I‘m a former LEO. Joined up young and left to pursue a different career 9 years later.
I think I can understand the world you are coming from – the sense of double betrayal (your wife and your supervisor), the sense of duty (to family and to the Force), the “do-right” complex, the doubts, the questions, the ground-shattering of all your believes and values…
I might as well share my d-day story with you [Old-timers; bear with me. I know I have shared this numerous times but IMHO SWAT might benefit from it]
Friday night-shift from 22:00-06:00. Before I left we went over some details for our wedding (planned Saturday 5 weeks from that day). She told me she might go visit the girls from the saloon (she was/is a hairdresser) and have a drink or two, but otherwise she was going to have an early night.
At around 2:00 a guy wrapped his car around a street-light and I was in one of the first cars to respond. I helped the ER get the guy out of the wreck and got some blood over my shirt sleeves and chest. I knew I was out of shirts in my locker so I dropped off home at our apartment.
I entered quietly so as to not wake her up. As I got closer to the bedroom I heard the groans and moans… I looked in and there she was – in our bed – with another man thrusting between her legs. I switched the light on… Wow. What an explosion! Just imagine the poor OM – having the time of his life and all of a sudden a big and bloody police officer is standing at the foot of the bed!
She screamed the classic line “It’s not what you think!” and he more or less fell out of bed in a struggle to get his pants on. I told him (in a surprisingly calm voice) “Don’t bother getting out of bed. Finish what you are doing. Shame to waste a good hard-on. She has no relevance to me anymore”. I then went and got a couple of clean shirts and left the room, closing the door behind me.
I changed shirts and left the apartment – NEVER to enter it again.
I went back to my parents after the shift. My brother went and gathered my stuff some days later. The wedding? Well… it never took place.
For ME this was the right decision. I “only” had time invested in that relationship. Granted it was nearing 5 years (about 2-3 living together) but at THAT TIME I decided that I did not want to enter a lifetime commitment if she wasn’t more committed than this indicated.
In my case the OM was irrelevant in the sense that for him this was an ONS with a woman he barely knew the name of. I learned afterwards that she had done this several times in our relationship – picked up random men for sex. Friends had suspicions, some had knowledge but no-one had the balls to tell me.
OK – so now you know where I come from.
It’s not really true that LEO cheat more than others. About 30 years ago researchers discovered that LEO have a significantly higher divorce rate than other professions. This has been researched a lot since then and is a major concern for HR in LEO. A good officer becomes “good” with time and experience. A veteran is a very valuable commodity, just as a bad officer is a major liability. Considering the higher divorce-, alcoholism- and suicide rates most departments have invested heavily in making professional services such as IC and MC available to its officers.
I’m guessing that if you are working a large department (since you are in a tactical squad) so PLEASE look into what resources are available to you.
I think that in many ways I did the perfect recovery after d-day in all aspects but two: I didn’t think to get anti-depressants (I was afraid they might cloud my professional abilities) and I did not get professional help. 15 years later I got help from an IC regarding PTSD symptoms from the d-day.
SWAT – As an officer then the chances are you have training you can utilize do deal with your situation. If you do then fall back to it. In officer training in the military and in my police academy training great emphasis is placed on evaluating the data you can access, reaching a decision based on your resources and options and then implementing. Once you implement you constantly reevaluate the data, new data, the options they offer and whether you need to take a new decision based on the changes. Officers are trained that the ONLY completely fatal mistakes is NOT reaching a decision, [Over time those that tend to make the wrong decisions are weeded out, along with those that can’t reach a decision].
The same principles apply in law enforcement. A drastic example: Imagine you are facing two opponents. One has a handgun that he’s holding but pointing down, the other has a big bowie knives. You are standing with your gun drawn pointing at them 20 feet away. Where would your main focus be? Where would you point your gun? All three are a threat but of the three who is most capable of causing you trouble at that particular moment?
OK – so you evaluate and decide to point your gun at the guy with the handgun. You definitely keep your eyes on the other two and you are ready to switch targets, but you gun is drawn straight at the chest of Mr. Handgun. Then you realize the handgun is a starter-pistol, incapable of firing live ammo. You all of a sudden have new info and this makes you reevaluate the situation. All of a sudden Mr. Bowie Knife is the threat. Even knowing that you also know that this is only one of a number of steps you have to do. But right now – there and then – disarming them and gaining control is the only step that matters. The other steps… Deal with them at the right time.
An example I often use for those that don’t have military- or LEO training: You wake up to the smell of smoke and the wailing of your smoke-detectors. You evaluate and realize your house is on fire. This is not the time to worry about your insurance coverage, the damage the firemen’s boots will do to your hardwood floors or the damage from the water. You simply focus on making sure everyone is safe and then calling 911. Focus on the prime task in hand and then deal with the rest as appropriate.
OK – How does this apply to your marriage and your situation?
Well – You are all over the place with your problems;
Are the kids yours?
Can you remain married?
Is the affair over?
How could she do this?
And so on…
These are ALL issues you need to and will address. But in a clear and organized way.
Let’s get the paternity issue out of the way. That is a major concern and I can imagine being worried about that issue must be eating away at you. If you are determined to know the truth then do either of the below:
1) Know your, WW and children’s blood-type? Simply look up online if the types indicate paternity (http://www.canadiancrc.com/paternity_determination_blood_type.aspx). This might provide you with answers and/or eliminate some possibilities.
2) Check online for paternity DNA tests. It’s enough that you send your sample as well as samples from the kids (swab or hair). It’s not legally binding but will give you an answer that you can evaluate your options from.
See? You analyze the problem, look for options and then you implement. Sometime later you get an answer that might end the problem, but it might open new problems. But you act. You don’t stew in the problem.
SWAT – IMHO the BIGGEST issue after d-day is making sure the affair is over.
It’s really an exception where and when a WW says she has ended an affair and it’s really over.
Is there ANY communications between them? Can your WW assure you there is no communication?
Working on R while the affair is ongoing – even if it’s an occasional peek at OM Facebook page – that’s like spicing your coffee at an AA meeting. It’s not going to work.
So I suggest you totally focus on making sure the affair is over. Right now that task is the guy pointing the gun in your direction. Other issues (why, has she cheated before and so on)… they are there but right now do not have the same importance or value as simply getting assurance the affair is over.
SWAT – if you want me to watch over your shoulder then don’t hesitate to reply. I hope I have given you some hints on how to progress and how to move on; evaluate your issues and focus on those that really matter. Act rather than react and then react on the actions you take.
Also, her not telling you they had a history together, is a lie of omission imo. Even without cheating, I would feel kind of betrayed to find out my husband had had a relationship or history with someone in our circle and did not tell me about it. Probably not a deal breaker on a marriage, but sneaky at the very least.
Her comments to you about thinking you were too good for her really struck me too. My ws has said similar things to me, and my reaction has been that I've felt strangely insulted by it and the first thing I think is "excuse". As someone else said, it's a backhanded compliment intended to blameshift. WH has also said things like "I'll probably be the one to mess up our relationship because I have so many issues". Again - excuse, blameshifting, ego (like his problems are soooo much worse than mine or anyone else's) and pity seeking.
You need to probe and investigate; have their been other physical encounters? Has she regularly cheated?
As I mentioned before she is fighting for her marriage and her children's stability; don't expect her to be truthful as to why she betrayed you.
Divorce was filed, but I'm willing to give her one more chance. I'm watching.
How are you?
Sending you strength and peace.
Are you sure those printouts were not fakes? Anybody can type something fake and print it.
And I don't believe this whole story she is portraying.
No matter how much you WANT to believe it.
1. She didn't reveal that she dated OM when she was young AFTER she already got caught.
2. The whole story about she thought you were cheating and it was only a revenge affair does not jibe. She wanted to do it- no matter what the back reasons are. Anybody who has an affair wanted to do it at the time.
I returned home last night and got to see my children. My oldest (DD) would not go to bed. She spent the night with me in the guest suite. My boys are to young to understand but were happy to see me. My youngest just said "Daddy your home". I cried like a baby.
Just a couple of days away from them was excruciating. WW meet me with a hug and told me "Your dress uniform and medals are ready and I polished your shoes." I never asked her to do that, but she did. I know it is a small thing but to me it means a lot.
I put my two kids on the bus this morning and had a conversation with WW. I pointed out some of the questions you all had and how what she was telling me did not make sense and I was having a difficult time believing her.
WW took a deep breath and looked me in the eyes. She said her and OM went on less than ten dates and had barely started a sexual relationship. WW said they had "made out" and had sex one time before I returned home. WW stated OM was very aggressive and seemed to like "causing her discomfort and some pain". She did not like this at the time and ended it with OM. Less than a week later I asked her out and the rest is history. WW said that at he time she was so happy that I seemed to want her and I treated her so well. WW stated that over time she began to feel like she did not deserve being treated well. She could not pin point exactly what made her feel this way but said it happened after our second child was born. WW said the feeling kept getting worse and then she got pregnant again with our third child. While he is loved and a blessing, he was not planned. I was supposed to get some...ah hum surgery, but there was a family planning accident and you all can guess. WW had not gotten back her figure and this may have added to her depression.
Fast forward to affair time. WW was angry and depressed. When OM played his little game she did not really fight it to hard. WW admitted she was curious and felt she wanted to be "punished" so OM was the logical choice on her mind. WW said while she regrets what happened she can not blame anyone but herself. WW said she was upset with me over the extra OT and me spending most of my free time with the family and not her. I took exception to this as she is the one always asking it there was OT for me to work. (Just like everyone else money is tight) Cops don't do the job to get rich. WW said she knew that and in her mind understood it, but still resented it. WW said the affair ended the day I was hospitalized. I believe her since the text messages and emails I read back this up. WW admitted she went to OM voluntarily and feels she deserves my anger. WW asked me to forgive her and wanted to know if we could ever possibly stay married. I told her I did forgive her but I just didn't know if I could get past the cheating. WW told me she has sent OM a NC letter, which she sent without me asking and showed me a copy of the letter. No feeling or sappy words. Just "You where once a friend of my family and deaf husband. You made it possible to destroy the best thing that ever happened to me, my marriage to the best man I ever knew. I will never speak to you again do not contact me in anyway. Any further contact from you will result in me contacting the police." I have to say I ...
I have listened to quite a few women who have committed adultery and the common theme is once they get the BH back in bed with them forgiveness will quickly follow. Rather cynical exploitation of male sexual desire. Its not that easy to heal these wounds and most BS's never forget. Ever.
WW stated that over time she began to feel like she did not deserve being treated well.
Let's see... where have I heard this before....Oh yeah, my WW! I think most of us guys here that have caught our wives eventually get to this part of the story. I did because of a "bad" childhood, or " I didn't deserve to be loved by a good guy...".
Frankly, the " I'm not worthy, so I cheated" story begins to grate my cheese after awhile. Now you're hearing that "you worked too hard and long to make extra money, so I cheated" on top of that?
OK, fair warning, this is on of those hot buttons that sets me off even now. Can this marriage be saved? Probably. I'm just giving prejudicial advice to not be too quick and willing to buy into some of these reasons as being causes, as much as they're rationalizations in her own mind. That does not do you any good in the long run. Exploring the "why" will always be the 400 lb gorilla in the room.
Good luck, Brother. You're gonna make it.
[This message edited by twisted at 8:31 AM, April 2nd (Wednesday)]
Your wife (and in a sense you too) are falling into that trap.
Your wife is finding all sorts of reasons for why she “had” to have that affair.
You are finding all sorts of reasons to explain why she had the affair.
Simple fact is that she cheated. Simple fact is that even when you take all the factors into considerations then at the end of the day it was SHE and SHE ALONE that decided to take this relationship with OM one step further than she should have. Everything and anything she tells you now… it’s irrelevant. The explanations, excuses and so on… they don’t matter right now. They are simply the burglar pushing the responsibility on to the insurance company.
What you need to hear from her soon (as in the next 3 months or so) is a complete and unlimited apology. Total remorse.
Personally I don’t think WS are capable of total remorse until a bit into recovery. To show total remorse you need to grasp the total damage you caused and right now your WW isn’t really capable of that. She might realize what she risked but she does not realize the damage.
The reasons and why’s do matter. In order to prevent another affair your wife needs to realize what made her reach the conscious and deliberate conclusion that she was entitled to an affair. So on your path to reconciliation (if that is the path you decide to go) then one of the many milestones is for her to realize what’s wrong. Yes – she should share it with you but she needs to find out the why with IC help and not (necessarily) yours.
For the sake of argument then let’s assume the affair is over. Let’s assume she’s being honest when she tells you she isn’t contacting OM at the moment.
Once again I’m going to suggest you fall back on your training:
Remaining in the present situation isn’t really an option.
Way too often you hear here on SI the suggestion not to do anything right away after d-day.
Well – I totally disagree. I think you need to do something after d-day because otherwise you are doomed to remain in pain. I would rather suggest you look at the options you have in front of you and start following through on the one that seems the best for you and the one that causes the least permanent damage. For example; if you feel the affair is a total and unequivocal deal-breaker then start thinking of how to separate. Start wearing the idea; start thinking of how to separate assets, debts, custody… There is so much that needs to be done before you would actually implement a divorce or separation.
If however you are not sure… well… then start implementing the tools you need to recover. Chances are your department offers IC and MC. Look into that. DO NOT be too proud to get help. Like I have told you then the departments realize what an asset an experience officer is and they do offer this help for a reason.
List your major issues. I took paternity as an example. Take them one at a time and decide how to handle them.
SWAT – take time to think of yourself. After my d-day I added to my jogging, to my weights, to my cross country… I got into the best shape I ever was in. I exercised because I realized it handled my stress and helped me sleep.
Make sure you eat. Healthy is better but not an issue. I realized that I hadn’t had anything to eat about 36 hours after d-day and when I tried I could hardly keep anything down. So I went and got two milk-shakes and a burger. Eat by the clock if you need to: it’s noon so have some food.
It’s OK to relax. It’s OK to enjoy being round your kids. You are dealing with something that’s going to take months and years to recover from. You have to pace yourself and work really really hard to move out of this.
However a tiny few, your wife included, go out and give themselves to another man; the whole works, oral and penetrative sex. The excuses are pathetic; BH working too hard, a little too controlling, didn't think you cared, not helping around the house etc. etc. they are reasons given to disguise the real reason; they saw an opportunity for intense excitement and romantic and sexual fantasy. Power, being desired, self-importance and being treated as very special by a fawning OM, all figure into the equation.
The affair is discovered. Damn! Now we have the pitiful explanations, writing NC's and promises not to do it again; all in an effort to save their precious marriages. The lot of the BS is to put up with this crap.