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Wife had multiple affairs - struggling

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demolishedinside posted 5/5/2019 13:15 PM

NTV said what I was coming to say. Mine is a serial cheater, too. After watching the aftermath and all my therapy, pain and fear, he did it again? What?! There was just no way I could find a way to get past it.

I understand your wife has abuse in her past. I know you want to try. Please take care of yourself. Some people just will not put in the work to become healthy. It’s so much easier not to.

DIFM posted 5/5/2019 13:35 PM

I'm sorry if you already addressed this and I missed it, but is your wife in individual counseling aside from whatever marriage counseling you might be doing? Because for now you don't really have a marriage problem you have a deeply broken spouse problem and only she can fix that with the help of a therapist.

Is she in IC?

Striver posted 5/5/2019 20:02 PM

Beachwalker, I am glad you are here and working through things. But the following really struck me:

I just keep coming back to the thought that if our roles were reversed, how would I want my wife to treat me?

Let's examine this. You have treated your wife as she has treated you. Meaning you have cheated on her for 20+ years with a succession of partners.

Your thoughts, were you that person, would, I hope, that you were deeply ashamed of this behavior, that you were mortified that you had hurt your partner so. NOT that you were hoping your partner forgives you... for 20 years of adultery?!?

Do you think it's okay for anyone to cheat on anyone? Or are you special?

I say this to you as a friend. You deserve not to be cheated on. People in your situation may develop a victim mentality, where they can be seen as special by suffering so much. None of us deserves to suffer any more than any other person. You do not deserve to suffer. You are worthy of a good relationship.

Consequently, the empathy you are attempting does not recognize your own role in this.

What would you advise one of your own children who was cheated on again and again by a partner. A partner who is not one of your children, one of your kin. Who is treating your child with tremendous disrespect again and again and again. That forgiveness is always the first word to come out of your child's mouth for adultery, A SIN, again and again and again?

Now when I talk about forgiveness, there is a difference between forgiving a sinner as an individual and remaining married to them. Marriage is a special status between men and women for a particular purpose. People are not married in Heaven. It is to serve a purpose on earth. People who commit adultery are violating the purpose of marriage. The Bible allows for divorce in cases of adultery. It is not required, but it is allowed. No one should feel shame for divorcing a repeatedly unfaithful partner.

Glad you're here... just trying to help you get where you need to go.

Michigan posted 5/6/2019 12:04 PM

From the wayward side:

I had TT’d and finally told my husband one lie too many for him to take it anymore. It was a weekend and he began looking into quick divorce lawyers with the plan of seeing one come Monday.

He packed a bag and left the house. Up until that moment, I don’t think it seemed real. It finally hit me what life apart from would look like. He had never been so certain about anything. I knew it wasn’t an empty threat. I was scared out of mind.

I told him to come back home and I left to stay at our friends. I spent the weekend writing the most detailed timeline I possibly could. I poured my soul into it knowing it was my last chance.

When I got that last chance, I never took it for granted. I have tried to make sure that my husband never has a reason to ask for a divorce again. We have worked together and separately in order to build a new M.

WalkinOnEggshelz

LivingWithPain posted 5/6/2019 12:10 PM

I, also, want to stay in the relationship with the woman I love so deeply, but how do I learn to trust my abuser? How do I restore that peace and confidence that I am safe in this relationship?

I'm sorry but you won't. She will not stop. She may slow down and go on hiatus for a while, but the empirical evidence shows it is often impossible for serial cheaters to stop...not all, but most. Are here success stories? Sure. But are you willing to wager the rest of your life and emotional well-being on the possibility she may change? You only have one life my friend.

I know you want to save this, but you will just be wasting time and money and setting yourself up for more heartache. Divorce her and move on.

[This message edited by LivingWithPain at 12:14 PM, May 6th (Monday)]

nekonamida posted 5/6/2019 13:19 PM

She will not stop. She may slow down and go on hiatus for a while, but the empirical evidence shows it is often impossible for serial cheaters to stop...not all, but most. Are here success stories? Sure. But are you willing to wager the rest of your life and emotional well-being on the possibility she may change? You only have one life my friend.

The success stories are always of a serial cheater who owned up to it, stopped lying, and did the very hard work of changing through lots of therapy. Beachwalker's WW is still struggling to be upfront and honest so until that happens, she can't begin to do the work.

And you, Beachwalker, can't R if you don't know what you're R'ing with. Honesty is a prerequisite for remorse. What you're seeing is regret - sorry she got caught. Personally, I'd make honesty and giving up all of the details a requirement for staying married.

LivingWithPain posted 5/6/2019 16:31 PM

I tried to make sure that my post was not painting with broad strokes. Of course a serial cheater can change his/her ways! But they have to want to.

I don't see where OP's WW really wants to.

Beachwalker posted 5/6/2019 23:33 PM

MARZ: I whole heartedly agree that my WW does need deep IC help. This is one of the 4 conditions I gave her for me staying in our relationship, and she continues with that IC until the counselor informs me that my wife no longer needs his/her help.

I have heard from recovered addicts with whom I work that there can be relapses and that the road will be long. I told my wife that if there is any other man (even flirting counts), it is a violation of one of my conditions and we are immediately done. So, I am not looking for a “quick fix”. I understand this is a very deep problem, that the odds are against us, and it will take a long while.

I thought about the DNA testing, but each of our kids look so much like either me or my little sister that it’s uncanny! So by visual cues, I am sure they are all mine. I have thought what I would do if the DNA test came back as one (or more) of the children being some other man’s. Would I tell that child? Would I go after 15 years’ worth of back child support? Even though someone else may have fathered the child, I still have been the dad all their life. I don’t think I would have the courage to tell them they aren’t mine.

I was in the hospital recently for 10 days and the doctors worked diligently to find out what was wrong with me. They took LOTS of blood samples and tested me for all kinds of things trying to find the cause of my illness. Fortunately, one of the test series included HIV and the like, and I came out with all negatives. Good news for me!

I am going the way you advise: I am putting 100% of the trust earning and getting her “wiring fixed” on her shoulders, because I am taking the advice of others here, too. I am going to focus on me. I have been abused, used, hurt, etc. for a very long time behind my back, and I am finding it more difficult to deal with every day. I have made an appointment with my IC to begin that healing process, and I think I’m going to put my golf clubs in the back of my SUV and go to the driving range once in a while.

Beachwalker posted 5/7/2019 01:02 AM

TALLGIRL: Thank you for your empathy and understanding. I don’t know anywhere else I could go but SI and talk with people who have been through the same situation and pain which I am going through.

Believe me, I have no intension of “rugsweeping” this. I wanted to leave my wife on 2 occasions, but had 2 separate people tell me to “wait”. They didn’t say to not divorce, just to wait. I am taking their advice. I think I am waiting and watching what my wife does. Does she stay with the SI? Does she come clean with all her activities and men? Does she shed her old way of life? She has some time to show me.

You are right when you say she is a serial cheater and very selfish. I believe she has not yet told me all I need to know and/or have asked about. I agree that I don’t think anyone can “just stop” cheating and lying after it has been a lifestyle of 20 years. I do think, though, that she does want to stop and wants to change.

I have unrestricted access to her phone, emails, texts, call records, social media, etc. I think she is remorseful and she has apologized to me on multiple occasions.

I will look for the article on 180 in the library – thank you for the suggestion. And thank you for the suggestion about protecting myself. I will. I am also going back to my SI and work on healing myself.

Beachwalker posted 5/7/2019 01:11 AM

MICHIGAN: Thank you for sharing that story from WalkinOnEggshelz.

I had contacted one of my cousins whose husband had cheated on her, at least that’s what I was told. She corrected me and said he only was flirting, but that she made it crystal clear to him before the marriage she has a no tolerance policy. They talked about the incident and she didn’t think he took it very seriously. He changed, though, when she had divorce papers served. He realized how much he wanted to save his marriage and put 110% effort into restoring her trust in him and both attended marriage counseling, jointly.

I have considered such a path for my wife – throwing her overboard, letting her swim back to the ship, then earning her way back on to the deck. But since finances won’t allow that right now, (I don’t even have enough money for a divorce) we’ll have to stay together and I will have to see what she does.

wifehad5 posted 5/7/2019 13:42 PM

PM for you Michigan

numb&dumb posted 5/7/2019 15:01 PM

Beachwalker as much as I think that IC is a good idea I think that partners of addicts or partners of abuse survivors groups can provide you tools and a sense of your are not alone right now. Being a BS can be a very lonely place when your WS is not strong enough to provide any amount of support.

Do IC and I would be amazed if they did not suggest the same.

I think you logically understand that your life won't be stable for some time either. You really do need to make sure you are taking care of yourself. The 180 is a good way to do that, but that level of detachment might not be best for your W right now.

You are a saint if you can offer support while hurting so badly. Just make sure that you don't get too focused on supporting your W to your own detriment. As they say on airplanes put your own oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else.

Martyrs by definition don't live to tell their own tales. Don't be a martyr. Be the one around to tell your own story.

Welcome to last club you ever wanted to join. It is great here.

survrus posted 5/7/2019 18:27 PM

Beachwalker,

What have you done about the OMs have you exposed them to their wives and Sos? confronted them etc.

Beachwalker posted 5/7/2019 20:46 PM

SURVRUS: Those OM’s I have had contact information for was only email. I let them know I was aware of the adultery they committed with my wife. One in specific I gave very clear instructions of what I expected him to do, namely to leave my wife alone – no contact ever for any reason. None, not surprisingly, have responded. Others’ phone numbers I have called, but they have been disconnected.

I spoke with my counselor months ago about doing that very thing, and he asked me, “What would that accomplish?” I said first, it would let them know that I was aware of the relationship and, second, that it had better stop immediately. He felt things would be much better if my wife was the one to contact them and end everything. But as far as I can tell, this activity had greatly decreased by the time I could think that clearly again, so the relationships had dissipated. I also mentioned “revenge” to my counselor, but he reminded me that vengeance belongs to Someone Else. Plus, there’s the Klingon proverb which says, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

DeWittle posted 5/7/2019 21:22 PM

It’s not revenge! The OBS needs to know for their own good. How would you feel had one of the OBS knew and didn’t tell you? Especially with your recent health scare, what if that is a contributing factor with one of the OBS’s health, should they know? It is NOT revenge, your counselor is wrong.

[This message edited by DeWittle at 9:24 PM, May 7th (Tuesday)]

Marz posted 5/8/2019 01:05 AM

Beachwalker,

You seem to get it. True R is a long process. Upwards of 2-5 years. Upfront most are just in self preservation mode. You'll know if she's really trying or just waiting for you to "get over it".

Be cognizant and read the signs. Many only see what they want to see. That will not bode you well long term.

Never deliver an ultimatum that you don't plan on carrying out.

I hope it works out for you. Life is to short to have to be a warden.

Good luck

survrus posted 5/8/2019 19:08 PM

BeachWalker,

Has your WW written out a timeline for the affairs with details, this should be a requirement if chose to reconcile.

After that is done take your WW to a polygraph.

Do you even know the names of the OMs? Or is your WW still withholding that from you?

Some of the reasons to expose the OMs.

* it is a consequence to your WW

* the OM families and SOs deserve the truth

* it makes your WW more cautious about entering more affairs since you will take action.

Beachwalker posted 5/8/2019 20:42 PM

SURVRUS: When I began my own “investigation” and learned of multiple men, I put together my own timeline just to give me a picture of events. She has been forthcoming with names and answered any questions regarding when and specifically what they did together. On one occasion she even cried after telling me the events of a particular evening. Something I discovered that, when I shared with her the chart, took her by surprise, and that was the number of simultaneous boyfriends she courted. I think it was at that point she admitted she needed help.

Regarding informing SO’s and OM’s of my WW’s suitors, I agree with what you say, but there is another element I do not want to invite. They suitor could sue me for defamation of character and/or slander. I am not prepared to take that on. As far as my wife getting the message that I mean business, I think that has sunk in. She knows I have already been to a divorce attorney and have contacted some of boyfriends. We have already discussed telling the children and that will be concluded pretty soon.

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