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Am I being overly sensitive or is my marriage in trouble?


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Old 6th April 2019, 1:49 PM   #1
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Am I being overly sensitive or is my marriage in trouble?

I would appreciate feedback on a recent event and how I should handle it.

I have been married for 17+ years and together for 22. We have two children together, 13 and 15, and are a sweet, caring family but my wife and I have gone through a difficult period - job changes, some financial challenges, etc. But in general, we seem to be handling things and overcoming our obstacles together.

Last year we were experiencing some real issues and at one point my wife mentioned that she had gotten together with a former male work colleague. She mentioned it to me after the fact and stated that she just wanted to learn details about how he had been abruptly terminated by her company. This made sense to me, but I was struck that this was 7 months since his departure and I was also aware that he had recently gone through a divorce. My wife mentioned that he was caught be surprise by his termination and then spoke more about his personal life as a divorced guy, with a young son and wanting to date younger women who were athletic and didn’t have kids of their own. She seemed disappointed...and maybe a little hurt (my perception) that he wasn’t interested in her. She didn’t say this but it was my read. That was it. She just let it go.

Weeks went buy and I reflected on the challenging state of our marriage. We talked about marriage counseling but didn’t take any steps. We would have an occasional date night, but we seemed to be just going through the motions.

I started reflecting on her comments about the meeting with her co-worker and how the meeting came to be 7 months after his departure. Had they been in touch, had they been dating, ... One day I found myself sitting next to her computer and I started to type his name into her email client and found several emails between them pop up - like 15. They all had to do with what appeared to be their one get together over a glass of wine in a restaurant and there no follow up emails. However, there was a certain amount of enthusiasm for getting together - personal emails were shared and my wife provided her mobile number. It looked like the beginning of something, but then it appeared to stop.

Jump ahead several months and I was buying a few things for my wife for valentines day this year for her and I started thinking about her previous meeting with this guy. The day before valentines day I checked her email and found an email thread between them that had started the previous month with him asking her if she was interested in getting a glass of wine together. She responded several days later apologizing for her delayed response and asking him if he was still interested in getting together, promising to find a day or time to meet. He responded very quickly, “great to hear from you ... I would love to get together with you.”. Again, she was slow to respond but put off the meeting due to work.

She is not saying “no” to him, but she is clearly expressing interest in getting together.

Our marriage seems to be doing better, but this is clearly a problem that I need to confront. I hate the fact that I’ve checked her email and know about this exchange. I did bring up the fact that she had told me about her meeting with this guy after the fact and seemed disappointed in the things that he shared with her. She stated that it just happened and she was disappointed that he was so shallow.

I’ve given her room to figure this out. I haven’t relished admitting to reading her emails or telling her that she can’t date someone if this what she wants to do. If it’s what she wants, then we’re finished ... obviously.

I clearly need to bring this to a head so that we can move forward one way or the other, but I do not want to overreact. It appears to be one meeting and in many ways, we seem to be doing much better. I have raised marriage counseling before and she’s been open to it but has never made much effort.

Would be interested in thoughts, impressions and any guidance.

Thanks, Warwick

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Old 6th April 2019, 3:25 PM   #2
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I donít think you are being overly sensitive.

Iím not saying that she has done anything inappropriate, but its not hard to imagine that she has been flirting with the idea. Itís that old saying, ďthose who have nothing to hide, hide nothing.Ē

There are many on this site who will advise you not to say anything, to be vigilant and collect evidence because if you tip her off, she will go underground and you will never know. They may have already done that after the last email, they may be using burner phones or messaging apps... you just donít know.

Myself, I would probably approach it directly. I would insist on marriage counselling, tell her where you stand regarding extramarital relationships with other men, and ask if there is anything she needs to tell you... Then, itís her decision... she can either get on-board, or I would be done.
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Old 6th April 2019, 3:30 PM   #3
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Go online and check your phone bill. Look at the data. Texts/calls. What does it tell you?
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Old 6th April 2019, 8:39 PM   #4
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Myself, I would probably approach it directly. I would insist on marriage counselling, tell her where you stand regarding extramarital relationships with other men, and ask if there is anything she needs to tell you... Then, itís her decision... she can either get on-board, or I would be done.
Agree with Bailey, I'm not into playing amateur detective with my marriage on the line. Many troubling aspects here, including her secrecy when none really necessary. Had she said, "I'm getting together with Joe to catch up", no big deal. But she didn't...

I'd tell her "Something about your wistful tone in mentioning Joe reinforced in my mind the need to work on our marriage. Have you seen or talked to him since then? I made an appointment for us to start counseling next week". And then see what she does.

If she doesn't mention the plans to meet a second time, it would be the first thing I'd discuss in MC...

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Old 6th April 2019, 8:53 PM   #5
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Since she didnít tell you - and has been keeping it a secret - yes itís a problem!!!


Check your phone bill now!

She could have told you before she went - she also could have invited you - the fact that she didnít is a huge problem. She is interested in him!
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Old 7th April 2019, 12:13 AM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback. Very helpful. I know Iíve got an issue to deal with here. Iíve been waiting to see what she does, but itís taking too much energy and starting to aggravate me.

Funny. Just before valentineís day I suggested we read and follow a book called 8 Dates, a form of self-directed manage counseling. The first chapter is Trust and Commitment and weíre supposed to do it next week. Donít think itís going to go too well.

Sounds like marriage counseling is a must.
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Old 7th April 2019, 12:23 AM   #7
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BTW, I've checked texts and haven't found any but hadn't thought to check the mobile phone records which I'll do when I'm back home tomorrow.
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Old 7th April 2019, 12:37 AM   #8
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If there is something amiss the chances of getting the truth by directly asking is close to zero. If there is something going on jumping into MC won't get you much either. People do tend to lie a lot.

Do yourself a favor and take 15 minutes to go online and check your phone bill.

At least you can either address it or rule it out.

Not knowing what you're actually dealing with isn't going to help you much.
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Old 7th April 2019, 12:38 AM   #9
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BTW, I've checked texts and haven't found any but hadn't thought to check the mobile phone records which I'll do when I'm back home tomorrow.
Good. It's an easy check to make sure you know what you're dealing with.
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Old 7th April 2019, 1:06 AM   #10
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I did learn, when I read through her texts, that my wife had a couple of Botox treatments that she never told me about. She had asked me my opinion of them at one point, informing me that a number of her friends had gotten them. I told her that she didn't need then and was aging beautifully and gracefully without them. Guess this my advice wasn't good enough. She turns 50 this year.

Beginning to think that the best gift I can give her is her freedom.
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Old 7th April 2019, 9:47 AM   #11
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Beginning to think that the best gift I can give her is her freedom.
Oh Please! Stop being overly dramatic. Just talk to your wife. Work through the book. Ask her about her relationship with the former coworker. Then LISTEN. If she isn't honest, address that.

FWIW, she probably feels like an aging, ugly woman right now. Our society does that to women as we age. She probably isn't looking for an affair; she just needs an ego boost. Yes, it's a problem, but you don't need to burn down the house to kill a mouse.
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Old 7th April 2019, 10:26 AM   #12
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No the best gifts you can give her are your time & attention.

When was the last time you took her out for a glass of wine? Heck, you didn't even notice she had Botox. She did it in part to get your attention & you didn't even notice. I'm not saying she cheated but if she did you are practically pushing her out the door. That is no excuse for cheating. Breaking up before cheating is always better but there are two sides to this. You can fix it if you make the effort. Rather then throw in the towel, get MC.
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Old 7th April 2019, 12:41 PM   #13
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Good advice...and good to get a women's perspective on this.

I'm going to take a breather on playing Sherlock Holmes and focus on our upcoming date night. I think this is about an ego boost but I'll be open minded, attentive and will LISTEN.

we've actually been spending a lot of quality time together lately which is why this caught me by surprise.
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Old 7th April 2019, 1:10 PM   #14
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I think your first impression there that she is disappointed he isn't interested in her is correct. She probably had a work crush and so she followed up after he left the company. I doubt seriously that anything at all physically went on. I just think he appreciated someone cared he left the company, as we all would (and usually people don't care). So he's viewing her as a friend. But now that she knows he's "shallow" for not being interested in her, she's kind of off of him, it sounds like, as if she understands the reality there. Still, this is an issue you two need to do counseling about. Not insurmountable, but reason to worry, certainly. Good luck.
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Old 7th April 2019, 2:10 PM   #15
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I did learn, when I read through her texts, that my wife had a couple of Botox treatments that she never told me about.
Maybe she wanted you to notice how beautiful and youthful she now looks! Typical man, doesn't notice . (I kid, I kid...)

I think your marriage is at a precipice right now. She's considering cheating, probably for the ego boost like you said. Suck it up and tell her you've read the exchanges....nip it in the bud....go to counseling. Rekindle. There's no reason this has to go any further.

Good luck!
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