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Different perspective

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AFL1000 posted 11/4/2018 02:34 AM


I am pleased you are taking up the suggestion of getting your wife to write a letter as per Stevesn's post.

You said you are not that good at having difficult discussions.

Can I suggest two things that may help you:

1. You do a parallel activity and write out all the questions you want her to answer. No matter how painful they may be for you. You do not need to show this to your wife but it could be valuable for you to express all your fears, frustrations and anger. You may in consultation with your counsellor when the time is right use these to have those difficult conversations.

2. Have you read the thread on the SI JFO site 'Great posts for newbies to read' by ThriveNotSurvive. If so that's great but it might be worth revisiting and reading some of the sections in there that could be useful in supporting you in working out strategies to have those difficult discussions, even as you say if you want to have them in the safety zone of the counsellors office.

It's good that your wife is picking up on your moods e.g. "Have I done something wrong again". It does show an emergence of some level of empathy and awareness of your feelings.

I think the personal goal setting of your wife to try out the beginners triathlon can only be positive. As you say this would give her a sense of achievement especially if she lacks confidence in herself because she incorrectly measures herself against you, a senior member of a high performance medical team, and your accomplishments in this field.

Perhaps in achieving a major personal goal e.g completing a triathlon may help her reconsider why she had the affair; that it was always in her to prove her personal self worth and not rely on getting ego-kibbles (love that term) from the POSOM as a way ofvalidating her own self worth.

Hope she does go through with the triathlon training ...tell her you support her 100% and how proud you will be of her achieving this goal.

[This message edited by AFL1000 at 2:43 AM, November 4th (Sunday)]

Atg100 posted 11/5/2018 04:00 AM

Ego kibbles is a great word.

Iím reading not just friends again, there is some advice about how to ask questions as the BS.
Mind you, my wifeís reaction has always been to close the roller shutters and switch into the ice queen mode. Thatís quite a good way of getting me to shut ups
Not sure if this intentional or just a blind Defense mechanism.
Superficially , all seemed good today: lots of friendly text messages and smiles when I came home.
Iím sure that unless I bring anything up, there wonít be a deep and meaningful discussion later tonight or tomorrow.

I keep my mouth shut for now and wait for Wednesday - thatís when she has IC

Atg100 posted 11/6/2018 20:35 PM

The great carpet sweep

It looks like we are all happy again.
My wife is smily , happy and seems to behave as if nothing ever happened.
Sure , she is not the one who would dwell on things, for her progress is better if the whole affair is silenced.
I have been busy with work, so we havenít spent too much time together .
She has got IC today and we have MC next week.
I donít think she has read ď not just friends ď any further, although she has today off and will see the counselor in the evening .
She is friendly and supportive at home.
Iím feeling slightly weary and stick to my plan to discuss our future and the suggested letters when we are at counselling .
I am happy about taking a break , but would currently have zero trust in her .
She has started training for her triathlon which I take as a good thing still.

Stevesn posted 11/7/2018 05:27 AM

Is she training alone or with someone and if so, do you trust that person?

Atg100 posted 11/7/2018 13:39 PM

She is training with another school mum, who I know quite well.
Mind you - and I guess that is the job of a good female friend, this lady told me a few weeks ago, that she would always support my wife. - but I guess thatís what friends do.

My wife went to IC yesterday and told me that IC will continue for a couple of weeks before the two of us will go together .
And she didnít want to talk about her session, only mentioned that her disproportionate response to my questions was discussed.
That means at least another two weeks before MC- where does this leave me ? I have to trust the process, yes - but this is very slow .

AFL1000 posted 11/7/2018 20:12 PM


Yes rug sweeping benefits no one; the BS or the WW! It just prolongs the agony and frustration.

I could see why Stevesn asked the question ..he probably had the same thought I had...was your wife using the triathlon training as a cover for meeting the AP. See these may be the types of suspicious thoughts that probably enter your head while you are still in this limbo/twilight zone.

Do you think the female friend is a 'friend of the marriage'? Friends can have a big influence on people's behaviours and thoughts, both positively and negatively.

Yes I hope the friend would support your wife and maybe your wife has confided in her more about the affair than she has you. Does the friend actually know about the affair or only knows from your wife "Mr ATG and I are having relationship problems?".

Since the start of your post you have been given a lot of advice, some more forceful and direct than others, but this is your life not ours so you have to walk the path that is best for you. SI members can only support you along the journey out of infidelity and if you have trust in the IC process, even as you state that it is very slow, the outcome has to be what YOU want.

Are you still having your own counselling sessions or are you holding off until the MC session together?

Your Aussie connection AFL

Atg100 posted 11/7/2018 22:12 PM

This friend is a friend of the marriage.
Our sons are best friends and the families look out for each other.

No my question " where does all leave me " comes from the frustration with the process.

I was happy to leave the "tough questions" for marriage counseling for next week.
Every time we discussed the difficult issues at home, my wife shut down, and really - we got nowhere.
Now it looks like the counselor wants to have two more IC sessions with my wife, prior to meeting in MC together - this would only be in 3 weeks time.

Superficially home life has improved. My wife is friendly and clearly tries to be helpful.
But equally avoids talking about the counseling sessions or what she is reading in " Not just friends"

So - do I wait until the counselor suggests that we meet together again or do I bring the topics I want to discuss first?
I can't wait 3 weeks, pretending everything is fine, when there are so many questions.

Stevesn posted 11/7/2018 22:56 PM

As AFL asked, do you have your own IC session soon?

If so ask the counselor what her plan is now and how you can get some relief from not talking about things at home.

At some point a remorseful WW will put together a real plan to help her BH heal and work on repairing the marriage.

Rug sweeping is NOT such a plan. You need to tell your IC that without such a plan R will be impossible. You canít go 40 years with an unremorseful W that is not open and honest and still sees the AP occasionally. Thatís not the recipe for a happy life.

So let the IC know youíre willing to play along for a week or two, but eventually you need to make some progress.

My guess, youíll be getting a confession of some physical contact at some point in the near future.

Stay strong.

Atg100 posted 11/7/2018 23:17 PM

no I hadn't booked an IC session - the plan was to go together next week.
So this plan had changed after/during my wife's IC yesterday.
As I respect the counselor a lot, I can only assume that she thought my wife needed more individual work.

I have the same thoughts about an upcoming confession.

AFL1000 posted 11/7/2018 23:22 PM

If you are frustrated by the slow progress of the 1 week counselling sessions for your wife, confirm with your counsellor:
- that she actually wants 2 more individual sessions with your wife (It's a legitimate question as I am sure you are paying for all this IC)
- why she thinks they are necessary and what she hopes to achieve
- and if they are required can your wife do 2 in the same week. That way the MC is moved forward and the 'difficult discussions' can take place earlier.

I support Stevesn comment about talking to your counsellor about coping strategies you can use when your wife is playing 'happy families' but unwilling to discuss the counselling sessions or answer your questions about the affair.

[This message edited by AFL1000 at 11:36 PM, November 7th (Wednesday)]

NoOptTo posted 11/8/2018 03:23 AM

Is it possible for your WW to have 2 IC per week?

Atg100 posted 11/9/2018 00:37 AM

I had a brief discussion with the counsellor.
She prefers having more time with my wife first.

My wife can't really go twice a week and I think that's fair. I personally have to digest these sessions as well and twice a week is a bit heavy.

I explained to my wife that I am waiting for our MC sessions - and she said she understands. So that at least is something.

The current wait is not impossible either, its neither hurtful or exhausting. I just feel I am treading water. It may be good to take the heat of some of the issues, on the other hand things shouldnt be " too far in the past ".

Stevesn posted 11/9/2018 05:37 AM

I see.

So while you are waiting I guess a good question for you to think about is what it will mean to you if you end up getting a confession of a physical affair.

Is it a deal breaker? Will it be something you can still work with?

To me I would be going under the assumption that it was physical. And as we have been discussing itís more about how she handles the aftermath of DDay.

She hasnít been the remorseful wife. She hasnít been the healer or loving wayward. If she canít be that, it wouldnít matter to me if it was an EA or PA, reconciliation would not be possible unless she found remorse and started truly doing the work you need to see and feel.

But this is your life, not mine. What can we do to help prepare you for a DDay2 with TT about a physical affair?

[This message edited by Stevesn at 9:13 AM, November 9th (Friday)]

AFL1000 posted 11/9/2018 07:17 AM

ATG you've got to admit Stevesn is right on target. If it is revealed that it was a physical affair (and we're all assuming it was given the length of the affair), what is your plan of action ...will it be the ultimate deal breaker for you or is the marriage repairable even with this revelation.

And stepping aside from all the affair drama for just a moment how's your wife's triathlon training going? Does this give you something to share and discuss? Have you offered to do some training with her? You never know if sharing this activity with her may just open the door a fraction for her to be more forthcoming with some additional information about the relationship with the AP. I've seen interesting things happen when people are under the influence of feel good buzzy exercise chemicals due to the strong feelings of euphoria from the endorphins!
Edited to add: It has been my observation that if the exercise conditions are right and under the effects of the 'exercise high' and the mood altering soup of feel good chemicals, with a well placed question or two people may divulge information or feelings that they have previously guarded.

Hope the weekend is without drama for you.. personally and professionally.

[This message edited by AFL1000 at 2:15 PM, November 9th (Friday)]

Atg100 posted 11/9/2018 16:23 PM

Stevesn and AFL:
I agree that I think it has most likely been physical and very emotionally involved.
I think Iím prepared for it and in theory I actually do think that would hurt me less than the lying and deception already has done.
Now , I would take a confession of a physical affair more as a healthy attempt to create an even level of knowledge for all parties involved.
But thatís the theory, I canít predict how I would handle such confession during the wrong circumstances .

My wifeís behaviour has changed to the better: she clearly is caring more, communicating more and trying to make an effort.
I caught some gastroenteritis ( something was going around at my daughterís kindergarten) and she truly looked after me.
She sends a lot of text messages and lets me know where she is. She is at a course this morning and I know all the details , including the fact that the AP is not at the course.
She got her nails done yesterday and bought new shoes , stating that she wanted to look good for me.
She had one glass of wine last night and declined a second one.
She is doing her triathlon training and sticking to her plan so far ( itís week 1 ) . She wants me to go to yoga in the morning.
So there are a lot of good little signs, and knowing her introvert nature, thatís possibly as good as it gets right now.
But again- she wasnít too introvert to hit me with all this bullshit, so I am not taking it as healing.
But at least she is not putting salt in the wounds.

Iím in this mix of emotions :
Iím happy that we are on some sort of track together , I feel like a fool for sticking with her, I love being with my kids. Every woman at work who smiles at me , all of a sudden looks like an attractive alternative.
( work is an interesting place. Iím pretty sure that some rumours have been going around, that I may have become ďavailable ď. One female colleague has pretty much thrown herself at me. I countered any flirtation by endlessly talking about my family and showing photos of my kids. That usually shuts them up).
I am very well aware that this must be some kind of ďrescue response ď by my brain - I am seeking out love at other places than my marriage on some subconscious level.
I am not taking this as a real option. I know how disastrous it would be to allow anyone else in my life ; and that whatever Iím feeling, is temporary, not true and unhealthy in the big picture.

Back to the question : would the confession of a physical affair be a deal breaker:
In the right circumstances, whilst stated in a MC session with the intend to heal - probably not.
During one of our heated interactions probably yes?

[This message edited by Atg100 at 4:30 PM, November 9th (Friday)]

Emotionssoraw posted 11/9/2018 16:50 PM

I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that I have been following your story. I am very sorry you are in the situation your living.
I have found your ability to patiently observe your situation, your feelings, the options available to you each day and to comment and discuss them so clearly and thoughtfully as inspirational. I feel you have received some amazing feedback, guidance and direction from the comments you have received.
I wanted to let you know your doing so well given the circumstances. Remember to be kind to yourself. Believe that there is happiness ahead because I believe there will be for all of us.

Atg100 posted 11/9/2018 17:01 PM

Thank you .
Mind you , it really helps me to write things down, to get some order into this mess.
Who knows where I would be without this forum?
I appreciate all the advice very much, in particular from people who have been there or who have guided other members through the storm.

steadychevy posted 11/9/2018 19:20 PM

Just a comment, Atg, about being hit on. Your strategy is a good one and one I used the few times I thought there was a reason to do so. Kids, wife, vacation, date nights, family functions. It's actually so easy. Not for everyone, I guess. Good job.

AFL1000 posted 11/12/2018 19:07 PM


Just checking in to see how everything is going. You said you caught some gastro so I hope the rest of the family didn't get it.

Update us when you can.

[This message edited by AFL1000 at 7:07 PM, November 12th (Monday)]

Atg100 posted 11/12/2018 20:25 PM

Thank you for checking in.
The weekend was ok ; mainly famil stuff although we really split our time with the kids and didnít do too much together.
I was going over things in my mind and that really put me in a bad mode - my wife picked up on that and asked what was wrong.
I explained that I was cautious to talk to her , as I have learned that she will shut down after any unpleasant discussion.
She said she was happy to talk. I talked to her about her upbringing and confirmed what i thought: it was discouraged by her mum to talk about negative emotions.
She said that she didnít want to talk about marital problems prior to our affair, to avoid looking ungrateful and selfish
But then she chose the most selfish thing to do instead ...
I asked her if she wants to be with me until the rest of her life .
She said that she is still figuring that out.
I told her that I wouldnít settle for less and that the length of the process is wearing me out.
She said then, that she does want to spend the rest of her life with me - but canít give me what I need.
Both of us felt awful afterwards and it just reinforced for me that we only should have these discussions in presence of the counsellor. But when is that ? I send a message to the counselor expressing that I am unhappy with the current slow process , but havenít heard back yet.
Tonight my wife and I go on a date, which she organised so that is something .

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