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Somewhat just found out

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LongWayDown posted 12/21/2019 11:58 AM

Hello all, just joined. I am kindof at a loss for what I can or must do at this point.

So here's how it all went down, get ready for a long story. We are both 31, met and dated when we were in high school. Been together for over 13 years, married for 7. We always thought we were perfect for each other. I hate the term soulmates, but we are very similar and (I feel) extremely compatible with each other.

My personality has been somewhat all over. When I was 17, a crazy girl tried to get me to cheat on my girlfriend, and I somewhat did (she was a long time friend who was self-harming and used that against me). I realized I was wrong, and told myself this would never happen again. It hasn't, and I have never even considered cheating on my wife since then.
I have, however, suffered from anger management issues. I was raised by a very angry parent who would get physical at times, and it seems to have transferred to me. I used to scream and break things, I was a piece of shit. No getting around it, I was a garbage human being. I think about the things I've done everyday, and some of it still haunts me. About 5 years ago I told myself that I need to stop being so angry, and tone down the breaking things and yelling. I have made good progress to that end. I have stopped yelling, and I catch myself wanting to throw or break things, but hold back. I have really chilled out, I want to become a better person for her, she deserves it. I no longer yell in arguments, I am calm and collected.

As for my wife, she has had a hard life. She was raised similarly in a broken home with a very abusive father. He is passed now, but I have dealt with him on many occasions, and he was the scum of the earth. He didn't have a job, just used his kids to stay alive. Forced them to do what he wanted, screamed at them for hours about things they had nothing to do with (like why Tiger Woods shouldn't win a golf game). She learned to deal with this by shutting down; she stops talking or responding, just sits there like a statue.

You can see how us two together could cause some problems, and of course it did. I would get angry, she would shut down. I tried different ways of trying to get her to come out of it, but it never worked. We would go for days on arguments because nothing would get resolved, until I just let it go and choked back my anger. As time went on, I moved more from yelling and anger to just distancing myself from it. When we would fight, I would just storm away and be by myself and my thoughts. She never came to me, I always had to be the one to resolve the dispute. It was an equation that never worked.

Fast forward to about a year and a half ago, we get into an argument. She shuts down, I go off by myself. She is the one at fault, and I have had enough of swallowing my emotions and pride to fix things. I say to myself "I will not talk to her or acknowledge her until she comes to me and deals with this". ONE MONTH passes without us saying a word to each other. It was hard for me, I'm sure it was for her too, but I was resolved to not give in.
This was the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life, and I would give ANYTHING to go back in time and not do it.

After a month, I decide it's time to deal with this, she's not going to come to me. I confront her, and start yelling and doing my old routine. After a bout, I storm off downstairs. I sat down and rehashed the whole thing in my head, and like a lightbulb coming on for the first time ever, it hit me. "This is your wife, the woman you love. Why are you treating her like this? How are you being such a piece of shit to her? How could you?" I can't explain it better than that, it really was like an epiphany. I went back upstairs and just started crying. I completely broke down and apologized for everything. I told her how I was a piece of shit and she doesn't deserve to be treated like that, and that I'm garbage for what I've done. I've never felt so sorry for anything every in my life, and all I wanted to do was die right then and there.
I told her I wanted to try to be a better man, to change who I am, if she will give me a chance. She said she would, and we made up.

Now I will go so far as to say I have strong willpower. When I put my mind to it, I make it happen. Since that day, I have put forth 110% effort at being kind, soft, and calm. I don't yell anymore, I don't go on tirades. I don't break things, and I don't ignore her. I have put myself through my own anger management courses, and I feel I am doing a good job of fixing myself. I still have more I can do, but I am ready and willing to put forth the effort to be the best I can be.

However, a week after we made up, we were relaxing on the bed and she looks sad. I ask her about it, and she admits the thing no one ever wnts to hear; "I lied to you, there is another guy". That hit me like a wall of brick. It made me physically sick, I was ready to vomit (for days). I called into work because I couldn't function, my mind was spinning. I didn't lose it or get angry, we talked calmly about it and discussed what this all meant.
I understand how this happened, I did it to myself. I made this bed by being who I was, it's my fault. I can never apologize enough to her for that. She said that the month of not talking broke her, made her go crazy.
She tells me she has fallen in love with this guy. He is great, he listens, he's nice, and fun to be around. He works in the same building as her, just in a different department. They have been meeting in secret after work, having make-out sessions and minor sexual things. I am thinking to myself "I'm done. She's found a guy who is better than me and I look like a piece of shit. This is the end of this marriage."
I ask who he is, I want to know more. When I find out, a brief wave of relief washed over me. He is a 50 year old guy (20 years her senior) that is unhappily married with 3 kids. One of his kids is almost as old as her. His wife knows about their affair and is absolutely pissed, she wants to murder my wife. I think "there's no way this could work, there are too many red flags and issues here. Does she really want to be with this guy?" I talk to her about it, telling her how I feel about the whole thing. I don't want to see her throw her life away for a fling. She thinks he is perfect, she is starry eyed. She is in that puppydog love stage, Limerence it is called. It won't last, things will go sideways. Obviously part of me wants her to stay for me, but I also firmly believe that what she is doing will be a mistake.

After a lot of talking and thought, she agrees(?) that she wants to break it off and try to mend our marriage. She says she will talk to him and let him know things are over. She comes back to me and says it's done, and he understands.

It has been a little over a year now, and things have been much better. No big arguments, no fights. I felt like our marriage was jumpstarted. I have been a lot happier, she seemed a lot happier. I have been making big strides in becoming a better person, and giving her the love and care she deserves. I have had plenty of times where trusting her has been hard, but I keep telling myself that I have to. I have to trust she is doing good by me, and I need to rebuild the foundation that crumbled so much under the affair.

That was until a few days ago. She is sleeping on the couch next to me, and her phone starts blowing up with texts. I was shocked by how many were coming in, and she isn't being woken up by them. So I take her phone and look at them. I start reading the conversation in the texts, and I was appalled by what I found. Lots of talk of sexual things, lots of love comments, badmouthing me sprinkled here and there. I became nauseous and woke her up. I said "I don't understand, what is all this?"
She didn't say anything at first, I had to ask her several times to explain. Finally she says "the thing with (other guy) never really ended. When I tried to break it off, I couldn't."

I was dumbfounded. It turns out they have been hanging out once or twice a week, sometimes having sex, for the last year, completely under my nose. All those times I felt I should be questioning my trust, and I should have been. Those times she was "having to stay late at work" or "going to exercise", and I trusted her. I felt betrayed and hurt. What hurt even more was the badmouthing, granted I didn't see too much of it in the texts. But just the fact it was there at all made me sick.

We talked about it again for a long time. She cried, I wanted to cry. I asked her what she wants to do. She thinks she wants to move in with him. I told her I think this whole thing is risky, and that she is rolling the dice. He is still married to his wife, he has kids, he's 51 now, he lives in an overpriced apartment. I tell her "look at what you'd be leaving behind. You have a pretty good life here. We have a nice house, no debt, a husband your age who is willing to do ANYTHING to make you happy". The thing is, we think very differently on things like this. I think almost 100% with logic, she is almost 100% emotion. I can come across as cold because I don't use emotion to make decisions, she can come across as foolish because she uses ONLY emotion to make decisions. She cannot or does not want to see the logic side of it. I'm not trying to force her to choose me, but I want her to see the decision for what it is, not just what she or I want it to be.

She said she wants to think about things. I forwarded her a couple articles I wanted her to read about the topic. Other than that, I have been leaving her alone. I still am treating her like my wife, I have been giving her love and care. We snuggled on the bed last night for a while. We are still texting back and forth like nothing happened. She has been treating me the same, saying "I love you" and "I miss you". Telling me she has the weekend off so we can be together. It has left me confused, where do I stand in all of this? I don't want to sweep this all under the carpet, but I don't want to lose my wife.

With Xmas coming up, I will need to confront her on what she plans to do. We usually go up to my parents, but I don't know if I can do it with how things are right now. Does she want to be with him on Xmas instead? I don't know. I am giving her space to think things through on her own, but I want to know what is going on. She has said if she does end up moving out, she would continue to pay half the mortgage for a while so I don't have to immediately sell the house. I don't want her to move out, especially because I firmly believe she will regret doing so. I firmly believe she would move in with this guy and realize he isn't as great as she thinks. I asked her what she would do, and she said "I would live on my own I guess, you'd never take me back." That isn't necessarily true, because I love my wife that much. But it would be so much harder for me to accept, I don't know how I could do it. I want her to just realize it's a mistake now, before she jumps off the deep end and regrets it.
She just texted me saying she is really looking forward to having dinner with me tonight. I'm so confused.

If you've read all that, thank you for listening. Know this, if nothing else; i LOVE my wife with every fiber of my being. I would die for her. She is my only friend, and my beacon of light. I am antisocial, so I have no friends. Literally, 0 friends. Without her, I have no one but my family. The thought of being alone in this house terrifies me. I want her to stay with me, and to make things work. I want her to fall in love with me again, and to see me for what I can be, not who I was. I know I fucked up everything, and I deserve this. At this point, all I can do is look forward at what I can do in the future.

I don't know what to do from here. I will continue to love her and care for her, and give her space. But is that it? Do I just wait for the hammer to drop? Just bide my time until she moves on? At first, I thought her mind was made up. She was done with me, she was ready to move out. But with how she's been acting these last couple days, she seems like she wants to be with me instead. Is it all a ruse? Guilt? I don't have a clue.

I feel so lost, and every thought of her leaving hurts my soul.

Thank you for reading.

Marz posted 12/21/2019 12:12 PM

Know this, if nothing else; i LOVE my wife with every fiber of my being. I would die for her. She is my only friend, and my beacon of light

Very often if they continue to work together the affair never ends. It just goes deeper underground.

Definition of friend = loyal, honest and trustworthy.

You are in deep denial of who she really is. It would seem you're stuck in the "pick me dance" which just lowers your status. You can't save this by yourself.

Unless you wake up you're going to put yourself in an even worse position.

Inform his wife immediately. Exposure is your best course of action.

Your wayward wife says she knows? I got news for you. Cheaters lie a lot and that's all you've gotten.

Wake up!!!!!

[This message edited by Marz at 12:14 PM, December 21st (Saturday)]

Marz posted 12/21/2019 12:16 PM

The one thing you should realize is your wife is a very typical cheating liar. There's nothing special about this or her at all.

Of course you don't want to believ that but this senario plays out with the same script over and over.

It was a sexual affair from the get go.

[This message edited by Marz at 12:37 PM, December 21st (Saturday)]

Odonna posted 12/21/2019 12:34 PM

LWD,

I am so sorry you are going through this. SI can be slow on the weekends but you will get lots of advice. Some may be very harsh and blunt, but do not let that scare you away.

I am glad you shared a lot of your history, and hers. What I want to suggest for you is individual therapy. It seems you have been trying to self-counsel yourself into keeping your rage at bay, but even you acknowledge that is due to self-discipline. You need a trained therapist to help you find where the anger comes from so that you can stem the cause rather than just stifle behavior. You say that you have zero friends. Therapy will help with that too.

All that said, you are not to blame for your wife’s affair and outrageous deceit. Yes, you contributed to the marriage dysfunctionality, but so did she, and you did not cheat. If she was unhappy and found herself falling for a coworker then she should have pulled herself up hard and either separated from you or taken active measures to heal the marriage. You love your wife, but you cannot excuse her behavior on this.

The other thing I want to say is that “limbo” is the very worst place to be. You are suffering terribly. But if you want to give her “space,” then she has to commit to no-contact with the other man during that time. You cannot give her even tacit permission to remain in a open marriage with you. And I would go further to say that you need to set a finite timeframe for her “thinking.” You cannot remain in limbo very long. Tell her that she needs to get into counseling for herself and stop pretending that the two of you are in a normal happy marriage. Read about the 180 in the Healing Library in the yellow box. It will help you detach and avoid doing the “pick-me” dance.

Many here will advise you to kick her out and file for divorce. That may be very good advice here but I sense you are incapable of that right now. Get yourself into therapy and develop some strategies to form other relationships in your life. You will need that no matter what happens in your marriage.

LongWayDown posted 12/21/2019 12:39 PM

Marz,

Yes his wife does know, that is why he no longer lives with her and is in an apartment.

Odonna,

Thank you for the kind words, I do agree I am not in a position right now that I can just divorce and move on. It would be too difficult for me I feel

northeasternarea posted 12/21/2019 12:43 PM

Stop blaming yourself for her choices. You are NOT RESPONSIBLE ! You are not a piece of shit. Don't say it or think it.

If you are still sharing a bedroom, put her out and into the guest room or on the couch. False reconciliation is hell. Right now, she is not your friend.

Marz posted 12/21/2019 12:54 PM

Yes his wife does know, that is why he no longer lives with her and is in an apartment.

Is he her superior at work? Work exposure to their HR maybe a path you might want to consider. Is her job worth more than your marriage?

The thing is unless you can break her affair you will not be able to work on your marriage.

I get you are in a state of shock but unless you get strong and stay there you will just get more of what you've already gotten.

It takes two and as of now she's gone. At this time you have nothing to work with.

Most in your position will blame themselves. Perhaps thinking you can fix this. You can't without her wanting it as well.

Robert22205https posted 12/21/2019 12:58 PM

Is the OM senior to her? Is he a supervisor or hold a higher rank in the firm?

Do they work in a government or publically owned fir

Robert22205https posted 12/21/2019 13:03 PM

Have you saved the texts and evidence of their affair?

LongWayDown posted 12/21/2019 13:17 PM

He is not her superior, just a different department. They work in healthcare, not government run.

She left a different job a few years ago she hated, and picked up this job. She loves her work, and loves her job. I don't know how open she would be to finding a new one, but it is definitely something that would need to be discussed, and I plan on it when I get the courage

Robert22205https posted 12/21/2019 13:18 PM

Is he a supervisor? Or holds a higher level position?

It's not relevant whether she is a direct report.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 1:21 PM, December 21st (Saturday)]

fareast posted 12/21/2019 13:34 PM

Sorry you find yourself here. You had nothing to do with your WW’s decision to cheat. She’s having sex with another man because she wants to. She is a typical cheater. She is what is called a cake eater. She wants to enjoy her AP while she gives you little kibbles to keep you as Plan B in case he doesn’t work out. Bottom line: always value yourself. You deserve better. You are in the same M and you didn’t cheat. Your WW stood at the altar and vowed to be faithful as long as you are M. She lied. Get tested for STD’s. Read in the healing library. Right now you are in an open M as your WW openly dates another man. That will continue as long as you allow it. Strength to you. Good luck.

[This message edited by fareast at 1:59 PM, December 21st (Saturday)]

LongWayDown posted 12/21/2019 13:40 PM

I'm not sure his actual title, but I don't think he is manager level. Because the departments in this place are so split up and different, it's hard to say whether he is at the same level as her

[This message edited by LongWayDown at 1:41 PM, December 21st (Saturday)]

Marz posted 12/21/2019 14:26 PM

The worst thing you can do in these situations is nothing.

Giving her control over everything at this time won't get you a thing.

You don't have clarity yet which will keep you in limbo hell.

LongWayDown posted 12/21/2019 15:00 PM

I told her we need to talk when she gets home from work. I also messaged his wife to get some clarity into what has been real and what was lies. She said that she has known, and found out not too long ago that they didn't break it off. It feels somewhat relieving to be able to talk to someone who is in the same situation, she is very heartbroken over it, too.

Marz posted 12/21/2019 15:07 PM

Your actions are all that will count. Talk as you've seen won't get you a thing.

pearlamici posted 12/21/2019 16:24 PM

I just want to say it sounds like you've spent your twenties growing up, becoming an adult (like most intelligent people) - don't be so hard on how you behaved as a younger adult - you used the skill set you were taught. That being said it's time you stop taking any blame for her shitty decisions. You must read about the 180 in the healing library (upper left hand corner). Stop being part of a three way marriage. There is no working on your marriage while your wife has a boyfriend.

BrokenReader posted 12/21/2019 17:17 PM

Im so sorry you're hurting so deeply. I know what it's like to want to desperately to be chosen... to be good enough.

Honestly... I would suggest you seeing a counselor alone and with her.

I hope you find peace in the storm of hurt and heartbreak

Odonna posted 12/21/2019 19:13 PM

I am glad you heard the kindness I wanted to convey to you. But you did not respond to the imperative to get some counseling for yourself, which others have echoed. You cannot white-knuckle through this; you need help from someone professionally trained to be able to help.

You say you need to muster up the “courage” to stand up for yourself, but that is just one more piece of evidence you need professional guidance. There is no shame or weakness in this. Just as there is no shame in having cancer, or eczema, or any other health condition. Life has visited on you a terrible childhood and some emotional disabilities. Please get help.

Anna123 posted 12/21/2019 20:39 PM

I don't post here often but felt I want to chime in. (lots of good advise so far, just adding on)

The fact that you are self-reflecting on your own personal responses to stressors, tells me you are not those horrible things you say about yourself. Not even close.

You have spent many years now living with a person who is capable of great deceit. This is mentally destabilizing. You have been under immense pressure being married to this person. You are not seeing her clearly and I can tell you first hand, now being a few years out, as she has been and is behaving now, you need to be away from her. You completely, utterly underestimate yourself and I like the advice on getting help and outside ideas on where to go personally from here.

Ditto on the fact that "yawn, yawn, yawn, your wife is SO TYPICAL". You did not make her cheat and lie! There is no excuse for acting out as you say you used to do but you say you are aware and have improved. I can tell you, one of kindest, most wise, loving people I ever knew was a man who I later found out had history of anger outbursts. In later life he reversed it to the point that those around him had a sense of being in the presence of comforting strength and great calm. Don't let her hold you back.

By the way, this is a woman willing to be with a married man and take part in separating him from his children on top of it. Think about that. I personally find it disturbing and sickening.

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