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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
it is a very long story to tell...I will try to condense.

I had an affair.
The circumstances of it make it all the worse of an action.
I had been married 8 years. Had 2 kids. Started seeing another woman. Then found out my wife was pregnant. Didn't end the affair. It continued the duration of the pregnancy. No sex but quite emotional and kissing. Rationalized it by pointing to my wife's behavior. Controlling. Manipulative. Angry.

She found out when the OW's H pulled up to the house. She was outside with our then 2yo son. The affair ended in earnest a few days before he came.

Like she does with most things...she attacked the problem head-on. We immediately went to marriage counseling after the baby was born. Neither of us ever left the house. She allowed me in the room for the birth. The day after the birth, we were lying in the hospital bed together. She asked if everything was going to be ok. I said I didn't know. This hurt her. She still brings it up 2.5 years later.

Lots of late night talks. More her yelling than talks. I had told her the ow and i only kissed once. that was a lie. she pressed me on the issue, i relented and explained it had been multiple times. I was sitting with our new baby on my lap when this happened. She took him from my arms and told me i didn't deserve him. That i may have been the sperm donor but i was no father.

She and the OW H stayed in touch. He...well he understandably was very angry with me. He told my w things that weren't true...said he had "seen" messages that talked about me and his wife having sex. My wife of course believed him but he couldn't produce any proof (bc there was no sex).

My wife yelled a lot...occasionally got physical with me. Night after night. I withdrew emotionally. Counseling didn't help. Counselor suggested antidepressants for my wife. She refused...said she wasn't the one who had done anything so why should she be the one on meds?

2.5 years later, nothing has ever gotten better. I feel abused. I can point to many, many real events of abuse. I don't know how to reconcile them given the hurt i gave my wife.

What she has said repeatedly that she needs to heal are kind words, to be taken on dates, and for me to be transparent.

I have balked at some of the requests for transparency. She has always had full control of finances. I am the only one working. Checks are direct deposit. All receipts go into the computer. I might have a few dollars in my pocket at any given time...that i spend on miscellany. She wanted to know where every penny went. I told her i didnt think it was reasonable to account for every single penny of cash (we are talking .85 for a soda). Strike 34 of 1000. She wanted me to track the mileage on my car. I felt controlled. I no longer went anywhere but work and home. She wrote down my mileage at some point and 10 days later checked it again and felt like i had gone 100 miles further than i should. I couldn't explain where that was driven. (strike 57) All the while every night is up until 2am listening to the same recording of how i am the devil who destroyed her, killed her husband, abandoned her and her children (never spent the night out of the house btw), she's yelling and crying. I'm apologizing and being brushed off (ok...she can do what she wants...i just don't understand the thinking).

The first christmas after (8 months after), she throws our wedding portrait out the back window (2nd story) in front of the kids. Starts telling them about the affair. All hell breaks loose. It already had...but they didn't know why. All this time, she had been breaking stuff, throwing stuff at me. yelling. Feb., I moved to a different bedroom at her insistance. she burns our marraige certificate in front of me and the kids. later makes an art project out of it, framing a picture of the OW she had printed off of FB.

All this time...when she 'breaks down' she starts hitting herself. Starts talking that she wishes she were dead (qualifying that she would never do that). has bruised herself repeatedly on the thighs and chest...even forhead from headbutting the floor. As recently as a month ago, slapped me full across the face. this past labor day...literally attacked me. left bruises. slapped the phone from my hand when i went to call 911. She is full out abusive now. has been for at least 2 of the last 2.5 years.

We tried a 2nd counselor. He said she had borderline personality. Tried to refer her to another therapist for herself. She refused and stopped seeing him. 2 labor days ago (not the same as the one above) she attacked me, ripped up the house, scared the life out of the kids, chased me around spitting at me. I had kept going to the counselor. went back after that incident. he suggested a restraining order. i went to a lawyer. he sent me to the court house. I got the papers, started filling them out. Called her. Explained what was going on. She broke down. I asked if she could promise she would stop being physical and stop screaming all the time AND...AND get help. I think she would have agreed to anything. She did agree. She has since reverted 100% back to where she was. And now she resents that i was willing to fill out the paperwork and call her to talk about it when she was sitting waiting to get the kids from school (sitting in her car near 100 other moms). There have literally been 1000 things go bad in the last 2.5 years.

She says "every day you don't choose me is another rejection". On one hand I understand that. On the other, every day I tell her i love her. Every day, I do things specifically because I think they are what she would want. Every day. Now...I do struggle with the kind words. She was...even before the affair...a very angry person in very big ways. Mean. Very controlling. Part...if not a lot...of that was our relationship. She is obsessively clean. I am chronically messy. she is ALWAYS going, going, going. I like to be still. She is super organized. I fly by the seat of my pants. But somehow before the affair, I always managed to make her feel loved. Now it seems that every thing I do to be loving is either tied to the affair (for her) or not thoughtful enough. it is always MORE. She is 100% in control but 98% disengaged except to express her hurt and anger.

I want to work it out. She doesn't want to share custody but each day elaborates on how she hates me. Yet in her more rational moments, I hear in her words that she WANTS me to fix it. A few keys there....she wants it to be fixed. she wants me to do it pretty much by myself. She is no longer open to counseling. refuses it.

3.5 weeks ago, she woke me up (I had been sleeping on a mattress in the living room since labor day) and said she couldn't do it anymore. she wanted me out. This was not the first request of this. she had asked repeatedly for me to leave. we are financially strapped. There is no way to pay the mortgage and pay for a place to stay. Further, she refuses to let me spend reasonable time with the kids if i am not IN the house. So...i say if she can agree to a reasonable custody schedule, I will move out...figure out the money somehow. She says "you can see them every other weekend, but even that is too generous if you ask me". I refuse that. Come home that night...she is in the same frame of mind. I hold firm. She packs up the kids and takes them to her parents with her for the night. The kids recognize who gets angry and who remains calm. They side with the person who gets angry so the anger doesn't get directed at them. They all went with her (all 4...including her daughter from a previous marriage). Next morning, she comes back, asks me to reconsider moving out so the kids can have the house. I tell her everyone is welcome. I tell her if she will engage with me in working on the marriage, maybe we can work through the things that are still causing her pain (she says everything to do with me is now pain). I say if she wants to write down any kind of plan...like 'this is just temporary to try to improve the relationship' so it doesn't appear i am abandoning my family...i would do it. she says no. tells me if there is any hope for the relationship at all, i have to move out. So...I have been at her parents now for 3.5 weeks. Seen the kids very little. Tried to talk many times. it always deteriorates into the same "you hurt me, you suck, i don't think you are honest, you don't do anything to make it right, you aren't remorseful".

I know i am at fault for the affair. I know I am not at fault for her abuse. I am remorseful for the affair. I frankly...don't know how to engage her at all. I have to look to our past or her relationships with others to construct truly kind words.

I am not asking anyone to tell me "you need to let it go". So many people have said that already.

What I want to know is...what can I do to right the relationship????
 

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what if it can't be fixed?
 

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What I want to know is...what can I do to right the relationship????
Nothing. Get that through your head.

I do feel badly for you.

You sound as if you have been doing for awhile now, maybe not perfectly but thats not the point...

This is her decision to make. Until something changes in her, and I mean dramatically... there is nothing you can do.

You want desprately to 'do the right thing'?... Well ironically, The only thing you can do to potentially save this, is exactly what you don't want to do or to hear. Leave. Let it go. The environment the two of you have created is toxic to your children, what this is doing to them can not be undone.
 

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You need to understand that you completely destroyed her world. She trusted you completely and you broke that over and over. When she then needed you to be honest about what you'd done, you lied. Again.

Transparency isn't too much to ask. You can install a GPS into your car that she can track. You can make sure she has access to all phone, text, email records. You can do these things. Do you?

As for the money, I don't carry cash anymore at all. I literally either pack a lunch or buy with my debit card so it's all trackable.

You can also arrange a polygraph. Let her draft the questions (but not show you until you get there) and answer everything in it's entirety.

Read Not Just Friends - get yourself in to counseling. Fix you, see all this helps. It really may not if she's hurt that badly.

As for the kids, it's time to file for separation/divorce so you can get a formal agreement worked out to benefit all of you.
 

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As you describe it, I can appreciate the efforts you are putting in for R. But it sounds like your wife is damaged and needs intensive counseling.

Perhaps you've reached a point where you have to let her go if she's not willing to get help. Yes, your affair may have worsened her condition, but there's nothing you can do about that except to show true remorse, which you apparently have been. Seems however, your mounting resentment of her behavior now even makes that impossible. Do you even still love her?

If you're just trying to make it work for the children, ask yourself if they are better off in this kind of environment. My advice would be to insist on the counseling or else move on with your life. Then lawyer up to get a fair custody agreement.
 

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The ONLY thing you can do is File and hope she comes around. But make no mistake THIS IS ABUSE even if you are a cheater.

You should file for divorce and custody. Sometimes the only way to save it is to be willing to lose it.

It sounds like you finished breaking an already breaking wife. You made some really poor choices. You may pay for those choices by being a weekend dad. Its a shame.

Sounds like she needs some serious IC. I would suspect that she had 'trust issues' before you cheated, yes? I recognize this kind of anger(had it when I was very young). People with trust issues also usually have anger issues. Anger is a much easier emotion than pain. It puts that person in a postion of feeling in control when in actuality they feel so utterly out of control. Its a way of being on the offense(anger) as opposed to the defense(pain), Most times this kind of 'broken' doesnt fix w/o counseling. Nothing you do will 'fix' her. As I said, Im sure you knew she had these issues before you chose to cheat on her. You made a bad situation worse IOW. Thats all cheating ever accomplishes, isnt it?

So, what is your plan?
 

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I am sorry, but it sounds like her heart was irretrievably broken when she sensed that you were in love with someone else. It doesn't sound like she will ever recover from that.

I think you need to file and separate, and your wife needs intensive counseling. It sounds like you could use some counseling yourself.

You two should work on being good co-parents for the kids, not bringing them up in a household where violence is the norm. And it sounds like you two need to move on with your lives.

I am sorry, I know you don't want to hear that.

What are your feelings for the other woman, at this point?
 

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Abuse is not tolerable. Your affair along with the TT was also very abusive, maybe you just drove her to the edge given she had previous issues. The past is relevant but it's more relevant to be willing to accept the reality. You marriage is very dysfunctional.
Your wife han been diagnosed as BPD. There's no cure. No amount of remorse is going to fix it. It can be manegable IF she's aware enough of her issues and willingly seek help. It doesn't seem her case, some of the behavior you wrote is bizzare and over the top and she refuses to own it (blameshifting).

Some marriages can't be saved, same shouldn't. I fear it's your case.
Probably the worse is the financial situation. A break would help you both and what's more important, your children. Children are witnessing it, learning it.
 

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Bad guy:

BPD is difficult to diagnose. So the first thing you need to do is find an expert in that area and get a second opinion.

There may be something else going on rather than BPD.

If she does have BPD there are specific treatments for them, but they are not always successful.

I agree with the other poster that talked about being willing to be transparent. That is a must. why did you refuse, initially.

The Poly and other password sharing and all other ways of being transparent are worth a try.

It might work. Try it.

In addition, be cautious about flinging the word abuse around.

This womans behaviors are possibly and most likely rooted in trauma. Discovering infidelity is traumatic and may cause PTSD.

Your wife's behavior can be attributed to PTSD, Many war veterans in the early 2000s, were wrongly diagnosed with BPD when in reality they now know they had PTSD.

If she has PTSD there are therapies than can help.
 

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How are behaving ILs? Are they aware of thier daughter's behavior? What they think about it?

I'm going probably to be bashed here. Being a BS doesn't make you automatically a good partner nor a good parent. This woman is abusing their childrens behaving like this. It's a fact without any qualifiers. Childrens give sh1t about "causes". Personal responsabiliy is universal, she's not out if it because once was betrayed. From what I know this woman is, as a matter of fact, less fit as parent than WH.
Has been said many times BPDrs love very passionately. They hate also this way. Even more because hate last more. Bunnyboilers are often BPDs.
And what's worse is even he finnaly divorce and move out for good she's unlikely to change so this children are going to keep being abused by her BW mother, main caregiver. She's using them to hurt WH by proxy. She's already making them unwilling participants in the abuse. She's not thinkking in their wellbeing first, which every parent know is a must.
Telling the children are not deserving of his parent's love and care becasue what he did while at the same time actively hurting them.... well it doesn't cut. Not for me.

Even if diagnose is not accurate or properly given this woman behavior is blatantly wrong. No grey areas. If we are going to make WSs accountable and not making excuses for FOO issues, sex abuse... whatever, the same aplies to BSs.
I feel empathy for her but also for WH and first of all for those kids.
 

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How are behaving ILs? Are they aware of thier daughter's behavior? What they think about it?

I'm going probably to be bashed here. Being a BS doesn't make you automatically a good partner nor a good parent. This woman is abusing their childrens behaving like this. It's a fact without any qualifiers. Childrens give sh1t about "causes". Personal responsabiliy is universal, she's not out if it because once was betrayed. From what I know this woman is, as a matter of fact, less fit as parent than WH.
Has been said many times BPDrs love very passionately. They hate also this way. Even more because hate last more. Bunnyboilers are often BPDs.
And what's worse is even he finnaly divorce and move out for good she's unlikely to change so this children are going to keep being abused by her BW mother, main caregiver. She's using them to hurt WH by proxy. She's already making them unwilling participants in the abuse. She's not thinkking in their wellbeing first, which every parent know is a must.
Telling the children are not deserving of his parent's love and care becasue what he did while at the same time actively hurting them.... well it doesn't cut. Not for me.

Even if diagnose is not accurate or properly given this woman behavior is blatantly wrong. No grey areas. If we are going to make WSs accountable and not making excuses for FOO issues, sex abuse... whatever, the same aplies to BSs.
I feel empathy for her but also for WH and first of all for those kids.
I agree, the children need to be removed. A PTSD diagnoses or a BPD one may help with that.

If his infidelity caused the PTSD, he needs to help this woman heal, while still protecting the children,
 

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What I want to know is...what can I do to right the relationship????
1. Get her help for her BPD. If that's not the diagnosis, it's something severe, that's for sure. And she will need to agree to treatment. Sounds like she's not very willing.

2. Give her 100% truth and 100% transparency. Sounds like you're not very willing.

That said, when you say you don't want to hear "let it go", I feel for you, but unless someone is willing to work on this, what do you have? The memory of a marriage that once worked (if it ever did)?
 

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She believes you lied about just kissing the OW. She BELIEVES your EA was a PA. Here's the key: YOU SAID YOU ARE IMPULSIVE so when it got to the point of intense kissing, it only means ONE thing...it is next to impossible to stop yourself from having SEX. She knows you and she knows that. She wants you to be completely honest with her. It is her rightful decision to stay or leave at that point but she feels YOU OWE her the TRUTH and you are disrespecting her by treating her like an idiot via insisting that she pretends she doesn't know you. Until then, she is staying and abusing you until you tell her the truth and you are staying because you want to sell her a lie by sweeping it under the rug. Maybe she feels you are emotionally/mentally abusing her and she is meeting your abuse in kind verbally/physically. You probably are a serial liar and she has had to treat you this way for you to tell the truth. The abuse escalates every time your screw up in a greater, more deliberate violation of her boundaries. Because of you past deceit and lack of commitment she was TRAINED by you to treat you this way when you mess up. This is a mother son relationship. You need just as much therapy as she does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I know it is possible it can't be fixed. I do not feel like "best effort" has been given yet (by me).

What has kept me from best effort - the abusive behavior. She wants to hear kind things about her...says I used to be kind all the time...the difference is she used to be at least civil. I know..the words are "man up". It isn't a matter of being SCARED to be nice...it seems to me to be more an issue of...what kind things do I have to say? Like I said originally...to say kind words i have to speak in terms of the past or her relationships with other people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
She has (and has had) access to all email, cellphone, phone records (and the cell phone itself.

I haven't gotten cash myself in the last 2+ years...not since that initial conversation about not being able to account for cash.

I kept a travel log for a while. She didn't believe I went where I said I was going. So...GPS might be a good option, it just seems extreme to me. Maybe I can use Google Latitude? Good enough?

Polygraph seems extreme too but whatever...I will look into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You need to understand that you completely destroyed her world. She trusted you completely and you broke that over and over. When she then needed you to be honest about what you'd done, you lied. Again.

Transparency isn't too much to ask. You can install a GPS into your car that she can track. You can make sure she has access to all phone, text, email records. You can do these things. Do you?

As for the money, I don't carry cash anymore at all. I literally either pack a lunch or buy with my debit card so it's all trackable.

You can also arrange a polygraph. Let her draft the questions (but not show you until you get there) and answer everything in it's entirety.

Read Not Just Friends - get yourself in to counseling. Fix you, see all this helps. It really may not if she's hurt that badly.

As for the kids, it's time to file for separation/divorce so you can get a formal agreement worked out to benefit all of you.
And I have been going to counseling...continued with the 2nd that she quit until right after the near-restraining order incident. She insisted I not see him anymore because he was "giving bad advice". I don't know that his advice was bad in that regard, but whatever. I stopped. With a new counselor now. His suggestion (when I told him I was going to stay with the in-laws) was to give it a few days and then present her with three options:

Marriage counseling (leading to R)
Mediatory (possibly leading to divorce or R)
Lawyer up (divorce)

She has refused counseling a couple times since then.
She perceives mediation as a con to get her to agree to something a lawyer would not suggest she agree to.
Obviously I can do the lawyer on my own but I have not been willing to do that while I am living out of the home...and frankly, I am scared of moving in any direction that creates permanence. I don't want to hurt her more by divorcing her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As you describe it, I can appreciate the efforts you are putting in for R. But it sounds like your wife is damaged and needs intensive counseling.

Perhaps you've reached a point where you have to let her go if she's not willing to get help. Yes, your affair may have worsened her condition, but there's nothing you can do about that except to show true remorse, which you apparently have been. Seems however, your mounting resentment of her behavior now even makes that impossible. Do you even still love her?

If you're just trying to make it work for the children, ask yourself if they are better off in this kind of environment. My advice would be to insist on the counseling or else move on with your life. Then lawyer up to get a fair custody agreement.
I am hazy on whether I am showing "true remorse". Everything around how we interact right now makes it very hard for me to know what is a healthy reaction to being attacked vs me being combative. What is a healthy reaction to being hit and yelled at vs. what I should be doing to make things right in the face of her anger. I had read a book about emotional blackmail...feels like I am in the FOG (fear obligation and guilt) having my strings pulled by my wife but never giving her the result she is looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Was your W like this before your affair?
Yes...to a degree.

She never hit me. All her anger was pushed out at her ex husband or the kids. I don't know if she ever hit him. He had anger issues too.

But as an example...the winter before the affair, her daughter was struggling with school. Wife was regularly (4-5 nights a week) spending 5-8 hours on 5th grade homework with her daughter. A lot of the same behavior now aimed at me, was directed to the daughter then, including some of the physical aspects. I didn't see much of it. I heard the yelling, which usually happend very late when they were both frustrated and I was putting the others to bed. But her ex called at one point and called out the physical things and verbal abuse the daughter was telling him W was doing. (he was right in this, but he has done worse, frankly).

So yes...she was like this before...but as with many behaviors, it got worse over time. In the beginning, she was wonderful in virtually every way (that I could see)
 
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