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Wife is having an affair and doesn't love me anymore

(38 Posts)
alias71 Fri 11-Jan-13 12:00:29

After being together for 18 years in England my wife and I plucked up the courage to move our family (3 children - 10, 8 and 5 at the time) to her native country 3 years ago this Summer.

Things went fine for the 1st year but I struggled with the language and because of that I became very isolated. My wife has always been a gregarious person (and I a loner) and as time progressed she became friendly with a number of people and although we still went out together she would spend more time talking to others than before (Not very surprising).

I don't really know why but during that 2nd year I started to lose the plot basically and would give her hassle when she spoke to other guys and resented the fact that the children and I didn't have her sole attention. (Writing this makes me feel very embarrassed) This continued for some time and getting progressively worse. I had become increasingly volatile.

Eventually things came to a head and I admitted that I needed a break to get my head together and I so I went for a break alone for a month in England. It was exactly what I needed. I was able to relax and get my head back into shape (I took some tablets which did me the world of good. I've always had depressive tendencies.). For the first few days I was there I wrote and received emails from my wife but as time went on she became more and more distant. Eventually the day before I was to leave England to go back to my family I received an email from her stating that she didn't love me, didn't want me back and that she had been completely faithful to me until this break of mine but had the slept with a guy on 3 occasions. I was devastated.

Obviously I wasn't going to give up on my wife (and children) that easily so I still went back the next day. The transformation in her was massive. She was very cold and distant and wore quite provocative clothing.

That was 5 months and although she isn't too cold and distant these days we have no life together. She goes out twice a week and only on 2 occasions have we gone together and each time she was miserable.

She has gone from being a sweet, cheerful person who put her family first to someone who is only happy when she is out or texting or on facebook. She admits that she finds it boring at home with us. She admitted, under questioning, that she is continuing with the affair.

My wife announced that when I got back from England that she had lost the job that she loved (she was on a 2 year contract that wasn't renewed) and hasn't had a proper one since. And I because I don't speak my wife's language have struggled to find permanent work and only teach individuals.

I just don't know what to do. I regret so much. I try so hard and read so much but nothing works. I know that she doesn't respect or love me and I'm trying to remedy it to a certain extent by looking intensively for work and have concluded that I would almost certainly have to move away from my wife and children in order to have a chance of a job and the thought scares me.

I feel so guilty and alone. I try to stay strong and positive but, at times, it is so hard (and at other times so, so easy). I love my wife but I don't like her most of the time. I prefer it when I am alone but then I miss her. I want her to go out at night enjoying herself but then I worry and fret and I struggle to sleep. I just wish I had a consistency of feeling.

Any comments would be grateful. I have left so much out otherwise it would be a novel.

badinage Fri 11-Jan-13 17:18:11

Yes all of that is true. But I honestly don't think posters would advise a woman to leave her kids behind just because she was unhappy in her host country. More likely, she would be advised to bring the kids back home with her.

I think we've got to challenge this acceptance that it's okay for fathers to move 100s or 1000s of miles away from their children. Or that mothers by default should always get full residence with their kids.

The kids have had enough upheaval moving countries and settling in to new schools. The best thing for them would be for their parents to be happy either together or apart - but not thousands of miles apart.

badinage Fri 11-Jan-13 17:23:40

Cross posted.

It sounds as though you have been an abusive husband in the past OP.

Your wife's response has been to abuse you back by having an affair and rubbing your nose in it.

Meanwhile your kids are in the middle of all this.

Stay close, live separately and get a job that means you can support yourself and your children. Your wife is best advised doing the same.

Narked Fri 11-Jan-13 17:49:03

A new job and home sounds like a good plan. Whatever has happened in the past, it sounds like she has moved on. You need to as well.

alias71 Fri 11-Jan-13 17:57:55

badinage, thanks for your comments. I'm not sure I'm prepared to stop trying to save the relationship yet. It still seems too soon. 5 months, in the scheme of things, isn't a long time. Maybe I'm just a mug. I don't know.

awsangel, thank you for your lovely words. I don't want to love my wife but I do. If I stopped loving her then I would presumably give up on my goal of trying to win her back.
I don't know whether it's admirable or not. Sometimes I just feel as if I'm being foolish. Maybe I'm just too stubborn.
I will certainly try to buy the book you mentioned. (For some reason my bank card was refused. No idea why!!)

Narked Fri 11-Jan-13 18:03:38

'I don't really know why but during that 2nd year I started to lose the plot basically and would give her hassle when she spoke to other guys and resented the fact that the children and I didn't have her sole attention. (Writing this makes me feel very embarrassed) This continued for some time and getting progressively worse. I had become increasingly volatile.'

If you were as you described then it's not 5 months. It's 5 months plus the month you left for England + however many months you were like this ^.

badinage Fri 11-Jan-13 18:19:02

It's not really about being a mug, it's about the pair of you being selfish and co-dependant really.

It must have been a pretty toxic environment for your kids this past few years. A possessive, volatile father who left the country for a month and an unfaithful mum whose attention is elsewhere all the time. You've also said that it's a tense atmosphere at home all the time.

Ultimately, you're putting your relationship with her before your children and she's putting her affair before her children too.

She's told you she doesn't love you.

What you don't seem to have realised is that she doesn't respect you either.

Just like we say to women in your situation all the time......no-one respects a doormat who sticks around while her husband gets his jollies elsewhere. This really is no different.

If you can't do it for your kids, at least realise that sticking around is the best way of sabotaging that relationship you so want to rescue.

juneau Fri 11-Jan-13 18:22:41

Well I'm afraid I still think you're deluded for trying to save this marriage. Your wife isn't acting like someone who's in love with you, even if you're still in love with her - and it takes two people who are committed to one another to make a marriage work. However, I think the solution is the same, whether you manage to win her back in the end or not.

I'd move out to give you both some space (but stay close so you can be fully involved with your kids), I'd study like stink to get to grips with the native language, and I'd do whatever it took to get a proper job. I'd also expect the same of her with regard to employment as she is clearly the more employable of the two of you at present.

All of that will make you feel better about yourself and get your life in this new country on track. It will also, hopefully, make her respect you again. And it might, who knows, make her fall back in love with you. But you should do it for yourself, your sanity, your self respect, and your kids, and consider anything else a bonus.

alias71 Fri 11-Jan-13 18:30:52

badinage: abusive does seem incredibly harsh but I suppose it should be used unfortunately. Maybe it's just the shame that puts me in denial.

You're wrong about the toxic environment. Certainly it has become worse in the last 5 months but it has never been toxic but you are entitled to your opinion.

I know she doesn't respect me. I will have to, over time, get that respect back. Without it we're definitely doomed. And I agree about being a doormat. I'm attempting to make amends. Things have to change.

I'm only sticking around because I have no means, at present, to go anywhere. Once I get a job I will almost certainly be forced to move away even if I didn't want to.

Thanks, once again, for your comment.

alias71 Fri 11-Jan-13 18:41:22

juneau: I wish I could disagree with anything you wrote but I cannot. I think that you have written it perfectly. I think that what you wrote will have to be the way. Thank you.

alias71 Fri 11-Jan-13 18:51:24

narked: Maybe it's tiredness but I don't understand what you mean by "then it's not 5 months". What's not 5 months?

DistanceCall Fri 11-Jan-13 19:13:34

Split up your children? Are you insane? It's not your children fault that your marriage is over. Separating them would mean separating them more or less permanently in later life (as some of them would be "Dad's children" and some of them would be "Mum's children").

Your wife doesn't seem to want you, and this hasn't happened overnight. But whatever happens between you now, your children should come first and foremost. Don't mess them up just because you and your wife messed up.

alias71 Fri 11-Jan-13 19:58:42

Thanks for your comment.

No, not insane but certainly hurting and confused. Separating them was something I was thinking of a few months ago. My opinion, as my mind has become a little less hazy, has changed since then. (I'm not even sure I would've gone through with it even if the wife had agreed. I think that it was a just a way of getting at her. Childish, perhaps, but there you have it. All's fair in love and war, eh)

DistanceCall Fri 11-Jan-13 21:32:48

All's fair in love and war, eh

No. It really isn't.

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