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Groucho:

One more point for you to consider:

Some of the most damaging things people do to themselves are in an effort to avoid or dull the effects of emotional pain...drugs and alcohol commonly come to mind.

One thing that typically does not come to one's mind when thinking about emotional pain is denial. Additionally, while not a chemical, denial does just as much damage as the aforementioned, because you are removing yourself from reality to avoid pain.

Much like alcohol/drugs, all it does is help you temporarily avoid the pain. But when you stop denying, and start accepting, that same pain will still be waiting for you.

It is time for radical acceptance of your situation. Accept that it will hurt. Accept that prolonging dealing with that pain is also prolonging your healing.

Sorry you are here under these circumstances, brother.

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Can't like FSJ's comment enough.

Denial is a powerful drug to dull pain. Very powerful.


The last thing that really bugged me about your situation, Groucho, is when your wife said, "Oh, is this what "we" are going to do to each other now?" when you mentioned to her that you have the right to 50% of her retirement. This statement really goes to show you just how little she cares about you... if at all. She fully expects to be able to test drive her AP and have you ready and waiting just in case it doesn't work out for her. Oh, and you also are not allowed to touch her money - even though she is the one that destroyed your marriage and family. Your wife only cares about herself. No one else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
Cards on the table, OP, I did not read all the responses. I stopped at page two to begin writing this. I actually went through something similar to you, although I was with my ex for about 15 years, so a little less than you, and our kids are much younger (13 and 8). But a lot of the other things you describe are exactly the same as what happened with me--had an affair, finally had to admit it, wanted time to think, used that separation period to test drive the other relationship, etc.

I am farther down the road than you are so I'll tell you a few things that have helped me that I think might help you.

First, limit contact. I felt the exact same yo-yo'ing of emotions that you are describing and it was because I was still in contact with my ex. Limit contact to only things about the kids and try to make that contact only via text or email. Not only does that give you a written record, but I think talking on the phone or meeting face to face can stir up more emotions.

Second, try not to dwell on the what could have been. This can be hard, but the sad truth is that the feelings you have for your wife at some point were not reciprocated and you don't want to be with someone who doesn't treat you the way you deserve. Again, I know it can be hard, but over time you'll see that you are better off.

Third, on that note, do give yourself time. While there are people who will say that you should just be happy that this cheater is out of your life, I think the reality is not so black and white. Life is full of gray area and it is natural to feel sad, angry, and a million other emotions about this. Feel all those feelings, but also know that over time it will get better. How long is up to the individual person but it gets better eventually.

Fourth, to help that healing process, do things for yourself. Don't drink too much as that just leads to depression. Try to be active, hang out with friends, do stuff with your kids, see a mental health professional if needed to talk things out. Definitely see a therapist to work through some of the issues you've mentioned about thinking about how she could throw all this away, she's not being rational, etc. I had those exact same thoughts and talking to a therapist really helped.

Fifth, use your wife being in the honeymoon phase with her affair partner to your advantage and get moving on the legal side of divorce. That might sound cold, but this time period really can be useful for you to get out while she's not trying to be vindictive or anything.

Sixth, in my experience reconciliation usually does not work out just because there are so many issues at play to work through. Not to say there aren't cases where it works out, but I think that is not the norm.

Sorry you are in this place. It will get better over time and you can come out the other side better off. Not going to lie and say this won't be stressful or hard because it will, but it does get better.
Thank you for your time the third point did hit home, it is far from black and white.
 

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Possibly, but again it’s why didn’t I see it life has been normal up to 4 months ago, doing things together healthy sex life etc.. if she has been planning this for a long time I wish she had talked to me at some point before we got to here.
She met a dude that gave her the tingles and she threw her husband and kids to the wolves. That is in fact who she is…whether she acted on it before isn’t really the point.

More importantly, who are you? Are you the guy that loves with loyalty and honor and deserves better than this? If so, sink your whole heart and soul into knowing that. Knowing you did everything you could, but now you will create a new and better life, because you can control that 100%.
 

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You’ve been given excellent advice.
The pain you are experiencing is so bad that it’s hard for you to think clearly.

I will add to the otters that your wife is using your love for her against you, using your fear of change and loss against you, and will use your friends/kids/family against you if you allow it.

Please don’t think about this and just do it: Get a good lawyer and file for divorce and be as cold and uncaring in divorce as she was cold and uncaring in telling you that she loves another man and is having sex with him and choosing to live with him.

No matter what, you’re on for a couple of years of torture. But getting divorced and establishing a new life will lessen the pain significantly. If you continue to flounder and fail to file and divorce your wife, you will never heal from this. Your wife,no matter what she says, has no romantic thoughts or emotions for you whatsoever. Accept it.

Please accept from a oerson sho has been through it, that there are lots of women that WILL want to be your lover again.

This is not as bad as it now seems. But it takes a while to see the light. You have no hope if even a ray of sunlight until you accept the truth and file and start to move forward.

I’m sorry this happened to you. But weakness will do nothing but hurt you.
 

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"I always thought she was a good person, kind and caring and a good mum. But the last 3 mo ths is totally out of character, or maybe not maybe that’s what she has always been I just didn’t see it. No contact anymore and try and move on."

24 years of attachment doesnt just go away, but heres the thing, that attachment has developed gangrene. Left attached it will take you down.

Truth is, people can and do change under differing circumstances, some for the better, some for the worse. Your wife has succumbed to the dark side and is now enveloped by it. Will she come to her senses? Who knows? The only thing you are left with is that you absolutely cannot allow it to take you down too. It is time to amputate.
 

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never been there before then I guess
We were all shell-shocked when this happened to us, let's forget about what we cannot change. What is important is that you don't petrify into a state of inaction.

Your future starts now, but whatever has been left undone to this point, you will need to catch up on. Rather do a little each day than to wake up too late and be task-saturated to the point of another stall.
 

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You're handling this all wrong. She's the one who is making the bad choices, she needs to be the one to come around begging for forgiveness. You're playing the role of a doormat, leaving her to do anything she wants. There's several things wrong with this.

1- You're basically giving her control of your life, as long as you allow her to do whatever she wants
2- ironically any chance of "winning her back"is basically obliterated. Your doormat "do whatever you want I love you" attitude is weak and unattractive
3- your kids will see this and they'll either pity you or worse yet they see you as a role model of how to allow themselves to be treated by a partner who is deceptive and selfish

That's for starters.

I've seen the occasional cheating spouse post on here, it typically goes like this: It's usually a woman, and she's begged her husband for forgiveness but he wants nothing to do with her, he's divorcing her and she's a mess and would do anything if he would only give her one more chance. That's how it "should" be, in an ideal world. You're the one cheated on, and you're the one that would do anything to get her back, you've got it exactly backwards. Be strong, be independent, find your balls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
You're handling this all wrong. She's the one who is making the bad choices, she needs to be the one to come around begging for forgiveness. You're playing the role of a doormat, leaving her to do anything she wants. There's several things wrong with this.

1- You're basically giving her control of your life, as long as you allow her to do whatever she wants
2- ironically any chance of "winning her back"is basically obliterated. Your doormat "do whatever you want I love you" attitude is weak and unattractive
3- your kids will see this and they'll either pity you or worse yet they see you as a role model of how to allow themselves to be treated by a partner who is deceptive and selfish

That's for starters.

I've seen the occasional cheating spouse post on here, it typically goes like this: It's usually a woman, and she's begged her husband for forgiveness but he wants nothing to do with her, he's divorcing her and she's a mess and would do anything if he would only give her one more chance. That's how it "should" be, in an ideal world. You're the one cheated on, and you're the one that would do anything to get her back, you've got it exactly backwards. Be strong, be independent, find your balls.
Again I wish it were so easy for me to forget 24 years together I know apparently she can but it is more difficult for me. If you had been through as a few people have said it is not easy, not black and white and not about me “finding my balls” it is about me moving on not that I am weak. The stronger thing was to to try, giving up is easier, but my family meant more. She ****ed that now I know but don’t criticise me when you don’t know me ,
 

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Discussion Starter · #91 ·
We were all shell-shocked when this happened to us, let's forget about what we cannot change. What is important is that you don't petrify into a state of inaction.

Your future starts now, but whatever has been left undone to this point, you will need to catch up on. Rather do a little each day than to wake up too late and be task-saturated to the point of another stall.
thank you
 

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Hi OP, sorry this has happened to you.
Men who do best in your situation (wife leaves to live with her BF), are men who quickly accept what's happened and then act decisively to look after themselves and their children.
This includes going no contact with their wife, being very selfish about only spending time and energy on themselves and kids - no time spent doing anything for their wife.
Brother, she's betrayed you in the worst way a spouse can do, extremely selfish and cruel to her husband.
You can't nice her back, you can't wish her back. Don't sit there and sulk, it'll be death by a thousand cuts sitting there thinking about her with her BF.
Get busy, get her out of your life. Your job is to create a new, fulfilling life without her. That's what people do when their spouse leaves them.
 

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Again I wish it were so easy for me to forget 24 years together I know apparently she can but it is more difficult for me. If you had been through as a few people have said it is not easy, not black and white and not about me “finding my balls” it is about me moving on not that I am weak. The stronger thing was to to try, giving up is easier, but my family meant more. She ****ed that now I know but don’t criticise me when you don’t know me ,
Your kids mean more.

Your wife is a figment of your imagination. She is showing you who she really is, believe what you are seeing. She is off ****ing another man’s brains out and you are hear asking how to save this marriage. She ended your marriage when she started a relationship with her lover.

It doesn’t take strength to stay in your situation. It takes strength to embrace change and to move on without a lying cheater of a wife.
 

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Again I wish it were so easy for me to forget 24 years together I know apparently she can but it is more difficult for me. If you had been through as a few people have said it is not easy, not black and white and not about me “finding my balls” it is about me moving on not that I am weak. The stronger thing was to to try, giving up is easier, but my family meant more. She ****ed that now I know but don’t criticise me when you don’t know me ,
Yea, most of us had kids, much younger than yours and what we thought was a nice nuclear family. I know it hurts, I know you want to make it work, but face the facts that it's over. Once you realize that and let go of the hopium, you can move on to a new life. Frankly, I don't know why anyone would want to play detective every day with their spouse. Your spouse should be someone you trust with your life not someone that will stick a dagger in your back and shrug it off.

There is a difference in trying with someone who is remorseful and is willing to jump through hoops to put in the work and what you have.
 

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Again I wish it were so easy for me to forget 24 years together I know apparently she can but it is more difficult for me. If you had been through as a few people have said it is not easy, not black and white and not about me “finding my balls” it is about me moving on not that I am weak.
No one is suggesting you forget the 24 years of marriage and you don't have to make any major decisions about moving on at this point, that's for a bit further down the road.

This is all about how you deal with your wife, and continuing to chase her and plead with her to come back is just a really, really bad way of handling the situation. Like I said, ironically if there's even the slightest chance that she would come back, you're completely ruining it by your "Beta" weak approach. You need to show her that you are strong, independent, and you will not be treated the way she has chosen to treat you. Even if you don't feel it, you need to act that way, hence the expression "fake it until you make it".
 

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When a man’s wife goes and lives with another man——— there is only one thing to do.
Really not a lot of thinking needed here. Thinking is stalling. Stalling never helped a situation like this.

btw, it doesn’t take a stronger person to try to save a marriage in your case. Trying to save this is something a man with no self respect or confidence in himself would do. Not throwing rocks at you. I’ve been there. Your wife has cut you off at the knees and there is no training that a man gets in life that prepares him for that.
Just don’t tell yourself that you can “be strong and forgive her and be the better person”.
That’s very similar to a kid that gets beat on by a bully saying it’s better to turn the other cheek. It’s not.

The infamous and fictitious Hodie Snitch isn’t fishing at Andy’s fishing spot anymore because Andy refused to accept the unacceptable. (Sorry if you don’t know who Hodie Snitch is).
Don’t accept that your wife is with another man, she “made a mistake” and will suddenly love you again. Accept that she betrayed you in the worst way, doesn’t live you anymore, and she is just as replaceable as she felt you were before she cheated. Then move on and endure the pain for a while and allow another more loyal woman to earn your trust and loyalty—- what your wife doesn’t deserve.
 

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Groucho:

Just to reinforce the point that many are making, let's imagine for a moment that what your heart wants comes true, and she decides to ditch the AP to return to you.

1. After the initial moment of relief from her return wears off, how do you think you would feel about yourself when you look in the mirror, knowing you were her backup plan?

2. How could you even begin to feel comfortable in the relationship knowing that she cheated, left for the AP, came back to you as plan B, and you swallowed all of it...how could you even begin to trust that it would not/could not happen again?

3. Do you think you could ever really respect her knowing that this is who she is?

4. Do you think you could ever respect yourself for accepting her back?



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This is the thing that I see many newly betrayed folks failing to consider. They now know with certainty who/what they were married to and they do not seem to realize that they will never feel the same way about the cheater again. How anyone can remain in a marriage where a betrayal like this has occurred is beyond me. What mental gymnastics must one do to ever trust or feel comfortable with such a person boggles the mind.
 

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OP--

You've gotten a lot of good advice. In particular, you should heed @MattMatt . His advice is sound, and since he also lives in the UK, his comments may be more applicable to you in the legal arena than comments from people in the US, Canada or other places.

In particular, despite how much grieving you are doing about the loss of your years of marriage, you mustn't lose the opportunity to get your legal situation prepared and strengthened. Otherwise, you may suffer financially and legally, in addition to the emotional hurt you are feeling.

As an additional note, it struck me that she has introduced her illicit paramour to her family and gained acceptance. That sort of reaction by her family makes me suspicious that she may have been denigrating you to them, and potentially spinning false or exaggerated tales about you and your marriage in order to make her decision to cheat look acceptable to her family. Could this be true? Furthermore, she may well have been promulgating these tales for a while, preparing them for the day in which she would be open about betraying you. If this is so, you may wish to counter her falsehoods.
 
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