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Didn't Think I'd Ever be Back Here

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TheBlindSided posted 5/3/2021 07:55 AM

Hi all,

I am unfortunately logged back into SI after quite some time. A quick rundown of my tale: WW and I have been together 12 years. No children (but WW wants them) In 2017 she had a drunken ONS with a co-worker. Came home and told me about it. Never would have known otherwise. Showed remorse, etc. Put is in a real bad place (obviously). The next year of our marriage didn't exist. We separated where she went to live with her father. We communicated and were working on counseling but not a lot of progress was being made. A year later...another drunk ONS. Same guy. WW told me again saying it was just her way of giving up.

Filled out D papers. WW was still in counseling and found she was a sex addict (addicted to porn and maturation). Got into recovery. Changed things dramatically. WW quit drinking entirely, left her job, and put the marriage as top priority.

Things were going better. She got a new job and after a few months got a great promotion opportunity in a new city. I didn't want to uproot my life and move for her because I wasn't sure we were going to make it. After MUCH discussion and soul searching, I decided to make the move. To do so, I had to take a step back in my career, but it made sense because her promotion brought in far more money.

So now here I am in a new city a year later. We are 3 years out from last DDay. We were in MC together but quit when COVID locked everything down. The past year we have had fun together and enjoyed being together but are still lacking intimacy and trust (because I am still not healed completely). We haven't had an actual talk about the issues or or marriage in a while.

Last week I went out of town and had a feeling something was off. I came home. WW admitted to me that there was a new guy at her work that has been pursing her tirelessly for a few weeks. While I was out of town she agreed to meet with him as friends and he tried to cross a line. She did not allow things to get physical but realized that she had let her boundaries down and got in a place she shouldn't be. When she told me it felt like another Dday. All the trauma from the first times came back. I asked her to leave and give me space. She went away to her dads for 4 days.

She came back and we talked. She all this hurt being brought back up and this situation made her think that there is a level of unhappiness in the marriage that is unsustainable. That we can't live in the hurt of the infidelity and be healthy. She has been asking me for a while to do a "recommitment" of our vowels with new rings, a new date, and a marriage 2.0 to show we're both committed. Which I haven't been open to. Because of I'm still hurt and feel the marriage was broken on Dday 1. She told me how much this hurts her and makes her feel like I can't ever see a marriage without the brokenness of infidelity.

I'm not sure how to feel. We love each other very much. But it IS a struggle to work through R and build trust back. I agree that if this past year of our marriage is as good as it gets, it's not sustainable for another 30 years. But at the same time, I don't think that was as good as it gets. I'm definitely still working through things after 3 years.

I don't want D. I don't think she does either. But we also both agree that something has to give somewhere. We would both be heartbroken in D, but how do we know when enough is enough? Is it possible it's time to just give up?

Thumos posted 5/3/2021 08:14 AM

WW admitted to me that there was a new guy at her work that has been pursing her tirelessly for a few weeks. While I was out of town she agreed to meet with him as friends and he tried to cross a line. She did not allow things to get physical but realized that she had let her boundaries down and got in a place she shouldn't be.

This is more likely a narrative and minimization you are getting here, given her past.

In other words, lies.

It is unlikely he would have “pursued her tirelessly” if she weren't reciprocating.

It is unlikely given he “pursued her tirelessly” that she only met him “as friends.” In fact that's really laughable since women typically won't place themselves into situations where sex is a definite possibility... Unless they want it and are signaling it.

Most women don't just “get into a place where they don't want to be” if they can help it.

I wouldn't be surprised if she has already been physical with this man and is giving you a sanitized version.

That said, given she has admitted to even this minimized version it's gobsmacking she is acting butt hurt you won't jump right into renewing vows and new rings.

But I've stopped being amazed at the entitlement of waywards. In just over a decade of marriage she's slept with another man twice and has the gall to tell you she's the one who is hurt by your recalcitrance?

Amazing.

[This message edited by Thumos at 3:38 PM, May 3rd (Monday)]

hikingout posted 5/3/2021 08:19 AM

I agree with Thumos on this one.

It sounds to me that your wife was very diligent about removing the threat of the other man in the other situation. What she wasn't diligent about was fixing the void that she has that she tends to want to fill up with other people and external validation. Her need for this is bigger than her need to be committed to you.

You said the two of you worked on counseling - did you all just do marriage counseling or has she had some IC? She needs to figure out what is missing inside of her that she is seeking in other people.

Sanibelredfish posted 5/3/2021 08:27 AM

TBS, sorry you are back.

She has been asking me for a while to do a "recommitment" of our vowels with new rings, a new date, and a marriage 2.0 to show we're both committed. Which I haven't been open to.

Your reluctance is understandable. Frankly, I think you’ve put up with too much from her for too long. Instead of going back to MC, I think you should both commit to IC. Based on your story, you may be codependent.

She told me how much this hurts her and makes her feel like I can't ever see a marriage without the brokenness of infidelity.

She’s still actively betraying you by meeting up with a guy who wants to bang her. So, yeah, maybe you should be questioning her commitment to fidelity. I agree with Thumos that her description is likely a minimization too.

She hasn’t given you what you’ve requested to-date. What are you going to do to either compel her to do so, or move yourself out of infidelity?

Chaos posted 5/3/2021 08:40 AM

Three things stood out to me reading this.

WW admitted to me that there was a new guy at her work that has been pursing her tirelessly for a few weeks.

That should have been shut down immediately. And if it "tirelessly" had to be added here [assuming she'd shut that shit down already], supervision/HR should have been involved.

I wonder outloud if she did though - if not mixed signals could have been interpreted.

While I was out of town she agreed to meet with him as friends and he tried to cross a line.

Pump. The. Breaks. You don't meet another guy when your spouse is out of town friends or not. Bad message. BUT this is a guy she knows is pursuing her "tirelessly" and she agreed to meet with him? Holy Hole in a Donut Batman - the only message that gives someone who's been pursuing her [tirelessly or not] is GREEN LIGHT.

She did not allow things to get physical but realized that she had let her boundaries down and got in a place she shouldn't be.

She didn't let her boundaries down - she chose to shut them down completely. And sadly - I wonder outloud if you have just hit the tip of an iceberg.

I'm sorry TheBlindSided - it doesn't just feel like another DDay - it is one.

annb posted 5/3/2021 08:42 AM

After her history, WHY would she just meet him as friends?

She should not be near him out of a professional setting for any reason even in a group.

I don't think she learned anything from her previous two infidelities.

Meeting any male one on one for any reason with her history is breaking boundaries. What was she thinking? More than likely she enjoyed the attention.

IF he was pursuing her, she should have SHUT IT DOWN IMMEDIATELY.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

There's probably more to this story than she is willing to admit to you.

[This message edited by annb at 8:43 AM, May 3rd (Monday)]

TheBlindSided posted 5/3/2021 08:47 AM

Thumos: I agree completely. I've seen it enough times on here to know. And obviously that is where my mind went immediately. That being said, I do believe she reciprocated. I'm sure there were flirtations and she liked the attention. I get it. I'm guilty of it too. I'm a musician and get tons of young female attention when I'm on stage. I flirt but know the danger and don't let it get to that place.

That being said, I do believe the overall story. We have a smart home and phone gps tracking so I was able to check the timeline of events and they line up.

Doesn't make it right, but I don't believe it made it to a physical point. I think it was simply liking the attention. She had previously shut him down as many are saying but didn't take it to a supervisor because she IS the supervisor. He's a direct subordinate. I later found out in speaking with her father that she brought this up to him a few weeks back seeking his advice on how to shut this guy down and still be professional. I asked why she didn't talk to me about it and she told me she's afraid to talk to me about something like this because she's afraid it will push me further away. Valid honestly. I think she thought she had it under control. But clearly didn't.

I agree with all the comments that there is something missing inside her. I can say she wasn't getting the validation she needed from me, but that is never a reason to accept it from elsewhere.

[This message edited by TheBlindSided at 8:53 AM, May 3rd (Monday)]

annb posted 5/3/2021 09:05 AM

Just another thought...she knew exactly what she was doing, she waited UNTIL you were out of town to meet him. Speaks volumes.

faithfulman posted 5/3/2021 09:11 AM

I am unfortunately logged back into SI after quite some time. A quick rundown of my tale: WW and I have been together 12 years. No children (but WW wants them) In 2017 she had a drunken ONS with a co-worker. Came home and told me about it. Never would have known otherwise. Showed remorse, etc. Put is in a real bad place (obviously). The next year of our marriage didn't exist. We separated where she went to live with her father. We communicated and were working on counseling but not a lot of progress was being made. A year later...another drunk ONS. Same guy. WW told me again saying it was just her way of giving up.

W admitted to me that there was a new guy at her work that has been pursing her tirelessly for a few weeks. While I was out of town she agreed to meet with him as friends and he tried to cross a line. She did not allow things to get physical but realized that she had let her boundaries down and got in a place she shouldn't be.

Totally agree with Thumos that this is a telling of the story that makes it about the other person and not her, and veeeery likely not the full truth.

That being said, I do believe the overall story. We have a smart home and phone gps tracking so I was able to check the timeline of events and they line up.

Given the first quote above why do you believe her? She has shown you that if she wants to, she will take the opportunity to cheat?

Please clarify: What is it about your smart home and phone gps tracking that leads you to believe that she didn't do the same or similar thing as the last 2 times? Won't she be able to thwart those systems rather easily?

If she went this far as to cheat (and meeting with this man while you are out of town is cheating regardless of how far she went.) after cheating twice before, and she knows of these systems to check on her, why wouldn't she take the steps to foil them?

***

I don't mean to throw cold water all over what you want to believe, but I feel taking a sober and logical look is in order after what she has done to you before.

And her recommitment plan and unhappiness is absurd and probably only a way for her to feel better.

TheBlindSided posted 5/3/2021 09:22 AM

I don't disagree with any of the above comments honestly. I know exactly how bad it is that she took that step regardless of the severity of it. It was wrong. Plain and simple.

What hasn't been spoken to is the last line of my original post. There is a reason I posted this in R and not in D. How do you continue in R when a there is a major setback that brings all the original hurt back to the surface?

asc1226 posted 5/3/2021 09:31 AM

I was going to post something more detailed, but the bottom line is you don’t trust her. Despite knowing this instead of consistently acting to build trust over time she chooses to keep validating your mistrust in her.

The last time she did something like this she said it was her way of giving up. Ask her why this is any different.

MickeyBill2016 posted 5/3/2021 09:40 AM

I dunno man, when your wife goes on a date with a guy on your first trip out of town she is not into reconciling. For me that would be return to square one. Rethink the R since she is not really into it...
What woman over the age of 14 does not know how shut down unwanted attention.
What kind of supervisor needs to ask dad how to deal with a guy hitting on her?

What line of work is she in?

This0is0Fine posted 5/3/2021 09:42 AM

Did you read "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass?

People talk about boundaries, and how she broke them/didn't maintain them.

The part of the book about windows and walls.

Her shit is not together right now. I don't know if you aren't gonna get TT'd over this guy. History says most likely.

Did she immediately jump to complete digital transparency?

She should know what it takes to rebuild trust at this point, right?

I agree she doesn't want to D. Most cheaters want to be married and have sex with AP(s).

Thumos posted 5/3/2021 09:45 AM

How do you continue in R when a there is a major setback that brings all the original hurt back to the surface?

A better question to ask is how do you R with someone who isn't in R with you.

This isn't a setback. It's a huge gaping hole. It's someone who hasn't reached any level of real remorse and refuses to have boundaries with someone who works for her.

Marz posted 5/3/2021 10:45 AM

She replaced one OM with another. We’re just friends is the biggest lie told. She went on a date with him!

What you are getting is:

Blame-shifting is when a person does something wrong or inappropriate, and then dumps the blame on someone else to avoid taking responsibility for their own behavior.

By definition she is a serial cheater.

She knew what this guy wanted and met up with him anyway?

IMO you need to drop the hopium pipe.

[This message edited by Marz at 10:47 AM, May 3rd (Monday)]

The1stWife posted 5/3/2021 10:50 AM

You are not reconciling b/c your wife is still cheating.

Three strikes ..... that’s what I am saying.

She knew this guy was inappropriate but yet she went on a date with him. Call it what it is. A date. She met with him on a date.

faithfulman posted 5/3/2021 10:52 AM

I don't want D. I don't think she does either. But we also both agree that something has to give somewhere. We would both be heartbroken in D, but how do we know when enough is enough? Is it possible it's time to just give up?


What hasn't been spoken to is the last line of my original post. There is a reason I posted this in R and not in D. How do you continue in R when a there is a major setback that brings all the original hurt back to the surface?

I'm sorry I didn't reply to that specific question.

The answer from where I stand is you have not been in reconciliation. You have been in false reconciliation.

You don't want to divorce. Your wife doesn't want to divorce.

But your wife wants to remain married AND also indulge the attention (And whatever else she deems acceptable) of men outside your relationship. Cake-eating.

***

This is not about what she wants, it's about what you can accept.

I think at this point you have to decide what you can accept in order to continue reconciliation - or not.

Can you accept this additional incident after the prior two? Can you accept additional trickle-truth? Can you accept that you won't feel safe when she is not in your sight?

If you can accept these things, you can probably continue with your reconciliation.

If you can't, eventually you will need to make a decision.

Meanwhile, just ignore the recommitment ceremony. The whole idea is ridiculous.

maise posted 5/3/2021 11:06 AM

I can say she wasn't getting the validation she needed from me, but that is never a reason to accept it from elsewhere.

Her validation should be coming from herself. Did you two ever do IC? I know you mentioned MC but I didn’t see IC. IC has been very vital to my own healing as a BS, and to my WS’s addressing of her own worth issues that have consistently lead her to hurting herself and me. We are not in R, and she is still not in a place to offer true accountability for her past actions but I can tell you that I’m doing amazing - and that’s been without her emotional support. I got to feeling better when I went to IC and stopped focusing on the marriage and started focusing on myself and my healing.

I’m really sorry you’re here again. This is another dday and I agree with previous posters on the potential of this being the tip of the iceberg given her history, her lack of healing her own worth/filling her own voids, and her giving into the meeting while you were out of town - all sound like there is probably more to this. Either way though, you are in a lot of pain and addressing that is important. Try not to consume yourself with her to the extent that it takes from you - you need you right now. Get into IC and start the process of giving yourself your own love and attention bc you matter and you want to stop hurting the right way. It’ll be worth it.

Buster123 posted 5/3/2021 11:40 AM

Brother I'm sorry you're back and btw I don't believe in this "validation" bullshit, to me in most cases that's just a fancy name and a sorry ass excuse that WSs and some counselors use to try to justify the huge betrayal and the breaking of vows, this is a grown ass married woman (and serial cheater) who instead of shutting down a guy who's pursuing her hard, at the first chance you go out of town, goes on a date with him, again cheaters lie a lot, there are countless of threads here on SI and in other websites about workplace As and "quickies and or makeout sessions" during lunch breaks.

Please get tested for STDs just in case, did I mention cheaters lie ? yes a lot, you probably got the sanitized version, but the better question is what is it going to take for you to get rid of this proven unrepentant serial cheater and liar ?

This0is0Fine posted 5/3/2021 12:43 PM

seeking his advice on how to shut this guy down and still be professional.

I missed this before my last post even though it was before my last post.

Do you really see any sort of conflict AT ALL?

Subordinate: "Hey sexy boss lady."

Boss: "That's not appropriate for the workplace."

Subordinate: "How about outside the workplace?"

Boss: "Our relationships is a professional one as colleagues. There isn't anything outside the workplace."

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