Husband thinks he's not cheating, but I do

Husband thinks he's not cheating, but I do

Postby moonlightingmom » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:05 pm

I have been married for 18 years Until a few months ago, we would have told you that we have a fairytale romance. We were friends before we started dating, and 18 years after marriage, we still felt sexually attracted to one another and were very good friends. Truly, my husband and I felt as though we were the poster children for happy marriages.

A month after our 18th anniversary, my husband returned from a business trip and asked me to give him a high five. I did. He told me that I needed to process the next bit of information with an open heart, and went on to explain to me that the night before he had confessed to a married, 30 year old co-worker that he had strong feelings for her and that he wanted to explore their friendship further. They did this over dinner and tickets to a show.

I was floored and wouldn't have expected it in a million years. I asked if they had held hands. He said no. I asked if they had kissed or hugged. No, again. He said that this friendship would not put either of their marriages in danger, particularly because she is newly married and he wouldn't do anything to jeopardize our marriage since his family meant the world to him. He says that the relationships is supposed to be "addititive." I've told him it feels very much like division rather than addition. She told him that when she was younger she had been involved with another co-worker and felt "devastated" when his marriage ended in divorce. My husband does not think this relationship was sexual, but admits that "he doesn't want to know." He doesn't want to know anything about her sexual past - he says it isn't important to him.

What followed was a whirlwind of texts and emails, including emails in the middle of the night explaining that he is "smitten" with her.

It's been several weeks now. She has held his hands. She said to him once, "You're never going to kiss me," and then, of course, they did. They have gone to a hotel room together to watch a movie, where she rested her head on his shoulder and then straddled him to kiss him. She removed her blouse at his request and he touched her breasts.

My husband doesn't think this is cheating since all of these things are happening with my knowledge. After the first weekend of texting, I told him that what was going on was emotional infidelity and sent him an article about it. He didn't like that. After the relationship became physical, I cried every day. He would try to hold my hand and I would just sit there dumbstruck...not sure how to react. When I've asked him to break up with her - twice - he cries and says that SHE will be sad. He said he would have to do it in person, which is a problem since she lives in another city 300 miles away. I told him not to leave me to go and see her. For a while I was reading their texts and emails (he has not password protected them and knows that I've read some of them) but it makes me crazy to read them. I just want them to stop.

He admits that he didn't go looking for this relationship - it just sort of presented itself to him. I get it. He's incredibly surprised that I seem to understand how he feels (I've described his feelings of infatuation to him and he says, "How did you know that's how this feels?" Dummy....I was infatuated with you and I haven't forgotten it!).

I've made it clear that our marriage is my number one priority. I haven't thrown him out, I haven't given any ultimatums....I fully expect to be married to him for life just as I promised 18 years ago. That said - this gives him no real reason to break off this relationship. He thinks the secondary relationship will die a natural death when she gets pregnant and has a family. I'm not so sure....I don't trust her at all, given the fact that this is her second go-round with a co-worker and she was pretty quick to jump on this train only two months after she'd gotten married. As my husband has pointed out to me, my husband has a significantly better job than hers does. It wouldn't surprise me a bit that she's hoping to ultimately steal him away.

Of course, all of this is nuts. She doesn't really know him at all. He's older and financially successful and visits her office a couple of days a month. In real life would they be compatible? Who knows. They both like sports. But so what? And why do I doubt when he tells me time and again that he's committed to our marriage? Oh, right...because a 30 year old woman who texts pictures of herself in her new bikini is a little bit more fun than the crying mother of his children who is FREAKING OUT.

He thinks I'm mean for telling him he shouldn't have a "friend". I think he's lost his mind and is going through a mid-life crisis. I wonder if this is some crazy kickback from having been a gentleman in college and not sowing his wild oats. During one conversation he told me that he doesn't feel badly about this, and in other conversations he cries and says that he's sorry that he's hurting me (and I explain, but you're not sorry enough to end the relationship...and he agrees. He's not sorry enough to end it. It's fun.) I can't decide whether I just need to ride this out (as some professionals suggest when dealing with a man in a mid-life crisis) or to give him Scott's book The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity". (I'm tempted to email the other woman the title of this book as well...she who claims that "family is everything" to her. I think I could simply send an email saying "I think that you and your husband would benefit from reading this book. In case you wanted to know, I think that you and my husband have crossed a line of appropriateness and you need to cut it out.")

For now, we're three months in and I still talk to no one about this. Our lives are so tightly wound together that if I told one friend his co-workers would likely find out, and that's bad. He doesn't want his parents to know, because they'd be devastated. He definitely doesn't want our teenaged children to know. So, I silently stew, cry throughout the day, and wait for the house of cards to collapse. The house of cards always collapses, right?

Counseling is out for him, for sure....Maybe a good idea for me? I don't know. As his friend, I can totally understand that this is exciting and fun for him (although totally crappy to the other woman's husband). As his wife, I feel like he's kicking the crap out of my heart and our marriage vows, and I really don't want to be doing this forever. I really still want to grow old with this man, and he says he wants to grow old with me.

Thoughts on how I can get my husband back to thinking about us as a family and not the crazy fun "oh-my-god a 30 year old thinks I'm hot"? The flame attraction has died down some because the other woman is on a three week trip with her husband, so she doesn't have as much access to her phone and computer. They still talk some (I think), but definitely not the constant stream that had been prevalent for almost two months. Should I try to talk to him rationally now while she's sort of not in his life as much? He's going to see her in two weeks (gah!) for work and I've already expressed to him how much this trip is making me crazy. I don't know if I can go any more crazy since I've lost 20 lbs. and cried almost every day for 2.5 months.

Blech.....This stinks.
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