Domestic Violence/Emotional abuse...How to repair
First, forgive me I am not a very good at writing...Recently my wife of 16 years left me and had an affair with a coworker. Through the process of dealing with the pain of loss, my wife and I have been communicating openly about where we went wrong. I am responding to your article about emotional abuse. I have been receiving a lot of information from my wife; she has recently discovered that I emotional abused her. Through the many examples of how she felt, I cannot deny what i did. In fact I raise my hand and have told her yes, I did do those things, I did follow those traits, and I have been willing not only to take my share of the blame in this disaster, but vowed to fix them. I guess what I am asking for is how do I fix me wholly so that we may one day be able to reconcile? I am a Christian man that has not been very noble in his search for god. I am currently partaking in counseling with a notable Christian firm, and it is helping immensely to locate and fix my anger issues and the control that I portrayed through anger. I am unable to speak to my wife and have her hear me. She won’t drop the guy who she says is fulfilling a void that she has had for a very long time. He tells her she is worth waiting for, and he has waited 12 years to find a woman like her. He tells her to take her time and heal, he will be waiting. All the meanwhile I feel that he is just manipulating her into making a decision she has and will regret for the rest of her life. She has recently told me that she is working on her and is considering joining an abuse support group. It seems to me that she is feeling comfort in being a victim. She has surrounded herself with other women that I feel have those same feelings, victimized. I am in a place where I know I need to take on my burden and fix me...I am struggling leaving the woman I love, whom I fought for and protected for 19 years, who at times had no other family than me and my family. We have 3 children together, ages 13,11,9. Any suggestions would be welcome and helpful.
You are taking the right steps in seeking professional help for the issues that you have in your own life. As hard as it is, you cannot control what your wife feels or does. When abuse is present in a relationship, there are many emotional voids as well. Your wife is verbalizing that the man she has met is filling some of them and she is more than likely telling the truth. My concern in this kind of scenario would lie with the character of a man who would have a relationship with a woman who is still married. For her sake, she should consider that but she may not be able to see it at this point.
When a relationship has reached this point, there may be too much damage to repair it. As a person goes through a process of disconnecting from another person, once that detachment is complete, it is very hard if not impossible to reconnect. Yes, God can do anything, but it also requires the cooperation of the person He is working with.
With regard to the victimization, your wife is a victim....a victim of abuse. She is probably seeing that and acknowledging that for the first time and being in a group is a very helpful way of dealing with emotions. It helps a victim put words on feelings that may have gone unexpressed. She needs time time to heal just like you do and her process will not look like yours. You both need to get the help you need for yourselves, not for each other. Healing can not be accomplished for another person, it has to be an individual choice because you want to be a better person....for you. Counseling cannot be used as a manipulation to get the other spouse back. It is a means to address the problems that you have identified and want to change for yourself. Your judgement of her in regard to the victim role shows that you may have some work to do in that area and it would be worth exploring with your counselor.
She may be making inappropriate choices, but that sometimes happens when leaving relationships. Pray for her if you need to, but realize you can't control her.
I wish you both the very best in this process and if I can be of any further assistance, please contact me again.