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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well I have finally figured out what is going on with my wife 7 months after she told me she had prepared divorce papers-she is the classic WAW case study from the volumes of reading I have done in an effort to understand this. A little background-I know they all are different but all are the same too-just change the names and numbers and they are all the same. We have been married 21 years and together 27 years, I am 20 yrs older than her, we have two sons, 12 and 17. For me the D announcement came completely out of the blue as I thought everything in our marriage was great. Together we had overcome all odds and were inseparable and unstoppable. Obviously she had been planning her exit strategy for awhile probably years. She told me in May but had told our two minor children before by a month or more!! Talk about a dead man walking and being marginalized in the eyes of the kids-not even courage or class enough to sit down with her no good soon to be ex husband. We did the marriage counselor thing over the summer and that seemed to be helpful-to me at least. We spent a lot more time together alone and even went on a 2nd honeymoon/anniversary trip. While on this trip she reconnected with a male fb friend that had surfaced right before the D announcement. When I asked her to remove him she said she felt she didn't have to nor need to. After 3 days of no removal I couldn't take it any longer and told her it was him or me. Well it was me that she is removing. She did angrily close her whole fb account and showed up at the next MC session unexpectedly and read a note saying there was no hope for saving our marriage. She moved out that day. She reactivated her fb account after moving out and yes the om is still there bigger than life-and I really don't even think he is a player in all this except as a line in the sand. Is there an om?-maybe she has most of the signs-but I am not convinced that there is which makes her actions even more strange in my view. That was about a month ago-I am giving her time and space-minimal contact, no more 'reasoning', no more give us a chance etc, etc, etc. She has become more friendly and concerned about me superficially it seems. As for the kids I am losing them too-they are 'siding' with their mom as she is 'unhappy' and I am the cause of her unhappiness. So I have been to the edge of Hell and back a time or two but believe it or not I am getting better. I still hate this needless tragedy, pain, and destruction that is being thrown on our marriage, kids, and both families. I'm losing my wife, my kids, probably my place-all the most important things in my personal life. And it is all because she is unhappy but never told me nor gave me a real chance to help after she did tell me. The WAW syndrome is real and it is a family killer. This phenomenon needs to be addressed in national public forums so women and men can recognize and prevent this senseless destruction of functional, viable families.

Come on WAWs don't fault us for not recognizing the communication attempts that went completely over our stupid heads. Fault yourselves for not getting our attention before it was TOO LATE. A high price is being paid for your quest for happiness-you owe a staggering debt to all those hurt because of your actions. Like in Private Ryan you better 'earn this'.

A 'good' husband, 'good' father, and now a LBS
 

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Sorry you are going through this... put simply.. it sucks.

"destruction that is being thrown on our marriage, kids, and both families"

What 'both families'. What other family is involved?

Does she feel that she has been telling you what was wrong all along? I just wonder about this.

I've told my husband (ex now-and no I'm not a WAW) very clearly many many time and he just agreed, said he'd work on things and never did.

So I wonder in the WAW situation if the wife thinks she told the husband but he was not receptive.


I assume from what you said that your wife has sucked the kids into this and that's why they are taking her side. Have you looked into anything to try to fix this. Maybe even to take them to counseling with you?
 

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It's a tough ride TN (TN here too) .....but have you sat down and talked to your oldest son and explained what happened? I was unaware of the number of wives just coming out of the blue saying 'i want out'. Mine is older than I, 47. But the one thing I stand by without wavering is accountability for actions. The grass appears greener because it grows on a septic tank. In my case....I made it clear I wanted to work things out and followed that by going cold. She spilled the water, she can mop it up. We have I guess a month before the D is final. She has creditors calling her right and left about overdue bills but spends $60 to join two dating sites....yeah shows just how 'in her right mind she is'. I was always there to pick her up when she fell.....not this time. I'm 41 and still have a chance to meet someone and have children. I learned she could not have any more (1 from her 1st marriage) and it almost killed me but I accepted it. Ride out the storm but by all means hold her accountable. No excuses. And own your own emotions, allow her nothing of it.
 

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It's a tough ride TN (TN here too) .....but have you sat down and talked to your oldest son and explained what happened? I was unaware of the number of wives just coming out of the blue saying 'i want out'. Mine is older than I, 47. But the one thing I stand by without wavering is accountability for actions. The grass appears greener because it grows on a septic tank. In my case....I made it clear I wanted to work things out and followed that by going cold. She spilled the water, she can mop it up. We have I guess a month before the D is final. She has creditors calling her right and left about overdue bills but spends $60 to join two dating sites....yeah shows just how 'in her right mind she is'. I was always there to pick her up when she fell.....not this time. I'm 41 and still have a chance to meet someone and have children. I learned she could not have any more (1 from her 1st marriage) and it almost killed me but I accepted it. Ride out the storm but by all means hold her accountable. No excuses. And own your own emotions, allow her nothing of it.
This is so true. I've noticed it with some of the women I know who did the WAW thing. Some (not all) of them find out that divorce was not the solution. It often just creates new problems.
 

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Ele-We had trouble communicating our emotions. Neither wanted to stir the pot. We had very few fights and we both felt bad after it. There's no hate between us, we both admit there is still love (well been awhile back but after 15 years I assume it is still the case). Like I stated on my blog I want her to experience life without me (still in same house). That is the only way to 2x4 someone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the responses. It is unimaginable how much hurt the betrayal by a trusted 'loving' wife(spouse)can cause-except everyone here does know and understand.

Yes Ele she has said that she told me or tried to tell me many times that she was unhappy but I didn't change. I told her that I never recognized her pleas-why didn't she grab me and shake me or something?(this seems to be a common thread with WAWs). Heck I was just bumbling along in our(my in retrospect) happy little world without a clue that Armageddon was coming. And then when she can't take her unhappy life any longer she drops the bomb, jumps off the cliff and pulls everyone with her. How logical is that? But she is fueled by emotion and not logic. My 'both families' comment referred to her blood family and my blood family that are being affected by the break up of our nuclear family.

Chuck- so sorry to read your story too- I wish that neither or none of us had to meet because of all the personal tragedies. I have spoke with my oldest son a bit- but he seems to not recognize the consequences and acknowledged that he is taking mom's side because she 'doesn't want to be with me' and is unhappy. He is still living with me at home because he is simply too lazy to move and doesn't want to deal with relocation. As he put it he will 'be outta here soon' anyway(college). The younger one moved to mom when she got internet service installed about 10 days later!! Shows his priorities-lol. I am not angry or mad at either one of my sons; their status is pretty much what I expected but it does seem the entire family is leaving me.

She told me that she had 'prepared' divorce papers 7 months ago but she hasn't filed them yet. After she moved out we have had 1 or 2 positive discussions(reckon the lbs tries to snatch onto any shred of hope!) and she says to give her some time and she is unsure if there is hope or not. We lack just a year in having our place paid off and that is our agreed upon goal it seems. Of course in today's market a divorce fire sale would be lucky to realize much more than one half of its value.

Continuing to hang in, not knowing how to react to her mixed signals, wanting to be hopeful but fearing to risk anymore emotional capital(if there is any left)-TNman
 

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TN-Do the 180 below is link

The Healing Heart: The 180

Try to go no contact. Do not beg or plead. I know it's counter but you need to be John Wayne on a bad day. If emotions led her out the door, it will take that to bring her back. For some reason she is having this patty-cake bull###t fantasy about reconnecting and things will be like they were in 1989. Sorry....ain't gonna happen. Do not listen to what she says, watch what she DOES. This ripped my guts out but I am more "Jack Lambert" now. The ride/fog will lift. In the meantime, rediscover a hobby, do things she didn't like. Me.....she hated loud music so I cranked up Motley Crue and got the mic and danced the night away. Don't think about what will I do when she comes around, she may not but...% are in your favor. You will see the fog break....slowly. You are in my prayers. BTW-Chattanooga area here
 

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I hope yours was as well. I was at mom's with no net connection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well my situation continues to deteriorate- my 17 yo son who was living with me moved out last night to go live with my stbxw and our 12 yo son. I was trying to get him to talk with me about our(his and mine) increasing communication difficulties and his lack of respect for me and what I/ we could do to have a better relationship. His basic response was we had had this conversation before, I wouldn't agree with anything he said, he didn't know, and furthermore he didn't care. Well I told him if he felt that way he should just move out and he did or will today. The common teen son/father conflict is happening at the same time my wife is quitting just compounding the hurt and sadness. My 12 yo is not quite there but is well on his way. Seems like at ever turn I make things worse. I do know what I have to do- forgive myself, learn to love myself, make myself better and stronger, and change the things that I can. I spoke with my WAW about this(son issue) and then the conversation morphed into discussion of our situation. That was a major mistake; I know it and I knew it. To get out of my hole I have to stop digging. Pray for me.
 

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Hang in there TNman! Life will get better. I got a version of the WAW almost 2 years ago now. Valentines weekend I heard the D day annoucement out of the blue.

The WAW does the stealth exit plan and makes the guy feel like everything is just fine until that day. There are signs, but you would have to be aware of the WAW to be looking for them. I had no clue.

After two years of this, I feel I have a much better understanding and have concluded it is all sparked from a depression within the Wife. The numbers all align with the MLC. Average age, getting older, and many life changes. The spouse becomes the target and reason for all the inner turmoil, but he has no idea since it is kept from him.

They start looking for greener pastures, EA,PA and other support personnel who are usually going through their own relationship issues are partners in crime. Misery loves company...right.

They are in a fog and if you can keep your head and try to mitigate the damage, there is a greater hope for reconciling.

180, get IC, the book Divorce Remedy helped me a ton.

I wish you well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks-tim-the situation and scenario does sound pretty much exactly the same. I have read the divorce remedy and love must be tough plus countless pages on WAW syndrome and these Internet boards. Seems in most cases the WAW indeed has a stealth exit strategy and once put into motion she won't stop usually. R (trueR) would be wonderful but that appears very unlikely to me. I agree with your assessment of mlc, depression, inner 'unhappiness' that is blamed on the unaware H. She even told our minor sons a month or so before she told me about the impending D. How special was that? makes me feel like a doddering old dog hobbling around the yard and the family has met and agreed that 'fluffy' needs to be euthanized.

Of course there are always willing players on the sidelines but I'm confident things will look different to her and them when the WAW is free. Of course the original family and marriage has been destroyed before the fog lifts and reality sets in.
 

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Yep. Sadly even though we may have been fine spouses, we get marked by their blame game through rewritten history. All we can do is be the best we can.

My marriage was saved and things are very good between us, but there is many damaged extended family and friend relationships. I know she was confused, but the minute she ran out the door and seperated, which was shocking and unexpected (WAW), our issues became public knowledge to everyone we know. So sad. Damn Depression!

If you ever so the movie "Knocked up" and the scene where they are fighting at the maternity office and he yells ....

"You know what? I know this isn't you talking, it's your hormones, but I would just like to say, "F*ck you, hormones! You are a crazy b*tch, hormones!" Not Alison, hormones. F*ck 'em. It's a girl, buy some pink sh*t."

I have the same feelings for that MLC depression! F*ck you Mid Life Crisis!
 

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TN-TiM talks exactly what he went through. His posts are all in line. I do not have children so I can't really go in depth. But it is typical for an older son to side with their mother. It is instinct, I do know that from my doctorate. You are assumed to be the a-hole, let the dust settle. Truth always comes out in the wash. I'm right down I-24.....you need a person to vent to and a cup of coffee......anytime. I'm going through this too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah Chuck I am not surprised by my sons' position- still hurts in light of everything else. Yeah I would like to sit down ftf sometime and talk war stories. I occasionally work in Chattanooga or maybe we could meet half way sometime when it is convenient.

More on my story- I probably broke a lot or all of 180 rules today. WAW texts me this am and asks to come over and pick up some of older son's things-I say ok. Anyway she comes over and gets more of her clothes and sons clothes as well. Meeting was ok with some hugs and smiles- went to her place in my vehicle, helped disassemble bunk beds, brought them to store at our place. She asked if we could stop at local greasy spoon for lunch-sure. And we did. Took sons bed back to her current place, help assemble it, and etc. the visit was pleasant and cordial even with the older son with whom I had the flare up a couple of days previous. She went with me down to the gate when I left her place-she said she had a good day and I said the same. Got a couple of long parting hugs and kisses. Ok bring on the flames-I know she may very well be disingenuous just to get some help with her continuing and forever move out or keeping me firmly in plan b and viewing me as a doormat. If there is ever an R it has to begin somewhere-right? Of course it should be after her request to have the 'talk' about trying to give it another chance. My other option would have been to refuse to help at all- not go to her place-not see my kids and let them see me interacting with WAW in a positive manner and etc. Would that have been the better option - maybe, probably, definitely? I still think she is walking-today's positive or fake positive interaction notwithstanding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Over the weekend I spent some time with my WAW helping her to move out some of the kids things and set up their rooms. I wanted to see her and observe her actions, reactions, and body language. I did see some flashes of the old wife with the attendant glimmers of hope but I saw more negative indicators that confirms it is over. So having a bit of a worse day today trying to accept the fact that what we had is dead. She is murdering my love for her and she killed her love for me. We talked a bit at MY instigation and she said that 'she will always love me' which is a BS enabling behavior to help assuage guilt. I told her that I realize it doesn't matter to her but that I won't always love her but will love her as long as I can(bad move I know but it is over anyway). She also again said with a bit of anger that there is no one else(BS again)- everything that she has done and is doing is explained by an OM. I told her well if there is no one else you need to get help via IC as what you are doing is not 'normal'. She said that she would make an appointment with our previous MC. She still refuses to tell me why she is leaving. She did send me a text last night saying 'I hate who I am. :(...' That is the first hint or inkling of remorse/guilt that I have ever seen in this 8 month disengagement. WTF- anyway another day.
 

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Let her set up the MC. If she wants to take the lead, allow her. The best thing in the world to do is let her fall on her arse. In your heart you do not want to but you have to. "Hey honey, I really hate it things are more a struggle for you since you decided to separate." I can relate to this method, it's like telling your teenage son not to speed or they will get a ticket. Sure enough, kid comes home with a ticket, they have to learn for themselves. You can read her well from how you explain, that is good. Go dark and let her see the world for what it is. If she sets up MC, do attend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am attempting to go more NC starting today. I know I have to accept that it is over and rebuild my life. How long does it generally take for a NC to cause the WAW to reach out-I realize this is a stupid question but ask anyway- I am sure it depends on the situation and individuals and probably varies from days to weeks to months to never. Anyway please pray that I can remain strong and become stronger. I guess the goal is that the NC makes me stronger and not needing a reach out from WAW.
 

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You are in my thoughts. As for NC, she will fish very soon. Once she is aware you are NC she may turn it into a urinating contest and go NC with you. But in truth, if you are NC.....how would you know? You are a policeman....remember how Manson used his followers......this is how your W will work the boys. She will attempt to extract info from you via them. Treat her just like you would a criminal.
 

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TNMan, you already know more about typical WAW than I do (I haven't read much about it), but my guess is that she is being pleasant to you in order to ease her guilt. It's harmful to you because she likely isn't coming back and yet it gives you hope. I'm sorry to hear you're going through this and sorry you're struggling with your relationship with your son as well. These are the times we find out what we're really made of.

Do you think the age gap contributed here? I'm assuming you're about 70 and she is 50 (if your wife was 23 when you started dating, 27 years together, and you're 20 yrs older). Seems like WAWing around age 50 is becoming more common these days. :(
 
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