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Completely confused and all over the place

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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 6:47 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

I was in your shoes in some respect. My H coukd not end the affair and went back after 6 weeks of ending it the first time.

He led me to believe we were R and things were going well. Until it became a few good days and then bad days. And then he wants a D. Then he doesn’t.

Here’s the thing. Your wife is counting on you acting a certain way. She will bully and manipulate you into getting what is best for her. And she has all the power in this marriage. And she’s doing everything she can to hold onto it.

And sadly most betrayeds go the pick me dance. Worst thing to go and worst place to be.

On dday2 when I finally snapped snd had enough I told my H I was D him. No yelling. No throwing things. Calm. Rational. Matter of fact. It was either me or him and for once, I chose me!

Best thing I did. And I am living my best life because I finally took a stand. When he was begging me to R after dday2 I had no intention of R. I had every plan in place to D him. I was just waiting until after Christmas to start the paperwork.

He finally realized HE lost all his power with me. And he knows I can walk out the door for any reason at any time.

Funny how much it takes to get the cheaters to feel one ounce of the pain and trauma we suffered as the Betrayed spouse. Funny how they don’t like it either.

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

posts: 13927   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8787238

ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 6:52 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

You know what says "closure" with the absolute most meaning? NO CONTACT. No contact forever. That's closure. An active WS will tell you whatever you need to hear in order to get that next "fix". But real closure, closure that comes from your heart and from your intent... means never seeing, speaking, or hearing about that person again.

Think about it Ozzy. Really think about what it means to be DONE with someone. You don't need to revisit that decision. You're just done.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8

posts: 7049   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8787242

Edie ( member #26133) posted at 9:47 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023

you [ww] have been white anting with this kind of crap for two years.

Never heard this expression before, Straightuo, but it’s very useful, thanks! And apt of course in this case. She keeps taking aim at Ozzy’s self esteem to make herself feel better and to justify her choices. I don’t like her tactics at all. White anting!

Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
FWS 55
Together 29 years; 2 kids 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) R'd.

posts: 6639   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2009   ·   location: Europe
id 8787263

lrpprl ( member #80538) posted at 11:42 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023


I think you drilled down to the very crux and essence of the matter when you posted:

"whole idea does sound pretty great and I would possibly like the same opportunity while not breaking up the family"

Hmm Ozzy , can you be honest here? You gave your wife the blessings to cheat because you planned to do the same at some point. Unfortunately for you this got complicated. Both of you opened the marriage, the idiot AP doesn’t know that because he thought you didn’t know and the poor OBS is the most uninformed of the four of you. So who’s the victim here?

This is just an open marriage gone bad !

I knew something was bothering me from the beginning, but couldn't remember what it was. He did not necessarily agree to open up this marriage because he was coerced, but because he wanted to go outside the marriage also. "whole idea does sound pretty great".

But once it was underway it wasn't like what he thought it was going to be because she was had already opened it up emotionally and was already in an emotional relationship. She just wanted to take it physical.

Now I understand why OP keeps talking about Honesty. I thought he mentioning it so much was a little over the top. Now I know why.

I know nothing about open marriages or the rules, but I have read that they only work if both partners are honest with each other.

Good luck because you are going to need it.

posts: 280   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2022   ·   location: USA
id 8787269

Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 1:03 AM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

Meeting wiht the OM for closure is about as senible as meeting your AA sponsor at a bar to organize your sobriety.

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

posts: 12398   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8787273

Hurthalo ( member #41782) posted at 1:57 AM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

I've been having a think about this over the last 24h, and something just isn't adding up in regards to the progression from her re-connecting with her AP 4 years ago, to now sleeping with him as of the last few months. It actually triggered me in the snese that I started feeling that familiar sinking feeling. Ozzy, mate, gently; I can guarantee you that what you have been told about this affair is just the tip of the iceberg. Your WW has been playing you for years. How do I know? Because I got fed the following trickle truths when I started putting things together in regards to my wife's workmate:

- 'Honey there is nothing going on with him, he's actually a jerk.'

- 'You need to let this go, he's just a friend.'

- 'The ski trip is a work one, it's not with him.'

- *insert 'I want to date other people and you need to be ok with it MC session*

- 'Yes I've been speaking to him about our marriage and where I was at. He's just given me advice because we're both having ups and downs with our marriages, it's all innocent.'

- 'The deleted messages to him? It was all innocent talk about our marriages, but I knew it would make you mad.'

- 'Please know that whatever happens between us, nothing physical EVER happened between workmate and I.'

- 'OK we kissed once on a course but it was a mistake.'

- 'I actually slept with him on that course while we were drunk. But it was just once.'

- 'I refused to have anything to do with him after that.'

- '......ok so when I told my friend on FB messenger that I was dealing with a break-up while working on our marriage, I didn't really mean that literally.'

- 'Ok I know I told my best friend that the break-up hurt me because I had so much invested in it, but I meant in a completely detached and plutonic sense. It wasn't romantic.'

- 'OK, I know it doesn't add up to you, but we only had a relationship for a few months and then we cooled it off because we knew it was wrong.'

- 'I admit we'd been seeing each other physically in a relationship for a continuous 1.5 years.'


It goes against all credibility that your wife just happened to re-connect with AP FOUR years ago, tell you that she hadn't been attracted to you 'for years', and then magically within the space of a few weeks ago suddenly profess that she wanted an open marriage and that they just randomly had sex twice, but she wasn't really keen on it. I 100% guarantee you, that your wife has been sleeping with this guy for YEARS under your nose. Her claim to want to open the marriage is because despite being a shameless cheater, that banked level of shame and guilt had finally reached a point that even she found odorous. The absolute weapons-grade b/s idea to propose 'I want an open marriage and you need to be ok with it or else we're getting divorced because I need this' is her trying to front-run and validate years of guilt spent banging AP. There was no 'agreement'; you had an infidelity gun placed to your forehead and you had to go along with it or else.

This is why she is so against reading anything to work through it, because there's more to the story that she'd have to admit to. This is why she cares more about AP's feelings rather than yours. The explains why she keeps contacting him despite telling you she won't. This explains why she can't go NC with him cleanly without 'one more session of closure'. She is invested in this relationship, far more than a few weeks and two bouts of sex would portend. Please, please believe this. You cannot trust anything she says. As you can see with the quotes from my wife above, I believed her too...until I didn't and the truth came out. Did I ever suspect she had time or inclination to have a relationship with someone else? I never would have thought it, but alas, she did. Makes all those 'late night sessions' and days she 'had to go into work on the weekend' all in perspective in retrospect.

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.

Says it all in bold really. That she is putting her bad behaviour on YOU, is A-grade insulting. 'I actually didn't really want this, but you actually agreed to it, so now here we are. Waaaaa, woe is me. I'd better just have sex with him once more (because that's what is going to happen) just to get closure after years of sex/flirting/sexting you didn't know about.'

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.

The impasse is that your wife has almost certainly had a full-blown relationship with AP for years and you want to believe her desperately that this isn't the case. Talk to all of us here who have lived this; your situation isn't unique. You might have been coerced into letting her sleep with him twice recently, but you sure as hell did not give permission for her to engage in a relationship (either EA or PA) without your knowledge over the last four years. This has been brewing for a LONG time. I would posit that she's deleted years worth of messages to this guy accordingly.

I know you are trying to hold this all together for the kids, but what has your 'wife' done? I truly thought my ex-wife would never have done this to either myself (especially noting we went through such a long period of hard R) or our kids, but she did. Daily for years, in fact. Conscious daily decisions were made knowing that the consequences of which would impact her family. Your wife has done the same.

I will recap a few points and then focus on Hurthalo's 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!)

Happy to mate! Funny you mention it, I will be in London around 08-16 Jun. Always happy to catch up for a beer if you want to chat or vent brother. I'm a good listener, and despite what I've said above which might be construed as a 2x4, I am also very sympathetic.

[This message edited by Hurthalo at 6:46 AM, Tuesday, April 18th]

posts: 312   ·   registered: Dec. 26th, 2013   ·   location: Australia
id 8787288

RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 4:10 AM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023


You seem like a nice guy. Naive but nice.

There seems to be a 'romantic innocence' in you, that you look at things with optimism. Letting your WW go meet her love interest, and seeing that it is alright as it would make you have a stronger M. You let her go meet with her AP to catch the unicorn, Closure, so that she can realize that what she had with her AP is just a fantasy.

Note that Closure is also fantasy. It cannot be caught, as it was never there, and because it can never be caught, the fantasy grows bigger and more compelling.

I would not be surprised is your WW tells you that she did not get her closure after this meeting, and she will say that she will need to keep visiting him until she catches Closure (which will never happen because you and her keep thinking it is a real thing).

She will tell you that she almost had Closure in her grasp, but Closure just slipped away at the last moment, so she will need to keep trying.

Another thing with Closure. It morphs. First it will be something to close the door on the great unrequited love. Next it will morph to "why am I not good enough for AP?'. Then morphs again to something else, and each time WS looks at Closure, it changes, so Closure will still be out of reach.

Life Pro Tip, Closure can only be caught within oneself. When the person realizes that Closure is not an external thing but an internal one.

Closure is a teen fairytale romantic notion.

Another LPT, stop taking your dose of Hopium. It will not serve you well in your instance.

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 1146   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8787295

CantBeMeEither ( new member #83223) posted at 3:26 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

I have been a lurker for almost ten years, and many times I have been tempted to weigh in, now that I have gained so much knowledge from a decade's worth of posts.

But I finally signed up to mention something that hasn't been mentioned yet.

A big reason you need to talk to the OBS (beyond that it is the right thing to do), is that you can compare notes. She will be able to help you determine if this affair went physical or even just inappropriate before she approached you.

You may even find the OBS already knows, and is keeping it from you!

posts: 8   ·   registered: Apr. 18th, 2023
id 8787323

NotJustAnotherGuy ( new member #82949) posted at 4:10 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

A big reason you need to talk to the OBS (beyond that it is the right thing to do), is that you can compare notes. She will be able to help you determine if this affair went physical or even just inappropriate before she approached you.

That assumes Ozzy wants to know and hear the truth. Part of me thinks he is so bent on believing in his WW's honestly because it's the version that still allows him a hope of her sticking around; sort of see no evil, hear no...Heck half the thread is folks trying to temp OP in doing the OBS right using every trick of the book.

Some folks had raised the question if this was a preemptive attempt from OP to open up the marriage and that would answer lots of things but assuming his feelings are genuine, I must say Ozzy, no one deserves to go through what you're going through but I'm now seeing you as the selfish person your inactions have shown; no better than your wife, and maybe even worse. barf

Your single minded attitude towards preserving your status quo - at least in your head - and everyone else (OBS and her kids) be damned is really sickening. Maybe you'll find a way out of this that lets you cling to the fantasy of a marriage but I do have to say that karma can sometimes be a bitch.

I suggest you stick your head up for a sec and consider that often doing the right thing for others can actually end up benefiting you. peace out...

posts: 14   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2023
id 8787335

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 4:34 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

What I don't understand is, Ozzy, you know this man is using your wife for sex,and ego kibble. He has flat out told her he will not leave his wife and family for her. He's just in it to get off. Which is typical of all men in affairs, except what is not typical is,most married men lie to the OW and let them think they might leave their wife for them. The OM in your situation has let her know he will never do that. As a man, you KNOW he is using your wife. And you're ok with it. I'm sure she believes he loves her,he just can't be away from his kids,or some such nonsense. She's sold herself in this romantic notion. But you are a man. You know he is lying to her (just as she's claimed to lie to him).

Oh, you asked what you were in denial about. I gave some examples. But I've thought of another one.

You actually believe you told your wife not to do xyz during sex with the OM..and she honored that. That is unbelievable. Do you really think,in the heat and passion of the moment, that possibly OM tried to do xyz,and your wife stopped him,because she knew you weren't ok with it? While she was having sex with another man. That is so unbelievable it would be funny if it wasn't so very sad.

You allowing her to see him, so it "won't get thrown in your face that you are the one who told her to end it before she was ready" is asinine.

There will be need to see him again. It's Christmas. Or he needs to "talk." Or some other such bullshit. And you will be expected to allow it,like a good little doormat, because you allowed it before.

Also..if it's true that you allowed this because you might,some day, want an "escape" of your own, at least make sure the AP is complete single. Neither you,or your wife, have the right to destroy other people's marriage because you're bored with your own.

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6680   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8787346

Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 4:41 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

lrpprl, yes the "honesty" argument seems to stem from hey I agreed to your suggestion of opening the marriage thinking it’s a great idea and I could do the same but now how do I tell you it’s not ok when I gave my blessing earlier.

This is essentially a couple that decided to open the marriage without realizing the implications and are now struggling with it. The morality or ethical aspect of breaking another marriage is not on their radar at all. Open marriages do need a lot of honesty over all to work. Ideally OP and his wife should have discussed with AP and his wife about opening up their marriages. Problem here, AP and his wife were not in on the open marriage plans, the affair got emotional. If OP’s wife stuck to the script, OP wouldn’t be here.

posts: 283   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2023
id 8787349

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 4:53 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

Exactly. Ethical non monogamous couples make sure everyone is on board with the other couple,before engaging. This is unethical non monogamy. Something that is frowned upon, greatly, in the poly community.

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6680   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8787352

lrpprl ( member #80538) posted at 6:47 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

As I said, I know absolutely nothing about open marriages, or polyamory, or such other type of non-monogamous marriages... and I do not ever want to know anything.

I had just heard or read somewhere that Honesty is the #1 trait that all partners must have for any such arrangement to work. That is why it wasn't registering in this old brain of mine why OP keep going on and on about his wife being so "honest"... she even broke NC and he had an excuse for that.

I also seem to have read or heard somewhere that the shelf life for open type marriages is very short and they have a short expiration date because of jealousy, falling in love with others, etc. Frankly I don't see this marriage lasting much longer because his wife will probably end up pulling the trigger on it. She has already said she is not attracted to OP. Her actions have shown she has little respect for him. Besides having children with OP why else would she even stay married? Just my thoughts.

posts: 280   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2022   ·   location: USA
id 8787381
default ( member #22922) posted at 7:11 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

How do you even bounce back from your husband or wife telling you they aren’t attracted to you?

This alone causes epic damage to a marriage, outside a f the sordidness of her leaving the house and saying goodbye to kids and husband and going to sleep with her ex.

Ozzy please start taking care of yourself and your kids. You deserve better.

We’ve all been in your shoes and you’re in the worst of it. Things get better when you take charge or your life. I think what you’re struggling with is letting go of the belief that you and your wife are a team. But you’re not :(

Me: BW Him: WH D-Day 1: February 2009 D-Day 2: April 2018 Divorced!

posts: 1049   ·   registered: Feb. 19th, 2009
id 8787385

 Ozzy1788 (original poster member #83108) posted at 7:41 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

I am reading, just feeling demoralised again but with good reason. You are all right. I guess I am giving one last chance with this closure conversation but deep down I know how it is going to go (she isn't going to sleep with him though despite what many of you think).

But just coming to the realisation that I will be financially crippled and only see my kids half the time. I know you have all been here before but please try to understand that I haven't. It is tough.

I get it though. Just working through it all.

posts: 170   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8787397

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 7:54 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

You know, this may not end in divorce. You have a shot. But, in order to possibly save this,you have to start listening to us. There are steps you can take to shake her out of her fog. Right now,she knows you aren't going anywhere. She knows she has control of you. She has a romanticized notion of this affair,and you have fed into that.

You can possibly turn this around. But you have to stop seeing her as this angel of honesty,and wake up and see this for what it is. She was having the affair long before she told you. She has not been completely honest with you. She knew she would get you to agree, under threat of divorce. She has been manipulating you for a very long time.

Your situation isn't as different as you think.

Stop tolerating this abuse. Stop allowing her to cheat. Tell her no to this meeting. Give her some requirements for you to consider reconciliation. Full transparency. You get full access to all accounts and the phone. Passwords included. Complete and total NC with OM. Std testing. IC to figure out what is broken in her that said this was ok. Expose the affair. Call his wife and tell her. See an attorney and find out your rights. That will really shake her up. Stop being a doormat. And, for God's sake, stop believing everything she tells you.

Be assertive. Set boundaries. Give her consequences.

Maybe this will wake her up,and she will realize she can't jerk you around anymore.

And, while she got you to allow her to have sex with this man,there is a part of her that is hurt that you were ok with it. I promise you. A part of her is thrilled how easy it was. Another part is hurt that you would be ok with it.

She can't possibly begin to respect you,when you don't respect yourself.

Start behaving like a Betrayed Husband. Because you very much are. Stop operating on fear,and being nice. She is using it against you.

[This message edited by HellFire at 7:57 PM, Tuesday, April 18th]

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6680   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8787401

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 7:59 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

Why in the world would you think she isn't going to have sex with him this time?

She has feelings for him. She is sad that it's over. She is attracted to him.

Do you know how many of us who have a ws who claimed they kept trying to end it,but kept sleeping with the AP?

Do you think this man,who has been using her for sex, isn't meeting her to have aex with her one last time? A man who made it clear he doesn't care enough for her to consider leaving his wife for her,isn't going to try to get in her pants one more time? Come on.

What possible reason do you have to think there won't be sex? Please,anything other than, "because she said so."

[This message edited by HellFire at 8:01 PM, Tuesday, April 18th]

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6680   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8787403

ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 4:29 AM on Wednesday, April 19th, 2023

But just coming to the realisation that I will be financially crippled and only see my kids half the time.

She has as much to lose as you do, Ozzy. Exactly as much.

She's either bluffing in order to manipulate you, or.. she's willing to cripple you both financially and give up seeing her kids 50% of the time. If she's actually willing to do that, is she really the person you thought she was? Do you really want to be stuck with someone who would do that?

I'm not saying that your situation is hopeless. Far from it. But cheaters are often like junkies looking for that next "fix". I honestly do believe that if I had left any wiggle room, my own fWH would have never stopped. It was only the starkness of his choices which got through to him. He couldn't save his marriage and family dynamic and also keep any of the alternative lifestyle he had created. His choices were limited to "all in" or "all out", and if he had failed to choose, I was fully prepared to choose for him... and he knew it. He must've seen blood in my eye because for the first time in three decades he didn't try me. shocked

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8

posts: 7049   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8787466

Hurthalo ( member #41782) posted at 5:27 AM on Wednesday, April 19th, 2023

I am reading, just feeling demoralised again but with good reason. You are all right. I guess I am giving one last chance with this closure conversation but deep down I know how it is going to go (she isn't going to sleep with him though despite what many of you think).

Again, gently; how do you know this? You're on this site (and and I am glad that you are) because your wife hasn't been truthful. Cheaters lie. And they lie prodigiously, and often without thought. Even if she doesn't sleep with him, it won't be closure. It will be the infidelity version of the John Farnham (another Aussie reference ha!) 'this is it-the-final-farewell-concert-we-swear-make-sure-you-don't-miss-tickets-because-he'll-never-be-back- trust-us-on-this-one' Farewell Concert Tour. My wife in her 1st affair swore black and blue she had gone NC....until I found he was still texting her at work on the work system. You know what stopped this? Putting the affair into sunlight.

And this affair hasn't been a two-shots-in-bed affair. It has been going on for a looooong time. Adults don't make life-changing decisions that affect their children, partners, and financial and logistical futures on 'we just tried sex twice, I swear.' Or on just a couple of months of a relationship.

But just coming to the realisation that I will be financially crippled and only see my kids half the time. I know you have all been here before but please try to understand that I haven't. It is tough.

You won't be crippled. And if you are, it will be short term. You WILL meet someone else, someone who absolutely will value you for the man you are, and not some doormat who is expected to understand why his wife wants to bang other people. Your children will realise, through no negative interjection on your half, who the stable parent was in this debacle, and who acted with moral courage and dignity.

Brother, I know you can't see it now - and I don't fault you for that at all. But we have ALL lived it. The very first epiphany I had on this site was realising that my wife was not a unique snowflake who was just misunderstood, or that our circumstances were 'different'; she was as much of a common cheater who mouthed the same platitudes and excuses as 99.5% of everyone else's waywards on this site. It's not nicknamed 'The Cheater's Handbook' for nothing mate.

She needs to go NC with this dude, and doesn't need to meet him to discuss terms. It can be done via email. I suggest you start implementing the 180/grey rock on your wife until she gets it through her skull that her marriage is on the ropes, and she doesn't get to dictate it's terms to her liking anymore noting her ongoing betrayal.

posts: 312   ·   registered: Dec. 26th, 2013   ·   location: Australia
id 8787470

RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 6:06 AM on Wednesday, April 19th, 2023


(she isn't going to sleep with him though despite what many of you think)

How could star-crossed-lovers-who-were-meant-to-be-together-and-deep-soulmates not sleep together for a tender goodbye?

Please, don't do yourself a disservice and kid yourself. It will not end well for you.

You could look at this in two ways:
Delusionally: Since there have been so many 'missteps' along this journey, what difference will another one make?
Realistically: Since there have been so many 'missteps' along this journey, there should not be another one made.

One path will add more pain, there other will help staunch the bleeding somewhat.

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 1146   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8787473
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