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Please forgive me, this is the first time posting on this type of forum.

My wife and I have been married for 17 years and were married at a fairly young age. We have 3 pre teen children and are both employed in well paying jobs.

Over the years we have had our bumps, but overall we have been very successful and commutes to one another. Over the last few years I have found that she becomes a different person when she is out with her friends, the kind of person I would like her to be with me. Additionally we have had some intimacy issues due to her low sex drive. We used to have an amazing, passionate bedroom life, but it has become more duty and quick get it done than involved and caring.

After many open and honest conversations about how we feel and what we need to work on I have found myself wanting to stop the pain. The last straw actually just occurred when she chose to take a trip out of town for a concert rather than stay with me and work out our issues after a dust up.

Here's the kicker. The trip was with a group of several of her gay male friends. This normally wouldn't be an issue but for the fact that she has allowed them to grope her breasts and has made out with more than one of them on other occasions when I have not been around. She is also sharing a bed with one of them.

She doesn't seem to feel this is a big deal and even added insult to injury by posing for cutesy pictures on Facebook knowing I was unbelievably upset and upset about the situation. All the while she professes her love for me and that she doesn't want to ever do anything to hurt me.

J believe that she believes what she says, but is also just happier away and doing what she wants.

I think we need to separate and reevaluate what this relationship means to each of us, she says whatever you want and that she is just numb.

Please, any insights are extremely welcome
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Whenever I see the number 17 years, it sticks out like a sore thumb to me. That was exactly the number of years when my wife detached emotionally, checked out. I was clueless till I heard her say one morning that she wanted to divorce.

The years before that were very good ones with great memories, but all of the sudden she was recalling them as terrible. History rewritten. As I started to learn more about what was going on, it played out very much like the Walk Away Wife syndrome. In the end I concluded it was all a Mid-Life Crisis.

She was having secret lunches and coffees with some 10 year younger co-worker and looking for those greenier pastures. We seperated for 4 months. It was clear she was confused. On the plus side, she did do MC throughout, which kept a string of attachment. But after about 3 months I told her I was done with limboland and wanted to either move to reconcile or move on. She first said move on, but at the last second she broke down and the fog started to lift.

She is back and things are good. Always room for improvement, but good.

180, be patient for it is a long haul, prepare for the worst, set bounderies, see if she will do MC, do IC for yourself.

I wish you well!
 

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This is Me-

Thanks for the reply. I was always concerned about the "7 year itch" We were 19 & 21 when we got married, so we had the odds stacked against us right from the start. We have been so close for so long it just hurts even more. I sometimes feels like she makes poor decisions (don't we all) but then flaunts them or they just continue to dog us after the fact. I do believe that alcohol plays a small part in the indiscretions, but she chooses to put herself into into the situations knowingly, and I don't accept "I was drinking" as an excuse. She was completely sober and aware of the way I am feeling, in fact we argued about it as she was leaving and via text for the 2 hour trip (she rode with them and picked her up at our home). At any point she could have stayed or stopped along the way and asked me to come get her but she pressed on. She says that she feared that I would have been upset if she payed them $100 for the ticket and just stayed home to discuss our problems. I feel that no amount of money is worth this relationship. Despite knowing I was upset she pressed on, partied, posted Facebook pics with them and cute poses alone, in the bathroom putting on lip gloss while her gay friend is applying her eyeliner to himself, etc... I felt like it was a "hey deal with it" slap in the face.

She acknowledges that she chooses wrong and apologizes for making me feel this way, but continues to do it. The words are not enough for me anymore and this has degraded my quality of life and self esteem. She says she doesn't mean to hurt me, but has no explanation for why she does. She says she wants to make things better, but I have heard that before and the result is always the same: Patronize me, make things better for a couple weeks, then the fade begins and we are right back to square one.

I wholeheartedly agree that she has no business sharing a queen bed with another man regardless of orientation, and she agrees that roles reversed she would be furious, but she went ahead and crawled in bed with him even after I had made this point. What else was she supposed to do? It's not like there was a sofa, or chair, or cot available, or even the other straight woman that she didn't know but was an acquaintance of one of the 6 men she was with.

I am really having trust issues at this point.

If you don't mind me asking, where did you start with finding appropriate counseling? We are not religious so I fear the church will not be of any help.

Thanks,
J
 

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Discussion Starter #5
BTW trips with anyone gay or not and sharing a bed with the opposite sex is wrong!
We have all been friends for a number of years, but oddly enough there was only one spare ticket up for grabs. I didn't care to go to the show (Madonna is not at the top of my ipod playlist) but I told her I would have gone just to be with her (and if I am honest with myself) probably to keep tabs on the goings on. At least 2 of the 6 have been married to women before and all have put hands on my wife at one time or another. When asked she says that she has pulled away from them, but never really set boundaries. Needless to say I have distanced myself from them due to my hang ups with the behavior. I expect to have to explain right from wrong to my 12 year old, not her 38 year old mother.
 

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She knows her actions cause you distress but she does them anyway. You're paying the bills and that's what's important. Whether you are happy, mad, sad, or slap-bug-crazy is irrelevant to her. Her words say she's sorry but her actions say she could give a rat's behind. Believe her actions. The trick is to knock her off the fence. Either she's a wife or she's Good Time Suzy. No fence sitters allowed, no ambiguity will be tolerated, no B.S. excuses will be accepted. I'd close any joint accounts, get a separation order, and kick her butt out of the crib. That should get the point across. If she's happier with her gay pals, then you certainly don't want to interfere with happiness. They can also feed her, house her, pay her health insurance, etc, etc.
 

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By the way I was going to IC and she was helping me realize a lot of things I had been doing in my marriage but since she never met my H, she assumed that problem we were having were somewhat lighter than the other patients she sees? She only recommended that we'd go to group session where 10 other couples come in a class and we do exercises and stuff for 6 weeks. I'd have to say those exercises were very good and eye-opening for struggling couples and my H really seemed to enjoy it as much as I did....

But now looking back, what we really needed was an individual counseling with just a counselor and us only. When we first went to the first group session my H was surprised and said "oh I thought it was gonna be just three of us" To this day I don't know if he preferred 3 of us session but looking at where we are now, I believe that's what we needed....

I don't know if my IC therapist was not good to pinpoint our real problem or I didn't tell her everything. I've never been to therapies before so I might have picked and chosen what I wanted to tell her. (She also always kinda cuts me off while I'm trying to tell a story, so that might have been a problem.. and English is not my first language so you can see how I might have not been able to tell her everything I wanted to say)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks so much! I am going to check my insurance, but unfortunately I am an IT Contractor so my benefits are sufficient, but by no means "premium" I am definitely going to pursue some individual counseling first. Not to portray myself as a "victim" but I have to fix myself and some of my apparent co-dependency issues first and foremost. I by no means claim to be man of the year, husband of the year, or even father of the year, we all make mistakes and no one is perfect. I do however feel that I carry my fair share of the load and have done my best to be a good man, good husband, and good father.

I constantly second guess myself. Am I over reacting? Am I putting too much pressure on her to make thing right or smothering her? I just feel like I must have done something to cause this.

My wife is a good person. She is kind, caring, compassionate, and a terrific and patient mother. Where I find fault is where she doesn't hold the same standards for me and my feelings.

I NEVER do anything without first thinking of her and her feelings. Even when I know that she doesn't expect or ask for me to consult her on plans or a purchase, I do. Yes I make the larger share of our household income, always have, but this is a partnership in my eyes. Everything comes in 100% and goes out 50/50, whether it's money, emotion, passion, respect, etc..., or that's how I feel it should be.

The thing that scares me is that even if we work through this will the passion return? Will things come naturally like I think they should or will it be all for show? Can I fix myself enough to be able to accept that it IS real and not just "fake it till you make it"?

Even as I type this she was supposed to be home at 3:00pm EST and was supposed to text me when she was close to home. I don't really want to be here when her and her friends arrive because I know for a fact that she has already shared all of this with them and I don't want to deal with the confrontation, I have enough on my plate right now. Problem is I find out from a 3rd party she HASN'T even started the 2 hr trip home yet! It is 2:30! Knowing just how rocky things are I feel like the courtesy of "we got held up and will be late" is at least in order.

I don't know, maybe I am expecting too much.

Thanks again for the replies. If nothing else it helps to vent and hear from unbiased 3rd parties. We share the majority of our friends because we have been together for so long.
 

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Trust me I'm the same way. I would never do anything without thinking about my H's feelings but sometimes I wonder does he do the same? There were times I felt "How could he say this, that's just too cold" which by the way I brought up when we talked on Friday. He almost doesn't remember any details of anything but this thing I brought up, he remembered. "I knew the second I said that it was wrong but I didn't know how to address it"

I'm not taking your wife side by any means but maybe she's not as sensitive as you are and she doesn't know how to show what she means??? I'd still call that little selfish but is there any reason you think she'd keep stumping on your feelings even after you tell her how her actions makes you feel? There's gotta be something deeper reasons..

Like our whole mess right now. I kept apologizing to my H for my behavior for the past years but I started thinking "Why was I the way I had been? Why did I ALWAYS try to fight and try to be right?" I realized all I wanted from him was to acknowledge that it was really hard for me to be alone here (my whole family is in my mother country) but he had never really acknowledged it verbally. I was only looking for the word of affirmation. Last week when we talked for the first time after D was dropped, he said that for the first time and I felt like my thick wall I had put up just collapsed.

Think hard why do you think she does those things and you might find some answers..

P.S. My therapist's first recommended book when I first started my therapy was 5 languages of love, if you are interested.
 

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I will definitely look into that book. I have been reading a lot more lately (a long term goal of mine) and this is something that DOES matter to ME.

I have thought long and hard about the sources of the issue and I have asked that she do the same. The I don't knows, and unanswered questions abound. I do believe that she is unaware of what her desires are. I think she has convinced herself that her priorities are with me and has yet to understand what lies beneath herself. I think we can both benefit from some individual counseling and really work on our own demons before we can dedicate ourselves to fixing our relationship issues.

I wish it was easier, I wish we could just be for one another. I am a little old fashioned in the way I feel about love and commitment and realize that there is little room for that in today's society. No relationship is perfect, no marriage is without it's challenges, I get that. Unfortunately I fall into the trap of comparing US to my grandparents. They were married for nearly 70 years before my grandmother passed after surgery complications for a perforated bowel a few years ago. I watched my 87 year old grandfather tend to my grandmother while in a near coma like state everyday. He sponged her clean, lotioned her legs, held her hand, talked to her, and was there all day every day until they would make him leave. She was never able to speak or react, she was catatonic the entire time. It was one of the most moving, and beautiful thing you can ever witness! I aspire every day to be half the man my grandfather is.

I am most definitely the "sensitive" half of the relationship. We have quipped in better times that we are kind of the role reversal of the male/female norm. She professes that she would never want me to be Mr. Tough Guy as I am man enough in her eyes and she says she feels fortunate to have the compassionate, caring side as well.

I wouldn't consider myself a testosterone driven kind of guy. I do ride a Harley, I am bald with a bit of scruff on my face, I gave up the earrings a couple of years ago, and I am a t-shirt and jeans type of style. Having said that, I am also not afraid to cry, be emotional, and be empathetic. I write poetry (not a lot as of late), watch the occasional chic flick (though I prefer action or western), and have been in a scrap or two years ago (when the testosterone really flowed LOL).

I try to be well balanced and just want some effort from her to display the same.

Thanks again for the soap box. This is a bit therapeutic in itself.

Truly,
J
 

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jrd,

There is plenty of help out there, religous or not. I guess it depends on how populated an area you live in. If you are not religous, most religous groups who offer help do not have restrictions on whether you are with them or not. If you want to save you marriage, seek a pro-marriage counselor.

Also if interested in saving you marriage, I highly recommend the books Divorce Remedy or Divorce Busting. They became my Bible.

You can only change yourself and this is the time to do it.

Wishing you well!
 

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I will definitely look into that book. I have been reading a lot more lately (a long term goal of mine) and this is something that DOES matter to ME.

I have thought long and hard about the sources of the issue and I have asked that she do the same. The I don't knows, and unanswered questions abound. I do believe that she is unaware of what her desires are. I think she has convinced herself that her priorities are with me and has yet to understand what lies beneath herself. I think we can both benefit from some individual counseling and really work on our own demons before we can dedicate ourselves to fixing our relationship issues.

I wish it was easier, I wish we could just be for one another. I am a little old fashioned in the way I feel about love and commitment and realize that there is little room for that in today's society. No relationship is perfect, no marriage is without it's challenges, I get that. Unfortunately I fall into the trap of comparing US to my grandparents. They were married for nearly 70 years before my grandmother passed after surgery complications for a perforated bowel a few years ago. I watched my 87 year old grandfather tend to my grandmother while in a near coma like state everyday. He sponged her clean, lotioned her legs, held her hand, talked to her, and was there all day every day until they would make him leave. She was never able to speak or react, she was catatonic the entire time. It was one of the most moving, and beautiful thing you can ever witness! I aspire every day to be half the man my grandfather is.
Oh my god I cried reading this because that's what I witnessed my grandma caring for my grandpa when he was dying of lung cancer. I remember when we were losing him and he was getting unresponsive to anyone's talking, my grandma asked him if he would be waiting for her in heaven with a hot cup of soup (That's what they always had at the beginning of dinner) and my unresponsive grandpa nodded and said "yeah" and I bursted into tears. I thought if I would marry someone I would be by his side no matter what.
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jrd, I think you could benefit from the book No More Mr. Nice Guy.

Also, the men groping her are not gay. As a straight man I cannot imagine groping another man's package or his chest. A gay man would be as put off with a woman's body as a straight man is with another man's body. These men are getting some kind of jollies from touching your wife's breasts, and she is getting something out of it too.

It doesn't matter who it is, nobody should be touching a married person's body in any kind of sexual way.
 

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17 was the magic number for us too. Therapist said she was checked out. Turned out to be depression. I was lucky there. (That sounds horrible!)

We worked on ourselves, invested a lot of time with eachother, turned off the tv and put down the work laptops at night and have been happy ever since. well after a few hard months.

My advice: His Needs, Her Needs is a good framework. You have some other things to deal with first... the physical contact with the bi-men is the biggest, some co-dependancy and poor boundaries are others that come to mind.
 

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Are you able to just get a separation? A simple "hey honey, I love you, but this isn't working"?

She's possibly going to leave, but in my opinion, that's a clean incision, instead of this drawn out misery you're putting yourself through.

My advice would be - take a weekend off, go for a drive somewhere, stay in a motel, convince yourself it's over, and then when you get back, tell her it's time to walk away.

Why torture yourself? You're currently being a lapdog and empowering her. It's not worth it.
 

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She knows her actions cause you distress but she does them anyway. You're paying the bills and that's what's important. Whether you are happy, mad, sad, or slap-bug-crazy is irrelevant to her. Her words say she's sorry but her actions say she could give a rat's behind. Believe her actions. The trick is to knock her off the fence. Either she's a wife or she's Good Time Suzy. No fence sitters allowed, no ambiguity will be tolerated, no B.S. excuses will be accepted. I'd close any joint accounts, get a separation order, and kick her butt out of the crib. That should get the point across. If she's happier with her gay pals, then you certainly don't want to interfere with happiness. They can also feed her, house her, pay her health insurance, etc, etc.
For a fast track to divorce, follow the above advice.

Only do this after all else has failed, NEVER as a first course of action, which is where you are now. You have 17 GOOD years invested here, take your time if you really would prefer to save your marriage. Visit divorce busting .com for more help. Stay here if you would rather teach her a lesson.
 
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