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Completely confused and all over the place

Topic is Sleeping.
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longsadstory1952 ( member #29048) posted at 8:46 PM on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

If she has feelings for him, and has been enjoying the sex, then the chances are very high that she will backslide on NC. No matter what she says, you need to be prepared for this and you need to be ready to pull the pin if she does. Have you seen a solicitor yet? If not, why not?

Put another way, the odds of her rekindling feelings for you while resenting that you forced her to stop her affair and after test riding her boyfriend is an uphill battle.

posts: 1196   ·   registered: Jul. 14th, 2010
id 8784728
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MrBigBull ( new member #83123) posted at 8:53 PM on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

Hi Ozzy,

Well, if you want to have a chance to make it work, then strategically it would be best if you do NOT tell his wife.
Because if his wife divorces him, then he will be single, and then it would be even more tempting for you wife to divorce.
So it is best if he stays married.

I do not know how you look physically, but I would still recommend you to work on yourself.
Not only hitting the gym hard and eating healthy, but also working on your career. Maybe even study again to gain more knowledge, preferably in your line of work.
This will have a positive effect on you, regardless the outcome of the marriage.

posts: 6   ·   registered: Mar. 25th, 2023
id 8784731
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 11:24 PM on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

If i said something, it blows up their marriage, he is then available and much more appealing to my wife. My kids lives are then officially blown up. I need to give us a chance with him out of the picture.

On the contrary, telling his wife is the best chance you have of getting this man out of your lives for good. Very few WSs actually want to get divorced; more just want the extra on the side. If forced to choose, he might choose his family over your wife.

But even if this OM were to get struck by lightening and be out of the picture, you still have the problem of a wife who admits she doesn’t have romantic feelings or passion for you.

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 1821   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8784753
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 12:27 AM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

Ozzy, it’s possible to be both honest and highly manipulative. Your wife seems to fit this bill, as she gently walked you toward condoning her affair. Saying initially she wouldn’t stop when you pulled back your approval was telling. She’s not happy about losing control. Props to you for taking control. Taking and keeping control is key.

Now that you are reeling her back in, having been caught up in this battle and trying to win it, you will probably at some point wonder just what it is you’ve won. She seems to have manipulated you into stabbing yourself in the back, a job they normally do for you. Don’t be surprised if this is the beginning of a long reappraisal of where you want to be. Un-know what you can of your wife and try to see her with fresh eyes. She’s not who you thought she was.

There is no going back to the status quo.

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 3062   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8784760
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Blackbird25 ( member #82766) posted at 3:22 AM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

Hi Ozzy,
Sounds like things have startled to evolve for the two of you. Ending the A sounds promising and I hope for your sake and your children, that she stays true to her word. I’m still in the "Tell the OBS about the affair" camp and I really hope your WW and her AP haven’t just taken the A underground. I also hope you have a contingency plan for when that happens. I know it can be tough to hear so many opinions and suggestions about what you should do. I know I was overwhelmed at first! But just know that the people here do want to see you get yourself out of infidelity - whether that’s through R or D. Take care of your children - first and foremost these are the innocent bystanders who always suffer the collateral damages through no fault of their own. Protect them. Because your WW doesn’t even have the kids on her radar. And your babies deserve so much better.
BB

Me: BS Him: WH, Married 1996
DDay#1: 5/2012 (EA 3 mos, PA 1 month)
DDay#2: 12/26/22 (EA, 1 wk)
Reconciling and doing well

posts: 172   ·   registered: Jan. 23rd, 2023   ·   location: USA
id 8784773
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WonderingGhost ( member #81060) posted at 5:06 AM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

Can't guarantee we can save our relationship but our honesty (with each other!) is intact which as I said earlier puts us in a better position than many I would think.

Are you willing to put that to the test? In other words, do you really want to find out if that's true? Tell your wife you want her to take a polygraph. I'm sure other posters here can suggest very helpful questions to ask. Ask if she's cheated on you other times within your marriage, times you may not know about. Her reaction to you even asking her to take one will tell you a lot. Someone who has been completely honest will not bat an eye at the idea. You'll possibly also learn even more if you go through with it, as many BS have had their WS confess many things before even going through with it in hopes a little trickle-truthing will steer the BS away from demanding the poly.

We all wished in the beginning that our situations were different from the rest, a special circumstance. They almost never are.

I know everyone has the lingering annoyance about the other wife. I get it. I feel like I'm in Squid Game where I'm in a game I hate the rules of and its kill or get killed. If i said something, it blows up their marriage, he is then available and much more appealing to my wife. My kids lives are then officially blown up. I need to give us a chance with him out of the picture. 😢

Gently, where exactly is the part where you're getting killed? The part where your wife may, what, cheat on you again? You've told her you want her affair to stop, she begrudgingly agreed. So if you tell the other wife, your wife's AP becomes "available" for her, and she decides she wants to start back up the affair (With or without you knowing), doesn't that tell you something? Wouldn't you rather your wife not be tempted to cheat on you, despite the circumstances?

You keep saying you're the one destroying the AP's marriage if you let his wife know. You're the one dropping the bomb on their marriage. This is a news flash, the OM already did that by having the affair in the first place. The only difference is her ignorance to it is more like a slow and steady poison that will eat away at her as long as she stays with him rather than a bomb that can explode and be over with quickly. Have you considered her and her life at all? What if she never learns the OM is cheating on her and he gives her an STD? What if his next AP is a crazy woman who ends up stalking or harassing her and her children? You have the opportunity to give another human being agency within their relationship and you're making the decision not to. It says a lot.

As for your children, "staying for the kids" almost never pans out well. Kids pick up on almost everything, even if they may not understand exactly what it is. They can feel the disturbances in their environment already. As a child of divorce myself, the best thing my parents did was split up. I was even quite young when they did and I was beyond relieved.

I know the whole thing is hard. Infidelity can be one of the hardest things to go through. I hope you find your way out of it eventually. You and your children deserve much better.

[This message edited by WonderingGhost at 5:23 AM, Thursday, March 30th]

posts: 108   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2022
id 8784782
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 1:32 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

A few points..

Why would he be appealing to your wife if he's single? She didn't care that he was married,so this will make no difference.

If your marriage only stays intact if the OM remains married, you have no marriage.

The OM blew up his marriage. With the help of your wife. And,with your permission. But he is the one married to her,and most responsible. You telling her means you are the only one in this mess who decided to humanize her and show her respect.

Ask other BS. Telling the OBS is the single best thing a BS can do if they want R. The OM will immediately drop your wife,and try to save his marriage. He's already said as much.

Also,by telling the OBS, you deal with this now. Otherwise,you will always be waiting for that shoe to drop. Eventually she may find out on her own. And then she will make the OM a presence in your life again. It may be years from now. She will call you and ask questions (which she deserves the answer to). She may out your wife on SM. She may out the affair to your family. Or your children,if they are older. Telling her now eliminates that.

As to what happens in their marriage.
How would your wife know? She has to be completely no contact with OM. No messages. No calls. Blocks him on SM. Absolutely NO contact. So how would she know?

Does your wife know about this site?

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6353   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8784804
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 Ozzy1788 (original poster member #83108) posted at 4:28 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

But even if this OM were to get struck by lightening and be out of the picture, you still have the problem of a wife who admits she doesn’t have romantic feelings or passion for you.

This is the big problem, other man or not. We had a long chat about that today, we are going to work on our relationship which is very "good" but she isn't sure whether being with someone she isn't attracted to is sustainable. As I keep saying honesty isn't an issue here, I know that is something very hard to understand for many but it is true.

She is very emotional right now as she wants to be married to me but also be with him. She now knows that even though I agreed to it (reluctantly to remind everyone), the reality was different and I had to take back control from that. To her credit she did it immediately. It is no contact and she will tell me if he does. Again, total honesty.

Also honesty is that if he were single then he would be more available and so that would increase her want to see him. She wouldn't do it behind my back, but it might increase the chance of us separating so she can do that. This is just the reality. By getting him out of the picture it gives us a chance to heal but if that doesn't work then we may need to split. I am seeing the situation through very clear lenses now which this forum has helped me to do.

She also understands that the way she has gone about it isn't good for the other wife, so she and the guy have agreed to sort their lives out (ie. split up with respective partners before they are ever in contact again). She will give our relationship a fair go first though before any decisions are made.

If we didn't have such a good relationship otherwise this would be a much easier decision. But we are great together apart from the lack of attraction. I am in good shape for the person who asked. Friends would be shocked to learn that there was any issue here. Maybe that is normal in this situation? No sure.

One question for experienced people - is her emotion from having the rug pulled out normal? She is worried that she was actually falling in love with him and wonders if she will spend the rest of her life wondering. I have tried to explain that though she has been honest with me, he hasn't been honest with his wife so you can't entirely trust him but she is very much in a fog (I think).

posts: 147   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8784841
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 4:48 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

Let's say she's told you the truth. Why didn't she tell OM that you knew,and had your permission?

Since she's so honest, did she tell you that she told the OM that she was falling in love with him,and was no longer attracted to you?

[This message edited by HellFire at 4:48 PM, Thursday, March 30th]

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6353   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8784846
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Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 4:55 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

She needs to read something on limerance and affairs. Tell her she was having an affair, open or not, and to research limerance. She is swept up in excitement and emotion but it does not mean it is love.

Married couples go through ups and downs. Passion wanes. It does not mean it is gone forever. It is unrealistic to expect romance and passion to always be at the same level as when you are dating or newly wed. You have to work at that. She may have an immature or naive view of what love actually is. Then along comes posom, testing her poor boundaries and all of a sudden she feels like she loves him and not you. That's infatuation, limerance, sexual attraction etc. Love is commitment. And with that commitment you have to work to keep the fires of passion burning. If she runs off with posom she will go through the exact same cycle with him.

A book I found helpful is The Three Marriage Enigmas by Kevin Foster. He describes the downward spiral that impacts many marriages and it sounds like at least parts of it are happening with yours. It might give you a framework to understand some of the dynamic where she feels less connected to you but this irrational immediate connection to him.

posts: 895   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8784849
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lrpprl ( member #80538) posted at 5:22 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

She needs to read something on limerence and affairs. Tell her she was having an affair, open or not, and to research limerence. She is swept up in excitement and emotion but it does not mean it is love.

Married couples go through ups and downs. Passion wanes. It does not mean it is gone forever. It is unrealistic to expect romance and passion to always be at the same level as when you are dating or newly wed. You have to work at that. She may have an immature or naive view of what love actually is. Then along comes posom, testing her poor boundaries and all of a sudden she feels like she loves him and not you. That's infatuation, limerence, sexual attraction etc. Love is commitment. And with that commitment you have to work to keep the fires of passion burning. If she runs off with posom she will go through the exact same cycle with him.

In my opinion, Trdd hit the nail squarely on the head. This will happen in her life again, if not with you, then with someone else.

[This message edited by lrpprl at 5:23 PM, Thursday, March 30th]

posts: 254   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2022   ·   location: USA
id 8784851
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Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 6:03 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

The selfishness and entitlement of this woman is unbelievable. She’s the heroine of her story, everyone else be damned. Let’s not put her on a pedestal for being "honest" about the affair. Her honesty comes at the cost of a poor trusting woman who will soon have her world crashing down. All because this selfish woman goes after what she wants and I can guarantee you she will eventually be with the posom who she truly deserves btw.

Can the mods put a warning to this? The more I read it’s triggering atleast for me as a BS to see what a bunch of selfish immoral individuals will do to fulfill their carnal desires.

I will say a little prayer for the wife of the POSOM. She’s the only one that deserves any compassion here.

posts: 235   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2023
id 8784860
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 Ozzy1788 (original poster member #83108) posted at 7:27 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

She needs to read something on limerance and affairs. Tell her she was having an affair, open or not, and to research limerance. She is swept up in excitement and emotion but it does not mean it is love.

Married couples go through ups and downs. Passion wanes. It does not mean it is gone forever. It is unrealistic to expect romance and passion to always be at the same level as when you are dating or newly wed. You have to work at that. She may have an immature or naive view of what love actually is. Then along comes posom, testing her poor boundaries and all of a sudden she feels like she loves him and not you. That's infatuation, limerance, sexual attraction etc. Love is commitment. And with that commitment you have to work to keep the fires of passion burning. If she runs off with posom she will go through the exact same cycle with him.

A book I found helpful is The Three Marriage Enigmas by Kevin Foster. He describes the downward spiral that impacts many marriages and it sounds like at least parts of it are happening with yours. It might give you a framework to understand some of the dynamic where she feels less connected to you but this irrational immediate connection to him.

Thanks, yeah we've read all about limerance but she thinks it might be something more... I guess everyone in her situation thinks that though right?

Let's say she's told you the truth. Why didn't she tell OM that you knew,and had your permission?

Since she's so honest, did she tell you that she told the OM that she was falling in love with him,and was no longer attracted to you?

I can't answer the first bit. The second is what they spoke about when cutting contact, they both know that they are hurting their respective families.

Sorry this is triggering people. That's why I almost stopped posting but others encouraged me to carry on. It's been really helpful if that's any consolation. If mods put a trigger warning on then fair enough. I know the situation is far from the normal...

posts: 147   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8784884
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 7:37 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

Why can't you answer the first question? If she's being so honest,that is surely a question you should have asked by now.

Your wife sees her situation as different. All cheaters do. The best way to break her out of her delusions, is for her to experience some consequences. So far, she's been rewarded for having an affair. Go back to the heroin analogy. You've been giving her the heroin. And now that she's promised to stop,instead of sending her to rehab, you're taking her on an amazing trip to Italy.

She will return to the heroin.

If she's a pillar of honesty, why doesn't she believe his wife deserves to know?

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6353   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8784887
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ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 7:47 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

Can the mods put a warning to this? The more I read it’s triggering atleast for me as a BS to see what a bunch of selfish immoral individuals will do to fulfill their carnal desires.

I would suggest that if you find a topic or forum to be personally triggering that you limit your perusal to other areas of the site.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8

posts: 6988   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8784890
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ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 8:11 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

She is very emotional right now as she wants to be married to me but also be with him.

This is really typical of WS's while the affair is still in progress and for some time after it has ended. I've got some of my own backstory in my profile if you click the little person icon in the upper righthand corner of this post. What you'll see is how my WH was a guy who had run off the rails not once, but twice. The first time, I took a lot of responsibility for failing to "meet his needs". My fear of loss, I think, caused an overly abundant amount of empathy for his feelings. This led me directly to the second time ten years later because I had bought into the wrong philosophy and failed to establish and maintain authentic boundaries.

I do think that you will see as time goes by that there's so much commonality in affairs and how people behave when dealing with them. Sure, faces and stories might be different, but the similarities are so significant that we often kid about how there must be a "Cheater's Handbook" because there's so much the same.

Your WW's adultery is not absolved by her having announced it. If you had walked in the door one day and said to her that some lady in the office had caught your fancy and you planned to hook up with her next Saturday night, and that if your wife didn't like it, she shouldn't let the door hit her in the ass. Do you think you'd be viewed as a paragon of honesty and virtue? Do you think that her permission to proceed would be viewed as anything other than duress? shocked Of course not.

What I found in my situation is that I really did have to be willing to lose the marriage rather than tolerate treatment that was intolerable. It's not that I didn't have empathy for how fucked up my WH's mind had become. It's that I had to finally accept that nothing I did could "fix" him. He had to do that for himself, and if I held the bar low, he wouldn't rise high enough to save it.

I know you're probably scared. Hell, who wouldn't be? Take your time. Breathe. You're going to get there. R or D, it all sucks for awhile, but we do get through it.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:17 PM, Thursday, March 30th]

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8

posts: 6988   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8784894
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bob7777 ( member #79867) posted at 8:30 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

Okay, let's assume your wife is completely honest, as hard it may be to comprehend. You have to ask and question yourself what you want. Do you want a 'functional' "relationship" where you know that said "partner" doesn't love nor desire you passionately? So, are you okay to live like roommates while being legally bond to each other, shared assets, you have to support each other. Can you live like this? If you could then why would you? When you have an answer for yourself then question why she would do so. Where is her benefit in this, does your benefit equal her benefit? I couldn't live like this, I'm not that strong.

posts: 101   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2022
id 8784896
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masti ( member #54237) posted at 3:23 AM on Friday, March 31st, 2023

My spider senses are tingling. I feel she is doing just enough to keep you from finding out further. People who post here know and have been in this situation before. His wife has to know so that just like you she can decide what to do. All this discussions that this 'ethical' WW and OM had about their families were probably just bull-dust to make them feel less guilty. Hell this guys is probably a polished player who knows how to reel them in.
You need to decide whether it's worth sharinging your WW with him. Hell you should pack her bags and deliver her to his place. Ring his doorbell and see how his eyes light up.
Don't let your fear dictate your actions my friend you deserve a lot better in life than this.

posts: 154   ·   registered: Jul. 19th, 2016
id 8784951
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Talisman ( member #75398) posted at 5:17 AM on Friday, March 31st, 2023

Just to be clear, how many times has she slept with him so far? Also has she been completely honest re what they did & where etc?

posts: 95   ·   registered: Sep. 11th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8784961
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Edie ( member #26133) posted at 9:16 AM on Friday, March 31st, 2023

Ozzy,

I just wanted to say that contrary to the approbation and triggered 2x4s you’ve received, I feel you have conducted yourself with great maturity and thoughtfulness. The fact that it was an ex suggests your WW has been subliminally looking to return to and rediscover a younger self that has other potential, and I don’t mean just sexual potential, but simply self-actualisation and meaning beyond her roles as mother, wife etc - but she has looked in completely the wrong place for that. Very much the wrong place, a somewhat seedy and cliched place which has blinded her and stunted her currently, and diverted her from that self actualisation and real growth.

On the sexual front, given kids and jobs, tiredness, chores, etc it is easy for us all to fall into familiar vanilla ways and statistics show many women do not know how or where physically to optimise pleasure for themselves, and statistics also show the female nurturing side can make it hard to expect or ask for a focus on developing our pleasure. Again, your WW is looking in the wrong place for that sexual journey to herself and erotic growth. That is found in the imagination not the OM.

Glass has written extensively on the slippery slope and it would be good if you and and your WW were to read Not Just Friends so your WW could see in the many stories there how it is her own dissatisfaction with herself that she needs to deal with. In the meantime, the test is whether she responds to your deep hurt, as that has only recently been divulged. She doesn’t sound as self reflective and thoughtful as you but I am hoping cognisance now of your pain will cut through the shine she has gilded the affair with. If not, then one must question the love she espouses for you. Because there is no love in causing another pain. Erich Fromm is interesting on that question of love. How easy it is to do the ‘falling’ in love, a letting go of the self where the self is actually lost, not found. The self can only be found by standing in love. Where love is a verb. She may feel she likes the version of herself she sees mirrored in the OM’s eyes, but that interesting beautiful woman she wants to be can only be found through deep and hard looking at herself in the real mirror. She needs to do proper self love and care, not this Hollywood version, I.e. eat fibre, fruit and veg not cake. She is on a sugar high, and keeps seeking that high when her blood sugar levels drop. To overly stretch the analogy further, she is risking losing limbs, or indeed her whole life chasing these momentary sugar highs in her cake eating and escapism. There will inevitably be an immense sugar crash.

Your instinctive 180 and focus on yourself, where you become the best self you can be, also shows your maturity. I would go into a very hard 180 now. No more negotiation. There is nothing to negotiate. No more stalwart friend. You have made your pain clear. There is nothing else she needs to know. It is not a choice between two men for her, but the choice between two women. Stand up tall, you have shown great strength of character. 😊

[This message edited by Edie at 10:34 AM, Friday, March 31st]

Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
FWS 55
Together 29 years; 2 kids 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) R'd.

posts: 6632   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2009   ·   location: Europe
id 8784970
Topic is Sleeping.
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