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Need advice. Wife having 'Facebook' affair with old boyfriend.

 
 
Bigben1
 
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 12:21 pm
Last Sunday I discovered, by accident, that my wife of over 10 years has been having an 'online' affair with an old boyfriend. Apparently, they reconnected on Facebook around four months ago and began messaging each other.
While I have no idea what the previous messages said (she would erase them immediately after their chat), I did see the previous night's messages. Without going into details, their conversation was very intimate with talk about missing, and still loving each other, and that they were addicted to one another.
I was, of course, devastated to find this and my heart is still broken. I immediately confronted my wife.
Before continuing, I must admit that she had been openly unhappy with our marriage for some time. Her biggest complaint being that I am not affectionate and she doesn't feel loved in the way she wants to. I had been trying to work on this with her, but felt like she had built up a wall at that point.
Back to the situation - upon confronting her, she was remorseful and apologetic. She said that this was filling a void that she has had. She swears that she wants me to be the one that makes her happy and she has been trying very hard these last few days to demonstrate her love for me. She also wrote what I hope to be a final message to the other guy saying that I had found out and they can no longer communicate. I read this message and I must say that I wish it had been more about her loving her husband and the affair being a mistake rather than me finding out being the reason they can no longer communicate. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I feel like she wrote the message out of necessity rather than because she wanted to stop communicating with him and work on us.
At this point, I still love my wife and want our marriage to be great. But part of me feels like she loves this other guy. She tells me that she only loves the way he makes her feel, not him specifically. Is that possible? Can that be true? She also promised that she will never have contact with him again. Is that likely? It's been going on for four months - if they were addicted, as they wrote to each other, won't stopping cold turkey be difficult.
Lastly, if I do the things that she says make her happy, will she actually be happy? Or was it him that was making her happy?
I know these are all questions that she needs to answer, but I feel like she is telling me whatever I want to hear. Whether it's true, or not, I don't know.
Thank you in advance for any advice you can provide.
Sincerely,
BW
 
View best answer, chosen by Bigben1
engineer
 
  4  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 12:28 pm
@Bigben1,
Quote:
She tells me that she only loves the way he makes her feel, not him specifically. Is that possible? Can that be true?

Sure. Everyone has fantasies. They don't necessarily want the real life version, they just want to dream about another life, one where all the exciting stuff happens and none of the mundane. Real life is messy. I don't know if that is the case with you and your wife, but if you want to work on your marriage, there is certainly the possibility that she wants the real you, not someone who is really a complete stranger tied to a romantic daydream.
Bigben1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 01:45 pm
@engineer,
Thanks Engineer! That does make me feel better.

The only thing I would say (and that I forgot to add in the original post) is that the guy is an old boyfriend (prior to our marriage). They apparently had a strong bond, but for whatever reason, things didn't work out. I think she misses that sort of bond. I think I know what she means and to be honest I feel the same way.

Strangely, however, I feel closer to her now than I have felt in a long time. I am hesitant to express this though. I want to respond in like to her holding and hugging me and telling me that she loves me, but I just can't do it yet. It's still too fresh. At the same time, I don't want her to become impatient and frustrated thinking I'm incapable of doing these things. I can, and I want to, but I'm going to need some time.

I want to believe her and trust her, but how can I after this?
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 02:02 pm
@Bigben1,
You say that your wife was looking for more affection from you. Had you already told you that before her catching up with her old boyfriend?

What kinds of things do you do to express/show your love and affection for your wife? what things do both of you do to keep things fresh and happy in the relationship?

It's not easy keeping things gentle and light in long-term relationships but it's worth trying.

It doesn't have to be complicated. If there is a special little treat she likes (ie. a special candy, a book, fancy bottled water) that she normally wouldn't get for herself, bring her one and give it to her with a little hug. Little things can go a long long way. Being offered a handful of freshly popped, buttered popcorn can make me happy. Small gestures add up Smile
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 02:03 pm
@Bigben1,
Bigben1 wrote:
I want to respond in like to her holding and hugging me and telling me that she loves me, but I just can't do it yet.


do you still love her?
Bigben1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 02:27 pm
@ehBeth,
I do still love her.

She did express her unhappiness prior to me discovering the relationship with her old boyfriend. And I was working on the things she told me she wanted. But I've found that people show love in different ways. I feel that am very thoughtful with regards to the "little things" that you suggested. I express my love by buying her things and doing things for her that I think will make her happy; however, at the time, she told me that this was not the type of love she needed. She said she wanted more affection and time together, which is a bit difficult because I travel frequently for work and we have a 5 year old that requires a lot of attention while we're at home.

The other thing is that this affair was going on while she was telling me these things. And even though I was making an effort to change, I feel that it went unnoticed because her heart and attention was devoted to the affair.

I am sure that I am leaving things out, but it's only been two days since I found out and my mind, and stomach, are still reeling.
Bigben1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 03:07 pm
If anyone else has advice or has had a similar experience, please post.
Thanks again!
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 03:43 pm
@Bigben1,
Bigben1 wrote:

The other thing is that this affair was going on while she was telling me these things. And even though I was making an effort to change, I feel that it went unnoticed because her heart and attention was devoted to the affair.

I think it is more likely that if she was really into the "affair", she wouldn't have been telling you anything. Talking to her old flame made her realize what she wanted and wasn't getting from you and rather than run to him, she told you what she wanted. There's hope for you two Ben. Keep working on it and insist she do the same.
0 Replies
 
giujohn
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 04:13 pm
The big question is: What is the physical proximity of this former boyfriend?
If they are within driving distance of each other (and if not, if your wife has taken any extended trips) I would strongly suspect that this is/was not an "online" affair.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  3  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 04:19 pm
The grass is always greener on the other side, but guess what: they use **** as fertilizer too !
Of course she was smitten with her old flame, they haven't shared the day to day life that can be very unromantic, challenging and disappointing. Naturally she was drawn to him, his words and his attention. She's been neglected in that department and he was eager to fill that void.

Since she told you already what she's missing in your marriage, you can redeem yourself - and why the hell don't you want to hold her and hug her?
Maybe that's what she needs right now more than anything. Just go and show her your vulnerability and show her that you're hurting too.

You both should go to counseling to get help in finding the way to each other again. It seems she is as committed as you, she just wanted to fill a void she had. So go and fill that void and try your best to get the intimacy back into your life. A good counselor can help you and guide you into the right direction. Good luck!
Bigben1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 09:19 pm
@CalamityJane,
Thank you so much for all of the great advice and words of encouragement. This is a very difficult time for me and I'm doing my best to make my way through it. This is the most painful thing that has ever happened to me.
I keep going back and forth with how I feel. I still feel like there is something she is holding back. We just had an argument because I wanted to talk more specifically about the messages. She has no problem talking in generalities, but will not discuss specifics. I tried to explain that the more I understand, the easier it will be to move past. Otherwise, my mind will likely just fill in the blanks with the worst.
Eliusa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 12:50 pm
@Bigben1,
Fill it with worse because there probably was the worse BUT for her and your sake - do not ask her to tell you what messages were saying. It is wrong on every level. If you forgetting it - try to forget it and forgive.
Bigben1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2015 01:52 pm
@Eliusa,
Thank you for your thoughts and advice. I'm still trying to fully understand how I feel about the whole thing. I've gone through just about every emotion imaginable. Part of me feels that I have to accept some responsibility, since she wasn't happy. At the same time, I also feel that if she had devoted her time and energy on our marriage, rather than the affair, perhaps things would have been better in the first place.
CalamityJane
 
  3  
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2015 06:04 pm
@Bigben1,
Yes, but you blaming her and she blaming you doesn't get you anywhere.
You need to have a plan in how to win her back - that is if she wants to!
Are you two talking this through?
Bigben1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2015 11:13 am
@CalamityJane,
Hi Jane,

First, I want to thank you. You have been so great and helpful. I am sincerely thankful for you.

Yes, we have been talking A LOT. Probably more than we ever have. In a strange way, I almost feel like it's a new relationship. I look forward to seeing and talking to her.

But my emotions are so mixed! I have never been an insecure person and/but, I have never had anything like this happen to me. This has really screwed up my mind. Even though, over the past week, we have been extremely close in every way, and she really is trying to show me how much she cares for me, I still feel, somewhat, insecure. Although she expressed she doesn't, I can't help but think that she still either loves, or has feelings for him. I worry that they share(d) some sort of bond that we haven't/don't/can't. I want, more than anything, to know that we have that bond, even stronger, but how can I ever know that? Only she can know.
Another issue - we've had sex 4 times this week, and while I do feel a spark back in our relationship, the sex has not been fulfilling for me. So much that we went for two hours last night and I didn't orgasm (and that has NEVER, EVER been a problem for me).
What is going on with me?!?!
Thank you again for all of your help!
Ben
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2015 11:13 pm
@Bigben1,
Ben,
it's only natural that you feel insecure and unsure if your wife is sincere. There is a lot of repair work to be done in your relationship, but it seems like your wife is trying and she realized that you don't throw 10 years of marriage out the window. The key is to communicate now as much as possible and talk about your feelings - both of you!

I think you also should mention to your wife that you love to be intimate with her, yet you still have some insecurities and talk about how she could help you overcome these insecurities. Being vulnerable and opening up to her, doesn't make you any less of a man, on the contrary, it takes guts to let someone else see your vulnerability.

As I said, communication is so important to any relationship, but even more so in a relationship that needs to heal. It won't happen overnight, but if you both work on it, you heal together! Good luck!
Eliusa
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Jan, 2015 09:52 am
@Bigben1,
You are hurt, don't worry, time will cure it and you will be back. Good Luck.
Bigben1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 03:35 pm
@Eliusa,
Dear Jane and Eli,

Thank you both for the kind words and encouragement.
What are your thoughts about the feelings that I perceive my wife still has for him?

I knew my wife long before we were together and she was always the one that was 'hard to get,' but, apparently, it was the opposite with this guy. He was the one that played hard to get and she just could not hold onto him. We talked about their relationship and this was something that I was not aware of.

Knowing this scares me, because I know how it feels to want something you can't have. She tells me that she does not have those kind of feelings for him any longer, but I'm just not convinced.

I told her yesterday that I have never been, and refuse to be a 'second best' guy. I asked her to please be honest with me and to tell me now if she still has feelings for him. If she does, I'd much rather know now so I can get on with my life with someone who sees me as #1.

I hate this feeling. It saddens me to think this, but my gut is telling me that she can't resist this guy.

What can I do? How do I shake this feeling?

Thank you again for all of your help!!!

Ben
FOUND SOUL
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 03:51 pm
@Bigben1,
He was an "old" boyfriend that didn't find her attractive enough to make a pass at her, perhaps, in her mind and we don't know why he is an ex either, perhaps he cheated on her, perhaps he didn't show love, perhaps she "was" living in the past just briefly for the moment, trying to get closure.

You said you know what it's like to feel rejected, it's a feeling a lot of people can't cope with and therefore, try to play on it, sub-consciously even that then, turns to reality.

I do think that she's closed the door now, had that closure. It was past but she bought it into the present, perhaps to rid the past but there is a future, if you two want it.
0 Replies
 
Bigben1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 10:37 am
@CalamityJane,
Hi Jane,

I'm not sure if you saw my most recent post, but I would like to add onto it and respond to your comments, as well.

When I first discovered the affair, I apparently told her that I don't want her to have any communication with him ever again. She reminded me of this yesterday and told me that she resents not being treated like an adult that can make her own decisions. She said she has no intention to speak to him again, but resents being told she can't.

Up until Monday, I felt like my wife and I were making steady progress each day. However, I feel like Monday was a bit of a setback. And it might be my fault. As I said before, my emotions have been a roller coaster and they can change in an instant. I am not used to this, because I typically have a pretty level personality. The problem is that things can seem to be going well, but all of the sudden, the whole thing hits me again. My wife is getting frustrated, and she is starting to become defensive. She says that I am 'beating a dead horse.' I feel like she's beginning to pull away and I don't want that! I keep telling her that I'm sorry and that I don't want to feel like this - I really can't help it!
I have trouble translating my emotions and feelings into words, which is what I think the root of the problem is. I know that I am redundant with the things I say and questions that I ask her, but I just don't know how else to say what I am feeling. She says she doesn't have a problem talking about it, but she wants the conversations to be productive. I totally agree with that, but I don't know how.
A lot of my questions are rhetorical and all I want from her to do is hug me and say I'm sorry, I love you, I promise I'll never again betray you, but more than anything, I want her to tell me that the other guy means nothing to her.

Thank you so much again for advice, encouragement, and kind words. It is really helping me work through this.

Ben
 

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