Great website! I just discovered last Sunday that my wife of 13 years has been cheating on me with “some one she has very strong feelings for” for the past two months. We have 3 young beautiful children and this guy is married with two kids. My wife wouldn’t tell me his name because she doesn’t want me telling his wife because he doesn’t want to leave his wife. She did tell me I don’t know him and has come clean about the affair and a lot of the details. So some honesty. She definitely hasn’t crawled back or even really apologized for the affair (just that she is terribly sorry she hurt me).
We’ve had our issues and we have both really neglected our relationship. We’ve drifted apart. She told me she wanted to get out of our relationship for over a year and didn’t have the guts to leave, so this was the way.
I’ve done all the things you recommend: get informed, finances, friend group, std check, eating, sleeping (lots of Valium night), exercise, individual counseling. She’s also getting counseling.
We’re still living under the same roof. I told my wife I will support her talking to this guy and even seeing him face to face on the basis there is no physical contact and on the basis we are completely honest while she figures out what she wants to do.
I’m trying to show her the guy she fell in love with 17 years ago is still there. Likewise I am trying to spend time with her to see if I can find the woman I feel in love with. It’s been awesome. We’re talking for the first time in a long time, and identifying a lot of big issues in our relationship which caused both of us stress and unhappiness in the past and drove us apart. I’m thinking I may want to reconcile because it may be best for our children and we may even have a stronger relationship than when we first got married if we can start communicating more and change some of our behaviors (noting it’s only been a week and I’m in shock).
I know a big test will be next week when the marriage counselor (who we already met with once) asks my wife if she’s ready to stop seeing this guy and to tell me his name.
However, I’m beginning to worry that maybe reconciliation is the easy way out and I should just toughen up and split. Is this normal? Am I a chump? How long should we try for? I just can’t have her cheating ever again. And more importantly, I want to be with someone who loves and respects me.
Would appreciate your thoughts, especially considering you normally advocate to leave a cheater.
(Give Me a Name)
Dear Yes You Are a Chump Stop Chasing Unicorns (or “Bob” for short),
THIS IS NOT “AWESOME.”
How do you walk anywhere when your legs are so furiously pick-me dancing?
You have absolutely nothing to work with other than your desire to have something to work with. Your wife is lying to you, withholding, still seeing her affair partner, and is blameshifting this clusterfuck on to you.
And you’re there ACCEPTING it and pronouncing it “awesome.”
Dude, if you snorted any more hopium, you’d get your own wing at the Betty Ford clinic.
I’m sorry. I know this is coming as a giant bitchslap. What you’re going through is indescribably painful. And having been a hopium-snorting, unicorn-chasing chump once myself, I know the fear-that-feels-like-love-that-feels-like-a-gut-punch. You don’t want to lose your family. The future is terrifying, and after fight and flight, there’s “fawn.”
That’s where you are now, fawning. Trying to win this person who has abused you, so she stops abusing you.
STOP it. Please take back your dignity.
My wife wouldn’t tell me his name
Fuck this very much.
She feels entitled to her secrets, and the power of them. Ergo, she’s not one bit sorry. Ergo, you’ve got nothing to work with.
because she doesn’t want me telling his wife because he doesn’t want to leave his wife.
Fuck what the man who fucks your wife “wants.” There is an innocent woman who is in the dark, who has NOT had an STD test or a lawyer consultation and Douche McGee should not get to make any more unilateral decisions about her life without her consent. What Douche fears is consequences. Just like your wife does.
She did tell me I don’t know him and has come clean about the affair and a lot of the details. So some honesty.
So the health department shut down the restaurant, but a few of these biscuits on the floor are okay to eat. I think. If I brush off the ants…
Bob, she won’t tell you HIS NAME. You’re dealing with some Timid Forest Creature bullshit.
She definitely hasn’t crawled back or even really apologized for the affair
NOT SORRY. Why do you think you have something to work with? Because she’s THERE? A potted ficus would make a better wife.
We’ve had our issues and we have both really neglected our relationship. We’ve drifted apart.
Who did you fuck and lie about? Oh, you didn’t cheat? Your relationship issues, whatever they are did not compel her to cheat. Her lousy character did that. STOP accepting responsibility. This is a “SHE IS IN AN ACTIVE AFFAIR” problem, not an “us” marriage problem.
I’ve done all the things you recommend
Except lawyer. I didn’t see lawyer on that list. Or protect your finances. Do those things please.
I told my wife I will support her talking to this guy and even seeing him face to face on the basis there is no physical contact and on the basis we are completely honest while she figures out what she wants to do.
This is not up to her! It’s UP TO YOU. Is this relationship acceptable to you???!
To cheat on someone requires lying to them. Why are you expecting unvarnished honesty from a liar? Do you REALLY want her to see Douche McGee, or is that something that SHE is demanding?
You’re putting “don’t touch” conditions on this because of fear. She doesn’t have boundaries and you’re demanding them. That’s not how boundaries work. We only get our own. Restate this as “If you continue your affair, I’m out of here.” See, that’s YOU taking responsibility for YOU. You don’t control what she does.
Look, she doesn’t want to see this guy to swap cookie recipes. She’s been screwing him for 2 months (multiply that number by a factor of a dozen cookies…) Has “strong feelings” for Douche. What on earth do you think she wants to see him for? A proper goodbye? (Please don’t fall for that line. It’s a very old line. A thousand raised hands from CN who got the line about understanding those private, drawn-out farewells…)
I’m trying to show her the guy she fell in love with 17 years ago is still there.
The guy you were 17 years ago wasn’t being cuckolded. He didn’t have three small kids and a ton invested. The guy you were 17 years ago was care-free and didn’t know the object of his affection would betray him. You cannot be that guy. You’re THIS guy today, a man who is being cheated on and having his family life threatened. Who is grief-sick and angry and in shock.
You can’t spackle yourself away. You can find your strength and step away from this madness, or you can suck up to it. I strongly suggest that you not devalue yourself. She’s devalued you enough already.
I’m thinking I may want to reconcile because it may be best for our children and we may even have a stronger relationship than when we first got married
You’re drinking deep from the RIC Kool-aid. This blog is full of rueful warnings of what happens when you model dysfunction and Stay for the Children.
we may even have a stronger relationship than when we first got married if we can start communicating more and change some of our behaviors
Your communication styles DID NOT CAUSE HER TO CHEAT.
Her ENTITLEMENT did that.
It’s not an “our” behavior problem. It’s a “her” behavior problem.
I want to be with someone who loves and respects me
You’re not with someone who loves or respects you. How do I know? By the way she is treating you.
I’m sorry. I think you should see a lawyer not a marriage counselor.