Wife had EA only, but I'm having trouble
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Coping with Infidelity Relationship recovery from the destructiveness of infidelity.

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Old 05-10-2011, 11:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Wife had EA only, but I'm having trouble

My wife and are are 40, been married 15 years, 3 kids. For years, our marriage has been less than ideal. My wife, due to her terrible relationship with her dad, never got the love she needed growing up. She's always been really needy. I am a bit aloof at times. She has been coming to me for years saying she needs more from me. I always felt that I would "fix" it, but my fixes were temporary and I would go back to "normal". Bottom line is that I felt everything would work out somehow, I would give her what she needs, but I didn't have any sense of urgency because we were so committed to each other. She warned me.

She has a guy friend that she has never dated - they've been friends for 20 years. He's never married but had girlfriends. He and I became casual friends. He was at our wedding, etc, etc. He lives 90 minutes away and they would get together about 4-5 times a year for a visit that would last most of the day. I worked this through with my wife and she reassured me nothing was going on (and until very recently, it wasn't).

While on a trip out of town for work, I went into her email to look for invitation responses to a party we are having. While there, I saw an email from her friend. Given our recent struggles I had to look. Long story short it was clear from that email that they were having an EA. My wife's email response back to him was very incriminating, devastating, and yet proof it had not yet gone physical. It was worded such that she wished she could be with him, but couldn't because of our marriage.

I paced my hotel room for 3 hours, contemplating what to do. Then I called my wife in the middle of the night. I asked her what was going on between them, before I told her what I saw. She said, nothing has happened (which is true from a physical point). Then I said I saw an email and she was reluctant to come out with it. It wasn't until I read her the incriminating sentence that she admitted her feelings for her friend.

Due to my not meeting her emotional needs for the past few years and her warning me about it, she eventually found this gap filled by her friend, to the point she fell in love with him. She hasn't really been in love with me for awhile, although she does still love me very much and we have phenomenal sex. I am also the main bread winner in the house and a doting father. Because of my lack of urgency in reassuring my wife and her emotional baggage, I am wondering if we are too far gone to repair the marriage.

This just happened Thursday night 5/4. It's still raw. She agreed immediately to stop communicating with her friend. She said she wanted to say goodbye to him given their 20 years of friendship. I am allowing this, but told her it had to be at a nearby restaurant and not by where he lives (again, not that it's gotten physical, but last hurrahs are scary). They haven't done this yet.

We have made some huge strides over the last 2 days - had a great mother's day. I took yesterday off to further deal with this with her. And we had another great day. We both realize that there is blame all around. I feel bad for ignoring her for so long and vowed never to let that happen again. She vowed not to communicate with her friend after her goodbye talk with him. But I am still hurt. And she has to figure out if all the years of my not meeting her emotional needs is repairable too. Lot's of work ahead to see if those two issues can be resolved. But 19 years of relationship and 15 years of marriage, 3 kids, etc...we have to do it, and we want to try.

Anyone been here? Or can relate? I'm trying to get some cathartic relief.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife had EA only, but I'm having trouble

^ You will find a lot of folks here who have "been there and can relate." So you're in good company.

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She agreed immediately to stop communicating with her friend.
GOOD!!!!!!!!!!! Now she must do this and you need to enforce a hard boundary and stick to it.
NO inapprorpriate relationship with OM. It's good you caught this now instead of later.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife had EA only, but I'm having trouble

Gabriel your wife must not meet this man, you are seeking disaster, this is not a closure let's whisper sweet nothings in each others ears. What are you thinking??? You don't care if they have been friends for 20 years , he is in an affair with your wife. Closure is a no contact letter she writes , you approve and send.

Do not be so foolhardy to enable a plan or future deceptive communications to be discussed and please do not think you can get through this with your plan.We have seen this before !!!!
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife had EA only, but I'm having trouble

^ I agree with Eli. She can just call im and tell him the relationship is inappropriate and not to call her again. In front of you. Or send it in a written letter.
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife had EA only, but I'm having trouble

Dude, I could have written most of what you said. I did, actually, except it appears that you caught yours at an earlier stage. Listen to Eli-Zor. Also, what you have found is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg. I agree on not condoning a meeting between the two of them. She must end it in your presence or you will always wonder what was said, etc.

Trust me, this weekend was my wife's 4th or 5th phone call to "end it". Each time, it didn't actually end, it only went deeper underground.

I hope you situation is different, but it sounds scarily similar to mine and several other stories on here. Read around. You are in a good place. You are certainly not alone. We have been married for 13 years with 3 kids also.

Also, please don't say "EA only". Personally, I believe an EA, especially one as involved as my wife's, is much worse than some levels of PA. A one-night stand would have been much easier to get over. As I told my wife, she gave that man her heart, which is infinitely more important than her vagina. You mentioned that she told the OM (other man) she loves him. I'm afraid you may be in for one hell of a ride.
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife had EA only, but I'm having trouble

I don't think you know everything yet. Don't be so quick to accept ANY blame for her cheating.

Cynic in me says the email could have been a red herring strictly for your benefit.

If she knew you had access to account while traveling, she could have placed the email to throw you off the full scope if her affair.

My point, trust nothing she says. And don't telegraph what you find.
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife had EA only, but I'm having trouble

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Anyone been here? Or can relate? I'm trying to get some cathartic relief.
3+ Years post D-Day and doing great. As far as how she ends it that will be your call. Many will say it needs to be done with you present and there are good reasons for that. In my case, I did not request or have an interest in how the hammer fell. I don't even know if it was done via text, phone call or email. Once she did it, I worked at moving forward as much as possible. We've never spoken of it since.

Your wife is taking a huge step in the marriage if she can break contact, and believe me it won't be easy. You will have to make sure she understands that contact with TOM is a deal breaker. She will go through a period of withdrawal and probably resentment to wards you. This is to be expected. Once she passes those she can emerge from the fog and begin to reconnect with you. This will take time.

It can be done, it can get better. Good luck.
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife had EA only, but I'm having trouble

I have been dealing with some of what you have. Except I am in your wife's shoes and of course he hasn't been my friend for 20 years. But speaking from my experience you can do it. You really have to try. We are doing great and I still do work with this guy. I am still trying to figure out exactly why I had this EA with him for a year and we did kiss on my birthday at a club. Anyway...

We are fixing it. And I am so glad we are. I love my husband with all my heart and soul. I truly think I just took advantage of him, took him for granted. We have been married 23 years this year and he is half of me. I just figure he will be there no matter what. I cant think like that and I have learned this. This other guy did fill some what of a friend void for me. My husband is my only friend and my best friend. I stepped over some lines we sat years and years ago by befriending him and having it lead into an EA.

I am being completely transparent with my husband. I am not hiding anything from him. If he asks I tell him anything he wants to know. I know we are gonna be OK. I really do believe you guys can do it too.
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife had EA only, but I'm having trouble

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Originally Posted by Anthony8858 View Post
Dude,
If you decide to track her, don't throw the evidence in her face. Use it to watch her moves. Learn how she operates, and when the time is right, sit her down, and read her the riot act.
Yes, keep any intelligence gathering to yourself for now. Don't play your hand too soon. Every time I did, they just went deeper underground.
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife had EA only, but I'm having trouble

Thanks for the comments all. To be honest, I was the bad guy in our marriage for a long time. I never cheated, never abused, etc, etc, but I also didn't heed my wife's warnings. She came to me first, many many times about what she needed. She wanted me to be the one to improve. And I only would fix it for awhile before I let life get in the way yet again.

Her agreeing to end this friendship is a BIG deal. This is her price for her role in the situation. The EA took place only very recently (maybe 3-4 months), after 20 years. This was not a quick thing or a fling with a random person.

I am one that believes marriage can only survive if there is mutual trust. If I can't trust her to have this meeting, say her goodbye, and be done with it, then I can't trust her about anything. And if I can't do that, why not just end it now?

Some people on here talk about having the "cheating" spouse open all email, text, etc, communications to prove their trustworthiness. But that's not trust. Trust is believing them when they say something. Hell if I want to be snooping in the email and texts all the time. That would be torture and we'll never get past it. This my problem right now. Can I give her the benefit of the doubt?

That said, if I trust her on this, and I find out there was this 2nd or 3rd meeting/call to say goodbye, then I will end the marriage.

Another question, given I know the OM pretty well, there has been talk that he has considered emailing me an apology. He feels beyond awful he let things get this far. I have also considered emailing him, not to completely rip or threaten him, but instead to tell him there is plenty of blame to go around, and also to be firm about my forbidding him from ever again being in our lives.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Another question, given I know the OM pretty well, there has been talk that he has considered emailing me an apology. He feels beyond awful he let things get this far. I have also considered emailing him, not to completely rip or threaten him, but instead to tell him there is plenty of blame to go around, and also to be firm about my forbidding him from ever again being in our lives.

Thoughts?
The only person he talks to is his current girlfriend, he can then apologize to her, your a nice guy, we have seen this routine many times.

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Old 05-10-2011, 03:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Some people on here talk about having the "cheating" spouse open all email, text, etc, communications to prove their trustworthiness. But that's not trust. Trust is believing them when they say something. Hell if I want to be snooping in the email and texts all the time. That would be torture and we'll never get past it. This my problem right now. Can I give her the benefit of the doubt?
Many will say no, you must demand transparency. But this will be your call. In our case, I did not demand it, I did not snoop and did not question. Once I was sure she was ready to end the EA and try to recover the marriage I was done with that part of it. It was time to build trust again. Transparency in my opinion is overrated. If a spouse is going to cheat they are going to cheat. There are too many ways to fly under the radar. But I fully understand that you may be setting yourself up to get burned. Many called me a sap for not demanding transparency but I am glad I chose the path I did. Certainly if there were issues that were curious, we discussed them and to my recollection all were resolved to my satisfaction. Choose your path based on how well you think you know your wife and her character.

As far as any communication from or to TOM. Can it, no contact for you or your wife. It's a bad idea to give him a platform to state his case or flog himself. He did what he did, @$# him!
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Transparency on my part was not demanded by him. He does not sneak into my email or even my test messages. But I do leave my phone out so if he wanted to he can see it. He has told me he knows I feel really bad for it all and that I do love him. I think he still trusts me, maybe not completely but enough to not check out everything I do or say. And thanks to you guys on here I am not over doing things anymore. ;0).......

Gabriel I really think you guys are on the right track.

"Trust is believing them when they say something. Hell if I want to be snooping in the email and texts all the time. That would be torture and we'll never get past it. This my problem right now. Can I give her the benefit of the doubt?"

I really agree with this. From the one who was wrong point of view. I am really working hard on our marriage. VERY HARD. My husband is doing exactly what you said in the above sentence. He is trusting me and giving me the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife had EA only, but I'm having trouble

Forgiveness thanks for your perspective from the opposite side.

Amplexor - I think you are with me on this. As much as I am struggling to allow this last meeting, denying said meeting may backfire. It may provide the closure she needs to truly end the friendship. But at the same time, I would LOVE it if the goodbye could be done as others described with a letter/email. It would be so much easier on me.

We both have a lot of work to do, but it will be worth it if we come out on the other side a stronger couple. Just too many unknowns right now.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife had EA only, but I'm having trouble

Anthony, let me put it to you this way. What if SHE wants the goodbye to put it all away for good? As far as I know he is not requesting the goodbye. Telling him to get lost doesn't apply.

There are only two possibilities

1) she is telling me the truth here
2) she will see/talk him again after, no matter what she says

It goes back the trust/consequence. If #1 happens it was the best thing to let her have it. She has a better chance of moving forward, and I show I am trusting her in attempt to repair.

If #2 happens, then I end it the marriage.

Yes, wondering what was said will be tough. This is the part that gives me the most pause about it.
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