basically, my wife told me ILYBINILWY after 8 yrs of marriage (13 yrs together), told me she was unhappy with being neglected for so long and not being loved in the way she wanted to be loved, and eventually that she had two PAs (pure sex, no names) and was in the midst of an EA w/ a coworker, all in the past year.
she has felt undesired and unattractive because i haven't really wanted sex that much in the past year, and this snowballed (as every little thing that she may have ignored before added fuel to her fire of being unhappy and eventually checking out of the relationship).
i've spoken with many of her close friends and the story is consistent: she knows how lucky she is to have someone like me for a husband, and that if she were following her brain, all signs would point to getting through this together. she knows that i want to work it out, that i have accepted responsibility for my flaws and acknowledged where things went wrong, and that i would move mountains to get an opportunity to show that i can change.
but the story is also consistent that she wants to follow her heart instead of her mind, and her heart doesn't feel she owes me a chance to show i can change after having so many years of evidence of the type of person i am (not as romantic or spontaneous as i used to be after the honeymoon period ended, stable/dependable/good-natured but perhaps not as exciting as she would have liked), and that even if she gives me a chance to change, she cannot predict whether that would be enough in her mind. she also would feel guilty for making me jump through hoops and then still decide it wasn't enough.
she has told her friends that if i had done this 6 months ago, she would have given every opportunity to work it out. but since she met this coworker, she is thinking to herself, is there something else better for me out there? she has since put the EA on hold and left the country for a month to be by herself and collect her thoughts (i know for a fact the OM is not with her), but she is wrestling with two alternatives: (i) being pretty sure she can be pretty happy with me, a known commodity, or (ii) potentially being extremely happy with someone else (not necessarily this coworker, but someone out there) but with extreme uncertainty.
sorry for the long post, but have you found yourself in this situation? what kind of thought process do you go through to make your decision? have you decided to give your husband another shot, or determined it was worth the uncertainty to search for true happiness? if so, was it worth it?
Sorry but her leaving for a month is not a good sign for you.
She now has a month to date around and see if she's right that there's lots of excitement out there for her to enjoy.
If you haven't started the 180, you should now. It sounds as if she's already checked out on you and you're simply the back-up plan.
She has had a total of 3 affairs! Sorry but she is a serial cheater. Time to protect yourself in this matter!
Who is paying for this one month sabitical anyway? If she's using joint money or credit cards to underwrite this juant, cancel the joit cards and let her use her own money to fund her little sexcapades!
ladyfrog, how did you come to grips with your own issues. was it simply time and/or counseling?
toffer, thank you for your concern...it's certainly not unwarranted given past history and some parts of me think this month off is the worst possible thing. however, it is work-related (working in another office) and the main reason she said yes to this work assignment is that it would allow her to break contact with the OM that is working in her office here in the US. i think that says something.
perhaps i am stupid or naive, but i believe her when she says she wants to find out more about herself and that she is not looking to just have ONSs or date around right now. she has told me she feels broken and she realizes jumping into anything with anyone right now isn't going to fix her core issues. so i want to respect her space while reminding her i am there for her. she is on the verge of depression and as much as i know the 180 is important, i also think being there for a friend and someone who was such a huge part of my life is critical.
I read your other posts. I hope that you've also read other's posts in Coping With Infidelity.
If she really cared for you and your relationship and wanted to figure out what was wrong with her, she wouldn't have run off to another country. She would have stayed here and gotten herself into IC.
How do you know she broke contact with the OM? Do you know she's not calling or emailing him? Did she do a NC letter to him?
Why couldn't she either ask for a transfer to another office (any others in the US?) and you'd go with her to work on your relationship? Can she get anorther job (not in the same company)?
What else have you done to deal with the OM? Have you exposed him?
Sorry Gear but none of this looks good. I say you should go 180 hard and fast so you'll begin to prepare yourself for what looks like your life will be without her in the future. Go dark on her. Let her get an idea of what life will be like without you.
In short, stop being the "friend" and doormat that she can depend on.
Sometimes to much time goes by and it's too late. I would take Toffers advice and start the 180. This will help you grow as an individual and get ready to be apart. Let her go. She may find out the grass isn't always greener on the other side and you may realize you deserve better.
i also think being there for a friend and someone who was such a huge part of my life is critical.
I don't think you can actually be "there" for her. Even if she allows it, then I'd think she is just placating you in her confusion to "find herself". Personally, I think you have to tell her goodbye, and mean it. If she comes crawling back....well, then you can consider what to do next. But I wouldn't help her out or prop her up while she is rejecting you. That can't be good for anyone involved.
toffer, yes still here, thanks for checking up. all, thanks for the advice. ladyfrog...clown masks, oreos, and a banana? sounds like a typical tuesday night!
seriously, though, i understand i need to come to grips that this is most likely over for the foreseeable future. do you think the only way she gets all this out of her system is to free her to do as she pleases and let her come to her own realization that the grass is not always greener? i just feel that unless she does that, even if we try to R now, she will always wonder, and i will be a jealous/overprotective husband, which i don't think is healthy for either of us.
i guess i was wondering if any of you got to a point of wondering what life would be like with someone else but decided to work things out with your hubby without necessarily splitting and dating other people. what changed your mind?
i realize that reading books like 'his needs, her needs' and '5 love languages' will be helpful if we ever get to the point of talking things out, because it will help each of us realize that we are each loving and caring for the other in our own way and that we each need to be cared for and loved in a certain way as well.
After being married to a man that had several EMA..the trust was gone.
Had it been even ONE EMA...how to you ever begin to trust again?
Counseling can help...some. Yet never enough. Everytime they say they're going to the grocery store you wonder. Everytime they get a phone call you wonder and tend to eavesdrop. Every text they get you wonder who it's from. Every time they text.....you wonder who they're texting.
I was there. Even though I forgave him..I couldn't forget. It was living hell as everytime he left the house, I felt like I had to go along and "babysit"
I can't tell you much his affairs changed my life. We'd go through our honeymoon periods where things were great..but I was always on pins and needles..worrying that if I did something wrong...he'd go right beck to being unfaithful again.
Living with a spouse that cheats changes your whole relationship no matter HOW much counseling you go through..how many sorries they say..and how much they regret what they did.
Trust is a hard thing to come by..and once it's ruined..you'll never get it back.
The marriage and wife you once had are over and gone.
Before you can even think about reconciling, your wife has to decide that she wants to. Her running away to Europe is not a good sign. Regardless, should she say she wants to R, the first thing she'd have to do is go No Contact with the OM. She'd have to send a NC letter to him.
Again, it seems that the marriages that have a solid chance of recovering are ones where the wandering spouse when first confronted, immediately agrees to R and to the No Contact and chooses her spouse.
This did not happen in your case.
Do the 180 now so if you need to move on after all of this, you'll be in a better position to do so.
You're getting advice here from lots of folks who have been down this road. Follow it
Also, ask a mod about getting this moved to the Coping With Infidelity Forum. You'll get tons of advice there and I'm pretty sure it will echo what we've said here
toffer, yes, i've been in the CWI forum for quite a while now and the advice given there is pretty much that if she won't get rid of the OM and do full NC, drop the notion of hope, file for D now, and do the 180 hard and fast. counseling or talking it out simply will not work if she refuses to fully let go of the OM and i can verify that by having her give me full transparency.
although she's told me she is going NC while in Europe, i can't really verify it right now, so i should give up hope of R.
It is always possible that she could come to her senses some day but by not doing anything, it certainly won't happen now.
You should follow the advice you got in CWI. File and have her served when she returns home. As I know others have said, this sometimes knocks them out of the fog.
Personally, I'd have her served as she arrives at the airport so that she knows you mean business. To be honest, I find it hard to believe that she's been NC with OM while away. If she tells you she was, ask her to prove it by taking a polygraph. the results of that should give you a better idea of the type of person you're dealing with.
Right now, you have no hope of R until she chooses you and not him and goes NC. Do the 180 and ready yourself to move on (and FILE)
You can always stop the D process before it's final but I have to say that I don't think that will happen in this case. I'm sorry but from the outside looking in, it isn't a pretty picture