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the long, emotional tornado of a newbie here

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Hi all, Am new here (and to internet chat rooms in general) and have a found myself in an emotional tornado.


I have been married to my wife for 6 years; prior to that we dated for 8 years including our college years. We both are easy going people who went to graduate school after college and didnt want to marry until we were done with the rigors of it. We had always prided ourselves on the 'independence' of our relationship; that is, we didnt do everything as a couple. Many times work or school kept us going down parallel, yet different roads. I never got the feeling that there were any problems in our relationship for many years. She is a wonderful, caring person with a high emotional intelligence. She has a level head and is very stable with her feelings -- though i touch on the 'bottle it up and it'll go away' type of personality.


Anyway, I ramble. We lived together for the last two years of college through now. We were married in every way but the piece of paper many years before we actually tied the knot. Very little changed after we did.


She got a job with a fortune 500 company here in town (san diego) and I openned a business with some colleagues from school. We still had a perfectly wonderful time when spending quality time together, and seemed to be able to spend enough time doing it to satisfy her emotional needs. That slowly started to diminish. I didnt enjoy spending time with her work friends and she didnt enjoy mine. We drifted a bit.


(at this point I know this story is surely very common, but its new to me)


She met a friend a work, a guy friend. One of the problems we always had was her love of crafts, disneyland and other things which dont really interest me. I did many of them for a long time, but as we drifted I slowed down my participation in these cutesy things. Anyway, this guy friend likes many of them, and they did many of them together. I somewhat jokingly called him the "boyfriend". I tried to talk to her about my fears of him replacing me many times -- to which she always told me I was reading more into it than was there and that they were purely platonic. She pointed out that a man and a woman can be great friends without a 'love' element. This was in year three of our marriage (three years ago).


For two years, he maintained a strong position in her social calendar. She had a parallel life with him; she did for these years maintain a close relationship with me, physically and emotionally. However, year three it changed.


I was now being shut out of many activities in her life, and he was right there. Our time allocations had virually traded from what they were in the early years. Then I started to notice that she, a person who I had never known to be anything other than starkly honest, had started to be subtely dishonest. Nothing major, white lies about her comings and goings and the like. I am not a jealous, or overbearing type and I let em go. Then one night she came home later than normal and had that look of someone who had just had sex -- the hair a little wild, no makeup, clothes not crisply fitting, and that whole 'glow' about her (again nothing major, only subtle things). She kissed me and her lips were soft and warm, the kind of feel lips get after an evening of use. I was shocked inside, I knew what it all meant, but didnt say anything. I told myself that I was imagining it and that she wouldnt do that.


Her schedule got more odd, and I was a continually shrinking part of it. Fast forward 6 months to six months ago. Our relations were now strained. We each were travelling without each other, sometimes for reasons of scheduling, sometimes for contrived reasons. Every single one of those "signs your spouse is cheating" was there. I confronted her. I told her I knew she was having an affair and that it was killing us. She countered with a sincere denial of the affair, but agreed we had to do some major work in our relationship. She said we had to start to do more together and enjoy each other -- that we had drifted and needed to fill the gap, and that this was normal in a long term relationship and that we were smart to be addressing it early on. I felt wonderful, I believed her, and the relief made me forget the preponderance of evidence to the contrary. I loved her dearly and didnt want to lose her.


She quit her job. She had now been there 5 years and her options were vested. We had always said when that happens, she could quit and I would be the breadwinner for awhile. No problems here; plus she said that it would give us more time to work on our relationship. Heres the problem, she left a couple weeks later for New York for two weeks with a couple of girl friends she said. She said it was her reward for her job, and that her friends wanted to take her. I said OK. She got back from there and got invited to go to Europe on some goodwill tour with one of her charities for 6 weeks. She told me that when she got back it was relationship fixing time -- that this trip was too great an opportunity to pass up. I said OK.


She got home and we lived unhappily for a week when she came into my office and told me she wanted a divorce. She blamed in on us drifting apart. I was devastated; I love her with my whole heart. She left to a friends house for the night. I couldnt eat or sleep that night and, for some reason, openned her laptop to see if I could answer some questions. I found many. Her email revealed a constant relationship with the boyfriend. He had moved to NYC in August -- she had gone to help him and was never there on a girls trip. While in Europe, she emailed and text messaged him (and he her) constantly things like "I miss you" and "I cant wait to be with you" and the like. And that on her way home from Europe she stopped over in NYC for a three day tryst. I was more devastated, and hurt that she not only had repeatedly lied to me, but that she had tried to blame our issues as my doing (which indirectly are obviously my fault for not being there emotionally).


I confronted her the next day. She sat stone faced for a minute. She then told me that she had thought when he moved it was going to be over and at that point we would work it out. She didnt want to lose me and thought she would if she told me about it. However, she said it didnt end when he moved. They talked everyday and he was always in her thoughts. They missed each other; when she was in Europe she missed him. She broke down and said that she is completely torn. She says she loves me and she loves him, and that she doesnt know what to do. She stressed that she loves us both equally and fully, that the newness and spontaneousness she felt with him was as attractive to her as the life partner she thought of me as.


We spent many days talking, crying and communicating like we hadnt in two years. I was as hurt as I had ever been, and she knew it. We decided to separate in order for us to figure out our lives. We have gone out a few times a week since and talk almost everyday. We have been open and honest and communicated like we should have been all those months. We were definitely making great progress. I can forgive her without conditions for her actions, I realize my role in them.


However, here is the catch, she still loves Michael (her friend) she admits. She still doesnt know what she wants. And now the topper, she left yesterday for NYC for New Years to spend it with him. I feel as bad as ever. I know logically I should just be done with her and move on, but I love her, and want to wait for her.


What to do?


...thats the tornado

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This is very complicated..... 14 years and now this.


I'm sorry for your situation.


Ok, first off, the affair is not your fault. You can chalk it up to lack of communication, not spending enough time together, anything. The fact is, she chose to spend time with this man, sleep with him and then fall in love with him, and then she lied to you about it. This is her decision, and her responsibility. It is not your fault, actively or passively.


Right now she is very confused. I'm sure she does love both of you. That's great for your healing process that you can forgive her. Are you ever going to be able to trust her? Look at how much she kept from you and for how long. This is your wife, the person you're supposed to be able to trust more than anyone in the world.


Do you see what you have said here? She went to NYC to be with him for New Year's. She loves him. They are together, and you, her husband, are waiting here alone for her, like a chump.


You deserve so much better than this. I think right now you are smart to leave her alone and give yourself some distance. She asked you for a divorce. I realize that you have both decided to separate and figure out your lives, but right now she is choosing to be with him. She is not spending time by herself trying to figure out what to do about her marriage.


For your own sanity I suggest giving some space and time and trying to move on with your life. For now, consider it over. She is not playing fair here, and by stringing you along, she is having her cake and eating it too.


I wish you the best of luck, and keep posting, the people here are wonderful and they've helped me get through some very tough times.

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Well, I have to say I feel entirely strange speaking on equal ground with someone 15 years my senior...and I wont try to even advise you of what you should do.


I think all I can say is that it's really up to her. You know, be who you are and dont change anything for her. And although I dont often say this, if it's meant to be, it will be. She needs time to figure out if this is just prolonged puppy love with Michael or the real deal. And I say that because those emails and text messages sounded like something I shared with my every-other-month infatuations in Junior High. Be yourself for her when you see her, and if she realizes that you are what she wants, it will be. Dont "promise to change, I'll do anything"...I've only been around for 18 years, but I swear it doesnt work.


Best of luck to you...I hope it works out for you!

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I disagree in part. I think part of it MIGHT be your fault. Has she ever showed a side of infidelity for the 14 years you've known her? I mean, if she was the cheating type, it's funny she didn't cheat on you a long time ago.


This happens ALL THE TIME. Couples lose the spark, they drift apart, the women are silently sizing up there men once they have drifted sufficiently apart, and slowly hate them more and more. You might have been emotionally married years before you got the paper, but she probably divorced you emotionally months or years ago.


It's a horrible lesson to learn. You have to realize that you too have to work to keep the spark in your relationship. You should have been having an affiar with your wife periodically. I don't think she would of wandered if everything was ok at home. If that's not the case, or if everything was ok, then maybe you married the wrong woman.


But maybe too little, too late. Or maybe not, assuming you want to work on it.


First off. Do you see any love left for you. It sounds like you have your work cut out for you. If she says she wants to be with him then it's giong to be hard. Do you see any love left for you. You can ask her, but women are good at saying "no" when they mean "yes" or "maybe". There's a book called "how to get your lover back" Darnit, I forget the name, it's something like that. It's good for people in your situation. But all this assumes that you can still win her back.


If she's set on being with him, all you can do is wait and hope that it doesn't work between them. Affair relationship usually fail, so you have that going for you.


Now although 80% of the couples who try and reconsile before/after impending divorce are unable to make it work, many couples are able to survive infedility.


Whatever happens, divorce isn't the end of the world. I didn't read your entire post (it's so long!) but if you do have kids from this relationship work extra hard on them. I still have issues from my parents divorce.


But like I said, you can still bounce back even from something like this.



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  • 2 weeks later...

what can i say....the time you have spent with her is something that will be in you forever.......i suggest reading this book by Debbie Ford....called spiritual divorce.......please all i ask is just look it up........i have been divorced now for 1 1/2 years....my ex had an affair and lied about it....anyways long story......the pain is going to be there no matter if u separate or get a divorce....it's going to be really hard......much emotional turmoil.......but time does heal......at least there wasn't a child involved........the book i aforementioned helped me out tremendously and i am not an avid reader. the book is not only about divorce....just read it......and let me know what you think....

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