Wedding Woes
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You should leave since she doesn't want to fix it, just punish you.

Dear Prudence,

Three years ago, I did something that my wife considered potentially unforgivable. I won’t get into the details except to say that it wasn’t an affair (physical or emotional), it was nothing illegal or violent, and it wasn’t related to finances. But it made a permanent impact on our lives, it left my wife feeling deeply hurt, and it detonated a bomb in our marriage. I have since apologized, sincerely, in every way I can imagine. I have volunteered to go to couples counseling (she is not interested). On a daily basis I try to show her that I love her and that I want to repair our relationship. I have asked her if there are concrete ways I can make amends, and if she has a barometer for how she will tell when I am sorry enough. She has told me that the only potential repair is a lot more time. I am willing to wait—but, again, it’s already been three years. I’m starting to wonder at what point it’s just punishing us both for me to hold out hope that things can be fixed. But the idea of divorcing (we have two kids and we’ve been together half our lives, since college) seems unbearable. Do you have any advice?

—When Will I Be Forgiven

Re: You should leave since she doesn't want to fix it, just punish you.

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    This is purposefully vague and I can't say who is more 'at fault' but I think you need to be clear to the wife that you're open to do anything and everything to remedy the relationship.   And then stonewalling you to the point that you're being made miserable is not the adult way to handle this.  

    "I want to work on us.  I'm sorry for the position that I put you in.  What can I do to make amends?  Please let me know because the way this is going I think you're likely not going to want to and my best option is to find an attorney.  I don't want to lose you but fear I have." 
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    Divorce is probably the best answer.  But the LW isn't there yet.

    The LW should go to individual counseling so that he can forgive himself and to an extent, try to not care so much about winning her approval back.  Continue the actions that shows he loves her.  But because he wants to do them, not because he's endlessly hoping she will finally forgive him.  It's not working.

    It's very possible she will never forgive him, but keeps dangling that string because she is scared for them to get divorced also.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    levioosa said:
    Hm. I think there’s a whooooole lot more to the story than “I did something that soooome people could see as hurtful but it honestly wasn’t thaaat bad.” 
    It's why I think the LW's infraction is likely pretty friggin' bad.
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    ei34ei34 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited February 23
    Agree it’s intentionally vague.  ExH’s mantra these last few years is “I didn’t hit you! I didn’t cheat!” like those are the only two things. 
    Im not siding with LW but I do wonder why there’s a lack of action.  I’d prefer couple’s counseling or divorce to just handing in limbo, since it’s been three years.

    Edit- spelling 
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    ei34 said:
    Agree it’s intentionally vague.  ExH’s mantra these last few years is “I didn’t hit you! I didn’t cheat!” like those are the only two things. 
    Im not siding with LW but I do wonder why there’s a lack of action.  I’d prefer couple’s counseling or divorce to just handing in limbo, since it’s been three years.

    Edit- spelling 
    I find being in limbo for anything, not just relationships, torture.  For major things, I'll constantly think about what will happen and what I should do.  It's one of the worst things for my own mental health.

    I had a boyfriend who said he wasn't sure if he wanted to stay in the relationship and needed two weeks to think about things.  I was on pins and needles and a basket case for those two weeks.  He did decide to break up with me after the two weeks.  Ironically, although I was heartbroken, my mental health was better.  Because at least now I KNEW the direction to go in and could start healing.

    That was only two weeks.  And a boyfriend, not a husband.  There is NO WAY I could live in a state of suspension like that for 3 years.  But people are different.  And apparently the LW and his wife would rather do that then divorce.  Or for the wife, at least try counseling.  They both need it.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    ei34 said:
    Agree it’s intentionally vague.  ExH’s mantra these last few years is “I didn’t hit you! I didn’t cheat!” like those are the only two things. 
    Im not siding with LW but I do wonder why there’s a lack of action.  I’d prefer couple’s counseling or divorce to just handing in limbo, since it’s been three years.

    Edit- spelling 
    Right?!  

    If he didn't lose the house did he change his job?  Did he start working for the office of Alina Habba or Rudy Giuliani?   Is he a defense attorney for pedophile priests?  Could he have had the yard landscaped to remove trees from their property that held special meaning without discussing it with her first?  Did he move his mom into the basement apartment?  All of those would absolutely be major issues for me but none would fall into the financial or physical betrayal.

    And the fact that he didn't disclose what he did make me wonder if his thought is to throw his hands up in the air but there are solutions out there that he knows what they are and the reason the wife is cold is because the answer is that to fix it he's going to likely create a major change in his life and or someone else's that would piss THAT person off. 
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    banana468 said:
    ei34 said:
    Agree it’s intentionally vague.  ExH’s mantra these last few years is “I didn’t hit you! I didn’t cheat!” like those are the only two things. 
    Im not siding with LW but I do wonder why there’s a lack of action.  I’d prefer couple’s counseling or divorce to just handing in limbo, since it’s been three years.

    Edit- spelling 
    Right?!  

    If he didn't lose the house did he change his job?  Did he start working for the office of Alina Habba or Rudy Giuliani?   Is he a defense attorney for pedophile priests?  Could he have had the yard landscaped to remove trees from their property that held special meaning without discussing it with her first?  Did he move his mom into the basement apartment?  All of those would absolutely be major issues for me but none would fall into the financial or physical betrayal.

    And the fact that he didn't disclose what he did make me wonder if his thought is to throw his hands up in the air but there are solutions out there that he knows what they are and the reason the wife is cold is because the answer is that to fix it he's going to likely create a major change in his life and or someone else's that would piss THAT person off. 
    I’m also wondering if there is a divorce component where if she files, what she can get would be affected. I seem to remember a prudie letter where the wife found out husband was cheating and she just slowly tortured him until he filed and she got more of the assets because of it. If I remember they had some kind of a prenup at play too. 


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    I won’t be able to sleep tonight wondering what this LW did! 
    But if LW’s won’t even entertain the idea of couples counseling, does she even want to stay in the relationship?

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