microphoneIt’s that time again to talk about whatever you want to talk about! 

This is Open Mic #14 and we hope that there are some things that are going on that you can either ask questions about or share your experiences with everyone.

For those of us in the United States, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Each year around this time we have focused our discussion topic on things that we can be thankful for. We want to do that again, but also combine it with the “open” topic format.

We certainly realize that you may be going through some immense pain and suffering right now but even in the depths of despair that infidelity can bring, we believe we all can still find reason to give thanks!

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. Cicero

So, if you like, please let us know what you’re thankful for.

Additionally, feel free to discuss…

  • What’s on your mind?
  • Have any successes to share? Big or small.
  • Got a question?  Ask it.
  • Do you have any problems or situations that you’d like the community to offer their opinions on?
  • Any good books you’d like to discuss?
  • What are you and/or your spouse doing to further the healing and recovery in your relationship?
  • What’s working or not working?
  • Has your therapist given you any good advice or exercises that the rest of the readers might benefit from?
  • What has your spouse done lately that really pisses you off?
  • What has your spouse done lately to make you really happy?
  • Who’s gonna be in the college football four team playoff? Do you care?
  • Are you headed out into the “Black Friday” pre-dawn madness? Why?

Please don’t be shy.  If there is anything whatsoever on your mind, please leave a comment below.

Have a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving – without stuffing yourself too much!

We are very thankful for all of you!

Linda & Doug

 

    43 replies to "Open ‘Mic’ Discussion #14"

    • Doug

      Linda, myself and the kids will be driving a few hours tomorrow to my parent’s home where we will stuff our faces for a few more hours, then turn around and drive back home (always a long day). This will be the last time we see them until next May as they leave for Florida early next week for the rest of the winter. They’re both in their 80s and in good health, but that 20+ hour drive down south always concerns me.

      Everybody please have a happy and safe Thanksgiving! (And best of luck to all you crazy Black Friday shoppers!)

      • Frustrated and confused

        I am at my wits end. I was unfaithful physically to my wife. At the same time I was committing adultery (that she didn’t know about) she was having an emotional affair that involved suggestive texting, shopping “dates” and to my knowledge no physical contact for 5 years. During this time, I was convicted by God and confessed on my own all that was hidden. Despite my repentance and his awareness of her emotional affair, my pastor have her “control” of the kids, made me confess to the kids and family and supported her making me leave the house to give her a chance to “heal”.

        She continued contact with this first man, but then after I left the house started a serious emotional and cyber sexting affair with another man. Hours of phone calls over many months, 48,000 text over a 3 month period that involved talking about marriage, taking the kids with her, and detailed descriptions of sexual activity night after night. I found the information by chance as her Facebook page was left up on my login id.

        I was villified by my pastor for looking and he said I should simply forgive her and never bring it up to her. He says my evidence printed copies is tainted because I was looking and found it. He has not brought it up to her. So now for over a year, I have lived with this and never brought it up to her. My personal counselor who knows my failures as well says that she needs to be confronted in love. That she either feels justified because of what I did, I doesn’t see an emotional affair/cyber sexting as a violation of marriage vows.

        She now wants a divorce. She doesn’t know that I know about the depths of her affair with the cyber sexting. I have lived clean and in repentance for 3 years now, being patient supporting her (she has refused to get a job despite the extra costs of me living in the apartment), and lived away from the kids.

        How do I get her to see the seriousness of her affairs and unfaithfulness? I am told she cannot forgive me or reconnect with me if she is getting her emotional needs met by other men. Do a confront? It has gone on for so long now. How do I confront? I do want the marriage, as much for the good of the kids. My feelings for her are still there but waning as time goes on and the hurt of her unfaithfulness.

        How do I get others like our pastor to see the seriousness of an emotional affair and cyber sexting?

        • Tryinghard

          Frustrated and Confused
          The bible says God helps those who help themselves. So you asked, here goes.

          1. Dump your nitwit pastor. He’s an idiot.
          2. Dump your equally nitwited counselor. Find one who is educated and experienced in infidelity.
          3. Find yourself a bad ass lawyer and come up with a legally equitable maintenance for you, your wife and your children
          4. Quit taking all the blame in your bad marriage and accept the role you played in destroying it.
          5. Accept that there is nothing to say to convince her. Tough love and protect yourself and your children.
          6. Keep good financial records of what your spending for you to live as well as her.. That is your house too and she has no legal right to keep you away.
          Last, pray that God gives you wisdom to grow some cojanes to stand up for yourself and your children.

    • Patsy50

      Doug and Linda, have a very Happy Thanksgiving Day with family tomorrow. Driving down south doesn’t sound to bad to me as it is snowing as I type this!

      I wish for everyone to have a Happy Thanksgiving also, as we all have “something ” to be thankful for.

      I have watched The Affair on showtime and find it interesting as they show how the affair couple each have their own version of how the affair got started, etc.

      Have you Doug or Linda watched it?

      • Doug

        Thanks Patsy. No we’ve not watched it as we do not have Showtime. I’ve wondered if anyone on here has been watching it. I’ve heard it actually is pretty good – at least the ratings appear to be good. Happy Thanksgiving to you and stay warm!

    • Tryinghard

      Doug and Linda
      Have a wonderful thanksgiving and drive carefully.

      I am thankful to have this community of smart, empathic people that participate on this blog. You are all smart, funny, valid and important. What you have to say matters. No matter how small or large you all help me. It’s important to feel we are not alone in this journey.

      Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

    • Dealing with reality

      My husband is still having his affair. He actually moved in an apartment with the other women. Because of this I moved to another state with our 5 month old. I’m still trying to emotional disconnect from my marriage. The affair has been going on since July. I wanted to know is there any tips that someone can offer. If there is anyone that’s been in my situation please help me :(.. I feel like this phase in my life will never end.

      • TryingHard

        Dealing
        My heart goes out to you. How sad to have a beautiful new life to love and care for and have your husband act so irresponsibly.

        It feels like it will never end but I promise you it will. You have someone who needs you so much right now and that is where you need to devote all you attention and love, not to some douche bag that leaves his newborn infant and wife to go play house with a new shiny object.

        Get yourself a bad ass lawyer and let her have the pig!!! Being far enough away and not seeing the creep, and he is a creep, will hopefully help you heal. I hope you have family helping you. Be grateful for that if they are.

        Take care of yourself and your child. You are all that child has. Make it count!

    • JKW

      My husband is having an EA with a coworker. Though I had been objecting to the “friendship” for many months, our main D-day was 2 months ago. He is not willing to end the relationship at this point and is considering moving out for an informal separation/break. A couple weeks ago he was diagnosed with depression, which in retrospect we realize he has had for 20+ years. It seems like the depression has contributed to the draw of the affair for him, and is a significant part of what made the affair relationship so appealing and what keeps him caught up in/addicted to it. Does anyone have experience with a depressed spouse in an affair? With both the depression and the affair, he is looking at/rewriting our history in the most negative light, and I don’t know how to break through to him.

      • TryingHard

        JKW
        First be very suspect that it’s an EA and not a full blown PA. Do your investigating! There’s never just one DDay.

        Short answer–excuses. He’s depressed?? Well he’s not so damned depressed he can’t find someone else to not be depressed with. It’s smoke and mirrors and excuse. They have a million of them. They need to justify their choices and their guilt. They claim mid-life crisis. Well if there were no affair there would be no crisis!!! He’s made very bad choices. Choices that affect you. I call bullshit on the depression excuse and bullshit on the MC for giving him that excuse. Dump the MC. There’s lots of depressed people that don’t cheat. Heck after DDay I couldn’t crawl out of bed I was so depressed and the last thing on my mind was an affair. Don’t play along with it. It’s putting the blame on YOU and not where it totally belongs on him for being a cheater!

        He wants to move out. Let him. Pack his bags. Go!!! He wants to hear you beg him to stay. Sure you need to let him know you still want the marriage, that is if you do and IF you do get ready for the biggest challenge of your life, but it has to be HIS decision to stay and YOUR decision to let him. Please don’t let this flimsy excuse of depression to cloud your thought process. We all get stuck in not seeing the forest for the trees in these situations. This is a HUGE process and you are in the preliminary stages. Trust me there’s more to come.

        In the mean time, get smart, get realllly smart. I am really liking the book Co-dependent No More by Melody Beattie. I actually started reading it at the inception of discovery and felt because it deals with alcoholics that it didn’t apply. But all one has to do is substitute alcoholic for any other addiction/character disorder and the advice applies.

        Also find a good therapist that you can talk to and get help to start taking care of YOU and NOT the affair. I went twice a week. I was in an emotional maelstrom. It was awful and therapy was my BFF during that time.

        Good luck to you and don’t buy into his verbal bullshit.

        • JKW

          Thanks Trying. It helps to hear. He wants space and I told him he either had to move away from the AP or go. So he is preparing to go. I am very sad about that. I do want the marriage to work. We have 23 years of friendship, 11 years of marriage, and 3 young kids. But I can’t be treated like this anymore. Whatever the reasons/excuses, what he is doing is not ok, and in the end I can’t choose to be with someone who doesn’t choose me. I know my story is like so many others here. I hope something will happen to wake him up, but I have to face the fact that that may not happen.
          It is killing me, though, how he is looking at our history now. That history was so special to me, and he is now looking at it in the most negative way. Hard to take.

          • TryingHard

            JKW
            I am so sorry. I know how awful it is to hear those words coming from someone you loved and trusted implicitly. Know this. He says that crap, and it is crap, to excuse himself for having an affair. After all if everything were wonderful in his life/marriage he would never have been “driven” to have an affair and he would just be an asshole for having one. Now no one wants to be an asshole so making stories up, rewriting history, blame shifting is all part and parcel to justifying the affair and is really the last dredges of the secret. If he were really miserable he wouldn’t be offering up all these excuses and denying the history. He would simple say nothing and walk away.

            Know this too. Your memories are real. Those special memories are real and still there. Don’t let him rob you of those. If you felt he loved you he probably did. Affairs have nothing to do with whether he loves you or not and everything about selfishness and foolish choices. If he wants to rewrite his history that’s his problem not yours. Don’t you go rewriting your history just because he is. He is WRONG. He is not balanced and not thinking right. It makes me crazy when we think they are robbing us of our reality. No our reality is what we make of it and NOT dictated by someone else. That is our last vestige of dignity and we should never give it up.

            I wish there were a magic answer for you to awaken him from his crazy thinking. there isn’t. All I can say when I finally drew the line in sand, quit “being nice”, lawyered up and told him to well essentially go fuck himself I was done!, did he wake up to see everything he was going to lose and most importantly ME.

            Before that, he played both sides to his advantage. He had two women fighting over him and what old fart doesn’t just love that shit?!?!?! Well I stopped and suddenly he woke up. Yeah that was 3 years ago and I have worked my ass off on this marriage. Is it worth it, Can’t say. In some respects yes, and others not so much. This has been a herculean effort and one that no one EVER gets over, so choose wisely.

            I have a feeling if you do draw that line and start making plans for your own future he may very well wake up as well. Then the ball is in your court whether or not you still want or need him in your life. Whether or not your life is better with or without him. And I recommend you look deeply into those choices.

            Good luck and hugs to you. I know your pain and it is awful but it gets better one way of the other.

    • Dealing with reality

      Trying, Thank you for the kind words. I have to wait 1 year to file for a divorce because of our son. We haven’t even hit 1st year of marriage. *sigh* Friends & family keep telling me to wait it out because they predict this affair will end sometime in January. I truly hate the OW. I know her & she was at my baby shower. I hate being thrown into this situation. Instead of telling me all of our problems, he told her.. How long does it take for reality to ruin their bubble?

      • TryingHard

        I hear you Dealing and guess what I hate her too and I don’t even know her. That’s ok to hate her. She’s a jerk and NOT worthy of any admiration from you. No more than a nasty cockroach hiding under you sink. Do not waste another precious moment of your time giving her any of you precious energy. She’s nothing but gum on the bottom of your shoe.

        There’s no hurry to file for divorce BUT there is a hurry to get the jerk father to pay child support and that can be imposed by a judge NOW. Do not take the passive route her. Both you and your son’s welfare depends on it. I don’t give two shits about his bubble or the timing of it bursting and by making him pay RIGHT NOW will def start that bursting process. Let’s see how great she thinks he is once his resources start going to his son. You’re lucky it’s less than a year but unlucky that a child was the result of it and NOT because of that precious life but because now you are tied to the asshole for the next 18 years at least!!! Cut your losses. Not even a year and already he does this. This is NOT a man you need in your life. Baby Daddy or not!!!

        You hang tough and get smart legally right away. He needs to support that child financially and the courts will make sure he does. Also you need to file in the state you are in NOW before he files in your former state. This puts you at the advantage. Don’t be led by your emotions. Use your legal resources. If there is anything that will burst his stupid bubble it’s that and he will know you mean business.

        Love that baby. Give him all your emotions and support and love. He didn’t do anything wrong so take good care of him.

        Sending Grandma hugs to him and you!

    • Dealing with reality

      Trying, Everything is good to go legally. He pays his child support. When he can’t make all of the payment, the ow helps him pay it. Stupid Girl SMH

      • TryingHard

        OMG that is GREAT!!! Must make receiving that payment even sweeter. OOO I’d love to be a fly on the wall when she has to write that check. Bet he’s not looking so appealing when she does. Yes she is stupid! Very stupid and you aren’t!!! Let those two stupid people live in their stupid cesspool life!

        Well good. Glad to hear you have all your legal stuff taken care of.

    • MelMel

      I could really use some good advice or at least a listening ear. I have mostly lurked here for over a year and have read a lot of wisdom from many of you. At some point I may share my full story, but I have a bit of a crisis right now. I discovered my husband’s emotional affair 20 months ago. It was with a good Mormon woman who he met through participating in church musical events. We’ve both been working hard to put things back together. It has been a struggle as you all know from your own experiences.

      We recently relocated to another state because even though we lived in a big city given the relatively small nature of my husband’s church and their participation in musical productions, including a well known Mormon based chorus and orchestra they worked together to establish, we were frequently encountering her and I was constantly being triggered which is a story for another day.

      On Sunday my husband announced his determination to participate in a musical program in our new city. The problem is that the day before I verified the true nature of their relationship he insisted that we give her a ride to a program in which she was playing the violin. It was a traumatic event for me (again, a story for another day) and the program he now has decided to audition for is the same one we gave her a ride to. I had just been thinking earlier in the day that it was great to live in a relatively trigger free place and this announcement was a bomb going off. I can’t stop crying. My husband is back in our old city, the “scene of the crime” for the week on business which is a triggering event by itself. It just feels like too much all at once and I’m not thinking clearly.

      What I’m trying to figure out is what to do about the musical program. On the one hand I feel like I have the right to insist that he not participate. It is linked to his previous lying, deceitful behavior. On the other hand I think it may be an opportunity to face this demon and hopefully overcome it. We are both singers so I could also audition and it could be something we do together. I am torn. I want to do what is best for me AND our marriage. I’m also afraid that if I put my foot down about having anything to do with the program that he will be resentful and likely do it anyway.

      Thank-you so much for listening. Any insight or advice would be most appreciated. I have a great deal of respect for all of you and your sharing your pain and success.

      • AnnaB

        MelMel if you were to ask him not to participate in the music program he should respect that. If there is nothing going on it won’t bother him, and if there is then it will be good to keep him away from her. If he has any regard he should have thought twice before agreeing to to this particular musical program. And if he isn’t aware of the relevance you need to remind him, because why should you have to live with the hurt and the fear of it happening again? I know exactly how you feel, but sometimes I get so angry at the way I was treated over 18 months that I don’t mind laying down the law. I don’t know if you have young children, which affects things, but mine are away at college and old enough to cope if we separated. My counsellor advised me not to appear needy, because that is when they are likely to take advantage. If you don’t want to get heavy about things just express your views in an assertive way and stick to them. Adultery is so painful that we don’t need it extended by our CHs playing with our emotions. Good luck with your decision.

        • MelMel

          AnnaB, thanks for the insight. Fortunately she is now in another state so running into her isn’t an issue. It is just the associations with this particular production that is even more painful than imagined things could still be after this long. My kids are all grown and out of the house, thank goodness. I also appreciate what you shared that your counselor said. I am working on not being needy. Not easy to overcome because I am. It is so frustrating. Thanks again!

      • Patsy50

        MelMel

        I am very sorry that you have joined this group of betrayed spouses.

        You say, you and your husband have chosen to stay together and rebuild your relationship after his EA. What was your husband thinking giving the OW a ride to a program to play a violin? That was disrespectful to you and just shot down the trust issue. Only you can decide whether to insist he not audition and explain why to him or audition yourself. But either one of you could be turned down, then what?

        It depends where your level of trust is with him at this time.

        I do believe in facing your demons, but doing it together and supporting each other.
        I wish you well in this journey.

        • MelMel

          Patsy50, amen to what you said. I have thought about what happens if only one of us is selected. I’m still not sure how to handle that. Trust is building, but the particular circumstances are huge trigger for me given that he met and got close to his AP doing a church musical program. At least since we’ve moved I don’t have to worry about her being involved.

          “I do believe in facing your demons, but doing it together and supporting each other.” I needed that. Thank-you so much!

    • TryingHard

      MelMel
      Not knowing your whole story I will say Put Your Big Girl pants on and go to the event Yeah triggers suck but sometes we just need to push them out the door. Look this is something you enjoy. It’s your hobby. Don’t let the OW or your husbands stupidity take that from you. My h took the OW to a restaurant that I like. I haven’t been back since but it’s on my list to go there and replace those memories of her with mine. I’m taking it back and you should too. Bit won’t be easy and this is a case of fake it till you make it. Don’t do it for him and screw his resentfulness. He doesn’t have that right anore!!! Do it for YOU.

      Also. Please do not refer to the person who choose to have an affair with your married husband as a good Christian woman. That is insulting to all Christians especially Christian women

      • MelMel

        Thank-you so much for everything you said, TryingHard. It really helped put things in a different perspective. I have the restaurant issue, too. We’ve been back to one of them several times. It gets a little easier each time, at least I don’t cry anymore. I still can’t eat Thai food anywhere. I’d better add that to my list of things to reclaim. I guess it can work the same way with the singing.

        I didn’t mean to offend by my comment on her religion. I should have put that in quotes because it was totally meant sarcastically. Please forgive me. I have great respect for all of my Christian friends and acquaintances. One of the most hurtful and ironic things about my husbands OA was that he and the OW were both quite active in their religion and presented themselves as quite righteous. I, on the other hand, was being vilified for having left the church.

        Is it wrong to let him know how hard it is for me and that I am doing it for myself? It is so confusing sometimes. I was never assertive before which was a big part of what I own from our life prior to DDay.

        • Strengthrequired

          I have to agree with th, reclaim your life, do the musical together and make new memories, replace the bad with good.

      • Strengthrequired

        Th, I’m glad you mentioned that. I was going to say, how can you say she is a good morman woman if she cheated with your husband. A woman that knows to stay away from a married man, now that is a good woman.

    • SoLost

      Help!!! My husband will not end his EA. He is still constantly texting and seeing this “close friend” and I am fed up. I let him come home to work on things but he won’t end the thing that is the biggest hurdle on his end. Is it wrong if i give him the ultimatum again???

      • MelMel

        I can empathize, SoLost. It took several months for my husband to finally sever all contact. It was incremental and I felt like I was having DDay all over again every time I had to confront it. That is enormous pain that we all share. I don’t feel qualified to give advice, but my first thought is that he isn’t really working on things if he is still having contact with the OA. If he isn’t willing to end it an ultimatum that you follow through on seems like an appropriate response to me. Others who are further along on the recovery and healing road may have a different, more informed perspective. I wish you the best.

      • Tryinghard

        So Lost
        Hell no you’re not wrong to give him the ultimatum its your only choice. Talk to him CALMLY and tell him how you would like to reconcile and work on your relationship but that his contact with the OP precludes you from doing that. Tell him exactly what you need. Write it down and give it to him.

        How can you possibly think of reconciliation if he doesn’t stop the destructive behavior? You can’t. There’s three people in your marriage and that’s one too many

    • Tryinghard

      MelMel
      I thought maybe it was sarcastic but wasn’t sure. You didn’t offend me. I don’t align with any particular faith but admire all of them.

      Ok so I hope I don’t offend you now. The Jesus cheaters are the WORST!!! These jerks have affairs in the name of God and Jesus because after all God and Jesus wants them to be happy AND after all nothing happens that isn’t Gods will. Wel to that I call a big fat bullllllshittttt!!!! Hello assholes what about the Ten Commandments???? Ugh makes me nuts. No dear Mel she is NOT good, she’s evil!

      Yeah, tell him you’re going not to please him but for yourself and then you look damn good, you sing loud and beautifully and glorify yourself as a child of God!!! This is for you and not him. Don’t give him or her or the affair anymore power to take away your joy. The joy you deserve.

      LOL Mel you need assertiveness lessons, call me:). My therapist said she wanted me to be more assertive and when I told my husband I thought he’d choke! Well being assertive is saying things once softly but firmly and sticking to them. It works:).
      Yeah the restaurant challenge is coming up soon for me and I just bought a new, sexy dress to wear for it. I’m gonna claim that bitch and put my flag on it!!! I’ve never been afraid of much and I’m too old to start now:). Good luck to you. Please come back and tell us what you decided!

      • Strengthrequired

        My h ow was all godly too, and felt god handed my h too her on a gold platter, she felt a right to break my family because she was so deserving, because she was so wonderful and honourable in every way, (gagging). Where I was so undeserving and needed to be treated like I was nothing. So I agree, they are the worse.

      • Strengthrequired

        You need to let us know how your dinner goes too th. Knock your h socks off, with your wonderful charming glamorous self. Your new memories are going to wipe her sad and sorry memories off the perch.

        • MelMel

          Strengthrequired, Your experience sounds like mine. It was okay because I was a sinner and she was a saint. It was also okay they never crossed the line of physical relationship. Spending his time, attention, and emotions with and on her didn’t seem to be betrayal to him. It was amazing to me that he didn’t think was lying to me or betraying to me until a really obvious lie that led me to pay attention to my suspicions and uncovered proof of the affair.

    • Tryinghard

      MelMel
      Did I misunderstand? Did he offer her a ride this yea or did the altruistic ride happen during the affair unbeknownst to you the affair was going on?

      Oh hell no the bitch can walk. NO RIDES FOR YOU WHORE!!! I can’t imagine your h offering her a ride now?

      Oh please say the ride was in the past!!!!

      • MelMel

        Tryinghard, the ride was the day before DDay. I rode shotgun, but other than that I was invisible. When we got to the venue he opened her door for her first. Same when we leaving to back when I continued to be invisible in spite of my efforts to join the conversation. And I had told him ahead of time that I was not comfortable giving her a ride.

        I agree on the self-righteous jerks including my husband who felt like God had led him to her, that he deserved to have her since I had left the church, that he was entitled! He actually said that shit to me!!! I get angry all over again just thinking about it.

        I like your style and am definitely leaning toward your recommendations. I’ll keep you posted.

        To everyone, thank-you so much for the support. I feel much better than when I wrote the original post, thanks to all of you!

    • Jim

      Can’t figure my wife out. Her emotional affair is coming up on a year. Although it does not appear to be near as intense as it was the first 6 mos, way less texting and communication. 1-2 texts a month, As he is out of the country for 3 months. Treats me me much better and is still seeing her therapist. She is not willing to go NC as I have told her that the only way for us to move forward…. Says she would never leave me for someone else, divorce is not an option as she is very adamant about keeping our family together for our 13 yr old daughter..I hate trying to figure out when the infatuation finally fades away and she wakes up out of the fog. Still blames me for our situation. It’s like she has one foot in and one foot out of our marriage. I get the feeling when we talk her words are almost guarded, not fake but not genuine…trying to protect me from hurt. seems happy with the roommate relationship we currently seem be in. Is this what you guys have experienced? Has she just taken this way under ground rather than in my face the first 5 months . Says she wants us, but refuses to quit him

    • MelMel

      My husband told me that he was so deep in affair fantasy and denial that at one point even after DDay he was trying to have it both ways. It was only seeing my very serious, real pain that he realized what a crock of shit he had sold himself. It sounds like your wife is somewhere in that same fantasy/denial phase. Don’t be afraid to show her what pain and anguish her affair is causing you. Maybe it will penetrate that affair fog.

    • MelMel

      I should clarify that by having it both ways he meant that he could have his AP and me. It still baffles, hurts, and horrifies me that he could be so stupid.

    • Marie

      My husband has had an ongoing “inappropriate” friendship with a person he met through work for a few years. I had voiced my concerns to both of them over their relationship and had thought I had made it clear that it needed to end. For a long time, there was only an occasional text or phone call and they weren’t seeing each other as far as I could tell. When my husband changed jobs and no longer saw her through work, I assumed the friendship would die out and that would be that…

      For two years, I had chosen not to check up on him, check his phone, etc. because being hyper-vigilant was just wearing me down and I wanted to just trust him. Boy, was that a mistake! A month or so ago, something started bothering me, needling me, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I wasn’t sure why something seemed “off’. It wasn’t anything he was doing outright that I can recall – I just knew something wasn’t right. Actually, things haven’t been great between us for a long time and I have begged him to tell me what I can do to make things better. I have worked hard to strengthen our marriage and have tried everything I can think of. We’ve even been to marriage counseling once before. Anyway, one night about a week and a half ago I was having trouble sleeping and I had an overwhelming urge to get up and check his phone. Low and behold, it was ALL there for me to see. All the texts and phone calls. Plans to meet in secret when he was supposed to be at work, plans to go out – like on dates – while I was busy or out of town. He told her he missed everything about her. That was what truly broke my heart – I had recently spent 10 days out of state and he never once told me he missed me. I don’t think he did miss me – it gave him the perfect opportunity to see her without any suspicion. Needless to say, I was devastated by all that I found and by his insistence that they’re “just friends” when they clearly are much more than that. He says he loves me and that I’m the only person he wants to spend his life with. He wants to go to marriage counseling and work through our problems. He finally admitted that he was having an emotional affair and insists it was never sexual. I insisted that he call her and end the affair and he did it while I was in the room. I am reeling – crushed and overwhelmed. I feel so stupid for letting my guard down and allowing it to go on behind my back but right under my nose. Every time he leaves the house, I panic wondering if he’s going to text, call, or see her. I obsess over what I could have done to prevent this from happening. In my head, I know I’m not to blame – it was HIS choice to cheat, but I also feel like I must have contributed somehow. He’s had many puzzling health issues over the past few years and I have been there for him through all of it and supported him through extreme work stress and anxiety. I put up with his crazy, dysfunctional family and have tried to help him repair a damaged relationship with his father. I don’t know how I could have been any more loving or supportive than I have been despite the fact that I get very little in return from him. Maybe I was subconsciously treating him differently because I felt so neglected and unloved. I do resent the fact that I have worked so hard on our marriage with little cooperation or participation from him. I guess it’s hard to nurture two relationships at once. Ironically, he probably felt like he’d be betraying her if he worked with me on our relationship. We’re just getting started with counseling, so I have no idea where this will go. What I DO know is that if he doesn’t fully participate in counseling this time and actively try hard to save our marriage, I’m out for good. I can’t take the pain and uncertainty anymore.

    • TryingHard

      Marie
      Many times the cheater does not end the affair until they are caught red handed. As much as you H likes to lie and gaslight you I would NOT be so certain it was not physical as well. If it were so hard for him to admit to an EA it would kill him to admit that it was a PA as well. I’m just sayin….

      I’m sure he loves and appreciates all those wonderful things you do for him but you know what, QUIT IT!! He already feels entitled don’t add to it by treating him so damn special and rescuing him. He can work his own damn relationships out with his dysfunctional family. I would bet they don’t appreciate it either. Instead work on YOU! Work on your relationships that bring YOU joy. Don’t try to pretty up his shit sandwiches that’s his problem. YOu are not doing yourself or your marriage any good by doing this.

      And yes I agree you were foolish not to check on him because you wanted to trust him. This is why people lie to us because we want them to be what they are NOT. He is NOT trustworthy and you cannot trust him. Henry Kissinger said “Trust but Verify”. I am a big proponent of this. That trusting is done with baby steps. It’s exhausting to check phones, emails, GPS… Eventually you;ll stop but until it’s over for a while don’t. Those affair memories are like burning embers and can flash back to life any time. If that’s what they want to do it’s up to them but we don’t need to participate anymore if that’s their choice.

      Strict boundaries, line in the sand, ultimatums whatever you want to call it, have to be in place right away. They have to understand unequivocally that you will not be around should they participate in any kind of communication with the affair partner…PERIOD, END OF STORY!!!

      I don’t get why betrayed spouses sit around and get frustrated that the cheater keeps carrying on the affair when they do nothing to let them know you are leaving should they do that.

      Congratulations that you listened to your gut. The gut is never wrong.

      • Marie

        TryingHard,

        Thanks for the tough love – I need it daily right now! I am in the process of gathering more evidence (phone records and more deleted texts) so that I know exactly what I’m up against, then I plan to present my additional list of conditions for continuing in the marriage. He will have no doubt that I’m serious and that this is his absolute last chance. I will not let my guard down or be fooled again. The whole situation has been a huge wake up call for me and you’re right – I have treated him too well, rescued him too many times, and shown more grace toward him than he deserves. It’s time he understands what boundaries are and learns what respect means!

        • TryingHard

          Marie
          You sounded just like me three years ago. We anything to right our world and even make it worse sometimes in trying to accomplish that.

          I am being totally honest and forthright with you when I say that I (not my marriage and really YOU have to heal before you can heal your marriage) did not start to heal until I started taking care of myself and quit being everyone’s rescuer and therefore their doormat.

          As much as we hate ultimatums unfortunately that is what is necessary until these cheaters get it!!

          I have a VERY dysfunctional in law family. For decades I tried to make nice. They were/are awful. The last few years I have detached from them and it’s been great except for the few times that I have had to be around them. It’s awful and when you don’t come from that kind of dysfunction and truly believe that if you are just kind enough, and loving enough you will win them over. WRONG. Move on from them, you’ve got bigger fish to fry.

          Good for you making the list! I’m big on lists and letting them see in black and white what you want. Stick to it.

          I wish you the best of luck. I think you will see a big turn around when you stop taking the crap and demand respect.

    • Rachel

      Marie,
      You sound like a very strong women with a good plan in place.
      Unfortunately, a life none of expected.
      Good luck and keep us posted on the site.

    • Marie

      Thank you, Rachel. Even though I don’t feel very strong right now, I do know how truly tough I am and I’ll get through it. Maybe it will end up being a blessing in disguise either way things turn out 🙂

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