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Christmas Day Surprise

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standinghere posted 7/9/2020 02:31 AM

I'd welcome you to Hell, but you have already been through worse.

Sorry about Christmas, it seems "special" days are often D-days (my wife confessed on the anniversary of our first date which we had always celebrated...that is a real special day around here now).

You will get a lot of good feedback here, use what you can.

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.

No, it didn't. Immediately ditch that idea, immediately, that YOU have anything to do with your wife's affair reasons.

One of the hardest lessons we learn in this type of circumstance is that we have absolutely no control over the behaviors of those we love and care for. This can be around affair behavior, or other behaviors, people who live with addicts have to get this or they get consumed by the addict behavior and consequences.

The "void" is in HER, and not in the marriage. This will take you years to understand, but there is nothing you did, or didn't do, that led to her affair.

Marital problems...we all have them (if we are married). The perfect spouse may exist, but even the perfect spouse cannot fill the void that someone has in themselves. By the way, neither can the AP, parents, children, anybody, etc.

The return to work, that didn't have anything to do with it either, my FWS had her affair with small children at home, while the children were at home, and the OM just came right in and she took him down the hall to the bedroom like nobody's business. The behaviors of people having affairs are really consistent, and the lying and gaslighting as well as trickle truthing are also.

Why? The "void", and that is why IC for the WS is critical.

It has to be a IC who is able to "call bullshit" when they are being fed it.

FWIW, my FWS fed three different IC's over the years a very good diet of bullshit, until basically our MC saw through it. I even went to MC with my spouse, years before D-day, and both myself and the MC got fed a very good diet of bullshit but neither of us realized it.

You are now six months in, this will be a years long process, either way the marriage goes, make sure you take the time to take care of yourself and read, read, and read, because there is so much to learn and integrate into your thinking.

RocketRaccoon posted 7/9/2020 05:26 AM

She stated she would do anything to take it back.

Typical..... but then....
My wife has done very little to reconcile.

You are very correct when you said:

she took the lead on screwing a co-worker in the parking lot on several occasions.

I have mentioned in other posts, and I do strongly believe in this; the effort a wayward puts into trying to recover a M that they destroyed, gives an indication of how much they value the M.

Butforthegrace posted 7/9/2020 06:27 AM

We’ve been very open about the struggles we’re 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.

Do you see the subtle blame-shifting embedded in this statement? Millions of people are married to quiet, private, hard-working spouses and do not cheat on them by fucking a co-worker in the back of his car. You are subtly shouldering the burden of this. Refusing to tell anybody about it. Refusing to see your WW face any consequences other than a private view of your struggles as you move toward rug-sweeping. It's a recipe for failed R in the long run.

There is a place you'll reach one day called "The Plain of Lethal Flatness". It's that place a couple of years after Dday when your rage is spent. If you're still with her, you'll look yourself in the mirror one morning and realize: "Every day, for the rest of my life, I'll look at my sleeping wife and remember that she spend half of 2019 fucking another man. This is my life."

I’ve really battled anger issues in recent weeks and don’t really know what prompted it.

Seriously? You don't know what prompted it? What has prompted it is the fact that you're subtly and stoically trying to hammer yourself into rug-sweeping this. You are carrying 100% of the burden of her A, yourself. You have not described a single thing your WW has done other than apologize and "wish she could take it back." Zero consequences.

Your WW's A is among the most cliche mid-life-crisis affair storylines. There are probably dozens of threads here on SI where the WW was a stay-at-home mom when the kids were young, went back out into the world after some years, and fucked the first new man she met who flirted with her. Your WW has a giant psychological issue. That sort of behavior is unstable. I disagree that she is a "great mother". What mother puts her family, and thus her children, at risk by engaging in this sort of behavior? Do you think she was worrying about her kids when she was riding her co-worker's dick?

Keep this in mind: whatever level of effort you're getting from her today, in July, about 7 months post Dday, and whatever level of genuine, heartfelt desire and affection you're getting from her, that's the best you're likely to get from her for the rest of your marriage. Right now is your WW, trying her hardest. Are you ready for now, or less, for life?

I couldn’t 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.

That's why you're angry. You were out in the world all those years, doing the right thing. I reckon you could have, with some looking around, had some pussy on the side if that was your thing.

In addition, there is the fact that she only stopped because you exposed her and the AP to his wife. It would probably still be going on had that not occurred.

I don't think the stoic, "I'll suck it up and rug-sweep" approach you seem stubbornly insistent on pursuing, is a path to success. That anger and burden you are sucking into yourself will become a cancer in your soul.

If lying and hiding truth are the sine qua non of cheating, honesty and exposing the truth are the cornerstone of recovery.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 8:08 AM, July 9th (Thursday)]

BeyondRage posted 7/9/2020 06:50 AM

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.

And you just believe that?? What have you done to verify anything??? For six months she engaged in this sordid affair, has done nothing at all but apologize and after all the lying you just believe she just ended this cold turkey when you have not done anything but twist yourself into a knot trying to find a way to convince yourself how much better things are now.

You informed the other mans wife. My friend, she fucking owes you some gratitude which can be exhibited by providing you with some information as to what she has done to feel confident her husband is not still trying to contact your wife.

Let me tell you, guys do not get pornstar sex from someone elses wife and just calmly stop UNLESS
(1) hes busting his ass trying to save his own marriage, which you have no idea at this point
(2) you have verifiable proof they have not talked or communicated.

Her quitting her job does not mean crap. He lives close enough, she knows how to reach him, and you have only her word that that has not occurred. What does her word mean to you???? If you believe everything she tells you, you are in deep trouble.

My suggestion to you, before you start overwhelming yourself with the why crap is to confirm she has not broken NC , which you claim is a dealbreaker.

How do you do that.

(1) search everywhere for a burner phone
(2) put a VAR in her car
(3) schedule a polygraph, which the first question being "Have you talked to or communicated in any way with OM since ( you fill in the date) ? She gets to answer yes or no period.
(4) talked to the OM wife about the status of her marriage. Unless he is fighting for his marriage life and doing a hell of a lot more than your wife, he is going to reach out to her to see if he can get more pussy at some point.

Understand this, and I am certainly not one of the long term experts here, if a bunch of total strangers who don't know each other and are on different continents, all pretty much say a lot of the same things in different words, the group is usually not "crazy".

From what I have read, hardly anyone who has read this thinks your wife has done a damm thing, and please do not tell us about she apologized. For heavens sake, if she had not done that, what would you have done???

There is no incentive for her to on her own do anything more. You have already told her you're staying by your actions. She in her mind has weathered the storm.

steadychevy posted 7/9/2020 07:13 AM

My WW was a stay at home mom for 10 years. It was a few years after she returned to the workforce that she started her LTA. She fucked the first man who flirted with her. After he flirted she took charge and ran the show for 4 years.

There is nothing you did or did not do that caused your WW to commit adultery. That is entirely on her. You were in the same marriage. Did you decide you needed something on the side to fulfill yourself? If you hadn't caught her she would still be cheating on you. Work place adultery is pretty common and it is difficult to detect. You got lucky in discovering it as you did otherwise it would still be happening or would after covid shut downs.

You say she is a great mother. I wholeheartedly disagree. She was willing to risk blowing up their lives to stroke her ego.

You are protecting her. You are making sure she suffers no consequences other than you knowing. She has regret. Not remorse, from what you've written.

She'll be more careful the next time. The probability isn't zero that there will be a next time if she does nothing to determine what is broken inside of her. What has she done to figure out how to help you heal and to heal the marriage? Has she searched for suggestions? Did she find the book "How To Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair" by Linda J. McDonald? It is up to her to be scrambling to heal the massive wounds. Don't suggest the book to her. You should get it, IMO, so you know what a remorseful spouse look and acts like.

I didn't tell anyone except an IC, my MD, and a friend whose WW had committed adultery years previously and who I had supported at that time. I didn't want anyone to know in case we reconciled. I fell all over myself, finding things for her to read, showing her what I needed in a timeline (that I never got), trying to prove that I was such a great guy I was so much better than the POS COW she cheated with for 4 years. Then I would blow up because I was getting nothing in return. I believe she though that I would be very mad (I felt rage as opposed to mad) for a while then everything would settle down and we would just continue on. I was pathetic.

The person who invests the most, who values the most, gets hurt the worst. Your WW didn't value, took the marriage and you for granted and wasn't investing. I suspect that was the case for most or all of your marriage.

It was a mistake not to inform all pertinent parties of my WW's adultery including my daughters. They all know now because we didn't separate and I file for divorce because we had an argument.

Dismayed2012 posted 7/9/2020 09:08 AM

Please get a post-nuptial agreement in place if that's appropriate where you live. You may find in the future that your freedom becomes more of a draw than living with someone who you become apathetic toward. You don't have a huge amount of years on this earth. It's important that you live them free of drama and pain as much as possible. I wish the best for you.

ShutterHappy posted 7/9/2020 11:08 AM


The advice given here is based upon thousands of stories, and they usually follow a few common patterns.

In your case, your WW was very likely emotionally attached to the OM.

WS who are emotionally attached often reconnect with their AP after things settle. It could be the case with your WW. That is why some SI posters suggest a VAR.

As the victim of Infidelity, you have the choice of R or D. Also keep in mind that you may choose R at first, and decide later that it’s too much, and D later. Many BS do that.

Your WW terminated your marriage (without telling you). She then took a BF.

By doing R, a new marriage is built. It is her job to convince you that is is trust worthy. What has she done to rebuild trust?

You need to have a set of requirements for you to accept to go through R.

Bigger posted 7/9/2020 11:26 AM

You have done a lot correctly but there are some points that IMHO need to be cleared:

As already stated, there is NO WAY you have ANY responsibility or accountability for her DECISSION to have an affair.
Let’s replace infidelity with another problem: Let’s say your wife wanted a new car and you refused because of money issues. We might even agree that you are earning less than you should be, or that you aren’t focusing on the budget or spending money at the tracks. That would not justify her deciding to rob a bank to get money for a car.
Her decision to cheat is the same logic: I need something I’m not getting and therefore I will get it from the OM.
The “correct” process would have been talking to you and establishing why she needed the validation she felt missing.

This is IMHO a key-issue: the state of the marriage (and therefore your input) did not make her decide to have an affair.

This is one reason MC won’t really help “affair-proof” your marriage. What needs to be dealt with is why she felt that need for validation. That’s internal – that’s all on her. If you ever accept that it’s your role to validate her and/or that something you did or did not do made her have to cheat… well… then there is the risk that something you do or do not do in the future will make her have to cheat again. She needs IC to get to the why.

Note how I hammer on the word DECISSION.
This is also a key issue; acknowledging that she decided to cheat. I’m not suggesting she woke up one Monday with the firm intention of starting an affair, but along the path from being friends to being lovers there are 100000000 decisions where she could have said “no”. At each and every one of them she went one step further.
Look – we aren’t surprised if a horse takes a dump in a parade. It’s only a horse and can’t decide where and when to relieve itself. We would be shocked if the trombone player in the band dropped his pants. Same with your wife. If she did not DECIDE to cheat but it only “happened” then there is no way she can decide not to cheat. It can happen again.

One “mistake” I think you might be making is demanding your wife is in the marriage.
How can she go from “I love you” and all that to total indifference towards OM?
One way is by remaining in the fantasy infidelity is. She’s thinking she needs to sacrifice the White Knight and riding on unicorns along the beach because the evil Ogre refuses to let her be happy.
This is reinforced by your obvious fear of divorce. According to your post your worst fear is being a weekend-dad, something you don’t have to be IF you were to d. But just like your WW makes the affair a fantasy you are making the reality of divorce a fantasy.
Let me be clear here: I am not suggesting you divorce. But I am suggesting you save a MARRIAGE or leave a façade of a marriage.

So, think again: Is divorce the worst outcome?
I challenge that thought. I think the WORST outcome would be to 3-6 months from now walk in on OM and WW.

If you don’t agree then my suggestion would be to not risk the marriage. Be safe and allow her and OM to have their romps. He’s clearly not leaving his wife and will probably be happy with a once-a-week poke in the supplies room.
If that doesn’t sound appealing, then RETHINK the worst outcome.

You want to LEAVE infidelity. Preferably with your wife, but then she needs to be 100% committed to reconciliation and the marriage.

To do that she can’t be allowed to have the SLIGHTEST vision of the OM being the White Knight. She can’t be allowed to think she sacrificed her personal well-being to save her kids from divorce or to save the OM family. Basically, you need to expose all her reasons for remaining in the marriage and peel them away until only one is left: Because she wants to be married to you.

To do that you yourself need to lose your fear of divorce.
You tell her she’s free to be with OM. You tell her D is the better of two bad options for you. It beats sharing her if she’s not in the marriage 100%. Ask her WHY she wants to remain married. Counter every excuse she uses except YOU.
You also need to understand what marriage is. You make some statements like never looking at her with the same eyes, lost respect, lost trust… If you think these are emotions that are there to be and/or if you don’t plan on building more positive emotions towards your wife then maybe D is your solution.

Westway posted 7/9/2020 11:34 AM

I haven’t 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.

I can't add anything other than what the others have posted, however I thought I would mention your use of these two adjectives to describe her affair. I don't think you are doing yourself a favor describing her affair in these terms.

Fact of the matter is, her affair was not a ship losing its maneuvering thrusters and plowing into a dock at full speed and killing a bunch of longshoremen, or a driver losing his breaks and plowing full speed into a crowd of people. Those are disasters. Those are tragedies.

Your wife dropped a nuclear bomb on the marriage. By calling her heinous destruction of her family by those words is minimizing what she did. She flat out MURDERED your marriage.

For what it is worth, EVERY marriage has issues and problems, but not everyone goes out and cheats. Your WW took the coward's way out and she needs to own it.

paboy posted 7/9/2020 19:02 PM

I realize that you are doing the best that you are capable of, but perhaps here are some thoughts to help you in your pursuit to get out of infidelity.

You seem to think that keeping a lid on things will produce the best result. This is just another form of the totally useless'pick me dance'. Your saying 'if I protect you as best as I can, you will see what a great person that I am, and be madly in love with me again'. Unfortunately you will see that this does not work. Everyone, you, me, your wife, your kids, Everyone, knows about consequences.

Your wife could possibly be thinking to herself, wow, what an idiot..If it was me..
Perhaps if she was 110% trying to fix what she has broken, possibly that could of been her trying to show consequences.

And your children are not dumb. They will already be talking to each other wondering what has gone down. You having moved bedrooms, makes you look like the reason why. If infidelity is suspected, you'll be the one that they will be suspecting.

And if it ever comes to light, they will be so upset that you did not think them loving enough to seek help and support from.
Especially if you have a daughter.
Let them know that mum has a boyfriend..That is all you need to say. Her actions or should I say loss of real actions show that she is still emotionally attached to the other man, not you.

Buster123 posted 7/9/2020 20:39 PM

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 don’t 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 “ex” if the R doesn’t work out. I will let her tell her family if she opts to do so.

Listen you're still trying to protect her, she's not a teenager, she's a grown married woman who decided to have a boyfriend on the side and had you not caught her it would still be ongoing. She knew the consequences of being discovered yet she still took the plunge. She's NOT a great mother, great mothers don't put the stability of their children at risk to have an A, take her off that pedestal.

Also telling her parents/children is not vindictive nor malicious, it's called consequences which you insist on protecting her from having to face them, again she knew the stakes and she dove in head first, FULL EXPOSURE typically kills the "beautiful, romantic and exciting" aspect of the A and replaces it with pure SHAME and ugliness, the more she hates the A, the more she will hate OM, the less likely she will cheat again, parents are great sources of wisdom, they will still be her parents no matter what but they can productive conversations with her.

Again FULL EXPOSURE is probably #1 in the list of suggestions that have stood the test of time, we're not just making this up, look at your member number, we've seen this play out THOUSANDS of times, your WW is no special snowflake but a typical run of the mill cheater, the only thing special about it is that it happened to you. As other have stated you should verify NC and not just trust a proven cheater and liar, that doesn't mean you will have to become the M police forever but you will have to be very vigilant for at least 2-5 years. Ignore the collective wisdom and advice of SI at your own peril, if you read here long enough you will find plenty of similar stories with Dday1, 2, 3..., those who take swift actions typically have the best results.

rambler posted 7/9/2020 22:52 PM

Do not suffer in silence, you need to get help. Do not be the bad guy. Do not shoulder the burden.

Buffer posted 7/10/2020 06:13 AM

I understand brother, she is a great mother to your children. You have mentioned this a few times. Can I ask if she is a great mother, how could consciously do what she did? If she is a great mother, how did she justify her betrayal to your children? As she had already placed you outside the marriage.
She really isn’t a great mother, she is a manipulative mother, looking out for her selfish self.
Sorry I don’t mean to offend, but that is what she is.
She needs to do the research on how to help you deal with her infidelity, reading, apology, doing, not WO is me. She has to prove she is in no contact with her POS. I was one of those who advise to expose her ways to others. This is includes her parents, not to tarnish her image of their little girl. But to be able to support her through this.
IC for you, please to help with you through this.
One day at a time

[This message edited by Buffer at 6:14 AM, July 10th (Friday)]

sleepylove posted 7/10/2020 07:30 AM

The “great mother” myth is something that I dealt with as well.
When I was dealing with her Affair I felt the same way. In retrospect, I have come to realize that she was an awful mother during her A. She risked the entire stability of our children’s lives for some cheap thrills.
I now look back and realize that our children knew that our marriage was suffering and on the brink of divorce and they were traumatized by it. I know that at least one of my children blamed me for our issues and might to this day hold some animosity toward me for it.
I protected her at the time and now I feel that ship has sailed as far as disclosing to our children about the affair. I have deep regret for that now.

Bigger posted 7/10/2020 08:20 AM

The advice offered here is based on experience. Both individual and collective.
When someone posts their story and then thinks their situation is so unique that none of the advice applies it sort of mitigates whatever gain the poster can get from us.

Regarding the exposure:
Some advocate scorched earth on exposure. I suggest exposing to all stakeholders in the marriage that can impact your wife’s decision and thought process as well as anyone that can support you or the marriage. If your parents-in-law meet these requirements then talk to them, if not then don’t. But keep in mind that the more positive people you have to support you the less chance of a relapse, the more support and the better guidance both you and wife get.

I agree with separating the wife and the mother roles and think a person in infidelity can still be a good parent. But I also think that IF this ends in divorce the children deserve to know why the marriage ended. This can be done in an entirely age-appropriate and respectful manner. It’s up to the individual parents to maintain their relationship with their children.

HellFire posted 7/10/2020 08:53 AM

I'm sorry, but she is not a good mother. She may have been a fantastic mother, before she decided to have an affair. But she is a lousy mother.

A good mother, does not risk the life of her children's father by potentialy giving him a deadly STD. A good mother does not take time away from her family, for a another man. A good mother doesn't spend her time texting, emailing, messaging, sending pictures, or spending time with another man, when she should be with her family. A good mother does not risk her children's family. A good mother does not risk her Children's security, and happiness. A good mother does not devastate the father of her children. A good mother does not betray her children. And make no mistake, she was betraying those children every bit as much as she has betrayed you. She has betrayed those kids. She has lied to those kids. That is not a good mother.

A good mother sets a good example. She is not setting a good example.

standinghere posted 7/10/2020 15:10 PM

Regarding the “good mother” issue, I would have to agree with everybody who states that she was “not a good mother”.

Sure, you can become a good mother, but you have to work at it, and you can’t destroy people, cheat, lie, kill, or whatever, and your family, and consider yourself a “good parent”.

I always thought of my wife as a “good mother” and she was good in many ways, and remains a “good mother”, In many ways.

However, during the affair she was not. She was acting the part of a “good mother“ but the reality was she was damaging her spouse, damaging her marriage, nearly destroyed her marriage, nearly uprooted all of her children from their home, and allowed someone into the family circle who could not be trusted, particularly with children, who was not taking care of their own children.

19 years later, there is still fallout and damage from this behavior. Eventually, all of our children found out that their mother cheated on me. I didn’t tell them. Those children got older, some of those children remembered things, things they started to put together, then they started to talk about it in secret, then one day, one of my children who was very, very troubled by it, spoke to me about it, 19 years may have passed, but the tremendous destruction and damaged the family permanently. The child who spoke to me about it was very upset about the older child talking like this about a parent, and had a lot of animosity against that older child, because of what was being said. That created a fracture between the children.

Now that they all know, what does that make them think of relationships, their parents relationships, and their own relationships?

In this way, affairs are like herpes, it’s a gift that just keeps right on giving.

steadychevy posted 7/10/2020 15:19 PM

I agree with separating the wife and the mother roles and think a person in infidelity can still be a good parent.

What do you base this on, Bigger? There's a lot of research about the effect a broken marriage, parental abandonment whether emotional or physical, adultery by one of the parents, etc. has on children.

SnowToArmPits posted 7/11/2020 00:14 AM

She stated that she doesn’t know what to do and she’s always depended on me to take the lead on nearly everything.

Come on man, this is a cop out. She's a grown women with a adult child and she wants you to believe this is beyond her?

You're right in thinking she's caused this mess she better work damn hard at fixing it.

Butforthegrace posted 7/11/2020 07:18 AM

She stated that she doesn’t know what to do and she’s always depended on me to take the lead on nearly everything.

As you noted, she figured out how to cheat and lie without you taking the lead. She can invest at least the same degree of creativity and imagination figuring out how to fix it.

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