hanaflorian
Hi everyone,

I'm brand new to the forum and I really need some help. 

My husband and I have been married for five years now, and throughout our marriage my constant complaint is that getting my husband's attention is a harder job than any paying job I've ever had. Since we've been married, getting him to do the couple of things I ask for, like including me in his life, paying me attention without me asking, asking me about my day, and letting me know what's going on if he isn't coming straight home from work. It seems I'm able to hold his focus for a few days (sometimes a few weeks if I've gotten especially angry and expressed it), but for five years now, once he feels that I've "calmed down" he goes right back to his "wife, who?" ways.
 He has had a coworker/friend that I expressed concern about after hearing him gush about her many times and then meeting her and watching them interact. They were far too cozy for married people, too much touching and smiling. I expressed concern about how much she was a part of his day (giving her treats and telling her news before he told me) and my concerns were met with,"that's crazy, she's just a friend."
For years I was concerned, but never had anything concrete. He said he didn't confide in her, he knew I was not ok with my husband going out alone socially with other women, so I assumed he would respect my feelings. After all, I am his wife, and a friend shouldn't matter as much a spouse, right? Well, she decided to move, and when he told me he said finding out "ruined his day". Really? He then told me about her going away party that I was supposedly invited to, but I wasn't actually invited to till two weeks later. My gut feeling kept nagging, so I asked him if they had ever had anything between them. He intensely denied that anything was going on and slipped, saying,"nearly nothing happened" but denied it the moment it was out of his mouth. He did come clean with the information that they had more than once gone to happy hour alone, something I had been very clear about being unacceptable. 
He then declared that I had nothing to worry about and,"She will always be my friend!" So I was left feeling like this woman (if you can call her that) was so important to him that he would lie to me and do things he knew I didn't approve of to continue his relationship with her. While I'm not proud of it, I will admit I started snooping. I couldn't ignore my gut. 
I uncovered a number of emails from him confiding in her about everything, including us, and overly flirtatious conversations. 
I strongly felt he was engaging in an emotional affair. He continues to deny that there was anything between them, but he has locked me out of literally everything. I have expressed countless times that my trust has been shattered and in order to try and rebuild that trust, I needed him to be transparent, honest, and if I asked to see something I needed to see. 
Nothing has changed since this all blew up about two months ago. I still have to work to get his attention, his phone is still glued to his face, and he refuses to let me see anything. 

I am truly at my wits' end. I have nothing to hide and I feel his resistance to share is a sign of guilt. He says he feels the need to lock me out because I'm overemotional and he has to protect what his friends say in confidence. He denies there being anything that a married man shouldn't have, but since he has proven that he can look me in the eye and lie, I find it hard to believe. I don't know what to do, or if there's any point in trying. I hate being ignored and feeling like literally everyone gets more from my husband than me. 


Hana 
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anthropoidape
I am sorry you are going through this. I don't know what to suggest but I can say that what your husband is saying about not confiding in you, you being overemltional, and so on, is just garbage.
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Negarcia
Hana
Welcome and sorry you are here but hopefully you gain some insight on what you should do.  It seems you have made up your mind on leaving him. I agree that he is just BS'ing you. Have you mentioned you leaving him or divorce ? If yes, what is his reaction? 
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blythespirit
I have been where you are, Hana, as have many of us here.  You cannot control your husband, or his "relationship" with the OW.  So you have to stop trying.  That is crazy making, and it's the fuel to their fire.  Do not even dignify the existence of the OW by acknowledging her.  Your husband believes right now that she respects him and that you do not.  All you can do is focus exclusively on rebuilding the positive feelings and intimacy with him.  He's the only one who can get rid of the OW.  And he will, if you pull the rug out from under their feet by refusing to engage over her, at all, ever. I've found that with my husband, actions are almost everything.  Words have little effect on him.  If he feels better being around you, than he does around her, he will step up and return to your marriage, and be again the man of honor and integrity that you know him to be capable of.  

He's being a butt right now, and the OW is meddling where she doesn't belong.  But, she has his ear right now and you have to temporarily accept that.  Embrace the 180 described in the resources here, grow yourself in strength by religiously practicing self-care, be as positive and loving with your husband in whatever limited contact is possible with him right now, and force yourself to live in faith rather than fear.  Do not beg, plead, cry, yell, demand, or give ultimatums.  He is having an affair and it's most very likely that it's full on physical, not just emotional. I know it's the most painful feeling you've ever experienced.  Distance yourself from what he's doing, and dismantle anything that's supporting them.  For me, that meant stepping out of all social situations and activities in which the OW's family participated with us.  We have kids the relative same ages.  Everything I could remove myself and our kids from, I did.  Gently and with the least disruption possible to their lives, but I did it. I didn't discuss it with him.  My husband was (and is) free to conduct his own life as he saw fit, but I refused to allow any part of his s****y decisions to touch me or the kids any further.  

We are almost two years into reconciliation.  I have grown stronger and more centered than I ever thought possible, through this horrific experience, and for that I'm actually grateful.  Keep love in your heart and know that you're not alone.
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TimT
hanaflorian wrote:
...I am truly at my wits' end. I have nothing to hide and I feel his resistance to share is a sign of guilt. He says he feels the need to lock me out because I'm overemotional and he has to protect what his friends say in confidence. He denies there being anything that a married man shouldn't have, but since he has proven that he can look me in the eye and lie, I find it hard to believe. I don't know what to do, or if there's any point in trying. I hate being ignored and feeling like literally everyone gets more from my husband than me.
It would really be helpful, I think (and, of course, I'm biased in this regard) for the two of you to get a counselor's perspective. Without knowing more about her personal stories and the history of your relationship, it's hard to provide a fair assessment regarding the roles each of you have played in what your marriage has become.

But having said that, I also want to be very clear that when there are signs of boundaries being crossed... when trust is at risk... your security in the marriage will come from HIS willingness to do those things that assure you and keep the marriage safe. If you are having to convince or control to get what you need, then everything is backward. His defensiveness and reluctance means that you will have to work harder in attempts to get him to change. That just doesn't work. Even if he outwardly cHonforms, you will not feel satisfied because it will be obvious to you that his heart is not in it.

As a counselor, I'd want to explore these things with you...
  1. What has been the history of mistrust in your marriage? In the past, have problems in this area been the result of one partner's behaviors, or both?
  2. What is the most effective way of communicating your concerns to him? There is a big difference between trying to convince and control, or trying to honestly express concerns with an invitation (not insistence) for your husband to respond in a way that demonstrates his love and trustworthiness. If he does not respond to that invitation, you'll never get satisfaction from trying to make him give the right response. 
  3. If your husband is not a willing partner in creating an intimate and trusting marriage, what are healthy choices for you to make? In most cases, this leads to a decision between sacrifice (letting go of expectations) or separation (not remaining personally engages with a partner who is not doing the work of marriage-building).
Bottom line: It sounds like you've been working too hard at this. Marriage is a joint effort. Your change would require you to step back. His change would require him to step up. (You can only control your change.)
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BrokenwingsJ
I agree with everyone here, I would suggest marriage counseling. Honestly went through the same thing 2yrs ago (still hurts to this day). Unfortunately for me D-day happened around our 1 yr anniversary / my birthday for 2 monthswith a girl he met on Snapchat who was 10yrs younger than me. I was devastated. Demanded transparency. He kept saying he needed privacy blah blah. Said he would stop talking and FaceTiming this woman, but didn’t. After I caught him the second time, I finally asked him to leave, or do counseling.
The point is you have to set your boundaries and if he doesn’t respect it tell him you are going to see a divorce lawyer. Do what it takes to get his attention and just make him choose. His actions prove louder than words. And it really sounds like something is up. I hope you find your strength back and things work out.
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AnywhereButHere
Two points about snooping:

1. While I believe that 'detachment' (from controlling behavior) in a marriage where one partner is unfaithful is probably best, I look at email, text, etc. 'snooping' as no different than confronting your spouse at a bar or (gulp) a hotel if that's where they are with their affair partner. My wife accused me of invading her privacy by looking through her emails (where I found some incriminating things). I shot back asking if I found her at a hotel with her 'guy' would she rant about me following her around. Go ahead and rant - I don't care.

2. I keep thinking that I want my wife to provide all the usernames and passwords to all her social media accounts, and she, in anger, offered to give them to me. At which point it occurred to me that she can delete anything as soon as she reads it. She's clever. I won't find anything else there now that I've searched and found things I found the first time.
BH, 5+ Mo EA, DDay 3/8/18
"...regarding all as God after God."
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Damaged
You could look at the phone bills if her phone is on your account. She can’t erase those calls. 
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Trinity
billg3436 wrote:
points about snooping:

 I shot back asking if I found her at a hotel with her 'guy' would she rant about me following her around. Go ahead and rant - I don't care.
 I won't find anything else there now that I've searched and found things I found the first time.


My thoughts.  Do you really want a marriage where you have to keep tabs ?? I DONT.  That is SO NOT the relationship/Marriage I want.  
I caught me H cheating because I checked txt messages and it was ALL there.  Thank the good Lord he was DUMB and used our joint account to txt her.  But let me say this, I NEVER ever checked the messages, ever BUT that voice told me to and BOOM !!!  AND til this day, I don't check to see what he is doing because everything WILL come out in the wash.   It always does. !!!  AND I just can't be that paranoid person because it sours my life and I will NOT let his dumb decisions and his whore... sour my life... that is NOT for them to impart.  

"T"
BS - DDay July 2017

O GOD, take me, break me, make me. 
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AnywhereButHere
So true. A slave-master relationship is based on snooping, demands and control. A marriage is based either on responsible behavior ...or betrayal. No amount of snooping will turn a cheater into a responsible person. If anything, it will just make them better cheaters.
BH, 5+ Mo EA, DDay 3/8/18
"...regarding all as God after God."
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Keepabuzz
I don’t disagree, but snooping, spying, etc is understandable and warranted in the early weeks, maybe months after discovery. The WS has proven that they should not be trusted. The only way to gain that back is 100% transparency, and honesty. Like Ronald Reagan said “trust, but verify”. 

I certainly spyed, snooped, tracked, etc for months after d-day. I had no desire to have a marriage like that, then again I also never wanted my wife to betray me, lie, emotionally abuse me, psychologically abuse me, but that is exactly what happened. I used the snooping, spying, tracking to verify her words, since her words had zero value and could not be trusted. As time went on, and her words always lined up with what I verified, I checked less and less. If I had felt like I would always have be that way, I would have just left. I have no desire to spend the rest of my life like that. 

Bottom line - it has its place, and there is nothing wrong with it in the short run. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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anthropoidape
I think a BS is entitled to snoop however much they like for as long as they like. But for me not snooping is a feature of a working marriage so I don't want to do it. Then again I don't need to for now as my wife's time is accounted for pretty specifically as we are both so busy. If she had a lot of free time without me I dunno, I might be more of a snooper or at least more anxious. 
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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AnywhereButHere
My wife and I had one session with a marriage counselor over this. The best take-away I came from that session with was the counselor's analogy to describe the need for details on the part of the betrayed spouse (me). He said, the situation after an affair is like an airliner. The pilot on that airliner is the unfaithful spouse. (I thrown in that the co-pilot is the AP.) Anyway, the airliner, piloted by your spouse, crashed out int he wilderness killing all on board.

You, the betrayed spouse, are the loved one waiting at the airport. You've just been told that the airplane crashed...and you have a million questions. What happened? Who did what? Why did this happen? Your spouse, on the other hand, was on the airliner - he/she was the pilot. They know everything about what happened, why the plane went down, what the time spent onboard the plane was like...everything.

When my wife revealed her EA to me, she gave me a few small facts...it was non-physical, but it was 'very serious' and required her to go to confession (we are Catholic) several times. She said her AP needed to go to confession as well. (So, obviously, this was a two-way relationship.) She said it involved their trading sentences beginning with, "If I wasn't married..." I asked her if that meant it involved a lot of sexual sharing, such as him saying, "If I wasn't married I'd bend you over the counter in the break room", etc., and her giggling and saying, "Well, too bad we are! I'd go for it!", etc. She said there was no such sexual sharing. And there she left me. She refused to give me even one more detail.

I did the math: "Serious" + "Requiring Confession for Both" + "No Sexual Sharing" = It was a LOVE relationship - they were expressing their love for one another! And this result just destroyed me. I spent two weeks like this on the verge of a nervous breakdown and lost 20 lbs.

Then I snooped and found a small set of emails that passed between them. It was not a love relationship. She had an infatuation for him and you can see that in her messages. He had a foot fetish and she supplied him with some pics of her bare feet. He sent her a pic of himself that she told him gave her 'naughty' thoughts. But his interest in her, beyond getting off on her feet, was minimal. There was no mutual sharing of feelings of romantic forbidden love.

Things took a turn for me at that point. I'm still devastated that, after 27 years of marriage, my wife turned to another man and engaged with him in a way that is properly reserved only for me - playfully, lustfully, admiringly and fueled by an infatuation with him. But the fact that it wasn't a love-exchanging romance did help me move away from a nervous breakdown towards getting my act together...and I only found that fact out from the emails I found while snooping.

It occurred to me recently what the role of those emails was in the airplane analogy that was so helpful to me. Things like emails, texts, phone records, etc...they're the Black Box recovered from the wreckage.
BH, 5+ Mo EA, DDay 3/8/18
"...regarding all as God after God."
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