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New Betrayed Husband

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EllieKMAS posted 7/24/2020 15:09 PM

She started by apologizing for her A and for hurting me, she said she is not looking to give excuses but just to explain facts, she thinks our marriage was struggling before the A but I refused to see it.
Wow, what irony - this is the same line my cheater used on me too. Nevermind the fact that I was the only one working and was out of the house 12-14 hours a day and then had to come home and handle all the household tasks cus he wouldn't. None of that could possibly have anything to do with the marriage 'struggling'... Look, life happens to everyone. You get tired and fed up and bills and doctor visits and kids and and AND. What was your WIFE doing to help the struggling marriage?

She said she thought about leaving me before even we met the OM, and at some point, she thought about life after divorce but she couldn’t do it because she still loved me and didn’t want to break her family. She reminded me of the multiple times she asked for couples counseling and I refused she begged for time for us but I ignored her. she felt that I didn’t care about putting any effort and I was content to live the way I’ve been, she gave up but she never wanted to leave me. Our life was mundane, our kisses weren’t real anymore just habit and sex was just a duty. She never wanted to leave me though because she loves me and values what we had accomplished. but she felt that I was looking for any excuse to not be with her like mowing the grass for the neighbors or cleaning the garage when it wasn’t needed.
And again - see how ALL of this is about you and your perceived shortcomings and her assumptions about how you felt/what you thought? Don't let her do this, cus boy I tied myself in knots when mine said this kind of stuff.

I wasn't ever perfect - never claimed to be so - but whatever shitty choices he made were not because I cleaned the house wrong or said hello in a bad tone of voice. If your wife was THAT unhappy, then she owed it to your marriage and to her husband to have an honest and forthright conversation about that. My bet is that she never did.

Then came the OM who gave her the attention I didn’t, told her the words I didn’t, he was willing to spend time with her to listen and talk to her. he was wishing her good morning and good night every day while I never did. He gave her flowers without any reason, I did not. She said the A is wrong and she wish she could take it back but somehow it kept our marriage alive.
Ahem. BULLSHIT. You don't keep a relationship alive by doing something so incredibly selfish and hurtful. That's like saying "I kept my car in good shape by never doing an oil change or getting new tires." Nope uh-uh, that is not how marriage works.

She feels bad that she lied to both of us and lived a double life. She said that the A was on and off and that every time the guilt got the best of her she would break up with him but kept surrendering to his pleading and misses his attention.
She fucked him because she wanted to. And clearly didn't feel guilty enough to come clean and start making up for her shit. And NO SIR she didn't lie to HIM. That piece of shit knew she was having an affair. SHE knew she was having an affair. The only one who didn't know was YOU AH. So bullshit again about her lying to him.

She said she was terrified when I found out and she is expecting to be served anytime, but the fact that I have not done it gave her hope to give our marriage a second chance, she pledged to do whatever it takes to save our marriage but she wants me to do my part too and at least start by couple counseling. She gave me a book to read saying it would help me regardless, she is reading another book about infidelity, Church pastor suggested both books. She already confessed to him.
NO. Just NO. In order for her to get a second chance, SHE needs to do the work. SHE needs to fix herself. SHE needs to do HER parts. Until she has gone total no contact with posom and fully admitted to everything about her A and started on the path of her work, then YOU don't owe her shit. Your part until all that happens with her is whatever you want your part to be.

ETA:

I'm not as good as this thread have alluded some of you to think I'm, I'm really hard to get along with but once you know me you would like me, I hate changes that's probably the main reason why I haven't filed yet other than I can't stop my love for her in 2 weeks.
Dude NONE of us are perfect. We are all human, with human frailties and shortcomings. But I don't care how hard you are to get along with, it does not even ping the radar of justifying her nonsense.

[This message edited by EllieKMAS at 3:12 PM, July 24th (Friday)]

beenthereinco posted 7/24/2020 15:42 PM

She feels bad that she lied to both of us and lived a double life

There is a lot in that post to dwell on but I wanted to drill in right here. Did she really tell you that she felt bad for lying to him? Really? She expressed to you, that she felt bad for lying to her Affair Partner? Wow.

Were those lies related to how she was still sleeping with you? Did she mean to say she had told him you all were not having sex or was the lie that she would leave you? I'd really like to understand that one if I were you. What were these lies she told him?

redwing6 posted 7/24/2020 15:53 PM

Far wiser minds than mine have examined your post. IF your wife is R material, below is a list of what a remorseful WS (Wayward Spouse) should look like. There is a difference between remorse and regret.
If a WS is truly remorseful, they:
• are non defensive
• examine their motives for their affairs, without blaming their spouses
• accept their roles as healers to their wounded partners
• do not resist breaking off all contact with the affair partner
• show genuine contrition and remorse for what they have done
• make amends and apologize to loved ones
• apologize often, especially the first two years
• listen with patience and validate their spouses’ pain
• allow their spouses a lot of room to express their feelings
• respect the betrayed spouse’s timetable for recovering
• seek to assure spouses of their love and commitment to fidelity
• keep no secrets
• do not maintain close ties with those who condoned the affair
• are willing to be extremely accountable for their time and activities
• frequently check in with spouses as to how they are doing
• are aware of and anticipate triggers of the affair
• are willing to get rid of hurtful reminders of the affair
• don’t minimize the damage the affair had on the children
commit themselves to a long-term plan for recovery, honesty, and Internal (Spiritual) growth

[This message edited by redwing6 at 3:54 PM, July 24th (Friday)]

Robert22205https posted 7/24/2020 16:16 PM

Two years is a long time.

Ask your wife what gifts (besides flowers) she received from him?

For example, her birthday, Xmas, Valentine's Day, ...

Has she returned the gifts?
Has she saved any pictures of them together?

ChamomileTea posted 7/24/2020 16:18 PM


EllieKMAS:

Dude NONE of us are perfect. We are all human, with human frailties and shortcomings. But I don't care how hard you are to get along with, it does not even ping the radar of justifying her nonsense.

Exactly. NO ONE deserves to be cheated on. Cheating never solves a problem. It only creates new ones.

BeyondRage:

You are making a BIG mistake going to any MC. What will happen is some genius will tell you in all likelihood to forget the affair and focus on your marriage and why you failed to meet her needs.

I just wanted to add some information about the old (but still gasping): "Unmet Needs" model of therapy. This thing is a vampire which needs a stake driven through it's heart, and yet... it's still ubiquitous.

Many therapists, particularly in MC, are still operating under this dubious bit of pop-psy which insists that we all have "needs" in our relationship which our partner is supposed to be meeting. These would be things like "the need for companionship", "the need for sex", "the need for validation", etc. etc. etc. While I can agree that we shouldn't be going to outsiders to get these "needs" met, I disagree that it's our partner's responsibility to meet them. We were not born in pairs, unable to function without the other 'half' making us whole. We are all WHOLE in and of ourselves. And we are each responsible for seeing to it that we get our "needs" met.

So, we grow up, pair off into relationships, and it's STILL our own responsibility to get our "needs" met. Say, you have a "need" for companionship, but you're not willing to put any work towards getting it. You haven't enlightened your mind in years, you add nothing to liven up a conversation, and you are, in fact, quite dull and boring. How is it your partner's responsibility to "meet your needs"?

This "unmet needs" model presupposes that our partner is responsible for making up our shortcomings and putting in all the work. It focuses simply on having our needs passively met, rather than the energy and reciprocity one puts actively into the relationship. And sure, some of us might have partners who are verbalizing their "needs" and we're ignoring those pleas. That's something which is on us and if we continue in that vein, we'll deserve the divorce we're presented with. But ultimately, if that partner is truly in need, it's their responsibility to make that need clear and to take HONORABLE action if it can't be resolved.

You were never responsible for meeting your WW's "needs". She is (and has always been) responsible for getting them met. Any therapist who tries to convince you that marriage alone puts the onus on you for meeting your partner's "needs" is full of shit. They aren't accounting for personal responsibility. Let's say you have a "need for sex". Well, you can't turn up like an unwashed caveman grunting at her, can you? No. You wash up, maybe clear a few things off her schedule, compliment her a bit, set the mood, or whatever it takes to get things going. You put a some effort into getting your "needs" met.

Your WW is telling you that she had "unmet needs" and that because you weren't fulfilling them, she went elsewhere. I disagree with that on the same grounds as my last post. I think that no matter WHAT you had done, she would have still cheated because this guy was validating her externally in a way which can't be had from someone who is familiar and devoted. But let's throw that out for now and explore it in terms of "unmet needs"... Your WW was still responsible for getting her own needs met within the confines of the marriage OR honorably exiting it. You might have ignored her every day for twenty years and it was still HER responsibility to see to her own happiness within the confines of her values system. Believe me when I say that YOU did not cause the cheating. It's a choice the cheater makes, one which violates their own stated values and is reflective of their own sorry character.

Anyway, I just wanted to add a bit of context on "unmet needs". I got burned pretty badly by this model of therapy about ten years prior to my WH's physical cheating. I had caught him out in online shenanigans; EA, cybersexing, etc., and I bought into this nonsense hook, line, and sinker. Ten years later, he was live and in-person on Craigslist, because the cheating wasn't about me, the marriage, or "unmet needs". It was about HIM, his character, and the bottomless hole inside him which craved external validation. It's so important that BS's don't allow the blame-shifting and the rewrite of the marital history we see in the "unmet needs" model. Because when we do, the WS doesn't do the important, introspective work of becoming a safe partner.

ShutterHappy posted 7/24/2020 16:18 PM

beenthereinco,

one would hope she meant lying to AH and herself...

AH: Many posters said you should ask her how she feels about the OM. I think it’s an important question

[This message edited by ShutterHappy at 4:22 PM, July 24th (Friday)]

Westway posted 7/24/2020 16:24 PM

You did nothing to make her cheat. She was in the same marriage as you were, and she had all those years to leave and divorce you if she really felt you weren't meeting her needs. Just more selfish blame-shifting.

I can't add anything more than the others have said.

Stillbleeding7 posted 7/24/2020 16:26 PM

She is blame shifting. The marriage is separate from the adultery. If she thinks she can go to God and pray "Dear God your Word says that adulterer's have no place in heaven, but the husband you gave me didn't show me enough attention or go to counseling with me so it's not all my fault" He will say she's still in sin." If we say that we have no sin,we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us If we confess our sin,He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If she doesn't stop with the lying to herself she is not a good candidate for R. Also interview the top 5 D attorneys so she can't use them if you go D. It will be conflict of interest as you have already talked strategy with them.

anoldlion posted 7/24/2020 17:14 PM

I'm probably going to piss off a bunch of people but I could care less because I will be talking about myself as well as others. I have a theory that cheating is the sole decision of the cheater, but in many cases the betrayed spouse paved the road toward that cheating. First, what happened in my marriage. When I married I was military, Special Forces on an A-team. I was gone a lot and I mean a LOT. This left my wife alone for many days, weeks, even a year. Looking back I can see where I deprived her of the emotional needs that all women crave. I was at least home when our son was born. Back then a new mother stayed in the hospital 4 or 5 days after birth (in a military hospital). The day I brought them home I had to leave almost immediately to fulfill a military obligation. Even though I was gone only a few hours I still left the woman I loved alone right after bringing her home. Thank heaven her parents were there. Six months after the birth of my son I was deployed for 13 months 10000 miles away. Everything domestic fell into my wife's lap. At that time we had been married about three and a half years. Once again she was by herself. Now here is where it starts. I had a friend (who was married with a wife and two teenage daughters) who decided he could fill the void that I had created. Slowly he worked his way toward that goal. Years later I learned that he would come to my house at 0300AM (so the neighbors wouldn't see his car) and they would "talk" and play music. I also learned he would take her and my son on short trips to a amusement park and out to eat. Him coming to see her would continue on and off, for several years. After I returned from deployment I was stationed 800 miles from my home base and where he lived. I know that the last night, before my wife came to be with me, she stayed with him "talking". At the time he had a second job as a night clerk at a motel. That is where they met. The years went by ,I had more deployments and he would visit, only when I wasn't there. There is more to the story and how I found out about all this. We have only discussed this, maybe a half dozen times and she has always said that nothing physical happened it was just talking and filling an emotional need. As I have said before, I had two careers in 45 years. Both were filled with danger and violence. If I had known while it was happening, and knowing who I was at the time, I may have gone to jail because I'm pretty sure he would have been a wheelchair and being fed through a straw. Almost 4 decades ago rose in rank and started staying home. I have never pushed to find out more because I simply don't want to know. In those decades I have had a great marriage. Why would I want to damage my life. Just so I can say "I know everything".

Having said all that I'm going to give you my opinion on your situation. Yes she disrespected you and humiliated you, but in the end it is she that is being hit with tremendous disrespect and humiliation. Right now everyone is on your side and no one on hers. From your thread, so far, like me you have been actively paving the road. People say that the cheating is 100% the decision of the cheater, and I agree. They go on to say that the BS has 50% of the blame for difficulty in the marriage and the WS has 50%. I totally and emphatically disagree. When you ignore your spouse, rather be doing something else besides being with them, never verbally tell them how much they mean to you, and just spend time with them, then you are paving the road. I do all this with my wife as well as bringing her flowers 2 or 3 times a month. I buy her little gifts, just because. When was the last time you did any of this? From what I gather she had more red flags flying than in a communist parade. She ask for time with you. She ask for marriage counseling and more and what was your reaction? All those voids you were creating was fertile ground for a smooth talking predator. You know how an affair happens. One, the BS completely trust the WS. Two, the BS is too busy with other things to notice what their spouse is doing. I know of marriages that have ended because some self centered (usually the husband) would rather spend his time playing video games than time with his wife. I would bet, like me, you spent 25x more time with your business than you even thought about spending with her. Like me you were paving the way. My son was doing the same thing. I sat him down and told him if he didn't give his wife the emotional and physical support she needed that there was some man out there that would gladly give her what he wasn't. Everyone says that if you are going to cheat then just get a divorce first. Easier said that done in many cases. Many WS do truly love the BS. They just get caught up in filling a void that the WS created.

I'm not telling you to stay or go. That is totally your decision. Just don't be like some of the self righteous that treated their spouse like a piece of furniture, paved the road, and then present themselves blameless for anything. It is kind of like, "Let he who without sin cast the first stone." Or better still, "He who thinks himself blameless crucify the blamed." I'll be honest and say I would never blame my wife because I was not there to stop it so I paved the road. You were too absorbed in yourself and were paving the road.

One last thing. Next time that POS text, email, or calls your wife, send him a text or phone call and inform him if he ever so much as sends her a smoke signal the next thing he will receive is a restraining order delivered when he is with the most people around him.

Now everyone who wants to hang me in effigy have at it.

AHguy, I do wish you well.

Stinger posted 7/24/2020 17:24 PM

50/50 assignment lacks analysis. In most cases, the WS is way more responsible for pre-affair issues. One study showed the Cheater was significantly less invested in the marriage to begin with.

Think about it: a cheater by definition, lacks integrity, empathy, problem solving skills, communication skills and has a host of other deficiencies. Many are personality disordered, the Cluster B types.

So, does anyone really think a person like this had only 50%?

nscale56 posted 7/24/2020 17:25 PM

Anoldlion

Agree

Stinger
Bullshit

[This message edited by nscale56 at 5:27 PM, July 24th (Friday)]

ChamomileTea posted 7/24/2020 17:40 PM

People say that the cheating is 100% the decision of the cheater, and I agree. They go on to say that the BS has 50% of the blame for difficulty in the marriage and the WS has 50%. I totally and emphatically disagree. When you ignore your spouse, rather be doing something else besides being with them, never verbally tell them how much they mean to you, and just spend time with them, then you are paving the road.

Not going to "hang you in effigy", Arnoldlion, but I have to emphatically disagree on that. Women aren't children without agency, neither are men but we don't usually have to point that out. We have mouths. We have feet. We can say what we need and we can leave if we don't get it. And because we have agency, we OWN that 50%. We're not porcelain dolls who shatter if we're not validated with flattery often enough. And in your story, your WW had an absolute responsibility to the vows she made, same as you did. No excuses. Honor is not a concept which is exclusively for men.

Thumos posted 7/24/2020 17:49 PM

When I married I was military, Special Forces on an A-team. I was gone a lot and I mean a LOT.

So it's your fault your wife had an affair because she married you knowing what you did as a professional - and what the demands of it were? I don't think so.

What about all the wives who didn't cheat on their special forces husbands? Think those husbands are better than you? I don't think so.

Thumos posted 7/24/2020 17:51 PM

People say that the cheating is 100% the decision of the cheater, and I agree. They go on to say that the BS has 50% of the blame for difficulty in the marriage and the WS has 50%.

I don't agree with this bromide in any case. I think much of the time the WS is actually being very lazy in the relationship, much more so than the BS. And they then use the alleged problems in the relationship as justification for their own bad choices. So I tend to think the percentages are way off. We're actually giving WS's too much credit when use this formula. Also, I think infidelity happens a lot in good marriages all the time. Good marriages that could have been great. But now aren't even good because a radioactive dirty bomb has been dropped into them.

Thumos posted 7/24/2020 17:52 PM

50/50 assignment lacks analysis. In most cases, the WS is way more responsible for pre-affair issues. One study showed the Cheater was significantly less invested in the marriage to begin with.

Speaking of percentages, I 100 percent agree with this.

The 50/50 bromide is another version of blameshifting. It's probably more like 100 percent responsible for the infidelity. 65-80 percent responsible for distance and problems in the marriage. Nota bene, I am not talking about the total trajectory of the marriage. But I am talking recent history - like, say, 5-8 years within the infidelity, give or take. And that's a lot. As a married person who knows other married people, I feel I have the credentials to spout off like this.

[This message edited by Thumos at 5:56 PM, July 24th (Friday)]

VinST posted 7/24/2020 17:53 PM


You need to know the truth... Polygraph. If anything it will let her know you mean business. You would be surprised how many folk have gotten the truth even before the wayward took the test.

included in the questions you should ask:

1. Did you have sex with the POS after I fixed the heater?
2. did you love him or tell him that you did

The second is based on her passing the first ... I doubt she will and has been lying to save face in her desperation to hold onto you. and the second is also a no win because it means she enjoyed the sex or she liked the kibbles.

If she really wanted the POS not to contact her.. there are many ways she could get the message to him load and clear.

Good Luck.

thatbpguy posted 7/24/2020 18:16 PM

I'm probably going to piss off a bunch of people but I could care less because I will be talking about myself as well as others. I have a theory that cheating is the sole decision of the cheater, but in many cases the betrayed spouse paved the road toward that cheating.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I stopped right there.

There is a line of logic there and your post, but it fails.

The reason why is that all betrayers have a multitude of options available to them when in a marriage they're unhappy with. The route a betrayer takes is the cheap & dirty way. The lowest rung on the ladder of options. Period. My wife was badly abused by her first husband. He got cancer when they were still under 30 and refused sex from then on. For about 8 years. She probably had more of a 'right' to betray him- but never did. And she had all sorts of men helping her with things along the way who probably would have dropped a lot of not so subtle hints for sex. Again, she never did. She pursued some of the other options not involving betraying. That's how it is supposed to work and can work.

No, she just decided to fuck a guy because she just wanted to. I submit she would have anyway. I mean, two years, making sport of her faithful husband when she could.

Nope. She's a betrayer, pure & simple.

[This message edited by thatbpguy at 6:17 PM, July 24th (Friday)]

ChamomileTea posted 7/24/2020 18:36 PM

Sorry, but this thread is sticking with my brain today, and the idea that women's "emotional needs" aren't their own responsibility is such anathema to me. We have so many betrayed men coming in here, feeling like they're at fault for not paying enough attention, and it's just not so. Women aren't fragile. In emotional terms, we're actually stronger than men.

I read this really cool little Reader's Digest article years and years ago called "Big Boys Don't Cry". This was my first foray into the brain science of men and women so it really stuck with me. For women, the connectivity of right and left hemispheres is like an interstate highway, and of course this is the nexus between left-brain logic and right-brain emotion. It's just different wiring. Men trod along on a winding country road, but eventually get where they're going. So, it's not that both sexes can't experience the whole wide range of human emotions, it's just that we females get there faster. We can identify and interpret nuanced emotional cues while the menfolk are still stuck on their go-to emotions. ie. A flare of anger might represent a feeling embarrassment or inadequacy, but it will likely take him some moments to identify the underlying feeling. Women have 31 flavors of that shit.

We are emotionally competent. And if you want to get right down to it, all the more dangerous for it. Because in conflict, that kind of connectivity gives us a high-speed blender while the guys are working with a wooden spoon A woman who chooses to be good at manipulation already has all the tools she needs.

We aren't dainty and we're not more emotionally needy than our male counterparts. You guys might have the musculoskeletal advantage, but we can sniff out the pheromones of a potentially advantageous mate like a truffle pig. We can distinguish colors on the spectrum that you can't see. The difference in our brains is fairly small, and not terribly significant in most arenas of life, but when it comes to who is responsible for a woman's infidelity, I think it's clearly the woman who chooses to cheat.

AHGuy posted 7/24/2020 19:25 PM

Just want to let you know that I’m reading all your comments. I will respond once I’m in front of a computer because I suck at phone typing, I havinyfew drinks while reading your comment, I gotta admit Alcohol is a blessing for guys like me

faithfulman posted 7/24/2020 19:36 PM

AHguy, I want to give you a little advice RE: Therapy and therapists.

Therapists are not Navy Seals who are going to dive into your destroyed marriage and rescue it, turning your wife from a cruel liar into a truly remorseful and contrite person.

***

I see tons of what I consider to be knee-jerk advice: "The cheater needs to get into IC (Individual Counseling) immediately!"

THERAPY IS WORTHLESS IF THE CHEATER IS NOT ALREADY DEDICATED TO TAKING FULL RESPONSIBILITY AND BEING 100% HONEST.

Far more likely your cheating wife will shovel the therapist a ton of the bullshit that she presented to you: "Reasons" why she cheated, a story about how you were not doing your job and she had to look elsewhere to fill the void, but she was so conflicted and never meant any of it, and she is so so sorry now, and look to the therapist to validate it.

There is basically a 0% chance the therapist will look your cheater right in the eye and say "You're full of shit, try again"

And a whoooole lot of therapists will validate the "cheating reasons". You don't know the therapist's personal morals. Therapists are no better than anyone else. You don't know if they are stupid or simply full of shit.

It is not the job of a therapist to hold people brutally accountable for their behavior. Or force them to be virtuous.

This forum and others are littered with stories of therapist who advised cheaters not to tell, or to withhold the full truth, who try to convince the betrayed rugsweep and not to pursue the truth. (Just ask Thumos)

Therapy is a business. Therapists need repeat business. Cheaters don't like to be told they are liars and full of shit. A therapist does that and poof! There went the next 6 months of paid sessions!

***

Individual Counselors VS. Marriage Counselors
A high percentage of Individual Counselors also do Marriage Counseling and Couples Counseling - so don't be fooled into thinking they are such distinct specialties.

Finally, many cheaters will use their attending therapy sessions as proof of their contrition and "progress" while they do exactly nothing.

Don't get me wrong, good therapy has value for many people who need to work through issues and are willing to look in the mirror and do the hard work. But you must know that kind of dedication is rare.

When it comes down to brutal, no-nonsense, personal accountability - which is the only path to true reconciliation if you are even open to it, which I sure as shit don't think you should be to be honest - only the cheating lying individual in question can enforce that.

Good luck to you.

***

Below are some quotes from this thread I agree with

Counseling is going to be about how if you didn’t deserve it actually, at least you can find it understandable. And If it’s understandable then it makes it easy to heal. You will learn to see her side, and you can deal with it by sweeping her off her feet and giving her everything she has always wanted. And so you get a win win. She gets to be the holy paragon she always claims to be and you get a happy contented wife that would never ever think of taking up with another man. Unless you go fishing.

But the biggest thing that jumps out at me about all this is her lack of action to work on herself to become a better person, a safe partner, a moral being. Instead,she's spending her time trying to justify her behavior, turning herself into a pretzel to make herself seem like a moral, ethical person, talking to others and making sure they know that you weren't perfect. To me, that's the biggest red flag of all. Where's the remorse, the guilt, the shame? Instead, it's all "poor me" and "I'm a victim" and "I'm so sad."

Beyond Rage

And IC is worthless right now. She told you why she did it. Believe what she says. She didn't think she would get caught, it was fun and exciting, and she does not think you will divorce her or she would not be making demands on what YOU need to do.

Getting out of DENIAL is your first goal. That means that you forget the whys and ACCEPT that she did it because she WANTED to and did not think she would get caught. For every "why' she comes up with thousands of women have the same problem and do not cheat. The whys are simply excuses.

You are wasting your money on any therapy of any kind until you know and can verify they’re not still talking for any reason .

[This message edited by faithfulman at 8:11 PM, July 24th (Friday)]

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