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Feeling Stuck in Anger/Plain of Lethal Flatness Phase

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Butforthegrace posted 7/17/2020 15:51 PM

There’s the crowd that suggests divorce if a M isn’t working, that it’s better for kids to come from a broken home than be raised in one, then there are quotes like above that make me think the opposite.

I've had the same internal thought/question. I've answered it, for myself, this way: infidelity causes trauma and injury to the BS. Sometimes this can be profound and long lasting. Even debilitating. So it's not just a divorce; it's a broken parent. Sort of like a kid who watches his dad get sucker punched and fall to the ground unconscious.

Thumos posted 7/17/2020 16:11 PM

I KNOW you had to have told her about her not being that special to you any more, and how she feels like a girlfriend and not a wife any more. You're just too honest of a guy not to tell her that.

Yes, I have brought it up with her. Not recently, but it has been discussed several times over the past 3.5 years. And this past fall. And during the Retrouvaille process, I was also noncommittal, and while I wasn’t quite as blunt during that weekend, she knew that I feel this way. We’ve discussed my ambivalence and the lack of that specialness.

How does it come back? She’s hoping it comes back. She says she wants to demonstrate how safe of a life partner she is and how she’ll never do anything like this again .. and she’s hoping I will come to a point where I feel differently. She says she loves me And as has been discussed on this thread, she has in fact done quite a bit to demonstrate that. In fact, many times several posters here have said that the things she has done represent quite a bit more than what most or many BH’s get during any attempted reconciliation.

I’ve also talked to her about this weird “neuralgia” thing I get when we embrace, and the constant mind movies during sex. The neuralgia phenomenon has been this burning sensation I get all over when we hug. It started after D-Day, like a quasi sympathy pain sensation. It hasn’t been as strong lately, but it was still going on in the fall. For the record, I’ve always been a strong “sympathy pain” feeler, like when I see someone injured my neurons are firing and burning. I found out the past couple of years this can be explained by “mirror neurons’ firing. If you have more or more active mirror neurons, it tends to explain this sensation.

We did quite a bit of HB the first year, but it was pretty messed up to be honest, affected deeply by my mind movies and this neuralgia sensation I have. We sort of picked back up on HB activity during the pandemic Lockdowns (I mean, what else was there to do?) But sex the past two months has dropped off precipitously.

I can tell that the mind movies and the messed up sex make her feel panicky, and she’s vocalized that in the past as sort of “my God, What have I done here? I’ve permanently ruined our sex life.”

Anyway, I don’t have any real conclusion in typing this out, just getting my thoughts out there.

[This message edited by Thumos at 4:16 PM, July 17th (Friday)]

Butforthegrace posted 7/17/2020 16:33 PM

Thumos, this is more or less the substance of what I posted earlier. Not verbatim probably, but the gist is the same.

She's said she couldn't imagine doing what she did before she did it.

This rings hollow. She decided and chose to bring another man back to your house for sex, never mind deciding and choosing to flirt and canoodle, and to chortle about it after, say bad things about you, etc. How does one make those decisions and engage in those acts without first thinking about them, which is another way of saying "imagining" them? There is no question in my mind that she imagined many facets of the A, deeply, before doing them.

She's said that humans are broken, all of us, and since I'm a Christian I can't disagree.

Sort of a mealy-mouthed cousin of "mistake".

She's said some people commit horrible transgression and then experience remorse, shame, an identity crisis and self loathing -- while others don't. She puts herself in the former category.

And yet the sine qua non of remorse is 100% transparent honesty, which is the one thing she has continuously denied you.

She's said she has been changed by what she did and knows within herself she would never repeat her destructive behavior - not bc it would salvage a ruined relationship but because it's the right way to live.

I believe she is an educated and accomplished woman, a woman who was around the block a few times before meeting you (and therefore knows in advance when she will be called upon to say "yes" or "no" to sex with a man), and she considers herself a Christian woman. In other words, she has always known "the right way to live" for a married woman. That has never been a mystery to her. Yet she chose once to not live that way, and for years she was content to be combative and non-remorseful so long as you were passive and rug-sweeping.

Before, she says, she didn't allow herself to contemplate the horror of what she was doing. Now she does.

Really? She chortled about it and such. Denigrated you. Told you to accept it because "that's what people do." Told you that her view of marriage vows is not absolute, like yours is.

It seems that she always understood the horror. The only difference now is that, before, she was counting on you to be passive and rug-sweep, whereas now she realizes you won't be. Your pain has always been there, all these years. Why is she only now addressing that? I think she saw it before but didn't care so long as it didn't threaten any consequences to her.

She takes comfort in knowing within herself she is a safe spouse for me and a safe parent for her children.

Actions vs. words. She played house with the AP around your son. While you were gone. She bullied you into rug-sweeping. She denigrated you behind your back, and joked about the A. She continues to refuse to be transparent. I don't believe she took the initiative to eliminate from your home any horcruxes of the A. And, big picture, she thrust you, the father, in a purgatory where you must be in proximity of the AP as part of your quotidian life.

What actions has she taken, other than to say she's sorry, to change from that into a "safe" spouse?

Edited later:

She read “How to Help Your Spouse” but Labeled it as “guilt tripping” Early on. She later read it again, but didn’t change her mind entirely on that.

WTF? This book is a "paint by numbers" guide, but it only connects with a WS who has empathy for the BS. I don't perceive that your WW has empathy. I've not articulated it that way before. She had a lot of things: love; motivation to keep the family together; regret; probably fear. Empathy is not something I have ever gleaned from your description of her.


[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 5:16 PM, July 17th (Friday)]

nekonamida posted 7/17/2020 16:57 PM

Thumos, if you have the stomach for it, you could benefit from reading the posts of some of our best examples of remorseful WSes over on the WS forum. Count the things they do - IC, books, special things done for their BS, timeline, passed poly, etc. How does your WW measure up? Did she follow through on IC? How many of her ACTIONS align with a remorseful WS's journey through R? Have you considered posting on the "BS Questions for WS's" in the ICR forum and asking what the WSes think of your WW and her R journey? Would she consider posting on SI about it?

It's no secret that a WS's journey takes years after they've given the truth to the BS. It's no secret that most of our remorseful WSes on SI got there with professional help, books, self reflection, journaling, and the support of their peers. So how did your WW get there in 7 months after a failed polygraph, only 1 weekend of Retrouvaille, and without fully coming clean with you? How did she do by herself something that takes others years and multiple avenues of support, accountability, and professional help? Shouldn't she be here telling fellow WSes about her tips and tricks to a quick success in going from pants-on-fire levels of liar on failed polygraph day to pinnacle of remorse and success in 7 months and 5 easy steps? Or is she selling you a bridge by making you believe there's any authenticity in her claims of being safe and changed?

Thumos posted 7/17/2020 17:10 PM

Nekonamida, great suggestions.

1. Yes she did initiate IC in the fall. That was one of the first things she did after our late summer ‘19 showdown. We both brought IC to a halt during pandemic and in order to pay down our debt. Getting debt free is a significant and unalterable goal for me. It is a priority.

1a. She also was tested for STD’s, wrote a timeline and read it aloud for me in a joint IC session. She also signed us up for Retrouvaille (and we went in Feb).

2. She failed the polygraph right before Christmas ‘19 after a long protracted drama over that issue through the fall.

3. She hasn’t been great on the books thing. She read “How to Help Your Spouse” but Labeled it as “guilt tripping” Early on. She later read it again, but didn’t change her mind entirely on that.

4. On the special things, there’s a long list actually and I’ve posted about it before here on this thread. It’s pretty substantial actually and it has been consistent. Hard to fake for nearly four years.

5. I have read through the wayward forums. At first I found it excruciating, but now not as much. I’ve also had her read through it. She felt depressed reading here at SI bc she said it read throughout the site like R is not a really achievable goal.

6. I suggested she post at the wayward forum area, but she said no firmly.

7. It’s a great idea to post in the BS questions about WS. I hadn’t thought do that before - but will now.

8. Retrouvaille isn’t one weekend. It’s a months-long commitment and we only finished in June.

But otherwise you’ve hit on the essential inauthenticity I feel — and why I’m focused on paying down debt and getting squared away.

Thumos posted 7/17/2020 17:19 PM

I forgot to add: My older child is quite upset with me about the prospect of divorce. She feels I should forgive and equates that with staying together. Keep in mind, she’s heading into her first year of college and feels unstable during this time of COVID 19.

Right after D-day she when she was in high school she knew something was up and my wife talked to her about it. My older child had also seen and heard enough that she herself had suspected my WW of being unfaithful before it came out.

She was angry with my WW for quite some time, but has now shifted that over to me. She isn’t quite as angry and upset with me as she was around Christmas after the failed polygraph, but that is because she probably assumes at this point that WW and I are staying together.

My younger child knows nothing about it. In fact, he plays Fortnite with a group of boys that includes the son of the AP. They have remained friends In school and I have no intention of disrupting that (although they are never at each other’s homes, obviously).

My older child and I have had several conversations about our feelings, and also about the trauma of infidelity. She doesn’t really know all the gory details, only that my WW was unfaithful (and she knows who the AP is). She has no idea that WW had sex with AP in our home.

[This message edited by Thumos at 5:20 PM, July 17th (Friday)]

nekonamida posted 7/17/2020 17:31 PM

I think you have the right mind set and I'm glad you're not fully buying into it because this:

6. I suggested she post at the wayward forum area, but she said no firmly.

Is what I thought the response would be. Because I think even she knows she can't bullshit a room of previous master bullshitters. If she posted honestly, they'd see right through the lack of accountability and call her out on it. I mean really, HTHYSHFYA is guilt trippy? SI makes R look unachievable despite there being tons of success stories? Pretty sure the uproar over those statements alone could cause a server crash on here.

Also glad to know Retrovaille is a multi-month deal since I've only ever heard of the weekend retreat version. Still, doesn't mean much if you do not see the results you've been begging her for.

IME, when the spark dies and you feel as if big issues have been left unresolved, it's a natural response caused by you not feeling safe and secure with her anymore. She says one thing, you observe the opposite. It sounds like your heart has caught up to your brain. If she won't be fully transparent and accountable despite 4 years of you begging, what else is she hiding from you that you haven't even thought to ask for? What else could she deem too detrimental to tell you in the future? She may never cheat again but that doesn't make her safe or able to create an environment that fosters real intimacy and peace for you. The spark could maybe come back if she moved heaven and earth to make it happen but it doesn't sound like she's willing.

When you get to the point where D is on the table, I'm curious as to what will happen. She is the epitome of, "I will do anything but I won't do that!" How will she reconcile her choices that brought her to this likely outcome? When backed into a corner, will she blame you? Will she have a nervous break down? Do you feel like you would be able to follow through if she pulls out all the stops or is there a chance for her to walk this back if she gives you the last few ingredients to R that you are missing?

Butforthegrace posted 7/17/2020 17:49 PM

I forgot to add: My older child is quite upset with me about the prospect of divorce. She feels I should forgive and equates that with staying together. Keep in mind, she’s heading into her first year of college and feels unstable during this time of COVID 19.

This is a very common feeling for young adults that age. Fledging. It's terrifying under any circumstances.

It is possible to reassure her that her nest will always be available to her, that both of her parents will always love and support her, and that she will always have a "safe place", no matter what.

When I was a freshman in college I had two friends whose parents were getting divorced. In one case the divorce was bitter, the father was leaving his wife for another woman, he was a dick to the whole family, basically flipped them the bird, offered no support to his child (he didn't support college). It really impacted my friend negatively.

The other had parents who were highly supportive, visited at campus, were present, didn't burden the child with their issues. That friend was pretty much okay. Once a young person steps foot on campus, the magic of being around so many other similarly aged people, all of whom are smart and interesting and fun, pretty much drowns out everything else.

Covid, alas, is the big unknown in that mix.

I would suggest NOT having a long discussion with the older one trying to get her to understand your trauma. Empathy is not the strong suit of a young person age 18-22. They tend to think in absolutes and look for people to blame. It's a function of the age.

Thumos posted 7/17/2020 17:59 PM

When backed into a corner, will she blame you? Will she have a nervous break down? Do you feel like you would be able to follow through if she pulls out all the stops or is there a chance for her to walk this back if she gives you the last few ingredients to R that you are missing?

1. I’m fully prepared for her to blame me. When it finally became clear I wasn’t backing off the poly she lashed out “you’re willing to break up our family over this?!!”

2. I’m also prepared for her to drop some kind of damaging truth bomb she has been withholding. Probably she’ll do it as a way of hurting me in the moment. I’m not saying this will happen but I’m prepared for it.

3. A nervous breakdown, or something like it, is certainly a possibility. You all may remember her panic attack followed by an ER visit the day I told her I was calling the poly examiner to set it up.

4. I don’t know the answer to your last question honestly. It will depend. If she’s been lying this entire time about having more sexual activity with the OM, then what am I faced with? I’m faced with someone who was willing to lie for years rather than be truthful with me. So how would I reconcile with that? I don’t know. Maybe I could. It would depend on the rest of it.

Then of course there’s always the chance that - tragically - she’s telling the complete truth. That would really suck for her. But her actions indicate otherwise.

M1965 posted 7/17/2020 18:23 PM

Thumos,

If it no longer feels 'right' to you, that is really all the truth that you need. Listen to your inner voice.

As far as the daughter that is angry with you, and thinks you should just accept what has been done to you, I would suggest saying something like this to her:

"I hope with all my heart that you are never, ever treated the way that I have been treated, and that if you marry someone, they will be faithful, honest, and true to you. But if they are not, I will never, ever tell you what to do, because I respect your freedom to handle it the way that you see fit. Whether you choose to reconcile or divorce, I will respect your choice, because I love and respect you. I hope that you will do the same for me".

longsadstory1952 posted 7/17/2020 18:38 PM

Let me see if I have this. She failed a poly on the most important question after having a panic attack when you told her it was time. You still have to see the om. Your kid is angry at you even though she knows of the affair. Your son plays with oms son regularly. She refuses to absorb anything from the best book on the subject. She will have sex but it is difficult for you. It physically hurts when she touches you. You had so much stress you had an event that you believed was a heart attack. Oh, and she fucked the guy in the house you are still in. And she destroyed evidence and your list of withheld truths is longer than a Burmese python.

But she wants you to renew your vows and is expecting you to pay for a party trip on your birthday. And she refuses to go on SI because she knows she will never fool the folks on her inconsistency.

Dude, if you keep living with this you won’t make it to 50. 11 months ago and 41 pages you were looking fo advice. As far as I can see you’ve gotten a lot and most of it has been to get out of this toxic relationship.

You are in hell. The exit door is there. When you are going thru hell, keep going. You can’t forget what she did because you are living it every day. It’s always in front of you. So change the dynamic. Otherwise, you get to be betrayed every day that she withholds the truth.

If you wanted a litmus on where her head is, it’s not lacing into your daughter when she guilts you. Your wife should be your best advocate, your rock on this. Instead you get manipulated and she is ok with it. The terrific sterling example of a mother who fucked your sons friends father.

As you can see I am mad for you. No one should live like this.
To quote this threads title, you are feeling stuck because you are stuck. So unstick. One foot in front of the other. Start another life narrative before you stroke out.

Thumos posted 7/17/2020 19:39 PM

I mean really, HTHYSHFYA is guilt trippy?

I agree. I think it is THE book for anyone who really wants to “get it”

She would never really specify why she felt this way. I think you all know how these kinds of convos go. Things get very emotional and very slippery. They say something that stupefies you and you kind of sit there and you’re not sure
You heard it right but then you try to folo up and the DARVO begins and then you get cranky and sleepy and just say “I’m going to sleep now.” At least that’s the way it’s been with me. I’m usually the one who gets sleepy. I mean I really get sleepy, almost like a narcoleptic response. I asked a therapist About this once and he gave me a psycho babble reason I can’t remember.

Thumos posted 7/17/2020 22:34 PM

Have you considered posting on the "BS Questions for WS's" in the ICR forum and asking what the WSes think of your WW and her R journey?

Neko, there’s so much here on this thread. It’s easy for me to cut through and help someone else, but when it comes to my own situation I’m overwhelmed.

So in your view — and I’d welcome others to chime in here — what do you think are the crucial short pithy questions I need to ask in the BS Questions for WS” area?

I don’t want to just blather on and on over there. I tend to have diarrhea of the keyboard and I want to cut to the chase to get the most effective response.

Thumos posted 7/17/2020 22:54 PM

Insightful longsadstory1952. Difficult to read, but insightful.

Notsure123 posted 7/18/2020 07:06 AM

Thumos

longsadstory said much of what I'm thinking.

I am confused. Unless I read it wrong, way back when your wife was to take the poly, it seemed that you were steadfast on the D path if she failed. She did in grand fashion.

Yet here we are all this time later and you seem to be still waffling. Lets be real, you know in all likelihood that she is still lying. She disrespected you in some of the worst ways possible. Your health suffered. Her statements since then still show that she is more concerned about her.

I understand that between covid and your heart issues why you haven't left yet. But if you were reading this entire thread from someone on JFO, what would you be telling them?

Butforthegrace posted 7/18/2020 08:30 AM

"I hope with all my heart that you are never, ever treated the way that I have been treated, and that if you marry someone, they will be faithful, honest, and true to you. But if they are not, I will never, ever tell you what to do, because I respect your freedom to handle it the way that you see fit. Whether you choose to reconcile or divorce, I will respect your choice, because I love and respect you. I hope that you will do the same for me".

This is excellent.

As to my enumerated comments above, all of the platitudes your WW is giving you go to the issue of whether she is a "safe" spouse on a going forward basis. Maybe she is. Maybe the A was the classic "mid-life crisis" confluence of circumstances that won't exist again and, in normal circumstances, your WW just isn't the cheating type.

Plus, as you note, on a going forward basis, she has consistently been a great wife to you.

The piece to your puzzle that is so unique is the healing from the trauma of the A itself. The trauma was very high in terms of degree and character. Not just being cheated on, but in your own home, your WW playing house with another man, with your kids, teaching your kids that this is okay, normal (we know now to the point where it was evident to your oldest daughter that an affair was taking place), being gaslighted to an extreme degree, needing to discover by extraordinary efforts, discovering not just sex but also the mean, nasty things she was saying about you to the AP, a neighbor, and the ongoing cruelty she directed toward you in the aftermath. Really rubbing your nose in it, in a deeply hateful and mean way. On top of it all, what seems pretty clear is that she was and still is steadfastly dishonest about the extent of the A (and she has expressed to you a heartfelt wish that she had been more dishonest by resisting admitting even the one act of sex she did admit to). It's some of the most awful behavior I've seen described here on SI.

The fact that a discussion around HTHYSHFYA devolves into DARVO is telling. On the point of your trauma, her position has always been that she expects you to rug-sweep -- "forgive" in her jargon -- and just move on. "Okay, Thumos, I kneecapped you in your sleep. I won't do it again. And I'll be good to you for the rest of our days. Just please keep all that limping stuff to yourself. I don't expect to hear about it. And don't ask me to describe what I hit you with. I don't want to discuss it."

It's such an odd emotional approach. Honestly, it seems like a paradox. Is it a character flaw, where she is really incapable of looking herself in the eye and facing up to the reality of what she did? And therefore she expects you do indulge her in her fiction? The calculus being that, if you give her that indulgence, she will be an amazing wife to you for the rest of your days?

I think that's basically what's on the table. Only you can decide if that's a deal you want to accept. I've said it many times to you. 10 years from now you're going to be staring yourself down in the mirror and either regretting accepting this deal, or not (or, if you D, regretting rejecting this deal, or not).

What kind of wife do you think she'll be in 10 years if you stay. Yes, she has been amazing these past 4 years, but the Sword of Damocles has been dangling over her head this whole time. If you take that away and tell her that the threshold is crossed, you're renewing vows and moving forward, will she then relax and take her foot off the gas? The fact that a discussion about the A still, at this stage, devolves to DARVO is troubling.

To be honest, I think you're being me in my adultery-stained relationship. "I'm not going to be my dad. I'm not going to marry a subservient woman and then treat her like she doesn't matter. I'm going to marry a strong, proud, independent woman and then give her total freedom." I think in your case it's probably "I'm not going to be an asshole like my step-dad. I'm going to prove to the world that a man can be strong but still show true Christian charity." I think that you are white-knuckling it at this point, driven by an internal voice forcing you to prove a point, mostly to yourself, in reaction to and rejection of the parental figures in your own life.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 1:30 PM, July 18th (Saturday)]

Justsomeguy posted 7/18/2020 10:51 AM

Hey Thumos. I've followed your story on and off for some time. I'm going to go back and read it again, but I just wanted to chime in. If you met your wife now, as a different man, find she was divorced, would you date her? I mean, if it was the second or third date and the question came up as to how her marriage ended and by some miracle, you got all of this accurate information about what she did, said, and how she treated you, would you think, "Wow, what a catch. I can't let this one get away!"

Dude. You are eating a shit sandwich. How long before you realize you don't actually like the taste of shit?

It took me 7 months of trying before I realized that my WW was never going to change and this would be my life until one of us died. When that happened, i put my WW'S skanky ass at the end of the drive with the rest of the trash. The next year was fucking hell. We did a nesting separation which meant i had to drive to another city to stay with my sister every second week. I slept in my car, figured out how to cook secret at work to save money, sold whatever I could to make ends meet, and too a side job as a janitor even though I have a degree and a career. My days were 12-14 hours long. It was exhausting, but totally worth it.

The payoff? PEACE. One glorious, wonderful word. Am I happy? Nope, but at least I'm not miserable. Do I laugh? Nope, but I also don't wake up crying anymore. Am I happy to be alive? Nope, but i also dont pray for death every bloody night. What I am, is out of infidelity and it is wonderful. I come home to my shitty little too small apartment and it is home. I cook, watch movies, work out, go to pubs, sit on my deck, take off for weekends, and basically have a life again. I've even dated and had mind blowing get kicked out of hotels sex with a woman who was nothing short of amazing. I am not a kiss andctdll kinda guy, but let's just say I discovered the promised land...

Anyhow, this is my long winded way of saying, why the hell are you settling for this? You deserve either a 110% remorseful and committed WS or a life. Remember, they generally pick up the trash once a week...

Butforthegrace posted 7/18/2020 13:33 PM

If you met your wife now, as a different man, find she was divorced, would you date her? I mean, if it was the second or third date and the question came up as to how her marriage ended and by some miracle, you got all of this accurate information about what she did, said, and how she treated you, would you think, "Wow, what a catch. I can't let this one get away!"

I was thinking about it the other way. Do you think your WW actually likes you, as a friend? Because, as to the stubbornly persistent dishonesty, that's not something friends do to friends.

nekonamida posted 7/18/2020 16:57 PM

So in your view — and I’d welcome others to chime in here — what do you think are the crucial short pithy questions I need to ask in the BS Questions for WS” area?

I think you should give them a summary of what she's done, what she says, what her response has been to things like HTHYSHFYA and SI, and ask them what their opinions are on if she is as safe and changed as she claims she is. Tell them about your thread here if they need a more detailed run down of the situation to really get it. I have a feeling their insights might be better and more impactful on where her head is at than ours will be.

It seems to me that logically, you know this can't continue on has it been. You do not have it in you to go back to limbo indefinitely because even if you succeed at rugsweeping for the next X months/years, you will have that breaking point again just like you did the first day you made this thread and not much has changed when it comes to your core issue that made you want to re-embark on this journey. And who knows what the impact on your health will be like next time. But, I still think that maybe your heart has a little catching up to do because it's odd to me that your WW can give you a diatribe about how remorseful she is, how she understands your pain, and how she's so changed and you're able to listen without laughing in her face about how ridiculous that is after all that's happened and her continuing actions that say otherwise. It's crazy to me that you still acknowledge she could be telling the truth. Is it possible? Sure but you've never gotten one piece of evidence out of this whole ordeal that says it's a possibility worth exploring other than her word and you're holding a mountain of evidence saying she's never stopped lying about it. So why do you still bring it up as if it has any legitimacy?

I don't think I'm alone in worrying about you a little bit when you fall back on thinking your WW has a leg to stand on when she says she's remorseful and has never truly addressed the elephant in the room for you because there was a three year gap when limbo was acceptable to you. And as always, there are reasons why you don't want to file for D right away. They may be valid but it's another obstacle in which you have more time to get comfortable in limbo and start wondering if maybe you could live in limbo. Until the next meltdown of course. I think this is why so many of the posters jump on you when you post to remind you the truth of your situation because your posts are sprinkled with hints of doubt and uncertainty.

And then you post things like:

You heard it right but then you try to folo up and the DARVO begins and then you get cranky and sleepy and just say “I’m going to sleep now.”

Her first instinct is to DARVO you when called out on obvious unremorseful babble from her? And this is just how disagreements typically go between you two? Thumos, respectfully, if there is any doubt in your mind that your WW is not following the cheater's handbook to a T and selling you a bridge by claiming remorse and transformation, it's delusion talking. It's coD getting you to doubt yourself and accept the unacceptable. Or whatever else is causing this blindness you seem to be experiencing in allowing her to lie to your face. It's not because there's any legitimacy or truth into what she's saying. She's throwing out every red flag imaginable and expecting you to keep eating the shit sandwich while gaslighting you into thinking it could be steak.

Open your eyes a little more and if your WW says something questionable, keep questioning it even if it's not worth talking to her about. Simply thinking, "Well, that doesn't sound right," and doing a mental exercise of comparing her words to what you know as true and what you know a remorseful WS does will help re-train your brain to not just automatically give credence to everything she says. You will learn to trust yourself more because instead of just taking things as maybe true maybe false at face value, you will have a conclusion that's supported by facts and reasoning.

I also want to point out - if getting served with D papers results in her finally coming clean, finally admitting to how selfish and wrong she's been these last 4 years, resigning herself to someone or something who holds her accountable like SI or another infidelity board that is acceptable to you, humbles herself to seeing the wisdom in common road maps to R like HTHYSHFYA or can at least talk about what she doesn't like about them without resorting to DARVO, it's okay to not go through with the D IF YOU WANT TO AND BELIEVE LOVE CAN RETURN FOR YOU. But without all that, full steam ahead. It's also okay to continue with D on paper but go to MC (with someone who is experienced with infidelity and agrees with your goals of truth, remorse, and a focus on your healing) and stay open to dropping the D if HUGE, EARTH SHATTERING revelations and attitude changes are made by her. You still have options even if D is served and the date is set.

The way I see it is you have almost all of the puzzle pieces and the picture is starting to form. You're starting to process what the end result will look like but you're still struggling a little on finishing that picture. Between us, perhaps WS input, and a little more time thinking about it and then thinking again, you will get the full picture and you will feel better about your next steps. That last bit of doubt will go away. Keep reading, keep posting, and keep moving forward.

KingofNothing posted 7/18/2020 17:03 PM

If she’s been lying this entire time about having more sexual activity with the OM, then what am I faced with? I’m faced with someone who was willing to lie for years rather than be truthful with me. So how would I reconcile with that? I don’t know. Maybe I could. It would depend on the rest of it.

Thumos, is this really the hill you want to plant a flag on? It really doesn't sound like you'll ever get what you want from your wife. She won't take another polygraph. She wiped out the electronic evidence and conveniently it's not recoverable-- forcing you to take only her word as prima facie evidence of what happened. That's the word of the woman who deceived you. She makes a decent effort of reconciliation and support and healing, but it's clear from reading your recent comments that it hasn't ever been enough. You know she had sex with another man. You know what she said about you when she was doing it. You know it was in your house. When confronted with a polygraph, she failed one questions and had a panic attack. Why is finding out if she had more sex with him in any way more of a deal breaker than what you already know? It happened. All these things that you could see and measure and observe happened. This is what you know. Can't you make a decision based on what you know? Believe me, I'm not advocating for either one except for what works long term for you. I'm not seeing you as being either happy or convinced she has "fixed" anything.

Do you ever see the POSUM any more? That must be interesting.

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