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Still hope?

Discussion in 'Married Couples' started by Hferry22, May 1, 2018.

  1. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    Taking turns manipulating each other is not not what is needed. He at this time is going with the separation. But before that was enacted there was discussion of both seeing therapists to work through their issues, and eventual counseling together.

    It would make a lot more sense to have someone who is a professional lay out a path forward for them to resolve their issues, than for one party who is herself just realizing that their was a problem to do so. She is dictating the whole recovery based on what she read in one book that includes choosing punishments for the other spouse. Is there any wonder why she is doing just that and manipulating him now?
     
  2. Tropical Wilds

    Tropical Wilds Lord, beer me strength...

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    I think there’s merit to one person taking charge of recovery for a period, as long as things eventually balance back out or show some sort of forward progress. This woman has felt marginalized for awhile, so an opportunity for her to lead and for him to show willingness to follow... Honestly, it makes sense.

    In this case, I’m not seeing where the equalizing comes out. He thinks he’s almost halfway through their three month break, but she’s going on trips without him and leaving him to house sit, setting a visitation schedule... Heck, less visitation and then an offer to expand it is classic separation behavior. She’s getting used to not seeing the kids and, when she’s comfortable and saying goodbye isn’t so hard as it was when it was fresh, she’s branching out to increasing it.

    At this point, she has a guy who floats around the house like a ghost, more money available to her than if child support were being ordered, and unlimited space that she breaks on her terms to suit her... She’s got her cake and eating it too. This is dream scenario of keeping him around in case but having him gone so she can do her own thing. She’s a teacher, this 3 month break times out perfectly to an unhindered summer for her... And so don’t see her saying when school is starting up and her work kicks into high gear that now she’s set to begin the move-back-in process.

    OP, did she give you a return home date, or just a vague “3 months?”
     
  3. Hferry22

    Hferry22 New Member

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    Alright guys, I think we have gotten of course here. I know it's very hard to have clarity via social media without personal interaction with either me or my wife. You have to go off of what I have written and I do appreciate all of your responses.

    I am very aware of the possibility of her leaving. Remember, I live this EVERY day. I have done ALL that has been asked of me during this separation and I'm simply trusting all of this to the Lord. I have no other options, I cannot control her, I can only control my side of the street and that's what I'm doing.

    So, there is really nothing new to add right now other than one of her friends made it clear that she does want the marriage to work but she is unsure of my commitment to change...that's all I got and that's the work I'm putting in on my end.

    Until next time...
     
  4. Tropical Wilds

    Tropical Wilds Lord, beer me strength...

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    What her friend says your wife says doesn’t mean much. Your friend could be misinterpreting what she said, flat out lying to save your feelings, or your wife could be saying something to her to placate her to keep from prying... It’s like high school rumors. Best ignored in favor of how one is being treated and what is being told to them directly. When I was getting divorced I had a friend who said my husband said he would do anything to get the marriage to work, including some really random things. It stunned me since it was the total opposite of what we had talked about... We were more than ok with divorce by that point. Turns out his friend is very anti-divorce and was saying whatever to try and make us reconcile. It was really unhelpful and potentially destructive.

    I really, really think you really should stop going to the house, haunting her life from the shadows, hoping she picks you, and taking the tiny inches beyond what she said she wanted so you can equate them to a mile. If she wants you moved out, stay moved out. Don’t come back to the house to live for a bit while she’s off living her you-free life. Don’t sleep in your old bed and pretend it means something (it doesn’t). Get a date for when you move back in, not a vague timeline. If she won’t give it to you, that means way more than any of the crumbs you’re trying to use to make a loaf of bread.
     
  5. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    Good observation. I agree he needs a date.
     
  6. Tropical Wilds

    Tropical Wilds Lord, beer me strength...

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    Any update OP?
     
  7. Deidre32

    Deidre32 Follow Thy Heart

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    There could be hope but emotional abuse and an affair is hard. I will pray for you both.
     
  8. Ana the Ist

    Ana the Ist Aggressively serene!

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    Last post was over 2 months ago...so I'm guessing either this has been going a lot better or fell apart completely.

    Does anyone have the slightest clue what happened here? I got through about 3 pages of this guy talking about how he desperately wanted to save his marriage...and how his qife has sort of checked out of the marriage emotionally. I get they were in therapy together....I also understand that there was some infidelity years ago on his part, as well as vague discussion of "emotional/verbal abuse" in the form of anide or sarcastic remarks. Apart from that though....I'm clueless as to what was tearing them apart.

    There's a couple of weird things....like her ultimatum. It sounds like it caught him totally off guard and he didn't see it coming. Were there no fights? Arguments? Was she repeatedly telling him what was qrong?

    Then there's the fact that he accepts all the blame and admits to being this awful husband...yet he writes like he genuinely cares and wants to make it work. It comes off contradictory and confusing.

    Did this guy ever really explain his abusive behavior? If so....which post was it?
     
  9. Hferry22

    Hferry22 New Member

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    Hello,

    I'm back....Merry Christmas to you all....

    So, the end of the four month separation ended on September 17th and my wife met with me and is choosing to not reconcile. I'm devastated by this news!! We have two boys; 12 and 2.5 who are in the middle of all of this right now.

    I know it's been months since I posted but here is what I know...

    I know that I have failed to live up to the godly standards of a husband. I know that I have admitted my mistakes in this marriage and I know that God loves me, my wife and my children and I know that God's desire/will/plan is to restore the marriage.

    The infidelity on my part was 14 years ago and it was forgiven and worked through and has never been mentioned again even in this season. I regret that choice every day but I am grateful that she chose to forgive me and then have two wonderful children with me.

    The current season "began" on April 20th when my wife read me the letter citing verbal and emotional abuse. Yes, this blindsided me and it's the first time in my life that I have ever been accused of this...but it led me to counseling.

    I began counseling on May 16th, one day prior to my wife asking for a four month separation. Last week I just completed by 25th hour of personal counseling. I have been going twice a month or at least once a month since May.

    What I have learned? Well, the emotional/verbal abuse issue is very subjective and hard to define. It all depends on the language used and on the personality of the recipient. I have personally not been diagnosed as an abuser. My therapist is board certified and 30 years into his practice. However, he said that I do have behaviors (such as sarcastic humor) that can be abusive over time. As my wife mentioned to me on April 20th when she read me the ultimatum none of it was intentional. That is true. I never went out of my way to intentionally harm my wife in any way. So now we get into a he said/she said sort of thing which I have not engaged in over the past 7 months. I value her feelings even if I don't understand them; they are her feelings.

    Over the past 7 months I have actively been in counseling and have sought out reconciliation with my wife...to no avail. She cites "nothing will change" and "you haven't changed." There is no willingness to work on the marriage at all and not even for the sake of the boys.

    **I understand that our theology on this board will differ as do our gender bias in situations like this...to some extent. But, I believe God desires for all marriages to be restored even in the case of infidelity which is the one biblical "out" for someone who choose to leave a marriage. I fall into the Matthew 19:6 category.

    I have learned via counseling that I have abandonment issues from my childhood and other traumatic events that happened that I did not go to counseling for; I just made it through them like we all do and never thought of therapy. As my therapist said, "you don't know until you know."

    Back in 2010 my wife wanted to go to marriage counseling and we did. We went to a facility in Ohio where we spent the weekend. I was told about my sarcastic humor and she was told that she needed to lighten up and enjoy life. Eight years later I'm not too sure either one of us made real headway. I had that report pulled (I have never seen or read it) and sent to my therapist. There were not any red flags given in the report and my therapist did not see anything that indicated marriage troubles. This left me scratching my head...

    I am a communicator and my wife is a stuffer...things will tend to simmer, boil and then explode. This is what happened. My wife has friends and family telling her to do what's best for her which is not godly advice in the sense of pursuing reconciliation. I completely get the feelings from friends and family and understand why that advice would be given. I do.

    I've lived in three different locations (bedrooms of homes) over the past 7 months, I see my kids for a few minutes each morning before school and then only three nights a week for a few hours at a time. I feel like I have done everything that was asked of me and then some and still no desire to reconcile on her part.

    I pray and cry over this every day; I ask God if I'm totally at fault or is this both of us? What happened? I take the brunt of the blame for not being the godly man/husband that I should have been. I was not aware that issues from my childhood had contributed to my sarcastic humor and is that even a really bad thing? I don't know who I am right now and I'm working through that in therapy and in quiet time with the Lord. I have many, many people and fellow pastors prahing over this. I have contacted Focus on the Family, Klove radio, International House of Prayer and other places and share my heart and they all are praying for restoration, which is biblical.

    My wife seems to be bitter at me...she will not stay in the home when I come by to visit with the boys, she always leaves. She will hang out long enough to open presents tomorrow morning but she will not stay for dinner when I come by for a while on Christmas night. She will be taking the boys to PA for our annual Christmas trip from Wednesday-Sunday and I won't see them until Sunday night. This will be the first time in 18 years that I have not made the trip:(

    I'm not interested in any theological debates, please. I'm not here to point fingers. We are a family in need of prayer. I know how this all looks and sounds. I get it. I'm living it every day but God is the God of miracles and that is where I put my faith and trust.

    Please feel free to ask questions....
     
  10. DZoolander

    DZoolander Persnickety Member

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    She refuses to reconcile, but I didn’t read anything about divorce in there. Has she brought that to the table?
     
  11. Hferry22

    Hferry22 New Member

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    Back in September she did mention it but only when I asked her if she was...

    My 12 year old asked her if she was going to divorce me and she said probably. He said but divorce is wrong and she said she knew that but things happen.

    Virginia state law requires one year of separation before you can file. May is one year.

    She had nursery duty last week and a lady asked her if there was a chance of reconciliation and she said right at this time no.

    I really believe she is bitter because she knows what’s right and yet she does not like my character. I believe she’s [bless and do not curse][bless and do not curse][bless and do not curse][bless and do not curse]ed that I’ve taken all of these steps to heal myself, search myself etc... and she thinks where was this for 17 years? That’s my gut feeling...
     
  12. Tropical Wilds

    Tropical Wilds Lord, beer me strength...

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    Idk...I don’t think the issue is suddenly you’re changed and she’s upset over it because she felt you held out for 18 years... It seems that it’s that she’s unconvinced that the change will last and/or things are too much the same.

    Either way, I hope everybody is able to move forward into this new dynamic while maintaining the best interests of the kids.
     
  13. DZoolander

    DZoolander Persnickety Member

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    Yeah, you're kind of in a no win situation.

    If you come back and in any way start talking to her about why your changes haven't budged her an inch, that will be a sign to her that the changes you've made are simply short term efforts to achieve a goal (her coming back). In other words, you're still controlling.

    So, probably not a good idea to go down that road...at all...ever.

    Of course that opens the possibility that things might actually be over - or else that it could take significantly longer than you might have thought about.

    Honestly - if I was in your position I would have a frank talk with her. The whole "no reconciliation" thing needs some definition - because it doesn't sound like a simple separation then. So I'd want some clarity on that. And after 7 months, while that's certainly not license to coax her into anything, it is significant enough that I think you deserve to know the lay of the land.

    So were it me - I'd have a talk with her and say something to the effect of:

    "You know where I stand, I've made that clear. But sometimes things just don't go the way we'd like them to. It's important for both people to be on the same page. So where exactly do you see us going with this? Is this a separation? Is this laying the foundation for divorce?"

    and see what she has to say, and accept it.

    If it's divorce, accept it. Don't pull any of that nonsense about how you're going to fight it. You can't fight a divorce. You can't compel someone to stay married to you if they don't want to. The only way you can "fight" a divorce is to make yourself a thorn in their side during it - fighting over every little thing - traumatizing the kids - fighting over issues surrounding them - etc. But none of that actually stops it. It just makes it painful and ends up hurting the ones you ought be protecting.

    To be frank, the only real option you likely have at this moment is to go that route and hope that your willingness to hear her side of it and not traumatize her in the process will change her mind over the long haul. But that's still iffy and you ought not count on it.

    Don't go down the road of "I don't believe in divorce, God doesn't believe in Divorce", etc...because once again...you ain't gonna stop it. All you'll end up doing is convincing her that you're the type of person she thinks you are and re-enforce her will to carry through with it.

    ...and spend this time working on being ok with however it turns out.

    Just my .02
     
  14. Hferry22

    Hferry22 New Member

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    Yes, I agree not bringing up my changes. Nothing good will come from any conversation centered around me.

    The reality in front of me is, yes, this is done. She's expressed no desire to reconcile and has made the comment to our 12 year old that yes we would probably get divorced in a year or two; she's not in a hurry to get divorced, she says.

    I don't believe a frank talk would be beneficial right now...it's not that I disagree with you it's just that I don't feel it's the right time.
    **Side note, we met with a pastoral couple back in September/October. They've been doing this for 37 years and are highly respected within our community. The ONLY reason my wife showed up was to talk about the kids...not the marriage. Of course the pastor brought up what God says about marriage and that the best thing for the boys, long term, is for us to work this out and get back together.
    ***I met, privately, with the pastor two weeks after our last meeting in October and asked for feedback on me...he said I came across as pushy and desperate but he understood and would be the same way in my position. However, he noted that he saw her dig her heels in even more. His advice? Back off and fight in stealth mode (prayer).

    So, that's why I don't discuss this with my wife, right now.

    (By the way, I did not hear anything about praying/believing as a way to fight for this? Maybe I should assume that this would be a given?)

    I did mention fighting for the marriage, yes. She knows where I stand. But, I have followed the advice of the pastor and have backed off.

    My wife came to me on April 20th and read me a letter stating that she's felt emotionally and verbally abused for the entire duration of our marriage; 17 years. She heard the abuse word in a personal counseling session in March ans was given the book The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. On the surface that did not sound good but I got the book and read it; the author advocates for women to stand up against the abuse...I totally agree. But, what do you do when your wife admits that nothing I said or did was intentional? Where she admits not speaking up and enabling behavior? And then asks if I am willing to make changes? I know this will sound super defensive but my therapist has not diagnosed me as abusive but has noted my sarcastic/dry sense of humor can be abusive to some people over time. None of my friends or other people that I have dated ever said this to me. So, it blindsided me, yes. I was aware of my humor but I never expected to hear this from my wife.

    Something happened in her prior to this and then even after the letter which seemed, on the surface, to cause her to be cold, bitter, resentful to me. She just got mean. I know that her mom does not like me and she has a best friend who also does not like me and they teach at the same school...so there are major mountains to be moved.

    I gave my wife the four months that she requested, still continue my own counseling which at this point is for me and not for her, have been cordial/kind etc...and nothing is making a difference on the surface. This is not me patting myself on the back but rather just stating what I've "done."

    My view of marriage is what Matthew 19:6 says, even if a spouse or both spouses have failed to live up to godly standards in the marriage. I mean we have all failed to live up to godly standards don't we? We don't always love, cherish, respect? In April she asked if I was willing to make changes, I said yes.

    At this point this is a spiritual warfare that can ONLY be won through prayer; there are no gifts, cards or words that I can give that will change her mind. This is an absolute reliance upon the Holy Spirit. We have two boys who need their parents to work this out and God will get the glory for it.

    I know this is an open forum and I've read all of the comments. I know what lies in front of me in reality, in the flesh. I'm not in denial. But, I won't "accept" this in my spirit and will pray/fight for this marriage that way. I'm doing my best to shut up, sumit and to serve my wife in this season. I have caused some hurt in her heart and I don't know the extent of it but I know I've caused it and so as a husband I pray that God will just love on her and surround her with good, godly counsel and hope and pray that she comes around...while I keep working on me, which is still in progress.
     
  15. DZoolander

    DZoolander Persnickety Member

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    My advice revolves solely around how to best manage yourself through this process, whatever may be. This, coincidentally imho is also the path that has the best odds of getting you what you want.
     
  16. HannahT

    HannahT Newbie Supporter

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    You will always have those that abuse on purpose, but most individuals that I have read about don't this intentionally. I think most people think of movie characters - that are suppose to be evil. It's the character they are paid to be. It shouldn't be used to relate to real life in many cases. Yet, if that is all they are really relate too? It is what it is.

    I look at my grandparents, and he was far worse than what you are speaking about. My grandmother wasn't raised to be assertive, and in fact in many cases - and cultures - women are encouraged NOT to do that. I don't think it was intended to be a bad thing, but we humans tend to look at things to black and white...and discernment when needed just isn't used for some reason.

    My mother was more assertive than my grandmother was. Yet, she had times in her life where she could waffle back and forth when firmness needed to stay put. She did take it that one step further than my grandmother. My grandmother could be a doormat for sure. Mother wasn't doormat material. Yet, she could back down at times when she really shouldn't have. Thankfully, my father was the opposite of her father (grandfather was abusive in almost every category - including physically). He was a sense of encouragement in all areas for her.

    When I helped clean out my grandparents house? I found a box of letters from him to my grandmother. These letters were full of "I'm sorry" and "I didn't mean that and you know that" type of thing. The letters made me so angry at the time, but they were also extremely sincere. Something was wired within him, and he just acted on it. That's not justification of course, but it was also his reality. The culture at times also didn't encourage people to stop that type of behavior either. They never dealt with it at all. My grandmother was always told to submit more, and basically take it. Their dynamic within that relationship also permanently damaged mother emotionally. She could have a wall up 100 feet high, and 10 feet thick. She also tried being more assertive to the best of her ability, and then she shut down.

    Most people don't go out of their way to be ugly on purpose or intentionally. I also don't think people realize how enabling due to their lack of skill to be assertive harms themselves either. Our culture now is just starting to deal with these nasty behavior dynamics that no one wanted to talk about in the past. You are being given a gift. It's a gift of self reflection, and you are taking advantage of it. Do you know many people refuse that? How much better would our world be if they were brave enough to take the steps you are. Honestly sociopaths are the only ones that hurt intentionally. They have no empathy gift to work with. It doesn't exist within them.

    Deal with what happened, and not focus on the intention of the past. It does no good. It's her job to take those assertiveness steps, and honestly I hope she does. I struggle with it at times, but most of the time I push through it. It took years for me. I look at my daughter? lol she blows my doors off, and I have the reputation that i take no gruff! lol so you can imagine! She does it sweetly, but bluntly. She has no hesitation to walk away from people, and so each generation gets a bit better! My grandfather would have been in deep do do if he had any type of relationship with his great granddaughter today.

    My mother always struggled with her relationship with her Dad. She loved him, but there was much apprehension there too. She wanted to love him, but he also wasn't safe to her. I think she yearned for it many times. My grandfather never tried to change. I often wonder what their relationship would have been like if he tried. Please don't take my statements has saying you are the monster he was. I just think history now is doing the human race a good favor as we work though all of these strange dynamics our ancestors never dared address.

    Keep going, because you will feel better about yourself. That also will reflect what others see in you as well.
     
  17. Hferry22

    Hferry22 New Member

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    Hello,
    It's been a year since I last posted and honestly took a break from speaking about this online so much simply because it's hard to convey my thoughts properly and it's hard to hear the feedback in the way in which it was intended.

    Here is the update since last Christmas....
    My wife chose to file taxes "married but single"; she removed her name from our joint bank account and started her own and just had continued making steps towards divorce.

    May of 2019 was one year and in the state of VA you can then file for divorce which she promptly did....most of all of her messages to me are via text or email; she is very much in control and dictating the entire process. I can do nothing to stop the divorce from a legal or spiritual perspective other than to keep praying.

    As of today, Christmas Eve, I have yet to receive final paperwork but that should be any day now barring a miracle at this point.

    I would like to backtrack from last Christmas up to now as an update....

    This journey started in April of 2018 when my wife went to see a local church counselor who said that it sounded like verbal/emotional abuse. She was given information to read by Leslie Vernick who wrote the book "The Emotionally Destructive Marriage." My wife stated in a letter to me that she knew nothing I had said over the years was intentional and that she was guilty of enabling behavior. All of that was and still is true.

    I entered my own counseling in May of 2018 and a day later she asked for a four month separation. In September of 2018 she said she did not want to reconcile. I was floored and stunned. Why? She stated that I had not changed, nothing would change, etc...In my opinion once the word "abuse" was spoken and she read this book and still follows this ladies teachings...it was over. I had no chance. Throw in a best friend of hers and also my wife's mom and you have mountains that no husband can move.

    My counseling journey still continues; 50 hours now and right at over 3k invested in counseling. I am still learning and still growing. However, I have NOT been diagnosed as an emotional/verbal abuser; no friends have said this about me and I even reached out to a former fiance's mother to ask her and she also stated they never saw that in me. It doesn't mean that I have not said or done abusive things (we all do) but I am not an abuser. I have no idea where that line is between truth/reality in my wife's mind.

    I have now lived in four different locations and again I continue my counseling journey.

    In September of this year my oldest son verbally threatened to take his life; thankfully he did not and has made no attempts. However, this did not sway my wife. In fact, in a phone call we had on 9/11 she blamed me for the whote marriage, the hurt both boys (13 and 3) are going through and she sees no change in me at all. She even went to far to tell me that when I came over to visit the boys I often left dirty dishes in the sink and that it was rude of me....in that moment I realized how she was now ONLY see negative in me. She has me under this microscope and everything I say or done has and will be held against me. I can say or do nothing right. Nothing.

    In March of 2018 I wrote my wife a three page apology letter; it was real, sincere, raw. My therapist, another female therapist and a trusted older couple read it and it was "approved". She dismissed it. She does not trust me and my words don't mean anything to her.

    Over this entire journey I have made myself available to watch our (now hers) townhouse and dog when they went to PA to visit family, I would often buy her her favorite candy, a cheesesteak she likes, etc...constantly, without overdoing it, looking for ways to show her love.

    In November of 2019 my therapist, a Christian, stated the following to me...
    "Sarah is erecting two middle fingers at you blaming you for the affair 15 years ago, and the entire marriage. She is vindictive, unforgiving and it's all of your fault."

    He then went on to say, "what are you going to do when she admits an affair?" I said, "I don't believe there is another guy." He said, "neither do I." He said, "this friendship that she has with her best friend and vice versa is what we call an emotional affair. The multilple phone calls each day; working at the same school, etc...has created a very unhealthy and toxic relationship. At some point this will all come crashing down and you have to show her empathy."

    That's a heavy piece to type and to digest but there is a reality to what he has said. This friendship is over a decade long and has been used as a "husband bashing" platform on both sides.

    On 9/13/19 my wife and I sat with my oldest sons therapist...he stated that my oldest son sees changes in me and articulated the changes he saw....earlier on I stated that she sees no change in me....(she has used the abuse angle and that she doesn't want the children to grow up to be abusers too). However, my son sees changes in me. Which means that I obviously had changes to make in me which is fine and I'm grateful for this journey on that front of things.

    I did ask my wife a few times during that meeting if she could tell me what exactly I said or did and she could not/would not tell me. All of my counseling journey has been without any input from my wife; nothing for me to take to work on so it has just ben purely Spirit led....
     
  18. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    Is this friend a male?
     
  19. Hferry22

    Hferry22 New Member

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    No this is a female friend who is also married. They are friends for over a decade and they communicate daily multiple times and teach at the same school. Our families have been close for years and I’ve known the other couple longer than I have my wife.
     
  20. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    It wouldn't be the first time that a husband found out his wife was having an affair with a woman. Do you have any instincts that your wife is emotionally bonded to this woman in an extraordinary way?
     
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