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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been married to my wife for 8 years. We have 4 beautiful kids. However, a week and a half ago, my wife told me that she is confused and has fallen out of love with me. I was devastated to hear that statement because she means the world to me. I believe I am mostly at fault because I have neglected her for basically the past year. I was busy with my job and I had different priorities. I did not pay as much attention to her as I should have. I was also very negative about things due to the fact that I am competitive and wanted the best for the kids both academically and athletically. I have scheduled marriage counseling and want it to work out. However, I do not know how she wants it to work anymore. She would never cheat on me because she was cheated on in her first marriage. Over the past month, she has been talking and texting with an old friend from high school. He does not live in the area, but she plans on visiting some friends in the same that he lives (so she will probably see him). My theory is that she has developed a friendship with him, and he is feeding into that. He has swooped in at the right time. I believe that this "relationship" is possibly preventing her from being able to get her feelings back for me. I have changed for the good over the last couple of weeks (acknowledged by her), but I think I may be too late. I have read a couple of e-mails from my wife to him and she has said that her "head is spinning" from her chats with him. She also stated that she cannot promise anything but would let "the road lead them where it takes them". I am scared and lonely. I want the marriage to work. What can I do? I have never been a jealous husband, but something is different here. I feel that if I tell her to stop talking to him or tell her to not visit her friends, she will get upset. I am trying to rebuild the relationship by being the "old husband". I am doing a good job of that, but I do not know if it going to work if her heart is not into it. Any advice would be helpful.
 

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You story sounds a lot like mine, (search for me 1st post), she might be having what is called here an Emotional Affair or EA, research as much as you can, tell her sincerely but without been disrespectful what that friendship is doing to you and ask her to cut the EA with her friend. Start builiding trust again.

Ask her what she wants and how can help to fix the problems, but she wants to want it also, or it will be a lot harder to do.

I wish the best of luck, like I said I feel you and I am going thru the same thing, but in my case we both wanted to fix the problems.

Bella
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your post. I definitely want our marriage to work for us and for the kids. She says she does to, but I think this EA is in the way. I tried to tell her that it did bother me, and she wanted to know what made this friendship different. I tried to tell her that I saw the e-mails/text messages and that made her upset. She said that some things were taken out of context. I am trying to build that bond again and do not want to take a step backward by approaching her again about it. She has told me what she wanted which is the old "husband" - caring, positive, and willing to listen. I have become that person again over the last week and plan to remain that way. I have found my inner good after this whole situation. I know it will take time, but it definitely kills me that she is still not very loving and kind of distant. I do trust her, but this "friend" has had perfect timing and I believe he is saying all of the right things to her and preventing to a certain extent our reattachment. Emotionally, she is in a fantasy world when she talks to him. I feel that I am fighting an uphill battle against a long distance relationship.
 

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Do a lot of research on this site and others and find everything to do with EAs, they hurt the most and need to be stop before you can rebuild. Like I said I am talking from experience here, I never (and still do not) consider my emails with my best friend (male) and EA, but what was said there hurt my H and cost me his trust. She needs to see and stop it before you can both move on, and start rebuilding. I can not recommend any books or anything like that but search for Morts' emails and read everything you can, to help the 2 of you understand what is going on.

Patience and reassurance is all I can tell you.

Good luck
 

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Badger 45-

Women in general are much more diffuse in their response than men. If you do something they like, they may not respond as quick as you hoped. The fact that she is not giving the other guy a completely green light is good.

If you keep up the new behaviour, it will gradually win her over. The other thing that works wonder is flirting without and end in mind. Just brief gestures... It all helps to warm the mood. You need to think more like a woman and evaluate things over time.
 

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Just continue being the "old husband" you were that she loved and comfortable with.. If you've been busy with some things, make sure that you give time to spend with her.. a quality time that is only both you, that you will enjoy.. just like before.
Don't lose your confidence.. she's your wife, you know her more than this guy.. you could still avoid this EA.. and save your marriage.

Good luck! :)
 

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I know it will take time, but it definitely kills me that she is still not very loving and kind of distant. I do trust her, but this "friend" has had perfect timing and I believe he is saying all of the right things to her and preventing to a certain extent our reattachment. Emotionally, she is in a fantasy world when she talks to him. I feel that I am fighting an uphill battle against a long distance relationship.
It is highly likely this is an EA and you are correct, it is clouding her image of you. Just because it is long distance does not mean she won’t fall for him. Reading between the lines of her email it’s likely she is doing just that by not closing the door on a future with him. In all honesty the relationship needs to stop before it does further damage to her. I would let her know that you are doing what you can to salvage the marriage in changing back to the old husband. Good for you. But she will need to address things also and this relationship is damaging to the marriage. I have traveled this road and it is difficult to bring a spouse back and impossible if they are in communications with someone they are emotionally tied to. Even though it might be difficult I would discourage her from the visit and keep physical contact out of the mix. She should explain to him that she wants to focus on her marriage to see if it can be repaired. If he is truly a friend and wants what’s best for her he will honor that request. If he does not honor it then you likely know his intentions. While you want to save things, give her a little space and don’t dote on her. Let your love show through in your actions, not your words. And if you intend to change yourself the save the marriage commit to them for life. Strap in this will likely take a lot of time. It’s is a tough road to travel but can be done. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for your responses. They have been really helpful. However, I do have a question. How do I go about stopping this "long distance" EA without harming the reattachment that I am trying to accomplish? My spouse is very headstrong and will probably deny the fact that it is even going on. However, she is continuing to text and call him. Should I wait until we attend marriage counseling in a couple of weeks? My idea is to vent my frustration with the counselor and have them ask questions about it. I am worried that if I stand by and do nothing their relationship will continue to grow until she actually sees him in a couple of months. However, I do not have a whole lot of proof that she is doing this. It is just my gut instinct telling me that something is wrong and some general phone records. I am getting to my wits end with this whole scenario. Thanks for your support.
 

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Wow... I can TOTALLY relate. My wife was having an affair behind my back. She was convinced that she was in love with another man. Reality set in only after she put her feelings down on paper and then read them out loud.

I showed her our daughter as she lay in twilight mode early in the morning zoning out to Nick Jr. I asked her if he is worth all of the losses that she is about to experience.

That is what brought her back to reality. She had to see the positive things that we have created together. She had to see beyond the fact that I was neglectful. She had to also understand that I understood where I went wrong, and that I was willing to change it not for her, but for myself.

It may be beneficial for you to check out the threads that others have started and to look at some of the resources here on the site to see that you are not alone on this, and that this problem is really rather commonplace.

Can it be fixed? Maybe it can and maybe it can't. It all depends upon how determined one partner or the other is to end it... Not a lack of willingness to fix it.

It sounds to me like your relationship has succumb to the "Seven year itch" Check out this thread: http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/4557-marriage-handbook.html. This may be a good place to start to understand how things end up this way.

Good luck on this. I was in the same boat as you and I seem to have been able to work hard enough to rekindle feelings in my wife.

~Moog
 

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However, I do have a question. How do I go about stopping this "long distance" EA without harming the reattachment that I am trying to accomplish?
I tend to view this sort of thing as symptomatic rather than causal. That is to say that although it won't help if it develops further, the reason it is developing in the first place is due to her own dissatisfaction with her life. Part of that is down to you, and part of it is her simply wanting to take flight.

The taking flight part can be very intense but can often burn out, provided this dissatisfaction (with you) part is taken off the table quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I appreciate the feedback. I have been a changed man ever since this event occurred. My wife has acknowledged that I have been very different and has been shocked at the 180 my attitude has taken. However, I feel like I need to do more. This whole situation has woken me up to the way I should have been treating her. You hit right on the head that my concern is how much does she want to end it. I am totally dedicated to fixing our issues. I just do not how much she is going to be. Maybe, I just need to be patient and continue to be the man that she wants me to be. I hope that takes over the feelings that she has in this possible EA. Thanks again for the support and the different resources.
 

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Thank you for your responses. They have been really helpful. However, I do have a question. How do I go about stopping this "long distance" EA without harming the reattachment that I am trying to accomplish? My spouse is very headstrong and will probably deny the fact that it is even going on. .
She is likely in denial that it is an EA and until she understands that he is too involved in her emotions she won’t see the red flags. Ask her to commit to total non contact for a specific period time. Weeks or until you have had a couple of sessions with the counselor. Let her know you feel it is an EA and when she ends contact have her look at her own emotions about it. How does it make her feel? Does she feel loss and sadness. Only after contact ended in the EA my wife was in did she understand her true feelings for her. It both saddened and frightened her.
 

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Maybe, I just need to be patient and continue to be the man that she wants me to be.
This is an insurmountable task. It cannot be done. Here's why...

You can change temporarily for someone else only to make them happy in the short term, but only once you take a good hard look at yourself and decide that you need to make any changes for yourself can you make permanent changes.

Also, be careful not to raise the bar so high that you cannot reach it later. This is only setting yourself up for disaster.

Women only want to see that you are understanding and caring. They don't need you to place them on a pedestal that you cannot reach.

Just make the changes that you want to make for yourself, and then be yourself. This way, you cannot fail (especially if you have already grabbed her attention).

Also, don't feel the need to tell her what you are doing - She will see it on her own and it will mean so much more!

Good luck!

~Moog
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Moog, I agree with what you said and definitely relate to your Marriage Handbook (almost fits us to a "T"). I need to be myself which I continue to plan on doing. However, even though I believe that she is having an EA with this other person, I only have minimal evidence and a very big gut feeling. I believe it is getting in the way of our "reconcilation" process, but if I approach her and tell her to stop talking to him, then I feel I will destroy our relationship. I have never been a jealous person and she will want to know why I feel different with this person. If I tell her that I have certain e-mails (ie sending her flight itinerary to him), then she will not trust me anymore. I also may be reading into the whole from the wrong point of view. Everything could be innocent and she could be just hanging out with old friends at a reunion. At this point, I feel that I am stuck between a rock and a hard place (fighting an uphill battle against this other person). I have contemplated calling him and laying it on the line (he lives in another state). I hate the way I feel and want it to be over with (obviously, with our marriage working). How does one keep functioning normally everyday?
 

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I read your story and thought I was reading my own. I really feel for you. I would suggest going with her on her trip if you can. That way you will know what she is doing. I told my wife that I wanted to know every time she talked to him but that didn't work.
 
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