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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just ended a 1 year affair. Wife does not know.

My head is spinning. The "fog" has gone into overdrive. I can't stop thinking about the OW, thinking she is the woman of my dreams.

I find myself distancing from my wife. Her attempts at affection (touching etc.) make me cringe. Thoughts of getting a divorce are frequent.

Trying hard to keep up NC. Don't know if I can.

Help!
 

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Your brain is in love drug withdrawal. These drugs are like crack... very addictive and hard to shake loose from.

Come clean with your wife and become 100% transparent with her. It will still be tough, but there can be no secrets of this type if you want a great long lasting marriage.
 

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Targ,

First off, the following is only my opinion based on my own experiences from an EA so they are more about my situation than they are about yours. Take what advice you can from it and discard the rest.

You are not a bad person

First off, you are not a bad person. As you get further into your process of healing, you're likely to experience a lot of guilt and some here are going to attack that guilt because they want to hurt you. Their anger at you is about them, not you. Forgive them their anger and judgement. You are not a bad person.

Maintaining no contact

Doing so is a choice and the only person that bears responsibility for violating that choice is you. I once scoffed at the NC letter but now that I think on it, it's a good idea; it adds an air of finality to it, reinforcing your decision in your mind. YMMV. Pre-script your responses to her attempts to contact you; something like, "I'm really sorry but I have made my decision; I am staying with my wife. Therefore, we have nothing to talk about". Don't deviate from the script or go outside of the script because she might try to initiate discussion on other topics. Don't take the bait... and it is bait... to get you talking to her.

Do you love your wife? Are there kids involved? Have you got a house, a car? All of these things will disappear if you get a divorce, along with a sizable portion of your pay. Remember these very selfish thoughts constantly too. You've had your 'fun', now you are paying the price for it.

You CAN maintain NC if you remind yourself of the reasons that you went NC in the first place. I'm sure that your OW is a great girl but you've made your choice; stick to it.

Confess to your wife?

I'm not going to tell you whether or not confessing to your W is the right thing or not; that's up to you. Some professionals say that it's better for the relationship to keep it a secret, if you can. But doing so is a life long commitment and I doubt that most people can get through the times that you're going to go through and keep it up.

Her personality is going to determine how she takes the news of your affair and you are more likely to know which way she'll go. What if she decides that she wants a divorce? Which ever way she goes, the news will devastate her.

That's the chance you take. Having said that, if she is not the bitter/angry type then the two of you might be able to help each other through the resulting pain and, in some time with some counseling, you might end up closer for it, having learned the lesson and fixed the behaviors that got you there in the first place.

But consider this; she's not stupid. She already knows that you've been having an affair... she's just denying it to herself to save her own sanity.

My confession to my W helped me because it meant that we could be honest with each other about it. It helped me heal but I did so much damage to her. But if I could do it again, I would still tell her. But I would have handled some things so differently. I would have got IC first, then told her and gotten her into IC and then both of us into MC. We went straight for MC and the truth is that we weren't ready for that yet. Again, YMMV.

GET COUNSELING!!!

I can't stress this enough. Find an IC and tell them what you want out of the sessions and work toward that goal. The counselor will help you work through the myriad of emotions in your mind in a non-threatening atmosphere. You might not get anything out of counseling at first but the discussions that you have are going to stick with you for years to come. Counseling is a good investment for both near and long term.

And find someone to talk to. The more you bottle stuff up inside, the worse it's going to be for you. Get it out.

Why did you cheat?

Figure this one out. If you don't, you will be here again. What did you need that you weren't getting from your wife? Enough attention? Your ego was hurt? Revenge?

TAM's mantra is that cheating is a vile, evil choice to hurt someone. I don't agree that it's evil but I do agree that there comes a point when you made a choice to cheat (though it took me a while to get there)

Fix "you". I wrote down all of the reasons that I perceived (TAM calls them rationalizations) and asked myself, "Really? Are you sure? Yes? No, I don't believe you; is this true? Okay, fine, then how did I contribute to the problem? How did I fail to live up to my end of the bargain" I think that you'll find this process painful [if you are honest with yourself] but rewarding.

The most important concept that I took away from counseling is, "Small changes in our perception can have big changes in our relationships. So how can I change my perception?" Question yourself and your 'motives'.

Relating to your wife

You are going to really miss your OW for a year or maybe longer... you are in for a very long and painful ride and I feel your pain. Constantly remind yourself, "I love my wife, I love my wife".

After my EA ended, there were times when I was curled up on the kitchen floor sobbing (when I thought that my W was sleeping in bed but was, in fact, at the top of the stairs listening to me, crying). There were times when I lashed out at my W in anger for no reason.

Guard yourself against these things because everything you say to her is going to be remembered for the rest of your life together. Everything. And if you haven't told her about the A, she won't "know" why you are so angry at her (even though she already knows).

Why does touching your wife make you cringe? You really need to fix that because physical intimacy is what is going to help you reconnect. Take her out for a walk and hold hands (squeeze it lovingly) and smile at her, even if you have to fake it. Play a game together, talk about your day; ask her about hers. Do whatever you can to re-engage intellectually and emotionally. And have sex with her; worry about her pleasure instead of yours.

Good luck mate, you're in for a really crappy ride, but it does pass. It has taken me over a year to get over mine and I had the loving support of my stbxw (which actually made me feel even worse; because I went on a self destructive streak that lasted nigh on six months; heavy drinking, flirting with other women and one very close call with a bridge at 120mph (though the latter was more because of TAM feeding my guilt - some of the people here are very very very destructive]).

Get counseling.

Good luck.
 

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Targ, your previous post are quite vague concerning the general nature of your marriage. i here about flaws and the various shortcomings of your wife, yet there are no specifics. sounds like blameshifting to me.

i also read that you haven't admitted to the affair yet. why? this is exactly why you find yourself within this so-called "fog." you haven't felt any of the effects an affair has on a relationship. you haven't experienced the hurt, anger, and frustration of your BS yet. that's why you're currently pining for your AP.....you're still in fantasy land.

once you are admit to this horrendous behavior and experience the fallout.....belive me, you'll start to snap out of it.

you're treating this as an "exit" affair, right now. in your mind- you're DONE. you don't want to make an effort because of all the resentment you have for your wife due to these alleged shortcomings.

be a man! admit to your affair, and let the chips fall where they may. if you still feel you want out, then divorce.
 

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The very first thing you have to do is stop thinking through the rose colored glasses of the affair and be perfectly honest with yourself for a minute. What do you want? Don't say you don't know. I've been there myself, if you're honest with yourself, if you work at it - you know. Once you accept what you really want you simply have to have the courage of your convictions - simple but very hard.

So what do you want?

Then we can help with the best course of action(s).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to everyone that responded.

The very first thing you have to do is stop thinking through the rose colored glasses of the affair and be perfectly honest with yourself for a minute. What do you want? Don't say you don't know. I've been there myself, if you're honest with yourself, if you work at it - you know. Once you accept what you really want you simply have to have the courage of your convictions - simple but very hard.

So what do you want?

Then we can help with the best course of action(s).
What do I want? Right now my mind is telling me 100% that I want to be with the OW.

But apparently, from reading this forum, that's only because my mind is in the "fog" and she's not really all she's cracked up to be i.e. she's just a "fantasy".

How can I tell if what I want is really want I want?
 

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Thanks to everyone that responded.


What do I want? Right now my mind is telling me 100% that I want to be with the OW.

But apparently, from reading this forum, that's only because my mind is in the "fog" and she's not really all she's cracked up to be i.e. she's just a "fantasy".

How can I tell if what I want is really want I want?
I can't answer that for you. Wait, yes I can......

Do you really want to be with a woman that has no problem destroying another woman's family and marriage?

Do you really believe you could make a long term go in a relationship that is based on lies, deceit, and adultery?

Do you really think you could beat the odds of 3% success in marriages that began as adultery partners?

Do you really believe she hasn't done this to another woman's husband besides you?

Do you really think you could trust this woman to tell you the truth of where she's been when you haven't seen or heard from her for hours...even if she was telling the truth?

As I said, I can't tell you what you want, but I sure as hell can tell you what you'll get.

Shall I keep going? I can go all night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Do you really think you could beat the odds of 3% success in marriages that began as adultery partners?
And what if I'm willing to take that chance? What if my attitude is "it's better to try than to die wondering?" What if I don't really care if I end up living the rest of my days alone if this fails?

Yes, I'm very aware it's my foggy mind talking. But still, what do you think?
 

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And what if I'm willing to take that chance? What if my attitude is "it's better to try than to die wondering?" What if I don't really care if I end up living the rest of my days alone if this fails?

Yes, I'm very aware it's my foggy mind talking. But still, what do you think?
Damn right your mind is foggy as hell, otherwise you wouldn't be asking me what I think as I believe I've already laid out facts that will certainly doom your marriage, your affair and your reputation if you continue down this path.

I have an idea; why don't you talk to your wife and ask her what she thinks? She just might do you a favor and make up your mind for you.

And if you think I'm being snarky, I assure you, I'm not. Dead serious.
 

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And what if I'm willing to take that chance? What if my attitude is "it's better to try than to die wondering?" What if I don't really care if I end up living the rest of my days alone if this fails?

Yes, I'm very aware it's my foggy mind talking. But still, what do you think?
Please, please, please take that chance! You deserve all the happiness you're going to find with this wonderful girl you've been cheating with. Make an honest woman out of her for chrisst sake!;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Were you this averse to your wife's touch, etc. before you broke things off with the OW?
Yes, and it got worse towards the end. I am wondering/hoping this will change now that I have ended it and that I will eventually reconnect with my wife. But will it happen? Right now, I'm really struggling.
 

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Yes, and it got worse towards the end. I am wondering/hoping this will change now that I have ended it and that I will eventually reconnect with my wife. But will it happen? Right now, I'm really struggling.
It got worse at the end because all the energies you should have be expending on your wife and family were being spent on another woman. If you gave your wife the same amount of attention and affection you gave your AP, you probably wouldn't be in this predicament to begin with.

And, no, it won't happen until you really end it, and that is done by telling your BW. But you won't do that will you? Because you know when you do that, it really will be the end.

Right?
 

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One more thing. I noticed out of all the reasons I gave you for failure with your AP, you latched on to the one tiny shred of success that was in there; that meager little 3% success rate.

I find this very, very telling. Don't you?
 
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