Steve
Hi, first post for me. Found out 3 months ago my wife was in an affair with a co-worker. Started as emotional but developed into physical affair. Married for 18 years next weekend and 4 kids, had a great, fun marriage with full focus on the best for us as a family and always with the kids in focus. Past 2 years people in our church started to bully us (especially my wife)and our kids as we were perceived as “not spiritual enough”. All based on jealousy of my wife who got a great job which she prioritised before gossiping with the other women. We decided to leave, discussed to relocate but in her escape from the bad situation my wife opened up emotionally to a male collegue and it all started. 
I did all mistakes in the beginning, pursued, showed love, appreciation etc. but the affair still is on. When we are together (visiting relatives, travelling) we have fun and she admits thst we have fun together and that I’m the most lovable kind person she knows, a great father, fun person but her feelings are with the other guy. So now she wants out to be with him. 
No rational or logic arguments are working on her, even though she will loose 50% of the time with our kids, breaking our kids world apart and send them into the trauma with parents splitting up. We have always since we met 19 years ago been very clear that we would not let our kids grow up in a split family.( we both did ourselves and hated it) 
What should I do? Wait for her to get out of the fog and then try to rebuild? I’m lost but I love  her and is willing to forgive but first she needs to end the affair and show some remorse. 
Any advice?
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anthro
Sorry you have had to seek us out Steve. 

I think you need to forget trying to persuade her and begin taking steps toward moving on. In particular, the steps you take in your head: focusing on your children's wellbeing, and on your own wellbeing. And making a thorough plan. My wife's first big snap out of the fog came when I told her the details of how it could work. At the time I wanted her to leave. I offered her plenty of support to move on and started sleeping elsewhere. 

The thing with moving on ("the 180") is that you have to really mean it when you say you are moving on. Sometimes the reality of this helps save the marriage, but you can't do it with that goal.

I share your preference for an intact family but one thing is for sure, your current situation won't be good for your kids (or you). 

Make a plan first. A really detailed and thorough plan. Then take it from there, step by step.

For what it's worth the "fog" seems to me to be a 12-18 month phenomenon. Less than that and it might be too soon for her to snap out of it. Longer and it might not be fog, it might just be a relationship that is going along okay.

Good luck. 
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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Fionarob
Steve,
So sorry that this has happened to you, we all understand the pain you are in.

I'll be blunt here - if she's said she "wants out to be with him" then you are going to have to let her do that.  And you will have to accept that it could mean the end of your marriage.  Of course, there is a chance that she will regret her decision one day and try to reconcile with you.  But you will have to decide if you want that or can even do that after she has walked away from your marriage.

I did everything in my power to make my ex stay.  And he was even saying he wanted to stay, and that he wanted the affair to end!!  It didn't work.  It has to come from them, they have to realise and want it.  No amount of persuading or trying to make them see it's a huge mistake will work.  Trust me.  I did my best for over two years and my ex still couldn't end the affair.  Eventually I couldn't do it any more.  Sometimes I wish I hadn't wasted so much energy and put myself through so much emotional pain and turmoil.  I gained nothing from it, apart from a constant feeling of not being "good enough".

Sometimes we just have to accept the thing that we really don't want to and let them make their choice.  I know it's so hard......it took me a long time to realise.  There are lots of people here who can support you along the way, whichever path you go down.
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Keepabuzz
If she wants the other guy, then let her. The last thing you should do is try to “win her back”.  What will likely happen is she was go back and forth and back and forth and keep you on a string so that her life stays easy and just how she wants it, with 2 men desiring her affection. Cut the cord. ASAP.  Make a detailed plan to separate and divorce. I would personally have “her” leaving the family home, not you. Give her the plan, then move forward with the plan. That may knock some sense into her, it may not. But the goal is the same - taking care of yourself, making sure you are safe. Look up the 180, that is exactly what you need to do. 

I understand your your desire to not have your kids grow up in a broken home, but a broken home is MUCH better than an abusive home, and abuse is definitely what she is doing to you. You may not have a black eye, but the damage is far, far worse. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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ThrivenotSurvive
I know it is not what you want to hear - but the reason that ALL of the advice you are receiving is the same - it because it is TRUE.  You cannot MAKE her want to stay.  It will only break you down emotionally, physically and mentally, while making her begin to view you as desperate and clingy.

You've already made your desire to reconcile clear.  She has rejected it.  Now it is time to move on with your life.  You don't have to be a jerk - just firm.  It's not what you wanted, but if that is how it needs to be, it is time to move on with your life.  And do it.  

I understand your desire to keep you family intact - but some of the most emotionally unwell people I know come from homes that were intact but desperately unhappy.  Yes, ideally you would all be happy together.  But the next best thing is being happy apart.  NOT in an abusive relationship where one parent is chasing the love and attention of the other.  if that is what your children see, that is what they will model.  

If you model having enough self-love and self-respect to not settle for less than you deserve, that is what they will model.  

There is a chance that when she sees you making plans without her and has to REALLY consider what it is going to look like visiting her kids on the weekends while another woman helps raise them... the fog will lift.  But it may well not.  As has been stated - you can't do it for that reason.  Do it because it is the ONLY play left on the table for you that doesn't increase your misery, pain and potential fallout for your kids.  

Done with civility, calm and purpose it will help both of you begin to see what your future looks like without the other.  She may not like what she sees.  You may find it is more appealing than you have allowed yourself to ponder (given where you are now.) 

So sorry you had reason to find us... but please lean on us.  This will be painful and difficult no matter which way it goes.  But it will get better if you begin to work on taking care of YOU and your kids - hold on to to that in these dark days.  
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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JORGE
Quote:
I did all mistakes in the beginning, pursued, showed love, appreciation etc. but the affair still is on
.
It's good that you see these as mistakes. Security within a relationship is the greatest enabler for a wayward spouse to continue being one. Your efforts to pursue, show love, appreciation, etc. reinforced her willingness to remain in an affair. The opposite of this is indifference, which you can get to with time, and the sooner the better, as you will feel empowered and in control of your own destiny. 
Quote:
When we are together (visiting relatives, travelling) we have fun and she admits thst we have fun together and that I’m the most lovable kind person she knows, a great father, fun person but her feelings are with the other guy. So now she wants out to be with him. 

As hard as it to hear and believe, there's not much you can do, except focus on you, which inherently means less focus on her. To put it bluntly, I would file for divorce, focus on you and your kids and detach the best you can. Should she come around and you still want her, you can always stop the divorce. However, I wouldn't divorce for purposes of waking her up, but for the purpose of regaining your emotional health and that of your family by removing yourself and them from infidelity.

As long as you are with your wife, you and the family or in her web of infidelity. That's her issue, not yours and the kids should be as far removed from the limerence that she is is as possible. Yes, the kids are impacted, but as keepabuzz stated, a home in which infidelity exists and the dysfunction that come with  is not a healthy option neither. Both parents being under the same roof, but not in a loving relationship can leave is as negatively impressionable as divorced parents can be. 

Detachment is difficult, but gets easier each day where limited or no contact is the objective, even in the same house. This has happened to me twice (two fiance's), and the second time was much better than the first as I realized detachment and inward focus served me the best. Each day of limited to no contact strengthened my resolve. Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. End of the first month, I was functioning at least. By the end of the 2nd month, I was returning back to normal. End of the 3rd month, I was nearly myself. By the 6th month I was ready to move on relationship wise and I was happy again.

Being happy again allowed me to see authentic happiness in others, which enabled me to meet and date my current wife of 20 years.  In retrospect, the person I'm with is who I should have been with all along, but you couldn't have told me that during the time of my betrayal.  Focus on you and your kids only. Currently, you are married in principle only, so by looking inward as opposed to outward to her and your marriage, you are simply taking a position that she has enabled. It takes two and right now, not only is she not close to being as one with you, but she actually wants to be with another man. 

Again, I'd help expedite that and tell her to come get her clothes so that she can move in with him so that you and your kids can reclaim the family unity that will continue, with or without her. The sooner the better.  


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Keepabuzz
JORGE wrote:
.
It's good that you see these as mistakes. Security within a relationship is the greatest enabler for a wayward spouse to continue being one. Your efforts to pursue, show love, appreciation, etc. reinforced her willingness to remain in an affair. The opposite of this is indifference, which you can get to with time, and the sooner the better, as you will feel empowered and in control of your own destiny. 
JORGE wrote:

As hard as it to hear and believe, there's not much you can do, except focus on you, which inherently means less focus on her. To put it bluntly, I would file for divorce, focus on you and your kids and detach the best you can. Should she come around and you still want her, you can always stop the divorce. However, I wouldn't divorce for purposes of waking her up, but for the purpose of regaining your emotional health and that of your family by removing yourself and them from infidelity.

As long as you are with your wife, you and the family or in her web of infidelity. That's her issue, not yours and the kids should be as far removed from the limerence that she is is as possible. Yes, the kids are impacted, but as keepabuzz stated, a home in which infidelity exists and the dysfunction that come with  is not a healthy option neither. Both parents being under the same roof, but not in a loving relationship can leave is as negatively impressionable as divorced parents can be. 

Detachment is difficult, but gets easier each day where limited or no contact is the objective, even in the same house. This has happened to me twice (two fiance's), and the second time was much better than the first as I realized detachment and inward focus served me the best. Each day of limited to no contact strengthened my resolve. Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. End of the first month, I was functioning at least. By the end of the 2nd month, I was returning back to normal. End of the 3rd month, I was nearly myself. By the 6th month I was ready to move on relationship wise and I was happy again.

Being happy again allowed me to see authentic happiness in others, which enabled me to meet and date my current wife of 20 years.  In retrospect, the person I'm with is who I should have been with all along, but you couldn't have told me that during the time of my betrayal.  Focus on you and your kids only. Currently, you are married in principle only, so by looking inward as opposed to outward to her and your marriage, you are simply taking a position that she has enabled. It takes two and right now, not only is she not close to being as one with you, but she actually wants to be with another man. 

Again, I'd help expedite that and tell her to come get her clothes so that she can move in with him so that you and your kids can reclaim the family unity that will continue, with or without her. The sooner the better.  




Amen!
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Steve
Thanks to all of you, even though it’s hard to be the only in our marriage valuing the commitment it means to be married. To be the only one in our relation not living a fantasy and only looking to fulfil her ego that gets fed by the affair partner pursuing her. 
But, I still love my wife and the person she can be but she has fallen into the classic trap of viewing our marriage as bad for years. Even if I’m not a perfect human I can objectively see that she probably wants out as its the easiest option rather than to turn back to me and facing shame, guilt and the need to work hard trying to rebuild our relation after her affair. 
Will move my focus towards myself and work on making the situation the best for me and my kids. 
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Fionarob
Steve
You have summed it up. For many WS it is just a mountain too big to climb to commit back to the marriage - especially when the other option is fulfilling all the aspects they are craving.  I think one of the most hurtful things is where they start to view the entire marriage through this distorted lens, when actually, for the most part, the marriages were happy, fun and fulfilling.  They choose to forget all of that.  It really hurt me so much when my ex made comments about how things had "always been like this" , when in fact they hadn't at all.  I wonder now, years later, whether he realises some of the things he said and believed were just not true.

You are making some really good choices for yourself and your kids. 
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UrbanExplorer
Your wife could have been me 3-4 years ago. And yes, the more my H tried to win me back while I was still under the spell of the affair, the more I resented it, felt icky, and pulled away. 

What changed? 1. I faced the full reality of everyone finding out about my affair and realized there was no future in which that relationship would be acceptable. I wasn't meant to go down that path. And 2., most importantly, we did discernment counseling. I went into it thinking it would smooth over a process of separation and came out of it with a bird's eye view of both of our pasts, our marriage, and how my affair fit in. In the meantime, we lived together sort of like friends and did not push any reconciliation efforts.

Your wife is probably having some kind of midlife identity crisis, and this guy could be anyone because he's just filling a temporary void for her, but it feels like much more to her right now.

Your marriage might not work out, but it's too soon to tell, in my opinion. Do what you need to do to protect yourself and your family, but you don't have to make a final decision right away.
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Steve
Thanks for all your comments, actually helps a lot to learn other people have sort of same experiences. 
Although I’m at a lifetime low right now I feel some sort of belief things will sort themselves  out, not sure when but at one point in life I might feel strong and have my self esteem  back again. 
My wife’s  choice to cheat and break up our marriage is not on me, so many other choices she could have done to make me aware
of what she needed. 
Thanks again, will let you all know what happens in my process of handling this weird, sad situation.
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ThrivenotSurvive
@Steve 

You are already ahead of where a lot of us were in the beginning - too many take a long time in realizing that while they weren't perfect, they were in NO way "responsible" for their WS's choices.  Take heart in that.  You are already showing resolves and resilience just in making the decisions to protect you and your kids from further harm.  There will definitely be a day in your future that you will feel strong, happy and whole again.  I would bet good money on it.
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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Steve
My wife refuses marriage counseling, which of course is natural since she don’t want to end the affair. She is in individual counseling to handle the breakup from our church/old friends and her therapist has told her not to make any major life-altering decisions (like divorce/separation) before she has worked through the “church-thing” which has impacted my wife a lot last year. But this advice from her therapist is of course not what my wife focus on since it does not confirm her foggy dream with the AP. 
Next week my wife will leave for a week with the AP to go on a holiday trip and “get a feeling for how it would be to live with him”. This is actually something her therapist supports?? (Asked for the therapist opinion, of course could my wife tell me a lie) Feels like she’s about to testdrive a brand new sports car while I’m home with the kids like an 18-year old family car, which of course has flaws, but is willing to equip the entire family  with all its needs. Wonder what my wife will choose to invest in after this week. I told her it’s not acceptable behaviour but she said she’s not asking for permission, only informing me. 
Another thing I discovered past few weeks is that if I show any sign of interest in social media etc. she acts jealous. Asks why I like posts on Instagram since I have been quite sceptical towards social media last year.
Why should she be jealous? She is the one having the affair wanting out.
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anthro
Steve, even if she came back after all this it would be no good. You could never be anything but miserable with her again. 
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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EasyAsABC
Steve wrote:
My wife refuses marriage counseling, which of course is natural since she don’t want to end the affair. She is in individual counseling to handle the breakup from our church/old friends and her therapist has told her not to make any major life-altering decisions (like divorce/separation) before she has worked through the “church-thing” which has impacted my wife a lot last year. But this advice from her therapist is of course not what my wife focus on since it does not confirm her foggy dream with the AP. 
Next week my wife will leave for a week with the AP to go on a holiday trip and “get a feeling for how it would be to live with him”. This is actually something her therapist supports?? (Asked for the therapist opinion, of course could my wife tell me a lie) Feels like she’s about to testdrive a brand new sports car while I’m home with the kids like an 18-year old family car, which of course has flaws, but is willing to equip the entire family  with all its needs. Wonder what my wife will choose to invest in after this week. I told her it’s not acceptable behaviour but she said she’s not asking for permission, only informing me. 
Another thing I discovered past few weeks is that if I show any sign of interest in social media etc. she acts jealous. Asks why I like posts on Instagram since I have been quite sceptical towards social media last year.
Why should she be jealous? She is the one having the affair wanting out.



Steve, this whole post made me really emotional. 
My heart hurts for you. 
My ex husband is scum, and even he wouldn’t have tried to pull a stunt like this. 
I regret continuing the affair I participated in after DDay (well, I regret even getting involved in it in the first place obviously as well), but I think it takes a lot of extra indifference and cold hearted ness to continue the affair publicly like this, expecting your partner to role over, and jump when asked. 
She’s going to ensure she gets her happiness no matter the cost to you and your family, it’s time for you to do the same. You’re better than a back up plan if this AP doesn’t make the cut. And what’s to say she won’t keep looking for “the one” if this one doesn’t work out? 
Seems she’s already made her choice, she wants out of your marriage, and she’ll likely keep auditioning replacements. You need to decide if you want to stick around until she finds what she’s looking for, that choice is yours alone to make, but at this point, I think looking from the outside in, it’s fairly obvious what the healthiest choice for you may be. 
BS to an abusive H 2009-2018
OW 2018-2019
I wear many hats.
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