I’ll give an update and try to address some of the recent posts in the process. Yesterday was a long and winding road.
Shortly after my morning post and exchange with HellFire, I received a text from my WW apologizing for getting upset over my decision to tell my sister and father—she told me I had the right to tell anyone I want (verbatim from HF’s post).
I thanked her for the text and laughed that she was clearly reading my thread again, which was ok—since she began posting here we opened up both our threads for the other to see. I had warned her repeatedly that my thread would be rough for her to see, but left it to her.
She told me she had been reading it and I said that was fine. Her getting to a good answer from reading my thread was better than her not getting to a good answer at all.
At work I decided to tell my VP what was going on—him and I are very close and I value his counsel. We spoke only about 30 minutes, but he has a wealth of experience and his feedback was more or less and succinct overview of this thread and my therapy sessions (focus on myself and my children, know that none of my wife’s issues have anything to do with our marriage, give her the space to work through them in IC, etc.)
He did offer one strong POV as he played my situation forward. He told me if she has more serious mental disorders, she should have a psych evaluation immediately—he felt my biggest pitfall would be if she doesn’t get all the help she needs because of her pride and I spin around in circles with her for a big chunk of my life while she remains unhealthy.
The advise resonated with me.
I went to my IC appointment a little later—we focused a bit more on my WW than I intended, but she covered a few points:
1. My trauma healing largely requires time and patience (sound familiar?)
2. My wife needs to grow up and stop wallowing in self-pity, blaming external factors for her unhappiness—and there’s not much I can do until she recognizes that.
3. She didn’t think a psych evaluation for my wife mattered much as ultimately it would come down to my wife’s willingness to address her issues—and the first step is more IC for her.
4. She didn’t seem very on-board with my telling the rest of my family, but once I gave my reasons she changed her position.
5. Sex shouldn’t be as complicated as my wife and I are making it—we need to take the pressure off of it. She also expressed lots of people have sex with a partner when they don’t want to—for the betterment of the marriage—and they do it without making their partner feel horrible, so my wife’s behavior is unacceptable (highlighting Monday night).
6. I should visit this forum less as it may be too consuming for me (she’s probably right and I’m going to likely start posting a bit less—we’ll see how it goes).
Following IC I had to race home to meet my wife and kids to go to a brief event at my son’s school. We bumped into OBS’s best friend, which was mildly awkward, but it didn’t bother either my WW or I much. We then went out to dinner as a family.
All night my wife was *very* distant, staring off into space and giving me fake smiles anytime she caught me looking at her. Back at home I bathed the kids and got them to bed so she could go for a long walk.
Afterward, I asked how she was doing and how her day went. She told me everything was fine, she just was thinking about more of my family knowing, but ultimately felt I should tell them if I wanted.
At this point I wasn't sure what to do—it was obvious to me she was lying about why she was upset, but I wasn’t sure if I should press or just let her sort out her issues on her own and not give her further opportunity to say something stupid. As always, I went with the former like an idiot and asked if she was sure she didn’t want to talk about anything.
She let me know that she read a lot more of this thread and it really rattled her—especially my post yesterday about planning to ask her to have a psych evaluation and me feeling unsafe around her. She spiraled hard and interpreted that as me wanting to have her locked up in a mental institution and keeping the kids from her.
I told her I was very concerned about her mental health—and her response to reading my post is case-in-point a reason why. She is erratic and often saying seemingly crazy things (like that).
She called her psychologist during her spiral and they talked for 30 minutes. As far as I can tell, my WW trashed me the whole call, telling her that I thought she was a sociopath and I was building a case to have her locked up and other such madness. The IC calmed her down and they discussed my post. The IC recommended that she immediately stop reading my thread and posting on SI because it is having far too big of an affect on her (so she won't be posting more in her thread for now). The IC also said a psych evaluation wasn’t necessary because she needs to meet with her more and if she determines there’s an issue she can suggest medication or further therapy.
I thought the IC’s response was perfectly reasonable and my WW is going to see her again this morning, so that resolved the conflict.
Then, shockingly, we largely had a good talk. I spoke mostly about how I felt—that she was constantly attacking me and treating me like an enemy. That the relationship I want—with her or anyone—is a true partnership where it’s us against the world. That I felt stupid and hurt for thinking I had this incredible partnership with her and then she treated me like a piece of garbage.
She seemed genuinely upset for how she kept thinking the worst of me and feeling the need to attack me/defend herself from me. She pointed out that it wasn’t just me—she felt attacked by everyone right now. I asked her to please try harder to let me in rather than fighting me like everyone else—I wanted to help and support her but she wouldn’t let me.
We also discussed her reneging on alcohol use and how it hurt me she agreed to something she didn’t agree with again, making trusting anything she says impossible. She understood and was angry at herself that she keeps doing things like that (people pleasing).
It was an emotional conversation and I’d say it had more positives than negatives, but the various red flags are still there.
Also of interest, she pointed out the other night (Tuesday, which I wrote about), I was acting cold toward her, so she was cold in response. I don’t think I was cold toward her at all, but I was practicing the 180 and it clearly affected her.
I haven’t figured out what method is best in dealing with her. I am still going to focus on me and live my life, but I also recognize she reacts poorly when she feels shutout. It’s a balance. Tonight, for example, I’ll be going to a concert with my mom and sister and she’s home with the kids. And then she’ll be traveling for work for four days next week—so most of this next week will be apart and I’m keeping sex on hold at least until she returns from the trip.
[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 12:20 PM, Thursday, June 16th]