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Let The Games Begin!

My husband is cycling through the attentive stage. He feels me slipping away so now he's trying to find ways to prove he's a great husband. I would agree that in general, he's a good man. He's a good father. He hasn't been good husband or a good friend to me in a long time.

He has been clingy. Wanting to know where I am and expecting me to be accountable to him for my time. Understandable. Afterall I am having an affair. I am sneaking around to talk to B. No sex. Not anymore. But it's still an inappropriate relationship. I get it.

But, why does he do this? Why hasn't he consistently wanted me? Why the games? The gifts have started again. Flowers. Cards. He's booked a fantastic hotel in another state for a long weekend get away. Right now I know he would buy me anything I wanted and more.

For me it's not about the gifts and the dollars spent. The money doesn't prove my worth. He still scowls uncontrollably. He still has mood swings without cause. He will forget I have feelings or fail to acknowledge my needs because he can. He will make it difficult for me to enjoy my day and relax because of the tension his life-sucking bad moods create. And, he acts surprised when I look him in the eye and calmly tell him I'm unhappy.

Today his bad mood started at the crack of dawn. Granted, his job is demanding and the political office he holds has it's own very public diffiulties. The time required to accomodate his work is significant. However, that does not give him the right to treat me as if I don't really matter. I have a career as well. I have work related stress and responsibilities I also have to juggle.

He was upset because his weight was up. Without as much time to hit the gym he's gained a few pounds. This started the day off. After the weigh-in things continued to go downhill. He called me multiple times while I was at my office. More so to check up on me than to really converse - at least that's what if felt like to me. After work he was cold and standoffish. When I inquired he told me he was tired. We have investment property and had to stop by to meet with prospective renters. He and I had little conversation again. On the drive home I couldn't help myself. I told him I was disappointed that he couldn't even speak to me. I told him his bad mood doesn't have to affect the rest of our family. I told him his behavior isn't fair when the rest of us are just trying to get through the day without all the stress he's imposing.

And he agreed. Then I brought up the subject of sitting down to go over our finances. That did not go over well. I told him I wanted to know all of our bills, information about our bank accounts and I wanted to set up my own separate accounts so I would have a little financial freedom. The way it's always worked is this....I charge all my expenses and he pays my credit card bill off every month. I don't have an allowance or a set spending limit he imposes on me. I just get what I want and need. He said he's offended that he's been taking all of our finances on by himself all these years and now he says it's like I'm accusing him of not doing it well. I was wrong to not participate. I see that now. I was wrong for multiple reasons.

That's his way. To make me feel guilty and inadequate. But I held my ground. I told him I wanted to separate some of the money so I could be in control of my own budget and expenses - even if it's just a portion to start with. I need to understand our finances. He said we can sit down this Sunday to go over everything. I'm going to hold him to it even if it causes a big argument.

You would think that if he really wanted me and he wanted to save our marriage he would be attentive. He wouldn't want me to turn to B to fulfill my needs. But, as I type this at almost 1 am he's sleeping soundly beside me as he has been since 9:30. He can sleep peacefully while I stay up wondering how I can get out of this relationship that breaks my spirit without breaking the hearts of the people I love.

And then there's the issue with B. Will he ever leave his wife? Could we have a happily ever after? Some of the comments I received from my EP friends cautioned me against believing things would work out between us. I appreciate the feedback and do take the advice to heart. My happiness should not rest in the arms of any man. My happiness must start and end with me. At this point in my life just having someone who makes me feel valued and someone who is so easy to talk to it feels like a friendship that has transcended time - that's enough. What will be, or won't be, is yet to be determined.

I'm still guilty of being unfaithful. I'm still feeling trapped by my situation. I'm still trying to extricate myself by sticking to an exit plan. I still hope I can find the strength to leave this life behind. So right now I'm in the middle of the gamesmanship. But I see it for the reality it is. It's another attempt to mask my husband's inability and commitment to acknowledge and accomodate my needs as a woman. Because I'm more than just a wife and a mother. I'm a person. I'm a woman. I have needs...and dammit I'm here!
carpediem2 carpediem2 36-40, F 21 Responses Feb 7, 2013

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1. Stop seeing the other guy... you will always be impatient with your husband as long as you are.

2. Give him a chance. Leave the past behind. What are you afraid of? Today is the first day of your marriage for the rest of your life! Enjoy it. Go with it.

3. STOP OVERTHINKING EVERYTHING. Really.

Hhhmmm .....
in each well lived problem calmly careful though not easy.

Oh oh, I gotta agree with the below comments....hubby seems like a good guy and you did make him and others promises -even yourself when you got married.....

Mistakes are never one sided but I've seen in life that if you keep any sort of scorecard...you just don't get it.

Amaze yourself, ditch the fling 110%, dive into your marriage and be super wife and you might be amazed at the super hubby you bring out and at the very least........when the end of the game comes....you'll like the person you were .

First be sure about one thing......do you really love mr.B or is he a substitute to your husband.maybe tuday you find him giving you love and attention,how about tomorrow. His care might be attracting you tuday because you have been denied this by your husband.please be sure of this relationship. Before moving ahead.besides it seems your husband is regretting his behaviour n trying to make up for his mistakes.good luck.

He calls you at the office, tries to talk, you call him clingy. He keeps his mouth shut, you accuse him of being distant. He tries to keep his head down and just deal with business( renters) and you shoot him in the foot and tell him HE's imposing stress on the family. Lady, you need to sort your **** out. Don't think he knows you're leaving? Please. You're fighting over the financials with him and he can smell smoke. You're having an affair with B (why don't you just apply for a role on Sex in the City" already?!! oh yeah, they mothballed it!!). If he isn't having an affair too, he should be. Thank Christ women like you are slowly fading away and don't represent all the others..."I have needs.." You selfish ****. You want to have an affair and blame him. Despise him for desperation. I would recommend counselling but you wouldn't go for that anytime before hell freezes over would you? Tip your hand and watch it all come apart for no-one's to blame but you.

1234 birdman, I tend to agree with you. this woman a poor excuse for a wife and being very harsh on a man who is actually quite a good husband. to dismiss his attempts to win her over and mend the marriage as playing games is just garbage. Carpediem starts ranting like a feminist at the end of her story and all that I believe she is entitled to is a good boot up the backside. I think she should get herself out of the marriage as a favor to her man who is a good man and would be better off without her.

I can understand how you would view me in this light. I found out on Valentine's Day that my husband has been having an affair for the last 3 1/2 years....so yes.....I should get myself ouf of the marriage as a favor to my man who is a good guy and who would be better off without me. I find it ironic that you judge me so harshly for wanting more out of my life and berating me in such a way. We obviously aren't suited for each other. And now it really is over. I gave him too much good guy credit because I felt guilty for going outside of my marriage. But now that I know he's been doing this for years while absolutely ignoring me as a person - I don't feel guilty at all....

And, I don't hate him for his affair either. I can walk away from this relationship knowing that I did what I could but in the end we're both destined to be with other people.

Thanks for your supportive words,
From this poor excuse of a wife

Birdman,

He is. Having an affair. And has been for over 3 years. I just found out. While he didn't want to care for my feeling he was investing his energy elsewhere and wanting me to stay to take care of the house, the kids, and him - in the way he's been accustomed too. So, I didn't know this was going on. But I knew he didn't care of me the way I deserved. He really doesn't love me - it really is the idea of me. Everything looks good to the people on the outside looking in. Our beautiful home and familly. Good standing in the community. But inside the walls I was drowning in unhappiness and he was leading a double life. When I stray you feel I'm dramatic....hhhmmmm.

I didn't call you dramatic. I Implied you were being a *****. The fact that he is too doesn't change that. You don't get to cry "victim" and justify it after the fact anymore than he does. Maybe you'd have a shred of credibility going out After you found out. As it is, you both suck. No, really. You both suck. The sad thing is you've compromised yourself for the future too. Especially sitting there justifying it even now. Doing the right thing doesn't depend on anyone else's actions or opinions.

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It shouldn't be a *** for tat life--- I hurt you, you hurt me, we both dig the hole a little deeper. Some things cant be fixed-If the guy is self absorbed, if he thinks he can "buy" a good mood from you, then reasses what your in the relationship for!

As I was reading this ....I noticed you no longer love your husband and B probably excites you in ways your husband cannot but if he is married I will tell you this as a man you are just another booty call. Men only have three things on our minds. Sex, sex and more sex unlike women men tend to not think as much as women we live for the day and the conquest once the conquest is gone that is it.... But you blame your husband but I think it's more than that. When was the last time you went to Victoria Secret and bought something sexy to turn him on ? Some men need visual aids to turn them on especially if he is an older man. As for B he will not leave his family he is just taking advantage of the situation because if he was a man of honor he wouldn't be looking at someone elses wife.... Darling if you no longer love your husband then live alone you can always get back at a later time if he really loves you set him free and he will come back if it was meant to be... But if you are doing this to be with Mr. B Once he gets what he wants he will throw you away as well. If he cheats on his wife to be with you ? Who is to say if he will not do the same to you ? Best Regards in whatever you decide to do... men who read this take it from me never make your love life a routine it is a love killer always do somehing wild and crazy so this does not happen to you... Go down on your wife every chance you get even if you are tired even if in a bad mood anremember angry sex is best :-)

I am assuming that in respect to the lingerie this is a gigantic **** take.

EXSOLDIER2025,
your advice seems quite convincing and practical.i hope our reader thinks about it seriously.

So do I but some people find it easy to blame others to shake off the guilt for their infidelity

Your working lives are ruining you both.

I have not followed your stories so forgive me for my ignorance. My gut tells me that anyone who would cheat on their husband no longer loves their husband. My marriage was without love its final two years but I certainly did not have the urge to cheat. I had the urge to fix it. I dont know what caused you to cheat but its done and over. I dont feel a marriage can survive once a person has cheated. How can the other ever really trust you? I know I couldnt. I think if I was in your shoes I would slowly build my own independence because it sure appears that your marriage is no longer a marriage. I dont know your whole story so I cannot judge but like I said. You would be wise to get an exit plan together.

I think it depends on what you consider love. If you are referring to romantic love, yes it could be that ship has sailed. But she might, as I do, still love her husband like family, or a very close friend. Marriages can, and often do, survive infidelity, by the way.

Rob I disagree with you, my husband never cheated on me, but I will never trust him again, this is worse than cheating.
And the people who do have affairs, don't have the "urge to cheat" they have the urge to feel human.

Amen, oceansun.

You know it sister.

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Yes, this is a good plan - establish a credit history. Know your finances fully.

As for the behaviour and the affair. It's pretty normal in an affair for the outsourcing spouse to behave differently and often to begin picking ridiculous fights (and this was born out in my own experience when my wife was engaged in an infidelity). Then tension level in a household rises, and it's often difficult to attribute what's what - even if a spouse doesn't fully understand the scope. The radar lights up. Once that happens and the spouse flips into active suspicion mode, it's no longer about just noticing something different, it's about actively and covertly seeking out evidence. I think it's likely that had my wife not fallen apart and volunteered her secret, that I would have found out myself a few months later and planned an uncharitable exit plan, for her.

B is an affair partner. A secondary relationship. The qualities you seek outside - the availability, the range of experience -- those are different from the normal qualities of a primary relationship. You are what you are to each other, largely by virtue of your expectations and circumstances. Starting a primary relationship out of that? The odds are stacked against. If you get out of this one, I'd recommend considering your options for a while.

Wow.
Sounds like your plate is full. It seems he is trying to keep what you have together. You have verbally talked about everything? My marriage..like yours isn't about money but about what I feel like I'm not getting as a women. Affection, feeling cherished. He doesn't do special things to show me he values me. He bought me alcohol for our first anniversary of marriage...after how many times I've explained how much I like flowers. He isn't into great sex...and I am creative and like to try new things. And he has said things to cause doubt in my mind in our relationship. Not very sensitive..it's so hard, because we as women crave that attention and adoration...I'm young...but I understand your frustrations. Maybe he wants to meet your needs, but he just doesn't get it...and honestly the grass isn't greener on the other side...I don't recommend leaving your marriage...but I understand your pain..

The grass may not be greener on the other side for you, but it is for many people. And so many of us would rather live alone than to live with someone and be lonely. Telling someone they should stay in an unhappy marriage is cruel.

The point is, I'm not gonna be loose to find out! Look if you wanna screw someone else, get a creaking divorce! Cheating and affairs are always wrong. And I have more values then that! Chao! If it's unhappy get the F out!

Freaking

I recommend you focus solely on your own financial education at the moment, and set the remainder aside.

You need to get empowered - and a perfect place to start is by getting up to speed on the financial picture. That needs to happen - regardless of relationship/family/boyfriend/maternal status.

So right MVC. That is where the real power over self and future must first come from. Speaking from a similar boat that Carpe Diem is in.

I'm like you with the finances. I do not know anything - anything- about bills and income etc. If I want something I just say "hey can I get..?"When I thought I was leaving, I just took the mindset of having to figure out a way to pay for everything myself until that got sorted.
Don't overly worry about that just yet anyhow because you have SO much on your plate that you must be extremely stressed as it is.

Just tell yourself to not make any decisions *for now* and look at this as the time spent on sorting your needs/thoughts/wants.
Be careful not to make any quick decisions and try to let go of the guilt because that can't be helping.

Wishing you good things!

Similar cycle here... One up-side, all the little projects around the house that he's been passively aggressively refusing to complete are suddenly getting done. It is a bit sad how little they think they can give to win you back.

As a man I can say most men are cluless we only know what feels good you have to talk to us by actions not words...Pretend you just walked into a jungle and you met a primative man who does not understand your language how would you communicate ? Body language but then again I never had that problem I have never been married lost the only love of my life many years ago when I came back from the service and I have been a womanizer ever since is it a scream for help ? maybe so but please don't generalize people just because you might of married a reject

@ Exsoldier - I wasn't generalizing men, I was generalizing refuser men. I'm not convinced at all that all men are incapable of adequately understanding verbal communication. Depends on the man, I'm sure..
@ Limitedchaos - Same here. Mine will give me this look of complete and utter confusion--like I'm absolutely insane for whatever I'm saying.

I do agree that being direct is best, but that's best for EVERYONE. Women aren't actually mind-readers either. If you're being subtle with us, we're likely creating our own narrative to fill in what's missing, same as anyone.

oh and carpe: don't beat yourself up over b, consider how much your h has broken his vows and in how many ways.

Although I am no body to indulge in personal affairs but i suggest to please forgive him and also evaluate his qualities. Every body has good and bad but may he is impressed and have a fear that if he say something u may be angry and he do not want to lose u. Please concentrate on him he will be the best man of world. Love him with all his disadvantages.

I have found that the power dynamic in my dysfunctional marriage is reflected in the finances as well as the sexlessness (although I would hardly call my marriage sexless any more). Ditto to what TMBAWO says below. Yep, keep her kind of clueless like a child so she will feel dependent enough to stay.

carpe, you will need to stand firm. be prepared with a written list of questions: banking? mortgages? other loans? deeds, titles, where's it all stored in the event anything were to happen to either of you? insurance policies? (homeowner, auto, life, etc.) contact info, people he works with for banking, insurance? wills....guardianship of your children, establishing a trust for their care, etc.

you have an excellent chance here to establish new boundaries, TAKE IT and make good use of it. as i am on my way out, doesn't make sense for me to do this. use this opportunity for yours, and your childrens', benefit. get as MUCH information, as you can. agree that YOU will be responsible for one of the utility bills (you pick which). then pay it regularly for at least 6 months to establish credit history for yourself. and so on....you get the idea?

like i said--be prepared. have a list. be unemotional and stick to the list.

good luck!

Good advice for me as well Smithy. Thank you.

you're most welcome. hindsight is 20/20. i placed too much trust in my h to do the right thing across the board and i will be paying the price for some time.

those who live in the US can purchase credit reports & credit monitoring services...for themselves. AND for family members (spouse, children). even if only for a month or two, it will give you a clear picture of the debts/liabilities that are out there. the three credit reporting agencies all offer a version. just need your spouse's SSN and other identifying info and it's worth the short term investment, IMO to get the complete picture.

Ditto to smithy. Paying bills was a skill I had to build. It seems like it should be so easy. After all, here's the bank account, here are the checks, here are the bills. Get some stamps and connect the dots. Except money can be anxiety-provoking and induce a very emotional response. My big impetus was discovering we had been paying bills unnecessarily because of h.'s inattention.

Smithy, any suggestions for how to tame the emotional aspect of learning to deal with the finances?

it's a process of breathing and prioritizing like so many other anxiety inducing issues in life.

my best advice on this issue is to ask a very trusted friend or relative to help you handle it for the first while, and to be "on call" for anxiety attacks. if money is NOT an issue--go to the library and ask for a referral to a local accountant. they will often assist women who are just learning how to handle finances.

PM me if you'd like, i will think of more ideas.

My husband has very nearly bankrupted me...and I hate him for it but can't afford to leave yet ... but have 5 year plan...clear debt and then get out... xxx good luck:-)

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When you talk about the finances, it sounds like he very much wants you to be dependent like a child. He's trying to distract you with the illusion of unlimited spending power and trinkets; just don't look behind the curtain. He can't see that he's already exposed.

Does the expected role of political spouse weigh down upon you?

I suspect having her use a credit card that he pays on allows him to monitor what she spends money on.

<p>Lets stick to the dysfunctional relationship area only at this point. It is incumbent on ANY spouse to know the full financial position of themselves, the joint situation, and the other spouses situation. That is not an option - it is an imperative - in ANY marriage.<br />
(Even in my dysfunctional deal, my missus could have told you at the drop of a hat what "she" was worth, what "we" were worth - what "I" was worth. Same went for me)<br />
It is great to see that you are going to flush this information out on Sunday. That is a very good - if belated - move.</p><p>Much of the rest, reads like you are still deep in "we" thinking, in as much as it is about his moods, his weight, his work, his clingyness, his need to control, his - his - his.<br />
His assorted issues are HIS. Not yours.</p><p>Anyway, step at a time. Getting a handle on the financial position in the dynamic is a huge good start. Reckon I'd concentrate on just that for the moment. Knowledge is what you are going to need to make informed choices in days to come.</p><p>Tread your own path.</p>

Thanks for the advice...it is going to be one step at a time. Bear with me and please help me to stay on course ;-)

Reading and writing here regularly helps me to stay on course. When I think I may be blowing things out of proportion, I look at my own stories to verify the history/facts that led me here in the first place. Other members' story also help me to stay on course, because I could read most stories here and empathize with the poster, and if asked would tell them the three truths that I have learnt 1) you don't have to live like this anymore, 2) refuser isn't going to change, and 3) you've done everything you could've to save the marriage.
(((Hugs)))

I'm sorry you married my husbands clone, or so it seems.
Not sure if he realizes something's afoot, but he's slightly more attentive and also more easily agitated. I've tried to discuss his negativity with him before... It always goes in one ear and out the other.
Best of luck on your exit plan.

Thank you. And I hope your situation changes. There aren't many opportunities for true happiness and I've come to believe that living a life half lived isn't really living. It's going through the motions for the sake of other people's happiness and comfort. We deserve more. So much more.

carpediem2, I can't express how much I am in your same shoes when it comes to "going through the motions for the sake of other people's happiness and comfort." Holy hell. I am working my way out, but it's a slow process.