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#2446587 11/26/10 06:21 PM
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My story is a little different to most. For a start this whole thing has happened within the space of a matter of weeks. My wife confessed to me only this Sunday (11/21).

My wife and I have been married for 9.5 years and have 5 beautiful children (4 of our own plus my wife's nephew who we have raised since birth). Our marriage has always been a source of pride for both of us. The sex has been great, and we were both very much in love.

It had been a plan for a while for us to migrate to my wife's home country (in South America) to build a business and live life in the sun together. The plan was for my wife to go first with the kids and then I would follow several months later after resolving loose ends at work and with our home.

We have only been apart since 10/15 and spoke every day either by phone or on Skype. We even had webcam sex on several occasions.

Nothing could have forewarned me about the following events. Basically my wife called me on Sunday (11/21) as normal and we spoke. But I could sense there was something up. She confessed to me that she had become friendly with a man over there. SHe told me that he reminded her of me. She thought they could be friends and even invited him round to the house to chat and to play with our kids. She told me she was lonely and vulnerable without me and just wanted some company around the place. However it was obvious the guy was after more than just friendship. She had plenty of warning signs but didn't pay them any attention.

To cut a short story even shorter she invited him round to the house on Saturday evening (11/20), to talk and put him straight. She says she doesn't really know what happened next as it all happened so fast, but basically she found herself on the floor with him on top of her. Just as he had penetrated her she heard a voice in her head asking if this was really what she was throwing her marriage away for her. She immediately got up and told him to leave, which he did.

This is her version of events. She told me this on Sunday, so less than 24 hours after it happened. She told me she wants no more contact with him, and, even though he has called several times she will not answer her phone.

According to my wife, this was never her intention. She wouldn't dream of hurting me and the last thing she would want is to risk our marriage.

But can I believe her? Although things happened fast on the actual night, she had been friends with him for several weeks before and had admitted that she felt a connection to him. This has completely turned my world upside down. I would never have even dreamed that my wife could betray me like this. There were no tell-tale signs, nothing that would warn me that this might happen. She tells me she is in shock herself. She can't believe what she has done and claims she is full of remorse over her actions. She says that her emotions were all over the place (just finished her period) and she was just looking for someone to hug/connect with.

I don't want our marriage to fall apart over one mistake but can I trust her again? I don't want our kids just to become the next victims of a broken home. My confidence is completely shattered right now. I can't concentrate at work and burst into tears when at home. I want to believe her but the trust is gone.

The worst thing of all is that she is still on the other side of the world from me right now. I am considering speeding up my move to join her and the kids before the new year; how can I trust her when I am so far away? But is this a wise move so soon? It is less than a week since all these events took place.

Right now it doesn't seem like the pain will ever go away, but I know I want to make our marriage work. I've put too much of my energy and love into this relationship for it to be over just like that.

Any advice?

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Welcome to Marriage Builders, dutchcourage. Sorry you have to be here.

In a nutshell, understand something: your story is not different. You have a wayward wife. Where she is is immaterial. Like waywards from the beginning of time, your WW has been missing something in your M for a while. She was away from you and found an opportunity to get that missing thing. She found someone who was willing to give her attention that she needed. She was able to pursue this because the two of you were apart, which should never happen with a married couple. Can you get down there ASAP? Your W is now wayward.

How fast can you get down there? Tomorrow? LEAVE YOUR HOUSE IF YOU HAVE TO.

Have you read anything on this site?

Last edited by maritalbliss; 11/26/10 07:31 PM.

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Originally Posted by dutchcourage
I don't want our marriage to fall apart over one mistake but can I trust her again? I don't want our kids just to become the next victims of a broken home. My confidence is completely shattered right now. I can't concentrate at work and burst into tears when at home. I want to believe her but the trust is gone.

The worst thing of all is that she is still on the other side of the world from me right now. I am considering speeding up my move to join her and the kids before the new year; how can I trust her when I am so far away? But is this a wise move so soon? It is less than a week since all these events took place.

Dutch, I am sorry this has happened to you. frown Welcome to Marriage Builders.

The answer to your question is that you shouldn't trust again. It was too much trust that led to this sad state of affairs. Instead of worrying about gaining trust, you should be focused on moving to be with her ASAP. And that means going there to be with her so this doesn't happen again. You should not trust her until you are living with her again and spending every night with her again. Living apart like this is an INVITATION to an affair. It is not a lack of trust that ruins marriages, but a lack of protective boundaries.

Originally Posted by Dr Harley
When a couple spend their leisure-time away from each other, it is not only a breeding ground for an affair, but it can also be another clue to an affair. That's especially true when a spouse doesn't want the other to be present at their favorite activity. I counseled a man who went fishing every summer for a week with his friends, wives not invited. But they did invite a secretary from work who cooked their meals (and had sex with them all) during the trip.

Anything that takes one spouse away from the other overnight is an invitation for an affair. But when an opposite-sex co-worker tends to join a spouse on business trips, red flags should be flying in all directions. Any evidence that this relationship is anything more than pure business is, from my perspective, a gigantic clue that an affair might be in progress. That's also the case if a spouse and opposite-sex co-worker spend a great deal of time working together.

We are all wired to have an affair. We can all fall in love with someone of the opposite sex if that person meets one of our emotional needs. If you don't think it can happen to you because of your conviction or will-power, you are particularly vulnerable to an affair. And if you think your spouse would never have an affair, you are also vulnerable.

Look what happened to poor Kathy Lee Gifford. She stated publicly and wrote in one of her books that she trusted her husband completely, that he would never cheat on her. But she should not have trusted her husband. If she would have taken the steps she is now taking to help him avoid another affair, the first would never have taken place, and she would have avoided all its pain and embarrassment. I don't trust my wife completely and she doesn't trust me, and that's why neither of us have ever had an affair. Lack of trust does not make spouses paranoid and miserable, it makes their marriages safe.
Coping With Infidelity

You CAN recover your marriage, if you diligently follow these guidelines:

Originally Posted by Dr Harley
The plan I recommend for recovery after an affair is very specific. That's because I've found that even small deviations from that plan are usually disastrous. But when it's followed, it always works. The plan has two parts that must be implemented sequentially. The first part of the plan is for the unfaithful spouse to completely separate from the lover and eliminate the conditions that made the affair possible. The second part is for the couple to create a romantic relationship, using my Basic Concepts as a guide. here

I'll describe these two parts to you in a little more detail.

The first step, complete separation from the lover and eliminating the conditions that made the affair possible, requires a complete understanding of the affair. All information regarding the affair must be revealed to the betrayed spouse, including the name of the lover, the conditions that made the affair possible (travel, internet, etc.), the details of what took place during the affair, all correspondence, and anything else that would shed light on the tragedy.

This information is important for two reasons: (1) it creates accountability and transparency, making it essentially impossible for the unfaithful spouse to continue the affair or begin a new one unnoticed, and (2) it creates trust for the betrayed spouse, providing evidence that the affair is over and a new one is unlikely to take its place. The nightmares you experience are likely to continue until you have the facts that
will lead to your assurance that your husband can be trusted.

An analysis of the wayward spouse's childhood or emotional state of mind in an effort to discover why he or she would have an affair is distracting and unnecessary. It takes precious time away from finding the real solutions. I know why people have affairs: We are all wired for it. Given certain conditions, we would all do it. Given other conditions, however, none of us would do it. So the goal of the first step is to discover the conditions that made the affair possible and eliminate them.

After the first step is completed, the second step is to create a romantic relationship between you and your husband using my 10 Basic Concepts here
as your guide. While your relationship may be improving, it won't lead to a romantic relationship because you are not being transparent toward each other. Unspoken issues in a marital relationship lead to a superficiality that ruins romance.
here


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The solution is to eliminate the conditions that made the affair possible [your separation] and repair the marriage by creating a romantic marriage. The post affair marriage has to be recreated into something much better than pre-affair lest you will just end up with a crippled version of your pre-affair marriage.


"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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Originally Posted by Dr Harley on the subject of trust
One topic is loss of trust. How can a spouse ever trust an unfaithful partner again? My answer is that the spouse should never have been trusted in the first place. I shouldn't be trusted by my wife, and I shouldn't trust her. The fact is that we are all wired for infidelity, and under certain conditions, we'll all do it. The way to protect your marriage from something that has been common to man (and women) for thousands of years is to recognize the threat, and do something to prevent it from happening. Basing a marriage on the Policy of Radical Honesty and the Policy of Joint Agreement goes a long way toward preventing an affair. Being each other's favorite leisure-time companions, and not being away from each other overnight are also important safety measures. Meeting each other's most important emotional needs, avoiding Love Busters and building an integrated lifestyle, free of secret second lives, are all ways to affair-proof your marriage. With these measures in place, we end up trusting our spouses because an affair becomes almost impossible to achieve.
Coping With Infidelity Part 4


"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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Thanks for the encouragement.

Maybe I am still in shock, or just being naive, but I really do believe her when she tells me she didn't want this to happen. She says that she missed my presence and affection and attention, and was caught out at a vulnerable time. She felt hopeless because there was no definite timeframe of us being reunited.

I'm not making excuses for her, as it remains a deep betrayal of our marriage vows, but I do believe she is sincere and wants this to work.

I have to finish off at my work, but I am booked to fly over there on 12/23. Is this too late? I know the next few weeks will be a torture for me.

Am I being too understanding and forgiving too soon?

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Originally Posted by dutchcourage
Thanks for the encouragement.

Maybe I am still in shock, or just being naive, but I really do believe her when she tells me she didn't want this to happen. She says that she missed my presence and affection and attention, and was caught out at a vulnerable time. She felt hopeless because there was no definite timeframe of us being reunited.

I am sure she didn't want it to happen. She was probably flirting with him and he pushed her to have sex with him. But she set the stage and allowed another man to meet her needs. He has been courting her and they have been having an emotional affair. It advanced to a physical affair and she is just a little scared.

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I'm not making excuses for her, as it remains a deep betrayal of our marriage vows, but I do believe she is sincere and wants this to work.

I believe her too. But her sincerity is not enough to stop the affair. It was not enough to stop her from having an emotional affair. The affair has now taken a big step in a new direction and will probably go further now unless it is stopped. She is scared that is jumped this fast, but once she gets over the shock, she will miss the affection and companionship he has been offering her. I expect her to invite him back once the shock has worn off and the loneliness sets back in.

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I have to finish off at my work, but I am booked to fly over there on 12/23. Is this too late?

It probably will be too late. The affair has advanced to a new level and it will likely continue until you are there to stop it. OR if she comes back to be with you.

Quote
Am I being too understanding and forgiving too soon?

Yes. There is nothing TO forgive at this point. Forgiveness should be earned. That is in both your best interests.


"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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Originally Posted by dutchcourage
Am I being too understanding and forgiving too soon?
Coming from someone who has been in your shoes yes, it is too soon. You can talk to her about what happened in a non confrontational way but there is no way you can begin the healing process until you are there with her face to face. Read everything you can on this site and listen to the vets. They can help you though this. I wish I had found this site 4 years ago.


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D-day #2 10/2008 (denied by XWH)
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Sorry to say as long as WW lives there close to OM whether you are there or not there will always be the chance for this affair to restart.

That's why there must be NC, no contact for life. Can't have NC down there with the OM living close to WW.

You want to recover this marriage then you have to get WW to move back home to here.

WW complains tell the about the need for NC and that her actions polluted that place.

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So sorry this happened to you, Dutch.

You wife may very well be sincere that she wasn't seeking to have an affair.

But her interactions with this man felt good to her in various ways and were filling a void. She continued to go back for a little more and a little more of the fix, likely not intending for it to progress to the point it did. Being physical with this man quite probably crossed her mind before it happened, yet she probably told herself that she wouldn't allow it to escalate to anything physical.

Just like she's telling you now that she won't allow it to continue.

Part of her knows she shouldn't allow it to continue. Part of her doesn't want it to continue. And she is likely very sincere. But a fix is a fix.

What you have to remember is that she doesn't have the necessary boundaries, the necessary tools in place yet to successfully end this affair the way it needs to be ended.

Get your tush down there now!

How will you feel if part of her succumbs to another fix to fill the void she still has?

Your wife did a good by sharing the truth with you. It is her cry for help. It sounds like she very much wants to do the right thing. But she doesn't yet have the necessary tools, and she is on her own.

She may be willing to call the MB Coaching Center herself first thing Monday morning, but if she doesn't, you most certainly should:
http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi7020_sched.html


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Thanks for the support everyone. It feels good to be able to talk about this.

Its not that simple for me to get down there right now. When I go it will be for good and there is so much i have to arrange here first. My fear is that by the time I get there it will be too late.

She is blocking her feelings right now, she says she can't deal with the shame and disgrace, and has to stay busy to cope (not difficult with 5 small children in the house).

She is receiving counselling at her church (we are both Christians) but has a LOT of baggage from her past. Abuse, neglect, rape. Blocking her hurt has been her way of dealing with things.

As for me, I am at a very low ebb just now. Believe me, if I could be there tomorrow I would. I am so paranoid right now. I do believe her when she says she is sorry, I want to believe her when she says she will not allow this to happen again, but its so difficult.

She is going to be away from the home all day today (with the kids at her home village). Right now, if I can't see exactly where she is I fear the worst.

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Originally Posted by dutchcourage
Thanks for the support everyone. It feels good to be able to talk about this.

Its not that simple for me to get down there right now. When I go it will be for good and there is so much i have to arrange here first. My fear is that by the time I get there it will be too late.

She is blocking her feelings right now, she says she can't deal with the shame and disgrace, and has to stay busy to cope (not difficult with 5 small children in the house).

She is receiving counselling at her church (we are both Christians) but has a LOT of baggage from her past. Abuse, neglect, rape. Blocking her hurt has been her way of dealing with things.

As for me, I am at a very low ebb just now. Believe me, if I could be there tomorrow I would. I am so paranoid right now. I do believe her when she says she is sorry, I want to believe her when she says she will not allow this to happen again, but its so difficult.

She is going to be away from the home all day today (with the kids at her home village). Right now, if I can't see exactly where she is I fear the worst.

This is why you get the kids and WW on the plane headed back home today. NC must be forever. WW must be moved away from OM.

Why do you think your head is about to explode?

WW is to close to the OM.

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Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Yes. There is nothing TO forgive at this point. Forgiveness should be earned. That is in both your best interests.

Dutch, ML has given you a lot of good advice and information, but allow me as one Christian brother to another, disagree with this statement. Forgiveness is NEVER earned, it is given. It is commanded by God when a sinner repents and seeks your forgiveness.

What is EARNED is the right to be trusted. That is not the same thing as forgiveness.

If you want to discuss recovery from a Biblical perspective, I will by happy to discuss it further with you. Since you don't know me, let me just say that my wife and I are now recovered from her 6-year long affair. We did so with the help of MB ideas, but primarily by counseling that was focused on being obedient to the Word of God regardless of what we might be "feeling" at any given time.



Originally Posted by dutchcourage
Thanks for the support everyone. It feels good to be able to talk about this.

Its not that simple for me to get down there right now. When I go it will be for good and there is so much i have to arrange here first. My fear is that by the time I get there it will be too late.

Timing for your departure is what it is. Just understand that there are many things you cannot do until you are actually present with your wife. Stay in daily contact with her in the meantime.



Originally Posted by dutchcourage
She is blocking her feelings right now, she says she can't deal with the shame and disgrace, and has to stay busy to cope (not difficult with 5 small children in the house).

Of course she is blocking her feelings. She KNOWS she committed the worst possible sin against God and your marriage that she could do. That is tough to deal with. You can help her a little in that are simply by reminding her that we are all sinners and we are all in need of God's forgiveness.



Originally Posted by dutchcourage
She is receiving counselling at her church (we are both Christians) but has a LOT of baggage from her past. Abuse, neglect, rape. Blocking her hurt has been her way of dealing with things.

That's a good thing that she is receiving counseling, but there is a world of difference between individual counseling and MARITAL counseling. Circumstances right now predicate that her getting some counseling on her own is a good "stop gap," but once you are there, there should be NO individual counseling. YOU must be present at all counseling sessions that you will both know everything that is said and discussed. It will be difficult, especially at first, but it is ESSENTIAL.

Counseling, psychological, for abuse, neglect, and rape is NEEDED. You may want to consider a professional Psychiatrist who for that sort of counseling, at least in addition to marital counseling for the adultery.



Originally Posted by dutchcourage
As for me, I am at a very low ebb just now. Believe me, if I could be there tomorrow I would. I am so paranoid right now. I do believe her when she says she is sorry, I want to believe her when she says she will not allow this to happen again, but its so difficult.

Would you care for a link to my first couple of posts from 8.5 years ago when I was in your shoes? If so, let me know and I'll get you the link to the posts. IF you choose to read them, understand that I was just as raw as you are today, but that now my wife and I recovered from her 6-year long affair. Recovery is not only possible, it is guaranteed IF you are both willing to humble yourselves before God and DO what tells you do.

This is certainly a time when you will both be "forced" to examine your faith and what being submissive to God really means. It is time when you will both examine just what it really means to be a Christian.



Originally Posted by dutchcourage
She is going to be away from the home all day today (with the kids at her home village). Right now, if I can't see exactly where she is I fear the worst.

It might not help much, but that fear is normal and is something that you will simply have to chose to endure for now. It is a fear that will take a long time to "go away" and will likely never go completely away. But there will be a time when you can have a thought of fear along those lines and be able to reject the fear because you will have rebuilt your marriage and have had enough time pass that you KNOW she will not cheat again. THAT will have a lot to with your and your wife's daily relationship with God as a part of your lives and not just as a "nice thing to have."

Keep posting. You NEED the support and place to talk about things, both now and especially when you leave the country and are united with your wife.

God bless.


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This is why you get the kids and WW on the plane headed back home today. NC must be forever. WW must be moved away from OM.

Why do you think your head is about to explode?

WW is to close to the OM.

I wish it was this simple. They are half way around the world. For them to come back now is going to cost more than 6,000 EUR that we just do not have.

That is what is eating me inside. I know that we cannot hope to reconcile until we are together, despite it being what we both want (I believe her when she tells me she only wants me, that she only ever wanted me). She suspicion and lack of trust will remain until we are under the same roof, and most likely for a long time after.

The next four weeks are going to be torture. I have to bring this to God and pray for her and the kids. Only He can bring us together now.

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Dutch, why did your wife move to the particular city she's in? Does she have family there?

Has she told her family about her affair?


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Originally Posted by ForeverHers
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Yes. There is nothing TO forgive at this point. Forgiveness should be earned. That is in both your best interests.

Dutch, ML has given you a lot of good advice and information, but allow me as one Christian brother to another, disagree with this statement. Forgiveness is NEVER earned, it is given. It is commanded by God when a sinner repents and seeks your forgiveness.

Fortunately, there is a way to forgive that helps the marriage and meets our Christian obligation to forgive. [a reminder to Foreverhers that this poster is here for Marriage Builders and we need to stick to that] Dr Harley explains it here:

Originally Posted by Dr Harley
Forgiveness is something I believe in with all my heart. I forgive others and have been forgiven many times. God wants us all to be forgiving just as he has forgiven us.

And, as you have noticed, when you don't forgive someone, it can "eat you up." It's not healthy to keep resentment bottled up inside of you.

The vast majority of couples I counsel who have been through the horror of an affair, have better marriages after the affair than before. It's because the affair jolts them into recognizing the need for building an affair-proof marriage, and the safety precautions they use help them create compatibility and love. But has the offended spouse forgiven the offender in these marriages? Yes and no.

First let's try to understand what forgiveness is. One illustration is telling a person who owes you $10,000 that he won't have to pay you back. You "forgive" the debt. In other words, forgiveness is eliminating a obligation of some sort.

<snip>
I'm in favor of forgiveness in many situations, but this isn't one of them. In the case of infidelity, compensation not only helps the offended spouse overcome the resentment he or she harbors, but the right kind of compensation helps restore the relationship and prevents the painful act from being repeated.

In most cases, an offended spouse would be stupid to forgive the wayward spouse without just compensation. It's like forgiving a friend of the $10,000 he owes you, when it's actually in the friend's best interest to pay you in full because it would teach him how to be more responsible with money.

As it turns out, in every affair there is a way to adequately compensate the offended spouse that is good for the offender and good for the marriage. At first, the offended spouse may not want to be compensated. He or she may try to get as far away from the offender as possible to avoid further pain. But if the spouse asks for forgiveness along with a willingness to compensate, the offended spouse is usually willing to entertain the proposal.


Can't We Forgive and Forget?


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Originally Posted by dutchcourage
[That is what is eating me inside. I know that we cannot hope to reconcile until we are together, despite it being what we both want (I believe her when she tells me she only wants me, that she only ever wanted me). She suspicion and lack of trust will remain until we are under the same roof, and most likely for a long time after.

The next four weeks are going to be torture. I have to bring this to God and pray for her and the kids. Only He can bring us together now.

Can you not go there now? One thing I think you and your wife should do ASAP is expose this affair to your children and any close friends and family who are there with her. It should be exposed to anyone who can hold her accountable. I would get the kids on the phone and tell them about the affair, explain that OM is a bad man and that they are to call you if he comes around.


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How old are your kids and your nephew?


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Posts: 13
Thank you so much ForeverHers. Your words are exactly what I need to hear right now.

I believe I have been complacent with my marriage and have not thought to cover my wife in prayer, as it seemed so natural that we would be together forever.

It is now I am beginning to realise that our marriage has been brought about through God's grace, and that only through His grace will it be reconciled.

The funny thing is my prayer life has become so much better, and I feel so much closer to God since this happened.

We definitely need marriage counselling and that will be one of the first things to arrange when I get over there. Would you recommend a specialist marriage counsellor or it is more important for the counsellor to be a Christian, although not necessarily specialised in relationships?

I wholeheartedely agree with you statement that forgiveness of my wife is a MUST. How can I expect to be forgiven if I cannot forgive others. My wife knows I have forgiven her already. The last thing I would want is for her salvation to be at risk. That is more important to me now than even our marriage.

Thank you brother.

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 13
D
Junior Member
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Junior Member
D
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 13
DeltaDriveDeceit:
Quote
Dutch, why did your wife move to the particular city she's in? Does she have family there?

Has she told her family about her affair?

It was always our plan to move there, but we were taking it in stages. That is why she moved first with the kids. I went there initially with them to help them get settled in and make sure they were OK, but work commitments meant I had to come back. I realise now that this was a stupid mistake.

She does have some family there, although most of her family are over here.

No, she is too ashamed to tell her family. She had spoken to them about the friendship she had with this OM and they had warned her of the danger she was getting into. It seems I was the last to know about him.

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