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

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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 6:35 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

Is it possible for you to send her and the kids on the vacation so that you can get a break?

posts: 5138   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8738764
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 6:57 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

Please pay attention to ^^^^^^^^ all of them. Your wife is so entrenched in childhood issues that being the rational adult is nearly impossible. She needs EMDR to dig out what hidden memories are ruling her right now. In feelings of being threatened a switch turns on immediately and the child comes out swinging. Pay attention to how your children handle stress and you will figure out what age she is emotionally. It can be as young as a toddler or a teenager. A parent’s job is to encourage and support all the different ways we mature. Physically, mentally, academically, socially and emotionally. From what you have written her emotional maturity was interfered with. You can not fix this by being mature. Her young child running things will not let you. She needs deep intense therapy. Once some of the issues stored in her brain come out into the light she can work to make sure they are not going to run the engine anymore. This is a process. She cannot hurry it.
The behaviors that you describe sound like the definition of a child. The AP(candy) was forbidden so she snuck and took it and when you reacted she dove right into childhood and came out yelling. Anything to shut you up. There is a lot of hidden shame in her. Guilt is self inflicted. Shame is inflicted by others, usually parents.

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

posts: 3342   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8738768
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 7:43 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

You should NOT be committed to her or R right now. Any wayward who expects this as a condition to really try is not actually reconciling anyway. There are a thousamd stories here to back that up. If anything, you should end R and see what she does because she is all talk and zero action. Will she sdo what she should even if youre done?? Why would you be vulnerable to someone who shows you she plans to hurt you to get what she wants? She had a chance to calm down and instead she doubled down.

Be gentle to yourself. You don't owe her anything and I actually think ending this fake R attempt would help your chances of potential real R. Right now, she can't and doesn't want to do it. What she did over the text to OBS is the proof that you need that she is NOT ready for R.

posts: 271   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8738771
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 8:13 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

What she did over the text to OBS is the proof that you need that she is NOT ready for R.

Agreed. That’s where I am. The path I’ve travelled for 2.5 months is a clear dead end.

So now what?

I can D and blow it all up obviously, but is there another choice?

It’s strange, I hate the idea of feeling like my hand is forced. I laid out conditions; she repeatedly failed to meet them. If I choose not to D, then they were never conditions in the first place, right?

I’m struggling to see a viable alternative path right now.

PowerWithin’s post was interesting, but I don’t think I’m in the emotional or mental headspace to suck it up and put my energy into supporting her so she feels comfortable and is able to "get on the coaster."

If we know she can’t support me and I don’t think I can support her, what can I do other than 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: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8738772
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 9:07 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

I think it’s still too soon to make a decision either way. And, I think you’re being way too hard, and putting too much pressure, on yourself.

You should both continue IC snd perhaps put a hold on MC until more progress and time in IC had transpired.

posts: 442   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8738775
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PowerWithin ( new member #80349) posted at 9:10 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

I think that as couples, we each need to find the approach that works for our unique situations. For us, it is Stan Tatkin’s PACT approach. I’m a science nerd, so it was both validating and eye-opening for my husband and me to read about Stan’s research on how our brains are wired for survival, how we often think we’re being rational when we’re really not (very humbling), and how establishing and maintaining a secure connection is the only way both partners feel truly safe and secure. Without security, we have no solid ground - how could we possibly build something new? If instead, we both put the relationship first, and we agree on what that means and how to do it, then the relationship takes care of us.

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.

In my own marriage, we both felt out of control, unsafe, and attacked. For us, the only way out of that unsustainable hell was to figure out how to do the opposite. I think it is not so much about you providing comfort for her, or her feeling insecure because your commitment is unclear - that kind of thinking still stems from "where are we at as individuals" as opposed to "what can we do together as a couple". Instead, find common ground. Temporarily suspend your search for solutions to these enormous problems. Give yourselves a respite from feeling overwhelmed by each other’s failures. Reconnect. Regroup. If you still admire qualities about each other, write those down together. Write down past accomplishments that you could not have done without each other, and that still matter today. Revisit your shared dreams - what do you both want? What is pulling you forward, out of this black hole morass of pain? You know you can’t stay here. Make a plan together. Recommit for a certain time period - even a month or whatever. Because if divorce is on the table, that threat can be enough to keep the other partner triggered, and biologically unable to think straight. Not true for everyone, but absolutely true in my marriage. If you need some clear structure for building a secure relationship, check out Tatkin’s book, We Do.

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.

This all makes sense, right? You both have hurt each other. And, what was really driving all of that hurt? If you peel it back, was it really that you both have been protesting your lack of connection to each other? Yes? Your lack of security with each other? If so, then you can figure out how to stop protesting, and start acting differently. Security and connection need to be established to stop the bleeding. You two aren’t even three months past Dday, so you’d be ahead of the curve if you can get your head around this stuff!!

I know it’s so difficult when you are understandably reeling from the trauma of it all. I know this approach seems like it doesn’t make sense…. Establishing connection before she makes up for her betrayals??? I know because I was stuck there too - He owes me! I can’t trust him until he does x y z, my way! My safety! My security! But that drove him away… he could not move past his own hurt, his need for safety, his need for security… and that makes sense too, right? So my choice was to keep being negative about HIM (opposite sides), or rebuild the positives about US (same side). When that choice became clear, I finally got it. I was waiting for him to "get it", but in our marriage, I was the one who needed to get it. And yeah, it hasn’t been a picnic. We are still figuring it out. But we’re doing it together, instead of just hurting each other and constantly failing to address it from opposite sides.

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

Lots of excellent resources on his website too. He is also a PACT therapist, and his approach to couple-centered therapy is what we are doing. Start working toward a secure connection first, and then fix the problems.


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.

I could have written those sentences myself. I know how flat out terrifying and dangerous it feels… and is! So much of the past is the opposite of what you wanted, or what you would have chosen. Of course you don’t trust her - that makes total sense. At the same time, she doesn't trust you either, and neither of you really know what to do, so maybe you’ve both been defaulting to old patterns. Old patterns that still don’t work. Old patterns that keep you stuck and powerless. This is a recipe for disaster.

Instead, how about a new recipe with different ingredients? Getting out of this turmoil requires new skills. For example, I think the coaster video helps empower the spouse who did the betrayals, and encourages a shift in perspective for both people. Yes, her actions helped destroy your old marriage. So - if you both agree with this - to make things right, her job is to demonstrate that she will do everything in her power to show you she is all in now. She must have faith to believe that by demonstrating that she is all in, she will prove to you after a while, that it is safe for you to be all in too. This is how she earns you back, and her reward is a secure connection to you, which is the same reward you want - a secure connection to her.

It seems clear to me that you both want this kind of connection - you just don’t know how to do it. So it’s not that either of you can’t do it - you just need to learn how to do it in a way that you both feel like you CAN do it. Where you set yourselves and each other up to succeed, because you agree on how you will both achieve that.

Like my husband and me, it is likely that neither you nor your wife (like a LOT of other people) know how to actually put this into practice. We needed structure and coaching on how to do it. I hope you can find whatever the two of you need to get your relationship front and center, incorporate new healthy ways to connect, and establish security so then you can both heal and grow together.

I don’t want to gloss over the trauma you have both experienced, but I can’t pretend to know what that looks like for each of you. Hearing my husband tell me the disgusting details of his affairs was truly disintegrating for me and I had to do specific trauma work to help address it. Just sayin…. Fixing the connection doesn’t magically fix everything, but it can be a reassuring place to start. At least you’ll have a better idea of whether it is even worth working through all the pain together or not, you know?

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 8738776
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 9:16 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

Update:

My MIL called me. My WW came clean with her about more of the details of her vast deceptions and her misrepresentations about me. Her mother seemed genuinely horrified. She apologized profusely to me saying she had no idea what was actually going on--she took what my wife said on face value and blindly accepted it and supported her criticisms of me. Now that she knows what happened, she finds it difficult to talk with my wife. She feels betrayed and foolish.

She told me what she did to me was unforgivable and she will have to live with her behavior the rest of her life. I found her authentic, but ultimately, my MIL is not a primary concern. I guess I do feel a bit better now that my in-law issues are largely resolved, but what was more interesting was her take on what is happening with my wife.

My MIL felt my wife is entirely uncontrite about her actions and that deeply upset her to see. She doesn't think my wife has any idea what she's thinking or doing, or any understanding of how badly she's fucking her life up right now. She's worried that she's not even attempting to think anything through and is going to blow up her life and live in regret forever--and she doesn't think she can stop her.

Apparently my wife called her mom about the OBS issue this morning to vent about me texting her or potentially pursuing my own affair and her mom was so offended at the accusation that she ended the phone call (coincidentally, my wife apologized to me shortly after that call with her mom). My MIL told me she doesn't think it would be helpful for her to talk to her daughter any more on this as she's too angry with her right now, but I suggested she be there to offer tough love and constructive support if she can. I don't know if she will--MIL felt it would be better she stay out of it and let my SIL be my wife's support for now.

It was an eye-opening phone call because it made me feel like the entire world now sees my wife for who she is and I'm stuck with my eyes closed hoping for something different. Even her mother--my wife's principle enabler throughout the affair--seems to think our marriage is fucked and my wife is a time bomb.

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 8738778
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PowerWithin ( new member #80349) posted at 9:26 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

If you liked the coaster vid, the point there was that it’s not your job to
suck anything up, nor is it your job to get her on the coaster. It is her job to fully understand why she needs to do that in the first place, and what the reward will be to both of you when she does it. Then she does it and sticks with it, until you believe that she really IS all in. It’s her job to prove she is all in, and then and only then will you feel comfortable putting yourself back in again. If she doesn’t understand why she needs to lead the way on being all in right now, you can support her in understanding why this is true for you, if indeed it is. I know the video helped us immensely, but I have no idea if it is a fit for other couples or not.

[This message edited by PowerWithin at 9:33 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 8738780
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farsidejunky ( member #49392) posted at 10:17 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

Truth-the chlorine of the infidelity world.

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

-Maya Angelou

posts: 606   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2015   ·   location: Tennessee
id 8738790
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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 10:21 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

PW, I'm glad you clarified that because the initial takeaway Dr had left a bad taste in my mouth. He should NOT be patiently supporting her, hand-holding, and coddling her into R. SI calls that "nicing" the WS back and it never works. It enables the selfishness to continue. You're right that she needs to do it entirely of her own free will.

Dr, I once read a very good MC's take on this kind of situation where the WS and the BS are both acting defensive and have their guards up. She described the situation to the WS as their marriage being a sandbox that the WS had made unsafe with her behavior. If the WS wants the BS to feel comfortable coming out to play, the WS has to be the one to first make the sandbox safe and inviting. Not the BS. Same goes for your WW. She can't expect you to want to extend that olive branch when she herself keeps repeating unsafe behaviors. Even if you extended one now, she will likely toss it away in a matter of days. It's ok to pullback and keep yourself safe during this time until she can consistently demonstrate that it's safe for you to come out. It's ok to put the marriage aside and focus on yourself. It's ok to take a break or even separate for a little bit if that is what you need to do to stop the tirades she is now putting you through.

posts: 5138   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8738791
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 3:21 AM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

it made me feel like the entire world now sees my wife for who she is and I'm stuck with my eyes closed hoping for something different.

Agree.

She seriously went back to accuse you of wanting to cheat with the OBS even after having overnight to cool down? I mean, what can you even do because that's so nonsensical that you can't possibly expect to have a productive conversation with her. She did not care how you felt, she cared only to win.

You don't have to make a final decision now. But you can stop the husband stuff and false R stuff without actually filing, if you're not ready to take that step. Even if you file, it takes time. Just stop trying to help her and stop hoping to see what's not there. Stop the marriage counseling. Stop the sex. Let her figure out what to do without the promise of you choosing R.

If she acts like she's been acting, you can at least protect yourself by Separating emotionally. So far you've been keeping your feet firmly in the fire and you don't have to, especially when your wife is simply being absolutely cruel. You have got to take space from her to see what she is really going to do and let you have some space to think. I know you're afraid to do this because you're sure it spells the end of the marriage but people here say all the time you have to be willing to lose the marriage to save it and it's so accurate. You don't want the marriage you have now anyway. Let that go.

posts: 271   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8738808
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 3:30 AM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

She sent you another one of her bullshit apology emails?! When are you going to get sick of being dragged through the cycle of abuse followed by hoovering/love-bombing?

Cloud’s post above is 100% correct. Sex, doing nice and thoughtful things for her, going to marriage counseling isn’t making things better; it’s just reinforcing the fact that she can keep serving you shit sandwiches and you will ask for seconds and thirds.

Go to the Healing Library and look up the 180. Implement it today.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 3:38 AM, Monday, June 6th]

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 8738809
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farsidejunky ( member #49392) posted at 3:53 AM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

Response:

"It's hard to hear your words when your actions are showing something entirely different."

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

-Maya Angelou

posts: 606   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2015   ·   location: Tennessee
id 8738813
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 2:00 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

Thank all of you again for the replies. I'll give everyone another update.

I woke up yesterday feeling like D was my only option: I had given her the things I needed and she refused to provide them--if I didn't move forward with D, I didn't see a viable alternative. I can certainly separate emotionally and physically from her (we haven't had sex since Thursday)--that feels like hardening my position down the same path I've been taking; and I'm open to that.

Two things happened yesterday: First, I read PowerWithin's posts multiple times (reading them to my wife as well); second I had the conversation with my MIL, who had clearly abandoned my wife's camp and was seeing exactly the things everyone else was seeing in my WW.

PowerWithin's posts suggested an opposite approach to what I've been doing--rather than force my way to healing and force my wife's way to corrective behavior, we both meet in the middle and do those things as a team. Of course, to do that, I still need my wife to lead the way, something she has thus far shown she can't do--she is always concerned with herself as the #1, certainly not me or the marriage.

I sat down with my wife for another talk last night--a long one. I pit every ounce of my effort into bringing forward to her the harsh reality while delivering it with a positive attitude. I was calm, controlled and left behind the doom that sometimes accompanies our chats. I needed her to get back on the "coaster" first.

My wife looked like a scared animal, frightened in the corner, ready to lash out at anything that approached her, but she tried to put on a receptive face. She felt the world was against her: me, her sister, her mother, her former IC, our MC and this forum. They all thought she was the bad guy and she wanted to burn down her bridges to all those things so she can go dig a hole and sit in it.

I can deeply relate to that feeling--when you're dug in on something and wrong about it--it's hard to back down because it's a direct shot to your ego and pride. It's easier to assume everyone is just wrong, or an asshole. For her, the idea that everyone else is right and she's wrong would mean she's the villain--and as all of you have pointed out, no one is the villain of her own story.

I pushed and told her this is her moment to recognize what's happening. Me, her family, a forum of strangers, the therapists we're paying $250/hour; none of them are out to hurt her--they're all giving the best advice they can. She needs to turn it from evil judgements in her mind to instead valid criticisms and support. She needs to internalize what is being said to her and accept at least the possibility that it's true.

I talked for a long time. I thought I was getting through to her. I could see the wheels in her head turning.

Sadly, the wheels turning were still on her seething anger and vindictive thought processes to all the people that had turned on her.

Her sister: She texted me earlier in the day to note that she had been taking a medication to suppress her desire to have alcohol; she noted it worked for her and wanted my thoughts on suggesting it for my wife before she did. My wife couldn't wait for her to recommend it to her so she could ignore the text--she wanted to stop talking with her sister entirely because she reached out to me to discuss her.

Her mother: "How dare she call me uncontrite? She has no idea what's even been happening here the last 2.5 months! And I already apologized to her for feeding her all those lies!" She decided she didn't want to visit her parents in August anymore because she would feel so judged by them--but the obvious truth was she wanted to punish them, not allowing them to see their grandkids because they had "turned" on her.

Our MC: "All [MC] does is judge me. What has [MC] really done to help me? Honestly?" She also referenced "therapists" at times, referring obviously to her first IC she stopped seeing (she hasn't known new IC long enough to be critical of her).

This forum: You're all a bunch of strangers who have no idea what is happening and are against her because you're all on my side (on the bright-side, that means she's certainly stopped reading the thread as the last few days were a doozy for me LOL).

Me: She was still questioning "why" I wanted to reach out to OBS, but I stopped her immediately as I knew I couldn't keep my calm demeanor if we attempted that conversation again. She let it go, and she seemed to have virtually no other vindictiveness left for me, but I also felt no love in her eyes. I don't know if that's because she's so consumed with trying to hurt the people against her or if it's because she genuinely has no love for me and thus has no desire to be vulnerable to heal our marriage because she doesn't want to have a marriage with me. I think it's both, but I know I'll be accused of creating a false narrative by some of you, and perhaps that's fair.

I took it all in, stunned. I had never seen such pettiness and vindictiveness from anyone, let alone her. It was an insane, scorched earth mindset. Just as her mother said, she was determined to destroy her life, guns ablaze, and no one could get through to her before she did.

I took a deep breath and asked her what she wanted in life. She could force the end of our marriage, ostracize her family and stop going to therapy. Then she could go off alone and dig her hole to sit in. But then what? Would she be happy with that person sitting in the hole? Would she be happy burning bridges with all the people in her life trying to support her? All for her pride? All so she can think she won, even though the rest of the world will see her as a loser?

I again re-enforced that every single thought she had just revealed was bull shit and wrong.

- She should reach out to her sister and thank her for being so supportive.

- She she should reach out to her mother and apologize again for horribly abusing their relationship--but mean it this time.

- She should show up at MC/IC and internalize every single criticism she receives so she can explore all of it.

- She should start posting on these forums and open herself to the harsh light (she still hasn't been registered though).

- And lastly, she should drop to her knees and thank whatever god she wants that her abused husband is still sitting here talking with her, expressing what might be the last genuine love from another living creature on this planet that she'll ever see.

We broke from the conversation and she returned back to me. She told me I was right and that her anxieties kept pushing her in a direction that doesn't make sense to her. She doesn't want to be the person with those vindictive points of view and she wants a life that includes me and her family. She told me she wants to get on the "coaster." I told her that her words were obviously meaningless and she said she understood.

It was a hard evening, even though I spent most of it with a smile and a friendly/supportive tone. Neither of us raised our voices at all. I forced all my anger for her down deep and never let anything show--I showed only love. If PowerWithin is right, and that's what she needs from me, I thought I'd give that one last shot.

I kept my physical distance and tried to go to bed. And of course the images crept back into my head--I just kept thinking of AP licking her asshole. I don't share that to be crude, only to demonstrate how broken my mind is right now--I feel like I'm juggling several butcher's knives without any juggling experience. My mind feels broken yet I need to be using it at a higher level now than ever before.

My daughter woke us up a few hours later and I couldn't fall back to sleep. I sat up all night with all the above thoughts circling in my mind.

We go to MC in a few hours and I plan on laying all of this out--including my wife's feelings for the MC. I need to air out her vindictive instincts in the hopes someone can get through to her because it feels like time's already up and I'm lingering for one last curiosity. I'm also looking to see how she handles the OBS discussion in therapy--I'm betting she's going to defend her position to try to recruit the MC to her side of the argument. Maybe I'm over-reacting, but I don't know that our marriage will survive if she does that.

Today is important to me--I suspect an explosive MC session is coming and then a family vacation tomorrow. I don't know if I'm mentally prepared for the end, but I won't deny I feel like I'm standing on the edge right now. I'm on virtually no sleep, so it's certain I'm unclear, but I felt like last night was my Hail Mary.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 2:01 PM, Monday, June 6th]

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 8738827
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 2:19 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

Again, you are focusing your attention on her. What about you and the trauma you sustained, that thinking about, imagining what she did with him is your brain trying to process that trauma. The anger you are stuffing down in, is you feeling that pain that the trauma caused you.

YOU need to feel those feels, and work through them, and process the trauma before YOU can even start to rebuild. No matter how badly you want this all to work out, without you both getting to a healthy place in your own minds first it's not going to happen.

She is truly stuck with at a maturity level of a teen, and it's going to be a long hard road for her, but until she addresses the shame that is throwing walls in her way she isn't going to be able to move forward, and you can't do that for her, no one can. Hopefully IC can help her see that and she can start to deal with it, if not for the M, but for the sake of being a good mom to her kids.

I would urge you to consider breaking up this vacation so that both of you get some alone and down time, maybe splitting parental responsibility and flipping off halfway through.

I also agree, and want to reinforce that you do need to stop having sex with her, I know you have been reluctant to do so because of how messed up that relationship was prior to the A, but You have to be seeing by now that the feel good hormones that come with the act are only clouding your judgement and making this harder for you to reinforce boundaries. Do NOT use it as a tool or manipulation, but take a break and tell her you need the break to help you get some clarity.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19321   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8738832
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 2:31 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

Do you really have to go on a vacation with her? This seems like an absolutely terrible idea.

You are suffering. You are unable to share your feelings with your wife because she will take those feelings and use them against you. She is causing you more suffering on purpose because she cares only about winning. Why would you go on a vacation with her? She will hurt you more and you will be forced to bury your trauma even more than you already are at home. She will use this against you and then write a bullshit email. Why put yourself through that? Can she or you stay behind?

posts: 271   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8738835
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gr8ful ( member #58180) posted at 2:42 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

Do you really have to go on a vacation with her? This seems like an absolutely terrible idea.

Completely agree. I suspect you have it in your mind to go into hard rugsweeping mode for the duration of the vacation to get through it, but, if I read you right, that’s going to be torture for your mind, particularly right now.

If you’re still on the fence about it, I strongly advise also bringing up the vaca in MC, saying you wonder if it’s a very bad idea right now….

posts: 142   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2017
id 8738838
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 3:09 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

I suspect you have it in your mind to go into hard rugsweeping mode for the duration of the vacation to get through it, but, if I read you right, that’s going to be torture for your mind, particularly right now.

That is precisely my plan.

I came very close to cancelling the trip twice in last two days, but the kids are really excited and I can do four days of rug-sweeping and manage it (I think). I could have one of us drop out, but I feel like that would potentially be worse for the kids right now.

Truthfully, I'm not sure what do do with the affair thoughts in my mind right now anyway. Obviously rug sweeping it for a few days won't help me, but I also assume it won't hurt me--I'll just be back where I was as soon as I get back.

Separately, it also takes work out of the equation for a few days--I'm going in with the sole purpose of being 100% focused on my kids. I'll do my best.

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 8738846
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 3:19 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

I could have one of us drop out, but I feel like that would potentially be worse for the kids right now.

Your kids are little, right? It will have a much more negative impact on you to go than for them to cancel. Little kids will roll with whatever. Edited to add: they probably won't remember cancelling this trip. My kids do not remember these types of things and we did take big kid friendly trips! They remember time with us. So they may not remember the trip or the cancelling of the trip but they will remember your wife's behavior, which is not going to be good. She will have you trapped. Her cruelty seems to be escalating. There is zero chance your kids won't pick up on this.

I think it is a terrible idea to go but if you go, you need to practice gray rock with your wife. Sleep separately. Trade off time with the kids like you would with a child care provider. No husband and wife stuff. No being dragged into whatever madness she wants to drag you into. You need to take care of you. I am going to guess she will want to pretend you agreeing to go on this vacation is your signal that eventually you will give in to rugsweeping. So it will be very important to hold your boundaries firm and practice co-parenting and being emotionally separated from her. Good luck.

[This message edited by clouds777 at 4:02 PM, Monday, June 6th]

posts: 271   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8738848
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 3:29 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

Quite frankly, I think you're insane if you go on vacation with your WW. Not only is your wife's behavior not improving, it's escalating in cruelty and vindictiveness. edit;add: Every time you try to do something nice to reconnect with her-- from Mother's Day to your most reason excursion-- she pulls some kind of emotionally manipulative stunt that causes you to lash out and enables her to cast herself in the victim role. Now you want to trap yourself for 4 days straight with that?!

You say your kids would be disappointed if the trip were cancelled, but have you considered how ugly and unpleasant it would get if you and your wife got into it during the trip? Even if you don't fight in front of them, kids are still able to pick up on tension and negative energy.

Also, think of it this way: how serious do you think your wife takes your threats of divorce if you're not even willing to cancel a 4-day trip because it would disappoint the kids?

I used this metaphor in a different post by another BS, and I'm going to repeat it here because it's extremely relevant to your situation. Attempting to reconcile with unremorseful spouse is like trying to negotiate with a tapeworm.

You're saying to the tapeworm, "Look, I'm fine with you attaching yourself to my guts and sapping energy and nutrients from my body, but would you be so kind as to give me something back every once in a while? Can you leave me breakfast and just take lunch and dinner?"

But you can't compromise with a tapeworm. It will take whatever it can get for as long as it possibly can, and doesn't care how sick it makes you. It doesn't stay with you because it loves you; it stays with you because you're a source of sustenance... and because it doesn't have an easy exit strategy even if did prefer a different host.

Your only choices are to continue to let the tapeworm gorge or purge it from your body. That's it!

I know it sounds crass and dehumanizing to refer the wife you love and the mother of your children in this way, but if her mother-- who loves her unconditionally-- can open her eyes to the toxic and destructive person your WW is and see the reality of your situation, then you should, too.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 3:48 PM, Monday, June 6th]

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 8738850
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