Going dark feels so counter-intuitive. Like it's just going to drive her away more. Also, I'm craving closeness and even if i'm sending a text or email into the void every few days, it somehow feels like i'm in proximity. But I'm letting what everyone is saying, including my DB coach, sink in.
I'm really glad to hear that things are working out for your M, Thornton, and in your life, GoatGal.
Let me ask you both - did you do DB coaching, or just read the books? And if you did, how many sessions/how often?
Me: 39 W: 46 D: 7.5 S: 5 SD: 16 SS: 12 T: 2 (06/2012) M: 2 (12/2012) Separation 09/2014. No talks of D yet. No communication since 10/3/2014
When WAW first left, she told me she felt relieved and would also feel angry at me. I remember she was posting all these happy pictures on Facebook, going out, living it up. That destroyed me. I forced myself to not go on Facebook for weeks on end.
Eventually she became sad and missed me. I completely left her alone to get to this stage.
I had one coaching session with Laurie. She was really great and helped calm me. I also read DR several times and other relationship books as well.
My saving grace was coming here just to vent because I felt so alone.
I'd be happy to post links to my sitch if you think it will help (there's a TON of posts, I'll just warn you!!). My wife had about a 3-month affair with a much younger man in the summer of 2007, and we since successfully reconciled our marriage and are happier than ever. My approach was a little more hard-core than some, but it definitely worked for me.
Hello Starsky - Yes, it would be nice to have a link. In fact, you could also consider writing in this thread one post where you'd tell your sitch - if it's not too much work. We could link to it.
I'm especially interested because, as you may know, my W left me for a man 10 years my junior about three months ago. She fell for him about 2-3 weeks after they met and now they plan to move together (in her apartment) in January. I really struggle with what to do, especially now that we're entering a sort of plateau where the separation has settled and she's living the dream with him.
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.
In fact, you could also consider writing in this thread one post where you'd tell your sitch - if it's not too much work. We could link to it.
I'm on the fly right now, Mozz, but this is copy and pasted from my own personal archives. I hope it helps someone. It should be noted that exposure is NOT advocated by MWD, and people should look elsewhere if they want to read up on the pro's and con's of it. It worked well for me, but there are portions of it I wish I would have handled differently, in hindsight.
She squirmed and b*tched and moaned and screamed bloody murder at first, that I refused to sit down and talk to her. Eventually, over the course of a few weeks, as she saw that I was NOT going to be either bullied nor sweet-talked (and she tried both approaches) into sitting down and having an R talk with her, she eventually stopped trying.
I confronted my wife within 24 hours of having proof she was having an affair.
I exposed her affair within 24 hours to our adult daughters, and within two weeks to her family and her employer.
I re-confronted her on Day 60, and laid out a "No More Deceit" boundary, telling her "either you tell our daughters and your parents the truth about your relationship with (OM), or I will." I had evidence, and I told her she had five minutes to decide. Within two hours, she had told all four of them the truth -- that she wasn't "just friends" with OM, and that Puppy hadn't been lying when I told them she was having an affair.
About a week later (around Day 70), I filed for divorce, after my wife stubbornly refused to end her affair.
On Day 90, she ended her affair, and asked "what will it take?" to reconcile. I laid out my short-list of non-negotiable boundaries, and we reconciled.
There were several fits-and-starts after that, with the divorce initially being put on two 3-month "stays" before finally being withdrawn. We also separated for a couple of weeks about a year ago, and agreed to date other people, but that was short-lived, and after one "date" (drinks with a former co-worker) I agreed to move back in with her to work on our marriage. We did some MCing, still struggle with the SSM thing, but have remained great friends and partners ever since, and celebrated both our 25th wedding anniversary and the birth of our first granddaughter this Spring.
Interestingly, when my wife tearfully asked for reconciliation (and thereafter), she told me that although she HATED me at the time, and was LIVID with me for exposing her affair, she understood why I did it, RESPECTED me for it, and THANKED ME for fighting for our marriage!
I actually had two main confrontations with my wife. Initially, I had suspicions, based on the way she was acting and some of the things she was googling on the computer (I had a keylogger). Naturally, she denied it -- twice.
Then one night I was out of town, at my dad's 80th birthday party, and she stayed home with the kids. I got an e-mail on my BlackBerry from my keylogger, showing that she was searching "older woman/younger man" and "sexual positions" etc. on the home computer. I felt sick to my stomach, and like an ox was standing on my chest. I couldn't breathe, and I didn't know if I should tell my folks and my siblings, or try to keep it to myself.
I was up all night, distraught, and phoned my wife and confronted her around midnight. "You're up late," I said. "Yeah, I couldn't sleep," she replied. She sounded nervous. "What are you doing?" I asked, and she could tell something was wrong. "Just on the computer," she said. "What's wrong?"
"Look, I know all about you and (OM's first name), and it needs to stop. Immediately. This is incredibly disrespectful to me, to our marriage, and to our family." She tried to deny it at first, but I persisted (without revealing my intel), saying "Please STOP IT. We both know you're lying to me right now, and it's horribly disrespectful. If you're going to lie to me, I'm just going to hang up."
She then SORT of told me the truth, denying that it had become physical (which I later found out was also a lie).
I exposed to our adult daughters that night, via a phone call. My D-then-18 already knew, as she had suspected something and her and her best friend had followed her mother one night a couple of weeks ago, and caught her coming out of a bar with the guy, and saw them get into a car together. The poor thing had been keeping this all to herself, because she didn't want to upset her daddy. She broke down on the phone and cried, and so did I.
I told both her and her sister (D-then-20) that I loved their mother very much, did NOT want a divorce, but I also wasn't going tolerate this kind of disrespect. I WOULD NOT LIVE IN AN OPEN MARRIAGE. They both said they understood, and respected my position. D18 wanted to confront OM that next day, and I talked her down, and told them both just to wait until I got back from my trip and we could discuss it as a family.
I also exposed to my parents and siblings the next morning, as I felt I needed their support. In the ensuing couple of weeks, I gave my wife repeated chances to end the affair -- she refused 5-6x -- and then I finally exposed to her parents, OM's parents (he lived with his parents!) and their employer, on whose premises the affair was partly taking place. Since the kid was also studying to become a cop, and was going thru the Academy, I found out that there was a "public review" process and I wrote a letter to his file, exposing their affair, and opposing his candidacy to become a police officer.
About 50 days in, I filed for divorce, after she repeatedly threatened to divorce ME. I felt I needed to protect myself, and decided to go for full custody of our boys.
Despite all of this, and my tightening the finances to stop paying for anything that was enabling her affair (cellphone, plastic surgery payment, haircoloring, etc.), her affair continued -- heated up -- for 60 days. I then RE-confronted her, with the "NO MORE DECEIT" confrontation (it's all in my old Chocolateeyes threads; Summer of 2007). This re-confrontation took place in her car, in a department store parking lot, when I told her one evening that "we need to talk." I had decided that while I may not be able to stop her from having an affair, I damned sure wasn't going to let her continue to LIE about it to her parents and to our adult daughters, and try to say that I was being "paranoid" and accusing HER, when everything I was claiming was 100% TRUE.
I told her at this meeting "you either tell them, or I will, and I will show them my evidence."
I gave her 5 minutes to decide.
She told them.
It took about another month before she fully ended it and begged me to take her back, but make no mistake -- that night was basically the beginning of the death of her affair. She had one backslide, about 2 weeks into no-contact/transparency, which she self-confessed, and we got thru it. After two 3-month "stays" of the divorce action, I finally withdrew it the following Spring.
We had fits and starts over the next couple of years, nearing divorce twice (even met with the mediator), ending with a mutually-agreed-upon separation this summer, where we would try to date each other, but each would date other people (she had initially INSISTED on this, and I initially said it was a DEALBREAKER. I then changed my mind, based mostly on Gucci's and Robx's stuff on here). Not two weeks into that arrangement, she called me in tears (I was on my one and only "date"), and long story short, I moved back in with her and we agreed to MC and we fully reconciled.
We've had some tough moments, but our marriage is stronger than it's ever been. The MC is fantastic (had been my wife's IC), holds our feet to the fire, and we're finally starting to deal with some of our sex-starved marriage issues and my wife's problems with intimacy. Turns out MWD's books (along with Harley, Glass and some of my other faves) were all over the MC's office! I knew I had found the right place for us. My wife and I are better friends than we have ever been, have ML more in the past 3 months than we had in the past six YEARS, and I'd say we are "Piecing" at this point, to use the DB phrase.
I hope that helps. That's an awfully long answer to a short question, but I thought I'd just put it all out there.
I should add as a P.S.
Throughout all of these "tough stances," I maintained a "loving detachment" towards my wayward wife. Oh, we had our moments -- three or four real blow-ups -- but for the most part, we managed to keep things civil. I laid out some boundaries (no family finances used to enable your affair, no TMing or phoning OM from inside our home, no TMing or phoning OM in front of our sons, from ANYWHERE, if you're going to come home after 1am, don't bother coming home, etc.), and I must say, she respected them almost completely.
The "loving" part of "loving detachment" comes easier for you, trust me, when you maintain full intel ("snooping") and you hear and see the things that I heard and saw. But I did try to "shine a light back towards the marriage, even as I never wavered from my Main Boundary ("I will not live in an open marriage") and my sub-boundaries mentioned above. I would do occasional loving Acts of Service for my wife, such as pulling her car in the garage late at nite, or covering her with a blanket when she fell asleep on the couch, kissing her on the forehead, etc.
I believe that this "hybrid" approach -- aggressive confrontation & exposure, firm boundaries, cut off all financial enabling, strong legal stance; coupled with DBing principles such as GAL, "be the better option," 180s, etc. -- is what works best when there is active infidelity involved.
Reasonable people may disagree, but this is what worked for me, and this is also what I have seen work in my time on these boards, as well as my study of literally thousands of affairs.
I wanted to share something with the community here, as I rarely talk about my personal life and a couple have asked about my reconciliation with the fetching Mrs. Puppy. And FULL DISCLOSURE, we STILL struggle with the SSM stuff (what I posted above gives you a feel for how wildly that swings from "on" to "off," but it has been an ongoing issue with us throughout our 30 year marriage).
As background, my wife's parents -- who lived about 10 minutes from us for most of our 30 years here -- have had declining health recently, and last May we finally convinced them to move in with us and our two adult sons (S21, s18), who still live at home while attending senior year of high school and college. My father-in-law's dementia has gotten worse and worse, and it's been one of the hardest things we've ever had to go through.
After staying with him all night one night at the hospital, when he had a stroke and we had to have him rushed to the ER, my wife wrote me the following letter. I am humbled by it, and include it here not to boast but to let everyone know just how much these things CAN be turned around. I mean, we were AT THE DIVORCE MEDIATION TABLE, with the birthdays and holidays all worked out, and the debts and assets divided. And my wife was texting "I love you!"s and "NO ONE HAS EVER DONE IT FOR ME THE WAY THAT YOU DO!" to her OM just 5 days before we reconciled.
With God, all things are possible, folks. I found when I humbled myself before Him, and finally gave my wayward wife over to Him and said "here, YOU take her. . . I can't do this anymore. PLease just work on ME, and give me strength and help me raise my children" . . . that is when things started to turn.
In the note below, she was responding to an email of mine, that I must have ended with something about giving God the glory for working thru us.
Thanks for reading.
From:email@example.com Sent: Thursday, March 14, 2013 4:58 PM To:My Last Name, My First Name Follow Up Flag:Follow up Flag Status:Red Page 1 of 1
(My first name),
I will give God the glory first, and then to you. I know I've told you this before, that I don't know what I'd do without you, but I really mean that. For all the help, physically (pool, and other chores),financial (bills, and bill consolidation), for all the love and respect you give to my parents, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are the BEST example of what a man, husband, father, "pa", son, son-in-law should be. I hope you realize what you mean to me. I know I'm not always very verbal, but never doubt how much I love you. When the world fails me, you never have. You are my constant, my best friend, my husband, and I'm so very glad that I married you almost 28 years ago, but more importantly I'm glad we stayed married! I can't imagine being on this journey of life without you by my side.
Thank you for ALL you do for us (your family), and for my parents. I hope and pray that our sons will be the kind of men someday that you are.
Love Always, (my wife's first name)
In April of next year, I have asked my wife if she will join me as we will renew our vows in front of our closest friends and family. We have THE most perfect song picked out, that's PERFECT for DBing/piecing!!!