I'm 38, she's 33. Married for 14 years with three daughters.
I'm not sure if she has physically cheated, but it seems clear she has emotionally...
Here's my story:
My wife has been acting distant lately. To the point of barely even wanting to give me a "welcome home" peck. Every time I ask her what's wrong, she denies anything even though her face and body language are signaling that something's not right...
Tonight as we were watching TV, I kind of lean on her and she pushes me away. I ask her what's wrong and why it seems that she's been distant lately...long pause. I ask again and after another long pause she tells me, "I don't want to be with you anymore." I could tell she meant it. Sledgehammer meet my chest.
After a 3-hour discussion, she confessed that she's in love with someone else. Getting any info out of her was like pulling teeth, but here's the gist of it:
- Guy is someone she fell in love with since she was in middle school (both in mid 30s now)
- Couldn't be with him because her "family" wouldn't allow it
- Claims she has always been in love with him
Between the 2nd and 3rd point, she met me, fell in love, we got married, became a US citizen, we had 3 daughters, we bought a house and she finally finished college and has started her career.
I'm not clear when, but this other guy got some girl pregnant, they got married but later divorced. When this divorce happened, I'm not sure, but she's known of it for at least 3 years.
She's originally from Mexico, but her dad died (no mom) when she was entering the 6th grade. She was shipped off to his relatives here in the states and that "family" was very abusive (psychologically/emotionally) towards her. They resented her for showing up on their doorstep not knowing a lick of English. She quickly learned and even excelled in school. I helped her get out of that abusive family after we were dating a few weeks. At least I knew she was "the one."
Now she's confessed that it's been years that she's been allowing herself to rekindle those feelings she had for this other guy. I asked her if she is willing to throw away everything that we've built over our 14 year marriage for him and she said yes. I asked her if there is even a .0001% chance that things may not go as well as what she is imagining and she replied no. I tried reasoning with her a little more and she said there might be a .00001% chance that things won't go perfectly, but I could tell she was just placating me.
I tried to explain that her thinking was irrational and that she should try to view the situation from a distance. There seemed to be no convincing her that maybe
the person that exists in her mind and the guy she's falling for may not be the same thing in reality. That maybe
after an early passion-filled period, it would fall into the normal mundane pace that all marriages do. She couldn't see it. It was like talking to a teenager.
To me, it feels as if she has a "fantasy" version of what this guy is/could be since she "fell in love" with him at such a young age and now since he is free, she feels that this is her chance at recapturing the "one that got away." When I asked her why this guy is better than me, she couldn't do it. She's good friends with his mother and she's assured me that she had nothing to do with this decision and that no one else knows about it.
What do I do? Please tell me there's hope. I don't want to say or do anything that will push her away even further.
Show me the hope. Please.