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8 years ago I caught my wife lying about a secret lunch with a man who was an occasional co-worker. She said they had become good friends while talking for hours at a business conference. I demanded that she stop lying to me “or else”. Hey, a lunch and male friends are no big deal to me, as long as we are open about it.

I checked 9 months later and discovered she was still sneaking out for lunch with him. I called his wife to ask if she knew and what she thought about it. His wife said her husband never sneaks anywhere (she was not aware of the lunches and didn’t want to know) and let me know I had her pity due to my distrustful marriage. I again asked me wife to simply be open about it and stop lying to me.

Months later I began secretly gathering information. I discovered that about once a month she would sneak out to lunch with him. I could predict their sporadic business meetings and lunches because she would dress up, often provocatively (titty-popping, tight dresses, and lots of perfume), and she would treat me like I was a dumbass for a day or two before, and then be really sweet for a day or two after. I was sure they were having sex so I spent lots of time and money gathering info. Nothing. Unless it was very rare and consisted of quickies.

I never told her what I know because when previously confronted she just got sneakier. I never “or elsed” because I didn’t want to lose my kids and we get along OK.

This situation continued for several years. We remained close and have done a good job raising the kids. But, it took its toll as we got caught up in circles of snappy anger every time I realized she had met with him again.

Suddenly her secret meetings with him stopped a year ago. She had a few secret lunches with a couple other men soon after. But then stopped completely and put more effort into our relationship. Things greatly improved.

Last January I changed jobs to one she didn’t want me to take due to its distance from home (I did it a week before I would have lost the first job anyway). Much passive anger from her as a result.

In March I discovered she had gone out for drinks with her (formerly “a creep”) boss, while I was on an out of town business trip. I started gathering info again and have found that she is pursuing the exact same best friend relationship (secret lunches, sexy clothing, cold & warm with me) with her boss. Still apparently no sex, but many more meetings and lots more sexual innuendo than with the other guy. Even sneakier about this one because the relationship must be hidden from co-workers and other supervisors who “might get the wrong idea”.

I am fed up and preparing to surprise her by moving out. But, should I talk to her first? Should I tell her all that I know? Should I confront her boss or tell his wife? (I would let the government entity for whom they work know, but my wife might lose her job.) Am I overreacting to a woman just normally flirting and preferring male friends (I’m pretty sure she has had these friendships throughout our 26 year marriage)? Am I missing some other course of action that might save the marriage without the price of my sanity? What would you do?

Thank you very much!
 

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It really sounds like you have been as "sneaky" as her just in your way of obtaining this information about her. There seems to be a tremendous lack of trust in the marriage. The fact that it has been years that you've been "secretly" gathering information as she's been "sneaking" to these lunches is concerning on both parts. It seems like neither of you has respect for the other if she is in fact "sneaking" around and you are plotting, scheming, and spying.

You can't always assume that there's a romantic interest when she goes to lunch with men. If she's really sneaking to do so you wouldn't know so much about it.

Just base on what you're saying it seems like you might be overreacting. I think the issue is between you and your wife and it should be addressed with her and not her boss or his wife. You most definitely should talk to her but don't accuse her of anything. Just ask her. She may be truthful or lie but this is between the two of you. Be prepared to address why you don't trust her to the point that you have to secretly gather information on this.

To save your marriage and your sanity I really think counseling would be helpful. Individually and together. For some reason you have a lot of insecurities in this area (maybe prompted by things she's done / maybe something else). It's unhealthy to have a marriage that doesn't include honesty, trust, and respect.
 

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It's called an 'emotional affair'. And it can be as devastating to a marriage as a sexual affair. Only the two of you can get to the root cause of her need to repeatedly find emotional fulfillment with other men.
 
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