My name is Steve. I have been with my GF for over 12 years. We have 2 daughters 8 and 4, I’m 42 and she’s 33, so I’m coming to you because Dday for me was Aug 31 and I looking for clarity and support. This isn’t the first time she has had an affair. This would be the 4th time over 7 years. During the past seven years I have been living in a nearly sexless marriage unless you count utility sex or 1 month. Our relationship has had its ups and downs.
About 2.5 months ago we moved back to her state to be closer to her family and to have a better life for our family. Everything seemed to be going great, we loved our new home, family was so helpful and close by; we even took a few family trips a couple of weeks ago. Last weekend we went on a date and we had fun, and then things took a turn last Wednesday when she went out with her GF that she hasn’t seen in about 2 years. Turns out that GF got cheated on 2 years ago and now shes happy, beautiful, confident, has a bf who she sees every two weeks (he lives out of state) and shares custody with her ex with their little girl.
My wife came home that afternoon very different, after supper she sat me down on the couch and said (in tears) how happy her GF was and how secretly she was jealous. With little go on and not thinking anything about the conversation I said something like, I happy for her but remember people only show you a part of themselves, you don’t know her entire life people need to work on being happy, etc. I didn’t mean anything by it except to state my opinion…but She didn’t like what I said, got up and said to me that she’s going out tonight again but not with whom. It was very unlike her (as we are always doing things together and we never go out last minute without telling each other in advance). I felt she was hiding something and some past emotions began to surface.
I kept my cool and didnt say anything, after all we have our kids running around and I planned a movie and popcorn night.
She left around 8pm and came home shortly after midnight and went straight to the couch and stayed up until past 2am texting on her phone. My nerves went into overdrive as these behaviours were very familiar in the past. I should point out that my wife never stays up past 11pm and we always go to bed together, talk abit and cuddle etc. I didn’t say much, acted calm cool and collected and began to “stay busy” cleaning up the entire house (that was my way of coping with the stress). She could sense I wasn’t happy about something but didnt say much.
The same continued for the past 2 nights as she stayed up until 2am texting and talking on the phone in the other room. We went to her dads birthday party and we didn’t talk much. Although I could see her looking at me ofte, smiling and being nice. I was pleasent and alittle social but not much with her. When we went to bed we didnt say much.
Finally on the 3rd morning around 6am, before the kids came in. She sat in bed and wanted to talk, she was super anxious. She began crying and simply said that she wasn’t happy and that I was a great guy, I deserved more and that she didn’t feel anything for me, she wanted someone more of a man and not being so accommodating, etc etc. She asked my why I love her and why I keep her on a pedestal…I said I don’t and not sure why you think that and the real question isn’t why I love you but why you don’t want to be with me or want out all of sudden? She said she realized when she went to see her GF and wants to be like her. She said “we tried” and she’s tired (truthfully neither tried much to get professional help after the other affairs, we simply talked it over put some work in and things were better for a while I guess). She claims she feels codependent and she has no self esteem or self confidence and she can't work on that with me around.
She also said she didn’t leave before because the relationship hasn’t been bad enough - its ok but she wants great. She’s tired of fighting, we don’t communicate etc etc etc. At this point I just felt like she was making up reasons. She began to say shes not sure if she should leave or stay and work on things, but she wanted to try 30 day separation in the home for the month of september and see how things go. Shes scared to loose me and that’s why she came back the last time she cheated (she wanted to come back about 3-4 months in but I finally agreed and took her back together 8 months later). She says she feels confused.
Honestly…its hard to listen it sounded like shes just trying to justify her choices to herself. Liteally 2 weeks ago we were shopping for a new dog and we were going to buy a new truck together and sell our cars, we were holding hands everyday, I love yous, etc. and I thought we were getting along fine…how can one person go from one extreme to another?
This is the almost same conversation we had the other times she cheated and she claims she didn’t even like the other APs at all….When I asked her why did you cheat she didn’t say much but kept saying the same thing over again.
I exercised emotional self-control. Even though I didn’t feel like it inside, I was calm, cool and collected. I said when are you going to be honest and just say who you have been seeing. She got caught off guard for a moment and said that yes she’s been someone that she has supposedly been texting but that he didn’t want her and she didn’t elaborate any further and said it didn’t matter and I was focusing on the wrong things. Deep down I call ****. Shes back in her family/friends town and its the same vibe like the other 3 times.
I told her that I didnt own her cheating, but that I can see my weaknesses in our relationship. I said I wasn’t perfect and I realized that we have been putting our kids first and not spending a lot of time focusing on us. Over the past while we stopped dating and courting each other properly and we didn’t communicate with each other as well as we could - nothing super serious but nonetheless it happens in long term realtionshpis. We basically slowly became alittle bored perhaps with all the routines, etc. I also told her I was partilly responsible for my part, becasuse I resented her for past affairs and we never finished our counselling and I never got closure from it so I became very untrusting and always on guard and that made me always upset and short alot of the time.
I finally told her that we had family and I think we deserve for once and all to go to soild couples counselling weekend intensive and see if there’s anything there and heal ourselves and decide what to do next. But if she wanted to be uncommitted to me, then I’m going to be uncommitted to her, and I’m a free agent, and I’m going to move on. Because it takes two people to make a relationship work. I told her we’ll coparent 100% but friendship is off the table for me and that I deserve better. The last affair I went bascially no contact with her unless it was our kids sake.
She basically agreed said shes not making any decisions quickly and that shes leaving for a business trip last week for the next 5 days and well talk more about it when she gets back. The rest of the day everything was quite I took the kids out and kept busy and she stayed home and supposedly worked and packed for her trip.
BTW…Her business trip that shes was were we both going to go on just 2 weeks prior. We were both excited about it.
That same evening, after the entire day keeping my distance and not saying much to one another, I was getting ready to go bed shortly after 11pm. She was busy doing some little errands packing and texting. I asked if she needed anything before I go to bed she said no, so off I went.
I woke up at 130am to get a drink and I saw her on the coach texting again and she was startled…she immediately began to tell me what she was just talking to a friend in need, I didn’t say anything and went back to bed.
She came in shortly after in a panic/alot of anxiety, woke me up and said…”listen I can’t have you here in the house we me while I’m trying to get over you and work on myself – its too hard. I think you should move out and find a place.” I said what about what you said this morning about taking things so and seeing how things go etc. she began to say I didnt hear her correctly, thats not what she said and I was cherry picking. I can assure you I wasnt at all...
I politely said "Not a chance..you went outide of our relationship and found someone, I caught you, you want to leave our family and not work on us anymore then you should be the one to leave if you absolutely need too. The couch is in the leaving room or go stay with your parents spare room (their house is only 10 minutes away). This is my home and Im not leaving. (in my mind – im done vacillating all over the place. I put my foot down, shes gone loopy or “drunklove” over someone and wants to be an emotional wreck, Im not ok with another man or friends coming over in front of my girls. If she wants to “play” she can go elsewhere). The past times she cheated I left and im not doing that any longer.
She left the house and came back 15 minutes later and tried to talk more but we needed to be up on a couple hours to get the girls ready for school and I said this is not the best time to have this conversation. She came to bed and cried abit and tried to apologize I said nothing, turned my back and went to bed.
The next morning I took care of my girls mostly myself and off they went to school. She and I work from home so shes literally in the next room working. When I came home after dropping the girls off she came back sobbing and trying to explain herself, again apologizing…I wasn’t rude in any way, but I didn’t engage much.
To avoid family drama, I suggested she call her dad and ask him if she can stay tonight at their place before her trip and that she tell him the truth and get the spare key. She did call him and they talked abit….Kinda ***** for him and her mom as they are leaving on a 2 week cruise to celebrate his bday milestone. It was gut wrenching listening to it all.
We agreed, while on her trip she is free to call and skype with the kids each day. Im not interested to speaking about anything "US" related. When she gets back she will stay with her parents until we work out the logistics. She is welcome at our childrens home anytime she can even sleep on the couch if she pleases- despite it all she is a great mother. And like before we never allowed our issues to interfere with our children. They have been our top priority always.
Finally, before I went off to my office to work, I we agreed that we will jointly rent a condo close by and well take 1 week rotations while we work out the logistics and family affairs.
She wanted to say more, but I just calmly walked away and went off to my office.
I would never let her see me like this, but I am 100% devastated, my emotions are flooding and I am literally in shock. Outside looking in, I feel like an idiot and a loser for ever loving this $$%#$ woman. I am so grateful for my children, I would not change a thing…they are so smart and beautiful. I feel stupid for not seeing my own short comings I knew I should have worked on dating and courting her properly and I didn’t communicate with her properly. I should have gone to get counselling myself to heal my past affair trauma. Im a successful, smart, good looking, athletic man…and I know I want and deserve more.
I supported her in all her endevors, shes been working with a life coach and shes been struggling on finding herself and getting clarity with her life. Shes constently on her phone scrolling soical media and escaping life.
Fast forward to this week, the last few days have been mostly uneventful.
I met with my therapist, it went good. Talked about focusing on me and working through my pride/defensiveness, vulnerability/transparency and active mindfulness. It was alittle but of a humbling experience, it felt good but left feeling alittle defeated for what ever reason – cant really explain it. I guess im alittle upset that I didn’t fix these things earlier.
I’m going continue to work on these for my self this week and see how things go for our next sessions next week.
As for my WS, nothing changed shes doing her things and constantly seeing her AP…today she asked me again when im going make a decision on the separation and living situation I told her well be sitting down on the 26th and working all out before months end.
She didnt like my response very much and accused me of being emotionally unstable. I was calm and I said, you just dropped a bomb on our family so yes it is very emotionally damaging but I am everything but unstable. I think Im handling everything very well thanks. She didnt say much, she looked more gittery than me TBH.
In light of whats happened, I don't want to making any huge decisions right away or looking to numb the pain. I have several interviews lined up and I want to make the right financial choices is all. Currently shes sleeping at her parents and I know its not a problem for now.
She asked me how did my session go, she overheard I mention to the girls I had a meeting to take. She expressed concern that I don’t waste time talking about the affairs and make her out to be the bad guy and waste money. And while my therapist already knows those details I told her the truth that we didn’t talk at all about it and I just focused on m and mentioned the above.
I saw her get alittle emotional for a moment and then she said that she knows shes going into a “blackhole” and that shes scared but that she should have left along time ago and been brave enough to let me go etc…and then went on to say a few more things like shes needs to do this for herself and to justify to herself that it’s the right call and she refused to acknowledge the affair or AP. I almost engaged with her into a deeper conversation, but I choose to keep things short. I just listened and acknowledged her and she left my office.
This evening she got dressed and left and told me she’s going out. I didn’t really reply much. She tried being nice and asked me if I wanted any dinner etc. I said no thanks.
I know what shes doing is 100% F#$%$# dysfunctional and I shouldn’t trust what I hear or see from her for some time. It was hard to hear TBH, but I can’t help but wonder if theres any truth behind it (feel like im getting sucked into atrap)? Could I have just been a safe option all of this time? Really I don’t think so, we’ve had many wondeful moments but to hear her makes me questions it all – guess its normal.
Its been bothering me now for a better part of the day, and im wondering how much of what shes telling me is real or fogged by the affair.
I feel that with affairs like these since nothing is normal or logical about them, shes going to say all sorts of things that might sound to her like the truth, but if/when the affair is over, and she will go through the withdrawal stage, and then the conversation will be diffrent.
I guess perhaps the deeper question I have (and the one she hasn’t told me or wants to acknowledge) is that why did she have to have some many affairs? What was the dissatisfaction with our relationship so bad that that I couldn't see or give whatever emotional need she desperately wanted? And if so, then why run back to me every time a couple of months later? And why continue to lie and pretend shes not having an affair when I already know 100% shes having one?
And just to be clear - I have not been pursuing, hovering over her or trying to win her back. Just trying to understand my own emotions and my hurt heart.
I feel like I should just give up and move on.
Is it wrong of me to want to fix things with my wife and salvage our family? I am someone who has high character and high integrity and I would be open to going to try to fix our relationship or at least give it a try with professional help. Shes not open to as of now, and Im ok with that I am prepared to leave, take time to heal and then eventually start dating again.
Any clarity or advice would be appreciated.