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#1840458 - 09/19/09 02:45 AM Newcomer with a long story...
Frosty Michael Offline
Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 133
Loc: Chicago IL
Hello everyone,

Like many of you I am right smack in the middle of a very long bizarre and terrible journey. I guess I should start at the beginning. I’m going to try and condense and consolidate this as much as I can, but because I‘ve been married for less than a year the background here is very important. My wife and I are both 26 years old. We have known each other for almost a decade. Became friends in high school. Dated casually after high school. Tried to maintain a casual long distance romance which did not work out for various reasons our first year of college, and through all of that became very close friends. We stayed in touch throughout college, got together whenever I was in town, tried to date again a few times on and off; but there was usually some other guy in her life who was more involved with her than I was. It was upsetting, but it was never damaging to our friendship. I knew I was two hours away at school and we didn’t see each other nearly enough to have a real relationship. We were young, and perhaps other opportunities would arise. Still in a way I pined for her in the back of my heart. I did date some other girls here and there, but it was never quite the same.

When I returned from college, my wife was one of the few friends I had around me while I was in a transition phase in my life. Both of us had graduated college, were living with our parents, and having trouble finding a job and moving on to independence. At this time we began to spend a lot of time together as friends and become involved in community theater productions. My wife was now dating another man. Their relationship had been sour for some time, and I did not respect him very much. They had intense fights, and he lead his life very irresponsibly. I am very ashamed of myself now, but at the time it made so much sense for me to try and seduce her away from this man. We had a mostly emotional affair towards the end of her relationship with this person, and that transitioned into a 3 year relationship, a more than one year long engagement, and marriage.

I would describe our dating during these four years (which eventually lead into marriage) as without question the happiest time of my entire life. Neither one of us was perfect, but I feel like we had a very healthy, honest, open relationship and we complimented each other beautifully. I could go on about the highs and lows of dating/engagement and why I consider this a time of discovery, in which we did not have a perfect relationship (as nobody truly does), but suffice to say we did have shared goals and a responsible sincere love for one another that had seemingly endless promise and potential.

Late in our engagement (a few months before the wedding which was now all planned out with invitations sent), my wife began to experience doubts. Cold feet as I thought it was. As much as she sincerely appreciated all that I had done for her and with her, and as much as she felt she wanted to be with me for the rest of her life, she was now grappling with the practicality of being with one person for the rest of her life. External influences on these thoughts were not one, but TWO other men who had confessed an infatuation to her. My wife is an extremely attractive, caring, honest, fun person and I certainly can see why men become attracted to her. And at this time, she was very faithful to me. She saw their advances for what they were and blocked them. But she did indicate to me that she wasn’t so sure she was the marrying type anymore. When asked point blank how I would feel about calling off or postponing the wedding, naturally I told her that I thought it would be a huge step backwards, a big disappointment and embarrassment, and that the long term result of this I couldn’t honestly know. I did indicate that I might not want to stay with her if we didn’t get married. After a brief phase of this uncertainty, during which time I admit I was in a kind of denial about the fact that the wedding might not proceed, she did confide to me that she loved me very much, could see herself spending the rest of her life with me, and sincerely wanted to get married.

The wedding came and went. We were both very happy and in love, and I believe incredibly sincere about our vows and this transition. But a mere 8 months into our marriage we both began to experience doldrums. I thought it would be a passing phase, but for her there was an emotional disconnection that was becoming more and more serious. She was propositioned again by one of the men who had become infatuated with her. They began to spend more and more time together and I began to notice startling changes in her behavior. Immaturity, selfishness, and distance went through the roof. I gradually picked up on the fact that she was having an affair, but by the time I confronted her about it, she was pretty far gone. She resurrected her doubts about the concept of marriage. She told me that she was angry at me for having “given her an ultimatum”. She felt I had threatened to leave her if we didn’t get married and forced her into it, but I really feel like I was just being honest about how I might react. Worst of all she sincerely believed that she was deeply in love and had found some kind of soul mate in her affair partner. To make things worse, this person was a mutual friend and I knew a thing or two about him, the way their friendship worked, the kind of person he was, the kind of mistakes he made, and the way he seduced her. He was a “yes man” to her, a valiant defender, and a hopeless romantic who encouraged and propagated all her fantasies in their minds. As a husband and a partner I always tried to be a loving realist, someone who encouraged her but also strived to give her practical advice about her life and career goals. She had started to resent me and only think negatively about me, while only positively about him.

My wife had been seeing a therapist on her own for a month or so, trying to figure all of this out without informing me of what was happening. After my discovery, we went through a tumultuous but abbreviated period living together with her still seeing this man. It ended with me kicking her out of the apartment for thinking she could see him, spend the night with him, come home to me and have the nerve to be angry at me for making her feel guilty. She was like a completely different person; a cold, uncaring, pleasure-seeker who didn’t care who she hurt or what she destroyed to have a good time. But prior to my having kicked her out she received what I consider to be very questionable advice from her therapist. My wife was told that she should move out, continue to date her affair partner, and see me “at least once a week” to figure things out. I find it very strange that she was told to separate after having been married for less than a year. And I find it impossible for any professional to think that I could be “given a chance” under those conditions. Naturally, she liked this advice. She grabbed it and ran. She could move out, have some freedom and “independence”. Pursue her passion for her affair partner, and see me very little. In fact in the three months since the separation started… she has seen me three times. One of those times was obligatory. The other two were very short encounters that added up to a few hours. We have kept in touch on the phone and through Email as well to an extent. But she does not make an effort to spend time with me.

I’ve been seeing my own therapist since this started, and have been working very hard to figure all of this out, self-reflect, and determine whether or not I should even be with my wife and whether or not she is capable of change. I have determined for myself that yes she is worth it, and yes she does have what it takes to make our marriage work. But my wife spent the first few months of the separation enjoying herself, and sharing her life with her affair partner in a blissful sort of fantasy world. I spent a day trip with her driving to an acting gig I had gotten her long ago, and we had a long productive talk in the car. After that I felt like she was ready to hear some things from me. I had composed several intense, loving, positive, honest letters to her that I had been holding onto. After that week I felt that I finally broke through the bubble of her fantasy life and made her realize what she had done. She began to feel incredible stress and sadness, alternating with the same dizzyingly blissful highs of her now highly sexual relationship with her affair partner. We both began to understand that there was something chemical and addictive about her relationship with him. But on it went. She is experiencing more clarity now, but is so busy and stressed working on a play (with her affair partner as her assistant director!) I don’t believe she will have the time to really give herself the peace of mind to reflect on this until this play is over which is very frustrating to me. The play ends on October 24th (The day before our one year wedding anniversary if this isn’t set up dramatically enough.) And I feel I have to wait this out at least until November to give her the opportunity to settle down.

Recently there was a very eye opening and powerful incident in the saga. My wife was feeling very stressed and overwhelmed about a variety of things including her personal life. She called her affair partner for emotional support. Instead they fought. She told him she was feeling suicidal and had taken sleeping pills with alcohol. He became irritated and hung up on her multiple times. Low and behold I am then awoken at 2AM by a hysterical phone call from her. I was very sympathetic, understanding, and angry at this man who shunned her at a time of such serious crisis. I went over to her new apartment and sat up with her for a while until I felt that she was okay. Over the next week we had very sincere conversations about the reality of the man she was now with vs. the fantasy of what she thought she was going after. But even so, I tried very hard to remind myself that this was far from over. That she would likely continue to see him as they continued to work together. That she would probably slip back into the chemical high for a while even if it was alternating with devastating lows. Naturally that's what happened. After having made a lot of progress and self discovery, I finally had a new devastating moment when I realized they were continuing on. Even though I had tried to prepare myself for it.

Now I'm feeling like I just can't watch this happening anymore. I love her way too much to watch her degrade herself by being with this person. She is a strong, intelligent, compassionate young human being. And she is wasting her time addicted to a forty year old, unemployed, living with his mother, unmotivated grown up child. My wife is the third married woman this man has dated. He doesn't seem to learn from any of his mistakes and he doesn't seem to want to live in reality. And he's perfectly content dragging my wife into fantasy land with him. Granted it was ultimately her choice, so I am just fed up with both of them. I want to give her a chance, but her actions are speaking much louder than her words. I'm beginning to feel very stupid for hanging on and I desperately need to distract myself more. I feel like what I need to do is focus on reacting to her if/when she comes to me, and stop reaching out to her. I just keep setting myself up for disappointment.

That's the story so far. I feel like there are hundreds of solutions out there for us to make our marriage work, but I'm helpless to use them without her. I don't know how long to wait, but I know I could wait for her much longer if she was not dating another man. There are many, many, oddities and interesting details about our situation which I can go into in later posts perhaps. But for now I guess that's it.

Thanks for reading if you got this far!
_________________________
Age: 28
Wife's Age: 28
Relationship: 10 Years (dated on and off)
Married: Less than one year
Seperated: 1.75 years, finally served with D 4/30/2011

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#1842488 - 09/22/09 06:51 PM Re: Newcomer with a long story... [Re: Frosty Michael]
Frosty Michael Offline
Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 133
Loc: Chicago IL
I guess I'm kind of wondering if there's anyone with a similar situation to mine? I know my first post was a small novel, but basically I'm very discouraged that my wife could do this within the first year of marraige. I know we both contributed to dissatisfaction but I feel like she hasn't really tried at all.
_________________________
Age: 28
Wife's Age: 28
Relationship: 10 Years (dated on and off)
Married: Less than one year
Seperated: 1.75 years, finally served with D 4/30/2011

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#1842498 - 09/22/09 07:00 PM Re: Newcomer with a long story... [Re: Frosty Michael]
Puppy Dog Tails Offline
Member

Registered: 02/22/08
Posts: 18296
Well, I read the whole thing! You write very well, btw . . . I NEVER read posts that are that long, but you had me pretty riveted.

Your wife sounds, I'm sorry, very immature and a woman who is easily given in to her passions, as opposed to having strong moral character. With no kids involved, are you sure this is what you want? I can't help but feel that she probably just sees you as her fall-back position, and you're going to have nothing but trouble until SHE realizes her issues, and goes thru some serious self-reflection. Unfortunately, it usually takes a crisis to be the catalyst for that.

Do you WANT children? Is this the woman you want teaching your potential future daughters' character?

Puppy
_________________________
"Still at the end of every hard-earned day, people find some reason to believe" -- Bruce Springsteen







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#1842500 - 09/22/09 07:00 PM Re: Newcomer with a long story... [Re: Frosty Michael]
Puppy Dog Tails Offline
Member

Registered: 02/22/08
Posts: 18296
Originally Posted By: Frosty Michael
I know we both contributed to dissatisfaction but I feel like she hasn't really tried at all.


Because she hasn't.

Puppy
_________________________
"Still at the end of every hard-earned day, people find some reason to believe" -- Bruce Springsteen







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#1842550 - 09/22/09 07:43 PM Re: Newcomer with a long story... [Re: Puppy Dog Tails]
Frosty Michael Offline
Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 133
Loc: Chicago IL
Thank you for your thoughts. You are right that she has shown a staggering immaturity throughout all of this. But I've been trying to separate this behavior from who she was before her life was turned upside down.

I think she has had a few wake up calls, but she's finding it too painful to face the reality of how much she's hurt me, and many of our friends and family.

I have done a lot of reflection, and feel very confident that it would be best to get back together with her and make things work. I really don't want any regrets. We've known each other for a decade and been best friends most of that time. Plus I'm certainly not ready to date other women, so I guess the best thing to do now is try and build a fulfilling social life as a single person and let her know I'm still here. Just having a hard time finding things to fill the void.


Edited by Frosty Michael (09/22/09 07:44 PM)
_________________________
Age: 28
Wife's Age: 28
Relationship: 10 Years (dated on and off)
Married: Less than one year
Seperated: 1.75 years, finally served with D 4/30/2011

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#1842594 - 09/22/09 08:03 PM Re: Newcomer with a long story... [Re: Frosty Michael]
Puppy Dog Tails Offline
Member

Registered: 02/22/08
Posts: 18296
Originally Posted By: Frosty Michael
Plus I'm certainly not ready to date other women, so I guess the best thing to do now is try and build a fulfilling social life as a single person and let her know I'm still here.


I disagree in only one slight -- but very important -- way:

The best thing to do now is to try and build a fulfilling social life as a single person, and to let her know that you're not sure WHAT you want anymore, and that maybe she was right when she said (fill in her standard relationship complaint HERE).

It is the "knowing that you're still here" that is precisely your problem. As long as she knows that you are, she isn't forced to confront her own issues. Let's face it: us humans are pretty much path-of-least-resistance creatures, are we not?? confused

Puppy
_________________________
"Still at the end of every hard-earned day, people find some reason to believe" -- Bruce Springsteen







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#1842614 - 09/22/09 08:15 PM Re: Newcomer with a long story... [Re: Puppy Dog Tails]
futureunknown Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 996
I agree with Puppy 100%.

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#1842733 - 09/22/09 09:48 PM Re: Newcomer with a long story... [Re: futureunknown]
Frosty Michael Offline
Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 133
Loc: Chicago IL
True. I don't want her to think I'm the fallback man. But I have already made it clear to her that I won't wait around forever. Her "trial seperation" is supposed to last until January, and I've told her that how long I wait is entirely dependant on her actions. If she's not making an effort by the end of the year, I might not be signing divorce papers yet. But I will probably quit my job and move somewhere exciting and new without regard to whatever she's up to.
_________________________
Age: 28
Wife's Age: 28
Relationship: 10 Years (dated on and off)
Married: Less than one year
Seperated: 1.75 years, finally served with D 4/30/2011

Top
#1842773 - 09/22/09 10:36 PM Re: Newcomer with a long story... [Re: Frosty Michael]
pearlharbr Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 2218
I also agree with Puppy on all his points.

If you told her you will wait until January then be prepared for her to continue on status quo until New Year's Eve. Then, maybe, she will come to you and say she's willing to work on things but she needs more time... Get the picture?

You need to start moving forward with your life right now. I'm not advocating that you up and move immediately, but start living the life you want. Make yourself happy. Only when she sees that you will be fine without her will she stop to reconsider what she's doing.

I read the whole novel too and appreciate your writing skills. Your maturity level seems to surpass your W by far. I would heed Puppy's advice if you want to have children: think long and hard about having children with someone who clearly still has a lot of growing up to do.
_________________________
If you love somebody, set them free.
http://tinyurl.com/2empx2g

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#1842785 - 09/22/09 11:02 PM Re: Newcomer with a long story... [Re: pearlharbr]
Frosty Michael Offline
Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 133
Loc: Chicago IL
Thanks. It's nice to have my behavior validated by objective people. We had both always been on the same page that we were in no hurry to have children (we're both 26), but you better believe if we get together I will be VERY careful about conceiving with her until I notice a substantial shift in her emotional maturity.
_________________________
Age: 28
Wife's Age: 28
Relationship: 10 Years (dated on and off)
Married: Less than one year
Seperated: 1.75 years, finally served with D 4/30/2011

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