I have never thought I would be in this situation. However, it's entirely my fault.
I've been married for over 20 years. Sometimes it's rough but otherwise, I have no regrets. I consider myself to be a rather outgoing person but my wife is rather an introvert. However, we have many of the same likes (books, traveling, food, learning). But we also have our differences (she hates concerts and crowds for the most part and I like to go out occasionally). It's been 20 years of that and for good or bad we're climbing into our late 40s. We talk about retirement and winding down the jobs. We talk about investing and, while I'm not the most astute when it comes to the market, I'm completely on board with her plan (as she is in the financial industry).
However, recently she discovered that I email someone she detests during the work week and she never knew about it. To be honest, I have emailed this person for about the last 5 years and I hid that from my wife knowing that she would go ballistic. Even then, I can honestly say that the emails were not sexual, flirtatious, or really even contained pictures unless they were of our kids. My wife found an email pop up on my phone and read thru a few of them. I can say that the topics usually focused around my hate for my job and traffic and hers were around how her boyfriends treated her. I was used to the boyfriend talk only because this woman dates a lot. That's something I"m not really familiar with given my 20 year marriage and 4 years of dating but she was never reaching out to me for a date. In fact, we haven't really seen each other in years but we would have the same old gripes each day, ask about kids, plans for the weekend, or politics at a high level.
What I thought was innocent my wife has taken to see as a betrayal given that I hid this from her. Frankly, I'm in agreement with that statement. As a married man, I should have realized that this is a toxic relationship and really I should have bowed out. But for some reason I didn't and in order to not 'rock the boat' - thought it was something I could manage. So earlier this month, my wife confronted me about my 'pen pal' and I really didn't have words. Likewise, most of the previous emails from this woman were deleted and that's because I keep my inbox pretty clean - google deletes them after 30 days and I don't like clutter. Tough to do searches on things when it's me griping about traffic or careers and her about her boyfriends.
So now 4 weeks later, I'm still getting the cold shoulder. As my wife has told me, I am unable to make adult decisions by hanging around with this person and that, since I wasn't getting anything out of my pen pal relationship, I must have been in love with her.
I had chalked up the fighting to jealousy. I dropped the emails, told the penpal that I was utterly crushed at hurting my wife and that I wasn't going to talk to her anymore, and I have spent a month having my teeth kicked in for having a relationship with a homewrecker. My wife won't talk to me, barely smiles anymore and has told me repeatedly that I'm a lying cheating a**hole.
WIth that, and in trying any effort to save my marriage, I have told our closest friends that my wife and I are in a rough patch and that I am to blame. I tell them that I have hurt her by emailing someone she hates and that I hid it. I have laid out that I am willing to do what I can with their help to get her to see that I'm not this person she now admittedly hates. As my wife has put it - i 'disgust' her and that I am incapable of love.
the last 4 weeks have had me go from thinking about how to tell my wife that I wasn't have an affair (which I wasn't and we both went into to have STD tests to try to resolve that). I have tried to show her that I am not financially supporting anyone else - we walk thru the finances and everything is there. But that what I did was hide something and then try to lie about it when she confronted me. Instead of telling her that I write nearly every weekday and sometimes more than a few times during the week - I tried to 'soften the blow' by lying about the frequency and she called me out on it. So I'm a lying, but not cheating, a**hole and I do deserve that.
What I would like to know is if the punishment is worth the crime. I have shook the foundation of my wife's future by showing that I hide things. And I want nothing more than to be with her, support her, and continue loving her into old age but she is stating that we're thru. "There's nothing left" is what she tells me.
I can't believe that so I come home every day and we stay up for hours arguing about my choices and then we're up early in the morning arguing about how I have destroyed her life. While I did lie - I would do anything I could to get things fixed. The problem is that she's not opening up. I've talked with several people and they don't get the brick wall or her talking to lawyers. I've tried to be as objective as possible to understand that while I did do a really horrible thing, is it something to divorce over? None of our friends that I've spoken to think that's the case but she's just so made after nearly a month.
Is there any objective advice out there for a guy that's not strayed to another woman but was maybe too chatty and should have known better? I lied, i did a horrible thing hiding it, but this woman and my daughter is the galactic center of my life and I'm hating this. I'm doing everything and she's staying just as mad each day.
You need to get off your high horse and stop minimising what you have done.
You were having an emotional affair with this OW. You know it but are still denying it, it is worse for a wife to know this about her H. You have gaslighted your wife, minimised the extent of your emailing, cleaned up the audit trail, etc so in short you have to stop kidding yourself about the severity of what you have done. Just because you did not stick your **** into this OW does not lessen the pain of betrayal for your BW.
Nothing will get better until you yourself stop the minimising, face up to the cold hard reality of your EA and face the music, you have done more damage because of the length of time of your hiding this from your wife, much worse than a ONS.
Good luck, but if you are that devious, I think your wife is better off leaving you. Trust is the very foundation of a marriage, if she cannot trust you, what is there left?