Numb&Dumb, thank you for your post--I always pull something away from your pots that's helpful. I know you didn't ask for these to be answered, but I'll take a shot anyway as it's helpful for me to get my initial thoughts down in writing.
if your W really does want a D then offer it to her. She may or may not want that, but without you both having some space neither of you will be able to determine for yourselves what you want.
What do you mean by that? I have offered to D or S if that's the path she wants--I've told her I'll be ok and that she shouldn't choose to stay for my benefit. Her response has always been that she wants to fight for our relationship and grow old with me. Is there something further you're suggesting?
1. You both seem to be co-dependent. Honestly this is all too common with all Ms not just ones impacted by infidelity. My W and I were horribly co-dependent. This had to be addressed individually. It us not about saving a M governed by fear and manipulation. It is knowing you both have choices and choosing to be M'd to one another is so much better. If a M does not allow you to be yourself then it takes away from your life versus enhancing it.
4. You both need space to figure out what you really want versus what your co-dependency drives you to do. You both seem desperate and afraid. This is not a very good environment to allow agency and autonomy. Again, you both need a lot of those things if you really want to heal.
I suspect you're right. I can speak for myself in that I felt very comfortable in my life--I thought our M was a lifetime gig and behaved with ease in our relationship. It's hard to know how I feel presently, but I *think* I feel less co-dependent than last month; and certainly less than last year. I will certainly explore the topic more in IC.
2. What is familiar is not safe or what is best for you. You both are acting desperate to hold onto the familiar. It is all you know and to date it is the only path you have tried. Examine this with MC.
Agreed there too. I have significant concerns for my WW's mental health right now--in a very deep way. I felt safe in my old M, but I do not feel safe now--so what is familiar is certainly not safe, and in turn, what is not safe cannot be what is best for me. As other's have suggested, I think I may ask my wife to see a psychiatrist for an evaluation/assessment. My concern is that I have felt increasingly less safe as the days have passed from DDay.
3. This is a marathon not a sprint. R or moving on take time. You measure this in months not days. I know everyone thinks that their unique infidelity situation won't follow a common pattern. Your Ws A is different from mine, but it contains a lot of similar elements. It is scary how often things you describe happened to me. Almost verbatim.
That has been my recent epiphany. I may agree or disagree with various posters here on the details, but looking at the big picture, the collective wisdom of this board has been spot on. It's hard to see that in the day-to-day and I need to be more open to the "less familiar" options in front of me and strap in for a longer ride.
There's also an anger in that realization to though--there's a lot going on in my life: principally, I'm up for a big promotion at work, so through that lens, this couldn't have happened at a worse time. I need to figure out how to let that anger for her subside so I can get some focus back--thus far I'm failing at it (as you can tell by me posting in this thread at noon on a Wednesday...).
5. Both of you need to check your pride, ego and score keeping at the door. She had an A and that is 100% on her. The state of the marriage prior to her A is a shared problem. You both had a role in creating this environment, but her choice to have an A and bad mouth you to everyone is 100 % on her. FWIW your W does not understand and believe that yet.
She will verbally take full blame and then in the next breath express a thought that makes it clear she has no understanding of the lie she just told. It's very frustrating to try to deconstruct her longtime issues; many of which she places on me. Even our marriage, which requires blame from both of us, has nothing to do with her unhappiness, her affair, the drinking, the spending--any of it. It's all entirely unrelated to our relationship and she has not begun to grasp that.
For me, as I noted above, I think my pride has been my downfall these last three months. I'm usually smart enough to solve whatever problem I may be facing. My pride led me to do that here with spectacularly poor results.
6. The answer to your W deciding to have an A is you divorce her. Anything less than that is you being open to show grace. Further if you do not want a D you have work towards finding peace with your decision and realize you can't really show grace while punishing you partner. They are mutually exclusive.
It took me awhile to figure that out. Plus I look back and cringe at the pain I inflicted on my wife. She believes she deserved it. She deserved a D, nothing more. Me was trying to be the good guy while simultaneously acting like a bad guy. Actions matching words, right? Same goes for BS. Show your W by example how to be consistently authentic in words and action.
I know many posters will disagree, but I don't feel that I've been punishing my wife at all (not even a little, honestly). I've been firm in our talks, but stayed calm, never sinking to insults. I've gone to dinners and on vacations with her, never being punitive or cold instead. I still make her dinner every night and have maintained any physical and emotional intimacy she has wanted. I've led this entire process with my heart and my head.
Now, I don't know that I can forgive her, so if this drags on, my grace may wane. But I'll tackle that as it comes. My priority now is working on healing myself in IC and monitoring her mental health to make sure me and the children are in a safe environment.
I think a lot of us responding still forget how new you are to this and you are trying what you both know. It is time to find an alternative as what you know got you both to where you are now. Both as individuals and as a couple. Separately at first. M 2.0 building is a ways off. The crisis must be survived and you both honestly need to decide what you want. Then take steps to work towards what you want. Even if that is D. All options stay on the table.
Finally detaching from the outcome is paramount. You having a successful R is just as likely as a successful D. No one can predict what will happen. You would not be the first couple to realize you are different after the Dday and being authentic means that you move on from this chapter in your lives.
Last, but not least. You need patience. This is not going away any time soon. Be comfortable being uncomfortable.
Sage advice. Thank you.
[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 5:08 PM, Wednesday, June 15th]