Newest Member: 30yearsofheartache


Me: BH Early 50's Her: WW Early 50's D-Day Nov 2020 Married 21 years before D-Day 3 children Working toward reconciling. The most difficult thing I've had to do in my life.

Update for 2022 so far

It has been a while since my last post and I don't recall where I left things but generally here is an update. Many thanks to those posting well wishes and nice things.

In summary, the update is WW is making changes (as am I) and I'm feeling more optimistic about the M.

I think where I left things here is I had started moving down the mediation route, I brought WW some notes and paperwork on next steps and started filling out custody arrangement proposals. This isn't what either of us wanted but I saw no other way forward, this limbo is killing me, and we need to either talk to discernment counseling or divorce mediation. I didn't have a firm timeline but those were our next steps and she said she would get counseling help.

All this was very slow because she was dividing her attention between her career (60%) the children (30%) and our mess (10%). In the meantime I saw another therapist for IC who was OK, got on a waiting list for an infidelity specialist, and bought myself an early Christmas present of a new electric piano to replace my Yamaha portable grand and started working through the Nutcracker Suite. That last point is more a way of coping and healing. Nothing to do with WW.

I'm not sure when it was but WW had found herself a therapist for IC, and at some point WW approached me and said this therapist is willing to work with us, so I called and talked to the therapist and went to meet her. I kind of liked her right away, she is very Christian and empathetic. My first discussion was basically me telling her there is no path forward here, that we should probably be starting with discernment counseling to figure out if this is even worth saving.

After talking about that for a bit, I talked about my side of the marriage story and I kind of cut it off a bit and said I had certainly made mistakes, and she's entitled to amends for them absolutely. However it has been a year and we haven't addressed the adultery, we don't talk, I've been avoided and stonewalled, and I need a plan. The only path I'm offered is to go into a cocoon by myself and when I emerge a butterfly the sun will be shining, no more hurt, the marriage will be fixed, and trust will be fully restored. It sounds silly but that is literally the only path forward I'm offered. So there are certainly many issues here, but unless we pretty much do a total 180 on the approach and address the adultery, the marriage will never reconcile. It was a good first meeting and she understood and empathized and I felt heard.

So fast forward maybe a couple weeks for our first marriage session. In that time WW was still attending IC and I noticed some small changes; she was making an effort to treat me nicer and would do little things like get up and greet me when I entered the room.

Our first couple's session was great. She had us basically talk to each other but most of the time was me talking about the state of the union following a framework similar to Gottman. I went first and started with this example: "It was probably 5 or 6 months after d-day, and you asked me how I was doing, and I answered 'Not good, I have been struggling a lot with jealousy and I feel very alone' and you replied 'Is there a therapist you can talk to about that?' And that one example is pretty much what this past year has been. Little to no ownership, accountability, or responsibility. I'm on my own. No compassion, no empathy, no reparative words or actions. I really want to be heard when I say that everything about this situation needs to change because there is no way the marriage will reconcile."

The general framework was I would talk then the therapist (T) would say:
T: "WW, ask if there is anything else"
WW: "Is there anything else?"
Me: "There can be but generally that's it."
T: "WW, do you have anything to say to that?"
WW: "No."
T: "Ok, then let's move to another topic"

Neither WW nor I went back and forth too much, except for when WW said she felt hurt from past issues. I headed that whole thing off at the pass by saying "It hurts when you say that because I know how much pain it caused you. I want to take that pain away, and I take full ownership and full accountability for those days; I will address them, answer questions about them, talk about them anytime, now or 20 years from now, whether the marriage survives or not. I was wrong, full stop." I had a few goals. First was to model what I think the right thing to do is, to show the T that I accept my past behaviors in the M, and also to shut down anything that would start along blame shifting or justifying. Thankfully this T didn't even take us down that road.

But the real highlights came in when T started making comments. Regarding the adultery and it not being addressed:
T: "The length of time after adultery makes no difference, you heal when you heal. Adultery is a big deal, it is a very big deal. It doesn't sound like WW has yet taken responsibility and ownership for it."
Me: <silently shouting Hallelujia! Amen! Preach!!>

Another example:
T: "There is a total loss of trust with adultery, and when there is a loss of trust, the person who broke the trust needs to be the person to take the initiative to rebuild it."
Me: <again, I'm silently shouting Yes! Yes!>

That first session felt really, really good. To me it was wonderful validation and joy. I'm pretty sure it is the first time that WW had ever heard anything like that before.

During the next session the T pleased me again when I talked about the pattern of me bringing up something difficult or painful and just getting ignored / stonewalled. The T said "It's a horrible feeling and a terrible situation, if you tell me something that hurts you, it's like I'm just kicking you when you're down." I couldn't help but pile on a bit "That's exactly what it feels like! Like getting kicked when I'm down!" I'm pretty sure I couldn't hide my smile and sense of huge relief on being heard, empathized with, and validated like that. WW sat silent, again I'm confident this was the first time WW had heard anything like this.

So I do like this T, and she's been very good, gentle, and very fair. I have since seen her individually a few times and started EMDR with her. Turns out she is a trauma specialist and has a very good understanding of the dynamics after affairs.

So the past few weeks haven't been perfect but WW has been making much more of an effort, we've been talking more, and although we don't talk about her IC sessions I can tell they're helping. WW has also taken to reading an infidelity book I had suggested, she takes it with her on the road and I have noticed the bookmark advancing. We're still not in a perfect place, I still feel like a 3rd priority and recognize we have a way to go.

So that's my update so far, it has been positive and I don't know how WW did it but she found a therapist that I like and who I think will lead us to a better place. Still not out of the woods yet but feeling a little more optimistic that things are on the mend.

23 comments posted: Saturday, January 15th, 2022

Could use some encouragement, I screwed up

Long story short, WW has been coming around and overall am feeling good about R. This is coming after 9 months of difficulty, and since ultimately I wanted R it has been encouraging.

Last night I screwed up. We were watching a TV show where the guy cheated on his wife with his lover. WW asked me "You doing OK?" and I said "Yeah, but these scenes stir up a lot of bad feelings, I mean the guy on TV is not principled, and your OM wasn't principled I mean he knew you were married and still pursued you, and the difficulty thinking of you as unprincipled to go for it."

As soon as I said it she scooted away from me and sat straight up. I regretted it immediately "I'm sorry, I don't know why I said it, I got carried away, I don't mean to say you are unprincipled in general, I didn't mean it, I hope you can forgive me" and she talked a little how it hurts her feelings, and she's insulted (Usually she doesn't talk or say anything). I told her again I was sorry. It was bedtime so we dropped it.

Now this morning and just now, she's not exactly back to her old self, but she's withdrawn and closed-off. This morning's and this afternoon's kiss was tight-lipped.

Just a bit ago she asked how I was doing:

Me: "I'm angry with myself with my comment last night. I didn't mean to sound criticizing and I appreciate how you've been making an effort, I acknowledge how you've been working and I'm upset with myself because I don't want us to lose the momentum, I don't want you giving up."

WW: "Thank you" <then silence>

Me: <silence>

WW: "Ok, well I need to go run my errands, be back in a bit"

She's not as cold as she used to be, but she's clearly pissed off and her WW ways are coming out again. So I'm really angry at myself because now things have set back and I don't want to "chase her" but I grow so tired of this dance and I thought we were moving past it.


416 comments posted: Saturday, July 10th, 2021

Wife has moved to D!

My story isn't very complicated and some here know it, my WW wasn't really doing much work to help R and so I've been basically battling her to up her game and meet me at the table.

Yesterday I basically told her that if she's not in, and isn't gonna be in, then let's just rip off the band-aid, I'll understand, and I'll be fine. I don't want her to be unhappy.

So today she basically tells me she's done. Wants to move toward D. In house seperation until she can move out next month.

I'm shocked, not terribly surprised as I was thinking it was inevitable (I mean it takes two to make it work!). But I have to process how I feel about it. There's a lot coming at me here.

I really feel like I did all I could. The only thing I couldn't do was rugsweep. It was probably inevitable.

Thank you all for being here. I don't talk much about this to my circle of friends because I feel like a beta male. But I'll get over that now as I start putting something else together.

I'm a bit shocked for now, things will have to sink in here for a bit...

24 comments posted: Sunday, May 23rd, 2021

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