Marriage began easily enough, feelings of love and attraction empowered me and it was nice road to walk. Soon concerns with school and children arrived, and time became sparse between myself and my wife. However, the road was familiar to me and comfortable so I walked on. Then the storms came, deaths in the family, moves, starting a new business etc. At this point I wasn't even sure I was even on the right path anymore, but only a fool changes his direction while walking at night. Unfortunately, day hasn't come. I continue to walk, but the trail is cold and foreign now. My companion is now a stranger. I would like to say that I still love her, but I don't. I know our love has died between us. I am now her least priority, even Facebook has become more important than I am to her. She has energy for "friends" and their problems, but at the end of the day no real energy or time for me.
I know my middle game is through, but how does one take the next step. Do you just tell her "Honey, this isn't working at all. I want out?" I know you just don't randomly serve her papers. Do you save some money on the side or setup another residence? Do you tell her we can live together until the house sells as glorified room mates, as there isn't any violence between us, only animosity. Do you reach down into that empty space and forgive one more time, even though there isn't anything left inside of you. I have prayed and prayed with no avail. I have biblical reasons to end this relationship, but I have opted to try to forgive. I am sorry, but somethings are difficult to forgive. I have stayed because I don't know how the hell do you tell your kids you gave up on their family? I was given an ultimatum last November by my wife to leave my practice if I truly wanted our marriage to continue. My partner agreed to buy out my share in the practice, but I opted not to, as now more than ever, I need some financial stability. I feel torn and conflicted. I feel separate from God, and have stopped attending church. I have spent the last 10 years of my life building a medical practice and have sacrificed myself socially to do this. I have lots of acquaintances, but almost no real friends. My only real hobby has been martial arts, because when you hurt it gives you a venue to direct the pain. I am almost forty, smart, industrious, very fit, and lonely as hell. I refuse to cheat on my wife, as I value honor above happiness, but how friggin much is enough? Or do I just press on and continue to walk alone in the night. I have just about everything I need in this life with the exception of true love, and I want like hell to have that again. On paper it's perfect, in reality it's pathetic. How do I begin my endgame with this marriage? Anyone out there who has been through this I need your help and your prayers. Mine aren't working.
Firstly, you need to sit her down and tel her how you feel about therelationship--be blatently honest, not nasty, but honest... By the sounds of things, she'l find it a relief.
I don't suggest saying it is over because in my experience, it aint over till its over.
My experience in all of this has taught me the following:
-Saying it out loud is only the first in many steps ahead of you.
-You can repair it but first you both need to get all of the anger and resentment off your chests.
-From there you both need to go to marriage councelling pronto.
-It might still end in divorce, it might not, but it is important that you both go through the motions so when/if you make the choice you feel comfortable dong so, not angry about it, not flustered ... you need to resolve ALL of the negative feeling towards the relationship before you can make a decision like the one you are anticipating.
-If you were once tryly in love then you CAN fix it. Sometimes it takes the advent of demise for things to turn around.
How long have you been feeling like this? Did you W first dish the negaitive feelings regarding intimicy, or was it you? Why? For how long? Are you still sleeping in the same room?
You are not walking in the dark alone, you know that, it just feels that way at times and sometimes for a long time.
You two have built up resentment and anger, turned your backs to one another over time to quell the pain and frustration.
Why did your wife ask you to get out of your partnership practice?
She is angry at you because you made a choice she obviously does not understand and feels less important than your financial situation. Why did she give you a ultimatum, what is behind the ultimatum?
You two can't talk without getting ALL your issues on the table, and if you want your marriage to last, you need to essentially make her and you top priority. You are lucky she is on Facebook and is at least somewhat religious, it may be keeping her from an affair, who knows?
I have told her how I feel and what I need. She says there "isn't anything left" for her to give. She is too tired from taking care of kids all day. She's too tired. I am the one up at 4 or 4:30 every morning. I am the one that gets home at 7 every night. I understand staying at home may have its trials, but so does tending to injured people all day. Her job is not more friggin difficult than mine. As an aside, our kids are the only part of our relationship that works. Our kids are stable, productive, and generally happy. We have 2 in high school, 1 in junior high, 2 in elementary school, and another at home. They are polite, good students, and generally helpful. I stay largely because I am afraid she would be given custody of my younger kids, and I do not feel that she is fit to properly raise them. I know what you are thinking, 6 kids poor woman. However, I am a very involved Dad, and I work a lot around the house. I resent it, but I do it. She doesn't do much in my absence. Heavy cleaning is saved for Saturdays as is yard work. She typically spends her morning at the gym, and may go somewhere for lunch with her lady friends. She sometimes will cook dinner, and she is always doing laundry, but the is a huge disparity between what we each contribute in terms of work. We have tried counseling. Either her counselor or her friend's are giving her poor advice. From the changes I have seen, I think the general take was put distance between your life and his so he begins to appreciate you more. This really isn't working as attention and affection are hugely important to me in our relationship, and this is all I want back. We have even gone together, but she goes on a tangent about every "misdeed" I have ever committed. My crimes are not all that serious. I got a couple of dogs. I took a job in a place we could afford to buy a house and then started a clinic/clinics there as I had built up my reputation here. I work too long. The last one is legit, but I am trying to make my business work, and there isn't much to come home to aside from my kids. I spend too much money. This also is legit, but I work my butt of and she largely neglects me, so toys ease the pain. She also feels Tae Kwon Do is more important than she is. False, but it keeps me from friggin drinking, or doing something equally destructive. Her crimes against me...hmm let me think, oh now I remember, she doesn't love me. Just that, and a neighbors wife coming to my clinic on a rainy day and telling me to look at phone records as she thinks my wife is having an affair with her husband. I have felt neglected like this for ten years. She has been aware of it for less than 2. Love is patient. My wife pulled away after the birth of our first child. She became a mom and stopped being a wife. However, at that time, I had a lot to occupy me, school and rotations. Then it was work. However, a decade or so ago, I looked up from my millstone and noticed I was alone. We still sleep in the same room when she is home, and although she will never initiate sex, I can largely "have it" when ever I want to sleep with a fish. There isn't any affection, no kissing or talking anymore. No pre-game anything, just straight to the point and done. Ironically, though she still enjoys the act if not necessarily her partner. I guess she still appreciates my body. Small consolation. The jackass she cheated with "allegedly" is not even good looking or fit. I would guess he must be more sensitive than I am, except for the fact he was willing to cheat of his friggin wife and family. Wow, you say I have to resolve all of my negative feelings, just writing this stuff upsets me. No, I think it's over, unless we can somehow rekindle our love.
She felt I could do better financially elsewhere. That may be true, but it is not an informed/well thought out decision on her part. I would have to start from scratch, and probably take a 50K pay cut. It would also be several years if all went well, before I would be invited to be a partner in this mystery practice. She said we could move and start again. This works for me. I would like to go back to the midwest, but she wants to go home to Santa Barbara. So no agreement there. We could afford S.B. if she started to work on her masters degree and positioned herself to start a career in 4 or so years. Won't do that either, because it would be work and sacrifice on her part. I realize she needs to be my top priority, but honestly different people have different ways of showing love. I show love largely through works. I bust my hump for my family. It's what I was taught. It's what I do, and sadly it doesn't resonate well with her. My family is my top priority. God as my witness, almost anyone else would have left her years ago. As for your last point, Facebook sucks. It is a time sap, and keeps your from interacting with the people that really matter in your life.
I am not going to be in a debate about whether you work harder than she. THAT is NOT the issue here.
Regardless of who works harder, if a wife is not supportive and the "assist" to a dynamic husband career something is going to suffer. Often a wife STOPS being supportive because she does not understand or she isn't getting many of her needs for feeling IMPORTANT to a man, the signals are lost somewhere. Sometimes the signals get lost because some sort of issues have not been addressed, and bam, the blaming, the hostility, the silences, the fights, and the retaliatory stuff starts. It can become a holy mess and if NOT resolved someone has an affair, things further deteriorate, and divorce is the result. Things don't deteriorate much more than an affair. You know that, you are there.
You repeatedly talk of money, of financial need, of success. If I were to ask your wife it would be 'he's never there', 'he's always distracted', 'I always come second'. Likely it is not that counseling said she was to "separate more" from you, but more likely she needed to "make her own life" separate from you, because with a highly dynamic career often the other partner needs to find something outside of childrearing and homemaking to feel fulfilled.
The problem is, often a woman goes that direction, and then other men appear, because she starts feeling more confident, and positive, and then "bam" an affair happens. I am sure it was NOT a part of her plan, and she did NOT want to have an affair, there was a reason. Not a "fault" but a reason, a trigger to it. If something were not triggering it, it would not happen. That does not make her right, but BOTH partners have responsibilities, and if a partner is not getting the message they are treasured, loved, respected, and IMPORTANT enough for you to pay attention to...then sometimes they will wander. Some spouses have affairs when they have already disengaged from the marriage...made a choice before filing for divorce BECAUSE a divorce may be BAD for say, the kids, and the spouse cannot broach divorce, and slips into the affair.
You state you don't want her to have the younger kids in a custody battle, but then you say your kids are great...although you are likely a good father, your wife is probably a very good mother; it is just that you are angry about her affair and are finding fault. You also don't want your kids to possibly have a step father at some point.
Most men are easy to please. They want respect, love, sex, and to feel needed and wanted, attractive to their mate.
They want to make money to bring home (slay the dragons) and be appreciated for what they do (told thank you and shown how much they are appreciated with a peaceful home and happy wife - she doesn't have to be happy, but in control of her emotions somewhat, and able to approach her man when the timing is right, if something is "off" at home with the kids, house, cars, etc .
Women have needs too, but they more often need regular attention and not to feel they are on the back burner. They want to be noticed that they are contributing, especially with homemaking and childrearing, as those do not bring down a HUGE paycheck like men have to reward their hard work. A woman's paycheck comes when she has her children out of the nest and successful; and if the kids are not successful, who does EVERYONE look at: MOM, Mom must have done something wrong.
When partners start to feel anger and resentment, both begin to give less and less and in response it escalates until something happens, one of the partners "breaks" and finds something else: drugs, a lover, a divorce lawyer, drinking, excessive working and silence, withholding of self. It happens ALL the time. You are experiencing that.
If you respect your children you will try a step further, you will figure out how to forgive her, learn from all mistakes and shortcomings. You are young, you have the lives of FIVE children at stake. You two need to get it all on the table.
If the counseling seemed off, then find another counselor. Make it a priority. If she will not go, then you go and figure out what your next step is. You must find a way, you owe it to your children if no one else.
IF you cannot see past getting beyond the affair and figure it all out for what it was, then of course, move on. But I will assure you it will be far harder than what you are in now, UNLESS you two are able to be friends in a split; I doubt that is going to happen as you have HUGE financial issues at stake.
I could have been your wife. My DH has a VERY dynamic, high power, and very stressful job that causes him to be GONE from our home 18-22 days a month. At year 5-6 of our early marriage, he was also an officer in the Guard...not in the town we lived in, but had to FLY to that SECOND career job for an additional 3-4 days a month. So he was GONE all except 8-9 days a month, and when he was home he was sleeping to "recover" four of those days, I would keep the kids quiet, so Daddy could "rest" and recover and go out and do it all again.
After five or six years of that, I started to feel pretty insignificant, you can read more on here. I started a Master's program, finished it, and he flew more and more. The kids barely knew my dh; I begged and pleaded for more time, I NEEDED dh as some heavy stuff was happening
I made a HUGE mistake of getting too close to a family friend. I was wrong because it was the easy way out.
Don't take the easy way out by just heading for divorce, make your marriage #1, even above your career, you don't have to do it forever, but long enough to make her realize you are serious about HER. I just hope she loves you like I think she may, you just can't see it right now, she may not either.
My husband is in a similiar financial position (long hours/great pay). However, there is a price to pay (so to speak) when work is coming before family.
With my H, it seems that he is out of balance now. Work, racing/kids/God,me....I feel it. I am sure your W is also out of balance as well. Perhaps rekindling your spirituality together?
At the very least it may give you some sense of direction that your life should take....
Lastinline, you nee to pu the marriage before the business. Sit her down and talk about how she would feel if you were making less to spend time with her.
See how she reacts. If she melts then you know what to do.
On paper it is pretty easy to see how your relationship has gone the way it has. You were working far too much, when you helped out aroundthe house, you resented it, she did what she needed to make her happy and vadaboom, you lead seperate lives and wonder why you are even together.
I know it is a mans instinct to work harder when the relationship is on the rocks b/c men seem to equate doing the right thing with how much they work.
Working is only one peice of the pie. You've worked your butt off nonetheless and feel completely unappreciated, she has been a great mom and feels completely unappreciated.
How do you turn that around? It is obvious but you need to want to do it.
I appreciate your post. I was definitely arguing from my stronger point, "how hard I work" in my initial post. Thank you for calling me on that. You are right again in your assumption I have not made my wife feel as special as she deserves. However, I am right when I said she "pulled away first". Hell, she was shocked when I told her I had felt this way for the better part of a decade. She said if that's true why did you stay. Well it's for the same reason I'm here now, I made an oath and a commitment I told her.
However, it's hard to continuously love when you are not being loved in return. By the end of the week I'm spent mentally. She no longer provides the support she used to. She won't even iron for me anymore. This kills me, (not the ironing), but the lack of support and handicaps me from in turn giving her the love and attention that she needs. I wish she could only see that. So you are right again Sandy, spouses go elsewhere. I got distracted with martial arts to deal with my emotions. It seemed very positive at the time, and I grew up on a wrestling mat, and spent 6 years in the service, so it has always sort of been in my blood. But for someone with martial issues, it is an unnecessary distraction as it takes a lot of time to become good at it. I became/am pretty good. I should have been studying marital arts though. I still regularly attend and train, because I have known these people for years and they are really the only friends I have. So now, I have a hard time parting with it only because I have no other social outlets. I am not blessed with her abundant free time, so friends do not come cheap. She is jealous when I do anything outside of our relationship exclusive from her, and has hated this activity of mine from the beginning. This is ironic, because she is Chicago right now with the kids, as I can't get away from work. No problems vacationing without me. In the beginning, I promised her I would only study to black belt, but you really don't even begin to learn until you are a first. I am a second now, and I told her previously that I would stop after reaching second. Now though, I value the social aspects more than anything else, so I have reneged again. This going back on my word, has not been a habit in our relationship, but I feel compelled to die on this hill because aside from TKD, all I really have is work and my kids. You are right again about me not wanting anyone else to raise my kids. That is not going to happen on my watch. I feel like she's holding all the cards. If I stay I'm unhappy, if I leave I'm financially screwed and unhappy, plus I have to contend with her hooking up with some "Sauncho." I could easily get some blond chicky and a sports car, but I don't want that. I want her.
You are dead on right about what men want from a relationship Sandy. By the way, who gave away our playbook? In a nutshell, that is all I want. Why can't she do that? Basically, love me so I can love you, except it doesn't really work that way. I can't give her fulfillment. Sadly, I cannot give her what I don't have.
Thanks for being man enough to begin to see it from HER postion. You are intelligent, you can do this.
"It's hard to continuously love when you are not being loved in return. "
THIS is how I felt. It is very likely your wife has felt this way a long time, long before an affair began...in fact the affair is proof of her feeling this way! The affair does not indicate she does not love you! TRUST ME! When an affair happens for a woman it is SCREAMING that she is DONE talking and waiting for her man to pay attention, and that she can't think of another way to fix it from her side.
Too, an AFFAIR is not proof YOU DID NOT LOVE HER ENOUGH. You DID love her enough, in the way you thought was showing LOVE (paycheck, success, her being in an awesome upward mobile man, you gave her children, control of everything at home)
When I said to my DH after my affair: "I felt your inattention and ignoring my issues meant you did not love me enough, that other things, WORK was more important, you worked more and more the more unhappy I got!"
He said: "I loved you like life itself, I brought home my paycheck I was working for US, I was doing it because I DID love you...".
What I have discovered (YEARS later, gads I wish I'd KNOWN this 15 years ago when I had the affair!) is that MEN deal with stress and anger (over not being able to help SOLVE her unhappiness with something HE is doing or not doing) by either ANGER or getting on the professional treadmill MORE! Men work harder at WORK, because they are at a loss as to WHY a woman is not happy with all the money, the big house, everything a woman could want!
Men are NOT good at talking and expressing feelings. Men in general that is. Women are verbalizers, CLEARLY.
YOU need to keep trying. If you are ANGRY at her and still have HUGE issues going on about her affair, then FOCUS on your children's needs to have an intact FAMILY and happy father.
TELL her you are NOT going to GIVE UP on you two. Just keep repeating that. I mean it. Don't overdo it, just prove it by being there MORE when you are not working.
I am going to "call" you on something else. I think you do too much "other" stuff. When a man and woman have FIVE kids, a dynamic career, a house to take care of, et al - TIMES away from HOME (if YOU are not at work and you two can get someone to watch the kids) should be YOU and HER. Period.
You two have SOOOOO much to manage that you rarely have time to be alone. My dh and I had FOUR kids, a huge 6500 sq ft house on an acre, his career going gang busters....we were ALL over the place and we didn't WATCH the MAINTENANCE of our MARRIAGE! YOU need to cut the extra-curricular activities, dude.
We have learned the HARD way, too.
You spoke of your wife taking trips without YOU, with the kids! I used to do this ALL the time! She needs to go, but you NEED to join her now and then! Truly. Maybe you need to back off a bit in the practice, too? Just a tad, for a while, while you two try to glue yourselves back together. You will need to woo her back into believing in the marriage. I know "SHE had the affair, Sandy!". Well, yes. Are you going to let some outsider destroy your life, and your marriage, your children's lives? NO. You work it out, you go the 110%. Your wife may need to do that for you some day. You never know - and I mean should you become ill, etc. You are not going to have an affair, it is not necessary, you can be more creative .......
There were many times our kids were our reason for hanging on by our fingernails. CHILDREN are a blessing in a marriage in more ways than one.
Set out to SHOW your children how their father manages disappointment and hurt, and anger. Show them how much family means, what happens when the chips are down. You don't cut and run, you face things. It is the RIGHT thing to do.
Thanks again Sandy.
You should do this professionally. It's bizarre when I read your posts, because it's like getting a letter from myself. I appreciate your responses more than you know, because I can tell you have gone through a very similar situation, and learned greatly from it. Per your suggestion, I could easily quit TKD. I practice instead of eating lunch 2-3 times per weeks and go on Saturday mornings. My other morning training, Monday through Friday starts at 5-7:30am or so, and really doesn't interfere with anything around the house. She too has a sport, or had a sport because she is currently awaiting re constructive knee surgery. When it came to her sport, she had no problems with evenings, and weekends. In her defense, she would politely invite me along, but it was never really my thing. My thought is if you spend three hours at a gym, you should leave tired. Not so with racket ball. I have always been an exercise hound. I was this way when she met me at 18. I would think she would be happy that I take care of myself. It is important to me that I remain physically attractive to her, and conversely she is fit and still very attractive to me. It upsets me though that she wants it both ways, because at 40 most of her friends are now complaining their husbands are fat house cats.
As for "He said: "I loved you like life itself, I brought home my paycheck I was working for US, I was doing it because I DID love you...". I could have wrote that. Lord knows I have thought it a thousand times. I also believe that I am the exception to your rule. I am very verbose, almost to a fault. In this aspect, I believe traditional roles are reversed in our situation. She isn't very good expressing herself, and tends to speak in either riddles or generalities.
You are also very right when you say I am angry about the "affair". I am friggin pissed. It is the ultimate betrayal. I did nothing wrong. Nothing deserving of this. I have been the husband that society taught me to be. I worked hard. I was faithful. I was honest in my business associations. I feared God and lived by a Christian moral code. I took care of my family, and was a better father than the one I had. I was taught men are strong, so I became strong. I was taught men work hard, so I learned to work hard. Maybe she told me she needed something else, in fact I know on several occasions she did, but I had unfulfilled needs as well. The day I "found out" was very surreal. To be honest, when I got home I told her what had happened at work. How it was raining outside, and how I had to take this crying woman from our waiting room out into the fall rain because my patient's were hearing a bit too much of our conversation. She offered me pages of phone records as proof of their contacts, and reports of my wife leaving their house while she was out. I refused to take anything from her, as I couldn't look upon any of it. They both denied that anything physical occurred, however my neighbor has since divorced her husband. I guess at least one spouse didn't believe. My gut tells me she cheated. It explains why she is so aloof. I am tired of her midlife crisis. I am tired of her weekend trips to the coast. I am tired of her girls trips to Vegas. I am tired that after getting back from Chicago this week, she is wanting to go to Santa Barbara for friggin fiesta without me or the kids. I can hear her already "you need to spend sometime with the kids." I have tried to tell her that our relationship is the principle one, and without that plant vibrant and healthy, every other vine i.e. our kids wither. She doesn't agree. "The kids are more important." BS, if that were true they wouldn't have came second. Sometimes, I really believe she thinks that I really don't have any feelings because I tend to be pragmatic, disciplined, and look like a marine corp 1st sergeant. Maybe I should have chose a softer persona, but I honestly thought woman liked "strong" men. I thought this made her feel "safe". Hell, it attracted her to me in the first place, but I guess I was wrong. I really have nothing else to say, other than thank you for your input Sandy. I appreciate your wisdom. Maybe you have some ideas on how to forgive?
How to get past the affair? This is how my DH has done it with me:
1) Commitment to stick with me for at least "X" amount of time. The minimum should be TWO full years he says. Then he reassesses on a new time frame, commits to that. I know he is doing it, too, I can "feel" it. And that is right and good. It makes me reassess, too. IF you can't get yourself to stick with her as you are still too angry and resentful of her then you need to focus on committing for your family, and children. I SUGGEST you start going BACK to church, even if you do it ALONE with your children. Take the younger ones at least, the olders if they will go, I have teens and KNOW that if they are not "regularily" into it, they will balk and it isn't worth your stress to fight with them AT THIS TIME. If they are under 14, I'd make them go with you. MAKE REGULARITY important. As their father do the RIGHT thing.
2) Time, time, time.
Time puts distance between the mental hurt, the anger, and mental pain and realities of day to day life. This element cannot be expressed ENOUGH, IMHO. Commitment and time, without one AND the other, each is useless. TIME also allows both partners TIME for personal discovery and GROWTH. I know, it sounds like psychobabble...but although an affair wounds deeply and destroys trust, it also helps many people to GROW and if a relationship holds through it, it allows the relationship to GROW. My marriage is proof of this, and I have a sister, who has been married 32 YEARS, and she and her spouse went through similar circumstances, at their TWELVE year mark.
3) Watching me(her). I have made a point of letting him watch me, I am totally open, he has all my codes to the internet. I am totally honest. I truly have nothing to HIDE, I welcome his interest. I also made a promise to never cheat again, and I have not. I do trustful behaviors, I avoid temptations and try never to be alone with men. I have shown him remorse, frequently, he must see me show remorse. Now, mind you, I did not ALWAYS show remorse. The showing remorse started when I realized the PAIN and SUFFERING he truly felt. See, I did not realize he loved me more than life itself . ONLY his commitment has shown me how much he did truly love me from the very beginning.
Both partners must commit AT SOME POINT. This is likely easy for you as you never strayed, you have remained committed and now the affair happened you are only QUESTIONING yourself if you will be ABLE to not let this disappointment/anger at her kill your committment.
NOW, listen carefully! When a woman cheats, she USUALLY has disengaged at a deeper level than men usually disengage and she has been disengaged for a LONG time BEFORE she cheated. Very bad for a marriage. She likely became disengaged after a "straw that broke the camel's back" moment, if you will. THEN it was only a matter of time, that someone came into her radar that filled the hole in her heart and mind; she LIKELY wasn't even looking to fill the void, trust me. Women don't do affairs easily, it take them more time to fall, BECAUSE women do not compartmentalize their world (as men nearly always do), women's worlds are global, every aspect affects the other aspects, so the affair is not something she can put out of her mind easily.
In order for ME to have an affair, I had mentally "thrown down the gauntlet" EIGHTEEN MONTHS before my affair happened and filed for divorce BEFORE my DH even knew of my affair! I already had a lawyer, had him in court, ALL that. I was DONE. Big time.
DH was STILL hanging on by his fingernails in divorce court! THEN he used custody of our kids to keep access to me going! So you can SEE that both partners must commit AT SOME POINT, but your wife is not yet committed to you again, from what I SEE, I am not sure. The reason I say this, is that you are still pretty bitter and angry, and you haven't indicated positives you've seen withher. You MAY be missing many signals, not your fault, at this point, but just realize your "anger" crap can really get in the way unless you get it "dealt" with and get past it at some point "contain it" as my DH says...
With the wife having the affair (assuming it is the FIRST and only, and she is not a habitual cheater...which it sounds like she is NOT) and if she did "throw down the gauntlet" before the affair, then your job is going to be one of LONELY commitment UNTIL you can convince her to RE-COMMIT her heart to you. IF you can possibly get her to do the RE-COMMIT you two will see daylight again, and it will be a better marriage than even before all the crap of life sucked your wife away and into disaster.
Let's be REAL:
SHE needs to realize AGAIN (in order to commit), that:
A) IF she recommits YOU are going to learn from her mistake and take her needs seriously, you will never slack off again.
(This is THE most important factor to your marriage continuing other than commitment as this causes her commitment).
B) You are a "hot" commodity in ANY woman's world and YOU want JUST HER, and have not cheated on her (correct???). You are educated, make much money, stay in shape, are young, a good father. What more could a woman ask? She needs to THINK.
MY DH is a "hot" commodity, I ALMOST let him slip through my STUPID fingers; he wanted JUST me - that is pretty dynamite for a woman, and she needs to realize WHY her man was happy with her! Take TIME to show HER! (Hardest thing for my DH is time for me. He tries to throw money at me to make up for it..... I want TIME with HIM; your DW wanted this with YOU...still does I will bet).
She has to realize what I realized. She will, if you do this right: COMMITMENT and TIME on YOUR part will SHOW her how important she is to YOU. That is all she wants, to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt SHE is more important to you than the breath you take. She needs more than your paycheck, dude, she needs someone BESIDE her physically, she needs you to watch her back, she needs you to show your love with TIME! Heck you love your partnership adn career, and you have SHOWN her that, by so much TIME, but NOW that it is doing well, you NEED to focus your time on HER, and your KIDS - but mostly HER, as she will then be back focusing on THEM.
That is why you both need, commitment and time, but you have a wife who is not "back" into commitment yet, so you, the more cognizant partner (at this moment in time), needs to step up to bat. Period. THIS will give HER more time to LEARN you have changed and made a commitment to teaching HER why she needs to re-commit.
One more thing:
I hurt my DH with my stupid affair. It was MY duty and obligation to FIX it if I want my marriage to be a long lasting one. This does NOT mean HE did not have work to do, too. But his work was TIME AND COMMITMENT at the beginning; it was him SHOWING me WHY I need not leave our marriage. At first it was the kids I stayed for, then it turned to him much later. He KNEW it all along too, but he held like a rock (at times I hated him for it, but now, I am blessed for this trait in him). I had even SAID to him: "I am here only because of these kids..."
Boy, how that must have hurt, but he just kept waiting until the tide turned, and that took his commitment and time.
Remember she has cheated, and the one in a partnership who has cheated is not experiencing what you are experiencing. She is not experiencing it from the same world view as you.
She has not yet seen what she could have lost (you). You have to show her and do it well, without resentment and anger, bitterness and hate.
Hard, very hard. Just ask my DH. Learning the dynamics of a wife having an affair is hard when one is angry. Get over the anger as much as you can, it will take time, but it will fade if you focus on WHY you need to get over it. The why is that you cannot possibly move forward and regain happiness without doing so.
Wow Sandy...your posts are long but oh so insightful.
I am also a woman who has had an affair and am trying to get my marriage back on track. I have cut off all contact with him but I am finding it very hard since I think about this person all the time. I know my husband is a good man and I know deep down in side that I do love him and we have 3 kids together.