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Okay, advice from the crew here would be appreciated. Here's the latest:
Nothing, or very little, has changed. She is living on the first floor, me on the second floor, and she continues to search for a permanent job. She has a poorly paying temp job, I think. I have gone as dark as I can, pretty much coming and going and not having much interaction with her. She seems to have caught onto this and she makes a point to include me in dinnertime meals.
Her birthday is Wednesday--do I give her a card, a gift, what?
I think she needs therapy--this existence of "I can't help how I feel" over her affection for the Loser is so childish--we haven't had any conflict in over a month, though she takes every chance to be angry at me she can. I cleaned my bathroom, and she got mad about it. She finally cleaned the downstairs bathroom, her own domain-that I don't use-after the toilet was not cleaned from November 1st. She did this last week. I cannot be considered a nitpicky cleanliness person when a toilet used daily is not cleaned for 2.5 months. This is no exaggeration.
Anyway, do I buy her a gift for her birthday, or continue being ultra dark by not doing it?
Sometimes the LRT works so well that the WAS pushes even harder to justify their decision to leave, and this can be anything that is considered as "testing" you. I have seen these manipulation attempts myself a few times with my wife. And I think you'll find in your situation that she is taking extremes to cover her own hurt feelings about leaving you.
You must not give in and must take the higher route every time. That means not falling for her games and never allowing yourself to get overly emotional in front of her. Anything you do to create contempt will hurt your chances so make the extra effort to stay strong even when you're hurting more than ever. Make it very hard for her to leave the "good guy" that gives her space and respects her decision to leave.
About the birthday....
Go ahead and get her a birthday card that isn't sentimental and sight it "Happy Birthday, 'your name'". You can even slip in some money or a gift card if you see fit but nothing that can be considered trying to buy her love. I'd put a limit of $50 if you think that's ok or depending on your situation nothing at all. It's up to you if you want to just call her but since she lives with you a card will do better. Though, I tend to believe turning the other cheek and giving and making a slight sacrifice without need for anything in return will set you apart and have the other person want to give you something for for your effort. I have done this before long ago with an ex just out of the goodness of my heart and it did bring her back.
So what's the problem then? You still have your wife living with you do you not, and given you situation you're doing better than you think. Let me prove that to you....
Your wife could have moved out long before now but she didn't. She could have filed a restraining order based on false accusations but she didn't. She could have cleaned out your house, sold her rings, screwed every guy you hate, and taken every cent out of your account leaving you to never see her again...but she didn't. In fact I'm betting your wife still does small things for you that go unnoticed that she doesn't have to. Things like making eye contact and cleaning up after her self when she doesn't have to.
So what's the problem if wife is keeping you at arms length and tossing you crumbs once in a while. You're still getting a taste of her but you want more. But you're never going to get it if you can't delay your gratification and "act as if" it's no big deal she won't tell you how she feels or open up and tell you she is wrong and how much she really loves you. And if you try to get her to give you anything more before she is ready you're only going to be seen as chasing her and breed contempt for yourself.
However, if you make the small sacrifices to treat her as a friend no matter how badly she treats you even if she doesn't deserve and give her a card for her birthday or clean her dishes without and need for a reward in return, you'll get more in return.
But first you need to let her know you accept that you are no longer a couple and agree with her feelings, then accept the place your in yourself. You're never going to get anywhere with her if you can't get rid of your need to get anywhere with her. If she talks to you, that's great. If she wants to storm around the house and criticize you for things, then let her because you know she's not being her self and just letting off steam.
The reason this works is because it's unnatural to not defend your feelings and be so confident and unaffected by her. It would feel really good to be "right" and agree with your emotions when your hurting right after she says or does something to upset you. You'll want to storm around and raise your voice to curse her out, but if you can seperate your emotions from your thoughts and think to yourself "how would acting like this make me look to her" then you can 180 and rise above it all to break even the strongest expectation she has of you.
Right now that expectation is that you're still needy and only doing this to win her back. If you find that sense of confidence you lost and let go of your addiction of expecting more commitment from her and just accept her as non needy friend you can beat this. You know that this neediness is getting you nowhere and you're going to have to give her the distance she needs now or be ordered by a judge to give it to her later so why not start now.
Last thing I can say and it's not going to be easy,is that there was something about you that your wife didn't like and she couldn't take this anymore so she emotionally checked out, but you already knew this. The hardest thing I ever had to do was accept this part and know, not think, that I was a s****y husband, but like you there is something in me that keeps her wanting to talk to me and come around. Just like you I couldn't take this at first and wanted to place the blame on her but the sooner I realized my own faults and accepted them I found I made the best progress with my DR/DB efforts. Now I work a little each day on improving my own faults and turning myself into someone I can look up to. It is the hardest thing I have ever had to do but the most rewarding to know she is second guessing her decision to leave me and still cares.
You can beat your divorce and get her back if you are willing to keep working on it and keep hope alive.
Much of what you say is true, NSweet. And yes I have the tendency to defend myself here, for sure. I'm being patient, and very much resisting getting angry with her (I've been very even keeled over this whole thing).
I should point out she does the escape thing to make all major life decisions, every job she has left to get out of the job, taking the very next thing she found only to discover the next job was as bad or worse than the last one. She left home to escape her mother, she left her first husband to escape him, and I think a big part of the affair was to create a "no turning back" scenario with me, which I didn't easily give her.
I take it one day at a time. Some days are better than others--the anxiety of seeing her isn't there as much anymore, and I'm living my life to be a better man.
Thanks--I have read and re-read what you've written several times. Hard truth is still the truth.
Please forgive me if this has been discussed before. I've read this whole thread last night and over and over I kept thinking about one thing. The boy.
In our day to day trouble we usually forget about the waves we set off and who they rock. During the trouble my wife and I are going through one of the biggest hurts are my children - one being my step daughter. I'm deeply aggravated by the thoughts of them being torn to pieces by what may happen.
Again please don't take this the wrong way because you may in fact be building a relationship with him through this. Which I think would be awesome. Do you know what's going on in his mind? He may be hurting a lot. Feelings of total abandonment. This will shape who he becomes. I know! Believe me, I know. A lot of who I am today stems from a father who basically lives his life away from us as a drug addict.
To me, and I could be wrong, this young man is left out of the picture. And I only feel this way because I feel I can relate to him in a way. Only if I'm reading it right, however.
This could be your chance to shine - as a true gentleman. Regardless of where this boy is in days, months, years to come, you could help him develop skills that will greatly benefit him. And ultimately benefit his family. This also could play crucial in your current relationship with your wife. Developing a relationship with this young man could show your wife a new you. Even though this young man doesn't show it he may need someone grounded in his life more than anything. He could be drawn deep into confusion and his only outlet is being with himself and entertainment.
Really I only say this with a warm heart. I'm not bitter or upset in an angry way about this. I only fear for him because I've been dealt the same hand when I was younger. Years ago, I was a youth leader and I could see the trouble in so many young kids eyes as their parent fought their fight and forgot who else was in the ring with them. Some kids were inflicted by such terrible blows that I don't think they'd ever recover. But you wouldn't see it until they really learned to open up. And teenagers are some of the toughest to open up - teenage boys more than girls.
Good luck in all you do.
Me:42 W:43 M:03/08/98 SD17, D13 Found out about affair:12/16/10 Found out again: 06/22/12 Split: 06/22/12
Yes, I definitely have been working on the relationship with the boy, but as of last night, I think I blew the whole thing.
I went opposite of the DB route. I couldn't help myself. It's been a stress just living in the same house with the "what is going to happen" factor.
She informed me she was going off to another city again for a job interview, one where the guy is also interviewing and I just lost it. So much for her plan of getting a job locally (a job predicated I think on him getting one locally that fell through) Everything came out. At one point the conversation was yelling, another it was crying, other times it was civil.
She's given up on me entirely, and well, I'm not sure I can put any more energy in this. She decided unilaterally that we're not compatible and decided that months before I caught the affair. She figured I would just leave if I found out about an affair, and she was a little shocked that I didn't want what she wants. I think she was counting on that to make it easier on herself.
She flew out this morning, I didn't sleep all night. The best thing that came out of this is that something is happening, and the cold war is probably coming to a close. In the end however I doubt she's going to be my wife, even though I told her I am willing to do therapy with and without her if we both work on our issues. I told her she's intelligent, driven, physically beautiful and has the qualities I look for in a person in my life --and that I really do want to make it work. I did not beg, however. Pretty much anti-DB at this point, but emotions took over.
The things she doesn't like about me are things I'm wiling to work on, she is not. I attacked and defended myself, she didn't want to have this argument, saying things like "this shouldn't be so hard" and my response was consistently "this is where you work to make a marriage work." She kept saying "I don't see it, I just don't anymore, I don't have the energy" and my constant rebuttal was "but I didn't know and for that I'm sorry." She thinks the new guy "gets her" and I never did, again stretching the last year of her disappointment into "this has been a problem for years." I can't work on a problem for years if I don't know it's a problem.
Son is at the grandparents house for the weekend, and anything I tell him about his mom has gotten back to her. I am NOT playing him against her, I told him he needs to contribute to the house by picking up his bedroom--and you have to realize she's let him have fermenting orange peels in his bedroom so it was starting to smell--and he told her I asked this and that got extrapolated back into my "neatness fanaticism."
She claimed she feels constantly guilty and sorry for what happened and that I didn't deserve what she did. Okay I guess, what am I supposed to say to that?
All I can do now is let time hopefully heal this. She will file now for a divorce the second any job offer comes, she's only been staying with me because she doesn't have the funds to go, and she said she would have moved out ages ago if any of her job opportunities come through. Her original plan was to get this first job from my original post and just bail with minimal notice. Unfortunately the new employers just haven't agreed with her plans yet.