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Hi, I appreciate any comments/advice/anything you can offer me. Please!

My wife and I agree that at one time in our marriage we were in love, very happily married, and had something special. Our families have known each other since we were kids. We went to the same grade school together. We have been friends for 18 years, been together romatically for 7 (the last 4 of which we have been married).

For the last 6 months or so, she seemed very unhappy and would be mad/disrespectful towards me whatever I would do. I would just ignore it or sometimes try to make her happy without longterm success. She would occasionally even say she thinks things are seriously looking bad, but I dismissed her comments as just something she said in the moment. Looking back now there are many, many times I did neglect her. I have so much regret for not showing her affection, attention, and for ignoring her so I could pursue my own hobbies. I was a selfish taker and didn't deposit into the lovebank often. I love her but did not put motion into my emotion. I had good intentions but we all know where those roads lead.

At the end of Feb. of this year my wife and I were going to go out and have a night of fun (movies, dinner) because things were getting so bad and we both agreed we wanted some fun. She never showed up after work. I waited all night and called the whole family worried sick about her. Instead she came home at 3AM. I found out she was with a coworker. After persistent questioning, that night she admitted it. I told her out of anger that our marriage was over. She cried and said she was sorry and wanted to fix things. Realizing that things might be more wrong than I cared to admit, I forgave her the next day and we carried on like nothing happened. Big mistake.

The next week she told me she that she has feelings for that coworker and wants to be separated from me. We fought, I blew up (lost some serious lovebank points.) She stayed for two weeks at her parents but came back because her mom gave her hell - still does (a lot of her family seems to think I'm Mr. niceguy and she's crazy) and I asked her back because I was depressed and couldn't eat.

For the past few weeks we have lived together and are at a stalemate. She rarely comes home except to sleep and says she goes to the beach or library to think. Because of her extreme honesty thus far, I believe that she is not seeing her coworker outside of work and has not physically cheated on me with him.

I have been reading practically everything on this website as well as Dr. Phil McGraw's Relationship Rescue. I don't want to lose my wife. I love her and want to meet her needs that I wasn't fulfilling. I have in the past and know I wasn't even trying to meet her needs. I know I can make her happy. I want her to give me one more try.

She says she has tried for a year and does not want to try anymore. I asked her what does she have to lose in trying and she said "her freedom...her coworker". I tried to reason with her that if she tries and things work with us that she won't have feelings for him and if they don't work with us she'll be more sure about leaving me. She hates it when I try to "convince her" so I'm stopping.

She says she is "pretty sure" that she will divorce me because she cannot bear to give up her feelings for her coworker. She feels that since she met him years ago that there has always been a spark, she's thought he was attractive, he reminds her of her dad, he reminds her of me!, there is chemistry between them. She recently told him her feelings and he told her that he has the same for her but respects marriage too much to act on it now. She needs to figure out her marriage situation first. She has also told him that if she divorces me and starts a relationship with him that she is worried that she will screw things up with him like she has done with me. He and I have both told her that we want her to be happy.

My wife has agreed to read Relationship Rescue and see what happens partly because she is not 100% sure that she and I are "over" and mostly because she thinks somehow it will let me down easy. Her main conflict is that she does not want to see me hurt (or him hurt). Everyday she asks me if I will be ok and find happiness, or what will I do if we get divorced...or she tells me I'm handsome and will have no trouble finding someone else. I tell her I don't know or maybe. Honestly, I don't want to think about that now because our marriage is not over and I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. She keeps wanting to talk about how we will split that house, finances, where I will move, etc. We do not have children.

I have explained the concept of meeting each other's needs (something shared by this website and Dr. Phil's book.) At the end of the book, there is a two week period in which we share with eachother our needs and list specific ways to meet them and then do it each day and talk about our feelings at night. My hope is that somehow this experience will deposit enough love points in the bank and my wife and I will have rekindled enough of a spark that we can separate from this coworker forever and start rebuilding.

I have asked her to move away (to Florida her favorite place or anywhere) for a month or even a week to work on just us (without a third person) to see if we still have something. She says she cannot, that she will be sad and depressed, that she cannot give up her feelings, that in some ways she almost feels like she will be cheating on herself and on the coworker.

I trust my wife and believe her when she tells me that no physical affair has started between her and the coworker. However, she says she almost thinks that she is in love with him and that she feels that she has known him all her life. She says in the last year she has had thoughts of him on occasion but suppressed them because of feeling guilty and knowing she had me. If only I knew then, I could have realized how much of a selfish jerk I've been and started meeting her needs. Looking back I see all the warning signs! I hope it is not too late.

Often, I feel desperate. She has told me about her conversations with him, her eating lunch at work with him, about his life. It hurts me soooo much. I resist acting irrationally with any more hurt toward her or outburts (I don't want make any more withdrawals from the lovebank.) Lately, we can't help but talk about the situation and aruge about it. We end up both getting frustrated and repeating the same thing. She says she will not give him up or her feelings for him but doesn't want me hurt but can't give "us" one more try or one more honest try without thinking about him. I keep repeating that I want her to give me a try and I want to meet her needs.

I am going to avoid this argument as it too is taking away from the lovebank. Other times when we are together we get along and even laugh and have some intimate contact. She says being at home with me, sleeping in the same bed, touching, etc... is just confusing her. I think that means that the lovebank deposits are growing and there is hope. She says she is pretty sure she knows her decision will be to leave me and this "confusion" is not good because it is keeping her from what she really wants. I will try to focus on having those happy times together and hope that the lovebank will be refilled and we can go from there.

It is very likely though that my wife will decide to not give him up even if her feelings for me grow. She has considered even moving away from both of us to think and then come back and make a decision. She will most likely *not* do this. What she will probably do is divorce me after finishing reading the Dr. Phil book if we even last that long (a month tops she says because living in this indecision/situation is tearing her apart.) Yet, other times she has hinted that maybe we could just be roommates if she decides things are all over. She admits she is confused at times.

More than anything, I do not want a divorce and I do not want to lose her. I obviously also don't want her to have an affair. I could live with her "taking a break" from me but I know that separation will lead to a divorce or an affair. I could maybe survive an affair because I know they don't last (but even that sounds crazy and I can't believe I'm considering staying in the marriage if she did that). I HIGHLY doubt she will have an affiar and will most likely divorce me first becasue a) that's what her coworker wants and b) we always agreed that we would never cheat on each other and would always tell each other first.

Also, based on my research I have told her that statistically most new relationships that start during a marriage or are the cause of a divorce do not work. She says she knows that and that should not be a reason for her to deny her feelings and try. She also didn't appreciate me trying to use scare tactics. I'm going to stop that, at the time I told her that as her friend I'm worried about her. She feels like I'm dismissing her real feelings and capabilities as an individual. I will stop doing that now.

I know I'm rambling here but I have no one to really talk too. All my friends and family are too closely involved and they don't have sound advice (she feels betrayed that I told her family about the coworker and that they side with me). I feel her family is my family and didn't know what else to do. My wife talks with and gets her advice from the coworker and also a female coworker (who btw is in an unhappy marriage) who is friends with both of them and wants them and me to be "happy" whatever happens.

My plan is to:
a) stop all conflict (i.e. disagreement about where our marriage is headed)
b) be her friend for as long as possible - have fun during the time we are together at home - adding more deposits to the lovebank (I want this, she wants to be my friend perhaps even if we're divorced she said, I believe it is something we were always good at and need to be to have a good marriage, she believes that maybe friends is all we were meant to be - she thinks we got married too young and she only did it to please her parents because it was so big and "fairy tale.")
c) find out her needs using the Dr. Phil book and meet them (even if she says she does not want to meet mine).
d) refrain from being negative, letting my emotions cause any withdrawls from the lovebank

I'm worried that that is not enough.

I would like some advice as to what to do. Above all else (even an affair), I do not want a divorce. I love this woman. I know her more than anyone and she knows me. We are/were best friends forever. I honestly believe that I can make her happier than anyone especially someone she says she hardly knows but feels a special something. She has even asked me if things don't work if maybe in a few years she could come back to me and start again. I don't want that! I know there are no guarantees or anything but I want to make sure I'm doing everything possible to save our marriage.

Am I on the right track?

Please help.

Sincerely,

-Hearbroken yet hopeful

<small>[ September 08, 2002, 01:06 PM: Message edited by: aanast2 ]</small>

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I forgot to add that another reason why my wife does not want to try is that she says she does not love me and is not in love with me anymore. She says she cares about me but that is all.
She also says that she probably will only work another year at her job either way becasue she wants to start her own business and be financially self-sufficient. Her coworker has to support his mother and sibilings and does not make as much as my wife or myself does. He told her that she should not let our house and money influence my wife's decision. <p>Thanks for your help.

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Just an update for anyone out there listening. Please let me know if I'm not doing something that I should to save my marriage!<p>
As usual this week my wife has been coming home late, we speak for awhile. I ask her about her day etc. Then we go to sleep. <p>Last night she was upset because her mother called her up and chastised her for not coming home everyday and for not trying to make her marriage work and told her that they would never accept anyone else but me.<p>My wife's parents have a strong influence over her. She does not want to let them down. She said she almost considered saying she'd work on the marriage because it would be the easy thing to do but not right for me (!?) <p>My wife also feels that the new me (positive, loving, understanding, doesn't question where she has been all day everyday, trusting, giving her massages, etc makes no sense to her.
She thinks either I *really* love her -or- I'm really stupid.
She reminded me that she is no longer mine and she desires someone else.
In a nice way, I told her I love her and I've been doing research, reading websites, Phd's articles, etc and I'm trying to save our marriage. I told her that even though it will be painful for her at first, for our marriage to work she needs to never see her coworker ever again and to try with me. She didn't seem upset when I told her that but didn't respond.<p>She says the way I have been acting recently isn't very manly. She admits she considers taking advantage of me. I asked her what her needs are and I will try my best to fulfil her. I asked her if she wanted me to show tough love. She didn't answer.<p>Am I on the right track? Should I just continue to be nice and hope she will come around? Or am I postponing the inevitable (her divorcing me)?<p>all thoughts/questions are welcome.<p>Thanks,<p>-Heartbroken & hopeful

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aanast2,<p>One thing you should understand. Your W is having an affair. It is called an emotional affair and you will soon learn that it is worse than a physical affair and certainly a one night stand. [img]images/icons/frown.gif" border="0[/img] <p>By all measure she has given herself to the OM. THat is the sad but true fact, the physical part will be the last, but the heart and mind are more important. So continue your Plan A but also read up on Plan B, because you may need to move to that. Neither of these plans are meant to get her out of the affair. But they are meant to help you see what you need to improve and give your W a safe place to come when/if the affair dies.<p>It sounds as if you are doing a pretty good job of it. <p>Next, do not "educate" your W. It won't work and in fact it will make it worse. If she fights you now one say the MB approach she will be less likely to consider it if you two move into recovery. Educate yourself, but don't educate where with anything statistics, stories, articles, none of it.<p>Must go, but do hang in there.<p>God Bless,<p>JL

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JL-<p>Thanks for your reply and support. It really helps. You are absolutely right, my W is having an affair (emotional). I assume you mean it is worse than a physical affair/one night stand because it is deeper and could lead to a permanent relationship with her and the OM.<p>>quote
If she fights you now one say the MB approach she will be less likely to consider it if you two move into recovery.
>quote<p>That makes sense, I will just be a new person rather than try to explain to her that such and such tells me this or that. Btw, what is the MB approach??<p>
I have one more question, it seems likely that my wife will move out and/or divorce me. Does that automatically make things Plan B? If I don't see her then it can't do a Plan A right?<p>I don't want a divorce. She does. Maybe if she pushes I should agree to a separation (even though I know that she will continue the affair and separations lead to divorce) in hopes that the affair will die a natural death in 6 months and she'll feel better about coming back to that safe place (Plan B) if we are still "married"???<p>She wants to be with him and not me more than anything so I believe she will. However, he wants her to figure out the marriage thing first. So, I think she will want a divorce asap so she can be with him on his terms. Perhaps if we don't divorce and she rushes into things with him anyway (more fog) the affair will die sooner?<p>any thoughts?<p>Thanks,<p>-Heartbroken yet hopeful

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Morning aanast2. <p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Btw, what is the MB approach??<hr></blockquote><p>
I'd suggest reading more on Plan A and B from the homepage links on this site.<p>I would also suggest talking to one of the Harley's, if possible. In fact, I would highly recommend it.<p>The thought, IMHO, is that though we cannot control others, we can change our part of the pattern. This site describes some of the changes we can make. If we change our patterns, our behaviours, the withdrawn spouse ( WS) may choose to change their patterns as well.<p>I have been where you are, it is very tough. It is tough to do a good plan A, not educate or beg,etc. To focus on yourself when you strongly feel the need to administer to your marriage. ( BTW, "working" on yourself, your set of skills, will help your relationship.)<p>A little help will help. Call the Harley's.

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Family Man-<p>Thanks for your reply.<p>I just realized that MB stands for marriage builders. I have been reading this site and been making changes with myself to help the relationship.<p>My problem is that I feel like I should be doing more to actively "save" our marriage before it is "officially" over (i.e. divorce.) I know a divorce is a piece of paper but it is still significant to my wife and I and is the green light for her to make her emotional affair a physical one.<p>I understand that most affairs die naturally after 6 months. I just want to know if there is anything *I* can do or say that can stop it before it starts and becomes physical. Anything I can do to stop a divorce.<p>I am doing a Plan A. I still feel like I can be doing more (I feel like I'm sitting around waiting for the inevitable - i.e. her to act on her desire and get the courage to divorce me.) In many ways I feel that I have false hope that she will separate from the OM completely and try to work on things (especially since she has told me about apartments she is looking for, that she longs to be with him, loves him, and tells me to my face that now she knows for sure that she wants a divorce and asks me what else can she say or do so I will know it is over.)<p>I still have some unanswered questions.
I probably will call the Harleys.<p>I will never agree to a divorce (is that a lovebuster?)
I think that the OM wants her to get one first before they get physical. Perhaps if we don't divorce and she rushes into things with him anyway (more fog) the affair will die sooner?<p>Should I agree to a separation with the thinking that if the affair dies, she'll feel better about coming back since we are still "married"?<p>And the most important question is how do I do a Plan A without lovebusting if she files for a divorce, tries to sell the house, etc... She wants me to participate in that but I feel that in doing so I would be letting her know that what she is doing is ok or I am giving up. She will get angry if I refuse to cooperate and that may be her last memory of me if she doesn't see me for a long time (which is kind of like her choosing Plan B for me.)<p>I want to try Plan A for six months but how does that work if I am not seeing her at all (i.e. we get divorced?) <p>Confused,<p>Hearbroken and still a bit hopeful

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Just an update what has been a rough week. In many ways things have gone from bad to worse. [img]images/icons/frown.gif" border="0[/img] <p>As I've stated for the past few weeks my wife comes home late, we speak briefly and then go to sleep. She claims to be either working out at the gym or "reflecting" at the beach about things by herself. I try to give her as much positivity and attention as possible and hope she notices the new me. At the same time, I know that we argue and go around in circles about our future ("to be or not to be") and I get pushy and try to "educate." <p>Well, Wednesday I talked to Jennifer Harley. She basically confirmed what I've read here. She said that everything my wife says is just her trying to rationalize things but she is in the fog and it won't make sense because it doesn't make sense. She also told me that I'm on the road to a divorce. She also told me that the unfortunate bonus (and she emphaized unfortunate) of a Plan B is that over time I will come to realize that I am better off without her, and would rather have someone I can trust who won't betray me. Overall the conversation didn't give me much new insight but confirmed what I knew about Plan A and encouraged me to keep Plan A going as long as possible (because the affair -hopefully- will die a natural death soon.) Jennifer also laughed when I told her that the OM was a janitor (she said "why didn't you say so... he won't meet her financial needs".) My problem with that is I don't want a woman who wants me for my money but I guess if that is a start for my wife to see the "truth" and leave him then we can work on the rest.<p>Thursday came and my wife came home early. I thought great more time for Plan A-ing with her. She noticed my muscles (I've been working out) and agreed to eat dinner (I would cook). Well after I mowed the lawn, she said she was going to meet one of her girlfriends. Somehow I knew she was lying. After a bit I decided to drive to the beach and see if I'd find her reflecting. Well I found her with the OM. I just kept driving but they both saw me too. I was extremely hurt by this. I guess I knew my wife was lying all this time about being alone reflecting but it really hurt seeing it (rather than her telling me or hinting at it.) Anyway, I came home late that night and ignored her (she wanted to hug me and console me.) <p>Friday, we spoke and I restated my desire for her to leave OM and that knowing/seeing them together is killing my love for her and our marriage. She said that is what she wants. Her parents saw me later that night and saw how upset I was and they called her and threatened her, yelled at her, etc.. based on the little truth they know. My wife blamed me for all of that and told me she hates me.<p>Saturday morning my wife said she was leaving for good. I suggested a temporary solution (us living together still until we figure out a better solution - in hopes of being able to Plan A as long as possible for the affair to die.) She agreed but after speaking with her girlfriend (who is friends with OM) she said she is moving into her parents house Sunday for sure. She said it is wrong for her to be with him and come home to me, her husband. She said it is wrong for her to still wear her wedding ring and hold her boyfriend's hand. I think she feels guilty that I saw them together and know. She admitted that if I hadn't that she would still be living with me. I told her that just because she is no longer living with me or wearing the wedding ring, it is still wrong, it is still hurting me, and she should stop. She just got upset. She then got angry about how I'm trying to confuse her, trying to manipulate and control her (she claimed I always did in our marriage), and she wants me to sell the house and give her her share of the money asap because she doesn't want to be in her parents house for more than 2 weeks. I told her to give me time. I don't want to rush into things and I need time to think about what I want to do (i.e. keep the house and pay her what she is due.) <p>Saturday night she said would be the last time I would see her under the roof and it really got to me. We sorta said our goodbyes. She told me that she loves me and cares for me. She said our marriage was great and had love but we became disconnected. She said she needs passion, excitement, and romance and not just friendship and security. She says she has made plans with OM. I asked her if she would come back if things didn't work out with OM and she said probably...maybe but she is sure it will work. She then asked if I'm giving her permission to be with him by asking that type of question. I said of course not and I reiterated how my love is fading and for her to give "us" another try. She says she has tried to many times and she cannot and will not again. She also expressed her belief that people cannot fall in love again after being in love once and falling out of love. She also said that despite me wanting a new marriage that "leopards can't change their spots" I disagreed. Humans aren't leopards. I left to see my mom but came back because I forgot the cellphone. She was crying when I returned. I asked her why. She says because she is scared about making it on her own. She said she is also angry at me, angry at her parents, and angry at the OM because he has nothing to lose. hmmm...?<p>
Sunday she moved into her parents. I helped her load the car reluctantly. I was really torn. Do I help her and meet a need but give her the impression that I am supporting her leaving or do I not and piss her off. I told her my dilemma and helped her anyway. On the ride, she told me that she feels OM in every pore of her body. We then had a long conversation with her parents. She claimed to them that our marriage was over a long time before OM. She told them that she will be getting her own apartment and is doing this because she wants to be single and date men (she never had this in life) and needs to think about things. She agrees that if things were to work with her and I we would need counseling, never see OM, etc.. but says she has to want to first. She says she does not want to and says that maybe someday if she missed me she would but is 99% sure that it won't happen. She told us that just as sure as she was about me years back, she is about him. (makes no sense to me?) She basically did not want to admit to her parents that it is all about OM. She claims it is about being independent, freedom, etc. She says by living with them she won't seem OM (even though she works with him) and will need to spend some time on working on herself and becoming a better person so then when she moves out in 2 weeks she will be "all better" and be ready for her relationship with OM (she admits her rushing into things with OM was not a good idea for them in the long term.) She said she is pretty sure we will divorce because we are in a "sham" of a marriage. Her parents and I are just in shock that she could seem so happy and then all of a sudden two months ago want out. She says things in life "just happen." I disagreed and said people choose for things to happen. She also said that OM has been waiting for a year for her (holding back his feelings) that he told her he'd wait for her to figure out her marriage. She said while she and I had love, he will always be her great romance in life (btw, my WS is a huge soap opera fan.) <p>My wife also told me that I'm now obsessed with her not in love with her. I denied it but just told her that all I can do is hope that she will realize things. She told me that I now know how she felt. She said she used to hope that I would realize what I had with her all these years and not take her for granted and neglect her. She says she will have a child in the next year or two. I feel guilty because she always wanted to have kids with me but I pushed it off wanting financial security and to be older/mature. Now I would love to have children but she says it is too late.<p>Later I spoke with her father and cousin who said that everyone in the family told her to be honest with them and me because what she was doing is wrong. She told them that she has this "feeling" that she cannot deny and has to see what it is. They told me that they know I mean well and hope that things work out between us but advised me not to be so pushy - not to push her away or into OM's arms. Later that night, while I was about to fall asleep all alone, my wife called me at midnight to tell me something about dog food. ? <p>I am considering Plan B. I could continue Plan A but I won't see her. I could see her and visit everyday at her parents if I like. I don't want to seem/be pushy though. My wife will be coming home occasionally to get her things and I'm sure she will want to talk to me again in the future (not just about finances but because we were best friends for most of our lives.) I believe my wife will miss me and want some of her needs met by me in the future. There are times when she tells me she knows what she is doing is wrong and doesn't want to hurt me and doesn't deserve me. Othertimes she says the opposite. I'm not sure what to do. Try to continue with Plan A even though I will rarely see her (I could do it without lovebusting I believe) or go to Plan B and not speak to her at all (even though it is barely 2 months if that - a long way off from 6 months). Plus, there is no going back to Plan A, and Plan B could mean divorce (which I don't want though I know it is only a piece of paper, it is still significant.) I know that I can be happy on my own someday when I heal. I know that we can work things out and be happy. I hope that we do. Ultimately I want to do what is best for my marriage despite people thinking my self-esteem will suffer. <p>Plan A or Plan B that is the question. Perhaps I should call Jennifer Harley.
Any comments?

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Despite the title, I know now that my wife is having an affair with her coworker (emotional and physical). She has pretty much admitted their being affectionate but not intercourse. I know it is only a matter of time and am very distraught thinking about her with him. I miss her so much especially her company/conversation/holding her. I cry when I think about the good times when she called me her nicknames for me and wanted to hold me. <p>I wish I could go back in time with what I know now. I wish I could go into the future and live happily ever after. I know I can't and I should and will and am dealing with this. It just sucks and hurts! Damn I miss her. I am going to try to keep myself busy though because honestly I keep thinking about her all the time (too much?)<p>My wife says for me to do what I need to do and follow my heart because that is what she is doing. I think in a way I am but I'm also following my brain. I know in a way that the fact that I would still want her despite the affair shows that I am following my heart and not my brain perhaps and over time my heart will change if she does not come back and leave him. But my brain also tells me why this happened, why it is continuing, and how it may possibly resolve. Part of me loves her so much that I know she is making a mistake in her life and I feel bad for her future pain. She says all her life people (me, her parents) treated her like a baby and she needs to make her own mistakes, be independent and experience pain if she must, becasue she never got the opportunity to before.<p>Sorry to ramble, I just need to get these thoughts out somewhere. I keep remembering every little thing she said/says. I keep analyzing it. Ultimately I should stop and realize that she is in the fog and in a way I really shouldn't listen to what she says. I can't stop her, force her, and get her to leave OM and work on things with me, nor would I want to. I want her to realize and choose to be with me. The affair must die a natural death. Perhaps I'm afraid that she is right and not in a fog and she will live happily ever after with the OM, her supposed "soul mate." Only time will tell. I know one day I will heal and eventually not want to be with her (my love will end) if this continues. It is probable that her affair will end too. I just hope the timing is right and we come together again.<p>-heartbroken, barely hopeful, and confused

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aanast2,<p>Don't give up. Things will change. I'm a year into a "separation" and I can say by experience that things will get better.<p>You may find that your W soon begins to resent OM. My W said exactly the same thing as your W - that "OM is not risking anything". My W resented that - and yours probably does too. Also we have a similar situation finacially. My W's OM is a "student" and has nothing except what he borrows from his brother - has never had a job and doesn't even have the legal right to work in this country. Right now, he cannot support her. We are different in that my W doesn't work and is taking care of our young child - so she needs somebody to support her - and OM cannot.<p>My W's parents are like your wife's - they are on my side. I don't know if that is best. I think there still is some aspect of rebellion against the parents involved. Although both your W and mine are afraid to dissapoint their parents, still there is this rebellion factor - like a teen-age thing.<p>What was your in-laws's involvment in the beginning of your marriage. My W claims that her mother "made her" marry me. So every time her parents push on her to be a good wife, she resents it - and resents me. I don't know about your situation.<p>
In my opinion, you should drag your feet and play for time. Right now, time is on your side (if you want to save the marriage). Don't do anything drastic about the house. Don't assume that there is such a thing as "her half" of the house. If she leaves it, it is yours. OK, that's probably not the way a court would see it, but if she wants "her half", let her go to court to get it.<p>OH YES, most important thing... but I'm not sure how to word it (read Dobson's "Love Must be Tough" for more on this)... try not to "chase" her. She is risking a lot. She is not sure of herself or her situation. Don't promise to always be there for her. Just let her know that you love her, care about her and want to stay married to her. Let her know that she is free to do as she pleases - that you cannot make her do what is right. If she is moving away from you, then chasing her will only make her run faster. When you talk to her on the phone or visit with her, make sure that you are the one who ends the conversation or visit. That way, she is always left wanting more of you than she is getting. I'm not saying to neglect her. Not at all. Meet every need that you have an opportunity to meet. Just don't chase after her.<p>Notice: My life is messed up too and I have no right to give advise.<p>I'm sorry I don't have time to write more.<p>-AD

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Dear Aanast2,
Have you read the the Harley's Books "Surviving An Affair" and "His Needs, Her Needs"? If not, I highly recommend them.
You know, I believe you mean it when you say you miss your wife. I can also tell that you have been doing a lot of reflection on your marriage and that's good too. I can also tell that you understand about meeting emotional needs, and are committed to try working on that, in spite of your wife's reluctance to let you try. Good for you!
Walking in on your wife and seeing her crying shows that she is not certain either. That is a good thing. Keep working on your Plan A. The beauty of Plan A is that you are improving yourself while showing your wife you have the ability to meet her needs. You may have made many positive changes to yourself while working on Plan A. However, your wife probably doesn't trust the "new you" now. She probably is expecting your old behavior to come out, and doesn't yet recognize this as a permanent change. You need to continue to give her time to see this.
I know when I finally "woke up" and understood about emotional needs, and love busters, I was 200% committed to making things work out, including changing myself. However, I couldn't understand why it took my husband nearly 3 months to trust this! My IC pointed out he needed time, after all we had 10 years of negative history together.
So give your wife time to accept this "new" you.
You sound like you are doing an excellent Plan A and trying to meet the needs she will let you meet. Remember, she is simply addicted to this OP because he is meeting her top ENs. Once the reality of life closes in, such as trying to set up house together, pay bills, make decisions - the fantasy world will begin to fall apart. It might have to come to that before she will come out of her "fog".
One other benefit of Plan A is that if she continues to make withdrawals from your love bank, which she is doing now, you will eventually fall "out of love" with her and things won't feel so painful for you.
Hang in there. It sounds like you are on the right course.

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Thanks Willing to Try and Abandoned Dad,<p>
AD - we are similar. In some ways my WS does feel that she married me to "please" her parents because of the pain she caused them with her boyfriend before she and I dated. Her old boyfriend was a true wacko.<p>WTT - you make me smile and give me hope. Thanks.<p>brief update- my WS called me twice yesterday (nothing important just about the dog) but I purposefully didn't answer and let the machine get it. I felt very good yesterday (not being on the emotional rollercoaster) and cooked a nice dinner for myself and ate it all (I'm still down 20 lbs since the discovery date.) I felt a bit guilty that by intentionally not talking to her I was not meeting her EN, but I needed a break myself. <p>Both of you made me feel that I should continue Plan A. I was having doubts that because she is now at her parents I should go to Plan B (which I don't want to do really). I'm not sure really. I want to do what is best for the marriage obviously and belive I can still Plan A without LBing. Of course with either Plan I'm improving myself, but I was concerned about not being able to meet her needs in Plan A if she is living with her parents. While they only live 15 mins away (and we usually went there every other day in the good old days) I don't want to seem pushy.<p>Can I still do an effective Plan A? (i.e. meet her needs, show her the new me?) I can try I guess (but man does she sound sooo convincing when she tells me about OM, how "we" are over, etc...)<p>Thanks,<p>Heartbroken with a bit more hope

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Just when I thought I was going to keep on with Plan A (even though we are separated) I read this link:<p>http://www.marriagebuilders.com/forum/Forum37/HTML/007757.html<p>which seems to say go for Plan B sooner than one would think.<p>hmmm... I guess my concern is that my wife points out all the problems of our marriage that I caused. Specifically:<p>neglecting her,
being selfish (into my own interests),
being negative (especially with her ideas -
playing devil's advocate with any future plans)
not putting her first,
not giving her attention - even when asked!,
taking her, our lives, our family for granted,
not taking interest in planning fun (vacations,
being romantic, having kids, trying new things)<p>I look back and see that I did all those things. I have deep regret about it. Those behaviors haunt me. I can't believe I did those things.
I didn't have my priorities straight. I just figured my wife would always be there and I didn't really have to try. I so much want to put her first, have kids, go on vacations, all those things she used to talk about.<p>I want to change and believe am changing. <p>My wife says it has been over for a long time; she's done trying. In a way I feel like I was sorta having an "affair" of sorts with my selfishness, and she eventually fell out of love with me. I was just "asleep" to my bad behaviors. Even when she said once in awhile that things seem wrong or I seem like someone she doesn't know anymore (within the last year before all this), I didn't take her seriously.<p>She believes that things are too late for us.<p>And my main concern now is that by going to "Plan B" I will seem like my old self to her (selfish because I wouldn't be speaking to her, etc..)<p>what to do...

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Hi aanast2:
Although I'm a bit further down the road than you, I so can relate to the regrets you are feeling right now. But I just want to say, a lot of the blame you're placing on yourself for the breakdown of your marriage is somewhat misplaced. For the first 3-4 months after my H left (and moved in w/ OW), I tortured myself with everything I had done wrong for the past 11 years. Well, ya know what? Now at 7 months down the road, clarity has set in and it's painfully obvious that he wasn't perfect either. Do you know any perfect people in perfect marriages?<p>Anyway, I think your W and my H are reading from the same cheater's manual. He said nearly identical things..."He felt like he TRIED at our marriage for over a year, and was tired of trying..." (unfortunately he never told me how he was feeling! When he left it came as a complete and utter shock). "Loves me, but not in love with me..." "OW has NOTHING to do with him leaving - just really wants his independence and freedom...". H says I'll never change, I'm too controlling, you know, the typical cheating spouse verbiage. They'll say anything to deflect the blame off of what they are doing - which is basically bailing on a lifetime commitment. He also said all his life other people made decisions for him - treated him like a little kid, and he wanted to make his own decisions and choices, even if they ended up being bad ones that he would regret later. How's that for logic?<p>And like you, I had (and still have) the support of my in-laws. They are mortified by what their son has done, and are embarrased and ashamed. Which is exactly why my H avoids them like the plague. He was so close to his parents (who have been married for over 30 years) and now has barely any contact with them (or with any of his former close friends). They too, have advised me to just let him go, because nothing I say or they say is having any impact on him except to push him further away. I finally did that around month 4.<p>As ridiculous as this sounds, don't take any of your wife's anger personally. I couldn't believe the ogre I was dealing with when my H left. Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde...this was the sweetest guy on earth pre-A, and when he left, he became a nightmare. He cursed, yelled, blamed, got angry...I think this is their way of relieving guilt - take it out on the person closest to you. They are pushing you to get angry back, so that they can justify leaving you ("See...she really is a b****, so I was right in leaving her!").<p>I know telling you it will get easier does not help. People told me that at the beginning, and it's just too hard to grasp that through the pain. I am now at 7 months...and yes it's easier, but there are still crying jags (when I hear our wedding song), desperate days where I'm dying to call him (I don't! Haven't talked to him in 2 months now) and days where I pray his relationship crumbles with OW and he misses me/us again. I lost my H and my best friend in one fell swoop last Oct. 4th. I understand that void you're feeling.<p>The only small glimmers of hope I've gotten in all of this (since we have virtually no contact) is that:
1. He still hasn't filed for divorce (although he claimed he was going to on several occasions)
2. He still has his mail sent to his parents - not to OW's house
3. He no longer works with OW - she changed jobs about a month ago - that could be good or bad?
4. Everyone who has seen him says he looks HORRIBLE. Sorry to say, that makes me happy. I would feel worse if he looked fabulous.<p>So I guess OW isn't taking such good care of him...and I'm sure that like my H, your Wife's euphoria will fade eventually and the shine will start to tarnish.<p>I say - go dark! She won't know what she's missing until you're no longer a part of her life, in my opinion. I can only hope my silence is somehow working on my H too...

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Hey Limu,<p>Thanks for the reply. We do have similarities with our BS. I have to agree I find it amazing here seeing on this website that all the BS say the same b.s. "love you but not in love", "let me go", reason for leaving is to "be independent not the OP", blames WS for problems.<p>I agree with you about people not having perfect marriages. I accept my WS for not being perfect and I guess that is why I would take her back if/when the affair ends. It is too bad however, that she does not believe in sticking through a marriage even in bad times; despite the vow "for better for worse until death do us part"<p>I'm trying not to take what she says personally but it is hard. Whenver we talk (aka argue/disagree) about the state of our marriage, om, our future, etc.. it wears me down and pushes her away. I have told myself in the past that I would stop doing it and just do a Plan A. In reality though, we can't help but talk about the subject (when I don't bring it up she does.) This time I'm really going to avoid talking about it even if that means walking away, ignoring her, if the subject comes up because it just causes me pain and her to get frustrated with me (both of which are harmful to our marriage - what's left of it.)<p>quote-------------------------------------------
I know telling you it will get easier does not help. People told me that at the beginning, and it's just too hard to grasp that through the pain. I am now at 7 months...and yes it's easier,
quote------------------------------------------<p>easier in what way? less pain? are you slowly getting over your husband, slowly following out of love with him (even though you still hopes he "snaps out of it" and comes back)?
Honestly in many ways, I don't want it become "easier" if that means I fall out of love with her/give her up. If/when that happens, I won't care and probably will be happy (and healing.) However, right now I am in love with my wife and want her back and want to wait it out (let the affair die a natural death.) I don't want to get over her/fall out of love because then I know our marriage is over. I know that is a very strong probability and maybe even the best thing for me individually in my life, however I don't want that (at least right now.)<p>quote--------------------------------------------
I'm sure that like my H, your Wife's euphoria will fade eventually and the shine will start to tarnish.
quote-------------------------------------------<p>I hope so too. The sooner the better. I'm not sure how "sure" I am it will happen (though I do know that most relationships that start while someone is in another relationship or because the other relationship is going bad probably won't work because of the poor foundation they are built on - i.e. "rebound" relationships fail because there was no time to "heal" - which in away is what an affair is.) I don't know, I just miss my wife, want her back, and want to make things right. If/when she comes back I hope it is not too late for her or me.<p>quote-------------------------------------------
I say - go dark! She won't know what she's missing until you're no longer a part of her life, in my opinion. I can only hope my silence is somehow working on my H too...
quote-------------------------------------------<p>I don't know. I hear what you are saying and that has been on my mind a lot lately. <p>On the plus side, I feel a lot less on the emotional rollercoaster not talking to her. Also on the plus side, she may miss me "make the heart grow fonder.) It may also cause the ol' "want what you can't get."<p>However on the minus side, I don't want to "feel" better if it means I'm losing my wife. Even though I feel better after not arguing/seeing her for two days, I'm starting to miss her again. I miss talking to her and being her friend. It makes me happy to see her. She doesn't seem to have a problem with me being her friend and seeing her (at least right now) so maybe I should continue to do that (if we are both happy with that - although she says she only wants to be my friend and that is all we were ever meant to be.) <p>I am leaning towards not Plan B-ing right now (going "dark" and not talking/seeing her) because: <p>1) I'm concerned it will be "out of sight - out of mind" with her and she will not miss me (though I realize she will be getting her cake and eating it too.) By my ignoring her, I will be justifying her actions in her eyes.<p>2) I really miss her and want to see her (despite it only being "crumbs" that I'm getting.)<p>and honestly,<p>3) I miss her. I don't know if I could take cutting her out of my life completely. Maybe, but it seems like torture, after which I probably won't ever want to see her again. This does not seem good for my marriage or me.<p>I don't know though.<p>I did (finally) call her this morning to let her know a friend called for her. It was pleasant. I tried to end the call right away (keep her wanting more) but she wanted to tell me about how she has been going to her parents house right away (I guess so I'm not suspicious of her) and how she is having a musical performance at her work (which I wished her luck in.) It seemed that she desired to talk to me and see how I'm doing, hear my voice, etc. Perhaps she missed me?<p>I'm confused.<p>Thanks for your input. I'll keep you posted. Good luck with your Plan B (stay strong.) Keep me updated.<p>-Heartbroken and hoping

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A, it sounds as if your WW is very much like my WH was. He began chatting online with an old HS friend. That developed into long online EA. She came to visit us, spent a few nights at our house, and the EA became PA. Funny, but the PA was forgiven a lot quicker than the EA was. I still hold onto that EA sometimes and we are over two years into recovery.<p>My H was so in love this the OP. I heard many of the same things you have heard. "Our marriage was over before the A." "I'm tired of trying." "I care for you but I'm not in love with you like I am with her." "I never wanted to hurt you." "She's like the other part of me." "I only married you because you wanted to get married. If I had know she had feelings for me, I would have waited (for her to divorce her H at the time.)" The list goes on and on. It is a standard thing.<p>I was lucky. My H felt so guilty that he was willing to give up contact with the OW for a "trial period" which basically meant, "I won't contact her until you give up on this marriage too." Two years later, he still hasn't contacted her. He is affectionate and loving towards me. He talks about a future together with the two of us. It's a good recovery. Without him giving up contact with the OW, we never would have made it this far.<p>If your W is not willing to give up contact, I don't think that all the Plan Aing in the world will help. Now, the OM is a janitor, so she could leave you for him, have a fling, realize that he can't meet her needs, and come begging back to you.<p>Now, she wants to sell the house and get her 50%. Is there anyway that you can buy off her 50% and afford payments on the house on your own? I mean, then, once she runs through the money, is living in some cramped apartment with her OM, she'll look at you in your nice house doing well. Plus, it would really great on her nerves if you kept the house. Just a thought. My H and I stayed together because we didn't want to split up our stuff and sell the house.<p>You may also talk to an attorney. Depending on your state, you can contest a divorce on the grounds of adultry and sometimes get a higher settlement meaning your W wouldn't get a full 50%. Of course, it costs and arm and a leg to do anything outside the norm on a divorce.<p>Anyway, just some things to consider. It will be very hard for her to go from a decent income to a janitor's income that is shared with his family (did I read that right.)<p>Best of luck to you. Be strong, but don't give into elling. Harden your heart when you deal with her. Otherwise it will hurt too bad. If she comes back to you without the OM, you can start softening up. Don't ever beg. It makes you look weak and that won't appeal to her. She going to have to learn the hard way that she can't have her cake and eat it to. Remember, once you go into Plan B, don't take her back until she is completely over the OM.<p>On the bright side, Dr. Harley writes that it is easier for a woman to get over an EA than it is for a man once her needs are being met and she has no contact with the OP. So, that's a plus for you. Good luck.

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Hi Aanast2:
If you're not ready to Plan B and go dark, don't do it. Until you're ready and committed, it would be impossible anyway. I knew from the day my H walked out that the best thing would be to just let him go and give him space...but did I follow that? No...I would call him every 3-4 days (which that in itself was torture) and cry and beg and plead. It was all futile. Drove him further into the arms of OW. <p>When I say "it gets easier", I guess it's sort of like experiencing the death of someone. At the beginning, your world is upside down, the pain is very raw, it's on your mind 24 hours a day, you can't eat, sleep. Well, as time goes on, the pain dulls (around 4-5 months). You learn to fill your life and the voids with other activities, which momentarily distract you from thinking about your W and your marriage. At 7 months, I still think about it pretty much all the time, but I'm not paralyzed by it. I go out of my way to fill my days with work, friends, sports, etc. My situation still causes me pain, but it's not as sharp or intense as it was in the beginning. I think just naturally, we begin to disengage and the memories of the person you were with aren't as sharp or vivid.<p>Like you, my biggest fear is that one day, I just won't care anymore, and I won't love him anymore. Isn't that weird? Part of me can't wait for that day to come, and part of me is terrified for when it arrives. According to my counselor and everyone else, that day WILL come. <p>I worry too, about out of sight, out of mind. But I just can't accept the fact that I'm so disposable after 11 years! I have to hang on to the hope that my H still remembers me, us, our life, and the good times.<p>Today has been hard. I had a moment of weakness and called him. Mind you, it's been over 2 months since I've had any contact with him. A while back he got a new cell phone, but didn't give me the number (and I didn't ask for it). I got it from a mutual friend. So when I called him today on it, he was downright rattled - sounded quite angry actually. Demanded to know how I got that number. I sort of just brushed it off and told him I couldn't remember who gave it to me...and proceeded to ask him some questions about our boat that I needed to know. I kept the convo very upbeat and casual. But I could tell he was upset that I've got this new number - once again, I guess I've infiltrated his private world designed to keep me out. Aaugh!<p>Can I just ask...if he feels this strongly about icing me out of his life, why doesn't he just file for divorce already?!<p>Sorry for venting - as you can see we're all living in our own versions of hell.<p>I think it's actually a good sign that your wife still talks to you about her life (ie: where she's living, her music, etc.). My H has never once asked me how I've been or what I'm doing. And from day one, he WILL NOT discuss OW with me or any aspect of his life. It's like I and our marriage never existed.<p>I know this is an irrational statement, but you can probably relate: sometimes I wish we did have kids so that he would be forced to see and talk to me. Of course, everyone tells me I should be so thankful that we don't have kids...mixed feelings on that!<p>Talk to you soon.

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A,<p>Stay in Plan A. Right now you two are separated so you are being protected from the more serious withdrawals in your bank. That is the purpose of Plan B to slow down the withdrawals so that when the time comes, if it comes, you still love her enough to want to rebuild.<p>My bet is you will see her contact you more as you don't pursue her. My bet is that she is very confused, wants the fantasy, but is not sure it is real. AS for all you did wrong, you did them, but they wouldn't have been brought up if she wasn't in an affair. However, there is little doubt she was not happy or she would not have been so swayed by the OM.<p>So work on you, don't LB, be pleasant when you talk with her, but also don't push or "educate" her. Also don't expect your Plan A to have any noticeable effect on her. It is very likely it won't. You are sowing seeds for recovery when the A dies. You cannot accelerate the ending of their affair.<p>Interestingly, if the A does die and she comes back it will be her choice, not yours, not her parents, simply hers.<p>Hang in there.<p>God Bless,<p>JL

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aanast2,<p>My H and I have been in Plan B for 1.5 months now. For the most part there has been email contact - mostly about our son...and yes, be thankful there are no children for they are truly the innocent victims.<p>But, as far as Plan A, I tried for 7 months. And what I discovered, and I believe it is probably true for many BSes that are in Plan A, is that I was Love Busting and not even knowing it. Remember, an LB is defined by your spouse. For example, if they think something you said was a disrespectful judgement, it is...and therefore a love buster. You may think you are just stating something factual, but I have noticed that in this state of "fog", the WS will take just about anything you say and it'll be viewed as a LB. So, I may have been partially successful in changing myself to meet his EN, but as soon as I Love Busted, all my hard work went out the window because he only remembered the negative stuff. When I tried to really work on my LBs via the Harley's tapes on Love Busters, what I found was that I was guilty!! And I also discovered that the one thing that was guaranteed to trigger my behavior was his continued contact with the OW. Since he was not willing to change this, we decided to seperate. That decision was extremely difficult and painful. Do I have regrets that I didn't stick it out longer - sometimes, but most of the time, I realize that I gave Plan A my best shot for my mind set, and it was the right time for Plan B. <p>Just by reading your posts, I would say that you probably meet more of your W's EN than you or she gives you credit for. If you continue to Plan A, then don't expect gratitude or even acknowledgement for your efforts. Always look on it as ways to improve yourself. Hang in there!!

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I should have been more clear. Sorry about that. My advice was only if the Plan A fails and she files for divorce (because you seem to think that is what is happening. In the meantime, you should continue to be nice and respectful to her and avoid LBs. my advice was to try and set things up for her to return to you.<p>P.S., the only problem with contesting a divorce it that it usually makes it very messy. If you were to rebuild after something like that it would take a long time. It would only be a thought for her if money was a major need and she would be losing what she is accustomed to. I would really do it, I would just investigate it and throw it out as an option. Then, when you don't do it (because you don't want to hurt her), you can look good.

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