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Old 02-28-2009, 11:19 AM   #31 (permalink)
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[Update]

Well, my wife is now home. Before her return, she and I spoke and agreed divorce was not the answer. We spoke a few times before she got home and I increasingly became cautiously optimistic, much improved over the pessimism that was abound. One thing did bother me and arose when I asked her why would she chat/talk with the coworker on a Sat night (while away at in-laws) rather than me? She said "she didn't know" - that felt like getting kicked in the teeth. She still takes the position they were/are "just friends" and they talked about "nothing".

I took the day off from work when she returned and we went out to lunch to talk about the problem at hand in hopes of salvaging this marriage. She still fails to admit to any wrong doing, but agrees to live within the defined boundaries (i.e., not having that much contact with another man). I explained that I do not want to have the same problem arise this time next year or the year after, if she can't agree to not having such an obviously emotional relationship with another man, it was indeed time to part ways. She agreed that she didn't want a divorce and would not have such voluminous contact with other men.

Something that has bothered me since has been the absence of an apology, for both the actions between her and this coworker as well as the very, very disrespectful and frankly, crude attacks aimed at me when I called all parties involved on the carpet (email to coworker and wife). Yet, she has asked that I apologize to the wife for bringing her in the mix. Furthermore, I have learned that she has set up another (new) email account and changed the password to her computer. Before doing so, I discovered that she emailed the coworker apologizing for last weekend. She proceeded to tell him that I was essentially upset about the volume of texts/calls - no mention of the fact that that it was baseline inappropriate - and that they were still "buds" and needed to communicate at work.

It is very frustrating to learn that not only has she again locked down her computer and set up a new email account, but she reaches out to the coworker apologizing for my actions, and then invites him to use our friend's time share condo (as we aren't going to use it). <sigh> She appears more concerned about patching things up with he and his wife than at home. Why the new email account? Why the new password?

In hindsight, I am glad I sent the email to the coworker and his wife. I brought this to a head and he has stopped texting/calling (as best I can tell). I told my wife if there was nothing going one, he would have either called me or replied to my email explaining as much - and said "hey, let me buy you a beer and lets go talk, there is NOTHING going on/etc...). Not surprisingly, I have not heard anything.

Sorry for the rambling...

Still ConfusedinColumbus...

Last edited by ConfusedinColumbus; 03-01-2009 at 09:41 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:01 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Wish I could be more optimistic for you, but all your wife effectively did is assume that she could diffuse the situation by reassuring you. The reality is; she hasn't told you anything.

What I will reluctantly point out, is that she is minmiziing the event and behavior.Based upon what you indicate, all of the red flags are still there.

I will stress, when I refer to 'red flags', I'm not saying your wife is sleeping with another man. What I am saying is based upon her behavior, your marriage has gone off the rails. If her goal is to simply cover her tracks better, and your goal is that she keeps her word, or covers her tracks better so that you believe she's keeping her word - neither of you have actually addressed the real problem, which is between the two of you.
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:33 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I feel so empathetic for you. It's like reading about my own separation. Doesn't it feel like banging your head against a wall? On one hand she's trying to reassure you by telling you nothing is going on and she will tone down communication. On the other you found a new e-mail, password and more secrecy. VERY FRUSTRATING. Plus you're not getting any resolution which is another minus. Unfortunately, you need to tell her unless this ends altogether you guys need a separation. No going back. It's going to be very hard to get this lowlife out of her life as he is a coworker as well. She may have to quit her job and focus on WHY she has turned to an emotional affair? Is she emotionally immature, does she have a history of poor decision making, is she a follower, are there ongoing problems in your marriage between you? Whatever the reason get to therapy and possibly individually. She may open up more on her own. Again, best of luck to you. Hang in there and I hope it works out.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:20 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Wish I could be more optimistic for you, but all your wife effectively did is assume that she could diffuse the situation by reassuring you. The reality is; she hasn't told you anything.

What I will reluctantly point out, is that she is minmiziing the event and behavior.Based upon what you indicate, all of the red flags are still there.

I will stress, when I refer to 'red flags', I'm not saying your wife is sleeping with another man. What I am saying is based upon her behavior, your marriage has gone off the rails. If her goal is to simply cover her tracks better, and your goal is that she keeps her word, or covers her tracks better so that you believe she's keeping her word - neither of you have actually addressed the real problem, which is between the two of you.



She doesn’t apologize because:

1. She doesn’t recognize the relationship for what it truly is.
2. She understands the situation, realizes her feelings for him are out of line
3. She has no empathy for you.
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:00 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote: I took the day off from work when she returned and we went out to lunch to talk about the problem at hand in hopes of salvaging this marriage. She still fails to admit to any wrong doing, but agrees to live within the defined boundaries (i.e., not having that much contact with another man). I explained that I do not want to have the same problem arise this time next year or the year after, if she can't agree to not having such an obviously emotional relationship with another man, it was indeed time to part ways. She agreed that she didn't want a divorce and would not have such voluminous contact with other men.

Something that has bothered me since has been the absence of an apology, for both the actions between her and this coworker as well as the very, very disrespectful and frankly, crude attacks aimed at me when I called all parties involved on the carpet (email to coworker and wife). Yet, she has asked that I apologize to the wife for bringing her in the mix. Furthermore, I have learned that she has set up another (new) email account and changed the password to her computer. Before doing so, I discovered that she emailed the coworker apologizing for last weekend. She proceeded to tell him that I was essentially upset about the volume of texts/calls - no mention of the fact that that it was baseline inappropriate - and that they were still "buds" and needed to communicate at work. endquote

Hi confusedincolumbus, I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. I'm glad that you have checked back in with us though and given an update. We're here to help!

Like others have had said here, I see numerous red flags in your situation. I hope we're all wrong in our analysis of your situation and that things will be okay for you and your wife. But, I find it troubling that your wife doesn't seem to have much consideration for your feelings, as I've said before. I don't know your wife, but the fact that she seems so matter-of-fact about her 'attachment' to her co-worker says to me she is in denial about the whole situation. No one would willingly put their marriage in jeopardy for a mere friendship if that is all it truly was.

More importantly, I don't think you should feel that you have to apologize to the other spouse in this situation, i.e. the other man's wife. I am sure your wife and her friend don't like the fact that you blew it all out into the open because it makes it uncomfortable for everyone, as it should! I feel badly for the wife in this situation because I'm sure she is hurting too. However, she should be involved in knowing what is really going on.
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:10 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Well, it was recommended earlier that i get "mad"...and I did. I called her out on the changing of her computer password...she claims she did it so as to "monitor my spying". <sigh> Not a good way to start working on trust if she changes the password on her computer so as to limit my access..."what do you have to hide?" I asked. I then threw out the complete BS move on her part by not apologizing to me, but having no problem in urging me to apologize to the coworker's wife...she then proceeded to say "this is all your fault, for sending the email." The was followed by a big "F - you" from me and I walked out.

Shortly after tempers simmered, we talked and she again said she did not want a divorce, she respects me, and she wants to live within the norms of marriage. She also said she was sorry - I pointed out to her that me having to ask for the apology renders it almost useless. I explained I am willing to work on this, but TRUST is very lacking now and I want to be able to not worry when she says she is going to a meeting/etc and I don't want her wondering if I am trying to hack her computer/phone as soon as she leaves. Both agreed, hugged, etc...

OK, lets see how it goes...

Over the weekend the coworker sent a reply to my email from last week (see earlier post). It was mildly condescending in tone, in that he claims he thought my concern was with the volume of contact, not "conversation in general". I replied with a terse, "I am not buying your minimizing/rationalizing/etc.... " and explained it wasn't about "conversation in general" at work coupled with "if I need to explain in person, let me know". What an arse.

Sunday night I discovered that my wife sent an email to the coworker that included the line "I miss you.". My pulse quickened and my heart raced when I read that....how could it be?

Yesterday, I asked her how it went at work and she says "I heard about your email". No mention of his email to me...which I quickly made mention of. I then asked if she has had ANY contact with him out side of work "no". Have you texted/emailed him? "no". Specifically, "have you emailed him?" - an emphatic "no". "No emails at all?" I asked. "None" she replied while looking at me right in the eyes. I then followed with, "did you think I wouldn't find out about the 'I miss you' email from last night?". She looked like a deer caught in the headlights.

We went upstairs away from the kids and talked (I actually did some yelling). I told her I hope it was worth it, throwing everything away (marriage, family, etc) for this "friend". I highlighted what was in the email "I miss you" - she again tried to rationalize/minmize her behavior and I told her as much. She told me she loved me, the kids, etc and I told her that in fact she did not, as if she did, she would not have chosen this path. She assured me that I was her priority and things got "out of hand". She somewhat fell on her sword claiming that she very much liked talking/hanging out with this guy as he paid her attention/witty/etc...she somewhat tried to to turn it around on me by saying she was seeking attention elsewhere because it was laking at home, says she began to feel like a roommate rather than a wife. I told her I was totally open for working on such an issue and agreed that I may need to pay her more attention/etc - but I reminded her that after 10 years of marriage and two kids, it is not as easy and in fact, it is a two way street. I added that it is a lot easier to play "Lance Romance" when you don't go home with that person at the end of the day and pay bills, change diapers, and feed the cat/etc.

She admitted to making some really poor decisions and assured me that she doesn't want to split the family up/etc. and again apologized for the whole thing. She added that she will do whatever it takes to salvage the marriage. Problem is, I have been lied to, betrayed, and disrespected all the while trying to remedy this problem - and look where it go me: more deceit, more betrayal, and continued disrespect. I asked her to name one thing she has done to remedy this situation...she couldn't. I asked her why I should believe here now, sarcastically asking "because you really, really, really mean it this time?" I asked why she would essentially throw away the marriage by sending the "I miss you" email...? She couldn't answer that.

So now we are at a crossroads. I am sick to my stomach and still in shock over the "I miss you" email - I am so furious that I feel like sending it to the coworker's wife..."thought you might like to see the email my wife sent your husband...no worries, they are just friends.". Likely won't, but that is my frame of mind now. I don't know how we get the trust back, as I can and will only take so much dishonesty, disrespect, and betrayal. I feel so bad for my kids, the only reason I am still here. If it doesn't work out, I want to be able to look them in the eyes and tell them I tried EVERYTHING to make it work with "Mommy". Right now I am not sure I have exhausted all avenues, but if not, quite certain there are only a few left to try. I am taking some time to think and catch the breath that was so forcefully kicked out of me.

Thanks for everyone's advice/insight, very much appreciated and helpful.

Increasingly ConfusedinColumbus.

Last edited by ConfusedinColumbus; 03-03-2009 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:24 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Often in an EA the offending spouse needs to be hit smack center before they truly realize what the “friendship” really is. I think you have accomplished that. Now will she be trustworthy? That is yet to be proved but I would suggest you let her know she needs to be fully open with you and should expect that you will be “checking” into things. She breached the peace pact and now pays the price. Your strategy on this was risky but seems to have paid off in her contrition. Don’t give up now, it may now finally be on the way to recovery. Don’t read to much into the “I miss you” statement. While hard to expect she does. TOM has had a big impact on her life for a long time and ending it will be difficult. It will take time for her to get past him and if she was “in love” with him, even longer. You’ve started her down a path now. Be firm in you boundaries but also be there to support her or she will be more tempted to turn back to him. Good luck
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:52 AM   #38 (permalink)
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I hope I don't catch it for this one... But it sounds like she might be telling you she wants to save the marriage because she's still heding her bets? She's waiting till she's sure she wants to be with this other man, and until this other man tells his wife off,,, to officially tell you she wants to end it? What I'm getting at is, that she's got a place to live, security, love from you, even if it's not accepted by her. So, she's having her cake, and eating it too , to use an old cliche.... She might be keeping you around till she finds out if she and this other man will have something serious, and doesn't want to let go of you in case they don't work out?

I had a boyfriend once, who dated behind my back (cheated) and didn't tell me. He basically was trying to find someone else to be with, but didn't want to dump me, because he wanted a "sure thing" while he searched for someone else. This man was the source of 4 long years of pain and weirdness for me, so I dumped him. Anyway, I am just wondering if maybe she's playing you more than you ever realized. She lies constantly, disrepsects you, and tells you she wants to save your marriage, but then tells the other guy she misses him? Sick on her part. To devalue her husband and kids like that.
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:45 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Just when you think the 'suck' may have turned a corner, you get another kick in the crotch. I remember that feeling.

Even when I knew that my wife's 'friendship' had crossed the line, I asked that she tell me the truth - and she still chose to lie. It was incredibly disappointing.
We are separated and our relationship is much improved, but given the course of some conversations, I still remind her that I don't trust her. She replies with, "I wish you wouldn't say that." to which I respond, "I wish I didn't have to."

Honestly? I would forward the email to the wife. Actions have consequences. You have nothing to lose by doing so. Keeping the wife in the loop protects her interests as well. The secondary effect of doing so means that you are putting heat on the relationship from his end. Unless the both of them have a plan to leave their spouses and ride off into the sunset - one of them is eventually going to recognize that the collateral damage this 'friendship' is causing is simply not worth it.

Out of curiousity, have you put email forwarders in place?
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:21 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Your experience I quoted below? This is the classic cheating wife scenario.

Given the opportunity to repair her marriage, a cheating wife who likes what she is doing will instead realize that further deception, "better" deception, will allow her to keep having her cake and eat it to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfusedinColumbus View Post

She admitted to making some really poor decisions and assured me that she doesn't want to split the family up/etc. and again apologized for the whole thing. She added that she will do whatever it takes to salvage the marriage. Problem is, I have been lied to, betrayed, and disrespected all the while trying to remedy this problem - and look where it go me: more deceit, more betrayal, and continued disrespect. I asked her to name one thing she has done to remedy this situation...she couldn't. I asked her why I should believe here now, sarcastically asking "because you really, really, really mean it this time?" I asked why she would essentially throw away the marriage by sending the "I miss you" email...? She couldn't answer that.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:53 AM   #41 (permalink)
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This is the Cliffs Notes version of a LONG talk from last night...

My wife went a down a literal list of things that she has been unhappy about in the marriage (e.g., feels like a roommate, not told she is pretty often enough, I don't help out enough with the kids, not told smart often enough, doesn't feel appreciated, doesn't feel loved, etc...). She just breezed over the current events and focused on just about everything else. I sat attentively, but will add that listening to a spouse go down a list of things, all negative, about you is not easy - but I just sat and listened and never interrupted (mind you, there were many a time I wanted to interrupt and contest what she was saying, as it was inaccurate...but I didn't). During this time she also told me that on more than one occasion this past year somebody suggested having an affair with her which she turned down (WTH?). With regards to addressing what has transpired over the past fee weeks (emotional affair - lying, betrayal, etc), she simply made a passing reference to it - still minimizing the whole episode. Basically, she positioned the EA as a symptom, not the problem and justified it because it felt good to be told she was funny, smart, etc (my guess is attractive and sexy as well).

I explained to her that if I were to concede every issue she brought up (which I don't), for the sake of argument - all of the issues are addressable and workable. However, the betrayal, disrespect, deceit, and complete lack of trust is a much more difficult mountain to climb. She simply doesn't see it that way - she still rationalizes and almost justifies it (wasn't getting the attention at home that she was getting at work). I brought it up that not a single time over the past 10 years has she ever said to me "look, I feel the following because....and we need to work on it/etc". Not once. I absolutely agreed that I was far from perfect and needed to work on some of the things she brought up - all the while illustrating for her that I fact do much of which she says I don't and gave numerous examples. Again, I fully admit I could work on some of that which she brought up.

I pointed out to her it was two way street...I asked her when was the last time she paid a compliment to me? While I do not need such constant reaffirmation, I pointed out to her that the very things she feels I do not do enough, she doesn't do at all (aside from the occasional "you like nice" when we go out to dinner).

I made sure to go over the things that I do LIKE about her: smart, pretty, witty, hard worker, great mother, great lover, etc) and that the positive things far outweigh the negative...(recent events aside). I didn't want to this to be all negative, but not once did I hear the same.

I told her that not once during the marriage have I betrayed her or caused her to lose trust in me. Now however, because of HER actions and her actions alone, I feel betrayed, dishonored, and frankly spit upon.

Clearly there are issues and problems afoot that may or may not have contributed to her having an EA with the coworker. But what about her claim that she has been propositioned by another guy to have an affair (same guy? different guy?) - my guess that only happens after she put herself into a situation/relationship that go to a point where it was the next logical step, at least for the other guy? I didn't even have the energy last night to dig further into that - she claims it didn't happen because it was wrong/etc. I want to to know who that was - a friend? Somebody we have over socially? Somebody she works with? Is it even true? <sigh>

She did mention that it might be a good idea for us to seek counseling. I am sitting on this fence about this, but it might be helpful for her to hear things from a third party.

The discussion last night ended when we were going in circles - she didn't like hearing that she betrayed me, lied to me, etc, she would get really upset and start bringing up the things about me that make her unhappy - she wouldn't see that the what she DID was far worse than anything I DIDN'T do.

This AM things were OK (still sleeping in the same bedroom). She gave me a hug and told me she loves me - whether she means it or not, I don't know. She did make it a point to inform me that all password protection/etc is off her computer...(last night I told her I frankly don't care anymore about her computer/phone, as I have seen all I need to see).

I would be lying if I said I was optimistic about the future of our marriage. I have tried for three weeks now to do the right thing...pay more attention to her, tried to put everything on the table, tried to talk about problems, tell her I love her, communicate during the day while at work, etc....all it got me was more lies and deceit - and she isn't the least bit remorseful (or if she is, she doesn't verbalize it). If she doesn't see it for what it is, how can she promise not to go down the same path the next time she is unhappy?

I guess for now, we will take it day by day, but living with uncertainty abound is enough to make me want to throw in the towel.

Thanks again for the replies...this has been and continues to be somewhat therapeutic.

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Old 03-04-2009, 09:32 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I sat attentively, but will add that listening to a spouse go down a list of things, all negative, about you is not easy - but I just sat and listened and never interrupted (mind you, there were many a time I wanted to interrupt and contest what she was saying, as it was inaccurate...but I didn't). .
CC: I went through this exact scenario nearly 2 years ago so I understand your feelings here. It is difficult but a necessary step in recovery. While she gave you the laundry list you were absolutely correct in just listening to her. She needed to get it out and you needed to hear it, even if much of it is not fair to you, it is how she feels. Spend some time thinking about these issues with a lot of self reflection. I took about a week while traveling on business and it brought a lot of things into perspective. But remember this is not all about you, she is the one who engaged in an improper relationship and used deceit to cover it up. Accept what errors you have made, commit to your changes and move forward.

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Basically, she positioned the EA as a symptom, not the problem and justified it because it felt good to be told she was funny, smart, etc (my guess is attractive and sexy as well).
Sorry to say she is exactly right in calling the EA an symptom of the problems in the marriage. I used those exact words with my wife about her EA. Your wife engaged in it because she was not getting what she felt she needed at home. TOM gave her the attention she was looking for. This is not an unusual situation, we all like to be complemented. I appreciate it when I get complements from women at work or business. But your wife went over the line in letting the relationship move on to something it shouldn’t have. I suspect she still does not realize what this really is. It took my wife 7 months to realize her feelings for TOM were feelings of love. And when she did she was shocked and saddened that it had happened to her. As far as the compliments and such begin to give those to her but don’t go overboard. She will not accept them for a while and will see it as shallow and controlling. It will take time for you to work your way back in.

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Originally Posted by ConfusedinColumbus View Post
She did mention that it might be a good idea for us to seek counseling. I am sitting on this fence about this, but it might be helpful for her to hear things from a third party.
I believe it is essential that you enter into counseling. It may take a third party to get her to understand what this relationship is and help her to stop rationalizing it. Because they work together your situation is even more dangerous because of the daily contact. My recommendation down the road is that she seek new employment. Until she fully breaks from him emotionally it will be difficult for her to return to you. Your quest in the short term will be difficult. You will need to be steadfast in your boundaries in her non business contact with him but you will need to be supportive as she distances herself from him. She is not at the point yet where she understands the poison she has let into your marriage. Only time and effort on a sustained basis will likely start to bring her back. As I said I found out about my wife's EA nearly two years ago. The marriage was probably in trouble for five years before that. While we have made great strides in communication, parenting and recognizing each others talents and gifts the marriage is still sexless and my love is not returned. But we are still together and working towards what we once had that was so special. I hope your recovery is quicker but be prepared that it will likely take months. Good luck!
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:13 AM   #43 (permalink)
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It can be difficult to get a real sense of people or circumstances within the narrow scope of a forum, but your approach is positive, and you seem level-headed.

I agree with Amplexor that you need a counselor to act as an objective third party in trying to navigate through this. I also encourage people to shop for a counselor like you would any service professional. It is important that the counselor you choose is a good fit. Finding the counselor and setting the appointment may be an action you want to take ownership of – so you have a better idea of what to expect. It’s an intimidating prospect for people that have no previous experience with therapy.

I can also tell you that the fundamental question that a therapist is going to ask you, is: “Why are you here?”

It’s important to have the right perspective on that question. You are going to therapy with your wife to determine if you can salvage your marriage and rebuild a bond of trust, respect, and love.
The crap that has led you there has taken place over years from your wife’s perspective, and there has been a defining event (the EA) from your perspective. Be open to the process, and recognize that it is going to take a long time and a great deal of work on both of your parts to get by this.

You also get to decide when enough is enough. Reconciliation may not be the outcome of therapy. Therapy may clarify what you don’t want.
This was the case for me.

My last 2 cents, you both owe it to your kids to pursue every avenue in making a decision about the future of your family and well-being of your children. Do the therapy.
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:12 PM   #44 (permalink)
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I'm not as great at words as everyone else but I know your pain! I agree with letting whoever is effected by this should know! I hope evrything goes well for you..If everyone would be honest, I don't think it would need to be so bad!!
Goodluck!
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:07 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife and Male Coworker

Peaks and valleys, peaks and valleys...

For the most part, things have improved since last week: gone on a "date night", talked, been intimate, working on the issues I believe I need to work on, passwords gone, etc... Also, my wife saw a therapist yesterday and is returning later this week (made the appointment on her own). We will likely have a "couples" session sometime next week or the week after. The therapist gave my wife an optimistic prognosis...as we are still talking, taking the right steps, and believes there is already a strong foundation to work from (but clearly there are things that need immediate addressing). I will add, my wife was rather exhausted and feeling down after the session, but says she is fully onboard with trying to make things right (I bent over backwards to not "rub it in" so to speak, but rather encouraged her and reiterated my commitment to her, family, and the marriage).

I still have battle wounds from the EA, but I hope in time they will heal. In hindsight, I am so glad I brought this to a head when I did, shining a big, bright spotlight on all of those involved... and putting everyone on notice, including TOM and his wife.

Knowing that this likely will be a long road with many peaks and valleys, I am cautiously optimistic and keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks for everyone's continued support and advice.

CC
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