Husband and I are married 30 years, both retired. We snowbird between Boston area, where we own a condo, and Dallas, where my daughter lives with our grandchild.
This two-location lifestyle has worked for us for five years, but you can guess why I am here. In July I came to Dallas for some specific events, then I had a crisis with my back that kept me grounded here for two extra weeks. That was enough time for the my husband to —
Respond to what he says were unmistakable signals of admiration from a neighbor.
When I returned at the end of July, he was riding some mental high. Day 1, he told me the extra long separation caused him to really have tothink about his commitment to me. (!) But he CHOSE his commitment to me, isn’t that great? A little while later he said someone in the building—I had an idea who—had found him attractive. My reaction (in retrospect, denial) was to say "wow! I can see how that would boost your mojo" given our age (we are both white haired but he is older) I was giving him the benefit of the doubt for being open with me and needing to talk about it.
As the days wore on he kept referring back to his amazing experience— I already knew who he had been to dinner with, a woman on the condo board — and then before I arrived, she had invited him into her apartment for drinks. WS said to me "you should see OW’s apartment!"
At the end of the 4th day when he said out of the blue, "it was HER-NAME, of course"
I finally asked for details and he said he had kissed her more than once.
By this time I had been feeling like he was manipulating me to make me jealous or more attentive— but then I was thrown into the knowledge that he had-
1- used the extra time while I had a health issue to fawn over this woman, and spend time with her
2 - kissed her after his first dinner with her, because he "just knew" she wanted that
3 - even though all in the building know we’re married, with her he must have pretended our marriage is just a formality
4 - yes I found flirting and fawning emails
5 - he gave HER a "tour" of our apartment —i believe it was only a tour but to me it was a violation of MY space. Needless to say it is unlikely I will ever see her apartment.
After I became hurt and angry, he said he had always wanted nothing but me, he loves me, he "chose"our commitment, he had a boundary of no sex so technically he was not unfaithful.
Over the past two months I have entered all the classic emotions of betrayed spouse- feeling my foundation of life is shattered, and crying off and on that my marriage will never be a safe place for me again, and wondering about his bullying way of revealing it all to me. (All that I know, I mean.)
We have seen a counselor twice. Currently we are in neutral space in Dallas but I dread going back to the northeast.
I honestly don’t know at times how I will ever get beyond this.