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Support, Please


DobleTraicion ( member #78414) posted at 11:34 PM on Monday, November 14th, 2022

Double post.

[This message edited by DobleTraicion at 11:36 PM, Monday, November 14th]

"You'd figure that in modern times, people wouldn't feel the need to get married if they didn't agree with the agenda"

~ lascarx

posts: 92   ·   registered: Mar. 2nd, 2021   ·   location: South
id 8765167

 HangingInThere205 (original poster new member #82374) posted at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

Again, thank you to all for the support and advice. It has been very helpful.

I'd like to ask for advice/thoughts on one issue that I keep returning to—the kids.

We have four kids, ages 16, 13, 12, and 7. I am so worried about what the results of a full-on confrontation will do to them. Like everyone else here, I love my kids to death and would do anything for them. The idea of the affect this could have on them while they are thriving and the tumult they'll be thrown into worries me to no end.

I have no doubt others had the same concerns when they confronted their spouse.

Any words of wisdom, ways to overcome this fear, or ways to shift my thinking would be appreciated.

Thank you.

posts: 6   ·   registered: Nov. 11th, 2022
id 8765273

Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 6:48 PM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

This happened in my extended family and oddly the kids ages are just about the same as yours. He cheated and they decided to get a divorce. He did not stay with his affair partner but the marriage had been in pretty bad shape for a couple of years before that. They agreed that with a divorce they would never badmouth each other to the children and they would work together every day to make sure the kids were OK. That’s happened and the kids all seem OK. The youngest one was seven years old and she was never told anything but the older three kids were. If they resented their father I’ve never seen any sign of yet because the aiffair was short-lived. In fact I think it was probably an exit affair because it was immediately over after the separation. They both found other people and they both seem very happy in their new lives and their kids move easily back-and-forth between the two households.
And if you decide to divorce the two of you all need to sit down and figure out how to tell the older children. The youngest one will figure it out eventually but at seven she still believes in Santa Claus and you do not need to put reality in her face this soon.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 3604   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8765279

 HangingInThere205 (original poster new member #82374) posted at 6:50 PM on Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

Thanks you, Cooley. That helps. At least it shows me that all is not lost if we go that direction, and while I will worry about my kids, I don't have to catastrophize things.

Update: So yesterday through my various snooping methods, I discovered that on Monday my wife had a discussion with her AP and he said the physical side of things would have to stop, but that they would continue being friends. This made me realize that stopping wasn't what I wanted; it's a full confession. I will not be her fallback plan. I mean, the AP ended it, not her.

Oh, and I'm also now reading No More Mr. Nice Guy. It's almost unsettling how much of myself I see in that book so far.

posts: 6   ·   registered: Nov. 11th, 2022
id 8765440

Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 7:39 PM on Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

I have found thru asking questions that often marriages go sideways when one person is so easy going they allow the other to always get their way. It makes the bossy one more and more selfish. You need a life coach. They are not therapists. They help you with specific things. In your case it is to learn to use NO. NO is a complete sentence. The first time I stood my ground my husband had no idea how to react because I always let him get his way. Not anymore. You will not believe how freeing it is to take up for yourself. That cliche that we need to be our own best friend is true. It balances out relationships. Since you live with a cheater I think that door is closed but future relationships will be much healthier because you will not put up with being disrespected or your opinions dismissed.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 3604   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8765443

pureheartkit ( member #62345) posted at 7:40 AM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

It's a shame when partners abuse a kind and considerate partner. You never need to stop being yourself but you should always be able to speak your mind without being afraid or fear consequences. A person who comes at you with hostility or abusive intent is a controller. If you allow this it will lead to depression.

Little by little I began to change. I would not accept lies. I would not be shouted down. I would not be told I had flaws that I did not. Stand in the truth and speak of fairness. She knows what's going on is selfish and wrong. Ask her how she can defend this. She can't. She has to lie to do it.

Does she want to be a better person and leave this stunted way of living behind?

You are not there to serve her and make life easy while she indulges herself at your expense. She's not to heap stress on you and run after pleasure. Forget the details and see it as the bigger picture of fairness, healthy living, kindness, loving attitude, gratefulness, human growth and awareness. Ask her if she has these as goals. Maybe she doesn't.

Think for yourself what kind of life it would be that would give you joy and contentment. A life where you feel you're becom8ng a better person. Is she going to go that path with you? Why does she feel she needs to chase others and 3xcitement at your family's expense. Why is she more important than the rest of you?

Over time you learned to pull inward but you can learn to grow strong and advocate for yourself. Your confidence will grow. If she continues to abuse and justify, step away and start on your healing path without her.

Thank you everyone for your wisdom and healing.

posts: 2497   ·   registered: Jan. 19th, 2018
id 8765537

SnowToArmPits ( member #50943) posted at 5:55 AM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

Hi OP.

Keep reading No More Mr. Nice Guy. Another good one is Married Man Sex Life Primer.

Where you need to get to, is to calmly tell her if she's in love with the other man, to go be with him. Get. You will not be married to a woman in love with another man. And plan a new, better future without a cheating, lying, cruel, selfish wife.

That's it.

Until then, you're going to suffer.

[This message edited by SnowToArmPits at 5:09 PM, Friday, November 18th]

posts: 512   ·   registered: Dec. 25th, 2015   ·   location: Canada
id 8765656

Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 1:34 PM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

Trying to discuss or work on improving your relationship while the affair is active is about as productive as discussing sobriety over a glass of wine.

Sissoon’s post is spot on.

Well… If the AP says the physical side has to stop… I guess you now know there was a physical aspect. After all – in order to stop something, you need to start it first.

I’m going to suggest a mindset or some concepts that can help you possibly decide your next steps. It’s a number of lose and seemingly disconnected points, but maybe this will all tie up in the end.

First of all. You don’t need to convince her she’s having an affair. Nor do you have to prove it. Infidelity seldom impacts divorce (do some quick 10-minute research for your neck of the woods to confirm this), and you don’t have to convince a judge, your family or your wife that she’s having an affair if this ends in divorce. You don’t have to reveal sources, give details or anything. You just state "I know you are having an affair with OM".

Why is my first comment about divorce? Well… definitely not because that’s what I’m suggesting you do. It’s rather that IMHO this can only end in one of three ways, and you do need to decide which one is the best for you (or even the least bad one for you).
You can reconcile. In order for that to happen the affair needs to be acknowledged and over, and your wife open to the hard work required. It has relatively little to do with the marriage per se initially, but a lot to do with her, her decisions and her justifications.
Reconciling with an ongoing affair is like I say in the beginning: Like trying to be sober while nursing a drink.

If the affair is ongoing and/or your wife doesn’t want to reconcile you have two options. Maybe only one. This is depended on what you and/or your wife want.
You can divorce. To divorce only one of you needs to want that path. It sounds drastic, but realistically D is something that happens all the time to plenty of marriages. It’s a process, a known path and although emotionally exhausting and tough and financially impacting it’s something people do and recover from. Even the kids and stakeholders in the marriage. I do think this is so tough that it shouldn’t be decided on lightly, but if your wife refuses to end the affair and/or do what’s required then divorce is IMHO your best option.
The third option? Basically, do what you are doing, only accept it. If you are not willing to confront, not willing to let her know you know and all that… IF losing this marriage is the worst possible outcome and you are convinced it will wreck your kids for life… then maybe do what numerous spouses have done over the centuries (generally wives’ though…). Accept your wife has a lover and pretend everything is hunky-dory. Pretend to believe her when she says there is a conference next weekend, that she’s going to the mall all dressed up and so on. Maybe be a bit more careful about STD’s and such but turn a blind eye to what you know is going on. Chances are this affair will blow over in the next 6 months and maybe she won’t find a new lover. Or maybe she does.

That’s where you are IMHO. You have three choices. It’s not good options like if you are getting a scoop of vanilla, chocolate or pistachio ice-cream, but it’s options. Each one with it’s unique path forwards. One (R) is dependent on both wanting it, D is dependent on either of you wanting it and the third is dependent on you accepting it.

Notice I use the word path and paths? That’s because these are only tools to a destination. The destination isn’t R or D or accepting she’s having an affair. The destination is out of infidelity. Strange as it sounds, then if she has a lover with your knowledge (even if she doesn’t know of it) it’s no longer infidelity per se.

OK – of the three above which sounds best and which worst?

Another issue to contemplate:
This isn’t anything special…
This might sound harsh, but it might be the most important tool to help you.
The only thing unique about "your" infidelity is that it involves you and your wife.
The way it’s structured, the likely response from her, the likely response from OM, her initial reaction when confronted, his reaction, the next 2 weeks, after that… It’s all more-or-less scripted.
If I take one step: When you confront her initial reaction will be denial, followed by accusations of invading her privacy, followed by blaming you for why the marriage has reached a stage where her only path was leaning towards OM, to minimizing the affair to threatening to leave. This is the path probably 8 out of 10 confrontations take.
If you let OM wife know (assuming he’s married) then 8 out of 10 married men drop their affair partners to save their marriage. It actually sounds like your AP has already started that process (in refusing more physical). Being cast out by your paramour tends to be a real mood-killer for women.

If you accept this – that she’s only having a run-of-the-mill affair… you can heavily lean on this site for guidance.

OK – I get the fear for confrontation, but it has to be done. Maybe a letter? Maybe something along these lines:

"Wife. I know you are having an affair with OM. I always envisioned growing old with you, and I think our kids deserve that we work on our issues. However, I have realized that there are worse things than losing you. I could even say that the minute you decided to start an affair with OM I lost you. Whatever you are offering me now – while you are actively in infidelity – is not a marriage.
What I have now is at best sharing you with OM. I don’t share my wife. Nor will I force you to be in a marriage with me. Both you and I entered this marriage on our own free will and the only thing that should keep us together is if we both want it. Your decision to have an affair tells me just as clearly as direct words that you don’t want this marriage.

I therefore set you free of marital expectations and obligations. You are free to be with OM, date OM, spend time with OM… whatever. But not as my wife.

There is a know process to deal with the legal aspect of the termination of marriage. We will need to go through that. I have no intention of demanding more than is my right and if we are both reasonable this can be done with minimal emotional and financial cost. There is no rush but as I get further along in my personal recovery, I will initiate this process.

If you want this marriage you will need to let me know in very clear and direct terms. I did not make you cheat, nor did the marriage. YOU DECIDED to go this path. There are certain things I will need to believe you truly want this marriage, such as the total truth and ongoing accountability. You have a window of opportunity for a relatively short time to let me know, but the further I get into my personal recovery the more content I am with this marriage being over and dead and the less inclined I will be for reconciling."

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

posts: 11130   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8765699

Seeking2Forgive ( member #78819) posted at 4:55 PM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

Please keep in mind that more often than not a strong EA like this will lead to a PA where physical access exists. If your WW is anxious for the OM to reciprocate her feelings, sex may be the way she tries to make it happen. It's not out of the question that she has tried already.

I'd strongly urge you to follow up on the recommendations for IC. You should examine why you feel unable to enforce reasonable boundaries in your relationship. It's admirable to be so devoted to a loving partner, but when they begin to abuse that devotion you really need to examine why you are not able to respond appropriately. Are you generally afraid to displease people? Are you simply afraid of being abandoned by your partner? Why?

You shouldn't feel guilty about "spying" or whatever pejorative cheaters might apply to it. In a marriage privacy is a gift we give one another out of love and trust. When that trust is violated you are not obligated to give her privacy.

[This message edited by Seeking2Forgive at 4:56 PM, Friday, November 18th]

Me: 60, BS -- Her: 59, FWS -- Dday: 11/15/03 -- Married 37 yrs -- Reconciled

posts: 451   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8765815

Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 6:16 PM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

Please understand that you’re not snooping on your cheating wife by looking at her phone. This is called verifying a strong suspicion of infidelity.

Using the term snooping in this context is how a "Mr. Nice Guy" would classify it. That’s not you anymore wrt your WW and your M.

posts: 565   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8765833

 HangingInThere205 (original poster new member #82374) posted at 7:54 PM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

I cannot express how far I have come since writing my initial post. Everyone's comments have been incredibly helpful and empowering. There are no words to express my gratitude. I'll have to go with a simple, "Thank you", and hope you can all understand the love within it.

posts: 6   ·   registered: Nov. 11th, 2022
id 8765844
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