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Hurting And still don't know the full story

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totallydumb posted 2/4/2020 11:45 AM

But what do I do if she blames the abuse?

I have been through a similar situation. This is how this was explained to me. Hopefully some of this will help you.

My cheater went through some child hood abuse, emotional, physical and sexual when she was a preteen. She had 2 siblings that also suffered through this.

Neither of her siblings became cheaters to my knowledge. Only she did. Why?

Because it was something in her, the childhood trauma may have been a factor, but it did not cause her to cheat. She cheated because she wanted to. The abuse blame is after the fact. Did your cheater get help before she cheated? Did she show any other unhealthy ways of coping with the child hood trauma before the cheating?

If the answer is no, then I would likely look at blaming the abuse as an excuse. It may have been a factor, but your wife is still responsible for her behavior and actions.

JS84 posted 2/4/2020 11:46 AM

You should probably wait until the anger stage hits. Right now you're still in shock and in damage control mode trying to hold onto the life/marriage you thought you had. I'm sorry to say that life is gone and it was an illusion anyway. One created by your wife for her benefit.

And when the full weight of what your wife has done to you, your children, risking your children's home because of her selfishness and I mean REALLY hits you, you might find you won't want or be able to stay with her. Might not be for a few weeks or even months but that anger will come.

Anyway, hope things work out for you and your children regardless. But like I said before, you really need to speak to some divorce attorneys to get a better understanding of your options. Just because you want to put in the work to repair your marriage doesn't mean your wife will. Of that she'll even be able to. You also need to protect yourself so you're in a position to be able to take care of your kids if things don't go the way you hope.

Good luck.

[This message edited by JS84 at 11:47 AM, February 4th (Tuesday)]

KingofNothing posted 2/4/2020 12:07 PM

To all, I really live my wife and will think about leaving ok. Please don't bash her. It really hurts.

Hi, Mountain. If this is aimed at me, I apologize if you think I was being unduly harsh. We are here to support you and sometimes, support is hearing what you might not find pleasant.

I assume you are here for advice. You will always get sympathy, but I seriously doubt there's a single member of that will validate rug-sweeping, especially for a spouse as active in betrayal as yours has been. I'm only going from what you wrote.

First of all, and most important to me (not much for you), is there was a time I loved my spouse every bit as much as you love yours now. Part of me might, still. The fact is, she did a lot of very bad things to transform love to hate to blessed indifference. She did. My beloved spouse. Yes, she was capable of that. She wasn't my friend, wasn’t my lover and at the end of the day, she wasn't my wife.. she destroyed it all. It's hard tipping over that pedestal. It HURTS to entirely lose trust in the ONE PERSON in the entire world you could say anything to. It still hurts. It takes years to recover.. Frankly, I'm not there yet, which is why I'm very uncomfortable about opening up about it even on here.

One thing I can tell you for certain.. I did take a look at the vista of my future and hers. I knew what my life would be like in the aftermath of (more than one) affair. Part of the problem was I know her better than any woman on the planet, strengths and weaknesses, and I knew she would make a big show about trying to reconcile (which she did) and that it would fall apart spectacularly (which it did). So, that's MY place where I come from when I say (entirely respectfully).. is this what you want? Really? Trying to build a marriage with someone who has betrayed your family 8 times? I can only tell you how I (and only I) would react to that. That's the advice I would give.

At the end of the day, it WILL be on your shoulders. Nobody here is saying you HAVE to do anything. You have portrayed what I presume to be the facts about your wife's affair. I assure you, this is NOT the crowd that will advocate rugsweeping this away. That's ALL I'm saying. You can ignore me now.

[This message edited by KingofNothing at 4:43 PM, February 4th (Tuesday)]

ChamomileTea posted 2/4/2020 12:07 PM

But what do I do if she blames the abuse?

Abuse can certainly be a factor in why people do the things they do. One school of psychological thought is that victims of abuse often recreate their abusive surroundings because it's what's familiar to them on a subconscious level. Sometimes, they even recreate it in such a way as to become the abuser instead of the victim, which allows them to become powerful against the previous trauma. They are typically unaware of this behavior.

Underneath it all, cheating is always about character. Marriages don't cheat. People do. The gap between a person's stated values and their actual deeds is where you find the character flaw. No one can MAKE a person who actually believes in fidelity abandon that belief. Cheaters do that on their own because underneath it all, they don't really believe in fidelity. And yeah, previous abuse can factor into that too.

You're taking your time, and truly... that's a GOOD thing. Just remember that none of us can "fix" anyone else. So, while it's true that people can change, your WW (wayward wife) is the only one who can make that happen. Although, I do think that the vast majority of us have been where you are, trying to figure out what the hell happened.

Strength and healing to you.

ETA: You'll find abbreviations in The Healing Library (yellow box, upper left).

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 12:09 PM, February 4th (Tuesday)]

whoami62 posted 2/4/2020 12:31 PM

Hi Mountain,

I am sorry you find yourself here. I too have been on the receiving end of reading / hearing things I didn't want to hear , which makes me bristle in defense.

But the things said to me were from seasoned members and they were not wrong. I am married to a sex addict and we have been with a handful of therapists, a couple that were in way over their heads in terms of dealing with the addiction end of it.

I can now say we are with an excellent team that are all CSAT and we have made a lot of progress.
My H also tried to put some of the blame on me, and the first therapist let him get away with that...the ones we are with now, not even a little !

My H had a pretty sad childhood that included mental abuse at the hands of his parents and at school.
There is a thread in the " I can relate " forum that is specifically for spouses of sex addicts, so maybe take a look over there

Someone told me here that when it comes to comments you receive here on SI to " Take What you need and leave the rest "
I have found that to be good advice
All of us here have been caught up in the horror of infidelity. We don't all share the exact same story , but we all know how incredibly painful it is.

I might suggest that you check out SANON for support. It is a support group for those affected by sex addiction , whether spouses, parents , children , etc.

Since you live in / near a major city, I would guess it would be relatively easy to find meetings

Take care of yourself and your boys and remember , YOU didn't cause your wife to cheat on you

sorryforeverythi posted 2/4/2020 12:43 PM

Hi Mountain,
I know what your are feeling about the wife bashing. I had the same feelings when I first came here. I threw a fit and stomped my feet but then I sat in the silence and looked at what I was feeling.

I was angry at all the my ex chose to do to me and I took it out on the one group of people that were on my side. We don't know your spouse, we don't know you, all we know is what you tell us and the people here have been through everything that you have gone through.

It sucks, it truly does but you need to take off the "rose colored glasses" as 1stwife likes to say.

The fantasy that you are holding onto is a fantasy. You can write it anyway you want to but it's not real and it never was.

Your new reality is to accept that she cheated and she isn't the awesome, incredible, loving, sexy, whatever other adjectives you want to add, she is someone that fucked other dudes.

That's all you got to go off of. She showed you who she really is and you are grasping to hold onto the illusion that you have created and are so desperately trying to maintain.

You can ignore it, you can sweep all of it under your rug and just accept her as she is with all the other dicks waiting in the wings to fuck her, or you can accept that its over and unless she drastically changes it won't work.

Maybe she will pull her head out and fix it, maybe she won't.

It's your life you are betting and it's your life to bet.

There are times I desperately wish my exe would reach out and try and fix this, she won't and it won't.

You can blame us all you want, we are here to help you, so if you need to unload on me, I welcome it so it can help you heal, and I think everyone here would do the same.

Just be honest with yourself and look at what is really going on.

jb3199 posted 2/4/2020 13:08 PM

But what do I do if she blames the abuse?

What this means, Mountain, is that she is not ready to face her demons. At least not yet.

I have never experienced the trauma of childhood abuse, nor would I ever claim to know the effects of this. But what I do know, from being on this site for several years, is that EVERY remorseful wayward that I have ever come across here....with childhood abuse or not....has taken full responsibility for their actions. The bottom line is that no matter how traumatic their past, and some stories are just horrific, it was a conscious decision to cheat.

We don't want you to give up hope on your wife, but what we DO want is for you to understand and accept that her infidelities were (1) not your fault in any way, shape or form, and (2) your wife IS responsible for the choices that she has made. She is not a safe partner. And unless she is willing to get extremely serious about dealing with her issues, she will continue to be unsafe.

You can't fix her. She has to WANT to do this on her own.

Dismayed2012 posted 2/4/2020 14:34 PM

Can I suggest that you get a post-nuptial agreement in place ASAP? It sounds like she might be off the rails and you'll thank yourself when her choices force you into an unwanted divorce. Get the agreement worked out now while you hopefully have a chance at some civility over the details. Protect your and your kids' futures. And get tested for STDs. AIDS and Herpes are lifetime problems and they both can put your kids at risk.

Also realize that her choices have nothing to do with you or your past behaviors. This is all on her. And perhaps consider working on your co-dependency issues? I wish the best for you.

Buffer posted 2/4/2020 20:46 PM

All I can say is that maybe it is time for her to leave and D.

Beachwalker posted 2/4/2020 22:07 PM

You’re hearing a lot of good stuff here, so let me add to the pile:

But what do I do if she blames the abuse?

My WW went through sexual abuse as a small girl. I am not downplaying that horrible abuse. When she was a little girl, she definitely was a victim. Fast forward 20 years when she is in college and a married student flirts with her. She saw the wedding band on his left hand finger, so she knew he was married; yet, she went to his apartment when the wife was at work. She knew the wife would be gone and knew, expected, and wanted sexual interaction with this guy. When she was young and someone touched her without her consent, she was a victim. When she accepted an invitation for sexual acts, she was a willing accomplice – NOT A VICTIM. There is a difference, a HUGE difference. She was FORCED to be a victim, but CHOSE to be an accomplice.

IF she chooses to blame the abuse, you might think about what I said plus what totallydumb said, plus what ChamomileTea said, etc. Be ready with your answer. Maybe, if you shut her down enough times, she may begin to see through her fog, that what she has been using as a reason for her behavior is not a reason, but merely an excuse. If she reaches that point, there is hope.

Organic2003 posted 2/5/2020 00:29 AM

Hi MountainT

Sorry you have found yourself on this forum in terrible pain.

I have experience with a serial cheating wife and probable sex addict. She had more than 16 affairs, most were ONS(One Night Stand) or a few weeks long affairs, and I am sure it was a lot more.

I stayed at first to save my daughter and I am proud of that. Then I stayed because I thought she changed (she didn't).

I tried to be a KISA (Knight in Shinning Armor) My wife had been raped and beat by her father for four years and an uncle, I truly wanted to help her. All I ever got was PTSD and the mind movies a lifetime of pain.

I was hoping you could tell us more about you.
Do you have children?
How long have you been together?
How old are you and WW (Wayward Wife)?
How did you find out?
I she currently in an affair?
Does the OBS (Other Betrayed Spouse)know?

I found several of the books mentioned helpful but would like to include James Dobson's book "Love must be Tough". I think in your situation this book would be the best read.

It is great that you have IC but they should have trauma training. I am apparently to stupid and stubborn to use IC.

Please take care of yourself this early on, be sure to eat and drink a lot of water. I hope you have a friend or two to confide in. This forum is a great place for help from experienced people.

Organic2003 posted 2/5/2020 00:34 AM


Abbreviations can be found here at this link

One of the first things you can do for yourself is to read the healing library found as part of the link.

Westway posted 2/6/2020 12:09 PM

I think I got the full story last night and it's crazy. Over the past 9 years she met up with around 11 guys and fucked most of them. She sent 100s of dirty emails flirty and having fun with the kids and I around. It's just so hard to comprehend. It was just so evil, it's hard to believe someone I love could do something so awful.

Your WW is just like mine. Mine banged 12 men that I can prove over the last 4-5 years, out of over two decades of marriage. So, I don't have a clue as to the total number of times my WW has betrayed me.

It cannot do anything but hurt and humiliate you. I am going through the same feelings myself. My ONLY choice, the only choice that gave me any hope of survival was I chose to immediately start divorce proceedings. I am happy I did. And yes, I miss my WW. And yes, it hurts like hell knowing I'm not the man she wanted sexually. But you know what? I know I am an honorable person. You seem like an honorable person, and your WW cannot say that about herself.

If she was an abused child, then it was her responsibility to get herself help, rather than go to other men to gain some sense of power over her powerlessness. You have no blame in any of this.

isitme24 posted 2/6/2020 18:41 PM


I'm sorry you are here. Your WW saying that "you are the reason the marriage is falling apart", is fundamentally false! All cheaters say this. Don't believe it. She has some serious issues going on, none of which have anything to do with you.

There are some local support groups. BAN doesn't have anything very close to you. Naperville and Chicago(most likely downtown or north side) are the shortest drive. S-anon has a meeting on Tuesdays in Orland Park. Google BAN infidelity or SANON for the websites.

This is a good time for you to focus on yourself and your children. MC and engaging with your WW about her behavior is counter productive at this point.

wishing you peace


[This message edited by isitme24 at 6:42 PM, February 6th (Thursday)]

Marz posted 2/6/2020 20:01 PM

You need to read up or google serial cheater so you know fully what you’re dealing with.

Sorry you’re here

MountainT posted 2/13/2020 08:10 AM

Thanks for all the advice. I'm going to to the post agreement.

I just don't know what to do. I'll stick around for now. I want to give it a try.

She admitted to lots of emails with randoms over the years but did not meet up with most of them but I don't believe it.

When she left I know she met up with several. She seems so sincere and that she wants to stop.

MountainT posted 2/13/2020 08:10 AM

Thanks for all the advice. I'm going to to the post agreement.

I just don't know what to do. I'll stick around for now. I want to give it a try.

She admitted to lots of emails with randoms over the years but did not meet up with most of them but I don't believe it.

When she left I know she met up with several. She seems so sincere and that she wants to stop.

DoinBettr posted 2/14/2020 11:18 AM

Believe me I have thought about this bad stuff also but I'm trying not to be rash. I also want to do the right thing so I'm taking it slow.

Ok, first thing. This isn't "Bad Stuff". This is all about protecting yourself. If she wanted to protect you what action would you expect?
Now, I agree with not being rash. I would also recommend like everyone here says, you get away from her for a little while. This is what the 180 is. People on here talk about it. It is not being a husband to your wife. It gives you space and lets you look at things objectively.
So, the "Right thing", do you know your options?

Ok, to the abuse.
She has to manage that. If she went to these men for sex, "why". She owes you that. She can say, "Well I was abused." You respond, "And why didn't you come to me with this and instead had sex with lots of other men? You abused me." It pushes her to really dig into what made her think it was ok to cheat even though she knew it would hurt you.
That should be your focus. The betrayal is a good later focus. The question I found gets wives who cheat is, "If you knew your husband would be down for sex with you whenever you want. He thinks you are beautiful and says it often. Why wasn't that enough? Why were his words unheard?" The response is usually something about the relationship, but the real answer is about them.
Usually they have a hole they are trying to fill they can't.
It will still be up to her to first fix herself, then fix this mess she made. If she survived abuse, she is stronger than you think. Let her rise to this occasion. Don't try to lift her up or she will lean on you again and possible cheat again because that is how she will handle this mess. She needs to see this as something very wrong with herself she can fix.
Good luck.

MountainT posted 2/17/2020 14:11 PM

Thanks DoingBetter. I really liked what you said and you made some good points. If you don't mind me asking? Did she tell you why she cheated? Has it worked out with your wife? Did she cheat again?

As it turns out the full list is meeting up with around 11. Sex and oral with 6 or 7 plus oral only with a couple more. Some of them were really not good looking at all. I'm talking fat, old and small organs, you could see them on the web right she used. I'm good looking,exercise 5 to 10 hours a week and blessed in other ways. I just can't understand what she was looking for.

Beachwalker posted 2/17/2020 14:27 PM

MountainT: The funny thing is that adultery has nothing to do with size, money, education, social status, good looking, or anything else you can think of. I read an article focused on that specific issue and their research said the same thing. For example, look at all the stars who are cheated on or cheat on their spouse. They have it all: fame, fortune, and a Honda! Yet, they suffer the same adultery problems us little people face. Why? Adultery is about control, selfishness, and manipulation.

I know the question of, “Did she cheat again?” was directed at DoingBetter, but I would like to chime in on that one. Mine did. She got caught a second time and we included counseling and SDT tests to the menu. After all we did and her results coming back as positive for HPV, I thought that would be enough to shake her back into reality. I was wrong. Instead, she just got really good at being sneaky. That is what will most likely happen, IMHO, if she doesn’t face herself and really dig deep to find out why she gave herself permission to cheat.

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