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Revenge Affair

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Tallgirl posted 5/12/2019 05:55 AM

I am sorry for your pain. We are all acquainted with the pain of infidelity. It feels like being gutted.

I agree with the sentiment that your wife is using the EA as an excuse to justify her A.

This is a painful journey you are on. Your M is not strong and you both have cheated. It can be recovered. You can be happy. But be prepared for hard work and some insane emotions.

As for SI, you will get amazing support, great insights, 2x4s, and advice from so many perspectives. You wonít like it all. That is ok. I have been here for about a year. There is collective wisdom, experience, and pain.

Donít leave because someone says something you donít like. Take it in, play around with the uncomfortable thought and then decide what you will listen to and what applies to you.

People here want to help and to be helped through infidelity. So welcome to this crazy place of good people like you.

AZNative34 posted 5/12/2019 09:19 AM

By the sounds of it, she is remorseful, she does regret it, and she felt horrible the last 9 months lying to my face.

But now that we are past the first week, Iím starting to get resistance to my questions and to the thought of our marriage still working. Since she told me, I have heard we just donít work, several times.

I have spent the last week meeting her for lunch and spending the evenings with her. If someone were looking from the outside in, it would look as if I am the phone who had the A because I am constantly being nice and helpful. I have no idea what I am doing.

Marriagesucks posted 5/12/2019 10:22 AM

Looking back over your posts this has the ring of an exit affair. Your WW doesn't seem to have any real desire to get back together...hence seeing no need for counseling or therapy. She has told you several times, 'We just don't work'.

IMHO you're not going to find any answers of substance from her... as I believe your WW did the cowardly thing of having an exit affair.

sisoon posted 5/12/2019 10:24 AM

Reconciling is an option. Though Iím still having a hard time seeing why someone would intentionally hurt someone.
Ah, bro,human beings hurt each other. The intention isn't all that important. It looks like your EA hurt your W, too, though she handled it poorly.

In general, I don't think the intention matters much, if at all. I expect you'd hurt as much as you do now, even if your W said she did not intend to hurt you.

Reconciling is an option for me if she could get counseling or therapy. This is something she refused to do as well.
This is a red flag to me, too.

By the sounds of it, she is remorseful, she does regret it, and she felt horrible the last 9 months lying to my face.
Regret is wishing she hadn't done it. Remorse is taking action to make amends and rebuild.

But now that we are past the first week, Iím starting to get resistance to my questions and to the thought of our marriage still working. Since she told me, I have heard we just donít work, several times.
2 red flags.

Could your W have conducted an exit A, but she says it's and RA because she doesn't want to acknowledge she wants out?

Not answering questions is, IMO, a way of avoiding responsibility. It's a way of hiding from the fact that she betrayed you (and it doesn't matter why she betrayed you).

Her refusal to do IC may have the same objective - hide from her motivations, actions, and their consequences. IMO, IC is necessary for her especially because she now refuses it. (My general appraoch to IC is that it's best to go toward anything that scares you; again that's JMO.)

R requires honesty and the willingness to change. Your W doesn't look like she meets those requirements.

IMO, a few MC sessions may be helpful, if you go in with a goal of figuring out if R really is a possibility. If the MC focuses on what you and your W really want, and how you get what you want, it could be a very good session or 2 - you should come out of the session with a recommendation to D or start R, which includes IC for your W.

AZNative34 posted 5/13/2019 11:32 AM

Thank you all for the replies. I am currently in a state of wondering what to do next. over the next few days, I want to sit and talk with her. These are going to be some hard conversations and I want to be best prepared for them.

I looked through the Healing Library but don't know what to use for a resource to determine how to navigate this difficult conversation.

I will continue to look for a resource.

I believe her RA was an Exit Affair too, but why would she wait 9 months to tell me that.

Besides the intimacy with another man, how can she spend months with me, right next to me and not say a word to me about it? Is that a lack of remorse? what do you call someone who can do that?

This is unbelievable and it only has been one week.

OptionedOut posted 5/13/2019 13:18 PM

My two cents:

1) she never got over your affair and doesn't believe it was just emotional. You moved out and started dating someone right away from your past whom you probably had sex with at one point. You hear how it sounds, right? Even if you are telling the truth, it sounds fishy. Also, to her, you essentially dumped her for an ex. Ouch! Worse, you felt you could confide in another woman and not her. That's you saying you don't trust your wife with your feelings.

I'm not judging. Just trying to see if a different perspective feels right to you.

2) since then, she doesn't feel like you can trust her with the real truth (remember, she thinks you had to do SOMETHING physical with your ex). She also doesn't feel like you can trust her with your feelings or that she's who you will ever come to in times of need.

She feels like she'd plan B.

So, she sought out what you weren't giving her (I'm not giving a pass, just offering a perspective), and found herself in an affair. The question is, did it get her what she was looking for? And when she can answer that, maybe there's hope. Be prepared that it DID give her what she wanted/needed, and therefore has the self-confidence to move forward with or without you. If it didn't, she should really work on that or she'll be open to more affairs, despite her insistence that she wouldn't (because she truly believe she wouldn't). Or...

3) The affair isn't over and she wants YOU to give up on her... again. Because in her eyes, you gave up on her the first time.

4) She's being totally honest with you in what happened hoping that you'll do that in return (remember, she probably 100% believes you were both romantically and physically intimate with your ex).

5) I'm betting she just wanted to feel important to someone since she feels you are and always have your ex in your head, heart, groin.

Okay, so it wasn't two cents. It was more a nickel's worth. But I'd bet that if you went over some of these with her, she'd agree with some of it.

Want your best shot at working this out? Spin this in a way that shows her you see exactly how she feels. "I know you are hurting. You probably think X, Y, Z, and looking at what I did, I don't blame you for thinking that way."

I'm not saying to give her a pass. She does need to come to terms with this. And she's probably afraid of a therapist because they'll call her out on a malicious revenge affair, and maybe that wasn't really what she was doing. Maybe she truly feels second rate and wanted to feel important to someone else, fantasy or not. It may not have been malicious. Again, just another perspective on this.

Wishing you both healing, whichever way it goes.

Dismayed2012 posted 5/13/2019 13:33 PM

Sorry about your situation AZ.

Your WW is lying to you about only once with the OM. All cheaters minimize how many times they had sex with the OP.

You would do well to first employ the 180. You can read about it in the Healing Library on this site. Then sit down and ask you WW if she wants a divorce. If she says yes, then don't question her. Just say okay and start dividing the furniture and assets. Decide who gets what. Then ask her to move her things out of your bedroom and into a separate room were she can sleep from now until she moves out. Then find a good lawyer and follow his/her advice on what steps to be taken next.

If she says that she doesn't want a divorce then lay out your pre-determined requirements for R. Lay out what you want and what she needs to commit to in order for the marriage to move forward. If she's not willing to comply, then assume she's saying she wants a divorce and follow the advice given in the previous paragraph.

Know that my personal opinion is that you're married to someone who's going to continue to bring you pain and despair. She's given you an open door to freedom. I'd advise you walk out that door and away from the toxic person you married. I wish the best for you.

AZNative34 posted 5/15/2019 17:21 PM

The latest with us. I spent the last week with my Wife. I wanted to see how she is and what she does. She seemed to be remorseful for about a week. And then she didnt seem like she cared about how i was feeling as i walked past her crying, and she didnt stop me to hold me or say sorry.

I dont know what to think. I keep thinking I should try to reconcile with her and figure out how this can work, but the other half of me is asking me what type of person has a RA to intentionally hurt someone. Someone they are supposed to love.

I read some of the healing library and will continue to read it.

She claims to have only slept with this person one time and said she stopped half way. Thinking about this is constant in my head.

I asked if she wanted a divorce and she said no.

I mentioned going to therapy and she said she doesnt think it helps but she is willing to go.

She is still vague about the truth and keeps telling me she doesnt want to talk about it. she told me it happened in August but come to find out a little more, she had been talking to this person since last spring.

She is the type of person who HATES when people hit on married people.

None of this makes sense.

nekonamida posted 5/16/2019 12:24 PM

AZ, you can't R alone so unfortunately, right now, that's not an option. It can be an option if she gives you the full truth and commits 110% to fixing this including being sympathetic to your pain.

What you can do right now is make a list of non-negotiables. That can and should include full transparency - access to her phone, email, social media, etc. and letting her know that you don't believe her about the one time so she will have to come up with a way to prove that. She could restore deleted texts, give you Google/phone location history, or agreeing to a polygraph test. There are a lot of options here to at least explore and talk about. Counseling - specifically IC for her - is also a must have because she needs to explore why her choice was to hurt you and blow up the marriage instead of making the right choices to get through this or end the marriage.

In many cases on SI, you have to be willing to lose the marriage in order to save it. If she does not agree to doing what you need to heal and R, then you will find yourself D'ing now or in the future. Possibly because she filed because she couldn't put up with your pain from being betrayed. That means that you have nothing to lose by making this list of demands even if she refuses. D will also take time and give her the opportunity to change her mind and recommit to doing what she needs to do for R.

Thanksgiving2016 posted 5/16/2019 21:13 PM

Is the other man in a relationship ? If itís an exit affair sheís waiting for her he OM to give her the green light which historically is unlikely but he will string her along as long as she lets him.

numb&dumb posted 5/17/2019 12:51 PM

AZN- She explain it to you because she doesn't understand it herself. She did it thinking it would fix whatever issues she had at the time, but now is confused that it just made her feel worse. Nothing good every comes out of any A.

Rather than calling this an RA how about calling it an A ? You'd be surprised at how semantics can help our oustandings. The term we use around here is mad hatters. Both spouses wore both hats.

There is a section in the I can relate forum reserved for just those types of discussions for mad hatters. So it might be helpful for you to read there.

Have you thought about seeing a counselor by yourself ? It might be helpful to have someone IRL to guide you and get your head unjumbled.

AZNative34 posted 7/19/2019 07:57 AM

It now has been 75 days since I found out about her RA. She felt alone, like no one cared about her. I admit I wasnt the greatest husband while working two full-time jobs to become an entrepreneur. She felt neglected. So she decided to find happiness elsewhere. During all this time I had mentioned to her I needed her to communicate with me and tell me what was going on in her head. She refused and that's where that had ended. I asked her to go to counseling with me and she refused. that is where that ended. So she found a neighbor who was nice to her. She said she fell in love with him. Over the course of 5 months, it took for her to fall in love and have oral sex and intercourse. I have been crying every single day since I found out. We spent the last 2 weeks together with her family in another country on a already planned "Vacation" I moved back into my house. She swears up and down she doesn't talk to him anymore.

I have read 3 books. The State of Affairs by Ester Perel, Survive her Affair by Kevin Jackson, and the seven principles to making a marriage work.

I am currently trying to understand if this is something I can accept and recover from. I don't feel as if it is because having sexual intentions with another person was a deal breaker for me in any relationship I have had before marriage.

She shows remorse. She says she is sorry but never actually says it. Just texts it to me and only when I tell her I am upset. IN the end, she had an Affair to make me feel the pain she once felt. She thought when she told me, that I wouldnt be hurt and would just kick her out and end the marriage. Now that she sees my pain, she claims it to not be an RA but a EA. I am lost in my mind and in my life. I would appreciate any feedback.

Stevesn posted 7/19/2019 09:59 AM


Sorry you are here. Sounds like you have both struggled with communication in this relationship and also with whether or not you want to even be in it.

My recommendation is to be completely hones with how you feel. If sheíll let you talk to her or send her a letter, let her know if you want to be with her for the rest of your lives and how you feel about her. Sounds like you hurt her first via what you went thru when you came back from duty and you guys never really resolved anything about that time.

So let her know that you are willing to work thru her pain as well as yours and that you can see a path for a happy future with her and would like to try and take it.

But then.... make it extremely clear that you canít do it alone and wonít work with an unwilling partner. Let her know what you need to hear and see from her in order to even start working on the relationship.

That would include:

0- an honest telling of what she wants. Does she love you, does she want to spend the rest of her life with you and be faithful? If so,
1- a full and honest timeline of her affair.
2- transparency of all her communications to anyone
3- showing an understanding of the pain her affair has caused you
4- a willingness for her to start going to Individual Counseling and that you will attend IC as well
5- when your ICs think you are each ready, start marriage counseling to improve how you work together as a team
- provide answers to any and all questions about the A willingly and forever. You will do the same about your EA

Then tell her one last thing, and in order to have a chance at a happy relationship together, this is important, tell her she needs to drive this recovery. She has to want it enough to make the things above happen. She needs to take these steps proactively, you wonít do it for her.

And because of that, let her know until you see and feel that she is doing that, you are not going to push her to repair the damage anymore and you you will BE WORKING TO MOVE ON from the relationship until she shows you that she is ALL IN with leading the recovery.

Honestly itís the only way to make repair a relationship like yours. She needs to want to win you back and make you feel absolutely safe in her love and You need to be willing to detach and move on if she canít or wonít do that.

If she does it, then you know itís real. And if she doesnít, you know she didnít feel you were worth the great effort it takes to rebuild this relationship.

I hope that makes sense. Please ask questions if it doesnít.

[This message edited by Stevesn at 10:57 PM, July 19th (Friday)]

NoMoreRugSweepin posted 7/19/2019 10:08 AM

She did not have an EA. She had sexual contact with the neighbor which turned it into a physical affair.

You can get more clarity through IC. She not wanting to go to IC is a sign to me that she has no desire to prove she can become a safe partner in my opinion but IC can help you feel stronger and give you the courage to move on.

Cooley2here posted 7/19/2019 10:28 AM

This series of posts explains why most men and most women react to affairs completely differently. You hate the pa. That part of her body belongs to you. She hates the ea because that is the part of you that belongs to her, your brain, your heart. You hurt that part so she hurt your part. You both cheated. You have leftovers from ptsd. Get you both to a therapist who can work with the pain you inflicted on each other. Even though I think mc is too soon I still think you can go together. Neither of you has been able to meet the emotional needs of the other throughout your marriage and a good therapist can help you listen to the other. This isnít about d or r. It is about learning how to actively listen and respond.

northeasternarea posted 7/19/2019 10:36 AM

How is she showing remorse? What has she done to address the issues that allowed her to have an affair?

I am currently trying to understand if this is something I can accept and recover from. I don't feel as if it is because having sexual intentions with another person was a deal breaker for me in any relationship I have had before marriage.

Maybe it is a deal breaker for you. Only you can make that determination.

hdybrh posted 7/19/2019 10:45 AM

I know it was shared earlier, and not sure if you tried it but the 180 should help you along with IC. She certainly need IC too and seems uninterested.

It takes time and a lot of work for clarity. And really figuring out what you both want and what is best for you individually. But openness and honesty are critical to healing and R.

You are both understandably lost and confused about a path forward. Really focusing on your wellbeing is what will help the most to give you the ability to find a path forward.

So so hard. You will get through this.

fooled13years posted 7/19/2019 11:16 AM

You both are facing your own situations which neither of you are prepared or qualified to help each other. I would recommend that you should reach out to your local Veterans Administration, County Veterans Services or VFW for resources available to you. To try to deal with or try to heal your own PTSD situations is not realistic. The organizations listed above have resources and people qualified and experienced in helping veteran service members with PTSD. Expecting your wife to understand what you went through would be like me trying to fully understand it. We served at different times and in different battles and we both know each battle and experience is very personal. Reaching out to the other person was like trying to self-medicate.
Your wife is trying to heal herself by reaching out to the other man. She really needs professional help in dealing with her problems. She needs a qualified and experienced IC.
I don't know if your marriage comes back from this but I can guarantee you it won't if you both don't seek professional help.

AZNative34 posted 7/19/2019 12:11 PM

Thank you for the Advice Stevesn.

She is currently out of town and will be back next week. I have been writing down all of my thoughts and issue in my notes. This has helped but it is a mess and very vulgar. I have been thinking about going through my notes and consolidating them into a structured conversation.

There are so many questions I have for her but they have been sidelined for the moment as we were trying to keep our composure while with her family.

She has mentioned that she is done talking about that day specifically and won't answer any questions that won't help us recover. I don't really know what to think of that. I have been thinking about reaching out to the OM to see if he is will to answer some of my unanswered questions. During our stay with her family, I noticed it was much easier for her to go through out the day even when I was really shitty in my mind. I took that as it doesn't matter much to her but maybe it is because we were with her family and we both don't tell our families about our issues. When I brought it up she says she just wants to try to enjoy the time with her family since our time with her family is down to 6 weeks out of the year. I will have more questions for you.

I will bring up going to IC as something mandatory because it is important to me. Not only to help us and her, but to help her deal with some other underlying issues she has been going through in her life prior to me. Her remorse is shown through text telling me she is sorry when I tell her my thoughts, and she has been sweet to me most of the time and she tells me she loves me when I am upset and shedding tears. Other than that I don't see much. When she first told me she said it was for revenge. now that she sees me hurt she calls it an emotional connection. I told her she could have Left me, Talked to me, or gone to counseling with me like I had asked before she took the steps of having an affair.

I will be reaching out to a counselor around the VA communinity as there are so many other underyling issues with me that need to be addressed.

This is so hard to deal with.

hdybrh posted 7/19/2019 12:53 PM

It is so so hard. All of us here can identify with how awful infidelity is to deal with.

What you are describing as remorse looks more like regret. Placating you with texts. Real remorse would have a depth that would cause her to do anything to fix things. Showing REAL empathy for your pain. Her actions don't follow her words. She'd rather have a happy day with her family than comfort you in distress.

She needs to answer your questions if you're going to R. You may need a better time or place for it than with her family. But you're not going to repair your relationship if she just wants to rugsweep.

It is easier to dismiss, repress or rugsweep problems for some. But it doesn't help the afflicted other party. It's just selfish. Hoping you encounter some real changed behavior and with IC can reclaim your self and what you want.

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