Well, good luck to anyone who thinks they can actually get through all of this.
I've been married for a little over 6 years. In a relationship with my wife close to eight.
When we started dating she was essentially "on hold" for a guy she worked with. One of those "I can't be with you right now
, but eventually I'll be ready, so wait for me!" while he went around with other women and she sat at her apartment with pictures of him in her room.
We also worked together, and through various social interactions eventually started seeing each other. I knew going in that she was hung up on this other person, but I thought she was amazing and was frankly way out of my league, so if I got to spend time with her and eventually something happened where she left I'd still be better for it. Things progressed, the other guy receded from the picture. I love her very much.
She moved in with me, then to a bigger apartment, then married, then first house, then we had our son. Then a larger house, then a larger house after that. The house we are in now she picked because its in an amazing school district and it having various things she's always wanted - garden tub, red brick, etc.
She took five years off work to raise our son, I plowed into my job to provide for them until she was ready to start working again. Got promoted. Got promoted again. Son started kindergarten this year. Sure enough, its an amazing school. He loves it. She goes back to work in a different field in a position she loves. Super happy for her. There were the normal issues all relationships have, but all in all things were good.
Now, as I said, I knew I married out of my league. I also had my parents divorce when I was in high school. And while each one of them played into what happened, I knew some of the things on my Dad's side - he got complacent. Things like giving her bath towels and Star Trek: First Contact (she hated Star Trek, he loved it) for Christmas. Never cooking or helping around the house. So I was determined to not make the same mistake. I made sure to randomly get flowers, at least once a month and never near an occasion along with handwritten notes. I learned to cook a few things and would do family meals or romantic dinners for date nights. Tried my best to do a monthly parentals take the kid and we go out together, though in the past couple of months that had admittedly slipped. None of this is to try and say or show how great a guy I am, as I may not or apparently am not one. Its mostly to show the pathology, fucked up ness, whatever in how seriously I was trying to avoid the relationship mistakes I had seen in my life.
8 days ago she gets a call from the guy. The woman he has been living with (her former best friend, who he went with instead of her...if this sounds high school I agree, we're in our thirties, by the way) for the past few years had been arrested for embezzlement from the auto shop she did accounting for and was going to prison for five years. He wanted to talk because he was all turned around. Talking meant meet up so he could give her things from their house that belonged to the former best friend - Halloween decorations, sewing stuff, things that were their shared interest.
I said I wasn't super comfortable with her and him hanging out on their own, because I try to always be honest with her. It seemed odd to me, considering past experience, that after her waiting on hold for him and then after not speaking for years he would just show up as soon as the person he was with wasn't an option anymore. That said, I also am fully aware we are partners and I don't get to control her choices and share this. She tells me she always appreciates my honesty, tells me I have nothing to worry about, and that she loves me. At this point, to reiterate, we are in our third home with a five year old son in our 7th year of being together, 6 of them married.
Two days after that she asks me to come to bed early (I am a senior retail manager and as a result have some odd hours). I say of course, and do so after getting our son in bed. She then tells me we need to talk. She married me for the wrong reasons. I made her feel good about herself and made her feel safe. She knows I am in love with her, and she loves me, but she is not in
love with me. She doesn't know if she wants to be in this marriage. I ask her what has happened, she says nothing. I ask her what has changed, she says nothing. I say that I don't understand because less than 72 hours ago you loved me and things were fine, and now they aren't? She says she has been speaking to the other guy, and as he talked about how the woman he lived with had lied to him and how he couldn't understand because he thought she loved him, it made my wife think about her relationship with me and feel like she was doing the same thing. She said she didn't deserve to be in our relationship because she couldn't love me as much as I loved her.
I asked her what I needed to do differently. She said there were things that bothered her but it was normal stuff and not why this was happening. I asked her to please tell me what they were so we could try and fix things. She said she felt I was too strict with our son, and that she would prefer if I stopped drinking completely. To explain, when we started dating I was the guy with a decanter of whisky in the apartment at all times. As we progressed I cut that back to beer and wine, then just wine. But she had a point, and I said as much and said I would cut out all alcohol. And I have done so, up to this point. We also discussed that I was strict with our son because she was the exact opposite, and we both agreed we were too far on each end of the parenting spectrum and would reel ourselves back a bit. I viewed this as progress. I also said I didn't understand not wanting to try and salvage whatever was going on - there was couples counseling, etc we could try. She said they weren't the underlying issue.
I asked her what she wanted to do. She said maybe a day away would help her "stop losing her mind" (she is diagnosed and medicated ((successfully, usually)) bi-polar with a lot of messed up, abusive relationships in the past though I have no idea if this is a contributing factor or not, I may just be looking for external causes) as she had not really been totally by herself for more than 12 hours in over six years. I said absolutely. So she booked a hotel at a nearby seaside city for the night the following day, packed a day bag, and my son and I told her goodbye. She did go to the hotel (more on this in a minute) and spent the day and the next day walking on the beach, riding the ferry between islands, etc.
The following day she came back in the late afternoon. She said we needed to talk once our son was asleep. After I put him to bed, we went to our room and she told me we needed to think about how to separate. We basically had the same conversation again, with about the same results. She said I was the best man she had known, she loved me as a father for our son, etc but that this is how it had to be. I asked her if it was worth us losing each other, our house, our son losing the school and school district that was so important, and everything else that goes along with all of this. She said it was. Today she was supposed to go to my parent's so they could see our son. For background, she doesn't speak to her family at all, and they have a messed up, abusive background. My parents had become bigger than the normal in-law relationship and basically become her surrogate family, also. When she got there, my family took my son from her, said they would drop him off at dinner, and closed the door. I would like to emphasize I have not spoken to them at all about any of this, because my habit when things happen is I shut down. She's about the only person for whom this isn't the case and I could always communicate with. She has communicated with them, however, and their reaction has been from what she shared with them apparently.
Now, to the part I said I'd be back to in a minute. I said I knew she went to the hotel like she said she would. The reason I know that is I got worried after my wife, a diagnosed manic-depressive with no support structure outside of myself, my family, and a few work friends, was saying things like "I guess I just don't deserve to be happy" and "I just want to not hate myself when I look in the mirror" and completely torching a life we've been building for 7 years out of the blue. So, I did something I shouldn't have and used her Google account to track the GPS on her phone. I told myself I was making sure she was OK and wasn't in danger of hurting herself, but who knows if that was just a lie I told myself to feel better about what I was doing.
What I found was that yes, she went to the hotel the day she went out of town. I also found she had spent over 5 hours at the guy from the past's house the day she left work early and came to all of these realizations. Her description of that day was she left work after this epiphany and sat in her car crying until it was time to come home. Not sure if she meant from his driveway, or what.
And today after my family showed her the door and I found out (and how messed up is this, I yelled at them on the phone for this because they are the only family she has) I called her to finds out what was going on and see if she was OK. She said she was and she was going to hang out with a lady from her work. Where did she go? Former guy's house. And has been there the past 4 hours.
I haven't been back to work since the initial conversation and her going out of town. I don't want to talk to anyone, and I can't muster the interest in customer focus scores or dupe rates. I am fortunate that I have over 200 hours of sick time and three weeks vacation that I can move around to cover the time. I am OK in small bursts, but seem to randomly break down. I don't think I can afford the house we've moved to on just my salary, and I have no idea how she thinks she will survive on hers.
I don't know how to keep my son in his school. I don't even know if I want to go back to work, as everything I've done over the past 7-8 years has been towards the goal of earning us more money and having more time with my family as a result. I had finally, after years of work, gotten the nod for a true store manager position about a week before all of this happened. I would have gone from being home @ 5 maybe twice a week to six times a week. This would have also taken my salary from 5 figures to 6, and leading a team of 50 or so to a team of 150+. I don't know what on Earth to tell the market staff when I go back, as the whole reason I had pushed for it and performed for it was for my wife and son, both of whom I am apparently losing for reasons I don't understand.
So, for whatever brave soul, if any such exist, has actually managed to get all the way through this novel. I'm not really sure what help or advice I am looking for, honestly. I don't know what to do, what my plans are or should be, and have basically had my entire life destroyed, by surprise, in less than 7 days. I was going to post this on an alt as I've been on this board forever and I know in this subsection its allowed, but honestly I couldn't muster the effort to care.
We have a gun in the house, a gift from her gun-dealer (no joke) father. I moved it from where it was in our closet to the tirewell of my car. I said to myself at the time it was because I was concerned about her doing something to herself. I'm not 100% sure it isn't to help me do something to myself if I can't figure a way forward.
TLDR: I'm 34 years old, up for a life changing promotion, and everything in my life just imploded. I don't know what to do, who to do it with, or where to go from here.