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A Message from Michele
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BTW, asking questions doesn't mean that I am jumping around. I think it means that the information is jumping around and that I am questioning to find the proper path.


M 53 W 54, M since 98
D15, D19
8/2013 discovered EA, W maintained contact with OM
until 10/14
7/2/17 W said she wanted S, 7/25/17 moved out of MBR
12/17 W says moving out 5/18, W still in home.

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Here is what I've been doing and the reason for many of the questions.

GAL
Reading too much
I am avoiding pursuing
I am limiting small talk
No starting R conversations.
I am validating

I question if there is an A. This is where I get stuck. Not knowing. Not knowing how helpful of distant to be.

I have taken down the camera because it was making me crazy.


M 53 W 54, M since 98
D15, D19
8/2013 discovered EA, W maintained contact with OM
until 10/14
7/2/17 W said she wanted S, 7/25/17 moved out of MBR
12/17 W says moving out 5/18, W still in home.

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,148
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RR17,

I haven't been on this board on a long time. My marriage did not survive. The only advice I can offer is from mistakes I've made and observations from men who have "DB-ed" their marriage, seemingly succeeded and then have had their spouse repeat the behavior again and divorce them.

Here's goes:

1. DB-ing is very hard. And men and women are different. Even MWD will tell you that it's harder to turn around a WAW and WW than a man. Also, there is a tendency on these forums to get stuck in waiting mode. MWD talks about the last resort technique, after the last resort techniques, ultimatums and going dark. These are proactive, powerful things that show you are serious. They almost never get mentioned or implemented on the forums. The nature of a forum leads to lots of analysis about every conversation, text and facial expression in the relationship.

2. It seems you need to know what you want. You seem a little unsure if you could forgive an actual infidelity or would pursue a divorce. The lack of clarity will affect your strategy and exhaust you.

3. It would seem you are getting into that zone that you are second guessing every action, conversation and thought about your wife. Every conversation, every little thing is being scrutinized. You can't keep this up for long. Why? It's exhausting. And...your wife can tell. She can see that you are dancing around her. Any change of behavior is, admit it or not, a way to change the outcome of this whole mess you're in. It makes her trust you less. To be honest, GAL, and being detached is very hard. How do you work hard at looking like you are not working hard? It's exhausting, bro. Very few people can be that Zen. Give yourself a break. Be yourself.

4. Her brother is a lawyer? Really? Sounds like you are about to get hosed. The ONE thing you need to go is go consult as good lawyer ASAP to know your rights and get prepared. Start seizing the initiative. This is your life, your house, your kids, time to protect your interests. Do not tell her you're doing this.

5. Your initial posture should be: if she is interested in separation or divorce, she can move to the couch and she can move out. Why should you unseat yourself as the paterfamilias if she wants out or is having an affair?

6. I think in Sandi's rules, particularly in dealing with a Wayward or WAW, it's important for the man to have set boundaries or rules, show strength and be clear. Respect leads to attraction. Also, establishing respect shows you are not someone to be trifled with.

7. The longer this drags on, the weaker your position becomes. You will compromise, make yourself smaller, meet her needs and then she'll walk all over you. Don't wait for her to act. Time to take control back.

8. If you are really worried about an EA or physical affair, hire a private investigator. From electronic surveillance to following them around, you'll get the proof you need.

9. In my experience, unless you are a complete jerk, changing yourself, becoming your "best" self, doing 180's don't really last. Eventually you will revert to who you basically are. I've seen it on these boards before - intense personal change that lasts for 12, 18 or 24 mos and then you slip back. Sorry to say this, but it's inevitable. The divorce gets busted and then, 2 yrs later they are back on the boards and the marriage is toast. Personal change is super hard. If you're wife doesn't like who you are, might as well end it sooner than later. Again, if you're a real jerk and need serious help, get it. If you're just a normal guy, you aren't going to turn into superman. You can't save this marriage alone. Two people need to compromise and work at it. You will hear in the forums that 180's and being solution oriented are really just emergency measures to get their attention. GAL is for your own sanity. The real hard work of repairing a marriage is 50/50 and In the end, she has to want the marriage as much as you do.

10. This sounds like a contradiction to what I said in #9, but the only real change you need to make it clear, solid, boundaries and being hard-core about what you want and need. People respond to that. Being an emotional chameleon, "trying" to be detached doesn't work. Set boundaries, set ultimatums. This is hard, but, it helps avoid all the back and forth. Does she want to be married to you or not? Thus far she said she wants a separation or a divorce. Act on that. If you want something else, state it. You can say, "If you want to work on this marriage, fine, if you don't, I have some decisions to make in the next few weeks." Strength and clarity are attractive.

11. Having said all that try and get some sleep, exercise, eat well, have some fun. Take up a martial art, go rock climbing or take up a hobby that forces you to experience "one-mind" and extreme focus. Hard to worry about the marriage when you are ducking a kick to the head or reaching for the next handhold on the rock face. Gives you mind a rest. Yeah, I know, almost impossible when your marriage is imploding. Well, at least, try. ;-)

12. I said a prayer for you.

--Theoden




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Quote:
I just don't know if the results are a good sign or temperature taking.


If it is a sudden 180 change in her interaction with you.......like, suddenly being nice, flirty, increase in texts, or touchy-feely, or even showing affection.......then be cautious about them being genuine and lasting changes. The WW usually has an ulterior motive for these type of sudden 180's. I don't recall any sudden changes in a WW ever being the real deal, but rather was her way of temp checking and/or manipulation. Watch her attitude toward you. Look for humbleness in her. When her attitude, words, and behavior match.......then you can begin to believe there are changes being made in your W.

There have been stories of the WW returning to the MR after the overt rebellion ended, and without her showing any signs of remorse or taking responsibility for her actions and destruction she caused..........plus, no attemps of seeking IC/MC (or some type of guidance, program, etc.) to piece the M back together. These are the ones that really concern me. If the LBH sticks around on the board, we usually discover his WW still habors disrespect and resentment toward him. If he is content just to not get a divorce, these other issues get swept under the rug and nothing gets resolved. He has a bitter W sharing the same roof.......and that's all. In other words, if her waywardness is not dealt with........they still have a very serious problem in the MR. The idea that everything will just work itself out, makes no sense at all. That's like discovering you have a disease and refusing to take proactive medical assistance, while thinking it will work itself out in time. If you reconcile with a WW, you'd both better have a proactive plan to overcome her wayward mindset. She will need the tools to know how to conquer it, just like you need the DB tools to know what to do now.

Her work begins at the point she decides she will do what's necessary to save her MR. And when I say work, I mean all the work in setting right her mindset. It is hard! The LBH who thinks she's going to snap out of her wayward mindset as soon as the affair ends, and will be the old W again........is a H who is headed for disappointment. Some WW's may snap out of her fantasy fog when reality comes knocking on her door. However, she does not snap out of a wayward mindset. She has to work herself out of it. If she is honest, and if she gets the information about what she needs to do.......and if she is willing, then the couple has a good shot at rebuilding their relationship and being happy together. I don't say this to discourage anyone, but to give you a realistic view of what to expect. This is just a few highlights, b/c a lot more details are involved for the WW who sincerely repents and sets about to do what is right.

Quote:
BTW, asking questions doesn't mean that I am jumping around. I think it means that the information is jumping around and that I am questioning to find the proper path.


Okay, gotcha. I want you to ask questions. My own problem is trying to cover too much at one time.......b/c I want the H to be informed ASAP. That was one reason for having my threads about the WW. If you will read all of those threads, it may fill in the gaps. I'm not sure what information is jumping around, but if you are referring to something on another member's thread......I suggest you focus more on what has been posted directly to you. Then, if it sounds contradicting, you can ask specific questions about it.

Quote:
Here is what I've been doing and the reason for many of the questions.

GAL
Reading too much
I am avoiding pursuing
I am limiting small talk
No starting R conversations.
I am validating


Sounds good. What do you mean by "reading too much"? Are you referring to reading posts on the board, or reading other books and websites?

Quote:
I question if there is an A. This is where I get stuck. Not knowing. Not knowing how helpful of distant to be.


Do you understand that a woman can be wayward without being in an affair? Men become so focused on just the "affair" that it paralyzes them. They think the affair is the source of the problems......and they also think that ending the affair will bring their old W back again. An affair is rebellion showing out. It can definitely cause additional problems, and I don't mean to lessen it's destructive power. I'm just saying that it was not her original issue that eventually led to an affair (or whatever type of rebellion she's displaying). The deeper issue is her resentment and disrespect that has grown over time. There may be other issues, such as entitlement, selfishness, etc. These all will be the last areas for her to conquer, IMHO, and more difficult than ending the affair. When she decides to conquer those areas, then the MR can not only be saved..... but will be happy. In many cases, the H has his share of issues, too. While he works to improve himself during the time she is wanting out of the MR, her self improvement comes after she makes the decision to do the right thing. Most couples would be smart by getting outside professional help to guide them back together, b/c piecing is very tough.

Quote:
I have taken down the camera because it was making me crazy.


Okay, that's fine......if you won't go more crazy in not knowing. My question is, can you become unstuck by not knowing if she's in an affair?


It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!
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Thanks for your response Sandi. You definitely seem to get it. I feel I get it too, but it can be difficult when you are involved.

By reading too much, I mean everything. This board, the books, other misinformation.

Right now, she seems to be empowered by the D discussion that she had on Monday. Also, she seems intreaged by the fact that I haven't inquired about this meeting or the R for that matter. I won't go as far as to say she is holding it over my head but she seems empowered or more confident.

We had dinner out alone again tonight. I let her do most of the talking and I validate. She likes this dynamic.

I continue to vacillate about the suspension of the A. At one point days ago she let me go through her phone and she gave me the password to her laptop. Which I have not searched. I am still cautious. She may have just gained some self-confidence and after being alone for 2 days reached this WAW status. Also, I realize that piecing was not handled correctly after the last EA.

I have read volumes of your and others post on here. I know that a WAW and WW are to be handled differently.
I know the trap that is easily fallen into when W shows some positive response.

I want to do the correct things, not what feels like progress and is ultimately worse in the long run.

I feel she is not going to show remorse because she doesn't feel she has done anything wrong at this point.

Some new behaviors:
She is very contemplative when I ask her a question.
She seems very willing to do things alone with me. She knows from my distancing that it is not expected.

Neither of us explains where we are going and there is little obligation to disclose when we return. Most of her stuff is with my Ds.

Continued WW behavior:
There is a selfish air about her.
Empathy that I have explained and she seem oblivious about. I have now stopped all R discussions. She never starts them unless BDing.

I feel I am treating her as a WAW/WW hi-bread if that makes sense. DR talks about becoming this better H and this is where I get confused. Monitor and adjust but pull back etc...
At this rate will she bottom out?

I can handle knowing or not knowing for sure about an A, for the time being.

If it arises I will reinstall the camera.


M 53 W 54, M since 98
D15, D19
8/2013 discovered EA, W maintained contact with OM
until 10/14
7/2/17 W said she wanted S, 7/25/17 moved out of MBR
12/17 W says moving out 5/18, W still in home.

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 816
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RR17 Offline OP
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Also as for a 180, I wouldn't call it flirty. More like friendly with a big removal of pressure.

I cut out 99% of daily texts.
I feel she sees a big lack of pursuit and this make explain her changes. IDK

When she brings up an R conversation and the D gets brought up I pland to respond with an emotionless "You are really serious about this.." and shut up.


M 53 W 54, M since 98
D15, D19
8/2013 discovered EA, W maintained contact with OM
until 10/14
7/2/17 W said she wanted S, 7/25/17 moved out of MBR
12/17 W says moving out 5/18, W still in home.

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 816
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RR17 Offline OP
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Theoden, all valid points. Sorry your's didn't work out. The whole F'ing thing is hard.

The dance IS exhausting and unsustainable.

Quote:
4. Her brother is a lawyer? Really? Sounds like you are about to get hosed. The ONE thing you need to go is go consult as good lawyer ASAP to know your rights and get prepared. Start seizing the initiative. This is your life, your house, your kids, time to protect your interests. Do not tell her you're doing this.


I'm not afraid of her brother. He is a limp noodle, none confrontational lawyer. Their father is a retired prosecutor that loves and treats me like a son. That said I won't proceed with blind eyes. My Ds are teens and custody won't matter.



Quote:
10. This sounds like a contradiction to what I said in #9, but the only real change you need to make it clear, solid, boundaries and being hard-core about what you want and need. People respond to that. Being an emotional chameleon, "trying" to be detached doesn't work. Set boundaries, set ultimatums. This is hard, but, it helps avoid all the back and forth. Does she want to be married to you or not? Thus far she said she wants a separation or a divorce. Act on that. If you want something else, state it. You can say, "If you want to work on this marriage, fine, if you don't, I have some decisions to make in the next few weeks." Strength and clarity are attractive.


Again, I agree. The problem is I see value in not bringing the R up and these things require a R discussion. When and if that time comes I will be prepared.


M 53 W 54, M since 98
D15, D19
8/2013 discovered EA, W maintained contact with OM
until 10/14
7/2/17 W said she wanted S, 7/25/17 moved out of MBR
12/17 W says moving out 5/18, W still in home.

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 816
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RR17 Offline OP
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Sorry, there is always one last important part that I think of after I hit Submit.

Quote:
Does she want to be married to you or not? Thus far she said she wants a separation or a divorce. Act on that. If you want something else, state it. You can say, "If you want to work on this marriage, fine, if you don't, I have some decisions to make in the next few weeks." Strength and clarity are attractive.


Again the problem here is, yes right now she said these things. But ever since she went for the D consultation she acts the opposite, as if she has been shaken from the fog or just realized the finality of this decision. (remember to believe nothing of what you hear..., Judge actions not words...)

She is a person that has always stifled herself when it comes to expressing her feelings. Me, on the other hand, everone knows how I feel. I guess a kind of a role reversal for most stereotypes. I am by no means an overly sensitive, Nice-guy type. I just say what I mean and mean what I say. If I don't like it, I will let you know. She has always kept me guessing. I'm sure it goes back to some childhood blah, blah blah.

At some point soon I will have to set ultimatums.


M 53 W 54, M since 98
D15, D19
8/2013 discovered EA, W maintained contact with OM
until 10/14
7/2/17 W said she wanted S, 7/25/17 moved out of MBR
12/17 W says moving out 5/18, W still in home.

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 18,666
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Do you have personal boundaries set in place?


It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!
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Sandi and Theoden

Not to highjack the thread, but how do you get back control and respect?

As for #3 with the WW noticing yiur change in behavior. This is difficult when the situation is changing. It's like your expecting to show that you are not upset when you just find out that your W is still messing with OM. People go through various emotions regularly, so why shouldn't it be the same in MR involving an A? Sometimes I feel the LBS are expected to deal with situations that have no business being entertained.


MR: 15 T:17
Me: 37 W: 34
S14
BD/PA/EA: 12/2016
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