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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

I've been lurking for the past few months and have finally decided it was time to share my story and maybe help relieve some of my stress.

My wife and I have been married for 5 years and together for nearly 10 in January. We meet as seniors in high school, fell in love, and shortly moved in together and now have a home, a business, and 5 pets whom we both adore.

About two months ago my wife came home from a work trip and told me she was unhappy with our marriage and thinking of living on her own. As many of us were on here, I was absolutely floored. I felt my heart sink in that very moment. Had you told me the day before this how my life was, I would have responded with "amazing!" She told me that she had a plane ticket and needed to leave for a few days to help her sort things out, which I understood and allowed her to do without argument.

I can start by saying I have not been the greatest husband in the world. She had spent many years taking care of me like my mother would do and instead of becoming a man I just allowed her to do much of the heavy lifting. (Examples include never making dinner, inability to call anyone if we needed home repairs, etc. I could go into more detail if anyone is interested but this will be long as is). Our marriage has had it's fair share of ups and downs but we have pulled through everything together and I always thought it was clear to her how much I loved her even though I had obviously been taking her for granted.

This was a slap in the face to me and I saw it as a wake up call. I love my wife more than anything and I hadn't been treating her well, the worst part being I didn't even recognize all the things I was doing because I was so selfish and comfortable in how things were. Since this initial talk I have taken every step to grow up and become the man I knew I could be, it truly was a life-changer to wake me up. I have done everything I can since then to show her I have changed and it still seemed as though there was a wall that she was putting up emotionally to me. Last Wednesday, she woke early and asked me how she thought things were going and I said "not good" and she agreed. I was now doing EVERYTHING and she was lying around contributing nothing knowingly (which part of me thought to look over because I had let her do so much for so long). I finally accused her of having an EA after reading a phone bill and figuring out she was talking to someone ALOT the last two months. It was at this time she confessed to me she had had sex once on her work trip (the man lives in NY and we live in the midwest) and was having an affair with him for 2-3 months. She said she regretted it and they didn't finish the sex because she became emotional and started crying. The man is nearly 20 years her elder,works in her same industry,and had a pregnant wife at home.

The last 9 days have been hell coming to grips with the fact that she had an affair and I can't get the images of it out of my head. Sometimes I feel like I don't even know her anymore if she would cheat on me with another married man who was about to have a child no less. I have OCD so this doesn't help things at all. I spend my days reading this site and oversleeping when she is at work. On the flip side the barrier that felt like was there before seems as though its starting to crumble and when I am with her things seem almost normal and I find myself loving her more and more. We text consistently throughout the day, cuddle, and she seems like she wants us to reconcile. She sent him a NC letter, started IC this week, and we start MC next week and all signs seem to be pointing up.

My only concern is me falling madly in love with her again and she then decides this isn't what she wants. I am truly committed to a lifetime of change with her and becoming a better man for myself. I just don't want to be destroyed again. Thanks for reading if you made it this far. We are all in this together!!
 

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My only concern is me falling madly in love with her again and she then decides this isn't what she wants. I am truly committed to a lifetime of change with her and becoming a better man for myself. I just don't want to be destroyed again. Thanks for reading if you made it this far. We are all in this together!!
You need to let her go. Realize that you lost her. She cheated - she ended your marriage by destroying her vows. She is gone. A cheater has taken her place.

The only way you can reconcile is if you accept this. And learn to be happy without her.

Only then can you make the choice to be with her. Because then it is YOUR choice. Nothing now should be up to her. NOTHING.

There are a LOT of things she needs to do before you should even consider R. It sounds like she's started. But she needs to prove by what she does and how she does it, every day for the next decade, that she's committed 1000% to R.

Have a look at the newbie link in my sig if you haven't already. I am very sorry you're here :(
 

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Discussion Starter #5
She had been friends with the guy for a while and when I was no longer meeting her emotional needs she turned to him. She is very career focused and its something we have struggled with for a long time. She does like her job a lot but I felt as though they overworked her and resented her job because of it so I didn't like talking about her job. This guy works in the same industry and was obviously filling her need to discuss work matters and it became more. My attitude hasn't been the best over the past few months and I didn't really even notice how bad it had gotten until she started feeling as though I could never be happy. I come from a home where both parents hated pretty much every job they ever had and she came from a home where her father pretty much left her mother and two daughters for his career.
 

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No, there has been no cheating on my part. I, like many others here have met new people that excited me in a way that maybe could have hurt my marriage, but never pursued anything and kept my distance. She is the only woman I have ever had sex with actually.
 

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Obviously there is no good answer to that!!

Do you mean what her "excuse" was?
I guess I mean was there some failing in the marriage...did they lose sight of one another, not that there is any excuse to cheat.....but there are situations in a marriage where one or the other feels something is lacking and then they cheat.

I don't believe cheating happens in happy marriages where both partners are completely fulfilled. Do you?

Cheating happens for a reason.....it shouldn't, the unfulfilled partner should come forward and express...but they often don't and they cheat instead. That is the reality.
 

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I don't believe cheating happens in happy marriages where both partners are completely fulfilled. Do you?
Sure it does. If the cheater has their own issues and doesn't deal with them.

The state of the marriage is one thing. Cheating is another. The cheaters choice to cheat was THEIR CHOICE and theirs alone. Using the state of their marriage is just an excuse, nothing more. Unselfish people don't cheat, no matter what their spouse does.
 

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It's not your fault she cheated. She had a choice to work things out with you, or even leave you. Cheating was an action she took on her own. Every marriage has problems and no partner is perfect. Any imperfection can be used as an excuse for cheating, but there is no good excuse.

Her not finishing is a lie. Be ready for trickle truth.

What has she done to show you she is sorry for her actions?It's a big step and you don't mention it at all?

Do you have full access to her accounts so you can check things?

Has she let you see their communications?

Does she still have contact with him? How do you know?

Have you contacted his wife?
 

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She may have been more addicted to her job than just for the work. Affairs are very time consuming. It's likely that a lot of the long hours were actually social not business.
 

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She told me that she had a plane ticket and needed to leave for a few days to help her sort things out, which I understood and allowed her to do without argument.
She not only had sex with the older guy on the business trip, but the plane ticket was to meet up with him again for more. Do not believe that she only did it one time on the business trip and stopped him before he finished bull. Cheaters always try to minimize their offense.
 

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Agreed with everyone here. Your wife you married is gone for now. She may return in part but the relationship is never going to be as it was.

You got to really come to grips with the situation, which usually means a period of cold. For your own sake you need to think this over.

Get checked for STD's. She is definitely feeding you some BS, and I agree that she likely has been actively having sex with the OM for awhile.

Has your sex life drastically gone down or gone up beyond normal in the last 6-12 months?
 

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The most important thing is to STOP blaming yourself for her actions.
If you didn't notice the phone bill, she would not have confessed.

Do your own investigations and let her account for her actions.

Please don't be fooled by all the sex or " hysterical bonding."

Reconciliation must be on your terms, not hers.
 

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Agreed with everyone here. Your wife you married is gone for now. She may return in part but the relationship is never going to be as it was.

You got to really come to grips with the situation, which usually means a period of cold. For your own sake you need to think this over.

Get checked for STD's. She is definitely feeding you some BS, and I agree that she likely has been actively having sex with the OM for awhile.

Has your sex life drastically gone down or gone up beyond normal in the last 6-12 months?
This is much more believable than the story she told you. Be prepared for a mountain of lies. It's more likely that the OM got what he wanted, became concerned when she wanted to make long range plans with him and ditched her.

Read their texts. Oh, she won't show you those, or the emails or the pictures. Part of the script.

Lastly, there is NO EXCUSE for cheating. If there were EVERYONE could find something to point to in their marriage immediately after the honeymoon that they didn't like. So forget about a REASON - there are only excuses. Weak ones.
 

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I don't believe cheating happens in happy marriages where both partners are completely fulfilled. Do you?
I do, my cheating wife does.

The key is the bolded part: what does that mean?

I can never fulfill her "need" to fel desired for other man, to confirm she still "had it" (because I'm her husband so it's my duty to believe she's a rockin star). I can't fulfill... her "need" for variety. I can't fulfill her "need" for newness... and so on.

Be fulilled means there's a universal standard set of needs the marriage/spouse must fulfill; there's not such a thing. Unrealistics needs are basically the norm because human beings are very funny selfish criatures. Nobody can fulfill all your "needs". You always compromise. Everyone will fail short.

If a spouse is bottomless pit of needyness, how in the world can be happy/feel fulfilled?, how in the world can any partner fill that void?
 

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ONly after thress years reading about infidelity I can garantee you something:
When an spouse gives the ILYBIANILWY-need space to figure things the are too far gone, the cheating was going on for a while.
When an spouse is busted the jerknee reaction is damage control: the will deny, then they will minimize, always.
They already though were at chargue, with the full control, the don't give up the control just because are busted, as a matter of fact they try their best to keep being at charge; waht means they will lie (control) as long as they can to "manage" whatever could happen.


So firty, find ind out how deep is the rabbit hole.
And second: Don't take an inch of the blame for the affair. nobody could make that kind of decision, she always could give you the speech before cheating and then divorce if things were not improving.
She was sneaky, deceitful, she's a lier untill proven otherwise.

Sorry man.
 

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I guess I mean was there some failing in the marriage...did they lose sight of one another, not that there is any excuse to cheat.....but there are situations in a marriage where one or the other feels something is lacking and then they cheat.

I don't believe cheating happens in happy marriages where both partners are completely fulfilled. Do you?

Cheating happens for a reason.....it shouldn't, the unfulfilled partner should come forward and express...but they often don't and they cheat instead. That is the reality.
This does happen in some situations, but not all. That is the assumption of the average layperson, but research conducted by Shirley Glass (the New York Times called her the godmother of infidelity research) indicated to her surprise that a very substantial percentage of the time--the loyal spouse did absolutely nothing wrong at all. In fact, the loyal spouse was as good a spouse, many times a better spouse, than the cheating spouse had a right to expect.

This can be explained by the fact that a significant percentage of the time--at least 30% but it might be a whole lot more--the cheater has narcissistic tendencies (or in a large number of those cases, full blown NPD). The thing about narcissists is that they believe the world revolves around them. They externalize their problems--if they do something wrong, it is never, ever their fault. Narcissists also have a tendency to view (as Acabado above said so well) certain "needs" as "wants." Certain wants are inconsistent with monogamy, and it is supremely selfish (read: narcissistic) to believe you deserve to fulfill those wants at whatever cost to your spouse.

Narcissists have another huge problem: because they're not to be held responsible for the bad that they do, and because they are already perfect, they see absolutely no need to change. So where a person who isn't a narcissist will meet you halfway in a troubled marriage, and work with you to improve things, a narcissist cannot understand why there's any need for such nonsense. Only the loyal spouse must improve and change in their minds. Are you surprised that these people typically feel quite entitled to cheat? You shouldn't be.

Setting narcissists aside, there are other types of individuals prone to cheating in a marriage that is otherwise wonderful. These people have a different issue--they loathe themselves. Typically, they've suffered from abuse at the hands of someone, many times during childhood. Or perhaps they were raped or involved in an earlier romantic relationship where they were absued.

In any event, they come to hate themselves. They walk around utterly amazed that someone was actually stupid enough to marry them--someone who is, they will admit, a fantastic, loving, great spouse. These people find themselves drawn toward self-destructive behavior. For example, they often enter into relationships where the affair partner gives them a tremendous amount of validation. They get addicted to that. Typically for these people--one spouse isn't enough. There aren't enough hours in a day, enough compliments and building up of self-esteem, to fill the black hole inside them left by the abuse. A significant amount of time these people have serious issues, such as borderline personality disorder (BPD).

So no, you are misinformed. It is a myth that the vast majority of the time, an affair occurs simply because one partner wasn't getting their VALID needs met. In a substantial number of marriages, there is little to nothing the loyal spouse could have done differently to prevent the affair, because in those cases, the problems resided entirely within the cheater.
 

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Changed husband,

You need to seriously consider divorce, since you have no kids. You chose poorly, but this is a get out of jail card for you to play right now.

If you stay with her, you'll be seriously kicking yourself in the butt 15 years from know when you find out your raising kids that you did not father.

If you still think you want to stay with her after this warning, you will need to make changes to have any chance at all of keeping her on the reservation.

Here are some questions for you:
Who owns the business?
Do you both work in it?
Who makes the most money?
Why married 5 years and no kids?
How long has she been traveling for business?
How often do women hit on you?
What kind of workout program are you on right now?
What's your waist (under the ribs) and chest measurement?
 
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