In limbo - trying to save marriage - Page 2 - Talk About Marriage
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 11:44 PM
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Re: In limbo - trying to save marriage

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A bit on our history that could provide some needed context. Initially I would say that we were stronger as companions than lovers. Then about 10 years ago she entered into an affair. It was short lasted but brutal in its circumstances. She invented a need for a work trip to be with him for a weekend in a resort type atmosphere sleeping with him every night (3 nights). I discovered about a month after that. After that initial weekend it was mostly constant. texting and one more physical incident.

We went into the shock an affair causes and went to counseling and really put some serious work in. I think we learned more about ourselves and came out closer in many ways.

I would say though there were underlying deep root issues that we came out of that experience not solving.

My wife is somewhat a conflict avoider and because of this struggles with compete transparency in how she communicates. I am a very analytical person and one thing I struggled with was my commitment that I would never miss the obvious clues of an affair again. I felt so so stupid.

I would say that we had some very close and passionate years after the affair. We had been through hell and valued each other because of it.

I guess a couple years ago we both stopped actively working on recovery and just started coasting a bit.

There were examples of her spinning something to sound better and I just knew I wasn't getting the entire truth. This would start a conflict where she felt I would always look at her through the lens of the affair and I started feeling like I had a wife who had honesty issues. I was husband with deep trust issues and she felt it.

Recently she had mentioned to me she wished I would help out with housework more (very fair as we both work full time) and would listen to her more on my spending choices. I didn't take this to heart as much as I should have and apparently her resentment towards me has been growing.

When she shared she didn't feel the same way about me she also stated that she didn't think working on our marriage would help. She had a particularly painful line that maybe I just love her more than she loves me. This was exact verbiage she used during the fog of the affair which is causing me to flashback a little.

As far as another affair, I don't think so. One of her very main issues right now is that she hates carrying around that scarlet letter. The language and coldness are clues to my analytical self but I just don't think its the case currently.

I am currently taking the angle of fighting to remain married and trying to giver space to sort out things. It's difficult of course as I miss my wife being my wife. We are very civil wth each other and at times it feels odd in that nothing has changed as we are watching television and laughing and joking. Initially her language seemed to have an air of finality to it like feeling bad she is doing this and hoping the kids make it through ok. More recently there have been clues of a possible detente such as hugs goodbye as we leave for work or good night hugs. Last night I even got a kiss on the cheek. Now, these could be friend zone hugs and pecks but I guess I will take them now.

I will say that I am taking steps to be a much more active partner in housework and avoiding those spending choices that caused issues. Its only been a week though so I can't imagine this is that powerful to her yet. It does feel good to me though.

I started individual counseling and it felt great initially. I think I need to learn more on Love Languages as it sounds like we have different ones. She initially resisted counseling but has since signed up for individual counseling as well.

After my initial counseling session, we had a great talk where it almost felt like we were discussing issues and ground rules for improvements in how we communicate and get agreement on things. This gave me hope but still have no concrete indications that she is willing to work on our marriage. I am trying to be patient but I miss her at night when I go to bed and I just miss her being my wife and being able to express affection.

We text during the day about normal trivial things but no feelings expressed from her or no serious talk about future.

Thanks for the ear. Hoping not to make stupid mistakes and hope I end up in a new version of the marriage where we can communicate well and build real trust.
Initially I would say that we were stronger as companions than lovers. Sounds like my husband and I.

I doubt she is having an affair. Just because she had one 10 years ago does not guarantee that she is having another affair now or even wishes to have an affair.

Having resentments with a partner is a sure way of falling out of love. Being a conflict avoider doesn't help matters either. I understand that because I am one myself.

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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 05:53 AM
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In limbo - trying to save marriage

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Sometimes relationships really don't survive an affair,despite work on both sides.

So what if she fears your digging? Her fear is her issue, not yours, and if she's done nothing wrong (presently), she has nothing to fear. Trust is earned and re-earned when broken. It's not re-earned under condition of being nice to her and staying out of her business, it's re-earned with transparency and honesty and as much digging as you feel is necessary.

There does need to come a point, however, when you are done digging and you accept what is. Maybe you never sufficiently reached this point and she can tell.


Not proud of it but my wife has always been an anger issue and a control freak and it came to the point where I began to speak to a female because my wife would continuously threaten me with divorce it was part of her control tactics , so when it got really bad I felt the end would be soon and that's when I began to speak to this other female. We never had sex but the other woman knew about my problem at home and said that after I separated she would be my woman but not till I left my wife . My wife found out and your quote above makes sense because my wife still digs and get annoyed. It just doesn't feel like a marriage sometimes , I feel like she's a mom or grandma always trying to put me in the corner or give me a time out. Marriage has been tough for me and many. We're working it out but boy I wish this woman of mine would just learn to live for the moment and enjoy life a bit more.


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Last edited by mr man; 02-10-2017 at 08:05 AM.
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: In limbo - trying to save marriage

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THIS that I bolded... I think this is a mistake. Ignoring warning signs is likely what allowed an affair to happen the first time around. You should NEVER ignore your gut. I am not saying that she is, or is not, cheating again, I am just letting you know that you should never discount your own instincts. I'm sorry you are here.

EDIT to add....LOVE your user name! Big time King fan!
Thanks. To be fair, I'm not even sure they are real warning signs. Warning signs isn't what allowed the affair 10 years ago though. Not being strong as a couple and as individuals allowed the conditions for an affair. Thats kinds like saying seeing the smoke from under your hood is why the engine went bad. Although following that metaphor it could allow something bad to get much worse I suppose. Me being over diligent looking for warning signs is me not wanting to feel like a fool again. My spine shouldn't tingle every time she texts a friend on her phone. Yes, we still have to work to build trust but I own my part of that as well.

Anyway as far as my user name I was trying to think of something and thought of that novel and the journey Stu found himself on without not really knowing what the future held for him. Thought is was a good fit.
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: In limbo - trying to save marriage

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You seem like such a mature and level headed man I think that you already know what you have to do and maybe you're here asking to get some assurance in what you think. I will say follow your thoughts and whatever they are hold strong behind them and even though it may not be what you want know that in the end it was the right choice and that life will go on with or without her.


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Interesting you bring up what I am looking for here. I think I was looking for more along the lines of strategies to help her rediscover feelings for me as we navigate through where we are now. Much of what I am trying now is space and patience. I think the space is more of an emotional space to work through things. I am still trying to be sure she knows I am there and look for opportunities to connect in every day life. I am not pulling away from her giving her the cold shoulder.

I am trying to work on me and be prepared for a life that is different than I expected. I have had a bunch of face slapping self realizations due to this so I am preparing to live a different life either on my own or even if we remain together. I was thinking in bed this morning of just all the crap I have and how I get rid of it and start really wondering why I bought much of that crap to start with. I have always had a somewhat obsessive collecting nature so in different phases of my life I have acquired crap I never really needed (and wasted money).

Anyway, I am just going to be patient right now while she and I guess I as well figure crap out. I do want to strip away distractions and declutter a bit for any of the paths I am facing.

On a side note, I actually got a little kiss good night last night. It felt good. Still wearing her rings and all.

We shall see. She goes for her first counseling session on Monday morning.
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 10:19 AM
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Re: In limbo - trying to save marriage

Have you thought about a VAR in her car?
Is another affair a deal breaker?
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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 10:28 AM
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Re: In limbo - trying to save marriage

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Thanks for your feedback. I think where I am at is that if it's affair its over anyway and theres nothing to save for me. And if it is, that will come out soon enough. Its funny you say rugsweeping. Man I thought we figured it all out. I do get it though. Trust and communication. Ugh.

I think I have to trust now when its my hardest time to if I have any hope. I am trying to ignore little things I see as clues and show her trust when she says there is not another person. I may stay silent and turn out to be wrong but if I express these fears I better start hunting for apartments. I am trying to trust the person and not get hung up on what I see as warning signs. I just don't see another path.

I mean I'm not going to be stupid but theres a bit of a leap of fait I feel I gotta do now.
People who cheat have serious character issues. They have poor boundaries and are immoral. You bought the lie that you did something to cause her to cheat and therefore if you just worked hard enough all would be fine. That's a lie. You can't fix her, you can't love her enough so she won't revert back to her true self, chances are very good she has cheated again. Her wanderlust is at least active again. Cheaters are less evolved emotionally. You need to get that it's her nature. Without continually work, just like a recovering acholic does, she is going to revert to who she is. Life is short dont waste any more time.
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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 01:02 PM
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Re: In limbo - trying to save marriage

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People who cheat have serious character issues. They have poor boundaries and are immoral. You bought the lie that you did something to cause her to cheat and therefore if you just worked hard enough all would be fine. That's a lie. You can't fix her, you can't love her enough so she won't revert back to her true self, chances are very good she has cheated again. Her wanderlust is at least active again. Cheaters are less evolved emotionally. You need to get that it's her nature. Without continually work, just like a recovering acholic does, she is going to revert to who she is. Life is short dont waste any more time.


I believe most of this and I also agree that most people are who they are and can't be changed and if they do it's temporary. To the OP , don't blame yourself , she is who she is and although it hurts it may be best to take the sharp pain and heal later than live the slow pain that never ends. I wish you the best ...


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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: In limbo - trying to save marriage

I think I may have represented something poorly somewhere because I feel no responsibility for her affair 10 years ago. I have shared responsibility for issues in the marriage but it ends there. It is my belief that even with issues in a marriage a person with correct boundaries would not allow themselves to have an affair. I feel that that she worked on this extensively back at that time.

Edit to add she also has not placed any blame on me for the affair with the exception of the first days of discovery saying it was because she wasn't happy. After that it has been complete ownership on her part.

I do appreciate the comments but as someone who has reconciled from an affair and participated in much counseling about it, I feel it is inaccurate to say that people cannot evolve. I am clearly not the same person I was 10 years ago. I think values remain somewhat consistent but your self awareness and experience can allow you to focus on those values more clearly. I think that my wife would clearly say that being faithful in marriage is a value of hers that she let herself down on back at that time. I would hate to be cast as someone sure to repeat my past with no hope for self growth.

There are clearly issues she is working through emotionally but I am not ready to paint her as a serial cheater just yet. I do however have issues with her communication.
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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 01:31 PM
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Re: In limbo - trying to save marriage

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I think I may have represented something poorly somewhere because I feel no responsibility for her affair 10 years ago. I have shared responsibility for issues in the marriage but it ends there. It is my belief that even with issues in a marriage a person with correct boundaries would not allow themselves to have an affair. I feel that that she worked on this extensively back at that time.

There are clearly issues she is working through emotionally but I am not ready to paint her as a serial cheater just yet. I do however have issues with her communication.
I have a close friend who recently had an affair. I tried talking her off the ledge for a long time before it happened. She was very unhappy in her marriage due to how her husband treated her, but at the same time, she would not communicate with him. She just shut down. She is very non-confrontational and kept everything bottled up. She blames him for her affair...no, she doesnt come out and say those words, but you can tell from the things she says about him that this is how she feels. Doesnt matter what your marriage issues are, cheating is never ok or justified.

Why do you think she still feels that she cannot communicate honestly with you?

Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.

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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 01:55 PM
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Re: In limbo - trying to save marriage

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I do appreciate the comments but as someone who has reconciled from an affair and participated in much counseling about it, I feel it is inaccurate to say that people cannot evolve.
And yet here you are. You were not the one with deep character issues, not the kind that allows you to cheat. Again drug addiction comes to mind, no one is ever cured of it the best they can hope for is remission.

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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 02:08 PM
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Re: In limbo - trying to save marriage

Honestly Stu, i think you're fooling yourself, i think that it was you not her who rug sweeped the affair, because you wanted to keep the status quo, because you wanted to keep the family together and you felt paralyzed with out her...and she went along for the ride and the guilt, well the ride is over and she might be in some affair or not...but she was buying her time and she is ready to go....and your acting like a puppy dog so she will stay......realize that from an outside observer she owns most of the power in your relationship the better you realize that and get help the better off you will be
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post #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 02:15 PM
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Re: In limbo - trying to save marriage

@StuRedman since your W cheated, of course you are going to have trust issues. Those who have been cheated on likely have them to some extent for the rest of the marriage. She should be going out of her way to make you feel like you can trust her, not hold this over your head. She is using this to blame your for her own failures and her own shame.
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post #28 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 11:09 AM
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Re: In limbo - trying to save marriage

Regarding working on yourself, get or download the book linked to below MARRIED MAN SEX LIFE PRIMER.

Any other red flags? Dressing differently, working out, new underwear, personal grooming, different work hours etc.
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