Should this guy leave his cheating wife?
I have recently been contemplating separating/divorcing with my wife. I have a fairly high sex drive and my wife has none. I’m no saint, but in general I think I’m a pretty good partner, husband and father. The 2 or 3 times a year that we do have sex, I am the one initiating it, and she will often preface it with something like, “if you want to do it, let’s hurry up and get it over with”.
Alongside all of that have been multiple instances of me discovering her having cheated on me. I have found out several times about the texting and emailing affairs (I consider them emotional affairs). And each time we will have a big fight, we’ll agree it’s the last time we’re going to go through this, she’ll cut off all contact (I think) with these guys, but then she is seemingly back at it after a few months off.
For the last 6 months or so things have seemed to be going really well and she was no longer in touch with any old “flame” (as far as I knew). But then I happened upon an old Facebook message. It was from a guy in a band that she had met after a show, chatted up, and exchanged digits with, and he said she had been aggressively pursuing him (online) and had been harassing him and his wife trying to break up their marriage. After a lengthy fight I once again chose to just try and keep pushing forward, though now the sensors were on high alert. Coincidentally, not long after, I found out that she is in fact still texting with about 4-5 guys.
Again I know that I’m no saint and am by no means perfect, but I also feel like I have probably stuck this out a lot longer than anyone else ever would have. I keep thinking that everything else about our marriage seems so great. But this most recent incident has made me really start to wonder. Am I just fooling myself or trying to somehow rationalize things because I’m afraid of making a mistake or hurting our kids? Maybe I have known the answer for a while now and just haven’t been able to come to terms with it? I know I am definitely at a fork in the road, but I’m just standing there trying to decide which route to take. I’m quickly approaching the end of my rope.
Wow. Where do I begin?? I think I’ll start by saying I’m sorry you are living this way. You’re in a really tough position because you have kids. If you didn’t, I’d tell you to not walk, but RUN out the door.
I’m going to be harsh in giving you my thoughts and advice, so I apologize, but I’m trying to help you.
First of all, no one is perfect, but you seem like a good husband and father, and your wife is a nightmare from the perspective of an outside reader of this letter.
You say she has no sex drive? Yes, she has does. She just gets turned on by different man, rather than her own husband. There is something very very wrong with that. Please realize that this is no reflection on you. You cannot take this personally. It sounds like your wife is very addictive in her flirting/cheating behavior. It’s like she can’t stop. It seems like she tries—because she probably loves you and your children and doesn’t want to be divorced, but then she starts up again with other men because she can’t help it.
You have given her more chances than most men would have. Are you fooling yourself? I’m sorry to say, but yes, you are.
I would never suggest to any reader that he or she should leave, because that’s not my place, and I don’t know enough about your situation. But what I will advise is that something has to change. Why? Because you don’t deserve to be in a marriage with a constant cheater. Do you know how many women would kill for a monogamous man who wants to have sex with her and love her all the time?
Also, what kind of example are you setting for your children? They might not know the specifics of what is going on but they sense it. They see the disconnect and believe it or not the cheating.
The other result of living with a cheater is low self-esteem on your part, which you do not deserve! But how can you feel any other way when your partner is seeking the attention of other men? I’m here to tell you once again that it’s not you! She has an addiction or an immaturity or some kind of issue. I’m not saying you are a saint because I don’t know you, but you seem like a good, committed family man and she seems just the opposite.
Here’s the thing. I think you said you are in your early forties. You are still really young and you deserve happiness and a loyal, trustworthy partner. So, I think you should sit her down and tell her that she needs to seek help/therapy. Couples therapy is good, but she needs individual therapy, in my opinion. The bottom line, something has to change because your family cannot endure any more of this cheating and deceit.
I wish you all the best, and the strength and courage to change your situation.