AngieB

I am looking for some advice on how you all are coping with an ongoing affair.  And, how can you manage to communicate with your WS about the basics - the house, kids, etc. -  in the midst of  their affair fog and your own bitterness and anger.

 My husband began an affair two months ago with one of his direct report employees – a woman who is married, lives at home with her husband (who knows she’s cheating) and their kids.  My WS is the third married man with whom she has cheated on her husband.  The last time was just a year ago.  My WS adamantly swears they have not slept together yet, but have held hands, kissed, etc.  I discovered the affair via texts on his phone about one month ago.  I told him he had to leave.  He is staying with friends.

 I feel like their relationship has little future due to each of their circumstances, but also because my husband has genital herpes and she doesn’t.  He tells me he’s told her about it, and she has said: “Well, we’re not anywhere near that point (sex) so let’s not worry about it now.”  I find it hard to believe with her past that she would take the risk of contracting it.  And if the relationship won't move past a certain point, they may tire of it.  I feel like there’s a good chance she’s stringing him along and using him as a past time to avoid her own issues.  Am I just being naïve about their future together?

 I wholeheartedly believe I could forgive my WS and trust him again in time and with a lot of work.  But he tells me he loves her, doesn’t love me anymore, and doesn’t want to be married.  He is text book affair fog.  But sometimes I feel like I get mixed signals from him.  He still wears his wedding rings.   He has told me he is interested in counseling so we can learn how to better talk to each other about the kids, house, etc – but not about saving our marriage.  On that point he says, “I’m not there.” 

 We both hate that we can barely talk to each other and we don’t want to constantly fight.  On the subject of counseling for strictly communication purposes, I can’t do it.  Since the affair is still happening, it makes me so angry.  The in-progress betrayal of it all is too much for me.  But there is part of me that wonders if he wants this “communication” based counseling in order to open the door to address the problems between us.  But I have a feeling it's just wishful thinking on my part.  I also wonder if it would help pull him out of the fog.  Again... wishful thinking.  If the affair ended, I would feel totally different about it.

 I’m wondering how other BS dealt with their WS’s affair while it was in progress.  And, have you ever heard of counseling just to communicate?  I also want to know if there is any significance to him still wearing his ring.  I wonder if there is a part of him that wants me to keep the door open but can’t admit it to himself.

I welcome any perspective you can offer.

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jerrymichele
In my opinion, it is best to end all contact with him. I have done that, and today I made the mistake of talking to my husband. Unfortunately, I am the one paying the consequences with my emotions.
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ConfusedInLimbo
I am also on the no contact path with my WS. I had done a good five days when he showed up to the door to wish me a happy mothers day. So I had to start all over again on Monday. It is so hard and I can say I am for depressed to be honest but there's also other factors contributing to that.
However I would rather be on the 180 then to send texts that are only responded to hours after and not with the same enthusiasm I usually long for..

Try that. Try not communicating unless you absolutely must. When the urge comes read , pray , cry...whatever relieves the pain BUT texting or calling . I feel that works for me. Id rather experience pain because I am longing for him not because he has inflicted it upon me by not meeting my expectations. Hope I make sense. I'm 9 months from Dday and he moved out just btw.
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Fionarob
These are my feelings - based on my own experiences.  Counselling to try and reconcile your marriage is a waste of time and money if one party is still involved in the affair.  I also think it serves little point in just helping you to communicate - there are ways of doing that without any arguments or stress, and it doesn't involve paying somebody lots of money.  I now communicate with my husband either by email, text or over the telephone if necessary.  I find that way I can keep it very business-like and keep the emotions out of it.  My husband (the WS) is still showing a lot of anger in his replies, but I just let it wash over me. 

As far as I am concerned, since he has left I have nothing to argue with him about.  Before it was always about his on-going affair, the lies, more secrets, hidden contact with AP etc etc.  Now I don't have to worry about any of that, I am moving on.  I have nothing left to be angry about.  He is still angry because his little bubble of having a lovely wife/family, plus an exciting affair, has burst.  He hates that he now has no control, so he is showing a lot of anger and frustration still.  

Although I am sad that my marriage has ended, my life is so much lighter and happier because I am not thinking about his affair every single minute of the day.  I am free of it all and an enormous weight has been lifted off me. I lived with it for 2.5 years, it took it's toll.  I had forgotten what it's like to feel happy......it's so nice to feel like me again.
 
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AngieB
Thanks to you all.  Fionarob, I appreciate hearing this.  I am just 5 weeks since DDay with the affair having been going on for about 2 1/2 months as far as I know, and I am so desperate to be where you are emotionally as it relates to the affair.  I want SO BADLY to not care.  I want to NOT think about it every minute of every day but it feels impossible.  Last night, I offered for him to pick up our boys and spend time with them, but he said he had other plans... I knew he was going out with her.  The ongoing betrayal just destroys me.  Because we have young children, we communicate every few days, and he calls the house daily to talk to them.  It is much easier over text.  The last conversation I had with him was by phone on the Saturday before Mothers Day.  Like ConfusedInLimbo said, I regretted it.  So, I started over on Sunday.  On Tuesday, I spoke with an attorney just to get an idea of what my rights are should it come to that - but God, I pray it doesn't. 

I just wonder if they ever really come out of the fog.  I wonder if his bitterness and anger toward me will ever end. 

The waiting and the no knowing are agony. 
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blythespirit
I agree that for right now, so early in this process, the less interaction the better, and text or email is preferable to over the phone or in person because it's easier to stay emotionally detached.  You also have the ability to reflect on your message before sending it, which is no small thing.  It took me awhile to figure this out and it kept our relationship, and me, in a state of turmoil much longer than was healthy.  We're physically separated now, and although I don't believe that he's out of the fog, I do believe that after six months or so, he's starting to come out of it.  What has helped immensely for us has been the time that has elapsed, and the space that we're giving each other.

We're not talking about reconciliation at this point because, truthfully, although I desperately wanted that initially, I don't know if I do anymore.  Taking the 180 approach, and releasing my need to try and control the situation, which is clearly impossible, has left me feeling stronger and more stable, but much less sure about what I want to happen ultimately.  And the beauty of it is that I'm o.k. with that.  I'm no longer in a panic to try and "fix" things.  

That said, however, I have also decided that I am now o.k. with addressing and trying to improve the way my WS and I communicate.  We were not in a good place in our relationship when the affair started and there was much disfunction in the way we communicated and interacted.  I initially refused to discuss any of our underlying issues with him while he was still involved in any way with his AP.  I couldn't handle the ongoing disrespect to me that his "friendship" with her represented.  So we stalled out for many months over this issue.  And that has probably been a good thing for both of us.  We're each doing counseling individually and so I'm now at a point that I feel I've accepted the fact that the affair happened.  I don't like that it happened, it wasn't fair to me, and it shouldn't have happened.  But, well, it did.  And if he and I are going to get to a point where we BOTH decide we want to do the work to recommit to each other, well then we're going to have to start to address what the underlying problems were.

So, I've decided to set the "issue" of the ongoing contact with the AP to the side temporarily.  With the benefit of time and reflection, and hearing from many of the voices in this forum, I do now believe that the affair was never really about my WS and the AP, but that it has always been about the relationship between he and I.  All the OW ever had to offer him was making herself available, when I was not.  Nothing any more special than that.    

My point, I guess, is that I do believe there can be value in working on the way you communicate with him, even without a stated intention to try and reconcile.  I couldn't have done it where you are right now though, at 5 weeks out, because I was still a disaster.  And I don't know that going to any kind of couples counseling together to work solely on communication at this point will be helpful.  Individual counseling for me has been invaluable so far, and I didn't start that until about a month ago.  My WS, too, has been amazed at how helpful his counseling is proving to be.  And this from a man who would NEVER have considered talking to anyone in that capacity prior to this.  

Outside of talking about the "business" of our life together, mostly our children (and still much of it through text/email), my WS and I set aside one hour, one day a week, to talk about the bigger picture, how we got to the point where we are, and how to communicate respectfully and with care with each other.  It doesn't sound like much time to devote to such a big agenda, but any more than that would be overwhelming to both of us right now.  And if he and I don't make it together as a couple, we still have to co-parent our children and thus, continue to communicate.  So, there is value in the process of personal growth associated with these discussions, aside from the reconciliation perspective.   

I didn't intend to ramble on so long but hope that you may find something in there that helps.  Many people here know exactly where you are right now, and it's not a good place to be.  There is always hope, however, even if it doesn't come in the way in which you want it. 
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Fionarob
AngieB - I know how you feel....but you are still so close to DDay, you won't feel like you don't care at the moment because it's all so fresh and you do care!  It took me over two years of constant lies and betrayals to finally feel like I didn't care any more.  I had to reach the point of knowing I had done my best to save the marriage, and that the only option left was to end it.  I just refused to live that life any longer.


I don't think they can come out of the fog whilst the AP is on the scene.

I hope you can get to a good place, but for now just take it one day at a time.  Take care
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