Possible EA or just me being paranoid about a platonic friendship? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 173 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Possible EA or just me being paranoid about a platonic friendship?

I’ve posted on TAM a few times and I’ve been reading a few threads regarding EA’s so I thought I’d share my current story.

I’ve been married to my wife for 17 years. We have 3 kids 17,16, & 11. Wife had meltdown almost 3 years ago and basically emotionally detached from the marriage. WAW for sure. ILYBINILWY. So for the last 2 years or so we kind of evolved from totally imploded marriage to a slowly normalized relationship. Still no sex. But we went from a couple years ago sleeping in separate bedrooms total emotional distance (from her) to sleeping in the same bed to even her being comfortable partially naked around me. We’ve even gone on a few vacations abroad together.

She went back to school to better herself and found work. A big change from being a SAHM for many years. But through that time her demeanor went from constantly sullen and blue to upbeat and happier. We shared more fun and relaxed moments together. I began to think that we were turning things around.

Whenever we would talk about the state of our marriage she would, however, always regress to the memory of how much she put the marriage before herself throughout that time. She felt she lost herself and sees herself as weak in those years and that she never wants to become that person again. So a thought of us being together romantically in the future has never entered her mind. She fully believes that it will never happen and that eventually we will go our separate ways as soon as our youngest is off to college.

Now skip to a few weeks ago. She says she’s going to a lunch date with some friends and that she shouldn’t be long. I try texting her several times to get an update because I’m waiting at home with the kids to see what our plans should be, but she’s basically unreachable. I get a little worried because this is not like her to be gone for so long and without contact. Turns out she went to see the manatees in a marina not too far from home and that she was with just one of the 2 friends she originally planned to hang out with. Then a couple weeks later, while at work she texts me that she’s going to grab something where she works and will be home a little later than planned. I text back a little later, concerned because the weather reports show for tornado-type weather and that she should try to get home soon. No replies for about 2 hours. Then she arrives home. I asked her where she went for dinner and she said she went to happy hour and I asked where. She vaguely alludes to “over there”, which I kind of pick up on as a little evasive. That night, I’m sitting in our living room and her phone is on the coffee table at my feet. It lights up from a text message and I glance at it.

It’s from a person we’ll call Matt and it says “sleep well”. I kind of brush it off. But I’m curious.

Two nights later, with her phone on the coffee table, another texts lights up the phone. It’s from Matt asking “How’s your evening?” I become super suspicious, to say the least. Mind you, we haven’t fully reconciled at this point. She hasn’t told me she loves me in a romantic way for almost 3 years. Red flags start to come up. And I don’t sleep at all that night.

Two days later I ask who Matt is. She explains he is a coworker and a good friend. Even says that he’s kind of her confidant at work. And they can just talk so easily.

I know, how many red flags can you count???

I ask if there’s anything else going on that I should worry about. She says no. And I tell her that I am really uncomfortable with her spending time with another man. Given the state of our marriage, such a friendship could be dangerous. She replies, “Noted”.

This was 2 weeks ago. This past weekend we were in a grocery store and she wanted to send me something from her phone but didn’t know how. I asked to see her phone, to which at first she was hesitant. Finally she handed me her phone so that I could screencapture what she wanted to send to me and then text it to me. She hovered over me every second I had the phone. When she saw me open up her text messages she literally yelled, grabbed the phone from me, and tried to shrug me off saying she had to do something first. Yes, I had every intention to see what her messages were from Matt. When she finally gave back the phone, I went straight to her messages, with her hovering, and saw a string of texts from someone who’s initials are most likely that of Matt. They read about a camper van project that he couldn’t wait to show her. Prior to this she did mention that Matt was leaving in March to travel and settle west and that he wanted to hang out with her and other friends before he left. And on another occasion that a “friend” bought a campervan and was planning a trip out west. I immediately assume she’s talking about Matt.

We have another conversation and I tell how strange she acted in the grocery store. She says that it was so weird that I would try and go through her phone. I think to myself, “well it’s even weirder that you changed OM contact name to his initials, probably to throw me off the trail in case he texts you and I might see”. She then says, Matt is only a friend and he will remain my friend for as long as can be. I ask flatly, “Can I trust you? I need to know that I can trust you.” I tell her that I believe her to be a principled, moral person with integrity, which I believe. She says there is nothing bad going on. It’s only friendship.

Now I know I’m coming off as a possessive husband right now. But if our marriage was a happy and healthy one, I probably would have no problem with her having a guy friend. But it is the fact that she is spending time alone with this man and now being clearly secretive about it that concerns me to no end. I honestly don't think it is physical yet but I can sense the emotions are ramping up now that he will be leaving in a couple of weeks. And I know that every spouse couldn't possibly believe that their SO would cheat up until the moment they found out, or even later.

It’s been a rough couple of years for me. I’ve been on the outside hoping for reconciliation. She’s told me a few times how impressed at the changes that she has seen in me. Yet she sees no future for us together.

Do I live a lie for the next 6 years, supporting her and seeing her move on, even romantically? Or do I say “see ya” and live with wreckage. She wants to make no effort at rebuilding our marriage. So what is the point of living one more day like this? BTW the money she makes couldn’t possibly pay for her own apartment and affording to pay for one as well as her school wouldn’t be feasible either.

I’m ready for the beta male remarks and the “man the f*** up” demands. But I’m at that point now to make a very harsh decision that would cause a lot of heartache for a lot of people. The thought of my youngest son having to go through our divorce breaks my heart. I’m at work typing this and I’m about to lose it. But I can’t live this way any more. It’s like I’m a widower living with the ghost of my dead wife. She comes into my life, haunts me, and then drifts away. And then does it again and again.

The only glimmer of hope is that my therapist is also working to get her into IC and maybe try and work with her more. She went a while back, but stopped going. I think she’s very good at compartmentalizing her emotions and simply doesn’t want to address some of her deeper issues. Sad, really.

Anyway, bring on the abuse. I think I know what I need to do.

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post #2 of 173 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:26 PM
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Re: Possible EA or just me being paranoid about a platonic friendship?

What are you getting out of staying with her?
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post #3 of 173 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:29 PM
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Re: Possible EA or just me being paranoid about a platonic friendship?

Even if this was not a full blown affair (which I would bet that it is), why would you continue to live this way?

The marriage your kids see is one they will emulate as being normal. Is that what you want?

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #4 of 173 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:33 PM
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Re: Possible EA or just me being paranoid about a platonic friendship?

You call this a marriage? Seriously? She checked out a long time ago. Go find your man card. No sex in years? What's wrong with you? Do you not have any self confidence? Go find a woman that wants your d!ck every night. They are out there. You aren't getting any younger. Don't wait 7 years until the youngest turns 18. That's what she's doing, I guarantee it.

You need to be mad. Not just about the EA, but the fact that you let your POS wife walk over you. You are a doormat. You are a poor role model for your kids to show them what a successful and healthy relationship is. They are thinking your relationship is normal and will have an everlasting negative affect on them.

Please wake up. Let your sham of a marriage go. Sorry for being so blunt. But you are in serious denial or think you'll never find another woman again. Go find a new therapist, preferably a man. I'm curious.. are you seeing a Christian therapist that is anti-divorce?
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post #5 of 173 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Possible EA or just me being paranoid about a platonic friendship?

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Originally Posted by GuyInColorado View Post
You call this a marriage? Seriously? She checked out a long time ago. Go find your man card. No sex in years? What's wrong with you? Do you not have any self confidence? Go find a woman that wants your d!ck every night. They are out there. You aren't getting any younger. Don't wait 7 years until the youngest turns 18. That's what she's doing, I guarantee it.

You need to be mad. Not just about the EA, but the fact that you let your POS wife walk over you. You are a doormat. You are a poor role model for your kids to show them what a successful and healthy relationship is. They are thinking your relationship is normal and will have an everlasting negative affect on them.

Please wake up. Let your sham of a marriage go. Sorry for being so blunt. But you are in serious denial or think you'll never find another woman again. Go find a new therapist, preferably a man. I'm curious.. are you seeing a Christian therapist that is anti-divorce?
Everything you are saying is everything I have said to myself over the last 6 months. Yes, I'm seeing a Christian therapist who thinks reconciliation is possible. But even he has doubts. No self confidence, for sure.

I know what the hard choice is, I'm too chickens*** of the wreckage that will come. But in the end, it is probably for the best.
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post #6 of 173 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:46 PM
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Re: Possible EA or just me being paranoid about a platonic friendship?

Did something happen in your marriage that caused her not to love you anymore?

What happened 3 years ago?

She's checked out emotionally and I believe is only staying with you for financial reasons, she may leave when things get better for her job wise.
Is this Matt guy married or single?



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post #7 of 173 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:47 PM
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Re: Possible EA or just me being paranoid about a platonic friendship?

Sir, I would call the ball on this one. Specifically for this:

Quote:
So a thought of us being together romantically in the future has never entered her mind. She fully believes that it will never happen and that eventually we will go our separate ways as soon as our youngest is off to college.
And to add the HUGE red flag concerning the coworker who is working your W.

Sorry you are here. The entire marriage looks to be in shambles.

“You're painfully alive in a drugged and dying culture.”
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post #8 of 173 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:49 PM
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Re: Possible EA or just me being paranoid about a platonic friendship?

You are a great candidate for the 180. You need to start living in separate rooms. Don't do anything with her. Only interact with her about the kids. You need to hit the gym hard, every day. Eat and drink healthy. Time to work on you. Find a new therapist. Find a good attorney and start the divorce. She wants to end this misery too. You both don't have the courage to do it. It will be a hard conversation but you both will be relieved. Keep the divorce fair and amicable. It will help with the co-parenting and you guys should be able to be friends later on and be in the same room for life events. You can do this. I and many others on this site have done it. The hardest part is telling her it's over and start the divorce process.
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post #9 of 173 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:58 PM
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Re: Possible EA or just me being paranoid about a platonic friendship?

I gotta agree with the others ... your WW is most likely having a full blown PA with ole Matt. There are simply way too many big waving red flags to ignore.

I understand your hesitancy, I've been D'd with kids before and it will be messy for a few months, BUT THEN you will kick yourself for putting up with the **** sandwich she has been serving you. I'm now 25+ years out from that time ... my kids are both happy, contributing members of society with their own families and all in all, life is good.

Also, based on your descriptions and my own experiences, the few months of dealing with a messy D are actually much better than the Hell you're living in right now, and when the judge signs those final orders, you will feel like a bird let out of its cage.

Go ahead and pull the trigger and have WW served with D papers, and with any luck, she may decide to head out west with ole Matt in that oh so romantic campervan pulled by unicorns. She's in deep and wants out, just doesn't want to be the bad guy ... give her that freedom and leverage her "being in lurve" to negotiate a favorable property and custody settlement. You hold more cards than you realize ... strike now while the opportunity presents itself that Matt will keep her distracted.

Go see the best D attorney in your area ... keep that info close to your vest ... and reclaim the rest of your life.
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post #10 of 173 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:59 PM
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Re: Possible EA or just me being paranoid about a platonic friendship?

You are paying for her schooling.
You are paying for her entertainment at bars.
You are paying for her roof over her head.
You are paying for her food, her water, her heat and her A/C.

You are paying her while she cavorts with another man. EA, PA. whatever.

Her heart is not yours.
Her lips are not yours
Her boobs are not yours.
Her warm? fold is not yours.

These things belong to the Other Man.
And yet, you are paying her for her misbehavior. Her Mrs.Behavior. She is your wife but someone else's lover.

This is obvious.

Now, according to her, OM is moving away to another state soon. Your wife went there long ago. She is in another state....of mind. A non-married one.

Look, you two have been room mates for years. You and her get no sex.

Guess what? She wants sex. She needs sex. She wants intimacy, She wants companionship.

She found hers. Let her go.

Go find yours. Do not snoop. Do not Snoop Doggy style. She done the deed. She liked it. Why would she not?

But why continue paying her to cheat on you. She dumped you but forgot to tell you. Oh, she did, didn't she?

Let her go off on her own. Do not enable her. Stop paying for her infidelity.

She deserves a new start.

You deserve a new start.

Pay for yours, she pays for hers.

Uh, any questions?


This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out.

The Lion in Winter. Invictus..By Will, Shall... Saved from harm by my friends.
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post #11 of 173 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 03:11 PM
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Re: Possible EA or just me being paranoid about a platonic friendship?

It's probably a PA, but you already know that. Personally, if I were in your shoes I'd probably need proof that it was a PA to file for divorce. Take her phone and run some phone recovery software on it. Or if it's an iPhone go into the message thread and hit the information button on the upper right hand corner. That will show the images that were recently sent via text, even if they were deleted. Once you get what you need, divorce her. You'll be much happier moving on from her and it will be good for you to end the relationship on your terms instead of waiting for the inevitable.
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post #12 of 173 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 03:15 PM
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Re: Possible EA or just me being paranoid about a platonic friendship?

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Originally Posted by squid1035 View Post
Everything you are saying is everything I have said to myself over the last 6 months. Yes, I'm seeing a Christian therapist who thinks reconciliation is possible. But even he has doubts. No self confidence, for sure.

I know what the hard choice is, I'm too chickens*** of the wreckage that will come. But in the end, it is probably for the best.
Why would you bother try to R with her when she says she's gone when your youngest goes to college. Right now all she's doing is cake eating. Dump her now. All the kids are ssing right now is much worse than a divorce will be.

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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post #13 of 173 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 03:22 PM
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Re: Possible EA or just me being paranoid about a platonic friendship?

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Originally Posted by squid1035 View Post
But if our marriage was a happy and healthy one, I probably would have no problem with her having a guy friend.

Do I live a lie for the next 6 years, supporting her and seeing her move on, even romantically? Or do I say “see ya” and live with wreckage. She wants to make no effort at rebuilding our marriage. So what is the point of living one more day like this? B
If you had a happy and healthy marriage, you still should have a problem with this friend. It's way past a reasonable marital boundary and likely an EA; possibly a PA. She wouldn't try to hide it otherwise.

But since your wife is treating you like a rented mule; this is more than boundary breaking. It's likely just her first step toward seeking an exit affair. If not with him, then with someone else soon after. She's literally daring you to divorce her.

There's no marriage to save here friend. Your wife couldn't be any more clear about it. At this point her EA is secondary to your willingness to be abused by her.

So yes, your best option is to say "see ya". I would think that the immediate "wreckage" you envision should you pull the trigger now, will pale in comparison to wasting more miserable years of your life before she eventually finds someone to facilitate that exit affair. Then you'll have to deal with that pain too.

Move on. Find a woman that loves and respects you.

Last edited by badmemory; 02-14-2017 at 03:35 PM.
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post #14 of 173 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 03:24 PM
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Re: Possible EA or just me being paranoid about a platonic friendship?

You know what needs to be done. The question is simply, "Can you do it?" you have no real marriage. Your wife has told you she does not love you.

Why do you think a divorce would be "wreckage"? In many instances, the people who divorce end up in a much better place after divorce. If you think you are protecting your kids, think again. Children are observant and you are teaching them that a loveless marriage is okay. Do they ever see you hug or kiss your wife? They are not stupid. By divorcing, but doing so amicably, you teach them how to take charge of a bad situation. You can tell them the truth. They are old enough.

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post #15 of 173 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 03:25 PM
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Re: Possible EA or just me being paranoid about a platonic friendship?

The one thing that is absolutely certain without a shadow of a doubt is that, at minimum, Matt is a pathetic orbiter trying to sneak his way in, if he has not already.

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