Here goes. new tactic after affair
I have been with my wife for 18 years, 11 of which are married. I have three kids, ages 8, 6, and 3. As of a month ago, I caught my wife in affair with someone she considered a good friend. When I confronted her about it, she said that our relationship had felt stagnant for a long time, and while she considered us good friends and good parents, the romance was not there. She thought I felt the same way, that we had grown apart.
Through much discussion and my own personal emotional roller coaster, we sought marriage counseling. The counselor during the inital session said that the process to get over this and move on was to break all ties with this man; as well as to just be unhappy and fake about the way she feels toward me and that will help us get through it.
Well, she is not willing to do that, nor am I. She has said that she is confused about the way she feels, and needs time to sort out herself.
Likewise, she is concerned that I am doing this to make it work when I may not have true feelings of love toward her, just feelings now that this affair has happened. When we look back on our relationship, I can agree that I have not shown her the love I now feel, or want to feel from her. She has told me several times in the past that she was unhappy and I changed for a short periods of time, but always reverted back to our normal rut. And plus having three kids, things get in the way and our relationship has always been pushed aside..
We have come to the decision to try an open marriage, for both of our benefits. She can pursue this man and find out if this is just something that is short term or something she has been missing for so long. I will try to see what is out there, with the hopes of seeing if I find someone that truly makes me happy enough to want to do the things my wife has been wanting from me for so long, or not.
Sounds like a separation, but we are continuing to be friends, live together, sleep together (sans sex), parent our kids, and carry on our normal lives. We are still in the inital planning stages of setting up the rules and boundaries, and this is the part where I'm not too sure of what to do, what I want to know, and how this should all play out. I am someone who needs a plan.
She has several friends that have open relationships and are very happy with continuing in this direction.
This is all very new to me, and scary, but is a better alternative to a hasty divorce that will affect the lives of three children in the least.