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After 45 Years of Marriage

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Iwantmyglasses posted 3/7/2018 09:30 AM

This is just the true pits! There are 3 scenarios I really hate seeing on SI. This type of late in life affair you are going through. It is soooooo unfair! You have spent your whole life with the anticipation of peace!!!! You finally have it in grasp and your spouse cheats. UNFAIR!! The new baby affair. There is no time more precious than a new baby and for men to cheat when their wives during this emotional time. Dear heavens!!!! I also feel so sorry for people who have hope married to a serial cheater.

kgcolonel posted 3/7/2018 10:04 AM

Just for a sense of understanding...

It appears as your WW desires to mend the M in that she is reading the books you have referenced. Also, I am curious as to what she has, up to this point confessed to about her overall interactions as well as her night in his room at the reunion.

What has she stated about her "feelings" regarding the A specifically? Does she acknowledge it as an Affair and does she elaborate as to whether or not it was / is physical or only emotional?

Also, how has the intimacy been before, during and after the reveal of the affair?

thanks

oldtruck posted 3/7/2018 10:50 AM

A man does not get hotel rooms to just talk.

A woman does not go to man's hotel room to
just talk.

Insist on a polygraph.

SeventyFour posted 3/8/2018 12:12 PM

Plumber, Thanks again for your insightful and helpful comments.

Though only two weeks after D-day, I can't imagine ever again saying "I love you" to her. Though before D-day I have often affectionately touched her when we pass, the very idea is repugnant to me now. And I have no physical desire for her. I'd never heard the term "zombie marriage" before you mentioned it. I looked it up. That's what we're in now, though of course it's early.

I'm still on the fence about whether the EA became a PA at the reunion. An earlier commenter on this thread (smilethrupain) made a good point when she said "Nothing in the correspondence shared with us points to sex (IMO). They would have been more upfront with their feelings and more loose with their words." She also said, "My personal opinion based on what you shared is that they did not have physical intimacy. Sounds like an AE getting started here." On the other hand, what you and others say about his getting a room after she told him I wouldn't be coming, and so on, is persuasive too. So I'm debating with myself about a polygraph. When I mention it to her she says without hesitation, "Okay, let's do it."

I agree it's hard to divorce at this point. As I've said, if this had happened 20-25 years ago, no question it would mean D. But at 73, the even the idea of starting over is exhausting. And the idea of dating again (it was bad enough when I was in my teens and 20's) is terrifying! So at the moment I'm going to give recovery and reconciliation my best shot.

I take courage from your saying, "It gets better with time." As someone who has been there at roughly my age, you are a role model.

MickeyBill2016 posted 3/8/2018 12:36 PM

If she says do the poly, do the poly.

Did you ever ask her about the letter he sent to her?

[This message edited by MickeyBill2016 at 12:38 PM, March 8th (Thursday)]

SeventyFour posted 3/8/2018 12:41 PM

Sisoon, Thanks for your comments and your wisdom with regard to the distinction between: (1) advice that tells you what to do; and (2) advice that helps you figure out what you want to do and can do.

It's the second that I need. Though I appreciate everything I've learned from posts on my situation, I have to draw on it in the experiential context I find myself and decide for myself what to do. The advice is invaluable in making decisions, but it must be filtered through the particularities of my "on-the-ground" situation and psyche.

As with plumber, you are roughly a member of my age cohort and your observations and advice have special meaning to me. Like him, your recovery and reconciliation give me hope. You are both role models for me.

Your question why she used her HS BF for talk and not me is a good one. Though it's early, I think she became addicted to his unconditional admiration and adulation. I also think Dr. Nancy Kalish's work on affairs involving a rekindling of HS relationships is relevant in her case. Kalish and other suggest there is a kind of indelible psychobiological bonding that takes place in close HS relationships that, given the internet and HS reunions, are these days easily renewed. She characterizes it as the "rekindling" of "old flames." Though it's early, I think something like this was going on. It brought her back to the heady days of HS popularity and successes (she enjoyed them) and was, especially for someone in her late 60's, understandably rejuvenating, intoxicating.

I'm digging on the no sex, and am still on the fence.

I'd like to think a good, if not great, M could be reconstructed and I'm going to give it a shot. But whether we ultimately divorce, go zombie, or reconstruct a good or great marriage is at this point uncertain.

We've both been working hard at this. We're retired so we have time to do a lot of reading and talking. I'm an obsessive researcher and have found the Shirley Glass and Linda McDonald books, the Kalish articles, and the insights, experiences, and advice on this website provide a crash course in understanding and possibly surviving infidelity. As many posters say, "Who knew there was all this out there?" "Who knew there was such a thing as an 'emotional affair'?" Before we experienced one, we didn't.

Finally, I realize that demographics are in my favor as an older male, but the W I had for the first 44 years of our marriage is to my eyes and in my experience going to be impossible to beat.

[This message edited by SeventyFour at 12:51 PM, March 8th (Thursday)]

Booyah posted 3/8/2018 14:45 PM

As others have pointed out, if she's willing to do a polygraph, than it would behoove you to follow through on this.

Right now her saying she'll do it is just talk.

Set it up and do it. Even if she gives you the "parking lot confession" still follow through and do it.

If you're going to attempt to R you better know everything you're forgiving, because if you don't it will eat at you for the rest of your life.

SeventyFour posted 3/8/2018 19:03 PM

Hope, Thanks for your good questions and continued support. Here are some answers to some of your questions.

Both my wife and I have responded positively to "Help Your Spouse . . ." and to "Not 'Just Friends'." We must be pretty naive, but both books introduce us to a world that we've largely been ignorant of. The idea of an EA is entirely new to us, even though that's what mostly, if not entirely, was going on for a year with my wife and "Jack." In fact, it was a textbook case. It was also a textbook case of what Nancy Kalish calls "rekindling an old flame." She could almost be writing about my wife and Jack in her October 30, 2011, Psychology Today article, "From My Research: 12 Facts About Lost Love Reunions."

My wife is arranging to see an IC. She's given me access to her email (we're old and don't do the fancier stuff!). I am not happy, however, with her NC email. It says her decision is the result of "difficult reflection" and that the situation was becoming "too complicated." This, to my mind, leaves the door somewhat open for reconnecting if matters become LESS complicated! It's possible that Jack could read this as just putting the relationship or affair on hold rather than flat out telling him he's out of her life -- forever. She and I disagree about this. She says she's a "nice" person and wants to be nice to him. I say F him!

I'm still having to pull information out of her. Her demeanor is okay and she's somewhat supportive. But she's no longer volunteering very much and she doesn't really appreciate the full extent and depth of my pain. I'm hoping that doing more reading here will help her understand the deep and lasting pain of a BS.

When I press her on Jack, hoping to get her to say he's a jerk and she'd like him permanently out of her life, she demurs. She seems protective of him, not wanting to say anything negative. I need to hear her really badmouth this guy, but she won't do it. This places a barrier between us. I'm really afraid that if and when things become "less complicated" she'll go to him. She can't now -- he lives 500 miles away in a rural area. But as I've said before, the idea that she and he might end up together if my death precedes hers and she's still pretty healthy really bothers me (and maybe it shouldn't). But if she can't convince me that she never wants to see or hear from him again UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES -- even after I am dead -- it will be a "deal breaker" for me.

Thanks for your encouragement. My wife and I have done a lot of hard (unpleasant) work so far and if the books and what we read here are right, there's a lot more work and time that has to pass before we can reach a genuine R.

As I've said in an earlier post, the "Stay in My Corner" marriage is over. We're both mourning its demise. But people like Shirley Glass, Linda McDonald, Sisoon, and yourself give us reason to hope we can salvage something tolerable, if not good or great, from the wreckage.

SeventyFour posted 3/8/2018 19:11 PM

MickyBill, I've asked her about the letter. She's thrown it out as well as a booklet of his poems and other writings that he gave her and gave to other people at the reunion. She says it was just general stuff about what was going on in his life and in the lives of some of their former classmates. He says in one of the emails that he'd rather write letters than do emails (He seems even less comfortable with electronic communication than we are) but I think this was the only letter as snail mail is generally more detectable by BS's than emails. I wish I could look at the letter, but I can't. She threw it and the booklet out shortly after D-day as a sign to me that she didn't want anything more to do with him.

SeventyFour posted 3/8/2018 19:21 PM

To those who strongly suggest that I get a polygraph, as I said in an earlier post, I'm still on the fence. To me a single night of a PA does not make a year-long EA much worse. To many women, I've read, a long-term EA is worse than a one-night PA. For many men it's the reverse. My feelings on this are, perhaps, more like that of most women than of most men.

It seems clear to me, however, that the trajectory of the correspondence indicates that if I hadn't caught her, the EA would have sooner or later become a PA. No doubt in my mind about this.

Though it's about 500 miles away, her sister lives in the vicinity of the OM. I think it's entirely possible that my wife would have cooked up a reason she had to fly to visit her sister and then hooked up with the POSOM, possibly in the same "kinda spendy" hotel that he stayed in during the reunion.

TimelessLoss posted 3/8/2018 20:30 PM

Seventyfour,

Consider an alternative view of a polygraph. The view that it can be a tool to build trust. The scale that represents your marriage has been tipped by the weight of her betrayal and deception. Restoration of your marriage will depend on restoration of some level of trust. Let the polygraph "catch" her telling the truth, confirming what she told you.

Iwantmyglasses posted 3/8/2018 21:14 PM

You do not need to decide about a poly today or tomorrow.

This EA has been a huge blow to you. If you decide you want to know for certain regarding PA...you can request a poly in a few weeks or so.

How is your wife at the moment?

Western posted 3/8/2018 21:38 PM

the fact she can't say anything negatively about that guy speaks volumes.

My concern again is you don't know the whole truth and as one of those guys where the physical aspect hurts more than the mental side, it is frustrating either way. I would have to know. Polygraph !!

Why is she still protective of him ? Troublesome. Why do you want to stay with her if she feels that way ??

You are not out of the woods though I completely understand your position in life. You didn't deserve this, man , after all of these years. I am so sorry for your pain.

Find the full truth through a polygraph. You need to know the extent of this affair

Plumber posted 3/8/2018 23:06 PM

74

Iíve been following your thread and I guess I feel the need to post again. I still feel reconciliation should be considered strongly, but with certain conditions.

Personally, I think something happened in that hotel room. Maybe not classic sex, but something. That would eat at me until I was more sure. Definitely a polygraph here.

I kind of think in general the default position for EA/PA is divorce, meaning she has the responsibility of showing you why you should stay married. I mean, good grief, she preplanned all this, she betrayed you and likely betrayed her vows. This is big stuff. I would expect her to be throwing the other guy under the bus and begging your forgiveness. Instead sheís stonewalling and holding him deep in her heart. My expectation for reconciliation is at least that much on her part.

When I read your first post, I thought she was past this stuff. Sheís in a Bridges of Madison County world here, to my eye. Sheís the heroine, this guy is Clint Eastwood, and you are the pig farmer the heroine cuckolds. Can you live with that?

You are a long way from reconciling. Trust your gut. She loves him and is annoyed you found out. I still think divorce at this point in your life is a catastrophe. However, this cake isnít even half baked. If you donít get a deeper accounting from her about the depth of her relations with him, you are just going to be right back here in the future with a tougher set of problems. Push, push, push, find out everything, no rugsweeping.

By the way, 500 miles? Thatís a big nothing burger in the affair world. I assume this guy is her age, ie, retired also. He can drive the day before to a motel nearby, and she joins him in the morning. Iím a Urologist, the guy that often checks guys for STDís, and Iíve heard a lot of stories. 500 miles is a chip shot. I had a guy that flew further than that and then got a nice room near the art museum. His girlfriend would then spend the morning in the ďmuseumĒ, even parking in the lot there. Deducted everything, he was an accountant.

RocketRaccoon posted 3/9/2018 03:33 AM

Hi SeventyFour,

Just a few observations.

Am not too sure if it is intentional or not, but it looks like 'Jill' is protecting the OM, as she is a 'nice' person.

She gives an ambiguous NC letter so that she wants to be nice to HIM (perhaps she does not want to hurt HIS feelings, and ignoring your feelings), you have to drag information from her, and will not disparage HIM.

This is classic cheater protecting the OM actions. She is still thinking like a cheater, and is absolutely not remorseful.

If she truly wants to help you heal, or to show you that she is a safe partner, she would be way more open to talking, and asking you what she needs to do to help you get over your anxiety.

The only thing that could stop her is shame. She knows that she has done you wrong, but too ashamed to admit it to you, so goes on the defensive, and clams up.

Perhaps a discussion on what this behavior is doing to you might help the process along, or pull the 180.

Another thought is, she probably (rightly) thinks she knows you, and you will:
1. never file for D, so she is 'safe', as there will be no lasting consequences.
2. never push for the polygraph hard enough, so she is confident to tell you she will go through with hit (as she expects you to fold on her bluff).

As to telling your children about this, I would do so. They are adults, and can make up their own minds about what to do. They have been betrayed as much as you have, and if they find out on their own, it could cause damage to your relationship with them. I can attest to this,a s my parents did not tell me that my grandmother passed away, because they wanted to 'protect' my feelings (I was about 17 at the time). I could never forgive this, and am still harboring some resentment after all these years.

Booyah posted 3/9/2018 03:50 AM

"When I press her on Jack, hoping to get her to say he's a jerk and she'd like him permanently out of her life, she demurs. She seems protective of him, not wanting to say anything negative".

More than likely she's not protecting Jack but rather protecting herself, because if she told you the truth she knows it might push you over the edge to where R is out of the question and you want to head towards D instead.

The polygraph questions don't have to be just about whether or not it was a PA (or just the one time in the hotel room).

Polygraph questions.
1) Do you love Jack?
2) Looking into the future would you prefer to be with Jack or me?
3) Do wish that I was out of the picture so that you could be with Jack?

You've already expressed how much it would bother you to know that when you pass away that she would wind up being with him and with your $$.

That said, it's pretty evident that until you know the truth (and what you're truly dealing with here) it's going to eat at you every single day moving forward while you're ALIVE.

Something to think about. You talk about not wanting to start over (given your age). Maybe your reluctance on the polygraph is it will reveal the truth of the situation and thus it will force your hand into doing the one thing YOU DON'T WANT TO DO (D and have to start over)?

My friend it appears that you're in a damned if you do damned if you don't situation.

latebloomer45 posted 3/9/2018 03:55 AM

But as I've said before, the idea that she and he might end up together if my death precedes hers and she's still pretty healthy really bothers me (and maybe it shouldn't). But if she can't convince me that she never wants to see or hear from him again UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES -- even after I am dead -- it will be a "deal breaker" for me.

This is very interesting to me. A year ago, before any of this, would you have said it's fine for her to remarry/be with another man after your death? (I am told men statistically are more likely to answer "no" to that question.) My take on it is the vows say "til death do us part", so what my H does after I die is HIS business. Mattered more to me when my kids were little, as his choice of female companionship would have affected them. But they are grown, as are your kids.

I see why it bothers you, I really do. You want her to see him for the scuzz he is, a predatory asshole with no respect for vows- and to reassure you he that he is never going to be a threat EVER. But you've been reading about the psychological bond of that "first love". I can also see where it's hard for her to say bad things about him, even if she fully commits to the R and never speaks to him again.

I'm wondering if a better worded NC letter would help you? My H, too, wrote a weak one...and I regret not forcing him to change it. (He sent it before I found this site!) Only later, when she got pregnant by a married M, had two kids with him (they never M), and then he wandered off to yet another woman...only THEN did he start to see who she was.

Just my $.02. Wishing you peace.

josiep posted 3/9/2018 09:39 AM

XWH's 50th H.S. reunion was October, 2016. Things were different after that and I had suspicions but he was able to convince me that I was wrong and that there was nothing going on.

DDay was May 3, 2017.

45th wedding anniversary was May 27, 2017.

Divorce was final July 11, 2017.

In my heart of hearts, I know that if I'd known about this website 6 months sooner than I did, we'd still be married and we'd be happier than we had been the previous 4 years. He'd been down in the dumps and I sent him off to his 50th H.S. reunion, hoping seeing old friends would make him feel young again and cheer him up. Well, it sure did - he saw his old girlfriend and lives with her 1000 miles away now. We don't have any contact but from my amateur sleuthing, I know he's not happy. And I don't have to sleuth to know that I'm miserable, sad and distaught much of the time.

So I am very happy for you to have the possibility (and I think, high probability) of R in your future. My XWH was a jackass much of the time but he was MY jackass, if you know what I mean. I wasn't perfect but we had something good for a very long time and we could've found it again but pride and lack of coping abilities got in the way. So take your time, listen to your heart AND your head and keep talking to the wise people here. We're all pulling for you, whichever direction it ends up going.

[This message edited by josiep at 10:49 AM, March 9th (Friday)]

M1965 posted 3/9/2018 09:44 AM

Hi Seventy-Four,

I think you are coping extremely well with something that you should never have been subjected to.

There are a few thoughts I would like to run past you.

Re. the NC email:

I am not happy, however, with her NC email. It says her decision is the result of "difficult reflection" and that the situation was becoming "too complicated." This, to my mind, leaves the door somewhat open for reconnecting if matters become LESS complicated! It's possible that Jack could read this as just putting the relationship or affair on hold rather than flat out telling him he's out of her life -- forever. She and I disagree about this. She says she's a "nice" person and wants to be nice to him. I say F him!

I can see why the wording is unsatisfactory. It makes it sound like she is unhappy about going NC, and has only done so because of circumstances, not her own feelings. I think you should tell her that the email as it stands is not fit for purpose for that reason.

As for her insistence that 'Jack' is 'nice', why not give her an exercise to do? At the top of a plain sheet of paper, write the following:

"These are the reasons why I think a man who gave himself the right to intrude into my 45-year marriage, causing damage to it, and causing ongoing pain to my husband, is a nice human being".

The give it to your wife and let her list her reasons. I realise that may sound dumb idea, but maybe it will help your wife to understand who that POS really is.

When I press her on Jack, hoping to get her to say he's a jerk and she'd like him permanently out of her life, she demurs. She seems protective of him, not wanting to say anything negative. I need to hear her really badmouth this guy, but she won't do it. This places a barrier between us...if she can't convince me that she never wants to see or hear from him again UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES -- even after I am dead -- it will be a "deal breaker" for me.

If that is the case, think you should tell her that.

I also think that if your wife refuses to write a better NC message, you have the option of writing him an email or letter yourself, to explain to him how much damage he has done to a long-standing marriage, and a large family, and telling him that instead of writing poetry, perhaps he should reflect on the sense of entitlement and lack of decency that enabled him to cause so many people pain. I think that you could tell him your feelings about any potential relationship between your him and your wife if you pass away, and that you have made legal preparations and written letters to your children to prevent any possibility for that to happen.

You can let him know that you recognise him as the predatory scavenger that he is, feeding on the marriages of others, and that he is now very much on your RADAR as far as any further attempts to contact your wife and cause more damage to your family are concerned. That if any further such attempts are made, you will take appropriate legal action to defend your family, and that you will keep them fully informed of his activities.

I think that you could do that independently, and show your wife a copy of it after it has been sent, and leave copies with your lawyer to give to your children in the event of your passing. I know that people say that a betrayed spouse should not contact an affair partner, but in this case I think it would be a way for you to release your feelings about him, warn him off, and give your wife a better perspective on the guy. However, it is your call, and I daresay many here will say this is a bad idea.

Re. the polygraph, you have said:

I'm still on the fence about whether the EA became a PA at the reunion...So I'm debating with myself about a polygraph. When I mention it to her she says without hesitation, "Okay, let's do it."

And:

To those who strongly suggest that I get a polygraph, as I said in an earlier post, I'm still on the fence. To me a single night of a PA does not make a year-long EA much worse.

Booyah suggested:

Polygraph questions.
1) Do you love Jack?
2) Looking into the future would you prefer to be with Jack or me?
3) Do wish that I was out of the picture so that you could be with Jack?

Fair enough re. the point about a one-night stand not making things much worse than a year-long EA, but at the same time, and given the fact that your wife has said she will take a polygraph, how much harm would getting her to do one, and answer one or more questions about that night do? I am just thinking that it might give you some additional insight and clarity into the level of the relationship.

A question about the interaction on that night could be combined with the subjects that Booyah mentions, as it is clear that they are things that give you concern. It is entirely up to you, but a single polygraph test could address several issues.

As with any post in this forum, please take anything that is useful and ignore that which is not. I am sorry that you have been put in this situation, SeventyFour, and I hope that you will find a satisfactory resolution to it.

TimelessLoss posted 3/9/2018 10:36 AM

SeventyFour,

It is good that you are open to the possibility of Reconciliation (R). To do the Big R you have to do the little r. The little r is reconciling yourself to your wife as you now know her to be. Reconciling yourself to her actions (this does not mean accepting them or even forgiving them at this point).You sound as if you feel you know all you need to know about her actions. To be sure there are some things you find unsettling such as the very nuanced, conditional NC communication she wrote. Does that NC communication tell you all you need to know about her actions? Any doubt at all? Her actions will trigger and sting you for the rest of your life. That will happen no matter what happens to your M.

You don't know how you will feel in the out months/out years. No one here can predict that. We do know that it is you best long term best interest, and the interests of your M, that you learn as much as possible now. It will tell you what you need to heal from, what you need to reconcile yourself to.

M1965 gave you a good homework exercise for her to do about Nice Guy. Here is another one, that at first glance sounds like pain shopping. Find the reunion website. Look at all the pictures. Find all the reunion pictures on Facebook. have her Friend her classmates to see the pics they posted. My purpose in suggesting this is to bring reality to the reunion in a visible way. Make it more real to you in the sense that it is the event in which she crossed boundaries and betrayed you. Look at her in the pictures. Look at him. Look at the body language. See if you "recognize" your W. Or do you see a different person? Because that is the person you have to reconcile yourself to.

You seemingly have all the facts and knowledge you need now. Will that remain the case into the future?

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