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Hello,

I want this to start off first and foremost that I am not looking for anyone to judge another’s answers. I am about to unveil a tremendous amount of information and I want honest solutions rather than replies arguing with one another or simply just saying "it is not worth it".

My Wife and I's 5th year anniversary is on September 8th. One that we have been looking forward to since the day we got married. We have had struggles that most would have called it quits. That moment never arrived until about 2 weeks ago, for us. Bear with me as I do not plan to hide anything and want to lay it all out on the table.

When my wife and I first met, it was a pure lust relationship. I had money, enough to not have to work for roughly 3 years. We met at a mutual friend’s BBQ and slowly hit it off. It is safe to say after a couple weeks she made the advance on me. She was so beautiful, I never thought I had a chance. I responded and we kissed for the first time. A few days later we made love. I was supposed to be leaving the next day to live in a new town and my dog decided to run away as I was loading the last of my things into the U-Haul trailer. I was devastated. I was literally leaving right then. I didn’t know who to call, so I called her. The sadness in her voice made me feel better and she came over again the night. This was the night I knew it was more than just a fling, but that I had feelings for her. I found my dog the next day and moved.

We talked for hours after I left... If we were not sleeping we were either texting of on the phone for over a week. Falling asleep on the phone and waking up to hear one another breathing. Something I have never done before. I made an excuse to move back, told her that it wasn’t working out with my living situation, but at the end of the day I wanted to pursue this new-found affection.

I moved back and she immediately moved into my place. Things were great, we spent every waking moment together. We got engaged, earlier than most would prefer, it had only been about 3 months. We decided that we should wait a year to make sure we were not being completely stupid. We did all kinds of things, I broke her out of her shell. I took her to Vegas for her first time, I took her to Napa, Ca for a friend’s wedding. We drove down Silverado Trail and went wine tasting. We did so much, because I wanted her to experience a life outside of Colorado. We had some arguments over the course of this time. Some worse than others. But nothing that we couldn't overcome. Neither one of us really had a real idea of how to talk like mature adults. She was 23, I was 26.

Then the day came when we got married, at first we wanted all these special places and even put a deposit down at one of the nicer hotels in the area. At the end of the day we decided to be married on my Grandmothers 17-acre ranch. It was the best decision we ever made. Everyone sat on Hay Bales during the Fall with the colors changing all around us. We chose White and Royal blue to have our colors stand out against the mountains. This was truly the best day of our life.

We left for our Honeymoon shortly after and had an amazing time. 6 Days and 7 Nights in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. It was pure bliss. We swam with dolphins, we partied, we spent time together just lying in the room. I will never forget it. Then we got back...

When we got home, money became an issue. I was running out. I realized that my life was no longer about me. It was about my wife and I and I had no way to financially support her in anyway. I started to distance myself from her almost instantly (I didn’t realize this until recently). I told her I need to figure this out, that I must find a way for us not to become homeless before the 2 months of finances we had left ran out. It was the worst thing I could have done when I look back on it today. It took me a while to find a job, after not having a job for 3 years, people had a hard time hiring me. Even though my track record with jobs beforehand was solid. I finally found a job that paid 10/hour and my wife found one as well. We were living paycheck to paycheck but we were surviving, but after I had that moment in life where money was not an issue and the amount of stress it alleviated, I wanted more, I wanted financial security. I felt that as a man, it was my job to make the money and allow her to work if she chose to. I kept looking for ways to become that person I needed to be for her. Without realizing I was pushing her away because I had become emotionally disconnected (not numb, just simply trying to figure it all out). Now the town we lived in doesn't have a lot of room for opportunities to land a successful career without having a degree of some sorts, unless you decided to travel and join the oil rigs. Things were getting worse, she would go out with friends and I would stay home worrying about money.

Some time passed and we decided we needed to rekindle the love and move away, to start a new life. She didn’t want to move, but she moved because she could see how much I was hurting staying where we were. Now mind you, it has always been easy for me to pack up and leave growing up in the military, she has lived here her entire life. Her family and friends all lived there, it is everything she has ever known, and she left for me. We sold everything we couldn't fit into our car and left. We moved to Panama City Florida. We chose this based on a former boss of mine, she used to live here and told us how much she loved it. We realized that the cost of living was actually cheaper than where we currently were. We moved here with no jobs, nowhere to live and we have never even been here before. At this point we had been married for 2 years.

When we got here, we found a man that was willing to rent us his place, I gave him first, second, last month rents plus the security deposit and told him if we did not have jobs in 2 months we would move out and go back home. He was hesitant at first, but I will never forget, he told me "the reason I let you move in, is because I can see the love in both of your eyes, and I have a feeling you will both be just fine". My wife found a job in less than 2 weeks cleaning hotel rooms, I found one about 2 weeks after working for a beer company. My interview went so well that they gave me a relief sales position starting at 36k/year. This was the most money I had ever made with a job other than my construction background when I used to make 23/hour (this was also in California and the cost of living was so high that I could barely pay my bills). We started doing things together again, it was a new place, we wanted to explore. But somehow, it started to go back to the old ways, she wanted to go out, I was tired and wanted to sit at home and relax.

6 months after landing here I realized that I did not care for the company I worked for, I found an opportunity to apply for another company that I felt would be a better fit. I applied, I got the job, my salary jumped another 10k/year. I was still so focused on making more money, to find that financial independence I felt we HAD to have. After a while, I started to notice some things, she was staying out later, not calling as much, the "I didn’t hear my phone ring" when I would call. One night I knew where she was and I went over there unannounced. I made it a very awkward situation knowing there was something. I left, I went home and about an hour later she called me extremely upset that I had done something like that. She told me she was coming back to pack some bags and she was leaving.

When she got there, we fought, then things were revealed. She admitted to being unfaithful with one of the people that was at the house. She admitted that she was unfaithful when we lived in Colorado. She admitted that she had also kissed another guy but that was it. I was devastated, but in the back of my mind, I already knew. I just wanted her to be honest. See, one of biggest problems we have is communication and honesty. I knew I wanted to stay with my wife, but what I did next was also one of the biggest mistakes I could have made. I made it up her to her to fix our marriage, it was her fault, she had to prove herself to me. God I was so stupid.
Not long after that we adopted our son, her sister’s baby (she was 17 with the maturity level of maybe a 13 year old, the father was 25 and a raging alcoholic that wanted nothing to do with his son). To this day, I do not regret this decision as he is the love of my life and I would do anything for him. Things started to get better, we were a family. Then things started going back to the same old thing, again. She quit her job when we adopted him, we couldn’t afford daycare, but eventually she wanted to go back to work. She got a night time serving job, I worked days. I would get up in the morning, take care of him, get her up to watch him, go to work, get home and she would be leaving. For months, this was our life. She would get off and want to go have a drink to release the stress from the day, she didn’t want to come home because we would both be sleeping and she was not tired. She eventually wanted to quit this job because of this and become a stay at home mom. I had finally found a way to make enough money to make this a reality, but my wife is not a person to just sit at home and do the mom thing. Not everyone is. She wanted to go back to work after about 8 months. We decided whatever she did, it had to be a daytime position and we would introduce our son to daycare. We both figured it was the best thing anyway as we do not know many people out here with kids and we figured the social interaction was going to be good for him.

And here we are, I am sorry for the extremely long introduction before I got to the actual problem at hand, but I felt it necessary to lay some background information to receive honest advice. If you have noticed other than the admission to the unfaithfulness, I have not put much blame on my wife for anything in our past. It is not that there is nothing there (there is quite a bit actually, some of it which may be part of the reason I just kept keeping that emotional distance), but that is in the past, and I have realized things about myself in the last month that helped push her into those decisions she made (this by no means make what she did right, it simply says if I had done things different, she would have never been in the situation in the first place).

If you ask my wife, she will tell you I am an amazing husband and an amazing father, I get up in the mornings and feed our son, get him ready, take him to daycare all so she can sleep in a little bit longer, we go to work, I get back in time to pick him up from daycare due to the flexibility of my job, I get his snacks, I make most dinners and I help her clean the house.
About a month ago, we got into an argument and she decided she wanted to leave. She left and stayed at a friend’s house for 2 days. It was at this moment that I realized I was not giving her what she needed most. Affection, quality time, words of affirmation. I loved her, and she knew that, but she hasn’t felt that in years. I showed her I loved her by doing all the things I just mentioned, thinking I do these things whereas most men do not. She came back, and I cried to her, told her I saw something in myself I didn’t like, things I wanted to change. That I was so focused on money, that I forgot there were essential things you needed that I was not providing. We decided to go to counseling. He gave us a couple books of which I have read (5 languages of love and His Needs Her Needs). But other than that, he did nothing else that helped us. For about 3 weeks, things were like they used to be (during this time I read 5 languages of love) …. Then once again, things started to slip back into the same routine. She noticed it, and I noticed it. It had become such an easy habit that it was extremely easy to revert to those ways. This devastated her, it made me hopeful. I realized in a short amount of time that it was slipping back, I wanted to break the old habits and replace them with the ones she needs to FEEL loved. To her, I just gave up. She wanted to leave again. She needed space, she needed time to think. (this was a week ago, yesterday)

The first 2 days she asked for space I was unable to do so. I knew in the back of my mind that it was what I needed to do, but I couldn’t. Over the course of us being together 6 years, I have fallen in love with her more and she has fallen out of love with me. The first day I wrote her a letter. It said that a month ago, I saw something in myself that I did not like, something I wanted to change. I used a picture as a metaphor for our relationship, that it had become dark, and that it wasn’t until she left I could see come color, it said that it wasn’t until that I noticed things slipping back that I was able to see more colors to the picture of our life. It was not a good choice. It had zero impact, she had become emotionally numb. The second day I put up a facebook post expressing that I do not do the things I need to do. It was selfish, it was highly unnecessary and all it did was push her further away (I deleted it after only a few hours, but enough had seen it to make the wrong impact on her).The week went by and I am crushed, she doesn’t want to come home because she doesn’t want to see me. She was gone until late hours, and I was here taking care of our son. She told me last Friday that she was going to stay at a friend’s house and have a girls’ night. I had a bad feeling, I knew she was talking to another guy, but at the same time I really didn’t think anything of it, I knew where he lived, I knew they worked together, but I also knew that he is a 37-year-old pothead that shucks oysters for a living.
A couple weeks prior to this I downloaded a tracking app on my phone because someone tried to steal mine when I was at one of my accounts, I wanted to be able to use my wife’s phone to track mine in the event this ever happened again. With my job, my phone is my lifeline. Losing it, losing my contacts and being unable to talk to my accounts and place orders would devastate my ability to do my job. That Saturday morning, I opened the app to see if she stayed where she said she was going to stay…..she was at this guy’s house. I was crushed, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it, I drove over there…our car was parked in his driveway. I didn’t go to the door, I simply drove back home. I called her mom (her mom went through a similar situation with my wifes father years and years ago, she was the same person that was on my end of the stick), crying, told her I really don’t think she slept with him but still couldn’t believe that she stayed at another guy’s house. We talked for 2 hours. My wife texted me at 10am the next morning telling me she was ok and she would be back home later. She called me twice while I was still talking with her mom and I called her back within a few minutes. She gave me this elaborate story of how she stayed up at her friend’s house and had to take a backway home because of a train that passes through this area regularly. I knew this was not the case. She is emotionally numb to me but I couldn’t leave things left unsaid. If I was going to truly become a better person, I couldn’t have something like this weigh in the back my head if I ever wanted to move forward.

For the first time in my life I confronted her in a way that she didn’t feel like I was attacking her. I caught her in the lie, I told her that our son had opened the app on my phone and I saw where she was to soften the argument, but I am sure she knows that this was not the case. She told me the app was wrong, that she was not there…. I told her I saw the car. Now, I really thought she was going to get extremely upset and literally leave again right then, but what happened next caught me off guard as much as it caught her off guard that I didn’t freak out when I knew where she was. She started shaking and tears welled up in her eyes. True tears, not fake, not pity, genuine tears. I know my wife, I know what is what. I thought they had had sex, she took her sunglasses off and looked me in the face and told me they did not have sex, that she went back to his place because they were drinking and she did not want to drive home. She told me she slept on the couch.
I kept my cool, I let her talk, I did not interrupt her. She told me she still loves me but is in no way in love with me. That in her mind our relationship is done. She doesn’t want a divorce but she doesn’t want to be in our relationship either. She told me that I am an amazing person, better than anyone she had ever dated in her life, but there were things I did not do that has pushed her away. For the first time in a long time we just talked but everything was still distanced, she kept telling me she didn’t love me anymore and it breaks her heart because she doesn’t want to hurt my feelings. Not much else was said that day. She stayed at home but mainly stayed in the room.
On Sunday, she had a meeting at work she had to go to. But during the day before she had to leave we talked again, we just sat outside with our feet in our son’s kiddie pool and just talked. Not about us, but just had conversation. At some points the relationship would come up again but then we would change the subject. It was nice. Once the time came for her to get ready to leave, she told me she was going to stay out afterwards, but wouldn’t be home to late because she had to be at work the next morning. She was out late, but I gave her the distance she asked for, I didn’t call, I didn’t text. She texted me around 8:30pm telling me she was going to stay out a little later and she would call me when she was leaving. I fell asleep and I did not hear my phone ring. She called me 8 times, with each time getting angrier and angrier thinking I was ignoring her phone calls. She got home and realized I was asleep and woke me up. She told me she was so mad that she was ready to fight (in my mind, this started to tell me that she still has feelings for me, if she was that upset and wanted to fight, but telling me she was completely and utterly done, there would be no reason for her to be upset and want to argue, please correct me if I am thinking more into this then I should). We went outside and we started to talk.
She opened up about the past Friday night. And you could see that she didn’t want to. She didn’t know how to be completely honest with me (this has been a big problem for a long time). But she did, she admitted that she has feelings for this other guy, that they ended up kissing that Friday night and that they touched each other, but reassured me that she did not have any type of intercourse and that she really did sleep on the couch. She admitted that she liked it, that she was getting something from him that she has not gotten from me in an extremely long time. She admitted that it scared her, because the past times she was unfaithful it was a drunken night of stupidity and regret followed after. But this time for her it was different. I kept my calm, I let her talk it out. Then she stopped and looked at me. She said “you really do love me, don’t you?”. I told her it has never been a question that I loved her, but that I was showing her my love in all the wrong ways. (I was not speaking her love language). She couldn’t comprehend how I was managing to stay cool and actually talk to her without judgement. She repeated this several times over. We really talked, and I mean talked until 4 in the morning. She told me she had planned to talk to this other guy the next day to lay everything out there. To see where he stood on this whole thing. She also said she tried to have that talk with him that night before she came home but he dismissed it saying they weren’t going to talk about it that night. We decided enough was said and that we should really go to bed, we both had work in a few hours. I couldn’t sleep, I picked up the other book our counselor had given us (His Needs Her Needs) and I read the entire thing. I flipped corners and highlighted certain areas that directly related to us. She ended up calling out of work and I left to go handle my day. I ended up calling my accounts and took their orders over the phone telling them I was taking a personal day. I did have some errands I had to run so I took care of those. I found this website, I found some free help calls and started talking to random people to obtain more advice. I expected when I got home she would be gone. She was still here. I asked to talk to her, I wanted to talk to her about the book before she talked to this other guy. She said in a minute, during that time I realized I was going to do the same thing again, not give her the space she said she needed. I decided to not talk to her about the book and I started writing this post.
She came out after about 30 minutes and asked me what I wanted to talk about. I told her it was not important and that I wanted to give her the space she wanted. She said she came out to talk, so we might as well talk. She told me that she texted the other guy to see when he would be available to talk but he blew her off, said he was busy and that they could talk tomorrow (as I proof read this I just found out that he left without telling her anything and that they couldn’t talk until this Friday). We talked about so many things, she told me again that she is not in love with me but in a way, I still have a hold on her. That she still sees me as an amazing person that has done so many things right, but that even when I’m saying the things she wants to hear, she doesn’t have any feelings about them, that she still feels the same way. That she is still emotionally numb to the entire situation. I expressed to her that I understood that and I thanked her (I had thanked her the night prior as well and she couldn’t figure out why, I told her I was thanking her for her honesty, and that is all I have ever wanted). You could see in her eyes that she was taken back by the comment. She still couldn’t figure out why I was thanking her when she has just admitted that she kissed another guy, has feelings for another guy and is telling me she no longer loves me.
After a couple hours, she asked if I would go down to the bar and have a couple drinks with her before it was time to pick our son up from daycare (this is the first time she has asked me to do something with her in over 2 weeks). I gladly accepted the invitation, we talked more, about random things, not the problems we were going through. At one point she mentioned that when her mom comes down it would be nice to see if she could watch our son for a few days so that we could go up to Nashville and see something new, then mentioned that it would probably be too expensive. I told her, that if there was a way to work things out, that I thought that was a fantastic idea and we would worry about the money later (this is not me in the past, I am always worried about money, having credit cards paid off, having money in savings for emergencies, telling her we couldn’t do something because we really didn’t have the money even if we did). Her own comment caught her off guard. And she looked at me and said “you know until right now, I haven’t even thought about the other guy all day”.

When it was time to pick up our son we had to go to the grocery store, he had nothing for breakfast in the morning and there were things I needed to grab anyway. I told her I would take them back to the house and I would go so she could spend some alone time with him without me being there (giving her the space she said she needs). She liked the idea, but after we picked up him, she said to just go to the store anyway. When we got back (around 6:30pm, we started talking around 2:00pm), she said she still wanted to talk some more. We put the groceries away and got our son settled with a snack and a movie and we went outside. We talked until almost midnight (please know our house is kid proof and we kept the curtains open in order to keep an eye on him). We would talk and then play some songs and sing along and dance in the chairs. I couldn’t help but smile at her when she would sing, I know she could see it, but I couldn’t help it. Part of me thought I wasn’t giving the space she was needing, but when she would look at me, it didn’t seem to bother her. We have not talked like this since the first days of us being together. There were times when she would talk about him and talk about other things, and even though I didn’t really want to hear it, I kind of did. I appreciated the honesty, I appreciated that for the first time in a long time she was confiding in me, even if it was about someone else. We went to bed (she went to bed I slept on the couch). I woke up this morning and decided to finish this post, she left just a few minutes ago, and it was the simple goodbye and out the door. I do not know if she will be home late tonight, I know that she plans to talk to this other guy, and yesterday she told me that depending on his response, she was not sure if that if he said he wanted to pursue it that she would say no (again as I am proof reading this, I just found out that he said he couldn’t do it today but they could talk on Friday). I also do not think she planned on having the day she had yesterday with me.
I am lost, I am confused, I need help. Do the last couple days say anything, or is she just trying to make me feel better. Is there something there that she is seeing but is fighting the temptation tooth and nail? Any help, any advice, would be greatly appreciated. Please help me find a way to show her that I love her, to find a way to break the wall she has put up so high. What is next? What if she talks to him and wants to pursue the other guy, do I sit and wait and let her figure things out? Do I start to move on and try to heal? If she chooses me, and wants to work it out, how do I prevent myself from slipping back into the past…
 

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Sorry but that post was way too long. I will give you my honest opinion first before answering your question.

Many people have been in your situation. You are very emotionally attached to her which is why you are unable to see things objectively and want her back at all costs. Sure you worked hard and got carried away, forgetting to show her affection and attention. However, what love had she shown you? She is lazy, doesn't sound like a devoted mother and CHEATED on you.

She 10000% slept with the guy, it doesn't take a scientist to figure that out. Sleep on the couch? Haha. No gentleman would let a lady sleep on the couch. You don't go third base with someone and sleep on the couch. They had sex, he was in her, and she wasn't thinking about you at all.

This woman is scum! She is stringing you along because she knows what a good man you are and loves having you in her back pocket. You are Plan B. Yet she blames you for the downfall of the marriage. It wasn't your full responsibility to ensure a happy marriage, if she wasn't satisfied she could have communicated it and shown her love in more ways too. Not cheat and leave you lol.

Any woman would be lucky to have such a caring man who seems to put his wife's needs before his and helps out so much with childcare. I too was a party girl back in the day, but when I got married I focused my energy into work and taking care of my baby! I hate staying at home too, but do I have a choice? No. She is acting like a child! Please let her go. You will be thankful later, you are still young. There are PLENTY of women out there for you who would make you feel like a prince!

That being said, since you asked for advice on how to get her back. Nothing you have been doing has worked, has it? Your only solution: do the 180. Read up on it. If she loved you she would come back but she doesn't, she wants the OM. She is enjoying the attention from you. Start detaching, focus on yourself not her and live your life happily. Show her from afar that you can do fun things and have a fulfilling life without her. STOP texting her, stop seeking her out, pretend you are over her if you can't get over her.

A beautiful woman like her loves feeling desired and when you stop focusing on her, she will start to second guess herself and her decision. It may sound counter-intuitive but it WORKS. Live well without her and do not contact her unless it is to do with your son or finances. She will start to see the new cool you who isn't desperate for a woman and it will drive her NUTS. You will appear way more attractive that way and she will likely come back and reach out to you. Play it cool, all the best.
 
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