Waffling on Meredith 

I have to say the last week has been tough emotionally. I’ve really been going back and forth quite frequently. There will be an entire day that I feel absolutely certain that Meredith and I are finished. That I’m actually growing apart from her and maybe able to let her go. 

Then I’ll go home and my wife will do something or say something that reminds me why I need to be with Meredith. Or I will read an article about finding the person who completes you, and everything thing in the article will point to Meredith rather than my wife. When that happens I feel strongly again that Meredith is in my future. 

The inconsistency is killing me. I am a man who likes logic and answers. When I feel that there is a correct path to take I want to take it and move on. When that path keeps changing I become paralyzed. Emotions are not my strong suit. It’s a good thing I know this about myself. I use that knowledge to make sure I don’t act on anything until I’ve had time to let it simmer. If I start to feel one way for a number of days in a row then maybe I’ve decided. 


32 thoughts on “Waffling on Meredith 

  1. I know this is not what you want to hear but I feel that if you want an honest look at your marriage and what you can or should do about it than you need to take Meredith and anyone else out of the equation.

    I feel that only then will you put all the energy into either solving your issues or moving on. These choices should be made without an option on the ‘back burner’ … comparing will kill any relationship, and it’s unfair.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes that is the correct answer for sure. Much easier said than done. It’s like saying “Don’t think of an elephant.” But in this case videos of elephants are playing in your head and your heart all day. I would love if I had the ability to just turn her off, but then I’m sure I wouldn’t be in this is situation if I had that kind of control.

      Anyway I was only sharing how I was feeling the last week. I know you focused on the comparison to my wife but what was more interesting to me was that it was the first time that I started feeling Meredith wasn’t in my future.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know it was and if I’m completely upfront I will tell you that it is WHY I chose now to say what I did. It was the first time I felt you might be ready to really listen to and understand the words I have wanted to say to you for a very long time.

        I didn’t want to focus on the fact that Meredith might be becoming a thing of the past in your mind, I was hoping to focus on your marriage instead … you have had enough encouragement on Meredith and even looking else where IMO.

        I for one would like to see you give your marriage and your wife a fighting chance. I have the same mind as you … I know how it works, if it is distracted, well …. that’s what’s gotten you here.

        I also know that as long as you feel you have a safety net in an affair you will never be ‘all in’ as they say – with the investment in your marriage. It’s how we work … always a plan B, always a safety.

        It might work and it might not but you married her for a reason, she can’t be that wrong for you, can she?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes the safety net is how we work. It’s also something we cannot easily turn off. Honestly things are waffling in my mind, but I’m also still unable to talk to my wife in any meaningful way about our future. In some ways it feels like treading water. I would love if my marriage found a way to become all I hoped it could be. But a large part of me is saying that we have moved to a new season in our marriage and I’m not sure the relationship has kept up. We were great together. We grew together. I don’t look back at our past in disgust. But there were areas that were missing. As we grow older some of those areas become more focused. However she isn’t a horrible person and we would have a good life together if we can work out these marriage issues. Time will tell. I plan on being patient and kind.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sir’s Nijntje is 100% spot on.

    Right now your wife is competing for her husband against opponents she has never met at the end of a game she doesn’t even know she’s playing. Her opponent not only has the advantage of knowing all the rules, but also having her highs compared to your wife’s lows. No matter what you decide to do about your marriage, that’s an unfair and unbalanced standard.

    I want to sincerely thank you for this post. I’ve been having some very justified conflict of late with my partner over the differences in how we express and realize our intimacy, and couldn’t understand why I’ve been drawn to your blog on any level. Now I know exactly why.

    I’m doing exactly what you’re doing re: communication. I’m not commiting adultery, but I am commiting silence. I’m pissed because human connection isn’t a continuously effortless Vulcan mindmeld, and instead requires both everyone to communicate and navigate differences that can be awkward, triggering, and just plain difficult. I’m irked that communication is a process that involves more than just speaking and being immediately heard and accommodated. I’m stonewalling and demanding to be pried out of myself because I’m butthurt that my mate isn’t telepathically attuned to my every thought, so I’m acting like a fussing child who just won’t use their words. I’m angry that my needs aren’t being met, but am not taking the responsibility of communicating or negotiating them like a mature adult. Instead I’m sulking because I said my bit and there wasn’t 100% understanding and agreement from the start. I’m sullen because I wanted to grow and be challenged in a relationship, but only on my terms and in the ways that made sense to me. I’m withholding information and making unlilateral judgements about our joint life. I might be largely right in content, but I’m so very wrong in demeanor and delivery. I’m the asshole here, and so are you.

    I’m taking charge of this right now. It’s on me to take point because I see what’s happening and I can. I’m not going to sit in the driver’s seat any longer with my arms folded pissily across my chest, silently watching our car meander off the road because I’m waiting to see if they notice and can course correct for both of us on time. That’s a bullshit attitude that causes pointless problems, and I’m better than that. I hope you are, too.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I believe open and honest communication is the key to any good relationship, then comes patience, acceptance and understanding! Putting our own pride aside to actively work on our issues is a difficult thing to do but at the end of the day it’s what makes things better and so very worth it!

      I decided a long time ago I didn’t want to be ‘right’ I wanted to be happy, I put my ego in check and I honestly can say I have a very happy and fulfilled life and relationship, 20+ years and counting … 😀

      I’ve got my fingers crossed for you Ray, wishing you the best of luck!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you. As soon as I finished typing, I picked up the phone. (If not now, when?) We’re going to sit down together tonight and start navigating these issues with love, compassion, and transparency. I’m sure we’ll disagree and get tangled up at times, but we’re both professional, capable adults who can handle conflict in other arenas…so I don’t see any reason to keep acting like a stunted child at home. I married someone I respected, and I stopped treating them with respect when I silenced myself and restricted communication. We both have work to do with communication skills…particularly expectations, approaches, and reactions…but the shutdown is entirely me. And it ended today.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve written on communication a few times over the past year and a half, I think how it’s taken has much more to do with how you say a thing than the thing itself.

        There is no reason you can’t say what you need AND be kind about it, pointing fingers and accusing never solves anything, … and perspective of course. I find it’s usually our own prejudices that makes us think we were wronged, often the other person really has no clue and certainly didn’t have the intention to make us feel how we did or do …

        Not that you asked!! lol But I’m glad to hear you have taken the first step already! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ray-How did you meet your spouse? You said you married someone you respected but based on your comment above, it sounds like something derailed that. What was it that got in the way? Are you the leader or follower in your marriage or do you find yourself like PatientMan, feeling overlooked and ignored?

        Liked by 2 people

      4. You know I love your example. I plan on opening up communication too as that is exactly what I want – no what I need in a marriage. But I’m concerned my wife will not want the same. I’m helping her to move forward so we can have the conversations we need to have. She knows and has told me she can’t handle a deep discussion about our relationship right now. She also knows I can’t wait forever. At some point we will discuss. It’s possible she will decide that she doesn’t want to be married to me anymore. Just being open doesn’t necessarily lead to happy endings.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Personally I think she is worried that your discussion is in keeping with ‘you are leaving her’ and that’s why she doesn’t feel or want to be ready. Like Moi said, she knows ….

        Secondly, I used to decide for my husband that he didn’t want to hear or wasn’t ready, and he like your wife was worried about what I might have to say.

        Someone had to start and you know where we are now. One thing at a time and be realistic in your expectations of timeline. You can email me directly if you’d like a second opinion on how to approach these ‘crazy things we do’ with her or just talk to someone with an entirely different personality than ours. My husband falls under ‘the Entertainer’ – exact opposite to me in every way! LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Interesting theory on the delay tactics. I’ll have to consider that.

        To be clear this was not me deciding she wasn’t ready to talk about it. I did initiate conversation and she became so upset that she asked me to stop for awhile and I agreed. Now if you are talking about the time before 2015 then yeah probably but most of that was subconscious on my part.


      7. Sir’s Nijntje — I totally agree on all points, and would even add to your suggestions the realization that until recently was eluding me: sometimes the good communication patterns and preferences you’ve already established with a partner just will not work like they usually do, for whatever reason. Trying to plug away using tactics that you’ve been trained to utilize…but are absolutely not working now…is a waste of time and energy. Maybe you’re locked into a call-and-response pattern, maybe there’s avoidance because of the topic, maybe you’re both just simply tired of having the same conversation in the same ways saying the same things. If that’s the case, then it’s time to step outside of standard operating procedure and jump-start communication by utilizing outside-the-box methods and structures that aren’t native to you both until normal communication channels can be restored. It might be something that wouldn’t work 90% of the time, but it just needs to be something that might work this one time. I’m very pleased to share that taking a very unconventional approach worked really well for us, and that good communication was pretty immediately restored. I think the part we too often forget about communication is that it’s also about engaging and catching the attention of your audience, and there are many different ways to do that.

        Liked by 2 people

      8. Two Cheating Hearts —

        My spouse and I met at university while taking the same unusual elective course, although it was nearly a decade before we had our first real conversation after running into each other very unexpectedly in a rather quirky series of events. We both lead and follow pretty equally in all things, although there are areas where I naturally find myself stepping into leadership as opposed to other areas wherein my partner tends to take the lead. It’s a partnership structure that we both highly value and appreciate, because we tend to like experiencing things very intensely and mindfully. (For example: I like to create incredibly curated experiences most of the time, but I also pretty regularly want to completely go with the flow and live in the moment if there’s the possibility of exceptional experience.) When you have a partner who is both an incredibly strong leader and a fantastic follower, it can be pretty amazing to switch back and forth. We both have felt deprioritized and underappreciated at very significant times in the early years of our relationship, if not exactly ignored and undervalued as Mr. Patience seemingly feels. I think we are very lucky to share a lot of respect and support with each other on a very regular basis, which is why finding an instance where it was steadily leeching away was so surprising to me.

        I think what derailed respect in this instance was underestimating or at least being unaware of the more subtle, insidious, everday, offhandedly “inconsequential” realizations of disrespect. I made the mistake of considering disrespect to be a series of rather obvious and negative actions, attitudes, slights, inconsiderations, and the like. Key word = obvious. That was always my experience of it, with the exception of some very passive-aggressive but aware acting out. It had never occured to me in anything other than a fleeting awareness that disrespect first starts in your perception with a slow limiting of your partners agency, authority, potential, and/or competency by narrowing down how you understand them and what you expect from them. I glossed over this part and never really took it to be as important as I know understand it to be. I think sometimes we consider thinking like this as being simply realistic about people…their reasonable potentials and our reasonable expectations…but it’s also true that this is an inherently limiting and restrictive act, which is why it so often leads to disrespect. Disrespect isn’t necessarily the first time you say or do something that evidences a valuation change to someone you’ve held at a certain esteem; it’s also the first time you envision them as restricted, incapable, limited, or just plain less in any fashion.

        In this particular instance, we were having some difficulty navigating a change in a key dynamic that required my partner to step outside of their comfort zone and become very proactive in an area they were very uncomfortable with addressing even passively, let alone actively. I started thinking about how I could fill in their lack, what I could or could not expect from them, ways to temper my frustration if they fell short, what they could reasonably do, how they might struggle and how best I could help…that kind of thing. I started approaching and communicating with them from this mindset, and any and every situation that seemed to affirm my thoughts further calcified my approach. I didn’t give them any latititude to surprise either of us, or to experience struggles without fitting them into our existing framework. They had to face a situation that demanded growth and creativity, and all I was doing was measuring the dimensions of the box I was anticipating putting them inside. I disrespected their ability to grow and surprise both of us, to become something I had no way of envisioning or anticipating, and to work things out in their own time and in their own way. I came at things with the arrogance of omnipotence, thinking I knew what this new dynamic needed to look like and could thus judge progress. Of course I have no way of knowing that, and can do no such thing. I can’t even reasonably anticipate my own needs, because I’ve learned that sometimes what I think I want isn’t what really satisfies me. There are always solution and possibilities I’ve never even considered or imagined. So by thinking like this, I disrespected their potential and desire to meet my needs while serving our joint needs. I started anticipating and charting progress by my expectations instead of stepping back and giving them space to come up with something completely new. And that’s how disrespect started to come in, because I made them accountable to my own limited notions of progress and growth.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Ray, I’m sorry but this is a great example. There are so many words here and they say so very little. “difficulty navigating a key dynamic”. Why can’t you just say what is going on? In language we can all understand? This is like reading a research paper written by a 3rd party about your relationship where they are trying not to actually say anything factual about said relationship. Seriously painful to read. But it’s you writing it! You’re in the relationship! Not a 3rd party. You know what. Don’t answer this. I don’t actually want to know what ridiculous reason you have for doing what you do. At least you are consistently authentically inauthentic.


      10. Ryan Patience —

        That’s excellent! I think it’s a fantastic thing that you are making this such a strong priority. I think that some relationships can be salvaged and improved after infidelity, even if they are forever altered by that trauma. (My personal experiences did not end on such positive notes, but I could always see their potential if all parties were in a place to enact true and honest reparations, atonement, healing, acceptance, and change.) I think it’s a very brave thing for you to decide to work on your marriage after having caused this kind of damage, and appreciate that you are taking charge of your life instead of following a series of inevitabilities to a completely predictable and domino-effect sad ending. I respect that in you, and really hope your wife will as well.

        The only thing I would share with you is this…

        I’m pretty sure you and I think about things in a similar manner. (Not exactly alike — you’re an INTJ and I’m an xNTP, if that wasn’t already obvious. Thus why my conversational tendency to meander frustrates you, and why your tendency to tunnel vision frustrates me…and thus why my personality type is known for radical honesty and creating new ways of engaging with and perceving the world, while yours is known for precision strategizing and creating unique answers and complex solutions to challenging situations…) I can see similarities in our thinking and approaches to the world, and can thusly see where yours would have the same problems I’ve run into in my own life. If there is such a thing as serendipity, I think the realization I’ve recently reached and shared on this post about my own personal communication difficulties was also meant for you.

        You seem to be coming at the challenge of your marital communication difficulties with a framework and expectations already in mind for what successful communication will look like based on what you feel is missing. You’ve been very clear in your posts about how you’ve been preparing to discuss real issues and problems with your wife, but I don’t know if you’ve given much thought to the possibility that you will most likely need to jettison the framework you’ve so carefully constructed in order to allow for real growth and communication to occur.

        One thing I don’t know if you’ve considered or not is that you have never experienced regular, healthy, constructive communication in your marriage…and have struggled with this in other relationships in your life…so what you have in mind as being real communication needs are actually only inferences you’ve drawn by looking at unhealthy or unsuccessful communication attempts. Those aren’t necessarily the same things, and you can’t always successfully reverse engineer a problem if you don’t know all the techniques involved in creating something in the first place. Healthy and successful communication will most likely require that BOTH of you change a great deal about how you think, speak, approach, and interact with each other. For both of you, that will most likely involve things you’ve never considered before and right now cannot imagine. This may take a long time to dismantle and reassemble. This may look very different from what you’ve pictured, and you may be tempted to dismiss the real solution in favor of what fits your preconceived framework. Please don’t do this. Put your all your considerable discernement and energy into finding a therapist that you really trust professionally, and be willing to take their advice even if you don’t see it yourself. Let go of your dependance and faith in your structurally rigid mind as the best way to navigate things. It’s not the best way, otherwise it would have already worked. Get in touch with your emotionality, and be ready to meet and communicate with your wife on this level. Be ready to accept and send communication in very different methods than you’ve ever known. Be ready to question yourself deeply at every level, and especially in the ways you think you are already strong. Consider that maybe it is your wife who needs to learn how to speak, and you who needs to learn how to listen. Otherwise you are simply preparing your wife to receive bad news with newly minted coping skills, and honestly? That’s a complete waste of some incredible unrealized potential with someone who will be in your life for the rest of your life.

        You have my full sympathy, well wishes, and good thoughts in this process.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I’ll be honest, only read the beginning. I’m not surprised you are an xNTP. Figuring out that x would require nailing something down about who you are. My best friend for the last 20 years is an INTP and I can tell you that it isn’t your meandering that frustrates me or your “radical honesty”. My friend is quite honest yet he can hold a conversation like a normal human being. It’s your written conversational style that frustrates me and others. Good luck with things Ray.


    2. Ray, do you happen to read/watch/ follow Alain de Botton? He’s an amazing speaker/writer if you don’t know of him, look him up. Your comment re acting like a fussing child is something he speaks of and so spot on re communication in adult relationships.


      1. I’m only passingly familiar — I’m thinking I’ve read a handful of essays, including one about why you will marry the wrong person? (Is that right?) I’ve looked up a few titles and will be picking those up for future reading. Thanks for the suggestion, Magenta!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ray – I haven’t heard of that essay but he has a couple of great talks that he gave on his book tour last year for The Course of Love.

        This article gives an insight to his views and there’s a long clip embedded in it (well worth listening to though)

        Or if 1hr+ is too much for you this shorter 20min clip says a lot of similar things but I still feel the long one is worth the listen as well


    3. Ray, I’m glad my blog is somehow helping you in your own relationship. I’m really struggling with your communication style. I have no substantive response, and you decided to call me an asshole.


      1. Ryan Patience — your blog did help me reach a critical understanding, and I am very grateful for the unexpected insight. In gratitude for what I’ve learned here, I am going to do what I believe you are too passive-aggressive to directly request and immediately stop visiting and interacting with your blog. I have no desire or interest in causing anyone sincere distress, and hope any discomfort has been fleeting.

        I’m respecting your request to not comment on your multiple critiques of me, but I will share one thing: I actually paraphrase and quote you a lot. Such as this quote, which you seemingly forgot making. “She has a habit of not answering my questions, but instead making two or three leaps ahead to assume what I’m really asking and answering that question. Of course all her leaps turn me into an asshole so I end up defending myself for things I never said or thought.”

        May each of us avoid being “consistently inauthentic” in our futures. 😉


  3. These are two exceptional responses. I agree with both of them. Please, please be completely honest with your wife. Stop making her the bad guy. The reason she is irritating and irritated is because under the surface she knows that there are things going on. Your wife is not a stupid woman so she has feelings that there are secrets been kept. Open your mouth. Leave Meredith off the table and tell your wife what you want sexually. If she is never going to be able to meet that need then the two of you all need to work out what to do, whether to stay together or divorce, but it needs to be about your marriage and not about Meredith.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Moi, I do plan on being completely honest with my wife in regards to what I want in need in a marriage. And I have started down that road. I learned a valuable lesson too. My wife is not ready to hear some of this right now. We each agreed to go to counseling and she has already started. When she feels more confident that she can listen to me we will be able to discuss more. It is a delicate issue and it overwhelms her.

      Also, I mentioned this to SN too, but what I really took from my post was that I, for the first time, was feeling that perhaps Meredith wasn’t in my future. I could feel myself waffling about it, and it was a strange feeling.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This maybe based more on the comments but Meredith needs to be out of it for sure. For you to be able to look back and say, “I tried my best and gave it my all” she has to be gone from your life. Like she never existed. Erase her. Never look her up in social media. Never think about the time you had. Never talk about her or ask about her. Stop caring for her. Hard thought I’m sure. It’s the only way it would work. Where would you be today if she didn’t exist? Would you be working on your marriage or would you be out there looking for someone to live out your sexual fantasies with. If it’s the latter, do your wife a favor and let her go. Remove yourself from her life before you cheat on her more and more until she finds out and you crush her and make her see her entire family life as a fraud. She will see every moment as something that wasn’t real. She may hate you and your children will suffer as you exchange them back and forth with rage in your eyes. Finding out the one person who is suppose to love you forever, be the one person you trust with everything, cheated! It changes everything the moment it’s discovered. EVERYTHING.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish it were possible to do what you asked. As if there were a real life men in black memory eraser. But there is not. And I’m not sure if I would do it again. Honestly it opened my eyes to the things I’ve been struggling with quietly in my marriage and I’d like to now focus on addressing those areas more openly.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think men and women in the west have been raised on fairytales. We do not recognize how much we absorb the ideas and ideals that are so unrealistic they can never be reached. People talk about soul mates or red strings. There are over 7 billion of us on this planet so I am pretty sure there are thousands, perhaps millions, of women who would meet that criteria for you.
    Look at what you have. Look at what you want. Look at your family and decide what to do then do it. If your happiness is wrapped up in a particularly lifestyle and nothing else will do then tell her. Also tell her she is a special person but you two have now where in the middle to meet. If you decide to stick around then mean it. Having affairs is ruinous because the fallout if exposed is lifelong.
    I really do wish you and your wife happiness. I just hope whatever you do it is done with kindness

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, agreed. Hoping to have that conversation soon.

      Well not agreeing to the generalization about billions of people hooked on fairy tales. But the rest of it. Mathematically you are probably correct, and to open up communication for sure.


  6. I need to get caught up with your blog sometime. Sorry things have been tough, man. Nobody ever becomes master of their emotions, so just hang in there and give it time. Sounds like you are on the right track to me. My personality is more geared towards accepting and living in constant cognitive dissonance, so easy for me to say, I know.

    Liked by 1 person

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