Yeah, I went through that particular pain, too. Reading texts which talked about the OM's & Wayward Wife's plans for the future.
I asked my Wayward Wife if, at the height of the affair, she'd planned marriage with this guy. She looked so hopeless wand broken when she had to admit that she had. (This was only a two month affair!)
Here's the thing. In my case, that was the OM's intent from the start. He was planning to trade in his old wife for a new one-- for a second time. My wife was so deluded about what that really would've looked like at the time that she honestly thought it would be some kind of Fairy Tale story.
The truth is, it would've been a living hell, and my wife sees that now. Yours may not yet, but if not, she'll get there.
The Fairy Tale future would've meant:
1) Becoming a step-mom to two different sets of kids, the more recent of which would hate her guta forever for helping break up a marriage and permanently wounding their biological mom.
2) The endless shame of being seen as "the other woman" and "the homewrecker". Even if my wife did not instigate the affair, nobody would give a damn about the nuances.
3) The loss of respect of her family for bringing shame on them for leaving a really decent guy and marrying a twice divorced man.
4) The loss of standing with friends, at work, and at church.
5) The inability to avoid either lying or being humiliated when answering a lifetime of "So, where did you two meet?" type questions.
6) The recognition that any future children would also likely be disliked by your step-children -- seen as imposters and walking testaments to their father's infidelity.
7) The agony of a lifetime of holidays spent around people who will not welcome you with pride but treat you with shame.
8) The gnawing fear that you've married someone with a habit of replacing his wives after he gets bored and needs a younger woman in his life to restore his sense of desirability and lost youth.
9) The loss of me! (Yes, for a brief period, I didn't matter much. But when the Fog started clearing, she realized with horror would she was going to lose. A GREAT GUY. And when she moved to end the affair, the other man revealed the REAL MAN THAT HE WAS by starting to stalk and harass her. He was desperate, and showed he was unstable, and all of a sudden, this Strong Better Man looked to her what he'd always looked like to me- a slimeball philanderer having a midlife crisis.)
I share all that to say that you needn't be too troubled about the future plans your wife might've texted about. The future she nearly embarked on would've been a lot less exciting and glamorous once she'd actually had to become a resident there, rather than tourist. Because the residents there might've hated her, shamed her, and made her future a living hell.
Read this if you doubt it!
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
I am glad you asked her to leave.
Your wife needs to feel consequences.
Your wife needs to experience loss. Especially with such horrible decision making on her process.
Do not go easy on her.
Make her work on herself.
Make her find out why she thought she could hurt you and the kids so badly.
Make her earn her way back to you and her family.
Always keep in your mind as to what you believe to be consequences or punishments. While a certain action may look like either one, it is important to recognize the difference. Consequences, in my opinion, are great. Punishment....well, save that for the OM
You know better than any of us here, that your wife is punishing herself more than anyone. That is okay for her to do to herself, if it helps her learn from her past mistakes, and helps her redefine solid, clear boundaries.
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 think I'm following about a week behind you. I couldn't get the software to work last night, but in IC before MC today I told the MC that I wanted to download the old texts to find out when the A really started (was told around Halloween but some stuff didn't add up). The MC backed me up during MC and my WW flipped her sh*t and stormed out and threatened to kill her self, etc. The MC made me promise to get them downloaded immediately. I went home to get an old cell phone and she had erased everything (or thought she did).
WW was crying hysterically and we started to talk and she admitted to it beginning in April as a drunken hook up then with OM pursuing her and it not being a regular thing until November. For some crazy reason I feel like a burden has been taken off of my shoulders. I feel free of the lies. WW is wracked with guilt and remorse. We went back to MC at 5 today and had a good session. I feel the best since Dday.
WW has decided with prodding from me (and me getting the idea from Raw) to admit the A to her mom to make it more real. (right know no one knows besides attorneys and MC). I think we're doing it Friday and the MC agreed that it was a good idea.
I really think we have a true shot at R
Hosea, thanks for sharing your story, it helped in processing the information I found in the SMS text conversations. Based on what's in there and based on WW's account of it, she never really meant to leave me and the kids. I actually do believe her. Our relationship has been much too good, it's actually been great. Kids are fantastic, WW has had a lot of love, support and freedom (bit too much freedom maybe :-) She has not been able to give me a single reason for initializing and driving the A. Not one. She says she is happy and always have been. She does have a lot of insecurities and is an habitual lier (or at least a stretcher-of-the-truth). But the lies have always been very minor things to make har look a little cooler, a little better, a little "more". I have brought this up on several occasions, but generally accepted that it's a part of her personality, but she has now realized it is something that she cannot live with herself, and besides the A her lying will be a main point of discussion during her IC. The OM however did not have a good marriage, and when overcome by emotions caused by the flattering and invites from WW, he wasnindeed ready to break up his own marriage and start a new relationship with WW. This is evident both from WW's story and from the texts and emails. I personally think WW got a kick out of being able to manipulate the OM this far (though she has not admitted to this), I think it gave her a sense of power and boosted her self-esteem that she was able to do it.
JB - good comment about punishment vs. consequences! I am actually careful not to punish WW in any way myself. She doesmthat herself and is suffering the consequences. I am starting to see that she is really tough on herself. She is truly suffering for what she's done and I am starting to be on the lookout for suicidal tendencies. We actually brought it up twice, once alone and once in MC, and I have made it crystal clear to her that suicide in NOT and option, that the kids need her, that she has responsibilities to me, the kids, friends and others and that fleeing from all that would be unacceptable. She gets it, understand how cowardice it would be and would never have the strength to actually do anything, even if she started to think about it.
I hope it works the same wonders for you in your R. Good luck! Keep us posted!
How have you all done this? How long were you separated for before trying to live together again? Was it a good amount of time for you? How was the first couple of weeks months after moving back together? Thanks!
Thanks for posting the updates. Glad to see that you finally told the OMW. She deserved to know. I'm also glad to see that the exposure to your WW's brother was a humiliating experience for her. Most waywards don't really appreciate the full extent of their depravity until it smacks them in the face. The fact that your bro-in-law encouraged you to leave her probably made her throat sink into the ground.
Your WW deserves this and even more. I'm glad that you kicked her out. She needs to experience the pain of living a life alone away from her kids. You are in the driver's seat now and YOU get to decide whether R is right or not.
I suggest to keep your WW away for at least a month. This will give her enough time to fully understand the magnitude of what she did. However don't keep the kids away from her. Make arrangements so that the kids will see her, as young children definitely need their moms.
I still am a bit mystified as to why your WW would choose to cheat. In many cases affairs are precipitated by: lack of emotional connection, too much fighting, lack of sex, revenge, etc. But your situation appears to have none of that. She still has not provided a good enough answer in my opinion. You both need to look more deeply to answer this critical question. Else this will happen again in few years. Why did she do this? Is she inherently a selfish and untrustworthy woman? You didn't treat her badly, so why did she do this. YOU NEED AN ANSWER ON THIS BEFORE EITHER OF YOU CAN MOVE FORWARD. INSIST UPON AN ANSWER my friend.
And your are right: "Why?" - that's the million dollar question here. And it's one that I think both me and WW have been asking since Dday. I honestly don't think she knows herself. She has a low self esteem, and boosts it every now and then by lying or "improving the truth". I think she is a tiny bit curious about the world outside our marriage, but she knows at the same time that she could not love, or be loved by, anyone else like me. And I do think she is a sucker for validation/confirmation.
The why-question will be the main topic during her IC session which will be a series of intense psychotherapy sessions.
I'll keep you posted.
What really put her over today was the fact that she herself had her trust broken by her brother. She knew he was weak in that he has a hard time keeping secrets but still felt he was the best person to talk to last weekend. She (and I!) made it extremely clear that we did NOT want him to talk to anyone about what we told him and he promised not to. It turns out he broke that promise today when he told his (and thus WW's) parents! He was supposed to be our support and someone we could turn to cry or to just talk. Now WW's parents knows and theynare EXTREMELY untrustworthy with any information. As you can imagine this has created a s**t-storm of emotions and a family drama that is sucking everyone's energy and attention from me, my pain and the A. WW is incredibly angry and dissappointed, and so am I. If, when and how to tell anyone else was our (my) call to make, and besides creating unnecessary turbulence right now it also feels like there could be long term damage to our R?
Did anyone else end up in a similar situation after telling people you trusted? How did you handle it? I am trying to keep the brother-in-law's abuse of our trust separate from the A, but it's difficult especially for WW now that emotions run so high. And we were doing OK for a while...
Can't take this!
Man, it sucks that your BIL broke trust and betrayed the confidence your wife (his sister) placed in him. I would hope her parents would have the decency not to shame their own daughter publicly. What kind of family would do that to their own?
I know right now it must be hard for you, still deeply wounded from your wife's affair, to want to take on the mantle of healer and protector of the very one who hurt you. Reconciliation is about the Wayward doing this for the Betrayed.
But I do think this could be an opportunity for you to show your wife your strength, your dedication, your character and love. Seeing you doing this might grieve her further if she's struggles with guilt about her past sins against you. But it might also deepen her own sense of your true worth.
Is it possible for her to get any time off work? Can you, as well? Is she at risk of self-harm? Can you find a way to get her to a place of safety? Away from her family drama, away from things which compound her guilt or shame?
You're clearly in a maelstrom of emotion and drama right not. I hope very much, if you feel enough trust and inner strength, that you can be her shelter from the storm. You may not quite be there yet, and if not, that's okay. But I hope you might be.
Moving to protect her in crisis does not mean making permanent commitments about your marriage future, nor does it mean abandoning the hard work SHE will have to do to heal YOUR wounds and restore your trust.
It just means putting her needs ahead of your own for a time. Showing her that you're the kind of man who does that, even for someone who didn't do that for him. She'd be a fool to let that get away.
Please keep us posted, RawDeal.
Then I would propose a balancing act:
1) Your wife needs to stop feeling sorry for herself. You are the victim here, and you have chosen to reconcile. She has been given a gift. Tell her whether she now wants to build a new marriage or continue to mope around. Any hints at self-harm should be shut down immediately reminding her of your two children who would lose a mother. Schedule IC for her regardless.
2) Shield your wife. If you asked your BIL to keep this a secret i would contact him and dress him down. Your wife betrayed you, and by telling other people your BIL now also betrayed you. He now no longer has any moral high ground to stand on. As a consequence i would cut him out of your life for a small period of time. If her parents start digging their nose into it, threaten to cut them off too.
I realize that #2 may be harsh, but i am in the point of my life where i do not take any drama-related crap from anyone anymore (including family). And you know what - my life is infinitely better.
I think we are now out of the worst of the BIL crisis, and I have managed to steer the BIL betrayal away from WW's, to make sure the feelingsmand consequences from both does not co-mingle too much and feed off of each other.
Oh, and to answer your question Zed : yes I have decided I want to give WW and us a second chance, but I have not yet communicated that clearly to WW, only indicated that in general I guess that would be preferable. Not sure when and how to let her know I want to try for real. Also - would a common goal to R automatically mean we should move in together again? What is everyone's opinion on that?
Like Hosea and Zed stated, if you are attempting, or actually in R, then remember---she is still your wife. She, and you, were wronged. You have every right(and expectation) to defend her.
I know it seems difficult right now to stand up for the one who started this whole avalanche, but that is also a responsibility to your commitment. You are CHOOSING to R with your WW. With that commitment, come the vows that you took when you married. Sure, there are some differences now, but for the most part, the same rules apply. What if your brother in law betrayed you and your WW 2 years ago, when infidelity was not in the picture?
The answer is, you stand up for what is right. And you defend your wife. And although your wife is hurting very badly, she needs to find the strength to stand behind you. This is supposed to be TEAM RAWDEAL.
What are the steps I need to take? Anything in particular I should keep in mind? What are the signs inside myself and in my WW that I should look out for? I am not even close to be able to forgive her yet, do I have to in order to start the process? Is there a definite end to reconciliation? Or will it go on and on until I die? Is it something that you actively "start", or would you describe it as something that just happens?
First of all "end to R" No there realy isn't an end to R. For some they say that they are reconsiled after a while (Years most often). For others they are in R for the rest of their lives. It's individual.
It's not nessesary (or even possible I Think) to give forgiveness Before R. THe betrayal is just to great. What you need though is willingness and intent to work towards forgiveness. THose that say that they have forgiven shortly after DD I Think are lying.
As the first steps to begin R. I would sugggest you sit down, with a lot of available time for you both, with your WS and create a plan. THis plan should contain what your WS needs to do and what you need to do. You must both agree to this plan. The plan should include all things you need to be able to begin trust your W again as well as Everything you need to be able to work towards forgiveness. This plan should be updated continiously in the future. I Think that the plan should be heavily weighted in your favor (meaning your WS have to do the Heavy lifting). In the future you should even out this plan to adress things you can do better in the M.
What you should look at is her actions and that they match her Words.
How have you felt about all this? Does anyone share my concerns? What did you do? I feel so so so lost and confused.
I really do not feel like I want revenge, but I can't deny that a part of me truly wants her to undestand the pain she has put me and our family through.
[This message edited by RawDeal75 at 11:07 AM, July 31st (Thursday)]