Jim, I know EXACTLY how you feel. Even though the OM has since been out of the picture for me. The fact that my W has said she wants to "see others" makes me sick. When these thoughts enter my head, I sulk in my depression, feeling sorry for myself.
I am constantly worried about what she is doing, where she is at an such. It's not healthy, but it's a struggle we all have to deal with. Until we can ignore the fact that we love our S's to no end, it's near impossible.
I use most of my time doing things arounf the house and with the kids. When she is home all I want to do is be around her, so I try to find something to do outside the house; gym, run, visit family, just walk aroudn a store or something.
ME: 29 / W: 29 M: 10 (11 in March 2015) BD (ILYBNILWY): 07/26/14 S:12 / S: 7 "We need to separate" : 08/31/14 Wants to see others: 10/11/14 Separation looming
I took the liberty of pasting Theoden's post to Jefe here because it might help you out. (Sorry, Theoden!) Theoden has been on this board since '07, so he's seen a lot.
"Sorry you are going through this hell. It totally [censored]. My prayers are with you.
I did all the things you are doing here: filling my wife's love bucket, being super nice, trying to change myself.
It didn't work. Not while she was having an affair. My pursuing behavior turned her off.
This is pursuing behavior. It goes against Divorce-Busting 101 and basic male/female dynamics. You are pursuing her WHILE she's having an affair. Consider that you are enabling your wife to cake-eat (benefit from having a loving, supporting husband AND another lover). You are acting like her plan B. Why should she choose? She isn't afraid of losing your love or having her little apple cart upset by you. You're the nice guy giving her what she wants. It's also true what women aren't attracted to men they don't respect.
Think about it.
PS: Apologies to Theoden for stealing your thunder but I didn't know if you'd have time to post to these guys yourself!
Me 54 Him 63 M 23 T 29 0 Kids Funny Farm of Rescues 12/12 OW-- 5/13 ILYBINILWY: A denied 9/13 Proof OW: ENDED 2/14 Got D papers on my BD I kicked him out for my sanity 9/14 He wants to "talk"?
It makes sense and I'm getting there sort of. My W has made her choice in that she doesn't want me and hasn't for some time. She wants as far away from me as possible so I'm not even plan Z.
All she wants from me is childcare, which she will get that because I love my kids, and a fair settlement on the house, which she will also get. So she gets everything she wants and I get treated like cr@p but then I have been for 3 years so I guess its nothing new.
I'm trying to follow the advice about boundaries and improving myself but to be honest I'm pretty powerless in relation to my W - short of turfing her out of the house or accelerating the D, I don't know what else to do that isn't going to inflict further pain on the kids or worsen my long term position.
Both mid 30s, 2 young kids BD 7sep14 XW moved on long ago, now living with OM1 D paperwork in progress
You and I have at least two precious things: time and shock. I intend to use this time and the eye-opening shock to work on myself as much as possible and to learn true change that will last a lifetime. Don't forget all the power you have to become a different, better person.
Regarding our chances of reconciliation, I have this image of a baseball or football thrown in the distance. At first, it goes higher and higher. It can't be caught, it might even look like it will go always higher into the sky. But it will come back down. To catch it, we need to run not towards it but in the opposite direction so that we're at the right place when it comes back down.
M39 D6 D3 (at S) S 2014-09 D 2016-09
"You can't start a fire sitting around, crying over a broken heart" - Bruce Springsteen.
So another day and my situation still occupies 95% of my thinking (an improvement actually) so another update to help me order my thoughts.
I had dinner with a couple of friends last night and they are both of the view that I am better of without her (donít worry we mostly talked about stuff not to do with my situation). Outside of this forum I donít think Iíve come across anyone who has suggested its worth trying to save the marriage and my entire support network is so ready to minimise my mistakes. It would be really easy to get entrenched
But having said that they also pointed out a couple of things that I had noticed but not really registered
- There are several specific examples she has given of ways I let her down but in many cases i agreed my actions at the time with her (ĎAre you feeling up to looking after the kids? is it alright if I still go out or would you prefer me to stay?í). I then followed what we agreed and it was never mentioned again until after BD. Not saying I was right because looking back it put her in a horrible position to have asked rather than just stay. What my mates pointed out was how would I have learnt differently if she said it was ok and then never mentioned it again.
- The very defensive reaction my W had to a number of things (pre-BD) seems odd. For example we had a letter about a problem with our joint account which she controls, when its should always be fine. The whole conversation went as follows: M: Why are we getting letters telling us we have exceeded our £2 grand overdraft limit on the joint account? M: Is there something I should know about? W: Will call bank later. I donít lie to you, the money is as described and I can show you later M: Iím not saying you are. I was concerned by the letter and needed to ask
Iíve since found out that she has in the last 12 months racked up over £8k of Credit card debt. My mate suggested that it sounds like she was having financial problems which she was too embarrassed to talk about and so when I asked questions the defences kicked in. The logic makes sense Ė no idea if itís true and certainly there is no way to find out.
- For my career I am employed to think through what the worst possible scenarios are and then come up with solutions to fix them. it therefore shouldnít be surprising to anyone that when Iím presented with a problem my first instinct is to find a solution. (big learning point for me on the emotional front)
- Looking back at my TM log I can see whole weeks (pre-BD) where Iíve texted her normal friendly everyday stuff (and not an excessive amount Ė maybe 10 in a week) and not had a single response which really hurt especially as she always spends hours a day on her phone. That certainly isnít going to have helped my fear of rejection
- I made way too many comments about how I wasnít good enough for her or that she wanted someone different from me e.g taller, dark hair, more muscular etc. (way too many!!!!!). She was really sensitive to this and was constantly assuming that I was suggesting she was cheating on me even when this isnít what i was saying. Actually thinking about it I realise I still hadnít/havenít let the ex thing go Ė I felt inadequate when I compared myself to them and I was still fixated on why she was much more interested in them than she seemed in me. Or more the point why I mattered so little she would knowingly hurt me in order to have a night out with her ex. I suspect that any conversation in this territory took us straight back to that whole period and that neither of us ever properly moved past it. We needed MC then but my W refused as she was scared what I would say.
So I feel like Iím being blamed for everything and that she views this as an escape. I donít know if I bullied her or not but certainly she seems convinced I did and I can see that viewpoint (and I know from my earlier threads 25yearsMLC would say I definitely did) Ė hence the personal changes I want to make. I know my W also says I wasnít there for her but I genuinely feel its more that I wasnít there in the way she wanted me to be and I was left guessing the whole time (still am) Ė again changes that I want to make for the future (the tattoo will help). I also know she has convinced herself that her happiness lies away from me and in a new relationship (preferably with OM from work) and there is a good chance that it does as it would be difficult for her to be less happy.
Not quite sure how such an entrenched set of views turns around. And equally I have a fear that given all she has said and done I will never be able to trust her fully again. I certainly feel like she would need to know that I can and that Iím prepared to forgive her but no idea how to let her know this as itís another barrier that will stop her even contemplating coming back to our M. My W has a really strong guilt reaction that makes her do some crazy things sometimes.
So after a detour into analysis, bringing me back to the reminders and the difficult changes that I need to make: 1) Become an integrated man rather than a Nice Guy by ceasing the covert contracts and accepting my own self worth. This means less comparing myself negatively to others 2) Assert and enforce my boundaries (need to figure out what these are) and engage in healthy adult conflict resolution rather than conflict avoidance. This includes making sure my emotional needs are being met. 3) I must learn to hear the feelings of what is being said not the actual words, I should then engage with these in a compassionate and supportive way Ė donít just give a solution. 4) I need to be a more reflective listener. 5) I need to re-establish myself as a leader in my personal life 6) Exercise emotional control by recognising and controlling my defensive reactions (strong link to number 3). 7) Build more (much more) self confidence and self esteem 8) Better control my body language, tone and facial expressions Ė Project kindness, confidence and assuredness 9) I need to be more open and transparent about my feelings and express these in healthy ways. This includes making sure I tell people I love that in a way they understand. 10) I need to choose to be happy and be more grateful for what I have. This means gratitude for the efforts others make, letting small stuff go and not needing to be right all the time. This also means accepting the stuff I canít change. 11) I need to get better at connecting through validation and agreement, and I need to check that Iím getting enthusiastic agreement rather than appeasement (back to point 3) 12) And my sarcasm needs to be under control to make sure it is not hurtful and is taken in the way it is intended.
IF I can do all of this on top of being a good dad, having a moderately successful career, decent cook and domestic helper, boyish charm looks, healthy sense of adventure and a decent amount of frankly ridiculous then I would hope that makes for a pretty good lighthouse.
If its not enough or my W wont see it then at least I know I will have done what I can and I will have given myself the best chance at my future happiness.
Both mid 30s, 2 young kids BD 7sep14 XW moved on long ago, now living with OM1 D paperwork in progress