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Feeling Stuck in Anger/Plain of Lethal Flatness Phase

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SlapNutsABingo posted 7/20/2020 12:00 PM

Thumos,

Then of course thereís always the chance that - tragically - sheís telling the complete truth.

But what does that matter, you know what she has done. Why can't that be enough?

You put the concept of Lethal Flatness right in the title of this post but I fear you're ignoring your own advice...I remember a comment you made in a post awhile back about not being the guy who looks at himself in the mirror, 10 years from now, to shave. Then says to himself what am I still doing here. I think you are dangerously close to becoming that guy.

[This message edited by SlapNutsABingo at 12:02 PM, July 20th (Monday)]

SlapNutsABingo posted 7/20/2020 12:00 PM

[This message edited by SlapNutsABingo at 12:02 PM, July 20th (Monday)]

Thumos posted 7/20/2020 12:28 PM

I remember a comment you made in a post awhile back about not being the guy who looks at himself in the mirror, 10 years from now, to shave. Then says to himself what am I still doing here. I think you are dangerously close to becoming that guy.

Actually I think that was BFTG but I understand your point. Heís used it several times as a framing device and it works really well.

Thumos posted 7/30/2020 13:29 PM

Update:

My WW has begun reading this thread. She told me a few days ago.

I don't how far into it she is, but she has been reading it. We have also talked about her signing up and posting in the Wayward section. I don't believe she's done that yet, but she may have. If she does, I'd appreciate her not getting walloped immediately -- after all, I've been posting her nearly a year and there's a lot of material she will have to deal with.

Some of you will say that her reading my thread is a violation of my privacy; others will welcome it. I have mixed feelings, but I have never hidden this from view. She began reading it because she has noted my increasing withdrawal from her the past few weeks.

I told her if she reads it that she should be prepared for just how angry and raw I've been and brutal truths and that it will be painful reading. I also made it clear to her that I've gone out of my way to provide context and to be as fair as I possibly can in our situation.

My take is she can read it and see how people have reacted to our situation. It may or may not be a wake up call.

Additionally she and I had a long, de-escalated conversation earlier this week where I shared my feelings about divorce, a separation and most especially seeking a mediated amicable divorce later this year or early next year, depending on where we are with our debt.

We are making significant progress on the debt, and as i've said I think this will put our family on a healthier path financially, even if our family is in a new form after divorce. It will be much less stressful on our children and for each of us if we are essentially debt free.

There was nothing new in our conversation, except that I dug down on a little bit more with her on my thought process and feelings. For example, I told her that the foot dragging on providing me a timeline for three years signaled to me that while she was willing to put countless hours of effort and time into her affair, she had been unwilling to devote a few hours' time to write down what happened. Etc. Etc.

This sort of thing has been said before many times. She should already know this, but I felt it needed to be said. I wanted her to understand and come to grips with the fact that my decision is the culmination of accumulated events and words and actions on her part -- not simply the capstone of her failed polygraph.

As I said, it was a good conversation insofar as it was completely de-escalated and we weren't talking past each other.

Here's what she sent me this morning (I've put in the quote box). I found it a thoughtful note, though it hasn't changed my trajectory.

I just wondered if any waywards might have insight or opinions, or if anyone else does.

Here's the note:

-----

Can we carve out time this evening to talk about how you were feeling this morning? I know we just talked all night and I know nothing has changed. My expectation is not to solve. Thatís not what I mean. If you want to talk about exactly the same things thatís fine. Or different things. I welcome your suggestion that we get back into dialoguing as well.

We need to be done with rug sweeping (which is exactly what you said. I need to be done with moving on each day as if Iím not seeing the excruciating pain on your face like this morning. When I see it and I feel it, it needs to be talked about. Over & over again. You need that freedom and deserve the expectation that Iím willing to have as many conversations as long as needed. It hangs heavy in the air and feels suffocating.

Not that talking is going to magically ďsolveĒ anything but if it gives you a certain period of time where you feel ďreleaseĒ and ďreliefĒ from your pain thatís my goal. My expectations are realistic and specific as to the end game here. Youíve made it very clear and I appreciate your honesty.

Even through your pain & anguish you are being honest with me and protective of my feelings in that you are not sugar coating how you see our future. Itís a gift I do not deserve and it is precious to me that you still have enough respect for me to be brutally honest. I have to get to work now. I hope your day is productive and calm. I love you.

-------------------------

hikingout posted 7/30/2020 14:25 PM

Hi -

No way to know. A note is a note.

I have believed for a long time your wife does very much want to keep your marriage. I think that she has been guided with fear. Fear by telling you everything that it will now be irrevocable after (presumably? Based on the poly) having lied for 3 years. Fear that if she doesn't minimize it you can't forget. Fear you won't heal.

I can truly understand that, and while it sounds cruel I don't think she is being intentionally cruel. I believe you can regret something terribly, be stuck in your own shame spiral, and be racked with guilt. Becoming remorseful means truly understanding the pain and trauma of the other person and sometimes facing that is the hardest of all. If she follows through on what she is saying, she will possibly come to terms with the damage, and that will bring true remorseful behaviors.

On the other hand, the other option of what it means is the path you have been on before, doing what can be done to stall or stop the divorce.

I do believe that the two of you love each other, that belief might not be popular but I do really see it. But, I also believe that to heal both of you are going to need to be brutally honest and get on the same page. Regardless, I am still rooting for you and your marriage. I believe that has been what you mostly wanted since dday, and I think you have healed a lot since you have been here. I think so much of it really rests on her and what she decides to do moving forward that will provide the final outcome. It also depends on how tired you are and how far gone out the door you feel, but I do think the majority of what's to come is squarely on her shoulders.

Buck posted 7/30/2020 14:31 PM

Thumos, I am bothered that thereís no mention of a timeline delivery date, no epiphany about being truthful, or no offer to retake the poly with the timeline in play.

Honestly, it seems like she sees you slipping away and she has no idea what she needs to do, even after you told her the night before. She may see the pain on your face, but it hasnít moved her out of self preservation mode. She still is focused on controlling the outcome.

Hell, I could be off base here too. My WW was pretty much the same way until I handed her divorce papers and gave her the date we were meeting with the mediator.

I still get the feeling youíre the one driving R. You really need to put the R monkey on her back. Stop carrying her and let her fix her own mess.

Thumos posted 7/30/2020 15:08 PM

This is why I like coming here for Additonal perspective. It isnít all I rely on and of course I understand that weíre all faceless anonymous posters.

But in some ways that makes the advice more clear. Youíre reacting to a more pure presentation without as much emotion involved.

Thumos posted 7/30/2020 15:55 PM

Anyone have thoughts on invoking a therapeutic separation agreement in advance of a possible mediated divorce?
My WW has NOT brought this up as a stalling tactic - instead itís something I recently read about.

I wonder if anyone has done it and what the result was.

paboy posted 7/30/2020 16:04 PM

I perceive in her note, a willingness to allow you to let go. Emotionally, and with your marriage. You can feel the care for you, but the realization that if she loves you, she needs to let you go.

You are at this point as well.

A very good point to be at. Now, you both decide where to from here, because you want to go there. If she wants to help it is because she wants to. If you want to spend time with her, it is because you want to.

Buck posted 7/30/2020 16:44 PM

Anyone have thoughts on invoking a therapeutic separation agreement in advance of a possible mediated divorce?
My WW has NOT brought this up as a stalling tactic - instead itís something I recently read about.

I wonder if anyone has done it and what the result was.

Dude, if you're at the point of divorce, retain an attorney. Do your research, talk to a few, tell them what your goals are and ask how they would approach the situation. Tell them the fucking truth. And get a really good one. A damn good one. One that fits your vision of how the divorce goes down and its outcome. There's a reason they won't be cheap. Ask them questions like this one. You're paying the fucker a lot of money for their expertise, actually listen to their advice and do what they say.

You have a child custody at stake here. There are financial implications from this too that can take years and years to overcome. Don't do stupid shit trying to make your wife see the gravity of the situation because you can totally fuck yourself. Get a VAR and keep it on you at all times when you're home. Do in house separation if you need space. Put a camera in the room you're staying in. And, seriously, retain an attorney.

Thumos posted 7/30/2020 17:14 PM

Fear that if she doesn't minimize it you can't forget. Fear you won't heal.

Hikingout, I'm really puzzled by this.

Does she REALLY think I am going to forget the absolute f'ing toxic horrific trauma of all of this? How does minimizing it help at this stage? I really don't get it.

She did say the other day that she did push me to rugsweep bc she thought I would get over it and move on, so maybe you're right.

But I'm baffled as to how she could possibly think this now, at this late hour.

On the last point, fear I won't heal. I mean she's watched me walking around with suppurating wounds the past 3.5 years basically -- and the cause of those open wounds is a lack of transparency. This she KNOWS.

So on balance when I look at it all this way it looks like lack of empathy and lack of remorse to me.

Am iI wrong?

Thumos posted 7/30/2020 17:17 PM

You have a child custody at stake here. There are financial implications from this too that can take years and years to overcome. Don't do stupid shit trying to make your wife see the gravity of the situation because you can totally fuck yourself. Get a VAR and keep it on you at all times when you're home. Do in house separation if you need space. Put a camera in the room you're staying in. And, seriously, retain an attorney.

Just to be clear this isn't a new conversation. We've been having this conversation off and on for 3.5 years and certainly more frequently the past six months since her failed poly. She knew I put things on hold after the failed poly bc of the heart scare and the pandemic lockdowns.

In spite of that, None of the horror stories about WW's flipping out has come to pass. What makes you think she's going to flip out now? She didn't think I was serious in December after the failed poly?

Buck posted 7/30/2020 17:49 PM

In spite of that, None of the horror stories about WW's flipping out has come to pass. What makes you think she's going to flip out now? She didn't think I was serious in December after the failed poly?

Thumos, read her note to you again. She thinks she has things under control. It appears to me that she's going to keep repeating the "story" until you believe it. The old "if you keep telling the lie, it eventually becomes the truth" gambit. She's not too worried about D simply because you've been talking about it for 3.5 years and yet you're still there.

Really, what's different now? Has she spent time in therapy figuring out her issues? Has she done some serious soul searching introspection into her "why"? Has she given you the truth to what went down so you can make an informed decision based upon facts as to whether you want to attempt R or not? And I mean the unvarnished truth, the truth that makes her look like a complete piece of shit. The truth that's devoid of any blameshifting or victim-hood. Has she shored up her boundaries? Has she developed empathy and demonstrated sincere remorse at the pain she's caused in everyone's lives?

Given her actions after the failed poly, why do you think she won't flip out when facing divorce and all of the ramifications that go along with it?

WalkingHome posted 7/30/2020 17:57 PM

Does she REALLY think I am going to forget the absolute f'ing toxic horrific trauma of all of this? How does minimizing it help at this stage? I really don't get it.


I can answer this-


I taught wilderness survival for a bit. We have a rule there called the "Rule of 3". The gist is "What do I need to survive for the next 3 seconds, 30 seconds, 3 minutes, 30 minutes, 3 hours, 3 days,and so on"

Your wife is absolutely fixated on what she needs to survive for the next 3-30 seconds...to just keep you around and keep her proverbial head above water for the next breath.


She never broke out of that phase and into long term survival where you have to think, adjust, build, and plan.

To the larger issue- I don't know you and I'm just a stranger on the internet...but I would think that whatever she has been hiding is something that she 100% knows would end you and her.

I don't know what your 100% worst case/divorce now issue would be....but whatever that nuke is, she dropped it during the A and she knows it. A sex act...something to specifically humiliate you...something that is a special think to you...something. You likely can better speculate what that special thing is that is so bad, she knows it is death on a stick...


Good luck. You have been through hell. I hate to read your topic because I see the suffering and ongoing hope that kept you suffering a lot longer than was required because of her continued refusal.


Sometimes...a non answer is an answer just like refusing to decide is a decision on her part.


Sounds like you are on the right path to D her and I hope you keep your resolve. I suspect she will work hard to change your mind.

Sanibelredfish posted 7/30/2020 18:13 PM

Thumos, I think Buck is on to something here:

Thumos, read her note to you again. She thinks she has things under control. It appears to me that she's going to keep repeating the "story" until you believe it. The old "if you keep telling the lie, it eventually becomes the truth" gambit. She's not too worried about D simply because you've been talking about it for 3.5 years and yet you're still there.

Yes, sheís changing her approach, but the end game remains the same. For her to truly change at this point... well, I think itíd take a true come-to-Jesus moment resulting in a meltdown of similar scale and intensity to Mrs Wís to be even somewhat believeable. Maybe thatís what youíre hoping for in having her read this thread? Then again Mrs W showed signs of remorse far earlier in the process.

This is a tricky time for you. I wish you well.

[This message edited by Sanibelredfish at 6:18 PM, July 30th (Thursday)]

Thumos posted 7/30/2020 18:21 PM

Maybe thatís what youíre hoping for in having her read this thread?

To be clear, I didn't invite her to read this thread. She just started doing it and then told me about it.

I told her it was often considered an invasion of privacy here at SI to do that, but if she wanted to read it, she should and that I've said nothing (almost nothing that I can think of) that I haven't said to her in some form or fashion a hundred times.

I warned her it would be painful reading and I told her I had gone out of my way to try to present as objective a picture of her as I could under the circumstances.

What I did encourage her to do was to begin posting in the Wayward section herself, and I warned her that no one there would brook any elisions or doublespeak.

Bottom line: She can read here if she wants. She's isn't going to gain some major new insights. I told her how I felt about wanting a divorce. That's where I'm at.

[This message edited by Thumos at 6:22 PM, July 30th (Thursday)]

Sunspot posted 7/30/2020 19:34 PM

Thumos, I don't know if anyone has told you this yet, but I want to make sure it's within your awareness:

You are getting hotter and hotter right now because you are moving on. This is straight out of MMSLP: you're up a couple SMV points; whoever is able to walk away is ALWAYS up a couple SMV points.

But if you don't walk away, you're going to drop those points.


Thumos posted 7/30/2020 20:03 PM

Sunspot, I'veread it but I always thought it was pretty much canceled out and useless once your WW brought down the Armageddon of infidelity into your relationship?

So I hadn't thought about that in a long time. You may be right. I'm not sure I care at this juncture -- which I think means I ain't gonna drop any points at all. 😎

Sunspot posted 7/30/2020 20:42 PM

What I meant was-- from the note it sounds like she's prepping to something... Perhaps "the truth" finally or some other plan.

Alerting you to the notion that she's super into you now, but if it works (and let's not play around, there is SOMETHING or other that will always work on all of us-- whether she happens to deploy your magic something or not is her problem), it won't be all wine and caviar afterwards when your SMV drops to (hers - 1).

[This message edited by Sunspot at 8:43 PM, July 30th (Thursday)]

ISurvivedSoFar posted 7/30/2020 22:08 PM

This is a long long long process and you have done your share of sharing and so forth with her. She is trying to work through her fear to meet you and to see you. Fear is a very very strong deterrent to progress as you have experienced.

With regard to having her see your posts, I think it could help. I was an open book to my WS, here on SI and in our non-SI interactions. I was unsure and couldn't provide anything other than my raw and true feelings. I think you are seeing the benefits of raw honesty with your WS based on her reaction which is a lot more subdued than has been described previously. I hope she is in IC and continues.

With regard to her sincerity, that's something time will tell you and she may have run out of time. But the only way to get out of the POLF is to do something different. We evolve, we change and we let go of what was and the illusion of safety is forever gone except for the safety we create for ourselves. When we learn to accept this piece and can move forward in a different way, whether with or without our WS's, we can come out of POLF and get back to the business of living with joy again.

It isn't easy and you are making great progress and so is she. That isn't necessarily a recipe for sticking with what you have now. It is a recipe for the change needed and you have to decide how you feel about her progress and whether or not you can live with it. There is no easy answer unfortunately as 42+ pages of responses show you.

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