How do I cope?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2013
How do I cope?
Tue, 08-27-2013 - 5:10pm

I noticed a change in my husband last week.  He said he feels like he was going through a mid-life crisis and is evaluating everything. 

He admitted to me today that he is having an online affair.  He doesn't want to make any decisions right now but would like to evaluate what he really wants while he puts our relationship on hold.  While the other woman does not live close by and is currently married he said he can see himself falling in love with her.  I don't want to lose him and I want to be understanding.

I want to stay in the same house because I am not ready for our 5 and 2 year old to know until I know what I want to do; plus, I don't have the finances to go elsewhere.  Also, our daughter just started school and I want us both to be there for her.

I don't feel like he is evaluating everything. I want him to go to counseling with me, but he says he is not ready for that yet. I just don't know how I am supposed to cope with this?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2008
Wed, 08-28-2013 - 8:12am

<<"180 is a list of behaviors from Michelle Wiener Davis, the author of Divorce Busting, that will help your spouse to see you moving forward as a healthy person. 180 makes you look strong. Strong is attractive">>

So here's the list:
1. Don't pursue, try to reason, chase, beg, plead or implore.
2. No frequent phone calls.
3. Don't point out "good points" in marriage.
4. Don't follow her/him around the house.
5. Don't encourage or initiate any discussion about the future.
6. Don't ask for help from the family members of your WS.
7. Don't ask for reassurances.
8. Don't buy or give gifts.
9. Don't schedule dates together.
10. Don't keep saying, "I Love You!" Because if you have a brain in your head, he/she is at this particular moment, not very loveable.
11. Do more then act as if you are moving on with your life; begin moving on with your life!!!!
12. Be cheerful, strong, outgoing and independent.
13. Don't sit around waiting on your spouse - get busy, do things, go out with friends, enjoy old hobbies, find new ones! But stay busy!
14. When home with your spouse, (if you usually start the conversation) be scarce or short on words. Don't push any issue? No matter how much you want to!
15. If you're in the habit of asking your spouse his/her whereabouts, ASK NOTHING. Seem totally uninterested.
16. Your partner needs to believe that you have awakened to the fact that "they (the WS)" are serious concerning their assertions as to the future (or lack there of) of your marriage. Thus, you are you are moving on with your life with out them!
17. Don't be nasty, angry or even cold - Just pull yourself back. Don't always be so available for anything! Your spouse will notice. More important, he/she will notice that you're missing.
18. No matter what you are feeling TODAY, only show your spouse happiness and contentment. Make yourself be someone they would want to be around. Not a moody, needy, pathetic individual but a self assured individual secure in the knowledge that they have value.
19. All questions about the marriage should be put on hold, until your spouse wants to talk about it (which may not be for quite a while). Initiate no such conversation!
20. Do not allow yourself to lose your temper. No yelling, screaming or name calling EVER. No show of temper! Be cool, act cool; be in control of the only thing you can control- YOURSELF!
21. Don't be overly enthusiastic.
22. Do not argue when they tell you how they feel (it only makes their feelings stronger). In fact, refuse to argue at all!
23. Be patient and learn to not only listen carefully to what your spouse is really saying to you. HEAR what it is that they are saying! Listen and then listen some more!
24. Learn to back off, keep your mouth shut and walk away when you want to speak out, no matter what the provocation. No one ever got themselves into trouble by just not saying anything.
25. Take care of you. Exercise, sleep, laugh & focus on all the other parts of your life that are not in turmoil.
26. Be strong, confident and learn to speak softly.
27. Know that if you can do this 180, your smallest CONSISTENT action will be noticed far more than any words you can say or write.
28. Do not be openly desperate or needy even when you are hurting more than ever and are feeling totally desperate and needy.
29. Do not focus on yourself when communicating with your spouse. It's not always about you! More to the point, at present they just don't care!
30. Do not believe any of what you hear them say and less than 50% of what you see. Your spouse will speak in absolute negatives and do so in the most strident tones imaginable. Try to remember that they are also hurting and afraid. Try to remember that they know what they are doing is wrong and so they will say anything they can to justify their behavior.
31. Do not give up no matter how dark it is or how bad you feel. It "ain't over till it's over!"
32. Do not backslide from your hard earned changes. Remain consistent! It is the consistency of action and attitude that delivers the message.
33. When expressing your dissatisfaction with the actions of the wayward party, never be judgmental, critical or express moral outrage. Always explain that your dissatisfaction is due to the pain that the acts being committed are causing you as a person.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2008
Wed, 08-28-2013 - 8:26am

This has much more to do with his ego and the thrill (fantasy) of a new attraction than you
He needs to know that you are not a given and that you will not tolerate being his concubine (his ego will only grow bigger thinking that he has multiple women after him and he will not discourage it)
It would not hurt to at least give the appearance of dating or being interested in someone else if he knows you can be lost to him it may snap him out of it (easy to say hard to do if you are devoted)
being strong is the only way out, if you let him walk all over you he will for as long as he can
He is seriously deluded to think having an affair will lead to love and a long term relationship, studies show relationships started as affairs have a very small chance of survival - how can one trust the other?
I know how all this feels I am glad you found this board
my humble opinion
Peace & Strength to you

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Fri, 08-30-2013 - 1:58am

Look, you don't need a list of rules!  What you need is some backbone.  He's telling you that HE has to evaluate his life and put you on hold?  Why are you letting HIM evaluate anything.  You need to tell him that you aren't going to put up with his nonsense, and if he wants the married woman, then he should go for it!  He want's to "evaluate" things while you just sit there waiting for him to make up his mind?  People who have "online" affairs and think they're real.........are sick people.  Has he ever actually met her or talked to her on the phone?  If he has, ask him how he can respect a woman that would cheat on her husband?  Remind him that if she'd do it with him, she'll do it TO him eventually, because she has no respect for marriage.  If he hasn't ever met or talked to her,  It would serve him right if it's some fat old man!  And if you don't think that's possible, watch a show called "Catfish" on MTV.......there are some weirdos on line!   Also if he's met her in person, then he's technically cheating on you.  If he doesn't straighten up right away, then you need to both go to counseling, him to grow up, and you to learn to stand up for yourself and not let him call the shots for YOUR life!  If he won't go, then you go learn how to respect yourself and demand respect from him, or get rid of him.  Your children have a stupid father, they don't need a miserable and unhappy mother too.  And he's not there for your daughter that just started school......he's busy with his on line g/f.

Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Tue, 09-03-2013 - 1:37pm

The "list of rules" or as the veterans on this board call it, “The 180” is tried and true. I've been on this board for five years; I’ve seen thousands of folks just like you. It works.

I’m sorry this is happening to you. Take care of yourself and your child. Chin up, you can do this. 



We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2013
Sat, 09-07-2013 - 12:05am

Gee, you're lucky.  Mine went around ssobbing for days, said he was having a nervous breakdown because of stress at work.  Every weekend, he took off on Friday, came back in time to go to work on Monday.  I sat home, worried to death that he would go off the road, have an accident, have a heart attack, etc.  Turns out, he made 'friends' with a female on the internet.  After 3 weeks of 'talking', he gave her money to drive from FL and put her up in an apartment.

I think if your husband is dissatisfied, and it seems he is, you're fighting a losing batter.  I think it's called the mid-life crisis, but in our case, we're oldsters.  There was another affair and he swore he wouldn't do it again.  I just asked for a promise that if he even had those thoughts, he would tell me so I could figure out what I wanted to do.  He lied, cheated, wiped out our retirement funds, and I'm living almost in poverty.  You have children and you are entitled to support.  If I were you, which I'm not, I'd get myself right to an attorney.  I never had the money to hire one, so we're still married and he's lived with her for about 4 years.

If he's got the 'bug', you've really already lost him.  Time to be practical instead of romantic. Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2013
Sat, 09-07-2013 - 12:11am

In my case, the internet affair did lead to a long-term affair.  They've been together now since 2008, I think.  What you're missing is that both of them are cheaters, and I think they feel some safety there.  Soon after they hooked up, she had a one night stand as people kept telling her it was better with a S.  She contracted a disease and had to see a dr.  She confessed this to him, and he was so understaning, he offered to pay for the dr.  How could I know all this, I found her writing on ivillage, re affairs. Don't think what you write is safe from prying eyes.  Someone can always figure it out.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2010
Sun, 09-08-2013 - 2:34am

First of all, I'm so sorry that you're going through this. Secondly, while he is 'evaluting his life and what he wants', he thinks you are his backup plan. Don't be that for anyone!  My arrogant SOB ExH tried to pull that same crap on me, all the while denying that he had an A. They never tell you just how far it has gone with the AP because they are afraid that will ruin their backup plan if you find out everything.  Fast forward, I told him I was NOT his backup plan, WTH did he think he was to solely decide the state of our marriage and family? I told him get himself together, find a way to make me believe that he didn't have an A if he truly didn't, start acting like the married man and father he was, or I'd be filing for divorce.  He didn't do any of that and on the date I told him I'd be going to the attorney, I did and filed.

The 180 List is good for giving you backbone but don't mistakenly think it is going to automatically make him see the light and come repenting, confessing his sorrow and his love for you. I have been on these boards a long time and don't know one instance where it had that effect. Its for empowering YOU, helping YOU distance yourself from the insanity of it all.

You do have money; half of everything in any account you have is YOURS. You have every right to go right now and withdraw that money or if they are joint accounts, take his name off. And I highly recommend you do that ASAP before he does!  And don't think he won't; they don't have a brain in their head when they are in the affair fog. Talk to an attorney to find out where you stand in regards to alimony, child support, etc. Honey, he's not there for your DD now and if he's contemplating or has had an A, he's NOT a good father or husband.  Save yourself more pain down the road and send him packing. The trust is gone, he's not willing to go to counseling, sorry but right now, its a done deal.