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This is really really hard for me but I would appreciate some advice and guidance right now. I am 45 and have been married for 14 years. We have two children, the youngest aged just 3. For the last three weeks my husband has been acting oddly- staying out late till 1 or 2 am every night. Last week and for the first time ever, I looked at his phone and to my horror saw that he had been texting and emailing another woman some of which were sent while we were together at the weekend. The very last message read: "I want to be with you and have children;can we do that?" I am devasted. My life has turned upside down and I feel wretched. How could he text someone while I was there in the same house? How could he be saying these things to another woman? This has literally come out of nowhere and I feel like I have been stabbed in the heart. I confronted him but he says it was just a joke and that this woman is his friend. What hurts is that he has been emailing her while he is at work all day and one of her messages to him read: "perhaps we are soul mates but there is no recognition for that role." - implying what -that she wants my role? I don't know what to think or do. From the tenor of the emails I read it seems that he is at the flirting stage and I do believe him when he says that nothing physical has happened between them. This last weekend was very strained. We did not talk about it and I put up a jolly front for the kids. I am trying to keep it light and friendly between us but inside I am torn to shreds. I think he will leave me for her any time soon and if not he is thinking about it.


I have a roller coster of emotions right now- scared/heartbroken. We are still together but I don't know what to do.

Please help.

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For the last three weeks my husband has been acting oddly- staying out late till 1 or 2 am every night.


Did he tell you he was working late, or give any valid reason to be missing in action for this time? Did you guys usually have dinner as a family before this? If he's only at the "flirting with disaster" stage, have you tried suggesting marriage or family counseling to him?

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He has always gone to the pub during week days after work with his mates. I tolerated it but did not like it. But otherwise he was loving and caring and I would describe our marriage as basically solid. He seemed happy. But something has changed very recently. So yes, I would say that I picked up warning bells and that is why I looked at a his phone. I wish I had not done so now...

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I would sit him down and tell him very firmly:


I love you, and I thought we had a good marriage, even if we didn't always do things together. But even if things seemed to be good, it seems right now there's something missing for you, and I'd like to see if we can figure out, working together, what that is. Would you be willing to go to marriage counseling with me instead of the pub one day this week and start working on this with me?


He may or may not respond positively - he may tell you you're imagining things. He may tell you a dozen things - but if he's willing to go, even if he feels it's mostly for you, that will speak volumes that he still feels you have something worth working on.

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Ok thanks for the advice. I will try it but I am scared. I am scared mostly because I think he will refuse but I guess I got to give everything a go to keep the family unit together, right? If he has fallen for somebody else than no way will he want to work things through with me.

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I think it is game over. I just looked at his phone while he is sleeping and saw a message from him to her telling he loved her beyond measure. She seemed to be insisting that he be with her right now and he told her that he would were it not for his 'baggage' I guess now all that is left is for me to somehow preserve the little dignity I have left and end the marriage. I can't but feel that he deliberately left todays messages on his phone suspecting that I would find them and therefore he wants the cowards way out and for me to throw him out. Do you know the day after I discovered the emails last week, I apologised to him for anything that I did wrong? He cheats and I apologise so how does that work? It would probably be easier if he just left rather than carrying on like this but I guess he is conflicted.

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You have no idea how much dignity you could preserve if you threw him out at this point. And I don't mean that lightly. It's such a shame that children are involved. Stay strong for them if you find yourself feeling weak.


Three reasons go through my head on why you should preserve your dignity and kick him out immediately:

First, I think it's incredibly painful to live with someone who has betrayed you in such a way. Quality of life will be horrible. You will constantly wonder if he is lying again. You need some space to digest this and decompress. It doesn't have to be permanent.

Second, I think it's important to set those boundaries of what is intolerable. If something changes and you reconcile later, it will be from a real commitment, or recommitment, rather than just letting things go on, and living with a liar. Some people live in denial that if they keep a closer eye on the cheater, they can keep it from happening again.

Last, and this is just a perk, this other woman will figure out that he's just with her because he has no where else to go. Let her wonder if he betray her as well.


Do not apologize to him anymore. Don't doubt yourself. Bottom line is that he's already strayed whether he's actually cheated or not. You don't deserve this. I was cheated on by someone who denied it until he got too sloppy at hiding it. When I decided to end it, it was painful, but I felt like I could breathe again. Living with someone who betrayed me is one of the most painful experiences I've ever been through.


I know it's scary, but its also scary to live with someone who is capable of this kind of behavior.

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Thank you so much for your kind words. I am devastated. Within a week my life has turned to he'll and it feels like our wonderful family has been destroyed. You are right when you say that our quality of life will be horrible from now on. This weekend I kept trying to make myself attractive to him. I all but threw myself at him and it felt different. He was different, almost pulling away. I blame myself because after having children I let myself go and am no longer the slim young thing he fell for. But I feel so worthless and unattractive right now. I was loyal to him, loving and cherished him. If after all that he suddenly wants someone else than I realise that I will never satisfy him and have to let him go. I love him too much for him to be unhappy and worse miserable and resentful trapped in a marriage with me.I worry also about how upset our children will be. It wasn't meant to be this way and I still can't quite believe what is happening. Thank you once again for your kind words.

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One more thing: Instead of loving him too much for him to be unhappy, focus on YOUR happiness. You will adjust to putting your feelings over his in time. I guess that's natural for you moms. And your family is so important to you, so it was natural. It may have been your biggest joy in life. And he broke it


Who says putting on a few pounds makes someone unattractive... I'll be you have a sparkling personality and the brightest face when you're doting on your children. He is miserable alright. But that has nothing to do with you. He acted selfishly. And it's NOT your fault. We all have these feelings of being worthless when the one we love doesn't see it. All the more important to look harder and find that self worth inside us again. It's in there, it just got buried by putting others first. Who knows what will happen in the future with him. I just think it's best to spend a little time alone to focus on you, rather than dwell on him. So I'm not saying bust up your marriage right away. (Got that everybody?) Take a step back until you can sort through your emotions and assess the situation with a clearer head.


Just concentrate on keeping things stable for your children and licking your wounds. We'll be here when you need to talk again.

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He is conflicted, or he'd be with her right now. The "baggage" line is the one every married man uses when having an affair.


What you need to do is not panic and make no rash decisions. You need to contact an attorney immediately. You need to gather all the information you can about your finances and make sure you have copies of all asset statements and debts, income, etc.


Then, if your finances will allow, you need to tell him that under the circumstances, you need some time to think things through to make a decision about how YOU want to handle this, so you'll be leaving the kids with him for a week and be going away somewhere quiet and make some decisions. And then you need to give some deep thought to whether your marriage is worth saving or whether you might be better off without someone so dishonest and disrespectful in your life.


I know you're terrified right now, thinking about being a single mother with young children. And it would be difficult in many ways - but so is living with someone who lies and cheats. You need to take control of the situation and recognize that you have just as much ability to make decisions as does he. You don't have to accept being the victim. Let him know that while he can decide the marriage is over, so can you. My guess is this is the typical mid life crisis, and he's getting a big ego boost and remembering the excitement of the beginning of a romance. Faced with possibly losing his marriage, reality might hit home. The longer you wait to take some strong steps, the stronger the chance it will be too late, if you do want to save it. Whatever you do, insist on counseling if you consider staying in the marriage. He needs it to deal with his mid life crisis, you need it to deal with the pain and loss of trust, and you both need it to figure out what's missing in your marriage.

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First thing to do is to start gathering all evidence (print emails) and keep a record of unusual things going on. Be very observant. Gather whatever information you can. Make an appointment with a lawyer. You must get in first. Don't wait too long. Even if you're not 100% sure at this point of what you want to do, it is still vital that you gather as much info as you can. Keep a record/diary and record times and dates etc etc. The more info you have, the stronger your case will be.


If you want to save the marriage, then obviously marriage counselling would be a good idea. The big question though would be: Can you ever really trust him again?


I'm so sorry you're going through this.

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Thank you all so much for your advice. It is helping more than you will ever know. I am just trying to process what is going on right now. I have decided to take no rash action but I am trying to get a grip with finances etc should the inevitable occur- which I think it will. I can't help thinking that he wants me to throw him out so that in some way he can tell the world I never left her... She threw me out. I also think that if I did it right now then my children will never understood why I had to do it and somehow I will be the villain of the story. Right now I think it is better to stay still and wait for the inevitable- him leaving which will most probably be him not returning home one of these nights. And when that happens I will tell tell him I need some space to think things through and decide how I want to handle it as suggested above. If it reaches as far as the weekend and he is still at home than I will go out for the day on Saturday and Sunday leaving him with the kids to spend some time on my own before I decide what happens next. You are all quite right I can't keep behaving as a victim and need to find some strength from somewhere to take some control back. Somebody asked can I ever trust him again; well right now the answer is no. His declaration of love for her and describing me and the family as 'baggage' has made me realise how truly little we mean to him. I somehow stumbled accross this forum last week and it has helped me so much... Perhaps those of us with some integrity do get helped by the universe after all- albeit in quite unexpected ways. So thank you once again for being there for me right now.

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A failing marriage can be saved... do you want to? (Some husbands aren’t worth the effort.)


If you do, or are just uncertain…

Buy and read James Dobson's "Love must be tough" New hope for marriages in crisis.

Never let him see this book! Never tell him anything you are doing to save your marriage. Don’t use a computer he has access to.



Helpful hint;

Millions of wayward husbands and wives come crawling back once their spouse begins to close the door. Only when the door is closing do they finally see the slimy person, (their empowerment), they have been talking to in their true light.

This scares them...because it's not about looks and fun anymore.

A good trustworthy woman is hard to find.


First Aid 1;

You must not give impression of being overly concerned. It will be viewed as weakness.

Make him watch the kids and go shopping.

You need to retract intelligently. Never throw yourself at him or beat yourself up again over him. Work on your looks. The brain burns huge amounts of calories in these things so watch your weight. Too skinny looks like weakness.


First Aid 2;

You must deflate his empowered position if there is to be any hope.


Open his cage and free him. (Dobson) Improve yourself and become somewhat aloof to him. Don't ask or tell him anything. He will notice and say something snotty.


At this point say;

You - I'm not going to listen to you anymore. My attorney told me I can not only get support but also life alimony. He told me not to talk to or listen to you ever again.


(Watch his little boy world shake... You’ll feel your power immediately!)


(If you have always been a mush burger he will challenge you. Do not let on if you are bluffing. You should call an attorney anyway.)


Him - You called an attorney! Who said you could do that?


You - Bite me.


Him - Huh?


You - You don’t sleep in “my” bedroom anymore.


Him - Huh?


You - Shut up and leave me alone. (If he gets bad call the police.)


If says, "your throwing me out" you say "no I'm not... go puck yourself." Then go to bed.


Don’t talk to him anymore that day/night.


This will pull him back by forcing him to think about reality for a minute. He’s going to see you differently at the end of this day. Additionally for the first time he will think about the scumbag girl in a new light.


Don’t be afraid… this will give you time to educate yourself to these situations.


PS, Yes situations… There’s nothing new under the sun. His behavior is very predictable.

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I'm not a game player and believe in an open and hoenst approach to him inspitre of the fact he being completely the opposite. There are sites that advocate going dark and not communicating how your feeling and jsut shutting down on him. It's a game in my mind. It has been called the 180 and numerous other things.


The approach I used was this and keep in my mind my wife affairs lasted 20 years without me knowing.


The first is collect enough evidence he can't lie his way out of it. Printed copies of emails or texts are enough. Not just frinds is title of a good book by SHirley Glass - Just friends is the standard wayward lie.


Lay out the evidence to him in a calm and non-attacking manner. The latter is crtical becuase he will just defend if you attack or tell you what he thinks you want to hear. Ask him to jsut listen and not respond - no defending or excuses.


After you show him the proof, you tell him you can't continue in the marriage with three people. He has two and only two choices.


He becomes completely transparent and allows you access to all accounts, passwords, phone records, email accounts, etc. If he complains about it being a violation of his privacy your resposne should be that privacy is going to the bathroom, there should be nothing in a marriage that cannot be shared or needs to be hidden. He gave up the right to privacy when he did something he couidn't be honest to you about.


he needs to send a registered return receipt mail to her telling her he is done permanently and wants to recover his marriage and that she should not contact him again in any way. It must be in his writing and signed and mailed by YOU - not a conversation or an email. Keep a copy and tell him if he goes back on this letter you go to the second choice automaticallly.


He must commmit 100% to reconciling and working through marital issues.



His second choice is you will see attorney and file for divorce - tomorrow, no delays.



Don't discuss, negotiate or argue. Tell him has until the following morning to give you an answer. Then leave or have him leave.

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Ok - it is Wednesday night and 1.20 in the morning and he is still not home. I know he is with her. I have not seen him since the weekend because he he has been coming home late which is usual but at least on Monday and Tuesday he came home around usual hours and I pretended to be asleep.


Today he is with her for sure. I can't go on like this anymore- the not knowing if he will come home or not. I have hardly slept since last week and my weight is plummeting - by the way Lester, how did you know that would happen?


What do I do know? I guess I am getting the signal from him that he wants her now over me, right? He knows that I have seen the messages they exchanged last week. At that point he told me she was not important and that she was only a friend. He does not know, although he might suspect, that I saw the messages from Monday about his love for her... And as far as he is concerned I have accepted his explanation that she is a friend since we did not talk about it at he weekend. I am sorry if this is rambling but what do I do now?

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Collect the proof. Print those emails. Check the phone records for texted numbers and called numbers. Check for facebook accounts for her, see if you locate her address. There are services that will reverse lookup cell numbers. Others that will do full background checks. Does she wrok with him? Any friends that might know her? Is she married? Can you get her husbands name and number? Who does your husband highly repsect and would they be willing to talk to him for you? You need to bring this out into the light of day and take the excitement through secrecy out of it by confronting him with proof and information like who she is and how to reach her and especially how to out her to her husband if she's married. Get ehr too busy trying to save her own marriage and she drop your husband like a rock. If it's at work and he refuses NO Contact (NC), see if his work phone or work computer have been used to carry on with her. zIF it has, notify the personnel department they are using work equipment to carry on an affair. You are in a war for your marriage. Fight for it! Check out link removed, you will get more responses and advice.

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From the emails I have seen she does not work with him and she appears to be single. From what he told me last week after I confronted him, she is 43 and from my ethnic background- not his. What are the chances of that, he happens to fall for a woman around my age and from my race- it is almost surreal.


Unfortunately all the emails and texts are on his phone and I can't print them off. What good will it do my telling his family, who he does respect?


Thanks, I will look at the other forum too.

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