Textbook Reality But I Want To Believe - Help!
This is my first post - I need some advice outside of my friends and family - namely you. Thanks in advance.
I have been with my wife for 23 years married for 13. I am 56 she is 43. We have a 23 year old son (from my first marriage/already moved out) and a 12 year old son of ours. She is the love of my life and I am still very much in love with her, our marraige and our role as parents. Even though.....
I always thought we were soul-mates for life. Better or worse, etc. We have had on-going problems in our relationship. Looking back, I now can see that she has been gradually taking things off the table -various intimate acts, intimacy, kissing, cudling, holding hands, fantasy, adult connection, etc. I have been aware and up to two months ago she said it was her problem (weight, libido, our arguing and lack of communication). I can see know that this caused me great distress, pain, resentment and it manifested itself by me being angry, nitpicking, yelling, etc.
3 months ago, I wrote a letter that laid it all out. How I felt like a roomate, had no intimate connection, felt resentment, and asked her to seriously look at herself. She wrote back to me with a letter that was so to the point and correct that it blew me away. I immediatly started to think of how I could be a better man, husband, lover, friend, father and do not try!
She then went to her HS Reunion which was in a different city. I was not invited by her to attend. During her 5 day trip she called and told me about day one and mentioned the people and activity and mentioned an old fried I'll call UB that I never heard of before. Day two UB comes up again. Day 3, etc, etc. I have since found out that while there, one of her closest girlfriends held an "intervention" with this person (UB) in attendance to urge her to take action and leave her unhappy existance (I had no idea that she was even contemplating it).
Upon her return, I was putting my "be a better man" plan into effect. Things seemed to be better, really nice sex session a few times that she initiated (wow). Then came the axe.
The Monday before Thanksgiving, she told me that she was leaving me and our marriage. I got the "I love you - but not in love with you" line. I got the "there is no other person" line. But she went on to trash our past by doubting if our love ever really existed, telling me she has wanted to leave me for 10 years! That she was not attracted to me at all. That it was all a sham. She said that she did not tell me to protect me and our son, and to not cause us pain. The problem is that the pain now is far worse than it would have been if she just told the truth.
My wife (has always been) is a wonderful person - caring, truthful, trustworthy, kind and loving. But in my gut I knew that someting was wrong with this story.
Tears flowed and I did the cliche things like ask "why are you doing this to us" and " I will change" and I love you so much". They were met with an uncaring attitude and voice that was not my wife. No remorse - no sorrow. She just stabbed away until I bled out!
The next Friday (day after Thanksgiving) she anounced she was going back to the city of her runion (her hometown) with our son for a number of days. She could not stand to be around me because of my reaction to this news and whatever she was feeling. I have since found out from my 12 year old that while there she was once again in the presence of UB and actually "went out shopping" with him for an hour or two, leaving my son at the home. I felt that this was a very real betrayal of our mariage and my gut was screaming that it was either an actual physical affair or the start of an emotional affair. They also held "a cleansing cemony" with all in attendance to remove the negative energy (I call it an exorsism). So I asked her to explain.
I was told that "her and UB are just old friends" / that he was going thru a bad marriage as well and they were supporting each other/ that I was being paranoid and suspicious. She again said that there was no affair of any kind. I asked if she has had any contact with him since the trips and she admitted tha tthere were around 5 calls/texts - some initiated by her to check to see how he was doing with his problems. I asked for the phone records so that I could verify and stop my suspicions. She refused and continues to refuse to let me see them. I repllyed the only reason she would refuse is because there are more calls than 5 and possibly more men on the list. She has since changed the password on the account and keeps her cellphone with her at every moment - even sleeps with it. I asked her to please stop all contact with this person out of respect of our marriage - and her own personal dignity. I am not stupid - but this is so not like her!
Secrecy is now the rule of thumb - I noticed no more personal email coming to her, minimized web sites when I approached. She agreed to counseling and agreed to a three month in-house seperation.
Two weeks into the seperation - she tells me that she has once again not been truthful and has been looking for a new place to move out to. She leaves next week - it has been living hell to be near the woman I love and not be able to talk to her, touch her, kiss her, make love to her. But she is so far away from that right now that it does not effect her. The things she says are so hurtful and emotionless that it it is mind boggling.
My gut tells me that she has been 95% truthful, but cannot or will not tell me about what really happenned at the reunion(or elsewhere) with UB or whomever. I was on the computer that she uses (it was our computer - but is now hers) and I found a "favorite" web site that was for a very sexy lingerie outfilt.
I asked her to please be honest with me, that no matter what happened I will be calm, and understanding - i just need the truth to be able to deal with this correctly for all invloved. She replyed that the lingerie was for nobody but her. She mentioned that while at the reunion and other times that she has been approached by men (she mentioned how flattered she was to be approcahed by a few college students at the bar celebration of the reunion). She also mentioned that although she "has never cheated on me whatsoever", that she is looking forward to whatever might happen "if/when we divorce. My gut and my few friends/family that know advise that this is all more lies - and that I am in denial that "she could ever do such a thing".
End of story - I said I want to save our marriage, I love you no matter what and I will not give up. But I needed honesty and trust to be able to move on to whatever the next steps are. I added that if she is going for therapy to justify the things she has done/doing/about to do or to make it better for "her new relationship(s)", then let's get the divorce going and stop the lies. She agreed to go to therapy with an open mind , but added that it would "take a miracle" for her to come back.
I am trying to stop with the I need you/love you, be man for all invloved and allow her the space and time she needs. But I am obsessed with knowing the truth - my mind is filling in the blanks with such hurtful thoughts and images that it is stopping my ability to cope and handle myself with pride and dignity.
Her leaving next week and taking my son half the time is the saddest thing I have ever lived thru. But we own a home and a business and I am going to see her every week. I do not think I could bear to see her with another man - but how can i leave without my son?
Sorry it was so long - please tell me what you think (I suspect I know what will be coming).