I understand the frustration with a spouse who will not respond when you tell them clearly what you need. This is often coupled with them not telling you what is missing for them.. what they need. I get this. I've lived this. I gave up.
The reason that your wife responded this last time is that you let her know that you were dead serious, that you were going to leave. It's sad that it took that for her to start to wake up.
But now that you are in an affair, your marriage cannot grow to it's full potential even if she became your perfect wife. Your attention is elsewhere.
There are some books that I think you would benefit from... Dr. Harley is the author of all of them.
It's crazy that it took me moving out of the house for her to change. I still am not sure if it's too late. I'm not saying so much because of her improved attitude but more because of the damage caused from this relationship.
It really is an agonizing feeling living in one place and longing & yearning to be somewhere else. Being in limbo is hell on earth.
I close my eyes and imagine my life 10 years from now... or even 3-5 years from now... and it's a total blur. I can't see anything in my future but fog.
Speaking of FOG, I also want to thank the members who cautioned me in the "trance-like" in-love state I have been feeling. I know it's so easy to have the blinders on when being under this type of influence.
Many of you think the feelings are not really genuine, but I assure you they ARE and very much so. Even if the relationship isn't completely genuine the feelings are. It has always made more sense to me to leave a marriage if it was BAD (or cannot be improved). While I don't think my "madly in love feelings" could ever resurface again with another person (including my wife), the fact is she has worked so hard and done too many good things to deserve to be divorced for another woman let alone a cheater for a husband.
The one promise I can give at this point forward is that if I stay I will make it my mission to be the very best husband and father I can be. I'm either going "all-in" with my family or "all-in" with the fantasy that will likely never work out. Chances are common sense will previal in this case.
The madly in love feeling can indeed come about again for another person... probably even your wife if the two of you work at it with the books linked to in my signature block.
Iíve had those crazy in-love feelings before that you talk about. Iíve had them for different men at different times in my life. They tend to go away over time if the relationship is not properly nurtured.
Even in a long term marriage that has gone sour, there are ways to get those brain chemicals going. Itís the brain chemicals that have you feeling so high in your affair. And if you do the work needed you can get them flowing in your marriage as well.
Mmm I did not have a wife who cheated for 4 years once I had one who cheated continually for 6/7 - the same thing really.
One thing I will say about you and you wont like it is that you are a cruel cruel heartless man. To your wife and children
This is a choice you have made
Add to that a compulsive liar deceiver and dishonest to the core
If I asked you if you would want to fall in love with a person like that I suspect you'd say "Who me, never not in a million years, that is a horrible nasty vindictive person I could never entertain the idea of being in love with someone like that"
Guess what ?
Quality people have integrity. They choose not to cheat.
Start listing the qualities of a one who cheats and you have a rather undesireable list of traits.
Not anyone to be associated with and not anyone you can trust. This is not as much moral as it is pragmatic.
All else equal are people who don't cheat better human beings than those who cheat?
Most certainly they are. Would you be a better person in stopping the cheating. Absolutely.
I understand EAs and I understand how one can make the poor choices to go down that road. But there is no way to cover up the continued path of a cheater.
Through all of this obfuscation and attacking of people this is really very simple. Make a choice. Then follow it through. The damage is done. What you do with this situation defines who you are. You choose.
You're good with words and that's what's got you through a lot of your life's scrapes - slippery smart intelligent confident but arrogant. I've met people like you but for me it's easy to see what kind of a person you really are and I said it in my first post
I would not like to acqauint you, you're deep down not a decent honest human being. You are happy to deliver heartless death cruelty and destruction at the door of those who have shown you the most love of all and the truth is without even stopping for a second
You're dishonest at your very core. What you'll never get, for all your smartness, is how transparent you are and once all this comes out (like it will at some point) hopefully your wife and kids will treat you how you really deserve to be treated.
I don't offer you any advice (you'd want to 'discuss' it for four years)
I personally can care less what you think. You have no idea the pain and frustration that I have dealt with for years.... YEARS prior to the relationship I recently had.
I realize people cannot control emotions, but they can control their actions. Engaging with this affair was a willful choice of mine... but when you get to the point where you no longer value the marriage (or the relationship) as I and your x-wife had something's gotta give.
What you don't understand is the situation of a SEMI-HAPPY MARRIAGE. It's a marriage that is not quite "bad enough" to quit and leave outright, yet not "good enough" to be emotionally fulfilling.
I have a feeling a good portion of the long-term affairs may be surrounded in marriages that are of this nature. I urge you to research it and investigate.
As "heartless" as you think I am... believe me... as much pain & suffering I have gone through I can only imagine it's probably 1,000 times worse when for the injured party that gets dumped for someone else. I was on the verge on vacating my marriage twice. I'm not sure if your x-wife threatened to leave a couple times (or even moved out like I did). Being on either side of the situation is awful. I honestly don't understand why these things happen, but they do! Never in a million years did I imagine the same thing would happen to be (but it did).
You say I am "HAPPY" to deliver "heartless death & cruelty"??? Sorry to burst your bubble, guy, but if I was a happy camper I wouldn't have even subscribed to this board (duh). Secondly, how dare you insinuate "those who have shown me the most love of all". Every situation is different, and you have NOT lived in my shoes. Quit generalizing your personal experiences on other people.
When people get married it's all about "LOVE & ROMANCE". But when they get divorced it's like a business liquidation. 50% of marriages end in divorce, man. Your case is far from uncommon. The only comparable consolation I can express is that deep down you probably feel vulnerable and hurt and seriously longing for an opportunity to have made things right (or better) for your ex-wife so that she never left. If you had the "magic formula" to prevent her affair from happening, etc. I'm certain you would like to do whatever you could to keep the love of your life from slipping through your fingers.
Although my situation isn't as "politically correct" as yours, please understand that in my heart I truly believe this other woman *IS* the love of my life. To most injured souls on this board it's nothing but a mere "fantasy". But from my experience the relationship was inhibited by secrecy to allow it to flourish. The relationship with my wife started to go downhill years before this other experience. So many couples (myself included) seem to just go on our merry way while the relationship dissipates into nothing. Once either party reaches a point where they just don't care anymore, chances are it's too late.
I really am sorry about the situation you are in. It's obvious you are angry, pissed off, and hurting about what happened. In my case, I'm trying my hardest to find the answers to help me do the right thing (whatever that may be). I don't expect sympathy from any of these boardmembers. But venting on this board was a very smart move of mine because it clearly showed STRONG OPINIONS on the opposite side I was looking for. Unfortunately for me, in your case Headspin your head is already spinning from your personal suffering that your input is heavily skewed toward hate & anger to those in my position. So any advice that you could have offered really isn't useful for me. But to the others that actually THOUGHT first (before writing & venting), I personally thank you for doing your due diligence in speaking the truth as you see it.
p.s. Much of the haters on this board love to assume "once a cheater, always a cheater"... as if to give them peace when their spouse leaves them for someone else the same thing will happen to them. Although quite often things don't work out (and the spouse who left is begging to come back) every now & then the spouse that left states leaving the marriage was the best move they made.
Sometimes people DO marry the wrong person! Although it's very hurtful, it isn't intentional. To those who are grieving all they want is the straying spouse to STAY and WORK THINGS OUT. But do they really care if their spouse is grieving for being in an unhealthy relationship? I'm not saying that Headspin intentionally did things to make his relationship "bad" or "unhealthy" to push his Ex out the door.
If anything, the one thing I have learned tonight is that if a marriage is worth saving it's probably a FAR better idea to invest every energy possible into saving it then go through the hell & turmoil of a divorce.
My emotional state is probably just as "imbalanced" as Headspin's. All I see is how desperately I want to live my life with the person I'm in love with. My "love blinders" prevented me from seeing the destructive aftermath (to its fullest). Obviously I would only truly FEEL it if & when that was to happen... but given the very strong cautionary opinions seriously made this contemplation of mine a huge wakeup call. As much as I love this person, I don't think I have it in me to cause all of this destruction. I believe that is why I avoided following through in the first place. Considering how long I've been stretched in limbo, my heart has led me to believe the only way out of this "hell-hole" was to "man up" and divorce my wife & family. But most people state I should do the opposite.
So do I pay the price for marrying the wrong person? Or do I pay the price for this affair? Or both? I have already lived nearly 4 years in depression. I guess the question remains as to how much "cost" will be involved.
I stopped reading after post #23 above, so if the situation has changed then please disregard my comments. I saw so much of myself in you and your story that reading your post made me sick. I don't know how to sugarcoat this. You are so far in the fog that you don't know which end is up. You weren't trying to justify the affair??? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah..... keep telling yourself that, because we both know that it exactly what you were trying to do. I can't honestly believe that I don't feel a certain level of compassion and understanding for you because the same Bull $hit that you tried to pass off to this very "infidelity-wise" group of people, here, came out of my mouth/keyboard just 2 months ago. I posted a link below. Just read my first two or three posts. That's all you'll need to get the gist of the situation.
If you had one drop of the integrity that you claim to have then you would tell your wife the truth and give her an opportunity to decide if she even wants to reconcile the marriage with you. I know what you're thinking.... you're thinking, "Huh, I don't know if I even want to reconcile the marriage.... after all, I've found my soul mate." Fine, then, give your wife a divorce and go be with your soul mate. Of course go in with the knowledge that you and your soul mate are both cheaters. BTW, I know you think that your kids will understand because they love you and they will just want for you to be happy, right? WRONG!!! My grown daughter cried and cried for days, she was devastated, disappointed and felt as though I had betrayed her as well as her father. My 22 y/o old son, who had never in his entire life had one cross word with me didn't speak to me for days and then he moved out. My 19 y/o son yelled, screamed, cursed and cried.... asked me many of the same questions that his father, my husband, had asked. He said that I had betrayed our whole family and he asked me if, while he was having a very serious surgery last year, I was thinking about the OM. The truth is, I was texting the OM in the waiting room while my son was having surgery. This same son wanted to go confront the OM.... my husband and I managed to calm him down and make him understand that no good could come from that. Can you imagine how much more guilt I would be living with now if my son had confronted the OM and something had gone terribly wrong? It makes me sick just thinking about this.
You say that you and the OW are "in love." Well, that fabulous.... you do understand that your problems will become her problems and her problems will become your problems, and all of the carnage (i.e., family) that you've left behind will become both of your problems. Maybe your affair is the one in a million that is different.... special..... Oh, heck yeah. I know, mine was, too! Then go, be with her.... but don't expect your wife to play the part of the understanding ex-wife and be your new best friend. It won't happen that way. I know you think it will. These are your own words: "unfortunately i cannot say anything severely negative about my wife that she did that could warrant a divorce or me cheating on her. even though i expressed (several times) throughout the years disappointments and shortcomings that i would like to see improved it continuously goes in 1 ear and out the other (i guess that's my fault too for picking a wife that doesn't care enough about my feelings to improve things)"
These were mine: "My husband is a good man, a good provider, and a good father, but he gave me very little emotional and physical intimacy throughout most of our marriage and none in the last several years...... I tried very hard to make him understand that I was dying inside from the loneliness, isolation and emptiness. I told him that I could no longer live this way and, still, he made no changes."
I looked through my first post and I could practically match my comments to yours 1:1.
So, two months after my first post here and my husband and I are in the process of reconciling. Very long story..... just read the last few posts of the link to his thread. What a difference 2 months makes. I was angry, bitter, resentful, defiant, I felt entitled to be happy at whatever the cost, because, like you, I was a good person, with lots of integrity. Why, I had even led such a sacrificial life up to that point, that surely no one would begrudge me the right to be truly happy, right?...... I hope you see the sarcasm that I am directing at myself.
At this point I know that you are not receptive to what I'm saying. I know you think you're different. I don't think you are.
It's never too late to start doing the right thing.... you can regain your integrity and your self-respect and be the husband and father that you committed yourself to be or divorce your wife and be with your AP, of course, she has to rip her family apart first, too. And, whether you are married to your wife or not you are still obligated to provide for your children who you say are still young. What you can't do is have it all. You can't have your clueless, trusting wife who is home taking care of your family, while you're out spending time, money, energy and affection on your girlfriend (who your children will most likely despise) and your self-respect. Grow a set, get off of the fence and act like a real man.
BTW, my husband and I are in IC and MC and we are happier, stronger, wiser, healthier and more in love than we have ever been in our lives. It hasn't been easy, nor do I expect it will be any time in the foreseeable future. But, I can say I've never been happier or felt more loved in my entire life.
I got to page 8, got tired of the same stuff posted over and over again so I jumped ahead to here. My apologies if I missed something relevant.
I cheated on my wife. I've told my story a few times in here, so I'm not going to repeat the entire thing again. But at some point after cheating, I had to decide what I was going to do. Stay and try to work things out? Go? Tell my wife?
In the end, I knew my marriage was over. That's why I cheated... At that point, I was checked out and knew my wife wasn't the partner I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. So trying to work things out would have been pointless. But if I did try to work things out, the only way I would have thought it possible would have been complete honesty with her, including the affairs (there were two).
So I ended my marriage. I didn't tell her about my affairs. My rationalization for that was that it would hurt her unnecessarily, and she has enough self esteem issues already. I'm sure that part of that is pure rationalization on my part to avoid looking like a cheating ass, as opposed to protecting her from unnecessary pain, but there you go.
Now, I didn't leave to be with someone else. My affairs had both ended prior to me moving out, and I had no desires to meet with either of my affair partners after I was on my own. Obviously, if you move out of your house and in with someone else, your wife is likely to suspect there's been an affair.
In the end (20 months later), my relationship with my STBXW is amicable, and I attribute a lot of that to the fact that she didn't know I cheated on her. Because our relationship is amicable, the kids are as unscathed as possible in all this. I would suspect if my wife and I were at each others throats, the kids would be much more likely to be traumatized by this.
For this reason alone, I'd recommend NOT telling your wife about the affair. Wait until your divorce is finalized and a "respectable" time period has passed before bringing your OW into your public life. This means not moving in together, not meeting each others familys as "daddy's friend", etc.
Your other option is to try to make your marriage work. But not the half-assed try you've done in the past. This means either you or your OW quits your job. It means NC, and handing over all your passwords, account credentials, etc. to your wife. It means telling your wife you cheated, and marriage and individual counseling as required. It will likely not be any easier or less fun than divorcing.
Oh, and I guess there's one more option... Living in limbo, waiting for the sh1t to hit the fan. And then moving on with reconciling or divorcing (unamicably). In the end, the result is the same as the other two, but you will have wasted (potentially) years of 4 adults lives while you refuse to get off the fence.
I believe this started after the birth of our first child. Also, we went through a home rennovation... and her attitude was severely (and unforgiveably) unpleasant then.
There were times when I would caution her about health & safety issues (go in one ear and out the other). Sure enough, 1st child got injured because she wasn't looking and needed stitches. She took it upon herself to sneak the kids to the doctors behind my back for flu shots (even though I am not a proponent of flu shots, she is). Stuff like that.
Sex would occur about 2x-3x a month. Before we married it was 3x-4x a week. I was also disappointed in our honeymoon (was more like a vacation than a honeymoon). I can go on & on.
I'm NOT saying this to justify the affair. I'm explaining why I was unhappy that possibly led to the affair happening.
One of the reasons why you justify your cheating on your wife is because she took your children to have flu shots? Seriously? That's it?
RAHHHHHH! God! That made me so angry!
It is from Cheater's Talk 101.
I doubt that any point you have against your wife is based on reality, as they have been distorted and magnified beyond all reason.
Blimey! 181 replies and 13 pages in less than 12 hours of posting thread. That had got to be a new Olympic record! A world record! And a new personal best!
I knew you would get a strong reaction from reading your post last night. There were about 5 replies. I didn't think it would be that good though! Well done Richard I think you should give yourself a pat on the back for that!
Yes... Do you think he might get our British sense of cynical irony, old chap?
What you don't understand is the situation of a SEMI-HAPPY MARRIAGE.
You keep spouting this like it is some sort of holy mantra. You got that expression from books and websites that i drop on the "ignore-everything-else-feel-good-about-yourself". This is a category i mentally created for every piece of text that doesn't really help you in any way but can be used as self justification for whatever you want to do.
There are a lot of stuff that falls into this category. These days some psychologists create names for everything because we all know that labels make people feel better.
Typical situation i deal with everyday due to profession:
"You not horrible parents, it's just that your kid has [insert bulsh!t disorder here]"
"Mother" (biological meaning here)
"Thank you so much Dr. Quack, i can finally resume banging the neighbour with my son in the house when my husband goes for out for drugs."
Due to situations like this people miss the chance to improve themselves and makes things work. They just flee the situation and head for something that may well be worse (in the example, usually pumping the kid with drugs).
People who write these books are in it for themselves. They know that marriages can't be 100% happy all the time (many of the people who write this stuff have unstable marriages themselves, yet think nothing of offering advice). What they offer in exchange for your cash is a feel-good band-aid and some crap advice that can't be followed by normal people because we can't spend weeks dealing with the stuff. We have to work, take care of kids and we tire.
How many people have dream marriages when everything falls into place with no lows? I sure don't know any. Is everyone in a semi-happy marriage at some point in their marriages then? And it does beg the question. Are you sure you want to be married? Because, even though you don't want to hear this, there will be a time when things will not be so dreamy with that other woman.
People, you included, should realize that a marriage isn't a bed of roses. It will have obstacles, it will have friction and unhappiness. The thing is how you overcome it.
It has always been this way since marriage was "invented". The curious thing is that people these days often choose to just embark in the next "great" thing. Often to find themselves terribly disappointed.
I personally find it very unlikely that my wife could reach the intimate connection I've discovered with the OW. No doubt things could get way better than they are now, but nowhere near the same. In terms of THIS aspect, your heart definitely tells you the truth.
I think the problem with post-affair marriages is the turmoil from the aftermath of the breakup. Like another poster stated... 10% chance of lasting 3 years. And another 10% chance beyond that. That's like... a 1% chance of success (although, in reality it's probably 3%-5%).
I am actually very confident in the closeness & intimacy part that I feel with the OW. That's all good. I am more nervous about the turmoil & aftermath taking its toll. Assuming the other (injured parties) successfully move on, there's still the terrible toll of the aftermath. My problems become hers. Her problems become mine. And the aftermath problems become BOTH of ours (that was a GREAT post EmptyInside), and so true.
It's because of all the external crap that I fear the relationship would fail. Regardless, you guys make it sound so easy to simply let a person you are so deeply in love with go. It's not uncommon for anyone who feels so desperately in love to try to do whatever it takes to be with that person. So even if you actually think staying with the wife is the right choice, I guess you just choose to "ignore" your feelings and hope they go away over time?
Well, I've also heard numerous stories of people that chose that path and years & decades later... still feeling some regret they didn't take the chance on "the one that got away", and how they still sometimes think of them and miss them. Obviously not to the level & extreme when it's in-your-face like I'm experiencing today (I'm sure that fades over time).
I don't argue that it makes sense to try to work things out with the wife. In NORMAL circumstances, people marry each other because they have felt a lot of passion for each other and chose the person that was best-suited for them. I was young & naive and feel I settled by choosing a person that was "best-suited" but one that we both did not necessarily feel immense mutual passion for. Knowing this, does that make a difference?
You just reasoned away why you feel you have no passion with your wife. Because you gave it away to the OW.
Do not give me that soul mate crap. When two people meet, have an attraction, have children it usually involves passion.
In most long term marriages that passion grows between 2 spouses, the level of love and committment grows between 2 spouses.
But not when one spouse takes that passion/love and gives it to another. You have had 3 people in your marriage. You short changed not only yourself but your wife and OW of a true passionate relationship.
That is what you do not see. Because you could have that relationship with your wife, you just do not want to.
You are blind Richard. You blinded your own heart and your GF helped you do it.
What a waste of 4 years for you, your Gfand most especially your wife.