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trombone38444 posted 11/20/2012 15:07 PM

I have been meandering on this site for a couple of days. I am light years from beginning to understand all the two-letter lingo people use on this site (wish there was a glossary somewhere).

I am a 52-year-old professional who is trying desperately to get over my wife's infidelity. For now, I'll spare the details, as it could go on a long time. But suffice to say, the hurt never leaves. And no matter how tearful I get, I can't even get a sympathetic hand on a shoulder. I have shook from crying so hard, and all I get are snide remarks about what her parents did to her when she cried.

Worse, she is taking few steps to try to put this behind us. On the one hand she keeps insisting it's over, but about once-a-week there has been a new discovery of her latest communication with "him." And I now feel I have totally lost the ability to tell her that ALL communication with him must and will stop.

I know I am dealing with a female version of a mid-life crisis here, with all she has been doing. But she refuses marital counseling, and what little counseling she has sought for herself, she has admitted she hasn't come within 100 miles of admitting to this person what she's done.

Still, I love her. I have committed myself to a daily list of goals of things that will try to improve our marriage and will be directed towards her. I don't let a day go by without telling her I love her.

But she continues to do next to nothing. She seems annoyed she even has to repeat the words, "I'm sorry." She gives every sign of someone who is desperately trying to put life back to what it was before the affair.

I even took a work leave of absence to do what I had to do to get her counseling and put us on the road to recovery. We've now been home exactly five weeks, I am back to work, but I'm not at all convinced that anything is either changed or better.

Worse, I am starting to lose my will to keep fighting for this marriage. I spend most of my time around her at home either working for her or walking on egg-shells, afraid to say the wrong thing.

I literally find myself acting like the person who committed the affair is supposed to act (at least, I think so). Which means she both gets to have the affair and seems utterly unaffected by what it has done.

Her two daughters have essentially disowned her over this, and STILL it hasn't done much except to annoy her.

I just don't know what to do next except trying to find patience I seem to be running out of, and trying to do more of what I have been doing.

But what can one do where a spouse may finally "GET IT"?

2oldforthis posted 11/20/2012 15:12 PM

First Welcome to SI. I am sorry you are here but there is alot of great advice here for you.

The abbreviations are in The Healing Library at the left hand of the screen. When you are in the healing library look at the top of the page and you will see a tab for the abbreviations.

[This message edited by 2oldforthis at 3:18 PM, November 20th (Tuesday)]

2oldforthis posted 11/20/2012 15:16 PM

Second you must read about the 180. You need to 180 her. She needs to understand that she can't have contact with the OP and try to R with you. No contact. Make sure she understands that you will not try to R with her under those circumstances. If she agrees then she needs to send a no contact letter to the OP.

Keep posting. Welcome

doesitgetbetter posted 11/20/2012 15:24 PM

I'm so sorry you're here trombone!

I have to say, it really sounds like thngs are a bit backwards here. First and foremost, you probably shouldn't be chasing your WW (wayward wife). She's still talking to the OM (other man) on a weekly basis, so she's still actively involved in an affair whether they are having sex still or not. By chasing her and telling her how wonderful she is and how much you love her, you may be coming off as a clingy, weak husband. I'm not saying this to offend you at all, and I'm not saying that is what you are, but when a WS (wayward spouse) is in the affair fog, this is they type of thinking they can be doing.

So, what to do? You should read up on the 180 in the healing library. The 180 will help you not seem like that guy. It will help you get things together for your own protection, and possibly can help shake her out of her WS fog. Sometimes a WS won't wake up until they think they've lost their BS (betrayed spouse). This often quickly clears up that WS fog and helps them see what they have been risking all along.

However, not all WS's will come out of the fog soon, or ever. Some are just the kind of person that feels no regret for cheating, and makes no excuses for it, sort of like Jesse James who was married to Sandra Bullock and a slew of others.

For you own sanity, I recommend the 180, and doing it hard! Disconnect from her, do your own activities, do all the things the 180 suggests and do your best not to waiver unless you see some real changes from your WW.

I know it's hard, and I know it feels wrong to disconnect from the one you want to keep so bad, but it will be the best thing to wake her up to what she's doing.

Let me share a personal story.

I have a relative who has always been very anti-180. He feels he can love his wife back into his arms. This cousin spent a year dating his wife while she was living on her own and, and the wife was carrying on several affairs at the same time. The cousin knew about this, but thought he could love her back home. After a year or so, she did come back home, but only for legal reasons. Turns out she found out she stood a great chance of losing custody of her kids since she had "abandoned" them for a year, so she moved back in to sleep in the guest room. She continued to carry on several more affairs and never laid a hand on the cousin. Now, another year later, she has decided she stands a good chance at custody and has filed for a divorce, and still refuses to leave the house. He definitely couldn't love her back home.

Me, I did 180 mildly. I was never very good at it, but I at least did some things. Today, it's been almost 5 years since I found out about my H's (husband's) affairs, and we are reconciled and happy with each other. My H stopped cold turkey, dropped everyone and everything he was doing because he saw me becoming distant and that made him realize he was losing me.

Post here often Trombone, you will get the best advice you will ever hear from people who have walked in your shoes and been down this path. Good luck to you.

trombone38444 posted 11/20/2012 15:26 PM

OP R 180 - I have a lot to learn, don't I?

Look, we did the no-contact letter - I made her throw away her cellphone from all the lying she did on it. Has not helped.

I have asked her to reverse the roles and see what she would think. That has produced the ultimate "flat-spot" on her face. She doesn't even begin to get that, at least in part because she knows I would never do that.

These days, all confrontation seems to do is that latest charge, "All you want to do is argue and fight." When the truth is, "NO, I WANT YOU TO COME COMPLETELY CLEAN, ACT LIKE A PERSON WHO HAS COMMITTED A WRONG, AND START WORKING FAR HARDER THAN I AM TO PUT THIS BACK."

7yrsflushed posted 11/20/2012 15:27 PM

welcome to the site no one wants to join Trombone. I feel your pain as does everyone else here. Please take time to read through the information in the healing library. There is a ton of good info there.

As another BH, betrayed husband, I understand how you feel. Please understand that you can only control yourself. Your wife does nto soudn remorseful at all. You can't nice your WW, wayword wife, back to your marriage or back to you. It sounds like the A is still going on or at a minimum there is still contact. If that is true then your wife is still in the FOG and not really your wife anymore. Please read up on the 180 in the healing library. This will get you focused on healing yourself.

Also keep posting, there are a ton of good peole around here and everyone has been through this as well so they all have good advice. Please keep posting, vent, as needed, ask questions, and keep reading. This is a safe place for you to find support.

2oldforthis posted 11/20/2012 15:29 PM

Op/ other person,
R/ reconcilation

the 180 is in the Healing Library. It is a firm hard approach to someone who is not helping in the R

7yrsflushed posted 11/20/2012 15:38 PM

These days, all confrontation seems to do is that latest charge, "All you want to do is argue and fight." When the truth is, "NO, I WANT YOU TO COME COMPLETELY CLEAN, ACT LIKE A PERSON WHO HAS COMMITTED A WRONG, AND START WORKING FAR HARDER THAN I AM TO PUT THIS BACK."

She can't. She is still in the FOG of the A so she isn't capable of rational or logical thought right now. If you want to get her attention, give her NO atttention. It will suck but you should detach big time. It is so counterintuitive and goes agaisnt everything in your being but so far you trying to save the Marriage has not worked out for you right.

So start working on yourself. Do stuff you want to do without her, workout, get a hobby, take some lessons, go to counseling for yourself, go see a lawyer. The intent it to get yourself to a safe place so you can stop the hurt. The only thing you can control is yourself. Your wife may or may not come back to the marriage but once she realizes you have removed yourself as option 2 to the other man she will have no choice but to wake up if she is going to wake up.

ETA(edit to Add): if the Other Man was married tell the other man's wife. also will help blow up the Affair.

[This message edited by 7yrsflushed at 3:41 PM, November 20th (Tuesday)]

kansas1968 posted 11/20/2012 15:50 PM

I agree here. The 180 and a HARD 180 is the only chance you have of saving your marriage. You are rewarding her for the affair by being so frightened of losing her, you are pampering her.

If she won't or can't snap out of this, then you are much, much, better without her. She will reoffend if she doesn't have to face the concequenses of her affair.

See an attorney, get advice on where you are financially and what you can expect in the divorce. Ignore her as much as you can and start getting out of the house frequently.

You don't have to tell her anything about your comings and goings. Until she is fully focused on you, she will continue to focus on him.

I am so, so, sorry, but that is the brutal truth. You can not appear needy. That only encourages her to continue her bad behavior.

She may come around, realize what she is going to lose, and get to work on reconcilliation.

Hugs to you in this terrible time. Someone will always be here, online, for you, any hour of the day or night. BSs have a lot of trouble sleeping!

jtom posted 11/20/2012 15:54 PM

Iam sorry you find yourself here, but you will find this site a source of strength. NOW Ive been in your shoes so dont take it personally about what Iam about to say. That being, TIME TO MAN UP!Immediately start the 180 an make an appointment with an attorney an file for divorce. Thats right file for divorce. You dont have to go thru with it, but its time to take the play away from her an knock her off the fence! Also if the OM is married contact his wife have a face to face meeting with her an TELL HER, give her all the information you have. Show your wife you mean business. Its time to go nuclear. You might be surprised what happens.

nowiknow23 posted 11/20/2012 16:03 PM

Welcome to SI, trombone. I'm so sorry you have to be here, but very glad you found us.

From what you've described, it seems that your WW (wayward wife) is still in her affair.

I have committed myself to a daily list of goals of things that will try to improve our marriage and will be directed towards her. I don't let a day go by without telling her I love her.
The cold hard truth is that there is nothing you can do to "win" her back. You are putting so much effort into making the marriage better. What is she doing? By the sounds of it, nothing. She doesn't want to talk about it, doesn't want to comfort you, and mocks your pain? What a cold and hurtful response.

Please read up on the 180 in the Healing Library. I will bump a few threads up to the top of the Just Found Out forum for you to read, too.

For now, stop trying to "nice guy" her back to the marriage, and instead focus your time and energy on your own self care. Drink plenty of water. Eat, even if you don't feel like it. Work some exercise into your day - a walk, a run, a bike ride - whatever works for you.

Keep posting. We're here for you, trombone.


RyeBread posted 11/20/2012 16:15 PM

I'm sorry hear what you are going through. This is a great place for advice and insight. Lots of other men here are facing what you are facing. You are not alone.

Worse, I am starting to lose my will to keep fighting for this marriage. I spend most of my time around her at home either working for her or walking on egg-shells, afraid to say the wrong thing.

I literally find myself acting like the person who committed the affair is supposed to act (at least, I think so). Which means she both gets to have the affair and seems utterly unaffected by what it has done.

I would suggest you might think about this question:

"What are you doing for you?"

She is going to have to do the work to repair what she has done. You can't do that for her.

I found with my WW (wayward wife) if I allow her to walk on me she will. Its in her character to do so and sounds like your wife is the same way. You deserve better treatment than that. If she won't work on making restitution for what she has done, you may need to reconsider the relationship.

It's tough my friend and I totally understand that. I'm going through coming to grips with that myself.

[This message edited by RyeBread at 4:16 PM, November 20th (Tuesday)]

1985 posted 11/20/2012 17:34 PM

You sound exactly like I was in the early period right after DDay. Let me tell you the first major hard lesson you have to learn.
You cannot "nice" her or "love" her into acting rationally. At my DDay in 1985 there was no internet and thus no great place like SI to get advice so I foolishly broke my back trying to do anything and everything I could think of to show her love and caring and convince her that her life with me was really quite good etc etc. And the more I did, the more abuse I got in return.
You see, that kind of action makes you look weak and pathetic to the Wayward. She knows that if roles were reversed she would be by God busting your chops, making you crawl and making your life a living hell. And since you are behaving just the opposite to her, in her currently screwed up state of mind you look weak and pathetic. And she knows she doesn't want a weak and pathetic man because Mr Wonderful OM (Other Man) is oh so macho and perfect.
That is where the 180 comes into play. You don't have to be cruel or even mean to her. You just need to demonstrate that you can forge a life of your own; that if she doesn't want you, you will be ok; that you will not grovel and beg because you have self confidence. Now, all Betrayed Spouses (BS) here know how painful and difficult it is to really execute a 180. We all know the feeling of loving the WS (Wayward Spouse) so much that doing a 180 scares you to death because of fear that it will drive her away for good.
But -- she is already halfway gone! She cheated. She betrayed. She shows no remorse or empathy. WHY? Because she feels that she is so powerful she doesn't need to. She cheated, treats you like shit, and you still bend backwards, sideways etc to try and make her love you. She doesn't need to act rationally, remorseful or loving to have you there as an option or a backup plan to OM.
What is needed, if she is ever to be brought back, is to make her realize that you WILL move on without her. That you CAN do it. That she actually might have to pay for her actions with losing you and the life you have and can give her. And that is what the 180 is all about. A wake up call to her. Some people use moving out; or filing for separation (S); or even filing for divorce (D)to give the wake up call. Those will work but obviously are a bit more drastic than the 180. They can be a step 2 if the 180 isn't sending a strong enough message.
I know how terrified and distraught you feel at the moment. Just know that the situation can be turned around. Your marriage can be salvaged. But to do so you first have to get her to where she is forced to consider that there is a very real probability that she will lose you as a husband, at your choice of timing, if she doesn't reverse course and get her act together and start acting to help you heal while also working at fixing herself. And that won't happen from trying to "nice" her there.
Peace to you .

nomistakeaboutit posted 11/20/2012 17:48 PM

Hi Trombone,

First, here is the link to learning about the 180:

I provided the link, because to me, it is a bit hard to find on this site. Since everyone is saying "do the 180", I wanted to be sure you have direct access to it.

The only other thing I can offer is total empathy for your frustration, a frustration caused by your wife not being remorseful. I experienced the SAME thing. Blank stares. I felt like I had been transported to some parallel universe. I remember saying to my xWW (ex wayward wife), "you don't seem to be feeling this."

I also tried to get her to reverse the situation in her mind, to help her see, but that didn't do it either. Instead, she did what they call here, "blame shifting". She'd say crazy things like, "you always spent too much time with the kids, to the exclusion of everything else." ( Uh. Excuse me? You mean you slept with another man because I spent too much time taking care of our two year old son and five year old daughter? )

Sorry. Back to you. So, if you don't mind, I'm going to be blunt, so prepare yourself. You're faced with a really fucked-up situation. Your wife cheated on you. She's not particularly bothered by the whole thing. Her attitude is more like, "What, you want to talk about the affair, AGAIN!!?? I already SAID I was sorry. What do you want, a pint of blood!!??"

She does NOT get it, at all. She betrayed you and doesn't even feel that bad about it. To be more precise, she is not doubled-over in remorsefulness. So, here's the blunt part. She may not want you right now. She may want him. She CANNOT have both. You will not share her. If she chooses to maintain contact with the OP (other person), she is choosing to risk losing you. Once she really knows this, it will either change her behavior, or it won't. You need to be prepared for either outcome, which is torture, in and of itself.

Keep posting with updates and questions. You hit the infidelity help motherload when you found this site. Good luck.

[This message edited by nomistakeaboutit at 5:59 PM, November 20th (Tuesday)]

nomistakeaboutit posted 11/20/2012 18:11 PM


Please read 1985's post again, carefully. If you want to save your marriage, he has shown you the way and explained everything perfectly.

And again, being very blunt, you may not be able to save your marriage at this point, because your wife may not want to be married to you any longer, but your best path has been pointed put to you by people who have recommended implementing the 180. 1985 put bright lights on the path for you and explained why it is the best path to take.

trebleclef posted 11/20/2012 18:32 PM

Sorry you have joined our club T.

You CANNOT "love" or "nice" or "beg" or "chase" an unrepentant spouse back into the relationship. You have no control over their feelings or actions. Only your own. And unfortunately those things usually only serve to make you seem weak and even less desirable.

Be "hard to get". Draw large lines in the sand and insist on consequences. Get tough. Refuse to be a third in your marriage. Refuse to have ANY relationship with her unless she is 110% remorseful and PROVING it every day with every decision and response that she makes, because anything less will be doomed to failure. Reconciliation is not for the faint of heart and it takes TWO determined, committed, and courageous people, and even then it often doesnt "take". She is nowhere close.

Take out all the biggest guns you have and use them immediately. (They lose their impact quickly with time. ). It may or may not bring her around, but it's your best bet.

Tred posted 11/20/2012 18:48 PM


Another alternative to the 180 is just divorce her. Seriously, in some cases it's what's needed for a wakeup call. There's a real good discussion here:

By the way, the thread is not pro-divorce (nor am I), it's pro-betrayed spouse, and why they should consider divorce as an option right away. It might give you some good ideas. I'm sorry you are here.

brkn_heartd posted 11/20/2012 19:42 PM

First, I am sorry that you need to be here. However, there is lots of wisdom and help here.

In reading your story, it sounded similar to mine. My Husband was very similar in his response for several months. I acted very much like you while he was so foggy. I finally couldn't take the pain anymore. I found I too, was like you and didn't feel like fighting anymore.

I hadn't found this site yet, but did manage to figure it out. I was ready for a divorce. I had the bills split, ready to get an attorney, etc. He knew when I told him, that I was ready and I was finished. He then finally got it. We did go to counseling, but it has taken a while to heal. He has since changed for the better, but it has been a hard road.

Only you know when it is time to lay down the hard line. It took me a few months, but an event happened that killed my love for him and made it easy to take the next step.

Hugs to you and know you are supported here.

jimbo25319 posted 11/20/2012 20:39 PM

So you've tried be the nice guy and love her back into the marriage.
In the words of the guy on the front page of this site; how's that working for you?

You need to 180, detach, and start focus on healing YOU. Better yet, really hand her the smackdown and file for D.

Your WW doesn't get it, and will not until you do something that really gets her attention. D papers seem to do the trick.

stronger08 posted 11/21/2012 03:57 AM

Welcome brother. I see that everyone has given you great advice thus far. I really suggest you take heed to what has been said to you. From my own experiences and what Ive seen on this board over many years the only thing that works is swift and direct action. As was said you can not love her back into the M. In doing so it shows weakness, and weakness is what the WS feeds off of. The more you try, the more brazen she will become. The one single thing that will get her attention is if you draw a line in the sand. You tell her you will no longer put up with her shit. That she has to decide what she wants the M or her OM. Right there and then she must make her decision. Do not give her a time frame to make up her mind. Let her make a decision and act on it. If she chooses OM, tell her to pack her bags and get the fuck out. Consult with an attorney ASAP to find out your rights and responsibilities. Do not support her one bit. Not emotional, financial etc. She is not your friend and if she wants OM then she must accept that you will no longer be her source comfort in any way, shape or form.

If she chooses the M, make sure you have a defined list of what you require in order to attempt R. This must include NC in any form with the OM. Just as important as your list of requirements is what consequences will happen if she does not comply. I suggest you take the firm stand of immediate D action. Keep in mind that infidelity is war. Take no prisoners, show no quarter. If D is on the horizen take that same approach. She, her A and the OM are the enemy. Do not give aid and comfort to the enemy. Have a battle plan in place and follow it to the letter. Do not waver and make any deal with her. Unconditional surrender is your only recourse here. She must submit or get the fuck out.

I personally compare a WS to a terrorist. And if you think about it they are. They are emotional terrorists who are trying to hold you hostage in order to get you to agree to their demands. Do not negotiate with terrorists ! You must also think long and hard about what has transpired. If R is on your mind please think about the long term. R is really hard work that must be done by both partners. Neither you nor she can carry the load individually. You must ask yourself can you really forgive ? Because you can not R if you carry any burden of her A. You will never forget what has happened, thats just fact. But one can forgive and have a better M afterwards. Please think about what I have said. R is a gift from the BS to the WS. And there is no shame if you can not give that gift. You are under no obligation to R with her. She knew the risks when she entered into an A. She chose to have it anyway. Therefore do not think she is entitled to that gift. If you offer it, she must earn it. She will most likely attempt the old "I dont know what I want" bullshit. If that is the case you must assume that she opts for the OM. She is either all in, or all out. No gray areas in this. Do not alow her to stall the enevitable.

There are great articles in the healling library to assist you in whatever course this takes. I suggest you read up on all of them. Good stuff in there my friend. Keep up your health and strength. If you need a little help getting there, seek it out. Get some IC and/or meds if needed. Keep posting and reading. We are here to assist you my man. I know it seems like you dont have any energy to do what I have spoken of. But its there. Deep down inside we all carry one last reserve of energy, dignity and drive. Tap that reserve if needed. Good luck brother. I hope this works out for you.

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