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This may not belong here but #439554
10/30/18 10:34 PM
10/30/18 10:34 PM
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Mbossy22 Offline OP
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This is a strange one. I moved out of my house 5 months ago with the intention of it being permanent. My wife was pretty devastated. We’d been together for 18 years. Married for 10. Three kids together. Think we kind of just lost each other because work, kids etc. neglected our relationship.

After a few months I started to let myself feel the loss. I started to realize so much of why things went bad were on me. I used to put most of the blame on my wife. And I also realized we didn’t try before calling it quits.

So about a month ago I asked her to talk and asked her if this is what she really wanted. We decided to get back together. We’re going to marriage counseling. We’re going individually to therapists. We’re talking more than we have in a long time and we’re spending as much time together as we can. It’s been good. We got back the hope we lost and are confident we’ll be able to keep this up and have a better marriage than we did before.

So....before I asked her to get back together I decided I didn’t want to know anything about what went on. We were separated and on our way to divorce. Anyway, a few weeks ago I found out by accident that about two months after I moved out she was using a dating app. Then a month or so later she had sex with someone. Someone she didn’t even know that long. I know this should not be an issue because we were not together. But it’s driving me crazy. Consuming me. At times I feel I think about that and nothing else. She told me that she didn’t think there was a chance we’d get back together. I didn’t want her so she wanted to find someone that did. She said maybe she was trying to prove to herself that she could move on and it may have been a little quick.

I don’t know why I’m so torn up over this. My wife has always been very private and guarded. I don’t know how she could open herself up to someone so quickly. I think they knew each other for like two weeks beforehand.

Anyway, it’s not cheating. I know that. But it feels like a betrayal.

I’m working on letting it go. I know I need to if we’re going to work on us. I love her, always did. Just think I didn’t know HOW to love her.

Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439555
10/30/18 11:05 PM
10/30/18 11:05 PM
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MBY22,
Welcome to MA. smile

Sorry you are going through this turmoil but you are at the right place and it is good you are already seeking good MC/IC support.

I'm in the middle of my work week right now so I don't have a lot of time but wanted to let you know you are in the right place and good posters will come along to listen and help you as needed with out our scope of support.

Please be patient, we are a volunteer group but we are also compassionate with the goal of helping others through experiences like you are going through.

There's more info we need (you can keep it general) but it would help us know how to help you. It may require some additional reading and research.

Reading some other threads may help you understand what you are going through. Your feelings today vs tomorrow may or may not stay the same but the journey will help you know yourself better.

Take care,
Orchid


Orchid
Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439556
10/30/18 11:13 PM
10/30/18 11:13 PM
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Mbossy22 Offline OP
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Thank you for the kind post.

I’m not sure what I need. Maybe if someone in a similar situation has some insight. Maybe if I understood where my wife’s head was at the time I’d be able to process better. I was the one that left. She was pretty bad for the first month and a half.

I just can’t process how this private reserved person could end up in bed with someone so quickly. I haven been single since 2000 so I guess in 2018 people jump into bed on a second date.

I’m not sure what I’m looking for. It just drives me nuts. I write everting down I’m thinking or questions that I have. I really don’t want to know the answers though. Finding out was bad enough.

Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439560
10/31/18 01:31 AM
10/31/18 01:31 AM
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holdingontoit Offline
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Welcome to MA. We are here to help.

You face a difficult decision. You need to forgive her or let her go. You feel like doing neither. Hence the confusion. We understand. Neither is easy to do. Marriage, Long term, is not easy.

You were ready to lose her. Until you realized that meant someone else would have her. Now you realize you don't know how you feel.

Look into your heart. Find the love. Face the fear. If you love her, fight for her. If you are merely afraidl that leaving her means someone else will have her, then let her go.

Only you know how you feel.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439564
10/31/18 03:20 AM
10/31/18 03:20 AM
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NewEveryDay Online
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It was absolutely a betrayal of your marriage vows. But you will meet many here who have successfully recovered their marriage after infidelity. Please take a look at the articles here. Your recovery may be easier than most because she’s not trying to continue to see that man. But your hurt is real and you owe it to yourself to take the steps to grieve mourn and recover.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: This may not belong here but [Re: holdingontoit] #439565
10/31/18 03:23 AM
10/31/18 03:23 AM
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Mby22,

Hold is one of our help posters and his outline is a good place to start. smile

What you need to do first is secure yourself. Learn what your true personal and marital boundaries that works with your personality.

Your wife betrayed your marriage before it was legally separated. What that means in the long run may change your mind from where you are today.

What she did show is how easily she was willing to replace you and that you may not have been aware of. Does that mean she thinks less of you? What do you know how she views about being married to you? Is it an obligation or a relationship?

Would she have eventually have separated if it worked in her favor? Is her favor what she gives more importance than your M and R?

You may feel that you love her now but as you get to know how she really is, you get to revisit that point later down the line.

For now, you need to work on you. When you can read the book Boundaries by Clou and Townsend. His Needs/Her Needs by Harley may help you understand the general info about gender communication (pros and cons).

Ready to start your journey here?

Take care,
Orchid


Orchid
Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439567
10/31/18 12:30 PM
10/31/18 12:30 PM
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catperson Offline
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Originally Posted by Mbossy22
I moved out of my house
Think we kind of just lost each other because work, kids etc. neglected our relationship.

After a few months I started to let myself feel the loss.
After a few months? So I take it for those few months, you were having a grand old time? Did you talk to women? Go on dates? Have sex? After all, you say you didn't 'feel a loss' for several months. That says that you were enjoying yourself. Are you trying to say you were just walking around on clouds simply because you were 'free' from the drudgery of a home and family?

Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439568
10/31/18 12:50 PM
10/31/18 12:50 PM
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catperson Offline
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Originally Posted by Mbossy22


I just can’t process how this private reserved person could end up in bed with someone so quickly.

It's clear that you have put no effort into seeing this whole thing from HER perspective. YOU decided you were bored with your marriage - she was probably fine with it. You probably had been thinking about it for quite some time before you decided to leave. So for all that time that you were feeling unhappy, I'm going to guess that you never told HER that the marriage was stale? To give her a chance to do something about it?

So then YOU dropped a bomb on her that you were unhappy, most likely shocking the hell out of her. Am I right? You said she was devastated

Here's my take: So SHE suddenly finds herself stuck home, alone, with kids, having to plan how to raise them on her own. She knows that men choose women mainly by their looks (we all know that). She knows that she's now nearly 20 years older than when she was last on the market, maybe NOT so attractive anymore cos she'd been focusing on you and the kids instead. So HER prospects for finding another partner are much more limited than YOUR prospects. Add to that, she suddenly has to ask herself what's wrong with her that she isn't enough for you anymore - instant loss of self esteem. Add that to the age issue, the 'baggage' issue (what man wants to date a woman stuck with kids to raise?).

Here's my take: Now you and I know that half the men out there see a newly single woman and think easy pickings to get some sex. I grew up around men. I know. BTDT. So did this guy just hit on her, woo her, to get some easy sex? Not all that unlikely, quite honestly. So she lets herself believe all his bullsh*t, lets him tell her how beautiful she is, how she's the one for him, so she does what probably most women do: give him the sex so she keeps getting the attention. And then she realizes he was using her, she's ashamed she fell for it so easily, her self esteem is even FURTHER in the toilet, you're the only guy she ever wanted but you now hold all the power (stay or go), so she is even MORE at a disadvantage than before, once you 'feel your loss' and give her a call. I'd say her life sucks right about now.

And I'm going to take it a step further. I'm a pretty good judge of personalities based on what - and how - people write. My take is that you've had a pretty great life with this woman, she put you and the kids first, she let the kids' lives take over, as most women do, and you felt left out, not the focus of her attention anymore, so you left to sow your wild oats. It's pretty typical for someone your age. Is that all there is, and all. Also BTDT. So you leave. And in the back of your mind, you know she'll be there, waiting, like she has been all your marriage. You just assumed you had all the power here, you could pick and choose what you wanted, right? Only, you didn't take into account the effect of your betrayal on HER. You didn't see her as a full human being, just part of your life that made you feel good or bad. So when she showed some initiative and did something for herself, you went crazy because this isn't the script you had planned out. This was all supposed to be YOUR plans, your decisions, guiding how the family turned out. And there she went and showed herself to actually be a valuable, desirable woman WITHOUT you. And you just can't take it.

Close?

Re: This may not belong here but [Re: NewEveryDay] #439569
10/31/18 12:52 PM
10/31/18 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by NewEveryDay
It was absolutely a betrayal of your marriage vows. But you will meet many here who have successfully recovered their marriage after infidelity. Please take a look at the articles here. Your recovery may be easier than most because she’s not trying to continue to see that man. But your hurt is real and you owe it to yourself to take the steps to grieve mourn and recover.
NED, you'll notice he hasn't said what HE did while he was 'single.'

Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439572
10/31/18 02:36 PM
10/31/18 02:36 PM
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Mbossy22 Offline OP
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these are all good observations. i wasn't bored with our marriage. both of us just stopped trying. my wife has admitted she was a nasty B. she says it's because she wanted my attention and affection and to for me to want to spend time with her. it was like this bad cycle that neither one of us would break. if i would have pulled my head out of my a$$ i should have spent time with her, paid more attention. if she would have pulled her head out of her a$$ and not been such a nasty B maybe i would have spent more time and paid more attention.

I do not think it was a betrayal of our marriage. We had filed for divorce. Things certainly seemed to be over.

When I approached her about working on things I had NO IDEA what she had been doing when we weren't together. That was not my motivation to try to work on things. I realized a few things over some time. I realized i was not a very good partner to her. I realized we never really tried to make things better.

After we initially talked about working it out we took a few days to think about it and we both made a list of things we want from each other and things we wanted to do together. It was pretty simple. Spend time together, take time to actually talk, respect one another etc.

Wasn't until a few weeks after that I found out

As far as how she feels about me, she says she loves me. I'm all she ever wanted. To have a nice life with me, she felt like she took me for granted and she never wants to do that again. I feel the same.

It's been about a month now and has been better than it's been in years. Of course it's really early on but I feel like we're going to be able to do this. Going to marriage counseling, individual counseling.

I don't think she was ready to replace me so quickly. She said "I never wanted to check out. You forced me to check out. I felt like i had no choice but to try and move on." Also said that at any point while we were separated if I approached her about working it out she would have." She said It was clear to her that I didn't want her any more so she wanted to find someone who did and that maybe she tried moving on a little too soon.

so as far as she is, her intentions.....i have no doubt she's is being honest and totally sincere. she's always been loyal and honest so i have worried moving forward.

and yes, i went on some dates while we weren't together so i do feel a bit hypocritical. i'm not mad or upset with her at all. she could have done anything and everything she wanted. but not that i know and can't unknow it i can't help how i feel.

and yes, i've been trying to look at things from her perspective. i can understand it, i just can't understand it because it was her and i know how she is. i guess things changed when i left. so i have to live with it. it's my issue to get over.

anyway, thanks for all the input and please keep it coming.

Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439573
10/31/18 02:59 PM
10/31/18 02:59 PM
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Mbossy22 Offline OP
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also, her self esteem was not down in the dumps. after a few months she picked herself up and learned how to be happy with herself. that was another thing that drove me to approaching her about reconciling. and i've promised her and myself that i will do everything i can to help her keep the happiness she found.

and it wasn't that i was bored in the marriage or wanted to sew my oats. i wish i would have gone about it different and separated with the intention to cool off a little and give each other some time before really deciding what we wanted.

Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439574
10/31/18 03:07 PM
10/31/18 03:07 PM
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Mbossy22 Offline OP
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what i meant by not feeling the loss for a few months was that i think i was very guarded and trying to protect myself. i wasn't letting myself feel it.

Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439575
10/31/18 03:20 PM
10/31/18 03:20 PM
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Fergie Offline
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Originally Posted by Mbossy22
and yes, i went on some dates while we weren't together so i do feel a bit hypocritical. i'm not mad or upset with her at all. she could have done anything and everything she wanted. but not that i know and can't unknow it i can't help how i feel.

When one partner finds an old sex tape of their current partner with an ex, it is something they can't unknow either.

(BTW, it's an excellent reason to a: not make a sex tape and b: dispose of them after the relationship is over.)

Unless you marry a virgin, everyone *knows* their partner had sex with other people. Everyone pretends to be cool with it. What's in the past, is in the past, right? It wasn't personal. They never even knew you existed at the time. They were just doing what seemed right at the time and it was.

But watching that old sex tape makes it a lot more personal and opens up a lot of questions. It rubs it in your face even though it changes nothing about how they feel towards you now.

To continue the analogy, your wife didn't want to "make a sex tape" with someone else. You forced that. You know that. Deal with it or move on.

Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439576
10/31/18 03:55 PM
10/31/18 03:55 PM
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Mbossy22 Offline OP
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i guess that's what i'm trying to figure out.....how to deal and move on. it feels weird that i'm having a hard time with it because we were not together.

Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439577
10/31/18 04:22 PM
10/31/18 04:22 PM
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Fergie Offline
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Originally Posted by Mbossy22
i guess that's what i'm trying to figure out.....how to deal and move on.

Same way a betrayed spouse deals with infidelity.

Time. Lots and lots of time between now and recovery.

(Not that this is even in the same ballpark or same city or even same sport as infidelity. This is more similar to couples experimenting with threesomes or open marriage and not liking the outcome.)

Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439578
10/31/18 04:28 PM
10/31/18 04:28 PM
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Mbossy22 Offline OP
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I don't want it to become between us because i feel like we're both ready to be better partners to each other. we've both said as much to one another. and have been enjoying spending time together again. feels like starting a new relationship.

Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439583
10/31/18 07:22 PM
10/31/18 07:22 PM
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Orchid2 Online
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First of all you both need to get STD testing done.


Orchid
Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439584
10/31/18 08:04 PM
10/31/18 08:04 PM
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NewEveryDay Online
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Ah okay I misunderstood, when you said you were thrown for such a loop and you don’t understand why don’t folks wait anymore I assumed you were waiting until the divorce went through.

Anyway the standard advice is to make your marriage great in the present and thoughts of the past will dissipate. What’s your plan for reconciliation?


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439585
10/31/18 08:12 PM
10/31/18 08:12 PM
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Mbossy22 Offline OP
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Spend as much quality time alone as we can. Communicate. Not text or email, actually talk. Don’t let things build up til one of us becomes bitter and resentful. Going to marriage and individual counseling. We both realized our issues are our issues. They’d still be there no matter who we ended up with. Be kind and respectful to one another.

That’s it for now. Is there much more to a reconciliation plan?

Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439587
10/31/18 09:02 PM
10/31/18 09:02 PM
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Individually and collectively you both need to ID your boundaries. Get STD tested. Agree not to be oblivious in your R & M.


Orchid
Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439588
10/31/18 09:36 PM
10/31/18 09:36 PM
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Mbossy22 Offline OP
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Not to be oblivious? What do you mean?

Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439589
10/31/18 09:54 PM
10/31/18 09:54 PM
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Many tend to take their M and R for granted (as you have stated) and it is easy to just overlook the changes and revert to your former life-style.

Because you and your wife are both working to repair your M, you have a better chance for recovery but becoming oblivious going forward is still a possibility.

You don't want to be in the position where you are 'unaware' of what is happening to you and around you.

Don't be paranoid but learn to be balanced. Defining and implementing your personal and marital boundaries helps a lot in this regard.

Hope this helps,
Orchid


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Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439603
11/03/18 07:10 PM
11/03/18 07:10 PM
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Mby22,

How are you both doing?

Orchid


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Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439607
11/04/18 11:25 PM
11/04/18 11:25 PM
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Mbossy22 Offline OP
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Thanks for asking. I’m still living in my apartment so wife and kids came down yesterday and stayed the night because it was my oldest’s birthday. Wife doing well. We are still communicating more than we have in years. Spending good quality time together. I started talking to her about barriers. I ordered boundaries in marriage and we’re both going to read it. Overall I think we’re doing great. Both committed to building a better stronger relationship.

I’m still struggling though. Trying to stay positive. Saw my therapist Friday who I really like. It helps. Just going to take time to stop thinking about it.

Re: This may not belong here but [Re: Mbossy22] #439651
11/08/18 05:26 PM
11/08/18 05:26 PM
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Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
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Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Hi Mbossy

It sounds like you are really struggling and are in a tough spot because of the uniqueness of your situation. And it is unique and requires a slightly different approach than infidelity. In most cases of recovery from an affair the deepest pain is from the betrayal, the destruction of trust. That trust needs to be rebuilt in order for a new, recovered relationship to grow.

But that is not the case with you. You and your wife were (based on your instigation) dissolving your marriage. You were ending your relationship and both working on rebuilding new lives. Yes, there was paper binding you together in the legal sense, but in the practical, relational sense it was done. So your rational brain dictates that whatever happened during that time was not a violation of trust because there was no more expectation of a relationship between you two that she was violating.

And yet, you can't let it go. My advice is to sit with those thoughts and contemplate them. Don't try to rationalize them away but think them through and ask yourself why you can't let it go. What about them is troubling you? Don't argue with them, just let them exist for a little while and push them until they tell you what their source is.

My suspicion is that it is less about feelings of betrayal and a violation of trust like most infidelity. Because, like you recognize, there was nothing for her to be loyal to.

I think this episode has revealed something to you about your wife, something you did not know about her before and you find it troubling. You mention multiple times that you did not believe she was capable of 'this' of casually hooking up with someone so soon after deciding to end your marriage. This seems profoundly out of character for what you know about your wife because you know her to be a private, guarded person. That does not seem to correlate with someone who easily makes herself sexually available. You can't let it go because you are unsure, now, of your mental image of your wife and if you are unsure of that you are unsure of whether you are capable of building a new relationship with her.

To me, this reveals that you have a paradigm in your head that sex equals intimacy all the time. But the fact is, it doesn't. Not always. Sex can be a lot of things, including a way to avoid intimacy.

I would suggest sitting with your wife and letting HER tell you what that sex meant to her. In fact, I think she has been trying to tell you but you haven't been able to hear it because your definition of sex=intimacy keeps overriding her words.

She has said she was trying to find someone who wanted her. She was trying to move on. I suggest you believe her ability to be an authority on her own motivations.

I had a partner of 4 years, the last few were miserable and I tried to end it for a long time before I was finally able to definitively pull the plug. I had sex with another partner only a few weeks after. It wasn't about intimacy, it wasn't about privacy, it was an attempt to close a chapter of my life with one person by allowing myself the opportunity to be with someone else. My ex found out and flipped his lid, but really my engaging in sex with someone else had very little to do with him and was all about finding my path to my own growth.

You did not believe she was someone capable of moving to sex with someone at the level of emotional connection that she had with the partner she had. But she is that person. She is also the person you were married to, she is also the person who is trying to rebuild a new relationship with you. She is all of those things. You have to decide if you are able to accept all those parts of her.

It sounds like she may even regret the sex that she had as being a misstep in her path to a new life post your marriage. It's possible it was. It is possible your wife made a mistake. Are you able to accept a wife that makes mistakes like that?

The truth is that your marriage was non-functional. Both of your are guilty of killing it, maybe the portion of blame lies larger with one or the other, that is going to be something you have to figure out but the fact is you have to put that relationship down. You need to rebuild a whole new marriage based on the problems you identify with the last. Do you believe she is someone you can do that with?

The reocurring, troubling thoughts about her sexual experiences are going to come up. You can't control emotionally based mental intrusions. But what you can do is choose (if you decide to continue rebuilding with your wife) to soothe them, to tell them 'yes that was a bit disturbing, but this is who my wife is, she is someone who made a mistake while trying to move on and that's ok, and I chose to love her anyway'

Recognize the emotion, let is pass through you and then let it go and chose to love your wife anyways. Work on building trust and love between you. I highly suggest reading the book Love Busters by Harley together so that you and her can identify the negative behaviors that locked you into the downward spiral that killed your first marriage, and find active mechanisms to stop them in this one.

I think, as you rebuild and get to know your wife as she is now the thoughts will slowly fade as her trustworthiness and your relationship growth prove them to be unfounded worries.

there are plenty of people here who can help you build up a new, better marriage, because they have done it for themselves.


Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
Ze Blog
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