Wow! Hope things get better for you. A lot of advice here by us folks, but seek professional counseling for sure. Stay on the bike as many others have advised. It does help.
(Way OT). Wife really blind sided me tonight! Infidelity!
"Riding is about rhythm and flow. It's the wind in your face and the challange of hammering up a long hill. It's the reward at the top and the thrill of a high-speed descent. Biking lets you come alive both in body and spirit."
"As an engineer and as me I cannot tell you how it is going to suck to share my feelings but it’s the path I need to take."
This statement speaks volumes as far as why some women cheat on their husbands.
I am in marriage counseling right now; you should see the counselor and my wife trying to get me to share my feelings...it is only a touch better than having my prostate checked.It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
Was she the hottie from your past whose picture you posted here a few years back?
No...but she WAS someone from my past.
One more thing. Before you go into counseling make sure you have made a written list of things you want to talk about and/or questions you want to ask. I think you are going to find it surprisingly easy to discuss your feelings with an impartial professional. If there are things you feel that you cannot say, let the counselor know that you are holding things back and why. You really need to be honest when you walk in that room.
Maybe "Kidgloves" would be a better handle for you.
Sustanon's frankness isn't what I'd call throwing punches. Do you think hplBiking is only seeking sympathy but no insight?
@kidwok.......it did come across rather insensitive, and I apologize if it did. I'm not saying that there is an excuse for cheating, but a lot of married women cheat because there is some perceived breakdown in communication. They want intimacy...sharing feelings, showing vulnerability, admitting that you're wrong, etc. That sentence about how much it sucks to share your feelings, which ties into why one chooses a certain pedantic vocation, just struck a cord for some reason. Again, I shouldn't have phrased it the way I did in light of the situation.
Adding onto Chick Chandler's comment about talking to a lawyer. Yes...but take your time to find a good one. Sorry to state the obvious, but there are some who just want to rack up as many billable hours as possible in a short amount of time. Their aggressiveness may add more conflict in a situation that probably warrants de-escalation. It's "no-fault" everywhere now, so unless she was also a horrible mother, a divorce will likely result in her having more residential time/custody with the kids. In which case, you'll not only be paying for an expensive divorce, but also paying spousal and child support to her until the last kid turns 18.
This is a really tough time, but the legal stuff is exactly why you need a clear head. Talk to a lawyer and don't just talk about the beginning...discuss the endgame and really think about how it will impact your family. This will impact what you hope to get out of individual and marriage counseling.
Also...you'll either want to move back in or make sure you can show that you are spending a lot of time with the kids. Family law doesn't favor the person who separates themselves from the kids intentionally, at least not here in Washington state.
About three months ago, I was packed up and ready to move out. I started looking up divorces and the legal process. I also looked at the effect on kids of various ages. It was enough to send me "unpacking" and I moved into the guest room instead.
Divorce is an ugly process that takes a huge toll on the family. I am GLAD I wasn't the one to start it. She ended up doing so, hastily choosing a lawyer that came out swinging (the courts can see through that) and made critical mistakes. I took the time to interview three and choose one that was family-oriented with a reputation for de-escalation, but able to play hardball if required. Things have gone relatively well for me thus far.
Sorry to give you a bunch of unsolicited advice. You're welcome to PM me if you need a sounding board on any of this stuff.
My apologies. Do talk to friends and consider family members -- but definitely get professional counseling. Today. You, not the two of you. Start there. Then, if you (with the help of a counselor) decide to work things out, then the two of you together should seek counseling.
Go to the counselor with a completely open mind. That is, make the counselor confront your feelings. They get paid to help you answer tought questions. Use their professional expertise to help you, your kids, and, yes, even your wife if that becomes the path.
Lots of grea advice, but I disagree strongly that yourmarriage is over and never can be trusting and good. While that might be one strong possibility, do NOT write off a return of love, friendship and mutual respect with your wife.
Do not confront anyone else at this point. Except yourself, with a counselor, and your wife, with a open mind at this point. That is, do pause, as some very smart people above suggested.
Best of luck. One hopeful thing I will say is that I promise that your life can move forward postiively, as impossible as that might seem right now.
Keith (not to get off track): Try to "share your feelings" on paper. Be honest, even if it's just with yourself. Then maybe that on-paper hoesty can find itself into the broader conversation with your counselor, and your wife. Worked for me.
I have been hesitant to weigh in here on this, but I will ofer the following personal opinions...People cheat because they get something from relationship "B" that they don't get from relationship "A". If there is any hope of reconsiliation of the marriage, the cheater needs to fully come clean about what that was. Just saying "it's over and it will not happen again" is not nearly enough, and just postpones a bad enevitability.
Then the cheated-upon will first have to determine if:
1. they think it possible to fill those missing needs, and then if that seems possible,
2. are they able to possibly forgive the cheater in the near future.
If those things cannot happen....move on with your separate lives."To be free and to live a free life - that is the most beautiful thing there is."
rnddude, word. Those two things really sum it all up.
Alum...I'll take the nickname as a compliment. "Kidwok" may be getting outdated...I should change my handle.
Sustanon...Good on you man. There's what you say and then there's how you say it. My dad was an engineer...a very interpersonally ill-equipped one at that. If you made all engineers in the world take a Myers-Briggs test, it would probably show most of them don't have the personalities to be good communicators. I found the quote you framed from OP very insightful...when someone acknowledges a character-flaw in times like these, they are trying to own the situation. If I read into that comment further, I would say OP is already wondering if he did something wrong. You perceived that as well obviously.
Putting people on the spot isn't my typical behavior and I hope you understood my need to do so. I greatly respect and appreciate your acknowledgement.
my experience with divorce lawyers is that their top priority is... themselves, not their clients. if it's all about the money then perhaps that's the way to go, but if it's about revenge your lawyer will extract as much pain out of you as your wife. they are worse than engineers when dealing with feelings ;-)
divorce mediation is just another kind of counseling, where the mediator sets out to find common ground for the reorganization, which is what it is, since you have children you will never be fully out of that relationship. mediation can make it a lot less acrimonious after the fact as well as during.
One thing that will guarantee that your wife will have an affair is if you're talking down to her, or have a dismissive attitude towards her feelings, living a marriage that's akin to being a in roommate scenario, being predictable and adhering to a strict routine like an old man, ignoring her or making verbally abusive remarks. I've seen it happen ...a lot! It doesn't matter if you're wife looks like a pristine doll-face church going babe, she's gonna do it. If she's used to living a good life financially with all the perks and what not, especially a solid dual income, she's going to milk this game for as long as she can.
As I mentioned on another thread, if she hangs out with a female friend a lot, goes to the gym without you, etc., she could be leading a double life. I've seen some crafty women out there who will lie with a straight face....because they feel entitled for having to affair and the attention. That's the key right there.
Dear Dr. Sustanon: We're not giving cycling advice. This is serious business. I don't mean to seem rude, but stop offering "guarantees" and what you've "seen" and what you know people are "gonna do." Anecdotes do NOT equal absolute expertise.
There's MY expert advice.
Go see a counselor. Two, if that's what it takes.
Sustanon...you got ALL the answers, eh? You with no kids...
Agreed. Sustanon, you might want to go and grind your ax somewhere else. And you can take that anyway you'd like.
BTW, you sound bitter, but remember it's not always the women who cheat and break hearts.
Words of wisdom from one of my friends written to me years ago:
Your choices can make the difference between a peaceful transition
and a transition that is a roller coaster ride of emotions that no one ever forgets. No judgment as to which is better - but I can tell you which one is more comfortable than the other.
You can't make a wrong decision. We are here for the experience. You can't help but experience life whatever you choose. (sounds good in theory - hard to get by all the belief systems we have firmly entrenched telling us there is a right or wrong choice).
You know which direction you wish to go. Observation of the choices you make - what you choose to 'do' - can be a much more accurate guide to your true intent than your thoughts. Thought is influenced by beliefs and perception. Beliefs are not truth. Perception (thankfully!) can be changed by the wind over a butterfly's wing.
There is all the time in the world.
The future is created moment by moment and can be changed at any moment (usually by a change in perception).
There are lots more options than we sometimes see at first.
...I'm just giving you the low-down straight from a married friend's mouth. Not bitter at all ;)
Seek advice from a qualified counselor with a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) certification. Your problem is a Family problem and not just a Marriage problem. Essentially you will work together with the counselor for two of your three options... Work it out, Get out but never to Stick it out. If she won't go, go by yourself. If there is anything you do for yourself and your children do that at least for four visits. Typically a MFT will allow the first visit to vent about the past but after that, it is all about the future and going forward.
I have a hard time when I read recommendations to "keep the family" together because of the kids when often times raising kids in such a setting is as or more negative as a separation would be. My sister went through a situation with her ex, who was manipulative, controlling and also cheated on her on the side. They went to counseling, made promises to each other and she stuck it out as long as she could with two kids. Eventually she cut the knot. She's better for it, the kids are better for it because they're not living in fear of their dad who was verbally abusive, alcoholic and wanted little to do with the kids. He lives in Canada now, she in Az and he sees the kids once a month. It works out and the kids are happy to see their dad but they also remember when he scared them and home life was stressed out and not pleasant.
That being said, the fact that your wife was carrying on an affair for 10 years and suddenly comes clean "for the kids' sake", makes me doubt sincerity at saving the marriage. Was she not concerned the previous decade? Hard to say, but the trust factor is going to be broken a long time. Counseling for your own piece of mind is good advice. The next step is determining what is the best situation regarding your children. (If, as you have mentioned, she swears they are, and she's willing to let you read her emails) would paternity tests be acceptable as well?
Obviously some of us on the forum here have been through divorces, myself included for many reasons. Luckily I had no children at the time to contend. What drives a person to cheat is difficult to ascertain - lack of intimacy, no sex life, desire for change, etc, etc,. For one reason or another, the road you find yourself is difficult and there is no easy path to moving forward. Honesty is a good policy and figuring out how to deal with what's happening and make the impacts to your kids as non-impactful as possible will the be hardest.
Go for some long rides, take some time out for yourself and think, talk it out with someone neutral - therapist is a good idea. Don't keep it all in.
Good luck and sorry to hear about your situation.
hpl - damn, sorry to hear that man. take care.
no advice except that I will emphatically echo iamus72 and his idea that you not stay together for the kids sake. that is worse for the kids. Do not use your kids as power within the relationship.
My cred for the above? child of divorced parents who kept their shit out of my life. Forever grateful. Many HS HS friends had the opposite experience and it sucked.
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