[This message edited by 2yrsinthedark at 4:23 PM, April 26th (Sunday)]
Married 18 yrs
two yr EA (maybe longer, maybe w/ more than one)
4 Kids 15,13,8,8
I'm not sure I want this M to work, but I figure it's too soon to tell.
Beauty is a calling...a call "to transfigure what has harden or was wounded within you"
-- John O'Donohue
I know when I do confront, he's not going to understand what the issue is, they're just friends, blah blah blah. I'm not looking forward to it, but it needs to happen (the confrontation) eventually.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm subconsciously waiting for him to cross the (physical) line so I have a clear-cut "reason" to leave. I'm not sure if that is the case, but I reflect on what's taking me so #!*&% long to talk to him and wonder if that could be part of it. It seems like I'll get less understanding for leaving over an EA than a PA, if that's indeed what comes to pass. Anyone else ever felt like that?
My WS asked me, "Why are we so focused on this? It's not like I slept with anyone!" Funny how the images in my head when I read the sex-fantasy emails he shared with another woman are so clear cut. They certainly don't FEEL any less like a betrayal just because they're in written format....
So hang in there, WW. Whether you decide to confront now or wait, draw strength from the fact that your feelings are valid, no matter what. It's irrelevant what the most popular definition of "betrayal" is. If you feel your trust has been violated, then that's what needs to be dealt with.
Good luck...and love the name!
I told him I cant do that because he has shared emotions with another woman and one that I know.
I told him that you don't talk to another woman on the phone 5-7 times a day, 7 days a week for at least 2 years (I think its more than 5 years) without having some feelings for them. If they were both single, you could call it "courting".
He either understands what I'm feeling, or knows how I'm feeling but is gaslighting me so he can foolishly keep talking to her.
"It ain't about love anymore."
I imagine it's more difficult to give up an EA partner than a PA, especially since they became PA he says they have grown closer.
I hated how inn the last 3 false R's he would get so upset about how much "OW is hurting".. that was why NC was s broken.
It sucks because from my angle it look like he's more concerned about hurting her than what he's done to me and DS.
Nevermind. WH is a sociopath.
[This message edited by sofresh at 9:19 AM, June 1st (Monday)]
I was asked on another forum, back when I was still questioning what this was about, would I be this upset if he had another man as a friend about whom I knew nothing. The tone of the questioner hinted that the real problem was my 'jealousy.' But yes, I would find it pretty weird for a man to have a friend for over a decade and keep it from his wife. I would find it weird if my best friend, never mind my husband, had a friend for over a decade and never mentioned them to me.
Marriage means sharing your lives, and how can you be 'sharing' your lives with a thirteen year long friendship being kept secret?
I would say, however, that if it was that brief, if he's apologetic, if he's ended it completely and immediately, and is trying to make it up to him, I'm not sure I'd call it out and out cheating. I'd say he definitely put a toe in the water and who knows how far he would have gone had you not caught it. I'd take it as a warning about the ease of getting into these situations and his loneliness, and willingness to test the waters.
It sounds like you're doing the right things to prevent a recurrence, and the rest, of course, is up to him.
i can’t decide if he cheated on me – as though the words matter. but somehow they do. i know he did wrong by me, but “cheat?” – that i don’t know & it seems like i need to have a way to describe it before i can deal with it.
eightball, I think it's so hard for those of us whose spouses EA's were not romantic/sexual in nature. Maybe you might not want to call it "cheating" but he certainly betrayed you. For me the secrets, lies, deception and H talking about me to OW as if I didn't matter were just so disrepectful. So while I wouldn't say my husband cheated on me he was definitely unfaithful.
As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction.
yes, he has had no contact with her since i found out - i asked him not to and he hasn't (although i think that my response to the whole situation would have stopped further contact on its own - i was clearly upset and not willing to brook anything else, and he knew it - my irish was definitely on display. to give him his due, he got the clue pretty quickly). i know by his word, but also because he said that i could check his email, etc, and i have. she has tried to keep in touch with him, but he deletes the emails without reading or responding to them. he has been very good about everything since this happened, but i am just shocked - that sounds melodramatic, but it's true, i am shocked that he could get himself into the position he did. i mean, as i mentioned before, he is not one to look to underlying motives, he definitely takes things at face value (a quality that i would normally say serves him well, but in this case....) but still it amazes me just how dumb, susceptible, naive, what-have-you that he could be. and how that failing on his part put us in this position. because i honestly considered leaving him over this - the trust has been really damaged. but i try to look at the big pix and realize that one mistake - big whopper thought it is - shouldn't be the deciding factor, it's still tough to deal with. and i think that's why we'll eventually be able to work this out - because it was a mistake as opposed to action taken. i think that's part of why i was hung up on the question of did he cheat or not.
it scares me that i took for granted that we shared the same values/views on certain things - like i would never be in his situation, because i share everything with him for the reasons we've both mentioned - you share with your spouse. period. i honestly didn't think that needed discussion, but i guess it did/does. and the thing is, it's not like he didn't share out of malice, but out of cluelessness, you know? and when it comes to trusting my own judgment right now, i just have been asking myself how did i end up with such a clueless man? and to be fair that is the anger & hurt speaking, because i know that he is a good person and has been a good husband and wants to be a better husband, but still, it's a way i keep needling myself - how did i miss this? i don't mean to sound all self-righteous about how i would never do what he did, but i have been put in a similar position, and told my husband about it (an old friend was getting too flirty, and although it was nice to know someone still wanted to flirt with me, i reminded the guy that i was married and that's that, end of story. and i told my husband about it. so that's how i know i would do it differently).
the other thing that this has brought up is that i am maybe not the best at forgiveness - although i have to say i have been exceptionally fortunate to have had little to forgive (i am the first to acknowledge i have been a lucky person), and have not had a lot of practice at forgiveness. and that's the thing i am having trouble with right now, is that i'll be fine - and we'll be fine - and then some odd thing will remind me of just how dumb he was, what he put at risk. and that really stumps me, because i am not sure how this part of forgiveness works in a marriage. i realize there is no set timetable for forgiveness, but i would like to know when that feeling will abate. and for what it's worth, it's not a daily occurrence, but it seems to happen every couple of days - almost like my subconscious is reminding me to not let things go too quickly. does that makes sense?
and i feel the need to just say thanks to anyone and everyone who has read my posts, because it's reassuring to know that my words have an empathetic ear. moreover, my heart goes out to anyone in this type of situation because for lack of something more eloquent to say, it sucks. i don't want to begin to imagine how much more it could suck either, because some you have had to deal with truly heart-wrenching stuff. and that has at the very least given me some perspective (even if my ramblings indicate otherwise).
my best to all.
Reading your post reminds me a great deal of my feelings when I first started finding things out and asking questions.
I started from the supposition that my husband was a good man who would tell me the truth, and I tried to make all the facts fit that assumption. Eventually, I had to face that my belief in his goodness and honesty were the problem. Once I realized I was dealing with a man who can and will look me in the eye and lie on any subject, I was better able to see the situation.
What I'm getting to, trying to say it gently, is this:
it's not like he didn't share out of malice, but out of cluelessness, you know?
Mine had me convinced for a long time he was really that clueless. I'm sorry, but your husband was making plans to meet another woman and didn't tell you. No man is so clueless that he doesn't realize meeting another woman is worth mentioning to your WIFE.
This is why you're having a hard time forgiving two weeks of non-romantic e-mails. Because your gut is telling you that his story is off, that he knew darn well meeting another woman without telling his wife is off-limits to a married man. He's lying to you (in my humble opinion), trying to pass this off as an oops. My husband tried to claim that not mentioning her for 13 years was just an oversight. Uh... right. And I'd like to buy that bridge in Brooklyn.
You will continue to have a hard time forgiving because what you're really trying to do is convince yourself against the facts that it's all okay now, even though your gut tells you he's still lying, not taking responsibility, and therefore, it's still a problem.
I'm not saying anything is still going on, but that an infraction like this really requires the offending party to be honest and take responsibility in order to put things right.
I live knowing that it's a very real possibility, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to put it to rest.
thanks for responding again.
i have to say that i am not attributing his actions to his cluelessness because what he did was wrong. there is no question about that, and he has not tried to say otherwise. from the moment i confronted him about it, he has been apologetic and accepting blame. and i do believe him when he says he was not thinking beyond the moment of having sent the email. he is that clueless/non-analytical about things. i am not trying to excuse what he did, but it's almost like it was a burp - something that got out before he really thought about it. again, that's not saying he wasn't wrong – he was; but that's what our brains are for - to use them before we speak or act. would have been nice had he used his.
what i meant was his cluelessness about getting into the situation and not telling me at the beginning, before things got to the point of being wrong. just the simple fact of not sharing with me that he was talking to someone - again, i am not saying he has to report to me every single person he talks to or hears from because that's crazy and unrealistic and not even what i am talking about. but the fact that there were a couple of emails (again, at the beginning, she contacted him as "hey what have you been up to all these years?") is the point at which he should have said something - anything: "heard from someone i went to school with" or "so and so from my hometown & i have been emailing" that kind of thing. and that's where his cluelessness bothers me. because it's like if he didn't see how that was a problem, then that's the problem. i have known from the beginning of our relationship that he is not an analyzer, and as i mentioned before, i thought that was a good thing, because i do analyze things – perhaps too much. to that end, i thought we were a good tempering for each other – that there are things in life i should just accept, and that there are things in life that he should think about more. and up until now, i feel like that has served us well. but now, i just wonder – not so much about his love for me or commitment to our marriage because i think if nothing else this has been a wake-up call for him, where he really has had to think about what he has and how much he wants to keep it (me, the kids, our marriage, our family) – but whether our perspectives on life coincide enough to deal with the obstacles that confront us all in life. That’s where the trust has been damaged – i guess i’m unsure whether we are as “simpatico” as i had thought.
and, i say this again, thanks for responding. writing all this out helps my thinking. although we are doing the mc thing (and ic for me), there are moments when i have thoughts that i need to get out. so truly thanks.
If your gut is screaming, listen to it.