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A Message from Michele
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In total despair #2302996
11/27/12 07:55 PM
11/27/12 07:55 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 947
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swoop Offline OP
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swoop  Offline OP
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My wife of 9 years is clearly a WAW. Recently she expressed that she was leaving the relationship because the last 6years had been so awful that she couldn't go on any further. We were on vacation together 4 months ago. When she broke the news, I acted in normal fashion by begging,pleading and trying to talk her out of it. Originally she agreed to marriage counseling, but over the last few weeks we have progressed from there to separation, then her deciding only to pursue individual counseling and now her list includes seeking legal separation and rental of an apartment. Our life is becoming completely unwound! We have a 6 year old daughter that means the world to us both, but she is not enough to make my wife consider working on our issues. She just needs to run. There is no physical abuse, no drugs and no infidelity in our relationship. Our friends and family were blown away with the news. To me, I don't see why we couldn't easily fix our problems. After her telling me that she wanted to leave, I have been making things worse with my emotional responses to her actions. I will be expressing my love and begging for her forgiveness one moment, then threatening her with divorce and financial destruction the next. I haven't been able to control that, and its making the situation soooo much worse. I know I am losing her.

I went through my first phone consultation yesterday. It was very insightful. I wish I would have known to make real steps towards healing our marriage months ago. At this point, I don't even know what to do. I am en emotional blob. I can barely breath or have a single, logical train of thought.

Suckerpunch


Me:46 Her:38
My D: 11
Her S: 8


Re: In total despair [Re: swoop] #2303068
11/28/12 01:41 AM
11/28/12 01:41 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,031
Colorado
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Denver_2010 Offline
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Denver_2010  Offline
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First off, you just listed several things that you need to stop doing... the stuff that is making is so much worse. Okay? Okay.

Have you read Divorce Remedy? If not, do so ASAP. Begin by reading the chapter on the Last Resort Technique (LRT).

How old are you and your W?

What are your W's complaints about you and/or the M in general?

Begin this by taking a deep breath, and by teaching yourself to react to your W, whatever she says or does, in a cool, collected, manner. Fake it until you make it. You cannot control her, her thoughts, or her actions. Learn that right now. Back off and give her space and don't expect that this is going to turn overnight. This can take months. Patience is the virtue that you need right now. And for god's sakes, don't bring up the D word ever again. Let her leave, let her yell, let her insult you, change the history of the M, let her complain about all of the things that she hates about you and your M, let her tell you that she should never have married you, that she has always been miserable in the M... but do not react in an emotional way (anger, sad)... do not tell her that you will divorce her, or that you are agreeable to a divorce... just don't bring it up. If she does, tell her that you will cooperate, but will not help destroy your family. Put off the divorce as long as humanly possible.

Time + Patience

After you answer the question about what your W's complaints about you and the M are, me or others will talk to you about 180's.

But the first 180 that you need to think about is being attractive at all times (clothes, hair, smell, etc.). Go out and treat yourself to some new clothes and a new hairstyle.

GAL - Get a life. Part of giving your W space is keeping yourself busy. Keeping yourself busy also gets your mind off of the situation. Getting your mind off of the situation helps you have a positive mental attitude. A positive mental attitude is attractive... depressed and sad is NOT.

Sorry for the stream of conscious post... A lot to say and advise, and little time.

You cannot possibly learn and/or master this all in one day. So begin by cutting out the destructive behavior and by learning about the rest. You learn by reading the threads of others who have been through this before.

Good luck. Hang in there. I KNOW exactly how hard this is. KNow that it will be okay... regardless.

Denver


M 43
X 38
T 13
W moves out of home 11/2010
Roller coaster from hell 2/2011-5/2012
I request divorce 5/2012
W moves home 6/2012
Good time 7/2012 - 1/2015
I leave 3/2016
process of divorce
Re: In total despair [Re: swoop] #2303184
11/28/12 03:47 PM
11/28/12 03:47 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 8,033
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AnotherStander Offline
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Originally Posted By: suckerpunch
Originally she agreed to marriage counseling, but over the last few weeks we have progressed from there to separation, then her deciding only to pursue individual counseling and now her list includes seeking legal separation and rental of an apartment.


Unfortunately MC rarely has any impact on a WAS. They are mainly there so they can check it off their list of "things they tried to save the M" (even though they really don't want to save it) and also so they can have someone else validate their actions. Inevitably after the WAS sits like a bump on a log through several sessions the MC will mention "maybe separation is the best thing for you" and suddenly the WAS will light up and embrace the MC's "idea" with open arms.

Quote:
There is no physical abuse, no drugs and no infidelity in our relationship. Our friends and family were blown away with the news. To me, I don't see why we couldn't easily fix our problems.


You are where most of us were at the beginning. "There's nothing wrong with me, I'm a great H who does everything right, there's some kind of affliction with my W and she needs to get it fixed." Stop those thoughts right now. Do some serious soul-searching. There are reasons your W is a WAW, you need to figure out what those reasons are and do 180's on those things. DB'ing is all about changing the one and only thing you have control over- YOU. Make yourself into a spouse only a fool would leave. And have patience, you've got to show your W consistent changes over a long period of time (months) before she'll start to believe you really have changed.

Quote:
I will be expressing my love and begging for her forgiveness one moment, then threatening her with divorce and financial destruction the next.


Stop both ASAP. Read Sandi's 180 tips (sticky at the top of the forum) and LIVE those tips.


Me: 59 w/ S17, D23, D26
Current R: 4 years
Previous M: 21 years; BD: 06-14-12; S: 09-10-12; D final: 03-17-14; XW:56
Re: In total despair [Re: AnotherStander] #2303271
11/28/12 07:57 PM
11/28/12 07:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 613
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Spartan Offline
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Suckerpunch - Sorry you're here and we all understand the emotions you're going through now. Denver and AS know their stuff so read and understand what they said. Best thing now is patience and read DR tonight. Make 3 pots of coffee if you have to and do it.

Your wife needs space and nothing you say will make her change her mind, it actually works opposite and everything you say or write just makes things worse. Trust me on this one. Like a lot of our S's it sounds like she is rewriting history so don't believe anything she says and like Denver said just remain calm. This was hard for me initially and I actually fell into trap by first trying to defend our past and then I actually starting believing everything was terrible. Try to stay positive and keep hope alive. Also read posts on these forums as much as you can and if you need to vent do it here, not towards you W.

Originally Posted By: AnotherStander

You are where most of us were at the beginning. "There's nothing wrong with me, I'm a great H who does everything right, there's some kind of affliction with my W and she needs to get it fixed." Stop those thoughts right now. Do some serious soul-searching. There are reasons your W is a WAW, you need to figure out what those reasons are and do 180's on those things. DB'ing is all about changing the one and only thing you have control over- YOU. Make yourself into a spouse only a fool would leave. And have patience, you've got to show your W consistent changes over a long period of time (months) before she'll start to believe you really have changed.

No truer words have been spoken. You have issues, we all do or we wouldn't be here. Your W is done dealing with your issues. You need to change yourself if you want any chance at reconciling. You also have to accept you won't change your wife so no use in trying, she might change only after you prove you've changed. One of the hardest days of my life was when I realized who I had turned into and I was surprised it took her that long to leave. Get away from distractions and think about things your W has said during arguments about what you do wrong or how you've upset her. Start their with your 180's.

Be patient, give her space, and work on yourself now.


Personality is who the world sees, character is who you are

Turn your trials into your testimonies

Don't believe everything you think

Expectations are resentments waiting to happen
Re: In total despair [Re: Spartan] #2303660
11/30/12 12:46 AM
11/30/12 12:46 AM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 947
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swoop Offline OP
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swoop  Offline OP
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Posts: 947
Well, here I go. I am 42 years old, my wife is 34.

Her biggest complaint in our marriage is my arguing. I am hypercritical by nature and usually feel that I have to argue and win every conversation. I know this is a problem I have, and I am trying to work on it. My wife also complains that I do no validate her, say she's pretty often enough or lift up her spirits, which is true to a point. On top of that, my wife does not want to change her ways of partying and socializing. I guess in reality there is nothing wrong with that. She has been extremely loyal to me throughout our relationship and she is a fantastic mother. I just worry that she can be put into "single type" situation that would not be good for her. I also feel that she party's a little too often. Perhaps, most of the problem is just my own insecurity. I think most people would consider us the sarcastic bickering couple. We nit pick each other constantly. Really, I guess our biggest problem is just engaging each other and communicating our needs and feelings. We tend to walk on each others feelings instead of lifting them up.

So, here is a scenario. Lets say my wife would like to go to a concert with her girlfriends (some married some not), I would typically give her a negative attitude going into that and ramp up my attitude as the day approached. I feel she goes off too often for a wife and a mother. Before she would leave, we would be practically ignoring each other and we would maybe give a half effort waive as she walked out the door. Upon her return, I would give her the silent treatment, and she should would respond with the same. We eventually get over that, and the next issue is on the table for us to bicker over, but we never get to that happy point where we should be.

On my end, sex is literally off the table. The last time was 6 months ago. The decrease in our sex life started shortly after my daughter turned 1. My wife always seemed not into it. My daughter started sleeping in our bed about that time. The sex life diminished more and more over time until my wife and my daughter were sleeping in another room.....that's pretty much my life for the last 5 years.

My wife never belittles me or yells. She has simply stated that she thinks we have lost our connection and we are now incompatible. What she hopes for during this separation is to find herself. She has told me that she doesn't know if we will be together at the end, or if we will never be together again. She just claims not to know. She also says she doesn't love me right now, but will always care deeply for me.....From reading on these forums, that part sounds like bullsh1t.

I just don't know how to handle it. I am not sure she would repsond well to the 180. My wife is not like most women, (Boy I bet that's never been said here, right?). She is extremely sensitive. She is very down to earth and frugal, even though we have a fairly successful business and money to do most of the things we wish. She has a very kind heart, but she holds anything negative to heart for a very long time. She still brings up an email I wrote her during a fight in 2007.


Me:46 Her:38
My D: 11
Her S: 8


Re: In total despair [Re: swoop] #2303662
11/30/12 12:58 AM
11/30/12 12:58 AM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 947
S
swoop Offline OP
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swoop  Offline OP
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I forgot to say Thank you for the words of encouragement. I feel fairly alone in this whole process.


Me:46 Her:38
My D: 11
Her S: 8


Re: In total despair [Re: swoop] #2303676
11/30/12 01:54 AM
11/30/12 01:54 AM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 227
NW USA
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LIO Offline
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LIO  Offline
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Posts: 227
NW USA
I would +1 to everyone's posts above.

You argue (have to be right) and are nitpicky. Sarcastic.
None of these are attractive, correct?
My H and I did that. Not a good marriage that makes!

What is the opposite then?

My S slept with us for a very long time. He is 5 and I am actively encouraging him to sleep alone in his bed every night.... still. Is there a bedtime routine you and wife can do together that puts down D in her own bed?


Me& h + S
M: 13 t: 14

H moved 2/12. Own apt 05/12, EAs, PAs, gfriends, oh my!
I'm done. 12/12

"I get knocked down, but I get up again.. you're never gonna keep me down" Chumbawumba
Re: In total despair [Re: LIO] #2303678
11/30/12 02:22 AM
11/30/12 02:22 AM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 47
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KLB Offline
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KLB  Offline
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Posts: 47
Your situation is frightening like my own - right down the 8 years between our spouses.

I have suffered from being critical of everything in my life - my wife, brother, clients, kids - Everything!

A friend told me that when I criticize my wife (or anyone) I are making her wrong. And why would I want to be married to someone who is always wrong?

He told me, "Stop being critical and start being curious."
Listen and absorb, try to understand what is actually happening.

I know as the boss in my business, I feel scared if I don't know the right answer. That makes me defensive. So it is much easier to be critical and cutting than open and accepting. Sadly, this behaviour didn't stay at work and I acted this way to my wife.

Just realizing what I was doing and approaching the world with a curious eye has made a tremendous difference in my life. Hasn't brought my wife and I back together, yet. But it has only been 3 months.

Good luck. I'm rooting for you!


Me:48
W:40
D:5 & 2
T: 15
M:12
Sep:9/10/12
Re: In total despair [Re: KLB] #2303688
11/30/12 03:28 AM
11/30/12 03:28 AM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 947
S
swoop Offline OP
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swoop  Offline OP
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Posts: 947
LIO,
you're absolutely right! I need to keep that in mind and be more consistent with "agreeing" and being "understanding". I realize now that it is far more important to be happy than it is to be right.
In regards to our child, unfortunately we no longer live under the same roof so bedtime routines are not an option.

KLB, you and I should sit down and have a talk. It sounds like we have a lot in common. I just need to catch up and be more curious.

I am rooting for everyone too!!!! Which begs the question; How often does all of this lead to long term reconciling? Are most of us just fighting a losing battle?


Me:46 Her:38
My D: 11
Her S: 8


Re: In total despair [Re: swoop] #2303734
11/30/12 01:31 PM
11/30/12 01:31 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 613
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Spartan Offline
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Spartan  Offline
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Posts: 613
Man we sound very alike (both our old behaviors and our sitch).

Originally Posted By: suckerpunch
I am hypercritical by nature and usually feel that I have to argue and win every conversation. I know this is a problem I have, and I am trying to work on it.

Sounds identical to me and it's good you recognize it and want to change. As I found out and now you, "winning every conversation" causes you to lose the war and you end up here. One of my biggest 180's that seems to be having positive impact on R is I just listen and try to understand what she's saying. I honestly still only understand her side maybe 50% of the time (women are crazy smile ) but I don't let on and I try to be as sympathetic as possible. She still isn't trusting the change yet but she is talking more which is a baby step. Remember choose to be happy over being right, only one has staying power.

Originally Posted By: suckerpunch
My wife also complains that I do no validate her, say she's pretty often enough or lift up her spirits, which is true to a point.

There is no 'to a point', if she said it it's 100% true in her mind. Don't go over the top but try to start saying nice things about her when opportunity presents. Figure out ways to build her up.

Originally Posted By: suckerpunch
Perhaps, most of the problem is just my own insecurity.

Same as my sitch again. Insecurity/ lack of trust is a marriage destroyer. Trust is a choice and you just have to do it. Sorry I don't have better advice then that, still working on that one.

Originally Posted By: suckerpunch
We nit pick each other constantly. Really, I guess our biggest problem is just engaging each other and communicating our needs and feelings. We tend to walk on each others feelings instead of lifting them up.

We did same thing and last several weeks I've just stopped it. If you feel like you might be headed that way during talk shift gears or leave room.

Originally Posted By: suckerpunch

So, here is a scenario. Lets say my wife would like to go to a concert with her girlfriends (some married some not), I would typically give her a negative attitude going into that and ramp up my attitude as the day approached. I feel she goes off too often for a wife and a mother. Before she would leave, we would be practically ignoring each other and we would maybe give a half effort waive as she walked out the door. Upon her return, I would give her the silent treatment, and she should would respond with the same. We eventually get over that, and the next issue is on the table for us to bicker over, but we never get to that happy point where we should be.

Have you been spying on me? I can 100% relate to this scenario because we used to live it to some degree or other for years (both ways). This is another easy 180 to try. Don't ask questions and act 'as if' you don't care she's going out or what she's doing. It may still bother you but don't let her know, that's your own issue and doesn't need to come out because it doesn't do any good. In my sitch all I say is 'have fun' and if I'm up when she gets home all I say is 'did you have a good time'. Nothing more. It's crazy but over last month it really has stopped bothering me and she's even coming home earlier and texting me while out.

Originally Posted By: suckerpunch
She has simply stated that she thinks we have lost our connection and we are now incompatible. What she hopes for during this separation is to find herself. She has told me that she doesn't know if we will be together at the end, or if we will never be together again. She just claims not to know. She also says she doesn't love me right now, but will always care deeply for me.....From reading on these forums, that part sounds like bullsh1t.

I just don't know how to handle it. I am not sure she would repsond well to the 180. My wife is not like most women, (Boy I bet that's never been said here, right?). She is extremely sensitive. She is very down to earth and frugal, even though we have a fairly successful business and money to do most of the things we wish. She has a very kind heart, but she holds anything negative to heart for a very long time. She still brings up an email I wrote her during a fight in 2007.

You need to give her space and let her figure out what she wants. Work on you and your 180's. Remember they are for you, not her. Arguing, hurting feelings, being insecure are things you need to improve on for yourself and future R's, with or without you W. Your W is more similar to others here then you think. She may or may not respond but you know what you've been doing in the past isn't working and she's given you that feedback. Time to try something new. You will be a better person if you make those changes.


Personality is who the world sees, character is who you are

Turn your trials into your testimonies

Don't believe everything you think

Expectations are resentments waiting to happen
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