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Not sure what to do...

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betrayedspouse13 posted 12/21/2018 14:01 PM

This is going to be a long post so thank you in advance for reading!

My husband and I have been together for 9.5 years, married for almost 4 years. No kids, just a dog and a house. For the past 8-9 months, his work has been more demanding and I tried to be more understanding. I've been taking care of the house and dog, cooking and cleaning, and basically making things easier for him. I'm not saying I'm the perfect wife - I sometimes have an attitude, and I like things done my way a lot. Because of our differing work schedules, we only spend 1 weekend day together, which, because of work, he's been having to go in a lot and at first I was understanding, but then we would have to cancel plans because of it and over time it started to irritate me. I eventually had the mentality of "why bother making plans, they will be ruined" and we settled into a very very very routine life. He'd come home from work and we'd have dinner and go to sleep. On weekends, he'd come home and we'd go grocery shopping, eat, and go to sleep. I've brought up many times why his work allows him to work like 60-70 hours a week and he'd get upset that I don't understand his job. This caused many arguments because he'd constantly complain about work and I suggested a job change and he was NOT happy about that.

On the Saturday before Halloween, he actually had off but I was so fed up at that point that we didn't do anything that day. He ate dinner at home, left his dishes in the sink, and just walked away. I was still so upset at the fact that his job was taking over our lives that I didn't want to talk to him and just text him saying "Please wash your dishes.". He did it, came over, and asked why I hated him. We got into this whole argument where I told him I didn't hate him, I felt like he hated me, he never wanted to spend time with me, and he said he wasn't sure if he loved me anymore. This was a HUGE shocker to me because we were always that loving couple. Yes, there was tension between us that we never cleared but to say those words were so hurtful to me.

He told me he was so angry at me that he wasn't sure if he wanted to be with me anymore. I asked him to tell me what those things were so I would work on it. He didn't like that I don't like celebrating special occasions (I'm just not into celebrations), I'm always angry (I'm angry because I never get to spend time with him), I show no affection (I do, but not in public and because of the tension between us, I was showing more affection towards the dog than him), and he said he just needed time to get over being mad at me. I give him time but also want to talk about how he's feeling.

As the weeks went on, it shifted between me wanting to talk about us and wanting to give him space, to sort of smothering him with my emotions. I told him I was unhappy that I practically became a housewife to make his life easier, and he said I didn't have to do all that stuff if I didn't want to. Someone had to do it, and if it wasn't him, then it was me. I told him I didn't like that he made time for his friends (work friends) and not me and he said they made him happy. This was happening constantly - he would hang out with them and not me, or he would be late to plans that we made because he was hanging out with them. On the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, he ended up doing a trip with friends from work (one guy, one girl)so we didn't spend Thanksgiving together. I thought it was going to be a trip where he got to clear his mind a little. He didn't end up making it back for Thanksgiving dinner with me, and he ended up with a really bad case of stomach flu. I took care of him but he still needed to go to work. After that weekend, his health was better but then he still had to work long hours.

Every now and then, I still tried to push to talk about us. Now, he feels like we would work out short term but not long term because he didn't see a future together anymore. He felt like our marriage died and we're only prolonging something that is no longer there. I told him I understood we had problems but we would work on it together. I found ways to release the anger inside me, and I was trying to improve myself. I told him why I didn't like celebrations but I was working on getting over the trauma. I told him I'll work on being more affectionate but that would take time. He acknowledged that he saw all these changes but he didn't think they would stick because why would 30 years of habits change overnight. I told him I'm scared they won't stick too but I'm willing to try. He said he will think about giving me another try, and things just continued on like that. We put up a tree, and I tried to just be a happier me. He said I'm not being me so I asked what he wanted. He was upset when I was me like how I was the past few months, and he's upset that I'm now how I was for the past 9 years. He then proceeded to tell me he thinks he was never happy in the relationship because he was trying too hard to make me happy. He said a lot of things he did, he did for me and not for him. He said he gave up friends for me and I told him I never stopped him from having friends. He said he stopped hanging out with them because he wanted to hang out with me, and I told him I didn't know that. I told him I felt like he was mad at me for something I didn't know he was doing for me, so how was that fair. I admitted to him that I was upset that he was at work all the time and not communicating to me but since I never told him specifically that was what I was upset about, I couldn't be mad about that anymore and I dropped it. He was unwilling to drop it and still felt like I caused him 9 years of unhappiness. He started coming home at like 10pm and then leaving the house until like 4am to "think" because I was stressing him out. He said I was always home and he felt uncomfortable coming home because I was always there and he had no space to himself. I told him I'm home because I have to walk the dog, so what was I going to do, come home from work, walk the dog, and then leave? To go where? He then said that's why he never wants to come home.

The first week of December, I had a company holiday party so I asked him to walk the dog when he got home, if he got home earlier. He said he was going to take care of it so I trusted that he would. While I'm at the party, he messages me saying he forgot about the dog, and will go home now, and he is wrapping presents for his coworkers store so she will be at the house. I get home later, and they are wrapping presents in the house but there was something really off about their interactions. I just do my own thing since they didn't want my help with the present wrapping and as I'm watching them go about their task, they're practically flirting in front of me. I'm now suspicious that he's acting this way because of her, but I never suspected him of cheating. He was cheated on twice in two separate relationships so he knew how painful it was to be cheated on, so it never crossed my mind that this would happen. The next morning, I wake up and his phone is next to me, alarm not set for work, so I set it for him. And I realized there are no messages between him and her even though I know they are messaging each other all the time.. Red flag goes up so when I got to work, I logged onto his account. I know, snooping is NOT the right thing to do, but I just really wanted to know if anything was going on between them. Turns out, he was deleting all the messages between them. They were messaging each other as I was logged in so I'm seeing the conversations now.. "Good morning babe!!! ," "I love you baby," "You make me the happiest person in the world!!" are just some examples of what I read. My world came crashing down. The last person in the world that I expected to do this was my husband.. I went through the day watching the interactions and just being numb.. I didn't know what to do.. He came home really sick that night, so sick that he ended up taking the coworkers car because he couldn't drive his own, and I took care of him and told him in the morning that I was going to come home earlier to care for him. He told me no, he didn't want me to take advantage of him while he was sick. He felt like I was coercing him to reconcile when all I was doing was telling him how I wanted to work on us. While at work, I'm watching the messages and he had her come over to OUR HOUSE while he was sick. He was too sick to go attend a work meeting, but he wasn't too sick to have her over? We have a smart home so there's a camera doorbell and smart locks. She sends him a message to "remember to turn off the wifi". A little later, wifi turns off for an hour, and I'm guessing she went into the house during that time. I leave work early that day to go home and care for him like how I said, but now I know what to expect when I get home. I get home and the coworkers car was not parked where it was when I left in the morning. I walk in and she's sitting there at the dinner table. I say hi, asked her how her day at work was, and she said oh the usual. She told me it was really easy getting a carshare to our place, and she wasn't in our house for too long. She said she brought him some food and I just said okay. I go to the back of the house and he's changing in the guest room without the door closed. Fine, I'll assume you told her to stay in the front. There was a blanket and body pillow on the bed in the guest room and I'm like so pissed now but trying to contain that rage. Were they sleeping together!? I asked him how he was feeling (fine) and if he wanted to go get dinner. He and she were going to pick up his car, and then go hang out. So I said I can drive you to get the car and we can have dinner, and he said what are you doing? I was now furious and said I wanted to talk and he said okay well that can wait. I lost my sh*t but stayed calm because I was trying to maintain calmness, and asked if there was something going on between him and her. He said she has nothing to do with this, and I told him I don't understand how my husband changed so drastically overnight. He said the problem was me, not him. I said if he was so unhappy with me then why has be never mentioned divorce. He said it's because I said I wouldn't sign the papers. He never mentioned the D word, and yes, I did say I still want to try, but that was because I thought there was something wrong with the relationship. Now this woman in the kitchen is trying to defend herself and I told her not to get involved and she kept talking, saying how her parents got divorced because of cheating, so she wouldn't do that, and I told her to stay out of it. My husband is now defending her, and calling me crazy and leaves the house with her. In my mind, no doubt, they're trying to align their stories.

The next day, they're sexting. It was disgusting to read those messages and I was in shock that this was my husband. She has a boyfriend, so she and my husband couldn't hang out that day because she was spending time with her boyfriend. They mention they needed to find a way to see each other that day. My guess is they see each other everyday! I come home that night and he said we have to talk so I said sure. I told him the sequence of yesterday's events (not the I saw your messages) and he said he couldn't believe I suspected him of cheating, and how he knew how it felt to be cheated on so why would he do that to me. In my head, I was thinking I SAW YOUR MESSAGES. YOU ARE DEFINITELY CHEATING. I then asked how would you feel if you were in my shoes. He said well I would react the same way probably but I would never think you'd cheat. I told him about how they were flirting and he said they were not, and that I was imagining things. I told him I didn't like that he was so close with her and he said they're just friends, and he felt like I was too close with some of my guy friends. He named two and I said yeah, and I got the sense that you felt uncomfortable with me hanging out with them so I stopped. I didn't want my husband to feel uncomfortable with me hanging out with friends so I removed myself from that situation. He said I never asked you to and I said that's true, but if my husband feels like someone is a threat to our relationship, then I need to make sure my husband doesn't feel that way. He said I'm not allowing him to have friends again and I told him no, its fine to have friends, just have boundaries. He got upset, and twisted my words to say "You just don't want me to be friends with her." He then got a message on his phone and said he was going to go bake with her, and since I made it so awkward for her the day before, they are going to bake at her place and her boyfriend would be there. I told him sure, go ahead. I knew that was a lie to just go see her but what else was I going to do at that point. I was tired and any attempt to make him prove it was just going to be another fight about me not trusting him. He came home at 4am the next morning and then went straight to work. I went through our phone bills and discovered they've been talking on the phone a LOT since June. Is that when this whole ordeal started and I was just so blind that I didn't notice it? I mean like ~700 call minutes a month. Some were 1 - 2 minute calls, some were 90 minute calls. That's a LOT to talk about if its work related. And it's all odd times of the day.. 5AM, 7PM, 11PM?

I went for a hike the next day, came back, and wrote him a long email about the cycle of our relationship. The ups and downs, hardships and accomplishments, and I asked him if he was going to regret anything he was doing with his life. I told him he should be honest with himself and not to lie to himself. He got home that night and said "I didn't think things through." I didn't press to see what that meant, and I was just so upset at that point that I didn't really bother to ask. Two weeks go by and we're just ships passing in the night. No talks about our relationship, and no meaningful conversations about anything in general. We're cordial and it's as if we're like roommates. One evening I was just sitting at the dinner table thinking about everything that was happening and I ended up just crying to myself. He came home unexpectedly and I guess saw my puffed up eyes so his mood changed. He didn't sleep in our bed the next two nights and instead slept on the couch. He said he wanted to sleep next to the Christmas tree to make him happy, and he was upset because of work.

This week, he got a call from a friend that her mother passed away so he wanted to go to the funeral. This friend took him in when he was at the lowest point in his life so it made total sense for him to go. I told him I'll get ready and we can both drive there (10 hour drive) and he said no, I'll drive myself. So I told him fine, I'll fly out in the morning and he said no, he didn't want me there because he still felt iffy about us. I then told him the funeral is not about him, its about his friends mom and being there for her family. He said "I get it, but still". I didn't push at that point. I really wanted to be there for the family but I wasn't going to go if he didn't want me there. Later on the day, I discover that SHE bought a ticket out to the city where the funeral was at and he was going to introduce her as his partner. I have no clue what he said about our relationship, but it seems like she's met the friend's family. I think bringing a partner to a funeral was just wrong. Would the grieving family really be in the mood to go and deal with someone else's family drama? He got home and I asked him how he was coping with it and he said it's tough but he'll be fine. I told him I wished I was there for him and the family, and he said it was family only, to which I said well I'm your wife, so that makes me family since I've met them and interacted with them on multiple occasions. No comment from him. He later thanked me and I asked him what for, to which he responded "for letting me do this." At this point, I was just so fed up that I said it would be f**ked up if I didn't let you, do you think I'm that f**ked up of a person? He said no, and seemed like he wanted to add more to it, or ask why I was so angry, but I just said "They mean a lot to me because they were there for you when you were at your lowest. They took care of you, and I'm grateful and appreciative of that. Without them, I don't know where you would be today, which is why I wanted to be there for them. They were there for you and without them, we wouldn't be together." He had nothing to say so I just left it at that.

I'm now torn between what to do about myself, my marriage, this affair, and him. I love him, and even after all this, a part of me still loves him. I don't know if I'm holding onto how he used to be, or if I love him as a person even if he's changed. We worked so hard for all our accomplishments and I feel like he's just tossing everything out the window for this woman. He's picked up on old habits (smoking, taking caffeine nonstop) because those are things SHE does. She's 10 years younger, so obviously he'll need something to keep himself going if he was going to work 10 hours a day (let's assume he IS working that much) and then spending time with her the rest of the time. On average, he's out of the house by 6am and doesn't come home until 10PM. He says he takes long breaks at work (to cover up why his paychecks aren't drastically huge, probably?) and he spends time by himself to 'think'. Their conversations tell me otherwise. I don't believe my husband changed into someone who he would hate without her influence. The things he does now just things he would have been bothered by, or disagreed with before he started spending so much time with her. And the cheating - why is he lying about it? Why is he going to such great lengths to hide it? Why get so upset at me for accusing him of it when he knows how it feels? I want what's best for him, but maybe that I think is best is not actually what he thinks is best? His career is tanking; he's helping her out but his own performance is just downhill. He went from high performing to barely meeting standards. He went from respected to barely even acknowledged. He tells me its because of his boss, but I'm starting to think otherwise. And the lies - to me, her boyfriend, coworkers? Clearly they're lying because they know it's wrong.. but what can anyone do to break them out of this?

I've been reading articles online about limerence and affair fog and I think my husband fits the criteria to the tee. The thing is, I don't know what to do anymore. I still want to save this marriage even though it might not be salvageable. I still want to save him as a person; I still want him to be healthy, successful, and not live a life of regrets. I know there's no way to talk logic to him now, so I'm stuck with no way out. I'm working on improving myself and just finding myself again, but that's really hard when I keep worrying about him and his wellbeing. I don't know definitively how long this has been going on for, but my husband is walking down a path that will do great damage to himself. I care about him, and I know he probably thinks I'm trying to mother him. Is that wrong for a wife? The other woman says in words that she cares, but I don't see the actions. I don't see how encouraging smoking, staying out, offering caffeine to him, or having him stay out late when he's tired is a sign of caring. I'm nursing him back to health, making him food, making sure he takes his medicine, and I think he just sees that as "she's here to help and nothing more." We still sleep in the same bed but that's about as couple-y as it gets. He doesn't want any physical interactions with me and I think it's because he sees himself dedicated to HER now, so it's conflicting to him when he's with me. From the conversations I've seen, she still spends time with her boyfriend, and from what my husband told me, she and her boyfriend were very sexually active. So she's getting the best of both worlds (her boyfriend and my husband), and my husband is living half a life of misery because he's dedicating himself to her? All the things he says that he disliked about our relationship are things he's doing with her. Sharing his location with her 24/7, letting her know when he's leaving the house, where he's going, checking in with her to see how she is, sending lovey dovey messages. My husband told me that he was tired of 'reporting' to me but he goes and does that with her. I don't see it reciprocated all the time, but I guess he doesn't see it. I know meeting the friend's family is a huge step, but since it was so ill-timed, could this have been an action done under affair fog? For him to think this was okay and for her to agree to go is just illogical.

I keep hoping he's stuck in affair fog and will come out of it but I don't know if he will, or if I want to stick around to see if it will happen. I'm not seeking advice on which path to choose; I know that's something I have to decide on my own and fully believe that's what I want. I know I keep worrying about him that I don't really worry about myself and I'm working on that. It's hard for me to find myself again because the last time I was myself was almost a decade ago, when I was still in school and unsure of where life will take me. Now, I have a more clear path of what my future can hold, but I don't know if it will include him. I can see my husband showing affections towards me and then pulling back. That's why I feel like he's forcing himself to just be dedicated to her. He's changing himself to be with her which it what he said he did for me, so he's re-living history but with someone else.

Has anyone else had similar experiences, where their spouse goes to extremes and then realizes that life is going in the wrong direction? How long did it take for them to realize where their lives were going? How did your spouse get out of that stage? Was the marriage worth saving at that point? I'm contemplating doing the 180 but it's so hard when you're still living together and sharing the same bed. He won't clean the house but I can't stand it being dirty. What am I going to do, separate our laundry? I can't bring myself to not care for the dog; she brings me joy and seems to be the only one who cares about me in the house...

Dismayed2012 posted 12/21/2018 14:39 PM

I read your entire post betrayed. What I come away with from it is that you're in denial, you're co-dependent, and you need to find a good counselor to talk things over with. You have great potential to do amazing things but you're allowing another person to determine your mental living conditions. You need to find yourself and decide what you want out of your life. Once you figure that out, you need to go for it with or without your spouse.

You sound like a lovely person that any man would be honored to have as a partner. You deserve much better treatment than you're getting but the only way to get that treatment from your current partner is to require it. Choose not to be a doormat. Choose to be you and never accept responsibility for other people's feelings. You should have two immediate goals: 1. Get yourself out of infidelity. 2. Take your life back.

WorstClubEver posted 12/21/2018 14:49 PM

Ok, this is a lot to take in.

You definitely need to understand that "Affair Fog" does not justify anything your WH has done or said.

He has made conscious choices to betray you, break your M vows, lie to you, etc. I know the temptation is strong, but to the best of your ability you should stop trying to "understand" him or his actions beyond: "he has betrayed me, lied to me, and broken our marriage contract." Understand that he is not your friend right now. He is actively and intentionally hurting, betraying, and deceiving you. At this time, he is an abuser. You need to come to terms with this fact.

At this time, it is not healthy for you to try to make sense of your WH's thoughts, feelings, or motivations. It does not make sense. It is bad character, selfishness, unkindness, and lack of caring. His head is very, very far up his own ass right now, and it may never come out for all you know.

Many, many people here have WS's who never came out of "the fog." Either left, or stayed but continued gaslighting and blameshifting until the BS was forced to D them. Waiting around while trying to figure him out and hoping for the fog to magically lift is a terrible, terrible plan that will keep you in infidelity indefinitely.

Right now, you need to focus on YOU and what YOU can do to protect and stand up for YOURSELF.

In the upper left-hand corner, there is a Healing Library. Hopefully you have already spent some time there. If not, please start reading.

Read especially about Detachment and The 180. Those are the main things you should be focusing on right now.

Take care of your health: drink water, avoid alchohol etc. GET TESTED for STD's!!!! You have no idea what your WH has brought back with him to the M bed.

Can you explain why you have chosen not to confront your WH about the affair? You have proof. What is holding you back?

Buster123 posted 12/21/2018 15:14 PM

Sorry that you're here, basically your M is now a sham, your WH is in an ACTIVE A with no end in sight. There's a saying here on SI that "You have to be willing to lose your M in order to save it".

As thrive in secrecy, nothing kills and A faster than FULL EXPOSURE with all family and close friends and with OBS/BF (Other Betrayed Spouse/Boyfriend), however it looks like your WH has checked out of the M, you need SHOCK and AWE.

Just file for D without warning and have him served at work, D takes a long time and if he comes around, ends his A, shows true remorse (not just regret), commits to NC FOREVER with OW, gets tested for STDs (you should too), offers full on demand access to his phone and all electronic devices and passwords, signs a post-nup in case you still want to D because of this or he cheats again in the future, commits to IC to find out his "whys" and then MC, then and only then should you just CONSIDER giving him the gift of R, or NOT!! either way you get out of infidelity.

Honestly with no kids in the picture, I would suggest you run for the hills, you haven't been married that long.

WorstClubEver posted 12/21/2018 15:26 PM

Buster's suggestion is probably the last best chance to save your M.

It is not a strategy I usually advocate, but I agree: your BH is very far gone at this point. If there is anything that will snap him out of it, it would be this.

No guarantees, but the smartest thing you can do. And has the side benefit of preparing you/ protecting you for the worst.

Please consider it.

betrayedspouse13 posted 12/21/2018 17:28 PM

Hi all,

Thanks for the replies so far. I realized last night that I've been in denial this entire time, and the only feeling that I've had in me since this realization is anger. I started therapy last week and I'm trying to find myself again. All along I was hoping there was some way I could get my husband back, and when I realized it was a full blown affair, I just didn't want to accept it. It's been roughly two weeks since I've known it was an affair and not marital problems like he said, and it's been the hardest two weeks of my life so far. I can't tell how deep this affair is right now and I'm not sure I want to know anymore..

WorstClubEver - the reason why I have not confronted him with the proof of infidelity is because I violated his privacy by going through his account. Initially I was (again, in denial and hoping for the best) hoping I could 'spy' and learn more about their relationship and see if it was just a fling. As the weeks went by, I started to see that my husband is doing everything that we used to do before our marriage 'had problems' and I probably hit a breaking point. I guess I didn't want to confront him by saying "hey I was spying on you and you've been cheating on me." I know there are those who say there shouldn't be secrets within a marriage, but I felt like it would break the trust in the marriage. I know he already did, but I felt like if I went forth with my admission of spying then it would just be revenge? He's all over the place these days and I feel like if I did that, he would turn the entire conversation into "I can't believe you went through my account," instead of actually addressing the infidelity issue. Plus, I was still emotionally attached to him so I didn't want him to have the opportunity to use my weakness against me. I thought about seeking out a private investigator to see if there can be photos taken and just be like "someone showed these to me" but that's just furthering the lies and I didn't want to do that. I guess I just didn't want exposure to be a HUGE deal because I don't think I'm able to handle it right now. Other than reading their conversations, I don't have actual proof. He can lie about the cell phone minutes and say it's work related, or he needed to talk to a friend because I'm making him stressed. I've told him before I didn't like that they were so close but he dismissed my feelings and said there is nothing going on. Trust was one of the foundations of our relationship and I just didn't want to do further damage than what I had already done. It's deceiving now that I look at it because we're both lying to each other, thinking the other person doesn't know. In his case, he actually doesn't know I'm looking through his account.. Also, aside from exposure to him, I don't really know who else to share the information with. I have few friends (some I don't talk anymore because of him) and I don't really know his friends since they're mostly from his work. I can expose him to his family, but he's not close with them so I don't even know if it matters. Plus, blood is thicker than water so I feel like letting his family know wouldn't matter too much.. A friend of his officiated our marriage and I thought about letting him know, but even then, it's his friend, not mine.

I know my issue is that I'm still emotionally attached to him and our relationship. I didn't want to file for divorce because obviously I still have feelings for him. We've been together for a third of my life, so he's been an anchor in my life and present for most of what I can remember. He was there for me when my mother passed away, and we made a move across the country together, so I guess I'm holding onto accomplishments we shared, and hoping that these milestones still mean something to him. Even if I did file, I don't want papers to be served at his workplace because I still care about his reputation and career. Plus, I really don't want him to turn the tables on me and say I was in the wrong and therefore I filed. I didn't want to give him the opportunity to say "she left me." I know when he's on his emotional high, it is very likely he will blame me for everything. And since I'm not in the right mindset, I didn't want to turn into the doormat. Mentally, I know there is never a right time for divorce, but I know I'm definitely not in the right headspace right now to even think about it. I'm going to visit family at the end of the month and I'm hoping I will be stronger, both mentally and emotionally, to deal with this when I return. I know it sounds like I'm just dragging it on, which I probably am, but since I've been so set on trying to fix things, I want to make sure I'm not making a rash decision by filing for divorce. Another reason was it took me some time to get over the childhood trauma of the Christmas holiday, so I was scared this would just recreate another set of traumatic experiences which furthers my avoidance of holidays...

I will definitely work on taking care of myself though. I can promise I will try my best. I've been trying my best to have three meals a day, drinking plenty of water, and exercise isn't too much of an issue since I have a dog who requires at least 2 hours of exercise a day. The hardest thing for me is keeping a clear mind and not burying myself into articles on how to save a marriage. Every article that had positive comments gave me hope, but the ones with negative comments made me sad. I know I'm totally doing this to myself so I have to stop this habit/addiction of going down the internet rabbit hole. I keep putting myself onto this emotional rollercoaster and I know if this continues it will drive me insane. I am definitely considering divorce right now, but I want to mull on it for a few days to make sure this is really what I want. I appreciate the advice and those who I've spoken to also agree that is what I should be doing; I just need to accept that as a decision that I am making for myself.

I know divorce is a long process; I think the waiting period is 6 months for where I live. We have a house together so that will probably add some more time onto the process since we have to figure out what to do with it.. I think starting with the 180 seems like the next approach. Would anyone disagree? Does anyone have suggestions on how a 180 would work if we are still living together? I'm struggling to understand how to implement that since I feel like I've already been doing that... But I guess not fully since I did take care of him when he was sick, and I suck at a poker face so he can read me like an open book most of the time.

Thank you so much for responding to me! I know it was a long read and I really appreciate all of you for taking the time out of your day to help me get through this bump in my life!

GrayShades posted 12/21/2018 18:34 PM

Betrayed, you don't need to make a decision right now. You can tread water while you figure out your next steps. Just make sure you're taking care of yourself -- hydrating, eating as much as you're able, STD test pronto. And you should NOT feel any scruples for 'spying' on your WH. You are entitled to the knowledge that he is cheating on you. You'll be advised here to not reveal your sources, but you do not need to accumulate evidence as if this is a prosecution. You know he's cheating, and you know he's lying.

If you do decide to file for divorce, that does not mean that the decision is irreversible. Everyone here will tell you to take whatever steps you can to get yourself out of infidelity, whether that leads to divorce or to reconciliation. Right now, you're in an open marriage without your consent. You deserve so much better than that.

I was absolutely adamant that I would not live in limbo. I couldn't have survived that, and I had just enough self-respect (barely) to feel that anger that you're feeling. I put a stop to the shenangigans immediately, and I left for a night to clear my head and get some rest. I was lucky -- my WH snapped back to reality very quickly, and saw that his side piece was just not worth it. Know that whatever happens, you're worthy of respect. Right now, you're being gaslighted by her and by him, and you're questioning your every step. I hope for your own sake that your anger strengthens, for you are totally right to be outraged. Many hugs -- it's a tough road but you've got a good group here to support you as you travel it.

Cooley2here posted 12/21/2018 19:08 PM

Iím going to try to be gentle but I think realistically you have to accept that he has moved on. Iím not sure there is a marriage to save. He is publicly introducing her as his girlfriend. If he was still keeping this secret it would be one thing but heís showing you very clearly that he has moved on emotionally. I think the best thing you can do is consult a lawyer, get yourself some really good therapy and accept the fact that your marriage is over. At some point he might regret this but you canít wait around for that. Sadly, marriages do break up and people move on with their lives. Iím sending you virtual hugs. I hope you can have some joy in your life and I am so sorry this is happening at this time of year. Please take care of yourself and let us know how things are going.

BluesPower posted 12/21/2018 20:11 PM


[This message edited by SI Staff at 3:02 PM, February 8th (Friday)]

Hurtmyheart posted 12/21/2018 20:36 PM

Betrayedspouse, sorry that you are here.

Your WH is completely disrespecting you and your marriage and he see's you as a weak individual without an opinion and that he can walk all over you and you are going to take it.

Bottom line, quit doing his laundry (yes, separate it), quit making his dinner, quit taking care of him when he is sick, quit being his wife. Use this time and energy to focus on yourself and your needs.

Go see an attorney to find out what your rights are but don't tell him. Allow him to see the changes in you without saying anything. Don't put up with this anymore. What you are going through and allowing is nothing short of horrible!

And yes, you have a right to know what your husband is doing, even if that includes snooping. You are married and when he said I do, he also was saying that he would honor, respect and stay faithful to you throughout your marriage. Your WH failed his vows and his role as a husband and still continues to do so today.

Charity411 posted 12/22/2018 10:33 AM

Betrayed spouse, I'm sorry you are going through this. It's one of the most painful things you can to through.

You asked how the 180 works. The 180 isn't something you do expecting a result from him. It's something you do for you. It's a way of finding your way back to you, and you're own happiness, without worrying about someone else's happiness.

It's clear from your post that you invest most if not all of your time worrying about his comfort, his health, his peace of mind. You've been selfless in that. You've been repaid with lies and deceit. So clearly he sees no value in your selfless devotion. So stop. You know he's having an affair, and still you're worried about him when he's sick, or if you're being dishonest by reading his messages to his girlfriend. Ask yourself, if being a supportive, loving wife didn't stop him from having an affair, what makes you think that doing the same will make him stop? If anything, you're encouraging the affair.

It doesn't matter if you're still in the same house. You can start living for your happiness right where you are. He is. He doesn't care what you think when he's gone, hanging out with his friends and girlfriend. Stop thinking there is anything dishonorable about not caring what he thinks.

Yes, sort your laundry. If you must, tape some takeout menus to the refrigerator door if it makes you feel better. Take care of the dog because you love the dog, and the dog loves you back. Clearly the dog is smarter than your husband. Clean if it bugs you, but don't do it as means of impressing him. If he's sick, who cares. The dynamic in your household is going to change when you change it. Until you do, you are essentially his mom. Nice to have around for all the comforts but uninteresting as a woman.

When you start doing that a couple of things will happen. You'll stop resenting cooking, cleaning and doing laundry because it will no longer be about someone who doesn't appreciate it. And once you get rid of that resentment there will be room to think about what actually makes you happy. It's a lot easier to make decisions at that point.

ShutterHappy posted 12/22/2018 11:19 AM


Please donít worry about "spying ". You are married. Your stuff is his stuff and vice-versa. Basically you are snooping on your phone.

Please make sure you capture the conversation you see somewhere safe, it could be useful later.

Find out who the BF is and send him a copy of the the information you captured. He has a right to know.

I agree with the other good SI posters here. Your husband seems to be gone at this point. The stuff he tells you about not loving you anymore or that the failure of the marriage is because of you is just blameshifting. Itís nonsense.

Cheaters do that all the time to justify what they are doing.

I suggest that you talk to a lawyer. I also suggest that you detach. The advice about stopping to be his wife is a good one.

Talk to a close friend or family member.

Keep posting. I wish you strength, you are not alone.

[This message edited by ShutterHappy at 11:21 AM, December 22nd (Saturday)]

Decorum posted 12/22/2018 12:58 PM

It is too much. Nothing will be gained by letting him abuse you in this way.

You are actually enabling the affair, and his abuse.

I am not criticizing you, I am angry on your behalf.

The actions suggest above are what you need to consider, come up with a plan, follow your plan.

Btw, society recognizes that there are times when one's expectations of privacy give way to evidence gathering.

Likewise in a relationship there are times when probable cause not only absolves investigating but calls for it.

He told you himself he would he would feel the same, but he will no more condone your checking his activities than a criminal would condone an FBI investigation.

But then who cares what a criminal thinks when he is convicted by the evidence.

betrayedspouse13 posted 12/22/2018 16:43 PM

Thanks everyone for the feedback and support! It really sucks being in this position and I can see now I've been allowing this to go on because I was so focused on trying to save my marriage that I didn't take time to look at the overall picture and how this is pretty much torturing me...

I reached out to a local private investigator and we're going to start surveillance this week. The plan right now is to send any photos of infidelity to me and the other woman's boyfriend. I know my husband and the other woman are both checked out of their respective relationships so I'm not sure exposure will do much.. I'm contemplating on whether I should send it to their respective managers. Here are my reasons for and against this. I'm not sure if this is even necessary, but this whole affair did stem from the work environment..

1) From what I'm reading on their conversations, they spend a lot of time talking to each other during work hours. This would equate to time theft since the company is paying them to work, not to chat with each other. However, that would be hard for the employer to prove.. They can always say they're discussing work related matters.
2) My husband's work performance has been going downhill. He's constantly late to work and I don't know how he's been explaining it, but his manager has questioned how he went from high performing to barely meeting expectations. If I send the photos to the manager, then it would help her understand his mind is not at work and instead focused elsewhere. The company pays them to run businesses, not have affairs..
3) The employees at his store have mentioned to his manager that the other woman is a distraction to him and his store, and therefore has requested the other woman no longer provide assistance to his store. At least, this is what he has told me. Sending the photos to the manager will further prove this point.

1) I'm not out to ruin either of their careers. While the company does not have a policy against their employees dating, I don't know if they can be terminated for time theft, if possible to even prove that. I don't think termination for immoral behavior is possible, but I'm not really familiar with labor law. I'm not looking to get them fired, and if that is a side effect that comes out of the photo sharing, I think I might feel a little guilty.. (I know - selfless me thinking..)
2) I know I shouldn't even be thinking about this, but this may harm my husband's career and his chances of moving up in the company. I know, I know, me first, but it really sucks to see all the hard work that we both put in to get him this far only to be tossed down the drain. However, if he does get terminated and still remains with this woman, then she can be there to support and help rebuild his life.
3) This is a personal matter that developed because of work, but it's not really fair to involve their managers. I do feel like the managers should know because it's affecting business, but I don't know if it's fair to involve them...

As for what I'm doing for me, I took the dog out for a hike today and we're both exhausted now. It was a tiring hike but I got to clear my mind a lot. Thank you everyone for your support and walking this journey with me! I feel like a burden has been lifted and I'm slowly learning to let things go. My husband slept on the couch last night (trouble in paradise for him) and I just left his stuff there. I'm not cleaning up his mess anymore.

ShutterHappy posted 12/22/2018 18:03 PM

Are you leaning towards D? If so, him losing his job might not be the best outcome for you.

Have you talked to an attorney yet?

Why are you hiring a PI? This is not criticism, but you need a clear game plan and your objective is to get out of infidelity. You may already have enough proof and it sounds like he ďchecked outĒ of your marriage.

A lot of BS worry at that point that they will be stuck alone and the WS will be happy with the OM/OW. That doesnít happen. When they go into a normal relationship, the rainbows and unicorns dissipate. The chance of two cheaters to make a happy couple is abyssmally low.

FinanceGuy123 posted 12/22/2018 20:17 PM

Betrayed, sorry that you are here. First, only you know your husband best but based on all the background you provided he is definitely in an active affair. I donít post often but what caught my eye about your story is that it is so similar to mine in a lot of ways (I was together with my soon to be ex for 15 years, married for 4 and we have 2 dogs and a house, no kids). Take it from my own personal experience but you will be better off without him. You may not realize it now but I can guarantee you will look back on this a couple months from now and feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. The biggest take away from my experience (the thread is Emotional affair and possibly physical), was that I found myself again. I was like you in many ways, went into fight mode and tried everything from changing to be the person my wife said she wanted me to be but it was all bs. She said she wanted space (this was so there was no obstacle in the way of her continuing her affair with the OM).

I think you need to readup a little bit on the 180 and implement it ASAP. The goal of the 180 is to give you space to work on yourself, gather your emotions and gain clarity to see what your relationship really is. It also will help you detach a bit so that when you form your plan and make decisions, you can do so with a clear conscious, rather than in anger or being upset. Most importantly, only make decisions when your ready and the 180 will help with that. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions about my situation and I will do my best to help you (itís very similar to mine in many ways). Also your husband literally acted and did everything my wife did (not cleaning the house, stopped caring about being an adult pretty much). I link this to them being in the affair fog and while they may seem happy, once the fantasyland and fog wears off it will come down crashing and burning (karma train) and you want to be as far away from this as possible.

[This message edited by FinanceGuy123 at 8:21 PM, December 22nd (Saturday)]

betrayedspouse13 posted 12/23/2018 12:53 PM

Thank you all for the support and advice!

I guess I'm not entirely sure of my plan right now. I know I want the affair to be brought to light because right now he's denied everything. Pictures don't lie, so I feel like that's the only way to get this out in the open. He still thinks I'm believing his stories about staying at work late, giving him the space he needs to think things through about us, etc. I know as of right now, those pictures are going to me and the other woman's boyfriend. I thought about what ShutterHappy said about him losing his job might not be the best outcome for me, and I guess that is true. (I guess this is what happens when you don't think through the entire plan..) Exposing to both his family and her family seems like the right thing to do as well, but I don't know if I even care for that right now.

I just know I want to have a conversation with him with the pictures and to let him know I refuse to be lied to anymore. We were both in the same marriage, and we both had the same problems, but he decided to cheat and then lie about it, and then shifted the blame onto me. I'd like him to think long and hard about what he wants to do with his life, and whether it be with me, her, or neither, but he needs to make a decision. I don't want to live a lie anymore, and I don't want to sit around waiting for him to figure out what his happy path is. It seems odd to give a timeline, but I really don't want to wait around for the rest of my life. As long as our names are both on the mortgage, he is still responsible for his share, but he can choose to stay or leave if he wants. I can't kick him out of house that he's legally paying for (I guess I can but I can't bring myself to do that), but I will let him know I will not be doing his laundry, cooking, or caring for him. If he wants to move out then his girlfriend can do that for him.

I know he'll most likely blame me for everything (that seems to be the trend lately), so I'm going to try my best to stay calm and remember that I am not at fault for his affair. I know others have mentioned that I should go ahead with a divorce because he's so far gone at this point, but I'm still not positive that is the route I want to take. I know I'm putting myself through torture by hoping we can turn this around, but I want that to be a decision that I make on my own. I am very grateful for the advice and I also understand why everyone is saying that, but I need to come to that conclusion myself. I'm holding onto hope that he shows regret, but if he doesn't then I will go ahead and start the divorce process. It's not what I want at the current moment, but there is no point holding onto something if it's not going to work out.

I know there's trouble in paradise lately because (1) I'm still watching their conversations, and (2) he's just been so mopey lately. They talk on the phone a lot (during work hours!) so I don't know what is being said on the calls, but it seems like she's been a lot more angry lately. And he's just been needy and asking for her reassurance that she still loves him, that they're okay, etc. They're still in their honeymoon phase so obviously they'll figure something out, but I think I'm hoping this just goes downhill. I know I'm torturing myself by hoping there's a chance of reconciliation. I guess it's just hard for me to get over a third of my life all of a sudden. I will make it though! And I will keep everyone updated. Thanks so much for being here for me!

PS - Whenever he's upset about something, he usually wants to talk about it. It does not seem like the other woman is the type to talk about how she's feeling, so he has to deal with the issues on his own. He's been wanting to play with the dog more lately, but the dog is not having it. Whenever he goes to pet her, she gets up and walks away. When he throws a toy at her, she just walks around it. Maybe that's a sign, but it's also hilarious to watch.

FinanceGuy123 posted 12/23/2018 13:35 PM

I understand your pain as I pretty much held on for a while hoping that my WW would soon see the light. Truth is, it just progressed much quicker than anyone would have ever expected. I finally decided to file and havenít looked back since. I gather you are still in the hopiusm stage, hoping that he will come around and regret his actions, show true remorse and ask to reconcile. Just know that is not an easy thing and based on what information youíve provided, itís highky unlikely at this point in time.

I know your holding on as it was a 1/3rd of your life, but take it from me as I am moving on and mine was 1/2 of my life (met in HS when I was 17). Given that the holidays are right around the corner, try to reach out family and old friends you havenít seen in a while. It helps a lot to just get out and see good, positive and trustworthy people. Having a plan with set boundaries for yourself is the best thing you can do right now. Otherwise you are just going to sit in limbo and waste time waiting for something you want to happen (I did this for 6+ months) and time is a valuable thing. Also, keep focusing on yourself. You will get thru this (we all did).

betrayedspouse13 posted 12/23/2018 14:42 PM

Thanks FinanceGuy123. I'm really sorry to hear you went through a similar situation. I would never wish this upon anyone. I just joined the forum so I don't have the ability to do private messages yet. If you don't mind me asking, how did you realize you were done waiting? Was there a trigger? Did she ever get out of the fog?

I know I'm holding onto that one remaining strand of hope right now, but I guess like you said, it progressed way quicker than anyone thought it would. I know that he's still in there, somewhere, but he's holding back. Maybe I'm overthinking this, but whenever he's really tired or not fully awake, I see the real him. It's when he's fully alert that he has this front, and I think it's because he's convinced himself that he wants to be with her, and therefore pulls away from me consciously.

I'm going to see my family next weekend so I'll be away from this and I will try my best to enjoy that time. Maybe I'll come back in the new year as a new me. I'll try my best to not think about the situation, but I know I need to have a well thought out plan and right now it's just bits and pieces. I know I'm getting ahead of myself by thinking of what to say when I confront him and I should really be thinking about how long I'm willing to stick around for before I've had enough. I really don't want this to have a bitter ending. I doubt we can be best friends again, but I don't really want to live life hating him, or anyone.

Thanks for following up with me!

ShutterHappy posted 12/23/2018 17:05 PM

Keep this in mind:

You cannot change him, only he can change himself

Do not do the pick me dance. It never works.

Have you saved the evidence somewhere safe?

[This message edited by ShutterHappy at 5:06 PM, December 23rd (Sunday)]

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