Originally Posted by tryingtocopedad View Post
I am 43 and my wife is 41. We have been together for 20 years and married for 14 with three fantastic kids. We have had ups and downs over the years and some very bad times. She is very moody and keeps her feelings bottled up, I lack communication skills and tend to ignore things until they blow up. During the years I coped with the stress and my own perceived failure by coping with alcohol and prescription drugs. I ended up doing two years in prison and during that time my wife discovered an affair I had 10 years ago during a very difficult time for us. I worked with the woman and she had me bent over the barrel so to speak. I paid her stupid amounts of money to not tell my wife and to go away. This went on for years...the money not the affair. Finally I cut off the supply and went on with my life and my wife and I had our third child. Things weren't perfect but I was happy and we were doing ok. Then I went to prison and my world went to hell. She found out about my affair and decided she wanted to divorce. She filed twice while I was gone only to withdraw them when I begged her not to do it. She is very angry, bitter, and HURT. She told me again yesterday that she wants to date and go on with her life and can't stand me around. It was devastating, soul crushingly painful. The thought of my wife being with someone else is the most painful thing I have ever experienced. For the first time I think I understand how she felt at my betrayal. I want to vomit. As I sit in my office I simply can't function. I spent my two years away bettering myself, I lost 100 pounds got into shape, took self help, gave up drinking and pills. I know I can be the man she deserves.
Our mutual friends tell me to ride it out and stay strong. Just "focus on the kids" is what they tell me. "She's pissed but she'll come around" is what one told me who knows her well. I don't think so. I'm focusing on the kids and they are my priority but the pain makes me upset and I have a hard time showing a brave face. She barely communicates with me and that adds tension which the kids pick up on. I'm trying to be supportive and respectful (I don't go into the bathroom when she's changing or showering and I don't try to be sexual with her) I sleep at my moms house until July when my parole is up. I know that if I truly love her and I want her to be happy then I need to support her on this journey and hope that she finds happiness with our without me. But it is so hard. She is my world and I didn't realize it until I screwed it up. What can I do? Is there hope? I pray everyday for reconciliation.
I've been seeing a counselor through the church and she was nice but brutal. My wife did not attend. She is "done". She's had two years to adapt and move on and I spent two years believing I could earn her back. How do I earn her trust back? Does anyone know?
I don't want to lose her but I want her to be happy. So confused.
You were not an idiot. Idiots know how to remain loyal. You were selfish - and you are continuing to be selfish.
You claim to be the man she deserves, but the man she deserves did not cheat on her. The man she deserves hadn't lied to her in the past. The man she deserves would not have given her money away just to keep his secret. The man she deserves did not go to prison for his illegal activities and force her to raise three children on her own. The man she deserves did not cause her the embarrassment of suddenly realizing that the last 10 years of her life was her living a lie.
Your selfishness continues to show in your post being mostly about you and your struggle. You gave up the right to be heartbroken thinking of your wife being with another man when you made the choice to be with another woman. It really is that simple. You just screwed up way too many times, and should have no expectation of getting her back, yet you are posting here on this site, looking for ideas to do just that.
You need to stop being selfish. You need to be there for your kids. Their lives are in a state of chaos right now, whether you realize it or not. Be a supportive part of their lives. Show them you love them everyday and that daddy will never go away for 2 years like he did before. Do as well at your job as possible to save for your and your kids' futures. And NEVER let on for a second that the current state of their lives is either their fault or their mother's fault. If your wife decides to come back to you, consider yourself lucky, but the time of you having the right to pursue her is over.
I'm sorry if my response seems harsh, but this is your situation. Live your life as a good and responsible person going forward. Actions speak much louder than words. Best of luck to you, your wife, and your children.