Background: My wife and I have been married just about 2 years. We are both 25. My parents divorced when I was 15 and hers are happily married after 30 years and incredible role models. 6 weeks ago she started an intense summer graduate school program where she lived with my parents as she took classes all day and returned home to me on weekends.
I started noticing harmless texts with a new friend, study sessions at his house, etc., and even mentioned this. She explained it as making good new friends. I trusted her but I started feeling like she was growing distant. She attributed it to the stresses of grad school. I checked our call logs to see she'd call him right as she left the house for errands, or have lengthy conversations that wouldn't get mentioned at all when I asked what she did that day.
School ended yesterday and I prepared for a big confrontation where I wanted to know exactly what was going on. She again insisted they're good friends and that was it.
Last night, I checked her email. I found an IM conversation where they both said "I love you" and said each other were sexy.
I printed this off and brought it up to her. I was mostly shocked, not angry, and more stunned than upset.
As she revealed that she thinks she's in love with him, she also mentioned that she had doubts about our relationship for months but hoped they'd blow over; that we were "going through the motions" in our marriage and it took this new guy to realize it (and to see just how green that grass is on the other side). I did not feel any of this; these have unquestionably been the best years of my life.
So, the following issues were presented:
1. She's in love with someone else.
2. She hid it from me.
3. She lied about it repeatedly when I asked.
4. She was "never 100% positive" that I was the right person.
She insists nothing physical happened and I believe her. At that point she had no more reason to lie.
The main things I brought up were the commitment I made on our wedding day, how seriously I took those vows, and the choices she has: Leave literally everything we've built up together for "six weeks of butterflies and proximity" (as I described him), or make a serious commitment to our marriage and confront him to call it off.
To me, divorce is an absolute last resort. I'm not sure what she's leaning toward at this point and she couldn't answer yet. I did not vehemently shoot down any notion of her being with him as I probably should have. I told her I am willing to forgive if she is willing to put in the effort. However, I feel like I treated it as more of a sales pitch for rebuilding our relationship than a declaration of how awful what she did was.
She left for the airport at 6:30 this morning to visit an out of state friend. I also know that she spoke with Other Guy for almost an hour at 5:30am.
I won't see her until Tuesday and I have no idea what to do in these next three days. Why do I feel I need to begin a period of self-improvement? Shouldn't she be the one throwing herself at my feet if she wants to save our marriage? Why am I feeling like I have to be impressive and wonderful all next week? My mom is coming to town today and I plan to bring it up.
This all feels like a horrible dream and knowing that it's going to take months or years to recover from - if we recover at all - is still unfathomable. Been reading these boards all morning and it seemed like a good place to start.
Thank you for the reply. I'd like to go through and address some points:
"She has continued with the contact with the OM, this is not good for her."
I did not give her the ultimatum to stop contacting him last night. I guess I should have. For all I know, they could have decided that it is best to return to their spouses. Unlikely but I must give the benefit of the doubt. She'll know I know they talked and she'll disclose that conversation if I ask. Or if she doesn't, then I know she has no interest in making it work.
"Now you expose – call her parents, let them know and ask for their support – they may choose to back daughter on this so be prepared."
This is difficult. I don't know what this would do besides push her out of reach. On the other hand, they were with us on our wedding day where they also committed to helping us with our relationship.
"Let her friends know she is having an affair. Yes even the one she is visiting."
She plans to discuss it with the friend over the weekend. This is a very close friend of ours whom I love like a family member and I trust her to have our marriage's interest in mind when they talk.
"Keep calm; be on your very best behaviour at all times."
This is good to hear... I feel like ranting and sobbing would show her the emotional impact this has on me, instead I tried to be reasonable. She said she thought I'd be angrier and I said it wouldn't help anything, especially not my case that we can work together to improve our marriage. She said I was making a good case.
What I hope happens is that the combination of this friend, the things I said last night, and some time away helps her realize that she can end this affair and work on our marriage. I will know on Tuesday.
Please assume the worst at all times, experience tell us that she will not play a straight bat with you.
As for telling her parents, this is a must if she does not return to the marriage and stop all contact with the OM. Do not give her weeks or many days on this, she must not have time to tell them a different story and get them on her side. Facts from you and the wish to save the marriage will speak volumes
Telling her parents could push her away and it does in some cases, the EA person tends to come back as even mom and dad feel the embarrassment and discomfort of the affair.
Do you know this guy, have his number and are you able to track down his family. You will need this info if she does not return.
Spend some time checking this forum and plan your steps carefully
Wisp is right. There is a difference between being emotional and taking control. You are worried about driving her away? That is way to passive. You need to be assertive. and you need to out her to her family and to mutual friends. You think forcing her to set boundaries will drive her away, you are just dead wrong about that. You know what will drive her away. A lack of respect for you. Which she has already shown. You are right to not get all needy and clingy. But there has to be consequences. First off telling your parents and her parents are critical. Then you need to allow your parents to get up in her grill with something like this. " We let you stay with us while you are going to school and you turn around and CHEAT ON OUR SON?"
Another point. Here is a reading assignment for you. I want you to comb through the posts on this sight and see just how many reconciliations are successful by using the "I don't want to drive her away" tactic. I think you will find more then enough evidence here that responding that way will only enable her to "cake eat" and "fence sit". Why? No consequences. How can you expect her to fight for your marriage when you are giving her a license to "explore her feelings" for the other man. I am by no means telling you to burn her down. But you need to shine a 10 million candle light flash on this affair. If you don't you will only support her childish view that she was "never that really into you". And don't be to convinced that she hasn't had sex with him. If she denies it to you. Then she has. Wayward wives are weird this way. They will cut you off because having sex with you would mean that they weren't really in love with the OM. And that would make them a ****. You cannot operate out of fear. You must be strong. And you must out the affair. You must tell the OMs wife. And let her control him from that side. Again, read all you can here about others have responded and what has worked for them. I can assure that passive is not the way to go. Good luck.
I am in a similar situation. Only difference is my wife is still denying the affair(and to be honest I am yet to find hard proof of one through computer logs, emails, or cell phone records). But my wife told me that she has been uncertain about us for the last few months and about 5 months ago flat out told me she is no longer "in-love" with me and no longer sexually or emotionally attracted to me. When I asked her if our marraige, home, family, and daughter are worth fighting for she said she's not sure. Which that has me still suspecting she has had an emotional affair with someone at work but she denies it and gets defensive about it when I bring it up. I have stopped questioning her on it until i find proof of it but I am finding that I can't seem to discover any proof so either there is none or she's covering her tracks very well. I found this Infidelity, Cheating Wives - Women's Infidelity book helped me a lot to understand my wife's lack of love towards me and my wife has agreed to read it and we are currently scheduling marriage counseling sessions. Sounds to me that my wife is currently in Stage 1 and yours is currently in Stage 2 according to the book. The book may help to open her eyes to how she is truly feeling and how she thinks she is feeling.
Thank you. Not sticking up for myself has been a problem of mine in previous relationships too. So what the heck do I do for the next three days? Just prepare my remarks?
For the next three days don't let the affair eat at you because resentment, anger, and even imagination will sink in which will put you in a sort of a FOG. You've discovered the Emotional Affair now the the goal is to put an end to it before it gets to the Physical Affair. Confront the other guy about it see what he has to say about it, talk to her parents about it, talk to her close friend about it(probably during the time after your wife leaves her house but before she gets home). Confront your wife when she gets home and tell her that if she has even the most remote feeling that she wants your marriage to work then she will break off ties with the other man and try to fix your marriage. She will probably fight you on it, just don't lose your cool over it though. Right now she is more then likely looking for your flaws and thinking of the other guy's attributes...so don't fuel her thoughts by loosing your temper over this. I know you probably want to explode but don't.
LoveLostHusband: For your sake hire a PI, they should track the guy down very quickly, they have all sort of tricks to get the info
Yeah I have thought of this and it is a possibilty that I still might do in the near future. I have been told that marriage counseling won't work til the affair is ended but my lack of proof of an affair makes it so that I look like a paranoid idiot everytime I try to push her for info on the topic.
The book I linked above show what women do:
~They push men for commitment
~They get what they want
~They lose interest in sex
~They become attracted to someone else
~They start cheating
~They become angry and resentful
~They begin telling their partners that they need time apart
~They blame their partners for their behavior...and eventually, after making themselves and everyone around them miserable for an indefinite, but usually, long period of time, they end their relationships or marriages
My wife seems to have gone through this entire spectrum and we are currently in that indefinite but usually long period of time right now. In the OP's case, you are in the Cheating part and hopefully you can get her to stop. She's already admitted it to you which is a huge step forward now you just need to decide if you want to forgive her and then get her to want to end it with the other guy.
You need to do more then prepare your remarks. First, be thankful that you don't have children. Next prepare to cut her off financially and see a lawyer about a separation(based on her response). This is to protect yourself from her putting you deeper in debt or looting your savings. Get ready to put her out of the house if she won't stop. If she doesn't know where you stand, she will eat cake and ask "for time to search out her feelings with the new guy" (this happens all the time). As wisp has suggested, tell her parents and family. Show them the e-mails if needed. You need to do this right away b4 she can give them a line of BS like "we've grown apart" and "He isn't meeting my needs like a husband should". When you confront her again. Tell her your boundaries and expectation. Full No contact, transparency with e-mail and cell phone. If she says no, tell her that she needs to explain to her parents why she is cheating, and tell your parents to no longer allow her to stay with them. Then go forward with cutting her off and telling her that she needs to find another place to live. Do not scream or yell, but you must be firm. Do not let her negotiate continuing the affair by saying she needs time. Sorry no time. Choose now.
She wouldn't accept it from you. Don't accept it from her. Good luck.
Be firm and hold the line. She's staying with your parents while going to school, well that stops right away if she's not willing to work on your marriage. It'll be hard but coming clean to your parents but it needs to be done. Yes, kicking her out of your parents place might make her run to stay with the OM.
If she has student loans, make sure your name is not attached to the loans. If you co-signed for the loans, contact the bank and tell them that you want your name off of the loan. If she loses the loan, oh well that's her problem. THOSE LOANS ARE FOR LIFE AND YOU GET STUCK WITH THEM UNTIL THE DAY YOU DIE. Bankruptcy will not wipe those loans away and you'll eventually get a wage garnishment. I know, I do payroll and have to deal with quite a bit of these garnishments.
Do not be second best in this scenario, if she wants time to think it out, fine. She's on her own until she finds out what she wants. Once she sees her money train being cut off she might do a 180 and beg for forgiveness (money does that to people for some reason). Have a strong heart at this point, if she's sincere, everything is fair game. No secrets period.
I would probably even get a pre-nup drawn up at this point also and make her sign it. Yes, that's harsh but it's gonna suck if she decides after finishing school to clean you for 1/2 of what you have worked for while she's going to school and screwing around with other guys. Plus you get 1/2 of her bills if your name is attached to it. So you lose 1/2 of your assets, gain 1/2 of her liabilities, gg. Your life as you know it is over.
there are some great people on this site - don't just read the posts but believe them. I am just a regular guy like yourselves in a marriage that is crumbling. I am no expert but I have been where you are and are slightly ahead of you. The advise im about to give is based on my situation but every wife seems to follow the same script.
Like you probably do I believed my wife to be a good person who even if wasn't in love with me respected me as a person enough to tell me the truth. TRUST ME - I couldn't have been more wrong, the person you are dealing with is not the wife you know. My wife, who I thought was trustworthy, saw the effect the affair had on me when I initially found out about it. She saw the pain first hand, she has twice since told me she wants to work on the marriage and promised me to my face there would be no more contact with OM. Within hours she was texting him. I know it is hard but for now I would expect the worse and if that doesn't happen its a bonus. Expect her to lie and treat you like dirt - this is what spouses in EA's do. BELIEVE IT PLEASE.
Secondly expose the affair to everyone you think it worth doing. I read this advise a when I first found out and like you are probably thinking now I thought "this will do more damage than good - she will just hate me". PLEASE PLEASE just bite the bullet, pick up the phone and do it. I fear I have done it too late but I have since phoned her family and friends, she had told all of them a pack of lies and they were all advising her against me as a result of it. Once I had convinced them of the truth they have all shown me so much love and are right behind me. TRUST ME - DO IT. It will really help to end the affair.
Thirdly, the hardest thing is to stay calm and strong. Do not cry, beg, shout, grovel. Show her you are serious, confident but caring. The hardest thing is normally the best thing.