Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation - Page 7 - Talk About Marriage
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post #91 of 295 (permalink) Old 10-17-2013, 04:32 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

cd, you have a good heart... but it's sounding like you're making a LOT of excuses for her. A LOT of excuses.

You say she's been through the ringer with men in your most recent post, but from the outside it reads like a laundry list of bad choices on her part. She made really bad choices; why are you now expected to pay for that?

I understand that you think you're paying up for your own bad behavior in your marriage, but sometimes you have to say enough is enough. Problem is, you're not saying anything; you're letting her run you roughshod and take advantage of you, because you think that's what you deserve. I see someone martyring himself because he thinks that he deserves to be punished for what he did.


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post #92 of 295 (permalink) Old 10-17-2013, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

Maybe you are right Feminist. I definitely do think I deserve what I got, but I think I've really paid the price by now and at this point I just want to move forward. If my actions contributed to the issues she struggles with now however, then it wouldn't be right for me to not give her this chance to heal and start over.

With that said, I sure wouldn't mind getting some advice on how I can turn things around a little bit at this point. And I don't mean advice like, "Kick her to the curb and move on!" or "Give her an ultimatum and two weeks to shape up or ship out!" type of advice. We're in too deep for something like that and I wouldn't want things to end BADLY anyway, especially with our 9 year old daughter involved. It would be especially hard on her for things to not work out this time after my wife has already moved back home and been led to believe that things are "going to be alright now."

Are there any baby step type expectations that I could fairly lay out for her? Perhaps some that could force her to make some additional effort that matches her assurances, without asking her to go from 5mph to 100mph all at once?
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post #93 of 295 (permalink) Old 10-17-2013, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

I've been thinking about changing my approach a bit. She knows I am eager to be romantic again, to have fun with her, go out on dates, go dancing or to movies, etc. but she isn't interested so I haven't been able to. I've been thinking about just going out and doing one of those things on my own or with some friends, just showing that if she isn't interested in having fun with me, then I'm more than willing to go it alone and leave her at home. Nothing mean about it, no expression of anger/frustration/disappointment with her, and willing to be flexible as far as when I go so that it doesn't interfere with her schedule. Of course, I wouldn't be going on dates with other women or anything, but I can go out and do a lot of things myself or with friends perfectly innocently.
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post #94 of 295 (permalink) Old 10-17-2013, 05:32 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

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Maybe you are right Feminist. I definitely do think I deserve what I got, but I think I've really paid the price by now and at this point I just want to move forward. If my actions contributed to the issues she struggles with now however, then it wouldn't be right for me to not give her this chance to heal and start over.

With that said, I sure wouldn't mind getting some advice on how I can turn things around a little bit at this point. And I don't mean advice like, "Kick her to the curb and move on!" or "Give her an ultimatum and two weeks to shape up or ship out!" type of advice. We're in too deep for something like that and I wouldn't want things to end BADLY anyway, especially with our 9 year old daughter involved. It would be especially hard on her for things to not work out this time after my wife has already moved back home and been led to believe that things are "going to be alright now."

Are there any baby step type expectations that I could fairly lay out for her? Perhaps some that could force her to make some additional effort that matches her assurances, without asking her to go from 5mph to 100mph all at once?
Fair enough, but if she's playing you, then you need to move on -- because her stringing you along is just as bad as anything you did to her.

I think at some point very, very soon, you're going to need to lay things out for her regarding what you need (and are not getting) out of the relationship. If you don't want to rush her, establish steps and deadlines together. She should WANT to have a fully functioning marriage; if she hems and haws, I expect that our other friends on TAM are right, and she's playing you.

At some point, you need to stop blaming yourself for everything that's gone wrong in your marriage, and for what's wrong with her. I get it. She had a bad childhood. Her first boyfriend was a d!ck. You were a d!ck to her before, and so on and so forth. But remember, those were HER CHOICES. She makes bad choices because of her own issues, and if she's not willing to put on her grown-up panties and deal with her issues head-on, your marriage isn't going to re-cover. I fully put the responsibility on her if she's not putting in the effort, fixing her problems, and learning to make bad choices.

~Happily un-married since December 9, 2013~

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post #95 of 295 (permalink) Old 10-17-2013, 10:03 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

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Originally Posted by cdbaker View Post
I've been thinking about changing my approach a bit. She knows I am eager to be romantic again, to have fun with her, go out on dates, go dancing or to movies, etc. but she isn't interested so I haven't been able to. I've been thinking about just going out and doing one of those things on my own or with some friends, just showing that if she isn't interested in having fun with me, then I'm more than willing to go it alone and leave her at home. Nothing mean about it, no expression of anger/frustration/disappointment with her, and willing to be flexible as far as when I go so that it doesn't interfere with her schedule. Of course, I wouldn't be going on dates with other women or anything, but I can go out and do a lot of things myself or with friends perfectly innocently.
Brother you know what I have stated previously and I have not changed my position. I believe your wife is fairly to severely impaired in the EQ arena. I have seen choices she has made, that would make her a pariah with most, be excused by you. You always reflect on yourself as Fem/Pink has stated.

If she is unwilling or unable to get intensive IC, then I think you should. You should improve as a person as much as possible and ALPHA UP. You may be alpha enough, but from your posts it seems maybe not. You do have to be willing to lose your marriage to save it, right now from what everyone can see, it is a big pile!! You are not happy and making progress, and she seems happy to remain very dis-functional.

If she will not work at becoming a better person, then you should!! If nothing else, you will be a better man for your daughter and yourself. Maybe your self improvements will even catch her eye, BUT DO NOT LOOK TO HER FOR APPROVAL!! You must find self worth outside of her perceptions of you. Honestly, her opinion should not be respected right now anyway as she is pretty screwed up.

Still hoping the best for you, but the ingredients that made your marriage taste like sh1t before are still there.
For heavens sake CHANGE THE INGREDIENTS!!
Take care. Conan
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post #96 of 295 (permalink) Old 10-18-2013, 08:26 AM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

Cdbaker, you've been a great help to me since I entered TAM and during that time, I've noticed through your posts that your alpha/beta balance has shifted towards the beta. When you were giving me advice, you were very much alpha and advising me to focus on myself. You aren't focusing on yourself anymore. Your full focus is on her and fixing the marriage. It seems as if you are trying to force things onto the track. She's in the house. That's a good thing. The next step (all baby steps) is her taking the initiate to want to spend quality time with you. It seems like she isn't at that stage yet. Continue to focus on bettering yourself. Re-read some of the books to refocus. For me, I've said that I have to logically give my situation twice the amount of time to heal that it took to fall apart. Your timeframe might be a long, drawn out one and if you're 'in it to win it', then get mentally prepared for it.
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post #97 of 295 (permalink) Old 10-18-2013, 10:38 AM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

I really think you should consider getting her out of your house. If I am right, and I hope I'm not, she is setting you up for a custody battle that will make your present day life look like a bed of roses. Let's face it, man...you don't have anything close to a marriage. Like someone else said, this is painful to read. I can't imagine how painful it must be to live.
You deserve more than that. You are a good guy, and I can see that just from reading your posts. It really shines through.

If you are absolutely insistent that you won't kick her out, I believe you are correct in going out by yourself. At this point it wouldn't hurt to have women calling you openly. Not that you plan on having sex with them, but just to get your wife jealous. IMO you have 0 to lose, so maybe try this as a last resort.

Last thing, I think you are being WAY TOO passive about the sex thing. You have endured far more than any person should be expected to in light of her affairs. This is your wife, and to have an expectation of sex is more than reasonable. Perhaps it's time to put the heat on your wife? I'd be starting conversations, making comments, maybe even starting fights at this point. Push her off the fence, in other words.
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post #98 of 295 (permalink) Old 10-18-2013, 12:10 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

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I really think you should consider getting her out of your house. If I am right, and I hope I'm not, she is setting you up for a custody battle that will make your present day life look like a bed of roses. Let's face it, man...you don't have anything close to a marriage. Like someone else said, this is painful to read. I can't imagine how painful it must be to live.
You deserve more than that. You are a good guy, and I can see that just from reading your posts. It really shines through.

If you are absolutely insistent that you won't kick her out, I believe you are correct in going out by yourself. At this point it wouldn't hurt to have women calling you openly. Not that you plan on having sex with them, but just to get your wife jealous. IMO you have 0 to lose, so maybe try this as a last resort.

Last thing, I think you are being WAY TOO passive about the sex thing. You have endured far more than any person should be expected to in light of her affairs. This is your wife, and to have an expectation of sex is more than reasonable. Perhaps it's time to put the heat on your wife? I'd be starting conversations, making comments, maybe even starting fights at this point. Push her off the fence, in other words.
Wilderness is right, you've got nothing to lose -- except all the time you're wasting right now. I think it's time to tell her, sh!t or get off the pot.

~Happily un-married since December 9, 2013~
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post #99 of 295 (permalink) Old 10-19-2013, 08:48 AM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

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Wilderness, Harry, Bandit, Sammy, etc... Maybe you are all right, maybe she is playing me. I'm still at this point convinced that she is not, due to a number of reasons, many of which I have detailed here and maybe a few I haven't.

One more thing that's worth piecing together, going all the way back to her freshman year of high school, she has had relationships with four different men since that time, ALL of whom have betrayed her in some extreme way, and all of those also included sexual betrayal. To summarize:

1. 9th Grade BF...

2. Me...

3. OM #1...

4. Final OM #2...


She is 29 years old... Having been repeatedly used, betrayed, or witness to betrayal and broken promises her entire life, who could blame her???
Wow. Reading your accounts of your wife's sexual history, I think its no wonder she is hesitant to be affectionate. She has been betrayed by every man she's ever had sex with. You don't get into detail about her ability to orgasm but reading her sexual history I wonder if that's an issue too - if she's ever orgasmed with a partner or gotten physical pleasure from sex. If she hasn't AND this is her sexual history, sex could be a giant, ugly monster for her psychologically. That doesn't make her asexual or incapable of physical pleasure, it just means the road to sexual pleasure is an uphill battle.

I think the term "playing you" is an unfair judgment on your wife but I also think it is fair for you to expect some signs of progress on her part. You've clearly stated your position on what you think progress would be, she isn't showing it. The next logical step really is marriage counselling and if that isn't a possibility for whatever reason you may have to face the fact that you've done everything you can, you shouldn't have to pay for your "sins" forever, and she just isn't there. Accept living indefinitely as roommates or lovingly help her to move out.
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post #100 of 295 (permalink) Old 10-19-2013, 08:52 AM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

One more thing...when I read that she's only 29, that gave me some hope. My sexual peak didn't happen until my mid-30's. At some point in the next few years her hormones may kick her into sexual high gear whether she likes it or not.

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post #101 of 295 (permalink) Old 10-21-2013, 02:43 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

Cdbaker:

Wow, Cdbaker, you are an incredibly insightful and introspective person.

Because of that, and after reading the post I have included in this post, I think this relationship has a chance at reconciliation. I for one am rooting for you two.

There is nothing wrong with admitting that you want her back, absolutely nothing. Particularly regarding the swinging issue, but even without that really.

Can you, by any chance, step up the sexual connection stuff. Sex can reconnect that physical emotional bond in a way that nothing else can.

Have you attempted to be sexual with her? If so, has she rejected it? If so, has she said why she does not want to be sexual?


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Tulsy: As I said, it's a terribly long story. I can say that I know I share a large portion of the responsibility for what happened. I never cheated, abused her or yelled/screamed, never drank or did drugs or gambled or any of the "obvious" things that a man can do to ruin a marriage, but I was a piss-poor husband. I left her starved for affection, used guilt and manipulation freely, got into some pretty messed up sexual fantasies and more. I drove her away, to the point that any guy who gave her a tiny bit of positive attention, would leave her captivated and vulnerable. I loved her dearly and thought I was a good husband by not doing any of the bad "obvious" things listed above, I worked hard to provide a good living, bought her gifts and supported activities/friends, but in the other important relational/emotional ways, I failed miserably. Cheating was absolutely wrong, she knows that, but I drove her to it, and in some screwy ways even endorsed it. (there was a time when we tried swinging) The sex offender was a smooth talking, manipulative dead beat, all three factors needed for a woman in her position. (charisma to charm her and lure her in, manipulative to break down her values to get her to do what he wanted, a dead beat so as to be "above her" in any way, so she would never have to feel inferior to him, which given her poor self esteem at that time, was a breath of fresh air to not have to worry if you are "good enough")

So maybe I have rug swept a few things, and I know no one should blame themselves fully when a partner cheats, but I am also supremely confident that her adultery never would have occurred if I had been even a half-decent husband. So I feel if I have learned from my mistakes and be a good husband going forward, then I shouldn't have anything to fear from her in that area.
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post #102 of 295 (permalink) Old 10-21-2013, 03:06 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

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I've been thinking about changing my approach a bit. She knows I am eager to be romantic again, to have fun with her, go out on dates, go dancing or to movies, etc. but she isn't interested so I haven't been able to. I've been thinking about just going out and doing one of those things on my own or with some friends, just showing that if she isn't interested in having fun with me, then I'm more than willing to go it alone and leave her at home. Nothing mean about it, no expression of anger/frustration/disappointment with her, and willing to be flexible as far as when I go so that it doesn't interfere with her schedule. Of course, I wouldn't be going on dates with other women or anything, but I can go out and do a lot of things myself or with friends perfectly innocently.

All of the above sounds like an excellent idea.

Always invite her along, too. But, if she says, no, go out yourself, anyway.

You guys need to rebond by being sexual again. It's a chemistry thing. It's really important.

No pressure, though...perhaps romance or being more alpha by working out and getting your own hobbies and showing her that you can be happy without her, if need be.
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post #103 of 295 (permalink) Old 10-21-2013, 03:38 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

Cdbaker,

Believe me,I understand what you are feeling, because sometimes even though we know what we're doing is so crazy, and we know we aren't acting in our best interest, and we do hear what others are telling us, it's just so hard to let go. Sometimes, we just don't know how to do it. Nor want to do it, nor ready to do it.

~ sammy
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post #104 of 295 (permalink) Old 10-28-2013, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

I imagine that most of you are right to some degree or another. I just struggle to believe a lot of it based on what I see with my own eyes. She hasn't kissed or even lovingly touched me in any way for over three and a half years (again, realize that we were separated and on a divorce path for over 3 of those years), but in the last few weeks alone she's been framing and hanging dozens of our family photos on our walls, planning a wedding trip to family on the east coast next year, going brides maid dress shopping with my sister (who gets married in May), etc. So she seems to be able to commit to the marriage in just about every way except physically.

So yes, I struggle with the idea of pushing harder when the reality is that she is committing in a lot of ways, just not the ways that fulfill me the most.

So should I walk away? Maybe, but I'm not willing to do so just yet, certainly not right before the holidays anyway. Instead I first want to find ways to try to move us forward. I have suggested marriage counseling or individual counseling for her, and thus far she has said she doesn't want to do either. Why do most people turn down the idea of counseling? I think it usually either A. because the person doesn't care enough about the situation to fix it, B. because the person doesn't believe anything is wrong with the situation or their behavior, or C. because the person is afraid that they will be "busted" and be asked to change/do something they don't want to do. I'm convinced that the reason for her opposition is 90% scenario C and maybe 10% scenario B.

Scenario B because she believes so strongly that her past, and our past, sort of gives her a pass on having to commit herself physically, at least for a long time. Scenario C because she struggles enormously when it comes to guilt, being told that she is wrong or at fault, and doesn't know how to handle those feelings well. So if she already knows that being physical with me in any way, shape or form makes her extremely uncomfortable, and she knows that it is really important for any relationship, then why would she want to commit to counseling if she already knows he/she is going to direct her to commit to something that makes her uncomfortable?

It's the same mentality that keeps a lot of people from going to the doctor. Someone who hasn't been to the doctor for ten years should probably go get a check-up, but if they are enormously afraid that they'll be told that something is wrong with them that will require a lot of treatment, or worse, then a lot of those people simply choose to not go to the doctor in the first place.

I could insist that we go to marital counseling, but her other excuse would be that she is a full time nursing school student and works part time as well. Simply that she wouldn't have time. She graduates from nursing school in about six weeks, so I'm inclined to just schedule something for after her graduation so that she won't have that excuse.
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post #105 of 295 (permalink) Old 10-28-2013, 05:10 PM
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Re: Wife moving back in after 3+ year separation

It will be quite illuminating to see what her attitude is after she finishes nursing school and is financially able to survive on her own. I feel terrible for you. Not to beat a dead horse, but from the outside, this seems pretty obvious.
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