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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So if you have been on here the last couple of days you have probably seen two different posts by me, both with me on different ends of the emotional spectrum. It has been a trying last couple of weeks with my wife. To recap, wife and I have been married 5 years, two kids. Over the years, I probably wasnt emotionally ready to marry as I never really grew into a man. I was able to get by for awhile but ultimately I would lie to my wife to protect myself and shut her out at times. Stuff I would do but not fully realize how bad I had hurt until recently. Last few months my wife and I had not really been intimate and she has found work friends. One work friend is an older divorced guy who she found is a new best friend for her. We talked two and a half weeks weeks ago and she told me she wasnt happy with us, was considering single life, and confessed feelings for this guy but the guy did not know them.

From there I took a personal inventory, read a couple of books that really opened my eyes into being a man. Kinda life changing way, maybe it was the thought of my wife and I ending, which helped me focus too. Sucks that it comes to that. But anyway, as a result of this talk, she initially said she wanted to try and work on us. That did not include putting this guy by the wayside. What ensued was two weeks of me being jealous one day and trying to improve myself/ my relationship with her. Its been very up and down. I have never been more sure of my love for her and never more sure I can make these easy changes to shed my bad habits of the past. Problem is these up and down feelings are taking their toll on both of us. She is confused on things.

It all boiled to a head yesterday as I let her go out to run errands, etc. She never really lied and despite some advice on other forums, I never really spied to a big extent. I did notice she is completely deleting texts from her male friend. So I got a little more suspicious. But I wanted to build trust with us so I minimized my spying. So she goes out and I knew she was having phone issues and so I was not expecting a call, but it was getting later and had heard nothing. So getting nervous I use the "find my iphone" website. I knew her password as I helpe setup her phone. What I saw was her phone at a bar by our house, very close to her male friends house.

I freaked out! I texted her, to see where she was at. Sure enough, she lied. I called her on it, right away. I had never been lied to like that before. So she came home and was disgusted that I spied on her. She never fessed she was alone with him at the bar but rather her friends were there too and that it was last minute. Poked holes in that all night. She basically said there is no trust between either of us right now.
I agree as I cannot focus until that guy is out of the picture. I even messaged him on facebook and told him to "f### off" That was probably uncalled for but I did not have emotions in check.

So we talked for awhile and could not get her to fess up to anything. She maintains they are just close friends and there is nothing more there. I am torn up to see my family torn apart like this. I know she doesnt like to see me like this.


At this point, I gave her a choice to make. It may end our marriage but I cannot go on like this. I basically told her I was still in love with her and I have never been more sure I can make a lasting change to improve our quality of life and family, etc.
I then told her while she still wants us to be friends, I told her I dont know how long that will take. I told her, as a friend, I am going to hurt but I might eventually come back. I told her, as a husband, I cannot continue with things the way they are. If you really want to work on us, I need it to be distraction free. Its fine if you have male friends. She has had a bunch and I never felt threatened by them. But when its a male friend she has feelings for, that can only tear us apart unless its dealt with.

So I told her to look at it two ways. If she is serious about working on us, then take a week to sort out your feelings on us without distractions (from me or the other guy) and she would stay with her parents. I then said, on the other hand, if you have been lying to me to spare my feelings and this will be just to get closer to your friend, then spare me the feelings and we will work on a more permanent separation.

I told her I cannot be in the same house as her watching her get swept up by this guy any longer. Its too hurtful. The sooner I get a decision, the sooner I can move on. She then told me she just does not want to throw things away like this. I know she is sheepish to come back to me anyway because of the repeated times I have hurt her in the past. I get that, that is my friend side being there for her and wanting to get through this. The husband side now knows what i feels like to be lied to and hurt and its the worst.

I am just so confused right now. Either way, I feel good that she told me and made me aware of these things I need to change so in the event I move on, I can be better in the next one.

I am not sure of the details in regards to separation, but I just need out of there if she does not want to be with me. I would move somewhere close to accomodate kids visiting but I could not be in the same house.

Am I looking at this wrong? Is there something I can do to correct this or make it better?

It sucks this is all during holdiday season but better now than later I say. My wife does regret telling me about her feelings for this guy but it all happens for a reason.

Is it possible to build trust back if we decide us together is best?
 

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I have been exactly where you are now. Here is what I wish I would have done differently:

1. Not left the familial home. I did this because I am so nice and her best friend. She is a stay at home mom, so it only makes sense that she have the nice house in the nice school district while I sacrifice. She had me convinced that she has sacrificed so much for her family (which was BS, we both sacrificed a bunch which is what being an adult with kids is about), so it is her turn now. This screwed me on custody and financial issues.

2. Waited for her to file for divorce first/not paid money to speak to a lawyer first. I screwed myself by giving her the opportunity to file first. Where I live, who files first gets a HUGE F$%^&^& advantage in custody disputes. You may not think this could happen to you, but I bet you also believed she would never act like she is now.

3. Begged, pleaded, negotiated, appeared weak. Asking her to stop talking to POSOM is stupid, and it will not work. I was very glad that I let her know if she f%^& him we are through, and that caused her to either f%^& him without me finding out or push up to the boundary of my bottom line without going "all the way" (which is what I honestly believe happened). The POSOM thing will flame out eventually, what is maddening is how far it will go. There may very well be too much damage done to reconcile, but it is out of your control. YOU CANNOT CONTROL THIS!

4. Separated finances. You have to make her feel what life will be like without you. If she doesn't work, she should be doing her best to get a job. I know you don't want to hurt the kids, but you are not doing this, she is. Decisions have consequences, she must learn this.

5. 180 and let her go way sooner. This is hard, but trust me it is effective. Especially if you have given her love in the past even if your relationship was flawed.

6. Apologize and own my mistakes, but nothing more. Do not let her rewrite marital history. Really work on yourself mentally and physically. Make efforts to fix what you did wrong for you and your next relationship whether that is with her or someone else.

7. Allow myself to have more fun sooner. It took me 3 months of separation before I started really enjoying myself with my old hobbies and started platonically dating other hot younger women.

8. You must work out NOW! I was really good about exercising right after DDay, but after separation I dropped 20 pounds, now 5 months into separation I have put it back on, but it is all muscle. My WW is really digging the difference (even though she always said stupid stuff like it is what is on the inside that counts)!

9. CONFIDENCE. Get it yesterday. If you don't have any now you gotta fake it till you make it. Don't let her see you unsure of yourself or your situation.

10. 180 but also leave windows open to emotionally connect (alot of people may not agree with this on here but I have seen a lot or results in my case). Depending on your wife and relationship, it may be beneficial to remain available on a very limited basis as a friend and confidant to reinforce to her your connection with her. Also from your description, it sounds like this wasn't something you were especially good at in the relationship but may have been a big emotional need for her.

11. Do not be defensive. Learn how to disagree without being defensive. Work on your communication skills. Gottman's Marriage books were the best for me to begin changing this about myself.

12. Prepare yourself financially and legally for a divorce. See a lawyer yesterday. Make a plan to get the custody that is best for you and your kids. Start thinking about what you may fight over in the divorce and start making a plan now. Proactive is WAY better (and cheaper in the long run) than reactive.

13. Cherish any time you get with kids now. They are gonna need you big time and you will miss them like crazy. Do fun stuff with your time and make sure your wife knows what she is missing out on.

14. Read up on PUA/evoluntionary pysch and women's attraction. Married Man Sex Life, Rational Male, and Chateau Heartiste are all good blogs to help you learn more about attraction and relationship dynamics in regards to the sexual desire side of things.

15. Not spy as much/ not let her know I was spying. It drove me crazy knowing how much was going on, but at the same time I needed to know enough to make decisions. Whatever you do, do not let her know what you know and how you know it. She will go underground or use it against you because you are so "controlling." Understand you cannot control who she spreads her legs for, but you can control who you are in a relationship with. You must be careful how you confront, and you have already flubbed this. Read up in the CWI what makes an effective confrontation.

Good luck. You are not alone. Life goes on. It's gonna get worse before it gets better, but it will get better.
 

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The only way it can happen is for her to go no contact with this OM. If she cant agree to that, then it cant. If she does agree, then yes, it is possible, but will take a lot of work on both your parts. I wish you the best, I know this is especially hard during the holidays.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. I think what I regret most is the confrontation yesterday. It sickens me that I reacted like that especially when I trying hard to change. But there is a line of respect that I thought was crossed.

I have read a couple of books that hone in exactly on what you speak of. The one in particular is helping me realize more about my defensiveness, communication with her, etc. This is where I feel more confident than ever. Where I am not there yet is keeping my emotions in check and letting things process before acting on them. That has killed me so far since I have read that.

I am going back and forth on the being in the house thing. It is way too hard to be around especially if she does not want to be with me.

I have a feeling this may be done for good, but there are times I talk with her and look at her and think we can make it through this. Then there is the lying. I know I cannot control this, its her feelings and her emotions. I am not that familiar with 180? is that just turning away and moving on? Is it like the if you love something set it free thing?

A part of me wants to remain connected but I am going to find it hard to do that if her feelings do surface with this other guy. I understand the flame does burn out. Do you think I should stay connected in case things do not work out with the other guy?

One of the things I confessed to her was a similar type situation that I went through a couple of years ago. I had an attraction to a female coworker and was pretty much an EA. It never went further than that. It lasted a month. It has been two years since and I am friend with the girl but shes married with kid, etc. It was not meant to be and totally one sided attraction. But seeing my wife's face one day during that seem to snap me out of it. I had not told my wife of it until our big talk a couple of weeks ago. Another reason that I was so upset at the situation, I had been on that side of it.

I agree about the working out, I have been working out already and have lost a bunch of pounds from the stress of not eating. I need to make habits of my current appetite and I can keep that going.

The kids/house thing will hurt me. Currently we are renting a place and have until September of next year. My daughter is going to school nearby (pre school).
As far as the house/ separation, I offered a week to get her mind straight. I have been reading more today that says 6 months is good for a separation. Am I right in that? Should I recant my statement and make it six months instead of a week? A big part of me thinks she might take the week to prepare for leaving me and then say its not worth it. I guess that is the part that is out of my hands.

As far as housing, her parents live nearby and have ample space for her to stay and have the kids stay over on nights when I want to go out. My plan is to stay at our rented house with the dogs and on most days keep kids or have her at the house during the day.

As I read more of these stories, I am becoming better prepared for what may happen. I am going to look into splitting finances but what is a good way to do that. We both work and between rent and other bills, is there a good way to divide that stuff?

Thanks again guys. I appreciate the feedback, It really hurts to know things have fallen this far. The optimistic side of me is hoping for the best, but it is a small side of me unfortunately.
 

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I know it is hard to not react emoitionally, but if you keep your head as you discover things, it will serve you best in the long run. You probably understand that by now.

When you found her at the bar searching her iPhone, how come you did not just go there? You did not need to tell her how you knew.

Do not leave the house. Let her if she is the wayward one.

180. For you!!! Live it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, I really need to read about 180 me thinks. I did not go there because I was at home watching the kids and they were asleep. I regret telling her that how I knew now.

But it is what it is at this point.
 

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Ok...you are becoming aware rationally of what needs to happen, but you definetly have to work on the keeping the emotions in check. This will be easier as time goes on. Trust me, and it sounds like I made bigger mistakes that what you have done.

DO NOT AGREE TO ANYTHING LONG TERM IN THIS EMOTIONAL STATE.

Take time to think about things. I signed a 1 year lease in June for Aug 2012 to Aug 2013. I never moved into the house, but I agreed to pay for it. I am an idiot. Do not be an idiot like me. At this point I feel like if I was to hard ball her and move back in, it would be awful for my kids. If I was to force her out, it would be awful for my kids. I feel like it is no win for me, her, or the kids until next August when I can tell her, sorry not paying your rent anymore. Patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue....

Try to get her to leave. She has a some what good, close option, and she wants to explore the single life (or at least what life is like without you). Do not give up your power, you will regret it. Even if you piss her off now, or she thinks you are jerk, don't worry about it right now. This is a long process and her emotions will swing. Just don't consistently be a jerk. Pick your battles wisely, and the home is a major battle. This will set the tone for custody and financial issues. For your resolve, picture the OM banging your wife in your bed in your house while the kids are with you in your crappy apartment on your weekend...don't let this happen!

If she is there during the day, protect your assetts. Talk to a lawyer yesterday. You are making decisions that may hugely affect your future. Don't do it blind.

For splitting financials...don't be petty. Offer generousity, but don't get taken advantage of. See a lawyer, this will help you get an idea of what is "fair" in the nearest court of law. Make sure you can survive and thrive. Do your best to help her thrive, but she has to be able to help herself.

If I was you, I would assume divorce is coming. Hope it isn't, but not too much. Hope often begets disappointment in these situations. I have found that no to little expectations helps me greatly. Work it both ways. Change what you did wrong, become a better person AND prepare for divorce.

Also don't sell her on the relationship, it will just annoy her.

The 180 is for you to help you detach from her and become a better person. Some things in it will help you in your next relationship. Google it, I think it is from divorce busters. Tweak it for your situation, and experiment with what works for you.

As for time of separation. Don't agree to something and then don't follow through. Don't say 6 months and then not file for divorce when she still is on the fence. Really only agree to what you think you can live through. I have been separated for 6 months. She filed in Oct, but I am not pushing it because she can't/won't get a job. I pushed to end the separation in MC for the first 3 months, and it only pushed her further. Eventually she filed. Now I realize I can live through this better than I thought I could, so I stopped pushing, stop selling, stop pursueing...guess what here she is with 2nd thoughts wanting to hook up with me (still on fence about marriage). My point is this can go so many different ways, I encourage you to be flexible as much as you can, but only you can decide how much that is.

What really helped me was to rediscover some things I gave up for the relationship, visualize a life without her (could be awesome like before I got with her), starting dating at least platonically (hard to do but it works wonders for your self-esteem. Keep in light and don't use people.), and accept the limited role you will have in your kids life while fighting for as much time/custody as you can (hopefully your wife and you can agree to something fair and beneficial to your kids).

You got this!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
While I still have a myriad of emotions inside, My overall attitude has changed today from desperate to "come what may" thanks to you guys.

So I was reading a bit about 180 and a lot of it makes sense in theory, help me move on, etc. However, it does seem to be a lot of little things that I used to do to make her mad at me to begin with. Things like dont act too enthused, seem uninterested ,etc. There are good points such as not saying I love you too much, dont sell relationship, etc. I get that as well.

I also read about Plan A which is more of what I was originally implementing. Is there a way to work on both together? Or will that confuse me and her more? I suppose its a much easier choice without an OM in the picture. Do you think it would be easier to have an in house separation if I implement 180?


I originally today said we would talk tonight about it when I got home but now I wonder if I should play it cool and let her bring it up. Do I push her for an answer or wait for one? Do I not have the conversation at all?
 

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I wouldn't bring it up...it shows you are unsure of your situation. Let her do it. Stop talking, start acting. Courtesy heads up are fine for many actions. Hashing this sh*t over and over and over is pointless and exhausting right now.

also the 180 is to do things your spouse has traditionally complained were absent...beware though as I think many women have a disconnect with they say they want, what they think they want, and what they actually want. I think instead of aloof, go for let her come to you if she wants too. Have you ever gotten a bird to eat out of your hand?

In general don't push for anything, just do it if it needs to be done. So if she drags her feet on packing her sh*t, help her out instead of asking her to pack her sh*t

You seem to be needy to know what is happening.

Her actions are telling you what is happening, take her word for it.

She ain't into you, she is into flirty divorced guy. She ain't into the constraints that your marriage has placed on her perceived lack of freedom to socialize, drink, and flirt with her friends. I think there is way more to it than you know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
While I get a little uncertainty is not a bad thing, I am just trying to avoid having this thing drag out is all.

Its funny you mentioned the constraints, because that is what she said yesterday when we discussed not having trust. She said now she couldnt be herself around me. I happen to know that is not "really" herself. Though maybe I do not know her anymore either. She has lost a ton of weight and gained a lot of confidence. Maybe, it was just meant to be at this point. I love her but I need to focus on myself for a bit.

I guess I will just apply 180 for now and see what happens. It is tough because we do not have a lot of money together so any counseling, lawyers, etc. really come at an expense especially around the holidays.

So if I can get as many answers as possible, it seems like I could make the best decision going forward. Am I hurt still? Yes...do I need to pick up and carry on? yes...this is why i posted here. I am trying to find best how to do that.

The way this is panning out, I am realizing more and more of this EA stories are panning out the same way. I need to just get the strength to carry on.

I can do it, and I do believe it will be easier as time goes on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Okay, so I when I got home from work yesterday, I told my wife I was gonna go out.(I ended up just running errands and going to bookstore ,etc.)
She then wanted to talk about our talk from the morning about, see OP. It was decided she will take a week (without distractions from me or OM ) starting next week. She will stay at her parents while she sorts things out. Can I guarantee she won't talk to OM? No, but we do agree we need space for a couple of days.

I am very glad at this point that she didnt just say it was the guy right away. It

On the other side now, I know about the behind the scenes research stuff I need to do, to prepare for things not working out. The problem is with like 5 days left before she does go to her parents, do I take this time to still try and give her a good example of us together or a good example of us apart (ie 180) ?

She is working through tomorrow and then going out with friends after work tomorrow. Then Friday is a work Christmas party for her.
I plan on visiting friends over the weekend. Just to get out of the house.

We have yet to discuss specifics of the separation next week. With the holidays, she works Christmas eve anyway. But we have other family we were going to see. I work the other days and then she is working the weekend.

I know I will be cordial if we are all together as a family or with other families, I am just trying to balance between 180, which communicates an attitude of moving on, and reading stuff on being a better man which includes being more attentive to wife, listening to wife, etc...

If my wife asks if why Im being short, do I just tell her I am trying to move on? Or just keep thoughts to myself?

My bad habit right now is trying to communicate too much for validation. Its bad, and I am slowly getting better at that. Any ideas on how to do that better?

Its like cramming a lot of different ideas at once lately. Its like I think I would have been better had I not started investigating. Ignorance can be bliss sometimes.

At that same time, I am glad things are somewhat exposed and we can let the healing begin or move on. And maybe that is the reason for 180.

I have obviously never been through anything remotely like this and I appreciate the help as I overcome this neediness.
 
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