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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am 43 and my wife of 18 years is 39. For the first 10 years or our marriage I was the bread winner, independent, confident and pretty damned happy. However, she always felt that my place was at home and was extremely unhappy when I would be down the street at a friends house, or away on a camping trip, etc. Her unhappiness got so unbearable, that I relented and spent most of my time with her and therefore, forfeiting any shred of (what I would consider) healthy independence. We began having children eight years ago whilst she was working on her college degree. Two and a half years ago, after our third child was born, we did a MAJOR role reversal in that I quit my outside job, in order to 1)work out of the house, 2)home school our children in order to 3)give her the freedom to began her new career. Now, I find myself home alone with the children A LOT (night and day)! The past two weeks, she has been coming home at 2AM in the morning anebriated stating that she is at a work function or "MIXER" as it is called in her business. However, I have discovered that she has been LYING to me about what she has been doing. Oddly, she is spending a ridiculous amount of time with a 25 year old, SINGLE female nursing student. No, it's not a lesbian thing, but rather a "I want to be young and free" thing. She has lied on top of other lies in as well as offered sex to me so that I will not complain and ruin her fun. This dishonesty is new in our relationship and I am, quite frankly TERRIFIED!!!! I confronted her two days ago and told her that the lying and coming home drunk several nights during the week are unacceptable. She said that I was "smothering her" and trying to "control" her. She also stated that I did not want her to have friends. Of course, she has friends her own age which she has done things with in the past (which I had no problem as it was, IMHO, normal behavior for a 39yr old married mother of three children). We went to a counselor that same day. I felt better that night, but yesterday and today, the lying keeps going through my head. I feel like I am competing for the attention of my wife, with a 25yr old, single GIRL!!!! I am depressed, in despair as I type this and I have no idea how to change this. I feel stranded in this situation of being at home while my wife is out partying and lying to me about it so that I will not revolt. I know that she loves me but she also knows that I am miserable. Any thoughts or advice are welcome!
 

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Your wife is more than half way out of your marriage. While you have not proof of an affair at this time, the kind of partying she seems to be doing usually does lead to an affiar.

Is her cell phone password protected? Does she seem to keep a close eye on it to protect it? If you can you might want to start by looking at the phone bill to see what numbers she is texting/calling. Check her txts on the cell if you can.

While you think she is not having an affair, I think you would benefit from reading the book "Surviving An Affair" by Dr. Harley. The concepts will still work in your case.

Also see an attorney to find out your rights in a divorce and to make sure you are protected financially, with custody, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Elegirl, I appreciate your reply. Actually, her phone is exactly how I found out about the lying. I managed to crack her code this past Friday (I am not a suspicious person, but the sudden shift in behavior made me an amateur spy) and found her texting said 25yr old girl about going out and drinking on multiple occasions. I found no evidence of any MALE contact nor any "lesbian" type of activity in the texts. I was purely girls giggling and going out and drinking etc. She lied to me because she knew I would disapprove of this new lifestyle and try to influence her to stop. Upon confronting her (at which time she was unaware that I had cracked her phone) she was naturally defensive and lied some more. I then asked her if I could see her phone. She got angry, but gave it to me. Of course, all of the texts to said 25yr old girl were deleted. She knew she was busted. I then told her that I knew what she had been up to and about all of the lying. Finally, her story got consistent with the evidence that I had found. She cried and said that she just wanted to go have some fun with some girlfriends and that she did not want me to feel bad about it. She said she loves me and it kills her to see me depressed. She told me that she would terminate the relationship with the 25yr old nursing student if it was threatening our marriage. Now, suddenly, I feel like I'm a bad guy trying to control her. I'm not going to make the mistake of calling an attorney this early in the debacle. If I do that then she calls one and then it's a snowball down a mountain. I know she does not want to lose me. Once we got past the lying nonsense, she was remorseful about staying out late and drinking, lying about it and conceded that it was not appropriate. She was TERRIFIED that I was going to leave her. However, she wants both worlds. Something has got to give. I am hoping to find some middle ground with her. She removed the code from her phone (which technically is pointless as she can simply delete texts or even get a secret phone if she wants). On one hand, I do not want to over react to the lying, however, how can I believe ANYTHING that comes out of her mouth now?
 

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while there might very well not be an affair going on right now you really do need to take this as seriously as though there were one. The reason is that there are things you can do now that will prevent what is often the progression in situation like the one you are in.

I still think that you would benefit from reading the book I suggested.

If you don't want to read that one, then the book "His Needs, Her Needs", by the same author, expands on the ideas without the affair topic being part of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your advice is well taken. Her deceit alone, I suppose, is enough to justify further action. I will indeed, check out the book that you recommended. I'm just wondering if I am at all to blame for any of this behavior (by being a stay at home dad, being more needy than years prior, etc). She states that I am way too emotionally dependent on her, thus prompting the lying to 1)keep me pacified and 2)keep her freedom. Is this a situation where it is acceptable for me to say: You either stop this crap immediately OR we are through!? The hardest part is the depression I have brought on by this mess. It's the only reason I am up right now at 2:30AM on a Sunday night with nobody to talk to. My wife tried to talk with me earlier about it as she is extremely concerned about my depression (even though she is the reason for it) but got really sad listening to me talk about it and went to bed. I then came upstairs and wept. So out of character for this alpha male.
 

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Sorry to hear that you are in such a position.
But you situation mirrors what happened to an extended male relative of mine , a successful businessman who married my wife's sister.
He left his business and decided to become a stay at home dad, whilst she worked.
She started coming home at ungodly hours, 3 am and 4 am smelling of alcohol.
She was hanging out with an extremely toxic girl. That girl encouraged her to hang out and drink late, and she lost respect for her husband.
She began to lie and accuse him of being controlling when he confronted her.
Eventually she started cheating on him with another man, and that girlfriend supported her cheating ways.
Needless to say , she eventually left her husband.

Your wife may not have cheated as yet , but that girl is taking her in that direction. Your wife thinks she's entitled to her " freedom" whilst you do the housework.
Stop being " terrified " and think clearly.
She is under the toxic influence of that girl and needs to shocked back to reality, because at this point , she is in an irrational state.
Therefore , you should put your feet down and give her an ultimatum .
Either her newfound " freedom " or the marriage.
Some marriage counseling is also needed.
 

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No offense, but often women go out to the bars to dance, flirt, and get hit on. If that behaviour continues, there's a strong possibility that at some point, the right combination of her alcohol consumption and a hot guy who says the right things will happen, and then you've got a whole different situation to deal with. Even if she can honestly tell you right now that she's just out to have some fun.

In addition to the books mentioned, I think the Married Mans Sex Life would be good reading for you. Especially as a stay at home dad, you need to actively work at maintaining her sexual attraction to you. It's also healthier for you, emotionally.

C
 

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I would prefer to focus on a different issue.

You abandoned your independence, and career for this woman that is now abandoning you, for ironically ... independence and a career.

I think it's great that we live in a time when men feel comfortable assuming the role of primary caretaker for children and allow their wives to assume the role of primary caretaker for the family.

I also happen to think that this role reversal is the absolute kiss of death when it comes to maintaining respect and attraction in your marriage.

People feel compelled to defend it, and that is their prerogative and choice. But, I do not know of a single instance of a man playing Mr. Mom, where over the long term that decision works out well for the health and longevity of the marriage.

So my advice to you that will have the most immediate and straightforward impact on your marriage dynamic is to go back to being the guy she was afraid of losing, and loved to death.

You gave up a great deal out of love and support for your wife. Nothing wrong with asking her to do the same ... but I'm wagering she wont do it as willingly as you did.

You need to get out of your funk. Your sacrifice for your wife and children won't mean much in light of tanking your marriage as a result.

Stop focusing on her and what she is doing. It's the equivalent of chasing your tail.

What is YOUR plan? Focus on what you intend to do to make yourself happy,
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry to hear that you are in such a position.
But you situation mirrors what happened to an extended male relative of mine , a successful businessman who married my wife's sister.
He left his business and decided to become a stay at home dad, whilst she worked.
She started coming home at ungodly hours, 3 am and 4 am smelling of alcohol.
She was hanging out with an extremely toxic girl. That girl encouraged her to hang out and drink late, and she lost respect for her husband.
She began to lie and accuse him of being controlling when he confronted her.
Eventually she started cheating on him with another man, and that girlfriend supported her cheating ways.
Needless to say , she eventually left her husband.

Your wife may not have cheated as yet , but that girl is taking her in that direction. Your wife thinks she's entitled to her " freedom" whilst you do the housework.
Stop being " terrified " and think clearly.
She is under the toxic influence of that girl and needs to shocked back to reality, because at this point , she is in an irrational state.
Therefore , you should put your feet down and give her an ultimatum .
Either her newfound " freedom " or the marriage.
Some marriage counseling is also needed.
Wow. That's sobering to say the least, Caribbean Man, which makes me wonder if this is really worse than I originally estimated. But, yes, we started therapy the same day that all of this came to the forefront. What is puzzling is she is trying so hard to convince me that everything is OK, saying things like "I belong to you" and "we are together forever so just get used to it". I told her, prior to going into the therapy session, that the late night drinking is over OR we are over. I did not, however, tell her that she has to terminate the relationship with the 25yr old girl. I suppose that I felt I did not have that "right" to do it. Maybe I need to revisit that with her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No offense, but often women go out to the bars to dance, flirt, and get hit on. If that behaviour continues, there's a strong possibility that at some point, the right combination of her alcohol consumption and a hot guy who says the right things will happen, and then you've got a whole different situation to deal with. Even if she can honestly tell you right now that she's just out to have some fun.

In addition to the books mentioned, I think the Married Mans Sex Life would be good reading for you. Especially as a stay at home dad, you need to actively work at maintaining her sexual attraction to you. It's also healthier for you, emotionally.
C
You are absolutely correct. I remember how women can get when alcohol, girlfriends and their own [email protected]#&d psyche are all combined at once. I will check out the book that you recommended and appreciate the heads up!
 

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. What is puzzling is she is trying so hard to convince me that everything is OK, saying things like "I belong to you" and "we are together forever so just get used to it".
........and in addition she's probably ramping up the sex in bed too .
Right?
Listen,that's the oldest trick in a woman's playbook.
It simply means that she's reading you and knows exactly how you would react.
She thinks she knows you inside out, or does she?

Whatever you do from here on, do not grovel and beg her.
she is not doing you any favours so do NOT accept any.
You are entitled to a lot more respect from her because YOU sacrificed quite a lot for her to go back to college and get a job.
She is abusing her privilege.
A situation has developed in the marriage and you both need to work on it and she is not entitled to that lifestyle she wants to live.
There is going to be a huge power struggle, if not handled properly and affirmatively, because you gave up your leadership role by not setting up proper boundaries. She sensed a vacuum, because you were not firm, seized control and is now taking full advantage.
She gets her new sense of power from her friend, cut out the friend, cancel the drinking and any partying.
Then both of you could come back to the table, renegotiate new terms and conditions, and set firm , proper marital boundaries.

Time to hit the reset button.
 

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I am 43 and my wife of 18 years is 39. For the first 10 years or our marriage I was the bread winner, independent, confident and pretty damned happy. However, she always felt that my place was at home and was extremely unhappy when I would be down the street at a friends house, or away on a camping trip, etc. Her unhappiness got so unbearable, that I relented and spent most of my time with her and therefore, forfeiting any shred of (what I would consider) healthy independence. We began having children eight years ago whilst she was working on her college degree. Two and a half years ago, after our third child was born, we did a MAJOR role reversal in that I quit my outside job, in order to 1)work out of the house, 2)home school our children in order to 3)give her the freedom to began her new career. Now, I find myself home alone with the children A LOT (night and day)! The past two weeks, she has been coming home at 2AM in the morning anebriated stating that she is at a work function or "MIXER" as it is called in her business. However, I have discovered that she has been LYING to me about what she has been doing. Oddly, she is spending a ridiculous amount of time with a 25 year old, SINGLE female nursing student. No, it's not a lesbian thing, but rather a "I want to be young and free" thing. She has lied on top of other lies in as well as offered sex to me so that I will not complain and ruin her fun. This dishonesty is new in our relationship and I am, quite frankly TERRIFIED!!!! I confronted her two days ago and told her that the lying and coming home drunk several nights during the week are unacceptable. She said that I was "smothering her" and trying to "control" her. She also stated that I did not want her to have friends. Of course, she has friends her own age which she has done things with in the past (which I had no problem as it was, IMHO, normal behavior for a 39yr old married mother of three children). We went to a counselor that same day. I felt better that night, but yesterday and today, the lying keeps going through my head. I feel like I am competing for the attention of my wife, with a 25yr old, single GIRL!!!! I am depressed, in despair as I type this and I have no idea how to change this. I feel stranded in this situation of being at home while my wife is out partying and lying to me about it so that I will not revolt. I know that she loves me but she also knows that I am miserable. Any thoughts or advice are welcome!
You have a problem, and the councilor is a good start. When my wife and I had troubles this was about the age it started for her. I know I am generalizing but I have had friends who went through the same thing, wives were mid to late 30s.

In short she is likely being unfaithful or will. There is a reason for the lies. The sex is just to keep you happy, for now. You both married young and I suspect this younger nurse as you think is effecting her.

Nip it now or this will not turn out well. My wife has passed on. But we went through this and in the end came out better, but quite frankly we were lucky.
 

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I'm willing t bet that at the least, your wife is acting as her new friend's "wingman" at bars while the 25 year old trolls for men. Unfortunately, this behavior ultimately draws the "wingman" in too when the targeted male has friends who are also looking to hook-up. I am also willing to bet that your wife has at the least accepted drinks from strange men and possibly danced with them to "help her friend out"

Do you know the 25 yo gf? Confirm who she is and that the number you see listed in her phone actually belongs to a female and is not a guy listed as a girl (typical cheater ploy)

Also know that while your wife may not have cheated or is not cheating now, she is displaying many Red Flags of a cheater. These include:

PW protected phone
Calling you controlling
Lying
Telling you that "you're smothering her"
Out partying all the time and living the "single" life
Defensive
Deleting texts
Wanting to maintain this lifestyle and still keep you

Look, she's a married mother of 3 AND she's 39! Married women (let alone mothers) do not behave this way. You should let her know that she CAN'T have it both ways. If she wants to be single again, that can be arranged but right now she's a partner in a marraige and a family and she needs to start acting like it. She needs to start participating more in raising the children SHE gave birth to.

I think you need to go deeper on this one.

Start by getting your cell phone bill and seeing who she's textin and calling when and how often

Verify that the 25 yo is actually a woman

Put a var under the front seat of her car with heavy duty velcro

Get a keylogger on your PC now

I have a gut feeling this runs deeper

As a grounds for keeping you, I'd ask for a polygraph too to see what's she's really been up to at the bars
 

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Having lived through this (and had the marriage not only survive, but thrive), here's what NOT to do:
1. act all whiny
2. act all controling
3. act insecure at all
4. stop checking up on her

All that noise will just push her away. Look, please don't take this the wrong way, but you've kind of taken on the traditional female role in your relationship and your wife is responding to that.

Here's my story, and what I did about it: http://talkaboutmarriage.com/mens-clubhouse/27426-what-ive-learned-past-year-good-news-story.html
 

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OP, I have no advice to offer other than that which has already been given, save to support the fact that your present dynamic is not only unhealthy (not only for you, but also your marriage) but needs to change as soon as possible.

If your W is reluctant to change her current single status lifestyle, I would urgently suggest MC.
 

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I've learned so much from TAM. And here it is...I think you need to move to the Cooing with Infidelity forum because she's following the cheater's playbook to the T.
She might not be cheating yet but she's on her way.
First of all get Married Man Sex Life. Most women lose sexual attraction to men who stay home. I think as a woman that's so effing stupid but it seems to be true.
Second she's at the age where she's getting more sexual AND feeling like she's losing her attractiveness. Like this is her last chance to feel/be sexy before menopause.
Girls nights out are the first stage of the wayward wife.
Lying about it makes it even more suspect.
Her 25 year old friend makes her feel young. She probably makes her feel comfortable going to bars where younger people hang out.
The "you're controlling" line is part of a cheater's script as is "you won't let me have friends".

Why are you home schooling your kids?
I'm sorry to hear this is happening to you. I hope you have a great counselor.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

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. . . she always felt that my place was at home and was extremely unhappy when I would be down the street at a friends house, or away on a camping trip, etc. Her unhappiness got so unbearable, that I relented.
Interesting in the light of her current behaviour.
I quit my outside job, in order to 1)work out of the house, 2)home school our children in order to 3)give her the freedom to began her new career.
Seems as husbands go you are doing pretty well.:)
Now, I find myself home alone with the children A LOT (night and day)! The past two weeks, she has been coming home at 2AM in the morning anebriated stating that she is at a work function or "MIXER" as it is called in her business
. This is waaaaaay out of line. Were the kids asking where Mommy was?
However, I have discovered that she has been LYING to me about what she has been doing.
Rushwater you have a situation here and I'm very sorry.

Here's what I would do if it were me:
My absolute first priority would be to find out if there is anything going on. There are too many red flags for my liking and I get suspicious when I hear of 'sudden' changes in spouses. Visit a few threads and you will see what I mean. I would want to reassure myself that there wasn't another man in her orbit even it was the just beginning of an EA for example. If there isn't anything then you can proceed to MC. Otherwise it's a waste of time.

She is aware you have been doing some snooping because you confronted her. Over a few days start looking brighter and say the depression is lifting and you feel much better. Even apologise for being a bit short with her heh heh! This is to lull her into a false sense of security. I would act nonchalantly, bright and breezy with no relationship talk.

Meanwhile you can do a very thorough snoop. Check out the evidence gathering thread and look at Weightlifter's threads for VAR instructions. I think it is so important to do this. If you go to MC and then find out in a few months time that she was up to something as many BS on here have found, you will be pretty cross with yourself for not snooping. This is what happened to me. Odd behaviour that suggested something was up but I came up with 'reasons'.

There may not be anything don't forget. But you want to know that 100%. I hope I am not labouring the point here.

As far as bars go, if there are two women sitting on their own they are going to get chatted up. It's hard to picture the two of them sitting in a bar at a table just talking to each other until 2:00AM. If she had done that when you were dating her, you would have possibly not continued dating her.

No wonder you are depressed. Do you have any adult company during the day? It is so isolating to be at home with kids. Mums can go visit each other but it's not so easy for SAHDs to visit other Mums in their home during the day.:lol: With depression it's hard to get motivated but a friend told me once, "Action brings motivation, not the other way around." So make this a project. When you are doing something about it you will find that it will help your depression enormously.

Also the 'acting nonchalantly' is a good way to start the process of 180. You have got to do this as she seems to be getting her own way with everything as well as not respecting you or thinking of your needs at all. The 180 is counterintuitive, most people feel they will drive their spouse away, but from what posters say here who have done it properly, it can produce surprising results.

Read again what I quoted from your post. No respect. Time to knock it on the head.

That's my advice, for what it's worth. I wish I had known about TAM when I was going through this!

Also you now have company and people to talk to 24/7 which will also help your depression.:yay:plus they have all been through this 'pain in the a**' process! What a waste I always say. Get to the bottom of it fast!

Moonshadow
 

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I know your situation may seem bleek but you do have hope. You remember how you used to be so it shouldn't be too hard to become "that guy" again. A lot of posters on TAM in your situation really are hopeless because they never really had any independence in the relationship.

If you want to save your marriage you're going to have to swing the balance of power back in your favor. Is it possible to return to work? You mentioned that you home school your kids, so perhaps that isn't an option. You also need to start doing stuff outside the house with your friends. It sounds like you may have lost touch with them, so you may need to just say you're going out and do something by yourself. In your case I think these things would do a lot to fix the relationship.
 

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Wow. I did not, however, tell her that she has to terminate the relationship with the 25yr old girl. I suppose that I felt I did not have that "right" to do it. Maybe I need to revisit that with her.
Yes you do have the right. She's lied to you how many times now? She's not being honest and when that happens, you lose trust and anything she says now you have a hard time believing.

The problem is she has no boundaries and the longer it goes on the worse it will be. Coming home at two or three in the morning drunk is unacceptable and not doubt behind the wheel of the car. Real smart.

My Ex wife pulled that stunt on me. she came home at 3:30 AM drunk. I told her that she had better not ever do it again especially driving while drunk. She did it again and this time when I looked at the clock, I said enough. I put a those rubber shims you put under the door to keep it open but I used them to keep them closes so keys didn't help. She banged on the door and I opened the window and told her to go to a motel or sleep in the car. She slept in the car. The temp that night was in the teens and I could care less. I finally let her in the next morning and told her that next time don't come home.

Now you better do something about your wife and don't let the tears cloud your mind. Give her the boundaries and tell her she's walking on thin ice.

I don't remember if you said you work from home but if you do, I would tell her that your going back to your place of work and enroll the kids in school and she's going to have to pitch in also. Don't play games with her or you'll take one square to the chin.
 
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