Confused by my feelings and lost in the hurt
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Confused by my feelings and lost in the hurt

I'd been married for 22 years and 1 month when out of the blue, last Saturday I discovered that my wife is having a physical affair with her business partner - a mutual friend who is often in our home and this has been going on, according to her "for a few months". I never suspected as I've always trusted my wife completely and so this has completely knocked me off my feet. We've talked and one minute she is willing to try again (I can forgive) and the next she doesn't see the point.

Our marriage was not without it's troubles in the past and I can see now that I have neglected her, though I thought things were good between us and better than they'd been for some time - presumably because as I've now discovered she was finding fulfillment elsewhere.

I really want to save my marriage but I am not sure if she does. She says she needs time to decide, but how long do I wait? Am I not just delaying the inevitable and being taken for a mug? Against my better judgement I went looking for them today and found them together, just talking but to me I feel betrayed again to know she is spending time with him after agreeing to take time out and think things through on her own.

Even as I type this it starts to sound obvious that my marriage is over but I cannot walk away without knowing I tried everything to save it.

Am I too late? Should I just get out with what little dignity I have left, or should I stay and fight for what I believe in?


tj
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused by my feelings and lost in the hurt

Dissolving a marriage is very complicated, however, with you not standing your ground with her behavior you are ultimately letting her know that you are okay with what she is doing. Let her know that her behavior is unacceptable and then give her 24 hours to make up her mind on whether she wants the marriage to work or not. Let her know that you are in this for the long haul, but are not willing to stay in a marriage where she is cheating on you. If she has not made the decision in 24 hours, you tell her it is over.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused by my feelings and lost in the hurt

Tucker, what riverside means id you're being a doormat and you're being used.

First of all, to protect yourself, cancel all joint credit cards. Move half the money in any joint bank accounts to an account with just your name on it.

Next you should start investigating. Do you have access to her email, Facebook, cell phone account etc? She may not be telling the whole truth about how long the affaif has been going on or how deep it is.

Buy yourself a voice activated recorder or two (VAR). Place one under the seat of her car with velcro. Cheating spouses typically feel free to talk to their affair partners when they are in the safety of their cars.

Last but not least, meet with a lawyer to find out what your rights are. You may even want to start the paper work (it doesn't mean you actually have to file!)

Last, since you know the other man (OM) you should expose the affair to his wife or girlfriend or anyone else you can think of. Affairs do not like the light of day (like vampires)
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused by my feelings and lost in the hurt

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Tucker, what riverside means id you're being a doormat and you're being used.

First of all, to protect yourself, cancel all joint credit cards. Move half the money in any joint bank accounts to an account with just your name on it.

Next you should start investigating. Do you have access to her email, Facebook, cell phone account etc? She may not be telling the whole truth about how long the affaif has been going on or how deep it is.

Buy yourself a voice activated recorder or two (VAR). Place one under the seat of her car with velcro. Cheating spouses typically feel free to talk to their affair partners when they are in the safety of their cars.

Last but not least, meet with a lawyer to find out what your rights are. You may even want to start the paper work (it doesn't mean you actually have to file!)

Last, since you know the other man (OM) you should expose the affair to his wife or girlfriend or anyone else you can think of. Affairs do not like the light of day (like vampires)
While I personally would not tolerate cheating - not so much because of the physical act, but more so because of the breech in the explicit agreement I have with my wife to be honest in all situations - I think the response that Toffer is advocating is a bit like putting the cart before the horse.

I think this because, clearly, OP loves his wife and really wants to see if there is a route to reconciliation for their marriage. It is possible to get things back in order after an affair (in fact, tucker, you should look at the discussion group on here that is dedicated to dealing with infidelity. You'll probably find people with a lot more experience in this domain than elsewhere).

Anyway, Tucker wants his life back with his wife. If he acts as swiftly and severely as Toffer is recommending, even if there is a possible path to reconciliation - it will never be revealed. This is because he will then violate their marital contract in a very different, but similar way. He will breech the trust. Especially be doing things like pulling the financial carpet out from under her, hacking into her privacy through email and illegal bugging (bugs, in a legal sense, require warrants - do they not?).

In fact, even though I think the counselor on here was on the right track - I am not going to agree that now is the moment for Tucker to lay down a hard ultimatum. Especially since the OM is a business partner of his W - it is required that she deal with him. He can, however, make some reasonable requests regarding that she come up with a way to validate that she is no longer sleeping with the OM ... and then observe her. If she fails to hold up her end of the bargain - then he should start making plans for leaving.

When he does, again, I do not completely advocate acting so swiftly and severely. First, he should get (a) a lawyer and (b) a counselor. He will need both to help guide him through the process. He should do this without making clear to his wife what he is doing. Because I agree that if she catches on, she may act swiftly to protect herself. Once he has both lawyer and counselor, then they will guide him in the appropriate steps.

This will, of course, eventually involve protecting himself by taking his share of the joint monies. For joint credit cards, he should call and see if he can get his name removed from the account (or whatever it would take to completely remove his liability for any charges she may decide to rack up while still thinking the cards are the responsibility of the both of them). He should investigate where he would live - maybe even start looking at apartments or houses (depending on his situation).

Ultimately, however, Tucker - I am going to advocate that you do not take either of the above guys advice in the near term. They both present valid actions that you should consider taking ... but, given your desires, you should first take a few steps to see if your W is willing to work on the marriage. If after some period of time (you decide how long you can take it, a week - two - a month?) ... you assess whether she is playing along and putting in a legitimate effort to save the marriage as well.

If the answer is no, then you have to decide at what point you are going to draw the line in the sand and act to preserve your own sanity and stability.

You can always find love again (once you get past this) ... but if you sacrifice your health and sanity, those are much harder things to get back (and will undermine your future ability to search for love in your life).

Best of luck
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused by my feelings and lost in the hurt

Well thank you all so much for the advice, so difficult to think straight right now or talk with people around me who are not completely disconnected from the situation.

So last night she gave me her decision, she does not wish to try and save the marriage. Landed me with 22 years of guilt about how it's all my fault the marriage failed etc. etc. but all little things really, not like I beat her, neglected her or anything like that. I can only conclude that she simply does not love me anymore and would prefer a life with OM instead.

I'm seeing a solicitor later today, and an estate agent so I can start to plan a way out of this situation. W states she is happy to make the split amicable but having lost all trust I really don't know if I can believe anything any more - so I need to act for myself and move on.

God, this is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused by my feelings and lost in the hurt

WantWhatsRight, I gave Tucker the advice I did because of experience and what you typically see advised in the Coping With Infidelity forum here at TAM.

What you completely overlook is the fact that Tucker's wife had already completely "breeched the trust" and sanctity of the union already! This was not a case of "putting the cart before the horse" It was more of a case of coming to the stable one day to realize that even though the barn door was shut, the horse was long gone.

Also, history has shown that when a wandering spouse admits to a certain length of time that the affair has been going on, it is usually a lie and the affair has been going on longer. Why should Tucker continue to underwrite his wife's infidelity? The goal is to make your spouse realize what life without you would mean, both emotionally AND financially.

Bugs do not require warrants unless you are going to use the evidence in a court of law. I advocated the "bugging" so he could find out what was really going on. Most states (in the US) are no fault states anyway so information gathered in this manner would'nt matter.

I too advocated getting a lawyer so I'm not sure what you were trying to get at there.

You may also want to check out the Coping With Infidelity forum and you can read for yourself the advice and the sad stories of those who took the slow approach to protecting themselves once they discovered the infidelities of the one person the trusted with their lives.

Obviusly in this case, it's a moot point now.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused by my feelings and lost in the hurt

Tucker - so sorry you're going through this. Try to stay strong and lean on good friends and family. Going to counseling to help you deal with this might also be a good idea. Good luck and best to you.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused by my feelings and lost in the hurt

From what you say there is hope. She is as confused as you are and her uncertainty shows there is hope.

Mine said she was done 3 times and moved back home last week. It does not mean the marriage may still not fail, but we have a much better chance now.

If you really want to save your marriage, I recommend reading Divorce Busters. It really helped me with how to handle the different stages and emotions. You will need to be very patient and plan on months maybe years, but I believe marriages can be saved if both people try.

I am sorry for your pain and wish you well whatever you decide.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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From what you say there is hope. She is as confused as you are and her uncertainty shows there is hope.

Mine said she was done 3 times and moved back home last week. It does not mean the marriage may still not fail, but we have a much better chance now.

If you really want to save your marriage, I recommend reading Divorce Busters. It really helped me with how to handle the different stages and emotions. You will need to be very patient and plan on months maybe years, but I believe marriages can be saved if both people try.

I am sorry for your pain and wish you well whatever you decide.
My point exactly. Thank you!

@Toffer - I guess that I am just realizing for myself how "fighting fire with an even bigger fire" is only good as a strategy where you are either expecting or even wanting abject destruction.

I've been learning/struggling over this in my own marriage. I admit I have not had to deal with infidelity in this particular relationship and while married. But I think some of what I am going through is comparable.

My wife and I have toxic interactions and, for the longest time I have blames myself for damaging the relationship by not fighting appropriately. This has encouraged me to take a couple of classes in anger management.

Now I realize that what I was really doing by acting on my anger was trying to fight fire with fire. My wife is often either passive-aggressive or just straight out aggressive. If I respond in kind with aggression, I just cause more damage - not only to her (and sometimes the kids) but also to myself.

So I am again going to have to disagree with you. Tucker's goals don't appear vengeful - but actually conciliatory. As such, I don't think your approach is appropriate for him. It may have "worked" for others, but I don't really believe it will work for him.

There isn't a one size fits all solution to these kinds of situations.

I have to ask, while such an approach as yours provides short or even medium term relief, how does it play out over the long term? I am going to guess that the less amicable and mature the approach to divorce, the greater the size of the scars left behind.

It just seems you and I have different perspectives.

Yours is more like Sun Tzu's "Art of War" and mine is more like Lao Tzu's "Tao Te Ching".

No offense intended -
We just happen to disagree - that's all.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused by my feelings and lost in the hurt

WWR, I think your approach is fine in certain cases. My approach emphasizes taking control of the situation so the affected spouse can feel as if they have some control in a situation that typically leaves them feeling powerless and lost.

Infidelity is such a crushing blow to someone who one moment thought they had a partner who would walk through the fire of hell to help them and then the next day they find out it was all a lie.

I believe some others who've gone through infidelity here (whether or not they ultimately divorces or reconciles) have gained some strength and self respect by coming on strong in response to a cheating spouse. Some as done as I have outlined and used the 180 to get their life back on track and some have followed the path that you favor. Different strokes for different folks.

My point to Tucker was that he was letting his wife be the Alpha in this situation. I'd be willing to bet that she sees the other man as more of an Alpha type too and finds it attractive. He saw what he wanted and went after it. Tucker probably met every need and desire of the wife that we all try to do and sometimes that just backfires on us.

I believe your approach may be more affective in your type of situation (what little i know about it)

No offense taken at all! Keep the comments coming! Open discussion is the way to learn from other's successes and failures
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused by my feelings and lost in the hurt

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Infidelity is such a crushing blow to someone who one moment thought they had a partner who would walk through the fire of hell to help them and then the next day they find out it was all a lie.
To be fair, I understand that I do not completely understand the impact of infidelity. I mean, I have had several girlfriends (of varying depth of relationship) cheat on me in the past. As I saw it, they did it as a means of getting out of the relationship. Was not married to any of these people, but it was crushing nonetheless.

Still, I fully acknowledge that I am, in part, speaking out my hoo ha ... thus I grant that your perspective includes observation of many styles of dealing with infidelity - including that which I am advocating.

Quote:
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My point to Tucker was that he was letting his wife be the Alpha in this situation. I'd be willing to bet that she sees the other man as more of an Alpha type too and finds it attractive. He saw what he wanted and went after it. Tucker probably met every need and desire of the wife that we all try to do and sometimes that just backfires on us.
And I can see that rationale. There is indeed an appropriate time to assert oneself and there are also times when being assertive is less valuable.

In fact, I might argue that in my situation (which I know we aren't discussing here - don't want to commandeer the thread generated by someone else), one might argue that it is high time that I stop being so worried about potential damage and, instead, begin to assert myself with my wife. Else nothing is ever going to be solved.

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No offense taken at all! Keep the comments coming! Open discussion is the way to learn from other's successes and failures
Glad we are on the same page here. Of course, all of this discussion is partly moot. Given Tucker's situation now (his wife has said directly that she wants out), I think I would now begin advocating more for the approach that you suggested anyway.

He's gotta protect himself and his future after all. (Though, I still am wary about suggesting some of the other things, like not respecting his wife's basic right to privacy and stuff). At this point, it seems he is going to get divorced (though I am sure you have read many stories - as have I - where the cheating partner oscillates between being in/out for a while before settling on their final decision). Anyway, it seems at this particular moment that he is getting divorced - and there are two basic ways it could play out. Both recognize that the process will be much smoother and less damaging if they do stuff as amicably as possible, or they really roll up their sleeves and start seriously throwing down (i.e. worst case being the "War of the Roses") ...

I would think that he should take your advice regarding protecting his finances, etc ... though, again, I say that there are ways he can go about it more "gently" (i.e. removing his name from joint credit cards rather than just closing them all down without her buy in).

Either way, I hope he is benefitting from this discussion, as ultimately, how he proceeds is his decision.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused by my feelings and lost in the hurt

Thank you all, your opinions and comment are of great help to me.

I am now coming to terms with the fact that my marriage is over, I feel that I don't know my W of 22 years at all after the revelations in the past 7 days. I've now discovered that the current PA is not her first and her deceit has been going on for at least 4 years and with at least two people, and who knows how many more. This knowledge does make it easier to accept the situation, though of course does not mean that it hurts any less.

Time to be practical and start the process of separation. She is still promising an amicable and fair split - we shall see if she can keep this vow. Somehow I doubt she will.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:19 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused by my feelings and lost in the hurt

I'm in similar shoes with this coming out of now where. My wife says the same thing as far as being civil through this process. I guess only time will tell, since we've already established that people like this have a problem telling the truth.

Hope the best for you.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused by my feelings and lost in the hurt

Tucker,
First and foremost I'm sorry you find yourself in this situation. Your primary responsibility at this point is to take care of yourself. That means exercise, plenty of water and rest.

If you are having trouble doing any of these things, get to your MD and get a prescription for anti-depressants. There is no shame in getting help!

You also need to read the 180 and implement it fast and hard. This will help YOU detach from this toxic person your wife has become. It is not about winning her back but about preparing you to be able to move on with your life.

If you haven't done so already, re-read my first post here about protecting yourself financially. Also talk to a lawyer ASAP and be sure he or she knows that she probably has been utilizing material assests ($) over the past 4 years to enable this affair.

Does your state/country have any laws regarding infidelity/alienation of affection? If so, use these to your advantage. Don't just agree to a 50/50 split. She's been using you and your martial assests for 4 years to carry on these affairs, depriving you and your family of these assets.

Also, you should expose her affairs to the Other Men's spouses/girlfriends if there are any. If you were still in the dark, wouldn't you want to know?

Again, I am so sorry you're here. Your wife is heavily in the fog of her current affair right now. You should definitely also spend time reading in the infidelity forum. There are many good folks in there who can help you get a better perspective on what to do and what to expect from your cheating spouse
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused by my feelings and lost in the hurt

Amicable my a$s. Expose her to the family and friends.Don't be vindictive in the mail. Send a mail to everyone that you are ending your marriage because your wife chose to step out of marriage and have affairs with multiple men. And hope that they can support you through this difficult time.

You need to do this immediately before she rewrites your entire martial history and demonizes you as abusive before your friends.
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