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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife acknowledges that by engaging in a relationship with another man was a terrible thing to do to me, and that she feels bad that she did it to me. What she hasn't done is said that it was the wrong thing to do. What she hasn't done is ask for forgiveness.

I am willing to forgive her if she is truly sorry and wanted to move forward, but I need her to say those things and show me those things. I feel by not admitting it was wrong and by not asking for forgiveness, that she believes she did something that was ok. She is sorry it hurt me, but she is not sorry she did it. She says she wants to work on our marriage, but it is hard for me to start healing and working with her because I am not convinced that she understands how wrong it was, how it needs to end completely and immediately, and that she truly wants to work on our marriage.

Am I asking for too much?
 

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well while asking for an apology is not much to ask for.

I think there is more to this. You both should seek counseling. How long have you been married? What was the marriage like before all this?

If you want to continue the marriage you will need counseling because you will constantly re-think this through. I don't know either of you, so I am not here to judge.

Go see a marriage counselor if you wish to be married, otherwise I think it will fail down the line.
 

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It sounds to me like you see it as a full betrayal of your vows and she sees it as a close call...as in good thing I didn't cross the line and have a physical relationship. Being in your same position, I know how you feel and why you need her to feel remorseful but I'm glad she is being honest with you about her feelings. I think for me I needed some reassurance that it would not happen again and for him, since he vowed to never do that but broke that vow he cannot say it won't happen again because he thought that the first time around...anyway he did say he would spend every day for the rest of his life rebuilding my trust and proving that he loves me so we are moving forward. He still works with the woman but stopped the friendship. I don't think I'll feel ok with it until one of them leaves the company. His Christmas party was awkward to say the least. I do think she needs to completely end it and show you she is serious about your marriage. I'm sure there are issues on both sides (voids not being met, etc.) and I don't think my husband and I could have moved forward as we are without me acknowledging where I went wrong as well. On the upside, we are doing great now...both happier than we ever thought possible (even before all of this mess) so there is hope and I don't think you are asking too much to end any friendship with him, but as far as wanting her to feel a certain way, she will feel what she feels. I found peace in seeing how we got to where we got and my role in getting there...it enabled me to forgive (without being asked) and also gave me some sense that I have more control over our relationship than I gave credit...to keep it fulfilled and happy or to help it totally derail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Swedish, I think you hit it exactly on the head. I definitely view it as a full betrayal of our vows and she views it as a close call. I told her that I forgave her completely last night, without her asking. Forgiveness does not need to have strings attached. However, rebuilding the trust will be much, much harder. I still don't know the full nature of their relationship and I don't know if I want to know. I don't know if that will make me feel better or worse about our chances to move forward. Blind faith and trust in her led me to the pain I feel.

She still says she wants to work on her marriage, but she, unlike your husband, has not said that she will try to spend the rest of her life building that trust. Maybe she is still just instinctively trying to protect herself from feeling the full effect of what she has done.

Were there things that you did and your husband did to work on the trust? As you said, I won't ever be fully comfortable until either my wife or her coworker leaves their branch. If they had to travel together, which is a distinct possibility, I dont' know what I'd do.
 

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As far as rebuilding trust, it has really been a full effort on his part to ensure I'm as comfortable as possible. In our case, he began emailing me in the morning, spending his lunch hour on the phone with me, calls me when he leaves and we talk during his commute home (I work from home), in general just consistent behavior so I don't have a need to question anything. He does have to work off hours sometimes and weekends but will either be on the phone with me or he asks if I want to come along on the weekends. I think how much you want to know is different for everyone. In my case, I wanted all details because the thoughts in my head were much worse and I couldn't deal with him sharing something with her that I was out of the loop on. He also cut the friendship with her but he still has work projects with her and she still tries to start personal conversations, etc. which he tells me about. At this point, it just seems to irritate him (he says he no longer has any feelings for her and feels she somewhat manipulated him when he was looking for a friend but also takes full responsibility for what happened) so I think he's partly irritated by that and also that he feels he needs to tell me every time they talk and he dreads it as he doesn't want to upset me. I think the only way we've come to where we are now (which is a good place in our marriage) is through having some serious long talks about what each of us were feeling about each other at that time and why we were so distant. We both realized we really love each other and had what we wanted all along with each other, we just weren't expressing our love for one another as we should have been. Since those talks, we've started 'dating' again. We are both very introverted and now make a point to talk about things we would normally keep to ourselves (work, kids, finances, etc.) and it makes us both feel we are more of a team now. We go to the gym together, and basically really enjoy being with each other and make sure the other always feels loved and appreciated. Even knowing how we are today, I still would not be able to deal with him traveling on business with her (thankfully that won't happen). I do think it is in his court (and in your case your wife's) to rebuild the trust but up to both of us to create and maintain the type of marriage that makes us both happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for sharing your experiences, Swedish. It has only been since Sunday night that she confessed and last night she said that she wants us to succeed for the first time. I am not sure if she said it to get me to shut up or if she means it. Time will tell. I am also not sure about how much she has broken off her relationship, nor do I know how much I should pry or push her to. I want to trust her and show her that I do, but she shattered my world only a few days ago. I do hope she has the strength and attitude that your husband has. I am sure the guy my wife was interested is a nice enough guy and I know their relationship started because he was having troubles in his life. My wife really likes to be the mama hen wherever she is. Somehow she let that turn into romantic thoughts and feelings. I know she doesn't want to end everything with the guy because he definitely fills a need for her and he is a coworker, but I hope she realizes that the only way she and I moves forward is to completely cut him off. I hope she is strong enough to do that.

I am doing what I can to pay attention to her. I have planned a few dates for us as well. I hope that she understands how much I need her to reach out to me and to make me understand how committed she is to our relationship so that I can continue to have the strength to believe in us.

Thanks for listening and sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
well while asking for an apology is not much to ask for.

I think there is more to this. You both should seek counseling. How long have you been married? What was the marriage like before all this?

If you want to continue the marriage you will need counseling because you will constantly re-think this through. I don't know either of you, so I am not here to judge.

Go see a marriage counselor if you wish to be married, otherwise I think it will fail down the line.
We are approaching 8 years in July, and I thought things were wonderful. I recognize that we definitely lost focus on connecting as much as we used to, but I didn't have a clue things had gotten so bad that she needed to have an emotional affair (assuming she has told me the truth about how far they went). I was blindsided by all this.

And counseling is definitely on the agenda. We are trying to make sure we find a counselor that will help us find solutions. I have talked and heard from a lot of married and divorced people who have said that counseling can often times make things worse depending on what they are focused on.
 

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Based on what you said, I think I would focus a conversation with her around what needs he is fulfilling and see if you can fill those voids yourself. Whatever is attracting him to her is missing for her within your marriage.

Also, regarding counseling, we did not go. I went to a counselor on my own with the idea that he would eventually join me but the counselor did not see any reason for it. Basically, she said since we both acknowledged our part in where our marriage went wrong and both were still in love with one another and willing to make changes (especially when I told her what he was doing to rebuild trust) that she saw no need to see us both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Last night I found out that my wife had not broken things off with the other man, despite telling me several times that she would and had. She has already talked about what she thinks is missing, and what she is afraid of, but she still isn't willing to give me a chance to try to fill those needs. She is a good person doing bad things, but if she doesn't stop doing bad things, and doesn't try to make things right, she will end up being a bad person. If that happens the happiness that she so desparately wants will never be within her reach. If she can't meet me half way and at the very least stop her affair and the lying, we won't ever be able to heal. Things are out of my hands now. Our marriage will fail on her unwillingness to work it out.
 

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I'm sorry to hear she has not stopped contact with him. I agree and understand why that is a deal breaker for you as far as trying to work on your marriage. There must be something very alluring about the thought of a new relationship where you start out fresh and have those tingling feelings, and working on your marriage sounds (and is) 'work'. But those tingling feelings do wear off and it doesn't matter who the other person is, at some point you get comfortable and little things start bugging you which can turn into big things and you end up in the same place with a different person. If she's not willing to work on your marriage, she will have the same issues with any other relationship eventually, so really there is so much more for her to lose than to gain here. But I know I am just preaching to the choir...just wanted you to know I'm glad you are standing your ground on this.
 

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We are approaching 8 years in July, and I thought things were wonderful. I recognize that we definitely lost focus on connecting as much as we used to, but I didn't have a clue things had gotten so bad that she needed to have an emotional affair (assuming she has told me the truth about how far they went). I was blindsided by all this.

And counseling is definitely on the agenda. We are trying to make sure we find a counselor that will help us find solutions. I have talked and heard from a lot of married and divorced people who have said that counseling can often times make things worse depending on what they are focused on.
Hi there, sign up for the free course, maybe you can then decide about the counselor: Marriage Counseling
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, Swedish. You and the other people in these fine forums have helped me greatly. I don't feel quite as alone or overwhelmed. Doesn't mean I am in a great place or that my life doesn't stink right now. But I definitely don't think that I am in as bad a place as I could be if I hadn't found this place.
 
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