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Making solo decisions - Am I in the wrong?


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Old 18th May 2018, 1:13 AM   #1
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Making solo decisions - Am I in the wrong?

I'll try and not make this a novel.

A quick bit of background as I feel this will provide some context. Wife and I have been together for 12 years, married 8. Early in our relationship there were several issues with trust and we probably would have broken up had she not gotten pregnant. In 2015 she had an affair. We separated but ended up back together in 2016. I haven't fully gotten over the affair, and the events that occurred around it - this is a realization I had very recently. Not long after I discovered the affair and moved out, things between her and the OM fizzled out, but then she had "relations" with another couple of guys before one day out of the blue she called me telling me she loved me and wanted me back. I was a schmuck for taking her back probably and while we have discussed at length what led up to the affair, the causes and the immediate aftermath, just lately a lot of things have been eating me up about that whole period.

I tell you this, because it probably had been impacting some of my actions recently - I can't be sure.

To the issue at hand....
Over the course of the past couple of months there have been some incidents that have led me to question how much my wife actually respects me. She has accused me of lying about stupid things more than once (I wasn't), which eventually led to some heated discussions as I didn't take kindly to her questioning my honesty.

My reason for seeking advice today though is because I was told this evening I don't consider her feelings or communicate with her about decisions I make. We are both part of a local group and while it had been more her thing, in recent months I have become more involved, and she has stepped back due to work/life commitments. This was a point of contention for her and she even admitted to me she was annoyed/jealous as it was her "thing" and now it was becoming mine. The other night we had the AGM for the society, my wife is away on business. During the meeting I was nominated and elected onto the board. Now, last week someone on the board had texted me suggesting I should run and I had replied "yeah I'll think about it" and literally never gave it another thought until I was in the meeting.

My wife's reaction to me telling her I was now on the board was not great, and her point was I made a life decision without discussing it with her first or considering her feelings.

We're both busy people, and both travel for work. We have two kids and a lot going on. She is not happy I took another commitment, even though I think it is for a worthy cause.

Is she right? Am I being insensitive?

I should add, this is the second time this happened recently. Honestly I cannot even recall at the moment what the other thing was, but again I had made a decision without talking to her first. I do recall how I felt, which was like I was a child who had to run every decision past their mommy. She does make me feel like that sometimes, and it frustrates me that I feel like I have to justify my actions/decisions.

Anyway, I am interested to hear some opinions. I opened with the infidelity history because I am now questioning myself whether I am fully committed to this marriage and am self-sabotaging. Or is it wrong of me to feel I should be able to sometimes make a personal choice without it being a huge issue to my partner?

Thanks for reading.
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Old 18th May 2018, 7:28 AM   #2
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Yeah, I think you should have discussed it with her first. I say this because we're only hearing your side of the story here. Hers may provide additional details.
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Old 18th May 2018, 7:28 AM   #3
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You know what . . . she made a unilateral decision to sleep with other men while you were married. You certainly weren't consulted about those life altering decisions.

You decided to volunteer on board. BFD. Your wife needs to get over that. It's not even close to the same thing.

Have you two been to marriage counseling? If you have a prayer of surviving, you are gonna need professional help. There are too many things that annoy you about each other here. You don't just get past repeated infidelity without professional input.
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Old 19th May 2018, 10:10 AM   #4
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D0nnivain, this is exactly what I was thinking...she made the ultimate unilateral decision by stepping out on your marriage.

Yes, you probably should have discussed it with her...however in my book, her right to complain is greatly reduced by what she'd done in the past...it sounds as though the cheating was never really addressed and on top of that, she's got some issues which lead to both the cheating and the jealousy.
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Old 19th May 2018, 12:47 PM   #5
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If both of you work full-time with 2 children, chances are you have very little couple/intimate time to begin with. In that situation, I would personally be very annoyed if the SO signed up for a voluntary activity that takes away even more of that precious time without first talking to me about it.

But the infidelity does change things. I don't blame you at all for not prioritizing time with her in that case, but do bear in mind that you are likely perpetuating a vicious cycle.
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Old 20th May 2018, 1:35 AM   #6
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I think you're passively lashing out at her because you can't get past her actions. There's nothing to say that you have to get past what she did and, sometimes, time only worsens things because we have more time to consider everything in more detail. Infidelity kills a relationship in so many ways. It destroys the magic and it can take years and years to get back on even ground.

The other possibility is that, in your mind, you're independent and have distanced yourself from this marriage. You may feel that you're only in it for the kids. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, just saying that I think that's where you're at.

Right now, your marriage is basically a cold war. With time, it could get back on track but these things take time. If you want it to work out, I think it can, but it's not going to happen overnight.
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Old 20th May 2018, 6:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zinfandel View Post
My wife's reaction to me telling her I was now on the board was not great, and her point was I made a life decision without discussing it with her first or considering her feelings.

Honestly I cannot even recall at the moment what the other thing was, but again I had made a decision without talking to her first. I do recall how I felt, which was like I was a child who had to run every decision past their mommy. She does make me feel like that sometimes, and it frustrates me that I feel like I have to justify my actions/decisions.
I hardly see serving on the board of an organization as a major life decision, however, as others have said, she sure as hell made one (or a few) without considering your feelings. Objecting to you accepting the board position is jealous and controlling, imho. Infidelity is the ultimate disrespect.

I think she's engaging in a power struggle for who controls whom in this relationship. Having the affair (or several) and then notifying you that she's ready to have you back... followed by you complying, sets the tone for who's in control here. Now she's extending it to the expectation that you must ask her permission before making a personal decision. You were elected to that BOD because you earned the respect of the members and leadership. She's jealous, competitive, and disrespectful.

It's hard to have a romantic relationship with a woman who has such a mentality. Resentment will build on both sides. If you try to appease her it will mean cutting off little pieces of yourself, time after time, that make you who you are... the parts of yourself that YOU value. Do not adopt an appeasement strategy to avoid conflict.

If you ask women what kind of man they want and respect you'll hear words like, "strong, decisive, independent, assertive." But then you get into a marriage and they (some) will challenge, try to take the dominant role and turn you into a submissive-obedient. And yes, even go as far as a parent/child dynamic. It's dysfunctional as shyt. You can't allow this. Not only will you lose the marriage, you'll lose yourself.

How do you deal? First, you have to accept that you may not be able to save it, and that it would be better to end it than become a shadow of your former, lovable self. Be quietly assertive, refuse to engage in petty conflict, and calmly stand your ground when it matters. Don't negotiate for position; occupy your space and assume personal autonomy (as appropriate). There will be a struggle, but don't engage in open hostility... calmly set boundaries and demonstrate confidence and assertiveness. If it doesn't work be willing to let her go. I know that's easier to say than to do, but... the alternative is worse. Counseling recommended. Read about family relationship dynamics, including enmeshment enmeshment.

Last edited by salparadise; 20th May 2018 at 6:46 AM..
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Old 20th May 2018, 11:00 AM   #8
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Most people in a happy and successful marriage/LTR know that a relationship isn't a battle for control, but about working together towards a shared goal. In view of that, it's generally normal and expected for two people in a LTR to take each others' thoughts and feelings into consideration when they make decisions that impact the couple as a whole, if they expect to nurture a healthy relationship.

Indeed, your wife gave you no such consideration. However, playing tit-for-tat is unlikely to serve either of you well. If you wish to leave due to her infidelity (and I absolutely don't blame you if you do, I would leave!), it may be best for your own health and sanity to actually leave, instead of engaging in a vicious cycle.

It's hard to say what you should do without knowing if she made any reparations for her infidelity and whether both of you have managed to move on from it. But I do think that that is the root cause of the issue, and the larger problem.
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Old 20th May 2018, 1:19 PM   #9
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I might understand why she's sore about you being in whatever group it is now and even becoming popular there. If this group was ever her refuge, her special thing, then she would have resentment because now you are there and it's not her refuge any longer. Would help to know what the group is of course.

Married couples make a lot of decisions together. If it affects the other person, you should talk to them first. If not, then no, in my opinion.
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Old 21st May 2018, 2:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zinfandel View Post
My reason for seeking advice today though is because I was told this evening I don't consider her feelings or communicate with her about decisions I make. We are both part of a local group and while it had been more her thing, in recent months I have become more involved, and she has stepped back due to work/life commitments. This was a point of contention for her and she even admitted to me she was annoyed/jealous as it was her "thing" and now it was becoming mine. The other night we had the AGM for the society, my wife is away on business. During the meeting I was nominated and elected onto the board. Now, last week someone on the board had texted me suggesting I should run and I had replied "yeah I'll think about it" and literally never gave it another thought until I was in the meeting.

My wife's reaction to me telling her I was now on the board was not great, and her point was I made a life decision without discussing it with her first or considering her feelings.

We're both busy people, and both travel for work. We have two kids and a lot going on. She is not happy I took another commitment, even though I think it is for a worthy cause.
Zinfandel, while others have made the association, do you see this issue as tied to her affair?

Because if I look at it on a stand-alone basis, hard to believe you didn't have some agenda in keeping this from her until it was a done deal. Given her previous involvement in the group and the commitment required on your part, it seems like something that would have come up at least conversationally before you made the decision to join the board.

If there's some payback involved, you should at least own up to it. There's enough tension in your marriage already...

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Old 21st May 2018, 3:32 PM   #11
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You know what...

You know what...

In your current situation, you really have no business being on a board. If the marriage is going to work, which I think it won't, you guys need quality time.

However, like everyone has said, she chose to screw you over repeatedly, and those multiple decisions were completely unilateral.

So she can F*** off if she has a problem. ( Just kidding) But seriously, you guys should be prioritizing your marriage and family and it does not look like you are doing it. If you guys don't get on the same page, just end the marriage already.

As it is, you are not even close to being over her affair, not even a little, and she is making demands on you? You are kidding with that, right? Sounds like typical rug sweeping and trickle truth and you know better!!!

Listen, I'll read over your thread, but honestly man, WHY did you take her back.

And as far as I am concerned, she does not get to ***** about anything for the rest of the marriage...
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Old 23rd May 2018, 3:20 PM   #12
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Thank you for all the replies. You've given me a lot of food for thought.
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Old 23rd May 2018, 7:06 PM   #13
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Others have mentioned your wife's infidelity as not having consulted you. This is true, but if you have any hopes for your marriage to improve then you need to move on. What ever you need to do to forgive her, you need to do that. But dragging the past into every day life is not only stressful for you, but it will only lead to failure. If you want your marriage to succeed, you need to focus on the now. Both of you need to communicate and put effort into working things out together. Which means making big decisions together. It sucks that a partnered discussion feels like running to mommy, but marriage is a partnership. And it will only work if you're both actively in it. If this position is something that will take a lot of your time, then it sounds like a big decision. If it's a big decision then you should have discussed it with your wife.

It sounds like the communication in your marriage is not very effective. Couples therapy could really help you improve there, and might help you move past the infidelity and live in the present.
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