I agree with you about the kids. 40 years after my father first cheated, and 7 years after his death, there are still six mildly emotionally damaged kids of two broken marriages.
Certainly not a day goes by there isn’t some small wince of pain, when it comes to me.
My Dad was projecting lots of criticism at my Mum before D day, causing her a lot of distress. Then he drank, then she drank. Then divorce. Then my Dad married AP. Then OBS, to save himself crushing depression and constant reminders, picked up and moved to the UK where he married another women who already had two teenage daughters (who are now treated as his real kids, better than his bio kids). Both OBS were damaged enough that they didn’t parent the way they might have when we were teenagers. We were faux affluent but neglected.
To simply get by we needed to swallow a lot of selfish crap, then consciously separate ourselves from those crap life lessons in our own adult lives. You do that best by distancing yourself from your dysfunctional parents.
Once you start down the selfish path even sincere but inconsistent attempts at good parenting will be met with disappointment and resentment, or that’s the experience of us 6.
I compare the experience to being a refugee from a war. I compare it to missing a turn, my life’s work has been about taking the hit and not passing it on to my kids.
And it was all self inflicted.
Raising my own kids I still have flashes of anger. All six of the betrayed children have just grabbed on to their first partners and worked hard. None of us want unconventional romantic lives, which just seem like disruption and pain to us.
Ozzy, Your current approach, which seems sneaky to me all round, isn’t the best way to attempt that improbable thing we call reconciliation.
In the context of peri menopause my wife basically let it be known that she had started to explore the other side of her bisexuality, that she wanted less sex with me, and wanted lots of free time, to not work. and to spend impulsively. She remained pretty good with the kids. She told me that she told me she was bisexual before we started living together, which is true, but also, she has only really told me about a few prior sexual partners. And the only one with a female was a threesome with her second boyfriend.
I said that I have no problem with her finding others, male and female, attractive but this is an exclusive monogamous, committed, heterosexual relationship with an expectation by me of a commitment for life. If she wants something different then she is fooling me because I would not and will not commit to the relationship the same way. I won’t be doing things like wholly supporting us financially or renovating our home or saving for a shared retirement. I will raise our kids to the best of my ability however. If she wants a different relationship then she needs to state it and I will decide what to do. I would much prefer my relationship to be with her, because she is the mother of my kids, and because she is her. But if I decide to see someone else it will not be just sex, I expect I would meet someone and my heart will follow.
We had 6 months of mutual insomnia and reconciled amidst mutual pain. She started doing things which showed me she didn’t want to take off anymore, like working in our garden. Our communication still isn’t great but at least weekly I catch her looking at me in a way which seems like love to me. That will do if we keep trying.
[This message edited by straightup at 9:19 PM, Monday, March 27th]