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I've read everything I can seem to get my hands on, trying to figure out what to do and I'm coming up empty on one specific area.

First, I'm 34, married for 8 yrs, together for 11, have 3 kids. My wife is a stay at home mom that I neglected emotionally for a long time. I have no problem owning my part and want to follow the marriagebuilders program because it's right and I'm sure it will teach us to have a good relationship. My issue is, she is in the withdrawal stage. Won't talk about anything, wants to find herself, etc. She spends 10-12 hours a day on facebook, using this to fulfill her need for conversation. Since I can't get through to her right now anyway, how do I compete with facebook to fulfill her need for conversation? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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You aren't competing with Facebook, you are competing with a man behind the screen - she is not spending 10/12 hours a day talking about recipes. She is having an affair. Have you read the infidelity materials?

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I haven't. She's not sleeping with anyone, so I guess it's an emotional affair? Where do I find what I need to read?

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Originally Posted By: carsandkidz
I haven't. She's not sleeping with anyone, so I guess it's an emotional affair? Where do I find what I need to read?

Do you have her passwords?

Put a keylogger on her computer and spyware on her phone.


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How do you know how long she is on there for?

What is she doing?


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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Originally Posted By: carsandkidz
I haven't. She's not sleeping with anyone, so I guess it's an emotional affair? Where do I find what I need to read?


Pick nearly any thread on the Surviving an Affair thread and you'll get some clear directions on how to snoop.

For now you could ask the Mods to move this thread to that section until you rule out an affair. Ruling out an A is job #1.


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CandK,

Has she mentioned anyone from her past, could have been a year ago??? At the time it may have seemed innocent to you.

God Bless
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If she's not having an active emotional affair -- that's a big "if"! -- then it's possible to draw her out of withdrawal. Expect her to segue into Conflict if you engage her; that's a POSITIVE sign!

Here are some ideas I've used.
  • Sit next to her while she's Facebooking. Explain "I just want to spend time with my wife." If you need to drag in a chair from another room to do so, do so. This will apparently ANNOY her. That's totally OK. Annoyance is Conflict instead of Withdrawal. And if you keep up "annoying" her by talking with her, asking her opinion, and spending time researching the stuff she likes to talk about, that "annoyance" can change to appreciation... if there's no other man in the picture.
  • Create activities involving you and the kids right there in the room with her while she's Facebooking. Gather them near her and you and read stories, or depending on their ages, talk about the news or ask your wife for input on interesting things she's seen on Facebook and ask the kids what they think about them.
  • Make sure you're on Facebook, too. Friend her. Tag her. Write posts on her wall and your own talking about fun things going on in your life and how often you think of her. Scan photos of the two of you together and tag her in them for everyone to see as a "public" tag. Remind her of fun things you've done together: "Hey, I saw this photo, it reminded me of our trip to X in 2008. That was so awesome, we should do it again soon!" or whatever. Talk about her in an upbeat way with your Facebook friends (make sure your settings allow her and possibly any emotional affair partner to see exactly what you're saying), mentioning how much you love her, are grateful for her, and are so glad that you're married to such a wonderful person. Talking about how you look forward to being old people together in funny ways helps, too!
    You're creating a very specific image here. People in EAs are living in a fantasy world. They imagine an easy divorce. They convince their partner, usually, that they are going through a divorce. You want to publicly burst that bubble if possible by indicating how devoted you are to her, how much you love her, and how much you look forward to growing old together in a life-long, monogamous, happy marriage.
  • Invite her to go with you to do fun things, particularly if they are things she enjoys: favorite activities, favorite foods, etc. "Hi, sweetie. I'm heading to the gym in a few minutes. Want to come?" "I'd love to see that new romantic comedy in the theater. It shows at six tonight. Want me to get us a couple of tickets?" "Man, I've been jonesing for some chicken wings lately. How about you? There's a Wingers just down the street, want to go get some together?"
    CREATE OPPORTUNITIES TO DEPOSIT LOVE UNITS. And in some cases, you simply go yourself -- often taking the kids if she won't come with you -- to create fun times without her. Then let her know what a good time you had if she didn't come with you, and invite her to have those good times with you next time.
  • Refrain from all Love Busters: demands, disrespect, angry outbursts, annoying habits, etc. You can't build her love toward you if you're draining it faster than you're depositing it.
  • Engage in "Plan A". http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8113_ab.html . The above suggestions are in line with such an approach.
  • Snoop like mad, but do not disclose to her in any way that you are doing so for the time being unless you've PROVEN there cannot possibly be any emotional or physical affair going on. The above poster suggestions she's having an affair are spot-on. My wife is a heavy Facebook user, and she only gets on about an hour or two a day at most on the heavy-usage days; it's extremely difficult to deposit any Love Units with someone who's engaged in an emotional affair. "Normal" Facebook usage is about like "normal" TV watching: a couple of hours a day is understandable but a bit heavy. All day long indicates there is definitely something else going on.


Good luck. I'd love to know the results when you try any of these suggestions. Creating a fun, vibrant life and routinely inviting her to be part of it really helps to draw people out of Withdrawal.

But remember: you will almost ALWAYS go through Conflict first. Your attempts to draw her back into your life will create angry responses. Prepare yourself for it. Think through the scenario first and plan your calm, upbeat response to her anger. Don't let her draw you into angry responses; instead, an empathetic response is good: "I totally understand how that upsets you. I'd be upset in similar circumstances. I like chocolate when I'm upset, and there's a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory right around the corner. Want me to call a babysitter and we can go right over there and talk?"


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thanks for the advice.

I've done my snooping, have a keylogger program. I know all the people she's talking to, there is no affair with any one particular person, rather a group of about 25 people in the neighborhood.

She is bored and lazy, stuck at home all day, doesn't see the reward in motherhood, no longer does any of the housework she used to, wants to be 21 forever and can't. She says(on fb) her life is boring except for the weekends, when she can party like a rock star. I am trying to stay involved, constantly active on fb with her and the friends. Can't do anything about the private messages, but all the posts I include myself. All the people she talks to, I talk to, they know we're married and only one(a lady) knows we are having problems. I go to all the parties with her(at neighbor's houses). I'm working on trying to deposit love units, maybe too hard, but the opportunities are slim since she's shut down to me. I now have her sharing the fb posts with me when I get home at night.

Does plan A work when there's not a single person involved, but a group?

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@indiegirl- I can see her facebooking, her comments are constant and start from the time she wakes up to the time she goes to bed. On the rare occasion there's not a conversation on fb, she texts me to talk, which is good. My kids notice too, talk about how much she is on her phone and computer. I watch her post, sometimes sit on facebook next to her, sometimes just listen to her read the posts.

@gamma- she had an affair 3 years ago. I used the marriagebuilders program to help fix it then, but it didn't take much. She did an immediate 180 after leaving home for 3 days. The funny part is, it started with facebook, the same way this has begun. I knew the signs, that's why I immediately assumed the worst and did my snooping. I know how to deal with that. Plan A worked well, our relationship was great in a very short time and stayed that way until this started 4 weeks ago. We also have a mutual friend that she and I both trust, neutral ground if you will, and she opened up to him about where she was a little. There is no affair. She is using the entire group for conversational fulfillment and I believe it is deluding her view of reality.

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Originally Posted By: carsandkidz
@@gamma- she had an affair 3 years ago. I used the marriagebuilders program to help fix it then, but it didn't take much. She did an immediate 180 after leaving home for 3 days. The funny part is, it started with facebook, the same way this has begun.


That's great. At least you know this will lead to an affair and will be better prepared for the next inevitable affair. Are you buckled up?!

Quote:
. We also have a mutual friend that she and I both trust, neutral ground if you will, and she opened up to him about where she was a little.


Thank goodness she has a friend of the opposite sex to confide in. At least you know where the affair is likely to start: either with this "friend" or on facebook again.

I am sorry to see that you decided NOT to use Marriage Builders in your recovery. As such your marriage never recovered and you are headed for the next affair.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Dr Bill Harley: "when one need is met outside of marriage, the others are soon to follow."

Just think of that when your wife's male friend and her male friends on facebook meet the needs that you should be meeting.

Of course you already know this because it is not your first rodeo.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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The friend of the opposite sex is my pastor and mentor, has his wife with him every time they talk. The quote about the other needs being met is what I'm trying to avoid, the purpose of my question.

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Originally Posted By: carsandkidz
The friend of the opposite sex is my pastor and mentor, has his wife with him every time they talk. The quote about the other needs being met is what I'm trying to avoid, the purpose of my question.


Have you considered using Marriage Builders to recover your marriage from her last affair? I can't count the couples who didn't who came back with repeat affairs. For example, you know that Facebook is the environment that led to your wife's affair. Yet she is still on Facebook.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Originally Posted By: carsandkidz
The friend of the opposite sex is my pastor and mentor, has his wife with him every time they talk. The quote about the other needs being met is what I'm trying to avoid, the purpose of my question.


We have many affairs on this board that were with pastors, by the way.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Originally Posted By: carsandkidz
The friend of the opposite sex is my pastor and mentor, has his wife with him every time they talk. The quote about the other needs being met is what I'm trying to avoid, the purpose of my question.

Have you seen this?
The Risk of Opposite Sex Friendships


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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I have seen the risk of opposite sex friendships, understand what I'm dealing with as far as facebook goes and wish I could have used marriage builders to recover from the last affair but my wife wasn't willing, believed we would get better on our own. And we were for a long time until she got back on facebook a few weeks ago. If I get my wife out of withdrawal, I will keep going with the program until we are both working the program. I see the mistake now. Just looking for advice on how to get through the facebook part.

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@melodylane- what do you suggest I do? My wife is in withdrawal, spends all her time doing something we both know is ruining our marriage. I care, want to stop it and save our marriage and protect my children. She doesn't care, isn't willing to talk about it, doesn't agree it's a problem and is unwilling to stop. Also, she likes to party on the weekends, drinking until 5 in the morning. we have three kids that she is supposed to take care of but obviously can't because she's asleep all day.

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Originally Posted By: carsandkidz
@melodylane- what do you suggest I do? My wife is in withdrawal, spends all her time doing something we both know is ruining our marriage. I care, want to stop it and save our marriage and protect my children. She doesn't care, isn't willing to talk about it, doesn't agree it's a problem and is unwilling to stop. Also, she likes to party on the weekends, drinking until 5 in the morning. we have three kids that she is supposed to take care of but obviously can't because she's asleep all day.

Have you asked her to stop drinking and Facebooking?

Is she an alcoholic?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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