A little history. Me and my wife have been married almost 11 years and have been together almost 15. We have elementary kids.
About 4 months ago i noticed a change in my wife. She seemed to be more distant than usual and happy. i new something was up but not sure what so i confronted her. She came clean and said she had been talking to an old "friend" she found on Facebook. At the time she told me it was just innocent and that she would not talk to him anymore. Well with my interest peaked i looked into our cell bill and found that she had been talking and texting a lot including pictures. I do believe she has stopped talking to him. She removed him from FB, and has deleted his cell number, and I did some snooping on her email and found that he wanted to meet her and she said no this was about a month after she told me.
So i do believe she wants to make things work between us but can't seem to shake what she did and am not sure what to do so we can move on. We have a good relationship now. We talk more and do more things together but because i am still bothered by what happened every few weeks we get in a big fight because i feel so insecure about things.
Sorry to hear about an EA in your marriage. I was there earlier in the year, and I know how it feels. Similar situation to yours...noticed a change in her, confronted her about the "couple times / month" chats with her ex-boyfriend, snooped at the cell bill and email and found a very different scenario (lots of texts, email pics, lots of phone calls and *never* when I was around).
First and foremost, I asked her to cut off communication with him completely. After 2-3 months of arguing about this and therapy, she agreed.
Next step for me was to work on forgiving her so we could address the underlying issues in your marriage that enabled the EA. By forgivenss I mean to stop letting this past event affect me negatively (that's from a book), because I need to forgive her for my happiness not for her. Also, forgiveness did not mean forgetting. We don't pretend this did not happen, but we have each done our part to put the hurt behind us so we can move forward.
This may take awhile for each of you to get to a place where you are not angry with her. It took me about 6 months and really jeopardized our marriage. I have practiced more patience this year than I ever believed I had.
Good luck. It seems very positive to me that your communication has improved. Anger is a natural and healthy emotion, but it certainly does not help to carry it with you for longer than necessary. This anger may be something for you to work on rather than focus on the how / why the EA happened for now.
How long since confession, it takes time but the anger stage should not.
I went on for 2 yrs then the explosion all the rage built up exploded at within 1 hour.
That was our end.
It has been 4 months. At first when we fought it was because of what she did. Now we fight because i feel like she is not trying hard enough sometimes. So not sure if i am just emotionally screwed up or if i still have issues with what she did.
What are your expectations regarding trying hard? What does that mean? Does she understand what it looks like to you and what her obligations are post-EA?
She is basically going about things like she did before all this happened. We had agreed after she told me that we would read a book together and work on the things we were supposed to. Well i have read the book and done all I can and she has not. She says it is because she does not have time and she is stressed and tired. Which i know she is. We have a lot going on right now. She works hard, her grandma is basically living day to day with cancer, we have financial issues, etc....She keeps telling me to be patient but i want to fix things.
Yes Dobo her life is an open book. She would leave her facebook and email accounts open she took the lock off her phone. Neither of us has wanted to sit down and discuss detail about what she did though. It would be an all out war and we would end up saying things to hurt each other instead of being constructive. i do think i am getting to the point where I do want to know some details just so I know where i stand. Just basic things like what did she really get out of it? how serious was it? and is she over him? the EA lasted about 1 month and she has said she was going to leave me for him (of course we were fighting when she said it) so i want to know if that was true.
Counseling is a no go for her right now. She has always had to deal with everything on her own so she is not open to counseling.
She told me the other night she will make more time and read the book so we will see.
Thanks for the replies so far. they have been helpful.
Dealing with everything on her own is part of what got her into this situation. I'd insist on counseling. She needs to be accountable to a third party with no vested interest in the relationship, per se.
I must say that i know part of the reason she turned to this other guy was because emotionally I was not there. We were not a strong marriage before this happened and she was always on me to be more active in the marriage. I know that is no excuse for what she did but it seems like now I am more active and want change and it's not her priority. I feel that if i push to hard I will push her out the door.
I know she loves me and has told me that she just hopes i don't give up on her but how long do i have to wait she is the one that did this?
Can i just say for the record this SUUUUCCKKKS. I hate emotions
You are allowed to push now. If she can't make the marriage a priority when she's so clearly done something wrong that a lot of guys would kick her to the curb for, I'm afraid she may never make it a priority. And in that case, you haven't lost as much as you think.
Holding on to someone who doesn't really want to hold on back is only buying you time. It doesn't get you a commited, life-long partner.
Get into therapy, individual and then together.
Require her to show commitment.
If you don't have firm requirements now, she's going to walk all over you because she knows you love her more than she loves you. If you don't love yourself enough to have requirements, she's not going to volunteer them. Why should she?
I am dealing with similar situation. To me the big issues are (1) remorse and (2) accountability/transparency. I recently learned my wife met someone new on social website who she clicked with because they share some similar traits (and/or peronality defects, depending on perspective.) She had blocked me, stating she just wanted chance to interact with other women without me seeing her lanugage. He lives 4 states away but they exchanged very frequent, intimate emails, txt, and phone calls. They met for 3 days in another city (she had a friend with her) and says they did not have sex, which I believe. He went back home and shortly disclosed to his wife and they entered counseling, altho he was still contacting my wife (despite promise not to during counseling.)
I discovered this about 2 months ago. Due to their emails discussing immediate separation in both marriages and being together prompted me to contact his wife and then him. Their (my wife and his) communication was cutoff for the most part. But my wife has not agreed to transparency (open emails, etc.) and does not express remorse. Mostly, she blames me for contacting his wife because they were almost to place where his wife would agree to divorce.
She has been to counseling and we've gone together. We have two middle/elementary children who are one of my biggest concerns, though they know there is tension/anger in the marriage that cannot continue.
From where I sit, it sounds as if your wife is trying to be transparent and has remorse, which is very positive. But what concerns me is that things have gone back as they were before. I think that an EA should ideally be a "reset" button for a relationship to get to greater intimacy, authenticity and communication. If you can't achieve that, I think she may be vulnerable to another EA or more. I know because this is second EA I've endured with my wife.
Books are good, but if she won't read it, it won't do you any good. And you don't like dealing with emotions. I agree you should push for counseling. Finding a good one is not easy. It needs to be someone your wife can have a good rapport with. I know it costs $$$ but it costs a lot less than a divorce. Good luck.