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GH31 Offline OP
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Hi guys,

For those of you who don't know me I will give you a brief recap. Wife of three years left on 28.01.2008 because I had a very short temper and if I'm honest was occasionally verbally abusive. Also a few selfishness issues there due to being somewhat abandoned as a kid which made my wife sometimes feel like she wasn't number 1 in my life. I had been an absolute jerk and she was right to leave.

Since this day I have been working extremely hard to conquer my anger and replace it with love and compassion, and to get rid of this selfish island mentality. I have also been DBing my butt off. The difference between now and then is great. I am only 31 and plan on being alive at least another 60 years, and I want them to be awesome years. I most definitely don't want to hurt someone else that I love in the future. I want the person I love in the future to be the lovely, wonderful girl that I married 3 years ago.

Since the separation she has become involved with OM whom she likes but doesn't "love" (at least not yet). We live in different countries and she has said she still loves me but is anxious about giving us another chance.

Anyway, my wife decided to come to Germany from England 2 days ago so that we could have an indepth chat. I was very pleasant, cordial and did not ask any questions about her new life or OM. Since DBing I have got rid of my hot-headedness and become very composed, measured and unflappable. These changes I will keep permanent no matter what.

I helped her with some tax matters then we went out for coffee. After coffee she brought up OR and I could tell that she was emotional so I kissed her, and she kissed back. Then we played some games of pool and after I beat her I playfully went to shake her hand and she just grabbed me and kissed me very passionately. She told me she "doesn't want to be without me", that it's "inevitable that we'll get back together", that it's "destiny" and that I am very much "one of the family". She expressed alarm at the thought of me having babies with another woman, hates the fact that I'm behaving like a man who is "moving on" rather than "trying to win her back". She is aware that I have been going on dates.

This all sounds good but here is the problem that I have. She went back to England and is still involved with the OM. In fact, she is going to France with him and one of his colleagues for a trip in the next few weeks. She said she "can't reconcile in the next few weeks" because of this trip. She is also very reluctant to end it with him and "let him down" because he has done "everything right" and been "really good to her". Essentially, the problem is that her words are entirely inconsistent with her actions and I have a big problem taking her words seriously. I just cannot. We should believe none of what we hear and 50% of what we see right??

She also sent me this email yesterday:

Hi,
When I came to visit you yesterday, it was for two reasons. 1) To do my tax return and 2) to tell you I don't feel upset with you anymore. I wanted to spend the day with you to see how we interact with one another. I wanted you to do and say all the things that would tempt me to come home. I wanted you to make me feel loved and wanted.

We had a nice day.

When I was at the airport, I was disappointed that you didn't say anything wonderful to me before we parted company.

When I was on the plane I started crying because you spent the night with another girl when I advised you against it. You are not acting like a man trying to win his wife back, but easily moving on. If the situation was reverse I would NEVER want to be with anyone else, I would be trying to win you back.

This has been a test and you failed. I would never expect you to start fooling around with other girls, I want you to sort things out with me.

I want you to cancel your date with the other girl on Saturday and not to date anyone else. I am so upset.

I want to have a new start and I'm waiting to see what happens with you job applications.

I have never wanted us to break up permanently. I just want you to change and now you are messing everything up.

I've cried lots this morning, I feel so sad. I don't want you to be with anyone other than me.

Lately I've been thinking about all our good times together. How I always use to watch you go off and eagerly waiting your return. I use to enjoy watching you through the window walking down the street.

I don't want to abandon our plans, our future. We have always made a great team.


This email sounds wonderful, but her actions are entirely inconsistent with its content. I want to believe her but I am really angry as I write this: it seems so hypocritical that what is perfectly OK for her is not OK for me in her mind. I don't want to be with anyone else but her, but life has to go on - as heartbreaking as it is. I don't like the fact that she went off with another guy but I understand that it was my behaviour which led to this outcome. She has admitted that she shouldn't have jumped into another relationship so quickly, but it's done now. I think she's panicking because the situation that she thought she had under control has taken on a life of it's own.

I haven't responded to this email of hers because I feel so mad and do not want to say anything I later regret. Anything I email to her I want it to take me closer to the goal, and not further from it. I want to genuinely communicate with her from a position of love, compassion and caring but cannot find it in me this morning.

I would be extremely grateful for any experienced DBers to offer some pointers as to how best respond. I love my wife dearly but am not prepared to share her with anyone else if she wants to "work things out". I signed a marriage certificate which said "to the exclusion of all others" and I meant it.


Me: 44
W: 44
T: 21
M: 19
DS11
DD10
DS3

W left: 01/28/08
Discovered OM: 02/26/08
W back for 9 days: 04/08
W returned 05/21/08
EA/PA - 01/08-07/09
W's MLC 2008-2014 (realised this much later)
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 334
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What???? This is wrong on so many different levels. Let me first say that being abandoned as a child will deeply effect how you interreact with others and life in general. You need to learn to love yourself. You don't need anyone to make you feel loved in life. It may take you another decade to figure this out, but I hope not.
My first reaction is, who the hell does this woman, your wife, thinks she is telling you and being with another man traveling the country, but at the same time telling you that she doesn't want you to have a baby with another woman. However on the other hand you are doing the same damn thing. If you really want your wife back, which obviously you do, you would stop dating other women all together. Crazy! Hopefully she will come to her senses.

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On the other hand, if you are still DBing, and wanting to save your marriage, why are you dating? If your real desire is to save your marriage, involving another person isn't fair to any of you.

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GH31,

She has a point. You did fail the test, big time. You aren't acting like someone that wants her back. In point of fact, you are being a hypocrite when you say her actions don't fit the words. You expect her to dump OM, but are dating other women.

She wants you to fight for her. So, how about saying you understand how she feels, you do want her, but that you also think that it works both ways, if she wants to be with you, then dump the other guy.


In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
Abraham Lincoln

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
Theodore Roosevelt

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GH31 Offline OP
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Brandon, Dry Heat and Just_Me,

Thanks for writing guys. I hope it doesn't take another decade to get over the abandonment (being sent to boarding school between ages 11 and 18) but if it does then so it must be. I will do whatever it takes to get over it ASAP. For a while this island mentality - that noone else cares as much about your interests as you was a source of pride for me. Nowadays it is not. A loving, generous and compassionate attitude is much more appropriate. Since DBing and making changes to my self image, I have found people being much more generous to me. When I took my shoes in for repair a few weeks ago, the guy did not charge me for the job which would have taken at least 20 minutes work plus materials. I was astonished.

This previous single-minded mentality allowed me to operate successfully in the business world and also brought me academic success. Whilst it's a great coping strategy to have at boarding school, it's an absolutely destructive and inappropriate position to take if you want a beautiful marriage, which I do. I have learned that no other worldy accomplishments matter if you don't have loving family relationships in your life. The other rewards are hollow at best.

Just_Me, I understand what you are saying. I guess my attitude is a vestige of that "Look Out for Number 1" mentality. She decided to end the relationship and took off shortly thereafter with another guy to another country. No matter what she says with her lips, her actions (which are a 180 of her words) speak volumes. I therefore have to assume that the relationship is over and try to rebuild my life from the rubble (something I really don't want to do).

When she visited me we had a great time and I told her I didn't want to be with anyone but her. I didn't get married simply to end up a statistic a few years later - I meant what I said to her when I took the vows. She has to live with the decisions that she made. Everything I told her when she asked I answered with the utmost equanimity and respect. I only told her because she was very eager to know, and she really pressed me. I have asked nothing of her sitch with the OM as per DBing doctrine.

Trust me, hearing these things from her is definitely an improvement on a few weeks ago, but I cannot in good conscience believe what she's saying when she's carrying on with this other fellow. It's her decision and there's nothing I can do about her, I can only lovingly detach and get to work on myself.

As it happens I have cancelled that date for Saturday ;\)

I apologize for the length of this reply. I haven't written anything like this to her because it's far too edgy - this is cathartic for me if nothing else. Everything I have written to her is validating, compassionate and non-judgemental; a complete 180 from my usual verbal venom.

I sincerely thank you chaps for your input.


Me: 44
W: 44
T: 21
M: 19
DS11
DD10
DS3

W left: 01/28/08
Discovered OM: 02/26/08
W back for 9 days: 04/08
W returned 05/21/08
EA/PA - 01/08-07/09
W's MLC 2008-2014 (realised this much later)
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,958
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Good job on the not going on the date. Just give it a little time. Be the bigger person in all this. While you might be encouraged by this site not "to pursue", it's really only pursuing if your spouse sees it that way. You should first do what works. If going to see her works, then do that. I don't think not responding at all to her e-mail shows what she's indicated she wants you to show....that you care that you aren't together anymore.


In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
Abraham Lincoln

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
Theodore Roosevelt

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GH31 Offline OP
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Hi Just_Me,

Again, I very much appreciate your input on this. I did reply to her after I had composed myself and re-validated her decision to leave. I explained that she had no other choice, and given the way I was behaving, I couldn't have expected any other outcome.

I also agreed with her that we made a great team and shared some of what I thought were our tenderest moments during our time together. I know that she has a new UK mobile number (you guys call them cellphones) but I haven't asked her for it. I also explained that I couldn't find the written words for her but acknowledged her wish that I respond promptly to her email. I have instead suggested that she calls so that we can talk.

I have given her the login details to my Skype account and she has written back saying she will either call me today or on Monday. I have suggested today as I'm in Munich all day Monday and will be on my mobile - and there's poor reception and noise, notwithstanding that it's costlier.

I just don't know what to do with this little girl Just_Me. I went to London Heathrow airport to surprise her when she came back from Australia so that I could "win her back" and discovered that the OM was there to pick her up. He bolted when he saw me (I didn't see him) but in the end my wife ended up going off with him saying she "didn't want to let him down". Then on Tuesday she flew back to the UK and will be going on a trip with this guy and one of his colleagues to France shortly. Do you understand my thoughts when I say "actions speak louder than words"? Given that our only contact is via email and occasional flying visits, she's 1000km away and with another man, what choice do I have other than to lovingly detach and "move on" - whilst remaining a sincere friend to her? This should be a very clean break-up because we are far away from our families in Australia, far away from each other and we have no children. Yet, it seems we are really struggling to let go of each other.

In the meantime I have been making a list of what works and what doesn't, and been noting what I want to see more of. She is using the pet-names I had for her to sign off her emails, and some of the silly language that was reserved just for us. This is all a good sign, and I am patient - but I guess all of this wildly conflicting and confused behaviour is typical of a WAW.

This has turned out to be a long one again. Hope you're keeping well.

GH31


Me: 44
W: 44
T: 21
M: 19
DS11
DD10
DS3

W left: 01/28/08
Discovered OM: 02/26/08
W back for 9 days: 04/08
W returned 05/21/08
EA/PA - 01/08-07/09
W's MLC 2008-2014 (realised this much later)
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 682
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GH31 Offline OP
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An interesting development today...

My WAW called me from England to my office in Germany and we ended up talking for 43 minutes. I received an email from her earlier this week after she visited me (see earlier in this thread) but I told her I couldn't reply with written words and that we needed to talk if she wanted a reply. I gave her access to my Skype account so she could do it.

Shortly before the call she also emailed me 2 of our wedding pictures from three years ago. How very, very odd.

Strange...in every interaction we have had since the breakup she has spoken of us getting back together "in the future". This one was no exception. She explained that after she's back from holiday with OM after Easter, that she wants to come and see me again in Berlin. She says she needs to "get back to reality" and "work on the future" and that she "sees us together in the future". She also said she wants us to have children together.

All wonderful words, and if I was really naive then I would believe her, but she still wants to go on this holiday. She really hates the idea of me dating other people so, when we were talking I told her in as composed and relaxed a manner as possible, that everything had changed when I discovered the OM. My wife had left, moved to another country and taken up with another man. Not only had she told me it was over, she had taken very decisive action to back her words up. I told her, and added "and I mean this with the greatest of respect.." that I found her position completely disgraceful and hypocritical and that her family would also. She agreed, saying "I know.." I told her I didn't want to be with anyone else, but that if my wife had taken off over the sea to be with someone else that "I had nothing to lose" because I had "already lost everything", so I didn't feel bad about dating other women - even though I would prefer to be dating her and married to her. I don't want to move on but I don't want to spend the next 60 years feeling sorry for myself either.

I then added that I am not prepared to share my wife with anyone else. That's just my view and other people are free to think what they wish, but that I could not and would not attempt a reconciliation while OM is in the picture and while we're 1000km apart.

This may sound harsh the way it's written here, but the reason I wanted to voice it, rather than write it to her is that the tone of voice in which I said it was very composed and mild. Usually I would have yelled, preached, lectured, pointed the finger etc but this time I said it with grace and equanimity - in other words a complete 180. She is still very keen on us staying in touch and keeping the dialogue open, probably because of this 180 over the last two months.

It's funny. As I was walking home last night from work I was so furious from her hypocrisy that I finally seem to be getting this feeling that "I'll be fine whatever happens". I hope it's not an ephemeral feeling but I imagine there'll be many more hard days and moments ahead. I know it was my bad behaviour and attitude which occasioned the breakup and I reiterated this to her during the phone call - telling her she was right to leave, but I cannot be responsible for the decisions my wife made subsequent to her leaving me.

This should be a clean breakup - no kids, different countries, no family nearby but instead it's as messy as hell. I don't want to let her go, and she doesn't want to let me go completely either. She has said "she doesn't believe in divorce..". Sounds like she really has been abducted by aliens, I know.

I'm not sure if I need any advice here. Is it normal to be feeling this indifferent about reconciliation when this stuff happens? My concern is that the the indifference/anger will soon subside and be replaced by that despair and longing again. I am very open to any advice/comment if you experienced DBers want to throw in your 2 cents.

best,

GH31


Me: 44
W: 44
T: 21
M: 19
DS11
DD10
DS3

W left: 01/28/08
Discovered OM: 02/26/08
W back for 9 days: 04/08
W returned 05/21/08
EA/PA - 01/08-07/09
W's MLC 2008-2014 (realised this much later)
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,958
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Quote:
then added that I am not prepared to share my wife with anyone else. That's just my view and other people are free to think what they wish, but that I could not and would not attempt a reconciliation while OM is in the picture and while we're 1000km apart.



I agree with this completely, but maybe I'm in the minority. I think your wife is pursuing you, kinda, because you aren't a sure thing. I think it's okay to not accept what your wife is doing. It is great to draw a line in the sand. You did it in a composed friendly manner. She's more worried about OM's feelings than yours. That has to change or there isn't any reason to get back together.


In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
Abraham Lincoln

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
Theodore Roosevelt

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GH31 Offline OP
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Hello again Just_Me,

Really appreciate you looking out for me on this board. You're right, I am not a sure thing any more.

These are the facts: wife is gone, has moved to another country, is involved with OM, no kids, we are very far from each of our families, I do not have a phone number for her, the only means of communication we have is email, or she can call me at work like today.

For this reason (and I am sure that Michele would agree), the only technique available to me is the LRT. I really do see no other means of salvaging this marriage, something I am very committed to doing. We really have no reason to see each other - we have no house that we own, no kids, no joint finances...nothing other than our history and whatever chemistry is left. I also have great relationships with her siblings and father but that won't help me save the marriage. She herself has to want to.

The only way I have been able to keep the communication channels open is by doing the first 2 stages of DBing - containing and reducing the negative emotions of WAW, and working on strengthening the friendship. WAW agrees that she no longer feels angry or resentful and thinks of me as her "bestest friend". We may ven have crossed into the "dating" level number 3 (albeit briefly) as there was a lot of passionate kissing, cuddling during her visit and we even skipped along the street together near my home. She's saying very positive things about getting together again but is far from committed.

She said she doesn't belong in England where she is and that she "doesn't see herself" spending her life with this OM, but as a default reaction I believe none of it. She wants me to give her money as well as she is living off her credit card, but I won't do that if she's with OM and we have no kids. I didn't make the decision to end OR.

We are to believe none of what we hear when are WASs are in the throes of their torment, yes?? There are always 2 stories: the real one and the one that sounds good. You may be able to tell that I have always had tremendous difficulty trusting other human beings!

thanks

GH31


Me: 44
W: 44
T: 21
M: 19
DS11
DD10
DS3

W left: 01/28/08
Discovered OM: 02/26/08
W back for 9 days: 04/08
W returned 05/21/08
EA/PA - 01/08-07/09
W's MLC 2008-2014 (realised this much later)
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