Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Married 35 years first time in trouble

Community Member

Hello eveybody
My wife of 35 years yes 35 ,had been distance and just different for sometime.
I noticed quite a few changes over the past year yes all the usual, weight loss ,new hair style, new wardrobe, etc etc chuck in menopause and it’s been a trying time.
No matter how many signs of an affair you want to tick she was ticking quite a few.
After a few failed attempts at getting her to open up over the past year ,recently I asked her straight out are you having an affair this was met with a no.
I let her know how I have been feeling I asked if there is something wrong anything we can talk through.
I asked if she been asked out that has given her cause for thought this was met with avoidance not a no.
I threw in a name that that I have heard.
in passing conversation with me in the past One such conversation she mentioned was his wife had left him four months ago.

This guy is a regular customer they see each other often.
Thinking it was just coffee etc I was shocked to hear he wanted her to come away with him on a European trip.
Yes he knows she is married
She told me she declined.
I asked if this no was a no that would let him know he is out of line.
She said I just said no as he is a really nice guy
This was some 4 weeks ago I asked if she has had any further contact with him ,yes nice guy....etc
Then she let me know about a week ago he put this app on her phone so he could send pics while he was away.
He doesn’t leave for another 6 weeks
its a privacy chat app Viber
he set it up.

I looked through the contacts and I couldn’t see his name.
After tears ,storm out etc Told me the assumed name she put him under.
Did he do that? ..no
she picked the name that on a quick glance it would look like an old female boss of hers.
I am totally gutted she says she has no feelings for him.
He is a nice guy 🤬 we’re just friends.

She says she doesn’t see it that he wants it to be more
I have asked all contact to cease which is possible she refuses to do this
She says that’s controlling I let her know how that it hurts me.
I can’t get her to see what this guy really wants from this holiday
How does a guy get the confidence to ask such a question?
I feel it was asking her to leave her husband and have a good time with me
Even hiding his name shows she knew it was wrong but refuses to acknowledge that.

What can I do or say that may help her see this friendship in a different light.
She doesn’t want me to approach this guy.
Any advice greatly appreciated.


18 Replies 18

Hi therising
Thanks for your comments sadly much of what you say have being doing for the past few years.
It would seem to me that my efforts don’t hold as much weight as those from others.
Movies ,walks ,even just watching tv etc etc were always met with the to word ...to tired ...to much to do ...

In reality I think it is a self fulfilling ideal.
I would think when she has conversations with “friends” you get more attention if you just say your weekend was pretty boring just did some grocery shopping and laundry.
I think this ties in with his use of the “princess” line and the trip Europe
I doubt I would give her any reason to throw me into conversations in effect I’m invisible.
My own doing to some extent something I will continue to rectify.

I also believe this guy has no feelings for my wife he sees her a just another
notch his belt.
It’s so sad that my wife is infatuated with this type of person
The behaviours she is exhibiting just go against every core value my wife held some two years ago.
I know I have needed to change but the change in her is so dramatic I don’t believe it’s all me.

Wether it’s a shift due to menopause,life expectations or she just lost interest in me
Time and a lot of work will tell.

I no longer fed her soul I guess it got stale I understand the lift you would get from others , that feeling of “oh I’ve still got it.”
It’s when you act on them and not give thought to those that really care that destroys your soul it has change my wife into something she never was.

Just hope counselling is the answer ,well it will have an outcome that I’m sure of just hope it’s an outcome that we are both happy with
Thanks again it nice to feel others care

Hi Selfcontrol

Sounds like you're putting in a lot of effort, which is truly admirable! Adaptability is definitely an admirable quality.

I can remember some years ago looking into marriage counseling, when troubles were present and our kids were young. The counselor put it beautifully, 'There are 3 individual tiers to work on: 1) The self, aka The foundation, 2) The relationship with your partner and 3) The overall family unit.' Would be good for you to seek clarity regarding how the counseling process will work for you, what the plan is.

Getting to know yourself (your strengths and quirks) within the relationship is definitely important, before understanding the relationship dynamics. For example, I know that when my self-esteem is low, it tends to impact my relationship with other people including my husband. It's not that others around me have changed in any way, I have. Relationships tend to be both active and reactive in many cases, in the way they play out.

Holding focus on yourself to a degree is so important at this time. Try to remember that you are of great value no matter how your wife is acting.

Take care

Hi everybody
Thought I would update you on our progress.
Things really haven’t changed.
A few days ago was my wife’s first opportunity to speak to this other person regarding deleting the app ,I had said to her that he will know it’s gone so a conversation will follow.
She wasn’t interested in talking through with me what she was going to say ,she will handle it is how it was left.
Sadly it is here that I have made things worse of course I wanted to know, did she see him today, what was said.
I tried not to ask but I was unsure if she would tell me if she did ,it hurt so much not know.
It caused friction.
The day she did see him she told me that she approached him and said
“My husband knows about the app,So I deleted it ,it just felt wrong”
He replied that’s fine.
Then she said they just went on with general chit chat.
I am so sad to me that appears like only because my husband found out
Just looks like it’s all on me.
How am I supposed to react the next time I see him.She is insistent I say nothing.
I feel so belittled I see myself through his eyes looking less “manly” for not
approaching him.
Felt wrong? It should considered be very wrong.
No ownership of the wrong doing ,no clear sign that whatever they had will not continue.
Then to have chit after 🤨 well I asked if this chit chat will now stop
No ....is the answer ,will you tell me when and what conversations you have with this person ,no.
It will only upset you that we still talk.
He is just a friend
No he is not a friend ,I have said that they both have crossed that friendship line
He by asking you on the trip
I asked her surely you would think he would expect intimacy on this trip and what was his plan when both of you returned home?
She will not think down those lines says I’m not a mind reader I can’t think for him.
My wife has crossed the friendship line with the app and assumed name.
She has a few other male work colleagues that I have absolutely have no problems with they all are friends.
She doesn’t see it or rather wont see it that way.

So now if she goes to work I have to wonder what’s happening ,if I continue to badger or dig it makes home life unbearable for her so work is a fun place home full of turmoil and discomfort not what you want trying to rebuild a marriage.

Not so from her perspective her actions tell me it’s not my trust she is after more over she just wants me to let it go.


I had my second counselling session after this conversation and discussed this with my counsellor, to put briefly that was their suggestion to ...let it go ...don’t pester ,ask questions etc it won’t change anything as just knowing what they talk about will only escalate the conversation creating that unhappy Home life.
It’s for my wife to choose.
What value does she put on this friendship over our marriage.
For now it’s seems higher.
Second piece of advice was to give me some me time.

Its like giving this guy a free hit it just sucks its not in my nature to do nothing.
How can I be this happy husband if my mind is just full of doubt.
I am to continue with my own change ,date your wife movies ,meal ,walks etc
Tried twice this week ....to tired....nothing on ....
Bought her bunch of roses ......”what did you do that for”
I know she would love beauty treatments ,facials etc but I can’t bring myself to those sort of gifts I feel that anything along those lines are for the other person I cannt pay for that.
I understand that it won’t change overnight or there is any short term fix.
It just seems I’m the one apologising for her indiscretion
I’m the one that has to “win” her back.
I still love her and I feel the need to protect her from making a terrible mistake with a guy that may not have genuine interest in her.
Geez it was only three weeks out of his second wife leaving him when he asked my wife out.

Everything just sucks
Ultimatums or leaving is not an option nothing will be gained from that
I feel sure my wife would like that freedom ,I have to work at staying but I know
I can’t just pretend that everything is ok for very long.
How on earth can I do that
My insecurities will see me being judgmental ,scrutinising ,thinking what’s going on. I will bite my tongue try not to verbalise my thoughts or hurts
A Cycle feeds a cycle.

Undoubtedly this will harden my heart and erode the love I have for my wife
Making the next step easier.
That thought just sucks

The hope I have is she snaps out of this infatuation with the help of her counselling
I hope she can see the good in what she has rather than focus on any past negatives that she feels hard done by.

Let her go to get her back
I understand the concept but to put it into practise from my side it’s just horrible.

Hi Selfcontrol

It's good your wife told the guy that you know about the app, giving her cause to delete it. I understand you wanted more but, still, what she said sends a message to this guy and that is 'There are things my husband will not tolerate and I need to be more considerate of him'. It also says 'There is a line my husband knows you are crossing.' There you go, it's out there now. I know you'd like to confront him but most women would be embarrassed and angry if their husbands did the physical/verbal confrontation thing. Sounds weird but from a female perspective it's a little like an 'ownership' thing (aka 'Hands off my property pal!')

Although frustrating, good advice from the counselor in regard to focusing on yourself. They will also be able to give you some tips in how to approach your wife in positive ways with any serious concerns. With the one on one counseling, your wife will be doing her own self-focusing. When the 2 of you eventually come together, things should appear much clearer in regard to the path of the marriage (definitely a slow and frustrating process although worth the effort and time). I understand you want more answers for all the questions you have to ask your wife but there is always the risk of you pushing her away in your search for satisfaction.

It's a tough situation with elements of helplessness thrown into the mix. In a productive and healthy sense, the only person who you can truly control in this case is you, so continue to focus on yourself and...

Take care

Oh Selfcontrol

I want to tell you to trust your feelings. Trust your instincts. Maybe your wife needs a shock. (That's what my husband said he needed). Put your foot down. Him or me.

I am probably the wrong person to give advice on this, but I can see the pain oozing out of your words and I want it to stop for you.

This guy is not a friend. If this 'friendship' is causing so much grief in your marriage, wether there is something going on or not, it is not a healthy friendship and needs to stop.

I can't agree with you having to suck up to her and trying to make her see you as the good guy. As I wrote before, it's like rewarding her for her bad behaviour. It's akin to giving a child a lolly so they will stop throwing a temper tantrum.

Follow your gut, Selfcontrol. Do what you feel is right, because no matter what anyone else says, you have to live in your life and this is your marriage on the line. No one else's.

Hi everybody
First I have an apology to make to the board after re-reading my last post
I only focused on the negative responses regarding roses.
Although the first response was not what I was expecting or wanting ,the thank you and appreciation for the roses did come in away that was genuine.
I understand her first response it was a reaction to me doing something out of character.
I failed to see a tree hidden in the forrest and posted emotionally. Painting a picture of my wife that suited my feelings. Sorry that was very wrong of me.
Lesson number 2 don’t post when things are too fresh and raw
Thanks again for putting in a different perspective and I do agree and it is certainly better than no conversation at all.
My wife also telling me about this conversation is another positive step that shows a willingness to move on.
The deleting of the app and my wife’s chat with him I feel I needn’t have come into that conversation at all other than the hurt it has caused.
I wanted it to be clear that he gets the message that what she did was wrong and hurtful.
I don’t feel it has closed anything off.

If he is a nice guy maybe he won’t need any further hints and will step away.
That’s the mark of a nice guy to me.

To Old For This,
I admire your courage you had a strength, a greater feeling of self worth that I currently lack.
Sadly an ultimatum will only end in our separation giving me no room for improvement, I do not have the courage to take that step.
While we are together I feel I can have some roll to play regaining what we once had.
It still resides in me and while it does I will do what I must. I do acknowledge that this has a time limit and boundaries.
For now it I feels I must control my reactions and have faith in the process.

Other than a difference of opinion on the use of the term friend and “nice guy”
It’s the boundaries that we disagree on.
I want no contact ,my wife believes she can remain cordial and polite and limit contact.
She feels anything other will be rude ,I know being rude is totally against her nature.

I believe he won’t respect those boundaries and he will draw her into conversation at every opportunity. This man has no respect for me or our family.
There is no place in my mind where I am comfortable with her talking to this man on any level given the history and knowing he has a desire for it to become intimate.

For me to move on I do think it will take a proper no contact chat with him and he gets the message from my wife that what she did was wrong and crossed the line of just friends.
Hopefully going on to say,
This has hurt my husband so much and damaging the trust he had in me that I want to rebuild the first step to repairing his trust in me is to break all contact with you.Please respect my wishes.
Hopefully with counselling and my efforts she can find the courage and she will say something along those lines.

That will take a huge effort on her part I do not under estimate how difficult that conversation would be for her it’s just not in her nature.
I just wish that conversation would come as easily as installing the app and hiding his name did.
Whilst she, at least outwardly to me , is in a denial stage of what is happening that conversation won’t take place.
All the above is just full of hope I trust it’s not a fantasy.
If I focus on this hope and not the negative narratives I make up I will become a more positive person .hopefully 😊
I will continue to work on myself both physically and mentally and I maybe in better place to handle whatever comes next.

Thanks again for giving me an outlet I do feel my world it just that little bit bigger.
I really do appreciate all the above input and it is a big help.

Hi Selfcontrol,

It would certainly be a lot easier if we could just erase issues that we don't want to deal with or struggle with.

Seems like you are finding ways to move forward, have an idea about looking after yourself more, that can only be beneficial.

Relationships can get messed up. Hope you manage to get yours back on track again. One thing I have learnt, a relationship can never be the same again, it is always different than it was.

Cheers from Dools