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Reged: 04/16/09
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My account disappeared, but I have more questions
      #523178 - 04/16/09 11:03 AM

I joined last week and spoke of my wife's indiscretions recently and the turmoil we are having in our marriage. I recieved some wonderful feedback from a forum member here and need to continue my discussion with him/her and whomever else may have insight or advice.

Bringing things up to speed: My wife and I started marriage counseling with a wonderful and credentialed marriage counselor last week. We see her again tomorrow.

We discussed my wife's extra- marital "emotional" affair she had been engaged in with a coworker for the last month. In so many words, my wife stated she doesn't know why she seekd out attention from other men (he was not the first..the cycle runs one guy for every 10 months to a year), but the relationship between them, although no physical contact was made (or so has been revieled thusfar) was highly inappropriate and continous even though I caught it early, confronted her and him as well via email. Sidenote: He is married with 3 young girls of his own, supposedly happily, and is 15 years my wife's senior. I am 10 years her elder. She has claimed the activity has since stopped and she asked him to discontinue, but he didn't, so I contacted his wife myself and sent her all the corresponding proof from captured emails and phone records I had collected between them. I havent seen any activity since between the two, but they do work together, so what I can only go on is her word, which right now means very little as you can expect.

I do not want to distrust my wife or spy on her. I love her deeply and want the best for us and our family (she is 3 months preganant with our second child). She told me and our counselor she does love me very much but is very confused because she doesn't know why she seeks affection from other men when she admits I am highly attentive, attractive, loving and a great father and provider. She also sais at this point I shoudln't trust her because she cannot trust herself.

Up to the very minute before I caught her, she acted normal. Very happy, very loving, great sex life with me, plans for the future and vacations and home improvements, etc...until the bomb dropped. Now, although I am working extremely hard to be a better husband and communicator, she shows very little interest in me. She will not make love to me, although I have been free to give her entire full body massages to ease the aches of her preganancy, rub her feet for hours, hold her hand (although she wont clinch my hand back; it lays limp), kiss her and cuddle her all night in bed. But, when I try to initate a sexual bond, the one tell-tale that I as a man has as a reassurance of the love she feels for me and the "oneness" if you will, she will start to cry and say that she just cannot. That has crushed me inside, but I have refrained from telling her that (I'll save it for the counsellor's couch) because i honestly am not looking for physical relief, but the deep bond we once had to be rekindled.

I have also sat and expressed some of my feelings and internal discoveries of shortcomings in myself that I realize that I will work never-ending to correct to ensure her of my devotion and committment to her, but when I try to get her to open up to me, she gets angry and says that is why she is in counselling with me, to share it there with "a referee" and to let her have that. I have not argued the point and I have backed off. But it seems as if she is so disconnected from me that she can't-wont tell me anything unless a mediator is present to baby-step us through a process. Don't get me wrong, I love that we are doing this together and I pray to God above it helps save what I cherish between us so much...but I don't want that to be the only avenue for communication between us.

I have also been trying to reignite "an affair", if you will, between my wife and I. I email her, send her text messages, send digital pages, etc., telling her she is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen, how she is my heart and soul, etc. When she comes home, I have made everything as possibly complete for her that I can within the hour and half I have between the two of us getting home from work and me taking care of our three year old after his day in Daycare. Dinner is ready, house is tidy, clothes are washed, and I am ready and set to sit and listen to her about her day.

Am I doing the right things? Do you think she will ever come back to me emotionally and romantically? Please, anyone's thoughts...I feel more helpless than last week when I was here.

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Carpal \'Tunnel

Reged: 06/01/08
Posts: 3200
Loc: SC
Re: My account disappeared, but I have more questions [Re: dante]
      #523251 - 04/16/09 12:32 PM

It sounds to me like you're doing alot of the right things Dante. You're not pushing her, and when she feels pushed, you back up. Wanting to have the communication working better outside the counselors office is completely understandable, but I think if you're committed to trying to make it work, and bringing her back to you, you need to have more patience. Your marriage didn't tank in a few weeks time; its been going downhill for ? how long. So it will take some time to fix it.

Next counseling session bring up the fact that you would like to have the better communication outside of the counselors office. The counselor may be able to give the two of you ideas and some guidelines on how to acheive that without her feeling defensive, and you feeling shut out.

Also, back off the sex. Now is not the time to reestablish your connection to her in that way. Rather, show her WHY she has felt that connection with you before. Remind her in a myriad of ways that you are a better version of the man she fell in love with. Remind her of why she has loved you. Trying to use the sex to solidify a bond she feels is broken will not instantly fix that bond.

I would keep your eyes and ears open for the signs she's cheating still. Right now you two are balancing on a tightrope and one wrong wind could be catastrophic.

Marriage doesn't come with a money-back guarantee.

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Reged: 04/16/09
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Re: My account disappeared, but I have more questions [Re: javajunkiee]
      #523259 - 04/16/09 12:53 PM

Thank you for your insight. I agree completely on the sex issue as well, and needed reaffirmation of it, but it does emotionally drive me insane. In the five years we've been together, this is literally the longest we have gone without being together, and because of the reasoning behind it, it is causing me alot of self doubt and inner depression that I do not show outwardly. Not that it is a fix of any kind, you are correct, it's just on my part it becomes a reassurance that she is stil "with" me, so to speak. But, I'll take your very wise advice and back off entirely from trying. But, in just your opinion, do you think her reasoning could be for not engaging me that way? Even by backing off the topic completely, I'll always wonder why this sudden shift in personality, or this immediate disconnect upon her getting caught.

I am trying very hard to show her the reasons she had fallen for me in the first place. I am that same guy, it's just that we haev established a family together now and our responsibities prevent us from being as wild and care free as we were when we were dating.

The downhill slide is a hard one to nail down in my mind. As i said, she showed little if any outward or visible signs of emotional detachment until I caught her out-of-line behavior and betrayal. This has also been a consistent for a long time, unfortunately, but never to the degree it came to this time. Usually, overly inappropriate flirting on her part followed by some scumbag horndog guy doing whatever they could to bypass me to get into my wife's pants, which as I said I do believe never has happend. I do quesiton it this time around, and I am actievly monitoring alot of what she does. I HATE doing this. I think I feel more guilty than she does. I am an honest person, probably to a fault at times. The counselor asked her how long she had been unhappy in the marriage and she said she really didn't know. I do know she has some very serious insecurity and self image issues (even though she really, honestly is a knockout looking girl with a solid career and an intimidating education), so when another good looking guy (or even not so good looking, disturbingly) shows some general interest in her, trouble insues on the homefront for us. The scariest part for me is these indiscretions almost always happen through her work. (She's an NP in a hospital). Be it a patient, a make nurse, a PA, a cop bringing in a drunk, you never just always seems professionally related. That really sucks from where I stand.

I know this will take quite some time to make right, and I have the patience to weather the storm. I just hope and pray that a long term. loving , HONEST and open commitment to me and our family is my wife's ultimate goal. Right now I fear that she is unsure if that is what she truly wants.

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Reged: 10/15/05
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Re: My account disappeared, but I have more questions [Re: dante]
      #523438 - 04/16/09 09:42 PM

I think you are to be commended for your desire to look past the affairs. Keep in mind foregiveness means your willing to let the issue go and that your willing to work at overcoming the pain connected to it. It sounds like your certainly trying to do your best in this aspect, however, it does not make the offending issue ok, and it does not give license for the offender to do it again. If you have not made this clear you need to.
I mentioned in another post that boundaries are a beautiful thing. I think it is fair to say you need to be clear about where yours are regarding the affairs.
There is a book written by Shannon Ethridge titled "Every Woman's Battle". This may be a very good resource for the two of you to read.
I think the previous reponse to your post is correct in not trying to establish a sexual bond. I think it is also safe to say that you need not roll yourself out to be a door mat. I think you need to proceed in a dignified manner, and give her some space to be able to feel, and one of those feeling might be to feel alone. "Space" does not mean kick her out of the house, or allow her to stay with another man, date etc. "Space" means allow her some time alone in another room without you holding her hand, etc. This in itself can tell her you love her, without any verbal affirmation.
Keep your affections simple. If your wanting to get out and about, take a walk together if she feels up for it. Only hold her hand if she initiates contact. If she doesn't want to go for a walk or hold hands if she does want to go for a walk then that is okay too.
If you do not already do something for exercise, start. It will be a great way to unload the anxieties and frustrations connected to this.
I hope this helps. These are the types of things that were beneficial for myself when my spouse and I struggled.


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Reged: 04/16/09
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Re: My account disappeared, but I have more questions [Re: WhoDaresWins]
      #523470 - 04/17/09 07:47 AM

WDW: I thank you for your response as well. I believe you are looking hard at things, I am coming on far too strong. I am just desperate to save this, fix this, and love my wife again and have her love me back. The sexual aspect, done. That kills me from a relational perspective and the fact that as she becomes "more pregnant", she is filling out in ways that I find massively irresistable, as you can imagine. It doesn't help that she undresses in front of me or hops in the shower with me only to not touch me at all. Again though, I am free to wash her completely. When she exits, I turn the water all the way to the right to it's coldest setting to save myself the anguish.

We have a session tonight in counseling. I am thinking of announcing my intent to back way off and give her as much space as she needs. But, I will also express my feelings that it will not be easy for me any second of the way through any of fact, it'll make it harder.

I know whatever is going on is inside of her. It is HER shortcoming and lack of commitment that has brought us here. Even she admits that. I can't fix her. I hope that she can with help of our therapist. I just want to be a part of the solution and not the ongoing problem.

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Reged: 04/05/08
Posts: 1266
Re: My account disappeared, but I have more questions [Re: dante]
      #523575 - 04/17/09 12:03 PM

I'm just going to say it...YOU won't fix it, she has to fix it. I was married to a man like this and my husband was married to a woman like this. Some people live for the constant thrill that an affair brings. Sneaking around, trying not to get caught, expressing forbidden desires, etc. gives an adrenline rush like no other. And some people just have to have it.

No matter what you do, SHE has to want to fix it. SHE has to want to change. You're not thrilling to her because you're legit.

Also, you're too available to her. A person in an affair with her isn't so available. KWIM?

Especially since their are kids involved, I really, really hate to say this. But with a person like you're describing, it's just best to let go. Otherwise, you wake up 10 or 15 years later wishing that you hadn't wasted so much of your life on someone like that.

Don't drink and park, accidents cause people.

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Re: My account disappeared, but I have more questions [Re: DeeCan]
      #523643 - 04/17/09 02:30 PM

DeeCan - I feel you on all fronts, believe me. It is my fear that THIS is just the person she really is inside. To me, it is insane. It's like a Jekell and Hyde complex that rational people just don't get (ie., ME). But, I don't know if that is the case for sure, hence the therapy. The next session is tonight and I am hoping to deep-dive some of this sh*t. She claims she wants to change herself because she is terribly unhappy with herself and doesn't know why she self-destructs all her relationships. (sidenote: We have both been married once before...I swore this time I had chosen wisely, thus my decision to finally have children).

Being the man that I am, I just don't want to let the ship sink until I know there is too much structural damage to save it. I know that she knows that getting rid of her husband doesn't get rid of the problem and it will resurface again and again, each time negatively impacting my I will see this thing to it's end if that is what needs to happen. I am emotionally, mentally, financially and parentally invested in this thing, as much as I wish it were not so. Also, seeing as this will be my FINAL time at the alter with anyone, I need to make sure I give it all I've got. After choosing bad women to marry twice (the first was a different set of circumstances that I was overwhelmingly happy to get away from), I believe that either A) People are not meant for lasting relationships (which is unlikely), or B) I cannot trust myself to make the right decisions in relationships, which is most likely. The only way to remedy that is to forget the notion of marriage for myself and hopefully raise my kids to be far more wise than their father ever was. If they need an example, they can look at their mother.

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old hand

Reged: 06/05/05
Posts: 926
Loc: NY
I agree with DeeCan [Re: dante]
      #523724 - 04/17/09 04:20 PM

Dante, I know this is negative but I agree with Deecan. Only she can change. I have been hanging around these boards for many years and I guess from where I am now have become cynical or maybe realistic. Yes by all means give this marriage your best shot...go for it and move heaven and earth to save it ....but in the end, know that while you can change, pander to her, make yourself a "more" attentive husband and do everything she may still reject you. I know its hard...I was married for almost 30 yrs, my sopuse pulled away...I hung on, tried it all, in the end he left anyway...

You can't force love, either she loves you or not...not sharing intimacy with you when she says she loves you is a big red flag...when you are attracted to someone you want to be with dont push them away...unless there is some valid reason...she wants other men? i say let her go if the counseling is not getting the issues deecan says...why do this for another so many years...

i do hope that both of you can save your marriage...I really do....but sometimes reality comes in and you wake up one day and realize there is nothing you can do but walk away and set out on a different path.

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Reged: 01/26/09
Posts: 650
Re: My account disappeared, but I have more questions [Re: DeeCan]
      #523728 - 04/17/09 04:30 PM

Yeah I was wondering what happened to you

I think your post got deleted when they had a problem with the site
I think they had to role it back to a point in time that was just before you joined so I think your account was deleted along with it

I'm glad to see that you have gotten her to go to the councilor
That is awesome news
Like I said counseling can do wonders for repairing the discord in a marriage by opening up the lines of communication and if the tool is used properly it can make your marriage stronger then ever

So in that aspect I think the 2 of you are on the right track

I agree 100% with the advice given by javajunkiee
And I also want to add a slightly different insight to the advice already given

As far as the lack of sex, well I would not let that concern you to much.
See, I have a child with my former wife and I have a child with my currant wife and both women and the pregnancies were completely differentÖ

My first wife
Had tones of energy and was always on the go but she couldnít eat anything without getting sick to her stomach. The one thing that I was not expecting was the drastic decline in her sex drive.

My currant wife
Slept a lot (lol) but had no problem eating and keeping it down and her sex drive was almost hard to keep up with.

During my first marriage I was so confused by the fact that my ex-wife didnít want to make love to me, and I didnít know what to do.
So, I turned to my 2 cousins. Both married, one with 3 kids and the other with 6 so I figured they would have some insight in this matter. They both said the same thing ďthat during one pregnancy there wives acted one way and then during another they acted completely different.

Now that I have my own experiences with this, I have come to discover thisÖ
Each pregnancy is as different as the child growing in he belly.
No two, will ever be the same.
Being a man myself I understand your need and drive regarding this mater (aka sex)
But at the same time we (as men) need to understand that the female body changes more then just in the physical sense during pregnancy.
This is just my opinion but, if she says sheís not in the mood, more then likely it's not because she is not attracted to you but rather that she is simply ďnot in the moodĒ lol

You stated that she is not wiling to open up unless itís in the counseling session, and I personally see nothing wrong with that knowing what I know now.

Look at it this way, the simple fact that she is going says a lot in it self. The thing to keep in mind here is that she is opening up in the sessions, and it may take time, but each session that the two of you attend...
New ground is being broken.
Essentially the two of you are building a foundation for that trust and in time Iím sure you will see her come around.

In the beginning, my wife also felt the same as your wife does. She said almost the same thing to me about feeling like we needed "a referee". She said it was because, too may of the issues we had, were not getting be worked out. And, ultimately she was right; because we didn't know how to communicate.

Her argument was 100% valid.

Case in point we had been together for over 4 years now and we almost divorced because we couldnít address the problems without a fight starting, and that would end with one, or both of us wanting to through in the towel on our marriage.

I said this on another postÖ

My wife and I use the councilorís office as a safe zone where we can say things that if we were at home would start an argument. The best part of it is that if she or I say something that the other disagrees with we have the chance to rebut your side of things.
I have to admit in the beginning it didnít work because we would leave the councilors office and a fight would be started from the comments or complaints that were brought up in the meeting. So we have both agreed that no mater what is said at the counseling meetings, if we decide talk about it afterwards, we keep it civil and if it looks like we cant, we drop it and save it for the next meeting.

So keep using the counseling and use it as a tool in your marriage, Iím sure you will find it will help in the long run.
Donít let down your guard 100% or be blind but donít give up either, and remember that it may get worse before it gets better.

Donít give up on her and donít let her give up on you if you devotion is real.


What I should have said last was "Donít give up on her and donít give her a reason to give up on you by jumping the gun. Try not to dwell on the negatives. I can't speak for everyone but I can tell you I find that I put myself in a mistrusting and bad mood when I sit and think about all the reasons I should mistrust my wife.
Personally, this may just be me but, I would look at it as if each steep (ie her going to the councilor) as a steep in the right direction, and look at dwelling on the negatives as a steep in the wrong one.

I'm not saying that you should blind yourself to what has been done, but I can tell you this much...
You will never get anywhere if you don't start somewhere. Take it one steep at a time. You wanted to address the problems in your marriage right? She is going to counseling with you. For the time being, I think you should stay working in that direction. Don't go off on a tangent until you find reason too, because if you do, and your wrong....
well, I can assure you this will not help the situation.

Your first statement was you came here for advice on how to save your marriage...
Then do just that. But don't do it half heartedly, because anything short of that will only end, what you were trying to save in the first place.

Standing above the crowd he had a voice that was strong and loud

Edited by losingfaith (04/17/09 10:59 PM)

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Posts: 1266
Re: My account disappeared, but I have more questions [Re: dante]
      #523983 - 04/18/09 07:28 PM

dante - My husband can sympathize 100% with what you're feeling.

He will tell you that he left his first wife for his second wife. A horrible mistake he made that he learned from. And when his second wife turned out to be his karma so to speak, he felt he deserved it - no matter how many times it (affairs) happened. And he also felt that if he divorced her, then leaving his first marriage in which he had a child would be all for nothing.

So he struggled and he stayed, doing everything he could to make her happy. He even adopted her two children from her first marriage.

Nothing worked. She would reel him in with "I love you," "I want to work it out," etc etc. Then turn around and cheat.

He went through that for 7 LONG years.

He looks back now and realizes such how foolish he was to think he was doing it FOR his son (from his marriage who he didn't want to hurt with a second divorce), when he was only teaching him that this was how men were supposed to be treated by women.

He's regretful he wasted so much time and had to do so much reteaching.

Don't drink and park, accidents cause people.

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