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My wife cheated on me with her coworker. What now

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ChamomileTea posted 2/4/2021 17:50 PM

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?

I think you'd do well to figure out what you want. Do you want R? You keep saying that you want to stay together, and yet you keep moving further and further away from your WS. This would be understandable if your WS was toxic, meaning still wayward in her thought process and/or abusive. Separation is great for breaking an unhealthy enmeshment. Do you view your enmeshment as unhealthy at this point? Is your WS still toxic? Abusive?

From what you've posted, your WS seems truly remorseful and ready to work on healing. But you've become mired in this question of "condoning" the affair, which to me sounds like a justice issue. A person does something wrong, consequences are applied. The end. But honestly, unless you're a very rare specimen, divorce isn't going to fix your FEELINGS about the betrayal. It's not going to make what happened okay. You're still going to have to work through the hurt and pain. There's no justice to be had. And because you've decided to work through it on your own, you're going to be missing all the comforts and reassurances I mentioned in an earlier post:

When it comes to infidelity, it's NORMAL to want comfort from the one who hurt you. You couldn't say that about a mugger who pistol whipped you at a gas station. But it's almost ubiquitous. We WANT the WS to understand and sympathize with our pain. And as we're making that emotional reinvestment in the relationship, we find ourselves feeling okay when we're together with our WS but angry and sad when apart. We end up experiencing separation anxiety during that reinvestment period. And that's okay, because it's temporary. The feeling dissipates as we continue to grow and become more secure.

In terms of whether to separate or not, these are some of the things you would miss during a separation; chances to "lean in" toward one another, opportunities for the WW to comfort you, the security of being able to see with your own eyes that your WS is still present in the relationship, and being able to measure her work ethic and progress in situ. These things build emotional intimacy and fortify your sense of security within the relationship.

R is scary. We can't look into our partner's head and see what they're really thinking. We can only trust our own assessment and intuition, things which have failed us before. We're asking ourselves to have the courage to be emotionally vulnerable with someone who has ALREADY proved they can destroy us. For me, my attitude was "What are you gonna do? ..crush me? Ha! Been there, done that... and I survived!" And I'd survive it again if it came to it. It was the most devastating thing which has ever happened to me and at times, I didn't think I'd ever overcome the pain of it, but I did, and I could again.

The idea that I could put my marriage back together without emotional intimacy was intolerable. It's not what I wanted, some superficial thing where we don't really connect. But there's NO WAY to get that connection without allowing yourself to be vulnerable with the person you've chosen. I had to MAKE myself climb out on that branch and I had to MAKE myself take the leap of faith from it. I've always been one to dive right into the deep end, but this was hard. This took more courage than I thought I had. But I did it. And my reward was all those things I mentioned in the quote box above.

I don't think my marriage would have survived if I hadn't "leaned in". During that "reinvestment" phase, when you're "reinvesting" in the relationship by making yourself vulnerable, the separation anxiety is vicious. If my WH was out of eyeshot, my mind ran rampant. I found myself immersed in rumination; enraged, scared, and depressed. But in his company, I was able to focus more on what we were working toward. There's an unpleasant duality of personality where you swing from being okay to being very NOT okay. I think that if we had separated, I'd have probably stayed in that "very NOT okay" space, ruminating on the betrayal with my rage and hurt running rampant. For me, it was important that my WH be there to comfort me and to create enough security for me to "lean in" and be vulnerable. If I had been left alone to my rumination, unable to take multiple readings of my WH's remorse on a daily basis, I'd have made him into a monster.

I can't tell you what your outcome will be. You've selected a path that wouldn't have worked for me. That doesn't mean it can't work, it only means I don't know how to help you. I do wish you the best though, and if I think of anything, I'll be sure to add it.

Buffer posted 2/4/2021 18:30 PM

Strength and what Camomile Tea said. ^^^^
One day at a time.

Unsure2019 posted 2/4/2021 21:11 PM

^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Absolutely agree ewith Camomile Tea and Buffer.

Tigersrule77 posted 2/5/2021 08:54 AM

I also ask you why you want to separate. Do you feel like you might be plan B and you want to make sure? For many BS's, it is very difficult to move past this. A separation may allow you to believe that your STBXWW really does want you.

You seem very torn. It is understandable. I think some time apart might really help you, but I would suggest you essentially go NC to allow yourself some time and space to think. Your story is quite unique in that you didn't want to entertain R, but didn't want to leave your WS either.

MrFlibble posted 2/5/2021 14:37 PM

It's been 3 months since Dday and all the confusion is still very present. I AM torn. Confused. And angry. Not as much as before, the better days are prevelant now., but still.

Yes CT, the ultimate goal, or a wish if you please, is to R. But to be frank, there is no guarantee it can or will happen.

I still have days where we would be all over each other if not for our agreement and all is good, we laugh even with and at each other! and then there are days when I feel nothing but resentment and utmost disappointment towards my W. Last night we were watching a tv and I looked at her, she gave me a smile (scarce these days) and with a snap of a finger every warm feeling was gone and all I saw was his hands all over her and her liking it. So I got up and left without a word. She came after me and didn't let go of my hand until we sat down. Thus more talking, more apologizing, more tears and more and more and more. Suffocating. Would physical separation help with this? It might

But I found out that having her close and living and working through those moments and not hiding from them helps. It's hard and I don't want to do it, but we both know if we want to have a chance we have to. I wish she never had done this. It sucks

Sorry for a nonsencical rant but I like the fact that I can put it all here without being judged. Pls ignore it

DanielJK posted 2/5/2021 14:47 PM

Keep posting.

It sucks, we know. There is no easy answer to any of it.

This type of betrayal is up there among the worst that humans experience. None of us can “just get over it.”

I wish you a clearer path to healing and nothing but the best.

tushnurse posted 2/5/2021 15:49 PM

What are you doing for you?
It seems that there is tremendous focus on her and the relationship and that is good but
...what about you.
You mentioned the new therapist. End of March isn't far away and honestly probably hard pressed to get in with anyone else sooner. So make that appointment.

What are you doing for you. You have to heal yourself. To do that means you have to make yourself a priority. That also means getting in touch with your feelings grief, anger, acceptance. Journal.

Lastly start doing something for yourself every day. Let your wife know that this is a personal priority. If you jad a hobby you dropped because you didn't have time pick it back up. If you didn't its time to pick up one, something you always wanted to do but never did. Finding yourself and being happy with who you are as you navigate the grief will help you heal and help you rebuild q healthier relationship.

Buffer posted 2/5/2021 20:43 PM

Brother if you feel being around and having the ability to talk to each other when the mind movies come and feel it help or is beneficial then keep it up in the one abode.
Having say a three or six months of NC separation most likely won’t be as helpful for you.
Unfortunately there is no magic pill or NC will work for everyone. Unfortunately everyone is in a different situation so what worked for one may not work for others.
Keep communicating to each other.
One day at a time.

Divod62 posted 2/6/2021 14:50 PM

I don’t buy it.

In an earlier post I said by your actions you’re not here to save your marriage. I think that’s still the case.

You have all the power. She would’ve done anything to save her marriage, and so far she has. You’ve managed to get your WW, who by her own actions has followed the remorseful spouse manual to a T, to believe that divorcing you is her idea. Now that you have the pressure of being married off your plate, you can now start working on R, right? But no that’s not enough, she has to be separated from you too, despite all the support, space and comfort she’s giving you whilst living together. She still thinks she’s working towards saving her marriage, er relationship.

But that’s not what you want, is it? Your mixed messages may not be mixed after all if your goal is to be single and living without your exWW while she’s sitting in her apartment desperate to get you back. She’d be relegated to being your B plan, and you’d be free to date other women if you choose to, all while retaining the moral high ground.

If you want an authentic shot at R, at some point you need to decide to man up. No more mixed messages, no more confusing agendas, you’ve wielded your power and proved who’s in control, and now it’s time to show her that you’re in it to win it 100%. Sure there’s still a chance it doesn’t work out, but her affair was very limited and her remorseful actions have been full board, so if she doesn’t have a shot then what WS does? The simple fact is it takes two to reconcile, which means it takes the best efforts of both parties to have a chance at success.

However if you want to be free and single, you need to be truthful with her so she can process it and move on. She shouldn’t be kept in limbo after all she’s done to show you that she’s remorseful and still loves you and wants to be with you.

You still have to work through your feelings no matter which path you choose, but she’s demonstrated that she’s attuned to your pain and that’s a good thing if it brings you some comfort. That seems like progress to me. What's the point of separation if there's progress being made? I hope you figure that out soon.

Best of luck

asc1226 posted 2/6/2021 19:15 PM

Your mixed messages may not be mixed after all if your goal is to be single and living without your exWW

MrF has stated that the relationship between him and his XWW is still exclusive for both sides as long as R is on the table.

MickeyBill2016 posted 2/6/2021 19:28 PM

But that’s not what you want, is it? Your mixed messages may not be mixed after all if your goal is to be single and living without your exWW while she’s sitting in her apartment desperate to get you back. She’d be relegated to being your B plan, and you’d be free to date other women if you choose to, all while retaining the moral high ground.

From what I have read from Mr F I think he was truly shattered by Mrs F affair. IMO he is far from wanting to be free to date other women...while his WW is plan B.
My guess is that he is still conflicted in wanting to keep his family together but there is a little bit of him that cannot yet deal with her affair. He may 90% in for R but having a very hard time with the last 10%

TBH it has not been very long since DDay.

MrFlibble posted 2/7/2021 05:31 AM

Sorry I don't come here more often but life's been busy. We are at my IL's now for a weekend. Since we filed life is very quiet, my W doesn't talk too much and often is mentaly someplace else, staring into space. She's very happy around kids but I can tell she's just pretending. We don't talk much about future but both know the talk is close.

Tushnurse, you alsked what I am doing for myself.

I spend a lot lf time alone, that's new. Partly because W takes care of kids more now and generaly tries to stay out of my way when I need or want her to. We still do thing together like walks and stuff. Everything is closed around here do there is not much to do anyway.

I don't drink anymore. Not that I was a drinker, but I love beer. Last time I had a beer was new years eve. Again, Covid helps here.

I lift weights. I remodeled one of the emoty rooms to a gym. Not that I was overweight or anything, but I lost 15 lbs and I am in the best shape of my life. And people started noticing. I got hit on at a grocery store the other day. Good for my hurt ego.

I started doing things I want. I want to go far a walk, I tell my wife, maybe take kids, and go. I want to read a book, I read a book. I felt into a pattern before of doing what people expect me to do. Now that stopped.

I ordered a shittone of new clothes and I look good:)

I reconnected with some old friends O haven't heard from for years. We talk amd text often

I feel like I have my life under control now. My W's affair pulled a rug from under me, but I am slowly pulling myself up.

I made an appointment with that new IC late March. Looking forward to it.

Overall, I am good. My wife not so much. But we are working on it. I know that I sound confused and torn, and I am. But I want to make one thing clear - the old marriage is dead. Gone. All we have to do now is to bury it and start building something new

MrFlibble posted 2/7/2021 05:39 AM

Divod62 You sound s lit like that guy from LS, Wiseman2. And I have to give you credit, you saw right through me. My W's affair was my cunning plan to start dating.

We both want to R, and in order to do that I want to officialy end the marriage she killed with her affair. And we will take it from there.

MrFlibble posted 2/7/2021 05:44 AM

Oh, and btw this morning my W had yet another fight with my MIL and after what I heard I am pretty sure FIL cheated on her many years ago, never admited anything and they basicaly rugswept everything and preted it never happened. Guess that's the reason why she acted the way she did towards my W.

MrFlibble posted 2/7/2021 05:46 AM

And maybe I should ask for my thread to be moved somewhere else than JFO. Ideas?

Stevesn posted 2/7/2021 07:08 AM

This was your JFO post so it should stay here IMO. Not sure they’d move it because of that, but i don’t really know.

Since you are divorcing you could start a new one in the D forum to follow that process.

And when your D is final and you decide truly to try and Rebuild you can start one in the R forum.

In the meantime this one is fine for discussing anything about her A and what you are going thru emotionally as a result of it.

66charger posted 2/7/2021 08:24 AM

I wonder if what you are really seeking is a way to FORGIVE your wife. If you divorce her, the price will have been paid and you can move forward. You can call it justice or consequences but once it is done, she owes you nothing. If you travel this path, the reconcilliation will be your responsibility.

It is obvious you still are very much in love with your wife. Do what you need to do, but maybe you should start working on forgiveness. Wishing you and your family well.

[This message edited by 66charger at 8:30 AM, February 7th (Sunday)]

guvensiz posted 2/7/2021 14:04 PM

And maybe I should ask for my thread to be moved somewhere else than JFO. Ideas?

The JFO part looks finished, but what started is not clear yet. D is not a complete D, neither is R. You'd better stay here for a while.

The healing in your ego and pulling yourself up are good developments. I mentioned earlier about your WW's possible fear of losing you due to divorce. By this I meant not another woman but this kind of developments. Once you realize that you are satisfied with this new life without a legal bond to her, you may not want to remarry her. But if you stayed married and tried to R, you wouldn't consider divorce. This is the basic fear of her i guess.

Divod62 posted 2/7/2021 16:17 PM

And I have to give you credit, you saw right through me. My W's affair was my cunning plan to start dating.

Sarcasm aside, not a cunning plan, more like a slippery slope.

I know you’re confused, we all were, but the common thread to your motivation for all your actions has been your WW needs to be punished. You don’t seem to be confused about that, but I do get a sense that you’re conflicted. You told your wife that you weren’t trying to punish her, that you were in fact trying to live by your principles when you said you didn’t want to condone her affair, but your actions are contradictory. If you were sticking with your principles you would have had a clean divorce like Spaceghost did, and she would already be gone.

It’s hardly a surprise that she felt you wanted to punish her with the divorce, because your actions telegraphed it, but you managed to convince her that divorce was her idea by softening your language and making it about preserving your principles. So in essence you’ve punished her while keeping her on the R hook.

Now you want separation to again punish her, even though you’ve said you want to reconcile, even though there’s progress being made.

It’s a tough balancing act, trying to reconcile with someone you have an overwhelming desire to punish.

If you want R to work you’ve got to let go of the notion that she needs to be punished further for all the times you’ve experienced or will experience pain. I went down a similar path, wanting my wife to pay for her actions, but at some point it has to stop if you want to move forward. The pain sucks, but you have to work through it like we all did and not use punishing your WW as a remedy.

Best of luck

[This message edited by Divod62 at 10:26 PM, February 10th (Wednesday)]

MrFlibble posted 2/8/2021 15:47 PM

I re-read this whole thread, especially last few pages. And after this weekend and last night talk with my W I realized you are right and I am wrong. That whole separation is just BS. More on why I came to this conclusion later in this post

I wonder if what you are really seeking is a way to FORGIVE your wife. If you divorce her, the price will have been paid and you can move forward. You can call it justice or consequences but once it is done, she owes you nothing. If you travel this path, the reconcilliation will be your responsibility.
It is obvious you still are very much in love with your wife. Do what you need to do, but maybe you should start working on forgiveness. Wishing you and your family well.

I wonder a lot about almost everything I do nowadays to be honest. I second guess myself and try to stay away from any harsh decision I can make when I am angry. And I am angry, not as much as before, but still. When it comes to forgivness - I believe I am getting there. The divorce has nothing to do with forgivness. I can forgive her and divorce her, I don't see any connection between the two. You know what? I actually see it as the opposite - I am ready to forgive, so we can peacefully divorce and start over. If I wouldn't or couldn't forgive there wound be no R. Not now, not ever. Does that make sense? I hope so, but I know I have some trouble communicating this to my future exW (still sounds weird and out of place.. exW. Huh). Again, divorce is not a punishment. Not at all.


The healing in your ego and pulling yourself up are good developments. I mentioned earlier about your WW's possible fear of losing you due to divorce. By this I meant not another woman but this kind of developments. Once you realize that you are satisfied with this new life without a legal bond to her, you may not want to remarry her. But if you stayed married and tried to R, you wouldn't consider divorce. This is the basic fear of her i guess.

I am acually scared of this a little. I always thought I would be totally lost without my wife by my side. I would just aimlessly wonder around. This changed, a lot during last few weeks. I am now sure I would do just fine on my own. It is quite scary yet liberating feeling. I am glad I came to that place in my mind, it took off some pressure I felt I put on myself. My wife noticed this and I think it's taking it's toll on her. It's true I would do just fine without her. But do I want to? Absolutely not. I want to be with her, through good and bad. That's why I am still here. W asked me yesterday during our evening talk if I am still here because of kids. Yeah, partly I am. But they are not the only reason.

She told me yesterday a lot about how it all started, how she felt about me, about her place in all this. How she slowly started consiously looking for things I did wrong or said wrong so she could justify one more chat, one more lunch with that slimy loser. It explained many of our arguments and sore spots from before. It all makes sense now. She told me there were many days where she knew what she was doing was wrong, but I did this or that the other day so it's OK! I can go to a lunch with him, I can text him when my husband goes to bed. How she made herself believe he's the one who listens to her and "gets" her. How she felt the first time he kissed her. How she felt every time she deleted their messages. How she thought she deserves this because she put herself down while being home with kids. How she felt brand new when she went back to work. And how she told herself it's OK to lie to me so I don't burst her little bubble. How she felt shocked and hollow that day I stormed off with my bag, how scared she was this is the last time we spoke. How she tried to convince herself this is a minor bump, nothing really serious, and what went through her head when it started slowly sinking in that this has a real potentional to ruin our marriage. How it took her way too much time to realize how horrible and wrong it all was. How she hurt me, and how she hurt our kids. She recalled the feeling of stomach drop the moment she saw divorce papers in my hand, all signed and ready. Then we went to how we are now.

How disappointed in herself and depresed she's now yet how unspeakably lucky she feels I am still here after all she put me through. How she doesn't deserve any new chance but still hopes I can forgive her. Not now, but some time in a future.

I think she really gets it now. She knows how close we came to complete destruction of everything we had because she was stupid and entitled and selfish. Told me how it's hard for her to wake up everyday and put on a brave face while silently crying underneath.


She explained, in detail, her path from feeling sorry for herself to what I believe is true remorse. Then we talked (again) about our divorce. Not about logistics, but about how we feel it will change us and our relationship. The only bump was when she asked me if I see myself marrying her again. I was honest and told her it's way too soon for this kind of discussion. Maybe, I don't know and I don't want to give her a false hope. She will take anything I am ready to offer.

Then she told me about her IC, how angry she was during and after her first few sessions. How she hated those hard questions she asked. How she hasn't let her off the hook and evade everything. It took her a while, but now she understands how beneficial this is and embraces it wholeheartedly. She told me she plans to continue for at least next 6 months and she's looking for her first paycheck so she can pay me back for it. Weird, but I get it.

Later, while we lied next to each other in our bed, she reluclantly brought up our separation. I jumped right into it and told her that I think living separately would rob us of this moments so it would be probably for the best if we both stay here, under one roof, close to each other. She went silent and asked me after a moment if I am sure this is what I want or I say this because of her. That's what I did to her with my indecisiveness, I made her so confused that she doesn't believe anything I say now. It took me a while to assure her this is what I truly want. In no uncertain terms I told her I don't want any kind of separation, be it physical or emotional. Then we went to sleep completely exhausted

She's been like on speed since this morning, going 1000 mph like a kid on a suger rush. It's nice to see her being her old herself again, no matter how fleeting the moment is because as much as we want, this won't last forever. There will be days when we will be down, and we will fight about this and who knows what. But fight we will.

I think I will keep myself off this site, at least for now. Thank you all for your advice and support. You are truly amazing and I wish you all well.

MrFlibble out

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