Author Topic: My Story Coming to the Conclusion that it May Be All Over  (Read 3020 times)

Offline akjomsvikingTopic starterTopic starter

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My Story Coming to the Conclusion that it May Be All Over
« on: April 27, 2016, 05:34:13 PM »
I've been reading everyone's stories and comments on this board for a couple of months now, and I've found it both depressing and enlightening.  It's remarkable how much in common we all have at least as far as how our MCLers are concerned.  I've been debating whether or not I should share my own story, since I didn't think it would add too much to the discussion.  But I'm at the point now where I'd legitimately like some advice, so hopefully by sharing my experiences some of you more experienced LBS's can give me some pointers.  Or at least assure me that it gets better, because honestly right now I find that almost impossible to believe.

My wife and I have been married for almost 15 years.  We were married in June in Spain, weeks before we both ended our time in the U.S. Navy.  We returned to the states and got started on LIFE together.  For a while it was great.  We were newlyweds and even though we were poor, we were in it together and each challenge was one that we faced as a team.  Eventually we went to college and graduated, again at almost the exact same time.  After graduation we moved up to Alaska, where we are currently living.

Our time in Alaska has been rocky.  We've been up here for nearly 10 years and our marriage has not been perfect by any means.  I always thought it was salvageable, just like most people here.  We had two children, who are now five and seven years old.  This seemed to distract my wife for a time and keep her from totally flaming out. 

I have had a drinking problem for many years and a little over two years ago (January of 2014) got my second DUI, which caused me to completely turn over a new leaf, and literally changed my life.  Since that time I have been actively working on myself and our marriage.  I believe that this change was (oddly) the catalyst for my wife's MLC.  I think that until I made that change she was kept busy enough with my shenanigans and the kids that she really couldn't get up to too much trouble.

She only works part time, and both kids are now in school full time.  In the summer months they are in full-time day care.  She has a LOT of spare time.  This caused her to get antsy and get into all kinds of new hobbies.  The vast majority of them were things that I was interested in as well, and for a time it seemed like we were going to go on this journey together.  She got into hunting, fishing, bought herself an extremely expensive ATV (around $11K).  What I did not know at the time but have since discovered is that these were things that her PA was into, and thus she got interested.  I did not find out about this affair until after it was over.  Long story short, that affair fizzled out and for about a year or so, we were getting better.  Working on our marriage, going on little adventures together, raising our daughters...basically just living like a married couple.  We rarely had sex, which worried me but I was trying so hard to reconnect to her as a wife that I honestly thought that it would come in time.  She upgraded her ATV to a very expensive model - around $15K and began to go on rides alone or with friends 2 or 3 times a week.

Then things began to get really difficult.  She was very detached, remote, hostile some times.  She would go away all day with friends, doing the exact same thing she always did, riding her stupid ATV along a trial system by a river by Anchorage.  She often treated me like a 3rd wheel, even when around friends that we had known for years.  In October of last year I finally sat her down and said, "What the heck is going on?  What are you doing?"  She looked me in the eye and said, "I want a divorce".  I consider that to be BD day, because until then I honestly had no idea that things were that bad.  I pressed her for her reasons, and they seemed completely ridiculous to me at the time.  I hadn't done any reading about MLC's at the time so I was mystified.  It basically came down to her wanting to do more adventurous things, even though we have a busier 'fun' life than ANYONE I know who has kids and normal jobs.  Everyone I know constantly tells me they are amazed at all the things our family gets up to.  But basically she said that she felt like she didn't get to get out enough and play.  My response was, why can't you do that and still be married?  How am I keeping you from doing that?  Why do we need to get a divorce so that you can (essentially) ride your ATV more often?  She was dumbstruck at this (honestly...this is how little she thinks things out now) and we decided to not be hasty, let her have even more freedom and see what happened.

Fast forward a few more months, until January of this year.  She met her SECOND PA guy, and this affair basically happened right in front of me.  She told me when she first met him, said that it was totally innocent and that he was just a friend who happened to own a plane (not that unusual in Alaska) and that he had offered to give her a ride in it sometime.  Again, not that terribly unusual, but something that we had always talked about doing TOGETHER as a fun experience.  I told her at the time that I had misgivings about it and it seemed like a recipe for disaster.  But she insisted that it was innocent and that she just wanted to see what it was like.  First time she rode in his plane, she came home a bit after dinner time and talked about how it was not that exciting and was almost like riding in a van in the sky or something. 

A few weeks later, she had had a rough couple of days with one of our girls who was sick at the time.  She had let the other daughter stay home so that they were all together.  I suggested that maybe she take the afternoon off, go to dinner with some friends or just relax in the house and take a bath.  I told her I'd make dinner, etc and she could just relax.  She texted me five minutes later and said that she was going on a plane ride with her friend.  Right away I knew that this was trouble.  It was highly unlike her to leave the kids in the house alone, and here it was 3:30 and I wouldn't be home for another 2 hours.  I KNEW in my heart that something was going to happen.  Sure enough, didn't hear from her ALL NIGHT until around 2:30 am, when I got a text from her saying that she was too tired to drive home and was going to stay out at his place.  We had a huge fight the next night, then a couple of days of very limited contact.  She then tearily confessed to me that she didn't know what she was doing and she was so sorry, she just didn't understand herself.  I thought, ok MAYBE this can be worked on.  15 years of marriage, two kids, and a home seem like a whole lot to throw away over someone acting the a$$ for a few weeks.

This was February.  My life since then has been an absolutely miserable rollercoaster.  One day she wants to stay and work things out, then she wants a divorce, then she doesn't know what she wants.  In order to give her space I suggested what I called a "carte blanche month", basically an entire month where she could do what she wanted with no repercussions from me - kind of an extended kitchen pass.  None of you more experienced people will be surprised to hear that at the end of that month, she was literally no further along in her mental or emotional journey than she had been at the beginning, even though she spent about half of it outside of the house. 

Over time things seemed (amazingly) to be getting better, very very slightly.  However I began to notice a cycle.  Things would get better, then she would drop some kind of emotional hand grenade.  Then things would slowly right themselves, then another hand grenade.  She had a long weekend trip planned to Arizona to visit a work friend who had moved (a woman), and immediately after that time I had a week-long trip planned to visit my father in Cleveland.  In between we only saw each other for a few minutes at the airport.  Before I left the house for the airport I had written her a long letter, explaining how I felt about her and my hopes for reconciliation and a future life together.  She sent me a text after she read it saying that even though she didn't think we had any "passion" in our marriage (no duh, after 15 years of marriage, we were not like teenagers) she did love me, loved our daughters, I mentally stimulated her, and that was enough for now.  "I will stay" were her words.

After my week in Cleveland, I got back home to learn that she had in fact continued to see her guy, the man who I can only refer to as her boyfriend at this point.  I mean they've known each other for three months now.  It was a very cold ride home from the airport.  We had an argument that night after we put the girls to bed, which led to me sleeping upstairs in a spare bedroom.  She again said that she wanted a divorce, and this time (for the first time) she added the bomb that she wanted ME to be the one that moved out, and that she would stay in our home with the girls.  I was absolutely at a loss.  I was exhausted from flying from Cleveland to Alaska and had no emotional energy to deal with what she was telling me.  I remember saying to her, "You are taking everything from me.  You are ruining my life.  How can you not see how cruel this all is?"  Typical MLC response, she saw my weakness and just stuck it in.  Finally I gathered my work clothes and went up to our spare room.  Around midnight she told me that she was devastated, and couldn't I sleep in our bed with her one more night?  I tried to do so but after about ten seconds, I just told her, "I can't do this, you were with him 48 hours ago.  I know that this is hard, but you're the one who's doing it."

The next night, as is our pattern, we had a much more civil discussion and I basically laid out a lot of things that I've learned from all the reading I've been doing.  Not about MLC in general, but more about re-igniting passion in a long term marriage, the concept of limerance, and how I thought her family's dismal record with marriage might be leading to her behavior.  She seemed very receptive and we were at least able to be friendly again.  I've been sleeping in our bed since then, and so has she.  No physical contact beyond the usual hugs or such.

That was last Thursday.  Last night, Tuesday, she spent the night with him again.  I feel like this is the beginning of the end.  I know that we are probably days out from her saying that she either wants to move out and try living apart for a while, or wants a divorce and that I need to move out.  I have been doing a lot of reading on these forums and I've come to a decision on the only two things that I think I have control over: 1) I will not file for a divorce, and 2) I will not move out of my house.

I am sorry that this is so long.  I am at a total loss and my brain just keeps getting hung up on how unnecessary this all is.  Literally everything that she's ever said that she doesn't like about our marriage, can be fixed (and fixed relatively easily) with just a bit of work.  Certainly more work than she's putting in to destroying it!  I know that I need to get to an acceptance state, and I don't see that happening for a LOOOONG time.  Months at least.  I'm also trying very hard to detach but she's been my best friend for so many years (or at least I thought of her that way) that it is tough for me to think of doing things without her.  I guess I have to now, whether I want to or not.  And I have been, at least over the past few months while she's been on this ridiculous, destructive journey.  I am constantly planning outings with my kids and keeping myself as busy as I can.  But I'm very slowly coming to the realization that nothing I do will impact the course she's set for herself.

Thanks for reading my story, and thanks in advance for any suggestions or kind words you might have.
2 Children
1st BD: May 2013
Reconciled Sept 2013
2nd BD: Oct 2015
Separation: Nov 2016
Dissolution: March 2017

Offline LearningIamOk

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Re: Coming to the Conclusion that it May Be All Over
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2016, 06:24:06 PM »
akjomsviking, welcome to the place that no one wants to be. I am sorry you are here, but happy that you have found us. We will help you to navigate your way. Your W seems highly confused, typical. I agree with your stance that you will not move out. SHE is the one who is unhappy and wants change, she needs to be the one who leaves.

Set strong boundaries now while she is so confused. It seems to set the pace for them to be Clingers. Clingers seem to reconcile more easily. I know you are devastated and fearful of anything that would push her away, but stand your ground. I remember being terrified that things I would do would push my xH further away. In hindsight, I see that when I told him just how it was going to be, he became fearful and closer. I couldn't keep that strength up as fear over took me. I wish I had. We might still be married.

Right now, keep working on yourself. I applaud you for doing so much work already concerning your drinking. Stay as calm and stable as you can for your girls. You will be the one teaching them how to deal with the ups and downs of life.
trying2bok

Offline akjomsvikingTopic starterTopic starter

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Re: Coming to the Conclusion that it May Be All Over
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2016, 08:47:53 PM »
Thanks so much Learning.  All of the people and their stories/suggestions on these forums have been such a help.to me already.  Really just knowing that I'm not the only one going through this, that I'm not crazy, has made a huge difference.  Little things like, how MLC'ers will suddenly talk about their life and marriage in the past as ALL bad, or the sudden mood changes or new obsessions...all of it is totally mystifying. 

One question that I have is, are there any effective ways to set boundaries?  I hear people say that on these threads all the time.  How do you set boundaries with someone who you literally have no control over?  I mean they ACT like a teenager, but they're not actually one.  You can't tell them what/what not to do.  Any concrete examples of how to do that?  Thanks in advance.
2 Children
1st BD: May 2013
Reconciled Sept 2013
2nd BD: Oct 2015
Separation: Nov 2016
Dissolution: March 2017

Offline Shadoe

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Re: Coming to the Conclusion that it May Be All Over
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2016, 08:59:04 PM »
Hi Ak,


I am sorry you find yourself here, but you will find a lot of information and support.


Boundaries are for you not the MLCer, if I remember correctly, and someone please correct me if I am wrong, they are to protect yourself and your children if you have them. You can't control what the MLCer will do but you can control what you are willing to accept from them. Some of the first advice I was given when I got here was protect yourself and your kids. Emotionally, physically and financially. Focus on you and leave them to do what they are going to do. You can't stop them and you can't help them. This is all about them.


Essentially they are a teenager again, not in age but in mentality. MLCer will regress to early times. You may see several children and well as the teenage behaviors.
And so she took the patches of her life and sewed them together to make wings.

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~Albert Einstein

Not my Circus, Not my monkeys. But if you're either going to force them on me or leave me to deal with them, don't be surprised when I give you back monkey carcasses.

Offline lawprofessor

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Re: Coming to the Conclusion that it May Be All Over
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2016, 09:32:21 PM »
Good Evening,

If I may toss out a few things about boundaries from my thoughts :

Boundaries are not about controlling someone else per se.  They are about you, perhaps like a fence, they protect you from unwanted intrusions.  They don't keep your wife fenced inside like the bars of a jail cell.

When selecting a boundary and resultant action, be sure, very darn sure,  you are willing to follow through if challenged or the boundary means nothing.

So for a concrete example-my then husband began calling on the phone and screaming at me.  He would scream steadily for oh say 20 minutes about how awful I was, how he hated me and wished I were dead. I got tired of that pretty quickly.  I told him if he called and screamed I would hang up.  So the next day he called and began screaming.  Very calmly I reminded him of my boundary.  "I told you if you called and screamed I was hanging up, so now I'm hanging up."  Click I hung up.  Well we did this about six more times before he got the message to not scream. 

Second example :  I told him "You will not telephone OW from my home or you will find you and your fruit of the looms on the curb."  He tried it once.  I calmly walked by him and out to the curb carrying a laundry basket of his clothes and dumped it on the curb.  Never happened again.

Third example :  He had a habit of spending large amounts of time explaining to me why we couldn't be together.  After a while that became rather tedious.  I began getting up and moving to another room.  The first evening I did it with consistency we he followed me around each room of the house,twice through the garage, once into the attic, and ended on the porch before it finally sunk in.

All the action was my responsibility.  I followed through each and every time. 

Consistency, no empty threats, protect yourself.  Not imprison her or she will try like any good POW to escape (POW-prisoner of war )

For protection and sanity and respect, not fatherly punishment for a bad child.

Hope it helps a bit !

Has spring come to Alaska ?

LP
if people won’t listen to you, there’s no point in talking to people. If they won’t listen, you’re just banging your head against a wall.

Sadly Ive used up all the time I had allotted to spend banging my head on the wall

Offline lawprofessor

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Re: Coming to the Conclusion that it May Be All Over
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2016, 09:38:40 PM »
Oh and be selective in what you make as to a boundary.  Is the thing important ?   Does it protect you in some way ?  Is it to punish her or protect you?   Be brutally honest with yourself and your motives.  Simple and direct is best.
if people won’t listen to you, there’s no point in talking to people. If they won’t listen, you’re just banging your head against a wall.

Sadly Ive used up all the time I had allotted to spend banging my head on the wall

Offline OldPilot

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Re: Coming to the Conclusion that it May Be All Over
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2016, 11:15:26 PM »
Welcome to the Board

You are in a good place.
Your H/W  is on his/her own journey.
You can not do anything to control this trip.
Come here and read or vent, we will listen.
Give your H/W space  he/she needs to heal himself/herself.

I would not ask him/her anything unless you can have no expectations.
Sometimes asking them questions will be thought of as pressure.
You do not want to do anything that can be thought of by your H/W as controlling or pressure.

Your need to start working on you.
There is nothing that you can do to help your H/W.

He/She has given you a gift.
It is time!!

Use the time wisely to make yourself a better person.
Look in the mirror to see what it is that you can improve.
Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.
GAL.

Read some books on depression. Both for yourself! And for H/W.
Believe none of what he/she says and 50% of what he/she does.

Read the resources from this site.
The links that are in my signature.

Detach. - The single most important thing you can do

The detach link and HB's 6 stages of MLC(rewritten from Jim Conway) located in the resources above.

Developing Detachment
http://jamesjmessina.com/toolsforcontrolissues/developdetachment.html

http://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/self-focus_releasers_detach.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/14712-developing-detachment/

Do you want a mentor?

Please make a post that says so and
If so one will be assigned shortly.

Keep posting and asking questions and we will try to answer them.

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon

Offline akjomsvikingTopic starterTopic starter

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Re: Coming to the Conclusion that it May Be All Over
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2016, 11:55:10 PM »
Thanks for all the recommendations.  Right now she's at home.  We went to dinner tonight, all four of us (me, my wife, and the girls).  It was very nice to have the family together.  I'm at a total loss here.  I have no real roadap.for how to proceed.  I know that it would be best for my girls and all of us really if we could stay together and work it out.  Our culture tells me that I need to freak out and blow up the marriage, maybe confront the OM and have some kind of confrontation.  My family (I've been talking to my dad and sister through lots of this) think I should just file for divorce and get it over with.  I just don't know what to do.  I try to take the high road and be the better man as well as I can.  Tonight I told her that it was good to have all four of us in the house together, and she said, "Thank you for always leaving the door open for me to return.  And not changing the locks."  I told her that she will always have a path back to me.  I just left it at that.  Tried to keep it simple and light, like you all suggest.  Trying to hang on to my sanity and be the better man at the same time is HARD sometimes.
2 Children
1st BD: May 2013
Reconciled Sept 2013
2nd BD: Oct 2015
Separation: Nov 2016
Dissolution: March 2017

Offline LearningIamOk

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Re: Coming to the Conclusion that it May Be All Over
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2016, 04:19:24 AM »
ak, please ignore what is culturally expected. This is your life and your kids' lives in the balance. You get to choose and not be dictated to how to proceed. What can you live with? You need to be able to look yourself in the mirror and have no regrets. MLC takes a really loooonnnnggg time. People in real life (IRL) don't understand. Try not to talk a lot about it. Most people's responses are kick-em-to-the-curb. Their motivation is normal, they want to see you out of pain. The pain does not stop because of a D.

Standing is a Limbo, or Grace Period, where all you have to do is heal. Take your Journey. Take your time. She seems to still want to be there on some level. She recognizes that the door is open. That's huge.

Lawprofessor has given you some great advice.
trying2bok

Offline akjomsvikingTopic starterTopic starter

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Re: Coming to the Conclusion that it May Be All Over
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2016, 08:28:11 AM »
Thank you trying.  I think I see what you mean, to take this time that I'm standing and instead of just waiting for her to eventually come around, instead focus on myself and my girls and not obsess over my wife's behavior.  It gets exhausting sometimes, heck it gets exhausting almost all the time really.

I agree that their motivation seems to be to see my pain alleviated.  But the way I put it to my dad the other day, in the hopes of explaining to him why I wasn't going to file for divorce, was: what kind of a victory would it be for me to file?  I don't want a divorce.  That would be terrible for all four of us.  If she files for a divorce, then that's a bridge I'll have to cross when I come to it.  But for now, she's not emotionally abusive (other than the affair), she's sweet with the girls when she's here, she's not running up any more huge debts.  Basically this is something that I can live with for the time being.  Who knows how I'll feel next month of course.

Like I said, my major focus right now needs to be detach, GAL, and keep tensions low in the house.  My IT has not recommended divorce to me a single time, in fact his recommendation to me yesterday was to not escalate tensions in the house and let the affair run its course.  His words: "I know this is unfair.  This is not fair to you at all.  But at this point you need to shoulder more of the responsibilities of the marriage."  Tough advice. 

Whatever happens, I'm coming out of the other side of this as a much better man.  I haven't had a drink in over two years and physically I feel like I did when I was 30.  But man this is hard on the heart.
2 Children
1st BD: May 2013
Reconciled Sept 2013
2nd BD: Oct 2015
Separation: Nov 2016
Dissolution: March 2017

 

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