Hey Doc. I’ve been reading even when not posting. But it’s been a while and I thought I’d chime in here at this time.
I think we can all agree at this moment, what you and your W are trying and doing, is not working. I think you both need to re-evaluate how you are approaching recovery. You have both been trying to do this in a cocoon, keeping your issues away from your families and your kids.
Now I think it’s appropriate at this point that you opened up to your sister and dad. You NEED that support. And trying to hide your pain and issues from those that love you is not the answer.
Now as far as the kids, I am not advocating telling them what has occurred. But you’ve been trying to keep their lives the same and unchanged under these extremely stressful circumstances. And while you and your wife contort yourselves to ensure they don’t notice a thing, it’s making things worse.
But the truth is you are both pulling muscles left and right, and things are going to just come crashing down when instead you could have made their landing much easier even if you had already made some changes to ensure their parents get the help they need in a more appropriate way.
So what am I advocating you might wonder. A few things.
1) I think you are coming to realize this but in my opinion, it’s time to STOP working on the marriage. You’ve tried to do too much too soon. Your wife is not ready. She can’t handle it. The same issues that caused her to make a tragically awful decision to cheat still remain. She needs a lot of intense work to figure out what caused the damage that exists in her and if she can learn how to repair it and change how she Interacts not just with you but everyone else in her life.
So personally I think it’s time to say that you hope to work on the marriage down the road but it’s not time right now to do that. I recommend in MC tomorrow that you ask to put this on pause. I recommend for at least 3 months. Personally I think 6 months to a year. But if your more comfortable with 12-13 weeks then so be it. Tell them you need the break. And you just need to be for a while.
2) and here is the hard one. I think you need to separate for a while. Probably the same 3 months. You call tell her you want to be with her for the rest of your life and you feel strongly that the path you are on is making that less likely than more. That you want her to focus on her and you to focus on you.
So I suggest you each take turns in the house. You for a few days then back to her. I dont know what the kids are doing for the summer but if they are going to camp or some other day program you can share transportation responsibility but honestly it’s best to see each other as little as possible. Perhaps you can each have your own family help you on your days.
And I recommend cutting their activities to make them more manageable for you and your wife. She’ll say "they shouldn’t suffer" and of course the response should be "which is more important, their parents working on themselves so they can hopefully stay together long term or another soccer clinic?"
Come up with a schedule where you each get weekend time. Those here who have been in this situation can tell you what works best. And on the off days, stay with your own families. You need the time to reconnect with them as well.
Again set the timeframe. Again I suggest 2-3 months til the next checkpoint.
3) Drop MC and add more IC for you. Focus on you. As you have admitted, Affair aside, you have issues. Not just surface ones. Honestly you are no good to her either without working on them and in an Intense way. You have your own journey to take here and you cannot do it if you are always wondering what she’s doing or not doing to make you feel better. With the separation in place you will have time to breathe and reflect and heal on your own.
4) ok this is a tough one. And I dont know how you get there. But I agree, your wife needs greater help than she is getting. I’ve had family members in therapy, and the psychologist always worked in partnership with a psychiatrist. Honestly the Dr didn’t do more than read the therapists reports and decide on prescribing meds. But if needed they were there. They were monitoring.
I think you should insist that your wife have a psychiatrist included on her team.
Honestly that is the bare minimum you can ask for. Because quite honestly I think your wife is spiraling. She is awash in the ocean, trying to stay alive and keep breathing and no where near terra firma. That is not a position from where she can rebuild a marriage. She is not in control of her emotions. As I think I wrote to you last, she is months or a year or really probably years from being someone that can rebuild a marriage. If I had my druthers she would go to an in patient program for a while. But baby steps. Start by stating that at the very least she needs to include a psychiatrist on her team.
So I fully recommend you put that on hold as I wrote above so she can get that focus. She also needs time to breathe. Take away the pressure of having to do anything and everything right. Ask her to take a step back and only worry about her Introspection, working in therapy and of course, the kids.
4) Now how do you communicate this. I think you do it with the MC tomorrow. And I think you reinforce that your goal is still to find a way to build something new with her. But it cant be with who she is now. And honestly it can’t even be with who you are now.
You both need extended time to work on yourselves first. The experiment of the last 3 months has failed. You need to do something differently. You need to both admit you are currently on a path headed directly to D. What has happened between you for the extent of your marriage has not been good and the affair blew the whole already damaged house down.
She was already severely damaged. And you weren’t in great shape before the affair and her cheating put you on life support.
So stress that the path you are on together has put you far closer to D than DDay. That you ABSOLUTELY dont want that. That you need a different approach and that if you’re in it for the long haul, then a short to medium term separation is better than ending the marriage altogether right now or in the next few months, which is what’s going to happen if you keep each hitting yourself in the face under your current approach.
I hope you’ll consider it Doc. I know you’ve been hesitant to do anything like this in the past. But two broken people, one extremely so, and one still very hurt, can’t fix an what was already an unstable relationship.
Please think about it.
[This message edited by Stevesn at 11:57 AM, Friday, June 17th]