Newest Member: Armyman9196

Reconciliation :
Could use some encouragement, I screwed up

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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 7:29 PM on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Maybe I'm wallowing in self-pity, but I truly see this situation as accepting the consequences of my prior choices. Not the A, but obviously she won't talk to me because of me.

100% wallowing. If your WW had major problems with you and failed to tell you, knowing you would rise up to the challenge to appear her, it is 100% her fault when nothing changes. You're not a mind reader and you can't fix an issue that you're not aware of. It's her responsibility to talk about these issues and see if they can be worked on which is why it's also her fault when it leads to resentment and justification to have an A instead and then string you along in an R that she isn't doing anything for. Maybe this will come out in therapy. Maybe she will continue to hide behind weak, petty justifications like she has before about how terrible you were for cracking a joke or not doing enough about the rats. Maybe it's less about what you did or didn't do and more about how she felt about you during that time which would either lead to her being understanding and cooperative when confronted with a way you annoyed her OR deciding to seethe and stew on it creating resentment.

Not sure where you are in IC, it could help you move forward, but what I can let you know is taking responsibility for the outcome when it comes to failure on someone else's part is typical depression thinking. BTDT and have the t-shirt. I used to do it excessively so I know what it is like. Speaking realistically though, it's possible that for whatever reason your WW does not want to be married to you anymore. And that can happen for reasons that have nothing to do with you. She's handled it in an unhealthy and damaging way to you but that doesn't mean that you've necessarily contributed to it in any egregious way.

How much dating experience do you have? Did you ever get together with a girl before, really like her at first, but later start to fall out of love with her, and suddenly every little thing she did annoyed you? Would you honestly say your lack of love was her fault for chewing too loud or snoring or leaving her socks on the floor that one time when at first you had no problems with those things? There's a term for it - Checked out. Your WW is checked out and has been for the amount of time things have been rocky. You're not a terrible person for doing things that annoyed her or pissed her off accidentally and you're not to blame when she acts like you're the worst husband ever for having a few social faux paus in your history or having disagreements about moving every two years.

Is it scary - the thought that maybe you don't have any control over how someone else feels about you? Because if it IS your fault, you can control that. You can change. If she would just give you a chance and tell you what to do, you will do it and your marriage will be saved. But if it's not because of you, if it's something internal that you don't have any control over, then that's terrifying, right? Because you can't fix that. You can't just change your behavior and magically make her fall in love with you again. She may not even be able to change those feelings about you. That's why you may not want to confront the likelihood of it not being your fault because that means there is no fixing this. It can be easier to think that if you just do it right next time, with her or another woman, that you will never get dumped, get cheated on, be hurt, be left, etc. But unfortunately that's not realistic and some times break ups happen for little to no reason.

posts: 5026   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8691850
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 1:04 AM on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

The only time you made any progress with your WW is when you told her you wanted to D. She came around for a minute, saw that you really had no intention of doing so, then returned to her ways.

I wouldn’t bluff, but if you’re prepared to D, then I would lay things out with her one last time in writing. Lay out your requirements for R snd establish a timeline for this. Let her know, in writing, that if she’s not able to meet your requirements then you will move towards D.

posts: 154   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8691892
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 HowCouldSheDoIt (original poster member #78431) posted at 2:28 PM on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

Neko:

How much dating experience do you have?

Let's just say I'm pretty damn rusty. It has been over 25 years...

I get what you're saying. It could well be that she has checked out and you hit the nail squarely on the head that she needs to be talking about these things, and if she doesn't there isn't anything I can do. Thank you for the supportive words.

Dude:

Before we get to what you're suggesting, we have a step where we acknowledge and level set where we're at, that I'm ambivalent, she can tell me where she is, and figure out next steps. As an example, for all I know she's going to tell she wants out.

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: 272   ·   registered: Mar. 3rd, 2021
id 8691958
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 4:15 PM on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

That’s all well snd good, but she’s not talking and as a result you’ve pulled back. You’re in a state of limbo, established and controlled by your WW because she’s elected not to talk.

What’s your plan to implement that interim step you’re referring to? Seems like there is no movement at all.

posts: 154   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8691979
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Bezuidenhout ( new member #79375) posted at 5:33 PM on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

Your wife had sex with a younger dude, came home and told you about the fling with little to no remorse. Few months after the affair, She basically told you she's done. Wants to move toward Divorce. (In house separation until she can move out.) I think it looks like your wife checked out of the marriage a long time ago. She is buying time, until she establishes herself financially. Also if your wife could so easily cheat on you without you even suspecting anything, how on earth do you know she's not cheating now?.

posts: 13   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2021   ·   location: U.S
id 8691999
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 HowCouldSheDoIt (original poster member #78431) posted at 6:37 PM on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

Dude:
Remember that she hasn't been home for any length of time in a while. Once she's home she said she would setup some time for discernment counseling. She might not. If she doesn't then I'll have no choice but to file.

Bezuidenhout
Remember that her financial strength is also my financial strength, her and I are not in conflict there. And she could be cheating now, absolutely. This is why R is impossible, there is a lack of carrying on that is compassionate, accountable, and reparative.

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: 272   ·   registered: Mar. 3rd, 2021
id 8692009
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Robert22205https ( member #65547) posted at 4:22 PM on Monday, October 11th, 2021

Your wife returns home tomorrow. What's your plan for addressing R or D?

Will you be home when she arrives and help with her bags?

Will you and the kids celebrate her return in some way (dinner out?).

Are you still sharing the same bed?

posts: 2422   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
id 8692647
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 HowCouldSheDoIt (original poster member #78431) posted at 10:46 PM on Monday, October 11th, 2021

Yes, supposed to return home tomorrow.

I figured I would give it a couple days and see if it comes up from her first. I mean, for all I know she'll spring it on me that she wants to proceed with D. Who knows?

I figure I've got a perfect entry point in that she'll tell me about her schedule, when she'll be travelling and when she'll be home. Then if she doesn't mention anything, then it is a very easy question I can ask about when we're attending a session.

The question about the bags is an interesting one, but I certainly will help if I'm able to. I'm hurt by her but I'm still a gentleman, and it fits the image I'm trying to portray about this D being an accepted inconvenience.

It has helped me to think about it like losing my job, like my boss just told me that I have 30 days notice. I'm not happy about it, I didn't choose it, but at that point there is no sense being upset and angry about it. You spend the time being pleasant, no reason not to.

We'll have a dinner at home, maybe some champagne to celebrate her coming home.

As far as sleeping, I'll sleep in the bed. She's welcome to sleep somewhere else but I don't imagine she will. I've read stories about how the wayward love bombs the BS but my WW is not like that. I don't believe she'll do a full court press to be affectionate and close. Seriously, I give 70-80% chance that before a couple days go by she tells me she isn't going to attend discernment, and rather wants to D.

Thoughtful of you to ask.

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: 272   ·   registered: Mar. 3rd, 2021
id 8692708
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Robert22205https ( member #65547) posted at 3:16 PM on Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

IMO it sounds like she has every right to feel like you're waiting for her to decide what she wants/she's in control of the R or D decision. You've trained her to believe she's in control.

In addition, I think your behavior sends her contradictory signals about your determination to divorce.

She has a comfy home & family life, and a husband (that willingly supports her career by helping with the bags, being there for the kids, cuddling in bed, and even celebrating her return).

IMO you should give her one day to unpack and for your family to celebrate.
And then end the passive behavior. Take control away from her by starting the clock and having her served with divorce papers. You can still go to therapy and 'talk' - but the clock is ticking.

Initiate the talk with the family (she doesn't need time to prepare) and do not let her control the reason for divorce. She committed adultery (while on vacation with their sister), has not shown remorse, and has not taken steps to make herself a safe life partner.

posts: 2422   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
id 8692786
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ButAnyway ( new member #79085) posted at 3:41 PM on Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

OP has made it abundantly clear that he has no intention of DOING anything to change the dynamic of his situation. He is content to exist in perpetual limbo.

Frustrating to read, but it is what it is.

posts: 38   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8692792
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Bezuidenhout ( new member #79375) posted at 5:43 PM on Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

OP has made it abundantly clear that he has no intention of DOING anything to change the dynamic of his situation. He is content to exist in perpetual limbo.

Frustrating to read, but it is what it is.

Very true, I get the feeling that if his wife has 20 affairs he will most likely forgive because of codependency. So Sad.

posts: 13   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2021   ·   location: U.S
id 8692820
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 7:17 PM on Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

Last three posters hit the nail on the head. WW is totally in control and she knows it.

Script continues like this - WW comes home, does nothing that OP has prescribed, and then OP returns to previous pattern.

WW is home now. If she doesn’t proactively sit down with OP to discuss the mediated discernment counseling (OP should not under any circumstance drive this conversation), then moving to D is the logical next step.

posts: 154   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8692832
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CuriousObserver ( member #78743) posted at 10:01 PM on Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

Guys, the last 3 posts are only denigrating to the OP. I too have been frustrated reading his long story but our role is to help him in this difficult row he has to hoe.

HCSDI, how does your "wait and see what she does" plan help you along the path you have already chosen? What are you prepared to do if she simply reverts to her pattern of ignore, avoid, don't-ask-don't-tell and see if he will accept this? Do you have papers ready to give her if she heads to the airport without taking any steps that she said she would do? Giving her enough proverbial rope is only effective if it is actually tied to something at the other end. If you are not prepared to act, everything is just words.

I hope your visit goes as you hope.

[This message edited by CuriousObserver at 10:02 PM, Tuesday, October 12th]

Listen to their words but believe their actions.
The power of a lie is that it is believed to be truth.

posts: 127   ·   registered: May. 3rd, 2021   ·   location: USA
id 8692848
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M1965 ( member #57009) posted at 12:50 AM on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

I think we need to keep in mind that if we - reading this at a distance - find the situation frustrating to the point where we may feel like delivering a 'wake-up call', just imagine how much more frustrating it must be for HCSDI, whose life was turned upside down after his wife's confession.

HCSDI has stated that he wants to see some positive actions by his wife, or - if she does nothing - he will move towards ending the marriage. That seems reasonable, even if the speed and timing may not suit our expectations. We need to be fair; he knows what feels right to him, and he is the man at ground zero in all of this. Some people might have started divorce proceedings ten minutes after the confession, others might have thought, "Great, this is the opportunity I have been waiting for", and started sleeping around themselves. If there really was just one course of action in response to being cheated on, there would be no need for any of these forums.

In the UK, we have a saying about giving someone enough rope to hang themselves. Morbid, and tasteless, but it means letting someone do what they want to do - with no intervention - as a way of ascertaining their feelings and intentions. That is what HCSDI is doing. If there is hesitance to press the big red nuke button, we must bear in mind that the blast will hit HCSDI as much as it will hit his wife, in terms of changing everyday life, and the future. There is more in play here than just delivering justice or punishment to an unfaithful spouse; there is the reshaping of HCSDI's future. How many of us welcomed or rushed towards these kinds of changes in our forties and fifties, even if we had them effectively forced on us?

We all deal with disasters and traumatic events differently, and I do not see HCSDI going down any rabbit holes or rug-sweeping. He is just taking his time to get the true measure of his wife's state of mind, and the kind of future he can have with her. We can all have our own interpretations of those things as we read them, but we cannot know what HCSDI feels he can and cannot live with. It may or may not be something we could or could not live with, but we are not HCSDI.

And I think he is more than aware of every issue that has made us feel angry or frustrated on his behalf. It is difficult dealing with someone who says one thing and does the complete opposite, but many people here have struggled with that combination. Perhaps there comes a time when we all need to draw back and stop analyzing and second-guessing a wayward partner, and instead ponder what our lives will be like if we stay with them, irrespective of the contradictions between their words and actions.

posts: 1194   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2017   ·   location: South East of England
id 8692868
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fareast ( member #61555) posted at 1:32 AM on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

HCDSI:

You are on no one else’s schedule but your own. You are the only one who has to live with the results of whatever path you choose. M1965 has laid out good advice. You are not the first poster here that has taken his time to assess the path forward, and given his WW a long time to come to grips with her betrayal. You might check the posts from 36yearsgone. This is not a race. You’ll figure out your path forward. Whatever path you choose, R or D, you will receive support. Good luck.

Never bother with things in your rearview mirror. Your best days are on the road in front of you.

posts: 2830   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2017
id 8692872
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 HowCouldSheDoIt (original poster member #78431) posted at 1:53 PM on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

Robert, M1965, fareast I appreciate the kind words.

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: 272   ·   registered: Mar. 3rd, 2021
id 8692917
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 HowCouldSheDoIt (original poster member #78431) posted at 12:03 AM on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

You too Curious, didn't mean to leave you out.

What's going on here is probably typical, I had a therapist once tell me that when you talk about the A, keep rotating through your friends and support group. Nobody wants to be a sounding board all the time.

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: 272   ·   registered: Mar. 3rd, 2021
id 8693054
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paboy ( member #59482) posted at 7:25 AM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Hi. How has things transpired since your WW has been at home? Has any resolve been achieved?

You will only find happiness if you both commit fully one way or the other.

Let us know how you are tracking.

posts: 589   ·   registered: Jul. 4th, 2017   ·   location: australia
id 8693947
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Robert22205https ( member #65547) posted at 10:50 PM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

How are you doing? I check on you every day. You are not alone.

posts: 2422   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
id 8694245
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 HowCouldSheDoIt (original poster member #78431) posted at 3:17 PM on Monday, October 25th, 2021

Thank you guys so much. I will update later when I have a chance. I really appreciate the kind words.

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: 272   ·   registered: Mar. 3rd, 2021
id 8694971
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