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Emotional Affair

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Whatever13 posted 12/1/2013 04:24 AM

I've been at it a little while. 9 months, to be precise. My wife and I are still relatively young. We had our first child in our teens. We've been together for nearly 10 years now. We've been through so much that the idea of her leaving kills every bit of me.

We have two beautiful children now. We moved from Michigan to Texas in July of 2012, in search of new careers and a better quality of life. But I was unable to find suitable work, and it ultimately forced us to move back and reclaim our previous occupations. However, when we left, things weren't the same.

After less than a week of being "home", she had been in contact with somebody she met at work in Texas. Somebody I'd never met before. Somebody she didn't tell me about. She would wait for me to go to work (I worked midnights, she was unemployed at the time), and then she would talk to him. I could only speculate upon the things they would say. But at some point, she decided it was him over me, and after a night out with friends, she told me she wanted to "experience other relationships", and that she "still loved me, but was no longer in love with me".

I was a wreck. I felt similarly at the time, bored, but didn't realize how this would affect me until it happened. I couldn't eat or sleep for nearly a week. I went to work and frightened my colleagues. Sullen. Suicidal. Vomiting in the parking lot. I hadn't been incredibly attentive over the last few years and I blamed myself. We had a brief discussion a couple days after the separation, in which I begged her not to go through with it. It was rather pathetic. And at some point I asked if there was someone else. Her response was "kind of". She paraphrased that she had been talking to some guy she met while we were in Texas, hours on end at night. The way we used to talk on the phone when we first met. I didn't want to hear the details at the time. I was so overcome with grief that I forgave her immediately, and continued to plea. After a few days, I couldn't wait any longer for something concrete, and I started staying with a friend. I swallowed my dignity and left her the option. A few more days had gone by, and after I had picked my daughter up from school and taken her home, she asked me to go grocery shopping with her. In the store, she said that she had made her decision and wanted to stay with me.

But get this. That very day she was still using this guy's birthday as her pass code to unlock her phone. I figured that out two weeks later, after she used it again to set up a PIN for an account for a job she'd just landed. I connected the dots between Facebook and our phone bill. She wouldn't tell me who he was for those first couple weeks. And for those first couple weeks, she'd led me to believe that she only wanted a sense of youth and freedom, like I'd taken her life from her. Suddenly the picture became much more clear. She wanted to leave me strictly for another guy. She wanted to abandon me, and her children, for a carefree life with someone else. I blew up. Threatened to leave. I don't know why I was so shocked by this. I should have see it in the first place. She caught up to me in the car. We had a long discussion. Crying, I punched the rear view mirror right off it's mounting. She begged me not to leave. And I related, because I had felt similarly at times. I related to her desire to care only about herself. She was my world, after all. Even if I'd previously forgotten. So I stayed. And I've tried so much harder to solidify our relationship since.

But as months have gone by, I don't feel the reciprocity that I had expected. I feel as though she isn't making an effort. As though she isn't even attracted to me anymore. I don't trust her, and the love that used to reside in her eyes has been replaced by a transparent sense of wonder. Like she's imagining what would have happened if things had gone the other way. A sense of regret.

I'm fucked up and torn at this point. I sometimes feel as though she's only staying with me for the sake of the kids, an ideology to which I don't subscribe. And the ambivalence is torture. I love her one minute, I can still see that sense of eternity, that unity. But the next, I can't get these ideas out of my head. This overwhelming notion that we were just too young, too naive, and that this is going to end badly. I love her to death, but I sometimes feel like I'm wasting my time on something doomed to fail.

And the triggers! Oh fuck, the triggers. This guy has a very, very common name. And every time I hear it, on TV, the radio, in a movie, walking down the street. It puts me back in that place. That hole I can't fully escape. I live with this murderous rage, this jealousy, this pain. I hide it so well, but I absolutely lose my shit inside.

And she seems so distant sometimes now. She barely touches me. I feel so hollow. All I want is that reassurance. I want her to return to form; the thoughtful, loving woman she used to be. I want to stop cutting myself and drinking myself stupid. I want the suicidal ideation to cease. But if none of this is ever going to get any better, I want to somehow know in advance, so that I can try to move on without utterly destroying myself.

I've been described as "severely codependent" by many psychiatric professionals. She used to be the same way. Maybe she grew up in ways I didn't. I don't know, but this shit is killing me, and even if I don't get any valid advice on this forum, it's good to simply get it out.

Smokehouse posted 12/1/2013 05:55 AM

There are things to definitely figure out to say the least. I would start with IC for the both of you. I know what it's like to look at your wife with so much love and it isn't returned. I am just now starting to see the turnaround for positive R.

Not sure how long your WW has been in the EA but, is she still in it. If she is, you won't see her return until you know it's over! Most realize after the fog lifts how stupid they were, how they imagined their marriage was much worse than it is. The fantasy of being with a new exciting person because there is no real world experience to the EA. Just them talking of being together and how wonderful it would be. Not set in reality.

If your WW still has that dazed look, I would imagine she is still in her A and you don't know it. Start your own little investigation and until you find out for sure, don't say anything. Good luck!

RipsInMyChest posted 12/1/2013 12:23 PM

I am so sorry you find yourself here. I am a little co dependent myself, so I understand the thoughts that you have. I think IC will help you to get stronger and realize that you can not only live without her, but thrive. Work on loving yourself, feeling worthy of a healthy relationship, bettering yourself physically and mentally, and knowing you will be fine...with or without her. That is the path to healing and happiness for you.

RipsInMyChest posted 12/1/2013 12:23 PM

Oops....double post.

[This message edited by RipsInMyChest at 12:24 PM, December 1st (Sunday)]

TheAmazingWondertwin posted 12/1/2013 12:46 PM

I am so sorry that you are in so much pain. I have felt so many of those same things. It is a horrible place to be.
Another co- dependent here- nice to meet you.

Understand that there is no easy fix. One step at a time- starting with you.
Eat. Rest. Get out of the house.
Think of your children.
They need you whole and healthy. You need to be healthy for them.
Devote your time to being a great father and doing things for you.
I am not saying it will be easy. It will be robotic and very difficult in the beginning. Very. You will break down, your mind will not shut off and you will be exhausted.
But it truly sounds like you need to focus on making you better.

Please notice- I very pointedly DID NOT mention your WS.
There will be time to worry what she is thinking/feeling/doing and talk with her about it.
I do not believe that now is the time for that.
I wish you so much strength right now.
So much of getting through this is just inner strength and resolve- even though we feel so weak and out of control.
The best advice I received in this site was to worry about me- getting myself better first.

Whatever13 posted 12/1/2013 23:04 PM

Thanks for the responses, guys. It's definitely constructive to get unbiased 3rd party perspective. I was drunk when I posted last night. I'd been visiting this forum for months, reading stories and looking for answers without ever really asking the questions. Sometimes it takes a disinhibitor for me to really open up, even in a place of anonymity.

My wife ended the EA the day after we initially separated. To my understanding, she called him on the phone, again while I was at work, and told him she wanted to work on her marriage, and that she wouldn't speak to him anymore. She has no proof of this, obviously, but I have no proof of the contrary. I've been watching her phone records like a hawk, and occasionally stealing her phone at random to read any texts or emails. She's deleted any form of social media account she ever had (that's how they first reconnected). I've monitored his Facebook account quite religiously, as painful as it is to read some of the posts before D-day, and he actually has a girlfriend now. So unless all of that is some very clever deception, the A has long been over.

We're in a place of reconciliation, with hopes of restoring whatever it was we used to have. But trust is nonexistent, and I'm not really seeing the efforts from her that I need to continue with my own. I've attempted the 180, and at times it seemed to work. I started working out, stopped drinking, became more diligent with our finances. She became more receptive to my gestures, but seldom made any of her own. It's been quite disheartening. The only time she seems to have any real emotive response to me is when I have one foot out the door. She'll cry, and beg, and I'll stay. We'll enjoy a week or two of blissful marriage before she fades into complacency again. So I'll go back into a vague depression, that I'll hide until I reach my boiling point. It's been cyclical and tedious.

After reading that last bit, I'm beginning to realize that I'm not doing the 180 properly. Every self-improvement I've made was to regain her attention, with little regard to actually getting better. So it backfires, and here I am.

I'm going to try the 180 again, with only the well being of myself and my children in mind. Thanks, all.

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