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My wife of 30 yrs has been emotionally distant for the last 6-9 months. I finally asked her recently if I made her happy. she got very angry and told me she could not believe I would ask her such a thing.......she then really shut down on me.
I asked again this week if we could talk about us-she told me there was no us to talk about....she had seen an attorney 2 weeks prior and needed my financial affidavit. She refuses to go to MC. we went 15 years ago and she was fired by counselor after she would not admit to any thing she needed to change. I shared with her that if that was what she wanted , ok, but I felt that 30 years was a lot of investment and we should perhaps separate first. She said she would have to check with her attorney first but would only agree if she could end it immediately whenever she wanted. I asked how we should tell our kids (ages 25,23,21,17,12) and she said she wouldn't be surprised....She move to a different bedroom.
one week later we took the family to a sports bar for dinner and out of the blue she announces to the kids" you probably notice I am not wearing my wedding ring, this marriage is over! 2 of the kids ran crying into the parking lot. I went to console them and texted her that was inappropriate. kids avoid her now
we are in our early 50s and over the last year she has been on a major fitness kick, dresses like she is in her 20s. spends three hours a day at the beach. Starting going out with "friends" on weeknights." Very Active socially. She doesn't work and has not for 27 years. I have always provided well for my family.
I finally broke down and checked cell phone records and she is in constant contact with a couple of guys and gals I never heard of. ever. texts until midnite, start back at 7am. mores the gals than guys.
My wife is an evangelical christian and I do not think is involved in PA but suspect EA.
I am very confused as we seem to be in an akward holding pattern. I consulted an attorney who told me not to leave the marital home. I am a physician and am away at hospital for up to 24 hours at a time but when I am home she won't speak to me unless spoken to. Guards her cell phone, goes outside to talk.
She has not served me yet with divorce papers.
Is it simply time for the 180??
Thanks for any advice
 

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well doc, she has alot of major RED flags,working out like hell,way she dresses,etc. one thing i would do though is shut down her ability to do these things,and since your her cash supply i would put a stop to that immediately. telling everyone at a dinner was totally horrible,i'm sorry for your kids.
 

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It sounds like she is some combination of a woman having a midlife crisis and a walk away wife. Statistically, once a woman decides she is going to divorce and takes concrete steps (i.e., telling your children, contacting a divorce attorney, moving to a separate bedroom) that she *will* follow through.

Your best strategy is stop worrying about your wife. Let her be. Instead, work on yourself and please, please, please work with your children. Obviously the 12 year old is going to see his/her life turned upside down. But the 17 year old and your kids in their 20s are at a point where they are establishing adult relationships, falling in love, and establishing expectations for what their lives will be like. To see their mom walk out on their dad after 30 years will shake them about what is possible and they will question if there is such a thing as lasting love. For their sake, be open to lots of conversation, try to walk the line of being honest and taking the high road, and consider getting them into counseling.
 

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I would suggest the 180 but NOT as an attempt to get her to see how much she'll miss you/marriage (because, trust me, she won't), BUT as a way to forge a NEW life for yourself and your children.

Do NOT be petty (like turning off her phone, her gym membership, etc.) just for the sake of being spiteful. What will that really gain? It will make you look like a bully in the eyes of your children. They KNOW she is wrong, make sure they have NO REASON to think YOU'RE contributing to the breakdown of the marriage.

Act with dignity. Continue to work diligently, pay the bills, be a sounding board for your children, etc. IGNORE YOUR WIFE COMPLETELY. Unless she is talking to you SPECIFICALLY about the children or something about the property that needs fixing, REFUSE TO ENGAGE in conversation with her. This is NOT being spiteful, it's being self-protective.

SHE can move out of the marital bedroom (or the home), not you. She wants 'out' let HER get out. (You might want to order a new bed or at least a new mattress and box springs...it's probably time anyway.)

Continue to put your children first. Ask for help from your 20-somethings to be extra support for the younger ones. Express that you have confidence in their ability to bridge the gap because they have the emotions/intellect of an adult, but the closeness in age/emotions to relate to the younger ones. Thank them for stepping up and helping out.

Rearrange ALL the duties that your wife did/does so that SOMEONE else is doing it all now. Whether that is housework, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, whatever. Split it up among family members or hire an outside person to do it. Once W is gone, SOMEONE will have to do it, you might as well sort it out now. It will make the transition much smoother when W does GET OUT (and will not-so-subtly reinforce to W that she is NOW superfluous).

Start RIGHT NOW defining how your life will be without W. Work towards good, healthy, adult relationships for yourself and your kids. Read books, get into IC if needed (even for short-term to help with goals, coping strategies); do whatever it takes to be the man YOU WANT TO BE and the father your kids need/deserve!
 

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You need to move this to the coping with infidelity thread, because your wife is having an affair, and the changes you've seen in her physical appearance are her putting out the for rent sign.

She's had that sign out for a while and there's no doubt based on her attitude and actions that she has now found a new man,

You say she's a evangelical christian, good you can use that. Find the OM, expose the affair.

Use a voice activated recorder under her car seat to capture what she is talking about.


Oh, and cut off her access to money. Cancel credit cards, move your pay to a personal account.
 

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Might not be another man (yet...). Might just be a mid-life crisis. Might be she is getting ready for the singles' scene after she jumps ship. Just because she can already envision herself in a new life with a new man doesn't mean she's picked a particular man out yet.

Either way, OP needs to move on. This woman's ship has sailed and he ain't on it.
 

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Flyfishdoc,

Sorry you're in this position. Listen to Shaggy. If you're looking for guidance with your situation, ask the Mods to move your thread to Coping with Infidelity area of the site.

DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOME!!! She wants out of the marriage, she can leave. Stop supporting her lifestyle too.

Here's links for you,
To protect yourself 180 List - No More Mr. Nice Guy Online Support Group

Books and counselling advice for you.
Divorce Busting® - How to Save Your Marriage, Solve Marriage Problems, and Stop Divorce

Wish you and you family the best outcome.
 

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Love Must Be Tough: New Hope for Marriages in Crisis
By: Dr. James Dobson
Tyndale House / 2007 / Paperback




Responses to an Unraveling Marriage
When a marriage unravels, one partner is less concerned about the prospect of divorce while the other is terrified by it.
by James Dobson, Ph.D.


The RealityThe standard approach to marriage counseling is to teach husbands and wives how to revitalize unhealthy relationships and help them work through their conflicts. Unfortunately, such advice assumes that both parties are equally motivated to work on their problems. That is rarely the case.

Typically, when a marriage is unraveling, there is one partner who is less concerned about the prospect of divorce, while the other is terrified by it. At its worse, as in cases of infidelity, the drifting member often has little desire to engage in counseling, except perhaps as a pretense to lessen guilt or criticism. He or she may have decided already that the relationship is over.
It has been my observation that the way the committed partner responds at that vital juncture will determine whether the marriage will survive or succumb. I'll explain why in a moment.


The Pain of Rejection
Only those who have been rejected by a beloved spouse can fully comprehend the tidal wave of pain that crashes into one's life when a relationship ends. Nothing else matters. There are no consoling thoughts. The future is without interest or hope. Emotions swing wildly from despair to acceptance and back again.


Nothing in human experience can compare with the agony of knowing that the person to whom you pledged eternal devotion has betrayed your trust and is now involved in sexual intimacies with a "stranger". . . a competitor . . . a more beautiful or handsome playmate. Death itself would be easier to tolerate than being tossed aside like an old shoe.


If one word must be selected to describe the entire experience, it would be something equivalent to panic. Just as a drowning person exhausts himself or herself in a desperate attempt to grasp anything that floats, a rejected partner typically tries to grab and hold the one who is leaving. This panic then leads to appeasement, which destroys what is left of the marriage.


What Went Wrong?
Let's look for a moment at the other half of the relationship — focusing on the individual who wants out of the marriage. What secrets lie deep within the mind of the woman who has an affair with her boss, or the man who chases the office flirt? Surprising to some, the desire for sex is not the primary motivator in such situations. Something much more basic is operating below the surface.

Long before any decision is made to "fool around" or walk out on a partner, a fundamental change has begun to occur in the relationship. Many books on this subject lay the blame on the failure to communicate, but I disagree. The inability to talk to one another is a symptom of a deeper problem, but it is not the cause itself.

The critical element is the way a husband or wife begins to devalue the other and their lives together. It is a subtle thing at first, often occurring without either partner being aware of the slippage. But as time passes, one individual begins to feel trapped in a relationship with someone he or she no longer respects.

Now we begin to see why groveling, crying and pleading by a panic-stricken partner tend to drive the claustrophobic partner even farther away. The more he or she struggles to gain a measure of freedom (or even secure a little breathing room), the more desperately the rejected spouse attempts to hang on.


Let the Trapped Partner Out
Hope for dying marriages is likely to be found in the reconstruction of respect between warring husbands and wives.


Opening the Cage Door
Perhaps it is now apparent where the present line of reasoning is leading us. If there is hope for dying marriages, and I certainly believe there is, then it is likely to be found in the reconstruction of respect between warring husbands and wives. That requires the vulnerable spouse to open the cage door and let the trapped partner out! All the techniques of containment must end immediately, including manipulative grief, anger, guilt and appeasement. Begging, pleading, crying, hand-wringing and playing the role of the doormat are equally destructive.
There may be a time and place for strong feelings to be expressed, and there may be an occasion for quiet tolerance. But these responses must not be used as persuasive devices to hold the drifting partner against his or her will.
Groveling techniques increase the depth of disrespect by the escaping spouse.


The Right Message
If begging and pleading are ineffective methods of attracting a member of the opposite sex during the dating days, why do victims of bad marriages use the same groveling techniques to hold a drifting spouse? They only increase the depth of disrespect by the one who is escaping. Instead, they should convey their own version of the following message when the time is right:


( insert name of spouse) , I've been through some very tough moments since you decided to leave, as you know. My love for you is so profound that I just couldn't face the possibility of life without you. To a person like me, who expected to marry only once and to remain committed for life, it is a severe shock to see our relationship begin to unravel. Nevertheless, I have done some intense soul-searching, and I now realize that I have been attempting to hold you against your will. That simply can't be done.

As I reflect on our courtship and early years together, I'm reminded that you married me of your own free choice. I did not blackmail you or twist your arm or offer you a bribe. It was a decision you made without pressure from me. Now you are doing things that say that you want out of the marriage, and obviously, I have to let you go. I'm aware that I can no more force you to stay today than I could have made you marry me. You are free to go. If you never call me again, then I will accept your decision.

I admit that this entire experience has been painful, but I'm going to make it. God has been with me thus far and He'll go with me in the future. You and I had some wonderful times together. You were my first real love and I'll never forget the memories that we shared. I will pray for you and trust that God will guide you in the years ahead."


[U]Setting Your Spouse Free[/U]
Slowly, unbelievably, the trapped spouse witnesses the cage door vibrate just a bit, and then start to rise. She can't believe it. This person to whom she has felt bound hand and foot for years has now set her free! It isn't necessary to fight off his advances — his grasping hands — any more.

"But there must be a catch," she thinks. "It's too good to be true. Talk is cheap. This is just another trick to win me back. In a week or two he'll be crying on the phone again, begging me to come home. He's really weak, you know, and he'll crack under pressure."

It is my strongest recommendation that you, the rejected person, prove your partner wrong in this expectation. Let her marvel at your self-control in coming weeks. Only the passage of time will convince her that you are serious — that she is actually free. She may even test you during this period by expressions of great hostility or insult, or by flirtation with others. But one thing is certain: She will be watching for signs of weakness or strength. The vestiges of respect hang in the balance.
 
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