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Hello everyone! I've been reading this site for about 6 months. I'd like to share my story as briefly as possible and would love some of your combined intuition and guidance moving forward. Here goes...

Quick background: Wife and I were together about 6 years, married a bit over 4. No kids. Religious family. Mostly good relationship, though I hadn't met some of her EN's for a few years. Just didn't realize the importance until things went down...

In August, my wife started an EA (which turned sexual very within a couple weeks) with a guy she barely knew 2 weeks from work, although I didn't know it at the time. She said she wanted to separate and stay at her brother's for a while to "think". To keep a long story short, my suspicions were aroused when she came home 10 days later saying she wanted a divorce (with a lot of negative embellishment about my shortcomings as a husband).

I confronted her a week later, and got her to admit to the affair. She came home less than two weeks later. She had formally filed for divorce 3 days before coming home. We were healing, though she stayed at her job, having moved her desk, and assured me there wasn't much chance for contact.

The next two months were probably the happiest of our lives. She said she was telling her mom and best friend that she was the happiest she'd ever been. I found a depth and beauty to her that I'd never known, and I was truly happy.

UNFORTUNATELY...

Then she started pulling back a bit around Thanksgiving. It worried me, but I figured as long as I stayed consistent, made good on the promises I'd made to her on my end as far as what I'd change about me that she needed, that she'd come around.

Most days were pretty good. We truly have that best friend quality to our relationship. We did everything together, enjoyed each other's company, didn't fight, and agree on almost everything.

Some days sucked, and she was acting in her own words "wishy-washy". After Christmas, things went really downhill. She started talking divorce again. By mid-January, I was worried, and then as I monitored the phone records, the suspicious texts had started again (they never talked on the phone, but were heavy texters the first time around).

I confronted her, got the whole "I can't live the rest of my life being monitored" and "you're too controlling" garbage, which this time I saw for what it was. She said she wanted a divorce, and I asked her to leave, since I knew that an affair was happening again. She denied of course, but fool me once... I knew the patterns of behavior to look for this time.

Now it gets really messed up...

We'd never cancelled the original divorce paperwork, just out of laziness, and because in our state, it goes away after a certain amount of time if nothing happens. I came to find out the she filed a notice of default on me in early December, since I'd never filed a response as she came back a few days after she filed the petition. I also saw in the court records that she'd had 3 default divorce appointments scheduled in January before she went through with the last one. A week after I kicked her out (nicely), we were divorced.

The day before, I went by the guy's house. Sure enough, there's her car outside. I exposed to her mother (who'd been mildly encouraging her to leave me without knowing all the facts of the first time around), and her best friend. Got some furious texts from my wife about how when this is over, she never wants to see or talk to me again, etc.

Oddly enough, two days later (the day after our divorce), she comes by to start going through furniture. She's hostile at the start. We relax as we start to the task, then start joking around a little. Then she asks me to lunch. I go, and while at the table, I said a few very kind words to her, and tears start pouring down her face.

I firmly believe that she doesn't know who she is or what she wants from life.

Since the divorce

We've done our taxes together recently. We spent 3 hours together wrapping them up the less than a week ago, and had a great time together, as much as it can be in light of what's happening. She finds reasons to text me about my future life plans (am I keeping the house or not, which she has no claim to or interest in, other than an emotional investment) and our pets that we both love.

I've been nothing but kind to her in all of our interactions. I've let her know I don't support her choices, that I care about her very much, and still love her deeply. I'm not needy when I interact. I'm very positive and optimistic about the future, and am already out meeting new people for friendship (no rebounds and nothing sexual). I'm not ready quite yet, but not opposed if a great woman comes along. Things are moving forward in my life, and I've subtlety let her know all these things.

Here's where I need to crowdsource some advice

I know there's a wealth of experience on these boards. I've recently read Surviving the Affair by Dr. Harley, and Private Lies by Frank Pittman (that I'd found discussed in this extremely helpful thread ). Both of these experts suggest that the type of affair that my ex-wife is involved in (the "soul mate", in love with being in-love affair) usually last less than 6 months after seeing the light of day. Dr. Pittman goes so far as to say that most BS's in this type of affair generally are given a chance to work through things once the affair dies out.

It's been 2 months. My life and future happiness don't hang on whether she comes back, though I believe she will. We were both truly the happiest we'd ever been, until she let the communication develop with the OP again. There's just too much good between us. We're truly best friends, and can say with a fairly clear head at this point that I still love her dearly.

My tactic since she's left has been not to initiate contact on my end, but respond kindly when she contacts me, which is roughly once a week these days. I figure my carrot and stick phase was when she came back to me. The day after she left, she came by and got some of her stuff, and told me that I'd been an "almost perfect husband", and that she loved me, but not in love, not attracted to me, etc., which I saw for what it was: fog talk.

Sorry that was long, but I like to be thorough. What advice can you all give to me? I'd like to work through this, but can't obviously while the affair's going on. I went by the guy's house again the other day, and she's still there. We don't talk about her affair at all when we interact. Do I just keep doing what I'm doing and wait for her to pull her head out of her butt, and let this thing die a natural death?

Last edited by AlreadyOver; 03/21/11 07:34 PM.
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You're divorced now and have no kids. Move on and let the cheated go. You have no marriage to save. I say this as someone who was in a similar situation. Once you are divorced it becomes very tough to get her back. Your best bet is to cut her off and not talk to her.

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I am new to this, so bear with me. But, how is it you consider her to be your best friend? She, potentially, put your life at risk with HIV etc.
I think you are best to move on. No kids. She is not a good person, IMO. You are just clinging to an illusion.
I am sorry for what you are going through.

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AlreadyOver,
Answer this question. What do you believe in your post is a action (not verbal talk) that your WW has taken to prove she is worthy of you? Your WW is a cakeater. She'll keep you hanging on as long as you keep allowing it.

Gg


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Originally Posted By: helpthelostdads
You're divorced now and have no kids. Move on and let the cheated go. You have no marriage to save. I say this as someone who was in a similar situation. Once you are divorced it becomes very tough to get her back. Your best bet is to cut her off and not talk to her.


I have no marriage to save technically, but I do have a relationship to save. This is such an atypical situation because of how quickly it went through since we never properly cancelled to original paperwork, which was a HUGE MISTAKE.

I can tell she's already having second thoughts and doubts, but unfortunately, we just don't have the state imposed waiting period this time. She went through with the divorce lightning quick in an effort to legitimize what she's doing in her mind.

Originally Posted By: LarsT
I am new to this, so bear with me. But, how is it you consider her to be your best friend? She, potentially, put your life at risk with HIV etc.
I think you are best to move on. No kids. She is not a good person, IMO. You are just clinging to an illusion.
I am sorry for what you are going through.


I appreciate the sympathies. I'm sure most people on here that have been the BS know that WS, while in the affair, is NOT the person they married. When they come out of the fog, they are though, and that person is my best friend.

Also, because we spent all of our time together, I know for a fact that it wasn't sexual with OM while she was with me. I also made her go get the full spectrum of tests before I would touch her when she came back the first time.

I will move on when I feel it is right to do so. But I don't feel that the time has come yet. I'm not putting all my eggs in her basket, let's just say that.

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Originally Posted By: gg615
AlreadyOver,
Answer this question. What do you believe in your post is a action (not verbal talk) that your WW has taken to prove she is worthy of you? Your WW is a cakeater. She'll keep you hanging on as long as you keep allowing it.

Gg


I think you're right. I'm aware of what she's doing by keeping contact open. She likes how I make her feel. The next little while here is going to be interesting. Now that taxes are done, there's really no reason to interact. I'm staying silent, and focusing on moving forward with what I gotta do to meet my goals in my life.

She's not doing a darn thing right now as far as actions to prove she's worthy. She's going to have to do a lot of work on herself if she wants me back. I simply am not hardening my heart toward the idea of working through this if she's willing to really do the work on her part this time.

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I see no harm in your holding out some hope, if that is what you want. How long will you stay on hold, though?

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That's one of the big things that I'm trying to figure out right now. As I mentioned in my first post, most experts I've read say that 6 months or less is how long these affairs typically last after exposure. It's been 2 months. I figure giving it another month or two makes sense. I would put money on betting that she tries to come back soon.

Until then, I'm doing my social thing. I'm strengthening ties with old friends and making new ones. It another woman comes along, the it's my WW's loss. I just feel like this thing hasn't played itself out yet. I'd like to explore reconciling when her affair crashes to the ground and she hits bottom...

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Sounds alright to me.It is only six months and you are young.

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Sorry you're here, AlreadyOver. It sounds like you're in a pretty healthy spot, though.

Unfortunately, your wife took more drastic action than many spouses--and from the sounds of it, I firmly believe she's going to come crawling back to you within a few months. At this point there is probably not much more you can do to kill the A... now that you're divorced, it's all "legit," more or less. She can do whatever she wants, and in effect it's not really an affair anymore, even though it started as one. Further exposure might not do a whole lot, and with something as drastic as divorce I'd expect all of your family and friends to know by now.

But it sounds like she's having serious second thoughts, and you can expect her to want you back soon. However--as long as she works with OM, she can NEVER be fully committed to you. And she's not worth your time, since she's already proven she can't resist OM when she has to see/interact with him at work daily.

I guess my recommendation is to really, truly think about what you want here. You were betrayed. Now divorced. Your ex-wife has shown herself to be selfish, rash, and dangerous. Do you want that woman back? If you do, leaving her job is an absolute requirement or you are setting yourself up for disaster. Further, she might still be "stuck in the middle" and trying to cake-eat as long as you're in the picture...you might be better off going to Plan B either way, otherwise you'll be stuck in limbo forever while she has her needs met by both of you.


BS: Me, 27
WS: Her, 24
EA: October
PA: 11/22/10
Moved out 12/3/10
Moved back in mid-January.

In tentative recovery. Is that the sun I see, breaking through the fog?
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Originally Posted By: AlreadyOver
I figure giving it another month or two makes sense. I would put money on betting that she tries to come back soon.

Until then, I'm doing my social thing. I'm strengthening ties with old friends and making new ones. It another woman comes along, the it's my WW's loss. I just feel like this thing hasn't played itself out yet. I'd like to explore reconciling when her affair crashes to the ground and she hits bottom...


This sounds like a good plan. It's what I would advise. Live your life, enjoy it. It's ok to be open to the possibility of reconciliation down the line.

Quote:
I'm sure most people on here that have been the BS know that WS, while in the affair, is NOT the person they married. When they come out of the fog, they are though, and that person is my best friend.


Of course, this is true. However there is one very LARGE flaw in the person you married that will HAVE to be remedied if you want a successful reconciliation.

The woman you married was open to and capable of having an affair.

You don't want to take back the woman she was before the affair. That woman was dangerous and destructive. If she just ends the affair that isn't enough. If she is the woman she was when you married her then she still has the capability of having an affair in your future and you will be right back where you are now.

She will need to be a woman who will never have an affair again, and someone who will install permanent boundaries to ensure that never happens again, regardless of who she is with.

So I would suggest you spend some time thinking. What does a woman like that look like? In what ways would your wife have to change in order to assure you that she will be incapable of a future affair, that she will not do it again?

Lip service isn't enough. Crying and tears aren't enough.

CHANGES TO BEHAVIOR will be enough.

What should those changes look like?

Incidentally those behaviors will be good to look for in any potential mate.

Good luck to you!


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AlreadyOver,

Let's review the data. She had an affair. She came back, BUT...she did not stop the divorce. She restarted the affair and unbeknowst to you proceded with the affair. She has done the taxes with you. She has moved what she wanted from your house.

From start to finish do you see a woman worth being married to or even being in a relationship with? Let's make this a more general question, if a friend of yours did this to you would you accept it and remain friends?

Your behavior of being kind to her when you do interact is a good thing. No need to make her an enemy.

However, AlreadyOver, you have recognized something very important. Your W has no boundaries, she failed to really communicate with you what she needed and her strategy for getting what she needed was not to talk with you but to go find another man.

Someone with these characteristics is not someone you should want to start a family with. Is not someone you should be willing you share your life with.

Now let's say she decided to quit eating her cake and having it to. And let's say she decided you were a better choice than the man she is shacking up with, should you take her back?

Answer: NO!

What she is you don't want back, what she was before the affair you don't want back. The issue is what has she become and that will take counseling, a complete change in perspective and that includes mindset and actions. Just coming back and saying "AlreadyOver, I messed up, it is you I love and you I want to spend my life with." Will not do. Those statements may be true...for today, but what about tomorrow, or next year, or next decade when somehow things are tough due to financial, medical, family issues? Who knows?

I understand your reluctance to walk away completely right now, but I do think you need to study your boundaries, what you expect from yourself and a spouse, and have a plan for what she must do in case you ever do get the speech that she loves you and wants to come back.

Meanwhile, move on with your life. Be with friends, go out with friends, develop hobbies if you don't have them, or do them if you do.

I will tell you that while you may love who you think she was, she was not that person before the affair, during the affairs, nor now.

Proceed with your life and lead it with the calmness you display in your posts. Finally, I would strongly encourage you to read the articles on this site. It will help you with your next relationship whether it is with your ex or someone new.

God Bless,

JL

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Originally Posted By: StuckWaiting
Sorry you're here, AlreadyOver. It sounds like you're in a pretty healthy spot, though.

Unfortunately, your wife took more drastic action than many spouses--and from the sounds of it, I firmly believe she's going to come crawling back to you within a few months. At this point there is probably not much more you can do to kill the A... now that you're divorced, it's all "legit," more or less. She can do whatever she wants, and in effect it's not really an affair anymore, even though it started as one. Further exposure might not do a whole lot, and with something as drastic as divorce I'd expect all of your family and friends to know by now.

But it sounds like she's having serious second thoughts, and you can expect her to want you back soon. However--as long as she works with OM, she can NEVER be fully committed to you. And she's not worth your time, since she's already proven she can't resist OM when she has to see/interact with him at work daily.

I guess my recommendation is to really, truly think about what you want here. You were betrayed. Now divorced. Your ex-wife has shown herself to be selfish, rash, and dangerous. Do you want that woman back? If you do, leaving her job is an absolute requirement or you are setting yourself up for disaster. Further, she might still be "stuck in the middle" and trying to cake-eat as long as you're in the picture...you might be better off going to Plan B either way, otherwise you'll be stuck in limbo forever while she has her needs met by both of you.


I think you're spot on. I can feel by some of her comments and just by my gut that she's having second thoughts. Unfortunately, I think that she's left such a wake of destruction by rashly going through with the divorce that she'll work extra hard trying to make the relationship work with OM.

Even if it is legit in some way, she was already living with him in the week between when I asked her to leave and the divorce. It might not technically be an affair now, but I'd call it an affair-based relationship, and it will be subject to all of the problems and stresses that affairs have, and just won't last. She said after she came back the first time that she didn't see herself having children with him, or marrying him, and having a family is extremely important to her.

The worst thing is we decided to let her stay at her job until the end of February so that she could get her big yearly bonus. She doesn't like her job, and wants to quit. I reluctantly agreed, and you're right, she's too weak-willed to resist what she thinks she feels for OM. This time it will be a requirement. No if's, and's, or but's.

As far as switching to plan B, I will write her a letter and ask for no more contact soon. I'm just really curious how she handles the next few weeks with no real reason to contact me.

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just be careful. It is obvious to me that you still love this woman. Don't be open to another woman at the same time. Give yourself time to get over this relationship before being open to a new one. That path just leads to someone getting hurt.


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Vibrissa & Just Learning,

I think you both have some very valid points. And you're right, I don't want back the woman she was before the affair. She has some major changes to make, and needs personal as well as couples counseling with me to get to the root of why she deals with life's challenges and conflict within the marriage by going outside of it and looking for someone else. She needs to learn how to communicate, which to be honest, was always something I've struggled with in getting her to open up.

One of my biggest concerns is bringing children into the world with her. I need to see some major differences in her, because I don't want to be back posting here again in a few years, this time with a child or two.

Just to be clear, if she came back, I wouldn't rush down to city hall and do a quickie marriage again. I probably wouldn't even move her into the house right away again. I would want to date her, and give her the opportunity to show me her changes over an extended period of time of at least several months.

On top of that, I've already made a preliminary list of things that she must do in order to make our relationship work again. As I mentioned in the above post, quitting her job is certainly among them. I'm intent on doing this as correctly as it can be done if we decide to repair this damage. That's why I'm here posting. I need the wisdom of more experienced people to make sure that I/we stay on the right track to get through this mess if and when that time comes.

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Originally Posted By: Trust_Will_Come
just be careful. It is obvious to me that you still love this woman. Don't be open to another woman at the same time. Give yourself time to get over this relationship before being open to a new one. That path just leads to someone getting hurt.


No way. It's not in me to have feelings for two women at the same time. I'm not ready for a relationship with someone else yet. And I don't believe in playing around. It wouldn't be fair for me to date another woman until I'm truly ready to move on. Just making friends is all I'm after right now. It lays a good foundation for when I am ready down the road, if it comes to that.

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AO, you and your WW/ex are now divorced - rendered as independent persons by the laws of the land, and enforcebale as such in any jurisdiction. You have NO ties to each other, legally, morally, financially. Is that about right?

She is (for good or ill) in some kind of relationship with another man (FOM or not).

Now, FORGET THE PAST. DEAL ONLY WITH THE CURRENT REALITIES.

So, are you looking to insert yourself into her current life, the one by her choice, is being spent with FOM? If so, you are trying to become an OM-apparent. Not a very attractive goal to bring to this board.

If you are NOT trying to insert yourself as described above, what is it you want, from us here, or your life?

Whatever that is (and if you have to do some searching, you should definitely do so), you MUST get on with working toward that life.

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AO,

NG makes some good points please think about this.

Oh, just a heads up, recovery if it should happen won't be a matter of you giving her a few months to prove she can be the W you want. Young man this stuff is measured in YEARS, not months. The affair may end in 6 months, but her withdrawal from it will take much longer, and getting to the point where she is thinking right will take even longer.

IF in the best case scenario, her affair ended tomorrow and she came back swearing deep and abiding love for you, you would be foolish to do much of anything perhaps date for less than a year and that is if she is actually working on things with someone: clergy, counselor, etc.

She has deep issues and they manifested themselves while married to you. Please think about this and don't become the OM in her new relationship. You are a better man than that.

God Bless,

JL


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