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Dear Chump Lady, How do I break through to her?

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reconciliation_fogDear Chump Lady,

I’m at a loss about how to proceed with my marriage. Two years ago me, my wife and two kids were prepping to move overseas for a work commitment. Before we left, my wife connected with one of my foreign coworkers while he was visiting the United States. It seemed reasonable she would want to reach out and form some friendships prior to us moving overseas and I didn’t think much of it.

However, even before we left the US she went from acquaintances to obsessive texting, first thing in the morning and last thing at night (texting him as I laid beside her). We had always had a rule in our 9 year marriage not to get too close to members of the opposite sex, and had credited this as a point of pride of how we protected our marriage from potential infidelity.

She was not shy at all about her interactions, talking so much about him that she even brought him up a couple times while we were trying to have sex, which to say the least killed the moment. I had never seen her in such a state of infatuation (and we were still on the other side of the globe from this guy) and my concern increased as the day drew near for us to move over and join him in our foreign office. I kid you not, up until that point in 9 years of marriage we had never even gone to bed mad at each other, always committed to working through issues as they came up. So, I did what we’d always done, I told her that her relationship made me uncomfortable and asked her lovingly to back off and please respect our boundaries. She listened, didn’t say much and seemed to understand.

Over the next two years she pursued her relationship with him with little boundaries save sexual ones. (I know they have not been intimate physically since I was present at the majority of their physical interactions). Within 2 months she was calling him her best friend, soul mate, twin. In social settings she was flirty and buddied up, she insisted we become close to his parents and have our kids call them Grandma and Grandpa. She texted him night and day, and would come visit me at work only to go off on walks and dinners with him and the kids. We had numerous conversations, which built in intensity and would end in me furious as she sat silent through most of our talks and in the end would say “he’s just a friend, I don’t know what to tell you.” She was never secretive about her interactions (until recently), appearing completely oblivious and apathetic to all the pain it was causing me.

Eventually he moved away but they kept their daily interactions. I eventually found on her computer, purely by chance, a photo of her she had sent him with no bra on and a thin tank top, holding a photo of them in view. I confronted her and she played dumb, refused to admit she knew it was inappropriate, that I was overreacting. Over text she tells him she loves him daily, is in love with him in a best friend sort of way, is grateful for him, can’t wait to see him, blah blah blah. She has admitted to being physically attracted to him and having fantasies. I have blatantly identified that she is emotionally cheating on me tried asking, demanding, pleading, being more loving and attentive, writing letters, texts, couples counseling and at each and every turn she has 100% refused to even acknowledge that she has done anything wrong or that I have a right to feel betrayed. She actually said we can’t talk anymore because I get too upset and it scares her. (I have never ever been even close to physical, I don’t even spank my kids for god’s sake).

So here I am. About a month ago I wrote her an email outlining that our marriage can’t move forward without her ending her emotional affair, acknowledging the damage done and choosing to want to reconcile with me, I also communicated this in person as well. We are sleeping in separate rooms, she never responded to me in person or in writing other than saying she read the email. I told her I am moving on for my own sake, emotionally and mentally finding happiness with the reality looming that our marriage may be over.

I don’t know that I could ever divorce with two daughters that mean everything to me, but it is hard imagining the next 50 years with someone who won’t even acknowledge their behavior. I have told her part of me moving forward is that I won’t bring up the affair anymore, won’t try to work through it, and won’t ask her to communicate with me unless she wants to and can initiate. I also told her part of me moving on may in the future mean divorce at some point. It’s been a few weeks, she has yet to even discuss this with me. Am I doing the right thing? The truth is I desperately want to stay married to her, I love her and see that she is lost in the woods. How do I break through to someone in an altered reality and deep state of denial? Am I the delusional one? Feeling so lost right now. Thanks so much for your time.

Jason

Dear Jason,

You know, sometimes people send us messages and we just refuse to hear them.

Now, some people are confusing and send mixed messages like: “I love you, I love him, I just can’t decide.” Or “I hate you!” and then the next minute “But this marriage means everything to me!”

That’s a mixed signal. And generally a lot of mindfuckery goes with that. (“I didn’t say that, well if you want to INTERPRET it that way…” “I fail to understand your hostility.” Etc.)

You don’t have a mixed signal. You’ve got a very direct signal — you just don’t want to listen to it. Her actions and her silences clearly communicate she prefers her affair to her marriage with you. Hell, you’re not even Plan B. You’re the cardboard stand in. The guy with the job, the father to her kids, the Potemkin husband. He’s the Great Schmoopie Love. Her best friend. Her Savior. The recipient of her saggy-tit tank top sexts. (Okay, I don’t know if she has saggy boobs, but two children? Seriously, very few people look good braless in a tank top without Photoshop. Another clue that you’re dealing with a delusional human here.)

I love her and see that she is lost in the woods.

She’s not lost in the woods. She is deliberately and with much aforethought in an affair.

Your wife is not a timid forest creature. She knows exactly what she is doing. She sees that it hurts you and — for YEARS — she does not give a shit. Nope, your distress doesn’t register on her narc-ometer. (The arrow is perennially stuck at “me.”)

Not only doesn’t your distress register — YOU don’t register. She’s texting him in front of you. Dining with him and your children. And asking your children to call his parents Grandma and Grandpa. WTF Jason? When did it get to this point? You may as well be a potted plant for all the resistance you’re showing.

Look, I don’t mean to beat up on you, but you’re doubting your senses here. Is this inappropriate? YES YOUR WIFE AND KIDS DINING WITH YOUR COWORKER INSTEAD OF YOU IS INAPPROPRIATE. It’s a huge Fuck You. What happens next? You just forlornly unwrap a soggy tuna sandwich at your desk or something? This is WRONG! That’s YOUR family, NOT his family!

How do I break through to someone in an altered reality and deep state of denial?

Oh, don’t we all wish we had the answer to that one. If you find Thor’s magic denial-smashing sledgehammer, let me know. I have a few people I could use it on.

Jason, your wife is FINE with her altered reality. Your reality sucks? Hey, you’re an annoying buzz. Her reality is that her Love is Perfect, she has a Savior Best Friend, and she’s deliriously attractive! She PREFERS her altered reality. YOU DON’T CONTROL THAT.

You only control YOU and your reality. You want to snap her into reality? Start taking care of yourself. Stop the threats, stop the pointless counseling, and call a lawyer. Start getting real about separation and divorce. I know you love your kids, but this marriage is not sustainable unless you want to keep playing the role of Potemkin husband with zero needs or respect. That’s the direct message she’s been sending you for TWO YEARS — I’m in an affair and I don’t give a fuck what you think.

When she’s looking down the barrel of a divorce summons, hey, she might suddenly find her “remorse.” But I sincerely doubt the sincerity of these latter day apologists. The person who has been blithely disrespecting you for years is the Real Her. Start trusting that she sucks, Jason.

And also start considering that unless you had an ankle monitor on her, with close physical proximity to Mr. Schmoopie there for years, she was probably in a physical affair with him. Call me crazy, but I don’t send braless tank top pictures to my “friends.” (Or anyone. I’m 48 for Christ’s sake.) She wasn’t a nuisance to that guy. He had the dinners, he sent the constant volley of texts, he made himself very, VERY available to her. For two years. People with integrity don’t get that cozy with another man’s wife. People who fuck other men’s wives do crap like that.

Not that it matters. Emotional affair, physical affair, it’s grossly disrespectful of you. Everything you witnessed are courting behaviors — dining out, sexts, inside jokes, introducing each other to your parents. Adults don’t court without sex as their goal. That’s how adults express intimacy — by fucking.

I have told her part of me moving forward is that I won’t bring up the affair anymore,

How delightful for her.

won’t try to work through it,

Great! Nothing is required of her for you to be there!

and won’t ask her to communicate with me unless she wants to and can initiate.

Permission to ignore you. More of the same ol’ same ol’ Jason.

I also told her part of me moving on may in the future mean divorce at some point.

“May,” “at some point.” Ooh, I’m scared. That’s a fine threat!

I may at some point invade Oklahoma. I don’t know. I’m thinking about it. Shopping for armies right now on Ebay. I’ve already picked a few cute uniforms (epaulets!), consulted with a few Israeli arms dealers. Invasion is a talking point on the agenda. Perhaps. I think Oklahoma should take me very seriously if things ever get out the planning stages.

Jason — she doesn’t BELIEVE YOU. You know why? BECAUSE YOU’RE STILL THERE.

It’s been a few weeks, she has yet to even discuss this with me.

Uh-huh. Exactly.

Time to take your power back, Jason. If your wife’s affair and utter lack of concern is unacceptable to you, start acting like it. You’ve exhausted reason and counseling. Time for bold action and enforcing boundaries. Call a lawyer today.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Jason,
    How do you break through to her? You don’t. My ex did this exact same thing, carried on her emotional affair with her iPhone welded to her hand, eventually moved from our bed to the couch etc etc..I would accept the fact that their relationship is already physical (2 years is a little long to expect him to still be waiting for a payoff, no?)
    This sounds pretty much over unfortunately. I would take Tracys advice and start thinking about yourself here. This isn’t going to get better. It’s years in the making. Good luck to you,

    • I agree that it is highly unlikely the affair was not physical. I also went through a couple of years thinking my X was involved in an inappropriate emotional affair. Turns out it was physical the entire time. When you think about human nature (and biology), it doesn’t make sense that two adults who are that involved with one another would forego sex.

      Once the boundary of emotional exclusivity has been crossed, it isn’t a great leap to become physically intimate. After all, this woman has blatantly disegarded her husband’s feelings, ignored his reasonable requests,and, in general, shown that she does not give a damn about the damage she has inflicted on her family. Why would anyone think she would somehow repect her marriage vows? She cares about only one thing-herself. It’s time for Jason to care about himself and his children. Let that bitch go. yesterday!

      • “Once the boundary of emotional exclusivity has been crossed, it isn’t a great leap to become physically intimate.”

        Right on, violet. Studies of emotional affairs have shown this. In fact, some people argue that the emotional infidelity is 95% of the betrayal, and the sexual the last 5%. (I’d argue otherwise, but I do understand their perspective).

        • I agree that the EA is 95% of the betrayal! I trusted her with my life and soul. The EA broke that trust and showed me that all our time together was a lie. The PA really didn’t matter after that.
          I’m divorced 5 days now! Still emotionally destroyed, but finally able to plan MY future. I don’t know what it’ll be, but it is mine! I’ll concierge myself one of the lucky ones.

  • This just breaks my heart, and only partly because I’ve been at the same point, just trying to make my now ex SEE and UNDERSTAND what was going on, because he so thoroughly seemed not to grasp it.

    Oh, but he knew. He just CHOSE to pretend like he didn’t, like it was so bewildering for me to cry because he “reconnected” with a highschool girlfriend and may or may not have asked her to marry him, too. While we were living together and looking for a piece of land to buy together. Why did he choose to act like he didn’t know? Because instead of making me angry, it made me want to explain it to him. And that was (for him) oh, sooo much easier.

    • I get the acting dumb part. It boggles the mind that they can be so blind to the hurt and destruction they’re causing with all the lies and cheating

      Then….

      I finally clicked these narcissistic assholes know exactly what they’re doing and the effect it has on us. But they DON’T CARE! That’s the mistake us chumps make, assuming they care.

      • Yes. Yes. Yes, Trying2fly. I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how I could make my cheating husband understand the pain and devastation he had caused. I thought maybe I just hadn’t found the right angle. I truly thought that if I could get him to understand the damage he’d done he’d feel shitty, and as a result things would get better. Sadly, you’re right… he doesn’t care. He is a narcissist.

        • When I think of all the time I wasted, and how I wracked my brain trying to come up with just the right words to get him to understand….UGH! YUK…and double puke.

          Jason, she gets it. She just doesn’t give a flying crap what this is doing to you. That makes whether the affair was psychical or just emotional (never turns out to be the case) a moot point. Can you find happiness with somebody who is okay with traumatizing you?

        • What you said exactly, ItsAJourney. I think I spent too much time in my life trying to find the right angle to make my X understand the hurt he caused me or just to get him to take my feelings into consideration once.

        • And when they seem to “care” about your devastation, it’s purely instrumental–to attempt reconciliation, or to gain sympathy so they don’t have as much to pay out in settlement, or to manage their impression in front of others.

          • Yes, this! You can bet that if they show ANY concern or care, it is a manipulation to keep them
            In a position of power in order to gain something! My STBXH did this over and over and chumpy me fell for it every time! I could just kick myself!

        • I realised I was spending hours and hours every day trying to come up with the right words, running conversations through my head over and over again, trying to get it right. I did that for YEARS! Now that I have stopped, it feels like a huge weight has lifted, I no longer feel exhausted all the time. Whenever my thoughts return – and they do, regularly – I remind myself that it doesn’t matter, I don’t care…. And that there is a name for this…. Untangling the skein of fuckedupednes! I laugh at my chumpy self and direct my thoughts to something else. And then I am sure a big smile comes over my face and I look 10 years younger!

    • Ashemare and all the rest……..Yes, Yes, Yes!!! I did the same thing. Played the calm, sensible care, trying to nicely explain it all. WOW, just WOW!!!! He positively knew what he was doing! He’s a fuckin’ snake!!!! So because I left the whole situation without losing my temper is why I now have so much hate & rage! I can’t begin to tell you all the evil thoughts I have for him. And this is also why I will still give him my final email. For me, I have to let that rage/hate out to him. He never got it before and got to skip away. Well he’ll get now. Don’t really care if it affects him or not (it won’t) but it’ll make me feel good to let it out once and for all!

      • Honestly, I wish I’d have never let out the rage and anger. I wish I’d have just let him go, as if I didn’t care. Silence is way more punishing than hysteria. That’s an option, you know.

  • Jason — she doesn’t BELIEVE YOU. You know why? BECAUSE YOU’RE STILL THERE.

    That right there Jason is your permission to your wife to carry on as she is.

    Take back your power from this woman who has been blatantly disrespecting you for two years.

    Your future is bleak if you stay as you are or decide to move on. Put her in her place by seeing a lawyer. At least with you moving on you’ve taken back your power and self respect.
    Hope you find the strength and righteous anger to propel you forward.

  • Jason, your story resonates so much with mine. My STBX of 10 years had long-distance emotional internet affairs with several men across the Atlantic in the U.S., professing her deep love for them, exchanged half naked pictures of with them and even on one or two occasions serruptitiously showed off these affairs to her female friends. She is 37 years old and we have a 6 year old daughter from our 10 year marriage, by the way. She was openly flirting with them when I was lying next to her and constantly texted them during family outings. I was never the jealous type and was happy for my STBX to make new friends (male or female), but I found out of these emotional affairs by chance last spring and confronted her (nicely) to demand that she stop such communications. Like your wife, she insisted they were only friends, it didn’t mean anything and that she’ll stop. It comes to no surprise that these texts continued behind my back and a few months later she wanted a divorce because she couldn’t see herself growing old with me and wanted to see other men who will whisper sweet nothings in her ear, etc. and gave me some crap about how mismatched we are, bring up arguments from 18 years ago. Crazy batshit “Eat, Pray, Love” stuff to justify what she is doing. She wanted her sweet kibbles and never mind that this would break up our family and good life together, and worst of all, break our poor daughter’s heart. A few weeks after she moved out, she even flew all the way from London to New York (where I had planned a surprise 10th anniversary trip with) to meet one of these guys she met on the internet for a mere 3 nights. 6 months on, she has now invited him (a father of 4 kids) to live with her in the UK despite only meeting him in person for those 3 nights. All the while, her narcissistic self tries to portrays herself as the perfect mother to the rest of the world on Facebook. My divorce will be final in a few weeks and I will be rid of this selfish, narcissistic and immature looney tune of a wife with whom I regret wasting so much of my love, time and life. My only bright light is our daughter who is coping amazingly through this and who is mature beyond her 6 years on this earth, although she is still sad about what’s happening to her family (this always breaks my heart). My advice to you – get the fuck out of this marriage. You can’t argue with crazy, trust that she sucks and that your life and sanity will improve with time. There is a better life for us chumps on the horizon and your kids, despite the ordeal, will be fine so long as they know that you are there for them come what may. We deserve so much better after all we have done for our spouses.

    • Holy Shit Alex you and I were married to the EXACT. SAME. WOMAN. only her affairs were in the states and not just emotional. She loved the power dynamic and flaunted it in my face, this was before she publicly fucking the neighbor and then another guy she eventually left me for. Our two kids were crushed, but two years out the kids and myself are back to being happy. You see, Jason, she has a a taste for it, she likes it, and there are no consequences…So take it from us, who have been through what you are going through and have survived to make it to the other side…LIFE IS SO MUCH BETTER WITHOUT THE DRAMA AND PAIN intentionally forced upon you from you wife…Stay strong and read here …. I promise you it does get much better!…When you are going through hell, keep going!

      • Totally agree with this statement: “they have a taste for it”. Just like meth or heroine, I think the power thrill that comes from cheating is like a drug. I was married to a serial cheater, and I think it’s this concept that turns people INTO serial cheaters: THEY GET A TASTE OF THAT POWER THRILL AND THE JOY OF KIBBLES. And like CL is always saying, “it’s that nirvanic state of cake that they’re always going to want to get back to”. And thus, it’s going to happen again. Nobody wants to live life looking over their shoulders constantly. Cut that narc loose and free yourself!

      • Cletus – you hit the nail on the head when you say that “she has the taste for it, she likes it and there are no consequences…” It’s like crack heroin, as Chris said. They’re addicted to this shit because they’re vapid, gaping narcissistic holes that can never be sufficiently filled. They are even willing to sacrifice everything you’ve built together, children’s happiness and well being included, to get their “fix”. Unlike drug addiction, however, I very much doubt that this condition can ever be rehabilitated and even it can, it’s no longer your job to do it as all the pick-me dances in the world would not bring this unicorn to light. It’s sad but yet comforting to know we are not alone when it comes to being married to these nut jobs. These real life stories are uncanny in their resemblance.

    • ‘You can’t argue with crazy’……so true!! I tried and realized it is futile. Trust they are crazy and trust they suck.

      You aren’t alone, all cheater pants use the same script. I hear your wife in my STBX – he had an emotional affair last year. I uncovered it but he never really apologized, just blame shifted and minimized. Made me think I was crazy (he had her back to our brand new house when I was away for a weekend – so trust it’s physical. Humans court then fuck.) Whole trauma caused me a bout of depression (never once had that before – thanks) as it triggered all the crap from my narc father and his affairs. 12 months on and he had another affair with his colleague. I’ve had the same cycle of crazy for 7 months. I love you, I love her, I’m confused…..don’t leave or I’ll kill myself. Leave get out.

      Get tough now before all that other level of crazy shit starts. Ignore them and anything they say and just focus on YOU. YOU YOU YOU. and your lovely daughter. Nothing changes, they just get deeper in to their affair. All the while you sit alongside like the chump you are, trying your best to reconcile (oh that unicorn) and believe the lies they feed you.

      You loved, you trusted and got played. You’re not alone, we’ve all been there and the scripts and story are all the same. Trust in the many here who are telling you to lawyer up and get away from her. I’ve just done it and it’s incredibly hard, extremely painful. But let your head rule not your heart is my advice. As hard and sad as it is, don;t mistake that pain for a sign that it’s wrong….get your self respect back, hold your head up high, take the high road and get away from her and her toxic ways. If not for you, for your daughter. This is no role model.

      And remember, this pain is finite as tracy tells us, birthing pains to a new life. Please keep moving forward, forward to your new life. It’s there, it’s wonderful to be cheater free. And we are all here with you every step of the way. Don’t waste another precious day.

    • Just excellent advice and analysis above. Bottom line is to GTFO . Then start trying to figure out how it is that you tolerated this shit for so long.

  • Jason, please listen to Chump Lady! Actions speak louder than words. You sound like a devoted, loyal husband and father. Divorcing someone with zero respect for you does NOT reflect badly on you! I, too, like many other chumps, didn’t want to believe my Ex was having an affair. But at a certain point you need to realize that you are the one who sets the boundaries of what is acceptable to you. By staying with her and leaving the status quo of ambiguity intact you are telling her that all of this IS acceptable, no matter how many times you’ve stated that it isn’t. That’s what makes you a chump, sad to say. The cheater is accustomed to your compliance, and acceptance. They cheat because they can. Even if the affair with this guy fizzles out, be forewarned that she has now shown how little respect she has for you, and given the opportunity she will cheat again. Please, please, get a lawyer and file!

    • And Muse…..just as we agree that their actions speak louder than words (and they do)……so do ours! Because we want to keep trying to make sense to them about what they’re doing and the destruction it causes (and they know….just don’t care), that is our words. Our actions, by staying, is what speaks loudest.
      So that’s what they go by……our actions and fuck our words!

  • I agree with CL. Jason take back your power. Call a lawyer. She DOES NOT CARE about your pain SHE is causing.

    I hope you are the boss of the coworker. Make his life a living hell also. He is just as guilty as she is.
    Righteous anger…find some. All of us in the chump nation had to find it also, it is there!

    Good luck and hugs to you!

  • Jason,

    I want you to think about this from a different angle because I know you don’t want to see what is happening. You have two daughters that you adore. You have two daughters that are learning to be manipulative, destructive, hurtful, unloving, and unkind by watching this situation unfold between you and your wife. They are systematically being taught to either treat people like shit or allow others to treat them like shit. You do not want this for your girls. What will their future relationships look like if this is the model they live with every day? Do you want them to be treated by their partner like you are being treated?

    This is what I held onto while I was going through my ex’s affair, separation and ultimate divorce. What am I teaching my children? My kids have watched me struggle and have seen me cry. However, they have also watched me go to counseling, grow my business, take care of my house, provide for them, stay the constant. While my ex husband is playing house with his soul mate and dropping by once a month (maybe) for an hour to play dad. Which parent do you want to be?

    Look none of us want to be on this blog (sorry CL), but we all ended up here because our partners suck and we knew something had to change. If all of us can pull through you can to. Don’t waste anymore years with this woman. Don’t run after something that is running away from you. Don’t look at this as a curse, but a blessing. Don’t teach your girls that this is okay. Don’t accept this behavior any more. Life is just way too short to put up with this crap. Sorry you are here, but welcome.

    • Yes Jason, think about that one: if you stay you are teaching your daughter that this is acceptable treatment. Imagine how you would feel if one day in 20 years she ends up married to a philandering bunghole too. Or becomes one herself. Responsible, no? Terrible for sure. Believe it or not but our kids learn from their environment. If you can’t find the strength to do it for yourself, do it for her. That’s what gave me the strength to walk. Be strong, you CAN do this but make no mistake you’ve got at least 2 years of pain to get through first.

  • Dear Jason, it’s quoted many times on this site-“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” ― Maya Angelou. For reasons, you may not yet understand, you have chosen not to do this with your wife. Like me, like many of us here- we continued to give our spouses ‘the benefit of the doubt.’

    I did it from the beginning of the relationship, way before the coup de grace of the exit affair.
    No, I told myself, he wouldn’t…. lie to me, get involved with other women, jeapordize my finances, my health. But he did, and the evidence was always there- I just chose to ignore it, and hope one fine day it would all be OK. It wasn’t. I had to face the facts, the consequences of my complicity in the charade that was my marriage.

    Why did I do it? Maybe it was from living in an alcoholic home (delusions and intermittent love) and/or poor self- esteem. I’m working on it but first I had to get out that harmful situation.

    I think in some ways, Chumps and Cheaters are doing the same thing. The Cheater gives their power away to the new sparkly affair partner, we Chumps cling on to our spouses, believing only they can make our lives meaningful. I’m on the other side of betrayal now and it really isn’t so. Once you face the reality of your relationship and get out, you are free to find out who you are and deal with those issues that make you think you need someone treating you badly.

    • “Once you face the reality of your relationship and get out, you are free to find out who you are and deal with those issues that make you think you need someone treating you badly.”

      Being there, doing this

    • Well said Mikky. I am 4 years out now but still question why I put up with this exact behaviour that your wife is doing to you Jason. I did it for years and years. By the end of 20 years, I was a shell of a person. He finally left for the final ??emotional affair. There have been many. I look back now and the disrespect is astounding. I just never saw it, or didn’t want to believe it. Life is now great away from all the mindfuckery. Live your true life, what are your values, your wife doesn’t share these values Jason, otherwise she wouldn’t be doing this to you. Move forward with your life with your head held high

  • I will take one dose of CL every day. (my ex had emotional affairs in front of my face too. People called me paranoid. Nope. It was cheating. It was wrong. It escalated and exploded)… There is no hopium strong enough to alleviate this obvious.

  • Jason, don’t break through to her: break up with her. What she is doing is the most insidious form of abuse. It’s like Chinese water torture. She is evil. Get away as fast as you can, and protect your kids.

    • Jason – she is manipulating this situation to her advantage in that when you DO stand up to her nonsense, she can then blame shift and lie that YOU weren’t happy. You wanted out. This end will be pinned on you and she’ll stand there with an “Erkle” look on her face, shrug and move further on. But you will have lost nothing, nada, zero except a lying disrespectful, bully cheater. Take your life back. Peace to you.

  • Jason, your story reminds me so much of my story. My EX, worked with this Skank for over 4 years, I used to stop by his workplace to have lunch with him and somehow I befriended this Skank, so she also became my “friend” – (she was married, but her husband worked late, had no kids, so she was totally available).

    Anyway, what I thought I saw, was a friendship with those two – I mean she was 20 years younger, 10 ft taller than my husband, and recently married, what would she want with MY husband?
    She would come over my house for dinner – 2,-3 times a week.
    She would go to the “movies” with him (yeah I know…)
    She would come to all our family gatherings, birthdays, etc.

    Turns out that those 4 years – they were having an affair – right in front of me, she befriended me, so she could come spend more time in my home with him, and play footsie with him at dinner.

    After he told me that he was “in-love” with her – I stayed and played the pick me dance for another year. The worst year of my life. I said all the same things you did, I expected the same things you are expecting from your wife now. None of it worked, because he never took me seriously. It wasn’t until I forced him to move out, and became strong – that he sort of “got it”. But by then I was starting to trust that he SUCKED, and demanded that he treated me with respect and outlined what I needed from him, he of course, did nothing fix himself, the marriage or make any sort of move toward finalizing the divorce, none (cheaters are cowards, just so you know).

    Listen to Tracy, everything she said is spot on.. Good luck to you and your daughters.

  • Jason, she’s lying in bed with you and texting him and you KNOW that and tolerate it? I was into the third paragraph of your letter and knew your marriage was over. I will tell you what my therapist told me, when I caught my so-called committed partner (we weren’t married) in what was at least an emotional affair: “You can’t ever go back to him.” Once you get the “save the marriage at all cost” blinders off, you can see how utterly callous and fundamentally disrespectful she is. If she wanted a divorce, she’d be gone. You must make good money or else she just prefers watching you suffer. Because that is what she is doing. T

    I think the issue for you is to fight for custody of the kids. By now, you should have a shitload of evidence that she has been at least emotionally unfaithful. Go get a pit bull lawyer and find out what you need to do before she has your kids calling her Schmoopie “Daddy.” The whole “call my AP’s parents “grandma and grandpa” is terrifically abusive of you and your relationship to your kids. It’s also a mindfuck for the children. Fight for full custody. She’s a wing nut. And get into therapy with someone who will help you figure out why you are tolerating this mess.

    Take seriously the “leave a cheater, gain a life.” You sound like a reasonable man who is capable of actual love. Once you are out from under the mindfuckery, you can heal and go on to have a life with someone who is normal. But get moving, Dude. Your kids are at stake.

  • Jason,

    As CL has explained, you cannot recover your marriage–your “wife” has already left it.

    You can recover your daughters, your self-esteem, and your life. So, you need to focus on those goals.

    One of my biggest regrets is letting my wretched marriage continue so long–because it taught my children to tolerate a lot of bad things. In fact, it taught them to see all kinds of abusive behavior as normal. When I finally left, they were mad at me (encouraged by their father, of course). They couldn’t understand what was “so bad” about “how things were.” They, understandably, saw their father’s behavior as acceptable–because I allowed it for so long. I am afraid you are building the same conditions and dangers in your relationships with your daughters.

    I suspect you fear the impact leaving your wife will have on your kids, and you are right to feel that fear. You are not right, however, to be immobilized by it. Your “wife” is teaching your kids to see the other man as a substitute father, his family as grandparents, and to see you as less valuable than the goldfish. The longer you let this continue, the harder it is going to be to sustain healthy relationships with your daughters when you finally pull the plug.

    Start making plans now. Talk to a lawyer. Figure out what kind of custody you want and how you will make it happen. Don’t share any of your planning with her.

    It is so very hard to leave something you are devoted to, but you need to for the sake of your daughters and for the sake of your own emotional (and maybe physical) health. You deserve better, but the only way you are going to get better treatment is by taking action yourself. You’d make yourself go to chemo if the doctor said it was necessary–you have to make yourself see a lawyer, even if it is also painful and horrible.

    • Jason,
      Your wife (really in name only) is abusing you–and I don’t automatically use the term ‘abuse’ for any bad behavior. I, too, hung on to a horrible marriage ‘for the kids’ sake. Cheater would encourage the kids to take things that weren’t theirs; he would model an entitled attitude through his behavior toward people, especially me, and various sick types of denigration of me. After awhile, I noticed that one of our kids was following in his father’s footsteps; the other, who defended me, was becoming more depressed. Although I hate giving up the right to see our young kids every day, I think that refusing to reconcile with Cheater is the best choice as it prevents me from inadvertently sending the kids the message that cheating and abuse are acceptable. I don’t want them to grow up to be chronic cheaters nor chumps.

  • The more I think about this, Jason, the more I wonder if your wife isn’t setting herself up for a life with her AP–her and the kids. The two of them going off for dinners and walks with the kids, leaving you behind strikes me as a vision of your future? What does that say about how she has your back as a PARENT? And once the kids are acclimated to this guy and his parents as “family,” she pushes YOU into divorce or just leaves you and takes the kids. Get your damn ducks in a row or you will end up playing defense with someone who is 8 or 9 steps ahead of you all the time. The marriage as you understood it and valued it is over–think Zac Brown Band’s lyric, “I lay my heart on these tracks–your train comes along.” Pick up your heart and start imaging a life for you and your kids. Maybe that involves a change in job so you can take the kids back home. You are in such a vulnerable position; get the best advice possible.

    • I know, it seems weird, just like her introducing the kids to AP’s parents and making them call them Grandma and Grandpa. This is twisted! She isn’t married to that guy, she’s married to Jason.

  • There is discussion that we communicate nonverbally between 80% to 90%. Stop listening to her words. Look at her body language. There is so much contempt and vanity in her communication. Go find happiness. There is not going to be any if you stay with her.

  • Jason,
    So, so sorry. CL and other posters above are correct– the marriage is already over.
    My DDay #2 was over a possible affair with a co-worker of us both. I joined Facebook because of her, to watch her comments to my then husband. She was inappropriate from day one: flirting, going to him for mentoring and relationship advice, etc

    If I regret anything, it is not pulling the plug on the marriage then. I was gaslighted for affair #1, so approached #2 as if it were my fault again (not enough attention to him, I was simply too insecure, etc). Thought every time ex denied the affairs… The truth came out when we finally decided to divorce

    Two years later, affair #3, to a much younger woman, after he worked away from home for a year cuz he was “unhappy at work.”

    I regret those last 2-3 years, as I think the divorce would have been easier on the kids, especially my teenaged daughter.
    But,I do not regret all the effort I put into the relationship, before and after discovery. I tried my best, and can therefore hold my head high.

    My favorite phrase in those early days of the separation and divorce– I did the best I could with the information I was provided.

    All the best to you and your kids. Time to model good behavior for them.

    • I love that, “I did the best I could with the information I was provided.”

      I so wish I’d have pulled the trigger when he started talking non-stop about his “friend” at work which coincided with his emotional abuse. But I trusted him and didn’t want to believe he didn’t want me anymore. He ultimately walked out and filed immediately and tried to leave me in debt and in poverty. It didn’t work out that way but I didn’t get the satisfaction of being the one to file first.

      • Lina,

        My cheater did something similar to yours. Mine also cut off services to our home when he bailed out. Some of these sociopathic, narcissistic cheaters really enjoy demolishing others (‘loved’ ones) through a scorched earth approach. Hope your life has improved drastically since the exodus.

        • Thank you Rockstarwife. His plan to financially devastate me (I’d have ended up homeless) didn’t work out. The money he was hiding was discovered during the divorce proceedings. I’m far from well off but I was able to keep the house. Emotionally I’m still a mess. Waiting for meh.

          • I was all set to finally get my divorce over with when he started making demands with no lawyer. He is still trying to have the upper hand. My lawyer has all his records as well as account numbers. All I had to do was give her the green light to destroy him but I just wanted it over. At this point if he is unreasonable he will end up in jail. Hopefully he shows up in court next time. Otherwise I won’t be able expose him. You think they would be humble.

  • Jason, I am sorry you are going through this. Please do not make the same mistake we all made hoping she will change. Leopards don’t change their spots. Moving forward, seeing an attorney and filing for divorce is going to hurt more than you ever thought possible. It will suck. When my marriage collapsed via a phone call, I thought if I just tried harder it will work. If I am just patient enough, he will see. The problem wasn’t me, it didn’t matter what I said or did. A marriage takes two people to make it work, in this case, there is only one person in the ring. You can’t fight for something when there is not an opponent. So instead, you fight for you! It will suck, it will hurt, and you will feel guilty. But on a later date, somewhere no one knows when, but likely a Tuesday, she won’t be the first thing that comes to mind. You feel lighter and happy and you will look back and wonder how and why you stayed. Then you will feel proud. You will be proud you didn’t quit, she did. You didn’t give up, she did. You were a good husband who took their vows seriously. You were loyal. It will take a while to get there but get there you will. You will be happy again. You love the person you thought she was. Sadly, she is not that person anymore and likely never was. Keep reading here. Go back and read every blog Tracy has written. Everything you feel and want is what will all went through. You will always be understood on this blog. Protect yourself, protect your kids, and move forward to a fantastic life that doesn’t involve a disrespectful person.

    • I am divorced 6 months now. WAs married for 23 years. I still bothers me every morning he is the first thing in my thoughts, I still feel him inside my soul!!
      Hate it so much!!! Is this normal?

      • Wow– it will end. I was married to exH for 18 yrs, but we were together for 23.
        Just takes time, and maybe keeping busy so your mind is elsewhere.

      • It is absolutely normal. You were in a long-term marriage. You spent most of your adult life with this person. It’s just not possible to snap your fingers and make the past, or your feelings, disappear! Don’t beat yourself up or think there is something wrong with you. Healing takes time!

        Still, it is important to want to heal; nothing good can come from allowing your X to take up too much room in your head. One thing that really helped me was to begin doing all the things I never was able to do while married. Small things, like eating foods my X hated so I didn’t prepare, going to events I had foregone, reconnecting to old friends and activities I gave up to be a wife and mother. I also “allowed” myself to wallow for a certain limited period of time. Take that 15 minutes to grieve, then move on. It does get better,in time, if you keep looking forward. Ever onward…

          • Wow…..you are definitely not alone. I was with the X for 10 years (seems piddly compared to your 23) and like you, he’s the first thing I wake up to on my mind, throughout the day, and before I go to sleep. It sickens me! BUT the good part for me is that I am no longer grieving for him; I grieve for me. I hate him. I know it’s a strong word, but it’s where I’m at and have been for a minute!

            • I think about my STBX now so much more now than I did when we were together. All day, everyday, Not in a “I want to get back together” sort of way, but in a “W.T.F.?!?! Untangling the skein” sort of way. Because it really does not make sense. I was blind as hell or he was a helluva actor. It is truly unbelievable

      • WOW33 It’s definitely normal! Try to surround yourself with family and friends and be an active part of gaining a better life.

        If you have free time take it for yourself to heal and rebuild your self esteem. Revisit old hobbies or try to learn a new one. Give yourself time to grieve but when you feel up to it, stay as busy as you can.

        The further down the road you get of rebuilding your new life, the less you will think of him. I’m 6 months ahead of you so I still have some healing in my life but it’s better by far than it was 6 months ago.

        Sending hugs your way

      • Wow33, I was married for 20 years. I’d say for at least two years after the marriage ended (separation five years ago, divorce final three years ago) I thought about my ex from the time I woke up until I went to sleep. It very slowly got better after that, but I won’t lie, I still think about him more than I would like to, although certainly not all day long, and not with intensity anymore.

        What you are going through is normal, and it does end, but it takes a long time. Hang in there.

      • Wow33–I know what you mean–I’m weeks away from divorce after 25 years together (almost 20 married). This may sound cruel, but write down a timeline of your XH’s affair, print out cruel texts or emails (either to you, or when he texted the OW)–read them every morning, and every time you feel nostalgia coming on. Your righteous anger will turn to contempt, and contempt will eventually turn to meh.

        Our problem is that we forget bad times and pain too easily (otherwise, who would have a second child?). You need to keep the crap you lived through front and foremost in your memory until it is not needed anymore.

        • I do the same thing Tempest does when I start getting wistful. Reading those messages and my journal stops the longing. Then I think of some little thing I can do to make myself feel better–plan an outing with my kids, make breakfast, fold laundry, send a thank you note to a friend, etc.

          • I’m glad to hear I’m not the only person on the planet who loves to fold laundry! And oatmeal, people underestimate the pleasures of oatmeal….

        • Wow….yes I think about my XH way too much still. I wish so much I could erase him from my head and heart. I’d pay good money to do that. I remember the minute I found out about the affair and thought ‘Oh God!! Here comes the pain!! …and the rain…it has lasted for years and I don’t know what to do about that. Of course it didn’t help matters to have to work with him still for several years. Oh the agony of affairs and betrayal! No one knows what it’s like until they experience it first hand. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever suffered. Hugs to you. (((())))

      • It is normal for chumps to think about someone and grieve the loss regardless of the fact we were married to an asshole. Let’s face it we have the ability to bond. I was told that it is more difficult to deal with than having a loved one pass away as my mother did last February. I lost the two people I loved dearly at the same time. It made me feel sick and pathetic to continue thinking about him. Now I think about myself and my future without the stress of getting std’s, checking phone records, being on the receiving end of his constant complaining, lying, blaming, and cheating. Once I realized I couldn’t apply logic to his disturbing behavior I stopped searching for answers. I have to admit it bothered me to imagine them together on weekends while I lay crying myself to sleep. I think I got sucked into believing he found someone that had more to offer. That is their fantasy. Not a reality. Letting go of his mindfuck takes time.

        • Donna, Neither one, your ex nor AP, has a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g to offer. Trust me on this! I know a woman whose life has been one long series of affairs. An affair is how she leaves one man (some devastated, Chumps, and some not, Cheaters) and begins a new relationship with another. Every time she goes to a family gathering we look to see if she has someone new because hell who can keep track?! Her life is crap. Her morals are crap. Her relationships are…crap. I feel sorry for some of her men but Who wants that!?! Karma hit my ex the very day he decided to dump his family to screw his whore (and this decision was made years before my separation and divorce (I just didn’t know it). Bottom line, life is way better alone than with someone who could lie and so casually toss marriage vows, twenty eight years together (and three children) aside. I have a much better shot at that fairy tale ending now than I ever did married to a disordered, narcissistic, POS like my ex (and fuck was he Sparkly!), and now so do you.

  • Dear Jason,

    You haven’t mentioned any catastrophic head injury that has caused severe brain damage, so I’m guessing this hasn’t happened to your wife. Neither does it sound like she has dementia. She isn’t a two year old toddler who you have to lovingly tell; ‘No little Chardonnay, you mustn’t hit little Johnny over the head repeatedly with that Tonka Toy, it hurts him, makes him cry and isn’t very nice’. Please trust Jason – she very well knows her behaviour is unacceptable. I am fairly certain she’d be calling it unacceptable if you were texting another woman while she was laid next to you, or – OMG – talking about another woman while she was trying to make love to you!!!!! (WTF!!!).

    You really have to take on board that your wife has chosen to break up your family. If (and I so hope you do) you do decide to go for divorce – that would be the natural consequence of her decision to be so abusive of you and your relationship. You’ve already stated that for 9 years you’d both agreed on the boundaries that needed to be respected for your marriage to work – it’s not that she didn’t KNOW she was over-stepping. Whatsmore, you’ve made it more than clear to her that it’s a step too far for you and that it is hurting you and risking your relationship, so just in case a small piano fell on her head whilst out shopping one day, that made her forget all the foundations to her marriage.

    If you can Jason, try to connect with the you you were before you met and fell in love with this cheating POS. Imagine future you dropping by and handing you a copy of the letter you’ve sent CL. Would you have fallen in love with her then? Knowing this was how she was going to end up treating you? Knowing how callously she’d treat your emotional wellbeing (and the emotional wellbeing of her little girls)? I know you say you love her – I get it. But Jason, the woman you thought you loved no longer exists. She isn’t ‘lost in the woods’ – she may very well be lost up her own arsehole – but that’s her choice and she keeps choosing to wallow in her own shit. (Sorry to be so base with my language – but it matches with how base she is behaving).

    Please get angry, get righteous, get a lawyer. Get away from the domestic abuse you are being subjected to.

    Best regards, hugs and wishes for mighty righteousness to find your heart asap xxx

    CL – ROFL at your plans to invade Oklahoma – you kill me!!!! Ha! Ha! Ha! 😀

  • Dear Jason,
    My heart goes out to you. I am glad you have found CL and Chump Nation. My XH one day announced he was done with the marriage and walked out the door and moved in with his “emotional” affaire partner. I eventually got out of him that their affaire had been going on for several years and that this wasn’t the first. I’m with CL, you don’t have emmitional affairs for several years and no sex.

    What I want you to hear from me is my BIGGEST REGRET in the whole mess. I went and saw a lawyer right away and tried the Chumpy collaborative law process to protect my daughter, myself, and him from the messy court divorce process. My XH threw that in my face and secretly ended collaborative law, hired a pit bull lawyer (based 45+ miles from where we lived) and filed for divorce. That was actually my wake up call. He wanted to play hardball – fine. I hired my own pit bull and took him to the cleaners.

    Jason, in retrospect I WISH I had gone straight to pit bull lawyer. It would have sent a much more powerful signal I was through with him. When I saw the collaborative law lawyer he was pissed I tried to take some power and shut down his Plan B – if it didn’t work out with affaire partner I would still be there waiting like always. His response was to escalate and hire pit bull lawyer to show me HE was in control. Be prepared to see an ugly side to your spouse when you finally say NO. It was like a 2 year old throwing a temper tantrum. It really made me glad I was walking away and realized that HE SUCKED. I wasted 9 months hoping the person I thought I loved was still in there somewhere and he would miraculously return.

    I too was always worried about my daughter. As several others have already mentioned, if you can’t do this for YOU right now, then DO IT FOR YOUR DAUGHTERS. This is what propelled me forward. I didn’t want to be a door mat role model for my daughter. I want her to grow up to be a strong woman who sees it is NOT OK to be a CHUMP and be emotionally abused by loved ones and it is also NOT OK to emotionally abuse others.

    One other thing, the one thing I am super glad I did IMMEDIATELY when he walked out the door was I gave XH 1 week to tell daughter the truth that he had been having an affaire for several years and was moving in with the OW and her kid. I also told him he had to confess this wasn’t the first time either. I told him if he did not do this by MY deadline date then I would tell our daughter (she was 14) and she wouldn’t be getting the sugar coated version from me. I told him I was not taking any blame in our daughter’s mind for destroying her family – that was all on him. He is pissed to this day and blames his bad (non existent) relationship with his daughter entirely on me because I forced her to know about the affaire. That was my first non-chumpy stance with him in many many years and the first hint to him there are consequences to his actions. Of course he didn’t really care except it unexpectedly cut off a kibble supply from his child. When it came to court custody in the divorce, he gave me 100% parental custody. His biggest fear was court ordered therapy to work on his relationship with his kid.

    I took back my life and my daughter and I are much happier for it. There were plenty of bumps in the road but finding Chump Nation was an important step in the road to my Cheater Free Life and knowing the XH SUCKS.

    • Yes, mommy chump, my ex also feared more than anything having to expose himself in therapy. He refused, despite it being the only way to see his children….and now they do not see him at all.

  • Hey Jason – I could be you writing this letter. I walked down your path and it was full of dog shit and prickly bushes for me and nothing but roses and fairy dust for my x and his tru lurve ( puke icon here ).

    My H of many years met Miss Piggy at grad school. We are in our mid 40’s – so true to form for a mid life crisis he goes back to school for 7 YEARS.

    Welcome fellow chump! Your wife wants you to be the bad guy and do all the heavy lifting too!!!!

    Mine went as far as to tell me his affair partner should move into our house with her kids because she was having problems in her marriage!!!!!

    I was an invisible inconvenience who in the end walked out the door and is now divorced. It did not put an end to their relationship, but it ended years of my suffering stupidly on the side lines smoking the Hopium pipe if RC.

    She is not in a fog – she is lazy, selfish, entitled and childish. You deserve better. You deserve a life.

    And no, men and women cannot be friends without boundaries. Your wife has none and may have never had them.
    This is who she is. Run, find a good divorce lawyer and best her to the punch. Tell your truth to anyone who will listen. Stand up for yourself and make sure you get at least 50/50 custody of your beloved children!!!

    When I finilally started to stand up, mine turned into a monster who wished me dead. Stop giving her warnings. Do not tell her what your plans are – just do it.

    I am hoping you kick this bra-less bitches ass….. That’s a nasty visual that needs more coffee 🙂

    • Lisa, I LIKE! everything about your reply. Justin, this is great hardcore tell-it-like-it-is advice. I know you love your wife but I want you to ask yourself one question. How does she make you feel?

  • Jason,

    Same shit different wife. I was married for 20 years with 4 kids. If I wasn’t unemployed when I found out of the betrayal, I would have left immediately. This was 4 years ago. Once I got a job and was stable, I bolted. Was leaving my kids the hardest thing in my life? HELL YES! This is unfortunately your only option. I get them every other weekend. I still haven’t found that special someone but, I have my self respect back. If you can kick her out it would be better. Not always that easy.

    I was the bread winner with 3 jobs for 20 years. She never had to work. When the divorce started coming about she still wouldn’t get a job. When I left she amazingly got a full time job in 2 weeks. If she missed any mortgage payments she would have had to leave. That’s why I left.

    Your wife checked out 2 years ago. Now you need to check out permanently.

        • It’s not that simple. Physical custody in most states tends to support the status quo, so whoever’s been taking the kids to school, feeding them dinner, putting them to bed at night, is likely to be the primary custodial parent. Usually that’s the woman. If one of the couple has left the residence and the kids stay with the other one, the one caring for the kids has an excellent case for primary physical custody just because of that.

  • Dear Jason:

    Chump Lady and the previous comments have been spot on. Your wife is no timid forest creature lost in the fog. She knows what she is doing is wrong. She does not give a fuck about you. This sucks, and sucks epically because you seem like a really decent man who’s dedicated to his family. We Chumps appreciate people who commit 100%. Our cheaters? Not so much.

    Look, you’re laboring under the misconception that since this is an emotional affair, you can “recover” your marriage if only she comes to her senses. Your fundamental premise is flawed on two counts.

    1) Any emotional affair that’s gone on for as long as this one has is no longer “merely” emotional.–They’ve had sex at least once. I know this is hard to believe, as you’ve been around your wife the times they’ve been together, but I am here to tell you that sex takes hardly any time at all! My STBXH has had quickies with his Schmoopie. If they have 5-15 minutes alone together, they’ve been fucking. You wonder about this, as there can’t seem to be much romance in that, but remember that the romance and foreplay has occurred in how they’ve managed to set up their time and meeting place.
    2)Emotional affairs cheat because they steal from the marriage.–Look, Jason, you’re talking to your wife via text messages! That’s crazy. You live in the same house. You should be talking face-to-face. Oh, you can’t because she’s sexting her Schmoopie? See, she’s investing her time and emotional energy in another man.

    This would have been “merely” an emotional affair two years ago. That’s when she was all Infatuation. If she’d agreed to cut off all but business contact, establish firm barriers, etc.–well, you’d have had something to work with. Now you don’t.

    Your best best is a lawyer. Go talk to ones experienced in family law, and especially those who are sensitive to getting the best custody for the father. You need to know the divorce laws in your state.

    Unfortunately, prepare yourself for a big plate of shit sandwiches. At least in my state, divorce means dividing assets and debts 50-50. If you’re the primary wage earner–and given the fact that you’re involved in international business, I’ll assume that you make a better than decent income–you’re going to see half your retirement go to a woman who frankly does not deserve it, but that’s how the law works. A lawyer and a good divorce financial planner can help you figure out how to draw that 50/50 line to your advantage without penalizing your kids.

    Get your ducks in a row. You’ve already said that you won’t bring her affair up, so don’t. Instead, go about your life. Get therapy. You’ll need the support. Dig into the financials to see if she’s been diverting family funds into the affair. When you have things lined up, file. If you start to think she’s retained a lawyer and will file, then file first. In my state, it’s not a legal advantage to file first, but in some states it may be. There is certainly an emotional advantage.

    My guess is that once you file, she’ll get defensive, angry, and then beg you to reconcile. Do not be fooled. All she’s really saying is that you’re really useful as cheap room, board, and babysitting–and she’d really hate to lose all that.

    • Kb is spot on. I’m guessing the wife is sticking around because Jason makes good money and she doesn’t want to lose that. If her OM is married as well, he probably isn’t eager to take her on full time, so that may also be keeping her in her sham marriage as well. As soon as Jason shows some backbone and moves forward, this POS cheating wife is going to start with the crocodile tears, the claims she will end the affair, the lies and the manipulation. I hope Jason doesn’t fall for this charade, because as everyone here who has been through it knows, it’s just bullshit. She will just take the affair underground.

      • OM may also be from a country where divorce is outlawed or at least taboo. He may be just fiiiiine with Jason’s wife still married as their “cover” so he can save face to his family and social circle.

      • My feelings exactly. Jason makes a good living, and other guy has no intention of taking her on full time. To use him like that is evil personified. I pray that he (and all the other chumps) get that.

        • I came to know that, after 3 failed attempts at reconciliation, I was being used. R#1 was merely AP still being married & her husband coming home from overseas, which left cheater with nowhere else to go (it was also a diversion for cheater to be “with his wife” in case AP’s hubby became suspicious) R#2 was bc cheater had gotten divorced, while AP remained married so cheater was letting AP know he had a plan B & R#3 was cheater & AP growing sick of each other, cheater realizing he had traded his sparkly, exciting new mistress for another plain ole wife-type (they weren’t married but AP figured she’d landed her fish so she’d slack off on the yummy bait) plus, I had just found out how sick I was & being with me for the surgeries, treatments, etc. made cheater look like “that nice guy who just fucked up real, real bad.
          Jason & all, it is incredibly humiliating to admit that I allowed this scum back into my life 3 TIMES after being shit on for 2 more years. I was shamed in front of my family, friends, neighbors, coworkers & especially, my children & grandchildren. Even now, years later, I’m disgusted with myself for allowing myself to be treated this way bc I was afraid. Afraid of being alone, of being labeled a failure, of being thought a nag, a bitch, a bad mother/housekeeper/lover…or just plain stupid & I was nor am any of those things. Appearances…
          Jason, from your letter, you sound like a good father, an excellent provider, a valued employee, successful in your field. You seem to possess an incredible amount of empathy & patience. You seem to love deeply, unselfishly, with the whole of your mind, body soul & spirit. Most woman, myself included, would give anything to be loved like that. This woman has no appreciation for what she has. She looks on it as her due. She values it not. She spits on it. And she doesn’t deserve it. Fuck that & fuck her. And fuck the slimy scum who’s adding his saliva to hers.
          The only reason she’s there is bc she, a) doesn’t want to lose what she has in case her prince turns out to be frog, doesn’t want her or get divorced himself, if he’s married or, b) doesn’t want to make the first move & be the bad guy. You deserve better than to be an “option.” To be settled for. You deserve someone who will love you with her entire being, with only your name on her lips & your face in her heart. Get away & someday, you’ll find what you deserve. Leave her to what she so obviously herself deserves. I wish you well & you are in my prayers.

  • Jason, your letter brought tears to my eyes because I’ve been where you are. No amount of talking, explaining the pain my husband’s affair with a coworker was causing me, nothing would change his behavior. It wasn’t quite as blatant as what’s going on with your wife, but I knew there was very little I could do to control the fact that he went to work every day with this woman, and traveled with her extensively. In the guise of making more money for our family he even took on outside work in which she partnered with him on projects. It hurt like hell but I hoped that it would just wear off, they were both married and it didn’t appear she was leaving her husband. Well eventually after years of this kind of behavior he announced he wanted a divorce and blamed everything on me.

    Jason, don’t wait for that to happen to you. Your wife doesn’t care that she’s hurting you. She just doesn’t care. You may love her, but you need to love yourself more. You need to love yourself enough to protect yourself from the pain she’s causing you. The courts will make sure you’re still a part of your children’s lives, and your life with them will be better without her in it. Girls need to see their father as being strong and not putting up with abuse. You don’t want them to grow up thinking that they can treat their partner any way they want because he’ll stay and put up with it.

  • Jason,

    My story sounds very similar to yours. One day, X started obsessively talking about this much younger co-worker of his, all the time, texting her a lot supposedly about work, running off to see her the moment she called because it was supposedly about work, hanging out with our kids and her and her husband (supposedly he was there) while I was working, and was very upfront this was what he was doing. He started making inappropriate comments about her (and sometimes after sex!) and when I would say how inappropriate that was or how uncomfortable he was making me feel, he’d either try to play it off as a joke or get mad. He would begrudgingly say he saw my point and would try to do better, and then start in on “she’s just a friend.” And then he started saying he didn’t know if he wanted to be married anymore, that I was a controlling bitch, etc. We went back and forth with him saying he was divorcing me tomorrow, then crying saying he wanted our family. And then finally he admitted that they were sleeping together, and both left their spouses, divorced as quick as possible, and moved in together. The timeline between when he started obsessively talking about her and the admitted sex was 4 months. And you’re saying this has been going on for 2 years? I hate to say it, but they’re having sex. I remember how sick I was during those 4 months. I cannot imagine living like that for 2 years! Are you happy living like that? Do you want to live like that forever? If the answer is no, start consulting a lawyer.

  • Dear Jason,

    It’s over. Move forward without her. Tattoo “move forward” on your arm if you have to, but get out, stay out, don’t look back, and say nothing to that thing you thought was a decent human you married. Your only friends are here and in divorce court.

    Sincerely,

    Every guy on CL that has been right where you are at this moment

    Ps…you dont want the rest of your life to be with this evil day in and day out. Let go pal. Its gone forever. Its okay. Just let it go. You will be much happier, believe me…

  • Jason,

    Your letters echos my experience so much. You desperately want to stay married to what you were projecting. What you wish your marriage was, is not what it is. I was so desperate to stay married to the guy who was abusing me because I was so afraid to be divorced. I’ve got two young kids too. And it did break their hearts. That’s a thing that will be hard. Be kind to yourself. You didn’t cause this. It sounds like you’ve tried really hard to break through or get through or to matter to her. I tried really hard too. Admitting I didn’t matter to him was not fun. It’s a crappy realization to have. However, even though that process of trying to get through to him, (going through the motions of marriage counseling, pleading a case for trying to work on or save our marriage, pick-me-dancing my ass off) was all pretty soul crushing, I don’t regret doing it. It just means I know I tried. I can look myself in the face and look my kids in their eyes and know that I tried very, very hard. And when I realized it was hopeless, I got us off the sinking ship. We’re still on the journey to Meh, but I swear, living a life without that burden of lies/deception/betrayal and what that does to your self worth, my God, it’s worth it.

    Trust that she sucks. Trust that you don’t.

    All the best.

  • Jason,

    Don’t play the “I won’t mention him” game. I fell for that crap myself when my marriage was falling apart thinking it might help. (http://www.divorceminister.com/worst-piece-of-advice-given/) It just feeds into the cheater’s arrogance and the abuse of you. Don’t do it. Do the business issues of talking (logistics) but don’t talk about your marriage with her unless she deals with her affair FIRST! That said, I think CL is right about it being over just looking at her actions. I doubt she’ll be interested in talking about the marriage unless she starts seeing consequences she wishes to avoid (loss of money and status if/as you divorce her).

    Hugs,
    DM

  • Look, Jason, she doesn’t have the balls to end the marriage. She is lost, doesn’t know what she wants to do, so she pussyfoots around with this guy and gives you every reason to dump her. You should take her up on that. I assure you that you will not spend the “next 50 years with someone who won’t even acknowledge their behavior” because your marriage is not going to last that long. You will find out about the “big one” before then. Don’t waste you or your family’s time. As for your daughters, you don’t shoulder the responsibility. Their mother does. As long as you treat her with dignity and respect during the divorce process because that is the right thing to do, you can hold your head high.

    • This.

      It’s hard to stay classy during a divorce, but it can be done. It takes a lot of self control, which is where you’ll find having a therapist handy. You need to hoard your anger in order to channel it into positive action, but it’s also important to let off the head of steam, as you don’t want your anger to explode.

  • “She knows exactly what she is doing. She sees that it hurts you and — for YEARS — she does not give a shit.”

    Jason, re-read that line.
    Now do it again.
    And again.
    CL knows what she is talking about.
    It’s the truth, although I know it’s hard for you to see that right now.

    I’m sorry that you’re going through this. But your wife doesn’t respect you, and hasn’t for years. That is not going to suddenly change. Someone’s character is developed over decades, not months. She ALWAYS WAS this person. You just didn’t see it.

    Look, it sucks. I get it. I went through the same denial, pleading with my wife to see how inappropriate her actions were (back when she called it just an “emotional affair” and I couldn’t yet prove otherwise). I thought I could find a way to make her see the light!

    Then, I accepted that I couldn’t. I only control me, not her. I filed for divorce. And then a slew of BS apologies about the affair (that was actually sexual) came streaming forth, along with derision of me for…get this…abandoning my wedding vows to stand by her “for better or for worse.”

    Months later, by the time the divorce was final, I accepted that my ex-wife “saw the light” perfectly, the entire time. But that light made her terrible characteristics show through, so she’d rather stay in the shadows.

    Jason, stand up for yourself.

    • I was able to forgive the affair, but forgiving how okay he was with hurting me was another story. Lies, denial, refusal to even attempt to address the issues, refusal to be honest with me about what he needed to do. The abuse they are willing to pile on after the discovery is unimaginable. Those qualities, however, are what allow me to see him now for what he was.

      Jason, please “get” what her behavior towards you is saying about her as a person. It’s so painful to face the facts about someone you love, but it is SO necessary. The truth will eventually set you free.

      • Exactly, Einstein.

        Someone willing to cheat on you is bad.

        Someone willing to then lie / evade / delay about it indefinitely so the cheating can continue is something much worse. That person only cares about himself (or herself). Not about you.

    • “She was ALWAYS THIS PERSON. You just didn’t want to see it” I never wanted to see who my xh was, I was always spackling like heck and he continued to be an a@#wipe. It’s hard to see this in the person you love but they were never the person that you thought they were.

    • God, I hate my XWs. They were just like this,big time abusers.
      I despise your W , as well, Jason.
      Hard to accept that there are people like this around.

      • It’s a dynamic that develops over time. The one person knows how to manipulate the other. A series of small decisions / choices aggregate…until the person being manipulated doesn’t even realize how many “choices” he/she has made all for the benefit of the other.

        And then BS like this happens. This guy’s wife is openly having an affair in front of him, but he’s so used to making compromises that he can’t see how far from a “real relationship” (ie, give AND take), he’s gone.

        Sadly, the only solution is to move on. Abusers are abusers. They need someone to control; if you’re not willing to be that person, someone else is.

  • Jason, you say you want her to come out of her fog. She see’s clearly, you are in the fog. You see a chance for her humanity. Sorry hon, file and kick her a$$ out.

  • She has no consideration for you at all. She has consistently said and done things to hurt you and flaunted this guy in your face. I feel that this has eroded away at your self esteem. You deserve so much better than this. I am so sorry to hear that you have been subjected to this behavior for so long. You have been very tolerant of an intolerable situation. I have some other choice words for her, but I will not type them here.

  • Jason. When my parents divorced after over many, many years of marriage, my mom (also a narcissist) married my dad’s longtime friend. The one who always spent Christmas Eve at our house. The one we kids all called “uncle.” In retrospect, I think dear “uncle” was always mom’s Plan B.

    Your kids are in fact being groomed for an easy transition. Delete Dad; substitute Affair Partner and Instant Grandparents. Your wife is demonstrating for them how redundant you are. Reach down to your toenails and pull up a spine. You’re going to need one. Then stop making idle threats and get busy. You can have a great future. It just won’t be with the selfish immature child you call your wife.

  • I haven’t read everyone’s reply (work deadline) but this jumped out at me, so I’m sorry if someone’s already said this:

    “How do I break through to someone in an altered reality and deep state of denial?”

    Jason, here’s a mirror.

    As harsh as it is to hear, I wish someone would’ve given me a mirror many years ago — it would have spared me years of pain and angst, years of my life back, years of an opportunity to make a better life for myself with either someone who genuinely cares about me, or at the very least the absence of someone who flaunts their NOT caring in front of my devotedly loving face.

    I loved my XH. I was thinking about this yesterday. I loved him like crazy. But he, like your wife, thought it was OK to love someone else, too — in fact, someone else more than he loved me. And, y’know, I’d never advise a close friend of mine to put up with that level of disrespect and neglect, so I can’t really advise myself (or you) to do so, either.

    Best of luck, and I’m genuinely sorry. As someone here once posted, “I realized that goldfish was never gonna knit me a sweater.”

  • Jason, your letter sounds like you are looking for some approval that you are right and she is wrong. Sorry, if I am not as supportive as the other folks here – but my gut tells me that something(s) is missing from your note. I am not sure what it is.

    The part that you glossed over is that you went to couples counseling. What was the result? What did you learn?

    I do see two key things very clearly:

    1. You aren’t talking anymore….For the life of me I don’t understand why you would write an email to her. But if you aren’t talking, then I guess that makes sense.

    2. You are sleeping in separate rooms.

    Forget about who is right and who is wrong. Stop trying to control her.

    Jason, listen to CL. It is time to do what is right for you and for your kids.

    • I’ll take movingforward’s point one step further. If your wife is a narcissist, showing disapproval will not work for you. Reasoning with her will not work for you. Emotional pleas will not work for you. In her mind, it’s Not About You. It’s All About Her. You don’t get a vote. And those boundaries you both agreed on back when they worked for both of you? She changed her mind because it was better for her, and it’s probably not the first time.

      • I agree with Survivor. My cheater even told me that I didn’t get a vote. He didn’t seem to realize that the voting rights had gone into effect nearly a century ago. He’s probably shocked that I survived and am forming a new, better life without him.

        • rockstarwife, They are incapable of understanding the rights of others. Or the feelings of others. We have to do all of that, and everything else, so it seems easy to us. But I won’t feel a bit of pity for those assholean idiots.

      • Agree, Survivor. My STBX and I had the same agreement that Jason and his wife had and now I realize it was only a one sided agreement and all it did was ensure HIM that I wouldn’t cheat.
        Sometimes I look back and want to slap my naive, trusting, innocent self.

  • Jason, sorry to hear you are going through this. I think it’s clear that you need to get out of your marriage. One thing I think you should be prepared for is the possibility that she could change her whole tune once you start taking action on getting a divorce. Maybe not, but it’s possible that she could become a font of endless tears and promises and remorse. Don’t fall for it. If she were remorseful she would have given a shit about your feelings by now. Maybe she wants out of the marriage too and is just waiting for you to make the first move. However, there is a strong chance that she doesn’t think you will follow through with it, you won’t have the guts, and that she can have “cake” – both the affair and the marriage. Let her know there’s a new sherif in town, Jason.

    • I totally agree about the “font of endless tears and promises and remorse.” Boy did I get this in spades. This was the hardest trap of all to escape.

      Jason it’s very very hard to stay strong in the face of this type of remorse. People like your wife who are capable of this type of behavior are unbelievably good actors, and they have a huge incentive to try to play on your emotions to keep you from leaving. Don’t fall for it.

      It will be a good tip off for you if the remorse comes after a consequence you impose, like kicking her out or filing for divorce. If so, it’s not you she’s crying for. It’s the loss of her easy, comfortable life. It’s the loss of you making it possible for her to have her affair, with you supporting her financially and in other ways. She’s not crying over you. Anyone who could ignore their spouse’s pain the way she has doesn’t give a flying hoot about how you feel. She’s crying for herself.

    • If I was a betting type, I would lay money down that Jason’s wife is going to do a 180 as soon as he takes action. Most likely, her OM isn’t interested in a life with her — just in fucking her and the excitement of the affair. Otherwise, they would already be together. My guess is she enjoys the lifestyle Jason provides, and if it suddenly appears she is in danger of losing that, the charade of “I really love you and want to work it out” will begin. But of course, as pretty much everyone here learned the hard way, cheaters can be masterful actors when they want to be, and reconciliation is 99.9% of the time just an act as far as they are concerned.

      • Glad its Over you are so right. however Jason listen up and listen up closely… Take this one at that she will most likely do and use it to your advantage to buy the time that you very well may need to get your ducks in a row because when she’s off guard, you’ll be able two more prepare without the distraction of her affair partner from in your face. Get your finances lined up your housing lined up furniture lined up and your attorney lined up and then file it may take you a year to 2 years to get all this together do it do it now.! You see I disagree with some of the above post and that she will take for a fair underground. It was my personal experience with this particular affair ended. And a fresh affair began two years later. by then I had a very healthy savings account housing lined up that was beautifully furnished and an attorney paid for in full. He honestly didn’t know what hit him.

  • Jason,

    Not a whole lot to add to the good advice here other than another guy’s voice of sympathy and encouragement. I’m slowly extricating myself from a 33 year marriage that my w sledgehammered apart. It hurt like I couldn’t believe, but I can tell you that you will get past that raw, pure pain as you move forward and come to understand it is over and that you have nothing to work with in going forward with your marriage. All the best!

    As an aside to you and other chumps. I recently saw some type of 20 point score for psychopaths (lack of empathy, excessive concern for self, lack of remorse, etc., etc.). Aaron Hernandez, that crazy NFL player who is accused of murdering some people in cold blood (at about the same time he was donating $50K to charity as a gesture of “giving back”), apparently scored about 16 of 20. Interestingly and a bit scary, my w scored about 15 out of 20. Found it a very, interesting quick exercise, and I suspect if we all applied this test to our cheaters there would be a lot of inflated scores.

  • Jason, your letter made me so sad. God, I remember what it was like to be where you are now. I say this in the gentlest way possible — your letter is a prime example of how chumps blind themselves to reality, hide in denial, settle for absolutely nothing, play the doormat.

    Your wife is a filthy piece of shit. Seriously, she left the marriage TWO YEARS AGO. Her contempt for you is enormous and it grows every day you stick around to let her treat you like dirt. Every chump here can relate to your wondering if the marriage can be fixed, if there is something you can do, if you can somehow get through to her. And every chump who is a few years out knows the answer to your questions: No, it cannot be fixed. No, there is nothing you can do. No, the problem is not that she doesn’t understand, it is that SHE DOESN’T CARE.

    Jason, I know you want to do what’s best for your kids, but dude, you are not exactly setting an example of manhood for them. They are calling the OM’s parents Grandma and Grandpa? Don’t they already have grandparents who are YOUR PARENTS? Please, please, Jason, talk to an attorney TODAY. Get the divorce underway immediately. Go for broke — fight for maximum custody of your girls and no/minimal support for your disgusting, cheating, sociopathic wife.

    I promise you Jason, when you get yourself out of the fog, you stop playing doormat to your cheating wife and you begin to wake up, you are not going to believe you stood for such contemptuous, disgusting behavior for so long.

  • Hi, Jason,

    You are being disrespected and abused. You know it, we know it, and anyone with a human heart and mind knows this. Your wife knows it, but she doesn’t care. If you find yourself trying to carefully describe why this overt abuse and inappropriate behavior is wrong to someone, trust that you are dealing with a disordered, dishonest person. No honest adult would behave the way your wife is behaving. That’s all you need to know.

    Trust that she sucks. You will never get through to her, so stop trying.

    You don’t deserve to be disrespected in this way. I dealt with a similar situation with my ex — except that I did know that he was having a physical affair. Accepting that he did not care about me was difficult. I was stuck for a couple of years, trying to make sense of it, trying to explain to him — in counseling and at home — why I was so uncomfortable. He let me flounder around for a couple of years like that and never stepped up or changed his behavior. It’s only when I finally said “Enough” and began to distance myself from him that I started to get my sense of self back.

    Get the hell out of there, Jason. You have all the information you need.

    Best of luck,
    LilyBart

  • Jason, how exactly do you think this affair did not get physical? She comes to visit you at work and takes off with YOUR co-worker for dinner with the kids and walks??? So obviously you were NOT present for this wonderful gathering were you? Or did you imagine having the kids around would have stopped her?

    You know NORMAL people who visit their spouses at work do not leave with the co-worker because hey, call me boring but I was there to visit my SPOUSE not his colleague. How exactly did you guys even converse about anything after the first time this happened?

    Forget about her – think about your daughters. Folks are right when they say you got to leave for their sake. I will tell you why. I come from a crapfest wrapped in a LOT of marketing called my childhood. Mom is a confirmed narcissist and dad – well I have not figured out what the hell he is to this day. But suffice to say he is a piece of work. I always had issues with him because hey at least my mom would leave me alone as long I completed the chores (read just about everything) in the house. I could BUY my freedom from her (get her to leave me alone) by doing stuff in the house. Him – not so much. He was that aunt from Harry Potter – Dudley’s aunt who would not leave harry alone. If I didn’t like something then guess what kept happening? That’s right – exactly that … over and over and over until I just accepted my boundaries being railroaded. then I would get a atta girl! Now you are toughening up. If I objected to it – you are too emotional; you are a sissy; stop being a watering pot etc.. etc… etc… If I didn’t react AT all then I was too indifferent and blah blah.. you get the drift. NOTHING I said or did made a difference. For years (yes, I was a chump as a kid too) I tried reasoning with him. excusing his behavior because I loved my dad and truly believed that this man will respect me if only I could get him to SEE what he is doing is not sitting well with me.

    Guess what happened? NOTHING CHANGED. Then one day I simply stopped telling him and started showing him. Was that an cruel joke about me in front of folks who were visiting – then I disappeared for the whole day. Did you just rage at me and call me a useless lump of a human being – gosh I just lazed around. I mean what was he going to do? beat me? throw me out of the house? no. he could not do that. Did you just interrupt me as I started to say something – for the nth time and after specifically requesting he listen to me before interrupting me? I SHOWED him how tough I was by simply ignoring him for months and not responding to anything.

    BUT the lessons he gave me stayed with me. When I met my husband and he blatantly disrespected me and railroaded my boundaries… I did the exact same thing I did with my father. I requested kindly. put up with shit when I didn’t have to and I went down a shit hole for a long time.

    I figured out my way in life after 3 kids, crushing debt and an all too familiar story – BUT I can neither forgive nor forget the fact that my PARENT taught me to be a chump. Groomed me to be a chump and then blamed me for being a chump.

    You can teach your kids to be chumps in many ways. My dad chose a blatant way to do it. You are choosing to be a dorrmat. STOP. you love you kids? Please stand up for yourself. Don’t raise another generation of champion chumps.

  • Dear Jason,
    I really feel for you and I am guessing that you aren’t liking the answers that you are getting here. But I assure you this is excellent advice for you and your children. Children learn by example–don’t teach them that they are not deserving of love, respect and loyalty by letting yourself be treated like this. You have done what you can to save this marriage, but she isn’t interested. Her behavior is beyond despicable–please don’t excuse it or fool yourself. I wasted ten years of my life with a person who didn’t handle my heart with care–that isn’t a marriage. Walk away–you may find that you have taken the first step towards the best part of your life. I certainly did–and I wish I could go back in a time machine and kick my butt out quicker! But I can’t, so I will just try to kick yours so that you don’t do the same.
    Best wishes to you!

  • For the record, you haven’t moved on. She knows it, we know it, and you should even know it.

    Handing out ultimatums and hoping for her to change? How’s it working out? It’s not? Dude, if there was a chance, the first time you called her out she would have been pleading for a second chance.

    Sorry. Go ahead and really move on, and that means getting an attorney, fighting for parental rights, her living where you don’t, and then one day looking back and saying… “Why the heck did I put up with all that abuse? Oh well, and I don’t like brussel sprouts”.

    And the thought will leave as quickly as it came and won’t cross your mind the rest of the year. Moved on.

  • Jason: The chumpy stories have a lot of common themes (see recent post about the cheater playbook). From what I’ve seen, one of the most common ones is trying to minimize the affair, often by denying it was ever physical. Then when the chump gets actual proof that it was physical, cheater says “it was only one time”, or two times, or however many times the chump has proof of. Then when the chump learns it was once a week the cheater says….then the chump learns it was once a day…well you get my drift. The details vary but the story stays the same.

    I don’t know if it matters to you whether they ever actually did “the deed”. It certainly wouldn’t matter to me, based on the way your disordered wingnut cheater behaves towards you. But know this; regardless of what you have been told, regardless of what you’ve seen or think you know, THERE IS MORE. You might not know what the more is, and maybe it isn’t sex (though that’s very unlikely), but it is MORE. You don’t, and never will, know the whole story.

    And it doesn’t matter. The f’ed up story doesn’t matter. What matters is that she doesn’t care about you, at all. She doesn’t treat you with the basic respect that you’d give a roommate, for chrissake.

    Your marriage is over. But you can choose to remain legally tied to this person, fulfilling the obligations of marriage, living in the house with someone who doesn’t love you, doesn’t respect you, and in fact is knowingly hurting you. I tried it for a year after D-day. It was soul death and made me physically ill. And I stayed because…he told me he never actually had sex without anyone else. So I didn’t feel like I was justified in leaving.

    I fact, I never found out about the hundreds of encounters with prostitutes until after I moved out, filed for divorce and got the financials. I’m sure there is much more I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. The point is, I had to take those steps without actually knowing what had happened. But what I did know was the most important thing: that despite the words coming out of his mouth, he didn’t love me, didn’t respect me, and would never change. That was the ONLY fact that mattered.

    The point is, you have only one available option if you want to have an emotionally healthy life. Every day you stay prolongs your recovery that much longer. If you file for divorce and probe into this affair, you will find more than you ever imagined. Just about every chump here will agree, I think.

    Do it when you’re ready, but do it. For yourself and your daughters. Many hugs and support.

  • Jason,

    I think that your wife has gradually pushed your boundaries little by little the past couple of years (like a frog in slowly boiling water) that you can’t see how totally inappropriate and disrespectful her behavior is. Once you go NC and some time has passed, you may be flabbergasted by her treatment of you.

    I also think that her (and many of our cheaters’) disregard of your pain is more than that; I think she enjoys the pain she causes you because it feeds her ego. “Look, someone is so heartbroken, devastated, suicidal, etc. because of me! I must be so wonderful and awesome and attractive!” That’s part of the reason the affair is so intoxicating, because someone is being (or will be once discovered) hurt by it. Stop feeding her ego.

    I would also be wary of any desperate pleas from her to save the marriage once you file for divorce. A likely scenario is that her OM will abandon her once he sees that you are divorcing her (she will pressure him to marry her; he just wants a commitment-free relationship) and then she will seem desperate (saying she will do anything) because she realizes she will be alone. Don’t fall for it.

    I would also document the times your wife has been neglecting/not spending time with the kids because of OM and also her inappropriately introducing OM to them and trying to alienate you as their father–having them call OM’s parents “Grandma” and “Grandpa”! Really? This could all be favorable for you in a custody fight. And don’t think you’ll just be left with every other weekend. Please see a pit-bull of a lawyer ASAP. Divorce may cost you $, but saving your sanity is worth it.

    • I apologize in advance, but time for a quick science fact,

      “I think that your wife has gradually pushed your boundaries little by little the past couple of years (like a frog in slowly boiling water) that you can’t see how totally inappropriate and disrespectful her behavior is”

      I understand the metaphor/similie, but the fact is… the frog will try to escape if the water gets too warm.

      Frogs are not as stupid as that fable would have you believe.

      And, you’re right, he should get out of the slowly-rising-to-a-boil water. The frog would if it was at all possible.

    • Every word of young’s post is right on the money. Once you get out, go as NC as possible and let time work its magic, it becomes unbelievable that you once tolerated such disrespectful, even abusive, behavior. Cheaters/disordered are masters of slowly eroding our boundaries/self esteem, until eventually, we are nothing but a doormat that they step all over. It takes time to recover from that kind of a mind fuck, but recovery is possible once the chump LEAVES.

      And yes, Jason’s wife is absolutely grooming the children to think of the OM and his family as THEIR family. Unbelievable that she has them calling his parents grandma and grandpa. Just shocking.

      I also agree 100% that the wife is going to pretend to completely change once Jason shows action. Her OM is going to dump her and she is going to get desperate. I am praying Jason doesn’t fall for that tired act…. we all know how it ends. Badly.

      • Jason,

        I just want to emphasize the fact that, judging by the tone of your letter, you have absolutely no idea how unbelievably f*cking outrageous it is that your wife is telling your kids to call OM’s parents their grandparents (and I’m not one to curse often). You say your wife is in some fog; not, it is YOU who are in the fog, and I’m not saying this to beat you when you are down, but to try to get you to snap out of it, because I think we’ve all been there (including myself). Once you get out of the fog–the only way to do this is to go NC except for pertinent communications about the children–you will likely look back and be absolutely shocked by the treatment/abuse that you tolerated.

        • Totally agree. I hollered about that earlier. Jason, you need to take your kids and run. Show them you aren’t replaceable.

  • “How do I break through to someone in an altered reality and deep state of denial? Am I the delusional one? Feeling so lost right now. ”

    Hi Jason,

    Are you really hearing and understanding these replies? Sure, she is in her batshit narc “it’s all about me universe”, but you-right now -are in the “state of denial. ” Are any comments breaking through to you?

    My heart breaks for you, and I can only echo all the other replies. TRUST that she sucks. You can and will do better without her. Ditch that bitch , and create a happier, fuller life for yourself and your precious girls. Don’t they deserve better? Don’t you?

  • Jason this guy is fucking your wife and making a fool of you. Time to get angry and take care of yourself. You will still see your daughters and they will, eventually, respect you far more for calling your wife’s bullshit than being doormat. Wishing you the very best.

  • Jason,
    First off, I am so sorry you are experiencing this. My heart remembers the sting when the newness of my STBX’s affair hit me and I realized that I was, indeed being taken for a fool. I’m actually tearing up thinking about where you are mentally & emotionally because it was not long ago that I was there. So let’s start with the big one:

    Most importantly, you can get through this, end up better and still have a great relationship with your children but you NEED to focus on yourself right now (and your children, obviously). Your wife is sadly a lost cause, your marriage as well. It’ll be hard, but try to accept that your marriage was meant to bring those children into this world and to teach you many valuable lessons on life & love..she was meant for you, yes, but not forever. You’re relationship & she have both met their expiration date. I promise that once you stand up for yourself, refuse to be treated this way and accept that its over that you will see all of this MUCH differently by the end of 3 months. It’s a general biological healing mechanism….my therapist shared that with me and now I’ll pass it to you. By the end of month 3 of separation my previously attractive ex looked like something wretched and gollum-like to me…a year later and I’m physically repulsed by him. You WILL heal and this woman will eventually look like a pile of feceis to you and you’ll be glad to let that disrespectful prick have a go at changing her into a life long partner. GOOD LUCK, sir!

    If it helps or puts it into perspective for you, my STBX still has never admitted to is affairs, either. It’s been over a year that I saw the incriminating phone records and over 2 years that his behavior was like he was reading from the cheater handbook. STILL no accountability, STILL no shame and STILL no empathy for breaking apart his family, leaving a great wife devastated and an innocent toddler to likely have a lot of questions later down the line. For 6 months straight I prayed that he would just own his infidelity already so I could get some closure…I deserved that. But to no avail. He knew what he’d donr was wrong and shameful but what he knew was even worse was that he didn’t care…he actually enjoyed it. They can’t just go spreading that kind of story to the masses. Your wife feels the same way; if she’s got the mental capacity of anything over a 5 year old she’s aware of what right & wrong. She just CHOSE wrong and is trying to save face by not admitting it and blame-shifting on you.

    Please read through this site, Jason and do internet searches on narcissistic personality disorders, pathalogical lying, habitual cheating…any phrase that would fit her and I guarantee you’ll start seeing similarities and reading her like a book.

    She’s not unique, she’s just unfaithful.

    God bless you & your children.

  • I forgot; this one may hurt to hear but it’s a reality I imagine you’ll be staring in the face all too soon:

    If you separate from/divorce your wife do you truly think she won’t run directly to this other man? Even if she claims it’s because they’re best friends, and she will, it’s still exactly what she will do. It’s only a matter of time before those two are dating out in the open, they’ve already “built the foundation” of their relationship…overlapping with your marriage, of course. She’s going to do whatever she wants anyways so let her have it…let her fool herself into thinking she’s got a great guy (home wrecker) and a great new relationship (built on infidelity & lies).

    Try not to focus on the relationship they will be in and feel like the chump that lost out. It’s quite the opposite. He’s the ass that earned himself a known cheater, she’s the infidel that earned herself a guy who fancies married women and you, Jason, you WIN. You win I default. I promise you that!

    • Well said!

      Let’s see how this guy feels about her once he has her *full time*. That just might change things for him because she will be *all too available*.

    • Agree. If she’s in that bubble, this is the best time to file for divorce because she might settle quickly and without much thought about what she can do to him.

  • Jason, I haven’t read the other comments yet, so I’m probably re-iterating, but let me re-iterate; this situation is horrible for you, but you’re an adult, who can make their own choices. But it’s also a TERRIBLE life lesson for your kids! If this continues, you’re raising future-cheaters and/or future-chumps. Your kids are learning that it’s OK to disrespect your life partner, stop showing love and caring, and treat them like dirt. They’re learning that it’s normal to accept that disrespect and keep coming back for more.

    GET OUT, and give your kids a life lesson they can grow with; there are consequences for our choices, and we do NOT let people CHOOSE to go on treating us badly for years, with no concern about our feelings or our relationship. Go for at least 50% custody time, and be the sane and stable and respected and HAPPY parent your kids deserve. With this wingnut for a mother, they’re going to need you, and they’re going to need you living strong!

  • Jason….after reading your letter the brutality of your wife’s abuse of you left me almost breathless. Honey you don’t have a marriage!! Take CL’s and every person here advice and get the hell away from this monster of a woman. She doesn’t give two shits about you. I read somewhere that these people actually hate us because we are keeping them from their Twu Luv Schmoopies and we are nothing but buzzing flies to them.

    Please don’t think you can get through to her. She has shown you astonishing disrespect. I know how painful it is to end a marriage but you don’t have a real marriage. This is a fake one and you must provide a handsome income for her to keep hanging around. She’s just using you now for her own gain. Get out now, she’s not going to change. Ever!

  • Take CL’s advice, Jason. I have been exactly where you are now.

    Man up, get some self respect and show your kids that it’s not OK to stay with someone who treats you like shit.

    Do it, dude. She really doesn’t give a shit about you.

  • Jason,
    If your not mad enough to react yet think about this shit.

    She sleeps in the other room because she promised her schmoopi she wasn’t going to fuck you any more. Wouldn’t want to cheat on him you know.

    I hate to be so rough about it, geez, ask her in a way that pushes her buttons and chances are she’s going to rub it in your face. She’s proud of her new found commitment. Of course OM deserves her loyalty. Ask her.

  • You’ve got nothing to work with. Texting/sexting him and going on walks with him all right in front of you isn’t her being honest. That’s blatant disrespect and a giant FU. She’s telling your kids to call his parents “grandma” and “grandpa?” Wtf?? Is she telling your kids to call him dad too? As CL said, this is YOUR family, NOT his. Stir up the papa bear that’s hibernating in you. She hasn’t been honest with you for minimally 2 years and she’s still not being honest about her affair. She doesn’t think she’s done/doing anything wrong and sadly, there’s nothing you can do about that. No amount of marital counseling is going to change that. For counseling to work she has to first understand and admit that she’s done something wrong and wants to change it, it has to be completely voluntary on her end, otherwise she has zero buy-in and you may as well go to counseling with a bag of rice. This isn’t about you accommodating her. Don’t buy into the bs that you shouldn’t hold her accountable. Don’t bite your tongue about the affair, speak up and take action. Lawyer up, get your ducks in a row, keep your game plan to yourself. Do not advertise what your plans are to her. If you file then she needs to find out about the divorce from being served, not b/c you’re giving her a head’s up as to what your next move is. Giving her all your moves means she knows everything she’s not telling you on top of everything that you know. That only keeps the power in her hands. I highly doubt there wasn’t anything physical between them and unless she comes right out and willingly tells you all the details and exactly how many men, how many times, how much money etc, you have no reason to believe anything that comes out of her mouth.

  • Jason, do you really want to spend the rest of your like with someone who doesn’t love you? You love your wife. Would you do the things she does to you? No, right? I’m sorry but you have a situation here that the only solution is divorce. As a lot of chumps have posted, you will only start to heal when you get away from this dysfunctional situation. Get out now, please. Spackling doesn’t work, no matter how hard you try. Trust us all here when we say the alternative of staying isn’t good for you or your girls.

    If one of your girls were in a similar situation, what would you advice her? There’s your answer. Leaving was the hardest thing for me to do. I had to go through the pain to get to meh. But you know what? The pain is finite. By staying, your pain will simply escalate.

  • The “just a friend” line is a classic and utter bullshit in all cases. Scrape the turd out of your life and move on. You and your daughters deserve better. Read through the archived posts/comments here for inspiration and tips. Good luck.

  • There’s lots of great comments here about modeling self-respect for your kids, which is all 100% true & correct. I’m also going to give you another important tip about your kids that is equally as important. The thing that kicked me in the ass was when one of my first lawyers informed me, “if you don’t file, then your husband can legally abscond with your sons”. (EH ‘ S last affair was with a woman 2000 miles away.) This lawyer told me, “if he takes your sons and you call the cops, the first thing the cops are going to ask is, ‘Show me your orders’. If you tell the cops, “we’re not divorced or legally separated”, the cops are going to say, ‘ma’am, we’re sorry, but there’s nothing we can do.'”

    The “orders” the cops are talking about are your permanent or temporary orders filed with the court, to show where and with whom the kids will be with and when. Without those, she can legally take your kids anywhere she wants to. It was this info that scared the shit out of me and pushed me into action.

  • Jason,

    Lots of good advice above, though undoubtedly painful. We’ve all been where you are, and most of us are just giving you the advice we wish we’d gotten sooner.

    My ex-wife copped to one sexual affair and one “only emotional” relationship after my 12-year-old son outed her (worst night of my 50 years of life). Of course, she only admitted as much as she thought I knew. Turns out the affair she admitted to wasn’t only 2 years in duration and 8 years in the past, but more like 10 years in duration and perhaps not in the past at all. And the “only emotional” relationship with the guy on the Internet who she’d “never met?” Yeah, they were screwing. Even though both were married with kids and lived 2,000 miles apart. Sometimes in my state (at lunch or when I traveled), sometimes at other cities (when my ex was actually more than 1,000 miles from where she told me and the kids she was visiting). It’s what adults do when they’re attracted to each other, especially if the attraction is mostly fantasy. Oh, and my ex-wife also had another 3-4 other “relationships” I only discovered after filing for divorce. It’s a common story, unfortunately.

    Find some good individual counseling, protect your health, and get your sleep. Personally, I credit Ambien with saving my life (I would have had a heart attack from exhaustion without it). It also allowed me enough physical stamina to make the hard choices I had to make (ending my first marriage of 22 years, sorting through custody issues, and participating in the dismantling of my life’s savings).

    Heavy lifting, to be sure. But 6 years out now and life has never been better. Not even close. I feel 20 years younger and my only regret is not insisting on a good relationship all along. And it can be better for you, too. Never, ever, ever forget that you *deserve* better, and so do you kids.

    Wishing you strength for the journey.

  • Jason, I was in an almost identical situation. My wife became infatuated with one of our mutual friends, and started inviting him over, texting him dawn ’till dusk, even telling me just how wonderful her new bestie was. She ignored all my concerns and discussions about her behaviour with that same old cheater line of “he’s just a friend!”. She wasn’t secretive about it either! She flaunted him in my face just like your wife did. She gave me excuses that she needed more attention, (yum kibbles!). I, being the loving chump that I am, gave her room and space and danced really pretty. Oh how I danced! A couple of months later, upon confronting the other man, they eventually admitted that it had become a physical affair, and even despite that, she still denied any wrongdoing and kept telling me that we are great together, but that she needs to see the other man to be complete and happy. I actually bought this and gave her 6 months of my life, hoping she’d come out of it and chose me.

    Eventually I gave her an ultimatum, she actually replied “I choose him if you are gonna be an asshole about it!”. Apparently I was being an asshole by making her choose. (Oh no! cake supply is getting cut off!)

    Funny enough, the next day I started packing my bags, because she refused to leave when I tried kicking her out (shows you her character), she started crying and begging me not to leave. “So its really over?” she says in disbelief. The cake eater actually apologized and promised to make things better!

    Actions speak louder than words.

    I was scared to death to take that leap and leave. Its the only thing you can do, and no matter what the outcome, the change that comes with it will be good in the long run. Anything is better than being with a lying, selfish cheat.

    Good luck sir.

    FYI Im not taking her back.

  • Simply put-RUN Jason RUN! Save yourself & your children!
    I wanted to cry when I read your letter because I have been where you are. You are not ready to admit the truth and do what needs to be done. Your marriage was done a long time ago-your wife just forgot to mention it to you because she’s a coward and you are of use to her. I know it seems impossible to imagine a future for you and your girls without her but you can do it. Please do it on your own terms and don’t leave it your stbx wife’s hands. Start doing small things to get out/away from her so it isn’t so overwhelming at first. But the first thing you need to do is acknowledge that the marriage is OVER, she is not & will never be the person you thought she was, and that she does not give a shit about you. Yes, the pain seems unbearable but once you back away & see her for what she really is, your feelings will start to change.

    I was devastated when Dday happened-and unemployed with nowhere for me & my baby to go. I thought just as you did that if I could only get him to understand how badly he hurt me, things would change & I could keep my family together. Guess how that worked out for me? I was finally able to find a job ( I made it through the 90 day probation), get a storage, and am socking money away to finish paying the atty to file the divorce. When my world first came crashing down with Dday, I couldn’t imagine my life without him-Now, almost a year out-I can’t wait to get rid of him and start my new life with my son!! You can’t see it now Jason, but look at her actions-just like my stbx, its all about about them & a big F U to you and your girls.
    You need to start today Jason……..put down the spackle, and start walking away. Tuesday in the land of Meh is out there…….hope to see you & your girls there!

  • Jason,

    I haven’t read all the replies so I’m not even sure if you’ve checked back in. You’ve gotten some great advice. I was married for 23 before the ex had his affair with a married co-worker. I pleaded for us to work it out and he agreed but eventually I had to face the sad truth that the only reason he agreed was because the onus would have been on him to end the relationship and he didn’t want that on him. Essentially he’s a coward which is an unfortunate character trait his son identified long before I did.

    At any rate, I wasted another 3 precious years of my 40s trying to repair our broken marriage. I read all the books, told him about what I read, dragged him to marriage counseling and finally understood that the one that broke it should be the one that does the majority of the work. I knew that would never happen so I went ahead and asked him for a divorce.

    Even though it was three years later and he and the OW woman supposedly “broke up” (his words); she was living with him before our divorce was final. So here is another harsh truth for you. Once these narcissistic cowards have their sites on a new source of kibbles they are not going to let it go until they bleed it dry. She brought accolades galore to him and a big bank account that undoubtedly feeds the “stuff machine.” He wanted that three years ago but he was too much of a coward and since he enjoys kibbles so much; having the both of us do the pick me polka for three years was huge for his ego.

    Someone here mentioned this quote earlier: “I don’t know that I could ever divorce with two daughters that mean everything to me, but it is hard imagining the next 50 years with someone who won’t even acknowledge their behavior.”

    You’re not going to get 50 years from her because she has identified a new source of kibbles and she will lock in on it until it runs dry. Trust me, the only possible reasons she hasn’t fled sooner is because she wants you to make the first move for divorce (which you should) or because her new kibble dispenser isn’t ready to take on a family for whatever reason.

    Lawyer up and file first. Make sure you try for sole or split down the middle custody so you aren’t locked out of your daughters’ life. Protect yourself because you’re in a burning building and you need to get the fuck out and save your daughters. Don’t lament the building, don’t worry about what it might be like outside of the building. The fire (much like your wife) is going to do you great harm so don’t question it and get out as quickly as possible!

    I’m so sorry you have to join our ranks but this group is a great source of support. Welcome; don’t be a stranger and sending hugs your way.

  • As I’ve re-read your letter, Jason and all the comments I thought of something I should add. You mentioned that your wife essentially went silent when you have spoken of your discomfort with her and this mans relationship. That really stuck out to me, it may be a small detail to some but it’s huge to me because I’m familiar with it. Perhaps posting it here will help someone or help you in your journey, Jason.

    What she’s doing there appears as though she is calmly listening to your concerns and being “respectful” enough to allow you to vent without her reacting and getting angry. What she’s really doing to you is a very passive and almost unidentifiable manipulation trick. What she thinks is that if she says nothing then it doesn’t exist. If she doesn’t acknowledge your words then they were never spoken. If she replies with constant “I don’t knows” or “I don’t remembers” it’s just her way of twisting the truth. If you shove it in the closet, it disappears. How infantile, right? How ignorant and delusional for a person to believe that they are THAT powerful and all encompassing that if they decide it’s not real then it literally becomes not real. But this IS real, you ARE in pain and you ARE being treated like “her bottom bitch”, pardon the expression.

    My covert passive aggressive STBX was and is the king of seemingly submissive control tactics and he pulled this shit regularly. Don’t fall for it. Silence is her way of maintaining control, keeping you in the dark and not giving you the info that she knows you would need to throw in the towel on your marriage.

    The vengeful side of me would love for you to blast her with this divorce when she least expects it and leave her head spinning with no place to go and no plans made. Like everyone else here said, she will likely cry for reconciliation (although mine has not yet as most figured he would) and when she does you pull up the Kermit the Frog Meme that says “that’s none of my business…” Because that’s what her problems will be. NONE of your business! *nasty grin*

  • TheBetterJaime, My ex did this. “Silence is her way of maintaining control.” Any time I directly confronted my ex re our relationship he was evasive. Other signs? Withholding. Busy. Unengaged. Cheaters never commit to their relationships. It always feels like a one sided conversation because it is. Chumps do all the hard work and show up while Cheaters take the credit while only briefly landing. I always felt so off balance with my ex. Justin, you deserve better and so do your girls. Life is way too short.

  • Jason,
    Here is my two cents…. The horse is dead ….Get off…..
    You now have an advantage… Since she is so caught up in her in her little romance and is counting on you to be your compliant self… I say… use that shit to your adavntage… While she is sitting texting Studley Hungwell…. You can be gathering all the evidence and necessary means to carry out your divorce. So play dumb… Keep your mouth shut… Dont let on…. Put together all your paperwork….follow all the advice here….and put Secretariat out to pasture.

  • Jason, I could tell you what you want to hear – give her more time, research the web and order some books on understanding and surviving EAs – reason with the guy and believe his reassurance that nothing improper is occuring here – examine your flaws as a husband and put right whatever was lacking – book yet another counselling session and see if it helps – jump through hoops, swallow your pride and bend over backwards trying to turn around this marriage all on your own. If I thought it had a snowball in hells chance of resulting in a good marriage, lasting happiness and a secure family environment for your kids I would recommend doing these things.
    I recommend doing none of them – enough is enough. Are you a man or a mouse Jason?
    Get some appropriate legal advice and take action as, at the moment, you are getting less respect than a turd on the ground.
    As many posters have astutely predicted, showing her that the jig is up and that you mean business may just be the very thing to break her “deep denial”. This is likely if Mr Wonderful makes himself scarce which he very well might.
    Do you want to stay in this marriage as a poor plan B, feel like shit warmed up inside, and watch your back until her next “friendship” takes root? Just say NO Jason and say it soon.

  • Jason, just stop. All of it. She doesn’t care about you or your feelings or your marriage and frankly, if she is behaving this way, she doesn’t really care about your kids either.

    I understand trying for a while. You have gone way past “trying” into groveling.

    I don’t believe in “emotional affairs.” Affairs are affairs and I would bet that people claiming their “emotional affairs” never turned physical are lying liars who lie.

    She is cheating on you. She is stonewalling you. She doesn’t care. Stop groveling, get a lawyer and a good therapist and a therapist for your kids and move on.

    Even is she “woke up” and admitted everything and did everything you wanted her to do, could you ever really trust her again? She is treating you like trash. Can you ever really forgive her for that?

    Don’t waste another second on this…take care of yourself and your kids and drop her like a hot rock. She’s not worth your time, energy or love.

  • ” how do I break through to someone in al altered reality and deep state of denial?”

    Jason, you don’t!!!. You simply let them go and let them live their own reality, however they define it. Only time and experience can possibly get them out of this stage ( if ever). Some people choose to live in denial of the pain they cause, and thats not something us chumps can fix.

    Don’t beg for empathy, don’t beg for understanding from her, because like me, the more you do it, the more humiliated you will likely get. Choose to live a life with dignity. However painful the process of letting go is, in the end, you will be thankful that you let go in a dignified way.

  • are gou paying for her cell phone? are you paying the bill for her to text another man? u might as well be paying for the hotel room and drive her to it.

    you seem like a nice guy. i am so sorry you are here. but she is just using you. she doesnt care. she doesnt want to save her marriage and you cant do it by yourself. whatever is wrong or lacking in your marriage doesnt matter becuse insted of talking to you about it she is telling her problems to another man, instead of turning to bher husband for comfort she is turning to another man.

    question is why are you allowing her to continue to hurt you?

  • Hi Jason
    I know first hand about emotional affairs. I’m in one for 11 years now. I do want to preface my comment by telling you I was sexually abused by my father, my brother, my ex husband and I am now divorcing my narcissistic abusive present husband. 11 years ago I met my “emotional affair” while walking my dog. The first thing this man said to me is, “would you like to go for coffee sometime………….I am married and not looking for sex……….you just look interesting and I’d like to get to know you”. I craved male attention that was NOT physical. I met tons of people on my dog walks over the years and some of the stories and people I met were more interesting and crazier than anything I’ve ever read about or seen in the movies, so although I thought it was a crazy way of introducing himself, I figured if it was true, no harm done. We connected well and our relationship continued to grow. Year by year we knew everything about each other. My husband never minded because this friend of mine did everything in our home that men generally do, a real fixer-upper who can do it all. My husband had (inherited) every tool under the sun, but didn’t know how to use them, so for my husband it was a win-win situation. My friend and I lived close to each other so we saw each other all the time, got together for weekly lunch at my home (my husband was always welcome to join us but didn’t want to),or at his place with his wife’s knowledge. Our friendship was no secret but after about 7 years she insisted he end his friendship with me. He told her he would, but he didn’t, he couldn’t. Even his co-workers thought we were having sex, But, NEVER were we intimate. Flirty, yes. A kiss on the lips……… N-E-V-E-R!. Not even once. We knew that would ruin our friendship and weren’t willing to risk that. That’s how emotionally involved we were. Jason, an emotional affair (without sex) can be so much stronger and deeper than a marriage.You should know that an emotional affair can outlive a marriage and so long as you choose to stay with your wife, so long as you stay married to her or even if you divorce her, an emotional affair will survive the worst of times. I left my husband a year ago and moved to another city, but my ‘friend’ and I still stay in contact and nothing will ever change that. We will never ‘be together’ but we will always be very close and love each other in a way that’s just too difficult to put those feelings into words. A sexual affair can grow old but an emotional affair can last forever.

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