She had an affair, I need some advice.
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default She had an affair, I need some advice.

Ok, here's my situation......I think it's similar to many others but my story will have it's own variances. Any help/guidance and suggestions are what I'm hoping for.

Background: I've been with my wife for 15 years, married for 10. We have two children 8 and 6. We get along great, have never really had any issues, big fights or anything of the sort. We are best friends...our families get along etc. (You know, the perfect marriage).

About 3.5 months ago my wife's affair entered our life. It's been a devastating experience, this is both an emotional and physical affair. Since finding out about it in the middle of October, she's been "flip-flopping" in her mind and can't seem to break the addiction of the affair. She's in love with him.

I've been given the standard line we all know that comes with affairs, "I love you, but i'm not in love with you". After going to back to him 3 times behind my back after the affair was exposed, I'm 95% certain the affair is done. She's devastated and depressed.

As if the affair is not enough, my wife is also going through major changes and is finally deciding to "grow up". We met when she was 18 and she's never had a career and has been a stay at home mom. She has recently told me that she's actually felt the "i love you, but i'm not in love with you" feeling about me for many years before the affair and that she was living a life and being a dutiful wife. She sees me more of a "parent" than a spouse. She sees me as someone who has given her a life that she hasn't really built for herself. She is now truly working on herself, her confidence and independence.

We're at a point where we're finally just about to start marriage counselling in 2 days. The problem i'm facing, is that I'm going to with "both feet in" to do whatever it takes to work on our marriage. My wife, however, is still on the fence. She is going to marriage counselling to help her decide if she wants to work on our marriage or if she wants to go out on her own and establish herself in the world.

She says she'd like our marriage to work, but has doubts that the "in love" can come back. She'd like it to, but just doesn't know how that is possible. Her heart is still with the "other man" (who is also married) and is committed to his relationship. She just doesn't see how her heart can undo that and then focus on me.

I keep telling myself that this is possible over time and if we truly work at it, we may have a shot. Am I kidding myself here? I really love my wife and want our marriage to work more than anything, but I also want to be realistic and not waste time and be taken advantage of.

This is gut wrenching for me, living in the same home with her sleeping in our basement apartment. She comes up to help with the kids and we still really get along.

Any suggestions or advice?
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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First off - sorry you're here.

Second you've got work to do -
1. get the books Surviving an Affair and His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F Harley.
2. Visit Affaircare.com and Marriagebuilders.com
3. Have you exposed the affair to family, friends, co-workers, the OM (other man) family, friends, co-workers Facebook, Linkedin EVERYONE and EVERWHERE?
4. Is your wife willing to write a No Contact email and letter which you send to the OM?
5. Is your wife willing to be transparent in email, phone, social networking sites providing all passwords?
6. Are you willing to do all that it takes to monitor email, phone, social networking with a keylogger or monitoring of phone records or changing phone numbers?
7. Are you willing to get a voice activated recorder and gps to track her until you are sure the affair has not gone underground?

Now for the really hard work -
1. Are you willing to work on filling those needs she is getting filled with the other man?
2. Are you willing to inspect your thinking and actions that might have contributed to her straying? (The affair is not your fault! That was her choice. )
3. Can you do this and be strong when she isn't?
4. Are you willing to forgive her and not save the old marriage but rather create a new better one?

I've given you a lot to think about and prepare.

Is she willing to come back? If so this sadness is her grieving for the affair and addiction of the affair. She may be ashamed (and she should be) of putting both of you in this situation.

Hang tough and come back for others to help you here too.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: She had an affair, I need some advice.

Thanks for the advice Powerbane....yes.....to al the questions. Everyone of them.

I still struggle the "im not sure I ever really loved you - but you were filling voids for me". Is this true? Or is this justification. If it was even part true....can it be overcome?
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: She had an affair, I need some advice.

It can be overcome. Depends on how hard you and she are willing to work.

The voids are the needs I was talking about. You're filling some and the OM are filling some. She in effect loves you both right now.

Get the OM out of the picture as fast as you can. Any contact - no matter how slight is going to bring those thoughts and feelings for him racing to the forefront of her mind and you're back at the starting point again.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: She had an affair, I need some advice.

Your reasons for going are different; but you are both going, so that means there is hope. She wouldn't be going to try to see if it could work if there wasn't some part of her that does want it to work.

Go to counseling, with an open mind. Be open to the things she says, and be honest in the things you say. Don't hold back out of fear of her reaction or that it might end things or whatever. In order for you two to make it work, you guys have to be totally honest with each other, even when that truth hurts. You both have to know where you stand with each other, and what things need to change in order for things to work.

I don't think you're fooling yourself to think that this can work out. At the same time, I do think you should also acknowledge and accept the fact that there is a possibility it won't work out.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: She had an affair, I need some advice.

how long will it take the feelings for the other man to fade into the background........it's been 3 months since the affair was exposed...and she's contacted him a bunch of times since then....the last and final (hopefully) time being about 10 days ago. Im almost certain they won't contact each other again they both know that the ultimatum has been given this time. They both know that their relationship would never work. They've both been urged by us loyal spouses to leave and be together.....and they won't go.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: She had an affair, I need some advice.

The question is what was your relationship like when it was working well?

The whole experience of "I'm not sure if I've ever loved you anyway" is just the standard rewriting of the relationship history and normal behavior. All it really means is that her attraction to you is low.

My advice is to improve your physical fitness if you can, work on your own sexiness. Find the reasons for why she felt unattracted to you and change those things about yourself.

Suggest my blog as a starting place.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: She had an affair, I need some advice.

My wife and I reconciled 3 times and this looks like what happened to me on try number 2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by what_to_do_now View Post
We're at a point where we're finally just about to start marriage counselling in 2 days. The problem i'm facing, is that I'm going to with "both feet in" to do whatever it takes to work on our marriage. My wife, however, is still on the fence. She is going to marriage counselling to help her decide if she wants to work on our marriage or if she wants to go out on her own and establish herself in the world.
This is looking at things backwards. You can't fix the marriage yourself and you shouldn't have to, she had the affair so its her job to fix it, not you. You jumping in with both feet means you are doing all the work and she does nothing. The more you do, the less she'll do. You need to be the one on the fence, not her. She needs to win you back since she did you wrong to begin with.

Quote:
She says she'd like our marriage to work, but has doubts that the "in love" can come back. She'd like it to, but just doesn't know how that is possible. Her heart is still with the "other man" (who is also married) and is committed to his relationship. She just doesn't see how her heart can undo that and then focus on me.
My wife said the same thing. You know what helped get that "loving" feeling back? Telling her "I want to get this embarrassment of a marriage over with". Nothing like a loss to find out how you really feel about someone. If she thought she would lose you then there would be a chance. You sticking around to work on the marriage will most likely fail.

She has to think you are done and want out of the marriage. Don't wait for her to get her feelings back (it won't happen), take matters in your own hands and try to end things.

If your marriage is going to work, she has to be the one that does it. She has to try to stop you from leaving her. Otherwise she is just going to fake "working" on the marriage until she finds an out and leaves herself.

Had I just said screw it to MC and filed for a divorce, odds are the 2nd time would had been the last time. Instead I tried to MC route and gave 110% only to have her go back the the OM (which I also thought was over for good).

Good luck with whatever route you take.
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