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    This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
    Lost in love
    mshab61 posted:

    A little history before I get to what I'm here to discuss.

    I've been happily married to my wife for 21 years and we have two daughters together ages 17 and 8. This past year (2010) we have both gone through some health issues. I had a herniated disk in my neck that was surgically repaired in May of 2010 and I contracted pneumonia in September of 2010. My wife was diagnosed with heart arrhythmia in late 2009 and had a procedure done to correct it in February 2010 and she had a partial hysterectomy done in July of 2010 due to excessive bleeding.

    I just turned 50 years old and since my stay in the hospital (6 months ago) with pneumonia I have been eating healthier and working out daily and have dropped 30 pounds and feel great. I'm the weight and shape I was when my wife and I were married 20 years ago (5'10" — 170lbs) and full of muscle (for you Men at Work fans) LOL. My wife has also lost a lot of weight not only because she wanted to but for health reasons as well. She also is the same weight now as she was when we got married (about 118lbs) and looks great. My wife will turn 48 in September.

    Now let the story begin. During this past year our marriage has not been the same as it was. There was a lot more and often arguing over the typical things that married couples argue over but many of these arguments got heated and there was a lot of verbal abuse being thrown around never physical though just verbal by the both of us but if you ask my wife she will say it was all me and she was just responding to my verbal abuse. If you ask me I say we are both equally wrong and we both gave it and received it but never the less we were both wrong and it has damaged our marriage. I will say though the past two months things have clamed down but there is still the occasional outburst but we keep it much more controlled.

    About three weeks ago my wife and I agreed to seek counseling and have gone to four sessions so far and I'm glad we are doing this. A little more history on this story, for about three months now my wife and I have grown distant. Maybe this is why things have calmed down recently. For the past three weeks during the evening after dinner I would find my wife down stairs while I'm up stairs all night until bed time. I'm a sports fan and enjoy watching sports on TV so at first I wasn't all that bothered with this arrangement, probable selfish though. My wife would spend her time on her lap top with what I thought was only Facebook and web browsing and stuff like that. I started getting a little suspicious when whenever I would go down stairs she would cop an attitude like what are you doing down here and would cling to her computer. I started to think maybe she was doing some on-line chatting with however and I started snooping (sorry). I found out that my wife has a new password something she has never done before. The suspicions start to grow.

    A little more history, sorry try and stay with me please. My wife and I dated seven years before getting married and there was a short period of time somewhere in the middle of our dating history (and this is where it starts getting interesting) my then girlfriend and I experimented having another woman join us in bed. This did not last long it was a thing that I though at that time was just a phase and we moved on from it and ended up getting engaged a year or two later.

    Back to the present, now that my suspicions have grown I turn to cell phone snooping (again sorry) sure enough her phone has a password now as well as her computer, again something she has never done before. I have yet up to this point in my story confronted her on any of this. One day she was doing something around the house and she left her computer unattended and forgot to log off something she never does. While the computer lay on the kitchen counter I'm sitting in the living room and I here a "ding" come from her computer. It turned out to be a message from someone from a site called Then the reality of it all hit hard. I still kept it under control and let it slide because I didn't want to have an argument in front of my children who were home at the time. Now I have confirmation that she indeed was taking with other people (strangers) for awhile now and that hurt.

    I have been a loyal and faithful husband and boyfriend for 28 years and to think my wife was looking outside our relationship was devastating. In my heart I do believe she has also has been faithful throughout our marriage. We had a great marriage up until just recently. And I still believe she hasn't had an affair but I'm pretty sure she might be looking to do so.

    Now the sticky part, I have good reason and pretty much know she is looking for someone of the same sex. This brings us back about 25 years ago when we experimented with a threesome, and I do believe its coming back to haunt me.

    During our forth session with our counselor some of this has come out but she denied in front of me and the counselor that she was having any affair what so ever and I believe her because we both have busy lives between our work and our children there isn't time for a full blown affair. We get up the same time, we go to work (no traveling involved), and we get home around the same time every day for the past 20 years.

    There is a part of me strange as it might sound that wants her to go and do her thing (experiment again, this time alone) and get it over with and hopefully come back to me when she gets it out of her system. And then there's the other part of me that thinks if this happens I will lose her and our family will be torn apart. I've been doing a lot of reading about Bi-Sexual and Lesbian life styles. And I'm getting some conflicting information that some say you are born a lesbian and know it from a young age and some say you don't know that you are a lesbian until you realize it later in life. As far a Bi-Sexual I've read that it's mostly experimental and you either truly heterosexual or homosexual but you can't make up your mind so you enjoy both until you come to a conclusion.

    It's in the counselor's hands now and I have to let the process take its course but it's been tough and I will try whatever it takes to get her to fall back in love with me. I have never stopped loving her even through these rough times.

    If anyone was able to read this and had the time to sit through this saga I would greatly appreciate anything you had to say.

    Thank you,
    Very saddened
    a_pugs_person responded:
    I would first say, 'Kudos' to you and your wife for making it through such tough physical times and not only surviving but seeming to come out of it more determined to take care of yourself and live a better, healthier life.

    After your many years of marriage, I cannot even begin to feel qualified to offer advice. Especially given that I failed at one after a much shorter period of time.

    I would say, however, that even though your wife has changed - or seems to have changed - her habits, try not to jump to too many conclusions. Granted, what you've outlined does seem very suspicious and would lead most, if not all, to the same conclusions you've already drawn. On the other hand, she is going to counseling with you, so she must feel some investment in the marriage.

    I have no experience with bi- or homo-sexuality, so if you're looking for information specifically on those topics I hope someone else can help you. But as far as goes, I get messages from them all the time. Depending on what programs I have running I will get a notification of the message delivery, even though it may be being delivered to my Spam folder. Also, I'm sure a lot of folks lie to the computer to do things they might not should (like kids clicking the 'I'm over 18' button), but unless you believe your wife is one of these folks and would lie to a potential new person in her life just to get to meet them, Match does have safeguards in place to disallow people to join (I tried after I was officially separated, but because I wasn't officially divorced I couldn't join - thank you for telling me 45 minutes later!).

    Also, even if your wife is looking for something else, it might not be because she doesn't love you. She might just need more excitement or a break from routine or to be more noticed and complimented on her new image. Not to say you aren't necessarily doing those things. But, if you're both back to where you were when you first met physically for all intents and purposes, maybe you could try going back to the beginning of your relationship in other ways. Plan a date night with similar activities from when you were young.

    For me, I know a little romance goes a long way. And when I lost 30 pounds I wanted to feel like I was prettier and more desirable than when I felt fat and miserable. And when I wasn't getting that attention at home, it made what I got elsewhere an even bigger deal.
    stephs_3_kidz replied to a_pugs_person's response:
    I don't think you're going to get an actual message from someone ON a dating site unless you've actually JOINED the site. I get pop-ups from time to time from mylife and match, from one certain news website I visit, but never a *message*. That's a different ballgame.

    Cheating is cheating, whether it's with the same sex or opposite sex, in my book. If your wife goes off and does her own thing, I don't see how it could be beneficial to or healthy for your marriage. And you deserve more respect than that.

    And just a thought..but if you have an 8yo and a 17yo what on earth are you both doing glued to the television and computer in the evenings? Both of you should be focusing on your family and your children. I would be ticked if my DH spent all his time holed up in another room all evening and never paid any attention to me or our 4 children. Is that possibly why she seems defensive, asking "What are you doing down here?" Because I probably would take the same kind of attitude if my husband wanted to spend every evening by himself and then popped in thinking I was guilty of something (even though your wife clearly is).
    mshab61 replied to a_pugs_person's response:

    Thank you very much for your kind words and also for taking the time out of your life for giving me your thoughts. I'm sorry to here that your marriage failed and I don't like the word "failed" I would use "unsuccessful" it just sounds better to me.

    The biggest problem I have to deal with right now is the distance we've been putting between us and that concerns me. She's always saying "I need my space so I can go on my journey and figure things out for myself". I have been giving her a lot of space lately but it's been very difficult knowing what it is she is or is thinking of doing while on that journey that hurts. This is were our little blowups occur when I'm feeling lonely or heart broken and she comes home in a bad mood and takes it out on me and our children and I confront her.

    The way I look at it is why would she be so angry at times when I'm giving her the space she's asking for and her knowing that I know what she's up to. If the shoe were on the other foot I would be grateful that she is still by my side and willing to help her get through it, sounds very selfish to me.

    It can only be she either had a bad day at work (not that often in the past) or her journey has hit a bump in the road and she takes it out on me by implying that I'm still snooping around and not giving her this space she requires and this angers me. Since I've confirmed my suspicions I have stopped my snooping, I don't see the need to snoop anymore, I know what's going on and told her I'm willing to wait this out and see were it leads.

    Like I've said in my first post I've basically put my future and my families future into the hands of our councilor and I pray they know what their doing and help us come to a conclusion on what the future holds for us.

    Thank you again for responding to my post,

    P.S. I have very dear friends that have a Pug. They have no children but they treat that Pug like it's their child.
    stephs_3_kidz replied to mshab61's response:
    Like I've said in my first post I've basically put my future and my families future into the hands of our councilor and I pray they know what their doing and help us come to a conclusion on what the future holds for us.

    That's all well and good, but the counselor's job is not to fix your issues, it's to provide you with the knowledge, confidence, and ability to fix your own issues. At some point you will have to take control of your own future.
    mshab61 replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:

    Thank you for your response. Yes I know for a fact that my wife is a member of and that is when the suspicions began to sink in. I do agree that cheating is cheating but on the other hand I believe true love is true love no matter what. I do believe my wife is still in love with me and believe she is just going through a period in her life that is confusing her. Maybe she is going through a mid life crisis of some type or worse a chemical imbalance due to her recent hysterectomy. She is still seeing her Gynecologist about this matter.

    About our children, we are both very involved with their academics and overall wellbeing. They are the main reason why our marriage is still hanging on. They are the most important thing in our lives. When I said we would go into different areas of the house what I should have said was that this is later in the evening when our 8 year old is in bed. My 17 year old is very independent like her mother and is involved in many after school programs and has many friends and she is at the age were she needs her own space and as long as her academics are where they need to be I think we are doing a fine job with her. My 8 years old is a little different. I'll be honest, lately it seems that it's more me that is spending more time with her (doing homework, playing, talking, bonding) while my wife is going through this. It has bothered me that my wife has lost "some" interest but she still does help just not as much as she used to.

    The more I think about what has taken place over the past 3-6 months I feel it may be more "psychological" then "pure infidelity" that my wife is going through. I've been reading a lot about partial hysterectomies and that they can cause early menopause which can be very difficult on some women. Maybe this is part of the problem?
    mshab61 replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
    [a name=_MailAutoSig>stephs_3_kid'z,

    I agree with you again, but that is why I said "help". We need help from and outside sourse in order to get the "knowledge, confidence, and ability to fix your own issues" just like you stated. Gun to my head right now I would walk away but I owe it to my wife and children to give it my all with the help of counseling to gain what you said.
    gd9900 responded:
    I haven't been through menopause, or had any major surgeries but I am married (10 years) and would like to share some things you may or may not have already considered. Take them at face value - just offering another perspective.

    My husband and I are currently separated but taking this time to work through our issues. Up until a few years ago we thought we had a "great marriage". At that time, STRESS kicked into high gear with the economy devestating my husbands business, and me having to cut back hours at work. Financial stress triggered a need for us to look at our marriage and address the unhappiness we both felt. It was a greater trigger for my H than it was me - It took a while for reality to set in on my end. But I've come to realize us separating now and trying to work through it is better than being together miserably with things getting worse. We don't want to end up hating each other...KWIM? I realize it seems counter-intuitive to separate at a time when our connection is weak, but each of us realized we have lost something of ourselves as individuals and we are working at finding our own happiness in life again. We found ourselves considering divorce, but wanting a better marriage...we have a deep and strong bond of love between us but our connection is weak and has become that way over a period of time. In our marriage, life got in OUR way, and neither of us is confrontational - we let "us" slide as a result. Does any of this make sense or sound familiar? It might not, and that's ok - it's me offering my experience from what I'm picking up on what you posted.

    It seems all of these recent changes in your lives health-wise, may have been a sort of stress trigger for releasing stress felt (and maybe pent up) in your relationship - given the increased fighting, and behavior changes. Maybe moreso for your wife than you. Keep up with the marriage counselling, and consider individual counselling to supplement. Most importantly, be took time to get where you are at, it will take time to sort through and determine where to go from here. Best wishes.
    mshab61 replied to gd9900's response:

    Thank you for your insight.

    I have thought that maybe it would be best at this time for us to separate but my wife has never mentioned it. There are a few reasons why I'm not in a hurry to separate also.

    One, like the majority this economy is holding me back. We both work and have good jobs but we also have a big mortgage and it would be difficult paying a mortgage and me going out and paying rent on an apartment. I'm not the type that runs home to Mom, plus she's in a better place right now. And I won't ask for help from one of my brothers or sisters, plus they live in different locations.

    Two, and the main reason why I'm not leaving are our children. They are the most important thing in our lives and I don't want to hurt them in anyway. My 17 year old could handle it but my 8 year old would be devastated.

    I do agree with all our medical history over the past year this might have something to do with it.
    gd9900 replied to mshab61's response:
    mshab61 - you're welcome. Understandable your reasons to not separate at this time. It sounds as though you kind of live a bit separately in the same house already - kinda like, and I don't like to use this term, roomates. If you choose to stay at the house, try to keep the fighting to a minimum...or at the very least not in front of the kids. Maybe you and your wife can discuss and work out some sort of "in house separation" agreement. Talk with your counsellor for with your wife beforehand so she doesn't feel blindsided by the idea. Something I would suggest keeping your kids in the loop on...simple as saying, Mom & I need a break from each other and this is how we will be living for a while. Make sure they know both of you are there for them no matter what!

    How you would work that out is between the two of you obviously. Always, always, always, the kids must be considered first. It may help to bow out of each others personal lives, meaning arrange for each of you to have time completely for yourself - be it each day, alternating days, or whatever. No questioning of or answering to your spouse regarding personal time. Respect of personal time is of great importance. If spouse offers info regarding personal time that is their choice. Initiate separate sleeping/privacy spaces. Make time for "business" only discussions - regarding family, budget, other issues. Would suggest making family time as well. And time for the two of you to check in with each other to "catch up" on your lives, or on your issues (which could also be addressed in counselling).
    mshab61 replied to gd9900's response:

    WOW! You are good, are you sure you're not in the Psychology field in some capacity? My wife and I had a good session with our counselor last night and she basically talked about the exact same things that you posted. We both agree this is the right thing to do at this time and believe it will help in our healing.

    Thank you,
    gd9900 replied to mshab61's response:

    No, I do not work in the psychology field. hahaha. I can't take credit for the coincidence of sharing my life experience with what happened in your counselling session last night. That's kinda cool though.

    I'll share a little more of my story...

    Two years ago my H and I went to marriage counselling and he stated we were roomates...I was infuriated! To this day I don't agree with him totally, I mean to some degree we were like two ships in the night with our hectic work schedules, keepin up with the kids, and other obligations...but we ate together, slept together, had an active sex life together, shared responsibilities, helped and supported each other...roomates in my experience aren't THAT. He hasn't ever had a roomate, but at the time this "friend" of ours was having issues with her roomate and I'm pretty sure that is where he got this idea from. A few sessions later he suggested we separate...I was devestated. I let him talk me into it as he hasn't ever led me astray. It was somewhat helpful for him, I was barely able to function during those six weeks. Five months later I initiated a separation - I offered to move out and rent an apt for a few months as I had developed anxiety over changes in his behavior and needed a break from it. Felt as though I was walking on eggshells and was at a point where I was getting angry and feeling resentment with him. We got back together after that 6 month separation and things seemed a lot better between us than they had been in a long time, then 5 months ago he decided to tell me he wanted a divorce because he isn't happy in his life. He moved in with his sister and her family. He doesn't want to divorce (neither do I), we both want a better marriage. We've come to realize each of us has our "baggage" to work through - something that we should have taken care of long before getting married. What we're going through now is our "hail Mary" pass...

    My point sharing this with you is, let go of any expectations of an outcome (or path) for the two of you. Make sure you communicate with each other regularly...share funny stories, and honest feelings. Take time to regain yourself - a happy self. Get your individuality back, and allow your wife do the same. Then come to the table and figure out if you are on the same page. If you aren't, take the next step to determine if and how you can get there. It's a process, time and patience are required. Keep us posted.
    gd9900 replied to gd9900's response:
    Sorry for the bold text...not sure why it came out that way!
    mshab61 replied to gd9900's response:

    Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story and I hope you and your husband can re-connect. You write very well and intelligently. I just had to say that.

    I've been doing a lot of thinking the past few days and that is my problem right now, I'm looking ahead for an outcome and not giving the process a chance to work. I am impatient right now but realize I need to slow down. I'm in sort of the same situation you are in, still in love with my wife but my wife seems to have fallen out of love with me. I guess this is why I'm impatient. I'm looking for a quick fix and need to relize thats not going to happen.

    Thanks again for you advice
    gd9900 replied to mshab61's response:
    Thanks mshab61 - I hope we are able to re-connect also...there isn't a day that goes by without me missing him in some/several ways. We are great companions...and lovers.

    I hope you have an easier time detaching from your wife than I have with my husband. My husband doesn't seem to struggle with it as much. Then again, for him it wouldn't be unlikely he is just better able to hide it.

    It's not going to be an easy may encounter issues concentrating, sleeping, whatever you can to keep yourself healthy both physically and emotionally. Get out and re-connect with friends/family. Establish a support system for yourself, and keep really helps getting things out. Best...

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