Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation - Page 2 - Talk About Marriage
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post #16 of 295 (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

SadIAm: I think it is tough to go from no job/career, no savings, and poor self esteem to having earned a degree, built up some financial stability and proven to herself that she can stand on her own, to then agreeing to give up that independence and financial security to give it another try with the man who drove you to despair in the first place. I don't think it is fair to ask that much of her on day one. I think it is best to keep the "requirements" list as short as possible to start, while giving her time to see that I really am a different person than the guy I was three-four years ago. I think that approach as worked pretty well so far too, as every week I see her committing more and more of herself to our family, opening up her privacy a lot more, trusting more, etc.

I mentioned financially she is helping with bills, paying for home improvements, etc. Six months ago, if I had asked, "So which friends did you go out with tonight?" or "What are you going to do after you get off work?" or even "Do you have any plans this weekend?" she would have responded coldly with maybe one word answers or even simply said, "I don't feel comfortable sharing/discussing that with you." Even with nothing worth hiding, she was still incredibly protective, fearful of opening up to me, having been incredibly hurt by both me in our marriage, and the older sex offender (twice her age) she had been in the 21 month relationship with after. Her privacy was her shelter. Now she'll readily trust me to answer virtually any question I would ask, calls me to talk every night on her way home from work until she walks in our front door, and all plans/events are assumed that we'll be doing them together and discussed in advance. She stopped password protecting her phone, tablet and laptop and hides nothing now.

I totally get where you are coming from, and I would probably say the same if a friend of mine were in a similar situation. I am very well aware that throughout this entire process I have left myself incredibly vulnerable both emotionally, and financially. I put a few safe guards in place for my daughter, but even so I know that she was somewhat vulnerable as a result as well. All along I did so on the view that you can't do anything half-way. A very good trusted mentor of mine once told me that if you hold anything back, that is one toe out the door already and once you've got a toe out, it is only a matter of time before you walk through it. So my approach has been that I am all in, without any real regard for myself until I was 100% sure that the marriage could never be saved.

While we are certainly not out of the woods yet, I think it has worked well for me. Either way though, I'll be able to live with my choices without regrets.

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post #17 of 295 (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 10:21 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

Congrats on the possible R. I know you are not looking at this blindly. The great thing is that you & your wife might be able to continue your marriage in a more traditional and loving matter down the road. It takes two to make a marriage work. We all have made mistakes and caused pain in our relationships. Prayers are with you
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post #18 of 295 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 08:17 AM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

CD, reconcille is not the right answer for serial cheaters. Let her suffer her decision until the end of her life, the chance you gave her is easily allowing her being forgiven.
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post #19 of 295 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 08:54 AM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

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Wow. So she moves back in and you get the couch? That's a pretty serious case of oneitis!

hey , l had the couch before so if mine moved back in and l got promoted to the bed , things would really be lookin up
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post #20 of 295 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 02:03 AM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

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Originally Posted by cdbaker View Post
SadIAm: I think it is tough to go from no job/career, no savings, and poor self esteem to having earned a degree, built up some financial stability and proven to herself that she can stand on her own, to then agreeing to give up that independence and financial security to give it another try

Poor self eastem you say! that does no sound like hade it..

with the man who drove you to despair in the first place.
So you are saying she put up with a whole Sh!ty behavior did you used to have have.Like what


I don't think it is fair to ask that much of her on day one. I think it is best to keep the "requirements" list as short as possible to start, while giving her time to see that I really am a different person than the guy I was three-four years ago.
So when is it her turn to do the same?

After all she has been gone for three years.Why do you feel you are only one that has to prove change to her?
.I think that approach as worked pretty well so far too,Of course it.. She is glad you are not bring up the 3 years she was gone..In other word´s.You just told her 2 things.Every thing was your fault.And that she most likely feel there wont be any commonsense for her.

has as every week I see her committing more and more of herself to our family, opening up her privacy a lot more, trusting more, Really,seriously?? She was the one fone for 3 years.Not you..Why does she feels the need to learn to trust you? should not the be you??

etc.

I mentioned financially she is helping with bills, paying for home improvements, etc. Six months ago, if I had asked, "So which friends did you go out with tonight?" or "What are you going to do after you get off work?" or even "Do you have any plans this weekend?" she would have responded coldly with maybe one word answers or even simply said, "I don't feel comfortable sharing/discussing that with you." Even with nothing worth hiding,Come on man
you cant really be saying that..
she was still incredibly protective, fearful of opening up .
to me, having been incredibly hurt by both me in our marriage, and the older sex offender (twice her age) she had been in the 21 month relationship with after.

What the little perv did,why are you taking blame for it??
after all she stayed with him for 24 months..That is not your fault..

Her privacy was her shelter. Now she'll readily trust me to answer virtually any question I would ask, calls me to talk every night on her way home from work until she walks in our front door, and all plans/events are assumed that we'll be doing them together and discussed in advance. She stopped password protecting her phone, tablet and laptop and hides nothing now.
You do realize she is back because
Because of this right

"
She has apologized several times about different things. Not long after leaving me and moving in with him, she apologized for having engaged in another affair, for having cheated on me rather than been up front about problems and seeking a separation/divorce first. When he was arrested, she came to me in tears, utterly revolted to discover the things he had been doing,
If nothing of this has happened do you think she would back
together with you?

I´m asking because you seem to take so much blame for everything,that you are missing the fact she was gone for three years. There is nothing wrong to wanna reconcile.But it is,the way you seem taken steps to do..Try not to make so many excuse for her as a minimum...

I totally get where you are coming from, and I would probably say the same if a friend of mine were in a similar situation. I am very well aware that throughout this entire process I have left myself incredibly vulnerable both emotionally, and financially. I put a few safe guards in place for my daughter, but even so I know that she was somewhat vulnerable as a result as well. All along I did so on the view that you can't do anything half-way. A very good trusted mentor of mine once told me that if you hold anything back, that is one toe out the door already and once you've got a toe out, it is only a matter of time before you walk through it. So my approach has been that I am all in, without any real regard for myself until I was 100% sure that the marriage could never be saved.

While we are certainly not out of the woods yet, I think it has worked well for me. Either way though, I'll be able to live with my choices without regrets.

I truly hopes so.I really do..And i hope you take this post for what it is worth.And not me posting this simply to take some cheap shot´s at you.. I sincerely wish you the best..

Bringing you bad Swenglish to TAM since 2011
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post #21 of 295 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

noas55: Thank-you for your kind words!

r0r0bin: I understand your thoughts, and I might say the same to others based on the minimal info I have provided. (To explain in detail would fill pages and pages and pages) I didn't really explain the root of her extramarital affairs well enough. Prior to her crossing that line, we'd been together for 8 years and married for about six, during which she never strayed once. What led to her being willing to consider such an offense, was a marriage that had degraded to such a point that she had gone several years without feeling loved, cared for, or desired. We were incredibly immature, with wildly unfair expectations for each other. I was more interested in "winning" arguments and being right, being thought highly of by others even at her expense, saw her in many ways as a sex object that was wholly inadequate, lazy and selfish. She certainly had her own issues as well.

She never sought to cheat or find another man. She felt utterly alone and felt that she wanted to leave the marriage but was enormously afraid to do so. Not out of fear of retribution, as she knows I would never intentionally hurt her, physically/financially, but just out fear of whether she could make it on her own, what kind of custody arrangement she might get of our daughter, what others might think, etc. Women who reach the point of feeling this low often struggle with horrible self esteem, and that leaves them VERY vulnerable to the kind words of any man who comes along to offer them. In her case, there was a short string of them (four or five maybe), some I found out about quickly, others not so quickly. She didn't want to cheat, she didn't love them, she didn't plan to run away with them or even keep someone on the side while staying married to me. She was just miserable, and while planning her exit, they filled her emotional need to feel desirable.

Since she evicted the last guy from her life while we were apart, she was basically "single" for the better part of 18 months, with no dating in between while she focuses on school and being a better part time mom to our daughter. Since then she's learned to stand up for herself, speak her mind freely, and has fully accepted how wrong the things she did were. Specifically the cheating, as opposed to just coming out and telling me that she wanted out of the marriage to let things play out.

I think we also need to understand that men and women cheat for VERY different reasons. Women are less likely than men to cheat for a cheap thrill and their reasons for being willing to cross that line are very different as well. So having learned as much as I have in the last few years, I can look back and believe quite firmly that had she and I (mostly me) not allowed things to reach such an ugly low in our relationship and not surpressed her to such a degree that she felt she could not escape, that she never would have cheated. Therefore I am willing to trust her for a multitude of reasons *despite* her past, just as she has shown she is willing to do for me.
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post #22 of 295 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

Jonesey: Responding to your post is difficult given how broken up it is... but I'll try...

Yes I said she had poor self esteem prior to accomplishing the things I mentioned, like completing her degree, building up financial stability and proving that she can stand on her own. The key word there is PRIOR.

Asking me to explain my role in "driving her to despair" and bringing down the marriage is perfectly legitimate. Trying to be as concise as possible, I'll list some reasons/examples of my own ****ty behavior:

1. Terribly immature.
2. Unrealistic expectations, by which I relentlessly judged her. (Sexually especially)
3. Pornography addiction.
4. Pushed her hard to dabble in swinging and swapping of sex partners to meet my own disturbing fetishes at the time, leading her to feeling like nothing more than a sex object.
5. Regularly "throwing her under the bus" in order to make myself look better in the eyes of others, regularly looking to be seen as a perfect husband. (Being viewed as a wonderful husband/father can be a way to make her feel like she needs to step up in her duties by making her feel inadequate or unworthy)
6. Financially irresponsible.
7. Emotionally Manipulative.
8. Selfish.
9. Intense need to be right, to win, all the time.
10. Poor leader.
11. Uninvolved father.

and all kinds of variations of the above mentioned. She had her own issues too. Laziness, financial irresponsibility, etc. So to be honest, yes I still feel that I am responsible for the lions share of the fault here.

I look at the last three years as a situation of... well we both did things we aren't proud of. (I dated, and had sex lots of times while we were apart. Technically as we were still married, that's cheating too for example) We're trying to start over, so the things that happened in the past are mostly irrelevant to me. Sure my curiosity is dying to know, but that really isn't important.

I think one issue here is that people have a tendency to immediately place most of the fault/blame on someone the moment they find out that person cheated. You hear about two people who are splitting up and one of them cheated on the other near the end, and immediately most people will assume that the relationship's failure is mostly the fault of the cheater. They might not have any idea about the abuse, the violence, the addictions or other factors that might be involved, but they have already judged the cheater.

I think that is sort of what has happened with us. I feel like I am probably 75% responsible for the marriage hitting the low that it did, that drove her to be so vulnerable to the kind words of other men. So was she wrong to cheat? Absolutely. Is that her responsibility? You bet it is, and she accepts that. Do I have every right to be angry at her for it? Yes I do, but not too much so. If I drove us to bankruptcy, to living on the street, and then she gets caught for stealing gas to get to work on time, then shouldn't I share the blame for that? Yes, I was hurt terribly by her actions, but isn't it reasonable for me to share the blame for driving her to to that point?


I'm sure I am guilty of having made excuses for her before, and will continue to be from time to time. Sometimes I think that is part of the job in a relationship. All I know is that I love the girl, I think she loves me too, and based on what we learned about ourselves while we were apart, and the changes we have made, I see no reason to think that we won't be happy together in the future.
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post #23 of 295 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 08:40 AM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

Wow, cdbaker, it's amazing how your most recent post on this thread reflects much of what happened in my marriage. I didn't cheat, but I had multiple opportunities to do so - and your list of behaviors? 80% of them apply to the way my STBXH treated me during our marriage.

But this, especially:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdbaker View Post
Yes I said she had poor self esteem prior to accomplishing the things I mentioned, like completing her degree, building up financial stability and proving that she can stand on her own. The key word there is PRIOR.
My STBXH has severe co-dependency issues, and once I didn't need to depend on him anymore, that's when the really BAD behavior started. And when we separated, he was like you - doing a lot of skirt chasing and looking for sex (which he did eventually find), and it didn't seem to matter to him that this WAS cheating. He was still married to me, and I had never asked him for a divorce - I was, in fact, hoping that some time apart would help him find some clarity and help him to recognize what he did to sabotage our marriage. If he could do that, then we could finally work towards saving our marriage. But ultimately, I don't think he's capable of that; he's emotionally crippled, or scared, or a combination of things.

So I'm moving on. Or doing my best to make it through, until I have moved on.

But I'm glad that you're able to recognize the part you played, and I'm really glad you guys are working on it. And I wish you nothing but the best.
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post #24 of 295 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 10:42 AM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

We are like the same guy, I've been there man... My wife was driven into madness because of like 7 of those 11 things you listed, you nailed it. Not a WAS (walk away spouse), but a NPS (Never present spouse).

Just as bad, in my honest opinion.
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post #25 of 295 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 12:09 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

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We are like the same guy, I've been there man... My wife was driven into madness because of like 7 of those 11 things you listed, you nailed it. Not a WAS (walk away spouse), but a NPS (Never present spouse).

Just as bad, in my honest opinion.
JD, I hope you're working on these things, then, now that you realize some of your mistakes?

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post #26 of 295 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 12:28 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

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JD, I hope you're working on these things, then, now that you realize some of your mistakes?
Those things are completely behind me. There is some truth to the saying that there is Beauty in Tragedy... It really REALLY teaches us not to take things for granted.

No one owes us Sh**, my wife loved me because she loved me, not because she had too.
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post #27 of 295 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 01:24 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

Like so many others i say finances should remain separate and you should charge her rent.

For right now she is a room mate nothing more. if she is in a bad way maybe have her clean house, make meals to pay for her stay. Else split things accordingly do not baby her.

Stay strong with the sex thing. Do NOT give in on this for now.
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post #28 of 295 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

Feminist: Gosh at first I didn't understand what you were talking about, lol. My first thought was, "I wasn't chasing women or cheating on my wife..." until I realized that you probably meant during our long separation. (This is an old thread and I couldn't remember what all had been shared in it) Yep I did my share of "skirt chasing" while apart. Though I think it was at least a bit different in that my wife was openly living and sleeping with a new boyfriend and had directly stated that she wanted a divorce. Eventually she said she wasn't sure about the divorce and we put it off, but she was still with the other man. So yes I fully recognize that what I was doing was still adultery because we were still married.

As for your husband, if he can't recognize that he is going to miss you and the marriage/family, and then translate that into an effort to figure out where he went wrong, then I'm not sure if there is much hope. I think it is actually pretty common for a recently separated spouse to feel a sudden sense of euphoria and freedom when the daily pressures/anger/unhappiness of the troubled marriage is temporarily set aside, and that euphoria can be extremely misleading. Misleading in the sense that it can make you feel like the spouse/marriage is what was keeping you from being happy, when that might not be the case at all, but it's common for figuring that part out to take a few months or more, because it has to run it's course naturally and can't be pushed by the spouse. So... it's certainly possible he'll still wake up and figure stuff out, but not exactly likely either unfortunately.

I do hope it all works out for you!
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post #29 of 295 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 11:19 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

cd, yeah, that's what I meant! Didn't intend to confuse And yes, your situation is different, but my STBXH says (claims?) that he thought I hated him and wanted a divorce, as if that justifies his actions since we separated.

And he's not going to wake up and figure this stuff out, at least not anytime in the window of time during which I would be willing to wait. We've only been separated for six months, but I've been waiting for him to figure this all out for much, MUCH longer than that.

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Misleading in the sense that it can make you feel like the spouse/marriage is what was keeping you from being happy, when that might not be the case at all, but it's common for figuring that part out to take a few months or more, because it has to run it's course naturally and can't be pushed by the spouse.


This is where he is right now, and where he will remain for a very long time, if not forever. Once he convinces himself of something, it's nearly impossible to shake him of any such conviction, even if you can disprove him with facts, evidence, and/or science. He's not as self-aware as he thinks he is, and if he knew himself only half as well as I know him, he might stand a chance at some sort of happiness.

I can't spend my life waiting around for him to figure things out. There's a better life for me than what he can offer, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let it pass me by because of a slim-to-none chance that he might wake up and figure it out.

Things will work out for me - just not with him. And I'm OK with that, for the most part. I'm working through it, and I'm getting there. Not the fastest process, but I'm moving ahead, and each day gets just a little better.
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post #30 of 295 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

JDL, forgive me but I don't remember your situation in particular. Are you and your wife still together or in reconciliation?

It can really be tough to overcome one's own ego, and I could see it being even harder for men.


bbird1: A handful of things have changed in the last few months, enough to the point that I might go ahead and start a new thread soon. But even if I were to imagine responding as if it were a few months ago when I first posted this, I think I would disagree. I would agree that it's important to not start bending over backwards for her, but to treat her worse that I would want to treat my wife on a good day would be a mistake. Doing so implies that she deserves my punishment or that she has a debt to repay or prove herself to me before she'll be worthy of being treated as my spouse.

I tend to think that a real reconciliation plan needs to reach a point of both spouses forgiving each other and agreeing to start with a clean slate. (Maybe with a few exceptions, like if one spouse had an affair or had a drug/alcohol problem, then perhaps there should be some terms in place for that, but purely for the sake of accountability, not control/punishment) Without that clean slate, there will always be that feeling of debt, that I was worse than her or she worse than me, that one of us can feel superior to the other, or that the past can be dug up to support any new disagreement/argument/frustration. To a degree, I think we had to bury the past and accept that we were different people, with different agenda's at that time. Any wrong or hurtful thing we did in the past usually happened because of the fact that we weren't husband and wife at those times, we didn't have that obligation to each other.

It's like... I dated a lot of women during the separation. I was married, we were no longer pursuing divorce, so really it was adultery. She could be angry as hell at me forever about that. But realistically, she was still living in a relationship with the OM, we weren't really talking, certainly not seeing each other or doing anything together, and there was zero separation plan or even an indication of a reconciliation on the horizon. I was alone, living for myself, and how could she really honestly blame me? So I wasn't sneaking around behind her back or breaking an active commitment to her in seeing other women. That commitment had been broken long before. I think viewing it all this way also helps with the forgiveness.

So I don't know about "babying" her, but I do intend to treat her the way I think a wife should be treated, from day one. Enough time has passed and she has taken enough steps to show that she is committed to reconciliation that I do not fear that this is a ploy or anything like that. If there is no cause for fear, and forgiveness has been given on both sides, then I believe it is best to start fresh.
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