On May 24, my husband of almost 10 years (we have three kids together – 6, 4 and 2), told me he “loved me but wasn’t in love with me.” I was shocked and devastated -- I had always thought our marriage was wonderful. He has always been a loving, attentive husband and father.
He said he had felt this way for a very long time – even before we had kids – which flabbergasted me (and which, in retrospect, I think is dubious however true it seems to him right now). I asked if he had feelings for someone else – in particular, A, a female co-worker of his, who I’d also considered a friend of mine (I had long suspected he’d had a crush on her). He’d denied it in the past, and he vigorously denied it after the ILYB talk as well. We decided to start seeing a counselor and trying to reconnect.
I thought things were going really well until June 21, when he broke down and told me he “loves A and wants to be with her.” He said she felt the same way. That really bowled me over. I had always felt that if he had feelings for her, it was one-sided; she’s younger, with no kids and has only been married nine months herself. Apparently I was mistaken. Two weeks after he’d told me that he wasn’t in love with me, he told HER how he felt, and she said she felt the same way, but they both agreed they would try to work on their own marriages. However, they kept doing things like going to lunch together at work; he told me he “just couldn’t stay away.” He also said they did a lot of texting and told each other things like “I love you” and “I miss you.”
He swears that it was emotional only, though they did kiss once (when he told her he loved her). I tend to believe him – at this point, I don’t know if it WOULD be any more painful if he’d slept with her. I asked why he lied to me when I’d asked him about her. He told me that he had wanted to work on things and thought that telling me would just hurt me and make it harder to fix our marriage.
One June 23 (two days after D-Day), he decided to stay at his parents' house, just down the street; he comes over a few times a week to see the kids and help with the house and yard. He says he is not in contact with her right now, and we are keeping our own contact limited to the essentials – house, kids, finances, etc. He is unsure if he feels willing or able to work on our relationship. He is still willing to see our counselor and has read a couple of the books (“I Love You But I’m Not In Love With You” and “Not Just Friends”) that I’ve recommended, though.
Our marriage therapist is on a very poorly-timed vacation until the 15th. My FIL is working to try to convince my husband not to throw everything away. I am trying to do "The 180" and praying without ceasing.
I alternate between being confident that the mature, rational, loving man I married has GOT to resurface soon, and despairing that things will ever work out. I am trying to be strong for the kids – I have a lot of support from my friends and family, and his family as well. He knows that I care about him, that I am willing to work like hell to keep our family together. I hate being in limbo, feeling like I can do nothing but wait for him and try to come to his senses. I've been trying to stay busy with the kids and friends and the house (I'm a SAHM), but this not knowing is agony.
“Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience.”
For starters, does A's husband know what she is up to? If not, I would make sure he is fully aware (gently) and furnish proof if needed. He deserves to know what his new wife is doing.
Second, I would speak to an attorney to find out your rights. The fact that you are a SAHM should not be a reason for you to R. Finding out your rights does not mean you need to file, but knowledge is power.
I hope you can take care of yourself and rely on your support people. Take care.
To the best of my knowledge, the OW's husband has no idea that she and my husband are emotionally involved. However, I have already told my husband that -I- will not be the one to tell him. (The OW apparently flipped out when she found out I knew and was terrified I would tell him. I pointed out to my husband that that didn't really scream "ready to leave her new husband," but he brushed it off.)
I do know that he moved out of their home a few days ago for other reasons -- they'd been having issues, I guess -- though apparently he still does not know. (I know this because I asked my husband if he had been in contact with A. He said she had called him because she needed to talk, since her husband left. I thanked him for telling me, and suggested that she find a more appropriate person to talk to. He said he'd told her to call her therapist. I also asked him if he would volunteer any further info about being in contact with her, which he agreed to.)
I have also talked to an attorney -- several, actually, as one of my best friends is one, and another is married to one. I feel very confident that I will be just fine financially if he leaves. His parents have already told me, repeatedly, that they will support me in any way they can, and I think that they would unleash hell if he tried to screw me financially.
However, finances aren't my main reason for staying. I do truly love him. He is a fantastic dad, and he was a wonderful husband for many years. I don't know what is going on with him right now, but I truly believe he is NOT himself right now.
For example, in between the ILYB talk and D-Day, we decided to buy a new home. Stupid, I know, but we desperately needed more room and a better school district for our oldest, who has autism. Plus, I took it as a sign that he was really committed to making things work.
Well, D-Day went down before we closed on the house, and we ended up rescinding the offer, because I knew that no matter what happened, we didn't need the stress of a move. Plus, in our current home, I have the support of neighbors/friends next door, and his parents right down the street.
I asked him later, "WHY did you let us make an offer on that house? You had to know I couldn't have afforded it, even if I went back to work full time!" He said, "I know, but I figured I could, and I would get it for you and the kids." I said, "You SERIOUSLY thought you were going to make house payments for 30 years for me?!"
I could tell by his reaction that he hadn't actually had ANY idea what he'd been planning to do. And that is SO not my husband. He is the most logical, planningest guy you've ever met. You should see the little Excel spreadsheets he works out for our monthly budget. I cannot imagine him in a MILLION years ever thinking he would buy me a $325K house on a whim. And his parents are just as baffled and concerned by his behavior as I am.
[This message edited by Violetta at 1:06 PM, July 4th (Thursday)]
You should not be putting your life on hold while your WH decides what he wants in life.
1. Out the A to the OW's BH. Now. Two sets of eyes is better than one. ANd there is nothing like having the OW throw your WH under the bus to destroy the fantasy.
2. Tell your WH that either he goes NC now or you will be going to a lawyer.
Your WH needs to make his choice now. Either he wants your M or he doesn't. RIght now he is simply cake eating. He is continuing his fantasy with OW and keeping you as his back up plan. Take away the back up plan.
And, to be honest, I would be bluffing if I told him right now I will call a lawyer if there's any more contact (esp as he's told me he will tell me if there is more), and I think he would know it. I'm not ready to take that step. I do genuinely believe he's trying to convince himself to make the right choice, but he's so deeply infatuated with A right now that he's terrified he'll never feel that "love" again if he lets her go.
I'm sure I sound very naive and none too smart right now. And I don't want anyone here to think I'm just brushing off your advice. I'm not sure it's right for my situation right now, but I am definitely mulling over all my options. (And it feels empowering to be able to even THINK of saying, "If you do Y or do not do X, then I will begin steps to end our marriage.")
So sorry you are going through this. I haven't replied to your thread yet because it sounded so much like me just a little over a year ago I almost died when I read it.
But I only found SI a month ago or so.
I wish I had the wise people here back then. I wish I had the Healing Library.
I don't think anyone will judge you for accepting their advice or not.
I think they will tell you what they think and let you choose what to do with it.
They are mighty emphatic about it all though because they KNOW. They feel your hurt. They know the stages. It all sounds so cliche and all and I often thought "but this is different"....
Hugs to you, whatever you decide, whatever you face, whatever you feel, this is a good place to be, sometimes just to poke around and read.
The 'wayward' thread has been a huge eye opener for me. Reading other 'jfo' and 'general' threads and seeing myself in them and thinking "NO!"...there isn't any way being here can't be helpful.
Use it how you need to. Take what you want. Just BE here. I think it will turn out more important than you will know down the road.
You're going to need it.
Right now, your husband is eating cake, because he feels like he has options. He will continue this behaviour forever if you allow it. My own WH ate cake for months after Dday, and it was torture. He only went NC with OW after I threw him out.
Shining a light on the affair is a very good way to bring everyone out of the fog.
I agree that he deserves to know -- I just don't know if I want to be the one to tell him. I think it will just send the OW crying to my DH, and he already feels fairly defensive of her. Right now, even he has to admit that my behavior during this entire mess has been 100 percent irreproachable, and I'm afraid to do something that might make him "side" with her, especially when her husband's knowing may or not be of any benefit to ME.
I talked to my FIL for awhile today. He has talked to my husband a lot and is firmly in my corner. He fervently believes that my husband will eventually wake up and realize what a fool he's been -- he's just worried I will give up before then (which may be a possibility).
As for my husband, I don't want to make any major decisions before we meet with our counselor in a week and a half.
In the meantime, I'm trying to do The 180. I think I'm doing a pretty good job -- I don't initiate relationship talks, I don't contact him unless it's about something essential, I don't ask him to do things with me, I'm upbeat and pleasant when he comes to see the kids, etc. We're (both) taking the kids to go see the fireworks tonight, which I'm hoping will be fun. It was his idea for us all to go.
It's just so, so painful to see this man who always seemed to adore me act so cool and distant.
So at the moment your husband gets to live with his parents, come and visit you and the kids whenever he wants and also not see you whenever he wants AND he gets to see the OW.
Why would he make any decision when he has the best of both worlds? Freedom to come and go as he likes, playing happy families when he like and ego stroking from OW.
I know he said they only kissed and he is not seeing her now. And who knows it may be true. But he is a liar. He has lied to you before, many times to get to this point with OW.
In regards to telling the other BS, wouldn't you want to know? Didn't you want to know before when you asked your WS and he lied?
Just think about these things sweetie. You need to show him what life will be like if he chooses OW. And why the hell does he get to choose? You are so wonderful, honest caring, shouldn't he think he is lucky to have YOU?!
You have offered him the wonderful gift of R. But he needs to decide now because you are worthy of so much more than waiting for a cheater to choose you.
Remember to eat, drink, breathe and play. Take care of yourself.
I feel like by living with his parents, he's getting a pretty false idea of what being on his own would be like. But I feel like it makes him more accountable and me less suspicious, so it's probably the best place for him right now. Plus, it gives him lots of time to talk to FIL, who is a big advocate of him trying to R.
We are trying to make his visits to the kids as "arranged" as possible -- he doesn't get to just swing by whenever. I ask him to let me know which days he would like for the week and what time he will be by. I go visit a friend or go shopping or something in the meantime. (I don't want him taking the kids to his parents' house, because then it's just going to be the kids being spoiled and playing with Grandma and Grandpa, not HIM doing the work.) I've also informed him that starting next Monday, he'll be responsible for feeding them dinner on the nights he has them.
Supposedly, he is not seeing the OW. That's what he's told me, and what he's told his dad. I do tend to believe him. Maybe stupidly, but I have no evidence to the contrary.
I know that -I- get to choose to. But I haven't reached the point where I'm ready to choose telling him to leave. Maybe I will. I desperately wish our counselor was back (and I know my husband does as well). I know that you guys are giving me tons of things to think about in the meantime, and to discuss with him when he does get back.
[This message edited by Violetta at 5:30 PM, July 4th (Thursday)]
Supposedly, he is not seeing the OW. That's what he's told me, and what he's told his dad. I do tend to believe him. Maybe stupidly, but I have no evidence to the contrary.
If he has broken up with her, what is stopping him from being with you?
My impression is that he feels like working on our marriage is the right thing to do, but that he doesn't know if he can truly dedicate himself to it -- that if he came home, he would still have these feelings for her and any work we did on our relationship would be halfhearted (on his part) and just prolong the agony.
As ridiculously naive as this probably sounds, I think in a really twisted way, he is trying to do the right thing by me. He doesn't want to get my hopes up if he's not absolutely sure he can do it and mean it. And he isn't sure yet that he can.
I've pointed out to him, as has his marriage counselor, that the choice isn't really "me or OW." It's "being married to me versus being divorced from me." There's no guarantee that she's going to be around and interested in a few months' time, or that things will work out if she is. (In fact, I am about 99.9999 percent confident that they would NOT last -- she's very flaky, as evidenced by her nine-month marriage, and I think she would get very tired of playing Mommy very fast.)
And I think he KNOWS that intellectually. He just can't force himself to really take her out of the equation.
[This message edited by Violetta at 6:17 PM, July 4th (Thursday)]
I will tell you, though, that I gave my WP three weeks of room to figure it out the way it sounds like you are. I let his family members talk to him. I assumed he would make the "right" decision because he loved us and was always a good, ethical, rational man. He had initiated NC with the coworker he cheated on me with and was getting IC. He sent remorseful texts, talked about leaving his job, etc. Everyone said he'd be back. This isn't him. This isn't like him. Be patient.
And guess what... After three weeks he informed me that he's decided that he feels "free and liberated" without me in the house. That he wanted me out. That she was easier to talk to. That he has taken the PA/EA underground because I and given him so much space and, because of that, his therapist suggested he wasn't confused after all and had "voted with his feet" to leave me and he thought it must be true.
These are disordered people. They are not thinking straight. They dont know what they really want. We can not rely on them to make reasoned and rational decisions unless they make them for themselves... Not because a FIL or therapist tells them and not because they do so out fear. It won't stick.
It's good you are doing the 180 and getting MC. But he may need more direct boundaries and consequences from you in order for him to really face his reality and what he has in front of him. This probably includes telling the OW's husband because even if they temporarily binds them... She sounds like she won't be able to handle the reality and pressure of the consequences of her actions for long which may be another dose of reality for your husband in the end.
The best advice I got in my own process was to separate my emotional well being from his actions as much as possible. Protect yourself and your children. You can not dictate the process for him... Only for yourself.
So right now his living condition from my understanding: He lives (rent free, I am assuming) with his parents, and gets to visit you and the kids on a regular schedule. He is also allowed to continue to talk to a woman who he feels this amazing love with, while not fully committing to you. And you hope that (while this is his lifestyle) he will come to realize
that he's thinking of throwing away a loving, flesh-and-blood wife for a fantasy. I want him to come to me and tell me he's sorry he's been such a moron and that he will put everything he has into healing our marriage.
Honey, this guy has it made in the shade like an everglade. The way the set up is it is not in his favor to go back to you. He has the best of all worlds as it is right now. Because right now
1) No worries about divorce, and all the nastiness that comes with it like alimony or child support.
2) No worries about giving up girlfriend. he has already tested that boundary, and knows you are not ready to draw a line.
3) Relatively carefree lifestyle. Kids are not with him, wife is not with him... hanging out with the 'rents... who yeah, may get onto him... but he has his free time to do whatever he wants. Oh, and he gets to talk to girlfriend. Who... conveniently enough... suddenly has a lot of available time as well since her husband moved out.
I am guessing he will milk this for all it's worth... but in all honesty... can you blame him? He has a sweet setup.
I don't see how this is benefiting you at all. I hope in the next 13 days you gain clarity and do what is right for you and the kids.
[This message edited by Dark Inertia at 9:33 PM, July 4th (Thursday)]
Don't let your fear that he may not choose you make you a supporting player in this drama he has created!
I want him to come to me and tell me he's sorry he's been such a moron and that he will put everything he has into healing our marriage.
But he hasn't. So the current situation isn't working is it?
Do you want him at home or do you want him at his parents? I am not asking what you think is best for him. I am asking what do YOU want?
I realize this situation is unsustainable. However, it's been less than two weeks since D Day, and only 10 days since he's moved out. We are both still processing a lot of things.
[This message edited by SI Staff at 6:30 AM, July 8th (Monday)]