Tex, all I can say is, wow. You've been thru the wringer. You need to weigh the pros and cons of staying with this woman. Do you believe she can actually shed all that baggage? If so, hang in there and go for it. Just keep a low b*ll s**t threshold, and be prepared to move on to a better life. And be sure she knows it.
This is my first post here - So I will try to give some background detail on us and the affair..
7 years ago my wife had an affair with a coworker. She felt consumed by guilt and told me about it. However, she never told me the whole truth and I rec'vd trickle bits for years.. However we now are going to sex therapy and I am finding out so much more that our new therapist wants us to go through a disclosure process and to start the 'R' over. This is killing me all over again, I am back on anti-anxiety meds, and triggered all to hell..
Through therapy we have discovered that my wife is Co-dependent hard core, was emotionally abused by her parents, is a Love Addict/Love Avoidant and severely conflict avoidant. The short of the story is that she felt at the time that 'sex' was something she had to do in order to be friends with the coworker.
I've read many places, and read some really crap filled online advice, that wives cheat for emotional purposes and sometimes sex. My wife did not cheat because her emotional cup was not being filled, or her physical needs were not being met. Our therapist, and my wife, have assured me that there was nothing that I could've done to prevent it. It was a perfect storm brought on and perpetuated by my wife. You'd think this would add some relief or solace because most of you know that you destroy yourselves trying to fix 'it', evaluate and improve yourself, and accept what was wrong in the marriage before. My had wife laid out a bunch of items she was upset about at the onset of the affair that she felt, initially, that her needs were not being met because I was not doing these things. However, these were just walls the Codependent Love Avoidant puts into place to restrict intimacy. That way, I am surmising here, she could convince herself that I was not doing what she needed me to do, which led to resentment, and seeking love elsewhere. Another common thread to my marriage is that my wife cannot see any contributions but her own.. e.g. My wife works a good commute from our house, so I provide all the kid logistics - to school, to dance, to sports, etc.. But my wife complains that I don't give them baths, but won't say thank you for getting the family from a to b. She doesn't do the yard work, I do it all, but she's mad when I don't vaccuum. I do all the cooking and grocery shopping, but she complains about not doing the dishes. Then, she'll tie this key phrase in.. "I might feel like having sex tonight if you did..." So, because I wasn't doing [insert activity here], or didn't finish before she was too tired, there was no sex.. So, rejection, belittling never good enough behavior, she now results to conditional love and sex as a treat to try to control me..
Mind you these behaviors were not part of our original relationship, or the start of our marriage.. These were brought out by a trigger.. And that was moving away from mommy and daddy.
The co-addict mentality set in pretty fast for me after the affair as I was desperate to 'fix' what was wrong. The trickle truth was painful, and in the end I made the effort to rebuild based on lies. I tried to be the person I thought she 'needed' me to be based on the information given. But that didn't work. Things would rapid cycle between good/bad, but were never on an even keel.
So finally, through our new therapist, we have discovered that -my wife CANNOT give a compliment, she literally tries and tries but simply cannot bring herself to say it. She cannot allow herself to be happy, and constantly feels unworthy. Literally, her being happy led to feeling like she was doing something wrong, which led to her feeling guilty, and went and had the affair..
Here's what I have learned -
Wife is a codependent who was emotionally abused by her parents.
Wife's affair started and went on longer that initially shared.
She, after swearing for years, finally admitted to not using protection. He would orgasm inside of her, on her..
She got preggo, but always told me the child was mine.. It wasn't. She miscarried.. My wife would not allow me to comfort her but let her AP do it instead.. Wife came home and yelled at me for getting her flowers.. Oh, and let's not forget they were having sex while she was pregnant on biz trips..
When they went on trips, she slept in his bed and had calls from her room forwarded to her cell phone.
They did all the normal couple things like cuddle time, showers, and dates..
The super kick in the f_cking nuts.. IS that she had me do things for him. She invited him over to our house so we could all 'hang out' together and have me cook for us.. TWICE.. She asked me to redo his resume, and fix his computer..
There was NOTHING I could do that would have prevented the affair. I am tired of the debate being perpetuated that women cheat because their needs are not being met.. This might be a reason that a lot do, but not all cheat for this reason.
Why am I still married.. I don't know. I want all the answers now and am not willing to sweep it under the rug again. Once I have those, I will re-evaluate staying or going. I want to see what happens following the outcome of her therapy sessions with our new therapist as well. I know she's hurting, she's disgusted in herself over how she's been treating me, she's tired of living everyday not feeling good enough. I will say that my entire marriage hasn't been bad - but all things involving intimacy following our moving away from her parents and her affair have been terrible. I have hit the end of my rope, I have consulted a lawyer. The outcome of not following our boundaries, staying with therapy, is her moving out and getting a divorce. She knows that her travel job and emotional trauma's are not good for child custody and understands that she's not going to be the primary parent.
If I can give one piece of advice.. FIND A SEX THERAPIST who deals with couples and individuals when you find out. Regular couples therapists just aren't cut out for it. There is too much generality, too much bias.. It's been a real eye opener with what's been uncovered by asking the right questions at the right time. This is our third one, she is fantastic and we've had the most progress under her, and my wife has been the most open and reflective with her as well.
My H had an A because his "needs were not being met" and I " did not love him". Some needs can not be met because the person is not capable of accepting what you are giving. Even though their perceptions of what they are lacking are skewed those are still the reasons they give themselves. My H came from an abusive background too, and no matter what I said to him he saw a double meaning that boiled down to a put down. I could not win with him. It's taken a very long time for him to begin to recognize that he heard me through the distortion of his own abusive childhood. It is very hard to give all you can to someone; to put them first and not have it recognized or appreciated, but it is generally the mind set of those with abusive backgrounds. It is nothing you did or did not do, the stage was set before you ever came along. HUGS.
I'm rather pro R overall, but if that was done to me, there'd possibly be a murder. Posted via Mobile Device
I have to agree with you snap. I'm probably the most pro R guy on TAM but I'm having a very hard time finding a good reason for Tex to stay with her. I don't see a behavioral problem. I see an entitled remorseless fitness testing wife who is offering excuses instead of atonement. Tex, I'm so sorry for all you've gone through and continue to go through. You must be an incredibly strong individual to still have your marbles after this.
Why am I still married.. I don't know. I want all the answers now and am not willing to sweep it under the rug again. Once I have those, I will re-evaluate staying or going. I want to see what happens following the outcome of her therapy sessions with our new therapist as well.
Not willing to sweep it under the rug again?
Using an assortment of psychological terms that lead up to her affair as being "a perfect storm", and inevitable, takes away from the fact that she is a fully functioning human being who betrayed you in many ways beyond just basic infidelity. There is quite a mouthful of complex psychological behaviors going on, but she is an adult, and could have easily chosen to draw the line on her own behaviors well before the cheating mark. Or even if these conditions led her into the perfect storm of cheating, genuine remorse probably would've stopped her short of asking you to cook meals for her lover.
My wife struggles with bipolar depression. Its severe at times, and has led to periods of suicidal thoughts. Some of her problems also stem from sexual abuse. We've found that the best way to maintain our marriage is by never losing sight of the fact that she is an adult who is control of her own behaviors. Be careful that the psychological terminology doesn't become the broom that you use to sweep her actions as an adult under the rug.
Tex...I know what you are doing because I am doing the same thing. We went to a sex therapist because my H's IT was just not cutting it in terms of how he could deal oin the real world with his compulsions. Cold turkey is not sustainable. He is also someone who was not shown warmth or acceptance as a child and therefore became all the things you describe your wife to be. What I struggle with now is the fact that he is being the perfect husband and father..but where was he for the last 15 years? Our sex therapist told me the odds are against us..he requires huge amounts of ego stroking and attention to feel good about himself. He turned away from me instead of to me and he also never really got involved with the children. It is very hard to walk away from someone you love who is sorry and making changes, but where are your boundaries? I know I crossed mine over and over again. Our sex therapist says I need to draw a line in the sand and never cross it. She asked me to think about the kind of man I want to be married to. I am a codependant, so it is hard for me....accepted unacceptable behaviour from people I loved for all of my life. What I want for you is what I wish i had the strength to do....hold your head high, value yourself and know you can do better. You do not need to fix her or your marriage....you deserve to be loved and cherished and protected emotionally and physically. I am thinking of you.
Ironic but I have been reading several books and articles about codependency, codependent behaivors, etc., over the pass several days.
Codependents can change but it takes lots of work and they have to want to change if not your wife will always be at risk for A's.
Historically the concept of codependency comes from Alcoholics Anonomous. Will not go into all the details. Codependency normally starts in childhood. A lack of love, emotional needs not being met, etc. by the parents is usually the start of this.
I like the defintion that codependency is a dysfunctional relationship with the self. If you understand this you can start to understand the codependent person.
Here are some websites to help folks understand this. It is not as clear as many folks would like but it has helped me understand why my wife did what she did. It is in no way an excuse for her and if she faces her issues and fixes it then our R will be successful, if not then there is really no hope because nothing I do will be enough for her.
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.”
Codependent.. No. I was a kept man at the time and that definitely played a role. I was a pilot and was out of work after 9/11.. So I went back to school. Although I was working she felt that I didn't contribute enough. Right after it happened, I couldn't handle it, wasn't thinking clearly, and had nowhere or no money to go. THIS laid the foundation for me being a coaddict to her behavior. Since I was isolated, I felt it better to keep the peace than to fix. R was forced, and shaky, but I wasn't out of a place to live.
No STD's.. Kids are mine.
She is remorseful. She is disgusted at herself. She is working on doing better. But it wasn't until we got with this new therapist that we started doing better. I am also not 'kept' anymore. I have my own means, a good job, and am free to leave. I am also not sitting at the bottom of sh_tty shame spiral anymore. When I came out of the depression two years later post d-day, I wasn't lost, but stuck in a routine. That routine provided safety. THIS was also my problem. It was easier to live with the status quo and build myself back up, than it was to address the issues. Now that I am stronger all around, secure, and in a better place.. Issues are being addressed. Getting the truth helps, solidify's her guilt, and forces all those skeletons out into the open. She can chose honesty or she can chose to move out. I can chose to accept those answers and work on us or she can move out.
Codependent??? Panhandling would have been less demeaning than this... and you can stay drunk and still stay depressed! Bed bugs is far less dangerous than HIV
And my codependancy is a need to fix people and make everything OK over and above my own needs...so in my opinion not an excuse for your wife to have an affair and smash your self esteem to smithereens.
We all could use incidents from our childhood to justify bad behavior. Your wife's might be more extreme than others but this should not excuse what she did to you. She emasculated you when she had you cook dinner for her lover. That's just plain evil.
Like your wife, my ex used sex as a 'weapon' in the relationship. We had sex when she felt like it and did it the way that she wanted to. Near the end of the marriage, I decided to take control of my sex life for the first time in twenty years and told her that I would just not have sex with her.
Of course, I didn't know that she was happily giving it to old boyfriends and who knows how many other men.
You need to do yourself a favor and leave this woman. You're not Captain Save a Ho'.
What are the consequences, change in behavior for your wife during this R process you have chosen to accept?
Is her deeming attitude still present, are you still doing all the chores? Have you now stood up for yourself in that regard?
Is she still the one who authorizes the sex?
Is she still working with this man?
No - Her attitude has improved greatly now that she's attending therapy with our new therapist. She is working on a lot of boundaries with her parents, the kids, me.
No - I do not do all the chores, and I don't want to mislead.. My wife couldn't understand, or didn't want too, that me providing kid logistics = her giving kids bath, or me cooking dinner = her doing dishes.. In her selfish pea brain, what she convinced herself was, "Why DO I ALWAYS give the kids their bath..? He NEVER does it.." She's working on normalling out her emotions and works on telling herself, outloud sometimes, "My husband did/does this for the family, and I do this for the family.."
No - She is not still working with her AP
No - She doesn't use sex as a 'treat' anymore.
No - I do not think that I have all the facts about the affair. That is what the disclosure will be for.
Codependent or not you obviously love your wife or the women she was.
You deserve the entire truth and I do hope you get it.
You also deserve to make dinner for the posom one more time, lock all the doors and beat the living s__t out of him. It will work wonders for you!
But seriously, I hope the therapy helps keep your family together and if not, at least you can part ways knowing you tried everything you could do to save your marriage and get your wife back onto a healthy lifestyle.