Newest Member: Serenity7

Reconciliation :
Could use some encouragement, I screwed up

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EllieKMAS ( Member #68900) posted at 7:37 PM on Saturday, September 11th, 2021

Hcsdi I know the financial part sucks and is so unfair. That's just one more insult on top of all the others.

But please remember something my mom said to me when she was going through a divorce. And that is, "what price freedom?" Believe me, getting out of a crappy situation is priceless.

Hang in there my friend. It gets so much better!

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"Being weird is just a side effect of being awesome."– Unknown

posts: 3140   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8688084
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Robert22205https ( Member #65547) posted at 9:19 PM on Saturday, September 11th, 2021

It's difficult to believe at this moment but time is on your side. It gets better ... a lot better.

posts: 2409   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
id 8688096
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paboy ( Member #59482) posted at 8:02 AM on Saturday, September 18th, 2021

How has things gone this week? How has any communication gone? Are you seeing any clearer direction in which way things are heading?

posts: 586   ·   registered: Jul. 4th, 2017   ·   location: australia
id 8689142
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 HowCouldSheDoIt (original poster Member #78431) posted at 8:57 PM on Sunday, September 19th, 2021

It's been very blah and uneventful. WW was supposed to come home next week but things got moved around, likely coming home week after next but no firm schedule.

We talk every other day for maybe 15 min. Mostly about the new school year and the kids. WW told me she's having some difficulty adjusting to this new career life. I empathized, I think she's trying to identify with my struggles of maintaining my fire through my career. She told me again last week that she wants to find a way to put the marriage back together and I reminded her I'm willing to talk in the company of a professional.

Other than that things have been good. School started, going well. My youngest DD is 14 and has been a little stand-offish lately, which is typical for 14. DS worked very hard over the summer and on weekends now and has made good money. I'm very proud of him. Oldest DD who doesn't live here is also doing fine.

But nothing really of interest to report. I appreciate you asking.

Me: BH Early 50's
Her: WW Early 50's
D-Day Nov 2020
Married 21 years before D-Day
3 children
Working toward reconciling. The most difficult thing I've had to do in my life.

posts: 239   ·   registered: Mar. 3rd, 2021
id 8689278
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M1965 ( Member #57009) posted at 1:41 AM on Monday, September 20th, 2021

HCSDI,

If what you want is for your wife to remove her head from her posterior and embrace the reality that she has created, and change her attitude to you, the most potent weapon in your arsenal is indifference.

Your wife has made a series of decisions that have resulted in her cheating, and beginning a life of living out of a suitcase for weeks on end, in one hotel/motel after another. Away from her home, and away from her children. How many people in their fifties would see that as a positive thing? The reason she keeps mentioning trying to save the marriage she fired a missile at is that she can see what a barren and empty life her decisions have created for her.

If you divorce her, how many options does she have? Spend the next decade with a small apartment that she calls home, while she travels from place to place by herself? Even if she thought that casual encounters with random strangers was the height of excitement, how many years can anyone do that without getting burnt out, and realizing that they are slow-moving, low-hanging fruit for any opportunist who can be bothered to buy them a drink and say whatever tried and tested generic lies are required to obtain free sex?

And what if her health fails? Who is going to look after her and visit her in hospital? Steve, who she spent a night with at The Lucky Horseshoe Motel in Flytrap, Arkansas? Or Dave - that was probably his name - from that drunken night at the Downtowner Motel in Toejam, Missouri? What about Phil, from the Sleep-E-Zee Motor Lodge in Armpit, Tennessee? Chances are, those knights of the road are going to be too busy to show up with chocolate, flowers, and a bunch of magazines for her to read.

What she is learning, from the new life she has created for herself, with no regard of what it might do to you or the kids, is that her version of 'independence' is actually a thinly-veiled version of 'alone in late middle-age', with a cancelled future.

Let her have a bucket-full of the new reality she has created for herself. Let her see what it really is. And what it is not.

Let her know that you are considering your options for the future, and that yes, the two of you can talk with some kind of mediator, but that you are also thinking about how your life could be if you were single. Let her know that life with her is not some kind of glittering prize that you cannot live without, and perhaps even suggest that perhaps she ought to give her life on the road more of a try before the two of you hold discussions.

Your value - and what makes you unique in the world - is that you give a damn about her. And her new reality life will force that point home for her, as she checks into one motel after another, and she starts to understand that the attention she may get from random strangers is not a validation of her 'hotness', but simply the stock actions of fishermen, repeating the same old ploys to see if any self-deluded fish are biting.

The way to get her to come back is to set her free. That does not mean divorce her. Rather, it means to encourage her - and you should do that - to enjoy her new life and new job. Tell her that she needs more time to spread her wings and grow into the job. Stand back. Step away. She is clearly already having doubts. Give those time to sink in, while you consider what you would do with your life if you were single. And let her know that you are doing that. She will be thinking about that when she checks into the Midway Motel in Buttcheek, Omaha, switches on the shower, and gets hit by cold water and a TV that does not work.

You need to understand that because you give a damn about her, you have a huge amount of value to her, because to the rest of the world, she is just another random stranger that they have no commitment to. And if you want her to change and become more proactive, let her know that - essentially - she has to pursue you again and make you believe that she has a genuine interest in you. This is not about you winning her back; it is about her winning you back. And she is going to struggle to do that while she is checked into The Ace of Spades Motel in Heatbump, Texas, putting her tights into the sink to soak for the night.

You are the prize. Her new life is the booby prize. Give her time to experience that. Give her time to see what she had, but took for granted. You don't know what you've got until you lose it.

Be detached and neutral, and see what happens. If she makes more effort, then it may be worth you reciprocating. If she does not, you should not chase her, because you will be wasting your time.

Our thoughts are with you.

posts: 1177   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2017   ·   location: South East of England
id 8689302
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Stevesn ( Member #58312) posted at 10:06 AM on Monday, September 20th, 2021

What M1965 gives you in his excellent post is a clear description of the reality of life with this woman who no longer resembles a partner in life for you.

She has cravenly chosen to run away from the mess she made and somehow thinks taking up a career that separates you rather than brings you together is the right path after having sex with another man. She’s absolutely wrong.

Is 15 minutes of contact with your life partner what you envisioned for your life when you said I do all those years ago? That’s not a marriage. That’s not sharing a life.

And yet that is what you have now and for the foreseeable future.

The only gift she has given you in the past 2 months is showing you that you can live life quite well without her. You can be a dad and explore your own interests when she is no longer part of your life.

And if it were me, I’d tell her just that. "Who are you? You’re no longer in my life. You’re someone who calls me for 15 minutes every other day. I have more contact with people I see walking around the block each afternoon. Thank you for showing me that I can libe quite well with you no longer here.

I suggest we take this opportunity to move on from each other. You’ve created your new life and shown me that I’m not a priority in it. I need a partner who truly is just that. Someone to share a life with not a 3x week phone call.

No matter what you try to convince me is the right thing for you, it is very much not the right thing for me. I need a wife who actually enjoys being with me. Craves being with me. Doesn’t run from me.

That is not you. And I cannot make you feel those things. You have to fix them within you and then prove to me that I should ever trust you again. That’s a tall order.

Best we move on. I’ll start the process to do just that and we can finally stop lying to each other. "

My friend. Please remember this started with her deciding she wanted another man inside her. And ever since then she has never done anything to show you that she wants you back inside her, neither physically or emotionally.

When people show you who they truly are, listen.

[This message edited by Stevesn at 10:09 AM, Monday, September 20th]

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3166   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8689333
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 HowCouldSheDoIt (original poster Member #78431) posted at 7:39 PM on Monday, September 20th, 2021

M1965: You have always written very informative and provoking responses, I appreciate reading them. my reply to you here is that I don't want to do a separation, I don't want to do a 180, I either want her to step up like she should have 10 months ago, or I want out. All I can do in this situation is pursue the out, and be willing to entertain a next step if she initiates it.

She might be feeling everything you're describing, I have no idea. But it likely wouldn't go that way for her. She's attractive and in good shape, she'll have guys calling her guaranteed. As the kids get older they'll get used to the idea of mom dating and I see her having a great time. She has a good network of supportive friends and I believe her new life will be very fun and fulfilling. I can hope she gets married again too, because then the alimony will stop!

But I don't want to try to "bring her around" at all. She is where she is at and that's fine. I'm honest with her that I don't want to D, but I'm out of gas trying to get my needs met so the marriage can heal.

Stevesn: I'm not saying anything else. I have already told her exactly how I feel and don't need to say anymore. If I get an opportunity with a therapist I'll tell my position again but I think more curt than I usually have, something short like "I have a lot of unresolved hurt and pain from her A and resentment from the aftermath. I want to heal, and it hasn't worked out so far to heal within the marriage. I feel leaving the marriage is the only option available to me." No accusing, no bitterness, no anger, it just... is.

I'm actually quite looking forward to it.

Me: BH Early 50's
Her: WW Early 50's
D-Day Nov 2020
Married 21 years before D-Day
3 children
Working toward reconciling. The most difficult thing I've had to do in my life.

posts: 239   ·   registered: Mar. 3rd, 2021
id 8689399
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BluerThanBlue ( Member #74855) posted at 8:36 PM on Monday, September 20th, 2021

I appreciate reading them. my reply to you here is that I don't want to do a separation, I don't want to do a 180, I either want her to step up like she should have 10 months ago, or I want out. All I can do in this situation is pursue the out, and be willing to entertain a next step if she initiates it.

This is precisely the attitude you need to have.

I'm not saying anything else. I have already told her exactly how I feel and don't need to say anymore. If I get an opportunity with a therapist I'll tell my position again

Hold firm to this in the event she tries to rope you into an extended dialogue that eventually ends up centering around what she does or doesn't want.

Also, while I agree with you that your wife will not be destined to eternal loneliness and gloom (as Stevesn predicts), I do think that she experiences bouts of anxiety over her long-term future, which is when she dangles the reconciliation carrot in front of your face. Then the feeling passes and she wants out again.

Fortunately, since you are no longer leaping up and down to bite the carrot, you will find out sooner rather than later whether I'm wrong about your wife's intentions.

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 474   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8689406
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 HowCouldSheDoIt (original poster Member #78431) posted at 12:30 AM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

It if does come to pass it will certainly be interesting. I also wonder what this therapist will be like, since the last one pretty much took her side with things and was encouraging her not to answer questions. Gosh that was painful. "You don't have to answer anything you don't want to. HCSDI, she doesn't have to answer anything she doesn't want to." And I remember saying "But it has been very helpful to me" and this witch of a counselor said "Well she's answered enough. No more."

No explanation, no guidelines, no discussion about what is good vs. harmful, just a complete witch.

I remember feeling manipulated by the therapist when I was upset about the sex, and the therapist told me "but she didn't have to tell you." I feel like she was suggesting I shouldn't be upset, after all, she came clean on her own.

But right there man, right there I should have pushed back "I disagree, of course she had to tell me! Is that your professional opinion, that cheating should be hidden? Would you have encouraged her to hide it from me? Are you OK with your son-in-law cheating on your daughter and hiding it? If so, I'm with the wrong therapist... good day"

It really is no wonder I completely lost trust in her.

I really should document that experience for someone, somewhere, about how harmful that was, and how it set the tone for what is likely going to be a divorce outcome.

I feel a ton more informed and at peace going into another therapy engagement, even if we're just exploring things at this point. I shouldn't be because for all I know she will change her mind, but I'm kind of excited to see what this might look like.

Me: BH Early 50's
Her: WW Early 50's
D-Day Nov 2020
Married 21 years before D-Day
3 children
Working toward reconciling. The most difficult thing I've had to do in my life.

posts: 239   ·   registered: Mar. 3rd, 2021
id 8689457
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M1965 ( Member #57009) posted at 1:55 AM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

HCSDI,

Many thanks for your kind words, and for the clarification about wanting to see what your wife does without trying to influence it in any way. I understand that, and it is not a bad foundation for moving forward, but it requires an honest assessment of the level of her commitment, interest, and efforts to rebuild what she broke. You will know how much she has done better than any of us.

Re. the previous counselor: "I also wonder what this therapist will be like, since the last one pretty much took her side with things and was encouraging her not to answer questions. Gosh that was painful. "You don't have to answer anything you don't want to. HCSDI, she doesn't have to answer anything she doesn't want to." And I remember saying "But it has been very helpful to me" and this witch of a counselor said "Well she's answered enough. No more.""

I understand your frustration with being treated this way, because it is just ridiculous. In a police interrogation, a person might 'plead the fifth', or 'refuse to answer a question because it might tend to incriminate them', but this was not the House Committee on Un-American activities in the 1950s. These sessions are supposed to repair the relationship, and no third party ever, ever, ever has a right to tell you what you are entitled to ask about. As the victim, you are entitled to ask for whatever you want to ask for. No counselor has a right to tell you that you have no right to ask for what you need. Leaving aside that only you know what you need, no counselor worth a damn would attempt to tell a victim to sit down, shut up, and take whatever the perpetrator was prepared to give.

If you end up in the hands of another idiot like the one who treated you so badly, why not ask them, "But what are you doing to resolve this for me?", and see what they say.

posts: 1177   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2017   ·   location: South East of England
id 8689477
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