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Newbie help please?

Posted by: Anonymous
Mon 9, Jun 2014 at 9:50am
Affairs and Jealousy

Not sure if anyone can advise but here goes. Brief history, married 34 years, 4 grown up kids, financially ok and seemingly happy. Wife had an affair 20 years ago but worked through it and stayed together, although there have been trust issues obviously. Just recently (6 months) wife working later than usual and being a bit distant. Alarm bells started ringing and to cut a long story I now know that she is having a full affair with her boss. She is unaware that I know and I am tearing myself up to know how to handle this again. Problem is we have a big family celebration holiday abroad in 4 weeks time and to do anything now would competely ruin everything for the family. Question I confront her and her boss after the holiday or do I just ignore it and carry on hoping that it will blow over? We both stand to lose everything if we split up after all these years. Am I just being weak and stupid? Should I let her get away with it a second time knowing that I can never trust her again? Any advice would be great please. Thank you so much.

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  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    Hi Anonymous,

    God, that's hard... The main dilemna is, as you say, to blow everything you've work so hard to build, over an affair that could be meaningless.

    My advice is strictly personal, so it's probably not specifically suited to you, but it's the best I can give ;)

    - your wife has been cheating on you twice now. It's not about sex obviously, or she wouldn't have built a real personal relationship to someone she works with. So she probably has an issue with self-trust and the need to be loved, desired, and admired. Maybe this tells more about her and her intimate functioning than about your marriage. Just so you don't go and feel overly guilty or lacking of something ;)

    - you seem to really want to salvage your marriage, but it seems to be out of reasons that have little to do with love: the family fest, the children, the construction of your family/couple. Do you still love her? Do you think she loves you in return? Do you both still feel desire for each-other?

    - if you should decide to go on with your relationship, then you have two options : either as lovers or as intimate friends. In either case, you would stay together for the world to see (children included), but your life as individuals wouldn't be the same. Which one would you be able to achieve, in your opinion?

    - whichever way your marriage is going to lean, you'll have to both set up some functioning rules you feel you're able to keep and would enable the relationship. That will be the most difficult step to take: decide what you would need to build on, and what she would be able to accept to yield... and the other way round.

    - Most important of all, you'll be able to pardon. And will be very hard, as she just wrecked again whatever trust you managed to rebuild. Pardon doesn't mean forgetting, but it does mean not to dwell upon it for too long... Can you do that?

    Mon 9, Jun 2014 at 10:16am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Thanks for that. With regards to some of your points:-
    Yes I do love her as much as when we first met and I'm sure she loves me.
    We are still intimate with each other
    We spend weekends away together and I always compliment her on her appearance and send her romantic messages and gifts and she does the same for me.
    I am desperate to save what we have but I'm not sure how I can feel the same after the lies and deceit. It took me a long time to deal with it last time and nearly destroyed me in the process, I don't think I have the inner strength to deal with it again.
    Yes I am worried about my family as I really don't want the chidren/grandchildren to turn against her but I fear that will be the case I'm sure as we are all very close.
    Revenge is wrong I know but I really want to expose her lover to his family and give him a taste of what I'm going through.
    Not sure if this makes any sense??
    Thanks for taking the trouble to reply.

    Mon 9, Jun 2014 at 10:29am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Your hurt is palpable and you don't deserve to be hurt again. I sense a desire to sort this out rather than simply part and my response is on that basis. If I've got that wrong, ignore what follows.

    The thought that occurs to me is this - what is she getting from this affair that she is not getting from your relationship? - which from your account seems to have the elements many people lack and would wish for.

    It may be an outside chance, but if you can find that out and somehow, between you, provide it, maybe you can both get beyond this situation, rebuild trust and ensure it does not happen again.

    Without going into details, I can see this somewhat from her perspective, hence my comments above. In my case had such a discussion been possible, followed by action to fill the gap, things would have been very different.

    As for revenge - I can only cite the old advice that if you set out for revenge, dig two graves - one will be for you.

    Mon 9, Jun 2014 at 3:38pm
  • 2014_01_01_06.22.56 sleeklylady Flag

    That's really tough!

    Infidelity is one of the worst things ever! No you are not weak nor stupid. You just love her. She did this before and she's doing it again that means she doesn't feel the same way about you. The fact that you forgave her before never really mattered to her. She's thinking once you'll find out she'll just cry and say sorry and promise that she'll never do it again and you'll be fine with it. Because she knows that you love her. She is abusing that love.

    Revenge is never the answer. It'll make you feel the worst person ever! But think about it, no secrets will stay secret forever. It'll come out sooner or later. What I can advice you to do is, give yourself break. You will never ever be happy with this entire situation. You caught her the second time. Your family will find out about it eventually. If you will not get out of that relationship it'll destroy you. You'll never be able to trust or love anyone again once you'll stay.

    The more you hide the truth from your family, the more they'll hate her once they'll find out. Talk to her and tell her what you know. It's time for her to be honest with you.

    Mon 9, Jun 2014 at 4:08pm
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    Hi Grey,

    Your answer of course makes sense, it's a very understandable feeling to want to hurt back the one who struck at you. But we humans are fortunately graced with self-restrain and know how to deal with pain, anger or frustration (most of the time). So you'll also find you path after raging around for a while to vent your anger and pain - trust yourself!

    I'd say that thinking about the consequences (social or otherwise) your wife will have to bear should you divorce is not your role. That's hers: she made a choice, fully knowing the risks and despite one previous fault. So let her deal with her own decision and keep to yours.

    You say you already went through hell and some after her first affair. That you don't know how to deal with this one: this is indeed your problem, your role to decide that. Don't look for excuses not to expose her, chose honestly with only your own will and emotional stand.
    I think this is exactly the point you'll have to think through (and thoroughly so): can you pardon her again? How could your life go on after that? How could you rebuild your couple? What about her job? Your trust? After deciding that, you'll be able to act. Family fest or no...

    Do you have a good friend you could talk to about it? And maybe get drunk over, then cry it all out and feel somewhat calmer (if not better) the next day?

    Mon 9, Jun 2014 at 4:40pm
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Wow...........thanks for all your responses and thoughts. It's nice to know there are good people out there prepared to take the time to help, Thank you.
    With regards to chatting to a friend....unfortunately all of my friends are her's too and I feel would judge harshly or interfere. As for why she is doing this......she is his personal assistant and so spends a lot of time with him. I know he confides in her about any issues he has at home and I suppose human nature is that, after time, you get closer to that person? She has worked with him for 12 years so undoubtedly will have some connection. It's just a great shame that neither of them knew how to control things or indeed to simply say 'no'. Can a leopard change her spots? That's the real issue here I feel. I am prepared, as last time, to do anything I can to save things but the thought of them laughing behind my back about 'getting away with it' tears me apart. How the hell can I trust her again? I know I will be questioning her every move and phone call and I know she will never put up with that. Thanks again for your responses, they really do help.

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 6:57am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    Morning! :)

    I'm quite surprised and not a little shocked that you imagine your wife and her lover laughing themselves out about you... It seems much more likely that your wife feels torn apart between the husband she tenderly loves and the lover she hotly desires. Which implies a lot of pain for either side.
    If you try to expose her and confront her about her affair, she'll probably break up with him, they'll both cry in each-other's arms and swear they'll never start it up again, because it's too painful for all involved parts. But that seductive game won't just stop, as shared desire can't be that easily squished, and it's highly probable that they'll fall again for each-other within a year. Unless she quits her job and stops any contact to her current boss...

    So the question you ask sounds very good: "can a leopard change her spots?". And this is the reason why it seems so important that you both find out why she feels this drive to be loved by someone else than her husband. So long this issue isn't cleared, you obviously won't be able to rebuild any measure of trust.
    If you feel now that you won't be able to anyway, whatever happens, then the love between you will quickly become oppressive and dangerous to both of you. So if you feel you cannot see this woman as your wife anymore but still don't want to break up, then you'll have to consider her as a kind of intimate friend, and accept that both of you are free to act as you please, as long as the family is secured and neither rubs it's liberty on the other's nose. It's a working arrangement that has already proven efficient - but it isn't necessarily suited to every couples.
    I personally don't think there is any other way out of it: either you can rebuild some trust (how precisely is another issue) or you can't.

    Glad our answers help you, though mine are not this optimistic...

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 7:19am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Maybe not optimistic.......but accurate I fear. Thank you for your honesty.

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 7:23am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag


    Another question: you've probably changed your behavior toward your wife since you discovered this affair of hers. Has she noticed? How does she react to it? What about your children? They probably have noticed some change too, a kind of tension that wasn't there before. Do they understand?

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 7:37am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Certainly I have struggled at times to cope with the situation and the family have noticed a change. Luckily I have been in hospital and off work for 3 months and I everyone has assumed that this is the reason for me being a little depressed.

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 7:42am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    "I am prepared, as last time, to do anything I can to save things but the thought of them laughing behind my back about 'getting away with it' tears me apart."

    I agree with Truffe above, I very much doubt they are laughing behind your back. Again, without going into precisely what leads me to this, my view is they will be far too engrossed in themselves and their illicit pleasure to spend time thinking of you. It may seem cruel to say this, but I hope it helps you see things in a slightly less hurtful perspective.

    You say you would do "anything" to save things. How far are you prepared to go to change your behaviours to achieve this? Really, really think about this. If she is getting some excitement from this affair - what would you be prepared to do to create such excitement? Whilst you can only guess unless and until you ask and she tells you, imagining some circumstances might help you work out whether you really will do "anything" to repair things. Sex is often a key element in these things. Really explore your views, limits, wishes, boundaries in this area.

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 7:48am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Without going into intimate details............that side of our marriage has never been and still isn't an issue fortunately. As for changing, I am not suggesting that I am a perfect husband but I can't think of much more I can do to look after her or love her any more than I do already.

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 7:56am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    You were 3 months in the hospital? Could it be that their affair started at this time? That she felt the need to be loved, protected and secured instead of being the one supporting others?
    If so, then it'd show you the real problem: she's never really given up on being her dad's little princess and still needs that thrill on a daily basis.

    What you explain about your marriage does not let show any real reason for treachery: love and desire seem active and creative, flowing freely between you. So the main problem is probably more on your wife's emotional side than lying in the relationship itself.

    (How are you now? Have you had an accident?)

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 8:10am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    I was only in hospital for a couple of days and the affair started way back before Christmas. I have been at home recovering from an operation on my arm (which has not restricted the physical side of the relationship!)

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 8:15am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    Oh... So you're swallowing it all since then and play the role of the depressed husband who cannot manage his arm-OP?
    I can't see how that is going to help you out or mend your marriage - quite the contrary. Why?

    Because =>
    - your hurt is only going up with each passing day and kiss they share
    - hurting, you're in a quite subdued mood, and compared to her lover you could only lose the contest in being entertaining and laughing
    - you lead her to think you're depressive, which certainly isn't attractive in anyone
    - the general atmosphere at home can't be nice and agreeable to the children still living with you, who have done nothing to earn your bad mood ; and neither to you wife, who probably enjoys herself even more outside than at your side
    - being still and doing nothing in a crisis is generally speaking the easiest way to complete destruction
    - I don't know of any woman who actually likes quiet and submissive men. Rage around, demand respect, impose your needs, but stop mopping and thinking painful things over all alone in a dark corner!

    Your wife is cheating on you for 6 months and still you do nothing. Going on onto this path can only lead to the destruction of any self-esteem you might have left, the building up of anger and bitterness toward your wife, and thus the a general winding down of your entire life. Love means insecurity, and so might mean pain too. That's part of the deal. But nowhere stands written that you have to take any whim of your wife as your due pain load! So stop moaning, and be angry - it's about time to, and at the very least would it be your plain right.

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 10:51am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Ouch! I've not actually been quite that bad with everyone! I must have given the wrong impression there.........sorry!

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 10:55am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    I'm not accusing you, just trying to shuttle you awake. Simply waiting won't help you any further... and while you might not consciously mop, it's obvious that a change of mood in one family member will be felt by all the others.

    Why haven't moved yet? Is it fear of losing all you've worked to build? Fear of losing her? Your children? Or fear of change itself? Or is it that you just don't know how to solve this all?

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 11:43am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    * "mop" is to be replaced by "sulk". oops... !

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 11:44am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    "Why haven't moved yet? Is it fear of losing all you've worked to build? Fear of losing her? Your children? Or fear of change itself? Or is it that you just don't know how to solve this all? "

    All of those reasons actually..............when it happened last time I sat on it for almost a year and that was with one of my 'mates' who I continued to socialize with throughout.

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 12:00pm
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    Crap. You're VERY resilient, you know? Maybe it would be healthier for you to be somewhat more aggressive, or at least assertive? It might even be what your wife is missing, this feeling of iron will and secure relationship with a man able to actively fight for what he deems important? The adrenaline of impulsive and instinctive reactions might be what she's looking for when dating other men?

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 12:11pm
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    If that's what she wants I've saved it up in bucketloads for the last 20 years.

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 12:45pm
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    Time to let it free? Maybe not all at once? :P

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 1:11pm
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    No not all at once! That would be a mistake. I think choosing the right moment and location is the answer to it.

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 1:19pm
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    Sounds good. And how would that translate into reality?

    Tue 10, Jun 2014 at 3:07pm
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Probably going to her place of work and confronting the pair of them to see why it happened and how we are going to deal with it.

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 6:15am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    In my opinion, that would be pretty much the worst you could do...

    Confront HER is a good idea. But do so at home, behind closed doors. She made that choice: her boss will have to answer his own wife, but not you. It is your wife and she alone who swore you faith and exclusive love, and still decided to love another man. She didn't come to you to ring any alarm bell as she began to feel attracted to another man, she didn't say no, she decided to live in lies and treachery. Another man might try all he wants to seduce her, if she says no, nothing won't ever happen. So the main responsibility is still hers. If you have to feel angry, then it must be about her choices.

    Don't blur the responsibilities or you'll give her 2 excellent reasons to fight back: he was so nice and gentlemanly, I couldn't resist, if only he had kept his place, he was my boss, what I have done, blabla. And also the morally deviancy to crash at her job and pull a scene there, which would give her every right to be very very angry at you.
    She screwed up again, and she'll have to stand tall and alone before that fact. With no help, no excuse, no wriggling out offered by you.

    Problem is, to confront her, you'll have to be able to prove what you say. Can you do that? If not, she'll probably just insist on negating and that would be it.

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 6:35am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Oh yes I have the proof. Call me devious if you must but I took the only course of action I could think of after my suspicions were bought her an expensive ipad tablet for Christmas and all her work e mails are on it. It was an easy task to find them and copy them I have more than enough intimate detailed messages to prove beyond doubt what has been happening.

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 6:43am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    This is really sad...I certainly won't call you devious for checking out on your suspicions, but I might for not acting at all since you knew with certainty. Because you're hurting yourself as much as she does - but you do so voluntarily. Protecting your family is part of your responsibility, true enough, but you're not the one who chose to live by other rules...

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 7:04am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    I understand your point. So.....lets imagine the scenario based on what you advise.......I confront her at home.....get the usual her the proof. Then what? She either contacts him and tells him what has happened or she waits and tells him when she goes into work. How do I know what is being said between them? How do I know that they won't just go 'underground' with the affair and carry on being very careful so that I don't find any proof in the future?

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 7:09am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Is there a message in how easy it was to find the evidence?

    Your wife is clearly not technologically incompetent if she works as a PA in an environment where ipad based email, indeed email in general, is commonplace. Nor is her boss. They both know email creates a trail that can be followed! It's in the press often enough that even the most technophobic person has to know this!

    So one has to ask, why did she not simply delete the emails or, if she wished to keep them for some reason (a hold over her boss???), move/copy them elsewhere that they would have been very difficult to find?

    What might the message be? The risk, the frisson of potential discovery is part of the thrill? Maybe she would, in a way, like to be discovered - to provoke you into providing what she feels she is not getting?

    It seems to me that either you want to fix and get beyond this - in which case understanding her perspective and motivations is vital, or you don't, in which case they may be of no interest, so just leave.

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 7:23am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Not being derogatory to her but I really don't think that she would consider moving the messages elsewhere. Most of them were in the deleted folder but just not removed. Being as busy as she is she just genuinly slipped up with them. I don't believe that she thought for one moment that I would look for them. No doubt when it comes out she will put the guilt back on me for not trusted her and snooping through her things!

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 7:29am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    "She either contacts him and tells him what has happened or she waits and tells him when she goes into work. How do I know what is being said between them? How do I know that they won't just go 'underground' with the affair and carry on being very careful so that I don't find any proof in the future?"

    Of course, that's the risk. But she could do that whatever you do, afterwards. She works with, she meets him everyday for at least 8 hours. They would have time to discuss this out of your reach anyway.
    But in confronting her at work, with her lover at her side, you offer her strengths that would be denied to her should she stand alone before her own choice.

    Anyway: you seem to definitely have lost whatever trust you could place in her, even the trust that she doesn't solely in order to hurt you. You describe her as lying, manipulative, disrespectful. You see the couple she built with her boss as way stronger than the one she has running with you.
    So obviously you aren't actually ready to go over anything right now, though you repeat it often, and I'm not sure you can shift the way you see her now far enough in a near future so that your relationship might be rebuilt.

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 7:30am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Lost cause then........................

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 8:29am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    Why? It doesn't have to be black or white...

    You don't have to destroy everything in confronting her in front of all her colleagues and thus giving her the good right to be deeply angry, nor must you give up on everything or swallow it all as you do now.
    There is something in between, thank God.

    For example, you could confront her in private and don't let her explain anything or find justification or any kind or argument against you exposing her (like this snuffing around her things). You could just state that you know, that you're deeply disappointed and angry and that you just don't know how you both could manage that new crisis.
    Then go and have a walk, let her panic a little and see in which state you both are when you come back, say 2 hours later.

    If you both still want to salvage what still exists between you, then she'll have to be the one showing some good will first:
    - how to handle that relationship to her lover, which also jeopardize her job
    - how to handle the rebuilding of trust.

    From your side, you'll have to understand what drives her to theses affairs, and maybe fill the gap so she won't feel it this strongly again. It might even be you'll have to both go and consult a psychologist to understand it all, and cure the ground problem.

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 8:58am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Difficult times ahead then my friend. Thank you for talking it really helps when I am on my own with this.

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 9:05am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    Difficult times indeed, whatever you choose (act or not). Treachery is never easy to handle, even more so when it happens more than once.

    I'm really happy my blabla helps you, as I'm not precisely "tender and mild" to you ;)

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 11:00am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    Difficult times indeed, whatever you choose (act or not). Treachery is never easy to handle, even more so when it happens more than once.

    I'm really happy my blabla helps you, as I'm not precisely "tender and mild" to you ;)

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 11:00am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Don't worry about that! I'm not used to tender and mild anyway!

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 11:26am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    *laughs herself to ground*

    Right, that's reassuring :P

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 11:27am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Reassuring for who though? lol

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 11:31am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    For me, that you'll be able to lash out where needed.

    Though it might be interesting for any woman liking to be whipped, too :P

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 12:16pm
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Definitely not my thing.........but whatever floats your boat I suppose!!

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 12:18pm
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    Was only a little teasing ;)

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 12:32pm
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    I realised that thanks, sorry I think I have had the fun drained from my system recently!!

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 12:33pm
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    I realised that thanks, sorry I think I have had the fun drained from my system recently!!

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 12:33pm
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    You did indeed, and I think it interesting that you finally see it: you're hurting yourself just turning it all over in your head for the last 6 months... Spring is full on, time to dust out!

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 1:22pm
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Just scared I suppose............

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 1:25pm
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    You're going forward, that's promising :)

    What is your worst fear in this field?

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 1:30pm
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Losing 36 years of hard work to build a home and family

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 1:33pm
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    And ending up alone

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 1:33pm
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    This would be a very valid reasoning would your life be a long-term investment.
    But it has nothing to do with finances and maths or return on investment. It's about happiness and blossoming.

    Wed 11, Jun 2014 at 3:35pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Grey - this is going to sound harsh and mechanistic, but please forgive that.

    You would not end up alone. There are plenty of mature individuals out there seeking a good man, which you seem to be. In the modern world you have little reason to fear not finding a companion - internet dating works rather well for all ages.

    More than that, you would be amazed at the support friends and family can and would provide.

    Look on the 36 years you have "invested" as the learning that will help you create the relationship you deserve and a foundation for growth.

    And, even if you choose to go, facing up to understanding what your wife felt the relationship lacked is also an opportunity for growth in any new relationship. Stay or leave, you should ask her to explain that. She may find it hard, or even decline to try, or hurl it at you in a hateful and angry way, but if you can get an answer it will be valuable even if painful.

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 6:00am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Very good views again thanks. I suppose I'm just old-fashioned. I still have the romantic idea of a comfortable time when the children have all gone, spending quality time together remembering all the good times and walking off happily into the sunset. I never thought for a moment it would turn out like this. Very naiive of me.

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 6:21am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Grey - is it possible that in your last post you have accidentally put your finger on something important and relevant? I would summarise it as saying your vision of the future is "quiet contentment".

    Perhaps this is not your wife's vision? Perhaps she wants to "grow old disgracefully", fully enjoying the first real unattached freedom anyone has since teenage years? Naked sun bathing on the patio and to hell with the neighbours? Skinny dipping off Brighton beach?

    Maybe the intimate (risqué?) messages you found point at that. I'm guessing here, but perhaps she does not see you as capable of providing that kind of frisson and so seeks it elsewhere?

    Of course, you are under no obligation to change your view of a good future - but maybe there is compromise somewhere that could satisfy both? You can only find out by asking her. Perhaps whilst making your hurt plain you also need, non accusingly, to get her to tell you what she wants to be different about you.

    If you really cannot change that much - then maybe exit is the only option.

    Please understand I speak from a similar position - it is an open question as to whether either of us can or will adapt enough to make things work - since we find we differ in some profound ways that have been masked or ignored for decades.

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 7:01am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    I've read you, and like "Anonymous"'s answers so well, I've nothing to add to them.

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 7:11am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    truffe2miel Flag
    I've read you, and like "Anonymous"'s answers so well, I've nothing to add to them.

    That's not at all like you!
    Thanks for the replies again. Very helpful.

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 7:13am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    "That's not at all like you!"

    You've noticed that already? :P

    Well, I've learned to shut up when I've nothing creative to say... unbelievable, isn't it? ;)

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 7:39am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    LOL.............yes it is. You always seem to have something sensible to advise me daily!

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 7:42am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    *stands straighter*
    That's because I'm incredibly sensible, dear.
    *tries to look very serious*
    *fails miserably and bursts out laughing*

    Well, I think Anonymous has underlined just the main issue: the real problem probably lies in this too "normal", too perfect a relationship you're having. There's no doubt, no risk, no thrill for her: you're deep in love with her, so deep that you even managed to overlook an affair and do again now (I'm pretty sure she guessed that you're at least having doubt, but still doesn't change her way of living). She might be looking for the beating heart and hurting stomach, the spinning head of hot love... to complement the sedate and reassuring peace of secured love.
    And this might very well applied to her life in general - hobbies, travels aso.

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 7:48am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    She has been asking lately if I a 'OK' a lot. Maybe she is hoping I will explode and say "Of course I'm not bloody OK am I? How can I be OK?"
    Am I that transparent?!

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 7:55am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    She's probably trying to trigger you into speaking out, acting, doing something else than sit around and wait?

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 7:58am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Maybe so................still have the issue of ruining the family celebration in Spain in 4 weeks though. God I'm so stupid!

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 8:08am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    You're not stupid, you're afraid. The cause isn't the same, though the consequence might be.

    Why is this fest this important to you that it has precedence over your marriage?
    What was the reason not to act after Christmas?
    What will be the reason to stay put after that fest?

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 8:11am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    I know this might be hard to understand but our family are very close and knowing all the work and expense that has been put into the fest, I could never ruin things for them all, even if it means me keeping quiet for a few more weeks. It's a major milestone for the family and has been in planning for nearly a year. I know you will say I should put my marriage before my family but they all adore my wife and I just can't do it.
    As for why I didn't act at Christmas...........I only had a few flirty e mails at that stage and didn't have the definite proof I needed. If I had confronted her then she would have wriggled out of it as she has done before and put the blame and guilt back onto me. I had to be certain and that wasn't until a couple of weeks ago.

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 8:19am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    I think I finally got your point...

    So you'll have to sit tight for at least 4 weeks yet. Meaning you can't let too much through either, as your wife clearly is already quite worrying about your changed mood... and if she keeps asking this innocently, you might just explode one day.

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 8:31am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Correct in one! I have come close on ocassions believe me!! Especially the other day when she was having a heart to heart with our eldest son about having no secrets from his wife and being honest and faithfull etc.......I came close to saying " Whoa there dear.............I don't think you are qualified to give out that sort of advise!!"

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 8:51am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    So, you are willing to let the constraining effect of family plans prevent you from fixing the most important issue in your life?

    We have a duty to others close to us, but we also have to have self respect and a duty to ourselves. It is not your fault or problem if sorting things disrupts family plans. If you family don't see that their loyalty is not worth having - family or not!

    Let's assume you keep quiet for 4 weeks AND manage to get through the event without betraying why your mood is "odd" and without exploding at your wife (and so ruining the event for everyone). What then? What will be the next family commitment you don't want to disrupt? and which prevents you from acting.

    To be blunt - you are making excuses for inaction. And I speak as somebody guilty of the same thing.

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 9:04am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    You are of course correct in your observation. It was a mistake I made before and vowed never to repeat. You say you speak from bitter experience and as such you will also understand why I have chosen the path I have. Be assured though that I will be sorting this out on our return as I cannot continue to bury the facts and carry on as if nothing has happened. I have promised myself that I will act and I am determined I will regardless of the outcome or the hurt it causes my children and close family.

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 9:10am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    It's your call. Please let us know how it works out. Good luck!!

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 9:25am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Thank you. I will let you know how it goes.

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 9:26am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    When you get to the "point of no return" - ask if further discussion would help.

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 11:33am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    That's very kind thank you.

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 11:37am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    "she was having a heart to heart with our eldest son about having no secrets from his wife and being honest and faithfull"
    Isn't that a dirty wink... Though it might also have been meant for you (don't sulk, talk to me), which would be consistent with her frequent questions if you're "ok".

    " Whoa there dear.............I don't think you are qualified to give out that sort of advise!!"
    And why not say it? She already acted against this advice, so you wouldn't give away that you know... but you would probably tick her off.

    Thu 12, Jun 2014 at 2:54pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    How are things? I hope they have improved in some small way?

    Fri 25, Jul 2014 at 8:40am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Hi there. Thanks for posting. Just got back from a 2 week holiday which was great. Spent a lot of time together and it was really nice in every way. As soon as we got back home from the airport she was texting him.............disappointing to say the as usual now then I think so I need to sort things out this week I'm afraid.

    Mon 28, Jul 2014 at 7:44am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I'm really sorry to hear the latter part of that. I hope you find a way forward that is as painless as possible.

    Mon 28, Jul 2014 at 7:49am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I'm really sorry to hear the latter part of that. I hope you find a way forward that is as painless as possible.

    Mon 28, Jul 2014 at 7:49am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Thanks..........I will let you know what happens.

    Mon 28, Jul 2014 at 8:17am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Thanks..........I will let you know what happens.

    Mon 28, Jul 2014 at 8:17am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Update as promised. Despite your wise advice and having the rare spare time I went to her work place and confronted them both yesterday afternoon. There was the expected denials and 'it's only a bit of office banter and harmless flirting' excuses. Then.......BAM!!.........I hit them both with the printed e mails and texts that I had collected and sat back to watch the fireworks. They didn't come. Silence..........embarrassed looking at the floor etc. Then the realisation that I had the proof and there was no denying the affair. I can honestly say that he was on the verge of sh*tting himself..........genuine fear that I would tell his wife everything and destroy his life and business was apparent. He finally said he didn't know what to say to me and what did I want? He apologised and said 'It can stop'.........I corrected him firmly.'No, it HAS stopped as of this moment'. Much talk followed about how and when etc which hurts me to go into. Suffice to say she followed me home and we talked long into the night. She says she still loves me more than she can tell and has never stopped loving me. The affair wasn't planned and was just 'a bit of naughty, risky sex and was fun' no strings, no love etc. I have promises that it has now stopped and neither want to risk losing what they have at home. She refuses to leave her job with him however so that is still a problem in my eyes but a necessity from a financial viewpoint if we are to stay together. Also he knows I still have the option of telling his wife about the affair at any point in the future. So..........that's about it really. Job I have to decided if I can live with her still working with him and also if I can re-build the trust again. I really do love her and want to be with her but I think this is going to be a tough ride for us both.........Thanks for listening friends........xx

    Fri 1, Aug 2014 at 7:48am
  • Cc Morwenna Flag

    Dear grey
    It is really good news that you have brought this situation out into the open and feel confident that the affair has now stopped and you can begin to rebuild your marriage - but can I play Devil's Advocate and just encourage you strongly to consider, as a couple, why this affair happened in the first place. As a relationships counsellor, I am always far more interested in what was going on in the relationship before the affair happened, affairs don't usually come out of nowhere. You have a golden opportunity here to work together, not just to get over the affair, but to make your marriage stronger and prevent this sort of thing happening again. Can I suggest you both go for relationship counselling to help you with this, it is really important that your wife is able to honestly talk about how she was and is feeling, in a safe environment, as well as for you to deal with your feelings of betrayal and hurt. Marriage Care and Relate are both good. Let us know what you think, good luck.

    Fri 1, Aug 2014 at 10:03am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Well done you! That must have taken a lot of courage. At least you now have a clear position from which to move forward.

    I echo Morwenna's comments above. From personal experience it IS what was going on before and so precipitated the affair that is the real issue. One, probably both, of you were not providing what the other needed. Unless that is identified and resolved chances are it will happen again.

    I wish you both good fortune in sorting this out. I know what it is like NOT to do so and yet continue with a relationship. You really do not want to end up there!

    Fri 1, Aug 2014 at 10:12am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    PS. Re reading your account of what your wife said, I note the part about "naughty, risky sex". Maybe Morwenna's wide experience can help here, but, speaking personally, the absence of that frisson in our relationship and the blunting effect of my partner's (as I saw it) relentless focus on precision in the mundane details of life was the key provoking factor. May not be true for you, but I give this input to help you work out, if you can, what needs to change.

    Good luck.

    Fri 1, Aug 2014 at 10:27am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Thanks for the advice folks. She has already refused any counselling sessions as she feels this will not help. I have already booked 2 'dirty weekends' away and hope that this might go someway to addressing the situation. Many thanks............x

    Fri 1, Aug 2014 at 12:12pm
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    Hi Grey,

    I arrive after things seem to be already settled in your mind, but I still wish to add some input there.

    I feel Morwenna's advice was very insightful and wise: affairs don't happen out of nowhere and they are rarely just forgotten as long as the reason at their base isn't dealt with. But you don't really seem to want to go into this path... why? Do you maybe fear what could come out of it?

    Another point, which might be important: a lot of women seek nice and polite men for longterm relationships, though still desiring the big strong man from the cave on a more basic level. Balancing both in one man is a very difficult effort! If you keep playing meek and nice, ever understanding and patient, you might win the role of the family-boss and father, but probably not the one of the lover and hotly desired partner on the long run...
    Maybe she feels your accepting everything this quickly and at least twice means that you have no backbone when it comes to her? I'm nothing anywhere close to a relationship adviser, just a woman who can't stand that she's not reined in when she abuses her position. And this happens from time to time, in small things, mostly inadvertently: I expect my husband to be able to tell me as much, and to stand fast to his point of view when he's obviously right. Would he back down and feel guilty or afraid, then I'd probably lose a measure of respect for him... and from there the road down to lost desire would be short. Maybe this is what happened to you?

    All in one short sentence: you beloved wife has cheated on you twice now, and you come up with buying "dirty" WEs?

    Fri 1, Aug 2014 at 9:11pm
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    Truffle2miele..........Ouch! That one hurt. I was certainly not weak or spineless when I confronted them. I think that's what shocked her most. I have said I am still not certain we can work things and that if he makes any move I will destroy him. I can be no more direct on that. The "dirty" weekends are merely a chance to talk together without outside interruption in the hope that we can work this. She knows this is all her doing and she is different to last time when I acted very passively and allowed her to walk all I've me. Be assured that I have not just given in and rolled over on this. Thanks as always for your honest views......x

    Mon 4, Aug 2014 at 8:40am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    "Ouch! That one hurt"
    Yes, I guess it was quite harsh from my part...

    "I was certainly not weak or spineless when I confronted them"
    No, indeed. A shame it took you so long to act... I fear your wife has felt you knew for quite some time (or she wouldn't have asked you that often if you were "ok"), and she certainly expected you to act much sooner.

    "I think that's what shocked her most"
    That you finally acted? Maybe. But if this shocked her most, then it says a lot about the way she sees you, don't you think?

    "if he makes any move I will destroy him"
    First, you wouldn't know if he did. Then, your WIFE is the one who chose to go into an affair with him. Had she said no, then he could have done whatever he wanted, there wouldn't have been any cheating at all.

    "She knows this is all her doing and she is different to last time when I acted very passively and allowed her to walk all I've me"
    That's very good! So she is aware of her responsibility in the situation and knows that your love isn't granted, that she'll have to fight for it. I think this is indeed the first thing to ensure.

    Have you already been able to talk through the reasons of this serial cheating?

    Mon 4, Aug 2014 at 9:01am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    "Thanks as always for your honest views"
    Thank you for not balking at my sometimes too direct ways. I'm used to just say what I think, and it's often difficult in a socially sugared world. I certainly never intend to hurt you, though I do hope that some of what I say may open another point of view to you.

    My opinion is that some things you feel as introspective, reasonable and respectable might be viewed as a kind of weakness but some, maybe even by your wife. And if so, then it would be dramatic to your relationship.
    But as you say that you're acting on it and certainly not letting her walk "all over you", then I'm confident you had already gotten the point anyway ;)

    Mon 4, Aug 2014 at 9:07am
  • User-anonymous grey Flag

    You have not offended or hurt me in any way with your comments. I welcome your candid views and advice. It's nice to talk to someone removed from the situation. We are continuing to talk and certain things are surfacing from her childhood experiences of her own parents behaviour that have obviously been buried for years regarding her feelings of worthlessness and a certain isolation. More work needed here.....x

    Tue 5, Aug 2014 at 7:49am
  • Avatar_lutin2 truffe2miel Flag

    Hi Grey!

    I'm resurfacing 2 years later and would like to know how you're doing now?

    Tue 31, May 2016 at 8:14am