William - I sent you a private note.
She made a series of choices that led her down the path she's on. You made choices that led you down the path you're on. Those paths diverged, and I would say that it's because the two of you were not thinking about love as a choice. Note, I'm not placing blame here, because who did what to whom, and when it was done are all irrelevant to resolving the problem.
What will happen from here comes down to what choices will each of you make from here?
- Will you choose to trust?
- Will you choose to communicate?
- Will you choose to forgive (and will you keep making that choice every time the thing to be forgiven comes to mind)?
- Will you choose to do what it takes to restore and reinforce trust and communication?
- Will you choose to do the regular everyday things that make a difference?
Modern English has no distinctly plural "you", so read those sentences as "plural you". Also, I'm not presuming which answer is "right".
It's hard from here, either way. We hit our rough patch about 7 years into our marriage, and we began thinking about the choices we were making. We don't make them all perfectly, but we're still making them 20 years later.
Riding the Ohio MS Central Ohio Challenge tour, July 12th.
If one partner is not cooperating, you just focus on you. I am the ONLY person in this world that I have control over. I can choose to keep short accounts, to love selflessly and to seek and offer forgiveness.
Kotts did state the fact that love is not an emotion, it is a choice. And it is a hard choice. Love is not earned and it is not owed.
William if you get nothing else out of this remember - it's your choice for the rest of your life what happens next but remember, you choose only for yourself. Your wife is on her own path...
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Not that particular book, but I have dabbled a bit in "Bringing Up Boys" and some of his other books. Might have to add it to my list. Next book of that type I will be reading is, "Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul" by John and Stasi Eldredge.
I am just going to list a couple things you said.
I don't want to see her make all this progress only to ruin herself in some other way. I thought about demanding a drug test to make sure she wasn't on speed, but I'm not to that point yet.
Happy and mad at her in the same sentence.
I know it was some kind of ADD test, and I can't stand that sort of thing. Don't try to label me. It seems ADD gets way overused in this society and people lean on it as a crutch to try and excuse away bad behavior. I still want to continue counseling but that sort of thing seems to distract from the true problems that we have.
Already shifting blame on your situation away from yourself to the counseling sessions.
I've cheered her on and stood by her side. But she has a history of problems with taking things too far in that regard, and I don't want to cheerlead her into doing herself a bad turn.
Shedding of that amount of weight is not small feat.
I tell her that as she gets closer to her weight loss goals and starts thinking of that future that she needs to figure out how to get some balance in her life because I can't do everything by myself, and she acts like I'm trying to put some kind of limit on her.
And she might be think when are you going to start doing something?
I don't want to limit her, but do want her to think realistically.
It honestly sounds like your own self doubts are manifesting into negative energy towards her.
Then as we talked, she went on about how the notion that I might come by unannounced was disturbing to her and kind of creepy.
This line is pretty cut and dry. Your wife , yes your wife. Thinks it might be creepy that you might drop by where she is staying? Wow. Ditch the counseling. I think she is just going through the motions.
It's not the easiest thing to talk about, really. I also wonder how you know when you have a bad counselor.
Setting up fault in advance for the failed counseling.
I know who he is, where he works, and where he lives. I could ruin his career by showing those messages to his boss since they were sent from work. If he's smart, he'll give her a wide path cause I'm not afraid to use what I know.
Now I see where your wife might be a little bit scared of you.
I mean you no ill will. But coming to a board full of strangers for relationship advice is a sign that you might need to do a little self reflection. You sound just a tad controlling in your responses here,which means in real life it is much much worse. You wife is having a life changing event and wanted you to come along for the ride. You did not, and she is going to leave you behind. at 5'3" and 80 pounds of weight gone... that is flat out a major accomplishment. If you did not have the dedication to do the same when it was obvious that she was going to succeed you should have tended to the house. I mean she has not spent much time there right? Up early home late? Gone 12 plus hours a day? Who made all the mess in the house?
I went from 230 to 170 pounds here recently and it was exhausting. You cheer people forward not just with words, but with actions. You might have been saying "go go go, you can do it" but by not cleaning up after yourself at home your actions were telling the true story. Because your actions took more effort than words.
So my advice after reading your posts through a couple times? Let her go. Let her be with someone who will move forward with her through life instead of putting up roadblocks along the way.
I'm gonna be totally blunt here (for once), and agree 100% with the last post from Travelmama. This guy needs to stop being a p*ssy and take his balls back. He needs to forward the other man's email(s) onto his employer as he had threatened to do, just to make it clear that there are consequences for crossing his boundaries, then he needs to let his wife know what his expectations are in this relationship (along with listening to hers), and either they both make the effort, or he lets her go and be with whoever it is she'd rather be with, get on with his own life, and find someone with whom he has more in common. Otherwise, this sort of thing is going to happen time and time again. Ironically, if he does all this and manages take his balls back, I'm 99.9% certain that his wife will start to respect him more than she does now (which, admittedly, probably wouldn't take very much).
In fact, having just re-read your post, I actually think some of the points you listed (especially points 1,2 and 3 about parents, employment and entertainment respectively) are symptoms of the same problem I raised in the paragraph above. What he needs to do is stop pontificating and pondering, and take some action.
Ok, along with another post, this sort of thing was part of why I initially hesitated to mention this to everyone even though I'd seen it done before. Someone deciding they want to split hairs about everything I've said.
[QUOTE=Zaneluke;9971090]I've cheered her on and stood by her side. But she has a history of problems with taking things too far in that regard, and I don't want to cheerlead her into doing herself a bad turn.
Shedding of that amount of weight is not small feat. [quote]
Trust me. I'm very well aware.
I tested her one time back in 2005. I was working a job that took me out on the road. I left two days worth of dirty dishes in the sink and did some light tidying cause I had to leave quickly. I expected to be gone a week, but ended up being gone three weeks. I got home to find the same dishes in the sink in a really gross state, laundry basket full to overflowing, papers scattered everywhere like a mini-tornado had gone through the house, and signs that either the dog or one of the cats had puked and s*%t on the couch we had at the time. I talked to her by phone everyday and thought everything was ok. I saw all this and asked her what all she'd been doing since I'd been gone, and all she could tell me was shopping with her sister, spending time with her parents, watching TV, and sleeping at night. This was before gym memberships and dance studios. I told her that if this job was going to work well, she needed to be able to pull more of her own weight. She made some excuse about how her mother had never really taught her to do much cleaning, and I was like, you're a big girl now, time to put aside childish things and excuses. She acted like I was trying to turn her into a scullery maid, which was not my intention at all. I was just bothered at the notion of coming home to a house that was worse off than when I left.
To be fair, she improved in some ways, but never to the point that I felt like we were equally sharing the burden.
"Originally Posted by WilliamK1974: I know it was some kind of ADD test, and I can't stand that sort of thing. Don't try to label me. It seems ADD gets way overused in this society and people lean on it as a crutch to try and excuse away bad behavior. I still want to continue counseling but that sort of thing seems to distract from the true problems that we have."
"Originally Posted by Zaneluke:
Already shifting blame on your situation away from yourself to the counseling sessions"
First off, let me say this thread is a great example of how many awesome people there are on Foo who take the time to share personal experiences with and give advice to a complete stranger who is in a difficult situation. It's not easy to share such deeply personal things such a divorce, but people here are willing to do so in the name of easing someone else's burdens.
That said, I think Zaneluke made a very good point. You seem to have a negative view of counseling. If you are going into it feeling that it is a "distraction" of sorts from the true problem, then how can you truly have an open mind about it? It doesn't matter whether you have been to several session or even just one. If you consider it a "distraction" from your "true problems", then I think yes, your marriage is in serious trouble. Counseling is not going to have the effect that it could in that case. One reason people go to counseling is to have an objective third party improve their lines of communication. In reading through every post it seems that you and your wife have major communication issues. A marriage counselor will help you understand each others' points of view, as there are two sides to every story. After going through counseling, you'll have more information to help you decide whether this relationship is salvageable or whether it is time to move on.
As Jsharr said in a previous post, if you are a man of faith (as I think you said you were), then meet with the priest or pastor at your church. Work through your own feelings of anger and hurt on your own so you will be able to approach marriage counseling with an open mind. If you want to make a sincere effort to salvage this relationship, you have to be willing to accept your shortcomings and admit to any mistakes you might have made.
This may sound harsh, but I am going to say it anyway. When people have written back with good advice, you have often responded in a defensive manner. I'm referring specifically to cases where you have criticized what they have said and made lengthy justifications as to why their comments are not valid. Maybe Airwick is right and that really painful experiences can make men behave like little boys. However, there's got to be a time when you say something like this : "Hey thanks guys, I really appreciate all the advice. I have no idea what to think or what I should do, but I'm going to consider everything that people have said and will hope for the best". Sometimes people have a hard time reacting this way when they been hurt in a very bad way, as in the case of discovering an affair or an attempted affair. I'm sure most people will give you the benefit of the doubt in that regard. However, please do go to both individual counseling and marriage counseling and take a good hard look at ALL sides of the issue. That's the only way you are going to be able to make the right decision.