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Not a club I thought I'd be a part of Again

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Caligirl16 posted 1/11/2019 14:08 PM

Married over 30 years, with two adult children (although one is just 18 and still living at home). WH had a long distance affair over 10 years ago. She lived on east coast, so cutting it off was much easier. WH went to counseling and we seemed to have found our way back to each other. Admittedly at the time of the A we were having some serious issues with our youngest that put a major strain on our relationship. Our son took so much out of me, that I had little left to give WH. A separation/divorce would have been devastating to our son, and I loved WH, so we decided to stay together. With counseling, our son improved and so did our relationship, so I thought.

For a while now he had seemed distant from me, and I had wanted to talk to him about it. He seemed hesitant to plan time together, either alone or with family/friends. Last Sunday, WS made a comment about our relationship and where it was at. At first I was glad he had opened the door to the conversation, but then it went bad. He told me he had been unhappy for a couple of years. He told me he loved me, but was not "in love" with me. It was like he punched me in the gut. As the discussion continued, I asked if there was someone else - He responded that he did not want to make this part of the conversation - gut punch #2, and a red flag. Then I commented that I had been trying to plan time together, including driving up to where he works to meet at his favorite after work hangout. He responded that he knows I had reached out to do that, but he felt that going there was his place and he wasn't sure he wanted me there - gut punch #3 and another red flag. He told me he felt he need to get away from the situation. Our son came in to watch the football game and conversation stopped.

Over the next couple of days, we exchanged text messages and talked. He claims he does not want a divorce. However, he also does not want to go for counseling nor to Retrouvaille (my suggestion).

So given the red flags that were raised, I had to do some snooping. I found emails that confirm that there is someone else. This A seems to have started in early last summer. She seems to be divorced. She, of course, is part of the fantasy football league at his after work hang out.

So now what??? The first time, I only exposed the A to therapists and one friend. I had threatened to expose it to his family and others if it continued. It stopped, so I didn't. This time, there will be exposure. But first I need to confront him.

BluesPower posted 1/11/2019 14:21 PM

Well, the real question is what do you want to do?

Are you considering trying to work this out with him? This is the second time in 10 years THAT YOU KNOW OF...

So you need to make the choice. Do you want to be with someone that does not want to be with you? Is your lifestyle that important to you? Do you work?

Of course you have to confront him about this, that goes without question.

But even with the last affair and the counseling he does not even have the balls to tell you the truth?

You know what he is doing, he does not want a divorce be he will want "space" to be with his new girl... How is that acceptable?

As far as exposing the affair, you need to expose it to everyone that you know. Including your children. They should know what is going on?

When you did not do that the first time, you really gave him no consequences for his behavior, so in reality he had no reason to change.

And at this point, do you even care...

Caligirl16 posted 1/11/2019 14:51 PM

The issue is I do care. I still love him. We have built a good life together. I currently am not working. I did work, but was laid off about two years ago. Shortly after that, I had a medical situation that surgery. I am generally physically fine now.

I can't really imagine my future without him, but I'm not sure I want a future with him given the deceit. I am not sure what kind of financial future I will have without him. At my age (54), it will a tough road to find a job and prepare for the long term.

He needs to understand all that he will lose - family, friends, finances, stability... He comes from a Christian family and is actually on the paid staff of our church. How can one claim to be a Christian and break the commandments? His sister divorced over her husband's affair, and he made many a comment about it. He is such a hypocrite, and he needs to see that.

Despite everything, I love him. I know that I will need to take some time to process all of this and decide.


The1stWife posted 1/11/2019 15:19 PM

Affairs make people irrational in their behavior and thoughts.

Your H made comments about his sister being victimized by adultery yet he turns around and does it.

Hypocrites- most cheaters are hypocrites unfortunately.

Your H is heading down a slippery slope. He is willing to give up his family and marriage for an infatuation. Been down that road.

You need to get counseling for you.

You need to get $ in your name. Just in case.

See an attorney just to understand your rights. Just in case.

Read up on the 180.

And your ability to get his head out of his butt comes from a place of power and strength. Yiu need to be strong.

BluesPower posted 1/11/2019 15:56 PM

The issue is I do care. I still love him. We have built a good life together. I currently am not working. I did work, but was laid off about two years ago. Shortly after that, I had a medical situation that surgery. I am generally physically fine now.
I can't really imagine my future without him, but I'm not sure I want a future with him given the deceit. I am not sure what kind of financial future I will have without him. At my age (54), it will a tough road to find a job and prepare for the long term.

He needs to understand all that he will lose - family, friends, finances, stability... He comes from a Christian family and is actually on the paid staff of our church. How can one claim to be a Christian and break the commandments? His sister divorced over her husband's affair, and he made many a comment about it. He is such a hypocrite, and he needs to see that.

Despite everything, I love him. I know that I will need to take some time to process all of this and decide.

You and I are the same age. Now, all the hiding behind church and that crap has to stop, yesterday for him (especially) and for you as well.

And be honest, do you guys (before this) have a decent sex life, and affections, and spend time together? Just general questions.

The thing to understand is that, even if you are a Christian, and involved in church, and on paid staff... There is no reason for you not to confront and expose him to EVERYBODY.

And guess what, he needs to be exposed for his hypocrisy, and frankly he should not be on staff.

Further, as far as finances, if you choose to divorce, you get half and you get alimony, so you should be OK financially, but your lifestyle may change. But his certainly will.

The thing is, look who you are marred to, a man that has cheated before, and went to therapy, is a paid staff member at the church... And he is still doing this? If anyone should know better it is him.

He has no excuse, no one does...

But you have to confront him, and find out what he wants to do, you may not have a choice to not divorce.

But your best chance to save the marriage, is for you to be willing to lose it. You best chance to save it, if you want to, is to be strong, no rug sweeping, no bullshit, no blame shifting to you.

If the marriage has issues, then you guys can work on that, but he has to deal with this first.

So work out the details and confront him...

[This message edited by BluesPower at 7:55 AM, January 14th (Monday)]

ChamomileTea posted 1/11/2019 16:43 PM

I wouldn't confront until I had enough hard evidence to prove adultery. You'll also want to round up all your financials and marriage records and put them in a safe place. You should definitely see an attorney to find out what your options look like.

Here's the thing... From what you've posted, it looks like your WH just wants to cat around without changing his circumstances, hence the "not looking to divorce" bull-patty. What that tells you is that he doesn't want to give up half his assets, half his retirement, and ALL of his reputation. He just wants you to turn a blind eye while he screws his fantasy football buddy. And "fantasy" is the key word here, because even if you were willing to look the other way, OW's typically push for more.

When I caught my WH a few years back on a Craigslist cheater binge with multiple partners and varying degrees of emotional attachment, I swung for the fence on divorce. And at first he was into it, but then he sat down and did the math. After 30+ years of marriage, there's quite a bit to lose. All his retirement plans up in smoke, as well as the reality of raising some OW's offspring while his own despised him, and yes... losing me after all we'd been through together.

My point is, that sometimes these midlife guys haven't thought it through enough, and after they realize all they have to lose, the OW doesn't look quite so enticing. They don't take you seriously though unless you're actually serious. I wasn't utilizing some kind of tactic, I was hellbent on divorce. It was everything he could do to slow me down. That said, we're still together and reasonably happy today.

There aren't any guarantees no matter what you do. All I know is that when it happened to me, I had already lost everything there was to lose. Emotionally, I'd hit bottom, so there was nowhere to go but up.

((hugs))

ladystrong posted 1/11/2019 17:09 PM

Iím sorry you have to be at this crossroads again. Iíd confront him and then have the support of the church leadership confront him too. Biblically, if he doesnít listen to one person you can bring more people in to confront him in a loving way. I donít know how your church works but for sure the one I attend would take him off of leadership immediately. Trust me, even Christians fall, my husband did. All it takes is a small hole in the armor for the enemy to come in, wreak havoc and begin the process of confusion, deceit, pleasure, guilt, then hiding. Thankfully my husband met the OW from hell and realized sooner rather than later that he had made the worst choice in the world. But then began two years of hiding which nearly killed our marriage! Anyway, Iíd take action quickly.

believenotfirst posted 1/11/2019 17:28 PM

Totally in agreement with Chamomile tea. It's only 4 weeks since my last DD & I'm swinging between divorce and separation. Only because economically I don't wAnt to hurt myself (or him despite everything he has done.) 29 years together now involves a lot of work, sacrifice and plans. It's hard to see those plans change but, it may be necessary in able to stay sane and happy

totallydumb posted 1/11/2019 17:37 PM


So now what??? The first time, I only exposed the A to therapists and one friend. I had threatened to expose it to his family and others if it continued. It stopped, so I didn't. This time, there will be exposure. But first I need to confront him.

Before you confront, perhaps a consultation with a lawyer would be a good idea to see what separation and/or divorce looks like in your area. Maybe even have papers prepared just in case. Might want to get your own bank account and set some money aside, relocate some valuables to a safe place only you can access.

Then when you do confront, you can display some actions and consequences. Perhaps a little shock and awe is in order to go along with the exposure you have talked about.

Maybe then WS will see the seriousness of playing "fantasy football" with the mistress.

Caligirl16 posted 1/11/2019 18:22 PM

Thank you for your advice.

I have proof of the A - copies of emails, phone records with reoccurring texts to her cell. There is no doubt of the A. However, I may go by the happy hour today (not necessarily going in the bar) to observe. I also have her apartment address, so I can also see if his car is there.

As far as financials, I am the one who runs that part of our home life. I can easily change passwords and access codes. Luckily we have excellent credit, and no debts besides a small mortgage and one car payment.

I agree that exposure at church, at least to the ministers as a start is imperative: WS is not in any ministerial position, he is the sound and tech guy (part time). He has a ďreal jobĒ in computers the rest of the time.

I agree that the kids will need to know this time - they are old enough. I have no doubt they will be angry, and hurt by this revelation. Custody will not be an issue, but my sonís future educational expenses will be. My oldest is on her own.

Now to find a counselor for me.

[This message edited by Caligirl16 at 6:52 PM, January 11th (Friday)]

steadychevy posted 1/11/2019 18:41 PM

My WW was a born again Christian as am I. No guarantee. Exposure and sunlight are the best disinfectant. When my WW committed adultery I never got proof. The smoking gun wasn't enough. I needed hard facts and never got it. Are the e-mails you found proof? You've enough red flags.

Before you expose, though, get some legal advice. Find out what your rights and situation will be. I would even file for D and have him served. I do believe he needs to be exposed to the church as soon as possible. Filing for D doesn't mean you have to follow through. But be prepared to depending on his actions. Do you want to stay married to a multiple cheater who isn't all in to R? It may be that it will never be enough and D is the only reasonable option for you. It is your life and up to you.

A good book to read is "Love Must Be Tough" by Dr. James Dobson. Dr. Dobson founded Focus on the Family. He is all about exposure to the appropriate people.

You say you love him. I believe you. I loved my wife very much. We were living the life long dream. On DDay we had been married 36 years. I couldn't imagine a life without her. The life we had was what we had worked so hard for. I was desperate to have her step up and save the marriage. It didn't happen. Love by itself isn't enough. It wasn't for my WW either, apparently.

I'm so sorry you're here and it happened again. My heart goes out to you. Whatever you decide, R or D, it's a long, long road ahead. Your WH needs to really step up to make R a success. If he shows any inclination towards R (actions, not words, not fake and damage control) he should read "How To Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair" by Linda J. McDonald and go hard at enacting what she says.

I keep going on. Sorry. Again, I'm so sorry for your situation.

One thing I caution about the church family is far to often the advise is to forgive and forget, he's so sorry give him a chance, look how hard he's working so you need to meet him half way. You met him more than half way last time and look what it got you.

limenavy posted 1/11/2019 20:26 PM

Sorry you're going through this again. It sounds like you're thinking clearly through this and through your next steps. Do you think the marriage counseling the first time helped you know what to do with this second discovery? Do you think that your WS will have a change of heart? If not, will you go ahead with D? Is remarriage an option for you if he takes responsibility and gets counseling, etc.? Just some things to think about as you're making some difficult decisions. I'll keep you and WS in my prayers this evening.

Caligirl16 posted 1/11/2019 22:09 PM

I am thinking about all my options and what the next step will be. I am currently sitting in my car parked outside of OWís apartment, about 4 cars away from WS car. Although part of me wants to go knock on the door and break up their live fest, I know I would probably react emotionally to see him in her arms, and Iím not sure that it would have the best outcome. So I have just decided to wait until he comes out and goes to get in his car. Then I will simply make my presence known. No yelling, no crying. Just a simple hello. He can then stew in his own deceit and know he has been caught. My greatest fear is how our kids will react. Our son is not in a good place emotionally right now and I am concerned about the impact on him. Obviously his father doesnít care.

QVee posted 1/11/2019 23:36 PM

No, his father doesn't care. These WS are very selfish and very broken.

Please be safe. Don't put yourself in any unsafe situations.

ChamomileTea posted 1/12/2019 07:44 AM

How are you, Caligirl? Was there a confrontation? Are you safe?

Caligirl16 posted 1/12/2019 08:33 AM

Well, unfortunately I missed him when he left. By the time I realized he was gone, and drove home, he was asleep. I did take a picture of her place as further evidence.

So Iím not sure when I will now expose my knowledge to him. Our son will be out for the evening tonight, and WH has mentioned continuing our conversation of earlier in the week today, so perhaps then. Iím going to see where he goes with this. Meanwhile I will be preparing for my next steps and protecting myself for the future.

ChamomileTea posted 1/12/2019 08:51 AM

Well, in California there's not too much benefit to proving adultery in court, not that I'm aware of anyway. About the most you can achieve is getting half of whatever marital assets were spent on the AP back. So as long as you have enough evidence to keep him from denying the truth (and to prove it to people whose opinion of him is important), I think it's okay to confront.

If he's volunteering to pick up the conversation again, it's possible that he plans to ask for separation or divorce. Be prepared for that. Cheaters deal in fantasy. They're typically in a state of limerence, flooded with hormone and adrenal signals to the brain. Try not to get rattled. Read up on the 180. You'll find it in the Healing Library (upper left corner). You'll keep him more off-balance by not being overly reactive. Typically, they're counting on the BS's anger and hysteria to give them the impetus to leave, although if they're determined to go, they'll twist your calmness into permission too.

Remember that no matter what kind of proposal he suggests, you're at no obligation to agree. Sometimes they try the "open marriage" gambit while threatening divorce if you don't agree. Remember that "no" is a complete sentence.

I'm sorry this is happening to you. I remember my own DDay confrontation and my heart is sore for you. Please know that you're going to be okay. It doesn't feel like it just now, but believe it, you will be okay.

((huge hugs))

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 8:53 AM, January 12th (Saturday)]

tushnurse posted 1/12/2019 09:22 AM

Sister get yourself to an attorney. Thos should be a priority over a counselor.
You should also think about what you want if you choose to stay and make some demands of him.
But you cannot be fearful of D or ending your M to be effective in making demands of him. He knows you aren't going anywhere that's why he doesn't care if you know. He clearly thinks he can do whatever he wants.

Call your dr. Get STD tested. Also talk to your dr about the stress of the trauma you are experiencing. If you aren't sleeping or eating you may benefit from a little bit of medication to help you through thos initi trauma.
Make sure you are eating healthy and if you are struggling at minimum get some protein shakes. Stay hydrated and stear clear of alcohol.
Read in the library. Consider 180 for you and your sanity. Keep reading keep posting.

Ripped62 posted 1/12/2019 12:39 PM

Statistically there is no difference between infidelity in religious organizations and in the general population in the US from studies I have seen. My point I am trying to make is infidelity impacts all of us.

I suggest you obtain the proof you need to confront and put a stop to his idiocy. I would hold off on making the decision to reconcile or divorce until you ascertain his desire and ability to stop engaging in adultery and heal the deficits of character and morality that enable him to betray himself, you, his family, and his religious beliefs.

He has a tremendous amount of work to accomplish before you should consider reconciliation.

First, you need to ascertain who and what you are reconciling with and from. The emails may provide enough evidence. If they do not get more.

He must also end the affair and do the work to restore himself. His refusal to go to counseling or retreats to work on the relationship is not acceptable.

Do not rugsweep his betrayal. Rugsweeping is a form of denial. It is fake. It is named after the idea of sweeping dirt under the rug, so that itís not really clean at allÖjust hidden. Basically, one or both spouses pretend that everything is back to normal. The issues in the marriage are not addressed. There is no work done by the wayward spouse so that cheating is not an option. When the situation or stimulus occurs infidelity transpires.

Rugsweeping will produce resentment in the betrayed spouse or continued adulterous behavior by the wayward spouse. One day because of resentment or apathy one spouse will have had enough and the pressure will be released in a disastrous fashion resulting in an end to the marriage.

Please note that he has and will continue to respond like any other wayward spouse. He is not special.

The consequences of his adultery are his. He needs to embrace them and accept who and what he is. Until he does the work so that he is able to be honest and transparent you do not have a spouse worthy of the gift of reconciliation.

Please take care of yourself. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult time in your life.

blindsided18 posted 1/12/2019 12:43 PM

I hope you are ok this morning. I remember being in the OW's parking lot, seeing my WH's car and even though I suspected, that gut punch of knowing he was there was incredibly painful.

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