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Wife is in love with her co-worker

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ChamomileTea posted 8/9/2017 06:53 AM

Lieshurt is right. If things go sideways, that letter and any other communications like it will be used against you.

I'm sorry... but it's projection when we betrayed spouses believe a WS is capable of sympathy toward us. Think about it. If they had sympathy for us, they wouldn't be cheating. The sympathy and compassion is with the AP and even more acutely, with themselves. Until they've pulled their heads from their hindquarters, they've only got faux-compassion toward the BS. And you know what?... sometimes they never get their head out.

People don't cheat on you if they feel compassion and sympathy for you. You're appealing to the empty air here. And it's understandable. We all do it. It's just incomprehensible to us that the person we thought we knew so well could suddenly become some kind of heartless ego-monster and turn on us. But that's adultery. That's what it is at it's core.

Play your cards closer to your vest. Your WW is nowhere near being a trustworthy individual based on what you've written here. It's lovely to be a warm and open person. And somebody is going to appreciate that one day; maybe even your WW. But 'warm and open' isn't advisable when you're up to your knees in a nest of vipers, you know?

DIFM posted 8/9/2017 08:08 AM

hurtinghusbandinwisco, please listen to ChamomileTea. We want so much to believe that our spouse is not capable of such cruel and heartless treatment. But, your wife is not compassionate or understanding or loving or any of those things. For that to be true would to mean the very definition of those attributes no longer mean what they have meant for all eternity. Yes, as impossible as it is to accept, a cheating spouse has declared themselves to be nothing at all like you thought they were. It is not the same person. They have thought about it in depth and have chosen to completely shift their allegiance and trust away from you and on to someone else.

I would not send the letter. I would let time help you see what is almost impossible for you to rationalize as reality at this point.

MidnightRun posted 8/9/2017 08:15 AM

Four words: Stop being a wimp.

Bigger posted 8/9/2017 11:33 AM

Hey Hurting,

First off: I don’t think you are a wimp. Afraid yes, but that’s to be expected. There is a lot at stake and it makes sense to tread carefully. But you really do need to tread…

Your letter is a lot like the words I suggest betrayed spouses use when dealing with infidelity. However, there are important differences… VERY important.

OK – Let’s start with the basic statement that you have realized that losing your wife and this marriage is not the worst outcome. You have been dealing with this situation since March and are still fighting the same battle. Imagine late December: What would be worse:
-Dealing with divorce or dealing with why she’s late from the office Christmas Party?
-Wondering if the settlement suggestion is fair or wondering if that bruise on her thigh is from OM?
-Wondering why you can’t stop thinking of her or wondering if her distant look is due to him?

I fully get it that you don’t WANT divorce, I fully get it that you WANT reconciliation. That’s why my advice is totally based on possibly creating the conditions that might lead to reconciliation… or divorce. It’s not really about what you WANT. It’s all about what you can get. It’s also a lot about what you do not want. What you do not want is to remain in infidelity. Only two ways to get that goal; divorce or reconcile. Only one way to reconcile and that’s if both commit to it and the affair is over. If that’s not on the table, then the only way out of infidelity is D.

Get it? The destination is NOT R or D – the destination is out of infidelity.

OK – The first major change I would make is to remove all drama. That includes NO LETTER. Tell her this face to face. Not sitting on the couch holding hands or with a somber tearful face. I’m not writing word-for-word what you should tell her. Use your own letter and the suggestions below to find your own words:

Tell her you realize that losing her is better than sharing her and while the affair is ongoing you are sharing her. You refuse to share. She is totally free to be with OM, pine for OM and date OM. But not as your wife. Until and unless she verbally and very clearly tells you that she wants the marriage and follows that through with accountable actions you are simply assuming the affair is ongoing and she has chosen to not be your wife. [It’s very important IMHO that she clearly states she wants to work on the marriage. A shrug, mumbling or a reluctant commitment doesn’t count. You are not forcing her – she is making a choice.]

You are moving on out of infidelity. That includes steps to terminate the marriage but it’s a process that takes time. But for now, you don’t hold her to any marital obligations, nor do you have any marital obligations to her. You tell her that you are too emotionally attached to the marriage to deal with the divorce directly, but will ask an attorney to ensure it’s done fairly. Tell her that for now no major financial commitment or decision about joint future activities should be made.

And then go make a sandwich. Or watch GOT. Or wax the car.
There really isn’t more to discuss.

The MAJOR difference in my approach and what you suggest is that you are not asking her for anything or enabling her to put a roadblock in your path. For example: you aren’t asking her for a divorce. You are TELLING her that she can remain in infidelity but YOU are leaving. She can decide to follow, but even if she does YOU are still leaving infidelity. YOU set the pace, YOU set the destination.

It’s no drama, matter of fact…

OK – so the accountable actions…
First, you need the truth. I personally don’t believe the only EA story. You don’t ask a married man to leave his family for a high-school fling. You both need to realize that the ONLY thing your marriage can’t recover from is what you don’t know. YOU need to feel safe. YOU need the truth.

Then you need accountability. Accountable for her time, who she meets, interactions with OM.

I personally think you need total NC. Yes… she needs to quit her job…
Once again think about how YOU will feel come December during the office Christmas Party. Or when she says she’s doing overtime. Or when she’s half an hour late home…

One thing you NEED to do. This basically isn’t optional… Is tell OMW. Tell her the truth as you know it: Your wife approached her husband and asked him to leave OMW for a relationship with her. You have reason to strongly suspect an affair. Since you don’t have a confession or proof then don’t say they are having an affair, but only what you know. Tell her that for YOU this indicates more but she should ask her husband what’s going on.
Nothing kills emotions faster than rejection…
Don’t tell your wife you are talking to OMW. Don’t warn her. Just do it.

Finally – Once you have that conversation with your wife she’s going to come out swinging:
“I had the affair because you weren’t attentive”
“I had the affair because you got fat”
“I had the affair because you blah blah blah”

No matter what she says your stock answer should be:
“I am sorry you feel that way. If we were working on our marriage, then this is something we could address in MC. But since you are committed to the affair there really isn’t any need to deal with this”

Same if she starts arguing over divorce issues:
“I am too emotionally attached to this marriage. Therefore, my attorney will deal with all these issues. Please don’t talk about details with me”.

Avoid arguments and confrontation. Your compass is set, your direction clear. You are getting out of infidelity and her only two options are to tag along willingly or remain behind.

LifeisCrazy posted 8/9/2017 12:24 PM

Bigger's advice has not changed in the years that I've been on this board - and they are just as correct as they have ever been. In your situation the very best action is to move, decisively, in a direction that best meets YOUR needs. That direction is out of infidelity, regardless of whether or not your wife comes along. That means you take action. If you wife wants the marriage, if she wants YOU, she will respond through action of her own. It's really as simple as that.

Here's my position - coming from someone who's now 6 years into a successful reconciliation after a long term affair. They way you behave NOW will go a very long way toward your mental health years down the road.

It's hard to imagine, but 5 years from now you will be a very different person. Maybe you'll be divorced and remarried (yup!). Maybe you'll be single and enjoying the dating scene. Maybe you'll be reconciled with a remorseful wife and continuing your marriage. But no matter what, you will look back on this period of time and see one of two things: 1) "I was strong and stood up for myself," or 2) "I refused to take a stand for myself and my family."

The reason so many of us are so adamant in our recommendations to the newly betrayed to find their inner strength as soon as possible is because WE DIDN'T. We took the path of least resistance... "Maybe she'll come around." "I love my wife SO much - I'd do ANYTHING for her." "I don't want to tell the OBS because my wife will be so mad she might leave me." You get the picture.

Guess what we learned? We were just dragging out the inevitable. At some point we came to a similar collective conclusion - we wasted our time simply to divorce down the road... or we delayed reconciliation because we couldn't put our foot down.

Please. Take action. Take steps to move yourself out of infidelity - with our without your wife. It may very well save your marriage but, even more important than that, it will save your sanity down the road.

CincyKid posted 8/9/2017 13:04 PM

Bigger's advice is solid. Please follow it and scrap the letter you were gonna send.

lieshurt posted 8/10/2017 06:54 AM

Let's keep things respectful. Name calling is not allowed.

william posted 8/10/2017 07:33 AM

read "i cant believe im here" by thepainisreal, should be on page 1 and around 25 pages long.

its a text book example of 'remaining married is the top (and only) priority. you can read and see why that wont work.

if thats the top and only priority than confrontation is a bad move. better to pretend you dont know and hope she at least showers/brushes teeth between him and you. if that uncertainty isnt okay then maybe a deal in which she clean-up is addressed.

if you arent ok with that scenario than re-read biggers post.

[This message edited by william at 1:44 PM, August 10th (Thursday)]

Dismayed2012 posted 8/10/2017 16:14 PM

I'm sorry to hear about your situation 'hurtinghusbandinwisco'.

I support your moving on. Your WW seems mentally unhinged. If it's not this guy then it will be another guy. If you want your happiness back then I'd suggest dumping your life draining WW and live your life drama free.

I'd also like to suggest that you tell the OBS. I'd think that you'd want someone to tell you, so you should do the OBS the favor of letting her know the destruction that your WW is potentially bringing to their family. Your WW is not letting go of the OM. That's a big liability for everyone if your WW goes even further unhinged on the OM's wife and kids. You see the train coming. The least you can do is warn the OBS and her kids to get off the tracks.

[This message edited by Dismayed2012 at 4:16 PM, August 10th (Thursday)]

LaCroix posted 8/10/2017 22:29 PM

what a bitch

Walloped posted 8/11/2017 00:19 AM

I haven't been around much lately, but wanted to quadruple Bigger's advice. Please follow it.

One key piece that I've seen played out over and over again, and was true in my situation as well, is that if you don't change what you're doing you won't change where you're going. Consequences are absolutely essential in order to affect any kind of behavioral change.

You're wife is in love with another man (and yes, sorry to say but in all probability it's a full blown physical affair). And you asked her to go NC. Now, why in the world would she? Because she loves you? Ummm....nope. Nothing in her life has changed. Look, she's in loooooove with him because for her it's all Fantasy Island and there are unicorns and rainbows and Tattoo is farting Skittles. You're still there being Dad to your two kids, sharing your parental duties, taking out the trash, carpooling, mowing the lawn, and bringing home a paycheck. What is OM doing? Paying her compliments, showering her with attention and validating her fragile ego. It's all romance. Think it would be that way if he's paying child support and trying to get visitation to his five kids? Or if she was a single, divorced mom of two with five step kids. All of a sudden the illusion wears off pretty quickly as it's no longer all romance bullshit but it's Mr. "Love of my life" scratching himself on the couch in his boxers as she's juggling homework assignments and eighteen loads of laundry.

She needs a proverbial bucket of cold water dumped over her head, and pronto. Following Bigger's advice introduces consequences for her and her future lifestyle into the equation. This must happen in order for her to wake up. And if she still chooses OM, well, at least you'll know where you stand and you can proceed with D. Either way, you'll be getting yourself out of infidelity.

One last thing. Many of us have been where you were/are. I implore you, please follow the advice you've been giving. These are folks who are paying it forward and they know from whence they speak. I know it's hard. But your situation is not any worse or better than the thousands that have joined SI before you. You've reached out to this community for help. It's been given and will continue to be. Your job now is to embrace that assistance and follow through with it.



[This message edited by Walloped at 12:20 AM, August 11th (Friday)]

Bigger posted 8/11/2017 09:25 AM


Infidelity is all imagination and fantasy. Your WW is infatuated by this man but IF she had left you for him and he left his wife and all that… Realizing he farts in bed and it doesn’t smell like roses and lavender. I think this is the key-reason relationships that start in infidelity have less than a 3% chance of lasting a year. They are based on fantasy and that doesn’t pan out in reality.

IMHO the only way to deal with infidelity is through reality.

That is the basis of my advice: Deal with what you are facing through reality. Realistically you can’t prevent her loving him. You can’t prevent her from going to him. What you can realistically control is what YOU accept.

My advice is based on making her decision to choose the affair rather than the marriage reality.

Emotions are based on decisions. She DECIDED to allow emotions for that man to grow. She DECIDED to keep feeding them. She can also DECIDE to kill them off. She can DECIDE to not feed the emotions. She can DECIDE to go to IC to discover why she has these emotions… It won’t happen overnight, but if she WANTS the marriage she can decide to do things that will make her better understand her decisions and thereby why she makes/made these choices.

To use a rather crude but effective comparison: I have a fantastic loving and gentle black lab. He’s about as dangerous as a butterfly and other than a warning bark is a useless guard-dog unless a burglar was hyper-allergic to dog-kisses. The ONLY times he acts aggressive are when he meets other dogs of comparable size when I walk him on a leash in the evenings. Then he might bark and growl and strain at the leash. Never happens if not on a leash or at the dog-park… I think the dog has realized that the leash allows him to act all tough and mean safe in the certainty his master won’t let him lose. But if I let him off the leash… he comes back to me wagging his tail and pretending nothing happened.

Your WW is the same basically… She feels safe pining for OM and feeling like she’s sacrificing her happiness and future because she can’t have OM and has to keep the family together. You and the marriage are the leash and that’s why she can safely pine and mourn knowing you will reel her in. Just like when I let my dog off the leash – if your wife realizes she’s free to do whatever she wants but not as your wife – then she needs to change her actions.

To carry on with the comparison: I am suggesting you set your wife completely free. Like I might my Labrador. Then walk on – see if she follows. I’m guessing that the odds are 19/20 that she will… Only – like my dog – she’s following and not leading. She isn’t in control. You are.

I think you too need to wake up to reality… I think you won’t realize what you are dealing with until you do so… Your comments about being friends forever and all that…
HHW – imagine this scenario. Imagine your wife tells you she’s decided to pursue OM and he’s decided to leave his wife. Let’s even imagine the divorce is relatively amicable. Imagine one Sunday morning half a year after the divorce is finalized. Would you be OK dropping off at your old home (the ex and om bought you out in the D), seeing OM maybe wearing the same type of night robe your ex got you for Christmas 2016, sitting in the kitchen-seat that was yours, eating bacon and eggs? How do you see life 3 years after she chooses OM? Still doing Thanksgiving together? Think you, a possible GF, your two kids, OM, ex-wife and his five kids and maybe even his ex-wife, her new BF and his three kids will all be there chatting and laughing? This isn’t the Brady Bunch…

Look around. You probably know someone that’s divorced or has a past relationship. I would hope that those that have kids are excellent co-parents and are amicable and focused on the kid’s well-being. But the general rule is that people divorce to terminate their relationship. People grow apart. Divorce is the termination of a relationship and not an alternative marriage.

Based on your vision for your relationship IF this ends in divorce I think you are in fantasy-land… Therefore, you put the process of divorce in the hands of professionals. You tell the attorney you want a fair divorce but that he ensures your rights. You don’t focus on friendship or being nice. Be fair. That’s all.
For some reason having half of what you own is a lot less than owning half of what you own right now. I have yet to hear of a divorce where both parties felt fairly treated or that they feel they got half. When you tell your wife, she can pursue OM she probably has a vision of you leaving her the house and the better car and you somewhere in a one-bedroom bachelor pad eating off the plastic cutlery.

One of the better things you can do to save your marriage is to make the reality of divorce clear and the immense changes in both your lives it will lead to.

Sharkman posted 8/11/2017 09:26 AM


You are en fuego today my man

jackfl posted 8/11/2017 10:09 AM

Everything Bigger is saying is so on the money. I am floored by the clarity and respect with which he supports others here. Blown away these past few days by his posts. Helping me a ton too!

Listen to this man Hurting. I helped put a close friend on the hard 180 and it is working magically for him. Not so much for me, but I'm ok with the result of my own NC. Keep strong brother.

psychmom posted 8/11/2017 10:12 AM

HurtinginWisc, you are giving her all the power she needs to continue to hurt and disrespect you. She views you as weak, while her AP is "strong" and alluring and exotic and "everything she wants in a man" (or something to that effect). She needs to be shaken out of that fantasy, just as you need to be shaken out of yours. You are not seeing her or your situation realistically. Your brain is in denial. You are not accepting what is happening to you, your marriage, to your world as you've known it. Everything is changed. Period. It is NOT what it once was and you cannot go back.

You've received a lot of solid advice here. But it's only as good as what you choose to do with it. Of course we all only want what is best for you, but ultimately you need to make the choices that set the tone for your future life. A life with or without her. Today, she is no longer part of your world, at least not in her own mind. She wants to be with this other dude. He's the one who sets her heart aflutter. If you want her back, you need to get smart and figure out this game and use it to your advantage. The advice given her comes from those who have been in the trenches and fought this fight, using the tactical skills that have worked for others in the past.

I live in your state. I am cheering for you to be successful here. But you need to wrap your head around the reality of this situation. She is no longer the woman you married years ago and fell in love with. At least not at this moment. She has changed. She is moving on without you. You need to take DRASTIC and decisive steps to change that immediately. And finding your ANGER and sense of indignation about what she has said and done is among the first changes that need to happen.

TimelessLoss posted 8/14/2017 15:55 PM


I saw your name pop on another thread. Give na update when you can. Folks are here for you.

Jesusismyanchor posted 8/14/2017 23:59 PM

How are you doing? I have been wondering as well.

william posted 8/15/2017 09:13 AM

without real consequences why should your wife change anything? an illicit affair is pretty exciting. two guys competing for her is ego boosting. shes got her stable home and her fun.the only price shes paying is a small one for her - knowing you arent happy, the occassional fight, a few tears, and the drama shes learned to love.

Trtroles posted 8/15/2017 09:37 AM

Your wife is walking all over you my man.
You gave her to much power and she is the one who cheats.
Good luck.

selva4you posted 11/20/2017 08:52 AM

How are hurtinghusbandinwisco? How are you doing?
I hope you have solutions and that you are in a better place.

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