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Groundhog Day

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sandbar posted 1/30/2019 08:24 AM

Not sure where to start but I will throw this out there for advice because I am at a loss.

Married 28 years with teenagers. We had always had our fights that I felt were a normal part of of the marriage, but nothing unusual. After finding ourselves in empty-nest stage, we really didnít know who each other and had adopted a lot of careless attitudes toward our marriage. We were still having sex, but it was not great. A year ago he came to me and said things needed to change or we were not going to make it. I made some changes and started making more of an effort and things seemed to be getting better. He seemed happier and was making encouraging statements to me. After I got back from visiting friends this summer I noticed he stopped saying "I love you" to me. A week after that I was diagnosed with breast cancer. He was supportive at first but then checked out for most of my surgeries and treatments. I am currently undergoing treatments, so I am overwhelmed to say the least.

The week before Thanksgiving we argued because I accused him of checking out and I told him that I needed him. He told me that he ďlovedĒ me as the mother of his children but wasnít in love with me. That I was always putting the kids first, never him, and he felt I took him for granted. He thought he wanted a divorce. I asked him to reconsider and offered counseling. He said he would think about it. I consulted with a lawyer and started gathering the necessary paperwork. I opened a new bank account and applied for a credit card.

D-Day was 7 weeks ago. I caught my husband in a lie after one of my friends commented that it sounded like he was cheating with someone at work and I started confirming his whereabouts. He admitted he was involved with another co-worker who was also married. They had been friends for many years, and we have had conversations about her. She has been at my house but does not run in my social circle. He states they have only kissed, no sex but the intent was there. He said it started 6 months ago.

After the initial hysterical fallout I spent 4 weeks trying to convince him to work on this. We had great sex. The first week in January he filed for divorce. He asked if we could do this with no lawyers because he purchased legal insurance for himself, so we could do this cheap and easy. He even had an ďfinancial offerĒ for me, which basically had me starting over and his life remaining the same except for a slight financial loss. I declined and immediately went and put a retainer on my lawyer. He had to then go find one himself. He did not like what his lawyer told him about financial outcomes.

I immediately went into 180 mode for the next 2 weeks. After 2 weeks of that he came to me crying saying he might be having second thoughts but he didnít know. I told him not to do this to me, that I am working on myself and I need to let go. He states he cares for me still and wants to take care of me. I told him that he canít divorce me and do that also. That wonít work for me. If we are divorcing I will need to cut him off. He agrees he has to make up his mind but has yet to do it. That was a week and a half ago.

Due to his possible reconsideration, I find myself living December all over again, slipping back into the great sex/good wife mode which is not a great place to be (except for the sex- ha!). We have had some great, honest conversations but I know that he has not revealed the whole story with me because I found some credit card purchases that he made that were not for me, so I know the timeline is longer than what he is saying. Plus, he sees this girl at work so the temptation is still there even though he insists that it is over because I scared her off. I do not have proof of her identity but I am pretty sure I know who it is.

We currently live in the same house but sleep in different rooms because we canít support 2 houses.

I want to make my marriage work. I know it will be hard and we will need professional help. I also know there are no guarantees that it would work, but I still want to exhaust every option. I realize I canít be the only one and he needs to make up his mind. Itís like the movie Groundhog Day, except not funny and no Bill Murray.

[This message edited by sandbar at 8:19 PM, January 31st (Thursday)]

Marie2792 posted 1/30/2019 08:44 AM

First let me say I am sorry about your cancer and glad you are a survivor. Second, your husband appears to be checked out. It doesnít mean he wonít check back in, but Iíd be hesitant to accept that because he abandoned you during a crisis and that is huge.

Is this COW married? If so, contact her husband. Donít message or send a letter. Try to get his phone nunber or see him personally. Donít tell your husband you are going to do this. See how fast the affair dissipates once the other BS knows.

You are wise to line your ducks up now and start the divorce process. Thereís no way to be sure that he isnít coming back because he fears the financial fallout. The sex is great because itís called hysterical bonding. Itís your way of claiming him back to you. Normal part of the journey.

Iíd keep the 180 going. Let him wash his own laundry and cook his own meals. He couldnít be bothered to be with you during treatments and surgeries so forget him right now and focus on you.

sandbar posted 1/30/2019 09:02 AM

Is this COW married? If so, contact her husband. Donít message or send a letter. Try to get his phone nunber or see him personally. Donít tell your husband you are going to do this. See how fast the affair dissipates once the other BS knows.

Yes, she is married and has kids. I am not 100% sure of her identity. I have it narrowed down to 2 co-workers, but she is the likelier suspect. I do know that he has purchased items for her and what those items are, and her shoe size

I feel like I can't out her without having a positive ID

annb posted 1/30/2019 09:02 AM

Hi, welcome to SI. So sorry your husband put you through this living hell especially while dealing with surgery.

Affairs thrive in secrecy. If this woman is married, you must inform her husband immediately. Gather some evidence, phone records, purchases, dates and times, and gently inform him his wife is cheating on him. He deserves to know he is living a lie as well. The best way to end an affair is to expose it.

You are on the right track, you are getting your ducks in a row, don't allow him to make you Plan B in case his test drive with the OW doesn't work out.

Get checked for STDs and seek a good counselor for yourself. Lean on TRUSTED family members and friends. Exercise helps. Temporary medications help.

A huge hug to you....

BTW, any attempt at reconciliation in the future, he must go NC (no contact with this woman), no emails, voicemails, social media, nada, ever. He wants his marriage, let him prove it to you.

Check your phone bills, you might find out her identity without any effort.

[This message edited by annb at 9:04 AM, January 30th (Wednesday)]

Terrain posted 1/30/2019 09:20 AM

You sound like an incredibly strong person. Fighting cancer and dealing with all of this crap.

You have a lot going on in your life right now. Make sure you are taking time to take care of yourself, emotionally and physically.

The answers about what is right about your relationship with your husband will come to you in time. But take that time.

In the mean time, use anyone you can trust and this site as your sounding board.

I am new to having a WH and I have been a big lurker on this site, just learning and observing and I can tell you it has helped me a lot.

sandbar posted 1/30/2019 09:27 AM

Thank you for the replies. The support is appreciated.

In regards to "outing" him, without being 100% sure I am hesitant to call any spouses and risk being incorrect.

I could, however, contact the person he sends his purchases to, and she brings them to work for him. He has used her before when it was a birthday surprise for me. I have a feeling that she thinks all of the gifts were for me during the 2 year window. I could send an email to her asking to stop accepting packages from my husband because they are not going to me.

He wants to talk this evening. I don't know if I should fully reveal everything I know, but not my sources.

sandbar posted 1/30/2019 09:31 AM

Check your phone bills, you might find out her identity without any effort.

Its a work phone that I have no access to. The only proof I have is credit card statements, the date/time of a meeting, his confession, and copies of internet purchases that were not sent to me. They were sent to another co=worker that is not the OW

stubbornft posted 1/30/2019 09:32 AM

He won't tell you who it is????? BYE. GOODBYE. That is insane.

He is pulling this shit while you are recovering from and fighting cancer? Not only is he breaking the vow to be faithful but what about "in sickness and in health"?

He is showing you what happens when you need him the very most. We only get older, right? Odds are you will need him to step up again in the future.

You sound very strong and I am so happy you have fought cancer. I am sorry you have to deal with this during this time in your life.

Your husband sounds like an extremely selfish person, even by cheater standards.

ibonnie posted 1/30/2019 09:37 AM

I'm so sorry you're here. Affairs are bad enough, but when you throw in medical issues, when your spouse should be there supporting you, it's even worse.

He even had an ďfinancial offerĒ for me, which basically had me starting over and his life remaining the same except for a slight financial loss. I declined and immediately went and put a retainer on my lawyer. He had to then go find one himself. He did not like what his lawyer told him about financial outcomes.

I immediately went into 180 mode for the next 2 weeks. After 2 weeks of that he came to me crying saying he might be having second thoughts but he didnít know. I told him not to do this to me, that I am working on myself and I need to let go. He states he cares for me still and wants to take care of me. I told him that he canít divorce me and do that also. That wonít work for me. If we are divorcing I will need to cut him off. He agrees he has to make up his mind but has yet to do it. That was a week and a half ago.

Affairs are fantasy. He and/or his AP were probably convinced you would somehow happily accept nothing, go start your life over, and you could all get along happily for the kids sake.

His second thoughts are (unfortunately) more likely due to the fact that he's realizing that's not going to happen, and he's going to be the one starting over financially.

Due to his possible reconsideration, I find myself living December all over again, slipping back into the great sex/good wife mode which is not a great place to be (except for the sex- ha!).

Possible consideration = plan b. You are his plan b. He's trying to figure out how he can still make things work out favorably for him and his affair partner. What you're doing with the great sex/good wife mode is calling the "pick me dance." It never works. He did pick you, too 28 years ago. You picked him, too. But do you see him bending and twisting to earn back your love and respect?

Take care of yourself, your health and your children. Tell him YOU are having second thoughts, and YOU need some time to consider what YOU want. Get yourself in IC, and figure out why you would settle for this behavior. If he wants to be with you, he should be working on himself, too, and doing everything he can to earn YOUR trust and love back. Not the other way around.

MoreThanBroken posted 1/30/2019 09:52 AM

Sandbar,
You wrote that you've had some great conversations with your WH, but dont feel like you've gotten the whole story. Your H needs to decide whether he wants the marriage, and thus wants to be entirely truthful, including giving you the name of his AP and access to phone bills. I would also be weary of him coming back after finding out it wouldn't be financially advantageous to divorce. It basically sounds like he doesn't want to pay the cost of divorce, so he'll stay married and take the affair underground. Cheaters lie, they've acclimated to lying just to lie. Going forward truth can only be accompanied by proof.

[This message edited by MoreThanBroken at 9:53 AM, January 30th (Wednesday)]

psychmom posted 1/30/2019 11:01 AM

sandbar, your story breaks my heart for you. You are one strong woman and will find your way out of this one way or another.

I second all who said that you must find out the identity of the COW and inform her spouse of all that is going on. If your H and AP can continue living in fairyland, it is easy for them to believe they have gotten away with this and it can continue. YOU MUST OUT THEM AND MAKE THE AFFAIR KNOWN TO ALL THAT THIS MATTERS TO. This cold shower often quickly diminishes the "specialness" of the affair. Only when the cheaters start experiencing the consequences of their choices can any real changes start to occur. And there are no guarantees which way it will go at this point. But at least you'll no longer be wondering about this part of it.

I was able to use our home phone records to easily spot the phone numbers of the 3 OW on my radar and track down the APs. You may need to use other sleuthing strategies, but I'd go into full out detective mode if he continues to put her feelings over yours. A spouse who is committed to his/her marriage will understand that you must put your spouse first and give up the ID of the AP at a bare minimum. Your H is not yet there. He's been lying to you for a long time (mine lied to me for nearly 4 years before I stumbled upon his secret life), and with that much practice they get really good at it. It's horrifying, isn't it? That someone you believed you knew is suddenly a stranger. I told my H this (that he was a stranger to me, that I felt I no longer knew who he was) and he was in disbelief. Because HE felt the same; he was who he always was, even if now he had become a loathesome cheater, manipulator, and liar. They don't get it at first. They don't understand the depth of the betrayal they've inflicted upon us, they don't "get" what they've done that is "so bad." And that is very scary to witness. That level of denial and to realize just how far out of reality they are.

I wish you well with your reconstruction surgeries and hope you put most of your energy into healing yourself fully. You certain did nothing to deserve what your H did. My M, too, was toxic at the time my H chose to cheat as a way to deal with his problems rather than come to me and begin the hard process of working on our M or making the humane and adult choice to D. He never gave me an option or let me know the game had changed, just as your H has not included you into that part of him.

You are getting some good advice here, and I hope you will find some that meets your needs. We are here to help and support you, sandbar. Sending you good wishes and a huge virtual hug (((((sandbar))))

ThisIsSoLonely posted 1/30/2019 11:08 AM

You are right - you cannot out her w/out a positive ID. So you are stuck not knowing and not being told by your WS?!?! I can't imagine doing this to someone...

Who is this co-worker that isn't the AP that is getting the packages?

You can go caustic and tell him I know it's either X or Y and as they are both co-workers I plan on notifying HR about this and see what you get from him but if I were you I would straight up tell him there will be NO CONSIDERATION OF ANY FUTURE TOGETHER if you don't come clean about your A including who the AP is. If he won't do that, who cares who it is anyway?!?!

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 11:11 AM, January 30th (Wednesday)]

ChamomileTea posted 1/30/2019 11:19 AM

Let me preface this by saying that I'm in R myself on a 30+ year marriage. So, I understand the angst of having decades invested in the marriage. My WH went on a cheating binge four years ago, multiple partners and varying degrees of emotional attachment to the OWs. It was really bad.

I do believe we're only married today though because I laid my ears back and refused to tolerate my HUSBAND having girlfriends. It wasn't negotiable. Neither was anything less than complete honesty and transparency. I came out of the gate swinging for the fence on divorce and initially my WH agreed. He'd become quite caught up with one of the OWs (albeit not so caught up that he wasn't cheating on her too ), but caught up enough to be future-faking her. Then... after he was busted, he sat down and did the math.

I think we'd all like to believe our primary relationship is just about love. But really, in a long marriage we're a package deal. His choices were stark ones. Like you, I wasn't willing to play happy families if he left and I wasn't willing to settle for less than I deserved either, and that includes a fully transparent, remorseful husband if I decided to entertain R.

Right now, your WH isn't even telling you honestly who he's involved with. He's got electronic communications you don't have access to. He's done nothing to elicit your interest in R except to say he "might be having second thoughts". That, after lying to you for who knows how long, cheating on you while you're in cancer treatment, spreading salt on the wound with the ILYBNILWY shtick, and actually FILING for divorce.

We get so caught up in our feelings when we're betrayed. For me, it's the most devastating thing which has ever happened to me. It changed who I am. Everyone here has been through something similar, so we know. Here's the thing though... you have to protect yourself and your children. Our financial needs and obligations don't go away just because we're hurting. The bills still need paid and it looks like you've got teens to launch out into the world who may or may not want to go to college.

He even had an ďfinancial offerĒ for me, which basically had me starting over and his life remaining the same except for a slight financial loss. I declined and immediately went and put a retainer on my lawyer. He had to then go find one himself. He did not like what his lawyer told him about financial outcomes.

This right here is insight into how untrustworthy he is. This is who he is. His first offer wasn't about doing the right thing for all of you. It was about how much he could keep for himself.

I'll be honest with you. There's no way I'd be doing the "pick me" polka after that. There wouldn't be any sex or forthright conversations glamoured up in faux honesty. (Remember, the guy hasn't even told you who he's hooked up with.) I would get with my attorney and I would take him up on that divorce. And if it was of benefit to my settlement, I'd counter-file on grounds. I would take everything I could, because with a guy this selfish, it's likely to be all you can ever get for your kids. I would make sure that they are the sole beneficiaries for both of you at this point so that he can never inherit anything from you and he can't leave his estate to an OW. We forget to see to the nuts and bolts when we've been hurt and abused, but this guy told you who he is with his opening bid.

I'm so sorry. No one should be treated this way. I know you're scared. We were all scared. The marriage you knew is already over though. He ended it when he cheated. From the moment he unzipped his pants, the covenant was broken. That's not to say that there's no hope of building something new in the future, but if you met the man he is today, knowing now what you didn't know then, would you even date him? It's not on you to save this thing. It's on him. He's the only one who can. And the only method at his disposal is to prove to you, in no uncertain terms, that he's willing to be the husband you deserve. Anything else fails because in the end, once you've processed the full, unfettered scope of the damage, it's YOU who will no longer want him.

((hugs))

RubixCubed posted 1/30/2019 11:49 AM

Do not reveal anything that you know, your sources, and definitely don't give him any idea of what your plans are. In your conversation tonight DEMAND that he tells you who his AP is. You cannot even think of R when there are still secrets, and that is a HUGE one. When you find out who she is and if you are thinking of reconciliation tell her husband. If you are leaning towards divorce wait until after the D is finalized before revealing (but make sure you do) or it could affect your settlement if he loses his job.

sandbar posted 1/30/2019 11:51 AM

Who is this co-worker that isn't the AP that is getting the packages?

She is a friend of my husbands that we see socially about 1-2 times a year, send xmas cards, etc. I suspect she has no idea how involved she is.

manofintegrity posted 1/30/2019 12:09 PM

You know, they all say that...we are just friends, we only kissed two times, we only went out for coffee and desert, we only set in his car and talked in the parking lot at work, we only sent d and v pics once, he or she is unhappy and needed someone to talk to, his or her spouse is a horrible person, he or she is a good person, on and on and on...

If you want to find out which one heís been hooking up with, send a friends request on FB to them both, while spending the day with your uncommitted husband. The OW will contact him. Be ready to look at his phone or phone records. If he hides his phone from you, you know what you need to do then. Whichever one does not respond to your friend request within a few hours is the OW.

manofintegrity posted 1/30/2019 12:14 PM

Two weeks before DDay, I friend requested everyone in the suspected preachers church, family, coworkers, etc. I even req his wife a few weeks after. Hehe. A lot can be learned about someone on FB from stalking, even if the POS OM was not on there.

1Faith posted 1/30/2019 12:21 PM

Sandbar,

You are a warrior, a cancer fighting warrior. You can be an infidelity fighting warrior too. We believe in you.

he insists that it is over because I scared her off

I do not have proof of her identity

How the hell did you scare her off if you don't even know who she is?

Condition #1 in your even considering R is to know who the hell the OW is. NOW. He reveals her name to you.

My FWH waivered on Dday not wanting to tell me who she was and I said tell me her name or leave right this minute.

(((gently)))

Your WH isn't changing because he doesn't have to. He gets to live at home and have his side piece at work.

You are his plan B right now.

He needs to be doing whatever it is that will make you feel safe. Him playing you like a yo-you is not him behaving like a safe partner.

Keep fighting for you. Kick cancer's ass and kick your WH's ass if he can start to man up.

(((hugs and prayers)))

sandbar posted 1/30/2019 13:06 PM

If you want to find out which one heís been hooking up with, send a friends request on FB to them both, while spending the day with your uncommitted husband. The OW will contact him. Be ready to look at his phone or phone records. If he hides his phone from you, you know what you need to do then. Whichever one does not respond to your friend request within a few hours is the OW.

good idea

sandbar posted 1/30/2019 13:10 PM

How the hell did you scare her off if you don't even know who she is?

I have no physical proof it is her. I have it narrowed down to 2 people, and I'm going mostly on my gut and little clues that my WH has let out. Would I bet money it was her? Sure.I like a good gamble But I still have no solid proof. And he saying that I scared her off could be just a manipulation.

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