When is enough, enough?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2010
When is enough, enough?
Mon, 04-26-2010 - 12:00pm

Apr 28


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2005
Mon, 04-26-2010 - 4:28pm

I totally understand what you are facing. Some men and women face this when "empty nest" comes into focus. Then comes the "young secretary"!


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2004
Sun, 05-02-2010 - 11:04am

I think some of us have a hard time giving you advice because our spouses are not working or continue to work w/ their OW/OM. That would be extremely difficult and thank the lord I do NOT have to deal with that. We can't say if it's just your pain that is making your paranoid or if it's actual truth that he is continuing an affair.

Alot of times I use to tell myself, if he's cheating he's cheating I can't allow myself to be miserable or paranoid, wondering what if. One day he will be caught if he is. But that can only get you threw so many episodes. Right?

I can tell you that one time dh's new secretary (not the OW)called him to tell him a joke. It was during working hours and they do have to communicate over the phone often but I was FURIOUS! I thought how inappropriate for a man who has been inappropriate in his marriage; she obviously thinks you are "friends" and thanks for the reminder of all your faults and weaknessess! He then reflected back on himself as to why she thought she could call him and tell him that joke. He built better walls after that and made clearer boundaries. But I remind myself we are ALL learning on the job and so is dh. He learned from that experience in how we let our walls down to inappropriateness.

So unless his OW is crossing unprofessional boundaries like sharing jokes, calling him at inappropriate times, off hours, lunches the emotional stuff then it's your husband that has to show you boundaries!! That will help you in allowing him to work with her.

Honestly I wouldn't know because I don't believe I would be strong enough to let dh continue to work with his OW. It would have turned me into an ugly person I don't want to be. Hugs, t

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Sun, 05-02-2010 - 5:10pm
I personally could not handle my H continuing to work daily with a woman he had an affair with. As another posted said, the temptation would be too much to handle. I would have wanted him to change jobs as a condition for me to remain in the marriage. My H however works in a very specialized job, so it would not be easy for him to find another job in his field of work. So I would have not been easily able to demand he find another job. My H EA (almost PA) was with the next door neighbor, and that is hard too. But at least I can keep an eye out in the neighborhood and watch if they are talking or whatever. Anyway, after an affair happens I think there is always an insecurity that it will start up again, and with him working with her that will be so much worse. And it's sometimes hard to tell whether that is your insecurity (or maybe a bit of paranoia) seeing signs that maybe aren't what they seem, or if your intuition is kicking in and telling you that something seems off again. I know because every so often I still get that "something seems off" feeling with my H, even though I'm 99.9% sure that nothing is going on anymore between him and OW or any OW for that matter. Anyway I wish had more (better) advice, but I really don't think you will ever feel 100% sure about them two as long as they are working together. It sure would be nice if all companies had STRICT policies about workplace affairs and risking job loss if they occur though wouldn't it.

Edited 5/2/2010 5:48 pm ET by peaceyma
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2010
Wed, 05-12-2010 - 9:54am

Well to give you all an update, my gut was telling me the truth once again.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2009
Wed, 05-12-2010 - 3:54pm
...ONLY you can decide if your marriage can be saved...you've drawn lines and he's crossed each one...I think he'll continue to cross the lines as long as you let him and as nothing big happens when he crosses the lines, he has zero motivation to stop crossing them...
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Sun, 05-16-2010 - 7:27am

Hi PC,

I am so sorry to hear of your H's continuing his A.

People have all kinds of problems and face all kinds of challenges during their lives, depression, anxiety, exposure to alcoholic parents, etc. But a tremendous number of people have those exact same issues and never cheat. I am saying this only to strongly advise you to take guilt off the table if you decide to separate/leave your H/M.

In fact, my mother was an alcoholic and withheld affection from us kids and guess what, my H is the one who cheated, not me. No matter what cards we are dealt during our lives, we still know right from wrong and make conscious choices. Your H made a decision to have an affair and you generously decided to try to rebuild and he has cheated again.

I would like to ask you why you felt angst that your H would resent you if you made a line in the sand about him getting a new job after his A? His affair led the need for a job change so why should he be resenting you??? Do you resent him for having an affair? Does he care that you resent him/his affair?

Many spouses struggle to end the fantasyland lure of the affair, so your H is not alone in the department by any means. But your H definitely sounds like he is making the rules regarding rebuilding and I do not believe that will be in your best interest. He didn't want to go to counseling until you moved out? He acted angry about changing his job after his affair?

It is hard to go to counseling and learn and change and grow! He knows he will have to look good and hard at why he did what he did and may feel bad, embarrassed etc. But agreeing to go only after he got caught a second time and you moved out makes me think he wasn't taking the aftermath of the affair/rebuilding too seriously.

I think your moving back to protect the kids also makes me worry that you are spending a lot of effort to make the water appear calm after a big boulder fell into the pond. I respect that a son's freshman year at college is tough and you should have a plan to discuss separating w/your children, but I worry you may be focusing on what is best for everyone else and not what is best for you. You deserve to be on your own priority list!

It must be very scary for you as well. Moving out must have been rough after such a long time together. I am sorry for your distress PC.

It is pretty clear when a WS is truly invested in saving the M - they will go to counseling, they will do the hard, uncomfortable stuff, they will change jobs, etc. Some WS need a bigger wake up call like a separation to get there or else they keep doing their crappy behavior and make you drag rebuilding out of them like pulling teeth, giving an inch only when they see you are ready to leave, etc. That is EXHAUSTING porkchop! And you will be doing most of the work!

What kind of man was your H before the A? Did he treat you with respect and consideration and behaved with honesty & integrity? If he has been a good husband except for this major screwup then a second Dday doesn't have to spell the end of the M. But if he had serious issues w/honesty/kindness/consideration/integrity prior to the A, then that is a much tougher road you are on.

I just worry about your H not getting it that his A has devastated you to the core and that he is only giving in on your 'requirements' for rebuilding if he thinks he may lose you.

I am so sorry you caught him again. Just remember, you deserve better. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2010
Mon, 05-17-2010 - 11:56am

You are so right when you state that I worry about what is best for everyone else and place my own needs on the back burner.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2008
Mon, 05-17-2010 - 12:42pm
right now he has 2 women and does not want to talk about it because he is not moving forward
to save your marriage the union of 2 not 3 you may need to force him out of his fog and make him choose
that he will not take another job shows you his affair is more important to him than the consequences
like many Wayward Spouses on here he is going to need a wake up call to really move forward one way or another
go see an attorney, tell him to leave the house
let him know his disgusting actions will not be tolerated any longer
he has had more than a year to do something about it
obviously he does not want to end the 3 way situation and has no reason to if you are his rock and he knows that you will do nothing
he is a cake eater
why have one when he can have 2 flavors
if you wait for him to take action you will be waiting a long long time
pray for the strength to end this hell for yourself and be strong enough to let him know this must end now
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Tue, 05-18-2010 - 6:54am

"He cannot break away from her constant seduction...."


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Tue, 05-18-2010 - 7:42am

"However, after playing that role for 23+ years, I find myself unable to take on a different role. I do worry about my children, even though they are young adults, their lives will be forever changed if our family breaks up. Therefore, I can not give up until I know I have tried everything in my power to save our marriage."


Change is hard and so scary. Don't think you can just flip a switch and be different. Of course you are worried about your children, your marriage, etc. You are a human being and that is how a healthy person thinks. But, there is a reason you haven't put an end to this insanity thus far. Some people just have to get to an even lower point before they can stand up for themselves. What many of the posters are trying to say though, is you have to demand different to get different. If you let him, your cake eater husband is going to KEEP walking all over you!

It is also obvious that YOU are the only one trying to save the marriage and there is NO power in that scenario. But it is one thing for us to type our responses (and they are done so out of experience and love I promise you), but another thing completely for you to be ready to end it all to help your H see what he will lose if he keeps this up.

You are in a very desperate situation as the only one trying to keep water out of your sinking boat and H isn't even helping - he is too busy w/other things . . .