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#2302095 01/09/10 08:55 AM
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Hi all...verrry new to this. Thanks in advance for your time. It took me a while to post here...I posted somewhere else but think this might be more 'professional' so to speak. And I'm feeling at a loss. Don't know where to start...been married for 15 years and have children. Wasn't attracted to husband when I married him, but he's smart and nice and after dating around quite a bit decided that the 'falling madly in love' thing just doesn't happen twice and if I couldn't make it work with him then I wasn't going to make it work with anyone. Just a decent person, yk? I just sound bad already. Had a rocky first 3 years, separated twice, and when I came back to him the 2nd time I thought I had it figured out and I knew I didn't want divorce in my life. Catholic and all, it'd just be a bad think yk? I could overcome the differences we had to make it work. Come to find out now, he was pretty done with me then but says I just didn't give him the chance to say so. (?) He's emotionally unavailable to me and I return in kind. We are very lonely people in our marriage. But we get along for the most part. He's a good job. I quit work to be home with kids. Counselor says we're pretty much living on parallel patterns vs. intertwined. That's true, I'd say. I think the distance between us makes it easier for us to stay together if that makes sense. And then there's the intimacy. We have none. No emotional or sexual intimacy. And he agrees. And I hate to say this...reallly hate to say it....but I've never, ever given myself to him totally. Ever. Emotionally or otherwise. He's amazed that we're still together after all this time. Our intimacy is like...idk...I smile, try to look like I'm happy and wait till it's over. He never touches me, cuddles or anything. Hugs goodby and a peck on the mouth is about the extent. I've periodically told him we had to stay together for the kids. And so we have. He's refused to see a counselor in the past when I've asked him. I am seeing one now and we have joint appts. but he's doubtful of the counselor's ability to change my thoughts...yet says he wants us to not divorce. I've had physical attractions to other men and crushes that I've waited out until they're gone. I'm married for heaven's sake, right? But then a few months ago, I got into a funk because I ran into my ex-fiance in my home town and it was like getting hit by a huge flipping truck. I know he still loves me. And I can't believe I'll never have love like that in my life. I'll never have that emotional or sexual connection with someone. Being with my husband just feels wrong. I've never touched his face. I have to force myself to reach out to him during sex. And I don't know how to overcome that. He's changed tho he says and now has a tatoo to anchor it and talks to me more and is happier since he's done it but it doesn't change the way I feel or my obstacles. Trying to talk with a counselor. Feeling really stupid and horrible about it all. Especially for my kids. Sorry I'm not more skilled at this posting thing...but I appreciate whatever your feedback is....

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There's a great big huge chance that what you think about your ex is a FANTASY, otherwise he would not be an ex, correct?

Here are some quick easy steps you can take right now:

1. No contact with your ex, ever.

2. Spend time with your H. Look under the Questionnaires tab at the top of the page for the Recreational inventory, and find some things you and your H both enjoy (or think you will enjoy) and commit time to doing them. Lots of time. The minimum UA standards around here are 15 hours a week. (UA= Undivided Attention)

3. Read the material on this site. A lot of it is geared toward marriages involving infidelity, and I get that you think you have not been unfaithful, but you have. In your heart and your mind, you have.

Weekends are slow, stick around and read the articles and Q&A columns while you wait for responses.


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
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Hi What2say,

Welcome to MB! Sorry you're suffering but glad you're reaching out for answers. I don't post much but your title caught my eye. (Suggestion for the future, please put hard returns in your post to break it up into smaller paragraphs. More people will be able to reply that way.)

Originally Posted by What2say
Hi all...verrry new to this. Thanks in advance for your time. It took me a while to post here...I posted somewhere else but think this might be more 'professional' so to speak. And I'm feeling at a loss. Don't know where to start...been married for 15 years and have children. Wasn't attracted to husband when I married him, but he's smart and nice and after dating around quite a bit decided that the 'falling madly in love' thing just doesn't happen twice and if I couldn't make it work with him then I wasn't going to make it work with anyone. Just a decent person, yk? I just sound bad already.

I know how you feel.....BTDT for 32 years. Details in my story linked to my sig line below.

Had a rocky first 3 years, separated twice, and when I came back to him the 2nd time I thought I had it figured out and I knew I didn't want divorce in my life. Catholic and all, it'd just be a bad think yk? I could overcome the differences we had to make it work. Come to find out now, he was pretty done with me then but says I just didn't give him the chance to say so. (?) He's emotionally unavailable to me and I return in kind. We are very lonely people in our marriage. But we get along for the most part. He's a good job. I quit work to be home with kids. Counselor says we're pretty much living on parallel patterns vs. intertwined. That's true, I'd say. I think the distance between us makes it easier for us to stay together if that makes sense.

I totally understand your scenario....the less we talked the fewer arguments we go into. It was the lesser of two evils for us. And it worked....until my H decided he wanted to be needed/validated/understood and found a 'soulmate' on line when looking for a job after being fired.

And then there's the intimacy. We have none. No emotional or sexual intimacy. And he agrees. And I hate to say this...reallly hate to say it....but I've never, ever given myself to him totally. Ever. Emotionally or otherwise. He's amazed that we're still together after all this time. Our intimacy is like...idk...I smile, try to look like I'm happy and wait till it's over. He never touches me, cuddles or anything. Hugs goodby and a peck on the mouth is about the extent.

I understand this, too.....not proud of it but we did find a way to overcome it.

I've periodically told him we had to stay together for the kids. And so we have.

We did, too. Kids were grown and gone when the affair happened but they were both instrumental in how we dealt with it.

He's refused to see a counselor in the past when I've asked him. I am seeing one now and we have joint appts. but he's doubtful of the counselor's ability to change my thoughts...yet says he wants us to not divorce.

Shop around for other MC's (marriage counselors) or call the counseling center on this web site. At least he's open to trying even if he's doubtful. That's a start.

I've had physical attractions to other men and crushes that I've waited out until they're gone. I'm married for heaven's sake, right? But then a few months ago, I got into a funk because I ran into my ex-fiance in my home town and it was like getting hit by a huge flipping truck. I know he still loves me. And I can't believe I'll never have love like that in my life. I'll never have that emotional or sexual connection with someone.

I totally understand this, too. I got my 'romance fix' through romantic movies, books and other sources but discovered later that many of my emotional needs were being met by guy-friends (see chapter 6 of my saga where I describe my own "almost" emotional affairs). It sounds like you are using the same mechanisms. I really do know what you're feeling. (In fact, I TOLD my H about these guys and he was glad they were meeting my needs so he didn't have to!)
You think YOU sound bad!!!! I was horrible!


Being with my husband just feels wrong. I've never touched his face. I have to force myself to reach out to him during sex. And I don't know how to overcome that. He's changed tho he says and now has a tatoo to anchor it and talks to me more and is happier since he's done it but it doesn't change the way I feel or my obstacles. Trying to talk with a counselor.

This may sound harsh, but most counselors will not be able to help you. Please make the effort to read all the (free) articles on this web site, especially the ones about the Love Bank concept and how our emotional needs are related to our Love Bank ($LB) accounts. This is how my H and I learned to overcome our detached relationship. Most counselors will not know about this aspect of marriages. The best communication systems in the world will not work if your spouse is not aware of your emotional needs and you do not know about his.

Feeling really stupid and horrible about it all. Especially for my kids. Sorry I'm not more skilled at this posting thing...but I appreciate whatever your feedback is....

What2say,

You are very brave to post what you have. If you're serious about finding a solution, you've come to the right place. Many will be able to help you. Please continue to be honest about your feelings, no matter how bad you may think you sound. That's the best way to find ways to fix what may (or may not) be broken.

Best wishes to you.

Ace


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You're at the 'fake it til you make it' site. Here, we tell you to:

  • learn what Love Busters YOU do that your husband doesn't like, and stop doing them (look for the LB questionnaire to the right)
  • learn what his Emotional Needs are, and meet his top 5 - consistently; whether you want to, or not (fake it til you make it, remember?); there's an EN questionnaire, too; ask him to fill it out
  • fix your schedule so that YOU and your HUSBAND (not the kids) are spending at least 15 hours a week together doing the sort of things you would have done when you were dating - fun stuff, good stuff, 'togetherness' stuff; it will help you fall in love with him and vice versa


If you do these simple things, you will see your opinion of him change. You will fall in love with him.

You entered this marriage on a false pretense; you never gave him a chance because you told yourself you were settling. But inside that man is a great, decent, wonderful guy whom you never met. Let him in.

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I am the husband. This is probably going to be a little different than what normally happens, but my wife and I are doing this with complete honesty and openness, so we can figure out what is right for both of us.

This all came to a head just after she reconnected with her ex. She wouldn't tell me what the problem was for a while, but I pretty much guessed what it was. After fifteen years of being married, it is hard to hide things without your partner having suspicions that something is going on. I decided then that either my wife and I would have a great relationship or we should get a divorce. I am just not sure how to get there from here. Anyway, this is my side of the story.

I met my wife immediately upon taking a job in a new city and we started hanging out. I was fairly new to relationships and while I had several relationship encounters before my wife, she was my first full sexual experience. I was pretty shy at this point and really wasn't very good at maintaining any kind of relationships. I take full responsibility for this. I have been to counseling a while back to address these issues, but my I don't think they were fully resolved until recently. From early in our relationship, there just seemed to be a momentum carrying us along. I hesitated pushing any commitments with her, because I could feel that things weren't as much as they should be between us. We ended up getting separated a couple of years after our marriage because I discovered that she was having an affair. She moved out and we continued on with our lives. During this time, I met an old girlfriend that I really had a crush on (kind of the equivalent to her ex). She was married at the time, so we didn't get too far into the relationship. Shortly after that, my wife called me and told me that she really didn't want a divorce and that she wanted to move back in and try to work things out. I still loved my wife, as much as you can after being hurt, and so I agreed. Shortly after that, my old girlfriend called and said she was getting a divorce and wanted to know what my situation was. I told her that my wife decided she wanted to work things out and haven't talked to her since. I think I have been carrying resentment about the loss of the other relationship and the affair ever since.
Since then, my wife and I have moved to another city and I have a good job that I really like. We are financially stable and comfortable in every way other than in our relationship. We have two great kids and I would hate to see us throw it all away for something that may not be real. On the other hand, if there is no hope for us and her feelings for her ex are real, then, I believe we need to get a divorce. I just don't know how to do that without causing resentment, and I really don't want to end up hating her. She would move back to where we met with the kids, and it would be very difficult for me to see them.

I have come to grips with my anger and resentment through some NLP techniques, so I am really very okay with doing whatever is right. She is pretty certain that what she feels about her ex is real and that she can't possibly feel that way about me. We ordered the Marriage Builders home program, but she is very hesitant to participate. I don't want to be pushy with her, but I feel like I am done being stuck in this relationship.

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Glad you are here.

Her feelings for her ex are a fantasy. Grass is greener. Total waste of time because the 'fog' has hold of her. Ignore it.

Follow my advice for her, just in reverse. IF you follow the steps, you won't have time or feelings left in your life for a third person.

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W2S,

First of all might I suggest different logins so at least everyone can keep straight who is speaking so that we know how to reply.

Mrs W2S, My wife also found that she was not in love with me and was instead in love with someone else. It wasn't an old flame, but actually someone she had recently met. But she was convinced that it was the real deal, that what she had shared with me was not and that she could never love me the way she loved him. She could not see her feelings for me ever being as substantial as what she felt for him either in the past or the future.

That was almost 4 years ago now. We've been through a lot of turmoil and stress since then, but today our marriage is better than at any time in our over 36 years together. This was in fact the very thing she told our class we were teaching at our church on Marriage Builders concepts. We BOTH attribute our current feelings for each other to doing what MB has taught us.

Mr W2S,

I am not surprised one bit that this all seemed to come to a head right after her reconnection with an old flame. That is how many an affair starts.

You may very well currently have your feelings and emotions under control. I know I got a grip very quickly. But also be aware that you will have many ups and downs along the way and hat you might be fully committed one moment and ready to throw in the towel the next. Completely normal for this stuff.

To both of you:

If you have read the Basic Concepts (linked on the navigation bar at the top) you can see that Dr Harley teaches that the feeling of being in love is actually a response to stimulus. As such the proper stimulus will produce the result of the feelings if things are done the right way.

So it is very possible for Mrs W2S to fall head over heals in love with Mr W2S. The home study course would be an outstanding way to accomplish that very goal.

And Mrs W2S, you must realize that the best of all possible worlds would be one in which you are passionately in love with the father of your children. This is possible and in fact likely if you follow the program of Marriage Builders.

But one thing that will always stand in the way, not only of having a good marriage with your husband but also your ability to develop strong and passionate love for him will be a continued relationship with this old flame. This man cannot have any place in your marriage. As long as you are expending energy on maintaining a relationship of any kind with him, you cannot put forth what it will take to restore the relationship with your husband. You must never see, speak to or communicate with this man ever again.

You can have a wonderful, happy and loving marriage, but it will not be possible as long as OM is held in a place, not of fondness or kept in a status of "lost love" but a place where he is seen as an option for your life and future.

Welcome to Marriage Builders.

Be sure you have read the Basic Concepts and also both read the letters in the Q&A column section under the heading of Infidelity.

Mark

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Originally Posted by What2say
I have come to grips with my anger and resentment through some NLP techniques, so I am really very okay with doing whatever is right. She is pretty certain that what she feels about her ex is real and that she can't possibly feel that way about me. We ordered the Marriage Builders home program, but she is very hesitant to participate. I don't want to be pushy with her, but I feel like I am done being stuck in this relationship.
\
What, you are in the right place. This program can help you learn to create romantic love in your marriage. You are BOTH seeking romantic love, but have sought it in places where it is unsustainable and unachievable. Your affair with the ex and hers with her ex are both hopeless situations that wouldn't make it anyway. 95% of affairs crumble within 2 years and those that make it to marriage have a 70% divorce rate.

The biggest problem I see now are her feelings for this EX. This is a fantasy relationship that will fail anyway but it has become a new point of comparison for her. Once he is out of the picture, though, that will change. Is he married and does his wife know about this renewed communication? Has ALL contact ended with him? All contact should end for LIFE.

In addition to the home study, I would strongly IMPLORE you to get some phone coaching with Steve Harley. He can assess your situation and lay out a PLAN of recovery specifically suited to your situation.

But, the first step has to be an END to any and all contact with this EX.


"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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MrsWant, how far along is this affair? Have you seen your EX? How are you communicating with him and how often? Is he married? Have your kids been told about the 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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Originally Posted by Mark1952
So it is very possible for Mrs W2S to fall head over heals in love with Mr W2S. The home study course would be an outstanding way to accomplish that very goal.

Mr and Mrs What, Mark is exactly right. Many of us here have used this program and have achieved happy, PASSIONATE marriages that are romantic and fulfilling. This program really does work like no others.

And please do sign up and get a separate screen name.

You might also have this moved to the Surviving an Affair forum because your MAIN PROBLEM is your wife's affair. Although that has been minimized, [typical] and other problems in the marriage focused on, it *IS* your main problem. Most spouses in an affair typically point to the past problems in the marriage in an effort to distract from the MAIN ISSUE, ie: the 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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From Mr. W2S:

Sorry about the same login, but we had a hard time setting up our login with a lot of error messages. We are still have to get the other one fixed.

I do feel that I have handled the affair and have let go of it... really.

Also, I am not sure how to proceed as there is not very much interest on her part to work on this. We had an argument when we filled out the EQ because she just wasn't into it. Is this really something a couple can do if one has no interest in it?

We are also on another forum where most all of the advice is to get a divorce. I think that has taken precedence right now.

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Originally Posted by What2say
We are also on another forum where most all of the advice is to get a divorce. I think that has taken precedence right now.

There is no reason whatsoever to divorce. This can be saved. I have seen situations that were 10x worse than this turn into happy, fulfilling marriages.

Has your wife ended all contact with the OM?


"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

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From Mr. W2S:

No. She has him as a contact on facebook. It sounds like they aren't talking a lot, but I know they do some.

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Originally Posted by What2say
From Mr. W2S:

No. She has him as a contact on facebook. It sounds like they aren't talking a lot, but I know they do some.

Is he married? Have they seen each other in person? Are they speaking on the phone?


"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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MrWht, I will try and explain the dynamic that is at play here. An affair is an addiction that impedes the thinking of the wayward spouse. It is like being high on alcohol or narcotics. When a person is addicted to an affair, they do everything in their power to JUSTIFY it. This is why your wife is focusing so much on the "bad marriage." Sure, the marriage wasn't great, but it is an attempt to distract attention from the REAL PROBLEM, which is the affair.

The affair makes it impossible to fix your marriage because your wife is high. A person who is high cannot think straight, nor can she possibly reinvest emotionally in your marriage as long as the affair is ongoing.

The solution is to FIRST stop the affair. Just as an alcoholic cannot sober up unless he stops drinking, an affairee cannot recover unless she stops her affair.

The affair has to be stopped first. And I mean ALL contact. No phone calls, no facebook, no nothing.

The affair should be exposed to everyone. Affairs thrive on secrecy and exposure ruins them. It is the most powerful weapon you have in recovering your marriage. Family, friends, children, the OM's wife should all be told. I would tell your children the truth so they can understand the source of the turmoil in their family. Your children and the OM's wife all have a right to know about the affair so they can protect themselves from the OM and your wife.

Dr Harley is a clinical psychologist who has saved thousands of marriages using these principles and here is what he says about exposure:


Quote
If the unfaithful spouse is offended by being exposed, so be it. Exposure is very likely to end the affair, lifting the fog that has overcome the unfaithful spouse, helping him or her become truly repentant and willing to put energy and effort into a full marital recovery. In my experience with thousands of couples who struggle with the fallout of infidelity, exposure has been the single most important first step toward recovery. It not only helps end the affair, but it also provides support to the betrayed spouse, giving him or her stamina to hold out for ultimate recovery.

<snip>

The issue of exposure comes up when a betrayed spouse has first learned about the affair. Should it be exposed to others, or kept secret? I generally recommend exposure. When should it be exposed? I usually recommend that it be exposed immediately. To whom should it be exposed? I recommend that family, friends, children, clergy, and especially, the lover�s spouse be informed.
Exposure


"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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From Mr. W2S:

I don't really know the extent to which they communicate. He has been divorced for a while, so there is no wife on the other side.

She is already very angry because I told her we need to expose the relationship.

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She doesn't have to agree to exposure.


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
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Will she agree to end all contact with him? How far has this gone? Have they slept together?


"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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MrW, here is an article that explains your current dilemma:

Originally Posted by Dr Harley
Since an affair usually creates emotional distance between spouses, lovers describe their increasing dissatisfaction with their marriages. They talk about how incompatible they are in marriage and how compatible they are with each other. The addiction they have for each other turns the relationship into a passion that makes an eternal relationship with each other an absolute necessity. Many would rather commit suicide together than to return to their horrible spouses.

That's not to say that they do not show compassion for their spouses. In fact, they usually express their guilt to each other for the pain they cause their families. But if either of them would talk about how much they loved their spouses, and how happy they were in their marriage, the conversation would tend not to deposit very many love units. Instead, they compare each other with their spouses in a most favorable light, saying that they wish they had known each other before they were married, and that they are perfect for each other. Such expressions of admiration deposit carloads of love units.
Coping with Infidelity: Part 1
How Do Affairs Begin?


"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

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From Mr. W2S: (I don't think Mrs. W2S will be on any time soon)
This morning my wife accidentally replied to an entire facebook group detailing our pending divorce and our lack of sexual relations over the past few months.
This kind of outed our problem, so people are talking about it now.

I also talked to some of our family and friends about her attraction for the other guy. She is very angry at me now and says she hates me.

She does not want me to talk to the kids about anything and made me talk to a psychologist friend of ours about the scarring effects of subjecting children to our marriage problems. Our kids are 5 and 8 and may be too young to understand our situation.

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