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A form of reconciliation.

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unsearch posted 10/18/2020 20:38 PM

Damn Ė thank you all for the feedback. I think you guys are right about IC. I remember that when I accepted the bi-polar diagnosis as legitimate, it turned into a problem to solve. Iím good at that sort of thing, but maybe it was just a fig-leaf to hide behind (and yeah, Notthevictim: it felt fantastic to get the story off my chest).

Our MC knew her stuff, she definitely saw what was going on with W, but the experience left me unsettled. She seemed good and kind-hearted but not tough, not someone who could stare-down the extreme psycho-rage emotions I was feeling. I felt the need to protect her. Maybe Iím underestimating her, IDK. I need someone who can handle me venting like a lunatic but know when to tell me to sit down and shut up. I donít know what I need, to be honest.

Youíre also right that I loved my vision of W, not W, the flesh-and-blood human being. I want to emphasize that weíre good, though. Itís not a gloomy household; itís just not what I expected at this stage of life. When I was a kid, Iíd look at those couples whoíd been married 40 years, and I loved how complete they seemed, as if all they wanted from the world was each other. Thatís what I wanted, too. Could be I was kidding myself, though. Who knows how those old couples actually felt?

It sounds like Iíd better accept the late-summer down-turn for what it is, but the idea of doing something when it hits is a great one. Iíve had this idea that itís just something to slog through. Planning a trip or otherwise getting out of the house will turn it into something to anticipate. And Lionne, Iím absolutely stealing ďhopium.Ē

Lionne posted 10/19/2020 07:54 AM

And Lionne, Iím absolutely stealing ďhopium.Ē

As I stole it from another SI member, have at it!

I remember looking at old people and admiring them too. I have a neighbor who calls my husband and I "lovebirds" because we are always together. It's somewhat triggery.

But I chose to stay and I'm making the best of it. My behavior has changed in that I've unlearned my codependent reaction to his foul moods. I may have swung that pendulum a bit too far as I am less patient with some of his quirks than I should be. But I call him on his nonsense. And walk away. If he wants to pout he has to do it in a vacuum.

We have several close friends, couples, with whom we socialize frequently. I try not to compare their relationships with mine, but it's clear they too have worked through "stuff." I think it's likely that the old couple holding hands on the boardwalk have also.

Have you heard the phrase "self care?" It's a way to alleviate some of your stormy days. Be a bit selfish, put yourself first. And vent away here. It's very cathartic

TwoDozen posted 10/26/2020 08:26 AM

I remember looking at old people and admiring them too. I have a neighbor who calls my husband and I "lovebirds" because we are always together. It's somewhat triggery.

Not old (not that old anyway) but just yesterday WGF & I weíre socialising with an old friend of mine who has split with his wife a few years ago and was on a 5th date. You know the one when you start to introduce friends. His friends of choice, the 1st acquaintances of his that she gets to meet were the ďperfect coupleĒ WGF & I - woohoo horay for us. More than once we were told how ďlucky we wereĒ and how ďgood we are togetherĒ 🙄

Triggery as hell but also kinda enjoyed watching WGF squirm just a little as she said thank you and lapped up the attention

Got a little too much for me when I was told ďyou did wellĒ oh how lucky I am.

unsearch posted 10/26/2020 19:11 PM

My God, that must drive you guys nuts.

Everybody says that stuff with the best of intentions but without an ounce of proof. Itís a weird thing to say when you think about it: ďSO in love, after all these yearsĒ. Oh yeah, you know something I donít? I donít think anyone has ever said that to FWW and me; I wonder if thereís something in our demeanor: ďDonít ask, buddy. Just donít ask.Ē

I completely buy the buried history argument. My folks had the usual marital spats, but I remember one argument that went right off the rails; I was maybe 8. We skipped bedtime, and I thought it was great at first because I got to watch Star Trek. Then I saw my brother crying. Screaming got louder and louder, accusations and counter-accusations that went way over my head. Think Iíve got a better idea now. I probably ought to get a DNA test one of these days.

unsearch posted 10/26/2020 20:03 PM

Itís not that Iím happy to be a member of the SI club, but I consider myself lucky in some respects. The stories that curdle my blood are like: ďHey, sorry about the last 20 years, but Iíve finally found my Ďsoulmate.í Goodbye and good luck. Donít forget to pay the gas bill.Ē Or those people who find texts where the person they trusted with EVERYTHING belittles them and tells some amoral dumb-ass how much they love them. I donít know how you bounce back from that.

My W, or WW, or FWW, or whatever she is, didnít really have an affair according to the standard definition. She was just screwing some coworker in the back seat of her van, not exactly romance and flowers. I canít imagine there were too many professions of love. I suspect it was just mindless sex; hypersexuality is apparently a symptom of BPD.

Lionne: do you think that was behind your WHís behavior? Feel free to slap me if Iím crossing the line, but it seems like he was all over the place.

Iíd noticed over the years that our sex life was cyclical. It would be once a week or two, normal married stuff, and then it would suddenly be every other day for a while. Even in 2007, before D-day, when our relationship was clearly on the rocks, we were screwing like rabbits. I thought it was a good sign Ė we still had a ďconnectionĒ yay! It was actually when the sex took an unexpected turn that I finally realized something was going on.

What Iíve had to wrap my head around over the years is the possibility that 2007 wasnít unique. Maybe every time our sex ramped up, she was also seeing somebody else. Itís also safe to assume that I wasnít always her only sexual partner of the day, and no amount of scrubbing in Clorox is going to change that. I definitely remember a couple of times just before D-day when the vibe was very, very weird.

Itís bizarre, the things weíve all had to come to terms with. Never in my wildest dreamsÖ.

ramius posted 10/26/2020 21:58 PM

Bi-Polar is a tough one.

Friend of my BIL. Guy and his wife have their first baby. About 6 months later the wife get depressed. Went to see the doctor, sounded like post partum depression, he puts her on an SSRI.

Turns out she was Bi-Polar. Had never really showed much indication except having a lot of energy from time to time, which she had always channeled into something productive.

The meds drove her manic. First dose. She took it just as her husband left for work. 2 hours later she shows up at her sisters house, knocks on the door, hands over the baby and drives away. Next stop the bank. Withdrew $5000 from savings. Drove 45 minutes to a local casino on a reservation.

Blew all the money in an hour, had sex with a random guy in the menís bathroom, they found her asleep in her car in the parking lot the next morning. Could remember bits and pieces. Was totally gutted. Cried for days. Totally out of character for her. Never did drugs, didnít drink, didnít party.

They were able to gets past it, as the husband viewed it as the doctors fault for not asking enough questions and giving her the med.

Canít imagine what it would be like to have your brain taken over like that.

Not telling you this to influence your thinking one way or another.

Your situation is far different from the one above.

Just an illustration of how mental disease sucks....for all involved.

I hope you can find some happiness one day, no matter what you decide to do.

unsearch posted 10/27/2020 11:51 AM

I really appreciate the input, ramius. My God, I feel sorry for both of them. Kudos to the guy for recognizing the situation and standing-up. Gambling away with the money and the restroom hookup really hit home.

My wifeís BPD diagnosis makes a ton of sense when I look back over our lives. It never started on the high phase with her. It usually began in early January; I think the end of the holidays and the crappy winter weather were the triggers. I thought it was just the blues, but I now realize it was depression. She used to sit under a SAD (seasonal affective disorder) light when we lived in the northwest, and it seemed to help.

She would level out over March, then the upswing would hit in April and May. Talking faster than I could follow, working like a cart-horse, up before dawn. She has a degree in ornamental horticulture, so it made perfect sense that she loved spring. The money she blew was always on exotic plants or landscaping. She was going to completely rebuild the yard, the house would be a showcase, etc. It was a real financial burden, and we would argue, but at the end of the day, she was my wife, and it was her home too. I wanted her to be happy. By mid-June, things were typically back to normal. 2007 was the exception Ė the manic side just got out of control.

The fact that this guyís wife has a patchy memory of everything makes sense too. On D-day, my wife just stared at me, not angry, not remorseful, not anything. At the time, I thought it was because she didnít give a damn, but looking back, she didnít seem focused. I saw a lot of that later on during treatment. It was as if she couldnít hold onto an idea for an extended period. We donít talk about those days much now, but I get the sense she honestly struggles to remember a lot of it.

Thanks for the good wishes as well. To be honest, Iím pretty good. I started that first post in the middle of one of my down-swings. I was rereading the successful reconciliation thread and was wondering why I couldnít get to that point. What in Hell was I missing? And why did I keep revisiting this stuff? It felt good to get the story off my chest, and I think everybodyís right. If Iím ever going to get over this hump, Iíll have to hit IC and take a long look at things Iíve been ignoring. Not looking forward to it, though.

unsearch posted 10/27/2020 12:17 PM

sshawness Ė I think we all wish we had some kind of silver bullet to give each other. I donít understand your husband, and I never will. Youíre showing a lot of class and courage in dealing with your situation, and I wish you the very best.

hikingout posted 10/27/2020 13:37 PM

I don't know that I have a lot to offer, but there are parallels here that I can't help but notice. And, I am trying to figure out the truth of my marriage too right now, and there are some things you said here that raised some questions for me personally.

A couple of things to know - I am the WW. My affair was 3 years and some change ago. I have worked really hard on myself, and thought we rebuilt. Now I recently found out that H had his own affair.

I am not bipolar but I was in the midst of emotional exhaustion before and during my affair. I was really not well, it was obvious to everyone. I think that my lack of wellness kept my husband around for a while, and he has maybe guilted himself over not wanting me to become unwell again. I was also sexually dysfunctional at this time because I was just so numb. I presented as wanting a lot of sex during that time but it was coming from the fear of "not getting my mojo back". I could not climax at all, not even while alone.

I am also very cheerful and energetic when I am well, and we were also married for decades at the time of my affair.

I think my husband was unable to unleash on me all of his feelings. I am not excusing his affair, I know he had other choices. But, I think he felt if he swallowed it long enough and faked it until he made it we could be okay again.

Part of me feels if he had talked to me about what was happening in his interior world, that while I could not change the past it might have helped somehow. Things tend to gain a lot of power when they are held in and only examined by you in your own head. It actually becomes your own secret and separates you further from any intimacy that you might be able to reap in the marriage.

If she is better, can you talk to her about this? Perhaps even think about doing some individual therapy too. I tend to think that my husband didn't feel completely like he had a right to all his anger because he knows that I was not in my complete right mind while it was happening.

However, I should add that I did in fact take full responsibility and never really used the mental issues I was having as an excuse either. I thought that was best, but to him I was just so into my own self flagellating that he couldn't bring him self to add to it.

I am being a bit generous in my description of him but these are early days after his disclosure and I oscillate between condemning him and understanding him. Your post forced me to examine a little more this aspect of our recovery.

My advice is if you want to feel better, there are ways you can at least strive for that. It might mean unearthing old artifacts, and it might mean embracing solutions you have wanted to avoid, but nothing is worth staying in some grey zone on your own healing. You deserve more than that in life.

unsearch posted 11/1/2020 19:56 PM

Thank you, hikingout. I really appreciate your insight. I hope you and your husband can work your way through this and that whatever solution you settle on makes both of you happy and strong.

Youíre right. I have questions Iíve never asked my wife, sometimes out of kindness, but often out of fear. I got so tired of being angry or sad or confused all the time that I just stopped trying to understand. It was easier to concentrate on her treatment and get back to some semblance of everyday life. I also felt that the arguments leading up to D-day had gone too far. They were about as vicious as two people whoíd lived together for thirty years could make them. I had no desire to return to that.

Iíve not had an affair, but after the dust settled, I felt resentment about friendships with women that Iíve curtailed over the years when I felt them moving in the wrong direction. Life is complicated. Fidelity was a clear rule that helped remove some of the variables, and it was easy to follow as long as the relationship was intact. Now itís become a kind of fog. I wonder if your husband experienced the same feeling.

It seems silly to object to infidelity on moral grounds now. Iím faithful because I have no desire to hurt my wife, and I have no right to meddle in the life of an affair partner - itís safe to assume that her relationships would be as tenuous and challenging as mine. I think weíre all walking wounded by this point. We have to do what we can to help each other stay on our feet.

Iíll take your advice to speak to my wife more thoroughly when the timeís right. Right now, she has the house torn apart as she takes down Halloween decorations and replaces them with Thanksgiving. We have autumn leaves scattered all over the floor. As another cheerful and energetic person, you can probably empathize.

Westway posted 11/3/2020 16:49 PM

unsearch I admire you man. I don't have any useful suggestions to give you, other than you should try to balance doing things for yourself as much as you do for your WW. Do not let her needs overshadow yours. Eat well, exercise, explore your passions and take care of yourself.

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