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My wife cheated on me with her coworker. What now

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Marz posted 2/1/2021 06:32 AM

Separation can be a prelude to divorce or maybe time for her OM. Itís early and her words are meaningless at this time.

One thing is certain no work on the marriage if thatís what you seek will happen with a separation.

Beware

GTeamReboot posted 2/1/2021 07:36 AM

This continues to be a story I am keeping up on when if only commenting a time or two.

So many different views on what you should do! Even more than is typical on a SI thread! I second everything CT said. It resonates with me. As you read all this, pay attention to what rings true in your gut. Itís hard to trust anything, but that visceral reaction is probably what you can trust the most.

One thing I feel strongly about... I donít think you need to feel bad if what you want seems to keep changing. Just because you were convinced that D possibly leading back to R was a good idea does it mean you canít rethink that. It isnít a sign that she is winning in changing your mind or that you are caving in. I remember that whole first year one of the most frustrating things for both me and my well-intentioned WS was that I simply didnít know exactly what would make me feel better. Day to day, week to week. So he would do/try and I would still feel awful. Then he would feel defeated. This is normal. It matters a whole lot more if she continues to be willing to go on that ever changing ride of what you are exploring and needing, and doing the best she can.

You asked about the state of our marriage before all this and I have to tell you it had been going great until last year. The discontent grew silently and without being communicated and we let it grow and grow until it created some kind of environment where my wife felt like stepping out of our marriage and seeking what she felt was missing somewhere else. Again, don't take it as me taking a blame but more as a background for this horrible experience
I can relate to this so much. In our case I saw the state of the M as just typical for two busy working parents with young busy kids. I saw it as a season, a phase. I was never ever in any doubt of us. Meanwhile WS truly believed the M was slipping away, that it was doomed. Now, I can get my head around his reasons for feeling that way. He simply experienced our reality differently than I did. But we have to talk a LOT more about what made him think that stepping out was an OK way to cope. He has tried to answer but his answers donít go deep enough. Maybe he will never truly know why. But Iím not letting him off the hook yet exploring it.

As for lovebombing... I agree that it has to be viewed with caution. But I disagree with those who view it as something the WS does to be manipulative, to distract from the issue, etc. I think that is sometimes true, of course. But I also think a truly remorseful WS lovebombs because early on they donít know what else to do! They are still learning what is expected of them, truly and deeply. The key is whether they can adjust to expectations as you both work through the trauma. When I say yes the little notes are wonderful and I need them. But I also need you to examine your motives... they say ok thatís hard but Iíll do it. The red flag would be if they said ďbut I am working hard, look at all these little notes!Ē.... Only time will reveal. Only time.

Hang in there!

The1stWife posted 2/1/2021 07:47 AM

Sounds like your wife is moving in the right direction. But right now she is love bombing you.

She needs to openly discuss the situation for as long as it takes. She needs to instigate the discussions.

She should be reading every book and article she can get her hands on. Things on topics like healing after an affair or marriage infidelity topics.

She needs a counselor to figure out why she made the choice she did.

You need your own counselor to help you navigate the emotional roller coaster you are on right now.

Time apart could be a + or ó. It allows her to avoid the aftermath of the affair in some ways yet gives you space to figure things out. Only you can determine if that is what is best for your marriage.

DIFM posted 2/1/2021 13:26 PM

There are numerous options for MrF. I think he is on a path to figuring that out.

For those that simply cannot imagine how D can be a basis for R, I suggest you consider that it is just one of those things that you simply can't imagine, but that it is still one of those things that may have a place. I am evidence that D does not have to be the stereotype or the limited vision that some seem sure that it is.

Many things exist that are real and true, that our own personal experience can't immediately relate to. I am not here to tell MrF what he should do, relative to R. I am here to offer a real world example for how D can very much and, without prohibitive difficultly, be an adjunct to the R process. If you are reading this and cannot imagine it or understand it, I get it.

D is NOT inherently and absolutely the end of a relationship it is only inherently the end of a legal M. That is the only absolute that D is: the end of a legal M. Beyond that, what happens next, how well it can be leveraged as a way to start anew, is up to the two that are engulfed in the trauma that got them to this point.

If a WS wants a new relationship with the hope of a new M, and the BS needs a D to get to the psychological and emotional place they need to be to be open to that new M, so be it. D is NOT the end of a potential new relationship, it is ONLY the end of the legal entanglement of the M, made dead by the cheater.

It is easy to understand how some may view D as a draconian or last resort option to the relationship, but for those that are not necessarily dedicated to ending hope for a new relationship, but want or see a need to cut ties with the existing legal bullshit M created by the cheating.......it does make sense and is not that hard to understand. This is not to suggest that it is the right or best road for Mr F, but it is a reasonable road, if he needs it for the purpose it may serve him.

In my view, which may not be the view of others, when you willfully discard your vows and play games with betrayals and contort your BS through manipulation and lies, the M is dead. Deal with that as you need or wish or must. For some, making the death of the M not just a concept, but a legal reality brings some healing. I get why some would not take that road, but it does not seem to be all that difficult an option to understand. The M is dead. We see it written over and over by BS's here on SI. How each one deals with the dead M is the basis for the journey forward.

There is no law or social construct that dictates that D means no R. Only the people involved in the dean M decide what constitutes the basis for R.

MrF I wish you well and that you are able to successfully find peace and strength in claiming your future, however you choose to do that.

[This message edited by DIFM at 1:30 PM, February 1st, 2021 (Monday)]

ChamomileTea posted 2/1/2021 14:08 PM

It's not that I've never heard of people getting back together after divorce, DIFM. I just feel like we need to put a warning label on that suggestion. We need to point out that the longer a separation persists, the greater the chance it will become permanent and that getting back together afterward is only one of four possible outcomes. The OP should be aware of which aspects of R s/he would be missing by attempting it as a separated/divorced couple rather than together in situ. These things are important to developing greater emotional intimacy and increased feelings of security.

I've got no problem with people recommending D as a possible path to R. But tell them the downside too. For those who REALLY want to continue the relationship, it's a disservice to blow a lot of sunshine up their ass and make it seem like there's no increase to their risk of total relationship failure. It's easy to say "oh hey, that relationship was dead anyway", but that's not the whole of it when you have TWO people who both want to repair their marriage and family dynamic.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 2:08 PM, February 1st (Monday)]

DIFM posted 2/2/2021 05:18 AM

CT, I think we may not be all that far off from our views and it is more the words that get in the way.

It's not that I've never heard of people getting back together after divorce...

Keep in mind that my premise is that D is explicitly a part of the commitment that both make to R. It is not related to those that get D'd to be D'd and who, someday, find themselves back together. For those that want to D to permanently end the relationship with the WS, they are not candidates for the path I took.

I try to keep in mind that almost none of the hundreds and hundreds of BS's on SI end up choosing the D route as a requirement of R. Considering that, we probably don't have too much to worry about whatever risks that choice might bring. On the other hand, almost all the BS's that come here and attempt to R, take a more conventional route. And many stay on here for years, post infidelity, retelling their story of lack of commitment by the WS to remorse, empathy, and contrition. The pain, as expressed in all the forums on SI, from choosing to stay in the M as a pre-requisite to R, suggest that there is also great risk in that option.

I think we agree that the BS is terribly vulnerable and should try not to make any decisions without considering the ramifications to their health, stability, security, and happiness. No matter what choice a BS makes, there is no easy or smooth road out of this. Seems MrF is working hard to figure out what the best way is for him and their relationship. I am sorry that he is in this position.

CT, you always offer insight and valuable contributions.

[This message edited by DIFM at 5:21 AM, February 2nd, 2021 (Tuesday)]

Bigger posted 2/2/2021 06:42 AM

What is a unique in this situation is that Mr Fibble is from a country where the legal system seems to allow relatively easy do-it-yourself divorce. In most countries and probably all states I know of divorce involves relatively complex financial and legal transactions, generally with some financial and emotional cost.

This complex financial disentanglement makes divorcing with the goal of reestablishing a new romantic and emotional relationship unrealistic IMHO.

Once your pension has been diminished by a pay-out to your spouse, your home sold to create funds for an equal distribution, your stocks sold to divide the funds, you paid $$$ for getting your house appraised and sold, fees paid for a new mortgage, your business valued to establish marital worth, child-support and visitation determinedÖ

This is all tinder for argument, disagreement and eventual resentment. None of which makes building a new, positive relationship realistic.

I know quite a few divorced people, and relatively few think they got a truly fair settlement. I even know several divorced couples where both the ex husband and ex wife insist the other got the better deal.

Mr Fibble Ė divorce to divorce. Not to create a new form of marriage or personal relationship with your wife. Your future relationship-goals as a divorced father should be that you two are good, efficient coparents, but inevitably live completely separate personal lives.

DIFM posted 2/2/2021 10:02 AM

...and probably all states I know of divorce involves relatively complex financial and legal transactions, generally with some financial and emotional cost.

Not all of the states are prohibitive to this concept. I am living example that there are states that make divorce relatively simple, conditional that both parties are in agreement about the division of assets. I urge others not to presume anything relative to laws. If my wayward wife had not been willing to give this to me then I had already decided she was not worthy of the gift of reconciliation.

D as a tool to R was a huge breath of fresh air for me and relief to be out of the constraints of that legal dead M. We did not end the relationship, we ended the marriage. And it absolutely was a conduit to creating a new and better new legal M. Not perfect but certainly better.

Her willingness to turn over to me the rules of engagement for our divorce was a significant factor in the total dedication that I gave to the reconciliation efforts. If she had not been willing, I would simply have divorced for the sake of divorce and moved on.

Know the laws of your state or country.

Buster123 posted 2/2/2021 12:09 PM

DIFM some people simply have a limited version of D, I completely understand the path you took, in fact D is typically much easier when both parties are in agreement, you offered D as a condition to R, if your WW had refused your terms, well you simply would have removed R from the table and D anyway, D gave you and her an "easy" way out if the efforts to R failed.

When a WS agrees to an easy and fair D in order to have the chance to R, to me that's a good sign they're willing to make sacrifices to save the relationship, it could help the BS start to gain some trust again. There are absolutely no guarantees one way or the other, moreover if the BS is the breadwinner or makes more than the WS, He/She (the BS) could potentially expose himself/herself to many more years of alimony/spousal support, as it is often calculated based on the duration of the M, in CA for instance after being M for 10 years alimony/spousal support is a lifetime sentence, so from a financial standpoint it would make a LOT more of sense to offer D with the chance to R, and if R fails you go your separate ways without having to pay alimony for life, if R succeeds you could re-marry with a pre-nup or simply just move in together.

I just don't buy the notion that it would be more difficult to R that way, to some like you it may be "easier", knowing your WS is not simply staying for financial security as it is often the case.
D is a very common consequence of cheating and if "resentment" for that is still in the equation after the huge betrayal and broken vows then IMHO the WS is/was never a good candidate to R to begin with anyway. The offer to D as a condition to have a chance to R is an option as valid as any other.

MrFlibble posted 2/3/2021 05:11 AM

Just filed for divorce, her idea. Will update later when I get home but it's all good

jb3199 posted 2/3/2021 06:23 AM

How often is it suggested here that one of the conditions of R is a post-nup? I hear it suggested very often, and I also hear very often that they are either (1) not allowed in a certain state, (2)difficult to enforce, and (3) can possibly be overturned in a court of law.

But yet, we still suggest it here, because many times a BS is simply not willing to put potentially MORE at risk for the chance of a failed reconciliation attempt. And I understand that completely. Call me selfish, money-hungry, cold-hearted or whatever, but do I think that a BS who is at a huge financial disadvantage and feels trapped upon discovery should have the opportunity to get some security if they attempt to reconcile? Damn right I do.

But what if, instead of the post-nup alternative, they were to divorce upon agreed terms? Divorce is much more binding than a post-nup, and contrary to many beliefs, if both parties are on board, then non-contested, jointly filed divorces can be much easier than many believe in several states in the US. I would always recommend legal advice to doing so, but I know in my state, I could be divorced in 90 days if both parties chose to do so.

So, long-winded version---isn't this kind of what D with the chance to R really is.....a post-nup of sorts? It is offering the betrayed party a condition to R---it may not be financial at all......it may be for a totally emotional, personal need for the BS. It also clearly defines the financial aspect going forward, with the ability to disengage(either party) if they feel they need to do so. I don't understand why this option is viewed as punitive.....I simply look at it as another option to attempt R. Of course it is not for everyone......I've only seen maybe a dozen members over the years do so......but in their situations, I do believe that it worked well for them.

grubs posted 2/3/2021 07:54 AM

I'm not as concerned with D or not in a legal perspective. The Rs that succeed do so by reconnecting and supporting each other through the healing process. Living apart past the initial trauma lessens the opportunities for connections and I think that's what CT was trying to express. The wounds in both are still fresh. A marriage post A is like a knee after surgery. You need to start using it again, even when it hurts, as soon as possible to get the best results. That doesn't mean it's healed or will ever be the same. But waiting for the knee to stop hurting before using it again will lead to scar tissue in the wrong places.

[This message edited by grubs at 7:55 AM, February 3rd (Wednesday)]

faithfulman posted 2/3/2021 17:30 PM

Just filed for divorce, her idea. Will update later when I get home but it's all good

Well, it's actually your idea and she is not fighting you on it anymore. It's good that she is respecting your wishes.

I jumped out of the thread for a while as it seemed like you were getting talked into rugsweeping.

You need to heal and then if you want to, attempt reconciliation. There may be some overlap.

Just understand:

- Sex-bombing from your wife is not healing or reconciliation
- Love-bombing from your wife (Like the little notes) is not healing or reconciliation
- Your wife attaching herself to your side because she fears the end of the relationship is not healing or reconciliation


- Healing and reconciliation start with truth
- Healing and reconciliation start with true respect - of you and herself (her lack of self-respect is almost as big an issue as her lack of respect for you)
- Reconciliation is not guaranteed under any circumstances - you just need to figure out if you can do it and if you really want to do it.
- You will not be able to heal and reconcile with the "same person" that betrayed you, and as I and I think Dignitas pointed out above, she has not really changed herself yet. That takes time.

Good luck.

ChamomileTea posted 2/3/2021 17:34 PM

- Sex-bombing from your wife is not healing or reconciliation
- Love-bombing from your wife (Like the little notes) is not healing or reconciliation
- Your wife attaching herself to your side because she fears the end of the relationship is not healing or reconciliation

Yeah... make absolutely CERTAIN that your wife doesn't show any interest in having sexual contact with you, that she make no effort to show any love or affection, and that she not want to be anywhere around you. I'm sure that'll work.

ETA: Sometimes a WS just can't do anything right around here. Be careful, OP, what advice you take. Sex/love bombing can be used as a manipulation tool. But if you're dealing with a WS who has no interest in showing affection or attraction to you, who doesn't want to be around you, that's a problem in its own right.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 5:41 PM, February 3rd (Wednesday)]

faithfulman posted 2/4/2021 01:02 AM

Yeah... make absolutely CERTAIN that your wife doesn't show any interest in having sexual contact with you, that she make no effort to show any love or affection, and that she not want to be anywhere around you. I'm sure that'll work.

Well, if that wasn't an excellent demonstration of classic Chamomile Tea poor reading comprehension, with the twisting of words of those who disagree with her patented "All cheating women who squirt a few tears deserve reconciliation" philosophy, I don't know what is.

***

ETA: Sometimes a WS just can't do anything right around here. Be careful, OP, what advice you take. Sex/love bombing can be used as a manipulation tool. But if you're dealing with a WS who has no interest in showing affection or attraction to you, who doesn't want to be around you, that's a problem in its own right.

I agree with that bolded portion! Mr F., also be careful whose advice you take!

For example, look for the consistency in advice. I for example, pretty much always advocate for getting as much truth as you can, and then deciding if you can attempt reconciliation with that knowledge. Unless the abuse is so bad that you don't need to know any more. Male or female, it doesn't matter, that is my philosophy.

If you find that a poster seems to almost always recommend to betrayed males that they attempt to reconcile with their cheating wives no matter what, take their advice with a grain of salt. For example there was a mega-thread where a fellow named AHGuy was subjected to untold humiliation by his wife over a lengthy period of time, followed by rampant lies and manipulation after she was caught. Our friend Chamomile Tea was all about him giving her a chance to reconcile when she had done nothing to earn that opportunity.

***

Finally, do a little research from where people are speaking to see if they are walking what they talk:

Chamomile Tea:

I'm six years out, and I mostly don't even think about infidelity unless I'm here at SI.

Chamomile Tea has been on this forum for 5 years and has posted 3886 times since then. That is an average about twice a day, every day, for 5 years.

So while she likes to throw shade at the rest of us claiming we don't know about reconciliation, an ad hominem attack and something she has no idea about, it appears that she thinks of infidelity every single day enough to post about it twice a day, so perhaps her reconciliation is not as peachy-keen as she would have us believe.

Please don't feel the need to come at me again Chamomile, I'm not interested in a back and forth with you.

***

So back to what I was saying, sex bombing, love-bombing, and clinging are not sustainable. They are reactionary behaviors of desperation.

If you feel you can go accept that you want to try to go forward with this woman knowing what you know, then you need to look for true changes in attitude. True and profound positive changes in her behavior and coping processes.

Good luck.

MrFlibble posted 2/4/2021 10:12 AM

Wanted to post an update sooner, but kids are sick and acting up and house is a mess and whatnot. And I wanted to process everything before coming here. You understand I am sure.

I will try to keep this as short as possible, sorry if I am rambling again but I find it therapeutic to get it all out here.


First of all, we filed yesterday. Yes, I am sad and it hurts as hell, but it needs to be done. Last few days has been very emotional for both of us but I think we will be ok. No more limbo, at least.

Originaly, the plan was to sign an agreement on division of marital assets (house mainly) and kids (shared custody), but as the day was closing in I felt more and more off about postponing the inevitable. I guess my wife felt it and initiated multiple conversation on my expectations of not so distant future and to her credit started to prone on my reasons of why this is important to me instead of figting me and putting her walls up like she did before.

As I know now, her perception of why I want to divorce her was that I needed to punish her and make her pay for her affair. That's absolutely not true and I was surprised that she felt that way (but probably shoudn't be, right?). I had some troubles to get my point across, which is that by not divorcing her I feel like I am condoning her affair and basicaly saying I am OK with it while I am absolutely not. I should had told her a long time ago, I feel like I did, but we both were probably too shaken to get what the other is saying. Even now, it took her some time to process this but next morning she came to me and told me that she understands where I am coming from and if this is what I really want so be it.

So we went to our attorney, went through everything again to make sure we fully understand what this means and signed everything. I expected some kind of breakdown but my wife was just very quiet during all this and said maybe 20 words total. We then went to pick up lunch and I asked her to tell me how she feels about all this. "Like her closest person died in a car crash and she was driving." I told her we both feel the same.

We tried to keep up the facade in front of girls but I know she hides from time to time in different rooms around the house to cry and it really breaks my heart. I asked her sister to come here for a few days to help her with all of this. We still talk, hug and touch but nothing sexual.

I also thought that those 10 days when I will be gone on excersise (which means asbsolutely NC between us) will do us good but unfortunately that had been called off indefinitely (Covid) so we are locked here at least for now, everyday. She's working from home now too, which means we spent even more time together since we both use our office now. She asked me if I want her to go somewhere else but I told her no. We will see how it goes.

So that's one setback, the other is her living arrangements. I apparently picked up a shitty realtor, the guy is really useless. We had already picked an appartment few minutes from our house, nice 3br for a decent price. We were in a middle of a mortgage process and he let it sell right under our nose so we are back to square one. We are looking for a rental now which probably makes more sense in a short term. We will use my bonus to pay a deposit and rent for 6 months. Bills are on her.

I haven't got a new IC yet. One looked promising, but he is apparently realy good so the earliest they could squeez me in was in late March. Will keep looking. My wife keeps the one she has now since she's happy with her.

Wife is still affectionate when I give her signals I welcome it, if I tell her NO she keeps her distance and doesn't push it. Told me yesterday at lunch if she can write me letters because she feels like she's better at sounding her feelings and what's generally on her mind in a written form. I am actually looking forward to it.

The only problem or dilema I have now is this - originaly the plan was to do real separation, which means living separately, keeping LC and basicaly just coparent. I read CT's posts and now I feel like if we want to have a chance this might be the last nail in a coffin. Any ideas on that?

Again, sorry for a long post and your sound advice. I will read it all when kids are put to bed.

newlife03 posted 2/4/2021 10:39 AM

I'm a little confused. If you want to have a chance then why go through the divorce process? I think it's wonderful that you are considering a future with her, but then why go through the torment of making a divorce official if you don't plan to be living apart? Maybe others who have gone the divorce/reconciliation route can explain this. I tried to R until OW2 was discovered and then D'd, so I have no experience in this area.

Also, sending signals to be affectionate isn't fair to her. In my mind if you want to divorce then all bets are off in that area, and sending her signals just messes with her head. Yes, she cheated and deserves to have no sympathy, but...

grubs posted 2/4/2021 11:03 AM

The only problem or dilema I have now is this - originaly the plan was to do real separation, which means living separately, keeping LC and basicaly just coparent. I read CT's posts and now I feel like if we want to have a chance this might be the last nail in a coffin. Any ideas on that?

Cohabiting and disengaged is worse than living separate and engaged.
Only you can determine what the path forward looks like.
Things to consider.
What is your view on the purpose of the separation? Pros/Cons list.
How long do you feel the separation needs to be?
How long before the first checkpoint on whether to continue separation, move together, or proceed further apart?
What would need to happen to dissolve the temporary separation and move back together or further apart?
What about nesting? That is taking turns by week living at home with the kids with the other spouse away with family, friends, or hotel.
What impact is separating going to have on the children?
Do you do family time during the separation? Like spending Saturdays together when nesting.

You don't need to have everything right, but answering some of those questions & any others they bring up might give you some clarity. Once you have done so, I would have the same discussion with your wayword. You are the deciding factor here, but she should understand your thought processes (like the divorce) and be able to give her input.

I do think having the experience and knowledge that both of you are ok apart can be useful to the reconciliation. It removes the wondering if you just took the safe comfortable (relatively) route.

It does have its cons. Its going to be much harder for your wayward to do the acts to rebuild your trust and help you heal without your presence. With cohabitating the inevitable blow ups and triggers will be a smaller fraction of the total time together. When separated, those blow ups are going to be a larger percentage of the time together and weigh more heavily.

[This message edited by grubs at 11:08 AM, February 4th (Thursday)]

Stevesn posted 2/4/2021 13:29 PM

I disagree that itís harder to R if you separate for a while.

I believe R depends more on the two individuals, who they are, how they behave after DDay and how committed they are to the work.

I think for some they might find R almost impossible to achieve while still in the same home together and others might find the only way they can make rebuilding work is to be apart and slowly work towards each other again.

Of course the converse for each might be true as well.

To me, the real important thing is how dedicated the WS is to doing the work to fixing themselves, and finding selflessness and helping their BS heal.

And from the BSís perspective it has to be how open the can be to seeing that their WS has changed, is no longer who they were and is now dedicated to the BSís well being and future feelings of emotional safety.

Of course the partners will have to spend more and more time together as rebuilding progresses but that to me does not at all mean they have to live together for a while.

While different circumstances, Most likely the two of you did not live together when you first started their relationship, the same can be true when building this new one.

MrF, your wife broke your trust. This is devastating for any relationship. The odds are against you staying together after that no matter what path you take in your recovery. But your instincts have been good so far. Donít give up on them now.

A WS who has truly been thru the hardship of seeing the ramifications on a relationship that cheating causes is, in my opinion, one that really can prove herself trustworthy again. But she has to do the work to get there, you cannot do one bit of it for her.

And in order to be a receptive partner down the road, you have to be able to look in the mirror and say you didnít lower your morals no matter what the cost.

[This message edited by Stevesn at 7:43 AM, February 6th (Saturday)]

faithfulman posted 2/4/2021 15:39 PM

Mr F - You're doing the best you can under the circumstances you have to deal with.

I think you are making a very important point about who you are and what you will accept. Not to punish your wife, but so that it is understood to you within, as well as to her: Cheating = Divorce.

You can read this forum and others. The betrayed spouses (and I will now specific that to men) who keep on moving the goalposts of what they will accept, and what their iron-clad boundaries are end up in misery and limbo.

Now your soon-to-be-ex-wife understands the terms of the marriage that she should have understood when she took her vows. If she wants to be your partner or wife again, she won't fuck with those completely obvious boundaries ever again.

As I know now, her perception of why I want to divorce her was that I needed to punish her and make her pay for her affair. That's absolutely not true and I was surprised that she felt that way (but probably shoudn't be, right?). I had some troubles to get my point across, which is that by not divorcing her I feel like I am condoning her affair and basicaly saying I am OK with it while I am absolutely not. I should had told her a long time ago, I feel like I did, but we both were probably too shaken to get what the other is saying. Even now, it took her some time to process this but next morning she came to me and told me that she understands where I am coming from and if this is what I really want so be it.


This is what your wife has to correct in herself - that everything is about her and how it affects her.

Cheaters do this all the time. They think that their cheating only affects them. That if they keep it from you, it's okay.

And then when they are busted they only think about how it affects their life, how they are being hurt or punished, etc.

They retreat further into "me mode".

***

So as you work toward or decide if you can reconcile, that's what you want to look for. Does she think about how her actions affect others? And not just when she is in trouble, just as a person who inhabits the world with other people.

People who realize that their behavior can hurt or benefically affect others around them are generally "safer partners".

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