Originally Posted by Matt
I owe it to my wife and kids to at least try to save this. Everything else is set in stone.
One final comment, before I withdraw from the field: it's hard to see how you'll be able to save anything if you're set in stone - which is what this comes to, really.
On the terms you've set out, the only way for your marriage to be saved is your wife's unconditional surrender.
Having been somewhere in the vicinity of where you are now, I can only say that's awfully convenient for you.
There you stand, alone on the barricades, defending the Policy. If you fail, if the barricade falls, if you lose what you care about, it won't be your fault, because you were defending the Policy, which was set in stone, which set you in stone, in that it rendered you unable
to act, or change, or do anything but stand there on the barricades, looking noble and tragic.
I'm sorry to be blunt. But, really, you don't get any extra points for being a martyr.
(Please understand, you aren't the only one who has passed through moments like this. As I say, I agree that I've never been just exactly where you are, but I've been close enough, often enough, to recognize the pattern. My own experience this past week has been at least a remote echo of your current experience.)
Let me come at this another way. You have framed your stance as a Policy, as a Position: "Here I stand, I can do no other." (And "Let justice be done, thought he world burn."). But you have also articulated some underlying interests and values: your relationship with your wife, your children's happiness and security.
Maybe you'd get farther, maybe you could find a more genuine and lasting peace, if you shift your attention away from the Policy and toward those values. Then, the field is more open, because there may be many ways to secure those values while avoiding situations that are problematic for you.
Then, you're not on the barricade, with your wife and her (supposed) policy on the other side, each of you girding for battle. Instead, you'd be at a drafting table, side by side, trying to work out some solution to your problem, perhaps some new way of sorting out your relationship to one another that saves what needs to be saved, while changing what needs to be changed.
That approach, at least, won't leave you set in stone. It will give you the possibility and the responsibility for acting to save what you value.