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Sounds great stretch. Sounds like you are working forward to a sound recovery.

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@ Arpeggi

My fear is melting away. It would feel so nice to have a new woman admire, appreciate. All that stuff you get in the beginnings of a new romanace. That's a big reason people become waywards. That was my wife's weakness. An EN was met and she gor smitten. Still delights in the fantasy from time to time.

I was scared to become intimate when I was younger. Knew that I wanted to. Really wanted to lose my virginity. But it was hard and I was scared. When my wife finally came along, I was euphoric. Something told me what you said, "Date multiple people." But what the hell. I fell in love, why throw that away?

Its just the way it happened for us. I married my first love. My wife went through a gauntlet before finding me. But we never both actually accepted that reality. Now we can finally just accept who we were. Accept ourselves first and foremost! And accept each other. Its such a distant past. Let's look at the future.

Your words help Arpeggi. I am not scared. This might end badly, but I will survive. I am going to give it my best. I won't like breaking up. Dating might be scary at first. But I could make it. I have confidence.

Am I at risk for A? We are all hard wired, yeah. But I never succumbed with years of travel, cocktail parties, freedom. I don't think that way. People told me about coworkers that were coming on to me and I never even noticed. I am not available. I certainly don't take off the ring! I went to strip clubs on business. But enjoyed the male commaraderie more than the girls. I am so done with those places. Not interested in the least.

I know there are women out there that would fall head over heels for me. I am not addicted to that adrenaline, dopamine feeling. My wife is. She knows she is. That explains the babies, the puppy, the boy crazyness. She can have that feeling with me again.

I have to protect my heart and be patient on the rollercoaster.


Me: 43
ExWW: 44
Married 16yrs. 4 children

EA (ExWW): May-Nov 2009 + Aug-Dec 2010
D-DAY JAN 30, 2011
Exposure: FEB 7, 2011
Contact Again: Apr 25, 2011
Divorce Final Sept 2012

"I want to be married and stay married. Now I uunderstand the kind of marriage I want and we all deserve. But I also know it takes two to want to Build that Marriage."
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Originally Posted By: SusieQ

Hi, stretch, I just saw your post about UA time on HHH's thread and wanted to pop over to see what was going on in your thread.

Sorry for what you are going through, that was tough to read. {{stetch}}

Your W has ended her A but still hasn't recommited herself to the M and you are still in Plan A, is that right? How long do you plan to do that for?


@ SusieQ,
So happy you stopped by.
She was really foggy after exposure day. Anger, resentful, fighting mad. Just a mess. And, probably felt responsible for dealing with my emotional shock. I couldn't eat, sleep, breath. Cried for hours and hours.

I am emotionally stable. Her fog is cracking. I am confident enough to imagine this will end badly. I am able to use my head now and think clearly when she is speaking fogbabble. She knows she is really confused. Tons to sort out. She has a bad level of depression. ALways has, since before I knew her.

She put her ring back on a week ago. (After almost two years)

She sent OM silly emails for a long time. He rejected her early in the EA when he knew she was married. And he never writes back. She could only see him if she stalked him.

She emailed him a few weeks ago. First contact since exposure day. It was not a good week. She fought the MC and I really hard on NC commitment. Lots of fogbabble. But I held my cool.

How long can I plan A? Well, there is improvement. I don't know when we end Plan A and get to Recovery. Not sure what kind of commitment we have right now. I need to explore that in a couple weeks. What is the demarcation from Plan A to Recovery? Her ring is a step. But she is still so confused and thinks she is "trapped and controlled" that I won't force her to commit. Like, a vows ceremony or something like that. I would like her to say something like, "It's over. I am so over that OM!" But she can't let go of the stupid fantasy, she admits that. Her "urge" to think about him and even send a silly email he won't ever answer still has power over her. When she sees me stand strong it helps her water down the fantasy. When she sees a consequence, like I am honestly okay now moving on with my life and these children if she can't "figure this out" I think it makes her take it more seriously and stop indulging in the "woe is me" and the silly fantasy. She can do that as long as she can take me for granted and if I exercise Plan Doormat.

But right now, I still think this could fall apart in a few months. We are in love. We are here and making progress in recovery. We are both growing. The four kids are critical. I can go a lot longer because of the four kids while she "sorts and figures it out."

Last edited by stretch123; 05/14/11 11:02 AM.

Me: 43
ExWW: 44
Married 16yrs. 4 children

EA (ExWW): May-Nov 2009 + Aug-Dec 2010
D-DAY JAN 30, 2011
Exposure: FEB 7, 2011
Contact Again: Apr 25, 2011
Divorce Final Sept 2012

"I want to be married and stay married. Now I uunderstand the kind of marriage I want and we all deserve. But I also know it takes two to want to Build that Marriage."
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I could have written much of this, along with the choices I made along the way. Sounds like you took the adult path in relationships and were accountable. The natural progression of maturity in many ways. My personal differences are noted and highlighted.

Originally Posted By: stretch123
I was scared to become intimate when I was younger. Knew that I wanted to. Really wanted to lose my virginity. But it was hard and I was scared. When my wife finally came along, I was euphoric. Something told me what you said, "Date multiple people." But what the hell. I fell in love, why throw that away?

I had lost my virginty to a club "Mama' at 15, tring to prove something and at the same time, wanting to pull her out of the club mentality that she had fallen into. But that story aside, when I met my first wife, and found love and acceptance, sex because something completly different, and so didn't love. All I was trying to prove melted away and showed itself for what it really was, insecurity. The "date other people" thing was also on the list of what I "should" do, but why throw away the love I had found? I also married my first love at 18, and became what I "thought" was a good husband, but as your have learned taking care of her emotions and staying connected is something us men need to learn.

Its just the way it happened for us. I married my first love. My wife went through a gauntlet before finding me. But we never both actually accepted that reality. Now we can finally just accept who we were. Accept ourselves first and foremost! And accept each other. Its such a distant past. Let's look at the future.

Yes lets all do that

Your words help Arpeggi. I am not scared. This might end badly, but I will survive. I am going to give it my best. I won't like breaking up. Dating might be scary at first. But I could make it. I have confidence.

Am I at risk for A? We are all hard wired, yeah. But I never succumbed with years of travel, cocktail parties, freedom. I don't think that way. People told me about coworkers that were coming on to me and I never even noticed. I am not available. I certainly don't take off the ring! I went to strip clubs on business. But enjoyed the male commaraderie more than the girls. I am so done with those places. Not interested in the least.

Here is where I failed to cater to the fears of my wife(s). No matter how much I explained or exhibited faithful attitudes and performance, they just didn't get that I could compartmentalize things like girls coming on to me,(when I happened to notice), or being separate at times and being around dangerous temptations,(well dangerous to some, but below what I valued so foolish and childish at best), such as being away for periods of time or taking the boys to a strip club. To have fallen to such crap would have destroyed me and what respect I had for myself, and for her to consider my falling was an insult to my character. Who did she think I was? I didn't see that they thought/felt I was everything, and they were scared to lose me. Totally different perspective emotionally. My rationale did not fit in with how they felt, and that was what I had to deal with, not how I felt.

I know there are women out there that would fall head over heels for me. I am not addicted to that adrenaline, dopamine feeling. My wife is. She knows she is. That explains the babies, the puppy, the boy crazyness. She can have that feeling with me again.

From your posts and sigline, I can see this is true, and you are working in the right direction. Both marriages I have went out and did what I felt was right based on what part of living I knew was right, saying to myself, they will get it. In some cases it was nessesary for survival even, but there were times when "compartmentalizing" and expecting my wife to trust me, although an attribute and strength, left her struggling with emotions that needed attention. When she was silly, was afraid about nothing. That strength was also a weakness, and we shut each other out.


I have to protect my heart and be patient on the rollercoaster.


I am interested in how you are handling this and reconnecting to your wife. Doing this will bring you to a place where life will be a journey together, instead of struggle to some destination or circumstance that is supposed to make you,(and maybe all of us), happy then. I know you get this, stretch, and still see the fogbabble as something that will need to end at some time, but yeah, having patience is a big part of it I am certain.

God bless you on your journey

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Concatenating thoughts from two posts:

Am I at risk for A? We are all hard wired, yeah. But I never succumbed with years of travel, cocktail parties, freedom. I don't think that way....I know there are women out there that would fall head over heels for me. I am not addicted to that adrenaline, dopamine feeling....I have to protect my heart and be patient on the rollercoaster....How long can I plan A? Well, there is improvement.

And adding a word of wisdom (Confucious? Thoreau? Woody Allen?):

Success is a measure not of where we are, but of how far we have come.

You case is shaping up to be an endurance run, pitting two factors against each other.

You WW apparently has HUGE improvements/adjustments to make in herself, to approach the possibility of being the partner you deserve.

You will either succeed or fail in your attempt to still be around when (if?) she rights herself, as a factor of how much the "not yet" depletion can be forestalled by the "yeah but yesterday..." addition of emotional energy units. The latter depends on her progress, and you can't manage that. The former mandates you slow the rate of loss in each "not yet" day.

My cousin and his wife are parents to a severly autistic 18yo son. I had no idea how they could endure caring for a child whose lack of potential improvement defines the eternal "not yet". But they do. They bathe him, dress him, nurture him, and NEVER have had a day of thinking "That's it - no more." He is theirs, and giving up on him would be giving up on their very beings. This boy will be just as he is, and that is his, and their, ongoing reality.

Taking with full belief your statements about your mental toughness, you might be in a position to wait out her (spotty, sporadic, uneven) efforts to "get right". It might help if you could view your WW as terminally in a "not yet" condition. To do that, you're going to have to throw away calendars, ignore short term trends (Today she wears her ring; tomorrow she might take it back off.), and commit to "caring" for your emotionally damaged WW as perenially as my cousin and his wife care for their son. She is yours, and giving up on her would be giving up on a piece of what makes you what you are.

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Originally Posted By: stretch123
What is the demarcation from Plan A to Recovery? Her ring is a step. But she is still so confused and thinks she is "trapped and controlled" that I won't force her to commit.


Has she committed to NC? Are you still snooping? Are you sure she doesn't have any momentos/photos of the OM? It does sound like you are making progress, but looking back on about the last 10 pages or so, she still says some pretty fogged out things so I worry there is one-sided contact going on.

Have you ever thought of calling Steve Harley? He is known for getting waywards recommitted to the marriage. My H and I have used him and reg MC and the difference is amazing! If you can't swing that, then have you considered calling into the radio show? Both my H and I have called in and I highly recommend it...best of all, it's FREE!

If your W is willing to spend UA time with you, have you tried doing any recreational activites that she would enjoy? Dr Harley recently said on the radio show that he can get marriages back on track MUCH better during the warm months when couples go out and spend lots of RC time together. THis is where my H and I get the most bang for our buck...

Sorry for any typos, I am literally typing this as we are getting ready to head out the door. Hope today is abetter day for you, stretch! smile

Last edited by SusieQ; 05/14/11 12:55 PM.

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CP, NG and SusieQ.
WOW!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend! I am heading out for an afternoon of FC with my kids. We had a neat morning (I made some time for myself for a workout and for some MB posting.) But we played a lot. Now we are off for daddy and kid time.

Wife will come home sometime between 4:00 and 10:00 I guess. She is with the two GF's. Time with them seems to help her heal... even though they were also extremely toxic in the past. I am uneasy about their "advice". Kinda crooked? They don't have much "good" marriage experience.... but oh well. Hope my wife can sort through the sound advice and the junk. She loves them and so do I. I cannot control it. I can't let it bother me. I release all of that! She is her own person. And I am only in charge of me.

Right now, I need to be following through on all my plans for the afternoon with my kids. So with that..... Ciao !

Last edited by stretch123; 05/17/11 01:27 AM.

Me: 43
ExWW: 44
Married 16yrs. 4 children

EA (ExWW): May-Nov 2009 + Aug-Dec 2010
D-DAY JAN 30, 2011
Exposure: FEB 7, 2011
Contact Again: Apr 25, 2011
Divorce Final Sept 2012

"I want to be married and stay married. Now I uunderstand the kind of marriage I want and we all deserve. But I also know it takes two to want to Build that Marriage."
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Hey stretch,

Just a quick note, if these two friends are toxic, I'd try to make more time for the two of you (and kids sometimes) and hopefully bump them out of the picture a bit.

I wouldn't (yet) ask her to choose between doing something with them or you, just try to preemptively plan something with the two of you--"accidentally" leaving no time for the toxic friends where possible.


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Sounds manipulative NW. I have made a decision to not play chess or manipulate or maneuver.

Don't worry. I plan to heal my relationship with them. They are family. They are in the picture. My wife is seeing some of the luster of this "perfect friendship" ideal wearing off. They are good friends, good family. But also human like all of us. Not "perfect."

I'm not all that concerned over what they talked about all night.

Last edited by stretch123; 05/15/11 08:55 AM.

Me: 43
ExWW: 44
Married 16yrs. 4 children

EA (ExWW): May-Nov 2009 + Aug-Dec 2010
D-DAY JAN 30, 2011
Exposure: FEB 7, 2011
Contact Again: Apr 25, 2011
Divorce Final Sept 2012

"I want to be married and stay married. Now I uunderstand the kind of marriage I want and we all deserve. But I also know it takes two to want to Build that Marriage."
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stretch - on some level, you have to play chess. You have to think strategically. Maybe it's semantics, but if you have a plan and are trying to execute it, you are manipulating something. If you don't have a plan, you're probably doomed to failure because then only luck will lead you to your objective. Your plan may be to be patient, but it's still a plan.


BS(me)- 45
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DS - 6
Exposure: early 02/2011
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Fair enough.

I guess I just mean, I am not trying to back her into a corner... make a move that "trumps" her or "tricks" her.

Per NW specific comment about going out -- if I am uncomfortable about something... be direct. (like her one friend wants to go to a summer music concert with the girlz -- which is a trigger for me because stuff happened with OM 2 years ago after that concert...) I will be direct if it comes up. I tell her I want to take her out, lets spend that time as a couple. I find her friend's idea insensitive and selfish to both of us and our M.

But the thing is... I think my wife knows that and is blowing toxic friend off about the summer concert.

But you're right. I do have a Plan. Again, per NW comment, my plan involves staying true to self, being open and honest, not being a doormat, being direct, working on myself, learning to control myself, not anyone else, and being the best man I can be.


Me: 43
ExWW: 44
Married 16yrs. 4 children

EA (ExWW): May-Nov 2009 + Aug-Dec 2010
D-DAY JAN 30, 2011
Exposure: FEB 7, 2011
Contact Again: Apr 25, 2011
Divorce Final Sept 2012

"I want to be married and stay married. Now I uunderstand the kind of marriage I want and we all deserve. But I also know it takes two to want to Build that Marriage."
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Stretch - I think I understand where you're coming from. At some point though you may have to back her into a corner; that's when she'll have to make a decision or two. Is it manipulative on some level? Yes, it is. If you're being honest with yourself, and I mean really honest with yourself, you'll wind up backing her into a corner at some point. Otherwise that'll be the Hobbes choice - you being honest with yourself vs. backing her into a corner. Something is going to have to give. You compromise yourself or you are pushing her into a corner - you will not be able to avoid it.

This is the point I'm at - she's been pushing for a 'D' in theory, but I've been taking concrete steps. In a way, I'm backing WW into a corner, she now has to respond to my actions. For example, she didn't like that I'm refinancing the house and taking her off the title - well, that's tough. Stuff like that happens in a divorce. It's real and it's tangible. She'll have to be at the closing to sign the quit claim. If she doesn't want to sign it, that's fine, but then she'll have to re-commit to the marriage. That's her choice. Would you consider that manipulative? I don't think it's manipulative - it's making a decision. She drove me to this point, her choices are driving my decisions! Just be prepared to take this step if recovery doesn't come for you guys.


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A word about "Toxic" friends.

My late wife came from a family of Toxic people, and she could never completly cut the cord from them. When she got away from them and we lived away from them, she understood that they were bad for her, but there was a part of her that wanted to prove to them she was worthy of thier respect, wanted to prove to them she had a better life than they did, part of her that was still wrapped up in thier values and wanted thier respect and attention. She still had something to prove. Whether that came from past pain and bittereness or some insecurity and need to prove herself doesn't matter really now, and at the time I struggled with her having any contact with them and thier issues, because they would allways draw her back into the slime of thier lives.

They were all drinkers and alcoholics with tragic lives, my wife remembers taking the shotgun out of stepfathers hands when he would get drunk and threaten her Mom. Sister would call up and complain about the latest boyfriend who beat her and say she "Just couldn't leave him". Because my wife was the "hero" equivilent of the "Children of Alcoholics",,( also prevelant in dysfunctional families in general at some level), she would get all worked up and sucked right back into the SHiitestorm that was thier lives. W would agree it was thier problem but was complelled to save them.

Ok what does this have to do with you? Somewhere in your Ws past is probably people who embrace poor boundaries and don't mind crapping on others to get what they want. We meet these people in our lives and whether they are part of the family or not they effect us somehow. How we can speculate all day but it is wrapped up in personal values somehow and the sharing of them along with the goals we have in life in general.

You remember the "shaky" friends you had when you were young, the ones you had to leave behind because they were dangerous? The ones that maybe you tried to help in some way? Some of them who would drag you down with them if they could and then you would pay the cost? Unholy alliances that you were better off alone than with them. Its the alone part that is hard. I would say its harder for a women becuase they are hardwired for relationships, and will compromise themselves sometimes to stay connected, even to Toxic friends and men.

I remember how my W talked about this young girl she wanted to help. Just when we were getting back together after two years of separation because she was an outrageous binge drinker, and she had improved and pulled herself up and was much better. Well anyway there was this young girl who was an ex-crackaddict, 17 at the time, and my wife was trying to help her to save her life and be her friend. My first impression was I didn't trust her, she didn't look you in the eye and was extremly nervous and jumpy. I didn't know anything about crack addicts or even what the stuff was, but I had pretty good instinct about people and body lauguage then. I was kind to her and allways supportive and positive, never bringing up the past or pointing out her failures as I got to know her story, but my gut said don't trust her, and my gut was right.

My wife thought she understood where she was coming from because she too had a hard life circumstances. There was a connection to shall we call it, "The dark side" and she felt sorry for her, just the thing that draws us all in with good intentions. My wife had said before, and was starting to show signs of living it, that, "We all stand and fall before God alone", and forgivness was absolutly nessesary to recieve before you can see yourself clearly as a weak human being. she stopped short somewhere in that, because she was not accountable to her human condition as an Alcoholic, and refused AA because,"It would cause her to admit she was different than how God had created her, she was not going to live in the past and that awful place, God had forgiven her and that was it" I had problems with that, but held my peace, because at least she wasn't drinking and destroying herself.

A Christian friend of mine who leads AA says,"With God and the 12 steps you can do anything", but you need the 12 steps, as I had originally thought, again I didn't trust my instincts at that time.

Ok so all this forgivness and pushing down what I felt, yes felt, was right, that you need to do the work also for recovery,(in this case alcoholism), not because God needs you to, but because People need you to, and you need you to, It really didn't work out so well in our case.

Ten years later when W was having some hard times, she hung around with this woman again more and more. I allowed it, and like you Stretch I had the attitude that if she screws up it was not my problem. In the back of my mind I felt maybe she would hit rock bottom and in some way get real. I was warned that this woman was toxic for W to be around, and I expressed to W how I didn't like it because of her past, but W said I was cramping her style and controlling. There was no "drugging" going on, but I could sense a lot of sharing about how, "men are all alike", and crap like that. I even had to deal with my wife telling me I was just like her H, cold and unforgiving. (The truth was that He had dragged her home from many crack -binges in the past, and had lost a lot of things because she sold them for drugs, and she was upset because he did not want to sleep with her). I don't know how he could stand it accually, but he brought up her daughter for her and gave her a good life. I think he was waiting too for her to change, and drank the kool-aid. He did take care of the stepdaughter and I think eventually he was there for her alone.

5 years after that, when my wife had gone through more things, and was just coming away from falling back into drinking, her step sister died. W had lost 6 family members in her home state the 2 years before, and she went to the woman and asked for something to help her feel better when she got the call and was freaking out. The women gave her heroin. That was in 2001, I found out about it in 2003 because she didn't completly lose it till then, and the progression to "feel good" at the expense of others continued and tore our family apart, till she died in 2009.

So how dangerous are "Toxic" freinds? How much is forgivness without repentance,(change) worth? In every time in life, whether it be affairs or or other mental illness that effects our lives we must be careful of what we hear and recieve into ourselves. If you think her friends are toxic and might hurt your marriage it is part of being her husband to insist she doesn't hang with them, and you don't have to like them either. or give them a "break? because "thats just how they are", and you should be more "understanding". They will work against your recovery and wear you down, and in the end you will wonder why you allowed them between your wife and you, when at least you could have set that as a standard of recovery when you had the chance to. I regret not insisting on AA long ago, and letting my W live in denial, until her mental habits had progressed for so long and the right circumstances arose and she went underground and fell back into that world.

I too have survived, and I let W make her own choices and reap the consequences, but that is my pride talking. Hindsight being 20-20, I had the chance to set the bar higher and I didn't. Of course I allways was supportive and encougaged counselling, but there was that part of me just waiting for her to fail and be sorry again. How much bittereness had developed in me to allow that? Did I really love her enough? or did I just want to be loved and it hurt for so long and was never dealt with properly? There was promise at first, but the chickens allways come home to roost. How does that saying go,"Hope deferred?"

Of course your situation is different, your not dealing with addicts at that level, but what is the same is the influance of the "toxic friends nutwork". Whatever weakness in character that they support is also an enemy to you and your marriage. If your wife realizes that they can be detrimental to her marriage and can fight off thier crap, well thats OK I guess, but it becomes deadly in the right moment and the infulences do effect people.

Just for ya yas, years later when I asked the women who introduced W to herion about her life and where she was going now she said,"Well I never "got" the whole "God" thing anyway" At that time she was kicked out of Hs house and hooking on the street, a full blown addict. So much for forgivness and understanding going before accountability and change.

At some point I would let whatever counsellor you are using know about the friends and thier influence. If you don't like them then they don't have a place in your marraige. Its not selfish its survival.


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Stretch,

New week. I hope things get better for you. Your wife sounds a lot like me although so far I have refrained from delving into things as deep as her. I am still trying to get a balance. Some of the problems that existed in our marriage prior to the affair are still there. I waited a long time to make sure I am not rewriting history (ok so we are always rewriting history but I am trying to not focus on the negative) Anyway, I am trying to learn ways to tell him so I don't come off as sounding like your wife. I don't want to hurt him more.

The problem I have is when he makes a slip....forgets something important or gets angry or dismissive, I have to stop myself from immediately thinking...see??? he hasn't changed at all.

Happily I am mostly proven wrong...but not always.

I don't know about your particular sitch but in mine, her first complaint would be totally legit. My H would always leave it to me to "cover for him " with the kids. Now that they are older, I stopped doing it. If they ask why daddy is still at work when he got off 2 hours ago, I hand them the phone and say "I don't know, why don't you ask him."

The second example does sound petty unless that thing happens all the time. I am exhausted with handling the minutae of kid stuff....knowing who needs a dollar or to wear sneakers or pack a lunch, or deliver a fundraiser. Something like that would trigger me to think, "great one more thing that he started and I have to finish." In my situation it is the sign of bigger problems.

Her last complaint was just a barage of everything coming to the surface. Of course she hasn't had a totally awful 15 years but, like I said, she is assuming one little backslide and it will all fall apart again.

I think you handled things well. I know it is so hard to hear and I pray that one day she will eat those words. That day just isn't going to be today.

All I can say is that at least she is opening up to you and with that means that she has hope. You typically don't complain about lousy service at a restaurant you never intend to eat at again.

Good luck

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Originally Posted By: stretch123

Per NW specific comment about going out -- if I am uncomfortable about something... be direct. (like her one friend wants to go to a summer music concert with the girlz -- which is a trigger for me because stuff happened with OM 2 years ago after that concert...) I will be direct if it comes up. I tell her I want to take her out, lets spend that time as a couple. I find her friend's idea insensitive and selfish to both of us and our M.


Hey, that's really all I was hoping you'd say. If she spends too much time with toxics, then there's nothing wrong with trying to reverse that. If it didn't work in the past, it sure as h isn't going to work now.


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@CP -

I thank you for those stories. Thanks for sharing.

We are not dealing with that level of abuse and disfunction. But receiving some people into your circle that don't have positive stories to share is troublesome.

In the end, these people are family. And I love them as does my wife. And I have made a promise and commitment to heal with them myself and not put W in the middle. They do wish for the best for us... but I don't think they are sorry or have remorse for their roles during the A. I am responsible for seeking closer on that angle myself. Even our counselor said, "Don't make W defend their actions -- take it up with them and seek healing and closure on that chapter." Also, I don't know if they understand intimate, positive, supportive, O&H, romantic love marriages since they have none around them to model.

One friend got divorced a couple years ago and some older, wiser married men warned me: "watch out." I guess I am pretty naive about the world. My wife assumes because I travel, have a hotel room, have cocktail parties... that there is hooking up. Well, I guess there probably is. But I am too blind to see it going on.

Her level of bad influencers is more insidious. There is a generation in my Wife's family so comfortable with divorce. I mean dozens of divorces. Hardly anyone is NOT divorced. And her close circle of friends and siblings don't have a marriage to model for us.

Some things you wrote that I pull out:
Ok what does this have to do with you? Somewhere in your Ws past is probably people who embrace poor boundaries and don't mind crapping on others to get what they want. We meet these people in our lives and whether they are part of the family or not they effect us somehow.

I would say its harder for a women becuase they are hardwired for relationships, and will compromise themselves sometimes to stay connected,

In every time in life, whether it be affairs or or other mental illness that effects our lives we must be careful of what we hear and recieve into ourselves.

Last edited by stretch123; 05/17/11 12:51 AM.

Me: 43
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Married 16yrs. 4 children

EA (ExWW): May-Nov 2009 + Aug-Dec 2010
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Exposure: FEB 7, 2011
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Thank you Sunny for checking in. I value your insight tremendously!
Originally Posted By: sunnydaze53

The problem I have is when he makes a slip....forgets something important or gets angry or dismissive, I have to stop myself from immediately thinking...see??? he hasn't changed at all.


I can promise you that he will disappoint you sometimes. And you him. Its life, its marriage. Every disappointment is not a reason to end the M. But my wife is in a dark place, and I am so scared of every slip. I am releasing that fear and it helps a lot. We can tell ourselves, "we will make mistakes." Forever and ever.

Originally Posted By: sunnydaze53
her first complaint would be totally legit.

Oh yes, it was. The timing was bad. Its a pattern. She was sad and depressed about something completely different. She was rejected by her writing, feeling hopeless, no self worth. I was trying to just , "be there" while she was in a deep hole of depression. And that ammunition came out. I know now to escape during those depression bouts. Or just accept that I am about to take it.

But overall, that observation was a total gift from her. And she said this morning, "The number one avenue to my heart is FC and building your relationship with our children. Means more to me than anything in the world."

Originally Posted By: sunnydaze53
The second example does sound petty unless that thing happens all the time. I am exhausted with handling the minutae of kid stuff....

I hear you. Its a lot. But gee whiz, I was fulfilling the first complaint with my son... helping him grow enough to have confidence to go around the neighborhood and take orders, organizing his orders, taking him to church to sell more, delivering... I am REALLY working on not getting so upset and cranky over little things (messy house, forgotten homework, wasted money, kids eating junk food, psycho fights with daughters (boy, they aren't teens yet but what happens with teenage girls and menopause wife in the same house in a few years!!! ikes!) I think it was petty.

Originally Posted By: sunnydaze53
Her last complaint was just a barage of everything coming to the surface. Of course she hasn't had a totally awful 15 years but, like I said, she is assuming one little backslide and it will all fall apart again.

I think you handled things well. I know it is so hard to hear and I pray that one day she will eat those words. That day just isn't going to be today.

All I can say is that at least she is opening up to you and with that means that she has hope.

Yup, we are still here working on it. We both have hope. I am struggling trying to figure out how "important" her "story" is. And she calls it just that, "I have a story in my head that this is what our reality looked like." Our MC calls her out for that strong filter. I am concerned that if she really believes our history is as bad as all that crap she will just stand firm in her persistence to sabotage this. Luckily, through this forum I have learned that revisionism is totally common. Also, I have learned through ALL kinds of reading, that wives generally have a standard list of very, very legitimate bad husband complaints built up over the years.

And I own it! So can we just move forward into the future now?!?!


Me: 43
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Married 16yrs. 4 children

EA (ExWW): May-Nov 2009 + Aug-Dec 2010
D-DAY JAN 30, 2011
Exposure: FEB 7, 2011
Contact Again: Apr 25, 2011
Divorce Final Sept 2012

"I want to be married and stay married. Now I uunderstand the kind of marriage I want and we all deserve. But I also know it takes two to want to Build that Marriage."
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Originally Posted By: Northwood8900
Originally Posted By: stretch123

Per NW specific comment about going out -- if I am uncomfortable about something... be direct. (like her one friend wants to go to a summer music concert with the girlz -- which is a trigger for me because stuff happened with OM 2 years ago after that concert...) I will be direct if it comes up. I tell her I want to take her out, lets spend that time as a couple. I find her friend's idea insensitive and selfish to both of us and our M.


Hey, that's really all I was hoping you'd say. If she spends too much time with toxics, then there's nothing wrong with trying to reverse that. If it didn't work in the past, it sure as h isn't going to work now.

I don't want to say they are definitely irreperable toxics. They are family, and they are NOT going away. I just am worried about their type of advice. It hasn't worked for several years...

But you've heard me say over and over on this thread, I will heal and repair with them. I do enjoy them, love them. I am betrayed that they smiled at me and were so nice to me all during the A. And took advantage of me and abused me. But I intend to heal with them myself.

She came back from the weekend very quiet. Not able to talk. Makes me assume she complained about me a lot and they validated her. I don't know....

I got one kernal, she said something like, "My friends told me,'What we're hearing you complain about the most through all this weekend is how he didn't tell the kids about his trip out of town.'"

Okay, fair enough. Like I said, that observation is a gift and I take it to heart.

But it just sounded like they spent the weekend trying to understand me, figure out me, help her deal with me.

That's what I think so much of her support and therapy is about... fixing the spouse!

//Start Rant// It's MY ahem, "story", that her GF's don't do the criticize each other thing. No tough love. Just validate that the men around them are bad and support each other and give tips on how to somehow cope and manage around these impossible beasts.... or simply give up and run away. Well, at this rate they'll eb sitting around crying to each other when they are 75 about how they can't find the perfect relationship. //End rant // Surely all of that wasn't fair. But I wanted to let it out.

All I can feel right now is... she came back from time with GF's and is really down and non-communicative. But did have some tips for how I can keep fixing myself. I've only been working on about a thousand things.

Last edited by stretch123; 05/17/11 01:18 AM.

Me: 43
ExWW: 44
Married 16yrs. 4 children

EA (ExWW): May-Nov 2009 + Aug-Dec 2010
D-DAY JAN 30, 2011
Exposure: FEB 7, 2011
Contact Again: Apr 25, 2011
Divorce Final Sept 2012

"I want to be married and stay married. Now I uunderstand the kind of marriage I want and we all deserve. But I also know it takes two to want to Build that Marriage."
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Originally Posted By: AndyM
stretch - great job on the exercise routine! I'm a firm believer in it, although I can't hold a candle to you. I only exercise for about 20-30 minutes - 5 times a week - that's the goal anyway.
Are you doing scuba Andy?


Me: 43
ExWW: 44
Married 16yrs. 4 children

EA (ExWW): May-Nov 2009 + Aug-Dec 2010
D-DAY JAN 30, 2011
Exposure: FEB 7, 2011
Contact Again: Apr 25, 2011
Divorce Final Sept 2012

"I want to be married and stay married. Now I uunderstand the kind of marriage I want and we all deserve. But I also know it takes two to want to Build that Marriage."
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Assuming you have tried to wean your wife away from these negative influencers (A Girls' Weekend Bi+ching Excursion? Really?) with no success (and probably a LOT of spiteful push-back), it may be necessary to actively locate, cultivate and join a higher (moral) class of acquaintances, first for you, and then for her.

Look for something that she enjoys (besides getting with the sistas and man-slamming), and prod her into locating a group of like-minded supporters. Or do something(s) together, as a "cold call", just to meet other people. Does you nearest Community College (or J.C.) offer adult cooking classes, for example? Kayaking? Scuba? Even a joint workout program, anything to reduce her time with the hen-house.

Also, can you tell if she's showing signs of "wallowing" in her current state - getting joy out of "being" miserable?

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