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Affair through cancer

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McTavish posted 3/31/2019 03:17 AM

I found out just over 2 months ago that my wife was having an affair which had lasted for 15 months up until discovery.

I am absolutely devastated and donít know whether I can get over it. The affair has made us realise that we both really love each other and we are committed to making a positive future together with our 3 young children but I am finding it very difficult to accept the details.

Before the affair we had grown apart and I could have been a better husband, I totally accept that.

The affair started a few weeks before my wife was diagnosed with cancer which she has thankfully recovered from.

It carried on throughout her 8-9 month treatment. It was emotional and sexual. He took her to clinic appointments and away to hotels during this time. My wife says it was more about the connection than the sex. However I cannot get my head round how the affair started and continued throughout this time, which was totally traumatic - I mean wtf?

I knew there was a distance between us during the cancer treatment but I put it down to the horribleness of the illness.

It then continued up until January this year, including trips to the town where we used to live under the auspices of meeting old friends - I was totally clueless. We live in a small town so it feels if the walls are closing in.

About 6 weeks ago the person she had the affair with emailed me spelling out all the details of the affair - there was information in the email that I had asked about but my wife had either minimised or denied.

I feel totally rejected and it feels like everything is contaminated. The drip feed of information has really floored me.

I want to forgive and trust, and in a lot of ways, we have really reconnected again but I have contrasting feelings and often feel like I am in a big loop of negativity as I have nagging doubts that yet more detail will come out. We have talked a lot but my wife finds it very difficult to re-live everything - she has been very remorseful but feels a bit helpless I think in how to help me.

I would like to know how you can get through this - is it really possible to get to a place where the marriage is stronger/better without feeling totally flooded and overwhelmed with emotion.

Dragonfly123 posted 3/31/2019 04:02 AM

McTavish Iím so sorry youíre here and in so much pain. Firstly thereís the usual advice to take care of yourself as you will be in shock. Drink water, eat well and sleep. Take time for you. The second piece of advice is always unpleasant but itís to have STD checks.

I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but what you are going through is entirely normal. We liken it to a rollercoaster and Iím afraid the affair has just launched you onto it without your consent. The ride lasts 2-5 years. Iím a year out and when I first heard that I scoffed but itís true. I still struggle daily. BUT the highs and lows arenít quite as extreme as they were in the beginning.

Iím presuming in this advice that the affair is over and no contact has been established. If not that is an absolute priority.

My personal piece of advice is to read. I really believe knowledge is power. The healing library has a number of excellent articles just navigate yourself there. There are also a number of excellent books for you both. Iíd recommend your wife reads Ďhow to help your spouse heal from an affairí by McDonald and Ďnot just friendsí by Glass. Both these books might help her understand the depth of your pain and how to help you as you feel that is what she wants to do. It will also help her understand how damaging the trickle truth was for you.

Again Iím so sorry youíre here. Keep posting.

PricklePatch posted 3/31/2019 04:13 AM

Iím sorry you joined us here. Please look to the left to the yellow box for the healing library.

Any distance could have been addressed by her. She could have spoken about her needs. She made a choice to have a emotional and physical relationship. That is on her, not on your martial problems.

She is uncomfortable sharing with you. She is trickle truthing you. A lot of cheaters feed you a little at a time out of fear. Others just donít want you to know.

What was his purpose in telling you? Has your wife written a formal no contact letter. Do you have transparency to her phone and social media? That is imperative.

You need to really think through is she remorseful because she is sorry or regretful at getting caught.

I would suggest STD testing, also a lawyers appointment to know your rights. I would also suggest Not Just Friends by Dr Shirley Glass.

If they work together the affair isnít over in the sense she will still be in contact.

Affairs require both people to be fully in to repair. That means complete honesty. Take your time make no quick decisions.
Personally I would suggest both of you get in to individual counseling.

Buster123 posted 3/31/2019 04:33 AM

I'm sorry that you had to join this club but glad you found us. Your WW (Wayward Wife) is NOT remorseful yet, she just regrets getting caught and had the AP not emailed you, it would still be ongoing today, she did not confess and is still holding lots of info, we call it TT (Trickle Truth), right now she's probably still grieving the loss of her boyfriend, you need to EXPOSE her A with ALL family and close friends, she need to apologize to them too for her huge betrayal, just because you found out about it, doesn't mean it won't go deep underground or resume in the future, she's now a proven cheater and a liar, don't take the blame for the A, problems in the M you own 50/50, her A was 100% her fault and her DECISION, she ChOSE to cheat and lie to your face literally thousands of times. Here are some of the basics steps I suggest you do and that are pretty much the concensus here on SI:

1) Demand she gets tested for STDs (you should too), no they did not use protection and even if they did, some STDs can be transmitted via saliva (kissing), also a pregnancy test is in order if she was not on BC (Birth Control).

2) She needs to offer FULL on demand access to her phone and all electronic devices and passwords, you might want to download Fonelab to recover deleted texts and emails.

3) Expose her A with All family and close friends, this is a VERY important step, she needs to own this and apologize, she needs to be embarrassed by her A and not remember as "something beautiful and romantic" but rather as the one thing that destroyed her reputation and integrity, the more she hates the A, the more she will hate her AP (Affair Partner) and the less likely she will cheat again in the future. Don't warn her about it, just do it, also find out if AP is married or has a GF, if so inform her about it too, just because he told you doesn't mean OBS (Other Betrayed Spouse) knows.

4) Consult an attorney to know your legal options and to see what D would look like, at a minimum, demand she signs a postnup in your favor (no alimony/spousal support or half of your pension) in case she cheats again in the fuutre or you later realize this is/was a dealbreaker for you (which is ok too).

5) She needs to send and NC FOREVER letter to AP, and any friends who knew about/covered for and/or enabled the A need to go too, they're not friends of the marriage.

6) She needs to write a complete timeline of the A, you may even have her take a polygraph test after that and one of the questions should be: "have you had other inappropriate relationships with anyone else besides AP since we've been together" ? yes there's a chance this was not her first rodeo.

7) She's in self preservation mode now, don't believe her words, watch her actions, did I mention CHEATERS LIE ? yes a lot.

8) She needs to go to IC to find out her "whys", how did she give herself permission to cheat on you and keep doing it for such a long time, how she came home and looked you in the face after having sex with AP, her betrayal was huge, DO NOT RUGSWEEP THIS to "move on", if you do, you will most likely wind up here again in the future.

9) Keep posting, the collective wisdom of SI can help and guide you through this difficult process, we've seen it play out THOUSANDS of times here and other websites.

Jsmart posted 3/31/2019 05:36 AM

I agree with Buster123 's last post but want to stress his 3rd point:

Expose her A with All family and close friends, this is a VERY important step, she needs to own this and apologize, she needs to be embarrassed by her A and not remember as "something beautiful and romantic" but rather as the one thing that destroyed her reputation and integrity, the more she hates the A, the more she will hate her AP (Affair Partner) and the less likely she will cheat again in the future. Don't warn her about it, just do it, also find out if AP is married or has a GF, if so inform her about it too, just because he told you doesn't mean OBS (Other Betrayed Spouse) knows.

I know you're hurting but rug sweeping this, will not make the pain go away and will hurt you more in the long run. Don't fall for any false remorse because deep down you know they would still be fucking if you had not busted them.

When you expose to her parents don't do it in a "your daughter's a whore." Do it in a "help me fight for our marriage and family." You also need to expose to POS' wife. Any friends who knew but were covering up for her, should be cut off.

Also you need full access to all of her shit. email, phone, ipad, laptop, EVERYTHING. In affairs like this, there's a higher probability of her wanting to restart with POS when the dust settles down and you've been lulled back to sleep.

Also want to say not to beat yourself up about not being there. You probably would have been there for her more during her fight but she was pushing you away. Your gut was telling you something was off but you chalked it up to it being the stress of her treatments. She used your understanding demeanor to allow another man access to what should have been only for the father of her 3 kids.

This is going to be a tough long battle. She is probably very bonded to him not only through the sex but through the fact that she went through a very dramatic experience and it was him that was there. She's not going to forget that. It's critical that this not be remembered as some beautiful romantic thing. Let the light of exposure show what she did so she sees it for the cruel betrayal that it was.

[This message edited by Jsmart at 5:40 AM, March 31st (Sunday)]

Cooley2here posted 3/31/2019 06:30 AM

You already have good advice.

I am very focused on the OM. He sounds off. The two things that jumped out were the timing and the emails. These were done for one of two reasons. He is ďsickĒ and enjoyed having a woman who was ill under his subtle thumb. The other is to have power over you. It doesnít matter if you know him or not.

He might have fallen in love with her. Did she ask him to take her to dr or did he volunteer? Either way those emails were done in a way to hurt you both. There were kinder ways of him alerting you.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 6:57 AM, March 31st (Sunday)]

Sknippen posted 3/31/2019 07:13 AM

Hello, sorry for you to be in this situation. First of all. You are nothing to blame for the infidility of you're wife. How good or how bad you relationship was, it doesn't matter. You're wife, a full grown adult woman, choose to have an affair with another man. She could have chosen to work on the marriage before the affair. Even if she doubted her love she could have taken a pause in the relationship and lived appart for a while (without having sex with other man). She has chosen to have an affair. In the meanwhile during her illness you probably helped a lot and supported her. Now the AP has mailed to you (probably he wanted the affair to stop and so he dumped the WW) But she always had her plan B. Now she plays remorsefull to be able to keep her plan B. Be aware you still are plan B until she will find a new plan A. What you keed to do is become her plan A again and and rugsweeping isn't the solution. Expose the affair, let her and everyone know how hurtfull and destructing she was. She destroyed family life, destroyed the trust. She needs to feel this cannot happen without concequences. Only after that you can work on reconciliation. But rugsweeping means that you are more or less ok with her affair and she knows now she can start a new one without severe concequenses.

realitybites posted 3/31/2019 09:00 AM

The affair started a few weeks before my wife was diagnosed with cancer which she has thankfully recovered from.

It carried on throughout her 8-9 month treatment. It was emotional and sexual. He took her to clinic appointments and away to hotels during this time. My wife says it was more about the connection than the sex. However I cannot get my head round how the affair started and continued throughout this time, which was totally traumatic - I mean wtf?

I knew there was a distance between us during the cancer treatment but I put it down to the horribleness of the illness.

I hear so many bad stories on here all the time, but allowing your spouse who is suffering with you thru a cancer diagnosis and praying that you get better and being the one to take on the brunt of the emotional and financial dealings AND ALSO HAVING AN AFFAIR with someone else while going thru cancer????

You my friend are a saint. And you did not deserve to have this type of spouse. I am sorry she went thru cancer and I am am thankful for you that she has recovered.

But you are now doubly traumatized from hearing that your spouse had cancer, you thought you both were working your way thru getting her better and now you find out that she had an affair as well.

There is a disassociation with this that goes beyond any empathy or understanding.

You can heal and you can get better but not without finding an IC of your own to help you struggle thru much of the trauma you have just gone thru. Again, I am sorry and there will be many here who will pop on and give you some great advice.

Jsmart posted 3/31/2019 09:27 AM

The affair started a few weeks before my wife was diagnosed with cancer which she has thankfully recovered from.

I skipped right past the point that her affair started BEFORE she was diagnosed. I thought it was some friendship that evolved during a stressful time but she was cheating before that. That's more damning. How sure are you that it didn't start earlier than that?

15 month affair is, especially during a life event is hard to just end like that. I'm sure that she felt and probably still feels that she loves POS.
Has she been distant and mopey. That would be a sign that she's mourning the breakup from her boyfriend. How sure are you that they haven't taken it underground or are just laying low to restart later?

Something about POS spontaneously giving you additional details smells. I'm sure he didn't do it because all of a sudden he's grown a conscious for fucking a married mother. Has your wife given you a detailed timeline about the affair? If not you should insist on one. You want to know what it is that you're actually forgiving.

How was your marriage during this time? Was she cold and unaffectionate? Did she cut you off sexually? Very common for a WW to cut their BH off. They don't want to cheat on their boyfriend.

The more info you provide, the better the help and guidance you'll receive. Remember that there's no shame. We've all been in your shoes and no the pain and hurt you're feeling.


McTavish posted 3/31/2019 09:53 AM

Thank you for the responses.

My wife has stopped all contact with the OM. I have had an STD test which is all clear.

She says that now everything is out that her feelings for OM have completely dissolved. I am not sure I entirely believe this but she has been very engaged and loving recently - like I say we have reconnected somewhat.

I found out after receiving an Ďanonymousí letter - my wife believes this was the OM who sent it. He then sent the subsequent letter with all the detail. I think his communications have malicious intent. I know who he is, an ex work colleague from the job she had when she was diagnosed.

I donít think I am rugsweeping because I do want our relationship to work. I do believe that my wife is genuinely sorry and remorseful for the hurt she has caused me - however as I am sure you all know, nothing feels like it is the truth.

I do have a lot of detail about the timings etc. We have talked a lot - I am not sure how much more mega detail will be helpful.

We did start counselling last year as our marriage wasnít great but the affair never came out through that process. I have continued with individual counselling and we will restart joint counselling.

I donít want to punish my wife but I do want to get closure and understand it all.

What do people mean by consequences? What actually are these practically. Her mum and friends do know that she had an affair but I am not sure whether this matters as obviously they will be supportive of my wife.

I feel empty - the alternative to separate is equally grim as it is me that will see the kids less whichever way you dress it up.

[This message edited by McTavish at 9:56 AM, March 31st (Sunday)]

Jsmart posted 3/31/2019 10:32 AM

So you didnít discover on your own, it was confessed anonymously by POS, hoping you would leave her? Do really think this guy wants to sign up for a cheating divorcee with 3 kids? Iím sure he probably thinks he cares about her but thereís a big difference from sneaking off to a hotel for wanton sex with someone elseís wife and wifing her up.

That he was an old coworker means this could have been going on much longer than 15 months, at least as an EA. Sheís a very good at being deceitful. Looking a MC in the eyes to talk about problems with the marriage, while the whole time she was deep in a PA. So donít be so quick to accept her words. Only her actions should be believed.

You say sheís warmed up recently. Was she emotionally distant after D day? Donít confuse her mourning her breakup with remorse or even regret. Itís a positive sign that she may be coming out of the ďluvĒ fog , even though it seems kind of quick considering that he was there during the battle of her life.

As for consequences, it important that she feel shame for what sheís done. It canít be some beautiful memory of the man that got away or if only things were different.

[This message edited by Jsmart at 11:03 AM, March 31st (Sunday)]

Bigger posted 3/31/2019 10:33 AM

McTavish

The advice offered here tends to be very direct and there is a good reason for that. All the above Ė exposure and all that Ė is true. There are trends, actions, behaviors and expectations that repeated cases again and again shine through. Even though each case is different then honestly the only thing that makes YOUR encounter with infidelity special is that itís YOURS.
We can share that in probably 8 out of 10 cases the affair continues after d-day in some form or other.
We can share that in 98/100 cases the truth isnít clear in the first months after d-day.
We can share that in 4/10 cases there is a relapse.
We can tell you with 8/10 certainty that OM is reaching out to her.
We can tell you with 6/10 certainty that your wife isnít totally focused on the marriage.
We can tell you with 9/10 certainty that there are others that knew.
We can tell you with 710 certainty that someone supported the affair.

We can tell you this because these are probably the numbers we have seen. And frankly and bluntly: Your wife isnít special. Sheís controlled by the same behaviors, urges and thoughts as others that have cheated. OK Ė granted we havenít had a cheating wife dealing with cancer and living in the UK. But we have had husbands and wives dealing with illness and we have had people living in all parts of the world and we have experienced comparable numbers to the ones I mention.

The odds of your wife being 2/100, 6/10, 4/10Ö (and so on) are extremely low. The odds are extremely high that our joint experience can help you. There is a popular saying here ďtake what you want and leave the restĒ. I personally think that opens you up to leaving harmful but vital info, so I prefer ďtake what you NEED and be very open to what you needĒ.

I want to leave you with two things:
IF DONE PROPERLY your marriage can reconcile to a great place. IF DONE PROPERLY you and your wife will be setting off on an ongoing, constant journey of self-work, marriage-work and family improvement. With time you will realize that infidelity recovery was only a waypoint on that journey. But ONLY IF DONE PROPERLY.
That ďproperlyĒ has very limited to do with the affair. To move on you both need to reach a place where you leave it behind. Not forgotten Ė but no longer hindering progress. The ONLY WAY to leave it behind is by dealing with it, knowing EVERYTHING and accepting whatever consequences that knowledge offers. Be it divorce or be it reconciliation.

The final thing: Donít be a one-off poster. Share some more. Tell us your initial reaction to our suggestions. Tell us how your WW reacted, who knows, how OM has reactedÖ The more we know the better we can direct you.

edited: See you posted just before I wrote the above.

[This message edited by Bigger at 10:34 AM, March 31st (Sunday)]

Bigger posted 3/31/2019 10:42 AM

Her mom and friends:
Did they know of the affair while it was ongoing?

Bigger posted 3/31/2019 12:21 PM

Regarding consequences.
IMHO the most important consequence needs to be that you wife realizes that her DECISSION to have an affair seriously risked YOUR willingness to remain married. That the marriage is still there not because she decided to end the affair and focus on you, but rather because YOU decided to remain in the marriage.

Another consequence is that you wife has to accept as FACT that she DECIDED to have an affair. It didnít just happen. At some point she consciously decided that having an affair was OK. And it had been going on long enough for her to lean on her AP more than you during her illness.
This is quite important: She DECIDED to have an affair and she DECIDED it was OK. The state of your marriage when she reached that decision is irrelative. She could DECIDE to work on the marriage or she could DECIDE to end the marriage. She could not decide to have an affair.
She also needs to recognize the utmost disrespect she showed you in going to MC while in the affair. What a waste of time. MC is totally based on commitment and honesty Ė both ignored by her.

Be clear on this: Your marriage could have been terrible when she decided to go elsewhere Ė but it never justified THIS decision. Itís like if you had bad breath and her way of dealing with that was to shoot you in the head with a shotgun.

I also think you need to grasp some things: The speed at the intimacy of the affair indicate itís been having a longer build-up than you think. Plus the AP insistence of letting you know. He was pretty confident she would choose him over you.
Plus Ė and this impacts people in different ways Ė Itís probably known at work. Do they still work together?
PlusÖ You need to contemplate how you are going to deal with those that knew but did not have positive input on her actions. If her mom knew you need to reconcile with her and that she didnít help save your marriage.


goalong posted 3/31/2019 12:37 PM

Looks like you consider cheating is not a big deal or may be cancer made you to detach from her as cancer make some people to have scary thoughts and you feel bad for her now

sisoon posted 3/31/2019 15:09 PM

This looks like a workplace A. I recommend some reading:

1) NOT "Just Friends" by Shirley Glass;

2)https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/healing_library/reconciliation/what-every-wayward-spouse-needs-to-know.asp? - I found this very useful. I printed it off and gave it to my W to read. I did not tell her about SI - it was just something I found on the web. This doc is part of the 'Healing Library,' and I recommend browsing there.

********

If R is a strong possibility, and it might be for you, I would think carefully about outing - shaming - your W.

You can't nice a WS back into your M. I don't think you can shame a WS back, either.

IMO, for the foundation of R to be stable, the WS comes back of his/her own free will.

LivingWithPain posted 3/31/2019 17:35 PM

So sorry this happened to you.

I echo other who have said that she has not told you the whole truth. Dig deeper.

anoldlion posted 4/1/2019 02:40 AM

John Wayne once said, "Everyone deserves a second chance but keep an eye on them." In other words, don't trust too quickly. One of the things we use to say in the military was, "Be sure the person you would take a bullet for isn't the one pulling the trigger." This describes cheating to a tee. If you really love her then hold on to her and push the other emotions back. You can't dwell on what happened in the past and expect to be happy now. Doesn't work.
I do have a question. My wife also had cancer and I was the one that took her to all her appointments. Why was this other man taking you wife doing what you should have been doing? I do wish you well.

TheGuy123 posted 4/1/2019 21:52 PM

Here is my perspective....

The OM fell hard for your old lady right from the get go. I mean he gets her before the cancer then continues to go after her even after she gets sick.

Granted she is easy pick-ins, but to stay for the sex for all those month...it had to of meant something to him.

This is not some kind of "I want to get laid and then bail" on some married chick. This POS really fell hard for your old lady IMHO.

So now after all these weeks he can't live with out her so he tries to break up the marriage (again)with the letters.

This affair should have been expose far and wide (a consequence for bad behavior).A no contact letter should have been written to OM from your old lady denouncing the A, shaming the OM, along with shaming the behavior they both exhibited, and finally informing the OM that any more contact will result in the court action.

This should have come from your old lady weeks ago, but it might not be to late.

I think your old lady should read the letters OM sent you and with just as much vicious detail denounce him as a human being.

It appears to me your old lady may not have brought the point home when she broke up with him. I'm guessing the 1st NC letter had her saying a lot of "sorries" and "miss you's"....that my friend is not the way NC letters are written...tell her to try again! Especially with the recent letter you received.

That's my $0.02

hadji posted 4/1/2019 22:28 PM

Your wife has to be honest with you about her feelings for the AP. It doesn't just vanish in thin air. She is definitely minimizing and as you've found out from the AP's letters she is probably minimizing even now about how she feels about him and misrepresenting how she feels about you and your M.

Did you ask her, why she wants to commit to the M? Did she ever give the ILYBINILWY speech anytime during or before the A? Are you sure that she is in this for the right reasons and not because of her situation which needs your support, let alone the financial situation or the kids?

I honestly never understand how an A makes someone realize that she loves her BS. I mean, what was the moment of truth for her that happened now that did not happen before she crossed the line and was continuing her double life for 15 months?

The consequences that she has to feel are deep remorse for the hurt and damage she has caused to you, your marriage and your outlook towards everything. Despite however hopeful you sound now, you will be second-guessing everything for a long time and even after that you will never have that special feeling about your marriage. She must feel the anguish of that. Besides her own shame. Shame is not remorse, btw.

Edit: I wanted to add, I wish the best for your wife in her recovery.

[This message edited by hadji at 10:48 PM, April 1st (Monday)]

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