Thank you all for the responses. I’ve had a fairly emotional week, lots of arguments and work at boundary setting. Your responses meant so much to me, even if I didn’t reply quickly. I felt so emotionally drained. I’ve done a decent job standing up for myself more this week, leveraging a lot of advice from my IC - but, WW has tested new boundaries a lot, which has resulted in a lot of arguing. I’m proud that I didn’t let myself give in - but it’s been tough. A common manipulation has been that when I get upset she generally gets more upset back - and it cycles to the point where she could actually try to hurt herself - or worse - suicide. She has had serious attempts in these scenarios. Her IC is actively trying to help as well. Our MC has seen this behavior, and tends to cater to her due to being fearful things could go wrong quickly - which is one of the reasons I’m looking for someone new. I’ve told her that I can’t fall back into the caretaker mode right now, that I’m too angry, and that I deserve to be angry.
This0is0Fine - Thanks! I’m still working on getting a timeline. According to WW, the relationship with AP started inappropriately in 2005, but then transitioned to friendship a few years later (no date given yet). She insists it was an EA - but I’ll be surprised if it wasn’t a PA. AP was originally single, then got serious with someone in 2009, married in 2010 - I believe. WW and AP stayed in communication for at least a few more years it seems before whatever their relationship was fizzled out. The timeline is one of the things I’m angry about. I need more clarity. She has memory issues due to previous ECT - but I don’t believe she doesn’t know more.
HellFire - I’m working on requirements. Definitely the timeline and no more lies. I’m having her read the HTHYSHFTA book, which I only read this week, and wish I had read earlier. I’m also working with my IC on doing a better job with boundaries. This is a struggle for me - as I’m also her caretaker due to her mental health problems. Over time proper boundaries were eroded to be non-existent, but I’m working on building them up again.
veryconfused. Thanks for the feedback. You’re right, it does take a huge amount of control and strength. I have been working with an IC, who has been very helpful. I meet with her the day before MC sessions to help me prepare. My WW’s parents certainly have played a role in the relationship problems we’re dealing with. I guess mine have as well - in a different way.
Ladybugmaam. I think I’ll need to push WW through panic attacks as well. I also have PTSD from before the affair - due to her bipolar/borderline issues. In a way - there is a silver lining to finding out about the affair - it’s forcing me to re-examine our relationship and focus on my own well-being (which I’ve largely ignored for years). The triggers are tough - anything from the early years of our marriage and when our children were born are a big trigger (note - I did do paternity tests - thank God they are mine). It seems every show my kids watch has someone dealing with an affair. I’m sure it’s always been that way and I’m just super-sensitive to that right now.
The1stWife. Thank you so much for sharing. You’re hitting on a lot of my reality. I’ve had a lot of intense arguing this week - mostly due to trying to set better boundaries, and not allowing her to walk all over me - which I have done plenty of in the past. She seems genuinely scared of me leaving with the kids - but I’m not sure if it is enough to get results. I hope to learn more in MC tonight. Getting her to move in with her parents may be a good option if nothing changes quickly.
BreakingBad - a few months ago I placed a spare bed in the nook of a playroom which is where I’ve been sleeping, and I put up a temporary door (the room has a wide opening). I’ve been using this room as my daytime remote work office. I’m looking at installing a more permanent door so this can really be used like a spare bedroom. I’ve told WW I’m not returning to our bedroom until we’re at a better place, under certain conditions. You’re so very right about the boundaries, and the narrative. I’m working with my IC to help there, but it’s admittedly been tough to split the angry husband role with the mental health caregiver role I also play. I can’t afford us to be in two different houses right now. Though I have talked with WW about visiting her parents for a few weeks on the other side of the country to give me some space. Having her move there for a longer time might make sense if she can't start working with me.
HardKnocks - I am exploring changing MCs mainly due to the MC lets WW divert the conversation and doesn’t keep her accountable - so it feels like it’s become an extension of WWs personal IC. I hate the idea of investing more time getting a different MC up to speed - but I feel like the MC is a ‘that’s interesting, tell me more about that’ type of therapist - and isn’t really facilitating or driving us in a direction. To be fair - it has to be a struggle for the MC to deal with WW’s mental health issues.
Thanks to everyone again for sharing. I’m sorry that everyone had situations that led them here, but I am really thankful that you’re sharing. Outside of IC and MC, I am not talking to anyone about the affair. It certainly can feel lonely. Your thoughts are helpful.
[This message edited by hurtpartner73 at 3:00 PM, Friday, October 14th]