I finally got my wife to agree to tell me everything about her affair that happened in 2006-7.
She'd been denying that it was ever physical. For almost 15 years she denied it. I all but knew it was. So I hounded her all this time. I brought it up at least every 6 months.
She never reconciled with me. Back in the day she refused to go to MC or IC. I wasn't going to force it because we were in MC when she was cheating.
Then. after about 6 months she started getting sick of lying, I guess, and started telling me "get over it" type of stuff.
So she finally agreed to tell me everything after another hounding by me.
But here's the crazy part. I cheated on her too. Multiple times. Maybe like 9 times all spread out over our 20 years, depending on your definition of cheating.
I went through a ton of self work in the last 5 years. Intensive therapy, working on myself. One of the things I realized is that I don't want to be in a marriage with lies.
So we went to the therapy session where she expected to tell me her affair. And she did. It turns out they had sex at least a dozen times.
But then I detailed all my infidelities over the years. I wanted to start with a fresh slate. No more lies from either of us. She only knew of a couple infidelities in the past. So this was bombshell information for her.
After MC she divulged more of her infidelities the next day. She actually cheated on me a separate time when she studied abroad way back in college before she ever even suspected I had betrayed her.
She also divulged other inappropriate sexual stuff that happened over the years of which there were a few more, like kissing other guys.
Now it's been a month or so since this happened. But we have had an extremely hard time. I feel bad for cheating on her. But I feel a lot worse that she cheated on me. IDK if that's a bad sign.
I wanted to give our dysfunctional marriage a chance of becoming something worth keeping. I thought the only way to fix things is to adopt a new relationship. One based on total honesty. And that meant I had to fess up to my stuff. And it also meant she had to tell me her's. IDK, I just really feel differently than I ever felt before going through therapy. A marriage based on lies is no longer something I want to waste my life on.
But we have 3 little kids. So I thought I should give it a real effort to fix this. To make this marriage into something that I'll be proud of in front of my children when they get older. Or to have the self respect to finally leave this toxic wasteland.
I know now that I have to voice my complaints in the marriage, instead of stepping out to try to get over my resentment in the dysfunction of it all. I now see that I have been shooting myself in the foot all these years. It accepting her crap and living in a one sided relationship that is the real issue. No amount of ONS can fix that. I'd been living my life by the Fool's Golden Rule. Treat others how they've treated you. Now I see why they call it foolish. It just debases my integrity. Now I can't imagine doing that. I learned that it's okay to leave people who hurt you. And I'm closer than ever to leaving this marriage. I think my wife could sense that, hence why she finally agreed to stop deceiving me.
But now I am really starting to feel lost.
After epic Dday, she told me no more rages and toxic fighting. I have honored that. I really learned a lot of communication skills in therapy, and I just don't need to get heated and have a blow out anymore. However, she keeps raging at me. As if that weren't bad enough. It's not like a normal fight where it escalates. She's the only one escalating now. I have calm discussions where I tell her how I feel and ask questions about her affairs. At some point she gets triggered by something I say, and lashes out at me. I remain calm during this, and try to tell her I am not able to have a rational discussion anymore, I am too upset. And then I try to leave the room or house. But she doesn't stop. She just follows me around yelling at me and getting in my face and saying hurtful stuff. It was my turn to ask questions and have her listen to me. And she keeps turning it around on me so she doesn't have to face her shame. She starts asking me questions suddenly and seems worked up, but even though I remain calm it doesn't help. She just flies of the handle.
She's actually a very manipulative person. And a liar. But again, in therapy I learned how to deal with manipulative people without getting upset myself. And ever since then I have been not allowing myself to be drug around a fight with a bunch of dirty tactics, like changing the subject, turning my complaint around on me and cross complaining, guilt trips, insults, projection, gaslighting. She does it all pretty regularly. But now it doesn't work for her. I just redirect the conversation back to my topic and call out her tactics.
It sort of feels like she has started raging more at me because those tactics no longer work. Raging is a way for her to control. And makes her feel justified. And allows her to let off steam.
But afterwards it makes me feel crappy for days. I don't want a wife who rages at me. Do you think this is something we can fix? I really don't know what else I can do to de-escalate. Other than going back to how things were before, and just crumple myself into a box to fit the marriage. Stop confronting her on her crap. I already tried that and it just didn't work for me. I don't want to build resentment anymore to where I end up acting out in different ways. That old me is dead. Now I feel bad though. I feel all the feelings of resentment at unfair treatment, anger, being shut down, sadness. And it tells me something. It says I don't want to be with a rage-aholic.
It feels like her rages take what little tiny bit of love and respect there is trying to sprout, and stomps all over it. Ever since she raged at me 3 weeks in a row, I have been thinking about my escape plan out of this marriage.
I don't trust her at all. I don't believe her that she's told me about all her infidelities. She admitted that if I hadn't come clean with all my stuff, that she would never have told me about the other affairs I had little idea of before. And in front of the MC she said she only told me about the other ones so I wouldn't feel as bad. I brought this up with her and she said she meant something else, not that she has anymore secrets.
I am just having a really hard time believing anything she says. IDK if this is ever going to change. Idk what to do. Will it get better? Will she finally listen to me?
It feels very similar to her old lying ways. It feels like she is lying and trying to manipulate me. I used to tamp down these feelings. But now I listen to my intuition, because so far, since therapy, it's been really astute.
But I'm not sure if I can trust myself. My emotions are high in general this last month. And I just found out about a lot of stuff that's hugely trust breaking. Will it ever come back? Will I always still feel like she is probably lying to me?