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> Is My Wife Taking Advantage Of Me?
post Oct 1 2007, 07:50 PM
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Where I should go from here? Here's the story:

My wife and I have been married for 9 years and have 3 children under 5 together. She has said throughout our marriage that she feels "disconnected" from me, but never gave me anymore than that. Always that she feels "disconnected." She just kept repeating that word over and over for years and years and yet, she never changed her thoughts or behavior.

A year ago, she befriended a man who she began to emotionally connect with very deeply shortly after our youngest was born. I have always been very trusting and never stepped on her choice of friends; men or women. This particular man came along while he was going through a divorce, and my wife was suffering from the results of a very difficult pregnancy and birth, and this surely must have contributed to her unhappy nature. I can honestly say i tried my best to be the best father, and the best husband I could during the entire marriage. I was well aware I was #3 in the emotional priority list: kids, mommy, and THEN daddy. I've read books, gone to counseling, listened for countless hours with little words spoken from my mouth, and if they were spoken they were positive ones. She did not identify with this thinking aparently...

So, early on they began to meditate together, attend Yoga classes together, go to the movies together, have dinners together, etc. So, they naturally connected over their mutual suffering. She would talk about how they would cry together. I, on the other hand was not her choice to connect with because I didn't "show my feelings like she did." I should note, that I'm not emotionally sterile; on the contrary, my male and female friends tell me I'm one of the most emotionally open guy they know. I'm just not someone who dwells in unhappiness. I'm an optimist and she is certainly a pessamist (and a very defensive one, at that).

That friendship developed into one where my wife began disrespecting me and treating me poorly in direct proportion to the time she spent with him. At that point, I told her (and him) that their relationship was hurting our marriage and our family, and that it was hurtful to me. I asked they stop seeing eachother so we could work on our marriage. Not only did it not stop, but they began to see each other even more and disrespect me even more flagrantly (sp?). She actually went to see this guy on the very same day that the marriage counselor said "the 3rd party would typically be out of the picture if you are to expect your marriage to improve." It's like she was thinking 'that goes against what I want, so the counselor must be wrong and I'll do it anyway b/c it feels good to me.'

She now says that she couldn't handle being a stay at home mother and wife anymore and that she needed her independence and an identity outside of her life, so she nurtured a friendship which would harm our marriage so that she could move out and be on her own to "find herself." I believe most anyone who is a stay-at-home would feel isolated, so I don't deny that she felt that much.

She moved out 3 months ago, the night after I told her how hurt I was by her spending time with this guy. She had gone to see him that evening...came home at 1 am. I asked her "where were you?" and she replied "I was at his place because I had some thoughts in my mind that I wanted to share with someone" in a really cold tone. I asked "why didn't you share them with me? I'm your husband!" and she replied "I don't connect with you. I connect with him" in an equally cold tone. At that, the wedding ring came off my finger, and my fist went into a wall for the first time in my life. I felt I was done with being hurt (little did I know how much I hurt my hand though).

We are now living apart and splitting custody of our children. She often tells me now that the reality of losing me is slapping her in the face that she never wanted to lose me, loves me deeply, and that the thought of having to split up the family tears her up. Yet, in the next breath tells me she still speaks with and sees this other guy regularly, and get's defensive when I tell her I don't want to be with her with him in the picture--cake and eat it too doesn't work here. That's step one if things were to get better between her and I: he's out of the picture completely. She also hacked into my computer login somehow and followed my online activity for several months w/out my knowlege. She went through my emails from my parents, from her Mom, from our friends, all of which spoke ill of her choices, and supported what I was trying to do for our family. She viewed all my thoughts on the matter without sensorship. She even deleted an email addressed to me which she disagreed with, so I never even saw it. She also says she has always felt she has 2 sides. One which is happy and adventurous, and another which doubts everything, feels unhappy, doesn't want to be "tied down," etc. She also feels that splitting our family in 2 will have no effect on our children at all. She says "they are happy." She doesn't feel that there is anything wrong with these polar views (and actions). It's like she doesn't see the conflict there AT ALL.

Am I knuts because I'm too deep in the policits here, or am I making sense with my feelings of her not making sense?

Am I living a pipe dream for thinking this "happy" side of her will prevail through all of this? At this point, it seems she is more willing to nurture her "dark side" than the one which is good for the marriage and our children. Otherwise, wouldn't she stop seeing this other guy, move back in, and get into some deep counseling?

I should note, the person who raised her was very selfless, and it was neither her mom, nor her dad. If she wanted oatmeal at 2 am, then oatmeal she got at 2 am. I believe this created the idea that it's my job to cater to her selfish needs, and that I only exist to be there for her when I am wanted.

I believe you can keep going long after you think can't.
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post Oct 2 2007, 02:08 PM
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You can only do all you can do. I agree the other guy shouldn't be in the picture if you're going to try to recover your marriage. I'm curious, though, how is she supporting herself? If you're supporting two households so she can be free to find who she "connects" with...that would definitely be the "taking advantage" part. Maybe you should let her know, if she wants to work on the relationship, get rid of the other guy and get to work on connecting with you. If not, you'll be filing for divorce.
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post Oct 9 2007, 07:10 AM
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Yes, your wife is taking advantage of you. The chances of her good side winning is slim to none. A similar thing happened to a friend of mine and I gave him this advice. "she has done you a great favor by leaving, its hard to see now but she did". He is now very happily remarried to a person with no such issues.

Go for full custody of the children.
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