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Hi Everyone,

I'm new to the site and am really looking for some advice.

Background: I've been with my wife for 15 years and married for 10. We have to beautiful children that are 8 and 5. I'm 36 and she is 33.

Over the past two weeks it has been exposed that my wife had an affair. She says she has "fallen in love" with this guy. After the affair was exposed, she ended her relationship with him. She is now going through a real grieving process. Her affair started about 4 months ago with Facebook messaging. I accidentally came across one of the threads a few months ago and confronted my wife. She told me it was "nothing" and ended it. I told her to tell the other guy (who is also married, with a child) that I knew. She told me it was over. We moved passed it. Or so I thought.

2 months later I found out that she was having a real affair. She seemed to be getting more distant and one weekend went into what seemed to be total depression. She spent a week in her room crying and writing, not telling me what was going on. She said she needed space. I couldn't handle it, and started pressing for answers. Finally she came out and said. "I'm having and affair and in love with the other guy". I was devastated.

After getting over the initial shock, we started to discuss this. You much know I didn't fly off the handle or get angry or anything. Just hurt. What she began to disclose to me is that she had fallen out of love with me. That we've become two different people and that I work too hard and wasn't paying enough attention to her and the family. This is all true. I admit it. This is all stuff I would love the chance to work on, not just for her, but for myself.

I love her deeply and dearly, and got lost in "living life" and priorities got misaligned. I'd love the chance to really show her with words and actions how much I love her, our family and want this to work. Not in a "band-aid" way, but in a "lets build our dream" kind of way.

The problem is, she said she's been feeling like we've been drifting for a long time, and that she's been "faking" it and building resentment along the way. This is very hard to hear. She wonders if it's too late. She's skeptical if she can get that spark back.

We had our first counselling session this week, and stuff got out in the open. She is going to the next two sessions alone. We are in two different points, I want to work on our marriage now, and she's not sure if she wants to. I guess I have to be patient and see if she can get to that point.

Sorry for the long post, but I need advice. What should I do. Is this repairable. Is it worth trying. I want it more than anything, but I want to be realistic.

This is torture.

Thanks in advance for the advice/support.
 

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hmmm.... cliche.

not in love anymore, feel like drifting each other. just let her alone and decide if she could love you back.

i hate this kind of situation, but a spouse who feels like this is not worthed to be saved. let her decide herself and you can go to live your own life. it's a nonsense, not in love with you anymore... so what is the marriage vows then.

she is selfish and untrusted. but it is up to you, what would you do on this.

**** the cheaters, people who cheated, do not deserve to live. they better die in the bad ways. **** them


sorry if my comments are rude.
 

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No. She stopped it a week ago. And i'm sure of it. She's going through the hurt and break up of that right now. She says she really loved him. (or at least the feeling). It's really ****ed up to be here and watch her go through a break-up while I'm still in the same house.

She says she's resenting me right now, for making this end. She did go to counselling with me - willingly. She even suggested it. She's starting to talk about this more openly with family and friends.

She's terrified of living a life without "love and passion" and not willing to compromise on that. She's just skeptical that that will come back with me.

I don't know if it can either, but I want it more than anything, and am willing to do the personal and relationship work to do so.

I never had the chance, she hasn't been honest about her feelings for the past 4 years......and it's only coming out now. I just hope its not too late. I don't think its fair if I don't get the chance. But I also know you can't "make" someone love you.

My feeling is that her mind is totally clouded by this other guy, and its all too fresh and our relationship is being compared to "newness" and "infatuation" and "spark". Is it possible that once those feelings get farther away, she may want to work on our relationship without the skepticism?

Im so confused and hurt. And I've clearly never known anything to be so sure in my life. Right now I'd change careers, habits, hobbies...basically anything. She is the life I want. I was foolish to let us drift.
 

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Sorry you are going thru this. YES, it is possible to work through this but it will be a tough road.

Similar situation with the growing apart, resentment, etc. When my H admitted his A I didn't get mad/angry either. Just scared that my marriage would end. Initially he told me he wasn't in love with me anymore and when I asked if we could try to work it out, he said he wasn't sure. We talked, alot, more than we had in years and I asked him for a second chance. I said that we had 14 yrs of marriage and that we deserved to give it a chance. I asked if he could at least try to make it work, knowing it may not. He did and we both are so happy!

Going to counseling is good and hopefully the counselor can help you find ways to reconnect. The important thing is to focus on you and your marriage. The affair is not the focus. (as hard as that is) You need to discover how you got disconnected and reconnect. We have improved so many things in my marriage and sadly, some were so easy and quite embarassing to admit that we had done. As simple as complimenting each other everyday, etc.

Good Luck to you.
 

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What_to_do_now, I tend to view these things different to others. Here’re my thoughts. They come from being married nearly 40 years with affairs on both sides.

You are in competition with the other man. This competition is direct competition and it is happening right now. You wife is looking at you and OM and the OM is winning. Your wife is in your home but her affections are with OM.

You are in love with your wife as you knew her before her affair. Your wife has changed dramatically. From being a loyal, honest and faithful woman she is now a disloyal, dishonest and unfaithful woman. I think you need to contemplate for a while if you can be in love with a woman like that. With my wife I had the thought “I was in love with who she was, I couldn’t love who she became”. So can you be in love with a woman who is disloyal, dishonest and unfaithful? There aren’t many answers to that question. “No I can’t”, “Yes I can”, “I don’t know as yet”. Assuming it’s the last two ….

Lets have a look at the competitive side. It will help to think of yourself and OM as two “products” and your wife is the “client”. Your are selling your product, which is yourself.

You will get nowhere with your wife if at this point in time you “own up to your faults”. There’s a time for that later, the time is not now. If you admit to your faults, in your wife’s head your “score” goes down, the OM’s score goes up. And be as sure as heck, OM is not admitting to his faults. So by admitting your faults you are doing yourself harm not just in your wife’s eyes but also in your own. And OM will laugh all the way to the bank.

Never plead or beg by saying you will do anything, change in anyway to keep her. Why not? Your wife is not looking for OM to change, he already has what she wants. Keep begging and pleading not only will you demean and degrade yourself to your wife you will also demean and degrade yourself to yourself … and OM will laugh all the way to the bank.

By admitting your faults and promising to make whatever changes she wants all you are doing is PROMOTING THE QUALITIES AND BENEFITS OF THE OM!!!! AND REDUCING THE QUALITIES AND BENEFITS OF YOURSELF!!! These in the eyes and heart of your wife. By doing those things you are giving power and influence to the OM IN BUCKET FULLS. And OM will laugh all the way to the bank

I’ve more to let you know about, but I want to check with you if the above makes sense to you first. So please let me know one way or another.

Cheers for now

Bob
 

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AFEH (Bob),

I see your point, and I can't help but agree with you. I am in a competition. Unfortunately, I feel it's not really a fair fight. I can't get "close" to my wife. We're not "dating". We have this "heaviness" hanging over us, and I'm getting all the "bad" energy and he's getting all the "good".

What can I do? How do I start to appear my "best" when I can't really do the things that would make me appear in my best light?

I've already started to step up the things I was "neglecting". I already dropped 15 pounds and am getting in shape. This is happening quickly. I've been doing all kinds of stuff to help out around the house. I just feel that this is all "superficial" stuff that doesn't have the emotional element attached to it.

Do I stay on this course and just do what I can and wait?

What do you suggest? I'm struggling with tactics (not that this is a game - this is real deal life changing stuff i'm doing for me) that will help illustrate that I mean business and I really listened to what she said. I've accepted a lot of responsibility for allowing us to "drift", now I want to show her I'm going to do everything in my power to allow us to reconnect.

I just don't know how to do this. Plus, i'm probably being too eager and rushing things and my expectations.

It's hard to stay positive and know you're doing the right thing when she delivers those punishing lines like "I'm not sure I can fall back in love with you". I know she can, cuz i'm an amazing guy....and I fell off course. I'm right on course right now...i hope.
 

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You will need that self confidence What_to_do_now. It will depend on what your self esteem is like. You need good self esteem for this stuff, those with low self esteem don’t get very far. You certainly don’t sound like you are over confident, which is good.

You need to present your self as a strong and confident man. You need to be assertive but in a compassionate way. You have a changed situation so you need new personal boundaries to protect yourself and those that you love, your wife and children.

We’ll come to the boundaries later. You know you are in a competition and you’ve taken it on board to stop lowering your chances by demeaning yourself by admitting to your faults and saying you’ll change to whatever. That’s very important.

Now you need to find out as much as you can about the OM. He is your competition and you need to know your competition as well as you can. The reasons are two fold. So you know his bad side and you can subtle point that out to your wife “I don’t know why you want to go with a guy who’s done this and that, but that’s your choice”. It’s called FUD, Fear Uncertainty and Doubt, but it must be subtle, they think on it later.

Secondly and perhaps more importantly it’s to protect your wife from him if he turns out to be a seriously bad guy. The guy my wife had fallen for had 3 previous marriage, he’d lost them all through his adultery and he had a lightning quick very aggressive temper. He was a mate for a while so I knew him. I just said to my wife “Well you know he’s had three divorces through his adultery, you’ve heard of his temper from others but if you want to be with him that’s your choice. I wont stop you. Personally I think he just wants to get into your pants. He’s a long term partner and I reckon soon he’ll be off back to her”.

So find out as much a you can about the OM. Is he married, does he have children? Does he have a home? What’s his financial situation like? If he’s divorced how many times had he been married? What you do know already is that the OM is a real scumbag. He’s after a married woman. He is more than prepared to break up a marriage and all the trauma for the husband and children that goes along with it. So marriage has no meaning for him. Vows have no meaning for him and because of that his credibility and integrity is at zero level, a real scumbag.

What_to_do_now, I’m going to do this in “chunks”. Next I’ll get onto N.U.T.s. but for now take a read of http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/14963-boundaries-men.html.

For now don’t try and get close to your wife, it wont work. Just maintain an emotional distance and observe her, don’t try and interact other than with practical everyday things.

Bob
 

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She stopped it {the affair} a week ago. And i'm sure of it. She's going through the hurt and break up of that right now. She says she really loved him. (or at least the feeling). It's really ****ed up to be here and watch her go through a break-up while I'm still in the same house.

She says she's resenting me right now, for making this end. She did go to counselling with me - willingly. She even suggested it. She's starting to talk about this more openly with family and friends.

She's terrified of living a life without "love and passion" and not willing to compromise on that. She's just skeptical that that will come back with me.
This is completely normal. It takes some time for the 'addiction' to the zing she felt from the Other Guy to die. Same with a drug addict: withdrawal takes some time, and in the withdrawal period, the person losing the addiction is not thinking clearly and can say and do things that are not their normal nature. For now, let those things slide: you'll have plenty of time in a week or two for things to start changing.

The problem is, she said she's been feeling like we've been drifting for a long time, and that she's been "faking" it and building resentment along the way.
This is also quite normal - most affairs happen for JUST THIS REASON. Someone else comes along and provides what was missing (or at least perceived to be missing).

As for the skepticism - that is also a very normal reaction: for a long time things have not been conducive to a healthy marriage, and from her point of view, how can she know that things will change?

You wrote:

That we've become two different people and that I work too hard and wasn't paying enough attention to her and the family. This is all true. I admit it. This is all stuff I would love the chance to work on, not just for her, but for myself
You explain her thoughts:

...we've become two different people and that I work too hard and wasn't paying enough attention to her and the family. This is all true. I admit it. This is all stuff I would love the chance to work on, not just for her, but for myself

The problem is, she said she's been feeling like we've been drifting for a long time, and that she's been "faking" it and building resentment along the way. This is very hard to hear. She wonders if it's too late. She's skeptical if she can get that spark back.

This is very hard to hear. She wonders if it's too late. She's skeptical if she can get that spark back.
In a way I disagree with Bob here. There is nothing wrong with accepting responsibility for your actions. His advice to discount her thoughts as if they are unimportant and irrelevant - in order to 'make you look better than the other guy' means that he is asking you to treat her with a lack of respect. And he expects this to make her desire you more. (Sure, women love men who refuse to respect them! Just ask women who've been unfaithful - they will most certainly tell you "I had to cheat because my husband treated me with respect!") However: discounting her thoughts and in essence refusing to accept the idea that you had a part in the problems in your marriage (at least for a while while you compete with some other guy that will most likely be gone in a year or two anyway - affairs rarely last) is pretty much doing the exact same thing that created an problem that she chose to 'fix' by cheating. That is - refusing to pay attention to WHY she went after this other guy.

This is stuff you NEED to work on - the 'chance' you speak of is always right in front of you: simply do it. Nothing is stopping you from making changes in your life! It's merely a matter of making your mind up to do it, and then getting busy on it.

These things take time, however: keep that in mind, especially if you look at it with any form of empathy for your wife: it would be very easy to change for a week or two - even a month or two: the real issue is making these changes permanent. THAT'S what she needs to see.

Personally, I agree with Bob's point to a degree - it is very close to what I would advise: I'd make one caveat: don't simply talk about the problems. ACT on solving them. That is far more important than making promises. Simply acknowledge them and move on. In fact, there isn't much need to talk about them at all. As long as you acknowledge your responsibility. The actual task is to improve.

You offer this:

I never had the chance, she hasn't been honest about her feelings for the past 4 years......and it's only coming out now. I just hope its not too late. I don't think its fair if I don't get the chance. But I also know you can't "make" someone love you.
My guess is that you had the chance - that she actually was telling you about the problem - most likely not very clearly, and certainly not effectively. Many people fear confrontation and move in more passive ways. But I've been at this a long time: from her view point she most likely feels like she DID try to tell you - and you paid 'no' attention (again - from her viewpoint). From your position, she simply didn't let you know what was happening. Almost every affair takes a spouse by surprise: we all tend to live in an illusion that things are well - right up until things fall apart. I've seen this too many times not to make some connection here.

The key to a strong marriage is communication: being able to state things in a way that your spouse understands. It also hinges on absolute transparent honesty. Keeping something hidden from your spouse ultimately ends the marriage - even if it takes years. They know you are hiding something: and resent it. So: both of you need to learn to communicate effectively, with transparent honesty - and do it in a loving manner.

I see your point, and I can't help but agree with you. I am in a competition. Unfortunately, I feel it's not really a fair fight. I can't get "close" to my wife. We're not "dating". We have this "heaviness" hanging over us, and I'm getting all the "bad" energy and he's getting all the "good".

What can I do? How do I start to appear my "best" when I can't really do the things that would make me appear in my best light?
Why not? What is stopping you? The 'fog' lifts over time: she will begin to assess the situation more clearly. The only reason she wouldn't is if the affair has not ended. There are steps that you can both take to assure this happens - things that again Bob would argue against (for example: making it a condition to remain in the marriage only if she writes a No Contact letter of which you approve, that you read and you send to Quagmire.)

Regardless:

There is nothing stopping you from appearing your best except you. She can't stop you: she is entirely outside of you, she cannot control you. Do it regardless of her present state of mind. Allow the fog to dissipate, and let her see you for what you are.

...I'm struggling with tactics (not that this is a game - this is real deal life changing stuff i'm doing for me) that will help illustrate that I mean business and I really listened to what she said. I've accepted a lot of responsibility for allowing us to "drift", now I want to show her I'm going to do everything in my power to allow us to reconnect.
Tactic 1: change for the better. Don't expect instant gratification. It takes time to overcome personal weaknesses and replace bad habits with good ones. Do it regardless of her reaction. Over time she will see. Over time! If she doesn't - her loss, not yours! Regardless of her choice: YOU will have improved.
 

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This is completely normal. It takes some time for the 'addiction' to the zing she felt from the Other Guy to die. Same with a drug addict: withdrawal takes some time, and in the withdrawal period, the person losing the addiction is not thinking clearly and can say and do things that are not their normal nature. For now, let those things slide: you'll have plenty of time in a week or two for things to start changing.



This is also quite normal - most affairs happen for JUST THIS REASON. Someone else comes along and provides what was missing (or at least perceived to be missing).

As for the skepticism - that is also a very normal reaction: for a long time things have not been conducive to a healthy marriage, and from her point of view, how can she know that things will change?

You wrote:



You explain her thoughts:



In a way I disagree with Bob here. There is nothing wrong with accepting responsibility for your actions. His advice to discount her thoughts as if they are unimportant and irrelevant - in order to 'make you look better than the other guy' means that he is asking you to treat her with a lack of respect. And he expects this to make her desire you more. (Sure, women love men who refuse to respect them! Just ask women who've been unfaithful - they will most certainly tell you "I had to cheat because my husband treated me with respect!") However: discounting her thoughts and in essence refusing to accept the idea that you had a part in the problems in your marriage (at least for a while while you compete with some other guy that will most likely be gone in a year or two anyway - affairs rarely last) is pretty much doing the exact same thing that created an problem that she chose to 'fix' by cheating.

This is stuff you NEED to work on - the 'chance' you speak of is always right in front of you: simply do it. Nothing is stopping you from making changes in your life! It's merely a matter of making your mind up to do it, and then getting busy on it.

These things take time, however: keep that in mind, especially if you look at it with any form of empathy for your wife: it would be very easy to change for a week or two - even a month or two: the real issue is making these changes permanent. THAT'S what she needs to see.

Personally, I agree with Bob's point to a degree - it is very close to what I would advise: I'd make one caveat: don't simply talk about the problems. ACT on solving them. That is far more important than making promises. Simply acknowledge them and move on.

You offer this:



My guess is that you had the chance - that she actually was telling you about the problem - most likely not very clearly, and certainly not effectively. Many people fear confrontation and move in more passive ways. But I've been at this a long time: from her view point she most likely feels like she DID try to tell you - and you paid 'no' attention (again - from her viewpoint). From your position, she simply didn't let you know what was happening. Almost every affair takes a spouse by surprise: we all tend to live in an illusion that things are well - right up until things fall apart. I've seen this too many times not to make some connection here.

The key to a strong marriage is communication: being able to state things in a way that your spouse understands. It also hinges on absolute transparent honesty. Keeping something hidden from your spouse ultimately ends the marriage - even if it takes years. They know you are hiding something: and resent it. So: both of you need to learn to communicate effectively, with transparent honesty - and do it in a loving manner.



Why not? What is stopping you? The 'fog' lifts over time: she will begin to assess the situation more clearly. The only reason she wouldn't is if the affair has not ended. There are steps that you can both take to assure this happens - things that again Bob would argue against (for example: making it a condition to remain in the marriage only if she writes a No Contact letter of which you approve, that you read and you send to Quagmire.)

Regardless:

There is nothing stopping you from appearing your best except you. She can't stop you: she is entirely outside of you, she cannot control you. Do it regardless of her present state of mind. Allow the fog to dissapate, and let her see you for what you are.



Tactic: change for the better. Don't expect instant gratification. It takes time to overcome personal weaknesses and replace bad habits with good ones. Do it ]regardless of her reaction. Over time she will see. Over time! If she doesn't - her loss, not yours! Regardless of her choice: YOU will have improved.
Same old same. I haven't seen it work anywhere here.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have to thank you all. I stumbled across this site in my "panic and anxiety" for information.

I can't believe how amazing and helpful you all are. It's amazing how important relationships are and it's a great feeling that there are people there (here) to support those in one of their greatest times of need, confidence and information.

I'm truly grateful and completely terrified. After reading the past few responses, i'm starting to realize that I am actually in control of what the outcome may be. I don't just have to sit and wait. How I act and how I present myself during the next few days, weeks and months will go a long way.....even when now, i'm feeling less than hopeful (only cuz of what she has said).

Thanks again.
 

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What_do_I_do_now~

Just so you are aware, there have been times when AFEH has disagreed with Tanelornpete and I, and I want to be sure you realize that we do not take the same route but we do respect each other enough to agree to disagree. And what's funny is that we don't really disagree that much--I think our main contention is about taking personal responsibility.

We do not support blaming the loyal spouse (LS) as some try to make it sound. Your wife is 100% fully responsible for her choices to be unfaithful and go outside her marriage to have her needs met. When a disloyal spouse (DS) has the courage to come here and write, we do the exact same to them as we do to any LS--namely, "Your spouse is not here. We can not change your spouse. But you ARE here and you can change yourself."

You yourself mention that it is true that you "...work too hard and wasn't paying enough attention to her and the family" and that you'd love to have a second chance. As Bob and Tanelornpete have both pointed out, you can change whether she notices or not...because it will make you a better man and better husband. Also as Bob pointed out, the natural response to finding out this news (panic, begging, promising to change, etc.) is actually counter-intuitive to what would actually be helpful in this situation.

You want "tactics" about how to approach this, and I think both of the fellas have given you some solid advice. However, let me speak to you from a lady's point of view. For the sake of identification, I'd like you to imagine the love in your marriage as a bonfire. There are actions you can do that add kindling to the fire and make it blaze--actions like paying attention to each other, having a fulfilling sex life, keeping yourself attractive, spending time together having fun, being romantic, etc. My guess is that you could probably think of these kinds of actions. There are other actions though that extinguish the fire--actions like emotional neglect, angry outbursts, or treating your spouse disrespectfully--and then lead to things like withholding sex and "drifting apart." Think back on the fights you've had: remember hearing those harsh words and having a little bit of your heart hurt...more and more until it wasn't such "little " bits anymore but now big chunks?

What you often hear as advice--from regular people and even from professionals--is to try rekindle the love in your marriage by doing those kindler activities. Other folks will say, "Heck with that! Do a 180 and make HER do the kindler actions to you!" Both are sort of valuable in that they are not utterly untrue--in fact you do need to return to doing those kindling activities, and for the love to grow and the marriage to be healthy, eventually she will need to also do the kindling activity back to you. But have you ever tried doing those kindler activities (like now) and it feels like it's doing no good? As if the effort is wasted and somehow it's missing the mark? That's because from the DS's point of view, there has been so much extinguisher stuff put on the fire that it's hopeless now. It's not accurate, but Disloyals are discouraged and while they were in their affair, they magnified the negative in the marriage and the positive in the affair.

SOOOOOO...if you spend time only on doing the kindler things that would build love, but do not spend time on the extinguisher things as well, it is the rough equivalent of pouring water into a bucket filled with holes.

Now, people do mistakenly believe that by addressing this, we (Tanelorn and I) are "blaming" the Loyal. Nope. What we are doing is addressing the person who is here, and not avoiding the changes for which that person is responsible. In your specific instance, to be completely right up front, I bet you can tell now that working too hard extinguished the love fire for your wife...so did not paying attention to her. Now, the blaze is almost out for her and she's being pretty honest with you. She's not sure if she can get the blaze back and the OM did start a bit of a fire by doing some kindler-type things.... So yep you can indeed add some kinder things again if you want--that's cool--but if you kindle, then extinguish, then kindle, then extinguish what happens? That fire just can NOT get started! It feels like spinning wheels, right? Recognize that? To stop the spinning wheels it's not just starting those kindlers again, but at the same time, to be working on those extinguisher things. Furthermore, whether she notices or accepts those things is kind of irrelevant because re-starting those actions that make the love blaze and ending those actions that put out the flame are just becoming the man you have the potential to be!

Another common misunderstanding is that we tell the LS to be a doormat and do loving things for their DS while their DS is still involved in an active affair--thus basically letting the Loyal be a cuckold. However, to be more precise and utterly clear, the truth is that we encourage two things simultaneously--we call it CARROT and STICK. "Carrot" is this competition part that AFEH is telling you about. It's the kindler actions and it's also being a strong, secure individual. The "Carrot" is showing your Disloyal that you are an attractive option, and demonstrating by your actions that you can be the man you have the potential to be, be the man who attracted her in the first place, and be the kind of guy who can meet her needs. But that is not where we stop and sadly people do try to project that we stop there. Nope. There is also the "Stick." Just like stopping the extinguishers needs to occur at the same time as starting the kindlers--same here. You could do the "Carrot" for forever and you would be a better person but it really would be like a doormat...a cuckold. At the same time you also MUST do the "Stick." The "Stick" part would be allowing your DS to experience the consequences of choosing to have an affair. Often people have the misunderstanding that when their spouse makes a bad choice, that they are being loving when they cover up their spouse's mistake and make it so they avoid the consequences. Nope!! Your DS is a grown, adult, responsible woman and SHE chose to have her needs met outside the marriage. She made the choice, so allow her to experience the consequences! That doesn't mean "punish her" but rather that you will stand for and support your marriage but you WILL NOT support adultery! You won't move out, you won't support it financially, you won't "give her time" etc. This is the "Stick" and quite perfectly in sync with Divorcebusting 180 and Boundaries.

Here's why.

What you say with the "Carrot" is "I get it. There were some things I did that I will act on and that will demonstrate to you that I can meet your needs." What you say with the "Stick" is not controlling her or making her stop by force, but rather "I made a vow to forsake all others, and I intend to honor that promise. I will accept no less from my life partner. I expect 100% of your affection and loyalty for me only" (see how that's a boundary?) "I will not offer my kindlers, my finances and my support to adultery. I am not the one wanting to break the promise so I will not be moving, nor will the kids."

The "Carrot" without the "Stick" is being a doormat. The "Stick" without the "Carrot" is control, because it dismisses the concerns of your spouse as if they mean nothing. You are in the marriage and your concerns and your needs are very important--but your spouse is equally part of the same marriage and thus her concerns and needs are just as important.

Sooooo... for a tactic let me make it simple. Honestly I agree completely with AFEH and Tanelorn. I don't think you need to make promises to her about what you will or will not do. In her ears it will probably sound like "Yeah I've heard THAT before." Put off the old habits of neglect and working too hard, and PUT ON the new habits of attention and making work have it's proper place and making home have it's proper place. Just do the actions and let your actions demonstrate newness to her. If she truly has ended her affair, she will be going through some sorrow and grief, and I'm sure it's difficult to hear it, but if you can't hear it--just give her a hug now and then and let her know you're there for her. Finally, I suggest taking a long weekend (Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon) and taking her away to do something fun. Almost everyone says, "Oh we can't afford that!" or "We don't have time for that, we have three toddlers" but I suggest that you make the effort to FIND the time because this long weekend will help in re-establishing a connection and re-establishing a positive association. Is there someplace you two have always wanted to go? This fancy hotel or that concert? This remote cabin or that amusement park? Then just go there--and start finding something that you and your wife can do together for fun, recreationally. Once you two are "friends" and are having "fun" together again, she will begin to enjoy being with you and from there it's not a huge jump to kindle, kindle and boom! The flame blazes and love is back.
 

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Another piece of advice I'd like about my situation. So my wife says she's stopped her relationship with OM (who she says she REALLY loves) and I can't get it out of my head that this guy is a total douche bag. This OM is married and has a child. I've only met him once or twice and I know his wife slightly better. Just very casual friends. She is a friend of mine on Facebook though.

I asked my wife if OM's wife knew. She said yes and that there marriage is a little (or was already) a little "shaky". My wife said that OM told her that he and his wife were going to counselling. I'm not sure if I believe all of this and this is just stuff he was "feeding" my wife about his status to seem more attractive and available.

I cringe at the thought that this guy could be getting away with this period. I want to know that his wife knows and that his marriage is going through the same hell-ish ramifications that mine is.

My question is, should I reach out to his wife? Or would that do more harm. My gut tells me that this would really irk my wife and likely push her farther away but on the other hand if everything is totally out in the open on both sides, it should almost guarantee that the affair is over.

Any suggestions?
 

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Another piece of advice I'd like about my situation. So my wife says she's stopped her relationship with OM (who she says she REALLY loves) and I can't get it out of my head that this guy is a total douche bag. This OM is married and has a child. I've only met him once or twice and I know his wife slightly better. Just very casual friends. She is a friend of mine on Facebook though.

I asked my wife if OM's wife knew. She said yes and that there marriage is a little (or was already) a little "shaky". My wife said that OM told her that he and his wife were going to counselling. I'm not sure if I believe all of this and this is just stuff he was "feeding" my wife about his status to seem more attractive and available.

I cringe at the thought that this guy could be getting away with this period. I want to know that his wife knows and that his marriage is going through the same hell-ish ramifications that mine is.

My question is, should I reach out to his wife? Or would that do more harm. My gut tells me that this would really irk my wife and likely push her farther away but on the other hand if everything is totally out in the open on both sides, it should almost guarantee that the affair is over.

Any suggestions?
I would tell my wife that because of her lies and deceptions I don’t trust her as yet and it’s going to take a while for her to get my trust back. As part of that process I have called OM’s wife and we are going out for a coffee and a chat about our circumstances.

If my wife we’re to object I’d simply say you have nothing to fear because as you told me OM’s wife knows what’s been going.

Bob
 

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Hi there, I think you have it right, I think exposure at this point is your best bet at stopping the affair, and if you have an ally on the other end it cannot hurt....
Affairs only survive in secrecy once it's out in the open and everyone has to be accountable it's not as much fun.......
It's a fantasy world, once the real world gets tangled into that it soon fizzles out.......Your wife in in the affair fog big time and only time away from the OM will help this lift, for now all you can do is interact calmly and loving. Tell her that you still love her and you are willing to work through the marital issues.....If and when she is ready.........Tell her you won't stand in her way if she choses the other life........
I think when you actually make her do the thinking of what her life will really be like then she might not think it's such a great deal.....He probably won't leave his wife and his life......I'm going to guess your wife really isn't that important to him, maybe your wife already knows this, maybe him staying with his wife to work things out has already proven to her what her purpose was to him........
Just be there for her, show her the great man you are, let her see the differences.........when you talk to her, look into her eyes......brush against her(by accident of course, hehe!!) Try to give her a hug, something about that physical connect that warms the heart.........
Go very slowly, read and educate yourself on repairing your relationship.......
Give her time to go through the withdrawal and hopeful the fog won't take to long to lift........
 

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How long does this "fog" usually take? It's amazing that this is almost formulaic. I just want her to snap out of this fog.

Also, when they snap out of the "fog" (if they do), is there usually remorse for the stuff they said? Do they admit there was a fog? What does the other side look like?
 

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Hi there,
I'm not an expert by any means there are a lot of people with a lot more experience with this on this site,
This is my story, when I first found out about my husband's affair, he claimed he wasn't in love with me and that he now loved the OW, that was last Nov........I said I still love you but if that is what you want then go and I ask him not to see the OW while we still lived together and worked out our separation agreement, he said he would wait and not see her anymore......until he moved out.......
He was home every night, didn't go out on weekends anymore, she was also married and going through her own separation.....
We made our deal, I went to the bank opened new accounts everything was set for him to go.....all the financials were in place......nothing left to do.......
I had told him all along that I was never the one out of love but I couldn't have any kind of relationship with him while he was with his OW........we have 2 grown boys that when they found out, totally ignored him for a few months......
i think not seeing the OW, having me say Okay this is what you want go, the boys not speaking to him........I think he could finally see what he had done and what he was giving up to have a woman he had only know for a couple of months, we had been married 27 years.........
He asked me a few times If I would consider giving us another chance.......but at the same time he was still telling me his feelings for OW......I booked a trip to Florida just to get some relief of him still living there, by the way lots of excuses to why he couldn't find a house he liked well enough to buy.......
He ask if he could come to Florida and he did, 10 days, we had a great time as friends, I had asked him to be out by a certain date and that was only a couple of weeks from the trip to Florida......I could see that over the couple of months, he had changed, he cried all the time about what he had done and how he had ruined our lives and he now was saying that he didn't know what he felt for the OW all he knew was he couldn't handle the thought of not having me in his life......
The OW had left her husband and was living by herself at this point.......One day he came home and told me he had told her that he was staying with me and his family, he gave me all his phone accounts and passwords and told me he wanted to make the rest of his life about making up for what he had done to our family and us.........this whole process happened over a 3 month period, he still crys a lot about what he has done, almost a year later........he is truly the man that I have ever wanted, and now he can see that he only convinced himself of a lot of the details and that it was about his weakness and it really didn't have anything to do with me........He describes himself as selfish and hurtful, he feels bad about the OM.........but he says he doesn't have any feelings for her.......he said he has always loved me and truly regrets what he decided to do........he is also disappointed in himself.......
It's a slow process but I think self reflection happens for them as well.........
 

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How long does this "fog" usually take? It's amazing that this is almost formulaic. I just want her to snap out of this fog.

Also, when they snap out of the "fog" (if they do), is there usually remorse for the stuff they said? Do they admit there was a fog? What does the other side look like?
It’s akin to teenage love. Idealistic and idolistic. It’s why we have to become the parent of the “child” at these times, another reason for putting up personal boundaries. It’s pointless having an “adult to adult” conversation with them. It’s also what’s not nice about this stuff, being forced into behaving as a parent to a child, when we really want to be married to an adult.

As a parent to a teenager we could and should try it as “adult to adult” but that’s probably only got an equal probability of working.

But you’re dealing with an adult who has what is akin to a teenage idealistic and idolistic love for another man. How long does it take? Depends on the depth of the feeling for OM. That feeling will probably never go away completely, much the same way as our teenage love for somebody else is always there in some residual form. But with good planning and a bit of luck after a while if it all works out it should no longer be a significant aspect of your marriage.

They may or may not admit there was a “fog”. They will see it as “love” and not a fog. If they say anything else that will be manipulation for some reason or another. They may admit to being naive, in the same way a teenager might admit to that.

Remorse? Again that’s a maybe. Some are some aren’t. If they do show genuine remorse then you know you’ve truly got her back. In fact if they’re not remorseful I think I’d end the marriage as they’ll be likely to do it again.

Bob
 

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Hi there,
I'm not an expert by any means there are a lot of people with a lot more experience with this on this site,
This is my story, when I first found out about my husband's affair, he claimed he wasn't in love with me and that he now loved the OW, that was last Nov........I said I still love you but if that is what you want then go and I ask him not to see the OW while we still lived together and worked out our separation agreement, he said he would wait and not see her anymore......until he moved out.......
He was home every night, didn't go out on weekends anymore, she was also married and going through her own separation.....
We made our deal, I went to the bank opened new accounts everything was set for him to go.....all the financials were in place......nothing left to do.......
I had told him all along that I was never the one out of love but I couldn't have any kind of relationship with him while he was with his OW........we have 2 grown boys that when they found out, totally ignored him for a few months......
i think not seeing the OW, having me say Okay this is what you want go, the boys not speaking to him........I think he could finally see what he had done and what he was giving up to have a woman he had only know for a couple of months, we had been married 27 years.........
He asked me a few times If I would consider giving us another chance.......but at the same time he was still telling me his feelings for OW......I booked a trip to Florida just to get some relief of him still living there, by the way lots of excuses to why he couldn't find a house he liked well enough to buy.......
He ask if he could come to Florida and he did, 10 days, we had a great time as friends, I had asked him to be out by a certain date and that was only a couple of weeks from the trip to Florida......I could see that over the couple of months, he had changed, he cried all the time about what he had done and how he had ruined our lives and he now was saying that he didn't know what he felt for the OW all he knew was he couldn't handle the thought of not having me in his life......
The OW had left her husband and was living by herself at this point.......One day he came home and told me he had told her that he was staying with me and his family, he gave me all his phone accounts and passwords and told me he wanted to make the rest of his life about making up for what he had done to our family and us.........this whole process happened over a 3 month period, he still crys a lot about what he has done, almost a year later........he is truly the man that I have ever wanted, and now he can see that he only convinced himself of a lot of the details and that it was about his weakness and it really didn't have anything to do with me........He describes himself as selfish and hurtful, he feels bad about the OM.........but he says he doesn't have any feelings for her.......he said he has always loved me and truly regrets what he decided to do........he is also disappointed in himself.......
It's a slow process but I think self reflection happens for them as well.........
That's the way to do it Jessi. It takes inner strength and independence to do what you did. You closed the door very quickly to him even though you didn’t really want to. But by doing that you got the result you wanted.

You didn’t turn yourself into a doormat by promising to change and demonstrating your love to him by providing him with support while the affair was still under way. You just put your boundaries up and made the decision to go his and his alone. And you came out of it with your head held high.

I really do hope your husband learns to forgive himself so he can move forward and away from what went on in the past. I really do. I’m guessing you’ve forgiven him already?

Good luck with your marriage Jessi and bless you. Best regards to your husband. Sometimes the best lessons in life are the toughest to learn. It’s the way of life.

If I’ve misinterpreted anything you said just let me know.

Bob
 

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With my situation..everything is pretty fresh. Affair got exposed about 1 week ago. We've already been to one counselling session and she has an individual session (with the same counsellor) again this week to start working on "her" issues.

I was wondering when its ok to try and start working on some of the "romantic" parts of recovery. For example, she's admitted she's in love with the other dude, she's in the "fog". When is it ok for me to come home from work one day and take her on a date - maybe to the movies?

Is it way to early for that? Would I be doing more damage? Should I wait for the "fog" to lift a little before that?
 
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