My wife thinks she is in love with a co-worker - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 5067 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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My wife thinks she is in love with a co-worker

Hi all. I am suddenly faced with the news that my wife just this week got intimate with a co-worker who she claims she has been in love with for a year unbeknownst to me. We have been together 19 years, and married for 13 years. We have two girls, ages 10 and 5. She wants this marriage to end so she can "follow her heart" and pursue a new life with this man. She admits her desire for this is so strong that it comes before all the obvious consequences.
I, of course, am devastated. Unfortunately, I cannot claim to be the best husband or a victim. I have taken much of this marriage for granted and although I have never strayed myself and have scored highly when it comes to being a provider, friend and father, when it comes to being a partner I admittedly have failed. I do love my wife very much and I am sure that I have my own emotional issues that have never been addressed. She has been the giver and I have been the taker and now, of course, I'm consumed with regret and fear. I am also dwelling on the negative side of me. I think there is a caring and loving side of me (towards her) that is being buried right now.

I have reached out to a number of therapists. I have yet to talk to one. I feel we need to talk to someone right away. I am not sure why I feel that it needs to be right away, other than I feel that her taking it to a physical level this week has greatly accelerated these feelings and she admits that she cannot help herself. Her mood and demeanor has shifted a few times over the course of this week, from agreeing to end it with this man and work towards therapy both as a couple and individually (for me) to the total opposite where she is trying to provoke me into losing my sh*t by telling me in every way how this love is for real and there is no coming back from it. Of course, I want to explore every last option.

This sucks in every way. Maybe you all can help

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post #2 of 5067 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 09:58 AM
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Is this co-worker married?

If so, you need to expose the affair to her. And to all your family members (not the kids quite yet) and friends.

Your wife is deep in the Affair Fog, but not deep enough that she isn't at least considering an R. She may be doing that because she's unsure of her AP's long-term availability, which hints to me he may be married, or much younger, or something. And that you're her Plan B. You also can't know for sure that the PA only just started. Cheaters will say anything - i.e.,will shamelessly lie - to justify the terrible thing they deep down know they've done.

Very sorry you're here and yet another member of the club I also never expected or wanted to join.
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post #3 of 5067 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 09:59 AM
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Re: My wife thinks she is in love with a co-worker

Give her what she wants. Let her go. Don't be mean, don't beg, don't follow her around like a lost pup. Let her go.

Use her fog to get the best divorce settlement from her that you can. Be amicable...see a lawyer and draw up the papers, expose her affair to family and friends, then do the 180.


Many BS's are urged to go No Contact with their WS after ALL ELSE has failed.


This 180 list may help.
--------------------------


For those that are interested in Michelle Weiner Davis's divorce busting 180 degree list, here it is:

1. Do not pursue, reason, chase, beg, plead or implore.
2. No frequent phone calls.
3. Do not point out good points in marriage.
4. Do not follow him/her around the house.
5. Do not encourage talk about the future.
6. Do not ask for help from family members.
7. Do not ask for reassurances.
8. Do not buy gifts.
9. Do not schedule dates together.
10. Do not spy on spouse.
11. Do not say "I Love You".
12. Act as if you are moving on with your life.
13. Be cheerful, strong, outgoing and attractive.
14. Don't sit around waiting on your spouse - get busy, do things, go to church, go out with friends, etc.
15. When home with your spouse, (if you usually start the conversation) be scarce or short on words.
16. If you are in the habit of asking your spouse her whereabouts, ASK NOTHING.
17. You need to make your partner think that you have had an awakening and, as far as you are concerned, you are going to move on with your life, with or without your spouse.
18. Do not be nasty, angry or even cold - just pull back and wait to see if spouse notices and, more important, realize what she will be missing
19. No matter what you are feeling TODAY, only show your spouse happiness and contentment. Show him/her someone he/she would want to be around.
20. All questions about marriage should be put on hold, until your spouse wants to talk about it (which may be a while).
21. Never lose your cool.
22. Don't be overly enthusiastic.
23. Do not argue about how they feel (it only makes their feelings stronger).
24. Be patient
25. Listen carefully to what your spouse is really saying to you.
26. Learn to back off, shut up and possibly walk away.
27. Take care of yourself (exercise, sleep, laugh & focus on all the other parts of your life that are not in turmoil).
28. Be strong and confident.
29. Know that if you can do 180, your smallest CONSISTENT actions will be noticed much more than any words you can say or write.
30. Do not be openly desperate or needy even when you are hurting more than ever and are desperate and needy.
31. Do not focus on yourself when communicating with your spouse.
32. Do not believe any of what you hear and less than 50% of what you see. Your spouse will speak in absolute negatives because they are hurting and scared.
33. Do not give up no matter how dark it is or how bad you feel.
34. Do not backslide from your hard-earned changes.
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post #4 of 5067 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 10:04 AM
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Re: My wife thinks she is in love with a co-worker

She's in the affair fog right now.

I don't have good advice, because this is not my area of expertise. But there are lots of people on TAM who can give you good advice. You should check out the "Coping with Infidelity" section--you'll find lots of good advice givers there. You might want to ask a mod to move your thread to that section--you'll get a lot more response there.

Good luck!

~Happily un-married since December 9, 2013~
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post #5 of 5067 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 10:06 AM
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Re: My wife thinks she is in love with a co-worker

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Originally Posted by bandit.45 View Post
give her what she wants. Let her go. Don't be mean, don't beg, don't follow her around like a lost pup. Let her go.

Use her fog to get the best divorce settlement from her that you can. Be amicable...see a lawyer and draw up the papers, expose her affair to family and friends, then do the 180.


many bs's are urged to go no contact with their ws after all else has failed.


This 180 list may help.
--------------------------


for those that are interested in michelle weiner davis's divorce busting 180 degree list, here it is:

1. Do not pursue, reason, chase, beg, plead or implore.
2. No frequent phone calls.
3. Do not point out good points in marriage.
4. Do not follow him/her around the house.
5. Do not encourage talk about the future.
6. Do not ask for help from family members.
7. Do not ask for reassurances.
8. Do not buy gifts.
9. Do not schedule dates together.
10. Do not spy on spouse.
11. Do not say "i love you".
12. Act as if you are moving on with your life.
13. Be cheerful, strong, outgoing and attractive.
14. Don't sit around waiting on your spouse - get busy, do things, go to church, go out with friends, etc.
15. When home with your spouse, (if you usually start the conversation) be scarce or short on words.
16. If you are in the habit of asking your spouse her whereabouts, ask nothing.
17. You need to make your partner think that you have had an awakening and, as far as you are concerned, you are going to move on with your life, with or without your spouse.
18. Do not be nasty, angry or even cold - just pull back and wait to see if spouse notices and, more important, realize what she will be missing
19. No matter what you are feeling today, only show your spouse happiness and contentment. Show him/her someone he/she would want to be around.
20. All questions about marriage should be put on hold, until your spouse wants to talk about it (which may be a while).
21. Never lose your cool.
22. Don't be overly enthusiastic.
23. Do not argue about how they feel (it only makes their feelings stronger).
24. Be patient
25. Listen carefully to what your spouse is really saying to you.
26. Learn to back off, shut up and possibly walk away.
27. Take care of yourself (exercise, sleep, laugh & focus on all the other parts of your life that are not in turmoil).
28. Be strong and confident.
29. Know that if you can do 180, your smallest consistent actions will be noticed much more than any words you can say or write.
30. Do not be openly desperate or needy even when you are hurting more than ever and are desperate and needy.
31. Do not focus on yourself when communicating with your spouse.
32. Do not believe any of what you hear and less than 50% of what you see. Your spouse will speak in absolute negatives because they are hurting and scared.
33. Do not give up no matter how dark it is or how bad you feel.
34. Do not backslide from your hard-earned changes.
181 find out if co-workers wife is hot you might get a shania twain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #6 of 5067 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 10:09 AM
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Re: My wife thinks she is in love with a co-worker

The strong move right now is to immediately file for divorce. And expose widely to her family and respected friends. This has the highest probability of breaking her affair.

Also, you stand to get the best custody and monetary settlement from a divorce if you do it quickly. If she doesn't come out of the fog, and if the divorce goes through quickly, she is likely to give in easily.

You can always give her more than the court requires, if you want. So if you get a really good settlement now you can always give more later. But if you get screwed in court, you can never give less!
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post #7 of 5067 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 10:12 AM
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Re: My wife thinks she is in love with a co-worker

Act, act, act, act, act!!!
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post #8 of 5067 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 10:14 AM
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Re: My wife thinks she is in love with a co-worker

At the very least you need to talk to an attorney right now, today. Find out how things work where you live for people in your circumstances. Custody, alimony, child support, division of assets, any pensions, retirement accounts, inheritances, etc.

Find out if infidelity or fault are an issue in any way, especially for alimony.

In some places, if you have sex with her after finding out about the affair it is seen by the court as forgiveness. This could mean you pay her alimony forever! So do not have sex with her until you talk to an attorney.

Get yourself tested for the full array of sexually transmitted diseases. I suggest you go to your county health department or other specialty clinic rather than your primary care doc. Some you can't get reliable results for 90 days, e.g. herpes and HIV. You'll also want to go back after 6 months to have those 2 repeated just to make sure.
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post #9 of 5067 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 10:24 AM
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Re: My wife thinks she is in love with a co-worker

Gridcom, we've seen many many situations like yours here. Please seriously consider the advice you receive even if it seems harsh. Go to the Coping With Infidelity forum and browse a bit.

A few quick pointers:

1) You cannot "Nice" her into coming back or loving you. Now is not the time to be more loving, attentive, or do more chores around the house.

2) Both spouses are always imperfect, but only the cheater is responsible for the cheating. Yes, you have likely made mistakes in your marriage. You can certainly look at yourself and try to improve yourself in the future. But never ever blame yourself for you wife choosing to cheat. She could have, and was obligated to, come to you a year ago to say she was having issues with the marriage. If you were so terrible as a husband, she could have and should have divorced you. But instead she chose to cheat. She could have and should have detected she was developing an emotional attachment to someone else, and she should have stopped herself from getting in any deeper.

3) Exposure of the affair takes away the fun and naughty aspect of it. Exposure is one good tool for breaking the affair. Exposure is not for retaliation or humiliation, but to try to break the affair.

4) If the OM is married, let his wife know. She deserves to know what is going on.

5) Consider gathering intel. Keylog the computer, gather phone records, gather credit card and debit card records, etc. Document what has been going on. Consider putting a VAR in her car or where she may make calls in the house. This data is not for court nor for public dissemination to family or friends. It is so you can know the extent of what is going on. See next item...

6) You cannot believe anything she tells you now. Cheaters will frequently deny, minimize, and gaslight. The fact she admits things to you is quite rare. After confronted with proof, most cheaters say they have ended the affair but they take it underground. Beware of this with your wife. There is likely far far more to the story already than you know. In the future you have to verify everything yourself. Don't believe her stories.
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post #10 of 5067 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 10:32 AM
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Re: My wife thinks she is in love with a co-worker

Quote:
Originally Posted by gridcom View Post
Hi all. I am suddenly faced with the news that my wife just this week got intimate with a co-worker who she claims she has been in love with for a year unbeknownst to me. We have been together 19 years, and married for 13 years. We have two girls, ages 10 and 5. She wants this marriage to end so she can "follow her heart" and pursue a new life with this man. She admits her desire for this is so strong that it comes before all the obvious consequences.
I, of course, am devastated. Unfortunately, I cannot claim to be the best husband or a victim. I have taken much of this marriage for granted and although I have never strayed myself and have scored highly when it comes to being a provider, friend and father, when it comes to being a partner I admittedly have failed. I do love my wife very much and I am sure that I have my own emotional issues that have never been addressed. She has been the giver and I have been the taker and now, of course, I'm consumed with regret and fear. I am also dwelling on the negative side of me. I think there is a caring and loving side of me (towards her) that is being buried right now.

I have reached out to a number of therapists. I have yet to talk to one. I feel we need to talk to someone right away. I am not sure why I feel that it needs to be right away, other than I feel that her taking it to a physical level this week has greatly accelerated these feelings and she admits that she cannot help herself. Her mood and demeanor has shifted a few times over the course of this week, from agreeing to end it with this man and work towards therapy both as a couple and individually (for me) to the total opposite where she is trying to provoke me into losing my sh*t by telling me in every way how this love is for real and there is no coming back from it. Of course, I want to explore every last option.

This sucks in every way. Maybe you all can help
Your W's decision to have an affair is ALL on her, do not accept any blame or responsibility for her actions.

Yes, she's in an affair fog but right now you are in the betrayed spouse smog. Do not let her rewrite history (tell you that she has been miserable for the past 18 months or whatever, despite you have family photos from a wonderful vacation just this past winter etc).

Yes you were both unsatisfied with unfulfilled needs, but she is the one that chose to seek to have them fulfilled by someone outside the marriage.

Do like others are suggesting (do not beg, plead or accept blame for her choice) instead go quiet, observe and watch but don't speak - bust up her affair by exposing it to her parents, friends, co-workers whoever would take an interest in helping hold her accountable to her vows. If she was unhappy she had plenty of time to figure out how to make it work within the marriage or at the least end it before jumping in bed with some other guy.

You are getting good advice on here already so I'll just say that I'm in complete agreement with Thor and Bandit, and suggest following that advice.


never knowingly appropriate
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post #11 of 5067 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 10:43 AM
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Re: My wife thinks she is in love with a co-worker

Quote:
Originally Posted by gridcom View Post
Hi all. I am suddenly faced with the news that my wife just this week got intimate with a co-worker who she claims she has been in love with for a year unbeknownst to me. We have been together 19 years, and married for 13 years. We have two girls, ages 10 and 5. She wants this marriage to end so she can "follow her heart" and pursue a new life with this man. She admits her desire for this is so strong that it comes before all the obvious consequences.
I, of course, am devastated. Unfortunately, I cannot claim to be the best husband or a victim. I have taken much of this marriage for granted and although I have never strayed myself and have scored highly when it comes to being a provider, friend and father, when it comes to being a partner I admittedly have failed. I do love my wife very much and I am sure that I have my own emotional issues that have never been addressed. She has been the giver and I have been the taker and now, of course, I'm consumed with regret and fear. I am also dwelling on the negative side of me. I think there is a caring and loving side of me (towards her) that is being buried right now.

I have reached out to a number of therapists. I have yet to talk to one. I feel we need to talk to someone right away. I am not sure why I feel that it needs to be right away, other than I feel that her taking it to a physical level this week has greatly accelerated these feelings and she admits that she cannot help herself. Her mood and demeanor has shifted a few times over the course of this week, from agreeing to end it with this man and work towards therapy both as a couple and individually (for me) to the total opposite where she is trying to provoke me into losing my sh*t by telling me in every way how this love is for real and there is no coming back from it. Of course, I want to explore every last option.

This sucks in every way. Maybe you all can help
Your only good move is to allow her to "follow her heart" -and then live with the consequences. We all know the road her "heart" has her on is a dead end....Protect yourself, your children and your assets immediately. Get an attorney, get the ball rolling. She is only gonna be in this fog for so long -then she's gonna turn mean -very mean and nasty and many of her decisions (asinine as they are) are going to be laid at your feet.

Strike while the fog is thick -to protect your family. Once it's all said and done and final -if you want her back -I'm sure you could have her...(if you'd want her).

Holes burn deep in your chest,
Raked by machine gun fire.
Screaming soul sent out to die,
Living mandatory suicide.
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post #12 of 5067 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My wife thinks she is in love with a co-worker

Thanks all, I guess. I'll be honest I am shocked by these responses, and perhaps in denial. I need you all to know that I have done some crummy things, mainly being a self absorbed jerk. Just jerky things. Being a ****, basically. She has warned me that she was at the end of her rope MANY times, but I was in denial about that until this week. The end of her rope comments, the occasional "we're done" comments, would always be at the end of a fight. We are both Italian and raised Italian and to me, you fight, you get it out, and it's over. Again, I've done some ****ty things. We fought in March and it was a bad one (over total nonsense, but we're both pretty stubborn) and my reaction was to tell her I was going to see a lawyer when I never went and saw a lawyer. Shameful petty ****. See? I told you this isnt all on her. I know I am coming down hard on myself, and at my core I am a good, caring guy. I'm emotional and have great care and, again in my defense, am a terrific husband in many ways. Certainly a terrific father.


Now, the cut is deep and my reaction to it has been exactly what you all have told me not to do. Unbelieveable regret and yearning to "make it up to her", to head dive into therapy to fix whatever it is inside me that not only makes me a ****, but why I cant see it while it's happening. In many ways, I am a very introverted person when it comes to these matters. I am weirdly emotional and thus I try and hide my flaws from others (as I have known they exist but never sought out why). I feel like I want to tell our loved ones that I am the one who is flawed and ask them for guidance and encouragment and to root for me while I get to the bottom of it and become the husband that she has wanted me to be.

And I am reading that I need to go to a lawyer and beat her to the punch and get tested for STD's and all this and that, and as you can imagine my reaction is simply "No! we can overcome this!" Our children, our two amazing daughters, would be devastated beyond belief. Even if it was her straw that broke the camels back, they'd never forgive me, because, say what you will, I 100% feel at fault. I took her for granted and now I got burned

You need to know that

I dont think the man in question is married, but I'd imagine he's younger. I dont know anything about him and dont want to know. I just want him to go away.

Thank you all. It feels good just to write. I am a mess right now.
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post #13 of 5067 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 11:27 AM
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Re: My wife thinks she is in love with a co-worker

Of course you can overcome this, grid com. I think it is very promising that you already see your own hand in your troubles.

I will post a link shortly that will show you how. Just have to get to a PC.

It is going to be okay. You can change, and earn back her trust.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #14 of 5067 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 11:31 AM
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Re: My wife thinks she is in love with a co-worker

The problem, right now, is not whether you are a nice guy or deserve to be married to anyone, the problem right now is your wife is in an affair. And not is she just in an affair and you are losing her, she actively did this behind your back knowing full well it is wrong. The reason you are being advised to get counselling now is because whether you admit it or not you are in a crisis, and that is what counsellors are there for (to help you do what you believe is right when your bearings have been messed with).

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post #15 of 5067 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 11:32 AM
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Re: My wife thinks she is in love with a co-worker

Quote:
Originally Posted by gridcom View Post
Thanks all, I guess. I'll be honest I am shocked by these responses, and perhaps in denial. I need you all to know that I have done some crummy things, mainly being a self absorbed jerk. Just jerky things. Being a ****, basically. She has warned me that she was at the end of her rope MANY times, but I was in denial about that until this week. The end of her rope comments, the occasional "we're done" comments, would always be at the end of a fight. We are both Italian and raised Italian and to me, you fight, you get it out, and it's over. Again, I've done some ****ty things. We fought in March and it was a bad one (over total nonsense, but we're both pretty stubborn) and my reaction was to tell her I was going to see a lawyer when I never went and saw a lawyer. Shameful petty ****. See? I told you this isnt all on her. I know I am coming down hard on myself, and at my core I am a good, caring guy. I'm emotional and have great care and, again in my defense, am a terrific husband in many ways. Certainly a terrific father.


Now, the cut is deep and my reaction to it has been exactly what you all have told me not to do. Unbelieveable regret and yearning to "make it up to her", to head dive into therapy to fix whatever it is inside me that not only makes me a ****, but why I cant see it while it's happening. In many ways, I am a very introverted person when it comes to these matters. I am weirdly emotional and thus I try and hide my flaws from others (as I have known they exist but never sought out why). I feel like I want to tell our loved ones that I am the one who is flawed and ask them for guidance and encouragment and to root for me while I get to the bottom of it and become the husband that she has wanted me to be.

And I am reading that I need to go to a lawyer and beat her to the punch and get tested for STD's and all this and that, and as you can imagine my reaction is simply "No! we can overcome this!" Our children, our two amazing daughters, would be devastated beyond belief. Even if it was her straw that broke the camels back, they'd never forgive me, because, say what you will, I 100% feel at fault. I took her for granted and now I got burned

You need to know that

I dont think the man in question is married, but I'd imagine he's younger. I dont know anything about him and dont want to know. I just want him to go away.

Thank you all. It feels good just to write. I am a mess right now.
Ok, you have been less than stellar in the H department. You own that. However, don't own the affair. That is all your WW poor decision. The correct answer from your W was to file for D. Then move on with her life.

“You're painfully alive in a drugged and dying culture.”
― Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road
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