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Wife of almost ten years is emotionally cheating on me

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This0is0Fine posted 12/26/2019 12:30 PM

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 1:07 PM, September 16th (Wednesday)]

M1965 posted 12/26/2019 21:11 PM


There are times when we need to detach from our emotions, and instead start doing things that will push things in the direction that we want them to go in.

In your case, much as you want to reconcile, I believe your aim will be best served by detaching and pushing your wife's thoughts away from her AP and to her own situation.

Do not indulge her brooding about her AP. That is nonsense, and it does not serve your best interests.

Instead, I suggest:

1) You recommend your wife to find a lawyer to represent her in the pending divorce. It does not matter whether you want to divorce, what matters is what she thinks may happen.

2) You suggest she starts looking for a place to live. As with (1) above, this helps make her situation 'real', and takes the shine off her AP when she starts to consider what her attachment is going to cost her.

3) Tell her she is free to move out whenever she wants, and you will call around everyone you know to let them know her new address, and why she has it.

4) Let her know she is free to go whenever she wants, and ask her to provide a forwarding address for mail.

I know these thing will be the opposite of what you want to do, but they will make your wife re-focus her thoughts onto her marriage to you, and what she stands to lose by her stupid infatuation. Isn't that what you want?

The point is, her 'relationship' with her AP was totally bogus, and she needs to realise that. Treated with kid gloves, she may harbor positive feelings for him for a long time. If you make her choose between you, him, or separation, it will help her remove her head from her behind and start thinking like an adult.

[This message edited by M1965 at 4:54 AM, December 27th (Friday)]

Marz posted 12/26/2019 21:22 PM

Right now the affair may not be active but her thoughts are.

In essence you are in a marriage where another man is still part of it.

Why accept that?

TimSC posted 12/27/2019 00:17 AM

I did not write this but it has the ring of truth and common sense when you think about it calmly.

Just Let Them Go

The end result?

The end result is to respect yourself in the end,
let go of the people that don't value you or respect you.

That is the end result.

The quickest way to get a cheating spouse back is to let them go with a smile on your face wishing them the best in life and hoping that everything works out in their relationship with their affair partner.

Seriously, the quickest way to get them back.

Nothing else works better or quicker.

Let them go.

Agree with them and their feelings,
"you should be with the OM, I hope he makes you happy, good bye"

Wouldn't that be true love?

If you really loved your spouse,
and wanted them to have what they really want in life which is the other person they're in love with,
wouldn't letting them go be the approach if you really love them?

Why focus on the affair or the drama associated with it?
Just let them go. Give them their freedom.

You can take a good hard look at yourself in the mirror everyday and improve yourself but do it for you, not for someone else, the changes will never stick when it's done for someone else, do it for your benefit and you will probably make those changes last much longer if not indefinitely - because it's for your benefit and you realize the importance and value in that benefit because YOU are involved.

I will never tell someone to change to entice a WAW back when she's been cheating on him. I don't care how bad a marriage, there is never an excuse for cheating. That is a personal decision that someone makes to cheat on their spouse. If a marriage is really bad, leave, get a divorce, speak up to your spouse and tell them flat out "this marriage sucks and if things don't change I'm going to leave you and find someone better" and if things don't improve, leave that person.

But cheating, no excuses.

Think about cheating.
A wayward spouse who cheats on their spouse goes behind their back, secretly, telling lies, feeling guilty, getting angry at their spouse for getting in the way of their fantasies but never owning up to their actions, never admitting what they're doing. If a person who cheats on their spouse felt justified in their actions, why hide and go behind their spouses backs when they start cheating, why lie, why make up excuses about late nights at work and going to a friends place and sleeping over because they drank too much and any other such nonsense?

Deep down, the cheating spouse knows there is something inherently wrong with their actions otherwise they wouldn't lie about their actions and hide what they're doing.

Fighting the affair? For what reason?
To compete with the OM or OW for your spouse?
What message does that communicate to your wayward spouse?
They have lots of value and you have none because now you have to compete with another person for their love? Competing with your wayward spouse's affair partner never works, it just prolongs an ugly drama filled process.

And for your last point,
The easiest way to show you will not tolerate cheating in your relationship is to let that person go. That is the easiest and most effective way to show this.

"Look wife/husband, I won't be in an open relationship with you, I won't give you X number of days, weeks, months to make your mind, if you really feel like you need to sit on the fence on this decision and can't decide between your affair partner and me well I will make the decision for you, you can be with them because I'm no longer an option. I love you and wish you a good life with them and hope it works out for you because it didn't work out for us. Now the best thing we can do for each other is to make this process as graceful and peaceful as possible for us and our children, I'll contact a lawyer/mediator and get started on the process of our legal separation/divorce."

You give them what they want.
You don't fight them on this issue.
You agree with their feelings,
they want to be with the other person, fine they should be with the other person, let them be with the other person.

You will never convince a person to change their feelings with your arguments and logic. You can not find one member on this website in a situation where they are dealing with infidelity where they got their spouse to change their mind about how they feel about their affair partner.

You can't say "don't love them, love me instead",
you can't say "look at me, I'm better in every way compared to your affair partner, pick me instead of them",
you can't say "you took marriage vows, you promised to love me"

I agree, you don't have to make it easy for your wayward spouse to have an affair, but when you let them go, "lovingly detach", you don't have to worry about making it easy for them. It's no longer your concern, they can have you or them but not both and not at the same time and since they've chosen to have an affair, they've made their choice, there is no profit in fighting that decision. Let them go and move on with your life, that is the quickest, easiest way to get them back.

You definitely don't support them financially and enable them, that would be weak, wussy, clingy, insecure behavior - something in you telling you that you need to support them financially while they're having an affair, hoping they'll realize how nice you are and come back to you.

Just let them go, have them move out or you move out and live a good life without them.

DeWittle posted 12/27/2019 00:46 AM

Until your WW sees OM for the piece os shit that he is, and he is, you just donít have a foundation. As stated by others, if she has feelings for this POS her head is still in the A. Donít jump on the R path too soon, youíll end up rug sweeping and be right back here in the future.

PassThis posted 12/27/2019 07:08 AM

Well-intended comments on this site by design emanate from, or are filtered through, the posters' past individual experiences. That is why the comments are so valuable when they fit your situation. The comments may, however, not exactly fit your situation. That is why you take what you need and feel is appropriate for you, and leave the rest. I am not saying that you should just ignore some comments, but I do suggest that you might modify those comments to fit your situation more appropriately as to DEFCON level or tone.

Reviewing your situation as you have reported, I perceive:


1. Your wife confessed to an EA "out of the blue". What was her reason to confess "out of the blue"? Was it pure guilt, or was she trying to disclose/minimize/damage control for self-protection?

2. The highest escalation of physical contact your wife said happened was holding hands. Hopefully, this prevented a "deal buster" event which can not be forgiven and disqualifies her for reconciliation. However, the possibility of minimization and self-protection is obvious.

3. She and he agreed to delete each other from their phones (albeit after the false NC).

4. After returning from friend's, she agreed to NC, job hunt, provide you access to phone, provided more indication of her culpability, expressed desire to reconcile

5. Her IC told her no contact was the appropriate solution

6. She said she couldn't believe she blew a twelve year relationship over two months of will they won't they sexual tension.

7. She volunteered to take a polygraph

8. Obviously disappointed that more messages weren't recovered. Poly is still on

9. IC said the text and poly requests were totally reasonable. She is accepting full responsibility and not shifting any blame to you. She is currently extremely cooperative. The reason she gave for agreeing to divorce temporarily was that she felt completely worthless as a person and that she didn't want to drag you down any longer.

10. She is at least seemingly committed to being completely honest about her emotions. She chose honesty over rug sweeping.


1. Your wife had an EA (at least). Confirmation of no PA is critical. The unavailability of texts does not help. It is imperative that you resolve this with the polygraph as soon as possible. Confirmation will let out most of the tension in the situation and clear the air for reconciliation (after the issue of her feelings for OM are resolved also).

2. 1000 texts after an ersatz (and disingenuous?) NC promise with respect to "romantic entanglements" only

3. She lied and stayed out late with OM (Note that HE invited her to stay the night. That is a confirmed instance where he initiated. So that blows up the the premise that he always rejected her advances. Why then was the the reason to protect him after OBS confrontation?)

4. She enjoyed the sexual tension. She needs to resolve this issue through IC. The result would hopefully be a full understanding of her whys and her development of boundaries and capability to assure you that she can maintain those boundaries.

5. Blow back after your contract with OBS revealed and attempt at blameshifting. This seems to be proof that NC was broken, or not even implemented at all. Or, did OBS contact her directly? How did OBS hurt her?

6. She was clearly falling in love with him.

7. You indicated that there is are possibilities that you are being trickle-truthed and they have taken the affair underground. Do you still think that may be the case?

8. Both reading Not Just Friends and she read How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair. Have you had any discussions about reactions to content? Any thoughts after resulting actions?

9. No STD test. If there is no reason to suspect a problem, getting this done provides positive inertia and eliminates fear. It does not however guarantee no PA.

10. She still has feelings for OM. It would be helpful to posters for you to describe the level of her feelings. Did she actually fall in love with him? Is she still "in love" with him? Has she told you that she both "loves" and "is in love" with you? Why does she now decide for you? Are you Plan B? How will she prevent herself from reacting similarly when her next crisis develops and she must decide who to go to for comfort and support?

11. She would have gone, seems like the whole way. WORST negative - even if not consummated, intent is certain. Though IC she must fix herself on this so that this can NEVER happen again. She must absolutely, positively, genuinely commit 100% to you, forsaking all others, and find a way to convince you. You will still be taking a chance on her if you offer reconciliation, but you need to know that the risk could really be worth it.

Other questions/issues

1. During confessions, confrontations, discussions, everyday contact, etc. what has been her attitude, tone, demeanor? Was it matter of fact, or was she crying, begging for forgiveness, etc. Have there been any changes in her demeanor over time? It would be helpful to all posters for you to provide more information about the tone, flavor, and her posture and attitude during all of the confrontations and discussions. This information will help the posters to taylor their comments to your specific situation. Otherwise, the posters have to fill in those details from their own experiences (which might be dissimilar in extent to your situation) and therefore include bias.

2. Have you had your scheduled couples counseling? Posters have suggested (properly) that MC be deferred until after IC for both you and she have laid an appropriate foundation. But, if so, were there any developments during the session or after as a result?

3. Are you still on "D track" since you have not yet resolved the text messages issue?

4. How did she act on your trip? Any developments?

5. Have you scheduled the polygraph? IMHO, this is really a must-do, asap.

6. Any developments on the job hunt?

Again, the more information that you provide, the more relevant comments/advice you will receive. There is no reason to hold back on disclosures as an anonymous poster. Since most readers and posters have been in your shoes, they understand grief, shame, reluctance, shyness, etc.

Given all of the above, I see (with as much of my bias suppressed as possible) that a DEFCON 5 approach is not appropriate. I do think, as I have commented before, that you should demonstrate convincingly strength and the determination to get out of infidelity as soon as possible. Unless the affair as gone underground, she has been dumped by OM. There still is a possibility that she has implemented a strategy of "cake eating" or one of "settle for Plan B". You must figure this out during your recovery, and on into the reconciliation process. Hopefully, her sincerity, as shown through words and ACTIONS will reveal her truthfulness to your satisfaction soon. She knows that divorce is a possibility and that she is now competing for reconciliation. You might tell her that since she still has feelings for OM which cause you severe pain, that you must start the divorce process in order to protect yourself. You can tell her that you hope that the process will be stopped when reconciliation starts, but the pre-conditions for that have been discussed. I think the intent is to make sure that she feels that real consequences are in play for her and that you are not bluffing. You are not trying to force her to make any decisions (those must be made by her on her own) or trying to punish or manipulate her. You are only doing what is reasonable to protect yourself from critical damage due to a situation that SHE is 100% responsible for creating. If more negatives develop, you can always raise the DEFCON level as you need. You will continue to get excellent input from SI posters throughout your process, whether you end up with R or D.

I am still hoping for the best for you.

This0is0Fine posted 12/27/2019 17:45 PM

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 1:07 PM, September 16th (Wednesday)]

NoOptTo posted 12/27/2019 19:01 PM

Research post-nup agreements in your area. Some jurisdictions allow them, others do not. If it is feasible, write up a post-nup that favors you yet doesn't leave your WW with nothing of you should choose to D at a later time for any reason.

If she really wants your M, she will put her money where her mouth is.

M1965 posted 12/27/2019 20:08 PM


The onus is on her to prove stuff to you, not on you to catch her out. She needs to be trying to impress you about why you should stay with her, not mooning over some married douchebag who pushed her away.

PassThis posted 12/27/2019 20:11 PM


As a risk manager myself, i agree with you that if you have a 20% expected annual frequency of flood at your house, you can expect to be flooded about once every five years. However, if you then take steps to elevate your home by 10 feet after the flood and build berms in the landscape (strengthen boundaries), your chances of another damaging event is reduced significantly. I would use your talents not for the descriptive or predictive aspects of risk, but in a prescriptive manner to reduce/mitigate/avoid the risk. The frequency distribution may not been affected, but the severity distribution has been markedly mitigated. My forte is stochastic risk portfolio optimization for risks subject to catastrophe event loss. I do understand your perspective.

Thanks for straightening me out on the DEFCON level order.

Also thanks for your detailed response. I am sure that it will help all posters at SI in providing their advice and comments.

Best wishes.

This0is0Fine posted 12/27/2019 21:59 PM

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 1:08 PM, September 16th (Wednesday)]

Buffer posted 12/27/2019 22:00 PM

Well if she is still pining for him and still wishes it went to a PA. Then time for her to leave the marriage. D time for her.

beenthereinco posted 12/28/2019 10:34 AM

The thing about her missing the OM and continuing the feelings in her mind is that your continued marriage will always rely upon the decision of this OM. This is what happened to me. My xWW and I stayed together. Not because she saw the error of her ways and immediately renounced the OM or even over time saw this. What happened is that I told the OBS with evidence of what was happening and the POSOM dumped my wife that day. My WW spent a lot of time mooning over the AP and from then on was firmly convinced that they were just "star-crossed lovers" that found each other at "the wrong time". And that if "life had worked out just a little differently they would have been together".

She kept in her head that he was "genuinely a good guy" and that he had done the "honorable" thing by staying with the OBS even though he truly loved my WW. I put up with this for a time, thinking she would come out of the fog and see what we had was real. Instead she continually broke NC over the years to check in with him and see if he was still married (He was) and if he had any interest. (To her they were still friends. Why couldn't they check up with each other?) I finally walked away. I'm happier now with a woman of integrity that thinks I am her person and my only regret is that it wasted so many years on my xWW.

[This message edited by beenthereinco at 10:35 AM, December 28th (Saturday)]

TimSC posted 12/28/2019 10:35 AM

If a wife loves her husband and is truly in love with her husband, she does not want nor attempt sex with OM multiple times.

If a wife respects her husband and their marriage, she does not willingly put them at risk by having an affair.

This0is0Fine posted 12/28/2019 11:58 AM

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 1:08 PM, September 16th (Wednesday)]

JimBetrayed62 posted 12/28/2019 12:38 PM

Youíve gotten a lot of great advice. Keep pushing until she clearly shows remorse and regret and an appropriate level of shame and recognition of what she has done to you. Until she can demonstrate in a way that communicates that she hates having hurt you, then her heart and head will remain attached to him. I believe I made a great mistake in this area of not fully and effectively doing the 180, etc. and it mired me in a half marriage for years. No half measures. Git er done and good luck.

PassThis posted 12/28/2019 13:18 PM

If a wife loves her husband and is truly in love with her husband, she does not want nor attempt sex with OM multiple times.

This site hosts an entire forum that demonstrates that there are many exceptions to that rule. There are many gold standard platitudes that we all fail to measure up to in life.

Of course, what This0is0Fine's wife did was WRONG. TiF has every right to be (and should be) righteously, holy pissed off. However, based upon TiF's recent post, it seems like she has the right mindset (remorse) and willingness to find her way back to fidelity and, hopefully, she and TiF can reconcile. Only time will tell, but if TiF thinks that it is, then the decision to reconcile is worth it.

TiF's wife confessed out of "pure guilt." Something inside of her told her that what she was doing was wrong. She deserves credit for that. She certainly did stumble while in the fog of the affair. She did trickle-truth, lie, and has not yet wiped OM completely from her mind. (She did not love or was "in love" with OM, and did not consider leaving TiF for OM.) However, nothing that she has done is atypical for the situation. (Mrs Walloped, although she thought she was in love with her OM, comes to mind.)

It will take time (a lot) for her to demonstrate her re-commitment to her marriage, to overcome her failures, and to reestablish trust with TiF. She will need to fix herself and to build (with TiF) a new, stronger foundation for their marriage which is sufficient to offset TiF's concerns about the possibility of repeat. The potential mutual reward for a future relationship together must be seen with overwhelming confidence by both of them as exceeding the risk of failure to reconcile and to maintain fidelity FOREVER. That is a high bar to clear, but not inconsistent with the gold standard.

If your house burns down, you rebuild it even though there is a non-zero chance that it will burn down again. However, if there is arson involved that is an entirely different situation. The risk is whether of not WW is an arsonist, considering that she has been caught playing with matches.

I am not apologizing for or excusing TiF's WW. She still does need to do the hard work to heal the damage that she did and to commit to staying on the path of fidelity without further failure. I do hope that WW can purge OM from her mind quickly. She needs to stop causing additional damage to the marriage and must make sure that for TiF there is no period of limbo or any stay in the plain of lethal flatness. At this time, with recent information, that risk does not loom more than expected at this stage of the recovery.

TiF has his eyes wide open. He has told WW what he expects from her in order for him to stay with her. The SI advice shared with TiF has been great, and TiF has been receptive and responsive. If she passes the polygraph (most critical factor), I like their chances and wish them both a happy life. I know that it is very early in the process, and that nothing is certain. That is life.

[This message edited by PassThis at 4:49 PM, December 28th (Saturday)]

M1965 posted 12/28/2019 19:40 PM

This post made me realise that we always focus on the actions of the wayward person after infidelity has been discovered. We never seem to consider what messages we are sending as betrayed spouses.

What messages do you believe you are sending to your WW, This0is0fine?

I know that my posts may seem a bit binary or knuckle-dragging, but you have to recapture control of your life and your marriage. That means taking an active and leading role in telling your WW what you will and will not accept. That is how you regain control of your life, while accepting that you cannot control your wife or any other person.

My point is that you need to establish a dynamic where your wife understands that she has to convince you why you should stay with her, or -conversely - she cannot be bothered, in which case you will know you should let her go, because she is not committed.

TimSC posted 12/29/2019 12:40 PM

Beenthereinco, woof. This is my nightmare I think.
TimSC, I'm not saying your wrong at all, but if we were to say that betraying the marriage is always unforgivable then reconciliation is always a bad idea. I'm not convinced that is true even though I've been tremendously hurt by my WW's actions.

My wife was involved in an EA with a guy from her gym years ago. (before cell phones, texting, and email were common).

Basically I caught her going out of the house one night all dressed up and asked were she was going.

She lied at first, then finally admitted she was meeting OM for drinks and dinner. I told her that my wife was not allowed to go on dates with other men. After a lot of out and back "He's just a friend having problems with his marriage", "nothing is going on", "He means nothing to me".

She finally said that she would have to go tell him that she was cancelling "their date" and would be right back. I told her he would figure it out when she did not show up. She stayed.

But the 100% trust I had in her was gone. I never thought my wife, my good girl, my best friend would ever have done what she did.

If she had continued to have warm and fuzzy feelings for him or missed him, I would have been gone the day my last child turned 18.

As it turned out she never exhibited any of that but I still checked up on her location for several years after that. I never really trusted her like I did before. Still don't. In the back of my mind I always wondered how far the affair went and if they got physical in any way. They had plenty of chances.

R is a choice you have to make. If your wife is still missing OM she is not ready for it. She is still choosing him over you and your marriage even if she is still physically there with you.

Keep D on the table until you are sure she is committed to you and you are not simply her Plan B since her affair fizzled out. Don't believe anything she says for the next several months even if what she is saying seems right for you.

Simply stated, if she still has feeling for her OM she is not a safe partner for you and is not a candidate for R yet.

Stevesn posted 12/29/2019 14:22 PM

but if we were to say that betraying the marriage is always unforgivable then reconciliation is always a bad idea. I'm not convinced that is true even though I've been tremendously hurt by my WW's actions.

I just want you to know that no one is really saying this. What we are saying (including some recent really good posts above) is that if sheís pining away for the AP, that youíll never be able to fully heal. If she is, itís better to heal on your own, than heal with someone not fully committed to you as her only true love.

Many times Iíve written sample words for BSís that find themselves in similar limbo. If I get a chance later I will.

But the gist of it is to communicate that if she still sees him as a Good Guy, or as a potential lover, or as even a close friend, then she can go live her life pursuing whatever affection he will give her, as you pursue your own healing and happiness on your own.

You deserve far more than half assed attempts at rebuilding from a woman whose heart is elsewhere. You will unlikely be satisfied unless she can show you she desires you and only you as a lover, a partner, a friend and as her physical desire.

Thatís what we are trying to say.

Iíve said this here before, that R only truly STARTS when the WS has come close to COMPLETING the work to change into a safe partner.... NOT when they START that work.

I hope that is understandable.

Keep posting.

[This message edited by Stevesn at 2:26 PM, December 29th (Sunday)]

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