I disagree strongly with Tunera on how people end up in affairs. Many people are in denial about how unsatisfying their marriages are, and that makes them susceptible to another person. Your wife may have tried to fix things in her own way, long ago, and then gave up, accepting the status quo as "well, I guess this is what marriage is like." Then she felt a connection with someone in a way she had not experienced in years--b/c she wasn't feeling it with you--and the light bulb goes on, and she realizes how much she has given up/missed. At that point, she needs to confront you and work on the marriage. She didn't. BUT I doubt she was a perfectly happy person who somehow ended up in an affair .
Still not sure if I'm supposed to be present when her parents confront her for step 3 please clarify. Also it should only be them telling her what she is doing is wrong and they are disappointed in her and she must stop? examples or script would be helpful
I would give them information you've learned. Tell them that when a person enters into an EA or a PA, it's like they become an alien in their own body, or an addict - they'll do anything to keep getting that 'fix' of the high brought on by the chemicals the body produces (just like when you're dating someone before you marry). Explain that's God's way of keeping the species going (if they are religious), but that when you're already married, it gets you in trouble.
As for what to tell her...They could say something like 'honey we love you but you are already married. Spending time with another man is wrong. You may think you're in love with him, or that your marriage was bad enough to do that, but that's not right. We never thought our daughter would do something like this, and frankly, we're disappointed in you. If you want us to feel better about this, you will NEVER see this OM again, and you will commit to fixing what was wrong in your marriage - 13 has already told us that he knows he has things to fix for what HE did wrong - and make a real effort to be back where you were when you were dating - happy and in love."
They may want to add something like 'only then, after you have committed at least 6 months to fixing your marriage, should you even consider leaving the marriage. And even then, it had BETTER not be to be with OM, because he will NEVER be welcome in our house.'
A brief thread hijack: Tunera, I was responding to your comments on "rewriting history" once in the affair. Perhaps you don't intend it, but the comment makes it easy to infer that the marriage was fine before the affair. I think that needs to be clarified. Perfectly happily married people do not end up in affairs. Also, the comment about re-writing history tends to suggest that the WS is singularly at fault for the marital issues, which is rarely the case (mentally ill people aside,in this instance). Again, that may not be where you are coming from, but it sounds like that.
What I mean by rewriting history is that, once a person engages in an affair, they JUSTIFY the affair by saying that the bad marriage drove them to it.
They usually become unable to look back at the marriage and see that it was worth fighting for. They were unhappy anyway. They would have left anyway. It was just a matter of time.
IMO they arrive at a singularly unrealistic place that, even if they end the affair, the justification process prohibits them from seeing the truth - that there were issues in the marriage, but they were also likely not THAT unhappy that they were ready to throw in the towel.
The one thing I hear from WS's here more than anything is "I can't get the spark back; I'll never feel the same; I'll never love him/her as much as OM/OW."
And they don't, often. Because that greener grass opened up their eyes to what they could have had elsewhere, and what was once an acceptable - if not great - marriage - worth keeping and/or fixing, is now garbage.
That's the rewriting I'm talking about. Hope that makes more sense.
When a Disloyal Spouse 're-writes' history, they magnify past troubles, minimize past goods, and in general modify their story of what happened and what is going on.
The reason is that the are justifying the affair. If their marriage wasn't absolutely terrible, they wouldn't have a good reason to be seeking someone else. So it is painted in the worst possible light. It is made out to be unbearable, irreparable, bleak and miserable. The affair is the only logical, moral and healthy way to get the things they deserve.
This in no way excludes, nor diminishes the fact that something was going on in the marriage - such that the temptation to an affair was something to fall for.
Nor does it infer that the Wandering Spouse is singularly responsible for the problems in the marriage. All it infers is that the Wandering Spouse is modifying how they present their marriage - so that the affair seems the correct choice.
There is something very useful about the fantasy - the rewritten history: within the framework is a kernel of truth - it DOES point to the problems. It just makes them seem so huge they cannot be repaired.
Well we had the talk, her parents seemed to be on board with me but things didn't go well. First off for whatever reason her mother contacted her brother and let him know about the letter she said she didn't give the details but i don't believe her. anyway he called me all nasty about why get the parents involved and was just plain nasty with me. I know he contacted my wife so she had a nice heads up.
Anyway when she got home (was very late) she said she was tired and had to get up early. I told her we had to talk and it had to happen now. so she complied. her father did most the talking asking for the truth about the other man. She still tried to deny that it was anything but a friend and that i could have her phone and that she was not going to talk with him anymore. I didn't but that and i gave some details about how i knew they were more then friends. in the end though she said she did not want to be with me. I spent the night at my sisters house.
So looks like went from step 3 to plan b? or separation. she seems set on not wanting to work on the marriage. I go away for a few days tomorrow any advice?
Well I'm back and currently staying at home until I can find my own place.. I know everyone says I should stay home but that is easier said then done. while her parents seem to agree with me they also believe it is her decision on if she wants a divorce or not. She told them she would stop contact with the OM, but I know she won't.
When I got back from my trip I spoke with her briefly about us and if there were any changes but there were not and she wanted me out asap. I asked about the OM and she said she would still talk to him.
Last night I got a chance to speak with her dad again and let him know that she is still talking with the OM. I told him that I
didn't have proof but she told me that she was going to keep up with him. I told him to keep his eyes open because I lost my inside info and its up to him to seek the truth at this point.
At this point I still love her but my main concern is the kids. I am angry that she feels like divorce will have a minimal effect on the children (6, 4(soon to be 5), 2(soon to be 3)). It kills me that I wasn't much of a hands on dad but since this whole mess I have been and made closer bonds with the kids then ever. My kids have always loved me and I have always been a big part of their lives. I just didn't help much with the day to day stuff like baths and laundry and such.
Oh and I call the OM told him I knew what was going on he just said "I don't know what your talking about" and I hung up.
So how does step 4 work.. is everyone supposed to just contact her?
as far as step 4 yes basically everyone in my family knows but she has not contacted anyone in my family for a while now over a month and avoids them at all costs. I just don't feel it makes much difference at this point because it is easy for her to hide the affair. So do I ask people to call her? and as far as friends not sure who would be pro marriage I imagine most people would feel uncomfortable and not want to get involved the few friends I can think of are mutual friend but through my wife.
It can't hurt to ask them to continue to put pressure on her, if they are willing.
As for contacting her, exposure is not so much about people putting pressure on her as it is in her KNOWING that all her family and friends KNOW she's cheating. It's the embarrassment, the shame, and the knowledge that people will not accept this new guy and just be willing to let her replace you with him and continue on as if nothing happened. THAT is what can stop the affair - bursting the bubble, getting her to realize that everyone knows it's wrong. Get her to question if OM is really worth it.
Me? I'm very blunt. I would be asking everyone who's willing to give her a hard time. Not be rude to her, but point out to her that they don't approve, they will NOT accept this guy as her new 'love,' and they are disappointed in her.
Hi 13yrs3kids, i have been through with that my h did it to me, it's not going to work even your family will talk to her,she will try to avoid anyone who will give comment especialy your family. Let her do the things that she's doing, I know it hurts, i have been there and there's not much you can do but pray and focus on your kids help, help yourself and try to remove yourself away from her because no matter what you do at this time her mind is close and nobody can stop her even your kids. I know exactly how you feel, show her that you are okay and don't show to her that you're crying or sad
Well it's been a while since I last posted. I will be moving out sometime after the 15th of July. I came to a realization nothing I say or do will change her mind. No one will come a long and convince her to stop what she is doing. This is something that must come from inside her. So I know I must move on. I've had my ups and downs since my last post.
Anger seemed to help me the most while I was angry with her I felt no pain but I can't seem to get angry at her right. The other day I was looking at some old pictures and saw one of us kissing we looked so happy in that picture it really tore me up.
Today I was looking at some old emails and saw one from last year. It was basically her telling me that she wanted her family back and that she loved me and ended the email with forever yours and her name. I still love her ( I guess this is what is called unconditional love).
Things have gotten very ugly after we spoke with her parents. It is very difficult living her at the moment and I sadly look forward to moving out just for my own sanity. But I pray that she will come around one day and I pray that I will have the strength to forgive her. I appreciate everyone that has given me advice. I'll post if there are any updates or I feel I need to.