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Wife of 12 years had 6 month distance affair on Facebook meeting the guy once.


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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..

 

Heartbreaking stuff. First and foremost, be good to yourself and know that this too shall pass and you and your kids will be OK no matter what. Do the Christmas thing as best you can for them.

 

She doesn't love herself, so she's not allowing herself to accept and get over things including her father's death possibly (unless it's just an excuse), so she seeks self-sabotage. I'll stress again that this is so common it is actually human nature. Self-sabotage is the default behavior in all of us. People are not afraid to lose, they are afraid to win. They are not afraid to fail, they are afraid to achieve their dreams and the responsibility that comes with it. Especially if that responsibility is to own it and earn it after the fact because we get lucky with an exceptional partner, financial windfall, major record deal, or whatever. That familiar exasperated refrain "I'm so good to him/her, why does he/she act poorly?!" It's because it's easier to sabotage because deep down they feel they "don't deserve it" than it is to rise up. Everyone says they want to be rich, yet few will put in the effort and the majority of lottery winners go broke very quickly because... they know deep down they "don't deserve it" so they seek the comfortable equilibrium of relative poverty and financial failure. Same thing emotionally or professionally, as the case may be. Even sometimes among those who truly worked for it, maybe because a parent drilled it into them that they'd never amount to anything. Their actions and consistency of such situations speaks for itself, as does her ongoing behavior.

 

The CBT has to happen ASAP. Ideally without delay. To me it's disconcerting that she's not already going. It has to be her choice though, You can't push her. You can and arguably should have a cut-off date in mind though at which point you simply walk without discussion. If she doesn't want it, *for her not you*, then it will never work and she''ll just go through the motions stringing you along and she'll end up more down and discouraged by what she'll likely perceive as the therapy's failure.

 

AA, all 12 Steps, is going to have to be part of this. True sobriety, not just being what's called a "Dry Dunk" in-between bouts of drinking. If you go through it with her, be prepared to hear nasty things you haven't heard yet. That goes for anyone in this sadly very common situation.

 

Stay strong, brother! And keep in mind that the best and most helpful and loving thing you may have to do is to step out of the way, go no-contact, and let her fall to "rock bottom" and then she must help herself out of it. If she's calling you for help, she's still not ready for help. Sad, but true.

Edited by PH Suite
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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.

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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!

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ugh, I'm so sorry to hear this. It sounds like you are in an unhealthy codependent relationship. At least that's what it looks like from the outside. I sense you both get something out of the situation... She gets attention and parenting from you and you take care of and control her (both primal needs). Those are red flags to me. I know you want to just vent and soundboard here and want to hear that everything's going to be all right but you both seem to be trapped in a cycle and I think you are both getting too much out of it for CBT to work... It's not going to work unless your wife feels like she has no other option but to change. I'm with PH Suite, I think that she is going to have to be on her own and hit rock bottom in order to stop the addiction and you would have to let go of the control and take a leap of faith. You are such a dear dear soul and I hope more than anything that you two will work through this. You deserve to be loved and in a relationship filled with trust and respect. Good luck and I hope you are able to compartmentalize this behavior of hers for the holidays.

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ugh, I'm so sorry to hear this. It sounds like you are in an unhealthy codependent relationship. At least that's what it looks like from the outside. I sense you both get something out of the situation... She gets attention and parenting from you and you take care of and control her (both primal needs). Those are red flags to me. I know you want to just vent and soundboard here and want to hear that everything's going to be all right but you both seem to be trapped in a cycle and I think you are both getting too much out of it for CBT to work... It's not going to work unless your wife feels like she has no other option but to change. I'm with PH Suite, I think that she is going to have to be on her own and hit rock bottom in order to stop the addiction and you would have to let go of the control and take a leap of faith. You are such a dear dear soul and I hope more than anything that you two will work through this. You deserve to be loved and in a relationship filled with trust and respect. Good luck and I hope you are able to compartmentalize this behavior of hers for the holidays.

And it's for these reasons I will throw out that some personal therapy might be beneficial for you.

You need support, an advocate and advice. You yourself know by now when involved with someone who uses you become part of dance.

Do so for yourself. Do so for your kids. As a side benefit your wife may sit up an notice that you are working on self improvement and she is not. Or at least not to the degree that is warranted at this point in your lives.

Wishing you and your family the best.

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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!

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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!!

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  • 1 month later...

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.

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  • 2 years later...

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."

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