Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.
It sounds like she might feel guilty about what she did to you. She had an affair, which causes a lot of guilt. She may have felt that by leaving, she was abandoning you. When you had the surgery, she felt strong guilt and decided to show up to help to make herself feel better.
But she may also still feel some of the attraction she had to you when you were together. Even though she was the one to leave, people who cheat rarely leave because of the marriage issues. Cheating is always caused by self centered behavior. The cheating spouse feels the grass is greener so they try it out. But then they realize that it's not as great as they thought or if they do leave, they see that they bring their problems with them. That is when the spouse left behind becomes attractive again.
In your situation, you may want to be careful your wife is not using you to make herself feel better. And, if she is attracted to you again, be sure she does not use you and then leave again. If you feel it's worth it, put some restrictions on how much she sees you or contacts you. Maintaining control until you know her motivations is a good way to prevent being hurt again. Also, if she starts wanting to come back, insist on therapy so you know the issues that caused her to leave are going to be addressed so they do not happen again.
I hope this helps you,Kate
The more you describe her behavior, the more it sounds like she is interested in you. If it was just guilt, she would be doing the minimum to satisfy her guilty feelings then leaving. She would also have a time limit in mind. Maybe once a week, for example. Just to say she showed up and helped.
I would say to her that you appreciate her help and leave it at that. Try not to be overly emotional or engage her more than you feel necessary. Allow her the time to work this out for herself.
It also sounds like she is still wanting things on her own terms if she is not willing to tolerate questions from you about her motivation. This means you still need to consider protecting yourself and maintaining some control over the situation.
She came over again Tue and was very cold and distant...did the minimum she needed to do then left after 20 min. She was very "next" lets get this done. Total 180 from Sunday. So, she comes by yesterday and was joking and all smiles again, even bringing a cologne the smells like BBQ a friend gave her husband for Christmas as a joke...took her time, here about an hour, very gentle and caring, talking and laughing...???? I'm so confused...She text me today saying she would be by to help me get ready for a friends party tomorrow, traded several text and offered to go to the store for me......This hot cold has gone on since Jan......
Whatever her reason for running hot and cold like this, it has nothing to do with you. It sounds like she either has something going on that is making her feel upset and/or she is taking out her feelings on you. If she typically is a person who has trouble coping with her own emotions and takes them out on others, then that might be what she is doing here.
When you mentioned her coming by on Tuesday and acting like we talked about before, just there out of guilt, that made sense. But changing her actions completely two days later and treating you differently means whatever it is something about her.
Your best option is still to protect yourself. If she feels she is allowed to come to your home and treat you anyway she wishes, that is what she will do. Set some limits with her, such as picking at least one day a week that you either reschedule with her (I'm too busy that day how about tomorrow, for example). She may overreact to limits, but at least it will give you some control and you won't be subjected to her frequent mood swings until you feel ready to cope with them. Also, if she truly cares about you and is not just doing this out of guilt, limits will help. She will still come around and try to help if she really cares, even with the limits on her.
She came by today, very cranky, very lets just get this done, said she had a bad headache, tough week at work, wanted to go home and rest. Her phone was on silent but was constantly buzzing away in her purse, shewas very distant, here about 15 min. She is supposed to come back Sunday and mentioned taking the dogs to a park,...should I just tell her nevermind and see what the reaction is? I dont know what need she could be filling for herself by coming by, it wasnt to see me.
Then you may want to tell her not to come by on Sunday so you can gain some control.
Thank you ahead of time for your additional accept!
I like what you have said...I have other councelors that have been baffled by her actions. This fits a pattern of the last year. She told me in Jan. she felt trapped, bored, life was passing her by. Things got better then in March I found she was hiding money, and had a hidden phone. She moved out in June and I busted her with a coworker...At first she was remorsful, saying she had a empty hole inside her and did not know how to fill it, didnt know what she wanted. She then was angry and wanted a divorce. August brought my birthday and she called out of the blue and said she wanted to take me out? We went out and I asked her to go dancing 2 days later. She agreed then was angry the day we went...very similar to what she has done with helping me wash. Sometimes she will go 2 weeks and say nothing, then send me mail or text. Why if she is done with me does she keep staying in contact? We signed papers, but, they are on hold. She backed away from the papers, but said I just wanted her to come home so I could hurt her? She said I would bring it up when we fight and throw it in her face.....What do you think....?
She is unhappy with herself. This all has nothing to do with you. She sounds confused and empty inside. She may have felt that cheating on you was the answer to making her happy and getting what she felt she needed, but when you found out and didn't accept her behavior, she found out that the thrill of cheating was gone.
She is trying to find a way to fill that hole in her that she talked about. She keeps trying to fill it through you and other people, without realizing that she has to fix herself first. That is why she is treating you as she is. She probably loves you very much, but she can't feel fulfilled with you because she is the one with someone wrong. No matter who she is with, she will probably feel this way.
She may feel you would hurt her by bringing up her behavior because it is a reminder of her unhappiness. She probably does not want to face the way she feels or accept blame for what she has done. She may be trying to blame it on everyone else.
It would be good for her to be able to talk to a counselor. Insight into why she feels so empty and unhappy would eliminate the problems she is having and help her begin to grow as a person. She would feel less restless and irritable too. You may want to mention it to her to see if she might consider it. In the meanwhile, try to maintain control over how much she imposes on your life. She may be upset about it, but it might also help her respect you and your boundaries more.
You have allow her to work this out for herself. You are never going to be able to please her because what is wrong with her cannot be fixed by someone else, only her. If she refuses help from a therapist, then there is nothing you can do. She will either eventually exhaust herself searching and finally seek help, or she will keep looking and always be unhappy.
She was here today to help me. More subdued and not in a hurry, here 45 min. I asked her if she would like to get something to eat and she paused, then said no, she had been eating all day, but maybe another time...It was a very fumbled, searching reply from her.. She asked me on the last visit if she could keep my dog for a day. I asked her if we could trade dogs for a day and she said what a great idea, but then immediatly realised something and said no, she didnt have time to bring her home...We have done this dozens of times before, she is only 3 miles from me...So, here we go, the pattern of pulling away starts again......Im confused as what she gets out of this? Does she have a need to keep me upset?...thoughts....?
She seems to want to have control over the situation with you. She does not accept any of your offers, she shows up on her own time table and stays as long as she wants and she changes moods frequently. There is something she is searching for in your relationship but might be unsure of what she wants. But it is a strong desire because she keeps showing up, which is a consistent behavior. It shows guilt of some kind. Her refusal of any offer you make says that she most likely does not want to be indebted to you in any way. She also probably doesn't want to share more than she deems necessary.
Setting limits with her will give you more information about why she is doing this. By starting to set boundaries, she will either get upset, comply or quit coming by. This will tell you the reasons behind her behavior. Getting upset would mean that she is losing control of the situation and doesn't like it. By complying she would be saying that she is there for you. By quitting, you will know that there was a motivation behind it that had less to do with you and much more to do with her own issues.
You could do that. Just tell her ahead of time that you are doing fine and she does not need to visit that day. Slowly taper the visits until she doesn't come over anymore to help. Then if she is truly interested in you, she can come to visit rather than work for you to get rid of her guilt. It is the best way to find out what her motivation is, besides guilt from her family.
Thank you! That was nice to hear.
I am here for you anytime.
All this contact has got me wanting to be with her so bad...I understand I cant express my feelings to her...I want to ask her to come home really bad...Is there anything I can do to let her know I still love her without her feeling pressured? I have read 20 books on this in the last 7 mo. Do I even need to let her know?
It is very tempting to let her know how you feel. But it's probably not a good idea now to let her know right now. It is a big risk, given how she is acting. It seems she still has not worked out her issues yet. The risk is that if you tell her she will not know how to react and end up hurting you.
From what you have described, it seems that she is experiencing very high emotions with some mood swings. That can indicate conflict with her feelings. If you add telling her about how you feel, she may feel more conflicted and lash out at you.
You may want to try setting boundaries with her as we talked about. That will help her learn to respect you. Then once you are able to balance the power between you, it will be easier for you to start showing her signs of your feelings, without coming out directly and saying it. You can start slow and subtle so you minimize any reaction from her at least initially. It will also help you get a read on her reaction. If you come at her with too strong of an indication of your feelings, she may react just as strong. And neither of you wants to get hurt again.
Her behavior indicates that she is not ready to come home yet. She is lying to you and playing games with your feelings. It sounds like if she came home now, she would always be upset with you and be looking for a way to get out again, including hurting you.
For some reason, she seems to feel you have hurt her deeply. She has done the same by having an affair and lying to you, so both of you are hurt. The only way to heal this hurt is to work it through with a therapist. She has to be willing to go, though. If she won't, you may want to yourself so you can work out your feelings about your relationship. It will take some work to find out the roots of the pain in your marriage and how to heal. Trust needs to be re established and both of you have to forgive one another. She has to be ready for this or it will not work.
Try suggesting to her that you both seek help together. She may be willing to go if you let her know that you want to work on the pain you caused her and find a way for the two of you to be happy together. See what she says. Hopefully, she will agree to go.
I have asked her 20 times to go.....I ready to do whatever it takes to be with her....
We will be talking again soon, I know I will need you.....
It is hard for her to go because she may not be ready to face her feelings. Right now, she is trying to avoid them by cheating on you, leaving your marriage, serving you, and lying about things. You may have to keep asking to get her to finally go. She just needs to know that she needs it right now. Hopefully, she will see how much you care and be willing to try.
I'm here anytime you need to talk.
Just leave her alone. If she doesn't make contact, then she probably wants the time to herself. The more contact you try to make with her, the more she knows she has you under control.
Next time she comes over (and you want her there too) suggest the counseling then. That way, it allows you to appear in control and that your suggestion is not a step of desperation. She will take it more seriously that way.
This is the pattern from before...contact then nothing. when she pulls back, she is almost angry...I text her and asked her if she was out there...she said "yes" that was all.
should I ask her if she is done? I told her I didnt feel well and she told me to take my meds? This is consistant with contact with her before......
what should I do? I really dont understand this game she plays.....
It is better that you pull back and wait to see what she does. Right now, she wants control. She wants to do what she feels she needs done and she is probably not thinking of anyone else. She may still have feelings for you, but the other problems she has are getting in the way. Don't call her or allow her in unless you decide that she is going to treat you right. If she shows signs of lashing out or of being mean, end the contact.
It is important you set boundaries with her behavior. As long as she can, she may try to take advantage of you and do what she wants. She is not considering your feelings right now. Setting boundaries lets her know that you are not ok with her hurting you and that you deserve respect. As long as she feels you will let her do what she wants and she has control, she is probably not going to stop treating you this way.
You have to decide if you are ok with being treated this way. If you are, then contact her. If not, then back off. Don't let her in or accept any contact until you are sure that she will respect you.
I have been a emotional wreck today..My desire to reconnect with her has been overwhelming....She is coming to help me tonight...I'm going to try and maintain and not say anything....Im feeling guilt for not doing things better....and she is really good at projecting it....I'm just really bad about picking it up...I think her need to help me has run its time..Whatever happened in Mexico has faded and she is about done....
I hope it goes well tonight. It should be fine if you use what we talked about today.
Thank you ahead of time for your accept!
It sounds like she was looking for money from you. People who are just looking to explain their absence or who are wanting support usually do not bring up money. She may have wanted you to take her to the vet so she could try to get you to pay. She could have also wanted support but the fact that she kept bringing up money says her motivations were probably about money. And she is probably distant today because you did not take the hint and offer her money. If she contacts you again, I would just keep the conversation about your concern for the dog's well being. If she brings up money and you don't want to talk about it, change the topic back to the dog's health or change it altogether.
That is odd, then. Bringing up the money a lot sure sounds like someone looking for help with paying for the bills. But if she is refusing help from you, it may be that she is just stressed by the cost and wanted to talk to you about it. Or it could be a control game to see if she can get you to do what she asks when she asks. Although most likely it is not, it is a possibility.
It's easy to get confused when her behavior keeps changing. It would confuse anyone. But taking care of her dog was a very nice thing you did for her and it sounds like she was genuinely grateful. This may be the real person underneath all the confusing behavior she usually shows you. And that is a good sign.
What you can do is thank her for the pizza and how nice she is being, but remain on guard. Because of her past behavior with you, there is no telling how long her gratitude will last. Be nice to her and kind, but don't give more than you are comfortable with. Think of her like a neighbor who you have done a favor for, if that helps. You would be very gracious to your neighbor, helpful and supportive. But you wouldn't show more than that. Treat her the same way. That allows you to protect yourself until she can show you that she can be trusted to be kind to you all the time and not take advantage of you or hurt you again.
I would hold off for now from asking her out or trying to connect with her. You want to allow time for this incident to stay with her. She needs time to think about how she feels about you with this experience in front of her mind.
There is no way to know if she is done with the relationship or if she is using you or she wants to come back yet. It is odd that she comes around and knows you love her. There is some kind of connection there for her. She may just need time to work out how she feels. That would also explain her going back and forth with her feelings.
Don't push anything right now. Let this experience stay as it is and let her make the next move. It will tell you how she is feeling.
You are going to get lots of advice from everyone about what to do. But not everyone is going to know your situation the way you do. You know your wife and how she is. You can get all the advice you want but in the end you need to decide how you want to handle it.
Psychologically, it is important that you maintain your dignity and self respect while your wife works out her feelings. That is why I recommend that you keep some emotional distance from her. This is also good in case she is trying to manipulate you or use you in any way. You do not want to come out of it more hurt than you were.
Being hard on her and making ultimatums are never good unless you are sure the person will stay (and that is what you want). Ultimatums are challenges and once you issue one, they are near impossible to take back. If you want a chance with your wife, then it is best you allow her the time to work out her feelings while keeping an friendly but emotional distance.
With how you cared for her dog, your wife may be starting to realize that she wants to stay with you. But right now, that is just like a seed planted in her mind. It needs time to grow. If you are willing, try giving this some time. I know you have been patient with her. But it sometimes takes a while for wives or husbands to realize what they lost. Forcing her to make that decision will only hurt your chances at having your marriage back.
It depends on what is going on with her. It is hard to say why she is doing what she is doing so putting a time frame on it is not possible. But you can give it a time limit if you would like. There is no rule that says you have to wait forever. It is fine if you say you'll wait until summer and if she is not any better by then, you will take action of some sort, such as asking her to go to therapy with you or letting her know you would like to move on. Your feelings are just as important as hers are. So setting limits is an option for you. I know you still love her, but you also cannot put your life on hold forever either.
She either is trying to control the relationship because she could scared or she is abusive, or she is undecided and wants to take things easy for now. If she is undecided, then it is normal for her to go back and forth with how she treats you, because that is how she feels right now, unsure.
She seems to be trying to make a connection with you of some sort. How far you let it go depends on what you are looking for. If you want to find out what she is doing, asking her is the best method. But if you do want a chance with her, you said this is not an option. So the best for you for now is to sit and wait it out. This does leave her with all the power in the relationship, though. In order to deal with that, you can still set a limit to how long you are willing to wait. At some point, you are going to need to say enough is enough and it's time to move on. Then it will be up to her to decide if the relationship is something she really wants.
If she backs away when you try to move towards her, then the best thing to do is just be there to see what she does. You can tell her how you feel, but you mentioned doing that in the past and she backed off.
Keep trying to connect to her over the shared love of animals. That seems to be your only avenue at this point with her.
Being denied the love of her father who left her and hurt her probably left her with unmet needs. She also had a step father who chose alcohol over her. So instead of seeing love as something that is a give and take (which she never had the chance to learn), she has romanticized her feelings. She may have channeled her pain into a fantasy where a man on a white horse comes to save her. By romanticizing love, she does not have to deal with the reality of her pain. She can always be happy in her imagination. It gives her hope, which she did not have before with her father or step father.
This is not something you can control. This is about your wife and her issues. She needs that fix, like you said, of something new to keep her fantasy going.
You can be who you are, which will help her eventually see that chasing her fantasy will not get her what she needs. She actually needs a man who loves her, is there for her and is steady and stable. Romance would not hurt, which is good in any relationship, but being there for her means more. She just has to realize that is what she needs. It may take time and some bad experiences before she understands.
I think this was a very nice thing you did for her. And she seems to feel she can trust you not only with the dog (which I am sure is a given!) but with her feelings.
This is a good step in your relationship. When something bad happened with the dog, she came right to you. She expressed her feelings with you and accepted your gift. This is a bond you to are forming and if it has to be over the dog, then that is as good a place to start as any. It may also be a safer place to start. Dogs and other pets are therapeutic and bring people together. It may be that your wife feels safer reaching you emotionally through her dog than directly.
It's probably a good idea to hold onto your relationship as it is for a while longer. You want the seeds to take hold and give her a chance to develop deeper feelings before you try the next stage. You can offer small things, like the gift but be sure it's only once in a while. You don't want to seem like you are trying to gain her favor. Just show that you are thoughtful.
It is also normal for you to feel the way you do. It's a tricky position to be in. You have to protect yourself but also be able to give in order to get what you need. But it seems you are doing very well at balancing it because she is coming to you and showing you her vulnerable side. Just be sure to protect yourself and set boundaries if she starts to hurt you in any way.
It sounds like the two of you really made a connection. This is good. Although you feel you did not say anything to her, you did. It was in gestures rather than verbal, but I think she got the message. By holding her hand to your cheek and kissing it, you showed her how you feel. And she did the same. She thanked you and teared up. She felt very strong emotions about what you did too.
This was a very good exchange between the two of you. It was meaningful without having to be verbal. It may be a good idea to allow your wife to sit with the feelings from tonight. Right now, she may feel only good feelings about you both. And the longer she feels this way, the better the chance she will start to build good feelings again for the relationship.
Getting her a gift for Valentine's Day is ok, as long as you tell her that it doesn't have any strings attached. That way, she doesn't feel the need to respond if she still feels hesitant about the relationship.
Asking her to go with you to Paris may be a bit much. She may feel to obligated to get back into the relationship if she goes. You can ask but be prepared for her to say no. Don't pressure her if she does say no. Let it go and just tell her that you thought you might ask just in case.