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greenear1975 posted 7/2/2014 09:19 AM

My wife and I have been married almost 13 yrs. Not a perfect marriage, but neither of us came from happy families so I had no comparison. My wife was a happy go lucky, college drop out on the verge of bankruptcy when we met, but cute as a button and she really brought out the best in me. I was a serious guy, probably too mature for my age focused on career & getting ahead. We married w/in 1.5 yrs, had our 1st child 1 year later and 2nd child 2 years after that. My wife never matured in our marriage as mother, wife or homemaker. She stayed at home to raise our boys, but was always a spoiled "taker". I gave myself nothing for all the hard hours I worked to support our family. Her theory seemed "its not my fault you don't spend money on yourself...I do".

Over the years I grew resentful feeling like a "paycheck" that was never big enough for my wife's "needs". Bigger house after house, cars, clothes, furniture, etc. You name it, she got it. I always had to be the adult in the relationship and began treating her like a child as a result. From matters about money, cleaning the house, groceries/meals. It seemed she just felt entitled to stay home all day while kids were at school and go out to lunch, tan, nail salon, etc. while I busted my ass in commercial real estate during the Great Recession. Thru this period from 2008 to 2011, I never went a day w/o a paycheck, but was petrified of failing my family. Not once thru that whole mess did my wife ever say "we are so proud of you", or "its going to be OK no matter what happens...this isn't your fault". In fact my wife has never used the word "proud" or "appreciate" to me in 13 yrs. The only word a man truly yearns to hear, to validate him. Sadly those words were never uttered.

I weathered the financial storm, switched jobs 2 yrs ago w/ little lifestyle adjustment to my family. Last year, my wife's mother passed away at the young age of 63 (4th battle w/ cancer finally took her to the Lord). My wife & MIL were as close as it gets. 8-10 phone calls/day, over at one or the others house 1-2 times/day. It was suffocating. Always an issue in our house/marriage from day 1. My wife unable to cope, went into a depression for a year just laying in bed and not performing any of her responsibilities as a mom, homemaker or wife. My wife is (for some unknown reason yet TBD in therapy) unable to express feelings (good or bad). She's just physically unable to express joy, pride, hurt (even if she might be feeling it inside). This led me to not be able to be there for her during her grieving process. She never sought therapy, either for it.

I became resentful and quite frankly not attracted to what had become a human "sloth" in our house. I couldn't take it. She wasn't telling me how she felt, she was disengaged and just sleeping or on her phone in bed all day. I began to ignore her, focusing on work kids and working out to divert my disappointment with my wife's inability to grieve and fulfill her responsibilities at the same time. I know that sounds harsh, but I'm just being honest with how I felt.

In mid April this year, I found out that my wife's balance on a credit card she had in her name might be higher than she had ever told me. The more I dug in, the worse it got. I went into her wallet & found 3 other cards, called the 800# on the back to find out she had over $40K in credit cards all in default that had been used the last 4 years! I ran her credit report and realized the problem was closer to $45K in totality.

My wife then began telling me we needed MC & she might want a divorce. I agreed to MC, we went 2 times and then 1 day my suspicions got the best of me and I grabbed her cell phone 1 evening & found texts between her & an affair partner. It had been going on from Jan until 5/12. Mostly emotional, but involved 3 physical/sexual encounters. When my wife told AP that I knew, he immediately ended it stating "I don't want to break up someone's family". Although I can appreciate his moral compass started working again, a little late, right?

My wife believes this "man", who manages a damn sandwich shop she eats at, loved her and she can't understand how he just drop her like hat w/ no further contact. She got so caught up in a man telling her she's pretty, maybe listening to her complain about me (he's in a relationship to). You know the story, its all fantasy, but its like a drug. She been trying to get over it the last 7 weeks as I've tried to reconcile with her. The last 5 weeks have been amazing. Its like when we were dating before we got married. Complete closeness, intimacy, but no remorse/guilt/sorry.

2 weeks ago I had a trigger and got very angry. Threw a few things around in a room by myself with door closed due to all the pain. I just had to finally release some steam. The only person I've ever trusted betrayed me. And now the 1 person I'd naturally want to go to for support/compassion is the actual perpetrator and doesn't even care that it hurts. She says she would not have done it if I treated her the way the AP treated her. Textbook rewrite of our marriage to justify her sins. I acknowledge/accept 50% responsibility for not having a good marriage and contributing to factors that led my wife to stray, but I accept 0% for the financial infidelity and adultery.

My wife said she needed to leave for a few weeks to decide what she wants to do. She has been staying at a best friends house (who I trust wants us to reconcile). I told her I was not waiting for a month and gave her only 2 weeks (until July 4th) to decide what she wants. I'm just tired of being played the fool here. I've got to set some boundaries and start working on healing myself whether she wants to be a part of that, or not. I can't sit in limbo any longer...its torture and I can't take it mentally/physically.

While she's been away, she's dyed her hair black/blue and gotten 2 tattoos. Its clear she is not in a good place mentally and I am very concerned. I am even more concerned for my 2 young boys. I do not feel safe having her care for them w/o me present in their lives every day. B/c of the adultery and the evidence I have, NC courts will not provide with any alimony and a very little % of our shared assets. If she chooses not to reconcile, I'm moving forward with separation and possible full custody of my boys. I fear a complete nuclear melt down coming and I fear she could try to hurt herself based on her current mental state.

I set some firm boundaries for her as "deal breakers" if by Friday she decides to come home.

1. Stop being friends with 2 people who not only condoned your spending/affair, but supported your effort to destroy your husband (and kids) lives.

2. Get a job.

3. Pay back credit card debt that I have common financial responsibility for ($4k).

My biggest fear is that there is no way my wife is going to ever make these changes, be mature enough to act like a married women in a partnership (w/o her feeling like its "controlling" her). Everything she's done is either "justified", or "someone else's fault". She doesn't seem ready to let the AP fairy tale go, or show true remorse for what she's done.

I love this woman more than anything else in the world. I know we could make this partnership better than it ever was b4, but we both must be 100% committed. I hate for her to have to suffer the consequences of her actions especially when I offered the gift of reconciliation for 8 weeks now to no avail.

Friday is going to be a tough day for me. I so wish to hear from my wife how sorry she is, how she will do whatever it takes to earn my trust back, why I should stay, etc, but sadly, I doubt its gonna happen. I'm probably gonna get more "I'll try to try"..."I'm committed, but you can't keep throwing the affair back in my face the rest of our life"....etc.

I know I've written novel here most of you will just scroll past, but if any of you have any thoughts, I'd greatly appreciate it. I've gotta get myself better and protect my kids first, but I so want my wife back, too.

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions.

[This message edited by greenear1975 at 10:01 AM, July 2nd (Wednesday)]

strongerdaybyday posted 7/2/2014 09:27 AM

I always had to be the adult in the relationship and began treating her like a child as a result

The relationship w/my H was like this. It gets tiring being the "parent".

I became resentful and quite frankly not attracted to what had become a human "sloth" in our house.

It's not sexy or attractive to be the one doing all the work while your partner sleeps and/or takes all the free time for him/herself.

I love this woman more than anything else in the world. I know we could make this partnership better than it ever was b4, but we both must be 100% committed. I hate for her to have to suffer the consequences of her actions especially when I offered the gift of reconciliation for 8 weeks now to no avail.

If you've offered R with no response perhaps it's time to 180 her. Gently, she doesn't appreciate what she has because she hasn't lost it. And if her immediate response wasn't tears or an I'm sorry if her response is going to be "I'll try to try" that's not good enough. Tell her your demands and stick to them. And if she doesn't stick to them make sure you back up what you've said. 180 her (easier said then done I know - the heart wants what it wants but you have to do what's best for you and the kids). Make her miss you. If she doesn't miss you or doesn't care then unfortunately she has shown you who she is and you will be better off (even though it hurts like hell).

I'm so sorry for what you're going through.

jo2love posted 7/2/2014 09:51 AM

greenear1975 -

You have a pm.

greenear1975 posted 7/2/2014 10:38 AM

Thanks strongerdaybyday. Its taken a lot of strength the last several weeks, and even more to move on, but that's what everyone is telling me I must do.

strongerdaybyday posted 7/2/2014 11:47 AM


You will heal and you will be okay.

veronique12 posted 7/2/2014 13:00 PM

I wanted to let you know that you've been heard and I'm so sorry you are going through this. Your post shows that you are very centered and intellectually you know what you need to do. Emotionally, of course it is much harder to follow through.

I second the 180 approach. Your WW isn't taking responsibility and it seems like this isn't anything new: Putting your family in financial jeopardy, not considering your feelings and reaching out to meet your emotional needs while you're struggling to make ends meet, selfishly looking elsewhere for someone to stroke her ego at your family's expense, and so on.

Some people can change their behaviors with a lot of effort and a lot of time. It sounds like you want her to become a more responsible person. The big question is as you point out--can she and is she willing to change to become the partner that you want and deserve? Does she see her behavior as upsetting? Does she recognize the pattern of child/parent roles in your M?

You cannot change her. You can tell her what you need from her but you cannot force her hand. It will take much work on her part to change herself. That said, at this time I think that you should explore IC for yourself and find out why you chose to marry someone who seems to be more at home in the role of child than adult spouse. I hope that doesn't come across too harsh. It is not my intent. I think it may help you to see that you don't have to be stuck in the adult role alone while essentially parenting your kids and your spouse.

Why do you think your WW may hurt herself? Has she tried that in the past?


FixYou71 posted 7/2/2014 13:39 PM

If you do end up getting the response you're hoping for from your W it would be wise to be very clear about your requirements for moving forward with R. YOU are giving HER the gift of R. You don't owe it to her. The financial is warranted and understandable as is your demand she stops the friendships that aren't marriage/family friendly. You should put some thought into what else you need to feel safe going forward. Ic for her, reading books on boundaries (not just friends), proactively helping you heal from her betrayals, MC, etc. Now is the time for that and you must include consequences otherwise they are empty threats and are not motivators.
I hope your W sees the light. I hope your family can be put back together.
I agree with others re the 180. It will be good for you to focus on yourself and build up your strength to know you'll be o.k. no matter the outcome of your M.

[This message edited by FixYou71 at 12:25 AM, July 3rd (Thursday)]

greenear1975 posted 7/3/2014 07:58 AM

Thanks for your feedback and support everyone. WS came home 2 nights ago, slept in our bed, but hasn't said much at all. Told her last night I (as well as the kids were a little confused) and were wondering what was going on. She said she came home "b/c it was the right thing to do". She says she can still think at home and decide what she wants to do. I told her ball is in her court until Friday. She seemed a little taken back by my tone. She's expecting me to continue to beg, cry, plead with her to stay. She asked me if I wanted her to leave, or sleep in the guest bedroom. I told her I didn't care where she slept and went to bed. She huffed/puffed and rolled over mad.

This is so damn hard, but I have to stand my ground here. Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day at the house. I've already got my neighbors taking our kids Saturday so I can sit down with my W and begin sorting details of separation. I expect meltdown (that's why I don't want the kids there), but I intend to stay calm and mature and try to get her to work thru everything with me.

Does everyone agree I should just follow thru with the separation to protect myself financially and then see where R, IC, and MC leads?

greenear1975 posted 7/3/2014 08:50 AM

veronique12 -- My wife has done some concerning things over the 10 days she way staying with her best friend. Dyed her hair black and blue and got 2 tattoos. Nothing crazy, but clearly she's acting out or rebelling from her Dad (umm..I mean husband). I think she's trying to show me I'm not in control of her.

In a recent conversation, she indicated there wasn't much point in living. That it would just be easier to die than have to go thru all the work of R, or get screwed by me in a divorce.

The sad part is I feel like she's really treating this like a parent/child relationship. As if (no matter what), I'll still be required to provide her shelter, food, car, health insurance, etc.

MindMonkey posted 7/3/2014 08:57 AM

I feel for you brother. On the bright side, NC is one of the better states to D in. They also have alienation of affection laws, FWIW.

My FWW was similar to yours, thou admittedly not quite so far gone. After the kids were in school, I got her to work part time. She still was the selfish child in the relationship and I was the ogre adult. Then she had an EA/PA with a coworker.

1. Stop being friends with 2 people who not only condoned your spending/affair, but supported your effort to destroy your husband (and kids) lives.

2. Get a job.

3. Pay back credit card debt that I have common financial responsibility for ($4k).

Those are good but I suggest adding a requirement for her to go to IC. It was the only way I would attempt R. I am DONE being the parent. I'm also in IC and the therapist suggests something akin to the 180 to eliminate my codependent tendencies.

The other thing I did different that helped is I went nuclear on FWW. I did not beg or plead. I was all about "fix your shit or get the F*ck outta my house". Immediate NC and no pining after POSER, you wanna cry about loosing your "good friend" do it where I can't see. And "CARRY YOUR LOAD, I am tired of being the responsible guy while you f*ck about like a selfish teenager."

After 10 months, it still sucks but she's getting better. She got this way over the course of 35 years so I expect it will take a bit to get better.

greenear1975 posted 7/3/2014 09:11 AM

Thanks MindMonkey. She is in IC, but she keeps telling me they're working on values and "10 year plans"? I don't know what she's telling them, but if its the same BS she's telling her friends and family (who all believe she is the victim here), then maybe she's smarter than her therapist.

I'd love to scare the AP with alienation of affection, but his puny paycheck and lack of assets are not worth the legal expense. If I went that route, I just represent myself in court and try to levy his paycheck for the next 20 years. At the end of the day, I've decided going after him physically/financially is only going to help me stay in the victim role longer.

Good luck with your R, brother.

What2Do76 posted 7/3/2014 09:24 AM

Why do you love her? Sorry for bluntness but she sounds like she's been a horrible person for a while now. You don't have to take any responsibility for the marriage being bad because it sounds like she has never done any work at all.

greenear1975 posted 7/3/2014 09:34 AM

What2Do76 - That's a very fair question. One my wife and my close friends keep asking me. I have so much invested in her and for some reason I just still love her (even with all her faults). I'm trying to figure this out in IC to see if I have an abandonment issues clouding my thinking.

The parent/child dynamic caused me to verbally abusive to her over a number of years and that is when her heart began to harden. I struggle with whether I need to own that verbal abuse behavior 100%. It wasn't over the top, but I would have to talk to her just like I do my 2 young boys every day. It was so frustrating, but not right for me to talk to her like that.

I guess that's where I feel I still have some compassion and want to make things right. I never like to give up on things either...its just my personality and this one failure that is going to cost my kids dearly and I'm trying to protect them with any possibility of R before throwing in the towel. Sucks...

sisoon posted 7/3/2014 10:18 AM

WRT IC, require your W to sign a release that allows her IC to talk with you, especially about your W's goals and progress.

Demand a joint session to make sure the IC knows there's a crisis right now because of your W's cheating.

If the IC still thinks now is the time for 10 year plans, fire him/her. Now is the time for emergency IC work.

If she won't sign the release or do the joint session, dump her. It means she either is lying to her IC or wants to lie.

greenear1975 posted 7/3/2014 19:08 PM

So my WW and I have talked for 3 hours this afternoon. She feels the Friday (tomorrow) deadline to make an "all in" commitment to R isn't fair. She needs more time and just isn't 100% yet. We go into some nasty residence/custody stuff and she disclosed she has an attorney. I think she was bluffing as she was smug/smiling (usually means she's lying), but she spooked me when she refuted cut/dry facts my attorney has told me.

She did finally say she feels incredibly guilty over what she's done and that she feels like shit every time she looks at me. That was nice to hear for once.

I can really tell she doesn't want to separate, but I can't hang in there any longer. The courts may view this extended attempt at R to be condoning the A and screwing me in alimony. Its a no-win situation. I want to believe my wife will get there, but I'd have to risk a boat load of alimony in the process. I also don't wanna rip apart the family in a nasty attorney battle prematurely.

Do I call the bluff, spend a few bucks and get the agreement drafted Monday? I even asked her to sit down with me Saturday to go thru all the details of the agreement (assets, debt, etc.) but she gets all defensive and says "just write it up an give it to my attorney". I asked if she had a business card I could make a copy of and she couldn't produce one. I think she has spoken with one, but she doesn't even have a business card?

This is such an elaborate mind game...when will end? Probably when I grow some balls.

greenear1975 posted 7/8/2014 08:35 AM

So my WW came home Tues, didn't say much but knew she had until Friday (7/4) to decide whether she wanted in, or out. Friday came, she expressed some remorse for the A, said she feels guilty about what she did every time she looks at me. It was by no means what I was hoping for, but it was something. She said she was not ready to lose me, but she was not 100% and she felt the Friday deadline was unfair. She also seemed like my 3 boundaries/deal-breakers (see above) were "rules" and "controlling". I told her they were not negotiable.

I felt if there was a snowball's chance I could save my family from being turned upside down, I had to at least give it thru the weekend.

We had a great family time on July 4th. She was touching me, holding my hand, etc. on our boat watching the fireworks. I was encouraged.

Saturday we are back on the lake with other friends when she confides in my best friend fiancé that she came home b/c her attorney told her to and she still wasn't sure whether she wanted to R. The woman felt compelled to tell my best friend. He then felt compelled to tell me of course. I confronted my W about it while out that night with our friends and she says "I knew I couldn't trust her. I just told her that to see if got back to you. I know I can't trust her". She said "why would I come back and do that to our kids?" For some dumb reason I believed her.

Last night her phone buzzed with a text message when she wasn't in the house. Based on the previous weekend's revelations, I had to look at it. There I saw a message to her BFF asking her for some advice b/c she "is having trouble keeping up the".

It hit me like a ton of bricks. The same elephant on my chest was back, but I just couldn't believe it. What evil person would come back home, get her kids all excited that mom/dad are getting along and then only be doing that b/c you are trying to prove I condoned the A so she doesn't lose everything in a D (including alimony...we live in NC and A's are taken very seriously).

I am so pissed! We talked last night and she is still in "love" with the AP. Says she's not sure she can fall back in love with me. I told her you need to 100% commit and let it grow, but you have to let go of the fantasy that is no more. I asked if she's ready to D, she said she's 99% sure its over. 3 days ago she told me she was 99% committed to R.

I am working from home today as I am a total mess. W just left for her therapy. Anxiously waiting to her what she has to say when she gets back.

I know I'm still playing the victim here and I need to get my life together, but why do I have to possibly stop seeing my kids everyday or go thru a massive legal battle that I can't afford b/c of my wife's actions? If not unfair to me, why on earth could someone be so selfish and not consider her children in all of this. The same kids she professes to love and that I will never take away from her. I just want her to leave...

Didact posted 7/8/2014 14:52 PM


I am so sorry to hear what you are going through.

I guess there is some comfort in knowing where you stand, and not being as stressed about whether she really is in or out.

The woman you love and the marriage you had is gone. She has made her choice, and it is one that she will likely regret, but it is not your concern any longer.

rachelc posted 7/8/2014 14:56 PM

There I saw a message to her BFF asking her for some advice b/c she "is having trouble keeping up the".

I'm so sorry.
You now know you're married to someone very cruel.
That's like effing sociopathic, IMO.
Again, I'm so sorry.

sisoon posted 7/8/2014 16:50 PM

There's a difference between 'playing Victim' and 'being victimized'. I think the 2nd applies to you. I don't read any pity party in your words.

I'm sorry you're dealing with this, especially since your W will wake up one day and be very upset with herself.

I recommend going forward with filing. If you don't, you'll have backed down on a boundary - not a good thing to do when one's WS is still out of touch with reality.

tfkeel posted 7/9/2014 16:23 PM

Agree, don't back down on this. Set your boundaries hard and non-negotiable.

happy go lucky, college drop out

on the verge of bankruptcy when we met

never matured in our marriage

always a spoiled "taker"

My MC told me in our second session:

"I don't think you're gonna see much change"

[This message edited by tfkeel at 4:24 PM, July 9th (Wednesday)]

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