Follow-Up to Wife in Ongoing Affair

This is a follow-up to the “wife in ongoing affair” thread I had posted earlier this week. So we had the big talk. I told her that her choices have led me to conclude that her extramarital relationship is more important to her than me or her family, and that we needed to discuss the dissolution of the marriage. I had brought that up previously so she knew the consequences of continuing the relationship.

A little more history. The affair began over the Thanksgiving Holiday last year when I took my children to spend the holiday with my family out of state. I became aware of the affair in January. Spent a few weeks observing and collecting information. Confronted her in early February (in the presence of a priest). After a tearful “break-up” with him it was supposed to have been over. No contact on any kind whatsoever. That boundary was only loosely observed. However, things between us did seem to improve dramatically.

In July things appear to have heated up again (once again while I was visiting my family with the kids). I became increasingly aware of more and more contact. In early October I overheard a phone call she had with him when she “butt dialed” me where she repeatedly expressed her love for him and discussed plans. I also found some letters he had written her which revealed that he too was very deeply invested. I laid it all out on the table (again in the presence of a priest). Again, tearful break-up, commitment to no contact of any kind, etc, etc, etc. Then, on All Saints Day she went to mass with him at his parish and then spent some time together in his car after mass. There are a few other things that I believed happend in the interim, but that one is the “smoking gun”. The time spent in his car was captured on a surveylance system.

Now that the reality of divorce is setting in she is interested in our relationship again. I was expecting something like this to happen. This is where it gets tricky I think. How to know if she is sincere? How to know if I should give her a 2nd (or in this case 3rd) chance? How to play my cards? My deepest desire is for there to be healing and reconciliation. But I don’t want to be suckered in again.

To me it sounds like maybe she is given too many opportunities to be alone with him.

Why is she left home alone while you go visit family with the kids?
Why did she not attend Mass with you and the kids on All Saints Day?

Obviously she is a weak woman… these opportunities should be removed.
That is, if she wants to actually fix the situation and avoid the separation/divorce.

You and your wife will continue to be in my prayers. :frowning:

Too many opportunities is right. We are rural dwellers. He lives a mile down the road (rural dirt road at that). My wife drops the kids off at school then has the whole day until she picks them up at 2:45. He is a farmer, so he is around all the time too. I work an hour away from home, so she knows that I am not free to do too much snooping around.

In all *practical *reality - if you want to save your marriage you need to move.
Why not? You’re driving AN HOUR to work each day - that alone should be pause for thought!

If she’s motivated to save the marriage she needs to find something to occupy her time. Volunteering at the school (or working there?) would help at the very least.

Time has to be managed better. Remove the opportunities and the temptations.

And if she thinks she’s doing some great service to the family/kids by being a SAHM (stay at home mom)… pretty sure she’s *eliminated *all that benefit by choosing poor behavior.

She is only remorseful when she is caught and pinned - when she thinks you might kick her out or take some other action. The 2 times she has started up again should have shown you that she is not sincerely remorseful, only sorry that she got caught. If she were truly wanting to change, she would ask you to move the family away from her temptation. You see, YOU are the reason she cuts it off, not because she cares about you, but because you have caught her with her hand in the cookie jar. Not because she recognizes that what she is doing is wrong. She may be as sincere as anything, but not really MEAN IT, if you know what I mean.

Frankly, I would not give her another chance. I would ask her to leave the home, and I would file separation papers. I would counsel with my priest, and “out” her about the adultery. If someone wants to play with fire, they are going to get burned. The only way I would take an adulterous spouse back is if THEY initiated a change - through therapy, etc. and it would take a lot of time apart to even start to build back the trust.

If you aren’t ready to kick her out, at least tell yourself that you will give her NO MORE chances if she blows it again. Then you know you have done absolutely everything possible to keep your marriage together and it’s her actions that have caused the problems.

I tend to agree with Julianne.

And I just have to say that this part makes me physically ill:

*Then, on All Saints Day she went to mass with him at his parish *

I am so sorry OP. I am also curious why she doesn’t join you and the kids to go visit your family however.

She needs to get a job.

Two reasons; 1) she doesn’t get along with my family all that well and, 2) she has benefited from the breaks. In fairness it probably looks like she is not doing much now. But she did home-school all of our kids to a point, and she has made great sacrifices for the family. However, physical and emotional conditions have taken a serious toll on her body and her mind. She does not function anywhere near what she used to. VERY HARD to watch that happen to her. I am convinced that, to a large extent, the affair was a form of “medication” for some of the difficulties she has been experiencing.

I agree with the ‘idle hands are the devil’s workshop’ concept. She needs something to occupy her time. Of course, if she gets a job and is with someone all daythere’s a risk of temptation there as well.

Your kids will be better off if you can truly work something out. I would have moved in a heartbeat to save my marriage and spare my kids what they are going through.

I would insist on counseling and work on the relationship. Marriage encounter, retrovaille, finding a common hobby together. Meeting her for lunch near your work. Meeting her for dinner where you work- with and without kids.

In counseling you both need to be honest on what is the root cause. Disatisfaction with something, boredom, depression, whatever. I don’t know you or her, while there is never an excuse for what she has done-- there may be reasons, things you do that you need to acknowledge and can change.

The affair/relationship is probably more attractive to your wife (and the other guy) because it is illicit.

It becomes less attractive when reality sets in.

It’s not a more real relationship than your marriage - it’s just more exciting. And not exciting because the people in it are more exciting, but because it is breaking rules, and because it is sinful.

Does the farmer know that you know, and that you are at the end of your tether in terms of the relationship? He may not be so willing to assume the responsibilities incumbent upon a real (and not nefarious) relationship.

I agree that you should strongly consider moving, if that will help to remove the temptation. However, it is also possible that you would simply be replacing one problem with another (e.g., if she starts up a new affair with a neighbor in the new location).

My advice would be to give her another chance, but only if she demonstrates a firm commitment not only to end the affair, but also to take drastic steps to avoid any situation that would lead to temptation.

Was homeschooling a mutual decision?
Was the decision to put them back into school a mutual decision?
“Benefiting from the breaks” implies she was not thriving in whatever situation she was in, correct? That should have sent up red flags that the situation (whatever it was) should have been dealt with then.

I agree… sounds like mutual marriage counseling is necessary…

Oh yea. He knows I know. He and I have had more than one talk. He is a convincing liar. He actually had me believing that he was on board with the boundaries we had set. By the way, he is divorced from his wife as a result of an affair he had while he was married. So that’s what we’re dealing with. He’s a pro!

Also, go to Retrouvaille and/or counseling. Retrouvaille has saved marriages where one spouse had an affair; it just might do the same for yours too.

For counseling, if you can’t find a good counselor in your area, you might try the tele-counseling services here:

Yeah…does Farmer Ted know that you know?

I can’t stand the country anyway, so I’d move.

Your wife sounds like my brother in a lot of ways actually, and his poor wife keeps maintaining the status quo complete with pleas and counseling and retroville and all that.
Nothing works for very long.

Reality might work. I say kick her out and remain separated for as long as it takes for a true change to occur. You’ll know when it happens. Her darkness needs to be brought into the light so it will lose its power over her.

One question, is the farmer married? if so, is his wife aware. I agree that she needs more to fill her time. none of us over the internet can really advise you because we don’t know what really motivates her and why she is afraid of a separation. I will remember you in my prayers and my heart breaks for you.

C’mon now…

I have been pushing for Retrauvaille and counseling for years. Long before the affair. And I would absolutely love for us to work with Greg Popcak. That is my fantasy!

So how many years has her mental health gone unchecked? It sounds like she needed counseling like last decade.

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