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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am looking for some advice, or perhaps I am just looking for someone to tell - not quite sure...

The background story - my wife had an affair which lasted about 5 months. Caught her, went to counselling, etc. Finished our counselling sessions about 2 weeks ago, and things were (are?) going very well. I do believe my wife that the affair has ended.

However, yesterday she told me that she has chosen to put her time into writing a book. No issues there - she has always loved writing and I encourage her to do this.

When I asked if the book was about the affair she initially said that in part yes. I told her that it makes me very uncomfortable (for the reasons I discuss below). After that she then started to tell me it is a fiction book about married women in the 21st century, and draws inspiration from a book by Michelle Langley (Women's Infidelity - a book she very much understands). She got very upset when I asked if it was about the affair, and now she denies it and is now angry at me for trying to 'stop her doing something she is passionate about'.

But I can't shake the feeling that she is reliving the affair via writing in lieu of the affair. I feel as though she thinks because she is now writing about it there is 'nothing wrong' with it because she isn't actually in an affair anymore.

We only just finished counselling and the last thing we agreed to work on was to rebuild trust. Now there seems to be more deception (in the least she has changed her story significantly) and she is doing something which I find 'wrong' and all this makes me think that she is not over the affair, or not wanting to rebuild the trust between us. I can no longer wait for her to move on - I know I won't be able to until she does and I am beating myself up every day until I can.
 

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Although you were the one cheated on, your wife also has issues regarding the affair that she too must work through - alone. Each one of you must "get it straight" and deal with it individually as well as a couple.

Perhaps one way for her to get past it all is to write. In order to work through how she went wrong by you, what went wrong, and all the mess it created between the two of you. She is likely as confused and hurt by her own actions as you are.

If the affair lasted for five months, she likely became attached to the OM. I know that must hurt to hear that, but if there is anything positive about it, at least she wasn't just screwing a series of random people? I know, that probably doesn't help, but it may help in that at least she needed attachment to have the affair.

Now, if she was attached, she has to have time and some way to detach from the OM. I know it must hurt to hear me say that to you...but it is likely true, depending on how it all ended. It also matters in that if she feels this OM was using her, and the whole dynamic of what risk she took to hook up with the OM, the risk of losing you.

If your wife can just easily let go of OM, then I would be in doubt about her "sleaze" factor. Chances are, if she can just flippantly have an affair, then she is rather "sleazy" and not worth your work and time to stick this out. If, by her having to work through the affair, you can understand that she was "attached" to OM, that she has a bigger heart and mind than someone who is "sleazy". She has a heart, good intent by you and is not easily sucked into affairs.

Do you understand what I am saying?

The book may be a GOOD sign, one that means she is letting go, she finding a way to let go of the OM. It could be a mark of "the end" of it for her emotionally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sandy55 - thank-you. That was such a considered message, and very well received. I do understand.

You are right, some things are hard to hear, but I've been hearing a lot of hard things recently and am getting better at accepting them for what they are - voice of reason and the truth...
 

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When a spouse has an affair and gets attached, a spouse certainly cannot seem to speak with the spouse they have hurt so badly.

A cheating spouse sometimes has to mourn, too. It is a crazy, mixed up time. Very difficult to navigate for everyone.

But if the spouses can come together under the heading: "We are Both in Pain" and our love for each other is stronger than this and it does not matter the origin of the pain....then there is hope for a relationship to continue and grow, even.
 

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Those were good words Sandy.

Boz good for you for hanging in there...not easy for sure.

It may allow her to work through the pain. It's good that you tell her the reasons why you are uncomfortable regarding the book.

It's such a time of turmoil. However, kuddos to those who work through it!
 

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It can definitely be a coping mechanism for her. Writers tend to deal with their issues through writing. Putting in on paper (or computer) can be an aid to understanding and dealing with things.

Honestly, and this sounds somewhat deceitful, but I would let her write it. Then READ it. See how much is really from her experiences. See what she says, how she might have felt. It might even help you a lot, and nothing else, it will tell you a lot and might answer some questions (maybe not all good though) that you might not have gotten through the process so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank-you for the support... It is nice to know that there are people who are willing to discuss these things with me from a 'logic' perspective. A few family members know about the affair, and they all now believe it is on the mend. I don't want to 'worry' them by bringing up potentially insignificant issues like this. I am not dismissing this issue, rather after hearing your rational views I realise my initial response was very emotional. I know if I brought forward the emotional response to family that they would probably have an emotional response too (which is where the counseller really helped us - she saw through the emotions to the core issues).

As for reading the book - I doubt I will ever be allowed to (she has already said as much). I would like to, as I would really like to know things from her perspective and actually understand things. But that is a decision for my wife to make. Related though, when my wife found the book by Michelle Langley she said it clearly defined how she was feeling, what she was thinking, and as a result we read it side-by-side (at our own pace, and discussed things when we had questions etc.). So I think I have some insight into what she was thinking - but it would be nice to hear it from her (or read it in her words).

Thank-you again.
 

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Thank-you for the support... It is nice to know that there are people who are willing to discuss these things with me from a 'logic' perspective. A few family members know about the affair, and they all now believe it is on the mend. I don't want to 'worry' them by bringing up potentially insignificant issues like this. I am not dismissing this issue, rather after hearing your rational views I realise my initial response was very emotional. I know if I brought forward the emotional response to family that they would probably have an emotional response too (which is where the counseller really helped us - she saw through the emotions to the core issues).

As for reading the book - I doubt I will ever be allowed to (she has already said as much). I would like to, as I would really like to know things from her perspective and actually understand things. But that is a decision for my wife to make. Related though, when my wife found the book by Michelle Langley she said it clearly defined how she was feeling, what she was thinking, and as a result we read it side-by-side (at our own pace, and discussed things when we had questions etc.). So I think I have some insight into what she was thinking - but it would be nice to hear it from her (or read it in her words).

Thank-you again.
If the book IS truly about the affair, I think it would be BS if you couldn't read it. Is it something that she's going to get published, or at least try to?

If it's just for her to write, then it sounds more like a journal. But if it's a book that she will try to sell, and there is some representation of me in that book (either directly or through a character in the book), I would basically demand that I would get to read it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks GPR, I agree with the reading before it is published. To be honest all I know is that the book will be inspired by her affair in some way. It could be entirely fiction with no basis in the actual events that occurred. It could be based around actual facts and events with a 'fictional air' to it. Or it could be non-fiction...

Right now it is probably more of a journal style 'book', though she will look to publish if and when she finishes it (assuming she is happy with it). At that stage I will ask to read it because why shouldn't I if she is willing for the rest of the world to... I hope she will agree that I can read it at that stage, and if not then that is a hurdle / issue we need to overcome at that stage (but right now it is a while off - probably a year or more, and it is not worth 'stressing over' now as it may never eventuate).
 

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I don't know of any writer that doesn't put some of their feelings and experiences into books, unless it's some Sci-Fi book about Alien invaders.

You can't tell me that if it's a book "inspired by" her affair, that there won't be a whole heck of a lot of her feelings, actions, etc. in there. Otherwise, were would they be coming from? Where would she draw their emotions from?
 

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I agree that it is probably her way of dealing with the feeling she has surrounding the OM, the affair, the end of the affair, and the aftermath.
My H had an affair, and the hardest thing for me, was backing off enough to ALLOW him to mourn the end of that relationship. It was a daily struggle. Funny thing, by allowing him that space, we are now in a MUCH better place, and he appreciates me so very much more for doing what he knows was so very hard for me to do (back off, not push, and basically let him work his way back to me).

Truthfully, you may not WANT to read the book, as you get more distance from this situation. I don't WANT to know every little detail...to me, thats counterproductive to us moving forward. I know enough, and I know that its over, and that he is doing the work (couseling, medication, since depression is one of his problems), and at this point, knowing every nitty gritty detail would just hold ME back....
It does get easier, just take it one day, or even one hour at a time. Best of luck to you!
 

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Has she ever published anything before? I mean, isn't it cart-before-horse to worry about it being published?

I'm sure that writing would be helpful for her to work through what she's experienced. But it would also in part be about your life, however fictionalized, and I would think this would be disturbing to anyone. If it were published and someone asked, would she say that it was purely fictional or would she air your dirty laundry? So, this impacts you as well.

Ask her if she can't just write in a journal and work out her feelings. Ask her why she feels the need to capitalize on something that is all too real and all too painful to you. It almost trivializes the pain. And in fact, it smacks too much of reality TV. Behaving badly and then being rewarded for it is a really crappy way of saying "I'm sorry that I hurt you."

I think you need to return to counseling. And that's what I'd discuss with her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First - she has published a few things, but nothing 'major' (short stories etc.). As you have said cart-before-horse - it is nothing to worry about until she decides to publish at which point I may be concerned. She hasn't capitalized on this yet, and given that this is something quite different to anything she has attempted before she may not even be able to (or even finish it).

As for the part about it being about my life - yes. It will certainly draw inspiration from events that have affected my life, but who knows how these will be 'summed up'. It could be a good ending (i.e. she saw what she was doing as silly, and came back to the one who truly loved and supported her...)

I think what I need to do is take things one step at a time, and face the problems of today, and leave the problems of tomorrow out of it until such time that they come to fruition (if they ever do). One thing I need to do is stop thinking about the 'what-if' scenarios (i.e. what if I go to work and she gets in touch with him again), and learn to trust that what she will do is best for both her and us.
 

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"One thing I need to do is stop thinking about the 'what-if' scenarios ...."

Repeat after me - "Whatever happens, I can handle it".
 
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