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20 years ago but just found out.

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Reen posted 8/13/2019 13:23 PM

My wife of 19 years just told me last night, after a couple of beers, that she went out with a guy 20 years ago when she was home on summer break from college. “Nothing happened!” We were in a very committed relationship.
I trusted her! Every letter ended in “Forever Yours”!
She said that she went to a concert with him instead of her sister like I had been told. However I remember calling her the day after to ask about the concert and she was vague and sounded nervous. I should have known then!
She never told me about not even going! Still a lie!
We love each other and have a wonderful marriage.
How should I handle this?

Notriangle posted 8/13/2019 13:30 PM

Imo, let bygones be bygones. Enjoy your life today.

Lalagirl posted 8/13/2019 13:35 PM

I'm so sorry, Reen. To her, it was 20 years ago; to you, it was yesterday.

What made her confess?

Western posted 8/13/2019 13:37 PM

It's a shit sandwich. No cheating is ever easy to endure.

20 years is a long time and alot of work. It is horrible to think that one incident from 20 years ago would destroy that although the marriage was built on a cracked foundation.

I am not 'giving credit' to your wife for coming clean but she could have taken it to the grave with her and after 20 years, she decided to come clean. Or maybe.

I am really known around here as usually urging divorce in many cases but not here. If this was indeed the only incident and after 20 years of having a great marriage, then it is a crap situation which will probably have to be rebuilt.

However, there are 6 things you need to consider

1) Why did she spill it after all of this time ? Guilt ? Booze ?

2) I am confused. She lied again yesterday about going/not going to the concert ?

3) Did her sister or family know about it then

4) Was it sexual ?

5) Summer break is a few months. How do you know the extent of this relationship ? How do you know it wasn't more extensive ?

6) If she slipped then, how do you know that was the only time ?

Sadly, Pandora's box has been opened. How much is in there is the question. And getting this info without destroying the entire marriage until you find this out should be the focus.

Is she willing to polygraph ? What else did she tell you ? Have you ever had other suspicions about anything else ? How is she acting today ?

This is the beginning of a long journey.

[This message edited by Western at 1:39 PM, August 13th (Tuesday)]

Reen posted 8/13/2019 13:57 PM

She told me she went out with a guy instead of her sister to a concert. She did not tell me that she never even went to a concert like I had been told 20 years ago. I figured that out when I called the night after. She was nervous and vague... but I let it go. 20 years ago!
Her sister had to know everything. My girlfriend was living with her. I don’t know if they had sex. She says no.

steadychevy posted 8/13/2019 14:15 PM

She was willing to lie for 20 years. It's quite possible you would have been able to reconcile way back then if she had confessed at that time. Now you know she did that and could lie for 20 years. Secrets make you sick (for her). There could have been much more to your relationship if there weren't secrets. The secrets could hold her back.

As others have said, though, there could be good reason to do the IC for both of you (old and over situation for her but brand new for you). After some time then MC if reconciliation is in the cards. Possibly it was a one time thing without any physical aspects.

I would want to know if there was anything physical, how many times there was contact with the person, when it ended, etc. I would need to know. Not knowing would eat at me. I suggest asking for a polygraph to determine if there was any sexual contact (groping, kissing, oral, PIV, etc.), when it ended and when the last contact with the person was. Polygraph questions need to be able to be answered with a yes or a no. The drafting of the questions is very important and a competent analyst helps draft them.

Your wife needs to be wholeheartedly throwing everything into helping you heal and saving her marriage. Like others have asked, why did she confess after 20 years? Has there been anything else since?

There is a very easy to read, short book called "Helping Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair" by Linda McDonald. I suggest you get it (apparently it's available as an e-book but I bought a hard copy) and both of you read it.

What you decide to do is up to you. Both R and D are hard. It seems there is basis, from what you written, for R but if it's a deal breaker for you, so be it. Whatever your decision there will be support here for you.

My WW cheated on me before we married. I found out after DDay of an LTA 36 years later.

GoldenR posted 8/13/2019 14:34 PM

The chances that she didn't have sex with him are slim to none.

Let me ask you, if you had known about this way back then, would you have broken up with her?

OptionedOut posted 8/13/2019 14:47 PM

It's old to her, new to you. It's like it just happened. Your trust has been shattered. You wonder how she could keep this in for so long - it's a lie she lived with for all these years.

1) Did it eat at her?

2) Why tell you now? Is the guy back in the picture somehow?

3) when was the last time they were in contact?

4) was is physical? And if so, how far did it go?

5) Why didn't she tell you the truth then?

6) Why did she go? Just a concert with a friend who was a guy? Or did she go as a date?

7) How many other times did they go out?

A lie detector may not give you the truth. I've heard they can sometimes be faulty - false positives/false negatives.

Watch out for some counselors. They may tell you it was too long ago to worry about. That's not the right thinking. You are in pain. Your trust was broken, then - and all this time. While I in part commend your wife for telling you when there was no way for you to find out, I also am angry for you that she waited this long.

We are here for you.

TimSC posted 8/13/2019 14:58 PM

So she dated a guy while you were in a committed relationship. Obviously she chose you over him.

If your marriage has been happy and you are secure in the knowledge that she is faithful now, let it go.

You were not engaged were you?

Your imagination is running wild but I can see where it would. You fear you do not have the entire truth and your mind is filling in the blanks with the worst possible scenario.

Forget it and move on ...or have her take a polygraph. After all she lied then and has kept the secret for 20 years.

Cookiemonster posted 8/13/2019 15:07 PM

I've also just found out about the affair from 18 years ago due to the affair he's having with a different person now.
Apparently he was always cheating on me and was boasting about him affairs and conquests at work. Needless to say I've kicked his arse out and in process of getting a divorce.

Cookiemonster posted 8/13/2019 15:09 PM

Pop onto my thread on page 2 of this page and read my story. Take care and keep strong.

Reen posted 8/13/2019 15:28 PM

It’s been 3 days now and I feel like all of my memories of our dating have been permanently altered. I can’t look at our old pictures with fondness that I used to. The intimacy was supposed to be just us!!!!!
I know we love each other and nothing will change except I have to accept this as closure and be able to somehow come out the other end like nothing happened. I don’t know what else to do.

LivingWithPain posted 8/13/2019 16:50 PM

If she swears up and down there was no sex and it was just a one-time date, I say let it go.

She was young and dumb and young dumb people do thoughtless, selfish things.

Ask her if she'd be willing to take a polygraph test. See where that goes.

steadychevy posted 8/13/2019 16:55 PM

You were in a very committed relationship by your own words. Your committed girlfriend didn't go to the concert she claimed she was going to with her sister. She had a date with someone and went somewhere else. Where did she go and what did they do? Walk in the park? Nightclub? Dancing? What? How many times did she go out with him?

Don't rugsweep. I speak from experience. It will fester and erupt. It will be much worse than dealing with it now. Now is the time to get it all out on the table. No TT. TT is a killer.

Now is the time for full disclosure of everything. Get it out there. Talk about it. Why? What feeling? Any guilt for lying? Any contact since? Have I met him? Who is he?

Get it out there. Talk it to death. Kill it with knowledge. Don't rugsweep. Don't minimize.

survrus posted 8/13/2019 17:25 PM


Typically cheaters continue to minimize and omit what happened.

Bypass the extended trickle truth and have her write out a timeline, then take her for a polygraph.

Contact the OM and get his side of the story.

survrus posted 8/13/2019 17:28 PM


There is also a chance they have been in low level contact for years and something changed. Like he or her decided finally that the contact was inappropriate or the OM SO found out.

Cookiemonster posted 8/13/2019 18:23 PM

@steadychevy @survurs. I know I've kicked him out and divorce proceedings are in motion. But he any ever did trickle truth and that was when caught out in more lies. I want answers but he refuses to discuss any of it and admitted he's avoiding lots of issues. I want closure do I deserve some answers or do you think he'll lie and only say what he thinks I want to hear.
Read my story in the group. Cheating, harassment by the girl, divorce and contact. Love some feedback.
Soon to be ex wife of a serial cheater.

Reen posted 8/13/2019 21:03 PM

It was so long ago and we love each other deeply. I do believe it was a one time thing before the end of summer. I think She thought it would be fun to have one more “fun time” before coming back to me and settling down. A perfect crime! I would never know. She was only 18. I probably would have taken her back if I knew at the time. I just have to put this behind me because I’m not leaving her.

anoldlion posted 8/13/2019 21:09 PM

If you let this disrupt a 19 year happy marriage then you have other problems you aren't even aware of. My wife went out with a male friend of hers, after we were engaged and I was somewhere else, for a celebration they were both involved with. She admitted she got tipsy and he took her home. I haven't thought about that until I read your post. Guess what? I won't think about it again after I submit this. Forget it! I do wish you well.

Reen posted 8/13/2019 21:42 PM

Anoldlion... who’s home did he take her to?

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