Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Needing some advice on my relationship/wife/se
I’m really sorry but I hope its ok to ask for some advice here. I’m a man but I can’t really talk to anyone about the problems and I just need to feel like I am doing the right thing or not, it’s so difficult. I have been reading some threads here over the time and it’s been massively helpful, there are few places for the emotional support people need.
My wife and I have been married for over a year but we have been together for 14 years. We both thought we were happy and everything was good until last week when she came to me to say that “she had met someone else”. My world collapsed. We have been trying for a child for a short time and I expected some news on that, it was hugely damaging. Now, the story is more complex and I’ll try to be relatively short, my wife has the habit of letting her emotions override her and her tact isnt great, she is legendry for it ;)
Basically we are both now very comfortable financially and the plan was to be prepared for a child and get a real head start for what was to come. Along with us just paying the mortgage and us trying for a child which of course has not happened, it now is clear to us both that a huge amount of stress has impacted us in the past few months without us realising. It’s a massive list, conceiving, deaths, ill health in the family, metal health of friends, her job is depressing, you name it, the list is long. We didn’t realise this and just got on with it as you do.
While this was happening she was getting closer to another man at her hobby which is so painful to even write. She has felt a connection with him and I am confident nothing has happened but this has triggered the conversation. After my disbelief and massive stress I do what I always do and try to help and resolve any issues. Straight away she agreed she wanted to be with me but had lustful feelings for this other person which made her feel so guilty and she had to talk. We have a good strong relationship on that side, even with all this, we both very much trust each other not the “cross the line” although my pain is that I feel it has crossed. Nothing physical, but it is emotional.
I’m so sorry for the long history. So on the day we agreed on a plan together to help resolve her happiness together and at work, she handed in her notice and we really felt that the path was clear. We have lots to do and we’ll make time for each other in many ways.
The issue now is that although we have a clear path that we both agree will take us forward she has now said that she needs to get the other guy out of her system. By that she means that she needs some time to speak with him to “close” it for the sake of our relationship. She won’t cheat on me, I am highly confident of that, she would leave me herself if she did.
As this was happening she has had a sort of sexual awakening at the same time, basically she is having urges and feelings that she hasn’t had before and is finding it difficult to control. It all feels like you couldn’t make it up, a perfect storm. I do feel sorry for her feeling like that as I know myself how powerful those feelings can be, but you learn to control them. I just dont think she went through that when she was younger.
We both agree that from a sex only perspective that we are both missing something and that it wasn’t an issue in the relationship before. We also both agree that we believe we can make that side improve as my own sex drive was much higher before and now adjusted to hers, but her drive is now going wild. We have had our own passion but it isnt 100% for us both although it was great and we do think it will greatly improve.
I have so many worries and so many thoughts, I suppose I’m just looking for advice. She has asked me to trust her and I absolutely do. She has asked if she can see this man to bring closure for them both through conversation only. I promise that is true, it’s hard to convey the strengths that are there but it’s true. Her personality is also one which is anything that people tell her not to do is like a red rag to a bull, it’s a total Catch 22 but we both know each other so well.
Sorry for all of this, any advice or maybe someone with experience might be able to help me as I feel so alone with everything to lose. I love her with all my heart but I feel broken, I feel like I'm losing out to something new and exciting while having given so so much. Part of me wants to be hard on her and tell her to sever it now but her personality is one of reacting poorly to being told, I don’t want to have to call her bluff, we've both worked so hard to get to where we are together.
All the best
She doesn’t have to see this man in person at all. She is still messing you around. The only thing to solve this would be for her to break off all contact immediately and for the two of you to perhaps go to counselling and work through your issues.
I think she is trying to ask you to explore an open relationship so she can sleep with this guy... If she has your consent she won't feel guilt.
If you don't want it to be one-sided, maybe both explore swinging
Is she only wanting to message him to get this so called 'closure'? Would she allow you to read these messages so you have full disclosure and trust that she has ended things? I think regardless she needs to change hobbies to avoid this man in the future and if it is an open relationship she wants then good luck to you but make sure you set some ground rules and have complete transparency otherwise you will become an emotional wreck. Good luck!!!
Christ alive, what an absolute bag of bullshit. She is massively mugging you off.
So she wants you to trust her while she seeks "closure" with someone she apparently has never even snogged? Sure, no problem dear, just invite him round for coffee so I can meet him too.
Call her bluff and stop being a doormat, and definitely stop believing in this "I know she would never cheat" crap. Maybe do a search for "I knew s/he would never cheat" and see how many women and men have had the blinkers rudely pulled from their eyes.
She’s got you right where she wants you hasn’t she and you’re too crazy about her to see any of it!
I’d put my foot down BIG time here! Tell her this ends today (no conversation with him is needed) keep your eyes on your own marriage or leave!! Don’t get me wrong it’s OK to fancy other people, even lust after them etc but I think a line has been crossed here in the emotional sense. I almost get the impression she is enjoying torturing you with but is doing it in such a way that it’s coming across differently.
For the love of God stop trying for a baby immediately if you haven’t already done so!
There's nothing to have closure about.
I like the idea of inviting him around so you can meet him to call her bluff.
We all can have lust or desire for a new person but part of being a grown up and respecting your spouse and vows, is not acting on them.
The best solution would be for her to quit the hobby group and cut any contact with him.
Christ alive, what an absolute bag of bullshit this, I'm afraid. Closure? Your relationship needs to be a priority to her, and if it doesn't feel like it (to either of you) I'd say decisions need to be made
You sound lovely. You will make someone a wonderful husband I can see you are trying to be. Your wife is doing the "pick me" dance, which is a way of playing with you like a cat with a mouse, trying to meet up with this person for so called closure but trying to get you to suck up to her and say how much you love her, but it's an exercise in having your cake and eating it. I'm really sorry.There are 2 things that stand out in your post which are 1) her lack of tact is legendary and 2) her reaction to being told. Told what? that she's completely out of order? Are you a little afraid of her? Sadly you will need to call her bluff and say she can't meet him and she must stop this hobby. Her answers will tell her what you need to know.
So she just happened to get this sexual awakening / enhanced sex drive , just at the time when she is seeing this other guy . Really ? Sorry OP, you sound really nice but your wife is playing you for a sucker. She's got the hots for this guy and is hoping to go further with that, with you sitting at home reassuring yourself that "she'd never cheat" .
You're being a doormat at the moment - stop doing that and tell her what you really think about this situation. I agree with others - tell her you want her to stop seeing this guy and stop her hobby. If she won't stop seeing this guy, you need to consider your options.
I don't get why she needs this 'closure'?
To me, that shows she's already expressed to this man how she feels (at the very least). She wouldn't need the closure if nothing had came of her lust for this man in the first place.
Do they speak only at the hobbie ?
U need to find out what she is planning to say so she gets her closure and why she needs to say it. U should be her priority but it doesn't sound like u are. U sound like a lovely guy u just need to stand up for urself a bit more and not let her walk all over u !
This is very close to my own experience where my partner developed an intense emotional affair with a co-worker whilst taking fertility drugs to conceive. This escalated into a full blown physical affair that was off the scale amazing for her (the graphic are extraordinary and have haunted me every day since) what sex therapists would describe as a “transcendent sexual experience”. Having faked every orgasm with me for years she had multiple orgasms with her AP, left me, moved continents to be with him and very quickly came back declaring it all a big mistake. It has hung over our relationship like a dark cloud for almost 16 years now - I will never recover from the betrayal trauma of it. I have been diagnosed as having cPTSD as a result.
Throughout the years I have been obsessed with finding an answer as to why a “goody two shoes” woman would suddenly turn into a monstrous abuser (so many details, no time to elaborate) then suddenly flip back again. My research has thrown up the following potential factors:
1) She was on the contraceptive pill when we met. This affects a woman’s libido and the type of person they are attracted to.
2) When TTC, she was off the pill and her attraction to me wanted as her hormones adjusted downwards. Likewise her libido was unleashed.
3) Fertility drugs are a rocket fuel for hormonal disregulation.
4) Long-term relationships often pale into comparison when something new and shiny is in the offing.
These 4 factors (and others) may come into play and can create the perfect storm. Relational dissatisfaction (justified or otherwise) and hormonal craziness can cause someone to behave in, what seems to be, insane and out-of-character ways. I hasten to add, I do not condone or excuse this behaviour - I deeply resent and - I have no shame in saying this - despise my partner for being frankly, weak and pathetic and completely out of control when so many other women can handle the same situation without resorting to such irreversibly destructive behaviour.
I mention all this because you may find some resonance in the contributory factors I list above. I also will say this: given my experience, if I ever found myself in that position again - in your position - I would NOT be sympathetic. This only serves to legitimise the woman’s behaviour and encourages her crazy bullsh*t. What she NEEDS is a full-on reality check. You are currently sucked into the vortex of her irrationality you and you are not being rational yourself. She has infected you with her craziness. Stop this lunacy now. Lay down the law. No compromise. She is f*cking with your head and you will regret letting her do so.
I genuinely wish you BOTH well but no good will come from ‘being understanding’. Stand up. Be a man. Assert reality upon her.
Firstly, there are A LOT of threads on here from people who absolutely, to their very souls, believed their partner would never cheat. Yet they did. You know your relationship and your wife, and I'm not saying she has cheated, but I presume by needing closure she strongly suspects the other party feels the same way. I wouldn't trust anyone in that situation, sitting opposite someone they are hugely attracted to and laying it out on the table, whatever the reason is. If she truly wanted to work on your relationship she would just cut contact to spare you. I suspect she wants to know if he feels the same. There is absolutely nothing to be gained in discussing it with him if she genuinely has no intention of it going anywhere.
Part of me wants to be hard on her and tell her to sever it now but her personality is one of reacting poorly to being told, I don’t want to have to call her bluff, we've both worked so hard to get to where we are together.
It wouldn't be calling her bluff. It would be asking your wife, the woman who has committed only to you, to not dabble with someone else. It would be telling her that you find this behaviour unacceptable and the breach of a boundary in your relationship. And that is not unreasonable. And something which should at least be discussed so she knows if she decides to do it anyway, rather than her doing it, then later being able to throw it in your face that you gave your blessing. At the very least I'd say you don't want her to, you think it's inappropriate, she doesn't have your blessing and it's up to her now how she plays it.
How would she feel if the roles were reversed? Though sadly at the moment if she's so smitten with someone else she'd probably genuinely not mind as it would justify her behaviour.
Oh and her sex drive is suddenly high because of the built up tension with her and this other guy. Sorry, but that's the reality.
Has she recently come off the pill to try and conceive? That can send hormones haywire and I think there’s evidence of certain kinds of pill suppressing certain things or changing feelings of attraction - time.com/3596014/attraction-sex-birth-control/. - I’m sure you can work through this
There's one way out of this situation that will leave you with any sense of self worth and respect.
You say to her
You can go and meet this guy for closure if you want but if you do I will leave you. I'm not telling you what you can or can't do but rather what I will do as a result of your actions.
Also, if you text him, call him, or have any further contact with him I will leave you.
You have to mean it.
If she decides to throw away 15 years of a good marriage on a lustful crush then sorry buddy but it was doomed anyway.
She'll either, respect you and your wishes or effectively end her marriage through her choice.
If you let her go meet him though, you'll lose her respect, after that you'll have no relationship and slowly but surely your lack of backbone in this situation will eat away at you until you're a shell of a man.
It's not being controlling, it's controlling your own actions and what you're prepared to accept from your partner.
Give "permission" for her to do this and you're dooming your marriage I promise you.
This sounds so hard OP! With her 'red flag to a bull' problem, I suggest you don't tell her what to do, but instead tell her what YOU will do if she meets him. You need to decide what you're willing to do and what you're not and what the consequences of those are.
Oh dear, i'd recommend leaving her now. What a coincidence her "sexual awakening" happens when she meets a new man, who she wants to shag while keeping you hanging on. Also, shes "legendary" for being tactless and moody? She sounds horrible.
Go out and meet someone new who is interested in you as a person and interested in shagging you, instead of this woman who you can't even tell not to meet the man she wanted an affair with without her flying off the handle. Also in this post it is all about her and her feelings and happiness, she clearly does not give a shit about yours.
You could be writing this about me. If you weren't so emotionally engaged, I'd think you were my OH...
So at the risk of getting totally flamed by everyone else here, let me try and explain what's going through my stupid head at the moment. Because I can relate to your wife, but I also think she needs to own what's she's doing and feeling, and act a little differently. That said, I also have a slightly different approach and view to monogamy than a lot of people on this board, and have discussed infidelity and what we would do if it happened with my partner a number of times over the years.
For me, it was/is a colleague, and we have crossed a line. We still have to see each other every day, and it's very difficult to close the book on it and to refocus on my own relationship as a result. A combination of annual leave and various other work commitments means that we aren't going to see each now for almost 3 months, and I have deleted his number from my phone, which is going to force me to do what I'm struggling to have the willpower to actually do (my partner doesn't live in the same city...it's all a bit messed up). Your wife needs to make herself have this distance if she wants to try and save your marriage. Or at the very least work out how she actually feels.
I've never cheated before, and the fact that I did has raised some fundamental issues for me about my own relationship. I haven't decided how to talk to my OH about this yet, because I still don't know how I feel about everything. It's hard to tell how i feel about my relationship (which, like yours, is over a decade old) against the more powerful feelings of attraction to someone new. Removing myself from that situation is the only way I can clear my head, and that is what your wife needs to do.
I do know what she means by a sexual awakening. Then suddenly feeling desired like that is very strong - and in my own relationship it's made me realise that we've got lazy, and we're missing intimacy and we've drifted apart emotionally (and we always had problems there in the first place). We're more like really good friends, who have lots of shared interests, work reasonably together as a team, and have fairly efficient sex out of habit as much as anything else. I've been dissatisfied for a while, but it took something like this to really make me face what I was feeling. It's not honourable, and I'm certainly not proud of it.
We had an agreement between us that if something like this happened that was meaningless, and we wanted to continue the relationship, we wouldn't tell each other. So I haven't - but I'm not sure how I feel about our relationship, and that's why I need to separate myself from my colleague. I'm not giving my own relationship the emotional space - and I'm also very conscious that I'm using the connection to my colleague as an escape from dealing with the much more difficult and painful conversation I need to have with my OH.
Your wife needs to be honest with herself. While she's still thinking of this other person as someone important, with whom she needs closure, she's not giving your relationship, and you, the attention that it needs to work out if she wants to continue it. For me, the fact that I crossed a line I've never crossed before has really made me confront a number of really difficult truths - but they can't be dealt with while the endorphins and adrenaline are going crazy in my brain like a bloody teenager.
@CursedDiamond, I mean this in the nicest way possible, but why are you with him when he lives in another city after over a decade and there have always been emotional problems in the relationship?
Yup. That's what I'm trying to work through. There have been a number of times where we've almost split up. Things have been less turbulent recently, but I've realised that a lot of that is because we have drifted into a kind of...dunno. it's hard to describe. I tried to talk to him about it about a month ago, and he thinks we have a great relationship. He can't understand why I am unhappy. I can't work out if i'm unhappy because of our relationship, or if it's because my brain is all taken up by this other person that i've grown too close to over the last year.
I think some of it is that when you're in a relationship for a long time, things change so slowly. You don't realise that things are going wrong. Or you think that it's 'just the way it is' - you know, that the lust wears off, and you settle into something more pedestrian and stable. I'm having counselling, which has really helped. And we have a long holiday coming up, where I've promised myself to really focus on him, and try to reconnect. I owe it to him to try. But it's hard...in my head, i've found myself thinking what it would be like to be single, and I feel relief. It's a really scary place, to be honest.
She is taking advantage of your understanding nature. If you let her do this is highly likely she will do this again, and probably take it further. You need to man up and put a stop to all this bullshit now.
@CursedDiamond sounds like you might be with him out of a sense of obligation or routine rather than love, and he doesn't sound very in tune with your needs.
@Treesthemovie - at the risk of hijacking the OPs thread, yes...this is what I'm starting to feel. But it's complicated after such a long time together, and lives so intertwined. I've always been really proud of the fact that we've withstood the distance for so long (which has been out of necessity, due to our different industries), but it's driven a wedge, that he can't see.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.