What is worse?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2012
What is worse?
7
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 3:58pm

My husband and I have had problems for the past two years and I thought we were working on them. We had been in counseling for 7 months until he abruptly stopped wanting to go back in May. He's had a very close personal relationship with his single, female boss for the entire time. They would talk and text 24/7. I told both of them ( I had been friends with her ) that it made me uncomfortable and that their relationship was inappropriate. I asked them both to back off and allow the two of us to rebuild our marriage. I tried to get him to understand that as long as he was forming/continuing to form a connection with someone else, he would never be able to reconnect with me. 

He told me  a few weeks ago that he fell in love with her last November. He swears that nothing physical ever happened and thay they agreed that they could never be together. 

Of course, I am devastated and I feel completely betrayed by this. He says that he can't help his feelings or who he falls in love with. I agree but I still blame him for PUTTING himself in the postion to begin with!!! 

I'm not sure what to do at this point. We have two kids together and have been married for almost 20 years. All I keep thinking about is "He's allowed himself to connect with another woman that he KNEW I was uncomfortable with" "He fell out of love with me and IN love with someone else" "He lied to me for more than a year and allowed ME to work on our marriage while he was off being in love with another woman" "He took her out several times (I saw restaurant charges on his credit card) but he has not offered to take me out in years" 

I just don't know what would be worse... if he had a physical affair with her or the fact that he fell in love with her. He gave his heart to her...

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Wed, 10-23-2013 - 3:49am

Many of us have had a very similar experience.  I've read for the most part women can be bothered a lot more by an emotional affair, because it implies there is an actual RELATIONSHIP in place.  A physical affair can happen with no actual feelings between the two, although I'd never say "it's JUST SEX" because that is such a dumb thing some people say.  Your husband clearly has been involved in at least an emotional affair, he actually fell in love....or THINKS he did.  When they start doing that stupid comparing stuff, comparing every little thing about you to every little thing about her, it gets very complicated.  He is not acknowledging exactly what you are saying - none of this had to happen to begin with, he CHOSE it when instead he could have just told himself no.  Hearing things like you can't help who you love is cruel, since supposedly he first fell in love with YOU.  I understand all you wrote, it sounds uncomfortably familiar.  Neither of them had the right to pursue the other, he was married, period, yet both of them blew that off and instead just did what they wanted.  I'd strongly suggest you get counseling and go alone at first, you may find he won't go, anyhow, if he is feeling like he's innocent.  You have a pretty solid understanding of the situation, I was not in as good shape as you in the beginning at all, if that helps.  These were indeed decisions/choices the two of them made and it would be good for us to know exactly what he has in mind now.  You have the right to know everything and if he chooses to leave her in the dust and wants your marriage, the first thing that HAS HAS HAS HAS HAS to happen is he has to initiate ZERO contact with her forever, incl. leaving the job he has all this contact with her.  You cannot get anywhere at all if they are still in touch.  He also would need to make himself totally transparent to you - you get absolute access to all and any phones, e-mail accounts, anything you want, and you get to check up on things all you want, he has no say in it  - you get to do all of that for as long as you need to.  But most important is you making a decision now - what do you want?  My DH had himself two emotional affairs and I will never ever be certain neither was physical, as well, no way to know.  He's done a complete turnaround and to  be honest, he's now much nicer to me than I feel I am to him.  There really are some who aren't so sure an emotional affair is actually "cheating" - some think very firmly unless a roll in the hay was involved, then nothing actually happened - that's a common opinion, esp. of the cheating partner.  (Mine back when.)  If YOU think it was cheating, then it was.  Don't try to go it alone here, do get some solid feedback from a pro, it can open your eyes and help you do what you decide is best for you and your kids.  You're not alone, your story will ring a lot of bells.  If only they just would do the right thing in the first place, right?

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2012
Wed, 10-23-2013 - 11:35am

Thank you for your response. I'm not really sure what I want at this point. I'm leaning toward leaving at this point.

He did leave the job where he had direct contact with her but now he's in another job where he still has some contact. I can't live the rest of my life wondering if she's at his office or he's at hers. Wondering if they are having lunch or are texting/talking on the phone. It's just not worth the pain...especially when he's not really doing much of anything to help me trust him again. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-02-2002
Thu, 10-24-2013 - 11:19pm

The fun and excitement of that relationship, whatever it may be, will quickly wear away once you give him the boot..  Its only exciting when its clandestine.  Kick him to the curb with his stuff and wish him good luck with 'the cheater'.  He will be knocking at your door and crawling back in two months.  Trust me.  In the meantime, decide what you want and how you will handle his pathetic begging.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2012
Fri, 10-25-2013 - 11:04am
He is definitely trying to make it work at this point. He's been more caring and just acting the way he used to. I'm just not sure it matters at this point. It's kind of a too little too late situation. He's had years to help me fix this and he chose to spend his energy and time building a relationship with her behind my back. I am so confused on what to do. I want to forgive him but there are so many questions and I hate that he still has to have contact with the tramp
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Sat, 10-26-2013 - 4:28pm

I'm going to say again:  if he still is having ANY contact whatsoever with her, you will never move forward together.  If he has to move to accomplish that, then he has to move - that is, if the marriage is what he wants and what YOU want.  She cannot be in the picture in any way anymore, it is a deal breaker.  He may have it in his head he an handle it, but screw that - your marriage can't handle it and you won't be able to trust it.  He needs to get serious, choose you and never have contact with her again.  Or else.

 

Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Mon, 11-04-2013 - 3:59pm

Momofbag,

Myradorn is giving you terrific advice; she knows what she is talking about. No contact is key here. My spouse said that before I knew about the affair, she would break up with the other man and a month later, he would text her and it would all start over again and it would be really hard to stop talking to him again. No contact is no contact, and no contact is forever. Move, change phone numbers, email addresses, jobs, careers, whatever it takes to have no contact. Just so you know, that includes you as well. I kept punishing the other men. That was contact. Looking him up on the internet to keep tabs on him, that’s still sort of contact. All things “other women” must come to an end before genuine healing can take place in your life, and his.

My wife fell in love with the other man also. This sucks, but you have to let him mourn that. For me, this was above my pay grade and I think a good shrink is in order, especially one who knows about affairs. Not all shrinks are made equally and let’s face it. You are probably feelings things that you never expected to ever feel and feelings that you might have seen others experiencing but didn’t know what they were going through until now. A terrific shrink could still not really understand what you’re going through and know all the awful indignities we go through. One of which is allowing our spouse to mourn the loss of their affair. It sucks.

I hope you are taking care of yourself right now. That is all you really have control of. Take what you can control and make it better than it ever has. Start eating right, get in a workout, walk, swim, or whatever it is you do or want to do. Read, take care of your family, and find happiness where you can find it. Please check back in with us and ask questions.

Sending good vibes to you. 

Thomas

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Mon, 11-11-2013 - 11:41pm

Well put, Thomas.  I GET IT about the "mourning" thing, totally.  I never thought to phrase it quite that way, but that's what my DH did.  He has forever sworn nothing physical ever took place, I guess I'm choosing to believe that because it's a deal breaker if I KNEW otherwise.  Anyway, I digress.  When my DH cut off contact it was a long time before he started treating me the way I had deserved all along - recently we re-visited that detail and I said I thought it was about 8 months or so before he did ANY turnaround whatsoever OR treated me like a human being - he replied actually he thinks it was closer to a full YEAR before he did that!  Could be, I was in my own la la land.  Now, in our case, as with many of us here, mine blew off a VOW to never, ever contact her again - although it appears it was "only once" since he can't stand believing somebody thinks badly of him.  But I'm glad you posted because now I have the RIGHT WORDS for what I observed - my DH did indeed mourn the loss of whatever was going on between him and the very clever OW.  Why people do this, I will never understand.  I never had a problem honoring my wedding vows.  Not saying at times I haven't wished I never SAID them, of course, but in this I have nothing to regret.