I've read several of the agonizing stories and many that have given me hope over the past few months. I feel it's the right time for me to join this community, share my story, and obtain support from the amazing group of people here. I'll break the background up into monthly increments as there is quite a bit to digest. Just to preface, I am doing what I can to change myself, avoid divorce, and start a new marriage with my W.
My life with my W seemed to be going along fine. We met in college, had been married for 14 years and known each other 18 years. We were in a state of relationship comfort and mostly focusing on our two kids S/8 and D/4. There were not many arguments, certainly nothing that seemed out of the ordinary or severe. However, we weren't doing much as a couple since the kids dominated our time. Although we traveled regularly prior to becoming parents, we were generally homebodies that didn't go out often on dates. That seemed to be fine for both of us as we enjoyed each other's company when we were together, were intimate regularly, and we had built a great life.
In late October 2018, my W told me she was unhappy with our sex life and reluctantly told me how she wish it could be different similar to some romance novel fantasies she had become fond of. The next week, we took a week long family cruise with our kids and she was cold and distant for much of it. We were intimate once during the cruise and it didn't seem to be good for either of us. This was the last time she really showed any physical affection towards me up until this post. Upon leaving the ship and driving home, my W was texting the entire 2 hour drive. I later found out she was texting her new best friend that was going through a divorce and a therapist that she had been seeing for several months. Two days later on the evening of 11/6/2018, my wife brought me a glass of wine and then hit me with, at the time, the biggest shock of my life, BOMB DROP!!! She gave me a letter that expressed her unhappiness with me, identified many of my shortcomings in our relationship, and alluded that she didn't know if we could go back to a starting place. Although, it didn't state that she wanted the Big D. I remained calm and after a few minutes and reading the letter again, it hit me. It was like an epiphany where I finally saw it, understood how she was driven away, and acknowledged everything. At that moment I committed to changing myself forever, for her, for my family, for those close to me, and most importantly, for myself.
We talked for a few hours and she said that over the past 4 months she had stepped back to observe us and everything started to crystallize to her. She felt that she could have a chance of finding happiness and being her own person if I was out of her life. She told me she had been seeing an IC that told her I was overly controlling. I now understand why she felt this way after spending the past few months learning more about controlling behavior. I later learned that a co-worker had started communicating with her regularly over the course of the year and things started to heat up in August when he asked her out. This was an EA in which he complimented her intellect, beauty, and sense of humor. All of which she possesses and to a high degree. My W is highly attractive and I can certainly understand why others would want to pursue her.
Over the next few days after BD, I sent her text messages trying to show her how much she meant to me and how great our life can be together going forward. She was cordial in her responses and said this whole situation makes me sad. I had previous plans to go out of town with friends for the weekend and it was utter misery. During that time, I wrote my own letter that acknowledged how I had failed her in our marriage, apologized for everything, and laid out how I planned for things to be different. She read it when I got home but did not seem overly taken by the content. She said several things in the letter were good for me, but too late for her and don't change her feelings or decisions. I asked if she had made a decision and she said yes, she wanted to end our marriage and be independent. She said she had no feelings left for me and feels indifferent. She said her lack of anger is a sign that she doesn't care anymore.
She asked that I stay in the guest bedroom. I had a very hard time with this and asked her if I could sleep in our bed as my heart was racing and she calms me, which she did. Over the next several days I continued to text her appreciation, gratitude, and expressions of my love. We talked about our relationship a few more times and I think she had fully expected me to react negative to the BD and become upset and combative. However, my reaction was the opposite and my commitment to change put her in a state of disbelief and I don't think she knew what to do. Her walls were already up and she said I was only making changes out of fear of losing the marriage and how others may think of that.
Over the next few weeks, I made all of the classic mistakes. I kept pursuing and trying to convince her. I reached out to her sister for help and her new BFF that was close to finalizing her divorce. Neither of them offered assistance and said that my wife needed to work through this on her own. I continued telling my wife how things are going to be better and she will have more time to do the things she enjoyed. I was killing myself taking on all of the household chores and going out of my way to do special things for her each day. I was struggling to sleep at night and depression was setting in.
I started monitoring her phone records and text logs to try to find answers or pinpoint where or how this all started. I had never once looked at any of this in all our time together prior to the BD. I did notice a trend that communication with her new best friend that was going a divorce had ramped up significantly. In early the first half of 2018, they averaged about 50 text messages per month. However, in June 2018 when her friend and now ex husband made a decision to dissolve their marriage, texts between the two of them increased to 100 that month, then 300 in July, then 750 in August, 1100 in November, and 2100 in December!! I could only imagine the bashing of husbands and plotting that was going on in these exchanges. We had known the couple that was divorcing as long as my wife and I have been together. I think my wife really bonded with the woman as her mother had passed away within the past year and my wife's mother had past away when she was a freshman in college.
Also, on the phone records was a new number after a night out with her almost divorced friend. I looked up the number and found it was a pickup artist in training that was only 25 years old, my wife was 37 at the time. From now on, he will be referred to as the OM. I confronted her about the number and shared with my W what I had learned about him and she said it was all for fun, he was funny, and that there was nothing to worry about. I kept pressuring her, was clingy and needy. Then, the day after Thanksgiving I saw an email confirmation of a credit card charge for a hotel when my W was going out with her almost divorced friend again. She sent me a text saying "gonna stay here tonight." A few weeks later I discovered this night was a realization of one of my greatest fears in life where my W had a PA with the OM.
I believe her lack of happiness and fulfillment in achieving goals in her life, the EA with her co-worker, comments from her therapist on our relationship, and H bashing with her almost divorced friend were the perfect storm for the BD and catalyst to become a WW.
At this time, I was just starting to learn about MLC and had not connected the dots yet. That about sums up November 2018. On to next post...
Me:41 W:39 S:9 D:6 T:20 M:16 PA:8/22/18, BD:11/6/18 PA discovery & IHS:12/3/18, W moves:4/2/19 R’ville:9/27/19, I give D docs:3/1/20 W home:4/5/20 (due to CV-19), W NC w/OM:4/13/20 6/1/20