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so numb

withorwithouthim posted 3/10/2019 16:01 PM

I never thought I would be visiting a site like this...I never thought I would need to seek advice and solace from a group of strangers instead from my H, the person who is supposed to honor, love, and cherish me, and he has betrayed my trust. So here I am and reading through the posts and the articles, and I don't feel so alone anymore. I may be a stranger to you, but you have helped me so much through the initial pain and confusion to understand better his motivation / psyche during his EA. So thank you all for taking the time to share your stories and reflections that are all so poignant and thoughtful.

But I am still numb. DDay was 2 nights ago when his phone started to ping. Groggy and a little pissed that he didn't set his DND on his iphone, I went over to his side of the bed and tried to go to "settings" to turn on DND. I pressed the home button to scroll through the apps for Settings and scrolled by Whatsapp. There I saw the top message from a woman (his AP) that i always had some suspicion about. And something snapped, I went digging through the chat and after a few scrolls through their conversation (and pics), I felt my gut was punched, i was hyperventilating, and threw up. I woke him up and confronted him. I can see he was very worried and scared i would leave him and asked me to give him a chance to talk this through. I did and we are now 60+ hours since DDay and we've had a number of conversations.

A little background first (sorry for the disjointedness of events). My WH and I met when when we were in our early 20's but married later in life (me in my late 30's and he when he was 40). We thought we were mature and always remarked how lucky we were to have worked out the kinks in our earlier relationships. I have always known he is the more social person and has many more friends than I do, a few of them female. I have always encouraged him to maintain those female friendships as long as (a) I know about them; (b) they know about me; (c) no overly flirtatious dialog that will get him in trouble for me or her in trouble with her own spouse. And this has seemed to work...or so I thought. This woman whom he has been texing / exchanging risque pictures with (I guess this is sexting) is a co-worker at his former place of employment. They have known each other for over 8 years. He said it became more intense after 1.5 years of acquaintance but they have only been texting 3-4 times a week, and occasionally meeting up for hikes / dinner / movie alone. They have kissed but he said he felt bad everything afterwards, but during the kissing, he felt genuine affection from her and that they have a "wavelength". Given our mutual agreement that we can have friends of the opposite sex, I don't understand why he didn't let me know about this AP back 8 years ago when things were just friendly and not sexually charged.

He swears that she can never replace me, and that they never made future plans together and he doesn't love her. That if he never spoke to her again or have her in his life, he'd be fine, but he can't do without me.

I believe him 95% of the time, but 5% of the time, i simply don't. I just can't see how 2 healthy people of the opposite sex living in the same city and have a emotional connection with underlying sexual tension wouldn't have consummated their relationship. Perhaps he is telling the truth, but having read so many forum posts on EA, I just don't completely buy it.

So I have sent him an email with investigative questions and a request to open up his messaging apps to go through the messages together and try to understand from his perspective what drove him to text what he did. He has agreed, but he said he has deleted his conversation with the AP so there's probably nothing.

If indeed I can't get the messages anymore, I'm not sure how I can move on. I think I will always go to dark places and have mind movies of him and her. He says he has asked her not to contact him again that he is working out things with me. But again, i have no proof of that.

I want to trust again, he still means the world to me and is still my best friend and closest confidant, but he has so much power to destroy me...i feel i have the sword of damocles over my head...

Anyway, I'm sad and numb and just waiting for Father Time to go faster as they say time heals all wounds.

p.s. any suggestions on hobbies / activities to take up to forget the pain will be very appreciated

Cooley2here posted 3/10/2019 16:16 PM

If she is married or has a SO you need to tell them. You need to see a dr. for sdi tests.

nekonamida posted 3/10/2019 17:25 PM

You have a few options. Phone recovery software is one but I don't know if they will recover Whatsapp messages. A polygraph is another.

There is basically no chance that they haven't gotten physical beyond a kiss. They're not middle schoolers. They're adults. I have read hundreds of stories here and can count on one hand how many WSes actually had only an EA with their AP when there were in person meetings and plenty of opportunity. It very rarely happens.

Cooley is right about the STD tests for both you and him.

WhatElseToDo posted 3/10/2019 17:45 PM

So sorry you're here. Gently, the chance that they have had an ongoing relationship where they exchanged intimate photos, a "connection", met up in person, AND kissed - but did not have sex or some type of sexual interaction is so low it's not even worth discussing. Also just to be clear, even if he has just kissed her, it's a PA.

withorwithouthim posted 3/10/2019 18:59 PM

We never got around to the WhatsApp reveal. I was in Tech so I told him i am able to get messages even if they are deleted. I think that got him nervous and he owned up to everything.

Nekonamida, WhatElseToDo: you guys were right. They had sex. Multiple times. And the affair dated back pre-M. He booked hotels with pools (because she likes swimming) and they had sex there. When I was out of town, and when I was in town. Unprotected. He made her come, they did oral sex. etc etc.

I took his phone and discovered other texting with girls he met in Thailand. Lots of back and forth flirtations and when he was in town for a golf trip, they went into his room and slept with him. He said there was no sex.

At this point, i don't really care anymore.

I'm hurting but being the empathetic fool that I am, i see him hurting too and want to help him. Am I crazy??? I'm in his parents home in the middle of the suburbs and our things are in the guest bedroom. I'm of the mind to just pack and leave. But his parents are not doing well and I am fond of them so I am pretending to be the devoted wife who loves their son. I really don't know if I can anymore...he's not the man I married. And i'm cold and numb.

I'm deciding if I should leave tomorrow morning without saying goodbye. But I'm afraid doing this there is no turning back...

We had 13 years of a wonderful marriage...but I now feel it's a sham. He is trying to arrange counseling and says he's going to change and asks me what I want him to do...

I have no answers. I don't want to tell him what I want because I don't know if I want anything from him anymore.

Carissima posted 3/10/2019 20:15 PM

So if he has known her for over 8 years and the affair started after 1.5 years then he had been cheating on you for 6.5-7 years with this OW. That's half your marriage he has calmly lied to your face. That's not even taking the other OW into account.

What possible explanation can he give? Is it IC or MC he is trying to arrange? IMO it's probably too early for MC.

I wouldn't blame you for just walking out. It must be so hard not being able to react fully to your upsettingWH's actions in case of his parents. It may be beneficial for you if you can get away, even for a few days, to give yourself time to think about what you want.

Coreofsteel posted 3/10/2019 22:15 PM

I'm so very sorry you're here. You're already getting great advice here. For more info, please have a look at the healing library above left in the yellow box. I'd have a look at something called the "180", because for now at least I think it might be good to detach from him emotionally as much as you can.

Keep posting, it helps. You'll stop being numb in awhile and your emotions will be all over the place. Try to avoid alcohol, eat well and stay hydrated. Take care of you.

Buster123 posted 3/10/2019 22:24 PM

Get tested for STDs immediately, he's been playing russian roulette with your health, hopefully the results come back clean but you may not be so lucky the next time, he's a serial cheater, there's no way he didn't have sex with those girls in Thailand, which btw is the mecca for prostitution in the world, plus you most likely just know the tip of the iceberg. If the AP is married, inform OBS (Other Betrayed Spouse).

Cooley2here posted 3/10/2019 22:55 PM

Gently. This is not a marriage. I wish there were words to write that would help you heal. Sometimes you have to accept the unvarnished truth. He is a serial cheater and appears to be a sex addict.

The1stWife posted 3/11/2019 00:56 AM

He has cheated for a long time. He has dated another woman. Did you know about these movie dates and lunches? If not - I seriously doubted they just kissed.

You see that is one of the typical lies a cheater tells his spouse. If they sexted - I would doubt it was just a kiss. And only once or twice.

You need a counselor just for you. Someone to support you. Not a marriage counselor for both of you but someone just fir you.

You will survive this. We all do. But it is a painfully slow healing process unfortunately.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 3/11/2019 02:14 AM

Phone recovery software is one but I don't know if they will recover Whatsapp messages.

According to their website, Dr. Phone recovers Whatsapp. That being said, BREATHE. Take a bit of will not regret sticking around or deciding not to decide for a week or two at bare minimum. You are going to have the full blown crazy range of emotions from day to day, hour to hour, and sadly sometimes minute to minute. Give yourself a little time to think.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 2:17 AM, March 11th (Monday)]

benomania posted 3/11/2019 07:31 AM

That initial reaction is a bitch isn't it? I too collapsed on the floor and was sick for months. I'm better now after almost 2 years.
Keep fighting for you. Unfortunately trust is now broken. So that will be hard to over come.
I suggest IC and MC along with a lot of self improvement for you!
Sleep, eat, rest, stay busy, talk to others you can trust.
Do not do the pick me dance!
Sorry you are here with the rest of us.
wishing you a good day and a quick recovery from this nightmare.

withorwithouthim posted 3/11/2019 13:33 PM

Thanks all for your support, you are all such wonderful people.

I was looking for ways to describe how I feel. Sorrow, shock, vengeful, insecure, apathy, a cauldron of emotions where each one chips way my former identity bit by bit, but none describes how I really feel towards him. Until I came across the word privilege - and here is the crux I feel about him and our M. I no longer feel privileged to be his wife. I no longer feel proud of him as my husband. I no longer feel our M is special.

Oh, I still love and care about him. I have made the decision to stay, at least for a few days. Ironically helping out his elderly parents who I am extremely fond of has been a distraction. And there are times when I see the caring person he is with his parents and the struggles of being a caretaker to 2 octogenarians weigh him down, my loving self instinctly wants to go and embrace and comfort him and give him succor. But I hold myself back because I feel he doesnít deserve that from me anymore. And spitefully I thought he should just go back to the OW and seek comfort from her, tell her all his woes and wallow in their tawdry affair and be done with him. But then thinking of them together in the various hotels, places where he never took me or booked for us, just tears me apart again.

I am in limbo. Iím still at his parentsí place. I wouldnít know what to do if I headed home alone. We have no kids and I am not ready to talk to an IC or anyone as whilst posting on this form anonymously is one thing, actually speaking to someone in person who knows / sees me is another thing.

I have 0 appetite, but I will take heed from others to drink and eat as much as I can stomach and take care of myself. No drugs or alcohol,... never been the kind to do that. But I do wish there is a pill to take to forget.

I have been grieving for our marriage. It feels dead to me. I go into these wracking spells of sobbing, and then the next minute Iím fine and tell myself to be strong.

Anyway thanks for reading / listening. Iím asked to pick an emoticon on the right side as Iím typing this... I think all (except the smiley ones) would apply.

Coreofsteel posted 3/11/2019 14:35 PM

Grieving is what you're doing. You're grieving the loss of the M as you knew it. To me, the further along I got in my healing, I realized that it was like he died. So I was grieving the loss of my spouse. I've had a lot of losses but never felt grief like that.

Please try to find support for yourself in your grief. It's good to post here, but I felt a lot of relief when I finally told someone about it. I felt less isolated and alone.

Keep posting, you're doing really well. I know it doesn't feel that way.

KaleidoscopePic posted 3/17/2019 21:34 PM

I am sorry that this has happened. It can feel like a punch in the gut which sucks the life right out of you. It is good that he is letting you have access to his messages. I think moving forward if he wants to make the two of you work out, he needs to be transparent and give you access to his passwords. I also really recommend getting counseling, maybe some IC for each of you and some MC for both of you. That way you can process what you're feeling and going through with someone who can help you with perspective, and he can explore what led him down this path with someone who can really dig deep with him so it doesn't happen again. Then the two of you can work together on repairing your marriage. I know a lot of people encourage not having friends of the opposite sex alone, having them only as a couple. I know a lot of people advise not to go to lunch or anywhere alone with a friend of the opposite sex. I can see why. It's a safeguard. No one says, "Today seems like a great day to go destroy my marriage by cheating on my spouse. I can't wait to scar my family with scars that will follow them into adulthood." It happens over time: a joke here, a flirty remark there, starting to look forward to seeing that person and missing him/her when he/she is gone. Then it's lunch, a brush of the hand. . . It starts out innocently, and it happens a little at a time. That is why it is important to build hedges of protection around your marriage. That's why it's good to make it a rule that spouses don't go out with anyone of the opposite sex alone. I was one that thought it ridiculous that my husband could ever have an affair. I didn't pay attention to his Facebook. Unfortunately, another woman did. I wish now that I had. I wish now that I'd had his passwords. It may see extreme to make a rule that you have your spouse's passwords and that he not go out with female co-workers or female friends alone, but anyone can be tempted in a weak moment. Jerry Jenkins has a book Hedges: Loving Your Marriage Enough to Protect It that you might find helpful.

manofintegrity posted 3/18/2019 08:32 AM

If you do not out his affair and ALL of his lovers publicly, make him suffer some harsh consequences, he will do it again. I promise you that. He now has just graduated with a BS degree in Cheating. He will have better success at hiding it next time.

Men have been sexually abusing 1/4 of our young girls and 1/2 of our adult women for thousands of years. It wonít stop until men like me and women put a stop to it. That means talking about it in public, talking about the destruction of marriages, children, churches, trust, etc.

[This message edited by manofintegrity at 8:34 AM, March 18th (Monday)]

nortonj posted 3/18/2019 10:06 AM

you guys were right. They had sex. Multiple times. And the affair dated back pre-M. He booked hotels with pools (because she likes swimming) and they had sex there. When I was out of town, and when I was in town. Unprotected. He made her come, they did oral sex. etc etc.

I took his phone and discovered other texting with girls he met in Thailand. Lots of back and forth flirtations and when he was in town for a golf trip, they went into his room and slept with him. He said there was no sex.

This is a lifestyle that is comfortable for him. It's engrained in who he is. As much as he may be hurting too, it won't change who he is.

You will have to decide if you can live with the amount of love you receive from him, knowing what lurks deep down inside him. Even if he stops, it's cutting off a major part of who he is. It's not something that changes overnight.

You need to put YOU as a top priority in your life. Take care of yourself and make sure every decision you make serves YOU.

Eat, breath, bathe, exercise, enjoy nature and do whatever you normally love to do.

MamaDragon posted 3/18/2019 14:00 PM

Has he ended the affair? Or is he still talking to her?

Since you are holding steady at the moment, contact a lawyer - find out what your options are. Knowledge is power. You don't have to make any decisions yet but you can make a better decision when you know what your options are.

Personally, you are a better person than I - I would have thrown a hissy fit of epic proportions, told his parents, informed the OS (if there was one) and went home to pack his sh*t and called his AP to pick it up for him.

However, with his parents being elderly I can understand your actions. In the meantime though, go get an STD panel. Have him do a time line. Make him do a NC letter to all his EAs & PAs. (for the time being until you decide what you want to do)...if you decide to stay, have him sign a post nup. I'd also inform him that he has lost the ability to have friends of the opposite sex since he can't keep it in his pants and be honest with you. He led a double life while married to you - he can't have it both ways.


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