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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

This is my story and this is the first time I've reached out though here though I've read a lot here.

My wife and I have been married 6 years, together 8
BS: 37 (me)
WS: 34
Daughters: 3 and 6 yrs old

OM: 38 (married but divorcing; he's cheated before)



Brief background:
I've been reading posts on this board a few weeks after my D-day in late July 2012 (four months ago). My wife started her affair in January 2012 with her music teacher / partner. She decided to leave me for him, though I tried to reconcile with her because I loved her and wanted our family to remain intact. I was in shock and did all the pleading-reasoning mistakes and then tried the 180 (worked somewhat) but the damage was done. I should add that we live in her country and I do not have any old friends or family there. It was very very tough and I think I just sort of lost my mind for a few weeks. (She trickle truthed then dropped the bomb of "I'm in love with another man"). Anyhow, after some IC and MC we had two very brief R's but she was addicted to this guy and could not maintain No Contact. We separated. At one point I packed her things up and she was sleeping in her office with him and then for a couple of months we rotated which parent was sleeping at the apartment with the girls. Then I decided for my sanity that I needed to go to my home country for a couple of months and sort out what I'm going to do (finances, custody, etc.). It's a long period of time, I know, and I won't be back in her country until January 2013. Just last week, she and the OM moved into our apartment that I have moved out of. The kids are there too and it sickens me that WS and OM didn't take time to transition to my absence.

Ugh.. what a drama:
It was a never-ending emotional roller coaster (still is?), especially since I wanted to reconcile and she did not. Extreme pain, heartache, sense of loss, hurt pride, etc. Add to that anger and judgmental phone calls and emails to wife and sometimes OM. I sometimes flirted with her, enticing her, sometimes probing her on "Why?", etc. All that crap. Also I have extreme regret for demanding to meet OM and then being civil with him at beginning, appealing to his sense of honor to not break up a family. (Clearly, a man who pursues a married woman with kids does not have much honor, and this was naive on my part.)

Why she left
The reasons she had the affair could probably be chalked up to not all of her needs were being met plus she is somewhat "me first" and impulsive. My start-up business was not generating revenue and she was the main earner. However, the way she expressed dissatisfaction was not direct. She never initiated a "let's sit down and talk about the issues" conversation. After D-Day she told me "I was bored", "I felt trapped/controlled", "It just happened", "I lost attraction", "You weren't independent enough" (we had only been in her country a short time) .. the typical cheater's script stuff but I also heard the things that I agreed were wrong with me and was willing to change them (have already started). I went through my self-blaming stage but thankfully snapped out of most of it; however, I do see how my stuff contributed to the breakdown. She does not seem to offer up much to what she did wrong in the relationship besides cheat and "not be true to herself". (The latter sounds very immature to me.)

The crazy-making
My wife has said and done a lot of crazy things during this time.. things that make her look completely selfish, narcissistic, cold, uncaring, neglectful, etc. She liked the fact that two men were in love with her. Definite cake-eating.

She misses me? Sounds more like fear/nostalgia

Even though she repeatedly said "I'm never coming back" she was emotionally manipulative and last week she told me in a chat that she missed me, missed our family life, and "if I miss you more and more, there's many things I want to tell you.. and I'd do anything to make it work." This was cruel and inconsiderate since she knows I'm vulnerable and took this trip to clear my head. And as you can read it's about her and her wants ("If *I* miss you.."). Anyhow, she changed her mind a few days later - it turns out it was just the jitters of OM moving into our old apartment.

Love / Hate / Something's died
For a while I was loving and hating her but now I feel I just can't care about a person like this. She clearly didn't respect me and was too wrapped up in her new secret exciting life to really be there for the kids. I know it's not as simple as that (she had doubts, fears, etc.) but that's what it looks like from my perspective. She never had real remorse so from that I conclude she really "checked out" and no longer loved me. It seems, she has nothing more than an abstract idea of the damage she's done. She's "deeply in love" with OM and wants to "construct a life with him". She feels like she can no longer be honest in our relationship but she can with him.

The present
So I still have nightmares, I still wake up in gut-wrenching pain, and I'm still torn about whether to live in the small town and have more time with my kids or live in a bigger town and start a new life but less time with the kids. Again, I am "stuck" in a foreign country where I am not fluent, have no support system and my job is based in another country. Meanwhile, she has her entire family there (whom I really liked).

I'm wondering how to deal with the pain of the OM now living with my wife and kids. He's a musician so he's out at night often - at least that is one consolation prize.

I should also add that I was the OM when I met my wife. She had already cheated on her husband and their relationship was rapidly deteriorating. Looking back, I feel so bad for her first husband, now that I know how it feels. She cut it with him quickly; I was the exit affair which then led to a real relationship. She was crazy about me. Now I am the one she's leaving and she's crazy about him. But in our case, we have kids and that means I am tied to her for life. I have to deal with this woman who betrayed me and my children so badly.


Any general thoughts out there? How did you get through this when I feel so much hate towards her, him, myself? I miss my old life and feel so rejected that she would dump this marriage without giving it a real chance. Being an international couple, it makes things much more difficult. Now I have to figure what to do. Most of the time I sit here feeling crappy and over-analyzing everything, and wondering more about her than me. (Like how long will there relationship last?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Conrad,

Thanks for the reply. I've seen you post on other threads.

You seemed to have suggested this without hesitation. Can you elaborate on where you think the serious issues are? (PS -Were you co-dependent?)
 

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Hi Conrad,

Thanks for the reply. I've seen you post on other threads.

You seemed to have suggested this without hesitation. Can you elaborate on where you think the serious issues are? (PS -Were you co-dependent?)
It was a never-ending emotional roller coaster (still is?), especially since I wanted to reconcile and she did not. Extreme pain, heartache, sense of loss, hurt pride, etc. Add to that anger and judgmental phone calls and emails to wife and sometimes OM. I sometimes flirted with her, enticing her, sometimes probing her on "Why?", etc. All that crap. Also I have extreme regret for demanding to meet OM and then being civil with him at beginning, appealing to his sense of honor to not break up a family. (Clearly, a man who pursues a married woman with kids does not have much honor, and this was naive on my part.)

Read this as if it were your friend.

What would you tell him?



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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmm.. good question. I'm trying to think what I would tell my friend if had I never had this experience myself.

I would probably say "Your heart got stomped on, and you are a mess. That's to be expected. I know you want to save your family but don't lose your self-respect in the process. Define yourself, don't let someone else define you. And set better boundaries. You are a victim but don't be the victim forever. You may not be able to fix this.. In fact, at this point you're probably aware you can't. You can't force someone to love you, and do you really want someone who's done this to you?".

But I also know the guy's life has been turned upside down by betrayal so it's hard to let go even if he's been hurt. Maybe for a while he thought his wife will "wake up".
 

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She won't ever "wake up" as long as you own her chaos.

Thats posOMs job now.
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And, posOM is likely not up to it.

So, the best plan of action is to get into IC, study up on codependence and fix yourself.

Leave your wife to her own plan.

It will fail, of course.

You want to be in a strong place to make decisions in the future.

Right now, the weak place you are in sets you up for more despair.



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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree. Leaving the country for a while was my step out of the chaos. Too many triggers while I was there and it was getting unhealthy (I slapped my wife once when I was at rock bottom.)

I have a 3 and 6 year old and I am concerned about their bonding with the now live-in OM while I'm not there. Not like this guy knows how to father but I'm obviously uncomfortable with being temporarily "replaced" and how that affects them. Does anybody have experience with this?

Leave your wife to her own plan.

It will fail, of course.
What's the definition of fail? Was her "plan" with me a failure when she left her first husband for me? We were together for 7-8 years and had two beautiful girls together. I wonder at what point this becomes a question about meaning in life.
 

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But in our case, we have kids and that means I am tied to her for life.
You're not "tied to her for life".

You'll have to communicate with her on a limited level to some degree until your children are at the age of emancipation which could be 18 to 21, then you're done with her except for the possibility of running into her at some sort of family function like a wedding or funeral, but so what.

"Ties" are a construct of your own making.

You're tied to her right now to a much greater degree than is healthy for you, because you've been unable to let her go.

And yeah.. if she cheated "with" you, she's more likely to cheat "on you".

Unlike the stock market, when it comes to cheating "past performance is an indicator of future behavior".

The solution there is simple if a bit belated (in your case anyway).

Don't marry a person who has a history of cheating. That way you can be fairly sure they're with you because they WANT to be with you, not because it's expensive and inconvenient to leave you.

This advice won't help you now but maybe at some future time with someone new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@Conrad

Why did I expect her to treat me differently? You mean at the very beginning? I don't know, I didn't know where the relationship was going to go, but I wanted to find out. It went well. I also thought that not everyone is satisfied in their first marriage and she had learned from her past. Her first relationship lasted seven years, which is the same length of time ours has lasted. So perhaps that's the life span she can handle.

@Sharkeey
You're right. I have a hard time letting go. Who wouldn't have a hard time letting go? She is the only woman I've loved this much and we have children together. THAT is a huge deal, it's not just a fact of our lives. So yes, I seek to understand what happened because we had a good relationship by most accounts and now it's over.

I suppose also when I say our lives are "tied" because of the children, it also means I'm bound to living in her country, at least if I want to be near my kids which I do. I'm more tied to her than she is to me if you see what I mean. So there's this "she wins" dynamic even if it's not a competition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes, she cheated on him with me.

She's the type of woman who can cast a good love spell. She makes you feel like you are really well loved, and you are. I was. I should add that she's very attractive, charming, talented, etc. So in some sense I lost a "good one", even though she was flawed as a cheater. There is something not totally right about her giving and taking in the relationship, either, but I can't put my finger on it. A buddy of mine analyzed it as narcissistic tendencies but he does not know her well personally. I wasn't keeping up with my attraction level relative to hers; I was getting comfortable in the marriage. So there's that aspect as well.

Background: Her father left her mom for another woman when my wife was five years old (my daughter's age) and that has had an impact. He's still with the other woman, by the way. Remarried her and raised another child. So my wife has that model to go with. Her father is more successful than her mother, but a lot less reliable and trustworthy in character.

So yeah, I'm the more "stable" one who would be more willing "fix" problems and not leave a situation for "feelings". I don't know if that makes me co-dependent or not.. I guess I'll have to read that book.
 

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I should also add that I was the OM when I met my wife. She had already cheated on her husband and their relationship was rapidly deteriorating. Looking back, I feel so bad for her first husband, now that I know how it feels. She cut it with him quickly; I was the exit affair which then led to a real relationship. She was crazy about me. Now I am the one she's leaving and she's crazy about him. But in our case, we have kids and that means I am tied to her for life. I have to deal with this woman who betrayed me and my children so badly.
sounds like the karma bus came at you full steam, partner.


it also sounds like this woman is a serial cheater.
 

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….
What's the definition of fail? Was her "plan" with me a failure when she left her first husband for me? We were together for 7-8 years and had two beautiful girls together. I wonder at what point this becomes a question about meaning in life.
Well yes her plan with you was a failure, a relationship that ends due to infidelity in 7 years is a failure.

He relationship with the OM is very likely to fail much quicker because she now has two children. Does he have children who will be staying with them at times? This is complicate it even more.

Marriages between a couple who have children from previous relationships end in divorce > 70% of the time. Affairs of any kind have only a 3% chance of turning into long term relationships.

Now that he has moved in with her, the chance of failure goes up even higher. They are no longer living in the bubble of secrecy that protects an affair relationship. Now they have to live everyday life in that relationship… Affair relationship are seldom strong enough for everyday life with children, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@cledus_snow

Yes, karma's like a boomerang.

I thought "serial cheaters" were people who cheat regularly and with multiple people. Maybe "serial monogamist" is the better term?


@EleGirl

It was a great seven years, though. No regrets in that regard. I wanted marriage for life .. we were a good pair but we had not reconciled our past and we had not developed the right tools for communicating well in the relationship.

OM has no children.

I've seen the 3% stat before but I don't know where it comes from. My wife's father married his AP over thirty years ago, so perhaps that is my wife's "working model".
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I spoke with my wife tonight. She contacted me.

She says she regrets not being strong enough during our brief attempt at reconciliation, and she really wishes we had worked out. She realizes she "f*cked up". She's sad that we won't have the normal family life she thought we were going to have. She says it is too late though because her feelings for the OM are stronger than her feelings for me. She says she doesn't regret the affair in that she learned things from it about our couple.

No comment.
 

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It sounds like she just wanted to rub it in your face. "Life's peachy for me, sucks to be you" type comment. Maybe she wanted to hear you beg, or she misses having control over you.
 

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She probably followed the same pattern with this A as the old one. She had a PA before moving on to you in the last one. More than likely she was dumped and you were the next to come along. Now she moved on to a new OM. He may not have been the first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Possibly.

She said she was never in love with the guy she had a PA with during the first marriage. It was just about sex and something different.

I think having children with me mellowed her out and then the old desires came creeping back. The need for attention, new sex.

She's quite ill in this regard, isn't she?

She knows she has a tendency to destroy things, and she doesn't know why she does it.

She tells me I helped her become a better person, but apparently she still has very far to go. I don't think you can "cure" cheating without some serious introspection and work on one's self.
 
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