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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
No different than anyone else, I suppose. But I think keeping a thread/journal will be helpful for me. I started this over in CWI, but I guess it's time to move it over here. Original thread:

http://talkaboutmarriage.com/coping...ed-pa-then-left-doesnt-think-she-cheated.html

Me and my STBXW are both 25, married for four years, together for 8. No kids (luckily). If/when this ends up final, it should be a pretty clean break. So I know my story pales in comparison to a lot of you who have been together 20+ years, with multiple kids. A lot of you will just say "cut bait, forget about her, you're young". And you're right. But I can't.

We were friends throughout high school, dated once, but only for three months. She was my first love. At the time I told myself the old adage "if you love something let it go, if it comes back it's meant to be." And then she did come back. So what do I tell myself now?

Short version:

- Grew more complacent/comfortable over the last year. Some distance grew. Those are my faults. Looking back, I kick myself over how easy it would have been to fix, and I fear I'll always regret it.

- Socially we were totally different. I'm an introvert/homebody. She's an extrovert, social butterfly. I did enjoy going out every now and then, but often we would be content with her going out with her friends, and me staying back. Towards the end, this became way too frequent.

- STBXW has always been insecure, low self-esteem. Gained a lot of weight after getting married. She was still beautiful to me, and I always told her so, but she never believed it.

- She lost a lot of weight over the last year - over 70 pounds. With it came new attention from other guys. That, coupled with the distance growing between us, coupled with her social calendar not including me - an EA flared up, became a PA.

- When I confronted her on it, she left. 1 am, New Year's Eve. Happy 2013. She denied, swore he had nothing to do with it, that she needed space to work on us, that I needed to make more an effort, and that I'd never do it unless she could shock me out of my comfort zone. I agreed with this, and still do.

- Three days later, she was done. New bank account opened up, financial ties cut. Planning dates with OM. Referring to me as her ex to all of her friends. I had no idea of this at the time.

- I did everything wrong. Begged, chased. Every other day, an email telling her how I had woken up, how I was ready to recommit and show her the man she married (and I meant all of that, still do). Nothing back but the "ILYBINILWY". Our first MC session (which we agreed to start the night we left), was a week after she walked out. After the session, she dropped the D bomb.

- I went dark for a few days. Couldn't talk to her, or anyone, for that matter. And my gut still was pestering me about the possibility of an affair. I kept gathering evidence, not sure if I was crazy or not. Finally, on Jan 20, got everything I needed. D-Day, but I was already by myself. Still hurt just as bad.

- The next day (Jan 21) she had figured out that I had the evidence (did a poor job of covering my tracks). Came over that evening and confessed (or trickle truthed). That the OM had been trying to seduce her since the first night they met - she kept rejecting him, but still stayed in contact. Finally, one night out at the bar, he went for it, she didn't stop it, and they made out. She swears this was as far as it went. The very next night, she was over at his house for hours (lied to me, told me she was going out with a girlfriend). So I have a hard time believing her, as much as I want to.

- She apologized for lying, but would not admit to cheating. Argued that he wasn't why she left, that it was semantics. She's always hated cheaters, so of course it's hard for her to admit this to herself. Swore that those feelings for him had passed (which I confirmed beforehand while evidence gathering, but it had just ended literally the day before..still went on for 2+ months).

- Even after coming clean and saying she and OM were done (although they remained in contact as friends, and as far as I'm aware, still do), she had no thoughts of reconciling. Wanted to remain friends though. I tried for a few days, but couldn't do it. I got angry, let her know about it, and went full 180 (Jan 28).

- A week later (Feb 5), I decided to expose. To her family, and friends (mine already knew well before this). Got a lot of support, which was surprising. But I was glad for it. Found out she had been painting a bad picture of me to them, making everything out to be my fault. Glad I defended myself.

- Of course, she gets wind of this the next day (Feb 6), and that breaks the NC. We talk briefly, and she tells me that she's seeing someone else (not the original OM, but a new one). Wants to remain civil, even if we can't be friends. Tells me she wants to sit down sometime soon, face to face, and hash out all of this (including her cheating, or lack thereof). I told her I agreed, and to let me know when. No contact other than that.

- Since then, I've moved out of our apartment. She's been staying at her moms, already found a female roomate and has a new place, moving in on March 1st. Moved back in with my parents for the interim, while I finish paying off the lease (through the end of March), and saving for a place of my own.

- Meanwhile, STBXW keeps trying to reach out to me. On Saturday (Feb 9), reached out about our taxes. She decided to file separately (I agreed), and now finds she owes several hundred to the IRS. Not sure why she told me (is she actually expecting help??). I told her that sucked, but at least she had until April to pay it. Then on Monday, another text "just checking in, how are you? did the move out go well?". Didn't respond until late that night, saying I had moved out, and left it at that.



I know I'm young. I know there are plenty of women out there. I know I don't deserve to be treated like this. But, I still love her. As bad of a woman as she looks like right now, I still believe the person I've known and loved for 11 years is there somewhere.

I still keep hoping for that day when she realizes what she's tossing away, and wants to try again. I know I would take her back, although with conditions - a lot of counseling would be needed (IC and MC). She'd have to rebuild trust, no privacy for a while. But I'd want to try. The thing I'm angriest about right now is that she just gave up, without trying. That I was the only one who took our vows seriously.

Don't get me wrong, I'm keeping up with the 180. I no longer jump when the phone beeps, hoping for a text or an email from her. When I do get one, I don't have an impulse to respond immediately - I can put it down, wait hours, and in some cases forget about it entirely. I make no attempts to reach out to her, and to be honest I don't feel a need to. I still slip back and forth on this roller coaster, but I do know I'm doing better.

I don't need her in my life, I only want her. But I still want her. Yet at the same time, I know I'll be okay without her. It's a weird limbo, stuck between longing/hope, and a comfortable acceptance.
 

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Im feeling your pain right now fam...Hang in there cuz...12 years in my own situation...its hard to believe a person can just turn their back on that much history...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Im feeling your pain right now fam...Hang in there cuz...12 years in my own situation...its hard to believe a person can just turn their back on that much history...
That's what's so maddening. She won't admit that she had an EA. She swears the OM had no influence on her decisions or what she did. Yet, how else do you throw all of this away and turn your back within a matter of days?

I kept telling myself she was in a fog. After finding out that her and the OM had fizzled, I had more hope. Then she jumped to the next guy. I know he's just a rebound, but still. If she won't sit still for a minute, be by herself and think about what she's doing, she's not going to realize what she's done until I've moved on and it's too late. Since leaving on New Year's, she's literally spent every day being infatuated with someone.

Jan 1 - Jan 19 - original OM, then it fizzles.

Jan 20 - 28 - comes clean, wants to be friends. We hang out a few times that week, talk almost all day every day. But then I get angry, tell her I'm not a Plan B, and give her another ultimatum. She balks, tells me that's not what she was doing, and we stop talking.

Feb 1 - now - now seeing another guy

I don't know if that week in the middle was my chance to try to bring her back around, but at the same time, I still stick by what I said - I won't be the backup plan. And that's sure as hell what it felt like. Still feels that way, with her every-other-day texts to "check in" on me.

I know I'm spending too much time analyzing her, what she's doing, and why. Can't help it. In a strange way I'm looking forward to this face to face. I don't expect to break through her fog (if she's in one), but just to get some closure.
 

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You won't draw a reaction from her until you start moving on with your life.

Sitting back and waiting for her to come back to you will do you NO good.

Up your game and show her that you have as many options as she does.
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You need to go date. You'll find her suddenly wanting you very badly the minute you are with a new girl. She has in her head that you will always be a fallback option when she wants it.
 

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I think a lot of the moving so fast is her attempt at justifying her actions.. I think my W was a victim of the same destructive thinking/pattern. I think that some reality is starting to set in for her, be it from guilt or whatever and she has started to sssssllllllloooooowwwwlllyyyy come around. Keep the faith bro. God has the power to change the situation
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Guess you guys are right. Suddenly I'm reminded of when we dated in high school, that same thing worked before. We dated for a couple months, she ended it. We had limited contact for a few months, until I started dating someone else - then she was back, telling me that she missed me, that maybe we could try again, etc. Being so long ago, I have no idea if it would work again, but even if it doesn't, at least I get back out there.

I just have to get over my own shyness and do it. I'm an introvert, with a little bit of social anxiety. I have trouble opening up to people, meeting people, whereas she would always make new friends (and apparently new guy friends) by the bucket load.

Not sure why the idea of dating again scares me - maybe fear of rejection, but again I don't know why. I wouldn't say I'm a bad looking guy. Maybe just lacking self-confidence.

But you're both right - she has no reason to even entertain coming back as long as she sees me as the safety net.
 

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If you are not ready to date then don't. But start interacting with folks. Get out of your comfort zone. Begin living your life for you. Who knows, you'll probably enjoy it.
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If you aren't ready to date (understandably) do force yourself to get out and interact with other people: volunteer, meetups, reconnect with old friends, ...

If you keep her as your sole focus you will continue to feel miserable. You have no control over her so don't let her be the center of your life.

Take care of yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I know I can't control her. I don't want to paint the picture that I'm sitting around waiting for her, I'm not. I have been getting out, reconnecting with old friends, having fun. Hitting the gym. IC recommends volunteering, and I'm going to take him up on it as soon as I have some time.

She contacted me this morning, trying to find a time to sit down and talk. I'm still not sure what about. She says she still has things she's bitter about and wants to talk about, and she knows that I'm still bitter about some things as well (namely the EA she won't cop to). I asked her what she could possibly be bitter about - she has everything she wanted...her freedom, a new place, a new guy, she's keeping the dog, I've been overly generous in splitting possessions. She replied that she didn't have everything she wanted, because what she always wanted was for us to work out. I didn't say anything back to that, but I felt like screaming "then why did you give up so damn quick?!"

I'm not sure what I'm looking to get out of this discussion. I'm certainly not delusional enough to expect her to break down and ask for another chance. I would really like her to come to grips with the fact that she was unfaithful, and show some remorse for it. So far I've seen no indication she'll do that. But she wants desperately to stay friends after all of this, and if we're not meant to reconcile, I'd like that too, somewhere down the road (not right away, of course)...but I'll never be able to do that if we can't get past this. I can't forgive her for what she's not sorry for.

So we'll see how that goes this weekend. Right now I'm just worried about getting through V-Day tomorrow. I've never given that holiday much attention (neither did she), and I have no problem spending it single - just knowing that she has someone else to spend it with already is the kicker. Going to have to stay very busy to keep the mind movies out. Sounds like a good excuse for a guy's night out.
 

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Be patient with yourself rsersen.

Don't have a sit down with her for the time being - she wants to relieve her guilt and manipulate you into believing that the course she has taken is because of you. Don't give her an outlet for that. I'm speaking from experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Be patient with yourself rsersen.

Don't have a sit down with her for the time being - she wants to relieve her guilt and manipulate you into believing that the course she has taken is because of you. Don't give her an outlet for that. I'm speaking from experience.
I've worried about that, and you're probably right. And once I'm there, I'm screwed either way - sit there and take her beating me over the head about how this is all my fault...or get up and walk out, which in her eyes would also prove that she's right.

We haven't settled on a day/time yet, she said she was going to see what she had going on Saturday and get back to me. I think I'll just make plans of my own and get out of this. Maybe revisit it in a couple weeks. In the mean time keep the 180 going, work on me, and hope that the rebound fizzles out.
 

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I really do understand were you are at, and you did a MUCH better job at your "Destruction of your happy life" than I did.

The woman that you still love, died in her sleep two years ago. The thing that wants to talk to you and tell you how wrong you are is NOT your wife, she is just some air breathing POS.

You should morn the passing of your marriage for three days and then rise up. Go to a cancer ward or an AIDS ward and visit people that have it waaay worse than we have it. Then you might see your place on this earth.

You will be happy again, you do have a future, it's just a different future that you will have. Not better, not worse just different.

Good luck David
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Funny enough, after talking about dating (or rather, not wanting to) yesterday, I have one for Saturday. Just kind of happened. I'm still certainly not interested in a relationship, but what the hell, I'll go have dinner and a couple drinks. No matter how it goes, I'm sure it will help just to get out there.

Took ReGroup's advice and kept dodging this sit down. She tried damn hard to make it work.

Her: How's Saturday look?
Me: Hanging out with a friend during the day, and I have a date that night. Friday or Sunday might be better.
Her: Busy during the day Sunday, not sure about Friday, I'll check
Me: How about tonight?
Her: Yeah, that works
Me: Nevermind. Forgot I carpooled to work with my father, so no car.
Her: I can pick you up at work, then take you back home (this would be about 2 hours driving overall for her)
Me: Thanks, but no. I can do tomorrow (threw this out as a feeler to see if rebound was still in the picture), Friday, or Sunday
Her: Tomorrow's v-day, no good (hurt a little to read, but at least I knew). What are you doing Sunday?
Me: Church, then nothing much (we're still going to the same church, although obviously not together, and we've yet to run into each other there)
Her: Oh good, wanna get together after church?
Me: Depends, not sure what service I'm going to.
Her: Well it sounds like it has to be Friday, I can make that work
Me: Sounds good
Me 15 minutes later: Damn, forgot I have plans for Friday. Sorry.
Her 30 minutes later: Ok. Let me know when you're free.

Didn't respond to that. Don't plan on contacting her again for a while, let her come to me. The way I see it, as long as this rebound guy is still in the picture, I have no interest in talking about us, or our issues. She obviously wants to talk more than I do (guilt? a chance to beat me up some more? I dunno), I'm not going to push for it.

I did find it a little telling that when I slipped my date into the convo, she totally ignored it. If she were truly moved on and happy with rebound, I would have expected a "good luck", or "good for you", or "you'll have to tell me how it went". Hell, when she told me she was seeing someone already, she actually had the nerve to say that she hoped I could be happy for her, and that I would really like him if we met (yeah right!). When the shoes on the other foot, it's a totally different reaction.

So a couple hours later I get home from work, my sister asks me if me and STBXW had fought, because she had unfriended all of my family from FB. Same thing with any of our mutual friends that were my friends first. Even a couple of her oldest friends, that I also knew for a while, are gone (I imagine that they read my exposure last week and might have said something). I had unfriended her a while ago, simply to avoid seeing updates, and she had called it childish. Strange of her to now do the same thing. Doesn't bother me in the slightest, it's only FB after all. I just find her timing and motivation curious, since she hadn't bothered doing this at any point in the last two months. Lashing out because she said "jump" and I didn't say "how high"? Attempt to get attention from me? Who knows. Don't care. Still sad to see her throw away some lifelong friends because they (I assume) had the gall to question her recent decisions.

For V-Day, think I'm going to grab a 6 pack after work, and head back to our apartment (I moved out over the weekend, but still have access until the lease is up at the end of March). Some furniture is still there, and I can watch a couple movies, relax, and have a couple drinks (and I have a few things to pick up anyway). Now that she knows I've moved out, I have a feeling her and rebound will try to show up there at some point. She can't take him back to her mom's, and from what she's told me, he has a few room mates of his own. So I'm sure one of them will realize that they have a big empty apartment to themselves, and try to use it. To hell with that, go put out the money for a hotel room. They're both adults, they'll do what they want, but I'll be damned if it'll be in our marital home, in our bed. Maybe petty of me, I admit. But I don't care. I know I'll feel better there, enjoying my own company (whether they show up or not), than I would out at the bar, having to wonder if they're there.

After that, then I'll look forward to the weekend. Lots to do. Friends to reconnect with. Date on Saturday. Should be a fun few days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well going back to the apartment was a stupid idea, no one ever showed. Figured that to be a 50/50 idea anyway. By the end of the night I was just getting mad that I had allowed myself to waste an evening on something so stupid.

I guess, I'm realizing that I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. So my STBXW had a date for V-Day. So ****ing what? Let em have each other. He can deal with her baggage, and with all the emotional issues that she hasn't taken the time to sit down and sort out. Serves him right for being so eager to jump after a cheat who just left her husband. Eventually the sheen will wear off, and either she'll get bored and run away, or he'll realize he's made a terrible mistake and bail. I know that as long as she's not happy with herself, she'll be happy with no one. That should make me sad for her, but it doesn't. I guess I'm not ready to forgive yet. I don't wish her happiness. Not yet, anyway.

And meanwhile, I'm moving on. In my mind's eye, I can see it....a new woman, a loving wife, and a family of my own. It's certainly a ways out (at least I think) - I still need to improve myself, I want to casually date, take things slow. But I know that the happy ending, the one we were supposed to have together - it's out there. Somewhere. I just have to get up and go find it. I'm still in the tunnel, but I'm beginning to see the light at the end of it.

I know the roller coaster ride is still going. Right now I'm in a good spot, I'm sure it will still ebb and flow. That's fine.

It's after midnight. Valentine's Day is over. I survived it. Just another day.
 

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And meanwhile, I'm moving on. In my mind's eye, I can see it....a new woman, a loving wife, and a family of my own. It's certainly a ways out (at least I think) - I still need to improve myself, I want to casually date, take things slow. But I know that the happy ending, the one we were supposed to have together - it's out there. Somewhere. I just have to get up and go find it.
Very well said and I believe you are right about this. Time to accept and move on to the life that is out there waiting for you.
 

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I'm sorry that your going through this bro. It sucks I know all too well. I think once you finally have enough you'll be able to move on. Don't want this to sound like a cliche but your young and with no kids which makes it not as complex. I have no doubts that you will find someone else. I'm about ten years older than you and struggling with my sitch as I also have a young son 3. If she doesn't see your worth fighting for than she is not the one. The way I am trying to look at it is you want someone who will jump in the foxhole with you and stand by your side and fight for something that we feel is sacred... our marriage. Yes marriage is not a fantasy and is not perfect but that's no reason to cut and run unless in extreme unhealthy circumstances. I, like you, hope my wife will wake up soon but if they don't we have to soldier on. That is the part that I am struggling with.
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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Thanks Jack. I took some time to read your thread, and your story sounds so similar to mine. Sorry you're stuck in this boat too.

Yes marriage is not a fantasy and is not perfect but that's no reason to cut and run unless in extreme unhealthy circumstances. I, like you, hope my wife will wake up soon but if they don't we have to soldier on. That is the part that I am struggling with.
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I think that's the part I can't seem to get over. Searching for answers I may never get. Our marriage was not perfect - I had a lot of faults, I wasn't the most romantic guy, or affectionate guy. But I didn't drink, or gamble, or have anger issues, I never hit her, hell I don't recall ever even raising my voice at her. We rarely fought at all to be honest, when we did we were able to effectively communicate, compromise and move past it, no rug sweeping that I was aware of. We both seemed like mature adults committed to each other and our marriage, and when we hit a rut, I simply assumed she would stick it out and at least try.

At one point early on in our separation, after the D bomb had been dropped, she told me she worried that I would end up hating her for this. I told her that if she found she couldn't go on together, I would respect that decision...but I would only resent her if she didn't try. I still stand by that. Vows are supposed to mean something.

I did nothing to make her run away at full speed into another guy's arms. All I did was stick by and support this woman through some of the toughest years of her life. Her father passed in 2010, she was a wreck, I was there. She has severe endometriosis, sometimes the pain would be so bad she couldn't get out of bed. Required a surgery at one point. I was there. Because of that, we ended up not being able to have children - she always wanted to me a mother more than anything else, and this crushed her. I still don't think she's fully dealt with it, after a couple months of depression I think she just eventually repressed it and we just stopped talking about it. I was there through all of that. And my reward is "sorry, you're just not good enough, no hard feelings though, hope we can be friends."

I read all the other threads in this forum, and it sucks, because a lot of them show at least an attempt being made, going through MC, still living together for a time. We did go to a couple MC sessions, but from the start her heart was not in it, the OM was still in the picture, and she dropped the D bomb on me after the first session. Said she was only there to support me, but not us. So I got angry, told her that if she didn't have a reason to be there besides pitying me, don't bother. And she stopped going. I wonder if that was a mistake. I wonder if counseling could have eventually cracked the fog. I'll never know. Hell, I don't even know if she's still in a fog, or if the 180 is doing anything to her (I know it's helping me, which is the point, don't get me wrong). If the original affair partner goes away, and she gets another boyfriend right afterwards, is it a fog? Or is she just totally moved on (even though it's an unhealthy way to do it, imo), and I'm just chasing ghosts?

I still don't know why all of this is happening. She's given me her list of things that I did wrong to cause this, but these are things I know I need to fix, am willing to fix, and none if it seems to justify throwing all of this away. Maybe I'll never know. Maybe I should have this sit down just to hear what she says about that. I don't know. Of course her list of reasons are only things I've done wrong, she doesn't seem to take any responsibility for us failing (including her own EA/PA). So sitting down would either turn into her just bashing me and me trying to defend myself, or me arguing back with my grievances and her taking offense to that. Doesn't seem like it would be very fruitful, but I still wonder if I could at least gain some insight, or a small amount of closure.
 

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Thanks Jack. I took some time to read your thread, and your story sounds so similar to mine. Sorry you're stuck in this boat too.



I think that's the part I can't seem to get over. Searching for answers I may never get. Our marriage was not perfect - I had a lot of faults, I wasn't the most romantic guy, or affectionate guy. But I didn't drink, or gamble, or have anger issues, I never hit her, hell I don't recall ever even raising my voice at her. We rarely fought at all to be honest, when we did we were able to effectively communicate, compromise and move past it, no rug sweeping that I was aware of. We both seemed like mature adults committed to each other and our marriage, and when we hit a rut, I simply assumed she would stick it out and at least try.

At one point early on in our separation, after the D bomb had been dropped, she told me she worried that I would end up hating her for this. I told her that if she found she couldn't go on together, I would respect that decision...but I would only resent her if she didn't try. I still stand by that. Vows are supposed to mean something.

I did nothing to make her run away at full speed into another guy's arms. All I did was stick by and support this woman through some of the toughest years of her life. Her father passed in 2010, she was a wreck, I was there. She has severe endometriosis, sometimes the pain would be so bad she couldn't get out of bed. Required a surgery at one point. I was there. Because of that, we ended up not being able to have children - she always wanted to me a mother more than anything else, and this crushed her. I still don't think she's fully dealt with it, after a couple months of depression I think she just eventually repressed it and we just stopped talking about it. I was there through all of that. And my reward is "sorry, you're just not good enough, no hard feelings though, hope we can be friends."

I read all the other threads in this forum, and it sucks, because a lot of them show at least an attempt being made, going through MC, still living together for a time. We did go to a couple MC sessions, but from the start her heart was not in it, the OM was still in the picture, and she dropped the D bomb on me after the first session. Said she was only there to support me, but not us. So I got angry, told her that if she didn't have a reason to be there besides pitying me, don't bother. And she stopped going. I wonder if that was a mistake. I wonder if counseling could have eventually cracked the fog. I'll never know. Hell, I don't even know if she's still in a fog, or if the 180 is doing anything to her (I know it's helping me, which is the point, don't get me wrong). If the original affair partner goes away, and she gets another boyfriend right afterwards, is it a fog? Or is she just totally moved on (even though it's an unhealthy way to do it, imo), and I'm just chasing ghosts?

I still don't know why all of this is happening. She's given me her list of things that I did wrong to cause this, but these are things I know I need to fix, am willing to fix, and none if it seems to justify throwing all of this away. Maybe I'll never know. Maybe I should have this sit down just to hear what she says about that. I don't know. Of course her list of reasons are only things I've done wrong, she doesn't seem to take any responsibility for us failing (including her own EA/PA). So sitting down would either turn into her just bashing me and me trying to defend myself, or me arguing back with my grievances and her taking offense to that. Doesn't seem like it would be very fruitful, but I still wonder if I could at least gain some insight, or a small amount of closure.[/QUOTE

Wow I feel like I wrote that except I am guilty of rug sweeping. Through all this you are a good guy who loved his wife and is willing to stick through and work through it. Don't buy into her blame shifting the affair ( I need to take my own advice there ). Personally I don't think the counseling would of helped if her heart wasn't into it. I think the cases where it helps is where the other person is actively trying and not going through the motions. Me and my wife are currently under the same roof but she is getting real nasty. I am trying not to take the bait but I don't want to be a doormat either. Thing is she is a volatile person and I don't want to set anything off while my young son is around. Think that's why I did alot of rug sweeping rather than confronting it.

I get mad too when she doesn't want to even try. All she is concerned with is running the other way. Our friends and her family don't why she is doing this and I'm still looking for answers. I found a card the other day that she had given me some years ago. In it she told me that I was her rock and that she is so glad that she had me to come home to every night. Made me cry and it dumbfounded me how they could change like that.
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