Separated, divorcing, moving on.
I edit because I always make typos.
IMO, if you were truly a controlling-type person, then that trait would have been there all along and not have just popped up in the past few years. And also, IMO, "controlling"-type behavior that DOES just pop up generally comes about as a 'reaction' to situational life-stuff. You know, like, say that you begin to notice that your spouse drinks too much when out with friends. You bring it up because it is a concern and becoming an issue for you. However, the spouse just blows you off and carries on. And your response is to attempt to exert more 'control' over the situation, kwim? So I wonder if you subconsciously started noticing your WW's poor boundaries or <something>....and thus, the controlling behaviors crept in.
I think the request for a therapeutic separation because she wants to get on 'equal' footing in the relationship is baloney. If you are agreeing to work on this supposed-control issue, then if you begin to exhibit that behavior.....she should be able to point it out to you when it occurs. Why is all of the upheaval of a separation necessary?
Idk, dude. It seems as if you all are focused on the paper-cut and ignoring the spurting artery.......
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
WS would not entertain the thought. I was greatly disappointed, and that's when I realized that I really truly didn't want to live with him at all anymore. I wanted to be away from him. This greatly disturbed me. I continued to push the MC, however, and continued onwards with the ol' college try to make the marriage work.
I think for a very few couples therapeutic separation can work. It's certainly worth exploring.
If your needs aren't being met, then will you feel safe communicating your needs to your absent wife without being labeled "controlling"?
Her phone and email will remain open to me, and she'll keep me informed as to where she is and when.
[This message edited by ladies_first at 4:26 PM, August 4th (Sunday)]
Just wanted to jump in here, as I have been following your posts and know all too well the pain and confusion you are in. I am not without them, but I am much farther along. (Not in the direction I'd hoped for, but it is what it is.)
I know that it can be frustrating to read all the responses that seem to negate or dismiss your convictions, in this case as they relate to your separation. And I don't want to come across as some guy in a support group shaking his head and smiling condescendingly, implicitly conveying, "I was once like you...And now I see the light. You will too..."
All I can do is offer my experience with separation. We didn't call it "therapeutic" but "controlled." It came out to the same thing, unfortunately--a way for my WW to continue her affair without my interference.
She also called me "controlling." And looking back, I guess I was controlling in some ways prior to the affair. But when she commenced her affair, I sure as hell ratcheted up my "controlling" behavior, since I did not want my wife to....have an affair.
Also thrown at me were words like "erratic" and "full of rage." Again, yes and yes. I was. Because....my wife was having an affair.
So the first time she wanted a separation, it pained me, but she convinced me (since I wanted R so badly) that this would enable her to "find herself," "grow," and "heal," in her words.
Pure and simple, it enabled her to deepen her affair.
Then after around three months of sheer hell knowing she was cake-eating and I was enabling it, she informed me that she had had an "epiphany" about us and moved back in, with assurances to me and our children that she would never leave again. When I humbly, wimpily asked her if she'd gone NC with the AP, she told me "it is a process." Again, I accepted this because I wanted R so very badly. My world had fallen apart, and here was a possibility that time and reality would be reversed. That she had changed.
Well, she tried to break it off, and never could. When I recommenced my "controlling" ways and "raged" (cuz...she lied), she moved out again, this time saying the situation was "too volatile" and she needed to "find a path back." That path back apparently was diving back into the affair beyond my prying eyes.
As she continued her affair, we attended MC and IC. I still attend. She does not.
We are now divorcing.
I know this might anger you, but as so many here will say, a WS who truly wants reconciliation will not want to leave you. Quite the opposite. When I was in your situation, I scoured the Internet Googling things like "successful separation," "separation saved my marriage," etc. I loved my wife so much and desperately wanted to prevent the utter destruction of our family. Alas, it could not be prevented.
Clearly I hold a dim view of separation as a means to reconciliation. It just doesn't appear logical to me. And in the context of infidelity, I am extremely cynical.
And another SI cliche that truly irked me at the time was this: "You say your situation is different; your WS is different. It isn't. She isn't." I just could not internalize this. I KNEW my situation was like none other. I KNEW my wife and I loved each other like nobody else on the site. Their responses scared me, to be honest.
Please take this as it's intended--not as a scoffing at your situation or your convictions, but as a caring "heads up" from someone who, like you, traveled through pain I never imagined I was capable of.
I hope so much that your separation works out and indeed becomes the "path" back. Truly I do.
But please listen to everyone with an open mind. Everyone cares and empathizes.
All the best to you.
[This message edited by Abbondad at 4:51 PM, August 4th (Sunday)]
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
Um, OK. So, what exactly was I trying to control?
How about our budget? The timeliness of paying bills and debts? The cleanliness (slovenliness) of our house? The stupendous amount of alcohol consumed, every. single. day? My weight, and the amount of crap food he insisted on bringing into the house? Our sex life getting boring, while he is off in the back room jerking off to porn on the internet? Him having secret visits with his x-girlfriend at work, when I knew he had fucked her while we were dating (oh, I mean, who had "seduced" him)?
I sure did exhibit controlling behaviors for perfectly rational reasons. I wanted to establish some savings (is this so unreasonable?). I wanted to clean up our credit rating. I wanted to lose some weight and had difficulty with willpower around junk food I loved. I didn't want him to die from alcoholism, like his two older brothers did. I didn't want to get ANOTHER STD when he cheated on me with his x-girlfriend again. I wanted a healthy sex-life with my husband. I wanted a house that didn't have multiple spiders in every corner and piles of dead flies under the windows.
Yeah. Stuff like that, it's just SO UNREASONABLE that I wanted to control things in my life that just weren't OK.
As I went through therapy to deal with the aftermath of all the crap that came with WH's affairs, I learned a lot about Passive-aggressive and manipulative behavior, and co-dependency and controlling behavior.
Controlling behavior is something that can occur when someone is struggling with a passive-aggressive partner. WH is passive. He doesn't do things, that a healthy person does do. He refuses to stop doing things that are unhealthy. He drags his feet, whines and complains, and blames me for the problems he causes. In fact, his passive-aggressiveness is the way that HE subversively controls others. It just isn't out there in the open, like my behavior is. It's cloaked. It's manipulative. It's crazy-making. And it makes you doubt yourself and think that YOU are the PROBLEM.
I'm going to go to the I Can Relate forum and bump the thread on Passive-Aggressive behavior. I encourage you to read through it.
I think it's all well and good to own your own shit, so to speak. But be careful. Some of that shit may have been put there by your WW, while she's blaming you for it.
The controlling behaviour isn't BS. We had a particularly horrific 7 years, and I coped with the aftermath by not coping. I became controlling. For the last 4 years I treated my wife's opinion as completely secondary in nearly all matters.
I've already done work on my controlling and I think I've come a long way. I have further to go.
My wife has been wanting to get her own space since early this year, months before her cheating started. As far as separating to continue cheating, that is about as likely as a turtle's chance in Death Valley.
I have other suspicions, but none around the smoking remains of her betrayal continuing.
I'm sorry, AS. Your WW is not remorseful, and she's not out of her affair--at least, not in her head.
As agonizing as it is to be with a WS in withdrawal, it's even worse to be with one who's in a constant low-level withdrawal caused by a refusal to make a clean break with NC. (It's like quitting smoking. You can taper down, but if you do that, you're always in a state of low-level withdrawal; if you quit cold turkey,it sucks---but for a shorter time, because the drug is GONE, out of your system.)
I know you had a couple of weeks during which your wife, in her panic and ...whatever... seemed to be doing the "right things."
That's not unusual. It's also not unusual for this honeymoon period to end---and for the WS to come up with all kinds of bargaining garbage---like "therapeutic separations."
Therapeutic separation can work. It can work when there is a remorseful, empathic WS who wants to help the BS heal by removing him/herself as the primary trigger. It is usually very well-structured, and guided by a therapist who is very well-versed in the goals of therapeutic separation.
It is NOT a time to "get a breather." It is a time during which the marriage is intensely worked upon---and both partners also work HARD on their own issues and healing.
Is that what your wife has in mind? Or does she just want to eat some cake?
There's no such thing as creating "equal footing" post d-day.
That is a fantasy.
If her affair didn't freaking level the playing field, what the hell will? So you were "controlling." Seems to me that having an affair more than compensates, if we're playing tit-for-tat.
Thing is, there's no such thing as "fair" or "even" or "level" in a marriage.
It's not a freaking competition. It's a MARRIAGE.
[This message edited by solus sto at 7:07 PM, August 4th (Sunday)]
Is she remorseful? Yes. She doesn't show her remorse the way so many here insist it has to be shown. She's uninterested in continuing her cheating because of a dozen reasons I refuse to go over here. Am I still suspicious and raw? Yes, fuck, yes. Do I think another betrayal is on the horizon? No, not even if she moves to an apartment down the street, which is what we're considering if we got that route.
We'll talk to the MC in a few weeks about this subject. I'll do myself a favour and not ask here about this again.
Thanks for the effort put forth.
WH says marriage is over: May 15, 2009.
EA#2 July 20, 2009. Legally sep: Aug 16, 2009. DIVORCED!!!! Signed Nov 23, final Dec 24, 2010, adultery listed.
What I see playing out here is a strong case of truth bias. Search the term, really and totaly investigate whether or not it applies to you in your situation.
Almost every single instance where a WS has requested separation, it is to further engage in WS behaviour. Whether or not it is with the same AP.
It will be refreshing to hear.
I'm just tired. The whole surviving the betrayal aside, when I present verified facts I'm told that I should re-think them because the collective experience is that its not how it goes. As Maxiom wrote, 9 out of 10 separations led to divorce. Which also argues that 1 in 10 do not. Folks here are not allowing for that 1 in 10.
I'm clear on truth bias. For the seven-hundredth time, I've verified the story. And Im tired of saying that.
[This message edited by ladies_first at 8:06 PM, August 4th (Sunday)]
9 in 10 is being liberal, but in those 1 in 10 cases where separation worked it was always initiated by the BS.. usually with the WS going along extremely reluctantly.
You play poker? Would you bet it all on those odds?
What it means for your marriage would be anyone's guess.
Most of us here do not have the luxury of enough time to go back and read every single post made by someone in OTHER threads.
Seems to me you are getting awfully snippy with people who are just trying to answer the questions you posted when you started this thread. You seem angry that we don't all know your COMPLETE story.
Just wanted to remind you to bear that in mind. And remember...you DID ask a QUESTION. Implying that you were looking for people's opinions/experiences. If you wanted only ONE answer to that question, you should have just made a statement.
I'm in no way saying you have to agree with anyone's responses. But to get so irate at the most supportive, empathetic community on the Internet is....sad.
No matter whether you agree with the replies, everyone here, in my experience, posts from a place of concern and a genuine desire to help.
[This message edited by SadMad2012 at 8:40 PM, August 4th (Sunday)]