I set clear boundaries and guidelines for her to follow to save our marriage. The most important one was curbing the lies and getting help with making better decisions. She has always had a problem with lying to avoid uncomfortable situations. This has created many problems in our marriage in the past. There was, I believe, significant progress in our relationship for the past 2 years. She became very active in her churches Celebrate Recovery program. Developed many positive relationships and seemed to understand and accomplish the need to reinvent herself.
In January of 2013 I lost my job in Tennessee. We had to make some tough decisions and decided to pursue a position on the East Coast. We moved away in June of 2013. I did not realize how difficult it would be for her. She is no longer attending any churches, has lost touch with her friends and has started to show signs of returning to who she was in the past. This past weekend I caught her in a seemingly nondestructive lie. She had agreed to a compromise and I later found out she did not agree with the mutual decision we had made, so she decided to do what she wanted regardless of my wishes or our agreement. Nothing major, a decision regarding a cat we have and it living outside as it has a problem with "marking" territory. As the weather turned colder we agreed to allow the cat - lets call her Ms Pissalot - to stay inside in out utility room at night. I was very clear and she agreed, no further into the house than the utility room.
I came home early from work one night this weekend to find the cat in the house - BAM - triggering right back to the lies, deceit and destructive behaviors that nearly tore our family apart.
Her response - "oh, I am sorry, it will not happen again" with a cute little smile on her face. WTF. What little progress I had made on allowing trust back into our relationship feels betrayed! I am now angry, disappointed and reliving all of the lies from the past - and there are MANY. In can not help but feel this is a sign the tiger does not change her stripes, the lies and deceit, the disrespect and betrayal went away when it was focused on, but as soon as the guard is down, it rears its ugly head again.
I sat down and discussed the situation with her and of course for her it was about the action and not the behavior. She seemed to understand why it had affected me so hard, but now we are 3 days out and the silence, the avoidance and the walking on egg shells are back. She has not come back to me to talk about how I feel, what I shared with her since that night. Just. Silence.
Really it is only a cat, but it is so much more. Part of me feels silly for allowing it to hit me so hard and the other half is pissed off and considering separation and divorce to avoid continuing to feel disrespected and deceived.
Ms Pissalot is back outside, but the ugly mistress - distrust has moved back in.
Am i over reacting? Is this my new reality and how I will have to function in a marriage moving forward? I expect steps backward, tough times, but I do not expect such a passe reaction to how I am feeling. I can not allow her to be fast and loose with the truth and trust, can she not see that?
Thanks for the reply, I agree that communication is critically important. This is the key to us not falling into old routines that created this mess we are in today.
I think it might be a hyper-sensitive reaction on my part, almost as though I am expecting to have to cross that terrible bridge again. I need to re-evaluate my commitment to the marriage and be able to overcome these speed bumps when they occur.
I don't think you're over-reatting, at all.
You and your wife discussed the cat situation; and had a CLEAR agreement..."the cat didn't come past the utility room."
Once she broke the agreement - behind your back! I find her "cute little smile and her little Oh-I'm sorry, it will not happen again" highly disrepectful and highly annoying!
THEN for her to pull the SILENT TREATMENT after you CLEARLY expressed your feelings....well, that is totally unacceptable, in my opinion.
Your wife needs to FIX THIS MESS...just like it's her repsonsibility to FIX THE AFFAIR MESS she made.
Her deceitful behavior regarding Ms. Pissalot cat seems to be a reflection of of past behaviors...she appears to be a very "slow learner." There's NO ACCEPTABLE EXCUSE or REASON for deceit.
I can understand being alone; but I hate being with someone and feeling lonely.
As a positive approach sounds like you two need to get some networks going..Get going with church and neighborhood friends and activities together. You might do it with her together and get the positive actions going. If she needs help she needs help. Be kind and forgiving and positive. She is not perfect, neither are you -- both just human. I suggest to go to church this week and get involved in SOME church group together at first. Also join a dance class, or art class or something with other people where you two can have some friends. It IS hard to move...I moved to a foreign country!
Be positive, take action. Love. AND if you can get the Gottman book on marriage or attend his workshop...it is really good (not religious) base on science and very positive. I believe he gives weekend workshops on the East Coast as well. It is working so well for us...based on CLEAR science and covers that issue that women have of giving the silent treatment....;)
[This message edited by morethantrying at 7:25 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)]
Yes, she needs to work on being honest. She needs to work on communicating she wasn't comfortable having the cat outside. (Even in the utility room, for a cat lover that doesn't help...the cat is still alone).
"Global editing disclaimer - I edit almost everything I post, and I am not going to post why every time."...re: Bionical girl
So an update on the other issue...
We talked last night and it was a balance of self-deprecation on her part and an assumption that I do not and can not love her anymore. This is very difficult to understand, I think the fact that I am still here after all the lies, affairs and deception should send a clear message that I believe she can be the wife, mother and partner I thought she was when we got married. I believe it is a reaction to her slipping back into old habits, even innocently and briefly (I hope). Obviously I have continued work to do in helping her feel comfortable in where we are and what we need to improve upon - namely, communication.
I am hopeful we can still talk through this, I am not going to apologize for allowing this slip to trigger me back to a bad place - a painful and dark place. If I could control that better, I would of course.
Afterall, the affair put type of stress to our marriage and is not something i can bury. I will remain aware of our relationship and looking for possible signs of trouble ahead. i will not be caught off-guard again!
That said, keep the communication going with you wife. Tell her when her actions set off alarms, let her know what your thinking process is when she reverts to old behaviors. Is she working? If not keep in mind her world has been turned upside down with your move (can't be helped, you go where the work is). She has a lot of adjusting to do, and time on her hands. Encourage her to find new friends (female) and start a hobby or go to the gym to fill her time. She needs to be active in your new place.