My marriage is in trouble
on Aug 14 2014 at 20:03
Hi, I am a 50 year old husband who's been married to my wife for over 22 years now. We've had a great relationship, with 2 wonderful children, and she has loved me more than life it self...and for the most part, so have I. Unfortunately about 5 years ago I was unfaithful to her and she found out. She felt so hurt and betrayed, but for the family, she out on a good face and we continued on. I came to my senses and have been apologizing to her for 5 years. Right after the affair we sat down and made plans for the future. She started a great career as a consultant, and I started studying and flying to become a pilot. The plan was for me to stay at home and focus on my studies and for her to feel free to thrive on her career, which requires a lot of traveling. My plan, as we discussed, was for me to get my commercial pilots license here in the US and then go to Ecuador (which is my country of birth) to put some flying hours to be able to come back here and fly professionally. About a year ago, I ask her to please move on from the affair, which had been coming on and off to the forefront of the relationship. She agreed to put everything behind, and I felt madly in love with her that day. Everything was perfect, the last night before I left to Ecuador she cooked me a delicious dinner, we made love, and the next day she and our daughter took me to the airport. I left March 23th of this year. She gave me a card in which she told me how much she loves me and how she cannot picture her life without me in it. Just a few weeks after my departure, she slowed down communication a lot. I got concerned and wrote a heart felt note to her asking what was going on. She replied that she is going through some issues and all she needed was a little time to work them through. Just 4 days after that, I came across some messages of hers and discovered she was having an affair. I called her to ask if that was true, and she confirmed. Ever since then, she has asked for a divorce. I had to stay down there to complete some licensing requirements, but then I decided to come back home on July 22. She was surprised to see me come back, and on that day she went to talk to her boyfriend and to put things on hold. We have talked about everything that has happened, and she told me how she doesn't love me anymore and how this other guy has made her feel beautiful and desired. She is 47 years old and has been going through menopause for a couple of years. Yet, after the tension of the first day or so subsided, we have been having a great time together. She spoils me, she cooks for me, she watched movies and tv with me, she bakes me brownies, etc. yet she will not back down on the divorce. Our son, who has a degree in psychology, has told me that one of her complaints about me is that I am hot tempered and controlling and that she never had a voice here at home and that now with the divorce she is making a statement to have her opinion respected. I tend to agree with that. But I keep getting indications that she might be confused about the whole issue as well. She has told me that she understands she has made some bad decisions over the last 4 months, and that she hopes with her new hormone treatment she'd be able to see things more clearly. She has also told me that her father said she needs to do what she thinks is best for her, even if that means fixing things with me (my father in law and I haven't had the best relationship lately, so for her to tell me this is surprising). I can't shake the feeling that one of the main reasons why she is asking for a divorce is because she got caught cheating. Sorry for the long question, but is there hope for this marriage? I don't have any issues forgiving her for her error, after all, I made one my self. And I have made so significant changes to my personality, changing back to the person she fell in love with, which is the true me. Any advice?
on Aug 14 2014 at 22:38
Yes, it does look like there is hope for your marriage. Everyone makes mistakes, who has not? You made your mistake 5 yrs ago and your wife is most probably going through the same mistake now. You both worked through it then and I am sure you will both work through it now.
Your wife did not forgive you fully 5 yrs ago and now, may be this is her way of letting you know what she went through. I know two wrongs don't make a right but she probably did try her hardest to forgive you but was unable to. You being away from her just gave her the oppurtunity to get close to another person.
Many people would probably disagree with me. They may feel that if she had not forgiven you then she should not have taken you back. But, just remember, you say yourself she loved YOU more than life, therefore the affair must have totally broken her.
Don't give up on her, not yet anyway. But do make sure you make your presence known to her. Show her your face everyday. Talk to her everyday. Only you will know when enough is enough and when you do feel you are holding on to straws, do make sure you walk away. But until then, don't give up.
on Aug 14 2014 at 23:03
Thanks for the encouragement K. It really means a lot to me. Even though she continues to say there is nothing anyone can say or do to make her change her mind, she seems to be in a state of confusion. She has made efforts to make me feel at ease when she is on her phone texting, as she does constantly because of her work, to show me she is not texting with the other guy. I might be holding on to straws, I am not sure, hence my asking for help here. I still love her too much, and she is worth the fight, for sure.
on Aug 15 2014 at 04:00
The history of your marriage tells us that she is your best friend and that goes along way to you pair actually working it out.
Her father's advice to her is spot on. At her age she needs to do what is best for her. Your challenge is to get her to realize that YOU are best for her.
The fact that she can tell you what her BF did for her and then you guys 'just carry on' afterwards speaks volumes of just who she really wants to be with. Her actions are speaking. She dropped everything the day you unexpectedly turned up and immediately put her BF on hold.
The one thing you really need to do, is be honest with yourself and ask yourself just why you went elsewhere 5 years ago. If you were absolutely 100% happy you wouldn't have even thought about it. This is the true beginning of what you are experiencing at present and if you can fully understand yourself and your actions then you will be able to understand your wife's actions and her resulting confusion about it a little bit easier.
Incidentally, there are quite a few people out there who have divorced and then remarried and stayed married from then on. It's because they have been able to learn to forgive AND forget but they have also realized that they NEED each other no matter what has occurred in the past.
Give it your all Lococha because where there's a will, there's a way. You obviously have the will and I'm pretty sure (going by your post) that your wife, deep down, has it as well.
But, as the previous poster said, if it looks like things aren't working out and you end up clutching straws, then walk away.
on Aug 15 2014 at 04:17
Manalone, thanks for your words...one thing though, I did tell her a few strong words about her decisions and actions for the last four months, which have hurt not only me, but our children as well..but afterwards she told me she recognizes she has made some pretty bad decisions and that she accepts my words fully. but then we hugged and we have been having a great time. She cooks for me, she bakes for me, she watches movies with me. The other day I was out and when I came home (she works out of the house) I told her: you know I adore you, don\'t you?...se was surprised and asked me: really?...that afternoon she was very happy..although I cannot claim she was happy because of what I spontaneously said, I\'d like to think it had something to do with it. I\'ll keep going, I am not giving up until the end, and hearing that there is hope even after divorce gives me the strength I need. I\'m tired, but can\'t give up.
on Aug 15 2014 at 04:24
Manalone, the answer to the question of why I went looking for what I thought was love elsewhere is because she was an incredibly beautiful Russian woman 20 years younger than me..and I was her boss. It was stupid, and at the time I was going through a midlife crisis and mistakenly compared this woman to my wife. Big mistake...one that I have been paying for ever since, and I suspect will continue to pay for a while. The grass ain't greener on the other side..lesson learned. Now I have been deeply in love with my wife, and that has helped me to be extremely calmed and gentle at all times while going through this issue. She had to admit the other day that she was expecting me to hit the roof and explode throughout this process, but I never have, and that is working (I hope) to my advantage. Thanks again.
on Aug 15 2014 at 14:35
47 is really early for her physical issues, but stop blaming that for the state of your marriage.
You are co-responsible for all this: you admit you are hot tempered. You probably never got out of the "boss" mentality with her.
You have work to do. You must show her that you respect her and value her and can LISTEN to her calmly and with maturity - if you want her back. I think she got these things from her affair. Now she knows how a man can be. You are lucky she is still in the picture with you. Do your work on this marriage if you want it to survive.
on Aug 15 2014 at 15:05
Susieq, you are right, and I have taken full responsibility for everything that is going on from the begining, and have never made her feel guilty of anything. Yes, I am in the process of changing, and she has actually recognized that, and I am working very hard at it, every day, in fact it is the very pain I feel that motivates me to change and go back to my core, to the person she fell in love with. Things are very smooth and positive here at home because of my changes. But I understand she has to be cautious and see the transparency and permanency of my changes. And as far as her physical issues, she has been going on through them for over 2 years now...it is a family thing, and as I said, she is taking hormone treatment right now, and she hopes that this will help her see things a bit more clear. Something I didn\'t mention before is that our daughter found out her mother is having an affair and that was devastating for her, but my wife didn\'t stop it, even though they are best friends and she knew our daughter was hurt. Then our son, who my wife adores was told about it by our daughter, and after my wife found out that he knew, she didn\'t do anything to stop it either. She knows how much our son had respected and admired his mother, and knowing she was having an affair was also a hard blow for him, yet, she never did anything to make him feel better. We talked about this in length, my wife and I, about a week ago, and it felt like she was hearing how much she had hurt her children for the first time, like she hadn\'t realized just how much damage she has done to her kids, and that is when she admitted that she hadn\'t made the best decisions lately and that she accepts my comments fully. I know I brought this upon my marriage, I have never denied it, and I know I am lucky she has been so nice to me while I am here at the house. I hope I can show her she can feel safe and secured and loved and peaceful with me, that my core values, which she fell in love with, haven\'t changed, and that I am respecting her, even if that means I sign the divorce. I will make this a painless process for her, and I will tell her that I will always love her.
on Aug 15 2014 at 15:20
Love is strange and can shift focus before you know it. Now in comparison to you and this other man, you stand a better chance with her. Reason is simple, you both share an amazing chemistry which actually helped you face all the storms in your marriage. Somewhere she too knows that.
Having said that, its not the time to sit back and relax or give up. Its the time to prove yourself. Having been with her for 22 years, you almost know what irritates her, what she likes. So stick to that...avoid irritating her and impress her with what she likes. May be cook for her a special dinner, give her card, flowers, gift, take her to her favorite movie may be, let her decide somethings (there by you will be negating the control complaint). In short make her feel special because the lack of that was what made her stray. And yes I too feel the asking for divorce might be the result of her own guilt feelings. (Here you might need to talk to her about it, though at a later stage after you have been able to turn around the love situation). Wish you all the best.
on Aug 15 2014 at 16:35
Shivangi, great advise...she is traveling and coming back home tonight, I have to go pick her up at the airport, in the mean time I am going to buy her flowers to put on the bedroom and surprise her. Believe me, I spend (as you can see..
) most of my time doing what I need to do to restore my marriage, to make the changes I need to make. As a result of my changes, my relationship with our daughter has gone to incredible levels, she now spends a lot of time with me and confides in me like she never did before. Our daughter is 18 and she has chosen not to intervene at all in this situation, something my wife and I respect, but it is difficult because I know even though on the surface she seems ok, she is suffering as well. She is leaving home to go to college next week, and I know my wife is very sad about this. Time is of the essence here, because I am too leaving the house to live on my own, and that means my wife is going to be alone. I need to make sure she misses me and she doesn't go back to the other relationship...but that can only happen if she feels sure I have changed.
on Aug 15 2014 at 19:06
Make good use of her ears as women fall in love through their ears more than anything else. You are trying sweet talk now but from your post I get the feeling that it had been ignored for sometime. So keep at it and things should be fine soon.
As for her not stopping the affair when kids got to know, wife's mind attaches with her husband in a unique way. When she feels extreme love for her husband, she shares it with everyone he is associated with like kids, in laws etc. She sees a part of him in each of those relations. The moment love changes into anger and resentment that too boils over to some extent into other relationships associated with him. That could be the reason, she never felt she should stop or that she is wrong when kids came to know.When you asked her to put things behind and move on and love kind of returned into your marriage, she was confused. When she gave you the card, she chose you. When communications slowed down from her end, obviously it was because the confusion returned. The confusion if the change she saw in you is going to stay or its a phase. (which you already know).
But the very fact that she put things on hold means you are her first priority.
If you are going to be leaving the house, keep up the communication. Send romantic lines to her. Keep telling her you miss her and wish she was there with you. Communication is the key to keep the relation alive even when you are physically apart.
on Aug 15 2014 at 19:19
Shivangi...your analysis of the reason why she may have acted the way she did in not really caring about how she was hurting the kids is interesting...I never thought of it that way, and it makes sense. One thing that she told me when I came back is that she hasn't believed anything I said for a long time (since my affair), but I got to say that even though I had a temper, I was always complimenting her and telling her how beautiful she is to me. She admitted that she never allowed herself to believe me. Now that I am back, I have lost over 35lbs of weight due to the suffering and pain, she has told me repeatedly that she can see in my eyes how much I love her...so she agreed that if she would only allow herself to believe me, she would be fine. In other words, she went looking for someone to make her feel good, when I was here trying to make her feel good all along, but unfortunately my temper and macho attitude got in the way. Believe me, I know she is very doubtful of my change, and who wouldn't, change is hard and it cant really happen in such short time. But I keep telling her: I have two choices in life, A-I change and make her happy, or B-I live in pain for the rest of my life...to me, its easy, I choose A. I need the pain to keep changing, but the pain is awful...now I know how she felt when I put her through what I did. Thanks for your words.
on Aug 16 2014 at 14:27
So I got her flowers...she said she doesn't want flowers, but "thank you anyway"....broke my heart!
on Aug 16 2014 at 22:57
your story make me confuse you are 50 married for 22 years and you were 28 years old when you got married and you say your wife is 20 years younger than you so she was 8 years old when she married you? Or is that the other woman you have been unfaithful.
Well every woman is different in a way of reacting to the problems.
Well my ex husband cheated me. That is slightly 7 years ago when my daughter was 12 months. I have lost the feelings towards to him I lost interest the respect what I had for him. totally was not able to accept as him total clean. But I did not do the same in return I cannot make my self dirt for some one else. But I have asked for a divorce. Honestly it is hard to be with a husband when there is no feeling and the life what used to be. I can feel what your wife went through and also what you are going through. But I don't think that you can do much to make it undone.