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Trying to understand

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Niceguy25 posted 7/9/2020 12:25 PM

Thanks Robert. Our therapist tells me she is ashamed of her failure in our marriage and in herself, has a great deal of remorse for the pain she has caused me, and holds an emotion something akin to hate for APís deceit, lies, and agenda. She knows he is a compulsive cheater and now realizes she was his playmate only according to our therapist. That being said, she still has not come totally clean with me and why the birthday card after all these years. Was it the first or the first I discovered? It was a card in our family stock of cards with no message prewritten. He also says she has buried the whole affair deep in her mind and experiences allot of pain in recalling it. I find the mixed message hard to follow. When it first happened and we began marriage counseling, she was on the fence regarding divorce because she was certain he was leaving his wife to begin a life with her and our two children. Soon after she found out he was a fraud and she was just his most current easy fuck. Thatís when she turned her attention back to me and together we moved forward. Your reasoning rings true to me, but there are still so many unanswered questions. Why oral and anal with him but not me.? Why was she able to set aside her long held devout faith for 3 1/2 years and rationalize her betrayal to both God and our marriage ? Why not come clean and put it behind us? I certainly have shown my willingness to forgive, and why the Bday card after 25 years? Iíve asked but still donít have any straight answers.

[This message edited by Niceguy25 at 1:35 PM, July 9th (Thursday)]

Robert22205https posted 7/9/2020 19:19 PM

Her behavior contradicts the therapist. Does the therapist explain how her behavior (the card) does not contradict his assessment (guilt, remorse, hate)?

What explanation did your wife offer for her buying the card? How did you know it was for him?

From your posts about her here and elsewhere:

The oral and anal probably disgusted her too but she provided it in order to keep his attention and/or to maintain the fantasy that they were in love.

Sex was the currency she paid to keep her fantasy going - and to avoid the crushing reality of being an adulterer.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 7:23 PM, July 9th (Thursday)]

Robert22205https posted 7/9/2020 19:24 PM

Has your wife confessed to her kids and church?

Niceguy25 posted 7/9/2020 20:15 PM

Our therapist explains it as Dissociation. As for my kids, they were 7 & 9 at the time and to this day do not know. As for the Church, she tells me she went to Confession and has been forgiven.

Butforthegrace posted 7/9/2020 20:29 PM

Why oral and anal with him but not me.? Why was she able to set aside her long held devout faith for 3 1/2 years and rationalize her betrayal to both God and our marriage?

The easy and obvious answer is the classic Madonna/whore complex. That said, I personally feel this term is fancy window-dressing for the reality, which is that she wanted freaky sex with him. That's why she had freaky sex with him.

I realize that's possibly too glib. Under the Madonna/Whore thing, as I understand it, she possibly wanted freaky sex with you but couldn't acknowledge that desire, even to herself, because it conflicted with her strongly held belief about how a "proper" wife comports herself in marriage. I don't think it's a coincidence that you often see the Madonna/whore thing arise in connection with women who were raised in very strict religious environments.

Why not come clean and put it behind us?

Again, the answer is easy, but I don't think you want to accept it. You didn't make her face any consequences back when it occurred. Instead you rug-swept and buried it. It was easier for her to also bury it.

Now, she's at an age where she probably no longer craves sex, certainly not with you, and based on past experience, plus what she knows about the version of Christianity to which you choose to adhere, she's pretty close to 100% certain there will be zero consequences and zero chance of D at this point. It's way easier for her to simply coast out the rest of her days in the status quo.

Frankly, I think part of her pain is shame, but there is another part that is broken heart that he didn't run off into their happily ever after with her.

and why the Bday card after 25 years?

See my last sentence above.

It's pretty clear to me that, if you decide to stay married to her, what you've got now is what you're getting till you're in a box and 6 feet under.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 8:14 AM, July 10th (Friday)]

Robert22205https posted 7/10/2020 08:02 AM

Our therapist explains it as Dissociation.

According to my google search, 'dissociation' is a catch-all for personality disorders that can't be explained/categorized?

IMO it's a convenient way to avoid the therapist judging a your wife by their behavior and/or holding the person accountable for their behavior.

Both her therapist and religious beliefs provide her with a get-out-of-jail pass with respect to consequences for inappropriate behavior (including the card 5 years ago).

And although I understand why you offered her a second chance 25 years ago (we've all been there), you also offered her another get-out-of-jail pass.

A pass that she forfeited with the birthday card 5 years ago. Plus, is my recall correct, at that time you also discovered in her office that she saved a souvenir framed photo of her and the OM?

At a minimum she should have been exposed to your friends, family, and church members. Why? because it's one of the few consequences for adultery - and because they trusted her, they have a right to know 'who' your wife really is.

I suggest you consider:

1 - finding another therapist. Why? because he's not helping you. At best he's simply providing a sympathetic place for your wife to unload and feel good about herself.

2 - I'm not sure therapy for her will help at this late date. She seems to have won (she gave herself a multi year romance and got away with it).

Finally, I can't explain away the birthday card (just like your therapist can't - or won't).

IMO, the card (and photo) is hard evidence that you were plan B, that your wife still has positive feelings for the OM; lacks empathy for you; and guilt & shame are not a constraint on her behavior because she knows she will get a free pass.

Neither your wife or your marriage was or is perfect. In addition to carrying the pain of betrayal you're also carrying the burden of smiling and living a lie to your family.

If you decide to run out the clock (live with her) consider exposing the enormous burden you are carrying as well as the enormous sacrifice you made 25 years ago to hold your family together.

Specifically, expose her to your kids (without warning her). And inform her that your pain is 1,000 times greater than her discomfort.

And when she asks why you didn't warn her: reply it's dissociation.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 10:19 AM, July 11th (Saturday)]

nekonamida posted 7/10/2020 13:12 PM

NG, ask her for a timeline of the affair. After she gives it you, book a polygraph test. If the truth matters to you, this is the only avenue you have of potentially getting it. She's not going to magically wake up and give it you one day and you're not going to magically wake up and stop wanting it one day. Your healing can't begin until you know what you're healing from. Her healing cannot begin until she accepts full accountability for her infidelity by giving you the truth.

Ever since your first post, I've genuinely thought she is lying to you about the birthday card. If what someone is telling you and their actions do not match, it's because they're lying. If she can't explain the card, it's because the truth is something she doesn't want to tell you. It's something shameful that makes her look bad. Chances are she has not been honest about the time frame of the A and deep the A ran.

oldtruck posted 7/10/2020 13:50 PM

Tell her the priest forgiving her is not the same as confessing
all to one's BH.

Niceguy25 posted 7/12/2020 08:57 AM

OldTruck, no truer words were ever spoken.

Robert, truly you have my ear and are speaking truth. Thank you.

Memo, your right, her actions do SPEAK louder than her words. Good point.

Butforthegrace, harsh but true. Itís hard to hear the mistakes I made along the way. Wanting to believe she is who I thought she was and then finding out sheís not, has been the hardest reality check. Thank you.

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