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she's so conflicted about us and wants out - what to do


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Hopefully this is a no judgement zone... just looking for some perspective. Please try to be understanding.

I am a 30 year old male and she is a 29 year old female. We are both married.

I first saw her when I started going to a new gym. It was just a casual glance here and there - there was a mutual intrigue between us as we are both quite active and fit. We had similar schedules so ran into each other quite often. We never approached one another though as we had SOs / shyness etc.

Over time people in the gym got to know each other because there just weren't a lot of patrons (COVID). We had mutual acquaintances and knew of each other but again had never really spoken outside of an occasional "hello". Eventually one day a mutual friend, who was surprised we had never met, introduced us. 

We had casual chats which led to attending a couple of social events (with others) and eventually did some fitness related stuff together (classes etc.). We both realized the attraction / chemistry was immense - it was incredibly difficult to overcome. This went well beyond physical appearances. We tried to keep our distance for a while after. 

Eventually we both caved. We went from innocent walks on the pier to coffee to dinners to taking weekend trips together. These experiences were just incredible - she felt like my other half / soulmate in every sense of the word. It's hard to overstate the connection honestly - it's almost otherworldly. Safe to say we fell in love with each other.

I, of course, feel incredibly guilty about this and had never been unfaithful before. I'm not sure why this time but it happened. Initially I tried to play it off as a mistake, then something casual, and now wondering if this woman is actually the right one for me. It's very difficult to process these feelings and I am certainly aware that morally I'm very wrong. 

She, as one would expect, struggles with the very same. This had been very apparent right from the beginning. She's tried multiple times to exit the "relationship" but always eventually couldn't fully bring herself to fully doing it. This struggle has gotten worse as we both realize how "real" the connection is - that there is a future here (we've joked about starting a family etc.) and that we'd be certainly together had it not been for our existing commitments. It also doesn't help that every person who's seen us hang out socially (with others) thinks we are a couple made for each other even though we are just "friends" in those circles. I should also add that she generally is less optimistic, at least towards this, than I am. 

Recently, after a particularly great weekend together even for our standards, she decided that "this was the time" that she was going to exit. She said she just couldn't do this anymore as it was just too difficult / painful to juggle. She said she doesn't believe in the future and that we should just stay away from each other for a couple of weeks so we can return to some sense of normalcy. 

I initially tried to convince her to not do this but eventually agreed to the no contact for some period of time - I told her I know that she needs the space / time and that I'm doing this so that we can give ourselves a chance after. I'm not sure that she agreed to the second part but that's where we left it. Of course I know this is not sustainable either but I just want us to spend more time together before making any sort of "decision".

We are now in the middle of this "no contact" period. I miss her dearly. I don't know what will happen after. A part of me feels confident about us / a part of me thinks she is very firm about moving on. I don't want to lose her. I think there's something very special going on. I've tried to process this myself and jump from conclusion (moving on) to conclusion (doing everything I can to revive) by the hour. I just want more time with her. 

I don't know what specific question I'm asking. If there's one that comes to mind it's "how can I get her back to me". It's irresponsible probably but it's all I can think of and want. Please try to understand this. It's almost cathartic to type this just so someone else can read it / say what they want to say - this isn't a topic that either of us can talk to other people about. 

Thank you. 

 

 

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When experiencing a loss of some kind it’s a kneejerk reaction wanting to make up for it. This is withdrawal only and it’ll fade. The more important question is why not divorce your wife? There really is no “after” if you’re married to someone else and she is too. 
 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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49 minutes ago, yetbai1234 said:

she is a 29 year old female. We are both married.

she decided that "this was the time" that she was going to exit. She said she just couldn't do this anymore as it was just too difficult / painful to juggle.

Did her husband find out? She's right to exit the situation before things get worse.

Eventually you'll need to reflect on your own life and marriage and what's going on there.

Edited by Wiseman2
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He did not but they had an argument the night before where he felt like she had been "a different person" for the last few months and I think it hit her particularly hard. 

I don't disagree with you but I just think this episode highlights the weaknesses in both of our relationships. It makes us wonder if our respective SOs are really right and whether or not those would've gone on too much longer regardless.

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Just now, yetbai1234 said:

He did not but they had an argument the night before where he felt like she had been "a different person" for the last few months and I think it hit her particularly hard. 

Yes, he's onto her. She's wise to cut it off.

Does your wife suspect anything yet?

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1 hour ago, yetbai1234 said:

If there's one that comes to mind it's "how can I get her back to me".

While it's understandable this question is top of mind, I think this is the moment when you need to ask another, harder set of questions: Namely, why not end your marriage? Until you deal with that part of this equation—and the part of yourself that led you into this affair—all you're going to be doing is making a mess messier.  

I realize that's probably not what you want to hear, but it's not in judgement that I'm writing. More pragmatism than anything else. Many people have affairs. Most of them combust—nature of the beast. Alas, some relationships do bloom and blossom from such bonfires. But the only way that can happen is if both people end the relationships they're in.

If you see this episode as highlighting weaknesses in your marriage, and you don't have interest in addressing those weaknesses with your wife, you've got to stand a few inches taller than you currently are and address that before there's any addressing this. Seems she is on that path with herself, and her husband. Where it leads her, and you two, is unknown. But that shouldn't stop you taking some steps that seem long overdue. 

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So, why not address your marriage situation first? And then be free to see each other without hurting anyone's feelings and without living a lie?

Be less selfish and do the right thing.

Edited by DarkCh0c0
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Wiseman2 - she does not and it breaks my heart to think about the situation with her. 

bluecastle - I think this is the right advice at the end of the day but alas it is so difficult. I just wish this woman can be with me as we try to learn more about each other and decide - rather than, as selfish as this sounds, prematurely ending it on pessimism while we are so passionate about each other. It is just that I've never had a relationship get awry because it went too well I guess.

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I get it... you are very emotionally focused on this, it's giving you tunnel vision. You need to stop this way of thinking, and imagine yourself experiencing what would happen if you lose your wife, and have friends, and family turn their back on you. Just think about the fall out and what is at stake here. Think about the carnage only because you have the hots for someone. put yourself in your wife's shoes...how would you feel if she was doing and thinking this stuff. I bet money on she knows something is up, and it's scaring her. 

Edited by smackie9
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38 minutes ago, yetbai1234 said:

Wiseman2 - she does not and it breaks my heart to think about the situation with her. 

bluecastle - I think this is the right advice at the end of the day but alas it is so difficult. I just wish this woman can be with me as we try to learn more about each other and decide - rather than, as selfish as this sounds, prematurely ending it on pessimism while we are so passionate about each other. It is just that I've never had a relationship get awry because it went too well I guess.

Yet it’s not going well. It didn’t start out well. That’s the lie that you’ve both been telling yourselves in order to support the fantasy of this affair. You both continued to marvel in your romance thinking that it was bright and unique or had a future but it didn’t. Your past, present and futures are tied up with your spouses and existing commitments. All of it was a lie and a fantasy.

It came apart because one of you decided to face matters in reality - nothing was actually going well at all. 

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You're focused on the wrong things, OP. 

Even if this woman decides to restart your affair - where will that get either of you? You're both married to other people. You don't appear to have made any real move toward making yourself single, so is your plan to life your wife only if this woman says she wants to leave her husband?

Because unless and until you decide to divorce, whether or not she "comes back" to you is irrelevant. You need to decide above anything else what you're going to do with your marriage. You're clearly not very happy or committed anymore. So if this affair dies out, you will be ripe for another one in the future. 

Given that this other woman has backed off, I think you can expect that she is not going to leave her husband for you. It sounds like she panicked when she thought he was on to her, and chose her marriage over your affair. 

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1 hour ago, yetbai1234 said:

I just wish this woman can be with me as we try to learn more about each other and decide

Keep in mind she ended things because of the argument and her husbands comment indicating he's suspious.

Often suspicious spouses quietly track their cheating spouses (perhaps for divorce leverage or to confirm what's going on). When he confirms his suspicions, he'll know about you and as part of it can be him telling your wife.

Your wife will find out, if she doesn't already know. Come clean. It's the only way out. Because when your wife finds out, you'll be worse off. 

Perhaps a divorce long coming will ensue, perhaps she'll forgive you, who knows.

But be clear that her husband's ominous remark is not benign.

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Confess to your wife, or don't but divorce her anyway. Unless you live in a no fault state she can cite adultery and name your affair woman as a co-respondent if she chooses to file after she finds out about your affair. Then your affair woman's husband will find out for sure when she's called to testify or is subpoenaed for a deposition.

And yes, your wife will find out. She knows you well and knows your affection has been directed at another woman for some time now. It's just a matter of when she finds all the evidence.

Then after the divorce you'll be free to pursue whomever you want, preferably not a woman who already has a husband.

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She isn't conflicted at all. The second her husband got suspicious, she chose her marriage over you. You might be a thrilling side piece, but she is clearly not into the "thrill" of getting caught cheating and the associated consequences that are bound to follow. Whether she gest back to cheating really depends on how closely her husband is watching her as far as she knows anyway.

On that note, what lies have you been spinning to your wife about your weekends away? How long do you think before your wife also catches on?

 

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My heart goes out to both your spouses. This is the very thing women and men dread about their significant others. This site has certainly shed a lot of light on rel'ships.

How long have you been married? And her?

How long has this affair been going on?

So, the only reason she's backing off, is bcuz her husband caught on? All the other times was just guilt? Sounds like you're both fine w/this continuing, as long as the SOs don't find out, and until you BOTH decide "we're doing this together"

Edited by Rox22
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3 hours ago, yetbai1234 said:

He did not but they had an argument the night before where he felt like she had been "a different person" for the last few months and I think it hit her particularly hard. 

I don't disagree with you but I just think this episode highlights the weaknesses in both of our relationships. It makes us wonder if our respective SOs are really right and whether or not those would've gone on too much longer regardless.

Well no it highlights your weaknesses in cheating on your wife when if you really wanted to do things the appropriate way to react to this "immense" chemistry you would have divorced your wife, then been legally single for a good amount of time, then pursued dating her if she too divorced her husband.  So it highlights your decision to prioritize your desire to hook up with this person over your marriage vows, your commitment to your wife.  

It didn't make you wonder whether you were with the right people - obviously you already had doubts and you already devalued your commitment or you wouldn't have made the choice to pursue sex outside of your marriage.  

Also if you finally were able to be with her -if you were both single -wouldn't both of you worry about the other cheating with some hottie with immense chemistry you met at a gym, a supermarket, a farmer's market, at work? 

I don't understand your 'no judgment" part -you are judging her for her decision not to continue the affair.  Getting her back is not getting her back -she is married.  Married people can't date.  You never really had her because both of you knew somehow that the chances of both of you divorcing to be with the other was highly unlikely so it was safe to get involved because you know full well you'll never have to commit and have the responsibilities of a committed relationship. 

I'd leave your wife -let her find a committed, loyal person to be with, then be single for a good long while and perhaps in the future when you are single you can date again. I would let your affair partner be on her own especially if there's a chance her husband knows and will come after you.

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This reminds me why the saying exists, "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."

You wish not to be judged, but really, can you avoid the guilt of what you've done? If so, the ability to cheat is not the only poor trait you possess.

You wish that someone would give you advice to get another cheater back, but it's selfish because it's not what she wants, plus, you can't see the forest for the trees. You think you're so special that if she did leave her husband for you, that she wouldn't eventually cheat on you as well? Isn't she showing you what her ethics are?

You wish that you can have the comfort of marriage without the drama of divorce, and also have wild, secretive intimacy with someone else. That's also selfish because your wife doesn't deserve to be living a lie.

The only way to have relationship success is to possess good ethics and to treat others the way you want to be treated. If you wouldn't want your wife to cheat, then you don't. If you don't want your wife crossing relationship boundaries, then you don't. People you have chemistry with in your hobbies and at work, etc., are people you have to totally avoid becoming close to. When you're feeling an emotional disconnections with a spouse, you concentrate on fixing the marriage and if that doesn't work, get a divorce. It's really that simple.

If you think you'll learn anything by directing people to advise you under your tunnel vision request, you won't learn a thing and will continue ruining your life.

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The main thing you've both shown to one another is your capacity for disloyalty.

That's not exactly an ideal foundation for being with one another, regardless of whether you both leave your spouses.

I'd move my focus onto dealing with my old business before deciding on my vision for anything new. From there you'll gain the perspective needed to pursue next steps toward happiness.

Investing in fantasy-building with someone equally discontented is the perfect way to break your own heart. Have you noticed?

Head high, we all learn from living. We eventually find what we need, but it's rarely a simple walk to get there.

 

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I know you're wondering how to get her back, but the thing is that you'd actually need to have something to offer her if you want her back. That is, you'd have to divorce your wife. Otherwise what she would be coming back to is the secret affair. Not a real relationship. And she's actually married herself so as you can see, it seems beneficial for her to just go back to her husband.

It also seems to me that you haven't actually had a discussion with her about how she really feels about you and where she wants this to go. Has she actually said she loves you? Has she said that she'd be willing to leave her husband? 

I think you also need to find out if she actually feels as strongly as you about this situation. Some people will have an affair because it's exciting but that doesn't always mean that they actually want to leave their marriage.

Also, I'm not sure how long you've been with your wife, but yes a marriage can get "stale" and it takes work. The initial sparks can wear off after a number of years and it becomes more like a friendship or companionship. That's why I think some people cheat, because in a sense they're "chasing the dragon" and trying to find those sparks and butterflies somewhere else. But chances are, if you then marry this other woman, in ten years you'd be looking elsewhere again. I think no person can provide that high level of passion and fireworks forever because that just doesn't LAST forever. 

 

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