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#2220240 - 02/09/12 08:26 AM Well ... I'm back
tpc1977 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 197
Loc: NC, USA
It's been several months and my marriage has been up and down, but this time I feel pretty low. This forum has always helped me gain perspective and focus on what I need to do.

Right now, I'm not sure what's going on in my wife's life. We're together but she's still all over the place emotionally and very hard to read sometimes. She's been lying and covering up things about her drinking and phone use. A lot of this is triggered by how she feels inside and how she sees me as an obstacle.

We're still struggling financially even though she found a part-time job to help. The mess we're in, because of mistakes she's made in the past, has really put a monster load on us and she can't bare it sometimes. She'll dwell on her mistakes and blame and make things much bigger than they really are. I try to get her to open up and talk about it, but it's difficult to do. And because of her new job, she'll skip most of her NA meetings that she needs to go to for herself as well as to get her job back. She needs three meetings a week - logged. She's going to one, most of the time. So that triggers more anxiety in her because she is worried that the nursing board will ask for a time log of her meetings and she won't have what they require. In turn, that triggers even more anxiety because if she doesn't get her license she won't get a job and we will continue to struggle and not have insurance. She is carrying a massive burden and it's held in until I finally pull it out of her.

I'm working, but my salary covers the bills and just a tad for living expenses. We have to miss some bills ever now and then just to make ends meet. That also burdens her.

We had a falling out two days ago that really put me in the dumps. I think she is still in contact with the other man and I caught her hiding alcohol around the house. Heck, I didn't have to snoop (don't want to really) she's not good at lying or hiding. I usually turn a blind eye so we won't fight about it, but not sure what I should do now. I went cold a couple of days ago and this sparked a negative reaction with her. We talked and she said that she wasn't sure what she wanted in our marriage. She actually told me that I've become "too good" and she's not used to it. That I'm not the man I used to be and it's too uncomfortable. Just an excuse really. We did make up eventually and I started working on myself again.

See, to me, I've become lax. I don't really believe in God anymore. I gave up believing. Too many things have put doubt in my mind. We stopped going to church for the most part. We'll go maybe once a month to please my mother. She's a devout Christian - pentecostal. I've been battling desires to have an affair myself but don't have the balls. Women approach me and one in particular really fell for me but I cut that off. Not necessarily because I thought it was the "right" thing to do, but because she's not my type. I really don't know what I would do if a woman found interest in me that WAS my type. Thankfully that hasn't happened.

I feel that if someone came into my life I could walk away and give up on my wife. I'm tired of feeling duped and led on until the right time. I'm tired of working on me and us when she sits and dwells on her mistakes and possibly cheats. This feeling of being walked on has become more than I can stand.

But ... here I am, ready to fight again. That is, if there is any hope. I made a list of how to treat my wife in this time of need. I carry it with me and pull it out from time to time and read over it. I keep it out when I'm on the phone with her to stay focused. I've been journalling again to help me stay focused. Physically, I'm in great shape. I'm constantly training and eating right. I look half my age and that's real motivation. (I'm not bragging, honestly. I just feel that when a person is physically fit that's one-third of a balanced life. Now I need to strengthen myself emotionally and spiritually.) At the beginning of the year I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish to make myself feel better. Several things I'm really struggling with, but I'm slowly coming around. The older I get, the more set I am with certain vices.

One thing that I need help with right now is to not read too deeply into things. I want to see the small, positive things that are going on and let them motivate me. Yes, I want an answer whether or not she wants me in her life, but I have to settle for the simple fact that we are together for now. Is she ready to work on herself? That's something else that is real important. I sat with her one evening and we made a list of things that are deeply troubling her. I pointed out several things to help alleviate her anxiety about them. I hope by this weekend we can start working on them. Seeing that she wanted to do this was motivating as well.

She's working at night the next couple of days. It's painful because I lie and think about what she's really doing; if she's thinking about me, him, or whatever. My daughters slept with me last night and it was comforting. I love both of them so much. My youngest would struggle so hard if we weren't together. She loves her daddy and I think it would draw a line between her and her mother. She shows signs of this a lot. It hurts my wife and really encourage our daughter not to play sides. My oldest, who is also my step-daughter, would hurt but I think at her age and the fact that I'm not her real father would help her get over it. She loves me, yes. And I love her too. I raised her since she was 2. That was 14 years ago.

My wife still think I play favors. Maybe I do but I try so so hard not to because I do love my step-daughter. To me, I work them differently. My youngest is a daddy's girl and I barely have to speak before she's up and running. With my step I have to push and prod and threaten and beg and yell and cut myself and burn witches on a stake before she'll move. It's more of how she is than how I am to her. My wife sees it as favors. Usually I don't argue. I let it be and try to work things differently to keep the peace.

But, I sick and f'ing tired of working to keep the peace now. I'm a much more better man these days - these months. It's been almost 2 years. I feel run over. I'm holding a 50hr/week job, training 10-12hrs/week, holding up my wife, holding up our burdens, stressing over money, who I am, who she is, where we'll be next week (together or not), if she's screwing around, whether or not I want to walk and sow my seed out of spite, or just slit my friggin wrists.

There. That feels better.
_________________________
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

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#2220572 - 02/10/12 08:05 AM Re: Well ... I'm back [Re: tpc1977]
tpc1977 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 197
Loc: NC, USA
After writing this yesterday I started to read "No More Mr. Nice Guy." Early in the book I found how closely related I was to this "Mr. Nice Guy" persona. My whole life I was told how pathetic I was as a kid. My father constantly told me how I was never going to amount to anything and how unmanly I was and how much trouble I caused. I never did anything right. I was put down, punished, and abused often. My mother was treated the same way so I always felt like I needed to protect her and love her and make her feel wanted. This raged my father even more and he would call me a momma's boy or a queer or whatever.

Growing up I was extremely guarded and never wanted to cause problems or confront anyone. Since I was always told how skinny, girly, and weak I was I never thought I could stand up for myself. Kids picked on me at school and in my neighborhood. Even my younger brother picked on me and would get his friends after me. For a good part of my childhood - before high school - that's pretty much all I could remember. Around 10th grade things changed a little and I became someone a few people could relate to. But even then I was always guarded. I did put on a good front, however, and began making more friends, having girlfriends and doing more things to socialize.

Here I am in my early 40s and I all this stuff from my childhood slowly leaks back in. My eyes opened to see how I am as a person, how I've always been really, and what molded me. I'm a protector - especially for women. If I see a woman who is struggling I want to help. My heart aches when I see a woman on the streets, or one who looks tired and abused, one who's on drugs and can't cope with reality. You know who I blame for that? The men in their lives. I see a woman driving a beat up car with a man in the passenger seat and I automatically assume he's lost his license from drinking and driving and she has to cart his sorry butt around everywhere. He's a man who isn't grown up enough to protect his woman and she's suffering because of it.

My wife sometimes sees this as a good thing. But when her mood slips, she uses it against me. For instance, she was really going through a fog the other day and the issue came up about a young girl that is friends with my youngest daughter. This little girl lives in a shoddy trailer with a mom and step-dad. The step-dad, from what I gather, doesn't work. All I want to do is grab that little girl up and bring her to our house and let her live. Twice she's had to skip field trips because she didn't have the money. Well anyway, during an argument with my wife she told me how weird I was for having these feelings for this little girl. My wife didn't really take in consideration the fact that I could relate to this girl in so many ways as a child. During our argument I didn't really say anything. I was pretty put off and angry that she would even think I had some 'weird' feelings for this little girl. A few days later I told her, pretty straight up too. I told her that when I was young my father was gone a lot on drug-fueled benders. He was hardly home and we were pretty poor. Several times I had to skip field trips and couldn't do things because we didn't have the money. We walked every where because we didn't have a car. Many times we didn't have a real meal on the table. We ate pasta with butter or biscuits and jelly - if we even had that. I told my wife that it was real pathetic to say what she said. She felt pretty bad.

Something else. There have been plenty of times where I see my wife as I see my father. Now, my wife is a real, real sweet lady. She loves helping people. She's very creative and smart and funny. But she's an addict. She can't deal with reality. When things don't go her way she turns the table and makes it the fault of someone else. Her words are extremely hurtful when she's upset and she would rather run than fight for what is right. My father was the same. He abused alcohol and drugs. His words were caustic. He made you feel less than human. He was never at fault. Never. He never apologize for anything. Still he's fueled by anger and selfishness. He's a very depressed man. He's never really stood up for his family only for himself.

Strange that after 14 years of marriage I'm really only now seeing this connection. It's like I'm living with my father but trying to protect my mother in this one woman that I married.
_________________________
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

Top
#2220607 - 02/10/12 09:45 AM Re: Well ... I'm back [Re: tpc1977]
kml Offline
Member

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 11978
Those are really really important and true insights!

Now - have you been to Al-Anon? You need some help with these issues, especially since you are dealing with an active alcoholic wife. Your history explains why you were attracted to her.

It sounds like your wife really needs to go to rehab. Is there any possible way for that to happen?

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#2220611 - 02/10/12 09:58 AM Re: Well ... I'm back [Re: kml]
tpc1977 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 197
Loc: NC, USA
I read Al-Alon books. My wife goes to NA meetings, and Aftercare meetings. She really tries to control her addictions but I think that's her problem. Control. She accepts that she's an addict but tries to push these feelings and failures down. Not many times will she really open up to her sponsor, to me, to friends, to family. She bottles up and hides. The anxieties, fears, and guilty feelings become way more than they are and begin to cloud her judgement. So, in turn, she wants to drink to feel good for a moment or talk to some other man. Eventually it'll come out and her guilt will turn to anger, resentment and blame. Then she'll start thinking that she's unworthy of being a wife or mom or friend and want to escape. Where's her escape? A drink or another man.

See, she has to be drug tested so hard drugs are off the list. Drinking is something different. Several times she's decided to stop - even picked up another White Chip to begin anew. But before long she'll get the urge and justify it by saying that if it's ok to smoke or drink coffee it should be ok to have a drink sometimes. I agree that there is a double standard in the NA community with nicotine and caffeine or even abusing OTC stuff. But I try to tell her not to look at what others are doing but look at what you feel is right - deep down inside.
_________________________
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

Top
#2220614 - 02/10/12 10:01 AM Re: Well ... I'm back [Re: tpc1977]
kml Offline
Member

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 11978
I think you would really find the support of an Al-ANon group helpful. My best friend goes and I see how helpful it is to her.

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#2220616 - 02/10/12 10:08 AM Re: Well ... I'm back [Re: kml]
kml Offline
Member

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 11978
Also - as to being Mr. Nice Guy - I think you really hit the nail on the head as to the origins of those impulses in your childhood.

I'll just say, one of the reasons "nice guys" aren't as attractive to (some) women, is because we're often hard-wired to like the alpha males. I guess because in primitive times, they could protect us. I'm a strong woman, but I really like a guy who projects the sense that he can and will take over the wheel, who'll call me on it if I'm being overbearing, a guy who won't let me run him over. It's not about chest-beating macho behavior - it's more the strong guy who stands his ground and deals with things, who I feel I can lean on in an emergency, that gets my heart going.

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#2220628 - 02/10/12 10:41 AM Re: Well ... I'm back [Re: kml]
tpc1977 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 197
Loc: NC, USA
Thank you for your insight. I'm going to look into a local Al-Alon group. The problem is time management. With everything going on in my life, I'm pretty swamped. I may see if going on Sunday afternoons could be done.

Also, I'm learning more to be a stand-up sort of guy instead of worrying about confrontations. But I'm nowhere close to where I need to be for my wife and kids yet.

I do take charge more now. I think she's noticed that. But when I slip and don't take her side in something she'll let me know that I "NEVER" support her or stand up for her. Never.

Her thoughts are so absolute. I never help. I never support. I never treat the kids the same. I never do what I should. Never. Never. Never. And if I ask, "Never?" She'll say, "Yes, Never." In her mind I'm either completely on the left of things or completely on the right. I'm bound by absolutes in her mind. That is frustration.
_________________________
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

Top
#2220916 - 02/11/12 07:31 AM Re: Well ... I'm back [Re: tpc1977]
tpc1977 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 197
Loc: NC, USA
Not sure how to act day to day. My wife is so hard to read. There is clearly tension between us since the last fight and her telling me she's not sure exactly what she wants. She says things through anger and/or guilt in hopes to cover those feelings and get my attention.

We're together and she likes to be close. She likes touching and feeling. She likes kissing and necking. But it could be that I'm close by and easily accessible. Or it could be that she does love me and wants me above all.

I've pulled back. This has caused the tension. No longer am I the gentleman who comes how and immediately goes to her and kisses her lovingly on the neck, hugs her and tells her how beautiful she is, holds her tight and tells her how glad he is to be with her. I come home and make it lukewarm. It's a cordial greeting, a smile, maybe a light hug if she comes up to me, but it's not like before. When we sit together, like last night, I sit on the end of the couch and be myself. I act happy and content. I'm nice and sweet, but I'm to the point and direct.

I fear this may be pushing her away. Fear guides our actions a lot. As a "Mr. Nice Guy" these current actions are a paradigm shift. Clearly, they are not what my inner-self is telling me to do. The strong voice is telling me that I will lose her if I continue these actions. The division will be so vast that eventually I will not see her across the chasm. She'll run to the other man and I'll be left with an ersatz smile and broken heart.

On the other hand, I'm hoping that if I pull away she'll eventually see what she's missing and what she really needs. This will draw her to me and open up.

We need counseling. She needs counseling. I need counseling. But we're pretty broke right now. I want her to see that regardless something needs to be done however. It's us (the whole family) that is important. Not just the money thing.

My questions to anyone listening; Should I continue to be slightly pulled back until she draws close to me? Should I pull back even more until she breaks and starts opening up? Should I pursue and romance her until she falls in love even more? Heck, I was even thinking about leaving until she really sees what it is she wants.

God, I miss grabbing her up in my arms and laying into her when I get home. I miss putting my face on the back of her neck and smelling her when we're in bed - her skin against mine. I miss the playfulness and smiles. I miss the comfort in knowing we had each other and could gripe about our teenage daughters, our dumb dog who we love so much, and talking about the things we enjoy so much together. Things we going so great and we were really drawing into one another's being.

Then she pulls away again. Her emotions rocked by reality and the guilt and blame. Her shame telling her how much she needs something new - a new beginning with someone else possibly. And here I am left ripped open as the part of her that was so intertwined with me gets yanked out.
_________________________
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

Top
#2221193 - 02/12/12 10:13 AM Re: Well ... I'm back [Re: tpc1977]
tpc1977 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 197
Loc: NC, USA
Perplexing day, yesterday. I went out early in the wind and cold and trained for about 3 hours. My wife got up and went to work for a few hours to catch up on things. She had a full week working two shifts practically and barely getting any sleep. Plus she still managed the children's things at school and after. I told her how proud I was of her that she did everything she needed to do and barely uttered a sigh.

When I got home around noon I did a few things around the house and laid down. My daughters asked to rent a movie and watch it with their friends. By all means.

Later that day we were going to have a family meeting and talk to the daughters about a recent incident involving them, their friends, our car, and being really spoiled and unappreciative. Right now one of our cars (from an earlier incident) has battle scars where it had a fight with high speeds on a pitted dirt road. In the current situation we're in, it's hard to buy parts for expensive German cars.

When I got to my room I flipped on some mindless sports and rested. I so need rest. For several weeks I've been battling a nasty sort of cold and have been knocked on my backside. Competition is within a week and I'm nowhere near ready physically or mentally - or even emotionally right now. Guys I had been training with that day were coming up to me and asking if I was going. Last year I almost won the first race of the season - losing by inches. This year I figure that I've lost already. I'm not prepared at all. The sickness that I've encountered, the emotional attacks from my marriage, my spiritual dimming, etc. have all drained me and my desire to "toe the line" as it's called.

On the bed all I could think about was my wife. What was she doing, really? What was she thinking about while she was working? But as a paranoid man, I could actually picture her spending her time with someone else. In a less clouded reality though I didn't really buy into it. I turned on a fan, covered my head with a pillow, and faded to sleep for a moment.

One thing I'm battling with right now is outside expectations. My friends, my teammates, and others see what I'm capable of. They know my strengths and see what I can accomplish. Ironically I'm as weak a man as they come. Growing up and constantly being told that you won't amount to anything, how weak you were, how girly you were adds so much to your weakness that no matter how many times you hear otherwise you cannot buy into it. Even when you prove to yourself how good you are, you can see it as a once-in-a-lifetime moment or luck. Over and over you can see your strengths for a time. Soon, however, it's dashed against the rocks of past voices. I have this anxiety to prove myself to everyone and, honestly, I don't want to. I don't want to compete right now. I don't think I'm ready. I don't think I'll be ready for a while. But, we'll see.

As I rested my wife did call. Her voice was sweet, "Hey, Baby." See told me that she was heading into her next store and it shouldn't be too much longer. I told her that I understood and just to let me know if something comes up. Soon, I was off to dreamland again.

Jolted by something, I awoke and noticed it was getting late. The game I was watching was almost over. Home team was winning. But my wife wasn't home yet. It seemed late. The kids were still watching their movie - the sound of the loud TV booming off the wall near me. Anxiety began to fuel me again. She doesn't want to be home. She's might be meeting someone. Whatever my paranoid addled mind could make up spun out of control. Before long though she opened the bedroom door and stepped through.

She had this beautiful red shirt on. She looked so beautiful - always has. Yeah, she's put on a few pounds. To me it all went in to the right places. Her new jeans fit just right and her hair is getting longer again. I remained on the bed and smiled. "I didn't know you were done with work yet." She usually calls when she's heading home."

"I told D12 that I was coming home. Did she not tell you?"

"Uh, no."

"Well, what do you expect?"

"I know." She walked over to her side of the bed and crawled on, shuffling her shoes off at the same time. Sliding over toward me she started snuggling. My head immediately went to her neck and took in a deep breath. I kissed her and held her for a moment taking her all in with all my senses. The comfort of her being there was overwhelming. This. This is what I want. I want us to meld together in love and never separate. A connection that could never torn apart. Life though. Right? Life has a way of disassembling everything you put together, like a toddler with a hammer and a fragile model car within striking distance. Somehow I knew this won't last. But for the moment it did.

The evening went pretty good. We needed groceries and household things so together we went out. It was nice. It was normal. But I could still feel a coldness about it. We aren't right. We just aren't at a good place.

We got home, put the things away, and straightened up. Then we made a nice meal for us and our D12. D16 was gone with friends. Eating we watched our favorite show and my wife started drifting off to sleep. She had such a hard week. Soon, we went to bed and passed out. Three of us and a dog in bed. My thoughts rolled and tossed and crashed. Sleep wasn't coming soon - or late. My body was doing the same as my mind.
_________________________
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

Top
#2221505 - 02/13/12 12:51 PM Re: Well ... I'm back [Re: tpc1977]
tpc1977 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 197
Loc: NC, USA
My wife slept a lot yesterday. She really did need it working double shifts and caring for things while I'm at work. I took care of the house and chilled out most of the day. When she did get up she decided to go to a meeting with her home group. I encouraged her to go.

Nothing really normalized until around 3pm when she got back home. By then we were talking about what dinner was going to be and what show we'd all watch.

At one point I did lose it with my youngest daughter. She as messy as they come. Every room she enters becomes a disaster and it would be easier just to cone them off and put up hazard signs, never to be used again. Constantly I was on her heels telling her to pick this up or clean that up. I looked down once and saw a spoon she had used earlier to eat peanut butter with. There it was, on her bedroom floor. Oh. And there's my flashlight she used, on her sister's floor. Oh. And there's her clothes from last night, in the floor of her closet. And her food dishes. And her cups. And her papers. Etc. Etc. Etc.

She 12 so it's not like I'm following a 3 year old around. This girl, however, makes enough messes for a full daycare facility.

Anyway, I finally lost it after the eleventy-billionth time of telling her to clean up after herself. I told her I was done hearing her "sorries" and wanted to see some action. My wife was there and when I walked into the kitchen she sort of gave me that look like, "See?" I nodded in agreement and asked if she needed any help with dinner. She had it under control so I just started washing the dishes she was done with.

Later we ate together and watch some TV together. Or oldest girl was out shopping for Valentine's Day and text that she was heading home. We were having a family meeting about some things that happened earlier in the weekend and wanted to hear their side of it too.

The meeting went pretty good. We aired our differences and talked about certain things that were bothering us with the family. The main point that came out of it all was, Respect. Respect each other, respect us, respect your friends, and respect all our belongings.

After that my wife and I went to bed and she started working on her first step in the NA book. This will be the second time she started this. She lost the first one, though really didn't get through it too far. We've decided to write up a plan for her to get to more meetings and finish her 12 steps. I told her I would help her only by encouragement and being with her as she does it. I believe she worked on it for about an hour. After that she watched some Housewife show then we clicked of the TV.

Neither one of us could sleep. Sundays have always been a problem for me to get to sleep. I guess thinking about getting the work week going again and early morning training. I mentioned that I had had a headache most of the day. She asked why. "Stress, I suppose."

"Stress? From what?"

I really think she's clueless sometimes. Does she not know that just a week or so ago she was once again telling me that she didn't know if we should stay together? That she doesn't know what she wants exactly? About her constant lying? About her highs and lows? About the bankruptcy? About the house? About the cars? About the kids? About me and how I can possibly mask the absolute pain my heart's riddled with? "Just stuff. I'll be fine. Good night." Good grief.
_________________________
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

Top
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