Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation - Page 4 - Talk About Marriage
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post #46 of 295 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 04:50 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

Do you think you should just make a move on her one day? I don't think waiting on her to jump on you is a reasonable expectation nor do I think an intellectual conversation regarding sex will yield much either. Why not just pursue her organically like you would any other woman?

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post #47 of 295 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 05:28 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

...frustrates me to think that she can't just suck it up and hold my hand on a walk for example.

This is not good.

And I do think it's admirable that you are trying to rebuild your marriage and maybe as long as the environment you have created is positive for your daughter, then perhaps you should ride out 2014.

But what you are describing, while it could change for the better, tells me there's a long way to go before she's ready to be a real wife to you.

Is your home owned by you? How would things go if she initiates a divorce after she graduates from nursing school?

If you haven't done so yet I'd consult with a family law attorney and discuss how your new living conditions - her living with you now - would impact a divorce e.g. custody issues/alimony/child support. All that good stuff...
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post #48 of 295 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

Feminist: Yes she can be physical with her family, in that her mom will seek her out for a hug before she leaves, and she loves hugging her nieces and our daughter, etc. But I can see how this would be totally different, in that they have never hurt or betrayed her before, and there is absolutely ZERO sexual "threat" involved.

Where as with me, not only have I personally hurt/betrayed her in the past, but I am also another man with whom she entrusted her heart that betrayed her. And while I have assured her that I understand that anything sexual is 100% off the table and I have thus far kept my promise, she understands that there is always a sexual element involved when it involves a man who is sexually attracted to her. I'm sure every woman has experienced scenarios where they find themselves induced into a hug with someone who they do not want to send any wrong messages to. Maybe it's an ex-boyfriend/husband, a creepy uncle, whoever, so they are hesitant in the hug and anxious for it to be over quick. She doesn't have to deal with or experience any of that with her family, so I don't think it's relevant.

I'm also pretty sure she is aware now of the situation. Just to be sure, yesterday afternoon is when she and I had a pretty long talk where I tried again to stress just how important to me it is, and specifically to clarify that I am only particularly referring to non-sexual touches at this time. I explained that a lot of the kinds of touching I am referring to could totally seem silly to a lot of people, that such things aren't important to most people anyway, and certainly not AS important to someone who is in a normal healthy sexual relationship. But given our situation, and lack of a sexual connection, it is that much more important to me. I asked her to just please understand that physical touch is extremely necessary in order for me to feel love and (more importantly) respect, especially when there is zero sexual activity. I explained that it is very very hard for me to stay motivated and happy without it, and asked her to think of the things that I do that make her feel loved and understand that physical touch is every bit as important to me as those things are to her.

That extended conversation took place yesterday, and she seemed to accept it and said she would try to more actively look for opportunities for touching of some kind. She just asked me to be patient with her, which I can understand. We'll see what happens.

Workingonme: Certainly it has occurred to me in the past that she could just be using me to get herself through the last semester of school and then plan to move on shortly after graduation. However, I believe firmly that this isn't the case. She was doing just fine by herself for one. She got rid of her apartment and dumped most of the furniture she had acquired in the three years we were apart. She has emptied her savings account on things for our home that she couldn't exactly take with her (repainting rooms, replacing living room floor and trim, etc.) and because she figured she doesn't need it anymore. She has put a tremendous amount of effort into our home, and has been very public to all of our friends and family about our reconciling. I just can't see why she would need to use me, go through all that effort, go through the public embarrassment of another break-up, etc. if she just wants to use me.

Admittedly, if she had wanted to come home and reconcile shortly after she had left back in 2010, I might have been more concerned. Back then her "act" was a mess, she was struggling, had very little family and friend support, etc. It would have made sense for her to use me to achieve her goals then. Now however, she has really sacrificed to come back home and has made it very difficult to leave and start over again if she were to reach that point. So no, I don't think she is using me.

BrockLanders: I actually sort of tried something like that over the weekend. Got the idea from a book to just try to pick a good time and go in for a real, deep kiss while pulling her close. Again I didn't want to make it sexual, as that would probably scare her at this point given her past. The idea indicated that if she turns her head, to go ahead and try to turn it back for the kiss to test whether she is really truly adamantly against it, or is just playing hard to get and wants you to push her boundaries a tiny bit.

It didn't end in disaster, but she firmly turned her head and sort of pushed away. I laughed it off and we both walked away, but it was very disappointing. Yesterday during our talk, she brought up that attempt as being very offensive and pushy to her. I apologized for it, noting that I wasn't trying to make her feel that way, but also explained why I had done so and she seemed to be understanding of it. Maybe it is something I will try again someday as I know there is merit to the concept, but just not for a while. Also, I can't really just pursue her organically like any other woman, because unlike any other woman, she and I have lots of negative history between us.

Iver: Yep, it's a great environment for our daughter. We're both good parents I think. And yes, I definitely agree that it does appear that it could be a long time before she is able to be a "real wife" to me. At the same time, it's not like I don't share in the responsibility for that being the case. I do love her, I do believe that she intends to be a "real wife" someday, I just have to have a bit of faith that it will actually happen.

We do own the home (both of us, together). I don't know if things would change any regarding her filing for divorce after she graduates nursing school vs... well you didn't suggest an alternative. The reality is that she is back home now, fully integrated, and I can't really go back to the way it was before. I do know that the way things were lined up back in early 2011 when the final divorce hearing was days away, I was set up to get the house (in fact she would have to pay me half of the difference between what the home was then worth and what our loan was, adding up to about $5,000), keep my retirement accounts, split our outstanding debts equally and I would get 100% residential custody and 50% legal custody. About as good of a divorce as a Father can get in the midwest. But that is the past, I took the risk of dropping it and I don't have any regrets. Now I think if it were to go to divorce, everything would be more or less equal or maybe slightly in favor of her for being a woman.

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post #49 of 295 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 06:18 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

Well, I think you are showing a lot of courage to step up on this and I hope it works out.

Good Luck.
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post #50 of 295 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 08:33 AM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

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You must realize she's not there to be your wife don't you? I mean really, you don't know she's using you to get her act together? After all this time you haven't figured it out?
This is a definite possibility and should be considered. CD, I would hate to see her break your heart all over again because she got your hopes up.

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post #51 of 295 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

Feminist: Yep, I replied to WorkingOnMe's comment in my last reply above. Early on I knew I should keep an eye out for that. I knew I needed to see her truly commit, not just seeking support from me while withholding everything else in reserve. By committing her full savings account, dramatically scaling back her work hours (giving up her full time hours for very sparse part time hours), getting rid of not just her apartment but the vast majority of her furniture, the effort and money she put into improving our home, the way she has publicly made clear to everyone that we are back together, not to mention assuring our daughter of that as well, and more, all tells me that she is committed. If she didn't want to commit and just wanted to use me, I would have thought she would at least keep her savings account full, store all of her furniture, be hesitant to publicly acknowledge our full reconciliation, and not make assurances to our daughter. I'd see her holding back, and I don't think she is holding anything back. The only issue I've seen of concern is our physical relations, but I know that has long been an issue for her and our last MC made clear to me that that part would be an issue we'd have to work on for a while before we got it to where we want it to be. So really, all of my expectations there have been met.
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post #52 of 295 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 03:56 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

WOW!!! I commend you cdbaker for being a strong and understanding person. Wish there's a lot of human beings like you. Who sees their own faults and not just their partners. Who has the courage to face it and correct it. Amiable.
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post #53 of 295 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 08:26 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

cdbaker,

Hey.

I followed your profile to this thread, I'm in awe of what you are doing. I really respect it.

I think you have beatin the odds up to this point.

Many men would not try.

Do you think its the fact that you have owned your part in the marriage problems that has helped you to stay open to reconcilation?

I want to offer something that happened in my marriage in hopes that it might be helpful.

It is easier to give advice when a new BS is trying to sort out the mess he has discovered, but these things are so much more complicated, at least to me.

My wife and I had a "lost decade", we were raising 4 teenagers as we tried to deal with the progression of her MS, and the difficulty of the toxiccisity of our personalities together. (I was way too passive, and she way to demanding), it seemed like a perfect strom.

It was really after I came to TAM that I realized what needed to happen, our situation was different then yours, but it seems like there may be an intersection here.

I had failed to pay proper attention to my wife, so I made the correction (Combined with stepping up in leadership appropriately.), one day as we sat and faced each other talking I stroked her hair behind her ear, I had not done it in years, it was unconscious on my part (I just liked her, the sympathy had returned) until I realized it. She responded to that talk (ok we had sex, but that was not my goal), I think without realizing why (attention).

We had been connecting up to that point again, but prior to that talk I had to go away, for business, she actually missed me, and when I returned (based on that) she said "I guess I really do love you" (because she missed me).

Woman are so different then men, she wanted to feel it not just commit to it.

At the time I was pretty oblivious to what was happening.

I am not saying,
1. Connect
2. Go away so she can miss you
3. Stroke her hair behimg her ears

I'm just hoping the gestalt from this might be helpful.

Cd I really wish you well,
Take care!
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post #54 of 295 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 07:29 AM
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Feminist: Yep, I replied to WorkingOnMe's comment in my last reply above. Early on I knew I should keep an eye out for that. I knew I needed to see her truly commit, not just seeking support from me while withholding everything else in reserve. By committing her full savings account, dramatically scaling back her work hours (giving up her full time hours for very sparse part time hours), getting rid of not just her apartment but the vast majority of her furniture, the effort and money she put into improving our home, the way she has publicly made clear to everyone that we are back together, not to mention assuring our daughter of that as well, and more, all tells me that she is committed. If she didn't want to commit and just wanted to use me, I would have thought she would at least keep her savings account full, store all of her furniture, be hesitant to publicly acknowledge our full reconciliation, and not make assurances to our daughter. I'd see her holding back, and I don't think she is holding anything back. The only issue I've seen of concern is our physical relations, but I know that has long been an issue for her and our last MC made clear to me that that part would be an issue we'd have to work on for a while before we got it to where we want it to be. So really, all of my expectations there have been met.
Your wife needs some intensive IC. You could benefit as well. Then if after your heads are straight, you still want to be married, you could do MC. Your marriage was a failure before and I cannot see how having the ability to get it on with other men including one old enough to be her father and a child molester to boot, is working on her issues. So while she was banging other guys, something she apparently reserves for any creep besides her husband, she improves her education and finances so that fixes things in your mind? She is simply a better equipped dysfunctional person! She would not be back if not for the fantastic decision to start sleeping with an old man who turned out to be a monster. You might have been a crappy husband but she was also a crappy wife. You need to quit trying to own and fix this broken person. She doesn't even touch you but OM... NO PROBLEM! Your love for her is evident, I am in no way convinced she loves you, but if you expect to have a chance, she needs professional help, and she needs to want help. It can be done, you can save your marriage, but not the way your doing it and it has to take more than just your commitment. She really needs to start some heavy lifting! IC. I hope the best for you and your family.
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post #55 of 295 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 09:14 AM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

no matter what, i keep my guard up if i were you, think ahead and picture yourself dealing with the same thing all over again, if she does it again she will think you will take her back again.

but props to you for doing it

best of luck buddy


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post #56 of 295 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

PlatinumGirl: Thank you for your kind words, but as they say, "Knowing is [only] half the battle!" I still have a lot of doing left to do.

Decorum: Thank you as well, but really I'm no saint here, in fact I'm confident I'm more responsible for my messy marriage than my wife is.

To answer your first question, without a doubt it is the fact that I was able to own my part of the marriage problems that enabled me (and my wife for that matter) to remain open to reconciliation. If you read my story, remember I was viewed as a wonderful husband and father, and treated as if I was a saint after my wife's affair became public. Given that I already had an ego problem, it would have been easy for me to revel in those moments believe everything those outside the marriage were thinking. But I loved my wife, and the reality was that I was losing her, so my choice was that I could be the "saintly husband" whose wife is going to divorce him, or I could invest myself into figuring out what had torn my marriage apart. I started listening to my wife, sought counseling, and began reading a lot of books. And truthfully, if I wasn't at least 50% responsible for the problems or I never figured that out, then that just makes her a repeat offender cheating wife, and I would not want her back.

I think that's what a lot of this comes down to. I fully believe that my behavior and my treatment of my wife and marriage is what led her to being so susceptible to another man's seduction. No doubt, she bears responsibility for the choices she made and while I have certainly forgiven her, I can't forget that. So therefore I also believe that if it hadn't been for my own issues that left her feeling unloved and unvalued for years, she never would have even considered cheating. Remembering back to who she was back when she still trusted me fully, she was an absolutely amazing friend, lover and wife, and I believe she can be that again, and she's stated plainly that she wants to be that again, just as she wants me to be that to her as well. So I believe we are worth another chance. If it turns out that I am wrong about her, then that could certainly change things, but for now I am taking her at her word.

I think I am following your story here. Does MS mean something other than the disease? That's awesome that you both reconnected that way after so long. I'm sure you wish it could have happened sooner!

I think it's really really tough for people to just stop and question themselves. To question whether what they believe to be true is really true, or if there are other ways to see and interpret the same thing, whether you are "right" or not.
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post #57 of 295 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 12:31 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

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So two weeks ago, my wife of ten years essentially moved back home to the house I've continued to maintain with our 9-year old daughter. I say "essentially" only because we'll be moving her stuff back home over the next month or two before her apartment lease ends in August. Our separation began around April of 2010, briefly cohabited again in June 2010, before she again left for a new "other man" in July 2010.

Our story is incredibly long and involved (as are many others stories here I imagine), so I'll spare the details here. Married young and became parents young, she grew up without a father (and all the issues that can come along with that), a lot of awful immaturity on both sides, multiple repeated affairs, several marriage counselors giving up on us, porn addiction, eventually a bit of alcohol/drug issues, depression, etc. In the last year, things seem to improve substantially when the "other man" my wife was seduced by was arrested and sentenced to a 3-year prison term for sexual exploitation of a minor under 13y/o. He was (unsurprisingly) an incredibly manipulative individual twice her age who essentially "captured" my wife and withdrew her from her friends, family (including our daughter), etc. and it wasn't until several months after he had been gone that she finally woke up to what had happened. Really I think it was the fact that I knew that she was under his spell and thus wasn't "herself", that enabled me to endure all this time without pulling the trigger on divorce.

I am writing this post because I think I have an incredible story to tell here and I hope to someday be able to use it to help others. So to that end, I first hope that others will see this title and find hope that even the most hopeless looking situations are not necessarily hopeless at all. I've read stories of couples being separated for a year or so, or even divorcing and then reconnected years later with another marriage in between, but I haven't yet seen any stories of couples surviving a 3+ year separation. Granted, we were extremely close to divorce on multiple occasions, with lawyers hired and court dates set (and then delayed, and delayed, and delayed), new lawers hired, lots of dating in between, etc. As any divorced person will tell you, you've never seen the worst of someone until they realize that their impending divorce from you will not go the way they hoped. It's a miserable and financially ruinous thing to go through, and should be avoided at absolutely, without question, all costs.

Certainly we're not exactly out of the woods, her being home only two weeks now. We started this most recent road to recovery back in October last year and little by little we have been reconnecting stronger every week. I let her move into the bedroom while I sleep on the couch just down the hall in order to let her get herself accustomed slowly. There are still some very large issues that we'll have to move past as well, such as:

1. Relationship: We aren't being physical AT ALL. No sex, no kissing, quick friendly hugs are about the limit for the moment.
2. While we have processed through the things that brought our marriage down to begin with, and have corrected most of them, we have not discussed at length much that has transpired during our separation. I imagine there are a lot of questions we both have, like, "how many people have you slept with?" or "When did this or that affair start?" or "What do you think has changed about yourself or what have you discovered in the last three years?", etc.
3. Combining income/expenses again.
4. Trust Rebuilding. This will naturally be a long-term step for both of us.
5. Communication. Another long term step, but it's really lacking right now as we both feel like we're walking on eggshells I think, or at least I do. Not out of fear that I'll anger her, but I don't want to bring up things that will make her uncomfortable too quickly or assume the wrong thing.
6. Sex. Physicality in general. Did I mention that one? Yeah I probably did.

So if anyone has any advice for me on good ways to proceed from here, it would be most welcomed!
FALSE R.

She moves back in and you get the couch? Seriously? She's only back temporarily until the next OM, while you are the back up plan. True Remorse is her busting her ass to win back your love. On the other hand, you waited out the affair.
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post #58 of 295 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

ConanHub: First, a couple of clarifications:

1. The OM had never been accused of or charged with anything sexual involving a minor to our knowledge, prior to him luring my wife into his world. His record reflected nothing of the sort. He was absolutely "creepy" according to most who knew him, and had a history of pursuing younger women, but there was nothing to directly indicate he was interested in anyone under 18 years old, let alone 13.
2. Her improving her finances and education "fixes" nothing in my mind, and is unrelated. If you are referring to what I said in the quote to Feminist in your post, the only thing I was saying in reference to finances and such is that among the things she has done to show her commitment, she has substantially damaged her capability to be quickly independent again. She didn't have to spend all of her independent saving account on our home that she would not want in a divorce. She did not have to throw/give away ALL of her furniture that she had acquired. She did not have to give up her lucrative full time position. She did not have to give up her apartment with whom she had an ideal roommate situation. Of course if she wanted to someday she could still move out and start all over again, but doing so would be substantially harder now because of the steps she has taken. To me, that is just one more indicator that she has no intentions of giving up on the marriage again.
3. Her hooking up with the "Old Man" didn't have anything to do with leading her to come back home to reconcile. He in fact is the main reason she didn't come back sooner.
4. We were both crappy spouses by the time things fell apart. We both have acknowledged that, and intend to correct it.
5. We might need further IC, I can admit that. I think she just wants some time first to try to process on her own first. If after a while there hasn't been much progress, then I think we'll evaluate that option.

Jntrs: Totally. I still feel confident that we won't find ourselves in this mess again, but I certainly keep my eyes and ears open for it to a degree. I am choosing to trust her, as it relates to any chance that she might cheat again. I'm choosing to trust her because I think it is necessary for healing. Are there days every once in a while (really not that often, I assure you) when I worry? Where something triggers me? Sure. But the way I see it, if she is going to cheat, then that is the end anyway. I can doom our R by being paranoid and distrustful, or I can give it the best effort and there is always a chance that I'll get burned later. The reality is however, that you absolutely cannot hope to repair a relationship without a willingness to be vulnerable.

Plus, she was a totally different person back when she was in the affairs. So even if she could hide the direct evidence, I'd still know that she was up to something very wrong pretty darn quickly I think.
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post #59 of 295 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

LordMayhem: I know this thread has gotten a little long now, but if you'd read further, you'd see that the couch situation was a temporary situation. I've been sleeping in bed with my wife for several weeks now, and she even had the couch thrown out as a symbol to say "we don't need it anymore". Even in the beginning she did not insist on me sleeping on the couch, because yeah that would be pretty awful for her to move back in and immediately try to make me move out of our bedroom and onto the couch.

No. After about 7 or 8 months of working on the relationship while separated, we decided it would be a good time for her to move back in, tentatively at first. The idea was that if we realized it was too early, she still had her apartment that she could go back to for another couple of months until we ironed out what was missing. We knew that sleeping together wouldn't be a good idea immediately, as it would just be awkward and she certainly still had some trust issues with that, so SHE offered to sleep on the couch. I'm a man however, and it felt incredibly wrong to me for my wife to sleep on the couch while i enjoyed the comfortable king-size bed. (I strongly believe that men should be the first to sacrifice for their family, and should never ask their family to sacrifice anything that he has not already given up.) So I really insisted on taking the couch.

For what it's worth, that couch was really damn comfortable. Not even kidding, that couch, which was probably 30 years old, stains all over it, shredded to hell by our cat, was more comfortable than our bed, and we have a pretty nice bed. (for being 8 or so years old anyway) Plus my TV and xbox were in that room, so yeah, that was fun. Hahaha. So aside from my wanting to sleep next to my wife of course, I really didn't mind the arrangement at all.
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post #60 of 295 (permalink) Old 09-14-2013, 07:02 AM
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ConanHub: First, a couple of clarifications:

1. The OM had never been accused of or charged with anything sexual involving a minor to our knowledge, prior to him luring my wife into his world. His record reflected nothing of the sort. He was absolutely "creepy" according to most who knew him, and had a history of pursuing younger women, but there was nothing to directly indicate he was interested in anyone under 18 years old, let alone 13.
2. Her improving her finances and education "fixes" nothing in my mind, and is unrelated. If you are referring to what I said in the quote to Feminist in your post, the only thing I was saying in reference to finances and such is that among the things she has done to show her commitment, she has substantially damaged her capability to be quickly independent again. She didn't have to spend all of her independent saving account on our home that she would not want in a divorce. She did not have to throw/give away ALL of her furniture that she had acquired. She did not have to give up her lucrative full time position. She did not have to give up her apartment with whom she had an ideal roommate situation. Of course if she wanted to someday she could still move out and start all over again, but doing so would be substantially harder now because of the steps she has taken. To me, that is just one more indicator that she has no intentions of giving up on the marriage again.
3. Her hooking up with the "Old Man" didn't have anything to do with leading her to come back home to reconcile. He in fact is the main reason she didn't come back sooner.
4. We were both crappy spouses by the time things fell apart. We both have acknowledged that, and intend to correct it.
5. We might need further IC, I can admit that. I think she just wants some time first to try to process on her own first. If after a while there hasn't been much progress, then I think we'll evaluate that option.

Jntrs: Totally. I still feel confident that we won't find ourselves in this mess again, but I certainly keep my eyes and ears open for it to a degree. I am choosing to trust her, as it relates to any chance that she might cheat again. I'm choosing to trust her because I think it is necessary for healing. Are there days every once in a while (really not that often, I assure you) when I worry? Where something triggers me? Sure. But the way I see it, if she is going to cheat, then that is the end anyway. I can doom our R by being paranoid and distrustful, or I can give it the best effort and there is always a chance that I'll get burned later. The reality is however, that you absolutely cannot hope to repair a relationship without a willingness to be vulnerable.

Plus, she was a totally different person back when she was in the affairs. So even if she could hide the direct evidence, I'd still know that she was up to something very wrong pretty darn quickly I think.
Hey CD. What I meant a about the creepy old man was that she would have continued with him and not returned to you had he not been caught. Also, her decision making ability seems to have been horribly impaired to go full intimate with a creepy old man in the first place. Charged or not, predators display some pretty disturbed behavior and everyone knew this Guy was weird but your wife went full on intimate relationship with him anyway. This decision shows seriously flawed reasoning and she would still be with him had he not been caught. You even had to intervene harshly to prevent your wife from placing your daughter in this monster's hands! Your wife has shown a dangerous lack of clear thinking and it could have cost your daughter her innocence. This primarily, is why, IMHO, your wife needs serous IC to correct a fatal thought process that could so easily harm her and her family! Kudos to you for having the presence of mind and character to prevent damage to your daughter. I do have sympathy for your wife. I am sure she is horrified at who she willingly allowed to touch her. I know she needs help to work out what went wrong in her reasoning and IC could probably clear up some intimacy issues between you and her as well. I really hope your family as a whole will fully heal and be healthy. Take care cd.
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