anthropoidape
Hi, I have posted a bit elsewhere on the forum with some history. I am not sure what to do at present. 

3.5 months since DD. My WW has been to two individual counselling sessions and feels she needs no more for now. We also had two joint sessions which were with a lousy counsellor and were discontinued. 

The first couple of months after DD were pretty rocky and she essentially took the position of either:

1. I want to stay with you forever thank you for being so strong and not giving up; or, 

2. I am breaking up with you but not for the AP, I just need to be alone, I am not fit to be with anyone 

In between were a lot of pretty hard-to-take statements about me - I will never feel passion for you, your body can never do for me what his did, I dislike your touch, monogamy is forced on us by society, etc. Hard stuff but not, to be honest, all that bruising to me. But also in between - I love you thank you for being so strong if I saw anyone else acting the way I have been I would despise them I am so sorry etc. 

A few weeks ago things shifted and stabilised a bit. We had had a few big arguments and she verbally ended it a few times. I did too but specifically in response to some fresh lies. ("I am going for a walk" she said then met with him, in a public place, to tell him expressly that she had decided to be alone not with either of us). I slept in the spare room a few nights but she fairly quickly got me to return to our bed. I pretty much told her - look it is not too late yet. She pretty much won't let me go. 

So anyway after all that up and down stuff she suddenly changed quite dramatically. She became extremely focused on our household, cooking, arranging kids stuff etc. I had already given her all the financial material passwords etc that she didn't already have (I had been trying to for a while but she was neglectful during the affair) so she could look after our money while I focus on earning. (I trust her financially.)

She began talking exclusively in terms of "us" and "we", moving house, investments, etc. Building/nesting type attitude and language rather than tearing down.  Before, this had been a bit intermittent.

All good. 

I had and have since told her a lot of times that contact with her AP hurts me and damages our chances, but she has reisisted NC. I do believe that she is not looking to be with the AP, that he has turned her off him quite badly with his behaviour, but that she cares about what happens to him and feels an obligation to support him. 

There was a flare-up last Friday when the AP's wife approached me to arrange to meet and double check some dates etc... Basically she was implying that things are about to go nuclear with that couple and stop being an amicable split.

I told my WS about that; in short she made another effort by text message to implore the AP to try harder with his wife. 

I honestly believe she is sincere in not wanting him and being focused on us, admittedly more on our kids than on me. 

Today I asked if she has had any contact with him since those messages on Friday. She said no. I believe her. She asked why I asked. I said because sooner or later you have to block his number. Why? Because as a result of the affair I am hypervigilant and I constantly think you are secretly contacting him. 

What good does it do you to worry like that?

It is not about what good it does me.

Anyway. We talked a bit. She said she doesn't want to be wanted/needed in a way that this kind of thing matters. To be fair as I said I just don't think the AP is a threat (though I do know he wants to be a threat). But it still bothers me that there is contact. 

She said she is depressed, which is true, is doing her best, which is true, and isn't thinking anything about him that would bother me,  or saying anything to him that would bother me. And I believe those last two things also, though I am very sure he is saying bad stuff about me/us/the concept of staying together. 

I feel like I might be treating NC as a test of commitment when in fact it is clearly fizzling out anyway. And can't be policed. She knows it upsets me and I think she has curtailed it. But I believe he pressures her and is needy, saying he can't cope etc. And I know she is devastated at the thought of his family unit breaking up because of her... At least partly because she thinks this is more likely to lead to public shame, but also for the sake of their kids' happiness. 

I feel that she needs calm space and time to heal and that I gain nothing by pressing NC since it is fading on its own. And I am not threatened by him, honestly. Indeed if she did leave me for him it would ease my life. It is just the sense that she is secretly doing things at all that bothers me. 

She has depression, she is gaining weight rapidly through binge eating, she is reading a book her IC recommended and parts about "feeling empty" resonate for her. She is being supermom and acting like there never was an affair. I am not saying I think her strategy is great but I think it is a genuine save-our-family strategy on her part and is taking some effort. 

Obviously it is her fault not mine that I am being hypervigilant about contact and secrecy, nor does she say it is anything but her fault. 

In a way it is the real or imagined ongoing secrecy/compartmentalising/double life that is bothering me not contact per se. It feels like affair behaviours continuing even if the affair is not. So for example when she goes to the bathroom with her phone I get that anxiety that she is talking to him, even though she usually isn't and anyway if she is it is not the affair it is post-affair contact. 

I guess the point is that I don't know if I need to demand NC (and how do you ever know if that promise is being kept anyway) or if I just need to address the hypervigilance some other way. I really, really want to string together a bunch of good and peaceful days. This would be easy if it weren't for the hypervigilance or NC issue. Yes it is her responsibility as WS but I am stronger than she is right now and the AP is not an actual threat imho so what is the right thing to do? It is so good when we go a week without stress. 

I should say - our relationship is not anywhere near what I want for life at this stage. But I genuinely believe she is trying hard to rebuild a family unit and is not intentionally betraying me with the contact. 
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Dirazz
As long as there's contact he is a threat. There's a reason all the experts say 
first step to healing is NO CONTACT. 
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anthropoidape
You are probably right but I can't make myself take him seriously as a threat no matter how I try, in that if she were actually to leave me for him I would be well rid of someone so stupid. 

I get your point though and I appreciate it. 

I had an epiphany after I posted that and decided to take a different tack. In fact it just flowed naturally from conversation. I have simply put the whole problem to her, NC, hypervigilance, stress for me, damage to the ap's wife and kids, and asked her to work out the solution. She's smart and she's definitely trying to keep our family together.

So I will see what she comes up with. Why should it be my problem?
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Keepabuzz
Dirazz wrote:
As long as there's contact he is a threat. There's a reason all the experts say 
first step to healing is NO CONTACT. 


Anthro,

   This is exactly right!  Of course he is a threat!  He has already had an affair with your wife. He is actively pursuing her.  Your wife DOES NOT "get it".  She says what good does it do you to worry about if she contacting him???  She clearly doesn't have ANY understanding that it's not your choice to be hyper vigilant, it is solely because of the damage she has caused you by all of her lies and deceptions. 

I know what you mean when you says you will be ok no matter which decision she makes.  I don't understand why you choose not to demand NC.  At the very least, her communicating with him at all is wildly disrespectful to you. You, the person she has already betrayed, and disrespected in the worse way. Her continued communication is nothing short of a continuation of the disrespect.  You can't control her, but you can control what you allow to happen around you, and what you allow will continue.  If I was in your shoes, it would be NC, or she would be finding a new place to live.  She needs to choose, you, or him.  If her choice is you, then he must be gone from her life forever. If she is unsure, she can be unsure living somewhere else. Much like your wife, my wife is financially dependent upon me.  There is no way I was willing to continue paying for her lifestyle once she confessed if she didn't agree to NC. I still wasn't sure for a long time if I was going to stay long term. 

This is a mess she has made. All this pain, rage, destruction is all HER doing, not yours. Why must YOU continue to sacrifice?  The only pain she needs to be worried about soothing is yours, not his, not his wife's, not his children's, just yours.  The AP needs to deal with his own mess, and she needs to deal with hers.

You said the communication can not be policed, it can. There are many tools to track everything.  I would be glad to help you with these tools. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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surviving
Keepabuzz - I would like to know how to track secret emails.  In order for my husband to have his affair, he had a secret email account that I didn't know about.  How can I be sure he doesn't have one now?
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Keepabuzz
I don't think anyone could ever "100%" sure, but there is software that you can install on computers that track everything that is done on them. i.e. Websites visited, logging keystrokes (you can see everything that is typed, including passwords). There is also software you can install on phones and tablets that does the same thing. There is always a way, if they really want to continue to make bad decisions, but you can drastically limit the available options, and you can do it without them knowing it. 

I understand where Tim is coming from, being open with the WS about what we as BS's are going to track, but that is not the path I took.  I thought, if I tell her everything that I'm going to track, and how I'm going to track it, then that just gives her an easy way to not get caught.  I left it up to her imagination about what and how I was going to track her. Who knows, she probably thought I was tracking way more than I actually was.  
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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TimT
You should expect no contact, not demand it. If you have to demand it in order for it to happen, then your wife is not in the right place for true healing. Maybe she needs more time. Maybe she's just fooling herself. I have no idea what's really going on, but the clear indication that you can risk moving toward trust is when SHE takes full responsibility for cutting off everything with him and focussing on healing for herself, you, and your marriage. If you have to make that happen, then you're accepting too much responsibility.

If you choose to stay with her during this uncertain transition, then it is a position of grace and you have to be aware of the risks. She has to stop feeling responsible for the AP's outcomes. She has to let him go to figure it out for himself. The fact that she still feels the need to reach out, encourage, etc. is an indication that she has not made the complete turn yet. Be careful.
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Guiltguilt
It is impossible to completely come out of the fog without NC. I did not completely close the door, and I did pine for months. The AP contacted me each month until I capitulated. The only way to be free of this chaos in your life is to try "the 180". Look after yourself first. My wife got on with her life. There is one worse feeling than anger, and that's nothing. Total apathy. It's not the motivation for the 180, but it sure is a fog snapping consequence. Good luck. 
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anthropoidape

Guiltguilt was your affair discovered or admitted? In my case, my WW admitted the affair before I discovered it. To some extent I think the fog was already lifting as the affair was turning sour anyway - she was seeing the AP for what he is rather than the fantasy version. He has conducted himself terribly since her confession too. 

I think I do need NC eventually, but I am conscious that my WW is (a) struggling with a lot of issues beyond just the affair and (b) genuinely trying to rebuild our family. I would like to string together a few peaceful weeks now. I have told her pretty clearly that if she continues contact it is very likely that it will mean we end up separating. And in my own mind I decided that I will give it a few months and if I have not seen the necessary changes then I will start the formal separation process, give her half of our assets and agree to care for the kids 50:50.

But in the meantime I honestly can't stand more arguing and fighting for now, I just want to peacefully go about the business of running our household and caring for our children, and if all she is doing is receiving a text from him every few days then I am not sure I care enough about that to have another round of WW3 here. Frankly a big part of me wishes she'd leave me for him so I could start fresh sooner rather than later. 

TimT I think what you've said is exactly what I am thinking. I have set out all the issues, I am not willing to demand NC, I am not willing to live a life where I am ruling someone through guilt, where I have to monitor someone's phone use or daily life. I guess I am saying that I like the idea of "a position of grace" and ultimately that accords with what I perceive my own nature to be. I have to be myself. I know that I can take more months of uncertainty and that I owe it to my children (and indeed the WS whose wellbeing does matter to me) to give it longer. If she's not ready she's not ready, and I honestly believe she is not ready. 

As far as her jeopardy goes - well she has clearly decided, rationally, that she is not willing to break up our family for anything, now that she's faced the possibility. Our kids have taken care of that side of it. Beyond that, time can only make things better - I think, by showing her that she needs to fight to keep me, but failing that by showing her that she needs to leave me. 

I guess that's the best I can do. I am not frightened of either outcome; I am finding more strength and patience than I realised I had. I am finding more depth of love for WS than I realised I had too; I could not have predicted that I'd stand by her at all in these circumstances. I am honestly surprised to find that I want to support her even with leaving; this is a strength/weakness (which?) that has built up in me only over the last two years. 

In essence I am giving her a chance to save her life, but it is up to her to decide if she wants to save that life at all.

I am going to sit on this issue and let it turn over in my mind a bit more. There is no point saying anything now when I am not sure what I really think about it.

Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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anthropoidape
... and that is why I joined this forum - because I want to stop saying things I haven't fully thought through, but need somewhere else to let them out!

Thanks.
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Guiltguilt
It was discovered in a public way, months after it had finished. The 180 sounds like guilt inducing, but really, it's about you doing as you said. Getting on with life.
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anthropoidape
Guiltguilt wrote:
It was discovered in a public way, months after it had finished. The 180 sounds like guilt inducing, but really, it's about you doing as you said. Getting on with life.


Thanks. I think that, right now, today, I am just not in a position to push or force anything; I want some respite from the whole situation and the closest I can get to that is to let things slide along and go about our business as co-parents. When I have recharged a bit I will get stuck into it again, but I will probably just start by trying to get MC back on foot with a better counsellor. NC can be talked about in that context.
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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anthropoidape
Hmm, more developments... with WS (regarding NC, not from me but from her) and with AP's wife who needed to talk to me. Will post later.
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Guiltguilt
Unfortunately, the longer it goes on, the harder everything becomes. The chances of reconciliation (if that's what you choose) become less. The crazy can become normal really quickly. 
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anthropoidape
Guiltguilt wrote:
Unfortunately, the longer it goes on, the harder everything becomes. The chances of reconciliation (if that's what you choose) become less. The crazy can become normal really quickly. 


Thanks. I will take this on board.

She seems to be coming to an understanding of this herself and I would rather we get there jointly. But sooner or later I have to walk if it continues.
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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