Talk About Marriage banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So let me start with, I am married for 12 years and have two kids. I love the kids more then life itself. What I need help with is that I cheated 7 or so years ago and I am still living with the fall out. I know I should not push to have her get over this but I am at a point where I can't stay "connected" if it is going to continue like this.

I have put a lot into the marriage over the last 7 years to help my wife get over this. I was on the road constantly and I choose a local position to be with her and make this work. I have found that I was a bit out of shape and I am now 16% body fat and dropping. I try everyday to treat her with respect and compassion. Yes some days are struggle but that is how it goes in any relationship.

I am a good person most of the time but I have my flaws. I have a very successful job and I provide a comfortable life for my stay at home mom (the kids are in school so she is now just a stay at home wife) and in this economy I think that is a very rear thing. I help clean somewhere between 30 and 40% of what needs to be done.

I get nothing back. I feel there is not attraction from her. I know there can be. She has passion but it is not for me. I married her because of her passion and love. But there is nothing there for me anymore. It has been like this for 8 years.

I am to the point where I am about to check out of the relationship and be here for my kids. I am not looking for another relationship but I need that passion from somewhere. I love my wife and I love my family but I don't know what else to do.

The first 2 years after I cheated I asked nothing from her. I let her be and I knew it was going to ruff. After that I let her know that our relationship need to change if we were going to make it. I let her know that I was not happy not only in our sex life but the affection she showed me. It got better for a month or so and then 6 months later we had the same talk. It gets better for a few week a month maybe but after that nothing. I don't bother bringing it up anymore. It make me sound like a little b1t^h and I hate that.

All in all I don't know if anyone has any advice for me but this is were I am at.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,979 Posts
Did you attend any professional counseling after your cheating was discovered? If so, how did that go, what did you two get out of it?

What is the nature of your cheating? ONSs, workplace affair, prostitutes? How did she discover it?

It does sound like she's fallen out of love with you--that is not unusual after discovering your spouse cheated. However, it typically doesn't happen after an initial discovery, it's usually a symptom of multiple discoveries, over time.

that is to say--loss of trust and LYING is what usually causes the loyal spouse to stop trying. It kills love like nothing else.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,718 Posts
The first 2 years after I cheated I asked nothing from her. I let her be and I knew it was going to ruff. After that I let her know that our relationship need to change if we were going to make it. I let her know that I was not happy not only in our sex life but the affection she showed me. It got better for a month or so and then 6 months later we had the same talk. It gets better for a few week a month maybe but after that nothing. I don't bother bringing it up anymore. It make me sound like a little b1t^h and I hate that.

All in all I don't know if anyone has any advice for me but this is were I am at.
The question about the amount and type of affair/s is an important one if you want valid advice.

With that said, you can't nag someone into having sex.

An affair is a major turn off sexually, and to be nagged for sex only compounds the turn off.

Have you tried dating her?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
It was a one night stand. There is no lying and I was open and honest and told her myself.

I am not nagging her to have sex. It is not all about sex in the first place. I can go without sex. I need the affection and passion that was lost before I had my one night stand.

I have tried dating and vacations and outings. I am not sure anything is working.

For those that have been cheated on, if you cannot separate your emotions enough to give sound advice please do not post. It is nothing against you it is just not helpful.

Thank You
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Hey, my situation is alot like yours except she is cheating on me. We rarely have sex and she basically acts like she hates me, or is just tolerating me. I prob shouldn't give anyone advice at this point in my life, but it sounds like she may be depressed, or just bored with life. Maybe staying home isn't good for her. Does she have any hobbies ?

In my past experience my women have always focused the blame for EVERYTHING at me, even when they were the cause of their own problem.

I don't think its an 8 year grudge for a ONS but Im not a female so I could be wrong. If thats what it is then she isn't being fair with you. Yes you ****ed up royaly but being cold to you for the rest of your life is a little much.

Maybe shes just there for the $$$$$$$$ , she may have another man too. Its hard to tell sometimes. She has a lot of spare time if she doesnt work. You guys need to comunicate .Ask her if some changes need to be made. Lead the conversation. You said it helped for a little while before so why not try?

If someone doesn't make you happy, why stay with them? Yes I know there are a lot of reasons, in my personal situation young kids are involved, but whats more important to you ? Her or happiness ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,979 Posts
It was a one night stand. There is no lying and I was open and honest and told her myself.

I am not nagging her to have sex. It is not all about sex in the first place. I can go without sex. I need the affection and passion that was lost before I had my one night stand.

I have tried dating and vacations and outings. I am not sure anything is working.

For those that have been cheated on, if you cannot separate your emotions enough to give sound advice please do not post. It is nothing against you it is just not helpful.

Thank You
So I take it you didn't go to any counseling at all? Are you willing to check into marriage counseling?

How much time do the two of you spend together, no tv, no computers, movies, or kids (they can be asleep in the house, just not with you)--alone? Most experts believe you need at least 15 hours a week of quality alone time--20 if the marriage is hurting. Where do you fit on that range?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
No matter which side of the affair you are on you both have to agree on the direction forward at this point.

Sounds to me like you need to sit down with your wife and have an honest discussion. Tell her what is going on, find out how she feels and is thinking.

You (the collective you) need to decide if you are going to live the status quo, go to counseling (individual and marriage), or go your separate ways.

Don't suffer in silence, it will only make things worse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,156 Posts
"Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional"

Look. You screwed up. You took responsibility and have done your best to make ammends and nurture the relationship.At the risk of getting flammed, sometimes things can not be mended once broken.You are still a human being with needs and desires and hopefully have learned substaintially from the experience. 7 years is TOO long.

Have a respectful conversation with your wife. Tell her that you know you ruined your marriage and you take full responsibility for that. However, you are not willing to live unhappily everafter. If things don't change for the better you will need to go your separate ways. If she wants to work on this and you see progress, you are willing to work a while longer. If not, let's discuss how we end it.

Either way this goes; honest dillegent work on her part to recover or continued disdain, you will be better off in the future. Begin the 180 process after the conversation. Be happy with yourself. Start going out. Be willing to lose her (actually she is already gone, you are just willing to leave the illusion)/

Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
877 Posts
she sounds depressed ...has she seen a Dr.? I was very Much like your wife, no life, no passion and my wife had an affair. I was severely depressed. I am treating my depression now along with another medical condition, but passion is back and things are good. If she is depressed then things probably will not get better anytime soon unless she gets help. Would also highly recommend counseling.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thank you for all of the replies. Each of you have a different approach and each of you have points I need to think about. Leaving is off the table for me even if it does not make me happy. My kids are really the only thing that matters to me right now. I am working on how I can make things either bearable or even good if that is possible.

As someone pointed out, she could have cheated, and although I don't think she has, if it made her happy for a little while then why do I care.

We have not tried counseling but I have pushed for this many times which she has resisted. She quotes some study somewhere that some high percentage of people that go through marriage counseling end up divorced within a year. I personally think it would be helpful for separate and couple therapy. This way she can learn to deal with our own struggles and we can also learn how to deal with some of them together. I am sure there is plenty to learn.

As far as a job to get her out and do something, I don't even think about bringing that up anymore. You would have thought I had done the most eval thing ever. After I had told her I had a one night stand she wasn't nearly as mad as when I bring up her going back to work. Now, she has been with me before I two nickels to rub together so I know she didn't marry me for the cash but wholly crap. Thanks for the advice Brander but I am going to leave that one alone.

With the amount of hours we spend alone a week, I am not really sure. We do almost everything as a family and are not away from the kids, work or other life activities that often and I am sure we could make time for this.

Betrayed1, are you still with your spouse? If so what were some of your most significant changes that you and your spouse made to make things better?

Thanks again everyone for the help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
The first 2 years after I cheated I asked nothing from her. I let her be and I knew it was going to ruff. After that I let her know that our relationship need to change if we were going to make it. I let her know that I was not happy not only in our sex life but the affection she showed me. It got better for a month or so and then 6 months later we had the same talk. It gets better for a few week a month maybe but after that nothing. I don't bother bringing it up anymore. It make me sound like a little b1t^h and I hate that.
As far as a job to get her out and do something, I don't even think about bringing that up anymore. You would have thought I had done the most eval thing ever. After I had told her I had a one night stand she wasn't nearly as mad as when I bring up her going back to work. Now, she has been with me before I two nickels to rub together so I know she didn't marry me for the cash but wholly crap. Thanks for the advice Brander but I am going to leave that one alone.

With the amount of hours we spend alone a week, I am not really sure. We do almost everything as a family and are not away from the kids, work or other life activities that often and I am sure we could make time for this.
A few observations.

From your description it sounds like you didn't manage to solve the aftermath of your infidelity. You say that you "let her be" - that would IMO not improve anything. Did you get to the bottom of her feelings, your feelings and your relationship in general at the time?

Sounds like the two of you don't communicate well and tend to sweep issues and problems under the rug?

When someone refuses counselling (IC/MC), in my experience, it boils down to two reasons: Can't afford or want to spend the money, or they are afraid of the issues that may surface in sessions. They become vulnerable and don't want to. I think the latter could be your wife?

And finally... no wonder that the passion is absent if you don't spend one-on-one quality time together without the kids around.

I think you need to convert some thinking and feeling into actually doing.

Edited to ad: The answer to your question in the thread title is... as long as you allow yourself. Your choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
518 Posts
You really aren't clear in your initial post on what you have done to help her heal. Yes, I see you are a good Dad and help around the house along with providing the financial support.

My questions are:

1. Did you show true Remorse for what you have done to your marriage and your wife? Simply saying we will move forward and doing all the things you should have been doing prior to the affair does not allow for her to heal.

2. Did you answer all her questions and provide her with the information or the actions she asked of you after the Affair? If not you were just saying " Forget it, I will be a good boy from now on and you do not have to worry." This is a Ticking Time Bomb in your wife, You did it once why would you not do it again?

3. Did you actually sit down with her at the time of the affair and really talk it out and get all the emotions out on the table? Again, does not allow your wife to really know what is bothering her and lets her heal. If you didn't these are still in her mind and she is simply going through the motions.

You learned the hard way the Marriage to your wife you had prior to the affair is dead. Now you have to build a new one and you need to lay the proper foundation. If you haven't you are simply putting off the inevitable.

I believe your wife still has not cleared her mind about the affair and needs to get it off of her mind. You should really consider going to a MC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,358 Posts
Sounds like she's still punishing you. Don't stay married because of the kids. They'll be fine and I'm sure that they can sense the tension between you guys. Is this the picture of what married life should be that you want to convey to them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,979 Posts
We have not tried counseling but I have pushed for this many times which she has resisted. She quotes some study somewhere that some high percentage of people that go through marriage counseling end up divorced within a year.
In one sense she is right--because it is very true that there are some bad marriage counselors out there. You might actually have to go to a couple before you find one you like. You also have to be sure that the counselors are "marriage-friendly." That is, they see marriage as the priority, that it's a concerted decision for both parties to stay married.

That said, I hope you'll agree that there's a major fallacy in her argument. Oncologist patients die at a higher rate than the general population...because they have cancer, a disease that's extremely hard to treat. People who visit emergency rooms also die at higher rates. Now in some cases that's because the doctors took a person who would have survived and made it worse. But if you have cancer--should you avoid oncologists? If you have a health emergency--don't go to emergency rooms? No--on balance, if you have these serious problems you go to an expert, and in the case of cancer, the best one that you can find.


I personally think it would be helpful for separate and couple therapy. This way she can learn to deal with our own struggles and we can also learn how to deal with some of them together. I am sure there is plenty to learn.
The reason you see somewhat varied responses to your questions is that Internet forums operate through consensus. You're just going to have to read through the posts and pick what seems to fit your life. And one day you may think one approach works best, but then as time goes on you may decide you should try a different one. But I agree with pretty much all that's been said in your thread. Each person so far is simply discussing a different part of the problem, we aren't in contradiction as far as I can see (although of course that happens).

As far as what I think, this is what I would do if I were you:
1. Start researching marriage counselors in your area. Again, you're looking for marriage friendly. You're looking for someone who will deal with your infidelity head-on and not just say, "that happened a million years ago. Let's talk about how you never put your dishes in the sink." The infidelity must be discussed, examined, dealt with. This will put your wife at peace that it really was a one-time event that you regret and you'd never do to anyone, not just to her, but anyone.

2. Strongly, strongly consider attending counseling alone if your wife resists. MCs do this all the time, it's extremely common for one spouse to not want to go.

3. While researching marriage counselors / waiting for your wife to go, play marriage counselor at home.

  • Start spending at a bare minimum 10 quality hours a week--up it to 15 or 20 if you possibly can. Quality hours are ALONE one on one, no one else in the room, no electronic distractions.
  • Go to the website 5 Love Languages. Take the free quiz, get your wife to take the free quiz. Read the book (at most libraries) and figure out each others' languages. Most people perceive love being expressed in specific ways. They may not share the same preferences for this as others. So you show love but she doesn't see it that way. Learn how she sees love. Teach her how you see it, too.
  • Get the book Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass, also at most libraries. A link to the google excerpts is in my signature. See if you can get your wife to read it. Glass was a nationally-recognized infidelity researcher and her book is dead on. Your wife might find it cathartic reading. It may reawaken anger in her, it may cause her to ask lots of questions. Be extremely patient, because the two of you never dealt with the affair before. The fact that it was long ago is not always relevant to a betrayed spouse.
  • Get the books His Needs / Her Needs and Love Busters by Dr. Harley. Dr. Harley has been / was a therapist for decades, he (and don't laugh) pioneered the idea that if you can rekindle romantic love, you can avoid divorce. It seems silly now but was a novel concept at the time.
  • On the marriagebuilders website (Dr. Harley), print off the free His Needs and Her Needs questionnaires and the Love Busters questionnaires. You need to get your wife to fill these out. That will be tricky, because they are a little long. Try to use a carrot approach--you want to learn about her needs and try to meet them. You want to learn what takes romantic love away (love busters) and avoid that. Meantime, you fill yours out too. Then get her alone where she can't easily get away and sit down and compare notes. Learn about each other as much as you can from these quizzes.
  • Once you've learned these things above, you're ready for a book like The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman. It's a compact book and has a lot of useful exercises for getting to know your spouse, improving your marriage, and preventing things from going south again. Our excellent MC says it will put him out of business.
  • IF your wife has issues with your "boundaries," that is to say, if you seem to flirt a lot, have questionable relationships and interactions with the opposite sex--this is going to ensure an ongoing insecurity and lack of trust. If your wife thinks this is an issue (not you, your wife), then work through the book Boundaries in Marriage by Cloud & Townsend with her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
If leaving is not an option then you have two choices, live in the current state or work on making things better. Either way you need to sit down with wife and figure out which way you want to go.

As for marriage counseling, look for a good one with good references, not the first one in the phone book.
Secondly, look around to see if there are other programs to help couples.

Lastly, hire a baby sitter so you and your wife can have some alone time. Go to dinner, a movie, miniature golf, whatever, but get that alone time!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
877 Posts
Thank you for all of the replies. Each of you have a different approach and each of you have points I need to think about. Leaving is off the table for me even if it does not make me happy. My kids are really the only thing that matters to me right now. I am working on how I can make things either bearable or even good if that is possible.

As someone pointed out, she could have cheated, and although I don't think she has, if it made her happy for a little while then why do I care.

We have not tried counseling but I have pushed for this many times which she has resisted. She quotes some study somewhere that some high percentage of people that go through marriage counseling end up divorced within a year. I personally think it would be helpful for separate and couple therapy. This way she can learn to deal with our own struggles and we can also learn how to deal with some of them together. I am sure there is plenty to learn.

As far as a job to get her out and do something, I don't even think about bringing that up anymore. You would have thought I had done the most eval thing ever. After I had told her I had a one night stand she wasn't nearly as mad as when I bring up her going back to work. Now, she has been with me before I two nickels to rub together so I know she didn't marry me for the cash but wholly crap. Thanks for the advice Brander but I am going to leave that one alone.

With the amount of hours we spend alone a week, I am not really sure. We do almost everything as a family and are not away from the kids, work or other life activities that often and I am sure we could make time for this.

Betrayed1, are you still with your spouse? If so what were some of your most significant changes that you and your spouse made to make things better?

Thanks again everyone for the help.
Basically, I broke out of my depression, I also had low-T. Started getting shots and changed my anti-depressants a little.
we both got into IC and MC.

So, It was a combo of meds that started waking me up. The affair my wife had did the rest.


Yes, we are together and doing very well. Once I woke up then my wife had to believe in me again. That took time.
I guess the big thing we did was talk, we talked for hours on end every day. This was the begining of the new us.

Counseling has helped too. She will be resistant, set the sessions up anyway, go by yourself if you have to. But I bet if you set them up she will go.

Make sure you deal with what you did in these sessions too!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,984 Posts
There was an eerily similar post some time back..The wife did not react much after H's confession of his affair. Turns out, she was having them for a long time herself..If it is the case that she is having an affair, you will have deal with it explicitly. If a car has a flat tire, you cannot expect the issue fix it by working on the engine..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
859 Posts
From my own personal experience - yes - you need to get the kids a sitter and spend adult time alone every couple of weeks. I did not trust anyone with my kids except relatives, and the only time we went out was when Grandma came to visit a couple of times a year. Although we both loved spending time with our children, you need your own time to be able to bond as a couple and not just as a parent. I was cheated on, and as much as I wanted him to initially get hit by a bus, I chose to remain in my marriage because he showed true remorse and I did love him. I don't want him to suffer any more...why would you want someone to suffer that you are choosing to move forward with.

You need to ask her if she is happy or not. What would make her happy, and is she depressed. Don't beat around the bushes. Ask her if she wants the marriage or not, and if so, you both (don't say just her) need to start making changes and communicate, share some common goals and start dating without the kids - family time is not dating. Tell her exactly how you feel. If neither of you are honest in your feelings, nothing will get resolved. Sounds like you have nothing to lose here, but everything to gain.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top