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Old 29th October 2012, 03:13 PM   #1
kristenerikson
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Question Husband's Online Relationship-How Do I Cope?

So I just found out that my husband, I'll call him John, has an online relationship with another woman, and he loves her...I need some advice on how to cope with this. We have been together for 12 years and love each other very much. I won't go into every little detail, but due to my personal issues with depression/anxiety, things started going downhill about 4 years ago. I became distant (I can see now - didn't realize then) and around 1 1/2 years ago John felt emotionally cut off. He really believed I did not much care about our relationship, and eventually was convinced that I must have someone else, though I denied it (I honestly have not given another man a second look or thought since I met John.) He is a strong man but needed some support. He wasn't getting it from me, and so he turned to his online community. About a year ago a relationship began that grew into more than simple friendship, and he told me about it this past weekend. He is so ashamed and feels terrible about letting his guard down, letting this happen and hurting me, and I am, naturally, devastated. She is in another country far away with no passport, and he has no passport either so it's not been an 'in person' thing, but he does love her, I can see that, and he told me she says he's the "love of her life." We are in the process of rebuilding our formerly very close relationship and strong connection. I pray to God I won't mess that up. The problem is this: he can't just discontinue the relationship. He is a very good man, very empathetic, and has a huge heart. This woman was in an abusive marriage and had no one to turn to...until she connected with John. He helped her through that, and after a terrible period of time she left her husband, leaving behind her (almost grown) children. She has no other relationship, no other support besides John. She is alone, and he is her lifeline. He said she knows about me and feels terrible and says she is sorry, but she is so afraid of losing him because he's all she has. He told me he will not leave me, does not want to leave me, that he will be here for me and work with me on rebuilding the closeness we used to share. This relationship doesn't really take his time or attention away from me, and I know he has enough love in his heart for the whole world. He is a special person in that way. He is loving and still very attracted to me (and I to him!) For a long time he's been trying to keep it from getting any more involved, but he says it would be cruel to just abandon her - and the thing is, I agree. I was once in her position. I was all alone, with no one to turn to, and John was my lifeline. I do not want to think about what would have happened to me if I hadn't had his support, and I do not wish that on any other person either. And because he loves her, I just have to love and care about her too - I can't help it. He says he is going to really encourage her to grow, to find someone she can have in real life, but I know she really hopes he will leave me for her. And of course she does - I completely understand how any woman would fall in love with him, given the chance. If he could go back he'd be more careful and not get into this predicament, but here we are, in an impossible situation. I feel sick about all these months of not knowing - of him having this separate life in a way - but I understand where he was coming from, that I am in part responsible for him being in that vulnerable state, and I forgive him. My problem is that, even taking all of the above into consideration, I still feel intensely jealous! I feel threatened, even though he has reassured me and I do believe him. Her name just keeps going through my head. I catch myself thinking bad thoughts about her, this woman who is hurting so badly and does not have what I have. I don't want to be that way. In my heart, if I were face to face with her, I would want to give her a big hug and cry with her. Does anyone have any thoughts or advice on how I can deal with this situation, how I can help myself to feel better, calm down and move forward?
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Old 29th October 2012, 04:29 PM   #2
Forever
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Re: Husband's Online Relationship-How Do I Cope?

Hmm...since you can be so understanding about where John is coming from...and where she is coming from (having been there yourself), then this is what I would do:

Tell John that if it is his desire to continue on in this marriage with you and ALSO to help that woman at the same time, then you will need to be brought into the picture.

You can take over with the "support" of her emotionally while he casually observes on the side lines...then he will see what her true intentions are...to break up your marriage or to truly move on with her own life with this help.

I am hoping he will see that the kind of support she needed should have come from another sympathetic woman rather than from a married man...and if you are strong enough to weather this through until she gets this message, then all of you will be better off in the long run. He will be far more cautious about engaging with damsels in distress without you being part of that mix.

Personally, I think his being a married man would encompass an understanding that there are boundaries which should not be breached...and that is exactly what he has already done. Now he must back off and let you take over...totally. He cannot have it both ways...or can he? Do not be so desperate that you tolerate anything just because you can see your own mistakes. He did not HAVE to throw caution to the winds...he could have sat you down and explained how lonely he was feeling or gotten counsel for your marital issues from a legitimate source instead of hooking up emotionally with another woman...and he could have turned to male buddies for his own comfort rather than to her.

He is not obligated to continue this relationship with her...especially since he is already violating his own marriage by continuing in an emotional affair...right under your nose! So get into the drivers seat and steer her right out of your lives...gently, so he does not turn against you...but see to it that it moves in that direction. If he clings to her in spite of your efforts to help her (since he is so emotionally connected to her), then your marriage is a farce...a cover up for a heart that has already "checked out"...and you will know this if he refuses to let you into that "circle".

Further more, there is nothing wrong with you feeling jealous. You are feeling threatened regarding something that is rightfully yours to guard and keep, rather than your feeling jealous about something that belongs to another. Just be careful and dont let any of your feelings turn to something ugly...something that will push him further away from you and further towards her. View her as a "patient" as if she were your client in a psychiatric setting rather than as a threat to your own happiness. Sooner or later, John will start viewing her the same way if you handle this with finesse.
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Old 29th October 2012, 04:45 PM   #3
chosen
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Re: Husband's Online Relationship-How Do I Cope?

kristen I am going to be straight here. This relationship is cheating. He is committing emotional adultery with this lady and it needs to stop NOW. She is not your responsibility.She is not His responsibility either. She knew the risks of getting too close to a married man and she will have to bear the consequenses..

I just cannot believe his story that she has no one. A woman of her age with not one single friend or family member? Its hardly likely. Even if it was true she needs to take responsibility for that and get out there and find friends of her own.Why cant she get some counselling for herself?
If her husband was that bad why did she leave her own children with him????

There is also no way that you can possibly be so in love with someone who you have never ever met. Sorry but thats the truth. They only know what each has told the other and that is probably not everything. Even if he was in 'love', that is all the more reason to stop the relationship. Do you honestly think that it will stop sometime in the future when HE decides that she doesnt need him any more? That may take years, IF it ever happens.

In your place I would do two things. Tell him that if he wants you two to stay together the relationship needs to stop now, totally and completely. No contact of any sort ever again. Secondly sign up for a long period with a good marriage counsellor. There is no room for three in any marriage and he is clearly not wanting to stop this relationship. If he isnt prepared to stop this wrong relationship, I dont hold out any hope for your marriage, unless you are gong to be one of those wives who turn a blind eye to cheating.
OF course you are jealous. You are supposed to be jealous. He is YOUR husband but is acting like HERS!!!
I think you are trying hard to justify his actions but he has to either end it or loose his wife. Maybe give him the choice. He cant have his cake and eat it.

Last edited by chosen; 29th October 2012 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 29th October 2012, 06:04 PM   #4
1aokgal
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Re: Husband's Online Relationship-How Do I Cope?

Kristen...

Welcome to the forum. I agree with Chosen in every way. That contact has to stop NOW. The funny thing this scenario may be a complete farce. There may be more going on than the manipulation of a married man who is needy and who violates the trust of his marriage by trolling the internet until he makes a connection.

You both are being manipulated by a possible online predator. This person may use the internet to connect to a number of gullible people, like your husband, for emotional and perhaps financial gain. The internet is anonymous. The gender, age, appearance and intent of the person on the other end of the connection is unknown. There are networks of such online users in certain countries and they gain millions from bilking internet pals of money gained a bit at a time. Some of the contacts originate from clever penitentiary inmates who take on a false identity for this purpose. The photos supplied are picked up off the internet. There have been many exposes of fraud rings who operate the "onely heart" connections. Sometimes these clever con men gain vital personal information for the purpose of identity theft.

No intelligent woman would permit three in a marriage and allow her husband to use the internet for his emotional and sexual gratification or release! My bet is if you read the transcripts of their communication you would be shocked out of your complacency! I am sure you would lose the sympathy with the "perhaps female" on the other end of that communication. You better tell him this ceases NOW and stand behind that. It sounds to me that you think if you don't allow him to do what he wants, you might lose a meal ticket. That leads me to think you are solely dependent on him financially, because only that situation would rermit sufferance of a cheating, lying husband! That is exactly what he does on theis internet connection.

Those connections can get pretty down and dirty, and involves sex of a different type than you have with him. That is what he does with this other person....gender unknown! This is cheating. I say again..the appearance, sex, age of the internet friend is dubious. That is very likely not even a woman on the other end of these intimate talks.

There are many reports and articles written about these fraud rings. They throw out wide nets to pull in many people. Sometimes innocent information in discussions can be used by these rings for other illegal purposes. Your husband is playing with fire and you are very foolish to put up with it.

Last edited by 1aokgal; 30th October 2012 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 29th October 2012, 09:58 PM   #5
Raymond
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Re: Husband's Online Relationship-How Do I Cope?

Good advice there which I cannot add to.

One of the cardinals rules for counselling, at least in church circles, is never counsel someone of the opposite sex alone but do it with your wife or perhaps another female if it is a woman. Forever touched on this and made very good sense. If he still wants to help her then I agree with Forever that you have to be involved as well. If she doesn't accept that then she doesn't want help only him. He shouldn't write to her alone any more without you being able to add your agreement to it. From Mr and Mrs so to speak. If he is not open to that he has got stuck and needs to end it immediately.
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Old 30th October 2012, 09:16 PM   #6
1aokgal
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Re: Husband's Online Relationship-How Do I Cope?

Raymond..

It is highly unlikely this husband is "helping her" or "counseling" the internet pal. Likely, it is more like mutual masturbation going on during these cozy, intimate talks! They don't call this "cyber sex" for nothing! The internet pal is from another country and may be trolling for a connection to get a passport.

Passports were mentioned, as she (the pal) does not have one. Problem is, this married man doesn't have a passport either. These people do their best to hook up as a "passport pal" to find a way to get into a country where there is more opportunity. There are arranged marriages which are always a problem for immigration services.

Last edited by 1aokgal; 30th October 2012 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 31st October 2012, 01:20 AM   #7
Forever
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Re: Husband's Online Relationship-How Do I Cope?

Hence, all the more reason why Kristen should do the "driving" from this point forward. Let's give John the benefit of the doubt...that he was emotionally pulled into a situation, but perhaps he has not been doing the "dirty" with her in cyber space. Still, what he has done is just as destructive to a marriage, giving his heart over to another...however unrealistic it is, and needs to get a reality check in place since he says he wants to repair his own marriage. Well and good...and since we were not yet told of anything really "dicey" going on between them...none of the details of their communications, we cannot assume the worst.

If Kristen takes over the conversations, and the OW balks about that, then her husband will see more clearly the mess that he has created.

If he really wanted to, he could have gotten a passport in a matter of 6 weeks...and really, so could the OW if they felt that they needed to be together. But my hunch is that he got sucked up into this when he was feeling vulnerable himself, it went farther than what he intended it to, so he confessed to Kristen as well as reassured her that he wants their marriage back on track. It is only by the Grace of God that she happens to be in another country...unaccessable physically...the marriage would have surely been over were it not for that fact.

It will take a bit of time before he disconnects emotionally from the OW...but that can only happen if he himself cuts off direct communication with her, goes through the withdrawls, and begins to find his own marriage more satisfying than what it has been for the last 4 years. I think he wants that...but it wont be a cake walk at first for any of them.

The OW will likely say something awful to Kristen out of anger and desperation once she realizes that Kristen is now the only one who she will be getting any direct "support" from. But if John still cares about his wife, he will at that point begin withdrawing from the OW in earnest. The danger here is that Kristen could get exasperated and have a "melt down" or get ugly when speaking to the OW...and because John believes he is "in love" with her, he will likely come to the defense of the OW, and escalate the trouble in an already shakey marriage. This is why Kristen needs to handle this with a great deal of finesse.

Last edited by Forever; 31st October 2012 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 31st October 2012, 02:04 AM   #8
1aokgal
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Re: Husband's Online Relationship-How Do I Cope?

Dear Forever...

You have a great deal of finesse. This sounds like a workable plan if what he has told his wife is truthful. If it is intimate interactions , he will not yield the floor to his wife to communicate with his new love. If he does that Kristen will know he has fed her a line of garbage and that is plain old internet cheating there.

The internet has caused many divorces over entanglements they see as better than the ones in person. The qualities of the person are escalated by the distance and the emotional content as the imagination gets fired. One still has no idea of the gender, appearance, age or true facts of the intent of the one on the other end of the keyboard.
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Old 7th November 2012, 12:34 AM   #9
Lost
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Re: Husband's Online Relationship-How Do I Cope?

I really don't know when to draw the line.

This husband has already crossed the line and could this marriage be saved?

I have had something similar in my marriage full of deceits and lies. My answer is, by all means, you can try to work at it if you like but it could be a matter of prolonging the inevitable. I often wonder about the personality of this sort of men who would go online to get "hooked up" whilst he has his wife who loves him.

I don't like to sound pessimistic. But if that happens once, it will be another time. Can you force a man to stop what he wants to do? I doubt that somewhat. He may try to hide it but he will still continue in my view..
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