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My husband of 12-years and I have been in a long-distance relationship since August 2011 (we live 2500 miles apart). We do not have any children (although I had wanted to start having a family within the next few years). Starting in October 2011 things started to go downhill very quickly. When he came home for Christmas my husband told me he really enjoyed his new life and now realised he had been unhappy in our relationship for several years. He told me he was no longer in love with me, and needed some time and space to decide what he wants to do. When he went back in January nearly 100% of our very limited contact was via email. Although the few emails my husband did send me were friendly and polite, they were very short and emotionally distant.

Since the whole crisis started I have been doing a lot of thinking and self-reflecting. I understand what went wrong, how I feel and why I have acted certain ways in my marriage. I completely accept that throughout my marriage I have often misplaced my priorities, have been immature, self-centered and thoughtless and have taken my husband and my marriage for granted. I have damaged my marriage, undermined my husband's feelings for me and hurt him very deeply. In order to try help and improve things I have been focussing on ways I can make positive changes within myself, trying to keep myself busy with work, hobbies, friends etc.

I have read numerous self-help books (including Gary's Chapman's 'Hope for the Separated', Michelle Weiner Davis's 'Divorce Remedy', Ed Wheat's 'How to Save Your Marriage Alone and Tim Clinton's 'Before a Bad Goodbye') and have been to see two different counsellors. Before visiting both counsellors I explained that I was looking for someone with a pro-marriage approach (I do not believe in divorce) who would be able to help me come up with positive solutions for reconnecting with my husband and for healing and strengthening my marriage. Unfortunately the sessions that I have had were very "client-centered" and concentrated primarily on the past, and my own feelings and needs rather than those of my marriage, and were unable to provide me with any solutions or plans for moving forward in a practical or hopeful manner.

Two weeks ago my husband returned for a very brief visit (due to work reasons). I thought the visit went ok. I had recently done some redecorating (including hanging up a painting he had done) and he commented that he liked the changes I had made and how we had a really nice home. He also commented on some of the changes I have made within myself saying they were "commendable".

Although I felt it was important to make sure my husband's visit was as pleasant as possible and not to pressure my husband to discuss our marriage, he did bring up our relationship on a few occasions. He agreed that we were getting along much better this visit and that, on the whole, the problems in our relationship were not that bad. He also, however, said that when he moved abroad he thought he should miss me but, instead, felt a sense of relief and enjoyment at being able to do get into his own routine. He agreed that, although we used to spend a lot of time together (e.g. in the same room), we hadn't really prioritised our relationship or spent any quality time having fun together for a long time. After he asked me about some of the self-help books I've read I did give him a case study to read from the Divorce Remedy and a letter I wrote to him, apologising and saying about how I wanted to start over and try spending time together again.

For the first few days I was very cautious not to put any pressure on my husband and to always be calm and contrite when we discussed our relationship. The day before he left, however, was my birthday. My husband always got me really nice birthday cards and would put a loving message in it. I knew I shouldn't expect that this year and I did appreciate that my husband was there on my birthday (and did tell him that), but I was still so incredibly hurt when I saw the birthday card was just a generic "Happy Birthday" card and not one for "Happy Birthday Wife". We spent a nice day together but, later that evening, I did mention how hurt I was by the card. I said he didn't love me anymore. When he replied that he never actually told me that I said that he did in "not so many words" and he did not deny this. I also mentioned that, whilst I did not want to put any pressure on him and did not want him to make any decisions now, I was not prepared to spend another year alone in our home by myself (my husband has signed a contract to stay working abroad for another year) and that, if he did not want to return home, that's fine, but I would then take a career break starting in July and that I would need to put in my request to do so by the middle of this month. I also said that, although I had hoped that by doing a recent TEFL qualification I would be able to come back with him this Spring, I understood that he did not want me to do this (he told me he would resent it if I came with him). At one point during his visit we had discussed possibly seeing each other in May but, again he didn't want to commit to anything.

I told my husband that I had found the last 3 months very difficult but had kept myself busy making positive changes, doing my TELF course, redecorating etc but that I wasn't sure if I could manage another three months at home by myself until he was due to come back for another visit this summer. I told him that I might take a month off work and go back home to see my family. When he queried me about this I said I might take the time off as stress leave. My husband was not keen on the idea of me taking stress leave and I don't think really understood why I felt I wouldn't be able to cope for the next three months here on my own.

Since he left one week ago, apart from a very brief email saying he had arrived, I have again had no contact from my husband. I am completely confused and heart-broken as to how we could have gotten along so well and been more open with each other yet my husband still does not want to speak to me, spend time with me or touch me. I have sent him a happy, 'newsy' email and a link to a job I thought he might be interested in but have received no reply. My husband knows how much his silence hurts me and I feel I have completely lost my husband's 'heart' and 'ear'. He has become so emotionally withdrawn that I now feel like a casual acquaintance rather than his wife.

I asked him in December whether there was anyone else involved but he said there wasn't. I honestly don't know whether there is/was. If, however, he is involved in a PA or EA I would be willing to forgive him if he was willing to try to give our marriage another chance.

I am finding it increasingly difficult to cope and remain hopeful for my marriage. I would still like to try to reconcile but am unsure what the best approach would be. Do I try NC and wait for him to initiate contact (which I'm unsure he actually will). Do I continue to send him, positive, chatty, light emails every week or so? Do I focus on moving on with my life without him? What I'd really like to do is get on a plane and show up on his doorstep!

Any ideas or stories of what worked for your relationship would be very welcome.
 

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TWL,

I think he checked out a long time ago; you're just now getting to the starting line. Do I think there is someone else? More than likely. In my case, she claimed she hadn't loved my for the last three years, though we still did things together, etc. I found out, from her, that her EA began about two years after her stopping loving me. She couldn't be alone. So, I think someone is there that you don't know about...yet.

Start taking care of you. He does not define you and though you love him, it appears he is "someone completely different" from who you knew. And stop blaming yourself. Re-read your post - you are taking all of the blame and doing all the work on your marriage. If only one person is in the marriage, it is not a marriage. prepare as if he's not coming back. if he wants to, he knows where you are. But it will take time for him to figure himself out..
 

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HeyMon,

Thanks for the reply. I know it was a long post and appreciate it.

I have been taking care of me and accept that part of me does need to prepare for him not coming back. I know that, long-term, both people need to be committed to making a marriage work. In the short-term though, while he's still uncertain or there is a glimmer of hope, I do think that one person is capable of kick-starting the healing process.

I don't want to completely give up on my marriage yet until I'm 100% certain I've done everything I can. I'm just stuck on ideas about what to do next. :scratchhead:
 

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TWL,

I think he checked out a long time ago; you're just now getting to the starting line. Do I think there is someone else? More than likely. In my case, she claimed she hadn't loved my for the last three years, though we still did things together, etc. I found out, from her, that her EA began about two years after her stopping loving me. She couldn't be alone. So, I think someone is there that you don't know about...yet.
So yes, although I have had my suspicions for a while, I've confirmed that my H is having an A with a co-worker. He is going to go on vacation with her in a couple of weeks.

I would still like to R. He is currently 'as certain as he ever will be' that he does not. He says he still loves me though, does not want to hurt me or have me cut him out of my life completely. He also said he still just wanted time and space--no mention of separation or divorce.

It could be just that my H is feeling so guilty, doesn't want to hurt me, and doesn't have the courage to tell me things are 100% over but, I do think he is still confused and still has some doubts.

I've told him he can have time and space for another 3 months (until he has to come back for his summer holidays).

My question is what do I do now? I appreciate the good intentions behind advice to "move on" or file for D, but that is not something I am willing or prepared to do.

His A is quite open at work and his close friends know, so given this, and both of our private personalities, I think exposing the A would just backfire.

Any other suggestions?
 

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You are no where near reconciliation.

In order for reconciliation to start he would need to agree to end the affair, have no further contact with her, to work on your marriage and the two of you would have to live in the same house.

You have 2 or more threads going on right now. Doing this dilutes the help you will get. The right place for this discussion is CWI. Here's a link to your thread there.

http://talkaboutmarriage.com/coping-infidelity/44797-should-i-expose-wh.html
 

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My question is what do I do now? I appreciate the good intentions behind advice to "move on" or file for D, but that is not something I am willing or prepared to do.

His A is quite open at work and his close friends know, so given this, and both of our private personalities, I think exposing the A would just backfire.

Any other suggestions?
You have rejected every suggestion posted to you on all of your threads. So why keep asking. You have your own plan... enable the affair, do the 180, and go on vacation by yourself this summer.

So go with your plan. Maybe it will defy all of the norms of how to deal with the situation.. most likely you will continue to be in an open marriage... or end up divorced.
 

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If your husband's affair is indeed common knowledge amongst his company personnel, then it greatly appears that he has moved on. To that end, it is time that you executed a 180 and started making plans to initiate a divorce filing locally before he has the opportunity to do the same thing in his "new" locale.

You've go a so much better life ahead of you without having to put yourself through the worry and the torturous fear that he relishes putting you through. Best of luck to you, my dear. You'll continue to remain in my prayers!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You have rejected every suggestion posted to you on all of your threads. So why keep asking. You have your own plan... enable the affair, do the 180, and go on vacation by yourself this summer.

So go with your plan. Maybe it will defy all of the norms of how to deal with the situation.. most likely you will continue to be in an open marriage... or end up divorced.
I wouldn't say I have rejected every suggestion--doing the 180 was actually one of the things I have been advised on TAM to do.

I appreciate all of the input, even the suggestions for which, after consideration, I feel are not appropriate for my own circumstances. I am one of those people who like to have as broad and rounded view as possible before making a life-changing decision.

Apart from TAM, I have also been speaking to 2 different counsellors and looking at the sections on infidelity in Michele Weiner-Davis's Divorce-Remedy which advise doing a 180/LRT.

I hoped I would be able to get some guidance from others who had been in (and successfully gotten through) similar situations that would help. Although she's now taking a break from TAM, I've found DaisyGirl41's posts and replies particularly helpful.

I am completely new to any kind of Forum so am not completely clued-up on any issues around starting multiple threads. When I first posted, I wasn't 100% my H was having an A.
 

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Yes. Do the 180 and keep on walking away from this arse, who doesn't give a sh!t about you. Openly having and affair that work colleagues and close friends know about? How humiliating. Maintain dignity; and walk away.
 

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In DaisyGirl's situation she had many years of marriage and a family created together in her favor. Unfortunately, you don't have that advantage in your situation. You've lived and continue to live thousands of miles apart. Even before your husband's affair, the two of you had independent lives instead of interdependent lives. Independent lives make it so much easier to get into an affair. Now this OW is in your husband's daily life. She's depositing all sorts of good feelings, good sex, companionship and affection in his "love bank". Who do you think he finds more appealing now?

How can you change his mind if he's living so far from you? I'm sorry to say this but you can't save a marriage from another country and you can't bust an affair if you won't even consider exposing it to people (friends, family, religious leaders) who might be able to influence him.

Your best for recovery - get him to stop the affair, have him change jobs and come home to where you are. You don't want him to be without your support, and your marriage is not going to make it if you two are not on the same continent.
 

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Ok, I have been considering everyone's replies and am possibly thinking about this different plan.

1) Call H and ask him if he would come back home during his holiday in May rather than go to Thailand with OW
2) If he refuses to come back in May ask him if he wants a divorce
3) If he says no, say that I'm not willing for him to continue A and he can either come back home now or I will go out there with him until he is due to return for the summer holidays
4) If he says yes, a) expose the affair to his family, saying I have tried to reconcile but he is not interested and b) expose the affair to the OW's friends and contact her
 

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If he does the latter on #1, go right to #5 - file for divorce. If there is one person in the marriage, there is no marriage. You are waiting on someone who has obviously moved on.

What does contacting OW's friends do? His family? Maybe...

Sorry, but if you want to wait, the bus has passed already.
 

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Your husband Is living in an open affair. He's found he can do this freely without ant consequences. He even thinks that one day you'll be happy fir him, maybe join him?

At this point there is absolutely nothing you can say to him that he hasn't heard and rejected. He is 110% comittment to his affair. He has chosen her clearly and firmly over you.

Your only extending your own suffering by refusing to face that he has clearly made his choice. He has neither shame or guilt.

What he also doesn't have is divorce papers. This you can do something about. Have him served.
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He is going to go on vacation with her in a couple of weeks.

I would still like to R. He is currently 'as certain as he ever will be' that he does not. He says he still loves me though, does not want to hurt me or have me cut him out of my life completely. He also said he still just wanted time and space--no mention of separation or divorce.

It could be just that my H is feeling so guilty, doesn't want to hurt me, and doesn't have the courage to tell me things are 100% over but, I do think he is still confused and still has some doubts.

I've told him he can have time and space for another 3 months (until he has to come back for his summer holidays).
He wanted time and space alright - to bang her.
If he really felt guilty, he would be trying to make amends to you.
I read on another forum where someone calls it "lust-crazed dementia." Consequences for their actions be damned.

Sorry, but I'm of the camp that you cut bait. You are not on his radar AT ALL. You are merely the backup plan.

Ask yourself - are you an option, or a prize?
 

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Ok, I have been considering everyone's replies and am possibly thinking about this different plan.

1) Call H and ask him if he would come back home during his holiday in May rather than go to Thailand with OW
2) If he refuses to come back in May ask him if he wants a divorce
3) If he says no, say that I'm not willing for him to continue A and he can either come back home now or I will go out there with him until he is due to return for the summer holidays
4) If he says yes, a) expose the affair to his family, saying I have tried to reconcile but he is not interested and b) expose the affair to the OW's friends and contact her
Ask him to end the affair, if he will not file for divorce immediately. In the USA in some states, if you know of the affair for a period of time and fail to act it indicates you have sanctioned the affair.

If he will not agree to end the affair, have you come to live with him and both go to counseling, you can hurt your divorce settlement if you do not at least get a formal separation pronto.

Your husband is like mine.....a cake eater.
 

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He's stringing you along. Don't let him. Let go. File for divorce and if he doesn't fight it, then you know he was planning on leaving anyway and just wanted you to be the bad guy because he's too much of a coward to be honest with you. You deserve better than this. Even if you love him, he isn't treating you right.
 
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