Wow. Hard to even fathom that I am here and writing this. I have to say so far I have found great comfort and advice on this site. It is very good and full of insight and insightful people.
Together 22 years. Married for 14. Overall, a really happy life up till now. Met in college and went through the normal cycle. Fell in love. Lived together for a few years. Bought a house. Got married. No kids. We are in our mid 40s and by all account HAD a beautiful life.
The first 5 years of our marriage were fantastic. Our life was wonderful. We had a nice relationship, friends and family we cared about and nice sex life. Pretty much all the problems in our life were external, but serious. W has serious issues with her mom. Her mom is an alcoholic and there were lots of family feuds, but we really did our best to separate that from our own relationship and life and were for the most part successful. Like all relationship we had our ups and down, all very minor but at some point we did settle in to the comfortable stage as most couples do. W is a very strong, sharp, emotionally in control person. She has almost lawyer like skills to be able to navigate conversations and conflicts. She is great at removing emotion and presenting facts in a clear way. Because of the this she has always taken the lead in these types of siuations.
The beginning of the problem that started the downward spiral started around 2 years ago. W came to me wanting to have a serious talk. She told me she had been working on some personal issues like how to better deal with her mom and the family issues she faces. She said that she is unhappy with the way i handle these times of crisis. I am the counter to my W. I am a gentle peacekeeper. I usually didn't get invloved in her family issues, but she would always get invloved in mine. An example is my brothers wife had an affair a few years ago. My brothers W and my W were/are good friends and my brothers W confided in my W about her affair and expected loyalty. My W was in a tough spot because she was now forced to lie to me and after a month or two couldn't do it anymore and came to me with this info. As a brother I felt compelled to take action. I wanted to tell him, but decided it was better to give his W a chance to make it right. I forced her hand and said if you don't tell him, I will. She did and d-day came for them. All the normal things happened. Massive arguements etc. My brothers W knew my W betrayed her and did not speak to her for 2 years. Eventually my brothers W reconciled, apologzed and made right by our entire family and today, although they have problems are in a realtively good place.
She had only 2 therapy sessions, but she is very connected and was able to gather enough from that to come to some serious conclusions. She said during her sessions she realized that she puts too much pressure on me to support her to the level she thought was correct. She realized that I can't solve her problems and sometimes put really high expectaions on me. She realized that she can only demand as much support as someone is capable of giving and that she lowered her expecations. She said she can accpet the amount of support I can give.
The beginning of the problem that started the downward spiral started around 2 years ago. W came to me wanting to have a serious talk. She told me she had been working on some personal issues like how to better deal with her mom and the family issues she faces. She said that I am often emationally disconnected in times of strife and I really need to step up. I listend contently, but since strife was a small part of our daily life, Maybe 2-5% I easily took her warning and did nothing with it. Fast forward a 2 years. In that time we had 2-3 more similar conversations. Each one similar in deatil, but getting more and more grave. Things were said such as "this is extremly grave" and "I am warning you that when I stop caring we are in trouble". Then came a big problem. Her sister needed surgury and was in panic mode. The week leading to the surgery, my wife spent a lot of time helping and consolding her scared sister. I made minimal effort. I called and emailed her sister once or twice in this time and had one in person conv. On the day of the surgery I went to the hospital, brought some flowers (W suggested the flowers). This is a bit weak. I admnit. Her sister and I are very very close and again, I didn't step up.
Flash forward to Feb 2013. I just returned froma 5 day trip and W and I had the "Final" serious conversation. She said that my lack of "being present" during her sister surgery has changed the way she feels about me. She said she was way more invested in my life than I was in hers and that she feels differently about me. I am not as reliable as she tohuhgt I was. She also said that she does not feel like a wife should feel in a marriage and we have a big crack in our foundation. Of course I was scared. I realized that my W was all but telling me she didn't love me anymore and that if I didn't step up we might be over. The problem is she was already gone in her mind. I said I think we should seek counsel to try to sort our problems out. She suggested that I see a therapist on my own for a while to perhaps work out my own issues and discover why I was "absent" I have worked really hard the past 4 months on myself and on ways to improve our marriage. I read self help books, journaled, attending counseling, read marriage books, took up new hobbies and was feeling really good about my self, but at the same time feeling really bad about our realtionship. It just seemed to be getting worse no matter what i said or did.
During this time my wife withdrew further and further. We stopped having sex. We stopped being intimate in other ways like touching. It was still there, but minimal. Like kissing goodnight or goodbye, but the passion had been lost. We were still good friends. We run a business togother and were co-existing. Heres where it gets ugly. During this whole time (last 4 months) my wife was having an affair. So she says. I now think it was more like 6-7 months, but I guess that is imaterial. Or is it? I was trying so hard to work out all of our issues by myself while she continued to withdrwal. I probed and questioned her at least 5 times in the past 4 months about our problems, trying to get a pulse on where she was at. I tried suggesting books for her to read that I had read about improving our marriage and life and everything I did or said just pushed her away further. My therapist and I decided that when someone withdrawls the only thing you can do is to back off, because each and everytime I tried, she resisted, saying things like "My mind has been so heavy for so long, I just can't deal with this now. I just want to have some fun this summer and I feel like you are smothering me by always wanting to alk about our realtionship. I am just not interested in reading any books. etc"
Everyone out there is thinking. DUH! She isn't interested because she is having an affair. You should have seen it. The days away for "personal time". All the signs were there, but i guess I was in denial. The main reasons I would not even entertain the thought that she was having an affair were twofold. First, because of the experiences we went through with my bother and others we knew, we (no exaggeration) spoke to the fact at least 25 times that if we ever got to a point that we felt we were going to cheat or were so unhappy that we would come to each other. We would decide if we needed to split or what we would do. Second, my W has always had a very strong moral compass. Her main character is integrity and honestly. She is always open and upfront about everything in her life. SHe has to have a deep emotional connection/love to have sex with someone. She has only had a 3 partners in her life (including Op) because she takes it very seriuosly. So my justifactions for not seeing it/confronting it were:
1. She is (was) feircly loyal and always procalimed honesty and integrity
2. We openly disccused the topic of infidentily and agreed to always be honest at any cost if we got in a situation before it got out of control
3. I knew she had to love someone to have sex.
4. I was doing everything in my power to try to reconnect
5. She still was treating me "well" in a general sense. We had dinner together, watched movies, acted like a couple in many many ways.
6. I thought we just hit rough patch in our maariage
Boy was I fooled! On 5/25 d-day came. Op's wife caught him somehow. Ops wife texted my wife. "You're caught. Game over" W immedaiately went itnot panic mode.She was pacing around the house looking like she was about the freak out. I sensed something big going down, but never guessed in a million years thats what it would be. She sat down in front of me, tears ralling down her face and said "I have been seeing someone else" I asked who. She told me. I asked if they had sex. She said No. I said your already hurt me, it is time to be honest, so she fessed up and said yes and they had sex 3 times. I felt I had enough info to go on and immediately left.
In the past 72 hours I have done nothing but talk about this with my closest family and 2 choice friends. I prayed for peace and inner strength. Talked till I am blue in the face. It is funny how a situations like this makes people realize how important they are to one another. My FIL told W if she were a man, he would punch her in her face. He along with most others were furious with her and the bombed she dropped on all our lives, especially mine. They all reached out to me to tell me how much they loved me. She moved out the next day and I stayed at my moms for 2 days. Now I am back in my empty house facing the reality of what is. Have spoken to W a few times since, mostly business and logistical related. Where she is going to go etc. We also discussed a plan of action. She and I are both going to individual counseling and we decided that after we had at least 2 sessions each that we would start marriage counseling as well to see where and if we can move on from here. I am emotionally overwhelmed, but have a suprsing sense of relief that whatever it was is over. But I do think I really still love my wife and could take her back. If I think of her with Op, it doesn't make me crazy with rage and jealousy. I kind of feel like there is something wrong with me for not being more angry. Maybe this stage just hasn't hit yet. Maybe I am still in denial. Does that mean I don't love her like I think I do? Does that mean something else? Anyone who cares to share their thoughts on this, please do
[This message edited by Shockedman at 2:31 PM, May 30th (Thursday)]
We are sorry you are here but you've found a "good", safe place.
Everyone here has dealt with the hurt and betrayal of infidelity. All in different stages and everyone's journey is unique but please know you are not alone.
Your emotions are too raw right now. Please give yourself time to absorb the reality of what has happened. You are in shock and rightly so.
Don't try to analyze your feelings just yet. Most likely they will be a roller coaster ride. It's completely normal to feel about 100 different emotions within 2 mins. From love to hate, from hopeful to despair, to determination to resignation.
Check out the timeline for healing in the healing library. It helps not to put too much pressure on yourself.
The road ahead is long and it is hard but it can be worth it if you both are truly vested in doing the hard work.
Your W needs to stop blame shifting. Regardless of how much you were "there" or not - it is no excuse to cheat. She made that conscience choice and must own the behavior and consequences. I hope she is showing remorse and is helping you through these critical days.
Now is the time to set your boundaries and stand up for what you want. Look up the 180 - it may be too soon but it sounds as if your W is used to calling the shots and directing how things are. You have a voice and matter too.
Good luck. Keep posting and try and take care of yourself.
Wishing you the best of luck. Keep moving
It all starts with NC with the OP.
That's a deal maker/breaker.
Has she conveyed she's willing to give him up?
I asked her to move out and not to contact me unless it is work related. I said I will contact her when I am ready. By the time she has completed her 2 sessions and I have completed mine and we have a marriage counceling session set up, it should be over 2 weeks since d-day when I see her again. Not looking forward to that....
It is good you are being as strong as possible. It is not easy.
Try to take one day at a time. You don't have to make any decisions now. Just know what you are willing to accept and what you are not. That will at least provide you with a foundation that you control and can count on.
Good luck with IC and MC. Make sure there is a good connection - it took me three before I found one that clicked and it was life changing.
We are all rooting for you.
I must say that she took control away when she chose to have an A and attempt to shift the blame on you. Now it's your turn to be in control. Seriously sit down and figure out what you want and need. If you want to R and what she will need to do so you can R successfully. In addition I always recomend seeing an attorney. Knowledge is power. Not saying you will D but knowing what your options are and hOw it would play out helps.
Lastly know that she is not the person you married. That strong moral compass is now broken. She will lie to you it has become habit. It takes a bit for the waywards fog to clear and really understand that lies for any reason do damage and are not ok.
Read the healing library and keep posting.
((((and strength ))))
I am sorry this happened to you. It feels like getting hit by a truck.
Your story sounds very similar to mine. My WH is also the child of an alcoholic and fiercely loyal. Also a rational thinker (scientist).
He had the first of a series of talks with me about what was wrong with our marriage/me in September 2011. (Gently) the affair had already started. Now that I know the truth, I can look back and see that he would lecture me on my faults and the "very bad dynamic" in our marriage after every meeting with his AP. When they first slept together in December, his criticisms escalated.
He was trying to justify the affair. He thought of himself as a moral, caring person with integrity. So, how could a good person do this? There had to be something wrong with me. He must have found his true soulmate in OW.
He told me I should go to counseling. I eventually did but not to fix myself. I was the same kind, fun, smart, sexy woman he married. I only needed help dealing with him. He was the broken one!
It turned out after d-day that his A had a lot to do with piss poor boundaries that are common for adult children of alcoholics. Plus a lot of unresolved crap from his FOO. It had nothing to do with me and zip zero nada to do with our marriage. The "serious problems" we had in the marriage were caused by WH's slide into the affair!
I hope this helps you to stop second guessing or blaming yourself. How on earth could you bringing flowers to her sister in the hospital be inadequate? Your WW felt inadequate (because she was being a shitty wife) and she projected that onto you.
Do not drink the WS kool aid. Take good care of yourself. Do some of your favorite activities with friends and family. Take up a new sport or hobby. Keep reading and posting at SI, and you also may want to read about characteristics of children of alcoholics.
This road is long and bumpy. Lots of hills and valleys. Be prepared for a wild ride with every feeling there is coming over you in turn.
It is awesome that you already have a good counselor who knows you. Also, your inner strength is obvious in your post and it will serve you well Best wishes!
Here is a direct link to the 180: http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=232785
Also a tactical primer: http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=235051
And "Great Posts for Newbies" -- http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=361740
The reason you are not feeling rage or jealousy is that you are likely still in shock. I personally do not tend to react very emotionally to traumatic events, but was in shock for about ten days following the first discovery.
Please be aware that your wife has been lying to you for probably 6+ months; lying is more natural for her than telling the truth. Also remember that the only reason she confessed at all was because the other man's betrayed wife threatened her. Many, many affairs go "underground" when discovered.
You are doing well to keep your distance. Protect yourself. If you want to reconcile, remember, she needs to feel like this betrayal could cost her your marriage and your love. Also remember she can't see clearly what she stands to lose unless and until she temporarily loses it. Keep your distance. Don't rush into reconciliation. Take your time, and focus on YOU. Your healing, your needs, your life. Do things that you enjoy. Talk to your friends. Start a new hobby, take a class. Keep yourself occupied, hydrated, and fed.
[This message edited by Shockedman at 9:15 PM, May 28th (Tuesday)]
You ask whatever you want to know. Don't feel you have to ask everything in one go, and then never bring it up again. If you attempt R with your wife, you will need to ask the same questions over and over as you process this, and you should both be prepared for that. It's a normal part of healing from the trauma of betrayal.
Most people ask questions to try to put together a picture of what was going on: how long? who with? when and where did they meet? The real biggie, of course, is WHY...but it is unlikely your WW will be able to give you any real answer to that without some serious IC. I think your approach of seeing what she has to say for herself is very smart - her reaction will tell you a lot. I will warn you that the majority of caught waywards do not come clean right away - they try to mete out whatever minimum of damaging (to them) information they can get away with. You will see the term TT (trickle-truth) used a lot for this. My other warning is that many BS have said they wished they had not read all the e-mails, or asked for details of the sex, because they couldn't then bleach those images from their minds when they attempted reconciliation. You may want to start with a basic timeline of the facts, and the lies she told, and decide later how much detail you really want about the actual sex.
Please take good care of yourself in these early days. The shock is protective, but when it wears off, the pain is a real bitch. Good you have found this site early on, and if I may suggest the two most-recommended books: Shirley Glass, Not Just Friends and Linda MacDonald, How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair.
I wish you well.
Need some advice.
1. I am thinking my W is going to start figuring out that I am getting info from somewhere. I can't do this all on my own. Whats to stop her from finding this thread and then being able to know what I am thinking/doing and my reasons. I tried some 180 tactics on her today and was meet with the querstion of "whats going on with you? You are acting like a robot." to which I replied, "I can see how you feel that way."
So I guess its working. What are your thoughts on that? Should I edit the first post and change some details that would tell her I am speaking about us? It would be nearly impossible for her not to know its us. This is my safe place, not hers.
2. I tried the NC and it didn't go well. Sent her the NC info. Her response was " I am not contacting him. SO I am not going to contact him to tell him I am not going to contact him. I'm not going to stir the pot. Im starting therapy.You are still in therapy and will will soon start the process together in MC. That is where my head is"
To which I responded: " Not acceptable. Its time for honesty. At this point it is not your choice. I will allow for the following: do everything I asked, but we won't send the letter."
She replied " I have been honest (I think: Obviously not!)Is says in the email you said that is my choice. I am NOT contacting him and he is not contacting me. I am starting therapy and asking for guidance through all of this"
We then had a brief but heated phone convo that I applied 180 techniques. She basically said that she feels like I am backing her into a corner and it is not right. That she is still trying to comprehend reality."
What do you think of all this? I am not happy, but in some ways I can understand. I think i am way ahead of her at this point and she is still in the fog. I said that to her and she denies being in the fog, but lets face it, she is and her actions are speaking it. She is still blame shifting, trying to associate our current issue with past issues, and justifying. Saying things like "I won't take full responsibility for the problems in our marriage" and "You keep saying our problems weren't as big as they were. If I thought they were big, then we weren't on the same page."
Obviously she has some unresolved issues about our past and that is Ok. We can work that out in MC, but it is clear to me she is still in the fog. Any insights?
PS. Staying strong. Went for a run this morning and actually got a decent nights sleep since d-day.
[This message edited by Shockedman at 11:50 AM, May 29th (Wednesday)]
A few thoughts. No you do not share this place with her. This is your sanctuary right not. If she asks tell her you have been doing a lot of reading.
Next. Don't plan for a full out confession at the first MC. It isn't going to happen. The first session is a whole lot of getting to know you, your relationship, and your postitions on where you think you are at. I would go in being prepared to state what you need to attempt to R from this.
Yes she is very foggy, and I highly doubt that she is not in communication with him. Have you asked her to proove that? A's don't end because they get caught. A's end when one or both AP's feel that they are going to loose their way of life. They just get sneakier about how it's carried out. I would ask her again to send a NC letter/note/email whatever, when she refuses ask to see her phone, and get the passwords to ALL of her Emails if she refuses she most likely still communicating with her AP.
Anger and a sense of indignation is a huge red flag that they are lying, and ongoing as well. I can remember having the "I'm not going to babysat the rest of my life convo".
There is a huge difference between being sorry they were caught, and being sorry for what they did. You will know when she transitions into the second part, she will no longer blame you or be angry with you for not trusting.
You are really handling things well so far. Continue to take care of you.
The NC didn't go well but it sounds as if it did. She noticed you not buying in to the nonsense. That is positive.
You can just tell her you have been reading up on how to handle what you've been dealt. You are trying to wrap YOUR head around the ugly reality that she's brought to your marriage.
I would ask the MC about how they feel about your desire to have proof of NC. I am sure the MC will side with you that you need proof it is over. This is not an unreasonable request.
If she doesn't want to send an email - then a phone call or text.
"It's over. Never should have happened. I am working on my marriage with my husband. Please do not contact me again."
She is still in the fog and most likely trying to justify her behavior that "things were so wrong" - well even if they were the A certainly didn't make them better.
Good for you for going running and being strong. You are doing great.
Keep reading, stay strong and know there are brighter days on the horizon one way or another.
Right now, anything you say to her about her will be taken as an attack... Liars and cheaters are always trying to gain some leverage or advantage on the situation... Don't engage...
The big thing is that you need to realize that you will survive this thing we call infidelity... With or without her, you will survive...
You see my man... Your WW is and has been detached from you emotionally for quite some time... You were the backup plan to her.... She was using your loyalty against you...
Since both of them were married I doubt the OM was interested in tossing his BW to the curb... He just wanted some easy pussy on the side and would say whatever it took to keep it that way...
From the years I've been here I've often seen where one of the affair partners was a lot more invested in the A than the other... I'll bet your WW is that one.... That's going to make her detox from him painful all the way around...
Best thing you can do right now it take care of yourself.... I had to literally keep saying to myself... "Go fuck the dude! That's what you want, I deserve better than being treated like trash."
After all, you can't change a damn thing about her thoughts or actions... Sure, you can try to control her thoughts or actions but that's a loosing sum game that's not worth playing...
The "old" marriage is dead... The track's reset and there are deamons around every corner... Trust is gone and that loving feeling is more of a yearning for what you "thought" you had...
Hang on tight... This is a bumpy ride but you'll make it one way or another...
I know you miss who and what your WW was... Well, this shines a whole new light on it...
Don't beg and don't plead... Even if you're feeling weak... Fake strong... Be the Alpha male... It's your strength that draws people to you... Not the whinings of a beat down and defeated man...
You have to let go of the outcome right now... Tough to do, Lordy do I know that... See an attorney like yesterday... Knowledge is power and you need all the knowledge you can get right now...
Until you see her blubbering, crying with snot, tears and mascara running down her face begging you to take her back... She's a stranger to you... She can't be trusted... She's dangerous to your health and well being... She is your worst enemy because she attacks from the back when you trusted her to have your back...
I am happy for you that you have a great sense of self and self respect. Kudos Sir!
But I noticed that you said that you were going to edit your postings.
I think a MOD will come around soon. I don't think you can edit out too much info.
I could be wrong but I think it is against the rules here on SI.
You can ask for a MOD on a new thread and get the real skinny from them.
Take care and stay strong!
Never forget what is worth remembering or remember what is best forgotten.
The next paragraph is an observation that may or may not be accurate. I offer it only as something to consider.
I kind of feel like there is something wrong with me for not being more angry
I know it was something I did and I am stil struggling with the tendency to distance myself lest I get hurt (again).