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  1. My wife started having some kind of fantasy relationship with a guy online when she had an alcohol problem (this might be part of your problem) I had no idea this was going on for 6 months. When I found out checking up on her facebook account because I thought something was wrong, I confronted her and all hell broke loose in my life. She woke up out of her delusion and stated that she did not know why she did that and that she wanted to be with me. She had met him on a girls trip to Vegas and apparently he kissed her when she was drunk. Having been burned before I was really close to leaving. If it were not her trying to make up for it, giving up all privacy and working on our relationship, there is no way I could have stayed with her even though I have two kids with her. Fast forward 6 years and I could not be happier even though I struggle time to time when something reminds me of that bad time. I say, confront to find out where you stand. If she's not willing to give up her privacy and or does not want to be with you, then you have to move on no matter how much it hurts. Transparency is the only road to redemption.
  2. It's been over 2 years since my last update. Life has been amazing with my wife. She still has trouble drinking too much when things get tough outside of our home, but for the most part we are able to work through that. I am so glad I did not give up on this relationship. It's easy to do when things feel so bad. Don't get me wrong, I still have issues when a song comes on the radio or something reminds me of all this. I try to put it out of mind and move forward. Life is too short and if I were not happy, I would surely change things. I guess the real thing that has made our relationship thrive is that we are on the same page with most things in life. She takes care of me and I take care of her. She makes little gestures and tells me she loves me and I do the same. It has been a lot of work and something I would have liked to have lived without, but to date, I am happy with all that she does to keep our relationship healthy. May God bless you all out there who are looking for answers to things that seem impossible right now. The best advise given to me was this: "You don't have to do anything right now. Get your head straight and then decide if you want to still be on this path."
  3. Hey PH, Happy New Year to you too! Things are going pretty good thank you. Holidays started on a bad note with alcohol, but we discussed it, setup some ground rules and they all ended up good. She has been adjusting some medications which has had a few ups and downs but this month has been good for the most part. She saw her psychiatrist for meds but has not started any CBT yet and to be honest I had not really thought of any of it because things have been good and I have been dealing with my own stuff with back injury and pain still. Your message reminded me that I need her to continue to find someone local to start seeing. How about you, how are you doing? Starlight89, you need to read the whole thread and look at the dates. It started out that way just to get by, but with work it has gotten better over the years and I don't have to checkup on her much except to breathalyze if I think she is drinking when she should not be. Aside from that, my relationship is amazing and close. My issues of getting past it all sometimes are hard but I still believe it is worth it. She has her own issues with what she has done and put me through too. TV always includes cheating and alcohol regularly in movies and programs and she gets pretty upset at times for what she has put me through. As long as she is remorseful and working to make us better, I will keep on trying. I am forgiving her this one time and she knows it's this one time. Having been through a failed marriage once before with someone that was not worth it, I am trying harder this time with someone who is. I don't have full control nor would I want to so I take it day by day.
  4. Thanks Reinventmyself. I just looked and Al-Anon even has online meetings! That is great since there does not seem to be much near me for meetings. Their website has a lot of info on it as well. Don't get me wrong, my life from the outside is beyond perfect. From the inside it's amazing aside from the fall off the wagon occasions every 3-4 weeks it seems. You are completely right about her taking notice of self improvement. I mentioned considering Al-Anon to her last night and she had a deer in the headlights look which caught me off guard. I get the feeling at that moment she realized that things might be bigger then they are in her mind. I told her I am willing to help her in any way whether it's me changing or going with her to counseling or anything that is needed to try to make things better. I am always looking to improve myself anyway. I believe it should be a life goal of everyone to constantly better themselves. Thank you very much for your input and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!
  5. Thank you West Coast, you are too kind and definitely someone special. I know there are definite issues and red flags. She is willing to seek help and I am considering Al-Anon as well. She is aware that this is deteriorating our relationship and has to be dealt with. Her husband from her first marriage became a drug addict and would be gone for weeks at a time. Over many years, she became numb to it all and leaving was with no emotion. I have explained to her that she is taking me down the same road and each time I feel less connected to us and if not taken care of I will be the one who is empty and just calls it quits. I think she gets it but time will tell. I have to try all avenues first because she truly is a great person and wife aside from this issue. All of my needs are met more so then most marriages I see and or know and we are best friends spending every available moment together and with our kids. As far as letting her hit rock bottom, I have to keep in mind she is my children's mother and at least find a way to try to protect her and them from major damage. I know many people consider this enabling, but I am not accepting her behavior, I am just more reluctant to let her fall hard if it can be avoided. I guess time will tell with CBT this year. I am hopeful but very aware that she must change or things will not work out. Thank you again for your kind words and have a Merry Christmas and wonderful new year!
  6. Thanks PH Suite. She is excited to try CBT but I told her she could wait till after the holidays since things are so chaotic right now and the kids are home. When the go back to school she'll have the time to work at it and focus on changing how she thinks. I don't believe her father is an excuse since she occasionally struggles with that here and there throughout the year. She has been through the AA program, I experience a lot of bad stuff then and that helped things calm down but they never quite went completely away. She did rehab too and again more tools but still problems just less of them. Anyway, thank you again for your input and have a great evening!
  7. No, I have years ago at the end of my first marriage and by myself after that. My wife and I went together about 12 years ago. Aside from that no. I am pretty level headed and always know I can improve and change to better myself so I tend to be able to research issues and or deal with my emotions just fine.
  8. So I go home at lunch and she is drunk. It's only 12:50 pm and the kids are home on winter break. She is trying to do something and acting out of it so I question her and she says she is fine. She's short with me about everything and I ask her if she has been drinking and she says no. I told her it's time to do a breathalyzer test and when we get upstairs she tells me she had a small bottle of wine. I ask her where it is and she said she got rid of it. Come to find out she said she bought it 3 days ago and had it in her trunk. When she took my youngest shopping today, she poured it at her trunk in to a water bottle and brought it in the house when she got home then drank it. She says she tossed the bottle at the store and rinsed out the water bottle after she drank it. I don't know if she drank it and drove but I know they were home at 12:30 when she said she drank it. I took her keys just in case. We went away from the kids and had an argument about it. I know she has a hard time around Christmas since her dad died about 7-8 years ago. She brings that up and just apologizes that seem like pacification. Last year she ruined Christmas by drinking on Christmas eve and I had to do everything I could to hold it together and make Christmas eve OK for my kids. She wanted to keep me in the bedroom with her when she was upset rather then go down and spend Christmas eve with the kids. I had almost forgotten about that until things went wrong today. Everything in life with her is really good then she drinks and I am left trying to figure out what to do. She is planning to get Cognitive Behavior Therapy after the holidays and my only hope is that this helps. I have a tendency to want to end the relationship but I have 2 kids to think about and also I know that if I send her on her own, she is going to fall off the deep end and she has already hinted on several occasions that she would hurt herself if she were not with me. I believe she loves me but this stuff keeps taking a toll on me. She talked with me Sunday night telling me she was having trouble with the holidays and wanted to have a glass of wine and I have never told her no, so I got her one. I only ask that she not drink when I am not around or hide it from me. She can't seem to do that and I am not sure how to handle it. Our relationship has become even better then before but the drinking just puts me in a bad place. If she had asked me if it were OK for wine tonight she knows I would have said OK. She knows if I don't regulate at least some she goes off the deep end and she will end up having to detox with DT's and all kinds of stuff. I love this woman so much and she makes me so happy and so much of our life is amazing. I just wish she could do better. I have made it through a lot of stuff. Now I am back at my office trying to keep it together for the rest of the day when all I want to do is go somewhere and cry. This stuff tears me up and yet she repeats the same thing. I have to figure out my game plan if she can't change this. For now I am going to bank on CBT and see where it goes.
  9. Tools to change are him getting help and or too if you need it, standing your ground is a biggy. If you make a big threat, you have to be willing to keep it or you just end up being walked on. I have been guilty of minimizing as well as over reacting after all, we are human right? They have to understand what we won't except. After many attempts to make things better and if he can't, then leaving should not be a what if. It should be a I did all I could and it was never going to be what I needed it to be to be happy. I deserve better and it's time I stand on my own two feet and find it. 27 LOL, my first marriage ended at 26 I met my wife and I was 29 she was 33. We had our first child when she was 36 and 2nd she was 39. You have plenty of time Thank you, my pleasure. You do too, I can't imagine you would have a hard time with your good attitude and caring, so don't be afraid of doing it over, you would only know what you want that much better and work harder to find the right person!!
  10. You are welcome! Thank you. My wife slips with alcohol some times not because we are not communicating but because she does not have the tools to change things. She does get comfortable that I am not breathalyzing her as frequently enough I believe though and then tries to slip the drinking by me. Bad behavior with no tools to change equals more bad behavior. Hopefully the CBT will be a great step in that direction. At this point anything is better then nothing so we at least have a chance of not falling back in the the same old problem. If your BF is pacifying you, he will slip back in to his old ways for sure and you have to have a game plan then before you get emotional about it so you can act on what is best for you at that time. This is again where communication comes back in to play. You tell him "If this happens again, I will leave even if I don't want to leave or even if still love you, there won't be another chance to change because I deserve better." Then you have to live by it. If you don't, get ready to be walked on big time. It's sad, but you will survive and move on to better things if you are forced to. Just like my ex wife. She did not see the value in me clearly until later and now wants to be friends again 20 years after the divorce. Truly her loss.
  11. That is awesome LostinLove7983!! I am so glad to hear you moving in this direction! Don't forget to get his list and go over it with him as well! His might be incompatible with you! It's a two way street for success!! I have been motivated lately by my wife praying at lunch time together for us to continue to get better and then for her to get the help and solutions she needs! We need to see them get off their butts and do something and acknowledge the issues! We are worth it!
  12. Hi West Coast, sorry to hear of all you are going through. You are out of it and you know it's bad, so don't ever try to go back, that would be punishing yourself. There are a lot of men that have no problem with their women making more or being more successful and even encourage it. When I met my wife, she was 4 years older then me stuck in a dead end job although doing OK for herself. I supported her and pushed her out of her comfort zone and she made crazy advancements to the point of where she was known public figure and surpassing me. She recognized she could not have done it without me and appreciated it tremendously even to this day. Then we had our first child she wanted to become a stay at home mom and that is where we are today. I never had a problem with the money she made or attention she received through media or on TV, I was just proud that she was mine. I don't get couples that view it as a competition. I have always believed just do what you can to be a good partner with whatever you can bring to the table whether finance, support or taking care of things. They all make a difference. The only reason I had no problems with all that is because I have good self esteem. I don't base my identity solely on my income or what I can do. You have to be happy with yourself, know you can do what you put your mind to do and not rely on anyone else for any of that. Sounds like he did not have those ducks in a row and no matter how hard you try, that's just not the person he is. To answer the question why we are with these people is multi-faceted. First off there is the factor of how many times we meet people that we feel chemistry with so we take chances on people. Then you add on that we view them like sweet little birds that just need someone to care for them for just a little to be able to spread their wings (we tend to want to care for people). We don't really know what we are getting into until later on. Then top it off with our unwillingness to fail. We will try harder then most to make things work and are willing to overlook some bad faults to do so. The story might be a little different for each person, but the core is the same. In my case, it was the sweet semi innocent woman that had been dealt a bad hand in marriage in relationships before and after (my ex had been not so innocent and not so sweet). I saw my wife's worth even though she did not. She blossomed and things became amazing. Our friendship and love is still strong even though she still has issues and has hurt me deeply. I have so much positive in our relationship that I am willing to fight to try to get over the negative. I have enough good to give it my all, but most people that I read about do not and they are still trying or longing for their ex. If I did not have a strong friendship, if I did not believe how much she loves me, if I did not have so much happy time with her, I would definitely walk away. Each person has their own limits and when I am in the middle of things it can be overwhelming. PH Suite has some very good points. You deserve to be happy just like everyone else here, so make sure you do things to make that happen in your life choices!
  13. Thank you, you are very sweet and so very welcome. I try to give back because this site has been good for me to vent and or receive advice and or perspectives. Between working full time and running two side businesses I don't think I can squeeze it in, but thank you for thinking I can do it. I have been thinking about what you have said today for a while. I am glad that the porn issue seems to be getting better and that you do try to keep things exciting. He may just be uncomfortable with watching it with you. That is why the role playing along with it might break the ice and make it less exciting when compared to your relationship. Something to think about if it comes up again and it probably will. As for the Craigslist issue. my gut tells me that you need to be aware that most of this you have told me would lead me to believe that he may have likely cheated physically or would easily do that given the opportunity. Most men would not admit it even if there was evidence and he is doing way more then most guys I know that have cheated. Most of what you have said sounds like he is pacifying you. No matter what you do, keep your self value and try to live so that you are happy. If you start to lose either one of those consistently, you need to move on. I found life is too short to waste it on people that are not willing to really work hard and or treat you well. Right before my ex left for another guy ending the 8 years together, it got to the point where she went down to working part time in the afternoons and I was full time and writing software for a fortune 500 company as an independent contractor in the evenings onsite a couple nights a week trying to get ahead in life. I called her to ask her to bring home a gallon of milk on her way home since I would not have time and she got mad and refused to do so. The point is that our relationship became very one sided and I did not see it because of my "in love" feelings, but I really was unhappy with how things were going, it just took me to be out of the marriage to see clearly. I needed someone in my life to say "you deserve better then that" so I might understand that it was not normal. Looking back, I wish I would have seen the negative in the very beginning, voiced my feelings, gave her the opportunity to apologize and or correct her behavior and moved on if she didn't. I am pretty sure she would have come back to me again because I would have had the control and she would not like that in the least, but that would have been standing my ground which would have been much better. Part of my problem was that her father sat down with me and told me that she is a very difficult person and it is going to take a special person to be able to deal with her in life. I guess that made me just chalk everything up to that she is just a difficult person rather then not accept the behavior. My parents were not any help as they always kept quiet about the stuff I went through until after the divorce. Anyway, You are in a testing phase for the rest of your life at this point. Make good use of it and make sure you use your common sense. Bad now = worse later then factor in kids. People make mistakes, but if they are not truly remorseful and let it happen again then logically it stands that will become a pattern. If he can't get it together, move out and go back to dating him a little and maybe others to see how it goes. Your new sense of independence might lead you to a better person for you or maybe he will get it together if he's worth it for you by then. If I stood my ground, I would have more then likely been way happier back then. Have a great night and good luck!
  14. Hi LostinLove7983, thank you for your kind words. Wow, you have a lot to deal with! First off, when you commit to someone enough to move in together, any correspondence with anyone else in a sexual nature is off limits so it's not something he should be doing at all even if someone else does it to him, he has to respond in a respectful to you way and be transparent as well. I have always believed that I would never cheat and women have tempted me before that I have resisted, but at times where I was not struggling with my relationship. Maybe that is why I could resist temptation, but many people can not and fall in to this trap especially if they are having trouble in their relationship or their needs are not being met. I know that porn can be fun to watch, but within reason. I found it useful to include my spouse if and when I were going to intentionally watch something (didn't watch stuff very often though). Guys like excitement and sometimes it might be a little extra attention that fills that void. One time I turned on some porn and asked my wife if she wanted to watch it with me and do whatever they are doing in the porn when it happens. It was fun, we talked, we laughed and had an amazing time together. This is something that we mention to each other and laugh about even 10-15 years later. She made me feel comfortable about it and that may have led to not really caring to watch it for the most part. My whole point is that you have to try to make your own excitement. If you can do that, he will likely want to wait for you then do anything himself. That is only one side of the coin though. It may be that no matter what you do, he is going to have this desire to act out. Part of being at the point of getting married is knowing that you are OK with not having anyone else down the road. If you don't have that down, you shouldn't be getting married. Because of his lack of faithfulness, he should be willing to be transparent giving up all passwords and accounts so that you may "spot check" them if you wish. That would be a good faith thing on his part. You may never even check on him much, but just knowing he agreed and can be checked up on may detour him from sabotaging his relationship. Then there is the 3rd side, I hate to say it because you said you cheated too, but maybe he is just a cheater and will continue to cheat until he finds out it leads to losing people who love you if that even happens. This type of guy does not even need a reason, just an opportunity to be unfaithful. Some guys just look at women as objects. OK, so my take is there are three likely scenarios. They one thing that is true of all three is that they all lack communication. You have to set boundaries and they have to be expressed. For instance ... "I don't mind if you watch porn from time to time maybe sometimes with me even would be nice for fun, but I just asked that you don't take away from us if you do. If porn is a constant draw from us, then you have to stop watching porn." Expressing your concerns and or expectations is important in any healthy relationship. "Any and all private conversation or meeting with the opposite sex is off limits unless the other is aware and does not have a problem with it." The point is, if you are clear, then you have set rules that each much follow to maintain a healthy relationship. Some people have open relationships and that works for them but they talk about it and set boundaries. Each relationship is different, so you have to set yours and don't assume the other knows them. Communication Communcation Communication. "I am feeling unloved or under appreciated, can we sit down and talk about how I / we can make things better?" These things when not under the pressure of a bad fight or argument, can be productive. You can even go as far as to each write down what you need in your relationship and then discuss together 1 line at a time each taking a turn. At that point you compromise to find a balance that works for both of you then you try to stick to it as best you can to keep things moving in a positive direction. One last thought ... responding to Craigslist ad is pretty random. I get the co workers or randoms at a grocery store even, because temptation is in front of you. Doing something like responding to a Craigslist ad is pretty much a sure thing there is an underlying problem in your relationship. Might not be your fault, but by talking about things rationally and calmly, you might be able to get a sense of what is wrong or missing that is causing him to directly seek out someone. That is a major red flag. If you are seeking someone, you are not committed to the relationship. It's not temptation, it's violating the very premise of being together. The sad truth of the matter is that he might not be as in to you as you are in to him. This is something you have to try to figure out. It is easy to be clouded by feelings to not see it. I have been there in my first major relationship / marriage. My ex used to say we were best friends and that she loved me so much, yet after a year dating, the first guy that came that she thought was better and she left. 5 years dating and 3 years marriage for nothing. I was so in love, that I did not take the signs to seriously. Breaking up with me to date someone else then back to me. Stupid stuff like criticizing my new clothes in front of my friends at my birthday party when both guys and girls are standing there telling me how much they like them. Thought she was just being y, but in reality she was jealous that everyone was giving me attention because for some reason she didn't' think I was "all that". So many dumb small signs that I would overlook because of "Love". Don't get in a trap. Write down what has happened to you in the relationship as bullet points and then ask yourself would I do this to someone I love? If you have unresolved issues with items on that list, it would be a good time to try to work them out with him as well. Hope that this all makes sense, I get interrupted frequently at my office so the thoughts might be in the wrong order Relationships are never perfect and always require some kind of work, it's when both people work together that they get their best though!
  15. Thank you West Coast and thank you again PH Suite. My view of her right now is sort of middle of the road which gives me a little hope for a better outcome even though it will take a lot of work on her part. She's not a negative person and she supports and motivates me well so I can do some great things (2 businesses and one full time job) but she has a negative self image and that seems to stem from her childhood and first marriage to an addict. The result is alcoholism and anorexia both of which she will lie to conceal. Now, after some research on CBT at PH Suites recommendation I have found material that appear to describe her ways of thinking and upon showing her, she completely agreed. She seems to be motivated by this information and has been researching CBT on her own. Last night she was telling me about all she learned on the net and is very positive looking forward to trying to get help with these issues. She is now contacting my insurance company to find a CBT therapist and see what will be covered by insurance. It doesn't matter if they cover it or not, she is willing to go and I will pay for it. I think this is a positive step since it makes sense to both of us and she is motivated to seek help on her own without any threat from me. Until this point, we have been disappointed with the help we have attempted to get (mostly medications) leaving us to run in circles with the same problems. I am optimistic since most of our life together is wonderful and if we can just get a better handle on these issues we could get back to having an amazing relationship again. Anyway, we are going in to the holidays so we have a lot of focus on other things which will keep a lot of this at bay until things slow down. The whole Idle Hands things. Thank you both again for your input, it is greatly appreciated for sure. Here is the sheet I found researching CBT that I showed her, might be of interest to others in the same situation.
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