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Old 6th January 2013, 04:55 PM   #1
snowmike
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My wife had an 18 month affair

Glad to find this place as I need help and advice!
I discovered 5 weeks ago my wife has had an 18 month affair! I am gutted. We have been married 28 years and have 3 grown up sons, 2 still living at home. She said she loves him and that our marriage had got into a rut 10 years ago because I started to ignore her and was more interested in spending my evenings in front of a computer than being with her. This is true to a fair degree and now I deeply regret what I have done. She says she tried to talk to me a number of times about the problem (which she did), but things just drifted along. I do have a lot of interests that I follow on-line. All of them non- relationship(or sex) based.
She started going line-dancing and at the start I used to go along to the social nights (every Friday nioght and some Saturday nights) and then it became clear I was no longer welcome to come - she said she was out with the girls..... I knew she enjoyed it very much, so I just let if go. If only I had realised what was going on.
To cut a long story short we talked all Sunday night after I caught her on a mobile phone call to him and she spent the next day deciding what she was going to do.
I held out an olive branch and said I wanted to rebuild the marriage (I still love her) provided she ended all contact. She met up with him the next night and said she ended it. But no, 10 days later I found a pay-as-you-go mobile being used to communicate with him. I gave her a final chance and again she met up with him and said it had been ended for good. I think it has, but I am having to watch her like a hawk. I spent an hour comforting her when she got him that second night as she cried after ending it with him. Needless to say I have lost all trust in my wife and my emotions are all over the place. Living hell.....
My problem is that she says she is no longer in love with me but she is giving our marriage a final go to see if it can work. She has also said in one of our discussions that when she looks into the future for us, things look bleak.
She shows me no affection and says that she can't be luvy-duvy with me because she doesn't feel that way. She just says she is prepared to give it a few months to see if those feelings come back. I am finding this extremely hard to deal with as I want to restart the affection that I so badly miss. I am spending all my free time with her and have hardly touched the computer for the last 5 weeks, nor do I want to, but now she says I am smothering her. She seems to want the opposite to me (I just want to cuddle her and hold her and hug her etc. to tell her how much I love her) and says she needs some space and time to see if things start to get better between us.
We have had a lot of straight talking and I have said a lots of stuff (some things to hurt her) based on how hurt I continue to feel. She understands this, but when I question her commitment or lack of it, she just says she is spending time with me and that's as far as it can go at the moment and she hopes time may heal things.
I am still very hurt and finding it hard to cope with the way things are. I am comitted to trying to repair our marriage and have told her this repeatedly, but to be honest, somehow I feel as if I am the one who has had the affair! I really don't understand why she is doing practically nothing to make amends and to try to make things better. She knows I am craving affaction, closeness and intimacy and she can barely bring herself to give me the ocassional hug. Eben an occasional hand on the shoulder or arm would help and I don't even get that. I just don't know how to keep going. I feel as if my heart has been broken and have told her that.
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Old 6th January 2013, 06:44 PM   #2
snowmike
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Re: My wife had an 18 month affair

I should add that her 87 year old mother is in hospital at the moment and may pass away at any time. She is visiting every afternoon and evening, so she is having a very tough time. I didn't pick this timing, or the situation I/we find ourselves in.

I told her a week ago that if she didn't make more effort to try and make things better then I felt I couldn't continue to push water up hill and it would be best if we call it a day. Yesterday morning we talked again and she basically said if I wanted to call it a day, then so be it. Yet again I eventually relented and said that I would try to back off to give her some space.

The hurt and pain I feel are almost unbearable at times - this is so damn hard.......
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Old 6th January 2013, 08:24 PM   #3
Forever
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Re: My wife had an 18 month affair

I am so sorry that you find yourself in this...your marriage is indeed in deep deep trouble.

It is highly unlikely that she will cut off contact with the OM. She will instead, "appear" to wait and see if she can get her feelings back for you while still "holding him at bay"...but if she does not start showing you some obvious affection (her initiative) within a month or so, then her intentions are fake. An 18 month affair is nothing to wink at...if it had been a one night stand that she had gotten herself into while drunk, or something relatively new...and if she had repented of that with great remorse, you may have had a chance. But she lied to you and gotten another mobile to keep in contact...which means that you will have to be the "perpetual babysitter in earnest" for all her activities...This is no way to live for either of you.

Her declaration of being in love with him probably means that this is really over...just have to work out the mechanics of the split while she waits for her mother to pass. A woman just does not give up a relationship for a man she truly loves for one that she does not...and even if she did, that does not mean she can get her heart jump started for you again. She may simply choose to move on, rekindle contact with him, or go for someone else if that guy took her "break up" seriously...he may have especially if he is married too.

She will likely want to stay there with you while her mother waxes and wanes...then probably will announce that "this is not working out". She is unable to give you the affection and love which might have made a difference...because her heart has already "flat lined".

I strongly would warn you against "smothering" her...making declarations of your undying love, approaching her for affection, showing any despair or grief, or trying to placate her in any way. Men who grovel are such a turn off...she is well aware by now about how you feel, so leave it at that and save your displays of affections for someone who can better appreciate it. Right now she cannot appreciate ANYTHING...whether groveling or being stoic...so keep your dignity intact and let this unfold on her terms.

She is obviously unrepentant...so unless she was, you being a drip around her will not win her, but will instead, give her the idea that she can then take advantage of you for future plans and needs. Going along with any of your demands regarding ending that relationship will only serve as a temporary ploy to secure her enough time to do what she really wants to do.

So sorry.

Last edited by Forever; 6th January 2013 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 7th January 2013, 09:38 AM   #4
Raymond
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Re: My wife had an 18 month affair

I think she is grieving for the relationship and cannot suddenly switch off and rebuild the marriage. However she has cut off the relationship so there is a bit of honour there. I think you did well to insist she break it off as a marriage cannot thrive in that situation. You will have to see what happens when she has got over this long term affair. She probably justified it on the basis of your lack of attention.

I think it is too early to say the marriage is finished. She seems to be giving it some kind of go but needs grieving time for it, not to mention her mothers illness. You need all the wisdom you can get at this time. If she contacts him again then I don't see much hope.
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Old 7th January 2013, 10:41 AM   #5
snowmike
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Re: My wife had an 18 month affair

Thank you both so much for your replies.
I have not felt able to discuss this with anybody for obvious reasons. My wife is not a bad person in any way, but she has done something extremely hurtfull and has displayed her selfish tendancies very clearly.
Forever - thanks for your brutal honesty and for saying it how you see it - you may well be right no matter how much it scares me. I take on board everything you say and have already stopped the smothering and declarations etc. Even though I don't feel like it, I need to stay cool and keep my feelings hidden inside.
Raymond - she definitely justified it on my lack of attention, plus she is going through the monopause which may be having an impact as well. I can't turn back time but I can try to save whatever is left and try to rebuild even if there is only a small chance this might work. The mechanism used to try and achieve this is what is all important now.
She has said she is with me and not with him and that is where we are at, when I have asked about her committment to rebuilding.
Yes, I think she is trying to give it a chance, no matter how feeble it seems to me.
It frustrates me that she always seems to be in the driving seat, but I think I just have to accept that for the time being. Maybe time will help her to get over him and come back to me? I know this may be grasping at straws, but that is what I have decided to do, so will make my best attempt to rebuild.
If she contacts him again, it will be over and I will not offer any more olive branches. She knows this in no uncertain terms. I still have a little dignity left (not much and I hate that fact).
Forever, I now realise I have gone about things in the wrong way over the last 5 weeks - thanks for making this clear.
Any more advice on how best to move forward in improving things will be much appreciated.
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Old 7th January 2013, 12:01 PM   #6
WishfulThinking
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Re: My wife had an 18 month affair

Can I just ask Mike what situation the other man is in..is he married, divorced, separated?

Sorry, I can't offer much help but did wonder if his availability could play a part in whether she stays or goes.
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Old 7th January 2013, 12:33 PM   #7
snowmike
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Re: My wife had an 18 month affair

He is married (unhappily) with three teenage daughters - so my wife tells me.
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Old 7th January 2013, 02:59 PM   #8
Raymond
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Re: My wife had an 18 month affair

Yes Forever is right. You musn't grovel. She is in the wrong and has comitted adultery. One would like to see a bit more repentance there but maybe that will come in time. If she is not sorry about it it is hard to say where things will go.

You have done well to lay down the facts to her in the sense that if she contacts him that is it. If she is going to live with you she must honour your principles. Hopefully she can reflect on this over the coming weeks and come to a reasonable decision about working on the marriage. Seeing what turns up will be a selfish decision as it takes two to work on a marriage.
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Old 7th January 2013, 04:40 PM   #9
Forever
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Re: My wife had an 18 month affair

Ah, he is married. Well, there may be a bit of hope then. If he had been fully available, she would have been gone by now...but because he is married and has to handle his outside "activities" in stealth, they simply cannot just go running off into the sunset together. So what to do now?

Well the trouble comes into play in that her grieving will be in concert with two issues...her mother and the OM. You wont know which one she is crying for at any given time. I think as long as the two of you still share the same marital bed (which allows for close proximity if she wants to initiate any touch), and you allow her some time appropriate for her "loss" and do not find that she is going out and meeting up with him (instead of visiting her mother)...then your patience might help.

Just go about your business as usual...be kind to her, but do not make the initiative for touch unless she is breaking down and it seems appropriate. If she pulls away, so be it. If the day comes that she initiates touch on some level, then do not think that it means a green light for sex (sorry)...she may just be experimenting with her feelings to see if it seems "natural" to her. Let her call that shot if and when she is ready.

Do not talk about the affair any more unless SHE brings it up. That wont help. If you need to talk, you can confide in a friend or do it here. Stay off the computer as much as possible around her...she obviously saw that as YOUR "affair" and that is when she felt cold and left out of what she needed to get out of the marriage.

Menopause huh? That in itself can throw a woman into an emotional tailspin too. I went through it in a breeze...but was told that I am the exception rather than the rule. You can compliment her when she wears something extra nice, puts on a nice perfume, cooks a great dinner, or otherwise does something which is pleasing to you...keep it simple, not overdoing it. Once in a while, call her and ask her if she wants you to bring home dinner rather than having her cook...or do the cooking yourself (be a klutz in the kitchen so she will feel compelled to jump in and help you) . Do a load of laundry, or clean the bathroom without announcing anything. Dont just sit there every evening staring at her. If she asks why, tell her that you understand that she may be "feeling under the weather"...that's all. These little things will help...and little is a start.

The biggest problem I see here is that you will still want to keep tabs on where she is going and who she is contacting. THAT is a really big problem because she will resent it even though she earned it (in spades). My advice is not to do it. If she does not warm up to you, that is enough for you to guage where her heart is, and/or what she is likely doing. I would give it a couple of months simply because of the emotional mess she is in regarding her mother, menopause, and of course, "breaking it off" with the OM. Do you ever go with her to visit her mother? If not, WHY? That relationship is coming to an end too (by death) and not showing a fair amount of support will hurt her deeply if she really cares about her mother.

How did you find out about her affair?

Last edited by Forever; 7th January 2013 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 7th January 2013, 10:00 PM   #10
snowmike
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Re: My wife had an 18 month affair

I suspected it for many different reasons and bought an audio recorder and stuck it in her car - very first day of recording I got the shock of my life. I listened to it once and haven't been able to brin myself to listen to the 20 minute mobile call with him again.

I have only visited the hospital once with her. Unfortunately her mother has had advanced alzheimers for a year now and doesn't even know who I am. She just about recognises her daughter and son. Life can be real sh1t.

Thanks for your further comments Forever and Raymond - the support is much appreciated and is helping.
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Old 8th January 2013, 12:15 AM   #11
Forever
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Re: My wife had an 18 month affair

Well, it must be very difficult for your wife to have to visit her mother alone. Even if she does not recognize you...you should be there for your wife...that's what we do when we love someone, we support them any way we can, even if we do not feel their level of pain ourselves.

Does she know that you recorded her conversation?

Last edited by Forever; 8th January 2013 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 8th January 2013, 08:49 AM   #12
snowmike
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Re: My wife had an 18 month affair

Yes she thinks I hacked her phone - I have not revealed my source.

I was planning to visit this afternoon while my wife is there (hospital). Her brother may be there. I have not seen him since she told him she met somebody and we are trying to save our marriage.

But yesterday she had a row with me, as she discovered a pen that records video/sound in her bedroom. She told me this was going one step to far and that she has feelings too. I couldn't hack this and replied that she had completely ignored my feelings for 18 fecking months!! It wasn't a good night. She moved into a separate bedroom. So I am at a bit of a low ebb this morning.

Last edited by snowmike; 8th January 2013 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 8th January 2013, 01:18 PM   #13
Raymond
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Re: My wife had an 18 month affair

I can understand her disgust Mike if you are putting recording devices in her bedroom. The affair was very wrong and setting up a recording in the car revealed the affair. To carry on in this vein however can be spying and I am not convinced it is the correct thing to do. I would apologise for it. Yes she has done a lot of harm but you still need to apologise when you get it wrong.

What she could do is make herself acountable for her movements to you but you need permission for that. That's if she wanted to rebuild the lost trust. I cannot see her wanting to do that just yet though.
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Old 8th January 2013, 01:50 PM   #14
snowmike
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Re: My wife had an 18 month affair

Without doing that I would not have discovered she was continuing the affair with another mobile after she had told me she had ended it! She also told me she had not met him since ending it the first time, yet she had at least once to receive the mobile which he provided!

Even if she agreed to account for her movements, I have no trust that she is not continuing to lie to me. In fact I wonder am I beginning to become a bit paranoid about it....

It is a sh1t situation and as Forever said, I feel like a perpetual babysitter. I have explained to her that I didn't want this, but she has forced me into it.

I plan to turn up at the hospital this afternoon anyway. I will apologise then for the video pen if I get the right moment. She doesn't really know what the pen is, so I will make out it was just recording sound.

I have just received two books I ordered - "Relate Guide to Staying Together" and "How can I ever Trust you again - Infidelity from Discovery to Recovery in Seven Steps". I text her to say they had arrived but have (pointedly) had no reply. A third book "I love you but I am not in Love with you" - which she has said to me twice now - is due to arrive tomorrow.

She is very reluctant to go to counselling (Relate in the UK) as she says she knows far more about her marriage then anybody else and she basically doesn't think anybody can tell her anything about relationships that she doesn't already know. That is why I ordered the books.
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Old 9th January 2013, 08:35 AM   #15
Raymond
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Re: My wife had an 18 month affair

I can fully see your point Snowmike in that she was untrustworthy. At the same time however I can see how that a bugging device in her bedroom would really rile her.

Basically the trust has been lost but you can only go so far with listening devices if you are trying to restore your marriage.

Really it is for her to restore your trust in her. If she won't do this one has to really question if she is even interested in the survival of the marriage. Trying to make up to her too much might also be counter productive I feel as you could be in danger of being a doormat if she doesn't really care.

It might be a case of plugging the reason why she had the affair in the first place if there was a genuine reason although nothing ever justifies an affair.
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