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Discussion Starter #1
To cut a long story short (or perhaps not after reading everything I've written below), I have discovered that my wife has had an affair with a work colleague.

We have been married for 9 years and have two young daughters. I have never been unfaithful, I don't go out drinking, I don't gamble, and have supported my wife in every way possible (I cook, clean, look after the kids, etc.), since I have a less stressful career than her and work from home.

About 6 weeks ago she told me that she had fallen out of love with me, which was understandable because our relationship had gone flat. We talked and talked and finally, after a couple of weeks, she suggested that we should try a trial separation to see if we could reignite our relationship or confirm that it was dead. I wasn't entirely happy with this course of action, but I thought that anything was worth trying to save our marriage. I decided to move out and found a place quite quickly, although I would not be able to move in for 7 weeks. As such, we agreed that we would continue to live together until the new place became available.

At first the atmosphere was very frosty because of the pain we were going through and the situation in general, but this abated and we started to get on well again. Although we had been sleeping in separate beds since this all blew up, one day we just fell into each other's arms and had sex. Since then, we have grown closer and been very cuddly (though we have not had sex again).

Despite this, I found she had sent many texts to this person at work over this weekend just gone, so I backed up her phone to my laptop on iTunes and looked at the file that stored all of her texts (if you want to know how to do this, just ask and I'll give you the info).

Sure enough, I found some of the actual texts she sent to this guy, basically saying sorry to him for ending their affair and that she could not leave me. He said he loved her and that he would wait, but she said that she didn't want to hurt him any more, which is pretty much what she said to me (!), and that she had to live with the cards she had been dealt.

So, here we come to the crux of the matter. She still does not know that I know about the affair, and we have grown really close again. I believe she wants to make a go of it because she's ended things with this guy, but I'm scared rigid that if I confront her she will go straight back to him and I will be left on my own. I can handle living on my own (especially as I'd be seeing my daughters five days a week), but I can't handle being without her. Mentally, I'm very strong and feel that I can deal with this by myself - without letting on that I know - but I'm worried that if I accept this and move on, she will think she's gotten away with it and then do it again to me at the first sign of a wobble in our marriage.

So, my online friends, do I accept the affair and move on, or do I confront her and see what happens?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this matter. If you've been in a similar situation, let me know how things went for you :smthumbup:
 

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Ultimately, I think your gonna come to the same decision almost everyone else in that situation has done and that is confront her about it. If you do not it will begin to eat at you. You will begin to think she is faking her feelings, you'll start walking on egg shells instead of fixing problems, the paranoia will set in and drive you insane. In the end it will be up to you completely. Your the one who has to forgive her for it and try to get over it. I'm all for fixing marriages alot of times they come out stronger, but I think she should tell you herself if she truly wants to stay with you and take her punishment. Can you live with her keeping it a secret without building up tons of resentment for her?
 

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To cut a long story short (or perhaps not after reading everything I've written below), I have discovered that my wife has had an affair with a work colleague.
Unfortunately, it's a common complaint these days. Sorry it's happened to you.

We have been married for 9 years and have two young daughters. I have never been unfaithful, I don't go out drinking, I don't gamble, and have supported my wife in every way possible (I cook, clean, look after the kids, etc.),
Uh, oh. This is not good. While women will overtly say this is good and that they want this, it's lowers her attraction to you and if you do these things particularly well causes resentment and devaluation of your manliness. All in her subconscious, of course, and she will deny it to her dying breath.


since I have a less stressful career than her and work from home.
This might me another attraction killer. Who makes more, you or your WW? Again, house husbands and quasi-house husbands, seem to have a much higher rate of adulterous wife syndrome. Even when the wife was the one who originally proposed this plan. You get viewed as beta submissive (subconsciously) and she is surrounded by real men (in her eyes) all day long. Real manly men who will take what they want (her) even though it's a societal taboo. This stuff gets the juices flowing and you don't want that.

So, here we come to the crux of the matter. She still does not know that I know about the affair, and we have grown really close again. I believe she wants to make a go of it because she's ended things with this guy, but I'm scared rigid that if I confront her she will go straight back to him and I will be left on my own. I can handle living on my own (especially as I'd be seeing my daughters five days a week), but I can't handle being without her. Mentally, I'm very strong and feel that I can deal with this by myself - without letting on that I know - but I'm worried that if I accept this and move on, she will think she's gotten away with it and then do it again to me at the first sign of a wobble in our marriage.
First, forget moving out. If she wants a separation, even after the breakup, she can move out. This is an alpha move. She won't like it, but remember this is a subconscious battle. Does she still want the separation? The primary reason that women propose this is to explore the crotches of other men while holding you in reserve if she can't find someone better.

Is the OM married?

Are the employed at the same company?

What is their professional relationship?

Is she in the 30-40 age range (max testosterone)?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi guys.

First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to give your advice. All of your answers have been very insightful and confirmed what I really knew anyway, but was too afraid to admit.

Rawrdonstein, I know that you're right in saying that I will resent her if I do not confront her, and I know that it would eat away at me, so thanks for putting me straight in that respect.

Machiavelli, you are one very perceptive person! In answer to your questions, the OM is married, they are both employed at the same company, she is a top manager and he has been working closely with her on a massive rebuilding project, although in the hierarchy she is higher than him. He will be moving on to another work facility soon, as this project is now almost complete, but he lives only about 30 miles away from where we live at the moment. In answer to your final question, she is aged 34.

Conrad&Janie and Machiavelli, on the subject of me moving out, it suits me financially because there is no way I earn enough money to be able to afford the mortgage payments (I took a back seat many years ago because her career was blossoming and it made sense for me to become the home maker). Furthermore, there isn't enough equity in the house to make it worthwhile selling and splitting the proceeds, because we only recently moved. I would actually be far better off moving out, since I will make enough money to rent a decent house, she will pay maintenance for my daughters (they will stay with me five days a week) and I will also get working tax credits to more than make up for any shortfall in what I earn.

My prime concern in all of this is that my daughters are not hurt any more than they have to be. With that in mind I am going to confront her tonight and, despite wanting to hurt her and him so badly, I will promise not to make the affair public knowledge. This way, by ensuring that my girls do not know that their mum has cheated, they will have both of us to help them through the separation, if that's the path I choose to take. Also, she is far more valuable to me in a job than out of a job, so it would be foolhardy of me to ruin her career by putting this tawdry little affair into the public domain.

Finally (sorry to take up so much of your time!), I will decide tonight, based on her first reactions, whether to separate or not. If her only thoughts are to protect her own self-interests, and if she continues to lie to me, that's it -- end of story. If she is contrite and wants forgiveness, I will weigh up my options from there.

Thanks once again for your wonderful advice; it really has helped to polarise the situation. I'll update you later tonight or tomorrow on what's happened. Take care.
 

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With that in mind I am going to confront her tonight and, despite wanting to hurt her and him so badly, I will promise not to make the affair public knowledge.
Don't do that.

Don't tell her you forgive her either, because am pretty sure it's on your mind already.

Both of these will only ensure you lasting pain.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi snap, thanks for the advice. The two reasons for not making it public are to protect my daughters and because the money she pays in maintenance will be fairly substantial, so I'm viewing her more as a source of income that will help me to bring up my girls in a nice environment.

I'm still not sure on the forgiveness side of things (well spotted, by the way!), but one thing I am sure about is that whatever I decide to do will be on my terms and in the best interests of my daughters and I.

Take care.
 

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Still,

When you speak to her tonight, just tell her that you know she hasn't been completely honest with you yet. Tell her she has one more chance (with no repercussions) to tell you the WHOLE truth.

If she doesn't, you have your answer.

I too wonder why about your refusal to disclose to others. If you are going to follow this advice, I would not recommend reconciling with her at all because your actions will allow her to think that this is something she can do again with little consequences.
 

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Why confront her tonight?
You really have no plan. It will accomplish nothing. The structure of your marriage is flawed and needs to be fixed.

I would hold off on confronting her until you form a plan for your life. And, if you care about your marriage the plan must include setting up a proper structure where you are the man and she is the woman. Spend days or weeks reading on this site or a book about how to overcome affairs. Number one is don't move out. Number 2 is document your caregiving to your children.
 

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Why confront her tonight?
You really have no plan. It will accomplish nothing. The structure of your marriage is flawed and needs to be fixed.

I would hold off on confronting her until you form a plan for your life. And, if you care about your marriage the plan must include setting up a proper structure where you are the man and she is the woman. Spend days or weeks reading on this site or a book about how to overcome affairs. Number one is don't move out. Number 2 is document your caregiving to your children.
I would also add consulting an attorney to find out your rights, her rights and how things could proceed. You don't need to move to divorce right away, but having this information will give you confidence as you formulate your plan.

Figure out what you want, plan for it, then plan for what happens if she does not agree. For example, your plan is that you get the girls five days a week. What if she does not agree. Will you stand your ground, or is there another option? Knowing the rights do each of you have will help you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Hicks and Toffer,

Thanks for taking the time to help. I must admit, what both of you say is definitely food for thought and I take on board your constructive suggestions.

Toffer, the problem with disclosing the affair to others is that they would both lose their jobs for bringing the company into disrepute and for misappropriating company funds by staying in hotels unknowingly paid for by the company in order to conduct their affair. I know this to be fact. While I couldn't give a rat's arse about him, I would stand to lose out financially if she lost her very well-paid job and then could not afford to pay me maintenance. As such, my daughters would lose out, so I'm quite prepared to sacrifice my feelings in order to help my girls in the long term.

Hicks, although I have not mentioned it on this forum, I do have a definite plan (I'm pragmatic and practical), which I worked out when she decided we should separate, but before I found out she had cheated. The plan still works for my daughters and I, so I have that in reserve should I take the decision that it's over between us.

I will certainly take your advice and document how I look after my daughters, so thanks for that suggestion too.

Unfortunately, I must confront her tonight because I cannot go for weeks on end looking her in the eye and knowing that she knows she's gotten away with it. Honestly, it would consume me entirely, and I'd be no good to my daughters in that sort of state.

Finally, as for moving out, if I decide that I cannot possibly begin to fix things, I will insist that she moves out until I have somewhere permanent to stay (I can move into a nice house in about 6 weeks) and she can continue to keep paying the mortgage in the interim, if not for me then for her daughters. Once I have gone, it will be up to her to sort her own mess out.

I value each and every comment that all of you have taken the time to make. If I challenge your comments in any way whatsoever, it's only me trying to get straight in my mind what the hell I am going to do, so please don't think that I'm 'dissing' you!

Once again, thanks to everyone for your invaluable support.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi Tall Average Guy,

Thanks for getting in touch.

As for having my daughters five days a week, my wife and I agreed when we talked about separation that this would be in their best interests -- we certainly will not use them as pawns against each other. She also believes that if it went to court, I would almost certainly gain full custody because of how I have cared for them over the years. As much as she is a cheating, lying b*tch, she will not harm our daughters' well-being any more than she has already done. However, you are right that I should take legal advice on the matter, because there are no absolutes in life (especially in a court room!). I will definitely follow that up.

Cheers!
 

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I'm sorry for your situation and I think your plan sounds well thought out. There are a lot of people on this forum who think that this type of thing should be done by "the book" but everyone's situation is different. The only advice I have is to make sure your daughters are either sound asleep or at a relative's house when you confront her. You don't want your wife using them as any sort of defense or to make you feel guilty. Take them out of the picture just for the night so you can have an open adult conversation with your wife. Also, don't agree to anything your wife says. Anything you agree to will undoubtedly come back to haunt you one way or another. In your mind, you should have two scenarios. In the first, she says what you want her to say/need her to say and you decide to try and rebuild. In the second, she says the opposite of what you want her to say/need her to say and she moves out. Immediately.

I'm impressed with your practicality in this situation. It's a very difficult place to be and I wish you the best of luck.

Also, do yourself a big favor and find an attorney. I think you're from UK so I don't know the laws, but you don't want your wife tainting all of the good attorneys. In America, if you speak to an attorney, even if you don't retain him/her, they will be conflicted out of representing your spouse. Not sure about UK.
 

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Hi C123,

Sage advice, which is very much appreciated. The girls will be safely tucked up in bed and we'll be talking well out of earshot. I will also talk to a lawyer (yes, I'm in the UK) on the matter tomorrow, after I know what I'm doing.

Take care and best wishes.
 

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Hi Tall Average Guy,

Thanks for getting in touch.

As for having my daughters five days a week, my wife and I agreed when we talked about separation that this would be in their best interests -- we certainly will not use them as pawns against each other. She also believes that if it went to court, I would almost certainly gain full custody because of how I have cared for them over the years. As much as she is a cheating, lying b*tch, she will not harm our daughters' well-being any more than she has already done. However, you are right that I should take legal advice on the matter, because there are no absolutes in life (especially in a court room!). I will definitely follow that up.

Cheers!
One last thing to remember is that the woman you used to know is gone. You remember, the one that pledged herself to you and promised to foresake all others. I note this not to be mean but to remind you that you don't know her and how she will react. She has changed. She may do what you think, but she also may lash out as she sees her world crumbling. That could mean blaming you and even using your children against you. I sincerely hope is does not come to this, but do note that she may not act in the way you think she will. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Good luck.
 

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Still, my point was not about exposing or forgiving, but rather about not telling her either way. Don't take any options off the table (like saying "I'll never divorce you" etc), it will only backfire on you.

Trust to us who've been in your shoes.
 

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Hi Toffer,

I'm still in two minds about exposing to the OM's family an her family. Whilst I can control who gets to know what, I can't guarantee that his wife will see it in the same terms as me. If she does fly off the handle, it could ultimately backfire on my plans. It's a tough one, though, there's no mistaking!
 

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Still, my point was not about exposing or forgiving, but rather about not telling her either way. Don't take any options off the table (like saying "I'll never divorce you" etc), it will only backfire on you.

Trust to us who've been in your shoes.
Hi snap,

I see what you mean now about not making rash promises. Yeah, I don't think I should be making pledges about anything whilst I'm under such duress. I'll make my decisions in a couple of days, once I've calmed down a bit and had time to think every option through. In the meantime, I won't put anything on the table that she can use against me in the future.
 
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