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My wife cheated on me with her coworker. What now 2

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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 1:28 AM on Monday, November 22nd, 2021

Your situation is somewhat different. You share young children, you still remain in contact with your ex-wife on a regular basis. In fact, you were thinking of having her stay with the children at your place while you were on deployment as I recall. Couple this with the fact that there may have been some ambiguity as to the finality of the relationship in the mind of the ex-wife, and the newness of the divorce, it would have been wise to give her a heads up. Did you owe that to her? No. But would it have been smart and decent to remove all ambiguities in her mind before you started dating and give her that heads up as to your immediate dating intentions? Maybe. Only you can answer that question. No one here really understands or is privy to your daily interactions with your ex-wife and her reasonable or possible expectations regardless of what some may say or think on this thread.

I am trying very hard to imagine the dosage of hopium required to have someone divorce you and then still think "maybe we still have a chance. I'm not sure he really wants this marriage to be over."

Mr. Fibble, I think it speaks well of you to worry about how she feels about you dating. I think you're a very good man. Even if you were extra nice to her and gave her any thoughts that you might not be done with her romantically, your actions have been very clear. You divorced her. Even if you divorce someone really really nicely and with tons of empathy, it's still a divorce. You aren't responsible for easing her through the stages of grief. She needs good friends for that task.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 1:35 AM, Monday, November 22nd]

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

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Walkthestorm ( member #72157) posted at 10:01 AM on Monday, November 22nd, 2021

"Walkthestorm do you believe there is some kind of timeline for thise stages? I thought this new relationship might be the last sign that we are over for good and I am ready to move on (although it was fully unntentional), but it looks like it's actually quite the opposite. At least for now."

There is no general timeline that fits all. Some people move on fast, others get stuck for a while. I can only tell you my experience. Denail stage took about 6 months. I tried to skip the bargaining and depression stages by being highly motovated to move on (moved to another country for a job, started dating within 3-4 months, trying new adventures etc.). That lasted about 2 years until I had to process it and to be honest I am still in a way processing it. Not that I am stuck but more of reflecting on if I dealth with it the right way.

I think realisticly speaking if you in any way left breadcrums the denail stage would be drawn out for your ex. But now that you have shown with your actions that there is no more hope I think it's a matter of time before it sinks in for her. And from what I understand she has a support system, goes to therapy, is trying to understand how she got to where she is now, has a career and is young. I think she is not one of those who will get stuck but it will take time for her to process this. But as someone else said, it's not your job to lead her through this.

Yes I do understand you need a break. Makes total sense :)

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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 2:42 PM on Monday, November 22nd, 2021

I am trying very hard to imagine the dosage of hopium required to have someone divorce you and then still think "maybe we still have a chance. I'm not sure he really wants this marriage to be over."


I really don't think this is that extreme in this case as R after D was one of the original options even in Mr. Fibble's mind. I'm sure Mrs. Fibble was thinking that over time they could revisit the relationship if only she worked hard. Probably still is. They had a relationship that seemed to work pretty well for both of them until she blew it up.

I thought this new relationship might be the last sign that we are over for good and I am ready to move on (although it was fully unntentional), but it looks like it's actually quite the opposite. At least for now.

Just curious is being quite the opposite just in her worldview or yours? If you are speaking just hers, you need to be exceedingly careful not to give any impression or glimmer of hope. Now is not the time to be nice. You need to be firm and hold to the just kids boundary.

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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 2:50 PM on Monday, November 22nd, 2021

I really don't think this is that extreme in this case as R after D was one of the original options even in Mr. Fibble's mind. I'm sure Mrs. Fibble was thinking that over time they could revisit the relationship if only she worked hard. Probably still is. They had a relationship that seemed to work pretty well for both of them until she blew it up.

Maybe it's just that both times I divorced I found myself pretty frustrated with the apparent lack of message that was to both of my ex-husbands. Both of them thought "but we can come back from this" and I'd have to reference that we divorced and that actually was a significant event that carried meaning. Even if he said that at some point, he retracted that and went ahead with the divorce, right? She didn't start to absorb those words or that action until he actually started dating someone else, right?

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 4634   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 4:26 PM on Monday, November 22nd, 2021

She didn't start to absorb those words or that action until he actually started dating someone else, right?


That was my second point. Hopium effects all of us at times. If he really is never going back, he needs to be a little more brutal in making that clear to her. For both of their sakes. Now would be what work calls a teachable moment in that reinforcement of that message would be useful.

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Walkthestorm ( member #72157) posted at 5:27 PM on Monday, November 22nd, 2021

I agree with Grubs. No matter how good hearted we are as people, when we break up and mean it there should be no room for doubt or hope. Unfortunetly I learned that the hard way by breaking up with my first rebound boyfriend after the divorce. He wanted us to at least be friends (but really he wanted to get back together) and I was indulging him by agreeing to us being friends. I felt sorry for him (he was a great guy) and wanted to do the right thing. Lead to a year of torture for both of us. One of my regrets in life that I unintentionally strung him along and broken his heart not once but multiple times. Never did that again.

Hopium after the end of a relationship is normal. Sometimes what seems to be brutal is the most merciful in the long run.

posts: 70   ·   registered: Nov. 26th, 2019
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Jacobwakeup ( new member #78699) posted at 5:43 PM on Monday, November 22nd, 2021

To be honest, Mr Fibble, I don’t think that it would make any difference how she found out, you would still get the same reaction.

You may have avoided a little more confrontation by not telling her face to face but you do not owe her that notification.

I think you are feeling bad because of the way she learnt which you consider was not good form. Do you feel you have let your standards slip?

I think you may find you are the only one feeling this way.

Pottering About

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 MrFlibble (original poster member #76085) posted at 7:13 PM on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

I am trying very hard to imagine the dosage of hopium required to have someone divorce you and then still think "maybe we still have a chance. I'm not sure he really wants this marriage to be over."


Entirely my fualt, or at least to a certain degree. As grubs pointed out, I had been fueling this train of thought earlier. No more, but I would be a liar if I told you these kinds of thoughts don't ever cross my mind. Not offten, and I push them away instantly, but they do come from time to time.


I really don't think this is that extreme in this case as R after D was one of the original options even in Mr. Fibble's mind. I'm sure Mrs. Fibble was thinking that over time they could revisit the relationship if only she worked hard. Probably still is. They had a relationship that seemed to work pretty well for both of them until she blew it up.


Spot on. She's still doing what I would under R conditions consider the right steps. She's very much determined to "make things right"


Just curious is being quite the opposite just in her worldview or yours? If you are speaking just hers, you need to be exceedingly careful not to give any impression or glimmer of hope. Now is not the time to be nice. You need to be firm and hold to the just kids boundary.


Hers. I have yet to decide whether it's genuine or subtle manipulation. Or a bit of both.

If he really is never going back, he needs to be a little more brutal in making that clear to her. For both of their sakes.

And how does one do that? No matter what happened, she's still who I have spent many years with and who gave me 2 amazing children. I am not going to tell her to F off. Honest question

My biggest fear right now is this will turn into prolonged and unhealty situation for both of us. I will (albeit unintentioanally string her along, her jumping on my every word. Kids will suffer, getting their hopes up only to be disappointed all over again. You know what I mean. I know I have control only over MY actions, but as I said before, my heart still hasn't caught up with my head. Might not for a while. That's why I feel the need to get out of this, at least for two weeks.

I think you are feeling bad because of the way she learnt which you consider was not good form. Do you feel you have let your standards slip?

I don't. Ok, maybe a little. Still not sure if this ambiguity stems from my personal set up or not.

I think you may find you are the only one feeling this way.


Tell this to my parents.

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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 8:17 PM on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

And how does one do that? No matter what happened, she's still who I have spent many years with and who gave me 2 amazing children. I am not going to tell her to F off. Honest question

There's not only two options here - continue as you are OR tell her to fuck off. There's a field of options with varying level of degrees of politeness, separation, and firmness. This experience and your worries of it continuing is a clear sign that something needs to change.

Sit her down or call her and tell her again that you are not going back and this will be how things are now. You don't have to be mean. Just be neutral. Be matter-of-fact. Aim to be emotionless. Being frank and polite isn't anywhere near "fuck off" territory. If you can't do that or bristle at the thought, really ask yourself why. It's not going to be pleasant but it's also not going to be just as bad as dealing with this every time you have a new lady friend around. It's not good for her either to keep pining and hurting watching you move on when she could spend this time healing and becoming a better partner. Whatever men she will attract while she's in that state are not going to be good role models for your kids either. Broken attracts broken. Men who look for women who are sad and pining or who need them to "rescue" these women are not beacons of health and happiness themselves. Plus she may chase off some new partners that could be good for you too and make you needlessly stress and doubt yourself in the process. You're right, it's a bad situation and you may need to communicate this to her multiple times before it really sinks in.

In congruent with the above, be honest with yourself. Do you still talk to her frequently in ways that are similar to when you were married? Or do you stick strictly to finance and kids conversations? Do you share news with her about your life as if she is still your partner? Do you still do stuff with her and the kids like you're still married even occasionally? I want to be clear - I don't mean that you should never do stuff like this. You absolutely should get to a place where you can have a nice conversation with her or spend time together with the kids. But right now it's not working for her because she hasn't healed and processed the end of the marriage in order to NOT see any kindness or return to how things were as hope. Someone else mentioned the stages of grief and what she may be doing is something akin to "denial" and "bargaining". As in she will accept whatever you give her and hold on to it tightly because she's still a bit in denial about where things are headed. You can taper it back for a few months and not hurt anyone.

Another poster described it like firing someone you used to be great friends with and have worked with for a long time. There's no need to be mean but also you're not doing anyone any favors by pretending like you might re-hire them in a few months to reward good behavior. You don't need to sit there and list off every reason for firing. You just need to make it crystal clear that they no longer work for you and they are not to return to the job site.

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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 8:29 PM on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

In congruent with the above, be honest with yourself. Do you still talk to her frequently in ways that are similar to when you were married? Or do you stick strictly to finance and kids conversations? Do you share news with her about your life as if she is still your partner? Do you still do stuff with her and the kids like you're still married even occasionally? I want to be clear - I don't mean that you should never do stuff like this. You absolutely should get to a place where you can have a nice conversation with her or spend time together with the kids. But right now it's not working for her because she hasn't healed and processed the end of the marriage in order to NOT see any kindness or return to how things were as hope. Someone else mentioned the stages of grief and what she may be doing is something akin to "denial" and "bargaining". As in she will accept whatever you give her and hold on to it tightly because she's still a bit in denial about where things are headed. You can taper it back for a few months and not hurt anyone.

I second this, Mr. Fibble. I've said that my kids' dad and I are good friends now, but it has been 16 years since I left him. It took two full years to get to where I didn't have to erect strict boundaries and re-explain occasionally that divorce means we broke up for reals. It took an additional 2 years for us to really feel comfortable relaxing into a kind of friendship that went along with coparenting. He's coming over tomorrow to meet us at my parents' for Thanksgiving and I will enjoy hanging out with him, but this is not something that usually happens or that can happen early on. This kind of thing is years down the road if ever. It's not something you can have right out of the gate. You don't have to tell her to fuck off or be in any way mean about this. I wasn't mean about it in the first two years either, but I did have to be firm and honest with him. And like I've said, that divorce didn't involve infidelity or all of the feelings that go along with that. You really do need time to detach emotionally as much as she does.

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 4634   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8700005
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Walkthestorm ( member #72157) posted at 11:18 AM on Thursday, November 25th, 2021

"She's still doing what I would under R conditions consider the right steps. She's very much determined to "make things right""

What exactly is she doing? I mean she can't R alone so a lot of what is often suggested for R is something she needs to share with you/show you. This is what you need to shut down because she needs to come to terms with that yes she needs to work through her issues but not to win you back but to be more self aware and become a safe romantic partner for someone else (and to attract a healthy partner for herself).

Just a heads up, a two week getaway is great short term to get some mental rest but this is a long haul. Emotions are not like computer programming when you enter a code and an expected outcomes comes out. We can't control what and how we feel, only how we deal with those feelings.

What is up with your parents? Are they worried you are moving on too fast or that you made a mistake or both?

posts: 70   ·   registered: Nov. 26th, 2019
id 8700115
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 MrFlibble (original poster member #76085) posted at 8:30 PM on Thursday, November 25th, 2021

I know there is a multitude of options and that finding the right approach is up to me now. But the knowing doesn't make it any less complicated and challenging. Maybe my expectations are wrong, it's been only month and a half since the D was final, but it's been taking a toll on me. And my ex, too. So this weird status quo needs to change, and fast.

And I have to be honest, I am not happy with how things are right now. Feel a bit trapped in my inner turmoil. Maybe depressed here and there. Sometimes angry. At myself. At her for blowing up our life. But If you would ask me if D brought me what I wanted I would have to say no. That's the harsh truth I slowly came to realize. I was put in front of two options, both in my eyes equaly wrong, and now it's more and more obvious how shitty my options actually were. I didn't ask for any of this, nor did I have any say in it. It's not fair, especially to our kids. So sad and angry right now, wish I could jist scream at her until my throat goes sore.

Hope this rant answers some of you question, nekonamida

And sorry for turning this into my self-pity journal once again

posts: 276   ·   registered: Jan. 2nd, 2021   ·   location: Central Europe
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straightup ( new member #78778) posted at 11:17 PM on Thursday, November 25th, 2021

I think you need that break Mr Fibble. Step back for a bit. When you get back from your service find some neutral things to occupy your time, like hiking in nature alone. Shift gears. When you are able to access your best self, and we see that not in frequently in your posts, take your own Counsel. No need to rush. Do you have a wise family member or male friend who you are just able to hang with?

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: 29   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2021   ·   location: Australia
id 8700203
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Jacobwakeup ( new member #78699) posted at 11:55 PM on Thursday, November 25th, 2021

Very sorry to hear that you feel divorce has not brought you what you wanted and that the other option would also fail to provide desired outcomes.

When you were deciding between divorce or reconciliation, is it fair to say you made your decision based on what you DIDN’T want (ie you did not want to stay married because she crossed certain red lines)? I have to say this was the impression I had from reading every single one of your posts.

Now that the divorce has provided you with a clean slate, how can you turn your thinking round to identifying what it is you DO want?

"What would you do if you could do anything you want" is really difficult to answer for very many people.

The good thing is you have time on your side.

Why restrict yourself to just one good thing? Try a whole range of good things, experiment and see which works.

Also, you don’t have to think too far ahead to the end game if you don’t want to. For example (and I am not advocating R) you may think you could occasionally date your wife rather than have a full blown R

In terms of your relationship with your ex wife, I agree telling her to F off is not an appropriate way forward. You still have to co-parent and that approach seems alien to your principles anyway.

You can not control the way she thinks or behaves. What you can control is delivering a consistent message in a firm but pleasant/non-hostile way.

Appreciate this is a very hard time for you and wish you all the very best.

Pottering About

posts: 28   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2021   ·   location: England
id 8700206
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 3:46 AM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

Kind of makes you realize R after D wasnt really a good idea with kids in the mix doesn't it. You both need time to let this settle. Your call up appears to be well timed. Use it to go NC. Let her know this. Give yourself some peace. See where you are at afterwards.

posts: 831   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 4:56 AM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

Hey Fibs! Followed your story from the beginning and was always rooting for you. I had hoped that you would be in a better place right now, but you need to remember that you are grieving the end of your M.i know there were Ddays and endings of sorts, but I think that D is the real end, as I've read. Although I haven't finalized mine yet, I think it will feel far diff6than I am imagining it. Let yourself grieve and be good to yourself. Remember, none of us were prepared in advance for this shitshow.

Me:53STBXWW:51DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off.Denied having an affair in court papers.

posts: 1135   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8700227
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 MrFlibble (original poster member #76085) posted at 9:53 AM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

What exactly is she doing? I mean she can't R alone so a lot of what is often suggested for R is something she needs to share with you/show you.


This. Besides kids stuff and genearl exchanges about everyday stuff I got updates about her progress with IC from time to time. What I meant is that right now, she is what one would wnat to see in WW while considering R.

What is up with your parents? Are they worried you are moving on too fast or that you made a mistake or both?


I am trying to wrap my head around this. I wouldn't say they are worried, more like they think they know better than me. They are trying to help, but while doing so they overstep my boundaries here and there. They don't know about the new girl and I plan on maintaining this for any foreseeable future.


I think you need that break Mr Fibble. Step back for a bit. When you get back from your service find some neutral things to occupy your time, like hiking in nature alone. Shift gears. When you are able to access your best self, and we see that not in frequently in your posts, take your own Counsel. No need to rush. Do you have a wise family member or male friend who you are just able to hang with?


Thank you, I will. Most of my friends are people I can talk about this, but their oppinions and thought on this matter are heavily in favor of burning the witch. The closest person that comes to mind is my SIL, but I am reluctant to drag her into this more than she already is. Don't want to burden her more.

I am leaving on Monday morning, so see you all in two weeks. Unless my butt freezes off, in that case it was nice knowing you.

posts: 276   ·   registered: Jan. 2nd, 2021   ·   location: Central Europe
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 MrFlibble (original poster member #76085) posted at 3:15 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

All training postponed until further notice. Fml, really barf

posts: 276   ·   registered: Jan. 2nd, 2021   ·   location: Central Europe
id 8700324
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Walkthestorm ( member #72157) posted at 5:30 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

Sorry to hear that. Can you take a week or two vacation/leave and dissapear for a while?

posts: 70   ·   registered: Nov. 26th, 2019
id 8700389
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straightup ( new member #78778) posted at 7:10 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

Damn! And I expect it’s too cold for getaways in Europe right now. And COVID is still a thing. Mate - you will be okay anyway. You’re going to have to take that vacation in your head. How about an online course. Read novels if you can(suggest Cervantes), paint, buy a new album, meditate etc. Walk if you can, daily. Take a different route each day. Some people suggest giving yourself a fixed time, say 30 minutes a day, to ruminate and your troubles, and to do your best not to revisit them for the rest of that day. I’ve never had the discipline but might try it myself. This is a tough season for you, but with patience you can come out of it a better man, more damaged admittedly, but better nonetheless

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

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id 8700403
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