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

Topic is Sleeping.
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Never2late ( member #79079) posted at 1:30 AM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

Doc, I generally respect your position on divorce, however....irreconcilable differences such as violence,etc... That seems like a very low bar. Further, you are really putting yourself in a terrible position in terms of making a good decision. I know you are a sharp and well reasoned guy but at the end of the day it sounds like you will eventually talk yourself into R because of this predisposition.

posts: 204   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8736075
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RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 5:49 AM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

Thanks for the clarifications.


Gently now....

By being tied to someone else, you’re allowed to risk things in a relationship that you couldn’t without marriage.


With regards to the statement above, it could be argued the opposite is true. Ultimately, it is not a piece of paper, nor a ring on a finger that ties people together. It is a choice. Your WW risked more for her AP even though she was not married to him, and she took your love for granted as she knew you would be there for her...

I do understand your POV, but a relationship should not be based on a piece of paper that binds you legally, it helps to focus a relationship, but is not a necessity. Don't get me wrong, I believe in marriage, and am happily married for over 20yrs, but my dedication to my wife and the M is due to my choice to not step out, same for my wife.

The paper/ring may help a couple focus, but it will not stop a party from ignoring the totems them eventually.

Your response also indicated that you are not that scared that you will descend into a life of debauchery, as that fear of Tinder hookups etc was not even mentioned. You have enough sense not to let that happen.

Whether you R or D, that ultimately becomes your choice. It is your life, and your decision, but it would be good to make that decision on a steadied mind, rather than one that is still reeling (which IMO you are still in). At the moment, you are leaning towards R (which is fine), but I would suggest you try to get back into a neutral stance again. Keep an open mind to both possibilities, so that you can get a better view of the path forward.


Another point I would like to get clarity on; what is your WW doing to earn your trust back? What has she been doing to show you that she is safe (the low hanging fruit of giving you access to all her methods of communication should be a given)?

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 1130   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8736096
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DictumVeritas ( member #74087) posted at 7:19 AM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

I’m against D because I believe philosophically it is wrong, unless there are quite literally irreconcilable differences (violence, etc.).

Adultery is far worse spousal abuse than violence. Violence damages the body adultery kills the soul. You have every reason to divorce if spousal abuse is the metric.

[This message edited by DictumVeritas at 7:19 AM, Friday, May 20th]

Your life is but a flicker to the cosmos and only the brightest flickers are recorded by history for good or bad. Most of us just want to live our lives without being interfered with.

posts: 285   ·   registered: Mar. 22nd, 2020   ·   location: South-Africa
id 8736104
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:08 PM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

Your WW risked more for her AP even though she was not married to him, and she took your love for granted as she knew you would be there for her...

The core issue in my situation is that my wife did not have the same view on marriage as I did—something I was unaware of and could not prove previously. She very clearly did not share my view of marriage and was racing to dump the whole thing before even sitting down for a conversation with her life partner. I think about how easy it was for her—how frivolous of a person she is—and it tortures me.

From a personal perspective, that sucks for me; but if it changed my view on marriage from a societal perspective, I’d be a hypocrite (especially right now in this moment). I’m open to evolving my views, but I can’t in good conscience do that now. Ultimately, my peak happiness shouldn’t outweigh the betterment of my children.

It’s also worth noting that this catastrophic failure in my marriage is not chance—my wife and I failed because we are clearly flawed people. Seemingly her far more than me, but that gives me less solace than I thought it would.

Us walking away from each other to find new people to corrupt seems horribly selfish. My hope is that through IC we can improve ourselves, so should we end up separated, we’re less likely to spread our toxic behavior into others’ lives (including potentially their children).

Your response also indicated that you are not that scared that you will descend into a life of debauchery, as that fear of Tinder hookups etc was not even mentioned. You have enough sense not to let that happen.

I wrote about it briefly I think, but back when the love of my teenage life broke my heart, I spent two years having sex with all of her friends—very likely doing significant emotional damage to many young women. It bothers me greatly to this day, so I’d think you’re right in that my behavior post-divorce would be reasoned. Still, a part of me thinks the first thing I would do is download Tinder and wallow in my solitude.

Whether you R or D, that ultimately becomes your choice. It is your life, and your decision, but it would be good to make that decision on a steadied mind, rather than one that is still reeling (which IMO you are still in). At the moment, you are leaning towards R (which is fine), but I would suggest you try to get back into a neutral stance again. Keep an open mind to both possibilities, so that you can get a better view of the path forward.

I don’t know that I’m leaning toward R, but I’m certainly hoping I R. It’s a weird position to be in. I wake up every morning in disbelief at what my wife did to me. I’m no closer today to forgiving her than I was two months ago. As long as I feel like this, there can be no attempt at R—for me to R, I need to be willing to move passed the affair. I’m not there yet.

Another point I would like to get clarity on; what is your WW doing to earn your trust back? What has she been doing to show you that she is safe (the low hanging fruit of giving you access to all her methods of communication should be a given)?

She has given me full access to her devices—something everyone here expressed right after D-Day. The problem though is she’s not having an affair right now—in her case, the AP dropped her like a bag of rocks, so there’s no suspicious comms to be had. Further, our CT STRONGLY advised my wife to start creating boundaries in her marriage and stop talking about me to everyone all together, especially her family/mother.

We also shared our phone locations with each other, but again, I’m focused on what she did, not what she is doing now.

In addition to that, she has been very supportive, sensing my sadness and offering warmth or to talk. She has been relatively very open with me, sharing things that would be horrific for anyone to tell their husbands. She has been fairly good at recognizing triggers as well and making sure I’m comfortable.

As a partner, she’s doing a lot of things good, but she’s still a very damaged person—her entire line of thinking is twisted on virtually every topic: she has a selfish core and it’s going to take her a long time to fix it. I’m looking for the day when her instinct is not to be the victim, but who the hell knows how long that will take.

In the meantime, I hope to sort through my remaining issues with the affair; primarily her ability to be so cruel to me and whether or not it’s even possible for her to be in love with me right now.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 12:24 PM, Friday, May 20th]

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 972   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8736141
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:16 PM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

Adultery is far worse spousal abuse than violence. Violence damages the body adultery kills the soul. You have every reason to divorce if spousal abuse is the metric.

Agreed, what she did was far more vicious than a punch, and if I thought she’d do it again, I’d be out the door. But if she’s never going to do it again, that’s where I have the philosophical problem. It would be the same as if she punched me once and never again—I wouldn’t leave her for that one misdeed.

My reference to violence meant a person should leave a marriage if they’re actively unsafe. I don’t feel safe right now, but logically, I can’t prove I’m unsafe. If she can make me feel safe, I don’t know that I’d feel justified to leave—we’ll see, but I’m giving her that opportunity before I decide on R or D.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 972   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8736147
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 3:12 PM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

Doc

I do think this is one thing the majority got wrong (though there were two or three of you that diverged from the group think). In my shoes, if I stepped back and let her lead, she would have failed under the pressure.

I'm still often spoon-feeding her until she gets to the answers, and it's frustrating, but I also see her thinking has gradually changed. She's making immeasurably less mistakes and blurting out far less absurdly selfish remarks. I'm seeing more of the compassionate version of her I fell in love with.

And I don't want it to come across the wrong way, but I credit that to my relentlessness. I think in my case I had to stay aggressive. It might not matter in the end, just an observation thus far.

I understand your thinking here. I think I’ve said it here and if not, have said it often on this site, but NO ONE EXPECTS TO BE THE VILLIAN IN THEIR OWN LIFE STORY. And because of that, no one expects to have to rebuild a relationship after destroying it with cheating. To me that means no one plans ahead to have the skills to do the necessary things in order to fix themselves, rebuild a marriage and help a spouse heal from the pain of the infidelity they inflicted on them.

Because of the above I believe what to do after DDay is mostly if not completely A LEARNED SKILL for a WS. It is not something they innately know how to do.

So in some ways the do need to be led, especially at first, to the correct path to reconciliation. More often than not it is the BS that does that instruction.

That is why I choose to measure a WS mostly not on what they are getting right or wrong in the reconciliation process but instead on their WILLINGNESS TO LEARN HOW TO REPAIR THE DAMAGE AND LEAD THE EFFORT going forward.

If they are learning these things and taking over the responsibility of rebuilding and showing an openness to change and putting in the hours to really identify and take the necessary steps, then I believe they have a real chance at building something new with their betrayed partner.

I think you have seen mixed results with your wife. I think she has shown a willingness to learn what she should and could do to help you heal, fix herself and prove her love and desire for you.

At other times I think she has failed miserably, showing concern not for her wounded partner, but only for herself.

But the concern I have is this. If you force feed her too much, if you hand hold and lead her to the answers instead of letting her discover and persevere and put in the hours to figure it all out, then there is a risk. It is like giving someone all the answers without letting them go thru the steps to understand WHY they are the answers. And if that is the case, down the road, you may just find that you reconciled, not with your wife … but with yourself.

And that will lead to doubt and insecurity and a feeling of dissatisfaction in the relationship.

Did you build something new with her? Or did you create something yourself in a test tube to your own specifications? Did she do the work? Or did you do it for her and hand it to her to turn in at the end of the semester. The grade may be the same, but did she truly learn anything in the process.

That is my worry here. I think it’s a tightrope walk and you need yo find the balance. I feel you’re still too far to one side. But it’s hard to be a judge of it all thru words on a screen.

Just some food for thought.

[This message edited by Stevesn at 8:19 PM, Friday, May 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: 3595   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8736216
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:47 PM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

If I'm capable of R, I will R--it's perhaps that simple.

It's hard to be more wrong. sad

R requires all partners to want R and to work effectively (i.e. achieve the necessary results) for R.

No single person can do it on their own, and no one person can control their partner. And the M that follows the R process is the same: all partners need to want the M, and they need to do what's necessary to get the necessary results to keep the M worth keeping.

You cannot R alone, except with yourself.

And no single person can control the outcome of a relationship, except by choosing D - R takes 2, and D just takes 1.

*****

Drs, I recommend working on your sense of what you do and do not control in your IC. The BSes who heal best seem to be the people who set and maintain boundaries, let their WSes deal with those boundaries as they will, and respond accordingly. I wouldn't call that 'spoon feeding', so I have serious concerns that you think you control much more than you really can control. If I'm right, that will end up hurting you.

The WSes who heal seem to be the ones who take the lead in their own lives. That's different from taking the lead in the M or R. R is 2 people coming together and agreeing to adjust to each other. I don't think it works unless it's a true partnership, with equal partners.

*****

Adultery is far worse spousal abuse than violence. Violence damages the body adultery kills the soul.

I'm surprised and concerned to read this.

Healing one's soul is something that is well within the capabilities of the vast majority of human beings. (Some physical abuse results in permanent physical damage and permanent loss of normal abilities.)

Lots of SIers have D'ed and reported they've moved on to fulfilling, fulfilled, happy, productive lives often with new, loving partners.

My reco to a BS who hasn't healed their soul is to write about on SI. Healing is possible, but often one needs to find guidance that they understand. With all the diversity on SI, the chances are pretty good that someone here will respond with what one needs to hear (read).

We all live with the consequences of what we've done and what has been done to us. A BS can't change the fact they they were betrayed. A WS can't change the fact that they've betrayed a loved one.

Our souls have taken and/or given some big hits, but most of us can heal - it always takes longer than anyone thinks it should, and it may not be easy, but most of us can heal our souls.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

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gr8ful ( member #58180) posted at 4:54 PM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

And I don't want it to come across the wrong way, but I credit that to my relentlessness. I think in my case I had to stay aggressive.

What makes you think she won’t later resent you for this relentlessness? She sure resented the hell out of you for many years for pushing her far less….

posts: 356   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2017
id 8736238
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 5:09 PM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

i'm still often spoon-feeding her until she gets to the answers, and it's frustrating, but I also see her thinking has gradually changed. She's making immeasurably less mistakes and blurting out far less absurdly selfish remarks. I'm seeing more of the compassionate version of her I fell in love with.


This really is the responsibility of your WW and her IC. You need to heal yourself and I think you've been distracted from that by concentrating on fixing your wayward. I was one cautioning you about dragging her through R, and that still is a concern. I think she's stunted in her maturity of how she handles relationships in general. Almost at a jr. high level. For this to really work, she needs to be able to adult without your guidance. In the long run, she needs to not just follow your directions on how to behave but to anticipate, or analyze new situations, and figure out what she needs to do to keep things moving forward. You mention her resentment. How much resentment do you think you are going to have if five years from now you are still dragging her along.

posts: 1571   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8736242
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 8:39 PM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

There's an update and a lot to respond to, so here we go...

Update:

We sent the kids off with my mom for two nights. My plan was to take my wife on an overnight trip (local) to see a comedy show on Saturday night for her birthday, which is next week. Today, she wanted to take me to a nice restaurant in NYC for lunch and spend the day together.

We started the day at CT and it was a big one. My wife did the majority of the talking for a change and the CT really focused in on her FOO issues and her poor boundaries. I actually thought the CT was fairly hard on my wife and I was glad to see it--even better, my wife was very receptive to all of it. I saw so much clicking in her head as she dug through it all, especially the inappropriate relationship with her mom. It all sunk in finally--I'm so glad we found the CT we did and I'm now very happy I didn't discontinue the sessions.

We left the session and my wife was happy and thought it went great--she actually seemed excited now that she was wrapping her mind around what her issues were. She told me she's only really started to understand anything these last few weeks--everything before then felt like her brain was spaghetti and she couldn't comprehend what anyone was talking about.

So then we drove to NYC and had a wonderful meal. My wife was awesome--bubbly, conversational, sexy, fun. She was the woman I recall falling in love with. I've got a bit of a head cold to top off my now near permanent funk, so I felt myself bringing the date down. It's hard for me to stay "on" and fake my way through things with the affair still so top of mind.

At one point I got a bit stressed that we may have ordered too much food and my wife stepped in to calm me down--"we have all day; no where else I want to be--what about you?"

It was simple, but i felt my body relax. At one point we were close and she leaned in and kissed me. I felt a trigger instantly to her NYC bar date with AP on Dec. 21, where they intermittently made out for an hour while they chatted. I felt tears coming, so I excused myself to the restroom--my wife saw through it.

We finished the meal and are now back home finalizing some work before the weekend.

Pause: At this point in writing my post, my wife walked into my office in sheer black lingerie and we fooled around. She said she bought it six weeks ago after I had her throw out the lingerie she used with AP and was holding it for the right moment. I thought it was sweet of her and another good gesture in a long line of good gestures today.

Anyway, it's been a weird day--seeing my wife so thoroughly trying and eager to prove she wants to R with me and me still feeling all the pain of the A full blast. I'm still not at a point where I'm ready to commit to R, but I'm now looking forward to tomorrow and the next day, etc. We get a night alone tonight and a night away tomorrow--and my first IC appointment is on Wednesday and I know that will be the start of some monumental change in my own thinking.

But the concern I have is this. If you force feed her too much, if you hand hold and lead her to the answers instead of letting her discover and persevere and put in the hours to figure it all out, then there is a risk. It is like giving someone all the answers without letting them go thru the steps to understand WHY they are the answers. And if that is the case, down the road l, you may just find that you reconciled, not with your wife, but with yourself.

And that will lead to doubt and insecurity and a feeling of dissatisfaction in the relationship.

Agreed and I'm now very aware of this anytime I'm spoon feeding her. I try to catch myself and back off so we can reset. And I think early on she was becoming resentful for me doing it (and I noted that a ways back in this thread). Now it seems like she is aware of the things both me and the CT are saying and she's not only open-minded about them, she's eager to fix them.

It's hard to be more wrong. sad

R requires all partners to want R and to work effectively (i.e. achieve the necessary results) for R.

No single person can do it on their own, and no one person can control their partner. And the M that follows the R process is the same: all partners need to want the M, and they need to do what's necessary to get the necessary results to keep the M worth keeping.

You cannot R alone, except with yourself.

And no single person can control the outcome of a relationship, except by choosing D - R takes 2, and D just takes 1.

If my wife doesn't want to put in the effort to change, there is no R. I'm only talking about myself--if I even want to R. That's all I can control. Right now, my wife wants to R and is making it clear through her actions and words she wants to R. It's not quite enough for me yet--I'm not all the way there. But if I get there, I'm going to commit to it and take the olive branch she's holding out.

What makes you think she won’t later resent you for this relentlessness? She sure resented the hell out of you for many years for pushing her far less….

I have no idea what she'll do later--but right now she's making it clear she's open to change. I'm also calling her out immediately on BS and not letting any of it slide (like I would before). She still slips (imo) in some of her reasoning. For example, earlier today she asked herself why she always wanted to be so perfect at everything (perfect mom, perfect wife, perfect worker, etc.). Then she said, it's obvious.

I asked why she thought it was obvious.

She said it's because of her sister--her parents had their hands full with her my wife's entire adult life, so she felt like she had to be perfect to not add any more pressure to them.

I told her that might very well be how she felt, but it was all bull shit. She was trying to blame her issues on her sister's mental struggles. It was blame-shifting, but it's how she lived her entire life. She now needs to rethink how she's always thought--and it's a lot. But I see her now take my feedback (or the CT's) and use it rather than fight it.

This really is the responsibility of your WW and her IC. You need to heal yourself and I think you've been distracted from that by concentrating on fixing your wayward.

I'm looking forward to my IC appointment on Wednesday. I need it. You're right I've been pushing off my problems to deal with hers, so now it's time to dive in.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

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id 8736268
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 8:54 PM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

She said it's because of her sister--her parents had their hands full with her my wife's entire adult life, so she felt like she had to be perfect to not add any more pressure to them.
She said it's because of her sister--her parents had their hands full with her my wife's entire adult life, so she felt like she had to be perfect to not add any more pressure to them.

There are unhealthy dynamics when you have one sibling with issues and the other without. It takes exceptional parents cognizant of those issues to avoid negative impacts on the Golden Child. She didn't have those type of parents. Not that that excuses anything at this point of her life. You only get to blame FOMO through your teen years to early 20s after which you should have had plenty of experience in the real world to contrast and correct from. It's part of growing into your own adult. It sounds like she's getting there now. Hopefully she continue to grow.

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id 8736271
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Sammich ( member #80032) posted at 10:19 PM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

Doc, From reading through your thread, there seems to be no real question that you want to R. I would suggest that you just commit to it and work to make the R as successful as possible. Short of her straying again, I don't see a way that you will ever choose D. If you don't feel she has made the progress you want to see, you will just kick the can down the road repeatedly. Actually, on second thought, maybe not committing either way is a smart strategy as it keeps you in control and her pursuing the end of the rainbow, so to speak.

posts: 91   ·   registered: Mar. 7th, 2022
id 8736287
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 11:20 PM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

There are unhealthy dynamics when you have one sibling with issues and the other without. It takes exceptional parents cognizant of those issues to avoid negative impacts on the Golden Child. She didn't have those type of parents. Not that that excuses anything at this point of her life. You only get to blame FOMO through your teen years to early 20s after which you should have had plenty of experience in the real world to contrast and correct from. It's part of growing into your own adult. It sounds like she's getting there now. Hopefully she continue to grow.

Spot on. Her mom being her best friend on top of it caused so many layered psychological issues. It’s on her for not addressing it, but she now sees how oblivious she was to it. She thought it was all normal before our CT sessions.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 11:20 PM, Friday, May 20th]

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 972   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8736298
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 11:24 PM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

Doc, From reading through your thread, there seems to be no real question that you want to R. I would suggest that you just commit to it and work to make the R as successful as possible. Short of her straying again, I don't see a way that you will ever choose D. If you don't feel she has made the progress you want to see, you will just kick the can down the road repeatedly. Actually, on second thought, maybe not committing either way is a smart strategy as it keeps you in control and her pursuing the end of the rainbow, so to speak.

It’s been a good week. I’m not out of the woods. She’s being awesome right now. If she slides or gets tired of the grind to improve herself, I think the atmosphere in our house would get very negative very fast—assuming I recognize that, I’d be out to protect the kids. I’m not going to rugsweep this six months down the line—relentless, remember?

As for committing to R now, I don’t think that’s fair to her. I still can’t go 10 minutes without thinking of the affair. I still need to resolve more issues. And you’re right, not committing to R keeps her honest. I need to fall in love with her again.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 11:25 PM, Friday, May 20th]

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 972   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8736299
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Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 12:29 AM on Saturday, May 21st, 2022

Enjoy your weekend, brother.

posts: 943   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8736304
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redbaron007 ( member #50144) posted at 8:42 PM on Saturday, May 21st, 2022

And you’re right that I don’t "want" divorce. I am so strongly opposed to divorce that I’m worried what me filing for divorce will do to my morality. I feel like a dark descent awaits me on the other end of that road, filled with Tinder hookups and disregard for my moral structure and integrity. In walking away from her I fear I could be walking away from myself.

In your upcoming IC sessions, I hope you will confront this fear head-on, and that you emerge from IC free from this fear and confident that you will be absolutely fine, whatever the outcome of your marriage. If you don't address this fear, it will act as a lens to distort your cognitions of your WW's present and future actions - it will cause you to play down and/or overlook red-flags, and overly magnify positive aspects of her actions. Eliminating the fear and the resulting distortions will help you form a clear, unbiased perspective of your WW's actions as your R journey progresses.

Me: BS (44)
She: WS (41)
One son (6)
DDay: May 2015 (OBS told me)
Divorced, Zero regrets, sound sleep, son doing great!
A FOG is just a weather phenomenon. An Affair Fog is a clever excuse invented by WS's to explain their continued bad behavior.

posts: 255   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2015   ·   location: West Coast
id 8736376
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 1:28 PM on Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

DrS, I have no idea if I am on target or not. The more I read here the more I think you are operating from anxiety, not from the A but from childhood. The behavior from the beginning of your marriage sounds like you needed to be in control. I am married to a man who operates like this. Until I spoke to a therapist about his maddening behavior I stayed irritated. When she opened my eyes I could see that his controlling behavior happened when he was frustrated about business, children etc. I now can head it off by asking him what he is really worrying about. It is never me because I would never try to worry him. He still does this a couple of times a week and I tell him I am handing things but he needs to look at what is really concerning him. Do I occasionally do things that drive him crazy? Yes, and I have to step off that little pedestal that was standing on. Human beings are blessed, and cursed, with an active prefrontal cortex.

You admit to being the stronger personality in your marriage. You married an immature woman and then the dynamics of your relationship kept her from maturing. She was tired of feeling number 2 so she was headed out the door.

It is so difficult to admit we aren’t always perfect but it needs to be addressed for both of you to move forward.

I might be very wrong about this but if it rings a bell talk to your therapist about getting to the bottom of it so that both of you are honest with your selves.

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

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truthsetmefree ( member #7168) posted at 3:34 PM on Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

And you’re right that I don’t "want" divorce. I am so strongly opposed to divorce that I’m worried what me filing for divorce will do to my morality. I feel like a dark descent awaits me on the other end of that road, filled with Tinder hookups and disregard for my moral structure and integrity. In walking away from her I fear I could be walking away from myself.

Yep, I get this completely. After 12 yrs of a wreckonciliation, I still didn’t choose divorce - he did. It was inevitable…I just couldn’t see or accept that.

I’ll be honest with you and tell you it was indeed a dark descent. However it wasn’t the way I had feared. There have been no tinder hookups…and my moral structure and integrity have only grown stronger in all this process. Turns out it wasn’t the divorce that was a detriment to that; it was all the years accepting a relationship that was fundamentally unacceptable. That was actually the dark descent - and I had already been living in it, I just didn’t recognize it.

Sometimes when we are walking away from someone we are actually on a path of walking toward ourselves. And that can seem more frightening than we can even imagine. But this is a journey that is worth traveling - even in the darkness - because it’s what brings about real change in the overall quality of our life. It’s where our morals and integrity become less extrinsic (how we treat others and thus are viewed)…and more intrinsic (how we treat ourselves.). It’s in the fire of the darkness that these values are actually forged. It’s where they move from ideas and theories (or how we try to function and survive in the world) to the truth of who we really are.

There is darkness in all of us, DrS. But that is also where authenticity is to be found. It’s the aspect of ourselves that many of us spend a lifetime trying to avoid…but it’s also the place where we will only ever be able to find and know the whole of ourselves. It’s what we are truly looking for as we use fillers (relationships, jobs, etc) in an attempt to fill the emptiness we feel. Whether you divorce or not, don’t be afraid to go into the darkness. The only thing that waits there is you. ❤️

[This message edited by truthsetmefree at 3:35 PM, Sunday, May 22nd]

Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are. ~ Augustine of Hippo

posts: 8973   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2005
id 8736423
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 4:27 PM on Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

…I might be very wrong about this but if it rings a bell talk to your therapist about getting to the bottom of it so that both of you are honest with your selves.

I don’t entirely relate to that description of me you paint, but I am certainly open to exploring it in IC. I do have the more dominant personality between my wife and that clearly played a role in her inability to raise her issues with me. But I’m not really understanding of the perspective. I can’t relate to her actively throwing away our marriage without even a conversation first.

I have no doubt that my behavior crossed with her FOO issues are the answers she is going to explore in IC for years, but ultimately she’s 100% accountable in my view. I write about the red flags during the affair, but that’s easy in retrospect—the truth though is she was largely sweet to me; just as she was our entire marriage and now post-DDay. Outside her passive aggressive resentments in our bedroom, from my perspective, we lived a lovely life.

It all leaves me with no indicators for who she will be as a future partner. She was able to smile to my face while doing absolutely vicious things behind my back and seeking to exit the marriage—I was oblivious to it all. If I can’t find an understanding of how she was capable of doing that to me and why she was capable of destroying two families, I don’t see a path to forgiveness. And if I can’t forgive her, the affair will haunt me forever. I can’t move to R until I can understand more.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 4:37 PM, Sunday, May 22nd]

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 972   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8736430
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 4:29 PM on Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

Yep, I get this completely. After 12 yrs of a wreckonciliation, I still didn’t choose divorce - he did. It was inevitable…I just couldn’t see or accept that.

You tried to reconcile for 12 years post-DDay and then divorced? Were you both in therapy the entire time? No progress in improving your relationship?

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 972   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8736432
Topic is Sleeping.
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