I wish you could be totally honest with me.
I wish you weren't afraid to admit how you really feel or what you believe. I know you are afraid of making things worse or hurting me more...I know I didn't exactly make it easy for you to be completely honest with me in the beginning. I can't even guarantee that total honesty will even fix our problems at this point. However, What I can guarantee is that lies or unspoken truths never make anything better.
Yes, you admit you were wrong for doing what you did and I appreciate that. It's not enough though...you refuse to dig deeper and you minimize your actions by saying although you lied and kept your time spent and communication with OW a secret, your reasons for doing it were because you just wanted someone to play blackjack with. But the fact that you were hiding her and deleting things long before you began meeting with her alone suggest that it's not that simple. Betraying your wife is never simple. You either think I'm stupid or your lying to yourself. I know these details seem small and unimportant to you but to me they are huge. I need for you to respect that. I know you don't understand how going over and over the past, especially when it hurts me, will benefit our future. I don't expect or care if you understand. You should just trust me when I say I need to do this until things make sense to me. Until I feel like you are owning up to all of it. Without that, we won't have a future. As you can see, I'm really struggling again...I'm stuck.
I need for you to admit and recognize the message you were sending to OW the second you asked her to meet you at a casino, alone, in middle of the night, and in secret.
Happily married men don't keep secrets from their wife. They don't ask another woman to go anywhere at 3am. They don't drink alcohol with or give money to another woman...at any time, let alone at 3am. They don't lie to their wives and say they are working so they can take another woman out. Happily married men go with their family on a cruise and if for some reason they can't, they don't call their secret female General manager friend as soon as the cruise ship leaves the dock to make plans to spend the evening together.
I can't imagine any man...married or not that meets up with a woman at 3 am, buys her alcohol, gives her money and spends hours with her and doesn't expect or hope for something sexual in return. Your actions suggested that you were a very unhappily married and confused man. One that had very little respect for his wife at the time. Any married man that takes another woman out at 3am in secret, especially while his wife is out of town is sending a very clear message to that woman and it's that your marriage is in trouble and you no longer value it. You didn't have to tell her with your words... Your actions spoke for you. Why you don't recognize this really concerns and troubles me deeply.
A happily married man does not have the desire or time to text another woman 777 times in one month and his wife only 64 times. He doesn't flirt and try to make his female general manager laugh all the time by text. He doesn't vent to her because he vents to his wife. He doesn't call her or text her on her days off. He doesn't email her articles he finds interesting or share funny emails. He doesn't have to list her under a different name in his contacts. He doesn't avoid mentioning her name in front of his wife. He doesn't lie when his wife asks if his GM gets a bonus every week. He doesn't lie when he's caught. After all there would be no reason to lie if he wasn't doing anything wrong.
Do you honestly believe that a married man can ask a woman to secretly meet him anywhere at 3am and that woman think oh, he just wants to be friends with me? I'm a woman and if any man asked me I would assume he either wants to have sex with me or he has feelings for me..deep feelings because he's risking his marriage and family to spend time with me. The last thing I would think is that he just wants to play blackjack with me because he has no one else to play with. If that was the case, he wouldn't ask me to keep it a secret or assume I had to lie to my husband/boyfriend in order to meet him We wouldn't have to wait until 3am and his wife to go to sleep before we could go out. If a man gave me $700 to play a game with him, I would definitely expect that he wanted something in return for that money. After all, that's a lot of money to just sit next to someone drinking beer and playing cards.
I have no evidence that anything physical happened and at this point I don't even want to know. All I'm asking for and All I need to hear is for you acknowledge and own up your actions and the messages they sent to OW. You admit you were wrong for doing it but you continue to minimize why or what your actions represent or suggest. Nothing angers me more than when you say that you just wanted to play blackjack. It's hurtful and makes me believe you think I'm stupid. You continue to deny any feelings when the fact is you chose the same girl all 4 times ( I can only prove 4, I believe there is more). You claim it was because you had no one else to play with but the fact is you didn't ask anyone else. You didn't even try to find anyone else...Even after she suggested you should ask someone else. Even though you were a married man betraying your wife. Of coarse you would take her to a casino...that's your favorite place to go. It's exactly where you took me 20 years ago when we first started dating. You even gave me money to play just like you did her. You taught me to play...Remember? It's not as if OW has some expert card playing skills to make you want to choose her. You did it because you liked her, enjoyed spending time with her and you wanted her at the time. Don't be ashamed to admit your mistakes. I'm not going to punish you. I just want to understand you and I want to know that I'm worthy of the truth to you. I want to know that you trust me with your deepest, darkest secrets...Even if it hurts to hear those secrets.
And last but not least..a happily married man would not use someone else's phone to call his GM, who happens to be the same girl he betrayed his wife with and ask this woman to lie to your wife so you could save your marriage. you asked her to tell me that John was with you guys when you went out and it was only twice. That's a lot of lying and hiding for two people who have nothing to lie or hide about. Isn't? So do you still stand by your claim that you never led OW to believe you had any feelings for her or that you had problems in your marriage? Try to be honest with yourself and with me. Take some time and really examine those choices and actions and what they portray. It does not make you a bad man because you messed up. But it does make you look like a weak man when you don't accept responsibility and really own all of it. I mean all of it. The meaning, the motive, how you rationalized it. I'm not bringing all of this up to throw it in your face because I believe you are sorry for it. But in order for me to move on, I need to know you understand why you did it, what it meant etc. and that you are being brutally honest with yourself and me. And trying to convince me that you did not lead her to believe you had any feelings for her or that we have marriage problems is a slap in the face to me. It's just total bullshit. You hurt me. You broke my heart...you broke me as a person. Even after all of that I'm still here and I still love you and want to be with you. All I ask of you is to be real..own up to your actions. I think it would help heal us both if you did.
A couple of thoughts...
1) These are my ideas, but it's your letter. No hard feelings if you entirely ignore this response.
2) Will he actually read it?
3) You make your points pretty strongly, but I think other points may be more important.
4) I think you're wrong - happily M people cheat, and my W used some of the methods you outline.
5) 'A happily M man...' reads well, but it doesn't apply to him, because he's already said he was unhappy. Maybe 'an honest man' would work better.
6) I understand the strong desire to rub the WS's nose in his sh*t, and I've certainly done that myself. A better approach, though, is probably to ask explicitly for new behavior - no lying, no flirting with anyone but you, no texting other people except about business/practical/professional matters, IC to build boundaries, no female blackjack buddy unless you're around, etc.....
7) IMO you don't need him to do anything unless you are going to R. After all, you can leave and live without him. Just one 'If we're going to stay together, I need you to ...' should be enough to make your point.
8) it's hard to read, given the number of words and layout. I understand SI isn't setup for desktop publishing (that's not a hint, mods), so if you send it, make sure it has a lot of white space, clear breaks between paragraphs, and short paragraphs.
9) Is your goal to confront him with the outline of how he cheated hoping that he'll see it and be horrified an stop? If so, I don't think it will work.
I believe subtlety is wasted on WSes. I suggest rewriting the letter in 3 basic sections: a) these are the actions you used to betrayed me , b) these are the actions that will win me back, and c) what are you willing to do to R? Then decide which version you like better. In fact, if another approach looks better still....
The OW still works for him. I know she needs to go but at this time, the risk outweighs the gain. I don't believe there is anything between them anymore. I don't even worry that he still has feelings for her or that they will do it again. But...I'm still jealous of their past and of her. My confidence took a huge hit. It hurts to know that they shared secrets and worked together to manipulate me. I get frustrated with my husband because he says things like "you shouldn't be jealous of her" and that she has no clue that we are having problems because he's never led her to believe he had any feelings for her and he's never told her anything personal about me or our marriage. He doesn't get it that his actions spoke for him. He doesn't admit he was unhappy in our marriage during that time.
I've sent him copies of texts from the OW saying "please don't think anything is going on between me and your husband. He loves you so much. He's only spoken good things about you. He'd never risk losing you. He was so scared when you were in the hospital. I've never seem him so devastated." Why does he continue to lie about dumb things like this? How can he tell me that I have no reason to be jealous or feel insecure around her? So my whole point of the letter is to make him aware that his actions and words don't match and to try to get him to see where my jealousy and insecurity are coming from. This was an issue in the beginning but I tried to let it go. It just keeps popping back up because it's unfinished.
I thought it was exactly what you needed to say. It was honest and from your heart and from that hamster wheel in your brain that goes are pins and around and around (don't you love those?)
If this was the ONLY communication that the two of you were having, if there hadnt already been talk and apologies prior to this... I see Sissoon's points very clearly.
However, I completely relate to not just needing actions and guidelines etc.
I needed him to be honest so that I knew he understood why it happened. And not to blow smoke up my ass- or his own. For me, him coming clean ... really clean...about the EA part of it is what helped me move on to another step.
I also think that it is important that you put it all down - and in such a logical organized manner. Sometimes when we talk with our WS, there are stops and starts, interruptions, tangents, etc.
By writing it all down, it is much easier to get our complete thoughts out.
And I think it was clear and straightforward. I am not your WS and I clearly understand what you are asking for.
If you think he should read it in order for you to move on, then he should read it.
Good luck honey - be strong (((scuba))))
Best of luck, say what you have to say - we just can't expect a reaction, right? I always have to check myself for what my expectations are when I share a letter or concern like this with my H.
Wondertwin, Yes!! I say this to him all the time. I feel like he does this to me a lot. It's insulting.
Plus when we are talking face to face, he has this way of throwing me off. It doesn't take much to distract me anyway. He starts by saying give me examples of when I said or did something. Or he says he misunderstood what I was saying before and that's why he responded the way he did. Then later that night I will remember something that proves he knew exactly what I was talking about. Thank you for the support and advice.
[This message edited by Scubachick at 5:34 PM, October 13th (Sunday)]