Return to Forum List

Return to General

SurvivingInfidelity.com® > General

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Wife confessed to affair from before marriage

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24

CantBeMe123 posted 11/1/2018 13:06 PM

My wife of 8 years recently confessed to an affair she had 12 years ago, while we were dating and living together but not married. I had "caught" the affair way back then by way of a text message, but the message was vague enough that I bought her lie that "all they did was kiss". It never rang true with me though, and I've bought it up sporadically for these past 12 years. The most recent time was enough guilt for my wife that she finally confessed the whole order.

The "kiss" was actually sex, and it happened at least three times, over the course of at least a month. She continued to allow herself to be in situations that would lead to sex with this person, time and time again, until being walked in on while having sex with him at a house party (ugh). She says that was the last time.

My wife swears up and down that this "snapped her back to reality" and she realized how much she loved me and has no desire to fuck up our relationship. She swears she has had no other affairs and never cheated on me again. She uses the fact that she confessed as proof that she has done nothing else, "why would I confess if I was still hiding something?".

It is persuasive, but I still find her incredibly hard to trust. In addition, since the affair was so long ago and she was drunk during most of it, she has very little memory of what happened. This also hurts my trust (I want the full truth) and I feel like I will never get closure. The time that has passed also seems to have allowed her to forgive herself and emotionally detach, whereas I am in the thick of feeling my world collapse around me, and I feel like I am dealing with completely alone.

Everyone in my life says the same thing: "it was so long ago, she was young (early 20s at the time), you weren't married, you need to forgive and forget". It just doesn't feel that simple to me. I feel like my life has been stolen from me, that we married under false pretenses and have kids that are the product of a lie. I question who I am as a person, as a husband, as a dad. I don't want to spend my life with someone who could do that to me. I want to be loved the way that I love her.

All that said, I do love my life, I love my kids, and up until I found out about this I loved my wife. I think I still love my wife. I am just so mad, and so hurt, and it goes against all my principals and beliefs to forgive her.

Am I crazy for thinking of ending our marriage over this? I don't even really want to do it, I just feel like I have to. How can I stop feeling this way and make it work? My wife 100% wants to make it work and says she only confessed because she thought our marriage was in such a good place that I could handle it. She had no idea how much pain it would cause me.

I feel like I'm dying inside each day and becoming an empty shell. I feel like no one understands how I feel. And I feel so unfairly punished - I did nothing wrong, I was a good boyfriend and husband, and yet I have had this happen to me and now I need to just "deal with it" to save our marriage, because it would be crazy not to.

Thanks for any help, and thanks for reading my story.

Fbtjax posted 11/1/2018 13:25 PM

So, she wants to be rewarded because she admitted to the affair after a dozen years denying it? You need to do some digging because there's probably more to this, and she hopes that if she admits to something that happened years ago, you won't go looking into her behavior more recently by checking her phone, social media, etc. There's more. There's always more.

Butforthegrace posted 11/1/2018 13:27 PM

Everyone in my life says the same thing: "it was so long ago, she was young (early 20s at the time), you weren't married, you need to forgive and forget".

That's bullshit. No matter when your wife actually had the sex, to you it occurred when you found out about it.

Further, there is the fact that she lied about it for 12 years, and she clearly did it intentionally because she was worried you'd leave her if you'd found out a long time ago. In a very real sense, your relationship is built on a lie.

Who is "everyone", by the way? Does "everyone" include any person who knew of the fucking -- or, heaven forbid, the one who walked in on them fucking at the party -- and failed to tell you about it back in the day. If there is any such person in your social circle, that person is total scum, an enemy of your marriage, and should no longer count among your group of friends (nor your WW's friends).


It just doesn't feel that simple to me. I feel like my life has been stolen from me, that we married under false pretenses and have kids that are the product of a lie. I question who I am as a person, as a husband, as a dad. I don't want to spend my life with someone who could do that to me. I want to be loved the way that I love her.

Your feelings are 100% normal. It is probably wise to not make any decisions right away, though. The first step is to try to get your balance. Take a deep breath. Hydrate. Try to avoid alcohol and exercise as much as you are able.

Next step is to go to The Healing Library (Yellow Box top left of this page). Read about the 180. The purpose of the 180 is to create some psychic space for yourself, some "breathing room" to center yourself. Your task is to find your heart's truth. It is not easy in the beginning because you will find yourself in an emotional roller coaster, alternately hating her, loving her, loathing her, longing for her.

Also, find "Joseph's Letter" there, print it and give it to her to read. And get a copy of "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" by Linda MacDonald and have her read that (you should read it too).

All that said, I do love my life, I love my kids, and up until I found out about this I loved my wife. I think I still love my wife. I am just so mad, and so hurt, and it goes against all my principals and beliefs to forgive her.

That is normal. Take your time finding your heart's truth.

There is the lie, but there is also probably a lot of truth in your relationship. These circumstances aren't black and white.

Am I crazy for thinking of ending our marriage over this? I don't even really want to do it, I just feel like I have to. How can I stop feeling this way and make it work? My wife 100% wants to make it work and says she only confessed because she thought our marriage was in such a good place that I could handle it. She had no idea how much pain it would cause me.

You are not crazy, not in the least. There are threads here on SI where a betrayed husband (BH) divorces his wayward wife (WW) because of a drunken ONS, or even an online fantasy A where no physical contact occurred at all. There are threads where the BH successfully R's (reconciled) with his WW after the most horrific and flagrant LTA (long term affair), including delivering sloppy seconds to the BH, etc. There is no "right answer" other than your heart's truth.

A very large factor is the degree to which your WW has empathy for you, and uses that empathy to find true remorse that she uses to help you heal from the trauma. The heart knows what it knows.

Another factor will be your ability to trust whether she is telling you the full truth. It is very common for cheaters to minimize the extent of their cheating, even if confessing. Things that are legitimate that you should at least consider:

Get STD tests for both of you. I realize this was long ago, and it is possible you got STD tests for your marriage license, but some STD's can be latent for quite a long time and, further, if she is minimizing and there was other cheating, you could be at risk.

Get your kids DNA tested to be sure they are your kids.

You might also consider putting a voice-activated recorder surreptitiously in her car. There are techniques to this that you can read about here on SI. In the turmoil that will be taking place in your marriage, it is likely she will be talking about this with her friends. Nowadays, a lot of this takes place in the car, while driving. At the very least you will get a good understanding of where her heart lies if you can listen to these conversations.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 2:10 PM, November 1st (Thursday)]

xhz700 posted 11/1/2018 13:29 PM

"why would I confess if I was still hiding something?"

It happens here, every day.

Find out why she's confessing this, why now? Look into her recent communications.

1Faith posted 11/1/2018 13:29 PM

Welcome to SI.

Sorry that you have found yourself here.

Betrayal is betrayal. You have every right to feel hurt and angry. It may have happened 12 years ago but so what? She still cheated and has lied to you about it for 12 years.

Allow yourself to process this and feel every emotion that will occur.

IMO, no you don't have to

"deal with it"

You need to find a way to start to process it and heal. It takes a long time and truly there are no quick fixes.

Please head up to the Healing Library in the upper left hand corner. A lot of good resources there for you to read and consider.

Keep posting. You are not alone. We do understand.

(((good luck)))

[This message edited by 1Faith at 1:31 PM, November 1st (Thursday)]

Billtax posted 11/1/2018 13:32 PM

it is your decision to stay or not. I would suggest getting IC just for you and keep reading here.

Sorry your here

LivingWithPain posted 11/1/2018 13:33 PM

No you are not crazy for thinking about ending the marriage over this. This is a perfectly valid reason; much more valid than most "no-fault" reasons people divorce.

Okay... so you and her were technically not married. What does that matter? You were living together and in a committed relationship with the expectation that the two of you would eventually marry.

She entered into the marriage contract with you fraudulently. She looked you in the eyes and said "I do"... knowing damn well she did not. Ask her how she could say she loved you and then stand there and present a false front to you and everyone else in that wedding?

At the very least she needs to take a polygraph to prove she hasn't cheated since the wedding. On top of that, she needs to arrange independent counseling for you so you can have someone to talk to about this. She needs to do this, and she needs to pay for it if it is not covered under your medical.

Murkywaters posted 11/1/2018 13:49 PM

CantBeMe, I ended up here in similar circumstances, found out 14 years later. I had my wife take a polygraph.

Was there anything she was lying to me about regarding the affair?
Any chance the kids weren't mine?
Were their any other infidelities I didn't know about?

It sure helped me decide what I was forgiving or divorcing over.

CantBeMe123 posted 11/1/2018 14:13 PM

Thanks everyone for the responses. Here are some clarifications:
1. She confessed because I brought up the "kiss" and how it still bothered me at our anniversary dinner. Our marriage had been great, and she said that me bringing it up again made her feel intense guilt and shame and she thought our marriage was strong enough to tell me. I honestly wish she took it to her grave.
2. In regards to this quote

Who is "everyone", by the way? Does "everyone" include any person who knew of the fucking -- or, heaven forbid, the one who walked in on them fucking at the part -- and failed to tell you about it back in the day. If there is any such person in your social circle, that person is total scum, an enemy of your marriage, and should no longer count among your group of friends (nor your WW's friends).
"Everyone" means everyone I've told, which are a few best friends and my mother. Anyone who was around back then and possibly enabling her is not in our life anymore and hasn't been since the event.

Also, this

It is not easy in the beginning because you will find yourself in an emotional roller coaster, alternately hating her, loving her, loathing her, longing for her.
defines how I feel perfectly. It's been almost two weeks and every day is a huge shift in how I feel.

3. In regards to this

Find out why she's confessing this, why now? Look into her recent communications.
I mentioned above why she confessed now. I have looked into recent communications (she gave me her phone to look through and email password). I see no signs of infidelity since our marriage. However, the time before our marriage is like a giant black hole - emails don't go back that far (hers or mine, we switched to gmail in 2010 and I can't recover the old accounts) and her memory has faded.

4. This

She entered into the marriage contract with you fraudulently. She looked you in the eyes and said "I do"... knowing damn well she did not. Ask her how she could say she loved you and then stand there and present a false front to you and everyone else in that wedding?
bothers me more than anything. I feel like I am living someone else's life. I know I would have broken up with her at the time if I knew the truth, so my life feels completely off track and like a parallel universe. It's a very weird feeling. Even stranger, I really like my life and while I hate what she did and I hate that she lied, I am kind of happy to have been "conned" into it.

CantBeMe123 posted 11/1/2018 14:13 PM

@MurkyWaters - did the polygraph help?

Lefty posted 11/1/2018 14:29 PM

I also found out many years after the affairs had ended. The devastation and heart break is as real as if it happened yesterday.

There is a forum called “I can relate”, in that forum there is one called “for those that found out years later”.

There is a lot of good advice and support for what you are experiencing. This forum saved my sanity as I felt that I should not be as devastated as it was so many years ago. It helped me realize that my feelings were very normal.

CantBeMe123 posted 11/1/2018 14:37 PM

Thank you so much for showing me this.

recovering2018 posted 11/1/2018 14:38 PM

You are not crazy. I considered ending mine over a short long distance EA. It comes down to trust. You can't stay if you'll never trust her again.

Does she seem to grasp that she's wrecked your well-being and permanently stolen all of the years and effort you put into the foundation of your life?

Has she taken 100% responsibility for everything and working extra hard to help you recover?

If not, then she probably isn't life partner material.


Tren0R201 posted 11/1/2018 14:40 PM

Do you think the ploygraph won't help?

Right now a can of worms has been opened and rightly life moving forward will never be the same because you'll be questioning everything.

You want to know did the affair actually end when it did? The I snapped to my senses bit is very rare, she wasn't caught, free sex why would her or the OM stop?

Has she kissed or had sex with the OM or anyone else since you've been married.

You can only move forward with full disclosure

Butforthegrace posted 11/1/2018 14:58 PM

She confessed because I brought up the "kiss" and how it still bothered me at our anniversary dinner. Our marriage had been great, and she said that me bringing it up again made her feel intense guilt and shame and she thought our marriage was strong enough to tell me.

"She thought our marriage was strong enough to tell me". You'll see the phrase "wayward thinking" used here on SI a lot. This refers to a spectrum of the messed up things that wayward spouses often think about infidelity in their twisted world view. This to me is an example of wayward thinking. She lied to you for 12 years about this. Certainly early on she knew that you would have left her if she had been honest. There were likely some years (say years 6-12) where she likely hoped that the passage of time would simply make it go away.

Her telling you now, under the guise of "thought our marriage was strong enough" means two things: (a) she is getting it off her chest to assuage her guilt, which is about her, not you, and (b) "strong enough" means she thinks you are sufficiently intertwined -- due to kids, finances, etc. -- that you aren't likely to leave her over this. In other words, that is code for "I'm telling you this now because telling you makes me feel better and I feel relatively safe that you won't leave me." In simpler terms: "This is for my benefit, not yours."

I point that out because the sine qua non of reconciliation is the WW learning to show true empathy -- that is, to understand the trauma that you feel, and to shape her behavior and actions for the purpose of helping you heal, as opposed to making herself feel good.

In other words, all of her actions relative to the A to date -- from fucking another guy for jollies, to hiding it from you so you'd get married and have kids and build a life, to now telling you to assuage her own guilt -- have been 100% about her. The percentage of her actions with respect to the A that have been about you has been zero percent. Yet you are the one now eating the shit sandwich, feeling trapped in a marriage that you were tricked into by false circumstances, with a woman who now wants you to shrug your shoulders and say: "Oh, so you fucked another guy repeatedly behind my back, lied about it for 12 years, but it's no big deal. I'm 100% over it."

Not.

Really, she needs to read Joseph's Letter and "How To Help Your Spouse Heal" ASAP.

By the way, in addition to the "I Can Relate" forum thread for "Found Out Years Later", look in this forum, "General", and "Reconciliation for the several currently ongoing threads by "BetrayedInUT"


I honestly wish she took it to her grave.

Is this really the case? I actually don't think so. You mentioned this has bothered you for years and you've brought it up from time to time. Clearly, it is something you wanted to know.

By the way, did she really tell you this during your anniversary dinner? If so, that's rough.

and her memory has faded.

Do you remember the first time you had sex? I sure do, yet that was 40 years ago. I also have a lot of vivid memories of sex with various girlfriends through high school and college. I have vivid memories of the first time I had sex with the woman who is now my wife, though that was also like 25 years ago. I remember the last girlfriend I had sex with, before my wife.

People remember sex. People especially remember illicit, cheating, lying sex, because there is a big thrill associated with it. I don't care if she was drunk. She remembers the illicit sex she had prior to your marriage. She's just not telling you.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 3:28 PM, November 1st (Thursday)]

Booyah posted 11/1/2018 15:09 PM

So she thought your marriage was "strong enough" that it took her TWELVE years to confess?

You knew something was wrong twelve yrs ago when you found the text, and thus why you've asked her about it "sporadically".

The question isn't whether or not you "love" your wife. No it's can you trust your wife, and having been lied to for the past twelve years the answer is no freaking way.

I too agree with having your wife take a polygraph. I would look her in the eyes and say to her "how in the world could you expect me to think our marriage/relationship is strong when you've been lying to me for TWELEVE years and there's been numerous times when I have brought this up and you looked me in the eyes and lied to me. I knew there was something wrong from the start and I should have trusted my gut instinct. You know the story of the boy who cried wolf, and the lies he told destroyed the trust of the people. Well my trust in you has been DESTROYED and it's made me think what else are you lying about? Thus I have decided that the first step in repairing my trust in you is for you to take a polygraph".

If she has nothing to hide and her motivation is to start the process of restoring your trust in her she'll have no hesitation doing this. If she balks at it then that my friend is a MAJOR red flag.

CantBeMe123 posted 11/1/2018 15:31 PM

The I snapped to my senses bit is very rare, she wasn't caught, free sex why would her or the OM stop?

She was caught, they were walked in by someone while having sex. She says this is the moment that snapped her out of it and she cut it off, but still worked with the guy and ran with his group of friends.

She was also halfway-caught by me a week or so after being walked in on. The guy texted her stating "why are you being such a tease" or something to that effect, and I saw the text. However, since the text was vague enough, she was able to convince me that she just kissed him, hence "being a tease". In reality, she was being a tease because she was no longer fucking him (her story). After I found the text, she quit her job and no longer hung out with him or that group of friends.

Her telling you now, under the guise of "thought our marriage was strong enough" means two things: (a) she is getting it off her chest to assuage her guilt, which is about her, not you, and (b) "strong enough" means she thinks you are sufficiently intertwined -- due to kids, finances, etc. -- that you aren't likely to leave her over this. In other words, that is code for "I'm telling you this now because telling you makes me feel better and I feel relatively safe that you won't leave me." In simpler terms: "This is for my benefit, not yours."

THANK YOU. I feel exactly this way. The lie worked, end of story, and now you can end your own suffering and pass it to me.

By the way, did she really tell you this during your anniversary dinner? If so, that's rough.

No - during our anny dinner I brought up the "kiss". We were having a great convo about what we loved about each other and what we could improve. My "improve" was something like "I love pretty much everything about you, I just wish you never kissed that guy a decade ago. You did just kiss him, right?" She (mercifully) lied to me one last time at the restaurant. Then 5 days later she confessed to what actually happened, she said the guilt of me bringing it up during this heart-to-heart and having to lie to me again was too much.

The question isn't whether or not you "love" your wife. No it's can you trust your wife, and having been lied to for the past twelve years the answer is no freaking way.

Yeah, the trust part is what is killing me. I do love her, I know that, I loved her two weeks ago and she's the same person, it's not like she hadn't fucked this guy in her past two weeks ago, it's just news to me. The trust part is so difficult, and I so badly want to believe her but I can't even imagine the pain of finding out something else. I would certainly end the marriage, and maybe kill myself, or at least go into a deep depression.

I don't think I can forgive without feeling like I know everything about the affair and believe her about the rest of our relationship.

Robert22205https posted 11/1/2018 15:52 PM

Your feelings are normal and reasonable. For the first time you realize that she's capable of lying and strategic long term deceit.

I personally don't accept drinking as an excuse (especially where's there's an existing relationship).

Did she have sex with him before or after she moved in with you? Did she break up with him because you formally asked her to marry you?

Do whatever it takes to satisfy your doubts,anger and sense of betrayal. This effects your ability to be a good father and husband as well as the over all quality of your life.

Maybe you would get some peace of mind from a polygraph test. You'll get 3-4 questions so choose wisely. For example, how many times did you have sex with OM? Have you been in contact with him since we were married? Have there been other men since we've been married?

"Proponents will say the polygraph test is about 90 percent accurate. Critics will say it's about 70 percent accurate," said Frank Horvath of the American Polygraph Association.

Polygraph testing does not guaranty accuracy but is just one tool together with the facts plus your judgement to make a decision.

Polygraph testing continues to be used in non-judicial settings: to screen personnel, assess the veracity of suspects and witnesses, and to monitor criminal sex offenders on probation.

Polygraph tests are also used by individuals seeking to convince others of their innocence and, in a narrow range of circumstances, by private agencies and corporations.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 3:54 PM, November 1st (Thursday)]

Robert22205https posted 11/1/2018 15:53 PM

Have her read:

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful

by MacDonald

Butforthegrace posted 11/1/2018 16:09 PM

Yeah, the trust part is what is killing me. I do love her, I know that, I loved her two weeks ago and she's the same person, it's not like she hadn't fucked this guy in her past two weeks ago, it's just news to me. The trust part is so difficult, and I so badly want to believe her but I can't even imagine the pain of finding out something else. I would certainly end the marriage, and maybe kill myself, or at least go into a deep depression.

Have you seen the movie "Y Tu Mama Tambien"? In that film, we learn something about the female protagonist late in the film that alters everything we have seen in the plot to that point. It completely changes the entire paradigm of the film, and it completely changes our emotional relationship with the characters and their plot line.

To "love" a person means you love the person as you think you know him/her. A woman loves a man, then finds out he committed a violent sexual assault when he was younger. It will change the way she thinks and feels about him. Skeletons in the closet change the paradigm, the lens through which we view a person.

Same concept here. You now know something new about your wife you didn't know 3 weeks ago. Specifically, you know she is the kind of person who will fuck another man behind your back and lie about it to you for years to get what she wants. It will change the paradigm through which you view her, forever.

How that will affect your life remains to be seen. The most common advice is to give it at least 90 days before you make any serious decisions. In the meantime, do read about the 180 and implement it. This is not a gambit to make her feel a loss. It is to give you space to clear your head and find your heart.

Do NOT attend marriage counseling at this time. It's premature. You should attend individual counseling (IC), to help you find a path to heal from your trauma.

Your WW should also attend IC, to figure out what has been broken in her to enable her to live with this lie for so long. After she figures out what was broken in her, and fixes it, then you may have a basis for attending MC with her.


I don't think I can forgive without feeling like I know everything about the affair and believe her about the rest of our relationship.

Read "Joseph's Letter" in the Healing Library. And have her read it. Most betrayed spouses feel that we have no basis to decide whether and/or how we can heal unless and until we know what we are healing from.

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24

Return to Forum List

Return to General

© 2002-2019 SurvivingInfidelity.com ®. All Rights Reserved.     Privacy Policy