I have been consistent with the boys in the following:
Not eating in the room. No electronics during dinner and I actually sit with them and we have conversations. Helping my older son with homework. Limiting time on the Nintendo Switch. Throwing trash. Emptying laundry. Etc.
Then a few days ago I was helping my older son with spelling words. Wife, as usual, butts in and says my random way of bringing up words for him to spell is all wrong and does so in her usual demeaning tone in front of the kids. I ignore her and continue with my son. Later that day, he was struggling with a certain word....and responded by saying he wants to give up. I immediately told him that is not an option and just try his best. He responded again saying the same thing, I looked him straight in the eye and told him we do not quit and we always do our best and learn. "WE ARE NOT QUITTERS!" was my last response.
Wife starts criticizing me in front of the kids and I ignore staying focused on my son. And he gets the spelling correctly.
The next time alone with him, I spoke to him about my tone and my pushing him. The result of that conversation was that he is glad I pushed him because he was very happy that he got the word right. Even today, he is spelling ORCHARD with no problem with a witty smirk on his face.
Later that night, wife hands me the phone with her father on. He wanted some advice about something.....but as usual...when it is to late and with little information. Do note that my wife and her sisters have ran that family and their father doesn't make a move without their consent.
I get off the phone and I tell my wife that that she is setting him up for failure and if she wants me to assist she must get me involved well ahead of time and not last minute. I am the same way with my side of the family. I am most honest with those I care about.
Well my wife blew up and this ended with me breaking frame calling her a CUNT, and her calling me something lovely in response. I fucked up here badly. Eventually, her brother and I got it sorted....and her brother addressed the matter appropriately. Case closed.
Fast forward to today, she has been sleeping with the boys. Not speaking to me. Trying to find ways to piss me off. One way was intentionally having my older son eat in his room. I responded to that by telling her he should not be doing so....and her response was her telling me "I am his mother and I will do what I want him." I STFU and left the room as I did not want the exchange I knew would occur in front of my son.
I am still working with the boys, holding firm on my schedule, and enjoying the solitude for now.
Fast forward to today...
Since her primary way of communicating is text, and I told her many times over the years I want a relationship with her and not with her through a phone, I now only respond if she calls or talks me to me directly.
Our home is cleaner since I am realizing from all of you that I MUST do the things that must be done, regardless if my wife does them. I am the fucking Captain. And interestingly, wife is slowly doing more to keep our home clean....not even close to what she should be...but definitely improvement....I feel I am leading by example better.
Spending more quality time with my sons. Holding them accountable to cleaning after themselves, not eating in their room, no unnecessary whining....but not allowing them to vent sadness and frustration appropriately. Helping them in baseball, taking them to practices as this is the area where I am the better suited parent to help them get better. Very limited time with electronics. Again, interestingly wife is slowly following my lead with this.
We are only speaking when needed to. She ignores me for other things, but I also have withdrawn attention. I feel I am not acting butt hurt. Speaking to her respectfully, minimally without DEERing, better at STFUing.
She still goes to bed with the boys amd I am sleeping alone. I miss the warm body at night but I do not miss the whining from my wife and the starfish sex.
Now she tells me she is going to a Backstreet boys concert Sunday evening at 5. True honesty here...something about it bugs me and something about it males me feel good that she is doing something that she likes. I will take over the boys at 4 pm and make sure they get to bed by 8:30 pm. She did not even ask me of I was able to watch over the boys. In the end, I rationalized this by being able to spend time with the boys and not to allow them to be an argument tool between my and my wife's drama. Really tried hard to keep my ego out of it.
Guys, I am still missing something/a lot. Almost a week now like this. Wife is taking care of the house better, following my lead with the boys better. The boys seem happier, and more in a schedule, and eating healthier with the obvious treats here and there. YES, I am horny....but whenever I feel the urge....I keep telling myself that sex cannot be my reason, as me being growing to be a better man is.
The books and sidebar, from what I understand, say to hold this frame, and keep on my course.....
Am I interpreting this incorrectly or not? Fucking confused guys, as I feel we are separated but living together, but finally with some structure.
Rereading NMMNG and Book of Pook currently.