Advice on alcholic / cheating wife
I know I'm not alone with this, and this is the first time I've looked to share my problems and look for advice from others who have or are currently experiencing similar problems.
After thinking above this for some time, the problems for my wife and I started near the beginning, 13 years ago. We have 3 children today. I am a very private person who values the concept of my partner and I are always us against the world, so things stay private, stay intimate, and we work through our life challenges and relationship challenges together. Trust is #1 for me. These things are a huge part of what make our relationship so special and meaningful to me. That I have a person who knows me, loves me for better or worse, would do anything for me, and in turn I would do anything for them. It truly is us first before anything and everything else. I also believe in marriage for life.
Early on in our marriage, my wife would discuss our problems, whether they be every day life challenges or marital challenges with other people. She also enjoys starting new emotional relationships with single men, which also started within the first year and continues to today. Since day one of this, I have felt betrayed and that we had no 'us' about us. No intimacy, no respect, no trust.
What this has led to:
Me not sharing with my wife, not communicating well or at all at times, which has led to her becoming more frustrated and for the past several years, trashing me to everyone in our lives. Not only does she say horrible things about me, she makes flat out fun of me to other people. And for the past two years, it is mostly if not all lies. I avoid all mutual friends and family as much as I possibly can, as my perception is that everyone thinks I am a montster given how my wife has complained to them about me for as long as we have known the person. More to come on this.
2 years ago, my wife had a family member, that my wife cherishes, go through an incredibly tough time and my wife turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism. Remember, at this point in our relationship, we do not communicate well. She turned full blown alcoholic quickly. For 9 months, she blacked out 99% of the time. I would find her in different parts of the house, always passed out and having pissed herself. On the nights she did make it to the bed, I would be woken up middle of the night with her pissing the bed, still passed out.
This drinking has led to her having a dual personality, at times happy and fun, and other times flat out angry and mean. Which has also led to her extremely elevating how often and how awful the things are that she complains to other people about me, most of which are flat out lies and her distorted perception of reality.
I am an extraordinarily patient person, and thought this was a phase and would pass. I just supported her, as best I could, and helped to hide it from the kids. However this quickly changed when I found out about a relationship she was hiding from me last year.
She had started a relationship with an OM which she connected to on a social media site. She talked all day with this person, and all night as she drank and got drunk. I found out how far the relationship had actually gotten when one night she was in a blacked out state in our bedroom, talking to this person on the phone, having phone sex.
At this point, I asked her to stop talking to this OM, to stop drinking and get her life back together. To focus on her problems, seek help, etc. and I was eager to help her through this.
She started to get a little better. The drinking went from every night, black out drunk, to a few nights a week. Eventually she agreed to limit to two drinks a night, and that is where she had been for a few months until this week.
Last week, I confronted her again about the drinking, and some strange text messages I saw on her phone from a guy at work. She assured me her drinking was under control, and this guy at work was nothing to worry about.
A few days ago,late at night, I checked her phone again and saw what I feared. Her and this new OM were discussing their physical affair they had started a few weeks ago, in graphic details. Evidently they have been in an emotional affair for quite some time.
I confronted my wife, asked her to immediately submit her resignation, and for us to get counseling or we would get a divorce. I also, out of anger, sent her coworkers/boss on a group email chat they have, that she was resigning due to having an affair with this coworker.
Where we are today:
My wife went in to work, told everyone I had lied, isnt quitting her job but has agreed to counseling and quitting drinking. My wife works part time, 6 days a month, makes $6k a year from this job.
The affair has me in utter shambles. The fact that she lied to her coworkers and wont quit her job has me absolutely devastated.
I love my wife fiercely. Although she refuses to believe it, even with all I have endured for her. I love her more than anything else. I want to have a future. I want my kids to have a family.
What should I do?
First and foremost, my friend -- and let me say that I am so, so terribly sorry for what brings you and what you are going through -- you must try to accept your wife for who she has demonstrated herself to be, and not for the person you wish she was, remember she was, or believe she could be.
Only then can the way forward become clear for you.
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!
ok i have to say that regardless of the WHY it was absolutely poor form to contact her work for any reason and especially to announce an affair. inexcusable.
however i understand what pushed you towards making that rash decision. you have accepted the unacceptable, tolerated the intolerable and allowed yourself to be abused for years. your wife is not a nice person, and takes it out on you and then gets away with absolutely wretched behavior.
i think if anyone is giving "notice" it should be you bailing out on this farce of a marriage. she has shown you who she is and what she is about. and it isn't pretty. she isn't going from multiple affairs, belittling you and drunkeness to kind, loving and thoughtful - EVER.
What you're going through is so very painful for you and your children.
I am a recovered alcoholic female of 21 years. I divorced my children's father after 21 years of marriage. He had untreated alcoholism, and I later crossed the line and became a problem drinker/prescription drug user.
I still attend AA meetings and also Alanon meetings, which are meetings for family members and friends who are being affected by someone else's drinking.
As for the children, it's not good for them to live in a household where there's dishonesty. Intimacy is honesty. My father was alcoholic and after I became sober I had to work through all that. It truly did affect me and all of my relationships. Mine and my ex-husband's dishonesty also affected my children.
I really hate what you're going through. Having an alcoholic spouse who lies and cheats and steals the affection of you and your children is the most painful experience I've ever been through. Everybody gets sick, financially, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
I can't give any advice, but I will tell you that I've seen many marriages healed and many marriages survive when the wife or husband starts attending Alanon meetings.
Trying Googling, "A Merry Go Round Named Denial." It helped me a lot.
In my life right now, my son just got out of a 30-day treatment center and I know from my father, me, my husband, and now my son that somebody in the family's got to do something different before the alcoholic will change. You can't change her until she reaches out for help, but you can do some things to help yourself and the children. Even though we don't think so, we're the ones who have to change until they get ready to stop drinking.
Good luck to you and your family. I hope you find some peace.
Thank you for your thoughts SparkleKitty. She does show glimpses of that person, so I want to believe there is hope.
Thank you AlwaysGrowing.
I do fear some of what you are suggesting is true. I just dont want to believe it.
I was going to post what Anvil said, but as usual she beat me to the punch.
Contacting someone's workplace to let their co-workers is really, really bad. I get that this whole thing is terribly painful, and that your wife's behavior is horrendous. But by doing such things you reduce yourself to her level.
You stated that your wife started with the emotional affairs 13 years ago, in the first year of your relationship. You also state that, for the past few years she has been "trashing me to everyone in our lives. Not only does she say horrible things about me, she makes flat out fun of me."
This isn't a phase, and you're not being "extraordinarily patient" by trying to wait this out. This is a dysfunctional relationship at its finest, and it is harming you.
I'm sure that there is a lot more complexity, but from the information I gathered reading your post, I sense that, rather than taking a good hard look at who she is and the situation you are in, you are with clenched fists trying to control the situation, which is keeping you locked into it.
Just remember, it won't work forever because, in the end, we can never control another person.
Most of us here have similarly tried to keep a tight controlling grip on a dysfunctional relationship so that we could avoid the pain of loss or facing reality, so you are taking the right step by reaching out here. Maybe try to get some other help too, a support group or something. You are carrying a lot of weight on your shoulders, and some outside perspectives can help you to loosen this need you have to control the situation (which you can't do long-term anyway), and help you to get some distance from it.
I do know it was bad form. I feel embarrassed for sending it. My intent, other than being angry, was I wanted my wife to have to 'live in reality' of her actions. To remove her ability to lie and deceive others. It did not work.
I am looking to exhaust all options before divorce, even though you may be right.
Thank you for the advice, I will google it
Thank you. Today is day 1 of reaching out, I intend to do much more with and without my spouse. I really appreciate everyone's different perspectives, advice and knowledge.
I'm also not understanding how your relationship can feel special and meaningful while at the same time you've always felt betrayed, disrespected and have no intimacy.
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.
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.
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.
Thank you for responding.
Me feeling betrayed and lack of trust, is a recent revelation on my part after really thinking hard how things have gotten to where they are. I've been reflecting on why I have not communicated well with her the past few years, why things have gotten to where they are, and I'm starting with myself and how I feel and act. In doing so, I realized this went back way farther than I ever thought. It's like a light bulb going on, realizing I havent trusted her or felt like we had intimacy since that time since those things, and everything since then has just been a manifestation of that. I'm not 100% sold on that, but that is where I am at today.
A frog sitting on the handle of a saucepan, which is sitting on an electric hob, which is glowing red.
A frog sitting on a saucepan handle
The boiling frog is a fable describing a frog being slowly boiled alive.
The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out,
but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will
not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. The story is often used as
a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of
sinister threats that arise gradually rather than suddenly.
2-To a few close friends who encourage her to push into her marriage is healthy.
Those who fan the flame aren't helping your marriage
3-Look, it was a bad call on your part to contact them.
You can't reverse it but can own it and learn. Once again she doesn't respect you
or the marriage 'relationship'
1.) Why is her having emotional relationships with other men wrong?
you're kidding right? your wife is out chippying around and HAS been for years. it isn't any one man, it appears to be open season.
Why is her talking to everyone about our relationship so bad?
because there is no resolution is simply griping to anyone who listen about what a rotten piece of humanity YOU are and how lousy your relationship is. it serves no purpose but to make her feel better and justified. if it's that bad, then END IT.
Her quitting her job.
this is WAYYYYY beyond where she works. and it fixes nothing. it's just another example of the fact she has zero respect for you and will continue to do exactly as she pleases, at your expense.
she isn't hooking up with other men because of YOU, that's HER problem. HER choice. and has been from the git go it appears. she is incapable of being faithful, because she'd have to put aside her own impulses and she can't do that.
Your kids will always have a family, no matter what happens.
You say you believe in marriage for life. I respect that. Can I ask if thatís a religious belief, a belief that stems from experiencing painful divorce, or somewhere else? I think in many ways your answer to that question will help frame your understanding of a bigger question - why are you putting up with abuse for so long?
Yes. Abuse. From what you describe you are the victim of abuse from your wife. That doesnít make you weak. Abuse screws with the mind and soul.
And, abuse aside, just the affairS- multiple... well, for every one of, and letís of, her affairs that youíve discovered Iíd wager a significant chunk of change that there are more you havenít discovered.
What should you do, you ask. Around here one of the guidelines is generally not to give advice. Youíll be supported in this community no matter if you stay or go or work on it or not.
You mentioned counselling or divorce as an ultimatums. You mentioned she said Ok to counselling.
I worry that this ultimatum might see her and you going through the motions. She sounds pretty good at manipulating, lying and hiding the truth. In my situation, my loved one with alcoholism has been going through treatment and ďrelapsingĒ (read: never getting better) over and over: Iíve learned that alcoholics need to want treatment and anything that even seems like pressure- let alone this ultimatum type pressure, which actually IS pressure- often just leads to more lies and manipulation rather than fresh starts and healing.
But that doesnít mean *you* shouldnít get counselling. This might help you untangle the effects of abuse so you can be more centred in your decision making. If youíve never been to counselling before and want some info what itís like there are lots of us here who can share parts of our experience. Itís not a bad thing at all.
You sound intelligent, self aware, compassionate and kind. Your kids are lucky to have that influence.
As someone else said in a different thread and now Iím plagiarizing... sorry you had to find us, happy that you are here.
It seems clear that any alcohol issues aside, the two of you have very different ideas of what you want your marriage to be.
2) Again, it isn't good or bad, it's either what you want or it isn't. It's okay for you to want a partnership where you don't discuss the marriage outside the marriage--but you don't have one right now, and it sounds as though she is not, and never has been, interested in having one at all.
3) The job is not really relevant here.
You want a partner who shares your values, and your wife has demonstrated that she does not. Since you cannot change another person, you can either find a new set of values or find a new partner.
But you do not have to do anything right this second. Do you have real life support like a counselor, priest, or trusted friend/family member you can speak to about this? Someone who knows you? I understand your desire for privacy, but you've taken a step here on an internet forum to gain more understanding. Face to face support can be even more valuable.
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