Re: Those that stayed, what would you have done in hind sight?
It has been over a year since I have been on here and thought I might give my 2 cents.
I had started the paperwork for D. My wife knew it and I would not give her any information about my attorney, etc. My oldest son is disabled and he wanted to get away from his mother for a weekend. So I found a retreat, rented him a cabin. My wife came along for the ride (unusual for her at that point). Our youngest son had stopped talking to his mother, my oldest was p*ssed. Her family who she was very close was no longer talking to her. Her three brothers were supporting me and her two older sisters stopped talking to her (even the middle one who supported her for a while during her A's). So we drove over an hour to the retreat place, got his cabin set up and I helped him with his fishing gear and we built a fire and then left.
On the ride home I asked my wife a question (we were not talking much at this time). She all of the sudden opened up and told me she did not want a D. She told me later that when I asked the question (I don't remember it), she said it cut her like a knife. She said she sat there thinking that she was on a train going straight to hell and this is her opportunity to get off the train. So she started giving me information about the A. When we got home she went upstairs to her bedroom and said come up and she handed me her computer, gave me her accounts and PWs and said I have nothing to hide I want to work this out. I never got her burner phone, she claims she got rid of it a few days prior to this.
I still had to work through some things about D.
When I finally decided on R I gave my wife a paper on what the BS needs from the WS. She read it over and over.
I gave her demands:
1. That she never ever puts her family before me.
2. That she answers all my questions.
3. There were others.
She was doing all of this (there was one lie that set me off) fairly well. Then in a few short months she got very ill. I spent nearly the next two years caring for a very ill woman, to the point of having to carry her to the toilet for weeks on end.
She is better since early 2015 but is about 50% of what she was before her illness. No sex. I am very capable, she is not. I live with it. I really lost interest in having any desire for her.
There was one or two instances of where she started to put her family before me and I put my foot down and told her there is the door, if you leave, don't come back. One instance she was mad for a day and then started crying and apologized.
She did quite a bit of heavy lifting and continues to do so, even being ill. For example, she drove 6 hours round trip to get my truck fixed on her own, so I would not have to do this last year and I did not ask her to do it. I know it was a pain, but she willingly did it.
She does not get angry or annoyed if I ask to look at her phone. I rarely do this.
We travel when we can, but not as much as we use to do, due primarily to her illness. She tires easily.
Our marriage is sexless due to her illness.
She always asks my opinion when it comes to family issues or her family issues. She respects my views.
She finally sees what a bad influence her next older sister was on her life. During the A's they were basically joined at the hip. Now my wife is at the point of almost total annoyance. She is only 56 years old and my wife and I are predicting that she will be in a nursing home in the next year or so. She acts like a woman that is 110 years old. I help support her financially as she is a widow, I tolerate her, but I really don't care for her much. During the A's if I said anything negative about this S-I-L my wife would defend her. Not the case anymore. In fact my wife came to me last night asking my opinion on how to handle a situation with her sister and she followed my advice.
I am fully retired from the Army (after 33 years). Still work for the Feds. and am enjoying it.
Got a newer crew cab PU (bought it when I retired from the Army). My gift to myself. My wife did not complain.
One half of my two car garage is filled with American Chestnut beans and boards from an old corn crib. I have a number of projects to do with the wood. Bought some more woodworking equipment.
Working slowly on my family's genealogy. Got quite a bit of my four grandparents lines. One to 1150 A.D. in Germany; another to 1400's in Switzerland; another to the 1500's in Germany and one going back to Scotland, but I am stuck on some things. I plan to write a book once I get copies of deeds, birth certificates, etc.
My wife respects me. Something I can say she never really ever did prior to R.
One more thought. I am not the same. I still have pain and have somewhat distanced myself from my wife emotionally and physically. But I will never let myself go through what I went through. In hindsight if I had known in 1999 when she had her first A that she would do it again in 2010, 2011 through 2013, I would have D her and not looked back.
This kind of cosmic dumbassery occupies a temporal plane of ineptitude and lack of reason so profound a Zen master could spend a lifetime meditating upon its philosophical consequences.”