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Reconciliation :
Trying to be patient and supportive in MC while WS trickles truth - it's hard not to lose my mind

Topic is Sleeping.
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 hurtpartner73 (original poster new member #80985) posted at 2:55 AM on Sunday, October 16th, 2022

The1stWife, you're right. I struggle how to get her to be where I need her to be. Open, honest, and working with me. I had hoped MC would help there - but only a little so far. I think if I get to the point of separate houses then I'm already mentally done. Then again, my emotions are up and down. Today I'm so angry I don't even want to look at her - it can all feel very raw sometimes.

sisoon, thank you for the very kind words. As hard as the suicide and mental health issues are, the affair discovery really destabilized me. That may not make sense given how serious suicide attempts and mental health issues can be. I guess I've been dealing with that for so long that I have coping mechanisms - unhealthy as they are (forgetting about myself and focusing entirely on her - bad boundaries). Fidelity was one area I thought I never had to worry about. I was so proud that I wasn't one of 'those couples' that never trust each other or where a partner wasn't trustworthy. In hindsight I can't believe my hubris. I would talk to WW about how happy I was that we're not like so-and-so at the office - and in reality WW was seeing someone on the side and I was blind to it.

I'm so impressed with all the people like yourself that have gone through terrible things, and then share that knowledge to help others. I know I ramble sometimes - but I want you to know your comments have been very helpful for me.

Me: BH, 49; Her: WW, 47, bipolar/borderline DDAY 4/23/2022 - EA 2005-2009ish? PA? Not sure. TT M 17 years, Trying to R - it's bumpy

posts: 43   ·   registered: Sep. 20th, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8759804
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 12:00 PM on Sunday, October 16th, 2022

HurtPartner73

I feel your pain. I really do. At the start of my H’s second affair I begged for the truth.

I suggested MC. He refused.

I suggested many things that was great advice from my counselor but my H refused any suggestions or anything I tried to help us R or communicate.

By dday2 I was mentally, emotionally and physically done!

I told my H I was D him b/c I had no other choice. That was just after dday2 of affair #2.

You are being patient with your cheating wife at a huge detriment to yourself. I beg you to put yourself first and recognize that whatever you are hoping to get from your wife, doing it slowly like you are (and with patience) is only going to cause you years of pain and anger and anxiety b/c she’s refusing to be 50% of the marriage or all in on R and repairing the damage/trauma she caused.

Sad to say she doesn’t appear to be R material at this time. She’s not considering YOUR needs or willingness to work on her issues. She’s hoping you can and will sweep this under the rug.

I’m not saying you have to D her.

I’m saying this path you are on allowing her to not communicate is detrimental to you. How do I know? Because I was in your shoes. My H REFUSED to be honest about his first affair. He lied and stonewalled and refused to discuss.

That made it easier to have a second affair. What he did not count on was that I would change and stop being a doormat.

Please don’t be me. I’m begging you please don’t subject yourself to this mental and emotional pain.

I wish I had wised up and stood my ground in 1998. Yep that’s how long I allowed this shitshow to continue. 15 years I let him call the shots. At least I finally wised up.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13852   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8759834
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 hurtpartner73 (original poster new member #80985) posted at 3:16 PM on Sunday, October 16th, 2022

The1stWife, Thank you for your very insightful and hard-earned comments.

You are being patient with your cheating wife at a huge detriment to yourself. I beg you to put yourself first and recognize that whatever you are hoping to get from your wife, doing it slowly like you are (and with patience) is only going to cause you years of pain and anger and anxiety b/c she’s refusing to be 50% of the marriage or all in on R and repairing the damage/trauma she caused.

I spent a couple of hours arguing with WW last night after the kids went to sleep. She seems so terrified on one hand, and then unremorseful and uncooperative on the other. She says she'll do anything to make it right, and that's she sorry - but she won't say what specifically she's sorry for, or offer what I would consider a true apology. She's not worrying about me, she's worrying about herself. She had been telling me she has been working through a book, 'Recovering from the Affair', for the last 3 months, only for me to find out this last week that she was at page 18. This made me very angry.

I'm going to take your advice, because I feel like I'm trying to break through an impenetrable wall and nothing I am trying is working, and I'm exhausted. I've been trying to be committed enough and work hard enough for two people. I can't do it.

Today I'm going to make myself an enjoyable meal. I'm going to exercise. I'm going to sit down and create a list of personal goals - unrelated to my WW or the A. Then put several personal check-ins on my calendar to see how I'm doing. I'm going to take a look around for any local meetups that might be interesting to join - book clubs, tech meetups, community development, etc. - things I enjoy. Or maybe look at something new. I'm going to schedule a day off work in the next month or so that is a 'me' day. When I meet with my IC this week I'll review this with her and ask her to ask me about this weekly.

I think I'll call it my personal happiness plan. I'll start it today, and build it up more until it is what I want it to be.

The1stWife, thank you so much for sharing. I'm sorry that you went through all that pain. I'm glad you're sharing. I am taking your comments to heart. Thank you.

[This message edited by hurtpartner73 at 3:17 PM, Sunday, October 16th]

Me: BH, 49; Her: WW, 47, bipolar/borderline DDAY 4/23/2022 - EA 2005-2009ish? PA? Not sure. TT M 17 years, Trying to R - it's bumpy

posts: 43   ·   registered: Sep. 20th, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8759839
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 5:06 PM on Sunday, October 16th, 2022

Remember when the switch flipped for me and I stated putting myself first. It was not oby healthy for my personal recovery, but had the added bonus of screwing wit my WW's head, although that was not the intent. She was and is a woman who believes that she is the center of the world. It was a redefine for her. It reminded me of that video that was circling th web a good number of years ago, about a lion backed up to the shore of a river by a herd of wildebeest, only to find that the river was filled with crocodiles. I'm sure that in his brain he had his holy shit moment as the power structures of his world were instantly redefined.

Just remember that the goal of this is a better, healthier you, for YOU.

[This message edited by Justsomeguy at 5:06 PM, Sunday, October 16th]

I'm an oulier in my positions.

Me:55 STBXWW:55 DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off and filed. Denied having an affair in court papers.

Divorced 20

posts: 1773   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8759846
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Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 6:13 PM on Sunday, October 16th, 2022

I love your personal happiness plan.

My husband and I have a dear, long term friend who is married to someone with a serious personality disorder and substance abuse/addiction issues. I love both of these people, but I had to distance myself from them because the situation grew so toxic and things were so beyond what I could help with (hospitalizations, law enforcement involvement, and more). Things are not so acute any more, but it’s not a marriage anyone deserves to be in. I don’t think it’s good for either partner—he’s trapped in something that has traumatized and broken him, and for her the relationship is a crutch that keeps her from a true reckoning with her issues.

All that to say I agree with Sisoon. You’re in a harder situation than average. Your wife is seriously mentally ill, a threat to herself, and you have kids and a long, messy, enmeshed relationship with her. That alone could destroy a person, but then she cheated on you. And she’s unwilling or unable (doesn’t matter which) to reckon with that or make amends or attempt to repair the relationship or create a healthy marriage.

My read is that you’re realizing there’s not much, if anything, in this relationship that’s good for you. But you feel the weight of certain responsibilities and don’t see a clear exit strategy. It’s very messy—even dangerous— to end a relationship with someone this disordered.

This is why I love your personal happiness plan. It means you’re not giving up on life or yourself or your future. It means you have a plan. It means you are kick ass strong. I don’t pretend to know how to deal with someone as disordered as your wife, though I encourage you to lean heavily on 911 and her family. A long term visit to her family, with the kids staying with you, would be wonderful. Whatever the case, focus primarily on yourself and your own happiness and your kids’ well-being and safety. It may take a while to extricate yourself from this relationship or to take whatever path you take to a better place; but that’s ok. You will get there. Hang in there.

Husband had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Married 20 years at that point; two teenaged kids. Reconciling.

posts: 622   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8759850
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 12:39 AM on Monday, October 17th, 2022

Thank you for listening. And I love your happiness plan.

You have been patiently trying to work with her. You have been trying to meet her halfway. But she’s not willing to meet you halfway.

Accept it. It’s most likely not intentionally done to hurt you BUT that is the outcome - she’s hurting you by refusing to be honest or communicate.

She’s cruel IMO.

You deserve better.

Let us know how the happiness plan is going. Love this idea.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 12:39 AM, Monday, October 17th]

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13852   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8759887
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 hurtpartner73 (original poster new member #80985) posted at 3:03 AM on Tuesday, October 18th, 2022

Thank you all for the helpful and encouraging comments. It’s surprising to me how uplifting encouraging words can be. I appreciate your comments a great deal.

My read is that you’re realizing there’s not much, if anything, in this relationship that’s good for you. But you feel the weight of certain responsibilities and don’t see a clear exit strategy. It’s very messy—even dangerous— to end a relationship with someone this disordered.

Grieving, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with my situation. My heart wants things to work out, but my brain keeps giving me a reality check. There’s so much that is hard to control right now, so I’m going to work on what I can control.

I actually did work on my personal happiness plan yesterday, and I’ve been doing it today. Yesterday I BBQ’d a nice meal, I went for a walk, and to the gym. And I made a list of things to focus on in the short term. So far so good today as well.

I created a separate post on the details here [https://survivinginfidelity.com/topics/658543/personal-happiness-plan/] just in case it would be helpful to others.

Thanks again. I really appreciate the support you’ve all given me. It really is making a difference to me and helping me think outside of my box. I don’t think I would have gotten to this little happiness plan without your help.

[This message edited by hurtpartner73 at 3:03 AM, Tuesday, October 18th]

Me: BH, 49; Her: WW, 47, bipolar/borderline DDAY 4/23/2022 - EA 2005-2009ish? PA? Not sure. TT M 17 years, Trying to R - it's bumpy

posts: 43   ·   registered: Sep. 20th, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8760072
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 1:54 PM on Tuesday, October 18th, 2022

If your wife is still lying to you, there is no point in being in MC and you are wasting your money.

The whole point of MC is to give you a safe space to be vulnerable with each other and work on your issues. You cannot do this while one person is actively lying and deceiving the other.

You’re making the common mistake of thinking that the more patient and kind you are with your wife, the more honest she will be. The opposite is true. She perceives your behavior as weakness and fear, and thinks—correctly—that all she has to do is give you the bare minimum and you will never leave her.

It’s time to draw your line in the sand. Tell her you want a complete timeline of the affair with all relevant details, supported by as much documentation (emails, phone logs, text records) as possible. Give her a deadline of when you expect this to be completed; DO NOT leave it open ended or it will never happen.

Make it clear to her that this is her one and only chance to tell you EVERYTHING. If you catch her in any lies or if any new information is revealed tomorrow, next week, 6 months, or even 50 years from now, you’re filing for divorce immediately.

If she refuses, doesn’t deliver the timeline on time, or gives you one that is clearly low effort and incomplete, then you know that you’re wasting time trying to reconcile with her.

Edit;add- I called 911 on an ex boyfriend who was threatening suicide because I refused to let him in my apartment. The cops and ambulance showed up, they brought him to a hospital for a 24 hour evaluation, I called his mother to tell her what happened… and that was the last time he ever pulled that stunt ever again.

I expect it would be the same for your wife. If she’s chugging pills in front of you— knowing that you won’t actually let her die— than she’s not serious and is just playing with your emotions in cruel, dramatic ways. Call her bluff.

Another benefit of calling 911 when she behaves this way is that you are creating a paper trail that documents her mental instability and the potential threat she poses to herself and others. This could come in handy if she tries to accuse you of being abusive or plays dirty during the divorce.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 2:05 PM, Tuesday, October 18th]

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 1894   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
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Hannah47 ( member #80116) posted at 3:34 PM on Wednesday, October 19th, 2022

Seeing how you have already taken steps to work on what you can control, I realize I'm late to this thread. Nevertheless, I'd like to share some of my experiences with trickle truth and a difficult spouse. Granted, my husband does not have significant mental health issues that you describe on your profile and in your threads. Still, he is very much conflict avoidant, which leads to all sorts of communication problems and physical manifestations of his avoidance, such as clamming up. Even when, on a rational level, he knows he should say something, he can’t. He describes it as if something is physically preventing him from speaking. He wants to say something, but the words won’t leave his mouth. I believe his brain is perceiving danger or anticipating future danger, and consequently the brain activates one of fear responses – freeze.

He read your thread and basically said that, if you want to get the truth, you should do exactly what your MC is advising – keep your cool, encourage your wife, make her feel safe, be patient, and so on. I believe he does understand a little of what’s going on in your wife’s head. When you don’t have such issues, it can be very hard to understand them. For me, it helped that I have a certain phobia, and I find my reactions to be quite similar. Even though, on a rational level, I know there’s no real threat, my brain and body react as if the threat is very much real. And here comes the sad truth – no matter what you do, no matter how you react, it’s gonna be very hard, perhaps impossible, to convince your wife there’s no danger in opening up. She will open up when and if she decides it is time to face and abandon her own fears. No amount of external motivation will change that.

Let me tell you something. I was patient, calm, empathetic – I only got what he wanted to tell at that moment. I was sad, emotional, broken – I only got what he wanted to tell at that moment. I was angry, frustrated, upset – I only got what he wanted to tell at that moment. I was rational, logical, analytical – I only got what he wanted to tell at that moment.

I agree with sisoon that your recovery problem is a lot bigger than most of us have to deal with. Nevertheless, I hope my post can encourage you further to work on what you can control, as I believe you have very little control over your wife’s issues. Remember, understanding does not equate to acceptance. Good luck with everything!

Fate whispers to her, "You cannot withstand the storm."
She whispers back, "I am the storm."

posts: 366   ·   registered: Mar. 21st, 2022
id 8760244
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 hurtpartner73 (original poster new member #80985) posted at 3:41 AM on Thursday, October 20th, 2022

Hannah47, Thank you so much for your message. You’re definitely not too late to this thread. You and your husband have done such a great job putting into words what I’ve been struggling to express.

Even when, on a rational level, he knows he should say something, he can’t. He describes it as if something is physically preventing him from speaking. He wants to say something, but the words won’t leave his mouth. I believe his brain is perceiving danger or anticipating future danger, and consequently the brain activates one of fear responses – freeze.


My wife is exactly like this. I think she knows it’s in her best interest to be open and honest, but she just can’t do it. Even when I have printed out evidence for her, or there is no rational way to deny something, she can still be stuck or frozen. I’ve thought of it as a phobia as well. I’ve mentioned that it is like she’s physically unable to be truthful on tough topics. It seems uncontrollable at times. I’m not letting her off the hook, she has certainly been dishonest with me in very harmful ways. My IC thinks it is common for people that have had rough childhoods to behave like this. WW is exploring it with her IC. It’s moving slow.

I was patient, calm, empathetic – I only got what he wanted to tell at that moment. I was sad, emotional, broken – I only got what he wanted to tell at that moment. I was angry, frustrated, upset – I only got what he wanted to tell at that moment. I was rational, logical, analytical – I only got what he wanted to tell at that moment.


Thank you for this as well. I’ve been struggling with this, and only very recently came to the conclusion that I have to start focusing on myself. I’ve been looking for the magic recipe to get her to open up and be truthful and I just couldn’t find it. In a way - I guess it’s not up to me, she has to get there. In the meantime, I’m going to do a better job on me. Your post is very encouraging to me, though I am sorry you had to go through this yourself. Thank you for sharing. It means a lot to me.

BluerThanBlue, Thanks for your note as well. It’s a tough situation in so many ways. Regarding documentation - given the affair was in the 2005-2009ish timeframe - I can’t get cellphone records, and most of her correspondence has long since been deleted. I’ve been able to get data from some old facebook messages, email backups, and her paper planners.

I am still trying to get timeline data. And it’s been very tough for me to get this. I know when it started - but after several years it transitioned to a friendship (mainly because he became serious with someone and got married, had kids), then that faded away slowly. So - even though it was all inappropriate - at some point their relationship morphed - and I don’t know when - I’m guessing 2009. I think she was hoping I would just let it pass and time would heal. The last week or so have changed that. I’ve been so upset with her and very frank with her in MC and at home.

The suicide/911 situations are extra tough. As an example - the time I mentioned she took a bottle of pills in front of me. It was an entire bottle of benzos - and it may have been due to spite, or attention seeking, or a desperate need for her misery to end, or a pure bluff, or all of the above. But - she was clearly not in her right mind and could have died. I had to forcibly shove me hand down her throat to force her to vomit, then called 911 immediately. That time she was hospitalized for several weeks. While that time was in front of me, there have been others where she’s had serious attempts without me being home. In those raw moments - any sense of reason or logic are gone - and my main goal becomes getting her hospitalized. As for a paper trail - that I have. She’s been hospitalized many times, and there have been many 911 calls.

Thank you for the comments!

Me: BH, 49; Her: WW, 47, bipolar/borderline DDAY 4/23/2022 - EA 2005-2009ish? PA? Not sure. TT M 17 years, Trying to R - it's bumpy

posts: 43   ·   registered: Sep. 20th, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8760336
Topic is Sleeping.
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