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not sure what to do

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islesguy posted 11/7/2018 08:00 AM

My BS hasn't spoken to me except about the kids in 4 days after I let her down again and I miss her so much. I really thought that I was doing better with things but as has been the case before, I was not at all on track with her expectations and instead just running on the hamster wheel fooling myself into thinking I understood. I had told her that I would make Saturday nights special for her and after 3 or 4 weeks of mostly failures, I didn't plan anything new this past Saturday but instead was going to just adjust the thing I thought had worked better than anything else the week before. We never ever got to that point because of poor planning and it was extra hurtful to her because it was also the date of one of the times I cheated on her which was a 3 day period from 14 years ago. I am very depressed for letting her down again. She wants no communication, emails, cards from me, she just wants to be left alone and I am afraid to say anything to her about anything other than mutual stuff like kids, finances, when I cross paths with her in the house. I am really not sure what to do but I don't want to disrespect her wishes to be left alone but I feel awful for her.

[This message edited by islesguy at 8:01 AM, November 7th (Wednesday)]

ibonnie posted 11/7/2018 08:10 AM

My BS has given me every opportunity to prove myself to her and I have failed again and again. I lied to her for well over 20 years and did nothing to help her. I made promises to her again and again that I would step up and still have not.

after I let her down again

She wants no communication, emails, cards from me, she just wants to be left alone and I am afraid to say anything to her about anything other than mutual stuff like kids, finances, when I cross paths with her in the house. I am really not sure what to do but I don't want to disrespect her wishes to be left alone but I feel awful for her.

Your tagline says that you've let your BS down repeatedly. You're posting now to say that you've let her down, again.


Please respect your BS's wishes.

MoreThanBroken posted 11/7/2018 18:59 PM

Sounds like you're getting the 180.

Isleguy, why do you want to be married? Feels like you come on here time and time again, having made no progress. Or perhaps no progress that your BS finds beneficial. While I would hope that you will continue to fight, I would do so for yourself. You can't control the outcome.

Barregirl posted 11/7/2018 21:10 PM

Islesguy I have to ask, and please don't be offended, but do you want to change? Deep down inside of you, do you yearn to be different? From reading your posts, I have noticed a pattern of your BS setting expectations of you, you abiding by those for a few weeks, then returning to old patterns of behavior. It seems to me that because you are only changing because you are being asked to change, the new patterns aren't taking root, thus you continue to disappoint your BS. I would really think long and hard about the kind of man, the kind of husband, you want to be. Hopefully that will match up with what your BS wants.

pinkpggy posted 11/7/2018 21:12 PM

I know you have reasons for staying but you are modeling an awful example for your children. You are both going to seriously mess up these poor kids (I know BS didn't bring this on herself). I can't imagine the living environment you have described multiple times here being anything but toxic. Google toxic stress and ACE's effects on children. It's a real thing.

I'd honor her wishes and go no contact with her. You should probably set up an in-house separation or start moving towards that.

I'd also look into "nesting" it's a good option for a non traditional style separation.

Each one of your posts is worse then the last, at some point you both are going to need to figure it out. You can't be who she needs you to be. Why can't you both accept that?

[This message edited by pinkpggy at 9:13 PM, November 7th (Wednesday)]

BrokenTogether posted 11/7/2018 21:59 PM

Pinkpgggy I was also thinking the in house separation route may be a healthier path to test.

IG you have been in this area for years without forward motion. Itís fitting the definition of insanity to keep attempting the same things expecting different results. Your post doesnít really lend much to why your previous Saturday night attempts were failures and from the outside looking in it is logical that you would try a version of what was enjoyable before. Maybe youíre not always the bad guy. Your BS may be too hurt from years of pain and regardless of any efforts it just may not be salvageable.

I think it would be selfish on both your parts to not consider the effects this environment must be making on your children and each other. I am in agreement it is toxic and I donít understand what enjoyment either of you could be getting at this point.

Are you happy? Is she happy? Do you foresee happiness together, ever?

islesguy posted 11/8/2018 00:04 AM


Yes, I want to be married and I want things to be better. I know that I have a long history of trying to control the outcome which is often easy to see after the fact but not while it is happening.

islesguy posted 11/8/2018 00:07 AM


I agree with your assessment of the patterns of my behaviors and my posts. Inside I feel that I can never live up to her expectations and even when I try really hard to do what I think is right, I find out later that I was way off anyway. It is just completely depressing.

pinkpggy posted 11/8/2018 07:32 AM

Isles-I don't know why but I have compassion for you. I feel like you are stuck in a lose lose situation (and yes I read his wife's post).

Maybe we can help you if you could give us some clear examples of when you SUCCEEDED with her? Like what have you done in the 18months-2yrs what went over well, that she appreciated, what types of behaviors, gestures did she enjoy? What have you done that made her smile? Other than honesty and faithfulness, what else have you provided to her that made her happy lately? Its hard to always start from a place of negativity and mis deeds. All of your posts read like you are some bumbling idiot that can do nothing right, and I find that REALLY hard to believe.

Do you have any self confidence left? Are you even confident you can do anything right any more in this marriage?

[This message edited by pinkpggy at 7:33 AM, November 8th (Thursday)]

islesguy posted 11/8/2018 08:17 AM


I do worry about the kids and the affects on them. I am not sure if I can be the man she needs me to be. I want to believe I can and she expects me to be but as much as she talks to me about what she expects, I never understand how to accomplish it. I know I have been lazy in the past but I swear this time (over the month of October) I was really trying and yet after it blew up even the things I thought were working, weren't. I am not saying any of this for any sympathy, I am solely responsible for the fact that I haven't figured it out.

pinkpggy posted 11/8/2018 08:26 AM

Can you give us the "good" examples of what has gone right.

I don't believe it is solely your responsibility. It takes two people to form a healthy and strong marriage.

She may need to accept you are not capable of being the man she needs you to be, and I think from what we have read, no matter what you ARE capable of, it just probably isn't enough any more. You are not responsible for her happiness. I'm sorry, but you can work on you, you can be a good dad and be a better husband, you can work towards being a good person. But damn, you are human too. And it is really easy to get stuck where you feel you can do nothing right because you have been told over and over you have done nothing right. It just starts to manifest itself over time.

hikingout posted 11/8/2018 08:37 AM


I feel for you in many ways, but when you are given insight or advice you often dismiss it. Not long ago you were trying to think about something in the future when a Saturday was just in front of you. You need to be thinking about this day. This minute.

It doesn't sound like you are any closer to getting to where she needs you to be, and the longer this has gone on I think it impedes her ability to heal while in this marriage with you. The two of you, if you are going to make it ever work, both need professional help together. I think you guys are really beyond much that we can help you with.

I would agree with others, give her some space. But, for God's sake I would still probably plan something for Saturday. If she doesn't want to participate, then tell her of course you understand. One idea that might be the best of both worlds - get her some spa time or arrange for her to do something fun that she enjoys and take the kids and be present with them. Give her your phone before she leaves so that you are completely doing something with them. Crafts for thanksgiving or whatever.

islesguy posted 11/8/2018 08:38 AM


The background is that I had told her that I would work to make sure that Saturday nights and special for her.

The 1st Saturday night failed because I had planned some appetizers and drinks for her but there wound up being 2 problems. First, I didn't communicate timing well so by the time she was available it was after 11pm. Second, food in general is a trigger because of my hurtful comments in the past about her body. She wound up having a drink and we hung out together for a few hours with some light conversation.

The 2nd Saturday, I planned appetizers again but that were in line with the new diet she was following and scheduled a specific time on an invitation but she was upset about it being a food thing again so even though the food was healthy choices, it still failed. She did join me late again and again explained why the food thing was a problem.

The 3rd Saturday, I setup her bedroom with a tropical theme with a scented candle, tropical music, an ocean wave light that showed bluish lights on the ceiling and youtube videos of waves and sunsets on the TV. She seemed to like this.

So, the 4th Saturday, I was planning something similar to the week before with some additional candles for lighting, different videos, and some silk flower petals for the floor and bed. But, we never got to this for a few reasons, first I again didn't communicate my plans with her, second we were out shopping all day and as a result everything was running late, and third and most importantly she was already angry that I hadn't done more for the previous 2 days as they were both dates of betrayal leading up to the 3rd day of betrayal from 14 years ago. So, this may have failed anyway even if it was a normal Saturday night because she doesn't like when I repeat things but with this day(s) having additional meaning she expected much more from me.

islesguy posted 11/8/2018 08:49 AM


Can you give us the "good" examples of what has gone right.

I am really not sure because anything that I thought was good at the time turned bad later. For example last year for the month of December I made her a Christmas ornament each day. I believe she liked these at the time but 6 months later when she was really angry at me because I had done something wrong that was a broken promise, she threw them out. At the time I believe she liked them because they required effort but it feels like every time I let her down anything that maybe was good is no longer.

MoreThanBroken posted 11/8/2018 08:56 AM

I get that you want to be married, but why? Why do you want this woman in your life, what is it that compels you to her why do you want to be her partner?


She may need to accept you are not capable of being the man she needs you to be

I may be off, but her going 180 on him is a clear acceptance of this.

pinkpggy posted 11/8/2018 09:00 AM

Okay, I see where your wife is coming from. The issue is this, in a NORMAL marriage all of this would not be a big deal. But because of her anger and pain, they are now big deals.

In my house we have a joke that my husband asks me what time I want to have dinner, he is the chef, and he KNOWS I want to eat early, and I get pissed if is like 8:30 by the time we eat because that is when I need to put my kids to bed. But I get pissed for two seconds then we eat and its fine. We have also fought about food and it being healthy or him serving me a portion size (he tries to make me a serving and I just want get my own). I see where she is coming from but in my situation I don't have the anger or triggers so I am mildly annoyed but it doesn't affect anything. Your problem is that she is so wound up and hurt, any thing you do at this point is liking walking through a mine field. You are dammed if you do, dammed if you don't.

You should not have to give your wife an invitation in writing. Anyone with little kids knows it is really hard to stick with a tight schedule. That is just crazy. It sounds like you are trying. It really does. You cannot control every situation and have the perfect outcome, that is not a reasonable request.

If you have a nice master bathroom you can set up a spa night for her in there and get her everything she needs for it. Look into a lower calorie drink option like sangria with lots fresh fruit in it. I think the key is give her time alone away from you and the kids and then later in the evening ask if you can join her. All the things you mentioned sounded thoughtful (even the ornaments). Its clear her way of managing her pain is to hurt you. Its just really unhealthy. I know you said before she isn't in therapy but she needs it as do you. Even if the marriage doesn't last, there is a lot of damage that was done and is being done.

[This message edited by pinkpggy at 9:10 AM, November 8th (Thursday)]

islesguy posted 11/8/2018 10:33 AM


The scheduling thing is a big issue as letting it slip until the end of the day or so late in the day reemphasizes to her that she is last on the list of things so even though it was still a late time that I had on the invitation (9:30 pm) it was best I could do to make sure the kids were all done for the night.

Thanks for the suggestion but I have already done the spa idea twice and don't want to repeat that again. She is also not really a fan of that sort of thing.

ibonnie posted 11/8/2018 12:13 PM

I still think that if your BS has outright said, "just leave me alone," then you should LISTEN TO HER AND LEAVE HER ALONE.

No offense to pinkpiggy & hikingout, as I think they generally give good advice, but they're both waywards and they're both telling you to try something this Saturday or to set up a spa thing or sangria. That's still not being left alone!

As a BS, and a mom to two little kids, there is nothing that I crave more than just alone time. I stay up wayyy too late some nights just so I can watch a tv show in peace and not be bothered by anybody, except for my cat. I wake up exhausted and feeling like crap, but when everyone else is a sleep is the only time I can be "alone."

I actually enjoy spending time with my WS, but sometimes I REALLY JUST WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE. No one touching me, no one knocking anything over, no one asking for a snack, not folding laundry or doing dishes, no WS asking me if it's okay for him to give X food to our toddler (t/j: WHY ASK ME!? You're her parent, too, no?) I just want to sit by myself. Alone.

How old are your kids? If I remember correctly, you have like 3 or 4 and one is on the spectrum, so I don't know how much you can deviate from your normal routine, but can you order pizza or takeout for the kids on Saturday nights? Can you do bath and bedtime for them all? Can you take care of everything your wife normally does, without asking for advice or instructions for the evening so she can just sit in her bedroom and do whatever she wants? Just pretend she's not there and give her some alone time?

I'm an introvert, and I'm also exhausted and "touched out" from having a high needs toddler that wants to be on me (and only me) 24/7. It's incredibly frustrating to tell someone what I need/want and to be ignored with ideas of what THEY think I would like instead.

Recently my WS got me a massage. I didn't want a massage. We're in debt from his A, and we can't afford extras like a massage. I could have used that $100 and put it towards many other things that I NEED, but have been putting off doing or getting. All I wanted was a nap. Not some big expensive gesture that I didn't want. I didn't enjoy the massage, couldn't cancel (already paid for), and left feeling annoyed and stressed.

She wants no communication, emails, cards from me, she just wants to be left alone and I am afraid to say anything to her about anything other than mutual stuff like kids, finances, when I cross paths with her in the house. I am really not sure what to do

Again, she's telling you what she wants, but if you still feel compelled to do something,

She is also not really a fan of that sort of thing.

If she's not a fan of spas, what IS she a fan of?

[This message edited by ibonnie at 4:14 PM, November 8th (Thursday)]

pinkpggy posted 11/8/2018 16:55 PM

This is where it gets confusing. If he doesn't do anything like he promised will she get mad? It was my understanding he was still expected to pamper her on Sat.

Then just leave her alone. I would absolutely honor those wishes and pretend she isn't there. But I have a feeling that isn't going to go over well.

BrokenTogether posted 11/8/2018 20:31 PM

I agree. IG, youíre in a lose-lose situation. Just my opinion but I think her anger has her pushing you away to see if you will just give up or retreat. All the things you mentioned sound like thoughtful experiences. The food reaction seems like something just to be mad about on her part. After being married for so long I think I would be more upset if my husband didnít want me to eat. Instead you were nurturing her.

You canít control her level of receptiveness or inability to open herself up to potential happiness. I think her needs for self-therapy are more than you can be expected to take on. After 14 years she should be further along a healing journey than to expect constant pampering for all 3 out of 3 triggering dates. I donít remember the exact dates of my husbandís first betrayal. I remember months and seasonal things. I donít want to punish him forever. I punish myself over what I have done way more than he ever has done and I guess I should be happy he doesnít hold it over me day in and day out. I couldnít imagine a life like you are living now. It sounds like a daily hell. I understand betrayal causes an emotional hell for the BS but is that how she plans to spend the rest of her days?

Youíve admitted your lack of confidence had a part in your past behavior. I think now youíre lacking self confidence from your wifeís constant negative conditioning. I think she knows what sheís doing. Self fulfilling prophecy. IG cheated before because of XWY conditions so she sets the same stage. Youíre set up to fail.

I understand your ignoring my questions on happiness because if she reads here then thatís just more ammunition for her to use against you. You need to think if she was a healthy happy person before or if thereís issues that are broader than the infidelity. She has built a fortress around herself and an impenetrable memorial to the betrayal.

At some point you need to decide if this toxicity is the relationship you want your children to model after. If she loves you then at some point she is going to have to let go of what once was and hold on to hope for a better future with you. If she canít let go then you have the right to do so.

You need to realize that despite your failures that you deserve healing as well and happiness in life. You have to be a whole person and love yourself before you can be anything to someone else. Take care of yourself IG.

ETA-youíre not a mind reader. Expectations lead to disappointment. Google the marriage videos on that. She is responsible to communicate too, especially expectations.

[This message edited by BrokenTogether at 8:37 PM, November 8th (Thursday)]

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