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Just Found Out :
My Wife had an Intense, Highly Deceptive Affair

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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:33 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

A good session at CT. We dug into a lot of the issues I've been discussing, including feeling like she may be rebounding to me. The CT spent a good portion of second-half with pointed criticisms of my wife--all of them echoing things I've already said, but she has a very direct yet compassionate approach to how she delivers harsh criticism. She especially took my wife to task for the badmouthing and said we need to really dig into that next session.

Her feedback for me was again to slow down--on everything. She finds I'm "FBI-like" in my desire to determine black or white truths while it's clear my wife is a puddle of confusion right now. She thinks my wife NEEDS to do more to lead our conversations rather than me and spent the end of the discussion trying to prep my wife to attempt that this week.

Edit: I should add, my wife also just got a call from a friend who is on the school board. She knows, and she wanted my wife to know she was there for support. The entire PTA-scene knows and it will just spread from there. That was an expected downside of telling OBS, but it’s for the best.

It’s another layer of complexity for my wife to deal with around town though. I genuinely wonder if she can handle all the pressure on her right now—she deserves all of it, but on a human level I suspect she could break.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 6:28 PM, Monday, April 25th]

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731880
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faithfulman ( member #66002) posted at 6:10 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

- This one is still an issue. She understands my perspective: that I don’t think she should have an opinion on this and that I want to keep OBS in my life. She is still unhappy with it, but will accept it—she just wants to discuss in therapy as she needs tools on how to deal with it so she isn’t always breaking down. Interestingly enough, she brought up what was said in this thread: that she recognized she was getting a taste of her own medicine—she was hurt that OBS and I are talking about her behind her back and that’s exactly what my wife was doing to me with AP.

Your conversation with the cheating sleazebag's wife it is not even close to the same thing as what your wife entered into and was doing with him behind your back.

Not similar at all.

[This message edited by faithfulman at 8:02 PM, Monday, April 25th]

posts: 920   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2018
id 8731896
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 7:24 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

And I don’t have enough from her to think it’s for the right reasons. Her actions are the same of a person who doesn’t want to be left alone as a villain. Whether it’s true or not, I can’t identify yet.

She sounds like an emotionally immature person. I have read a lot about them thanks to my own parents. A covert narc would lack the ability to have empathy, as she is displaying. Those of us who are not personality disordered cannot fathom acting this way and it makes it so much harder to relate or wait and see if there is any hope for change. She really is acting in a way that would make anyone believe she is protecting herself and her reputation and not wanting to be the villain that ended your marriage. If she can stay now but leave later, she thinks that it wouldn't have to be her fault. I also still think she is trying to be on good behavior to gain back some control. She knows she doesn't have a leg to stand on but she is testing the waters when she is able to find somewhere that she can inch forward towards some control. She was VERY accustomed to having ALL of the power for your entire relationship.

You discussing things with the OBS is absolutely NOT a taste of her own medicine and that she feels that was is absolutely absurd. I mean it seems like keeping her mouth shut about that one thing would be the easiest and most obvious thing where she could show empathy and understanding by allowing you to talk to who you need to talk to, even if it isn't what she wants. You and all of us can see how dense she is emotionally with everything else but just that one thing could be so easy and obvious. And she didn't even want to give you that.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8731906
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 8:06 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

She sounds like an emotionally immature person. I have read a lot about them thanks to my own parents. A covert narc would lack the ability to have empathy, as she is displaying. Those of us who are not personality disordered cannot fathom acting this way and it makes it so much harder to relate or wait and see if there is any hope for change. She really is acting in a way that would make anyone believe she is protecting herself and her reputation and not wanting to be the villain that ended your marriage. If she can stay now but leave later, she thinks that it wouldn't have to be her fault. I also still think she is trying to be on good behavior to gain back some control. She knows she doesn't have a leg to stand on but she is testing the waters when she is able to find somewhere that she can inch forward towards some control. She was VERY accustomed to having ALL of the power for your entire relationship.

She is incredibly emotionally immature and the CT seized on that today. The CT feels like I'm shockingly mature emotionally and she's on the other end of the spectrum and that gap is causing us issues. She noted it's strange because she said people often marry emotionally mature equals. My view is I've just changed in that regard a bit and she has stayed the same.

I don't think I agree about good behavior being a manipulation, but I could be wrong. I think she's really just a confused person right now. I do think both things are true separately though--she is fighting for ground and trying to find her voice at times, so she does want to claim some control, but she's also trying to be good because as it stands now, she wants to be with me and she recognizes she needs to stop fucking up or I'm going to walk. I don't think she feels I'm bluffing and I don't think she's messing around with it.

You discussing things with the OBS is absolutely NOT a taste of her own medicine and that she feels that was is absolutely absurd. I mean it seems like keeping her mouth shut about that one thing would be the easiest and most obvious thing where she could show empathy and understanding by allowing you to talk to who you need to talk to, even if it isn't what she wants. You and all of us can see how dense she is emotionally with everything else but just that one thing could be so easy and obvious. And she didn't even want to give you that.

Both you and Faithfulman said that, so I'll address together. OBS and I had a silly exchange at the end of a multi-hour texting session while I was in Italy. I pointed out my perceived vindictiveness of my wife giving AP and BJ and then coming home to give me a kiss on the cheek. OBS jokingly responded with: "Well at least she didn't eat his ass before she kissed you like my husband!" It was a moment of humor in a very emotionally depressing conversation.

My wife was hurt by it because she felt exposed. She understands she has no right to be upset, but she is. She also understands how hurt I was by some of the things she said to AP about me. There is a 1,000x difference between the two and everyone understands that, but for her it was a moment where she felt me and OBS talking negatively about her behind her back and she was able to relate that to how I must feel. I only brought it up because someone in this thread pointed it out before my wife did.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731910
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 9:36 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

Be gentle to yourself. Having conversations like that with the obs and then coming home and showing your wife kindness and empathy has to be incredibly draining. I don't think you are giving yourself the credit you deserve for extending your wife grace after knowing all those abhorrent details about her choices. It is going to be a marathon whether you reconcile or divorce. I hope your wife can begin extending you the same grace, even if you don't choose what she hopes that you will.

[This message edited by clouds777 at 9:38 PM, Monday, April 25th]

posts: 221   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8731926
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 10:21 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

DrS, you are trying to fix a marriage but you can’t do that until the people involved in the marriage are healthy emotionally. I’m not picking that up at all right now. You want answers because that’s human nature and she wants you to shut up because that’s human nature. Both of you need real intense individual therapy to help you understand how you function. That way you’re not talking at cross purposes. You want every detail and she wants you to forget it all. Neither one of you is realistic. She’s not going to tell you every little thing. People are too self protective for that. She can’t let go of the kid running her life until she gets some help and recognizing it so that when she feels threatened or she feels anxious she has to stop herself and ask is this the grown-up me or the child me that’s running this thing right now. She has to be that self aware.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 3296   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8731939
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EmergingLady ( member #79881) posted at 11:43 PM on Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

Hello Doc,

First, let me say that you are doing things correctly.

You know this is a process and you're treating it as such. It will take time, lots of it, and you're aware of that.

You're also aware that there won't be a straight line of improvement either, there will be stops and starts, some days and weeks will be steps backwards.

Therapy and counseling are involved and that's wonderful.

You also know and are circling back to the same things many times and that's good to do, to see if her responses change, if her thinking changes etc.

You also know that many of her "reasons" aren't valid, that they were just surface deep or skin deep and you've kept that in mind as you are going forward.

Real issues that aren't just surface deep won't and can't be easily swatted away. When both of you dig into them, they'll remain and you'll both know those are real issues to address and deal with.

You also know there are issues outside of her affair to be worked on and you wife certainly knows this now.

She's come to the realization that she is messed up in many different ways and that she has been for so long. Choosing to carry resentments, for some minor things in many instances, for such a long time, for choosing NOT to communicate with you, for putting walls up in and out of your bedroom and of course she's deal with the weight of her incredibly hurtful decision to choose to have an affair, to say nothing of her choosing to badmouth you for so long to so many, including family.


Obviously I don't pretend to know your wife so my next comment is just in general, not specific to your wife.

Some waywards want to change and improve and they begin working hard on it, going all in. Some of those same waywards finally begin to grasp and see how badly they behaved before and during the affair and not just regarding affair things either and it overwhelms them. Some of those waywards use that to fuel them and to continue working on themselves and their marriage.

Other waywards lose hope, say it's impossible, that it's too much to overcome, it's not worth it, it isn't going to work out anyway and they give up and choose to divorce their betrayed partner.


I'm not saying this happens quickly. I suppose it does sometimes, but usually when this happens, it's later on, a year later or two years down the road.

They try so hard, then they hit bumps in the road, they trigger, their spouse triggers, they bump into the AP unexpectedly, like say at a grocery store or a gas station and they go from feeling good about things to triggering and an argument ensues.

Some waywards throw their hands up and say uncle.


Earlier you said you felt as if your life with her has been a lie and you were referencing all of it due to the way she was.


I hope your wife has the intestinal fortitude to withstand a LONG and BUMPY road of years and years without giving up hope and thinking it's hopeless and useless for her to continue trying.

I hope she has the intestinal fortitude to accept that she's made mistakes and remain committed to working on them and correcting things about herself when she's faced with having to deal with this about herself day after day, week after week month after month and then for a year and then even longer.

It overwhelms many, sadly. On the other hand, some are able to dig deep and withstand the long term "pain" and suffering that they will have to endure and they willingly choose to hit it head on and to use that to fuel them to continue forward on their path of change and improvement.


I also hope that when your wife is much further down this road, that she doesn't say to herself that she's a much different person now than she was before and she wants to go her own way now that she realizes who and what she really is.

Some waywards do that, they say they chose their partner years before, when they were younger and "broken" and now that they're older, wiser and no longer "broken" they know they shouldn't have chosen their partner.


Two people who are really committed to each other know these things and choose to continue on as a team, as partners, working together. They realize that all of us, change as the decades go by. None of us are the same people we were when we were young and met someone. We're not the same in our 30's, after children as we were when we met each other in high school or in college.

We're not the same in our 50's either and on and on.

Some embrace this, others run from it.

My hope is that both of you will be able to withstand all that is still in front of you both regarding all of this and embrace it, together.


Sadly, that's not known as of yet.

So many things in life are "to be continued."


Last point. There aren't any shortcuts, nothing may be skipped or rushed and hurried through, but you know that. I hope your wife knows that and really understands it too.

Good luck Doc and take care.

posts: 65   ·   registered: Feb. 3rd, 2022   ·   location: America
id 8732171
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 4:01 PM on Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

Hello Doc,

First, let me say that you are doing things correctly.

You know this is a process and you're treating it as such. It will take time, lots of it, and you're aware of that.

You're also aware that there won't be a straight line of improvement either, there will be stops and starts, some days and weeks will be steps backwards.

Therapy and counseling are involved and that's wonderful.

You also know and are circling back to the same things many times and that's good to do, to see if her responses change, if her thinking changes etc.

You also know that many of her "reasons" aren't valid, that they were just surface deep or skin deep and you've kept that in mind as you are going forward.

Real issues that aren't just surface deep won't and can't be easily swatted away. When both of you dig into them, they'll remain and you'll both know those are real issues to address and deal with.

You also know there are issues outside of her affair to be worked on and you wife certainly knows this now.

She's come to the realization that she is messed up in many different ways and that she has been for so long. Choosing to carry resentments, for some minor things in many instances, for such a long time, for choosing NOT to communicate with you, for putting walls up in and out of your bedroom and of course she's deal with the weight of her incredibly hurtful decision to choose to have an affair, to say nothing of her choosing to badmouth you for so long to so many, including family.


Obviously I don't pretend to know your wife so my next comment is just in general, not specific to your wife.

Some waywards want to change and improve and they begin working hard on it, going all in. Some of those same waywards finally begin to grasp and see how badly they behaved before and during the affair and not just regarding affair things either and it overwhelms them. Some of those waywards use that to fuel them and to continue working on themselves and their marriage.

Other waywards lose hope, say it's impossible, that it's too much to overcome, it's not worth it, it isn't going to work out anyway and they give up and choose to divorce their betrayed partner.


I'm not saying this happens quickly. I suppose it does sometimes, but usually when this happens, it's later on, a year later or two years down the road.

They try so hard, then they hit bumps in the road, they trigger, their spouse triggers, they bump into the AP unexpectedly, like say at a grocery store or a gas station and they go from feeling good about things to triggering and an argument ensues.

Some waywards throw their hands up and say uncle.


Earlier you said you felt as if your life with her has been a lie and you were referencing all of it due to the way she was.


I hope your wife has the intestinal fortitude to withstand a LONG and BUMPY road of years and years without giving up hope and thinking it's hopeless and useless for her to continue trying.

I hope she has the intestinal fortitude to accept that she's made mistakes and remain committed to working on them and correcting things about herself when she's faced with having to deal with this about herself day after day, week after week month after month and then for a year and then even longer.

It overwhelms many, sadly. On the other hand, some are able to dig deep and withstand the long term "pain" and suffering that they will have to endure and they willingly choose to hit it head on and to use that to fuel them to continue forward on their path of change and improvement.


I also hope that when your wife is much further down this road, that she doesn't say to herself that she's a much different person now than she was before and she wants to go her own way now that she realizes who and what she really is.

Some waywards do that, they say they chose their partner years before, when they were younger and "broken" and now that they're older, wiser and no longer "broken" they know they shouldn't have chosen their partner.


Two people who are really committed to each other know these things and choose to continue on as a team, as partners, working together. They realize that all of us, change as the decades go by. None of us are the same people we were when we were young and met someone. We're not the same in our 30's, after children as we were when we met each other in high school or in college.

We're not the same in our 50's either and on and on.

Some embrace this, others run from it.

My hope is that both of you will be able to withstand all that is still in front of you both regarding all of this and embrace it, together.


Sadly, that's not known as of yet.

So many things in life are "to be continued."


Last point. There aren't any shortcuts, nothing may be skipped or rushed and hurried through, but you know that. I hope your wife knows that and really understands it too.

Good luck Doc and take care.

I want to thank you again for the thoughtful post. I agree with you entirely and I really do question my wife’s ability to change—it’s such a major undertaking and I don’t have faith that she can do it.

In fact, even last night she brought up something that happened about two weeks ago when I returned from Italy. I gave her a list of demands essentially; things she had to change for us to work as a couple. She doesn’t disagree with the things I said, but found my tone domineering. I agree with her—I set the list up as an ultimatum, which are always unproductive. But the point was she held in anger about it for two weeks and then used it as a justification to justify her various affair justifications. It’s exhausting.

In her defense, she felt like citing her displeasure about it would have been a blameshift; and perhaps she’s right. Truthfully, it just seems like it should have been something she let go of—my tone in one moment of weakness just shouldn’t be that significant to her. But that’s the way her brain works—every received criticism is matched with a criticism of the person criticizing her, and with me, it’s kept internal and builds as resentment because she feels she can’t beat me in an argument.

In this specific situation, I walked her through the things on my list: her being a better wife, stop weaponzing our sex life, more open communication. And she felt defensive about them because of my tone—but I asked her about those things and she couldn’t defend herself on any of them. It hurt her to know I thought of her as a bad wife—but of course she was a bad wife!

Anyway, the other part of your point is that even if she succeeds, perhaps she becomes a different person and falls out of love with me. That’s hard for me to tell—but I do think I’ll keep up with this should reconciliation continue and not allow us to stop communicating and drift away. The challenge I foresee is she is so bad at leading a conversation.

Again, last night, her assignment from CT was to lead a night’s conversation. She came to the talk with two points: one, thanking me for not leaving her and sitting with her to talk it through; and two, how important family is and how horrible she feels for badmouthing me and creating this divide. Both very sweet points, but it took us 15 minutes—oppositely, I’ve led us through hundreds of hours of conversation since D-Day. I then had to lead the rest of last night’s talk too.

So again, I worry that as we move forward, she will just stop communicating and I’ll have no way of pulling her potential issues out of her.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8732281
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 4:21 PM on Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

Did you confront her on the withholding that information for 2 weeks? Did you ask her why after everything, she cannot find it within her to let go of your perceived tone in hopes of some progress?

Every time she has an opportunity to demonstrate humility or effort without prompting from you, she just doesn't. It must be so very frustrating.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8732285
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:41 PM on Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

Did you confront her on the withholding that information for 2 weeks? Did you ask her why after everything, she cannot find it within her to let go of your perceived tone in hopes of some progress?

Every time she has an opportunity to demonstrate humility or effort without prompting from you, she just doesn't. It must be so very frustrating.

I did confront her. She said she felt that voicing her frustration on my tone would be viewed by me as her trying to blameshift--i.e., rather than addressing the content of what was said, she would have been diverting it to an argument on my tone.

She might be right--I don't know how I would have reacted in the moment. She only brought it up because I apologized for my ultimatum tone at times, so she felt safe then to address it with me.

To be fair to me, 99% of the time, I'm calm and collected in our talks, but I have gotten frustrated at various moments for small sections of time. I don't think that's ok, but I do think she owes me slack with my emotional response, especially considering how objectively frustrating she is to communicate with.

The problem is this issue is a grey area--it's not entirely clear cut what she should have done, but it's not a good sign of things to come obviously. It's another sign that she may not have an ability to change--but I don' know how quickly I'm supposed to see change. She's talking with two therapists every week and we're doing a lot of work on our own, so it would seem if she genuinely has a desire to change, she will show progress sooner rather than later.

I had considered setting some kind of deadline--perhaps Sept. 15, six months after D-Day, but I think sharing that date would be an unfair ultimatum. Perhaps instead I'll keep it to myself. I feel like I need to establish some kind of set goal and set date or I risk sliding through this for years.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8732306
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 11:41 PM on Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

Absolutely set a date and Absolutely keep it to yourself. This is a good idea.

It's hard to wrap my head around that she did what she did and you are expected to show her grace as she navigates learning to be a grown up. But this is what is meant by the BS agreeing to eat the shit sandwich when they agree to give the gift of r.

Like I said, you're trying. Focus more on you and less on her. You can heal yourself. She is going to do what she is going to do and she should be operating with the least amount of guidance from you as possible. She didn't need your help to figure out how to cheat and lie. So she doesn't need your help now either. It's up to her.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8732375
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CommonLeadership48 ( new member #79928) posted at 12:51 AM on Thursday, April 28th, 2022

I've tried to read through all of your posts and most of the replies and observations. One thing is abundantly clear to me; your wife is afraid of you and feels inferior to you in many ways. I'm sure you are aware of this, but I'm not clear on whether or not you want to reconcile. My impression is you are a "it would be nice to reconcile but not absolutely necessary" kind of guy. Ultimatums and deadlines will likely fail because she will give up. If you're OK with that, then keep plugging ahead.

posts: 2   ·   registered: Feb. 13th, 2022   ·   location: TN
id 8732385
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:03 PM on Thursday, April 28th, 2022

I've tried to read through all of your posts and most of the replies and observations. One thing is abundantly clear to me; your wife is afraid of you and feels inferior to you in many ways. I'm sure you are aware of this, but I'm not clear on whether or not you want to reconcile. My impression is you are a "it would be nice to reconcile but not absolutely necessary" kind of guy. Ultimatums and deadlines will likely fail because she will give up. If you're OK with that, then keep plugging ahead.

That’s exactly how she feels.

As for reconciliation, I don’t think that describes my view. I’m closer to the thought of living with her for the kids regardless than I am not caring about reconciliation, so I’d say it’s as close to necessary as it could be. The more I talk with her the more I realize how fucked up her brain is wired and it feels disheartening to think my hopes rest on her figuring this out and conquering it.

And I agree with you that ultimatums and deadlines are objectively bad—people use them after they’ve lost an argument. And I guess that’s how I feel right now.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8732436
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farsidejunky ( member #49392) posted at 4:30 PM on Thursday, April 28th, 2022

It is blameshifting.

Look, brother. What I am about to say is unfair given her cheating, but being unfair does not make it untrue.

As hard as it may be, you have no choice but to lead in this...as you have found out, and had confirmed by the therapist. She simply does not pack the gear.

If you want to reconcile, which you clearly do, then you must...must...find enough inner peace to deliver your messaging/boundaries to her in a cool, firm, and dispassionate manner.

She knows heat. It likely has a good bit to do with her emotional immaturity, most likely stemming from her childhood. She will sniff it out a mile away, even if you believe you are giving her your best poker face.

I don't envy your journey. I would not be giving her the opportunities you are. But if that is going to be your choice, you are going to have to find that peace. Even then, it may not work. But I can promise you it won't work if you don't find it.

Good luck, brother.

“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

-Maya Angelou

posts: 594   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2015   ·   location: Tennessee
id 8732485
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MickeyBill2016 ( member #56459) posted at 6:17 PM on Thursday, April 28th, 2022

The more I talk with her the more I realize how fucked up her brain is wired and it feels disheartening to think my hopes rest on her figuring this out and conquering it.

This is such a sad statement. You can only do so much...without her being willing or able to join you on this path it won't work.

And if the PTA folks know, that is a consequence of the affair. Eventually another scandal will happen and her affair with the cop will fade away...

9 years married.
13 years divorced.

posts: 1230   ·   registered: Dec. 17th, 2016   ·   location: West of the 405 North of the Mexican border
id 8732505
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Lalala12 ( new member #79196) posted at 7:51 PM on Thursday, April 28th, 2022

I think you are wise to set yourself some deadlines - 6 months perhaps or end of the year - and see then where you are both as a couple and separately. The level of progress will help you work out your next steps. Just remember that it takes time to change and heal, can’t happen overnight.

One thing is abundantly clear to me; your wife is afraid of you and feels inferior to you in many ways.

I had the same impression and I was wondering… what do you really think of your wife as a person? Obviously since the A you are angry and disappointed in her and all faults are magnified, but what was your opinion of her prior to this? I imagine you loved (and still love) her but did you like her as a person? Does she have some traits that you don’t have and admire her for?

We said before that it’s difficult at the moment to know if she is committed to change to be a good partner for you or for a future ideal someone else. Time will tell, but what about you - are you committed to reconcile with her because you hope that she will become the ideal partner you’d like to have or do you genuinely want to be with her, albeit the new and improved version of her?

Sorry if I’m bombarding you with questions, obviously you are welcome to tell me to f…. off! It’s just that I think it’s important to start with a solid base and to recognize or reaffirm your true motives so they can push you through the hard times and give you the right purpose.

I do believe that people can change if they want to and if they put effort into it so I think that your wife could change (with tons of work). However she will never be the perfect ideal partner, she will still carry some of her faults and weaknesses, just as you will.


With regard to OBS: I think you should keep a line of communication open, no doubt, and your wife should accept and agree to it. Perhaps limit contact to just being cordial without giving the impression that you are establishing a friendship with her.

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id 8732523
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 10:00 PM on Thursday, April 28th, 2022

I had the same impression and I was wondering… what do you really think of your wife as a person?

Good timing on this question. I've been thinking a lot on her repeated comments that I make her feel small and belittled. My first impression is that she meant during disagreements and I didn't really give it much weight--I interpreted that as her feeling bad about coming up short in an argument she hadn't thought through.

Truthfully though, she's right. I think her weaponizing our sex life over the relationship--either through being sexually unavailable or through participating in a sex act and making it known she wasn't enjoying it--I developed some significant resentment toward her on my end.

I think the result is that neither of us cared very much for the other--we both felt like we were running a house/daycare and lost any depth to our connection. Our enjoyment together consisted of traveling, dinners, etc. There was virtually no emotional connection.

But I certainly like her--I love her deeply and have enjoyed reconnecting with her even though it's uncovered so much negativity about the inner workings of her mind. As many of you have pointed out, it's not a linear process. I feel good for X amount of hours, then I feel awful. She's been the same way overall, though to her credit, over the last few days, she's been much better. The deflections, defensiveness and blame-shifting has dropped off drastically. She's not perfect obviously, but it'd be unfair for me to not recognize the progress.

I suspect my big hangup right now is knowing this likely began as an exit affair for her--she was done with me and had given up without ever trying to fix things. That's a hard pill to swallow and a hard thing to accept in a partner I'd be recommitting to for the rest of my life.

But like every issue that arises, I'll keep working through it. Last night we spent a lot of time digging into more specifics from her past and it's very obvious that she has big, unresolved issues with her family that developed in childhood--and then transferred to her sexual relationships with men...and ultimately fell into my lap. But she's working through those in IC and CT and she seems committed to resolving the issues we've identified.

We shall see.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8732553
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EmergingLady ( member #79881) posted at 12:31 AM on Friday, April 29th, 2022

"I suspect my big hangup right now is knowing this likely began as an exit affair for her"

I concur Doc.

Beyond that, as she works on her new and improved version of herself, neither she nor you know what she will be like a year from now, 18 months from now. There are no crystal balls. As she works on improving herself, she may come to the realization that you are exactly what she wants and needs... or she may come to the realization that she is now a much different person than before, certainly from her childhood but even from her younger adult years due to living with all of her issues all those years.

Once she works on these and gets a better handle on them, she is going to feel differently. What that looks like is yet to be determined. As I said, she may realize that you are "it" for her and she wants to spend the rest of her life with you and grow old together. On the other hand, she may feel the opposite of that too.

And Doc, the same holds true for you too. You don't know what she'll be like a year from now, 18 months from now, whether you'll like her new and improved version.


Yes, the affair was terrible and that needs to be worked on, but she has so much else to work on and that compounds all of this.

The two of you met when she was one way, her old way. Neither of you have yet met her new and improved changed way as she is still working on that. It's currently a work in progress, to be determined.

There are no shortcuts & neither of you know what the outcome will be. The work has to be done and it's in work by both of you now and that's good.

Sadly, it's not going to be a straight line for both of you to go from doing the hard work that's in front of both of you to living happily ever after.

The two of you won't know that about each other until AFTER a lot of the hard work of change and improvement is over.


In a very real sense, it will be like the two of you meeting for the first time again, in say 18 months from now and both of you will have to determine if you want to be with the other one then, at that time.

Don't hold me to the 18 months of course as I just mean some future time when both of you are much further along the road of change, healing and improvement.


As you both know, your wife has a lot of work to do and that takes priority. She's engaged in said hard work right now of course.

The rest, and by that I mean your marriage and future together, comes AFTER she's done a lot of work. And both of you will have to want to be with each other, then, after so much of this work is done.


It's unsettling to have to work so hard, for such a long time and not know what the end game is going to be, but that's the boat the two of you are in.


Doc,

I'm really hoping things go as smoothly as possible considering all the circumstances. Additionally, I'm hoping that you're able to come to a peace regarding this, all of this, at some point. I hope you're able to come to a sort of "knowing" what you should do, whether that's to remain with her or not. Of course this bridge is still a long ways off, but my hope is that you aren't conflicted and unsettled when that bridge is right in front of you. It's my hope that you will have peace and a knowing of what you should do when that time comes.

Take care sir.

Oh, how are your children doing regarding this?

posts: 65   ·   registered: Feb. 3rd, 2022   ·   location: America
id 8732581
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 1:36 AM on Friday, April 29th, 2022

Doc. I’m curious about your wife’s career. You said a couple of times that she earns significantly more than you, yet she is intellectually barren and shallow.

Is your WW a different person at her job? At work is she smart, intellectual, strategic, forward thinking, quick, or is she at work as she is at home?

posts: 401   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8732603
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 2:14 AM on Friday, April 29th, 2022

Doc. I’m curious about your wife’s career. You said a couple of times that she earns significantly more than you, yet she is intellectually barren and shallow.

Is your WW a different person at her job? At work is she smart, intellectual, strategic, forward thinking, quick, or is she at work as she is at home?

She works in sales and makes close to 50% more than me liquid annually (though I cover the health benefits for family and I am building significantly more for retirement through my job’s financial setup). She works very hard and does well at her job, but it doesn’t require much intellectual strain.

And I’m not making this point about my wife to be mean—she would agree. She doesn’t have any passions or hobbies; doesn’t have any interest in current events or politics; doesn’t care about any movies or books. She lives a very simple existence. In her words, she felt lost about a decade ago and wasn’t sure who she was—then we had our first child in 2015 and she defined herself as a mother and threw herself into that role.

I do think it’s an issue and I try to push her into various things, but nothing ever catches on.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8732613
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