And she should have told you the second she saw him and every time after that exactly what was going on.
I asked her this. Her answer was because she had not told me about the abusive relationship she was afraid to reveal she had lied all these years. Now this I cannot get my head wrapped around. I would have been disappointed sure but consider the result...I don't know. That's just one of the few things that I felt were...weak. As in her answer was not sufficient.
She just kept things so "romantic" sounding for friday...and how she sort of slowly got suduced and then felt closure, and he seemed to have changed... I wonder how much of the real story you would have gotten if you had not revealed that you already knew everything. That you knew her part in the Affair
I wouldn't say anything she said was very romantic. Quite the contrary. As far as what truth would I have gotten if I had not already had as much info as I had. Who knows. I would think she would have been just like any other cheater and trickle truthed.
Did she ever have an answer or a plan on how to repair her relationship with your daughter?
When the three of us talked I just told her that at some point after she fixed herself she would need to work on her relationship our daughter. I again told her I would do my part but only in a passive way. Meaning I would not actively work toward helping her but I would ensure that I would not contribute to any animosity.
Part of your story is so similar to what happened to my brother’s friend about 20 years ago. Like you, he discovered his wife’s infidelity when her ex reentered her life. The guy had a known history of physical abuse and was super possessive. After he divorced and left her, she got sucked back into her old relationship with her ex. Two years later he murdered her and committed suicide.
It makes sense that you are not too sympathetic to your wife’s abuse, much the same way that most people are not sympathetic towards sufferers of infidelity. Unless it personally affects or happens to them they wonder why it’s taking so long to get over it. It’s why this forum exists. You can’t fully understand the logic or pull from traumatic bonding because you haven’t experienced it. You’re also dealing with your own damage to your ego and manhood. The traumatic bond between the victim and the abuser is extremely powerful and reprograms the mind in ways that are hard to comprehend, but take it from me it’s real and is very difficult to break away from. Your wife wasn’t able to get away from her ex the first time without the help from her relatives.
Why did she choose to deal with her ex alone this time? For one it hadn’t escalated to physical violence yet, but also with trauma bonding there’s a strong need to receive comfort from the very person that abused you. A lot of this programming comes from her ex grooming her with cycles of abuse and forgiveness, alternating between a twisted form of reward and punishment, until she deeply believes “he didn’t mean to hurt me, it was my fault” and “he puts up with me and my flaws and he still loves me”. As crazy as it sounds, she equates this cycle with real love. Like the scene towards the end of the movie Good Will Hunting, it takes a lot of work and convincing to accept that “it’s not your fault”. I wish she did go to you for help, but it was difficult for her to get help the first time around so there’s a pattern that in all likelihood is built on fear and shame.
I was an emotional and mental abuser to my wife. My father-in-law also abused her, mentally and physically, when she was a child, so it kind of makes sense why she married me. I would let my anger and stress get the better of me and take it out on my wife. I wanted things my way and had major control issues. For years she put up with it, and all that time I didn’t think I was the problem even as our marriage turned cold and distant. Two years ago I learned she had a 9 year affair with someone she saw twice a year. I was furious, but I also remembered all those talks about her FOO abuse issues and how she didn’t like how I treated her, and the affair became a wake up call. It shook me to my core. I know deep in my heart that I wouldn’t have changed if not for the hurt she caused me with her affair. She told me years ago in the early days of her affair she had an epiphany, that all those times I abused and yelled and screamed at her, that it was not her fault. None of it was her fault. It took about six months after DDay to get over most of my heartbreak. Focusing on repairing the damage I inflicted on her helped take my own pain away. We worked to fix our marriage and are now doing much better.
I can’t help but feel your wife’s devastation is greater than yours. The “tame” version you described of the physical abuse that she dealt with on a daily basis was FAR worse than what I dished out, and I saw tremendous damage for what I did. I know you didn’t ask for this, but neither did she. She wasn’t looking to have an affair. If it wasn’t for the chance encounter with her ex and his subsequent stalking to “apologize” to her while overwhelming her defenses and reestablishing his abusive hold, you wouldn’t be here. It’s especially tragic that in the end her abuser won. He regained control of her life and completely destroyed it. I’m not saying you should reconcile your marriage, but as her best friend and with her being the mother of your children I hope you’ll consider not cutting her out completely and offer to help her heal from her double trauma. Does your daughter know of your wife’s abuse? I hope your daughter also finds a way to understand her mother’s trauma and decides to help her mother get through this.
Thanks for posting your story. I can honestly say that I never felt like I was anything other than supportive of her. We all have our issues and mine is my temper but I have never once lost it with her or the kids. Like you said, I cannot relate to her willingly going back into a relationship with someone that was so bad to her.
No my daughter does not know of my wife's abuse. I think it would be important for her to know but I struggle with whether or not I should tell her or let her mother. I am interested in anyone's opinion on this. It's possible I might follow up with the STBX and discuss this. Again, I'm open to opinions.
After I read your latest I changed my mind about her. I don’t think she had free will once he started again. He is unbelievably manipulative and she was/is a perfect target. Please see that she gets therapy regardless of your marital status. She needs some healthy tools to manage the rest of her life. He raped her whether she could ever prove it in court.
I had hoped my opinion would change more. I may have had this weird subconscious fantasy we could work it out. I don't think so..but I do not feel as "good" about the out come as I thought I would. I mean I feel a sense of finality but I was really hoping I could come out of this feeling "ok" about her. Or even sympathetic. But I don't.
Thanks for the kind words everyone. It was a really hard thing to sit through. I was extremely angry just being in her presence and listening to the abuse just made me feel like a jerk. But I could not help it. And believe me guys, the stuff she described was so much worse than I can write here. But still I was angry with her for doing it again. Based on the phone videos I have no reason to doubt her on the sexual abuse. The dude has freak streak a mile long. And the physical abuse I believe because her story has been consistent with what I have learned from her mother and cousin. But still I was angry all night long.
Saturday was a different story. I think I was more emotionally exhausted so I was able to have a little bit of normal interaction while getting breakfast ready. As for the phone and whether or not she erased anything. I would guess not. But if she did I still have copies of it. I really think she knows what she has lost and realizes any hope of a happy future for her hinges on fixing her issues. I really have no reason to doubt her on anything. Like I said, I believe she got more out of this than I did.
Heard back from my lawyer. Again I really like her. She replied to my email about going ahead and sending the agreement as is by saying, "Damn. It worked. I'll just have to charge you over time for answering this email on the weekend. Happy for you." If I was ten years younger and not so screwed up from this messed up marriage I'd ask her out.
I'll continue to answer questions folks and keep you updated as things progress but right now I'm feeling okay about things. What few issues I am having right now are familiar from three years ago and I understand time and a whole lot of extra activity will help them fade away eventually.