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Confronting when 'no contact' is broken

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M1965 posted 6/15/2017 07:16 AM

20yrs,

I am glad that my words helped in relation to the ‘no contact’ letter.

“The setup for this is too good or awful, depending on your point view, to be true. Our 11th anniversary is this weekend. The 10th barely passed with notice and actually was highlighted with a crying session (me having no clue why) and accusations of excluding her when talking to my friends. This was followed by an apologetic text the next morning saying 'you used to be my best friend. I really miss that.'

Anywho, fast forward a year and a lot has happened and been uncovered. We have a lovely celebration planned and as I mentioned we currently do all sorts of nice things together - yoga, running, eating healthy, reading. While I know these are positive things, it is rugsweeping things that need to be dealt with.

Unfortunately this anniversary date night we have planned might be the only time I have to bring this up. It’s on Saturday.

I am going to try and fit it in tomorrow evening as laying a big bomb on anniversary night is probably not something I want to look back on over the years. Tomorrow night, if I can get this in, may put a damper on things this weekend or it may help create an opportunity to reconcile properly. We will see.”

A few thoughts re. the above:

1.) I confess to feeling confused here. Your posts say you are not ready to move on, you have had no closure on the affair, the marriage is not really fixed, you aren't sure she is not still in contact with OM, she still works with him, she won't do the things you need (just what she wants to do) and then suddenly here you are at a wedding anniversary celebration! Is this something you are doing because you feel like celebrating, or because she wants to put a show on to the rest of the world? You should not have to play act that you are fine when you are actually feeling the way your posts say you feel. It verges on mental cruelty for her to expect you to smile happily about the wonderful marriage after what she did for a year and a half of it. The problem with playing nice for the anniversary is that it endorses the whole ‘let’s pretend nothing happened and just move on’ mentality that your wife has. Do you not think that you are sending very mixed messages to her here?

You currently need your wife’s help on several big issues that are upsetting you, and if that affects the 'celebration', then so be it. Without wishing to spark conflict, but given everything you have written in your posts, wouldn't you be within your rights to ask, “What exactly are we celebrating here? You acting as if we have an open marriage, where you are free to have sex with whoever you want, whenever you want, for as long as you want? And I should just accept that, and shut up and smile because that is what you want?” I don’t expect you to say that, but in a way, isn’t that what you are being asked to do by ‘celebrating’ something your wife has come close to destroying? I am sorry if this causes offence, but it seems amazingly hypocritical for your wife to be celebrating something that she herself betrayed totally and utterly for a year and a half. She says she doesn't want to dwell in the past, but isn't she trying to re-write history here by putting on a show that contradicts the total disregard she had for the marriage so recently? She really is going all out to airbrush her infidelity out of history and pretend it never happened.

2.) Depending on how you want to play it, you can tell your wife that while you don’t want to spoil a party, there is a lot that must be discussed, and that it can be done before or after the celebration. Let her decide, but make it clear that there is no walking away from it, because you need it, and if she really loves you, she will be willing to do what you need.

3.) If she questions your timing, you can say, as non-argumentatively as possible (though it’s a hard message): Last year, on our tenth anniversary, you cried a lot and sent me a text that said that you missed me as your best friend. I didn’t know it then, but at the time you sent me that message, you were in love with another man and you were lying to me so that you could sneak away and have sex with him. Now that I know what you were doing on our tenth anniversary, on our eleventh anniversary, I find myself missing you as a friend, as a wife, and as someone I can trust. I am really struggling with that, and I need your help if I am ever going to feel like you love me or that you have any true commitment to our marriage and family. So I am asking you, now, on our eleventh anniversary, if you are prepared to help me, and help save this marriage, or if you just want to walk away and pretend nothing happened. I have to ask that question, because I am not prepared to ignore what I need you to do for me to feel like we should continue the marriage. I am not a nobody. I am not nothing. I am a human being, and I am hurt. I need your help, I need your engagement, and I need some proof that you do not think that what you did was perfectly alright and that you truly understand there are things that need to be fixed.

Unfortunately this anniversary date night we have planned might be the only time I have to bring this up.

4.) I don't understand why there is an issue of timing in relation to you being able to talk about the issues that are bothering you. As if you have to find an 'ideal opportunity' rather than having the freedom to raise them whenever you need to. The only time you can bring something up?

5.) I get the sense that in your heart, you have mixed feelings about the anniversary celebration. You do not actually say that, but right on the verge of it you are planning how to raise your issues, even though you don't want to make waves and spoil the event. That indicates that you are not going into it with a settled mind, and it makes me wonder whether it is your wife who has pushed for this celebration far more than you did.

6.) Doesn't the 'celebration' aspect of this strike you as a pretty big and blatant act of rug-sweeping? It seems like you are being steam-rollered into this, almost against your will.


“She has always maintained it was compartmentalization and living a seperate life. One she hated herself for but couldn’t unwind herself from. The addiction issue that you have mentioned seems to fit here.”

Well there you are; she has admitted to the mental process that enabled the affair, and that she got involved in something that became like an addiction, and yet she doesn’t want the counselling that could help her with those things. Is she saying she is happy being able to compartmentalize you out of her consciousness so she can sleep with another man for a year and a half? Does she think you should just accept that without demanding that she does something about it?

“She is very motivated to be a better person and wife. That is work she is doing. However she only wants to look forward and not dwell in the past. This approach has avoided the need for empathy and she has not gained an understanding of her capacity to abuse and the impacts of that abuse.”

Yes, this is a ‘nail on the head’ moment. It is great that she wants to be ‘better’, but she has to understand what it is that she wants to be better than. And that will only come from accepting and understanding what made the affair possible, and finding ways to avoid exactly the same mechanism firing up again in future. Basically, she is doing what she wants, regardless of what you need, which is the same thing she did during the affair.

Also, "being a better person and wife" ought to include her listening to the husband she cheated on for a year and a half and asking him what he needs her to do, not ignoring his wishes and telling him what she feels like doing. How is not listening to you, in the aftermath of what she did, being "better"? Again, that feels like she is steam-rollering right over you and the things that you need, because she doesn't want to 'own' what she did, particularly in regard to the pain and emotional turmoil she has caused you.

Taking responsibility for the pain we cause others is a key element in being a responsible human being. It's why we say sorry. It's why we are careful not to hurt others. Your wife seems to be working very hard to avoid doing that, with a load of glossy 'self-improvement' talk that is not addressing any of the real issues at all. It's like she wants to give the appearance of doing something meaningful, while actually avoiding or failing to understand what the real meaningful work is that she ought to be doing. You have had to push her into doing what little she has agreed to do, which is basic, obvious stuff like, "Hey, how about not talking to the guy you cheated on me with for a year and a half", and, "Hey, how about not working with that guy every day and saying a cheery 'hi' to him when you take the elevator together". Without you catching her and pushing her, she would be happy to still be messaging that crumb, still be working with him, maybe having lunch with him every day. That's her level of commitment to making things right.

“Recognizing the toxicity of the OM and his presence is a key point.”

You need to tell her that, and tell her what that man represents to you and the kids. And tell her that her failure to see him for what he represented to you and the family makes you wonder if she has any real understanding of what she did by bringing another man into the marriage.

“I am leveraging many of your points and stevesn and others here for a second confrontation. One that will address that continuing the relationship is continuing the affair.”

That is exactly the point, and you found the perfect phrase for it: “Continuing the relationship is continuing the affair.” Put it to her that way, and even if she wants to argue the point, you can tell that regardless of what she says, that phrase sums up the way you feel, and why it hurts so much that she still wants to be in touch with him.

“And most significantly lying about it is a harmful setback. It’s persisting the cheating behaviour. I will outline that counselling is mandatory for us to continue moving forward. Without it we are not giving ourselves any chance for success.”

Yes, more good stuff. In fact, to borrow from your other excellent phrase, “Lying about it is continuing the affair”.

“Additionally we will need to talk about what happens if the jobs don't pan out. I may save that for a follow up as things are still in flight there. She is doing the work on that end at the moment. When I get to that discussion which will be the next in the series, assuming we are still working through this. I will outline my boundaries and consequences if things don't work out there.”

Fair enough, you have outlined the time that the process of getting another job takes, but I think you need to agree some kind of deadline with your wife for her to be out of there. If she’s as bright as you say, and always makes a good showing in the interview process, it should not take her long to be able to move. I do think that failure to get out of there should not be an option. At the moment, she has had no consequences at all for her actions, and just seems to be doing whatever she wants, so you need to be careful that she doesn't try and drag the process out for so long that you get weary and say it's fine for her to stay where she is.

Also, if she is so keen to use "I don't want to dwell in the past" as an excuse to get her out of doing any examining of her actions before, during, and after the affair, isn't staying in the same job, at the same company, as when she had the affair, a prime example of dwelling in the past every day? She thought it was fine to be in touch with the OM (even lied to you about it), it's fine to still be working with him, so she's perfectly comfortable with those elements of the past (until caught and confronted), it just seems to be shining a spotlight on her actions and doing any soul-searching and apologising that she has a problem with. Instead of that, let's have an anniversary celebration...Yes, a pattern of repeated avoidance, the ignoring of the betrayed spouse's needs, and a party will make everything right again.

Sorry 20yrs, I am not rubbing it in by saying that, I just feel incredibly frustrated reading about your wife's whole approach to this. She ought to be all over you, asking you what you need, and doing everything she can to make you feel better. Instead, she's ignoring what you need, running away from doing any of the self-examination that needs to be done after infidelity, and on top of that she wants to celebrate the marriage she didn't give a damn about for a year and a half.

My heart goes out to you, I can see that you are not happy with things, but you are being swept along by her as she dictates what will, and will not, happen. I know I'm probably being stupid, or childish, to say this, but it just isn't fair to you as a person for her to do what she is doing. First she lies and cheats on you for a year and a half, and then, after she is caught, she ignores your pain and your needs, says she's moving on - how big of her - and is corralling you into an anniversary celebration that you really don't seem emotionally ready for. I know you do neat things together, and that's great, but if her life with you is so sweet, what on Earth was she doing cheating for all that time?

Here are some good links about the importance of talking, and the need to know:

http://www.dearpeggy.com/2-affairs/com023.html

The above link contains ‘Joseph’s letter’, a letter that is often quoted, in full, in this forum, as it expresses the reasons a betrayed spouse needs to talk, and needs to know.

The link below discusses the importance of talking:

http://www.dearpeggy.com/2-affairs/com038.html

And this link contains some very enlightening statistics from a survey about the impact that talking – and not talking – has on the prospects for lasting reconciliation:

http://www.dearpeggy.com/results.html

For you, and others reading this, I will post them here:

1. Hypothesis: A couple is more likely to stay married when they thoroughly discuss the whole situation.

55% of those who discussed the situation very little were still married (and together)

78% of those who discussed the situation a good bit were still married (and together)

86% of those who discussed the situation a lot were still married (and together)

20 yrs, I don’t know how you are planning to stage the discussion, but as you have mentioned letters in the past, maybe you could copy those statistics into a letter for her to keep and read, but I would also read them out to her and explain that her desire to move on and discuss nothing puts the likelihood of successful reconciliation in the 55% bracket.

Here is some more that can be copied and pasted straight into a letter. Your wife works in business, she runs projects, so she must be able to interpret figures:

2. Hypothesis: A couple is more likely to stay married when the spouse answers their questions.

59% of those who refused to answer questions were still married (and together)

81% of those whose partner answered some of their questions were still married (and together)

86% of those whose partner answered all their questions were still married (and together)

The findings clearly show that getting answers to questions and thoroughly discussing the details of the affair increase the likelihood of maintaining and rebuilding the marriage. (Other results clearly show the same kind of increase in the likelihood of recovering from a spouse's affair.)

These survey results are consistent with what I have been told repeatedly through the years: "nothing is worse than not knowing."

From the same link - http://www.dearpeggy.com/results.html
- comes this:

Unfortunately, a large segment of the therapeutic community has reinforced the idea that it's not wise to ask too many questions or do too much talking about the affair. The rationale is that the more a spouse knows, the greater the pain. However, this thinking is contradicted by the results of this Survey.

I hope the results of this survey—demonstrating the connection between honest communication and both staying married and recovering—will help the professional community (and all those struggling to deal with this issue) better understand the importance of answering questions and thoroughly discussing the entire situation.


Your wife wants the easy option of walking away and not facing up to what she did, which just won’t work in the aftermath of infidelity.

These are a bunch of thoughts that occurred to me in relation to your situation, which may or may not be useful to you in your discussions. As always, please use what feels ‘right’ for you, and ignore the rest!:

1.) You could begin by asking a simple question: do you want to help me, or do you just want to walk away? That puts the onus on her to participate, and tells her straight away that things are not fine and dandy, and you are not ready to move on.

2.) If your wife walks away from the issue, how do you have any hope of getting closure on something that she will not even begin to address? Avoidance fixes nothing. As someone who works on projects, she should know that better than most people.

3.) You can say: It feels to me like you want to be part of a couple, but act as an individual when it suits you. That just won’t work. You seem to think our marriage is something you can step in and out of when it suits you. That just won’t work. I want us to be a couple, and be committed to being a couple. If you want to be an individual, please be honest, and we can be individuals again. I am starting to wonder if you understand what being part of a couple really means. It is not about two individuals doing whatever they want, regardless of the effect their actions have on the other. It is about two people being good to one another, caring about one another, and doing what is best for both of them, not two people doing whatever they want, no matter how selfish their actions are, and not giving a damn about the impact those actions have on the other person.

4.) By walking away from what she did, and doing nothing to examine and ‘fix’ the mental mechanism she established (and she recognises the compartmentalisation!), your wife is doing nothing at all to reassure you or herself that she will not be doing exactly the same thing six months down the line when some hot new guy transfers into her team.

5.) You can explain that her desire to just walk away from the affair and its consequences feels like an emotional hit-and-run to you. She has driven her car into you at sixty miles an hour, and now she doesn’t want to stop and see if you are okay or call an ambulance, she wants to drive away just as fast and leave the whole thing getting smaller in her rear view mirror. That is monumentally selfish and uncaring, and it should be put to her in exactly those terms.

If you really want to play hardball, you could put it this way:

You drove your car over me, the marriage, and the family, for a year and a half. Are you going to stop and see if we are alright, or are you going drive away and pretend in your head that it never happened, leaving us lying in the road behind you? Because that’s exactly what you’re trying to do now by refusing to work on this and do the things I need to try and recover from what you have done to me.

6.) You can say (if minded to play hardball): For a year and a half, you ignored me, lied to me, and had an affair with another man. You actively lied to me so you could go and spend five days screwing him while I looked after the kids. It feels like you made that man number one in your life, and me number two, for an entire year and half of our marriage. Do you have any idea how that makes me feel? And after making me a minor, secondary person in your life for a year and half, while you worshipped another man, you now want to ignore what I need and move on because it suits you, as if me and my needs do not even exist. I want to know why it is so easy for you to ‘compartmentalise’ me into a box where me and my needs do not exist. I am a human being, I am your husband, I am the father of your children, I am in pain, and I need your help. Are you going to help me, or are you just going to walk away like I don’t matter?

7.) You can ask her to make a list of the effects she thinks you feel about her affair. You can then compare notes. I know she wrote a generalised letter, and maybe some of that touched on the same subject, but you are in no way wrong or selfish to make her focus on you and what she did to you. My thinking on this is that it will help show her why she cannot just walk away and pretend this never happened. She is an intelligent woman, she has an imagination, so make her use those qualities to ‘think’ herself into your position and activate some empathy for how you must be feeling.

8.) Ask her if she thinks YOU are ready emotionally to just move on, or if she has not even considered that. Just because she wants to move on does not mean she can. Both of you, as a couple, have to be ready to move on.

You could hit her with a zinger: you may be able to ignore my pain and my needs, but I can’t. I am not moving on until you listen to me and do the things that I need you to do if I am going to consider reconciliation. If all you want to do is gloss over this and run away from it, I may not be running with you. You need to think about that. Running away fixes nothing, and it does not give me what I need.

9.) Ask her if her desire to move on without taking responsibility, discussing what she did or doing anything to examine and fix her mental attitude to cheating means that she wants to set up a dynamic in your marriage where it is perfectly fine for her to compartmentalise as many other relationships as she wants and come home to you and the kids and play house after a hard day having sex with a series of other ‘compartmentalised’ men. If she says of course not, the follow-up question is: So what efforts are you making to prove that that is not the case? You will not talk about it, you will not go to counselling, you seem to think your affair partner is a great guy, when he wanted to destroy this marriage and destroy the home our kids are growing up in. Frankly, I see very little from you that indicates you see anything wrong in what you did, or that you want to fix it.

10.) Ask your wife if she can build a new compartment in her mind that contains her, you, and the children, and which does not have room for any other men. You could try and think of a snappy title for it…Something like…Oh, I don’t know…”A family”. Yes, how about she builds herself a new mental compartment called “A family”, and she keeps the most important people in her life in it, and keeps out any bad guys, burglars, intruders, or other scumbags?

11.) How about she builds another compartment called “A marriage”, which just has room for the two of you, and not the two of you and whichever guys from her office feel like joining the party?

I’ll shut up now, I have written way too much! I really wish you well with your efforts to get your wife to see what she needs to be doing to save the marriage. Given the way she wants to dictate everything, I think you may have a hard time making headway, but for your sake, and for the sake of the kids, you need to stick to it and demand that she does the things that you need her to do. So far, she has had absolutely no negative consequences for cheating for a year and a half, so the absolute least she can do is listen to you and accommodate the perfectly reasonable things you want her to do. She caused this train wreck, she cannot just tell you she's 'moving forwards' and leave you floundering with a ton of unresolved issues.

I really wish we could go for a beer together. You sound like a nice, decent guy, and your wife is not treating you the way she should.

[This message edited by M1965 at 7:45 AM, June 16th (Friday)]

Sharkman posted 6/15/2017 07:59 AM

There is no anniversary. She decided to unilaterally end the marriage when she first started the affair, and if she wants to debate that the kindly sugggest that it ended when her and her boyfriend went on their honeymoon.

Stevesn posted 6/15/2017 23:07 PM

So she spends a year sleeping with another man and now they are having a celebration of the marriage?

We're not getting through here.

MI1965, I give you credit, you're far more patient than I.

[This message edited by Stevesn at 5:10 AM, June 16th (Friday)]

20yrsin posted 6/16/2017 12:20 PM

Hey guys fair comments, the 'anniversary' is just a date on the calendar. We made plans for it long before the email was found.

The plans were in the spirit of trying to enjoy the day to day and rebuild. At least that was my thought. I wouldn't say there is anything to celebrate in terms of marriage, its more of a date night. Its just the two of us.

It will be a big weekend with fathers day the next day and my son's 'family' birthday party as well.


M1965

I confess to feeling confused here. Your posts say you are not ready to move on, you have had no closure on the affair, the marriage is not really fixed, you aren't sure she is not still in contact with OM, she still works with him, she won't do the things you need (just what she wants to do) and then suddenly here you are at a wedding anniversary celebration! Is this something you are doing because you feel like celebrating, or because she wants to put a show on to the rest of the world? You should not have to play act that you are fine when you are actually feeling the way your posts say you feel. It verges on mental cruelty for her to expect you to smile happily about the wonderful marriage after what she did for a year and a half of it. The problem with playing nice for the anniversary is that it endorses the whole ‘let’s pretend nothing happened and just move on’ mentality that your wife has. Do you not think that you are sending very mixed messages to her here?


I do agree with the point of mixed messages. A lot of rugsweeping has happened until recently.

For tomorrow night my mom is babysitting like she would for any date night.

I had the second 'confrontation' this morning.
I asked about how she thought it was ok to continue talking to him. She said it was just informal pleasantries and nothing more.

I explained the reasons why that was unacceptable. She said since the no contact letter there has been nothing other then when he asked her if she was 'serious' about the letter and she replied 'yes'.

She really struggled with the lying accusation. I had to tell her what it was. She wouldn't give up anything - or had nothing to give up.

As expected she had a 'good' reason for it. Only one she could get in touch with at that time in the office to check the password. The 'i'll contact you later' was nothing in her mind. just more a part of meaningless exchanges that happened from time to time.

She can't see him as toxic, just someone like herself who made bad choices. I told her he is toxic to me and our family.

She said she will continue to completely cut him out in terms of communication.

She says she has no interest in him, no feelings. She only wants this family, she is doing her best and wants to move to an office closer to home.

I brought up the need for counselling again. She agreed to contact one today through work.

I also noted that statistics point to open discussion providing the best chance for success. That we can't avoid talking about it because its uncomfortable. That I didn't have the benefit of the full picture yet. She seems on board and willing to read 'not just friends' together.


sharkman

There is no anniversary. She decided to unilaterally end the marriage when she first started the affair, and if she wants to debate that kindly suggest that it ended when her and her boyfriend went on their honeymoon.

I have said the words to her before, probably on d-day that you ended the marriage. She was hurt and didn't think of that way. Also that she had abused me. It was eye opening for her.

today I asked about the last anniversary. She is very uncomfortable talking about what happened and struggles to see the value of it. That is when I mentioned the 'puzzle' and stats that M1965 was so generous in providing in his post.

We have a date tomorrow. In fact we are running a 10k in the morning and after numerous kid activities plan to go out for dinner and stay out at a hotel. It coincides with our anniversary. I am not sure if I would say we are celebrating the marriage. But we are planning to be together as a couple.

That could be a good time, it could be something else. I do have every intention of continuing to discuss things and follow my plan. She has agreed to be open to discussion and while it was very hard to bring things up I did it and continue to get more comfortable with doing so. She has always told me not to keep things to myself but I have been rarely satisfied with the outcome when I do. Armed with advice here it seems to be working better.

Baby steps I suppose at this point.



stevesn

So she spends a year sleeping with another man and now they are having a celebration of the marriage?
We're not getting through here.

MI1965, I give you credit, you're far more patient than I.

Hey Stevesn, believe my I hear you. I am not a scorched earth or quick to action kind of guy. Captain obvious I guess.

I am becoming more determined to do this right thought. I will turn the screw a bit on the job applications over the next few weeks and outline boundaries/ consequences. That is my plan and I am going to follow through with it.

I am a bit at a loss at how things will go tomorrow. I don't think I will be pulling the chute on the whole evening but it already has potential to have a much different dynamic given the conversation this morning.


anoka posted 6/16/2017 13:03 PM

Many people - both BH and WW - feel strongly that the WW becomes addicted to OM and everything about cheating during the affair. If I accept this as mostly true then one obvious thing about the way you are handling things leaps out at me: you are trying to control HER addiction. That's the first thing you learn on the first family day when a loved one is in substance addiction rehab. You think you can bargain with the addict - like putting a limit on how much or how often they drink - that you can get the addict back on track. It's a litmus test for codependency. You are showing how codependent you are in that you are more than happy to do the heavy lifting while absolving her from the primary responsibility for her cheating. All she has to do is agree to read a book, agree that counseling might be good, and tell you she will keep her conversations with OM non-sexual. These are in no way consequences, she is simply placating you for the time being. She's confident you are too weak to carry her load for very long because it will wear you down. The promise that you can control her need for attention and affection from other men is false.

She will gradually ramp up her sexual relationship with this OM and/or other men because she wants more than you can give her. Maybe it's strength and confidence she is attracted to and something you lack. I don't know about that part but I know she's not going to stop. As long as you are on point to fix the damage she has done you have no chance for a real relationship.

Stevesn posted 6/16/2017 14:03 PM

Thanks for clarifying. At least you're not having a big celebration with lots of balloons and people. Proabably what you should have had last year. 1 on 1 is time well spent.

What I really can't believe is you still haven't set a deadline for her to be out of that office one way or another. You are your own person but to me that's unbelievable and should be the number 1 priority.

The deadline should be June 30. Either new job or quit. I've written in detail before what it means for them to see each other every day. Please go back and read (and similar posts by others). More important than starting IC.

If a loved one was in a fire you wouldn't say let me get a Dr to look at those burns before getting them out of the building.

Please.....

[This message edited by Stevesn at 4:01 PM, June 16th (Friday)]

harrybrown posted 6/16/2017 15:04 PM

So sorry for your pain.

When she is so in love with him, and working with him, how can you be sure that she is still not carrying on the A?

She seems to be addicted to him to have the honeymoon with him.

How do you think she can avoid her addiction?

She did this. Would she mind if you had a honeymoon with someone else?

If this was me, I would not care about her job, her HR would be told.

She can quit and get a new job. Her honeymoon with the OM has to stop. She can't control herself. She is still lying to you.

20yrsin posted 6/16/2017 17:39 PM



anoka

You are showing how codependent you are in that you are more than happy to do the heavy lifting while absolving her from the primary responsibility for her cheating. All she has to do is agree to read a book, agree that counseling might be good, and tell you she will keep her conversations with OM non-sexual.

These are in no way consequences,

Maybe it's strength and confidence she is attracted to and something you lack. I don't know about that part but I know she's not going to stop. As long as you are on point to fix the damage she has done you have no chance for a real relationship.

Anoka there is definitely a co-dependence issue and I think I have always taken some control of things, too much reponsibility, too much heavy lifting.

I hear you and I am putting consequences in place. Its not at the pace most are recommending but I will get there.

Today after the morning confrontation I sent a text outlining/reinforcing how he is toxic to me and is a risk to our family and future.

I asked her to book the appointment with counsellor and I outlined her need to be honest with me about everything. No matter her fears or the pain in the short term.

She booked the appointment and she came back with this disclosure.

The OM is entered into the same race as us. She knew for about a week she said through a mutual friend. I didn't respond to this text right away and she had a panic attack.

She sent me an email and begged me to respond. To forgive her and give her another chance. One she said she didn't deserve. She was terrified I was going to divorce her for this. She said I was the most important person in her life and she won't lose sight of it and will prove it.

This is a huge race and I have no idea how I will react if I see this POS. But there it is, another day in paradise. I responded with more questions. That I wasn't going to make a knee jerk reaction but that I needed honesty. Anything else would not work. We had to rebuild our foundation and that means hard work on her side. Heavy lifting by her. No more rug sweeping.

I don't know if this will stick but I have the window now to set consequences. She said she will prove it. If it comes down to it I will ask her what is more important, the job or our marriage.

Right now the db OM is going on vacation for several weeks so there will be some respite at the office.

anoka posted 6/16/2017 18:02 PM

Pull out of the race. It's time you make a firm, strong statement about all of this shit. NO CONTACT MEANS NO CONTACT! Her hiding that he was also running is bullshit. They are still seeing each other and are, at least, still emotionally connected. She will not break this connection on her own - she doesn't have the strength or the desire. You have to scare the shit out of her and there is no better time than now. This race bullshit is a perfect opportunity to prove to her, and yourself, that you are not going to take this shit anymore. Pull out the race and forbid her from taking part in it. Tell her she is either leaving her job or leaving the marriage. Now.

Unless keeping her "happy" and keeping the family all warm and fuzzy is more important than saving your marriage and your sanity, you need to make a last stand. You only see what you have now and are afraid of losing it. What you, and people in general, will not see is all of the benefits you can reap from taking firm action. Take a leap of faith. You have more value than simply as her husband. You are more than simply a father. You have real value as a person and these labels are secondary to that value. She either commits completely to the marriage or you divorce. Save yourself for Christ's sake.....

[This message edited by anoka at 6:05 PM, June 16th (Friday)]

wk55hn posted 6/16/2017 18:26 PM

When my wife was having "no contact" with other man, she didn't know if the guy was in a 10K race, taking vacation, or anything else about him for that matter.

For having no contact, your wife sure does get a lot of info about other man.

I think your wife is fairly intelligent. I just get the sense of that from your posts. I think she is smart enough what to tell you and what not to tell you.

She knew for a week that other man was going to be in the race. She managed the right time to tell you.

Where is other man going on his vacation? Somewhere fun? When did he leave? What hotel will he be staying in? Your wife knows he is going on vacation, so I guess she must also know about some of his plans. Did you ask her where he's going?

Stevesn posted 6/16/2017 20:17 PM

Sweet Jesus. Go find another activity to do tomorrow. She should NOT be in a social setting with the OM.

Again she shouldn't even be working with him.

And she shouldn't know his Vacation plans!

Her "proving it" should mean quitting on Monday.

C'mon man.

[This message edited by Stevesn at 8:21 PM, June 16th (Friday)]

Western posted 6/16/2017 20:25 PM

what is your gameplan OP ?

Sharkman posted 6/16/2017 20:25 PM

Jesus Christ, everyone is beating around the bush. She's either still in the affair, completely non-remorseful and/or is the most clueless wayward ever.

I say this as respectfully as possible, but I do feel that you need to hear it as directly as possible.

waitedwaytoolong posted 6/16/2017 20:38 PM

She knew not from a friend but from him and the discussions they continue to have. She has known for a week and didn't tell you? Were you just supposed to show up to the race tomorrow and line up right next to this guy and this was supposed to be ok? Were you and your wife on your anniversary weekend going to just nod and say hi to this guy?

Aside from the sex the most evil thing my wife did was set up a meeting between her and the AP. Wayward apparently get there jollies by having there spouses interact with the AP

You are not the priority. If you were she would have come to you a week ago and said AP is scheduled to run in the race and I don't want to be anywhere near him, but it is your decision. Instead she wanted to set u up. I am so angry for you
Right now

She should be no where near that race.

[This message edited by waitedwaytoolong at 8:40 PM, June 16th (Friday)]

20yrsin posted 6/16/2017 22:44 PM


anoka

Pull out of the race. It's time you make a firm, strong statement about all of this shit. NO CONTACT MEANS NO CONTACT! Her hiding that he was also running is bullshit. They are still seeing each other and are, at least, still emotionally connected. She will not break this connection on her own - she doesn't have the strength or the desire. You have to scare the shit out of her and there is no better time than now. This race bullshit is a perfect opportunity to prove to her, and yourself, that you are not going to take this shit anymore. Pull out the race and forbid her from taking part in it.


stevsn

Sweet Jesus. Go find another activity to do tomorrow. She should NOT be in a social setting with the OM.


waitedwaytoolong

Were you just supposed to show up to the race tomorrow and line up right next to this guy and this was supposed to be ok? Were you and your wife on your anniversary weekend going to just nod and say hi to this guy?

Thanks guys, appreciate the comments. Your quick responses to this new development.

I started to wonder as I read these if I am being humiliated. I didn't think of it this way as there will be over 5000 people in the race.

Its late and I'm getting up in less then 6 hours to get there on time. I am going to ask her the question when we wake up. If the roles were reversed, would you go?

Would we be going if we had some time to discuss over the past week?

She viewed it as needless hurtful information that would ruin our weekend. She wants to enjoy the day, the run and our date night. She said she 'hates herself for all this' and is sorry. This from our text exchange earlier. I couldn't respond right away and that is when she freaked out and thought I was divorcing her.

That reaction is telling i suppose that she does see this as a big deal, if 30 minutes elapsed time was enough to make her feel sick, worry I was going to end it and have to step out and call me.

After that we had an email exchange and she answered all my questions. Said anything more than 'hi' was very wrong and it won't happen again.

I did ask where he was going and she knew it was overseas.

Going to sleep on it.

A lot of explaining to do if we don't go.

theaterguy posted 6/16/2017 23:07 PM

No, I wouldn't go. I also wonder how she knows he is going on vacation and where...hmmmmm. It appears you have so many more questions. I do not think you are being humiliated but I wonder if she is playing you. Just letting you in on a bit of TT. I say tell her it is too much and that you are going to file as the OM seems to be more important than you are unless she tells you everything. Why did she wait so late to tell you the OM was in the race?? If she had told you upfront you would've had time to deal with it. There appears to be a lot more she is holding back.....me thinks it might be poly time. How do you think she would respond? IDK man.....this has to be painful; waiting for the other shoe to drop. IMHO, even 'hi' is too much.

[This message edited by theaterguy at 11:15 PM, June 16th (Friday)]

bobdobalina posted 6/16/2017 23:13 PM

is she not to smart or a complete narcissist not telling you the sleazy bastard will be there or would she enjoy watching you squirm as he jogs along side her with a smirk knowing he shagged your wife
id say she has to pull out immediately

M1965 posted 6/17/2017 08:43 AM

20yrs,

Firstly: Do not go to that race. Period. It would be crazy to go. You will spend every second looking for the OM, and if you see him, you may attack him. Nobody needs that.

So I repeat, for everyone’s good, please do not go to that race.

You can make much better use of the time by talking to your wife.

Firstly, let me say how sorry I am that you are having to go through this. It is horrible, and everyone reading your thread will be feeling your pain and wanting to send you strength.

As awful as this all is, your confrontation, and her subsequent revelation, have finally brought the ‘truth’ out into the open. And it is about far more than whether or not to go to a race, or withholding ‘hurtful’ information.

I am saying this gently, as I would to my brother (if I had one) or my best friend: her actions for a year and a half prior to discovery, and afterwards, make it clear that she was, and still is, in love with that man. Whether or not they are actively being physical at the moment is almost irrelevant, because mentally, she still has a strong attachment to him.

It pains me to write that, but not writing it would be even worse, because unless the two of you find a way to deal with it, and address the real problem that underlies everything else, you will never, ever have an honest conversation with your wife about this, and you will never, ever blast that piece of sh*t out of your lives.

Think about it: in all of your interactions with your wife about this, haven’t you always been left with a feeling that something is not quite right? That what she says does not add up? Well, you know the reason for your unease now. What you were sensing, and what was driving you crazy, was that your gut knew something that your conscious mind did not want to consider. She is still in love with that man.

- That is why she avoided going to counselling. Along with compartmentalisation, your wife’s mental coping mechanisms also include denial, avoidance, and lying. Your wife was able to apply all three in her interactions with you, because you love her, you want to trust her, and she knows you very well, but she knew that a professional counsellor, with no emotional investment in her, would identify the real issue very quickly. So along came avoidance; she said she saw no reason for having counselling, and then did nothing after she said she was going to schedule some.

- That is why she won’t condemn him, and why she has no negative opinions about the affair. He is not the scumbag we all know he is; he is someone “just like her, made some bad choices”. Wow. That really is being harsh on him, isn’t it? Effectively, her verdict on her and the OM is that they really did nothing wrong, while grudgingly acknowledging that yes, technically, intellectually, if you went through the fine print of the marriage vows or the ten commandments, or what people generally understand the word marriage means, some ‘questionable decisions’ had been made. The denial that underlies her assessment is so thick that a bazooka would not make a dent on it. And the reason for the denial is her love for him, then and now.

- That is why she is following the OM’s movements and staying in contact with him, whether or not there is a “mutual friend”, which frankly sounds like bullsh*t to me. However, the means of continuing that interest and contact are almost irrelevant, because the real issue is not the means, but the reason that she is still in contact with the OM and his life. And there can only be one reason for that. She is still in love with him.

- That is why she gets so upset talking about the affair; she still has feelings for him, and talking about it stirs them up again. And talking to you about the affair is opening the door to the separate mental ‘compartment’ that she was using to screw the OM in. It breaks the comforting separation that enabled her to conduct the affair and have sex with the OM, leave that compartment, and go back to the compartment where she put her husband and children. To invite you in to the affair compartment forces her to face the truth that there was never, ever, any real separation between the OM and you. That you were always in the affair compartment with her, but she chose to turn her face away so she couldn’t see you.

- That is why her approach was to not “dwell in the past”, but to try and put it out of her mind, “move forwards”, and not deal with the problem at all.

- That is why, as you very astutely picked up, she has expressed regret, but not remorse. She must have many different regrets about the whole thing, but remorse can only occur when she is ‘over’ the other man, and she can put the affair and her actions into proper perspective in her mind and emotions.

- That may be why she has been dragging her heels about leaving that job. She has been talking a good game about wanting another job, but what if – consciously or sub-consciously – she is also sabotaging the applications and interviews? Her feelings for the OM will be influencing her actions, even if she doesn’t realise it. And that is assuming that she is not deliberately giving less than 100% in her applications and interviews.

I could go on, but I won’t. The point is, do you see how many ducks suddenly get into a row when the big, underlying issue is dragged out into the light and acknowledged?

And look at what happened right after she finally booked a counselling session. She panicked and told you about knowing all about the OM’s whereabouts and plans. He's going to be in the race, and going overseas on vacation.
How does her ongoing interest in the OM stack up against what she told you in the confrontation that had occurred just a couple of hours beforehand?:

“She says she has no interest in him, no feelings.”

“She said since the no contact letter there has been nothing other then when he asked her if she was 'serious' about the letter and she replied 'yes'.”

I think we would all need to be in a monumental state of denial to not see those words for what they really are.

What has begun is the process of reality intruding into the carefully constructed, but extremely fragile, fantasy worlds that she constructed in her mind, which allowed her to be your wife and the children’s mom when she was at home with her family, and then the OM’s lover when she was at work. She has been shuttling between those two worlds for almost two years now. Many people in affairs create similar multiple worlds that they believe exist in complete isolation from one another. Only, in the real world, they don’t.

And now those worlds have collided.

And her reaction was…Desperate panic, and the fear that you would divorce her when the truth dawned on you about what her continued contact with the OM meant. That she is still in love with him.

If that was not the case, why was she begging forgiveness and telling you that you are the most important person in her life? That is actually an incredibly revealing thing for her to have said, but it was said in a blind panic, before the denial and avoidance could kick in.

And this is why I think it is revealing and significant.

Why would she be making that assurance unless there are other people in her life? Think about all the responses that she could have made in that situation. And the one she chose was to tell you that you are more important than…Someone else.

Which begs the further question: why is there anyone else in the mental and emotional league table that she is putting you at the top of?

She said this during the confrontation:

“She says she has no interest in him, no feelings.”

And yet, a couple of hours later, she is reassuring you that you are more important than him. And make no mistake; that is what she was saying. And I believe that the reason she said that is because for the past year and a half she has been in love with the OM, while also loving you. Compartmentalisation enabled that to happen, and up until these most recent revelations exposed her ongoing feelings for the OM, it was still enabling your wife’s fantasy worlds to co-exist.

If my theory is correct:

- It would be possible for her to look you in the eye and say, “I love you”. She probably does, but that is very different from saying, “You are the only man that I love”.

- It would be possible for her to have a happy life with her family at home, because that is one of her fantasy worlds, safely insulated from the other one. You said that you have a nice life at home, didn’t you? Running, yoga, the kids…

- It would be possible for her to tell you that you are the most important person in her emotional league table, while still having other people – and other men - in the same table.

- When asked outright if she wants to choose between you and the OM – as you have asked her to do more than once – she would be able to say with 100% honesty that she would choose you and the family over the OM. Which sounds good, but think about it: for her to do that, it means she has more than one option to choose from, and the fact that she has repeatedly chosen you and the kids over the OM does not mean that the OM does not figure significantly in her emotions, and her life. And the reality is, she has not had to make that choice. The current situation actually maintains and supports her having two men in her life, so it is nothing more than her answering a hypothetical question and then settling back into having two men in her life. Life in ‘Home world’ is good. Life in ‘OM World’ is exciting. Why not have both, particularly if she is emotionally torn between two men, even if she ranks one above the other? The transition she needs to make is to go from ranking you and the family above the OM to having the OM off her emotional radar completely. That is what you are both going to have to work on.

Is it possible to love two people at the same time? Yes. I did once, very briefly, and it was bloody awful. I hated it. I did not ‘cheat’, but I started to have feelings for someone else while in an established relationship, so I know from my own experience that such things are possible. I ended things with my potential OW before it went any further than some meaningful flirting. She hated me after that, but I felt I deserved it.

Your wife having feelings of love for you does not preclude her from having feelings of love for the OM, and her feelings of love for him does not preclude her from loving you. And that is where I think she is at the moment: caught between two men that she loves.

Emotions are not logical, neatly ordered, or ‘safe’. They can be chaotic, helter-skelter, contradictory, self-destructive…

“I responded with more questions. That I wasn't going to make a knee jerk reaction but that I needed honesty. Anything else would not work.”

Very wise, and very true about the requirement for honesty. However, you have to realistic expectations. If my theory is right, your wife has spent nearly two years stuck between two men that she loves, using lies, denial, and avoidance to maintain that situation, to – as I am sure she would say – ‘protect’ you and the family from being hurt, and to prevent the proverbial sh*t hitting the fan and divorce occurring. You cannot expect her to change from being in that mode to one of complete honesty. It is going to take time, professional counselling, and much deep discussion with you to get her to that point.

And just at the moment, she has several good reasons for retreating into denial, avoidance, and lies. The biggest being that if she actually admits to still loving the OM, you could ‘blow up’, throw her out, file for divorce, expose the affair to both sets of parents and all friends, send your evidence to HR and make her job and reputation at work implode as she is asked to clear her desk and get off the premises. And then there’s telling the kids, sharing the kids, arranging who has them on which days…

So the pre-requisite for expecting honesty from her is to reassure her that you are not going to do anything rash or drastic as a result of anything she says. Which probably feels like the last thing you want to say to her, particularly when the anger kicks in.

Now, the steps to divorce are quite clear cut and obvious, so there is no point for me to talk about them. And it seems obvious to me that as hurt, angry, and disappointed as you must be, you do not really want divorce. So let’s think about a recovery plan.

If I were ‘framing’ it for your wife, I would put it this way (possibly in a letter, so she reads the whole message without any interruption):

********************************************************************

“This is not about destroying the marriage, it is about saving it. I am telling you honestly and with complete sincerity that I love you, I love our life and our marriage, and I want those things to be rescued from this mess and for the rest of our lives to be about us and the kids, and only us and the kids. But I cannot do that without your help and co-operation. I know there are things you find hard to talk about, but those are the things that we must talk about if we are going to save this marriage.

I know that emotions can be confused, and that people are not perfect. I know that nothing you have done was done to deliberately hurt me, the marriage, or the family. I know that you are not a bad person. I know that you love me. I know that you love the children. I know that you want what we have to continue, just as much as I do.

I know that bad decisions can be made, and emotional situations can be created as a result of those decisions. And I believe that you made such a decision when you fell in love with the OM and embarked on your affair with him. There is no point to deny that you loved him, because it is obvious that you did. That hurts me, but I have accepted the reality of it. We cannot deny it. With no evil intentions, you created an emotional world around you in which you loved me, you loved the kids, and you loved him.

And you have inhabited that emotional world for almost two years. It has become your life, and you have used compartmentalising, denial, avoidance, and at times outright lies to maintain it, and to try prevent anyone from being hurt. But that has not worked, and so we find ourselves where we are today. Which is a situation where you love me, and you still love him. Please do not try to deny that, because we both know that it is true, and if we ignore that reality, we will never be able to fix this.

Love is not a water faucet. It cannot be turned on and off at a moment’s notice. It lingers. It may change in form as it lingers, but it lingers. As hard as it is for me, I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that you still have feelings for the other man, and we must both drop the pretence that that is not true. So what do we do about that?

We begin by communicating honestly. You can tell me that you love the OM and I will not blow up or divorce you. In fact, you need to admit to loving him for the process of falling out of love with him to begin. And there are steps that we can take, together or alone, to help us reach a goal that I think we both want, which is our marriage and family being about us, and only us, with no intrusions from anyone else.

Counselling is essential. You need to have individual counselling, and talk honestly about the situation that has developed over the past two years, and how it happened. You need to gain an understanding of how you could develop and maintain separate relationships, and how you can disable that mechanism for the future.

There are several books that would be beneficial, and I think we should read them together, and turn the reclaiming of our marriage into a joint project.

It is essential that you find a new job, and we are going to set a deadline now for you to be out of your current job. If you have not found another job by then, I need you to agree to resign from that job. I cannot live with allowing this process to drag on much longer, it is far too hurtful and stressful for me to bear.

It is essential that for the sake of our marriage, you make a genuine commitment to ending all contact with the OM. That means talking, messaging, snap chat, emails, letters, or using mutual friends as a means of continuing contact and communication with him. It hurt me hugely that you fell in love with another man, but that is the reality we face together. However, what really tears my heart out is that you are still in contact with him, and still taking an interest in what he is doing. But breaking contact is not just about you doing something for me. It is about you doing it for you, as part of the process of moving him out of our marriage, our lives, and our future. He cannot continue to be a part of our marriage and our lives, but only you can remove him. Or you can continue to invite him into the marriage, and the marriage will fail. It might be me who files for divorce, but the decisions and the actions that lead to that will have been yours. So I hope you can see why getting that man out of your life, your thoughts, and your heart, is in your best interests. Unless you can do that, this marriage cannot be saved. This is where you have to take the lead, because although we will work on saving the marriage together, only you can do the work that is required to get that man out of our lives for good. But please do not say you are committed to doing that if it is not true, because without your genuine commitment, it will not work.

********************************************************************

“I don't know if this will stick but I have the window now to set consequences. She said she will prove it. If it comes down to it I will ask her what is more important, the job or our marriage.”

By all means set consequences. I think that the shock of all this may have rattled her out of some of the fog she is still in, and you should continue to work with that. As I have written, I think that the choice is not between the job and the marriage, but the OM and the marriage. You wife needs to understand that. Wherever he figures in her mind and heart, she has to know that his continued presence in your marriage, in any form, will destroy it. And that is about far more than just changing jobs. Getting him off her emotional radar is the bigger, and more profound change that needs to be made. That is what will save the marriage, not just getting out of that office (though that is an essential part of the bigger project).

“Right now the db OM is going on vacation for several weeks so there will be some respite at the office.

True, and hopefully your wife can use this period to get used to a life without him, and perhaps you can use his return date as the deadline for her to be out of that office, so she is not there when he gets back. How does that sound?

I hope some of this is helpful, though I know much will have been painful to consider.

Sending you strength and heartfelt best wishes, Brother.

M

Stevesn posted 6/17/2017 08:58 AM

Perfect MI1965.

I am surely hoping that 20yrsin can finally open his mind to what mostly you, a little bit me and some others have been trying to tell him.

He should read that letter to her verbatim.
Fingers crossed.

[This message edited by Stevesn at 8:59 AM, June 17th (Saturday)]

redhorse posted 6/17/2017 09:51 AM

Personally, i would go do a race if i wanted to. I am not going to have some OM dictate what i can or can't do.

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