WW Posted on Another Site. Not Sure How to Proceed - Page 4 - Talk About Marriage
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post #46 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 06:32 AM
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Cool Re: WW Posted on Another Site. Not Sure How to Proceed

If you feel like there's a mutual, common element of trust still there between the two of you, then you both need to be in MC and/or IC!

Otherwise, you need to be off in a family court seeking to end this travesty of a marital union!



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post #47 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 07:09 AM
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Re: WW Posted on Another Site. Not Sure How to Proceed

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Originally Posted by lifeistooshort View Post
True but if you read closely he really doesn't own any of it.

Everything was in response to her. Apparently he has no control over himself and is forced to respond the way he does.

There's a difference between acknowledging and owning.

That's basically the argument used when a cheater says "yes I cheated but you were mean".

Acknowledging but not owning.
This is what I was talking about right here. What your wife did on SI was totally own what she did and not point fingers. You pointed fingers to her, your father, your FOO issues, heck even personality differences between you and your wife. NONE of that matters. You made a choice to act out. If someone else has THAT MUCH POWER in your life that they determine YOUR actions then you are not a healthy individual.
I told this to my husband the other day.

Yes we have similar stories, OP. My husband and I love each other and are in love with each other and that is why I stay. Additionally, we had a great friendship our first 23 years of marriage. He was much on the sacrificial career path you were with going to school, working full time, babies. But I took the lion's share of the household work and did not party and sleep as your wife did. THOSE KINDS OF THINGS are what has been saving us. We had 3 months of acting out each, late in our marriage. I don't want to throw away an entire life and marriage for that. Your situation is different. You have more forgiving to do, seems like.
But peace in your heart needs to happen some way no matter who you're with. Good luck!
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post #48 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 09:22 AM
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Re: WW Posted on Another Site. Not Sure How to Proceed

I may go against the grain here. I am as adamant about cheating being a bullet to the head of a relationship as anyone else on TAM, but I have this feeling that you have something that you can build upon in your relationship with your wife.

I don't have time to do a critical analysis and conclusion at the moment, but here are my feelings on the situation.

You married young, and not at the time of your choosing, due to an unforeseen pregnancy. You both did what you considered to be the honorable thing, had the child, and got married. I commend you for that.

Children and young adults can be far different people than their adult selves. People change, with some maturing faster than others. You matured quickly due to the weight of responsibility being hoisted upon you suddenly. Your wife remained a child, selfish, oblivious to the needs of others, and irresponsible.

You child-wife cheated on you. The impact of this can never be understated, but the majority of your post dealt not with her cheating, but her lack of responsibility. Why is that?

You cheated on your wife. Two wrongs do not make a right. It was a despicable act, just as hers was. I will never see an affair of 6 months worse than a one night stand. I will never see that as being different as an emotional affair or affairs. The emotional impact, at its core, is the same. Humans will often try to quantify their misdeeds. Even the law says that capital murder is murder with extenuating circumstances, but the truth remains, the victim is still dead.

I will go further, and expect some fallout from this, but spending almost 2 decades hiding from your wife that you thought that the marriage was dead was dishonorable as well. You were unfaithful to your wife because you allowed her to presume that you loved her as a wife, and yet, you did not. That was the prime years of your lives spent in the lie of your choosing. You thought that you were doing the honorable thing for your children. I get that, but you never gave her the opportunity to make that choice for herself as well, a loveless marriage for the sake of the children. In fact, if you had both chosen to make that sacrifice, it would have allowed both of you to own the relationship, and to potentially start healing. You denied both your wife and yourself that opportunity. Furthermore, in denying that opportunity, you denied potential positive outcomes for your children. Nobody, even professional Hollywood actors, put on an Emmy performance in every film. Did your children ever see true love between you and your wife? I doubt that. They saw amateur acting on your part. They saw a B-Grade movie. Will this impact their lives? That remains to be seen.

Your wife cheated on you. You cheated on her in many ways yourself. Do not try to quantify that. You owned up to your role in everything. Just as she is owning up to her mistakes, after understanding the true extent of the fallout, after almost 2 decades of your infidelity, you have started owning up to yours. She has, as far as we can see, put her all into showing you how much she truly loves you. She may have done this years ago, if she was given the chance. You did not give her that chance.

Were you to blame for her cheating on you? Of course not. She did not honor her commitment, but you haven't either.

So everyone is to blame for this mess. She cheated. You cheated. Everyone could have moved on with their lives, instead of just you. You wasted years of your life, and you wasted years of her life, because you weren't honest.

Now the question is if you can trust her in her attempts to rebuild your relationship.

If not, then don't waste any more of your life with her. Let her go. Let her deal with the pain now. Stop punishing both you and your wife.

If you believe that the new wife is truly new and feel as if you want to make a go of it, then you need to get all of your frustrations out in the open. You need to allow her to speak her mind, any time, anywhere. You both need to be totally transparent. You both need to commit to some hard work and openness. No more hiding feelings for the sake of ____________.

I believe that it can be done. My gut instinct is that your wife had grown up, and only realized after you threatened divorce that she wasn't doing what she needed to do to help you heal. She may have had the desire to become the wife that you wanted, but didn't know how, because you checked out and played games. So, after years of being hoodwinked, she's still willing to go all in. My gut instinct is that if you didn't have feelings for your grown up wife, you wouldn't be here asking for advice.

I'm not trashing you Fleek. I know that you're confused and have a whole bunch of pent up emotions. In the grand scheme of things, you both hurt each other. You were both lost. I feel for you, but you need to know that, even though she cheated on you first and dishonored your marriage first, you spent years doing the very same thing, and you denied both of you the chance to heal. You spent 18 years shut down "for the kids' sake". Seriously? That could have been 18 years of healing, instead, it was wasted time.

Get off of the fence now.
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post #49 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 09:44 AM
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Re: WW Posted on Another Site. Not Sure How to Proceed

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There is a difference between a 6mo A and a drunken ONS stand in response to it.
I agree. Both are wrong but there is a BIG difference. Like manslaughter vs first degree murder difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fleek View Post
I felt emasculated, hurt, ashamed, embarrassed, angry, confused, and taken advantage of and I made a choice I thought would help me and simultaneously give her a taste of her own medicine. This was in direct response to her actions.
I 100% sympathize with this feeling as well. I will NEVER fault anyone for a RA. Sorry if this offends but if the WS is POS enough to cheat then they ought to be man/woman enough to suck it up and reap what they have sown.

Ultimately, the best thing to do is don't waste your time on the RA nonsense and just dump the cheat. Then you won't have to deal with any faux guilt over cheating on a cheater.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” - Maya Angelou

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post #50 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Re: WW Posted on Another Site. Not Sure How to Proceed

I do appreciate all of the responses and suggestions. It's good to get a variety of viewpoints and opinions. This discussion has given me a lot to think about.

I want clarify a couple of things. I understand that the RA was wrong. Believe me, I've spent a lot of time coming to terms with that choice. Since I'm being honest here, it did help me in some ways. From that act, I knew the A wasn't about me and I don't suffer from some of the typical BH insecurities you see frequently posted. I knew I could still attract a beautiful woman, pick her up, sexually satisfy her, and have her wanting to see me again. I knew I wouldn't be forever alone if I split from my wife. I knew I had options. The downside was I became what I freaking hated - a cheater, just like dear old dad. I couldn't do the mental gymnastics to rationalize what I did or to continue the behavior. I broke vows and lost my integrity because I wanted to burn my wife and prove my manhood to myself. I felt guilty and regretted my actions immediately. I wasn't thinking clearly and made a poor choice in the midst of an emotional crisis. It also did not impact my WW the way I thought it would. For me, the bad outweighed the good. It still bothers me to this day. I also know I would never have cheated if my wife remained faithful.

I have to admit, I am unclear about the whole EA thing. We read 'Not Just Friends' and I see how I was on the slippery slope, really any opposite sex friendship could be, but I don't feel I crossed the boundary from friend to EA. There were no I love yous or 100s of text messages sent. No crotch pics were exchanged either. There was no swooning. My WW and the MC we were seeing at the time felt differently. I think my WW felt threatened because of her behavior and projected her issues onto me and my friendship. The opposite sex friends thing can be a tricky situation and I did change the nature of the friendship.

I do feel like I've wasted years of my life Dr Stupid. It's too late for woulda, coulda, shoulda. I don't know if her metamorphosis is because we have a comfortable lifestyle with our combined incomes, retirement should be comfortable and on schedule. She also has an intact reputation with her children and almost everyone else she knows. In other words, I'm a comfortable plan B and she really can't do better now. Divorce would certainly change some of these things. Or if she truly has grown up, realized her wrongdoings, loves me, and wants to make amends.
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post #51 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:49 PM
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Re: WW Posted on Another Site. Not Sure How to Proceed

Have you read online about affair recovery .com?

Some of the things there have helped me.

Maybe give their online class a try.

Just a thought.

good luck, but hope you find some peace after all this time.
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post #52 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 01:29 PM
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Re: WW Posted on Another Site. Not Sure How to Proceed

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Originally Posted by fleek View Post
I do appreciate all of the responses and suggestions. It's good to get a variety of viewpoints and opinions. This discussion has given me a lot to think about.

I want clarify a couple of things. I understand that the RA was wrong. Believe me, I've spent a lot of time coming to terms with that choice. Since I'm being honest here, it did help me in some ways. From that act, I knew the A wasn't about me and I don't suffer from some of the typical BH insecurities you see frequently posted. I knew I could still attract a beautiful woman, pick her up, sexually satisfy her, and have her wanting to see me again. I knew I wouldn't be forever alone if I split from my wife. I knew I had options. The downside was I became what I freaking hated - a cheater, just like dear old dad. I couldn't do the mental gymnastics to rationalize what I did or to continue the behavior. I broke vows and lost my integrity because I wanted to burn my wife and prove my manhood to myself. I felt guilty and regretted my actions immediately. I wasn't thinking clearly and made a poor choice in the midst of an emotional crisis. It also did not impact my WW the way I thought it would. For me, the bad outweighed the good. It still bothers me to this day. I also know I would never have cheated if my wife remained faithful.

I have to admit, I am unclear about the whole EA thing. We read 'Not Just Friends' and I see how I was on the slippery slope, really any opposite sex friendship could be, but I don't feel I crossed the boundary from friend to EA. There were no I love yous or 100s of text messages sent. No crotch pics were exchanged either. There was no swooning. My WW and the MC we were seeing at the time felt differently. I think my WW felt threatened because of her behavior and projected her issues onto me and my friendship. The opposite sex friends thing can be a tricky situation and I did change the nature of the friendship.

I do feel like I've wasted years of my life Dr Stupid. It's too late for woulda, coulda, shoulda. I don't know if her metamorphosis is because we have a comfortable lifestyle with our combined incomes, retirement should be comfortable and on schedule. She also has an intact reputation with her children and almost everyone else she knows. In other words, I'm a comfortable plan B and she really can't do better now. Divorce would certainly change some of these things. Or if she truly has grown up, realized her wrongdoings, loves me, and wants to make amends.
I totally understand you wondering if she's being genuine or not. She has a lot to lose. Do you think that you do? The fact that she posted on the other message board means something, although, the fact that she pointed that out to you may have meant that she posted it knowing that you'd be in the audience. Is she being manipulative? That makes me feel uneasy about her intent.

What makes me direct my comments more about you than about her is that you've spent so much time hiding your true self from her. If you were willing to spend that much time in limbo, what's another space of time spent finding out if she's being genuine? After all, how could she meet your needs if she didn't know what they were?

I believe that people change, and often for the better, not as much once they're set in their ways, but certainly from being young adults to mature adults. That's why relationships break so often in those earlier years. You weathered many years where you both matured and grew, hopefully for the better. You're different people from when you froze your emotions in time. Is she a better person? Well...

The "kissing incident" a few years ago certainly was a HUGE mistake on her part. I totally understand why that would be a worrisome situation in the best of relationships with no trust issues, but with your baggage, that can be a devastating incident. I can completely understand how you'd be wounded all over again, or at the very least, receive confirmation that she's just as disloyal as she always was.

I'm not saying that you should reconcile. I'm not saying that you should leave her. Only you will know the answer.

All I am saying is that you suffered for so long, for a noble reason- the well-being of your children, and it would be nice for you to take the time to find out if your wife is truly remorseful. You gave her no opportunity to show remorse all those years, because you swept everything under the rug. Once she found out that you didn't forgive, then she reacted.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen people hang on to a cheater, and wanted to scream at them, "Stop being a doormat! Leave!". So I'm not one who says "Reconcile at all costs", or "Do it for the children". This just seems different. She's either a master manipulator, fooling a jaded person like myself, who has seen EVERYTHING, or she's truly in love and remorseful.

Like I said before, an affair is a bullet to the head of a marriage. She shot your marriage in the noggin, no doubt. You survived, a shadow of your former self, never allowing yourself to completely heal. Listen, there is no shame in saying, "I did my duty for my children. I did my best to keep the old drama from rearing its head all those years by burying my discontent, but it's time for me to go".

I just have this gut feeling that watching and waiting for a little while, with a healthy dose of skepticism, communicating with her, asking hard and pointed questions, and looking hard at the answers, is not unreasonable, since on the surface she seems to be remorseful and she never knew the extent of your mistrust and discontent, so she couldn't address it properly.

Regardless of what decision you make, I wish you love and happiness, and more importantly, you will have a ton of support here.
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post #53 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 01:56 PM
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Re: WW Posted on Another Site. Not Sure How to Proceed

Since your wife has 'consistently demonstrated change for 2.5 years', why have the last 2-3 years been a nightmare? How many more years are you willing to wait and see? Even if she turns into the most wonderful wife you could imagine, would that be enough to drown out the pain of the first years? Only you have the answers.
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post #54 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 02:33 PM
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Re: WW Posted on Another Site. Not Sure How to Proceed

...

Last edited by Dr. Stupid; 02-16-2017 at 03:24 PM. Reason: Dupe, Sorry.
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post #55 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 02:38 PM
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Re: WW Posted on Another Site. Not Sure How to Proceed

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Originally Posted by Blondilocks View Post
Since your wife has 'consistently demonstrated change for 2.5 years', why have the last 2-3 years been a nightmare? How many more years are you willing to wait and see? Even if she turns into the most wonderful wife you could imagine, would that be enough to drown out the pain of the first years? Only you have the answers.
Since you mentioned that... I guess that I have this concern that he's been checked out so long that he can't check back in.

The only reason that I wonder if he should wait and see, is because it appears that he wants *something*, hence, 2.5 years of waiting so far. Only now, he's reaching out for help here.

Is it for a validation of his decision to leave? If so, he'll get that in spades.

Is it because he feels like he's missing something, that he has something to give to make things work, but doesn't know what it is?

Maybe he believes that the gravity of the decision is so great, that he wants to leave no stone unturned before making it.

Perhaps it's misplaced loyalty that makes him confused, after all, he sacrificed years for his children.

Maybe he worries that it's all an act to confuse him so that she may continue her life in relative stability, and he's waited 2.5 years for her to stumble again, but it's not happening, throwing a wrench in the plan that he's had for many moons.

In the past, staying in a marriage for the children was commonplace. Today, it is very rare, thus, there are not many resources in his social circles for him to lean upon.

The gap of time between his wife's initial affair, and his wanting to end their relationship because of it, is another extenuating circumstance which muddies up the waters. She may have very well reacted the way that she is now, many years ago, if she had known the true consequences. As I said, they never had the chance to truly reconcile, because he never demanded it.

That is what makes this such a rare circumstance. He may have never really known how much she loved him, and she never really understood what she had to do to show it. She thought everything was fine. Either he's a great actor, or she's lacking in perception.

Actions have consequences, and sometimes those consequences are a long time in coming, but he's here for a reason, and we need to help him found out what that reason is.

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post #56 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: WW Posted on Another Site. Not Sure How to Proceed

Thank you Dr Stupid. I will lose in the divorce. I won't lose my reputation though. I also have had years to mentally prepare for it. I would be totally okay if we divorced tomorrow. I think I will approach this from a slightly different perspective and see how it goes. Let's hope I'm not being a complete idiot.

I've learned it's impossible to communicate effectively with an angry person and I've been a very angry person. I do think I have a handle on the anger now. I white knuckled the issue years ago with physical activity and occasional outbursts. I am worn out really from dealing with this. The last 2-3yrs have been a nightmare because the kiss incident was disclosed and I basically tossed her out - it was a huge blowout. She scheduled a polygraph and that corroborated her story and verified and cleared up some things from the past. There's been MC, IC, books, and coming to terms with anger. There have been many sleepless nights spent discussing this junk. I've been on the verge of pulling the trigger on filing for divorce. We've worked up a preliminary divorce settlement. I've put her through the wringer emotionally. I've been cruel to her all while she's trying to get to the root of her issues, make things right with me, being a better mother, and coming to terms with what's she's done in the past. That stuff is not my idea of fun.

I'll look at affair recovery .com too harry. Thanks.
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post #57 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: WW Posted on Another Site. Not Sure How to Proceed

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Originally Posted by Dr. Stupid View Post
Since you mentioned that... I guess that I have this concern that he's been checked out so long that he can't check back in.

The only reason that I wonder if he should wait and see, is because it appears that he wants *something*, hence, 2.5 years of waiting so far. Only now, he's reaching out for help here.

Is it for a validation of his decision to leave? If so, he'll get that in spades.

Is it because he feels like he's missing something, that he has something to give to make things work, but doesn't know what it is?

Maybe he believes that the gravity of the decision is so great, that he wants to leave no stone unturned before making it.

Perhaps it's misplaced loyalty that makes him confused, after all, he sacrificed years for his children.

Maybe he worries that it's all an act to confuse him so that she may continue her life in relative stability, and he's waited 2.5 years for her to stumble again, but it's not happening, throwing a wrench in the plan that he's had for many moons.

In the past, staying in a marriage for the children was commonplace. Today, it is very rare, thus, there are not many resources in his social circles for him to lean upon.

The gap of time between his wife's initial affair, and his wanting to end their relationship because of it, is another extenuating circumstance which muddies up the waters. She may have very well reacted the way that she is now, many years ago, if she had known the true consequences. As I said, they never had the chance to truly reconcile, because he never demanded it.

That is what makes this such a rare circumstance. He may have never really known how much she loved him, and she never really understood what she had to do to show it. She thought everything was fine. Either he's a great actor, or she's lacking in perception.

Actions have consequences, and sometimes those consequences are a long time in coming, but he's here for a reason, and we need to help him found out what that reason is.
We must have posted at the same time.

Dude, you nailed the reasons I'm conflicted about leaving now. All of them more or less factor in to the equation. I am not taking this lightly, leaving impacts others too, it's a major decision. This change in her is new to me. Her default setting for years was happy. She is one of those people that chooses to be happy. She doesn't (and wouldn't) do any self introspection or examination because that would screw up her happy. I think she was so busy trying to force herself to be happy she missed (or chose not to see) major things I was doing. I am no actor by a long shot. I stopped wearing my wedding ring after the A, a ton of other things that point to "things have changed" but she didn't pick up on them or mentally explained them away. We've recently had discussions about this. It's odd to see her self conflicted. It's is odd to see her judge her actions in a negative way. She approaches life differently now. Whether it's a ruse or not is yet to be determined.

She and I were not on the same wavelength at all. Now she's completely tuned in to how I'm feeling about something or my mood overall. She'll say she can tell something is bothering me and she's there if I want to discuss it. Before she was completely oblivious. She's open and kind even when I'm not. It's somewhat freaky and unnerving. That's part of the reason I'm here. I need some input on whether people change that much and if others have witnessed changes similar to what I'm describing. I also never really considered R before. I'm not sure how to go about that process if that's what we end up doing. I'm not sure what R looks like long term either. I don't want to be in a marriage where there's constant strife or I feel like I'm settling for something "less than".

I worry about reattaching to her too. I've been detached for so long that it's comfortable to me. I really can't discuss this with buddies in the real world. There is really no need because I know what they would say.
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post #58 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 04:02 PM
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Re: WW Posted on Another Site. Not Sure How to Proceed

I really DISLIKE what you just typed... I am not sure what you meant by it...maybe you could correct or clarify..

You are actually interested in ruining her reputation but feel yours would remain intact? Yes you have a RA, but you have also faked a marriage for 18 years. Im am sorry, but if i were a girl in your town I would think BOTH of your reputations to be inherently flawed.

You may be right about her rep being more tarnished than yours, im just not in support of that double standard.

You are being this way because she has changed. SHE HAS BECOME A BETTER PERSON, and you HATE that because she is taking away your imidiate EXCUSE to leave. I think you also resent that she has worked through a lot of issues and tried to be happy WITH you for 18 years while you reviled her... planned your escape and grew more bitter with time.

I am a 28 year old mother of three sons 2-8 YEARS OLD. My house is sometimes messy, My looks are not the best. But i do everything i can to stay sane. If it means escaping this house with a screaming child and two boys fighting to go to a birthday party for a few hourse to talk to other parents and adults, I AM STILL A GOOD MOTHER! I am still a good wife.

I know Im projecting, but i see myself in your wife, and i think what you had was UNREASONABLE expectations on how home life should be and a mother and wife should be. I am going to be frank here but you should shove those unreasonable exprectations and resentments up your butt! (Im sorry that was rude) But i think something along those lines need to be said.

Now that does not give her reason to cheat. im not excusing the cheating, But i feel you have what is called A FAULT SEEKING MIND when it comes to your wife. You let EVERY little think fester inside of your soul.

She cheated. She has boundary issues, but you sir...you have problems too and you are probably hurting your wife much more with your purposful anger, hate.

Now I dont want you to think im not on your side, we are often ignorant of these issues until its brought to our attention.

Please. KNOCK off your anger about a LAZY wife. Because frankly you haven't a clue what she put up with.
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post #59 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 04:05 PM
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Re: WW Posted on Another Site. Not Sure How to Proceed

And to add this fault seeking mind has run rampant because you have done it as a defense. Because you are right, you DONT want to reattach to her.
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post #60 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: WW Posted on Another Site. Not Sure How to Proceed

DId you even read her post threelittlestars? Did you even read the thread?

I didn't ruin her reputation, she did. The truth is the truth and folks can decide the fate of her reputation and mine.

I didn't expect a spotless house. That doesn't matter to me. I did expect her to do laundry instead of hiding it under beds and in the back of closets. That's childish and immature. I couldn't even do the laundry myself because it wasn't even in the damn hamper. Or occasionally empty and load the dishwasher. Life can't be all fun and games all of the time especially if you have young kids. She was lazy and selfish and she has made changes. Those fights about housework haven't happened for years. She used those fights about housework to justify her A.

There's a helluva good reason for my anger. I could give you a few details of her A and I hope for your sake you wouldn't see yourself in her.
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