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Joined: Apr 2002
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Onewhocares, thanks for your reply.<p>>I was so confused and there were times where my >wanting him to feel better and be happy again >turned into physical affection and looking back >that gave him the wrong message that i had >intended. Anyway perhaps I have confused you now >by being too vague. I hurt him but I was hurting >myself too without realizing it. Getting back >together was the best thing that ever happened >to me.<p>I hear you. I know my WS cares about me and would like me not to be in pain. I should take what she says and does with a grain of salt until (if it ever happens) she tells me she wants to work on our marriage and leave om. I'm in for the long haul wherever that leads, I'm just not sure what to do along the way.<p>>Have you yet passed the point where if she ever >did come back it would never be the same??? <p>It would never be the same because it has already changed. She wouldn't want things the way they were (the "boring" "disconnected" way) and neither would I (the "dishonest" way.) So in that sense being different could mean better.<p>>You say how much she REALLY loved you. Is that >simply a past tense thing or is it possible to >return to that?
Both. It is a past tense thing yes. She does not REALLY love me now. But it is possible to return to a happy loving STRONGER relationship and I think that is what the MB concepts are all about.<p>>Lets say she did turn around, realise her >mistakes and love you again. Has the betrayal >and pain you have gone through for what in my >opinion seems like too long been too much and if >she ever did come back the trust would be too >difficult to rebuild and it would never be the >same-- I ask you?<p>I don't know how long I can wait. I would love for her to "come back" and "love me again." That is partly why I am waiting. The trust would be difficult to rebuild yes but not impossible. I would like to see if it could. Even though she says she "tried" to work on our marriage, she really never told me anything was wrong or said she wanted to work on things. I am still in shock that she left and want to give it a try with her giving it a try. One honest try from the both of us. I know that is not possible at the moment because it takes two to make a marriage work and she doesn't want to. It may never work but I want to try and find out.<p>>For example, songs, poems, even movies. See if >they relate to you and then what you think about >the message they send.
This is why I've always loved music, movies, and poetry & literature. We can learn and gain perspective from others' insights and experiences. The other day these lyrics made an impression on me:<p>"I'm looking through you,
where did you go,
I thought I knew you,
what did I know,
You don't look different
but you have changed
I'm looking through you,
you're not the same."
-Beatles<p>"Grace. She takes the blame. She covers the shame. Removes the stain. It could be her now. Grace. It's a name for a girl but it's also a thought that changed the world. When she walks on the street, you can hear the strings.
Grace finds goodness in everything. ...
She travels outside of karma. She travels outside of karma....
What once was hurt, what once was friction, what left a mark, no longer stings. Because Grace makes beauty out of ugly things. Grace finds beauty in everything. Grace finds goodness in everything."
-U2<p>>To certain people there comes a day
>when they must say the great Yes of the great No.
>He who has the Yes ready within him
>reveals himself at once, and saying it he >crosses over to the path of honor and his own >conviction. He who refuses does not repent. >Should he be asked again,
>he would say No again. And yet that No-
>the right No-crushes him for the rest of his >life.
I take this to mean that one day I may have to say Yes that my marriage is over....that I made a mistake about my wife about who she is and move on. I hope that I am not mistaken, that she comes to her senses, and comes back before that day comes.<p>unsureheart, Thanks for your reply.
>You are expecting too much too fast from your >WW. I did too, but now realize that I have to >look for progress on a longer time frame. I am >not the world's most patient person and expected >my WH to have some kind of epiphany and just get >it right away that what he was doing was wrong. >It just doesn't work that way or that quickly.
You're right that makes sense. But what do you do in the meanwhile while your WS files for divorce and always seems angry when you speak together.<p>>I know it is hard. I am approaching just over >four months since discovery and cannot believe I >put up with this baloney for this long. What I >keep reminding myself is that it must have taken >a long time to get here -- the deterioration of >our marriage (although that is never an excuse >for an affair) and what is one more month in the >scheme of my marriage.
I agree, a concept Dr. Phil also shares. If our marriages don't work, hopefully we'll have some peace of mind knowing we did EVERYTHING possible to make it work.<p>>The other piece of advice I will give you is to >read Divorce Remedy by Michelle Weiner-Davis. >The 180 degree concept and some others have >helped me lately. It seems as if you and your WW >keep having the same conversation. Maybe it >would help if you don't engage in that >conversation for a while. It isn't going to >change anything while she is in her A and it >will just make you crazy.
I read a few pages of it (on affairs, pending divorce, last resort, and the really last resort - like Plan b)
This makes total sense. I think my problem with my Plan A (when she was at home but even now) is that we kept talking about our relationship and repeating the same thing (annoying her and me.) I should have worked more on me and less on trying to "convince" her since I can't really do that (even though I can't help but want to.) I've tried not to bring it up but she keeps bringing up divorce and selling the house etc..<p>>Keep trying to plan A if you can take it, which >I think you can.
I can. I wonder if it is the best for my specific case or not. Ultimately my goal of course is to work on our marriage/save it etc, but obviously she has to want to. Part of our marital problems were that I was "letting her do whatever she wanted and not being tough with her" and "spending too much time on myself and friends and interests." Isn't that just what Plan A and B are in a way (working on self and not love busting? Do I get "tough" with her if that is what she wants? How do I do that? I know it is not filing for divorce. I guess until she wants to work on the marriage showing "tough love" won't make a difference or will be misinterpreted.)<p>Update:<p>I continue to not call my wife (I don't want to seem pushy or pathetic. And honestly, I feel better about myself when I'm at work and with friends keeping my mind off things; when I talk to her I get down.) I see her on the weekends because I visit her family (who have been like my family as I've mentioned for pratically my whole life.) She avoids me then.<p>During the week however, she called me a few times. Specifically she wanted me to switch over the cell phone to her name (so as she said "can receive messages from OM without me hearing and using against her." i.e. telling her parents.) I have no problem with that since I don't use it anyway.
However, I'm concerned that since she has said she knows I'm a good guy and she says for me not to trust her (she says she doesn't trust herself), that perhaps she wants me to "help her" get on with her new life. (I always handled things like accounts, financial stuff, the house, bills, etc.) I think it is clear from all my posts that I want what is best for my marriage above all else, but I don't think that means help her file for divorce or sell the house, etc. Perhaps she is taking advantage of me? Perhaps she is not being as independent as she wants because she wants me to figure out the house situation.<p>She was very angry with me today. She says I'm controlling her because I won't give her "her money" from the house. I told her I wasn't keeping anything from her. She said to give her "her money" then. I said she can have it, to go ahead and take it, I'm not keeping it from her. She said I was by not selling the house or refinancing to give her the share of equity in it that is hers. She again warned me to do something soon like find a roommate because soon she will be moving out of her parents into her own apartment and will stop paying her share of the mortgage and bills and I will be screwed. She also seemed to be worried that I would screw us both if I didn't pay the mortgage because we'd lose the house and both of our equity. She was really angry. Angry at me. She accused me of purposely manipulating things to not let her get her money and get on with her life. She said fine about me not wanting a divorce, that she would save up and pay for it, but that if I don't give her "her money" (she must have said money a million times) her lawyer would be calling me.<p>I tried to remain pleasant. I told her we'd talk later and figure something out (I tried to remain very general.) I told her I didn't want to fight with her and reminded her about not talking about "things." She said this isn't about her feelings/relationship but about reality. She thinks I'm in a dreamland by not accepting that things are over. I told her I'm not trying to "control her" that I'm not doing "anything" but going to work, paying the bills etc.. She said that I'm paying the bills with her money, and that I'm living in the house which is hers too, and since I won't sell I need to figure out what to do. I told her that I didn't leave, she did. I didn't understand why I should have to do those things (i.e. make it easier for her to "move on".) I'm not trying to be manipulative. It seems that I'm lovebusting whatever I do. [img]images/icons/frown.gif" border="0[/img] <p>I know I shouldn't analyze what she says and does. It won't make sense because it doesn't make sense. However, it does help to just "let out" by writing here about our interactions. I know in reality that if she is going to want to work on things I have to wait for reality to set in and for her A to "die a natural death." It may be awhile but I'm for the long haul. <p>Thanks for listening out there.<p>-Heartbroken and hoping

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Here's another update:<p>I saw my WS. I helped her get a new cell phone at Best Buy because the old one was giving her problems (the receipt was in my name.) The account is still in my name. Things were ok. She then brought up talk about the future which I told her I didn't want to talk about. She said the same things. Give me my money from the house etc.. I just listened. New things she said are that what she did in the past was an affair but now that I know about it and now that she is apart from me it is not an affair anymore. She said her friends at work supported her on this. She said she will be divorcing me because she does not love me anymore and will pay for all of it since I don't want it (as soon as she can afford it.) She was also mad that I had friends over at the house and was having a good time "at her expense" (?) with "her money" (?). I guess since she owns the house too, in her mind I can't live life there or something. (?) She did mention that she misses my giving her massages.<p>Nothing else really new. I did find a journal she kept which was enlightening. Lots of contradictions in thought but it is also very clear that she intends on divorcing me asap. Here is what she wrote (my thoughts are in parentheses):<p>"Dear Whomever,<p>I feel immense pressure, I feel bad...guilty, I completely destroyed someone...someone I use to care for deeply...someone who I was convinced and believed was the man of my life. I can't deny that what I felt for (me) was strong and very real, I genuinely loved him. My love was pure and sincere. He was perfect in so many ways, it just made so much sense and felt so right. The guilt I feel runs so deep, not only am I hurting (me) but also my family whom I care for deeply. <p>Everyone treats me like a child, they talk for me, tell me what I'm feeling and make choices for me. Perhaps that is my doing, for having allowed them to do so. It is so apparent to me my level of immaturity and inexperience. I only wish I recognized all of this sooner, before poor (me) came along, maybe then I wouldn't have decided on marriage. <p>I really wish I had given myself time to be alone after I broke up with (ex-boyfriend) but no I began another intense relationship soon after (my note: we didn't start dating until 3 months after she broke up with him and we didn't get married until 3 1/2 years after that. Isn't that enough time?) and I hope and pray I do not make the same mistake (my note: isn't that what she is doing with OM?). <p>I believe I'm like my father in that I am easily swept away by emotions. When things feel right I let my heart take me wherever and not my mind/brain. I really do understand where my parents are coming from. I understand their worries and hurt. However, they need to understand that what I do or the choices I make in my life are not a reflection of their "parenting." These are my choices and *my* choices alone. I am honestly doing what I feel is right for me and they may not agree or even understand me but they need to know I am doing something I feel so strongly about (my note: that much is clear), they need to trust me (my note: kinda hard because of what is going on), I'm not an idiot and I want to prove it to them, if they will only give me the chance. Beleive me...I know things are messed up. What I did was wrong (my note: innteresting use of the past tense, I guess that means she things that what she is now doing is right), I should have been woman enough to own up to what I was doing instead I was a coward, another failure. I really disappointed myself and it hurts a lot. I feel as if my life and everything I used to know is spinning out of control. <p>Sometimes I feel that everyone is making thier "weird" situation too easy. Everyone is willing to put things aside and look past my actions just as long as I return to where they think I belong wihtout even so much as a slap on the hands. They continue to baby me by saying "Oh, she was just having a moment, but she's past it now, you know how impulsive and carried away she gets but see it was just temporary, as usual...let's move on...til' the next crazy time!" And then everyone breathes a sigh of relief because everything returns back to normal, the "picture perfect life!" Well I'm here to tell you that my life is not picture perfect. I've done things, said things that I don't feel proud of. I want to change and become a better person, ultimately I want to feel that my life has a purpose and that I'm living it the best and happiest I can. However, I know that I can't please myself and everyone else at the same time. So then how can I decide who to hurt, me or them? Am I being too greedy by deciding what's best for me? Does pleasing me at the expense of others mean I am ultimately not pleasing myself? How can I go on and not feel guilt? Why does my mom make it a choice/battle between "them" and him.<p>And him, (OM), does he deserve all of this? I love him, I really do but I'm afraid of hurting him or being hurted. What I've been feeling for him for such a long time is sincere. What started as an attraction turned into a crush and lead to love. And the fact that he feels the same way is amazing. I love (OM), however, his love doesn't blind me, it is not unhealthy, on the contrary, I feel very clear and enlightened. I am not caught up in the moment, what I feel when I'm with him is so special and honest. I have nothing but good times spiritual connections with him. I want him to help me better my life. I want to do it on my own but I want him to share those moments with me. He is such a wonderful person and I can't believe how lucky I am to have him in my life and the fact that he is able to see past my complicated life shows me how much he does care for me. I want so much for my family to accept him, my family is such a huge part of me, my family, my friends, everything that is familiar to me. But I know that unfortunately... it won't be easy. <p>I feel as if not only am I divorcing (me) but my family, the dog, the house and every little thing in the house we built together. It is so sad to me that such a beautiful thing has to come to its, I believe, inevitable end. An end that was not caused by (OM). (Me) and I changed, grew apart, his needs and wants were not shared by me any more. I hate to think of his pain and I'm constantly reminded that to take care of his pain all I have to do is reach my hand out to him and that would make everything okay, for him... but not for me. Then I wonder am I being unfair to him, does he deserve a second chance? But it's just that I wonder, if I were to give him a second chance, how would things be different. I hate that everyone is so shocked by my actions and thoughts but once again that's my fault because I always tried my hardest to maintain the "image" everyone had of "the world's most perfect couple." And then I blame myself for not being so up front with (me), but then I think to myself. I talked to (me) about my feelings so how much more candid could I have been (my note: she never once told me that our relationship was in serious trouble and we needed to work on things or get counseling or anything like that. Never ever. Sometimes I'm still in shock. When she told me about OM, at that point, she said our marriage was over, that is when I tried to do plan A, during my plan A is when her EA turned to a PA.) <p>I just hate that everyone thinks I am a bad person ... I never meant to hurt anyone ... I'm only human. I made a mistake and now I'm paying the price. And what a pretty penny it's costing me. I just hope that all of this had a bright ending. But that's probably asking too much. How much longer can I take this, how many more people will I hurt, how many more people can I turn against me? How much longer can I continue to hurt (me)? I know he's in such pain and I am truly sorry about that. I feel so tired... how will all of this turn out? Where will my life go from here, in which direction?"<p>Well, there you have it. I knew most of this from what she has already told me. I don't know if anyone was supposed to read this or not.<p>Any comments?<p>-heartbroken and hoping

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Wow aanast that is quite a journal/dairy entry. It sounds as if she was/is unhappy with who she is and part of the reason for the A was to prove to herself that she could do something/pursue something not blessed by her family. I'm sure there is more to it than that, but that dairy entry really sounds like a) someone who is confused about life and the choices she has made (not just the A), b) someone who does care about you, and c) someone still living in the fantasy that OM can make everything alright. <p>I think we can all understand how escaping from reality can be such a temptation. Aren't there days where you would like to run away from it all? The difference here is that WW/WHs translate the fantasy into escaping with another person who they picture as superhuman and able to take away all of their pain and daily complications. It's like a drug. I am not saying that they do not actually fall in love with the other person (it's painfully obvious to me that they do feel love), but that that love is based on a fantasy that this other person can solve everything. Well, the hard part is that life just doesn't work that way. You have to make yourself happy and you can't depend on another person to do that for you. <p>I am really sorry that you are in this situation. I do, however, think that the dairy/journal writing gives you a BIG clue as to what to do right now. Back off as much as you possibly can and let her feel like you are letting her make her own decisions. On the house, tell her that you agree that if you divorce, it makes sense to sell the house, but that you aren't at that point yet and could she give you 6 months (or something like that -- I'm not an expert, but I'm thinking somehow you need to let her know that you are considering her "decision" but that she's making you move too fast or something along those lines). <p>Can you afford counseling with one of the Harley's? I have had three phone sessions and it has helped tremendously in terms of fine-tuning what I should do based on my specific situation. It's expensive, but worth it in terms of my feeling a bit more in control over my life.<p>Maybe re-post the journal entry and a bit of background over in General Questions II forum -- it gets more traffic from people much further along in this than me and maybe they could help you interpret.<p>Best of luck.

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Dear aanast2,
Well it was very interesting to hear the way she looks at things. There were two things I wanted to tell you 1) I don't think that asking you to take care of the business with the house and money and getting angry at you for not doing it is very fair. It seems as if she is trying to find an easy way out... plus I don't know how she can expect you to be willing to do all you can to break off the marriage when she knows that you want to and are trying to bring it back together 2) Her journal entry shows how confused she is and how she is constantly trying to justify her actions to herself. By saying to herself that she is only human or that she is just trying to follow her heart gives her an excuse not to feel guilty. The problem is that she does anyway. The good thing is that she is not a bad person and she is not being cruel to you, she is just confused and addicted to the new independance she feels. How this will influence the future I don't know-- only time will tell. But it seems to me that you are handling things as good as can be expected.
It was very inspiring to hear the lyrics you relate to. I was wondering if you wouldn't mind me sharing with you some of the dilemas I will be facing in the near future. In a way its the complete other side of the coin but perhaps you can give me any comments or opinions you may have. This summer I am leaving where I am now and moving to Boston where I will work for at least the next three years. However, and this is beyond our control, the one I love will be drafted into the army for a manditory two years. Our lives will be completely separated. [img]images/icons/frown.gif" border="0[/img] In fact we only have a month left to be together after a beautiful 18 months. I don't know what to do. I don't even know that I can make it without him. But our lives will change so much.
Well I guess we all have it hard one way or another. But stay strong and whatever happens I am sure you will be better off. I have faith in that. and to leave you today I say this:<p>Is this the real life?
or is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide or escape from reality?
Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see:
I'm just a poor boy (girl in this case) I need no sympathy because I'm easy-come easy-go, little high little low, any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me. ---Queen---<p>We all feel a little like this sometimes... but the beauty of life can always sweap you away, even if its just for a little while.
thanks for listening too
one who cares

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unsureheart, thanks for the reply.<p>quote-------------------------------------------
really sounds like a) someone who is confused about life and the choices she has made (not just the A), b) someone who does care about you, and c) someone still living in the fantasy that OM can make everything alright.
quote-------------------------------------------<p>well based on my more recent conversations with her in the past week, you're right about a few things
a)she is confused
b)she does care about me
c) I don't know, I hope things fail between them and she comes back to me.<p>On Thursday, she came over again to get some of her things and we spoke and both cried and held each other and kissed. She asked me about what I've been doing. I told her that I've been trying to keep busy with friends, work, exercise, etc. I did also say that I constantly think about her and us, how I messed up, the past, the future, that I'm in pain, I miss her terribly. Finding out about me living a new life seemed to ease her guilt (while I know I want her to love me and not pity me to come back, it seems right now that if she is considering coming back, it is because of my pain and when she sees that I'm "having fun" then she feels like I'm moving on and so she should also. I'm confused on this part.) She told me she missed me and loved me. she told me she was confused. She said she felt like a whore doing this with me, going back from OM to me and how OM wouldn't like it. However, she told me she has made her decision. I told her that in all cases of someone wanting to walk away from a marriage without even trying to work on it once together is because of a third party being involved. She says she would like counseling to help herself but not in any way to work on the marriage. She brought up how she is getting an apartment and may live with her cousin. I told her that I respect her feelings and that she needs to do what she needs to do but I want her back. She mentioned that this summer she will not be seeing OM much or me and maybe that will help her figure things out. She did say though that he will visit her when she gets her apartment. She asked me how I could forgive her after all she has done. I told her that I love her and I'm surprised too at the patience and forgiveness that I have. I told her that we have a bond/connection/love that we will always have. I told her that I am hoping that someday she may change her mind and want to work on the marriage. I tried to cut our meeting short and she kept wanting to stay longer, pulling me back to her. I had friends over and she wanted to leave out the window. She didn't though and asked me to the car and to sit and talk with her even more. We joked a bit and laughed. I even said that I'll have to work on my technique at sweeping floors to win her back (OM is a janitor.) We laughed. At one point, she said I wasn't trying to win her back. I asked her what can I do? and jokingly said "beat up OM"? She said no, she would hate me if I did. I told her of course I wouldn't (honestly as angry, mad, and sick I get thinking about them together I wouldn't do it), I know it would drive her further away from me, and I told her ultimately she has to decide and want to come back. I told her I hope she is the good person that I know her to be. I said that I know that ultimately she wants to be happy and feel loved. She agreed. I told her that I believe that I am that person who can make her happy and feel loved. This is the first time I've seen her like this in a long time (i.e. not angry, actually wanting to be with me physically and to talk about things/anything, and for her too seem not so sure about herself.) <p>I wished she went as far as telling me it was over with OM and she wants to work on the marriage. I called her the next few days (partly because of the new hope I saw and partly because of her comment that I wasn't trying to win her back.) She didn't want to talk on any of those days. She finally asked me why I keep calling her? I told her why. She said she is sorry about giving me false hope on Thursday night, it was a mistake, etc. I started reading Surviving and Affair. I told her a little about a book I was reading. I mentioned to her that I want to make it clear that I want her to know that I want an opportunity to make our marriage better. She said she wants to make it clear that she doesn't. I told her that until OM is out of her life we can't work on the marriage anyway. I told her I will be patient. She then told me that even if things don't work with her and OM that she will find another guy and date around and she won't come back to work on the marriage and give me "sloppy seconds". She again said she made a mistake getting married. She said her goal is to cut all ties with me.<p>I saw her on Sunday for the Father's Day gathering (she asked me to go.) Her mom and her were fighting again. I talked to her mom about laying off her. Her mom said it is between them. Since she is living under her roof, she has to follow their rules. (My wife didn't get back to their house until 4 A.M. the night before and that triggered the fight. My wife's cousin who is staying with them also and is separated from his girlfriend/mother of his child has been taking my wife out to dance etc. My mother-in-law says he is a bad influence on her.) At the end of the evening, her cousin told me to start dating (that is what he is doing). I told him I wouldn't, that I was married, and maybe someday if I was divorced I would. He, my mother-in-law, and myself spoke briefly about my situation with my wife. I told them I just have to be patient and hope for a miracle. Later I went to say goodnight to my wife and she was angry that we were all talking about her, etc. <p>I guess I'm just going to go back to what I was doing. I'm going to not call her but let her call me and meet her needs when I can. I'll do this for as long and I can but I think if she moves into an apartment I will go to plan B. I'm concerned about how she interprets my actions. This is my take on her right now:<p>1. The guilt she feels because of my pain may be making her unsure and want to come back. So, if she sees that I am moving on, having fun, being strong, then I am making her decision for her or easier because she will feel less guilt or think I don't want/need her.<p>2. I am meeting her family needs in a way because of my bond and support of her family which is an important part of her life. Her wish is for me to disappear and her family to accept OM and live happily ever after. If I plan B, do I stop bbqing, playing volleyball, hanging out, with her family? I may see her. If I do cut them out of my life also, she may see this as she was right about me not really like them. Her mom said her daughter moves out she is Plan Bing too. Maybe if my wife is all alone in an apartment by herself without the support of me, her friends, and family, reality will set in and she will come back. Perhaps she needs to be on her own and be independent (an issue she has) and an opportunity for the A to happen so it will fail. I don't know. She seems to describe the OM as a patient, nice guy like me. Since he has nothing to lose, he will probably wait too. However, he won't be there for her as I had because of his mulitiple jobs and family commitments. <p>On the other hand though, I've noticed one thing about my wife since all of this started. Whenever I first see her, she is angry and/or distant. If I'm with her for a longer period of time, after a bit she opens up and talks and lets me meet her needs. Then she says confused. (This happened a lot when she was still living with me.) So in some ways I should want to be with her for long periods of time so I can meet her needs (which my piss off OM, which is good too [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img]
However, she doesn't want me to, hence her comment of wanting to "cut all ties with me."<p>3. Ultimately I know I cannot change her. I can only change me. I love her. I know if I didn't it would be easier to walk away. I more than love her though. She and her family have been in my life for 18 years (since we were both 9.) Something tells me to hang on. I think I know her (or thought I did.) I know I will be ok someday, whatever happens. She is worth waiting for. I won't wait forever obviously but am in for the long haul. <p>quote------------------------------------------
Back off as much as you possibly can and let her feel like you are letting her make her own decisions.
quote-------------------------------------------<p>I agree.<p>quote-------------------------------------------
On the house, tell her that you agree that if you divorce, it makes sense to sell the house, but that you aren't at that point yet and could she give you 6 months (or something like that -- I'm not an expert, but I'm thinking somehow you need to let her know that you are considering her "decision" but that she's making you move too fast or something along those lines).
quote-------------------------------------------<p>I've tried the buying more time thing. She says she has been telling me for months that she is getting her own apartment and doesn't want my excuse for more time. There are 2 issues here, 1) paying mortgage which she won't if she has to pay rent and 2) her equity, if there is even any, in the house, that she wants. I'm going to try to avoid the issue. I don't want to ever sell the house (I'll get a roomate if I have to.) I guess I will just try to get more time from her and tell her I'm considering her decision if I'm asked.<p>quote-------------------------------------------
Can you afford counseling with one of the Harley's? I have had three phone sessions and it has helped tremendously in terms of fine-tuning what I should do based on my specific situation.
quote-------------------------------------------<p>I spoke with Jennifer but she seemed to explain concepts I knew already, give me general advice, and confirm what I already knew. I have a session with Steve tomorrow that I hope will be more specific to my situation.<p>
onewho cares, thanks for your reply.<p>quote-------------------------------------------
1) I don't think that asking you to take care of the business with the house and money and getting angry at you for not doing it is very fair. It seems as if she is trying to find an easy way out... plus I don't know how she can expect you to be willing to do all you can to break off the marriage when she knows that you want to and are trying to bring it back together
quote-------------------------------------------<p>well, she is obviosly concerned with her self and her new independence now. It does seem a bit contradictory that she wants to be independent but still asks me (and others) to take care of things for her.<p>quote-------------------------------------------
2)The good thing is that she is not a bad person and she is not being cruel to you, she is just confused and addicted to the new independance she feels. How this will influence the future I don't know-- only time will tell. But it seems to me that you are handling things as good as can be expected.
quote-------------------------------------------<p>She is not a bad person. I hope that after she tries being independent and finds herself, she realizes that she wants to be with me. I hope I'm doing the right thing and best thing to help her, help myself, and help our marriage. In many ways I feel bad/sorry for her because of her pain and confusion, and because I honestly think (even though I am biased) that she is making a mistake.<p>quote-------------------------------------------
This summer I am leaving where I am now and moving to Boston where I will work for at least the next three years. However, and this is beyond our control, the one I love will be drafted into the army for a manditory two years. Our lives will be completely separated. In fact we only have a month left to be together after a beautiful 18 months. I don't know what to do. I don't even know that I can make it without him. But our lives will change so much.
quote-------------------------------------------
Hmmm.. I recommend trying to keep up the communication between both of you. Write letters, phone calls, email, the more kinds the better. My wife and I spent some time apart when we were dating because I went to college in another city. I would visit whenever possible but kept the communication up daily. Do as much as you possibly can and can afford. Also, keep in mind the Harley's concepts of needs being met. Some of your needs and his needs (physical, affection, communication, etc) will not be met by each other because of the distance. Hence, your feeling of not being able to make it on your own. You will be able to make it. If you both have a commitment to each other, then you both must be careful about your relationships with people of the opposite sex because they will start meeting your needs and new feelings will develop, etc. That is when choices are made. It is not easy if someone feels lonely, the temptation can be irresistable for some. Good luck to you.<p>People have hardships in life. People make mistakes. Perhaps things happen for a reason. Certain things don't just happen, people make choices. We must learn from our mistakes and our lows to improve ourselves and live better lives. <p>Take care all,
-heartbroken and hopeful

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I talked to Steve Harley today. He gave me some great insight on how love is conditional. He also helped me see that emotions cannot factor in change when predicting the future. This came me some hope about depositing into her love bank without her knowing it (sorta like OM did) and presto! she falls in love with me.<p>I see how this can work both ways. Either I slowly and gradually set up the conditions for her to fall in love with me, or throughout the long process I fall out of love before she falls back into it. It is very sad that things are this far gone.<p>I spoke to my wife and told her about my counseling with Steve. I told her about my realization of myself and role as her partner. My understanding of who I was and should have been as her husband. I told her I am still gaining insight on what I could have done differently. I told her that "no matter what happens" I am a changed man. I look back at that period in my life and see that I transformed into an unattractive person. I told her that he no longer exists. I emphasized that I've opened up my eyes to my responsibilities and am learning from history (past mistakes) to change myself FOR MYSELF. I believe it is in my best interests.<p>I told her all that and left it at that. (As tempting as it was, for once I did not mention our future together or not or the OM. She did mention divorce/separation, him, and her getting her own apartment again just to make sure I know and clear about her intentions.)<p>I also asked if she would go to a seminar this weekened and/or talk to Steve. In both cases I told her it is just to gain information, see what options there are, learn about relationships, no matter what happens. I told her that in no way does her going imply that she is committing to the marriage and I won't be getting my hopes up.<p>She will let me know about her availability to do either.<p>My wife and I also spoke very calmly and pleasantly about the problems we had in our marriage. We agreed on them. We agreed that the number one issue was my lack of showing her affection. <p>We agreed to disagree on whether that is just my nature or not (whether or not I am capable of showing her the high amounts of affection that she needs). She thinks that it is a cultural thing (perhaps because her OM is the same race as her and I am not.) <p>We talked about other issues that I took responsibility for (I filled out a LB questionaire that I sent to S.H. that pretty much acurately jived with what my wife feels I did wrong.)<p>She did admit that she should have been more honest about things with me. She admits that she is a very good liar and she doesn't like that about herself (she said she could come back home and still do what she is doing and I'd never know.) She said that basically she always cared about an image of what other people think (which is true) and realizes that is wrong. She says she knows she is losing a lot (friends and family) but she doesn't care, she needs to do this for her own independence (which not only includes OM, but shopping on her own, paying bills, possibly dating others, etc.) She says it is not easy for her and is sorry for my pain and everyone else's too but she is 100% made up her mind about her future.<p>She spoke the whole time about us and our relationship in the past tense and grouped me with her ex-boyfriend from high school. She said the difference is that I spoiled her which was my fault and hers. She says she knows she always goes for what she wants (which is bad she said) yet she knows she is doing it again this time (with OM and new life.) She said when she has that feeling of love she throws herself completely into it and that person's life (like she did with me and ex-boyfriend and now OM.)<p>I remained calm during the conversation. I see now the long road ahead for me. Even though I hope and want her back, I have serious doubts that she will ever come back to me. Part of me thinks I will only carry on with Plan A because my love will disappear and then the end will be easier. I feel like I have a one in a gazillion shot of succeeding in woo-ing her back. But who knows?<p>-Heartbroken and sitll hoping

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aanast -- I thought I would give you a little inspiration (I know everyone's situation is different, but I wanted to give you some hope). I was in a similar place several months ago. The A was still going on and my WH was lying about it. My WH was living in his own apartment. When I spent time with my WH I heard the same confusion statements/care about you/love you but not in love with you. My WH vascillated between angry and not able to talk to being mainly pleasant with me as long as I did not bring up anything related to the future or his A or the OW.<p>What a long strange trip it's been. I did a pretty good plan A for 4 months (the first month after I found out I was just one big love buster) and was really losing patience and hope. My plan A made a big difference for me. I ran and worked out more than I had in years. I entered running competitions. I spent more time with friends and family. I planned fun trips/outings for myself. I started to have a life outside of my life with WH.<p>Last week I realized that I could live without him and that I would be ok. I wanted him in my life, but I would be more than ok without him in it. I let him know last week -- after 5 months (I thought I could make it until 6 months but I couldn't) -- that I was losing patience and that he needed to make a decision soon about whether he wanted to work on our marriage(I emphasized it was his decision/he has similar issues with being told what to do as your wife) or I was really moving on and I would be ok. He emailed back and said he wanted to move home and work on our marriage. This was the first indication I had that this was his thinking at all and I almost fell out of my chair at work.<p>We will discuss all of this this weekend.<p>I tell you this to tell you to continue to have patience and keep working on your plan A for you. No matter what you will feel better about you and that you tried. Each day has been a challenge for me, but I keep telling myself that I need to try. <p>Keep trying. Be patient. Your wife is confused and I believe there is still hope. The only other thing I wanted to say is that you need to really try and disengage from any conversations with any members of her family about her or the A. She feels controlled and right or wrong, your speaking with them (even if you don't initiate the conversation) contributes to her feelings of being controlled.

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Dear aanast2,
Thank you for your response and advice-I will do my best and whatever I can.
Now back to you: well from what you keep telling me I just keep thinking again and again that your WS has got that feeling of addiction to her new found "independance" which she thinks she never "really" had before and she owes it to herself to stick with it and think of herself first and what she wants... its a form of self righteousness and there really isn't anything you can do about... the thing is this wont last for ever and you are right in saying that one day she is will just come back to reality and this may include not wanting to be so independant-- it becomes too lonely. At that point she may want you back, she may just ditch OM, or she may just find someone or something new to rely on. The only thing I think you know for sure right now is that she pushes away most of anything you try to give her and has decided that in being and finding her "independence" she must lose her ties to you as much as possible- how very unfair!
So the thing is now- what can you do? well perhaps trying and giving her a taste of plan b would alter that current situation? I don't know-- only you can decide when the time comes... but perhaps if she begins to feel that she may be losing you and the love she has had for so long and is so used to, maybe is will give her a bit of a kick back into realising the depth of what is going on... perhaps I am judging her too much- you know I am just an outsider- but right now that is my opinion. And second of all-don't forget about you. I don't think you need to cut off the ties you have with her family because well it is a free country (there!) and your relationship with them is independant of your marriage. besides everyone needs family
But you need to take some of her advice in a way. Now its time for you to focus a bit more on you-- the fact that you say you are a changed person means that you have grown from this experience no matter what the outcome and that is a good thing. Perhaps trying to move on some-- not so much that you could never go back, but enough that day to day life is a bit happier.
I want you to know that more people out there care about you than you know.
Anyway take care and let me know your thoughts,
one who cares

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Thanks unsureheart and onewhocares, (and anyone else out there!)<p>Things seem to be getting worse for my marriage. As I mentioned, last Thursday my wife came over and cried, kissed me, and told me she missed and loved me (she hadn't done that in at least two months if that). Well since then, she has redoubled her efforts to end our marriage, push me away, and provoke my anger. <p>She is back on the !ANGRY! "my money" phone calls. She said I will be hearing from a "mediator" next week and as of July she will no longer have her checks deposited into our joint account to pay the mortgage, loans, bills etc. (Lately our checking account has been in the negative. She and I know it is not because of me. I only pay the bills and haven't been spending on anything else besides some groceries. She claims she wants the money in her own account so she can see where it is going and for her own apartment. She admitted that she has spent "a little" more than usual but that OM buys everything for her in her new relationship.)<p>As for her mom situation, she says that her mom said she must choose between parents and OM and if she leaves their house and it is not to come back to me, she is not her daughter any more. She says she is leaving regardless and she knows that "time heals all wounds" and her mom will accept her someday.<p>She is adamantly determined to get her "thousands" out of our home's equity, pay her for our furniture that she doesn't want, etc... (which I am not "keeping" from her but she somehow thinks I am.) She "apologized" for "screwing me over" in our marriage and that she now has to "screw me over" financially. She was extremely angry the whole conversation because supposedly I am "controlling" her and keeping these (financial) "ties" to her by continuing to put things off. She has stated that her goal is to cut all ties with me asap. <p>She intends to come over next week and go over the numbers etc, and talk about which part of each credit card's debt belongs to who, etc. <p>Her anger subsided a bit when I showed good listening skills. She wanted me to agree to what she should get, etc. I did not agree or make any decisions about things with her, I just restated what she had told me for clarity (as a good listener should.) It seemed to make her feel better that she knew I heard every word she said.<p>I hope to talk to the counselor again for some advice on how to handle the "money" situation. I'm thinking that my Plan A is coming to an end soon and will probably go to Plan B when she moves into her apartment (which I believe will be mid-July or at the start of August.) I want to show her that I am giving her space and am not trying to keep any money or anything that is not mine. I just want to do the right thing. I will go to Plan B to save the remaining love I have for her but believe that she will see it as me being more controlling because then the lawyers will have to do the communication regarding all the money. <p>I wonder how I keep Plan B up though if I'm in the house and she comes over to get things (financial papers, furniture etc.)?<p>As for our M, she said it is unhealthy, sick, and obsessive for me to want her back after what she has told me she has done. For me to say I am patient or hoping or have love for her is not love but is sick. She said I'm in denial. She said it is not right for a man to forgive his wife for doing such things, the commitment was over a long time ago, and (of course the usual) what do I have to do to get you to let me go, get pregnant?
She thinks I should be angry with her and thinks it is not healthy that I haven't shown her my anger (she admits she has been angry and disrespectful to me for a long, long time.) Throughout the phone call, she tried her best to get me to have an angry outburst with her but I remained calm. She said she has noticed that this whole time I never once got angry at her. She confessed to being with OM when she was living with me and went out every single day to think "on her own." She says that she is in a committed relationship right now that will never end but even if it did, "we" would never work because I would be too angry and resentful since I'm bottling it up right now. <p>While I am angry, hurt, depressed at times, sad, confused, hopeful, and a myriad of other emotions, I am not bottling things up. I am just choosing not to express my anger when I speak with her because I want her to feel that I am a safe place to go to when the A is over. I am finding ways to express and deal with my emotions, and let them happen (doesn't mean I should act on them). The counselling helps, reading helps, posting messages helps, being with supportive friends helps, exercise helps. <p>One thought that has helped me lately is knowing that one should not make life decisions based on emotions (especially when one is on a emotional rollercoaster.) <p>Thanks for reading,
-Heartbroken and hoping

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aanast2
Your situation developed much like mine did. Now, I'm hardly an expert, but I'll tell you what I did. I always welcome other people's advice, so here's mine.<p>You wrote: she has redoubled her efforts to end our marriage, push me away, and provoke my anger.
She is back on the !ANGRY!...<p>Isn't that showing her frustrations that you aren't falling into her plans? I mean, if you reciprocate anger, that would make her feel better about what she is doing, and would in some way justify her actions.<p>You wrote: As for her mom situation, she says that her mom said she must choose between parents and OM and if she leaves their house and it is not to come back to me, she is not her daughter any more. <p>That's exactly what my father-in-law said to my WW. I don't know if that's good or bad, but at least she doesn't have the support from her parents. On the other hand, I think that my WW's parents help push her closer to the OM by saying these things. But one thing's for sure, when she comes out of her fog, my WW won't be able to turn to her parents. She'll be on her own.<p>I went through the splitting of property and bills, too. I put all our posessions on a spreadsheet along with a value that I determined that was fair. Then I split things up, knowing some things that WW wanted, and others that I wanted. I randomly split everything else, making sure that everything that I didn't want was on her side of the list. Bills were split equally as well. Even my student loans - the loans were bills that occurred during our marriage, and she agreed to me getting them. In this way, she was able to see that everything was split equally and fairly. As for the house, I suppose you should contact an attorney about that. I would suspect that you would have to either "buy her out" or sell it and split the profits. In my case, our house is in forclosure, so nobody gets it. But what chaps my a** is the fact that her OM is using my riding mower and grill. It must be great for him to have all this new stuff. I don't think that I could ever use another man's things with a crear conscious, knowing how he aquired them. He's definitely scum.<p>Does she still have a key to your house? I had my WW give me her key when she moved out. If she no longer lives here, why should she feel free to come and go when she wants? And as for the rest of my WW things that were in my house after she moved out, I put it all in the garage, so she has no reason to come into my house. I wasn't trying to be mean. I simply didn't want to make things easy for her, or always on HER terms. After all, it was her decision to move out.<p>You wrote: As for our M, she said it is unhealthy, sick, and obsessive for me to want her back after what she has told me she has done. For me to say I am patient or hoping or have love for her is not love but is sick. <p>Like I said before, I think it would make her feel better if you were mean to her, or told her that you don't forgive her. It hurts her, knowing what a thoughtful, caring, loving H she is leaving. I think it's great that you show such patience, instead of anger or frustration. I wish I were more like you in that way. I agree with you when you said that choosing not to express your anger when you speak will hopefully make her feel that home is a safe place to go to when the A is over. <p>Okay, like I said, I'm far from an expert cuz I'm virtually in the same boat. But it seems to me that you are doing a good Plan A.

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just a brief update (nothing new really):

I spent some time with my wife at her parents alone. She wasn't as angry. She let me massage her. During which she told me this was wrong because I should be angry with her and by being with her I was accepting what she is doing with OM because I know about it. She reminded me that she is looking for an apartment and talking to a mediator/lawyer soon. She told me she was getting a tatoo and going on birt control. She told me she would be selling her engagement ring for money. For the most part I remained pleasant and smiling and giving. She admitted that she knew I could be more affectionate etc and have a good marriage with me if she tried because she knows I'm changing but she care anymore and just doesn't want to be with me or love me. She has to live her own life now and be with OM, etc.

Later she called me a bit more angry, pressuring me to sell/refinance to give her "her money" from the house. She also wanted to know her student loan amounts and due dates as well as other bills (her cellphone and the car) because she is calculating her budget for when she moves into her apartment. She says starting in July she will not deposit her paychecks into the joint account, pay house bills, or the mortgage and is opening her own.

Sometimes I feel very angry but have not acted on it. I feel like I'm near the end of my rope with her and think about Plan B. It kills me to see teddy bears from OM in her bedroom at her parents, for example (not to mention her talking about him or my thoughts.)

I'm thinking Plan B soon but really have my doubts about it working in terms of my marriage (but maybe will help me get over her.) Perhaps once she gets her own place and I plan B, reality will set in for her. I don't know.

I keep asking myself, why am I doing this? If she does come back and wants to work on the marriage, what kind of marriage will it be? How can I ever trust her again? I will have to "babysit" her and keep track of every little thing she does and so much more to build trust again and I don't like that idea. I know, I know that in the long run it could be all worth it. I will probably be re-engergized to Plan A if she comes back but what a nightmare this is!

Soon (depending on her next actions and whether I plan B) I will have to at least get some advice from lawyers I know. That sucks too.

Sorry to sound so down. I have hope for my marriage but the reality of things point towards its dissolution.

-Heartbroken and hoping

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2/22/02 WW out w/OM discussing marital problems until 3AM
3/02 WW wants separation, admits "feelings" for OM. Loves me but not "in love" with me.
3/02-4/02 WW moves to parents but visits me.
4/02-5/02 Plan A starts. WW moves back, rarely is home. Reveals feelings to OM, PA starts (?)
5/9/02 Discover WW & OM together at beach.
5/12/02 - 6/02 WW moves back into parents'. Some visits and angry calls for her stuff and "her money." She calls me, I don't call her.
6/13/02 WW visits, cries, kisses me, misses me, says she loves me. Feels guilty for cheating on OM with me.(??)
6/14/02 - today
WW Says 6/13 was a mistake & she is in a committed relationship now. Angry phone "f-you" calls continue with intensity about wanting "her money", divorce soon, "regrets marrying me", splitting assets/debts/possessions and I'm "sick for still hoping, waiting" and "an ******* for not selling the house and giving her 'her money'". Plans for her own apartment and her mediator/divorce attorney to talk to me are solidifying.

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aanast WOOOOOOOOOOOWWWW. I just read most of your post and the similarities were amazing!
Here is my advice run run run away fast!!!!!
Give your wife the keys to the house and go to Australia.
Okay may be that is not possible but you must plan B NOW, immeditately, yesterday, ASAP.
Stop going to your wife's parent's house. Call them and explain what you must do to save yourself. They will understand. Call other family members as well. They will understand. Unfortunately right now you must let go of her family as well as her. I too had a very strong relationship with my in-laws. I talked to my mom-in-law a lot throughout my one year rollercoaster. I finally stopped talking to her about 3 weeks ago and it has been a blessing. I am feeling wonderful, stronger everyday. I miss talking to them, yes, but right now it does not help me talk to them. I feel like asking them about my WW etc. . It is just too painful. Stop hurting yourself by mainting contact. Honestly, to your wife, you are probably looking too needy, almost pathetic. My wife actually told me that I looked that way. I couldn't help it. I could never imagine losing her. Only talk to your WW with a lawyer present if necessary. It sounds like you might have to have one of those messy divorces with the way your W is sounding lately. You don't need this. My wife came back and kissed me too. God did that confuse me. But it means nothing to them right now. Your W is in the middle of a major A. Get out ASAP. Take a vacation, go visit your dad for awhile. Get away. Send her a plan B letter, check out surviving an affair by Harley for a great example and take off. The first few days will be hard. You will miss her tremendously, but the initial pain is worth it. You will start feeling strong in yourself without depending on her for your happiness. Don't expect anything from her. Take care of yourself. Avoid her!

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Dear Andrew,
Hang in there! Sorry I haven't written in a while-been soo busy and now I'm leaving for about a week but I will fill you in on some of the unanswered questions I am sure you have right now when I get back...
You are now at the hardest part but you will make it through and when you do you will be so much stronger. After all you have made it through pretty hard times already.
I may be across the ocean but I'm still here for you always,
one who cares

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aanast -- No posts for a while. Just checking in to see how you are doing? My WH is back in the fog and is back to love you/but not in love with you, you are my best friend/but I don't want an intimate connection with you. What a rollercoaster.

Just re-read your last post. Have things gotten any better, worse, the same?

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unsureheart-

sorry to hear that your situation isn't getting any better.

Mine is basically the same, perhaps worse, perhaps better.

My WW has ordered thousands of dollars worth of new furniture on her own credit account. She says she is moving out of her parents' house on August 1st. There is a lot of conflict continuing between her mom and her about the whole situation.

As for "us" my WW said that she'll be stopping by our house one of these days to pick up more things for her new place. She is less angry when she talks to me. She hasn't mentioned divorce/mediation in a while but then again, I haven't seen/spoken with her in a while. I only see her about once a week.

We did speak a bit last week and I told her more about what I'm learning about myself as an individual and about relationships from counseling and from books and this site. I explained how there is still hope for us and how many other couples have had better marriages after something like this happened to them. She asked even after all she has done it is still possible? and I said yes. She later added that there is less than 1% chance of her coming back. (Alright! my chances are increasing! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> )

My WW also explained how all of this isn't easy for her. She said she doesn't get to see OM very much, her mom has called her every name in the book and may disown her if she leaves, it is hard for her to find an apartment all by herself, I may never talk to her again when she moves into an apartment, etc. She did admit though that despite how "not easy" it is for her, it is still her choice *and* she knows she has the option to come back home.

Overall I'd say nothing has really changed. I guess that could be a good thing (i.e. prolonging things, time is on my side, etc.) However, once she moves into her own apartment and continues to be surrounded by her "friends" who are advising her to divorce me (because supposedly after all this we could never work things out), it will probably come.

I've been feeling a bit better personally because I've been with friends, I took up an old hobby, and been trying to fill my time with things other than recurring thoughts of her. It is definately less painful to be off the rollercoaster (sort of).

I'll be talking to Steve Harley again soon. I'm curious what other steps I could be taking in my Plan A from a distance. I'm also curious about what to do (if anything) when she moves out of her parents. We also have our 4th year anniversary coming up in early August. Hmmm...

I'll keep you updated. Thanks for listening.

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Dear aanast2,
Sorry its been so long. Well for you as things progress you seem to be becoming stronger and more self confident. Knowing that you are doing everything possible to get (back) what you want helps. I hope this makes things better and not worse. I don't mean to spring this up on you. But what is life without risk. I am 19 now-in 9 days I will be off to Jordan to come up with a policy on Racism and Xenophobia for the European Comission and then as soon as I finish that I will come to the USA, college at Tufts University starts in the end of August. I know that your WW makes things seem very hopeless at times- as they say " the light in the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train!" But you are making it and gonna make it either way. If love is strong enough to make it thru this whole mess then it will be worth the effort and pain. If not then this is the best way to truly be able to let go of something so beautiful. Other than this I don't know what to say.., if you have any questions or anything please feel free to write me on this for now. Time wont turn its back on the true.
Love
Lena

Joined: May 2002
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Happy belated Birthday!
I hope life finds you peace and grace.
With love,
your sister

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I bet her asking for money is a result of OM and her arguments about the same. She is seeing the result of her actions. We are free to choose what we do but not the consequences. I suspect her world is starting to unravel. Keep on what you are doing, if she comes back, she will know forever what kind of person she has got. The best.

Hold out on the money as long as you can. She has to find out that we can't always have everything we want. She wants to have her cake and eat it too, but the cake is rapidly disapearing, and she is mad about it. Don't let it get to you.

SS

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Dear One Who Cares and Still Seeking,

Thanks for your replies, insight, and support.

Here's an update on what is going on with me:

I counselled with Steve Harley again this morning.

He asked for an update on things. I let him know. He mentioned that my in-laws not accepting my wife's actions/OM etc. can make my wife view O.R. negatively. He said my in-laws are responding appropriately.

He was glad that I was avoiding LBing with my wife (e.g. when I used listening skills when she blew up about me about money.) He was even quite surprised that my wife let me massage her just yesterday when I visited her to drop off her mail.

As for my wishing for my wife to come back/recovery etc, he reminded me quite effectively of what I *should* be focusing on by responding with "What is Plan A all about?"

And of course it is about me. Working on changing myself. Something *I* have control over.

He asked me what changes in myself have I been doing and asked if my wife has noticed them. I don't think I have been very successful in this area. While I think the main thing I don't like about the old me is my being selfish/inconsiderate (e.g. saying "I'll be there in a minute" while surfing the net for hours and hours and neglecting my wife) it is hard to show a change when it is the absence of something. Steve said it has to do with thoughtfulness and it is something I can do with family as well as my wife.

I want to change in other areas too but the question is what to change and how to change.

Interestingly, Steve said that in my case he does not recommend Plan B (even when she moves into her own apartment) because we do not have children and she would not have reminders about me. Plan B then for me would only come when any resentment I have for my wife has grown to the point of me LBing/doing something to undermine all the hard work I have been doing. I am to contact him to keep him updated but especially if I come close to that breaking point or if something else major happens (e.g. my wife files for divorce.)

I felt very hopeful after counseling with Steve. Mostly because I realize further that this is about me and making myself a better person. Changing myself, improving myself, controlling those things that I have control over - namely me. Looking at it that way I have more confidence because I know I can do that and will be better off whatever happens. Because honestly whatever does happen with my marriage, I want to learn from the past/mistakes, grow, and become a better person for myself and whomever I may be with someday.

Thanks for listening out there.

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