WW has been having an affair for about 2 yrs, though I don't know for sure - she only calls it a friendship. She is deeply entangled with the OM (coworker) who has 2 kids and lives overseas with his family. Most of their relationship is via email/text but they meet up on work trips a few times a year, go on dates and have sex. WW had an abortion and covered it up but she knows that I know this. I have never confronted WW with some of the evidence I have but I have told her how much I know.
I haven't exposed the affair and I realise most people would disagree with this but for my situation it is the right call. The challenge I have, however, is that the A is a 'super fantasy' b/c of the overseas element... there is really no opportunity for it to die a natural death or feel the pressure of real life.
DDay was 4 months ago and I agreed to a trial separation (1 month left), which had me moving out so we didn't disrupt our 4yr olds life too much. We are both in IC and MC but I'm fairly certain she is still in contact with the other man, though no proof. This is understandable in some respects b/c I honestly didn't expect her to turn her feelings for him off immediately and switch them to me - it's a process.
To date, I have been hiding my feelings from my wife (crying) except once in MC so as to not appear weak or trying to lay guilt on her. Since that MC session my wife has been emotional but I wouldn't say remorseful. I have been up beat and doing more around the house and it is showing some benefits such as talking with her more (at her request) and her divulging information about her IC so the lines of comms have opened up in essence. However, I expect my wife to want 'more time' to think about what she wants.
I am going to discuss with with my IC (who is our MC) b/c I think my wife is still in the fog. I am planning on implementing aspects of the 180, which I have been doing in conjunction with changing my behaviour that led to her unhappiness. This is contradictory for sure, however, it was important for me to show my wife that I can change and that change is sustainable b/c the change is for me, not her (like getting more involved in my daughters life etc).
The full 180 feels like a zero sum game to me, which perhaps it is. You may ask what I want, well I will tell you - I want to stay married b/c I love my WW even though I am angry as hell at her. WW is ambivalent and I realise I can't push/pull her off the fence. As time goes on I am becoming ambivalent as well mostly b/c I don't think it's fair she is having her cake and eat it too and the pain of the A is compounded by her inability to choose me.
I am thinking of telling her that it is unacceptable to be speaking with the OM, while she is still unsure of R, and that she needs to move out of the house and leave our daughter behind with me until she can make up her mind. This could induce the right level of consequence on her and start to lift the fog but it is more likely to be seen by her as manipulation.
Your WW has had no real consequences for a 2 year LTA (since you won't expose the A)
You have had the very real consequence of moving out which actually gave her more opportunity to continue the A
Your WW has not agreed to NC much less written a NC letter
You talk about "changing my behaviour that led to her unhappiness" which has nothing to do with her decision to have an A. Problems in the M are shared. The decision to betray the M is 100% on your WW.
I am thinking of telling her that it is unacceptable to be speaking with the OM, while she is still unsure of R, and that she needs to move out of the house and leave our daughter behind with me until she can make up her mind.
We are both in IC and MC but I'm fairly certain she is still in contact with the other man, though no proof. This is understandable in some respects b/c I honestly didn't expect her to turn her feelings for him off immediately and switch them to me - it's a process.
You need to stop beating around the bush with your WW. I disagree with this...
WW is ambivalent and I realise I can't push/pull her off the fence.
You talked about being more upbeat, doing more around the house, and showing her you can change. What has she done to show you she's deserves you? For two year...two years...she has betrayed you, her vows, her whole family. And for what? For a loser who cheats on his own family who lives in another country.
My concern is that you are in shock and are afraid to take decisive action for fear of "driving her away". Except if you're afraid of her reaction that should tell you where her reaction really is. If you're afraid of her reaction then you already know the answer.
Also, there are plenty of WS on SI who took time to defog from their APs. Guess what? The only who did so successfully that I have ever seen on SI did so with NC fully in place. Your WW hasn't indicated she even wants to try. Sorry but with everything you've laid out here I think you need to proceed under the (very safe imho) assumption that your WW has not ended the A at all
[This message edited by Brandon808 at 2:39 AM, February 23rd, 2014 (Sunday)]
The only tried and true, time tested action to take is to be prepared to dump her cheating ass and expose her for what she is. In doing so it bursts the fantasy bubble she lives in. Inform their employer, inform friends and family, inform the OBS. You must make the A as difficult as possible. Right now she is calling the shots. But if you stand up and say STOP you take back the power from her. This may or may not allow her to see the errors of her ways. If she does that's great, but be prepared to have a full list of expectations from her if she wants to stay M to you. If she does not, well your just that much further along in your healing. Exposure and reality is like Kryptonite to an A. I suggest you use them. Good luck brother.
I understand that you are scared of losing your wife, but friend, you already have. Are you willing to stay like this forever? I would assume not. If not, then why the endless waiting?
I haven't exposed the affair and I realise most people would disagree with this but for my situation it is the right call.
This seems to be the only firm decision that you have made, and is one that protects your wife's secrets and betrayals. Why is it the right choice for you? You have a lot of power at your disposal, but are choosing not to take actions that will help you and your child. And just to be clear, nothing you can do will "win" your wife back...as you do not control her...but you can work on preparing to remove yourself from this situation. You just have to put aside your fears.
Expose this to the other man's betrayed wife. See a lawyer. Learn your rights. Separate your finances. Close joint accounts. Brandon was spot on that you can absolutely push your wife off the fence. You, to this point, have given her ZERO reason to make any choice. What you need to do is expose and no longer accept her behavior and actions(the pushing off the fence part), and remove yourself as one of the sides of the fence that she can safely land on. Do you honestly believe that the other man is going to leave his family, and swoop in to rescue your wife....to live happily ever after? And if you did believe that, why would you want to stay with her, for know other reason than to be a "safe", distant 2nd place in her heart and mind?
You deserve so much better than that , my friend. Please stop selling yourself short. Stand up for what you should MINIMALLY have in a marriage---a committed, loving, caring spouse, who puts you and her family above all others.
I get the fear, I really do. I was probably the weakest member to ever join this site. It took me way to long to finally take the advice of the other members here----which seemed counterintuitive to everything that I believed----and finally get on the right track. Believe us---all we are trying to do is save you a prolonged agony. The sooner that you pick yourself up off of the ground...and stand up for what is RIGHT...the sooner that you will start to recover.
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
Accepting that I can may end this marriage 7/2/14
Heading for D
You withdraw the attention you were investing in your wayward and reinvest it in things important to you. In your case, that is you and your daughter.
Any pretense that your marriage is working is a false pretense. So stop investing in it.
Investing in you means whatever you need it to be - getting in shape, continuing IC, throwing yourself into work, your social life and your personal well being.
Investing in your daughter means being the best Dad you can be and 'being there' for your daughter as she goes through all those things young children go through AND the dysfunction of a seriously broken family situation.
Please do these things (an other things important to you) for you, your daughter and your WW.
[This message edited by Merlin at 7:54 AM, February 23rd (Sunday)]
Her: WW/57 Me: BS/63 24yrs M
3 great kids, now 22, 20, 17 b,b,g
D-Day 8/14/08, D 1/13/11
I'm sorry you're here, but it's good you posted. I know you want your M. But what you are holding onto is something you would never want from the outside, nor should you. There are good reasons for that. Right now you're too caught up in our own fantasy, that if you don't rock the boat you can nice her back, sweep this under the rug, and have the life with her you were supposed to have and still want. That fantasy is more comforting than the reality (your WW is disrespecting you and making your love a mockery, using you for comfort until she is ready to leave or find a new AP, whatever), but you have to wake up and face it in order to save yourself from the situation. It sucks, but you can do it. Start by seeing a lawyer this week to get your ducks lined up to file and end her cake-eating.
Also you need to find a way to alert the BW of the OM. She deserves to know and the swift exposure will help with clarifying the situation.
Stay strong. Keep posting. The 2x4s aren't fun but we just want you to start standing up for yourself.
I have to agree with the other posters. I really don't get why you didn't expose..why was it the right call to make accord to you?
You knew/know about the affair. Allowed them to go out and meet each other and do whatever. You say this is a fantasy and it will die a natural death, but it's not really fantasy is it? In fact it's probably the worst kind of affair one can have. They get to keep their emotional bond, they get to meet up every now and then, strengthen those bonds meanwhile she comes home to you, a man that knows about the affair and does nothing but hang around on the fringes hoping it will end.
Yes you want your wife back, but waiting it out is not going to work.
In the eyes of the court this is abandonment. Sleep in the guest room/ basement /bathroom whatever, just get back.
I'm not going to waste a lot of words because you have had some really great advice from some veterans that have mapped the way through infidelity and have come out the other side.
Please check out the below links:
Check out some of your fellow "JustFoundOut" Forum posters. Read Abbondad's journey. Take a look at Felco's 25 page of posts. Maybe seeing the obvious in another person's situation may help you see what the reality of your situation is.
I wish you and your family the best of luck. Sorry you found yourself to this place.
First, I don't want to come across defensive but I wish to clarify a few things. I never knew the affair was going on, I only found out by accident. I exposed it to my WW and left it at that. The reason for non-exposure at this point was simply to give her a choice to confess and choose me/us rather than force her hand. My next move will allude to the threat of exposure rather than exposing it (though I reserve the right to change my mind at any time =). I simply don't wish to stoop down to her level, this is my choice and one I am happy with at the moment any way.
I have set boundaries and will redraft an NC letter and make it very clear what I find acceptable and not acceptable (she did agree to NC). I have not consulted a lawyer yet, though I have researched the law and starting collecting the appropriate materials. Additionally, I am thinking about getting back into the house and asking her to leave (with NC to either me or our daughter) until she can make a decision.
The purpose of the trial separation was simply b/c I went off the handle a bit when I first found out. I wasn't angry or abusive, in fact I was numb, but I was insistent on long talks and answers, which is when she shut down. I actually thing the TS was good for me so I could recover from the shock a bit and get my head on straight. Right now I am thinking on how I could renegotiate the TS under the assumption she wants more time (again, stronger boundaries and firmer rules).
I am doing more things for me, my daughter, but also being considerate to my WW. It is hard to describe on the web and I'm sure may are shaking their heads saying this guy just doesn't get it. Perhaps you are right. At this point I have no idea if the OM is still in the picture, only a strong suspicion purely based on lack of trust.
I am not afraid of her reaction, I am mentally prepared for D, which is the easiest path but one I wish not to take until I feel I have to. It is fair to say that I keep my feelings to myself but I am working on this in IC and have been a lot more assertive lately and working on my self esteem. I am still learning a lot about myself and I have more effort to give to myself and to my M and my WW is joining me in this process, all be it at arms length at times.
Until I run out of steam I will continue to put the effort in b/c it is good for me and my daughter.
Again, most are shaking their heads or pumping their fists - I get that.
Listen, I'm a world-class justifier of my own decisions. I want to try to R? I will make up a long list of the reasons it's okay. I did this just a few months ago. I wasn't on SI yet so no one was bashing me with 2x4s but if they had been it might not have changed my course. That course gave my exWBF a lot of latitude to keep betraying me, which of course he did. So I understand that you have thought a lot about this, feel you're proceeding wisely, because I felt confident about the same things. I later felt very foolish about that confidence.
I am planning on implementing aspects of the 180, which I have been doing in conjunction with changing my behavior that led to her unhappiness. This is contradictory for sure, however, it was important for me to show my wife that I can change and that change is sustainable b/c the change is for me, not her (like getting more involved in my daughters life etc).
Your M issues do not matter right now, really. You;'re excusing your wife's A because you weren't the perfect husband. Is there such a thing as a perfect husband, a perfect marriage? Not to my knowledge. So no, you weren't perfect. That does NOT make this your fault. Now is NOT when yous how her how you're going to change. You can change all you want and if she is still in love with someone else and involved with them it will not matter in the slightest.
It's great you're setting up your boundaries, being firm and stopping giving your WW leeway is the best tack. THAT is what will be best for you and your daughter.