My partner cheated on me and she doesn’t want to change. I’ve been with my wife for fourteen years. Twelve married, found out last year that she was kind of having an affair with somebody at our local gym here. Hey, let me can I stop, can I stop right there. What is kind of having an affair mean? Well, I’m thinking of a physical or a more of a emotional than a physical. So I just say kind of ok, don’t say if there was a violation of your boundaries don’t say kind of let’s just call it what it is. She was she was having an affair with a with a guy at the gym and it was probably. You know going on for about six months, I kind of had an inkling to it, you know before before I found out officially, but I mean. It was just kind of in the back of my head but officially found out last year for sure that it was going on. And so it’s been a year since when I found out.
How to survive cheating
You know, we’re we’re trying to work it out well, I guess I’m trying to work it out, but really it just seems like a one way street. I’m trying everything here and then, you know, I’ve never reached out to anybody else besides, you know, my brother family stuff like that. I saw text messages or saw she was sitting in photos or something like that, then I found out. Then you sit down and have the conversation, what is the conversation. So conversation was I found out at work. You know with the text messages actually from the guy’s wife that she was seeing. So I got the text messages I’m thinking in the back of my head. Like, no, this is this is fake. You know, I didn’t know the number. I’m just putting it put everything behind me. I’m like, no, that’s not real and then they sent the text messages back and forth and I’m just like, oh my gosh, my world just crashed. Yeah dude. So you talk to your wife, you talk to your wife. How does that go, man. Yeah, your heart’s broken, you don’t even know what day it is, right, you’re not eating. I had that conversation go for the most part, I mean, I came home early that day and I you know, I took her by the hand and my daughter was in the room so I said, you know, let’s go to the back. I got to ask you something and you know I was real level headed cool. I wasn’t angry or anything. I just I wanted to just. You know, hear it from her. Is this for real? I mean, I showed her the text messages and everything and. You know, like I told you before, I kind of had an inkling. So when I saw those, I just was like, oh my goodness. Oh, my goodness. You know, like I can’t believe this right now, so, I mean, you know, she was very dismissive about it just like. Oh, no, he’s just a friend, you know, and then after we talked about a little more, it’s like other things start coming out. Like, oh, he’s my best friend. I can talk to him a lot and mind you, he’s a stayed home dad and she’s a stay at home mom which she has been for last ten years.
She doesn’t change
So, I just was in shock. Yeah, so my heart was in a thousand pieces. I’m over there trying to pick it up trying to put it back together and that’s what I feel like I’ve been doing the last year and it just doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere. So her first response was denial and a lie. When did you circle up and say finally admit like I’ve been seeing this dude. I mean, I would say probably like a couple of weeks after we had, you know, we were having conversations all the time about it and, you know, it just, you know. She just finally said he’s my best friend, like I just want to see him all the time and it just was that was another killer. It’s like, how do you say that this guy’s your best friend when I’m your husband and we’re supposed to be best friend. You know, we’re supposed to be the ones talking all the time. I always felt like our relationship was very close, you know, we’re always honest with each other. We’re always talking to each other and then, um, you know. For this to come about it just was like I said, a total shocker. I just going to I just going to wrap my head around it honestly, yeah man. So why do you want to stay in this relationship because I love her. I mean, she’s the love of my life. I’ve been with her for fourteen years. We have two beautiful girls together and we we both come from broken marriages. My mom and dad got divorced when I was in my and when I was eighteen and she didn’t have her dad. You know, pretty much most of her life so and he still isn’t a part of her life to this day. She’s so when you say she’s not invested, she has no interest in staying. She telling you, I want to be divorced. She’s she’s brought it up a couple times, but it’s never the triggers never been pulled on it. She’s she’s talked about separating, you know, I just don’t I just don’t feel the same way about you. You know, I I feel like we’re on two separate paths and it’s like, you know, I’ve always been on the same path, dr john, I work, you know, all the time to provide for the family, you know, that’s my role as a man. I feel like, you know, I came from that type of background. And you know. I don’t know if it’s some type of resentment she holds towards me because I get to leave every day and leave her with the kids. Or what what it is. You’re going to make yourself stone insane trying to get inside her head and figure out why she’s thinking the way she’s. And when we get hurt or we get scared or we get out of control, that’s that’s a temptation managed to get I know why they did that because of ex man, you’re going to make yourself nuts. And it’s probably a thousand things. And what I’ll tell you is it’s a fools air and you’re never going to fully get there and you’re going to drive yourself mad. You can’t change her mind. She’s an adult and she’s going to have to make that decision.
It’s time to make decision
But two adults have got to get in a room and have this conversation, there’s a reason underneath that. You need to have this conversation because you just need to make some decisions. But I’m going to tell you right now you are not passively influencing your daughters. You are. Affirmatively hurting them. Okay, okay, they are absorbing this tension. They are absorbing your back and forth. Your wife’s indifference, whatever she’s saying about you when you’re not there, her staring at her phone all day while they’re in her presence or not all of that stuff they’re absorbing and here’s the deal, brother. They are in their little minds. How old are they. Ten and six. Oh gosh, yeah. And they’re ten and six year old. That’s about the age of my kids. Every every interaction with their parents. Every bit of tension they are absorbing as their fault and they’re going to spend their life trying to fix it. You’re going to it’s not a good thing. No, it’s not all of that tension, all of that ambiguity frustration they absorb. And sometimes kids try to solve that through being perfect. Sometimes kids solve that through addiction. They solve that through one relationship after another after another they solve that through the they go on religious walkabout, whatever that may be, but they spend their life chasing that down very similar situation you find yourself in, right? And definitely all that to say is this you have got to. Have a hard conversation in a in a respectful, kind, dignified way because there is a chance that your wife is a terrible, terrible wife and an extraordinary mom. She might be a great mom to these girls. She love those kids. She’s she’s a great mother. I’ll never never take that away from her. She’s the best mom. Well, just like I said to the first color man, we need more guys like you in the world. I appreciate your heart here. My guess is this is probably a long time coming and whether you missed it or whether your wife was highly deceptive. Usually it’s a it’s a it’s both and some sneaks up on people or something. Doesn’t sneak up on people, whatever happens to me. I need you to go to your wife and say, listen, for the sake of our daughters, they’re absorbing this. This is writing in their hearts. What relationships look like, what relationships feel like and they are taking all of this tension on their hearts. We can’t do that to our daughters. We’ve got to make some decisions in this house. And I love you. I want to be your husband. I’ll go to the ends of the earth to figure how to make this work. And please don’t give up on us. Let’s go get a marriage therapist. Right and let her make a decision. And I I know that’s a scary thing because there’s a reality that she’s going to say I’m opting for not you. And that’s very scary, right. It is very heartbreaking. Yeah, that’s all in man and it sounds like she will. She’s out on the couch. I’m in the bed by myself, you know, intimacies out of nothing. We all have to make some decisions for your daughters sooner rather than later. And my hope again, man I’m the most naively optimistic guy on the planet and I’m not naive about it. I just have seen people come back from so many different brinks come over so many obstacles because they fight and they climb, they say I’m not given up on this thing. I thought this marriage was an ash and we’re going to redraw. We’re going to rebuild it and we’re going to create something better and new and different. It’s not going to be the old thing that we just reconstruct. We’re going to do something remarkable. I’ve seen it over and over and over. Yeah, we hung on and we rebuild something. We were still rebuilding something new and I think every marriage is continually rebuilding and rebuilding and adding and growing. I’ve got high hopes.