[This message edited by Felco at 11:32 AM, December 24th (Tuesday)]
WS are normally in a
I recommend doing the 180 in the meantime. Right now, what ever a WS says is just FOG TALK, and they still need to detox from the drug.
The longer the Affair, I believe the longer a detox is needed for WW, IMHO. WW are tied to OM emotionally and it is normally much easier for the WH to drop the OW then it is for WW to drop the OM until the affair dies a natural death...
What you need to guard against is this turning into a win win event for your wife. She has a wonderful affair and acquires a new soul mate; meanwhile she now has you running around trying your best to be a model husband. You are emotionally relating better and she still gets to see the OM daily at work; the flames have died down but they have not been extinguished....
With no pain for the WS its hard to see how she will learn a lesson from all this. You are very eager to reconcile even though you are not her "Twin Flame" Its hard to see how you will ever be able to trust your WW again, given this affair has been so rewarding for her. Next time you disappoint her who will she turn to?
No real remorse, but if you wait patiently she will incrementally grant you more love and attention; bearing in mind you are diminished in comparison to her twin flame. She still has those precious memories of her soul mate you can't take away from her.
This is not the way to reconcile.
[This message edited by Felco at 12:52 PM, December 24th (Tuesday)]
The 180 might shake her back to her senses. I see you're not far out here and you should expect a lot of ups and downs along the road. You can't 'nice' a WS back to you. Don't let her think you're her backup plan, since it failed with him. (I'm sorry I don't know your whole story...when it started, when it ended, who ended it, etc., so I'm basing what I say on this post you made.)
The 180 is for YOU. It is about you not being an option, it is about you deserving to be a priority. If she isn't willing to make you a priority, she just plain doesn't deserve you. It is about cherishing yourself, re-discovering your dignity and insisting you are not treated like a contestant in a game where an unfaithful wife is the "prize". YOU, sir are the prize. If she doesn't get that, she should not even make the cut as a contestant.
Get a little distance, perspective, space.
You cannot nice her or grovel her to sanity.
[This message edited by JustWow at 8:14 PM, December 24th (Tuesday)]
edited for typos (I always have to!)
Does the OM's wife know about the A? If not tell her asap.
I guess I am scared to pushing her away further since I am getting "results" by being more emotional and affectionate
You aren't getting results, your WW is getting results. She is essentially training you to let her rugsweep and she likely doesn't even realize it yet.
FEAR is your worst enemy right now. FEAR is Betrayed Husband Kryptonite. FEAR makes you do the exact opposite of what you should be doing. FEAR makes you ignore what your brain is telling you. Your heart will catch up to your brain eventually but you are letting FEAR keep you stuck right now when you should be taking control of the situation for your own emotional and physical well being. I am telling you this because I and many others tried in vain to love/logic/reason/bargain our WW's back into marriages. It doesn't work. You know what might work and get your WW to own her shit and get the help she needs to fix her problems, being firm and standing up for yourself. Yes, there is the possibility your WW may still walk out but believe me it's better to have her walk out now than for you to suffer for years and still have her walk out later. She may in fact turn it around but she will only do that if you take control of the situation right now by putting some consequences squarely in her face that she CAN'T ignore.
You can't push someone away that is already gone. She left when she started the A. Your old M died when she started the A. The person in front of you now is a ghost. You can't nice her back. The results you see is her not having to face consequences for her actions and being allowed to rugsweep things away. If you haven't, you will soon notice a pattern. When YOU DON'T talk about her A things will SEEM fine but when you do talk about the A, have a bad day because you are triggering, or get pissed off and confront her things will NOT be fine. It's because she wants to ignore what she did and be allowed to cake eat. Don't believe for one second that she is actually back in your M. They still work together and she gets to see him everyday they go to work. Even if the A truly is over(you shouldn't believe that for a second if you haven't told the OM's wife yourself) she is still very much still involved in the A in her mind. Each time she sees him she thinks of her twin flame.
You need to put the hammer down now and do a hard 180 and go see a lawyer. If she is serious about fixing herself and resolving her issues then you need to push her that way by forcing her to face consequences. Rugsweeping this is not going to make it go away. She is literally a drug addict but her drug of choice is the OM. Drug Addicts don't go cold turkey overnight. She is addicted to the OM which is why she calls him her twin flame. You can't "win" or "love" her back. No more sending her poems, songs, or flowers. That's rewarding her for bad behavior. If your dog shits on the floor you don't give him a treat. Some people would say stick his nose in it, swat him with a newspaper, give him some stern words, and send him outside. Your WW has shat all over your M but she doesn't want her nose stuck in it. She wants to ignore the big steaming pile of shit she dropped on your M. Her being home, being nice to you, affectionate, not cheating anymore is stuff she was supposed to do. This is bare minimum baseline stuff for a marriage. So no more rewarding her for shit she was supposed to be doing as an honorable wife in the first place. Until she gets into counseling, finds another job, truly shows some remorse, you are not going to get anywhere. You are actually going backwards by making yourself "look" weak. It may not have clicked with your WW yet but what you are subconsciously doing is telling her that she can cheat on you and you will take her back and shower her with affection. 180 up, let her squirm and be pissed off if necessary, she will either get her act together or she was never going to get it together to begin with.
She may actually leave but guess what she was going to leave anyway if that's the case. The truth is she already left when she had the A. Being strong and forcing your WW to face the music so to speak puts you in a position that says her behavior is unacceptable and she needs to fix that shit asap or you're gone. Go see a Lawyer if you haven't. I am not trying to be an ass just trying to explain why loving them back and letting fear control you doesn't help anything. I wish you the best and keep posting.
[This message edited by 7yrsflushed at 10:35 PM, December 24th (Tuesday)]
The only comment I can add to his very perceptive post is to point out that fear in the BH is a very unattractive feature. Women are drawn to strength and confidence in a man; a betrayed spouse who is falling over himself to prematurely forgive his wife and is seeking reassurance for his fear, is not respected by the WW. You are in essence condoning her worship of the OM and begging for some of that adoration. Be tough and decisive, or you will surely fail to save your relationship..
You absolutely cannot "nice" her back. YOU are not the reason she cheated. What is broken in her is why she cheated. And she cheated because she wants BOTH you and OM. If she wanted only him she would have left instead of cheating and started that relationship all in. She didn't do that. She wants cake. She wants both. Close the bakery.
I can't second this strongly enough. I did the "pick me dance" for almost a year. All it did was feed her narcissism (after all, her OM was doing the same thing) and almost destroy me.
What made me file relates to what 7yrs says: fear. I was petrified that giving up the dance, folding my cards and walking away from the cruel game would make her not want me. Think of how irrational that is. She had not wanted me already. Fear of the irrational kept me rooted in flames, inert and ever-hopeful.
I steeled myself and plunged through the fear and flames and filed. I had to. My mind told me but I had not listened. Evidence compelled me. It had to be done--not to get her back (she was gone already) but for my self-respect, for my pride, for my integrity, for everything on which I pride MYSELF. Not her.
Now we are weeks away from final divorce and she wants me back.
I don't want her any more.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
Felco, so many have been in your shoes. They all know the same thing - you can't nice a person back. Being nice reinforces their behavior, and more importantly, if you make yourself an option, you will always be an option.
Cheaters are like children. Consequences are what works, because cheaters are amazingly selfish. She's done what she's wanted to do, and you're still there, wanting her, loving her, asking her to stay.
So why the hell shouldn't she continue doing what she wants? Because you're hurting? Well that hasn't mattered yet, so what makes you think it will suddenly matter? It won't. It's only feeding her ego.
The 180 is not for her, it's for you. There is no 'modified' 180. The 180 is to build YOU up. It's to start making you see that you don't need to accept less. It's practice for moving on with your life. Sure, you don't want to - but you need to. You are so wrapped in what she's doing - do you know you anymore? Do you recognize you?
It's true - many a wayward spouse have snapped to when the BS does a hard 180. They see what they are losing, and reality sets in. Any 'modification' means you're doing it for her, and you're not showing her what she's losing.
If you want your marriage to work, you need to be willing to lose it. That is said here a lot, and it's true. It's so true.
Call the lawyer tomorrow. Do it in front of her. And then do a HARD 180, for you.
You shouldn't accept what she's doing, at all. No one should. You keep saying you want to be true. Great - be true to you.
So your wife, right now, is having you fawning over her and is thinking she is all that and a bag of chips. She gets to have an A and talk in all the sickening middle school platitudes about OM while you are trying to pick your heart up off the floor and preserve life as you know it.
It is very likely you are in shock. The 180 is about YOU getting control of YOU, about YOUR healing and empowerment. It is not intended to elicit a result or behavior from your WW. She is off in some fantasy land. She may come back, or maybe not. But you have to live with YOU, no matter what. So the 180 is to help you get stronger.
Please, please, do not send her any more love songs. And please get up off your knees, dust yourself off and re-implement the 180 for yourself. You deserve better than what she is doing right now.
In the shock after D-day, I idealized my M, thought I had to hang onto it no matter what. After the dust settled, I realized that I had settled for terrible behavior from my H. I deserved better. So he either needed to make the necessary changes or I was prepared to walk away.
Please look after yourself with the 180. You deserve it.
Curious to know if people on here that give advice are not bitter, did they save the marriage or Divorced.
The mind frame of the posters
Bitter. Hmm. Bitter that I was cheated on? Yes, you bet. Did it break up our marriage? Nope, not at all. We are 'kind of separated' now. He has an issue with porn and I said I wouldn't live with it. A few fights later, and he's agreeing to counseling for the issue, so we will see.
For the A, my DDay was 2 years and 361 days ago. We have been together since, and for a time I was very happy. However, he reverted too much into a homebody so that I would be comfortable, and this porn thing got way out of hand. Different issue.
For the A - for a week I was in shock. My mind was reeling, I couldn't quite shake the feeling that I was in some bad dream. Finally I woke up completely. He was completely unremorseful and acted like it was no big deal. It was an EA, and he had already ended it before I found out. So to him, no harm done. Right.
I threw him out after a fight. Reality hit him fast. It was a big deal. He didn't want to lose me. He saw it all, for what it was - within hours.
If I hadn't done that, who knows. If I had let him control things - if I had let him continue with his no big deal attitude, we wouldn't have made it 3 years.
I'd be very careful asking if the posters here are bitter. They are trying to help you, and they've been through what you are going through. You can read their posts to see where they are. There is a mix of reconciled, divorced, separated.
I know you're hoping that those with the 'tough love' message are bitter and judgmental and want others to take their road. That's not true here. Everyone that is here is here because they care, they've been there, and they want to help others.
I have other things I could be doing on Christmas morning. I'm checking in here to see if anyone needs someone to hear them. Someone to know they aren't alone.
I don't come here to make sure others have failed marriages. Please remember why the members are here - it isn't out of bitterness.
Thanks, and again, I know why you asked. It's ok.
So yes, this shit sucks. No I am not a bitter divorces dude. But what I am is someone who stood up for myself and my son. I wasn't going to have a marriage where I was second class/a back up plan. My son deserved a home where he understands true love. But you need to shatter the fairy take. He started it by throwing her under the bus. You now need to draw the line in the sand and speak to your wants and demands in your marriage. Watch her actions, she needs to start to chase you, get in IC, set up MC to repair M. She needs to step toward you and you need to demand it.
[This message edited by lordhasaplan? at 8:54 AM, December 25th (Wednesday)]
I know I need to just work on me BUT we have committed to working on us. So, we sleep in the same bed, hug, kiss, no sex.
We have made it a point to try not to talk about the elephant in the room.
What? You are intentionally avoiding that your wife is 'in lurvvvvv' with someone else?
OK, forget her for a minute. Why don't you think you deserve better? Why are you willing to be married to a woman that loves someone else (or thinks she does)? Why would you avoid that topic so that she can have zero reason to look inside herself and see what is really wrong with her?
You are 'covering' for her, even now. She didn't have an EA and then eventually slept with him 5 times. She had an EA/PA. It was physical. They had sex. She is delusional.
Let me ask you this - and I'm not trying to be cruel - but if you were in 'love' with another woman, and you told your wife this, and she stayed with you and cried and begged and sent you love songs, how much respect would you have for her? Don't turn this into a love story - how much respect would you have? None. Zero. Nada. You would appreciate her efforts, but you would view her as a doormat. No one loves a doormat. I'm sorry, but they don't. They stay with them, they use them for comfort, they enjoy the attention, but without respect there is no love.
This is particularly true for women. No respect for the man = no love for the man (not romantic love).
Again - sorry, and I'm not trying to hurt you, but this 'lets not discuss you loving another man, and lets hug and kiss but not have sex, and I'll wait and hope you fall out of love and back in love with me, and I'll send you love songs and break down in front of you' is not helping you, at all. I'm being extremely blunt here because you are in your own fog.
Pretend this was a friend of yours telling you this story. What would you think of his actions? What would his wife think?
Things aren't different in your house. There is nothing different in your marriage, just as there was nothing different about your wife's affair.
She's waiting, right now, for her OM to console his BS, and then take the A underground. What else is she waiting for? She would do it in a second if he agrees, and it happens often. Too often. Men like the side sex, so they wait a month and then go underground. Your wife is praying this happens. Do you understand this? You are waiting to see if your wife can resume her affair.
180 - and either tell her to leave or start making plans to leave. Call an attorney. Show her you aren't a doormat for her or anyone else, and she's free to love a married man if she wants, but not while she's married to you.
She'll see things differently. I can't say she'll say she was wrong and see the light, but she will absolutely see things differently.
OM was taken from her, so she wants him more. You? You're still right there. What's to want?
Sorry - again, I'm trying to get the truth out there for you. I know you are doing what you're doing out of love for your wife and marriage, but you're actively allowing it to die.
First of all: Did I reconcile? No. My fiancé cheated on me a couple of weeks before our marriage. I walked out of that relationship. I have however been married to my present (and hopefully only) wife for about 25 years, and that marriage has gone through the whole spectrum of issues (some of them related to semi PTSD from the infidelity I experienced) including suspected infidelity and semi-EA but fortunately no real infidelity.
Plus I have extensive experience in crisis management. I think I have a rep here on SI for being extremely pro-reconciliation and it IS my belief that there is hardly a case here on SI that can’t be reconciled. It all weighs down to what we want. ALL the advice below is based on saving your marriage. ALL OF IT.
And that’s the KEY ISSUE: WHAT DO YOU WANT?
OK – Don’t tell me you want to reconcile. That’s like saying you want to win the lottery. It’s not within YOUR control. What do you want that is realistic?
[Small but major side note here: A marriage can NEVER recover from imagination. It has to recover from reality. The facts have to be on the table and recovery based on totally honesty and reality. Nothing else works,]
So what’s your “reality”?
What is your wife offering?
She’s told you that the OM is so f@cking special that he farts angel dust and cures cancer. Or something to that extend. That he’s her “twin flame” (puke). That he rides wild unicorns along the beach into the sunset while solving world poverty.
How are you going to compete with that?
She’s offering to accept you. To compromise her values and life’s ambitions and “settle” for you.
You are not the second option, you are not the backup plan: You are something she’s willing to settle on because her “twin flame” is busy saving his family.
Are you happy with that?
Think your marriage will be good without slaying that great white elephant shitting in the corner?
If you think this is great and you two will live a content and happy life… Don’t bother reading any more.
Still here? Why? Could it be that what she’s offering doesn’t sound good?
Well… Remember a couple of things:
Emotions are relative.
When she says he’s her “twin flame” she really believes it. For now. Just like she was totally honest when she committed to you originally. And like that commitment then her current infatuation with OM can be changed.
Realize this one major fact (if you are still reading!): Your worst outcome of this situation is NOT divorce. The absolute worst outcome would be to remain married, your wife constantly pining for what she “sacrificed” to be with you and you two never having a good, fulfilling marriage. Divorce can be a path to self-recovery. Remaining in infidelity is a path to self-destruction.
So tell your wife:
I do not accept being an option or a compromise. If you are being totally honest that OM walks on water and he provides you with emotions and experiences that nobody else does, has done or will ever do… Well… I won’t compete with that.
She should know by now what man you are and what you can offer. If that’s not enough and if she doesn’t believe that will stack up to OM… Then you are going to seek someone else that can be YOUR “twin flame” (puke).
Tell her you do this for several reasons: Your own self-respect and sense of worth, your right to have a spouse that loves you unconditionally and last but not least: Because of your love for HER. If she’s being honest then by remaining with her you are holding back on HER possibilities of life-happiness and by setting her free you are respecting HER and her wishes.
If she wants to remain married to you… Then she has to tell you she WANTS to be married to you because of YOU. Not because of your lifestyle, financial situation, the kids, the house or the dog. She wants to be married to you because YOU are her flame. Because reality tells her she’s better off as a person with you.
Then start the emotional path of detachment.
No rush. Don’t need to file or move out. Divorce is a long process and can be done step-by-step. But stop talking about future purchases, next years holidays, visiting relatives together and so on. Start the process of this marriage being over.
Let OM know that your wife is free. Since they work together then also let their boss know. Let your WW know she doesn’t have to hide the affair from you. She can go out with OM and date him openly for all you care. She can go to the local Marine barracks and let a whole platoon feed her “twin flame” for all you care. But as long as she isn’t remaining In the marriage for the right reasons… then terminating this marriage is simply a technicality.
I can tell you with about 90% accuracy what will happen:
OM will deny your wife once more.
Being shunned seems to tarnish white-knight armor real fast.
Heck – If you are lucky he will send a NC letter.
Realizing that her knight actually poops smelly ones and isn’t going to offer her a unicorn-ride tends to wake WW up real quick.
Realizing their husband is willing to stand up for his rights tend to make his armor glow brighter.
Realizing the gate is open and she’s free to roam tends to make home and safety look a lot better.
And Falco: You can’t deal with this by ignoring it.