Dunno really where to begin, so I'll just start from the beginning.
My wife and I met on a blind date - I was 18 she was 16 - we were born 2 years, 360 days apart. Both of us are Scorpios. Due to the news we were expecting a child, we ended up getting married while she was still in high school - yes, very young. She finished school, though and gave birth to our first daughter in June of '89.
Twenty months later she had our second daughter - the same day I got out of USN boot camp. We were a Navy family for five years. I first noticed something odd in her behavior in April of '93. I was going in for surgery to have my spleen removed due to an illness I contracted. The morning she took me to the hospital, before she left, she handed me a note. Once I read it I was stunned - it was hate filled and completely hit me out of the blue. One of the nurses saw the expression on my face and asked if I was okay. I couldn't say anything - just handed her the note, and she was flabbergasted by it.
Once I got home from the hospital, she acted as if nothing ever happened, saying she was just scared and venting. Like every other couple, we had arguments about kids, money, life, etc...
One constant fight we almost always had was about cleaning up around the house. I would help if asked, but, it never really occurred to me to initiate cleaning up around the house. I've never demanded a clean house, a meal on the table, etc... from her. For most of our marriage, she was a stay at home mom - which was by her choice. I encouraged her to get a job at the BX on numerous occasions, just to get out of the house.
I ended up getting out of the Navy on disability in 1995, went back to my old job and we bought our first house. She got a job working nights at Wendy's. She would sometimes cook dinner before she left for work. After dinner was done, I had the kids clean up and got them ready for bed.
And this is where the dumb, young guy came out in me - I didn't really check the clean up job they did. My wife usually had to do some clean up when she got home - which I only found out recently when it was thrown up in my face during an 'I'm not happy' talk we had back in February.
In 1998, my wife opened up a pizza place with her brother, who left it six months later. I took out a loan to actually buy the building and business.
The business was 45 minutes from the house. The kids were still young, and asked to see their mom every night since the only time she got to see them was right before school, so I started taking them down there so they could visit with her during the slow periods. Since I was down there, I usually ended up helping where I could.
There were occasional moments throughout our marriage where she would just explode without reason. Almost always caught me and the kids by surprise as it was never predictable.
But we still had family time, and we still fun. We also still had the occasional fights about the house. By this time though, I had started to clean things without being asked. The problem? It was never good enough or I didn't do it the way she would've done it - end results didn't matter. And it was the same with the kids as well. After a while I just reverted back to helping her when asked, since doing things on my own volition never seemed to work...
In 1999, she gave birth to our third daughter. We also found out she was diabetic, and learned her fluctuating blood sugar could've caused the mood swings.
After 9/11, her business dropped way down and I lost my job - three times in a year - due to the economic down turn. She had to close the business in 2002 and we had to file for bankruptcy. At the time, we lived in Ohio, and the entire state was hit hard by the downturn. This is when I feel I made the biggest mistake of my life: I force a move to Florida in 2003.
It was logical, the economy was still thriving, we had enough money to make the move and live off of until we found jobs. The thing was, she didn't want to move. I told her I was going with or without her - something I should never have done... The kids didn't like it at first. While it worked out in the long run (even the kids agree), handling it the way I did was the wrong way to go about it. But, we eventually got back to being a family.
There were times when my wife would go out with our oldest daughter and some of her friends (all teens still), while I stayed at home with the other two. She was the cool mom.
The main problems during this time were: animals. She brought home a dog, that was supposed to belong to my daughter's boyfriend. Without mentioning a word to me. Fine, I let that go.
In 2007, we bought a house again. During this time, she allowed my daughter's boyfriend to move in... Something I was NOT happy about, but, was told too bad since the boy had an abusive home life - so she was told. Also, our animal collection ballooned from three dogs to seven dogs, two birds and a ferret. Only the birds were discussed.
During this time, the kids stopped helping around the house unless I I got involved or their mom blew a cork - yes, we lost control of our house. Further, the pet dander drove my allergies into over-drive, to the point where my sinuses were bleeding. This is where I reverted to an old habit - residing in my bedroom. In the evenings when the kids went to bed, I'd either go watch TV or mess with my computers, away from the things that aggravated me - pets, daughter's boyfriend, etc... I hid from the things I had no control over.
It got to the point where it was over bearing and I asked my doctor to put me on an antidepressant to help me cope. While that helped in certain ways, it made things worse. She would start cleaning something in another room; if nobody got up to help, she would come into the room and blow a chip at me about it, then I would go help. I would also say something to the kids about not helping their mom.
This was a vicious cycle until February of 2009. The morning after the Super Bowl, I was rear ended while sitting at a traffic light. I was left with permanent neck and back injuries, and fought traumatic brain injury. From 2009 until late 2011, I went thru numerous physical therapy and chiropractic sessions, and even started acupuncture. I also became addicted to pain killers and muscle relaxers. I was also on a fairly strong antidepressant, due partly to the TBI.
After the car accident, I changed. During the first 6 - 8 months after the accident, my wife really wouldn't let me do anything physical. Hell, even throughout 2010 when she opened a small cafe, she wouldn't let me help with the remodeling. In mid 2011, she got rid of her business partner and took over sole ownership of her cafe. Now, she's never really been a morning person. Her cafe was supposed to open at 6:30am.
Seeing as how she could never get there on time, I decided I would go in and open for her, and she could come in between 7 and 7:15 so I could go to work. This is when I began to see how far gone I was, and started making changes. I was 287 pounds, and could barely sweep the floor without getting dripping wet. I also noticed she was unhappy - that's wrong. I noticed quite a while earlier she was unhappy, but, could never get her to talk about it, so I figured it was my imagination.
Between June and November I had lost 40 pounds. I also tested the waters for a new job - in Texas. One that I would never have taken if she didn't want to move - learned that lesson already. Never even got to an interview stage. My wife used that as an excuse to go completely off the deep end.
During Thanksgiving weekend, we had the mother of all fights where she finally told me she wasn't happy and hadn't been for a long time. She also told me a friend of hers - a retired fire fighter - brought her a business proposal to open up a new, larger restaurant. Which was really news to me. Then I flashed back to a point in October when money was tight, she told me he brought her $500 to help get her thru the month, and alarms went off.
During this time, our oldest daughter was working for my wife, and she was very vocal about not approving of how my wife and her new business partner acted around each other - much more touchy-feely than two married but not to each other people should. Because of her 'lack of loyalty' so to speak, the wife gave our daughter the cold shoulder for almost a month. And I've heard a number of comments about their behavior from customers as well.
Add into that, since November she's had her cell phone locked and also been very secretive about who she talks to and who she sends messages to.
During January, my grandmother passed away. Our two youngest daughters and I were going to Ohio for the funeral. The wife refused to have dinner with our two daughters the night before we left, saying she didn't have the time. Yet the night before, she spent two hours with her business partner having dinner.
In Feb, we did talk for a few minutes. I got to hear how she's been unhappy for 24 years, the complete laundry list of my failures, I've been a poor father and how she's not sure if she wants to work to save the marriage. I realize I've made mistakes, but, even our kids do not understand what their mother is doing or where she is coming from.
At this point, due to the lack of honesty, I'm not sure I could even reconcile with her if she chose to. The trust issue has been broken down completely - I don't trust her. Recent text messages of hers I have seen point to an affair. She's told me she has no sex drive, but, messages to her friends are just the opposite. The last time we had sex was Thanksgiving morning, right before the big fight that evening. If she was so unhappy, etc.. what was that about - she initiated it...
From August to now, I have lost 70 pounds and am no longer on any meds. I did this for myself, as I realized the AD med made me not care about anything, which is not normal. That's a realization I wish my wife would come to - she's been on 10mg of Lexapro for about two years, and her doctor upped the dose to 20mg in December to help her get thru the stress of opening a new business. He asked her about dropping it back down this week - she refused.
I had started reading Mort Fertel's emails this week, and thinking about buying his program. Now I'm not sure it'd be worth the time, money or effort...
Sounds a lot like many of our stories here. In the short term, I think the two of you should start seeing a marriage councilor. I wish I'd have done that years ago ... Also someone recently recommended a book to me called Too Good to Leave, Too bad to Stay by Mira Kirshenbaum. Book is a set of 36 diagnostic questions to help you determine if you'd be happier married or divorced. I recently read this and for me it is pointing towards divorce. I'm sad about this because I do still love my wife and mother of my kids, but the relationship is damaged and we do not make each other happy any more.
I sincerely wish you the very best in whatever you decide Posted via Mobile Device
I have read that book also....made me realise that there is many many positives and that I would probably regret divorcing, hence my megadrive effort to save my marriage. There is also a good book by John Gray (of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus fame). Its called something like Mars & Venus at War/in Conflict...something like that. Gives you good perspective on the different communication styles between men & women.
Sounds like you have reached a point where you are ready to make a decision once and for all. It may take time, it may not, particularly if she is not interested in a. ending the affair (even if it is just emotional, which I doubt), and b. getting marriage counselling.
She tells me we're working things out, yet I have proof she's planning to leave, and circumstantial proof she's at least in a EA and most likely a full blown PA.
Told her when this started if there was no hope to tell me and I could handle it - it'd hurt but, I'm not going to try to force someone to love me. This is where I'm having the biggest problems - just the lack of honesty.
Well, that and the way shes treating our daughters who have picked up on it and question her about it. Granted, these two children are adults, and our problems doesn't really concern them. However, my feeling is she reacts the way she does to them because they are hitting too close to the truth of the matter.
For me, right now, I'm doing a good job at playing oblivious. And while I realize she's had to make the decision for having an EA, PA or both, I really want to give her 'partner' the butt kicking of his life. He tells everyone he's my friend. Not!
And I suppose there's a chance I'm wrong about the who part of this, but, all things point to this person - even though there's never a name mentioned in her text messages to friends, nor does she mention specific acts when texting him.
What I really don't understand is this: he's 16 years older and his sixth marriage is ending. Why does she think she'll be any different? Why didn't she feel comfortable talking to me about her unhappiness? She sure as hell talked to him - he told me as much, which is when I first began to suspect the EA.
Oh yeah... looking to remove ALL safety nets. When she falls it's gonna be hard, fast and ugly - without me there to pick up the slack.
My current plan is:
A little more recon!
I've found out OM is at bike week in Pensacola and is buying her some sexy stuff.
She's told me for a while that she's too tired to have a sex drive, yet she told a friend recently her sex drive is off the scale and she doesn't know what to do with it - since 'he' isn't there.
Also found out he's a controlling SOB - his current wife has been told a number of times she'll never find anyone to treat her as good as he does, and that she cannot have any male friends, while he can have all the female friends he wants.
What I'm looking for, recon wise, is a little more concrete evidence of a PA. The EA is an absolute lock. Once I get this evidence, I plan to see an attorney and set things in motion. Was originally planning MY D-Day for Monday or Tuesday. Looking more like Thursday. Also looking to give OM's wife a copy of the evidence - she has suspected the same things since December as well...
As for recon: watching, listening and other people's input. Also, I've installed a GPS tracker in my phone and leave it in her truck in the evenings (technically, the truck is in my name so I can track it anywhere it goes, legally). OM is out of town right now, due back tomorrow.
I also have the PIN to her iPhone - she doesn't know this. Or maybe she does. She stated in a text to OM last night that she keeps her phone on her at all times and deletes these messages as they come in - yet here I am with pics of her messages taken with my phone. She works 18 hour days right now, trying to get her restaurant on it's feet so when she sleeps, she's like a rock...
Nope, no long breaks - except sometimes going to Sam's for supplies. Which is about 32 miles from her restaurant.
While I was at my office this morning, our 21 year old daughter (emotionally, she's about 17) called crying her head of. She had gotten into her mother's phone and saw the messages - she's suspected something for a while. I kinda chewed her out for doing that, and I suspect it's not the first time, either. Anyway, this changed my schedule...
The following was done very calmly, with no yelling:
When I arrived back at the house, I woke W up from sleep. I reminded her when she said that if I ever asked to see her phone she would let me. She asked why I wanted to see it, and I told her I've had a number of people come to me with suggestions that there was more going on than just a business partnership, and I know how secretive she is with her phone. Also said if there was nothing on there she didn't care if I saw, I didn't see a reason for discussion. She asked if we're really gonna do this, and I said yes. She still wouldn't give me the PIN to her phone, told her if that was the way it was going to be, that I wanted a divorce.
She panicked and asked how that would work since she can't support herself, she couldn't afford to be on her own right now. Told her that was her problem since she's the one who set this all in motion. She accused me of trying to control her and make her change who she is; told her she was wrong, that I was finally looking out for me and not worrying about whether I said or did anything to upset her. Told her since this all started last fall, I haven't allowed myself ONE moment of peace, I've had no fun, been completely stressed out because I didn't want to lose her. Only to be strung along with 'I don't knows'.
I told her that I've had a BIG problem with the secrecy aspect of how she carries on, how she's become emotionally withdrawn from our marriage, and that I was sick and tired of being a safety net for her - told her when she fights with OM, she starts getting closer, but when they're getting along she starts becoming more withdrawn again. I asked for the PIN again and she still wouldn't give it. So I told her what her PIN was, and started quoting several text messages - all of which she tried to blow off as being a big joke. I told her there was no humor in an EA, and that most of her text messages suggested far more than just a running joke between friends.
"Ashli is worried about you taking advantage of me. If she only knew the truth."
"You have a penis and a face, seating for two. But I'm stingy, I want both."
From OM talking about our daughter: "She's starting to f'n piss me off. She needs to be homeless and on her own - school of hard knocks."
She said it was all in fun, a big joke and it all meant nothing. I told her it was inappropriate, disrespectful and immoral, especially since she knows OM is married as well, and his marriage is in a rough patch as well - for the very same reason.
Also told W if that SOB says one word to any of my kids, she'd need a new business partner and I would be in jail - don't mess with my kids.
She insists nothing is going on with her or any one else, sexually. Told her to step outside of her sphere of reality and try to look back at the last few months to understand where the rest of us are coming from, and she just might see what we do.
Told her if she wasn't willing to stop that behavior and and least come to the table and try to work things out, then I was going to see an attorney next week. Told her it wasn't my first choice, that I want to get the connection back we used to have. She said she didn't think it was possible, and I told her that since she emotionally checked out of the relationship a long time ago, she may well be right. She asked if I had talked to OM's wife (daughter takes care of their horses), I told her I only asked if she ever discussed her marital issues with our daughter, that she said no. That she did say something about how OM was doing the schedule for the two owners and one manager and that OM told his W that opening the restaurant on Sunday was my wife's idea and not his - which was a huge lie, since my W never wanted to work 7 days a week - she knows she can't count on OM to work his fair share.
At this point I had to leave to take our daughter to work with the horses, and W got in the shower to get cleaned up for work. I talked to OM's W for a while and told her what I did, I also sent her copies of the pictures I took of my W's text messages - which my W does not yet know about.
By the time I got back home, OM's W sent me a text asking if I came to talk to her - she said only to drop Ashli off. She forwarded a txt from him saying:
'We set them up, will explain later, gotta go ride.'
She then asked me if I knew what it meant. I told her no, but, I would find out. So I went down to the W's restaurant and asked her for a moment. I asked if she talked to OM about our conversation, she said yes. I said okay, what's this mean? And showed her the text. She said I don't know. I asked if the crap on her phone was a lame attempt at getting laugh out of someone, she said they had talked about her being concerned about someone looking in her phone.
I threw the BS flag immediately, told her that was the lamest cover story ever, and if it were actually true, why did you hesitate to give me the PIN, why didn't you come out and give it to me, let me read and then watch my reaction. I told her she KNOWS she has a daughter who is an emotional wreck from the last few months, what in the hell would you prove by setting her up? She fiercely denied she would do something like that, and I asked her again if it was a set up and she said no. She tried to deflect by saying she was tired and was having problems thinking straight, which got no sympathy from me. I told her I would let OM's W know that we don't have any idea what he's saying, and she can chalk it up to another lie by her sociopathic husband.
Later in the day, one of her regular customers saw me getting gas and said: 'Just want you to know I don't approve of the way she's made your personal lives public.' Told her I didn;t understand what she meant, she said: 'She's told anybody would would listen that you never treated her right, never bought her anything and never took care of her. Lots of people saw how hard you worked to help her at her old restaurant and know that's a lie.'
Been an interesting day...
Did take our youngest daughter to have dinner with W about 5pm. She's still there, and I'm wondering if W is planning on going some place else tonight...
Oh yeah... OM's W has a complete copy of all of the text messages that I took pictures of. He's due back in town tomorrow, and they're supposed to have 'date night' Monday night. She's says she's going to try to play nice for a few days to see how things play out...
If you really believe your marriage is over, get a lawyer and move on. You talk about the honesty being gone yet you are also doing things that will destroy any trust she could ever have in you. I know you feel justified but do you really need to bring the OM's wife into this? What do I know really but sounds like the marriage fell apart on both ends. Take the high road and end things with dignity. Don't stoop to the level you think she's at. You really are at a point of no return. Sounds like the only thing to decide is who you want to be in the end. Good luck.