Alex1345 Show full post »
Tim2014
Well put and in her case I think she did and it has backfired all the way around. In my case I believe the fog has lifted but she doesn't know how to piece the puzzle back together. Months after dday she gave me this card while she was still pining telling me I convinced her we would live happily ever after. I didn't do anything except be me!!!ive done nothing different except in the beginning of this nightmare I did what they said not to do but I did it to shee her reaction which was textbook like written. I need my space I'm depressed you can't help me!! I did this to confirm what I saw and that confirmed it. If she would have acted differently then I would have gave her story a little thought to being true.its amazing how they think we're stupid all of a sudden!! I think she realizes now I'm not I told her the whole scenario but you know she denied it but like Kalmarjan said she has always condemned cheating and look at what a mess she got herself in!i believe she doesn't want her friends to know because of the fallout with them. She thought they didn't like me in her mind but guess what I recently joined fb and they all friended me within minutes. I still remember the look on her face.
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Anna26
Kalmarjan wrote:
 

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? 



Absolutely Kal, I agree with you 110% about it being something akin to addiction, the more a person sees the AP the more it feeds the need to see the AP and so it continues.  It takes a strong person to be able to take a step back and say, I need to go no contact and try and sort my head out.  I've always thought being able to do this gives you a chance to rekindle the feelings between you and your spouse.

And yes, I think any marriage can be so 'steady away' that you almost become bored with each other.  The mundane tasks of life take over and everything seems so humdrum and dull.
This is what may have occurred in our case, there were so many things that took priority. My children and I always seemed to be the last in the queue, but there didn't seem to be anything I could do about the gap that was widening because I could see that all these other issues were important too.  But in the end I think the pressure of caring for his elderly parents has proved too much and something broke in him that he didn't know how to fix. I think he got so depressed about a way of life he couldn't do anything about. And instead of talking about things with me ( as he is a man and doesn't talk about problems - no offence to you Kal, you obviously do), he clambered over the fence to where the grass is definitely a whole lot greener.  I can only hope that now it's been mown quite a lot it's now as sparse and dry as the grass at this side!!  [wink] I'm not trying to make excuses for him, it's just that when I try to view how things might have  happened and what could be going on in his head right now, this is what I  see.
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Kalmarjan
Anna26 wrote:
And instead of talking about things with me ( as he is a man and doesn't talk about problems - no offence to you Kal, you obviously do), he clambered over the fence to where the grass is definitely a whole lot greener.  I can only hope that now it's been mown quite a lot it's now as sparse and dry as the grass at this side!!  [wink] I'm not trying to make excuses for him, it's just that when I try to view how things might have  happened and what could be going on in his head right now, this is what I  see.


None taken. My wife and I both are /were not the best at communication. I can't say I was good in the past.

It's almost completely destroying my relationship and the work that I have done that let's me have some tools for communication.

Ha ha on the grass part. If there is one thing I hate, it's grass. The irony of this is, I used to live in the mountains and I have seen grass that will take your breath away. It's all natural though, and so here is my philosophy in lawn care (and now by extension my marriage verses the "green grass" of the neighbour...)

The grass here is great. Mine maybe has a rough patch here and there, but I like the fact it looks natural.

The neighbours grass is almost perfect, a green that I will never ever be able to match. But jeez, the WORK involved in that. It's high maintenance! ( Look at me, make me feel special, buy me this, give me that, prove to me that you are worth it. Spend all of your time tending to me and make it perfect. Oh, if you don't, I'll be gone and brown and patchy and youll be left with nothing to show for it.)

My grass can be just as green, if I tend to it. Unlike the other side there, my grasses roots run very deep so when the droughts come, the grass is still there. If there is a fire, it grows back. Bug infestation? No problem because that is just at the top inch level.

I learned my grass tending from nature. There's no one up in the alps mowing and tending grass. It's build over a foundation of many years. I don't use any pesticides or herbicides on it, because neither does nature. If there are weeds that threaten to take over, they are ruthlessly eliminated. (Nature uses mountain goats or sheep) I even mulch the leaves and grass back into the ground every time I mow it.

I've discovered marriage is the same. Indeed, the grass is greener on the other side. So what, who cares? I love my lawn!
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Anna26
Fantastic analogy Kal, absolutely love it, I forsee a lot of lawncare and gardening posts coming up now!
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Tim2014
Yes it is theirs a book out there called avoiding green grass syndrome by Nancy Peterson I've read a excerpt and I'm going to get the book wow was all I can say from what I got to read she's telling her story from start to now the whole ugly details wow lies wS tell themselves to do what they do anyone can jump the fence it takes courage to stay in your own yard
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Alex1345
Kalmarjan wrote:
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?


I don't know, man. That's where it gets murky. Do I ask her to leave? I'm not sure what cards I've got other than being stubborn. Ideas welcome.
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Alex1345
Anna26 wrote:
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!


Anna, thanks for that. It made me feel a lot better when I read it this morning. Sorry I haven't had time to respond until now. Yes, a slight boundary. Gotta start somewhere, and part of that is letting her know in no uncertain terms that I'm not going to roll over and make this easy.
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Alex1345
Well here we are a few weeks later. I continue to work on myself, my relationship with the kids, excelling at work, prayer constantly, meditation, upping my running again, SSRIs. She never mentions the OM, but the situation hasn't changed since I last wrote, the long distance relationship probably continues. Some days she's cold and angry seeming toward me, others, pleasant and friendly. Either way I'm working on just being 100% disassociated in terms of the romantic/marriage aspects of the relationship, but in all relationships (with kids, coworkers, etc,) 100% present and loving. And with her, warm and polite, curious. But no more.

She has taken to sleeping in another room. I have made it clear I'm not planning to leave - not the master bedroom and not the house. So we remain in this strange stasis.

I honestly believe that if this affair can die a natural death, if the fog can lift, there's hope for this marriage. And there's too much invested in this family not to at least try. Our kids deserve it.

People, including a close friend and my therapist (who was our marriage counselor until she revealed she was still in contact with the other guy and quit going) seem supportive of this to a degree, but anxious to have me thinking about next steps. As in, you deserve better than this, you should be thinking about what next steps should happen if she doesn't come around, wake up, etc., as she may never. They want me to imagine what kind of relationship I'd like to be in. And it's not that I can't. I'm a good looking guy, very fit, smart, with plenty of flaws to round those positive qualities out, but in general, not someone who is worried I couldn't find someone else. And sure someone with more shared interests, a more similar personal style, etc. It's not that I am terrified because I don't think I could live without her - I'm sure I could and happily eventually - but I love her and love our family. I know her good qualities as well her bad, and until this all happened had tremendous respect for her, and deep affection (though I didn't always show it well)".

I am simply not ready to give up on this. I committed to this, for better or for worse, and I believe love is an act of will. I believe that the almost two decades we have spent together mean something, and that we could be happy together in a really deep and meaningful way - if we had a fair chance to do the work. That means the affair has to end. And if she's not willing to end that because the fog remains (and it was a fog, the things she's said are textbook, from the books and from all of these forums), then I can't see the harm in trying to outwait the fog. Unless she serves me papers, and unless this waiting were literally destroying me (it's not, thanks to all the coping strategies described above), then this seems like the least damaging course to take. I get to stay here in my home, I get to tuck my kids into bed each night, and she gets to be reminded (if and when the fog lifts) of the strong, confident provider and loving father she'd be walking away from.

Not sure what I'm looking for in a response - maybe just for someone to say, yeah, I've heard that's worked. Point me at a success story.
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Anna26
Alex,

You are doing the same thing as me at the moment, the only difference is my WS moved out, we don't have a spare room!  In your case you have more opportunity to talk to your wife with her still being there with you. And I think you are right to stay in your home.
You are saying all the things that I believe, too many years to give up on, and if the affair fog cleared there would be a chance to work at the marriage but not until, and definitely NOT until the affair ended completely.
And even though in my darker moments, when I think what's the point of carrying on with this, I keep waiting because I believe I have something salvageable in my marriage.
I'm not sure about a success story but for what it's worth I think we are doing the right thing...
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TimT
Alex1345 wrote:
...I have made it clear I'm not planning to leave - not the master bedroom and not the house. So we remain in this strange stasis. I honestly believe that if this affair can die a natural death, if the fog can lift, there's hope for this marriage. And there's too much invested in this family not to at least try. Our kids deserve it. People, including a close friend and my therapist (who was our marriage counselor until she revealed she was still in contact with the other guy and quit going) seem supportive of this to a degree, but anxious to have me thinking about next steps...
Your response is similar to the one Laura Munson chose and wrote about in a NY Times article that has been widely read [link below]. It can be a powerful choice when motivated out of strength (instead of fear or vengeance). But I agree with your counselor who encourage you to have a "next step" plan if your wife does not choose your marriage or you will become a hostage to her indecision. When does that become an unhealthy choice? When has the motive become need rather than love?

Those are difficult questions to answer, but continuing to wrestle with them will be good for you. You've taken a strong stance and I think it's a good one. But there are some risks. If your wife only returns to the marriage out of guilt... or when the affair eventually begins to die and you become the "default" safety net... you may not get what you ultimately want. 

NY Times Article (Note: The author did not know if there was an affair or not, and I wonder what difference there might of been if her husband declared love for another woman. And she put a private deadline in place; she did not plan to remain in this state forever.)
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Alex1345
Thank you Anna. My prayers that things improve. And Tim, great article, thank you. I relate so much to what she did. Spot on. I think the most difficult thing is that next step you reference. If she won't do it (her indecision) then what justification do I have in blowing up the lives of these four amazing kids if I don't have to? I would give my life for them - any parent would. What's the difference if that sacrifice is fast or slow? Is it inconceivable to imagine suffering this for years if it spared them? I know that sounds maudlin, and maybe melodramatic, but if I can do it, should I do it? That's what makes it so hard to put a hard date on this - and say okay, if this isn't resolved in six months I'm either leaving or kicking her out.
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TimT
Alex1345 wrote:
...If she won't do it (her indecision) then what justification do I have in blowing up the lives of these four amazing kids if I don't have to? I would give my life for them - any parent would. What's the difference if that sacrifice is fast or slow? Is it inconceivable to imagine suffering this for years if it spared them? I know that sounds maudlin, and maybe melodramatic, but if I can do it, should I do it? That's what makes it so hard to put a hard date on this - and say okay, if this isn't resolved in six months I'm either leaving or kicking her out.
I respect your devotion to your children. If you decide to sacrifice a marriage of trust and intimacy in order to protect them, that's a hard choice but one I can understand.

However, if your children are going to benefit from a choice like that, you will need to be sure of a few things...

1. The ongoing relationship between you and your wife is free of ongoing, outward conflict. This will damage your children more than experiencing divorce.

2. You are able to continue living in a way that models authenticity with your children. Your family should not become a place of secrecy mad pretending.

3. You will need to find healthy outlets for friendship and encouragement and support. Your children should not be your only source for these thngs; they should not become the emotional substitute for your marriage.

The fact that you are struggling with the choice in this manner is admirable, but I know it's difficult. Keep us posted.
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Alex1345
Tim, thanks and I agree with all these points. The truth is, I can't imagine doing this indefinitely. I'm just struggling with how to set any kind of timeline based on the points made above. Thankfully, while there is tension between she and I there's very little in the way of actual conflict. Ugh. This all still feels so surreal.
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