I Feel Betrayed BUT My Wife Claims That It's Not An Online Affair
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy I Feel Betrayed BUT My Wife Claims That It's Not An Online Affair

About 9 1/2 years ago I married the women whom I had been dating since 9th grade (consistently). We have 4 children and I've always loved her very much. About 3-4 years ago I found out that she had been on some online forum, talking with someone (a male) about our love life/sexual exploits, to include sexually explicit details. Now before anyone says, "Oh she was just getting advice", it was very clear that he was getting off on it and she was facilitating -- he would ask for more details, like "What were you wearing" and she'd tell him, or talk fantasies, etc. I found out simply because one day I went to use the computer and she hadn't logged out, so the whole thread was there (they had been chatting for more than a year).

I'm in IT so after confronting her (she claimed that she didn't see it as wrong or sexual and didn't realize that the guy clearly did -- which I do NOT believe), I then told her openly that I would restrict the sites she could go to and log everything she does on the computer until I could trust her again. After her dogged complaints about three months later I removed the blocks and stopped the logging (in truth, I never checked the logs... it was more a scare tactic).

Now, for about two years she's complained that I never make her account an admin, but that's always been because I don't want her screwing up the computer and me either having to hear, "It's pretty sad that you're in IT and you can't keep my computer running" again (she's screwed it up multiple times when she had admin rights). She's a stay-at-home mom and honestly I've (ever since the above incident) been worried that I leave her with the kids because... well... I didn't fully trust her after that (I know, I know, it was only online, but that's a first step IMHO).

So, for about the last 7 months on Facebook a guy in a group that both she an I are members of kept complimenting her, flirting, etc, even after I and several other members of the group said that she's not interested and that's not cool. I kept telling her to tell him that it wasn't okay (the group is a debates group), but she kept claiming that she didn't want to be embarrassed if he claimed he wasn't flirting (telling someone that they are really pretty and that you would have intercourse [I cleaned that language up] is pretty clearly flirting) even though other members of the group had all said it was and told him to knock it off. About a week ago she had me check her email for a message from some one and I noted a Facebook Friend Request email from this guy. A couple of days later the opportunity came where I could not only confirm the friend request was accepted BUT that he had messaged her that same day (the day of the opportunity, not the day that the request was made). His message said that she was very pretty and he could see why I "snatched her up so quickly". She hadn't seen the message yet, but I immediately blocked him on her account, got him kicked out of the group, and confronted her.

She claimed that she had done nothing wrong in accepting the friend request, despite the obvious fact that he was flirting, claiming (similarly as to her claim a few years ago with the other guy on that forum I mentioned) that she didn't know that he was flirting and didn't believe me when I kept telling her that he was. I then told her that she wasn't allowed to use any computers for a while, locked her out, changed her email/facebook passwords, etc, until she gave a real apology and I could trust her. She then said that I couldn't "punish her". We're going to see a therapist, but she keeps saying that I'm treating her like a child, I can't punish her, etc. I'm not punishing her -- I'm trying to decide what to do (I have a bunch of young children and I really do love her... it's the trust part that is lacking).

BTW, she claims that she would have dealt with it if I had given her the chance to have seen the message. Perhaps I should have, but in friending him and based on the previous online affair, I didn't want to know the response.

So, am I wrong to have cut her off from the computer pending counselling? More importantly, was it wrong for her to accepted the friend request -and- was it wrong for her to have never rebuffed his flirts (even though I kept telling her to)? One last thing, so that no one comes in saying, "It's your fault for not expressing your love for her", I've always been the one in the relationship to compliment, hug, say "I love you", etc. I was the one who pursued her and have generally always been very loving (I'm also the one usually asking her to be more loving and less cold)... and these guys 1) are much older, 2) much fatter (I'm actually very fit), 3) make much less money, 4) have much lower levels of education than I... of course, my wife has no degree, and no job (other than being a stay-at-home mom [and yet I still do all of the laundry, cook breakfast, get my children to and from school, and cook dinner a fair amount of the time]), so I guess there's some link there.

Anyone have any guidance or thoughts? It hurts me a lot to feel betrayed (and even worse that I feel she's lying about not knowing he was flirting/not having believed me that he was flirting and she STILL won't admit that the other incident was an online/emotional affair/wrong) and part of me says that I shouldn't be married anymore (although I don't want to have 'wasted' almost 10 years), but I have children and I don't want to get into an ugly battle over them or anything. I don't know what to do... she claims that neither were online affairs and that what she did in both weren't "wrong" (of course, when I asked if it had been me, she says that that would have been wrong... shocking, I know).
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: I Feel Betrayed BUT My Wife Claims That It's Not An Online Affair

I do think you are out of line this time taking away her access. She didn't flirt back, she didn't do anything other than a friend request.

I do agree what she did before was way past ok and into online sex.

But thus latest thing has you treating her life a child you've grounded,
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: I Feel Betrayed BUT My Wife Claims That It's Not An Online Affair

Hi Pain sorry you are here. Her actions are her actions and yes i would consider a EA the same or worse than a PA its kinda like a gateway to a full blown affair. What do you want ?? If your best friend told you the same story what would be your advice ?? I feel that if one spouse isnt working then they need to be taking care of things around the house such as laundry, child care, cooking etc although both parties should contribute equally in my opinion.

I feel that she should be held to the same standards that she would hold you too as far as turning the tables. Do you know if the other male (OM) is married or has a gf ?? If so I would see if you could find out some info on them and expouse this POSOM to their significant other.

Good Luck
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: I Feel Betrayed BUT My Wife Claims That It's Not An Online Affair

Others my disagree, but to me if you're dealing with a spouse, there's only so far you can take the computer/phone restrictions without coming off as a control freak. Yes, I do think that you should take steps to block legitimate or known threats and she has to agree to that. That goes without saying.

But instead of cutting out all of her computer access completely, the better way is to monitor her both overtly and covertly. She gives you her passwords and allows you complete access to all of her communication devices - at any time. Plan A.

She doesn't have to know how else you're monitoring her. Plan B. If you're in IT, you know how to do it.

I speak on this with some experience as my CS was using Facebook and texts with her POSOM. This method seems to have worked well enough for me for a year and a half into R.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, he is married (actually, in both cases they were) and has at least one child. The spouse of the other person found out that he flirts online and got really made, so he had her removed from the group that we were in (which was just a debating forum). Look, I'm not trying to justify my actions -- I know that she didn't flirt back (well... I never saw it), but by accepting the friend request and by not rebuffing the flirting, I fear that she was heading right back into the stuff that she was doing before on some other site. She's convinced, by the way, that the therapist will go after me for blocking her... I don't know... was it too far? Accepting someone's flirting when you're married is just not okay to me.

If it were a friend of mine? Ugh... man... it's a tough situation to be in. I don't know what advice I'd give him. I had repeatedly told her to tell him to stop flirting and I had told him that she's not into him, but one must question why someone would accept a friend request from someone who flirts with you constantly? I know that she'd be angry if I did that.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Others my disagree, but to me if you're dealing with a spouse, there's only so far you can take the computer/phone restrictions without coming off as a control freak. Yes, I do think that you should take steps to block legitimate or known threats and she has to agree to that. That goes without saying.

But instead of cutting out all of her computer access completely, the better way is to monitor her both overtly and covertly. She gives you her passwords and allows you complete access to all of her communication devices - at any time. Plan A.

She doesn't have to know how else you're monitoring her. Plan B. If you're in IT, you know how to do it.

I speak on this with some experience as my CS was using Facebook and texts with her POSOM. This method seems to have worked well enough for me for a year and a half into R.
Yeah, I know how to monitor her without her knowing, but what good does that do, you know? I guess I'm willing to let her back online, but I feel betrayed and like if I do, she'll just do it more (again). I've never flirted with other people and have always made it clear when people flirted with me that I'm married, have children, love my wife, and would never cheat on her (flirting to me is cheating).

I guess I kind of feel like if I have to monitor her, then it's forcing her to stick around.... I see perhaps the answer, but I don't like it... I shouldn't have to monitor her, but if she can't agree to the same morals and definition of cheating, this is a breaker.

Last edited by PainfullyAwareOfItAll; 03-26-2013 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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So, am I wrong to have cut her off from the computer pending counselling? More importantly, was it wrong for her to accepted the friend request -and- was it wrong for her to have never rebuffed his flirts (even though I kept telling her to)?
It's not a matter of "right or wrong".

It's a matter of "are you adequately dealing with the problems in your marriage"?

The answer is "No, you are not dealing with the problem appropriately", you are being overly controlling and trying to suppress the symptoms while not dealing with the bigger problem.

Is your wife "wrong" by flirting with these guys and lying to you about it?

Again, not a matter of "right or wrong" but what is appropriate in a normal healthy marriage and of course her actions do not qualify her as "spouse of the year".

Your wife is not happy with you, she's not happy with the marriage, so she's getting her unfulfilled needs met elsewhere, and you address this by cutting off all computer use until she behaves better.

You might be able to control her superficial actions but you can't force her to love you. If anything your controlling actions will push her even further away.

She'll find other ways to get the job done.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: I Feel Betrayed BUT My Wife Claims That It's Not An Online Affair

The biggest problem you're dealing with, OP, is that you wife doesn't believe that the first EA was what it was.

She also doesn't seem to realise that when another man tells her "she's pretty and would like to **** her" that it is inappropriate and needs shutting down at her end.

In light of this I can kinda see why you did what you did, but it doesn't really address the main problems (EA & apparently being oblivious to being hit on)
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, I know how to monitor her without her knowing, but what good does that do, you know? I guess I'm willing to let her back online, but I feel betrayed and like if I do, she'll just do it more (again). I've never flirted with other people and have always made it clear when people flirted with me that I'm married, have children, love my wife, and would never cheat on her (flirting to me is cheating).

I guess I kind of feel like if I have to monitor her, then it's forcing her to stick around.... I see perhaps the answer, but I don't like it... I shouldn't have to monitor her, but if she can't agree to the same morals and definition of cheating, this is a breaker.
Painfully,

You can't force her not to cheat anymore than you can force her to be remorseful. If you monitor her and she continues to cheat, then she's done you a favor by letting you know she is not remorseful.

Believe me, you can't have a successful R with someone like that, so it's a "good thing" to find this out. So many BS's spend months and years in a false R because they didn't know or refuse to accept.

Monitoring a CS discreetly is simply rightful due diligence and standard procedure for the BS. In time, if she proves herself you can stop or cut back. I'm afraid that's just part of the deal for a BS.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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One other thing Painfully,

Make sure you make her well aware of your boundaries around the online stuff. That's completely appropriate to do. Don't allow any ambiguity about what you consider unacceptable and make sure she understands the consequences if she strays.

But don't fail to give her those consequences if she does. Otherwise those lack of consequences will enable her all the more.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I guess I kind of feel like if I have to monitor her, then it's forcing her to stick around.... I see perhaps the answer, but I don't like it... I shouldn't have to monitor her, but if she can't agree to the same morals and definition of cheating, this is a breaker.
It would appear so. There's only so far playing dumb/being naive can take her. It isn't a response. Does she know how seriously you view this?
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It would appear so. There's only so far playing dumb/being naive can take her. It isn't a response. Does she know how seriously you view this?
She should, but I can certainly make it much more clear (no mincing words). I'm just shocked/disgusted by the whole thing (and very sad)... I never would have thought that she would have done what she did the first time (particularly since I have long made it clear that I can lose my job and ability to work in my... sector... if there's thought that my loyalty is questionable or data may be leaking -- and yes, they do frown upon cheating and cheating spouses... I've seen guys lose their job because of spouses cheating), but I should have been more forceful when the guy was overtly flirting in the forum with her (although I suspect that I couldn't have been more clear and it wouldn't have helped). Again, I don't understand because I'm the warm, loving one in the relationship :-( She's always been kind of cold, even with the kids (even had postpartum depression).

Perhaps therapy will help me find a path (honestly, I don't like most marriage therapists because it always seems so ... phony), but I do appreciate ALL of the responses (doesn't mean I like them ;-) ) and I'm going to give her back access to everything (although it pains me/kills me... but better to find out the way you guys suggested and end it at 10 years or whatever).
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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By the way, so that no one has the wrong idea, she was molested by her grand father over the course of ~3 or so years (something I didn't know until about a year and a half or two years ago). I think that's why she's a bit on the cold side. I suspect that may play a role in much of her activities/way of thinking, but that doesn't make it acceptable IMO.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Oh, dear! And she really can't link the events of several years ago to how nervous this latest incident makes you?
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I then told her that she wasn't allowed to use any computers for a while, locked her out, changed her email/facebook passwords, etc, until she gave a real apology and I could trust her.
This right here goes beyong controlling and puts you in the "dad" zone. That's a place where you don't want to be.
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