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Positive evidence of gaslighting


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Old 14th June 2010, 5:16 PM   #1
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Positive evidence of gaslighting

Hello, just an update. My W is forging ahead full steam to getting this job which requires 75%+ travel (Mon-Thu. I'm guessing she'll have to leave Sun afternoon, we both have commitments Sun morning and I work Mon-Fri, so we'll have just Fri eve and Sat together at most, then she's gone again). I have gotten an anti-anx med just today (have not taken it yet, doing okay at the moment, but last Wed/Thu I was unable to work after the DD7's revelation about young Coach Studmuffin talking like they were "getting hooked up"), so IC agreed I needed the meds.

About a month ago, my W told me that she not only gave me HJ before M, but did so for both of her previous H's and the BF before that. I told her I felt guilty about it, that I went against what I said I believed in doing so. She said clearly that she did not feel guilty about it, that she did not think it was morally wrong! I told her the pastor who'd been counseling us prior to M would have objected had he known, and she said "Well, I've never lived my life based upon what some pastor thought!"

Sat the sermon in church was about teens keeping their purity until M. Last night during supper, DSD16 came right out and asked me what I thought of the sermon. The four of us (DSD14 included but not DD7) had quite a lively discussion about it. My W stated at one point that she had done "some things" before M and always regretted it.

Later, after the girls went to bed, I asked W about this statement -- was she just saying it for the girls' benefit, and reminded her that a month ago she'd been very clear that she did NOT feel guilty about it (I made journal notes about that conversation back then, but didn't mention that to her). She did all sorts of mental gymnastics saying that, no, that's not what she said, in fact she told me that she DID feel guilty about it and thought we shouldn't have done it. However, what she doesn't seem to remember is that I asked some very in-depth and explicit questions to make absolutely sure I understood where she was coming from on the issue. I distinctly remember her response because it triggered me back into an obsessive mode, but besides that...I had my journal notes from immediately after the conversation.

My W's second answer on that topic clearly differed from the first. I tend to believe the first.

Do you all think she's gaslighting me (again, still)? Or is my W just fracking nuts and doesn't know which way is up?

I'm still trying to figure out what I'm dealing with, with her. Countdown to confronting on last summer's EA is nearing zero (I may even get there tonight -- we've taken to going on drives without the kids where we can talk (or fight, I guess) without stressing them out...
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Old 14th June 2010, 5:40 PM   #2
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I don't know if I would call what your W is doing in what is mentioned here, gaslighting, so much as sloppy lying.

Sounds like she doesn't want your kids to grow up and be sexually active right away as teens, so she lied to them about her feelings to make them feel guilty about any feelings they were having.

(An aside: I think its great that your kids feel so comfortable having such a conversation with you at dinner. That's awesome.)
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Old 14th June 2010, 6:01 PM   #3
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I don't know if I would call what your W is doing in what is mentioned here, gaslighting, so much as sloppy lying.

Sounds like she doesn't want your kids to grow up and be sexually active right away as teens, so she lied to them about her feelings to make them feel guilty about any feelings they were having.

(An aside: I think its great that your kids feel so comfortable having such a conversation with you at dinner. That's awesome.)
Thanks! Actually, I'm glad they are comfortable doing so as well. We must be doing SOMEthing right, anyway.

I didn't think what she told the kids was gaslighting. I think when we were alone and I asked why she told them she felt guilty when she'd told me that she DIDn't feel guilty, shd had the opportunity to say "Well, we don't want them to believe like I do" or something, but no -- she DENIED ever having said that she didn't think it was wrong, that it hadn't made her feel guilty...because in that moment I think she realized that she couldn't have it both ways, yet didn't want to own up to it...it would make her a "bad girl".

Either that, or she's got a good case of MPD (diagnosed or not).

I'm glad I'm journaling stuff again -- the words on the page don't change with shifting moods and circumstances...
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Old 14th June 2010, 6:04 PM   #4
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To be honest, it's been weeks since you first brought this up and I'm still trying to wrap my head around your logic that 'because she thinks it's ok to do it before marriage, that means she thinks it's ok to do it while married.' To me, that's like putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with 3,724.

Maybe it's because I'm not religious, or maybe it's because I separate 'actions that are ok while single' from 'actions that are ok while in a relationship'.

But for me, I have no problem with having full-on intercourse before marriage. That does NOT mean that I think it's ok to have intercourse with anyone other than my husband while I'm married.

I think that if this issue really and truly bothers you, perhaps you should outright ask your W if she thinks it's ok to give other men hjs while married.

In my personal opinion, I can't imagine her as gaslighting you on this particular issue (though there has been plenty to your situation which has sounded suspect to me - just not the hj thing) because I just can't wrap my head around the idea that she could actually think in that manner.

It sounds more like the sort of disconnected reasoning I had about certain situations after discovering my husband's EA..
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Old 14th June 2010, 6:16 PM   #5
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To be honest, it's been weeks since you first brought this up and I'm still trying to wrap my head around your logic that 'because she thinks it's ok to do it before marriage, that means she thinks it's ok to do it while married.' To me, that's like putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with 3,724.

Maybe it's because I'm not religious, or maybe it's because I separate 'actions that are ok while single' from 'actions that are ok while in a relationship'.

But for me, I have no problem with having full-on intercourse before marriage. That does NOT mean that I think it's ok to have intercourse with anyone other than my husband while I'm married.

I think that if this issue really and truly bothers you, perhaps you should outright ask your W if she thinks it's ok to give other men hjs while married.

In my personal opinion, I can't imagine her as gaslighting you on this particular issue (though there has been plenty to your situation which has sounded suspect to me - just not the hj thing) because I just can't wrap my head around the idea that she could actually think in that manner.

It sounds more like the sort of disconnected reasoning I had about certain situations after discovering my husband's EA..
Ann, your point sounds reasonable. My concern has always been that 1) if she doesn't think giving HJs to men to whom she's not married (stated completely without qualifiers, though she had the opportunity) and in fact has done so to every man she's had a close relationship with that I KNOW of (whether she M'd them or not), there is no reason why she would not give a friendly hand to a guy at work with whom she's cultivated a "friendship". Just talking from a philosophical point of view. In fact, the only boundary she has acknowledged is that she would not have full intercourse with a man to whom she was not married, she said "that is ONE line I WILL not cross!"...meaning she'd cross every other one, or that there are no other lines.

Yes, I do plan to ask her when I confront about last summer. She went straight to the shower that one day the last week the vendor OM was here last June (and we're approaching that antiversary now) for SOME reason, and I'm guessing it's because she got his spooge all over her body (and maybe some clothing, as she didn't take that off outside the bathroom like she normally does).

But the point of my post was that I now have documented evidence that she changes her lifelong position on important issues between two points in time absent any known cause. Since both points can't be true, one of them seems to represent deliberate deception on her part.

BTW, I am not judging you or others who have not problem with intercourse before M -- that's between you and them. Since my W and I are professing Christians, we should be living according to that standard, yes? But we didn't (and I own my part in that). I was just surprised to hear her that one night declare boldly that she didn't care to live according to that standard (by putting it on the pastor, rather than the source).
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Old 14th June 2010, 6:28 PM   #6
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Gaslighting or not, I think documenting things is the way to go.
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Old 15th June 2010, 11:09 AM   #7
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Gaslighting or not, I think documenting things is the way to go.
Of course, once when we were fighting I challenged something she was saying based upon what I'd recorded -- she was taken aback by that, said something about "Love keeps no record of wrongs" (from the Bible) and then dismissed it. I think that was the same fight where she used a lot of "I don't remember"'s and "Oh, that's just stupid!" Wayward speak.

I'm documenting things so that later I can review it and check for patterns, see the "big picture" at once (instead of obsessing in the meantime). It doesn't look good. I really don't know how long our M will last if she gets this out of town job... :-(
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Old 15th June 2010, 11:18 AM   #8
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sruben,

whatever the situation was like in your marriage before, you are currently married to a woman which requires you to take anti-anxiety medicine even to function.

You really need to think about that simple, basic fact. Stop, and think about what that means. Don't try to analyze the "why" of it. Just realize that it is what it is.

Anti-anxiety meds treat the symptoms, not the cause.

The cause of your anxiety is the person that you are married to.

To cure your anxiety, you need to remove the cause of it from your life.

It doesn't really matter why this particular thing or person causes your anxiety. I guess in this case it happens to be various infidelity and relationship issues. But that really doesn't matter.

You could be married to a faithful wife who is a compulsive gambler or alcoholic, different particular issue, but same result--someone you just can't live with any longer and retain a minimal level of sanity.

That sounds like where you are right now.

It won't/can't get any better, because if she's taking a job that keeps you separated for most of the time, that shows zero committment on her part to trying to repair the relationship.

Meanwhile, you are left with a constant state of anxiety.

Remove the cause of the anxiety, that is the only solution IMO.
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Old 15th June 2010, 11:19 AM   #9
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Of course, once when we were fighting I challenged something she was saying based upon what I'd recorded -- she was taken aback by that, said something about "Love keeps no record of wrongs" (from the Bible) and then dismissed it. I think that was the same fight where she used a lot of "I don't remember"'s and "Oh, that's just stupid!" Wayward speak.

I'm documenting things so that later I can review it and check for patterns, see the "big picture" at once (instead of obsessing in the meantime). It doesn't look good. I really don't know how long our M will last if she gets this out of town job... :-(
Just politely let her know that you're documenting things for her, since she's had so much difficulty remembering things accurately lately.
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Old 15th June 2010, 11:28 AM   #10
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Just politely let her know that you're documenting things for her, since she's had so much difficulty remembering things accurately lately.
IMO this would be a pointless waste of time, useless wheel-spinning.

The OP's wife is taking a job where she will basically be physically separated from the OP for most of the time. No doubt when she is home on the weekends she will not even spend that with her h, she will say "I worked hard all week, I need to go out and party!!!"

The marriage is effectively over, probably has been for some time now.

Time for OP to do what he can to cut his losses as best he can. Obsessing over his wife's lying and cheating and gaslighting will just waste his time getting his mind wrapped up in someone else's useless b.s.

If he needs evidence or something for a divorce or custody trial, the most efficient/effective thing to do is lay out the money and have a private investigator gather whatever there is to be gathered.

No one is going to care about the lies his wife tells him in the bedroom or at the dinner table, except OP. Since he already knows she's gaslighting him there's nothing to document. OP gains nothing by "forcing a confession" from his wife, what's the point? To "win"?

OP can't "win" if he's married to a loveless woman who doesn't care about him, all he can do is try to minimize the pain and cut his losses.

That requires rationally evaluating the situation, recognizing she's no longer interested in the marriage as a true marriage, lawyering up, and filing for a divorce, trying to make it as amicable as possible while protecting his own interests and those of his children.

The fact that she may have lied about having sex before marriage doesn't factor into any of this.
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Old 15th June 2010, 11:38 AM   #11
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Just politely let her know that you're documenting things for her, since she's had so much difficulty remembering things accurately lately.
I like this! :-) VERY good example of "reverse-babble", I'll have to remember to use it. Thanks!
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Old 15th June 2010, 11:50 AM   #12
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I like this! :-) VERY good example of "reverse-babble", I'll have to remember to use it. Thanks!
What are you trying to accomplish by doing this sort of gamesmanship, at least at this point?

She's got you preoccupied with her gaslighting and going around in her verbal circles.

Meanwhile, in real life, she's in a relationship with the kid's coach and planning her life without you, by taking a job that keeps her away from home most of the time.

She is setting up her exit strategy from the marriage, whether it's with the coach or someone else, doesn't matter.

You are immersed in the situation and therefore can't see the forest for the trees.

So let me lay it out for you with an analogy:

She's the pilot of an F-14 on the launching catapult in full afterburner, military power, giving the conning tower the salute in preparation to be launched off the deck, and you are the clueless deckhand picking up the chewing gum wrappers that she thoughtlessly left on the flight deck, about to be fried by her jet wash.

Why are you worried about picking up her chewing gum wrappers when you are about to be decapitated?

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Old 15th June 2010, 11:55 AM   #13
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porkins,

you're quite right about where I'm at right now (however, I haven't started taking the meds...I picked them up yesterday and read the list of potential side-effects -- scared me straight for the moment! Bizarre personality changes? Like I need that! I realize that probably won't happen, but how would you know? Unless your spouse or family told you so. I wouldn't want to give her ammunition).

I am not at the point where I think she doesn't love me. Many WS's still love their BS's, and she does do things to show me that at times. During our last fight, she did start crying, saying that she's done everything she can to show me that she loves me, that she doesn't know what else to do. I thought about that as to whether or not that's true. In a book I read last year, His Needs, Her Needs, Harley states that when one spouse tries to meet the needs of the other, but does it in their own way (and not the way their spouse needs it to be met), frustration is the inevitable result.

What I need to feel safe and secure in the M is not these various acts of service or kindness, but I need the truth -- about what happened last summer, as well as generally. My attempts last year to get that truth resulted in hiding, minimizing, gaslighting, fits of rage and some outright lies from her. Now, I am certain that she is probably afraid that I will divorce her if she tells me the truth. I won't, but I very well may if either a) she refuses to give me that truth (which to me would be an indication of exactly what you say -- that she's not committed to the M or to R) or b) I determine that she simply will not stay faithful to me (as I define faithfulness -- which I realize may not match her definition. For instance, if she truly believes that there's nothing wrong with giving a close male friend an HJ or passionate kisses, I definitely differ with that)! I also guarantee you that if I kissed another woman, she'd be at the lawyer's office quicker than I could finish this sentence!).

One thing I haven't done is give her the opportunity since this last trigger (Coach studmuffin, whom DD7 thinks Mommy wants to "get hooked up" with). I tend to sit on things longer than I should, ruminating on them. At least I'm not a loose cannon. I try not to respond from emotion, which would cause me to say things which would hurt her and create damage with no good effect. I've also been avoiding conflict for much of the past 4 years because I didn't see it getting us anywhere, but I knew even then that it was a mistake -- not a sustainable practice for a M, for sure! However, I've already started conflicting with her over things that need to be addressed. I started with the budget and her spending, and did not back down. This was good practice, because I need to do the same regarding last summer. That one is such a big bite, though, it's hard to know where to start, what to cover when and what to leave for later.

I didn't get to talk with her last night. I had a work-related crisis to attend to and she was busy, anyway. I am thinking I might sacrifice workout tonight to take her for a drive where we can talk away from the kids. I did this for her last Friday, but I deliberately did not initiate conflict because she was strtessed from watching the kids all day, and I wanted to give her a break, let her relax, with the hope that she would feel like joining me on future drives which might not be as relaxing (to say the least)!

IC doesn't think the confrontation will be productive, though, even if I do it through a MC. I have higher hopes than that, but if he's right, you're also right and the out of town job will just be the beginning of the final process of separation and D. I really do hope for better, but it depends on her willingness, too.
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Old 15th June 2010, 1:31 PM   #14
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porkins,

you're quite right about where I'm at right now (however, I haven't started taking the meds...I picked them up yesterday and read the list of potential side-effects -- scared me straight for the moment! Bizarre personality changes? Like I need that! I realize that probably won't happen, but how would you know? Unless your spouse or family told you so. I wouldn't want to give her ammunition).

These meds work by changing your brain chemistry, hopefully to something closer to "normal." What's really changed your "personality" is your wife, causing your brain/hormonal system to be pumping out all kinds of chemicals that we normally only need in great quantities when a lion is trying to eat us in the jungle.

The most important thing here, is not preserving your marriage, or your relationship with your wife, whatever is left of it.

The MOST important thing is preserving YOU. Your personal integrity; sense of identity; sense of self. You have been dealt not just one knock out blow but a series of continuous knock out blows. The medication may help you deal with the symptoms in the same way that a football player can take a cortisone shot to keep playing in a game even though his knee has been seriously injured. The injury doesn't go away, it's just numbed, and continuing to play will probably make it worse.

In an emergency situation, i.e. if you are suicidal or non functional, then yes any port in a storm, take those meds. But it doesn't sound like you are irrational. You are making a choice and have the ability to consider side effects.

So consider: will numbing yourself to the pain inflicted by your wife, have the "side effect" of rendering you unable to make the necessary changes in your life? That would be the worst side effect, you would be like the football player continuing to play on the damaged knee simply because of the numbing cortisone shot, but making the injury worse by still playing.

If you are so overwrought you can't function at work, then the answer IMO is not some meds to numb that pain. The answer is to remove the source of it.




Quote:
I am not at the point where I think she doesn't love me.
It is imperative for you to deal with your situation rationally and logically, not emotionally/subjectively. It doesn't matter what you "think" about her internal feelings towards you, because your tendency will be to believe that she does love you. That's not objective or clear thought process. You are attributing emotions to her that you would wishfully like her to have, on your behalf.

You must be objective, look at the facts. If she loved you she wouldn't be taking a job in which she will be away from you most of the time, she wouldn't be having an affair or whatever with the kids' coach, she wouldn't be torturing you this way, she wouldn't be gaslighting/lying to you this way.

Ergo: her actions indicate that unfortunately she does NOT love you. Your intellect/ego is trying to overwhelm the clear evidence of her actions provided by your senses, you are denying reality. In order to do this your brain has to generate powerful chemicals which you are experiencing as extreme and even debilitating anxiety. No different than if you deliberately took mind-altering drugs. Your mind is self-altering to deny objective reality (that your wife's actions indicate she does not love you).

Does her not loving you threaten you, because it means you are not worthy of love? Quite possibly you are not worthy of her love (not saying that you aren't, it's just a possibility) most likely you are worthy, and these are all her issues. Nonetheless without wondering about "why" she doesn't love you, you still must accept, that she does NOT love you.



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Many WS's still love their BS's, and she does do things to show me that at times. During our last fight, she did start crying,
...when a woman, esp. a lying manipulator like your wife, turns on the water works during an argument like this, it is almost invariably manipulation. Her crying does not show she loves you, it shows she thinks she can manipulate you by crying.

We show our spouses we love them by doing loving things for and with them, such as: not having an affair with the child's coach; not lying and gaslighting; not taking a job away from home; etc. A loving response to your concerns as expressed in an argument would be to try to listen to you and then address your concerns in a fair and rational manner. That does not require crying. Crying at you is not "loving."


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saying that she's done everything she can to show me that she loves me, that she doesn't know what else to do.
Well to start with, she might consider not having any more sex with the child's coach. I hope you realize she is in a full blown affair with this guy.



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I thought about that as to whether or not that's true. In a book I read last year, His Needs, Her Needs, Harley states that when one spouse tries to meet the needs of the other, but does it in their own way (and not the way their spouse needs it to be met), frustration is the inevitable result.
She cannot possibly even be concerned about your "needs" if she is contemplating a job away from home.



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What I need to feel safe and secure in the M is not these various acts of service or kindness, but I need the truth -- about what happened last summer, as well as generally.
You will never get the truth from this woman, you will only get whatever she thinks she needs to tell you. She is not capable of telling the truth, therefore, all you will get is more lies.


Do you understand how self-destructive and self-defeating this path is that you are currently on? Married to a liar, married to a cheater, who doesn't really care about you.

When she lies to you it hurts you, if you keep inviting her to lie, you get hurt more. That's what's happening. You keep sticking your hand into the flame and asking the flame: "Don't burn me this time!" But you just keep burning yourself worse and worse.

I can tell you what the truth is right now. Your wife has had at least one serious affair on you, with the coach, she's emotionally left the marriage, and she fully intends to physically leave the marriage. Right now it's convenient for her to not get divorced quite yet from you, but she fully intends to when the time is right according to her own schedule. She doesn't care about your feelings at all, she is using you. She doesn't really care about her own children for gosh sakes, exposing them to her tawdry affair with the coach??? WTF??? (Typical for a cheater by the way.) She does NOT love you, and has probably not loved you for quite some time, also typical of a walkaway wife.

This is the truth. Some details are lacking obv., but it IS the truth in the sense of being objectively what is actually going on with your wife.




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My attempts last year to get that truth resulted in hiding, minimizing, gaslighting, fits of rage and some outright lies from her.
That's all the truth you really need. She's a cheater and she's a liar.


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Now, I am certain that she is probably afraid that I will divorce her if she tells me the truth. I won't, but I very well may if either a) she refuses to give me that truth (which to me would be an indication of exactly what you say -- that she's not committed to the M or to R) or b) I determine that she simply will not stay faithful to me (as I define faithfulness -- which I realize may not match her definition. For instance, if she truly believes that there's nothing wrong with giving a close male friend an HJ or passionate kisses, I definitely differ with that)! I also guarantee you that if I kissed another woman, she'd be at the lawyer's office quicker than I could finish this sentence!).
Ruben, your marriage is already "over." Divorce is a legal technicality. I'm talking about the "marital relationship." It is OVER. You need to come to grips with that. It is way past being beyond any saving.

Quote:
One thing I haven't done is give her the opportunity since this last trigger (Coach studmuffin, whom DD7 thinks Mommy wants to "get hooked up" with). I tend to sit on things longer than I should, ruminating on them. At least I'm not a loose cannon. I try not to respond from emotion, which would cause me to say things which would hurt her and create damage with no good effect. I've also been avoiding conflict for much of the past 4 years because I didn't see it getting us anywhere, but I knew even then that it was a mistake -- not a sustainable practice for a M, for sure!
I interpret this as meaning that your marriage has had serious problems for at least four years. As I suspected your marriage has been "dead" for quite some time; it would have to be, for your w to show this little respect for you.

You are nothing to your wife, not even a bug. You are not even a person to her any longer.



Quote:
However, I've already started conflicting with her over things that need to be addressed. I started with the budget and her spending, and did not back down. This was good practice, because I need to do the same regarding last summer. That one is such a big bite, though, it's hard to know where to start, what to cover when and what to leave for later.
Cut off all her access to funds, accounts, credit cards, etc. If she wants any money from you she has to justify every expenditure. If she earns her own money then she can spend it any way she wants.

The sooner you start separating finances and protecting yourself, the better off you will be when she drops the divorce papers in your lap.

Once she gets that out of town job you are done, and your marriage is toast. That's her plan, possibly with some fantasy of a new life with the coach; possibly just screwing every man in sight that tickles her fancy.



Quote:
I didn't get to talk with her last night. I had a work-related crisis to attend to and she was busy, anyway. I am thinking I might sacrifice workout tonight to take her for a drive where we can talk away from the kids. I did this for her last Friday, but I deliberately did not initiate conflict because she was strtessed from watching the kids all day, and I wanted to give her a break, let her relax, with the hope that she would feel like joining me on future drives which might not be as relaxing (to say the least)!
You are just wasting your time with this stuff.



Quote:
IC doesn't think the confrontation will be productive, though, even if I do it through a MC. I have higher hopes than that, but if he's right, you're also right and the out of town job will just be the beginning of the final process of separation and D. I really do hope for better, but it depends on her willingness, too.
She does not love you, she hasn't loved you for years. She is cheating on you and will not stop. She is totally selfish and doesn't even care about her own children. In her mind, you haven't been her "husband" for years.

As is typical you are the husband and therefore the last to know.l

Get your ducks in a row, find yourself a good lawyer, and try to make the divorce as amicable as possible.

Every bit of energy you use up with talk of reconciliation is completely wasted and distracting because she obviously has no interest in reconciling with you.
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Old 15th June 2010, 2:32 PM   #15
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Taking meds, documenting her words so you can show them back to her...just more lackluster, no-cajones action (or lack of) from you that lets you kid yourself that you are finally 'taking charge' of the situation...all so that you don't have to actually DO anything, like demand she act like a wife.
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