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Trying to stay strong.

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HeyItsMe posted 12/25/2019 20:20 PM

I don't know if this fits properly in the Just Found Out category, but I guess I'll take the chance and post it here first. I'm going to write down the whole story as it happened, to the best of my memory, so it may run a little long.


It all really started to happen about 6 months ago. We had moved to a new city since she got in to a good school around here. I managed to get a transfer and keep my old wage, so we've been fairly comfortable this whole time. After a couple months, she started to feel a little depressed. She was being overwhelmed with school, and the incredibly poor organization of such. I did my best to support her, and express my own frustration at what she described as "A fucking gong show." But she just kept getting more and more upset. I mentioned seeking professional help several times, but she always just said she'd think about it.

Things steadily got worse, until she found some new friends in the program. A small study group had formed of 5 people including her. This was an amazing step in the right direction for her. She started to be noticeably happier since she now had a few people experiencing the same BS she was going through. TO make things even better, she took up a new hobby. One of the friends in the group, who would eventually become the AP, enjoyed climbing and invited her to go one day. She absolutely loved it, and invited me to go that same day. After that, we both signed up and climbed together regularly. She would go most mornings with the AP, and then climb with me a few days a week in the evenings. For a couple months things were great. New city, new hobbies, good job, amazing place to live, we were living the life.

But... It didn't last. For seemingly no reason, she started to steadily grow distant from me. I was seeing her text me less and less throughout the day. It finally hit home that something was seriously wrong when she had expressed several times at the end of the day how tough it had been, but during our texting she would say "Fine." whenever I asked about it. One night when she left her phone on the night stand, I decided to check her messages to AP. By now I was already getting very suspicious. Sure enough, there were hundreds of messages between them throughout the day. Half of them were normal, talking about class and projects, but it went so much deeper than that. When I had asked her earlier how the day was going, she replied with the usual "Fine." when I asked her when she got home, I got the same "Fine." Meanwhile, she had written him a small novel expressing her frustration with everything and saying she wished she could be climbing, or that they could hang out more "Out of the studying environment." This was immediately a shock to my reality. The first real proof that things had gone way too far.

I decided to not say anything right then. She had a day full of tests and exams and I didn't want to sabotage her by bringing up something so heavy, so I waited. I go to work the next day, and ended up coming home in about an hour. I was a wreck of anxiety, fear, frustration... Everything one might expect to feel. That was the 2nd worst day of my life... I tried to occupy myself with games, books, movies, nothing could take my mind off of the inevitable. So, I started doing research. Reading in to what this was, what I could do, how I should bring it up, etc.

I made a reddit post, and eventually came up with a long list of issues which I wrote down, including the name... This was a full blown EA.

When she finally got home, I told her we needed to talk, and it took me almost half an hour to finally get the words out. Even then, I couldn't hold myself together. I ended up giving her the notebook I had been writing on, i had suspected this may happen so I made sure to have descriptive notes so I could hand it off instead of trying to verbalize. She read it over, and started to cry.

She wasn't defensive, she made no attempt to move the blame, she accepted full blame and responsibility and immediately offered to completely cut ties with AP, start going to counseling, and go on Anti-depressants. We spent the rest of the day crying, spilling our guts to each other, and making plans for moving forward. This was always our norm. Communication, honesty, and showing genuine care and compassion.

She wrote AP an email explaining everything and why they could no longer be friends, asked me to read it over, then sent it off. Things started getting better again, until the rest of the group of friends found out what she had done. I had been invited multiple times to group outings, and the 3 others and I got along great. We always had a lot of fun together, and was extended a permanent invitation to all future outings, which I gladly accepted. After they found out about her AF, they started to cut ties with her. They said they needed a short break from their relationship, and would start hanging out together again after a little while. She immediately began to spiral downwards again, and yet maintained her climbing schedule, which had already been altered to avoid contact with AP.

Things fluctuated for a while, good days and bad days. Until yesterday when it all fell apart...

She went to a volleyball tournament as a volunteer for a week, something she's done regularly for the last 3 years. After that, she flew back to her home state to join her family for a Christmas party. I had been invited, but decided to not go. Her family also loves me, and her brother has been a huge help in getting me through this, but I digress.

While she was gone, I heard from her very little. This wasn't entirely unusual for the tournament, as a volunteer she was always kept very busy. But this was almost like being ghosted. A fun tradition we've had for a few years, is sending way-too-many pictures of ourselves cuddling our cat to whichever one is gone. So, like was tradition, whenever the cat cuddled up on me while watching TV I would send dozens of pictures of her looking adorable. They were almost never responded to.

Then, when she had ample free-time at the airport on the way to the party, she only wanted to chat for about 15 minutes. Her flight was delayed by 3 hours, and didn't call me back a single time.

At the party, again I heard nothing from her until almost midnight. The next morning she went to breakfast with her Aunt.
I asked her in the 15 minute window she would talk to me:
"So what did you guys talk about."
"Oh, just life."
"Nothing specific?"
"No, not really."
At this point I knew something was seriously wrong. This specific Aunt always made for stories to be told... I knew we needed to talk again, so i drafted an email to send her when she finally got home, if I couldn't muster the words again. Unfortunately, since the flight was so delayed, she didn't get home until very late. Add in I got called in at midnight, we had no chance to speak about anything of real importance.

When I finally got to go home around 9am, I called her up. This is when she said we needed to talk. My stomach turned and I asked if she could just start now. A 45 minute drive flooding with anxiety was not what I was okay with at that moment.

She started by saying she loved me, but... As soon as she said that but, I immediately said "Are you leaving me?" She didn't reply right away. After a moment she said "I just want to take a break." I expressed my extreme doubts that this was a break, but said "If you truly believe this is a temporary thing, and you want to work on getting back together, I'll believe you and we can go from there." She admitted it was very unlikely to be the case, and we had a short conversation about what to do next.

I asked her to move out immediately, but to wait for me to home, I wanted a hug at the very least before she left. I finished my drive, walked inside. She was sitting on the couch petting our dogs, she was crying pretty hard... I couldn't feel anything... It was like I was watching from a 3rd person perspective. I stood next to her for a few moments before she got up. We looked each other in the eyes before hugging, long and tight. I still couldn't feel anything. I broke off after a couple minutes, she walked out the door and didn't look back...


I sat down on the couch for what was probably an hour, just staring, completely devoid of everything human. I decided this was not the right response, so I called one of my oldest friends and broke the news. He had been through a VERY bad divorce some years ago, and I knew he would be a good ear. I was on the phone with him for only about 3 minutes, when I realized everything was flooding in, and fast. I quickly left and spent the rest of the day bobbing back and forth between crying hysterically and just feeling dead inside. I spoke to a friend on Discord, and went back to reddit to lament, which brought me here.

Yesterday was, without a single competitor, the worst day of my life. I want to say I was completely blind-sided, but I know that's not true. She was my best friend, she was my fucking world, and now she's gone... For a couple hours I held out hope that she would turn around and come back, or I would hear the truck pull up and she would run back in to my arms. At one point UPS pulled up. I heard the large vehicle and literally sprinted to the window to see...

Today wasn't as bad... I've only been hit by the grief a few times. I've changed most of my passwords, removed her access to the deck cam when I realized I was hoping she might be watching it at any point, and signed up for counseling.

I was doing well, until I went to check my insurance information, and it hit me again like a tonne of bricks... She's been dealing with most of the administration of our home for years. I clearly remember her saying earlier this year, in regards to me asking her about banking information "It's a good thing we'll be together forever, or you'd be totally screwed." Taking stock of my work insurance just drove it home once again what all was happening. I've been bobbing in and out of grieving since then, but it's no where near as bad as it was yesterday.

I know tomorrow will be better, and the day after even more so. It's just..... Awful.

[This message edited by HeyItsMe at 8:31 PM, December 25th (Wednesday)]

pearlamici posted 12/25/2019 21:01 PM

Hi Hey ... Just want to say I'm sorry you have to be here. Others will come along with guidance. It's likely slow due to the holiday. When she left were there any plans to talk? Even about bills/living arrangements? Where is she staying?

HeyItsMe posted 12/25/2019 21:04 PM

Yeah, I'll be reaching out in a week or two to figure things out. I didn't ask where she was staying.

The1stWife posted 12/26/2019 02:40 AM

Wow this is horrible. Iím so sorry for you.

Iím going to suggest professional counseling for you. It will save your sanity. It will help you deal with your emotions.

I want to add that the AP may still be in the picture. Have you verified that or discussed that with her? The reason I mention that is b/c she just up and left you. It seems suspicious to me.

You need to be prepared that as you heal - she may decide to try to come back to you. Her new life may nit be all itís cracked up to be. And she may decide ďshe made a mistakeĒ. Right now you may decide to take her back. Three months from now you may be on the fence. Six months from now it may be ďhell no!Ē

Iím so sorry for you. Please continue to post here so we can support you. What she did was cruel. But you did the right thing by separating immediately.

Buffer posted 12/26/2019 06:20 AM

Any idea, did the AP go with her on the trip?

Odonna posted 12/26/2019 07:13 AM

I am so sorry you now belong to this club. Especially at Christmas.

Please reach out to people who care about you now. You donít need to have marathon talking sessions but just have people around you who will help you feel loved doing some normal things. You probably will resist this suggestion, but I promise you it will help.

Your marriage may be over, but there is a lot to be said about an amicable divorce. If you both strive for that it will be easier. From what you have said it seems she wants that, which is the one lump of good news in this horrid mess.

Take really good care of yourself. Let the pets love on you, too. They always know...

sisoon posted 12/26/2019 08:57 AM

I'm so sorry.

I'm unclear on whether or not she's still in her A. Do you know?

I'm also unclear on what she's thinking. Do you know that? Did you ask anything about why she wants to split? If so, what did she say.

The thoughts and feelings you report sound like pretty normal responses to being blindsided by one's partner. Breaking up an M is just plain painful.

It's important to understand that this is on your W. She chose to cheat because of her own issues. She chose to leave because of her own issues. You didn't fail - she did.

I agree that a good IC can help you process the grief, anger, fear, and shame of being left. I also urge you to remember that anti-depression and/or anti-anxiety meds may be worth considering if you stay paralyzed for too long and/or can't work.

Take care of yourself - drink a lot of water, avoid booze and other drugs unless prescribed, eat and sleep if you can, move your body.

If work is difficult, consider letting your boss know what's going on. Some bosses can and do lighten the loads of people who are dealing with a lot of pain.

IMO, the strong way to get through this is to feel the pain, because that lets it go.

squid posted 12/26/2019 10:17 AM

It sounds like the AP is still in the picture. Which wouldn't be a surprise.

I'm sorry you're going through this. But you've dodged a bullet, honestly. I know this is not how you wanted things to turn out, but it's probably for the best. Even if she came back now, there's an issue of trust that must be addressed. And it sounds like she doesn't want to take full responsibility. Or at least she doesn't feel like it's that important or that what she did was that bad.

This all equates to her not being truly remorseful. Which means that reconciliation could not be possible.

Try to stay busy and healthy. Keep posting and definitely follow through with some counseling. You'll get through this.

Marz posted 12/26/2019 10:26 AM

"I just want to take a break"

She wants more uninterrupted time to spend with her other man. The affair never ended. Most BS's want to believe it's just an EA. If they have contact it's more likely a full blown sexual affair. Living in denial won't help you much.

You need to wake up to reality

She was my best friend, she was my fucking world, and now she's gone...

Nope and nope. Definition of friend = loyalty, honest and trustworthy. You just have a fantasy of who you think she is. That's not who and what she is.

There is no one and only soulmate. Many could fit that bill.

The only one keeping you where you are will be you.

[This message edited by Marz at 10:08 PM, December 27th (Friday)]

BBBD posted 12/26/2019 11:43 AM

Funny how betrayal never comes from your enemies.
Some rules.
-Never ever cry in front of her. Find a place somewhere to let it out but never do it around her.
-Find a hobby. Gravitate towards a hobby thatís physically demanding (MMA, running, etc).
-Do not take her back. Sheís test driving the other guy, and youíre just waiting in the garage? Donít ever be Plan B.
-If youíre on Social Media, start posting fun stuff youíre doing (no other women in pics tho). She has to realize youíre life didnít end when she walked out.
-Youíre friends and family are there for you. Use them to vent or better yet, come here to do it.

fooled13years posted 12/26/2019 12:21 PM

That's a heck of a thing to write on Christmas night.

Stay strong.

You are amongst friends here who know the pain you are feeling.

It does get better and eventually your life will be amazing again.

HeyItsMe posted 12/26/2019 15:38 PM

The1stWife: Iím going to suggest professional counseling for you.

Thanks, I signed up yesterday. Should be getting a call some time today or tomorrow.

Buffer: Any idea, did the AP go with her on the trip?

No, he definitely didn't.

Sisoon: I'm so sorry.

I'm unclear on whether or not she's still in her A. Do you know?

I'm also unclear on what she's thinking. Do you know that? Did you ask anything about why she wants to split? If so, what did she say.

The thoughts and feelings you report sound like pretty normal responses to being blindsided by one's partner. Breaking up an M is just plain painful.

It's important to understand that this is on your W. She chose to cheat because of her own issues. She chose to leave because of her own issues. You didn't fail - she did.

I agree that a good IC can help you process the grief, anger, fear, and shame of being left. I also urge you to remember that anti-depression and/or anti-anxiety meds may be worth considering if you stay paralyzed for too long and/or can't work.

Take care of yourself - drink a lot of water, avoid booze and other drugs unless prescribed, eat and sleep if you can, move your body.

If work is difficult, consider letting your boss know what's going on. Some bosses can and do lighten the loads of people who are dealing with a lot of pain.

IMO, the strong way to get through this is to feel the pain, because that lets it go.

I don't know if the A is continuing. I assume so.
I asked her what her reasoning was, and she said "Our communication methods and personalities are too different." which, is just madness. That just wasn't true until recently.

I've been bad about eating and drinking... I think I've had 3 slices of bread since Tuesday... Gonna try to stomach some proper food today. And, unfortunately, my work load can't lessen. On a team of 5, and 3 of them are away on holiday until the middle of January. I'm getting through though, thanks.

Robert22205https posted 12/26/2019 15:48 PM

How old are you two?

Are you guys married?
If so, how long?

Any kids?

What kind of training or school is she in?

HeyItsMe posted 12/26/2019 18:30 PM

I'm 29, she's 30.

Were almost 6 years married.

No kids.

Nursing school. Masters program.

Marauder posted 12/27/2019 01:43 AM

Hey, sorry to see you here and welcome to a club nobody wants to be part of.

First of all. It's unlikely this was just an EA. Chances are it escalated to physical a long time ago. They spend too much time together, there are too many signs, and this went on for too long.

Secondly, don't wait for her. As of right now, you seem to try and hope she'll come back to you. That's giving her way too much power. She's the one who cheated. She's the one who did all these things. Chances are this break is so she can test-drive the AP, that this affair never really ended but just went underground. Chances are also that she'll be back because the AP won't be anywhere near as great as he seemed when he was just an AP with the "annoying old husband" weighting her down and keeping them apart as star crossed lovers.

If that's indeed the case and it seems likely. Then she had zero remorse, has been lying to you, and deceiving you. And the first time she runs into any hardships she'll pull such a stunt again.

Robert22205https posted 12/27/2019 09:04 AM

Is the OM married?

I'm sorry this happened to you. You did nothing to deserve infidelity.

You guys moved to a new city and she created a new world for herself which pretty much excluded you. It sounds like she then bonded with the OM while he took her climbing every morning ... and also while pursuing their graduate degrees in nursing together.

BTW: climbing walls are used as an exercise in team building (it builds trust and an emotional bond). In retrospect, your wife climbing with him alone every morning was a disaster waiting to happen.

Experience shows a husband can never compete with the AP. Why? In order to justify the affair and to avoid labeling herself as a 'bad' person, she's rewritten her marriage to you; and also convinced herself the AP is perfect in every way.

It's sounds like she's separated from you to see if the OM wants her. There's a good chance he's not interested in anything long term with a cheater (your wife).

Your best strategy to win her back (if that's what you want) is not intuitive. Do not cry, beg or try to 'nice' her back (you will appear weak and unattractive).

Experience shows that the best strategy is to show zero tolerance for her behavior; and for you to take control with decisive steps to move on with your life.

Do not let her have control. For example, stop being her husband, cut off all communication (don't be her buddy or give her advice) and file for divorce (you can delay the process as needed).

If she asks to return or to talk, do not say yes right away. Before giving an answer or having a talk, insist on a detailed timeline subject to a polygraph test.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 9:47 AM, December 27th (Friday)]

HeyItsMe posted 12/27/2019 18:14 PM

She reached out to me today, to confirm that she has decided not to get back together. She then asked if we could "Continue to support each other through this transition."

I politely told her that was impossible, and I felt far too betrayed to offer her a modicum of support. I told her I didn't want to see her, call or, or text her, unless it was absolutely necessary.

She hasn't replied, I'm not holding my breath. I went to my first of 5 counseling sessions today, it wasn't overly helpful. I've done most of the grieving I need to do, and I've started to put my thoughts to the future.

Marz posted 12/27/2019 22:07 PM

She reached out to me today, to confirm that she has decided not to get back together. She then asked if we could "Continue to support each other through this transition."

They almost all do this. It's all for her not you. It helps them alleviate guilt, etc.

No contact is your best friend. And no contact means zero contact. You don't want to linger in this any longer than you have to.

Sorry you're here.

MtVernon posted 12/27/2019 22:43 PM

you seem to be getting out of this messed up situation and pretty fast. Congratulations to you. Her last response or lack of empathy to you spoke volumes. No kids ? Time to move on and find someone who is worthy of you.

As far as 'supporting each other', where was she when you needed her to man up and defend your marriage ?

I am sorry you wasted your time on your wife. You are still young. Better options are out there.

Go seek them after you terminate things with her

Robert22205https posted 12/28/2019 08:06 AM

NC with your wife is your best strategy.

Unfortunately there is no painless way out of this mess. HOWEVER, you can expedite the process of exiting from infidelity (and starting to live your best life).

No kids. File for divorce and move away (since you only moved there for her graduate study). It will give you a much needed sense of control over your life.

Her 'pulling away' is very typical behavior in an affair. Guilt kicks in and it's easier for her to live with herself and feel less guilty as the affair progresses.

The usual story line (after the BS finds out much later) is that by the time you noticed a consistent pattern of her pulling away - their relationship had escalated to a PA.

Her attempt to "hold on" to you (for her own use) while she throws you away is typical cheater behavior.

She's in damage control trying to preserve her self image (and reputation) as a 'good' person - and divert attention away from her affair. She will lie to herself and others to avoid admitting to sex with the OM.

If she can stay in daily contact with you (and give her family updates) it's easier for her to justify/spin this as a mutual agreement to divorce due to communication issues vs her affair.

Also, staying in touch with you keeps you on the emotional hook as her plan B (if the OM dumps her).

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