As much as it sucks that you are here you have found a great place. Many people much smarter than I will be along shortly with some better insight.
First, the pain does get better. It takes a long time, but it does get better. In the meantime, eat, drink, breathe. Regardless of whether the marriage continues, you will get better and stronger.
My question: Am I wrong to say I won't go to counseling or work on our relationship until he ends contact with her?
Hell no you are not wrong! This is called cake eating, you aren't going heal from this while he is actively communicating with one the co-conspirator in the destruction of your marriage.
Read the healing library. It is the yellow box in the upper left hand corner of this site. There are some good articles and tools that can help you make sense of what you are going through.
Second. Go talk to a lawyer, regardless of whether or not the marriage is saved, you need to know what your rights are.
Third, get an STD test, you have now been exposed to many different diseases by your husband.
I am sorry you are here. My wife didn't want to give up her affair partner either. Well, I don't share well, especially not in a marriage. Look into the 180, it will help you gain some perspective into all this.
Finally, if the OW has a husband he deserves to know. And nothing ends an affair like exposure.
And HE needs you to help HIM - bullshit. He needs an IC, a lobotomy, and to dump the girlfriend. Once he mans up, he needs to help YOU get past this shitstorm of his making. Read the 180, use it. Read the healing library - look on upper left of the screen.
Take care of you, eat, drink plenty of water, see your doc for STD testing and antianxiety or antidepressant help you might need.
edited for typos (I always have to!)
After much thought and too many fights I decided that I needed the 180, so that I could step away and make my choices about MY life. I moved into the spare room and quit doing anything for him. I didn't do laundry for him, cooked only enough for me, didn't run any errands for him, and cleaned only the kitchen my bathroom and my bedroom. When he balked I told him very simply....you don't get to be married but date other women! If you want to act like you are single then you have to live like it too.
I was totally prepared to loose my marriage if it came down to it, he was not! Within weeks he was begging forgiveness...I have not forgiven and am still doing a mild version of the 180. I moved back to our bed and clean cook and do laundry, but I do not run his errands nor do I do any extras for him. I also go out more with friends and generally put myself first now.
Good luck, please do not let him cake eat. If you give even an inch he will take a mile! (((Hugs)))
[This message edited by emotionalgirl at 9:17 PM, October 2nd (Wednesday)]
Ummm...where were you, [his wife, at the time that he was in *need*? Did it not occur to him that his behavior was *not right*?
No. You are NOT wrong to abstain from counseling until he is NC with OW.
And no. You do NOT have to help him *get over* her.
The pain DOES subside.....
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
Definitely, no going to MC, no "working on the relationship".
The only thing you need to do right now is take care of yourself.
This is trauma plain and simple, it takes it's toll on your physical and mental well being. Please make sure you drink plenty of water, eat if you can (anything, it's all calories), try and sleep and take some walks, amazing how they help clear the head.
If you're struggling, please go and see your Dr, there's nothing wrong with getting a little something for the insomnia and anxiety.
IC for you can be very helpful, it's a relief to have someone impartial to unload on.
The other thing you must do, is get tested for STD's. Honey, everyone here will tell you how imperative it is. Don't believe him if he says they used protection, chances are, they didn't, and condoms aren't enough protection anyway. His activities are very high risk.
These are things to protect and care for YOU.
As for him, he's delusional if he thinks you have any part to play in HIS affair, or his recovery from it.
He's still in the affair, he hasn't ended it, he still contacts her. He must go NC for there to be any chance.
Unless he's a dripping, snotty mess on the floor at your feet, begging for your forgiveness and another chance, he's got a long way to go.
There are many great posts here for you to read, I'll bump as many as I can find, (many have a red dot) hopefully other members will bump some too. "20/20 Hindsight,What I wish I'd done when I JFO" is a great start, also pop along to the Healing library (in a box, top left hand corner of the page) and read about the 180. The 180 is your friend, especially right now with the way he's behaving. It's function is to make YOU stronger, more resolute and better able to make decisions based on your needs going forward.
As for him he's got some nerve expecting his betrayed wife to help him cope with the devastating results of his affair. He doesn't even have the smarts to drop her like a hot coal and try to even start to repair the damage he's caused.
Please remember at all times, that nothing you did or didn't do lead him to have an affair. This is 100% on him. If he'd put the same effort into his marriage with you instead of a string of OW, you would both be in a much better place right now.
I'm so very sorry you find yourself in this position, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
There's no room for three in a marriage honey, what happens going forward is up to you.
Go and meet with a good divorce lawyer, actually meet with a few.
Knowledge is power, power is attractive.
This does not mean at all that divorce is inevitable, just that you are taking steps to educate and protect yourself should things not work out between you.
Many lawyers give a first meeting free, and like ICs, it might take chatting with a few to see who you're comfortable with.
Take care of yourself
You will get through this. I wish I had SI while I was going through it all.
You cannot make him give her up.
Please don't try.
You need to 180 and file. This will hopefully wake him up and if not, at least you have your answer.
I went through many months of TT and broken promises. I want to spare you this. It made my already difficult R, that much harder.
Fool me once - Shame on you. Fool me twice - pack your shit and get out.