Thought All Was Good--Not so After All--Thinking Divorce after 20 Years
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Thought All Was Good--Not so After All--Thinking Divorce after 20 Years

I thought I had a great marriage. Yes, we had problems, but overall I thought we were lucky and had a better marriage then many others.

I have realized lately that I really didn't have the marriage I thought I had. I feel I no longer love my wife and I am seriously thinking about leaving her.

My wife had maintained contact with a couple of old boyfriends. I didn't realize the extent of the contact. She has not met with them, I know this for sure, but has contacted them via email and facebook.

It seems she has been chasing them for a long time. The comments she has made to me is how great her life is and what a great marriage we have.

However, given her continued pursuit of these other married guys, and the context of the conversation, saying how great they are to them, has greatly diminished my feelings for her. I am thinking I simply don't love her anymore.

I don't understand why she has maintained this contact. Obviously she needs them or something from them. They did not treat her well and I guess I was too nice.

Regardless, I really don't love her the same anymore. I am tired of there being other men in the picture, even if not physical. And, actually, I didn't realize the extent of her contact with them until recently. I just don't feel like I can love her the same anymore. I don't feel like I will ever love her the same ever again.

I know she will be devastated but I don't understand her need to always pursue these other guys. She is obviously missing something or she wouldn't maintain the contact. It has sucked the love out of me.

I hate feeling this way after 20 years of marriage but it seems I can't get past this.

Anyone else ever faced something like this?
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thought All Was Good--Not so After All--Thinking Divorce after 20 Years

It sounds as if this was along the lines of an emotional affair (EA). Are you familiar with the dangers of EA's? Just wanted to point out that if you ask the mods to move this to the Coping with Infidelity section, you'll probably find support by dozens of people who have been through similar issues. I'm sorry for what you are going through. I've been married for 24 years, and news like this would be devastating.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thought All Was Good--Not so After All--Thinking Divorce after 20 Years

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Originally Posted by Halien View Post
It sounds as if this was along the lines of an emotional affair (EA). Are you familiar with the dangers of EA's? Just wanted to point out that if you ask the mods to move this to the Coping with Infidelity section, you'll probably find support by dozens of people who have been through similar issues. I'm sorry for what you are going through. I've been married for 24 years, and news like this would be devastating.
I am not real familiar with the dangers of EA (I imagine this is very serious) but I can say from my perspective they are devastating to emotional health of the marriage and devastating to self esteem. I read that my wife remembered exactly what he was wearing and what he was eating when they met 25 years ago. The tone was filled with admiration of/for him. Yet he never even gave her a birthday card.

Thank you...how would I get this moved to the Infidelity Section?

Last edited by TooNiceDave; 12-19-2011 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thought All Was Good--Not so After All--Thinking Divorce after 20 Years

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I am not real familiar with the dangers of EA (I imagine this is very serious) but I can say from my perspective they are devastating to emotional health of the marriage and devastating to self esteem. I read that my wife remembered exactly what he was wearing and what he was eating when they met 25 years ago. The tone was filled with admiration of/for him. Yet he never even gave her a birthday card.

Thank you...how would I get this moved to the Infidelity Section?
I think you can send a private message to Amplexor, Deejo, or any of the other moderators to get it moved.
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thought All Was Good--Not so After All--Thinking Divorce after 20 Years

While you're still sorting out your situation, start thinking about securing your assets so that you're protected in case you separate or divorce.

Also, remove yourself from any joint bank accounts and credit cards.

Maybe update your will?
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thought All Was Good--Not so After All--Thinking Divorce after 20 Years

Why dont you ask her. Or do you find this difficult. Her answer could help you a lot either way.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thought All Was Good--Not so After All--Thinking Divorce after 20 Years

I think you should get to counselling if you can, pronto.

There is no excuse whatsoever for an EA, she needs to learn a more appropriate support system, and if you want to repair the marriage you will need to figure that part out. (she will have to express her needs and you will have to meet them, not someone else).

Get a bit tough here. Tell her it's unacceptable.
She should stop contacting them.
You should both seek counselling or honestly talk about why. I think you are right in wondering why she is doing this.

And in the meantime, please consider looking into this further. Make sure it's only emotional emails. Dig hard.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thought All Was Good--Not so After All--Thinking Divorce after 20 Years

Moved from 'Long-term Success in Marriage' forum
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thought All Was Good--Not so After All--Thinking Divorce after 20 Years

You need to be firm in telling her exactly why this contact is inapprorpriate.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thought All Was Good--Not so After All--Thinking Divorce after 20 Years

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Originally Posted by TooNiceDave View Post
I am not real familiar with the dangers of EA (I imagine this is very serious) but I can say from my perspective they are devastating to emotional health of the marriage and devastating to self esteem. I read that my wife remembered exactly what he was wearing and what he was eating when they met 25 years ago. The tone was filled with admiration of/for him. Yet he never even gave her a birthday card.

Thank you...how would I get this moved to the Infidelity Section?
Your feelings are quite understandable. I would feel the same way. While I do think you should protect your long term interests I suggest that you go ahead anyway and shut down this activity.

Now of course we cannot control other people but we can have our own boundaris for what is acceptable. So I suggest you calmly but clearly state to your wife that she must go total NC with her previous lovers immediately. No tapering off. Cold turkey. These are emotional affairs. They are very serious and destroy marriages. If she protests that is a bad sign of course. Tell her this is a boundary for you and not acceptable in your marriage. If she starts using words like controlling and her privacy and her freedom you are getting the rhetoric of someone who is well into the EA and getting the cheating mindset. Then you just have to be firm. You tell her that if she does not go immediate NC you will be proceeding with a divorce.

IMO married partners should have zero contact with past lovers. That would start for sure after engagement let alone marriage. Previous lovers are instant problems because they have already been there and can fall back in bed in moments upon upon meeting again. It happens.

Also while you are certain they have not met, understand that many cheated on husbands are certain their wives have not met with the OM. Distance is but a smal deterent. If there are mutilple men then the odds become even worse.

This is a boundaries problem. Her pursuing these guys is huge. It basically tells them she is theirs for the taking. It would be bad enough of they pursued her and she allowed it. I also suggest that you and her together do the His Needs Her Needs. Part of this is discussing, defining and agreeing upon boundaries.

It should be noted that an OM is pretty much a fantasy. So she finds you less attractive these days and is looking for that old feeling. This scenario plays itself out time and time again. Visit Married Man Sex Life. Fantasy or not she has shared intimacy with these guys and is pursuing this again. Her feeling she can stop any time but just does not want to right now is playing just the tip. This stuff accelerates very quickly.

Also see the Men's section and look into whether you have been too much of a Nice Guy and need to do some manning up.
It seems women lose respect and attraction for men who are too nice to them. Go figure.

Are you guys spending time together? Some say fifteen hours of one on one time is essential per week. Are you and she going out on dates and having regular enjoyable sex?

Is she around the age of 40? You may have said this already but are these OM married or in long term relationships? How can you be so certain they have not met up or are not planning this?

Last edited by Entropy3000; 12-21-2011 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thought All Was Good--Not so After All--Thinking Divorce after 20 Years

You judge a person by their actions and not by their words and her actions speak volumes. She loves her lifestyle but also enjoys being in emotional affairs with other men for a long time. She has been emotionally cheating on you for a long time.

My guess is that you are a nice guy and your wife engaged in these behaviors for a long time because she knew she could get away with it and you would forgive her anyway if found out. If the roles were reversed would she have been so accepting as you? No consequences to her actions equals no motivation to change.

She should not be devastated that you want a divorce because she engaged in activities that guaranteed you would want a divorce. Her long term emotional cheating with other men down deep shows she has little respect for you whatsoever. If you do not respect yourself then who will? I wish you luck.
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thought All Was Good--Not so After All--Thinking Divorce after 20 Years

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You judge a person by their actions and not by their words and her actions speak volumes. She loves her lifestyle but also enjoys being in emotional affairs with other men for a long time. She has been emotionally cheating on you for a long time.

My guess is that you are a nice guy and your wife engaged in these behaviors for a long time because she knew she could get away with it and you would forgive her anyway if found out. If the roles were reversed would she have been so accepting as you? No consequences to her actions equals no motivation to change.

She should not be devastated that you want a divorce because she engaged in activities that guaranteed you would want a divorce. Her long term emotional cheating with other men down deep shows she has little respect for you whatsoever. If you do not respect yourself then who will? I wish you luck.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thought All Was Good--Not so After All--Thinking Divorce after 20 Years

Check out No More Mr. Nice Guy. The book is probably in your local library. Nomoremrniceguy dot com / forums is a great support group resource.

I would advise you to install spyware on her computer before having any further talks with her about this. A keylogger to capture all of her emails, secret emails, IM messages, Facebook messages, etc. This is so you can verify that she is telling you the truth.

Let's say you approach her saying that you find her contact to be contrary to fidelity to your marriage. If she is innocent she may resist a bit, but she will cut off contact. If she is in an EA she may take it underground. If she has had any kind of PA with these men it may be mentioned. Thus the keylogger allows you to see what she writes to them so you can verify what she tells you.

She is violating marriage vows with an EA. You have the right to know what is going on. You have the right to make an informed decision about your marriage.

edited to add: Don't go nuclear to fast. Take a little time to process the information and for her to adjust to your new boundaries. Seek marriage therapy if she is willing to participate. If not, consider going yourself. With a little bit of time and some additional perspective/info you will feel confident in your decision one way or the other.
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