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Wife of almost ten years is emotionally cheating on me

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M1965 posted 1/17/2020 17:57 PM

TIF,

There is never, ever any reason for any man or woman to apologize to their brothers and sisters in the SI forums, but I understand why you did. The fact is, we are all sitting in the same lifeboat together. Or to take another analogy, we all got hit by a Mack truck that we did not see coming, nor did we expect our significant other to be driving the damn thing.

So please never, ever feel like there is a 'you and us' thing going on here. It is always just 'us'. Which does not mean we are all the same, or that any action or stance that worked for one of us will work for all of us.

And please do not think that there is any macho crap going on here that would ever judge any suffering man as 'weak' because he does not act like a marine drill sergeant.

There is nothing wrong with compassion. It is laudable. And you are - to use a very old phrase - 'Johnny on the spot'. You can form a better impression of what is going on than we can because you are there.

Because everyone here has been burned (I've been burned), and you have the clarity and hindsight of what would have worked best, it often seems the kinder/gentler methods are frowned upon because it results in getting walked all over.

What I and several others worry about is the exploitation or misinterpretation of your compassion by your wife. And that is not because we know your wife, or because your wife is somehow uniquely evil and black-hearted. She is not. However, all cheating folk elevate themselves to a position of superiority, from which they feel entitled to be selfish and self-indulgent, where they feel no constraints of loyalty, honesty, decency, or integrity.

They turn their lives into a computer game, where they can shoot a hundred people, blow up a dozen cars, and none of it matters because it happens in an alternative universe. And then suddenly it does, when it turns out that their actions happened not just in the real world, but in their relationship.

I think that upon untangling her feelings about her mother and her individuality and her job, she will get a new job. She just needs to do that on terms where she doesn't feel I'm destroying her for it. That's what I want.

Okay. To use a phrase popular in the UK, "Fair play to you". If you feel that is an approach worth trying, and that it is likely to be productive based on your knowledge of your wife, give it a try. There are many ways to get through this, and not all of them involve explosives or a shovel applied to the face. If you feel your assessment is sound, go for it.

All of us want you to find your way back to happiness, and if we see you going too far in one direction - whether too 'hard' or too 'soft' - we will shout. Nobody here thinks it is appropriate or productive to use a bazooka to crack a nut, and we will not cheer if that is done.

Ultimately, what we want for you is for your wife to get to a point where she has developed enough integrity and commitment to the marriage to never cheat again. How you get there is less of an issue. The goal is what is what matters.

This0is0Fine posted 1/17/2020 18:04 PM

Questons:

1. What are her current feelings toward OM?

She still thinks he is generally a good guy trying to hold back his feelings of attraction and that she was the one forcing the issue. She understands that she gets to have no personal relationship with him.

2. What are her current expressions (words or actions) about her feeling for you?

She says she loves me. We are intimate (a slightly more than average amount). She has given me extra latitude in time and budget for self-care. I bought some electronics I've been wanting but didn't really need. She has watched the kids extra for me to take additional exercise classes.


3. Has she provided any additional insight into her generalized objections to the responsibilities related to being married? Does she still not accept that her identity can include "wife" as not controlling aspect of her identity or in contradiction to other parts of her identity?

We've talked about spousal responsibility since the last time. What she was trying to say was that she didn't think that wives and husbands necessarily had specific roles. I agreed, but said there were certain duties we both had, and that we split household and other family responsibilities in an agreeable fashion. There are some that are traditional and some that are not, but that I don't think she should do her chores that are split traditionally because she is my wife, but because that's just they way we split it up. Traditionally, she should be no more upset she does almost all the laundry than I am that I do almost all the house repair. Nontraditionally, she should be no more upset she handles most finances than I am that I do most of the cooking.

4. Is she still considered a ""Fragile, tortured soul who is confused and cannot find her way," rather than a WB?

I think she is coming around to finding her way. No she doesn't seem to be doing anything to be a bitch to me.

5. Does she still think that "she is bad," rather than "what she did was bad?" This goes toward seeing if she is developing remorse to replace shame/regret.

I'm not totally sure on this. Maybe a topic for conversation.


Final take:

I see your wife as truly fragile due to her her many long-term issues. If something is fragile, and bent, you do not try to force it back into its proper shape, else you will destroy it. You have to be patient and work with it gently to fix it. You may, if you love her enough to offset her recent "bad acts", you might decide even to keep her with a few dents remaining (but not related to infidelity), rather than throwing her away.

Recovery toward reconciliation/forgiveness takes typically 2-5 years. In your case, it could be assumed that a speedy track is not expected. Given that, it sees IMHO that progress is sufficient as to let the process continue. You have clearly stated your red lines and what consequences you will impose if those lines are crossed.

I think the issue about the credibility of a polygraph should not be a focus point. What is important is her attitude toward the polygraph. She should be chomping at the bit to prove her story, to increase her credibility, and to improve your piece of mind. Her reluctance to schedule, therefore, is of some concern to me. She has vacillated about her willingness (her indecision issue showing?). I hope that she comes around to voluntarily offer to take a polygraph. That would be a sign of good faith that should be considered as credible. She would go a long way toward settling the "extent of affair ".

Agreed on both the job, and the polygraph since she has gone back and forth on both. The job being my request (full NC as fast as is reasonably possible while finishing a project), the other being suggested by her through the mutual friend.

EDIT TO ADD:
With 40% of marriages having cheating in them. With me assuming I won't cheat. That means there is a 20% chance a new person will betray me. I don't need to 100% trust my wife not to cheat, because the alternative is 80%. I will carry my betrayal into any future relationship, so will not be as carefree of the worry as I was before the betrayal even if I leave this relationship. That's reality.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 6:09 PM, January 17th (Friday)]

M1965 posted 1/17/2020 19:01 PM

Is your wife senior in grade/rank to the co-worker she pressured for sex, junior, or at the same grade/rank?

This0is0Fine posted 1/17/2020 19:14 PM

Same grade rank. What they did is a possible/likely violation of the handbook. I could forcibly blow it up by emailing her HR. I have chosen to not do that.

M1965 posted 1/17/2020 19:24 PM

Chances are they would both be fired. Fair play to you for not going for that. Do whatever you feel is most likely to bring you the outcome that you want.

Thumos posted 1/18/2020 00:22 AM

She can't wear one to work for legal and policy reasons.

No you put it in her car without her knowing.

Some people will put even smaller devices in a purse. Sounds crazy but itís not. After all, isnít this entire situation crazy?

MO the poly is sort of a bit of theatre. Some people say they are not reliable (usually an instant expert when they are asked to take a poly), some corporations and government entities use them. Probably not as a 100% yes or no but more as another tool to squeeze the truth...

I agree with this. Itís a powerful kind of theater. Itís also reliable. The only part I disagree with here is ďsomeĒ agencies and corporations. Not some. Many. The intel community, the military, the US Senate, the FBI, big corps. Why? Because it works. The old saw about not being admissible in a court of law? Well who cares! A court of law is the *real* theater and all kinds of stuff is *inadmissible* including hard empirical evidence. So what? That has nothing to do with whether a poly is reliable tho ó and even more to the point it is the most powerful form of psychic pressure you can put on your wife. Does that sound cruel? Again I donít care. Iím not interested in being cruel to your wife or my wife. But Iíll be damned if Iím going to live a lie.

I sense you have the same spirit in you - a refusal to live with lies if you can do anything about it

[This message edited by Thumos at 12:34 AM, January 18th (Saturday)]

Thumos posted 1/18/2020 00:39 AM

She still thinks he is generally a good guy trying to hold back his feelings of attraction and that she was the one forcing the issue. She understands that she gets to have no personal relationship with him.

This is a big problem - just be aware. Sheís very invested in protecting him and in protecting the cocoon of intimacy she has shared with him. Everything she is doing and saying screams that. This is a woman very much in the fog, not remorseful (regretful yes, but thereís a big difference) and lacking in empathy for you. She may be *sympathetic* but again thereís a world of difference. All of her actions thus far are of a woman who doesnít get it, does not own it and is thus far unwilling to do some very basic things to set you on the path of healing. This is a problem and itís not going away.

Thumos posted 1/18/2020 00:41 AM

To be perfectly clear about this, my decisions do not hinge on the poly alone. It's just another factor in my decision making. I don't doubt your prediction.

And that is exactly where you should be. No one is suggesting otherwise. But without it youíre missing a critical data point you need to make an I informed decision.

Thumos posted 1/18/2020 00:46 AM

Incidentally youíre doing a helluva lot better than I was at this stage. Stay frosty.

This0is0Fine posted 1/19/2020 19:57 PM

Got my WW to write down what she thought was fair (post nup). She's acting like I pulled her teeth without novacaine then shit in her yogurt.

Marz posted 1/19/2020 20:01 PM

Sheís in rugsweep and self preservation mode which means you could get a repeat.

She fixes nothing then nothing changes.

Better wake up here

Sanibelredfish posted 1/19/2020 21:51 PM


She's acting like I pulled her teeth without novacaine then shit in her yogurt.

Maybe you should do both of those things. Figuratively speaking of course...

MickeyBill2016 posted 1/20/2020 11:17 AM

How did she take the task of writing up her version of the post nup?
Did she take it seriously or do a half assed "this is never going to happen" kind of attitude?

This0is0Fine posted 1/20/2020 19:37 PM

She took it seriously. She asked if I needed to keep it. I told it it was for her. That if she had an exit affair, to just nut up and say so. Call a lawyer, use this. I won't contest. If she is woman hear her roar, the terms she wrote are more than fair to me. Better than I would get in a mediation or court by precedence.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 7:38 PM, January 20th (Monday)]

Dismayed2012 posted 1/21/2020 08:50 AM

Have the post-nup signed, notarized, and filed with the court, county clerk, or whatever agency that holds a copy of your marriage license. It's not valid until it's filed and attached as an addendum to the license.

This0is0Fine posted 1/21/2020 21:50 PM

I didn't actually need her to fill it out for legal reasons. It's hard to explain. I just needed her to put her needs in writing.

MickeyBill2016 posted 1/22/2020 01:05 AM

If the post nup is too much in your favor the court may want some changes, they sometimes want to keep things "fair" .

But if you are using for effect, then no worries.

This0is0Fine posted 1/22/2020 11:04 AM

I don't plan on actually needing the post nup. Having her have something that she wrote down that she thinks is fair is enough for me. "For effect" isn't quite what I would call it though.

MickeyBill2016 posted 1/22/2020 12:24 PM

Having her think about this situation and write it down for you, will show her how the marriage can/will end will have an effect. In case she is unsure about your commitment to separation. And now you have it on paper.

This0is0Fine posted 1/22/2020 22:37 PM

My wife told me about contact with OM today. He asked how our marriage was and she told him that wasn't an appropriate subject to talk about. She was nervous I would be mad that he even asked but the honesty mattered 100x more. The first time I've felt a genuine sense of relief since DDay.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 10:38 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

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