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Advise please. i love my wife

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lostsoul214 posted 7/31/2013 15:49 PM

Well hello I've had so many emotions running through my mind and I'm just sort of lost.
My wife and I have been together for 7 years. 4 together 3 married. We had the greatest relationship that I could have ever imagined. I was her first and she pretty much was mine also. 2 years ago I got sick. I started getting these pains in my arm that would run up to my chest that would cause my arm to completely shut down. I felt as if my hand wanted to explode everyday at least 2 or 3 times an hour. I pretty much ended up turning myself left handed because of this. We use to play, wrestle, tickle each other and everything like that. Well once this pain started it stopped because I just couldn't any more. I started to see a bunch of doctors I would say over 12. I had surgery to have a rib removed 4 or 5 nerve blocks and just did everything to get rid of it. I finally just gave up on myself.
I shut everyone out in my family and the worst part about it is that I shut her out. I didn't realize how selfish I was being when I did this. She was pretty much taking care of me. I still had my job but i just gave up on myself. I didn't try to make myself better anymore. She ended up getting distant with me. She wanted to go out and i would let her. I let her do anything that she wanted to do. It eventually got to the point were she just thought that i didn't care about her at all. We never fought, she couldn't stand hurting my feelings and visa versa
She just recently told me that she no longer wants to be with me any longer. I broke down and told her that I didn't want her to go and that she means everything to me. I appologized to her for being so selfish that I shut her out because of my pain. She said that she loves me but not like that anymore. She eventually broke down and told me that she has been having an affair behind my back for about 4 months. She said that she didn't think that I would ever change. She said that she had married a man but ended up feeling like she was taking care of a child.

We are now split of course. She took my heart and the dog. She was the greatest person to ever happen to me and it's just so hard to let her go. I admit that I got lost in my pain and shut everyone out family and her. I gained weight, didn't talk to anyone, and lost the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I hadn't spoken to her for a over a month. Within that time I just got on my grind. I started working out. I reflected a lot and realized exactly what emotions she was going through all of this. She just wanted me to acknowledge her. To show her I cared and I still had that passion for her. She wanted to see if I could overcome the pain and be her man again.

I seen her this past weekend at an art show that her brother was having. Let me through this out there. She was religious, her family is really religious. They loved me with all of there hearts and seen the change in me also. They noticed that i went into a bubble. When her family found out what happened they sort of shut her out. They believed that marriage is through sickness and health. Well all of her family ended up being on my side. I had lost 25 lbs every single person of her family was shocked in how good i looked and seemed. So I ended up pulling her to the side and talking to her. I just put it out there. I didn't say that I want her to forgive me or that I was sorry. I was overly apologetic when she told me everything. I just told her that I had been reflecting on how I made her feel. In detail, that I made her feel insecure and not loved and that built into shell to avoid me. I got the response of "I'm glad that your looking good." "Why couldn't you have done this before.". She tells me that she hates the fact that her family now still likes me more than her. I told her that my family misses her so much. She started crying saying that she can't reach out to them because she knows they know. She said that she is moving forward.

I love my wife so much. It's so hard to forgive myself for locking myself up in a shell and putting out the only person i ever cared in this world for. I couldn't stand seeing her feel so sad. I just told her that she is a strong woman. The strongest woman I know. If anyone could get through this it would be her. I want my wife back!!!!! I know she is still seeing this other man. I am fighting though!!! I want to tell her that I don't want our old relationship back. I want to start a new one. To prove that I am the man she fell in love with and I promise that I can be better than my best at being her man and husband. Please!!! Any advice will help.

I still have the pains but I see them as an enemy that ruined my life. So I see them as an enemy that i have to conquer. I used them as a crutch for so long now I use it as my strength.

Dallas2 posted 7/31/2013 16:07 PM

Keep taking care of yourself.

You may have gotten absorbed in your illness but how did she support you? My FWH and I went through some of this only I am the one who is sick. I also went into a "bubble". I was told I was crzy and he started acting like I was. Did she support you through all of this? I mean emotional? Did she sort of get fed up with you and your problem? Somewhere through all your medical stuff she changed her attitude towards you. My H did and then he had an A/ Then he kept it from me for seven years to keep from hurting me. We are working or trying to patch our M up.

Where is she living? Can you ask her to dinner at a neutral place to talk? Have you suggested MC? Have you gone to IC? I have and am going back. I did not make my H have an A and you did not maker your WW have an A. That was their choice.Her asking you " Why couldn't you have done this before?" is her way of not accepting responsibilty for the A. It is her fault, not yours. Keep working on getting better.

Again I would suggest MC and IC for both of you. Ask her to go NC with the OM.

Sal1995 posted 7/31/2013 16:14 PM

First of all lostsoul214, I'm sorry for your pain. I want to address a few things from your post:

I shut everyone out in my family and the worst part about it is that I shut her out. I didn't realize how selfish I was being when I did this.

Maybe you were selfish, I'll take your word for that. But not nearly as selfish as this:

she has been having an affair behind my back for about 4 months.

Not even close. You were trying to get through debilitating pain. Maybe you acted like an ass at times, but chronic severe pain tends to do that to people.

She was pretty much taking care of me.

As well she should. She's your wife, it's the obligation she took on. Her family had this right:

They believed that marriage is through sickness and health.

It's not just her family's belief, that's been the standard through the ages. That's why we marry, to find a partner to navigate through life with, through good and bad.

Gently, I know you are hurting. But unless there's more to the story than what you've posted, your wife's behavior is terrible. Basically, she loved the "good" you but dropped the "bad" you (bad in the sense of not being Mr. Fun anymore, through no fault of your own) like a hot potato. Talk about a fair weather friend. And she's your wife.

Yet you see yourself as the selfish one, and her as a "strong woman." She's not strong, she's weak. And she gave into her weakness and is acting like a selfish brat. Her family obviously can see that, but you can't yet because you are desperate to get her back.

Be careful what you wish for. She has a lot of growing up to do before she even comes close to earning her way back into your life. For starters, she needs to go NC (no contact) with the OM (other man). Anything less should be a dealbreaker for you.

Please read the Healing Library and find the part about doing the 180. I'll edit this post in a sec and give you a link. Best wishes. Sorry you found yourself here friend, but I know from experience that you'll get a lot of help from the good folks here.

ETA: Here's the link, see Question No. 11:

[This message edited by Sal1995 at 4:17 PM, July 31st (Wednesday)]

lostsoul214 posted 7/31/2013 16:28 PM

I am in counseling myself. I was made aware that she had went 1 time so far. Since we have had no contact since the other night. I have no idea what she is doing. She has been staying with her brother but told me that she is getting her own place in 2 weeks. I don't know if she wants to rekindle the relationship. I believe she is still seeing this other man. I feel if I tell her to stop talking the OM that she would just push me away. That i don't have the right to tell her what to do. I read the article "The Fog" and it seems like that is what she is exactly in.

She just seemed so hurt by me. She told me that she went for the other guy because i wasn't giving her what she wanted. I have not kept any contact with her. When I had seen her it had been about a month from any contact what so ever. I know if I text her she would more than likely text back but the last thing she asked me for was her space. So that is what i have been giving her. I'm seeing a therapist and they insist that I give her time and not make any contact. The therapist insisted that i didn't make any contact with her at the art show. I know that i have already changed myself in a big way. I'm a heck of a lot more independant. I still think that i'm not there mentally though. I feel as if i need to be right in my head. I'm trying to build myself a lot more confidence. She did also tell me that she had been want to leave several months ago. I believe she is still seeing this other person though. I feel as if there is no hope. I won't feel right about myself if i don't at least try.

[This message edited by lostsoul214 at 6:19 PM, July 31st (Wednesday)]

wifehad5 posted 7/31/2013 16:47 PM

PM for you lostsoul

[This message edited by SI Staff at 6:15 PM, July 31st (Wednesday)]

LosferWords posted 7/31/2013 19:15 PM


Hello, and welcome to SI. I'm glad you have found us, but I am sorry for the circumstances that brought you here.

It sounds like you really have been through so much.

The sickness that you had, and the subsequent withdrawal was difficult for your wife, I am sure. But that is 100% no excuse for her to go outside of the marriage, forsake her marital vows, and betray you, herself, and everyone else in your family and hers. That is 100% on her. Please don't try to blame yourself for that.

I think the best thing I could advise is to continue seeing your therapist, continue improving yourself, and continue working on you. It sounds like you've already made some tremendous progress in this department. Keep at it.

Gently, I do agree with your therapist saying to give her space. Try not to use this time to constantly thing about your wife. Use this time to do things that you enjoy. Things that continue to increase your self confidence, and provide you with inner validation.

Also, keep in mind that you can't control her actions. You can't change her. I know it's hard to get into that mindset, but it's the truth. The only thing you can control is you.

Right now, the most important person in your life is you, and that's who you need to take care of right now. If things do work out, and your wife comes back to reconcile, that is icing on the cake. Regardless of that happening or not, I want you to thrive. I know you can.

Also, keep this at the forefront of your thoughts: you WILL survive this, no matter what.

Sending you strength... hang in there, brother.


nowiknow23 posted 7/31/2013 19:34 PM

Welcome to SI, lostsoul. I am so very sorry for all you have been through - first with your health, and now at the hands of your wife.

Betrayal is a trauma. After a trauma occurs, one of the first things we do is look for the reason. Why did this happen? Gently, it happened because she made a choice. She chose to become involved with someone else. She chose to break her own vows - the vows she made to you. There's something profoundly broken in all this, but it isn't you. It isn't your fault, lostsoul, no matter what she says. The circumstances may have been difficult, but millions of people have critically ill spouses and challenging situations and aren't getting their needs met, but they choose healthy ways of dealing with it. Counseling, communication, or even separation and divorce. Those are choices made from a place of respect for the promises you have made and the person you made them to, as well as respect for yourself. Having an affair? There's no self-respect there. There's nothing healthy on that path. That's avoidance, not coping.

Everyone else is right - you need to put your focus on yourself right now. Your wife may come out of the fog, or she may be lost for good. But YOU cannot change her path. You cannot wake her up or make her work on her issues. That's her row to hoe.

Sending you strength.

lostsoul214 posted 8/1/2013 01:10 AM

I just can't stand the fact that I never had a second chance with her. We never fought. I hate the fact that she would never tell me what was wrong. I want her back so we can both start over and not stop the communication. I just feel so tired. I've been working my ass off for myself. To feel better. I just want to give up on everything. I'm a weak person.

LosferWords posted 8/1/2013 01:16 AM

lostsoul - You're not the weak person in this dynamic. Your wife is. You've still held on to your vows. You've fought through this illness that you've had. You've improved yourself. You are strong, whether you know it or not. Hang in there, man. We're here for you.

jb3199 posted 8/1/2013 05:49 AM


Sorry that you find yourself in a place like this. It is obvious that you feel like you are fighting a lost battle.

As much as you may not want to hear this right now, I have to say it straight-up---You have to learn to let go of the outcome as it pertains to your wife. That is something that you have zero control over. Sorry.

What you have to do, if you want to be happy, healthy, and safe for yourself and a partner in the future, is to work on yourself. I am sure that is not that answer that you are looking for right now, but it is 100% accurate.

You admit that you gave up on yourself before, and shut your wife out. I have no doubt that this is true, and that is your burden to bear. You have no one to blame but yourself for that, as a marriage is a partnership...a journey...that the two of you experience as a team. You shut her out of that, and she distanced herself emotionally from you. That would be the expected scenario in that description. And that part, as tough as it is, I fully understand.

But that does not change the fact that she was 100% wrong in her handling of the marriage from that point on. Nowhere, EVER, is it acceptable to have an affair while still married to you. Never. It doesn't matter is she was detached, or moved out of the marital home---she knew it was wrong. And that is why she kept it a secret from you.

Do not let your poor marital behavior justify hers.

We don't get do-overs. We can't turn back time. But what we can do is learn from our mistakes, and work actively to make healthy changes so these do not reoccur. The fact that you are improving yourself, and working past your pain are both admirable and necessary. But don't do it for the sole reason of trying to win your wife back. That would be an unhealthy reason. There is nothing wrong from wanting a chance at a new relationship with your wife, but you have to learn to accept that this may not happen. And if so--what are you going to do?

If your answer is to continue that path to self improvement, then that is the correct answer. Getting stuck in the past---or present---is not going to help you down the road...believe me...I tried that route without much success. You have to learn to like yourself again first, then the other pieces will fall into place.

This is a long road. It will have many ups and downs to it. But if you can learn to approach it with the correct mindset, you will realize that you can enjoy life again---with or without your wife.

Good luck.

AFrayedKnot posted 8/1/2013 08:33 AM

I've been working my ass off for myself.

There's the hit!!! It's for yourself. It's to make you feel better about yourself. The only way to gain self esteem is by doing esteemable things. Like taking care of yourself and healing yourself and growing stronger. Its not where you were that counts but where you are going. The goal is to be able to look in the mirror and say to yourself "l am proud of who you are TODAY!" That is the real treasure.

Anything else outside of you that comes along with that is just a bonus.

Keep your eye on the prize. And the prize is you.

kansas1968 posted 8/1/2013 15:44 PM

As I told my WH, there were a lot of reasons that he was unhappy with our marriage, and many of them having to do with me. I also felt so guilty when I found out about the affair. I blamed myself.
But I have learned that there is absolutely no excuse for an affair, none.
Your wife should have come to you and requested a divorce before ever deciding to start up with another man. That may have knocked you out of the depression that you were in a forced you to make the changes that the knowledge of the affair has done. It is the fear of losing someone that causes us to change as much as the knowledge of an affair.
You need to quit blaming yourself, keep working on your health, mental and physical, and tell your wife that you understand why she was unhappy, but that if she wants to have this other man in her life, you are filing for a divorce.

Then go see an attorney and let her know you have done so. She is in the fog right now, and the only way to bring her out of that if possible is the fear of losing you. If she does not care, then nothing will bring her back.
Begging and showing weakness to a person still in the fog is the worst thing you can do.

So sorry you are going through this pain, and you may have made lots of mistakes and maybe you even deserved to have you wife divorce you. BUT you did not deserve for your wife to have an affair. She took the most destructive path possible to make herself happy and also the most selfish.
Good luck and keep posting. You will get support, love, and advice, here.

lostsoul214 posted 8/1/2013 17:44 PM

I was never mean or never abusive. I would even say that i never even yelled at her. She just said that i didn't show her i cared. I really like all the advise that has been given. It's just so hard to follow considering who soon this happened.

After she told me that she had the affair and that she was leaving. I turned super needy and didn't want her to go. She asked me why I was torturing myself.

[This message edited by lostsoul214 at 5:54 PM, August 1st (Thursday)]

lostsoul214 posted 8/3/2013 05:05 AM

I'm getting to the point of putting her on blast and posting a picture of her I found with this other guy on Facebook. Title being: Happy late aniversery oh wait that's the guy you've been cheating on me with for the last 4 months!" Lol. I dont care how it makes me look. I want to hate her but im such a nice guy.She is still blaming everything on me. She is not taking any blame on herself. I love her so much but fudge!! I didn't deserve that. She never told me what she was feeling. She just did it. I'm so hoping for reconciliation but ...

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