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pretty sure I can't fix this


Coping Learning to deal with one's emotions and loss.

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Old 25th February 2019, 6:11 PM   #1
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pretty sure I can't fix this

This is my first post here, and the first time really talking about this anywhere. At least with anyone other than my wife, where I feel I can be open/honest.

I met my wife probably 6 years ago. It was online, through forums. Just talking. We were friendly, I was supportive. At I guess about the four year point she was going through some stuff. A bad relationship. They broke up, and she was confiding in me. And soon it was more. She asked to meet. We lived in different countries, me Canada and her the States, so I knew it was going to be problematic. But I was ecstatic.

I guess some backstory; I'm 42 now. Was 37 I suppose when she wanted to meet. I have Aspergers. Life has... not been easy. I have trouble relating to people, and understanding their feelings, even at the best of times. So relationships have not been my forte. I'd be surprised if I'd had one or two that had lasted more than a month. Most, maybe all, of my break ups have been related to my condition and the shortcomings I have because of it.

I'd never been in love before.

When we met it was magical. Well, no it was a tragedy. I was nervous and sweaty. Barely spoke. She didn't either because she's shy, and I have my suspicions she might share my condition but hasn't been diagnosed. Honestly our meeting was awful. But... She didn't seem to care. I guess because I was that guy that she'd talked to. She knew who I was, and she knew she wanted that guy. So she forgave me that rather unfortunate meeting.

Still, it was magical for me even if it kinda sucked. Even if it was awkward she accepted me. She made me feel wanted and understood, and I'd never had that before. She's the most gorgeous woman I've ever laid eyes on. I haven't really looked at other women since. I don't even know if I'll be able to after. She doesn't have such a high opinion of her appearance, and I think she appreciated my borderline worship in addition to all the attention I gave her.

She said I made her feel more loved, and beautiful and accepted than anyone else had. She continued to say that into our relationship. She'd been through some rough ones, according to her we were... the best. I was the best.

Our first meeting, me going to see her ended. Lasted a couple weeks. Second meeting was about a month later. She came to see me. It went better. She was surprised by how dramatic some of the improvements were. I was much more comfortable around her then. It lasted another couple of weeks. She went home, but it was all we needed. We knew we wanted to be together.

She spent a month back home putting things in order. It was difficult that wait. But we made it, and she came to stay with me, for good. Or that was the plan anyway.

I won't lie and say things were all rainbows and roses. Our relationship was never smooth, but it was strong. We loved each other. Shared everything. But it was... difficult. I'd hurt myself and was out of work for awhile. Oddly she appreciated that. In retrospect she said it was the happiest time of our relationship for her, I suppose because I had so much time for her. We were inseparable at this point. We literally spent all of our time together, well... except when we were going to the bathroom I guess. Really, every other moment was spent together. I even went out and sat with her in the cold when she needed a smoke, and I'd been quit for like a dozen years. I just... needed to be around her, and she needed to be around me.

Money was tight, with me not working, and her legally unable to. But we managed. I had a sizable savings, and we lived with my parents. Which was fine at the time. Everyone got along okay, and they helped out how they could.

And we were dealing with immigration at this point. It was a long process, expensive and stressful.

We got married during this. We both wanted to, but honestly not how we did. She'd actually written in a journal, which she gave me later, that she wondered if I'd ever ask her. I wanted to, but was worried we'd be split up if she was forced to go back home. We eventually did it though, at my mother's suggestion, in hopes it would help with immigration. Got married at city hall with just my immediate family in attendance. That would be a bone of contention later, and sour things between her and my mother some. She felt that she'd had her proposal and wedding stolen from her. I can't blame her, it's the truth. She did. I was sorry for that. But we were both happy to be married.

She'd made a minor mistake when she was 18 which caused us problems with immigration. Made the whole thing a lot more difficult and expensive. We went through two lawyers. She got asked to leave the country at one point (and when I say minor mistake this was literally a fine she got around her 18th birthday, paid off, and openly disclosed). I went with her, nearly couldn't because the border guards were worried I'd try to stay illegally. But we got through, were stuck there for a month staying with her family while she sorted through some legal stuff to try and get a temporary resident permit to overcome her inadmissability. It was tough meeting her family for the first time under those circumstances, made worse by my condition and not being good with people. They... did not seem to like me.

We got the permit though, after a lot of time. It's apparently rare to get one, our hopes were low. We discussed staying together long distance, even though it would have been literally a year or two if the permit fell through. She didn't want to let me go though. She wouldn't. And I'd have done anything, endured anything, to stay with her. A long distance relationship with my wife was easily something I'd have weathered. I'd worried she'd lose interest, she'd drift from me if we were split up, but it didn't happen.

So we did indeed get that permit, and we went home. This was when I got back to work. Which I guess was both good and bad. You gotta work, but it meant less time together. Still, we trucked on, happy and in love. I was always just happy to be around her as much as I could. Even after two years together at this point I'd never wanted anyone else. Couldn't imagine anything without her. She was everything to me. I'd gotten my dream girl. Married her. Stayed with her so much longer than any other relationship I'd ever had.

Like I said, we had a rough road, but it was still bliss for me. I wouldn't have traded the worst moments with her for anything else... well, except maybe more of the better moments with her I guess.

On our first anniversary we got an expensive hotel room. We were chaffing living with my parents. We were still dealing with immigration though, so weren't looking for a place. Trying to be practical. If stuff went belly up with the government we wanted as much of a nest egg as we could manage so we could deal with the fallout as best as possible. To move to the States and try again on that side of the border.

Still, we needed time away. Time on our own. So a hotel it was.

She got pregnant. We did the math, it was almost certainly at the hotel. She didn't think she could, we weren't trying, didn't expect it, we weren't sure we wanted it, knew we didn't under these circumstances.

No end in sight with immigration and a baby on the way. And her with no viable health insurance there.

Like I said, things weren't easy.

She got all day morning sickness. And nausea has always been a major issue for her. She can't stand being sick to her stomach, and it was all the time for months. She also has a phobia regarding genital... damage? She was shaving her legs one day and accidentally cut her nipple somehow and nearly passed out in the shower over a drop of blood there, so you can imagine how terrifying the idea of tearing down yonder would be for her. She was also worried about me. So was I. She's a nurturer. She takes care of all of our pets, and I... sat back and let her do it. I'm forgetful. Not good with that kind of thing. We both figured I'd be a lousy dad. She had a talk with me about picking up the slack. I agreed I would, but I don't think either of us believed I'd be anything but a terrible father.

So what I'm saying is it was not a happy pregnancy.

We moved out at this point. We weren't sure if we could afford to. Still dealing with immigration, a baby on the way that we'd have to pay for out of pocket. It was a stressful nightmare. But we knew this was our last chance to be alone as man and wife, so we did it anyway. We needed to.

She didn't get approved for permanent residency until she was nine months pregnant. Needless to say, all very stressful.

Her mother and grandmother came up for the birth. They aren't well off. They stayed with us. In our small apartment. She went into labor the night they showed up, gave birth the next day.

The birth went well, but I knew immediately that something was wrong. I don't know if anyone else did. Everyone was so focused on the baby, I was focused on my wife. They put the baby on her chest and I saw her face. She didn't want him there, by the look on her face she didn't want him anywhere.

She had postpartum depression. She didn't leave her bed for quite some time. I stepped up. I looked after our new son, her mother helped some. My wife... Couldn't. I think her family wrote much of it off as the physical stress of childbirth.

On the bright side, her mom and grandmother now liked me a whole lot. They saw me dive into fatherhood and were impressed. They're fairly traditional from a fairly traditional family so I don't think they were used to seeing a father quite so involved.

Really, I was just doing it for my wife. Those first weeks were awful. I eventually came to love my son, likely because I was thrown into the parenting deep end (And surprisingly, I'm a damn fine dad), but at first I hated him. He needed to eat every four hours, and I was the only one doing that. And my wife was dealing with her stuff, so she'd want to talk or cuddle before going to sleep. And the baby took forever to go down. So I'd rock him to sleep, comfort her, then by the time I was ready to nod off it was time to get up and start all over again.

Those first few weeks for hell for both of us, and I hated my son. Not for the inconvenience, or the lack of sleep... because he hurt my wife. He hurt her just by being.

I'd booked three weeks off work. I went back when I was supposed to. I knew I shouldn't have. I knew she wasn't ready. I had a commitment to my boss though, so I went. She cried when I left.

About halfway through the day she couldn't handle it. She hadn't slept the night before. She texted me, saying she couldn't do it. That she was either going to kill herself or run screaming from the house. And I believed her. I called my mother to look after her until I got home. My mother went and took care of her. My wife Still didn't sleep, just hid in her room.

I went back on a Wednesday. Was supposed to work the next day. Had the afternoon shift. Was up all night taking care of my wife and the baby. Called my boss in the morning, explained things to him. He understood. He's a good guy, big believer in family. He said I could have as much time as I needed.

I needed four months.

That was four months with no paycheck since I no longer qualified for paternity leave because I went back for a day. And that after spending over ten grand on the birth, all said and done. Luckily we'd been saving for a worst case scenario or that would have more than wiped us out.

During those months I took care of our son. I also started loving him at some point around here. And my wife, I took care of her too. She managed to get back to taking care of the house, mainly because she didn't like how I did it. I did basically everything else.

I did everything for our son. I was there for her. I was sympathetic. I didn't judge. I cried with her when it was hard. I did everything I could. Everything I was supposed to. More if you asked her, even now, and I wasn't done doing.

Eventually my wife said, not that she was better, but that she didn't feel it was going to get any better so she asked me to go back to work. I called my boss, he took me back. I went. She cried again when I left.

I felt awful leaving. Again.

Over this period I did what I could to comfort her. And what I could for my son. I took care of him all weekend. I got him up everyday. Did his first change and feeding. Then got ready and went to work. I had a long commute. That was my day, and my wife was left with him.

I knew it was bad, but not how bad. It wasn't her fault. She was sick. I knew that. I still know it. She... neglected him. She gave him what he needed. And nothing else. She couldn't. She hid from him. Being near him, seeing him, hearing him caused her pain. She felt... violated. She's been in rough relationships before. Abusive. Including sexually. She described the way he makes her feel as "more violating than rape."

Five months later she gave an ultimatum: Adoption or divorce. Because the only other option she saw was killing herself, which she only hadn't done because she didn't want to leave me with my son, alone, and ruin my life. She still loved me, but motherhood was unbearable.

I hated that she did that. But I understood it. She was sick. I still loved her. Didn't blame her. It just... killed me inside.

I offered another option: she could work and I'd stay home with our son. She said she wasn't sure if it could work. That he'd still be there. That it would still hurt. I didn't know what else to do, and I don't think she wanted to lose me. She decided to try it. I was willing to do whatever it took to keep my family together.

So I quit my job, and she started working. She never had to touch him. Was barely in the same room as him. I did everything, but it wasn't enough.

Early this month she asked me for a divorce. I... took it about as well as I could I suppose. She made it clear that it was not up for negotiation. She was going away in one week, for a week, to visit an old friend back home and see some cousins. Didn't want to visit her mom because there'd be too many questions. Said there was no rush on the actual divorce proceedings.

I hated this. She's grown distant, but she seemed a bit happier. There had been medications and depression so I didn't know what to attribute to what. I... thought she'd been getting better. She said I'd probably seen it coming because of how she'd been pulling away. I lied and said I did, but it actually caught me totally by surprise. Maybe because of my Aspergers. Maybe I just didn't want to see it.

The next week was hell. I couldn't sleep, needed to take sleeping pills to manage anything and they left me tired and headachy the next morning, and didn't even manage to afford me much sleep anyway. Couldn't eat, had no appetite. Felt sick. Literally threw up once. Couldn't even breathe. Felt like I was drowning most of the time, like a horrible weight was sitting on my chest, crushing the air and life out of me. Panic attacks I guess.

I was hoping we'd reconcile. We'd endured so much together. I loved her deeply, dearly, and unconditionally. And... she's sick. I always figured she could get better. I still had hope.

The night before she left I got suspicious. I'm not proud of it, but I looked in her emails. She'd changed all of her passwords but apparently she'd been left signed in on my computer and... it let me seen what she'd been doing.

About a month before asking for a divorce, at least, she'd been sniffing after an old boyfriend. She broke up with him. Left him for another man she'd cheated on him with for nearly a year. She'd described the relationship before. I knew what she'd done then. She felt trapped. And they'd had issues. He's been distant. And he wanted things from her, in bed, that she was uncomfortable with. And he wanted them all the time. In her email she said she'd gotten over her mental hangup about that to him. She hasn't. That was a lie. She'd complained to me a few weeks earlier about guys being interested in that, that is was painful and selfish of them. She was talking to him at this point, so... it had to have been about him.

She told me a lot about him over the years. All of her boyfriends really. Partially so I could understand who she was, and partially to reassure me, to let me know that I was the best thing that had ever happened to her, better than the crappy relationships she'd had in the past.

She lied to him. About many things. Told him we'd been broken up for months, that she'd asked for a divorce ages ago.

I could have burned it all down. Contacted him and told him her lies. I didn't though. Still haven't. Haven't told anyone until now. I'm just not that kind of person. I'm a good man. I'm not looking to ruin anyone, even if they've hurt me, and while she may not have a good relationship with this guy... he hasn't done anything to warrant me handing him a truckload of heartache.

I was devastated. Betrayed. I confronted her. It didn't go well.

She just... didn't care. She admitted it. I asked her not to go, she told me she was going. I asked her to wait, until after we were separated, until I'd at least had some chance to maybe salvage things. She refused.

She said she felt guilty. She cried. I... comforted her. I held her while she cried about cheating on me. She said I'd done everything right. That I'd been amazing. Literally said I was a saint. I begged her to give me a chance. She said... if things didn't work out with her ex that she'd "consider me" and admitted that she'd lied to me and kept me hanging on for fear she was making a mistake, and... as a backup plan in case it didn't go well.

I'm pathetic. I'll admit it. In the moment I was thankful for that. For the notion of being a backup. For some... small, twisted, self-destructive bit of hope.

She left. She cheated on me. We texted each other a bit while she was gone. She admitted it.

I finally had my wake up call. I'd fallen out of love. I'd accepted it. I didn't want her back anymore. I... relaxed for a bit. Felt some semblance of normalcy.

She got back a couple days ago. She's asked to fast track the divorce because he's uncomfortable with her being married. She's planning to move back home, to him, when our lease is up in six months. I was fine with that. I was over it.

I'm planning to move back in with elderly parents by the end of the week. As sad as that is.

Over the last couple of days though, I've seen glimpses of my wife. Little glimmers of the person she used to be before postpartum depression took her from me. And I've been reading stories of people who've gone through it. Every little bit of what she feels, what she'd been through and done, others have gone through. And sometimes they've gotten better.

She claims she doesn't care about our son, that I can have him. But she wants some degree of visitation. When I suggested she might not show up since she doesn't care, she got angry. I asked her to relinquish her parental rights and at first she was fine with it. Then she started to talk about how it would be too expensive and difficult to try and manage that through the courts. Then later she confronted me, very angry. Asking why. Asking how I could do that to her. How I could try and take that from her. She was hurt and anrgy over someone she supposedly hates. Then, yesterday, our son said his first word. I saw it. The look on her face; shock and pride. And more than that I think. A few moments later she was saying, "See, most parents would think first words were really special, but that was basically just sort of interesting to me." I told her I saw differently. That I saw that look on her face. She didn't even try to deny it. She said she was a good actress. That she just reacted that way because I was happy and she figured I'd want her to be as well. That's... bull. She's never done that. She's been telling me she hates him and feels violated by him since the day we got home from the hospital. She knows she's never had to lie about that stuff with me, fake it, and she never has. Also... she's always said she's a terrible actress (seriously, that's come up, and she's said it several times).

I... I just flat out know it's the sickness. Everything she says and does about this is contradictory and even she admits the things she's doing and feeling make no sense. But she denies it's the sickness. Refuses to believe it. Says it's just who she is.

I think she's still in there. I think on some level she loves our son, and probably still me, buried under all of the darkness that postpartum depression has thrust upon her.

She'd been on medications, but she went off them. Didn't react well to them. One wouldn't let her sleep, the other made her gain weight and angry just... all the time over any little thing, up to and including yelling at me and storming away if she said something while waking away that I didn't quite catch and asking her to repeat herself (which happened a lot because my hearing sucks). So she went off both and refuses to try anymore. She tried therapy, twice, and abandoned it both times. She said to was too expensive and she wasn't getting anything out of it. She only had a handful of sessions though, not near enough to matter. I'd have tried to convince her to give it another shot, but she's always been stubborn, and with depression she... sees stuff like that as an attack. As though I shouldn't care question her, that she'd know herself better than I would.

She refuses help. And I can't help her.

On some level I realize this has been an emotionally abusive relationship. Even before she always got her way. I was fine with that though, I have a martyr complex. We fit together pretty well that way. Now though? I'm... embarrassed to have put up with so much. And conversely also ashamed that I didn't (couldn't) do more to help her with her illness.

I want my wife back, but not... this person that postpartum depression has made her. I miss my wife with all my heart, and worry she's gone forever. And that even if she's not, that what we've been through and what she's done has stained us too badly to recover. And I feel like I might be a monster for holding that against her, for blaming her for her mental illness and what it's driven her to do.

I don't imagine many people will get through this novel. I'm not sure what to expect from anyone who might. Maybe advice? Maybe reassurance? Maybe I just needed to vent.

I don't know. I just know I feel hurt, betrayed and alone. And that the person I'd go to for comfort, the person I'd have trusted with my life... is the one that did that to me.
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Old 25th February 2019, 6:43 PM   #2
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Regardless of what YOU want, you need to take sole custody of that child and get her out of your child's life. She neglected the child. She didn't want to have the child anyway. She's got abuse in her background, and she's cycling that onto the child. She cheated on you. You are making excuses for her: She's sick. She's not INSANE. She knows the difference between right and wrong. She may very well be narcissistic or even sociopathic. She has no empathy for this child or you best I can tell. Stop making excuses for her.

You were ready to marry her after you'd only visited a couple of times. It takes a lot longer than that to know each other. You didn't even wait until you knew who she really was. THIS is who she is.
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Old 25th February 2019, 7:13 PM   #3
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So sorry you're here. Didn't read through the whole post but may later.

This stood out:
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnhappyOne View Post
She cried. I... comforted her. I held her while she cried about cheating on me. She said I'd done everything right. That I'd been amazing. Literally said I was a saint.
I been there and can say what a complete mindf*ck it is.

Preraph's advice is sound.

Take care of yourself and your child.
Believe it, that this really is who she is.

You're in my prayers.
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Old 25th February 2019, 7:45 PM   #4
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Regardless of what YOU want, you need to take sole custody of that child and get her out of your child's life. She neglected the child.
I should have been clearer; she emotionally neglected our son. As I said, she gave him what he needed, but nothing else.

As said, she'd been in therapy. Her doctor said she was not a danger to our son. She took care of him. Did what she could to entertain him. She just couldn't do more, show him the affection that would generally be expected of a parent.

Her doctors advice was that I should spend more time with him, and show him more affection, to make up for the deficit on her part.

She was never a danger to him, just not a good mom. Neglect is probably the wrong word, it's the word she used to describe it due to guilt and shame.

And I'll be getting full custody. That's already been agreed to. I'll allow her visitation, but he'll be mine. As said, it pains her to be around him. She doesn't want more. A short visit every month or two. So that he knows who she is, presumably in case she ever recovers.

Quote:
She cheated on you. You are making excuses for her: She's sick. She's not INSANE. She knows the difference between right and wrong. She may very well be narcissistic or even sociopathic. She has no empathy for this child or you best I can tell. Stop making excuses for her

No excuses. She does have an illness. That's a reason for some of what she's done and an excuse for nothing.



She did cheat on me. And the relationship has become abusive to me. I fully admit that. She does, however, have guilt. And shame. At least as far as our son is concerned.

I've spent enough nights with her crying or beating herself up to know that.

This last month... things have been different toward me. She's been cold and distant. I'm guessing isolating herself emotionally to make what she was doing easier.

No, there is no excuse for this. She hasn't offered one. She's accepted full responsibility for it. Said she's selfish and a lousy person (though her words involved more explicatives).



Previously it wasn't like that. She spent a lot of time telling me how she didn't deserve me. How I was too good for her. And doing things to try and make amends for her temper issues from one particular type of antidepressant.

Prior to this last month it was all empathy. Nothing but guilt and shame. And a little over a year ago, before our son and the postpartum depression, she was an entirely different person.


She literally spent hundreds of dollars on vet bills to save a two dollar pet rat we got. There was little or nothing she wouldn't have done for someone or something she cared about, including me.


Quote:
You were ready to marry her after you'd only visited a couple of times. It takes a lot longer than that to know each other. You didn't even wait until you knew who she really was. THIS is who she is.

We've been married two years. Been romantically involved for four and a half. Known each other socially, online, for about six.

Meaning we knew each other for four years prior to marriage, romantically for two and a half. This wasn't a situation of us spending to weeks together and eloping.

So, no. We knew each other. Very well. Better than most couples. We had no secrets, until this last month she had always been open and honest with me. It was... a rather terrible way to end that openness.
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Old 25th February 2019, 7:52 PM   #5
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How does a woman cut her nipple while shaving her legs?
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Old 25th February 2019, 8:44 PM   #6
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Her not being affectionate with the child is abuse/neglect. That's how a kid becomes a sociopath who has no empathy for anyone else. Yes, the doctor is right, you need to double down but it doesn't mean the child won't still have her influence and know that she didn't care. It will still damage the child.

Just because she cries doesn't mean she's feeling guilt or remorse. She may just be crying because what she did makes it harder for her to get her way about everything. That's now narcissists and people low on empathy are. They will cry their eyes out for themselves and they are very manipulative and will act like it's for you when it's for themselves. Crying is one of the ways people like that manipulate others. Two of the worst people I've known both turned on the water works to manipulate people, and often.
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Old 25th February 2019, 8:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orokotikki View Post
So sorry you're here. Didn't read through the whole post but may later.

This stood out:


I been there and can say what a complete mindf*ck it is.

It was.


And she wasn't wrong either. Like I said, I've been doing some reading on PPD. I actually did do everything I was supposed to.


Quote:
Take care of yourself and your child.
Believe it, that this really is who she is.

You're in my prayers.

Thank you.


I'm definitely taking care of me and my son. Out at the end of the week. She agrees to me having full custody. Her only visits every month or two, for a few hours maybe with me there to... act as a buffer I suppose.


This is definitely who she is now. But it's also definitely not who she was. PPD changes people. Sometimes permanently.


I knew my wife for a good while before the baby, before marrying her, thanks to a lot of online chatting even pretty well before we actually met. She's always been super open. Up until that last month. I maybe didn't always understand what she was telling me, but she always upfront. About who we was, her past, even her feeling about the baby, and other painful or embarrassing things.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Normm View Post
How does a woman cut her nipple while shaving her legs?
Slipped in the shower. Was apparently an arms and legs going everywhere type of moment.
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Old 2nd March 2019, 10:51 PM   #8
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She doesn't feel love for her son and has said awful things about him. Personally, I would not trust her with him, regardless of what her doctor says.

I suffered post-natal depression too, with both my children. Life seemed like hell with the stress and the pressure, but despite that I still loved and cared for the babies. I knew it was not their fault I was feeling terrible.

I think you are seeing things in your wife that are not there, because you really want to believe she is the loving person you thought she was. There isn't much evidence of this, only evidence that YOU loved her.

It's completely understandable that you would want her to love you and still hope for that. She has not loved a vulnerable baby but found time to have an emotional affair (during which she lied to you and to him). Where exactly is this woman's good side? She sounds cold and selfish to me. I think she has become used to you doing everything for her and forgiving her shortcomings.

I don't think she is the woman you think she is. You deserve someone as loving and responsible as you. I am glad you are going to have full custody. Separate yourself off from her as much as you can, given the circumstances, and eventually you will be able to see her for what she is. I do think in time, you will find someone who has the qualities you need. Be glad someone else is going to have to worry about her instead.
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Old 7th March 2019, 2:26 PM   #9
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Hope you are doing ok. Keep taking care of yourself and child.

Felt bad that I did not recommend "Survive Her Affair" by Kevin Jackson.
If you google it there is a free pdf somewhere.
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Old 13th March 2019, 10:09 AM   #10
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Unhappy One that is quite an ordeal you are going through with your cheating wife and 4-month old son. Do you have a support system?
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