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Should I stay or should I go?

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  • Should I stay or should I go?

    Hi all.

    So here is my story: I am 49, my wife 46, been married for 23 years, 2 teenage kids. Our troubles started in 2013 when I caught her lying to me about seeing another man. I do not know the extent of the relationship, but I know that they went to Yoga together several times a week and shopping together, driving in the same car. She did not see that guy anymore to the best of my knowledge, after I confronted her about it.

    A year later in 2014 I did something stupid. I was still pondering if my wife still loved me and at some point created a profile on an online dating site. The intent was primarily to see if I was still attractive to other women, no other intentions, I swear, I just needed a little ego boost. I met one lady from that site for lunch once, but only because she was in a similar situation, being separated from her husband etc. It was just a casual lunch and some nice conversation. Never met her again. Please keep in mind, I have no family here and nobody else to talk to.
    My wife apparently had been going thru my browsing history and found out about this. This created a major crisis, because for one an online profile does look bad and also my wife to this day seems convinced that I cheated on her. We somehow worked thru this, but it was hard.

    In 2015 we decided to spice up our marriage and sex life and invited another male into our bedroom. Big mistake. They had incredibly passionate sex, probably partly due to him being a new guy and me being a 23 year old model. Afterwards she said some very hurtful things to me, like "Sex with him is just so much better" and she is "not sure if she still wants to have sex with me, because my performance and his just don't compare". After she realized how hurt I was, she stopped having sex with him to the best of my knowledge, and we worked on improving our sex life and skills.

    Fast forward to yesterday. So during a quiet moment I asked her if we are ok again. While we have a good relationship otherwise, she said that she has forgiven but not forgotten and even if I told her now that I did not have an affair, she would not believe me. To this day, she said her family also believes I cheated on her.

    Two things that struck me were, that obviously she still does not trust me, because it does not matter what I say in regards to my mistake. I have completely forgiven her mistakes and never brought them up again, ever.

    The other thing that struck me was that obviously her whole family knows. My family lives overseas, so I have no support here. During the last three years I had always noticed that at family parties nobody really liked talking to me, but I thought I was imagining things. But now it all makes sense. Obviously I am quite disappointed, that she has basically made me radioactive in her family because of my slip-up, but nobody knows about the things she has done. I intentionally never told my family about any of this, because families always take sides. Initially she had told me that she had only sought advice from one of her aunts.

    So the questions is: Will she ever trust me again? I trust her. When I asked her how our sex live is now she said it was fine. Not exactly a glowing endorsement, even though I am always trying and she seems to orgasm every time. Would she be happier with another man? I do not want to be someone she settles for because it is comfortable.
    Divorce is not imminent, but in 3 years our kids will be in college and at that point I would like some clarity going forward.

    There is naturally a lot more to this, but I tried to condense it as much as I could. Thank you so much for any opinion.

  • #2
    I'm sorry to hear about your difficult situation. I understand it must be very confusing at the moment.

    That being said, I do believe you both hold a lot of responsability in the mess you've created.
    You've had issues many long-term couples face. And instead of dealing with them in a way that made you stronger as a team, you've both chosen to resort to act in a way that only created more distance between you.
    Neither of you is treating the other with love, care and understanding. You've both shut down and have stopped communicating in a constructive way.

    In 2013 she acted inappropriately with another man. She possible felt something for him, even just physical attraction. Instead of coming to you with her confusion, she lied and kept secrets. Mistake 1.
    You claim that up to this day you have completely forgiven her and haven't brought it up. The first thing you need to own up to, is the fact that you haven't forgiven her at all. It's so obvious in your tone when you write about it and in the words you choose. You haven't moved on from this and much has been left unsaid. Letting this kind of anger fester for such a long time creates resentment and unkindness. Mistake 2.

    The biggest testimony to the fact that you haven't moved passed her actions is in your online dating profile and your lunch date with another woman. You can call it whatever you want and justify it however you want. Bottom line is, you were in emotional turmoil and rather than turning to your partner and establishing an open communication about it, you turned to someone else. Mistake 3.

    You then decided together that a good time to put your relationship through the toughest test possible, was in the middle of having marital problems and trust issues. Mistake 4.
    I don't know what on Earth compelled you to have a threesome in a time when your relationship was already suffering from (accusations of) infidelity, lack of trust and poor self esteem on both sides. How did you think this was going to end???
    I don't believe you actually took the time to talk about the experience beforehand and establish rules. It seems the goal of this experiment was never discussed and agreed on, because it ended up being all about your wife and this new guy, rather than being something that brings you closer together as a couple. With the internet at hand and plenty of people sharing their threesome experiences online, there's really no excuse for the lousy way you've prepared it.

    And then for some reason your wife decides to say the most inappropriate things to you about liking sex with that other guy better. Wow. She's got a lot of resentment towards you. How is it that you've never addressed this, and asked her why she's so damn angry at you? Mistake 5!
    Too many things go unsaid. Anger gets repressed. Sadness gets denied. And instead of fixing deeply rooted issues, you both act out. You were angry at her, so you went on a dating site and dated someone else. She was angry at you, so she orchestrated a 'threesome' so she could knock your self esteem into the ground. Such mean and spiteful people you are. Where's the love?

    Since the damage to the relationship has been created by both your actions, it will take both your best efforts to fix this.
    Step one would be to actually ask your wife and yourself whether you still want to try and fix this in the first place. 'Cause it won't be easy.
    Step two would be working on open and honest communication. If that's too hard for you at the moment, find the help of a counselor.

    Good luck
    You can't control the waves, but you can learn to surf


    • #3
      Have you talked to her about seeing a couples counselor to help you both learn how to let go and get on with things without the resentment and accusations?

      I think you are smart to get this settled now before your wife feels like its just you and her once the kids are off to college and perhaps an "empty nest syndrome" rears up in her.

      She has to realise that sex with someone new is going to be more passionate then sex with you. Its due to "the new relationship energy" that both you and she experienced when you two first started having sex. That new relationship energy always wanes within long term relationships and its up to us to keep the fires burning through mutual flirting, sexy body language and appreciation of one another.
      Last edited by phasesofthemoon; September 13th, 2018, 07:32 PM.
      "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!


      • #4
        Thank you so much for the responses.
        We have not gotten counseling yet. I told her yesterday that I would not be attending anymore family events on her side of the family, because I am just not comfortable with everyone knowing and seeing me as the bad guy. While I admit that I did something terribly wrong, I also think that my wife is at least equally to blame. However, everyone just knows her side of the story, and in my experience it is only natural for families to support their own anyways.

        Naturally, this announcement made her quite upset, which I expected, but she also understands that it was her who told everyone. However, at the moment she has no idea to to fix the issue with her family and I certainly do not want to give her my opinion about that, because it is her family and her mistake to tell them. Ultimately, if she asked me sincerely, I would probably attend family gatherings just for her sake, because I love her, but my preference would still be for her to work something out that gives me at least a bit of dignity back.

        I also asked her to search her feelings about why she still does not believe me. She then said that she believes me now, but to me it just kind of sounded like a save of face, because it is a complete reversal from what she told me a few days ago, when she still thought everything was fine. In a way I regret a little bringing it up, because we both seemed to be doing fine, but it was just a shock for me to learn that everyone knew and I would really like to work thru all feelings so nothing is lingering and coming back to haunt us in the future.

        Regardless, I love her very much and she told me that she loves me and we both seem to want to work on our relationship, because there is just too much good to throw it all away. But I also want her to work thru those feelings of mistrust, so we can both go back to a healthy relationship, were neither has to look over their shoulder constantly..


        • #5
          I think it's a bit stupid that you don't know for certain of the relationship between her yoga man and her and she's dragging you over the coals over having lunch with another woman. It seems to me like you have serious confidence issues and aren't putting her in her place. You are way too tolerant of her indiscretions and she is far too aggressive and indiscreet (blabbing about it to other family members!) persecuting you for your actions. You mentioned several times that you have no support network but you very well could have developed one if you had cared to. Some people also turn to faith and prayer, others meditate or garden, others have solo hobbies like painting or taking up a musical instrument and finding intellectual stimulation in other ways aside from looking for validation and support from other individuals.

          Stop focusing on her mistrust and work on your self-confidence. You're way too coddling, seem to have some anxiety disorder and you entertain her bullshit far too much. Straighten out with her the privacy issues regarding her family and make sure that type of manipulation does not happen again on her part.


          • #6
            Regardless, I love her very much and she told me that she loves me and we both seem to want to work on our relationship, because there is just too much good to throw it all away. But I also want her to work thru those feelings of mistrust, so we can both go back to a healthy relationship, were neither has to look over their shoulder constantly..
            Marriage counseling and discussing issues you both harbour is the best way to help you both to reach that goal ^^^
            "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!