Anyways, here is my story in a nutshell. Three years ago I found about about the A my WS and the OP. They were co-workers in different cities that meet in person at a common conference. From there the A started with instant messages, text messages, and phone calls. Once I discovered the EMA I immediately confronted my WS about it and she confused it to me. It took about 3 attempts at NC for her to finally stop talking to the OP. During this same time we started going to a therapist. It helped a lot for me because I was a able to vent frustrations I had with the situation in a neutral ground. I found my WS was not a receptive to the therapy at first because she was still having contact for the first few weeks of therapy. After much conversation and therapy we decided to keep fighting and try to make things work.
It has been 3 years since I discovered the EMA liked I said above and things have been increasing getting better in the relationship except for one thing on my part. I choose to forgive me WS for having the EMA but I don't know if I ever really forgot about it either. Since the EMA took place I still have tendencies to question who she is texting, emailing, calling, etc. I have gotten jealous or suspicious of other male co-workers that she hangs out with because of what happened in the past.
With regards to that here is the current situation. My WS has started talking to a new male "friend" at work recently. She has been open about it with me telling me his name and a little of his history and usually their conversations topics. At first I thougth nothing of it until she went of town for business in early April (she was actually out of town for our anniversary). Anyways this was one of the longest time she was going to be away from home since the EMA occured. While she was gone I got very insecure that she might try to contact the OP even though it had been 3 years. I got so paranoid that I decided to pull the cell phone records to see if any phone calls or text messsages had been exchanged. To my relief I did not see communication with the original OP, however I did see on of all nights our Wedding Anniversary a barge of text messages going back and forth between her and the new "male" co-worker. Now this new friend, I will call him "K" was NOT on the business trip. He was back home.
That was the start of it so I found it odd that she had been texting K back and forth all night along with me at the same time. I debated wether or not to confront her with this information. After talking to her on the phone I first asked if K was there on the trip and she said No. So that made me think why is she texting some male back home while on a business trip and it was not during business hours. Against my better judgement I confronted her with the information and she flat out denied anything was going on. She said he was just a friend and that she was texting him to "joke with him" because she was tipsy from going out to drink with co-workers while on the trip. That set off red flag #1 for me.
When she got back from the trip things were a little tense at first because she got angry about me accusing her. We discussed and I told her it was not apporiate and let her know how it made me feel. She agreed and said it was not on purpose and that she was sorry for the texts. She even let me see her cell phone and I read the texts and they were harmless jokes. Nothing sexual or anything that could be taken that way. Anyways I had that flag in the back of my mind but for the most part I just kept on moving forward. Well then as the weeks have gone on the amount of communication has increased between her and K. At first it was just converstations at work or over IM during work but then then the occassional text messages, and then phone calls.
Typically my wife will call me on her way home from work each night as I get home first and she hates sitting in traffic bored. I don't mind the converstations at all we usually talk about our days at work and other misc. business. Anyways 2 weeks ago on Thursday she went out after work for drinks with co-workers to celebrate a friend that retired from the company. She called K and invited him to the bar as well and he declined because he was already half way home. After leaving the bar she called him and they talked for 40 minutes on the phone while she drove home. She didn't call me that night because it was a day I typically go to the gym after work. I got home early and was outside mowing the lawn when she pulled up. She was already off the phone but she did tell me she talked to him on her way home and that he invited "us" (meaning me and my wife) to dinner that night but my wife declined. I was angry already at the fact she told me she was on the phone with me but then when I checked her cell phone and I saw the call lasted 40 minutes I was really upset. My inital thought was what the hell could they possibly have talked about for 40 minutes. To me things were escalating too fast for just "friends". She again told me there was nothing gone on and she had nothing to hide. I once again believed her but she also told me she was getting very frustrated with me accusing her all the time of stuff. Like I said before I have "given her the business" over the past 3 years about most of her friends with male co-workers.
We talked a few more times over Memorial Day weekend and we seemed to move past the issues with K or maybe because they didn't communicate with each other that entire weekend. Tuesday rolls around and my wife texts me while at work on Tuesday asking if I would want to go out on Wednesday night to watch the NHL Playoffs with her and K. The only problem is she knew ahead of time I was busy Wednesday night because my boss was in town and taking me and her entire staff out to dinner that night. I agreed at first for her to go and I would meet them after my dinner with my boss but as the day went on it ate away at me more and more that I don't want them going out alone together. That night we once again talked and I told her it made me uncomfortable because I still haven't met K and I don't feel rigth about you going out alone with him. She told me I was paranoid and again they were just friends and she was returning his offer to go out to dinner from the previous week. I let her know how it made me feel and I left it at that and said I will be there when I can. So I went to work that day with a knot in my stomach all day long thinking about their meeting that night. I was happily distracted by my boss and co-workers at dinner so I didn't think much about it until the long ride back home from the office to the bar where they were meeting. I walked in to a big hug and kiss from my wife and I shook hands with K. We talked a little bit but he was way into the hockey game that was on TV. When we did talk he didn't really look me in the eyes at all and was constantly on his cell phone texting his buddies about the game.
I couldn't get a good vibe either way and since they were together I am sure they knew not to act "weird" around me. It then turns out he is sick on Thursday and Friday so they barely talked except for a few text messages on Friday asking if was out sick again and if he was feeling better. There was no communication over the weekend that I was aware based on what my wife told me. Yesterday they were both back at work for the first time in several days so I know they talked a few times during the day based on what she told me. One thing I forgot to mention is that my wife and I have google chat on our work computers so we sometimes IM each other during the day through google chat. Anyways I noticed she was offline for about a good hour to and hour and half yesterday afternoon. At the time I didn't think much about it but I asked her about it when she got home last night and she told me she went to her mom's place to check her mail while her mom was on vacation. My immediate thought was she brought K with and that maybe something happened. I bit my tongue and didn't say anything. Later in the evening she asked me if I was OK and I said "No, no I am not." I told her how all of this recent contact with K was making me feel and that is sending up red flags to 3 years ago. She didn't really respond at all but she did pull me over to her and hugged me. After that we went upstairs to go to bed and noticed she didn't take off her underwear which she usually does at night to change into her pajamas. I felt that to be odd. This morning she jumped out of bed first (which rarely happens) and took a shower. I got up and went to throw my pajams in the dirty laundry and I noticed her underwear from yesterday were under a pile my clothes in my eyes buried. Again I thought that is odd throw my clothes on top of the underwear. So I picked them up....I apologize for the TMI ahead of time but there was a stain in them. I didn't know if that was common or not but my whole body was shaking with fear that it was not a female stain. I debated while she was in the shower to ask about it or not. I picked up the underwear 3 or 4 times and put them back down. She got out of the shower and finally I decided to ask her if this was a "c*m stain." My thought was she had the time and oppurtunity to fool around with him yesterday at her mom's place if he did go with her. She of course denied it and was furious. We didn't speak to each other the rest of the morning and haven't spoken at all today except for one quick email but she was clearly still pissed by the tone of her language in the email.
My question is am I being paranoid about all this? Can they be just friends. The similaries between the first incident and now are very close. I fear my marriage may be over because that trust that she broke over 3 years ago never got fixed or was was being mended was shatter again by me accusing her and her making decisions that didn't seem apporiate
to me when dealing with K.
I apologize for how long this post is but I had a lot on my chest and mind that I needed to get off. I can clarify anything if people have more questions. I just don't know what the future holds and if there is something to be alarmed about with this new OP.
Your W should be willing to allay your fears by limiting contact with the co-worker strictly to what is required for work. If she isn't, well then, you know how she prioritizes that friendship vis a vis your marriage.
Sorry you're here. Trust your instincts. Keep digging and don't tip your hand about any testing/snooping/researching you do.
Worst case scenario: is is already a full-blown EMA
Best case scenario: they are just friends. But even with this "best case" she's being incredibly disrespectful. The majority of folks here would say that she just shouldn't be having this type of close friendship with a male after having an A. Some people make exceptions for 'friends of the marriage' or childhood friends - but new/co-worker friends? Not typical. Losing the ability to have close friendships with those of the opposite sex is a consequence of having an A. And, if she's going to CHOOSE to have male friends anyway, despite what she has done to you/your M, she sure as hell shouldn't get all huffy puffy and pissed at you when you suspect something - not a good thing.
Likely scenario, in my mind: This may not be a full-blown A yet - but it is headed in that direction.
How do you feel about this? Even if he is just a legit good guy friend? Is that OK with you? You need to decide that. Because if it isn't OK with you - then that's a boundary you need to draw.
If you want to find out if this is an A or "just friends" - I'd stop pestering her about it. She'll start hiding things from you and make it harder to discover. Lay low, watch for signs, keep those phone records close, maybe install a VAR.
Former 80s Icon wishful thinking
I could feel my heart starting to race as I read further and further.
Red flags!! Trust your gut.
Sounds like the first EMA was pretty much "swept under the rug"??
You have a right to be suspicious.
And the fact that she keeps gas-lighting you doesn't bode well either.
I am so sorry you are here. BUT you have landed in the best spot possible to get thru this.
Do you know what YOU want? Requirements for R (if you want to R)? It's OK if you don't. Take your time. Read here. Breathe.
What questions can we answer for you?
You deserve to feel safe in your marriage. So if K turns out to be nothing, sit down and draw up new boundaries and ground rules. A good start would be to read "Not Just Friends"
About K. There's enough going on to make you suspicious. So buy a VAR. (voice activated recorder) and hide it in her car. It will at the least capture the content of her phone conversations. Do you know anybody she works with? Office gossip - while tawdry and exaggerated - is usually based on truth. Have you come straight out and asked her to stop any non work related contact with K? If its just a friendship and a new one at that, it shouldn't be hard for her to comply. Are you financially capable of hiring a PI for a week to watch them at work (leaving for lunch etc)
I'm sorry you're here Jayzee. But it's the best place to be if you're affected by infidelity - which you have been before - and possibly again.
My husband used to be "just friends" with many women. Everyone knew about me and the kids. I trusted him completely. Little did I know...they didn't care that he was married with kids.
OW#2 was his lesbian best friend. Our kids spent the night with each other. We spent New Year's with her and her partner. OW#1, 3 and 4 were all "just friends" too. He chatted with them in forums, via text, phone calls, etc. #4 turned into a full blown EA, and he left me for her.
It sounds like your WW has no boundaries. My husband didn't understand his lack of boundaries until I read some of his chats to these chicks out loud to him - and then made him read "Not Just Friends". I have told him that if I ever find another indiscretion he is out, not questions asked, and we will divorce.
It sounds like you need to do some soul-searching of your own. Your gut is most likely right. Now, the question is what are you willing to put up with? Where is your line in the sand for your WW? It may be time to have the hard conversation with her, spelling out exactly what you need from her and the consequences if she does not comply.
First, I'm so sorry you are here!
Second, you say you forgave her but never forgot.... dude, you'll NEVER forget that your spouse cheated on you, so wipe that out of your brain as an option.
Third, you didn't really talk much about what you guys did to repair the marriage, and what she did to repair herself, from the first A. Did it just pretty much get swept under the rug and not talked about?
It sounds like there weren't any boundaries put in place. You keep telling her what you don't like, she keeps telling you not to worry, and then does what she wants anyway. Where are the boundaries? It's never too late to set up boundaries.
In my opinion, she lost the right to have male "friends" the day she cheated. Period. There is no reason she needs to be meeting a man alone unless it's you, ever! She needs to work hard to protect the marriage that she tried so hard to destroy with her cheating. She should never even consider spending time alone with a male, much less building a relationship with a male coworker which is how her other affair started. IF she did do any work on herself after the first A, I would say it didn't stick.
I'm over 5 years out from my H's infidelity, and there is no chance that he would ever even TRY to have a female friend. We have couple's friends, we invite the husband and wife over, but if the wife ever asks what time dinner is or something, he always refers them to me and refuses to engage any woman in any fashion. And these are our friends, friends we've had for a very long time. This is how strong his boundaries are about other people. He also won't sit near another woman, he won't stand close to one, and he always wraps himself around me when we are in public to show that he's taken. Firm boundaries are in place here, and I think that's what's lacking in your M.
Incidentally, my H used to leave his luggage unpacked for days following a conference - I suppose now it was a way of letting his clothes sit in our home - if they were in the laundry on top, I would have noticed perfumey/woman's scent.
Follow your gut. Wish I had done so far sooner then I did.
Come back for support.
Best of luck.
Let me add some more details to the picture that may help.
We have been together for 13 years and have been married for 7 of those years. We meet in college and she is my first and only relationship. I have always been a shy, overweight guy and she was the first woman to see past my shyness and helped me greatly increase my low self esteem I had at that time.
First, the first EMA was not swept under the rug. We went to marriage therapy for about 9 months starting from discovery day. At that point the therapist basically said what happens next is in our hands. We talked as great length about what caused the A and why we were both unhappy. I made what I felt were great changes to my behavior and became more conscience of my actions, thoughts, and words. She was upset at my lack of effort around the house and being selfish. She felt I was very lazy and didn't offer to help with household chores which I completely agreed with. I'll admit I am a lazy person but I have made great strides in that area over the past 3 years. As far as me being selfish she felt that she bent of backwards in the first few years of our relationship and then marriage to help me and do things for me but when it came time for me to reciprocate I rarely did. Until this things were brought out in therapy I never realized these things and I suddenly became very aware of them and worked very hard to change for me and the marriage.
On her side of things I felt her communication was very poor with me. I felt she got upset about a lot of things with me over the years but bottled it all up and got more and more frustrated with me until it led to get what she was missing in our marriage from the OP.
I guess one thing we never did was establish boundaries after the first EMA. Looking back at it that is something we definitely should have done. With regards to our recent discussions she has told me that she has always been a strong independent person and she feels I am very codependent on her. She feels I would have a hard time being on my own. To be honest I have never been alone in my entire life. I lived at home until 18 years old with my parents. I then went to college and lived with friends/roommates with 4 years and then I meet my wife. I lived with her ever since.
I did read on another forum on this site about codependency anonymous. I am thinking about going to a meeting in my area to see what is it all about. Honestly if the marriage is done I need to work on myself so I am stronger person going forward. I also have already made an appointment with a therapist as well. I figured I need to work on me regardless of what happens with the M.
Anyways back to the current situation, over the past 3 years our relationship has been very very good until late. After the EMA our sex life improved greatly we talked about having kids but we decided to wait until we were more comfortable with our relationship. About a year ago we started trying but have been unsuccessful so far. Even as all this stuff has been going on with K we have been going to doctor appointments to for infertility. Our sex life has still been good in fact we still had a great session over the weekend.
What doesn't make sense with me if she is having an EMA with K or it is the start of it why be so open about it. It is not like she is hiding stuff. She has told me she has text him or talked to him on the phone. She even had me meet him. Why go through all that is she was having another A? I mean usually A require secrecy and privacy which is what she did the first time around. Also, I made have painted a bad picture of well. They are not txting and calling each other everyday. The texting and calling has been sporadic but it has happened. She said even their IMs at work during the day are only a few minutes here and there. For what I found out the first time it was definitely not a part time thing. They talked all day long everyday.
I am very conflicted with what my gut is telling me. I completely agree with most of you saying she is disrespecting boundaries and hurting me but at the same time I feel like a hypocrite because I have a very good female friend as well. That is all we are good friends. I know my boundaries and I would never cross those lines my wife did. Is it possible my relationship is effecting my wife and that is why she feels she needs to have this friendship with K?
The biggest problem she has with me currently is that she feels I keep holding the cheating over her head. I still give her the evil eye when she picks up her phone, ask who she is talking to you, I give her a hard time for trying to make plans with friends or to go out after work, etc. Basically she feels I am controlling her and smothering her and still don't trust her even after 3 years and this was even before K entered the picture. This goes back to the codependency. I am not happy unless she is home next to my side. I will admit I have had my moments of insecurity over the course of the entire 3 years but is has intensified over the past few weeks with me finding out more and more about this friendship with K.
I have rambled on again for quite some time but I feel this to be a good place to vent. With regards to the PI,voice recorder, or lab work I feel if I need to go to that extent what is use. I might as well just end if I have to that length to find out if something is going on. I have even given her an "out" with our discussions over the past week or so. I have told her point blank...if you having an affair, feel like you might want to have an affair or have any type of feelings for K just tell me know and we'll know where we both stand and we can both move on. She again said no there is nothing going on. The night she went out alone with him and then I meet them afterwards she left a note on my pillow that I read when we got home. She said she is sorry she got mad at me and just wants to make me happy and it going to work on making changes to herself.
She is on her way home now from her golf league so I should probably wrap this up for the night. I am sure we will discuss what happened this morning. I am not sure what the future holds or what decision either of us will make. I will keep everyone updated on my situation. Thanks for all the great comments and support. I look forward to my support from everyone
The bottom line is: The friendship makes you unhappy and insecure(and RIGHTLY so) and makes you feel anxious and accusatory.
This should be a no-brainer for your wife who was given the GIFT of your willingness to try to reconcile with her...K should be gone...gone...gone. Done. No more. Period. Amen. THAT is remorse, that is doing ANYTHING to make your BS whole again. She has horrible boundaries. She pretty much doesn't care how you feel. She left you a note saying she wanted to make you happy...yet she went out ALONE with him...the thing that makes you unhappy...really? Gaslighting. Bigtime.
You are being snowed. I'd bet the farm on it. Have you ever heard of hiding in plain sight?? Many, many, many WS's introduce the AP to their spouses, hell some even encourage them to become best friends. She is getting something from this relationship with him that she should be getting or giving only to you, her husband. If she wasn't getting something out of it, she'd drop him like a hot potato the moment you her husband who she destroyed once already gave any indication that this "friendship" made him even a tad uncomfortable.
I'm torn between telling you to dig deeper and put a VAR and GPS in her vehicle or flat out telling her it is NC with K and no more male friends or it is divorce...maybe both.
Be strong. You deserve better.
[This message edited by NoMorDeceit at 9:37 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)]
Your WW's outside interaction with this man needs to stop. Period.
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
1) your wife's affair was with a co worker. You have every right to not trust her around her co workers. If this was my relationship, and my R the first absolute LAW of my marriage would be NO FRIENDSHIPS WITH CO WORKERS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX. EVER. EVER EVER.
(and likely no outside of work friendships with members of the opposite sex, UNLESS they were friends of the marriage, or friends of mine that I trusted. NO solo hanging out, and NO texting/phone calls though.)
2) Get and read "Not Just Friends", you read it and she NEEDS to read it.
3) She needs to work on her boundaries.
4) ANY relationship outside of your marriage should not be the primary one. Meaning that if you're hurt/bothered/angered by a friendship she shouldn't have the friend. It goes both ways---if she was hurt/bothered/angered by one of your friendships you should drop that friend, too.
At the very least it sounds like your wife is having an EA with K. Is it possible that it has turned physical? Sure. Like another poster said---if you still have the panties with the suspicious stain, send it off to a lab for testing.
Has your wife ever had individual counseling? IMO, IC would help her define her boundaries, and help her figure out why she was able to cross the lines into cheaterland.
You should probably get marriage counseling again, as well. But, find a therapist who has experience with infidelity, and who won't be afraid to hold your WW's feet to the fire.
I'm sorry you're hurting.
Well to update the situation once she finally came home last night we of course had a conversation about what had happened yesterday morning regarding my accusation. We both knew the situation wasn't good between us and my constant accusations over the past 3 years have not helped out R. For now we have decided to shift our talks towards separation. I had a feeling this was coming because it knew he was very angry and it would be hard to come back from an accusation such as the one I made. I mean we talked about the relationship with K and she again explained everything to me and said that I was totally blowing my side of things our of proportion. I was reading way too much into their relationship that was really there. She said the text messages were at a minimum and that they only had the one phone call and that the conversation was totally benign in nature. She said when they do IM at work it very minimal and only a few minutes a day. She asked if I wanted to see the IMs to which I declined because I figured it was a mute point at this time. She said if she went to work today and told K they couldn't talk anymore that they would both be fine with it but she felt that I should trust her enough after 3 years that she could have a male friend and for me not to get upset about it or make false accusations about their relationship. She said from the time after the initial EMA I have continued to make snide comments or accusations about any males she talks to co-workers or otherwise. I will admit I do have a problem with her talking with other men and I have blown a lot of things out of proportion with regards to talking to other males. I told her I am going to see IC starting next week and possible check out a CoDa meeting this week which she thought was a great idea. We didn't go much into detail about what is going to happen next. I feel we are both at a crossroads and the train is leaving the station but neither of us are 100% sure to jump on the train or stay put.
I realized that one mistake that I made with handling the EMA was that I stopped IC after about 3 - 4 months after D-Day when we agreed to continue our M. I never worked out those feelings and insecurities that I had and I have constantly projected those onto her over the past 3 years.
This entire process makes me very sad, angry, lonely, and hurt. I am at work currently typing this message and I find it hard to function properly. Waves of emotion keep coming over me thinking about the past 13 years and all the good times we have had together. I think about the fact that up until all of these blew up in the last week or two we were still planning on having kids. I feel like all of that has been ripped away from me. I start to think about what happens next and I am completely overwhelmed by all of it. What happens financially we both are not on very good ground financially. Together we are paying back a credit card debit elimination program. It was a 5 year program we started 3 years ago so we still have another 2 years to go before all of our credit cards are debt free. We own a house together with 2 dogs. I feel she has the option to live with her mom at her condo but I can't afford the mortgage on the house by myself and become of the housing market in the US we are upside-down on the loan even if we sold the house. I honestly don't know if I could even stay in the house even if I would afford it. The memories are too great in there both good and bad to be constantly reminded of the past.
I worry about telling family and friends. We have a lot of mutual friends there was big group of us that all met in college and became good friends all us ended up marrying our college girlfriends so our entire group of friends consists of married couples and most of them now with kids. We were one of the last couples to not have children. I feel I am going to loose a lot of those friendships or it will now become awkward because they don't if they should invite me or my wife or neither of us. My parents adore my wife as well and have treated her with nothing by love and respect over the past 13 years and i feel they are going to be crushed to find out we are getting separated.
I am just in a very bad place right now and hurting so much. The future is so overwhelming to even think about but I know will someone how survive and move on. It is a very scary process to even think about. For now she has not left yet...she did stay at home last night and we did sleep in our bed together but we obviously did not touch or kiss like we normally would.
This morning we were both pretty quite with each other. Our dogs could tell something was wrong as well because they kept coming by me and snuggling up and kissing me to try to cheer me up. She did say this morning that she didn't know what the next steps would be until we come up with a plan. She did give me a big hug and kiss before I left for work this morning and I told she was welcome to stay at the house again tonight but I understood if she didn't feel like coming back. She started to cry and told me she doesn't know what to do. I just told her again that the door is still open if she wanted to come home and left it at that. We kissed and here I am sitting at my desk at work with a tear in my eye.
I am trying to stay strong and put up a strong image so people don't start asking me questions at work but I find it difficult. I may have to take several breaks today to compose myself from breaking down at my desk.
The reason your seeing so many red flags is because she's waving them in front of your face!!!
I recommend the 180(check the healing library).
IMO....she's testing you, pushing the limits. Talking separation, is what she wanted all along, because of your suspicions!!!! She turned it around on you!!! All you can do is state your boundaries and consequences if she crosses them. Then leave it to her.
Your W has an agenda! If I had to guess, she'll push for a separation(maybe in-house), then she'll start going out more and coming in late. Be prepare! She's already layed down the tracks.
My guess about your not being happy unless she's home by your side is that it has very little to do with any 'codependency' issues you may have and everything to do with the fact that your WW's boundaries are fucking *shit* and she's an affair waiting to happen.
Your WW's outside interaction with this man needs to stop. Period.
Your WW has no clue what Codependent even means. if anything, SHE is the codependent one here.
She has you convinced that you are the one with the problems.
She needs you to believe that so she can continue on her chosen path.
First she convinced you that you can't live on your own, then threatened separation....how clever.
Get a VAR, hide it in her car, and find out what's really going on.