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What is something you will never tolerate in a relationship or with someone you’re trying to get into a relationship with?
REPOST My wife and her best friend accused me of having an affair, then got angry when I didn't have one
trigger warnings: child neglect, suicide
This was previously posted here over a year ago.
I (31M) and my wife (29F) had a baby last December. It was a traumatic birth and my wife developed postpartum depression. While she was originally going to go back to work after the birth, she's been struggling enough that we decided to wait until our daughter was a year old and reassess. She has been going to therapy weekly. With my wife home full time, I've had to work increased hours. This is something we discussed prior to making this decision and she knew this from the start.
A few weeks ago, my boss approached me about a project that would require a lot of overtime in a short amount of time. It would both be great financially and for my career. I talked to my wife about it and she agreed that I should say yes to my boss. For the four weeks I'd be working on this, my MIL and her best friend, Jessie (29F, name changed) would come help out with some of the duties that I typically do.
Jessie is a SAHM with a four year-old and a two year-old. She began coming over during the day and would watch the kids with my wife.
Three weeks into the project, it became clear that we'd need a few more weeks to get it together. I went home that night and talked to my wife about it. She said she was okay with it, but got very cold in the days after. It wasn't unusual behavior over the past few months, so I didn't think much about it and tried not to take it personally.
During the last week of the project, I got home one night and saw that Jessie was still at the house. I didn't think much about it, said hi to her and my wife, and then went to go check on our daughter. Before I could get to her room, I heard Jessie say something along the lines of, "He doesn't even stop to greet you. Definitely a sign."
I turned around and asked what it was a sign of. Immediately, my wife started crying and Jessie started accusing me of having an affair. She told me that I must hate my wife because she has PPD and am not attracted to her because she gained weight from the pregnancy. Neither of these things are true. I'm trying my best to help my wife through her PPD while supporting our family. And I think she looks great how she is right now, she just hasn't wanted to have sex and I haven't pushed.
Jessie then demanded to see my phone. I told her no. She told me that's a sign that I'm guilty. I told my wife that I would let her see my phone if she wanted to. She nodded and something inside me broke. I guess it was the thought that she actually believed I was having an affair really got to me. And that she didn't trust me after everything we've been through.
Well, she looked through the phone and there was no evidence. Jessie started saying that I deleted the evidence. She started screaming and woke up our daughter, so I told her to get out of the house. Eventually, she left and I went to calm our daughter since my wife was still on the couch crying.
When my daughter was asleep again, I sat down by my wife and tried to talk to her about what's been happening. She told me that she's been worried ever since I started working all the overtime. I told her that we'd talked about how good of an opportunity it was and she agreed to letting me take on this project. She said it was very suspicious to increase the length of the project. I told her that sometimes that happens. She wanted more evidence, so I showed her messages and emails with timestamps from work and paystubs showing the OT. She said she believed me and was sorry for doubting me, it was just that Jessie had been telling her that these were all signs that I was cheating. I asked her why she believed Jessie more than me, and why she didn't come to me with her concerns. She didn't have a real answer.
It's been a couple weeks and the project is over. I actually scaled back and am trying to work a little less than I was before the project so I can spend more time with my wife and daughter. But I feel so burnt out trying to do everything and becoming resentful because in the back of my mind, I know that my wife doesn't trust me. I ask myself, what happens the next time I have a project? Or I have to run errands one day? Or if I have a business trip? Am I going to come back every time to accusations that I'm cheating?
I've tried bringing it up a couple times but my wife tells me it's not the time and that she's tired or sad. I try to be mindful of her feelings but I wonder if that means that I can never have any of my own.
I'm not sure what to do here. Any advice for how I can move forward?
Thank you to everyone for all of the advice and support on my previous post. I think a lot of you pointed out what should have been obvious, that I need to get a therapist and start looking after my own mental health. A couple people asked for an update, so I'm giving one, but it's not happy.
That night I approached my wife and told her that I was going to find a therapist. I didn't connect it to her accusations or anything, just said that I was having a tough time and needed therapy. She shrugged and told me to do whatever.
Next day, I got home from work and our room and my home office were ripped apart. Things everywhere. Important papers scattered. I don't see her but our daughter's in her room crying... My wife left her alone, her cell phone's off. I call my in-laws and a few friends, but no one's seen her. I'm starting to get worried and I call my mom to see if she can babysit while I go out and look for her.
Before my mom can get home, my wife gets back -- Jessie's driving. Jessie doesn't come in (she hasn't been back in the house since I kicked her out because she was "offended" by my behavior) but my wife does. She's clearly upset, been crying. I ask what happened. I thought at first the house might have been robbed. She starts screaming at me that I'm being unfaithful and that the therapy is a front so I can meet my mistress. I try to calm her down and tell her that's not true, but she came at me and she hit me. My nose is broken.
She kind of realized what she did and sat down on the couch and went comatose, just stared at the wall. I went into my daughter's room and locked the door. Called my mom to tell her what happened (she was already on her way) and my MIL to ask her to come over and take care of my wife. I packed a bag for my daughter and when my mom got there, we left. My wife didn't even look up. We dropped my daughter off with my dad and then went to urgent care for my nose. I got blood all over my mom's new Subaru.
My daughter and I are staying with my parents for a while and my wife's staying with hers. I am looking into getting a restraining order against Jessie.
My wife and I are separating. I love her but I won't live with someone who hurts me and who could potentially hurt our daughter. I am not going forward with a divorce yet, with the hopes that my wife will get the treatment she needs and we can work things out. My in-laws told me that they're looking at in-patient treatment at a local hospital. But I also have everything well documented in case of an eventual custody battle.
My heart's broken because I know this isn't my wife, this is a sickness in her mind. But I need to keep myself and our daughter safe and give her the space to recover. I'm hoping that this is the right decision.
Thanks again everyone.
Edit: Thank you all for your feedback. I've talked to my parents after reading your comments and came to the conclusion that for my daughter's protection, I need to file a police report. I am headed to the station now.
TL;DR: A woman fed lies to my wife, suffering from postpartum depression, that led to a mental breakdown and her death. She now wants to speak at my wife's funeral. Denying her would start trouble, which I'm not sure would be worth it.
There's more context for this situation in my post history.
My wife passed on early Monday morning. Convinced by her friend Jessie that I was having an affair that I did not have, she had a mental break, which resulted in my taking our infant daughter and staying with my parents for a while. She was with her parents, who planned on taking her to the hospital for in-patient treatment on Monday.
On Sunday night she came to my parents' house and demanded I give her our daughter. Because she had left her alone for several hours the last time she was responsible for her and had gotten physical with me, I refused. I offered to let her come in and spend time with her while my parents and I were present, but she didn't want to come in and wanted to take our daughter with her. She was upset but left eventually. A few hours later, she drove her parents' car into a tree and died.
The friend, Jessie, came to see my daughter and me yesterday. After some tears, she told me that she was planning to speak at my wife's funeral. She had already cleared it with my in-laws but was letting me know as a courtesy. I told her she would not be speaking at the funeral. We fought and she left after telling me that I was an asshole and not the only person who loved my wife.
I talked to my in-laws who are adamant that Jessie be allowed to speak. She and my wife knew each other since they were kids and my in-laws are close to her. We're all very fragile right now and I fear that pushing this further would hurt my relationship with my in-laws, which I don't want. Still, the thought of seeing Jessie up there at my wife's funeral makes me feel sick. I don't think I can stand to listen to her, knowing that she took joy in my wife's deteriorating mental health and picked up my wife, leaving my daughter home alone.
That being said, I don't trust myself to make the best decisions right now. My mind's clouded by grief, guilt, and fear. My parents are split on what to do and I don't have the energy to reach out to my friends. So I'm coming here again to ask for your advice.
Reminder - I am not the original poster.