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

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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 11:14 AM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

I happen to agree with BeyondRage’s viewpoint concerning contact with the OBS.

However, I believe that there is one other element to this. Doc’s WW did not love Doc during her A, quite the opposite. Docs WW did not compartmentalize her A like many WS. Instead, she conducted her A with malice against Doc, as evidenced even more so by her continuous bad mouthing of him behind his back. His WW also conducted her A with malice against OBS, if everyone remembers Docs WW behavior in the bar with the OBS.

Docs wife is not one to understand subtleties, show empathy, or have a deep understanding of how her actions or inaction affects Doc.

On the other hand, his WW does understand brute force in language and action. If Doc stops talking to OBS, there is no doubt that his WW would put that in her win column versus thinking wow, Doc really loves me, has empathy for me, and wants R, so he’s doing the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing. What a great guy. Instead, it would be, look how I won!

Now, if Docs wife suddenly changed, snd became the person she’s currently not, I would say it definitely is extremely important to go NC with OBS. But to put in priority order right now WRT Doc talking to OBS, I would put that way down on the list of current issues.

posts: 442   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8741355
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 3:27 PM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

On the other hand, his WW does understand brute force in language and action. If Doc stops talking to OBS, there is no doubt that his WW would put that in her win column versus thinking wow, Doc really loves me, has empathy for me, and wants R, so he’s doing the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing. What a great guy. Instead, it would be, look how I won!


In one sense, I see what you're getting at. It's not good for a WS to feel too secure, especially in the early stages. My BH regrets not taking a harder line on NC in the immediate aftermath of D-Day. If he had, it might have broken us up, but he'd have been able to start healing instead of suffering months of limbo and years of PTSD.

But while the looming possibility of D can be a useful tool for deflating entitlement, staying in friendly contact with the OBS is more likely to foster renewed entitlement. When you are married to someone who has a transactional view of the world, and they see an imbalance ("You can be friends with an openly declared enemy of our marriage, but I cannot"), they aren't going to feel chastised and put in their place. They are going to resent it, and they are going to offset that imbalance by justifying their own questionable behavior. Resentment is a key ingredient in the recipe for entitlement, and we WS are master chefs in that form of cuisine.

Now, if Docs wife suddenly changed, snd became the person she’s currently not, I would say it definitely is extremely important to go NC with OBS. But to put in priority order right now WRT Doc talking to OBS, I would put that way down on the list of current issues.


The only reason to contemplate R is to see if WW can change and become someone she's currently not. Given Doc's story, it sounds like an uphill battle. It's healthy for him to point at the hill and say, "You got yourself into this mess, and it's on you to climb out; I'm not going to drag you up here." But staying friendly with a woman who propositioned him is like tying weights to WW's feet or soaking the path until it's mud. She's already out of shape for the climb, and the chance of her success goes down with every additional obstacle.

As long as Doc's future goals are tied to his WW's incentive to improve herself, I think his best interest is more served by cutting OBS out. As another poster observed, OBS already dumped the AP. She's unlikely to have any new information to offer that would help Doc chart his path, but she is (however understandably) deeply invested in WW's failure.

WW/BW

posts: 2736   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8741377
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:42 PM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Hey, all.

So I recognize the direction this thread has taken is entirely on me. I'm argumentative and will chase points of conflict to a resolution, even if one is unlikely. I'm intellectually curious and points of agreement rarely teach me anything, so I focus on disagreement; sometimes to the detriment of a healthy relationship. None of my posts are intended as personal attacks.

However, while I stand by what I wrote in my posts, I'm also deeply upset if I've hurt anyone with them. It's one thing for me to tell you that I take none of these posts personally, but it's another thing for all of you to believe me (there was one post awhile back from Sundance that affected me for a few minutes, but other than that, I'm being truthful when I tell you that I view this forum as a place for me to exercise my intellectual struggles with the situation I'm in).

I have no ill-will toward any posters (and I'm happy to see BSR seems to feel similar as she posted again today). Feel free to keep posting--or if you decide to walk away for a bit; that's cool too. I recognize I can be relentless at times.

**

I'm also going to move on from the OBS conversation. I appreciate all the feedback, but I sense that through all the posts on her, we're amplifying her impact on my life right now. I will address this though:

However, I believe that there is one other element to this. Doc’s WW did not love Doc during her A, quite the opposite. Docs WW did not compartmentalize her A like many WS. Instead, she conducted her A with malice against Doc, as evidenced even more so by her continuous bad mouthing of him behind his back. His WW also conducted her A with malice against OBS, if everyone remembers Docs WW behavior in the bar with the OBS.

I don't know that my wife stopped loving me. She claims she did not and my sense is the word means something different to her than to me. I don't *know* that the badmouthing is proof of her lack of love either.

She badmouthed me to her mother because she needed someone to approve her decision to cheat. As many have pointed out, she uses me to provide her with permission in her life (a role I hate), but in this case, she needed someone else to play that role. Her mother was unwilling to tell her the affair was justified, so she kept pecking away at me in the hope that her mom would soften her position (which worked, somewhat).

The other people she badmouthed me too were her PTA friends, which included OBS. But that badmouthing was specific to me being lame in social gathers and her wanting to party without me. While hurtful, she did it specifically to make sure AP and I didn't end up in the same room. She was in control of the PTA social gatherings and she would push for events to be without spouses. I confirmed her motives through the text exchanges with her mom, in which she'd tell her mom that she needed to keep me away from AP because she didn't trust AP not to give her a "look" in public.

I don't think that proves anything though. She was having unprotected sex with AP and then coming home to me--that is not a loving act. She didn't respect me or care about my health, so claiming she stopped loving me with that evidence alone seems reasonable.

So I honestly don't know if she loved me before, during or currently. And I don't know if I still love her; nor do I know if I can ever forgive her for this betrayal. I'm still just sad about the whole thing.

**

Her time away for work has been fine though. She's texting me frequently to check in. Her recent revelation that she read my thread again didn't bother me at all--her word truly means nothing to me, so I'm already anticipating that she won't do anything she commits to.

I don't think she can help herself, but even if she could, there's no consequence for her failures anyway. If I set a hard line, I know she'll fail to adhere to it and then just lie to me to protect herself.

The relationship is broken right now. I feel myself building an emotional wall against her to protect myself from further harm. I don't know where this path leads, but it doesn't seem like a positive direction for our M--hopefully it's the best direction for me.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 6:48 PM, Wednesday, June 22nd]

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

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8741395
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BeingNaive ( member #30652) posted at 8:21 PM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Her recent revelation that she read my thread again didn't bother me at all--her word truly means nothing to me, so I'm already anticipating that she won't do anything she commits to.

I don't think she can help herself, but even if she could, there's no consequence for her failures anyway.

There are actually consequences already. You know she is untrustworthy and you cannot believe anything she says. Her journey to prove to you that she loves you, wants to be with you for you, grasps the true depth of her betrayal, etc. etc. etc. is that much harder now.

She claims that when she's feeling down, she's looking for validation that she's a POS and she can sometimes find that in some posts in this thread. Instead she read HikingOut's post that mentioned Mrs. Walloped needing to be hospitalized and she spiraled further.

That's all just a pile of BS. She read it because she wants to see if you and we are accepting her actions as "trying" and "making effort". She is trying to find the magic action or words to make you believe she's all better now and that you can just forget about this "little" affair.

I'm sorry to be so unfeeling towards your WW, but that's all I'm seeing in your posts. Faking it to make all the bad go away.

posts: 273   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2011   ·   location: Michigan
id 8741411
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 9:22 PM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

That's all just a pile of BS. She read it because she wants to see if you and we are accepting her actions as "trying" and "making effort". She is trying to find the magic action or words to make you believe she's all better now and that you can just forget about this "little" affair.

I'm sorry to be so unfeeling towards your WW, but that's all I'm seeing in your posts. Faking it to make all the bad go away

Yes, and it’s as normal at this stage as anything else.

Of course she is trying to find the recipe. She wants to stay married. It takes lots of attempts of what doesn’t work to find what does. To have the cheat sheet of being able to read posts is a hard this for her to resist at this juncture.

Honestly I can’t really tell if you want her to read the posts or not. Part of you does, it shows she "cares", and part of you do not but I am unclear your reasoning why. Is it because you want privacy over your thoughts? I don’t read that from you because I think there have always been sloppy boundaries in this relationship, from both sides.

Decide if you care or not, maybe you do, but if it’s just an arbitrary line in the sand, or a test, then I am not sure the rule has a purpose for you. Sure it does here for other people but does it for you?

If it is a rule you do want in place, then enforce it. But honestly expecting something different from a new ws shouldn’t be proof of trust or non trust. You know in the state she is in now there is no trust, this is a drop in the ocean and not even close to the biggest of offenses. I am not disregarding that to build trust you must foster it’s more I don’t think there are real boundaries over this.

You have chosen to give her this time to get herself together. You can revoke it at any time, but since this is your decision and you are willing to wait to a certain extent for her shit to be put back together, release any expectation (I don’t think you have expectations at this point) that things are going to change over night. It’s gradual. Months not days. So it’s helpful to keep the framing of what you want and expect and release anything that is peripheral to that. I think to some bs’s this is not peripheral. I read it as being so to you so I can imagine your wife thinks so too.

Boundaries are put in place to make clear messages. That is what you need to learn next and practice. Anything wish washy is a mixed message. Anything you are strong on be strong and unwavering on. Boundaries are needed in all relationships and yours has lacked many for years.

Between the detachment and enforcement of your boundaries you get some control of your life back. And that’s the litmus - is this boundary to control her? Then it’s a bad boundary. Boundaries are about having control in our own life. You can only control yourself in any of these situations. If she breaks a boundary, then you have to decide your response to that. It doesn’t need to be punitive, that’s not what you are trying to foster. It’s to allow yourself the natural reaction you need to have. Taking more space, making plans to do something fun with friends, to pulling out of your agreement. Again you must be authentic in what it is you need, and protect those needs. Playing control games with her (I am not saying you are) is only going to make it worse.

Get her input. Let’s say you do eant her to stay out of your thread. Then ask her what should the fall out be if she doesn’t respect it? Does she believe this is helping build trust? What does she think should happen if it she disregards your wishes again? And what should happen if she does it and lies about it? I realize that sounds like asking we to pick a punishment, this conversation should be framed in her having empathy over what it is you are feeling. Not as an exercise of rules with grounding or losing phone privileges. It’s a way of meaningful connection of what you need and her showing she has true empathy over your predicament. It should create a mutual understanding of why this is important. When she breaks it after that then you have an answer. She doesn’t empathize with you or respect your wishes.

Your wife needs to understand one of her biggest jobs is to create trust from this moment in. She needs to frame her every action with is this going to hurt the trust more? Your wife is conflict avoidant if she thought this was a hard line she wouldn’t be confessing to it. She should be confessing to it but if she thought it was a deal breaker at this point I don’t think she would be.

Edited to add- perfectionists and people pleasers often do self punish. It’s not unheard of that she may very well be reading your thread as some sort of confirmation she is a POS. I used to do that all the time by reading just found out. I can no longer stomach it and don’t go there anymore.

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:54 PM, Wednesday, June 22nd]

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6083   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8741418
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 9:53 PM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

I believe he asked her not to read his thread,she promised she wouldnt,and she broke that promise. More than once.

If she wants to rebuild trust, maybe she should either stop making promises she can't keep,or keep the promise.

I know..it's new, she wants a cheat sheet, give her time..

I guess this is one of the things that really bothers me about some of the advice here.

When NC is broken, the BS is told it is normal,give them time. When a WS trickle truths(LIES), they are told it's a normal. part of the process. When a WS outright lies about major details, the BS is counselled to be understanding because it's so hard for their WS.

And behind that struggling WS is a BS who is getting pummelled.

Just because it's normal for a WS to continue to break promises, doesn't mean it's ok that they continue to not be trustworthy. A BS shouldn't accept one more ounce of disrespect after dday. Those that do,will continue to get more of the same.

[This message edited by HellFire at 9:56 PM, Wednesday, June 22nd]

posts: 4386   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8741422
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ShockedAndShattered ( new member #79685) posted at 10:31 PM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Hi Dr,

First I'd like to say that I'm very sorry you're going through this. The pain I feel and the emotions that I've had to process after my H's affairs are more intense than I ever could have imagined. I hate knowing that someone else out there feels like I do.

I understand what you mean about building an emotional wall in order to protect yourself from allowing her to hurt you again. I find myself currently doing that as well. It's understandable. You've gone into instinctive protective mode. You can't control her actions or her reactions or her intentions or her devotion or her desire to work on the marriage and it's such a vulnerable position for you to be in. What you're going through is beyond traumatic. Sometimes our minds do amazing things to prevent us from feeling everything all at once. According to my IC, the wall is one of those things.

I'm no expert and I don't want to sound like I think I know it all, because I absolutely do not. Being cheated on and betrayed knocked me on my ass. It fundamentally changed who I am and how I view life itself. I'm trying to adapt to this new reality. I'm still experiencing, learning, reconciling, processing, absorbing and evolving.

I wish you well and I hope that you find peace soon. Even if you're not reacting in all the right ways, be kind to yourself. You're doing the best you can.

BS(me):42 WH:43 Married
DDay 1- 9/11/2021 EA 5+ yrs & lies
TTDDay 2- 9/23/2021 EA 2+ years & lies
TTDDay 3- 10/17/2021 EAs 1.5 yrs/5+ yrs
TTDDay 4- 04/11/2022 Conf PA w/1 EA
05/19/22 Breakthrough
Currently in R.

posts: 30   ·   registered: Dec. 17th, 2021
id 8741428
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 10:36 PM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

I recommend that you change your username and don't tell her what it is so that you can at least reclaim SI as a safe space to talk and seek advice without worrying about her snooping or questioning whether she's doing things based on what she's read here.

Honesty and transparency are only 50% of the equation when it comes to a WS regaining trust from the BS. The other 50% are keeping promises to the BS and the WS actually following through on things that they said they would do.

As for this...

I don't think she can help herself, but even if she could, there's no consequence for her failures anyway. If I set a hard line, I know she'll fail to adhere to it and then just lie to me to protect herself.

You haven't yet implemented any consequences for your wife's transgressions, so perhaps it's time to put this theory to the test.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 10:38 PM, Wednesday, June 22nd]

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 8741429
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 10:53 PM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

I don’t personally care if she reads my thread, but when she reads it she spirals and it makes our relationship more difficult, so her IC told her to stop reading it entirely and the MC agreed.

We then discussed it and she determined she would no longer read my thread or post in her thread. It was her decision.

A few days later she tells me she read my thread again and spiraled—apologizing for doing so.

What am I supposed to do with that? It’s absurd lol.

It’s no different than the alcohol issue—she keeps setting the perimeters of her agreements and then breaking them virtually instantly. And BTW, on alcohol, I suggested she re-negotiate her terms a few days ago, so she settled on two drinks a day tops, and not drinking most days. But I have no belief it means anything to her.

And I agree none of this is significant enough for me to file for D over, so what is the consequence I’m supposed to hold her to for things she volunteers to do and fails? And if I implement anything of significance, she just wouldn’t have told me she read the thread.

I’m not interested in being her jailer anyway. She’s forcing me into a position I don’t want to be and then breaking the boundaries she’s setting to observe my reaction—and my reaction now is simply: "sounds like something you should discuss in IC."

I don’t care about her drinking or reading the thread, I care that her word has no value and she keeps agreeing to things she clearly doesn’t agree with.

As I wrote initially, her telling me about it is a positive—certainly better than lying—but I can’t relate to someone who has no self-control. These aren’t big deals, relatively speaking, and she can’t pull herself together enough to do this for our M.

I’m not mad about it at all though anymore. It’s all just very sad to observe.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 10:54 PM, Wednesday, June 22nd]

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

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8741433
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redrock ( member #21538) posted at 11:16 PM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

You can’t change her and it’s an easy short cut for her. It’s too difficult to put herself out there and get feedback on the wayward side but not so tough to peruse your thread. It takes no effort. It has multiple purposes, she can flog herself by focusing on critical parts, get talking points on your failures and flaws, take your emotional temperature from day to day ...to name a few. Lots more possibilities. I hate to beat a dead horse but this also could be fed by her fear and need to pull the balance of power back as well.

You’ve gone over your boundaries. The purpose of this time is to get space and work on yourselves. She’s already engaged you on her boundary failure. You can’t make her respect them with further discussion. Take the information that at this time her needs supplant yours and keep on trucking. She’s showing you who she is right now. You can not facilitate a change in that. You’ve just made that very big realization... don’t backslide. She will make progress or won’t. The entire purpose of this period is to let her manage herself without your input.

She reached out to share what she did and didn’t try to blame you for how reading the thread made her feel.. that’s a baby step in the right direction. And you didn’t allow the conversation to spiral ... that’s a good step too.

Your emotional wall is to protect yourself. You’ll need that right now. I would really spend some time with IC game planning how to use this time and what to focus on in your individual healing. And dig in there. What are you doing today and tomorrow to work on Dr.?

Of course you are going to have interactions with WW. But keeping them limited to the operation of the house and kids. If you want to share anything, keep it short and if it devolves... end it.

There is a phrase that an old poster used that I’ve always liked. He used it to refer to reconciliation. But it applies to your situation as well.

There are good days and bad days in limbo and this is one of them.

I don't respect anyone that can't spell a word more than one way:)

posts: 3482   ·   registered: Nov. 6th, 2008   ·   location: Michigan
id 8741436
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 11:20 PM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

I’m not interested in being her jailer anyway. She’s forcing me into a position I don’t want to be and then breaking the boundaries she’s setting to observe my reaction—and my reaction now is simply: "sounds like something you should discuss in IC."

I don’t care about her drinking or reading the thread, I care that her word has no value and she keeps agreeing to things she clearly doesn’t agree with.

This is what I was hearing from you too. I didn't think you cared either way. And, I was suggesting a way out of getting pummeled. I don't think anyone is saying don't protect yourself. I think it's about getting clear about what you want your boundaries to be and enforcing them.

So, it sounds like the discussion is, "My boundary is that I need to you find the discipline in yourself to follow through with what you are going to say. If you do not think it's something to stick to, then I think you are just throwing darts to appease me and that is making you seem even less stable and even less for me to trust"

Then do as I suggested, introduce your predicament, give her the opportunity to gain empathy over that predicament, and let her come to some conclusions about what the fall out is for not respecting you in that predicament. (She is not working on her people pleasing, and is instead continuing to erode trust rather than building it)

If this is going to work, you are both going to have to learn to negotiate your needs and your boundaries around that need. I don't know where anyone would read I am suggesting you let your WW walk all over you. Instead, I would like to frame it as your goal right now is to see if you can R. She is not yet in a position to start that work in a big way. So, you start smaller. You both practice identifying what you need just in the context of giving each other space to work on yourselves. ,establish the importance of it, allow everyone to understand it, and start working towards a situation that if she is breaking your boundaries then you do not feel guilty for the outcome of it. Because if you can’t get space then it may result in separation.

Right now what is happening is there are some rules that are strict, which mostly seems like those are being followed and then you have some messy ones like this one that is just not helping the situation or the focus.

I know you do not want to be the jailer, that's why I mentioned this is not about punishing her. It's about delineating some clear lines that both of you know and understand so that this waiting period can start to become a little more bearable for you.

[This message edited by hikingout at 12:13 AM, Thursday, June 23rd]

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6083   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8741437
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 11:39 PM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Also I want to add there are certain non-negotiables that were on your list, are there clear consequences for those? Start there.

If she breaks NC with AP for example, would you file for divorce?

What other ways can you find the space that you need surrounding the breaking of certain rules or boundaries? In house separation, total separation, filing, but there could be smaller ones depending on what it is.

The reason I am encouraging you to decide a head of time is because in the moment you feel like the bad guy, the person who should feel guilty. That's not what should happen. You have to have enough respect and love for yourself to say there are certain things that can not be tolerated and you are not the one who broke this. I think the grey part we all feel in the moment is we know we weren't perfect spouses and we may have contributed to some unhappiness in the marriage. You have to put that away, you didn't make her cheat, so had she not there would not be these new boundaries or consequences.

When I first went to IC as a WS, and then again as the BS, this was and is my achilles heal too. But I learned that when I hold my boundary on something it teaches my brain that I can trust myself. I can trust that I am going to protect myself, care for myself, that I can and will be okay because I have my own back. That's why this is very important. Your job is to get your stability and not to help her get hers. But, this is also somethings I hope she will practice. Discipline in achieving her goals would be a good step out of the hole she is in.

[This message edited by hikingout at 11:41 PM, Wednesday, June 22nd]

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6083   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8741439
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:38 AM on Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

So, it sounds like the discussion is, "My boundary is that I need to you find the discipline in yourself to follow through with what you are going to say. If you do not think it's something to stick to, then I think you are just throwing darts to appease me and that is making you seem even less stable and even less for me to trust"

I've had that conversation quite a few times. I've even had it in front of our MC. Her not agreeing to things she doesn't agree with has been my core requirement from the start and she seemingly breaks it daily.

Right now what is happening is there are some rules that are strict, which mostly seems like those are being followed and then you have some messy ones like this one that is just not helping the situation or the focus.

You've seen my "strict" rules; and so has she. They haven't changed much. She doesn't break every rule every day; she seemingly rotates between breaking them. So one day she'll do something that indicates she's not taking full blame for the affair, then she'll get defensive, then she'll tell me sex with me makes her feel like a whore, etc. You've been reading my rollercoaster for awhile--those are all key requirements she's broken numerous times in the last couple of weeks.

Then in addition, she creates new agreements to break.

So I could tell her to read my thread every day for all I care, but the outcome then is she spirals like an insane person. Doesn't seem ideal, but we can give that a shot again. Truthfully, it doesn't seem her reading my thread or her agreeing to not read my thread has worked very well for our M. The best solution would be for her to choose not to read it because she cares about her mental health and our M. She does not really care about either--or more likely, she is incapable of caring about either.

If she breaks NC with AP for example, would you file for divorce?

What other ways can you find the space that you need surrounding the breaking of certain rules or boundaries? In house separation, total separation, filing, but there could be smaller ones depending on what it is.

That's a complicated question. For one, I'm opposed to ultimatums.

And even more complicated, with her reading this thread, it creates a bit of a conundrum. For example, if I wrote here that her contacting AP would be a divorce, then she would attempt to hide it if she did that to protect herself. The *one* good thing to come from her thus far has been her honesty. That's invaluable to me and transparent, overly harsh punishments are incentive for her to be less honest.

My next step though is a separation with her moving out of the house. I am not there yet, but that's the only step I'm planning before filing. Contact with AP again would obviously be a grievous violation, but that would be on her to explain to me before I decided on anything.

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 8741451
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:44 AM on Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

I would really spend some time with IC game planning how to use this time and what to focus on in your individual healing. And dig in there. What are you doing today and tomorrow to work on Dr.?

My next IC is tomorrow morning. I plan to give a brief update on where things stand and then dig into myself. I do want to dig into the sex stuff more.

I also want to explore who my future partner should be. My WW and I are *very* different, but I've always felt we were a good fit for a variety of reasons. But how do I know that's true? As HikingOut suggests, perhaps we're trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. I need to accept that possibility and examine it a bit.

I would describe myself as content before the affair, not happy. Why is that? What do I feel is lacking in my life? It's easy to point to our sex life, but it's certainly more complicated. And can I be happy with my WW in the future? Because that's still an appealing outcome when all factors are considered--I just need to be sure I'm not forcing it.

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 8741452
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 12:45 AM on Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

And BTW, on alcohol, I suggested she re-negotiate her terms a few days ago, so she settled on two drinks a day tops, and not drinking most days.

This is concerning. I hope she is being honest in IC about drinking because struggling to limit yourself to 2 drinks a day is a big deal. With how much alcohol is impacting her, no drinking period should be an easy choice. If she has a true alcohol dependency, she won't be able to /hasnt been able to do that and that should be very worrying.

posts: 271   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8741453
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 1:10 AM on Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

Okay, I see.

So first, when I say x= you file. I don’t mean that you say to her "if you do x I will file". I don’t mean ultimatums. I mean decide that part for yourself. Otherwise there are no lines she can’t cross.

Second I don’t mean strict as in too tough. I meant that you had a list that were unnegotiable for reconciliation. So I guess since you are really not working on r, the wait is that when she can be consistent about this list then it can be considered? Sorry if that’s a dense question but that would be something that would make sense.

Third, as for the self discipline. Especially around the drinking. Do you feel she means it in the moment? Then the execution of it she can’t deal with? And do you feel she is an alcoholic, or is it she is using it as a crutch to cope during this time?

If you think she means it and then backs up when it’s harder than she thought maybe on her stuff that she is trying to figure out, she take it in baby steps. When I was where she was I took up smoking of all things. My husband hated it. I think part of me was proving to myself I could do something my husband hated if I wanted to. Yes, I was a fucking peach. But it did help me see my people pleasing wasn’t needed that there was something much deeper than that - an abiding love that I took for granted.

But, then, as I resolved my issues I quit on my own cold turkey and never did it again because I quit for me. But this was nine months later.

With my smoking other than being smelly it didn’t change my mental state like alcohol does. If the alcohol creates issues that make things worse for you this may have to be your boundary.

If it does not, she simply has a glass to unwind to go to sleep, then maybe this isn’t the time for her to try and do a complete overhaul on all her issues. It can be overwhelming to try to change things so much at once.

If it’s a detriment to you, then it’s going to need to be a hard boundary. Otherwise, I would knock anything off the list that has a lesser importance to the other things.

The top priories are the things that are effecting your healing. They are hard boundaries in which you may have to choose to separate from the situation in order for your own peace.

If they are not, they are things she will work on as more and more mental space and strength is achieved.

To me that’s how I would separate it.

You do not have to announce to her ultimatums but she needs to know which things are most serious to you that will push you towards not waiting around to see if she can do it. And the extraneous stuff needs taken off the report card for now.

So when you think about the one where she is reading. Maybe the hard boundary is she doesn’t take her spiraling to you. She seems to not have done this so it’s a good way of setting a goal that she knows she can meet. Setting herself up for some wins would be probably good for her to help her feel like her streak is changing. It’s great for brain chemistry and for her to start feeling like she can do some things right.

That is how granular this shit is with an unstable ws. But she is in therapy 3 times a week, she is doing marriage counseling, she is reading books about her behaviors, these are all good signs that she will gradually get better. Saying she has been very honest at this point is a big thing to have at this point too.

For now, decide what you need to feel peace, and drop the rest. The less things you have to interact about the easier it will be for you to detach and get yourself together better.

Holding boundaries can be hard, but like I said that is for you to be able to start trusting yourself again. Because she didn’t just ruin your trust in her. She ruined the trust you had in yourself. You have to be the source of your own stability right now and I think you are starting to see it.

[This message edited by hikingout at 1:46 AM, Thursday, June 23rd]

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6083   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8741461
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 1:23 AM on Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

Doc. Personally, I think that discussing with your IC a potential future partner is a bad idea. I would suggest D, then work on that in IC. Pursuing this line of discussion with your IC right now is counterproductive towards potential R snd/or your healing.

How do you know you’re with the right partner, or could you find a better one out there? That’s a crap shoot. I think I read that for every person in the world there are 60,000 plus people they would be happily partnered with.

Bottom line, I think that going down this road in IC is more akin to having a revenge A fantasy or perhaps a way to punish your WW, who you know is reading your thread.

posts: 442   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8741466
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 1:36 AM on Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

Doc

Are you a whore?

Do you think so? If you asked your wife that, what would she say.

You’ve spent pages here telling us that for years you were submissive to her. Getting her off without her getting you off. You did things to pleasure her, we’re vulnerable to her, then used that as impetus for getting yourself off. She did nothing to help you achieve that pleasure. She let you find that for yourself.

So did you consider yourself a whore? Did she consider you a whore? If not, how did she feel about you for doing those things without promise of anything in return.

In a healthy relationship spouses will do things they know will bring pleasure to their partner, BECAUSE THEY LOVE THEM. Even if it means they have to be open and raw and feel slightly exposed. That is one of the many things that love is truly about.

It’s only when you do such things in betrayal of your partner that they are dirty.

The next time she says that what you are asking for makes her feel like a whore, ask her what she thinks about you, and if you are a whore for what you agreed to do for her. Her answer could be illuminating for both of you.

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3410   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8741468
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 2:01 AM on Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

This is concerning. I hope she is being honest in IC about drinking because struggling to limit yourself to 2 drinks a day is a big deal. With how much alcohol is impacting her, no drinking period should be an easy choice. If she has a true alcohol dependency, she won't be able to /hasnt been able to do that and that should be very worrying.

Do you feel she means it in the moment? Then the execution of it she can’t deal with? And do you feel she is an alcoholic, or is it she is using it as a crutch to cope during this time?

I find it difficult to define alcoholism because I've known so many people with unhealthy relationships to alcohol--it would be reasonable to call all of them alcoholics. I don't think my WW is an alcoholic, but she has definitely had issues with alcohol at various points in her life.

As an example, very early in our relationship we had to start going to weddings all the time. The first two weddings we attended, she puked and became catatonic by the end of the night. I told her in no uncertain terms that if she ever did that a third time, I'd leave her. It was a hard line, but I had just left a relationship with an alcoholic and I wasn't going to do it again. To her credit, she never drank that out of control again--I don't think she's puked since.

However, I still remember the third wedding we attended that summer--she had one drink and stopped, shamefully looking over at me all night. It's a great example of the parent-child dynamic that developed in our relationship.

As for today, she has a tendency to get lost in the moment and keep drinknig in social settings. It could be around family or friends, but if everyone's drinking, she'll keep drinking. She has a low tolerance and can easily get wasted without realizing it. Those scenarios aren't frequent. Mostly, she has a couple of drinks with dinner on occassion.

My take on all of it is that alcohol isn't her problem--her problem is lack of self-control in all areas of her life. If she found some integrity, alcohol would cease to be an issue for her.

None of her drinking since DDay has been an issue at all, which is why I haven't made alcohol a big deal--the recommendation to stop entirely came from the MC. My wife agreed with it, then broke the agreement. In her mind, it's as simple as she enjoys alcohol and doesn't see why she should have to stop doing what she likes and what helps her cope with her anxiety.

Maybe the hard boundary is she doesn’t take her spiraling to you. She seems to not have done this so it’s a good way of setting a goal that she knows she can meet.

That's already in place--I'm sending her to her IC anytime she's in a negative head space or trying to talk about her deeper issues. It's a boundary I'm enforcing though, so she doesn't have much of an opportunity to mess it up.

Setting herself up for some wins would be probably good for her to help her feel like her streak is changing. It’s great for brain chemistry and for her to start feeling like she can do some things right.

I think she's using sex as her easy win right now--yes, we fooled around a couple of times before her work trip. She seems to have changed her outlook on sex since the whole "whore" mess of a couple of weeks ago. There are still cracks in some of her comments, but she appears to be trying and taking the easy win.

She's also being more proactive on various marriage needs--taking the initiative in dealing with household stuff in a positive way.

And lastly, she's been more and more generous financially--using her CC on things we'd normally split; she just bought me an expensive bottle of bourbon for Father's Day, etc. The money stuff really doesn't matter to me, but I don't want to be dismissive of her effort--I think she sees it as her making an effort and getting a win, and that's good.

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 8741476
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 2:08 AM on Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

Doc. Personally, I think that discussing with your IC a potential future partner is a bad idea. I would suggest D, then work on that in IC. Pursuing this line of discussion with your IC right now is counterproductive towards potential R snd/or your healing.

How do you know you’re with the right partner, or could you find a better one out there? That’s a crap shoot. I think I read that for every person in the world there are 60,000 plus people they would be happily partnered with.

Bottom line, I think that going down this road in IC is more akin to having a revenge A fantasy or perhaps a way to punish your WW, who you know is reading your thread.

Sorry, I was very unclear. I don't mean that I'm interested in a different person; I meant that I'm interested in exploring the type of partner I want. And if the person is my wife, what are the dealbreakers? And if there are things I want that my wife can't be, is that a dealbreaker or can I find that outlet elsewhere.

As an example, I enjoy discussing/debating current events and politics, on occasion. My wife has no interest or knowledge on either. So I save those conversations largely for my sister. There are times she'll come over for dinner and we'll argue for three hours (I know, you can't imagine me doing that grin ), but then she'll leave and I had my fill, so to speak. A part of me wonders if I'd like to have that in a partner or if it would be so incredibly toxic that a relationship like that couldn't work--having the reprieve from heated debate with my WW is perhaps a good thing.

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 8741479
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