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Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose her

Posted By: braindeadguy

Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose her - 08/25/09 12:33 AM

Hi everyone,

I've never done anything like this but I feel that maybe someone out there can help. I've read Michelle's books but still don't know what to do.

Here's my story:

Wife dropped the bomb after an argument we had about her needing "her space." I pressed and she basically told me that she is no longer "in love" with me and made herself "hardened" about 3 years ago. She said she was planning on moving out after our son graduates HS in 2 years.

I was devastated! I broke down and told her she was my whole world! I think I briefly got through to her because she said that she wished I had told her that 3 years ago.

We've been married for 26 years and I haven't been the best husband. In fact, I've been very neglectful. My MO in the past was when things got bad I'd take her for some escape weekend and patch things up but after a few months I went back to my bad behavior. About 3 years back she was upset that I was coming home late and when I told her that I was only hanging out with some friends and there was nothing else going on (which was true...I'd NEVER cheat on her), she didn't believe me. I made the mistake of telling her it was "her problem."

Well...she basically decided at that time that she was tired of being "hurt" all the time and closed herself off emotionally from the marriage. Now, 3 years later I find out the truth and she says it way too late to change things. She said that she things I should just find someone else who could make me happy. I told her that she was the only one I ever wanted. When I asked her if we could work things out she said she needed "time to think about it." That was on August 2nd and it's been a month. Still no verbal answer but she hasnít moved out yet.

I did ask her if there was someone else and at first she said she did not want to tell me. After a week, she finally told me that there was no one else and it was just her. (I also suspect she's pre-menopausal which may cause some of her recent insomnia and mood swings.) She was never the type to have an affair and I want to believe her but thereís no real explanation to why she didnít just tell me outright.

I've been trying to be a good husband but she rejects my attempts at showing affection and was angry when I tried buying her flowers. I wrote her a letter stating that I was sorry for all I have done and I should have been more attentive and told her how I really feel. I love her more than anything and she's my whole world. I just assumed she knew this. She had even told me that for the past 10 years she assumed that "I was going to leave her." I was astounded by that. I would never do that.

So....here's where I'm at: I truly fear trying the 180 tactic in the book where I start going out and pretending that nothing is wrong because that's exactly what got me into this mess 3 years ago.

I know that chasing her and all those other things aren't working.

I don't want to lose her. She's still with me but I'm always getting mixed signals. Sometime she talks about something that gives me the feeling she's planning on staying and sometimes she's just so distant that I feel she's withdrawing again.

There may be someone else because there are times I can't reach her during the day and she gets upset when I question her. But that could also be her thing about having "her space." I just donít know for sure and Iím not sure I want to know at this point.

Every time I try to be affectionate I get the feeling she's angry at me. I can't live without her but I can't live this way either because the pain inside is just too much. I find myself not able to work and sometimes I come home (she's home later than I am) and snap at my kids (16 and 19).

Can anyone out there offer me any advice? I'm going on a trip in a few days with my son (father/son vacation) we planned early this year and my wife took time off this week to de-stress from work and do things by herself or with our daughter. That hurt at first because she almost never takes time off and she does it when I'm going away. I'm hoping she just needs some time on her own and felt it would be good without my being around to distract her.

Anyway....I'm rambling on but the pain is so much I just can't stand it. Please....if anyone has advice, let me know.

Thanks in advance!
Posted By: aliveandkicking

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose - 08/25/09 12:37 AM

Welcome. First of all, I love your name on here. It shows you have a sense of humor despite your situation...good, you need that.

Second, I know this is hellish and you came to the right place. Read other threads and get the book Divorce Remedy immediately.

I will post some advice later when I have more time but you will certainly relate to other threads so start there.

There are many who have been in your shoes who will chime in, be patient.
Posted By: givingitmyall

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose her - 08/25/09 12:50 AM

Sorry you find yourself here, but this is a great place for guidance, advice and support.

Here is a list another poster named JenJam created that I found very useful early on:

Quote:
1. Don't panic. No-one ever made a great decision when in panic. You WILL panic, it's natural, but take NO ACTION when you are in that state. You have to do whatever it takes to calm down before you can tackle ANYTHING.

2. Don't despair. No-one ever got divorced in a week. Divorce, although too easy these days still take time. you DO have time to turn things about.

3. You first step is not to rebuild your R. Of course it's your ultimate aim but it's not going to happen first. Your very first step is to put the seed of doubt in WAS's mind. They have been unhappy and they consider D to be the answer. It's your job to show them that maybe there is an alternative. And I stress show. There is little you can do to talk them out of this beyond sympathising with their unhappiness and saying that IF D will make them happy then you won't stand in their way. If they are receptive to that, you could go further and say something like "we have had many good times together. Please think about this and make sure it really will make you happy. It's a lot to throw away".

4. Once you have said this back off and let them consider it. They need time. Your next step is GAL - no begging, crying or anger AT ALL. Your task is now part 2 of sowing the seeds of doubt about D - SHOWING WAS that things can be different. Now is the time to step back, put aside your ego and all thoughts of how unfair it all is (that just leads to bitterness, which is poison to a M) and REALLY look at yourself and decide if you are worthy of being WAS's spouse. I agree a M breakdown is rarely one sided but at this juncture it's more useful to look at your contribution. Look at yourself. Under a microscope. Decide if you've changed - are you happy with yourself, for you? Make changes. Now is the time for 180's. This stage also takes a long time too.

5. Time, time, time - it really IS on your side. The situation will not resolve as quickly as you hope. Don't compare your situation in terms of time with others'. It's very tempting to say "well, their situation is similar to mine and it took them 6 months so it will take me 6 months". Each situation is unique and needs its own time frame.

6. Set your goals and decide on your first signs. This part took me a couple of months to really "get". I had to REALLY read chapter 6 of DR from "I'm discouraged" then go and review my goals before I saw any results.

7. Develop a duck's back - water slides off it. Patience + lack of panic = success.

8. Set goals for yourself as well as the R. Decide on what you want to achieve for you alone and reward your success. I know this sounds like step 4 again but it's more a case of making the changes rather than lamenting how awful you are. (I felt awful about myself for some time - bad and guilty. I did me no favours whatsoever, ended up with me feeling resentment. Much better to look forward than back - as Michelle says, look for solutions and take action)

9. Keep in mind that your actions could be frightening to WAS - you are not reacting in the way they wanted. They had this D all mapped out in their head and it's not panning out the way they thought. This has the added benefit that it leads them to think "if this isn't going the way I planned then maybe it isn't right", but it will take them a LONG TIME to come to this conclusion, to let go of their D comfort blanket. You can help them by being consistent with the positive changes. If you revert back to the you they find unacceptable then they feel perfectly justified in continuing with the D.

10. This is going to be tough on you. In the ideal world, couples in crisis would sit down together and negotiate together and accept that change was possible. In reality, you are very unlikely to resolve your problem in this way, almost certianly not in the early stages. You are not giong to have the luxury of a spouse who will listen to you and accept what you say.
You are going to be in extreme pain. You have to find something to soothe this. To have your WAS would work like a shot, but you ain't going to get this in a hurry. Do whatever it takes to comfort yourself - write a diary, see friends, go places, take the kids out if you have them, take exercise - anything. Your aim is to find something which makes you say "well, the rest of my life may be turning to sh*t but at least this part of it's OK". It acts as a time out for you and relieves the stress.


A few things. Her ups and downs will happen, and they are normal. Just expect them.

What did you do that originally attracted your W to you? What thinkgs do you need to change in YOU?

With your situation, you may need to show a little consideration to her, but you still should not pursue her.
Posted By: Faith2010

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose her - 08/25/09 01:18 AM

BDG-

I wanted to welcome you and tell you how sorry I am to hear about your sitch. I think GIMA's post is an excellent place to start. Just breathe...we are here for you.

As hard as it will be, focus on your S on your trip. You can't change what your W may or may not do while you're away so don't fret over it. The trip will give you a much needed break and some quality time with S.
Posted By: DownNotOut...yet

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose her - 08/25/09 01:48 AM

Hi sorry we had to meet. You asked for advice. My advice is get more information so you know what you are dealing with and can then better formulate a plan of action. I would bet a finger, NOT a thumb, but a finger, there is another guy.
Quote:
Wife dropped the bomb after an argument we had about her needing "her space."
Is typically code for, leave me alone so I can see someone else.
Quote:
I did ask her if there was someone else and at first she said she did not want to tell me. After a week, she finally told me that there was no one else
If there was no one else, the response would be, instantly, NO. Though, even when there is someone else, the response is also often NO. Also but the fact she did not answer no right away is incriminating.
Quote:
There may be someone else because there are times I can't reach her during the day and she gets upset when I question her.
...because there is someone else. Trust your feelings Luke. She is upset because you hit too close to home. Was she ever consistently hard to reach in the past?

Her running hot and cold is often an affair symptom too.

Like you said, you may not want to know, at this point, painful as it may be, it is probably prudent to know. One review of your online cell phone records will probably tell you what you need to know.

Be strong brother.
Posted By: aliveandkicking

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose - 08/25/09 01:51 AM

It really irks me when people say there is OP (other person) when they have NO idea. As if a woman would never just get fed up and want to reassess their life and situation...

The space thing is a flag but without knowing, it can be a real diversion from looking at the M issues.
Posted By: DownNotOut...yet

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose - 08/25/09 02:07 AM

Not saying there IS an OP, just saying the flags point to it. In my time here, the symptoms described, sadly, almost always wind up being an OP. In fact I cannot recall a time they have not (sigh).

Sorry for irking,

My advice stands, gather more information. If I am wrong FANTASTIC!
Posted By: aliveandkicking

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose - 08/25/09 02:11 AM

Ok, consider me un-irked. grin

It is just that I myself was almost a WAW and never crossed that line and I have friends who have walked away and exhibited many of the behaviors here and they did not have anyone else. They were fed up and perhaps wouldn't have minded if LBS thought there was someone else...

Sorry for the hijack.
Posted By: braindeadguy

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose - 08/25/09 03:35 PM

Thanks for all the info so far. I'll check back after my trip.

As for "someone else," I think it's possible that there's a guy she's having an inappropriate friendship with. He's married too. I think maybe some flirting and some long discussions. She could be getting some much needed ego boost from it but I can't see either of them getting together because of the circumstances.

No cell phone history. I've already checked. I also had her followed one afternoon and found out she only went to a park to "think" for an hour and a half.

I've caught a few lies about her whereabouts but right now (as AAK says) it's not my biggest issue. We can deal with that later if something happened.

Right now I just want to figure out a way to get her back. I DID hurt her very much a few years ago as stated in my post so I really believe that she's built up a wall of defense now. She's not sure if she wants the relationship to continue because she still believes I'll go back to the old ways and hurt her again. She's not going to put herself through that again.

Any of you girls out there have any thoughts on how she may feel and how I could break the "wall" down??
Posted By: aliveandkicking

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose - 08/25/09 03:39 PM

Quote:
Any of you girls out there have any thoughts on how she may feel and how I could break the "wall" down??


We've all asked that question and unfortunately, you have no control over her or her feelings right now. You're going to have to back off from trying to break the wall down and start making small changes and seeing what happens.

I know you want specifics. I can't dissect right now but I'll come back and others will chime in too.
Posted By: aliveandkicking

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose - 08/25/09 03:40 PM

Oh, are you exercising and taking good care of yourself? Make sure you are taking care of business (work, health, finances, loose ends)...
Posted By: givingitmyall

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose - 08/25/09 03:43 PM

Briefly, it's not so much breaking down the wall as coercing her to climb over it. You have to work on you to make yourself attractive to her.
Posted By: DownNotOut...yet

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose - 08/25/09 04:03 PM

It is not your biggest issue but dealing with an affair and dealing with a pure WAW seem to require two different approaches.

Excuse the metaphors but you cannot break down the walls. You just can't. All you can do is be the best you that you can be and hope she will peak over the wall. This won't happen fast. Men fix stuff. We want to fix the marriage like you fix a flat tire. Unfortunately it is just not that clear cut in the R business.

I too was a neglectful husband so I can relate a little. Going from neglectful to 100% attentive really throws them, seems pursueing and I think can be perceived as desperate and ingenuine. My wife told me all these things post-bomb. I made too much change, too fast and she didn't buy it. It took like 6 months for her to believe the changes. Then she became sort of an entitlement monster. I "owed" her for the last however many years. Lately things have become more balanced.

I am telling you all of this because I further down the path and it seems to be working (but notice I have been at this for a while). IF there is no other guy, that is great and your task is easier, You want to try to figure out what you were doing wrong and start fixing things one at a time. Just like the books say, this stuff takes time but hopefully each day will be better than the next. You can't push or prod her back into the relationship. Only draw her back in. She will notice but will probably not be affectionate until she is convinced and feeling better. You can only look for small signs that she is seeing things differently. I think the biggest mistake people make is pushing and expecting too much too soon.

You might want to read the "5 Love Languages" and "His Needs, Her Needs"
Posted By: gucci loafer

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose - 08/25/09 04:59 PM

Quote:
It really irks me when people say there is OP (other person) when they have NO idea. As if a woman would never just get fed up and want to reassess their life and situation...


Just because you get irked doesn't change the facts. The FACTS are that most (very high percentage) of women do NOT leave until they have OP. FACT.

It is ridiculous to not consider it. His wife has most ALL of the signs of a spouse in an affair. Just the things he has posted in a short time definitely gives ME an idea that it is a very distinct possibility.

Posted By: dburt

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose - 08/25/09 05:04 PM

Got that myslf Gucci, My wife did not stray, but was soooo fed up that she was going to throw away her life to start a new one. Had to convince some here that this was not the case eventhough they saw the "red flags".

I agree though I had it easier with no OM. The only problem is making them believe the changes are truly for real and for yourself and not just a manipulation.

Burt
Posted By: aliveandkicking

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose - 08/25/09 05:05 PM

Originally Posted By: gucci loafer
Quote:
It really irks me when people say there is OP (other person) when they have NO idea. As if a woman would never just get fed up and want to reassess their life and situation...


Just because you get irked doesn't change the facts. The FACTS are that most (very high percentage) of women do NOT leave until they have OP. FACT.

It is ridiculous to not consider it. His wife has most ALL of the signs of a spouse in an affair. Just the things he has posted in a short time definitely gives ME an idea that it is a very distinct possibility.



I'm not arguing with you that it is a distinct possibility. I was relaying my observations IRL as well as my own experience. That's all.
Posted By: braindeadguy

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose - 08/31/09 02:59 PM

Hi again...

It's been a long weekend but I confronted my wife and she admitted the affair. I suspected it (and the person) but I guess I did not want to believe it.

I'm going to post another thread because I'm in need of a LOT of help!

Bottom line. I'm still in love with her, I'm willing to forgive her for this betrayal and I want the marriage to work.
BUT...she says she's still "in love" with the OM.
Posted By: robx

Re: Don't know what to do.....I don't want to lose - 08/31/09 03:24 PM

Originally Posted By: aliveandkicking
It really irks me when people say there is OP (other person) when they have NO idea. As if a woman would never just get fed up and want to reassess their life and situation...

The space thing is a flag but without knowing, it can be a real diversion from looking at the M issues.


AAK I know it irks you but in the last few threads that we've commented on together, there has been the OP in each of those situations, it's common enough because it happens regularly so that is why people make the assumption.

And yes I know what they say about the word ASSUME,
makes an ASS out of U and ME.

In braindead's sitch, his wife is having an affair so it's applicable as well.

The one thing that is very common with WAS's is... resentment.
Resentment for the way their relationship ended up, how they were treated all these years, how their needs weren't met, how they "tried" to communicate but were never heard/listened to, etc. The one thing about resentment, it breeds entitlement and that's why it's common for WAS's to have affairs, they haven't been getting their needs met in their marriages so they feel entitled to having an affair.

Resentment breeds entitlement.
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