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Husband is reluctant to end EA. To leave or not to leave...


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Old 8th January 2010, 11:07 PM   #1
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Husband is reluctant to end EA. To leave or not to leave...

I discovered that my husband has been having an emotional affair with a woman from work about 2.5 months ago. He swears it has not gone physical...but I accept that chances are good it has and plan on getting checked at the doc just in case. We have been in marriage counselling for one month and individual counselling as well.

In my five years with him, he has NEVER been good about expressing his emotions, but in counselling he does a good job of telling me his feelings, what he thinks led to the affair, etc. I knew from the second I found out about the affair that he was obviously dealing with some pretty dark issues and resolved to get to the bottom of it, fight for our marriage, and do whatever I could to make sure we came out stronger in the end. He tells me that he wants to work it out. His actions say otherwise. Despite our marriage counselor telling him he needs to cut off all ties with this woman, he selfishly wishes to maintain their "friendship". I see clearly that he is in the having cake stage...she's waiting in the wings, I am waiting at home. We are both professing our love for him. What a lucky cat.

However, I have told him I will not be taken advantage of, giving my 100% to our marriage while he keeps her in his life. I have found an apartment for myself (luckily we have no kids) if he refuses to break ties and am resolved to leave if I have to (I have told him of these plans). However, he still acts as though nothing is wrong at home, talks about his day kisses me hello, shows affection...things I would have cherished several months ago. Whereas, I know that ignoring the situation will not go away. I am always the one to bring up the issue in conversations.

I know I can live without him and have a ton of family and friends to support me if that ends up being the case, yet in my heart I still think we can get through this if he would just commit. I cannot help loving him...and despite all this crap, I still look at him and see a spark deep inside and (though it pisses me off beyond belief...) I am still incredibly attracted to him. He has made some efforts, stopped returning her calls and texts (though I do not know details about his work day of course), calling to check in with me every time he is out of the house, bringing me flowers, being affectionate. But still will not take responsbility and tell her directly it is over. It is at the point where everytime he kisses me or tells me he loves me, I get irritated. If you love me so much...why so reluctant to leave her? I told him at this point, I would rather he just come right out and tell me if he doesn't want to be with me so that I can stop killing myself trying. He says right now he is so messed up in the head he really does not know what he wants.

Do I bother "waiting" any longer for an epiphany?? Some have told me that since we are in marriage counselling and it has only been a month since we started that I should give it time. Others are saying cut my losses now (we have no kids and are in our late 20's), if he has not left her yet he obviously doesn't want to leave her. I flip flop from one to the next every other hour, not knowing what to do. Prior to this, I was afraid of leaving in that it would send him the wrong message "I love you and want us to fight through this...but I am moving out". If I move out now does that completely kill any chance for us to work on a relationship if he does commit? How long to stay "separated" before it becomes dragging on an inevitability? Unfortunately at this point, my convictions and independence are real strong, but my health has suffered immensely through this ordeal, so I would not be physically able to move out for at least a couple weeks even if that is what I decided to do. (I am not "kicking him out" because frankly, if I start over...I want it to be a clean start in a new place...not the one in which we built our life together.)

Would appreciate some insight from others who have been here. Would REALLY like to hear from any men who have been or are in my husband's shoes in similar situations. I cannot get into his head...
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Old 8th January 2010, 11:24 PM   #2
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I still think we can get through this if he would just commit.
"if he would just commit" - that's a big, fat IF. It's the showstopper in just about every relationship that falls apart. So, yeah, if he would just commit.

Personally, I think that by staying and trying to make it work and playing the tolerant wifey, you're making things worse and making the OW look more appealing. If you have an apartment set up, then I would move out. Take back your pride, act on that anger you feel, and show him that you will not tolerate this crap. This is usually the only way to get a man's attention.
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Old 9th January 2010, 12:53 AM   #3
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If you are in marriage counseling and this is coming out, I submit to you by your husband's attitude that this will not change. From what you describe, it seems that your husband is simply going through the motions.

MC will only work if both partners are fully committed to it. I am afraid your husband will simply wait for this storm to die town and then start anew. he really does not want to tackle his issues and please don't give him a pass.

Talk is cheap, and only actions will be able to determine his sincerity. I donmt see any sioncerity on the part of your husband so my advice to you is to see a lawyer right away. Then file for divorce, because you are not giving your husband any consequence for his actions
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Old 9th January 2010, 12:57 AM   #4
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Despite our marriage counselor telling him he needs to cut off all ties with this woman, he selfishly wishes to maintain their "friendship". I see clearly that he is in the having cake stage...she's waiting in the wings, I am waiting at home. We are both professing our love for him. What a lucky cat.
Expose him at work. One of them will have to leave the workplace. Sustained interaction with OW WILL not help your marriage.

Meet all his needs for 6 weeks then do what is called a Plan B. Go home after giving him a love letter explaining what he has to do before regaining your attention (separation with OW, MC, etc). All interaction will be through an intermediary friend and there will be no personal contact with WH at all.

The plan is to butter him up, expose his EA affair and leave him wanting you. Check out the Marriage Builder articles.
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Old 9th January 2010, 1:14 AM   #5
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He tells me that he wants to work it out. His actions say otherwise.
this is the crux of the matter... and something you will need to accept. he can say everything you want to hear - but until he's willing to follow up his actions to meet his words, it means absolutely nothing. it's almost as if he must think you're an idiot - does he think you're not paying attention to what he's doing to you, your marriage and your future?

step away, let him deal with what he's created. he may already be in too deep with his OW, most men are physically attached if they won't let the OW go, i think he's lying to you.

as long as you make him comfortable, he will have no reason to get rid of her. move money, file for divorce and see if he's still comfy and willing to keep her around. if he is - then you have your answer. meanwhile at least you are set up to move forward.
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Old 9th January 2010, 3:21 AM   #6
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Yes, I'm afraid it's walking the talk.
Both for you and for him.
And as he's clearly not doing that - then it's your turn to shimmy, hunny.
If he's hell-bent on saying one thing and doing another, you're simply showing him (by staying) that - so are you.
maybe if you put your money where your mouth is - he might have second thoughts about doing likewise.
but that remains to be seen. Either way, you will have made your point, and shown him the consequence of his actions.....
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Old 9th January 2010, 4:08 AM   #7
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What a lucky cat.
He's certainly lucky you are trying to deal with this rationally rather than just kicking him out

Quote:
I have told him I will not be taken advantage of,
No you shouldn't be .. you should be treated with basic human respect at least.

Quote:
He says right now he is so messed up in the head he really does not know what he wants.
If he's genuine (as opposed to a serial cheater) then he might just be telling the truth here (I've been where he is).

If is it the truth then perhaps he just needs to work his issues through in IC or alone. Until he does that he might not be able to answer any big questions with deep honesty.

It sounds like you want him to decide for himself (and not be pushed into it) so perhaps let him get on with IC and work his own mind out ...

IN the meantime, you can just look after yourself.
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Old 15th January 2010, 11:00 PM   #8
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Change in plans...

It has been about a week now since I posted and things have certainly been...interesting. First off, thank you to everyone for the feedback. SilverPlanets, you gave me hope...everyone else, you supported my convictions that i needed to think about my own independence and make my own decision. So after reading everyone's posts and really thinking about the situation, I realized I did need to do what was best for ME. I stopped worrying about what he was doing, stopped checking the phone records every ten minutes and made plans with my girlfriends. Talked on the phone for hours with them, went to dinner, hung out and watched movies. And I fully realized I did not need him and that I had to leave. I had given him an ultimatum of "it's break up with her or I am moving out" in writing and received no verbal response or acknowledgement. I decided it was over and started making plans for my future. How many bags I would need for my clothes, who I could call to help me get my stuff out.

We went to marriage counselling together and the Doc asked what he was feeling. I was ready for indifference and apathy...and instead: Remorse. Said he had been talking about my "ultimatum" for days, with his counselor, with his friends, etc. and that he realized he did not want to lose me, that 10 years from now he did not want to look back and say he had given up. He apologized for it taking so long and said it killed me to see him suffer, but that he just needed to figure it out for himself and not feel like he was being forced into a decision. Said he was planning on ending it with the OW the next day. You can imagine my shock...here were the words I was waiting for....but I was all set to be gone. Since he said he was ready to act, I agreed that I would stay in the house to see how things played out.

He ended it with her this week. Called me after, audibly upset...I could tell he was a wreck, which killed me...but at the same time helped me to believe it really happened and that the "end" was genuine. I hope that is the case. Things have been good at home the past few days. Extra long hugs, emphatic "I love you's", he has not gotten defensive or angry when I have asked about her or the situation. I know we are nowhere out of the dark yet...but I am hoping this is a sign that we have a chance. I have told him that I still intend to leave if I feel he is not really into this or if he goes back to her, and he knows I mean it. I still have my guard up and obviously still have suspicion about things. I also know that just because he says it's over....it may very well begin again. But i am hopeful that is not the case. I am maintaining my independence and making as many plans with my friends and family as possible....looking after me.
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Old 16th January 2010, 2:10 AM   #9
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This is the turn-around everyone was praying you'd implement.
I can only congratulate you on your emerging from your chrysalis....

Keep going.
Be who you know you are cut out to be.
And know that this will never happen again.
Ever.
Because you have finally not only realised your own worth, you've shown it.
Colours are shining through.

Well done.
Take care, keep us posted, and be strong!
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Old 16th January 2010, 10:42 AM   #10
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If and when you two have kids, chances are he will do it again. You love him and probably would'nt want your kids to live in a broken home. He knows that, and also that he will have a higher leverage then and get away with his affair. He has done it once, and will likely do it again. Marital counseling is a short term solution to a long term problem.
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Old 16th January 2010, 10:54 AM   #11
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I think you jumped the gun too quickly. You should've continued on with your plans and not be so quick to jump back in. It's very possible that he will get bored and contact the OW again. This happens all the time.
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Old 16th January 2010, 12:21 PM   #12
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I tend to agree with the last two posters. If you're absolutely certain he will not cheat again, then so be it. Otherwise, I think he'll pick up another woman when things return to normal with you guys. He needs to fully understand why he did so in the first place and have other coping methods when the situation comes up again.
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Old 16th January 2010, 3:04 PM   #13
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..... I have told him that I still intend to leave if I feel he is not really into this or if he goes back to her, and he knows I mean it. I still have my guard up and obviously still have suspicion about things. I also know that just because he says it's over....it may very well begin again. But i am hopeful that is not the case. I am maintaining my independence and making as many plans with my friends and family as possible....looking after me.
Well, at least she's not wearing rose-tinted spectacles, and is fully aware that it takes a lot more than this, for a leopard to change his spots.
My guess is - my hope is - that if he DOES kick off again, he won't even have a chance to look her in the eye, because he won't see her for dust...the next thing he'll know, will be a letter form her lawyer.....

Good one SF......
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Old 17th January 2010, 2:51 AM   #14
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Have you asked your husband this; what is it that you get from this emotional affair with this other woman that I am not providing? What do the two of you talk about? Emotions Do lead to sex.

It may not have anything to do with you. This may be all your H's problem. Then again, it may not be.

I would get to the bottom of it though. Don't demand answers if he will not provide them. In doing so, you could drive him closer to her.

You need to know exactly what is going on. If he will not be totally honest with you and cut this crap out over this other woman, the decision is yours. I would be so hurt if my wife were having an emotional affair.

Good luck. I wish you happiness.
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Old 17th January 2010, 11:41 AM   #15
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Thanks

Thanks. Tara...it is true. I am trying to be as realistic as I possibly can about this whole situation and have been since the second I found out ther was an OW about whom to be worried. The instant I learned, I understood the affair to be an symptom of something much deeper. (Of course, this did not keep me from going through all the emotions/feelings of doubt/jealousy/guilt etc. that every BS experiences).

Jeff, yes we have discussed what the two of them talked about for so many hours and what he felt he got from her that he has not gotten from me. There are many of the things you might expect, working together similar experiences/interests/seeing each other often. Then apparently the fact he felt like we were having problems and so were she and her husband. The big issue is that this was the first I found out we were having problems. He puts it all on himself but we are both working individually as well as together to start making some progress...Through all of the counselling, independent and together, I understand of course that we both played a part in our marriage/lack of communication for him to feel the way he did...vulnerable and open to new attention. But ultimately, he made the decision to cheat and to deceive...so that is on him. The thing he has been most open to talking about is what led to the affair.

At the same point, yes I still love him and could not leave this marriage without believing we at least both tried. There is a lot of work to be done. Trust me, I do NOT believe that just because he ended it that we are out of any danger.
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