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Recovering from Wife's Cyber Affair

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Happenedtome2 posted 11/23/2018 13:16 PM

Hello Everyone.
I have spent the past 2 days reading the posts and replies with this forum while awaiting my profile approval. I had thought out how I was going to word my first post, what had happened, how I am now approaching things, possibly ask some questions....Having read SO MANY posts similar to my own situation, I have come to 2 stunning conclusions -
1) I (we) are clearly not alone in this
2) I need to adjust my approach to my situation.

The specifics - I have been married for over 12 years. 2 kids, house,dog. Our marriage has had some minor ups and downs (or so I thought) such as the odd financial issue, some struggles having our second child and of course the occasional bout with the whole "thinking about life" scenarios... That said, all in all our marriage was pretty darned good.

Approximately 3 months ago, I noticed that my wife was being a little clingy with her phone. Not terribly uncommon for her as she was always looking for activities for us and the kids and finding recipes and the like. This time was a little different in that she ALWAYS had it by her side .

I began to suspect something was up when she started to seem distant and quiet, and was no longer really interested in chatting after the kids went to sleep.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and the nagging feeling was now a full on obsession. I knew something was up but had no proof. We went out for the evening and she got some combination of sick/drunk and passed out when we got home. She made the mistake of leaving her phone unattended and that was all it took.
Within seconds of her falling asleep I had a string of text messages before me that would rival even the most insane porn movie. Unfortunately, I was not the intended recipient.

I think I went blind after reading about a dozen of them and rather than do the best thing and forward them to myself and sit on them, I marched upstairs and woke her up to confront her. Her only response was "I'm not happy". It was really probably all she could muster in her condition, but for the first time in almost 10 years I raised my voice in anger to her. Completely went off the rails and told her to get out.

As she was leaving I messaged her friend who had just dropped her off asking if she knew about this. Her friend was quite in the dark about it and came over to scoop my wife up since I had booted her out in the cold.

A little while later her friend came to me and told me what she was able to gather from the situation. It was completely cyber, no physical contact and couldn't get out of her how it actually started.

The next day was a bit of a blur for me. I tried to get explanations, went from being angry to sad to apologetic and back to angry. All the while, not getting any real answers from WS other than "not happy".

Over the next couple of weeks, I became the stealth snoop. I found a treasure trove of an email thread between the WS and OM showing that they had found each other via a fetish instagram account. My mind was completely blown. WS had never mentioned ANY of this kind of thing to me and even brought me up in the emails. Not even in a negative way, just kind of matter of factly. Finally, at the bottom of the email thread was the pot o'gold. The talk of actually meeting and having it "happen" and his suggestion that WS move to where he lives (halfway across the country). I immediately forwarded the email thread to myself as a just in case.

Here is where the wheels really start to come off. Having my newfound knowledge, I start to ask questions that I already had the answers to just to see where the lies would go. For the most part, she was on point with her answers, but omitted a few things that I would call out later on. She shifted blame to me and for a day or 2 I bought some of it simply because my commute/job keeps me out of the house from very early in the a.m. until early evening and sometimes when I would get home I'd just want to sit on the couch for a bit and decompress. That is the extent of blame that I am willing to take in this.
I have given her every opportunity to tell me exactly how it happened, how long it has been going on (from what I was able to find it was going on since early August)and to try to begin rebuilding my trust. Without a proper explanation that doesn't start with "you already know everything" I don't see how I can move forward with our marriage with any level of confidence.

Another angle that WS did not anticipate is just how much information having the OM's email address and cell # would allow me to get.
As it turns out, OM was far deeper into some really awful fetishes than he let on. With his email I was able to find about a half dozen sites that he was on and some were borderline pedophilia. WS did not know about these until I brought them up asking if she had planned to meet this guy because now he knows where we live, knows where our kids live and God knows what else all because she gave him her phone number and email.

I know I am leaving things out, but I want to get to where I stand at the moment. I have already made some of the mistakes that everyone will likely warn me about. After reading some of the threads, I am going to stand firm on what I want from her if this is going to move forward. As I told a friend of mine a couple of days ago, I had a very strange sense of calm come over me over the weekend. I feel that no matter what happens, whether it's over or not, I'm mentally ready for it. It is just time to focus on myself and the kids, get my financials in order in case of separation, and get my head clear.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to everyone's insights. Sorry it was so long winded.

Wool94 posted 11/23/2018 14:05 PM

I don't have very long to reply, but i wanted you to know that you've been heard.

I am so sorry you are here. More help will be along shortly. The weekends and holidays are usually slow around here.

The most important thing you can do at this time is to take care of yourself.

See an attorney to find out your rights.

Stay away from alcohol.

Eat when you can. You are in for a long ride.

I wanted to say one more thing as well. 1 person alone can't reconcile. She has to be all in. That means total transparency on all devices.

She has to take ownership of what she's done.

More people will be along shortly.

[This message edited by Wool94 at 2:05 PM, November 23rd (Friday)]

Buster123 posted 11/23/2018 14:06 PM

I'm sorry that you're here, first know that ALL CHEATERS LIE, they only admit to what you can prove but sometimes theys still deny even if solid proof is staring at them. First just because your WW told her friend it was just "cyber" doesn't really prove anything, she could just have convinced her friend to cover for her, she didn't even tell her how it started (or so the friend says and she does know), also know this A was NOT your fault, problems in the M you share 50/50, her A is 100% her fault, she DECIDED to cheat.

If OM lives in the same state, since this has been going on for months now, and especially after what you have discovered about OM, there's a good chance they met, and adults involved in As meet for sex and lots of it, they don't risk their M and entire life just to hold hands with a stranger, plus they were sexting so it's only natural that if they met, they had sex period. Here's a list of things you should do:

1) Determine if this is a dealbreaker for you, wether EA or PA, if it takes the A to be PA for it to be dealbreaker you may need some proof, you may download text recovery software such as "Dr Fone" or "Enigma" to recover her deleted texts and or demand she takes a polygraph, you may end up getting the so called "parking lot confession" right before she takes it, still go through with it, and one of the questions should be if she had more As besides this one, there's a chance this wasn't her first rodeo (we've seen it here many times).

2) Demand she gets tested for STDs, she's now a proven cheater and a liar, plus she could lie about possible past As, this will send a strong meessage about how she killed the trust you had in her, if she's proven to be a serial cheater then DNA your kids just to be safe (yes we've seen that
here too).

3)Demand she gives you a timeline of the A with all the details, and of course demand FULL on demand access FOREVER to all her electronic devices.

4)EXPOSE the A with all family and close friends and have her apologize for her HUGE betrayal, also expose with OBS if any (Other Betrayed Spouse), nothing kills an A faster than full exposure, plus typically the OM will throw your WW under the bus
to save his own skin, the OBS could be your ally and a second set of eyes to enforce NC, plus another source of info as she may have access to OM's phone/emails.

5) She needs to send an NC letter to OM, one that's approved by you (no sweet goodbyes), then you watch her hit send and block him from her phone and all social media, make it a requirement she tells you if OM tries to contact her.

6)Consult a D attorney to know your options and to see what D will look like, if you decide to give her the gift of R, demand she signs a postnup with an infidelity clause in your favor, if she cheats again she leaves the M broke and without alimony/spousal support, if she refuses to sign it that means she wants to keep her options to cheat open.

7)Don't believe anything she says without proof, watch her actions not her words and keep in mind even with a true remorseful WW it could take anywhere between 2.5 to 5 years for a successful R and with no guarantees, your WW at this moment is not even remotely remorseful, she just regrets getting caught, at the moment she's not a candidate for R by a long shot, that's why full exposure it's important, the embarrassment and guilt typically help WSs start feeling it but it will take months if she ever feels any at all.

8)Keep posting frequently, this is a critical moment in your life and you want the collective wisdom of SI guide you through this difficult period.

fareast posted 11/23/2018 14:08 PM


So sorry you find yourself here. It seems you are well ahead of the curve. Many too quickly jump into R mode to save the M. Although understandable, it often sends the wrong message. Your WW does not sound remorseful. The first thing to do is take care of you. Eat healthy, exercise, stay away from alcohol, and get plenty of sleep, with aids if necessary. It sounds like you also need to protect your children from a possible pervert. Take steps necessary to,protect your children.

Read in the healing library and implement the 180 to detach and help you heal. See an attorney to know your rights. You did not cause your WW to cheat. If she was unhappy in the M she had lots of legitimate options rather than cheating. You are in the same M and did not cheat. If the fact that the OM is interested in forms of pedophilia does not shock and disgust your WW it is time to file for D. You are in charge. You decide what boundaries you require to keep the M. Remember cheaters lie, a lot, and you will probably never get an accurate history. Demand a no contact message to the OM, and if he is M or has a gf, they should be contacted to expose the A. Do not allow your WW to rugsweep her A. She has a lot of work to do if she wants to keep her M. What a terrible thing for her to do when you have children. Good luck.

[This message edited by fareast at 2:10 PM, November 23rd (Friday)]

Happenedtome2 posted 11/23/2018 15:53 PM

Thank you all for replying so quickly. I have been reading the forum topics all day at work. Quite frankly I am amazed at how similar the situations are.

A little more info to clarify -
My wife tried to shift blame at first which of course clouded my judgment. I went into R mode but after the emails surfaced I went on the offensive.

Counseling was briefly discussed both from a IC standpoint and MC standpoint. We are both on board if MC comes to fruitoon and she has suggested IC for herself which I beleve would benefit her on levels outside of this event as well.

As for her friend, I am 100% confident that her friend did not know. She is an honest person to a fault and would never have allowed that to be covered up.

After the blame game, WW went into the worldwide apology tour. She seemed contrite and even now if she reads on my face that I'm upset she will apologize. On more than onenoccasion she said that she is waiting for the day that I just decide to leave and that if I did she deserved it for betraying me and our family. On paper it sounds great.

I have consulted off the record with a divorce lawyer who made a very prominent career for herself as a husband killer. Right out of the box she instructed me to start moving a small amount of income to an accont that WW doesn't have access to. My direct deposit will be having a small deduction sent to a different account. She also said to evaluate debt and assets and see what I am willing to lose and what is off the table. I am also making sure to continue to moniter her cell and emails although I'm pretty sure she is texting through whatsapp which doesn't show up on the cell records and can be easily deleted.

We are supposed to go away this weekend as a birthday gift. I am having second thoughts about it because I don't want to have to put on the game face if I'm not feeling up to it. I do know that if I back out of it it will cause a huge fight.

As far as taking care of myself, my apetite was gone for the first 2 weeks (lost 15 lbs!), but is back to normal now (found 'em !). My doctor has instructed me on some breathing exercises to cope with the anxiety (I can't take meds because of sleep apnea) and they have REALLY helped.

MickeyBill2016 posted 11/23/2018 16:05 PM

FWIW I would postpone the birthday weekend unless maybe it is for a kid. Then concentrate on the kids

You should also check out her spending to see if there are unusual expenses or if she is sending $$$$ to her boyfriend.

Gst STD tests for both even if YOU totally think it was not physical, it will let her know how serious you are and how much of your trust is gone.

IF she is hooked on this guy there's a good chance she will have a trac phone or burner. That way she can let you have access to her main phone but keep in contact on the sly.

If anyone leaves it should be her not you.(if possible)

[This message edited by MickeyBill2016 at 4:08 PM, November 23rd (Friday)]

Happenedtome2 posted 11/23/2018 17:10 PM

The drop phone has crossed my mind but I haven't found one yet even with a pretty decent search. My head did just spin about the possibility of sending this skell money. This may warrant a trip to the bank to have a look at our vacation account and a peek at her credit card bill. Damn that one just threw me for a second. She has to work tomorrow night so I'll have the opportunity to take my time and have another look for a possible drop phone. I'm going to check her car for that when I get home just to make sure she hasn't plopped one in there in the last week or so.

Ponus18 posted 11/23/2018 17:51 PM

I'm sorry you're here HTM2.

One other action item to add to your list to consider is use of a VAR. One of the big open questions for you at the moment is what actually has happened. Her friend's statement is worthtless - she can only regurgitate what your WW told her.

The other option of course is a poly which folks around here recommend regularly.

I would definitely not do the birthday trip, unless it's a family trip with the kids. Going on a romantic getaway the two of you is the exact opposite of what should be happening now.

Sounds like you're following the right steps at this point. Just keep in mind it's going to be a long ride from here on out.

Dispirited posted 11/23/2018 18:18 PM

"That is the extent of blame that I am willing to take in this"

Oh You were working at giving and affording your wife and family a 'good life". And then that wasn't enough for your wife.Sometimes, i gauge these people as children....devoid of responsibility and especially any vows.

You- like many, you do your best and then all of a sudden your spouse or partner falls into a usual lack of self-esteem. "Oh, but this person paid attention and showered me with compliments". BS. Go with that other person and then get back to me as to how it worked out. Baggage is common, however people try to be upright. And then there are those who selfishly harm people here, while they seem to go ff somewhere.

No- eventually those "selfish" people will be doomed in some way. You reap what you sow.

Twistedsoul posted 11/23/2018 18:46 PM

Don't believe anything she says Buster123 is right on with his advice.

RubixCubed posted 11/23/2018 22:31 PM

We are supposed to go away this weekend as a birthday gift. I am having second thoughts about it because I don't want to have to put on the game face if I'm not feeling up to it. I do know that if I back out of it it will cause a huge fight.

DO NOT go on this trip. It will be rewarding her for her bad behavior. If a big fight ensues then I guess that tells you a lot about where you stand and her level (or lack thereof) of remorse. If you do not come down hard on this she will see it as having your graces to continue her deceitful behavior. NONE of this is your fault, it is all her shitty choices.

FEEL posted 11/23/2018 23:08 PM

I am sorry for your situation.

I agree with the post above this. Do NOT go away for the trip.

If she is using WhatsApp to message this guy, if you could get a hold of her phone for a few minutes you can set up Whatsapp web on a computer.

Not sure what the legality of this is if it's not your account but could be a way to access messages. You could check with your lawyer on this on what the implications are.

Freeme posted 11/24/2018 03:36 AM

As it turns out, OM was far deeper into some really awful fetishes than he let on. With his email I was able to find about a half dozen sites that he was on and some were borderline pedophilia. WS did not know about these until I brought them up asking if she had planned to meet this guy because now he knows where we live, knows where our kids live and God knows what else all because she gave him her phone number and email.
How did she react to this information? Did she seem surprised/disgusted or was it disbelief.

At this point you should have complete access to her phone - complete transparency. She carried on an affair and put your family at risk. You should be able to look at her phone/computer at any time if she wants you to be able to begin to build back trust. She should be freely giving you access to everything if she wants to regain your trust.

Do you know if this is the only guy she was intouch with on the Cyber site? Have you looked at her phone records?

We are both on board if MC comes to fruitoon and she has suggested IC for herself which I believe would benefit her on levels outside of this event as well.
I would say yes to IC and no to MC at this point. She needs to get to a point where she understand why she would do this and put and put her family at risk. If you go to MC they will focus on you as a couple... what you can do to make her happy, and the affair will get swept under the rug.

If the trip was a birthday present for you or for her I'd skip/postpone it. Going would be a way of rug sweeping the affair, and it will be seen as a "reward" ... why would you have taken me on the trip if you were still angry about the cyber affair.

I also wouldn't put 100% trust in what the friend said. She might not have gotten the truth from your wife either.

Ok, besides saying sorry and looking glum what has your WW done to fix this? Has she read books about infidelity? Has she written up a timeline of when they first had contact until today? Has she sent a NC letter that you have seen and approved? Has she offered information that you didn't already have? Has she given you complete access to all of her affair tools? Has she come up with a plan to earn back your trust?

Sharkman posted 11/24/2018 04:52 AM

Dr Fone will recover WhatsApp messages

TimSC posted 11/24/2018 07:59 AM

Have you checked phone records to make sure that they have not had voice contact?

Get a couple of VARs (Voice activated recorders) and place it in her car and one in room in the house where she is likely to make a private call. Either attached under her seat or under the dash. Velcro works well. Just make sure it is secure and will not shake loose if she hits a bump.

Affair conversations often take place in a vehicle on the way to/from work. Or in the bathroom/bedroom /home office while the spouse is working.

Don't believe any of her words at the moment - especially if she is still trying to place blame on you for her affair.

Accept that her actions have likely changed your marriage forever. Trust is gone and may never return 100%. Can you live with that or not?

Decide what you want. Take some time to examine your feelings. Would you be better off with her or without her? Can you forgive her actions? For some, the lying and hidden communication with another man is enough to end the marriage. For others it is not.

Happenedtome2 posted 11/24/2018 08:41 AM

Good Morning everyone !
To answer a couple of questions - The trip is a birthday gift for me that is already paid for. It's an over nighter to see a band that I like. Not overly far from home so if it goes awry I can pull the plug quickly and be home at a reasonable hour.

Her phone - A few days after my own personal Hiroshima, I informed her that she was to delete her instagram account (which is where she was contacting OM) and block his contact info from cell and email. She has since removed all social media accounts except for Pinterest and also removed the apps. This of course led to NUMEROUS texts and phone calls from friends asking why we were off social media (I had decided that I no longer wanted to be involved with social media outside of my business page so I removed my accounts as well. The reason she gave to people who did not know of her A (very few of my friends know and I believe only 2 of hers know at this point)was that we had decided to focus on us and not on wasting time online.

As for her reaction when I told her about OM's other "interests" you would think I hit her in the chest with a hammer. She was clearly stunned and unaware . She looked beyond sad and very quietly said " I am so f___ing stupid " almost in a whisper and started crying and apologizing not only for not knowing, but for the CA and jeopardizing our children by having this information out there. .

What I believe and don't believe at this time :
I do believe that this is the only person that she has done this with. I do believe that she is no longer initiating any sort of contact with him. I believe she eventually blocked him from contacting her.

I DON'T believe he stopped contacting her immediately. I know for a fact that he messaged her at least once after the bomb got dropped. I can only assume it was due to the fact that she sent a NC message to him. There is no way that a man who thinks he is THISCLOSE to getting some is going to just stop. She did put a stop to it via email and insisted on no future contact. This took place about 3 days after Hiroshima if my memory serves me because I had calmed down and told her it was him and social media or me and i was ready to walk. On everyone's advice I am going to get exactly what was in that message even if it means we install a recovery app and get it back if it has already been deleted.

Today at work I am going to draft a post-nup agreement and have the divorce lawyer here look it over. I want that in place in case I even suspect anything is happening again so that I don't end up on the hook for her expenses or debt if we divorce.

My intention is to have a sit down with her over the weekend regarding IC and where we are going from here. There has been a bit of rugsweep for sure, but since coming here I am now actually aware of it and I cannot let that happen.

I would appreciate suggestions on anything that I should be asking that I may inadvertently omit. I will be making a list of things that I need to know including getting an exact timeline from her (again, if it means installing things on her phone then so be it). I am not going to approach it from a place of anger because I am beyond that stage and want to know for sure whether or not I should even bother trying to save this. I appreciate all of the replies, and I thank all of you for this site. It has been an amazing find.

TornInShock posted 11/24/2018 09:41 AM


I am going through a similar situation as yours with my WH. His was a cybersex and EA affair and he is in IC. No MC at this point, as you need to give each other the full 90 days. My husband is very remorseful, wants to make things better and is working on his own demons that allowed his moral compass to abandon ship and re-write our marital history of 20+ years. We are connecting, although painful for both of us in some levels but also wonderful in other ways. We are in HB at the moment, which helps to mask some of the pain of discovery, shock and betrayal. The first few weeks has been a journey to break out of affair fog and resolutely being honest. My own feelings have run the gamut from anger, to fear, to physical pain, to sorrow so deep I wanted to run away.

The advice from the sages here have been supportive and insightful and have made this process "easier". You have to know nothing she did is your fault - at all! I am making my WH read all of his text messages from the beginning with a cross reference to our Real Life so he can see where and how he did damage. He dreads this because he can now see the lies, the BS, the perverse nature of what he was doing. He is learning and understanding the how addictive and how weak he was during this whole period.

He didn't want to admit he was cheating in those beginning weeks because it was Cyber. He is now accepting it was cheating and out of his own selfishness, he broke our vows and justified his actions for excitement. Questions for yourself are: Do you love her? Do you want to stay and make this work? Do you believe that this is the first time and only time? Is there remorse and work she is willing to do? She has to be willing to do whatever you want her to do even if she gets nothing from you. I too, have learned so much through the posts here.

At week 3, I asked my WH if he loved me and he said always but during the affair period, he said nothing mattered but the cybersex - nothing, meaning, home, children, wife, work, his own hobbies - nothing. He was sucked in and couldn't find a way out of it even when he knew it was wrong.

We have agreed to honesty in our communications, in our feelings and our desires. I admit, I too am not very good at that and it is work for me as well. I also made him responsible for weekly date nights. It's sad at times, but it helps to rebuild. Remember, you have control over this and you decide what is best for you and your children. I have decided not to tell my family or my children so as R becomes a full-on option, I won't damage that relationship. My best friends, however, know the details and for me, that is enough for now.

Freeme posted 11/24/2018 09:43 AM

I DON'T believe he stopped contacting her immediately. .... She did put a stop to it via email and insisted on no future contact. This took place about 3 days after Hiroshima if my memory serves me because I had calmed down and told her it was him and social media or me and i was ready to walk.
It doesn't sound like she is being completely open with information right now. This doesn't mean she's still cheating she is probably just trying to save her ass. The problem is that you aren't going to start trusting her until she starts telling you exactly what is going on. She should have shown you what she wrote in the first NC letter and in the second NC letter automatically. You have know idea if it was a... "Our timing is just off, maybe some time in the future... I will always cherish our time together and thoughts of you... my BS is forcing me to write this..." type of NC or a "You have contributed to ruining my family's life if you ever contact me again the police will be notified type of letter."

Does she call it an affair or inappropriate texting? She needs to acknowledge the severity of what she did ... if she is in the mindset.. they were just words I never would have DONE anything... she is rugsweeping and she will do it again ... but maybe not give the perv as much information about how to contact her.

I'd bring a friend to the concert instead. My guess is that WW will try to seduce this all away. It might sound fun but the Affair will still be there in the morning... and she will think she has been forgiven.

I would mostly talk to her about needing the whole truth no matter how horrible she thinks it is. That finding out there is more in a month or two will make this much worse (it will be like a second D-day and you will lose all trust). My guess is that this isn't the first guy she met on the website, he might have gone furthest with him but there were probably other fishing trips. I'd find out how many guys she gave her number/email address to.

I would not tell her (threaten her) that you plan to run an app and get the details that way. In the past this this has caused more people to clam up and refuse to say anything than to be more open.

You could have her read "how to help your spouse heal from an affair". It talks about how needing the full truth is the only way to rebuild trust. It will also help you to see what she is willing to do to save the marriage.

Id have her write out a timeline of events.

nscale56 posted 11/24/2018 15:05 PM

You mentioned some of the things he was into bordered on pedophilia. He may actually be into that. It probably wouldn't show up in regular e-mails. He would probably use the "dark web". Any way, could it be that he was using your wife to gain access to your kids?

Happenedtome2 posted 11/25/2018 19:46 PM

She addressed it as cheating and breaking our family's trust.

It did not actually occur to me that this guy was trying to get to our kids, but of course now it does. I do not think that was the case but it may have turned into that if he was able to look up our address and such. In the emails and texts WS made no mention of the kids so he found that info on his own. I will touch base with more info tomorrow but she is with me at the moment.

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