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#2318054 02/04/10 12:39 PM
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Dear Dr. Harley,

I am reading your books and they have been indeed a blessing, especially because I can see all the mistakes I have made in my relationship with my wife. Since I like so much your insights (you get always to the point), I need your more precise advice.

I have been living together with my wife for 9 years now. We married (religiously only) for 4 years ago. We have a son and he is 3 and half years old. For everyone who knows us, we are just a perfect couple; university education, full of life, kind to each other, etc. In the past, my wife had an affair with a ex-lover 11 years ago when she was first married. In the beginning when her and I got together everything was great and beautiful beween us, in all areas. To me (and she told me the same) I had encountered the woman of my life. But then, since the end of our 4th year, we have several discussions and fights (disrespectful judgments, angry outbursts). I didn't understand why; it seemed that everything I did was wrong. She started the fights, said things so hard to hear. I felt lost. I looked after for therapy to know what was going on with me. In the beginning of the 5th year I left home due to her psychological abuse (disrespectful judgments, irony, mocking, angry outbursts); I couldn't put together the woman I married to that one; it was as if she hated me. I asked if by any chance she had entered into contact with that guy again. She said it was my paranoia, that she only remembered that guy existed when I mentioned him. Eventually in the beginning of the 5th year I left home, due to the humiliations I suffered. We stayed apart for 3 months, and in May, she visited me in my birthday and in the evening of that day invited me to our old place (where she was living then) and the night was great and since then all things started to become very good; she was increasingly passionate, affectionate, etc.).

We decide to marry. The month would be December of 2005. In August we discovered that we were pregnant. Everything was great. And then, in the end of October, I discovered that in the year before until when we separated she had an affair with the same lover she had in the other marriage (I saw several emails and chats where she and him declared their love for each other in many passionate ways). When I discovered I felt terrible. I told her (we were in the first months of pregnancy) that I would assume fully and completely our son, but that I would not marry someone who loved another man. She cried, she asked me for forgiveness and told me that the passion for this guy was a kind of enfermity she had and she was cured now of that guy (her therapist had helped her perceiving that). She wrote an email to him declaring that he was an illusion and that I was the man of her life (exactly in those words). She also asked for my forgiveness for all the fights we had in the past; she said she had started because she needed a reason to separate from me, asn since everyone we know liked me, how could she would give any reasons for the separation? The only way was to make our life miserable and say that we had separated because of the many fights. After a couple of days, we talked and I said to her that I was willing to forgive her, but she would have to tell me honestly if I was the guy and not him. What if he appears? She told me that I was the man she loved. I told her to think well and carefully, to not play with again with my feelings and my life, and asked her she was serious about what she said that she really wanted lo live the rest of her life married to me. She said a resounding Yes. We married.

Our married life was great, we were in love as ever, and we felt very happy. And then, since May of this year I started to feel that she was a bit distant. I asked her about. Nothing, she said. And then things improved again. Everything was fine. In the end of September of this year I discovered due to a lapse on her part that she had recorded a recent photo of that same guy in her computer. I told her about, feeling depleted, profoundly sad. She asked for forgiveness and said that we were in a crisis. I told her that in the last months everything was great; she must have been in a crisis then. How could she managed that, to fake that everything was OK? She wanted to get out of the marriage. I have no hope anymore, she said. Hope doesn't disappear like that, why did'nt you tell me what was going on, I asked. Yes, I should have, she replied. Since we are Christian, I proposed and she agreed that we would have a time to wait upon God, for Him to tell us what He wants us to do. Since then until now, she is distant, afar, there is no initiative of her part to say or do something affectionate. We have sex once in a while, but most of the times (with some good exceptions) she makes sure that I perceive that she isn't like it (like turning her face, don't wanting to come, etc.)

I got your book (after reading you counseling in your site), and I have perceived many of my mistakes during the entire process. I know that she had her lot too, but as far as I am understanding you, I have to be responsible for my actions. I quit the demands, the disrespectful judgments, and angry outbursts. The most common were the first two. In her case the last two are the most common. I am willing to deposit as much love units as I can, since I believe in your analysis and think that if I stop the habit of love busters (stop the draining) and respect and deal with her considering her emotional needs, in time her love will rise. I really need patience (Oh, Lord, give me that right now!... just kidding).

Please, Dr. Harley, it is painful for someone who is still in love hear from his wife that she doesn't feel the desire to kiss, or to make love, and that something inside her has turned off. Is there still hope?

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Mel, where are you on this one?

Honestly man, living before marriage is a killer. If you are the "strong" dominering christian type, that isn't love either. Stay tuned, you will get more than you bargained for here, not always easy to digest either, especially if you have a small ego that gets bruised.

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Originally Posted By: GLima
I have been living together with my wife for 9 years now.


Quote:
In the past, my wife had an affair with a ex-lover 11 years ago when she was first married.


Can you clarify how your relationship began? Was she married when you met her?

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Originally Posted By: GLima
Dear Dr. Harley,



Please, Dr. Harley, it is painful for someone who is still in love hear from his wife that she doesn't feel the desire to kiss, or to make love, and that something inside her has turned off. Is there still hope?


Glima, is she having an affair? Has she said "I love you but I am not in love with you?"

Secondly, Dr Harley does not answer posts here. He does work with the couples who go to his weekend seminar. His son, Steve Harley, and daughter, Dr Jennifer Chalmers, do phone coaching. They are trained by Dr Harley. If you want to get coaching, click on the link at the top of the page and make an appointment.


"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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I do not think that I am the "strong"domineering Christian type. Why did you say that living before marriage is a killer? Regard the advice and counsel I can get here; I am ready for them, especially if they are made as I am sure they will in love and looking after the greater good. I do not have problem with my ego bruised: it is already too damaged... smile WHat I have to say is that I want good advice, even if it means I have to deal with pain.

Thanks.

GLima

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Melody,

First, I addressed the post to Dr. Harley because I thought that was the way to do. What I wanted is to participate of the Forum and receive counsels from anyone kindly willing to give.

Regarding your questions. Yes, she did have an affair with her ex-lover while she was in the other marriage before me. And with me, she did have an affair with the same person again (I discovered copies of emails and chats they exchanged that she had saved where they exchange love promises, etc. very hard and painful staff for a husband to read). She told me at that time that it was thing of the past (1 year after the discovery and indeed there were some evidences in the text that pointed out i that direction. Nevertheless, this affair happened during our time living together as husband and wife. I as mentioned, we married officially 4 years ago, and recently I discovered a photo oh the same guy in her computer. How did I discover it? I was talking to her through Skype and suddenly it appeared in the place where her photo was supposed to be, his photo. I know him, since he was my student in a Master Program. And the photo was recent. I called her by phone and asked her to see her Skype. When she did, she was silent, and asked that if we could talk later at home. I agreed and later that night we talked, she asked me to forgive her for the suffering she was causing me again, and added that we were in a crisis. I reacted saying that I would accept that she was in crisis, but before that there was no reason for me to suppose that there were a crisis, and therefore an issue of deception was also established. We agreed that we would pray so that the Lord would guide to what would be the better for both of us (that could mean separation or a miracle, re-structuring our relationship in a new base), that our life of husband and wife would continue (sex) with mutual consent. Nevertheless, after sensing her coldness and things such as turning the face, and not showing desire to kiss anymore, I asked her what was going on and she repeatedly told me that she didn't have any desire for me or need to have sex with me, that she was doing that just because she understood that I had that need. This was devastating and I tried to converse and see if a decent and respectful way was possible for our living together until the Lord would tell us what He wanted. She agrees, but in the first opportunity she doesn't lose a chance to humiliate saying and repeating that she has no need and no desire. Why did you say it was OK?, I usually asked. You could simply say no, I don't want it! I have never forced you to do anything. She says nothing. I think she love making me miserable. Recently I stopped asking her for sex, since I realized that I would not exchange sex for lack of respect. And that is where we are now.

One additional info that may be crucial. We went to see Up in the Air with George Cloney, and while we were watching she was saying all the time: That's is the real life! and Ryan Binghan, Cloney's role, says that you should throw away all the significant relationships, because we are sharks, not swans, she laughed. Two days later, when I confronted her that she was acting immaturely, not taking responsibility for life choices that she had made, she said: I have to think about myself. I said: Am I a lousy husband, a lousy lover, a louse father (we have a three year old boy)? She said: No,, you aren't; I just think that relationship is over. And our family, our three year old son? She replied: I have to think about myself, and our son will not be the the first kid to have separated parents! I was astonished, and told her, My love (and said her name) are you still there? Or are you unreachable? Where is the woman I married? Is it possible to takk to that person, or is she gone, and is this other person that I do not know which is so impregnated with the values of the market that is going to take over from now on? What can I do to help you? Is it Ok with you if I pray? She could just have said: No, not now, please. Instead, she took the blanket, the pillow and went to the library, to sleep. That's my life now.

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Hi NervousNewbie,

When she had an affair with that guy she was married about 11 to 12 years ago. They finished their affair and it took 1 year or 1 year and a half for her to separate from her husband. When I met her (I was teaching a master course where she was a student) she was in this process of separation. We have been living together for 9 years and a bit now (official marriage 4 years ago).

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So you dated a married woman.

Now you wonder why she cheated on you.

Why marry a woman that already had two affairs?

WW needs IC to fix herself. She needs to learn that affairs do not solve anything before your marriage can recover.

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Hi TheRoad,

So, do you think this is God's vengeance on me because when we started seeing each other her official divorce was not our yet? Sometimes I think that is the case, but some people have advised me that The Lord is not like me, He is mature, and if I have repented, it may transform my situation into blessing.

Nevertheless, I wonder that, as you say, the signs were already there. Perhaps because I was in love I sow only the promises we made to each other that we were the man and women of each other's life.

The fact however is: we are married, I have no cheated her, and we have this situation. Is there, in your understanding a possibility of a miracle, where we could re-start our marriage in a new basis, or no: we have to pay for errors of the past?

Can you tell me what IC means? You told that she needs IC to fix herself.

Thanks for you comments and your time. I would appreciate your reply and your prayers.

GLima

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I'm never one to throw God's name out there.

I have pointed out your prior poor judgements.

IC, indivivdual counseling. WW has problems. She is a serial cheater. She may be able to fix this problems with a good IC or not.

She will not be able to be a good wife until she stops using affairs to self medicate herself.

You need IC also as to why you thought it was acceptable to have an affair. Then to figure out why you thought it would be good to marry a woman that changes men like underware.

I'm not against you recovering your marriage. It's just that it being an affairriage it made it a weak and unstable building because of it's poor foundation.

IC is needed to repair the foundation. Some buildings are to far gone to be rebuilt, some can.

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Melody,

I was reading you reply again. You asked what she said about loving me or not. In the past (about 5 years ago), when we separated for a couple of months, before the separation she said that she didn't feel anymore love for me, that something inside her had turned off (later I knew the reason). Now she is saying basically the same thing, that she didn't feel anymore any feeling of love for me, that she could have me as a good friend, partner, etc. And that she doesn't want to have sex with me, but she would be willing to do so, because I may need it. And when that happens, sometimes she is responsive, sometimes she is static, and then usually an argument starts and the thing ends right there.

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Hi TheRoad,

Sorry, it seems that I read too much in your answer. I apologize for that.

Just one correction: when she told me about the affair that she had before, I read that as a good sign; I thought that she was pointing out that she was willing to be honesty and letting me know what happened. Other thing: I didn't think it was acceptable to have an affair. When I discovered that and cofronted her, she had that was something that happened almost a year ago to that date, and with the help of her therapy she had realized that he was an idealized love, therefore immature, an illusion, and she was free from it. At that time, she wrote him a email telling him that the feeling she had for him she had realized that it was an illusion, and that I was the man she loved and with whom she wanted to marry and to live forever. She sent me a copy of that email. It was on that basis that I forgave her and after several days, decided to give another chance to our marriage. But indeed, I agree with you she has a problem right there. And I do not think that in her therapy she deals with it. She is so centered in herself at this moment that she wants anything that would help her to go ahead into this road of destruction. She said in the past that everything was over about us, and when we came back, she was in love as ever.

Dear TheRoad, that is why I want and I hope to see change. However, it seems to me that is necessary a miracle (I have to see clear evidences that she has changed inside don't ask me how, I don't know yet.).

Thanks for your help and time.

GLima.

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GLima,

But you still participated in an affair by living with her while as you stated,

Quote:

When she had an affair with that guy she was married about 11 to 12 years ago. They finished their affair and it took 1 year or 1 year and a half for her to separate from her husband. When I met her (I was teaching a master course where she was a student) she was in this process of separation. We have been living together for 9 years and a bit now (official marriage 4 years ago).


So in other words, you started living with a married woman. I.E. you engaged in an affair.

You can explain it any way you wish, but most folks here will call that participating in your own affair. Most here subscribe to the idea that until your divorce is final, you are married. Therefore, she was a married woman, separating but still married, and by your own admission, in an affair with you.

What folks are trying to tell you is that if she'll break her vows to be with you, don't be shocked that she's broken her vows to you.

I know that doesn't offer any solace. It simply explains how most folks around here view marriage.

You had an affair with the woman who is now your wife. Accepting that will help you accept that your wife is once again, having an affair, and prepare you for the reality of the situation.

I feel sorry for the child that may have come from this train wreck.

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GLima you are in a very tough spot. You are in love. Read here some and you will learn alot. Sometimes what you learn really hurts and seams that you learn this a little to late . Then yyou may be puzzled as to how to put it altogether, when you started your relationship as you did. I am not putting you down in any way,shape or form,as my relationship is alot like yours. Hang in here you will learn alot. As you I was defending my relationship as I entered it not knowing what I know now. The trouble I have is putting or changing the things I have done wrong as it will destoy yet once again. Hang in there!!!!!!!!!!this is truely a great site.

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It's not God's vengeance, it simply a stupid and immoral choice on your part as to who chose to date and marry. This isn't punishment. She was going to do this to the next person she dated, and she's going to do it with the next person. This woman has obvious flaws and you ignored them. She's a serial cheater and relationship jumper. When the high wears off of a new relationship she seeks out another one.

And for future reference, married means married. Ask God if he gets caught up in the nuances of when it's okay to date a married woman.


Jim

BS - 32 (me)
FWW - 33
Married 8/31/03
No kids (but 3 cats)
D-Days - 8/25/06 (EA), 11/3/06 (PA)
NC agreed to - 11/8/06
NC broken - 11/28/06, 12/16/06, 1/18/07, 1/26/07, 1/27/07
Status - In Recovery
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NO, No, No.

She had separated, because in my country divorce happens (it is the law) only after one or two years of proved separation of the parts. And this process of separation has to be oficialized in the courts.

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Originally Posted By: GLima
NO, No, No.

She had separated, because in my country divorce happens (it is the law) only after one or two years of proved separation of the parts. And this process of separation has to be oficialized in the courts.


So in other words, she is not divorced until this period of mandatory separation.

Yes or no question, was she married when you two were living together.

Separated is still married. Married is still married until death of one of the spouses or until the divorce is final.

So yes or no question, was she still married when the two of you were living together.

You can try to spin this anyway you like. That spin will not fix your marriage. If you want to fix your marriage, you first have to be honest with yourself.

So yes or no, was she still married to her previous husband, even if she was legally or merely physically separated?

If the two of you could not legally marry on the day you started dating, living together, whatever, she was still married.

So be honest, what was her marital state, your choices are married or not-married. Separated=married, FWIW.

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Originally Posted By: GLima
NO, No, No.

She had separated, because in my country divorce happens (it is the law) only after one or two years of proved separation of the parts. And this process of separation has to be oficialized in the courts.


Yes, yes, yes.

She was still married. Don't ever date a woman who is "in the process of a divorce" ever again. It is only bad news as well as being immoral. You wonder why you are in the situation you are in, it's because you chose your mate poorly, and you chose her at a time she was being unfaithful to her current husband. Don't you see any red flags?!?


Jim

BS - 32 (me)
FWW - 33
Married 8/31/03
No kids (but 3 cats)
D-Days - 8/25/06 (EA), 11/3/06 (PA)
NC agreed to - 11/8/06
NC broken - 11/28/06, 12/16/06, 1/18/07, 1/26/07, 1/27/07
Status - In Recovery
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Dear dsd,

Indeed, I am in a very tough spot. I think that perhaps the ideal situation was to wait for two years until she was divorced...

But thanks for your non-judgemental attitude. The point is: I am married, I have a family with her. And it seems to me that perhaps the best way is to think what to do from here onwards. In the Bible there is a more striking case than mine: David had Bathsheba, and also send away her husband to be killed. That was really wrong. Nevertheless it is from the generation of David and Bathsheba that Jesus comes. It may mean that despite the wrong things of the past, the Lord can always turn that in a blessing, when there is genuine repentance. Don't you agree?

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My dear ENLIGHTENED,

What the difference does that make now. Let us say: YES, she was still married according to your parameters. How that would help me in the situation I am now?

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