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Christmas Day Surprise

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3

Adavid271 posted 7/7/2020 22:52 PM

Iíve been reading the horror stories on this forum for several months now and have reluctantly decided itís time to share my story.
My wife and I have been married for nearly 24 years. We have 3 beautiful children, a very nice home and what I thought was a pretty good marriage. My wife and I had made the decision after our 2nd child was born (in 2002) that she would stay home with the kids. I had a good job that allowed us to do this with minimal financial impact. She seemed happy to stay at home with the kids - everything seemed perfect. Our 3rd child was born in 2008 and we decided she would continue to stay at home until she started school. Skip forward to 2019, our youngest was 11 years old and no longer needed a full time parent at home sooooo we decided it was time for my wife to return to the workforce.
Iíve read enough of these forums now to know you are piecing this together already. My wife begins work in July 2019 through a temporary agency and is thrilled to be at work. She made a lot of new friends, loved her job and talked about it non-stop. I was happy she seemed to have made a flawless transition back into the work force and was beginning a new stage of life.
Over the course of the next several months, I begin noticing a lot of oddities with my wife whom I thought I knew as well as I knew myself. She was on her phone constantly and would sit and smile as she was texting. She would turn her phone off if I walked past - I didnít think much of it, only thinking she was talking to her new group of friends from work.
Iíll fast forward to Christmas morning. We bought my youngest daughter a new iPhone for Christmas. I decided to get it set up for her and turned iMessages on which linked my phone to my wifeís and daughters. Long story short, I began immediately receiving my wifeís messages.! I glanced
Through a few of the messages seeing texts that said how much they loved each other and couldnít wait to hold each other. There were A LOT of texts sent in a short amount of time. I wasnít able to read the texts in detail as my in-laws and youngest kids were with me. I was in total disbelief and shock and kept thinking this must be a joke from one of her female friends from work. Eventually my wife realized my phone was buzzing every time she received a text and wanted my phone! I refused to give her my phone & the look she gave me let me know immediately that I had a problem. I played it off and didnít let anyone know what was happening - including my wife. My extended family came over later that day - I again played it off and tried to make the best out of our family Christmas - but I knew I was completely devastated in complete shock that this was happening to me. I knew my wife had to work the next day - so I decided to monitor the texts throughout the next day to see what I could learn. Boy did I learn a lot. Throughout the course of the day there were numerous texts between my completely trusted wife the Other man. I was crushed, shocked and infuriated reading the text exchange between the two. Some of the texts said they had never felt love between each other like they had, talked about holding each other and luckily for me, the stupid bastard put his last name after her first in one of the texts. My WW callled him by his full name in one of the texts. Voila - exactly what I was looking for. I was so shocked and pissed that I was literally shaking. I was bringing my daughter and her friend home from a skating excursion with a thousand thoughts boiling in my head. I came home, began doing on-like research and found information on the OM. Eventually I found a family member obituary and found the man was married with children. Thanks to social media I was quickly able to find the OM was still ďhappilyĒ married as his wife had their ďhappyĒ picture on her Facebook page! I immediately sent my son and daughter to go see a movie as I knew all hell was about to break loose.
While continuing to snoop around on-line, I was able to get a phone number for the wife and called her and let her know everything I had discovered. I sent her screen shots of the text message exchanges between our two piece of shit spouses and let her know how sorry I was to do this to her but explained she had every right to know what I had just learned. She seemed to be as shocked as I was. Sadly, she was in the same situation as I was - long term marriage and completely shocked this was happening. Sadly, she chose to talk to me in front of her grown children. Anyhow, after the OMís wife had the full story, it was time to let the cat out of the bag. I sent a text to my POS wife and her new boyfriend letting them both know that his wife and I know about the relationship and immediately called my wife and told her to get home now. I had never felt so betrayed, enraged and vindicated at one time.
My wifeís first comment to me (on the phone) was that she was working and couldnít come home. I donít even know what screaming profanities came out of my mouth but she immediately came home.
I sat alone in a dark room the day after Christmas analyzing my life during the 30 mins it took for her to come home. I couldnít Help but to think of how hard I worked for my family during all these years and that my wife chose to throw away everything we had worked so hard for. I sat and fumed until she arrived home. I immediately confronted her with ďstart talkingĒ - and she sat emotionless asking what I wanted to know. I remember being shocked that she had no emotion after knowing what was about to happen. I immediately lost it and began the worst rage induced screaming rampage in my life. I asked her how long she had been having an affair (in much more profane language) and she began telling me the details. I continued to yell, threw some picture frames and a lamp (pretty much going ape shit crazy) as I listened to the emotionless details of her affair. I sat thinking that I would be the victim - losing my family. My oldest daughter is grown but I still have a son in high school and daughter in junior high. How could I survive without seeing my children every day. I was horrified at the thought of being a weekend dad. How unfair was this that I would lose my family over my wifeís fling. How could someone that I gave my 100% trust to do this to me? How could I have ignored the signs (yes there were several). Eventually I was drained, physically and mentally and moved out of ďourĒ bedroom into a spare bedroom. Fortunately I was off of work for the holidays for another week.
My wife apologized several times after I told her she was not welcome to stay in the house if she ever communicated with the OM ever again. I made her quit her job and told her she was expected to find another job.
We spent the next several dayís talking, crying and trying to decide next steps.
I made a vow to ďtryĒ to work things out between the two of us and found a marriage counselor, marriage seminar, numerous books on ďfixingĒ your marriage etc...
I think I was dealing with this as well as could be expected for the first several months. I didnít sleep in the same bed with her for nearly six weeks. I eventually moved back into our bedroom shortly before taking a trip to see my daughter graduate from military training (with the in-laws who are unaware any of this happened). We seemed to be rekindling our emotions for one another - with me making a conscience effort to force myself to put my anger aside and focus on the ďgoodĒ.
Fast forward to now. The emotions are still pretty raw. Iím still very bitter and try to put a happy facade on for our family and friends. I havenít told a soul of this tragedy in my marriage other than the marriage counselor. I made my wife tell her sister knowing that she would be a huge help and a voice of reason to her through this whole ordeal - fortunately she has been a huge help to my wife through the distress of this disaster. Iím still confused, extremely anger and not trusting of my wife. I feel drained trying to push all my feelings aside to focus on my extremely demanding job and my children. I still love my wife and canít imagine Daily life without her and my children but I just donít know how to get past this trauma.
Our marriage was not perfect by any means - we had drifted apart over the years as we became more and more involved in our childrenís activities, work and other distractions. Even so, I thought we had a very good marriage - I was married to a woman I completely trusted and never had any thoughts ever that she would stray. Well.....foolish, stupid me - look at me now.
Iím committed to trying to piece my marriage and life back together without letting my family - especially my kids - ever know any of this happened. It takes an unbelievable toll on a man trying to hold his family together.....
Well, my rant took nearly 1.5 hours to write. I feel a little embarrassment and reluctance in sharing my story but here it is.... I hope my story can help someone else going through the same marriage tornado that Iím going through now.

[This message edited by Adavid271 at 8:40 PM, July 8th (Wednesday)]

Buffer posted 7/7/2020 23:34 PM

What a bum fight on Xmas day for discovery, well thatís ruined Xmas for now on.
I am unsure of the smaller details but have you at least made your ww get tested for STDs as well as STIs? They werenít safe sexing. Also even though you sound like both are looking at R, still seek legal advice for your location you need to know your rights and responsibilities.
You have their texts and the like, but get WW to write out a full A time line of including her emotions, thought process as to why it was ok to consciously betray you and the children over the year. I donít know if you want to know the sex stuff, what they did, stuff she has denied you but did for her POS. So the time line should be two a PG and XXX version. But with this come a warning, once read it cannot be unseen or un heard. Is WW also be looking at IC, her reasoning for the A is one thing but you were in the same marriage yet didnít screw around. Sorry to ask but could the A gone underground?
Or was she using this as her exit A?
Is she remorseful for the events or cause she was caught. Keep up the communication that is a must, your anger May need to be vented, are you also doing IC? Please donít try to keep it to your self; that is too much to keep bottled up.
Your children need some sort of explanation as to the walking on egg shells at home, please donít tell them mum is having a A. But that she has hurt you big time. This wasnít a accident or mistake. It as grooming on both parts, the thrill of a new relationship, that touch, a kiss, the blending families, proof is in them sharing his surname, as well as consciously bad mouthing both spouses.

Staying in a one sided relationship is never a good idea, just for the children. You donít want to watch her going on dates whilst you stay home. She has some serious ass kissing to make you feel safe to remain with her.
This was not your doing!
One day at a time
Buffer

[This message edited by Buffer at 3:38 AM, July 8th (Wednesday)]

ChamomileTea posted 7/7/2020 23:49 PM

Iím committed to trying to piece my marriage and life back together without letting my family - especially my kids - ever know any of this happened. It takes an unbelievable toll on a man trying to hold his family together.....

You're seven months out, so I don't believe your R decision is knee-jerk. You've had time to think and assess, and you've come to a decision. You're miles ahead of where I was at that point, since even though I had made the R decision, I was secretly on the fence. This is a lot of trauma to try and process on your own though. It's good you've reached out to people here, but there's still something to be said for a real life support person. A good IC who specializes in trauma can help, as can a really good real life friend. Our hugs are plentiful, sure, but virtual for all that.

There's a book called The Body Keeps Score by Bessel van der Kolk which is pretty much THE premier work on trauma, as well as a pretty interesting read. It helped me so much to realize that quite a bit of what I was going through was physiological. You can't really separate emotional trauma from the physical. The "lizard brain" can't really tell the difference. So, understanding what's happening to your body and mind can be a really big help. It allows you to step back from the injury and develop a clinical eye.

Cheating is always about the cheater. It's never about us. We can't MAKE a person who truly believes in the core value of fidelity abandon it, not without a gun to their head. The cheater's belief in that core value is weak and permeable. There's a "but..." in it... "I believe in fidelity, but... if I'm bored and disconnected..." or "I believe in fidelity, but... if my self esteem is low and someone pays me attention..." You see how that works. You BELIEVE in fidelity. You didn't cheat. You built boundaries around that core value. It means something to you. It speaks to your sense of honor, your integrity. But for her... not so much. So, part of rebuilding New Trust is your WW proving that she gets it. She repairs her relationship with her core values so that her true beliefs match up with her actual deeds. She builds meaningful boundaries around those values. And she addresses her "why". Why was there a "but..." in her core value of fidelity? Why was it more important to her? Say, it's "self-esteem"... she learns to meet her own needs for validation rather than turning to external sources. Say, it's "entitlement"... she learns empathy and compassion for others. So, you begin to see that there's quite a bit of work for your WW to do in order for you to feel safe enough to reintroduce trust to the relationship.

And then... there's the injustice of it all. That's a tough one to swallow. Really. Nothing about intimate betrayal is fair. And the dirty, little secret of R, IMHO, is that the cheater does indeed "get away with it". Once we've come back together in partnership, committed to R, punishing our cheater is punishing ourselves. We can't make them hurt without hurting the relationship. There's no coin, no method of recompense, that can reimburse us for our pain. Some would call it "forgiveness", but personally, I think there's some shit in this world which is just unforgivable. I will NEVER "forgive" my WH for the things he did while he was cheating on me. But I can recognize that some debts can never be repaid. I can accept his remorse and his hard work (see above) as partial remuneration and then write off the rest. But I can only do that because I KNOW that if he had a way to take it back, to do something, anything, different rather than cheating on me... he would. It does take TIME to get to that point though, I'm not gonna lie.

Anyway, those are some things which helped me. Your mileage may vary.

Strength to you as you process.

squid posted 7/8/2020 01:41 AM

Adavid,

Sorry you had to join our club.

What is she doing now? What kind of work on herself is she doing? Is she in IC?

How is she acting? Does she answer all of your questions, or is she defensive.

Did she really quit her job?

I know you are committed to fixing your marriage. But remember, you didn't destroy your marriage. She did.

Many BS's come here trying to so hard to make everything in their marriage go back to normal. The tendency is to bear the weight of the betrayal and somehow try and alleviate the betrayer's guilt. In doing so, the affair is never talked about. If brought up, the betrayer feign's overwhelming regret and guilt and asks to just change the subject. This is rugsweeping. I hope you and your WW are not doing this.

Make her write out a detailed timeline of the affair. How it started, what she was feeling as it progressed. Make her write an x-rated version and a more sanitized version. You don't have to read the x-rated version. Put in safe keeping somewhere in case the urge comes where you feel you need to read it.

This can be helpful in letting you piece together the reality that you should have been sharing with your wife. The reality she chose to share with the OM. You will have questions, I promise you.

This is also useful for her because writing it all out strips the affair of any romantic notions she held. She can see the lies, manipulation, and betrayal she is capable of. Just 7 months ago she was telling another man she loved him. Who was she lying to, you or him? Maybe both?

As you can see, she is a capable liar. So you shouldn't believe her much for now. I'm sure she snapped right into place once you stomped your feet and made a big noise. But that doesn't mean she has changed. It also doesn't mean she has stopped cheating. She just realized that her cake was about to be taken away so maybe she just quieted things down until the dust settled a bit.

All I know is that if you are the one pushing to do all of the work of R - hunting down counselors, suggesting books for her to read, checking up on how she is doing/feeling - then you are not in R. She should be doing all of that.

I also think hiding this secret is a bad idea. You should definitely share it with some close family members from both sides. Your kids too, in an age-appropriate manner. Make is as factual and without emotion as possible. Simply, "mom chose to invite a third person into our marriage and we are working to fix things". They need to know why you are so distraught. They probably already know something is wrong.

In the very least you should be in IC. Both of you should be, separately. Hold off on marriage counseling for now. Unless your marriage counselor is specially trained in infidelity, MC usually ends up being a forum for airing out all of the grievances the betrayer had that caused them to cheat. This is obvious bullshit.

Cheating is 100% on the cheater.

So shut her down if she keeps saying it was a "mistake".

Tell us what the current state of your marriage looks like. We totally understand how you must be feeling. I'm just curious how she is acting or what she is saying. All cheaters seem to follow a playbook. We here at SI are very adept at detecting the behaviors, because they ALL do them. Your WW is a garden-variety cheater. She isn't special.

Hang tough.

TwoDozen posted 7/8/2020 03:22 AM

So sorry youíre here man

Youíre story has so many similarities to mine (as alluded to in my username) except the following

I knew something was up for around 6 weeks pre Dday and was hyper vigilant so I did not find out by accident. My Dday was around 2 weeks before yours with a second the day before yours.

I did not react anything like you did, I was a complete chump and offered R immediately and practically rewarded the A with my pick me dance :(

Same as you Iím in this alone, kids donít know, family donít know. Protecting her image and me from the ďnew shameĒ

Just wondering what the state of your marriage is now based on your reactions and if they are better / worse than mine?

Me, well weíre still in R and our relationship on the surface is a thing of beauty, so much affection and time shared together Inside Iím still broken, anxious, full of self loathing because for me this alway was a dealbreaker, until it happened.

Man I wish Iíd reacted the way you did so well done from one broken brother to another for doing the things that I could not (yet)

[This message edited by TwoDozen at 3:26 AM, July 8th (Wednesday)]

DeWittle posted 7/8/2020 06:46 AM

Sounds like you did all the work, what did she do to earn a second?

[This message edited by DeWittle at 6:46 AM, July 8th (Wednesday)]

oldtruck posted 7/8/2020 07:25 AM

i think her parents need to be told.

no, her parents need to be told ASAP.

BeyondRage posted 7/8/2020 07:44 AM

Adavid

My wife apologized several times after I told her she was not welcome to stay in the house if she ever communicated with the OM ever again. I made her quit her job and told her she was expected to find another job.
We spent the next several dayís talking, crying and trying to decide next steps.

Hard to believe apologizing SEVERAL times is all you have.
YOU made her quit her job, she didn't offer it right? YOU told her it was over if she communicated with OM again. She didn't offer on her own???

What verification do you have that they have not spoken or are not still speaking. She knows how to reach him. You just taking her word for it??? No wonder you're emotions are all over the place.

Are you still in contact with OM wife??? She should be very grateful to you and still letting you know what her husband is doing.

Lots of unanswered questions here.

With her "love' communications i would be using a VAR in her car and a polygraph to find out what the hell you are reconciling with

Butforthegrace posted 7/8/2020 07:53 AM

Sorry you're here. It's especially bitter that your Dday was Christmas. Christmas will be messed up for you for many years. Mine was also near Christmas. I had emotional difficulty around Christmas for a very many years.

The first bit of advice is to take care of you, especially with respect to your job. Exercise. Stay away from alcohol. Drink plenty of water.

I think you would benefit from the 180. This is not a tool to punish your WW. It is a technique to give you some psychological space, first to enable you to focus on your short-term emotional and physical health, and second to give you space to find your heart's truth.

Schedule STD tests for both you and your WW.

A few comments in response to your OP:

I made a vow to ďtryĒ to work things out between the two of us and found a marriage counselor, marriage seminar, numerous books on ďfixingĒ your marriage etc...

I hope you realize now that this was a step in the wrong direction. Backwards. There is no marriage to work on while it is broken by a cheating spouse.

The overwhelming consensus here on SI is that the WW should first seek individual counseling to see if she can figure out what is broken in her moral compass such that she decided the appropriate response to whatever inner demon was plaguing her was to make the decision to fuck another man and lie to you about it. MC is a complete waste of time unless and until she understands that part and has taken steps to fix it.

MC's are mostly a bunch of hacks when it comes to the trauma of infidelity. They see the marriage as their patient, and they see keeping it together, via rug-sweeping, blame-shifting, duct tape and chicken wire, as a "win".

By the way, do NOT ever let her get away with using the word "mistake". Her A was the product of choices and decisions. She decide at some point to take off her clothes and let another man enter her. She decided to lie to you about this. She is still deciding things about her A. Make no mistake about that.

I think I was dealing with this as well as could be expected for the first several months.

It's a good sign that you let some of your anger out in the initial confrontation. However, based on your description of what you've done, you've dealt with it like many uninformed BH's deal with betrayal, which as noted above is the bass-ackward way you should be.

We seemed to be rekindling our emotions for one another - with me making a conscience effort to force myself to put my anger aside and focus on the ďgoodĒ.

"We". SI is a place for you to talk about "me", not "we". Your mindset is leading you to make the same beginner's mistake that most newly minted BH's make. Your heart remains stuck in the "before time", the stable, reasonably happy, trusting marriage you thought you had, the one that seemed poised to move to a new level as your WW discovered her voice again as a working woman.

The realization that every BH must eventually reach is that this marriage was an illusion. It didn't exist. Worse, the illusion you held about it was created by the lies your WW was telling you while she was fucking another man.

The woman you are married to is the kind of woman who will go out to meet another man, have sex, and come home and lie to you about it. She will remain that kind of woman unless and until she works with an IC to figure out how her inner moral compass became so fucked up. Until that happens, you are trying to patch things up with a practiced liar. One litmus test is that feeling you have now -- the one where you find it difficult to trust her. She should be twisting herself into pretzels to figure out ways to earn back your trust, with the emphasis on earn. You should make exactly zero effort on that bit. If you find yourself feeling as if you must make an effort to trust her, that should be a warning sign that you are doing the wrong thing.

Fast forward to now. The emotions are still pretty raw. Iím still very bitter and try to put a happy facade on for our family and friends. I havenít told a soul of this tragedy in my marriage other than the marriage counselor.

Why would you put on this facade? The cornerstone of infidelity is a cheating spouse who lies about who she is. If R is to have any glimmer of chance, the marriage needs the bright, harsh, ugly light of honesty. What you are describing is the insidious process of rug-sweeping. It will, in the long run, come back to bite you in the arse.

Iím still confused, extremely anger and not trusting of my wife.

You should expect to feel this way for years. If you spend much time reading here, you'll see that true R is extremely difficult. It is an emotional wringer that takes years to figure out, and at the end it may still not work. You should only invest that sort of time and energy if your WW is 100% both feet in, pleading you for R and investing herself body and soul into first fixing her brokenness. Your OP describes nothing about what she has done; only what you have done. I'm going to assume, therefore, that she's done nothing. If that is correct, then your efforts to keep the marriage together, my friend, that is a fool's errand.

To that end, one question to start asking yourself is "what Adavid do I want to stare down in the bathroom mirror five years from now? Or ten years?" The process of R works (or fails) in those time frames. It's a long-term investment.

I couldnít Help but to think of how hard I worked for my family during all these years and that my wife chose to throw away everything we had worked so hard for.

I promise you that in 5 years, and 10, you will still have that thought (among others) as you look yourself in the eye in the bathroom mirror in the morning. Remember it because it will not let you forget.

You're still young enough now to have a realistic do-over in life if you get out. You should only launch onto the long-term investment of R if you honestly think there is a reasonable likelihood of success. To that end:

What has your WW done to fix herself? What has she done to try to earn the gift of R from you? What has she done to try to earn your trust? If she's not taking steps now, why do you think she'll start taking steps tomorrow, or next week, or next year?

Details matter. Has she given you the detailed, x-rated, written A timeline yet? It has been 6 months since Dday. She's had plenty of time to get this done. Sex and intimacy details of an A tend to trickle out over time if the WW doesn't do that. The A is an "intimacy hole" in the fabric of the marriage. She created a cocoon of intimacy with another man. Most BH's feel ongoing betrayal unless and until the WW opens that up completely and shares every detail with the BH, as if he were a fly on the wall. As painful as it is to hear the details, the pain of not knowing, and wondering, is worse for most BH's.

Are there details that are extra painful. Did she exhibit a much higher degree of sexual brio for a co-worker who told her she had a nice ass versus a husband who has worked his own ass off for years to provide for his family? If so, what steps is she doing to help that specific trauma heal?

I feel drained trying to push all my feelings aside to focus on my extremely demanding job and my children.

Again, first and foremost, implement the hard 180. Live your life as a single man. Focus on the important things in the core of your life until you find your healthy place.

I still love my wife and canít imagine Daily life without her and my children but I just donít know how to get past this trauma.

As noted above, you don't actually love your wife. The woman you think you love is a figment of your imagination. She is the loyal, truthful, committed woman you thought you were married to until about December 25, 2019. The actual woman you are married to is a woman who will sneak around and have sex with another man and lie to you about it, then, when confronted, admit only what is demanded in flat, unemotional terms.

Again, what is noteworthy to me about your post is what it doesn't say: namely, you do not list one single thing your WW has done to attempt to earn the gift of R from you. Not one. You made her quit her job. I will infer from this that the AP was a co-worker. Has she reported him to HR as to the reason she quit -- sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual contact from a co-worker? If not, why not? Why on earth would you wish to remain married to a woman who will cheat on you and then not take even one single action to help you heal.

Which brings me to your truama. What is your WW doing to help you heal from the trauma? My God, man, she just kneecapped you. Is it really the case that the only thing she is doing is sitting stoically through the MC that you're dragging her to?

As to your children, millions of couples divorce and remain active, committed parents of their children. Your WW destroyed your marriage. It is not your job to swallow the shit sandwich she fed you and march stoically along as if nothing happened.

The children, by the way, are old enough to also know the truth about their mother. Children pick up way more about their parents than parents think. They absolutely know that things are rotten at home; I guarantee it. Right now, they must be wondering why, wondering how bad it is, when the other shoe is going to drop. Honesty with them is extremely important because they are walking on eggshells at present.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 8:15 AM, July 8th (Wednesday)]

heartbrokeninNC posted 7/8/2020 07:54 AM

Adavid, this was exactly how I found out about my WW A. In fact it was brought to light on 12-24-19 since my DD16 saw the texts and confronted WW.

I'm so sorry you had to find out this way but listen to everyone here, there is a wealth of knowledge here and it has definitely helped me out. Take it day to day and put yourself and the kids first now.

Do not do the 'Pick Me Dance' as this is counterproductive and only adds more ego kibbles to your WW. Talk with an attorney to see where you stand and start going NC along with a 180. Waywards get the message really quick.

Download and store all the texts if you still have them to an offsite location.

[This message edited by heartbrokeninNC at 8:07 AM, July 8th (Wednesday)]

Dismayed2012 posted 7/8/2020 12:18 PM

Sorry about your situation 'Adavid271'.

As you're experiancing, it takes a long time to heal from this type of betrayal. Don't rush yourself. Allow your head to decide when it's ready for the next step in the process.

I hope that your WW is doing all she can to fix what she's broken. At the same time realize that her efforts may in the end not be what you need in order to be free of the pain and triggers.

Your wife made her choices knowing full well the damage she was wreaking upon you, her family, and her marriage. It's your turn now to make your choices and decide your own future. Choose a future that provides you with happiness and success. You're worth the effort. I wish the best for you.

Buster123 posted 7/8/2020 14:32 PM

You should EXPOSE her A with ALL family and close friends, the "emotionless" she displayed on Dday tells a lot, it's not remorse but rather regret, she regrets getting caught. She should apologize to the children (they're old enough), they don't need the gory details, "mommy cheated and had a boyfriend last year", you're children were betrayed as well, she risked the stability of the family, DO NOT Rugsweep this. Exposure typically kills the "beautiful, romantic and exciting" aspect of the A and replaces it with pure shame and embarrassment, and it helps with remorse.

R (Reconciliation) is hard enough with a fully remorseful WW doing all the necessary work (and no guarantees of success), based on what you posted, you're still protecting your WW, you did good by exposing the A with OBS (Other Betrayed Spouse) but I think you should finish the job, she should apologize to the children and to both sets of parents for her huge betrayal, the more consequences she faces the less likely she is to cheat again in the future, also don't forget to contact an attorney and have her sign a postnup in your favor (no alimony and she doesn't touch your retirement), remember she's now a proven cheater and a liar. Also demand she gets tested for STDs (you should too), the "walk of shame" to the doctor's office helps with remorse and emphasizes the severity of her actions. One more thing, demand a written timeline of the A and make her read it out loud, tell her it will be subject to a polygraph, chances are this may not be her first rodeo but the first time you caught her, another good question for the polygraph. She needs to send an NC FOREVER text to OM and all those that knew and/or enabled the A.

Stinger posted 7/8/2020 14:49 PM

Not much to work with.

fareast posted 7/8/2020 15:31 PM

In the last six months what has your WW done to try and build a new M and rebuild your trust. What are your requirements for R? Is she transparent and open with her phone and devices. Is she actively seeking to find out her ďwhysĒ for betraying you? Did she prepare a written timeline of her A? What has she done to demonstrate empathy for the pain you are suffering? Has she read: How To Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by McDonald? An informative little book. Does she answer your questions about the A openly and without being defensive? What is she doing to help you heal?

[This message edited by fareast at 3:37 PM, July 8th (Wednesday)]

Adavid271 posted 7/8/2020 22:08 PM

Thank you for your suggestions, shared stories and general advice.
To answer a few of your questions:
1. STDs - yes, I absolutely mandated that she be immediately tested for the full array of STDs. I had shockingly learned that she had unprotected sex with the OM.
2. I unfortunately asked for all the details of the affair. I received the full XXX version. I still have daily moments of full fledge rage over what I had learned. I will NEVER look at her again as I had before the A.
3. I kept all screen shots of the exchange between the two. I feel it is sometimes detrimental as I still occasionally read some of the messages but I will surely continue to retain these messages.
4. My WW was apologetic and asked for forgiveness repeatedly. She stated she would do anything to take it back. She said she and the OM immediately broke things off when I found out and texted both of them stating I had provided his wife with all the details.
5. I texted the OMís wife the following morning after learning the extent of the A and provided her with the details of what I had learned. I also informed her that if I ever caught wind that my WW communicated with the OM again that she would be kicked to the curb.
6. I have struggled with the same point many of you made in your replies. My wife has done very little to reconcile. Iíve done all the work in this area. I pointed this out to her several times - a few times in heated conversation and once or twice with the counselor. She stated that she doesnít know what to do and sheís always depended on me to take the lead on nearly everything. Well, obviously not everything since she took the lead on screwing a co-worker in the parking lot on several occasions. Lame excuse. This is an issue that Iíve struggled with - even more so reading your replies. Iím really struggling with this now more than ever....
7. I will not tell my children. Regardless of the shit my wife did, she is a fantastic mother to our children. I owe it to them and her not to tarnish their relationship over the A. It was a piss poor decision, yes but I donít want this to overshadow the relationship she has with them. This is a sacrifice I am 100% willing to make.
8. I also refuse to tell her parents. IMO, this is a vindictive, malicious move. The A is the road block between she and I, not her parents. They will always be her parents - I on the other hand could become an ďexĒ if the R doesnít work out. I will let her tell her family if she opts to do so.
For as pissed off as I am, I still respect what we had and love her and her family. Informing them of the A would not be helpful to anyone.
9. Thank you for the advice on good reads. I ordered ďThe Body Keeps ScoreĒ tonight.
10. My wife and I informed my children of our marital problems within days of D day. It was a needed conversation as it was clear there was a problem when I moved into the guest bedroom. I didnít share any details, only that we were seeking help and that we both loved them very much and would be taking time to work on our issues.
11. I am certain the A ended when I contacted the OM, his wife and my wife although I still donít trust my wife - she is now a proven liar and cheater - both of which I am still in total disbelief could have become of my wife. Her entire family, siblings, parents, grandparents etc...have been in long term, monogamous relationships. Nobody in her immediately family have ever been divorced.
12. She has offered her phone, social media accounts etc.. to me to inspect. I refuse to look through her accounts. IMO, it is far too easy to create hidden accounts, email addresses etc.. that can be made very difficult to trace. I would be stupid to think she would use her regular accounts to communicate with an AP. I made it crystal clear that I have my ways to investigate and if I ever found even a hint of a problem that I would immediately end the relationship.
13. Although I am the victim in this situation, I refuse to allow myself to become the ďvictimĒ. This will only make me stronger and hopefully a little wiser. I spent a few weeks feeing sorry for myself only to realize that Iíve overcome a lot in my life and I sure as hell refuse to let this consume me.
14. I did begin drinking a lot more than usual - I know itís not healthy but it numbed the pain - I try to make a conscience effort to reduce the alcohol but - it still helps take the edge off a little.
15. I have been exercising. I lost about 15 lbs in a matter of a few weeks. I had no appetite and just felt miserable. Iíve since been eating healthy and making a point to get a good work out in several times a week.
16. My wife and I have talked more in the past several months than we have in years. Weíve been very open about the struggles weíre enduring and have talked about why she chose to have the affair. She has been very open about how the OM made her feel emotionally charged which eventually led to the physical affair. I am a quiet, private man - never one to really spill my emotions to anyone. This obviously created a void in our marriage in which the OM took advantage of & apparently found the whore side of my WW. Once the emotional connection was made - the back seat hook ups commenced. Yes - I still get fucking pissed every time I reflect on this.
17. Things seem to be much better in the last few months. We have made it a point to spend some time alone with each other several times a week. Sometimes itís a quick way to talk uninterrupted - occasionally we run an errand together etc... things do seem to improve although Iíve really taken a few steps back in recent weeks. I continue to analyze my situation and remind myself that I donít deserve any of the bull shit that Iím neck deep in. Iíve really battled anger issues in recent weeks and donít really know what prompted it. Iím still committed to R but Iíve really thought a lot about the ďwhat ifísĒ of D. My wife sees this internal battle and I see that she is very cautious of how to approach me. I guess this too will eventually pass as I learn to deal with these emotions I never knew existed within me.

Again, I appreciate all your advice. Itís extremely helpful for me to hear your stories (I vividly remember your story TwoDozen as it was one of the first I read and followed due to the similarities of my situation). This forum is full of unfortunate, horrible stories but Iím learning this is a training ground of survivors & warriors created by the victims they once were. I am still dealing with a tremendous amount of stress right now but it is so helpful to understand what many of you have learned through your similar experiences. I would have never imagined anything as such would be so incredibly difficult to cope with. This has truly been the most difficult situation Iíve endured in my lifetime! Thank you for helping make it a little more bearable.

fareast posted 7/8/2020 22:22 PM

Thank you for the update and further detail. It may not feel like it but you are doing very well. The anger will come. You are still on that rollercoaster of emotions. Itís going to last for a while. But the things you are doing are very positive and will help you in the long run, whatever you decide to do in your M. Do watch the alcohol intake, especially if you are feeling the rage. Not a good combination. One of the hardest things to accept is the unfairness of it all. But time will help you. Be vigilant. Keep getting stronger fo you. Good luck.

Tanner posted 7/8/2020 23:24 PM

Me, well weíre still in R and our relationship on the surface is a thing of beauty, so much affection and time shared together Inside Iím still broken, anxious, full of self loathing because for me this alway was a dealbreaker, until it happened.

Man I wish Iíd reacted the way you did so well done from one broken brother to another for doing the things that I could not (yet)

Iím am right here, 10 months out I have more clarity, I so regret how pathetic I was. If Dday wasnít so devastating, I would ask for a do over.

DeWittle posted 7/9/2020 00:05 AM

Brother, you did something SO right, right off the bat, it SHUT everything down immediately by notifying the other betrayed spouse OBS. Sometimes it takes BS forever to do this. Also, following-up with her, that demonstrates you have good instincts. She is your closet ally in this, make sure you keep that line of communication open.

Ensure you SEE the lab results, all Iíll say about that.

Honestly, I think you jumped to fast into MC and R along with putting no consequences on your WW, you may be rug-sweeping this. Itís not too late for you to step back from this because all you are doing is laying the ground work for another A or possibly rekindling.

Did you at least find a MC experienced with infidelity?

[This message edited by DeWittle at 12:11 AM, July 9th (Thursday)]

anoldlion posted 7/9/2020 01:16 AM

I am so sorry for you plight. You wife ask what she should do to help you and your marriage. There are many people who actually do not know what to do in some situation. Many times on SI I have seen BHs refuse to tell their wife what they need to heal. This basically says they expect their spouse to be a mind reader and automatically know what to do. Your wife may be asking for your guidance because she really wants to know what you need her to do. I'm positive she can't look at you and say "yes, I know exactly what he needs." Many may fear that if they do something, without knowing if their husband input, then it might be wrong and make matters worse. Just tell her that if the positions were reversed and you had cheated and hurt her and your marriage as bad as she did to you, what would she want you to do. Let her tell you what she would do in that situation then add what you need. There is no progress without communication. I do wish you well.

oldtruck posted 7/9/2020 01:27 AM

not exposing the PA to WW parent is wrong. many times when
a WW does not face consequences statistically they are more
likely to break NC and restart the PA or later on in life will
be more likely to have a new OM and another PA.

also you do not lie to the kids. they do not need details but they
need the truth. otherwise they tend to blame themselves for
causing the problems in the family. they start to assume that
only if their behavior was better there would be no strife in
their family. this should not be their burden.

simple truth

married people do not have BF/GF and go on dates with them.
mom has a BF and has been going on dates with him.
his name is________.

also you need access to all of her communication needs.
not that you have check up on her all the time. your ability to
trust cannot be repaired unless you can verify that there is NC
between OM and WW.

As the trust gets repaired you will need to check on WW less
and less till one day you will just stop doing it. this is
another needed consequence WW's need to face.

[This message edited by oldtruck at 1:32 AM, July 9th (Thursday)]

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