Can I split my wife from her lover with a bribe?
I’ve just found out that my wife doesn’t love me anymore and is in love with a colleague from work. She says, and I believe, that it’s just been an emotional affair so far but there’s nothing I can do to change her mind. I feel that I could bring her around if I could get this man out of the way. I presume he won’t stop if I just ask nicely. Anything ‘unseemly’ is likely to push them together.
I have one crazy idea and would like a pro/con sounding board. By luck, I’m financially well off, i.e. I was able to retire at 40 with a few million in the bank. The other man has just gone through a messy divorce and has financial issues. When I confront him at work with the calm ‘I know what you’ve been doing and it has to stop’ speech, should I be prepared to follow it up with a ‘What’s my wife worth?’ question. ‘What would it cost for you to stop seeing her?’. I mean, it could be that he really loves her and no money will stop him. That I’d even asked the question would come back to my wife. On the other hand, I could easily offer him a years salary in cash, which would allow him to immediately resign, higher a few high class hookers, or anything else he wanted. For me, it would be cheaper than a divorce and I really have little blame for my wife and want her back.
So, the background story. We’ve been together for 17 years, married for the last 5 and 1 daughter who’s just turned 3 years old. We’ve had a rocky time since my daughters birth, first with the stress of raising a child followed closely by the sudden deaths of my wife’s mother and my father. We struggled to find the intimacy with sex stopping 6 months after my daughters birth, and this progressed to lack of polite conversation. Yes, we talked about all the practical stuff, but few goodnights, good mornings or talk over dinner. We both tried to avoid confrontation.
4 months ago, my wife finally said she wanted a divorce, and would I go to counselling with her. I agreed, and after our first joint session we were told we each needed 3 individual sessions to deal with our anger and grief before returning together. This took us up to mid December, by which time the reality of facing separation had shocked me. I made the early mistake of blurting out too much man-splaining, and tried to physically reconnect by asking for a kiss - completely rejected. In the weeks leading into Christmas I read many (many) self help/stop the divorce references, so when on 27th December my wife said she really wanted to separate and wouldn’t consider more counselling, I was much more prepared. I listened calmly, asked questions to really get her to open up, and told her that whilst I still wanted to save our marriage, I understood what she was saying and would help her with what she needed.
Since then, we’ve still been living together whilst my wife says she’s searching for an apartment, but I feel we’ve really been reconnecting. Mainly this is around joint activities with our daughter ( previously we were separately taking her to activities ), but also with normal caring actions. Physical connection was still off limits and I respected this, but early on I noticed I could capture a lot more eye contact, almost flirting like.
Last weekend we ended up taking my daughter to the beach, and followed up in an Italian restaurant where we’d go when we first dated. It felt good to me, but I saw my wife was still uncomfortable. The next evening, after spending the day alone with her brothers family, she said that it was just too much. That everything I was doing was perfect, and if I’d just been like this 6 months ago we’d have been fine, but it was just too late. I’d made a classic mistake, and backed off a little whilst keeping all the normal conversation in place.
On Thursday, I noticed my wife had left her lunch behind on the kitchen table, so I thought I could take it to her work. I hadn’t visited her there for more than a year. As I entered the building I saw one of her work colleagues that I know well. He gave a very abrupt ‘Hi’ as he headed off in the other direction pulling out his phone. Just before I got to my wife’s office she walked out to meet me, I asked how she knew I was there and she said that ‘Bob’ called her to let her know. I passed over the lunch, we had a quick coffee/small talk together and she went back to work.
The fact that ‘Bob’ had her on speed dial bugged me. At dinner, my wife noticed something was up with me, and when she asked I said ‘don’t you think it’s strange that Bob would call you when I approach your office? And barely acknowledge me?’ She laughed it off with a ‘not really’.
However, after my daughter was put to bed, I got the confession. She didn’t love me anymore. She loved Bob. I asked when the affair started, and she told me 5 months ago, just after his divorce came through. My wife had been there to listen to his problems, and she’d opened up to him about ours at home. I don’t believe it progressed to a sexual affair. My wife says she genuinely has been trying to save our marriage, but has now come to the conclusion that she can’t. Of course, it would have helped greatly if I’d known for the past 4 months that there was another man ‘counselling’ her all day at work.
The next day she removed her wedding ring. I kind of collapsed when I saw. After recovering for a few hours, I told her that I can forgive everything that’s happened in the past but the affair has to stop. However, having just checked her phone logs/messages ( for the first time ), there’s been quite a few long calls to Bob in the past few days, and almost none before that. Her message history has very few messages to Bob, and the ones that are there are work related or largely supportive types ( good luck tonight <3 etc. ). This supports my feeling that this has been an emotional affair and she ‘thinks’ she’s really tried to save our marriage. Which is of course impossible with the recently divorced sex starved ‘friend’ she shares an office with. And now loves.
So back to the question up top.