Iamenough666 (original poster new member #83217) posted at 7:17 AM on Monday, April 17th, 2023
Recently found out my wife is having a EA, possibly a PA. Male in question is a long term friend, she knew him before me and has always been in the background.
Married 20 years, no children, she has grown up children from a former marriage. We stopped having sex about 5 years ago as she was never in the mood, and when we did she made it clear it was a chore and she was only doing it for me, I would get comments like "come on then, let's get this over with", needless to say I stopped initiating.
We had grown further apart and a couple of months ago I realised that I did not want to live like that any more and that I wanted a closer relationship, so I changed my behaviour and made time to be with her and our friendship has improved dramatically.
However she then said that she is no longer in love with me romantically and sexually, and she does not know if she would again. At the same time I found out she was messaging and speaking to this friend, yes I checked her phone and reading the messages from him felt like a kick in the stomach. I asked her and she admitted that she had also been out for drinks with him, it almost seemed as if in her mind she was not doing anything wrong.
She told me that he had been kicked out by his wife and moved into a new place and that he has asked her to move in with him. She says that she does not know what to do and needs time to think about it.
I gave myself some time to process that and we have talked several times to get everything out in the open. I still love my wife and have made it very clear that I believe we can move past this and have a happy future together, but I also said I will not continue to live this double life and she needs to make a decision so I know where I stand.
Seems like she does not know whether to follow her head or her heart. She knows in her head that I am a loving husband and she has a good life with me, house, garden, cats etc, but she is getting fun and excitement from the affair.
She is still talking about long term plans such as planting part of the garden (her passion) and all I can think is, will you still be here to see them grow.
She understands that this uncertainty is causing me a lot of stress and that she needs to make a decision soon but is clearly reluctant to do so. I get that because at the moment she has the best of both worlds and I have said that to her and that I will not continue to accept that, and that if she cannot make the decision I will do so for her because to me if she cannot decide, then our life together does not mean enough to her.
So I am living a strange half life where my wife kisses me goodnight but disappears during the day when I am working presumably to spend time with him.
Apologies for the long post but thanks for reading, and it did feel good just to type my thoughts out.
Beachwalker ( member #70472) posted at 7:34 AM on Monday, April 17th, 2023
You're right - that is a kick in the stomach! I am sorry you had to find your way here, but, welcome, Brother! You're among friends, here. I agree that it does help to get your story out, and be sure we are all listening.
I think you are on the right track: "Decide, WS - him or me, and do it now!"
As long as you tag along, she won't decide. It is very possible this has gone physical since she no longer has any interest in you sexually. It has most likely been the AP filling that need in her life.
I would be tempted to pack her bags and set them by the door and call her to you. I would tell her to decide right now if she wants you or him. She already knows whom she prefers, she's just dragging it out. Believe me, she knows! AP has already offered her a bed (pun intended) and she's thinking about it?! What faithful wife would even entertain such a thought?!
If she chooses him, tell her to take her bags and get out and go live with him. That's where her heart is, she might as well follow it. Of course, you can't legally kick her out if her name is on the deed.
If she chooses you, she calls him while standing there, puts him on speaker, and calls it off for good. Her next step is to go to IC, not MC. She obviously has boundary issues which she needs to correct before she would be a safe partner for you.
R is possible, but it will be a long, difficult road for you both.
Post here often and keep us up to date on your situation. You will find there are many people here who have been in your shoes and can offer some great advice. "Take what you need and leave the rest."
Remember, here you are not alone!!
Talisman ( member #75398) posted at 7:51 AM on Monday, April 17th, 2023
Do you believe that she is sleeping with him during the day when she is away from you? Has she admitted this? Have you asked her?
Iamenough666 (original poster new member #83217) posted at 8:15 AM on Monday, April 17th, 2023
Thanks for the replies, I think she is spending time with him during the day, not necessarily having sex.
She has said they have been romantic together without specifying exactly what that meant, and at this time I do not want to know anymore.
I know enough already to feel betrayed and think knowing all of the details would just make me feel worse right now. Better to deal with that if she stays, and only if she stays.
GoldenR ( member #54778) posted at 8:30 AM on Monday, April 17th, 2023
Brother, gently, they are having sex. No doubt.
If you want to save your marriage only strong actions will work.
Do you want to save it? Or do you want her to choose you through no actions of your own?
Iamenough666 (original poster new member #83217) posted at 9:15 AM on Monday, April 17th, 2023
I want to save it and have been doing all I can to try to do so.
We are spending time together just doing normal things, gardening, going for long walks, cooking (things we used to do but have not done for a long time) and the way we are around each other and the friendliness is the best it has been for years.
We share quick hugs and brief kisses but she made it clear this is all she is comfortable with at this time. I feel that I am just trying to show her how our life could be, not how it has been.
Yes I believe that they have had/are still having sex, I just do not want to hear her say it.
I also believe she is going to choose him and leave, but I guess while there is even the slimmest glimmer of hope I am hanging on for dear life.
Edie ( member #26133) posted at 11:08 AM on Monday, April 17th, 2023
I like your name Iamenough 😊.
So are you going to actually follow through or just call her bluff? Because she’s calling your bluff currently.
Even if she sees you at best as a close friend, this is not friendship, friends don’t do what she is doing to you. As the saying goes on SI, you are doing the pick me dance, it’s not good for your mental health and it’s giving license to her. Please please read the 180.
Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
Together 29 years; 2 kids 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) R'd.
Buffer ( member #71664) posted at 11:29 AM on Monday, April 17th, 2023
Brother make the call now. She is just stringing you along, most likely playing you both of against each other.
Initially I thought she had friend zoned you so to move into her new sex partner but maybe she wants the sex with him and you to pay the bills and other support functions. Either way she has no respect for you and is actively seeking validation and getting her attention from him.
One day at a time and tell her children that she has another lover.
Iamenough666 (original poster new member #83217) posted at 12:22 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023
Thanks everyone for all the support
Yes I am going to force a decision soon, I have too. My own mental health has not been good for a long time and this issue has piled more s**t on top.
On the plus side it has made me confront my own issues and realise that I was not coping on my own. I have now reached out for help.
I realised yesterday that I had to change when I hit my lowest point and my first thought was still how would this affect HER. At this point in my life my first priority is ME, not us and not her.
The last 2 years have been tough and I have admitted that I have been neglectful, but instead of confronting me with that and telling me that we needed to find our closeness again SHE decided to have an A and if the result of that is the end of our marriage, that is on her.
I admit I had not heard of phrases like 180 and pick me dance before I found this website a couple of days ago, never thought I would need too. I would never have believed she was capable of her actions, hence the title of this thread.
Buffer, thanks for the comments the issue for her is that she knows that I am steady and reliable and she loves the security of that, and she loves the home, cats, garden etc, basically the whole package, but her AP is offering fun and excitement although she knows that he is unreliable (she has said that he is the total opposite of me) and the house she would be moving into is a dump.
Edie ( member #26133) posted at 12:30 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023
At this point in my life my first priority is ME, not us and not her.
This is a wonderful realisation. Perhaps you have been other-focused, to others’ needs, all your life, a training that may have begun in childhood. I am delighted you have reached out for help and know this new adventure, journey back to yourself, will be very rewarding, it’s never too late. Keep reading the 180. I bumped the newbies thread for you and I’m cheering you on from the sidelines here 😀
Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
Together 29 years; 2 kids 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) R'd.
GoldenR ( member #54778) posted at 2:29 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023
The reason you are getting along better than in a long time is bc she wants to be your friend. That's it. Waywards that want to leave have this weird thing they do. They desperately want to be their BS's friend, their buddy. That way when they finally leave you and you're still friends, everyone sees that and then they don't assign fault to the cheater. Instead, she'll just tell everyone that you 2 grew apart but you still are great friends.
She won't have sex with you for one reason only and that's bc she's staying loyal to her boyfriend.
What you're doing now is actually working against you. Stop being her friend bc she sure as hell isn't YOUR friend.
You want her back? Then expose this affair to EVERYONE: your family, her family, common friends and even church members if you guys go. Once you do that she'll be royally pissed. She'll say something stupid like any thoughts she had of reconciling with you ended bc of what you did. They all say that shit. Let it go in one ear and out the other.
Open a separate bank account and don't give her access to any of your money including credit cards. Cancel any in her name that are joint on NM your account. Do nothing for her. If her car breaks down, not your problem. If she wants you to stop at the store, don't. Don't small talk with her. Don't eat with her. Don't go on walks with her.
And finally,FILE. The only way to possibly save your marriage is to risk losing it. You file and you have her served. Tell her she has until the day before it's final to convince you to call it off. If she does nothing, well then you had already lost her and you wasted as little time as possible with her in vain.
Believe me...you can't nice her back to you. That works opposite of what you're trying to do. WWs actually see that as weakness.
[This message edited by GoldenR at 2:32 PM, Monday, April 17th]
lparistotle ( new member #78629) posted at 2:46 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023
Speak to the mans wife and ask her why did she kick him out. if your wife wants to leave then begin the process of prtecting yourself. If she leaves then tell her never to contact you again. There is no coming back. Ask her why did she not hook up with him before you met. She has wastd 20 years of your life.
Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 6:22 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023
The stench of the dump may make her appreciate the clean house, beautiful garden and cute kitty. She is a cake eater but you are the cream and cherry on top ! Know your worth and demand that she appreciates you for what you are and not what you have to offer financially. Tell her there are plenty of women out there that will not find it a chore to love you !
Be the boss my friend !
RangerS ( member #79516) posted at 6:40 PM on Monday, April 17th, 2023
She is having her cake and eating it to. She has effectively ended the marriage. All that remains is some paperwork. I don't think that there is any chance of saving the marriage as long as she can live in both worlds. I would suggest that you do more than simply asking her to make a choice. So what is she chooses you. Would you believe that it is out of love for you or would it be out of love for your lifestyle? Is that what you want from a marriage?
If you are willing to divorce her, then you have some power in this. If you are not willing to divorce her, then she has all the power. If you are willing to divorce her, I would suggest that you tell her that your preference is to offer the chance of reconciliation, but her relationship with this man leaves you no choice but to pursue the divorce option. Then, actually start the divorce process. Tell her that if she wants you to consider offering reconciliation, she must end the other relationship and go 100% no contact with the OM. She must come clean about what she has been doing and for how long. She must answer all your questions fully and honestly. She must give you full access to all devices and accounts, and she must be willing to commit 100% effort to rebuilding the relationship. Tell her only then will you consider the reconciliation option, but it is nor guaranteed. If she won't agree to these terms you have almost zero chance of reconciling.
Know your own value and do not let her or any therapist apportion any blame for her cheating to you. Nothing you do can make someone else be loyal. Nothing you do can make someone else cheat. If she was that unhappy, she handled it in the very worst possible way. That is on her.
Remember you can stop or pause the divorce process at any time. You can also end the reconciliation process at any time. There are threads on this and other sites where the reconciliation process failed years down the road. Realize that you deserve a relationship where you feel fully loved, supported and safe. Everyone does. Settle for no less, with her or with someone else. Good luck.
Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 11:13 AM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023
The sex-issue tends to be big, as if defines some line in the sand that can make recovery harder.
It probably can, it makes it very clear when an affair has become an "affair" as we typically see it. However we have seen multiple instances here on SI where those dealing with emotional infidelity might state they wished their spouses had simply had a "normal" affair… It just goes to prove the statement that the worst type of infidelity is always the type you and your marriage is dealing with.
I would say the odds are extremely high that they have been intimate. How intimate… maybe not an issue per se at the moment. We have had posters that share that thankfully it was only oral or only petting or they didn’t enjoy it or whatever. What is clear IMHO is that IF this marriage is saved you two need to get to the bottom of what happened.
The big issue IMHO is that it does sound like you two are hanging on to something that was and no longer exists…
Not saying it’s completely gone or can’t be revived, but that change has to come from the right place. Our experience here on SI shows that the change seldom is initiated by the WS, but that the BS has to start it, realizing the change could eventually save OR eventually end the marriage. Either is fine – as long as it ends infidelity.
I have this semi-standard script to a speech I suggest the betrayed spouse uses:
"Wife – I always envisioned us together forever. I would do a lot to hold on to that vision. However, I have realized there is something worse than losing you, and that’s what you are offering me now. That is SHARING you.
I don’t share my wife.
Nor will I force you to be here as my wife against your will. If you truly think your happiness lies with someone other than me then I care too much for you AND I care too much for ME to hold you here.
I absolve you of all obligations as my spouse. You are totally free to be with OM, date OM, spend time with OM… whatever… BUT NOT AS MY WIFE. Unless you tell me that you have ended your affair and show me through words and actions that you are committed to our marriage, I’m simply assuming this marriage is over.
There is no big rush. It would be in good taste if you are discreet and I definitely don’t want OM in my home, but I am initiating the two phases of ending our marriage. I am starting the emotional detaching and the practical separation.
There are laws and regulations that dictate most of the practical separation that should ensure its about as fair as possible. I will place that in the hands of a professional because I am too emotionally attached to the marriage.
This is not necessarily what I want, but it’s what I need to do. It’s the lesser of two evils, and it’s the path I KNOW I will eventually be both happy and content with.
The further along this path I go the less inclined I will be to turn back so your period to react is quite limited.
And then you just walk away. There really isn’t anything more to discuss.
If she were to tell you that she found OM because you two grew apart… your standard response should be along the lines of "If we were working on our marriage that would be something we need to address. Since we aren’t then there really is no need to go there"
She tells you she lost her love because you got bald or fat or whatever: "If we were working on our marriage that would be something we need to address. Since we aren’t then there really is no need to go there"
Get it? Until and unless she clearly tells you she wants the marriage there is really nothing else to say.
If she does want the marriage the requirements you need fulfilled are total and accountable NC with OM. That is the key-one. No last meeting to end it or whatever. Just complete cold turkey with – at most – a final, non-emotional NC letter. There are other requirement such as possibly a timeline, commitment to MC and even IC etc, but ending the affair is key.
I want to stress this isn’t done to pressure her to end the affair. You are not bluffing or threatening divorce to make her remain married. You are simply reacting to reality, the reality being that as-is she’s between romantic-interests and you are not willing to participate. IMHO infidelity can be compared to a house-fire, where you don’t negotiate with the flames or are content if only one room burns or start repairs before the flames are totally 100% out. At that point you can finally evaluate if the damage has wrecked the foundations and/or if things are repairable.
"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus
BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 2:06 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023
Do you want a wife or do you want a close platonic room mate?
If you want a wife, then you cannot remained married to your WW. She is not attracted to or in love with you; her feelings and passions now belong to another man.
If you want to keep the status quo of the past 5 years-- living comfortably and amiably together, albeit without physical or emotional intimacy-- then you'll need to accept her romantic relationship with the Other Man (OM).
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried
I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.
BobTheBuilder ( new member #83222) posted at 4:04 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023
Man, do I feel your pain. We're not in the exact same place because my wife's physical affair ended a few months back and the emotional affair ended (I think) only after D-Day but everything else is exactly what I'm going through.
I think the hardest thing about trying to get a WS to stay is that you're competing against a fantasy. Your life together, all it's problems and issues, are compared to a life that she imagines without you. And it would take a very thoughtful and realistic person to populate the fantasy life with all the new problems and issues she's going to face.
Reconciliation: failure so far
Iamenough666 (original poster new member #83217) posted at 5:16 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023
I have a question about the 180.
I get it is about showing that you are moving on, doing things for you, and making a better person of yourself, but during this time are you not almost condoning the A by allowing it to continue.
This seems at odds with most of the advice on this thread about confronting the WW, and putting her in a position where she needs to make a decision now.
Sorry if that sounds confused but I am, guess that is a normal emotion right now.
On the upside, I have seen a doctor and got started on antidepressants, I have also got a therapy assessment booked for tomorrow, both to help me deal with my depression that has been a hidden problem in my life for the last couple of years.
I am also having my hair coloured this week. Something I used to love but stopped as one of those almost subconscious things when your spouse does not like it. That to me feels rebellious (yes I am really that straight-laced), but I want to do it, so I am doing it and sod what anyone else, including WW, thinks. That should raise a few eyebrows when I return to work next week.
HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 5:17 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023
If she decides to stay, then you can not attempt reconciliation without complete honesty. That means she has to admit there was sex.
Of course there is sex happening.
I strongly suggest you contact his ex wife. I think you will find that she kicked him out because she discovered he had been having an affair with your wife for a very long time.
This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 6:29 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023
A cheater chooses both as long as both is an option.
Standard cake eating. There is no genuine "confusion". In my experience "I'm confused and don't know what I want" is almost a sort of code for "I can't believe I'm so incredibly selfish that what I really want is to stay married and have an affair partner, but here I am."
Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.