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Originally Posted by Ready2Change
Originally Posted by scaredA
My wife started talking and the conversation went something like this.
W: My friends are organising a bbq on 12th Nov
Me: Which friends?
W: With annoyance in her voice “As if you know any of my friends”
Me: Ok
Minute silence
W: Would you like to go?, in a calmer voice
Me: You and me?
W: They are all going as couples
Me: I would love to come

I do not know how social you are, but If I were in your shoes, I would make it a goal to interact with everyone at the bbq, learn and remember as many of their names and "their story" as possible. Make it about them. DO NOT FOLLOW W around like a puppy dog. Most likely she will start following you.

If you want more input on this, let us know.

R2C I would love some more input on this if you have time


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scaredA,
Originally Posted by scaredA
I got up went to the gym.
Awesome! Keep it going. Make it a habit and long term plan and not a temporary measure.

Originally Posted by scaredA
When the kids had dinner I sat with them and talked about their day.
Good stuff. Make sure you're there for your kids.

Originally Posted by scaredA
The wife was in the living room. I put the kids to bed.
Do you always put the kids to bed? What was the typical arrangement. You should do your share certainly, but to LH's point earlier, don't let her put 100% of the responsibility on you.

Originally Posted by scaredA
Went downstairs, wife was in living room on her phone, doing whatever! I sat in the living room and read my book, didnt start any conversation at all. We both sat in silence for about 1-1/2 hours. Her on phone, me reading.
Prep yourself for the possibility she was chatting w/OM. My ExW would while we were in the same room. So uncomfortable and awkward. I probably should've handled it more strongly.

Originally Posted by scaredA
She then started to ask me about a birthday party for our youngest. I was polite and welcoming but didnt try to keep holding the conversation. She then talked about her work for a bit. Later she went upstairs and said goodnight.
Sounds like you handled it well. Good to plan the birthday with the kids. Make sure for yourself you're not getting any expectations raised because of a nice chat.

Originally Posted by scaredA
She did take the smaller one to the beach sometimes. She also took them both on holiday, to which I was not invited.
What do you mean you weren't invited on Holiday? Was this recently, or awhile ago?

Originally Posted by scaredA
During the holiday her and my teen son were at each others throats, including physical violence from both of them. She texted me several times about this, including sending photos of bruises.
Physical violence is very concerning. Who had the bruises, hers or your son's? This is potential child abuse.

Originally Posted by scaredA
Having said that, she rarely makes them food, ordering delivery pizza twice a week. Last night she opened a tin of beans, poured it into a bowl and gave that to my youngest son to eat. She does not activities such as playdates for the kids, she used to also arrange these. When she went out with OM, she would just leave early afternoon and not come back till after midnight, even if I was already out of the house, leaving the kids alone.
Pizza isn't child abuse, but opening a can of beans certainly sounds like some depressed/lazy parenting. Make sure you're stepping up as a dad to help the kids through this.


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Originally Posted by scaredA
Originally Posted by LH19
Yep I agree you go dark it’s more of the same and your marriage probably won’t improve. I also know that while she is having an affair your marriage won’t improve. So the question becomes what do you want to do.

This is indeed the question. I am really not sure of the answer. I suppose I just keep plugging away, with my cut off date fixed for next year. I try to make myself a better person for my own and my kids benefit. I she wants to come along up to her, if not I now have my cut off date.

Along the way I plan to do this:
1) No more gifts
2) Give her physical and emotional space
3) Do not initiate comms, particularly R and A related
4) Try to be a good dad to my kids
5) Do not ask for family time, let her request it
6) Be polite and generous if she initiates comms
7) Stick to my boundaries
8) Do not be defensive or critical to her
Uuuuummm you don't try to be a good dad. You be a good dad.


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Originally Posted by scaredA
Ok, quick update. I think yesterday was good. I had the day off work and she was back at work and the kids where at school.

I got up went to the gym. When the kids had dinner I sat with them and talked about their day. The wife was in the living room. I put the kids to bed. Went downstairs, wife was in living room on her phone, doing whatever! I sat in the living room and read my book, didnt start any conversation at all. We both sat in silence for about 1-1/2 hours. Her on phone, me reading. She then started to ask me about a birthday party for our youngest. I was polite and welcoming but didnt try to keep holding the conversation. She then talked about her work for a bit. Later she went upstairs and said goodnight.
It would seem you are getting into that zone that you are second guessing every action, conversation and thought about your wife. Every conversation, every little thing is being scrutinized. You can't keep this up for long. Why? It's exhausting. And...your wife can tell. She can see that you are dancing around her. Any change of behavior is, admit it or not, a way to change the outcome of this whole mess you're in. It makes her trust you less. To be honest, GAL, and being detached is very hard. How do you work hard at looking like you are not working hard? It's exhausting, bro. Very few people can be that Zen. Give yourself a break. Be yourself.

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


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Originally Posted by Ready2Change
I do not know how social you are, but If I were in your shoes, I would make it a goal to interact with everyone at the bbq, learn and remember as many of their names and "their story" as possible. Make it about them. DO NOT FOLLOW W around like a puppy dog. Most likely she will start following you. If you want more input on this, let us know.
Originally Posted by scaredA
This is exactly my plan. I am not the most sociable person and actually prefer sitting in the house reading, than going out to parties. My wife is very sociable. I definitely want some more input on this!


Here is my generic thought process:

#1) Are kids going with us? If not, who is watching the kids while both parents are out of the house? Who makes arrangements for a sitter (you or spouse)? This is an opportunity for some 180's. Most of the time the woman is dealing with this type of stuff in advance. BBQ is a little grey for me, but I believe kids are typically OK at BBQs. BUT, you might be able to talk to your parents or siblings and see if anyone is available. Lets say your mother says she can. Then:

H&W sitting in silence.
H:"My mom said she could watch the kids if we needed her while we went to your friends house for BBQ."

W:"The kids are going with us."
H:"Perfect. I will let mom know."

There may be many other responses. The important part is you get more information. There is less confusion at that point. You should

You also have other choices. Maybe it is more important to YOU that your kids be with your family while you are at BBQ with W's friends.

Then it goes like this:

H&W sitting in silence.
H:"I've arranged with my mom to watch the kids while we are at your friends house for BBQ."
W:"I wanted the kids with us."
H:"I believe it's best if the kids get some grandma time and we get some adult time"
Then validate. Do not argue. Stick to your guns about the importance of kid/grandma time etc.
(The ladies here may be able to elaborate on this)

#2) Style - How are you going to dress? I would dress a little more stylish than your normal. Something new that W has not seen you wear. Do not go overboard, but you should look sharp. You have two weeks to find something. You can also carry this idea into your normal everyday. Start dressing a little sharper than the "old you". I am a t-shirt, ball cap and shorts guy, but when I go out with my lady, it is jeans and a button up. Hair styled. I will pick an accent, Normally a necklace. Ladies almost always notice a guys shoes. If you are on a tight budget, new shoes and a nice shirt.


#3) Most likely you will get introduced to some people. Focus hard on remembering there name. That is the most important thing in any conversation. Pick something unique about them and tie it to your memory. John the guy with the cowboy hat. Sue with the polka dot handbag. Most people like to talk. I just listen to their stories and focus on tying all of it together. Name/story/our interaction/their unique identifier.

#4) Cold approaching others is similar. identify some things that are unique at the BBQ. Maybe they have 10 cats. You notice someone else near you looking at one of the cats. "I wonder if they all have names?" Could be a convo starter. After the cat talk, introduce yourself. Remember the guys name. Ask him who he knows here. Or better how he knows everyone. Remember their names and his story about them. Exchanging contact info with people you connect with is good.

#5) Ride home. (Pick up the kids??). My lady and I talk about the people we meet. This is level of talk you want with your lady. Gives you something to talk about on the ride home. Clarifies details in you mind.

H&W driving home in silence.
H:"John was interesting."
W most likely talks.


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Originally Posted by BL42
Do you always put the kids to bed? What was the typical arrangement. You should do your share certainly, but to LH's point earlier, don't let her put 100% of the responsibility on you.

It was sorta shared, she at least came in and gave them a kiss. To be honest, she has her phone premenantly glued to her face. Our router has some sortware to stop the kids accessing inapproriate content, so I can see which websites are accessed by which device. She is constantly on facebook, instagram, facebook, instagram all day long. I honestly beleive it is some kind of addiction. Tonight I was making the kids lunches for tomorrows school and she was just on the settee scrolling up. I had to go and say can you please get the kids in bed whilst I make the lunches. She didnt say anything, but she went


Originally Posted by BL42
Prep yourself for the possibility she was chatting w/OM. My ExW would while we were in the same room. So uncomfortable and awkward. I probably should've handled it more strongly.

She may well be. What can I do if she is? All I can do is work on myself and see if she comes along for the ride. Ive got my cut off date now and it is making me feel a bit happier as I know there is a end. She has backed off quite a bit since she invited me to the bbq. Im not pushing anything, she wants to back, ok I will wait for her to start a conversation again.

Originally Posted by BL42
Sounds like you handled it well. Good to plan the birthday with the kids. Make sure for yourself you're not getting any expectations raised because of a nice chat.

Yes, zero expectations. At least she showed some interest in the kid. Tonight he was acting up a bit, whinging about going to a certain Mcdonalds when she wanted to stop at a different mcdonalds. She threatened him with not organising his party for him. I thought this wasnt right, but didnt mention it. In last times that would have ended in an argument both about the party and about the mcdonalds. Instead I said told him to not worry as all Mcdonalds are the same and the particular Mcdonalds you are going too is not something really worth fighting over (the second point was really addressed to the wife). Everyone calmed down and we went to McDonalds in peace.

Originally Posted by BL42
What do you mean you weren't invited on Holiday? Was this recently, or awhile ago?

This was back in July when we were not speaking at all. I know OM was in contact at this point, but I think he was fobbing her off and they hadnt met for quite a while. She took them on holiday overseas, which I wasnt very happy aboutas corona restrictions were still in place. She didnt even ask if I wanted to come. I knew it was going to end in disaster as her and my oldest son cannot avoid escalating any conflict they have, to the point of violence. However I get blamed for that, is even when I am in another country.


Originally Posted by BL42
Physical violence is very concerning. Who had the bruises, hers or your son's? This is potential child abuse.

I understand that they both had bruises, although I saw the photos of hers. She has been physically violent with me also, although no one would probably believe it, im 6ft 2 and she is around 5ft 3. I have responded to her occasional violence by pushing her or moving her out of the way. Due to this she says I am voilent. I do not beleive I am and I have never, ever initiated anything physical.
Since we have re started talking I have tried to support her more with my son and to deescalate any situation that has started between them. I have commented that his behaviour is better when our behaviour is better and she has agreed with this

Originally Posted by BL42
Pizza isn't child abuse, but opening a can of beans certainly sounds like some depressed/lazy parenting. Make sure you're stepping up as a dad to help the kids through this.

Im trying to step up for the kids, but it feels the more I do the less she start doing. MWD says relationships are like a see saw, the more someone does of something the less the other does. Im not sure if I should just start directly asking her to do things for the kids, like when I asked her to tell put them in bed tonight.

I also thought there was some element of depression in this kind of behaviour.


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So Scared I am just going to throw this are there regarding some of the facts of the case.

Your W is physically abusive to you and your children, neglects your children, it addicted to social media, sleeps with other dudes and tells you about it and it is so bad you basically went a year without talking to her. What exactly are you trying to save?

Google search: Rejection breeds obsession


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Originally Posted by scaredA
I understand that they both had bruises, although I saw the photos of hers. She has been physically violent with me also, although no one would probably believe it, im 6ft 2 and she is around 5ft 3. I have responded to her occasional violence by pushing her or moving her out of the way. Due to this she says I am voilent. I do not beleive I am and I have never, ever initiated anything physical.
Since we have re started talking I have tried to support her more with my son and to deescalate any situation that has started between them. I have commented that his behaviour is better when our behaviour is better and she has agreed with this
Unless your teen is barely 13 this is insane. His reactions have nothing to do with how "well" you two are doing. Your son learned how to handle his mother from you, but teenagers don't have the impulse control adults do. I won't deny there are women who physically abuse men. Nor will I deny there are mothers who will resort to physical discipline when their teenage sons become physical more looming than they are. But you set the example and he will follow it with all the logic and impulse control of a teenager. Which means next to none.

You're 6'2" you're almost a foot taller than this women and your way of handling her hitting you is to push her? You could practically step over her if you needed to. Look I'm not saying she probably didn't need a push here or there when she blocked you into a corner or was blocking a door way, because all abusers act the same regardless of gender. They corner you. So I know there are situations for better or worse where things like this happen. But you let this play out in front of your kids for how many years? On top of that you're trying to save your MR to a physically abusive partner for what? Why would you want that?

Lastly good on you for trying to deescalate but you'd be better served showing your son how to get out of these situation with his mother instead of mitigating the problem for him, because whether or not you save this marriage that woman will be his mother for the rest of his life, and you may get her keep her hands to herself, but it's a long road to stop the train that she willingly starts moving to get conversations heated enough to get to that point.

Originally Posted by scaredA
Im trying to step up for the kids, but it feels the more I do the less she start doing. MWD says relationships are like a see saw, the more someone does of something the less the other does. Im not sure if I should just start directly asking her to do things for the kids, like when I asked her to tell put them in bed tonight.

Hi yeah, it's a seesaw when you have two willing participants in a MR that allow an imbalance to happen in the relationship. And those same two willing participants want to rectify that situation. That is currently not the case in your relationship. You're still only working with one fully willing participant. You can't force her to be a good parent. Nor can you force her to parent those kids if she doesn't want to. If you have to do absolutely everything for those kids while you are trying to figure out what to do here in this MR you're going to just have to do it. Your kids come first. They are not pawns. They are not puppies. They are not neutral observers in this this situation. They are just as in the middle of chaos as you are and you trying to pawn them off on a person who doesn't want to deal with them to prove a point is kind of cruel. So what if she's doing less? What if she wants so badly out of the MR she flees the country tomorrow and it's just you and the kids? Then what? Are you going to sit and wait until she gets back to parent? Are you going to do only 1/2 the parenting?

You need to be living your life "as if" right now. As if she isn't part of your MR or your family life. As if you two were still in separate households. If she wants to participate so be it. If she doesn't, fine. She doesn't guide or direct the course of the household. You do because you will do so with the safety and stability of your children in mind. She will exist in parallel to it. You include her if and when you feel like it, but you plan for her not to include her self.

I understand you don't want to live like you were when you were in separate households but you don't have that luxury. She's not all in. And until she is you need to stop acting like you can trick her into being the wife and mother you want her to be. You're just going to have to do everything for the kids and hope she chooses to be a part of their lives in a meaningful way.

Her being in the home doesn't really change you're circumstances. The sooner you accept that the easier this is going to be for you.

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Originally Posted by scared
I understand that they both had bruises, although I saw the photos of hers.
Huh?! If she's physically abusing your son, taking action would be a great 180.

Originally Posted by scared
Tonight he was acting up a bit, whinging about going to a certain Mcdonalds when she wanted to stop at a different mcdonalds. She threatened him with not organising his party for him. I thought this wasnt right, but didnt mention it. In last times that would have ended in an argument both about the party and about the mcdonalds.
Yes, I can see controlling behavior (telling her what she should or should not do) ending in an argument. You control you. She controls her (as long as she isn't abusive). Good job!

Originally Posted by scared
Instead I said told him to not worry as all Mcdonalds are the same and the particular Mcdonalds you are going too is not something really worth fighting over (the second point was really addressed to the wife). Everyone calmed down and we went to McDonalds in peace.
I wonder if you see the opposite of arguing and controlling her (aggressive behavior), as doing what she wants (passive behavior)? Obviously, not all McDonalds are the same or your wife and son wouldn't be disagreeing about which one to go to. WHOSE McDonalds did you go to in peace? This exchange isn't a big deal, but note favoring one over the other also isn't a big win for dealing with conflict or teaching your son how to deal with conflict. Happy Meal food for thought.



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Originally Posted by LH19
Your W is physically abusive to you and your children, neglects your children, it addicted to social media, sleeps with other dudes and tells you about it and it is so bad you basically went a year without talking to her. What exactly are you trying to save?

You will discover a lot if you take the time to ponder this question SA


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