You can't make your wife face her actions and you can't make her stay. You can only control yourself. Know this isn't your fault and realize that you cannot 'nice' her into staying. You deserve to be with someone who is wholly committed to you--stop signaling to her that you will take any crumbs you get. What are your boundaries? Why have you let her cross so many lines without showing her any consequences?
I'm sorry to be so harsh but your current attitude is only going to bring you more pain. You deserve better than this. Start to demand it and be willing to walk away if you don't get it.
You may be able to pull this off. In the movies, you'd make that shot every time.
The problem is that your wife isn't willing to open up that Achilles Heel (to mix metaphors) of vulnerability in the Death Star. You really can't force her to do anything.
It's very natural to want to hang in there right now and take that shot. Later, whether your marriage succeeds or fails, you will be glad you did. Because at some point, if the marriage fails, you will be able to move forward without guilt.
In the meantime, it's important to take care of yourself. Eat. Stay hydrated. Focus on the kids. We all cause problems in our marriages. What an affair does is stop us from wanting to fix those problems. That's where your wife is right now. You can't make her stop if she doesn't want to stop. You can't make her respect MC if she doesn't want to save the marriage.
Work on yourself and your relationship with your kids. If she wants to join the better you down the road, she will. And if she doesn't, her loss.
But, by all means, be steady and do your work to save the marriage. Even though it's painful not to have that recognized, you'll be glad you did and you'll be a better person for it.
And by posting here, you can bounce the painful stuff off of people who have been there, too.
Even religious forgiveness comes only after repentance, and your W just isn't interested in repenting at this point.
R needs 2 participants, and right now, you're the only one in your M who wants R.
If you stick around SI, you'll frequently read, 'You can't love 'em back into the M.' That's very true.
The facts are - your W broke her vows, she did you immeasurable harm, she cause you immense pain that typically takes years to recover from, she broke your M. You just can't R unless she wants it at least as much as you.
In fact, at first, the WS should want R more than the BS does - because a healthy BS holds himself back out of a desire to protect himself from more pain caused by the WS. You're entitled to protect yourself, which means she needs to win you back.
A good way into SI's wisdom is to read the BS FAQ: http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/faq_bs.asp.
You're probably embarrassed about being a BH - that hits most of us, I think. The image is that a W who cheats does so because her H is a lousy H and probably lousy in the sack. In fact, your W cheated because of her own unwillingness to deal with her issues - she cheated because she isn't W enough for you (or for anyone else).
Don't hesitate to ask questions about what you read here, and don't hesitate to ask for support. Keep taking deep breaths and detaching from your W - it takes time to get your bearings back.
It tends to be a little slow on the weekends, but if you stick with us, you will receive LOTS of advice....some which may make you feel better, and some that may hurt. Just remember, that just because it hurts, doesn't mean that it isn't true.
I am sure that your IC has told you this, but let me reiterate the basics:
--You need to work on you. This is first and foremost. After all, isn't that what this is all about...your happiness?
--You have no control over your wife. ZERO. You can't fix her, nor can you change her.
--The affairs are all her fault---100%. There is no debate for this. And while you are responsible for 50% of your marriage, it ends there. It is not your responsibility to fill her needs or to make her happy. She needs to learn that on her own....using HEALTHY methods.
That being said, it is imperative that you take back control of your life. Do not, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, beg or plead with your wife. In her eyes, it shows desperation and despair...not how much you love her.
Think about it--you have tried this method for how long now? And how has it worked out?
Your wife sees this as weakness. And I am sorry to say, she has virtually no respect for you. This is very common during infidelity---both your and her actions. But neither of them are correct.
So what do you do? In theory, it is quite easy, but in reality, your heart gets in the way. The answer is to demand to be treated like you deserve. Stop "forgiving" her, because she has done NOTHING to earn forgiveness. Do not tolerate her poor behavior and boundaries. Stop making compromises that damage your soul.
I know that you are scared to death. I GUARANTEE you that I know exactly how you feel. The fear is literally paralyzing. You are so afraid of making any demands, because she may leave. I know---I have been there, and done that.
The problem is that there is no one on this planet who can tell you what to do to get your wife back. But there are plenty of us here who can tell you what to do that will give you the best CHANCE of getting your wife back. And as counterintuitive as it may feel, the best answer is to be strong. Do what has been mentioned above.
There will be many more posters after this, and they will have plenty of advice. But as you continue to read, you will see a common thread--and that is that your happiness will come from you. You are the only one who can get yourself out of this mess called infidelity. And while you may be scared to death of divorce, remember this--losing your wife isn't the worst outcome....sharing her with others is.
Keep reading and keep posting. You will get through this.
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 don't drink. I work hard and make good money. She has said I am a perfect man yet she continues to push me away and say it's over. (Could this be protection from dealing with shame and issues?)
Ok, first off, I am sorry you found yourself here.
We (here) all know the tremendous pain a unfaithful spouse inflicts.
Do Not accept her blame. You could be the most perfect husband in the would and she would still find something to blame you for. That's what cheaters do. And they lie. Alot.
You wife is gone, has been. She is trying to eat cake. She wants to stay there and enjoy the security of that life with you while she has her own little private life with whoever.
Now listen, closely, you cannot "nice" her back into the M.
All it will do is make her lose more respect for you and you hurt yourself in the process.
You need to get angry and not put up with her treating like you have no right to know what she is up to.
This is where she gets angry and says "it's over".
She does that so you will leave her alone, and not hold her accountable. Probably working for her too. She knows you want to keep her and the M.
Keep reading and posting here.
[This message edited by shiloe at 3:09 PM, March 22nd (Saturday)]
You are still very fresh. Of course you are confused and scared, heartbroken and unsure of what to do next.
I implore you to keep reading here. Keep posting. Read from the Healing Library. Keep going to IC - if she is not willing to go, go by yourself. You need to voice your pain. If you have a friend you can trust and who will be there to lend an ear, reach out to this person, although I know this is daunting.
Today I begged her to stay and have been taking the blame for the decline in the marriage (I do own 50%).
Yeah, ok. But she is 100% the owner of the A's. There are other options when the spouse is not meeting our needs. Talking is one of them. Not running off to see an ex or "connecting" (bc that is what they think they are doing) with strangers on social media.
I am willing to do anything. My wife has a seperate phone line and will submit to NO transparency. She also refuses IC. I told her we need to know why she had the affairs. She said "Because you ignored me". Every few days I would cry and lately my wife has said this shows I'm unstable. No real sympathy.
You know what. Tell her starting today that you are NOT willing to do anything, any longer for the M. You have requirements for healing. Requirements for the M. Do not for one minute allow her to talk you into to owning any part of this and as Norabird wrote, be willing to walk away. Or hefty bag her stuff since she is the one who is going outside the M.
For your wife to say that you are unstable is heartless and really shows how warped her mind-set is right now. She should be doing everything - and I mean everything - possible to repair the damage, not creating more with her cruel words. That is abuse my friend.
So far you have been given some great advice. Again, keep reading. Keep posting. Keep breathing, jipt. SI has your back.
I really don't think she is still cheating but honestly that is probably nativity talking.
Agreed. Your WW is cake eating with both hands. While she may not “technically” be cheating now, she isn’t committing to being faithful to you either.
Hard to admit your wife might be trolling for EA's on the internet. So should I agree to take things slowly?
Uh, no. Why? You made vows to each other. You made promises to each other in front of God, you families, and your friends, to be faithful to each other and to cleave only to each other. Why in the hell would you go “slow” on demanding that your promises to each other for fidelity be set aside? Do you think for one single moment that, if you were to go out and hire to bimbos and a poodle to make a porno-film with, that she wouldn’t be demanding that it stop IMMEDIATELY?
Just be friends and pray she eventually agrees to transparency, IC and MC down the road? Should I suggest a separation (she has volunteered to leave for a couple weeks). Should I file for divorce? She said I can keep the house. If I file first I could petition the kids stay in their home during the process?
One at a time, you are not JUST friends you are married. You are legally and morally bound to each other by the vows of marriage. While all marriages go through friendship phases, that is not the question here, because she has betrayed you. She is not your friend, right now. If YOU want a separation, then demand it. If SHE wants a separation, then I guarantee you that it’s so she can continue her affair. My advice? Yes, first thing on Monday, see a lawyer and file for divorce. Your WW is not repentant, she is pissed off that you found out about her affair and interfered with her fun. She hasn’t given you transparency, she is not remorseful, she is showing you distain and disrespect, and is doing as she damned well pleases. I guarantee, I absolutely GUARANTEE you, that if you show her your soft side, she will walk all over it with spike high heels. File, ask for spousal support, ask for child support, ask for physical custody of your children, ask for sole use of your house immediately, and go complete NC with her except for working out child care and asset division. And if her OM has a wife/GF, out him.
Right now you are probably saying, WTF? What kind of crazy-ass info is this? I completely understand. You seem like a very nice man and very sincere. Unfortunately, that is not going to get you One Damned Thing right now because your WW is USING those admirable traits to screw you.
You cannot nice someone back who is betraying you. If you could, then this site would not have to exist because believe me, most of us have tried and failed and failed and failed at that. You have to stand up on your back legs and defend yourself and, more importantly, your children, from the broken pod-person that your WW has become. This woman who is standing in front of you is not who you think she is. She will betray you. She will betray those children. She will lie to you and the children and, will swear on the heads of those innocent children, that she is telling the truth.
This is totally unfair to you and your children. It really is. But right now, YOU are the only person in your family that is capable of stopping this train-wreck. And that is by taking control. You need to think Airline Drill take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else, and the anyone else right now, are your children. Think only of their good, and do what you need to do to safeguard them and you.
Come back often. We are all here for you.
D-Day, June 10, 2012
Thanks everyone. I really don't think she is still cheating but honestly that is probably naivity talking. Hard to admit your wife might be trolling for EA's on the internet.
She might be. She might not be. It's torture not knowing and right now you can't really trust what she says. What's important is that she's not in a place where she's willing to work on the marriage.
So should I agree to take things slowly? Just be friends and pray she eventually agres to transparency, IC and MC down the road?
Friends don't do what she's doing to you. You can't force her to talk to you. I wouldn't agree to anything she says - it's like negotiating with a burglar after he's already broken into your house and taken away your new television.
Decide what you need to continue, and let her know you're there when she's willing to work on this for real.
Should I suggest a seperation (she has volunteered to leave for a couple weeks).
This is her decision. Why make it easier?
Should I file for divorce? She said I can keep the house. If I file first I could petition the kids stay in their home during the process? Thoughts?
This varies by state. If you're at the point where you want to think about divorce, get the best lawyer you can find. Don't get legal advice here.
While it can't hurt to talk to a lawyer, I don't think this is a good time to make life decisions. Just keep the kids out of it as much as possible.
My wife has a seperate phone line and will submit to NO transparency. She also refuses IC.
Your wife is not your friend right now.
I agree that you should not make any life-long decisions right now but I bet you with everything I have (and that piggy bank is pretty full) that if you take a hard-line approach with her ie:
"I have set up a meeting with a lawyer on Tuesday. I am going to get my ducks in order."
I am willing to bet that she is going to sit a little straighter. Pay more attention.
If she does move out for a few weeks, I would absolutely have her tailed.
I am so angry for you right now and how you are being treated. So tired of these blind WSs' who cannot see the good right in front of them.
I like what Skan wrote here...
YOU are the only person in your family that is capable of stopping this train-wreck. And that is by taking control. You need to think Airline Drill take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else, and the anyone else right now, are your children. Think only of their good, and do what you need to do to safeguard them and you.
And yes. As Red Sox Nation wrote, do keep the kids out of this as much as possible.
Try to get some sleep tonight. Tomorrow is another day and you are going to be okay. (this is what I told myself).
"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." ~ Bob Marley
It's hard not to draw lines. She will cross them right now because she doesn't feel she has done anything wrong. In her mind, that's how she justifies her behavior. That's how normally good people rationalize treating people badly.
Right now, there's nothing you can say to her that won't annoy her. The time for deciding if lines were crossed is if she decides she wants to work on the marriage. That may never happen.
Is there a reason you are in a hurry to file for divorce? This is her gig. Let her run the show. If it looks like divorce is coming, get the best lawyer you can find. The good ones may be more expensive, but they save everyone time and money in the long run.
I look back at my experience, and I was willing to do anything to make it work. I did my best. I made all the mistakes everyone makes. I was a doormat and I tried to remind her of good times and I tried to offer her a outlined path back to the marriage.
There were times later on I wished I had been less of a doormat, made funny quips or stood up for myself better or shamed her a little. That might have protected my ego a little. But now? I'm glad I did what I could and let her control the situation. I didn't come close to saving the marriage and I didn't come up with the perfect quips for her terrible behavior. But, again, I don't feel the guilt in moving on. I can look my son in the eye and know I did what was best for him while my ex did not.
If you're still functioning well at work, that's great. That can be a wonderful outlet while you're in the waiting room on your marriage.
You need to stop being nice to her. You need to tell her to start taking responsibility for her own actions.
She continues to say that the whole reason she had affairs is because you did not pay attention to her. Well you sure as hell are paying attention to her now, and that does not seem to be stopping her affairs.
You want transparency and she wont give it. You dont even know if she is having an affair and you dont even know how many affairs she has had.
Obviously this is not a good situation. I think the thing to do now is to blow her affairs wide open. No more hiding in the shadows, no more letting her go out with other guys whenever she feels low.
If you feel you need to, you get the answers to your questions. Find out who she is having an affair with. Is this OM married, tell his wife.
You will need to knock your wife off of the fence. You need to make your wife see that affairs are not all wonderful.
These OM pay attention to her, because how much time are they with her. Not as long as if she was married to one of them.
She will not go to MC or IC, she is closed minded to doing anything to even stop the affairs, let alone be remorseful.
I think it is time that you find out exactly what is going on, stop the fantasy world of the affair and see just what your wife wants in life.
She just doesnt get it at this time. I do believe that no matter what you do, she will blame you and find fault with you.
So I guess you should do something proactive, because either way she is going to blame you.
People are not only telling you to be strong they're telling you how to get strong.
Dobson's "Love Must Be Tough" would be a good read for you. In it, he describes a version of (what we call here) the "180".
Here it is:
When you read it, study it, and implement it, keep this foremost in your mind:
- it is for you and your healing
- not to be used as a manipulative tool to get her to do anything, to see anything.
The 180 will help you get distance, and you can get more rational about your situation.
I agree with Skan, that you should see a L on Monday, and file for D. BTW, just "do it", and don't tell her you're going to do it.
There are many reasons that this is a good move for you.
- it takes a lot of time to finalize. It is not "done" when you file, you realize that, right? iow, there will be time for her to pull her head out - if it's ever going to happen - but either way, you are on the road to self-protection.
- I like her; "you can keep the house" - bit. Take advantage of that. In time, when she gets her head together with her AP, and the plotting and planning to screw you gets in full swing, it will be too late. You have a "window of opportunity" here. Use it.
- It shows strength. Decisiveness. Guess what women respond to my man? Yep. Those things. Counter-intuitive, I know! It shows you will not tolerate 3 people in the marriage, and in her case, more than 3!
Above all, work on healing yourself. Get distance.
STOP interacting with her brokenness, you're getting your fingers bloodied. Do not believe for one second, anything that comes out of her mouth! You're unstable? FTN my man! You are the solid one. STOP ALLOWING HER TO ABUSE YOU!
Make your convos about kids and finances only.
Once you "go dark" on her, and firmly set plans in motion to protect yourself,
pull her head out.
(Remember - you can't do that for her)!
Either way, whatever she does - you are not dependent on that - your health, your strength, your integrity and safety will be "being seen to" just fine indeed.
I'm sorry you had to find us. As mean as we can sometimes sound, we really are the nicest people you never wanted to meet brother.
Strength and Honor!