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My Wife Had an Intense, Highly Deceptive Affair, Part II

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truthsetmefree ( member #7168) posted at 7:47 PM on Saturday, June 4th, 2022

I’ll be honest, her attempt to twist the reality of the evening bothered me—why did she do that?

As an example, why are you filtering it through this lens? Is it true that she attempted to twist the reality…or did she possibly genuinely see it differently? How much are your perceptions and assignment of motives playing into how you subsequently view an interaction? And more importantly, what if there is something YOU aren’t seeing, aren’t understanding?

I don’t want to harp on this example because it’s more important that you become open to the possibilities I’ve suggested than it is to resolve this particular situation. And it’s not about responding defensively as it is about the lens.

Based on what you’ve shared, I can see this dynamic potentially playing out with your interactions with your wife. I’ve seen it in several situations - from not believing her about trying to register here (likely a duplicate IP issue)…to attributing the explanation she gave you regarding the dinner and phone incident to being blame-shifting. I know you don’t know the truth. I understand how that changes everything. But I do think your need to control the outcome or hurry this thing to some kind of resolution may be causing you to "fill in the blanks" with information that may or may not be true. And then it’s hard to evaluate because your reaction from that place only causes further reactions from your wife.

This is all the same thing you are asking your wife to do. Are her perceptions and beliefs not at the core of all her issues? Does she need to genuinely find a new way to look at things…rather than just act her way through it?

Again, awareness is the key. But you can’t put anything in a full cup. Be open to realizing what you don’t know - to being emptied out. Learn how to sit in that place. That’s the only goal.

It’s really hard when you have a strong analytical mind.

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: 8844   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2005
id 8738653
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 8:40 PM on Saturday, June 4th, 2022

I have a tendency to pay attention to small details here. One is how overly sensitive she is. It might be what she was born with it and then got worse connecting with your strong personality. She holds grudges. My mother did it to my father but us kids never let her pull it on us because we pulled out fake violins to play. It is a control tactic on her part. You need to let go of being guilty. If you have apologized, and meant it, let go of it. Being super sensitive is a pain for others to deal with. It means having to tiptoe around her.
You want a good marriage. How to get it. When she gets defensive, sad etc. it is ok for you to let her be. If she isn’t getting a reaction from you it allows things to wind down.
In my job I deal with every single personality trait. The best thing you can do is ask why she is acting that way. Ask what she is trying to do. Instead of a negative reaction questions make us think. Done in a neutral tone limits emotional arguments and even more sensitivity. Look at your own behaviors to see if you are trying to control things. Life is a contest to see who is in charge. In a marriage that has to be 50/50. It takes being thoughtful but also being ok with yourself and how you function.

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

posts: 3342   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8738664
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 9:07 PM on Saturday, June 4th, 2022

It's common to be blind to one's own dysfunctions. If one saw them, one would probably do something to fix them or, at least, own them. IOW, it's common to be confronted and not accept the confrontation. IMO, one sort of wisdom is taking feedback in and thinking, among other things, 'Suppose it's true. If it is, then what?'

I think that's great advice, though I am assuming you're applying it to my response to BSR's post. I've now read her post and my response a few times--I agreed with her on much, but called her out for her attempts to gaslight me. She actively changed the reality of the evening to emphasize her points--there's no "supposing" her version of events was true. They weren't. When she wasn't changing reality, her points were fair and I acknowledged that.

I never called my W a 'whore'.

Me neither.

I've never thought of any WWs as whores unless they took money for sex. I think calling a WW 'shore' insults and devalues real prostitutes. Same with 'bitch' and 'slut' - it's entirely unnecessary to associate a WW with a dog. It's common, to be sure, but it surely isn't necessary. Or helpful.

I think I have identified the problem here. The word "whore" can be synonymous with the word prostitute, but that is only one of its definitions--and the one far less associated with it's use in modern culture. Most often, the word "whore" is referencing a promiscuous and immoral person (and it certainly has a negative connotation and is typically used as an insult to inflict pain on someone).

My wife's actions were that of a whore--that's not opinion, it's fact. In a matter of days she transformed from a loving wife and mother to another man's sex toy (promiscuous and immoral). I take no pleasure in explaining that to an internet message board, but I do get frustrated when people redefine words to suit their agenda.

Now, just because she was a whore during the affair, doesn't mean she should be called a whore. That's an entirely separate point. Calling her a whore is perhaps insensitive and mean--and most of all, unproductive. It's why I haven't called her a whore. Again, not because she wasn't a whore--she was--but because casting that label on her is unhelpful.

What is relevant is how my wife feels about her actions, regardless of the label given to her. Her becoming upset by the label given to her on the internet is only her deflecting the real point--her promiscuous and immoral behavior. Instead of dealing with that behavior, she is able to play victim because people were "mean" to her. The MC attempted to allow that--distracting us from the analyzing her behavior all because my wife's feelings were hurt.

The discussion on this forum is a bit odd as some of you are getting sucked into the victimhood my wife expressed. That's an endless pit though. Her--and others that victimize themselves--will always find ways to do that and never face their actual issues. You sympathizing with them doesn't help them, it enables them.

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: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8738665
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 9:26 PM on Saturday, June 4th, 2022

I’ve seen it in several situations...

Great, I prefer defining the topic specifically. :)

from not believing her about trying to register here (likely a duplicate IP issue)

I genuinely have no idea why she can't register--I suspect you could be right as that seems like a plausible issue.

I'd also ask though that you see it through my lens: my wife, who lies daily, was telling me she couldn't register for a website that she has previously told me she doesn't want to post on and doesn't want me to post on. Do you think it was unfair of me to question her version of events or do you think the evidence was such that it was fair of me to think she could be lying?

…to attributing the explanation she gave you regarding the dinner and phone incident to being blame-shifting.

I attributed her point that my phone use isolated her as an indirect blame-shift for her actions during the affair. We discussed it at length and she agreed with me--further blaming it on her mood, her sister's text and alcohol.

So to be clear, I looked at the evidence and arrived at a conclusion. She agreed with the conclusion I arrived at. Specifically, what are you suggesting I did wrong? What is it that you're seeing that I'm not seeing? Is it possible I created a false narrative she disagreed with? I guess so, but it just doesn't seem very likely in this instance.

I'm challenging you here because I genuinely don't understand what you're trying to convey. I admit that could be my stupidity, but I'll need to understand it before I accept that.

I know you don’t know the truth. I understand how that changes everything. But I do think your need to control the outcome or hurry this thing to some kind of resolution may be causing you to "fill in the blanks" with information that may or may not be true. And then it’s hard to evaluate because your reaction from that place only causes further reactions from your wife.

I certainly think that's possible. I think I did that with the exit affair narrative last month. I'm sure I've done it elsewhere (but I don't see it in the examples you've shared).

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: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8738667
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truthsetmefree ( member #7168) posted at 10:56 PM on Saturday, June 4th, 2022

Great, I prefer defining the topic specifically. :)

I know you do…because you can pick it apart in the minutia and somewhat gloss over the bigger point. Not saying you’re doing that intentionally - but it’s one reason that I emphasized in that post that it was an example. I did anticipate that you would want to focus on it and potentially miss the larger point I used the example to make.

I'd also ask though that you see it through my lens:

What makes you think I don’t? I’m not trying to debate or convince you of anything. I’m just giving you a different perspective - and it’s based on something I’ve started to observe throughout your posts. You don’t have to agree with me and I have no need to be "right" - so subsequently, you don’t have to be wrong. smile

So to be clear, I looked at the evidence and arrived at a conclusion. She agreed with the conclusion I arrived at.

Did she really agree with you? Or did she just avoid the conflict in a argument that she felt the odds were stacked against her? I don’t know the answer to that. I just do see some conflict between what you say you want from her AND your responses that make it harder for her to give that to you. And before we go down that rabbit hole, I’m not saying in any way that you are the reason that she behaves as she does. Nor am I saying you need to coddle her and hope you can "love her" out of this dysfunction. I’m saying you have shit, I have shit, we all have shit…and no matter our circumstances, it’s our responsibility to deal with our shit. That’s the opportunity that’s before you. When you prioritize that, then the relationship organically resolves how it needs to.

I'm challenging you here because I genuinely don't understand what you're trying to convey.

Hhmm…interesting perspective since my intention is not to challenge you.

I admit that could be my stupidity, but I'll need to understand it before I accept that.

Typical analytical brain…and I promise you I understand how that works. But this is where I think the willingness to admit what you don’t know comes into play. It’s the willingness to try to see and genuinely understand a different perspective without needing to hammer down the right/wrongness of it.

I probably won’t post much further here, DrS…because I don’t think that I am offering you anything that’s currently of any genuine help. I do believe you are sincerely trying and I certainly don’t think you’re stupid. This is all just a process…and as we become ready then often comes the understanding. Perhaps these are all just seeds that will sprout at a later time. smile

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: 8844   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2005
id 8738676
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:03 AM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

I have a tendency to pay attention to small details here. One is how overly sensitive she is. It might be what she was born with it and then got worse connecting with your strong personality. She holds grudges. My mother did it to my father but us kids never let her pull it on us because we pulled out fake violins to play. It is a control tactic on her part. You need to let go of being guilty. If you have apologized, and meant it, let go of it. Being super sensitive is a pain for others to deal with. It means having to tiptoe around her.
You want a good marriage. How to get it. When she gets defensive, sad etc. it is ok for you to let her be. If she isn’t getting a reaction from you it allows things to wind down.
In my job I deal with every single personality trait. The best thing you can do is ask why she is acting that way. Ask what she is trying to do. Instead of a negative reaction questions make us think. Done in a neutral tone limits emotional arguments and even more sensitivity. Look at your own behaviors to see if you are trying to control things. Life is a contest to see who is in charge. In a marriage that has to be 50/50. It takes being thoughtful but also being ok with yourself and how you function.

Agreed. Anytime she raises her voice or gets defensive, I stop the conversation and ask her why is is getting upset. If she can’t correct it, I stop the conversation.

As for if I’m trying to be in control, I’m not sure how to answer it so generally. I guess I don’t know. I certainly don’t feel in control.

As many have mentioned, much of my effort has been put toward what she needs to do for me to consider R. Some of my effort has been put into what I want to do to correct my behaviors. But virtually none of my effort has been put into analyzing whether or not I can ever be happy in a relationship with her again.

I don’t know how to evaluate that. It feels now like I’ll never be happy with her, regardless of what she does—and I think there’s anger in the disgust I feel toward her, like a stain I can never wash away.

As a result, am I trying to control other things to compensate? Perhaps. Maybe I’m latching on to the things I can evaluate: like her behavior.

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: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8738683
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Lalala12 ( new member #79196) posted at 12:43 AM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

I think I have identified the problem here. The word "whore" can be synonymous with the word prostitute, but that is only one of its definitions--and the one far less associated with it's use in modern culture. Most often, the word "whore" is referencing a promiscuous and immoral person (and it certainly has a negative connotation and is typically used as an insult to inflict pain on someone).

No, the word is used specifically to insult a woman and dehumanize a woman by reducing her value to nothing more than a tool for sex. Let’s not pretend that it’s a label that can easily apply to anyone who acts in an immoral way, because it doesn’t. It doesn’t have the same humiliating effect to a man, it just doesn’t.

Were you not immoral or promiscuous when in the past you used the friends of your high school crush for sex? Would anyone call you a whore because of that?

Why do you need to articulate the "fact" that she was a whore if not to humiliate her? If she was an immoral person, say that she was an immoral person. Call her a liar (she is/was), call her a betrayer. Being sensitive to being called or label or thought a whore is not playing the victim. I’m not necessarily here to defend your wife but you are not being fair here.

I don’t think you truly mean to disrespect or insult your wife. But it doesn’t matter if you call her a whore to her face or justify strangers from the internet for calling her that or get annoyed because she gets hurt reading these hurtful labels. As long as you rationalize her as a whore and take that as a "fact", you are disrespecting her as a person and as a woman. It doesn’t matter what you mean by it, that’s the message you are sending her.

What is relevant is how my wife feels about her actions, regardless of the label given to her. Her becoming upset by the label given to her on the internet is only her deflecting the real point--her promiscuous and immoral behavior. Instead of dealing with that behavior, she is able to play victim because people were "mean" to her. The MC attempted to allow that--distracting us from the analyzing her behavior all because my wife's feelings were hurt.

DrS, I can sense your anger and frustration but her feelings do matter. Just because she is not able to analyze things as you do, her reaction and feelings to this particular point are valid. I find it troublesome that the CT retracted her initial stance on this, it's not something that should be up for debate in our "modern culture".

posts: 10   ·   registered: Jul. 29th, 2021
id 8738684
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 1:16 AM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

No, the word is used specifically to insult a woman and dehumanize a woman by reducing her value to nothing more than a tool for sex.

She was her AP’s tool for sex—she had no value to him beyond her ability to sexually gratify him. My wife was her AP’s whore. It’s ugly—and I understand why you and others are upset by it—but words do matter. They have meaning. One’s personal disdain for the word should have no relevance.

And I understand no woman wants to be labeled a whore—that is obvious. But when you remove responsibility from one’s actions, words cease to mean anything. If my wife didn’t want someone on an Internet forum to label her a whore, she should have not married someone and been someone else’s personal sex toy.

Actions have consequences—and her actions led her to a very predictable consequence. Was it nice of the internet person to say that about her? Of course not—but nice has nothing to do with what the word means.

Separately, I see this topic has led to some people getting very upset—which in turn upsets me. As I’ve demonstrated, I’m open to discuss anything, but I’m not looking for anyone to feel bad about themselves or walk away angry. I’m fine just agreeing to disagree on this topic as it certainly doesn’t serve me any good in sorting through my marriage.

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: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8738685
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 1:28 AM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

I think I might’ve mentioned this before but if not you need to look up covert narcissism. It’s a new description of people who are always the center of attention but they don’t do it by being loud and obnoxious. They get people to feel sorry for them, or somehow pay attention to them, to the exclusion of everything else. You are focusing so much on her and I’m sure in some small way she’s enjoying all this even though it’s painful for her to admit what she did. You are bending yourself backwards to try to get all this fixed. I’m very familiar with this personality trait because I have two friends who have it and they are so tiring that sometimes I have to back away from them. One of them will call me incessantly if I don’t pay attention to her when she wants me to. Thank goodness my phone recognizes her number because I just don’t answer it until I’m in the mood. Pay attention to how much time you spend fixing her and you will realize that she has been in the spotlight this whole time.

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

posts: 3342   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8738686
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 1:30 AM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

I am wondering about this is because of the amount of attention she got from her mother and other people by badmouthing you. That’s just not normal behavior for spouse. I think everyone needs a place they can go unload every now and then if they get frustrated but this was chronic with her.

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

posts: 3342   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8738687
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Whataboutus ( new member #62196) posted at 2:32 AM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

I read almost the whole thread from the beginning but became so annoyed with you Dr Strange. You and your wife are so messed up. She has noticeable issues but so do you. You are willing to overlook them for sex. You focus a lot on the sex. As a woman, I can tell you that she is 100% playing you. It’s call being P-whipped. She is trying to fuck the issues away and you are so blind by that you are allowing it to happen. You keep saying you are not sure if you want to reconcile. What are you doing? You are having sex with a woman that has issues from MEN having sexual relations with her to get what they want from her?! If you truly don’t know want you want, then stop having sex with her. You are only being manipulated and confusing yourself and her too! If you don’t know for sure what you want, then decide to truly work on yourselves then your relationship. This thread from the beginning has been exhausting. Over and over again you say you aren’t rug sweeping. Dude, I’m sorry but you are. Respectfully, look within yourself. This woman needs help. But so do you. I’m not even a wayward (I was a betrayed wife) but your behavior is annoying. Shit or get off the pot.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2018   ·   location: Florida
id 8738693
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 1:00 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

Another Bad Update:

I haven’t been in a good headspace and it’s gotten worse since Friday night. It’s been a combination of things—a feeling of doom for my marriage, various negative interactions in this thread, and yesterday I read the first half of "Cheating in a Nutshell," which very much paints an ugly picture at trying to R.

On Friday, my wife and I went to the same city as the hotel her and AP stayed—but I forced myself to go because I wanted to claim back the area as it is the same city my children were born.

Everything went fine, but at the end of the night I was feeling a little sad. We discussed the affair a bit on the ride home and I asked a bit about how fast things escalated between her and AP, hoping for more insight. All I got was her claiming it was just crazy impulsive behavior.

No conflicts that night, but I was certainly in a funk. I told my wife how alone I felt. She tried to comfort me, but my sadness was contagious—we both went to bed very down.

The next day (Saturday), we talked briefly in the morning—I told her the lying needs to stop and she’ll need to focus on her required external validation in IC for that to happen. We talked about how she lies in order to protect the ability to receive external validation (through flirting relationships, etc.). She agreed.

I spent most of the day feeling distant from her and we managed the kids separately as they had different activities. My wife tried to comfort me intermittently, with a gentle touch or a kiss on the cheek here and there.

After the kids were in bed, I asked if she wanted to talk about anything, otherwise I was going to go read my book. She said that was fine, but asked if I wanted to fool around first—I politely declined as I wasn’t in a good frame of mind to do that.

I read for a couple hours, the book painting a horrific picture of attempting to R with a cheater. I thought a bit about OBS—I hadn’t connected with her in about three weeks and I was curious how her process was going (she moved to separate immediately and the book suggested that was best course). I wanted to know how she was doing and how her kids were doing, so I sent her a text.

My wife came in to chat around 9 p.m. or so. She asked about the book, so I talked about it—the chapter that stuck with me most was on risk: in this case, the idea that I was stacking so many needed outcomes if I tried to R and the more outcomes needed, the less likely success was (very logical).

So I noted we had like a dozen outcomes for R to work and that was intimidating, but ultimately, if we both gave it our all, we could control our destiny and be successful. We talked for a bit more about the book—none of it positive stuff, but I openly shared how I was feeling and how it all related to me—I could tell she just had a growing sense of doom listening to me.

During the conversation I mentioned I had an exchange with OBS as she pointed out that the hardest part of the separation was extended periods of being alone (long car rides and nighttime when kids were with AP). It seemed even though OBS had clarity of choice, she was struggling much like me.

My wife began to get gradually upset. She went upstairs first and I followed, her on her phone. I asked what she was doing and she said the writing exercise I suggested (the one from me being on my phone at dinner, when I said if she is upset, she should ask herself why she is upset and if she should be, etc.)

I asked if it was about OBS and she said yes. I paraphrased the conversation for her, thinking it would put her at ease to know what we discussed.

My wife lost it.

She stood up and began yelling at me, accusing me of lying to her and cheating with OBS. I asked her to calm down, but she was too far gone. She told me I was developing an emotional relationship with her because I wanted to have sex with her, and she compared it to her affair with AP. I told her that I had no intention of having sex with OBS and I really just wanted to know how she was doing. My wife thought I could already be planning to meet her for quick sex and demanded to see the text messages.

I paused for a bit—I knew I could show her the harmless text messages and de-escalate the argument, but I also felt like a POS in the moment: her screaming at me for cheating on her just felt so inappropriate and horrible. She was so focused on how she felt that she couldn’t see it from my eyes. Of course I understood that she is uncomfortable with me chatting with OBS, but to lose all control like that seemed so over-the-top to me.

I declined to share the texts, saying it was wholly inappropriate for her to be accusing me of cheating.

She exploded—she thought she had me caught red-handed and I was cheating. More yelling. I had all of you in mind in my head in that moment, telling me not to cave as the texts were not her business. But I caved. I asked her to sit down and I read her the text conversation.

She relaxed for a moment, noting that it was exactly as I described, focused on how OBS and kids were doing. She got angry again quickly though, pivoting to how I only reached out to her because I wanted to leave her and see how OBS was doing after leaving AP. She felt I had decided to D and I was just reaching out to OBS to ensure her kids were ok with their parents separating.

I was really sad at this point. It felt like she was so trapped in her world—she didn’t care if talking with OBS helped me at all; all she cared about was how she didn’t like it and it made her feel bad. She kept saying I shouldn’t need to talk with her because I have therapists and an entire forum to talk with (she is still angry that I share so much on SI).

I told her I felt a connection with OBS because we are in the exact same spot with the same aged kids—and I just wanted to know how she specifically was holding up after dealing with the same situation I was. I pointed out my situation was worse because AP never badmouthed OBS like she did, yet OBS left immediately.

My wife wouldn’t back down or stop yelling. She was consumed by how upset me talking with her made her. I kept asking her to please calm down and take a moment to focus on how I feel (I really do feel at my lowest right now and listening to her yell at me made things exponentially worse).

She stormed off to sleep downstairs.

I lied in a bed a bit contemplating what happened. I felt like she was pushing me away so hard and had absolutely no control of herself—zero self-awareness and she couldn’t get herself out of the spiral. It made me so sad to see divorce as so likely and she couldn’t get out of her own way—as many of you point out, maybe I can’t get out of my own way either.

I calmly went downstairs—she was texting with her sister. I sat next to her and held her hands. I told her she was pushing me away—every day there was a red flag making it clearer that R with her is impossible.

She told me she felt I was pushing her away—she said I declined to have sex with her earlier and it made her think I didn’t want to be close to her. I told her I didn’t want to be close to her in that moment; that I felt distant from her and thought sex would be a bad idea for me. She told me she had no idea how to heal me if I was going to act so stoic; and I told her that I felt stoic right now—like an empty vessel drifting alone.

It was after midnight by now and I wasn’t gaining anything. I had hoped going downstairs would get through to her how horrible her actions were making me feel, but it didn’t—she was entirely focused on how my actions were making her feel (kept harping on OBS and me declining sex with her). I gave up and went upstairs to bed.

She came up around 1 a.m. and it woke me up a bit—her phone was buzzing, so I gently asked how the conversation with her sister had gone. My wife told me her sister said she was over-reacting about OBS and that I clearly didn’t reach out to hurt her. No apology came though and I fell back to sleep.

I’m lost—it feels like things just keep getting worse. We’re supposed to go on a family vacation on Tuesday and my gut tells me it’s a horrible idea. I’m not sure what to do next.

In the interest of transparency, I may post a bit less, or at least not reply to every post here. Some of the tangent/negative conversations are likely having an effect on me and I need to keep focused on what’s happening in my house right now. I feel like my marriage is at its most tenuous and I have to be present to deal with it. I have no issue with harsher posts—you don’t need to protect my feelings—but please don’t feel bad should I not respond right now.

I appreciate all the replies—this is a great community.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 1:06 PM, Sunday, June 5th]

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: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8738720
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 2:12 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

I'm sorry you're hurting.

You have absolutely nothing to work with. Your wife is off the rails and if you keep having sex with her and allowing her to treat you this way, I promise you will never R. You need to step off this crazy train immediately. Her behavior was unacceptable and intended to hurt you and claw back control, which is all she has been doing since she was caught. You are allowed to be stoic. You are allowed to not cave to her every whim. She won't allow it though because she cares for her comfort, not yours.

You don't see it because you don't want to. But currently, you have absolutely nothing to work with. You need to work on yourself and go 180 with her. Stop the sex. Stop the husband things. After everything, you are not interested in sex once and this is how she acts? I cant imagine you need any more proof that she is pussy bombing you and pissed it doesnt work.

You are both destroying any chance of R in the future, and based on her behavior she would really need to transform into a new person for it to even be possible to try. She doesn't seem interested in that at all.

posts: 271   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8738732
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 2:27 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

MOD PLEASE

(I’m hoping someone can assist my wife in finalizing her registration so that she can start posting. Thank you!)

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: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8738735
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Lalala12 ( new member #79196) posted at 2:34 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

DrS, I’m really sorry for this bad update. I’m not surprised you are feeling overwhelmed, including with feedback by the forum - honestly, sometimes is just overwhelming to read through the thread as a bystander, I can only imagine what it must be like for you.... I would encourage you to get as much space as you can, from your thoughts, from books, from here and from your wife too. You need to recharge. If you anticipate that the vacation will bring more conflict, cancel it or perhaps send your wife with your kids and take time for yourself.

This is not immediately relevant with your recent update, but I want to clarify what I meant with my previous post.

Separately, I see this topic has led to some people getting very upset—which in turn upsets me. As I’ve demonstrated, I’m open to discuss anything, but I’m not looking for anyone to feel bad about themselves or walk away angry. I’m fine just agreeing to disagree on this topic as it certainly doesn’t serve me any good in sorting through my marriage.

I was not writing a feminist tirade, my comment was posted with the spirit of being helpful to your marriage. Your end goal is to be an equal partnership with your wife, where both of you can communicate effectively, be who you are, in and out of the bedroom. The point is, your wife will never be that partner and will never stand up to herself if she doesn’t find her self worth. That’s the fundamental issue with her.

I’m just offering a woman’s perspective. If you want a partner who is able to be open and vulnerable with you, I can promise you that labels like that have the opposite effect. As I said you are both overwhelmed with emotions right now, but one could start with small steps like dropping the hurtful (unhelpful) labels.

Anyway, this is not particularly relevant right now. I hope you'll manage to get some space and slow down. I’m rooting for you, I hope your wife will be able to find the right voice and to pull her weight in fighting for your marriage. Take care.

posts: 10   ·   registered: Jul. 29th, 2021
id 8738738
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 2:58 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

The saying here is "Take what you need and leave the rest". If R is what you want then we should be encouraging you. All this negativity is skewing things for you. Stop talking yourself into one thing or the other. Post once a day and spend free time with your kids. You can’t get back a single day and every day is filled with joy and wonder for a child if given the right parenting.
Good luck.

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

posts: 3342   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8738744
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 3:51 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

I apologize if this was already covered in earlier posts on this thread, but it seems like the birthday fight was a repeat of it the Mother’s Day fight. You tried to do something and make the day enjoyable, and she baited you into an argument.

Have you asked her why she doesn’t appreciate your efforts to make her happy, despite how you’re feeling inside? Have you asked her why she can’t just enjoy a happy day for what it is without spoiling it?

WSs often complain that they feel like they never get a break from talking about the affair and wish that they could just have a nice day when the affair never comes up, which is why I find it so bizarre and curious why your wife feels compelled to always makes sure to spoil your efforts at normalcy.

This behavior goes beyond just being a new WS who is still trying to "get it"… she seems to be antagonizing you and constantly trying to keep you emotionally off balance.

Looking back on your relationship before D-day, were there any other incidents where she dressed you down or seemed needlessly cruel?

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 3:53 PM, Sunday, June 5th]

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

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

posts: 781   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8738747
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:38 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

I stop the conversation and ask her why is is getting upset.

Asking 'why' apparently works for some people, but it doesn't work for you or for me.

What works much better for me is to ask for what I want. In our early days, I didn't give a fuck why my W was defensive. I wanted her to give me a straight answer, and that's what I asked for.

I don't give a fuck why people lie to me, either. I just want the truth. If I can ask for the truth, I usually do. If I can't (as with public figures, for example), I just assume they'll continue to lie when it serves their purpose, and I'll be surprised when they tell the truth, but they have no credibility with me.

****

You say you have 'requirements'. To me a requirement means 'do it or bear the consequences.' But you have not imposed the consequences of continued lying and defensiveness - kisck her out and file for D.

What do you feel about that? Keep it simple - mad, sad, glad, scared, ashamed. What self-talk do your feelings generate?

My guess is that your self-talk is pretty much attack after attack on yourself, whether you're aware of it or not, because you can't/won't pull the trigger.

You've apparently got only 2 options here - move out and file for D or change your self-talk.

Here's the thing: if you D, you will almost definitely continue to attack yourself with your self-talk, whether you're aware of it or not.

So your 2 options really are: 1) live in a self-imposed Hell or 2) change your self-talk.

Again, you're focus is misdirected. You're focusing on your W and the D/R question. If you want to heal, focus on your own dysfunction and changing that.

And take in truthsetmefree's posts without reacting to them - just take them in and figure out what she means. You continue to misinterpret what she's saying.

Please don't answer here. I hope you decide to print out truth's posts and mine and ask your IC about our comments.

I'm probably out of here, too. For the same reason truth is.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 4:44 PM, Sunday, June 5th]

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.

posts: 27290   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8738750
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PowerWithin ( new member #80349) posted at 5:21 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

I can only reflect on my perspective of my marriage, but I wonder if my marriage dynamics have some similarities to yours. Before my husband’s PAs, he felt disconnected from me because I had found out he was having EAs, and his solution then was to rugsweep, which was understandably not working for me. So, he felt rejected and disconnected, and he looked for connection elsewhere, which seems to be the driving force for lots of affairs - disconnection in the marriage, for whatever reason.

Then, after Dday, our connection was worse than ever, right? He had been caught and was ashamed, but he hadn’t yet acquired any new skills or knowledge about how to connect in a healthy way, because as a child, protecting himself from others was his only way to survive. So he had the same level of connection skills he always had. He also didn’t suddenly, magically have the skills needed to lead us through the aftermath of his affairs.

After Dday, I wanted resolution of the affairs and related fallout, and of course he didn’t see it from my perspective at all - he felt complained at and attacked, which pushed him right back into his childhood, and resulted in him protecting himself to survive. He was in almost constant states of fight, flight or freeze, as evidenced by defensiveness, blaming, walking off, suspicion of my motives, shutting down, blowing up, avoiding. He was in full-on survival mode, which meant the irrational right side of his brain was engaged, and therefore, the rational left side of his brain was completely offline. Empathy lives in the left side of the brain, which was offline - no wonder he could rarely tune into me: He was biologically unable to access his ability to empathize because he was almost constantly triggered.

After doing a ton of reading and therapy, I learned that due to his upbringing and how his brain was wired (as a child, he had very inconsistent modeling re: how to connect in healthy ways), my confrontational approach wasn’t helping -it was just keeping him unbalanced and irrational. I realized we were trying to address our problems while we were both firmly planted on opposite sides. That was futile. I felt hopeless, like everything kept getting worse and worse. So…. What could I do?

I could change my approach. And I did. Instead of tearing him down, I appealed to his honor. I built up the parts of him that reflected his integrity and strength. I made reasonable requests, instead of accusation-filled complaints, and when he responded, I thanked him. I worked hard to model acceptance, patience, gratitude, integrity, and maturity - I was modeling healthy connection and security. Instead of telling him how much he sucked and what he was doing wrong, I initiated conversations about how we could work together to define each of our roles in healing ourselves and building a new relationship. I removed the negative focus from HIM, and put a positive focus on US.

A 5 minute video really helped him see his role in the power struggle that occurs during affair recovery. "Are you on the coaster?" by Jake Porter. Instead of trying to fix the problems in order to achieve a new connection, we rebuilt our connection first. We needed to feel safe enough with each other so we could then rely on the strength of our connection to support both of us as we addressed our problems together.

Edited for clarity.

[This message edited by PowerWithin at 5:41 PM, Sunday, June 5th]

Currently in R.
"The next time there’s no ground to stand on, don’t consider it an obstacle. Consider it a stroke of good luck." - Pema Chödrön

posts: 32   ·   registered: May. 25th, 2022   ·   location: Midwest
id 8738757
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:20 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

Thank you all for the replies.

My wife sent another apology email to me today for her behavior last night. Just like all the others, it would read as authentic if it was, but it’s clearly not. At least there’s no way to trust that it is.

I’ve asked her what I need and she can’t do it—she’s solely focused on herself and self-preservation. I have spent the day contemplating divorce, stopping all physical contact, canceling the family vacation—I just find myself caring less about all of it.

As one poster asked me awhile back: should it really be this hard?

@PowerWithin - Thank you for that post. Like many posts on this forum, sometimes I just read one at the exact right point—where if I read it last month I may have passed by without a second thought. Your post was one of the special ones.

I know I could do more to comfort my wife, I just don’t know if I’m prepared to do what she needs. I think the biggest issue for us right now is my lack of commitment to her—she feels inherently unsafe thinking I will walk away any minute, so she is lashing out to protect herself.

Both of us have our guard up—unwilling to meet the other because we both think the other will hurt us. I *need* her to be the one offering the olive branch.

I watched the coaster vid and I related to it—I shared it with my wife and she agreed.

I don’t know what steps to take now though. I don’t trust her. I feel like she is going to hurt me. I don’t want to be vulnerable to her again. I don’t know how to let that go—and her daily defensiveness and picking fights around how she feels just deflate me further.

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: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8738763
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