My wife and I were having issues. It got incredibly bad. I found evidence of something going on. I got suspicious when she suddenly was wearing kits of makeup and sexy underwear, I didn’t get to see.
So I accused her of cheating when I saw a message. She admitted having feelings for a coworker. I guess she wasn’t having one, but did have a crush, so I was wrong, of course.
Well, we got worse. The fighting broke me, I almost committed suicide, I checked myself in to get help. After that everything changed. After that she suddenly started messaging a different coworker, a 19 year old (she is 35).
It seemed to be getting more and more frequent until it bothered me. I told her to please stop, I didn’t like it. So, of course, I was the jealous husband that didn’t let her have friends.
Then I find out she met him by the lake and I blew up and told her to stop it again. Then I found out she went to lunch with him when I found her getting out of his car, it was his day off! I told her cut contact and I wanted to her to show me her phone. I saw some messages, her asking him if he was a virgin. He said, would it change anything? She said no, but if we end up together I would make our first time special.
Of course he was “just a friend”… So she went 12 hrs before messaging him again. This continues. I did all the typical nonsense you talked about: making excuses, pleading her to stop and fix us, the pick me…yep all of it.
I got her phone by guessing the code, looked again since she refused to show me, because I was invading her privacy. I found messages of him saying he loved her. I tried to end it, but couldn’t, so I trusted her again. She insisted I was wrong and they were just friends all the while my mental health went down the drain. I was paranoid and anxious.
Well, I found more and asked her did they kiss? She said yes. So I gave her the him or me — she chose him, blaming me all the way because I wasn’t there for her, I was controlling, she couldn’t be herself.
I believe in actuality for her our marriage was over before I even accused her the first time, no excuse, but she never tried to fix it, but bide her time. It feels so strange, it was obviously inappropriate and I don’t know if there was sex, but it being non-sexual is almost worse.
I even found this kid in my house one day sitting on my couch. They were “just talking”. I don’t know how I didn’t beat the shit out of him, other than I knew I would lose custody with my son. So, I guess she never wanted to work on us. It was an affair, even if she won’t admit it, she vehemently denies it, because in her eyes it wasn’t since there was no sex.
It feels unresolved and she Is just carrying on with the app, dating and although I know it’s over, just pending the divorce but it still feels like she’s cheating on me. I can’t seperate myself out. I’m still paranoid of what they are doing and struggle with it. I still love her, when I committed to our marriage I did not do so lightly but wholeheartedly and I guess I expected the same.
During this time in our therapy, she attacked my job and said it was nothing, although it let her be able to go to school while I held down the fort, and called me unambitious, happy to just float through life. She also told me she didn’t find me attractive. It was all so devastating and I feel worthless and ugly. And after 10 years it’s like we never happened. How do I get over this obstacle? How do I cut those ties that so obviously are toxic? Any advice?
Jealous husband that wouldn’t allow her to have an emotional affair
Dear Guy who’s been gaslighted to the point of suicide,
Okay, let’s imagine for a minute you’re a person in a marriage who has decided your marriage is over. Doesn’t matter the reason, they smell like vinegar, don’t trim their ear hair, you can’t realize your full potential anchored to their unlovability, whatever.
You have an entire decision tree of possible ways to proceed. Do you…
a) Stay in the marriage and never mention its demise to your partner?
b) Openly date in front of your partner and goad them into the pick-me dance? While maintaining that you are not doing what you are demonstrably doing?
c) Exchange “I love you” and sext talk messages with new “friends”?
Or do you…
d) Try and work it out. Exclusively. With your spouse. Not plans A through Z.
e) Actually end it. With lawyers, difficult conversations, and divorce decrees.
Your wife chose a, b, and c. She chose cake-eating — you and her affairs. Went you were recovering from a breakdown, she upped her abuse and began an affair with another man. She had the agency to leave you, honestly, respectfully and ethically. She didn’t do that. She played this torturous mindfuck of “Catch me if you can.” And when you caught something, a detail, an “I love you,” a strange man sitting on your sofa, perhaps an STD (get checked), she denied it. She DARVOed it. The problem isn’t her behavior, it’s your “jealousy.” She doesn’t have a boyfriend, she has a “friend.” She’s not cheating, you’re unattractive and lazy.
Classic mindfuck blender. This is why we don’t ask cheaters for their reasons. Because it generally devolves into exactly this kind of blameshifting and pain.
No, pay attention to the evidence (you have a ton) and then ask yourself — is this relationship acceptable to me?
Do I feel safe? Respected? Cherished? Loved?
Would I trust this person to level with me? See my taxes? Babysit a houseplant?
I know you’re a person who took his vows very seriously, and bonded and invested. But we don’t control our partner’s level of investment. Or their honesty, or anything else. That’s why the pick-me dance is futile. Why marriage policing is doomed. We don’t control other people — only ourselves. When someone is treating you with this level of disrespect and contempt, abandon the field. Quit playing their stupid games.
Of course that’s easier to type than to do. But the alternative is to live in the hell you’ve been living — a checked out partner who cheats and gaslights.
But, but… maybe he was a friend? And I’m in the wrong?
Platonic friends don’t discuss the particulars of how one’s going to lose his virginity with the other. Or exchange “I love you.” She says they’re friends? She can say they’re purple-headed pilgrims. It doesn’t matter. Pay attention to the evidence.
It was an affair, even if she won’t admit it, she vehemently denies it, because in her eyes it wasn’t since there was no sex.
See decision tree above. It’s much easier if you’re the bad guy who Won’t Let Her Have Friends. Grown-ups have sex. That’s what they do. That’s what dating leads to. Not just a plus-one for bingo night, but sex.
She didn’t have sex? Okay, I don’t believe that, but whatever. She was actively dating other men while married to you and while NOT trying to extract herself from all the comforts and value you provide. Emotional, physical, doesn’t matter. The devaluing is the same. This kind of marriage is either okay with you, or it isn’t.
During this time in our therapy, she attacked my job and said it was nothing, although it let her be able to go to school while I held down the fort, and called me unambitious, happy to just float through life.
Sounds like projection to me. You’re the person with the job. She sounds like the person floating through the dick buffet.
She also told me she didn’t find me attractive. It was all so devastating and I feel worthless and ugly.
Don’t. She’s not the measure of your worth. Apparently you were attractive enough to spend a decade with and produce a child.
A faithful, loving, invested man is a stock that trades high. Just because she doesn’t value a good thing doesn’t mean another woman won’t. Don’t look to such an UNWORTHY person for validation. Do you really respect this person? How she navigates life? (See a through c.)
It’s natural to feel devastated after you’ve been chumped. We’ve all been there, we get it. But the negative self talk doesn’t help you. Be outraged and take action to protect yourself.
Your mission going forward is to lawyer up, document everything, get your financial in order, and be the Sane Parent to your child. It sounds like you’re still in the same home and in-house separation will make you insane. Consult with an attorney about how she moves out and get a temporary custody order. Be in the driver’s seat.
Don’t talk, plead, relationship autopsy, ask where the snow shovel is, NOTHING with her. Okay? No contact, gray rock. All interactions will be minimal and only about your son or finances. Preferably communicated by email or text, which you document. Imagine every. single. thing. you do now will be examined by a judge. Be the Sane Parent. Do NOT stay in a situation that will unhinge you.
Guy, it gets better. But not until you stop sticking your head in the mindfuck blender. Leave.