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Joined: Oct 2020
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We have been married 20 years and much of it turbulent but that is because life isnt easy and we have raised two great kids 17 and 15 and our time has been consumed to them while unfortunately mostly not giving each other enough. Also when we fight we are both the same and say very cruel things to each other. This has caused a lot of baggage and hurt and it is hard to get on track as a result.

On January 3 my wife told me she was leaving me and had a place and there is nothing I can do to stop her. I didn't sleep for a few days straight and was a mess for most of that month she did end up going but things didn't go too well as my kids didn't really want to go with her for the most part and stayed in our family home with me I even helped her move things out and told her this was my final act of Love towards her as I realized she was very serious about following through on this. She came back about 2 weeks later and said she wanted to start new routines and being kind and loving to each other and turn the page and make an effort this time. Just lost it for about 2 or 3 days and then we went right back into old patterns and she began making plans to once again leave again but not really giving me full details just saying it is something she's working on and she will be doing at some point. This time she moved to another apartment that was much closer to our family home once again neither kid really bought into this very much and only my son went to stay with her about 25% of the time and my daughter did not go at all to stay overnight. I feel my wife and daughter have a codependent relationship and this was devastating to my wife and she was calling me and pressuring me and saying this isn't the way it's supposed to go typically kids come half time here halftime there and was somewhat playing on the finger at me saying I should be telling the kids to go there more. And she came back once again with the promise that we were going to really work at things but by this time I had been through a lot and was somewhat moving on with my plans of being single and had joined a couple of dating sites mostly just for support loneliness not really taking things far at all with it and this was found out and I think may have caused the second attempt at reconciliation to not go so well throughout the whole summer I was still kind of bitter and resentful and had a bit of a chip on my shoulder. About a month back after lots of reflection I told her I really wanted to make an effort and get things going in the right direction start going to dinners together and grow our relationship at that time I was told that we are not in repair mode anymore and that she's just here I raised the kids and that's it end of story. Some things besides her leaving me two times that I have always struggled with and would lead to my lack of trust and resentment are that over the last eight to ten years she has not worn her wedding ring she tells me it's because she doesn't like it also she constantly pushes me away and encourages me to go on trips by myself to mountain bike so she can have the place to herself says she looks forward to this and I should do it more often but regardless pushes me away any chances I try to offer to do things together with just me and her. a couple weeks ago she has told me she will never have sex with me again and I do believe that she means what she has said. At this point I am completely lost because it feels like I have grieved this relationship 2-3 times in 2020 alone and now it is in the same bad spot but this time I dont have any idea of what to do or try because all of my genuine efforts have been met with refusal and now that I am showing determination and strength to try to heal things and move forward that is turning her off even more and almost accelerating her plans away from me. I have always been a family first person and forgiving and loyal and willing to be patient and as I say treading water waiting for her but at this point she seems preoccupied with her work and her work friends who are all divorced and dating or living single lifes. I feel that she sees me now as a burden and just another child in her way and would rather be on her own and that our family is not worth fighting for.

For me again even though I feel like I have been here before I am uncertain of what to do and how to proceed. I am taking care of myself and going to gym a lot and my running group for social outings once a week but I need to be here for my kids and this situation is not good with one of us wantint to try and the other not and all of us seeing what is happening. Anyone else been here? Where does this go and how is this good to stay stuck like this or why is it better to grow on my own?

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Hi Scott, welcome to Marriage Builders. A few questions.

Has she had an affair? Have you quietly checked into that?

What is her biggest complaint about you? You said you fight and say cruel things to each other. What are the fights about?

Have either of you ever had an affair? Do you want to save your marriage?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Oct 2020
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Thanks for the welcome. She has not had an affair to my knowledge but in the heat of one argument in the past she told me "I am glad I had sex with that other guy" so she has threatened it in a sense, maybe I am in denial but I still dont believe that she has?!?. Her biggest complaint about me would be that she she has to pick up after me and I do nothing around the home. To my deffense I do the dishes, vacuum the home, take out the garbages, cook on Wednesdays etc. but it is never enough for her. She is a perfectionist and the slighest thing out of place sets her off so I always need to be on guard for these types of things. Also any loud noises will also drive her up the wall so when I go to bed etc. I have to tip toe around or she will lash out at me.

As for the fights they are mostly about day to day routine type stuff, nothing that in my opinion warrants fighting over but more or less just her nagging at me for many things. I have a pattern of holding back holding back and then losing my cool and going off just like she does so when we both do this it isnt productive. I do want to save the marriage and anyone close to me and who sees what I have been through would be surprised to hear me say that but that goes back to what the fights are about as I truly dont think there is anything too major that we shouldnt be able to overcome but at the end of the day I think that she just fundamentally doesnt love me anymore by her actions : 1. not wearing her ring 2. stating never having sex again 3. making time for her friends and everyone else but never having any for me 4. telling me to stay away from her basically.


She has really ruined my confidence but I am still loyal to her and have always been loyal in our marriage. She has in the past told me she wishes I would have an affair as it would make things easier. Another time she also told me that by me trying to hold this marriage together when she feels it is beyond repair (refuses counselling etc) that I am basically going to force her into an affair. Also when we were living apart briefly the two times she left previously she stated to me to look up the definition of seperated and said that this means we can date other people so at that time she was hinting that this was the direction she was going.

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Welcome to MB.

Have you read Dr. Harley’s Basic Concepts ?

Do you know your W’s top emotional needs?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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Thanks for the answers, Scott. I am pretty sure she is having an affair and has likely been having one for some time. Don't ask her, just quietly snoop around and see what you can find. Don't confront her if you find something, just come back here and we will help you with next steps.

In the meantime, I would clean up your side of the street. You have alot of problems in your marriage. The objective here is to get her to fall back in love. You do that by taking a completely new approach to marriage that falls into 2 areas: AVOID LOVEBUSTERS and do your best to meet her intimate emotional needs of converstation, affection, admiration..

Stop lovebusters: Do not ever fight with her again. Never have another angry outburst. NEVER. You can't afford one more fight. Every time you do that, she hates you a little more. If she has a complaint, don't argue with her. A complaint is an irritation in a bad marriage [you called it nagging] and an opportunity for improvement in a good marriage. Ignoring her complaints and blowing up at her has been a disaster for your marriage. It has caused her to fall out of love. You need to stop the bloodletting.

She is very probably having an affair and I assure you her OM is not fighting with her and blowing up at her. So everytime you do this, you make him look good.

Meet her needs: you need to woo her back. Think back to your dating days and how you romanced her. Keep your conservations pleasant. Look for every opportunity to talk to her. Flirt with her. Tell her she looks pretty. Try to be as affectionate as possible.

I have a feeling she has a sexual aversion. Would you agree?

Dating while married is called infidelity. Neither one of you should be dating. Good grief. That is poor role modeling for children and causes so many problems. Dating while married is not fair to the person you are dating and it only interferes in your ability to put your marriage back together. And you have to ask yourself what kind of person will date a married man..... Don't date!


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Well I guess I may be in denial then because I feel that she is so insecure about herself that she wont let anyone get close to her (besides my kids)......I know she loves her work more than her time at home but I always just attributed that to her having a bunch of single friends and divorced co-workers that she goes to work and goofs around with but not thinking anything of an affair nature within the workplace but I could be in denial of course. I would never cheat or date while married but she is pushing me out of my family and I just cant see myself flirting with her or having it in my heart to build her up in any way when she has torn me down to the ground. She wants us to grow apart and I guess because this is the 3rd time in 2020 alone that she has switched back off my energy level to play the game is really wanning. Also when you say snoop around for clues of an affair I would not have any idea what to do in that regard. All I know is she rarely goes out on weekends and doesnt appear to be on any type of a frolic but again I could be wrong and maybe this happens when she goes to work from 8am to 5pm?!?

I guess my frustration is I have tried all of the above at various points and it seems to backfire on me. I told her I liked her shirt last week and it looked really good where did she get it etc. and was met with scorn and it was not received. Any time I even put my arm near her I am pushed away like I have leporsy. I really do think that she is done with me and I am 75% done with her but I am just more stubborn than most. She often calls me out for this to and says I am in denial and I should want better for myself and that I am pshcho etc. Some very cruel mean things that have beaten me down and for her to go around all these years without her ring on at this stage has me furious as it shows what a dummy I have been as I didn't see the signs but she has been advertising that she is single all along. My whole family thinks I should move on from this and see what she has done to me and this has caused a great divide between me and my sister as now we basically cant see each other because of this whole mess. So as much as I wish things would come around and be normal after being walked out on 2 times and now emotionally left for dead a third time it is hard to see how things could ever be the same. With a 15 year old and 17 year old I just feel even best case I get her on track with me again then it is just a lot of energy used up for someone who could very easily leave me when the kids are gone and that is likely the only reason she is even here for now. At one point when she was leaving the first time she told my daughter that she was holding her hostage here and putting guilt on my daughter for wanting to try to hold her family together. So I am very beaten when I think back to all of those things and another incident she sat down with my kids and said she doesnt have that warm special love feeling towards me etc.......it was gut wrenching for us to go through and she doesnt seem to be operating on anywhere close to the same emotional level as we all are who she blindsided and went for greener pastures. But to your point she has told me that she is not interested in other men anytime soon when she left and seemed to just want to be on her own in quiet, read her books, go to yoga, go to work, spend time with my daughter watching Netflix for hours on end but I would for sure be interested in finding out how I could determine if I misread this all along and if she did have an affair. If she did I dont think I could forgive her and I really dont know how people do that. It just feels wrong to me on many levels and a character flaw that would happen over and over again. Not wearing a ring is a big deal to me......

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So, the first step is to stop speculating and guessing and find out for sure. Your decisions need to be based on facts and evidence, not guesses. Not one thing you said here makes me think she is not having an affair. I suspect she has been having one for quite a while. Your job is to be like James Bond and quietly snoop on her. A good PI can usually find out in a couple of days. If that is out of reach, there are many other ways, such as checking phone bill, email, use voice activated recorders and GPS trackers. Women don't up and leave unless they have something else lined up.

Dr Bill Harley, clinical psychologist and specialist in infidelity said this
Quote
"I've seen so many spouses lie about affairs, that when one spouse wants a separation, my best guess is that he or she is having an affair. I'm right almost every time.

Why would anyone need to be alone to sort things out? It makes much more sense to think that being separated makes it easier to be with their lover. Granted, there are many good reasons for a separation, such as physical or extreme mental abuse. But of all those I've seen separate, most have had lovers in the wings."


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101



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