Thu 18 Jun, 2015 06:18 am
Married 26 years. She had 3 year affair with our neighbor (my former "friend" and drinking partner. I am now 2.5 years sober). Dday was a year ago. We stayed together for about 5 months, then separated for 3 months. She dated him while separated, and concluded that he was not relationship material. We got back together 4 months ago. She last spoke to him when she went to visit his sister - her friend - 3 months ago. Since then she has changed her phone number and completely cut him off (I believe).
Things are much, much better with us. I forgive her - no one is perfect, especially me, and and she is committed to our marriage and family on many fronts. But she strongly wants to maintain a close friendship with his sister (who lives in the apartment above his). She says she'll never go to her apartment - that they'll meet off site. She says she'll ask her friend not to talk about him.
I've expressed to her that this arrangement doesn't work for me. That I am afraid that being close to his sister could rekindle the affair. That she is a reminder of him in how she looks, acts, etc. that it is keeping the door ajar, even a little. She adamantly disagrees, and thinks she can have a relationship with his sister without any possibility of rekindling the affair. I have explained that it is a barrier to trust. That she can do whatever she wants, but I will not be able to be fully vulnerable in our relationship if she maintains that friendship. That it will be very difficult to me to be "all in" knowing that she lunches with her affair partner's sister. That I will not feel truly safe in our marriage.
My question: am I being unreasonable? Is this my trust issue to work on, and and make peace with myself about her friendship with his affair partner's sister?
Please don't say "dump her". We have kids, and they are not "resilient". Even if she keeps that friendship, I am confident that we can have a civil, friendly, even loving (to a degree), relationship.
I would like to have an "all in" marriage. I would love to be able to be vulnerable, and to trust my wife. I'm just not sure I can if she's keeping ties to the family of her affair partner.
I think it's poor judgment on her part.
I am not suggesting you make her choose, but you should make her aware of how you feel (and perhaps in a neutral counselor's office).
I don't think you are being unreasonable about her cutting ALL ties with him - UNLESS she was friends with the sister way before the "affair."
If so, then it's unfair to ask her to give up all her past, even if it has a distance connection to him.
Besides, she has told you that he is not her choice. You either believe that or not. Do you?
Have you moved since the affair ended?
If not, isn't he still your neighbour?
Not sure how I feel about the friendship. I probably wouldn't take it well if I was asked to end a friendship because of my partner's unease. Lots of factors to consider.
How long have the women been friends?
They were friends before the affair - in fact, the sister used to be an employee of ours. That's when they got really close. Also, their mom was our day care provider, and my wife often said that they were her support system ("why aren't I your support system?", I would ask).
It's all a little incestuous if you asked me.
Yes, we have moved about 5 miles away. They've been friends for 8 or 9 years - before the affair.
One thing I've been thinking of saying is: I am not going to try to control you. I am not going to tell you who you can be friends with. But if you hang out with your AP/s sister, I cannot be "all in" with you. I cannot trust you. So, is it all or nothing? black and white? perfect marriage or divorce? I don't think so. There can be a lot in between. I have suggested that if she wants to keep that relationship, then maybe the best thing to do is have an open marriage. What's good for the goose. We can fulfill each other's need financially, domestically and as parents, and look to others for emotional support and sex.