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To D or not to D? Progress report...

MIgander posted 12/4/2019 11:49 AM

So, I am in IC for the affair I decided to have instead of the divorce discussion I should have had. The IC is working (at least on my side) and it's been bringing up unhealthy behaviors that lead to affair - namely the aggression, whining or stuffing (the 3 favorite responses I had before all this to conflict). Its fun growing up in an abusive household and taking the baggage with you into your own marriage

This has lead me to be assertive (speaking my needs calmly and firmly) in our marriage for the first time in a long while. Turns out all the $$$ problems I enabled (hubby would trade me affection for buying shit we couldn't afford- essentially prostituted myself to feel loved by him), has put us in the position of not being able to afford the custom home we built without both our salaries or without him dipping into his trust fund to pay basic things like, you know, the MORTGAGE. I signed on the dotted line for these things, so I am culpable in all this. I never made him be accountable for his reckless spending- instead I went back to work and got better and better paying jobs to try and finance his affection for me. Sigh.

It's a sick situation still, only I feel like the fog is finally clearing and find myself changing and the man I married not interested in fixing anything on his end that lead to my unhappiness in the marriage. I WONT say lead to my affair- I chose to engage in that. But if we are going to go forward in our reconciliation (and have the marriage I originally signed up for but was underequipped emotionally to have), it's going to take both of us.

I put up the stop sign because I know there's a LOT of hurting betrayed spouses out there who are angry and (rightfully so) thinking the burden rests squarely on the betrayer to "fix" the marriage. The thing that has come up in counseling is that one can only work on oneself. Meaning, I have to make myself a better, healthier person to be around or I won't be worth while as a person to BE around (in a marriage). I believe a marriage takes 2 people to make it work- we had a shit marriage before the affair and will still even after I clean my self up.

So that leaves me at a point where I ask, when you are doing the work to get rid of your anxiety and depression (brought on by years of troubled finances, pre-programmed unhealthy conflict resolution behaviors and predisposition to clinical depression), is there a time when it is ok for you to ask your spouse to change some of their behaviors?

In the matter of emotional support, he's been amazing and giving me hope- when he's not having a bad day and harassing me at work. Right now, I've asked for him to stop being so critical of everything I do, not reject me when I offer him affection (he withheld physical contact for 1.5 years to force me to sign vasectomy papers- it's a pattern of stonewalling and neglect on his side), and occasionally say something nice to me (once a day... could be anything - saying I wasn't a bitch today doesn't count). And he has, which is amazing considering what I did to him. It's been healing the hurts of our marriage that I allowed to justify an affair on. It's giving me hope.

What's not giving me hope is his refusal to see his own unhealthy choices (stonewalling, neglect and manipulation- what else do you call it when he's only nice to you when you buy him something he wants??). Also his pressure to have me sign papers writing off my half of the marital assets and pay back any further $ injected to keep the house afloat after this. I told him I am not signing anything until I have a lawyer look at it- lawyers I've talked to said don't sign ANYTHING- he'll just divorce you faster.

Given his pattern of being really nice to get what he wants, and considering he's been really nice lately, and his pattern of harassment and manipulation when things are bad, I'm really hesitating to go forward with R right now.

To solve the $$ situation, I've offered to sell the house, make good our debts with his parents $$ and then split proceeds 50-50. I've also offered to sign documents paying back half of any further $ put into house from documented family assets used to fund our joint marital asset. Both of which he is against. He said he "didn't want to sell the house since he's sure of the pleasure he'll have living in it, while he's not sure of the pleasure he'll have in our marriage."

If I want to be free of my depression and anxiety, I NEED to be in a financial situation where the bills are paid on time in full (no foreclosure notices from the bank, NO SHUTOFF or REPO- both have happened more than once and we make upwards of 6 figures EACH!!!!??!).

Any advice? When is it more merciful to pull the plug than to R??

Oh, and we have 2 kids. Lovely.

Buffer posted 12/4/2019 12:09 PM

WS only

[This message edited by SI Staff at 7:49 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)]

pinkpggy posted 12/4/2019 13:03 PM

I can tell you I am almost on year 3 (from dday) of living with a spouse that will not change or make our marriage better or stronger. Despite how much I plead, ask, talk it though, bring up divorce, how many books I read, how much time I spend on SI or how many therapists I go to.

What I learned is I can detach. I can work on myself, I can make myself the best version of me, the best wife, I can do all I can to know that I worked really hard to right the wrongs I did. But I cannot change HIM. He has to want to do that for him. Everyone on this forum has told me to go, yet here I am.

So if you are willing to work on you, and let go of the outcome, then do it. Just don't expect him to be along for the ride (and thats ok).

[This message edited by pinkpggy at 1:08 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)]

MIgander posted 12/4/2019 14:59 PM

Thanks Pink Piggy- you have given me encouragement. I think there's enough there that, once we figure out finances, I can become strong enough to stay. We have 2 kids and, while my son asked me to divorce his father (on Fathers day this year!) before I got really wrapped up in the affair, my husband has worked hard to improve his relationship with him.

There are some small changes that I'm seeing, but the fundamentals of who we are and what makes us happy are very different. I still respect my husband in many areas (just not in finances... and for a while after my son made that comment in parenting). Just not sure he's the soul mate or life's companion I once thought him to be. It's ok- I can develop healthier relationships with female friends to relieve my loneliness and am keeping busy raising the kids and doing activities for them with their school.

In other words, I think I'm already learning as you are, to detach. Which, considering our codependency and how sick that was, is a healthy thing

The thing that will determine it pretty quickly for me though, is whether we can come to a financial arrangement that satisfies each of us. He wants to protect his family wealth from an unreliable partner (me), which is fair. A LOT of my anxiety came from having bills unpaid, cars repossessed and gas/electricity shut off, being put in escrow on our new house, being 2 months behind on a mortgage. If we can't come to a place of stability in our finances without his family money, and he's not willing to sell the house or sell off shares to get us where we need to be financially, I will have to divorce him. To protect myself. The level of anxiety I was under because of his spending habits and his demands for gifts and $$$ from me have drained me dry and are unhealthy.

It may sound selfish, but I'm not signing anything that would put me at a greater disadvantage than a divorce decree would. At this point, his asking for me to make whole on the very requests for spending that drove me to a mental breakdown is a bit rich. I'm willing to make the marriage work, but I don't trust him not to be vindictive and, soon as the ink is dry, file for divorce with all these loan documents (that become active on our divorce- which is what he is pushing for).

I'm on here today because we are discussing this in greater detail tonight and I needed to straighten out my thinking so I can state my needs calmly and firmly and not be manipulated by his affection or cowed by his harassment.

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