I hate this topic. Her mother and father seem to have this eye for an eye attitude like I owe her a second chance because she stayed with me through my troubles. I guarantee that if my troubles were that I wasnt faithful, it would a different story.
I remember, shortly after my wife was coming around, that she was talking to my sister. My sister also gave her the "eye for an eye" viewpoint, and that she should have to *suck it up* when it came to my marital faults. When my wife approached me about this situation, and how it bothered her, I calmly told her, "You do not have to shut up and take my faults without any complaints. You are free to leave this marriage at any time you wish. But remember that I also have that same option." Two wrongs don't make a right.
You don't owe her anything more than what the divorce courts decide, if you choose that path. She broke the marriage with her acts, and the fact that you are even CONSIDERING reconciliation with her, is a gift. And I know that you consider your addiction and hers as apples to oranges, but in a generalized view, they are very similar. Betrayal, destruction to themselves AND their loved ones, lost trust, extremely poor choices, and a free pass for the hurt party to end the marriage applies to both.
I understand this from the receiving side of both betrayals. My wife is a recovering alcoholic AND she cheated on me...with 3 different men. Yes, my blood is starting to boil a little bit as I type this. I could have left her when she wouldn't stop drinking, and left with a clean conscious. The damage her drinking caused is immeasurable. But it was the infidelity that brought me to my knees. I swear that it almost killed me.
But that was then, and I found the strength, lost my fear of the unknown, and CHOSE to work on reconciliation....because, luckily, she hit her rock bottom, and was now doing the work. I keep the tagline that I am "Heading to D", because I will never forget what it took to get me to that point, and that if it happened again, I would be okay without her.
But this is about you. This is about preparing yourself for a long journey that you never asked to be on. Whether the two of you make it or not, it is important that you find the strength and direction to not only survive, but strive, in your world post infidelity.
Individuality is not always a selfish trait. And it can sure help you heal.
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day: 9/18/09 D-Day#2: 2/19/10 The Marriage Killer: 6/6/11
Heading for D
I'm going to have to throw in my two cents.
I said I know I told her i was committed, but I am not going to fuck over the rest of my life because I made a promise. Because of a promise I made to a woman who does not have the ability to comprehend what a promise is.
She called off the monogamy thing unilaterally and without telling you. As such, your promises to her mean nothing. The vows go both ways and she disposed of them. Right now you need to do what it is that is going to make you feel better. I told my WH that I reserve the right to do anyone I want. He certainly did, but didn't have the courtesy to inform me. He just let me go on trusting him while he lied and cheated. He gets to hold me to nothing. Meanwhile, if I so much suspect he's looked at anyone in an untoward manner I will wash my hands of him for good. It will stick the next time.
You need MC. If she doesn't go and start doing everything you need her to to make it better you need to walk away. If my WH pulled that crap our divorce would have been final in November. I had already filed.
I actually think that the lying and attitude that she has already given you should be enough to end the relationship forever. She just doesn't give a shit what she did to you.
My WH actually pretty much forced me out of our house and moved his AP in. But when he realized he'd fucked up and decided to go about fixing it, he did it right.
The AP was out before he even asked me to reconcile, so there was no issue of him maybe still wanting her. He'd gotten rid of her whether I agreed to come back or not. He ended it with her definitively and moved her out of state before even trying with me. I had already filed for divorce, and had he not done it in this manner our divorce would have happened.
There has been total transparency. He's shown me every email and I've listened in on every call. He's let me read the emails from her that nobody would want their spouse to read. It's clear she pretty much hates him now. I have had some major breakdowns on him and he's manned up and taken his lumps. He's made it clear that he knows he deserves what he gets, that he knows he caused me unbearable suffering, that he is the one who has to put it right and that it will not be easy. He initiated MC before I even returned so that he could learn from the MC what it was that I needed and do all of it right. He has apologized a million times and he may have to a million more. He knows this. I'm still hurt and angry, but right now, I feel fine. At first, though, I was a mess. Suicidal and homicidal ideations, bouts of rage (I tried to manually strangle him. He's a big guy and it turns out I can't even hurt him that way.)
I read something about grief written by Susan Sontag. It's about the death of her husband (which in some ways pales in comparison to the experience of losing a loved one through this kind of betrayal). She said that you imagine that this horrible grief would make you feel crazy. What you don't imagine is that when the thing actually happens you don't just feel crazy. You are crazy. She's put you there. And her attitude is keeping you there.
Your wife is behaving as if it's on you to fix this. It isn't. It's on her. I really believe you should file for divorce and if she wants to win you back she can start acting like it.
Me: BW, 47
M: 21 yrs.
DD July '13
R since Sept. '13
[This message edited by mezmer at 6:27 PM, February 8th (Saturday)]
There is nothing more attractive than someone with some self respect, and nothing more repulsive than a clingy, whiny, begging spouse. But, don't be a dick.
The second part of your comment..."dont be a dick about it" I believe is extremely important. It seems that I have gotten a ton of advice on this forum that seems like childlike, dickish behavior.
Mezmer-So....I should sleep around on my wife and put the woman that I love through this same immeasurable pain that I am feeling? The same pain I would not wish on my worst enemy? What kind of behavior is that? That is not love. That is not a marriage. That is adolescent behavior. "you got to do this, so I am going to do it too" No. Why would I compromise my morals for the sake of revenge? I actually love my wife and meant the vows I made to her. Stooping to her level would just make me as bad as she is.
The "don't be a dick about it" thing cannot be emphasized enough. I think it is so important for a BS to maintain his/her self respect through this whole thing. You shouldn't give the WS anything to hold over your head. You shouldn't give her any reason to think she deserves an apology. Giving her the upper hand is dangerous in this position. Not because of the need for power, but because a BS is extremely fragile, and a WS is hungry for some sort of rebalance of power. I think that is a recipe for more pain.
I'm WAY new at this though, and I could be sounding like a complete ASS. I guess we'll see.
My wife took me to the restaurant that we had our first date at tonight. I thought that it was extremely thoughtful of her. She really has done a turn around and today was another very good day. I had two moments throughout the day where I spiraled and went into "the dark place", but my wife met them with complete understanding and a calming attitude. She tried to take my mind off of it, did not argue, and tried to soothe and distract. If she keeps this up, I think the road to recovery will be hastened. The second moment of the two was tonight. I became extremely angry. The avalanche started and would not stop...I was seeing red. I am not an angry person, but these two men better hope I never see them. They fucked the WRONG 260lb ex-paratrooper's wife (I didn't receive the nickname rolfasaurus by my team for no reason). I was trained to be a mindless killing machine...and I most definitely will have trouble restraining that training if I see the stupid faces of those two home wreckers. I took out my anger in a constructive way by doing pushups until muscle fatigue, and then by punching the bed until I could not anymore. It felt good.
The best I can do is take it day by day and then make the call when I have my sanity back.
Today was actually an extremely amazing day. It was actually the best day that we both have had in YEARS together. There was of course that sinking painful feeling still lurking in my chest and the images still flashing in my mind. She made the day about me, and my pleasure. I made the night about her pleasure. I believe a marriage should be an attempt to make the other person's life as fulfilled as it can be. It is a give and take. Right now it is more take than give...but that is to be expected in this situation.
I am hoping for more days like this, but still being prepared for zero more days like this.
Like I said. Day at a time.
[This message edited by rolfasaurus at 5:55 AM, February 9th (Sunday)]
On the topic of her parents...of course they are going to take her side, want you to continue in the M. But what they think cannot enter into the equation. They are not in the M.
I think if I were you I would schedule her a poly and tell her in order to save our M we are going to this poly. That you need all the truth to even consider saving the M.
And thank goodness for your mom. She sounds like a very smart lady. Continue the 180 and build your strength back up. Your wife does not deserve you, if you do give her a second chance, it is an act of grace. I'm thankful to see you are no longer allowing her to turn the tables on you. It happens to so many of us and it is just so much more pain on top of pain.
Lastly, I would still nuke her shoes, but that is just me. Take care.
I really like you.
But I have to ask this question.
What in the world do you think your wife is looking for in life that she had to have multiple EA's and two PA's???
Especially having the sex in front of the crowd???
If you truly love her you will make her find the answers through a good therapist.
Because your woman has issues and they are not you nor are they your issues.
Make her do the hard work or she is just going to screw you over again.
Oh man do I know it. Those details are the thing I am having trouble coming to terms with. The unprotected sex, the amount of sexual relationships, and the sex in a room full of people. I have no idea.
I do not get it at all. If you knew my wife you would be so amazingly confused. She has never been sexually promiscuous. Before we started seeing each other she had 3 sexual partners. She isn't a slut, (well...she wasn't)...she just is not that kind of person. I know I say things like who knows what went on before this...but I honestly can say without a doubt in my mind that nothing like this had ever happened. There wasn't a chance for anything like this to happen. I know her girlfriends very closely, and I have asked them honestly and have asked them throughout the years how she is when they are out. They have always stressed to the fullest degree that guys don't even have the chance to talk to her because she is so vigilantly aggressive about telling them how she is married happily and is with her friends. Even when she would drink too much and be wasted, she would get even more aggressive towards men who hit on her and make fun of them because of how proud she was of me being in the military and how they were just guys in a bar and had no honor.
Somewhere along the way she lost that. Somewhere along the way something inside her snapped. That night she had sex in a room of people, she and the OP have admitted to me that they were blackout drunk and my wife did not remember anyone else being in the room until the OP informed me (I know this is the truth because of my wife's reaction when I told her that fact. She was mortified. She had no idea that she was skinny dipping and got kicked out of the pool too). That is not saying that her actions are excusable or that she didn't know what she was doing was wrong. I just know the woman that she is would, no matter the situation, have sex in a room of people if she wasn't completely unaware of her surroundings. I know most of you are shaking your head and rolling your eyes about how naive this might sound...but again, if you knew my wife your head would be exploding. It just makes absolutely no sense to anybody that knows her and knows what went on. It is mind blowing.
I actually would've felt better if she met someone...became friends with them...developed feelings, and it ended up sexual. Not this slutty, sleep with strangers the first night kind of behavior.
I even asked her (and so have many people), "So if you were single, that is the kind of stuff you would be doing????" she says absolutely not and she doesnt understand the behavior.
I am pushing individual counseling on her, and she has agreed and knows how important it is for her to figure out what the hell made her resort to such behavior.
The IC is something that is absolutely not a question, not something that she can just forget about, or just decide not to do. It is something that I will force her to do. She needs to figure out what the hell made her make those decisions, because I honestly can tell that in her heart she has no freaking clue why. She can come up with excuses and reasons she thinks might have played into it....but she needs help figuring out...professional help that I cannot give her.
Oh man, saying that my woman has problems is an understatement. All I can think of is a couple of events that happened while I was using that truly traumatized her and maybe made something snap. When she finally didnt have to worry about me anymore, she did NOTHING to deal with HER issues with what had happened. SHe didnt write about it, didnt talk about it, nothing. Eventually something snapped. It's almost like for 3 months she became clinically insane or something.
I dont know...i am having a really hard time coming to terms with it all.
She just read to me an extremely heartfelt letter explaining to me how ridiculously sorry she is and how committed she is to fixing our marriage and figuring out why the hell she made such a horrible out of character decision. I felt her pain and guilt. Finally. I have never seen my wife open up like that and she told me things about herself that I had never known. She is really truly trying and I am grateful that she has turned her shitty attitude around. We will see what the next day holds. Shit...lets see how the rest of TODAY goes. I know this could change at any second now.
Edith- I have already scheduled and she has agreed to a poly. I informed her that if any of her answers werent strong, i would assume they were lies and it would be over (taking into account reason, and proof...I'm not unreasonable).
Her parents are definitely not on her side...I mean...they love her...but they are just as disgusted and confused as I am. They just look at this as an even score now. They are absolutely clueless about addiction, infidelity, money problems....they are honestly the perfect couple. They have NEVER had REAL problems in their marriage. They live in their own world and are completely clueless because of it. They are great people...they just have no clue. They look at the lies I told her in my addiction as just as bad as her lies. They don't understand that addiction is a genetic predisposition and it is not a choice that I made because I wanted to betray and hurt my wife. It is not something that I had a choice in. I couldnt physically or mentally remove heroin from my life. It was an obsession, and it was my obsession. I did not feel complete without it. They don't understand though...they see it as actions taken by me that hurt her...thats it. My wife knows better at least. At least she doesn't see the score as even. She gets it at least.
Her dad cant even look at her, and he doesnt even know the details...he just know that she cheated...once....with one guy. If he knew the real details I think his brain would literally explode. It is really nice to hear that I am not the only one that started out this journey on the wrong foot, and changed my attitude early on. I worried that I had one shot, and I had already blew it to act the way I should...but it is never to late to change your attitude. Thank you so much for your response.
[This message edited by rolfasaurus at 2:14 PM, February 9th (Sunday)]
You just don't switch like that. You're not shitty and sarcastic and then suddenly all remoresefull and apoligetic.
Right now I Think she is playing you. Watch out.
This doesn't mean that she will not be remorsefull further down the line but I don't Think she is right now. If I where you I would tell her you don't beleive her remorse...
You need for her to convince you of her remorse and that will only happen if she keeps up her work showing you by actions, Words don't mean a thing from a lier, for a long time. Don't let her know this last paragraph though. Just let her know that you don't beleive her remorse.
[This message edited by TOMTEFAR at 1:50 AM, February 10th (Monday)]
I know you know what you are talking about more than I, but I just spent the past week harping on her for being an non remorseful bitch. So now when she changes her behavior I'm supposed to say I don't believe her? I know the response to that. "I can't win." If she is demonstrating effort, And I'm satisfied with her actions....isn't that enough? I'm the one she's trying to win back, and trust me...I'm not easy to please right now. I'm getting the overwhelming guilt in the eyes. The non stop mascara smears. The constant pleas for forgiveness and for me to give her a chance to show me she can be the woman I need. I'm proud of her the last couple days. Today she went on her own to meet with my parents to make amends to them for hurting their son. She admitted to her wrongs and she took the emotional beating from them. That takes guts. I didn't ask her to do that. She did it.
Hey man. Maybe I'm gullible and naive....but like I said, I'm not making any decisions until a couple months have gone by. If she decides to let up, or turns out this was an act....it will make my decision that much easier.
[This message edited by rolfasaurus at 3:07 AM, February 10th (Monday)]
Sending you and your WW good luck and hoping she can honor the gift you are offering.
I know of many WS that have cried a lot, tears running, but at the same time having continued the A underground. Some WS are very good at acting.
The only way to be sure is to Watch that the actions of the WS match the Words. THis needs to be done for a long time. 2 months is way to short. 2 months is OK for deciding to D it is not enought to decide to R.
It's only when you put your WS to the test that you will know. So by saying you don't trust her you are testing her. If her respoince is "I can't win" and she gives up then you don't have a remorsefull wife and I Think your R will fail. If she gives up that easy on you do you realy want her, can you realy trust her? Her responce should be something like:
"I'm so sorry for hurting you, how can I help you with your pain and how can I help you start gaining trust in me?" Not "I can't win"
I don't Think all that looks for R can be seen as gullible. It's the way you go about your R that can make you semm gullible. But you, at some Point, need to start placing trust in your WS again and take a chance. Doing that, however, should be done with the uttermost care and Deep insight into your WS behaviour after DDay.
[This message edited by TOMTEFAR at 1:56 AM, February 11th (Tuesday)]
I know you know what you are talking about more than I, but I just spent the past week harping on her for being an non remorseful bitch. So now when she changes her behavior I'm supposed to say I don't believe her? I know the response to that. "I can't win." If she is demonstrating effort, And I'm satisfied with her actions....isn't that enough?
Two adages that I apply from this site---especially at this point:
(1) Look at her ACTIONS, not her WORDS.
If you are satisfied, that is what really matters. You know her better than almost anyone.
(2) Trust, but verify.
You are not being underhanded if you still are investigating. If you feel the need to check emails, phone logs, or any activity---then do so. It is part of the rebuilding of trust.
I am not doing the whole two months thing. I think that is one thing that my wife had right....why wait two months...i know in my heart what I want to do, so why not work towards that goal. It's not like its final, I can still leave this marriage, but the work should start now. So last night I told her this:
I will be hiring a private investigator, and you will be taking a polygraph. You have amnesty until tonight. I will be hiring an investigator and you will be taking the poly either way...but after tonight, if I find out any new big revelations...thats it. This isnt something I will be going back on. That's all. If I find out ONE more lie...we are over. I will not go back on this decision. I really dont think she takes me seriously....(HMMMMM I wonder why...maybe because this is the third "last shot" she got.) Well, I tried everything...I tried everything short of beating it into her to make her realize that this is her final shot, and I will leave her whether I want to or not if any secrets are uncovered. I am not going back on my word.
SO, she ended up coming clean about these apps she had downloaded 6 months after we were married. They were apps specifically to meet local people and chat with them, or meet up with them. She insists she only talked to two people and it was never physical. I insist that that is bullshit, and I can't believe that she thinks I believe it. I looked at the history and she deleted and downloaded these same apps probably about 20 times over the past 5 years. Which means she got spooked...deleted them...then decided to go back...and on and on. On top of that i found a craigstlist app....why would you need that? HMMMM I wonder. "To browse the missed connection forums because I thought they were romantic" HAHA. Jesus. the lies we are told are outrageous. On top of that she had photo exchange apps and admitted to fooling around with other men on them.
I should be so far gone right now. I dont know why I am giving her another shot. I seriously dont. I have no reason to want to be with her. but i do. I hate her right now. She disgusts me. I told her if we have sex from now on, it will be protected (we have never used a condom because we knew our priors before we started dating....it was pretty low risk...and I am smart enough to know how to pull out). I thought it was really special that we had never used a condom...but apparently she does that with everybody.
I am at a loss right now. I am staying, but I am not sure why. I want to say out of love and hope...but right now...i honestly feel neither of them. I don't know how anybody could feel love for somebody that has done this.
I dont know why all of the sudden...she wants to be committed to me after never really even having a real marriage. I think I know why though...because she feels guilty she got caught.
I am in so much pain. It is unbearable. I want to fix this and I want to fix it now....but....i think it might be totaled.
As lost and helpless as you feel right now, I have to say that your mindset sounds very good. I know that you don't feel that way, but believe me---you are making remarkable progress. Don't forget that.
Everything in your last post sounds right, except the "final" ultimatum. Remember...just like you stated...you are on your third one. Don't let the pride of your word rule out potential progress. She may or may not believe you, but that will be dealt with in time.
Now--schedule the polygraph. Don't tell her when; just let her know that it will be coming. Allow the amnesty to continue. Let her know that while there is a chance that you will leave the marriage when you discover the truth, you will DEFINITELY leave the marriage if you don't receive it. Try to get her to understand that compassionately....not forcefully. Different people require slightly different tactics.
I have to go, but I will check up soon.
But, if you can stand back, and be objective, then try to decide if your WW is trying to get all the information out there to you. It is often difficult to decipher, but your WW may be at a turning point....and maybe not. You will have to decide.
Like everyone says---lies kill. Hopefully, she will get this before it is too late.
I do think your frustration and inability to make progress is warranted since there are lies and conscious betrayal almost from the start. It may just be a while before your heart can comprehend what you are hearing.
In the meanwhile....get a new MC if you can. Yikes! The reaction to your focusing on the past is so backwards. Without understanding what happened, why she did this, there IS no future.
Maybe MC can take a break while your WW and you get IC in fact.
Trickle truth. Gas lighting. Swearing it was over but it wasn't. My spending hours tracking phone records etc. to get proof he was lying, when I knew in my gut he was but he swore up and down he was being faithful.
What I found out: EVERY SINGLE TIME he got even the slightest bit defensive or annoyed, he was hiding something. There was only one time he was completely innocent in a question I asked, and that was the ONLY time he responded with a gentle smile and reassurance. EVERY SINGLE TIME he complained about my snooping, following up on things, looking at his phone, HE WAS HIDING the ongoing affair. Words Lie. Actions are truth.
Trust but verify. Always. Actions are the only truth.
There is so much that individually goes into making these life changing decisions. Nobody can really understand what's going on in your head, since nobody else can truly get into it.
From my experience, the lies and deceptions from nearly the beginning of your marriage is a huge red flag. It seems as those she had little respect for the sanctity of your marriage from the get go. Marriage cannot be a one way street. It does not work well that way. Had you known she was like this before you proposed to her, would you have proposed to her in the first place? I'm guessing the answer is no. You would've dumped her ass and moved on to a person who deserves the love you are willing to pour over them.
As for ultimatums, they are a tricky thing. IMHO, you will know when enough is enough. I gave my ex until my birthday to decide if she was with me or not. That was 2 months post discovery. I knew when I gave that deadline to her that I was fed up with being disrespected by her actions. Now the problem with that is, given the slack, some people will never come to that realization that enough is enough. I don't get the sense that you are that kind of guy, which is good. For your own peace of mind, have a plan and stick with it.
But by all means take care of yourself first and foremost. Do the 180. It really is very important to make yourself and your life and happiness from here on our the priority. Your happiness should not be tied to her.
Anyway, these are just my observations and experiences. Take them for what they are worth.
Like I said, I haven't been here in a long while, so I'm sure others' point of views and advise may be more constructive than mine.
Just know that you are not alone. For me that was one of the biggest things to keeping my sanity throughout this process.
Oh, and that MC is a POS. Dump him/her. WTF, the past doesn't matter? Maybe not for him or her, but it sure the fuck does to you. Any MC worth their salt would realize that.
Just know that you have been heard. You are not crazy. What's crazy is her being mad that she got busted...she needs to have several seats and get over herself....
I hope you can find a way to expend your anger. And get closer to the hurt that is masked by it. Expend the anger through exercise, face the pain, be gentle with yourself.
By the way, IMO, this 'real man' rhetoric is nonsense, holding you to a standard that does not exist and is frankly insulting to the male species in all its wonderful variety. I understand that your sense of your masculinity, manliness etc has been given a huge blow, or at least I can understand it in as much as how my feminity, womanliness was challenged by my WH's behaviour. But this 'real' man, if he exists must surely show his strength by the full range of his emotional intelligence, and that includes compassion, empathy.
Trouble is now, your highly charged rhetoric seems to hold your wife responsible for your feelings when in actual they are your responsibility. And only yours.
The 180 is about turning to face yourself and working on getting to like what you see. And not look at yourself through what you imagine are your wife's eyes when she was being unfaithful, because the image is distorted, you CANNOT see what she saw. She was on the other hand looking at herself in the mirror and not liking what she saw there (i am not talking about merely appearance here), it was herself she was primarily rejecting in her actions, there is a huge amount of quite desperate abjection in them.
On a separate note, and I am not positing any causal link to her infidelity, she may also benefit from counselling as a partner to someone who has/ had an addiction problem, as co-dependency, and the root causes behind it, may be a factor in some of her action.
Good luck, it's good that you are able to expend your anger here or wherever you can safely. The 180 is a time to regroup and focus on yourself, and work inwardly and through engagement externally how to regain a positive self regard and momentum; that is not up to your wife, she has to do the same for herself. The term probation is also problematic in that it sets up an unhealthy dynamic as if you are the authority, the adult to an offender, miscreant or adolescent. The 180 is not about punishment, in my view, or even penance, as that continues to make everything dependent on the other. Revenge is a pie best eaten cold, if at all, and humble pie is best eaten together. And always bear left at the paths of righteousness.
I hope you take these remarks in the constructive and not critical way they are intended. This is not a competition about who hurts most, and a great learning opportunity about humanity.
Oh dear, I had better stop my proselytising so here endeth today's lesson. Amen. And hugs, this will get better.
[This message edited by Edie at 2:49 AM, February 14th (Friday)]