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Dealing with the pain of letting someone go.

Community Member

I love my wife of 25yrs it hurts to say it. I guess we got into a rut, she's been feeling it for the last 3 yrs and wanted separation then. Me (head in clouds) thought we could work through it. We got to our 25th anniversary and I took her away for the weekend. We had a great time. Back home she said she only went along as she knew how important it was for me to do 25th and she still wanted separation. Last year I caught her lying. I wasn't spying. She was going to a party. She lied about who picked her up. She lied for about 3 weeks, told me I would have got the wrong impression. I wasn't the jealous type [then]had she told me who, I would have been fine with it. I would never have suspected them having an affair in a million years. Two completely different people from completely different cultures and a bigger age difference.

I found out recently she was having an affair for sure, I overheard her talking to our guest/family who are staying with us atm. As you can imagine I'm heartbroken to the point I can't cope, sleep, eat, I'm anxious, depressed, angry, jealous and bitter. She says we were finished a long time ago.

We've been talking about what's been going on and the more I get from her the more hurt and betrayed I am. She took a trip abroad to see her mum and I find out he was there. They had a 7 day mini break touring towns and cities with no agenda, not knowing where you're going, exploring etc, staying in random hotels. EVERYTHING I've been trying to get my wife to do with me for the last 10 yrs.

I also found out that he's been pursuing her at work for app 4yrs(unknown to my wife), even though he's married and his culture would frown on his actions. He's been constantly asking her out mythering her and she's refused many times. Looking back I remember now she did say he asked her out a couple of years ago and she laughed it off as he's a lot older. To shut him up she finally relented.

My wife mis diagnosed herself as having MS and this doctor helped her to see specialist friends of his who calmed the situation, nothing wrong with her. Then he had a medical drama and nearly died. She was distraught and I couldn't understand why. They confided in each other and must have grown close. But I blame him entirely for abusing his position in work to pursue her. I can't do anything as he's not her doctor.

He can't leave his arranged marriage and I don't want her to be his bit on the side. How can I let her go but not be with him ?

10 Replies 10

Community Member

Hi Michael5667.

I just want to say how sorry I am to hear of your current situation - it's a really rough situation for you to be in and I would image how confused and betrayed that you must feel. You will need to seek as much support as you can if you're going to make the right decision for you and for your future. From what I can understand from your information, you may have already been aware that your Wife was seeing other people and you tried to spark it up by taking her away for your 25th Anniversary, then you got a response from her that still wanted separation. Michael, this treatment is not fair on you what soever and you don't need to be disrespected by her. You may find that the longer you stay with your Wife, the harder it may become. I wouldn't be focusing on the work colleague of hers either because it's not going to resolve your current situation. Sorry for being so blunt but maybe now, you need to start focusing on you, get yourself some support/ counselling (beyond blue are brilliant), get out into the community, catch up with friends, family, make new friends, exercise, invest in [you] time, do some hobbies and get yourself some positive vibes.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Michael,

It was very hard to read the hurt in your story but I'm glad you posted for support.

It's very clear you love your wife. In some ways that's what was the hardest to read. That even after everything that has happened you wrote that you blame this other man and still want to protect your wife from being used.

As hard as it no doubt is to hear your wife is responsible for her own choices.

Jsua has made very important points. Although you care for your wife the only actions within your control are your own.

You said you aren't able to eat or sleep. I don't think your wife is the one at risk right now. I'm more worried about you.

When Jsua mentioned seeking support what options came to mind for you?

I'm not much help really. I hope you keep writing if you feel able to.


Community Member

Prior to the weekend away I never thought she was cheating.I knew things weren't right and she was unhappy. I just didn't know the lies were covering up an affair. It's hard to describe, he would have been the last person I would have suspected. My wife tells me that she didn't do it deliberately it just happened. I tell her my shock over who and she agrees, she can't believe it too.

Sounds bad but the kids joke and always call mum a bit of a racist, she's joked in the past that we came here to get away from their culture. We can't believe it.

She's basically walked out of the arms of someone who loves her to bits and into the arms of someone else who now aparantly loves her. She tells me she loves him too, this crushes me like you cannot imagine. I would give anything to have her back even now.

We are in limbo. It's difficult for him as his culture would not tolerate this behaviour. If his wife and 12yr old finds out he would be in danger from her family and cannot go home ever again, Once his elderly parent pass away (90's) he won't have a reason to go home ever again. My wife wants to keep our house until my 16yr old finishes school at least, but I don't want to be a house sitter knowing she's off out with him. It would kill me to see her getting ready to go out or even staying out overnight. I couldn't sleep when she's out during the good times as I wanted to make sure she could get a ride home if need be. She offered not to see him whilst we are co habiting the house as she now calls it. But how can she not see him in that time, it could be 18months to 2 years maybe longer if he goes to Tafe ? I couldn't trust her.

We now come to my problems. I've been hanging on to a job basically waiting for long service leave.There's no social life to it as it's a small company (4). I dont have friends except couples, I now stand to lose them too. I suffer from a bit of depression occasionally and She's never been supportive, tells me to snap out of it etc. There's no jobs around for me, I'm not qualified for anything. Worse, he's loaded. Her mum always said marry first for love and second for money. I'll be ruined by the split. She'll be ok, good job, parents and bf with money etc. I sound like a loser but I'm not I've got good qualities.

I stand to lose everything for 25yrs of being a loyal faithful and commited father. And all i get is "never mind you'll find love again" off her. Everyone is acting normal around me and I'm in bits, I can't hide feelings.

Hello Michael

Your post is very sad and you have my deep sympathy. I agree completely with Quercus and Jsua. I do hope you heed their wise words. I warn you I am going to be frank on my assessment of your marriage.

Your wife is displaying the text book behaviour of an unfaithful partner. Your quote of her words “....she didn’t do it deliberately, it just happened” is typical of unfaithful spouses refusing to accept responsibility. This type of evasion means you can never trust her again.

I realise you love her and wish to win her back but she is being very clear in her intentions. Unfortunately, when marriages flounder, there is often one partner who holds all the strong cards and they can be very manipulative towards the spouse who wishes to fight for the marriage. The longer you wait in hope of her changing her mind, the more pain and disappointment you will experience.

It’s time you made your own emotional and mental health the priority Michael. You have to stop being her door mat and take some action. Leave her or she leaves the house are two options. Yes, I know this will be painful but the alternative is a humiliating decline in your self esteem and confidence.

I know my words are blunt Michael but I have seen cases where the unfaithful spouse refuses to acknowledge they have acted poorly and they continue to inflict emotional suffering on the faithful partner. If you don’t take action, your pain will worsen.

Community Member

Good to see that you have replied Michael5667.

Hmm.... this one is a very tricky situation as you obviously still love your wife and if you still wanther to be in your life, your going to have to put in a lot of work to turn things around, however, it's not going to be a walk in the park.

If this is the case Michael5667, when I said focus on you, that's exactly what you'll need to do to get things moving in the right direction. I would defiantly recommended speaking with Beyond Blue's great councillors as they can talk to you and help you put in some actions to achieve your outcome.

I know it's hard but you need to not worry about this 'other' fella in her life. What you want to do is bring back that initial spark, you may need to re-market yourself to your wife and make her want you again. However, in saying this, you need to also set up some boundaries for her to follow. For this to work, your wife needs to have an understanding that she cannot treat you like she has been and to start caring and looking after you because right now, she is too busy looking for greener grass.

You will need to really look after yourself Michael5667 and you need to put yourself first.

You'll need to show you wife how good your grass is and bring back that magic.

Good luck. 🙂

Community Member

We've talked about her wanting to keep the house open until our youngest leaves school in about 16mths, I made it clear not if she was seeing him during tis time. She said she had told him of my conditions. Initially she was mad with me. I asked if she cried when she told him which hurt me when she said she did. I guess I was trying to find out how genuine she was.

Surprisingly, A day later he told his wife despite him insisting on his family repocussions. I always thought those were lies to get what he wanted and keep his family. Maybe he thinks she's drifiting away from him. But nothings changed for me if she wants to keep the house she knows my feelings. And I know I can't trust her or be able to police it as she'll have contact with him at work every day.

I'm coming to terms with it. My wife and I hug all the time. We cry and self depreciate. I'd say if I'd been more attentive and less depressed etc , she'd say it's none of my fault and then blames herself entirely. This is painful for me as I don't blame her at all. I blame the Dr for relentlessly pursuing her in the work place and I'm looking into filing a complaint.

Part of the devastation for me was my parents split. I learnt valuable lessons watching how the family was torn apart. The result left mum incredibly bitter throughout her life. Even after she remarried she couldn't handle talking about dad or even being in the same room. I feel guilty as I've often said to mum to "get over it, you've been remarried for 10yrs now, it's time to forget". Now I know exactly how mum felt and the pain she was in.

My wife and I both want to remain friends. I want us to be able to communicate, attend family gatherings and be confortable with each other. She's even offered to continue to go out as pairs with our friends. This has some comfort as this is my only social outlet atm. I goto woodturning class and the Gym but I'll never meet anyone there as it's nearly all old men and the Gym is all young girls, my Gym is anyway. And besides the Gym takes a dim view of men trying it on for dates. So, I'm not likely to find anyone new there.

I told my wife I was lonely and missed her a lot. It's comforting having someone next to you in bed, someone to come home to. I've been waking at 2am in tears, then 3am next day. I started writing this at 5am today, so things are getting better for me I suppose,

Thanks for reading.

Good afternoon Michael5667.

I am assuming that you haven't been sleeping well lately, especially if you have racing thoughts in you head and it doesn't make it any easier. I'd recommend that you get some more sleep - the body just cannot function without adequate rest and recovery.

I'd like to ask you what your outcome to your situation would be, putting everything aside, what are you looking to achieve?

What I want and What I'll end up with are two completely different things.

What I want: I want my wife to end her 'fling', 'romance', 'mid life crisis', 'moment of complete and utter madness', and find another job where she has no contact with him. This would allow us time to work on our marriage. I want us to go to councelling to find a way to bring back the things we've been missing, the things that she says made her drift apart from me. And if after 18months we can't fix it, we separate on good terms having at least tried. I think she owes me one opportunity to fix it. It's not fair to just walk away. I want to try without someone else being in the way.

What I'll get: 18 months of misery wondering where she is and if she coming home. Stress, anxiety, sleepless nights, depression, financial ruin to look forward to and finally the break up of my family. Memories tarnished and dreams for the future ruined.


It's really good to hear that you have some actions and rather than looking at the negatives as an outcome, focus on making you a better person. Not saying that you 'aren't but I want you to know that you have the ability to turn this around. I am a firm believer that people go through ups and downs, things go good for a period of time and then can turn pear shaped. We all know that for relationships to work well, there needs to be a consistent cycle of energy, dedication, co-operation and sacrifice. Each partner needs the other to move through life's journey and to support each others needs, wants expectations and health and wellness. if one partner is not doing this, it brings the whole equation down. It needs to be balances but to get there, requires lots of work on both ends.

Also, when people who think that it's greener on the other side, it doesn't always work because there is usually reasons why they would want to escape their partner to be with someone else. You must dig deep and find out what the inadequacy is in your relationship and focus on felling the gap.

If your heart and mind wants to push through the barriers and make things work, I wish you the best and I hope that you both fall in love with each other harder than before.