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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few weeks ago my wife announced to me that she is considering leaving me and I got the 'Love but not in love' spiel. I was shocked and completely devastated - we have been married for 18 years and have an 8 year old son. She agreed to marriage counselling but from the onset I have felt these were for my benefit to deal with it all rather than her giving reconciling a go. She has shown no interest in repairing our marriage and seems to have 'moved on' from the beginning of our marriage breakdown. Our problems boil down to communication problems and bottling up anger (both of us) when we really should have got it all out in the open. Anyway it snowballed into this.

Finding this forum has made me realise that this is incredibly common - especially for 40+ year olds. I have followed much advice here and am concentrating on the 180 at the moment but it seems to be having the opposite reaction...it feels like it is perhaps enforcing her belief we have a communication problem. I am working hard on the exercise part of it as I need to lose weight. I have also been to a doctor who diagnosed me with severe situational depression and I am now on a mild dose of antibiotics which has allowed me to cope with work and looking after my son a lot better even though I feel deep sadness and also anger that she would do this to us with no evident feelings of regret or guilt.

So now we are considered an 'in house separation' with a view to her moving to rental accommodation in approx 2 months. The thing is that we have not set any separation ground rules and have certainly not discussed or given any green lights for either of us having an affair.

Anyway, after realising that the 'love but not in love' statement is a red flag for an affair, I installed a keylogger and have not discovered an affair - yet. But I have found she has a profile on a dating site and has been in contact with male members on there. This is tearing me up as up until 3 weeks ago I thought we were doing quite well as a family. I am gobsmacked that she can move on and be on a dating site so quickly.

Should I confront her with this evidence? Or should I probe a bit more about setting dating ground rules for dating to see if she lies to me about it. If she knew I was snooping to this extent she will be very angry but then again I am angry at her flirting with other guys behind my back.

Even though I am keen to reconcile and still madly in love with her I am feeling my efforts are being totally wasted if she is already checking out other men. Is there any hope in situations like this or should I just learn to let go? I mentioned whether she wanted to file for divorce straight away and she was not keen at all. So I get the feeling this separation is a chance for her to see if the grass is greener on the other side so to speak whilst I wait in limbo.

Any help or suggestions would be most appreciated.

Thanks,
Brett
 

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If you want to try to rebuild your marriage, the 180 as described in my signature block below (I assume this is what you are doing) is the wrong thing to do right now.

You should be working on your marriage, becoming a better person and building communication with your wife. You are right that the 180 can enforce the idea that there is a huge communication problem that cannot be fixed.

The 180 is similar to the Plan B in my signature block below. Look at the Plan A in my signature block below. Do the Plan A right now until she moves out. That way you will put your best self forward and work to build communications while she is living with you.

Once she is out of the house, go on to Plan B or the 180.

Do not tell her that you put a key logger on her computer. Make sure you know your state laws and federal laws pertaining to keyloggers.

You also need to have a conversation with her about dating/cheating while still married. Let her know that you do not believe it's acceptable to date while married, not even while going through a divorce. That you do not want your child around others at this time as it would be confusing to him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks EleGirl. Great advice and very good reading. I think I need to do a combo of the 180 (especially the fitness, grooming, appearance bits) and Plan A to get the communication thing happening.

Bringing up the dating thing is going to be touchy but I think I am well within my rights to ask her not to date other men whilst we are still under the one roof. Once she moves out I will have little control over that - prior to me she had never been single for any length of time. I had hoped our separation would be a time to be single and reflect on the relationship but she seems to be full steam ahead with her 'life without me'. I am losing hope but at least if it does not work out the improvements I am making to my life will put me in good step if I decide to look for someone else and I will also be a better role model for my son.
 

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Who's paying the bills? Sounds like she wants to continue to enjoy the financial benefits of marriage without exercising any of the responsibilities. Pretty sweet deal if you can get it. On one hand, there seems to be little purpose in a separation unless it's to work on the marriage. On the other hand, you've invested lots in this woman and she has invested in you. Give her a little space and she'll probably come to the conclusion that the creeps and freaks out there don't compare to the man she's got at home. I wouldn't confront her with anything. Use this time to focus on being a great dad. Go the gym, learn a new hobby, maybe buy a motorcycle. Whatever you do, appear strong, confident, ready to work on the relationship, but not desperate. If she chats with or even dates a couple of toads, odds are they'll only end up making you look good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks 'unbelievable' all very good advice which I will take on board.

This evening we had to run through a few things that we were going to discuss at the marriage counseller tomorrow night and one of those points was dating during the separation period. She told me she has no interest in other men at present. Then when we finished the conversation, took her laptop to her bedroom and was on the dating site for 45 mins or so. So it is eating me up that not only is she on there but she is blatantly lying to my face. I won't confront her about it as yet.

This is not looking good. I really want to save the marriage but if she cannot even be honest with me about something like this then I am beginning to think why bother with the separation at all and why not just go for divorce. I really feel like I am meant to wait around whilst she tests whether the grass is greener on the other side - like some sort of back up husband. Hopefully she'll date some toads like you say but I guess there is a chance she will meet Mr Right and I have to prepare myself for that outcome. I think I will keep the focus on myself and my son at present and see how it pans out.
 

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Thanks 'unbelievable' all very good advice which I will take on board.

This evening we had to run through a few things that we were going to discuss at the marriage counseller tomorrow night and one of those points was dating during the separation period. She told me she has no interest in other men at present. Then when we finished the conversation, took her laptop to her bedroom and was on the dating site for 45 mins or so. So it is eating me up that not only is she on there but she is blatantly lying to my face. I won't confront her about it as yet.

This is not looking good. I really want to save the marriage but if she cannot even be honest with me about something like this then I am beginning to think why bother with the separation at all and why not just go for divorce. I really feel like I am meant to wait around whilst she tests whether the grass is greener on the other side - like some sort of back up husband. Hopefully she'll date some toads like you say but I guess there is a chance she will meet Mr Right and I have to prepare myself for that outcome. I think I will keep the focus on myself and my son at present and see how it pans out.
Your intuition sounds right to me. Testing the waters should not be done whilst you sit around and wait for the result. At least not in the same house. That will kill you.
 

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I am going through a similar situation as you "Mothra777". However, have not installed keylogger or feel anything is going on when I get right down to it. We discussed this issue and she has said this is the last thing on her mind right now and I need to put my focus elsewhere. I cannot become mr. stalker since I went that route for weeks and it made me feel like sh^t.

I love what "ELEGIRL" mentions above and the advice fits right into our same situation. I guess like Eminem said "you only get one shot do not miss your chance to blow it" we have to try to work on ourselves but also sneak in a few nice things to show you want to work on the marriage (without looking weak and frail and begging). Hard to pull this off but at least if the day ever comes (hope it never does) that you can look back and say I did everything I can to try and it was just not enough. Beleive me when I tell you and everyone says it, when you least expect things they happen. When you want them to so bad they never do. So as everyone else here has said, keep up working on you (go to the gym, run, walk, eat right, listen to motivational music, etc.) and all will get you going again in the right direction. Yes, rejection will be all throughout the process but you have to push through it constantly and you'll see eventually confidfence and a streonger person will exude you.
 

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I am sorry you are experiencing this. I am familiar with the situation.

I found emails and texts between my wife and some man. I downloaded and saved all of it. Then, I confronted her.

Upon that, we agreed to separate. However, now, it seems all a blur. I was so consumed with emotions that I made bad decisions.

Draft some sort of agreement for you both if/when you decide to physically separate. I don't favor physical separation, but I have read enough here to make me question how people can separate and live in the same house.

Continue the 180 and prepare yourself that she is gone and will not return. When my wife reluctantly agreed to MC, I questioned whether she would devote herself to it, or support me in our situation. After 3 counseling sessions, it was the latter. I expected that, but it still hurt, because I questioned her motivation.

You can only control you. While it is disrespectful for her to surf those sites while with you, unless you move out, what can you do?

Take care of your son. Spend time with him. Start preparing for the worst, while hoping for the best. Then, even while hoping, make sure you are settled with yourself.

It is very difficult. I am no expert. It is so painful to see that our wives have detached and we've only been told (directly) now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Jayb and Bippy17 - all excellent advice which I will definitely act on.

I should have also mentioned that the 'in house' separation is due to us having an elderly relation (from my wife's side) living with us temporarily before she moves to a home in approx 2 months. This complicates things a lot.

So my wife is saying she wants to try a physical separation in 2 months where she will move to an apartment with a six month lease. If she is on dating sites whilst still living in the same house then I have no doubt she will start dating new men once she moves out but I won't agree to it. I can't be working my butt off maintaining the house, getting myself in shape and being the primary carer of my son whilst she test drives other men. I won't confront her with what I know about the dating site but we do have a 'separation ground rules' sheet from a family law website and on it is a section on dating. We are going to go through this list after the MC session tonight.

I almost love her so much that I would be tempted to let her date other men during the separation to see if she is making the right or wrong choice but I don't think I would ever recover from that. Anyway, as suggested I will continue working on myself and my son. I am not nearly as depressed as I was when she first told me...perhaps this is being shadowed by the disappointment and anger I feel about the discovering the dating sites. It would be just nice to see a little bit of commitment from her to work on the marriage but I don't see any right now. There is a temptation just to end it all and go straight for divorce so that I can move on but she says she definitely does not want a divorce right now...which sends a confusing mixed message to me.
 

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A few weeks ago my wife announced to me that she is considering leaving me and I got the 'Love but not in love' spiel. I was shocked and completely devastated - we have been married for 18 years and have an 8 year old son. She agreed to marriage counselling but from the onset I have felt these were for my benefit to deal with it all rather than her giving reconciling a go. She has shown no interest in repairing our marriage and seems to have 'moved on' from the beginning of our marriage breakdown. Our problems boil down to communication problems and bottling up anger (both of us) when we really should have got it all out in the open. Anyway it snowballed into this.

Finding this forum has made me realise that this is incredibly common - especially for 40+ year olds. I have followed much advice here and am concentrating on the 180 at the moment but it seems to be having the opposite reaction...it feels like it is perhaps enforcing her belief we have a communication problem. I am working hard on the exercise part of it as I need to lose weight. I have also been to a doctor who diagnosed me with severe situational depression and I am now on a mild dose of antibiotics which has allowed me to cope with work and looking after my son a lot better even though I feel deep sadness and also anger that she would do this to us with no evident feelings of regret or guilt.

So now we are considered an 'in house separation' with a view to her moving to rental accommodation in approx 2 months. The thing is that we have not set any separation ground rules and have certainly not discussed or given any green lights for either of us having an affair.

Anyway, after realising that the 'love but not in love' statement is a red flag for an affair, I installed a keylogger and have not discovered an affair - yet. But I have found she has a profile on a dating site and has been in contact with male members on there. This is tearing me up as up until 3 weeks ago I thought we were doing quite well as a family. I am gobsmacked that she can move on and be on a dating site so quickly.

Should I confront her with this evidence? Or should I probe a bit more about setting dating ground rules for dating to see if she lies to me about it. If she knew I was snooping to this extent she will be very angry but then again I am angry at her flirting with other guys behind my back.

Even though I am keen to reconcile and still madly in love with her I am feeling my efforts are being totally wasted if she is already checking out other men. Is there any hope in situations like this or should I just learn to let go? I mentioned whether she wanted to file for divorce straight away and she was not keen at all. So I get the feeling this separation is a chance for her to see if the grass is greener on the other side so to speak whilst I wait in limbo.

Any help or suggestions would be most appreciated.

Thanks,
Brett
Separation is often just a way for one spouse to go have sex. It seems she is already planning this. Does not want to lose any time.

Instigation, Isolation and Escalation. Separation is the Isolation.

So I would suggest you decide to either work on the marriage or divorce.
No separation. So she is just going through the motions of counseling.
 

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Thanks Jayb and Bippy17 - all excellent advice which I will definitely act on.

I should have also mentioned that the 'in house' separation is due to us having an elderly relation (from my wife's side) living with us temporarily before she moves to a home in approx 2 months. This complicates things a lot.

So my wife is saying she wants to try a physical separation in 2 months where she will move to an apartment with a six month lease. If she is on dating sites whilst still living in the same house then I have no doubt she will start dating new men once she moves out but I won't agree to it. I can't be working my butt off maintaining the house, getting myself in shape and being the primary carer of my son whilst she test drives other men. I won't confront her with what I know about the dating site but we do have a 'separation ground rules' sheet from a family law website and on it is a section on dating. We are going to go through this list after the MC session tonight.

I almost love her so much that I would be tempted to let her date other men during the separation to see if she is making the right or wrong choice but I don't think I would ever recover from that. Anyway, as suggested I will continue working on myself and my son. I am not nearly as depressed as I was when she first told me...perhaps this is being shadowed by the disappointment and anger I feel about the discovering the dating sites. It would be just nice to see a little bit of commitment from her to work on the marriage but I don't see any right now. There is a temptation just to end it all and go straight for divorce so that I can move on but she says she definitely does not want a divorce right now...which sends a confusing mixed message to me.
No this is not attractive. Separation or not that is just being cuckolded and someone backup plan.

So from a financial perspective how is the money earned that you both live on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It is getting worse - I can see that her free trial has ended on the dating site and she needs to pay for membership. Today I see she transferred money to an account that she mostly uses and then changed the access code so I won't be able to see the payment...oddly enough the my access code still works and I am expecting to see a payment to the dating site later tonight. She is also definitely chatting to a male member on there regularly.

The big question is - do I confront now her or not? All I feel like now is a back up plan if things go wrong and I am not keen on being involved in that experiment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry, to answer a question from above - we are both on around the same income. I run my own business and she works full time. Why do you ask?
 

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I almost love her so much that I would be tempted to let her date other men during the separation to see if she is making the right or wrong choice
That's not love. That's insecurity. A healthy male in love would never allow his sex partner to seek other males. That's mother nature's rule. Don't try to bend nature and justify it with "love". You are co-dependent on her and terrified of being alone. You have turned into a beta man with little respect for yourself. That's what marriage does to many men (specially after children).

Know your boundaries and stick to them. You are worth a lot more than you currently feel. Your wife is a lot less attractive, appealing and special than you currently feel. Nothing about what she's doing is "right" or "okay". She has stepped on her moral fiber and this is only the beginning. Be ready to find out that the woman you're in love with is not the person you thought she was at all. That's how it usually plays out.

Tell her she has 3 days to make up her mind about wanting to be your wife and on the 3rd day present her with a legal separation agreement and divorce papers. Forget the relative that lives with you. You have a lot more important things to take care of than a relative's peace and comfort.

Again, set proper boundaries and force her to understand them. If she has no respect for your boundaries, make sure she doesn't continue to hold the title of "your wife". She doesn't deserve it.

Gather some more evidence on her and once her 3-day deadline is up, expose her dishonesty and immoral approach to everyone. Let her feel the heat of her f*** ups.
 

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I agree with synthetic. It's one thing for her to say she wants to separate, it's another for her to lie to your face about not being interested in dating other men, meanwhile she's searching for other men on dating sites. Not to mention going to the site immediately after discussing this with you.

You need to prepare yourself for the reality that she may very well be gone for good. Act it, live it, focus on yourself. If she comes around, great, and you can deal with trying to rebuild your trust in her, but for now, you cannot trust her...you know it and she knows it.

As this may not be an "affair", and just fishing on her part, the point is she's lying to you, and about something so incredibly central to the concept of marriage...that cannot stand. (that said, do you know how long she's been visiting this site and talking to the toad? If it's been a while, it could be a full-blown EA, and the very reason she suddenly felt the need to "have some space").

My thoughts - Call her out on her lying, nothing more. And then tell her she must leave now. Hell, it's what she's asking for, let her have it. Do this calmly and confidently, no begging, pleading or raised voice. Don't hope that her tears are enough reason for you to cave (and she will definitely let you feel the guilt)...if you let her go do this "separation", telling her how much you hope she'll come back to you, given her blatant dishonesty, she'll respect you even less than she does now...and sorry, but that ain't much (been there, I know how much it sucks). If she says you're being unreasonable, just simply tell her you won't tolerate being lied to by the one person who's supposed to be honest with you. And separation terms mean nothing if she's going to just lie about it, so you're letting her go to pursue her dream of being single. She takes her elderly family member with her, your child stays with you if at all possible. You don't pay a DIME for her new place. Whatever problems there may be in your marriage (there are always some things that need to be worked on), she clearly is being dishonest with you, and that's unacceptable. Let her stew in her own mess, and hopefully she'll realize how hurtful this has been to you and will do everything possible to make it up to you.

If not, she's checked out already, in which case you taking a stand for yourself will not only make you feel more confident going forward, but will make her respect that about you, and she'll know what she's giving up.

I know this sounds harsh, because this is your wife, the woman you love, the mother of your child. And I'm sure you have many good memories. But how is she acting? Does she deserve privileged status as your lady? Nope. She has told you she wants out. Your response? "Okay. Not what I want, but there's the door."

Meantime, lose the weight, get a trainer (group or individual) and pay for a few months of sessions up front, and start going NOW. Weights, weights, weights, and cardio bigtime. 2 hrs a day if you can swing it. Lose it. This is for you, not her. She'll see it soon either way. Don't tell her you are doing it, just do it. When she asks why the hell you're getting up so early (or coming home late after work) just tell her you're going to the gym. Don't brag, talk about how you're going to change, or how much weight you've lost, or look at my biceps, etc...just do it. And change. If nothing else, in a few months you're going to need that strength and confidence. And lemme tell you, as someone who was out of shape when my ex's affair came about, it was the most important thing I did for myself.

Good luck sir...it's not going to be easy, but you seem to have a head on your shoulders...it will get easier. Just make sure to stand up for yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks guys - tough but very useful advice.

My son is staying at his cousins place tomorrow night so I think that would be the best time to tackle this. It is not going to be easy but she needs to know that she has betrayed my trust and the ballgame has now changed dramatically. We were going to do this as amicably as possible, especially for the sake of our son. But with all this stuff going on behind my back and the lying - it is going to be very hard to remain friends and rebuild that trust and I doubt it will ever get to the same level.

What eats me up the most about this is that she is supposed to be looking at the best interests of our son. The separation is going to devastate him. Now is no time to introduce another man in his life. That would complicate and confuse the poor kids mind even more. I am stunned someone could be so selfish.
 

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I haven't read through all the responses, but here's my thoughts.... The online dating sites, she's looking for something that she's not getting with you. And yeah, I think it is the grass is greener idea, so there's something she is missing.

Personally, I don't think you're doing yourself a favour with snooping what she's up to on the computer. I think you would feel better if you had a discussion about it, ask her to think about what she is wanting in a husband (not "don't want" but "want"), and come back to you with her list.

Here's my take on internet sites. I've been married for 10 years, 8 of them I've basically just had a room mate because "after I had children I wasn't attractive anymore" - his words. In those years I connected with men online, but it was nothing more than chatting. There was nothing seedy about it but you know, it was nice to have someone to talk to and the occasional compliment. For me, it was just a way to feel like a girl again, I never wanted to meet anyone or start a relationship of any kind. Perhaps that's what she is on there for too, just to connect with people.

It was nice to read that you are still in love with her. Make sure she knows. And find out what she wants out of a relationship. We "fall out of love" for a reason, it isn't because someone wears bad pants or gained weight, love goes deeper than that so something is missing she is needing.

I don't know if that helped or not, but that's what went through my mind when I read your post.
I hope that it all works out for you, it sounds like you really love her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you SockMonkey - great advice and an interesting insight.

I did end up confronting her with my knowledge and she felt that since we separated that she was a single person and free to do what she wants. She also said that she was on there just to see if anyone else thought she was attractive...but then the conversation did go on to some of the things she was not getting from me from intimacy to emotional support. Some of it I agree on and some of it I don't but she is still on the dating sites chatting to other guys. I told her I am not comfortable with it at all whilst we are still in the same house. I said we should be focusing on supporting our 7 year old son - not seeing who to shack up with next.

Anyway, I have to face the fact that I really have lost her and as devastating as that is, I know I need to let her go so that I can move on with my life. The hardest bit is living in the same house until we can get her accommodation sorted. It is awkward frustrating and confusing all at the same time. I am still on the 180 but I am not expecting her to notice or care if she is checking out other guys already. But it is a good thing to do for myself and sets me up for life once she is gone.
 
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