Chapter 7 - her job
The other guy was worked at the same place as my wife. They were in different departments but their offices were just a few doors down from each other. In my view, there was no way we could recover unless she quit that job.
I brought that up at our first counseling session after D-day. She said she was not willing to quit but would agree not to talk to him or be alone with him. I agreed to those terms and that is the decision I regret more than any other in the discovery process.
There was over a month after D-day before the spring term started. During that month I began to have second thoughts about her work. I finally told her that I know what I had agreed to, but I could not do it. She very reluctantly agreed to arrange for her office to be moved to another building and for her meetings to be in that building, although I do not believe she thought (at the time) that it was necessary. In her mind, the affair was over. She had written a letter to the other guy saying that their relationship was over, that what they had done was wrong, and that her energies would now be directed toward repairing our marriage. He had not tried to contact her since then (she claimed, and I guess I believe her), so according to her there was no risk.
Every day she went to work was a day of misery for me. Whether they spoke or not, I knew they probably would see each other. Even if they did not see each other, it was just too close. Just having to consciously avoid each other kept everyone on each others’ mind. This went on for 1 ½ or 2 years after d-day. Finally, I could not stand this any more and gave an ultimatum.
To me, her continuing to work so closely to him was dangerous and foolish, not to mention disrespectful toward me. I still believe it was. Our recovery went to a new level once she stopped working there and it was no coincidence.
There just can be no recovery if there is ongoing contact between affair partners. In our case, I do not believe they were talking to each other, but they were still part of each others’ work life. If you are so close that it takes work to avoid each other, you’re too close. I would not recommend a compromise on this important point.