Hi Mark and welcome to the forums
Ouch, things sound pretty awful for you Mark. Thoughts with you as I know what you mean. I've been married almost 40 years and while we've generally got on being locked together 24/7 is causing friction.
Thankfully, one thing we've always been able to do is communicate. So yesterday we spent a good 1hr or more talking about what we're each thinking about what the other one said. Wow, did we both get each other wrong.
This doesn't lessen the fact that we are at times driving each other up the wall. For us it's about one being an introvert and the other an extrovert. If you know anything about that - you'll understand what's happening here.
In your situation, I take it things are not reconcilable - would that be right? So methods for coping while you're in lockdown might be -
- exercising (have you been isolated? If not, get out for a walk)
- finding a place in the house away from the other
- reduce/stop watching news reports and current affairs programs
- is it feasible to make a peace treaty for the duration of the lockdown? Draw up agreement about space, place, times?
- sleep in separate rooms
- try some mindfulness (if possible)
Not sure if any of this helps Mark. Others will pop in I'm sure to give you their thoughts and ideas.
Wow, great post Pamela.
I could feel the wisdom and experience jumping off the page. Everything resonated with me big time.
I understand Mark’s viewpoint too. If things are a little tense in the household, in normal times, you can get out of the house. Ride a bike, play golf or whatever distraction you prefer.
On the other hand, the forced proximity may also deliver an opportunity to thrash a few things out. My wife and I took that opportunity at 8.30 this morning. Things were pretty fiery for a couple of hours but we're back on track now ( married 25 years).
Reading your post I feel this some 'glimmer of hope'. Perhaps this situation will either 'make or break' the relationship. Some tips for you both at this time (in addition to what Pamela provided which were fabulous!).
If you are having a discussion (bordering on an argument) don't bring up the past. It really isn't helpful at all. Best to focus on what is happening in the here and now.
Have an agreement that if you need 'time-out' that you let each other know, and it is important for the other to respect this and give each other the peace you need at the time.
Do something nice for each other every day (even if it is just make a cup of coffee).
Show gratitude toward the other person.
Be kind 🙂
Hope this is of some help!
Thanks for your responses, I appreciate your help and I am already doing most of what you suggest.
Unfortunately our relationship has run its course. I woke up to this fact over a year ago when I realised that it has always been very one-sided and she has always controlled me and done whatever she wanted. Her favoured control method was silent treatment, often lasting a week or so, but anything up to 3 months. I learnt to get on with life. When she could no longer control me she got herself a boyfriend to control and they now see each other most days. I suspect she has a personality disorder, but how can you tell someone that?
We no longer argue and barely talk as I don't want to repair the relationship. When I reflect on the past 30 years I can see that while there have been some good times, there have been many times when she has treated me very badly. I have seen a counselor who has encouraged me to find the right way to move on.
Mark, I feel for you.
Your wife taking a boyfriend while married to you and you are still living together must be unbearable.
I too suffered similar treatment a long time ago. I wish I knew then what I know now. I could have saved myself a lot of pain.
My advice is to get out as quickly as you can. Anything would be better than watching your wife openly going off to meet her boyfriend "most days".
It's great to see others responding to your post. Hope some of this helps. From what you say it sounds like you do need to remove yourself from the situation, however, we go back to your first post. We're all in lockdown and that makes it difficult.
So, you must be feeling terrible, your emotions all over the place. To live with your wife who has a boyfriend - wow, that's awful. I can understand the anger, humiliation, embarrassment, shame, guilt you are feeling. Are you able to have phone your counsellor during this lockdown period? If not, there are many services available to call, e.g.
Lifeline 13 11 14 or online www.lifeline.org.au/Get-Help/Online-Services/Crisis-Chat
Beyond Blue Support Services 1300 224 636 or online www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport
Alternatively are there friends or family you can call to chat with when things get too difficult?
If you haven't done so (I'm half expecting you have), plan how you are going to make your move, and all the other things that will need sorting when this happens.
Thanks Betternow, actually I find it a relief when wife goes off with him. I grieved the relationship long ago and just want to move on. What do you know now that would have saved you a lot of pain?
Thanks Mishyg, I too feel a lot stronger than I did a year ago. I feel like I am taking back control of my life. Our kids are adults but still living at home, so probably easier in some ways than your situation. I will be following your other posts about separations and houses etc. with interest as this is the area I am most uncertain about. Wife has always controlled the finances and I now don't trust her to look after my best interests. I do a lot of exercise, about 2 hours every day, and this helps a lot.
Thanks PamelaR, I have had only one session with a counselor, but it was really useful. It was a free session as I don't have access to money (wife controls finances), so I wouldn't mind more sessions if I can find another free service. Planning how I am going to make my move is the question the counselor left me with. The virus hinders this, but also buys me some time, if I can survive wife being home so much.
Great to hear you are getting 2 hours of exercise a day. Yep, that would help tremendously. Being financially restrained is awful. I can relate to that as my first husband held all our money. I never let that happen again.
One option is to get 10 free sessions per calendar year on a mental health plan (MHP). You do this by visiting your GP, ask for a longer appointment than usual. Tell them what is happening, that you are being abused (financially, psychologically, (?physically?), you need help and want to go on a MHP. The GP will ask you a range of questions (basically filling out the medicare MHP form) and when it is scored, it tells the GP if you are eligible for the free sessions.
Now, with COVID-19 I'm not sure whether doctors in your area are still doing face to face consultations. If not, it is something to think about for the future. In the meantime, feel free to contact any of the services I've listed above. It's okay to reach out, especially when you are going through such torment.