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Wife of almost ten years is emotionally cheating on me

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Butforthegrace posted 1/13/2020 05:26 AM

In the era of The Scarlett Letter, there truly was a double standard. Wives were considered property of their husbands. Men could philander at will without repercussion. In contrast, a woman who could be proved to have cheated -- keep in mind that divorce was only available "for fault", in narrow, provable circumstances -- could be divorced. The divorce laws of the day afforded them nothing: no child custody nor visitation rights; no money; no status. Employers could refuse to employ them. Since the courts had adjudicated them a "slut", men were generally not even punished for raping them. Their lives were literally destroyed.

Obviously our no-fault divorce laws and our more enlightened attitudes are different nowadays. A divorce does not mean the end of a life.

Cheating does stain one. There are long threads on SI about whether people would, if single, date or marry a person with adultery in their past. The capacity to cheat, like the capacity to do some other wicked act, becomes part of one's personal fabric.

If the couple stays married, the cheating is a permanent third party to the marriage, silently lurking. If R is pursued successfully, the voice of that third party become diminished, but the presence never leaves. So, yes, in ways cheating is a modern-day form of "Scarlet Letter", for both men and women. If she wants to R with you, she should acknowledge and accept that and be prepared for the new paradigm in which your marriage now carries this additional burden, one that she created, for the rest of your lives.

It sounds like she has no desire nor intention to acknowledge that. It's "rug-sweep and forget it" or nothing. That is an untenable position for her to take.

This0is0Fine posted 1/13/2020 10:26 AM

Yeah, I think there is a major disconnect between the level of remorse I need to see and the level of remorse she is willing to show. I don't know if we will ever bridge the gap. Still waiting on her task for the post-nup. She has failed to schedule the poly (one week is tomorrow and she isn't going to do it). If I'm going to have any self respect it seems I'll have to get to the shitty business of drawing up a divorce. I'd really at least like to see what she writes down first. That way, even if we don't do a post-nup, I could use it as a basis for an uncontested divorce filing.

Thumos posted 1/13/2020 12:12 PM

I recommend you just schedule the poly and spring it on her. "You obviously weren't going to do it, so I did it for you."

She says it's time to lay out the full truth, yeah ok sure. She says she did kiss him not just try to. That her lips met his but he didn't reciprocate and then pushed her away.

This sounds like minimization and more trickle truth, but of course none of us can be sure. Only she and the AP know.

Get the post-nup ASAP.

PassThis posted 1/13/2020 12:32 PM

This0is0Fine,

Would you say that your wife is acting like a "wayward bitch" or like a "fragile, tortured soul who is confused and can not find her way"?

Those descriptions may be the end-points of a spectrum, or either one may be applicable depending upon the situation.

I suggest your actions should be tailored to that assessment. One standard strategy is not optimal in all situations.

Sending strength and support.

[This message edited by PassThis at 1:06 PM, January 13th (Monday)]

This0is0Fine posted 1/13/2020 13:38 PM

Would you say that your wife is acting like a "wayward bitch" or like a "fragile, tortured soul who is confused and can not find her way"?

"Fragile, tortured soul who is confused and cannot find her way," is more accurate.

She is not generally being a bitch. I talked to my friend that has a hard time making decisions on things. Like, his phone broke and it took him 3 months of research to decide what phone to get next. My wife too, not a great and fast decision maker. He thinks she is struggling with my speed of decision making and the relative clarity I have in my desires.

BeyondRage posted 1/13/2020 13:48 PM

So very conveniently she breaks NC and ghosts you for the week end and you’re still supposed to believe a word she says. Sorry sounds a little fishy to me

My guess is even if you go ahead and schedule a polygraph she will refuse to take it before you get the words out of your mouth . She is playing hardball my frii Nd and running you in circles

And you’re supposed to believe her OM belongs in the SIIHall Of Fame for being such a noble fellow that even after emotional sexual affair and kissing he just walked away from the chance whatever sex he wanted . She’s protecting him

Your wife has backed you into a corner buddy. Either you file or spend however long wondering . You can stop a divorce anytime you want to .

Tell her the week is up and watch the reaction you get .

Ponus18 posted 1/13/2020 14:03 PM

Don't be so hard on yourself brother. We've all been there.

My advice:

1. Schedule the poly yourself and let her know she needs to be there or you are filing.

2. Tell her she has until tomorrow at 5pm to confirm that she will be leaving her job and that she will be taking concrete steps to get a new job, and that in any event her last day will be end of the month.

I think you know by now that she's not likely to pass a polygraph and so #2 won't particularly matter, but from what you've written these are the 2 absolute things that need to happen, and yet they have both dragged on for weeks, leaving you in limbo and at the mercy of her ever changing actions.

Time to step up and take control of this shitty situation you've been handed. There are lots of excellent posts on this thread giving you the blueprint to follow.

Best of luck.

This0is0Fine posted 1/13/2020 14:03 PM

So very conveniently she breaks NC and ghosts you for the week end and you’re still supposed to believe a word she says. Sorry sounds a little fishy to me

I thought she broke NC because I misread a phone number, but she didn't as far as I can tell. I thought she was going to because that's what people do on these sorts of time away type bullshit. Seems she likely did just stay in the hotel room and read for almost the whole day (at least her phone was there, no reason she couldn't be lying and covering her tracks). We talked a lot about the books she read. (not just friends, how to heal..., a couple others). So yeah, I was thinking shit was cliche broken because that's what things usually are, but I don't have any evidence of that.

My guess is even if you go ahead and schedule a polygraph she will refuse to take it before you get the words out of your mouth . She is playing hardball my frii Nd and running you in circles

And you’re supposed to believe her OM belongs in the SIIHall Of Fame for being such a noble fellow that even after emotional sexual affair and kissing he just walked away from the chance whatever sex he wanted . She’s protecting him

I agree, if I force the issue on the poly after giving her the chance to schedule it means we are just going to get divorced.

As I have mentioned before, the text messages I have read do seem to indicate they were both holding back. Obviously that isn't definitive proof.

Your wife has backed you into a corner buddy. Either you file or spend however long wondering . You can stop a divorce anytime you want to .

Tell her the week is up and watch the reaction you get .

The reaction I've gotten is, "If we have to do the poly isn't our relationship totally unrecoverable already? Are you going to keep hooking me up to a machine to check on me? Is that what you want?" Honestly, if you read from the beginning of this thread, this is my thinking from the outset. If I NEED the poly, I might as well get the divorce. It's probably so much clearer to you guys that I should just go through with the divorce, but I'm absolutely torn in half on it.

HellFire posted 1/13/2020 14:07 PM

It's extremely possible OM joined her at the hotel,even if just for a few hours

And if she knows you are tracking her, she could have left her phone in the room, and called Uber.

HellFire posted 1/13/2020 14:09 PM

Tell her that yes, the relationship is unrecoverable. The polygraph, is to see if there is a chance to form a new relationship. Because you refused to try to rebuild a relationship with her, without the truth, and unfortunately you cannot trust her.

Unsure2019 posted 1/13/2020 14:38 PM

I understand how torn you are and I would be too. I know she’s read the books, but it doesn’t seem to be sinking in. After almost a month, she says it’s now time to layout the truth. Good God, this is something you’ve been asking for a month. Now, she changes her story on the kiss. You may want to use this as a reason for the polygraph. She’s changed her story again and how are you supposed to know what to believe. It would be really interesting to hear what her response to this would be. I would position the polygraph as a tool that would allow you to definitively move forward. Why wouldn’t she want that?

Aside from the polygraph, there’s still the issue of her refusing to give up a job that has her in contact with the OM. Frankly, and I know this is hard to hear, I think she is struggling with still having intense feelings for the OM and at the same time being scared to end her marriage and lose you – leaving her empty handed. The result is that she is not totally remorseful and fully committed to you and the M. I think there’s very little you can do to force her into a full R while she still has feelings for the OM. Divorce papers may shock her out of the fog, but I wouldn’t bet much on that. Stay strong and do what you know is right for you.

PassThis posted 1/13/2020 15:04 PM

This0is0Fine,

I have enormous respect for the other SI posters, especially Beyond Rage for his totally no-nonsense approach and decisiveness.

However, if you are dealing with a troubled soul, forcing/dragging her to comply will probably alienate her to your message and marriage. That will take you straight to D. You want to get your loving wife back. I hope that you want her to be truly remorseful, and not be just "broken" by you into compliance (I don't think that that would work in your situation, anyway). Again IMHO, your wife is not the tough, competitive, strong, although misguided for a time, woman that Mrs. Beyond Rage is. How Beyond Rage pursued his campaign, IMHO, was/is exactly right in his circumstances. Mrs. BR messed up, but she was not confused.

Be strong and principled like Beyond Rage. Be rational, loving, empathetic, and if needed, maybe show a little compassion and patience as well, to be an example of how she should act toward you.

My question to you was obviously a leading question. My suggestion is that, as long as you believe that she is truly a "Fragile, tortured soul who is confused and cannot find her way," that you give her time and support to fix herself. That does not mean that you excuse her for her bad acts. She is still 100% responsible for those. But, do not overly pressure or threaten her at this time. I am concerned that she may just shut you down from emotional overload. Read some threads in the WW forum. Some, not all, of those women took weeks/months to overcome their addiction to the OM and "to get their heads out of their backsides" wrt to the affair, the OM, and their BS. I am hoping that your wife becomes like them. So far, your wife has not deviated off script from their stories. They ultimately redeemed themselves and earned their reconciliations. Of course, you have to make the call, since you are there, in situ, and we are not, and only have these reports from you to base our suggestions. If she becomes, or is found out, to be the WB, then scorched earth is indicated without a doubt.

Her balking at the poly is of concern. Hopefully, you can get her to do it because it is so important to take the "extent" issue off the table. She has already demonstrated that she can TT and cheat in the first place. Trust can be jump-started with the poly. On the other hand, it can save everyone a whole lot of effort, pain, and time.

I don't mind being somewhat of a respectful contrarian to some the other posters. I believe that providing a range of options for your consideration lets you decide what is right for you and your situation.

Sending strength, power and support.

[This message edited by PassThis at 4:55 PM, January 13th (Monday)]

MickeyBill2016 posted 1/13/2020 15:56 PM

I have the same thoughts that the poly, if it happens will open up some new facts about how far things went.
Using the added kiss was a kiss is a way to tell you that your trust her has diminished because of the TT you and you cannot forgive what you don;t know.

To split hairs...you destroyed a poem that he got for her around the the same time she made the offer to him to come to her room. Why is he buying a poem and then not taking her up on the invite.

She may be not really thinking more than 1 minute or two ahead of what she says. She is not a trained spy or misinformation specialist, just a lost cheating person spinning lies to "make things better".

So the "lookie here we destroyed the poem" forgets about the the circumstances surrounding the poem.

Thumos posted 1/13/2020 16:02 PM

If we have to do the poly isn't our relationship totally unrecoverable already? Are you going to keep hooking me up to a machine to check on me? Is that what you want?"

This is clever of her, no doubt.

Let’s answer her rhetorical questions:

1. The old marriage/relationship is over. It was over the moment she stepped out and took on a boyfriend.

2. The polygraph isn’t something you intend to do over and over - it’s to test the veracity of her story (sorry I can’t remember - did she give you a detailed timeline yet?)

3. Every situation is unique but there are many instances of wayward spouses being willing to submit to regular annual polys. That wouldn’t be your desire but it would not be unreasonable in many many circumstances. No it’s not what you want but then again you didn’t want to be in this situation at all. She put you both here, so consequences and all that.

She should be willing to crawl across broken glass to fix this. She isn’t, obviously. Brother, this is just a clever avoidance strategy. She threw the poly out there initially hoping the offer would be enough to stall you and then she’s been dragging her feet. My wife did the same thing.

The poly is to give you some assurance that someone who has shown they can lie repeatedly to your face is now being truthful and that you aren’t moving forward with a possible reconciliation under false pretenses. If she’s telling the truth it should be no big deal. Takes two hours tops.

Thumos posted 1/13/2020 16:05 PM

She may be not really thinking more than 1 minute or two ahead of what she says. She is not a trained spy or misinformation specialist, just a lost cheating person spinning lies to "make things better".

So the "lookie here we destroyed the poem" forgets about the the circumstances surrounding the poem.

Exactly. The reason she’s being so erratic and weird is because she’s a desperate person who feels the walls closing in because of shitty decisions she made.

[This message edited by Thumos at 4:07 PM, January 13th (Monday)]

This0is0Fine posted 1/13/2020 16:16 PM

I have enormous respect for the other SI posters, especially Beyond Rage for his totally no-nonsense approach and decisiveness.

However, if you are dealing with a troubled soul, forcing/dragging her to comply will probably alienate her to your message and marriage. That will take you straight to D. You want to get your loving wife back. I hope that you want her to be truly remorseful, and not be just "broken" by you into compliance (I don't think that that would work in your situation, anyway). Again IMHO, your wife is not the tough, competitive, strong, although misguided for a time, woman that Mrs. Beyond Rage is. How Beyond Rage pursued his campaign, IMHO, was/is exactly right in his circumstances. Mrs. BR messed up, but she was not confused.

Be strong and principled like Beyond Rage. Be rational, loving, empathetic, and if needed, maybe show a little compassion and patience as well, to be an example of how she should act toward you.

My question to you was obviously a leading question. My suggestion is that, as long as you believe that she is truly a "Fragile, tortured soul who is confused and cannot find her way," that you give her time and support to fix herself. That does not mean that you excuse her for her bad acts. She is still 100% responsible for those. But, do not overly pressure or threaten her at this time. I am concerned that she may just shut you down from emotional overload. Read some threads in the WW forum. Some, not all, of those women took weeks/months to overcome their addiction to the OM and "to get their butts out of their backsides" wrt to the affair, the OM, and their BS. I am hoping that your wife becomes like them. So far, your wife has not deviated off script from their stories. They ultimately redeemed themselves and earned their reconciliations. Of course, you have to make the call, since you are there, in situ, and we are not, and only have these reports from you to base our suggestions. If she becomes, or is found out, to be the WB, then scorched earth is indicated without a doubt.

Her balking at the poly is of concern. Hopefully, you can get her to do it because it is so important to take the "extent" issue off the table. She has already demonstrated that she can TT and cheat in the first place. Trust can be jump-started with the poly. On the other hand, it can save everyone a whole lot of effort, pain, and time.

I don't mind being somewhat of a respectful contrarian to some the other posters. I believe that providing a range of options for your consideration lets you decide what is right for you and your situation.

Sending strength, power and support.

This is almost exactly what I have said about the poly. "This is a way to get some forward momentum by helping close out my doubts." I appreciate this gentler advice quite a bit since indeed she has been emotionally overloaded. I really have this split feeling about whether I'm being too soft and a doormat and she is just lying to me to further protect herself, or if she is as "emotionally overloaded" as she seems and just needs more time to process.

Thumos posted 1/13/2020 16:18 PM

Honestly, if you read from the beginning of this thread, this is my thinking from the outset. If I NEED the poly, I might as well get the divorce.

You’re a remarkably clear headed guy considering the situation, and I think if you’ll examine it, you will see this is not a logical assumption.

There are a number of steps she will need to do to fix this and heal you — if you reconcile. A poly is just one of those. It doesn’t have any more weight to it than her writing out a timeline, giving you a written plan for how she plans to heal you, quitting her job where the affair happened, etc.

You could apply the same logic and say “well if I need her to read a book to figure out how bad this is, our marriage is already over” or “if I need her to quit her job to prove her loyalty, then we’re already done.” or “if we both need individual counseling we’re both such basket cases we might as well not even try.”

You see how I broke your logic applying it there? Of course you need her to quit her job if you’re going to stay! Of course she should detail her affair in writing. Of course she should be explicit and detailed about how she plans to move from being a destroyer to healer. She can’t even bring herself to do these things.

These are bare minimums for establishing a baseline of restored trust.

They called it the TRUTH and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa because truth and reconciliation are inseparable. You can’t have one without the other.

Her having an affair was already a deal breaker. Now you’re extending a chance to reconcile but she needs to do some essential things to reassure you you’re not a fool for taking a terrible and very risky chance. A polygraph to assure you of the truth is the very least of these things.

[This message edited by Thumos at 4:21 PM, January 13th (Monday)]

Thumos posted 1/13/2020 16:30 PM

Here’s what I wrote about the poly on December 11, and I stand by it especially in light of all the minimizing and trickle truth (‘memba when it was just holding hands?!):

Polygraph exam for her tested against the timeline for veracity and truthfulness. OF ALL THE THINGS I AM TELLING YOU, THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT. It will terrify her and cut through her lies like a hot knife through butter. Balk and go weak and YOU WILL NEVER GET THE TRUTH. Polys are cheap in the long run, about $500. Better accuracy with one single question, like "did you have sex" but you can ask additional questions for the same price (the accuracy goes down a little bit with each added question, however). Polys are accurate. The FBI, U.S. Senate, intelligence community and military all use them for a reason. The poly is a tool to exert tremendous psychic pressure on her to come clean. Don’t debate about accuracy or anything else. JUST DO IT. You'll read a lot here about the proverbial parking lot confession. It's not cruel, it's rational and smart. You need to be rational, cold and smart right now.

She’s trying to get you to back away from the polygraph now because she’s lying and has lied. Repeatedly. Think about her statements reflecting basically an attitude of “why can’t I have an affair? Men do it all the time!” Connect the dots here with words like that and a refusal to do a poly or get a new job.

BeyondRage posted 1/13/2020 18:17 PM

She’s trying to get you to back away from the polygraph now because she’s lying and has lied. Repeatedly. Think about her statements reflecting basically an attitude of “why can’t I have an affair? Men do it all the time!” Connect the dots here with words like that and a refusal to do a poly or get a new job.

Your problem is she is still calling the shots.You will never solve this riddle. When you opponent is rattled then you press even more. Making excuses for her will not solve your problem.

No new job
No poly
Leaves and ghosts you

Maybe I am dense, but not exactly the way to rebuild trust. of course, she probably thinks the statement about being entitled to have the affair takes her off the hook.

Whatever you do on the one week discussion, DO NOT threaten her and then back down. You gave her a week and she is again crossing the line.

And the statement about the marriage being unsavable if she has to take a poly is utter bull shit. Your marriage is DEAD my friend. It can rebuilt but not until you stop trying to save the old one.

This0is0Fine posted 1/13/2020 18:54 PM

She’s trying to get you to back away from the polygraph now because she’s lying and has lied. Repeatedly. Think about her statements reflecting basically an attitude of “why can’t I have an affair? Men do it all the time!” Connect the dots here with words like that and a refusal to do a poly or get a new job.
Your problem is she is still calling the shots.You will never solve this riddle. When you opponent is rattled then you press even more. Making excuses for her will not solve your problem.

No new job
No poly
Leaves and ghosts you

Maybe I am dense, but not exactly the way to rebuild trust. of course, she probably thinks the statement about being entitled to have the affair takes her off the hook.

Whatever you do on the one week discussion, DO NOT threaten her and then back down. You gave her a week and she is again crossing the line.

And the statement about the marriage being unsavable if she has to take a poly is utter bull shit. Your marriage is DEAD my friend. It can rebuilt but not until you stop trying to save the old one.

This is the thinking side of my brain that says, we had an agreement, she went back, and now I must divorce her. But it's not what I want to do; so as you say, she's calling the shots. Which is why I feel weak and like a doormat. When I thought we were first headed for divorce because she wouldn't give me the demands I was at peace with it. I said I wouldn't be afraid of it now, but here I am, unable to pull the trigger.

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