A few weeks later, right before Thanksgiving, she gets news that the lump in her breast she got biopsied back in May was, in fact, cancerous, not a cyst like we were originally told. Since the aforementioned phone call with me, she had been finding reasons to no longer enjoy being in FL, but this diagnosis sealed the deal. She moved back home to do treatment since oncologists here are stellar and tried to pull the “but I have cancer” card to get special treatment from me (it seems to work on most other people, understandably). I shut it down immediately and told her that I’m going to help her when she needs it, I’ll be there for the treatments, but that her cancer doesn’t change anything else so she needs to be a big girl and do shit for herself. She later told me that this was a turning point in her respect towards me, and her actions backed that up.
When she got back, almost nothing changed for me. I took the girls to school and gymnastics, and have a good reputation with the teachers/other kids’ parents because my girls are respectful, intelligent, and I’m sociable. The girls echo my sentiment of “Daddy’s house, Daddy’s room, Daddy’s whatever...Daddy paid for it, so it’s his.” In addition to lifting and doing BJJ at work, I started doing additional MMA training a couple of nights a week and helping out buddies with various projects. Wife starts hearing good stuff from my buddies’ wives about me, and I can see the hamster spin. She felt out of place, and I took advantage of a couple of comfort tests. She still insisted on doing marriage counseling, so I had the unit chaplain come to our house. During the flowing conversation, at one point I had mentioned that 3 requirements I have for the woman I’m with is that she’ll meet my sexual desires, cook food for me, and take care of my kids and my house when I’m not around. The next day while I’m putting down wood flooring in my house, wife comes sneering into the room and asks, “So you’re saying that if everything else were good but sex life wasn’t great, you’d leave?” I told her, “No, I’m not leaving my own house that I paid for. I implied that I’d divorce you and you’d be living somewhere else.” Gave her a wink and went back to the flooring. I honestly expected an explosive reaction from her, but she just went to the bedroom and came out an hour later, being a complete sweetheart.
The next big turning point is the unit Christmas party. She got her chemo port placed the day prior, and she knew she’d be losing her hair soon, so shit was getting real for her. I’m always the sharpest dressed at work, and the Christmas party was no different.
I got a lot of compliments on my 3 piece suit and my solid look, and the women at the party were all over me. No way I’d touch any of them with a 10’ pole, even if I was divorced (plenty of good-looking women, but all were either workmates or married to my buddies), but it was it was a super fun night. The changes in SMV that occurred since the time my wife left for FL couldn’t have been more stark. I fucked her brains out that night, and 3 times the next day. Since then, as much as she’s able, she’s constantly cooking, cleaning, and making sure things in our life are how I want them to be. She defers to me, values my opinion, takes pleasure in my happiness, and likes that I have control over all of our lives. Her hair is gone, she’s put on a little weight because of the drugs, but I know that shit is temporary and I still find her attractive. A couple of weeks ago while we were walking together, I asked her how she thought the marriage was going. She got a little bit of a tone in her voice when she said, “Well, I bet you’re happy since you’re getting sex and food all the time!” I gave her a smirk and raised my eyebrows to signal that she didn’t answer my question and I was still waiting for her response, when her face relaxed and she said, “Actually, I really am happy with things. I like making you happy.”
For anyone wondering why I haven’t done any OYS, I’ll say that I generally don’t have much of an issue with self-discipline (unless I have a coconut cream pie in front of my face). Plus I generally delete my comments, anyway; I don’t care about having a background for people to look at, take my comments at face value or don’t, I don’t care. I also wanted to wait a little while before posting to ensure that my marital gains weren’t just a temporary change that I’d lose after a few months. I did a lot of MRP stuff prior to PTSD, but I didn’t know why they were working, which meant that I didn’t have a solid plan on how to make my marriage keep getting better over the years. I’m grateful for the folks that put together the sidebar and consistently answer questions on r/askMRP, it helped me solidify a lot of thought processes that otherwise would have taken me a long time to define. I hope my experience here can help someone else out so I can pay it forward and show gratitude to others who have helped me.