Bjacobson75
Hi all,

I’ve posted  here before however it’s been a while. My wife had an inappropriate relationship with a man she met in a beekeeping class in the spring of 2017.

Like many of the inappropriate relationships I have read about, it started out professional, and Quickly got inappropriate with my wife and the man exchanging flirtatious innuendo laden and in some cases out right sexual text messages.

At first it started out with my wife pushing back into collecting his for tacious advances but then it quickly turned into her enjoying the attention and eventually fitting into the attention in order for her to take it vantage of his ability to be over she really enjoyed the power and control of dating this person to talk to her in a certain way so she could push back.

It has taken me nearly 13 months to try to understand how someone would violate their vows and have these types of conversations with someone outside of their marriage in order to for fill a selfish need they felt was missing from our relationship.

 My wife claims she had zero feelings for this man he did not find him attractive they did not have a physical relationship however she fully admits to enjoying the flirtatious sexualized text messaging for her own benefit .

 Their relationship ended in the fall of 2017 he kept it a secret and did not tell me until I inquired about his whereabouts in June 2018.   She informed me that she ended their relationship because he could not stop saying inappropriate things to her and she decided to end it .   From it then I slowly got details around what was said who the aggressors were in each respective conversation and ultimately where we are today .  

As a result we have both started and continue to be in individual counseling we have also been and continue to be in marriage counseling.  It has helped and it has also  brought up a lot of family issues that have led to the both of us trying to cope in various ways in adulthood.

 What hurts for me about this entire situation is that he felt compelled to manipulate  someone for her own benefit and she claims that the sexualize nature of their conversations with nearly a means for her to be able to exert power and control over the conversation.   Early on in our Counseling journeys I had requested that she be 100% upfront and honest and transparent about the happenings of the relationship. He later chose to hold onto some details and claims that in order for her to fully explain the reasoning for those details she needed to remember the conversations behind what led to the actions that she had explained .   13 months later she came to me and asked to speak to me in a separate room away from my child and informed me that she remembered details about a conversation which led to physical contact in a non-sexual nature she shared with me that she struggled with wanting to tell me because knew that by telling me she knew that I would eventually want to go.   It was hard to hear her tell me that she had been lying to me  as we tried to rebuild our relationship reconnect and try to make it stronger than it was before.

 Because of her actions the secrecy of her conversations from the past relationship and even some really old situations from well before  we were married. To her having some serious issues with boundaries .

 I see the troubled childhood that this woman has had and I also see the struggles that she has with her own self-esteem based on the many chronic illnesses she has and physical disability that the tracks from her own self-worth. 

 I feel like sometimes I want to leave because I feel that I cannot stay in a relationship where someone cannot be open and honest with me and be authentic and share secrets and be able to be open with me about things that trouble them .

 I do not believe that their relationship got physical I also do not believe that their relationship was not anymore than her getting some sort of satisfaction from a sexualized conversation to eventually control the message and push back on a man who also has clear boundary issues .

I am not comfortable with the notion that she is capable of being selfish and to fill her needs and to keep it secret and to not be open about her issues I feel like 13 months was a good amount of time for us to work out our issues and towards the end right before she broke the news that she was lying to me I felt a closeness to her that I don’t remember ever having and I relationship prior.

I don’t know what to do I’m not sure what the right decision is knowing that my wife took advantage of someone for the purposes of her own needs that while she was away and spring break she decided it would be OK to except and return a kiss to a man who is working at a nightclub prior to our marriage and the two of them are so very similarly related because she claims that she almost felt entitled for the ability to be able to have that behavior to behave in that way. I don’t know what to do I’m not sure what the right decision is knowing that my wife took advantage of someone for the purposes of her own needs that while she was away on spring break she decided it would be OK to except and return a kiss to a man who was working at a nightclub prior to our marriage and the two of them are so very similarly related because she claims that she almost felt entitled for the ability to be able to have that behavior to behave in that way.

 she states she completely understands that what she has done in the past has been unhealthy for both herself and for me she also recognizes that we have a lot more clear boundaries to adhere to and she has it here to those boundaries over the last 13 months plus .

 I am torn the nature of her selfishness confuses me and sometimes I wish that I should just be able to walk away leave it all behind and move on to something that requires less work and I also feel like a failure .

  Sorry for the long winded post I’m just looking for some feedback and looking to vent it’s never comfortable to be part of some thing where you felt betrayed whether it included physical contact sexual infidelity emotional infidelity or whatever you would call the situation that we are in .

 Thank you for your eyes.
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ThrivenotSurvive
Hi Bjacobson75 -

First - you might want to read through and edit your message.  The he/she pronouns seemed really off and made understanding what you were saying very difficult.  But I think I caught the gist of it.  

New information is always hard to reconcile.  On one hand, it says they have been continuing to lie - on the other, if the information was unsolicited (meaning you didn't find something that prompted the sudden reveal) - it can mean that they are actually changing deeply.  DESIRING to be more open by their own choice.  That they are becoming more comfortable with true transparency - and that willingness to be vulnerable and honest - even when they fear it will make you leave... is everything.  Being willing to be truthful in the face of dire consequences takes bravery.  It takes integrity.  It takes maturity.  These are what our WSs are going to therapy to learn.  not all will, but many do.

So on one hand, you feel betrayed that they weren't 100% honest the first time (RIGHTFULLY).  But on the other, if the honesty has come from a genuine place within them (not as a result of being "caught") than do you really want to punish them for doing what you asked (be brave enough to be fully honest)?  

It's like when a kid feels guilty and finally tattles on themselves for something they did wrong that you didn't know about.  Do you punish them and make them regret ever telling you?  Or do you let it slide because they EVENTUALLY did the right thing, which while not perfect, was still hard?  Or do you take a path down the middle?  Showing that you are proud of them for telling the truth - but disappointment that they made the wrong choice to start.  All are valid.  

You will need to decide for yourself.  It sounds silly.  These are grown people - but many formed ineffective and downright unhealthy coping mechanisms in childhood that they are trying to overcome/change.  So in this respect they are not unlike a child learning to be honest, or an alcoholic learning to cope with stress differently than taking a drink.  Hiding shameful parts of themselves IS their drink.  So when they share it with you - they are making themselves about as vulnerable as they will ever be.

At least this has been my experience.  You will need to take a cold, hard, clear-eyed look at your wife and try to decide where this new truth is coming from.  Is it a healthy place?  A desire to come 100% clean?  To remove the final barriers to standing naked (psychologically and emotionally) in front of you?  You said there had been a new level of closeness recently - this could have sparked her feeling safe enough to reveal her darkest secret to you.  You will need to use your knowledge of her to determine that.

However, if this disclosure is a result of something you found or appears to be an emotional ploy (distancing herself, pushing you away, making you feel bad, etc.) than proceed accordingly.  That would obviously be a red flag of the highest order.  

I am sorry this isn't an answer - because I don't know your wife and can't judge where her motivations are coming from.  Only you can do that.  But if her heart is in the right place, and she is trying to learn to be more vulnerable and more transparent than before - this could be a sign that you've reached a new level in repairing and rejuvenating your marriage. 
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Bjacobson75
@ThrivenotSurvive 

Sorry for the posting grammar and sentence structure.  I dictated that via my phone and can honestly say it was my first and last attempt at that.  

As for your response, it was pretty eye opening for me.  I have been so laser focused on negatives that I missed the positive changes and outcomes.  

She had shared the new information without me discovering anything, she did it completely on her own and had said she knew and understood the potential consequences.  
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ThrivenotSurvive
I would take that as a good sign.  
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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