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Then I'm confused. What is the purpose of this thread?
Twofold. One, to get this off my chest. Two, to ask for opinions on her original intentions (based on the messages exchanged, and prior to my intervention).
I appreciate any volunteered opinions outside of this, but in my point of view some of the replies have been less than appreciative of the nuances in the situation - and consequently so have some of the proposed solutions.
 

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I did not mean to offend, my apologies. However, I am above all else a realist and statistics don't lie. As always, there is a spectrum and people will fall somewhere along it.
Even not taking issue with your contention( although I do), has it dawned on you that your wife has travelled this path three times( that you know of(( Most cheating goes undetected forever. You know of three with certainty. You may know the tip of the iceberg.))
How much tolerance do you have for this?
Do not overestimate your wife's s attractiveness such that you feel the need to put up with this.
Two things in this regard: First, odds are you are decently attractive, as well, either physically, financially or intellectually ( maybe a combo platter). If so, as a middle aged man, you may, actually, have greater access to attractive women than she does men.
Second( and I have read about this, as well as observed it), it is very common for a betrayed spouse, in his or her traumatized and depleted state, to vastly overestimate the physical attractiveness of the cheater. It is incredibly common.
I point this out as I am somewhat mystified by the tolerance for abuse you have shown, possibly indicates desperation.
Are you at all insecure about your ability to attract a woman of comparable attractiveness should you lose your wife?
 

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Twofold. One, to get this off my chest. Two, to ask for opinions on her original intentions (based on the messages exchanged, and prior to my intervention).
I appreciate any volunteered opinions outside of this, but in my point of view some of the replies have been less than appreciative of the nuances in the situation - and consequently so have some of the proposed solutions.
I think the collective wisdom on this board doesn't often find nuances to be a norm or even material to the behavior of adulterers. The behavior patterns of cheaters are so predictable there's even thread to document the "Cheaters Handbook", regardless of nuances in relationships.

Possibly your situation could be different, that's true. Many other betrayed spouses have believed so as well.

But your relationship could be the exception to the rules. From what you've said here it doesn't seem like it to me.
It seems more like your perception is cloudy and you are choosing not to consider possibilities beyond your own beliefs in spite of the advice here.

It is of course your propagative to do just that and I sincerely hope you are right. But I wouldn't bet on it.
 

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???
Have you read "No More Mr. Nice Guy" - easy to find via google
Suggest you read "Cheating in a Nutshell" - " " "

Suggest your reading this at least twice: How to Lose a Woman...Forever

Your wife is lacking in integrity and guilty of very loose boundaries.

My hunch is your path is not viable and you have already lost.

I fathom she doesn't hate or really dislike you, just doesn't have a "spark" for you any longer and is fishing for finding the spark again - and then you will get the ILYBINILWY speech. Given you are friends and room-mates - she will try to gently move on.

You best start getting your ducks in a row are be prepared for that eventually.
 

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My husband and I saved our marriage despite some here telling me I was deluded for believing it was possible. He began what I felt was an emotional affair and wanted to leave me. I 180'd my selfish behaviour and gave up all my bad habits. He worked on his nice guy and codependent tendencies.

It maybe more than the sex at this point. For my husband there was years of resentment, buried needs and pain. Our sex life had actually improved dramatically 3 years before this crisis but he'd never told me how much pain he had experienced in the 12 years before that and that all came to the surface. I spent a huge amount of time learning to understand men better until it hurt me how much I had hurt him.

What you said about knowing which part of you your wife needs I would say this is key. We are all wonderfully multifaceted. A big part of our journey back to eachother was learning to express the suppressed parts of ourselves with eachother. Human beings long to be fully expressed. At the moment your wife feels like this other man draws out a part of her you have rejected. That is his only appeal - he allows her to be more fully herself. You can definitely do that for her too. The length of marriage is irrelevant. But you need to commit wholeheartedly not just short term to win her back that is desperately unfair to both of you. Commit to being fully you from now on and never allow yourself to become complacent again.

I would say there is a bias here towards divorce and start over. Which is the perfect advice for many people. But wasn't for me and may not be for you. It's worth sticking around. I have received some incredibly helpful advice here from those I agree with and disagree with.

My two cents fwiw :) good luck! And trust your gut.
 

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Her intentions?

IMO she enjoys the fantasy with the OM. She enjoys his attention. He makes her feel young again. She implies she's interested in order to get his attention and compliments - and a cycle begins. The danger here is she is on a slippery slope. At some point she will either agree to meet him or the other man will look for another fish to play with.

Your wife probably feels she's in control and has no intention of committing adultery. That's where she's wrong. People are hot wired to bond emotionally and physically. She's playing with fire.

Her harmless online activity can escalate to a PA at anytime. It's just a bomb waiting for a trigger.

I suggest you both read: Not Just Friends by Dr Shirley Glass.
It's an easy read and based on research vs just an author's opinion.
It involved couples (good people that did not intent to cheat) that experienced infidelity, including lessons learned and how they could have avoided a lot of grief.
 

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Here is my experience. I was married for a very long time to a man who was brilliant and successful and extremely attractive. He was the ultimate in who I’m attracted to and I did everything I could to make the marriage work but it wasn’t enough. He was a serial cheater and a neglectful husband and had a number of narcissistic traits — life was always all about him all of the time. Your wife is also a serial cheater and I think you’ll keep repeating some version of your situation over and over. Why? Because she needs attention and validation from other men. People like that, and my husband was one, are rarely content with the efforts of one person. Hopefully, I’m wrong and the two of you turn this around but my suggestion is never trust her.
OP. You need to read this post over and over and over again!! You came here seeking advice and if you take anything away from here it should be this. Based on some of your comments you won't.
 

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Here is my experience. I was married for a very long time to a man who was brilliant and successful and extremely attractive. He was the ultimate in who I’m attracted to and I did everything I could to make the marriage work but it wasn’t enough. He was a serial cheater and a neglectful husband and had a number of narcissistic traits — life was always all about him all of the time. Your wife is also a serial cheater and I think you’ll keep repeating some version of your situation over and over. Why? Because she needs attention and validation from other men. People like that, and my husband was one, are rarely content with the efforts of one person. Hopefully, I’m wrong and the two of you turn this around but my suggestion is never trust her.
Agreed. No matter what happens short-term, you will be back, with her 4th or 5th. Sorry.
 

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OP, I will answer your title question.

Yes. If they go on any work trip, this is a strong possibility.

You seem to push back on many comments, so I won’t waste any time providing any advice other than you mentioned that you know what the problem in your marriage is. So, you either fix it and find a way for no work trips, or your concerns may be realized.
 

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My request then would be for you to provide me with some solid numbers. Anything peer-reviewed out there?
If not, then my point stands and is neither proven nor disproven.
When you make a definitive statement of fact, the burden of proof rest entirely with you.

Also, when you state that “If not, then my point stands and is neither proven nor disproven”, are you not saying that you are making an important decision based on a belief that is neither proven nor disproven?

Your marriage is in real danger. You need to take immediate and decisive action before it is to late.
 

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Here are my observations:

Your wife IS cheating on you. Maybe not physically but definitely emotionally and the intent for it to turn physical is very clear.

She is pushing the boundaries just a little further each time and it will (as you have said) inevitably end up in full blown and passionate sex. That is when she will start to fall in love with him and replace you in her heart completely.

Your "confrontations" are very obviously completely ineffective. They seem to have no effect on her other than to get her thinking about how to push the boundary a little further the next time.

You are overthinking the reasons why and her state of mind etc. She is bored with you, is feeling horny, and lust is gradually taking over and driving her to the more exciting and titillating dark side. Again a path that has an inevitable ending.

And finally, from your responses, you are not happy to entertain any of the harsher comments here - you seem to like the lightweight and ineffectual responses here by calling them "thoughtful". In short you do not really want to grab this bull by the horns and deal what is very clear in front of you. And that is why people are questioning what you really want from this thread.

Your wife will eventually screw somebody at work that she fancies (if she hasn't already done it). And somehow I think you will still be wondering about it.
 

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When you make a definitive statement of fact, the burden of proof rest entirely with you.

Also, when you state that “If not, then my point stands and is neither proven nor disproven”, are you not saying that you are making an important decision based on a belief that is neither proven nor disproven?

Your marriage is in real danger. You need to take immediate and decisive action before it is to late.
It may be too late for the marriage , based on his snooping into her accounts and emails and she doesn’t seem to have a huge issue with that continuing. One needs to consider why that would be the case.
 

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My husband and I saved our marriage despite some here telling me I was deluded for believing it was possible. He began what I felt was an emotional affair and wanted to leave me. I 180'd my selfish behaviour and gave up all my bad habits. He worked on his nice guy and codependent tendencies.

It maybe more than the sex at this point. For my husband there was years of resentment, buried needs and pain. Our sex life had actually improved dramatically 3 years before this crisis but he'd never told me how much pain he had experienced in the 12 years before that and that all came to the surface. I spent a huge amount of time learning to understand men better until it hurt me how much I had hurt him.

What you said about knowing which part of you your wife needs I would say this is key. We are all wonderfully multifaceted. A big part of our journey back to eachother was learning to express the suppressed parts of ourselves with eachother. Human beings long to be fully expressed. At the moment your wife feels like this other man draws out a part of her you have rejected. That is his only appeal - he allows her to be more fully herself. You can definitely do that for her too. The length of marriage is irrelevant. But you need to commit wholeheartedly not just short term to win her back that is desperately unfair to both of you. Commit to being fully you from now on and never allow yourself to become complacent again.

I would say there is a bias here towards divorce and start over. Which is the perfect advice for many people. But wasn't for me and may not be for you. It's worth sticking around. I have received some incredibly helpful advice here from those I agree with and disagree with.

My two cents fwiw :) good luck! And trust your gut.
We do not know for certain that the OM only provides the intellectual stimulation that is alleged to be lacking. It might be true, but, clearly, there could be other sources of attraction . His wife has now cheated at least three separate times. That speaks volumes about her.
The original question was has it or will it become physical. It would appear from their emails, that in this latest affair, no, not yet. Who knows about the two previous ones?
It seems pretty clear it was headed toward going physical, however. Which begs the question " isn't intent the real gravimen of the harm/betrayal?"
I think we tend to project our own biases toward tolerance of betrayal, and this poster, based on history, has a high one vs me.
But, going forward, I wonder it these betrayals have not permanently denatured the relationship. They would for me, as I would know with certainty that my wife would betray me under certain circumstances. That would bother me, make me feel subordinate, as well as insecure. I could not live happily.
But, to each his own.
 

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Thanks for the reply. I respectfully disagree. Yes we are unhappy about one specific aspect of our relationship - but in every other way what we have blows every other relationship out of the water. We've both been in the game long enough to know that we've found the right one (soulmates, without trying to sounding corny). Getting a divorce would be a total kneejerk, and guarantee we both end up unhappy. Despite our history and what she has done, there is no doubt in my mind that things can be fixed.
This is sounding increasingly like an “open” marriage that neither of you realized to be the inevitable outcome of non-existent/assumed/unpoliced boundaries. Your wife being susceptible to sexual attention from other men, while you’ve felt it ok to substitute intellectual stimulation for intimacy with your wife.
 

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some of the replies have been less than appreciative of the nuances in the situation
First, this place is the perfect place to get it off your chest. Regarding your comment above, many if not most new posters start here thinking that their situation is unique and that no one has complained of the identical problem. The fact is, most of these situations here are, for all practical purposes, identical to thousands of others already posted. The scenery changes a little, but the plot remains the same.

It's hard to hear the truth when it differs from what your things are. People will help posters with their situations, but they have to be willing to listen, and they have to be willing to take action. Our answers are not always right (as you can see from posters having different opinions), but you would be stunned to see how many times a new poster comes here in denial, gets pissed when he or she gets the truth, and ultimately learns that we were at least mostly correct in our determinations.

I hope this site is a help to you. It can be if you want it to.
 

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But going forward, I wonder it these betrayals have not permanently denatured the relationship. They would for me, as I would know with certainty that my wife would betray me under certain circumstances. That would bother me, make me feel subordinate, as well as insecure. I could not live happily.
But, to each his own.
That is a good point. My husband showed me the messages himself and had never done anything like it before. I am not sure we would survive a second time. The pain is like nothing else. I take nothing for granted anymore which in some ways is good and in other ways hard.

The fact that the OP can read his wife's messages in real time will do more than anything we can say I suspect. It will either restore trust or demonstrate the marriage is beyond repair.

It's dangerous though. I saw one guy on TAM move from absolute love for his wife to permanent distrust of all women after reading the affair in real time on their messages. He used the inside info to get a great divorce but I think it broke something in him :-/

I am so sorry you are going through this @MaroonedDoc you will find a lot of support here. I know the advice can feel overwhelming and I had to take a step back in the face of some of it but it's worth coming back.

People here genuinely care and would love to know how you are getting on.
 

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Each betrayed spouse (BS), betrayed emotionally or physically, should make a decision to gain a new life or betrayer. I just want to point out that BSs shouldn’t blame themselves in any way or rationalize the behavior of a cheater.

The cheaters cheat not because there is a reason (problems in marriage, mental health, depression, childhood abuse, postpartum issues, etc.), they cheat because it is their morality. Cheaters cheat because they can and want to. They don't consider it as a sin and judge others by themselves. And they don't even notice that they are transgressing moral boundaries while texting, sexting to "just friends", sending them nude pics. This is beyond their understanding of what is good and what is bad. They don't betray themselves and don't realize that they betray others, because it is not inherent in their personality.

It's impossible to fight this when you're already in a relationship with a cheater. This should have been foreseen at the start of dating, but at that moment we were in a love fog and were not be able soberly judge our partner. Emotional and physical cheaters are adult men and women, so we can ask the question, whether is it possible to change their morality? Can anyone at this age (not being child) change their inner self through counseling, conversations, books, convincing to be a "good" person, parent, being treated her (him) like a queen (king)? It seems to me that it is needed a very strong shock to change someone's morality - not the sock of being caught cheating in the act or being confronted.

About friends of opposite sex. Henry Miller once said that no matter what a man and a woman talk about, the main topic of their conversation is sex. All the posts about infidelity or examples in literature, cinema etc. show that if person has a close "just friend" of opposite gender this "friend" always becomes his (her) lover in the end. Emotional attraction turns into sexual attraction and the stronger it is, the sooner sex will begin.

So "just friendship" should have natural boundaries, and the most important boundary should be that such "friends" never spend time together alone unnecessarily, just the two of them. Long intimate conversations on the phone, intimate correspondence, secrets and so on are also unacceptable. And this is not a violation of personal freedom, but a generally accepted moral norm.

If people are married (or are in a stable relationship), they should be aware of their responsibility to their spouse (bf, gf), distinguish what is good and what is bad and when to stop before "friendship" becomes betrayal - emotional or physical. A "friend" should never have priority higher than a spouse (bf, gf) in any aspect. Otherwise, potential wayward spouse should be honest in feelings towards everyone and leave her (his) spouse (bf, gf).

In all cases of cheating that I am aware of, two things help BS to overcome terrible circumstances. You have to put yourself in the first place in any case and think about how it will be better for you personally. Further ask yourself from the very beginning, is your wife the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with? Is it worth living with her, constantly snooping on her gadgets, arguing and confronting every day, tormenting yourself with suspicions of being cheated on? There's no difference for you whether it's an emotional affair or a physical one. An affair is a betrayal and that says it all.
 

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I think the collective wisdom on this board doesn't often find nuances to be a norm or even material to the behavior of adulterers. The behavior patterns of cheaters are so predictable there's even thread to document the "Cheaters Handbook", regardless of nuances in relationships.

Possibly your situation could be different, that's true. Many other betrayed spouses have believed so as well.

But your relationship could be the exception to the rules. From what you've said here it doesn't seem like it to me.
It seems more like your perception is cloudy and you are choosing not to consider possibilities beyond your own beliefs in spite of the advice here.

It is of course your propagative to do just that and I sincerely hope you are right. But I wouldn't bet on it.
So true...

He wants his marriage to work.
And, at all costs, seemingly, there is no amount of abuse that is too much.

Our OP values pretty things, beyond their intrinsic worth and their level of comfort.
To their detriment, many people never let go of their dreams.

Aye, that rose is pretty, oh my, beware the thorns when gripping her limbs.

She is on the hunt; I suspect his wife will, one day do the walk-away.
 
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