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Completely confused and all over the place

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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 7:33 PM on Sunday, April 16th, 2023

This forum is magical. It brought, and continues to bring, wonderful, empathetic people to carry you on their figurative shoulders while you are drowning in grief. Please, please pay attention to them. The amount of hard fought wisdom here is wonderful.

Tell the poor woman her husband is cheating on her. She can do whatever she wishes with the info. You need to unburden yourself from this awful secret you three are keeping.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 12:53 AM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

I tend to stay off these extremely long threads on JFO because I often find they indicate the poster has reached an impasse and isn’t willing to take the next step. This despite the consensus of voices (including voices that don’t always agree) suggesting some action. I’m not saying you are there, but IMHO you need to really consider where you have gotten, how long its taken and where you are headed…

To use a parable that an Aussie might understand…
Driving in "The Bush" (isn’t that what you call all of central Australia?) your car gets stuck in some sand. The tires are completely submerged in sand and when you press the gas-pedal they just spin and spin.
To me that sounds a bit like where your marriage is at right now. No matter what effort you place into pressing the pedal all that happens is the wheels spin faster, but you don’t get anywhere. That’s how it sounds like your marriage is right now – it’s stuck in some impasse with very little movement forwards irrespective of what effort you put into it.

Now – You might be thinking that it’s hot outside so leaving the air-conditioned car is hard. You might also think that digging in the sand in the heat is hard. That’s like your fear of only having the kids half the time or whatever other "excuse" you hang on to preventing you from taking more determining action.

You might think that if one of you got out and pushed the other might drive the car out of the sand, yet you two can’t decide who drives and who pushes, and neither of you wants to leave the cool car. Even if you were willing to leave the drivers seat your wife doesn’t want to get into it – so at best we might have you pushing and nobody driving.

To me it sounds like you two are stuck in that car. Your fear of the heat and the reluctance to try (or even force) something new is keeping you two stuck where you are. You fear the heat, the effort, the lack of tools, the flies… whatever is out there and keeps you stuck in the vehicle. Only that’s not sustainable and is doomed to end once the tank runs dry.

That sentence about your wife not wanting to read… That struck me. That tells me she doesn’t want to leave the passenger seat while you try pushing.


I fear that as long as you both think the worst outcome – your biggest fear – is that you divorce and then have to share custody then there is no pressure – no reason – to change. To stick to the analogy: you BOTH need to have an eye on the needle on the gas-tank and see that it’s reaching the red-zone. That the time until the engine cuts off and there is NO WAY to get unstuck is not too far off.

It’s clear from your posts you want to save your marriage. This advice I’m offering is what I truly think is most likely to help you reach that goal.

Reevaluate the worst outcome.

If it truly is that you two eventually divorce and that this would be devastating to your relationship with the kids or to the kids… Rethink.
It’s definitely a change, but I know people that will share that by divorcing they have more time with their kids simply because they have to plan time with the kids. I have a colleague that works long hours the week he’s alone, and short hours the week he has his kids.
If it’s the image of a whole family… Kids pick up on situations, and furthermore their image of their future relationship tends to be based on how mom and dad interacted. Although research indicates the ideal environment is a "classic" mom-and-dad family with mutual love and respect then more and more indicates it’s the love and respect rather than the number of people raising the kids. Single parent kids do fine too, as do same-sex parent kids and kids from divorced families where the parents have found productive ways to coparent. Possibly the worst situations are ones where there is no love, no respect and/or abuse.

With all this I’m NOT telling you to file.
Rather to understand that if you two sit in the stuck car with no change then there are other options than simply waiting for the tank to empty… That the marriage is a delicate thing that is being risked by the present actions and inactions. For example – by refusing to read.

Accepting that possibility… THAT could be the key to find the urgency to change.

When you can sit your wife down and tell her that change is needed. You might not know what that looks like, but it needs that BOTH of you take part in finding that change and making that change because otherwise you need to accept that the marriage is stuck in the sand and won’t get out without leaving it behind.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

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straightup ( member #78778) posted at 2:35 AM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

Another Aussie here, Bigger.

Ozzie will relate to your metaphor.

There was a show on TV in the late 70’s called ‘the Leyland Brothers’ which was mostly about getting bogged and having to get the vehicle out. My Great Uncle owned a cattle station at that time and had to get them stuck once, so they could get winched out on camera.

To force your metaphor Bigger, when your wheels are spinning, you need to stop pushing the accelerator. Someone or both need to get out and put something solid, like a rock or two under the front of the wheel, so that the tread can get some purchase on something.

Here, Ozzie, I think you need something solid to stop the wheel spinning. I think you need her agreement to flush this guy down the dunny. It sounds like she wants to continue the friendship and to stop the sex for your benefit. That won’t cut it and just come out and say it. She played with fire and you all got burned. Now she needs to show you, your relationship and your kids some respect, and stop all of the stupid, greedy, hurtful nonsense she has been going on with.

Now I will take of my Akubra and revert to city mode.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
Mother Teresa

posts: 364   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2021   ·   location: Australia
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Hurthalo ( member #41782) posted at 6:29 AM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

Bigger: Excellent analogy. I'd consider the AP the red-belly black snake sitting outside the passenger or driver-side door. Someone needs to put a shovel through it's figurative neck before anyone can get out and be safe to push!

And Straightup: Thanks for the Leyland Brother's reference, that's a blast from the past. The more adult travel-show version of the Leyland Brothers was old mate Alby Mangel, who always seemed to have some hot blonde model conveniently travelling with him everywhere he went!

Seriously though Ozzy, I hope you are holding up well. Please read Bigger/Straightup/my posts. Please don't take them as an attack; it's just a bunch of people who have been through similar and know well where you are at. I know the status quo seems like a safe place, but it is not. You end up being eaten apart inside. In my case, it was being admitted to ER thinking I was having a heart attack due to latent stress.

You've got this mate.

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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 11:00 AM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

Using the same stuck-car-in-the-Bush analogy I’m going to offer you some hope.

Although not of criminal ancestry I too live in an area with vast expanses of desolate land where travelers sometimes end up in stuck in their vehicles. The first rule is that they stay in or near the vehicle. Makes saving them easier.
That can fully apply to your marriage. You clearly want to save it, so I’m not suggesting you simply file and give up – leave the car. Just be aware of three things:
a)Repeating the same thing again and again will only make the wheels spin and burn your gas.
b)You both probably need to take action to change things, both separately and working together.
c)Eventually – if all else fails – you might have to leave the car.

[For the less historically inclined the "criminal ancestry" is a pun on Australia’s penal-colony past…]

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

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 Ozzy1788 (original poster member #83108) posted at 11:31 AM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

"Welcome, to Leyland Brothers world....."

laugh laugh laugh

That made me laugh on a Monday morning! Proper blast from the past. While I am in a laughing mood, I will pick up on the anaologies which I have enjoyed...

I am currently in the car with the kids and my wife. Not only is it hot outside, there are about 50 angry drop bears who are looking to ravage my family. Now as an absolute unit I could probably take out most of them, and my wife a few, but I just can't imagine my kids making it through the drop bear battle (you should see the razor sharp claws on these buggers).

There is enough petrol to make it to when it gets dark, cools down and the drop bears revert to their cuddly koala alter egos.

There is a chance that we still won't make it if we wait till dark, but I would rather wait for now and see. Leaving the car now is guaranteed to kill the family. Waiting could still kill the family but at least there is a chance.

So yes, there is an impasse at the moment. My last couple of posts were in a pretty bad state which I guess can overstate where my mental state is. I am actually in a pretty clear place about the whole situation. I will recap a few points and then focus on Hurthalos contribution (Halo - I read your story and there are a lot of similarities with a few subtle differences. I may well PM you and already feel like if you are in London for work again you should let me know as we would have a lot to chat about!)

When my wife spoke to the other guy she told him I knew, but not that I always knew. The physical side is done. It was probably done after the second time anyway but it is done now. She is gutted that it happened at all, as it was me giving my agreement that prompted her to initiate it. That was the biggest mistake I have made in my life.

To be completely clear as this has got a bit lost. I said I would rather she didn't do it. I said this over and over. But as the other option was splitting up, I managed to get myself into a mindset where I WAS OK with it. We had such a long text back and forth when she went away the first time and I was totally cool with everything. It was only in the days and weeks afterwards that my mindset changed. If I hadn't said she should go for it, she wasn't going to tell him how she felt about him. I screwed up. I am not excusing her for getting into that mindset in the first place or the way she has shown a lack of empathy for me changing my mind but that is a separate issue, and one that I am deeply considering.

But this is the big difference to Halo's situation. It wasn't hypothetical, I agreed. It may not have been my preffered outcome, but I did agree. I can't take that back and I have to take into account that my wife has done things she can't take back, feels awful about it and wishes they didn't happen.

BUT in saying that, I am deeply, deeply uncomfortable with the fact that she thinks she has done nothing wrong. Our arguments while away show that she is not going to change that mindset and so I am now done with arguing. I am hoping that IC can help her with this. This is part of the biding my time.

She is going to see the other guy this week. I have agreed to this. There was not closure by calling the day after my ultimatum. As I had agreed I never expected her to call him, I always thought she would want to see him face to face. For this I give her credit and am not surprised there has been extra contact. It needs closure. There won't be any physical contact. She wants to know why he never told his wife that he was seeing her. This should give her closure and either way I can tell her that I don't want her seeing him again. She won't want to if he is not going to tell his wife anything and that will be that. This is likely. If he claims that he would tell his wife then I will say I am not happy anyway and then the next decisions need to be made.

Remember I said earlier that we have always been very liberal with no jealousy in letting the other do whatever. This was a step too far but trying to "control" each other just wouldn't work. This is why I need to let her get her own closure. I do know how this would read to many though.

I will not be telling the OBS. Sorry to disappoint people. Based on the conversation last week it would end our marriage immediately. That shouldn't be the case but it is so I need to focus on my kids. Having made the mistake of agreeing I do agree with everyone that this part is just as much my fault as anyone else and for that I feel awful. I guess I thought that plenty of people have affairs, it is over quickly and that is that. Most advice I see for someone that cheats briefly and then ends it is to save the pain from your other half and I kind of feel that is the case here. It happened twice and after the closure this week then it will be done. But I really do hear where everyone is coming from. But saying something at this point blows up mine and my kids life while (analogy) I am still waiting for the drop bears to disperse.

I am focussing on myself. Arguments on holiday aside I am sleeping better, had another night out with mates on Saturday after getting back, going to a concert tonight. Have plenty of good things coming up.

Now, Hurthalo's first post really grabbed me as you may expect. Will focus on a few bits.

1. Your wife does not respect you. She might love you, but she doesn't respect you. She likely has huge gaps in her psyche that her or your love for you won't fill.

I am struggling to argue with this as I unpack everything. Someone else said about the impasse - bare in mind the first chat with me was still only about 10 weeks ago. This has all escalated incredibly quickly so I need to take stock. Someone else asked if it feels like she ever properly loved me. I do wonder. She loved our life together, that's for sure. But after kids things definitely changed when life got more "boring". But I also think that it isn't just me that she is struggling with, it is the mundanity of life. This is the bit I can relate to and when I agreed I was thinking that the whole idea does sound pretty great and I would possibly like the same opportunity while not breaking up the family. This is where our situations are different, and because there hasn't been any lies (about physical stuff anyway) we may still have a chance.

2. Accordingly, your wife ticks all the boxes of a grandiose narcissist, a closet narc at worst. 'I NEED(ED) THIS', 'THIS LOVE IS DIFFERENT', 'MY SITUATION IS UNIQUE' are all standard responses from narcissists. An affair is a way to get narcissistic supply (or simply, attention). It's a disorder. Who knows why she's like that? Bad parents, abandonment issues, the need for validation from other men? Either way, you will never compete with it.

3. Point 1 & 2 is reinforced by the fact that she has NO empathy for you.

Please watch a video by a Dr Ramani on YouTube titled 'Narcissism and Infidelity: Why do narcissists cheat and how do they get away with it?', it may open your eyes.

I haven't had a chance to watch the video yet but listened to a podcast with her while out for a walk yesterday and it made some good points. She has always had confidence issues (despite being objectively gorgeous). I am coming to realise that I will never be enough for her (not sure anyone will) so need to decide how to cope with that realisation.

Our holiday was in one of our favourite places doing one of our favourite things with the kids and neither of us can imagine not doing that moving forward. It is tough.

Secondly, your wife has been having an affair for years. It didn't start when she told you she wanted to 'try it out'; 99.9% chance that the polyamorous/I need this affair line was crafted to retrospectively validate her feelings and seek permission to be a philanderer under a sheer veil of credibility. This isn't a unique situation, in fact back when my ex-WW and I were together, we hosted one of her friends for a drink one night who spent an hour in tears on our lounge because her husband had an affair and came home and told her that 'he thought he was polyamorous' and that 'he thought he had too much love just to share with one person.' In retrospect, the fact that my ex-wife sat there with a barely concealed mask of disgust while I told our sobbing friend that I thought her husband's lame poly excuse was b/s (I didn't know she was having an affair at that point), was telling.

I genuinely believe (sorry) that there was no wrongdoing UNTIL about 6 months ago. There has been an emotional affair since then but her refusal to accept that term is a real problem. As I said earlier it seems arguing about it is now pointless. She needs to take some responsibility and I hope that IC will help there.

SHe's ignored you and has kept sleeping with a married man.

She stopped sleeping with him as soon as I asked. She wasn't happy, and rightly or wrongly I empathise. She has done something she can never ever take back to our marriage when she had my blessing, and it didn't have the chance to fizzle out of its own accord. Again, this doesn't make any of this right but she is just as concerned as I am that the marriage could be broken now when if she had just cut it off with him herself we would be in a better situation. She didn't, I gave my approval and here we are.

I get the feeling the biggest thing holding you back is the kids. Trust me brother, I NEVER wanted to be a part-time Dad, and it is one of the biggest things I remain angry about. BUT, life with my kids every other week without ending up in hospital due to the anxiety of living in infidelity (you can read all about that fun in my story - amusingly I had no idea my wife was cheating on me when I got admittted to ER with a panic attack that I thought was a heart attack - but it's funny how the body evidently keeps score) or wondering who my wife is sleeping with beats staying in infidelity with someone who treats you as a person of convenience and a backstop rather than a husband. I have gotten massive in the gym, I do my own hobbies, I cook the food I like...and my kids are happy. We are going to the pool in literally 10 minutes after I get off the computer, we went to the movies yesterday and had a ball!

Yep, absolutely. We do OK financially but our lives would be in relative ruin if we split up. I know that can't be a reason for staying together but it in my mind gives me more reason to stay in that car (analogy) for as long as possible before I brave that murderous crowd of cuddly monsters.

In regards to you and what an alternate future might look like, I want you to know that there are an absolute treasure-trove of women out there who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Being expected to be a bystander to your wife's fantasises of f%$#ing a married man is not normal. Now this might sound conceited, but I want you to understand what your future might entail. When I broke up with my wife, I dipped my foot into Tinder/Bumble/online dating. At exactly ZERO point did any woman scoff at me having three kids. In fact I was told on a few dates, 'I think a man who looks after his kids is very attractive.' I was routinely messaged by people 7-10 years junior to me.

My single female friends of the same age? Sadly, that's an entirely different kettle of fish. They get messaged by guys in their 50s looking for easy sex. It's not fair, but there it is. That's what your wife might have to look forward to. I am now dating a stunning woman 8 years my junior who genuinely loves getting to know my girls (and we are taking it VERY slowly in that regard.) I just got back from a week in Fiji with her. While I don't care anymore, I heard through the grapevine that my ex didn't take me moving on very well, went on a month of leave at very short notice, and actually went off the grid for a week accordingly. By all accounts, she's not doing well mentally. And neither should she be.

This is really helpful to read, thanks so much. Another difference between us is at the moment I do want the best for my wife. Whether that is with me or not I am not sure but I don't have hatred for her. We have gone about things in a stupid and naive way and she probably doesn't love me or respect me in the way she should but I am trying to be practical about what is next. Throwing her under a bus is not good for her or for me, and especially not for the kids.

That ended up a bit of an essay! I hope I covered people's questions since I last wrote but let me know if I missed anything. I have my next IC session tomorrow and plan to focus on how I have ended up being codependent without realising it (this experience has hammered that home - I was so independent before we met!)

It is possible that there won't be a huge amount to add for a bit but right now there are plenty of provisions and water in my analogy of a car, I realised there was a jerry can in the boot so there is enough air con. The kids are OK and my wife and I are getting on. I will decide when it is time to open the door and brave what is outside....

posts: 175   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2023   ·   location: UK
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 11:34 AM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

The above post is exactly why I tend to stay off these long threads. I’m leaving with my favorite quote that is so apt in this situation:

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

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 Ozzy1788 (original poster member #83108) posted at 11:34 AM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

Using the same stuck-car-in-the-Bush analogy I’m going to offer you some hope.

Although not of criminal ancestry I too live in an area with vast expanses of desolate land where travelers sometimes end up in stuck in their vehicles. The first rule is that they stay in or near the vehicle. Makes saving them easier.
That can fully apply to your marriage. You clearly want to save it, so I’m not suggesting you simply file and give up – leave the car. Just be aware of three things:
a)Repeating the same thing again and again will only make the wheels spin and burn your gas.
b)You both probably need to take action to change things, both separately and working together.
c)Eventually – if all else fails – you might have to leave the car.

[For the less historically inclined the "criminal ancestry" is a pun on Australia’s penal-colony past…]

Thanks, you wrote this while my essay was underway. a) and b) are definitely underway. Appreciate the hope. There were actually some really good moments on holiday, and chats about ways forward. Easy to focus on the negatives but all hope isn't gone yet.

posts: 175   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2023   ·   location: UK
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 12:09 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

Telling her boyfriend's wife will end your marriage. That tells you where you stand.

Cheaters lie. He will tell yours that he will tell his wife,so you won't. Happens all the time.

You're in denial,and the shit it deep. Good luck.

Our field of dreams,engulfed in fire..and I'll still see it,till the day I die..

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Edie ( member #26133) posted at 12:10 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

I genuinely believe (sorry) that there was no wrongdoing UNTIL about 6 months ago.

Wrong - ‘doing’? What about her thinking? This worries me that despite you handwringing about naivety, it is still in operation. Please, both of you, read Not Just Friends and the slippery slope. She allowed herself on it, I would contend, far earlier than 6 months ago and has been slipping down it in her head for some time, if not even before OM turned up opportunely. She went through the motions of asking for your sanction so to feel better about herself, and I believe she therefore was not entirely naive about the further harm the relationship with OM would do to your marriage. I don’t know your ages. It could be a quarter life crisis (often early thirties, when you ask - is this all?) which she chose to deal with in an entirely unuseful way, rather than investing deeper into herself, her sexual partnership with you (which is something that can fall into disrepair without good maintenance) and focusing on growth and gratitude, and finding other USEFUL ways to be something beyond wife and mother, if her dissatisfaction with herself runs so deep. It’s the shallowness of that choice that I would be questioning, and wonder why she isn’t. Her complacency and refusal about not reading is very discouraging, to the say the least and I would call it out as fear. But her going to IC is promising, I hope it is an infidelity-informed therapist. I’m not berating you for taking the time you say you need, btw, and I understand the financial worries you have.

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asc1226 ( member #75363) posted at 12:28 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

She wants to know why he never told his wife that he was seeing her.

She knows damn well why he never told his wife. No adult would need this explained to them. She doesn’t need closure. She’s hoping to come away with an excuse to keep her affair going.

I make edits, words is hard

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Lurkingsoul12 ( member #82382) posted at 12:42 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

You are as deep in this fog as your wife. No amount of reasoning from us will do any good to you. You will always find ways to go deeper in this rabbit hole to feel safer and to not face the reality. Good luck to your kids and OBS.

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 Ozzy1788 (original poster member #83108) posted at 1:23 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

Cheaters lie. He will tell yours that he will tell his wife,so you won't. Happens all the time.

Yeah I know. Interesting thing is he always told my wife that he wasn't telling his wife that they were meeting up even when there was no interest there as she is a jealous person. I don't really know why he didn't just lie back then and say that she knew they were meeting up. Would have made it easier for him.

Wrong - ‘doing’? What about her thinking? This worries me that despite you handwringing about naivety, it is still in operation. Please, both of you, read Not Just Friends and the slippery slope. She allowed herself on it, I would contend, far earlier than 6 months ago and has been slipping down it in her head for some time, if not even before OM turned up opportunely. She went through the motions of asking for your sanction so to feel better about herself, and I believe she therefore was not entirely naive about the further harm the relationship with OM would do to your marriage. I don’t know your ages. It could be a quarter life crisis (often early thirties, when you ask - is this all?) which she chose to deal with in an entirely unuseful way, rather than investing deeper into herself, her sexual partnership with you (which is something that can fall into disrepair without good maintenance) and focusing on growth and gratitude, and finding other USEFUL ways to be something beyond wife and mother, if her dissatisfaction with herself runs so deep. It’s the shallowness of that choice that I would be questioning, and wonder why she isn’t. Her complacency and refusal about not reading is very discouraging, to the say the least and I would call it out as fear. But her going to IC is promising, I hope it is an infidelity-informed therapist. I’m not berating you for taking the time you say you need, btw, and I understand the financial worries you have.

Agree with everything here. I am reading Not Just Friends and making notes about sections she should read if she isn't going to read the whole thing. We are both early 40s and she knows she is having a mid life crisis.

She knows damn well why he never told his wife. No adult would need this explained to them. She doesn’t need closure. She’s hoping to come away with an excuse to keep her affair going.

Well yeah, she does, but needs to hear it from him. Me saying to her that if I wanted an affair I would have played it exactly like he did doesn't exactly go down well. But she was already feeling stupid about it all before I pulled the pin and had said to me she doesn't think that will happen again as it was all so seedy. Ironically me pulling the pin has resulted in things between us getting much worse. I know it is a control thing but I can't see us moving forward until that closure has been reached.

You are as deep in this fog as your wife. No amount of reasoning from us will do any good to you. You will always find ways to go deeper in this rabbit hole to feel safer and to not face the reality. Good luck to your kids and OBS.

With respect, what fog am I in? Be as brutal as you like. I am a very black and white person (hence seeing the binary choice when I made the agreement), and right now I see another binary choice. I know everyone here wants me to tell OBS, and that my wife shouldn't react the way she did about that. But that is the situation. So if you were in the same situation, would you instantly blow up your kids lives (and to a large extent your own)?

It goes back to early in this thread when someone thought I was a troll. I dearly wish I wasn't in this situation.
- If we didn't have kids it would be over
- If she had done this behind my back it would be over
- If she had lied it would be over

It could still be over, but the fact that the 3 things above apply make it less easy than on the surface.

As I said though, happy for people to spell out to me brutally why, if they were in my situation, they wouldn't give some breathing space and just end it right now and wreck the lives of 2 happy kids when both their parents, while in an awful patch, still get on. I am in a way better place to take the criticism than I was early in the thread.

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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 1:24 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

The longer this goes on the more she transfers bonds from you to him. Eventually one or both of your ww and her bf is going to want more. Open relationships that last start out that way. Not monogamous ones that were opened when one partner wanted more. Staying and accepting an open relationship isnt a long term solution here. It just stretches out the train wreck over years. It's best for all involved to break it off now.

I see a lot of words describing what you wife wants. You obviously love your family and are bending over backwards to keep it intact, but if you were loving this new arrangement you wouldn't be here. If left up to your choice you wouldn't be in an open relationship correct? You are only accepting it to keep your family intact. Your feelings surrounding this is going to worsen the longer you and your family has to share your wife the other man. It's going to be toxic to your soul. Don't let that happen

Don't be the only one making concessions to keep the family together. Healthy relationships don't work that way.Stay the healthy parent and role model your kids need. Your wife's not fit for that role. Set your wife free to be with her lover if that is what she wants. Heal and move forward being the best dad to your kids as possible.

[This message edited by grubs at 1:25 PM, Monday, April 17th]

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FunHouseMirror ( member #80992) posted at 1:24 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

Drop bears aren't real. They are a fiction you are telling yourself to keep you and your kids "safe" while waiting for the gas to run out.

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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 1:32 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

I respect the fact it is your marriage and your choice to make on how you proceed from here.

I hope it works out for you and you get what you want.

Just know for many of us, your marriage is less than what you deserve.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13970   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 1:40 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

What you continue to disregard, is that you are speaking to people who have been in your situation. The majority of us were in the position of knowing there was an innocent BS,who deserved the dignity of knowing what had happened,just as were deserved that truth. Most of us told the OBS.

The difference here is,your wife has apparently told you that if you tell the OBS, she will divorce you. And,rather than see that for what it is..her fierce loyalty to the OM...you just shrug your shoulders and happily say ok.

You say she is so distraught that she may have hurt the marriage. How in the world does fucking another man,and falling in love with him, help her marriage? You seem as if she is surprised that the marriage is damaged after she brought in a 3rd party. Unless she's an idiot,she knew that would happen and she didn't care.

You completely believe she has been totally honest with you about everything.

You believe she got your permission..a man she isn't attracted to any longer..a man she needed an escape from...a man who no longer held her heart..to tell the man she did have feelings for,that she had feelings for him.

You believe you have been in control of this whole situation, when it's quite clear that she's the one in control.

You continue to say you were ok with all of this..until you weren't. But,at the same time, you say you weren't given a choice. That's coercion.

You say she went NC with him,and you trusted that..until she let it slip that she was still talking to him..and now you've made excuses for her..because of course she was, she didn't get closure.

And now you're just fine with her meeting him AGAIN, for this so called closure,because she's convinced you it's something she needs to move forward with you.

And,during that meeting do you know what will be happening? They will profess their love for each other. They will talk about how maybe,some day,they can be together. They may have sex. And you're ok with this.

Maybe others can come along and give more examples of denial.

BTW, she doesn't deserve closure with another woman's husband. All of you are participating in the abuse of the OBS. It's shameful.

[This message edited by HellFire at 1:41 PM, Monday, April 17th]

Our field of dreams,engulfed in fire..and I'll still see it,till the day I die..

posts: 6773   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8787185
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Lurkingsoul12 ( member #82382) posted at 1:43 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

If I was in your situation, I would inform other OBS. If my wife would leave me for her AP the moment her APs marriage falls apart then I would know I did the right thing by informing OBS. I want authentic relation with my wife. I want a wife who would stay with me because she loves me and wants me and not because her AP is currently unavailable and for the children. Divorces happen all the time. As along as atleast one parent is sane, healthy and happy and does everything to keep their children feeling loved, happy and content, children will do alright. If you think your marriage will end when you inform the OBS then your marriage at this point is lost cause. Your wife doesn't want to come out of infidelity. She don't want to read infidelity books because that will kill her fantasy and will pull her back to reality in which she is not a good person. She doesn't want that realization at any cost. This 'closure' is another attempt to find a way to justify her affair. This closure will only reinforce her feelings for him. She wants answers from him. He will only tell what she desperately wants to hear. I can guarantee their contact will not end permanently after this closure. This whole 'closure' thing never works. It has never worked for anyone. In your case, this closure is her another attempt to find a way to keep her AP in contact. She will come up another bs after her closure day.

The fog your are in right now is the fog of codependency and denial.

What has she done to save your marriage?
1. She hasn't gone NC with her AP. She never will.
2. She is not interested in reading recommended books to come out infidelity.
3. She has shown little empathy towards your pain. She has been defensive and made hurtful remarks on your personality.
4. Threatened to end marriage marriage if you inform OBS.
5. All talks and no actions.
6. She has guilt tripped you by saying you gave her the blessings. This is classic manipulation tactic.
7. She never owned her actions that led to the destruction of your marriage and her APs. There is difference between admitting and owning.
8. She is still protecting her AP and not you.

[This message edited by Lurkingsoul12 at 2:03 PM, Monday, April 17th]

posts: 457   ·   registered: Nov. 12th, 2022
id 8787187
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lrpprl ( member #80538) posted at 2:03 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

I don't believe I have read whether or not you are getting individual counseling. If not you definitely should for your own sake. Someone you can talk too face to face that will help you down this disastrous road you are traveling and refuse to get off.

If you are not now in counseling then you should seek out a very specific type of counselor. I don't know if you have Veterans Associations in Australia or the UK like we do in the States. If you do have them, then I would go to them and ask them for names and references of therapists they use for their veterans returning from war. Those therapists might be able to help you more than an average run of the mill therapist. Because you are definitely acting like someone deep in trauma who is afraid to move. That is the most unhealthy action of all... someone who either can not or will not take action.

posts: 286   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2022   ·   location: USA
id 8787188
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 2:22 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

Go back and read your original post, which I also quoted and referenced on page 11. As I've said before, you've rewritten history to fit your wife's narrative. On top of the fact that it's heart-breaking to read about how you are being brow-beaten into submission and succumbing to self-blame, it's also really challenging for us to give you feedback and advice going forward because we're now getting your wife's spin on events; not the truth as you actually experienced it and the reality in which you are currently living.

I didn't think that you would ever tell OM's wife, simply because it's clear that you have no stomach for conflict or confrontation, even when it's necessary. But the fact that you disclosing to OBS would end your marriage tells us all we need to know.

Your wife loves, respects, and values the OM more than you and your children. She would rather rip a part her family and cut her time with her kids and half so that she doesn't lose his approval or his presence in her life.

As for meeting with the OM for "closure," it's yet another example of how your situation is not unique and your wife is literally a walking cliche. Ending the affair and not cutting contact with him would be definitive closure. She already knows why he didn't tell his wife; it's because he's covering his ass and doesn't want to end his marriage. If she's upset he didn't tell his wife, it's because she was hoping that they could both ditch their spouses and be together. Guilt has nothing to do with it; if she cared a dig about OBS she wouldn't have slept with him in the first place. If she felt guilt and remorse over the affair, she would be too disgusted with him and herself even hear his voice again, let alone see him in person.

She's meeting with him because she misses him and didn't want the affair to end. She's hoping that he will make some grand gesture to win her back, even if she's not admitting that to you or herself. Also, meeting with him in person instead of communicating with him online means there won't be any messages for you to check and no phone log to which you can refer. The only pain she is experiencing at the moment is her longing for the OM.

Don't believe me? That's fine; you don't have to. You will find all this out on your own eventually.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 3:14 PM, Monday, April 17th]

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

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