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Look, this IS a full-scale EA (at least). It already hits all the marks for it. The OM has gradually become her focus, while you are gradually backgrounded in her mind. This is a very steep, slippery slope. If you don't start wrapping your mind around what is really happening - which is that your W, at the very least, has a friendship with another man that she lies by omission about, and is possibly in deeper emotionally, if not physically - you will find yourself in the plan B position. This happens quickly. Really quickly. Our minds, juiced up with feel-good relationship hormones, focus on the new interest and fade out the old one.

He's doing what cheaters do - he's complaining about his wife and saying that it's a lot to 'unpack.' You can bet that they've sat over their countless coffees and drinks discussing his complaints about his wife.

You need to act now. You really do. And when she says it's 'just friends,' don't take that at face value. You need to follow up with investigation.

And bottom line needs to be 'I don't care if you think he's just a friend. I won't have him in my marriage, so make a choice.'
This is a really good perspective.

I am starting to go over to dark side of this thread. Admitting the possibilities, um'....
...............................................................................................

Oh, welcome back Carter!
Long time no hear.

In your absence, I could not find anyone to grade my papers!

My edit pen rolls its eyes, then rolls away from me.
 

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Smoothieking, it doesn't seem like this has gone physical, but I would not be okay with this situation for at least the following reasons:


  • Your wife knows (at least subconsciously) that this guy is into her and she clearly enjoys and is flattered by that attention. Regardless of whether she intends to reciprocate, she is encouraging his pursuit.
  • Daily/weekly lunches, walks and coffee dates with another man, drinking together, etc. This is essentially dating, and she's getting at least one of her love languages met from another guy.
  • She's not being forthcoming with you about what's going on. This is a breach of the trust in your marriage and prioritizing her relationship with this guy over your marriage.
If this were my wife, I would confront her without revealing that I had seen these texts. I would remind her that she would not be okay with the situation if the roles were reversed, and I would call her out on her lack of transparency about it. I also would point out that the amount of energy and consideration that she invests in this guy, while I get her leftovers at the end of the day isn't fair to me and I won't accept that. I would caution her that if she continues with the status quo, I won't be around to find out where it goes with this guy. That's not a threat, I simply have too much respect for myself to remain in that position.

She'll likely get defensive, and immediately say they're just friends. I would respond that it doesn't matter what her intentions were or whether anything ever happened, what matters is how it looks and feels to me, and that no other person should be allowed to come between us in our marriage. If she's willing to pick her friendship with this guy over our marriage, I know exactly where I stand.

Then I would use this as an opportunity to talk about what we both agree are appropriate boundaries for working relationships with the opposite sex, what we can do to build in accountability to each other on that front, and what specifically needs to happen with this other guy.

Following those conversations, I would continue to monitor as needed, and I would step up my efforts to date my wife. I'm not suggesting you try to change who you are, but if you can be more emotionally available and connected, based on my own experience, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised how she responds to you and you'll find your efforts rewarding.
 

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Bottom line OP: do you think she would cross the "exposing or touching" boundary? If you think yes, time to cut it off or reconsider your marital status. If no, let her continue on and monitor. It's been my experience if the ladies are talking about the guy, they are not intimate. If she shuts up about him, it's game over.
 

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Discussion Starter #85
thanks for all of the posts. I am going to continue a bit of monitoring over the next week or two. As noted in my original post, we've had our challenges and one of those was in Feb 2019 and we decided to seek out some counseling to improve communication. We've done a few sessions and have made significant progress, but of course a long way to go. None of this has been discussed of course as we have not had a session since I started digging this deep. We have 4 sessions coming up this month, and based on how the monitoring goes, I will likely confront her a day or two before the session and then introduce it there, or schedule an individual session with counselor which we've discussed doing for both of us. There are some wide ranging assessments in the feedback here, at the end of the day I really don't know whats going on because I'm not there, but based on what I see/hear this is still an early EA, not PA. I'm not acknowledging that early EA is OK by any means, but can be reversed. Reading all of this today has been a bit of an emotional whirlwind, trying to stay realistic about what could be going on. Tonight when she came home, she mentioned that another co-worker told her that her name is on a short list for a position with OM's Boss, she would be Sr. to him in position, and she said "I would be working with Nathan more, which I would like a lot". This killed me, it was hard to look at her during dinner and thankfully our toddler is pretty entertaining. Another piece of info I did not mention before is that she is actively trying to leave job that is a 1hr commute and work locally, or even stay at home. She acknowkedges the job is putting severe strain on our relatinonship. Her manager is ****ty, along with many of the people she works with. It's a toxic environment, I've seen and hear evidence of that to know it's true. WHen she mentioned this job working with Nathan, I simply indicated, well that isn't going to work because its not part of your exit strategy there. She agreed. Given that we have the counselor sessions coming up, I think that is my advocate for disolving this situation. Just sucks though, i know I'd be on the spear if I was doing this with a female co-worker that was attractive.
 

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@smoothieking - Don't think looks are what counts.

You'd be on the spear if you were behaving like that with a coworker who was butt-ugly.

So go ahead and put her on the spear.

If it were me, I would get a matching iDevice as mentioned above and put it on the same Apple ID login as her phone to monitor her messages in real time.

If you do that, please make sure you have her device in hand because there is an alert on all associated devices every time a new device is added.

Then turn off all notifications on the spy device.

Simultaneously, I would run phone recovery software on her device. Use Fonelab, Dr. Fone sucks.

You'll recover deleted texts, photos, video, cheater app messages, and more if there are any.

That way, you'll know much better what you're dealing with.
 

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It's fine to approach this in MC, but before you do that you should do your homework about the possible directions the MC session could go in.

Get ready to hear that you are paranoid or controlling, or that the 'just friends' is enough to know and that you can't tell her what friends to have, or that you have to determine what needs of hers you are not meeting to make her seek out her 'friend,' or that the counselor sees the marriage as the patient, not you.

These are all possibilities in MC sessions, so you shouldn't be surprised. Remember that these are different perspectives and that you don't have to agree. For me, the key is to be firm and confident in your own opinion about what is going on and what your boundaries are. You are reasonable. Always remember that.

At the same time, the counselor could be schooled in infidelity in general and EA's in particular, and actually agree with you. Sometimes that happens.

Perhaps you should touch base here before your session to see what people in this forum would advise as potential responses.
 

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thanks for all of the posts. I am going to continue a bit of monitoring over the next week or two. As noted in my original post, we've had our challenges and one of those was in Feb 2019 and we decided to seek out some counseling to improve communication. We've done a few sessions and have made significant progress, but of course a long way to go. None of this has been discussed of course as we have not had a session since I started digging this deep. We have 4 sessions coming up this month, and based on how the monitoring goes, I will likely confront her a day or two before the session and then introduce it there, or schedule an individual session with counselor which we've discussed doing for both of us. There are some wide ranging assessments in the feedback here, at the end of the day I really don't know whats going on because I'm not there, but based on what I see/hear this is still an early EA, not PA. I'm not acknowledging that early EA is OK by any means, but can be reversed. Reading all of this today has been a bit of an emotional whirlwind, trying to stay realistic about what could be going on. Tonight when she came home, she mentioned that another co-worker told her that her name is on a short list for a position with OM's Boss, she would be Sr. to him in position, and she said "I would be working with Nathan more, which I would like a lot". This killed me, it was hard to look at her during dinner and thankfully our toddler is pretty entertaining. Another piece of info I did not mention before is that she is actively trying to leave job that is a 1hr commute and work locally, or even stay at home. She acknowkedges the job is putting severe strain on our relatinonship. Her manager is ****ty, along with many of the people she works with. It's a toxic environment, I've seen and hear evidence of that to know it's true. WHen she mentioned this job working with Nathan, I simply indicated, well that isn't going to work because its not part of your exit strategy there. She agreed. Given that we have the counselor sessions coming up, I think that is my advocate for disolving this situation. Just sucks though, i know I'd be on the spear if I was doing this with a female co-worker that was attractive.
Letting a councilor try and solve this for you is a weak move. You need to stand up and do it yourself. MC's can be notorious rugsweepers or maybe even blame you for it. Her actions were not caused by you. Do not take any blame for her actions. As you stated if the shoe were on the other foot she wouldn't accept it.
 

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You seem to be a bit hesitant about confrontation. Kicking the can down the road for another couple weeks is not going to get you a thing. You know enough already.

You have another man wedging his way into your marriage. I've seen EA's start with just a correct sentence at an advantageous time.

If you let your fear guide you here you lose. It sounds like you're affraid of making her mad?

I would pull all the phone records to back up what you're seeing.

I think you need to wake up.
 

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If you wait for the MC to settle this, you may be disappointed.

Unless, unless you pull out the 1000 texts.

Don't do that in the counseling session. Just mention that she communicates more with Nathan than you.

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I would settle this at home. She 'might' be more open?

She just admitted that she is neglecting the marriage. Why is this?

Since she still thinks you are in the dark, relative to her bestie, maybe she feels guilty.

Does she suspect something? Maybe she is fishing?
I suspect she threw out his name to test your reaction.

If so, she knows she is in the wrong. Ya think?

Hmm?

Wait some more before telling her that you know a lot more about their friendship.

Very soon tell her, "I have one wife, you'.

"You have two husbands, you have me and you also have a work husband, and it is Nathan, is this not true?"

Let her rattle on, defend herself and him. Do not walk away at first. Listen to her words.
Keep calm.

SAY NOTHING after uttering the 'work husband' phrase. After a minute or so, get up and leave the house.

Silence is a powerful tool.

Leaving, forces her to stew in her own juices.

Talking, gives up your feelings and your game.

Say nothing, be gone for a few hours, answer not her texts.


Silence works much, much better than arguing.
She just has not been called out on it before.
Maybe, not strongly enough.

Be strong, be silent. Give her cold looks.






[THM]- Nemesis
 

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thanks for all of the posts. I am going to continue a bit of monitoring over the next week or two. As noted in my original post, we've had our challenges and one of those was in Feb 2019 and we decided to seek out some counseling to improve communication.

You know enough.

We've done a few sessions and have made significant progress, but of course a long way to go. None of this has been discussed of course as we have not had a session since I started digging this deep. We have 4 sessions coming up this month, and based on how the monitoring goes, I will likely confront her a day or two before the session and then introduce it there, or schedule an individual session with counselor which we've discussed doing for both of us.

You should download and read "No More Mr Nice Guy" free pdf download and it's short.

There are some wide ranging assessments in the feedback here, at the end of the day I really don't know whats going on because I'm not there, but based on what I see/hear this is still an early EA, not PA. I'm not acknowledging that early EA is OK by any means, but can be reversed. Reading all of this today has been a bit of an emotional whirlwind, trying to stay realistic about what could be going on.

You know enough to know it's headed in the wrong direction plus you should have data/proof. Don't fiddle around while Rome burns to the ground.

Tonight when she came home, she mentioned that another co-worker told her that her name is on a short list for a position with OM's Boss, she would be Sr. to him in position, and she said "I would be working with Nathan more, which I would like a lot". This killed me, it was hard to look at her during dinner and thankfully our toddler is pretty entertaining.

The only one that can keep you in limbo is yourself. The worst thing you can do in these situations is nothing. Better take a deep look at what you're affraid of here.

Another piece of info I did not mention before is that she is actively trying to leave job that is a 1hr commute and work locally, or even stay at home. She acknowkedges the job is putting severe strain on our relatinonship. Her manager is ****ty, along with many of the people she works with. It's a toxic environment, I've seen and hear evidence of that to know it's true. WHen she mentioned this job working with Nathan, I simply indicated, well that isn't going to work because its not part of your exit strategy there. She agreed. Given that we have the counselor sessions coming up, I think that is my advocate for disolving this situation. Just sucks though, i know I'd be on the spear if I was doing this with a female co-worker that was attractive.
It seems like you want to sit back and hope it'll just go away. It won't it'll just get worse and if you don't act and have to deal with far worse you'll wish you had.

This is your life, wife and marriage that another guy is moving in on. Letting a Mr Nice Guy attitude guide you now will put you where you don't want to be.

Take a hard look at what you're waiting around for?
 

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I don’t know what the odds are of getting a good counselor are, but the horror stories of getting a politically correct goof ball stand out much more than the ones that help. Beware. You should download the two books listed below now. Forewarned is fore armed.

Since first becoming suspicious, you have been far to patient. She’s now even excited about working closely with her new “husband”. I feel like you’re dangling the bait in front of her and hoping for a miracle.

The reactions you’re getting here are the results of thousands and thousands of threads. Cheaters follow a “script” and we’re telling you what is going on. Speed is your friend. It’s better to stop a train wreck than clean one up.
 

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The absence of incriminating PA evidence and the content of the texts does not rule out a PA.

"drinks" can be sex. "coffee" can be sex.

Recovery of any deleted texts is paramount.

This needs to be done before any discussions/confrontation etc.
 

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You should have told us you were already to the point of counseling.

When it’s your first turn to speak you should be saying “ my wife has lied to me about going out for drinks with another man. She also goes on walks with him and does lunches with him and keeps all this hidden from me. They communicate regularly about their marital problems and I see this at minimum as an emotional affair if not more.”

With what you’ve already written and now adding “communication problems,” and a new closer working relationship that she is so happy about, this hole seems even deeper. You need to to pull this band aid off quickly.
 

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SK:

Do not depend on MC to get your wife to "see it your way".

The only thing that wakes waywards up are consequences...bringing reality to their fantasy land.

The moment you show the sheer number of texts they are exchanging (let alone content) to this other guy's wife...watch the SHTF.

You are going to have to find your inner caveman.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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thanks for all of the posts. I am going to continue a bit of monitoring over the next week or two. As noted in my original post, we've had our challenges and one of those was in Feb 2019 and we decided to seek out some counseling to improve communication. We've done a few sessions and have made significant progress, but of course a long way to go. None of this has been discussed of course as we have not had a session since I started digging this deep. We have 4 sessions coming up this month, and based on how the monitoring goes, I will likely confront her a day or two before the session and then introduce it there, or schedule an individual session with counselor which we've discussed doing for both of us. There are some wide ranging assessments in the feedback here, at the end of the day I really don't know whats going on because I'm not there, but based on what I see/hear this is still an early EA, not PA. I'm not acknowledging that early EA is OK by any means, but can be reversed. Reading all of this today has been a bit of an emotional whirlwind, trying to stay realistic about what could be going on. Tonight when she came home, she mentioned that another co-worker told her that her name is on a short list for a position with OM's Boss, she would be Sr. to him in position, and she said "I would be working with Nathan more, which I would like a lot". This killed me, it was hard to look at her during dinner and thankfully our toddler is pretty entertaining. Another piece of info I did not mention before is that she is actively trying to leave job that is a 1hr commute and work locally, or even stay at home. She acknowkedges the job is putting severe strain on our relatinonship. Her manager is ****ty, along with many of the people she works with. It's a toxic environment, I've seen and hear evidence of that to know it's true. WHen she mentioned this job working with Nathan, I simply indicated, well that isn't going to work because its not part of your exit strategy there. She agreed. Given that we have the counselor sessions coming up, I think that is my advocate for disolving this situation. Just sucks though, i know I'd be on the spear if I was doing this with a female co-worker that was attractive.
You are in counseling already because of communication issues. That means she is
communicating with him. She may say things like he listens to me and you don't !!
That is exactly what a predator would do, listen and agree with her. Getting closer
and closer to her. " I would be working with Nathan more, which I would like a lot "
Really said that to you, knowing drinks and coffee dates and everything else. I would
have communicated my feelings about Nathan right then and there. Don't be surprised
if she decides to stay at her current job now. Toxic environment, manager is bad, and
people she works with except for Nathan her confidant. People she works with probably
see what is going on with her and Nathan. We all do!!

She would be OM boss and more money will be her reasons for staying, she will tell
you this soon. If she is planning on leaving then I wonder why you are not confronting
her about your concerns? MC is not going to solve this, only you can by telling her.
If you did this you would be " On the spear " why not her ?

Her job and Nathan are putting a strain on your relationship !! You can put a stop to
both of them! If you continue to monitor the situation and find out she lied again.
Maybe someplace with Nathan, what then ? If she is really concerned about saving
your relationship, then she should be willing to stop with Nathan. She is leaving and
talks about an exit plan but probably will stay because of Nathan. Don't be surprised
when she tells you this.

I really think you should discuss this with Nathans wife, she has a right to know.
She needs to decide if something is going on or not, its her life also. i bet she
will stop him from continuing to go out for drinks with another woman. You don't
even have to tell your wife you did this. You will know when she becomes upset
because Nathan's wife talked to him.

We all have seen this happen to many times. This Nathan thing is
progressing further and further. Don't tolerate it anymore. It doesn't
end well if you wait.
 

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Even though this appears to have not yet gone PA and is at the mild EA stage, it already has been impacting your marriage. She's already has feelings for this guy but her hamster brain is rationalizing it as just slightly inappropriate but acceptable behavior because nothing has happened and no feelings were officially revealed. But make no mistake about it, she's detaching from you. It's the reason you had to go to MC.


These affairs build slowly. From just friends to slightly inappropriate to more blatantly inappropriate but then it reaches a point when the man reveals his feelings for the woman, then it gets explosive. QUICKLY. The ramp up from the guy revealing he has feelings for her and the 1st intimate kiss can take a few weeks but once the kiss happens, sex follows almost immediately.

The question is how much time do you have? With them seeing each other 5 days a week, going for coffee and especially the walks she's really latching on to him. Her brain releases chemicals that give her a high every time he text, calls, touches her hand, tells her how pretty she looks. Those dopamine hits become so addictive that at a certain point they can make a married mother desire to perform wanton acts to keep them coming. I've lost count of the number of threads of BHs that thought their wife was low sex drive and unwilling to do certain things to find out she did those things with OM.

That's why many on TAM advocate to act quickly and boldly once you have the needed info. If you were to read the threads, you'll see there have been quite a few Bhs who start threads with a gut feeling when it was an EA but through inaction due to fear of being accused of snooping or of being called controlling, later found that it escalated to a sexual PA. Procrastinate at your young families peril.
 

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As noted in my original post, we've had our challenges and one of those was in Feb 2019 and we decided to seek out some counseling to improve communication. We've done a few sessions and have made significant progress, but of course a long way to go.
The reason your W is not communicating with you is all meaningful communication is done with Nathan. As someone posted earlier, one of your W love languages is being met by Nathan.
 

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In reading your posts, in my opinion, it seems to have gone further than an EA. Remember, it’s just my opinion. The texts, the meetings, walks etc.... What is this meet me at the stairway stuff?

Young man, I would drop the bomb, you read enough on here about the crappy counsellors who tell you that you wrong, your out of your mind, how could you believe your wife would do that, look at how remorseful she is from a slight MISTAKE.


Again in my opinion, there is enough information to confront, you have been given excellent advice from many who have been in your shoes. You can believe what other posters have stated or take it with a grain of salt. Your choice, bottom line is they will all be here for discussion and comforting words in the aftermath of your wife’s affair and yes it is just that.

I wish you the best.

OT
 
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