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Advice for woman considering a divorce(11 Posts)
My wife and I have been married for over 15 years and we have two beautiful children and (I thought) a happy home. I have recently discovered the my wife has been having an affair with a work colleague.
Right now, we are both in complete turmoil .... living a life of hell.
I am naturally distraught, angry, bitter, confused - all made worse by the fact that the person I rely on and turn to in times of trouble is the one who has caused the pain.
My wife seems to be immersed in the "affair fog" - she is refusing to commit to a future together and has tried to persuade me to accept an open marriage. She says terrible things such as "I love you but am not in love with you".
We both have so much to lose if we can't turn the situation around. I can see my wife losing her job, her home and her husband (although she doesn't seem to care too much about that right now). She seems to be living in a fantasy world where she is going to ride off into the sunset with her affair partner.
She doesn't seem to care about the fact we will be selling our beautiful family home and she will have to find something much smaller in a different area. She doesn't seem to realise that there will be no more family holidays or Christmases together. She doesn't seem to understand how hard this is going to hurt the children. She doesn't accept that very few affairs turn into successful long term relationships.
I spoke to a male colleague a few weeks ago about divorce. He has just completed a painful divorce and his advice was direct and honest, "you are about to go through hell and if there is any way you can turn this around now you should try it!"
I was wondering if there were any women out there who have had affairs leading to divorce? Do they regret not trying to turn their relationships around? Did they lose more than they expected? What would they say to someone in my wife's position that might convince her to try again?
She has been seeing someone else. I can see what you're trying to do but do you honestly think you should be trying to persuade her to stay? some people do feel real remorse after an affair and work hard to fix things but your wife doesn't seem to want to. Do you think this is what you're worth?
I'm really sorry OP and I really understand you are in great pain but thinking 'affairs' don't lead to successful long term relationships is head in the sand stuff. Divorce and remarriage are more common than a first marriage lasting for life. I am in a second marriage borne of an affair (for both of us) , not proud of the way it began but yes, he really is 'my soul mate'. We are over a decade in, and no - he has not 'created a vacancy by marrying his mistress' in fact it's the opposite. I think the pain we caused all parties, (ex spouses and all children ) means we feel we have a duty to make it work... You have to really get tough here and make her realise what life will be like without you. Tell her you want to sell up, move on and sort out child contact. All the time you are making it easy, she will take the piss. Get off the back foot and start laying down terms...and get a SHL (shit hot lawyer) Now !! That'll make her sit up and take notice.
If her affair partner is married, then tell the other betrayed spouse immediately.
This site has loads of people who been there and can help: www.survivinginfidelity.com
I do think I'm worth more than this - I haven't been a perfect husband but I have given her my heart and soul. I have never once lied to her and I have tried my hardest at all times.
Before this happened, I thought affairs were very different. I thought that an affair involved a married couple and a third party getting in the way. I thought that when an affair was discovered there would be massive arguments and a lot of begging for forgiveness. I was very wrong! I have learned that I am the third party. I have seen no remorse. If anything, I am the one in the way and I have to listen to my wife re-writing the history of our marriage. She tells me that despite 17 years and 2 children there was something wrong from the beginning.
So why do I want to save this marriage?
1. we have two completely innocent children who have known nothing but a loving home. They deserve two parents who are there for them 24/7.
2. I don't believe my wife really loves her affair partner. They have never done anything normal together ... their entire relationship is based on deceipt and the excitement of stolen moments. I respect Marilynbigsister's point of view ... however less than 3% of affairs result in long term relationships.
3. I believe in marriage and, despite everything, I still love my wife and I believe that if we are both willing to try that we can save this marriage and build a better future for our children.
There are so many posts out there about how you can survive a divorce. Everyone wants to be positive and look to the future. I can't believe it is that simple! Surely, there are many who have been through divorce who deeply regret what they did?
You can not save a marriage on your own and while you wait for her to pick you, your self worth will plummet. She's obviously selfish enough to stay put and torture whilst waiting for Mr Wonderful, so the harsh realities will only start kicking in when you force them.
Let her go. To address your points:
Your DCs will be better in a happy home than caught up in the middle of an affair.
Your second and third points are about you, but you can't make your DW share your views on her affair or your marriage.
The best example you can give your DCs is to show them that relationships need trust, honesty and respect. You don't currently have any of those.
I know this hurts but you can't fix it on your own. Listen to what your DW is telling you. You can pull together all the stats in the world but it won't change how she feels.
Surely, there are many who have been through divorce who deeply regret what they did?
Not in my personal or professional experience. Happy relationships with a future do not feature sex with a third party (I'm leaving open marriages apart here). If your wife was desperate to make up for her mistakes then she can, but you can't make her want to do that and there is no evidence at all that she does.
I'm not sure about your statistic either. I've never heard it before. Maybe it includes affairs which just end naturally without the marriage ending. People do go on to have happy relationships with affair partners. Other people don't. It's not really your problem, you only need to consider your relationship and whether you want to persuade someone to stay with you against all of the evidence that she doesn't want to.
Your children are innocent, yes, and you need to show them that you are someone with self respect and to be respected. They are learning what relationships are from you and what to expect as an adult. You don't really want them expecting this do you?
You can only save a marriage when there is true remorse. Your wife is blame shifting and continuing to act like a cheater. Serve her with divorce papers so she can see the consequences of her actions. You deserve honesty. Don't settle for less.
I feel for you, OP. And it's quite possible that, in the future, your wife will regret her actions and disregard for the feelings of others. But you can only deal with how things are currently. Marriages can recover from affairs, but I think that's hard even when both parties really, really want it. Recovery where only one of the parties is fully committed sounds impossible to me.
But maybe you could give yourself some breathing space - I assume it's all very recent, and I just mean take some pressure off yourself by deciding that you're not going to decide anything until the end of the month, say. It's not far, but it's far enough that you might be in a different head-space.
In order to keep your marriage, you need to be prepared to lose it.
Talking - pleading, reasoning with your wife will not work.
Your wife needs a reality check.
Tell her lovers partner if they have one. Bring it out into the open, make the affair real' for her & everyone else.
When the smoke clears it will be pretty clear what the future holds.
There is not an easier way to move forward successfully long term.
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