Alex1345
I have struggled with anxiety (while appearing outwardly calm, commanding and very high performing, successful) for my whole life, and the heart of my consolation in that inward private agony, other than my faith, has always been my wife. She was the person I trusted most in the world, and whom I felt the least insecure with. When I discovered a few months ago she was having an affair, and she said no longer had feelings for me or loved me, it was as though my chest had been compressed until my heart couldn't beat and lungs couldn't breathe. For days, weeks maybe, every step was like one taken underwater, or in a nightmare, where it requires unspeakable effort.

It turns out she'd reconnected with an old friend on social media and developed an emotional affair, which finally culminated in a physical affair. He is many states away and it's not easy for them to connect, which means the relationship remains primarily phone, messenger, texts, etc.

We have four children, all of whom are young, and who I love beyond measure. And the truth is, I still love her - though I am not blind to her faults, and at the moment, her willingness to lie to me without compunction.

I'm a deeply religious person, though not in a pain-in-the-ass holier than thou kind of way, and also very aware of my own faults, and have struggled for years to be a more generous person with my attention, both to my wife and children, and this has been a common focus of my prayer. I am an introvert, and it's easy for me, especially during stressful times, to retreat to books and ideas and my own thoughts rather than reaching out to people. I can see how it would have been very lonely to married to me during the periods of my greatest anxiety and stress as I struggled to excel at an extremely demanding job to provide for the family.

I see my marriage as not just a legal situation, but a sacramental one. I am the sole provider for her and my children. I don't believe her choices absolve me my responsibility toward her as my wife.

When I first found out about the affair (several evenings of unusual and intense arguing led me to asking point blank questions that finally provided true answers), we agreed to try and fix things. She said, if I come back and am 100% committed, will you have me. I said yes, and off we went with counseling. However, it was clear to me that she was still holding herself at a remove. To my eyes, she was acting as though she was trying to stay "faithful" to the AP.

And finally after about a month, it came out she had not broken off communication with him. This resulted in the most massive bout of personal grief I think I have ever endured. Worse than the initial revelation. That resolved with me writing her a letter saying I was giving up pursuing and trying to fulfill her emotional needs, but that I wasn't leaving either. I would be here, and ready to work things out if she decided she was willing, she responded very thoughtfully to the letter, and I see she still feels a great deal of ambiguity. She does not know what to do next any more than I do, and so here we stay - in detente.

I realized I couldn't chase her, cajole her, bribe her, or win her back with affection and tenderness. I realized that whatever this thing was that she was going through needed to play out long enough for her to get clarity. But I also realized that I was not ready to leave my house, leave my children, leave everything that we had built together over 16 years of marriage.

At the same time I realized that the changes I'd known I'd needed to make in myself - to be present - not just to her but to the children, to all of the people in my life were happening. Long accretions of defensive scales and selfish inward-directed ness were burning away in the pain. I have been doing what folks recommend - trying to take care of myself, continue to use this trial toward personal growth, and growth as a father, and in all my relationships. But it is so painful underneath it all to be so uncertain as to whether this can work out, whether her vision will clear, whether she will remember the love, or how much we have built together. And always knowing he is there, sending sweet and tender messages from a distance, at his convenience, while I do the work. I would say it's unfair, but that's ridiculous in a world where fair is so relative, and so many have it so much worse. But it hurts and it's hard nevertheless.

I wondered, and still wonder, if this is part of God's plan to make me the person I've been asking him to make me. If so, I'm glad, and I accept, but I wish there'd been an easier way.

In the meantime, though, I'm stuck in the position of being here, with her, trying to be kind and warm without pursuing or demanding, wait out this long distance emotional affair, while being massively present and loving for my kids, and not trying to win her back through grand romantic gestures, though the temptation is always there. I will not compete with this guy.

I'm not sure what I'm looking for by posting here. Affermation? Advice? Maybe just a chance to say some of this. I've been discrete amongst our mutual friends and community, and that's hard too. I'm not looking for someone to give the hardline speech about manning up, growing some balls, and kicking her out. I feel like I've got both clarity, and courage, and the decisions I'm making right now are about strength and faith and duty. If I have to subjugate my ego to play a long game here, I will, it is not the same as denying my convictions, or being a doormat, especially if it can save my kids the pain of a divorce and salvage something that has been so good for so many years, and maybe make into something better than it's ever been.

So there's the gist of it. Tell me something, community.





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Kalmarjan
Alex1345 wrote:
I have struggled with anxiety (while appearing outwardly calm, commanding and very high performing, successful) for my whole life, and the heart of my consolation in that inward private agony, other than my faith, has always been my wife. She was the person I trusted most in the world, and whom I felt the least insecure with. When I discovered a few months ago she was having an affair, and she said no longer had feelings for me or loved me, it was as though my chest had been compressed until my heart couldn't beat and lungs couldn't breathe. For days, weeks maybe, every step was like one taken underwater, or in a nightmare, where it requires unspeakable effort.

It turns out she'd reconnected with an old friend on social media and developed an emotional affair, which finally culminated in a physical affair. He is many states away and it's not easy for them to connect, which means the relationship remains primarily phone, messenger, texts, etc.

We have four children, all of whom are young, and who I love beyond measure. And the truth is, I still love her - though I am not blind to her faults, and at the moment, her willingness to lie to me without compunction.

I'm a deeply religious person, though not in a pain-in-the-ass holier than thou kind of way, and also very aware of my own faults, and have struggled for years to be a more generous person with my attention, both to my wife and children, and this has been a common focus of my prayer. I am an introvert, and it's easy for me, especially during stressful times, to retreat to books and ideas and my own thoughts rather than reaching out to people. I can see how it would have been very lonely to married to me during the periods of my greatest anxiety and stress as I struggled to excel at an extremely demanding job to provide for the family.

I see my marriage as not just a legal situation, but a sacramental one. I am the sole provider for her and my children. I don't believe her choices absolve me my responsibility toward her as my wife.

When I first found out about the affair (several evenings of unusual and intense arguing led me to asking point blank questions that finally provided true answers), we agreed to try and fix things. She said, if I come back and am 100% committed, will you have me. I said yes, and off we went with counseling. However, it was clear to me that she was still holding herself at a remove. To my eyes, she was acting as though she was trying to stay "faithful" to the AP.

And finally after about a month, it came out she had not broken off communication with him. This resulted in the most massive bout of personal grief I think I have ever endured. Worse than the initial revelation. That resolved with me writing her a letter saying I was giving up pursuing and trying to fulfill her emotional needs, but that I wasn't leaving either. I would be here, and ready to work things out if she decided she was willing, she responded very thoughtfully to the letter, and I see she still feels a great deal of ambiguity. She does not know what to do next any more than I do, and so here we stay - in detente.

I realized I couldn't chase her, cajole her, bribe her, or win her back with affection and tenderness. I realized that whatever this thing was that she was going through needed to play out long enough for her to get clarity. But I also realized that I was not ready to leave my house, leave my children, leave everything that we had built together over 16 years of marriage.

At the same time I realized that the changes I'd known I'd needed to make in myself - to be present - not just to her but to the children, to all of the people in my life were happening. Long accretions of defensive scales and selfish inward-directed ness were burning away in the pain. I have been doing what folks recommend - trying to take care of myself, continue to use this trial toward personal growth, and growth as a father, and in all my relationships. But it is so painful underneath it all to be so uncertain as to whether this can work out, whether her vision will clear, whether she will remember the love, or how much we have built together. And always knowing he is there, sending sweet and tender messages from a distance, at his convenience, while I do the work. I would say it's unfair, but that's ridiculous in a world where fair is so relative, and so many have it so much worse. But it hurts and it's hard nevertheless.

I wondered, and still wondered, if this is part of God's plan to make me the person I've been asking him to make me. If so, I'm glad, and I accept, but I wish there'd been an easier way.

In the meantime, though, I'm stuck in the position of being here, with her, trying to be kind and warm without pursuing or demanding, wait out this long distance emotional affair, while being massively present and living for my kids, and not trying to win her back through grand romantic gestures, though the temptation is always there. I will not compete with this guy.

I'm not sure what I'm looking for by posting here. Affermation? Advice? Maybe just a chance to say some of this. I've been discrete amongst our mutual friends and community, and that's hard too. I'm not looking for someone to give the hardline speech about manning about, growing some balls, and kicking her out. I feel like I've got both clarity, and courage, and the decisions I'm making right now are about strength and faith and duty. If I have to subjugate my ego to play a long game here, I will, it is not the same as denying my convictions, or being a doormat, especially if it can save my kids the pain of a divorce and salvage something that has been so good for so many years, and maybe make into something better than it's ever been.

So there's the gist of it. Tell me something, community.


I am reminded of a sermon I attended a whole ago about the differences in religion. Jesus climbed into the pit and said son, let me take on your pain and we can get through this together.

It takes a huge amount of character to go through what you have. You have done the soul searching, and changes you need to do. (I also suffered from extreme anxiety years ago, so I also understand that too.)

Your wife mentioned that she was going to be 100% all-in for the recovery process. 100% means ceasing contact with her AP, period.

I am a wayward spouse. I finally understood that while I may not go back to cheating with my AP, (in no shape or form) by continuing contact with her it is like playing with gasoline and matches.

I committed to my wife. That means no more AP, contact, talking, texting, block her on Facebook, messenger, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Tumbler, or whatever other social media app there is. anything else is not showing that 100% commitment.

Unfortunately, i don't think there is any Gray area to be had here. I believe you know that too, deep down. It's all about boundaries, and what you will be willing to accept as the caretaker to your family.

While you may want to save your children the pain of a divorce, don't forget they are also learning what is and isn't acceptable in your relationship with your wife. In essence the two of you are the most important people in their world's.

If they are seeing that it's okay about what mommy is doing, and daddy is just taking it, and not layout out a boundary, then they will think it's okay to do these things later in life when they are with their Spouses. You may be saving them pain in the short term, but make no mistake you are damaging them in the long run.

Children may not know the exact details of what is going on, but they have a sense of things being wrong. They also are egocentric, which means they will put the blame for the family pain on themselves. This means later on they will act out.

I saw this first hand with myself and my sister when my family had problems, and when my son did the same when I had problems with my wife.

Plus, take a look what the scriptures all say about adultery. On no occasion does it condone it. In fact, quite (violently on occasion) the opposite.

Just my two cents as a recovering cheater.
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Anna26
Alex1345 wrote:
That resolved with me writing her a letter saying I was giving up pursuing and trying to fulfill her emotional needs, but that I wasn't leaving either. I would be here, and ready to work things out if she decided she was willing, she responded very thoughtfully to the letter, and I see she still feels a great deal of ambiguity. 

I realized I couldn't chase her, cajole her, bribe her, or win her back with affection and tenderness. I realized that whatever this thing was that she was going through needed to play out long enough for her to get clarity. But I also realized that I was not ready to leave my house, leave my children, leave everything that we had built together over 16 years of marriage. At the same time I realized that the changes I'd known I'd needed to make in myself - to be present - not just to her but to the children, to all of the people in my life were happening. 

In the meantime, though, I'm stuck in the position of being here, with her, trying to be kind and warm without pursuing or demanding, wait out this long distance emotional affair, while being massively present and living for my kids, and not trying to win her back through grand romantic gestures, though the temptation is always there. I will not compete with this guy. 




Hi Alex:  I can identify with so many of the points you make in your post and the ones I've selected above are more or less the position I am in at the moment as well.

I too wrote a letter to my husband, speaking straight from the heart.  I covered everything I could possibly think of at the time, and he couldn't believe how I had managed to convey my feelings to paper in this way.  However he was unable to do the same, how I wish he could as it may have been some kind of outlet for the thoughts going round in his head right now. He may have come to a decision more easily.  The only decision he managed to come to was to agree to my request that he move out temporarily, as I believed the affair was still continuing even though I knew about it.  I couldn't countenance him living in the same place as me, as a family, while this was still going on.  I couldn't see why he was and is, still so ambivalent.  The only difference now is that four months later, he gave his AP an ultimatum, therefore throwing the ball in her court, and she decided to stay with her husband.  BUT, he is still ambivalent.  Perhaps he hopes she will change her mind, perhaps they will pick up where they left off, or maybe never truly stopped. 

And I agree to be constantly wondering if they are in contact, whispering sweet nothings to each other, while you are in the dark, wondering, if, when, and most of all, WHY, causes you the deepest and most heartfelt pain possible.  This WAS alleviated somewhat when he moved out, things were a lot calmer and I was able to concentrate on me more, but every now and again I wonder about it


He is probably pining for her, but I know that until he can see for himself that what he is 'pining' for is not actually her but how she made him feel, I cannot accept him returning home.  Unless he is 100% committed to his marriage and working to make it better there is no point.  Unless he is totally aware of the NC rule too it will be too easy for things to begin over again. 

After 28 years I am not ready to give up on my marriage either, and you are right in believing that you cannot win them back by pursuing, pleading or emotional blackmail and self pity.  They have to make the right decision because they want to, because they have looked inwardly and can see who they are becoming and who they actually want to be. 
I could try explaining this to my WS till I'm blue in the face but right now I don't know if he will ever 'get it'.  He seems to be still living in the affair fog.
So I'm concentrating on me, trying to be the best person I can be, because I'm the only person I CAN change.  And I will not share my husband with another woman and told him so. 

Kal is right in that there needs to be boundaries set, and adhered to and until the WS can see this for themselves, until they have that moment of enlightenment ( and I'm still waiting for the light bulb to come on) the BS is just going round in circles, like the proverbial one legged duck.

He also has posted some brilliant posts on here offering a great perspective from a WS, and some of what he has written has given me a great insight.  How I wish my WS could be as clear minded.

Hope this helps a little...
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TimT
Alex1345 wrote:
I'm not sure what I'm looking for by posting here. Affermation? Advice? Maybe just a chance to say some of this.

You'll probably get a bit of all that here, Alex. I appreciate you sharing your story. 

If you haven't done so already, I'd encourage you to read the following two things:
  1. eBook: Wayward Spouse
  2. article: Dangerous Connections
You'll get some great perspectives from Community members, too. They're good people.

I'm glad you're here.
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Alex1345
Hi Kalmajan, Anna, and Ted,

Thank you for your thoughts. And Anna, I am so sorry for what you are going through. God it hurts. I understand what you are saying about setting boundaries, and that's the trickiest thing. I could demand she stop communicating with him ... But she wouldn't because right now she believes the illusion (at least I think it's an illusion). Everything matches exactly the affair fog description in the books. So she knows I know, I know, and we are both here in the same house. If I set a boundary like. I'm moving out unless you end it, I lose. Lose my home, my kids, at least tucking them into bed each night. If I say, I demand you leave if this doesn't end, I put the kids into a situation I'm not ready to put them into, and start down a road toward legal battles I think would be counterproductive to the long term goal. She is being discreet - not rubbing it in my face, and I suppose that's some kind of boundary, but beyond that, I can't see the next step, beyond waiting for the fog to clear. And enduring.
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Kalmarjan
Alex,

I don't envy your situation and I am truly sorry you need to go through it. I can totally understand the predicament you are in.

Have you spoken to your pastor about this situation?

You are scared of doing the wrong thing, and that things may blow up on you if you do the wrong thing.

The problem with your approach is that by not taking a decision, you are still doing something, and that is condoning what she is doing. No action is still an action.

I will be honest with you. The fog she is in will not go away until her entire world is threatened. This could be long after the fact that your family is destroyed by this. She may be discreet, but so what? It's killing you.

Bottom line, it may continue as it is right now, but something will need to give. In the end your wife will need to make a choice. Chances are that the AP will push, or your wife may feel that the grass really is greener on the other side.

I am not hearing about you here though. Set aside your children for a minute, or your love for your wife. It's okay for you to have your needs here, and to have a vote.

I don't want to be crude, but where does it end? What is acceptable to you? Is it going to be okay with you if your wife tromps over your vows, and disregards your family and you while exploring this other relationship?

Are you prepared for the eventuality of the possibility of unprotected sex, or a possible pregnancy? How will you explain this to the family, or your kids? How will you live with that?

YOU matter here. I know you are taking one for the team for your kids. I get that. (I have one of my own.) I entertained the idea of staying in my house while I was "exploring" the relationship with the OW.

Then my mother talked some sense into me. It's not about the children per second, but more about me, and the situation at the home. Just like in an airplane that is going down, and the pressure drops... You put the mask on yourself first and THEN take care of your kids.

This is the same thing. Like it or not, even if the kids don't know the dirty, they will know something is wrong. You will not be able to hide it from them, and in the end by not taking care of your need in this situation, will it foster a good environment for your children?

Believe me, I know it is scary to leave. I've been there. Fiscally it doesn't make sense. The children are uprooted, and there are a bunch of unknowns

What is more scary is having your children act out because they don't know what's wrong. What's worse is they blame themselves. They may be in a situation they have no control over but by you not taking care of yourself you ensure that they will internalize the conflict and eventual dissolution.



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Anna26
Alex1345 wrote:
Hi Kalmajan, Anna, and Ted, Thank you for your thoughts. And Anna, I am so sorry for what you are going through. God it hurts. I understand what you are saying about setting boundaries, and that's the trickiest thing. I could demand she stop communicating with him ... But she wouldn't because right now she believes the illusion (at least I think it's an illusion). Everything matches exactly the affair fog description in the books. So she knows I know, I know, and we are both here in the same house. If I set a boundary like. I'm moving out unless you end it, I lose. Lose my home, my kids, at least tucking them into bed each night. If I say, I demand you leave if this doesn't end, I put the kids into a situation I'm not ready to put them into, and start down a road toward legal battles I think would be counterproductive to the long term goal. She is being discreet - not rubbing it in my face, and I suppose that's some kind of boundary, but beyond that, I can't see the next step, beyond waiting for the fog to clear. And enduring.



Alex, I understand how difficult things are for you right now.  The main difference for me is that my children are adults but are still at home.  Neither of them are in the position to support themselves should the worst happen.  And believe me when I say that prior to my WS moving out I had gone through all those awful scenarios:  what if we have to sell the family home, where will we live, how will we manage,  even to the point of working out budgets for myself to see what I could afford to do.  I only work part time, am over fifty and this isn't a good time in anyones life to be trying to get a full time job or a new mortgage.

I thought at the time of discovery, discretion was paramount and that included hoping my children didnt find out.  I, perhaps mistakenly, believed that if the affair was over we could work things out and get on with our lives once more, but as time went on I could see that it wasn't going to just blow over.  The  constant tension in the house caused me angst, worry, and a nagging doubt that things were continuing.  Every time I asked questions he fudged the issue or came up with an outright lie.  Every time I tried to work through issues, to implement things I knew we should be doing to resolve the problem, he became defensive, particularly about her.  In his eyes she could do no wrong.  For example I asked the question, where did you meet her, and he wouldn't tell me.  That just made me think that he probably was STILL meeting her and didn't me to know where 'there' was in case I turned up one day too!  Things like this made me see the affair was probably still ongoing.

But I've got off the point...my children did pick up on things and began asking questions  so we eventually told them.  They were hurt  and furious of course but have now settled in to a kind of grudging tolerance of him, he is after all their father.  Things became better for them after he moved out but they like me, are in limbo, playing the waiting game.

I am generally a very quiet reserved but tolerant kind of person, maybe this has been my downfall.  My Dday was 8 months ago, he moved out 4 months ago but the time in between was spent with me mostly worrying and waiting for them to make decisions about my life and my marriage, he had so many reasons to delay things, and I could see that if I didn't do something it would likely continue in this manner and that's when he got the ultimatum.  I told him I loved him and wanted to work on our marriage, but that I wasn't prepared to share him with her or play second fiddle.  He is well aware of what he needs to do to return home if he so wishes, but he has to make that choice for himself.  My boundaries are firm, fair and made in a loving manner.  I have made it clear that whatever happens, I will be okay and that if I have to I can and will make a new life for myself.  I'm not worrying about the long term future, I'm just trying to live in the here and now and take each day as it comes.

I can see your difficulty in being the sole provider for your family, and I think if you spoke to someone about your problems you could maybe come up with some kind of support network for yourself and your children to enable you to still work should your wife move out.  Perhaps that's  just me feeling that the BS has not chosen to have the affair and therefore should not have to move out of the family home if it came to it, but practicalities for you may dictate otherwise. 
Certainly, for me, just talking to a trusted person helped.

But don't misunderstand me, I am not saying you should do what I did, I'm just telling a little of my story.  But I do think that boundaries are not necessarily about ending the marriage but more setting in place what is and is not acceptable to you at this time.  I remember that all I could think of was the probability of a divorce until someone said to me you are planning and thinking too far ahead, you have time to think things through, there is no rush.   I think it all boils down to how much you can tolerate for now.  And don't forget, you are not the only person with everything to lose, your wife will lose just as much, if not more, but I think it's only when they can see that there is a distinct possibility that they could, that the penny drops.

For me, I can honestly say that, where at first I was this small insecure person, doubting everything, waiting for them to run my life, now I'm not.  Setting those boundaries gave me a strength I never knew I had. For once I had control of things.  I'm no longer afraid of doing things on my own if I have to and I think I've gained a new kind of respect in the eyes of my spouse. But there just came a point when I just couldn't continue living as you are living at the moment.  I found feeling second best so demeaning and degrading. but now i have my dignity and my self respect back. It's not all about your wife's and your childrens needs. Remember you count too!  I hope you can find a way of working something out.


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Kalmarjan
Anna26 wrote:
He also has posted some brilliant posts on here offering a great perspective from a WS, and some of what he has written has given me a great insight.  How I wish my WS could be as clear minded.

Hope this helps a little...


To be honest here, if it wasn't for reading about your struggle, and pain, there is no way that I would be able to offer that insight. Plus, there have been people who have called me out here on these boards who have made me realize that I still have a LOT of work to do.

Alex1345 wrote:
She said, if I come back and am 100% committed, will you have me. I said yes, and off we went with counseling. However, it was clear to me that she was still holding herself at a remove. To my eyes, she was acting as though she was trying to stay "faithful" to the AP.


This is the main sticking point for you here Alex. She promised 100%, and has renenged on her promise. In fact, you also stated this was worse than the initial betrayal. 

No one will be able to tell you what to do. That's up to you. In the end, it's your decision. But, It's your decision, not your kids, or your wife's. 

The thing that I try and remember is a story I once read about King David. He even cheated and caused all sorts of damage on the battlefront because of his actions. He tried many ways to cover up a pregnancy that occured. His friend called him out, and David repented and was forgiven by God.

I know that your faith may give you pause to even consider divorce because in God's eyes, divorce is immoral. But, and this is huge... so is continued infidelity. 

BIBLE wrote:
“But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife [and husband of course], except for sexual immorality, makes her [or him] the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery” (Matt 5:37. 19:9).


Divorce is a last resort but if there is no other choice and infidelity persists with no signs of remorse, repentance, or change, then divorce is permitted.  God hates divorce but He would not expect a married person to remain married to a spouse that remains in an adulterous situation.  It is hoped that there is always room for repentance, counseling, and reconciliation – but if it doesn’t occur, and sexual sins outside of marriage persist, the victim of such a marriage is not bound by the law and God would not call that sin.

Do you have a pastor or priest that you can go to to get some advice and counselling? You wouldn't need to bring your wife at first (in fact it may beneficial for you to go alone to get the guidance you need..) and it may really help you get some insight on your situation.



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Alex1345
Thank you both, I appreciate the comments, and especially the understanding of the pain involved here. It is so strange to go through the days, smiling and responding appropriately at work, leading, listening, counseling, and to be so freaking broken inside. I hear what you are saying, and have talked to my pastor, and I know this current state can't go on indefinitely. I pray on it, relish the moments with the kids, and try and stay grateful for what is working in life. And pray to discern the right next step.
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Alex1345
Well, after a month of patient tolerance of this detente, last night we ended up having a very serious discussion that ended in an serious argument. Grievances were aired. I basically said, I'm not leaving. You are choosing this affair, you have chosen to rewrite the history of our marriage, you have chosen to lie to me again and again, to my face, without the least compunction, while I apologize again and again for not loving you well enough. But in this, I will make the choice, and I'm telling you, I'm not walking away from my home or my children, to make way for your new relationship. I love you, am willing to work toward reconciliation, but obviously not while your affair continues.

I said some hard things, and she seemed shocked to hear any criticism of her character (willingness to lie, to put the affair above the needs of me, or more importantly, the children) but maybe this is wake up call from fog she's been in. Or maybe it's the nail in the coffin. Either way, it helped me realize that I've made my decision. I'm not going to make it easy for her to end this marriage. Not going to walk away, not going to grant a divorce based on mutual incompatibility or whatever non-specific label she wants to give it to insure that our families and friends never have to be aware that our marriage is falling apart because she's having an affair.

So what next? I don't know.
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Tim2014
I just read your post! You have start somewhere! I've read a lot about infidelity and one psd I read is called women's infidelity living in limbo.ill sum the book up from my perspective. Once limerence faded from your relationship and moved to real love so you two could function normally your wife as mine didn't understand their loss if passion.so hence along comes ap and they feel passion because of the brain chemicals releasing which makes them rewrite history that you're the wrong person to be with in their mind and to justify their actions!! Only to find out have I done I've lost everything!!!its like the old joke what food stops a women's sex drive ? Wedding cake!! From my readings my wife doesn't realize that love is what's real passion doesn't exist 24 7 365 forever, people can't function there's everyday responsibilities. Is it because they lack self esteem that I can't answer on your wife's behalf but for mine it is the lack of self esteem!! As I reflect back on our lives I didn't see it clearly but now I do!! She has no self esteem whatsoever and guess what I'm the one paying for it. So right now like you I'm trying to piece the puzzle back together if possible. But I'm unsure of the outcome myself! How do you help someone that thinks they don't need help?im sorry for your pain as well as everyone elses
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Kalmarjan
Alex1345 wrote:
Well, after a month of patient tolerance of this detente, last night we ended up having a very serious discussion that ended in an serious argument. Grievances were aired. I basically said, I'm not leaving. You are choosing this affair, you have chosen to rewrite the history of our marriage, you have chosen to lie to me again and again, to my face, without the least compunction, while I apologize again and again for not loving you well enough. But in this, I will make the choice, and I'm telling you, I'm not walking away from my home or my children, to make way for your new relationship. I love you, am willing to work toward reconciliation, but obviously not while your affair continues.

I said some hard things, and she seemed shocked to hear any criticism of her character (willingness to lie, to put the affair above the needs of me, or more importantly, the children) but maybe this is wake up call from fog she's been in. Or maybe it's the nail in the coffin. Either way, it helped me realize that I've made my decision. I'm not going to make it easy for her to end this marriage. Not going to walk away, not going to grant a divorce based on mutual incompatibility or whatever non-specific label she wants to give it to insure that our families and friends never have to be aware that our marriage is falling apart because she's having an affair.

So what next? I don't know.


You know neither of you are ready for the divorce. People these days seem to think it's an easy process. Just sign a paper and it's done. I applaud you for laying it down and saying no - there needs to be some work done here before we go down that path.

So, if you don't mind me asking, what is the boundary there? What are the consequences if she continued with this illicit affair?
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Anna26
Alex1345 wrote:
Well, after a month of patient tolerance of this detente, last night we ended up having a very serious discussion that ended in an serious argument. Grievances were aired. I basically said, I'm not leaving. You are choosing this affair, you have chosen to rewrite the history of our marriage, you have chosen to lie to me again and again, to my face, without the least compunction, while I apologize again and again for not loving you well enough. But in this, I will make the choice, and I'm telling you, I'm not walking away from my home or my children, to make way for your new relationship. I love you, am willing to work toward reconciliation, but obviously not while your affair continues. I said some hard things, and she seemed shocked to hear any criticism of her character (willingness to lie, to put the affair above the needs of me, or more importantly, the children) but maybe this is wake up call from fog she's been in. Or maybe it's the nail in the coffin. Either way, it helped me realize that I've made my decision. I'm not going to make it easy for her to end this marriage. Not going to walk away, not going to grant a divorce based on mutual incompatibility or whatever non-specific label she wants to give it to insure that our families and friends never have to be aware that our marriage is falling apart because she's having an affair. So what next? I don't know.



You stick to your guns that's what Alex!  I think you've done the right thing saying what you have.  You've assured her that you love her,  you have been firm but fair and explained yourself really well by the sound of it.    I also said to my spouse that I wasn't even prepared to work at things while the affair continued, what was the point?  That's a slight boundary in itself, but whatever others you set, be prepared to follow through on them. 
It shouldn't be easy to end a marriage, when you think of all the years you have had together, memories that are irreplaceable...I know I won't give up without a fight, and IF your marriage did fail it won't be because you haven't given it your all. Good on you for making a few things clear!
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Anna26
Tim wrote:
Once limerence faded from your relationship and moved to real love so you two could function normally your wife as mine didn't understand their loss if passion.so hence along comes ap and they feel passion because of the brain chemicals releasing which makes them rewrite history that you're the wrong person to be with in their mind and to justify their actions!!


This is exactly how I feel about affair love v real love.  Once all the excitement and fizz that you first experience has gone from your relationship it's replaced by something, maybe not quite as exciting but stronger and more real than limerence could ever be.  It's a case of do you want the headiness of a 'new relationship' feeling all the time? ( in which case you will never be content and always searching for new pastures) or do you want the reliability, stability and security of the kind of real love born out of a trusting and caring marriage?  I know which I'd choose.
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Kalmarjan
Tim wrote:
Once limerence faded from your relationship and moved to real love so you two could function normally your wife as mine didn't understand their loss if passion.so hence along comes ap and they feel passion because of the brain chemicals releasing which makes them rewrite history that you're the wrong person to be with in their mind and to justify their actions!!


This pretty much sums up what happened in my case. Granted, it took 12 years to get to that point.

Anna26 wrote:
This is exactly how I feel about affair love v real love.  Once all the excitement and fizz that you first experience has gone from your relationship it's replaced by something, maybe not quite as exciting but stronger and more real than limerence could ever be.  It's a case of do you want the headiness of a 'new relationship' feeling all the time? ( in which case you will never be content and always searching for new pastures) or do you want the reliability, stability and security of the kind of real love born out of a trusting and caring marriage?  I know which I'd choose.


Yeah, I can see your point now. That's when logic replaces the stupidity that I was going through.

The thing is that you are dealing with something akin to an addiction. While the uncertainty does suck at some level, we need uncertainty in our lives in order to fulfil a basic human need. So, if you in a relationship where things are always the same, and perhaps you are both being taken for granted by each other, does it seem likely that the grass could appear greener on the other side?

Of course, I know now that it isn't, and that I made a very, very stupid choice. But I have to tell you now... I am working to put that spark back in there. Perhaps we take a trip every two months, just the two of us, no kids. Or take her out on a date every two weeks. Whatever.

If that isn't present, (like it wasn't for years in my case) a weaker person with no defined boundaries will sometimes listen to their outer child (the one that wants instant gratification NOW!!!) and make a stupid decision akin to taking a hit of heroin just once... to see what happens.
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