The long and short of it is that TCD believes she is trapped. I've tried to follow the advice from SI (finally) and do my best to listen to and validate her feelings. So when she says this, I would say "I'm sorry that my horrible, selfish choices have placed you in this position where you feel trapped. I love you, and I hope that one day you will no longer feel trapped with me." Her response to this has been that she doesn't "feel" trapped, she IS trapped. All of her choices are shit and lead to more loss.
I understand this thought process and these feelings. I truly do. My job leads me to having long periods of time where I have nothing but my own thoughts to keep me company. She really does have shit choices, or I can at least truly understand why she believes they are.
It is like she is starving and the only thing I can find for her is a shit sandwich. I have lots of different condiments I can offer her to try and make it more palatable... Maybe a BBQ shit sandwich? A teriyaki shit sandwich? Maybe some brown mustard? Now, I can put in the effort to find something better... Even an old hot dog would suffice, but there's no guarantee that I'll find anything.
She clearly doesn't want the shit sandwich, but there's no guarantee I'll find the hot dog, no matter how much effort I put in. And in the meantime her hunger just continues to grow. I don't want to promise anything I can't control, so what can I do to comfort her while she makes the decisions that only she has the right to make? I really don't want her to be with me because she is trapped here. I do love her and want her pain to subside. I've been doing a much better job helping her through her feelings, but this one has me stumped. Thanks for your time.
You do not provide much detail on how she feels trapped. If she is caught because D will leave her with too little $, can you volunteer to agree to pay more than required support if she wants to D? If she feels trapped because no good career options, can you facilitate her getting some part-time work experience, job training, or additional education?
Maybe a response more along the lines of: Yes, you are trapped in the sense that all of your choices will involve some loss. I am sorry that my actions put you into this position.
[This message edited by atsenaotie at 12:04 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)]
What are you doing to help her feel safe with you? Feeling trapped goes hand-in-hand with feeling unsafe. I've read TCD's posts..she feels trapped because you have been impatient with her triggers,you have pressured her to get over it,that she has basically begged you to just be kind to her,among other things. How are you responding to her now? You are well aware that your job is a huge problem for her..because OW works 3 office doors down from yours. Also..please correct me if Im wrong..but didn't you recently google OW..or look her up on facebook or Linked In? If I am correct then don't you see this..your job..is a problem. Your BW will never feel safe as long as you are working 3 doors down from OW. What are you doing to help her feel safe?
If you help her to feel safe with you,if you show her you are working on healing the damage you have caused..REALLY working on it...that trapped feeling will ease up.
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
I know the feeling. When my ex cheated, my options were:
-Move out and live with my parents. I had no job, no money, and no way of supporting my child on my own, and additionally, my mother can be extremely emotionally abusive. I did not want my daughter raised in that.
-Move out, don't move in with parents, and go to a violence shelter for abused women. Yay, baby and I get to live basically on the streets in poverty.
-Stay with DD's dad. His behavior, while it got better sometimes, was erratic and unstable and I couldn't trust him. Additionally, the bottom line was that even if he was 100% better and not abusive- I still had to live with someone who cheated on me and contracted an STI from his mistress. While some may say fine, I don't. I think sleeping with someone else is unforgivable, and it's not something I would ever be able to get past in a relationship, period.
I'm not sure what to say other than I completely relate to how she is feeling, and I hope that one day she feels like she had more than a shit sandwitch.
At least the current man "only" cyber-cheated.
"Love means never having to say you're sorry."
Yes, my job is a major issue. I am aware of this and I understand the fear it instills in her. I don't stay here for any reason other then the fact that it meets our financial needs, which at the moment are pretty high. Yes, I enjoy my work, but if that was the only reason I was there, I would leave in a second.
Leaving comes with some real consequences, as does staying. This is the shit sandwich I was talking about. Stay and have OW in our life indefinitely, but having everything else we want in life? Leave and make major cuts in our current lifestyle as well as our future goals? D? And there are numerous branches from all three. The perfect solution that keeps everything status quo would be the hot dog that I can't guarantee. I screwed up, I screwed my wife and family... I feel awful about that. So right now I need to support TCD while she decides what she wants to do, and continue to make her feel as safe as I can in this situation.
I apologize, I am typing on my phone as I work.
What matters more?
Or your marriage?
Many people have survived hard economic times. Starting over. It's done all the time.
However, this -
"I'm sorry that my horrible, selfish choices have placed you in this position where you feel trapped. I love you, and I hope that one day you will no longer feel trapped with me."
- is a solid response imo.
[This message edited by Sal1995 at 12:39 PM, July 31st (Wednesday)]
Your BW will never feel safe as long as you are working 3 doors down from OW. What are you doing to help her feel safe?
I know that everybody keeps harping on this, but I think people are ignoring the bigger picture here. You make a sizeable amount of money. You have a huge amount of debt. And IMHO, if TCD wants you to leave your job then she needs to get out there and find a fulltime good paying job so that it will make up the difference in salary loss that you will take when you leave. It's not about finding a job she likes or would be happy doing. She got you guys into debt just as much as you did and she's going to have to do something to contribute towards getting you both out of this situation. It can't all be on you if she hopes to get the outcome she wants. Plus, if she does this it will help relieve that trapped feeling because she will have her own income to fall back on.
Sometimes it's better to push someone away...not because you stopped loving them but because you can't take the pain anymore.
It makes her insercure and uncomfortable, she should NEVER have to worry about that if you really love her! Put her first. She is one flesh with you, if you think of yourself and money, you keep untwinding the vow you took. PERIOD!
Time to man up even more!
[This message edited by Faithful w/Love at 1:02 PM, July 31st (Wednesday)]
I guess I just don't get it. Everyone has bills. And the standard advice on here is if you shit where you eat,you find another job if you want to R. but TTMU gets different advice..because he make more money? He may make more money,but TCD's pain and worry over him working with OW is the same as any other BW in this situation.
TTMU...it's called consequences..but so far it seems only your BW is dealing with the consequences of your affair.
ETA: Add in the fact that TCD found out he had looked OW up online not too long ago...and still she should be ok with him working with the OW?
[This message edited by confused615 at 1:15 PM, July 31st (Wednesday)]
Maybe I am being overly sensitive, if so I apologize.
However, realistically the only way to make this happen is for TCD to find a fulltime good paying job. They have a huge amount of debt...not a few bills. Yes, I know she's been looking and she hasn't had many, if any bites. So, how easy does anybody think it will be for TTMU to find a job with it paying half of what he makes now? I think he worked shift work or nights, so a second job isn't an easy thing to work in addition to.
Plus, if I remember correctly, we also told TCD to make sure she wants to remain with him before having him switch jobs because at least if she divorces right now, she'll get CS and/or Alimony based on his much higher salary. If he switches, she'll get maybe half.
I truly understand why everybody says for him to leave. I also remember that because of the way he was able to manipulate his schedule, he had not actually seen the OW in many months...regardless of the fact her office was 3 doors down. I'm not saying this means TCD doesn't have a right to feel the way she does. I'm saying that if things are to change the way TCD wants them to as far as his job is concerned, then she's going to have to contribute to the income in order for that to happen.
And Confused, please don't think I was trying to point the finger at you because I quoted you. I should have clarified that when I used it. I apologize if I came across that way.
[This message edited by lieshurt at 1:39 PM, July 31st (Wednesday)]
You asked what you could do to comfort her,and I asked what you were doing to help her feel safe..as a BS I would rather feel safe with my WH..in all ways..that comforted for the time being. If you're asking how to make her feels safe..she needs you out of that office.
And she needs you not to look OW up online.
I know I gave more advice than you asked for. I know the job is a big issue for your BW. I was only trying to help. I apologize if it came out otherwise.
@lieshurt..no worries. My comments weren't directed at you either.
My wife and I have a BH/WW couple IRL who have been great mentors to us through this ordeal. He's an EMT/Fireman. A great career for sure, but not one that pays a ton of money. She had an office job making $60k a year, great money in this part of the country for someone without a college degree. Unfortunately, she had two affairs in an eight-year period with co-workers.
Her quitting the job was a condition of R. Now my friend, in addition to his fire department job, does odd jobs on the weekends and his fWW bakes and sells cakes and cupcakes from home. Things are tight and he's often exhausted, but 2 years from the last D Day finds them fully reconciled and happily married.
You have options. Most debts can be erased by bankruptcy if you qualify. Not an attractive option for most, but I know people who have recovered nicely post-BK. Even in this economy, jobs are out there. You might have to take a step down from your current position and a cut in pay, but that can be offset by your wife's job. Eventually you can work your way back up and your wife will have the option to go the SAHM route again.
She needs to feel safe, whatever the consequences.
I understand the trapped feeling.
I chose for FWH not to quit. It was the right choice, but that doesn't mean it didn't make reconciliation THAT MUCH HARDER.
IMO the job thing is only a sticking point here on SI because you hid behind it at first - it has all but taken over every discussion you have. Unfortunately, even though it isn't the root issue, it's now ballooned into something so big it needs dealt with as a priority.
Debt sucks, but unless you are working for the mob out of a cash only Pizzeria front here just trying to pay it down is not going to be the most efficient method of debt control anyway. Yes, she should probably find work and you should both find child care that doesn't end up costing more than she brings home, but you should also look at this debt together as a something to be solved together - speak with your bank about home equity line of credit for a lower APR (something we are actually doing atm), balance transfer for the 0% for x months, etc. Speak to a financial planner. These are things you can do even if you lose your job, while you're looking for another one or build tiny robots to covertly take the place over.
Listen to your wife and be on her side. Defend her every chance you get. Look stupid for her sake. Get aggressive about making this stuff work not for some kind of payout for yourself but because like you said, you love her and want her pain to subside. Make that your goal without feeling defensive because you feel like you aren't doing it right or she doesn't appreciate it or whatever. You can't make her feel anything, you can just do you best to be the kind of man you want to be. If that isn't enough for her then heartbreak sucks but it also has its own catharsis.
Stay and have OW in our life indefinitely, but having everything else we want in life?
That's effed up thinking, TTMU. You have a lousy relationship. You've victimized TCD, and she's in a lot of pain. You may be in pain. Your kids are probably in pain. How is that 'everything else we want in life'?
I have difficulty understanding why this job is unique. Usually management doesn't pay more than they have to. If they're paying you a lot, it's because the market requires it - which implies there are other jobs out there for you, perhaps for more money than you're making now.
I hate to reiterate this information, because I am not asking for special treatment. But since people are unfamiliar, here goes:
I have a BA in chemistry. I got a job in a utility company and am in the IBEW. So I am a chemist, represented by the electricians' union. That is an incredibly uncommon situation. In the aftermath of DDay, I was able to coax the union and management to move me to another group that does high voltage testing of substation equipment to get me away from OW. So now I work with high voltage equipment with no electrical background, something I would never have had the opportunity to do coming off the street. Between huge overtime hours and a pretty substantial base salary (thanks to the union), I make enough to be in the top 3% of all incomes in the country. If you have spare time, look into what a bachelor's degree in chemistry and limited experience can expect to earn.
All I'm trying to say is that it is not as easy as making a switch from Home Depot to Lowe's. I screwed up huge, I took a huge dump where I eat. Any choice we make doesn't just impact me and TCD, we have three daughters as well. Even if she says she wants me out NOW, there are still decisions that need to be made regarding finances and child care and housing and a multitude of other things that will all take time, and all I wanted to know is what else I can do to comfort her through this period. I'm sorry if I sound defensive, I just feel like the focus of the thread has shifted from the actual advice I was seeking.