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Joined: Mar 2000
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As I said a competent response.<P>Ruoughly three months ago my wife announced that she had no passion for our relationship and sex any longer. Then it evolved into she didn't know where her love had gone. I began suspecting that she was having an EA at work because work was becoming increasingly important and she expressed a fondness for her boss and how he could help her in her career. Well I still suspected something was developing. I started to suspect and began looking for clues. Mothing concrete turned up until she began to do things out of her character. She worked an over night shift (10PM- 6AM) with her boss and another co-worker (male) left work early and went to breakfast at 5AM. I asked her to call at 6 AM but she didn't she just showed up and said she went to breakfast. Next opp. was a business meeting that got out early and she returned to her work at 8:45 then called me at 10:00 to say she was going for drinks. I knew she was lieing because I saw her car parked at 8:45. I confronted her and she returned home. Se apologized for lieing. She said she did it to avoid me getting upset. The next lie comes to me via my 3yr old son. He disclosed to me that he and his mother went to the local park for lunch (she was not on a scheduled shift) with her boss. She hid this from me until I confronted her. She was terrified as her lip quivered as I broke the news. I asked her if there were any other hidden secrets. She said no. Incidentally her boss had been to my house on one known occcasion to drop off a basketball hoop for my boys. I was at work. She made it a point to call me and let me know.<P>My point is that I have been extremely suspicious and it has caused many problems. I have been depressed, riddled with anxiety and am on anti depressants. I will be evaluated today for depression and or OCD. I now realize I am not crazy.<P>Our relationship was not bad but we were not attending to it like we should have been.<P>What I am asking is how do I get my wife to (admits no affair of any kind- he's just a friend) step back into this marriage open up her emotions and begin to work on this relationship. I am so damn frustrated. Yes I am working on my problems and trying to uncover my bad relational habits. But she justs sits there as if I am the cracked one.<P>Give me some insight. What do you think? Please do not respond with LB this and LB that. I need genuine commonsense people input. I cannot get this from my family (too emotional) Please hlep if you can.

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Sounds to me like she is definately having an EA.I have lots of male friends however I tell H everthing I'm doing with them. I look at it as "If you don't have anything to hide,then you don't have a problem with honesty" Does that make sense?

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John:<P>I suspect that by the tone of your post, that you have a great deal of problems with "disrespectful judgements". If you're working to eliminate the undesirable traits and behaviors that you bring to the marriage (the "LB's"), that's good. Give it about 3-6 months of very consistant effort of exhibiting new behaviors that makes your marriage safe.<P>You also need to work on bringing honesty into your marriage. You're trying to get honesty from your wife---but it appears that she's afraid that you'll punish her for it. You've got to stop this. You need to encourage complete honesty by handling the honesty she gives you without punishment or negative feedback. Positive feedback is the way to go. I don't suggest that you run out and try this on the 'suspected affair' issue right away. You're going to have to start small and build up to it.<P>Ask yourself (honestly) if you were your wife, would you be in love you? Identify the important points to work on, with the focus on rebuilding your wife's love for you. If you're not comfortable with the Harley methodology and terms, I'd suggest that you might try a book by Susan Page, "How one of you can bring the two of you together". There's a lot of similarities in her approaches, but it's worded somewhat differently.<P>

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John,<P>Have you approached your W about counseling?...<BR>...maybe MB <I>style</I> counseling?...<BR>I would recommend that you have a few (non-threatening) <A HREF="http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi7200_phone.html" TARGET=_blank>telephone counseling sessions</A> ($85US a pop... but well worth it) with <A HREF="http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi7010_about.html" TARGET=_blank>Steven W. Harley</A> or Jennifer Harley. Check out the <A HREF="http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi7000_counsel.html" TARGET=_blank>Counseling Center</A>... and for some specifics... <A HREF="http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi7015_fee.html" TARGET=_blank>Fees for Counseling Services</A> and <A HREF="http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi7020_sched.html" TARGET=_blank>Scheduling an Appointment</A>!<P>If your W has an aversion to therapy (my W most certainly did/does)...<BR>...move into some therapy/counseling <B>on your own</B>!<P>If your W is more amenable to self-help...<BR>...would she read any of the <A HREF="http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi6000_bookstore.html" TARGET=_blank>MB</A> or other <A HREF="http://www.marriagebuilders.com/forum/Forum29/HTML/000025.html" TARGET=_blank>Books</A>?<P>Would she consider filling out (you too) a copy of the <A HREF="http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi4110_emndsq.html" TARGET=_blank>Emotional Needs Questionnaire</A> you could download/print?<P>Hiring a PI (to <B>prove</B> the affair) is a last resort... and should be avoided...<BR>... but if her denial of the affair continues... you me have to resort to that.<P> [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Jim

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Why can't we respond with no LBs?<P>Your case is extremely similar to mine. <P>- No feelings<BR>- no sex<BR>- EA with boss<BR>- Boss sneaks his way into your family (giving children things etc) In my case the boss has helped wife pick up children at Kindergarten.<P>My case is where you can be in some time (wife moved out, started to speak about papers that needs to be signed (i.e. separation), told the children, looking for new place to live).<P>I say:<BR>- No LBs<BR>- Meet emotional needs. Her boss is meeting them now.<P>LBs will drive her in the opposite direction. They feed on your LBs.<P>scandinavian<BR>

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I am not much for that LB stuff, either. But one point sticks out in this Harley stuff, and that is how the affairs are like an addiction.<P>I have worked with a lot of addicts. I worked for a year in a public hospital as a social worker. You would not believe the things people would do to feed their addictions.<P>The affairs are like this. One other point that is important here. No one can get the addict to see reality (as we view it anyway). That is the premise of AA and why it works so well. The addict needs to make the choice to get better. Meanwhile, they blame everyone else around them for their problems.<P>She won't change until she wants to. You can be nice and follow all of the MB principles, and that will help. But the addiction must run it's course. It is hard, and you may not think it is worth it, and that's OK.<P>A lot of this is about you. Even if she doesn't come back, you will be a better person for having worked on yourself.<P>Good Luck

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Obviously something is out of whack somewhere, but you are not sure where. It could be your wife is having an EA...I say that because I had one and most of the communicating went on at work. It became my favorite place to be and now it is my hell. Anyway, you need to talk to her and not make accusations. I know from being of the receiving end, the last thing you want to do is appear like you are snooping and spying. Take an objective look at your marriage. Many betrayed spouses don't realize there was a problem until the affair is discovered. Talk to her about her day, her dreams, ask her questions and make eye [censored]. Maybe you already do, but I know for me that was a big thing missing. Pay attention to the signals she is giving out and if you are unclear...ask. Be wary of this boss. He's probably feeding into those unmet emotions. I can tell you for most women this type of affair is more dangerous than a PA. If you can....in a calm manner...just talk to her and ask what is going on, what is missing, and let her know you sense something is not right. If she is in an EA she may be in denial of sorts. I know I didn't think I was doing anything wrong...I never even touched this person, but boy was I wrong. When I realized that I had given my heart away....it was devastating. Good luck with this.<P>Positive wishes and prayers,<P>LS<P>

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John,<P>Okay, so you don't want to hear the Love Buster stuff. But stop & think about it for a minute. If everytime you spoke with your wife, she Love Busted with you. She told you to shut up, mind your own business, leave me alone, etc. then how would you feel towards her? Perhaps as if she didn't care & you wouldn't want much to do with her?<P>Harley's put it in a simple term to make it easy to understand.<P>------------------<BR>Prayers & God Bless!<BR>Chris<BR>For relationship info check out <A HREF="http://www.pcisys.net/~chriscal1/resources.html" TARGET=_blank>Marriage & Relationship Resources</A>

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It seems to me she is justifying her lying - maybe it hasn't gone to a physical affair yet? She doesn't recognize what an affair really is - betrayal? She doesn't think what she is doing is having any harmful affects on your relationship?<P>This is how the deceit in these inappropriate relationships worm their way into marriages, and then physical affairs start....<P>So, you are correct to be concerned. Definitely something isn't right in Denmark here... <P>So, sometimes we spend our time investigating, interrogating, with hard suspicious hearts - but it is the WRONG thing to do.<P>The right thing to do is:<BR>1) Decide that it is an affair that you are dealing with (physical or emotional - doesn't matter - same principles)<BR>2) Decide if you want your marriage to work<BR>3) Decide what steps are appropriate to work on your marriage<BR>4) Identify first what behavior are lovebusters (and remember that your infidel spouse determines what lovebusters are - and they can be totally irrational but you gotta work with what you got)<BR>5) Make a plan of how long you will work to gain and restore love back in your marriage (plan A) <BR>6) Learn how to refrain from all ALL [bold]ALL[/bold] lovebusters<BR>7) Identify what works, what doesn't, (usually by trial and error with an uncooperative and deceived spouse - especially EA infidelity)<BR>8) Don't expect too much too soon<BR>9) Learn how to be a giver on an empty lovebank<BR>10) Know how to meet your own emotional needs without their support<P><BR>Those are my recommendations - it isn't easy, like someone else said: Plan A isn't for wimps.<P>

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John,<BR>All the advise and jargon filled quotes biol down to a very simple concept. Your wife has stopped being your friend because she feels that you are not her friend. She has now found a new friend to take the place of what she feels she is no longer getting from you. You must now find out what it is that she was missing and compete for her friendship again.<P>Is it fair? <P>H*** NO!<P>But if you try to force her back it will have the opposite effect of what you want.<P>As someone who waited way too long to take an action let me tell you the time to act is now. She needs to feel she is safe with you. Anger is your enemy, not her, not the other man. Tell her you are afraid of loosing her. Tell her you want to be her best friend. <P>Be prepaired for wild, unusual, and hurtful claims coming from her. As she realizes that what she is doing hurts you, her own fears will try to justify her actions to herself, <B>especially when she starts to discover that she still loves you.</B><P>Don't be afraid to cry, but don't cry all the time. She needs to know it hurts you but don't let it become a whipping post. Guilt trips are a huge turn off.<P>Good luck.<BR>You are not alone.

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Ok, you've been given the formula. Well thought out and all. TNT's hit the nail right on the head. Everyone has.<P>Her steps are right on. And she's right (as usual, my dear!), this is NOT for wimps!!! It's hard, it's unfair, it's frustrating and it hurts like He$$!!! But it can work.<P>Make those decisions. That's the only place to start. The beginning never really starts with the truth from her, but the truth from within yourself. You actions will not be dictated so much from what she does or doesn't do, but from what you decide. Assume the worst. Take a good hard look at what you can control and that, my friend, is simply yourself. BUT....by controlling yourself, you have a profound influence over her FUTURE actions and your future - together or not.<P>Lovebusters - more important than you realize at the moment. Heck, Hon, even the family dog is gonna wise up if you lure him with food, just to throw stones when he gets near!!! <P>Nope - all up to you right now. That's about it. But it's not over, unless you decide it is. <P>Good luck.<P>Lori

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Here are your options as I see it.<P>A. You can kick, scream, cajole, demand, lay your foot down, draw a line in the sand, coersce, punish your wife into giving you what you want. (spend more time with you, give you missing needs, treat you with respect, and dignity, be honest with you etc...) My guess is you have tried this before and it hasn't worked? <P>B. You can follow the golden rule and do unto your wife as you would have done onto you. You can examine what things would make her feel loved, and avoid doing those things you wouldn't want done to you. <P>C. You can say forget it, and do nothing.<P>I chose option B and it worked for me. There are a whole host of professionals who have written advice with slightly differing viewpoints. Many have similarities, some disagree. Do the research and take from them what you can. Take from them what makes sense to you. Some people I read...<BR>Harville Hendrix, John Gray, Harley, Gottman, Spring, pieces of Dr. Phil from Oprah. <P>I could expound on how I was lead to my decision but that would take too long, and you need to make your own journey.<P>The bottom line...<P>If you want honesty you have to provide an environment that makes honesty safe.<P>If you want communication you need to initiate it, and cultivate it. It also needs to be safe.<P>If you want affection, sexual gratification, recreation, admiration etc... you need to ask for it, and then motivate your spouse into wanting to give it to you. You can motivate with punishment or you can motivate with reward. The reward has a more lasting effect.<P>

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Thanks you. MOre competent responses please.<P>However, I am a the stage of this whole ordeal where I have begun to focus on myself and how I react to circumstances. We are now separated at her request. She says that she cannot live with my anxiety over this. My therapist said that that is her porblem and how she chooses to react to my behavior. I am choosing and trying to react differently to her behavior. I will no longer make any demands of her or request needs from her. She is no longer the source of my inspiration.<P>Mind you I do love her her but I am at the point where I don't need her to feel good about myself. For the first time, becuz of therapy, I am starting to feel 100% better about myself. I wish I had gone into therapy many years ago. But I feel that I was led there for a reason. My past hardships were all caused by how I reacted to the situations and circumstances.<P>I am going to start changing that today. Period. If my wife chooses to remain fault finder and a blamer then so be it. She will suffer continually.<P>I am choosing a different path. Thoughtful thinking about me and what I want, my circumstances and how I choose to react.<P>That is it. Soon I will deleiver this message to her, when I have relieved myself of the need for this marraige. Not there yet.<P>More Competent responses please.

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So, your decision is - to not be co-dependent, and to end the marriage.<P>That is entirely your right. <BR>TNT

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not end the marraige but that I cannot and will not tolerate my reactions to her behaviors so therefore I will change myself. If she decides to change herself and her behaviors than we may begin to restore our marriage. Change can happen now, someday or never. It is up to her. She prefers to change some day. That some day is when she sees or believes a change in me has taken place.<P>Well change is like Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, beginning and the end. Change has a beginning and an end but the are the same. The beginning is you the end is GOD and the are one IN the same. In being within. Does that make sense.

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Sorry, not following you - try again?<P>

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The point is that I have to change the way I have chose to behave. It begins with me. I must clearly state that to her. She will have to change the way she reacts to me. So therefore if my change in attitude is manifested in my behavior than she must choose to react differently to me. But she has to make a concious choice to change her attitude/behavior and then choose to change her reaction to my change attitudes/behaviors. I cannot change her. That is her choice. As christ stated about pulling the splinter from thine own eye. To relive pain, suffering and frustration you have to view, percieve and react to things with conscious choices for peace, harmony and happiness.

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Yes, that makes sense.<P>You can only control your behavior, and your choices, and your decisions - you can't control hers.<P>The theory is (and I've seen it work) that one persons behavior affects another's behavior. So, if you address yourself first, she should begin to respond with the changes in your behavior. <P>This is what plan A is all about. Exactly. Your therapist is stating it one way - but in a nutshell, this is the foundation for plan A. <P>As we modify our behavior (reactions, or non-reactions, and actions and attitude) - it has no choice but to affect our spouse. This is the basis for plan A success.<P>We learn what we are responsible for, and what we aren't responsible for. You are not responsible for your wife's actions/reactions/choices/non-reactions. I agree with you 100% about this.

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My question is? Should I stay separated from her and let her live at home in comfort with the two kids while I live elsewhere.<P>Should i exercise my right to my home and happiness there and ask her to find a place to dwell. I can take care of the kids and be their father while she does her own thing deciding whether to change or not. What do you think. She definitley is stuck and refuses to move. That has been her MO in her other relationships.<P>Should I ask to go back home. I feel that I am entitled to have my home for peace and security.

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I agree with you Jon. Just be careful that when you communicate this to your wife that you do not come off as demanding that she change. She will change in response to what you do to change yourself if she remains within your realm of influence, but it's not the focus. Ultimately the positive changes you make in yourself you want her to see. You want her to be tantalized to come back and try again and to make changes herself. But you should also want this because it makes you feel good about who you are.

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