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Someone please persuade me not to do it


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I'm well on the way to an infidelity with a colleague from work that's always fascinated me. Nothing concrete has happened yet, but I sincerely think it's only a matter of time.


Last year my wife (44) had a long-distance affair, originally on-line then at his house then at ours too, for a whole week while I'd taken the family to see the grand-parents in the UK (we live in Italy). She cut that one off after it had gone on about a year, and told me everything. I was devastated, but things seemed good, we could get over it with time and effort. In a couple of months, all the good memories she had were gone, leaving only a horror for what this infatuation had done to her.


Unfortunately, in the meantime, she continued with the on-line game, got firstly friendly, then extremely friendly with a 19 yr. old. A solace, a relief from a heavy situation. Continuous reassurances that, even if it seemed similar to the first boy, this one was a good friend and nothing else. Then a kiss, which I discover by myself. I cut him off, but contact with him is slowly re-established.


Between my wife and I, all seems to be going great. Fireworks in bed that there never were before in 18 yrs. of marriage. Continuous reassurance that the 19 yr. olld is "only a very good friend" and nothing sexual has every happened. They do insist on being able to hold hands, and caresses on the cheek, and seeming each other alone when possible (once a month or so). 20 messages a day, almost daily msn. Frequent phone calls.


Then I discover an email: "I wish I'd met you 20 yrs ago, I love you, I love you, I LOVE YOU". I'm out of my mind, but hang on a month or so. Then I decide (for my own sanity as well as the good of the family) that enough is enough. They have to cut off all contact, "or else". That was 1 week ago. My wife admits that she's realised since July that she was "in love". She firstly says "she loves 2 men". Then it becomes "affection" for me, then "love" for me, "in-love" with him.


In these past 6 weeks or so, I've been seeing (at work, for coffee and lunch) a colleague that has always interested me. We open up, discover we have similar situations. We talk, we have a lot in common. Were both interested, although no explicite moves have been made. Slightly heavier hints by both of us as time goes on, but still nothing explicite. Now the annual staff party is coming up, the perfect moment to make a move. And how can I resist? Why should I?


Don't think I'm totally irresponsible: I realise lots of things. I know it's not "right" nor honest, but that's exactly what I feel that my wife has done. I feel I've lived a lie for 2 yrs (at least). I know it's risky, that my family (5 kids) could suffer. The colleague too has told me about her family problems. She'd already saying she's going to leave her husband, she'd be happier away from it all. She wants to leave him anyway, I wouldn't be

the cause of that. Her older child (23) has told her for years that she

should leave her husband, her younger (13) would come with her.


My wife isn't happy. Obviously, when she thinks of me, it's all mixed up with other things too, work, kids, obligations, duty. When she thinks of the youngster it's all adventure, new, youth, freedom, a future to define. It's hard if not impossible to just compare your feelings for 2 people: there's a whole context around each which can't be taken away. But, fundamentally, I feel that if all else was equal (which it isn't), I'd come second. That is already a thought I find hard to live with.


We were at a critical point in our relationship, back in the first few months of this year. Things were cleared up, we openned our hearts to each other (at least it seemed). She continued to seek solace with the on-line game, with this new youngster she'd started talking to. I complained about it, she went on anyhow. They become friends, and I see it's more than that. A kiss, I cut all contact, my wife falls into a deep depression. Contact is slowly, step by step reallowed, but I suffer, and my wife knows it, but goes on all the same. She falls in love and then knows it, but explicitely tries to convince me otherwise, with direct lies.


Does all that seem the action of someone who has made a mistake, then a second, and third, who is sorry and scared of the consequences, who fundamentally would like to be happy with me? I know she's torn, she's tormented. So am I, but in the end she's always chosen escape over trying to reconstruct her real life with me. She's chosen her own happiness over that of me. She's happily chosen to destry my trust in her for moments of happiness hers. Even if things carry on, I will always have the idea that she's chosen the only path possible, unhappy etc as it is, and will carry in her heart the dream of something that seemed far better but which was impossible. Duty over joy, safe over risky, correct over incorrect. But her thoughts will often be there, and I will, yet again, be the cause of her missing her dreams. I'm a pain in the ass to be supported, because there's no other choice, not a source of joy and solace.


I can't always support that look in her eye that gives me the blame for her pain. I can't always bear the pain she's caused me, and lash out with words.


I realise too that my choices are no clearer. All in all, the relationship with the colleague is, at least on paper, feasible. But I don't really know her, I would know she's unreliable, as I would be if I went (once a cheater...). A lesser relationship, an affair let's say, would to me have most of the disadvantages, with only the advantage that theoretically I'm still at home with my kids. That isn't necessarily what my colleague wants, and it's temporary at best.


Actually, an affair might even be beneficial. It would say in large capital letters how unhappy I am (I think it's actually out of character for me, as sign of esasperation - see all my replies on the this forum). It would also cancel a debt, any way I could feel "holier-than-thou", "look what you did and I have had to support". Perhaps then we could then look each other in the eyes and see two hurt human beings, no-one really better than the other, each searching for a bit of happiness.


I'm a bit sick and tired. I've lost trust in my wife, and she's never wanted to acknowledge that. But above all, I've lost a respect for her that had a great part to do with my love for her, I trusted and valued her opinions on things, but now feel almost that I can't trust her to cross the road by herself!

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Two wrongs don't make a right. if she continues to cheat and be unfaithful then I would send her a serious message, him or me. Start the process of legal seperation and see if there is a chance she may snap out of it. The unfaithfulness will continue as long as you allow her to walk all over you. I would also tell her she needs to leave the house since she can't decide who she loves. Clearly, if she loved you she couldn't tell someone else she loved them too. And it's obvious she has no intention of ending it with him. I would tell her to start packing, and stick to my guns. Kids aren't a reason to stay together, not when there are too many different people they may know about her being with.

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If i were in that situation, married with kids it would make the choice difficult but very clear. She does not respect you. She is infatuated with this person and is putting him over you and her family. what i would do is ask a friend for a room to stay in for about a week. That way she has time to see what it is like without you. Don't let her know that you are leaving, just go. If that doesnt send a message, then what will? Give her the space she apparently desires and see what she does with it. Then after that week come home and see what she has to say. Maybe she will say that its best for you to be apart or maybe she will have missed you dearly. At that point you can either say "him or me" or legally separate.


That might be a little extreme, but in the case of a marriage, its the only way that "no contact" could be implemented. As for the co-worker, umm, I don't know. I would advise that you don't cheat to get back at your wife. You must be respectful of that bond. Sure she is not doing the same, but she will regret it that much more that she ever did you wrong if it all works out. It might teach her a lesson.

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Don't cheat on your wife~ if you don't cheat you're still on the side of justice. If you do cheat you're just as bad as her and your children will probably hate the both of you.



Ask your wife to choose between you and her lover. She needs to choose...


I think, if you like your co-worker that much, divorce your wife, have your co-worker divorce her husband before the two of you get together. Divorce rather than affair will be best for everyone in this situation... unless if you and your wife plan on working things out.


Ask your wife. both of you need to make a decision now. You have to choose between the person you've been with all your life, or the new excitement.

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You are in a situation where you have 2 choices: To divorce or cheat. To cheat would relieve you, but for how long? Who knows what can happen with this other woman. She could stay with you, but she'd be leaving someone else. Meanwhile at home you grow ever more distant from your "wife". Quotations because that's what she's supposed to be. I think the children would suffer, no, the children would definitely suffer. What if your potential mistress doesn't stick around? You are left in the same situation you chose to escape from. Don't play her game. I don't know you from a can of paint, but I have the feeling you would lose, and that's o.k. because you seem like a good person. Good people always lose at game playing, cause they don't play.


To divorce or separate seems like a better idea. Before the web becomes ever more tangled, you gotta go. Or she's gotta go. The children will suffer, but not as much as they would if you remain together. They need to see some kind of bond between their parents to grow up to have healthy relations of their own. Don't talk ill of her either to them, because it's between you and her. It will probably be a long and drawn out process, but it's got to happen sooner than later. Can you imagine living the rest of your life like this? Do you want to? Without trust, I don't think a future is possible. It seems as though she can't break the habit of cheating emotionally or physically-- she just can't be satisfied and you can't change that. I don't know if she's just like that, or if there was something going on in the relationship that brought things to that point.

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Just a short word - my story. I had an affair for 3 years with a co-worker. My wife found out (suspected) and I eventually confessed. It has been hard, she has agreed to try to forgive me - but she will never forget. There is damage that happens - and I would never do this agin in my life time. Thats what happens with experience - not an experience I would ever suggest you try and get.


What you need to do is sit you wife down, ask her if she want to continue to be married - if she does get to see someone soom. My wife and I in the near future will attend a marriage encounter operated by people who have had the same type of marriage problems. Information can be sought at a local Catholic church (thats where you can get the info - it is not for only catholics) it goes by the name of Retroville (or close) they do have a web site - I have heard good things about them.


After such a weekend encounter you can then decide what to do next. Good luck!

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As someone that has played on line games - I assume she's playing role playing games - I know that there are some people that get involved with them that start to have problems separating the fantasy from the reality. They start to believe the things they play in the games. Maybe your wife is one of them, and she's managed to find some others that fall into this as well. I mean... a nineteen yr old? and she's got 5 kids? Someone's slipping into a bit of fantasy here, don't you think?


I would suggest counselling with someone that has experience dealing with people with online gaming. I'm not blaming the /gaming/ per se - it can be great fun for those that keep a perspective - but some slip into problems.


It really sounds like, despite it all, you want to continue with your wife, and that's why I suggest this.

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I feel very strongly on the issue of infidelity, especially when it's the female partner.


I really think you should gather the shattered remains of your emotions, and leave her.


C'mon dude, this woman is taking you for a RIDE!


You LET her hold hands, and generally get down with this other guy?


You DON'T have to listen to her. You DON'T have to give in to her demands!


Firstly, how old are your kids? If they're old enough... I might explain the situation to them.


If they're not, I'd hope for the best in a divorce court.


Good luck, my friend.




XxX xXx

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Just a few comments on the messages you've all added here:


cleverme123: is it really true you can't love more than I person? And you can love them in different ways anyhow. I find it hard, but not impossible, to imagine being in love with 2 people at the same time, but in different ways. However, I think in the end it's a supermarket/pick&match type of thing. You love different bits of the 2, and the sum you find satisfying emotionally. Pratically though, there's no way it can work out. Also, 2 wrongs don't make a right, that I know. But the hurt, like an injured animal that will bite even a friendly hand that tries to help, it just wants to return a bit of that hurt. Not rational, but then emotions aren't rational.


striderhiryu81: I think the lack of respect is perhaps the most hurting thing in the end. Am I really not worth resisting a few hormones for? Is scratching an itch more important than 18 years marriage and all that goes with it? Falling in love with someone else I can understand. Not realising what was happening beforehand and running a mile before it was too late I find harder.


tea: At least at a practical level, my wife has already chosen, she's told the 19 yr old that there will be no more communication of any sort. But he's still there in her heart, she's very depressed about not seeing this boy anymore, and about the hurt she's caused me. However, divorce is not an option, at least not an easy one. We're catholic, and active in the church. A separation, a divorce would mean even more than just breaking a family.


kalshane: The kids are seeing that there have been and are problems, but despite that, we are together. They see that we suffer at times, but that underneath all that there is a strong desire to go forward. There's a hope, and it's possibly not just a fallible human hope. As for the co-worker, you're right, for me it's just a kind of releif, a diversion from the real problem. I've got no illusions there. I am playing, but it's all innocent at the moment, and to be honest, I may fantasise about soemthing more, but it remains just that. But it is a dangerous game. Losing trust is painful too, perhaps even more for my wife than it is for me. She will always feel watched. I'll try not too, but the temptation to spy, to check, will probably remain for years.


redstar: Adding further damage to an injured marriage is obviously not the best way to speed healing. I agree with you on that.


Evelyn99: What you say about fantasy games is very interesting. My wife has always been one to lose herself in her own fantasises, as a retreat from the hard and mundane real-life. How much better to lose yourself in a shared fantasy that can touch the real-life too.


HaloDestroyer: The kids are from 2 to 17, the whole spectrum. Why is it so different if it's the female partner that is unfaithful? As for letting my wife get into this situation, I can only say that there was a strong desire on my part to trust her after the first infedelity. I wanted to believe her, I wanted to think the first time was a big mistake, a weakness, a temporary abheration. But, given the subsequent events, it seems to say that there is a bigger unresolved problem underneath, in her, in us. Also, my wife has (at least I'd always thought) a strong personality. Funny how the things that we possibly love most in someone can either be the things that hurt us the most, or else turn out to not be what we thought.


All of this story is, surprisingly, not totally negative. There is now a type of communion - we're two hurt and hurting people, side by side trying to get by day by day. We have that in common. It has also brought out some truths in the marriage. That she's consciously known for years she wasn't in love with me, perhaps never was, and has been tormented by this knowledge. Which is different from saying she's never loved me. A strong affection, let's say, a need to share a life, a desire to be there to the end. But also an insatisfaction, a desire to escape, a feeling of constriction, a guilt about not really feeling for me what I'd expected and she wanted to feel. A torment. For me, knowing much better how she feels, has also removed a torment, a subconscious knowedge that things aren't exactly as I desired yet a strong wish to see something stronger than was evidently there. I'm seeing things a lot clearer now. As to whether what I see is something I can live with is obviously a different matter. Only time and patience can tell. But, fundamentally, the desire is there, and it's not just a matter of the kids, the years passed together, the family etc.

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You know... that's one of the things I don't get about catholic and christian people...


adultary is in one of the 10 commandments but divorce is not, yet it's okay to engage in adultary but not okay to divorce? someone said this in the other thread... that to even the most religious people moral means nothing when they want to do something. =/ if you're not happy with your marriage, get out, you were thinking about something worse right?

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I don't really want to get into this side of the discussion, even if for me it is of vital importance. However, you are fundamentally wrong in what you say tea: adultery means adding something extraneous to something that should remain pure. What could be more extraneous to a marriage than separation, even more so when you decide it's permanent with a divorce?


If you really want to try to understand, I can suggest this link vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P83.HTM.

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