We've had counselling before, the last one (10 years ago) told us to get divorced. Clearly as we are still together we don't want to get divorced.
The crux of the issue is that I was unfaithful (over 20 years ago) (I was wrong, it was all my fault, she was totally innocent and did not deserve what I did) and I have spent everyday since apologising. My wife has spent every day since searching for ways to get angrier and beats me with it daily (sometime literally) 'at the drop of a hat' for any obscure reason e.g. me . . . "I'm just going to the shops for some milk" she . . . "that's what you said when you went out shagging that tart."
Taking aside the pain that she brings to my daily life, she's causing herself pain and making herself ill getting angrier and angrier looking for revenge.
Counselling seems like the obvious way forward but what I need is a counsellor to tell her that she's got to let it go; to get into the marriage or get out; to tell her that she's not just hurting me but that she's hurting herself and that her quest is not achieving anything other than causing more pain and suffering for herself and everyone around us.
Is there a type of counsellor that will do that, will get off the fence and tell her (OR ME) that a, b or c is wrong and got to stop or are they all the same, just keep saying "and what do you think about that" and never identifying a solution other than divorce?
Counsellors don't tell people what to do, or what course of action to take, they allow people to talk, to explore how they are feeling, and why. Some might provide them with "tools" to help them cope with a particular issue.
What's stopping you telling your wife that her pain over your adultery 2 decades ago is not just eating her up, it has consumed your relationship, and bitterness has seeped so far into your daily lives that, in fact, the toxicity has spread and caused you and her a great deal of emotional stress and anguish? Someone needs to bring this to an end - whatever that end is, and it might just need to be you.
Your current situation sounds like a dreadful way to live one's life
Have you considered counselling for yourself to explore why you stay in what sounds like an intolerable situation? The only person you can change is yourself so concentrating on how you want your wife to behave is fruitless, if you decide you want to stay married perhaps you could look at how you can change your attitudes so that you can be happy regardless of how your wife behaves towards you.
It sounds to me from the OP that - just as Tired didn't want to get divorced before, he doesn't want to now. The situation (as Clawed says) sounds intolerable, and I agree that one can only change oneself, and not one's partner. Yet Tired wants to help his wife, as well as himself.
Counselling for Tired is not a bad suggestion. However it sounds as though it would be helpful for his wife to have counsellling, too. And also I believe very strongly that couple's counselling is to be recommended here.
Counsellors don't tell people what to do. But they do allow a safe space for individuals who come together, to speak and - importantly - to be heard.
Furthermore, anyone working as a relationship counsellor will have seen similar situations before. I would expect the counsellor to help each of you to understand your own feelings and to express them to the other. The counsellor would likely say to you (as mine did to us) that (s)he is not there to keep you together, but to help you to stay married OR to separate amicably, but either way, with greater understanding and peace.
It sounds to me as though your wife feels conflicted - resentful on the one hand and perhaps fearful of going it alone, but I'd say a good counsellor eg with Relate, can help her to face her feelings.
I’m very sorry, but I have to stick my two penneth in here!
I went to marriage guidance, and was told she couldn’t help as she doesn’t deal with people with head problems (Beyond their remit).
Ex was a psycho.
I asked who can help to mend him.
The answer was no one
Thanks for the considered replies to my question. Your responses seem to be based on the belief that my wife will quietly aand rationaly contemplate question a, b or c like it's an exam question. I don't know who you are all living with but that's not who I am with.
It doesn't sound like the situation is doing either of you any good. I wonder why staying married is so important?
Her trust has been badly betrayed in the past. Maybe she cannot let go of the feeling that she is somehow not worthy? It does sound like there are some issues to explore around self esteem and confidence. This is something for her to deal with. It isn't something she can just be told to "let go". It could be that getting older and possibly feeling less desirable is exacerbating her feelings.
You say you have apologised daily ... But clearly this isn't helping matters. It may even be making things worth by constantly bringing your unfaithfulness to the fore.
It does sound like a: she needs some support to deal with her feelings
b: you need to have a frank discussion about what keeps you married and why.
c: if you are to remain married, you each need to cherish the other - in words and actions - so there can be no doubt as to the place you occupy in each other's universe.