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Ready2Change, SteveLW, toughtimes180, Traveler
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Original Post (Thread Starter)
by PeterB
Starting new thread after 100 posts. Old threads:
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by kml
I got tested and everything is fine.

Just a medical reality check - IF she had acquired an STD, hasn't had further contact with OM, and you tested once and were negative - that STILL doesn't mean she couldn't give you an STD. No STD is 100% transmissible in any one sexual contact. So until SHE has been tested, you still might be risking contracting an STD from her. Some (like herpes and HIV) may be asymptomatic. So I would recommend, from a strictly medical point of view, that you should not have unprotected sex with her without HER getting tested first.
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by Valeska19
Originally Posted by PeterB
I got tested and everything is fine. Just to reiterate, she has not been physical in the last 4 months. Her EA+PA started when she had a short duration travel and has not met him since. I am 100% sure that if OM was a short distance away, she would have separated (if not D by now) and started living in with him. I am sure she has been sexually active over the phone in the past (based on observed suspicious behavior). Currently I think she speaks to him only occasionally and she is much more into him than he is into her (he is single, probably lives a promiscuous life and she knows it).

You just can't be sure of this. The best way to move forward is to assume that she is and to protect yourself.
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by LH19
Sorry things seemed to have turned for the worse for you. When people get into affairs, it's a very stark mixed bag of feelings. For one, getting loads of positive attention from a member of the opposite sex is intoxicating, it's really like a drug. Then, there's the accompanying feeling of guilt knowing that they are doing something wrong.

Rather than get angry at themselves, they think "why am I feeling guilty? It's because of HIM, HE'S making me feel guilty"

Then, you become the bad guy, and they look to reinforce their argument that "you are making them do this" by searching for any negative things that you do, re-writing your history so it was always bad, etc. etc. etc.

It's a very predictable and repeatable pattern unfortunately, and the things your wife is saying and how she is acting are no different.

She feels guilty about her A is yet another reason she resents you, so anything you do to guilt her, shame her, or make her responsible for your sadness is going to increase her guilt and therefore increase her resentment.

Your best bet is to go the opposite direction and give her more space than she wants. The DB prescription is (1) 180: whatever she assumes she knows about you, demonstrate that it's not true. If you used to get angry and honk in traffic, don't do that even in the worst scenario, etc. (2) Get a Life: go out and do things with other people and enjoy your life, establish new relationships, (3) Act as If: Act as if everything is 100% awesome in your life.

There is NOTHING you can do about her affair partner or what she's going to do next. You can only control what you're going to do next.

People often fear that if they go in the other direction, are they telling their partner they don't care, or giving their tacit approval for the affair to continue, or how will they demonstrate that they're different if the other person doesn't see them, etc. etc.

The answer to all of that is "NO" -- the answer is to give space, not pursue, and all it means is that you're giving space. There's nothing else to read into it.

Often we get caught up on what we should and shouldn't be doing, but the important thing is not the what, but the how, or what your demeanor is like.

You need to "open the cage door" as it were, and what that means is that you need to completely let her off the hook in terms of influencing your feelings.

If she knows that you are "okay" no matter what she does, then she is free to deal with her own feelings and work things out for herself.

If she's constantly aware that her actions and her decisions are making you sad/angsty/mad/etc. then she will wear that feeling like a yoke of oppression and her main focus will be getting away from it.

Talking about the affair is a bad idea. The thing is you don't *have* to do any of that. In fact you shouldn't. That's the key.

Prepare yourself for the fact that you're unlikely to ever get any remorse or any type of apology.

You are right that it [censored], and I'm glad you're angry about it, that's part of processing all of this. Allow yourself to feel all of it and don't worry about it for a minute.

Realistically someone having an affair like this is usually a "last straw" versus a spur of the moment decision. In most relationships needs don't get met, resentments build up, and just pile up over time. When you're living in the same space there's a lot of motivation to compromise and keep the peace, but usually under the surface there's stuff brewing that isn't getting discussed, usually because both people convince themselves that it's just a temporary issue and will go away on its own.

I read somewhere that for people in a relationship to characterize it as "happy", positive interactions need to outweigh negative ones by a ratio of 7:1. For every one time you come away from an exchange annoyed, you have to come away from seven others feeling good. That's a pretty difficult thing to achieve for most people. If you're shy of that, the resentment snowball is growing.

An affair is escapism for sure, and its usually the result of a chance opportunity, or a thousand micro-escalations that happened without any forethought. What it's really a symptom of, however, is conflict avoidance.

For a relationship to be successful both people need to be willing to blow it up on occasion, argue it out and be prepared to walk if a compromise can't be reached. That takes a lot of strength and self-confidence. For more often people stuff it down and pave over it and eventually you're sitting on a volcano that's ready to blow.

Point is, regardless of the affair one or both of you weren't happy. Usually its just a matter of timing in terms of who pulls the rip cord first.

That's why it's now important to separate the desire for the person, from the desire for resumption of control, stability, and positive validation. Your brain is telling you that getting W back will restore these things, but it won't.

So ask yourself, what do you want and why do you want it?
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by BL42
My personal opinion is do not go out of your way to reach out to congratulate the family member. If you were in a situation in which you and that person were present and the topic came up a mannerly "congrats" would be appropriate, but there's no need to artificially reach out to someone you know has been deceitful.

I tried to "play nice" / "pretend nothing was going on" with my ExW and her family during IHS and a lot of good that did. Looking back it would've probably been better just to be straightforward and honest about the situation.
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by PeterB
Things are as 'usual'. Looks like she continues to be in two minds but just the existence of a mind that might make her stay, also leads to a purposefully maintained equal and opposite mind. The former is unconsciousness and rather inconvenient for her, being that she cheated, has revised our MR beyond recognition and mercilessly trashed me in front of the people who matter to her now.

She still snaps at non-issues and her reactions are strongly negative when I have to request her to do something differently for our son (say, need to feed dinner early today because of such & such. Note that dinner is generally her responsibility except when she can't). There is no attempt whatsoever to understand my reasoning or to even communicate reasonably if she does not agree.

Yesterday morning he woke up early and woke her up, so she was in a surly mood, and unsurprisingly launched cutting comments on me during breakfast. Eg: That I'm sleeping well, while she is not. She actually knows that I'm not sleeping well. I average 5 hrs and on the best of nights, I get 6 hrs of sleep as I have had sleep problems since last year and have always been a very light sleeper. Another example I remember: That we should separate, and she will keep him 3 nights a week.

She continues to ignore the time I spend on him and in spite of obvious evidence, pretty much continues to think that she does everything for him and I do not do anything (including spending 1x1 time with him). I take him to the playground 3-4 times a week but when the need arises, she diminishes that by saying that taking him to the park is a joke. Even here she actually knows that I have been systematically working on his gross motor skills in the playground and playground is a place that he really enjoys, and it is one of the few situations where he demonstrates some appropriate play skills (his general play skills are quite underdeveloped atm).

I am happy with my responses and behavior at home. I have not got even a little angry and not even mildly argued in any situation. But also making sure that I am not a door mat. GAL is going quite fine and feel quite motivated on several things. I am trying to maintain once a week meeting with friends and while it is not fully realized, success rate is improving.

Last but not the least: she is telling me that she wants to travel to her hometown and will likely do so in August. I understand that there is a good chance this bit of travel will end our M, but I am relatively calm. I have decided I will not come in the way of her travel at all. However, I feel I need to know if she PAs over there or even meets the OM (He does not live in her hometown, but they are from the same town. Obviously, if they want to fu*k they will meet there). Any comments/advice regarding this development will be really appreciated.
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by Thornton
Man that’s tough to read, Peter.

Bottom line is a woman cannot love a man she doesn’t respect and clearly she’s not being respectful. I don’t think she has any fear of losing you because you tolerate her continual abuse and sh!tty attitude.

I’m going reiterate my previous message to you, call her bluff.

If she wants out so bad, ask her to leave and help her pack. And if she wants to meet up with the OM, then use that as fuel to propel yourself into a badass new life without her.

There has to come a time where you draw a line in the sand for your own self respect.
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by LH19

So I disagree with the last poster that a PA is a cheeseless tunnel for you if it is a true boundary for you. I believe you that if she PAs again you are done. The only thing you need to do is to make it clear, solid, boundaries and being hard-core about what you want and need. People respond to that. Being an emotional chameleon, "trying" to be detached doesn't work. Set boundaries, set ultimatums. This is hard, but, it helps avoid all the back and forth. Does she want to be married to you or not? Thus far she said she wants a separation or a divorce. Act on that. If you want something else, state it. You can say, "If you want to work on this marriage, fine, if you don't, I have some decisions to make in the next few weeks." Strength and clarity are attractive.
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