Reply Sun 23 Aug, 2009 07:58 am
So, here is my situation.
My 45 year old wife (I'm 49) of 16 years (18 year relationship) announced to me 3 weeks ago that she no longer loved me and had fallen in love with a man who works at her place of employment. I am heartbroken. I have loved this woman the entire time we have been together, and aside from a few mistakes, I have been as good of a husband as a man could be to a wife. I take care of her, do more than my fair share of household chores...have told her every day that I love her and care about her.

Over the course of our marriage, we have had our ups and downs. This is my second, and I brought two young children into this marriage. I had a difficult first wife, and she occasionally made life difficult for all of us.

About 10 years into the marriage, my wife transitioned from a moderately paid secretary to a more highly paid tech in the computer field. Also, she is a heavy woman, and at this time had successfully taken advantage of the Phen/Phen 'craze' at the time. She lost 100 pounds, and between her newer looks, and greater self esteem from her improving occupation, (along with stresses with the children and the 1st wife), she announced that she was leaving me. She left for a man she met on line...after a few months that failed, and she continued to sow her oats with a few acquaintences.

After about 4-5 months, we talked and she moved back in with me. We decided after much discussion (and requests from the first wife) to have the children move back with her. This left just the two of us.

During this time, just for reference, as the phen/phen craze came to an end, she returned to her previous high weight. Her career continued to grow and her income increased significantly.

Approximately 4-5 years later, I made a terrible mistake and had an encounter with a woman I had met online. There were several encounters over a short period of time...and my wife discovered her number in my PDA at the time. I probably could have 'lied my way' out of it, but decided to come clean. After a short period, in which we remained in the same house, we got passed it and life moved on.

Approximately 1 year after this event (about 4 years ago now), she had a gastric bypass operation. It went well, and she lost over 120 lbs. Her career was now growing strongly, and her salary was now 2 to 2 1/2 x her salary as when we first met.

Then, about 6 months after her operation...she began to drink. It started slowly, but rapidly increased. Before I realized wife became what I feel would be considered an alcoholic. For the past 3 years...she would drink as much as 8 mixed drinks a night. Soon, our 'routine' would consist of us coming home from work...she would drink immediately after changing from her work clothes...within an hour or two she was drunk...repeating things to me 3-4 times in a 15 min period (forgetting she had already said what she had said)...we'd struggle to decide what to have for dinner and to make dinner...and by 7-8 pm, she would be asleep on the couch. Sometimes she would wake after an hour or so to have another drink...but ultimately by 10 I would help her up to bed, we'd sleep, and the daily cycle would begin again.

On weekends we'd have pleasant mornings...but often my suggestions for things to do during the day were met with "you go" and she would stay home. She was often tired and spent long times on the couch resting or sleeping. And then, always, by 3-4 pm, she would begin drinking.

Now she has worked for a contractor for about the last year, her salary has reached 6 figures, approximately equal to mine. There, apparently, she met this man, and their relationship began 4 MONTHS ago.

This man, who she has enormous respect for, is 37, 8 years her junior. He has fallen in love with her, and he wants to marry her one day. Within the week after me telling my wife she wants to leave me, he informed his older wife (age 52) that he was leaving her and their 3 young adopted children (ages approx 2, 4 and 8).

She told me that he treats her like a queen, but honestly there's no way that he could be treating her better than I have over 18 years. She also says that he is "strong enough to stop her from drinking".

After remaining one week, drinking every night, she left the house and her and him obtained an apartment near their workplace.

Since then, she has moved some furniture out. (she, in her guilt, has agreed to leave me the house and its equity) The few times I've talked to her, she indicates she is no longer drinking. I feel guilty and frustrated that I could not stop her from drinking (I did not sit idly by while she drank the last few years...I tried to stop her in various ways to no avail) and that he 'may' have given him the opportunity to help her.

She has given hints that she isn't over me, that she "may" be willing to discuss coming back to me. Her reasons for leaving were, frankly, insignificant. I really was given nothing to work on or change. I suspect that there is little I can is more of a function of how their relationship progresses more than anything. I know there will be stresses. I find it difficult to believe that through sheer will she has stopped drinking, althought it is certainly possible. They will be looking at a difficult future exwife of his, having to travel for child visitation regularly, and the other stresses of life.

I desperately, at least at this point, want my wife back. I'm trying to avoid contact with her, as I have heard, read, and been adivised that overall, that is the best approach.

I don't know if this is a fling, a mid-life thing, or if this will go on and I will be left alone.

I intend to hit the lawyers soon to process the house ownership start separation papers (she said in a month would be fine after first saying 'there was no rush').

I don't know what I'm looking for here...maybe opinions...I just felt like's not like I have anything else to do now.

Thanks for reading if you've made it this far.
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Reply Mon 24 Aug, 2009 05:36 pm

This sounds like a movie plot. I really don't know if i believe it. Your writing style sounds like it was written by a woman.

However - If it's true - cut your ties and move on. She sounds like she has an addictive personality.

wish her luck and get on with your life.
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Reply Mon 24 Aug, 2009 05:49 pm
You were raised mostly by your mother I'm guessing. Or your father didn't have a big influence in your development (which amounts to the same thing).

As for your wife, she is desperately unhappy with her relationship with you, and with with aspects of life in general. Likely she sees the affair as a way out of her rut.

As for what you can change - wouldn't the first thing be to look at how you grow your relationships, each and every day (and whether or not you do). Remember - women don't respect men that give them everything - this type of guy is called a pushover (otherwise known as a 'nice guy'), and can't truly look after a woman. Women want men to be true to themselves, to respect themselves, and stand up for themselves when they display bad behaviour...they want us to have our own opinions, our own life, our own happiness...and to be considerate of theirs (ie there's two individuals so far), and contribute to the relationship (and that's the relationship part) that they, and the relationship grow, with you, together...but as individuals too.
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Reply Mon 24 Aug, 2009 08:09 pm
First of all, take care of the home ownership and separation papers - don't put it off! I know it must be hard for you, but don't contact her unless you absolutely have to. If she contacts you, be civil, but don't talk more than is necessary.

I believe you love her, but you have to look at the big picture. You let her walk all over you and she knows when she gets tired of her current boyfriend or he gets tired of her, you'll be there for her to come back to until the next time.

When she does decide it's time to get back with you (I use the word "when" because I'd bet it will happen), tell her the only way the two of you can get back together again is to go to couples counseling for a period of several months. If she does agree to that, go with an open mind and don't get back with her until all three of you decide it's the best thing to do. If she doesn't agree to counseling, be prepared to tell her you won't let her use you any longer and stick to it!

It would be easy for me to say cut all ties with her now and end your relationship, but I'm sure it wouldn't be easy for you to do. I suspect you are in for more heartache if you do get back with her at some point. Do you want to stay on this roller coaster ride? Love is strange, but remember to think with your mind and not let your heart get in the way. You both have serious issues you need to address. This relationship sounds very unhealthy for both of you.
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Reply Mon 24 Aug, 2009 08:21 pm
I'm going to talk to you like I would a girlfriend. I'm not being flippant or mean.
When life kicks you in the ass, move on. It's karma.
Protect yourself. Whatever may be may be but in the meantime, it is what it is. She doesn't live with you. She doesn't pay the bills. She's not there for you. You are.
So, go to a lawyer, get the house put in your name. Do as said above, don't initiate conversation. Pack all of her stuff she hasn't taken, give it back. Start the process, if life takes goes sideways again, at least your ducks are in order.
Enough cliches???
That's because broken hearts are cliches. The wo-es me stories are written because people always expect sunshine and roses. It doesn't happen.
Protect yourself. The best revenge is living a good life. So, go out meet people, take a course, live a life you never imagined and forget her. She doesn't sound like a prize anyhow...
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