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Old 24th December 2003, 9:54 AM   #1
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doubts and questions

This is my first time posting to any kind of mesage board like this so bear with me!

I am a 44 year old man, currently happily married with two teenage boys. We are not well off by any stretch of the imagination but we make do and are generally happy.
My relationship with my wife spans 20 years and we have had our ups and downs.
About ten years ago, she had an affair for about 6 months.
It started in the summer, and I found out about it in the late fall. I have been able to put that behind me and the relationship I have with her.
More recently, about three years ago she went on some weekend trips with "friends". There were three trips in all, and by chance on the last one I found out that she was not where she said she was going and who she said sshe would be with. I naturally concluded that the other trips were similar. At the time she had been active in AA, and when I confronted her with my discovery, she told me that she could not continue in AA and took those weekends to go off on a binder away from the family.

Now, I understood her reasons about keeping the drinking away from the family, but, the deception brought back old feelings and worries from the affair. I have never been able to get out of her the truth as to her whereabouts or who she was with. She has always been vague about it. Anyways, I forgave and put that behind us once again.

Recently she aquired a cell phone. All well and good.
However, the consequent bills were quite expensive and detailed phone calls in particular to one number. I asked her about it and she told me it was a friend from work, a male friend, who she says is becoming a good friend. Now I would normally have no problem with this, but the phone bills show the calls to this friend to be in the hundreds. Most are very short, but some are quite long.
I trust my wife completely, but the seed of doubt has cropped up and has me questioning if this relationship with her friend will turn into something more.

I guess the info I am looking for after all this rambling, is am I overreacting? Is my naturall self preservation and protection instinct getting the best of me? Should I even worry about this at all?
She says she loves me, she shows she loves me, yet that doubt thing still nags at me.

Do you ever really forget about an affair? Or is it something that will always be there?

A little stressed out
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Old 24th December 2003, 10:02 AM   #2
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My (possibly unpopular) opinion is that calls "in the hundreds" is a red flag. I'm also a little wary of work friendships that become so encompassing as to warrant this sort of contact yet don't encompass the normal stuff of introducing the friend to your husband, etc. In your wife's case, it appears that she has a history of not being completely open with you, so I'd be doubly cautious.

:-(

I'm sure this is not what you wanted to hear. I'm sorry.
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Old 24th December 2003, 12:15 PM   #3
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What the heck is wrong with your wife?? She's searching for something - she can't possibly be happy with herself. She has you - why would she need to call this 'co- worker' hundreds of times??? I think you and your wife need to do some serious talking. She seems to be living a whole other life that doesn't include you - that's not right. Try to get her to open up - I think she is going down the wrong path and hopefully you can get her back on track before it's too late.

Merry Christmas!!
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Old 24th December 2003, 12:28 PM   #4
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I guess the info I am looking for after all this rambling, is am I overreacting? Is my naturall self preservation and protection instinct getting the best of me? Should I even worry about this at all?

As someone with experience in this area, you most definitely should worry. Many of the signs of an affair are present: cell phone calls to the male friend at work, unexplained absences, past history of deception.

Based on your post I believe with about 85% probability that she is cheating or about to cheat.

Other signs include a greater attention to her appearance, fitness, a lesser or greater interest in sex and defensiveness.

Sorry, man. It does not look good.
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Old 24th December 2003, 12:32 PM   #5
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It doesn't sound good that there are so many phone calls to the work friend. Have the ways you interact, things you talk about changed recently? Could she be getting a lot of her emotional support from the work friend or does she have a job where she is mobile/travelling and would need to be contacting him for work purposes? With my ex I noticed that the time of day the calls happened were telling. He would call his 'friend' right after he left the house in the morning on his way to work and during his commute home, almost as if to say "ok, I'm away from home, the coast is clear or I'm on my way home, this is my last call of the day".

Can you suggest that you meet this friend, have him over for dinner or to a party?

You may want to put a little more 'effort' into your relationship with your wife, make sure you are taking time to be together, just the two of you - doesn't have to be expensive - go for coffee, go for a walk, find free or low cost activities - just keep talking, be attentive, fill in the space so that she doesn't need her work friend to fill in as much.
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Old 24th December 2003, 1:50 PM   #6
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It looks like to me you suspicions are right on the mark. That is what exactly happened to me. I'd try for marriage counseling if you want it to work, otherwise I think I'd be packing my bags.

Sorry if this isn't what you need to hear right now during the holiday
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Old 24th December 2003, 2:12 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the replies.

I think I should clarify somethings.

My wife and I have a very good relationship together. We communicate very well and are open to talk about almost anything, in fact I would say we can talk about anything.
She is a very gregarious person, and very giving of her time and efforts to those who need it. The friend she talks to is a supervisor where she works. Not one that she reports to during the week, but in recent months she has worked almost 7 days a week and does see this friend on the weekend at work. He recently had some problems with his mother and her health. My wife asked me to lend him some money so he could fly out to see her, which I did without question.

She comes home after work every day, and since the episode 3 years ago, that pretty much has been the story.
I have asked her if I could meet this friend and she seemed receptive to the idea, though no effort has been made to that extent.

She has explained to me that she knows that she has hurt me in the past, but that she will never let that happen again. She is very free with her affection and love towards me and I know that it is genuine. I just get that nagging, doubting feeling, knowing that, to me 180 calls in the last 30 days to her friend, no matter how short they may be, mean something more than is being let on. She has told me that she has nothing to hide, and to a greater extent I believe that.

I guess more than anything, I feel that by this point in my life and in my relationship with my wife, that doubts and questions based on things that happened in the past should not be as significant as they are. I should be past that by now. I mean she had an affair 10 years ago, shouldn't I be over that by now?
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Old 24th December 2003, 2:18 PM   #8
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I'd still be leery of the whole scene. You have a big advantage because of communication but so did I and my previous girl. That might be to your disadvantage as she knows how to get around you.

I don't mean snoop around on her, (waste of time) but try to keep your eyes open.

A woman to me at least, leaves a relationship initially thru an emotional attachment. A man sexually.

Again, this is a perception. Any girls out there who could help let us both know!
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Old 24th December 2003, 2:37 PM   #9
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A woman to me at least, leaves a relationship initially thru an emotional attachment. A man sexually.
That's generally true, mjk. But as the relationship deepens the woman becomes more sexual, and the man more emotional, until they meet somewhere in the middle.
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Old 24th December 2003, 3:54 PM   #10
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I can't imagine any situation where it would be appropriate for a person to be friends with a married workmate of the opposite gender to that extent. Does she speak on the phone to him within earshot of you? If all her calls are made away from you, even more so. No matter what she may say, this absolutely does not look good. If they aren't yet having an affair, they soon will be.
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Old 24th December 2003, 3:57 PM   #11
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You are right bark. Isn't it funny how it starts out so opposite?

moimeme has a good point. In a marriage there should be very little secrets in this area.
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Old 24th December 2003, 4:11 PM   #12
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Dr. Phil has a very good guideline: Never do in your partner's absence what you wouldn't do in his/her presence.
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Old 24th December 2003, 4:13 PM   #13
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180 calls in the last 30 days to her friend
That's an average of 6 calls a day. No one talks that much unless a relationship is in full bloom.

It does not look good.
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Old 24th December 2003, 4:37 PM   #14
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I mean she had an affair 10 years ago, shouldn't I be over that by now?
There is no time-line - especially for something that hurt so much. That kind of betrayal splits up most couples - a tribute to your tenacity and love for her that you two have stayed together.

Don't try to second guess your feelings and assign any kind of time frame to them. She is showing some behavior that would make anyone suspicious even without a history. Have you asked her point-blank why she calls him so often and what they talk about? Have you asked her to respect your feelings and to stop calling him so much? If you loaned this guy money before - did he personally call or come by to thank you? Have you had any conversations with him away from your wife?

Don't wait around to invite him over - call him and ask him to come over for dinner, or for an after-dinner drink on Friday or Saturday and to feel free to bring a date. Get him and your wife together and ask them (you don't have to be confrontational, just be casual) why they talk on the phone so much and what all they discuss.
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Old 25th December 2003, 10:46 PM   #15
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Thank you all again for the replies.

I had a discussion with my wife last nite as far as how I was feeling and how doubts have creeped in because of things that happened frome the past. All in all, she was receptive and understanding. We did not dwell too much on things that are old news. She feels very guilty and apologetic about past mistakes, and feels that discusion now is just putting salt on old wounds. I can see her point. I also let her know that, that in a way is a detrement to full healing for her and myself.

As far as the phone calls to her friend, I didn't really pursue that issue. I have asked about it before, and I knew that for this particular discussion that the timing would be alittle awkward and that it would not end up being a productive conversation.

As I have indicated before, my wife is a very gregarious and giving person. This is one of her traits that draws me to her. I am unsure how far to go with the phone thing because it very well may be as innocent as she has said it is. It is truly a dilemma for me. I am very curious as to the nature of the phone calls and why so many, but at the same time know that I have always let my wife be the person she is without restraints unless I was sure she was hurting herself or myself or my family. I do not want to be prying and accusational, especkially if I am reading things the wrong way.

Maybe I will call this friend and invite him to dinner or something. My wife has suggested this but not acted on it, maybe it would be a good idea if I did.
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