Infidelity by wife


#1

My wife of 26 years admitted she has had a physical affair (once) with a man, but is continuing an emotional affair with him. She says she loves him, but she loves me, too. My first words out of my mouth after she told me of the affair was, “I forgive you.” She tells me I’m a wonderful husband, but that he provides something that I just don’t have.
We are still living together, and she continues to act like nothing is wrong. We have three children who are totally unaware of the situation…
Of course, I love her and want her to stay with me. I pray about this constantly, I go to Mass every day for guidance, but I’m at my wit’s end. I still do all of the laundry and cooking and most of the child-rearing (she is going after an advanced degree)…
I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in emotional limbo…I’ve already told her that would be no grounds for an anullment (if that’s what she was thinking).
I know there’s probably no good advice out there…just had to share with others the misery I’m going through.


#2

www.retrouvaille.org

Go on a Retrouvaille weekend with her.

Please!


#3

It made me very sad to read your post. I am very sorry for the situation you are in. I can’t begin to imagine what you must be going through!

The first thing that popped into my mind is to focus on your children.

Do what you can to stay in your marriage… counselling, a Retrouvaille weekend, pretend nothing is wrong… but you need to be your kids dad. That would be very hard to do if you guys split up and she gets custody.

As a wife, your wife’s behavior sickens me. As a future mother (hopefully), your wife’s behavior sickens me.

If she will not go to cousellling with you, please go for yourself. You are in a very stressful, sad situation and you may need help to get through it with your sanity. But make sure the counsellor shares your faith and values or you could be in a world of trouble.

I pray that God helps you and your family through this.

Malia


#4

I am really glad you are reaching out to us on here, friend, so you can receive many prayers from us all. I would think you will need a lot of prayerful support while you are going through this difficulty with your wife. Hopefully, we can provide some of that support for you so please keep letting us know how you are doing, if you feel up to it. Meanwhile, I am praying for you, dear brother in Christ. :yup:


#5

[quote=jolean]My wife of 26 years admitted she has had a physical affair (once) with a man, but is continuing an emotional affair with him. She says she loves him, but she loves me, too. My first words out of my mouth after she told me of the affair was, “I forgive you.” She tells me I’m a wonderful husband, but that he provides something that I just don’t have.
We are still living together, and she continues to act like nothing is wrong. We have three children who are totally unaware of the situation…
Of course, I love her and want her to stay with me. I pray about this constantly, I go to Mass every day for guidance, but I’m at my wit’s end. I still do all of the laundry and cooking and most of the child-rearing (she is going after an advanced degree)…
I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in emotional limbo…I’ve already told her that would be no grounds for an anullment (if that’s what she was thinking).
I know there’s probably no good advice out there…just had to share with others the misery I’m going through.
[/quote]

If I were you, I would say she must stop speaking to this other man. You are her husband and you are the one that she is supposed to love. She broke your trust by cheating, yet she is unwilling to break the relationship with the person she cheated with. In my opinion, she does not sound trustworthy. She is putting a relationship of someone outside the marriage who she cheated with, on the level of the relationship with her husband.


#6

[quote=jimmy]If I were you, I would say she must stop speaking to this other man.
[/quote]

This is the LAST thing I would say to your wife. Nothing will make her want to go running into the arms of her lover than you placing a demand like this on her. This is common sense that she must arrive at on her own. Perhaps with counseling and taking a hard look at herself and what she wants out of life along with what she values in a successful life will get her to come around to the conclusion that she must end it with this other man. This is work that SHE must do though.

I don’t have any quick answers for you, but I will say that open communication between the two of you is essential at this time of your marriage. You may tell her that you would feel better if she stopped all communication with the lover (your marraige may depend on it), but that you realize that the decision is ultimately left up to her. You want her to come to the right conclusion on her own. I pray she makes the right choice.


#7

I don’t know of any woman who would allow her husband to continue seeing another woman while still living in the same house with his wife. Why should you be asked to do that? You should sit down with her and tell her that she either needs to stop seeing this other man, or move out. I know this sounds extremely tough, but maybe when she sees you’re not going to be a door-mat then she’ll come to her senses. If she’s not willing to do this to save her marriage, then perhaps some time on her own will bring her to her senses. In any case, she cannot have both worlds and expect you to just sit back and take it. It’s not right and it’s not fair to you or the children. What is this teaching them? That they can grow up, get married, and have an affair and the spouse is supposed to be okay with this?

You’re family is in my prayers. I also agree with everyone that has said that counseling is a very wise option.
Scout :tiphat:


#8

If my wife were continuing to communicate with a man she had an adulterous affair with, and had the audacity to claim that “He gives her something I don’t” then she would be on the street. I would forgive her, and I would take her back if she ended the relationship. I would, however, set this up as a three way meeting in a public place. Me, him, and her. There would be no question in anyone’s mind that their relationship is absolutely over. God is a merciful God, but He is also a just God. God does not play gmaes with infidelity. The entire theme of the bible is God’s relationship with his chosen people. Read the book of Hosea to see how much God loves his wife (first Israel, now the Church) and how severely He treats infidelity.


#9

[quote=DVIN CKS]This is the LAST thing I would say to your wife. Nothing will make her want to go running into the arms of her lover than you placing a demand like this on her. This is common sense that she must arrive at on her own. Perhaps with counseling and taking a hard look at herself and what she wants out of life along with what she values in a successful life will get her to come around to the conclusion that she must end it with this other man. This is work that SHE must do though.

I don’t have any quick answers for you, but I will say that open communication between the two of you is essential at this time of your marriage. You may tell her that you would feel better if she stopped all communication with the lover (your marraige may depend on it), but that you realize that the decision is ultimately left up to her. You want her to come to the right conclusion on her own. I pray she makes the right choice.
[/quote]

So youm just tell her, “Go spend all your time with the man you cheated with”. That takes 0 common sense. Common sense says she will cheat again. Look at what she told her husband, “I love you but I also loves him” and “you are a wonderful husband but he offers something you don’t”. This doesn’t sound untrustworthy to you?

I realize that it is best for her to come to her own conclusion on the issue, but that could never happen. Infidelity hurts more than two lives, there are also the children involved. She is sacrificing her husband and kids for some other man.


#10

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]If my wife were continuing to communicate with a man she had an adulterous affair with, and had the audacity to claim that “He gives her something I don’t” then she would be on the street. I would forgive her, and I would take her back if she ended the relationship. I would, however, set this up as a three way meeting in a public place. Me, him, and her. There would be no question in anyone’s mind that their relationship is absolutely over. God is a merciful God, but He is also a just God. God does not play gmaes with infidelity. The entire theme of the bible is God’s relationship with his chosen people. Read the book of Hosea to see how much God loves his wife (first Israel, now the Church) and how severely He treats infidelity.
[/quote]

Scott nailed it exactly. The whole Bible is set with the backdrop of God’s relationship with his people being that of a husband with his spouse. As we are unfaithful to God we are separated from God. We can not be with God and be unfaithful, the two positions are never compatible. We are also called to love our wives all our lives, this does not say we are obligated to be a whipping board for them. Our marriage is a triune relationship an image of the trinity. God the Husband and the Wife are all three united in the sacrament of marriage causing a single entity. Violating the Marriage sacrament of marriage is tantamount to trying to add a foreign god to the Trinity. We are called to be an example of God to our children we have a moral obligation to stop that which is not in the best interest of our children and our marriage.


#11

[quote=jimmy]So youm just tell her, “Go spend all your time with the man you cheated with”. That takes 0 common sense. Common sense says she will cheat again. Look at what she told her husband, “I love you but I also loves him” and “you are a wonderful husband but he offers something you don’t”. This doesn’t sound untrustworthy to you?

[/quote]

This is not what I’m suggesting at all. All I’m saying is that she doesn’t need a husband DEMANDING that she do “xyz”. No one likes to be told what to do. There are other ways that he can get his message across. Also, from his message he claims that she has only had a physical relationship with the lover ONCE but continues with an emotional attraction. If this is the case, then maybe she is trying to sort this all out and make the right decision. She sounds like a very confused woman who is struggling with her emotions and feelings. It’s easy for outsiders like ourselves to label her as “untrustworthy”. Clearly, she has broken the bond of trust in her marriage, but for all we know she is trying to do the right thing. She’ll get my prayers.

Forcing a spouse out of the house when children are involved is serious stuff. I would like to think of it as a last resort. If this man can get his wife to agree to some counseling and she can assure him that the physical aspect of the relationship is over than I don’t think kicking her to the curb just yet is necessary. She should be held accountable for her whereabouts and the husband should be able to call her or check up on her to make sure that she is where she says she is. She needs to earn back the trust that she lost.

All the talk about what the Bible says means nothing to someone who is not spiritually grounded in their faith. This poster didn’t say whether his wife is Catholic or overly religious. I agree that if you can get one to open up to what the scriptures say about infidelity and the seriousness of the sin of adultery, then you might have a chance at getting through to them on a spiritual level. However, if one doesn’t view their marriage as a covenant with God than their perspective is going to be different.


#12

Will you settle for my diligent prayers?
The retreat weekend sounds like a very good thing.
Don’t let go…

May the Lord deliver you from the hand of the enemy and bring you all safely back together again…
Pax vobiscum,


#13

[quote=DVIN CKS]This is not what I’m suggesting at all. All I’m saying is that she doesn’t need a husband DEMANDING that she do “xyz”. No one likes to be told what to do. There are other ways that he can get his message across. Also, from his message he claims that she has only had a physical relationship with the lover ONCE but continues with an emotional attraction. If this is the case, then maybe she is trying to sort this all out and make the right decision. She sounds like a very confused woman who is struggling with her emotions and feelings. It’s easy for outsiders like ourselves to label her as “untrustworthy”. Clearly, she has broken the bond of trust in her marriage, but for all we know she is trying to do the right thing. She’ll get my prayers.
[/quote]

I don’t think the word once matters, if she is continueing the relationship that caused the “once” to occur.

I realize that people do not like to be told what to do. I have thought about that, and how people learn and get there moral views. But, she broke the trust of the relationship and she is still continueing an outside relationship that caused her to break the trust. He can not just sit there and let her beat on him with this stuff and act like nothing is wrong. If he does that chances are she will cheat again. A man can’t be a wimp in the relationship, he has to show that he wants her to end her other relationship.

She may be trying to be faithful, but she is still putting herself in a compromised position that she is likely to cheat again. She also said that she loves this other man and told her husband the man offers things he can not. If that is not an untrustworthy statement then nothing is.

Now, I am not saying that he should just go in and start making demands and yell at her or anything. But, he needs to make it clear that he wants the other relationship ended, and tell her why. He has to be firm with this. If he is not then she may not have respect for him and she may cheat again. That is the way people are.

Forcing a spouse out of the house when children are involved is serious stuff. I would like to think of it as a last resort. If this man can get his wife to agree to some counseling and she can assure him that the physical aspect of the relationship is over than I don’t think kicking her to the curb just yet is necessary. She should be held accountable for her whereabouts and the husband should be able to call her or check up on her to make sure that she is where she says she is. She needs to earn back the trust that she lost.

I agree, you can’t just end the relationship and boot her out, but you must be firm. I think it would be a bad idea to kick her to the curb because it would make it tough on the kids. But she must become a woman and do what is right. Like you said, she must earn back the trust, and that includes ending the other relationship.

All the talk about what the Bible says means nothing to someone who is not spiritually grounded in their faith. This poster didn’t say whether his wife is Catholic or overly religious. I agree that if you can get one to open up to what the scriptures say about infidelity and the seriousness of the sin of adultery, then you might have a chance at getting through to them on a spiritual level. However, if one doesn’t view their marriage as a covenant with God than their perspective is going to be different.

I don’t think I mentioned any bible passages, but I would have to agree with you. He can’t just rush into the room yelling bible passages, she may take that negatively.


#14

I was in that exact place 10 years ago. I handled it much like you have and still I cant give advice. I can however share some considerations I had to make.

First, a marriage is the joining of two souls to become one. If that union was complete, she would not be in the spot she’s in. Therefore, the marriage could be considered invalid making annulment possible.

Second, the general feeling I got from scripture is it is a sin to divorce. However, if she divorces you, there is little you can do about it. In other words, its not a sin to be divorced, it’s a sin to get one.

And finally, the effects. My kids were 4 and 6 when she divorced me. Her friend moved in my house 2 weeks after I left. I have been alone since, and I see my kids every weekend. Some fathers only get every other weekend. I would have stayed married just to be a full time father, but I am little more than a weekend retreat and a weekly payment. I am still an influence and very much their dad, but I miss out on the daily life. My house is not a home to them or even me for that matter. I’m lonely, but wont let anyone get close. Dating at this age is horrible. So work is all I have. I could have tried for custody, but it would have just been a different brand of problems, and the fight may have damaged the children as the divorce damaged me.

I think prayer is the only hope. Either for her to change, or you to have tremendous strength. And for the wisdom to follow God’s plan. I will include you in my prayers.


#15

Absolutely go to Retrouvaille. It saved my marriage.

Let me relate my situation several years back. My husband is an alcoholic. He was sober for several years and then one night while visiting with his relatives got drunk, tried to drive home and smashed our car. Thank God he didn’t anyone just a pole.

Anyway he went to court ordered AA mettings 7 days a week. He met a young woman at these meetings who was all to willing to lend a sympathetic ear. Our marriage was already struggleing and here appears this woman who tells my husband your wife can’t understand what it’s like to be an alcoholic blah blah blah.
My husband was getting ready to leave me. But I fought him tooth and nail. In the mean time this woman is calling my house. By this time my husband had fessed up to their “friendship” though it had not become sexual but it was definately an emotional affair.

When she called I pretended I knew nothing about it. I was actually very friendly (even though it killed me.) Why? Most would say why didn’t you just tell her to stay the hell away from your husband. Because I knew if I did suddenly my husband would become a challange to her, and what may have been a passing interest would become alot more interesting. Why didn’t I tell my husband to cut it off? In someways I did but he needed to go to meetings and that was his excuse. His sobriety was hanging on by a thread. I prayed, went to daily Mass and cried alot. I convinced my husband to go to Retrouvaille and that was the turning point. Our phone number was changed and he went to meetings at a different location.

Sometimes you have to do whatever it takes to keep it together. Even though you would be justified in making demands sometimes life means “playing the game.” It stinks but it all depends on how badly you want to keep it together.

Now my husband and I have a rock solid loving marriage that took years to rebuild. Am I sorry I swallowed my pride? Absolutely not.

You and your wife our in my prayers.


#16

A few years back my in-laws were in the same situation (except the children were adults). I agree to try to go on a Retrouvaille weekend. This was a source of inspiration for my in-laws. I would also suggest individual and marriage counseling. Instead of individual counseling, my mother-in-law came to people she knew for guidance which was really difficult for the rest of us when they got back together. A counselor can be objective and assist in communications skills, etc. - even if the other person isn’t with you. You can express your feelings without worrying what it is going to do to the other person, etc.

God bless! May the strength in our Lord guide you through this.


#17

[quote=Scout]I don’t know of any woman who would allow her husband to continue seeing another woman while still living in the same house with his wife. Why should you be asked to do that? You should sit down with her and tell her that she either needs to stop seeing this other man, or move out. I know this sounds extremely tough, but maybe when she sees you’re not going to be a door-mat then she’ll come to her senses. If she’s not willing to do this to save her marriage, then perhaps some time on her own will bring her to her senses. In any case, she cannot have both worlds and expect you to just sit back and take it. It’s not right and it’s not fair to you or the children. What is this teaching them? That they can grow up, get married, and have an affair and the spouse is supposed to be okay with this?

You’re family is in my prayers. I also agree with everyone that has said that counseling is a very wise option.
Scout :tiphat:
[/quote]

I agree wholeheartedly with this response. However I am curious about something. Do you really think it was “only once” ? I am not saying you shouldn’t try and save your marriage if that indeed is what you want to do, however comes a time when it is OK to say “it is over”. And trust me, the kids know more than you think they know.
~ Katie ~


#18

[quote=jolean] We have three children who are totally unaware of the situation…
[/quote]

Don’t be too sure of that. Even young children pick up on a surprising amount of “grown-up” tensions and emotions. They are information sponges and often absorb information you didn’t mean for them to have access to. Older children of course are less adept at absorbing little clues but more adept at social nuances and so can also be surprisinly aware of what’s going on around them. Watch your kids carefully because they may start showing signs of the the same stress you and your SO are feeling.


#19

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]If my wife were continuing to communicate with a man she had an adulterous affair with, and had the audacity to claim that “He gives her something I don’t” then she would be on the street. I would forgive her, and I would take her back if she ended the relationship. I would, however, set this up as a three way meeting in a public place. Me, him, and her. There would be no question in anyone’s mind that their relationship is absolutely over. God is a merciful God, but He is also a just God. God does not play gmaes with infidelity. The entire theme of the bible is God’s relationship with his chosen people. Read the book of Hosea to see how much God loves his wife (first Israel, now the Church) and how severely He treats infidelity.
[/quote]

Great post! I’d also agree with the post that suggests pushing a spouse out of a household with children is an extreme approach–but feel it may be necessary because, as Tlaloc states above, it is unlikely the children are unaware or unaffected by the conflict between the parents (given the length of your marriage I’m assuming the kids are not toddlers). In light of the extreme violation of trust…extreme measures may be necessary to repair this relationship. Nothing will change until your wife’s heart does. May you and she be delivered from this pain and turmoil.


#20

I would not resort to extreme measures in such situation. just forgive her and pray so that God may make her repent and forgive her. she is in especial need of Jesus’s mercy not me


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