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30 years is a long time

Capergirl posted 1/6/2020 10:07 AM

I posted this on Reddit as well; I hope that's ok. I'm a newbie.

Here's my story: I've been with my husband for 30 years, since I was 17 years old. We've been married for 22 years and have a 21 year old son and a 15 year old daughter.

He works away from where we live and is on a two week rotation, meaning that he's home for two weeks and away for two weeks at a time. This will seem strange to a lot of you, I'm sure, but there is a high jobless rate where I live and this sort of thing is very common.

We were very close. We talked every night he was gone for around 45 minutes. Our sex life was great, and always was. He loved me as he'd always loved me, or so I thought, until the first time he came home after he started sleeping with her, which was around the beginning of July of this year, as far as I can tell. All of a sudden, everything was different. I convinced myself that he was just tired from his long shifts, that he was just getting older, etc. until I couldn't take it anymore.

In September, I accused him of having an affair. I had no reason to think he was, except that he was acting differently. He denied it. I insisted that something was wrong and he finally pulled out the "I've been unhappy for a long time and I love you but I'm not in love with you" card. I asked him what he wanted to do and we decided to work on it. Little did I know that he was fully immersed in a full fledged affair with a coworker.

Fast forward to November 9, when I received a text from her husband, telling me she was sleeping with mine. I confronted him. He denied it. I pushed because I didn't believe him and he admitted it. I asked if he loved her and he said yes. I asked if he wanted a divorce and he said yes.

The next day, 30 years to the day since we'd started dating, we sat our children down and he told them what he'd done. They were crushed and shocked. We had a happy marriage as far as anyone, including me, knew. The first thing my daughter said was, "All I ever wanted was a marriage like yours."

To say I'm devastated is not enough. There are no words for what I'm feeling. This is a man who was well known as a good husband and father. A respected man. A man who has loved me unconditionally since I was little more than a child. A man who has been my best friend for the vast majority of my life. And now he's with her. It's all so surreal.

I cannot even talk to him anymore. He will not listen to reason. He doesn't blame me, he just keeps saying he couldn't talk to me about his unhappiness and that she just came along and he let it happen. But I have so many things to say and although he's mostly willing to listen, he hardly ever gives me a response.

I gave him 30 years of my life. I gave him everything. And now I'm alone and I have no idea how to cope with the fact that someone like her has taken my place. I have no idea how to cope with the fact that he loves someone else or that the husband I knew is dead. I am so, so lost.

I'd appreciate any advice or encouragement.

fooled13years posted 1/6/2020 10:30 AM

Capergirl, 30 years is a long time and I am so sorry that this has happened to you and your family.

I wish there were some magic words that could be said to help this all go away but, if there is, I haven't heard them.

Make sure you concentrate on yourself and your children as each of you need this care now more than ever.

Don't try to make sense of this as none of it ever will.

He will not listen to reason

He is living in a fantasy world right now.

How many of us would truly want to be with someone who was willing to cheat with a married person?

He doesn't blame me, he just keeps saying he couldn't talk to me about his unhappiness and that she just came along and he let it happen.

He is right in that this is all on him.
But I have so many things to say and although he's mostly willing to listen, he hardly ever gives me a response.

What could he say right now that would provide the answers and relief from the pain you are experiencing?

He is responsible for causing this and is not willing to face the betrayal and pain caused by his actions.

Masters2020 posted 1/6/2020 10:35 AM

I don't have any amazing advice, I just want to let you know that you will get through this. You're a good person and were a good wife and did nothing wrong to deserve this. You will find true happiness through all this pain. Focus on yourself and find your happiness. Best wishes for healing and hope in 2020.

Blindsided109 posted 1/6/2020 10:58 AM

Hi Capergirl

Your story is almost identical to mine. I found out my husband of 30 years was having an EA with COW (I believe a PA as well, he denies) in November. We also were together since we were 17 years old. He began pulling away from me about a month before I found out and his excuse was really tired from extra hours he was working etc. I thought we had a great marriage and loved the family we created together with our 2 daughters. He claimed he was really unhappy for a long time and developed a friendship with a co-worker as she was having marriage problems and feelings developed between the two. I found out the truth about their relationship by snooping on his phone and found texts and emails, he was stupid enough to not even change the password from my birthday. To say that I was devastated is an understatement.

I made him tell our adult children the truth about what he did and he lied to his family about the reason we were separating and I told them the truth after I told him that I wouldn't lie for him. Currently, 1 child is not speaking to him, the other barely speaks to him and his family is barely speaking to him. According to him, this is all my fault for exposing the truth. He can't take ownership for his actions and blaming me.

The one daughter not speaking to him, said the same thing your daughter said about always wanted to have a marriage like ours and find a man who treated her as well as her father always treated me.

He thankfully moved out of our house on New Year's Day, the kids and I couldn't take the tension any longer as he was acting like the victim in this situation.

I know how devastating it is to realize that the person you have loved your whole adult life is now in love with someone else. My husband's current actions and behaviours are nothing like the man I loved, I don't recognize the man he is now.

May I suggest IC for yourself, I have been going for about a month and seems to be helping. I do have good days and bad and I know that eventually the good days will outweigh the bad. It's really important for you to focus on self care right now.

Good luck and please focus on caring for yourself right now, it is crucial for your mental health.

heartbrokeninNC posted 1/6/2020 10:59 AM

Capergirl so sorry to hear about this, especially after you've known him for 30 years. All cheaters are liars and you have done absolutely nothing wrong. Do not let him pin this on to you.

sisoon posted 1/6/2020 12:53 PM

I'm so sorry your H did this.

I just want to say that you will get through this. It's brand new, and it looks like the end, but it's also a beginning.

Take care of yourself -

lots of water,
no drugs or alcohol,
eat and sleep as healthily as you can - but know that's difficult
move your body - get exercise
find support - therapist, pastor, very good friend, sibling if you're close enough

Your H cheated and left because of his own issues, not because of issues with you or your M. That means your recovery requires processing your feelings, whereas his requires processing his feelings and dealing with the deep-seated issues that caused him to betray himself and you and his family.

I know you just found out, but I recommend you read in the Divorce and Separation forum on SI - go to the list of forums and page down to find it.

I stay out of D/S out of superstition, but there are some great people who post there. It can be a source of great support and counsel for you.

Above all, have faith in yourself to recover from this. I know life looks worse than bleak right now, but you can live a great, joyful life even so.

TooManyCliches posted 1/6/2020 13:12 PM

Iím so sorry youíre going through this. So many of the excuses he gave sound like those given by my husband of 15 years to justify what he did. He decided to stay, when I gave him the choice, but if we hadnít had young children, I donít know he would have made the same decision in the moment. Almost a month in, though, the ďfogĒ has cleared a lot, and heís facing the reality of what he did, and starting to recognize that those feelings werenít real.

You talk about how painful it is to see him with her. I know it doesnít offer much comfort now, but statistics show its very, very unlikely theyíll have a happily ever after, from everything Iíve read. Once the limerance stage of the relationship begins to fade, most people are faced with the reality that it isnít actually any more special than what they already had - and how many needs were met by their spouse that ARENíT met by the new relationship. And thereís resentment towards the AP because of that, and the potential for distrust, since they will never be able to escape that their relationship started with lies and secrecy.

I think itís only something like 5% of cheaters who leave who end up with their AP beyond a couple of years, and most not that long.

LLXC posted 1/6/2020 13:22 PM

Is your husband the type to hold on to his feelings? I feel like a lot of the people who say, I,ve been unhappy a long time" are very passive aggressive. They were deeply unhappy but never tell their spouse, don't leave, then have an affair, then leave.

Or maybe he was always happy and told himself he was not happy in order to justify his affair.

Regardless. He is very immature and i am sorry.

The1stWife posted 1/6/2020 14:24 PM

Iím so sorry for you.

I had a very similar situation. My H wanted a D too.

I can tell you Iím pretty sure that he was happy and then he met the OW and then he decided ďhe was unhappyĒ.

Typical mid life crisis affair if you ask me.

Get yourself some counseling. It can save your sanity.

Wintergarden posted 1/7/2020 07:05 AM

I have so many things to say and although he's mostly willing to listen, he hardly ever gives me a response.

I had this too. When I asked why there was no response, he said he couldn't defend himself, he was in the wrong. That may be true but was still very frustrating and got me more angry, which of course, he couldn't cope with and his answer was to remove himself from the firing line.

It's early days. Things do change and I really believe they need time to see things for what they really are. I'm no where near sorting my relationship for the future but I'm less angry and more willing to accept what hand I'm getting dealt.

Take your time, the best advice I got was to heal yourself. I still work towards this.

Tallgirl posted 1/7/2020 16:48 PM


Your husband has justified hurting you, your kids and everyone by telling himself he was unhappy. He is rewriting history. And he is living in fantasyland. Affairs are easy because they are not real life.

I am so sorry he has done this. It is about him, not you. This is NOT your fault.

Have you been checked for STDs?

Please protect yourself financially. Take care of yourself by eating and exercising. I imagine that you are in utter shock.

I did not sleep for months.

Do not let him off easy for anything. You owe him less than zero. Talk to him as little as possible. He is not your friend.

When I read these stories of extreme selfishness and horrible behaviour, it breaks my heart.

I hope his penis falls off and her hair falls out.

TfromNY posted 1/7/2020 17:39 PM

Dear Capergirl. So much is felt when reading a post like yours. I feel it deeply and I am so very sorry this is happening to you. Life teaches us cruelly that we are not in charge of everything. We cannot entirely control our destiny. Horrible shit can happen to us. Stuff we do NOT deserve.

Iím sure youíll get a lot of great advice about what you CAN do, for you, right now. I only wanted to offer Iím sorry the man you knew grew in a different direction than you. Sometimes when weíre coupled up the projection of the partnership to the world masks the individual, their growth, or their lack of. Either his character has never been as honorable and loyal as yours, or heís having fears about his own mortality so he wants to start over to feel less depth than whatís he established in your family, or maybe he was unhappy - was a coward, couldnít speak to you like a grown up - and now heís running off. It sucks. And he is completely in the wrong in the way he has betrayed you.

Please know you are being thought of. And remember feelings are not facts (you are lovable and valuable and this is not your fault). And feelings are not final (remember you will get through this. It just will take time.)

Protect you. I wish Iíd had this site when I got divorced. I was SO scared and disoriented. He RAN AWAY with most of the money and I walked away from retirement and a lot of assets that were rightfully mine. Concentrate on YOU now. Do not let him scrap all your years and ride off into the sunset. Weíre here for you.

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