Please forgive me for pointing you out directly, I hope you do not mind. You said something in response to someone else that I felt really compelled to ask you about. You said that the first 10 years of your marriage were great and then something just changed...and admitted that the change came from within you. I first have to say that I have a lot of respect for you to be able to admit that. I am praying for you that your wife will someday see these 'small' admissions as the HUGE milestones that they are. PLEASE let me make myself clear...I know from my own experiences that marriages take two...and I accept full responsibility for my contributions to the near death of my marriage. However, I would be lying if I didn't say that a huge part of me feels that the real 'left turn' for us can be pinpointed almost to a specific month or two..May-June of 2004. I know what I feel changed...what amped up the ADD behaviors (for lack of a better way of putting it) 1000%...but can't honestly say that my husband would agree with me. We got custody of my step-daughter in May and a single, party-guy friend of his moved back into town in June. We now see clearly that the 'friend' has ZERO respect for the sanctity of marriage and in fact seems to have some sort of condition himself where he gets some sort of kick from manipulating and messing with people's lives. He was constantly calling my husband wanting him to go with him anywhere and everywhere to drink. He is an alcoholic too.
We were not at all prepared to raise a troubled teen with tons of issues of her own (I believe she has borderline personality disorder...look it up, it isn't pretty) and we went from rarely ever fighting to fighting occasionally to fighting weekly..to fighting almost daily. The scenario was always the same...I was the only discipline she got, he felt I was too hard on her, so he took her side even when he would admit later he knew she was wrong/lying/etc. He often told me that I reminded him of his dad coming down on him (yes, I quickly turned resentful and angry because I felt like I was sacrificing my marriage and my children's happy lives for a kid who hated my guts and wished me dead more than once). Our marriage just went into the ditch...and the 'friend' gave him the perfect 'escape'.
However, the reason I found your comment/confession..if you will..so interesting was that you don't seem to be able to recall what 'triggered' this event. THIS scares the hell out of me in my own personal situation because last fall, when life's stresses became too much and my husband 'went over the edge' (had an affair), wasn't the first time it has happened. First time was when I found out I was pregnant with our daughter. He was fine for about a month and then he changed into a completely different person overnight. THAT was when the hyperfocus beginning part ended for us. Things were never the same, never 'innocent' again. He was all over the board...asking for a divorce...saying he didn't want me to have the baby (and I told him to F*UCK off)...avoided spending time with me at all costs...and when I asked him to leave he ended up in the bed of his ex-wife for an evening romp...and I don't think she was the only woman he was 'seeing' at the time. I know it was nothing more than a one night stand (no talk of reconciliation or anything) because his ex-wife couldn't wait to tell me all about it..but there was also another woman calling my house for him too..under the pretense he was to fix her computer for her. I have never shared this here (other than saying he had cheated twice) but cannot help but make comparisons to the situations...and wonder what 'triggered' each...and WORRY that it will happen again. This was 13 years ago...6 months into our marriage.
I cannot control what happens in life...stress will happen. I thought he was happy we were having a baby, but it turns out that he freaked him out to the point that he was a different person for almost 2 months before finally getting his sh!t together and manning up. I am not saying things were perfect from there on out, but they were just 'normal' marital stuff for years..after we got past that...until May-June 2004.
I'm not sure what I'm asking...maybe asking why you feel confident that you won't do this to her again 10 years down the road from now. You describe something along the lines of 'checking out' of the marriage...and do you not worry that if you don't figure out why, you might repeat this behavior again? What makes you feel like you're more in control of things now? My husband describes to me the picture that he now has God in his life, and we have God in our marriage, and that coming so close to losing everything changed him forever. Plus, I was the one to change first in our situation, and once he trusted me (doesn't take so long for you ADDers to forgive and forget...which is a very good thing) then he joined me. I always blew his first infidelity off as him just needing to grow up (he was 24, I was 29) and once I healed from it (again, him jumping through flaming hoops for many, many months) I TRULY felt he would never do that again. I was beyond devastated to hear him tell me he had cheated again...and that it was because of the attention she gave him...that I didn't. I felt him pulling away before the affair started and I tried to reach out to him, started making changes within myself even then...but it was too late, I suppose. Our counselor just feels that the marriage was so bad that he just simply gave up. Keep the marriage good and peaceful, it won't happen again. I can't help but feel that his losing his job and having to go back to work locally taking a 50% paycut coupled with his mom's rapidly declining health (impending death) was a 'trigger' and that he would maybe not have cheated otherwise. I know HE is convinced that he lives in a completely different world now and will never hurt me that way again...but is this something he can realistically promise if, like you describe it, something just 'changes' without you really knowing what? This scares the hell out of me. :(