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We've been together for more than 20 years but I had an Internet based affair (never any physical contact) that's was both sexual and emotional. 8 weeks ago I confessed everything after my wife discovered messages between the OW and I on my phone. The affair lasted 18 months. distrust and pain are at an all time high. We've been arguing, and she's opened separate bank accounts. She's contacted a lawyer. She wants a legal separation. I have been going to IC and have begged her to go to couples counseling but she's adamantly refused. This is not the first time I've betrayed her. I flirted with a close female friend online many years ago. Same outcome. I went to counseling alone.

I know I am the only responsible party when it comes to the affair. I could have and should have not sought out the attention of another. It started out sexual and became emotional too. Social media allowed anonymity and fantasy to be fulfilled. I have cut off all contact since the affair. Confessed everything I've ever done, but we are at an impasse.

I know I cannot force her to do anything, but I truly love her and our family very much and committed to doing the hard work it takes to repair and rebuild our marriage. She has always been my best friend and a wonderful mother. We've just drifted apart emotionally and physically over the years, which is what motivates my infidelity.

We are still in the same house, but the tension is awful.

Any advice on what to read or how to proceed in a no threatening way to get her to stay with me? I firmly believe that divorce will be awful for us both as I know we both still love one another and are hurting tremendously. I feel that I'd rather give every last ounce of energy to saving the marriage as opposed to ending it.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you.
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It sounds like you made strike two. I think it would be hard enough to have this happen once, but the second time make you very untrustworthy.

All you can do is change yourself and sometimes the other person sees the change and also changes. Trust is crucial in a healthy marriage and how she can gain confidence in you is hard for me to see.

I would plan for the worst and focus on changing your bad ways for your next relationship.

All in my humble opinion.
 

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Are yall attending MC ?? if not now would be a good time to start do not beg grovel cry to her maybe try rebuilding trust for example if you tell her you will be home at 6pm be home at 6pm start doing things with her that yall did when you first started going out like when yall talked for hours etc if you have children get a babysitter and take her out movies, restraurants, etc develop some new hobbies together walking or jogging is a good one or walking in a park in the evening the key is to spend time without the pressures of the day and or children and watching TV does not count
 

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Are yall attending MC ?? if not now would be a good time to start do not beg grovel cry to her maybe try rebuilding trust for example if you tell her you will be home at 6pm be home at 6pm start doing things with her that yall did when you first started going out like when yall talked for hours etc if you have children get a babysitter and take her out movies, restraurants, etc develop some new hobbies together walking or jogging is a good one or walking in a park in the evening the key is to spend time without the pressures of the day and or children and watching TV does not count
She will only do things with me if she has no choice. Like attending one of our kids sporting events. Time out together just the two of us is not something she's even remotely interested in. We barley talk. I'm doing my best not to argue with her or beg or cajole about MC anymore. I'm just trying to be present and show verbally and trough actions that I'm committed to being there for her and our kids no matter what.
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WHY on earth would you repeat this???? She already gave you a second chance right? What do you have to offer to prove yourself worthy of a third???
The first time was a flirtation. Not an affair. She was offended by my tone in a post to an old female friend. I deleted the post and the account at the time. I felt she was over reacting. I underestimated the pain it caused her the first time. I have much more insight now, but I had never had a full blown EA or PA until this event.
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It sounds like you made strike two. I think it would be hard enough to have this happen once, but the second time make you very untrustworthy.

All you can do is change yourself and sometimes the other person sees the change and also changes. Trust is crucial in a healthy marriage and how she can gain confidence in you is hard for me to see.

I would plan for the worst and focus on changing your bad ways for your next relationship.

All in my humble opinion.
I see your point, and I am already doing the work that needs to be done to assure I never do this to her again, or anyone in the future if God forbid this marriage ends. I have given her all of my account passwords, deleted all my social media accounts, have tried to account for my whereabouts at all times without her having to ask. I'm being completely transparent. I hope you're not right about this being beyond repair. I am doing my best to better myself while preparing for the worst.
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The first time was a flirtation. Not an affair. She was offended by my tone in a post to an old female friend. I deleted the post and the account at the time. I felt she was over reacting. I underestimated the pain it caused her the first time. I have much more insight now, but I had never had a full blown EA or PA until this event.
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THIS is minimizing. You did something that YOU KNEW would likely cause GREAT animosity between your wife and yourself, correct? You gave your attentions to yet ANOTHER woman AFTER she let you know how she felt about merely 'flirting' so you escalated to a full blown Affair and now your confused???? Make NO mistake- in your wifes mind- THIS is indeed a second strike. Until you get that 100% youre going nowhere fast.
 

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THIS is minimizing. You did something that YOU KNEW would likely cause GREAT animosity between your wife and yourself, correct? You gave your attentions to yet ANOTHER woman AFTER she let you know how she felt about merely 'flirting' so you escalated to a full blown Affair and now your confused???? Make NO mistake- in your wifes mind- THIS is indeed a second strike. Until you get that 100% youre going nowhere fast.
Like I said: I do see your point. Both acts were betrayals of trust and of our marriage. I'm not denying any of the pain my actions have caused or my responsibility for those actions. I'm just trying to find out what course I can take to have the best chance of convincing her that I'm worth one last shot. I truly do love her and I'm committed to doing whatever it takes to rebuild and repair our relationship.
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Sounds like strike two, and now you are OUT.

I would divorce you too. Sorry.

What you did the first time crossed the line. You were given a second chance and you blew it. Learn from this huge mistake and take away this - DO NOT repeat it in whatever new relationship you manage to forge.
 

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Sounds like strike two, and now you are OUT.

I would divorce you too. Sorry.

What you did the first time crossed the line. You were given a second chance and you blew it. Learn from this huge mistake and take away this - DO NOT repeat it in whatever new relationship you manage to forge.

If I wanted to be told off I would have written this to my wife. If you can't say anything positive or constructive please don't interact with me. I'm looking for answers to the most painful problem I've ever had in my life, not reinforcement of how worthless I already feel for the pain I've inflicted on my wife and family. I'm doing a fine job of that on my own.
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Yep. Im R'ing after an EA. THIS is his ONLY shot. If I were her- I'd be gone knowing what I know now.

I have no suggestions OP. If this happened to me at this point AFTER what we've been thru- Yeah, I'd be gone. She warned you. You've spent 20 yrs with this woman you HAD to know she wasnt about to tolerate an 18 month long affair and just let it go again. I do hope you get some counseling though and improve yourself. Be a better partner to the next woman. And be decent to your wife in this divorce- afterall its your fault.
 

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The first time was a flirtation. Not an affair. She was offended by my tone in a post to an old female friend. I deleted the post and the account at the time. I felt she was over reacting. I underestimated the pain it caused her the first time. I have much more insight now, but I had never had a full blown EA or PA until this event.
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THIS is not recognizing what you've done. NOT. THIS is rugsweeping and minimizing to the hilt. It was 'just flirting' yep, thats the first step. Just like when people say "it was supposed to be just sex but now I have feelings for her" yep, thats the way it works 1 little step at a time til youre in WAY over your head. Your wife knew this the first time she caught you. But YOU knew better. SHE was overreacting. See where that got you???


Also what have you offered her??? What are you doing to get her back? Besides words, what actions???
 

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THIS is not recognizing what you've done. NOT. THIS is rugsweeping and minimizing to the hilt. It was 'just flirting' yep, thats the first step. Just like when people say "it was supposed to be just sex but now I have feelings for her" yep, thats the way it works 1 little step at a time til youre in WAY over your head. Your wife knew this the first time she caught you. But YOU knew better. SHE was overreacting. See where that got you???
I'm not denying the severity of what I've done. I'm looking for answers for what I can do now and from here on in to help rebuild trust and our relationship. I KNOW I caused her immense pain with these actions. I'm not minimizing what I've done. It's just that what I've done recently was far more deceitful and more of a betrayal than what I did before. I cannot focus on what I have done in the past, I can only learn from it and focus on doing what right from here on in. None of you have addressed my question: what steps can I take now to try to save my marriage if its even remotely possible?
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I'm not denying the severity of what I've done. I'm looking for answers for what I can do now and from here on in to help rebuild trust and our relationship. I KNOW I caused her immense pain with these actions. I'm not minimizing what I've done. It's just that what I've done recently was far more deceitful and more of a betrayal than what I did before. I cannot focus on what I have done in the past, I can only learn from it and focus on doing what right from here on in. None of you have addressed my question: what steps can I take now to try to save my marriage if its even remotely possible?
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Well, Ive asked you twice what YOU have DONE besides talk. WHAT have you done????????? Of your own valition? What have you done? There are threads on here for helpful suggestions for what to do as a WS. Have you given passwords? Closed your social networking? Read any books? To name a few...
 

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I'm not denying the severity of what I've done. I'm looking for answers for what I can do now and from here on in to help rebuild trust and our relationship. I KNOW I caused her immense pain with these actions. I'm not minimizing what I've done. It's just that what I've done recently was far more deceitful and more of a betrayal than what I did before. I cannot focus on what I have done in the past, I can only learn from it and focus on doing what right from here on in. None of you have addressed my question: what steps can I take now to try to save my marriage if its even remotely possible?
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Your wife will view each betrayal equally. You have betrayed her trust on both occasions. How on earth do you expect her to trust you again?
There is not much you can do. You have to let her make her own mind up.
Realise your wife is devastated and hurting badly.
Nothing you say to her now will make any difference!
Let your actions show her how you are willing to do all that is needed to fix this. Just be prepared that it could be too late.
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As a BW with only one EA (facebook, email, sexting) I am willing to give my FWH of 13 yrs another chance. That being said it is his only chance.

I hate to tell you but you crossed the line a second time. You threw her love into the dirt once, but the second time you stomped on it. You have KILLED your marriage. There is NO excuse for a second affair. After seeing the devastation you caused the first my only question is HOW COULD YOU DO IT AGAIN?

I would tell your soon to be ex wife to run for the hills. She deserves so much more than you are willing to give her. Stay in counciling and figure out your issues. Then maybe you can have a real relationship built on trust and respect.
 

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She will only do things with me if she has no choice. Like attending one of our kids sporting events. Time out together just the two of us is not something she's even remotely interested in. We barley talk. I'm doing my best not to argue with her or beg or cajole about MC anymore. I'm just trying to be present and show verbally and trough actions that I'm committed to being there for her and our kids no matter what.
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Do you blame her? I would not even want you in the same house. Those poor kids.
 

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I know my posts sound harsh, but there is nothing you can do but grovel and tell/show her you love her. DO NOT expect anything in return. Only she can decide if you are worth another chance. You have learned a hard lesson, to bad it took a second smack upside the head for it to sink in.
 
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