Well I did it again- another backslide tonight with an R talk with the W. Not sure if I could have avoided it though given the circumstances.
It started with a phone call I got last night from a friend who had previously had a 2 year EA/PA that ended a year ago. (He previously confided the A to me after I came crying on his shoulder after discovery of my wife's EA.) My friend was calling because he had just had an unexpected 5 minute phone conversation with his former OW and was experiencing a kind of anxiety attack- he wanted to relapse and go be with OW right then and there and needed someone to talk him down from doing so. We talked, I got him grounded and he got home safe and sound. But just listening to him explain the emotional agony he was going through really got to me. It bothered me that EVEN AFTER A YEAR, my friend knew with every fiber of his being that what he was feeling for the OW was wrong but that he was struggling with his feelings nonetheless. It made me think about my W and the problems she is already experiencing with not being able to stop communicating with OM and how much harder it may get for her as time goes on.
Fast forward to this evening. W comes into my office and we started talking about family finances and dwindling savings. W has been off work 6 months now and has shown little motivation for getting a regular part time job. (I guess I wouldn't be too motivated to get a job either, not when you can have fun in the sun with the kids and engage in a sizzling hot EA to boot.) Anyways, the discussion inevitably turns to me explaining to W that she needs to get serious about getting employed again, which then leads to me telling her she needs to get her head back in the game altogether.
So then I confide in her what happened the previous night with my friend and how it really bothered me. I know, big mistake, but I couldn't help it. I tell her that I love and care about her very much and mention that I don't want to see her experience what my friend is experiencing. I acknowledge that I understand that she doesn't like me right now, I am the bad guy and that she doesn't want to hear much of anything I have to say. I tell her anyway that I am concerned about her and the impact the sitch is having on the welfare of our family. Predictably, she states that she doesn't think the EA is a problem at all, no she is not addicted to OM, blah blah blah.
I wind up telling her that I'm just fed up with all the BS besides no physical/emotional intimacy- not being able to tell her she looks beautiful, not being able to tell her I love her, not being able to compliment her about anything, etc. These are all conditions she made previously about giving her "space"- all the things that made her feel "uncomfortable" and/or "guilty". Then we get into how she sees her EA with OM (i.e. "wonderful"/"special") so differently than everybody else and that's when I tell her how her EA really is- sleazy, unethical, etc. She responds to this by stating "That sounds really supportive."
I have to say that it is exchanges like this that make me question detaching in my sitch- at least right now- because it sure seems like detaching and giving in to the above requests are mainly helping HER. They help HER detach from me. It makes it easier and more comfortable for her to continue to engage in the EA- no resistance = no guilt/uncomfortableness. I'm all for being sympathetic towards my W and what she is experiencing, but I'm also getting tired of taking a bunch crap from her as well.
I talked to my therapist about my feelings regarding the above and she asked me why I need to make my W feel comfortable while in the midst of the EA? She (the therapist) suggested that detaching may not be the best approach right now and that perhaps I shouldn't hold back my feelings to my W- it's OK to let my W know that I'm pissed off about the sitch and I don't have to hide it. Likewise, if I want to tell my W she is beautiful and/or I love her then I should, the hell with whether it makes my W uncomfortable or not. Thoughts anyone?
M: 41 W: 39 S: 11 S: 10 D: 4 1st contact w/OM: 1/19/09 EA began: 2/14/09 EA discovered: 3/1/09 I file for D 8/25/09 to protect myself _______________________________