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Is this normal if there is such a thing

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IWMWB posted 10/15/2020 06:17 AM

So long story short my Wife gave me the ILYBINILWY speech back in April and I then subsequently found out she had "feelings" for a co-worker and they had been texting since January. I got all the usual stuff thrown at me that comes with this like the blame shifting and all that crap.

Anyway in start of August it went as far as my wife moving in with the AP, but a couple of weeks after that happened she started texting me saying she had made a big mistake and that she loved me. I stupidly made it all too easy and said we could make it work if she was willing but she was hesitant to just drop the AP, but a few days later they had an argument and she text to ask me to pick her up it was done. The AP sent a few nasty messages and she told him it was done and blocked his number.

Initially when my wife came back she did all the right things saying sorry, giving me cuddles, saying ILY and we had sex a couple of weeks later. She seemed optimistic about our future.

Fast forward two months to roughly the last couple of weeks she seems to be backsliding. The affection from her has stopped (she will accept affection if I instigate it like cuddling and kissing) but she has stopped saying ILY and the sex has also stopped. I've asked her whats up and she says she thinks she is just going through the motions of missing AP (yuk!).

Right now I am just feeling shit and I think the initial hope I had is just fading, and doubts about R and M are creeping in quite a lot. I do get that it may well be she needs to go through a period of grieving the AP and her feelings are not just going to switch back on/off that easy but I guess I am just confused by her initial burst of feelings the first few weeks she was back.

She just seems to want to rug sweep and get back to "normal" whatever that is but right now it just doesn't feel enough for me. I've read lots of resources and I read about the unfaithful showing transparency, remorse, accountability, loving actions and right now I am seeing none of that.

Its leaving me feeling very unloved, used, like her feelings are more important.

DoinBettr posted 10/15/2020 07:10 AM

IWMWB - Sadly she was given forgiveness
too easily. She probably thinks you treasure her and isn't considering your feelings right now.
You may need to show her you aren't going to tolerate this back slide.
Did you ever threaten divorce? Does she know that is on the table? Was it ever on the table?
You said you made it too easy and it sounds like that for sure is what is happening. I know lots of guys in recommend the book "No More Mr Nice Guy". It sounds like you may need that to educate yourself on how to ask for what you need in the marriage.

Notthevictem posted 10/15/2020 08:21 AM

Yeah, based on what you describe, she in no way is acting as if she understands how much she hurt you.

You don't need to do anything destructive to show her, either. If you haven't already, then I'd stop all the little things you normally do to show love. Making her coffee or getting her a treat while you're at the grocery store, etc. I mean, those things didn't stop her from cheating, so the must not mean too much, right?

Instead, now is the time you need to be focusing on yourself. What do you enjoy doing? What makes you happy? Favorite restaurant? Favorite tv show? Favorite book series? Hobbies?

All too often, depression is a result of being betrayed. Watching out for it... fighting it... that's gotta your number 1 priority. Working out, eating right, getting good sleep will all help some.

For references, as DoinBettr said, no more mr nice guy is a good one. Another is looking up info on the 180. Another is to journal.

We're here for ya too. You aren't alone.


Butforthegrace posted 10/15/2020 08:29 AM

I'm sorry to be blunt here, but your story line is the most classic case of "Plan B" I think I've read here on SI. Your WW leaves you, moves in with the AP, and only asks to come back when things with the AP don't work out? And even then she carries on with the AP for a time to see if it will re-kindle with AP? Only settling for you when that tap runs completely dry?

My friend, do you really think you can find inner peace staying with her under those circumstances? Among other things, aren't you always going to be wondering if/when she'll find another AP to leave you for?

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 8:30 AM, October 15th (Thursday)]

Unhinged posted 10/15/2020 09:07 AM

What you're going through (being put through) isn't exactly normal, but it is, unfortunately, common enough.

What do you want to do, IWMWB? Is this the sort of life you want for yourself? Is this the sort of marriage you want?

I'm sure this all hurts like hell and you feel powerless and out-of-control. Therein lies the trick, brother. You've got to pick yourself up off the floor, dust yourself off, and step up to the plate. If this isn't the sort of life you want for yourself then you're going to have to take steps to make positive changes in YOUR life.

...she started texting me saying she had made a big mistake...
Infidelity isn't a mistake, it's a choice. She's made her choices and now she wants to avoid the consequences of her actions. That's all too common, as well.

Whatever issues she has that lead her down Infidelity Lane are the same issues she's been struggling with for most of her life (FOO shit that was there long before you ever met her). Unless and until she's able to identity and deal with those issues, nothing will ever substantially change.

Initially when my wife came back she did all the right things saying sorry, giving me cuddles, saying ILY and we had sex a couple of weeks later. She seemed optimistic about our future.
This is commonly referred to as "love bombing." Clearly, it had it's intended effect, to throw you off your game, so to speak. Now, it seems, you're starting to see through that shit (which is a good sign).

She just seems to want to rug sweep and get back to "normal" whatever that is but right now it just doesn't feel enough for me. I've read lots of resources and I read about the unfaithful showing transparency, remorse, accountability, loving actions and right now I am seeing none of that.
So, what now? What do you think you could do to impress upon her that what she's doing isn't going to work?

EllieKMAS posted 10/15/2020 09:30 AM

I do get that it may well be she needs to go through a period of grieving the AP and her feelings are not just going to switch back on/off that easy
Nope. NOOOOOOOPE. If she is going to be in her M, then 'feelings for the AP', 'grieving', that is big fat hell NO. If she does have those, then she needs to deal with them on her own. That is not your responsibility to help her with that. I get it, cus I thought the same thing with my exdouche, but I should have said exactly what I just told you.

In the words of the philosopher Yoda - Do or do not. There is no try.

Either she is in the marriage, or she's out. For YOUR sake, do not allow her to sit on that fence.

Notthevictem posted 10/15/2020 09:33 AM

her feelings are not just going to switch back on/off that easy

Didn't she just switch her feelings for you on and off? Why's it easy to turn em off for you but hard for him?

IWMWB posted 10/15/2020 11:27 AM

I am certainly starting to feel I'm a plan B, I don't feel right now like she is the one she has chosen and wants to be with. She has said her feelings are all mixed up right now and that she does love me and she is committed but she seems to think that just being here (her physical presence) means she is showing committent.

Of course its only been around two months since she came back so maybe this is just a period of adjustment for her (or maybe thats my hopium), I am just worried that we're going backwards rather than forwards at this point. She does talk about our future and she is optimistic and says she needs time but again I just feel her actions don't meet with the words.

Notthevictem posted 10/15/2020 11:34 AM

Why are you telling us what she says like her feelings are more valuable than yours?

IWMWB posted 10/15/2020 11:47 AM

Thats pretty interesting that you ask that because that is how I feel this is currently playing out. That right now her feelings are more important than mine at this point and it seems to be all about her.

I've starting to pull back from her and stop initiating affection and ILYs, I am trying to stop over analyzing everything she does and get the hyper vigilance under control.

I think the problem is I have made it clear that I want to be with her and so now she doesn't have to do any work to maintain that.

EllieKMAS posted 10/15/2020 11:48 AM

She has said her feelings are all mixed up right now and that she does love me and she is committed but she seems to think that just being here (her physical presence) means she is showing committent.
Blah blah blah. Anything less than "I fucked up and I will do whatever it takes to fix what I broke" followed through with actual actions to that effect is just half-assed pointless noise. She could go sit at the DMV and be 'there'... would she be committed to it? No.

Unhinged posted 10/15/2020 11:59 AM

I think the problem is I have made it clear that I want to be with her...
And what has she made clear to you?

Notthevictem posted 10/15/2020 12:04 PM

I think the problem is I have made it clear that I want to be with her and so now she doesn't have to do any work to maintain that.

I bet, when you allowed her back, you think of that as having given your word and that it reflects on who you are as a man. You're allowed to change your mind. There is no promise made. She chose to leave and came crawling back, but that doesn't mean she gets to stay if you don't want her there.

You think for a second that if you had cheated instead of her there wouldn't be hell to pay?

You're allowed a lot of things. Hell, you could say that you aren't interested in trying anymore and she needs to leave today, if you wanted.

I get it. She turned your world upside down and stabbed you in the back. You allowed her back hoping to be able to return to what it was. But it will never be what it was. Your options are to rebuild anew from the ground up or separate.

Right now, you have someone who you've loved a long time thats knows your ins and outs and is using them against you. Emotional manipulation, for whatever reason, is much easier for women than for men.

Looking at this emotionally, she walked over you. Like a doormat. Tossed you aside for something she thought was better. Sought to REPLACE you. You!

Thinking about this logically, the terms and conditions of the legal arrangement of marriage have been breached. The contract is null and void.

This is where you truly stand right now.

So you know, what you need is a plan. A plan for what to do if she starts to get and you want to reconcile. A plan if she gets it and you don't. A plan if she doesn't get it. A plan if she gets it but doesn't care. A plan if she goes back to that pos. A plan if she's abducted by aliens tomorrow.

This isn't the time to try to go back to what was. There is no going back.

HellFire posted 10/15/2020 12:09 PM

The affair has restarted.

IWMWB posted 10/15/2020 12:15 PM

That had crossed my mind. I am not so sure however (not saying its not a possibility).

siracha posted 10/15/2020 12:25 PM

People tend to get what they settle for . Spend a few weeks taking care of yourself and then ask your self honestly what you deserve in a partner .

If you strongly believe you dont deserve the way she treats you there are two hypothetical paths forward

1. You can leave
2. She can change

She has pretty much made it clear she isnt changing ...

[This message edited by siracha at 6:36 PM, October 15th (Thursday)]

Truthaboveall posted 10/15/2020 12:42 PM

Canít believe you havenít gave an ultimatum. Give it and donít look back. For Gods sake quit being plan B

Notthevictem posted 10/15/2020 12:50 PM

Canít believe you havenít gave an ultimatum. Give it and donít look back. For Gods sake quit being plan B

And what kinda ultimatum is he gonna give? Chances are his ww has already consulted a divorce attorney that told her to move back in until the house is sold.

The1stWife posted 10/15/2020 13:49 PM

Sheís not all in. Thatís obvious. If she were she would be jumping through hoops.

And she wants things to go back to ďnormalĒ. Uh no that will not happen. Once impacted by infidelity you cannot hit the reset button.

Read up on the 180. You may have to institute it.

Get your exit strategy together. Just in case.

Tell her you donít see the marriage working. Sheís not showing her commitment. She came back b/c she had nowhere else to go. That is obvious. Does she really want to make amends? Then ask her her plan.

If she doesnít have one give her 24 hours to come up with one.

And if you really want to know how committed she is - ask her if you can borrow her phone. Tell her yours died. If she doesnít hand it to you immediately then sheís got something to hide. Like an affair. Could be same guy or someone new.

tushnurse posted 10/15/2020 14:46 PM

OK so left, then came back.
You basically have set zero rules/boundaries on coming back, you were just so darn happy she came back you didnt consider that her reasons for being back.

So I'm going to tell you the same thing I tell every newbie.

1. See an attorney. Your wife left, and seemed to be 100% out. She came back. I find that suspicious, maybe she realized this other guy is a tool, and you were easier to live with. But you need to see an attorney and know what a D looks like for you, and for her. You can't in good conscience make a choice to rebuild without fully understanding all of your options. Don't assume you know because your buddy got a D a couple years ago. Find out for your specific situation.

2. See your Dr. Get FULL STD testing, if you haven't already. Believe me there is nothing to be ashamed of, they see it daily. But you need to take control of your own health, and demand as much of her. Also if you do have sex, and she hasn't been tested you should be using protection. In addition I would ask for a referral for a good therapist for yourself. And a good MC for the future. If you are struggling w/ eating/sleeping and the overwhelming trauma and stress of this, you may benefit from medication. Again no shame in it. For a lot of people here this is the most traumatic thing they have ever been through.

3. Set some boundaries. REad the healing library (upper left corner tab) for ideas.
A. She absolutely needs to establish No Contact, and prove to you that is is established.
B. You also should have access to her elctronics and all app's if she pushes back that's a GIANT red flag. But don't roll over, because you deserve complete transparency, and she needs to understand that YOU do NOT trust her, and only a crazy person would trust their spouse at this point.
C. Figure out where your absolute line in the sand is, and be prepared to stick to it. If you don't she will continue to make you feel like plan B.

You are smart guy, and seem to really want to save your M, but you need to fully understand that rebuilding an M after this takes both partners in 150%. If she is balking, then you won't be successful. She needs to figure out her why's too. She can't just say that was fun, I'm sorry, I won't do it again, and then be done. She has to figure out her why's, and it's not I was unhappy w/ you, with the M, blah blah blah stuff it has to be looking inward, and fix it, otherwise she will never be a safe partner for you.

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