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#893294 11/12/00 12:04 AM
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Fair warning . . .This is a long and venting thread. . . <P><BR>I joined this forum almost two years ago. <P>At that time I had recently discovered that my W had not only had a physical affair, but had also engaged in MANY internet affairs.<P>I did not now what I wanted to do, how I should respond, or even if I would survive, either physically or emotionally.<P>Like many of the betrayed on this forum, I spend some time where I considered the possibilties, ramifications and realities of having an affair of my own.<P>There have many conversations on this forum concerning this subject which I have been involved in over the years. In each case, I have offered my sounsel advising that this was not the way to accomplish "anything." Especially if rebuilding your marriage was the goal in mind.<P>Well there have been a several instances where people on this forum, including my own W have have accused me of either having an affair myself, or at the very least allowing myself to be in a situation where an eventual affair was inevitable.<P>Well, you what . . .I'm fed up with it [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself. <P>I told my W about this forum and that I had been posting for a while and asked her to come read and hopefully post on her own.<P>I did this because my W was un-willing to open up to me concerning her infidelites and the situations which led up to the deterioration of our marriage.<P>Needless to say, this thinking proved to be less than fruitful.<P>Yes my W has told me some things. She has answered a lot of the questions which have come up, yet she continues to refuse to open up to me.<P>The majority of the times that my W has posted on this forum, it has been to respond to the "fluff" threads. You know the ones I'm talking about . . . How old are you, what are your birthdays, or anniversaries, etc.<P>The threads which would have involved my W actually opening up, have been avoided by her.<P>Anyway, closer to the present, she posted a thread awhile ago complaining because I had asked a friedn from work for the Email address of the minister at her church. He had offered to talk with me, and my W for that matter, anytime we needed. Well, I reached the point where I felt I was finally ready to to talk with a minister. I knew that there were areas of my life where I needed to improve.<P>Now, I have attempted to make this "step" a few other times in my life, and been shafted on each of those other occasions, so when I first started thinking about this, I did not tell my W about it until I had received a reply from the minister agreeing to talk with me.<P>To back up slightly . . . Thisfriend from work, is a young woman who I intruduced to my W. They ended up becoming pretty good friends. In fact they talked on-line or on the phone most every day. I on the other hand would have been lucky if I saw this friend a grand total of an hour a month.<P>Anyway, after obtaining the Email address from this friend, and recieving a reply from minister within a day, I sent an Email to this friend commenting that I had heard back from minister, and that I was a bit surprised that he had actually agreed to talk with me.<P>My W's response when I got home that might, and told her that I had contacted the minister and was going to meet with him, was to come to this forum, and post a thread implying that I was starting an affair with this friend. With her friend.<P>Naturally, I was almost immediately attacked by members of this forum, telling me that I was doing everything wrong, that I was in fact either involved in an affair, or at the very least, was begining one.<P>A few days later, I found an Email that my W had sent to a member of this forum telling them that my W did in fact belive I was having an affair with friend.<P>OK, back to the present for a minute. . .<P>This friend of both my W and I, is a young woman with 4 young choldren. She is involved in a marriage which is at best "On the Rocks." In fact at one point, after my W and I had gone ove to this friends house when her H, had decided to disapear on weekends,on hunting trips, I came home and printed out all of the concepts of this forum, including the Love Buster and Emotional Needs questionairs for this friend and her H.<P>Well anyway, a few weeks ago, I saw this friend walk into work, and it looked like she had stopped wearing her wedding rings. Since we see each other so seldom at work, it took me several days to see her again, and actually determine that she had in fact stopped wearing her rings. Well, I told my W about this. I also told her that I had thought about, then discarded the idea as unwise, walking up to this friend and commenting about her rings, and making a comment that if she was "advertising" to count me in. My W's response to this was that I should go ahead and do it.<P>Well one day last week, I got a few minutes to talk with this friend and found out that she really was having a lot of trouble in her marriage. I told my W what this friend had told me, and she again asked me if I was going to do the "proposition" idea I had briefly considered. I told her that I was not going to do this, and my W became almost insistant that I should "go ahead." I then asked her what would happen if I went ahead and did this, and our friend said "yes". My W's only response to this was to again ask me if I was going to "do it." After repeating several times, that I was not going to say this to our friend, my W responded by saying "well wouldn't it be nice to know that someone who looks like her would be interested?"<P>My response to her was that this was not the point, and that I was not going to ask her the question. It took my saying this several times before my W finally stopped telling me to "ask her."<P>Anyway. A couple of days ago, I was watching TV, and my W was on-line, and started talking with this friend of ours. Evidently she had been having car problems. As they talked, my W asked her if she wanted to car-pool with me the next day. After a few minutes, my W told me that this friend did in fact want to ride in with me the next day.<P>The ride to work takes almost an hour. during that time, we talked about the problems in her marriage, talked about the "image" her no longer wearing her rings makes to many men. (We work for a VERY LARGE company, and she has been propostioned many times). I told her, as she has been told many times both not only me, but by my W as well, that if she ever needed anything, even if it was just to talk, to call us.<P>Shortly after I started work, I received a couple of messages from this friend saying that she had something she wanted to tell me, and another asking if I still had the Email address of the minister. She had apparently forgotten his address. I informed her that I did not have the address with me, but that if she asked my W when she came on-line, she could give it to her.<P>Well when lunch came, I went over to this friends desk, adn asked her what she had wanted to tell me. She said that it was pretty serious, but at the same time funny. I asked her if she was going to get lunch, and she told me that she wasn't sure she would be able to eat after what had happened. I told her that she needed to eat something, and had her walk over to the cafeteria with me. During the walk, she told me the story my W related in her dieting thread, about her H finding a condom in her purse, which was in her car at home. He called her at work and accused her of having an affair. When we got to the cafeteria, we got our food and walked back to our desks. We each went to our own desks, ate and went back to work.<P>When it came time to go home, we again talked on the way home. I asked her what she planned on doing, what she was feeling, and if she was alright. During this conversation, she would start to say things, then stop herself. When I asked her what she was afraid of, she said that there were thing in her past, which she was ashamed of, and afraid to tell for fear that these revelations would be used against her. I assured her, that I was not going to "use anything against her" or "judge" her. She began to continue, and asked that I not reveal these things to anyone. I agreed.<P>After dropping her off at home, I went home, and then went to the store and dinner with my W and D. The majority of the evening was spent with my W and I talking about the conversations I had with our friend. My W even commented at one point, that if our friend was staying with ehr H only to have a father figure for her kids, that my W would pack me into the car, and take me ove to our friends house, so that I could spend some time with her kids.<P>OK, so we are almost up to today . . . I came home from work yesterday, adn check this forum, something that I only do every few weeks any more, and find a thread by my W. In the course of this thread, my W again, implies that I am involved in or at least starting an affair with this friend of ours. And once again, there are comments made accusing me of this same activity.<P>You know what . . . I've about had it. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>I have gone out of my way to tell this friend of ours that she scares me. That with her marrital problems, and my history of marrital problems, it would be ver easy to have things happen, before we were even aware of where things had gotten. We have both agreed to continue to remind each other of this fact during the times when we do talk.<P>OK, one other thing I want to share here. . .I mentioned at the beginning of this thread that I had considered the possibilties, ramifications and realities of having an affair of my own. I want to share some of those thoughts. . .<P>Many, not all, women who have affairs are looking for a way to end their marraiges and find someone better, or are looking for a more adventerous sex life. With these ideas in mind, how do I rate, as a potential affair partner. . .<P>I am almost 40, over weight, going grey. I do not make a lot of money, and have a lot of financial problems to boot. I am not very well "endowed", and in fact was once told by my XW, "You're not very big at all" when we had our first sexual encounter.<P>I know, I know, I should have known continuing that relationship was not a smart thing, but that is an entirely different story . . .<P>Anyway, I believe that I have gone out of my way to prove to my W and everyone else here for that matter, that rebuilding my marriage was my primary goal. Assuming that I were to decide at some point, not to continue in my marraige, I know full well, that my W and my in-laws would rake me over the coals concerning alimony and child support.<P>So waht could I offer to a potential affair partner as described above . . .<P>For the one looking to replace their spouse, I would be offering a man approaching middle age, who is out of shape, flat broke, and destined to pay an outragous amount to my XW in alimony and child support. And to add insult to injury, I would only be able to offer mediocre sex.<P>For the person looking for a strictly seuxal relationship, I would be able to offer only medicore sex.<P>Real good prospect aren't I . . . <P>Bottom line here is, that I would like to see my marriage restored, so why in the he11 would I get involved in an affair with a woman that I am almost 14 years older than? My goal is to try and help a friend, who happens to be female, understand and make some descions concerning her marriage. I had thought that I was doing this with the blessing and assitance of my W.<P>Obviously I was wrong.<P>And, as far as my standing and membership in this forum . . . I am begining to think I may have made a mistake in that area as well. . .<p>[This message has been edited by Empty Shell (edited November 12, 2000).]

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ES<BR>I apparently haven't been reading enough here on the forum, because I certainly never saw anything to indicate you would even consider having an affair.<P>I am sure that you are way too "down" on yourself - keeping in mind that my best friend, age 31, is involved with a grey haired, slightly overweight 42 year old guy who keeps wondering what it is she sees in him.... <P>I don't know if it helps or not, but I, for one, have no reason to believe you are doing anything but fighting for your marriage every day. Maybe you do need to give your wife the opportunity to decide which threads have meaning to her and which do not, but members of this forum have no right to judge anyone else. While most of us know that it is possible for any of us to fall off the track under the right set of circumstances, none of us should attack anyone... the glass houses thing.<P>I'm sorry that you are feeling condemned here, and it upsets me that it is happening. I am also sorry to hear that your wife doesn't seem to have a whole lot of faith in you... you don't deserve that after dealing with the things you have had to deal with.<P>------------------<BR>terri<BR><B>Courage</B><P>Whatever course you decide upon,<BR>there is always someone to tell you<BR>that you are wrong.<P>There are always difficulties arising<BR>which tempt you to believe that your <BR>critics are right.<P>To map out a course of action <BR>and follow it to an end <BR>requires courage.<P><I>Ralph Waldo Emerson</I>

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Dear Empty Shell,<P>I am very sorry that you are feeling very bad about being on here. I read the Diet thread and I trust that a lot of the members are unaware about the history of Hopeful. I do not know that you are a couple as well.<P>I think it is a good thing that this issue is out in the open so that it can be discussed and all fears and insecurities put to rest. I think only Just Learning knows that the two of you are a couple? <P>I know that the MBers will help you if you asked for help. But it is good to vent, too. That is part of why we are here. You can vent so more and I will read.<P>God bless you<BR>weep

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Hello Empty Shell,<P>I am sorry to read about the continuing problems in your marriage. When a long-timer stops posting, I always hope it is because they have recovered and don't need this site anymore. I wish that was always true.<P>I have been here for well over a year now, so I know much of the situation that brought infidelity into your life. I have read about your struggles, and have always found you to be open and candid. Please don't be offended by the comments of others on this site who don't know the whole situation about you and your wife. And please don't be offended by what I am about to say.<P>The kind of friendship you are describing is EXACTLY the kind that turned into an affair for my husband and brought me to this site. The only differences I can see are that she has three children instead of four, and she is sixteen years younger than my husband. I also thought that the OW was my friend, but she actually used that false friendship to get close to my husband. He also told her all about MB and shared the information from this site with her.<P>Please believe me when I say this- Every woman knows that it is wrong to discuss two things with a man other than her husband or another close blood relative, her doctor, or her lawyer. Those things are the unhappy state of her marriage and her sex life. Any woman who discusses those personal things with a male acquaintance or "friend" is putting out a sign saying "willing and available". It might offend some people for me to say that, but it is true.<P>You don't need to answer me, but ask yourself these questions:<P>Has this woman told you things that you would not want your wife to tell another man? Has she made comments about how lucky your wife is to have a husband like you, or made similar comments? Has she made any comments about your wife that have negavite connotations? Do the conversations this other woman has with you make you feel good, important, needed, or anything like that? Is this "friendship" causing stress or damage to your marital relationship?<P>I would be willing to bet that you would have to answer "yes" to at least one of those questions, and that is enough to show that this situation is very dangerous to your marriage. Heck, the fact that your wife is actually ENCOURAGING this relationship is enough to set off an alarm. My guess about that would be that your wife is hoping on some level that something WILL happen so that the two of you will somehow be "even", and she won't have to be the "bad guy" anymore. Good grief, in our situation the other woman is now spreading rumors about her husband being unfaithful (not true) and about other affairs that my husband is having (also not true). She is doing that to make herself look like a victim to try to generate some sympathy. (Yes, she is as nutty as a fruitcake, but that's a subject for another day!) But I digress, as usual.<P>While the relationship you share with this other woman may be completely innocent right now, you are taking chances that are way too risky for an already-troubled marriage. It is certain to make a bad situation even worse, in fact it sounds like it already has done that.<P>The comment you made regarding counting you in if the other woman was advertising shows that either you are interested in this other woman, or that you made a comment to deliberately hurt your wife. Which one is it, or maybe it's both? Neither one is good.<P>I know that you often mention financial difficulties, so I assume that you think counseling is not an option. I wish you could find a way to be able to do that, and hope you will pursue the ministerial counseling at the very least. I am not a therapist or counselor, but I have been to both enough to know the value they provide, and I have been on this site long enough to know that there are very complicated issues brought to light in both your and your wife's posts.<P>Empty Shell, I am living proof that there is a major difference between surviving infidelity and recovering from it. Your marriage has survived so far, but that is not enough to make either you or hopeful happy. It will take a major committment by both of you to recover, and that means dealing with issues together. Not by ignoring them or by reading each other's posts.<P>Please don't think I am lecturing you or being unsympathetic. As a betrayed spouse I know first-hand the feelings you mentioned. Probably every betrayed spouse thinks that they would like to make their spouse suffer by showing them what it feels like to be betrayed. It won't work that way, though it might make the cheating spouse think that they aren't so bad after all.<P>I hope you will take what I have written in the spirit I offer it- as a fellow betrayed spouse who can recognize the danger in this situation and who can see things a little more objectively than the people who are involved directly in it.<P>Best wishes,<P>Peppermint<p>[This message has been edited by peppermint (edited November 12, 2000).]

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{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ES}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}<P>I also have not seen posts that to me implied you were cheating or about to cheat. I just re-read the diet post, and even there doesn't hopeful say "it would never happen."<P>Basically, wht I read into all this that she is very insecure. And, her weight and history of affairs make her feel like less than a great catch...therefore she is a little insecure about you. <P>As for you, my H is 43, overweight, and the hair that is left is greying fast. I'd love for him to lose some weight, but it doesn't effect my love for him at all. As for being endowed, I'll just say I've had several partners in the past, and there is a lot that matters more than size. So, quit feeling so down on yourself. Your posts indicate a caring, expressive man, and that's what most women want in a partner.<P>Now, instead of you and hopeful both sitting around feeling like 'bad bargains' go show each other what great spouses you really are...<P>Kathi

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ES, as one of the people who mentioned that I felt this "friendship" is inappropriate, I just want to weigh in briefly -- briefly because Peppermint has already said it all.<P>No one is here to take sides. It's clear to me that hopeful is insecure for a number of reasons. I know all about her relationship with her mother, and as someone who's been there, I can tell you, as I've told her, that her problems are not going to be resolved until she can resolve that relationship. <P>There's also the issue of projection -- that she's dealing with her own guilt by projecting on you an imaginary affair.<P>I don't believe you're having an affair for one minute. I do believe, though, that as soon as you allow yourself to be a confidant for a friend's marital problems, you are setting yourself up for trouble -- maybe not for an affair, but at the very least, for conflict with your spouse.<P>I've done it too. I have a co-worker who is involved in a HORRENDOUS situation with his wife involving recovered memories of horrific childhood sex abuse and an affair with my co-worker's best friend IN THEIR BED. And guess what? When I would try to talk about Dragon Lady to my H, guess what he'd throw in my face. Now, I wouldn't have an affair with this guy if he was the last guy on earth, but how was my H to know that?<P>Now I know.<P>ES, it's obvious that hopeful hasn't really done the work to resolve the ROOT CAUSES that led her to have the affairs. I suspect you're angry about that, and you have every right to be. But are you sure that you're not doing this A TEENSY BIT on purpose, put the shoe on the other foot, so SHE KNOWS HOW YOU FELT? It's a natural impulse, but not an effective one. You've been hanging around here long enough to know better.<P>As for hopeful, well, I suspect that the things she's doing that push you towards this woman are designed to try and address her own feelings of guilt. You are both involved in a little dance, and some one has to stop it.<P>

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Hello, my friend.<P>I don't come on very often , so I missed hopeful's thread. I'll go check it out shortly. But you know how I feel about the two of you.<P>I do not for one moment believe that you are having an affair...nor do I believe that you should be so down on yourself...nor should hopeful.<P>Most here don't know you. Tell me something....if you were reading hopeful's thread and didn't know the history of the author, what would you advise her of the situation? At the very least, this friendship is causing friction b/n the two of you. Whether it SHOULD or not is not an issue...it just is. So, once again, you guys need to talk....and not the way you seem to be doing so far, know what I mean?<P>You guys still have a ways to go, it seems. I can feel and understand your frustration..and it hurts me too. I do care so much for both of you. <P>Ok, back to the drawing board. Communication 101 for ES and hopeful, right?<P>You both have friends here who care. Don't let your frustrations cloud that truth, ok? Give hopeful a hug for me.<P>Love to you both.<P>Lori

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terri -- Thank you for taking the time to reply, for the vote of confidence, and the support.<P>peppermint -- <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Has this woman told you things that you would not want your wife to tell another man? Has she made comments about how lucky your wife is to have a husband like you, or made similar comments? Has she made any comments about your wife that have negavite connotations? Do the conversations this other woman has with you make you feel good, important, needed, or anything like that? Is this "friendship" causing stress or damage to your marital relationship?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>The conversations we have had have not been involving teh sex life , good or bad, with her H. She has in no way berated or attacked my W, and the only thing I feel is that I am trying to help a friend. <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The comment you made regarding counting you in if the other woman was advertising shows that either you are interested in this other woman, or that you made a comment to deliberately hurt your wife. Which one is it, or maybe it's both?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Actually the answer to this question is NEITHER. By nature I am a smart a$$. I have been this way for many years with everyone that I know personally. The nature of the relationships formed on this forum do not really allow for that side of my personality to show. <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>As a betrayed spouse I know first-hand the feelings you mentioned. Probably every betrayed spouse thinks that they would like to make their spouse suffer by showing them what it feels like to be betrayed. It won't work that way, though it might make the cheating spouse think that they aren't so bad after all.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>You're right. There are a lot of the betrayed who have at least considered this. There are also a lot of us who have considered homicide and/or suicide, but haven't followed through on those thoughts either. I even addressed this in my original comments in this thread.<P>kam6318 -- Kathy, thank you for the hugs and for taking the time to read this novel.<P>Dazed and Confused -- <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>But are you sure that you're not doing this A TEENSY BIT on purpose, put the shoe on the other foot, so SHE KNOWS HOW YOU FELT? It's a natural impulse, but not an effective one. You've been hanging around here long enough to know better.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Yes I am sure that I am not doing this with alterior (sp?) motivies. The majority of my life, I found myself in "caring", "helpful" professions. By nature I am a caring person, and have been fairly successful at integrating a level of detatched reality.<P>I am very analytical, very composed (most of the time), I am a notorious smart a$$, and I care about people. Strange combinations I know.<P>lostva -- <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Ok, back to the drawing board.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I think you're right.<P><BR>You know, there is one other comment that I would like to make to everyone in general . . . Everyone is very interested in telling me not to have anything to do with this friend, to basically leave her to her own devices. . . Well, you know what? If we all did this, then this forum wouldn't exist, and if it did exist, it would be a few text pages, and nothing more.<P>How does this relate directly to this friend of my W and I? As far as either of us know, infidelity has NOT infected this friends marriage. She has been introduced to this site, and has read some of the information here, but is not able, or really comfortable talking with strangers about her feelings. . . Gee that sounds like comments I have heard many many times on this forum.<P>I am trying to offer help to a friend. My W says that she is doing the same thing. I am NOT now, nor do I ever intend to have an affair, with this friend, or anyone else.<P>

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It's not the size of the car that determines it's power, it's what's under the hood. It's so sad that XW said something so cruel to you and that you let it undermine your self worth. I know I would rather have love, affection, admiration from a man than a big whopper. (Sorry to be crude but I was at a loss of a term to use.) The value of a person is not measured in his appearance, bank account, or age...the value of a person is measured in his character.

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Oops, forgot to finish what I wanted to say. Sorry. You shouldn't be riding with this woman to work, talking with her about personal problems, or having lunch with her at work. If your wife is truly her friend (which I seriously doubt considering your wife' behavior) then she should be the one this person confides her problems to. Why would your wife be pushing you two together? It doesn't make sense to me. I think you should tell this woman that you realize it is not wise for the two of you to develop any type of relationship.

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Hi again,<P>I didn't mean to imply that you were having or even considering having an affair with this friend. BUT when I first noticed my husband and the OW becoming friends and spoke to him about it, he said the same things you did in your post, almost word-for-word. And I absolutely do believe that he really did think he was being her friend at the beginning of their relationship. But after fourteen years of casual friendship and six months of a "helping" friendship, it crossed the line and there is no taking that back.<P>In a recent counseling session with Steve Harley, he used this analogy. If you drop a frog in a pot of hot water, he will jump out immediately and save himself. But if you drop a frog in a pot of room temperature water he will stay there. If you put the pot on the stove and turn it on, the frog will stay in the water until it gets so hot it kills him, because it happens gradually. Steve said an opposite-sex friendship becomes an affair in the same way. It happens so gradually that you don't realize it until it is too late.<P>Most people who have affairs are good people who never planned to do such a thing. They just get caught up in a situation that makes them feel good on some level and get somewhat addicted to it. If good moral people were immune to affairs, there wouldn't be so many ministers on this site! A church in our community just lost their pastor for the very same reason, getting involved with a troubled woman that he was trying to help, at least in the beginning.<P>I'm sorry you were upset by my post. I was only trying to point out a possible danger, and your situation struck close to my home!<P>Peppermint

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Just read the diet post. And have to open my mouth about that here.<P>ES, during the course of my marriage, I gained some weight. I am not a lover of dieting OR exercise, so it is very easy for me to gain. I needed encouragement in order to really buckle down and do something. When I asked my husband to help me, he said much the same thing that you said over on Hopeful's diet thread. All I wanted was for him to prod me a little until I got into the groove - I NEEDED him to do that. So, when he didn't, it came across to me as if he didn't really care about me. The more that happened, the more I withdrew, and the less likely it was that I would do ANYTHING about my weight.<P>What I am trying to illustrate here is that Hopeful is reaching out to you - can you find a way to HELP her lose weight? Walk with her? Eat low-fat foods with her? Something?! She needs you to respond interactively... Tell her that you don't care if she loses weight, but that you understand how much it means to her and you will help out in any way you can.<P>It really hurts when you think you are asking for something small and insignificant like moral support with dieting and/or exercize and your spouse makes it "your" problem and won't participate. I know this from personal experience and will be happy to talk to you about it more if you would like!<P>You know that Hopeful has some self-esteem issues - maybe you can help her resolve some of them simply by taking a walk with her a couple of times a week!<P>------------------<BR>terri<BR><B>Courage</B><P>Whatever course you decide upon,<BR>there is always someone to tell you<BR>that you are wrong.<P>There are always difficulties arising<BR>which tempt you to believe that your <BR>critics are right.<P>To map out a course of action <BR>and follow it to an end <BR>requires courage.<P><I>Ralph Waldo Emerson</I>

Joined: Aug 1999
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I guess I should jump in here a say something. I guess the only thing I can really say is that I'm sorry. I never meant to accuse my H of having an affair with our friend. I guess I did to an extent, right after he found out about my affair, for him to go out and have an affair so that I could understand what I had done to him.<P>But being the wonderful man that he is, he didn't because he knew that it wouldn't accomplish a thing. It wouldn't help us get back on track. I also realize that this friend of ours really needs someone to talk to. I am afraid that her H may do something to her or the kids that could be harmful or damaging to them and they don't deserve that. She does have a couple of things in common with my H like losing a parent to cancer at an early age and having to live on their own before they graduated from HS. I guess my mind set is that she would rather talk to him about what is going on instead of me. I guess I just thought that since we had done a lot of talking over the past six months or so that if she really wanted to talk she would talk to me.<P>She turned to my H and I guess I was just hurt and confused. I thought that I wasn't a good enough friend for her to confide in but my H was.<P>I will not think of her as any more than a friend and a coworker of my Hs. I really love my H with all my heart and soul. I see now that what I'm doing is killing him and destroying our marriage and I don't want that to happen. If this friend decides to confide in my H than I will support him with all my soul. <P>Again I am truly sorry ES for the accusing remarks that I have said. I will do my best to be the best wife I can be and that includes not accusing you of things I know you have not done.<P>I LOVE YOU!

Joined: Apr 1999
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ES -<P>I'm getting in a little late on this thread, but I wanted you to know that I read it in its entirety -- twice -- to make sure my response is appropriate.<P>Here's the deal:<P>I think that others have said it VERY well -- there's a good deal of insecurity in your marriage, I think on both sides. Those of us who have been around a while, and who have had the genuine pleasure to get to know you and hopeful, are very well aware of the difficulty y'all have in communicating with each other.<P>I know hopeful has admitted on several occasions that she simply has a hard time opening up. I'm sure that's due in no small part to the difficulties she had (and has) with her mother.<P>However, you have GOT to be the facilitator here. I know how frustrating it gets, but you've got to make it as easy as possible, as safe as possible for her to open up to you. I know I get frustrated often with Petunia, and I sometimes lash out, and that's wrong. I've had to work hard to communicate better, and it's not an easy thing to do. But, it's WORTH it.<P>As for the developments regarding your friend from work, I've got some opinions there too. I think the others are right that hopeful may be projecting her own guilt and shame onto you, and that her self esteem issues make it difficult for her to be completely honest with you about her own feelings.<P>However, I get the feeling that your post may unintentionally mischaracterize what she's been doing. I don't meant to cast aspersions at you, and you know how fond I am of you, but try to see this from hopeful's perspective:<P>1) You told her to come to this site to post her feelings because you thought it would help her strengthen her self esteem and open up to you.<P>2) Now, when she comes and tells the members of the site that she suspects YOU of having an affair -- whether that's a justified feeling or not -- you explode with anger and frustration. How safe does that make her feel?<P>I know you want her to talk to YOU about this stuff. I certainly understand that feeling. It would be the BEST way to handle her concerns. However, she's chosen to accept the avenue you gave to her -- she's posting her feelings here. Don't let her expressions here keep you from working constructively on your marriage. Embrace your wife for having the courage to write it here, even though she knows you'll read it. It's the first step to establishing that communication that you need.<P>It may be that she has mischaracterized your relationship with y'all's friend. I don't doubt that you are faithful to your wife. However, clearly, hopeful has other thoughts. Instead of getting mad at the posters here who seek to HELP her, use her post as an opportunity to facilitate dialogue between the two of you. And, make sure you TALK with each other, don't yell! Validate her position and offer her reassurance and love, not accusation. You KNOW how to do it.<P>Most of all, remember the policy of honesty and the policy of joint agreement! Live by the MarriageBuilders principles, and you'll see the results.<P>A final word about your friend at work: I think it's noble that you want to help. I think it's terrific that you are such a caring person. However, given the troubles in YOUR marriage and the troubles in her marriage, commiserating with her WITHOUT hopeful being present, is dangerous. You KNOW that. To borrow a line from the ethics rules for attorneys, it's not the actual impropriety, it's the appearance of impropriety that you want to avoid. If it looks, smells, feels, or sounds improper, thent it doesn't matter whether it really IS improper. You can't convince others of the rightness of your position if you position looks suspect.<P>Y'all can fix this problem. You've just got to be patient and be open with each other. For your daughter's sake, TALK to each other like adults and fix the problem. Counseling is a must, I can't stress that enough. You CAN do it!<P>I love you guys! I want to see you beat this.<P>Keep going!<BR><P>------------------<BR>/// Lone Star * ///<P>


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