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Madhatters Only Thread

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OwningItNow posted 3/25/2017 21:45 PM

When you started an A after moving out, why did you feel so guilty? You moved out because you were in an unfulfilling marriage, so what was the plan?

Saddad44 posted 3/25/2017 22:06 PM

I felt bad because I knew it wasn't right and I wanted my family back, even if it meant swallowing my pride and ego. I was unhappy, but I thought the time together and having a kid was worth fighting for.

Me and my wife also grew up together and have a long history and story. We haven't always been together since we were kids, but we were our firsts bf/gf etc.

It just seemed wrong and I was ashamed of myself and wanted to do right by my family. That's my honest answers. I also thought maybe the wife and myself could fix our issues and find happiness again. Our marriage wasn't all bad. Like any, we had our ups and downs. A lot of the issues stemmed from her 'laziness' and lack of contributing coupled with my unhappiness with our sex life. No amount of communications helped. I wrote letter, emails, messages, sat her down etc. I expressed my feelings at least I'd guess 50-75 times over the course of our marriage. It would get better than slide back into the routine.

I was not a perfect husband by any means. She says I should have said 'I love you more' and she felt she shouldn't have to change or 'sacrifice' (her word). I always tried to say it was compromise and give and take.

I am just lost as to what to do. We had an okay day yesterday, soent a lot of time together mostly sitting around watching tv, today she played video games and smoked all day.


Saddad44 posted 3/25/2017 22:09 PM

And at that time of moving out, I wanted a divorce. When I was gone I did a lot of thinking and reflecting and thought I was making a mistake. I am starting to think my first inclination was correct, but I still cling to hope.

I just don't know how to deal with zero support, sympathy, understanding, communication of my feelings and so on. I know I'm not the victim I guess. But it's starting to feel like it.

OwningItNow posted 3/25/2017 22:50 PM

Your situation reminds me a little of my own, but it's hard to tell for sure.

I was the responsible one, the one that paid the bills and got things done. I felt over time that I was taken for granted. My H drank a lot and worked just enough, never trying for promotions or pushing himself. The more I did, the less my H did. And whenever I complained, things only got better for a few days. This went on for years. I was deeply unhappy and became extremely depressed, losing 20 lbs. over a few months. I was far too thin and simply stopped smiling. Enter my former AP, an old bf/friend. That went on for a while, but I had a lot of guilt and shame. I ended things and confessed to my H. But I was still unhappy, so I finally told my H that I wanted a D. Since that time we have been working hard in IC, but I just don't think our M can be saved.

I was a responsible achiever who married a child. Is this you, too?
And my cheating was an attempt to get my needs met, but I am too responsible for that and shame won out. Is this you, too?
I am also maybe too responsible to D.
Is this you, too?
And my H benefits as he lives like a child and I accept it but suffer.
Is this you, too?

Saddad44 posted 3/25/2017 23:52 PM

That sounds exactly almost like me actually.

My wife was laid off the day we got back from our honey moon and never seeked employment since. I was okay with it, I am an achiever and have a great job as an executive with an ample income, where she doesn't need to work. I have encouraged her to go to school etc to no avail. Recently she has started the process of going to school so "she has a back up plan."

She has never helped with the bills, never really kept the house clean or laundry done etc. Never attempted to learn to cook.

I don't think I really sought an affair, it just sort of happened. I got drunk one night and it happened. I felt numb and it happened a few more times over the course of a few days.

My issue looking forward is I do want to work it out, but seems to the only one most of the time. She continually blames me and I'm not even certain she's remorseful. We were living together and playing house when she did hers. All while texting him racy pics and lewd chats then meeting up on weekends and getting drunk and doing drugs. I almost wished I didn't read the messages.

She forced me to give up any mutual friends I had with the girl, which I did. She refuses to do any such concessions, and a few of them were present at the bar when it happened. When I first found out, she even sent him an apology saying sorry but husband found out before becoming him.

I know it won't be easy for me to get over this, but I can. I just start to feel like I'm being used or stalled for time. Our rate laws will not allow her to get alimony since she cheated, but there is a time limitation. I have also expressed interest in seeking custody if the D happens due to her issues.

She has issues with transparency and takes issue with letting me see her phone or any accounts. I just don't feel good about the whole situation and I'm not typically a depressed kind of person but this is taking a huge toll. I can't imagine not having my family or having to raise my kid in a broken home even with joint custody.

I cling to hope, yet very little.

[This message edited by Saddad44 at 11:53 PM, March 25th (Saturday)]

OwningItNow posted 3/26/2017 12:28 PM

I don't mean this harshly at all, but why do you want to stay married to her? How are you benefitting from being married to this particular woman over some other woman out there?

The weird thing about codependency (you are seemingly codependent) is that outsiders can see that the person who DOES NOT benefit from the relationship (us!) works so hard at keeping it, while the person who benefits (them) is not a catch at all and is often a liability.

That explains codependency in a nutshell.

So, what are the benefits of this marriage?

Saddad44 posted 3/26/2017 19:10 PM

I want to stay married because I love her. I really do. She was always my dream girl. I also have a strong desire to raise our son not in a broken home. I grew up in a home through a few divorces. I don't want to put my kid through that if I can avoid it.

I know over time I can get over all of this, what I did and what she did. It will take time, but at the current it just seems Like I am the only one putting in any effort and she is content with just letting it be. She has a tendency to ignore problems instead of facing them. And I do communicate this and she says she doesn't really feel like she wants to change anything and just wants to be herself. I don't think there is any urge to show remorse or any sort of effort. I start to think maybe she's just punishing me, but by the time she's done I won't be able to stand it anymore. Another issue is being herself is a contributing factor. Maybe that's mean, and I'd never say that to her, but I left for a reason.

I feel like a room mate that might get a peck or two a day. I can't live like that for long. I know I did wrong, i am making amends to myself for that and starting this, but she has to carry some weight. It honestly feels like I'm pushing a cart up a steep hill and she's sitting inside it instead of helping push.

Color me confused, discouraged, and lost.

[This message edited by Saddad44 at 7:14 PM, March 26th (Sunday)]

OwningItNow posted 3/26/2017 21:09 PM

I know over time I can get over all of this, what I did and what she did. It will take time

I am the only one putting in any effort

It honestly feels like I'm pushing a cart up a steep hill and she's sitting inside it instead of helping push.

Go straight over to the codependency thread and start reading. You are not in a healthy place. You are beating yourself up--practically killing yourself--to save a relationship by yourself, and you can't even explain what it is you love about this person. You are extremely foggy about love. This is not it.

Saddad44 posted 3/26/2017 23:06 PM

That thread scarily describes me.

OwningItNow posted 3/27/2017 03:28 AM


I am and have always been extremely codependent, so I understand the pain of seeing yourself clearly. There are many great books and websites to guide you toward balance in your life. You don't have to figure this out yourself. But I promise that if you begin to see that you are actually contributing to the unhealthy dynamic with your wife by not drawing boundaries with her and by allowing her immature behavior, you not only drain yourself but you enable her to stay stuck.

You do not have to get a divorce tomorrow, but you can and should start focusing on yourself. You will begin to feel better as you stop doing for her and start doing for yourself.

OwningItNow posted 3/27/2017 03:36 AM

Stop telling her to be different.

Instead, you be different. All the things you do for her--stop! Start doing more for yourself. It is uncomfortable at first. It feels selfish to make yourself dinner and have none for her. You will feel strong guilt. But eventually you realize that you are not being cruel; she is a grown woman. When she pouts or complains, just deflect with, "I am simply trying to give you space by focusing on myself. I am not going to be controlling anymore." Then smile kindly and walk away.

Stop doing her laundry, buying her favorite foods, doing all the cleaning, or giving her too much access to money. Take that time and energy to read a codependency book, chill out at Starbucks, or go for a walk. She needs to learn to step up and you need to learn to step back.

Saddad44 posted 3/27/2017 09:11 AM

Thanks for the advice - so much!

I am going to explore this codependency thing further and see how I can apply it to my life. I think this is going to be the end of our marriage though if I do this. My wife has gotten used to certain luxuries and a certain life style where she doesn't have much responsibility or have to really do anything except kid duty.

That has to end.

P.S. Just curious, how did your marriage turn out after you discovered this? Did it help? Hurt?

TearDownTheWall posted 3/27/2017 10:46 AM

Saddad, My story is very similar to yours. I had written my wife letters for 4 years describing how painful our relationship had become. She didn't smoke pot, instead she drank, between 12-18 beers every day. She would hide in the garage, drinking beers, playing on her phone all night. I would take the kids to do everything, school events, sports, hunting, fishing, always by myself. I was alone, felt like an only parent and I blamed her for all of our problems. It took me a long time, and EA with her sister, later to find out that had I treated her better, loved her better, none of this would have ever happened.

I have been to IC and read several books. I would highly recommend "The 5 Love Languages", it will help you see what the hell went wrong in the first place. It was only about a 4 hour read but it was so simple and written so well, it was very easy to follow and understand, and so clear and enlightening. I thought "if only I had read this years ago". Good luck friend.

Saddad44 posted 3/27/2017 12:08 PM

Thanks TearDownThisWall for the reply. I actually just ordered the book on Amazon. Get it tomorrow and will read it. At this point, I'll try anything.

Thanks for the tip!

My situation is different, I wouldn't call her a bad parent, but a lazy lover/partner for sure. Neglect is what led me to move out in the first place and cause all of this. She refuses to believe she neglected me in any way, so I have to work that out on my own.

One thing I have learned, people can deny and disagree with how you feel, but they can't tell you how you feel. I just wish my SO would accept and learn how to deal with it, instead of the anger. But we'll see. Session in 50 minutes. Here's hoping it goes well.

Casablanca2 posted 3/30/2017 22:19 PM

Yes the 5 love languages book really made a lot of sense why my WS was feeling unhappy. I recommend you both to read it though. I read it only and I asked a lot of questions to my WS to try and get some answers and I now know how to show WS things in their own love language, but my WS does t get my love language yet and views it as superficial still. You Need to both read it.

Saddad44 posted 4/3/2017 11:06 AM

I have been reading it. What do I do if she won't read it? I have asked if she would and her response was 'I hate those kind of books.'

She actually said that to me the other day, she said that my 'changes' and affection and doing things for her seem superficial. Just really have no idea what to do at this point.

I might just back off and give it 6-8 more sessions and see where we are.

Oldfart posted 4/4/2017 21:39 PM

Fellow MH here and new member of SI, although I have been lurking for a year or so. I just wanted to introduce myself and give a little of my background story, in case I jump in with comments or seek advice and you think "who is this guy?'. I really appreciate all the insight I have gained from all of you since I discovered this community. Mine is a long story but I will summarize and stick to the facts (even so it is long). I apologize if I am interrupting a current conversation, but I'm not sure where else on SI is the right place to write this.

Mrs. Oldfart and I got together in 1995, both coming fresh out of previous marriages, both with kids. Kids remained with previous spouses. With a few ups and downs, things were good for many years and one child together, until 2007 or so when W had (what was to me, but she denies it) an emotional affair while I was offshore working. She was spending a lot of time with a divorced guy who was a neighbor, in our house 'just hanging out". When I finally cut my trip short, she was child minding his 4 kids and had converted to his religion. Later she admitted that he had asked her to divorce me and marry him. On reflection we kinda rug-swept that one but it resulted in us being less connected, to the point where we were leading almost separate lives under the same roof. In late 2013 I was contacted via FB by an old previous (female) acquaintance from prior to W. She lived in another country and it developed into an EA on-line. Four months later I flew overseas on the pretext of a work trip to meet with her and the affair turned physical.

When I returned, W was suspicious and I immediately confessed all. I told her I wanted a divorce. In my fog, I wanted to carry on my affair (over skype) and remain married to BW (with in-house separation) so that she could obtain a visa to return to our country of origin (she was not a citizen there), which is what she wanted to do as all her family are there.

Fast forward almost year. I'm still (discretely, but she knew) carrying on my affair with OW online and BW is getting nowhere with Visa application. BW asks me to promise that if I remain with OW after she is gone and bring her over, I won't have her in our house or in our bed. Not an unreasonable request I thought. I wouldn't want to keep the house anyway with the memories that were associated with it. Eventually BW looses patience and starts (sneakily) destroying anything that's mine in the house. Every time I notice something missing or broken, she says she knows nothing about it. In November 2014 I decide it's time to move out and get an apartment while I still have some possessions left. So I did.

A month after I moved out, I made the stupid decision to invite OW over to stay with me for a few months (still in the fog). BW and I were still in contact but things had become vitriolic on her part. I made a point of remaining civil but to the point.

Late February 2015, BW files for divorce. In the petition is a lot of untruths about me destroying community property and disposing of community asserts (all untrue) but I let it slide. I found out later that she thought her lawyer was filing on the grounds of adultery, but in fact he filed on irreconcilable differences ( no-fault State in USA ).

In March 2015, OW goes home. By that time reality had set in for me and I was coming out of my fog and realizing that the grass was really not greener on the other side. In fact it was a rather shitty shade of brown. BW and I were due to start mediation for a settlement agreement soon and I was racking my brains trying to find a way to broach the subject of R with her still vindictive as all hell and me feeling very stupid for what I'd done. We were having a lot of arguments over the settlement. Despite me agreeing to take all the community debt and give her 50% of the assets (the house is all we had - she already had all the furniture, etc.), she was pushing to keep the house too and get $900 per month spousal support on top of the $1500 child maintainance I had been paying since June 2014. Don't get me wrong, this was not why I wanted to R, I knew she would not get that if it came to a fight in court, but I had no stomach for the fight and I mention it only to illustrate the dynamic that existed at the time.

In the week we were discussing the possibility of R, BW asked that I take our son for a night because she had been invited to a party. I found it a bit strange as she had always refused to let him stay over with me (not that I would have while OW was there). She had even blocked me on his cell phone. When I dropped him back home the next day (BW was out at work) I found evidence that the party was in her (our?) house and was for two people. I mentioned it to her with a request that she be honest about her activity as late the previous night, our son had requested I drive him home to pick up some toys he forgot to bring. I didn't want him to walk in to a "situation".

At this point, BW said that there was someone she was "considering dating" and that they were just friends, hanging out together and seeing how it went. She initially turned down R, then the next day changed her mind and asked me to come home, which I did and we immediately fell into HB. Two days after we got back together I see her messaging him right in front of me. When I protest she sends "the best I can offer you is friends". Huge red flag for me.

Three weeks later and things are going great. She asks me to have a look at her computer as she thinks it has a virus. that's when I found the messages between her and her "friend" which leave nothing to the imagination. She had sex with him in our house, on our sofa and in our bed. The bed we had been sleeping in for the past 4 weeks.

When confronted she admitted to two sex sessions with him, the most recent only 5 days before we got back together. This was a guy who was 20 years younger than me and of a different race. On d-day, BW told me she would have "taken it to her grave" if I hadn't found out. It took three months of me asking her before she sent him a clear NC message. Not that I believe they were in contact since the "best I can offer you is friends" message, but still... In my subsequent investigations on him, turns our he was married in his home country and was an illegal alien. Not only that. But in a recent TT, she admitted that his family were involved in running drugs into the US. That revelation came after I told her I had contacted her AP's wife (who was newly pregnant) and revealed what he had done with my wife. Great, now I have to look over my shoulder at all times 😲

So yeah, we both have behaved disgracefully. 2 years later and we are still together taking it one day at a time. BW is a rug-sweeper and a master at compartmentalization (is that a word?) due to childhood sexual and mental abuse. I'm the type who likes to talk it all out, but have issues keeping my anger (verbally) in check. I'm so messed up I don't even know if Ihave the right to be angry, but it still hurts like hell. BW seems to be of the opinion that (although she says she is sorry for her actions), we are even, what's done is done and need to forget it and put it in the past. I have asked that she take a polygraph ( because my gut tells me there were other A's in our history together) and we both go to IC followed, when ready by MC. She has, reluctantly it seems, said she will do whatever Ineed to move forward.

Big issues for me are:

1. I can understand her wanting to start a relationship after what I had done, I really can. But he was 20 years younger than me (I am 55) and a complete player who had no intention of ever committing to anything other than casual NSA sex.. I saw the messages between them which indicated a really passionate sexual chemistry between them (at least from her POV - he didn't reciprocate much in the messages I saw). She told her BFF the sex was "amazing" She told him she didn't want me, she wanted to have "fun". How am I ever going to follow that???

2. BW was hoping to keep it a secret for the rest of our time together. She exposed me to his STD's and brought me into the bed they had (recently) had sex in, without any aparent conscience. How can I ever trust again?

3. I'm not convinced that BW really regrets her A. She has minimized and made no great effort to own it. She recently said her motivation, on reflection, was revenge for what I did.

4. Toxic freind, who encouraged the PA, has been dumped (reluctantly) at my request, but BW has proved to be such a poor judge of character (especially where men with alterior motives are concerned), What can she do to make me feel safe with her as a partner going forward?

Of course, BW has her own issues with me, but she seldom voices them to me and seems to think that they are best not discussed. I wish she would talk about it, or even just join SI and ask for the opinion of other folks who have been through it. That to me would mean she was trying to do her part in fixing our mess.

I am sure I will be asking y'alls advice going forward, since I badly want our M to work and so, I am sure, does she. No point to my ramble, other than to introduce myself and I guess, show that I have the qualifications to be here

Thanks for reading.

[This message edited by Oldfart at 11:59 PM, April 4th (Tuesday)]

Saddad44 posted 4/10/2017 18:17 PM

We have been going to MC 5 weeks now. Today she came out and said 'she was not attracted to me' and 'doesn't look at me the same' and 'lost all respect for me.'

How do I take that? Very hurt and upsetting....

TearDownTheWall posted 4/18/2017 15:06 PM

Saddad, I am sorry to hear how things don't seem to be going well for you. It sounds like maybe your wife doesn't want R, maybe she never will. The only advice I can give is to just take care of yourself. Continue to read, learn and become a better person and partner. The rest will work itself out. All you can do is take care of you, if your wife leaves when you are working to become a better, safer partner, then maybe one day it will be her loss. Just do you!

Imjustagurl posted 5/11/2017 15:41 PM

Being a Madhatter is tough and complicated. I cheated first (as far as I know). Please don't take this as justification, I'm merely explaining the situation. He is an addict. I really had no idea what I was getting into ( prescription pain pills ). I have never in life loved someone so much with a 110% of my heart and soul! I was sooo madly in love w him. After we married he began to withhold sex from a me. He would slut shame me for wanting to be w him. Slap my hands away when I touched him etc. I completely didn't understand this behavior. Don't all men love sex? I begin to feel really bad for all the men out there who's wives have a "headache" all the time. I was sure I was the only woman on earth whose husband did not want them sexually. Who refuses oral sex? It killed my self esteem and broke my heart. I really couldn't understand. In essence he was cheating on me with his pills. He had no sex drive because he had pills he loved more. The icing on the cake would b finding porn on his phone, he had enough drive to please himself but had no desire to be with me? I'm an attractive woman, not a 10, and I'm not trying to sound full of myself, but better looking than any of the girls he dated previously that I have saw. I just didn't get it. After another big fight over this I was driving to work and impulsively stopped by the house of an ex "special friend". I arrived in tears and left in tears. I didn't stop crying the entire time I was there. I did not have an orgasm, didn't enjoy myself at all. Left there telling him I was so sorry for coming there, it was wrong and that I was a POS! I told my H Eventually because I wanted everything to be honest between us. There's just ALOT in between in this story I'm afraid. But fast forward 7 years and he has an ONS. And he has zero remorse, rug sweeping galore, wouldn't confess to anything w out walking in on him basically. It is so one sided now. He was so mean to me over my wrong. And to be perfectly honest that is the ONLY thing I have ever done to him wrong. Other than that I have been the best wife on earth. I have been remorseful, went above and beyond to make him feel secure, stuck by him through a lot of abuse etc. how can he be so cold and have this lack of empathy? I was nothing like this. It killed me to have done that to him. It literally still bothers me and I'm not sure I will ever forgive myself for what I did to him and to us. How does he feel no guilt? It's not as if this is a revenge A Because it's 7 years later. I just feel positive this isn't the only time... it's so frustrating

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