Cheating Wife

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2007
Cheating Wife
109
Sun, 11-04-2007 - 1:06am

I am a 47 yo married man with four children, ages 4-19. I am a profesional

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2007
Sat, 12-22-2007 - 8:45pm

Hi dagger-


I'm so sorry you're going through this, and I can see by the time of your post it doesn't look like you slept much last night. I don't know how much comfort this is, but I think the holidays are really rough for many people here. I think there are quite a few others that are also just trying to get through the holidays and put on a brave face for

Val                                   &n

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2007
Mon, 01-05-2009 - 7:38pm

Hi Val,


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2004
Tue, 01-06-2009 - 12:04pm

Go ahead and give us the update...I've been wondering about you and how things have been going.


Hugs,


Solazzo

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2007
Wed, 01-07-2009 - 12:04am

Daggerthrueheart:

No you don't! I will tell you this by my past experience. My Ex H had an affair with my ex best friend, who was also a neighbor. I forgave him and tried to rebuild our marriage twice.

Ex thought that if I just "got over it", he could continue our life the way it was. After 3 years, and as much as I tried, I could not "get over it", because I felt that he wasn't doing what it would take to move forward.

I tried to make things work for the sake of my 2 children. I also didn't want to move them out of the only home that they ever knew. But last year, was the final straw! I had become so angry and bitter by all of the "pictures" in my head, and feeling like he wasn't even trying, he kept saying he was sorry, but the old saying is true... actions do speak louder than words.

On January 11, 2009, it will be a year that I decided that I had enough. It was also the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life!! I was so worried about my kids (d 12, s 9). But, I was amazed at how well they adjusted, and I also was amazed at how soon I felt good about myself again! I am still sad that my marriage is over. And I can honestly say that I miss my husband... but I miss the man that I married. The man that cheated on me with my best friend is not that man! (married 15 yrs. together 21 yrs).

If your wife is remorseful, and willing to go to counseling, by all means, try to work through it.

But if you are only staying in the marriage for your kids, you are not doing any of you justice! Please, believe me when I say, they are better off living a life split between the two of you, than living in a home that is constant stress. Kids have a knack for sensing things that we don't have to show, they know.

My kids are doing great in school so far this year. I know that they would love for us to be together, but they also know that it just can't be that way.

I am finally, after almost 4 years, happy and content! And when kids spend time with parents that are happy and content, they will be happy and content. They also, on their own, will know what is going on.

My kids see both their dad and I every day. Things between my ex and I go back and forth, but I am still learning to "keep my distance" when it's not so good. The most important thing for me is my kids, and I want in the worse way to be civil with their dad for their sake, but it is not always easy, but it also, has only been 1 year!

Best of luck to you! Please know that we are all hear to support you!

G

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2007
Wed, 01-07-2009 - 6:40am
Well hi dagger! Sorry I didn't see your post sooner... things have been a bit crazy for me lately and I haven't been able to be here as often as I'd like. Please do give an update, and I'd be happy to respond as soon as I can (there's an ice storm going on in my area right now, and I'm not sure if I'll still have power and internet later!). I've been wondering about you and some other posters lately that I haven't seen here in awhile.

Val

Val                                   &n

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2007
Thu, 01-08-2009 - 12:00am

Hi Val,


Thank you you

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2007
Thu, 01-08-2009 - 12:20am

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2007
Thu, 01-08-2009 - 9:40am

Hi Dagger-

A lot has definitely transpired over the past year, and it sounds like you've been on quite a roller coaster. I am wondering how you feel you are holding up after all of this, but at the same time I'm sensing that you may be just as confused as before, but maybe in a slightly different way now? Like before it might have been more that you were confused about what was going on with your wife, and what you were going to do in regards to her affair, and now maybe you are confused about what it is that *you* want, and what direction you think your life should take?

Ok, so she finally admitted to the affair but she blamed you (that's common at first), the two of you were in counseling for awhile but then had to stop due to finances (completely understandable given the turn the economy has taken). What I am curious about is, after some time had passed and the two of you had been for some counseling, did your wife continue to try to blame you? Or did she begin to take responsibility for her actions and show remorse for the pain she had caused you? Was she doing things to try to demonstrate that she would now be trustWORTHY, doing things to try to plug back into the marriage, and doing things that showed she was trying to make an effort to work on the problems in the marriage that were on HER side in it?

I'm also curious about how you feel the counseling was going. What sort of approach the counselor took here. Do you feel that the counselor was working with your wife to get her to take responsibility for her affair... did the counselor hold her accountable? Or did the counselor seem to expect you to just "forgive" and then focus on trying to work on any other marital problems, almost like the counselor sort of "skipped over" the part where you need to heal the infidelity? Do you feel that any progress was made in uncovering your wife's TRUE, DEEPER reasons within herself for cheating?

If I knew more about these areas I might have a better idea of "what to go on" here. From what you have posted so far, my impression is that something has been missing here. Here's where I'm going to say one of those things that's pretty straight-forward... may be hard to hear, but I feel complete honesty is the only way to help. My overall impression here is that not a lot of real REBUILDING has been going on here. Rebuilding of the MARRIAGE, and the the RELATIONSHIP between the two of you. My impression is that it's sort of like you've traded one form of "being in limbo" for another type of limbo. Before you were in limbo because you didn't know whether or not you would even remain in the marriage or give it a shot at ALL. But now I'm sensing it's like you are STILL in limbo, where it's like you're hanging on hoping something will change and tip your hand one way or another, and not much real action is being taken towards rebuilding the relationship. Does that make sense? To me, it looks like you've been merely "staying", as opposed to "rebuilding".

The picture I am getting of what's going on is that your wife has been channeling her energy and attention into her church activities. That can and may be a GOOD thing, and part of her rebuilding HERSELF and working on herself as a person, which IS important and a positive thing. But I think if a couple is going to reconcile, both partners need to be working on and rebuilding themselves, but at the SAME TIME, things need to be done to work on rebuilding the marriage as well. It sounds as if your wife is throwing herself into the church activities and is not investing much energy into rebuilding the marriage. So instead of this helping and adding to the marriage, it is instead becoming a way that she can RETREAT FROM the marriage, and withdraw from you.

And while she has been doing this, Dagger, you my friend, have been investing your energy in emotional affairs. Please know that anything I say here... I am NOT judging you. When we talk about affairs on this board, you know what we say about WSs (wayward spouses) here. It is about something going on within THEM, and something where they are looking outside the marriage for something, rather than focusing on how they can get whatever that is FROM the marriage and within it. People often cheat for emotional reasons, and people often cheat for a boost to their self-esteem.

When a betrayed spouse discovers their spouse's infidelity, the BS's self-esteem usually takes a HUGE hit. The BS is going through horrible emotional turmoil, and therefore is in a "weakened" and "vulnerable" state at first. Dagger, what I'm trying to say here is, you may be engaging in these emotional affairs because you are seeking something emotional from these other women that you are feel is absent in your marriage at the moment, and I'm thinking it's likely that having the attention of these women has boosted your self-esteem when it may have been at an all-time low from the hit it took due to your wife's affair. And as I said above, my intentions are NOT to judge you in the least. I know there were times that the thought of having an affair crossed my own mind. When they have an affair it can make you feel as if they've just discarded you, and it can make you feel very unloved, unwanted... makes you wonder if it's something that was wrong with YOU. And sometimes an affair can be quite tempting, because you might feel like you want to "prove" that someone else would "love" you, or "want" you, and that you are attractive, and that there was nothing wrong with you, etc. You don't need the attentions of other women to know these things Dagger. There was nothing wrong with you, and your wife's affair wasn't your fault, and you can know your own worth without having someone else validate that for you.

And the second thing I'm going to say on this is, if you have been investing your time, energy, and attention into these emotional affairs, then you have also been retreating from the marriage, and withdrawing from your wife. This time, energy, and attention could be invested in rebuilding the marriage, and if both you and your wife are willing, chances are if you did this, you might be able to get what you are looking for WITHIN your marriage.

So overall Dagger, my impression is that both you and your wife have not fully committed to rebuilding the marriage and doing the necessary work. Instead, the two of you are simply "staying", and you are pulling away from one another, and sort of each living separate lives that are sort of "parallel" to one another, instead of coming together.

The type of counseling you've had, and/or what occurred in counseling could have something to do with this. You said that throughout the time the two of you were in counseling and in the time period that you weren't, you hadn't let your guard down. In rebuilding, it's my firm belief that the WS needs to be doing some things first in order to prove THEIR commitment to the marriage, and doing things to show that they are now trustWORTHY, and then... to rebuild the BS does need to be able to let their guard down, just a teeny, tiny bit at a time. Both partners need to plug back into the marriage and re-commit to it, and that means working on the man-woman RELATIONSHIP between the two of you. The "romantic" and EMOTIONAL relationship between just you and her.

I know I've already given you a lot of hard things to "chew on" here, but unfortunately I think I have another big one that I think I need to throw out here. I understand that for a lot of betrayed spouses, the children are a big factor in the decision of whether to try to rebuild or not. It's a very individual choice, and I would never judge another person's choice. But this is just my personal opinion, but I do think there are some huge pitfalls in choosing to "stay" because of the children. I firmly believe there needs to be something in the MARRIAGE for the two people as a COUPLE. If there isn't, then I believe that the marriage will be very unsatisfying and unfulfilling for both partners. The relationship would not be what it SHOULD be. It could end up being more like you are simply two co-parents living under the same roof, and possibly looking elsewhere, outside the marriage in one way or another to try to fill some void. And sadly Dagger, I think this is already happening with you and your wife.

But I'm also going to tell you, I think this is "early enough" where it's not too late. I'm sensing that you have been focusing on the children through all of this. Telling yourself that if you stay, that you are doing it for THEM. And I have my "suspicions" as to why that might be. The first thing I was going to recommend to you is that you try to look at your wife and decide how you feel just about HER, and look at what is or COULD be in this marriage for YOU if you were to truly throw some effort into it. Do you think you could have, and want to have, a relationship with your wife for the rest of your life? Just try to think about it taking the children out of the equation. And the woman that you are in the EA with. Dagger, I'm going to tell you flat-out that I doubt that the EA would work out as a real relationship. Statistics will tell you that relationships begun under these types of circumstances almost always do not last. And in your particular situation, I would say it's likely that this wouldn't ever work out because you have things to work through from your marriage and your wife's affair. And I suspect that this EA you've been having will only add to your confusion now, and has further complicated your situation.

So, I would say, look at your wife and your what you think you have or COULD have with her and only her. Take the children out of it, take EA woman out of it. And you've already said that you DO, STILL LOVE YOUR WIFE.

My "suspicions" about why you've been focusing on the children? I'm getting the feeling that you might feel like you would be "foolish" or something to take your wife back after she has cheated on you. Like you wouldn't be able to forgive YOURSELF if you were to admit that you would like to be with your wife because you LOVE her. And I'm going to tell you that there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that! A lot of us have struggled with this Dagger. But it's not impossible to work through that. And I think that after an affair, if both partners can say, "YES, I still LOVE my spouse. And we want to work it out because WE WANT to be together"... that's the "necessary ingredient" if you want to truly rebuild. And I can also tell you Dagger, if the two of you can approach it from this standpoint, and truly work on reconnecting and recommitting as a COUPLE, you might come out of this with a greatly improved marriage. A relationship that is much closer to what you have always wanted.

I honestly think that the fact that you've been saying that you are there because of the children may be one stumbling block that's been in the way, and I'm thinking there has been something missing here- whether it be that your wife hasn't done the necessary things to make you feel more secure to let your guard down a bit, and/or the counselor's approach may just not have been "doing it" for you two. Where maybe a different counselor could make a WORLD of difference.

I'm sorry that I've said so many "tough" things here Dagger, but sometimes I do think we have to cut through a lot of things to get right to the heart of the matter in order to be of any help. If you want to talk about any more of this, know that we're here.

Take care-

Val

Val                                   &n

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-05-2006
Sat, 01-10-2009 - 12:33am

there is a song my friend IF I COULD TURN, TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

if I, ME, KATHLEEN, could turn back the hands of time - i would wish that i would have known you, Solazzo, and all of the other wonderful women on this site, way back when.

YOU ALL WOULD HAVE SAVED ME MANY MANY TEARS.

thanks for being you and for giving such wonderful advice.

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