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#2910314 12/12/20 05:25 PM
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Hi, I'm new here. I've spent a few days scouring articles and reading people's stories and there's a ton of helpful information.
I have gone through numerous articles about WAS. I'm pretty confident in the assessment that I have an MLC W.

Our sitch: Me 40M Her 44F

We have a 20 yr M in Jan. 10 years ago I think I had a MLC but I'm not sure because neither of us paid attention to the why. I was working 2 jobs and going to college and she was deploying a lot. I had an EA that turned into a PA but quickly fizzled. Recommitted with my focus on our kids who were 5&6 back then. Her ship changed homeports so we had to uproot everything and move to CA in 2010.
After we got to CA, we moved every couple of years and I couldn't find work, but I focused on rebuilding and she was the primary income. Things have been amazing up until about a year ago, but I'll come back to that. With one exception being she wanted to have one more child (a girl) and fertility tests showed that I was going to have problems in that department.

2018 we moved back to VA, which I never wanted to do, but it was what the Navy picked for us. Shortly after, her father passed away. Now she's approaching High Year Tenure and has extended numerous times, because she's been afraid I couldn't find work, despite numerous reassurances.

About the middle of last year I started noticing her behavior became a bit more introverted and she still took pictures at functions, but less and less of me at those.

This year, we had a great time on our Anniversary (Jan) but after that things were extremely spotty. In April, everything started really sliding down hill. Arguments over little things, her disappearing with our son to talk about me, small comments about me that were snippy. I figured she was bitter that I had lost the one job I had managed to land, so I tried to be extra nice and helpful. None of her pictures since April had me in them except from my birthday. By August she was snapping at random employees at restaurants and places like DMV.

She started volunteering to go underway, working longer hours, spending a lot more time on her phone, and becoming distant to the boys and myself. I started noticing selfies that were a little provocative but just innocent enough to not be concerning, except that she wasn't sending them to me.

Oct21 - 2020 - She dropped the bomb (sorry I don't know all the abbreviations). I love you but I'm not in love with you. This was after she had returned from a 2 week underway and instead of coming home, had "given a coworker a ride to his wife". I brought that up after the bomb drop and basically got instant confirmation of OM. Over the next day she said she wanted a separation, it was time for her to find out who she is and have fun, she needs time/space, etc. She threw 20 years worth of problems at me, with me being the sole source of all of her misery. She didn't want to stay with me because she thought she would be miserable, etc etc. Then when I took her to the ship to leave for an underway, a "nice" shipmate was willing to meet her at the pier to carry her bags for her at 10 PM.

Nov3 - 2020 - She returns from this underway and won't look me in the eye. She confirms PA, fears of pregnancy, and is extremely high strung. This is the point where she will no longer tell me she loves me.

From Oct, she has been at sea, so through email I've been begging, pleading, reasoning, etc. But ultimately realized that the only communication she was responding to was as a friend. By the time she returned in Nov, I asked if we could try to fix things. Through conversations, anxiety attacks, her screaming profanity at me, trying to push me away, and us ultimately coming to an agreement to think of our kids (now 16&17), she says she'll stay until our youngest is out of the house (about a year and a half unless he mysteriously fails.. I kid.. ). I don't think any of this is new.. in fact it feels very, extremely, textbook MLC based on the articles.

The confusing part.
After I backed off, agreed to live a day at a time and basically stop putting pressure on her, she changed her attitude a little. She sleeps in the same bed, meets me for lunch, watches movies with me alone in our room, goes to church with me, took care of me when I got the flu, writes me emails while she's underway, and doesn't want anyone to know that she said it was over. We've visited her relatives and she acted like things are okay, has tried to conceive with me, and even is willing to have sex. Her stance is still, she'll stay with me until our youngest is out of the house.. but then she will probably leave me. She also wants to buy a house with me.

She's said so many contradictory things. She won't say she loves me, but before going to bed, I kiss her forehead and say good night and sweet dreams. She smiles and says it back... but the next day will scream at me that my wife is dead to me forever and that she'll never see me as a lover again, and any number of other hateful things.

I've learned from reading here not to trust what they say and only half of what they do.. but everything is extremely confusing. She's about to come back from being at sea and we're going to drive 10 hours to spend a week and a half with my family. I feel like she's hurting and confused, but doesn't want to end our marriage. She even got mad when I mentioned divorce, but I assumed it was because she didn't want to lose her pension. Now, I don't even know.

Early in the next year she's going to spend 6-8 months at sea. She claims OM will be in a completely different part of the country at a different duty station by the end of December 2020.. so if that's true, it could be a blessing?

I know we're encouraged not to snoop but I have friends and resources, that I'll know where he is at that time, and honestly I'm not sure why I wouldn't do that.

Anyway, long first post.. but I wanted to give as much info as I could think of. My instinct is to focus on rebuilding the friendship and getting my nerves back under control (3 hours of sleep a night and 20lbs weight loss since Oct). That and making sure the kids are taken care of since I'm basically already a single parent. I ordered DR book and will be reading that before she gets back.

Thanks for reading and any help everyone.

Last edited by job; 12/12/20 06:31 PM. Reason: Removed link to another site not related to DB
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Welcome! I am pasting in Cadet's Welcome posting. There is a lot of valuable info that you should take the time to read.

Welcome to the board

Sorry you are here but you will meet some wonderful people here and get some great advice.

Yes first thing you should do is be sure to read the Divorce Remedy (DR) book by MWD
http://www.mcssl.com/store/mwdtc2014/
http://divorcebusting.com/sample_book_chapters.htm

and Michele's articles
http://www.divorcebusting.com/articles.htm

You may be on moderation now, post in small frequent replies and stay on this thread until you reach 100 posts
(for your thread, you can also post on other peoples threads to give support).
Especially on this Newcomers forum, where the posting activity is very active,
and your posts can quickly fall to the bottom of the page or even several pages down.
Keep journaling and asking questions - people will come!
Most important - POST!

Get out and Get a Life (GAL).

DETACH.

Believe none of what he or she says and half of what he/she does.

Have NO EXPECTATIONS.

Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.

Take the parts of this advice that you need and don't worry if I have repeated something that you have already done.

Here are a few links to threads that will help you immensely:

I would start with Sandi's Rules
A list of dos and don'ts for the LBS (left behind spouse)
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2553072#Post2553072

Going Dark
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=50956#Post5095

Detachment thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2538414#Post2538414

Validation Cheat Sheet: Techniques and tips on how to validate (showing your walk away spouse (WAS) that you recognize and accept his or her opinions as valid, even if you do not agree with them)
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2457566#Post2457566

Boundaries Cheat Sheet
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2536096#Post2536096

Abbreviations
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2553153#Post2553153

For Newcomer LBH with a Wayward Wife by sandi2
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2545554#Post2545554

Resource thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forum...ain=57819&Number=2578224#Post2578224

Stages of the LBS
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1964990&page=1

Validation
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=191764#Post191764

Pursuit and Distance
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2483574#Post2483574

The Lighthouse Story
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2484619#Post2484619

Your H or W is giving you a GIFT.
THE GIFT OF TIME.
USE it wisely.

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon


Sit quietly, the answers will reveal themselves when you least expect them to.
The past is gone, the present is a gift and you need to focus on today, allow the future to reveal itself when it is ready.
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Thanks for the resources, I've already started reading the material!

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Sorry for the double post but I read through For Newcomer LBH with Wayward Wife and have questions.
First.. I agree with this approach.. 100%. It was more or less what I had in mind before finding this site. I started reading other articles that all sounded like "kid gloves" and that just seems counter-productive if an A is involved.

That said. My W had a EA and PA with another service member. At least one encounter of the PA was on a ship while underway. I can bring this up with her command and dramatically impact her career if not end it. It would also result in the OM being immediately out of the picture. Is this too far though? Or is it enough to snap her out of the A Fog? She would obviously be angry with me, but would that matter in the end? I know that nobody has a crystal ball. I know that there's no guarantees. I really just wonder if rolling this out with her command along with divorce would be the right call or if it would be seen as me giving up?

Playing the devil's advocate and offering another potential strategy..
If I wait, this guy is "supposed" to be stationed way, far, out of the way. They would only have remote contact at that point. Then she would be at sea with no OM, an email-basedA and a lot on her mind for 6+ months.

To me, "going nuclear" with her command represents greater risk, because I feel like it could create a scenario where she genuinely resents me for realistically impacting her career.. so regardless of A status, I would not be able to regain favor.

The "wait and see" runs minimal risk because if I see that he doesn't go to the command across the country but is instead, going to be on the deployment with her.. I would still have the "nuclear" option.

If OM is not on the deployment with her, leaving her 6mo alone and all she gets from me is that I'm preparing for divorce, it might not be enough to shake her. If she doesn't make Chief, she'll be forced out of the Navy.


This is a lot to think about and I'm admittedly not at my best. I want to be rough and resolute in dealing with the A but how much damage I need to do to implement the strategy for WW is what I'm really struggling with.

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reason,

A word of caution since you are very new to this site. We are not allowed to reference other sites and their articles if they are not related to this site. This is one of the rules that is set up by this site and not by the moderators.


Sit quietly, the answers will reveal themselves when you least expect them to.
The past is gone, the present is a gift and you need to focus on today, allow the future to reveal itself when it is ready.
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Originally Posted by job
reason,

A word of caution since you are very new to this site. We are not allowed to reference other sites and their articles if they are not related to this site. This is one of the rules that is set up by this site and not by the moderators.


Oh, sorry.. I'll pay more attention. My last post was in response to threads you shared, but I think I mentioned another one earlier. I apologize.

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I caught the one in your first posting. It's wasn't related to this particular site.


Sit quietly, the answers will reveal themselves when you least expect them to.
The past is gone, the present is a gift and you need to focus on today, allow the future to reveal itself when it is ready.
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Originally Posted by job
I caught the one in your first posting. It's wasn't related to this particular site.


Ah, again, apologies. I will endeavor to be more diligent in the future. Thank you for editing it for me smile

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Reason

Im sorry your here but you came to the right place.

One of the biggest misconceptions on here is that the affair/OP is the problem. The affair is a symptom of the problem. Affairs are usually an act of anger based on years of resentment so blowing up the affair is going to make her resent you even more. Im not saying its a bad idea because things typically need to get worse before they get better.

If you think shes gonna come running back to you if the affair ends you are mistaken. This is gonna take many months/years to play out especially if shes in MLC as you suspect.

Every move you make from here on in should come from a place of strength.

Good luck and keep posting.


M:51 W:46
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S:15 D:11

Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.- Will Smith
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Originally Posted by LH19
Reason

Im sorry your here but you came to the right place.

One of the biggest misconceptions on here is that the affair/OP is the problem. The affair is a symptom of the problem. Affairs are usually an act of anger based on years of resentment so blowing up the affair is going to make her resent you even more. Im not saying its a bad idea because things typically need to get worse before they get better.

If you think shes gonna come running back to you if the affair ends you are mistaken. This is gonna take many months/years to play out especially if shes in MLC as you suspect.

Every move you make from here on in should come from a place of strength.

Good luck and keep posting.


Thank you for taking the time to respond. I appreciate all the feedback I can get!

It's not that I think she'll come back when the affair ends, it's that if the affair doesn't end, she won't need to come back.
I'm under no illusions that this is a simple cause/effect situation. It sticks out in my mind as the only thing I have direct influence on and the largest thing that would prevent her from progressing through her MLC (if my assumption is correct). I don't know. I guess I have to admit that I have expectations of how I think this will play out. It's soul crushing to turn around after facing that truth and recognizing that ultimately, there's no telling how this will play out. All I can do is my best.


She has childhood trauma that I forgot to mention. The death of her mother at a young age and molestation from a close relative for a long time. I also didn't elaborate on what makes me think she's in MLC.

She's clearly (to me) gone through denial and anger. A lot of that has to do with age, reproductive health, and my difficulties finding work. I say she's in replay now because she's showing all the signs I've been able to read about. She has done a complete 180 on many of her beliefs. Our kids, her relatives, our friends.. everybody is like WTF happened with her? Not about her dropping the bomb.. her relatives didn't even know.. I'm not saying this couldn't be WAW/WW, but the contradictions and her very obvious depression. Severe mood swings, wanting to be alone, reconnecting with people she hasn't seen since high school. Her relationship with our kids even. She's obsessed with specifically getting to a weight she was at in her high school years.. she was really strangely specific about that.

I only mention this because, to me it gives me hope that if it's a MLC, it's something that she can overcome. If she decided a 6 month relationship was worth breaking up her family, risking her career, etc etc from a non-MLC mindset.. That just doesn't make sense to me, but she's willing to live with me for a year and a half at least in the meantime (for our kids). I dunno.. a lot of this is still so fresh in my mind and I'm honestly thinking out loud.

Thanks for being patient.. this is so hard smirk

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Doesnt have to be MLC, those changes rime well with my XWs and she was 29 when it started.
She also had child hood trauma.
Also rimes well with many other so called Wayward Wifes on this site.


Me: 34
Stbxw: 30
D:5 D:3
Mini bd: May/June 2019
Married: Aug 2019
BD: 6th Dec 2019
OM Confirmed: Feb 2020
March 2020: I filed for D
Waiting for D to be finalized and W to move out end of January 2021
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It just means shes acting on emotions.

People always are hoping for MLC. I never understood why. That just usually drags it out longer.


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Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.- Will Smith
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MLC is the easy diagnose (we love to diagnose) and ppl think its just a crisis that will end soon.
So wrong!


Me: 34
Stbxw: 30
D:5 D:3
Mini bd: May/June 2019
Married: Aug 2019
BD: 6th Dec 2019
OM Confirmed: Feb 2020
March 2020: I filed for D
Waiting for D to be finalized and W to move out end of January 2021
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I'll admit, my eagerness for it to be a MLC is probably about trying to dodge some of the blame for her decisions/feelings. I'll be the first to admit I've made mistakes though.
The other side of it, is that MLC is a "known quantity". I know that's reductive and oversimplifies the whole thing, but the idea that it's due to a process that is broken down into phases gives people like me who are looking for hope, some kind of inkling. I suppose, in typing all of this out, that any line of thinking about this is almost laughable.

My question is.. does DB-ing happen, regardless of what the underlying issues are? Does the approach change based on the situation? Everything I'm seeing says A) there's no such thing as a tried and true process and B) there are no rules.

If those things are true, then that really means this whole group is really more of a place to vent and get anecdotal stories that will either encourage or discourage people in the LBS position.. Everything else is circumstantial shots in the dark..

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After re-reading this whole thing. I think my goals got lost in the sauce a little.

My wife is obviously hurting. The things on her plate are a lot of 44 year old woman style problems coupled with military life problems.

She's manifesting this unhappiness right now. Maybe it's an MLC, maybe it's a meltdown, maybe it's just a reaction to circumstances. Whatever the case, I've relayed the particulars of that situation in the first post.

I want to help my wife through the pain that she's going through and heal our marriage. I want my friend and lover back.
Most of the replies thus far have not been helpful but that could be down to my poor communication and assumptions in posting.

Also, I may or may not have snooped on OM today and noticed his .mil email address suddenly shows him in Japan. I don't know if it's outdated from a previous tour or if he was sent there because of this situation. If that's the case, then at least I get a laugh out of this situation.

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So reason Im sorry the advice here has not been helpful. I understand you want your W back and the advice we are giving you gives you the best chance. Let her go and go out and lead a great life. So simple but usually hard for newbies to understand. Unfortunately most people have to learn the hard way.


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Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.- Will Smith
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Originally Posted by reason
My question is.. does DB-ing happen, regardless of what the underlying issues are? Does the approach change based on the situation? Everything I'm seeing says A) there's no such thing as a tried and true process and B) there are no rules.

Hi Reason,

The top post in the "Newcomers" section is Sandi's 37 Rules--so there are rules and a tried and true process. Most situations are more alike than unique, even if that's hard for the LBS to see at first, so most LBS would do best to follow as many of the above rules as possible. The forum commonly proposes tweaks when the spouse is abusive or there's an OM/OW involved. I hope this helps clarify a bit! Best of luck. smile



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Hi reason,

I wouldn't recommend telling her command about the A.

You note that once you stopped putting pressure on her, things got a bit better-- so keep that up. I would stop kissing her on her forehead, etc. Back off, be friendly and upbeat, don't bring up R talks, don't bring up OM, give her the space she needs to figure out what is going on with her. Do your best to GAL when she's back in town and stay out of her way. I absolutely would make my first priority be working on getting more sleep-- that is super important. Exercise can really help too.

I think you said you'd ordered DR-- definitely read it, I think that will really help you with charting out your path forward.

Good luck!


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reason,

I read your original post over the weekend but didn't get a chance to post. I have also read through the responses and your responses.

We all as LBSs come here the same way. We want the secret sauce. The one thing we can say or do that will fix our MR, save it, and turn it around. The problem is......that secret sauce DOES NOT EXIST. There is nothing you can do. There is nothing you can say, to fix this. LBHs especially want to FIX it. They spend all kinds of time and mental energy trying to diagnosis, dissect, and troubleshoot their situation. The thinking is that if we can get to the root cause, we can fix it. This is fool's gold when it comes to marital problems. In fact, all that time and mental energy focused on your sitch will actually set you back.

The one simple truth I found early in my situation that really helped me, and helped me more as I embraced it more, was that pressure and pursuit DO NOT WORK. And will push her out of the door faster than anything else. The more you pursue her, the more pressure she feels from you stay, to work on the marriage, to discuss things etc, the more you are just pushing her right out of the door.

Another thing I learned early on in my sitch was that there were only two things I could really do. That was to back off (IE remove all pressure and pursuit) and give it time. If you read my threads you will see I came to this forum convinced that my W's use of anti-depressants was the root of our problems and that if I could get her off of those meds then everything would be solved. That was a facade. I was barking up the wrong tree. Luckily I remembered DBing early in my sitch, and though I struggled for a few weeks, as I got better at it so to did my sitch. It didn't mean I was saving my MR......but I was saving myself!

So this is why we say to remove all the focus off of her. Guess what, snooping on OM IS focusing on her. It is focusing on your sitch. And it will not get you to where you want to be. This is why you take the focus off of her, and off of your sitch, and put it on to yourself. GAL. No excuses. Get busy and be busy. 180s, find out what you can improve about yourself and and do it. Become a man only a fool would leave! And detach. Stop spending so much mental energy on her and the sitch. Do not let her actions and words affect you emotionally. Certainly stop reacting to it!

And yes, I know your sitch feels different because of the time apart. We had a guy here a couple of years ago whose STBXW had filed a TRO against him and he could not reach out to her at all. I actually tried to get him to see that it was actually a positive! Most of us LBSs struggle with not reaching out, not smothering, not pressuring and pursuing our WAS. But in his situation he had a built in "no contact" provision! Now, if he had worked harder at GAL and detachment than he did, he would have been better off. He did a terrible job at those and suffered despite the no contact. I think you have the same opportunity here, to focus on yourself and just work on yourself. GAL, 180s, detachment. Simple plan, but difficult to follow unless you commit to it!

Now, I know this is all scary. "If I back off and leave her alone then she will think I don't care. She'll forget about me. She'll move on." This is typical LBS thinking when it comes to DBing. DBing is counter-intuitive. It feels wrong. What I can tell you is that the alternative to DBing is pressure and pursuit. Pressure and pursuit almost NEVER works. Like less than 1%.....probably a fraction of a percentage. DBing improves your odds of saving your MR, but it is not a guarantee. What it does guarantee that no matter what she ends up deciding, you will be fine. Better than fine, you will go on to an awesome life!

I know you do not think this now, but even if you end up D'd, you're going to be ok moving forward, as long as you do the work and realize that life isn't about what happens to you, it is how you react to it. You cannot control your W. She is going to do what she is going to do. You get control of one person. One exercise I encourage LBSs to do is to step back from their sitch and try to look at it objectively, as an outside observer. Take out the fear, anxiety, feelings, and desperation. What would you as that observer tell yourself to do? Spy on OM? Deluge your W with whatever contact options are available to you? Or would you tell yourself to back off, give her time and space to figure out herself, and to start to move on with your life. She'll either decide what you are doing with your life is exciting and want to be part of it, or she won't, but the advice should never to be stand pat!

Finally, one last thing. Remember, absence makes the heart grow fonder. I once went out of town for training for 3 weeks. When I came back home, despite our MR not being great (this was pre-BD) my W was the most attentive, loving and caring she had been since we were newlyweds. So try to take things you see as a negative in your sitch and look at them as a positive, at how they can help.


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Originally Posted by reason

It's not that I think she'll come back when the affair ends, it's that if the affair doesn't end, she won't need to come back.




Imagine having an adult son. His W is cheating on him. And you hear him utter this sentence. REALLY?? Sleeping with another guy is not a boundary for you? You would be willing to sit and wait and hope the A ends so you could have another guy's sloppy seconds back?

I am not telling you to walk away from her and D her. I am telling you to have more value in yourself! You are the catch her, not her. She is a lying cheater. She doesn't deserve the time and attention you are giving to her. SHE NEEDS TO EARN HER WAY BACK! Trust me on this. The worst thing you can do is to let her waltz right back into your marriage, without conditions and requirements. It will teach her that you will tolerate PAs any time she decides she wants one.

Value yourself more than you value her or your marriage. Until you do that you will continue to be a rug she wipes her feet on.


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LH19 - Thanks for taking the time to post this, I've started this process. More after my replies to everyone.

CWarrior - Those 37 rules are definitely helpful. They take a little digesting before it feels more like lifestyle advice and less like a checklist but I'm working on that.

may22 - Thanks, I'll consider that. In the context Steve provides after your post this makes more sense.

Steve85 - Thank you for the long, in-depth responses. One of the things that has weighed on me since the BD was that when I had a PA and depression-related problems 10 years ago, she was willing to work past that and focus on us, even though I had stepped out. After 20 years, I feel like I at least owe her the opportunity. That having been said, I do agree that perhaps she shouldn't be given the impression that our marriage is a revolving door.


Update-ish:
Since my last posts I have been reading and re-reading the 37 rules, and a few other resources. I'm getting my copy of DR today and will likely devour that.
I've dropped my e-mail contact with W down to 1-2x/day (I'm shooting for 1 but I'm still working up to that level). I've began structuring the emails based on the ideas in the 37 rules. I started this 2-3 days ago. The e-mails I've gotten since, have gone from being just basic replies and asking about the kids to her telling me about her day and opening up a little. One thing I made sure to do.. our boys are basically grown.. she asked me to tell them she misses and loves them and I just made sure to include their email addresses in my reply. She already knew them and even if she lost them (ship email gets reset sometimes) she could've asked at any time. She's been emailing them separately now and actually thanked me for that.

My GAL:
I've started working at the base gym and my professional resume (graphic artist/3d) has started generating leads. It's like everything started blowing up at once.
I've enrolled at a local university to push my BS into a MS in Cybersecurity. I start in Feb.


It's hard to do much more than this with the pandemic, especially since our Gov. just enacted some hardcore measures but I've been trying to get the kids out of the house and spend time together. If I'm being honest, I had been doing that before as a way to have something to be like "look W, I'm a good H!!" and I've realized pretty quickly that this is both expensive and more importantly not fair to the kids.. because it's fake. I've made the goals of outings about bonding and staying sane since we've all got cabin fever.

I'm supposed to hear back today about a job opportunity, so wish me luck!

Thanks everyone who has taken precious time to read/reply. It matters, thank you.

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Originally Posted by reason

Steve85 - Thank you for the long, in-depth responses. One of the things that has weighed on me since the BD was that when I had a PA and depression-related problems 10 years ago, she was willing to work past that and focus on us, even though I had stepped out. After 20 years, I feel like I at least owe her the opportunity. That having been said, I do agree that perhaps she shouldn't be given the impression that our marriage is a revolving door.



This ONLY works if the cheater is sorry for what they've done, want to save the marriage, and are willing to work on the marriage. I can guarantee you that if you wanted to continue the PA and potentially make it a LTR with the AP, what your W did would not have worked.

So can you say she is sorry? Does she want to save the marriage? And is she actively working on the marriage with you? If you cannot say yes to those three questions (and "I don't know" is a no), then you approaching this the way she did when you stepped out will not work. There may come a time when she is sorry, wants to save the MR, and is willing to work on it and then you can give her that opportunity. But doing that before the answer to those three questions is yes is futile.


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reason, please consider this question carefully. It is less about you answering the questioning and more about you really thinking about it.

Does emailing her 1-2x constitute giving her time and space? Or does it constitute pressure and pursuit?

Also, her opening up about her day doesn't mean much if you are prying (emailing first) out of her. If she starts emailing on her own about her day, then you may have something.


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I haven't mentioned our M to her in a while. The last I heard was that she is willing to give it time. She is willing to go to counseling (by herself atm), and she's characterized her PA as "messing up". None of this is necessarily substance, I get that. I want to call them early indicators but I also realize there are a lot of other less-hopeful explanations.


On the e-mailing and pursuit. I understand where you're coming from and I think it largely depends. The fact that she is willing to stay to give it time, makes me feel like I need to include her in basic daily going-ons and good-faith efforts at basic civil conversation while she's at sea. Even in that regard though, I have managed to "change the tempo" so that the 1-2x emails are only after I've heard back from her. I was sending first, but now I don't unless there's something that needs her attention (legitimately.. like GI Bill forms etc). I've also managed to stop myself from immediately replying a few times.. still working on that.

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12-15-20 - Told her if she's not willing to work on this find somewhere else to sleep. She had only been pushing for separation at this point so I also told her that if she has no interest in our marriage, prepare for a divorce. I made it clear that it would not be amicable.
12-16-20 - Her mood was noticeably different. The confidence and seeming contempt for me seemed to be completely gone. She started asking for help with things.
12-17-20 - She broke down in tears. OM was in fact shipped away. The whole day was a rollercoaster. She would be listening to music and singing/dancing, then having deep conversations. Then randomly smiling at me. Anything and everything happened today except anything negative about me. She complimented me numerous times and was thanking me for everything and pushing talks about the future.

Before anyone says it.. I know.. this is not her "being back".. I don't know what this is.. but I suspect it's largely driven by fear, uncertainty, and a need for something familiar. We're leaving today on a trip so this should be interesting.

I read most of Divorce Remedy before W unexpectedly returned from sea (I verified that everything about her being at sea was legit.. which I know is snooping.. but it is what it is). From the moment she stepped in the door, I was putting my focus on the concepts of tough love, being as upbeat/outgoing as I can manage with all things considered, the 37 rules, and making sure I looked my best at all times. I also made it clear that there are now boundaries. I made myself scarce when there wasn't a reason to be around each other but also found family activities that she would feel inclined to join.
Did this work? I couldn't begin to tell you. My phone has been ringing fairly frequently with job offers and I'm starting my graduate degree.. I also made it abundantly clear to her that I have already been looking at houses and jobs in my home town for after the D if she refuses to work on our M.

The part of me that has been desperate for affection is currently at war with my analytical half but regardless, this is different. It's progress. I think I would be foolish to anticipate any outcome from this or to take this at face value at this moment. By contrast, it would be equally foolish to dismiss this progress. I'm going to continue utilizing what I've learned. My goal has been to save our marriage and repair my share of the damage. My plan is to begin nudging for counseling as best I can given her responsibilities to the military.

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reason, I have gone on record here many times telling people that the minute you start to embrace the D, and actually take steps towards it (remember, action, not words), the WAS often backs down from their stance and start to scramble a bit.

I am sure in your W has romanticize a future with OM. More than likely that plan for the future is unrealistic, or has a long runway. IN truth there are many obstacles to her being with the OM full-time and therefore she needs her plan B (you) firmly in place.

So you stood up for yourself. You took a baby-step toward commanding respect. What she heard/saw was her Plan B take one step away from her. And that makes her feel uneasy. We have a saying around here: A monkey doesn't jump from the branch it is on until it identifies another branch that can support it. You started to move the branch she is on so she is wrapping her digits around it tighter.

Be very careful thinking those tears are remorse for what she has done/been doing. I watched my W go through the end of both of her EAs, and in both cases she had to go through a grieving process at the loss of the OM. It is one of the most difficult things to see, your W mourning the loss of another man. The smiling at you, deep conversations, complimenting you, is her tightening those digits around her branch.

Be careful nudging for counseling. That is pressure and pursuit. Your W right now is like a cat. Not sure if you have experience with cats, but if you reach out to the cat it will go the other way. If you pick the cat up and put it on your lap, it will immediately jump down. But if you sit quietly and let it come to you, then you can pet and hold it because it was the cat's idea.

You need to be the lighthouse. You are solid. You are a rock. You are always in the same place. If she wants to come towards you she will. But it has to be her decision. Anything you try to force will cause her to retreat. Read the distance-pursuit dynamic thread, it explains this whole thing.

The best thing you can do is to keep DBing. Focus on you. GAL, 180s and work on detachment. (Google: self-differentiation in marriage as to what this looks like).


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Originally Posted by Steve85

Be very careful thinking those tears are remorse for what she has done/been doing.

Be careful nudging for counseling.

You need to be the lighthouse.

The best thing you can do is to keep DBing. Focus on you. GAL, 180s and work on detachment. (Google: self-differentiation in marriage as to what this looks like).

(NOTE I trimmed the quote for brevity)

Thanks again Steve. I told her when she was crying, I remember when I was the one who was walking away from OW. I told her I knew why she was crying. I even let her cry on my shoulder. No long speech. No moral high ground. I've been the one in her shoes. I also remember not loving her at first when I came back. I told myself it was for the kids, and this and that. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and had a mentality of making sure "I got mine". I don't know if all of that is coming. One thing this community reminded me of though, was for my personal experience, it wasn't necessarily a fast process. It wasn't really until we had a change of environment that I was able to embrace my decision and her.

This is a fairly different situation from when I was WAS. She's realizing that retirement is either 11 months out or 3 years out. Either way, if she has no pension and an alimony payment, that won't be possible. If she doesn't have additional support, she'll be scraping by. If she has all of that going on, she'll have to work whatever job she can and live wherever.
I know these things are weighing in her mind. She's made a lot of telling comments.

On the decision making cat and monkey analogies.. I have a history training animals from all the way back to my teenage years. When I started reading these boards in Nov, I realized there were a lot of similarities. Be firm in your expectations, but offer a welcoming reaction to corrective behavior. Ultimately, she's a human being. Fear and uncertainty from the actions I would take cannot be the glue that binds us. What I am comfortable with it being, is the catalyst that forces her to re-evaluate things. Granted, her decision will still bear consequences, as every decision each of us makes.. Based on a lot of her actions and behaviors, I think she's made her decision. I also think she's trying to make peace with that for herself, which I don't believe will be a fast process. I believe that she has thrown herself into a mixture of grief and denial over OM and that needs to resolve itself before any marital healing can begin.

As you say, my job here is to be a fixed point. As to when I nudge towards counseling, I'm going to wait for signs that she's accepted her decision. We're not there, but that's what I'm looking for.

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Update 12-29-20
We went to see family. Rollercoaster would be apt.
The first days we were physically intimate and she was crying. I backed off. Her mood improved around my family. She had talked about OM moving away etc. There were some discussions were I told her that she needed to stay away basically. She panicked and the first thing she mentioned was the kids. I told her that if she was leaving it doesn't matter if it's now or later. After some back and forth I made it clear that if she was going to be with me, she needed to be with me not just "present".
A few days later she approached me and initiated intimacy and it was .. like we were dating again.
Then the next day, more rollercoaster.
Before we came back I looked up some prices and told her I would pay for her to stay at an extended stay until she was supposed to go on her 6 month deployment. She refused.
Since, she's started approaching me for hugs and resting her head on me. Talking to me again.
It's not over the top like the other update where I said I knew she wasn't "back". This feels like a deliberate effort on her part, not some strange emotional head trip. The thing is, I can't tell if it's because she's trying to work on "us" or if it's because she's just terrified of the alternative.
I'm second-guessing everything, feeling guilty about being intimate when she offers it, and trying to find subtext in our conversations. If I'm being honest, I kinda wish she had accepted the room at the extended stay. It would be simpler.

I want to trust but I feel like I would just be setting myself up.

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R,

You are wise to be cautious and approach this with detachment. The monkey branchers do not like it when there is not another branch to grab onto so they retreat back home because its scary up there alone on the branch.

What youre looking for is consistency for a long period of time. Im talking months/years.

Ramp up your get a life and start to be mysterious.

Reconciling is not easy and some have suggested divorce is easier so buckle in for the long haul.

Last edited by LH19; 12/29/20 02:13 PM.

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Originally Posted by reason
Update 12-29-20
We went to see family. Rollercoaster would be apt.
The first days we were physically intimate and she was crying. I backed off. Her mood improved around my family. She had talked about OM moving away etc. There were some discussions were I told her that she needed to stay away basically. She panicked and the first thing she mentioned was the kids. I told her that if she was leaving it doesn't matter if it's now or later. After some back and forth I made it clear that if she was going to be with me, she needed to be with me not just "present".
A few days later she approached me and initiated intimacy and it was .. like we were dating again.
Then the next day, more rollercoaster.
Before we came back I looked up some prices and told her I would pay for her to stay at an extended stay until she was supposed to go on her 6 month deployment. She refused.
Since, she's started approaching me for hugs and resting her head on me. Talking to me again.
It's not over the top like the other update where I said I knew she wasn't "back". This feels like a deliberate effort on her part, not some strange emotional head trip. The thing is, I can't tell if it's because she's trying to work on "us" or if it's because she's just terrified of the alternative.
I'm second-guessing everything, feeling guilty about being intimate when she offers it, and trying to find subtext in our conversations. If I'm being honest, I kinda wish she had accepted the room at the extended stay. It would be simpler.

I want to trust but I feel like I would just be setting myself up.


You would be setting yourself up. She is wayward. She wants her H and family while age waits for OM's return. It's what we can "cake eating". From the saying "have your cake and eat it too". All the markers are there. You push her on being there VS. just present. You suggest she move into an extended stay. She panics not wanting to be alone for 6 months so she starts manipulating you with affection and sex! Classic WW stuff here.

So, where is your DBing in all of this? I'm not seeing GAL. What are you doing to improve yourself? In the thick of my sitch I was reading 3-4 books a month! Where is your detachment efforts? Have you even tried to separate your emotions from her words and actions?

As far as the intimacy. The general advice is that if you can't let her initiate without attaching significance and meaning to it then you should turn her down. It sounds like that is what your struggling with.


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Originally Posted by Steve85

You would be setting yourself up. She is wayward. She wants her H and family while age waits for OM's return. It's what we can "cake eating". From the saying "have your cake and eat it too". All the markers are there. You push her on being there VS. just present. You suggest she move into an extended stay. She panics not wanting to be alone for 6 months so she starts manipulating you with affection and sex! Classic WW stuff here.

So, where is your DBing in all of this? I'm not seeing GAL. What are you doing to improve yourself? In the thick of my sitch I was reading 3-4 books a month! Where is your detachment efforts? Have you even tried to separate your emotions from her words and actions?

As far as the intimacy. The general advice is that if you can't let her initiate without attaching significance and meaning to it then you should turn her down. It sounds like that is what your struggling with.



OM isn't returning. He's been shipped out to another duty station.. 3+ years
I don't know what VS is. These last 2-3 days she has opened up about feelings, goals, and the future. I didn't elaborate on this because I was still unpacking.. literally and mentally/emotionally.
The intimacy thing.. that is definitely a hard thing. My body is screaming at me but my heart feels detached.. I want it but it feels like it's in the way that a dog would eat anything you throw to it.

My DBing:
I am literally trying to put her in an extended stay. How is that not detachment effort? I can't drag her to one and change the locks.
I am waiting for class to start in Feb for my Masters. I am having Lasik surgery on the 8th. I have started reconnecting with old friends and spending more time with our kids. I didn't really elaborate on this stuff because my last post was more of an update on my trip/out of town than my specific particulars. Yesterday though, I did leave the house right before she got home. I dressed up nice, and put on cologne etc. I went out by myself for a while. Enjoyed some decompression time and picked up a few things. Our family is blended heritage so I found a little Latino grocery store and grabbed things that I know she likes but also that our kids have never had. The boys were excited and she was like "where did you get that!?!?". It created a family moment last night.
I removed myself from that moment after a while and took care of things around the house I had started earlier in the day. I sat back down and she put on a show we had been watching together. She never puts on shows. She waits for me.. basically to start anything. When laundry was ready I excused myself and told her not to pause it. She didn't at first but when I was gone a while she did. I came back in the room to grab my sweater for like half a second (literally was going upstairs) and she asked me if I wanted her to rewind it and started telling me what happened. She never.. NEVER.. does that. Even on our best days. I said sure and sat down with a bit of distance between us. More laundry.. she did it AGAIN.. and.. asked me to watch another episode. I told her to start it and continued with my things and she paused it to wait this time even though I told her not to.
When we went upstairs there was some body language that she was not interested in intimacy and I did make it clear that I wasn't in a place for that. When we sat down in bed, I was more or less ignoring her and she started asking about watching something and trying to show me her FB timeline, wanting to share.. anything it seems like. We watched part of a movie before we got sleepy and when we laid down, she was the first to say goodnight, and during the night she moved to be closer to me.
This morning, she started talking about things she's been doing at work.. which includes picking her replacement. She has been very resistant to retiring from the military but I think this is helping it sink in. She's talking about how much younger these people are, how little time she has, etc. She sounded.. at ease. Every time prior, she's been on edge about this. She wants to make Chief but she hasn't studied. She stopped studying while she was at sea and hasn't even looked at the material. It's sitting on the couch where she left it for the last .. I don't even know.
She's been talking about where she wants to live post military.

Again, we've been out of town for almost 2 weeks. Being basically in the same room the whole time. We've been back 2 days, and I've already gone out to do my own thing (what I just detailed above).

One of the biggest takeaways from the book I have read this month (DR) is to look for positive changes. That has happened. I also thought I made it pretty clear that I know not to trust these changes.

IMO what is happening:
She had huge plans. She was going to make Chief, I was going to happily separate, her and OM would have a wonderful R, our kids would never know anything about what would happen, my life would quietly fade from her mind, her days would suddenly be sunshine and rainbows, and the Navy would suddenly be a warm, friendly environment that was supportive and understanding. Most of all that she would have a clean conscious.

Not a single part of this played out that way.

She didn't make Chief. I made it clear I would push a very costly drawn out divorce. OM moved away and seems to not have ANY contact with her. The kids found out and were pissed. She has realized very recently that my life and hers are so intertwined that in the best of conditions it would be extremely laborious to disconnect ourselves. She's had huge ups and downs, emotionally and physically (I'm probably about to have to take her to a series of breast appointments because of some large painful lumps). The Navy caught wind of her PA and she's been interviewed a few times and feels like everyone is watching her now and has started preparing her to move on. She has clearly been having a lot of thoughts about things and admitted to her pride being an issue and is torn.

I don't think she's sorry about what she's done, but I don't know. I am starting to see what could be moments of introspection.. maybe. She's made numerous comments about trying to fix things, our future, visiting people and places together. She's even started trying to get me to eat more because I've lost weight. She's caught herself a few times saying she likes me when I'm bigger (I used to be a gym rat, at my heaviest 200lb w/10%bf) These are all baby steps to me.

I consider this to be small progress. In the meantime, I'm going to keep pushing my GAL and DBing efforts and trying to stay positive.

For me, at this point Living as If, is about paying off debt, getting my Masters, spending time with our kids, exercising and keeping my eye on property and job market in places I'm planning on living after this plays out. Unfortunately, this means I have a plan A, B, and C as well as my own ideas as to how I'd like any of those to play out.

Thanks everyone for replying and sorry for such a long post. I wanted to be more detailed this time so thanks for reading.

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I forgot something
One of the things in DR is mix it up/be different.
When we were in our first 6-7 years together, I was learning Spanish. I recently added that back.
When we were on the road, I turned on the TV and the Latin Grammys were on. I was watching while she was in the bathroom. (I was DBing.. sleeping in a separate bed). She came in and started getting excited, talking about how we used to listen to more Latin music.
Monday on the drive home, she mentioned that I was speaking Spanish more and I told her I stopped because I learned what I could but she didn't want to teach me.
Yesterday, she started teaching me Spanish.

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Well reason, I'm the last person that will try to convince you that you aren't seeing progress. I was in your shoes when my W started to come back to the marriage. Many here cautioned me, and rightfully so, to be careful and not over pursue. I'm concerned that with OM extremely unavailable that she settling for plan B. The problem with that is that eventually another plan A could come along. And with WWs they will continue looking for another OM.


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Reason,

I read most of your stuff and Steve and LH are giving you good advice.

I want to caution you - you need to work on your detachment. I told myself everyday for 1.5 years or so that this could be the last day I am married. You really need to stay cool, who knows why she is teaching you Spanish or being nice.

Be strong mentally and emotionally and commit to your personal growth. You really need to reinvent yourself in this process, not simply wait it out to see if she's serious.


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Originally Posted by Steve85
Well reason, I'm the last person that will try to convince you that you aren't seeing progress. I was in your shoes when my W started to come back to the marriage. Many here cautioned me, and rightfully so, to be careful and not over pursue. I'm concerned that with OM extremely unavailable that she settling for plan B. The problem with that is that eventually another plan A could come along. And with WWs they will continue looking for another OM.


This has crossed my mind repeatedly.
She does continue talking about buying a house and "us" and "we" and she's talking about things we're going to do together and not do (as in we would never buy one of those again). I can't tell if it's a habit or what at this point. We agreed to stop talking about buying a house or the future. I haven't brought it up outside of discussing divorce or planning specific family things or medical stuff that's unavoidable. She keeps going back to those talks. I just kind of nod and tell her it's nice or whatever, but I am not having actual conversations about the future and I don't want to even think about buying a house until this has resolved one way or another.

Last night was a series of her coming to me with things. I came home from work feeling like I was getting a cold. I was just going to go take a hot shower and lay down but she was about to take the boys to run some errands. She really wanted me to go with them and she had no problem driving (she NEVER drives). The boys went into a music store and we sat in the car and she started talking about the things that made her feel like our marriage had failed. I just listened. I did offer some of "my side" here and there but it was mostly just replies to things she was saying or asking. She talked about not knowing who she was. Not having a sense of identity, forgetting her culture (Hispanic food, music, etc).

She made a few more comments through the evening about things I like, our upcoming anniversary. We bought new bed sheets, etc and she kept asking if I liked them etc. Then in the evening she said she didn't want to go back to work (Navy), in fact she was tired of working. This is a huge change. She's been embracing the military in the past few months and very gung ho.

Later in the evening, she told me she felt guilty spending time with me. Like she was cheating on OM. She mentioned that she couldn't feel the way she wanted to. I asked what that meant and she didn't want to elaborate but that she was conflicted. I didn't want to push that. She was in tears.


My observations
I don't know if it's a MLC but honestly, this seems like things I've read that follow replay behavior. However.. whatever it IS.. I know it doesn't seem like I'm detaching or anything. I'm doing everything I can to create boundaries, buffers, etc. I am failing at a lot of the suggestions. I know it. I am also playing it by ear too though. What I am seeing, is my W is confused, afraid, torn. She doesn't have a long term vision.. of any kind, with anyone (me, OM, Navy, etc). She's trying to appeal to me in some ways. She has a guilt thing going on and probably withdrawal from OM. She's realizing that the fake identity she started to create herself based on OM is not some part of herself that she lost touch with (hip hop vs her lost latin roots). She IS starting to think about the future and realizing how complicated it is going to be. She is starting to see me as a provider and a companion.. and she's opening up to me.


All of that said.. I am still doing my own thing. I've started updating my wardrobe.. not as a vanity thing.. a lot of my clothes are 5 years old, many 10+.. it just needs to be done. I still have all the other stuff for my GAL coming up. It's not been long since my last update tbh. Frankly, I don't feel well at the moment. I think it's a cold or flu.. I don't think it's Covid.. My boss does want me to get tested so, I will take that trip in a bit.

Otherwise.. Thanks for reading all of this and offering advice

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Originally Posted by ovrrnbw
Reason,

I read most of your stuff and Steve and LH are giving you good advice.

I want to caution you - you need to work on your detachment. I told myself everyday for 1.5 years or so that this could be the last day I am married. You really need to stay cool, who knows why she is teaching you Spanish or being nice.

Be strong mentally and emotionally and commit to your personal growth. You really need to reinvent yourself in this process, not simply wait it out to see if she's serious.


You're right. I know it probably seems like I'm contradicting them a lot but I really am taking their advice to heart. I'm not trying to be argumentative so much as conversational but the internet has a way of ruining that concept.

I can't do the thing where I dwell on it being the last day of marriage. For me that breeds depression. I've already been down that rabbit hole. However, I am applying that concept with more positive messaging. New day, endless possibilities, and focus on living life. I am halfway miserable with this cold or whatever but I have been having a lot of fun otherwise over these last few weeks. Yes, my W has been part of that for a big chunk but I've been living "AS IF" and I have separated my thought process.

Detachment: (bomb was dropped Oct 21-2020)
For me, detachment hasn't been easy. I couldn't stop thinking about the idea of "our marriage ending". Anything and everything that was involved in that concept was in my brain 24/7 from Oct until mid Nov. That's about when I started my idea of just trying to rebuild as friends.. and that allowed me to be around her without crying or having anxiety attacks. I was a wreck.
Early Dec I had started reading articles about DB and other advice. I was still controlling her e-mails, following her location on GPS, checking up on her, etc. It was bad. I was wanting to meet her for lunch all the time, buy her things.
A week or two into Dec I think is when I was really trying to ramp up what I was reading here. She was at sea about this time and I had been trying to dial down my emails but when I set firm rules for myself it got way easier. When she got back from sea I set really firm boundaries about what I would and wouldn't tolerate. I gave up her emails and don't really look at her GPS anymore.
Around Christmas I told her she wasn't going to have it both ways. Started making plans for her to stay elsewhere and that she needed to pick a lane, with rebuild or divorce being the options.
These are examples of what I did right. I could fill a page with what I've done wrong.

GAL:
Oct 22 Put in job applications (don't have great work history). Rearranged the house, spent more time with kids.
Nov - I had locked in a job and reading self help. Started working on my wardrobe. Got set up with Dr
Dec - Started work, exercise, scheduled Lasik, enrolled in my Master's, visited family. Read DR
Jan - Visited family, reading a book Start Where You Are. Found some cool stores/restaurants. Learning Spanish
I could be doing more. I am probably forgetting things. I should also mention, that in this I let go of old "lifestyle" things from years ago that aren't really a part of my identity any more. Hobbies mostly but it dominated our house.



I think I'm making progress. I start class early Feb and have Lasik surgery this Friday. W is still confusing. Future of M is uncertain. I feel more confident. I'm sleeping better. I'm eating and exercising. While I am committed to trying to salvage M, I have realized that it may not be possible and have a plan b and a plan c. I don't feel despair. I do feel waves of doubt, uncertainty, anxiety, loneliness. I was angry for a while and I hurt. I don't know that I've let the idea of betrayal really enter my mind directly. More.. this thing or that thing happened, deal with them as specific symptoms but don't attach a connotation of betrayal. I've finally been able to move my focus off of W and M. It was stuck there like a broken record and it was paralyzing.
I don't know if our M is on the path to recovery, but I do feel like I am. Getting the record "un-stuck" was the biggest step for that process.

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Originally Posted by reason
Originally Posted by Steve85
Well reason, I'm the last person that will try to convince you that you aren't seeing progress. I was in your shoes when my W started to come back to the marriage. Many here cautioned me, and rightfully so, to be careful and not over pursue. I'm concerned that with OM extremely unavailable that she settling for plan B. The problem with that is that eventually another plan A could come along. And with WWs they will continue looking for another OM.


This has crossed my mind repeatedly.
She does continue talking about buying a house and "us" and "we" and she's talking about things we're going to do together and not do (as in we would never buy one of those again). I can't tell if it's a habit or what at this point. We agreed to stop talking about buying a house or the future. I haven't brought it up outside of discussing divorce or planning specific family things or medical stuff that's unavoidable. She keeps going back to those talks. I just kind of nod and tell her it's nice or whatever, but I am not having actual conversations about the future and I don't want to even think about buying a house until this has resolved one way or another.

Last night was a series of her coming to me with things. I came home from work feeling like I was getting a cold. I was just going to go take a hot shower and lay down but she was about to take the boys to run some errands. She really wanted me to go with them and she had no problem driving (she NEVER drives). The boys went into a music store and we sat in the car and she started talking about the things that made her feel like our marriage had failed. I just listened. I did offer some of "my side" here and there but it was mostly just replies to things she was saying or asking. She talked about not knowing who she was. Not having a sense of identity, forgetting her culture (Hispanic food, music, etc).

She made a few more comments through the evening about things I like, our upcoming anniversary. We bought new bed sheets, etc and she kept asking if I liked them etc. Then in the evening she said she didn't want to go back to work (Navy), in fact she was tired of working. This is a huge change. She's been embracing the military in the past few months and very gung ho.

Later in the evening, she told me she felt guilty spending time with me. Like she was cheating on OM. She mentioned that she couldn't feel the way she wanted to. I asked what that meant and she didn't want to elaborate but that she was conflicted. I didn't want to push that. She was in tears.


My observations
I don't know if it's a MLC but honestly, this seems like things I've read that follow replay behavior. However.. whatever it IS.. I know it doesn't seem like I'm detaching or anything. I'm doing everything I can to create boundaries, buffers, etc. I am failing at a lot of the suggestions. I know it. I am also playing it by ear too though. What I am seeing, is my W is confused, afraid, torn. She doesn't have a long term vision.. of any kind, with anyone (me, OM, Navy, etc). She's trying to appeal to me in some ways. She has a guilt thing going on and probably withdrawal from OM. She's realizing that the fake identity she started to create herself based on OM is not some part of herself that she lost touch with (hip hop vs her lost latin roots). She IS starting to think about the future and realizing how complicated it is going to be. She is starting to see me as a provider and a companion.. and she's opening up to me.


All of that said.. I am still doing my own thing. I've started updating my wardrobe.. not as a vanity thing.. a lot of my clothes are 5 years old, many 10+.. it just needs to be done. I still have all the other stuff for my GAL coming up. It's not been long since my last update tbh. Frankly, I don't feel well at the moment. I think it's a cold or flu.. I don't think it's Covid.. My boss does want me to get tested so, I will take that trip in a bit.

Otherwise.. Thanks for reading all of this and offering advice


Good to hear from you reason.

So this is all pretty standard WW fare. The mixed messages, talking about future, using we and us, yet saying she feels like she is cheating on OM with you (ridiculous!), etc. WWs, as I explained before, want their cake and eat it too. Then the stuff about not knowing who she is, etc. Whether it is MLC induced or not (remember, those going through an MLC do not see it as a crisis, but as an awakening, so do yourself a favor and never use that term with her), she is wayward and you should be reading all of sandi's writings here to understand how to deal with her. sandi's input in my sitch and her writings here on the board were invaluable to me and my sitch. You should seek out any and all of her writings here and study them. I kept her 37 rules on my phone so I could refer to them in interacting with my own WW, I recommend that you get intimately familiar with her 37 rules and apply them.

And trying to make sense of what she is saying right now is a fool's game. As you rightfully point out, she has no idea what she wants right now! So how could you possibly know? This is why we say to believe NOTHING she says. Everything you wrote here is more proof to me that since her plan A (OM) is not available, then she needs to make sure her plan B (you) are firmly in place. Yet she is keeping her options open as well.

Remember reason, you should be avoiding R talks like the plague. Certainly do not initiate them, and if she does, you listen and validate her feelings. No more giving your side, it doesn't matter anyway. Truth and reality is not something that matters to her right now. So trying to share truth and reality with her likely will just frustrate her. The best thing you can do is to listen, validate, and then make an excuse at your earliest convenience to end the conversation. R talks will get you no where right now.

I like the updating the wardrobe! Something that men do very little of over time and it makes you look sloppy and unattractive. Keep GAL (as long as the COVID test comes back negative). Focus on yourself. Remove the focus from her. And work on detachment, it really is the closest thing to a magic bullet in these sitches. Note, it ISN'T a magic bullet to fix your MR, but it is a magic bullet to get you to a healthier place in your own head. Having your emotions and reactions tied to another human-being is never a good thing, even to a S! (Look up self-differentiation in marriage.)


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Steve - As always, your insight is appreciated and helpful.

GAL update. I am still working at the base gym but I got a call this morning for an interview with Siemens this Friday!
If I get this, it's almost 2x the pay, a stable schedule, no weekends, and work from home to start b/c of the pandemic.
Wish me luck!

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Good luck, reason!



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Originally Posted by reason
Steve - As always, your insight is appreciated and helpful.

GAL update. I am still working at the base gym but I got a call this morning for an interview with Siemens this Friday!
If I get this, it's almost 2x the pay, a stable schedule, no weekends, and work from home to start b/c of the pandemic.
Wish me luck!


Awesome! I'll say a prayer that you get this job.


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BTW, right in the thick of my sitch I got a huge promotion at work. I have to believe it had a little bit of an affect on her state of mind, at least that I wasn't as bad as she had played up in her mind.


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Originally Posted by CWarrior
Good luck, reason!

Thanks CWarrior!

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Originally Posted by Steve85
BTW, right in the thick of my sitch I got a huge promotion at work. I have to believe it had a little bit of an affect on her state of mind, at least that I wasn't as bad as she had played up in her mind.


Thanks for the prayers on this!

I have had a really hard time with employment. We had 4 huge moves in a 10 year window (about 2.5 yrs between each). With her getting ready to retire, I know this has weighed on her mind. However, I have also hit the point where if it helps cool.. if not, I still need this for me. When I first started frantically looking for work, it was to try and convince her of this or that. I would love to salvage our M but before that can happen I think I need to secure my own future. That has turned out to be a bit of a lonely thought but here we are.

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Originally Posted by reason
Originally Posted by Steve85
BTW, right in the thick of my sitch I got a huge promotion at work. I have to believe it had a little bit of an affect on her state of mind, at least that I wasn't as bad as she had played up in her mind.


Thanks for the prayers on this!

I have had a really hard time with employment. We had 4 huge moves in a 10 year window (about 2.5 yrs between each). With her getting ready to retire, I know this has weighed on her mind. However, I have also hit the point where if it helps cool.. if not, I still need this for me. When I first started frantically looking for work, it was to try and convince her of this or that. I would love to salvage our M but before that can happen I think I need to secure my own future. That has turned out to be a bit of a lonely thought but here we are.



You cannot command the respect of others until you respect yourself. So landing this job is a good first step towards that.


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Originally Posted by reason
Originally Posted by Steve85
BTW, right in the thick of my sitch I got a huge promotion at work. I have to believe it had a little bit of an affect on her state of mind, at least that I wasn't as bad as she had played up in her mind.


Thanks for the prayers on this!

I have had a really hard time with employment. We had 4 huge moves in a 10 year window (about 2.5 yrs between each). With her getting ready to retire, I know this has weighed on her mind. However, I have also hit the point where if it helps cool.. if not, I still need this for me. When I first started frantically looking for work, it was to try and convince her of this or that. I would love to salvage our M but before that can happen I think I need to secure my own future. That has turned out to be a bit of a lonely thought but here we are.


You create your own future. Don't leave it up to anyone else. Start trying lots of things, keep an open mind, outwork everyone. Success is a mindset.


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BD 3/12/18
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Thanks everyone!
After the interview I had a good feeling about it. We were headed out to grab a quick bite but I got a call while I was pumping gas. The art director was so impressed with my interview he wanted to let me know they were starting the hiring process.
I'm feeling secure and the feelings of dread and despair are largely gone. I still value our M and will basically stand fast in that role.

On that note, W has been all over the place. She's hit phases where she goes from being happy and dancing around, showing me how to cook her favorite foods to crying and talking about just wanting to disappear. She talks about doing things together and that sort of thing and an hour later she is talking about things I'll do in my future in a very singular context. I'm trying not to read into these things because she's all over the place in her words and actions. She's mentioned numerous times about being confused, conflicted, etc etc. I finally told her, "don't make decisions when you're confused. Take it one day at a time until it's clear to you what you want". She goes to sea fairly soon. My strategy is, to be the best "me" possible. Fill her days with fun activities that let her keep some space but provide enough of an aftertaste to linger. Lastly, to show her that she can be confident in our M as a choice and not some mediocre backup plan.

I understand that there's elements to this that will seem like pursuit, and maybe they are. Here's the other side to this. There's a chance, this is it. I've made my peace with this concept. It's been a couple of years since we had a long stretch of happy memories. That's for me too. I've got a lot of positive going for me on a personal level and this period in my life will be reflected on. If there's going to be some nasty brooding, quiet separation, cold distancing.. that'll happen while she's at sea or gets back. Right now, I have positive constructive tools at my disposal that still respect a lot of the concepts put forth in DB/DR and Sandy's rules, etc. I'll operate within the confines of that but on that token, I'm GAL while including my W so she can get a taste of what could be. To me, this simple distinction in mentality is crucial. I'm not trying to impress or win back. I accepted that these things are beyond my control. This is a test drive.

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To be clear, when I say I'm GAL but including W.. I'm doing things I would be doing by myself and inviting her. Largely this also includes our teenage boys who are almost out of the house. I'm not taking her on dates etc.

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R,

I like what you wrote accept you telling her not to make a decision while shes confused. Sounds controlling. Shes going to feel confused for a really long time. You cant compete with a fantasy.

Otherwise good stuff.


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Hi reason,

following your sitch.

I think her next time at sea will give you a great opportunity to really focus on your own goals and provide a time of healing and reflection.

My X was deployed during our separation and I was relieved! It gave me time to see things from a more objective perspective.

The only thing I would add to your whole sitch is that make sure GAL/180's etc are not about her. I.E. these are things for you, because women are very observant...if you learn spanish because it's her language, that will feel like pursuit.

Just an example. GAL shouldn't be about winning her back.

She will return to you or not, but it won't be because of something you do. It will take her working on herself.

Wishing you much healing during this. Glad you are sleeping and eating again! Focus on those kids as much as possible. They leave way too soon! (My youngest is home for another week, this is his first year at Uni). Glad to see you going fun activities with them. You will never regret time focused on them!


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8/17-BD
IHS: 1/17-2/19
D FILED (ME): 7/19
D FINAL: 10/20
M23 T25
OW CONFIRMED: 01/21

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Originally Posted by LH19
R,

I like what you wrote accept you telling her not to make a decision while shes confused. Sounds controlling. Shes going to feel confused for a really long time. You cant compete with a fantasy.

Otherwise good stuff.


I think context is needed here. I pushed a little harder than I intended on the tough love thing. She thought I was demanding that she make a decision. It was more of an assurance that there was no pressure than me telling her to wait.


Yesterday she broke down again, talking about feeling guilty because she doesn't feel anything for me but wants to and I deserve better and all kinds of things like that. Then wanted to be alone.

She eventually started wandering the house again and I was headed to the store to pick up eggs, which turned into our son asking if we could get Chinese.. so, another family outing.

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I agree with LH. That line about "not making decisions when confused" should be changed to something like: "you need to do whatever it is that will make you happy." This is what I would do. When my WW would talk about being confused, conflicted, etc. She once described it as being in the dual drive-thru at McDonalds and she wasn't sure which lane to get into. The best thing you can do is listen and validate. "I can understand how being confused makes you feel." "Those conflicting feelings must be very difficult for you." Etc. Listening and validating pays huge dividends because it helps you avoid saying things like above, or getting defensive and giving explanations.

reason, just keep working and focusing on you. You are becoming a better, more exciting, and yes attractive version of yourself! It will take her a while to embrace the new you, if she ever does. You have no control over that. It is kind of like fishing, all you can do is put the bait out there, it is up to the fish whether or not it bites.


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Hey everyone, thanks for the replies. I know I kinda left this hanging but I've been pretty busy with GAL.

First week at my new job (graphic artist with a huge company) has been extremely rewarding.
I had given up on working in this field. I had a lot of experience and it's what my BS is geared towards but when we were bouncing around CA there just weren't many openings and freelance work was not reliable. I am still enrolled in cybersecurity for my Masters. The company I'm with is big enough to support a change like that and they encourage it as personal growth is part of their business identity. They've provided me with a laptop and equipment (new phone in transit) and I'm working from home, which is more or less permanent. I can choose to go to the office if I want and the schedule is extremely flexible. I couldn't ask for more. Seriously.

I already completed my orientation for my Masters degree and next week my classes start. I am picking up books this week.

I had Lasik last Friday. I'm typing this without glasses. I'm still a few days away from being 100% but I can already drive.

While updating my wardrobe, my younger teenager noticed and he started tagging along. We found some outlet stores and now he's rocking some Armani like me lol.

My spiritual growth is still moving along. I feel like I understand who I am better and who I want to be because of this.



Things with W are a rollercoaster. I have been trying to push the idea (with myself, not her) that these are my memories. If it falls apart that is for later. In that vein, I have been breaking a rule and taking her on dates. Our 20th Anniv saw us staying in a suite in a resort. We've had a few really nice dinners, and we've gone hiking and on a few other trips. Some of this involved the kids (they really loved the hiking). What I have been careful about is relationship talks, pressure, etc. She's going to be gone for 8 months very soon. Things have been stressful. That said.. she has been talking about feeling guilty, wanting to just be alone, etc. She has been distant. Not mean or unkind like when all of this started.

Over the last few nights, she has been caring for me because of the Lasik recovery. After I laid down with my eye shields and basically can't move, she has been pulling close. Yesterday, she said she feels like she lost her purpose.. she wasn't sure she had one. She talked about it being based on the kids and her job in the military keeping a roof over our heads and similar things. I didn't want to leave her hanging because it's a crappy feeling. I told her I've had to recently rediscover my purpose. My views that I've based my rediscovery of self around stem from concepts and ideas that are sustainable, not a specific person or job or thing. I made it clear to her that my goals have nothing to do with her or the kids.. but they exist in such a way that whoever is in my life is part of those goals/dreams. I'll be doing this or that and living like this.. regardless of any other circumstances. Faith, personality, personal and professional goals, lifestyle choices, life experiences. I don't know if that makes sense.. but a lot of the discussions here have helped me to form my vision of my future.

Another discussion that seems to keep popping up is that she's a monster. She feels guilty. She messed up. She doesn't deserve to have someone care for her. She doesn't feel like she can be herself because she feels bad. I just try to reassure her. I don't know if this is wise but I remind her that I'm not perfect. I don't think that's been particularly successful. I believe she has put herself in a role of the troll under the bridge and put me up on a pedestal because of the dynamics of the recent PA, coupled with basically everything seeming to go right for me since she dropped the bomb. When we were laying there waiting for my eye drops (there's a timer in between them) I told her about some things I did as a teenager, before us. Things she never knew after 20 years. It seemed to change things.

She softened up a lot. She has been leaning in to give me a kiss here and there or for a hug. This morning she left for work and dropped an ILY on me. Then rushed out the door.
I've been paying attention to you guys and I know... believe me.. I know. Consistency and time are way more important than any words or gestures. There's every chance that this is anything other than what I wish it was. I'm going to stay hopeful. I'm going to keep GAL, 180 etc.

That's about it. Long update I know. It's time for me to switch to my couch so I can start my work day lol. Thanks everyone!






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Wow, this update started out so well.....then went crashing down just as fast. reason, if you got nothing else out of this forum I hope you've learned this: ACTION, not words. You show through actions your goals and your advancement towards them. You show through actions that her and the kids can be part of that journey, or that you can traverse it yourself, either way you are fine.

Also, I am not sure why you are trying to reassure her? She cheated, had a PA. She should feel guilty, like a monster, and like she messed up. What are you trying to reassure her of? That cheating is ok? That cheating makes her a good person? That one confuses me.

You are doing many things right. Heck, as long as she isn't actively involved in the PA still then I don't even mind the dates, the anniversary resort stay, or the shows of affection. At least those are actions. But the words that are coming out of her mouth are not something you can bank on. And if your actions do not back up what you are saying, then your words are empty too. Certainly they are now, but WASs/WSs look for the first slip up as a sign that you are reverting back to your former self.

Anyway, my suggestion moving forward is to post more often. Get feedback on what you are about to do BEFORE you do it. We see many posters here that come here, get advice, ignore it, then come back and tell us what has all ready occurred. Of course, it your choice, but the posters that seem to thrive are the ones that post for advice pre-action.


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Hey, you're not wrong!
laugh

Seriously though, I intend to post more and the PA is definitely over. I've literally been the most busy I've been in years and I'm having a hard time managing my day. She's about to go to sea for most of the year so any communication between the two of us will be from a long way off with zero physical contact and zero action.

It's not okay that she cheated. Our marriage is not a revolving door. When I'm reassuring her, it's not that her behavior was okay (at least that's not my intention). It's that I'm capable of moving past those things. I've been very clear with her that if she's going to be by my side, then that is not open ended. I've made it clear that I have no compunctions about personally delivering her to a hotel or bus station or whatever if she's not going to stay.

As to her words vs actions.. I'm not going with her to sea. I can't look over her shoulder. I told her as much and moreover that if I need to, then she should just go ahead and move on. I don't want to control her and nor do I want someone who needs to be controlled. If her decisions and mine aren't based on mutual respect then there's no point going forward with our relationship. By contrast, if she is legitimately struggling with her sense of identity AND also a WW WAS, then these are two separate issues. I can't help her with either of those but I can be sympathetic to one (the identity issues) while still maintaining boundaries and an understanding that our actual M might not be salvageable.

Your point does highlight an unavoidable truth. I'm taking her to the airport this week and afterwards won't see her for most of a year. If I'm not in the right place with my disconnect/distancing on this, it will be devastating and detrimental to any potential. Previous deployments have been challenging and this one is her last before retirement. We're already strained and stepping back to specifically focus on myself and our children is likely the only way to retain my sanity and probably my job and student status as well.

Thank you again for posting.

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I didn't want to leave her hanging because it's a crappy feeling. I told her I've had to recently rediscover my purpose. My views that I've based my rediscovery of self around stem from concepts and ideas that are sustainable, not a specific person or job or thing. I made it clear to her that my goals have nothing to do with her or the kids.. but they exist in such a way that whoever is in my life is part of those goals/dreams. I'll be doing this or that and living like this.. regardless of any other circumstances. Faith, personality, personal and professional goals, lifestyle choices, life experiences. I don't know if that makes sense.. but a lot of the discussions here have helped me to form my vision of my future.


I wouldn't share this kind of intimacy with someone who is in an active affair.

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Over the last few nights, she has been caring for me because of the Lasik recovery. After I laid down with my eye shields and basically can't move, she has been pulling close. Yesterday, she said she feels like she lost her purpose.. she wasn't sure she had one. She talked about it being based on the kids and her job in the military keeping a roof over our heads and similar things.


I also wouldn't believe anything like this being positive. She isn't back.

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Another discussion that seems to keep popping up is that she's a monster. She feels guilty. She messed up. She doesn't deserve to have someone care for her. She doesn't feel like she can be herself because she feels bad. I just try to reassure her. I don't know if this is wise but I remind her that I'm not perfect

She is using you to minimize her actions and you need to learn to validate.

There are some good positives going here, keep them going. I'm going to finish reading this later.


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Hey everyone.
So, I guess it wasn't clear that her PA is over. The OM is on the other side of the country and she just left on a deployment. I'm in a state of mind that she will be gone for 8 months. That's time to focus on me and it starts today.

...and.. I really need it.

I just got that awesome new job. I've been there 2 weeks. Wednesday the company got a new CEO. Thursday all of the teams in North America were fired and our jobs transferred to India. I still have to return my equipment.

I suppose it's good that I started my Masters in a different field. I don't think I can deal with this type of uncertainty anymore. I work in the graphic arts/3d industry and this is not the first time I've had a company do strategic layoffs.. it is the biggest and fastest that it's ever happened.

I'm contemplating a startup with everyone on our team.

Either way, this group has taught me that despair is not a productive response in this situation. So I am thankful for that.

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Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% your attitude towards it (and thus how you react). It seems your attitude to this hiccup is upbeat! I love it. Good job.

Huge plate of caution: "So, I guess it wasn't clear that her PA is over. The OM is on the other side of the country and she just left on a deployment."

Yeah, that isn't a PA being "over". That is a PA being paused due to circumstance out of both APs' control. Please do not kid yourself. I had a friend whose husband was a drug addict. He went into the military and got clean. While he was enlisted they got married, and had two kids. I cautioned her that if he hadn't dealt with his demons, once he was discharged and came back to our area that the old contacts and could cause him to relapse. Within a year of being discharged he relapsed. Their marriage ended after he got physically abusive, when she took the kids and left, he chased her in their 2nd vehicle and ended up rear-ending her to get her to stop and physically assaulted her in front of witnesses. (She later came to me and said "Well, Steve, you were right." I responded: "X, I am sorry and I really wish I hadn't been.")

I just want you to be realistic about this. This deployment and distance likely will cause them to miss each other and the PA could reignite once they are back together with more fervor than ever before. I do not say that to hurt you, but to prepare you. One of the reasons PAs are so addictive is that the people are limited to times they can meet. Sometimes they cannot meet again for days, even weeks. That distance builds up anticipation, it builds up frustration at not being able to have more access to the AP, and it builds up a passion. All of that comes out in the eventual meetings and it enhances the romanticism of meetings, PA, the AP, everything.

I can kind of relate. When I met my W we lived an hour apart. Every weekend one of us would drive after work on Friday to stay with the other person (we both lived alone) for the weekend. That continued for the first 8 months of our R. After 8 months she took a new job in the same area I lived, and moved into a new place in the same apartment complex. (Both of us are old-fashioned and so we didn't even consider moving in together prior to marriage.) The next 13 months of our R was much more work and we almost broke up about 6 months into that 13 months. I think a lot of that had to do with the transition from the limited time together, to spending a lot more time together. We started to lose that passion, and had to work at it as a couple. Which after that rough patch 6 months in, we did and within another year were married.

So please gird up your loins, the PA may be paused, not over.


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Steve,

I'm not really sure what your objective is here. I have two choices. I either trust and try to move forward or decide I do not trust and run our M into the ground. I'm not supposed to spy/snoop, but I'm also not supposed to trust her words. I'm supposed to maintain a positive attitude and act "as if". There's a chance you're right about the PA. Of course, there is. However, I can choose to fixate on that and drive myself into mania or focus on constructive energy. I'm not going to participate in hand-wringing over what-ifs. What I will do, is set a clear boundary, and if she crosses it, we're done.

I've been solidly engaged in my degree program. I am engaged in the church. I have been doing things with my kids. I also don't miss her. This is different and a bit worrying. I don't know if this means I don't want her back or if I just learned to be me by myself. I find myself considering other options. I don't feel compelled to email her really at all. I'm not thinking about what she's doing or when she'll write. I do look for it, but at this point, I think it's a habit more than anything. I glance at my inbox and kind of shrug when I see that there's nothing.

I can't decide if I'm just numb at this point, properly disconnected, or finally done with this whole thing. I also don't know which of these I would prefer at this point. I've struggled a bit with coming to terms with exactly what she has done. It's also starting to sink in that this isn't something that just happened or happened to her. It's a series of decisions. I genuinely do think she's struggling with her sense of identity, but I'm trying to decide if that matters.

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reason here is my objective:

I want you to be honest with yourself about the state of things so that you are not completely devastated when the truth comes out and you spiral and fall back into behaviors that harm your chances of moving forward. That's the thing I am trying to get you to see. You are still fixated on her and whether she is being your loving committed W, or if she is being the WW you got a glimpse of when OM was still available.

So rather than insist that the PA is over, understand that it may just be paused. It may flare up when circumstances are right for it. It may simply be an EA right now. Or she could be completely over OM and ready to fully commit to the MR and R after her deployment. Or it could be somewhere in the middle of all that (which is way more likely!).

As far as not being sure of where you are right now, it is also part and parcel of you still not focusing on the right place......and that is on YOU! That is the beauty of DBing, it doesn't matter what the WAS is or isn't doing. You focus on you. GAL (sounds like you are doing this pretty well). Work on your 180s and self-improvements (become a man only a fool would leave!). And work on detaching your emotions from the things she says and does. If she calls tomorrow and says she wants to D because her an OM have been talking and they want to be together, then you continue on the above plan (GAL, 180s, detachment). IF she calls and says she loves you and can't wait to come home and work on the MR with you, you still stick to the plan (GAL, 180s, detachment). Regardless of what she says or does, you stick to the plan.

So based on that, let me deal with this: "I genuinely do think she's struggling with her sense of identity, but I'm trying to decide if that matters." So after the above paragraph (assuming you agree with the approach), what do you think? Does it or doesn't it matter?

Finally, I forget, are you in IC? If not do so pronto. Consistently checking to see if she emails shows you are still not detached. A good IC can help you work through all of that.


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There is saying around here: Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.


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Steve, I was running through this laundry list of what-ifs for the first few months. When she left for quarantine, I was sad and lonely a lot. While she was calling/video chatting/texting, I stopped thinking about all of that. Frankly, I don't know if I care what she is or isn't doing at this point. I have certain obligations and dependencies that are unavoidable now, but there isn't time for her past that. My general mood now is focused on my future. My thoughts do drift to her, but it's now in the realm of "is this worth my energy"?

You have said repeatedly that I need to be honest with myself, but here is the simple decision I'm faced with.
If I continue trying to save our marriage, I see a long battle, resentment, heartache, and the possibility of it all falling apart again. If we do work things out and everything is optimistic, we will have secured partners for old age that we can each rely on.
If I allow it to dissolve, I can pursue my career and faith with 100% energy. I can move wherever I want. I don't have to think about whether or not I can trust her. It won't be my problem anymore.

Everything else is background noise.

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reason, are you in IC? I am noticing avoidant tendencies in your post. I would highly recommend working through that in IC. You run the risk of making a choice based on which you perceive is the easiest path. R and D are both emotional roller-coaster rides. So you may make a choice that you will later regret. A good IC can help you work through all of that.

Rarely are the best decisions made based on what you you perceive is the least painful decision.


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I'm not sure what an IC is?
If it's counseling, I have at least 3 options.. but I don't know which would be ideal. Church, University, and Military resources all offer counseling services if that is what IC stands for.

I'm trying to avoid making any decisions. Whatever the outcome, we have an agreement to take it day by day until the kids are both out of the house. Bundled into this are many inter-dependencies we still share, so right now, that is the least painful. I'm struggling with whether or not I will ever trust her.

It seems like your replies are now all geared towards everything I'm getting wrong. There's no light at the end of the tunnel, no advice on navigating problems, or even well-wishing, to be honest. I don't think you're personally attacking me, but I do get an overwhelmingly negative vibe from all of your responses. It isn't helping. I'm not saying that you need to glad-handle me or anything like that but come on, guy. I'm already going through something that is unthinkably difficult. I don't know your credentials, how many relationships you've helped or hindered, or even your own relationship status. If I am honest, I don't know that you're qualified to interact with people in difficult situations in the way that you have been. Further, you are so active here that I have to wonder if you have unresolved issues yourself.

All of that said, it's not impending doom. None of it. It'll resolve one way or another. I am focusing on setting myself up for a successful future with or without my W. I do think that you are over-analyzing everything I'm posting. I can't possibly explain every nuance of my thought processes or the things that have happened. I also withhold things that are extremely personal because.. frankly, who are any of you? I guess, what I'm saying is, the advice and interactions here are neither friendly nor helpful. Old articles and posts have been extremely helpful but past that, this has mostly been a place to vent and then get criticized by people with messed up relationship histories who hang out on a message board for people with similar situations. I'm going to step away and focus on positive energy and constructive activities. Thank you for trying in your way to being of help. Best of luck to you in your own endeavors and relationships.

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reason, I see you feel I've been unhelpful. You're right, I'm just an ordinary slob like you, no reason to put any significance into my opinion. I really do wish you well, the one qualification I do have is that I truly feel for LBSs, and just hope they can find their way to an awesome life and a happier place. Please know that I was trying to help, even if I have failed. But please do not leave the board, where I've failed to help many others here can offer insight and be of assistance. You shouldn't step away from the board, I should step away from your thread.

I hope you find the peace you seek.


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Reason,

best of luck to you. You are not alone. We are all rooting for you, but honestly, handling everyone with gloves on is IMO not the best idea.

It is OK not no make decisons if you are not prepared to do so. Just breathe, and calm your mind. Answers you seek will come to you.

You got this buddy...

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Originally Posted by reason
I guess, what I'm saying is, the advice and interactions here are neither friendly nor helpful. Old articles and posts have been extremely helpful but past that, this has mostly been a place to vent and then get criticized by people with messed up relationship histories who hang out on a message board for people with similar situations. I'm going to step away and focus on positive energy and constructive activities.

Hi Reason, I've found it a place to get criticized **and supported** by people with messed up relationship histories, lol. I express the good and bad in my situation. Steve doesn't state his qualifications beyond caring, but they include surviving an EA, rebuilding a relationship with his wife, and watching what's happened in many similar situations over the years. Which isn't to say he, nor I, are the Grand Poobah (60s reference) of relationship or breakup know-how! I know it's easy to fixate on or entirely avoid the situation. I'd seek a balance point--maybe 80% GAl, 20% processing. And since you said you'd received or seen no well-wishes, which is shocking on this board, I wish you well whether you decide to post here again or get support elsewhere. May you live the life of your dreams with her, on your own, or with another. ((Hugs))



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Originally Posted by reason
I have two choices. I either trust and try to move forward or decide I do not trust and run our M into the ground. I'm not supposed to spy/snoop, but I'm also not supposed to trust her words. I'm supposed to maintain a positive attitude and act "as if". There's a chance you're right about the PA. Of course, there is. However, I can choose to fixate on that and drive myself into mania or focus on constructive energy. I'm not going to participate in hand-wringing over what-ifs. What I will do, is set a clear boundary, and if she crosses it, we're done.

Hey Reason,

I'm not sure that you have only two choices right now. You're in a really interesting and in some ways enviable position. Folks say here you have the gift of time-- but you REALLY have the gift of time. Eight months where you can focus on yourself (which is sounds like you're doing, kudos) and you don't have to deal with your WS in person, just emails. Trust or not trust--- what would that change in how you live your life over the next eight months? Maybe she's still in touch with her AP. Maybe she's not. None of that is within your control.

My advice to you would be rather than feeling like you need to pick a path today-- trust and work on the M (but maybe have the niggling doubt that she is still talking to OM and what happens when she gets back and that whole long path that you could go down), or not trust and wash your hands of her-- I don't think there is a need for you to make that decision today. Let it go, for now. You have literally months before she returns. Keep doing what you're doing, focusing on that which you can control (you) and letting go of that which is outside of your control (your W and what she might be thinking/doing/feeling now and into the future).

Originally Posted by reason
I've struggled a bit with coming to terms with exactly what she has done. It's also starting to sink in that this isn't something that just happened or happened to her. It's a series of decisions. I genuinely do think she's struggling with her sense of identity, but I'm trying to decide if that matters.

I'm curious to know more about how you view her A in the context of your own. I'm assuming this is a path you walked as well, understanding your own actions and decisions, and reconciling those with your own sense of identity. (This is partially to help me understand how the past is interacting with your current sitch, and also personally I'm interested in the perspective of a former WH who has come to terms with his actions.)

I'm sorry you don't feel supported-- I have been following your story with interest and am rooting for you. I hope you keep posting here.

Last edited by may22; 02/18/21 07:07 PM.

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Thanks for the replies. I just want to put it out there; after the things that have been said and done, kid gloves aren't really the issue so much as having a bit of optimism now and then. I appreciate the advice and encouragement.
The perspective about time and what is and is not in my control is also good to see.

I think, ironically, what was intended as parting words from Steve (and a few others now) about finding peace might have been the most helpful bit I've seen. Finding a resolution, a way forward, a decision, an answer, a reason, a sign.. all of these things are on my radar. None of them really lead to peace. I think making that my focus will probably fix most of the other issues.

May 22 -
The perspective of my own experiences is a double-edged sword. It creates expectations of what will and won't happen or comparisons between what did or did not happen. These are existing within myself and are things I have heard from my W on a few occasions. "Well, you did this or that". I've reflected on this quite a bit lately.
So, after giving you more of my WH story (below), reflecting on my decisions to have a PA is the only thing that has given me a counterbalance in this. It's hard to keep it in perspective, and it really isn't tipping the scales. It's more like seeing your spouse shoot themselves in the foot and then doing it yourself. When I recommitted to the M, I was all in. I guess she didn't really know that back then, but I did. Here, she has agreed to stay but has repeatedly said that there are no promises and that she just wants to go be alone and have nothing, etc. At the time of the PA, in my mind, our M was over by my wife's request. The EA was a blur. It just happened, and every time I made that choice, it felt like I was taking part of my identity back. It's absurd, of course. It was just self-indulgence. Thank you. Typing this out has helped me. I carry guilt about my role as a WH but I also have to accept that I made a decision to not be that person again.


(my original sitch when I was a WH)
My original sitch was back in 2008. I had an EA with a WW. I don't know how many details are really relevant past the fact that our M was in a bad state. My W got angry, physically assaulted me (she bruised me up, I didn't really fight back). She left for deployment, saying it was over. My EA turned into a PA. I told her about it and that I was moving on. She begged for me to come back, and we had 2 toddlers at the time, so I decided for their sake to do that. In retrospect, I was in a dark place before the EA. I was a full-time student and working 2 jobs. That's not intended as an excuse so much as a catalyst. After the PA ended and we started our reconciliation, I had to leave everything (job, friends, etc.) and move to CA with my W for the Navy. I committed myself to the kids and tried to make the best of the M. After a few years of denial, and I slipped into depression. I was in and out of moods, and I started bodybuilding. During this time, I "came around" and fell in love with her again.

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I've hit a point where I am really starting to feel beat down by all of this. I've tried to be optimistic and positive, but it's so heavy. I don't even think it's about her at this point, so much as her loss of self and the destabilization of our marriage has triggered the same in me. I've been slipping down a murky hill of despair mixed with bitterness, and I can't stand it. There is profound loneliness along with a void where a sense of purpose should probably be.

I think I need to seek counseling because this has gotten worse over the last couple of days. I'm not really even thinking about her. At this point, it's about thinking about the future and the giant question mark that looms over it in basically every aspect of my life. I'm going to keep on with the GAL activities because they do help, but man.. this is so heavy.

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Hi Reason,

It's promising that you recognize the loss of self, the void, and are seeking to repair those via GAL and IC as opposed to the less-helpful route of trying to find someone else to fulfill you. GAL doesn't just distract you, it changes who you are. Sometimes I need time to adapt to all the changes I make. Inner changes can be subtle--until they're not! The upside is once we've done this inner work, we'll be much better partners for whoever comes next, which in your case you may still be hoping is again your wife.



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Hi Reason, I'm trying to catch up on your thread. I may say something someone else has covered, but bear with me.

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Early in the next year she's going to spend 6-8 months at sea. She claims OM will be in a completely different part of the country at a different duty station by the end of December 2020.. so if that's true, it could be a blessing?


Well, whenever a person is having an EA, it doesn't matter where they live. Being at sea hasn't stopped her M, and it won't stop her EA unless she's ended it for real. You can always hope for the best, but I'm just being very realistic with you. Even if this particular OM drops out, she's vulnerable to another EA with another guy when she's in an unhappy MR. It's not the man, it's whatever she's going through emotionally. I hope to read where she's ended the EA and gone through withdrawals before she goes back out to sea.

Are your reasons for thinking this is a MLC based on her behavior? Was there some type of trauma in her childhood that she never addressed? You might want to consider something else. The behavior of a MLCW and WW are very similar.

Speaking as a W, it feels very insecure to have a H who is out of a job for any length of time. If she is staying in the Navy just for job security, it could cause a lot of resentment in her. The wayward mindset is built on deep resentment, disrespect for the H, selfishness/self entitlement/self centeredness, & rebellion. This mindset kills attraction/desire for her H, and she loses the feeling of being in love with him. IMHO, waywardness comes from a place of anger/contempt, while a MLC comes from a past of personal pain/trauma that never healed.

Okay, on the next page of your thread, I see where you read some of my thread on LBH's with a WW, and you tend to agree.

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That said. My W had a EA and PA with another service member. At least one encounter of the PA was on a ship while underway. I can bring this up with her command and dramatically impact her career if not end it. It would also result in the OM being immediately out of the picture. Is this too far though? Or is it enough to snap her out of the A Fog? She would obviously be angry with me, but would that matter in the end? I know that nobody has a crystal ball. I know that there's no guarantees. I really just wonder if rolling this out with her command along with divorce would be the right call or if it would be seen as me giving up?


Some years ago on the board, there was a group of people who believed in taking it to the toughest level. They believed in exposing the spouse's affair.......and the term "scorching the earth" described it pretty well. I was not on board with going to this extent. My reasoning behind it was that it wouldn't cause her to fall into her H's arms if he had personally brought this exposure on her life in order to end an affair. I will, however, add that I've seen a few cases over the years that might have merited such action. smirk About the only way I would agree with it would be if the LBH had given up ever restoring the MR, b/c IMHO, this action would serve to deepen her contempt for him. Although there have been a few LBH's claim it saved their M, I really had my doubts as to the degree of affection the WW held for him. Everything regarding the acts of a LBH with a WW, has to be from the point of commanding respect. Is he getting her respect or is he just out to get rid of OM? How much vengeance is involved here? There is room for argument on both sides of this question. I understand the WW brings unhappiness and the destruction of the M on herself, and therefore, some people would say she brings this type of action from her H, as well. Most WW's rewrite their marital history, demonizing the LBH. So, it boils down to the individual H and his personal integrity of what is the right thing to do for him. You are aware of more details, such as WW & OM being on the same ship, etc. It would probably bust the physical affair, alright, but I don't know that it would bust a divorce. Am I making sense? We can talk more about it, if need be.

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She has childhood trauma that I forgot to mention. The death of her mother at a young age and molestation from a close relative for a long time. I also didn't elaborate on what makes me think she's in MLC.


Ah, there it is. Was she ever in therapy for these issues?

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I only mention this because, to me it gives me hope that if it's a MLC, it's something that she can overcome.


But Reason...........she can overcome waywardness, too! (((hugs))) I know this, b/c I lived it. And the thing about waywardness is that it doesn't have to last as long as MLC. I'm not trying to tell you what she is, but rather explain a WW. Could it overlap? I think it might in some cases, b/c some people's lives are so complexed.......why not? I've seen many newcomer LBH's think their W is going through MLC, when in reality, she was simply wayward. Is your W's unhappiness linked with her past, or is it linked to you and the MR? In a case of WW, the H is her direct point of resentment. He's to blame for all her unhappiness.....(according to her).

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If she decided a 6 month relationship was worth breaking up her family, risking her career, etc etc from a non-MLC mindset.. That just doesn't make sense to me, but she's willing to live with me for a year and a half at least in the meantime (for our kids). I dunno.. a lot of this is still so fresh in my mind and I'm honestly thinking out loud.


If I'm understanding you correctly, you see her reacting to a MLC as something she couldn't help, whereas waywardness is a choice. Is this what you're saying? FWIW, I agree, and I think it's why LBH's struggle so much with the idea that his W is wayward. He can find no logic to her actions, so it must be something else happening to her. In both cases, they are operating from their emotions. Therefore, their logical, right thinking goes out the door, and you see somebody you no longer recognize.

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My question is.. does DB-ing happen, regardless of what the underlying issues are? Does the approach change based on the situation? Everything I'm seeing says A) there's no such thing as a tried and true process and B) there are no rules.


We think of DBing as the work you currently put forth. I feel as if you are asking if DBing is the results of your actions. Good point either way. Here's the thing...... the other spouse is doing no DBing. They aren't the spouse obtaining the tools. It's the LBS that DB's. (A) It's up to the LBS to decide the specifics in the approach taken. There are no guarantees, b/c one sitch will not be everyone's sitch. On the board, you can receive more one-on-one advice in how to tweak your approach. (B) Not sure what you mean by rules. Everyone has to decide for themselves what works and doesn't work. DB is doing what works. The board's vets can advise from their expertise, but it's up to you to do it or not.

Okay, so I quickly realized I just needed to stop writing and read the rest of your thread. I'm sorry if you feel criticized. Some of us do come across rather critical sometimes, but I think it's our way of pointing to what we see needs work. FWIW, I think you've done a good job, considering everything. Please don't get down and discouraged if someone points to something specific, or doesn't see what all you've accomplished. We are here to try and help someone else who is going through this hell on earth.

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I've hit a point where I am really starting to feel beat down by all of this. I've tried to be optimistic and positive, but it's so heavy. I don't even think it's about her at this point, so much as her loss of self and the destabilization of our marriage has triggered the same in me. I've been slipping down a murky hill of despair mixed with bitterness, and I can't stand it. There is profound loneliness along with a void where a sense of purpose should probably be.

I think I need to seek counseling because this has gotten worse over the last couple of days. I'm not really even thinking about her. At this point, it's about thinking about the future and the giant question mark that looms over it in basically every aspect of my life. I'm going to keep on with the GAL activities because they do help, but man.. this is so heavy.


This feeling you currently have is not that unusual. In fact, Steve85 experienced it, as well as some others. It's when the LBH is very close to becoming a WAH. He's tried hard to emotionally detach, and who knows what thoughts he has, trying to numb his feeling? I think in a case like yours, where you don't really know where you stand.......can be the most exhausting. You probably feel there are days where you are just flying by the seat of your pants, right? I couldn't blame you. I think this emotion you currently feel is temporary. You two have been through a lot of turmoil, so don't trust how you feel too much at this time. We encourage individual counseling. Bear in mind, there are counselors out there that aren't pro-marriage.....and there are some who aren't worth a dime. However, there are also some who are very instrumental in getting your thoughts and feelings sorted out.

I want to say a few things on behalf of your W. She appears to be trying a lot harder than I did....(if her actions indicate her trying to salvage the MR). I went through terrible withdrawal symptoms that hung on for months. My physical and emotional health was suffering a lot. I had no hope, no feelings of love, no desire to do anything, and was terribly depressed about everything. I had made a decision to do the right thing and give up the EA and stay in my M. I decided to treat my H with respect. I prayed a lot!!! I had joined the board, and was here every night until I couldn't keep my eyes opened. Still........it took nearly two years before I truly felt remorse for what I had done. I was horrified when my kids found out. I was so embarrassed I couldn't look at them. But when it came to my H, the resentment had not turned to remorse. That took a long time. I even prayed that God would help me feel remorse, b/c I always knew what I did was wrong in the sight of God. One night while I was alone in bed and praying, the remorse came. My H was still setting up watching tv. I went to him, and I was so torn up he couldn't understand what I was saying. But he knew where it was coming. After that night, the resentment was gone and my feelings of respect followed my actions of respect. My feelings of love/desire for my H began to return.

I see signs in your W that appear as if she's experiencing withdrawal. The up & down emotion is to be expected. I think her case differs from mine, in the fact she hasn't made an official decision about the M. It's still up in the air, for both of you. The reason I told you about my experience is to say that she can choose to do the right thing, and then work toward the goals. As long as she waits for a certain feeling to direct her........she's going to stay confused. If she knows what is "right", then she should start behaving in the right way with the right attitude and speech. Those three things need to line up together. Trust me, it's not easy for her. This is a process for her, and both of you need to realize it. It's not something she snaps out of suddenly. She may have her eyes open and may even feel some guilt, but for the most part, she has to work through all of it. It was almost a two year process for me, and I was getting daily help, so I can only imagine what it's like for her. Last but not least, she has to learn to live with herself. Forgiving herself is hard.

Don't give up, Reason. Please stick with us, posting as often as possible.


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@sandi2
Thanks for posting this very thoughtful reply. I'm trying not to let my boys see me crying right now because what you've said puts forth the things I've withheld in my posts. I have been on the verge of seeking an EA, but I keep talking myself down. I prayed on it and opened my Bible to a specific passage (Proverbs 6), and it was like a bucket of cold water in my face.

When I came to the thread, I had come here to post for advice before sending an email to my wife today. That email was basically going to be me telling her not to contact me again. I do not know if that is wise or not, but my thoughts have been tempered by your post.

As to my W and withdrawal
She can't sleep, isn't eating right, has severe acne flare-ups, has put on a lot of weight, is forgetful, and has difficulty expressing herself. I had decided she was experiencing depression, but it could also be withdrawal or both. She's stated that she wants to love me but doesn't feel it. She has also said that she wants to stay together until our youngest is out of the house (a year and change).

My W and WAW or MLC
I think it's probably a combination of the two at this point. I also gave up on figuring it out and realized it probably doesn't make much difference. I believe your assessment is right. MLC offered an explanation I could get my head around.

Trust
I'm struggling with this more than anything. I find myself questioning everything. She doesn't seem to have any remorse towards me, but she feels guilty in general. She's said as much. Reading your testimony about how long it took and what that process was like was very illuminating, and I thank you for sharing that.

Right now, I feel angry and alone. Not knowing where I stand with her or what I feel is tearing at me. I am having a tough time focusing on my classwork.


What's new?
Not much in our M., She is writing every day. She sounds positive and tells me about her day. She asks about the boys instead of emailing them directly and asks me to pass messages to them. I've found myself simply replying to what she writes and leaving out any details about my day, feelings, or how I'm doing, even though she keeps asking. Today's email was going to be asking her not to contact me unless there was something important.

This was the most recent email from her
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Good morning are you doing well today? I am doing all right, and thank you for the email info, (son) replied back so it's all good. Did he get anything for his birthday or just a dinner? He looks so happy in the picture smile is that the only one you took? I don't have too much to say here, but I am doing a lot of thinking...in my idle time and all. I am stuck in the usual cycle of my work schedule and I have also found time to read at least a chapter of a book in the evening time. Well I have nothing of interest to share, but I'm sure that I will hear something from you so I will wrap this up and later wait for your reply. Thank you for everything and I hope you have a great day and take care.

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I also forgot to mention; I don't think she went to therapy for her trauma. She has confronted them in some ways, but I can tell you, they are absolutely unresolved.

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If you want to go no contact, then go no contact. The actions is more important than the words. Plus, if you tell her this, and then renege or your commitment, you will look weak.

Is emailing back and forth with her "working"? It seems like it has some positive for your sitch and your desired outcome.

WW's are often involved in an internal turmoil, their actions are unhealthy, and it weighs on them. She may be depressed, who knows? The biggest thing is that you don't know and you can't help. Her circus, her monkeys. Give her time and space while you work on you. Seriously. Go have fun, go learn something, be social, read more, walk through park, run, workout, something.


H 34
W 29
BD 3/12/18
Divorce Busted Spring 19

It is not things that bother us, but the stories we tell ourselves about things.
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Over the last few days, I've hit a phase that is a little different. I've stopped blaming myself, but I'm also irate. I've intentionally been out of contact the last 3 days. Today I broke that because I needed info from her to file our taxes. She pointed out that she hasn't heard from me. I told her I'm angry and don't know if it will pass.

The thing that has been sticking in my mind today is that she could have retired. She wouldn't have to be at sea. She claimed that she was extending to try to pick up Chief (which I think may have been true at the time). She put no energy into that and all of it into this affair. The fact that the entire time I thought she was working so hard at trying to advance is stinging. I was pushing really hard during that time at the skills I was trying to develop to chase my dream job. When I started that, she seemed on board. I was pouring 300% into it and assuming that her long hours were her doing the same. I had been so angry I couldn't sleep.


Anyway, enough of that. I have had a crazy busy week. Being productive has helped me focus on other things. I've read a book and started another. They have been very helpful at not only stopping the negative thoughts and anger but also understanding why I am hung up on this. The negativity and bitterness are only going to beat me down. The anger and resentment will turn me into someone I have no intentions of being. One of the profound things I read, says that forgiveness has a cost. When you expect the other person to pay it, they have control over you. If you pick up the tab, you have to pay the price. Forgiveness is never free. I'm still processing some of this, but it's helping me to get out of my head and focus on the positive.

Anyway, I filed our taxes, took care of a lot of things, scheduled my classes, and got a 91 on a major test in the class I am in. Took care of the house and other general adulting to remind me that life is still here.

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Good job, reading books to help you be in better control of your thoughts. I wish we were allowed to give titles and authors, b/c another member (Pack) struggles with ongoing thoughts about his sitch, especially when he is home alone.


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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Originally Posted by sandi2
Good job, reading books to help you be in better control of your thoughts. I wish we were allowed to give titles and authors b/c another member (Pack) struggles with ongoing thoughts about his sitch, especially when he is home alone.





I can suggest that it was helpful to look for advice on the subject of betrayal but from a Christian (or at least spiritual) view. I would also add, that for books dealing with the cultivation of thought, to start with books that have been around a while and still make reading lists. For me, I also am still looping in Christian values but I've read some from other faiths or belief systems that have helpful guidance.

I wish I could PM but I don't have enough posts yet. I may try to find his thread and see if I can offer advice, or at least a word of encouragement.

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PMs are disallowed here. Im at 2217 posts, so if they ever opened up, Id presumably have them, unless they require Sandi-level karma (15,000+ posts)!



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Originally Posted by CWarrior
PMs are disallowed here. Im at 2217 posts, so if they ever opened up, Id presumably have them, unless they require Sandi-level karma (15,000+ posts)!


Ha, that makes sense. I keep seeing the notification that I have an unread PM. That's kinda evil lol.

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I was diagnosed with BPH (enlarged prostate) this week. I am waiting on lab results to find out if it's something more. Keep me in your prayers if you do that sort of thing please.

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Hi reason, im so sorry to hear that. I will pray for you


Me 32, W 24
T 6, M 3
No kids
BD: Aug 2020
OM: Jan 2021
Wife to file soon
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It's been a crazy rollercoaster. I have a new position. W is retiring from the Navy, and we've been "back together" for a few months. I have suspicions about her intentions and when I brought that up today, she tried dismissing it saying "that was so long ago" and numerous other things. When I told her it was less than a year and that we either needed to go to counseling or she should respect my boundaries, she said "well I guess we'll have to live together until we can figure something else out".

There's a lot going on and I feel like I still love her, but her idea of taking accountability is just saying "I f###ed up and it was a long time ago". She won't go to counseling with me.

I've been living my life. We've been having dates and spending time together. There is this thing in the back of my mind saying "she's just staying because it's safe". I don't know that I get a strong sense that she loves me. She says she doesn't remember some of the things I mentioned that happened, but she has been known to gaslight.

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Originally Posted by reason
It's been a crazy rollercoaster.
Sounds like it
Originally Posted by reason
I have a new position.

Crongrats!
Originally Posted by reason
I have suspicions about her intentions and when I brought that up today, she tried dismissing it saying "that was so long ago" and numerous other things.
More details help paint a better picture.
Originally Posted by reason
When I told her it was less than a year and that we either needed to go to counseling or she should respect my boundaries,
What are your boundaries?
Originally Posted by reason
she said "well I guess we'll have to live together until we can figure something else out".
Not a great response for you.
Originally Posted by reason
There's a lot going on and I feel like I still love her, but her idea of taking accountability is just saying "I f###ed up and it was a long time ago". She won't go to counseling with me.
Well you can't control her. What do you love about her? You don't paint a great picture.
Originally Posted by reason
I've been living my life. We've been having dates and spending time together. There is this thing in the back of my mind saying "she's just staying because it's safe".
Ahhh your gut is telling you something. I wonder if you are staying for the same reason reason? lol.
Originally Posted by reason
I don't know that I get a strong sense that she loves me. She says she doesn't remember some of the things I mentioned that happened, but she has been known to gaslight.
Selective memory is common in these parts of town.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.- Will Smith
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@LH19 -
I am trying to figure out if I'm seeing things that aren't there and I think the initial post was me venting. I have been doing full-time work in the day and full-time classes at night and honestly might just be burnt out in general. I need to find time to sit down and answer your questions very thoroughly because honest answers to those will probably tell me what I need to know. The current point of frustration for me is that she keeps dismissing the whole thing as "it happened a long time ago" and claims to not remember the months of hurtful interactions. She doesn't deny her infidelity but has taken a "we can't change the past" stance. She has brought up my infidelity from more than 10 years ago numerous times, almost as justification or an excuse.

Our youngest son has an upcoming heart procedure, so from that standpoint, "safe" feels necessary.

I think I have to consider my responses and what my boundaries really are because right now it feels like I have them and they're being trampled.. but without knowing them very well, I cannot fairly say that this is true. Thank you for the thoughtful and concise reply.

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Originally Posted by reason
I am trying to figure out if I'm seeing things that aren't there and I think the initial post was me venting.

No I think what you are seeing is real. It's just hard to see through your rose colored glasses, which is normal for a recent LBS.
Originally Posted by reason
I have been doing full-time work in the day and full-time classes at night and honestly might just be burnt out in general. I need to find time to sit down and answer your questions very thoroughly because honest answers to those will probably tell me what I need to know.
Honest answers will certainly help. Take your time.
Originally Posted by reason
The current point of frustration for me is that she keeps dismissing the whole thing as "it happened a long time ago" and claims to not remember the months of hurtful interactions.
This can't happen. I have a friend whos wife cheated 20 years ago. They never did counseling and her answer was "you need to get over it". Well surprise he has never gotten over it and has tons of resentment and is planning his D.
Originally Posted by reason
Our youngest son has an upcoming heart procedure, so from that standpoint, "safe" feels necessary.
This is what is most important. I hope it goes well.
Originally Posted by reason
Thank you for the thoughtful and concise reply.
No problem.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.- Will Smith
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