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Ending the marriage
September 8, 2005
11:12 am
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RobertM65
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I believe that I am willing to end the marriage if my W's affair continues. She believes the same. The difference may be in timing. If things don't improve I'm thinking of starting the legal process in terms of weeks or months. She had made a statement that we should stay together at least until my daughter and her son (who does not live with us) graduate from high school ... 2 years. She said my indication that anything would happen sooner was selfish on my part. She had a couple drinks at that point, so I will take it for what it is, but the conversation seems to indicate that she is thinking of the consequences of her actions. I think I need to set her expectations in a more concrete way and I think it's a bit more complicated than saying "... stop it or else". Maybe something along the lines of "...if the affair continues our marriage will end sooner (much sooner) rather than later"

My wife has many addictive behaviors most of whih are pretty minor. My concern is how addicted is she to the affair? It's clearly not a romantic thing. Things that I have read indicate that these types of things run their course sooner rather than later. To quote: "That same dishonesty and thoughtlessness eventually turns on the lovers themselves, and the affair is destroyed by those same flaws that made it possible in the first place. " That statement runs contradictory to addictive behavior which would suggest the affair would continue indefinately. A reply to one of my posts suggested the A was more aptly termed an "escape". I think that may be an accurate characterization.

Things are improving. We have been drinking less and talking about our future in positive terms. I'm sensing some improvements in her self-esteem. The same issues (work, family etc..) that would make her melt down a couple of months ago are still there. The difference is that she doesn't spin out of control over these things anymore. I still have trust issues, but then again who wouldn't ?

I know in many respects, it looks like my wife is playing me for a fool. My ex-wife did a good job of that. My wife is not that strong or cold and calculating. She is a person with many issues including low self esteem and probably low willpower. There are many good aspects to our relationship. I truly believe that she wants to work things out but may lack the willpower to address her problems.

My ex-wife told me she didn't love me anymore. It was very easy to end the marriage. Oddly enough she wanted to get back togehter 3 years later. This is not the case with my current wife. If the marriage ends because of her lack of willpower, that would be tragic and heartbreaking because the love is there.

September 8, 2005
11:24 am
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taj64
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I think your marriage can be saved. She is willing to stick out for two years. A lot can happen in two years. The trust can be gained, the love can grow stronger again. It is because things are so rocky right now, that she is trying to escape much in the way she is drinking. She is trying to numb herself from her own personal pain. You in your heart believe it can work out. But it is going to take a lot of time, much more than a few weeks or months. If this affair is not a romantic one, then it will die off. If both parties are not emotionally attached it is much easier to break it off. This other guy he needs to know this, she needs to tell him that her marriage is more important and to leave her alone. Once you wife is secure with herself, she will not want this guy, she will want you. But you also have to work on yourself and self esteem too. When she sees that you are living your life the way you want, not insecure, you will become much more desirable to her. So have an affair too, with yourself.

September 8, 2005
11:37 am
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RobertM65
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taj64,

I see the situation almost exactly as you have described it. Knowing that it will take time is a bitter pill, but hearing you say that gives me a little more strength to do what is right.

You said: "Once you wife is secure with herself, she will not want this guy, she will want you. But you also have to work on yourself and self esteem too. When she sees that you are living your life the way you want, not insecure, you will become much more desirable to her." Seeing it those terms is inspirational.

I was planning on going to an Al-Anon meeting at lunch time. Any doubts about that have been erased ... so I'm going.

Robert

September 8, 2005
11:40 am
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gingerleigh
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First let me caveat and say that I think Dr. Phil is a total ass-clown. No, not just an ass-clown, he's the MAYOR of Ass-Clown-Town.

But, his book Relationship Rescue is a really great book. Both of you should read it, maybe even read it together. Or if she's not willing to read it, you read it. If the love is there, this IS salvageable.

September 8, 2005
11:59 am
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taj64
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I've been single for 10 years. Dating around a lot but not really anyone special came along...until the married man, who wowed me from the get go. I lived with almost 3 years with and up and down relationship. I feel terribly in love. He did with me but also loved his wife. I cannot say I regret falling in love, that would be a lie, but I do regret hanging in there as long as I did. They are working on their marriage. He was diagnosed with sex addiction though for the life of me, I do not understand why we didn't have it like a normal afffair couple would. We did it, maybe less than 10 times and most of it in the beginning. Apparently his wife also has a high sex drive. Anyway I won't go too much into it for I am trying to heal myself from this mess. I was diagnosed with codependency. I think his attachment to me faded in the last several month and he and his wife got closer and I was left in the dust with nothing but hurt. I understand completely everything you say because I was close to this guy and know what his wife went through, her behaviors, his behaviors and mine. I also believe that when we broke up, that his wife was completely unaware of the involvement. I think he lied to me and also her. He wanted me to see his good side and he wanted her to see his good side. In the very end, I did see the dark side. It was painful to acknowledge everything, the course of the past 3 years. Typical triangle story. Now all I want to do is forget him, but that is nearly impossible. I found this site just days before the break up and had also read the codependency book. I was in denial before all that. I thought my eyes were open too. Anyway I see your pain because I see how you are reacting much in the way his wife reacted. I am mentioning the fantasy part of it because I think I too kept on with it because my feelings and fantasies got in the way of living my own life. I was secure in the beginning of our relationship but gradually my self esteem suffered because I wasnt getting my needs met and I became too focused on him. I am doing better and no longer in denial. Also I know a lot about alcoholism because my ex husband is an alcoholic and both my parents were too. My died died of it. It is no wonder I latched onto the affair guy because I have issues with abandonment and sure enough I felt abandoned many times by my lover. It sucked! I am determined to recover for myself. Also if your wife drinks and you do not have a problem with it, I would suggest you give it up. Well my lover and his wife have a very destructive relationship, before I even came along for I was not the first, I was 4th in line and she too cheated. They are abusive with each other yet determined to save their marriage. I am out of it now. I am sure if they can work it out, you can too especially if the love is there. Time is going to heal either way if you stay with her or not.

September 8, 2005
12:02 pm
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taj64
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Oh my goodness I saw that Dr. Phil show where the husband and wife and the other woman came on tv and he says he is in love with two woment. It made my stomach turn because it was our story up and down. I do not like Dr. Phil. But he was so right. reading your story, you have a chance, and who care what Dr. Phil has to say about it. He isn't always right.

September 8, 2005
2:14 pm
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RobertM65
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Just got back from an Al-Anon meeting. The face to face contact helps. I'm feeling good about myself right now, but it could just be that pink fuzzy cloud. I guess that's why I should keep going to meetings.

taj64 - thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you are dealing with some difficult issues yourself.

September 8, 2005
4:09 pm
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evi
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I don't know what made me read this thread...but I am so glad I did. I am in the same situation except it was husband who had the affair. He came clean because he felt guilty and wanted our relationship to work. It has been an emotional battle more so for me than for him. I hope and pray that our marriage will work. The other woman was also married. I just found out that her husband is going to Iraq for one year in about 4 weeks, I wonder if I should tell my husband....You know she will try and contact him. I hate to see this temptation placed before him...I just wonder if he loves me and the children enough to stay away. Totally confused on how I feel, for the most part scared to death. I thank you for sharing your feelings they somehow seem to help me too. I am totally open to anything anyone has to say. ....Evi

September 8, 2005
4:12 pm
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Anonymous
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both of you go to counseling to rebuild your trust.

it sounds like you don't have any - and you need guidance on how to get it back.

even if he doesn't go, you need to go for yourself - to learn how to try and trust him - or learn how to cope with this.

if he wants the marriage to work, he should be open to counseling.

just remember - trying to control him and watch him and obsess over this is not going to keep him from cheating - he will if he wants to - it's his "will" - not yours and you can't make his decisions for him.

if he says he won't cheat - you gotta trust that - but he has to earn it back - and therapy might help that.

September 8, 2005
4:41 pm
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gingerleigh
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Evi, I was that other woman! I had an affair with a married man while I myself was married and my husband was overseas in Iraq. It's extremely lonely during deployment, and yes, the other woman WILL contact your husband, it is human nature. She's not necessarily a bad person, nor is your husband, but both of them will be in a weakened state, and you and your husband need to face this head-on, together, with open lines of communication.

The "good news" I have for you is that your husband will most likely not end the marriage for the other woman. In the end, his love and loyalty to you and the children will win out. If he didn't leave you before, he most likely isn't going to leave now.

The real question is what are you going to do? The two of you do need to tackle this together.

September 8, 2005
4:49 pm
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taj64
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Evi, have you talked to him? It is part of gaining trust if you confront him with this issue instead of keeping it in. You have a right to express your feelings. Tell him that you are afraid to tell him but that you want to be honest. Ask him what his feelings are about this. If he feels guilty about this afair and wants your relationship to work, then I feel as if he still loves you. I see this in this thread. Don't be afraid to express yourself, then you won't be confused. A key to healthy relationship is good communication. Try it out. Think about in your head how you want to say it.

September 9, 2005
9:32 am
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evi
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Thank you to everyone. My husband and I have been in counseling since May, He has done everything He is suppose to do, He at this point has given me no reason not to trust him. I have a hard time communicating how I feel at times with him. I hate the "here it comes again" face. I did speak with him last night about the fear I have when her husband leaves. He assured me I have nothing to worry about. He has stated that he would tell me if she tries to make contact with him. My husband was so good at hiding the affair for 3 years. It was not an every day affair (not that it makes it any better) it would go on for a month, stop for a few months start back up again and so on. My problem is it has been a little over 4 months since it has ended and I am in fear of the repeated circle. I don't bring it up anymore the first month was my time to ask all the questions I felt I needed to ask..I am no fool but I sure felt like one. I am a smart person and did not see the signs. There were none. My husband even told the counselor he was good at keeping things at home the same while having the affair. We do communicate more and I do try and express myself at times. I don't want to bring it up all the time, if you keep questioning his behavior I feel like he will cheat again because if he feels I think he is doing it agin then he may think why not do it again she thinks I am anyway (boy hope that made sense). I just want a day when I don't think about "her" or the whole situation. People tell me it will pass in time...How much time. I am a fix it type person, I want to put this behind me and go on. But for some reason it isn't that easy. I have read a book on forgiveness, it was pretty good. It did not say that I had to forgive the act, just the person in my own time. I plan on reading the other one suggested. I want to trust, but am afraid of being hurt again. I know I am no different than anyone else and things could be worse. I feel guilty for some of feelings when others have it so much worse...like the hurricane victims, etc. Wow I guess I have rambled enough. Thanks again....evi

September 9, 2005
9:46 am
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Anonymous
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evi,

my BF cheated on me - and swears it won't happen again - but I live in fear - and tho I ask him if he's had contact with her, and he says no, I still want to look thru his phone records, his computer, you name it - the compulsion is there. he turned to her when the pressure got too much at home with me, and so I walk on eggshells, worrying if we fight, will he go to her - I mentally know it won't happen again, but it's hard to accept and move forward. I am fighting the same worries.

I dont have anything to offer for advice - just wanted to let you know someone else is in the same kind of boat - and constantly looking for the leaks that will make us sink, instead of enjoying the view of the horizon and water we are floating in.

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