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So. My wife has a lover. Now what? (this is long)

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Old 11th August 2018, 8:23 PM   #1
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Red face So. My wife has a lover. Now what? (this is long)

Hi all,

My first post--I registered for an account specifically so I could post this, because hours of Google searching didn't help as much as I thought it would. I'm going to try to get to the point, but these next two paragraphs are background, in case you've got the time.

I discovered my wife's affair last November. I'll spare as much detail as a I can on that, but it had been going on since roughly August--a guy she met in a social circle of hers I am not a part of. I was, as you'd imagine, apoplectic and demanded...well, all the things the aggrieved spouse demands: cut off the affair, leave his dead body in the yard as a tribute to me, etc. She at first agreed, but after about 24 hours, she found she couldn't do it. She didn't want to leave me, but she didn't want to give him up, either. So we negotiated a separation strategy where she got two "kitchen passes" before he left town back to his home country (this is true, he had only maybe 2-3 more weeks left in this country at the time I discovered them.)

She availed herself of those, and now we're heading in to Christmas. I am planning a lovely Christmas Day for the two of us, but come home to find her computer open, and that she had send semi-nude pics of herself to him. Again, apoplectic. Again, demands. Again, agreement. Time passes, and I think that we're at least headed in the right direction, but by April something is wrong. I come to find out that they've essentially been continuing their digital affair continuously since he got on the plane. And in April, he tried to end it. Apparently, he really was capable of shame. Who knew? Anyway, she was morose at the "breakup" while I stewed. I did let her talk about it, within reason, as she was explaining the WHYs of the affair and I found that useful for my own processing.

But it didn't end there. Nope. They reconciled and continued in fits and starts until somewhere in the neighborhood of mid-July. This is where it gets interesting, but I need to tell you one more thing.

Now, in the middle of all of this, I had retreated back in to my Buddhist practice and became frankly about as devout as Zens allow themselves. I couldn't rely on my friends--they all thought I was crazy to stick around--so I needed to turn to something, and the belief in the self and suffering as the primary conduit of enlightenment had some appeal at this junction in my life. So I devoted myself to my practice, and supplemented it with working with Shamans who administer sacred plant medicine. In mid-July I was working with a Shaman on a sacred journey, and after that, I For the first time in years, to be honest, I felt fully free. Free of my attachment to my wife, free of my heartbreak, free of my pain, free of my self-contempt. (Those things are still around, it turns out, they just don't rule me anymore.) After that day, I went home fully prepared to tell my wife I had finally had enough, and it was time to divorce.

When she saw me, however, I noticed that something had changed. She hadn't looked at me like that since we met. We talked and talked and when I got to the point where I was going to drop the "D" bomb, she sobbed, and begged me to stay. That she had changed, that she was back in this.

So we had two incredible weeks together. Fully in love, present, mature, interested, sexy, fun, enjoying each other's company, engaged in deep talks and fully owning our journey together.

Then he came back.

Yeah, he's back. Let's call him "DB" (could be Deadbeat, could be Douche-bag; the guy is a broke-ass life coach surfing on couches and borrowing money.) Anyway, the guy wants to renew his visa so he borrows some dough and flies in to town for a month and a half. Wife says to me, that now that we're "good" she'd like to see him, but only with my permission. Again, leaving out a lot of meat here, but after a lot of back and forth, I said "yes."

Mind you, I hate this guy. I hate what she did. I hate the contempt and the disrespect and the lies and that she fell in love with another man and I had to win her back. But yeah, I said "yes."

So this week, she goes to see him and spends the night. That was a long night of meditation, prayer and various sacred and less-than-sacred medicines for me, my friends. She comes home the next morning and tells me again how much she loves me, how much she's in love with me, how selfless she feels I am, and how much she appreciates what I did. And that while she would like to see him again (and again) she wouldn't if it would risk our marriage. But she'd like to keep talking about it.

We did set guidelines in advance, and she did adhere to all of them. She said she wanted to see him more, but would really like just once more before he leaves.

Her perspective is that he's a new and passionate lover that she doesn't want to leave me for; she just wants the option to occasionally see him, if it's convenient and I agree. She says she loves me, her limerance with him is now gone (for very much faded) and she wants a full relationship with me. She expects this thing to cool and dissipate completely eventually, but wants a few extra rounds to a.) close it out on her terms; and b.) have the occasional experience.

I know I said "yes" but I gotta say: it's been tough this week. I know she says she loves me and all that, but it's confusing and difficult to reconcile that with the affair-turning-in-to-open-marriage thing. She did say that it worked both ways, and that if I were to meet and connect with someone that I'd be allowed to explore that in consultation with her. I believe her, but so what? Right now, seeing my wife leave to go sleep with another man was painful!

So--those of you in open marriages. How do you handle the jealously and heartbreak? How do you talk about it? I'd love any perspective on this. Thanks.
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Old 11th August 2018, 10:01 PM   #2
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You do not have an open marriage. She can call it whatever she wants, but your spouse is having an affair and she is trying to legitimize it and get your permission to continue...

I ask you, what do you stand to gain from this new arrangement?

I'm not sure why you are allowing this. You are clearly unhappy about the whole situation. There are so many reasons why this is not going to work...

If this was my wife, she would not have to worry any more... She would be free to pursue the other relationship because I would file for divorce so fast, she wouldn't even have time to say goodbye.
If they love you, you will know. If they don't, you will wonder all the time if they do...

Last edited by BaileyB; 11th August 2018 at 10:05 PM..
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Old 11th August 2018, 10:39 PM   #3
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Yep, you are living by your wife's rules because you don't matter much.

Why do you value her so much since she obviously doesn't value you?

She's just having an affair and you are very much the doormat. Your wife is a cake eater

It'll get worse.

However, it's your life you can do what you want but I'd be long gone. There are much better out there than what you currently have.
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Old 11th August 2018, 11:30 PM   #4
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After reading your thread I just shook my head and had to read it again because I didn't believe what I read the first time. Obviously, she gave you permission to explore new relationships with other girls because she KNOWS you won't take her up on the permission. Either go out and get laid by several other "relationships" or get a divorce. You are being played like a Stradivarius violin. I would leave her a note, while she was gone, that said I would be gone for a couple of days with a woman I met. Then leave for a couple of days. When you get back then tell her you want a divorce because you have found someone who really turns your switches on. See what she has to say then. You are being so passive with your wife. By nature I try not to do harm to anyone unless they do harm to me first. Then I turn into one vengeful SOB. It is time to stop being passive and get angry. If your wife is going to have an open marriage then have one for yourself. Otherwise either get use to sharing her with another man or get out. I do wish you well.
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Old 12th August 2018, 12:00 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by LaughingCrow View Post
So we negotiated a separation strategy where she got two "kitchen passes" before he left town back to his home country
The first of many mistakes. LaughingCrow, I don't know if Zen Buddhists have different marriage than the rest of us, but I don't understand your failure to insist the relationship work for you too. If she wants a life entirely on her own terms, let her pursue that as a single woman.

When DB returns to his home country, what's to stop her from telling you she wants to "experience" someone else?

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Happiness is not a goal; it is a byproduct -

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Old 12th August 2018, 6:43 AM   #6
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So your W gets to **** another guy as much as she wants with your permission, and you're complaining about it?

Your thread title should read, "I'm allowing my wife to have a lover". She's not having an affair.

Everything you are complaining about, you have allowed. It's going to be hard to shoot that door now.
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Old 12th August 2018, 8:33 AM   #7
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I have a colleague that’s in an open marriage. She and her husband are in agreement to being in an open marriage.

You aren’t in an open marriage. You’re a doormat that’s allowed your wife to have her way regardless of how much it hurts you. Both people have to be on board otherwise, it doesn’t work. You are not compatible to her in this situation therefore you need to leave and be in a relationship whereby you and your partner share the same life values.

You asked, “what now?” We’ll, you sit back and just tolerate it. There’s no other way around it if your choice is to stay in this situation. There is nothing to talk to her about because you have taught her that you will allow such behavior. Talking doesn’t change the fact that this does not work for you.

Your spirituality has nothing to do with this. You can hide behind it to avoid your reality with her. Self-respect is your priority. Find it.
One regret, my dear world, that I am determined not to have when I am lying on my deathbed is that I did not kiss you enough ~ Hafiz
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Old 12th August 2018, 8:36 AM   #8
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Correct me if I'm wrong, those who have more knowledge of open marriage... but one of the big red flags is that the wife has feelings for the other man. In an open marriage, individuals are allowed to have sex with other partners but when they develop feelings... that, is typically not accepted by the other spouse.
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Old 12th August 2018, 10:24 AM   #9
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People in open marriages do not have to spend the night in prayer and meditation, and self medicating when their spouse is with a lover. People in open marriages do not have to deal with heartbreak and jealousy. If a marriage is open for the right reasons then both spouses find it fun and rewarding while feeling secure in knowing that their spouse loves only them. In a open marriage if a particular situation or specific lover is causing any jealousy or heartache in the marriage then the spouse involved with that lover immediately ends that situation because the happiness and health of the marriage is sacred and always takes top priority.

You don't have an open marriage so stop calling it that. Your wife is well aware that the situation is causing you pain and she knows you are not pursuing any other lovers, yet she continues to selfishly put herself and what she wants above you. She is in love with the OM, don't believe this nonsense about she is getting over her feelings for him. If that were true and she just wants an open marriage then she would be tired of him already and looking to have new experiences with new men. She doesn't want an open marriage, she just wants this particular guy and sure she probably wouldn't care if you were also having sex with other women as long as things are good with him but if dumps her I bet you would find out very quickly that your wife would not be okay with you sleeping with another woman at all. She will agree to whatever it takes to have this guy because she is in love with him.

Your wife has certainly been very clever in how she has manipulated things to her benefit. You say this dude is a broke ass couch surfer who has to borrow money. Your wife is no dummy, she knows her boyfriend can't provide her the lifestyle she has with you. Now she doesn't have to make a choice, she gets to continue living the life she is accustomed to while getting her thrills and romance from another man. Everytime you caught her in this affair and didn't do anything she led you further down this rabbit hole. You are trying so hard to justify and accept this that you have lost touch with yourself. She has taken full control.

I would be very concerned if I were you. She loves this guy and I bet she isn't telling him that she is happily married to you and just using him for a bit of fun on the side. She is telling him a different story, possibly along the lines of "please be patient and wait for me. Look I've got my dumb husband believing that there is nothing between us but sex and he fell for it. I just need more time to figure out how I can leave him and still come out ahead financially. Just wait and we will be together soon". She is either lying to you or lying to both you and the OM but if I were you I'd be worried that she is plotting behind your back.

Here's hoping you wake up one day and realize you don't have to put up with a wife who is openly cheating on you while you spend your nights in prayer and pain. Here's hoping that one day soon you will come to see yourself as more valuable than how you are letting yourself be treated.
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Old 12th August 2018, 10:45 AM   #10
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What I get out of this is that your wife (1) is in love with the other man, and (2) does not want to upset her stability and security by divorcing you. Anika laid it out perfectly.

The man she's in love with can't support himself, much less her, so she needs to stay married to you to maintain her financial stability.

I'm not a practicing Buddhist but it's still clear to my basic understanding that accepting the situation is a mockery of Buddhist precepts. Use your zen practice to heal while extricating yourself from this marriage and moving on.
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Old 12th August 2018, 11:38 AM   #11
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She might have a lover but she shouldn't have a husband anymore.
You know people have completely lost it when you can no longer tell the difference between real headlines and Onion headlines.
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Old 12th August 2018, 12:04 PM   #12
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Welcome to LS....

Was your wife home with you last night or?


Age ranges of you and spouse?

How long married?

What's your/your spouse's experience with recreational/casual sex in the past?
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Old 12th August 2018, 1:25 PM   #13
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You want to know what's going to happen next? I'll tell you. She will start siphoning money out of your bank account to give to her broke-ass lover. So not only are you supplying this man with his sex, you are also going to be paying for his apartment, utilities, etc. Has you wife bought him the Rolex watch yet?

Dude, at this point you are not just a doormat - you have let wifey manipulate you into being a passive cuckold. Maybe, if you are lucky, they will invite you over to watch them fornicate... Exercise the loving generosity Buddhists are known for: Give you wife to the OM as a gift. She can stay there permanently after the Divorce. Then, after a few years of inner reflection / soul searching, get back into the game and find a woman who focuses all her loyalty and love on you. Good luck.
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Old 12th August 2018, 1:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by BaileyB View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, those who have more knowledge of open marriage... but one of the big red flags is that the wife has feelings for the other man. In an open marriage, individuals are allowed to have sex with other partners but when they develop feelings... that, is typically not accepted by the other spouse.
This is correct. Some feelings are fine, but mostly of friendship and lust - love would be outside the boundaries of a simple open relationship. It would be a polyamorous relationship if loving feelings are allowed and encouraged.
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Old 12th August 2018, 2:09 PM   #15
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I have seen many people hide behind the mask of spirituality just to avoid/ confront their inner deficiencies. You said it yourself, you retreated back in the middle of it. Whatever she said wrt to open marriage was her desire which you internalized. You have not/never achieved detachment. It is supposed to heal your wound but you are using spirituality as a band-aid. This is where everything is wrong with your situation. Else you won't be here. Hope you have recognized the pattern how she gradually eroded layers of boundaries and pulled your marriage down. I am actually amazed to see how people bear this kind of behavior. Your friends tried but they weren't successful. I am not sure how anonymous online forum could help you. But I will quote, God helps those who help themselves.

PS:- Not offending anyone. Just pointing out a few anomalies.
"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."
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