About a month ago I got suspicious after noticing, on our phone bill, the ridiculous volume of calls that my wife was making to a co-worker. She was calling him and talking for hours each day, basically whenever she was alone in the car she would spend the ride talking to him. Also, late night calls and when I got access to her phone I saw that she had deleted those from her call history, but she did not realize I can see them on the online bill.
I decide the only way to be sure what is going on is to get a voice recorder, hide it in her car and see what I pick up. The first night I do it she calls him and when I listen the next day I hear vague talk about their relationship, obviously flirty talk back and forth and she signs off by calling him babe and telling him she will text him later when I am in bed and it is ďsafeĒ. I confront her the next day. She tells me itís a friendship that got too close and she was confiding in him about our marriage issues. They havenít had sex and she will break it off.
A week or so later I notice that she has probably been to see him (Our phone bill notes the origination of a call, the area the cell tower is in that it connects through, and I see his area pop up in a call to her Mom). I hide the voice recorder again and she has been calling him using a VOIP app, thinking I wouldnít be able to see that on the phone bill. I confront her again. She admits she loves him and needs him in her life but promises they still have not had sex. She is willing to work on our issues but she needs to keep seeing him to keep her sane. She promises to tell me before she gets to the stage of having sex with him.
A week later she goes out for dinner, with a friend, supposedly. The recorder picks up his voice as she pulls up to her destination and gets out of the car. Next day I record her again and this time I hear them talking about having sex.
So now itís all out in the open. I convince her she needs to talk to her Mom about this for some unbiased advice. She does and her Mom convinces her to see a therapist. Now her Mom is talking to me about all this and she has become the person I can go to for advice and someone to talk to. Bizarre, I know.
So things have been strained the past week, since I found out the full extent of the relationship. Yesterday she saw the therapist. I must admit I was hoping she has had some kind of breakdown or mental illness and this session would snap her back to reality. No such luck. The therapist says she should keep seeing him if she needs to and that we can both come in for couples counseling in September. Her hope for the counseling is not that we can reconcile but to get to a good place about our friendship and parenting of the kids in the future.
I should say in all of this that we have two young kids. Our marriage hasnít been great for the past couple of years. There has been a lack of intimacy, resentment about responsibilities, overall just two people trying to run a household together and resenting the effort the other puts in. I guess I always thought that eventually things would get better or when things calmed down with work/kids/house that we could work on us.
Thatís why, despite all these revelations over the past few weeks, I kept believing we had a chance. I thought that the woman I fell in love with was still in there and I could get her back from wherever she is now and we could rebuild something stronger and put this behind us. Her message through all this has been that she does not think we ever truly had a spark and we may be best co-habiting in an open marriage.
So now it looks like my options are to immediately pull the plug and file for divorce or leave or force her to leave. Or I can do what she wants and continue to co-habit platonically while this all settles in and she continues to see her lover.
I guess I am mad that the most practical option is to wait and try and make things nice for the kids, all the while she gets exactly what she wants - a lover out of the house and me stuck at home looking after the kids and doing the household chores for her.
#1. You need to fire that therapist. Obviously that person has NO experience in dealing with infidelity. Telling your WS to keep seeing the OM is THE most stupidest things I've heard in a long time.
#2. Run to a lawyer as soon as possible without telling your WS. Find out what your side will look like (child support/spousal support, primary custody, etc.) Then file.
And I'm going to add a #3 here. Take out half of all moneys in joint accounts and open one in your name only and deposit that money in it. Also...are you paying for the cell phone? Cancel it. The reason I'm saying this is that she needs to realize what life is going to be like single. She's hoping to stay in the marriage and play in the sandbox.
Is the OM married? If so, expose him to his wife, blow the fantasy into the reality.
Former 80s Icon wishful thinking
I really am sorry you are here. All of this is so difficult and confusing.
I read your post and felt your pain. One thing to note is that you are NOT crazy. This is NOT acceptable behaviour of your Wife. Your Wife is NOT allowed to have boyfriends.Or notify you when she thinks it's time for them to have sex. Period.
It must seem insane to you that your wife would consider leaving you, your kids, everything for a stupid fling when you know this person is not worthy of her attention.
I was there, I fully understand what you are going through.
When I read the part where you thought going to a therapist would knock some sense into her...It breaks my heart because when they are in the fog, nothing makes sense to them. I think my FWH really was temporarily insane during that time.
Step 1: BREATHE
Step2: You are in the right place....everyone here at SI will help you and guide you either directly or through your stories
Step 3: Take a look at the healing library. Read everything in there, especially read up on the 180
Step 4: BREATHE
Step 5: EAT, be healthy for your kids
Step 6: Take care of yourself...listen to the advice here. If you read something that really gets your back up, read it again because it probably is true.
You need to understand .. a very wise person on SI told me this, and it is so true. I wish every day I had taken action sooner...you cannot love your wife out of this, you cannot sex your wife out of this, you cannot beg her out. YOU can only manage YOU.
Cut yourself some slack. You will do some crazy things, then you will shake your head and then do it again.
I remember begging, having sex many many times a day, being the best wife EVER, killing myself to have fun doing things that I HATED doing. Guess what...months and months I kept that up and he was STILL CHEATING ON ME!
Finally, I was very clear on my deal breakers...talk to OW I leave.
Well, he talked to her....I was at work...I called him and said I am not coming home (and I didn't, I went to my brother's house with just the clothes on my back). I left him, my kids, everything...I told the kids I'd see them in a week.
If you want to know more about what I did, then I can post more, but in the end, the 180 works wonders for getting your life back together...it is for YOU, I left and had ZERO intentions of ever taking him back...he did change big time after that, and THAT was when things started getting better all around (that was 7 MONTHS after DDay)....But that was not my intention of doing the 180....the 180 is to get YOU to a good place.
Take care of yourself and ask for help....you are in good hands here.
Her message through all this has been that she does not think we ever truly had a spark and we may be best co-habiting in an open marriage.
the most practical option is to wait and try and make things nice for the kids
You have the most important phrase there, IMHO.
Just take out the "wait and try and", which makes it perfect.
You take care of the kids. Do what must be done. Protect them from this guy, who knows he might be a predator and that story has been written more than anyone would like to read.
You put down your foot and draw your line in the sand. You notify his spouse or girlfriend if he has one.
Then, you take care of yourself. You let her know that she can do what she wants, you know that you have no control over her behavior, but she should not expect that you will be there for her, her AP is the person that needs to be there for her now.
Don't be a doormat.
Sure, you can work to parent the kids constructively.
But, you let her know that the "wait and try and" is gone when she isn't "working and trying".
Just to clarify some things. I don't know what to make of the therapists advice. I'm not sure if my wife is lying about what the therapist said or if my wife may have mislead the therapist as to what has been going on.
The OM is not married, he had a girlfriend until about a month ago and when they split up my wife moved in and sealed the deal (I believe).
I don't know what I can force from here. I cant make her leave our house so I feel like I am stuck with her for now.
As far as the therapist goes, since this morning when I took a more hardline approach and told her that if she was going to continue to see him then I am giving up on a reconciliation, she contacted the therapist and arranged for us both to come in at what was going to be her own appointment this Thursday. So I am going to go along to that and see exactly what the therapist has been told and what advice she has given.
I was thinking about it tonight and what really upsets me about this whole thing is the future she has stolen from me and our kids. She may be happy again, maybe I will find someone to be happy with, maybe the kids will learn to be happy with whatever life they end up living.
But we wont get to wake up on a Saturday morning and have the kids come in to our room to hang out with Mummy and Daddy. We wont get to watch them asleep in their room and share a look about how proud and happy we are about our kids. We wont get to watch them get married one day and hope they have a long and happy marriage like us. I feel like that has been stolen from my family and I don't understand how she could have done that.
Get an appointment with an attorney to see what your case will look like (how long you are married, who earns what, any pre-nup, etc.). DO NOT tell her you are doing this. Don't leave the marital home is my guess as to what the lawyer will say.
Separate bedrooms for you and your WS - or let her move out.
You might want to read "After the Affair." It's a pretty good book.
But we wont get to wake up on a Saturday morning and have the kids come in to our room to hang out with Mummy and Daddy.
That last paragraph describes exactly how I felt at the point you are now, exactly. It is full on grief. You are going to grieve for the life you were supposed to have. I am over a year out and still miss those family moments. Hang in there, it will be ok in the end.
What bothers me about that, and what I think you may come to resent as well, is that WS listened. It authorized his shitty actions. Sounds like your WW is doing the same.
Maybe it's not the exact advice their ICs are giving. Maybe we are just getting the telephone version of what our WSs *think* they heard in therapy. But, either way, it's a sobering look into where they are truly at.
[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 9:49 PM, August 9th (Friday)]
The therapist says she should keep seeing him if she needs to
Soon she will go into planning phase with OM and you have to be right on it. You have to secure yourself and the kids future. Mind games are horrible and exhausting. Collect irrefutable evidence and out them to OM s boss ASAP. Like many others said, do not let WS know about your moves ever. She will snoop your computer, cabinet, car for proof. Record everything as much as you can. Prepare for the worst, leave nothing to chance. Your preparation will determine the outcome you desire. Best of luck and keep posting. Hoping the best for you and the kids.
Sorry about your situation.
...I am mad that the most practical option is to wait and try and make things nice for the kids, all the while she gets exactly what she wants ...
I disagree. Your WW has left you. She has decided to move on to another man. I do not think that waiting around is a practical option. It just puts off action. She has made up her mind and taken action. You need to start to take steps to take care of yourself and your children.
I would follow the advice to talk to an attorney or two and then retain one to help you protect yourself and your children. See if you can get a separation agreement put into place to keep your WW from waltzing in and out of the house whenever she wants. See what you have to pay and what you can stop paying. Start a journal to log what you are doing to care for your children.
Make clear to your WW that you love her (if you do), and would like to work on the M, but that you love her too much to share her with another man. That she must go NC with OM before you can consider working on the M with her.
I would cancel on going with her to her therapist on Thursday. What is the goal here? She is thinking and acting as a wayward. She is not ready or at a place where she can work on the M. At best, she will look to see what you do, and keep you as a back-up in case the OM does not work out. She will be rationalizing her leaving to be with OM, not trying to fix the M.
Instead, I suggest that you schedule your own IC to work through the emotions you are and will be experiencing, and help you with clarification of where you want to go from here. Do you really want your WW back 3 months from now if she changes her mind or OM dumps her?
Keep posting and reading here on SI. The books Not Just Friends by Glass and Sexual Detours by Hines are good resources too.
[This message edited by atsenaotie at 4:04 PM, August 10th (Saturday)]
As others have indicated, your story parallels mine in many ways (minus the ridiculous therapist, who, as other said, you should discontinue seeing and find another.)
All I can say nearly a year past the point at which you find yourself is that I wish I had immediately filed for divorce. This "shock and awe" approach might have worked with my STBXWW and made her see what she risked losing--a family, a real life.
Instead I let it go on. I begged, I pleaded with her to "pick me," I gave her self-help books, etc. etc., all while she was still seeing this guy.
Ultimately she moved out to deepen her affair where I wouldn't be able to interfere, with assurances that we "needed time apart."
And still I permitted it to go on, as I humiliated myself further, my small children became casualties, and I nearly had an emotional breakdown.
She tossed me crumbs of hope over and over, which I gobbled hungrily. And it went on. And on. Finally, when I realized that I had endured enough abuse--and that is what it is, abuse, no "fog," just mind-boggling selfishness, entitlement, and more abuse--I filed for divorce just recently.
I still am suffering terribly, but she gave me no choice. But at least I have some pride returning to my battered soul.
What I am saying is don't be me. I hope your situation is different and she realizes the gravity of her crimes against your family. Mine never did and likely never will if she hasn't by now.
But if you serve her with divorce papers ASAP it could make a difference. If it doesn't and she agrees to divorce, then it would have happened anyway and you would have spared yourself much agony--more than you can imagine if you let this go on. If it doesn't get better NOW, it will get so much worse.
I didn't listen to this harsh, well-intended advice on SI because it was too painful to hear and because I thought my situation was different.
Please regain your dignity, self-esteem, and integrity. Act. Do NOT do nothing and let her abuse you and your children as she is doing.
I wish you the best.
I truly don't understand what goes on in the heads of a wayward spouse. How far from reality do you have to travel to think that it's acceptable to say something like that to your spouse?! She'll let you know when the emotional affair becomes physical and you are supposed to be OK with that? She should be ashamed of herself.
"- a lover out of the house and me stuck at home looking after the kids and doing the household chores for her."
This is EXACTLY what my STBXH wanted and thought he was entitled to have. He convinced himself that what he was doing wasn't so bad and somehow convinced himself that I would feel the same. That level of delusion will only drive you to the nuthouse. There is no explaining or rationalizing that level of dysfunction without becoming dysfunctional yourself.
As others have said, protect yourself and your children. She is CLEARLY showing that her #1 (and apparently ONLY) concern is herself. She has created a twisted and disgusting fantasy world so remove yourself from it ASAP!
Couple's counseling is a good idea, even if you are headed for separation, but find another therapist than the one your wife is seeing.
As for what you should do, given your wife's attitude, you should definitely be looking for an exit. Your situation is not sustainable, and so any moment you are not spending preparing for the next phase is time wasted. I can't tell you what the best course is for you, but if you know that this is headed for divorce, then you need to be getting your ducks in a row. Sitting still and letting her cake eat is not an option. I don't know if you're emotionally ready to pull the plug right now, but the least you can do is position yourself so that if and when the time comes, you won't get screwed.
I understand and share your heartache about your kids. That continues to be the hardest part for me, the part that still keeps me awake at night. You want to give the best to your children, and in a moment, that ability has been snatched out of your hands by the thoughtless actions of another person. But as others have pointed out here, your job now is to make it as good for them as you possibly can. Give them 100%.
One question: Do you feel that your wife is a competent mother? Would you be comfortable sharing custody with her? The answer to this question will affect profoundly how you proceed.
I feel for you, man. I am so, so sorry that you and your family have to go through this. We're here for you.