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CS,

UGH!!! Thanks for all the disrespectful judgements packed into your two posts. I admit that my own DJs, SDs, and AOs, are abusive behaviors, which everybody at MB understands clearly as big love drains, and now I get you throwing that very important forward progress back at me in disrespectful and careless ways that negate any of the real progress at all. Deep down, I don't think you wish me success or marital recovery, but you'd rather make this about punishment. You can't hurt me more than I hurt for my wife and the mistakes I've made. I'm owning my own stuff and looking forward to reaping the benefits of abandoning childish ways and becoming the man I was supposed to be. You are not helping. Let me refer back to the discussion we had about planks and sawdust... Then let me ask you a few direct questions that require your radical honesty to be put into practice:

Has your husband or any other significant male in your life abused you? If so, how? How have you tried to communicate to him that he does this and how it hurts you? What was his response and are you seeing any progress in the frequency or severity of the abuse diminishing? Are you seeking professional help with dealing with the scars the abuse has caused? What has helped you the most? What can the abuser do to further your recovery if he himself is working to change? Are you willing and can you forgive him? What would that take and how long do you estimate?

Those are the questions I'm grappling with for my WW and if you can be helpful in answering these I'd be grateful. I hope she realizes that my own stupid instincts and fear-based controlling behaviors do not accurately reflect the love that I have for her. I also hope that she will acknowledge that the infidelity was not an appropriate response to the pain I've caused her and the lonliness she has felt for too long.

The only reason I cited the fact that I've never hit my wife was because I want to make a distinction about the type of abuse. The reason for mentioning that we've not argued since November is to record for myself where I really began to recognize the behaviors that were hurting my relationship and actively made a concerted effort to change them upon my arrival in Iraq. My WW will understand this.

Continuing to march. Persevering through this trial. Looking up toward freedom.

All I am and will become in Him,
sbmmal

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Why do you hope I stick around?

As for your other comment: I do not know SB or his wife-at least not to my knowledge.

I guess I should have expected the personal attacks to commence. Sometimes, this is what happens when people tell the truth...

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sbmmal Offline OP
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CS,

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Yet you chose to look into the sexual "a little more"? May I suggest that you begin by looking into the first two before you look into that one. The first two are far more important and repair of these will likely lead to repair of the latter.


The reason I keyed onto the sexual part was because that's what she wanted to discuss most and what sounded most important to her and the way that I'd most rejected her in the past. I suspect that I never really knew how significant an emotional need she had for SF. I also think the reason she keyed onto it is to serve as further justification for the infidelity. Hard to say, that's why I need to dig deeper in that area to understand her placing such emphasis on it. I didn't choose to talk about it - she did. I'm just trying to investigate why!!! I concur that affection and conversation are likely more important to her than SF, but I want to be sure so I'm not wasting my time with needs that are not most important.

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sbmmal Offline OP
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CS,

I know you are not my WW posting as someone else. I never thought you were.

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Are you saying your wife is not even acknowledging that the affair was wrong?


She has only acknowledged remorse, not repentance. There is a significant difference and we're not there yet. Nevertheless, I believe we're getting closer with every passing day, of this I am certain. The infidelity is wearing on her and she know's it's wrong, just not willing to admit it to me in any way that makes her vulnerable.

The hopper concept has to do with really trying to process the information received from a wayward spouse in the middle of infidelity. Since much of it is lies and justifications, the truth is hard to come by and more concentrated efforts need to be made to understand what's really being said or intended. You put it in a hopper and see what falls out as truth - the rest is blown away as rubbish.

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CS,

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I guess I should have expected the personal attacks to commence. Sometimes, this is what happens when people tell the truth...


Nobody has a problem with the truth, not even me. Where I struggle with your comments is in the pride you take in humiliating me rather than supporting me and in taking credit for what Mrs. STOWaway actually achieved well before you did - serious reflection about my own personal behavior and its impact on the condition of my marriage. Further, I perceive in your posts an obvious inability to conceive that repentance can actually cause real change in another human being, which I feel is very troubling. If I can't be changed, why bother even posting your comments at all?

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CS - I like to hear different opinions, that is all. We tend to all think in a similar way on this site, and it is quite interesting to hear other views.

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Update:

I got off the phone about an hour ago with Jennifer Chalmers of MB. It was a very motivating hour and well worth the time and money... She hit hard and went very fast. I tried feverishly to take notes and understand how to apply her advice. I got some great insight into how to best utilize the two weeks of leave we'll have together and there are some bold strategies to implement to save my WW, my family, and my marriage, while preventing further destruction.

I am feeling more equipped as I head into leave and I'll be sure to keep you all posted as the situation unfolds.

As far as the conversion question between B and NSTN goes, here is my response. I have been a Christian since just before meeting my WW nine years ago. I have never loved Jesus like I do right now and I have never understood what intimacy with Him is about until now. Your prayers always appreciated. Be praying for Mortarman as well, as he is finishing the journey I'm only just beginning.

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OK..I am seriously confused about this one: Exactly which one of my posts was "disrespectful"?



You asked:

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Has your husband or any other significant male in your life abused you? If so, how? How have you tried to communicate to him that he does this and how it hurts you? What was his response and are you seeing any progress in the frequency or severity of the abuse diminishing? Are you seeking professional help with dealing with the scars the abuse has caused? What has helped you the most? What can the abuser do to further your recovery if he himself is working to change? Are you willing and can you forgive him? What would that take and how long do you estimate?


Yes,I have been abused by a male. The unfortunate truth is this-Most women have. The statistics on female abuse at the hands of men are quite disturbing. You probably saw this when you visited that web site. If not, plenty of data on this tragic fact is publically available.

My story as far as that goes is this: I had a boyfriend in my sophmore year in college. He physically abused me one day while we were in his dorm room-nothing that caused any injuries-but abuse nonetheless. It was quite some time ago, so I am hazy on what led up to the incident. Shortly thereafter, I broke up with him and continued school. I did not attempt to communicate about it. Scars? Possible, but doubtful. I have forgiven and clearly forgotten long ago...

I had another experience with abuse, but it was happening to an (ex) friend of mine: She showed up for work with one black eye (right eye) & randomly placed bruises on her arms & back and claimed that she had been in a car accident-Another driver rammed into the driver's side of her car. No one believed her because they were aware of the history. Some people even laughed. (Apparently she was getting beat up before I checked into the command.) I tried to talk with her about it and she basically denied that he was abusing her. I told her that I was there for her and let it drop. She was prescribed some medication and I had to go to the pharmacy and them deliver it to her. I helped her by baby sitting occasionally.

Later, he tried to intimidate & threaten me. I found out that it was because he was afraid I would make an official complaint. It was also likely that he wanted to keep her isolated. One big shocker came when we worked the same shift and I had to ask for a transfer because she started harassing me at work.

This incident probably caused a "scar." It still pains me to think that people actually LAUGHED at this woman, and it bothers me that she treated me the way she did and also that she allowed him to come after me when I was simply trying to be a friend.

I know that this does not answer all of the questions you had about abuse but that's all the direct personal experience I have with it.

I can tell you what Lundy Bancroft (visit www.lundybancroft.com), a leading expert in Domestic Abuse, would say to your questions:

Communicating to an abuser how his abuse of his mate affects her is often ineffective ("You are hurting your wife....You are making her fearful...") This is because most abusers commit the abusive acts for the express pupose of achieving these affects. Once these effects have been achieved, they will have achieved CONTROL of the victim.

Abusers usually do not stop abusing-It's grim but true. Abuse is a very effective tool because often-the victim will be too humiliated or afraid to seek help / escape. This is why more than a few men use it.

There is hope though...A few abusers do stop but they have to want to stop. They have to admit that they chose to abuse their signifianct other and that nothing someone else did "caused" the abuse. They must admit that abuse is a choice. And then they must choose to stop.

As far as "how long" it takes for a woman to "forgive"-You need to know that it takes a great long while to truly recover from repeated and sustained abuse by an intimate partner.


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The only reason I cited the fact that I've never hit my wife was because I want to make a distinction about the type of abuse.


SB-don't go down the wrong path: The damage caused by emotional abuse often rivals the damage caused by physical abuse. To be blunt: There is no distinction. Abuse is abuse. Bancroft says that often abusers attempt to minimize what they have done / are doing by comparing their actions to abuse that is allegedly worse.

Bancroft also reveals another surprising tidbit: Often the most abusive men are the first to condemn other abusive men.

I think that there is hope for you and your wife as long as you do not give in to the very real and natural urge to blame her (if even indirectly) for your choices. And as long as you do not entertain any illusions about what you did and why.

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When I read this I shook my head...LOL:

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I concur that affection and conversation are likely more important to her than SF, but I want to be sure so I'm not wasting my time with needs that are not most important.


Yikes!

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She has only acknowledged remorse, not repentance



From your perspective, what is the difference?

And

Why is important for you that she "repent"?

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I am not here to "take credit" for your admission that you abused your wife. The credit for the abuse is yours... as is the credit for the admission. I simply said that my line of questioning was correct. I did this for the edification of those who commenced to attacking me for even daring to ask.





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I perceive in your posts an obvious inability to conceive that repentance can actually cause real change in another human being, which I feel is very troubling. If I can't be changed, why bother even posting your comments at all?



Your interpretation of my words surprises me. I have been saying from the very beginning that true change-in this case: a cessation of abuse / infidelity and a reconciliation of the marital relationship-can only come when both parties truly acknowledge their role in what happened.

I also specifically said that feigned / phony repentance leads only to more ruin.

I definitely am of the opinion that "repentance" without a true understanding of what happened and how to avoid the same situation in the future is the key for success in situations like this one and many others as well...

To be clear: Repentance combined with knowledge is as close as one can come to a guaranteed victory here.

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I like to hear different opinions, that is all. We tend to all think in a similar way on this site, and it is quite interesting to hear other views.



Yes, I saw that tendency...Groupthink is real...and it is a real hinderance too.

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SB, we'll say a prayer for you and your family tonight.

Countdown almost up to come home, right?


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



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SBMMAL,

When Mrs.W was having her affair she called me "toxic" and "controlling". I was supposedly the GREAT manipulator of her. I controlled all the money, I questioned her spending, I wanted access to her email, etc. Mrs.W continually pulled up tidbits of historical marital facts, exaggerated them, distorted them, and massaged them into BIG issues that quite clearly further demonstrated such control and toxicity. My family was pyschoanalyzed. In the shock of discovering I was a BH, I, of course, wanted to work on myself quite intensely. Analyze and like most men FIX IT. I mistakenly truly considered her claims and even discussed changes in this controlling behavior with my then wayward wife. I was so willing and eager to DO the insight into my behaviors and change I was willing to consider any and all of her claims; HOWEVER, her claims were complete BUNK. I think she even said that above in this very thread. I was fairly certain I was OK, even then, but NOW I know exactly what that crap was all about (i.e. -her fantasy relationship with OM and giving OM the impression of saving the damsel in distress from a "toxic" husband).

I am neither controlling nor Toxic and I never was....I wasn't perfect...but I was and remain a very stable, loving and dependable, calm guy. I have improved due to MB but my issues were irrelevant to her immoral choices.

I was fortunate my wife was not in the fog long but I have seen many here dealing with longer-term affairs where the BS was CERTAIN of the labels placed upon them by the WS. Some have even endured years of being baited into altercations sufficient enough for the WS to make the claim and confuse the BS into really believing it themselves. Afterall they/you love your spouse and are used to listening to her and believing her perceptions EVEN WHEN THEY ARE UNKNOWN INTENTIONAL MANIPULATIONS. The BS is just so desparate to fix this and fix that they'll just list all the WS's allegations as "maybe true" lets hash this out. That's what I think is happening here. You weren't perfect...nobody was/is...but the "abuse" probably isn't the issue here. The issue is inside your wife.

Think about this rationally. Try to put your wayward wife's claims aside and consider what your actual wife would say. Consider what she said long BEFORE the affair. Consider what a rational outsider that knew ALL the facts would say. Consider what you think and feel. Discuss it with a trained counselor. I submit, IF, indeed, YOU ARE abusive or HAVE BEEN abusive to your wife as Spice Girl has magically perceived THEN consider Spice Girls advice and explore this issue deeper. You really must as a precursor to recovery. Otherwise, in my honest opinion...use the ignore feature given to you by the MB forum to block Spice Girl out as she has got you (or is trying to get you) focusing on a red herring and not the real crux of a plan to save your marriage. You are only 50% to blame for the problems in your marriage JUST LIKE THE REST OF US that have actually been through this...but 0% to blame for her affair. Fix this issue when you've got your wife back and you can honestly explore it with her.

Further, you came to MB to get advice on saving your marriage. That's what this thread is for. Get individual therapy to discuss the abuse if need be but it is likely NOT your primary focus here. For now. Some here can certainly address that issue and perhaps a separate thread from your main thread about SAVING YOUR MARRIAGE would be advisable. However, if you address her further and your thread becomes primarily about this side issue you may miss out on great advice from some real good posters that just don't want to wade into this minefield.

Sure work on you. Address things you need to change. That IS a vital part of Plan A....becoming the best individual, spouse and parent you can be. However, until you bust up the affair KNOWING what your wife (not your wayward wife) really thinks, feels and/or believes is impossible. Her statements and actions are ALL designed to manipulate you into YOU being the problem (blame shifting), to distract you (and herself) from HER being the probelm and to distract you from interfering with HER addiction. They are all rationalizations and justifications for HER behavior.

Spice Girl may be well intentioned...she just doesn't understand. I still think she may be your wife or someone that KNOWS you...she's just too excited about making YOU the issue and not as concerned about the fact your wife is having an affair.

Good luck & God bless,

Mr. Wondering <----so very NOT toxic, snicker

p.s.- If you ARE an abuser...please get help from a professional.


FBH(me)-51 FWW-49 (MrsWondering)
DD19 DS 22 Dday-2005-Recovered

"agree to disagree" = Used when one wants to reject the objective reality of the situation and hopefully replace it with their own.
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Okay,

Here's the situation. Wife filed for "dissolution with children" along with a petition for a temporary restraining order on 6/30/06 and just now got around to telling me when I called this morning, even though we've talked over 5 times since then. I think, but have not confirmed that MIL is footing the legal bill and helped her through the filing before returning to KS. All the while MIL was in town, WW was silent with OM as far as I can tell. Now it's like gangbusters again...

I layed out the MB mantra (care, protection, honesty, and time) to her and committed to that with her. I explained that she really needed a fresh start in a better place to be able to facilitate any recovery for herself or me and ensure no contact. I explained that I'd be willing to move her back to KS and help her establish employment while I was on leave. I was using Jennifer Chalmers' advice to flee the scene of the infidelity as an extraordinary measure so that she and DD could establish a new life together without the hazards associated with OM. She wasn't hearing it at all and then she told me that she'd made the filing. I need to consult a lawyer, 'cause apparently we have a hearing on the 28th, during my leave and I don't want to go.

What is the next step? Do I do a 180/PBL and remove myself from the situation and let her destroy her life with OM since she is so adamant that I'm trying to control her by talking about using my civil rights to stay the proceedings until I return from deployment? I am still scheduled to be home next week and all of a sudden she's "scared to be alone with me or allow me to be with DD." I think she's afraid I'll try and take DD, which I won't do. This is so CRAZY and wrong!!!

Do I sign the papers and return to Iraq to wait out the relationship with OM that is doomed for failure, or do I exercise my civil rights and stay the proceedings until I return from Iraq in November? I'm nearly at my end and in God's hands now for sure.

sbmmal

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sbmmal

exercise your civil rights and DO NOT sign the documents if you want to recover your M.
The brutal truth is that if your ww wants to continue her affair, then regardless of what you sign or dont sign she will.
The only thing is that if you sign she will be able to hide behind the fact that you 'signed the papers' so in her reasoning "recognising the M was over in all but name" and she was 'free' to do whatever she wanted.

Continue to expose, get OM out in the open with his business partner re publicly exposing to the defence community & community in general etc, to get him gone from the scene if possible, and tell her you do M not divorce.

Yes consult a lawyer especially for access to your DD so she cant just take off. Ask Jennifer Chalmers' advice on if its now a good idea for you to get her to KS, what are the custody issues where she would move too, what are jurisdiction issues etc etc. You need to know those things just in case, though we hope it wont go that way.

Its really not much more than where you were before however it may mean she has been 'nice' to you to buy time. She may also be very uncertain if this is what SHE wants. I still do wonder if MIL is driving the agenda a bit here. Mr W's observations are very sensible and may be very accurate.

However you need to protect yourself and know where you stand legally now that she has filed.
Still proceed with your plan at the same time but perhaps with some changes.

Still will be praying for you & family.

AW


Life may feel as if you are constantly getting kicked on a daily basis, living is about picking yourself up each day and going on and on and on regardless.

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great post GW,

sbmmal...so sorry you are going through this.

GW is right on. Don't sign anything. Seek counsel. I'm betting coming home will only frustrate you further...she won't let you see DD without a court order and you submiting to jurisdiction.

I am very sorry. Don't panic. Stay calm. Act, Don't React. YOU will make it.

Eagle, FourthNail, Mortarman and countless others have been where you are. THIS is not the end of the fight.

Talk to an attorney

Mr. Wondering


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I third the no signing motion.

A R/O seriously complicates Plan A. Do you know if you are forbidden from calling, or is it only against your personal presence?

Do whatever you have to do to see your DD while you are there, within the confines of the law, of course. Agree to supervision, jump through hoops, just see your daughter.

You will probably do this anyway, but keep your cool, expecting that you will be sorely provoked.

If you don't end up doing any more Plan A, you can be glad you did so very well with the chance you have had so far. A friend of mine who has spoken with Steve Harley on numerous occasions, has been told repeatedly, "You don't have to have completed every single change in order for them to be willing to take you back. You must have demonstrated a willingness to change."

You have done a lot to demonstrate that willingness to change, and have made huge progress. (I would like to reiterate Mr. W's thought that your IC, who knows you and knows much about your life that we don't, is going to be your best resource for determining what behaviors you need to change, and which may have been exaggerated. I also liked his idea of a separate thread to help keep you focused on your main issue.) Continue to work on yourself, but don't feel you need to be perfect before there is hope for your marriage.

If she agreed to go to KS that would be great, but I doubt she is ready to separate from her affair partner yet. It is still good that you brought it up, and started introducing the idea that eventually you will all need to move. (Once you are home you will probably not want to go/stay in KS, just because her mother has proven to be an enemy of the marriage, and unless she changes, you will not want her to be such a large part of your lives.)

Let us know what your attorney says, too, ok?

One foot in front of the other, and you'll make it through.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
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I was just thinking, even if you are not supposed to make phone calls, I doubt you have been stopped from sending your video (or whatever they are) messages. Find out all the provisions of the R/O, and then we can come up with some ideas of what you can still do.

Also, I think a good time for Plan B would be either just as you're ready to go back overseas, or a few days after you get back. It just depends on what everyone else thinks, and how much time you have to get your ducks in a row while you're home.


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SB, you have said repeatedly that you have recognized that you were abusive and controlling towards your wife. You have also said that with God's help you are working towards making a change.

With the caveat that people do not change overnight,I have to show you something here:


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What is the next step? Do I do a 180/PBL and remove myself from the situation and let her destroy her life with OM since she is so adamant that I'm trying to control her by talking about using my civil rights to stay the proceedings until I return from deployment?



Forgive me for pointing this out, but one aspect of your statement here sounds controlling. "let her destroy her life "???

SB, her life is hers to destroy if she sees fit.

You clearly have quite a bit of work to do, but it does not mean it's impossible or hopeless. I think that your behavior is so ingrained that it will take a certain amount of effort to "unlearn."

That being said, I will now say this:

SB, please PLEASE exercise your right to stay the court action.

You need time.

You need time for your emotions to level off so you can think with a clear head. You need time to prepare for the possibility of divorce and for how it could affect your life. You need time to truly make a change just in case your wife makes one too and decides she wants to give the relationship another try.

Do not buy into the idea that you exercising your right to a delay is more "control." If she speaks with you again and it comes up (it probably will), stress that it isn't about control. Explain that you simply need the time to adjust and to prepare for what may be to come. Point out that it is patently unreasonable to expect someone to come into the States on leave from a warzone and deal with something like that within a matter of days.

Here is some info I found about "dissolution with children." It's an easy read for non-lawyer types: http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/forms_ins...lename=dischild

From what you have been saying it sounds like your wife is not interested in reconciliation at this point. Again-from what you have revealed so far-maybe she will never be. (This is another reason I say that you should exercise the stay option. The passage of time may serve to change her outlook on the relationship.)

Here is a possibility that you should be prepared for: The truth is that some women can never forgive their abuser just as some people can never forgive infidelity. In both cases it is trust -something that is as vital to relationships as oxygen is to mammals- has been damaged or destroyed. Unfortunately, some people's trust is more fragile than others...This is the chance taken by people who choose to hurt loved ones: There is the possibility that your relationship will be forever altered or-worse-come to an end.

You correctly tried to make this about you, her and the relationship, but you may need to make this about you for now.

Please forget about the other man. He is irrelevent. I am very confident in saying (actually- repeating) that he was simply your wife's excuse to vacate.

Make no mistake, her infidelity was wrong (This is something else which I am repeating). You are not responsible for it. You are; however, responsible for your own actions. And at the very least-you can use your situation to help you learn to abandon the practice of controlling and abusive behaviors within the context of your intimate relationships. That way if this one ends and another begins, you will be ready.

You said that there is a restraining order, but what kind is it? Does it prohibit you from contacting her in any way? If not, and you are sincere about what you said earlier, try to call / write during the waiting period and tell her that you love her, you are serious about making things work, etc.

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