She doesn't know what she wants...UGH!
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Coping with Infidelity Relationship recovery from the destructiveness of infidelity.

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Old 11-03-2011, 12:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default She doesn't know what she wants...UGH!

Hi everyone, in March of this year my wife of 12 years told me she wasn't happy with the state of our marriage. Stupidly I didn't take her seriously. So, two months ago she moved out of our house after telling me she met a divorced guy, and for two months they had been having an emotional affair which she wanted to pursue.

I had no room to talk, having sensed we were drifting apart, I created a dating profile on a dating site around the same time she started seeing this guy. Unknowingly of course. However I never even met this girl, and only spoke with her for a about a week. On top of that, I've never cheated on my wife.

Well, she came back to the house one day after moving out and saw messages between me and a girl on the dating site, with me complaining about my boring marriage. She of course freaked out. I apologized and begged her to please keep working on things. But shortly thereafter she started staying with the emotional affair guy, but according to her, no sex. When I found this out I told her we were done. She then begged me to take her back, as she didn't love him, she loved me. So I did with conditions of no more dating sites, not more OM, and continuing marriage therapy. That was two weeks ago.

Last night at our marriage counseling session, she said she still loves me, but she isn't happy. Naively I thought things were getting better. When the therapist and I asked her what she wanted, she said she didn't know. But she started talking in terms of "if were to separate would we still blah blah blah." I was like, I'm not even thinking of that. She says she can't get over my messages to the dating site girl, and that she doesn't trust me. And that she feels confined in our marriage.

So now I don't know what to do. I have patience, but I don't think she really wants to be married anymore. And most of my friends feel as if she doesn't want to be either. More like she wants the marriage over but doesn't want to be the bad guy and end it.

Any advice? I'm really confused right now.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: She doesn't know what she wants...UGH!

I doubt she stayed over and did nothing!

She wants to cake eat. It's ok for her to explore, but she wants to know that you are remaining a safe option for her to come home to whenever she wants.

I would tell her your uncompromising terms: she is either at home AND actively working to improve the marriage, or you'll get divorced. You are not going to wait around as her backup option.

Shell balk and you'll think youll loose her, but in the end this is showing her you have a spine, self esteem, and won't accept being #2, all of which make you a more attractive mate.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: She doesn't know what she wants...UGH!

You already saw what happened when she though she was losing you. She recommitted to the marriage. Once you reassured her that she wasn't losing you, she's back to playing the field.

Tell her that you are not a backup plan. If she wants to be married to you, that means no other men. And no other women for you.

If she wants to play the field, wish her luck and file for divorce. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to go through with the divorce, but it does show her that you are willing to.

At the same time, start to improve yourself. Get in shape. Work on a hobby. This will make you more attractive and exciting. Hopefully, you become more attractive to your wife. But if not, you will be more attractive when you hit the dating scene.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: She doesn't know what she wants...UGH!

Fist of all... you need full disclosure of what happened between her and the divorced guy. I'm 37 YO, and if i were to live with ANY chick who likes me, you best believe her next door neighbors are going to know what my name is... if you catch my drift. She was having an EA and the second she moved in he was tapping that.

Second. Stop playing this game with her. No more sorries! You are right, you weren't perfect either, but you didn't move out to test the sex organs of other people. You... off the dating site. Her... NO contact with the dude she was having an affair with. If she doesn't know what she wants (translation = weighing on my best option right now) then you tell her there's the door... and you can't come back next time.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: She doesn't know what she wants...UGH!

Actually, I do have hobbies, exercise and I am in pretty decent shape for 42. She is as well, but no hobbies. Our problem has always been different interests and financial things. I even contemplated leaving here several times in our marriage due to lies about financial matters.

I should clarify that she stayed with the guy only a couple of times. And the dude is kind of a doormat. He loves my wife, but he's not that attractive and I think she's just used him as an emotional crutch because I wasn't all that there for her. She says she slept on the couch, who knows, to me it's besides the point. She stated last night she isn't sure she wants to be with anyone right now.

Anyway I'm off the dating site, she says she isn't talking to this guy anymore and we spend a lot more time together. Maybe that's something.
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: She doesn't know what she wants...UGH!

Maybe an alternate, cleaned up storyline could be…

as is natural, without the 'work' and maintenance of your relationship, life baggage probably piled up (finances, arguments, communication breakdowns) creating a void where one or both of your weren’t getting your needs met...

You were both emotionally 'wandering'. She met someone who began to fill her needs. To move forward without her pesky conscience, she began to rewrite your history and likely blame shifted her feelings for him on a failing in you and your relationship. She moved out to pursue or rather escalate the relationship with him, again likely to mentally put herself in "separated" status. (pesky conscience thing)... Uh yeah, Sex happened.

You were also 'wandering' so you were at least partially ambivalent to her moving out, and didn’t know how you felt. Probably in the 'confused, don’t know what you want' state of mind. Again, fueled by a life baggage co-pilot...

You began fishing too. I’d bet you are minimizing how involved you got on your fishing expedition.

So your taking turns wandering around in the fog/smog, with brief 'moments of clarity'...

She had an ill timed one, probably as a result of a fog clearing moment with her OM. A brief glimpse of real life when the fantasy glasses slipped off.... Came home, saw your fishing trips... got a big dose of 'justified and angry'...

So you guys are flip-flopping pursuer and pursuee roles, floundering about driven by huge surges and swings of emotions that are likely almost impossible to understand…

All the while, it’s doubtful no contact is established. Maybe worse, She has days of no contact... where she begins the withdrawal stages (fyi, she is "in love" (chemically) with OM) finally she breaks down, calls or sees him and gets a whopping dose of 'chick flick' “soul mates” drivel from prince charming... YAAAAA!!! she's 'high' again... for moment she 'knows' exactly what she wants... then conscience and reality set in and the high starts fading... oppps... confused again... wash, rinse, repeat...

Don’t be alarmed, this is "normal". Your wife's actions are that of an affair addict. Your actions could be internally motivated by fear and an internal need to prevent uncoupling. That's just evolutionary fail-safe in your DNA. All this stuff is simply the natural stages during the death of a marriage. The “dance” does take a longtime, but you’re both on the right track. Keep it up; it will be over soon enough.

Or there is always the option of the really hard road of full commitment to reconciliation. That takes 2 though, and she’s not on board right now, doesn’t sound like you are "all in" either?. Honestly, are you?
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: She doesn't know what she wants...UGH!

She doesn't know what she wants? She may have said this as a ploy to get you back, but on HER terms. I say, make the decision easy for her, and take yourself out of the equation-it sounds like she is still pursuing this guy, but wants to keep you as a back up plan.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: She doesn't know what she wants...UGH!

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Originally Posted by dochol View Post
Actually, I do have hobbies, exercise and I am in pretty decent shape for 42. She is as well, but no hobbies. Our problem has always been different interests and financial things.
That's great. Most married men slowly gain weight and isolate themselves inside the family. And become less exciting and attractive to women, including their wives. If you're already achieved your maximum potential attractiveness, then you have no work to do on that front.

Your wife still seems to want to cake eat. She doesn't necessarily want the OM, although it doesn't sound like she's being transparent enough to prove that to you. But she also isn't coming home. You can either keep yourself as her backup plan and give her time to find a more attractive option, or you can force her to choose whether she continues forward with you or not right now.

Most people here will advocate forcing her to choose sooner rather than later.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: She doesn't know what she wants...UGH!

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Originally Posted by dochol View Post
Well, she came back to the house one day after moving out and saw messages between me and a girl on the dating site, with me complaining about my boring marriage. She of course freaked out. I apologized and begged her to please keep working on things.
You should not have "apologized and begged her to please keep working on things", what she did was far worse than what you were doing. Did she "apologized and begged YOU to please keep working on things" as well? Why is it ok for her to cheat and get away with it but not you? Do you not see the double standard?
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But shortly thereafter she started staying with the emotional affair guy, but according to her, no sex.
Assume this is a lie, they never tell the truth until you pull out video evidence of it. There's no way she would admit to sex because it would knock her off her high horse.

Quote:
When I found this out I told her we were done. She then begged me to take her back, as she didn't love him, she loved me. So I did with conditions of no more dating sites, not more OM, and continuing marriage therapy. That was two weeks ago.
Remember this, when you want to end things she wants to keep you but as soon as you give in and say you will work on it she pulls away.

Quote:
Last night at our marriage counseling session, she said she still loves me, but she isn't happy. Naively I thought things were getting better. When the therapist and I asked her what she wanted, she said she didn't know. But she started talking in terms of "if were to separate would we still blah blah blah." I was like, I'm not even thinking of that. She says she can't get over my messages to the dating site girl, and that she doesn't trust me. And that she feels confined in our marriage.
She wants to separate and this is her way of setting the stage so you are not taken by surprise when she leaves again.


Quote:
So now I don't know what to do. I have patience, but I don't think she really wants to be married anymore. And most of my friends feel as if she doesn't want to be either. More like she wants the marriage over but doesn't want to be the bad guy and end it.
Your friends are correct.

So do you just sit around like a sap and let her humiliate you again or beat her to the punch and save some of your dignity.

She wants out but on HER terms. If you kick her to the curb she will most likely beg to stay again. If it were me, I would tell her I wasn't happy and didn't want to stay with someone who didn't want to be with me or doesn't honor their commitments so GTFO. When she tries to talk you out of it tell her too bad, she already made those promises before and went back on them so not again. Remember this is HER fault, not yours. She needs to do all the begging and pleading.

Once she has had a couple of months by herself to think about things then maybe open communications again. She needs to really understand how life without you is going to feel (we don't know what we got until its gone) and if she asks you about doing the online dating again tell her you can't make any promises.
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: She doesn't know what she wants...UGH!

Her saying she doesn't know what she wants means she wants him. Divorce is a hard decision to make, and she obviously does not have the ball to initiate it. So, she is cakeeating. Her EA and the subsequent PA(most likely as she stayed at his place overnight) is ten times worse than your signing up for dating site. Do not let her get away with it as if your doing was much worse hers.

You can either force her to decide righr now, or you can let things cool off a bit by staying nice to her for a while before you resume any serious talk about D.
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:17 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: She doesn't know what she wants...UGH!

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Originally Posted by sadcalifornian View Post
Her saying she doesn't know what she wants means she wants him. Divorce is a hard decision to make, and she obviously does not have the ball to initiate it. So, she is cakeeating. Her EA and the subsequent PA(most likely as she stayed at his place overnight) is ten times worse than your signing up for dating site. Do not let her get away with it as if your doing was much worse hers.

You can either force her to decide righr now, or you can let things cool off a bit by staying nice to her for a while before you resume any serious talk about D.
Yeah, be nice to her while she still test drives the OM and then decides.
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:01 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: She doesn't know what she wants...UGH!

"She says she can't get over my messages to the dating site girl, and that she doesn't trust me. And that she feels confined in our marriage?"

A few months ago, my wife began to behave in a very cold manner to me, so cold, she gave me hints on her leaving me? I was a wreck for about a week, Then I said, the Hell with It!! Yes, I love her, but not at my own expense! So, i told her to I understand, LEAVE! I'm taking the house, I will explain to your folks and our friends that you have now officially gone crazy. And I told her, that I am her closest friend! telling her this, Not just her Husband.

Then one of her friends took some romantic interest in me when they found out she was leaving me? I was shocked! I had no clue he best friend liked me that way? All in all, it did wonders for my self esteem. But, whatever she was going through has ended. We talked it out and I got to the bottom of what was bugging her! So much. My behavior mislead her to think that I was no longer interested in a sexual relationship with her? along with my distance due to my work and other hobbies. All in All, I was neglecting her! She was right ! I don't know why I was, but I was.

**Normally, I would tell you, you should do this and that, but i believe its more complicated than just one persons fault. She is over reacting to something you did, that I bet you find to be harmless! The other women she is upset with is Funny to me! She has some real Nerve! You gotta be kinding! she is lucky or both of you are for even allowing her to come back!

Work this out with your counselor! Continue going until you get to the bottom of her insecurities with you! YES! I believe she has more than just 1 concerning you, help her! If you still love her and you still want her. If not?? Then just get a divorce and spare the both of you a few years that you will waste trying to get with other people and you find the right one that fits your financial ends. Its always easier to leave, when you have another close by willing to take your hand.
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:46 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: She doesn't know what she wants...UGH!

Very, very few married women that leave their husbands and move in with the OM with whom they've been having an EA, do not engage in sex. So it's more than likely that she's selling you a can of goods when she says that there was no sex between her and the OM.

Her little double standard drama play that she can't trust you is a hoot considering it's like the pot calling the kettle black. And she wants to separate because it would allow her to have her cake and eat it to without a guilty conscience because in her foggy mind being separated means that she isn't married.

My advise is to tell her again that 'We are done' and this time mean it. File for divorce and have her served. You gave her a second chance and she blew it. How many more chances are you going to give her? A third, a fourth, a fifth, etc.? Every chance you give her she loses more respect for you because she realizes that you don't want to loose her. Guess what? You already lost her and you have to accept that fact and let her go so that you can move on with your life.

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Old 11-07-2011, 01:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: She doesn't know what she wants...UGH!

I feel for you bro! I'm 42 and have been married for 12 years as well. I don't think this is at all coincidental either BTW...It seems like they're all executing the same mid-life crisis program. I bet your wife is a stay-at-home mom, right? You didn't mention if you have kids or not but I bet she doesn't work. I also bet she has at least one close "toxic" friend that is as least (if not more) screwed-up in the head as your wife. This "friend" has been convincing your wife that "her time is now" and that she has "spent all this time taking care of other people except herself." I also bet you two are somewhat opposites in many ways and were initially attracted by your differences (which ironically enough are repelling now...) She might suffer a bit from the "entitled princess" syndrome as well. Sound familiar? I'm not a mind-reader but believe me there are a lot of us poor schmucks in this same boat! The thing is, you need to really ask yourself at this juncture what do YOU want? I mean really. Reconciliation takes two and even then it's like climbing Mt. Everest and you both had better really want to summit. At this point you both have slid down the mountain and are at base camp. It takes a monumental will and commitment from both of you to put in the extraordinary work required to get back where you started from. Think about it. Hard. If you don't think you have the will inside of you then you need to cut bait and face reality. Don't do it for the kids (if you have them). Otherwise you're wasting time. Your time. And everyday that goes by in this limbo fog is just like you taking a $100 bill out of your pocket and lighting it on fire....
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