a while after that. So at the time of d-day, we hadn't had sex in probably nine months. At this time, she was beginning to heal and was ready to reenter the sexual arena. We talked about it, and how it would probably help me to heal (this was within the first few weeks after d-day, when she was acting a lot more contrite and receptive). Whenever I would bring the topic up after that, or even try to get more physical with her, she would just shrink away, go limp, and turn cold as stone, usually giving some excuse. This was since about last May. It wasn't until December when I finally had the guts to ask her what the heck was going on. She said, "How can I have sex with you and get that close with you if I'm not comfortable with you and don't trust you? It seems like you're always judging me and haven't forgiven me." OK, airtight logic. Right. I was flabbergasted, feeling like I was the one who had cheated and couldn't be trusted. On the other hand, I think her saying it out loud helped her to realize just how ridiculous it sounded, and we finally began to try to return to somewhat normal bedroom behavior.
I guess what I can sum up in all of this is that for 6 months, all she did on her side of reconciliation was to say she was sorry. I asked her immediately to break all contact, find a new job (her boss is the OP, but they do work 3000 miles apart, sometimes she sees him when she travels, though), get rid of any related pics, emails, notes, etc. She did none. And she never kept me up to date on job search or progress in removing said materials. So when I asked her about it last August, she started crying, complaining about how she doesn't have time. This coming from the woman who sits on the couch on the weekend, watching reruns of Downton Abbey and surfing Facebook for hours (or taking a nap). Not very proactive. Basically, taking the "If he doesn't know about it, then it won't hurt him approach", kind of like the A.
That's when I finally started going to IC, because I thought I might do damage to myself. The gaslighting was making me crazy. It was right be I started IC that I found pictures of her and her ex-fiance (not the OP) on her computer in various sexual positions. I thought I would die. I had discovered at the beginning some naked pics of this guy on her computer before d-day, but nothing with her in it. I had asked her then to get rid of them, and I assumed she had. I was just checking on the truthfulness of her progress when I found these. I almost had a heart attack. To be honest, I am amazed I still wanted to have anything sexual to do with her, because now I didn't even have to imagine her with another guy. So wrong and disgusting. I deleted them immediately, but it has taken her until just recently to finally get rid of most of the pics and emails relating to the OP. One year.
Sorry to ramble, but there is obviously a lot of related back story to every one of our situations. One last thing is that she has still continued to lie to me, and when I catch her in it, she just denies and denies until she realizes I have proof, then finally admits it. For example, I found out she was still in friendly, non-business related conversation with OP, something that I was clear was off-limits. I asked her if she told him no-contact besides business, and she says she did. But yet I find out they continued. After this happened a couple of times, she finally admits she said nothing. Basically, she doesn't want drama at work, so she hasn't mentioned it. (Another thing, she didn't actually start her job hunt until about 6 months after d-day.) Yet, she got angry with me, saying the conversations (text and email) weren't anything sexual or anything, and she hasn't done anything wrong. Of course, continuing to lie to me about it is very wrong. Lies were what got us into this in the first place. It just puts us back to square one in the trust department.
IC has helped for me. I'm still trying to get her into IC first before MC together, because she has some issues to deal with in herself before an MC will do any good.
From my limited experience, lots of reading on SI, and a background in mental health I will cautiously tell you that I see a lot of red flags here. There's not a whole lot of information about the nature of your relationship, other than her removal of affection early on. From the outside and not knowing her or you, there seems to be a brokenness in her that will require a strong commitment and desire in her to address. I see a pattern of wayward behavior in your entire relationship, a resistance to full disclosure, regret instead of remorse, signs of depression, and an unwillingness to accept the reality of her transgressions against herself, you and the relationship. You mentioned that she claims physical attention is her love language, yet I wonder if it's sexual attention that she relies on to feel good about herself and she's confusing that as a love language. At the very least, if it is her love language she's seeking it out dysfunctionally. The fact that she's kept illicit photos from the past suggests she's still getting those needs met elsewhere by reminiscing from time to time. And her resistance to being honest (which might be more about being honest with herself than you) implies that she's still justifying her actions by what it could have been (how to justify staying in the same place with her AP overnight) in explaining it to other people. For instance, blaming you for being needy (needing to grow up) by being uncomfortable with her lack of communication. Not to mention that you are finding evidence of attempts to seek sexual attention from others who may not have been willing.
I see resistance to being vulnerable, which means she can get her physical needs met by someone else without being vulnerable, while keeping you at a distance because it would require vulnerability and facing feelings of perceived unworthiness to get them met by you. Not facing it by doing what you have required of her, and allowing her time to be sucked up by television and Facebook suggests possible depression. And a tough pregnancy can trigger depression, especially when it's so prevalent for many women post birth. It also appears that there are signs of it from her past behaviors (if not bipolar, as sexual impulsivity can indicate a manic phase). If that's the case, then fully realizing the true reality if what she's done may "break" her, do be prepared for that. Also, you eluded to depression by mentioning you went to IC because you feared harming yourself. I wonder if you both need help finding your own worth without needing a teglection if it in others. And telling you that you should be grateful she stayed with you communicates a lack of awareness of the independent choice she made, and a continued justification for her actions.
If the love you have for each other is definitely there, I strongly suggest IC and MC for both of you. It might be that you need some time apart to realize what you each actually need to heal, as well as time to establish some independence before coming back to each other and, in essence, start over. I know some experts say that separating is a bad idea if you plan on R, but in my personal experience I believe at times it is necessary. The terms of separation would need to be different, however, depending on how much accountability and security you need to be able to come back together. And separation can be a gift you give each other for space and time to heal. To decide if the relationship is salvageable and worth it to both of you. It seems that what you two are doing now is not working. What progress has been made so far? And I couldn't imagine navigating this with an infant! That first year is so very tough for many couples. I always claimed that it makes or breaks relationships (and that was when I thought it proved the strength of mine, though looking back it contributed to fissures that grew).
Some of the things you mentioned resonated with something my WS said to me the other night. Without getting too much into our story, there was a time between EA 1 and EA 2 (I was unaware of any infidelity at this time) in which we went through MC and I was working hard to show her the affection she said was missing for her. So in our talk the other night she admitted that she didn't accept what I was doing and didn't allow herself to respond to them. Basically, nothing I did or could have done would have worked because she wasn't willing to be vulnerable enough to let them work. I felt the resentment build instead if subside, so when I gave up she perceived it as her fears being realized rather than a reaction to her lack of reception to them. It wasn't until she was fully discovered and able to fully disclose that she humbled herself and risked vulnerability in the relationship that she was able to fully see me and my true intentions and love for her. This resonated because your WS's actions are similar right now, and because you mentioned that she assumes the worst of people. I was up against that with my WS, as she was assuming the worst of my intentions and no amount of action or honesty from me could convince her otherwise.
I'm not sure or comfortable really telling you what to do. I can see that you are both at a huge crossroads. You will either both take huge risks to heal it based on the love you have for each other, or one or both of you will succumb to protecting your emotions at all cost and it will eventually be lost. A wise person once told me that as long as nothing changed for my partner, she would have no motivation to change her behavior. It is often said on here that you have to risk losing the relationship in order to save it.
Without making drastic changes, and in light of everything else contributing to your situation, I suggest figuring out exactly what you need from her to R and discuss it with your IC. When you are ready to tell her, do so in a way that expresses your love and compassion for her, while highlighting that they are simply your needs not designed to punish her. Try to do it without attacking her. Have a plan for what you plan on doing to heal yourself if she can't meet them and stick to them. If she says she can't, it might be helpful to try and understand that she's just not ready. Understanding that doesn't mean you have to wait, just that you accept she can't but have to save yourself while she decides what the relationship means to her. You could ask her what she needs from you to be able to do that, as well. It might be that the way you are communicating with her is not right for her or doesn't help her feel comfortable being vulnerable. If either of you simply can't meet the others needs, then you have some tough decisions to make.
I wish you the best and hope that my insights are helpful and not intrusive or assuming too much. My heart aches for you right now. Please keep us updated.
You take the power back by moving towards being happy again without her in your life. If this is what the rest of your life looks like does that seem good to you.
Respect yourself enough to remove toxic people from your life. Even if you are married to them.
I understand it is scary, but keeping this woman in your life is just going to bring you more pain. Since she isn't really changing anything what assurances from her do you have that this won't happen again ? None. Words from someone who lies to you are just words and without creditability they have no validity.
I ma not a reader, but one book I think would help you adjust your thinking is "No More Mr. Nice guy."
I don't remember the author, but if you search the web you will find it.
Two things that stick out to me:
1. Your W is displaying some serious sociopath traits. She won't change these without the help of a professional. As such what she is doing to do you is borderline abusive. You need to protect yourself.
2. I was confused about the timing, but her over the top behavior seems to indicate that she desperately wanted to maintain a relationship with this man to a fault. The pessimist in me wonders if you should have your childs paternity verified. It reads eerily similar to other cases I have read about.
Buy a kit at the drug store for 30 buck. Follow the instructions. Submit the sample with another 200 bucks and you will know for sure. In either case this information will help you in deciding what you want in the future.
I am sorry what you are going through, my post might seem very direct, but your post made my heart bleed a little bit. No one should have to live under these circumstances. You are in a better position that you realize, but you have let her convince you otherwise. Being the process to become whole and happy again. What does a happy future look like for you ? Unless she changes and does a complete turn around, the rest of your days are going to look like your post describes. Some WS are worth the pain, some are not.
DS 1, DD 6
Dday 8/31/11. EA/PA. Lied to for 3 years.
Every truth comes to light in a long enough timeline.
I grabbed this paragraph from your post. The last paragraph is equally painful where you find out she did keep in contact with the AP AND did not even tell him that you knew. WTF?
guess what I can sum up in all of this is that for 6 months, all she did on her side of reconciliation was to say she was sorry. I asked her immediately to break all contact, find a new job (her boss is the OP, but they do work 3000 miles apart, sometimes she sees him when she travels, though), get rid of any related pics, emails, notes, etc. She did none. And she never kept me up to date on job search or progress in removing said materials. So when I asked her about it last August, she started crying, complaining about how she doesn't have time. This coming from the woman who sits on the couch on the weekend, watching reruns of Downton Abbey and surfing Facebook for hours (or taking a nap). Not very proactive. Basically, taking the "If he doesn't know about it, then it won't hurt him approach", kind of like the A.
and this from the second last paragraph...
I asked her if she told him no-contact besides business, and she says she did. But yet I find out they continued. After this happened a couple of times, she finally admits she said nothing. Basically, she doesn't want drama at work, so she hasn't mentioned it.
I have to echo what numb&dumb wrote....why do you continue to let her treat you poorly? This is a question you might want to ask in IC.
You know what I might do next? I would drop the book I mentioned above in her lap. Request that she needs to finish it within the next 7 days. I would also explain that you need her to be healthy. And that you are trying your damndest to get healthy after such a blow. She needs to try too. That means, IC for her. Period. She needs to get some help. The crying and watching TV all day makes me wonder if she isn't depressed. If she doesn't pursue IC what are you going to do? You might want to detach - 180. IDK.
The sociopathic behavior is also a consideration. There is a checklist for that - Google Psychology Today magazine and do a search. You will find it. You may find your wife there. Again, if this is the case she needs IC.
For the most part tho, you cannot even expect her to be grateful at this point bc she has not even shown remorse. It's a process. And she wants to skip it.
This is your life, plewpiter. You deserve more.
[This message edited by LA44 at 12:14 PM, April 11th (Friday)]
Is she worth it? I hope so. And she has made larger efforts in the last couple of months. She has truly been searching for a job in earnest, and should be getting a couple of offers in the next couple of days. She's been proactive at keeping me up to date on this front. But she is openly resistant to a NC letter or conversation with the OP. Her words: "I'll get out of the job and just let it fade away but not staying in contact." I mean, it was a silly statement, and unrealistic. It shows an unwillingness to take real responsibility for protecting herself, me, and our marriage. If she had a weakness for him when we were just weeks before/after our wedding, then what is going to change that?
Here's another aspect of the current dynamic (which is much improved over 6 months ago): I am fairly certain she had a "relapse" with the OP (not sure if it was physical or what) in November of last year. She had a trip to Chicago for a work convention, and other people from her work would be there. I asked her before hand (shouldn't have had to ask...) if he would be there. She said, no, only these other people would be there. So she's gone, and I'm checking her call/text records online with Verizon like I do every couple of days. So a call from him turns up, which isn't out of the ordinary--she's a VP at the company and he's CEO, and business stuff comes up. I hate it and that's one reason her dragging her feet to leave has driven me crazy, just the fact that he still talks to her about anything--but I've been patient in her job search. Only problem with this call is that it occurs at almost 4AM. At this point, I am unsure if he's calling from California where the company is based, or if he's calling from Chicago and is actually at the same hotel or whatever. Obviously, I think the worst. Either way, the boss shouldn't be calling ANY employee in the middle of the night.
I actually meet up with her in Chicago with our daughter on Saturday so we can hang out for the weekend, then drive back together. This call occurred Thursday night/Friday morning. I find out from her coworkers, that, yes, the OP had been in town after all. If I was paranoid before about the call, then I'm buggin out now! Somehow I make it through the rest of the weekend because I didn't want a huge confrontation on a 6 hr drive home. Also, I found out that the OP had left before I got there, so I knew there was no more chance of anything happening between the two of them in person.
We get home and she proceeds to get very sick and is out of it for a couple of weeks. So it isn't for a couple of weeks that I actually bring this up. When I finally get around to questioning her about the call--why he called, and why at 4AM--she says she didn't get the call. Her mistake was not first asking how I knew it was him calling, which would be her normal thing to do--how did I know it was his number? That would be my first response. I questioned her again about it a couple weeks after, and she continued to deny, although she did say that it was "wrong" for him to be calling at that time. I actually, I said it was wrong, and she agreed. Her reasons for why it showed up on the phone records vary from her voicemail picked it up (but she never showed me a voice mail to prove it) to one of her coworkers answered her phone without her knowing (at 4am). Whatever.
It was right after that trip, before I confronted her about the call and after she was sick, that she actually started becoming more physical with me in a sexual manner, and without me asking. It was so out of left field that I felt like something must have happened to make her suddenly like this. I've heard of people getting more frisky with their husband/wife when they are cheating, just to sort of cover their tracks and throw you of a bit. It only heightened my suspicion. She has continued to deny anything about the call (and anything about what might have happened in Chicago) to this day. I think she is just afraid that if she admits to taking the call, then there would be a domino effect of truth that would spill out. I welcome it, even if it means that the EA has now turned into a PA.
I think that the sexual awakening happens less as a cover and more as a result of sexual confidence building because of interest from another source. It happened with me, too, and it was heartbreaking to realize I wasn't the source.
Ultimately, it really appears as if she's not invested in approaching this with you as a partner in fixing the M. Worse, she's behaving in ways that are detrimental to your healing in the M. I'm so sorry that she's not there with you right now. You will have to decide if she's showing you enough progress to stay and hope she will get there. Given that this pattern has existed your entire relationship I hope that she's given you enough "genuineness" to have something clear and concrete to hold onto while you wait. I strongly encourage at least IC for you while you figure out what you need and if she's giving enough.
Hugs to you.
Yes, I do feel that some genuine, positive change has occurred in her. Triggered by what, I don't know. It all just feels so fragile, and I am afraid that any more confrontation would send her backwards. I just need to be willing to accept her reaction as just that: her reaction. I can't make her choices, but I do need to take care of myself, and my daughter, as well. Who knows, she might surprise me! I really need her to get into IC herself, and to read the How To Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair book.