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My W is going through a midlife crisis affair (according to my personal therapist and our couple's therapist). I would appreciate any advice anyone could give.

Here's our story (sorry, it's long):

My W has been dealing with terrible depression for the past two years. Right before Covid hit, she enrolled in group therapy for depression that lasted a few weeks. They prescribed her with medication that seemed to help. Because of Covid, we both had to work from home, which put more strain on her (she loves working/talking with people). She also doesn't like her job so we've been saving for her to go back to school. Around May, my W started talking to an old friend. I didn't know at the time, but she used to like him in college but they never dated. He would string her along but never date because she was still a virgin. He would sleep with other people and talk about it. She obsessed about him for years after he left town without my knowledge.

We were planning on having kids and she kept telling me she wanted to run away. I would tell her kids can wait and we didn't even need to have any if she didn't want to. Early October, my W went to visit friends to see what it would be like to have kids. When she came back, She told me she had fallen for the AP. Keeping my cool, I asked if my W what were the problems in our relationship and if she wanted to work on them. She said she wanted to work on us. I asked her to stop communicating with the AP, which she agreed to. We scheduled a couple's intensive. The weeks before the intensive, our relationship was stronger than ever. We communicated on a different level, sex was great, we spent more time together talking. A few days before the intensive, the AP reached out and chased her. She told me but I could tell things were different.

During the couple's intensive, my W showed serious signs of ambivalence towards our relationship. The therapist requested my W cut off all communication with the AP for 12 weeks to see if we could work on our relationship. For two weeks, my W was depressed and cried. She started to perk up... but I soon learned it was because she started to talk with the AP again. I asked her to go stay at a friend if she was unwilling to work on the marriage.

Since then, she's put all of her effort into the new relationship. We talked once when she came to get her stuff. I asked how my W was doing and she started to cry. She said she was confused. All I could do is say I understood.

Our marriage counselor told us he wouldn't work with us as long as my W continued the affair. He offered one follow up, which happened yesterday. My W attacked me for not talking with her, being short in our communication. My W said I was making things difficult by not responding to her immediately. She said our relationship problems were now issues for our entire 9 years together (originally the last year). I hadn't slept in days so I was very defensive (I know that's a no no).

My therapist told me the years of depression, baggage she's never worked on with her family (father and religious baggage), baggage with the old lover (now AP), her job, Covid, etc. caused her to have an early midlife crisis. She reverted back to her college years and attached her happiness with this guy from college. Keep in mind, this guy was a terrible person to her, has never had a LT relationship, and is a struggling artist. Her emotional relationship has now become physical. I'm starting to worry there's nothing left I can do. I've kept her from living the original life she used to have. I'm not letting her have her cake and eat it. I've offered her a path back. She just seems hateful and mean towards me. My W has been emotionless the entire ride as if she's never loved me. She seems like a completely different person. I'm not saying we didn't have problems in our marriage. We both avoided them but they are fixable problems. I love her and would regret moving on to find out she was just in an affair fog. Any advice would be appreciated.

I've been trying to be short in our conversations. I haven't contacted her unless we had to talk about finances. I typically don't respond or call her back immediately (although, I noticed she does). I started working out more, for me and my sanity, and spending every night with friends or family.

Note: I ordered The Divorce Remedy. Can't wait to read.

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M: 35 W:31
T: 9 M: 2.5
Separated: 1 month
DDay: 2 months


M: 35 W:31
T: 9 M: 2.5
Separated: 1 month
DDay: 2 months
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Welcome! I am pasting in Cadet's Welcome posting. Also, you may want to visit the MLC Forum as well.

Welcome to the board

Sorry you are here but you will meet some wonderful people here and get some great advice.

Yes first thing you should do is be sure to read the Divorce Remedy (DR) book by MWD
http://www.mcssl.com/store/mwdtc2014/
http://divorcebusting.com/sample_book_chapters.htm

and Michele's articles
http://www.divorcebusting.com/articles.htm

You may be on moderation now, post in small frequent replies and stay on this thread until you reach 100 posts
(for your thread, you can also post on other peoples threads to give support).
Especially on this Newcomers forum, where the posting activity is very active,
and your posts can quickly fall to the bottom of the page or even several pages down.
Keep journaling and asking questions - people will come!
Most important - POST!

Get out and Get a Life (GAL).

DETACH.

Believe none of what he or she says and half of what he/she does.

Have NO EXPECTATIONS.

Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.

Take the parts of this advice that you need and don't worry if I have repeated something that you have already done.

Here are a few links to threads that will help you immensely:

I would start with Sandi's Rules
A list of dos and don'ts for the LBS (left behind spouse)
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2553072#Post2553072

Going Dark
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=50956#Post5095

Detachment thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2538414#Post2538414

Validation Cheat Sheet: Techniques and tips on how to validate (showing your walk away spouse (WAS) that you recognize and accept his or her opinions as valid, even if you do not agree with them)
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2457566#Post2457566

Boundaries Cheat Sheet
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2536096#Post2536096

Abbreviations
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2553153#Post2553153

For Newcomer LBH with a Wayward Wife by sandi2
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2545554#Post2545554

Resource thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forum...ain=57819&Number=2578224#Post2578224

Stages of the LBS
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1964990&page=1

Validation
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=191764#Post191764

Pursuit and Distance
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2483574#Post2483574

The Lighthouse Story
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2484619#Post2484619

Your H or W is giving you a GIFT.
THE GIFT OF TIME.
USE it wisely.

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon


Sit quietly, the answers will reveal themselves when you least expect them to.
The past is gone, the present is a gift and you need to focus on today, allow the future to reveal itself when it is ready.
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Sorry you're here, unfortunately and fortunately we've read so many similar stories.

It's hard, but detach from her. Don't surrender any of your power to her. She is making up hurtful things bc witnesses her pain and guilt. She is not and will not be the same person ever again. Accept that truth, and move forward with a positive attitude.

Continue to GAL and see the therapist, he sounds like a winner. Work on you. Keep comms with her short and to the point, and don't respond to questions that aren't pertinent such as "How are you feeling ". She's not your woman anymore and you need to keep a clean boundary. Remove her path home and let her feel you going your own way with confidence that no matter how bad the circumstances, you will fight on and prevail.

Continue working on yourself as a man. Work hard, grow mentally, GAL. You seem strong already. Good luck.


H 34
W 29
BD 3/12/18
Divorce Busted Spring 19

It is not things that bother us, but the stories we tell ourselves about things.
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Hybrid, call your Dr ASAP to get you something to help you sleep. You cannot go days without sleep. You cannot function or process anything on no sleep. I know, I was there.


Me 57/W 53, M 23, T 27

D21/D17

BDay 6/29/20, ILYBINILWY

IHS 10/5/2020
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hybrid Offline OP
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Thanks for the response ovrrnbw. I definitely understand my W is not the same person anymore. She's made that abundantly clear. I mostly hope she comes back. I heard stories of couples pulling through this and creating a stronger MR. My W sat on a friend's couch alone on Thanksgiving and will be alone for Christmas. It's excruciating knowing she'll be alone. My Therapist said to not invite her.

I'm definitely trying to work on myself but it's been a struggle for sure. I can't sleep or stop thinking about her. The lack of comms has definitely made her lash out more when we do talk. I'm almost worried It's pushing her farther away. I'll continue down this path with hope and work on me.


M: 35 W:31
T: 9 M: 2.5
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DDay: 2 months
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hybrid Offline OP
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NickWing, my friends and family all gave the same advice. I'll definitely reach out to my Dr. Thanks for the advice.


M: 35 W:31
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DDay: 2 months
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Originally Posted by hybrid
....I would appreciate any advice anyone could give... Her emotional relationship has now become physical. I'm starting to worry there's nothing left I can do
We can't control other people. We can just control how we respond and interact with them.

Right now, this is about you and your journey forward without her. We have all been where you are. We have seen some save their marriages, and some that don't. After going through this process, we come out better versions of our true selves.

You will find great poeple here that can support you through this difficult time of your life. Keep posting and others will give you there advise and understanding.


I wish you well


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
Amor Fati
Link to quotes: https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2879712
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hybrid, welcome and sorry you are going through this. I know it is probably the worst thing you've ever dealt with. However, we have a lots of experience in dealing with WAS/WSs on this forum, so you came to a good place. Understand that the feedback and advice can be blunt at times, but that is for your own good. Please remember, the people that try to help are doing it for no other reason than to try and help. Plus, most of us have been there!

Get DR and read it. You did the right thing asking her to leave. You are doing the right thing by not being at her beck and call. You need to focus on you, take all focus off of her. GAL like a madman. Keep working on you (180s and self-improvements) and detach and learn to be happy by yourself.

By the way this whole paragraph:

Originally Posted by hybrid
My therapist told me the years of depression, baggage she's never worked on with her family (father and religious baggage), baggage with the old lover (now AP), her job, Covid, etc. caused her to have an early midlife crisis. She reverted back to her college years and attached her happiness with this guy from college. Keep in mind, this guy was a terrible person to her, has never had a LT relationship, and is a struggling artist. Her emotional relationship has now become physical. I'm starting to worry there's nothing left I can do. I've kept her from living the original life she used to have. I'm not letting her have her cake and eat it. I've offered her a path back. She just seems hateful and mean towards me. My W has been emotionless the entire ride as if she's never loved me. She seems like a completely different person. I'm not saying we didn't have problems in our marriage. We both avoided them but they are fixable problems. I love her and would regret moving on to find out she was just in an affair fog. Any advice would be appreciated.


Look the reasons behind what she is doing isn't important. LBSs, especially we LBHs, think if we can diagnose the problem, then we can fix it. The fact is that the reasons are extremely complex, you'll never fully understand, and most importantly: YOU CANNOT FIX IT.

That last point is important. RIght now you need to be removing all pressure and pursuit. That means zero pressure and no pursuit, period. Remember, focus off of her. Stop trying to save the marriage as it is impossible to do alone. It takes 2 to make a marriage. Unfortunately, it only takes 1 to get a divorce.

This sentence saddens me: "I love her and would regret moving on to find out she was just in an affair fog." If you move on, who cares if she is just in an affair fog. Go read Steve_'s threads. His wife has cheated on him 5 times! SO what if that is just 5 affair fogs? To me it is pretty easy: Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Affair fog. MLC. COVID. Depression. The AP has a magic unit. Her dad was religious (shame on him! -sarcasm-). None of it justifies her running back to an old college flame when things in her marriage got rough. Nothing she could point to in that list or the list you gave in your OP JUSTIFIES sleeping with another man. And that you are willing to chalk that up to "affair" fog and are willing to waltz back in just by saying "I'll work on the marriage" is sad.

Here is the thing. DO NOT let her come back until she is already doing the work to return. The worst thing you can do is, the minute the AP flakes out on her, let her come running back. She needs to earn her way back. That means:

-No contact with AP including a cease and desist letter approved by you sent to him
-FULL TRANSPARENCY. She agrees to a shared location phone app where you can see where she is at all time. She shares all account and PWs with you. You have access to every SM account, email account, online profile etc.
-She agrees to go back to MC and actually work on the marriage. This means doing all of the assigned homework the MC might assign
-She agrees to get into IC to deal with her issues

Anything short of that list and you are setting yourself up for affair fog #2 at some point.in the future. Also, feel free to add anything you want to require to that list! But the point is that she has to be doing the work already to come back!


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
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Steve85, I just read your post after getting another bout of emotion and I got to be honest, it helped. My family and friends are supportive but the bluntness has actually calmed me down (not saying it would work for everyone).

You're right, I DO struggle with thinking I can fix things but ultimately, I can't. I DO try and justify her actions but there is truly nothing that justifies it. My W never even communicated there was a problem. My W can and will do whatever she wants. I usually get overwhelmed when I pay attention to the small details: I've delayed responses but she responds/pickups up immediately (complete change in our dynamic), my W asks if I will be home when she plans to get more of her stuff, etc. It's rough but she's probably trying to string me along just in case. She has been very upset I haven't reached out as much or talked at all about my feelings. I do need to stop focusing on her and start focusing on myself more.

I'll definitely check out Steve_'s threads. I know she's struggling with guilt over the entire thing (her choice) but the H in me is still focusing on wanting her to be happy. Regardless, i hear you about not just accepting her back. There is NO justification for having a relationship with an AP. My gut would be to just welcome her with open arms but the truth is she would probably do it again. I've been the nice guy trying to help her live the best life she could live.

I appreciate your list of requirements if she does come back. I know it's a slim chance it would even happen, but if it does, I'll use that list as a starting point for requirements.

---------------

M: 35 W:31
T: 9 M: 2.5
Separated: 1 month
DDay: 2 months


M: 35 W:31
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DDay: 2 months
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Originally Posted by Steve85

Here is the thing. DO NOT let her come back until she is already doing the work to return. The worst thing you can do is, the minute the AP flakes out on her, let her come running back. She needs to earn her way back. That means:

-No contact with AP including a cease and desist letter approved by you sent to him
-FULL TRANSPARENCY. She agrees to a shared location phone app where you can see where she is at all time. She shares all account and PWs with you. You have access to every SM account, email account, online profile etc.
-She agrees to go back to MC and actually work on the marriage. This means doing all of the assigned homework the MC might assign
-She agrees to get into IC to deal with her issues


To add to this. You make HER create the list. You do not give her your list. You compare her list to yours and if it not up to yours, then "That's a good start, but there is more you will need to do so I can trust you"


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
Amor Fati
Link to quotes: https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2879712
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