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Dr. Glass is the person that defined the term “emotional affair” and I will make the claim that no book I have read or heard off does as great a job of explaining and defining what an emotional affair really is. There are numerous spouses that have been in EA’s without acknowledging it as an EA that have had their light-chain pulled by reading this book.
To me this is a pivotal issue: Your wife doesn’t necessarily see her actions as wrong. She is changing her behavior to please you, but not because she thinks it crossed any line. If she has her “aha” moment when you two read that book… Well it’s definitely worth the try.
On the NC… Your WW wanting to come in and be around OM (even if not talking to him), her actions of sending the coupon… this is comparable to the recently dry alcoholic that orders a beer simply to have one in his hands, to smell it, to carry it around but with no intention to drink it… Never works. There is always that sip. There is always that sense of sacrifice. Your WW needs to see her actions for what they are and then she won’t want any contact with OM for the REAL reasons – not because she’s sacrificing anything.
And I too think the OMW should be told.
Once busted, she showed where her loyalty lie by talking to him about you. Like he was the one who mattered.
Now, everthing seems so much better. I'm guessing secret cell phone.
Not trying to be rough on you, and if not for the 6 year thing, and her convo with him about what you knew, I might agree that it was an early EA.
But you can't just discount those things. They are hugh red flags.
I don't know if it's an EA or PA or both, but it's something, and I feel like it's been going on for a very long time, and may still be going on.
Have you considered a polygraph to determine the extent of their relationship?
Even if you are totally right, and it was just the beginning of an EA, she is NOT showing the remorse needed for R.
Total NC is a must, as is transparency. Reading Not Just Friends mandatory. Genuine remorse - not there. Trying to make you fee safe - not there. She says the right words but does not follow up with the right actions.
Edited to add, since he and I cross-posted, ANTYTHING Bigger advises you to do is GREAT advice!
[This message edited by sudra at 9:45 AM, January 5th (Saturday)]
Bigger, to your point I have already downloaded the book “Not Just Friends” to our tablet that she uses as an e-reader about 3 days after the initial confrontation. She is I think, no I know, is afraid to read it.
I have read it. In the book (the introduction) it talks about how friends with all this new ways to electronically communicate can sometimes start crossing the boundaries and not even know it. From what I saw (chat logs for 3+ months), this is where they were at. There was no bad talk about their marriages, no bad talk about their spouses, just to much communication that I was not aware of, until I found it, that showed an increasing amount of emotional attachment.
Once confronted, she made some poor choices in trying to juggle her “friendship” that went against what she agreed to “not delete stuff”. After the last, she pledged to not delete anything going forward. (line in the sand)
She had agreed to read to book, but as of yet has not started, again I believe she still does not what to put herself labeled as in an emotional affair, she said that she did not like that word.
It has been 3 weeks since or last heated discussion about this, She said that I could trust her, I said no I cannot, and it sucked being married to someone you do not trust, that you could not trust someone 99% you either do, or you do not.
I said I can no longer trust your words as they have lied to me, I will now only trust your actions. I summed it up by saying the only things I know is that you were in an emotional relationship, that you said was inappropriate, he said was inappropriate, you said you would let me know of all contact and not delete things and you lied twice about it. I told her again to get her head out of her ass.
This seemed to hit home, she has not initiated any contact, and he has not even responded to any of her previous attempts of friendly or manufactured attempts by her.
All our conversations since have been about us, and rebuilding trust. She said that we should use this as a learning experience and has spoken of their friendship in the past tense.
Where am I at? My Gut tells me she now understands, this I can cross check with her actions. Will be asking her to complete what she committed to do, read the book.
When I say I can see just about everything, I mean it, these two are not very sharp on electronics, Crist she does not even know how to delete her internet history.
[This message edited by Overcomming at 7:47 AM, January 18th (Friday)]
I must join those that are warning you to prepare yourself (as much as possible) for the discovery that your wife has been involved sexually with this "friend". Six Years!?! Six Years!?!
Trust your gut from long ago. Your M can only be healthy when your WW is remorseful AND transparent.
When I uncovered my WWs A I did not at that time have proof of her sexual involvement with the AP. I SO wanted to believe that my WWs involvement was limited to a EA, it wasn't.
My WW also contacted AP post D Day, this proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt where her loyallty was.
I completely agree with what I have read others post on SI that; "EAs that are only EAs are as rare as unicorns" and "Thirtysomething adults don't just "flirt" if they have the opportunity to do more, adults know how everything works"
Where I disagree with many SI members is the opinion that an EA is just as bad as a Sexual Affair.Really!?! How many STDs have been transmitted from EAs!?! How many children conceived from EAs!?!Crossing the Sexual boundry is HUGE!
For a short (almost happy) time after discovery I thought I was dealing with an EA - confirmation of the sexual affair was to me emotionally what a firecracker (EA) is to a nuclear bomb (PA)!!
This is why I am encouraging you to please please prepare yourself emotionally!!
Take good care of yourself, know that you did not break her so you can not fix her. You have NO responsibilty for her choice to lie, cheat and steal from your M!
Also, PLEASE PLEASE tell the APs betrayed wife!! It is simply the right moral thing to do. Ask yourself, if the APs betrayed wife had found out first wouldn't you want to know??
[This message edited by whatlysbeneath at 8:20 PM, January 5th (Saturday)]
Update and a question:
Things have been quite for the most part, she is very open to my questions and wants to and feels that we are reconnecting and we are closer then we have been in a long while.
But, always a but, Last Saturday night she was working and used her work email to send him an email at his work. Nothing out of the line, just asking how his daughter was feeling (she was sick). Told him she does not check her work email, but will check more if he responds, she tells him she cannot access it from home. I can see it as I have access but she does not know.
Sunday afternoon, she can tell I’m upset, I tell her that I had just reread some of the past stuff and was triggering a little. Around 8 I left unannounced to drive around, (cell off).
When I came home around 9 all lights were off, kids in bed, she came down to the kitchen, started crying, and said she was worried about me.
Told her that the way she was acting (made that up) told my gut that she has had communication with him and has not told me. Told her it must have been from her work, a phone call, message, email or something (I of course already knew)
She then spent the next 15 min with me drilling her and her denying. Very tough
We went to bed, she was trying to cuddle me, I could not sleep, after about 2 hours I went to the basement, had some Jaeger, and listened to the conversation (had it recorded, but she does not know)
Went back to bed and fell asleep at some point.
In the morning we got up, me for work, and she was helping get the kids out to school. She came back into the bed room, sat on the bed and said that there was something she needed to tell me.
She told me that she did email him from work. I asked her why she didn’t tell me last night, she said she was very worried about what my reaction would have been considering my state, but she decided that she needed to tell me.
Monday night talked, Told her that I knew if I didn’t press the issue, she would not have told me. Tuesday more connecting, Wed she calls me at work and tells me she started reading the book “Not Just Friends” and would like to talk about it that night. We talk and go over the quiz in the beginning, we both score the friend ship around a 2 (Strong friendship, with some potential)
I have some questions that I had written down that we openly talked about.
Thursday, I had some more questions, she openly was there to talk about things, I thanked her.
Friday (today) now my question, he responded to her email from last weekend on Monday, nothing but answering her questions (typical friendship stuff like past communications). She does not know that he responded, and will not know till she goes to work tonight. I could delete his email and I believe she would not know, (web based).
Should I delete it or watch?
I’m leaning watch, as this would be a method of communication that I could monitor, all the past one they stopped when she became aware that I was monitoring.
Have a great weekend.
Told him she does not check her work email, but will check more if he responds, she tells him she cannot access it from home.
she came down to the kitchen, started crying, and said she was worried about me.
She then spent the next 15 min with me drilling her and her denying
I asked her why she didn’t tell me last night, she said she was very worried about what my reaction would have been considering my state.
I knew if I didn’t press the issue, she would not have told me.
Should I delete it or watch?
I really hope I am wrong, but I really don't think I am. I see so much of myself in you, and my heart is just breaking. You're acting so much like I did when I first started getting worried. I just want you to stand up for yourself, trust your gut, you know the truth. Best of luck to you, and remember we're all here for you!
[editted for spelling and format]
[This message edited by faithfulfool at 10:25 AM, January 18th (Friday)]
You've done the bounderies and NC talk......and she continues to break both.
I would continue to monitor her email and see how far she takes it. It's gonna get bad now that OM responded.
My wife kept lying about the contact for two months which caused extreme damage.
She then after two months went total transparent, letting me know of just about all contact and not deleting things, thought I was settling in, but it’s tough to see your wife on the phone with another married man for 30-45 min every few weeks, and ongoing texting and FB messaging. But that was the deal, and she was sticking with it.
Unfortunately this just made me go crazy; always looking over my shoulder, wondering what would be next. Things between us grew great, we were connecting again.
After so many lines in the sand that have been crossed, I was feeling week, but after 3 months I told myself that she would not be attending a summer scout camp where he would be, I told her for 4 months this would be very bad for the marriage. Told her I would not be attending with our son, that he was old enough (13) to be more than fine by himself.
About 1 month out I get the feeling that she is planning to go, this set off some sever anxiety, as I know what it would mean. She saw my pain, but was insistent on going.
(New Comers LISTEN)
The day before she was to come home, I made the call that I should have made 7 months ago, and spared myself the worst hell I would not wish on anyone. I called his wife, she to had concerns, told her what had taken place, told her if there was any chance of them continuing their friendship that she would have to know the back story.
We talked for 30 min, and then met for another 30 min, and I gave her some screen shots of all their communication and call logs of all their calls, and SHE THANKED me about 5-6 times.
She texted me the next day, that she talked to him and they are just really good friends, but because of the amount of time and energy they were spending on each other that she was demanding that he befriend her on FB, delete her cell #, and email.
So there after 7 months it’s over, for now. I told her that night that I had talked to his wife, and she is pissed. I told her just 4 hours before you were saying how much we have grown and how close we are to each other, now I’m dealing with her sorrow.
Bottom line, if you’re reading this, take the advice of the kind people who post here in an attempt to help you, if I had made that call 7 months ago, things would have ended with a lot less pain.
I hope your wife can pry her head out of her bum.
I didn't read *all* of the thread here, but I wanted to say that I'm really happy for you that you caught this and I'm impressed with how you dealt with it. My WS started a friendship with a coworker that gave me the willies and I begged him not to have too many interactions with her (she was getting a divorce and he helped her move, let her mother invite him over for a family "thank you" meal, etc). I would cry and say that it didn't seem right, but he would tell me I'm crazy.
He started talking about her a lot randomly in conversations (e.g., I would show him a pair of shoes and he would tell me how much she likes shoes). They would run errands together on weekends. He played the "helping her out since she left her husband" card. I never had a reason to doubt him before, so I tried not to be the jealous type. I have male friends I go to the movies with, go shopping with, etc after all.
Family members starting warning me something didn't seem right. "He's allowed to have a friend!" I would tell them.
Fast forward 6 months and I found out they started a PA in February (clearly an EA earlier than that). He tried R for about a nano-second, took the A underground. I found out and yadda yadda, we haven't spoken in 2 months and I now live on the opposite coast.
If I had been more vigilant like you were, maybe this would have all been avoided. On one hand, I'm glad to find out his true character after 10 years (the A and his poor handling of R after the fact). On the other hand, how many A could be avoided if the BS wasn't afraid to do what you have done...
Thanks everyone, including MeanBean for your 2 x 4’s