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Old 04-06-2019, 06:31 AM   #41 (permalink)
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As the second wife of a precious man with -

Originally Posted by AlwaysGrowing View Post

Welcome! As you already know it takes two for a relationship. From what I read she doesn't respect the 'two'. I suspect you are providing a safe place to stay which make it so much easier to carry on her lifestyle.
You can't fix what isn't for you to fix, nor fix something which doesn't want to be fixed. From what you posted, lip service is what you are receiving. She doesn't want you in reality. You are a meal plan and roof over her head.
It truly 100 percent isn't fair to you, but it's where things are.
If you want to feel valued, loved, etc. then you entertain divorce and moving on to someone that understands that and wants the same from you.
BTW - I've been on that same boat the idea of failure just isn't want I wanted to hear.

Praying for you!
...with a story much like yours for my husband and his ex-wife. So many similar specifics (like the affairs and alcoholism for "small" start), and I certainly don't know "all."

So much empathy for you. My husband is precious to me, and vice versa.

I work my recovery program hard as far as resentments I have about his ex-wife.

To my specific possible contributions to you - it took him a long time (18 yrs) to choose to end a marriage that just wasn't acceptable to him, fundamentally. That was up to him - and it is up to you- to decide if and when you reach that place.

You mention love, trust and fidelity among the most important things to you. Those are guiding points for our marriage, and we each feel deserving of that in another -and we are both sober, and working on individual then collective partnership. Now, neither of us would want to do it any other way; I was single for a long time (meaning, not married again, after my 20s dating and married to my first husband) during the same time he was married, so our paths and past relationships have different...battles, if you will.

Just reading your post, you seem intensely thoughtful. I hope that will be one of the things that serves you well as you navigate this truly [I can't find the right word to use instead of difficult] life. None of us can tell you what to do, IME and IMO - but I wish you the clarity to take care of yourself, as you find what that means in terms of life choices and taking care of others.

In closing, and I mean this as gently and respectfully as possible: you cannot change her. And, further, as there are two step-children involved in my life now, whom I love, damage is being done to them now. In the past three years since my husband and I dated, got engaged, and married, the process of "unraveling" all of the aspects of their home life, each parent (unfortunately, and not from us, they know of one of their mother's affairs, and she is still with that man) and his and her choices, and what they thought their family was, and it will be a long process for everyone. I come from a place where my dad desperately tried to keep our family together through my mom's alcoholic storm (no infidelity) and my parents did come out on the other side- there was long term damage in this scenario, too, as far as my brother and I were and are concerned.

Addiction and adultery and serious personal failings and battles are all family diseases and problems. They just cannot stay hidden - and adults have the choice and responsibility that kids do not, and IMO and intense experience...dealing with things is better than not. Always.

"Sometimes, I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Alice in Wonderland
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Old 04-06-2019, 06:41 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Also - I reread posts more and what Anvil, needabreak and SK said further echo my thoughts. Djlook is incredibly accurate and vulnerable and honest sharing the trajectory of a situation I, as an outsider, view quite current and possible and predictable for your story.

"Dysfunctional at its finest" is brutal - and spot on. For my ex-husband to accept and choose to leave - and for you.

You've struck a number of chords with me so like I would say to an alcoholic I sponsor or am friends with - you will destroy yourself if you keep going. Time goes so quickly, and 13 years will easily become 13 more.

What life do you want to have? Do you want your children to have? That is at the crux of this.

"Sometimes, I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Alice in Wonderland
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Old 04-06-2019, 06:49 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Hi, nhwm.
Welcome. Very sorry for your pain and sadness,, but glad you found us.
I don’t have much more to add, as you have gotten good thoughts from folks.
Other than to say that being in a relationship with an addict is like looking into a funhouse mirror.
Hard to get a clear picture of how things are.
As others have said, and I believe you concur, we can’t control another person.
We can come to accept, and decide if this is how we want to live.
I grew up in an alcoholic house., and it affected me in ways I won’t describe, other than to say that it has taken me a long, long time to come to terms with it.
One of the benefits of getting older. Clarity comes when it comes.
Take care of yourself and your children. They know what’s going on, and they need all the support and love you can muster.
I highly recommend Al-Anon meetings. Lots of support and understanding and confidentiality is one of the cornerstones of the group.
I haven’t had a lot of success with one to one counseling, but I know many on this site have. I hope it helps.
If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.
-Orson Welles-
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Old 04-06-2019, 06:49 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by nhwm View Post
Questions for a few of the people responding so far.

1.) Why is her having emotional relationships with other men wrong? I feel like I am being controlling if I ask her to stop talking to that person , or to at least back it down some. I may feel that way because she has trained me to feel that way as well. I feel it's wrong as she is having a private relationship with another man, these arent relationships i'm privy to the conversations, such would be the cause with neighbors and family friends. Help me on this please.
Because it is antithetical to trust, intimacy, and emotional privilege.

2.) Why is her talking to everyone about our relationship so bad? She feels the need to vent. To me, I feel it is a break of our trust and intimacy. Help me on this as well please.
See my answer above. More importantly, you answered your own question.

3.) I agree contacting her work was bad. However, nobody has yet given an opinion on how they think my spouse not quiting her job reflects upon us. Anyone have thoughts about this? I feel it is awful insult to me and us, that she refuses to find another job.
I can only speak for myself that I didn't answer about the job because the job is not the problem. Again, this is one way you are trying to control something that is down the list and distracting from the crux of all of this.


Ok, this takes me aback yet illustrates the power of denial, the need to control and the victimhood role you are in so well. Please know, again, that I am saying everything I do out of experience, compassion and- frankly? The view of emotional life and death for everyone involved. Particularly your kids.

Please see my answers above.

Finally, as others have alluded to or suggested: this is above our paygrade. Professional help- intensive professional help - is absolutely in order.

"Sometimes, I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Alice in Wonderland
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Old 04-06-2019, 12:09 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by nhwm View Post
My wife and I will also be going to counseling together, and she is going to her own counseling as well.

At this point, I am committing to the counseling and taking one day at a time to see where it goes. To work on myself, to not try and persuade my wife into any decisions, and just let the chips fall where they fall and then see if that is a place I am happy in.

I'm scared shitless
Yes, it's scary, but you will get through it either way. You've already been through a great deal. There is a book by Melody Beattie called Codependent No More that you may want to purchase or borrow from the library. Not saying you are codependent but there is a lot of information there that you might find useful, it's often recommended on this forum.

Counseling is a great first step. Your wife has agreed to both individual and marriage counselling?
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Old 04-06-2019, 11:43 PM   #46 (permalink)

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Hi nhwm,

I am so sorry for what you are going through.

I just wanted to highlight this statement that jumped out at me:

Originally Posted by nhwm View Post
That dishonesty of being controlling instead of open makes it unfair to think my wife wouldn't have ultimately made choices differently.
Controlling is a problem, yes, as many others have pointed out here. But it is not dishonesty. Lying and cheating is dishonesty. More importantly, there is no way to guess how your wife would have behaved if you had behaved differently. It seems like you are almost blaming yourself for her actions - that doesn't sound good for either of you.

I hope you can find a way to peace and happiness.
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:21 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Kids are being exposed to a lot of interpersonal toxicity and active addiction

What is best for them?
"There's almost as many terms and gradations for drinkers like us as there are stars in the sky.

All the study in the world - and all the subjective hierarchies - won't get people sober. . .

Only action can do that."

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Old 04-07-2019, 06:00 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Sooooo I usually dont tell people to leave their spouse(especially since I haven't left mine) however. Throw the marriage away and start over.

Okay seriously though.

Is this how you want to live? You deserve better.

Get yourself to a counselor. Get your kids into counseling. Work on yourself. Stop worrying about her and what shes doing. She'll change if she wants to. That was the hardest lesson for me to learn.

You cant control what others do but you can control how you deal with it.

Listen to the people here. They have good advice. Even if you dont want to hear it.

I hope you find some peace.
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alcohol , cheating , wife

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