Isn't it amazing how we feel that we have found some inner strength, and peace---only to have ourselves upended with new revelations?
I am not saying that to be smart, I just want to tell you not to beat yourself up when you wind up taking steps backwards. It is normal in your timeframe.
Like Bigger said earlier, this site is called Surviving Infidelity---not how to guarantee a happy marriage or an easy divorce. It is about getting you emotionally to a better place. And that starts with extricating yourself from this toxic environment.
She has shown you who she now is. Like OK stated, she is neither your friend nor confidante. Quite the opposite. Believe what her actions are stating---that she is not in your marriage any longer.
The current way out of this mess is to dissolve the marriage. You must speak to a lawyer. I doubt that this divorce could be mediated with a single attorney, so I would be looking to retain and file in the very near future. The first steps to divorce may seem the hardest...as the unfairness of it all settles in...but it will eventually be your salvation.
Keep distancing yourself emotionally; you have to accept that she is going to do what she wants to do, and with whom...and you can't change that. But you definitely don't need to make her new lifestyle any easier---you are not the automatic babysitter, and you need to start living your own life again. She is not to be any part of that except for the children.
It will get easier. It may look bleak right now, but it does get better. Take a look over at S/D, and see if that helps.
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day: 9/18/09 D-Day#2: 2/19/10 The Marriage Killer: 6/6/11
Heading for D
My WW got really angry when I told her I'm not babysitting the kids when she goes to see the AP such as volleyball games, dinners, hotels (the hotel comment really pissed her off). But she has done this before while I watched the kids.
Anyway its time for me to move to the divorce/separation forum if any of your are interested in following what happens from now.
Thanks again for all your posts and support.
Take a deep breath. Calm down.
First of all: Yes – right now your marriage is headed towards divorce and you should act accordingly. However there is nothing that your wife has done or that has taken place so far that that makes your case unrecoverable or irreversible. We have seen marriages survive worse – we have seen marriages end for less. No matter what happens then all that is needed to recover is mutual will and commitment. That’s lacking at the moment so the only logical path is divorce.
Remember what I told you in my first post? That we aren’t used to this situation therefore we aren’t certain how to react. Well – Your marriage is on fire and it’s a big snarling flame threatening to destroy all you have built. Our job here on SI is to make sure you don’t rush out of the house and leave important valuables behind or any possibility of saving the house.
One of the best tactics in confrontational situations is reacting in a different manner than expected. Right now your WW expects you to be argumentative and confrontational. In fact she NEEDS that. She needs validation that the marriage is over, that she’s doing “right” in choosing OM, that you are unreasonable and all that. DO NOT PROVIDE HER WITH THAT.
By all means remain firm on your issues but avoid arguments and threats. Treat this as you would a business transaction. Stick to logical, inevitable consequences of the decision to not reconcile. Arguing with your wife over whose fault the divorce is or whether you are controlling or a lousy lover really has no place in dealing with today’s situation.
For example it’s not really a question if you should move out or she move out. It’s a question of what you can afford based on your single salary and joint 50/50 custody. Can you afford the present home? Can she afford the present home? Do you NEED the present home? In those calculations keep in mind that either might have to buy the other out. Keep in mind that there are certain things that won’t work like cohabiting in the house for an extended period. Once again read what I wrote about divorce; even an amicable divorce is a messy event.
So skip any drama in discussing who moves out and turn it into the logical and inevitable discussion of how to divide your assets. You can alternate weeks sleeping in the master-bedroom or either of you move into a different room. Heck – even offer her that she can sleep over at OM’s every other week.
Right now your WW is trying out the thought of divorce. Look – if she was 100% committed to divorce she wouldn’t be asking you if you had talked to an attorney. She would be doing so herself and filing. Best thing to do when someone is trying something on is brutal honesty: This is what divorce looks like. It makes you look fat, old and tired. There is nothing glorious about it.
Do not initiate any talk on divorce particulars. If she starts then try to distance yourself from the discussion with a neutral statement like “There are procedures in place for divorce. We will simply follow them so there really isn’t any point in discussing this now”. If she starts on how this is your fault then “I’m sorry you feel that way. I might not agree but I respect that this is your view. If we had plans to reconcile then this might have some role or significance and could be addressed in MC but since we are divorcing then I really don’t see any profit in discussing this”.
No matter how you go about the divorce – mediation or separate attorneys – then make sure YOU have legal advice. It’s not about trying to get the most out of the divorce. It’s about making sure you get your fair share.
Coda – to date you have cherry-picked the advice offered. That’s OK. I can fully understand that, what with you being in a totally unfamiliar situation. But I think that if you had been slightly more aggressive in exposing to OMW so that she was aware of your WW week’s “holiday”… if you had exposed to people that might impact your wife… If you had been firmer on your boundaries… You might be in a better position now. Or maybe not… we will never know.
You're just trying to do what you think is right and save your family. We've all been through it and handle it differently. But given her degree of immaturity I doubt it wouldn't have turned out any different. Even under the best circumstances both parties have to be in 110%. She's barely 15% at best. Knowing what you know now (week F'fest with him in the open, comments about hotels), do you honestly think you could go back to her? Could your physical relationship with her ever be the same? The mind movies and total disrespect would drive me insane. I think you know that you deserve better than her immaturity.
"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." ~ Bob Marley
Besides the sharing of information with each other, anyone have and other ideas/advice on how the OMW and I can work together to make the affair more difficult for my WW and AP?
Finding out our loved ones have betrayed us hurts like hell. However, your wife has continued to betray the family unit with no hint of remorse AFTER being caught. She must have seen you completely devastated - and yet decided to go for a week. Then she comes back and gets angry at you for saying you may file for divorce. What planet is she on?
If I were in your shoes I would tell my lawyer to get me the best possible deal. None of this 50/50 bullsh*t. Going away for that week would have been a dealbreaker. She chose the OM, and therefore you are fully entitled to do as much as you can to protect what is left of your family unit.
If you want to reconcile, I would write an email to both sides of the family/mutual close friends explaining that due to the actions of OM and WW your marriage has been corrupted. Due to this you are seriously considering divorce as well as doing everything you can to shield your children from the selfish actions of OM & WW. You are also 100% committed to making sure that your children will still have a great life - however you will not tolerate OM being anywhere near them. You don't need to go into detail or get emotional - just state the facts and the current situation.
Because of this, her family will start contacting her and ask her what the hell she is doing. Yes, your wife will get angry - ignore her - but most importantly it will destroy her fantasy and make her come to terms with what she has done.
Anyway, I have less hope now. Sounds like this guy doesn't give an crap about his wife or kids. And wants to be with my wife. I was hoping he would dump my wife once I told his wife. I meet my lawyer again on Monday. I'm preparing for divorce. But still have a little hope left.
What she would dearly want is to keep on cake-eating, until she can get a better picture of mr. jerk and how loyal he might turn out to be. If the affair wanes, as is probable, then she still has her marriage and family.
I'm afraid you are the plan B option, as is common for many BS's. Best approach is to remind your wife that the OM cannot be trusted; he is a cad of the highest magnitude. Maybe you can dig up some information about his past transgressions, that reveal that he is not trustworthy and is a poor long-term investment; certainly not worth giving up your marriage for. Play to your wife's biggest fear.
Meanwhile file for divorce and confront your WW with her ultimate nightmare; disintegration of her family for a short-term relationship. Loss all around.
Avoid confrontation and hostility with your wife; don't make her decision any easier to make. Just be friendly and civil; you have done your best to save the marriage, now its up to her.
You see, there is so much common ground with BSs that it is almost eerie. She is scared to take action. She knows that her husband is a first class jerkoff, but she loves him, and is afraid to lose what table scraps he is supplying her. And that is sad. Like you, she deserves much better.
Who knows? If she drew a line in the sand, he may come running back. But being that she isn't, and he feels that he has all the power, that dynamic is not going to change until she stands up for herself.
You are further along than that woman is. While you are not yet emotionally detached, you have a better sense of what your future holds---with or without your wife. Hope is not always a bad thing, but it is not what you need to pin your actions on. You need to be as much as a realist as possible, and operate on that mindset.
This sucks. There will never be any reasonable justice for what you have endured. But you still have the ability to find new happiness sooner than later. Just keep focused.
I have told you that you should look at this as a journey out of infidelity. When you set off on a journey you need to know two things and have a good idea about the third: You need to know where you are headed, you need to know where you are located right now and you need a good idea on how to get to your destination. Fact is the third factor is possibly the least important. How you get there is less important than reaching the eventual destination and it’s impossible to set off unless you know where you are setting off from.
You know where you are:
You are in a marriage with a wife that is having an affair. You know that you aren’t willing to share your wife. You know that you have realized and accepted that unless she commits to the marriage then YOU aren’t willing to remain in a state of infidelity.
You know your destination:
Your destination isn’t divorce any more than your destination is reconciliation. Your destination is getting out of infidelity. This can be done with your wife (if she cooperates) or without your wife.
So it’s all down to how you get there…
You already have a rough outline on how to get there… Keep up pressure. Deal with the situation as it is at each moment. Deal with reality and not fantasy.
Yes – it would be better if OM dumped WW and focused on his family. But actually that’s irrelevant. [Actually the OM has never been really forced into resolving that issue. Like all WS – your wife included - they use all the leeway they are offered. If OMW were to file today then OM reactions might be totally different. Or not. But it’s irrelevant. The only thing relevant is your WW reactions.]
Each and every journey starts with motion. You have already set off the motion. You have told your WW that you won’t remain in infidelity. Now it’s basically an issue of how fast you move towards your destination and whether your WW choses to or can jump on board before you reach some major milestone along the path out of infidelity. IMHO you can totally determine the pace yourself AS LONG as there is motion. If you think not forcing the issue in a hard way is the way to go – then fine. If you are OK with not making her commit in the next week – then fine. Just don’t stop longer at any point than you are comfortable with. Keep the momentum going. Take control of the situation. Make sure you are moving out of infidelity but be open to changes in how to reach your destination.
Coda – Don’t try to educate your wife on how hopeless the OM is. There is nothing you can say that will make being with OM sound like a bad idea to WW. Telling her that he’s ignoring his family, leaving kids… it won’t make him any worse in her eyes. It will only make you sound desperate and thereby less desirable.
Be strong and be true to YOURSELf!
Right now you are the only one who gives a shit about you. Your WW quit that job.
Please stay focused on the prize, YOU! You getting through and healing from your WW infidelity.
Never forget what is worth remembering or remember what is best forgotten.
If the OMW is cute you should ask her out.
[This message edited by coda87 at 4:02 PM, October 19th (Saturday)]
Given that she won't exactly be brimming with remorse, how will you manage to suppress the humiliation, bitterness and resentment thats going to surface when you do attempt reconciliation? You can bet your wife won't tolerate much negative input but with the OM just a passing memory, you would have to be a saint to not be angry at the insulting, disrespectful treatment you received.
As regards reconciling, its a case of being careful what you wish for.
Nearly every single poster here on SI that entered reconciliation didn’t have a spouse showing remorse or “true” remorse at the time when they entered R. It’s often entered reluctantly, with great trepidation, as a less evil option than divorce… Plus the original “remorse” tends to be a remorse for getting caught and a remorse for being so stupid. It’s not until the WS gets the true scope of the damage caused that the remorse becomes “true”.
Plus each and every poster that has successfully reconciled has had to deal with what some call humiliation, bitterness and resentment. And they cope. They seem to be fully capable of managing that. IMHO there is no humiliation for ME if a spouse decides to have an affair. After all – we tend to agree that the infidelity is caused because the WS is lacking – not because we are lacking.
I think we should keep in mind that this very house we are meeting in – SI.com – was built and administrated by a couple that had to “deal with the humiliation, bitterness and resentment”. I have had the privilege of interacting with them both online and can’t sense an iota of any of those emotions. I know that one of the moderators here reconciled his marriage from what most called at the time a hopeless situation because of the “humiliation”. In his case he simply started off on reconciliation with a wife that realized she had issues, committed to NC and was willing to change. The “true remorse” probably came a lot later.
Think of it this way: Imagine you bumped your car into someone. Person falls down but then stands up and says he’s OK. You might get out of the car and see if the person is OK. You might apologize and show some remorse for bumping into them. The apology and remorse is true compared to what had happened. Later that day you get the news that the persons spleen burst an hour after the incident and the person nearly died. Would your sense of remorse remain the same or would it intensify? Would you think the original apology was enough? It’s the same with infidelity; it’s a rare situation where the WS realizes the TRUE scope of the damage caused until way into reconciliation. It’s then and only then that TRUE remorse can be attained.
End of T/J
Coda – your wife has done what she has done. It’s totally your call where and when you pick up that last grain of sand that breaks your back. I have seen people reconcile from “more” than your seem to be dealing with. I have seen people divorce for “less”. Either option you will get support here.
So sorry that you have to be where you are, but know that you are not alone.
For me, I had to judge by my cheating spouse's actions, not his words. I confronted him, he threw me out of the house (and I left, because all I could think at that moment, was to get away from him). He talked like he was on the fence, but his actions told me that he was with the other woman. That was nearly 11 months ago. I listened to his actions and filed for divorce. He's already engaged to the other woman and we have not even had our first mediation meeting!
All I can say, is that I deserve a husband who is truthful, devoted and mature. I do not deserve a spouse that lies, deceives and cheats. I deserve so much more than that.
It has not been easy, I have walked through the darkest shadow of the soul. My heart was shattered but each day, I wake up and show up.
It's been such a roller coaster ride. Right now, do whatever you can to take good care of yourself. Breath, know that this will pass. Exercise helped me deal with some of the physical stress. I lost a lot of weight but have put much of it back on. Post here often, get support. I started seeing a therapist and that's been so helpful.
This is your time to heal. The affair is her stuff, don't take any responsibility for that. I also read about narcissists and that helped me to understand that the affair has to do with my husband's dysfunction, not mine. He was married before and I later found out he cheated twice on his second wife. He probably cheated on his first wife too. I was his third wife and he's already found wife #4. We know how that is going to end up!!
You mention that OMW is cute and question why anyone would cheat on her.
By doing this you are indirectly implying two things that I want correct you on.
First you are indirectly implying that you are some sort of Quasimodo. After all – since you think cute people shouldn’t get cheated on then your WW cheated on you because your face looks like the north end of a dog going south…
Never seen you and probably never will. However I have NEVER encountered a case of infidelity that’s been explained or justified by the cheated spouses ugliness. Personal beauty of the betrayed spouse – internal or external – is NEVER a factor in the reason for why the WS cheats.
The comment indicates that the infidelity seriously impacted your sense of self-worth. That’s to be expected. Most BS come here asking what they did wrong to make the WS cheat. And yes – infidelity is more likely to happen in a marriage dealing with problems. But that’s mainly because a marriage can’t be healthier than the sum of both participants. So even if you give it 100% your marriage can never be better than that plus your spouse’s contribution.
That leads into the second implication I want to correct: That the infidelity is your fault.
NO NO NO: They cheat because of faults within themselves – not because of faults in you.
Your wife could be as unhappy as a sumo wrestler in a diet camp but that would never explain or justify her decision that the ideal way to deal with her unhappiness was by having an affair. Your WW had an affair because SHE has issues that she decides to deal with in a totally inappropriate and wrong way. Part of R is for her to discover those issues and for you two to improve communications and comfort so she is capable of bringing those issues to the table.
Finally Coda; Based on what you have shared about the OM. I’m guessing he’s one of those players whose radar is constantly on. He will have affair after affair and is constantly working on his next conquest. Chances are that once the cost of keeping your wife as a fuck-buddy outweigh the benefits then he will dump her. Increase the cost for him having her by following my advice on making the affair a hard place to be. Once he has to buy movie tickets for her AND the kids (bc you refuse to babysit for her) he will start looking around. Not that it makes R any more probable for you – you do NOT want to be the backup plan – but it makes your WW face reality faster and REALITY is what might pop your W out of the fog.