I am so sorry for your pain. I am glad you are here. There are many people who will be able to give you advice here.
First thing you should do, if you haven't already and have enough evidence, is confront her. Ask her what she wants from your marriage. I she wants R then you can work from there.
It sounds like you love her very much and I can feel your pain through your post. I don't know why our spouses want to inflict so much to on us or if they even think about the hurt they inflict until they come face to face with it. But, I hope you can find some pace here with people who have experienced the same hurt.
First off, please look in the upper left corner for a yellow box. Click on The Healing Library. Read it. Also read any post in this forum that has a bulls-eye on it. Those are all great articles written by people who have stood in your shoes. Please take the advice to heart.
I would also suggest that you go to this link http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/text.forums.asp?tid499130&ap741 which is in the I Can Relate forum and is specifically for betrayed men. There are a lot of guys there that can and will help you. They shoot straight and are a great bunch.
Please. Start reading. Come back often for support. We're all here for you.
D-Day, June 10, 2012
I will tell you something that I learned the hard way and hopefully it will help you in your journey.
You CAN'T "nice" a wandering spouse back into their right mind. Taking that path will only cause you pain and misery. Telling her you love her more and catering to her only prolongs the pain. She will see you as weak and it will diminish you in her eyes.
I took that path and would do just about anything to go back and hand her divorce papers the day I confronted. My life would have been so much easier. I wanted to be married more than anything but it would have shortcut all the BS.
Forget what you knew about your wife for a while. She will be like a "pod" person living in your wife's body. You can get past this but it takes a LONG time.
I wish you all the best.
ETA; For the record, I am still married. It was just a BRUTAL year to get to this point.
[This message edited by damaged71 at 1:36 PM, July 15th (Monday)]
I wish you better times, friend.
I don't want to upset her as I am worried that she will leave me for him.
I am so sorry, but the only thing worse than losing your spouse to another person is having to SHARE your spouse with someone else. We know that you love her, we know that you can't believe this has happened, we know you want to save your marriage. The only way to save it now is to be prepared to let it go. Go see your attorney, get the papers started. You did nothing to deserve this. So nothing nice you do will make a difference.
Please read up in the Healing Library, things like using the 180 and What I Wish I had done different.
You want to know what I would have done differently? As soon as I found out, I would have taken my child and left. I would have served him with divorce papers. I would have called the whore's parents, siblings, adult children and her boss and outed the affair. Instead I held on tight, I asked him to stop seeing her but didn't really force it. I let him see me cry. I got myself a DD#2 after that. Unremorseful waywards only care about themselves.
You have more control then you think. You just have to use it.
If you are willing to do anything to save your marriage then file. What makes you think the other man wants her full time? What incentive does she have to stop seeing him, because you asked nicely?
Filing short cuts the process. Some tough decisions will have to be made by her and them. If she leaves she was going to anyway. Sorry to be harsh because I know how bad you are hurting. Take back your power.
You keep saying that you are afraid to lose her.
She is already gone.
She has broken her vows to you and your happy 27 years of marriage are gone.
You can't nice her out of this. Believe me, I have been on this site for almost two years, and have never seen anyone "nice" their marriage back. If you want to save your relationship and start a new marriage, you need to be willing to let go of the old one. Trust me, it's already gone.
The quickest way to blow up an affair is exposure. That means telling her family. I get that you are afraid of losing them, but she's having an affair man. Don't you think all the parents are going to find out when your marriage ends? Cause, more likely than not, she isn't going to pull her head out of her ass on her own.
Listen to the people on this board, the majority of them have seen this all play out before. Check out the Betrayed Men forum in "I Can Relate" Those are some sharp guys down there, many who sounded exactly like you do at the start of this horrible journey.
I am in a bit of a daze about it all and would do anything to win her back.
You can't nice her back. And FYI, you are the faithful spouse, you are the prize, not the person who isn't strong enough to keep their vows and integrity.
If you are really willing to do anything to save this, then listen to the advice on these boards. And then follow that advice. You'll notice that not a single person on here will say "change for her" or "nice her back"
Shine a light on this affair.
"Affairs are not mistakes, they are a series of deliberate choices." - CrappyLife
"Regret is when you realize you broke your own heart.
Remorse is when you realize you broke someone else's." - Bla
It's like we have all seen this movie before. We KNOW what is going to happen.
That is why all of our advice is the same.
You will eventually have enough. The day will come when you won't put up with it anymore. That day will come after you have endured unspeakable pain. You will realize you deserve better and adopt a,scorched earth policy. On that day your WW will start to come around.
There are a few possible outcomes to all of this.
1. You continue on letting another man have your wife in silence. The OM is Happy, Your wife is happy and if you can come to terms with this, you may be happy too.
2. You continue letting this go on in silence until your wife decides she is tired of the OM and moves on to another OM. She has you at home so that's her "safe place" and she counts on you to provide that to her.
3. Your wife decides to leave you for the other man.
4. You decide that neither of the first two choices are acceptable and you take action.
If she is going to leave you she is going to leave you no matter what. You feeling that this is in some way your fault is only helping her. You are counting on the fact that the person that you are involved with currently is the person you married. Let me tell you and hear me well, that person has "checked out". That person has been replaced with one of the most vile people that you have ever met. She is just wearing your wife's body.
I married the warmest most wonderful woman in the world. She is different than any person I had ever met. She became the vilest, nastiest, most manipulative person I had ever seen. It was shocking. All of that went on until I said "Sorry I don't want to do this anymore. If you want to do this I am divorcing you, but remember this was YOUR choice not mine. Things changed that day. We still have our ups and downs but nothing happened until I quit being nice.
In my situation my wife was involved with a married man. I wanted to save his wife the pain of knowing. After a while I wanted him to have some of the fun I was. I called his wife. The OM threw my wife under the bus with such force it was amusing...
I am sure everyone here could tell a similar story.
Good luck, this hurts worse than anything I could ever dream of and takes years to truly get over.
There is one more thing I have to add. You chose to give up having kids for her. As a man I KNOW how huge that is. She wrote you a check that you were supposed to cash now and she tore it up. In other words you gave up having kids to live a life with her.
As far as I am concerned she deprived your future from you. She OWES you bigtime.
If you don't want to "go nuclear" try this. Tonight take your pillow and go sleep somewhere other than your bed. See what the response is, I believe you will be shocked.
When you start to pull away she will cling to you. Mark my words.
[This message edited by damaged71 at 7:47 AM, July 16th (Tuesday)]
I married the warmest most wonderful woman in the world.
That being said, there are some things I won't stand for. Sharing my wife with someone else is one of those things. Someone wrote that on here and it hit home. Being divorced is by far not the worst thing that can happen. Being in a marriage where your wife isn't yours is.
I would much rather be alone than be in that situation. I quite simply am worth more than I was being offered in that situation. At first I was just desperate to stay married. I was clinging to it like a life raft trying to do anything to "fix" things. Turns out I didn't break them to begin with. It wasn't my fault and nothing I could do could fix it. The best thing I could do was walk away from the mess.
I said earlier that I wish I would have handed over divorce papers on day one. Here is the reason. She would have called Mr. Wonderful and said "we can be together, I am free". He would have promptly said "sorry I am married". The illusion that they had a future together would have died on D-day. I chose not to do that and paid a very heavy price for trying to be a nice guy.
It's kind of like dealing with someone with an addiction problem. You aren't going to be able to use reasoning or logic or anything. It just won't work. This is so much bigger than you realize right now. It involves retroactive self-brainwashing, it's really amazing.
Once I decided that I wasn't willing to "play second fiddle" and asserted myself things changed.
If you read back through these pages you will find time after time the folks on here telling folks what to expect. Without fail they are correct. It's uncanny. The level of detail with which the people on this board can predict the actions of others really is statistically impossible. Unless cheaters follow the same script. Incredibly they all do. Once I learned this I told my wife and started laughing. It's so trite.
So I ask that you take my advice and take your pillow and sleep in the other room. When she request why you are doing it just tell her "I don't want to share you, I'd rather sleep alone". First she will say you are being ridiculous and you need to come back to bed. Keep walking. She will freak out after a short while and try to join you. Resist, and the moment you do will be the moment things start to change.
You will introduce doubt about her situation in her mind. Things won't be so clear anymore for her.
Good luck. I know how bad this hurts.
I had to add this after re-reading your post. My wife is a stay at home Mom with enough money to do whatever she wants and all the time in the world. She has everything she ever wanted and every spare moment of my time is spent with her. She wanted for nothing and this happened. It's not you... you must know this.
[This message edited by damaged71 at 2:51 PM, July 16th (Tuesday)]
More importantly, and I think you need to hear this more than any poster I've seen here in a long time...you need to afford yourself some relf-respect. It's cringe worthy how emasculated you sound in your posts. You can't let another human being do this to you. I know it's easier said than done, but seriously re-read your posts. Might as well be on your hands and knees grasping at her shoe laces in the dirt.
You probably won't take this in right now (and maybe ever), but you won't get to where you want to be acting like this. Your brain is moving at 100 mph right now and is swamped with thoughts about "winning" her back. You need to slow your roll a bit and refocus yourself. Take in what the people here are gonna tell you. I know you're gonna disagree with a lot of it, but if anyone ever needed to take a leap of faith so to speak, it's you.
You're old wife is gone, man. The sooner you realize this and also realize you need to focus on your own healing so that you can make smart decisions, the better. When you feel that you can make smart, concise and powerful decisions, then you can decide what you want to do with your wife, if she has even made it clear she wants to work on the marriage.
But if you go head first into desperately tying to keep a part of her (cause you don't have all of her) before taking care of yourself, she's gonna walk all over you and you're never gonna get what you want out of this. She's more likely to roll her eyes at your attempts than take you seriously.
Anyways, I hope you really try to find ways to improve your self respect first and foremost.
A relative of mine, we'll call him Guy, is married to a woman who is straying, we'll call her Broad. So Guy and Broad were married for about 15 years or so. They have a few kids, own a home, live the American dream. I also have another relative, we'll call him Scum. He's freshly off of a divorce at the time this situation happened, but he's been Scum since he was a youth.
So Guy and Broad had tried to help Scum through his divorce pains. Guy did more of the communicating than Broad did though. Guy was blind sided one day when Broad moved out for some "space". Just a few days later, Guy finds out Broad had been dating Scum for some time at that point... probably before Scum even left his wife.
Guy listens to his preacher who tells him to show his wife love and "win her back". Guy listens to his wife talk about her life, her troubles, her problems with bills. Guy bends over and takes it. Guy gives Broad money for her bills to help her out and show her his love, he brings her dinner when she claims to have no money for food, he lets her visit the kids whenever she feels the urge to, etc. etc. etc. He takes her to nice places for dates, and posts loving messages for her on his Facebook page... even though she has unfriended him by this point.
Several months later, Broad moves back home because she simply couldn't afford her place alone anymore, and she didn't want to move in with Scum. Why? Well, because she was also sleeping with ANOTHER guy at the same time. Having Scum living with her would ruin her affair that she was having on HIM at the time. But living with Guy, she knew she would still be able to come and go as she pleased and treat him like dirt because he has been accepting of that for many months already at this time. So she moves back home, but lives in another room and refuses to share a room with Guy. Guy carries on, letting his wife treat him like dirt and loving her the whole time. She continues to leave the house for EVERY weekend, spending each weekend with another new guy (we're up to 3 OM now at this point in case you lost track).
Several months go by like this. The kids are confused, angry, and sad. Broad decides that the kids are cramping her style, so she moves out again. She cleans the house out while Guy is out of town for a short while. She has moved in with yet ANOTHER guy (4th). She continues to string Guy along so she can get money from him whenever she wants it, and she can also count on him to do whatever she wants because she knows he still holds out hope that they'll be together again someday.
It's been over 2 years now, she's been having sex with several other guys (never Guy though), taking Guy's money, using and abusing him for whatever her selfish desires are, and tossing him aside when her boyfriends call. She never responds with love to him, never says she loves him at all, never even treats him nicely. She uses him to take her places that the other guys can't because their wives will find out. And yet he still holds out hope.
Honestly, it's incredibly sad and pathetic to see him accept this treatment from her. He doesn't look like a strong guy waiting for his wife to come back, he looks like a weakling who can't fathom a life without the woman who is hell bent on destroying him. His preacher has even finally told him that she won't come back, but he still shouldn't initiate the divorce.
This is a cautionary tale.... you can NOT love a cheater back. You simply can't. The only way the WW will come out of this fog she's in is if you take a firm stand, even at the risk of losing her, and mean it. I know it seems very scary, but it's the only way to get rid of this other guy.
I can say that as a lurker for a long time, I knew what others would advise me to do - let go of him and the 'marriage' we had, because it wasn't healthy and he wasn't either. And it was so hard to do. But once I got to that point, it has changed the dynamics of our relationship.
I think you will do something on your own time line, and that's ok. And you'll look back and see that what made the biggest difference was 'letting go' and letting your W know that you are doing so. I also think you'll find that though you won't have the 'old' marriage you can build something even better, if your W is willing, but she won't be willing to do anything until she sees that she's about to lose something that's very good.
Good luck and (((hugs))).
When you live in fear or with fear you are not living at all.
Stand up, expose her affair to everyone that matters and tell her you consciously have decided not to live with her infidelity.
Then hand her D papers.
The choice is yours.