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Coping with Infidelity Relationship recovery from the destructiveness of infidelity.

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Old 01-03-2013, 01:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question To Love or Not to Love, that is the question.

Hi everyone, I am new to the site and would like to seek any advice you kind people can give me. I have been married for 7 years. We have 2 kids the youngest is 18 months. Our youngest has been quite a challenge - often waking up at night 4-5 times. After his birth my wife and I didn't have as much time for each other and being very tired did not help our intimacy.

About 2 months ago I discovered that my wife had been having what I would call an EA with a guy she knew through work and who was also the father of our oldest child's best friend. She said all contact would stop and that she loved me and it was stupid etc. I tried to take her on dates and generally tried to reconnect with her. She just didn't seem all that into it.

About a month ago I checked the phone records and found that they had still been talking although the frequency was much reduced - about 5 times over the whole month. I was livid and kicked her out of the house for the night. I felt that it was over, but she seemed to have a true change of heart and began showing me affection and said she really wanted our marriage to work. This seemed to last a little more than a week and then we had a fight about what happened. I still had feelings of anger over everything that had happened and regrettably let them out. After that she began to withdraw from me once again.

That brings us to the present day. When I ask her she will say things like - it is not you it is me. I really want to be in love with you but I don't know why I can't. I love you so much you are such a good husband and father I don't know why I can't get those feelings for you back. During the time she says these things she is sobbing and crying. Has anyone ever experienced this before? I don't believe she has had contact with the OM in the past month. She will also say ' I am trying really hard to get those feelings back'.

I have tried a number of things like trying to have us sit and talk every night for at least 15 minutes- she didn't seem that into it. I've read the '5 love languages' and she started but still hasn't finished it. She has been to the doctor who said she has major depression. Perhaps this is the reason for everything?

At this point I just don't know what to do. I love my wife and I really want it to work out between us, but I feel like I am sitting on a fence waiting for her to make up her mind. Is it possible for her to get the 'in love' feeling for me back?

I would appreciate any advice. Thank you.

Last edited by OneManBand; 01-03-2013 at 01:10 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: To Love or Not to Love, that is the question.

OneManBand,

I loved your Thread Name, but I'm sad that you are here like me and so many others. Sometimes I ask myself the same question - knowing the pain of betrayal, is it worth it to love or not to love?

Have you read the newbies thread? I would start with this and have your wife read it, too. Print it our for her:

Welcome TAM CWI newbies- please read this

There is also a lot of info about the so-called "fog" that it sounds like your wife is in. Maybe try searching the term "fog" after reading through the Newbies link.

Hang in there, and tell us more details about how she is responding. Did she completely disclose all details - write out a timeline of "events" or inappropriate communications? Did she write him a no-contact letter? So much to hear from you and you have so much to read on the newbies link! :-) Sadly, we welcome you to TAM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Red face Re: To Love or Not to Love, that is the question.

As I was reading I thought she has depression. And then bingo, the doctor has diagnosed this. I had this after my second child was born. Medication did the trick! Depression changes everything about you and your wife will continue to feel the same if she does not get the right medication to balance her out. I could not find joy in anything for 18 months.

Before you throw your marriage away, see if this would help her. When she says "it's not you it's me" she is right and she will do stupid things to try to find happiness. In her world it's lonely, confusing and hopeless. Please don't ignore depression, it won't go away by itself IMO
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: To Love or Not to Love, that is the question.

What is she doing to be accountable for her time right now? Do you have access to all her online activities, her phone, etc? How do you know it never went PA? How do you know she isn't still in contact with this OM, or another one?? And, I am sorry, but you have every right to be angry at her, and she darned well better know that.

And yes, please read the newbie link. There are very specific things a WS needs to do to prove they are even worth trying R with.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: To Love or Not to Love, that is the question.

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Originally Posted by OneManBand View Post
Hi everyone, I am new to the site and would like to seek any advice you kind people can give me. I have been married for 7 years. We have 2 kids the youngest is 18 months. Our youngest has been quite a challenge - often waking up at night 4-5 times. After his birth my wife and I didn't have as much time for each other and being very tired did not help our intimacy.

About 2 months ago I discovered that my wife had been having what I would call an EA with a guy she knew through work and who was also the father of our oldest child's best friend. She said all contact would stop and that she loved me and it was stupid etc. I tried to take her on dates and generally tried to reconnect with her. She just didn't seem all that into it.

About a month ago I checked the phone records and found that they had still been talking although the frequency was much reduced - about 5 times over the whole month. I was livid and kicked her out of the house for the night. I felt that it was over, but she seemed to have a true change of heart and began showing me affection and said she really wanted our marriage to work. This seemed to last a little more than a week and then we had a fight about what happened. I still had feelings of anger over everything that had happened and regrettably let them out. After that she began to withdraw from me once again.

That brings us to the present day. When I ask her she will say things like - it is not you it is me. I really want to be in love with you but I don't know why I can't. I love you so much you are such a good husband and father I don't know why I can't get those feelings for you back. During the time she says these things she is sobbing and crying. Has anyone ever experienced this before? I don't believe she has had contact with the OM in the past month. She will also say ' I am trying really hard to get those feelings back'.

I have tried a number of things like trying to have us sit and talk every night for at least 15 minutes- she didn't seem that into it. I've read the '5 love languages' and she started but still hasn't finished it. She has been to the doctor who said she has major depression. Perhaps this is the reason for everything?

At this point I just don't know what to do. I love my wife and I really want it to work out between us, but I feel like I am sitting on a fence waiting for her to make up her mind. Is it possible for her to get the 'in love' feeling for me back?

I would appreciate any advice. Thank you.
I wrote this is another thread and I think it applies to your situation:

Quote:
...It's hardly profound to say that a woman's emotional psyche is basically composed of her desire to be desired and her desire to nurture. The excitation of the former, combined with the thrill of the illicit relationships, is why the affair provokes such a powerful drive. Very often, when I hear a WW assert that she still has feelings for her husband, I believe that what she means is that she still has the desire to nurture her BH. This essentially sexless relationship is co-equal to that of a mother and child and, since such a relationship does not require emotional exclusivity, allows her to believe, however falsely, that she can love two men at the same time.
Again, grain of salt because I'm definitely not a psychologist but I definitely think it holds water.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: To Love or Not to Love, that is the question.

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Originally Posted by OneManBand View Post
Hi everyone, I am new to the site and would like to seek any advice you kind people can give me. I have been married for 7 years. We have 2 kids the youngest is 18 months. Our youngest has been quite a challenge - often waking up at night 4-5 times. After his birth my wife and I didn't have as much time for each other and being very tired did not help our intimacy.

About 2 months ago I discovered that my wife had been having what I would call an EA with a guy she knew through work and who was also the father of our oldest child's best friend. She said all contact would stop and that she loved me and it was stupid etc. I tried to take her on dates and generally tried to reconnect with her. She just didn't seem all that into it.

About a month ago I checked the phone records and found that they had still been talking although the frequency was much reduced - about 5 times over the whole month. I was livid and kicked her out of the house for the night. I felt that it was over, but she seemed to have a true change of heart and began showing me affection and said she really wanted our marriage to work. This seemed to last a little more than a week and then we had a fight about what happened. I still had feelings of anger over everything that had happened and regrettably let them out. After that she began to withdraw from me once again.

That brings us to the present day. When I ask her she will say things like - it is not you it is me. I really want to be in love with you but I don't know why I can't. I love you so much you are such a good husband and father I don't know why I can't get those feelings for you back. During the time she says these things she is sobbing and crying. Has anyone ever experienced this before? I don't believe she has had contact with the OM in the past month. She will also say ' I am trying really hard to get those feelings back'.

I have tried a number of things like trying to have us sit and talk every night for at least 15 minutes- she didn't seem that into it. I've read the '5 love languages' and she started but still hasn't finished it. She has been to the doctor who said she has major depression. Perhaps this is the reason for everything?

At this point I just don't know what to do. I love my wife and I really want it to work out between us, but I feel like I am sitting on a fence waiting for her to make up her mind. Is it possible for her to get the 'in love' feeling for me back?

I would appreciate any advice. Thank you.
Post Partum or post natal depression can last for months or even years. Has this been checked for?
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: To Love or Not to Love, that is the question.

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I really want to be in love with you but I don't know why I can't. I love you so much you are such a good husband and father I don't know why I can't get those feelings for you back. During the time she says these things she is sobbing and crying. Has anyone ever experienced this before? I don't believe she has had contact with the OM in the past month. She will also say ' I am trying really hard to get those feelings back'.
I have felt this way so it's certainly a real feeling to have. Hopefully she can find a doctor to help her with the depression as well as a therapist that she can talk to and you both can meet with as well. That's the key and if the first therapist doesn't work, find another one.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: To Love or Not to Love, that is the question.

Thank you for the kind welcome totallyunexpected. I also like your handle as it is exactly how I felt when this all happened.

I have read the newbie's link, thank you. I haven't had my wife read it yet. She hasn't written out a timeline or a no contact letter, but about a month ago she seemed to show true remorse and seemed totally into making our marriage work. She promised that there would be no contact. And I believed it to be so.

After that she just started to drift away again. She stopped initiating holding hands, will usually only say I love you if I say it first. Things like that. We haven't had sex in the past month. The last time we did she said she felt nervous and I could tell she was not into it so I haven't really brought it up since then. After having kids our intimacy level definitely dropped, but she would still hold hands and at least occasionally showed interest in sex. Now, I just feel that any time she touches me or kisses me it is just perfunctory or because she feels like that is what she is supposed to be doing. I don't know if that makes sense, but I don't feel any real emotion behind it.

After I found out about the EA she told me she hadn't really been interested in sex for a long time. She told me that she just didn't feel connected to me any more -that she felt like we were just 2 caregivers. That we just don't have anything in common to talk about.

Now, that seems to me a little different that what she said before the EA happened. She would often complain that she never had time for herself, so I told her I would support her if she found a hobby or wanted to take a class or do anything that she wanted. She said she felt tired-so I let often let her take naps while I watched the kids. She did say she was unhappy and maybe we should go to counseling. I agreed to go to counseling, but unfortunately it didn't happen. When I asked her why she was unhappy she would just say 'I don't know'. At that point I did get frustrated and just told her she was responsible for her own happiness. That I would help her anyway I could, but she had to let me know how. I think I did begin to withdraw from her at that point and I now really regret doing so. Now, that is my opinion and ofcourse she may well have a different view of what happened. I think the main problem was that we didn't communicate very well.

Now after the EA I have tried to talk to her more, but often feel she doesn't really want to talk about things. She will say she 'just doesn't know how she feels' or ,like I said before, 'you didn't do anything, it's just me.' If I bring up the EA or show any anger about it she tells me 'I just don't know if you are ever going to get over it' or 'I don't want to talk about it anymore, you are either going to get over it or not.' She has on a number of occasions has said that she is 'sorry' and 'there is no excuse for what I did'. I do think she feels bad about what happened, but then tends to minimize it by saying 'What I did wasn't even that bad compared to other people', or 'we mainly talked just about work or our kids or our marriages.'

Wow, sorry about all the rambling, I feel like I could write a novel, but I bet that everyone does.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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As I was reading I thought she has depression. And then bingo, the doctor has diagnosed this. I had this after my second child was born. Medication did the trick! Depression changes everything about you and your wife will continue to feel the same if she does not get the right medication to balance her out. I could not find joy in anything for 18 months.

Before you throw your marriage away, see if this would help her. When she says "it's not you it's me" she is right and she will do stupid things to try to find happiness. In her world it's lonely, confusing and hopeless. Please don't ignore depression, it won't go away by itself IMO
Thank you, that gives me some hope. My wife started taking lexapro, but didn't like at all how it made her feel so she is now going to start taking zoloft. I really hope that it will help her. I really don't want to give up on my marriage. I just feel that at some point if her attitude cannot be changed, it is just not going to work.

I did mention to her that it may be post-partum depression, but she didn't really seem to have an opinion about it. I think that it is true that she just doesn't know. I have to admit that it is hard for me to understand because I have never been that way.

We did start going to a counselor individually first and then together. After a few sessions my wife said she didn't like that counselor so we then found another. We have only had one session with the new counselor so we'll see how that goes.

Last edited by OneManBand; 01-04-2013 at 11:11 AM. Reason: additional info
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I wrote this is another thread and I think it applies to your situation:



Again, grain of salt because I'm definitely not a psychologist but I definitely think it holds water.
Hi JMGrey. I think your quote could very well be right on the money. Since I found out about the EA she has done more stuff for me, sometimes even doting. I once told her 'it just seems that you don't love me anymore'. She replied 'but look at all the things I do for you.' Now I really appreciate her doing things for me, but ofcourse that is not really what I would like to hear. Since we have had kids she has been very focused on being a good mom. Maybe I somehow slid into that compartment in her mind as well. I just wish I knew how to get out of it!
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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What is she doing to be accountable for her time right now? Do you have access to all her online activities, her phone, etc? How do you know it never went PA? How do you know she isn't still in contact with this OM, or another one?? And, I am sorry, but you have every right to be angry at her, and she darned well better know that.

And yes, please read the newbie link. There are very specific things a WS needs to do to prove they are even worth trying R with.
I have access to her cell phone. I can check the call and text logs and haven't found anything suspicious. She has told me that she would let me know if there was any contact. Ofcourse I have no way of knowing for absolute certainty that this is true. She works 20 hours a week and has not been staying late or anything. I have shown up a couple of times unnannounced at her work. At one point I ran into the OM and told him to 'Stay the **** away from my wife.' I know, probably not the most level headed thing to do. I also contacted his wife. All of my wife's family and friends know so I would find it very surprising if she would risk all of those relationships as well as ours. The only way they could be in contact is if they have taken it very underground. But how would I know unless I hired a PI or sat outside her work all day?

I also do not know for absolute certainty that it never went PA. She has sworn up and down that nothing physical happened. Also, there just doesn't seem to be much opportunity. I knew of her whereabouts pretty much all of the time. The only time I can think of that I can't be sure about is that she went clothes shopping and came back with nothing saying she didn't find anything she liked. She was gone about an hour. So again I can't be absolutely certain, but how would I know unless she admitted it?

She has admitted that I have every right to be angry, but what makes me even angrier sometimes is when she says things like 'you just don't seem like you're ever going to get over it' I think, and have told her, 'hell no, I'm not going to get over it until I am 100% convinced that you are committed to me and making our marriage work.' She will then just nod her head.

I have read the newbie link. I haven't had her do some of the things listed there, but I probably will. What do you think are the specific things she should need to do to prove that she is worth trying to R with?

Thank you.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hi JMGrey. I think your quote could very well be right on the money. Since I found out about the EA she has done more stuff for me, sometimes even doting. I once told her 'it just seems that you don't love me anymore'. She replied 'but look at all the things I do for you.' Now I really appreciate her doing things for me, but ofcourse that is not really what I would like to hear. Since we have had kids she has been very focused on being a good mom. Maybe I somehow slid into that compartment in her mind as well. I just wish I knew how to get out of it!
OMB,

You didn't "slide" into that mental compartment. It didn't have anything to do with you. As soon as your wife began transferring her emotional fidelity to the OM, the only way she could tolerate it subconsciously was to move you into that role. In essence, she has left you with the "mother" part of herself and gave the "wife" part of herself to the OM.

Also, if they've had frequent physical contact (same place at the same time) and the EA is relatively recent (say less than 8 - 12 months), you can almost bank on there having been a PA, probably up to and including sex, as they were still in the "honeymoon period".
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: To Love or Not to Love, that is the question.

There's another link in my sig about understanding the pain. That's for her. That's what she's done to you. She has GOT to understand the level of betrayal she has caused here and start DOING things, everything she can to help you get over it and to make sure it NEVER happens again. By saying things like "You're never going to get over it" she's downplaying what she did - rugsweeping. That is a huge no-no.

She should be falling over herself right now to prove to you she's stopped all contact with him. She should be finding another job and writing a no contact letter to him. Read up on that.

Make absolutely sure that your counselor isn't also rugsweeping what happened. And also make sure that no one - her or the counselor - places any blame whatsoever on you for her cheating. There are two separate issues here: 1) the state of your marriage and what you each chose to do about it, and 2) the fact that she CHOSE to cheat. Everyone has 4 choices when their marriage sucks:
- do nothing
- divorce
- cheat
- work on it

There are two reasons I think our R is so successful so far. I say so far because I don't believe it will ever be 'over'. We will always be living post-affair. It's like living after a war or the death of a loved one or a cataclysmic event like 911. Everything gets talked about as 'before' or 'after'.

Anyway. Two reasons. The first is that I let him go, or rather kicked him out. I was DONE. I hated him and never wanted to lay eyes on him again. What he did spelled the end of our marriage. This freed me up to work on myself. I went to IC and changed some things up around the house and lived with just the kids again (I was also a single mom for 7 years when they were little) and I realized that I actually liked it. I liked myself and I liked my life. This in turn led to the discovery that, if I had the choice, I actually DID want him in my life. I actually did love him. This surprised me, because it was a complete 180 from the way I felt on D day. So I decided that we would try R.

The second reason is the way he is now. There is VERY little he hasn't done that a WS should and needs to do. He owns his sh!t. He works hard every day to help me recover and to keep our marriage getting better. And he does it all with an attitude of remorse. He doesn't balk at what he needs to do. Even this long past the first Dday I can tell him that something triggered me and he is apologetic and fusses over me. The fact he is this way has meant that I can be that way with him too, when he needs me to be.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: To Love or Not to Love, that is the question.

There is really one answer to your dilemma. It's the answer that makes her work hard at doing the things she needs to do. It's the answer that makes her gain respect and admiration for you. It's the answer that attracts her to you.

What that answer is... You pursue a divorce. Talk to a lawyer and file. And tell her repeatedly that she has the power to stop it by acting like a wife. And constantly offer her the choice.. Make things right and you will stop.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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OMB,

You didn't "slide" into that mental compartment. It didn't have anything to do with you. As soon as your wife began transferring her emotional fidelity to the OM, the only way she could tolerate it subconsciously was to move you into that role. In essence, she has left you with the "mother" part of herself and gave the "wife" part of herself to the OM.

Also, if they've had frequent physical contact (same place at the same time) and the EA is relatively recent (say less than 8 - 12 months), you can almost bank on there having been a PA, probably up to and including sex, as they were still in the "honeymoon period".
I believe that you are spot on. When I looked back at phone records etc. It appears that the whole thing started late September. They didn't talk very much until around the middle of October which was also when I started to get suspicious and had the feeling that my wife was acting 'wierd'. She was texting all the time, but when I asked her she would say it was her sister or aunt. finally around November 6 I found out about it. They were seen together in his work vehicle. So the EA was short as far as I know, and I do have suspicions that something physical did happen or it was about to. I just may never know for sure since my wife insists that nothing physical at all happened.

The problem is that even with NC they will inevitably come into contact in some way at work. Maybe just in the parking lot or something accidental. My wife says she will tell him she doesn't want to talk to him anymore, but can that really be believed? I don't know.

I have asked her to try to find another job, but finding a good one that will still allow us to pay all of our bills is easier said than done. She has looked at some jobs, but I feel like it is something that she feels she has to do because I asked, not because she really wants to.
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