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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, first post here but I'm desperate for some advice. My wife has entered into a "relationship" with another man. Nothing sexual, just emotional, which is bad enough. It started as providing support for each other as they both deal with their own marriage issues, but she has revealed to me at least one of them has feeling for the other (at least her, and I assume him as well since she is attractive and much younger).

A quick back-story, I suffer from what you would call a flat affect at times. I'm a great husband, but I have historically been emotionally unavailable. I listen well, but I don't share my own feelings very often. I never express my wants and needs and live my life around my wife and kids. In addition, I have rarely told her how attractive she is to me. What passion I have for her. How I crave her touch. She felt that I just didn't care about her and that we were like roommates.

This has caused great loneliness in my wife and she craves that emotional connection. She is tired of telling me what to do and wants me to speak for myself. We started therapy a year ago and around 4-6 months ago, she stopped enabling me. I've been dealing with my issues (with medication, not therapy yet) and I have improved a lot, but I'm still not where she needs me to be. It wasn't until she revealed the depth of her relationship with him and threatened to leave me that I "woke up." Anger really opened me up and I have been very present, free flowing with emotions. A different man. Constantly craving her and expressing it. Unfortunately, she can't forget the past 8-10 years where I wasn't there. She checked out of our marriage months ago and is really struggling to reconnect with me, even though she still loves me more than anything. She just doesn't believe we are in love.

With that said, I understand her need to connect with someone, but we both admit this relationship is inappropriate. She just isn't willing to give it up or give us up. But I can't stand being in limbo. I would be devastated if we separated. I'm extremely jealous and possessive (internally). I couldn't stand her leaving me or being with someone else.

I expressed how hurt I was and asked her to stop meeting with him. I was OK with texting/phone, but after speaking with our therapist, they suggested either we separate or the relationship ends. It was two hard/confusion for both of us. My wife was forced into making a decision she wasn't ready to make and after a few days of real pain, she relented and agreed not to be in contact with him. I told her I trusted her decision and would stop spying on her (cell phone records), and she told me about two occasions where the spoke strictly platonically about an issue he was having.

The past 10 days since that decision have been awful. She is in a really bad place. I have been awake for around a month and it almost seems like we have switched roles. She's unavailable and I'm trying my best to reconnect. I have been giving her space and she has taken it every few days. The first time was tough. I questioned where she was the entire time (because she is usually texting me a lot and was silent this day), but I didn't spy on her. I had a tough time and expressed my jealously when she returned and we had a good talk. After a hard day with the kids yesterday, I she went out again, this time for 8-10 hours. Again, I trusted her and didn't spy...until today.

Well, today is was too much for me. She has been so distant and I'm so frustrated. I checked the cell history and lo and behold, she has been in almost constant communication with him. Even last night when she was out with her friend (which she was) they were texting the entire time. And before going out, there was almost 3 hours of talk as well.

What am I to do? Do I confront her and reveal I betrayed he trust? What if they are truly just support for one another? Helping each other through really tough times in their respective marriages? If I reveal I was spying again, I will make things harder for my wife and I. Of course, I'm almost sick with jealousy so where do my feelings come into play? I don't know what to do. I still love her and I'm working my a$$ off to win her back. She is just so disconnected and confused right now. Do I sit on this info and see where we go?

Sorry for the longwinded post. I just felt like both sides need to have a word. If I just expressed my side, no one would understand where my wife is at.

Please help. TIA
 

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Here's my thoughts, as someone who cheated. You shouldn't have said that you wouldn't check her communication. What you both should have said is that you'll leave everything open. Your phone, her phone, etc.

For now, remember that you had enough cause to be suspicious about her actions, and so you checked. She broke your trust once, and she's done it again. Don't let her focus the problem back on you reading her communications history. The real problem is that she's communicating with him.

Keep in mind, if you attempt to fix things again, that there's about 17 billion ways to communicate that you'll have no way of knowing about. So many apps on the phone have "hidden" chats and messages, and you'll never see them in the phone logs. She could get a throwaway phone. She could email from her work account. So don't get too complacent if she opens up her phone to you.

C
 

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Confront her. It was crap that you agreed not to snoop in the first place. Get angry because she's still cheating. Who cares how you found out the point is you did. Deal with it.
 

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Read and post in Coping with Infidelity.

Being nice and giving her space is not going to get you your wife back.

Doing things like packing her belongings and leaving them in your driveway, tellling his wife, exposing the affair... That's where your head needs to be.
 

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I would confront her anyway. She's not being honest with you and that is impeding any progress you make in your marriage. Either she's all in or she's not.

This relationship she has is NOT positive for your marriage in any way shape or form and it needs to stop. The emotional attachment she needs to rekindle with you will never happen if she's depositing those feelings into someone else.
 

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Oh, and if you do confront her, don't tell her what you know or how. Force her to be honest with you. Otherwise, you'll most likely just drive their communications underground, and the only things she'll confess to are the things you already know.

You need to do a bunch of reading in the Infidelity forum to learn how to bust the affair. If that's what you want to do.

C
 

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No contact with OM, better boundaries, and transparency for starters. Hold yourself and her both accountable. I would post more but your name and story screams troll to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for your advice. A lot of different approaches here, but I think I will just straight up ask her about this week and not offer that I know. We will see where that goes and hopefully she opens up.

I have a hard time going to the extreme and kicking her out (or at least going through the motions). I love her and I'm working hard to be a more complete person. For me and for us. I couldn't stand to be without her (yes, the word codependancy does ring a bell). I'm the one who keeps puching back when she suggests a separation.

Very conflicted as this does nothing but hurt me. I agree that we can't foster an emotional connection while this continues. If she truly wants us to work, she has break it off.

I'm not a troll. Just love the name. Like an anti-hero.
 

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Packing her bags and leaving them in your driveway is just that. It's not kicking her out.

She needs to know you are quite serious.

If you operate out of fear, of losing her you have NO CHANCE.

Spend a few hours today reading about "copiing with Infedility". You will see as posts play out over time what works and what does not work.
 

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You cannot not confront if that makes sense. She is seeing another man and lying to you about it, or at least hiding it. You cannot build a marriage on that. Ultimately she has to choose.

If it were me, I would frtak her whether she has maintained no contact. If she admits to the contact you can have an honest discussion. If she denies it, I would simply say that I know he is lying and ask her to leave for a few days.

If she is going to cheat, if she is going to choose the OM, ultimately you can't stop her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Reading up on the Coping with Infidelity pages. If tonight takes a turn for the worse, do I really have to follow the Exposure route? She has sent an NC and even read it to me. She just hasn't been compliant (nor has he I imagine). Given that this is just an EA?

Also, she definitely seems to be leaning more towards Rug Sweeping vs. genuine R. It's difficult being the passive person. It takes me time to reflect on my thoughts and I often "lose" arguments. Maybe I'm not challenging her enough to see the true remorse and get a better sense that she want to reconcile.

I definitely need to stand up for myself and insist on transparency. I have that right.
 

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The only thing you must do is you cannot tolerate a marriage that is not to your standards of what a marriage needs to be.

She must be made by you to make a choice, her marriage or her affair.

The reason for exposure is to improve the chances that she chooses her marriage over her affair, beucase exposed affairs are no fun.
 

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Reading up on the Coping with Infidelity pages. If tonight takes a turn for the worse, do I really have to follow the Exposure route? She has sent an NC and even read it to me. She just hasn't been compliant (nor has he I imagine). Given that this is just an EA?

Also, she definitely seems to be leaning more towards Rug Sweeping vs. genuine R. It's difficult being the passive person. It takes me time to reflect on my thoughts and I often "lose" arguments. Maybe I'm not challenging her enough to see the true remorse and get a better sense that she want to reconcile.

I definitely need to stand up for myself and insist on transparency. I have that right.
EA's are just as serious and damaging as PA's if not WORSE because emotions are heavily invested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well it didn't go as well as planned. I really have no idea where we are at. This is part of my issue. Lack of emotional intelligence if you will. I'm hurt over this person, but really he doesn't even matter. She's leaving me because I have no identity. I have no sense if self. Maybe I've showed up emotionally lately, but I left her alone (emotionally) for 8 years. If we are going to work, I need to fix me. I have a lot of issues. I'm a great husband and father. No doubt, but I have to figure out who I am before we can be together. Maybe if I say it out loud I'll believe it.

From here the only option is a separation. Until I prove I'm getting better, there can't be an us. That is devastating to me. I don't want this. It's not my choice, but she's done feeling like she has to nag me to take care of important things. She's doesn't want to be that person anymore. I have to prove to her I can make it without her for her to want to make us work again. She's done feeling empty and alone.

This was never about him. He's complicating things, sure, but its about her and I and us. I've been way too focused on him when I need to get back to me. I don't even know if I'm explaining it right. I think as much as it hurts the only way I can save us is to work on me getting better. I just pray she doesn't do something stupid before we get to the point where we even have a chance to reconcile. While I love her more than anything, I don't know if I could forgive that. Even though we are separated, I still feel like we have to stay faithful. I'm going to have to get over that if this is for real. I just can't even imagine the thought of bring with someone else. I'm still in love.

Anyway, thanks for your help. I'm sorry if I mislead everyone. I'm obviously confused.
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Sarcasmo,

What you've just experienced is called "blame shifting"- the wayward spouse turns their problem into "it's your fault"

Please spend more time in the coping with infidelity section, and read or re read the "newbies" post.
 

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She is the one betraying you. Your marriage cannot function as long as she is communicating with this guy behind your back. I don't care what they are talking about if she is leaning on another man for emotional support who isn't a relative she is betraying you. I would let her know that you know she is still communicating with this guy and ask her if you can put a device on her phone to monitor who she is communicating with. There should be total transparency.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I'll keep reading up on this site. It's new to me today so I have a lot to still soak in.

I know I'm sounding like the typical victim here, but I really do have a false sense of where we are at. First off, she has suggested the separation several times but my fear if losing her has me resisting it. Giving her an ultimatum won't do anything. She wants to to have space and I'm the one fighting to stay together.

Fact of the matter is we have never truly emotionally connected. At least, not to the extent that she needs me to be connected. As I explained, I have a hard time with emotions. Google Alexithymia to get an idea of how I have behaved during our relationship. Not that I have that condition, but something in my past makes me behave similarly. Until recently, putting feelings into words has been painfully tough for me. With that, she has a point. Maybe I'm gaslighting her. Trying to convince her that my recollection of the part is the real one. Another issue I have is with memory (man I sound like a winner!! Just kidding. I'm trying not to be self deprecating). I don't trust my memories since they are always foggy at best.

I agree that this EA cannot continue if we are going to save out marriage I gave expressed that and asked for it to end. Her view is that she's not ready to commit to fixing us. There is too much pain and resentment. She's not ready to give up on us, but can't commit either. A separation seems like trilby option here. I do fear this man now that we are about to enter a separation, but I feel exposing them will just cause a bigger rift between us. Further proof that I just don't understand the point of our issues and separation.

It's easy to talk here in a vacuum, having you only hear my side, but in reality our situation is more complex. I'm equally responsible for where we are at. She checked out of our marriage months ago, long before the EA, allowing herself to be ok with having an EA. Even if she hadn't made this connection, we would still be in the same place except that my emotions may still be suppressed. If anything, the EA and the anger and betrayal I felt brought out all of my emotions. Without it, I might still be as unavailable and we would be no better off I'm not saying its a good thing. Hardly. But I think she resents the fact that it took another man for me to change. Like changing for her wasn't enough. For 8 years I couldn't change for her, but now that I'm threatened, I can do it? I can see why she's frustrated. I'm equally frustrated. Where was I for 8 years? Why do I feel like we were happier than we were?

I feel like my only option is to heed her advice and seek help for me. In the meantime I have to hope and pray that she realizes there was more to our relationship than she thinks and comes around to reconciling. I can't convince her that her feelings are wrong. She needs to come to that conclusion organically. If at all.

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