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IWMWB posted 7/13/2020 12:47 PM

Hello,

Wife is 39 and I am 37, we have two grown up children (yes started young) and have been together for 19 years and married for 8

So around mid April 2020 I started to feel as though my wife was pulling away from me and I asked her about it. She tells me we need to spend some time apart so she can think, I totally did not see this coming and was totally blindsided by it. I asked her why she was feeling that way and all I got was the ILYBINILWY speech and not much more and she walked out to stay at her sisters.

Fast forward the next day and I speak to her on the phone and she tells me she is done that she has feelings for someone else, and there isn't anything I can say to change it. I had a thought of who this person was and I asked her and she confirmed, its a guy she works with.

I went into free fall and done all the stupid things that I now know better not to do, I pleaded and begged BUT she decided to come back and it lasted about week and it was pretty awful as I tried smothering her with love and attention and it was just too much with all the raw emtions we where just not read and had hardly discussed anything.

Having spent about a month apart things started to trickle out that she had been texting the co-worker as "friends" and "tried" to tell me but I am under no illusion that there has at the very least been an EA ongoing at this point. I again started all the pleading and begging (again I don't know any better, not educated myself yet) and at this point she says its finished and there is no going back. I start looking at mobile bills and find that the two of them have been texting since around December 2019 and I confront her, she says we are over what does it matter I am going to be seeing OM.

Over the course of May 2020 I try to open up some communication with her to find out whats lead to this. She tells me I am selfish and that she'd had enough of my spending and that I had taken her for granted. This is the part of the story where I will accept my faults and say that this is true I was a spender and she had to juggle the bills because of it but we never spent beyond our means and never spiralled into debt not that its an excuse. We where in a power struggle with money where I would buy something and she'd want to pay it off straight away using every penny we had leaving us with little money for the rest of the month. I worked pretty hard, infact 7 days a week at one point as I am self employed so there was little time for us. I got fixated on buying a new car and bugged her about it, she got unwell with what we thought was Covid-19 and once recovered I bugged her again about the car (after she had recovered). I think for her this was the last straw and she was down and eventually told OM about her feelings (sometime Feb) and he said he felt the same way.

At this point I now understand why our marriage is struggling and start the old pick me dance. I clean up house by selling all the gadgets and things I had bought and cleared off our credit cards and a small loan we had. I start putting money into the bank and saving it, she starts to see the difference and we talk again only for me to find out that they have now been physical (to be honest I was deluded I could prevent that from happening certainly with how I was handling this situation) and we go our seperate ways until around start of June.

Around start of June she phones and says she wants to give us another go (again I just accept that and I am happy we're going to try working it out) and I ask her what changed and she says I can see the changes your making and I am not seeing a future with the OM (he is 15yrs her senior if that matters) so she moves back in. I know I know a mistake as there was no real remorse or conversation BEFORE about what that looks like. The first three days she is loving and affectionate and sending me texts about the fact shes made her decision. There are problems however as she still works with OM and will not switch jobs (that left me a total insecure wreck), she is not wearing her ring and she has made alternative transport arrangements to work (I usually take her) and yes again I know these are all RED flags that this is not a proper attempt at R. Ultimatley I feel with these things she is not really commited and the weightI feel I am carrying is too much and we end up in an argument and she leaves again (this time we lasted two weeks together). Of course after she has stormed off and we're over she said I did apply for a new job and she showed me on the phone and I ask her WHY did you not say this, didn't she realise this would have helped me feel that there was some commitment to trying and she just says I didn't want you to go on about it. I have been telling her the last few weeks don't you realise I am NOT a mind reader and if you sit me down and talk to me about things and how you where feeling we could have avoided all of this pain (that is her fault that she never did sit me down and say this is where we are at and this might be what happens) so we had no chance to try and sort anything when the marriage actually meant something to her. She says she tried and maybe she did and I didn't listen. Its tragic really.

So that brings us to today where I believe she is now currently activley dating the OM, oh and by the way our Anniversary was on Thursday 9th July and of course she wanted nothing to do with it. Says we are over (which of course we are at the moment if she is "dating" OM) so that was a painful day to say the least but made it through.

Right now I seem to be the bad guy and our whole marriage has been terrible and if only I had listened things could be different (maybe thats true), now she apparantly wants to remain "friends". Despite the fact I am looking inward at my faults and who I am and trying to change for the better it seems she doesn't want to know and doesn't want to acknowledge any of her faults, and has simply given up on us. She is distant and cold and simply comes across and uncaring of what this is doing to me. Infact she took great exception at me calling what she is doing an Affair and said they where only sexual while we where seperated and that seems to appease her guilt (of course I don't know how shes feeling but that is what it seems). There is no real sense from her at the level of betryal I feel in both the EA and then the leading PA.

So here comes the crazy part could I forgive I believe I could ONLY because I know the issues in the marriage lead to this point. NOW don't take this statement as its what caused her affair because that is 100% on her and she chose that and is still activley choosing that right now and thats not what I am saying but her being unhappy in marriage has played its part.

Do I hope for R yes I do and right now I have just backed away from this situation in order to concentrate on me and my mental health. I have no idea what this new relationship for her will bring and if it will last so I need to move forward while holding out a little hope but with no expectations but it bloody hurts like hell. Trying to get the day started is a nightmare as I always feel worse in the morning but I have got myself in shape the last few weeks but finding it hard to sleep, tend to fall asleep okay but wake up in the middle of the night or really early morning.

I've tried everything I can to turn this situation around other than now back off and try and get on with this and get my own self respect back. She says she doesn't want a divorce as its messy and wants to protect our house for our children and frankly neither do I, I feel its too soon. We couldn't get one anyway as in the UK we must be seperated for a period of time before we can apply for divorce. Luckily I can afford our joint mortgage alone and keep the house we've worked so hard for together so I have home comforts at the very least.

It goes against everything I know just to back off because of course I am a fixer but I know that its what needs to be done until she is ready to try and work on our marriage properly, if she ever decides that what she wants. I myself have decided that I will give this six months before I take any "next" steps (whatever that means) so that there is enough time for me to be able to do things without emotions and to see where this new relationship with them goes (it could end in disater and she realises what a fool shes been, it could turn into something real) again I am trying to have no expectations.

tmacfire posted 7/13/2020 13:11 PM

So sorry you are here. You have been dealing with this for a long time and you do realize the mistakes you have made, thats good. YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME FOR HER AFFAIR!!! Say that until you believe itt because it is true. Does not matter what you spent, she screwed someone else. She is using you as a back up plan. She has checked out. Get a lawyer and serve her papers! It might make her realize what is about to happen, but it sounds like she has checked out. Take care of you and expose her for the cheater she is, this is not on you!

The1stWife posted 7/13/2020 13:12 PM

Oh boy is this a BIG mess!

Your ďpick me danceĒ and attempts to R will not be wasted b/c it will give you the comfort that if you D, YOU did everything you could to try to address some of the issues. She just was not willing to do anything except continue to cheat.

Next is the ďreasonĒ she cheated. Itís just nonsense. You spent $. It annoyed her. You worked 7 days a week. None of those are reasons to cheat. She did not start cheating after you separated. She started well before. So anything she tells herself is a lie. And she knows it too.

Start putting $ aside in an account in your own name.

Get some idea of the D process. Meet with an attorney or two who can give you some guidance.

Read up on doing the 180 which is basically limited contact with her as possible. The Healing Library in the upper left corner here can give you lots of support too.

Iím sorry your W is on the fence. She seems pretty sure sheís ILYBNILWY. However do not let her come home again. She needs to be out the door.

sisoon posted 7/13/2020 13:42 PM

Backing off and working on yourself looks like a good approach. How are you doing that? Are you contemplating IC?

The one thing I might add to your strategy is figuring out your requirements for R and letting your W know what they are.

The daoists talk of 'wu wei' - in non-action, nothing will be left undone.

HalfTime2017 posted 7/13/2020 13:58 PM

IWMWB-

I'm sorry you're here. Your wife is not in love with you. She has shown you who she is, and there is no love left. Anyone who loves you won't treat you the way that she's strung you along.

Your attempts of the pick me dance have made you look weak. You're in a bad position to win any women back when you look weak. At this point, it doesn't really matter. She is lost. Even if she comes back, you'll always know that she wanted to be with someone else, and the only reason she's stuck around is bc it didn't work out with that other man. Is that how you want your life to be the rest of your life. You rugsweeping the situation multiple times, it will only lead to her cheating again in the future.

She is now using you. You have no more ties with her b/c your children are grown, maybe its what she's been wanting all along. Many parents wait until their kids are old enough and out of the house and that is when they seek out these affairs and move on. No matter if you R or D, i'd suggest that you read no more Mr. Nice Guy and get yourself some IC help. You need to learn why you're so desparate to take her back after all these chances. Work on you and make her work on her, than decide if you really want to R. B/C at 37, you're at your prime. No small children, means you will be a catch to most women in the 30s age bracket.

IWMWB posted 7/13/2020 14:37 PM

I guess I am at the stage where all I have left is "hope" without expectation of what will happen in the future. In other words I am fully becoming more aware every day as my mind clears of the situation I am in, and the level of betrayal that has occurred and that as it stands right now my marriage is over and I am moving moving forward with that in mind.

I can't control what she does (of course not) and I certainly can't make her love me and right now she doesn't want to R but here is where the emotion of the heart creeps in, it plants the seed in the back of my mind that makes me wonder if the ILYBNILWY is a symptom of the excitement of the OM and should that relationship fail and she finally "withdraws" from that who knows what's left.

Now I don't even know what R looks like right now hence the reason for not taking any further action for the next few months, to gather my thoughts and my prospective. Am I putting life on hold? certainly not and the time may pass where I decide that R is totally off the cards anyway or it may well be she comes to the "realisation" that the OM was not the answer (the damage may already be done or ... who knows)

totallydumb posted 7/13/2020 14:59 PM

it plants the seed in the back of my mind that makes me wonder if the ILYBNILWY is a symptom of the excitement of the OM and should that relationship fail and she finally "withdraws" from that who knows what's left.

Basically all that is left is a lying cheater who has gaslighted you, and manipulated you.

See a lawyer to get some knowledge on what divorce/legal separation looks like. She has left the home, there should be some legal consequences. Your WW needs to see some of these consequences.

Read up on the 180. No contact with this cheater is problably a good idea.

Get yourself into some counselling with a therapist who has experience with infidelity trauma.

It would probably be a good idea to expose her affair to family and friends. It isn't your job to keep her dirty secrets.

DoinBettr posted 7/13/2020 15:43 PM

the stage where all I have left is "hope" without expectation of what will happen in the future.

We call this "HOPIUM". It is like heroin. You think it is good for you and makes you a better person. Really, it robs you of sleep, self respect, time, and mental health. It is also incredibly addictive.
You need to realize something. Your wife isn't in love with you. You can't force her to love you either. So, why not be a strong independent man who she has to chase. Instead of you currently chasing her and waiting for her to return. Be the guy you want to be without your wife. She isn't your half, you are a whole and if she wants to put her half on top, then maybe you share some of back.
You can't nice your wife back. Also, you really don't approve of what she is doing right now. Why not file with a solicitor online and start the 1 year separation. 1 year is a long time.
This puts a timeline on when you feel you can start dating or pull the plug. You can stop a divorce at anytime, that is why they require that year separated. Trust the process. If you file your wife has to really buckle up and decide you or the AP. Otherwise she can be with him and if things get bumpy, she just comes back to you.
Your WW does not get to decide if she gets divorced, that is your decision. She has already left the marriage and put the family's assets at risk. It is time to protect yourself.
If you still insist on not divorcing, then what would trigger you to replace her? When would you start dating? You may need the hard 180 for this reflection. I bet you text her daily still. That is your morning shooting up the hopium.
Good luck and you deserve better. You gave this woman so much of your life.

Buster123 posted 7/13/2020 15:44 PM

So basically you're "hoping" to be her plan B, if the new relationship fails, you'll be there waiting..., I'm sorry but that makes you look very weak, here's what you should do, take that option away from her, file for D or separation and EXPOSE her with ALL family and close friends without warning, if D papers and full exposure don't shock her back to reality, nothing will, and don't forget to get tested for STDs/STIs.

D takes a long time and can be stopped before it's final if she comes around, or NOT! by that time you may not even want her back, you deserve so much better than a proven cheater and a liar, don't make the mistake to remain "friends", that's just for her so she feels less guilty.

Justsomeguy posted 7/13/2020 15:47 PM

If you sit around hoping that she will come to her senses, then you are still engaged in a pock me dance of sorts. You need to really detach. That way, you can authentically work on yourself. Anything less is a half measure. I got the ILYBINILWY speech. Man did I love giving her the IDLYAINILWY speech when I told her we were done. Hey your power of self back and hold your head high.

IWMWB posted 7/13/2020 17:20 PM

Hello,

Thanks for the replies thus far so just to clarify a couple of points.

We are already separated, she is currently living with her sister. I have also gone NC with her (so no don't text her daily).

While I do have a dose of hopium I can assure you that I have more "its time to move onium" and I see its time to rebuild my life as a single guy for the time being. I do see this situation for what it is but of course this was my life and it would be great if I could just turn all the feels off, I can't but I can work through them but it will take time as I am sure you guys are well aware of.

I'm not just sitting around waiting I will GAL but right now I am figuring out what that actually means to me and what that should look like. Thats why I talk about 6 months, not because I am waiting because I need to spend time to figure out who the hell I am and what I want for the next chapter of my life.

As I have said I am 37, both my mother and father have passed away, I do have extended family around that I have not seen much over the years as being married I concentrated on my immediate family (wife and kids). I've been self employed since I left school so have not had the opportunity to build a network of "friends" and because I met my wife when I was 15 I have no idea who I (not us) really am.

I have literally never experienced the "dating" scene OR been with another woman (which right now I can't even think about) or navigated life without the wife by my side so again that's going to take time to get used to. I will get back out there but its its the how I need to work on.

DoinBettr posted 7/13/2020 18:31 PM

I am glad you are in the moving on stage. Like I said, she is going to do the whole, "Things aren't working out, can we try again?" crap.
If you aren't going to file but consider yourself divorced, Why not date?
So, how to make friends? I would say try to go to group events, but Covid. So, what about trying the app Meetup? Maybe join an online group or 2? Keep getting in shape and being under 40, you ever think about running a marathon. Start training for that now and if you see other people running, ask them if they are training too. It will get you in shape, perhaps get you comfortable meeting women, and you will be accomplishing something without your wife. This will also translate into Football(Soccer) when the fields open up again. Maybe then you can join a league.
The only thing I would say, you said:

Do I hope for R yes I do

See this as a new door opening. You are going to start figuring out who you are on your own. It is exciting and you need to close the door on her. It doesn't have to be divorce, but say she would have to do (Make a List) for you to even consider her moving back in. Then you know she won't be able to sweet talk her way back when she gets bored.
Be strong, I am glad you responded with strength.

Jameson1977 posted 7/13/2020 18:43 PM

Hi IWMWB,

Welcome. I can read in your post how much you love your WW, and desperately want to keep your M together.

Your WW is exhibiting all the classic signs of someone in love with another person and the only way to rationalize her abhorrent behaviour is to vilify you. Itís a terrible thing for her to do to you.

Her coming back after ďtest drivingĒ her BF speaks volumes. I feel it has nothing to do with her having a change of heart. She might have actually been slightly honest when she said she didnít see a future with the OM. However, she is back at it now.

You are young and have grown kids, you will have no problems finding someone that is capable of being honest and faithful to you. It sounds like your WW wants to keep you as Plan B, if things donít work out with the AP.

I would bet she was physical with him long before admitting it to you. You know a couple things that are true about your WW.

She is capable of lying, re-writing marital history and demonizing you, all the while she feels she is faultless. She is a common cheater, nothing special about it.

You need to take control of what you can control. Going NC and maintaining it is a good start. Initiate D, take care of yourself.

I would also find out if this AP is married or in a relationship and blow his world up. IC might be useful to you, it wasnít for me, but is for many people.

Iím sorry you find yourself in this situation, but the people here have seen and lived pretty much everything when it comes to infidelity.

paboy posted 7/13/2020 20:53 PM

You are young. You still have lots of time on hand. I guarantee that you are going to look back on this time, and thank her AP for taking her off your hands now, when you have the time to reassess and replan.

The best revenge you can do right now, is to live the best that you can. Hit the gym. Get your fitness and physique together. This will do marvels for your battered self esteem. This is the first go to area. Hit the iron..

I see that you are self employed. What can you do to improve/increase your work capabilities. Now is the time to work on these. Further educate. Maybe look in to an area of work that you have always wanted to do but was unable.

Have you considered relocating. Now is a good time to do that if you feel too.

I could suggest a few other things, but as you can see, the world is your oyster.

Work out a plan that you want to move forward with. Set some short term plans, and go for it. I guarantee your going to enjoy yourself, and will not believe what strides that you will be achieving. It can only be positive from here.

I expect to hear back from you in 2 years time, informing how awesome life is turning out.

GoldenR posted 7/13/2020 22:26 PM

Never be a willing backup plan.

Buffer posted 7/14/2020 04:51 AM

She has moved on, moved out and views you as her STBX.
Sorry shit sandwich but that is it.
Expose her A to all as what it is, she cheated the infidelity is squarely on her shoulders. As her AP is a co worker, be carful as if you inform HR it could come back and bight you on the bum alimony wise. But your children should know, her family should know The Truth.
You have to be prepared to loose your wife to win her back. Do not engage her at all unless it s about your children. Be a grey rock. Non pulsed to her views or ways.
IC for you if you can afford it but mate, she is gone.
One day at a time.
Buffer

[This message edited by Buffer at 4:52 AM, July 14th (Tuesday)]

Tigersrule77 posted 7/14/2020 11:35 AM

She says she doesn't want a divorce as its messy and wants to protect our house for our children

So she wants the two of you to stay married but date other people? What if you want to re-marry? Is bigamy legal? Or is your WW just a child who lives in fantasy land?

Is your WW working? Are you paying any of her bills? You are waiting for 6 months to decide if YOU want a D (your WW has already left the M), are you still treating her like you are married?

Does your WW ever see your children? Are they aware that she left you for another man (active affair)?

You seem very calm and accepting of your WW's actions. You hope she comes back, why? I suspect that once you see that women exist who will respect a faithful, loving man, you may realize that you deserve better.

IWMWB posted 7/14/2020 15:31 PM

Thanks for the replies, while I certainly may come across as calm and accepting but I am certainly aware of the reality of what's happened and that reality does become clearer each day.

My wife does work and has her own income so I am not paying any of her bills, I'm paying just the household bills as I am still living in the house.

The main reason for not divorcing right now is finances I simply couldn't afford just now to buy her out of our mortgage as its a joint mortgage, so I will take some time to try and get on top of that to be able to.

I can fault her parenting (albeit not setting a great example right now) and the children are aware of it but are grown up so can come to their own judgments which I believe they have (Son isn't happy about it and Daughter seems to have accepted it).

The last R ended about a week ago so dating is just not something I am even thinking about right now, she may have emotionally checked out but I have not so the thought of dating or being with someone else is just something I can't even think about.

You hope she comes back, why?

You've asked this question and I honestly paused for quite a while thinking about it. Its not out of fear of living alone I know I can handle that. All I can say right now its how I "feel" and while the reality of the situation is we're over, the reality of the situation is I've been treated badly in terms of the broken trust and infidelity and continue to be treated badly, but sad truth is I am still at a stage where I do love her.

Like those have said that should change as time goes on and perhaps my future will indeed involve someone new and I will look back on this as a painful life lesson but right now I am in the thick of it trying to take on each day at a time (mornings are the absolute worst).

ChamomileTea posted 7/14/2020 16:06 PM

The main reason for not divorcing right now is finances I simply couldn't afford just now to buy her out of our mortgage as its a joint mortgage, so I will take some time to try and get on top of that to be able to.

Why not sell the house? Downsize into something which is affordable enough that you can still have a life? Once we get past COVID, you will have the freedom to go out more, even travel a bit. Why tie yourself down to this asset when it's no longer serving your needs?

I understand how hung up we can get with our emotions and sentiments. But waiting around to see if your WIFE breaks up with her boyfriend is pretty damned hard on a person's dignity. Most of us want to know that we're a priority to our mate. And worse, it results in what you saw the first time she came back... a WS who is unwilling to do the work. As long as she's on the pedestal you've created for her, SHE is calling the shots. But in real R, it can't work that way. If she doesn't take true responsibility for what she's done, she's not going to be able to fix it.

Cheating is not about the marriage. Marriages don't cheat. It's' PEOPLE who cheat. And they do it because there's a hole in their character which is capable of saying "yes" to perfidy. Not everyone is like that. A person who truly BELIEVES in their core values will stand by them, no matter what. A core value like fidelity would mean that a true believer couldn't cheat without a gun to her head. You see how that works? YOU believe in fidelity, you've built boundaries around that belief to keep temptations out, and voila!... not a cheater. But your WW has given lip service to this core value. There's something gone off in her character which allow it. There's a "but..." in her value of fidelity, ie. "I believe in fidelity, but... not if I need some more excitement in my life". So, while you're waiting to see if she gets over her need for excitement or whatever, the REAL problem is that she doesn't have enough integrity to stand for shat she claims to believe. She doesn't really value her stated values.

This is the kind of work a WS needs to do in order to repair their broken character. They've got to dig deep, figure out where all that shit is coming from, learn to respect their own core values and to build boundaries around them. She won't do any of that while she thinks she's right and blame-shifting her actions onto you and/or the marriage. What you'll have is more of the same until she understands that SHE is the problem.

Holding on, staving off the consequences of her actions is just empowering her dysfunction. The cure for fantasy la-la-land is REALITY. Life doesn't wait for her to pull her head out of her ass. It marches on. And then she's got to scramble to catch up. THAT's the technique which can pull a WS back from the brink... IF they're salvageable. And I'm so sorry, but some are not. Some are just determined to end it and those are the ones who do. They'll continue to blame their BS all the way out the door too, but nothing stops them. It's challenging them with REALITY which sorts the salvageable from the abandoners.

I'm sorry. I know that's not what you want to hear. There's nothing stopping you from continuing to do things the way you've been doing them, but I do think that you'll continue getting the same results.

Strength to you as you process.

Cooley2here posted 7/14/2020 16:17 PM

Look at how young you were when you met her. Itís almost like you are imprinted on her. Youíre going to have to take some real time, real long time, to let go of how you felt from the time you were still forming your personality. In someways you are going to start all over again. Donít let that scare you. 37 is a very young age and I know people whoíve gotten married for the first time at 40. Have a great life by concentrating on yourself and your kids and your job. You will get through this eventually.

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