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Thread: What to do

  1. #11
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Great post by lostandhurt. I'd read it a few times.

    I'm not a big fan of the idea of trying to define "a cheater" as a type of person. More like a way of being that some people can be, some of them for a long time, some not. But, yes, it's a thing people do and the signs here are not good. I'd put money on "the kiss" being more than a kiss—and, in the name of transparency, I remember when "the kiss" confession turned out to be a sideways confession of more bases covered with more people, though fortunately I'd already pulled the plug by then. But I'd also put money on you already knowing all that.

    The question that often doesn't get asked in these scenarios is perhaps the most important one: Do you want to stay in your marriage?

    If the answer is yes, knowing what you know right now, there is no shame in that. But you've got to approach it all from that angle. No, that does't mean freaking out, accusing, crying. That's a man whose bruised ego has become his motor. It means being your highest self—the man you want a woman, this woman, to be married to. It means stepping up where you've maybe slipped while, parallel to that, getting really in touch with your own spine, so it can prop you up and keep those eyes open. A talk with a lawyer about things can't hurt either—to give you a little bounce in your step. I live hand to mouth, draining my checking account to zero every month, but that's because I hide money from myself in other accounts to keep me calm. The chat with the lawyer is your rainy day account—there should you need it.

    Right now you're in a bind. You could bring it all up without quite bringing it all up, meaning you leave out the bit about looking through her phone. That makes you shady and gives her room to stay in the shade. It's not a real conversation, but shouts and whispers in the shade. Skip that. Or you could come right out and say what you found, calmly, and that you're concerned. To which she will likely say, "Oh, it was a dumb exchange with the entertainment, I was buzzed, it was nothing, I never met up with him." And she might be being honest. She might not. Not knowing will take what you do know and put it, along with your already fragile emotional equilibrium, into the paper shredder.

    I say skip that too, for now, if you want to stay married. Highest self plus observation will give you some answers, at least toward the next step.

    Sorry you're going through this. I've never been married, no kids, have yet to get that intwined with another life. I'll say this, though: When I suspected my ex was cheating on me I knew I wanted to be with her, even if she was. I liked who I was during those months, even as things unraveled. It was who I wanted to be in the world and in a relationship. I didn't like what I was observing, so I cashed out. I don't self define as a "doormat" or someone who got "played." I just eventually had to admit she wasn't someone I could be myself alongside, and vise versa, and the cheating was just the sharpest edge of the long knife that had been doing damage for years. And we both, in ways, forged that knife, even if I get to stand on some higher ground for not sharpening the edge.

  2. #12
    Super Moderator HeartGoesOn's Avatar
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    It's your call, but I'd think about what the lesser of two evils are--staying for the sake of not repeating the past, or having your children witness their mother's constant infidelities. Children learn by example, therefore what lessons would you be teaching them?

    On the other hand by offering her a do or die plan for marriage counselling, may just cause her to start singing a different tune.

  3. #13
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Little addition: Being that she is so averse to counseling, why not just go yourself?

    It will help you regardless of where this all lands. Also—and I really don't mean this as a tactic—it will send a message to her that you are processing something, exploring something. For all the lame stigma still surrounding therapy, the fact of the matter is people in therapy are often kind of intimidating. They are looking in dark corners, with clear eyes. But unlike people who are living in the shade, there is no shame in trying to find more of yourself alongside a therapist.

    Just a thought. It's like training for the marathon even if you don't end up running it. You're still a better runner.

  4. #14
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by confussed11
    Yes, we have been together since 2005 - and I have been loyal that whole time.
    Are you really saying that since knowing each other from 2005, you have contributed nothing, nothing at all to the dynamic of this relationship? I'm not talking about infidelity or cheating either. I'm talking about contributions to an unhealthy dynamic between the both of you - trust issues, disregard for each others' feelings, neglect on both sides and lack of effort in general. Part of growing together as a couple is acknowledging mistakes on both parts and growing from those mistakes. Placing all the blame on one person despite her terrible choices now isn't going to help you let go of the marriage if you end up having to let go of it. If doing therapy is what helps you reach a point where you are able to be more candid with yourself about how your actions and behaviours (along with hers) have added up to this, I think you might stand a shot at actually understanding what went wrong in your marriage OR why both of you made the mistake of marrying each other in the first place.

    Your priority right now is really to your kids and yourself. She's checked out emotionally and doesn't seem to care what you think. You mentioned bringing up some issues and her brushing you aside. She doesn't like you. She isn't even bothered if you are suspicious. If this doesn't say resentment, I don't know what does. Yes, go for the therapy because I think it will help uncover the other sides of the story and help unpack all those other layers, private and painful layers that have accumulated over the years.

    Don't be afraid of change or pain. Don't blind yourself either.

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
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    Are you really saying that since knowing each other from 2005, you have contributed nothing, nothing at all to the dynamic of this relationship? I'm not talking about infidelity or cheating either. I'm talking about contributions to an unhealthy dynamic between the both of you - trust issues, disregard for each others' feelings, neglect on both sides and lack of effort in general. Part of growing together as a couple is acknowledging mistakes on both parts and growing from those mistakes. Placing all the blame on one person despite her terrible choices now isn't going to help you let go of the marriage if you end up having to let go of it. If doing therapy is what helps you reach a point where you are able to be more candid with yourself about how your actions and behaviours (along with hers) have added up to this, I think you might stand a shot at actually understanding what went wrong in your marriage OR why both of you made the mistake of marrying each other in the first place.
    My ex husband was a cheater. I was a good wife and I stand by that. I didn't deserve his crap.

    Some people are just d*cks who are too selfish to care what their actions do to others.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that, Sherry. These kinds of threads always stir the pot. I don't disagree that there are total jerks.

    The behaviour of going out consistently, the multiple social media accounts or usage of social media to meet people, her choice in extramarital friendships/meet ups (the goofy model and his bumbling text messages). These seem like someone on the other side who's grasping at straws, desperate, hopeless and ultimately, deeply resentful and equally upset about her marriage. If she really was earnest about having an affair or affairs, she wouldn't be careless and crashing around like a hippo at a tea party. If she's defensive about counselling as well or defensive in general, this person (in my mind) is tired of hearing complaints. She's totally desensitized and immune to his concerns and she just doesn't think his opinion matters. I think it's between the OP and his wife to uncover why she's given up on the marriage in general. If she doesn't want to do that (no counselling, not able to talk with him), I think the marriage is over. I hope for his sake he speaks with a lawyer.

  8. #17
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
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    It really could just boil down to the fact that she enjoys cheating and will never be a loyal person no matter who she is married to.

    Maybe she has no clue how to be happy with just one man and is too selfish and immature to care.

    Either way, I do think he needs to see a divorce lawyer.

    OP, I have heard the excuse/reason ten million times over about staying for the kids sake. But what kind of scenario are you going to be asking your kids to live in when Dad is really unhappy and Mom is sleeping with whoever?

    It's not healthy in the least and it's not right to bring kids up in that kind of environment.
    In the long run, you'd be doing them a favour by ending a toxic marriage.

  9. #18
    Silver Member JamesDE's Avatar
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    Having been through a few of these type scenarios, i don't like what I am reading. I think you are still in the fantasy stages of hopefullness. I wish you all the luck but if I were you I would focus on what you should do in preperation for divorce. I hate saying this, but I wish I had focused on that instead of saving what I had. It was a futal cause. I wish you success, but I suggest you consider how you need to protect yourself from how a divorce may become a business transaction and think that through. Good luck. I hope I am completely off base.

  10. #19
    Platinum Member Carus's Avatar
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    I’m so sorry. Like James, BC, Sherry, Lost and possibly some others, I too have lived this scenario more than a few times. It hurts like a mutha and really erodes your self esteem and confidence...Horrible stuff*

    You’re already getting some great advice from the top posters in this forum so I’ll just add this: You mentioned staying for the children and not being able to start your career again...I’ve been there as well. I’ve had to restart my life more times than a lawn mower. I’ve had around 35 different jobs! Maybe more, I lost count. This last time was at the ripe old age of 50...!

    And you know what? Every time it’s worked out ok. You can do it if you really need to.

    Staying in a relationship where there is infidelity going will drive you into a straight jacket. You will become hyper vigilant, hyper jealous, hyper suspicious, very angry and lastly, very depressed.

    I’m not really sure what the answer is and I do hope you can work it out...But l just want to reiterate this: Yes you may have contributed to the issues in your marriage, but if cheating is how somebody decides to deal with those issues that is 100% on them, nothing to do with you ok!?

    Sending you strength for the journey ahead*

    Carus*
    Last edited by Carus; 09-26-2019 at 02:28 AM.

  11. #20
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    "Or do I just keep my mouth shut and hope that this doesn't happen again?"
    - I think you already know the answer to that question.

    "If I confront her about it, she would just deny like the other time."
    - You have no choice.

    Unless cornered seasoned cheaters NEVER admit to anything. The novice, one time, big mistake cheater maybe/yes, not the serial cheater.
    The problem is you have to know, and with that information you can make informed choices.

    How to:
    When/where there can be no interruptions; kids with babysitter, all phones off no appointments for at least one hour etc. (Don't include her in the preparations!)

    Face to face ask her: "Are you seeing another man"?

    Watch her eyes when asking this question. As she answers, DO NOT for even an instant take your gaze off her EYES!
    Pay attention to her body movements but do not break eye contact.

    Memorize what you see!

    Did she interrupt you surprised at such a question and answer empathically no?
    Did her eyes flick away slightly and answer sort of robotically no?
    Did she look away, get mad and stand up and start blaming you for everything?
    Did she look up and answer like she reading a script off the ceiling?

    The answer to your question is hidden in one of those lines.
    Last edited by Lester; 09-26-2019 at 10:30 AM.

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