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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Writing this is difficult, but perhaps here your support will help achieve some clarity.

We met 16 years ago, bought a flat in 2003, got married in 2004 and our daughter was born in 2006. DW was always emotionally and financially dependent on me. I, with very little relationship experience at 26, enjoyed this.

From the start she spent compulsively when bored or stressed. Scared of confrontation, I tried to cover this by working harder, taking on extra work. But in the end, 3 times, my parents had to 'loan' money whilst also contributing to the house purchase and the wedding and baby costs.

This frustrated me and I hated feeling dependent on my parents (although they are exceptionally generous and never held it over us in anyway). I also hated never being able to plan, holidays, purchases, etc as the money was never saved. She also preferred to wait and see what friends were doing rather than make our own plans.

I tried to be supportive and loving but was more paternalistic and perhaps over insistent in the way to raise our daughter etc. From about 4 years ago DW became frustrated with the growing distance as I felt less inclined to sex and more dependent on porn. In the last couple of years she would bottle up and then explode at me saying if 'it' went on like this it would mean divorce. I was at a loss as to how to respond, scared of her anger and of confrontation.

Summer of 2009 I was laid off but found work quickly, but the income never seemed enough. I had taken cash out on the credit card to cover Christmas, the previous summer holiday (camping, which DW didn't enjoy) and general bills which arrived after the wage had been blown on clothes shopping. By the end of 2011 I was drained, overworked and not an affectionate husband.

Then I took a course to improve my career and by chance met an old friend. This seemed fateful as I had liked her but had ever acted upon it being very timid. Nothing more than a kiss and we agreed to take it no further but it was a Pandoras box for me. I felt good about myself, attractive, more confident.

I was traveling and entertaining clients as part of my work and met other women who I enjoyed dancing with and kissing. But whether due to awkwardness, timidity, guilt or remembering my family it never went further than the bar or dance floor. But sometimes I wish it had - perhaps to get it out of my system and refocus me on my relationship with my DW which still was the core of my life.

By the end of 2011 the debt was unsustainable and I went to a charities which helps intermediate with the banks. I was personally bankrupt but felt a lot more able to cope as I had acted and confronted the problem with DW. Too little too late perhaps. Summer 2012 was hell, with no money even to buy the school books for the coming year. My concentration at work suffered and the crisis meant that the extra work I took on was barely worth it.

On night I was reading a bedtime story and DC wanted to say goodnight to Mummy, who was on the sofa chatting on the iPad. DW had been being increasingly withdrawn, hiding her phone, disappearing off, and more aggressive and critical of me. I went to the sofa to check my mail on the iPad and Facebook was open. On the screen was an intimate chat with her lover.

I shut it. Did not want to see it. And waited for her to come when DC was asleep. She played all the standard moves we have all read about here. Denial, crying, limit the extent of it, 'just a teenage craziness', mid-life crisis, finish anyhow, my fault, etc. And I played along, felt guilty, and honestly understood. I am a very liberal sort of guy so comforted her, reasoned, listened, as a soulmate should.

I wish now I had acted differently but at that moment I didn't want to loose her, the family, my daughter. The next day I was filled with the most primitive anger and jealousy. I had never felt so livid and macho! But I reasoned my way out it. And then over the next two weeks lost 20 pounds and desperately tried to be more attentive and supportive. It was a phase, she would not see him.

But of course it was not a brief affair. I was changing mobile providers and so saw in the phone bill exactly the increase in their contact. Before she had been planning a little break in a friends flat as 'she needed a little holiday' now she wanted to do it and swore he would not be there. She Skyped from the flat but had a guilty smile I had come to associate with her lies.

When she came back she said she loved me and wanted it to work. When I said I didn't want her to have any contact with him, she flew into a rage, accused me of being Taliban and threatened me with hell if I talked to TOM or his wife. And I backed off, apologized, said I trusted her. Over the next few months I was in a daze, half-knowing it was not true, but wanting to believe.

For her 40 I planned a surprise party, all the friends gave money towards a dream trip as I had to go for work. And I invited TOM as her was part of our group of friends and she said didn't know I knew. Two weeks before the trip she came in saying her friends were warning her that she was going to loose me because she was still in contact with him. I said that she wouldn't loose me but was hit with the reality of the situation.

She was not able to get over him and I now know she broke off and went back to him three times over this period. The trip just before Christmas was of course a disaster as she spent all the time on her mobile chatting. The first morning she wanted sex but I was exhausted and did not feel ready and she took this badly. The holidays were anything but festive with us both depressed and coping with our daughter's demanding behavior.

On 30th December 2012 something switched in my head. I think I had had a dream and I woke up with a clarity I had not had in years. I was positive and calm, focused and with objectives. I could not change the situation, nor fix her but needed to change and fix me. I started exercise, joined a choir and stopped using porn. That same week I got laid off but I had a new positive perspective and coped well. A great start to the year!

So there came a point when this was clearly not helping us move forward. TOM had left his wife and set up a flat which he was begging her to go to. She seemed on the verge of going. We agreed it was not working and that we would give each other space by each going to a friends place every four nights for a month. This coincided with her working more hours during that time. She (supposedly) went to her best friend's place for the first of the four nights stays and came back pleading with me to stay and that she had finished with him.

I didn't stay because it seemed so sudden and I felt I needed space myself. But sent her a SMS explaining that she was the only girl that was important to me. She read it wrong and thought I had another woman and spent the night crying. THe next morning I met her to drop DC at school. After I had explained the SMS we fell into each others arms.

It looked hopeful but in the days away I looked to friends for support and clarity. I confided in her 'best friend' who warned me DW was still in a relationship with TOM. Her 'best friend' was in a process of sexual liberation and was completely unconvinced by our relationship. And we spent the night together and I can only give hurt, alcohol and four years without sex as a pathetic excuse.

DW did not break up with TOM until 2 days after asking me to come back. She kept in contact with him by Whatsup, Facebook and email. I came across the email on the iPad when she asked me to look for something and so know she saw him again, and again even though it appears she left him as confused and frustrated as myself.

To add to her problems, recently someone I had confided in told TOM's wife that I had *****ed about her spending and that I had been taking more load in childcare of the year of her confusion. His wife warned him against DW and TOM warned DW against me. Chinese whispers and 'what goes around...'. Her feelings towards me were now very ambiguous.

Then I got a job offer. A significant wage, an amazing project for 1 year - but 3 hours away. She refused to come with me because of her doubts about the relationship. So last week I started weekdays in the other city and weekends going down to our flat to see DC and DW. I am numb but focussing on the work. I am now playing out the extreme version of what drove us apart. I miss my daughter. I still care very much for my DW. And today is our wedding anniversary.

I feel our actions have become auto-destructive. But when together we work together to keep the house running and to make the place a happy environment for our daughter. But we talk more by Whatsup when apart than when together sharing the same bed. Maybe it is a matter of time but we both feel lost and tense. As I said at the start, I would very much appreciate other perspectives to try and find clarity.

Oops hadn't realized the length of the text. I hope some are able to digest this and reply :eek:
 

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Fallas,

I don't know where to start. When you say you are a "liberal minded guy", that's beyond an understatement. You are simply allowing yourself to be her door mat.

She's received no consequences for cheating on you, and because of that she's likely to continue this A or find another one. She must realize you're willing to look the other way at the very least, so why should she change?

I'm sorry, but you need to re-think "liberal minded". That doesn't mean being a cuckold.
 

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You have a completely unremorseful cheating spouse and you have tolerated and enabled her cheating.

Simple answer it is past time to put your foot down.

If you want to r then Exposé to everyone set clear boundaries and enforce them


Start a 180

Honestly. If it were me I would file and move on.

Get tested for stds. Paternity test your child. Protect your assets rebuild your life minus a cheating and unremorseful wife.
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So...are you divorced? I didn't read that you are...so you might want to get on that.
A WW that feels no guilt and is also a shopaholic is a dangerous mix. She saddle you with thousands of dollars of debt and leave you.

Also, I know the draw the old wife brings. I had the same problem. We would live apart, and I would finally breakdown and spend time with her. It might come in the form of a panic attack, a trigger that sends you over the edge, your second week of not sleeping, but I know how hard it is to pull away.

The best advice I can give, besides divorcing, is to cut her out entirely.
Take the new job opportunity. It will let you move away, and make reaching out to her less enticing. And you'll meet new people, and make new friends. And this is a great way to keep yourself from thinking about her.
And hang out with your friends. I made that mistake. My life was either work, or at home drinking. It did not help me at all, and I was miserable. Going out and keeping yourself busy will keep your mind from wandering to her.
And keep all conversations with her about your child, and nothing else. Don't engage her, don't small talk, it just leads to pain.

The triggers still come though. I'm over a year from when I found out about the affair, and divorced for 6 months.
The triggers, the pain, it takes time to go away.

But removing her from your life will hopefully help. The little healing and quick satisfaction she is giving you isn't good for your long-term health. Both psychological and physical.
 

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For her 40 I planned a surprise party, all the friends gave money towards a dream trip as I had to go for work. And I invited TOM as her was part of our group of friends and she said didn't know I knew. Two weeks before the trip she came in saying her friends were warning her that she was going to loose me because she was still in contact with him. I said that she wouldn't loose me but was hit with the reality of the situation.
I'm not 100% sure what you are saying here, but if it's what I think it is I'm calling troll.
 

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So you have been sharing your wife with another guy for a a year and really you dont know what to do?

Did the OM wife know about it? If not, why you didnt told her that her husband is banging your wife for the past year?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi zookeeper,
I am not sure what you infer by calling troll.
That this is not my story or not a true story?
That I am not BH but another of the 'actors'?
Clarity of my perspective is what I am trying to achieve.
I attempt to condense and present my reasoning at each moment.
It may be what you see comes from tired late night writing.
Thanks...
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
First, thanks for all your replies. I was not sure if my explanation was long/sprawling or just be old news here. It has been really helpful for me to reflect on things by writing them.

The-Deceived is correct in noting that I was 'distracted' (wayward?) before her affair. In hindsight I believe I am being sincere when I say 'distracted' as until recently I still really wanted our family to work.

That feeling also addresses why I didn't ditch and run. It is not what I do in my situation whether at home, work or play. I was brought up to believe that admit to and make amends for errors and your forgive them and grow by learning.

However I was unable to understand or communicate the hurt the finances were causing me/us. Or perhaps I just lacked the guts... So prior to the affair I withdrew emotionally and - as is inevitable - other things filled the gap.

Today I fear the next year we will be 'in stasis': recovering financially, looking after our daughter, sharing a flat on the weekends. I need friends and affection. DW is scared by the loss of the relationship and raising DC alone and is disorientated and depressed.

My questions:

Do any of you have experience in staged separation? eg. over the next year we do not divorce, I protect and rebuild our finances, we co-habit respectfully, we take joint decisions about our child...
What other actions or precautions would you advise?

During this period what would you expect regarding DW's contact with TOM? And if I was your DH, would you expect me to live as a psuedo-single or a monk? Or should I insist in taking DC to the new city as I have flexible work hours?

Finally, this morning my old 'flame' contacted me out of the blue to see if we could have a brief encounter... aargh!! Serendipity or the smell of the kill? Would you agree that at this very moment I still have no clarity and that meeting her would just add to my problems?
 

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Hi zookeeper,
I am not sure what you infer by calling troll.
That this is not my story or not a true story?
That I am not BH but another of the 'actors'?
Clarity of my perspective is what I am trying to achieve.
I attempt to condense and present my reasoning at each moment.
It may be what you see comes from tired late night writing.
Thanks...
It sounded to me that you said you knowingly invited the other man to this party. If that is indeed what you meant, I don't believe your story is for real. If I mis-interpreted your words, feel free to clarify.
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I'm not 100% sure what you are saying here, but if it's what I think it is I'm calling troll.
Zookeeper the rules state you do not scream troll here. If you doubt a post leave it alone or report the post.
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Discussion Starter #18
It sounded to me that you said you knowingly invited the other man to this party. If that is indeed what you meant, I don't believe your story is for real. If I mis-interpreted your words, feel free to clarify.
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Ok I think I understand your point and I will try and explain. He was part of the group of friends. She had sworn two months before it was just a fling and I wanted to believe. She did not want him to know that I knew. If you want to analyze further perhaps seeing how they reacted together was an intriguing experiment.

Being truthful about your motives for your actions were, one year on, is tricky. It does seem appear strange or even unwise from the outside :scratchhead:. But when you are in the Fog (correct term?) your desperation to understand, survive and fix can cause indecisive and irrational behavior. This is especially so if you are isolated by a spouses requests for understanding and keeping it private.

I respect your view particularly after reading your own posts as there are similarities in spouse behavior/depression. The exact cause and extent are not as extreme but their lack of self-esteem and maturity are similar. Also my DW's private world on her iPhone was spent with TOM and I didn't read that this was a concern in your case. I hope your own situation is improving as it helps to hear how others have come out the other side of these situations.
 

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I think you will probably not find the answers you're looking for on this site. The advice you're likely to get from most of the posters is based on simple premises:

- Cheating can't be tolerated by a BS.

- If a BS wants to attempt R, the the CS must receive and willingly accept significant consequences for infidelity.

- Part of those consequences should be zero contact with the OM, complete exposure of the A, stricter boundaries, total transparency, and an actionable display of consistent remorse.

- The BS must be willing to lose his marriage to have a "chance" to save it. This means if the CS doesn't accept all of these consequences and demonstrate complete remorse, the BS goes through with divorce and doesn't look back. There are no compromises.

You have done none of this; and from the tone of your post, it doesn't look to me like you believe this or would accept it.

I hope I'm wrong but perhaps you're barking up the wrong tree.
 

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If I understood right you're kinda pimping your wife by inviting the OM? Or she's cuckolding you. To refer to the title you can't progress as long as she's seeing him.
 
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