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#1769436 11/15/06 12:30 AM
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irqpawn Offline OP
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The quick Reader Digest version of my story. My wife left me and our two children (D8 and S14) last year and moved in with another couple. Throughout this period she constantly told me it was because of me and my behaviors. Basically saying that I had forced her out. This came as a big surprise to me as I thought that everything was perfect. She had just started a new job, 4 months prior and we were living a very comfortable life. I had serious concerns about a male coworker of hers who in my opinion seemed like he was a predator. You know another “notch” on my belt kind of guy.

I suffered very much through this period and felt that my life was over and that any chance of future happiness was lost forever. At this point everything pointed to me and I believed her when she said “he is just a coworker”.

Fast forward, in an effort to come full circle with her and find the love that we had lost I decided that I would come to Iraq as a civilian contractor for one full year. I am retired military and take great pride in serving my country. After the year, my plan was to go home and see where we stood.

A short time before I was supposed to leave she moved back into the house. This lasted for one month (D-Day -30) Two weeks before I was supposed to leave she dropped the bomb. She had gotten fired from her job because the OM was stealing from work and the owner had them followed. YUP followed her to his house. The owner questioned my wife about it and claimed that he was stealing, you are having an affair, how could you not know. My wife dropped the big one on me the next day because she thought that the owner would tell me.

So, the door I had cracked open to save my marriage was one that I was pushed through to pay my bills (I delayed departure for two months) I have been here for 10 months now and I am due to return home in January. Everyday has been like the movie Ground Hog Day for me and I am constantly asking questions about the “Why”. I have not been able to put this behind me and I think a big part of that is WW’s inability to own her actions.

She has minimized everything. “I left you because of you”. “There was never anything serious between us” “It was nothing” “I didn’t love him” “It was infatuation” “I don’t remember” “We had no plans”.

I have some questions that need to be answered by her. Unfortunately, nothing she has told me makes sense to me. I really need to understand what he meant to her before I can move forward and trust her with my heart again.

This is where I could use advice;

Why would a married woman leave her house, husband and children, sleep on a friends couch, have an affair all for nothing? With no plans?

Why would she constantly tell me that she wanted a divorce (everyday that we talked) if she didn’t have any plans for her immediate future?

Does the ILYBNILWY speech mean that someone else has taken the I love you spot?

Do married woman leave everything they own behind for a PA without an EA?

When she says it meant nothing should I believe her?

Most importantly when she says “I love you so much” do I believe her?

Why would she move back in with me withhold SF or contact (hug, kiss) etc. until 10 minutes after she dropped the bomb? (I think that she didn’t want to cheat on him with me)

Thanks for the help

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IRQ,

Wow, I feel for you.

My affair was with a friend & coworker I had known for 13 years. I guess my defenses were not up & I felt comfortable with her. I had never even thought of her as anything other than a friend.

Then took a business trip together. We ended up in bed, and spent the whole weekend together. I didn't even give a thought to the fact that I was married. I had never felt so alive!

But then reality started to set in. On the plane coming back, we agreed that this would not continue; we would act like it never happened & go on with our lives.

But Monday morning she said she wanted to "see me." A thousand times I have thought if I had just said NO, how much anguish could have been avoided.

No, that would have been sensible. I endeded up moving in with her 3 weeks before Christmas. I was willing & almost did sacrifice Everything (marriage, kids, church, friends, etc) for her.

She and I were so different. We kept it quiet, but nobody who knew could see us together. As they says "There's your sign."

She threw me out a total of 3 times all together. I was devastated. So much in the fog that I couldn't see anything clearly. I had a nice, normal, sane loving wife of 26 years. Now I had a sexy, bi-polar, moody, cold, cruel
GF.

She pushed me to get a divorce I didn't really want, but almost got. We made plans to build a new house & get married. With God's grace, that never happened. I had to pay the $1700 house payment on the family house, & it wouldn't sell.

I told OW the only good thing was that we didn't build a new house & get married. What a mess that would have been.

In an affair, you are in a fairy-tale world, where everything the OP does is wonderful. It is an escape from reality. Nothing is stupid enough to do or say when you are in the "fog" of an affair.

Her poor choices are her fault, not your fault.
NOTHING you can say or do justifies her behavior.

You have a lot of work to do if you want to save your M.
Expose this A to everyone you know- her family, OM's family, friends, everyone you can think of.

You have almost no chance at recovery until the A is truly & finally over.


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Irqpawn...

Stop asking Why...it's a diversion, a distraction from what you have power over...and humans have no power over knowing other humans' why's.

Own your own whys...why did you choose to believe your marriage was perfect? Do you persist in choosing to believe anything on this earth is perfect? And if you do, does that give you permission to not have to do anything about it...if it's perfect?

Negating your own participation, your half of the marriage...your choices...and what you are choosing right now...will keep you in this looped Ground Hog Day...which continued until he did something different, totally different.

Learn from movies. ROFL. Hey, I relate to that, so I'm sharing.

Now, you seem very susceptible to blame...so I want to be clear what I am saying is not blaming. I'm asking you to consider stuff...your own stuff...so you can change your life, even save your marriage...or if not, thrive, anyway.

When you wrote this:

"She has minimized everything. “I left you because of you”. “There was never anything serious between us” “It was nothing” “I didn’t love him” “It was infatuation” “I don’t remember” “We had no plans”."

Would you consider your thoughts, your DJ, as a signal to yourself...that pre-A, you minimized her stuff, the marriage? That you blame her for not telling, stating, sharing her resentment, anger, fear and pain with you? That you didn't take your marriage seriously...with constant care, highest priority and great, committed awareness?

And that her perceptions...her beliefs...are hers, and they are valid. She is saying he was a fantasy, not real. You're real. You're her husband. Whatever they planned, spoke of or shared was part of fantasy, not reality? Would you please consider accepting what she says as HER truth, not THE truth?

So you can accept your own?

Get your focus onto you...your choices...you said she left you and your children...then you chose to leave your children, as well. Did you feel Financial Security (FS) was a contributing factor to her A and you could correct that? Is that what you means when you said:

"Fast forward, in an effort to come full circle with her and find the love that we had lost I decided that I would come to Iraq as a civilian contractor for one full year. I am retired military and take great pride in serving my country. After the year, my plan was to go home and see where we stood."

Is that your deepest honesty? That you left your family for a year to find the love you'd lost? To fight for your marriage? Or to abandon her as she abandoned you?

Getting to radical honesty with ourselves is as difficult as doing it with others...well worth the trip. It was self-deception which enabled your WW to go wayward and choose to have an A. Not you. Her. Learn from her...and get past any self-deception within yourself, your choices, so you do not go wayward inside. Into the fog.

There are why's in the fog...know them as signals you might be asking yourself these questions, not about wives or women at all.

Get grounded in reality, IP...seems like that's what you crave most, why you're here...and investigating and questioning. Turn them inward and share what you find...we've all gone through it...and on the other side, we realize, without looking within, we find no answers, anywhere.

LA

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irqpawn Offline OP
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PH, Thanks for the insight

LA, Believe me coming to this SHole was the last thought on my mind. It was and I believe and effort to distance myself from my WW to give her what I thought at the time was space. Truth is I have not done a great job of validating her feelings but she has and readily admits to difficulty in organizing her thoughts in a presentable way.

I have taken control over every aspect of our lives, the bills, the children, cooking etc. I think that is because it was the easiest thing for both of us to do. Especially, given that fact that WW was silent on everything. It isnt what I would say is ideal for me and I would say that it has been a burden. With both sides feeling the affects. Her - Lack of input and me - All the responsibilities.

So there is some underlying resentment that I know contributed to the affair. I plan on helping her develop her voice and now that I am aware of it I know to ask questions in a way that will make them easier to answer. I am also going to concentrate on my responses to her and validate her feelings and thoughts.

The sad thing about this is that for the most part we have had a wonderful marriage (IMHO). We have experienced so much together and have stood beside each other along the way. My WW has provided the push for me to accomplish some pretty great things.

I do miss my children and have a wonderful relationship with them. I do not even remotely consider it as me running out on them to come here.

I will tell you that your response has offered me a new view on how I might want to proceed. I am going to slowly digest this and look at how it might fit.


irqpawn
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Friend,

What I sense when I read your message is denial. This isn't an accusation. It is something many of us BSs are guilty of. "I thought we had a great marriage" is not uncommon to hear here. I'm guilty of saying it as well.

Take a good hard look at your M. Was it really that great? What kind of a husband were you? What kind of wife was she? Were you attentive? Were there red flags there you ingored?

I have had to take a hard look at my own marriage and found a lot there that was broken. Most of the things wrong I had accepted and simply learned to deal with. Some things on her end, however, may have been very serious. Serious enough to have her drift away from you.

Now, there is one positive thing among all these clouds. She does say she loves you, which is a big thing. You have something to work with.

I commend you on your service. I was in the AF myself and was just over there this past February.

Leaving for a year, though, could have been the death sentence to your M if things were on shaky ground already.

You have a nasty homecoming ahead of you. I wish you luck.

Start plan A now on the phone.

Good luck.


BS-34
EXWW-27
DD-4
DS-Twin boys, 2
D-Day-28 Feb 06
Divorced-24 March 06 (no contest D)
Separated from Air Force - 30 Apr 06
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IP,

"I have taken control over every aspect of our lives, the bills, the children, cooking etc. I think that is because it was the easiest thing for both of us to do. Especially, given that fact that WW was silent on everything. It isnt what I would say is ideal for me and I would say that it has been a burden. With both sides feeling the affects. Her - Lack of input and me - All the responsibilities."

You had taken control over every aspect (changing your verb tense...for a good reason...you'll see)...you over-did, over-responsible; which left only room for her to under-do, under-responsible.

Really common...you're not nuts. Your choices exacerbated your circumstances rather than strengthened them. This was a pattern from childhood between both of you...you didn't make her under-do...just didn't leave much room to do half...feel half the marriage...invested and essential.

You can't have burden shoved on you...you take on nothing but by choice...realize you choose to take on each and every responsibility...though it appeared to you at the time as if you had no choice.

Partnership is awfully close to parentship...re-enacting roles we saw portrayed in our family of origin (FOO)...makes them familiar, seemingly understood. Be aware of disrespecting your partner when you parent them...and how much you dislike being parented...takes us out of our adult perspective and plunges us where we felt powerless...in our own child's perspective.

I chose to make a pact with myself for my marriage...I would take no action for which I would resent. That kept me from creating, maintaining and building resentment. I knew this as my choice. Took some getting used to, lots of reminders...and now, there is no burden in our marriage for either of us. Which is way cool.

Resentment is easy...loving honestly is hard. Make your choice...if something looks easy, use it as signal...path of least conflict is usually the path of least respect.

Respect your WW is separate and equal to you...fully capable of all you are...sincerely, respect her and her abilities. See her choices clearly. How safe were you to share with? When you're in the over-responsible parental role, you aren't safe at all. You're an authority. Not a partner.

Hey, marriage is complicated...intricate...study and learn now what you didn't know then...which is what I meant with knowing your own why's...I chose to take on what I saw as a burden because...and there's a because under that...and another one under that...be gentle and honest with yourself.

Now, you took over every aspect...and then you left it all...every aspect except FS when you contracted to Iraq. You did that. Can you better see now where extreme choices (to do it all) leads you to then chose the 180-degree extreme choice to do nothing? Life occurs mostly in the middle...in the 90-degrees. Aim for that...for surety that as adults, we seldom run across forever, ever, always, never, nothing or all...so when we think those words, we know we're in our child-state more than our adult reality. That's self-deception signal...great to know and recognize...and not choose to act from.

Your WW has a lot of resentment, anger, pain and fear, also...doesn't seem "right" or "fair"...remains true. The more you get to understand your own stuff, deeply, and share that in letters, calls and emails...the more you will hear of her stuff...you saw where you chose to believe you were the cause of her stuff...and that got you separated. Loosened the grip on your marriage...so please learn to choose what you believe carefully...you can know what she believes and not make that your belief...not that her stuff and make it the truth, as I said.

Get me caught up on the status...she is back in the house, with the children? How do you communicate the most? Is she recommitting to the marriage? Do you have no contact in place and transparency? How about phone counseling with the Harley's? Is that a possibility for you both?

Can you get your hands on books over there? Getting The Love You Want, Facing Love Addiction, His Needs, Her Needs? Love Busters?

What is your goal for your marriage?

Have you done overseas contract work previously in your marriage?

Can you see where you may not view your choice to leave for a year as abandonment, but your children would? Remember being a child? A day without someone was long...really long...even when our mother or father didn't respond to a question we asked, we could feel emotionally abandoned...I offer this to widen your perspective.

All choices have consequences...don't get in the way of hers...share your fear, lack of trust, uncertainty and what is yours with her...and listen and repeat hers...to validate, acknowledge and understand. There is no approval when you listen...or disapproval. Not good or bad. Listen to know, not to judge and you will make yourself to be shared with. She's capable. Her choice to share or not...acknowledge that choice, if you appreciate it, when she makes it.

You can do this...you can Plan A...you can make your goal to save your marriage...let us know what you decide.

LA

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irqpawn,

I like what you have been told a great deal. However, I have a different impression from your post. I fear that this impression is based on missing information so I would like you to further clarify what is going on.

Does your W want to remain married to you?
Do you really want to remain married to her?
Is everything still "all your fault?"
Has she even apologized for her decisions?
What do you interpret her actions of leaving YOU and THE CHILDREN to mean?

I will answer what the last question means to me. Yes, it was an affair, but it was far more. Most women don't leave their children. And if you were a bad H they would NOT leave them with you. You need not worry about how serious it was given that she left you and the kids.

Her pronouncements to day are coupled with????

Does she have the concept that you might not trust what she says? If so, has she discussed how she might help you redevelop this trust?

So many questions. We need more information, you on the other hand probably have enough to make decisions, if NOT understand what really happened.

Frankly, if it is still "all your fault" and she takes no responsibility for her actions even at this date, I think the marriage is not likly to recover. I really hate to say this, but nothing changes IF nothing changes.

I look forward to hearing your responses and thoughts.

God Bless,

JL

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irqpawn Offline OP
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Papaof3, I don’t think that I am in denial, completely ignorant to her unhappiness is probably a better description. I took her silence about everything as a sign of something it wasnt (her happiness). Wrong.

I was too dominating in our marriage and she had no voice. This isnt something that I aspired to but roles we fell into after years together. I never gave her the proper amount of credit for her achievements or successes. Even worse, after years together I began making decisions without consulting her because there were no checks or balances in her silence.

LA and JL, she recommitted to the marriage immediately after disclosure. She has shown some remorse for what has happened and I think that she realizes or believes that it was a mistake. (I think she knows that she was used by him)
I have always thought that he was a looser but not because of what he did (I didn’t know) to me but what I knew of him and stealing from his employer adds significant weight to my prejudices.

We talk and email everyday; I have a phone on my desk with a stateside number so it is very easy to maintain contact. I have been home twice for short periods (<2weeks). I think we agree that we both contributed to the A in some degree.

I take her leaving me and the children as her willingness to sacrifice us for her future with him. When I ask her now what her plans were with him she says "none". This is probably, along with "were you in love with him", one of the biggest questions that I need to have answered.

I guess the answers that make sense would help m develop the trust that is missing now. Though it would be very painful for me, but if she would say "yes I thought we were in love" it would put everything into perspective. (ok that’s why you left) Right now, her willingness to sacrifice everything for SF isn’t helping me rationalize anything. Did that sound right?

I am bad about questioning her feelings. We just talked on the phone and she said "I want this to be stronger (marriage) I immediately broke out the 50 questions. What the marriage as it is now? As it was then? blah blah.

Am I wrong in thinking that feelings should flow freely, without question? I know that this has probably silenced her through the years. Why would anyone want to work so hard to share their feelings? I gotta fix that and quick.
She has said that it takes time for her to put thoughts together. Is it that she has to think so hard about my response? Is she "thinking" on eggshells?

Thanks much


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irqpawn Offline OP
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I just want to add real quick that if I look real hard, in hindsight, at the way we were existing together and who the OM was I can understand maybe why the A happenned.

In my opinion she cheated way down on the scale. That probably gave her feelings of independence, dominance, and sharing. I am thinking that her communications with him appeared anyway to be more open and honest and they had a great deal more in common.

I have to find a way to drag her feelings out of the hardened bunker that has been built by us. I would really appreciate advise on how this can be done.

I dont even know what her emotional needs are. The other day I sent flowers to D9s school. With a card that said "Sunshine, just because I miss you, even more because I love you, DAD". I think this upset the W she said "we have been married for 16 years and you only sent me flowers once". I think I should have sent the flowers to her instead.

I really don't try to be ignorant, believe me it just happens.


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irqpawn,

I would strongly suggest that you NOT question feelings. If she states something as her "feeling" accept it. It is afer all her feeling. It is not a fact, and feelings change a lot even in one day.

I realize you are trying to build trust at a long distance. Have you expressed this to her. You are in fact trying, but the trust issue is hard. But, have you considered that one of the things you don't trust right now is if YOU are the man for her, if YOU can make her happy. Please consider this.

Why? Because if this is true you have to be very careful of NOT projecting on to her your feelings concerning how you view yourself. You two can talk about this. You two can come to an agreement about how to discuss it or let the other know when one is triggered.

As for the flowers, have you met a woman yet that doesn't like flowers? I sure haven't. Keep that in mind.

God Bless,

JL


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