Husband admits to "friendship" but wants cake and eat it too

Husband admits to "friendship" but wants cake and eat it too

Postby moonlightingmom » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:29 pm

My husband of 18 years works out of town a lot as he is in charge of several different offices. In November he returned from a trip and told me to give him a high five, and to be sure to listen with my heart rather than my mind. He went on to say, "You know how every pot has a lid? I think I found another lid."

He proceeded to tell me that his most recent trip away had been specifically to talk to one of his 30-year old married (only 2 months) co-workers about how he can't stop thinking about her and how he wants them to be "friends." She happened to have tickets to the ballet that night, so they went to the ballet and to dinner.

While at dinner, she told him that she had broken up the marriage of a previous co-worker and had been "devastated." He assured her that our marriage was rock solid (and, indeed, until this moment, I would have agreed with him!!!) and in no danger of his having a friendship with another woman. I think he really believed it. I think when he returned home, he really thought I would be excited for him that he had a 30-year old woman who was interested in spending time with him.

I wasn't. I told him so. I asked if they had held hands (they hadn't) or kissed (they didn't) or hugged (still no).

Apparently she went home and told her husband as well, and he asked if they had sex.

Over the next few weeks, they saw each other several more times. They left an office function separately but conspired to meet elsewhere. While sitting and talking, my husband reached out to adjust her engagement ring which was askew. She grabbed his hands and held them for the rest of their time together. My husband reports that he sat there, hanging his head in shame, but that she never relinquished his hands (nor did he pull them away).

Another time, as he walked her to the train, she called out to him, "You're never going to kiss me." When he and I spoke that weekend, (with me crying), I told him the worst case scenario would be if he got an STD from her or if he got her pregnant. Somehow, he interpreted this as permission to kiss her, which he did at their next meeting. And despite the fact that I specifically told him NOT to go to a hotel room with her to watch a movie (plans that he had made clear to me) he did it anyway. There, they not only kissed, but she removed her top for him and allowed him to fondle her breasts.

In addition to the fact that the relationship had clearly gotten physical, they spent hours texting and emailing each other. Photos, songs, hello, good morning, good night....It was nauseating. He texts her from wherever he is....our children's activities, if he and I are out doesn't matter, he's including her in the event. I read these exchanges for a while until it became too much to bear. They are available for me to read (they are not password protected)< but I choose not to because they are simply too painful. I do know that she will send him messages inquiring which nail polish he thinks she should get, or send pictures of a bikini that she picked out (and then model it for him). My husband keeps telling me that she's a nice person, but in my opinion her behavior is WAY out of bounds.

I cried for 8 weeks straight. I lost 20 lbs. We have two children who do not know what's going on, and I'm terrified for them to find out. My husband says he loves me and he believes our marriage is forever, but when I ask him to end this he cries and says, "But it would hurt her." IT IS HURTING ME.

I have told him that I'm committed to our marriage, and I am. But I wonder if this simply allows him to continue this craziness? I've asked him twice to end the relationship and he thinks I'm the one being a bitch, denying him something which is fun.

In our 18 years together, neither of us has ever strayed. We have had an excellent, healthy sex life. If anything, I wonder if my husband is simply worried about not ever really sowing his wild oats when he was younger (nor did I, but I think that's less of a hangup for women). His boss has appeared to have an affair for years with a co-worker, but simply denies it. In one particularly heated conversation my husband told me that he's NOT sorry for what he's doing and my crying is only driving him to her. On other times he's said that he didn't ask for this relationship and that he's sorry for the amount of pain that it is causing me. He's expressed concern that we'll never get our magic back again.

She's gone away on a nearly three-week vacation with her husband, so their communication is significantly less than what it was. During that time, my time with my husband has been much more pleasant. We exercise together and talk and I don't feel like I'm invading his privacy when I walk into his home office. (I once left when I heard the instant message chime and told him that I'd give him privacy. He said that made him feel awful.) He recognizes that I expected fidelity when we got married and that this does not fall into that box. I think he thought this wasn't cheating since he was honest with me about the relationship once he knew it was a go. (I asked him why he hadn't told me about it before he had the conversation with her and he told me he would have been embarrassed if she had rejected him.)

My goal is not to make my husband feel awful, but I desperately want the relationship with this woman to change. No more trips to get coffee, no more after-work meetings (even though that means boring nights in a hotel for him), END the crazy amount of texts and emails to each other, and definitely end the physical relationship.

He feels like there's a good shot the relationship will burn itself out when she gets back from her trip....She wants to have children and she may return from this trip pregnant. I feel like she sends him signals that she wants to keep him around for a long, long time. They've both talked about having a relationship that will endure for years. It sort of feels like infatuation talking, but who knows. Either way - I've made it through three months with this information, but I know for a fact that I don't want to keep going on like this for years. I think my husband just wants to see how much play time he can get before it dies a natural death, but I'm worried that it won't die a natural death and instead of three people getting hurt (presuming that her husband doesn't know or doesn't care), then six people will get hurt (when you add in our kids) or more as the house of cards ultimately collapses.

I'm just about finished with the book "The Secrets to Surviving Infidelity." My thought is to give it to him when I'm done with it and to see what he thinks. My OTHER thought is to email her the name and author of the book so she can pick up a copy and hopefully save her very young marriage. I'm mad at both of them, obviously, but I only need to work on the relationship with my husband. I really do want to spend forever with him, but first I want him to get rid of this person whom I did not welcome into our union.

Thoughts on moving forward before the affair is over?
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Re: Husband admits to "friendship" but wants cake and eat it

Postby ccb3 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:50 am

First, I feel awful for you. I know where you are and it's a tragic and horrible place to be. My husband went through a "midlife crisis" too. And "carried on" with young married coworkers. I read your post with great interest. I caught my husband and then discovered his cheating had been going on for 18 months. I always wondered if I could have rescued him from it all, if I found out earlier. He even implies now that he felt at the time, that it was all so obvious and that I did nothing to stop it..almost blaming me. Your post makes me think not. My husband sought counseling at the time and he now admits he ignored what the counselor was saying because he didn't like what she was saying ie. you're cheating on your spouse and this is going to end badly.
IMO, you need marriage counseling. Even if its just one visit. Your husband needs to wake up and see what it is he's done and is doing. It needs to be a loving ultimatum. Not a go with me or leave. But more of a I'm having problems with this, I need counseling to help me carry on. Will you do it to help me, help us.
After my discovery, it took my husband two months to even call it cheating. He claimed it was mild flirting and harmless fun. That was two years ago this month and I am still struggling with it. Yes we have worked on our marriage, our relationship and we are having more fun and getting along better. But the other day my husband said "We have so much more respect for each other now" and I thought OMG, are you kidding? Yes I used to think you were a disorganized, slob who didn't help enough around the house, but now I think you are an disloyal, immoral, dishonest person. DUH? That doesn't do much for respect.
BTW, when I discovered the cheating, and my husband swears there was never anything physical, just drinks, texting, flirting at work, he swore he would stop, and it did not. The 2nd time I caught him, I told him if he did it again I would not suffer in silence. I told him if I caught him again, we would tell the kids, our family and friends, he would move out and then we would talk.
Believe it or not he said that was helpful, because he really was in denial about what he was doing and the potential price he might pay. Can you believe it?? He had to hear that have your cake and eat it to was not an option. I didn't threaten divorce , but I told him I would not protect him from his actions either. You need to act on this for your family's sake.
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Re: Husband admits to "friendship" but wants cake and eat it

Postby ccb3 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:11 am

Another of Dr Scott's books I would recommend... "The Secrets of Happily Married Men". I wanted my husband to read it so I bought him a copy of that book and myself a copy of "The secrets of Happily Married Women" and gave it to "us" as a gift..think Valentine's Day. My husband actually enjoyed reading the book!! I believe it forced him to think about HIS actions as a husband. Up until then I think he was focused on how I let HIM down and how MY actions justified him cheating. I believe once he read the book, he became more aware of how HE contributed to the breakdown of our relationship and how turning his attention elsewhere made it worse, MUCH WORSE. Obvious to me, apparently not so obvious to him at the time. In the book, Dr Scott, says in no uncertain terms " You cannot be a good husband and chase other women". And you can't. It isn't harmless fun. It isn't silly antics. It isn't cheap thrills. It ruins relationships and lives, lives you've built up over years.
My husband asks me if I trust him now, and while I tell him in the kindest way, I tell him the truth and that is, I trust you but not 100%. And why should I? He didn't tell a white lie and he didn't tell it once. He lied about something very important to our lives and he thought it through, in a very premeditated manner and it occurred over months and months.
I know your husband feels he isn't lying. But I will lay the next bomb on you. After I caught my husband, he said it was merely "flirty texts" that were going on. Then after a month, it was texts and drinks in groups of coworkers. Then it was dinner in groups... You get the picture. It took him six months to confess that he met one women alone on multiple ocassions, that he bought her gifts etc. And he confessed that she never wanted to take it to the "next level" and that if she had wanted to, he doubts he could have resisted. I hate to say it, but your husband claims they're two consenting adults, in a hotel room, kissing and he fondles her breasts. And then what? They turn on the TV and order a pizza? This doesn't make sense and I wonder if your husband is telling you what he needs to make himself feel better.
I got my husband to tell me all this because I made him feel safe enough to do so. And he was confident in our commitment to try to work things through. And also because he began to realize just how badly he had behaved and he was racked with guilt. He wanted to confess to ease his conscience. But, no, he didn't realize it immediately and he didn't have an Aha moment for a long time. The relationship will progress. It is the very essence of relationships, they progress until they end. Your husband cannot control the limits of the attraction. It is the nature of the beast to keep pushing the boundaries. The more he gets away with, the more he will want.
Your husband has to focus on you and your marriage. He has fight the addiction he has for this woman. And no it is not easy, but the longer this goes on the worse it is for your relationship. In essence he has to make a choice. NO ONE gets to have their cake and eat it to.
BTW, over the holidays, my husband had a work dinner, no spouses invited and yes I checked that it' was all legit and his " fun coworkers" were not going to be there. I made sure I was not home when he got there after his evening out. And when he texted me "where are you", I replied "out, be home soon". When I got home I was dressed to kill and told him I met some friends from a group I've been volunteering with. All fine right? He was a bit shook up and admitted to me that he came home and discovered I wasn't home and started driving past all our usual spots and my friends homes looking for my car. He asked me why I didn't tell him where I was going and I said "I didn't want you to feel obligated to join us". I did not do anything wrong. I merely allowed him to feel a little uncomfortable, which is exactly how I was feeling when he left. I do not want to have an affair, and I will not, but now, when I have the chance, I remark about a handsome stranger at a restaurant. I oogle an athlete's body on TV. I gush a little about someone I meet. Yes, honey, I ain't dead either.
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Re: Husband admits to "friendship" but wants cake and eat it

Postby Scott Haltzman » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:06 pm

That is so helpful, CCB. Thank you. I agree that it's very unusual for things to end at "fondling" when you're alone in a hotel room. As much as a husband and wife might love each other, a person who has cheated often only admits to as much as the partner already knows!
I appreciate how you integrated my Happily Married Men book into a discussion about infidelity. It may be less threatening that way, but, as you point out, sometime guys are reluctant to read any relationship books.
Scott Haltzman
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